Koseški bajer, Ljubljana.

You are that broken body in twilight, smelling of fire since it has never been tamed.

– Dimitris Angelis

Everybody tells you that you will never come back the same, nobody tells you how easy it is to fall back into the same old traps and patterns. Continue reading “”

This isn’t goodbye.

So, it’s done. I left Paris. After four and a half years of hell and wonderfulness combined (hint to the postcard below) and two weeks of intense stress. A few days ago I moved back home, sort of, at least for this year. I say sort of because I still don’t feel that way in my own head, although everyone around me seem to be certain of it. And I moved for the funniest of reasons if you know me, me who never in her life made a decent career decision. For a job. (Yeah I know not funny, probably another purely internal thing.) Maybe, that is why it’s one of the hardest heartbreaks, too, the hardest decision I ever took because it’s the first with actual consequences I have to bear. Some sort of sacrifice I had to rationally convince myself into. It hurt so fucking much I really doubt I made the right choice and miss my old what-is-a-career-anyway me. I need to remind myself of why I took this job and why all the old ones were (partly) wrong, often transforming me into a brain-dead zombie. I don’t really care about all that now, though. I can only miss. Till now, I didn’t know grieving over a place is just as hard as over people. You’d say, like everyone around me, ”But Paris is still there, a two-hour flight away, you can go whenever you want!”. But I think that what I’m grieving is far more complex and not repairable with just a vacation. It’s the life I built, the relationship to a home I finally found and then tore myself from. I know it wasn’t perfect and that I’ve been preparing for this for a while, yet it still doesn’t make it easy. I’ll live, I’ll give this a try, because maybe I have to give myself a real try, and then maybe France will have me back soon. Now, just give me some time to digest everything.

Leaving Paris is never easy. Sadness shows you it meant something, that every bit of it was worth it.

A Dreamy Road Ahead

Ilha Deserta, Faro.

For Friendly Friday Challenge, hosted by Snow Melts Somewhere.

There are two kinds of dreamy in our lives, aren’t there? The one we can see in our everyday, simple, but meaningful scenes, like that pinkish sky sunset paints for us after a long day at work, almost making us feel grateful we had to stay there till so late, because otherwise we wouldn’t see this view. Beauty is always dreamy for me, even when it grounds me in the present.

And then, there is the other one, the one making us dream about the future, about the open road ahead we might walk someday, even if we already rambled on some of them, even if some of them are circles, bringing us back to where we started. There are still countless possibilities of what might happen in-between the taken steps.

And I need one just as much as the other.

 

 

”une femme moderne, quoi”

ramblings on whatever really

During a job interview some time last year, discussing my hobbies and interests, the lady across the table defined me as a ”modern woman” or in her own words une femme moderne, quoi … In the moment, I wasn’t sure if one part of me should be flattered by the implications or rather offended to be so easily put into a cliché, ticking off the box I belong to. Later, I couldn’t stop laughing about the notion, though. I mean, what does it really mean, to be a ”modern woman”? In my opinion, it’s not my cultural, literary, travel, or whichever interests that define it, I mean where would that make any sense? Continue reading “”une femme moderne, quoi””

Inspiration

Le Penseur, Musée Rodin, Paris.

For Friendly Friday Challenge. (First!)

The Snow Melts Somewhere evoked in her prompt post lack of inspiration bloggers experience and the least I can say is – I relate. I had been on a blogging hiatus for two months at the end of last year which was weird because I had loads to talk about. But when a general lack of inspiration about life strikes, well what is one to do then?

My best friend said to me once last month I was lucky to be able to read even when I felt as low as I did at that moment. I answered (out loud or not, I can’t remember) I didn’t really have a choice. It’s either that or I’m dead. No, not a suicidal thought. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve learned there is only one thing that can get me out of my numbness. Letting myself re-discover there are (it’s mostly were, but fine) truthful people out there who wrote down or sang what they felt constituted the essence of life, sincerely let out what they were feeling, so that today I can share a sense of humanity with them, drawing inspiration from them, and even a kind of subtle friendship, fellowship maybe. A possibility that I might have something to say to someone, too. Because believe it or not, through all my sentimentality, it’s this truthfulness I aim for.

I’ve been sitting in the company of this funny guy most of my breaks, and only recently learnt it is supposed to be Dante and was initially called The Poet. It’s not just a thinker, which most of my university colleagues would rename philosopher, but an artist! And that’s what I feel mostly, musing there with him, over my instant coffee, an apple and cereal biscuits (a girl’s gotta save money somewhere here!): words that aren’t only thoughts, but feelings, words impregnated with a sense of life and all those moments that make it up and make us up and sometimes make art.

How lucky so many people before me decided to try to express them somehow… Some even in a way that feels so close to mine.

Piece by piece

What is it about that bubble we create when we get to another place? The combination of the distance from the familiar and the newness of circumstances, conditions that make grow different aspects of ourselves. Some we knew existed silently, some we ignored. During every trip, longer than a single weekend, something in me moves towards a certain direction, builds up another foundation in me, brick by brick, an understanding enriches its effects. Yet, I find it hard to pinpoint what exactly that means. Continue reading “Piece by piece”

How I see myself after 3 years in Paris

Three years in the middle of your twenties mean a whole lot of growing up, in a bitter-sweet mix of disenchantment and empowerment. When you spend them away from home, the mixture gains new dimensions, wide and deep. There is no reality check that makes you face yourself in a more radical way, than that of cutting off the familiar. Feeling like those little birds you watched on animal shows, or young wild cats, deciding it’s time to leave the nest and take the maturity test, make your own initiation into whatever life you chose, hunt down the necessities with the four limbs and one head you were born with, making out little by little what your gut feeling is like. Perhaps, trading surviving and living more often than you expected, only now realizing how stubborn you are. Stubborn, stupid, who knows. Continue reading “How I see myself after 3 years in Paris”

In the search of it

Bonifacio, Corsica.

For WPC: Place in the World.

Several years ago, the choice for this post would have been so easy, some Seine riverside photo or other, Pont Neuf, or a random Parisian street. Today, though, my place in the world seems to be transforming constantly. Home is a feeling, not a place, anyway. Not that I don’t feel like belonging to my favorite city anymore, I still very much do, I still adore its streets and its banks as much as always, I still get the sweet aching sting in my chest every time I leave it. Yet, the older(?) I get, the more I feel like the stuffy city air, the absence of true green colour, the noise, are getting to me … and the more I feel at home at the Southern part of France. The more I appreciate that special easy charm, worn out and lively, the clearing wind rushing through. And the closeness of salty air, hitting your stuffed nostrils, those narrow paths among the bushes and the flowers, with such stunning views on the majesty of the world you have to actually catch your breath again.

In the words of my friend, on our last day on this magnificent island, a country of its own, really : ”What are we waiting for?” – to change our homes into a place where we can breathe and walk freely, where there is everything you need to build your own little paradise.

Would I last here, though, wouldn’t I miss the other side? Maybe, there is never just one place where we belong, there always have to be more, complementing each other in their contrasts.

Quicksand

Sometimes, we spin around a patch of sand for months, years really,

walking carefree around its edges,

round and round,

touching tickling blades of grass, we forget,

deviate,

step among the nearby trees, luscious, drying,

and come back,

completely oblivious of its languid existence,

its lively nature,

carelessly step into it, still enjoying the intensive sun,

because there is no shadow,

and don’t even notice we’re in its mercy,

don’t think about how one step reversed the positions of power,

it slowly swallowing us,

while we still believe to be in control,

and it’s too late, too late,

we’re in its trap.

We only realize it when the sand is in our eyes,

and the next second, we are gone.

The loving awareness

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love, and what it means in our lives.

Not as romantic partnership, but as that perspective which encompasses everything we see, how we see it, how we interact with it. The attitude, the mood, the approach to life. What got me there, of course, is all the negativity, something that has been building in me for years really, noticing how we are pre-conditioned into negative thinking, how much of it surrounds us. Yet, all along I’ve felt we have a choice, that it doesn’t need to be that way.

Yes, the bad things are a part of it all, but do we really need to make them stronger, predominant, make our response automatically grounded in them? Continue reading “The loving awareness”

I’m curious…

Maybe, change is always at least a bit enriching.

Because, if you’re always saying yes to the same thing, you’re constantly refusing something else, stifling yourself into a tiny place of the familiar and even automatic. Why seeing giving up on something as a sacrifice, then, as missing on something? Since every time we choose, we’re not only saying no to this, but more importantly saying yes to the other. We could be joyfully experimenting and opening up for new things and tastes and experiences and places and sounds and selves. Putting something we’re used to at the side for a while and see what it’s on the other side, learn about another aspect of this world we think we know so well. Making choices with a different attitude, a different approach, with a bit of curiosity. Continue reading “I’m curious…”

How I see Paris after 3 years

When three years pass in the same place, same room, with harshly the same people, we can easily imagine things stay the same, that nothing has essentially changed. Yet, when I was sitting across a girl on the train heading to the center from the airport, with a huge suitcase, a filled backpack, a beret, and a book about the dream city in her hands, while I was returning from celebrating Christmas with my family back to my new home for the third time, I could see that something has indeed changed, slowly maybe, imperceptibly, yet persistently.

There is a certain profundity that links you to the city, while dreams are transforming into a reality, while you’re less and less a stranger and a visitor, a simple spectator, and more and more connected into this web of its core lives. Continue reading “How I see Paris after 3 years”

Two sides to every human

In a way, I could easily imagine lying in bed all day, eat my breakfast and lunch still in there, not cleaning my own room, and let people visit me while I stay comfy in my pyjamas. Yet, I would just as easily line up for getting up early for a trip pretty much anywhere, reading books and good journalism all day, going to various happenings after, following the expressions of our current culture and joke around with people at dinner parties.

That’s why finishing Goncharov’s novel Oblomov, where the main character literally spends the first part of the story in his bed and his adventurous best friend is his complete opposite, was somehow revelatory. They are the two sides of every human being, two expressions of our will or a lack of it, two moods that reign our thoughts and actions, the two possibilities we’re juggling with all our lives. Continue reading “Two sides to every human”

How I screwed up my life trying to be myself

… the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to. – Jonathan Franzen

Explicitly or not, we are all told at many points of our lives from its very beginning ”Just be yourself and find something to do that makes you happy and …” so on and on. But what if you realize that in order to follow this somewhat tricky-ly wise advice you have to reject so many other things you supposedly should do and let go of the things which, as you are told, also matter.

Personally, I wasn’t raised only by my parents, besides the society’s opaque gibberish I’ve had my own fathers and mothers that have shaped who I am today and whose influence I’ve always consciously acknowledged. Hermann Hesse, Virginia Woolf, the beatniks, just to name a few. And after reading them I couldn’t ignore the little quite voice inside of me saying ”You are not what you are told you are”. But who am I then? Continue reading “How I screwed up my life trying to be myself”

The Dark

And if I unravel spread my wings like petals of a tangled rose

you may say I’m acting heading for a catastrophe

you may find me mad like a wild horse and even more morose

And if I untangle the galaxies in me all the star constellations begging to be free

if I find home right in here in the darkest night will you call for me

or let me be quite alright

will you see the moon heading for an eclipse the Milky Way shrinking in its remorse

will you allow me to be right where this place has always been meant for me

in the shadows and the dusk in the clearness of the desert’s midnight

under the ground of the thousand jungles in the light-less room without a window

because it is here I finally feel it all the limits of my breathing

all the possibilities that hit the mighty wall of this life’s being

where death and guilt disenchantment and despair meet coincidence and antinomy

where shining bright means being pitch-black grimy

Follow don’t follow

I don’t want to follow you blindly

follow my path with eyes wide shut

as if it was only a binding spell to guide me

I’m tearing open the shutters

just because I can

just because they are all around me

preying on my queue

I want them to advise me

but not block my view

I take the blame of falling of constantly withdrawing

of steps that trip and shiver hesitate and run

that dance into the darkness

as if it was their home

I take the risk of never knowing never living in the true

world of peaceful love and content peekaboos

 

Let’s talk honestly about… Loneliness

Loneliness never felt to me like something experienced at certain moments of aloneness or crowdedness, no matter, it is fundamentally something much more profound, basic and even inescapable. It is an integral part of human nature, a sensation enveloping our whole life experience, like a spider web spreading out of our hearts through our whole soul. Maybe that is why it is so hard to accept it, yet that is also why it is so rich and necessary.

We may look at it as a cloud, fogging our emotions and blocking our views, still I feel it clarifies and cleanses our senses often enough. Continue reading “Let’s talk honestly about… Loneliness”

The dense thick air in-between

Lyon, France.

In the density of city streets the air thickens between the walls of too-close-by houses, walls that cannot breathe in and out the toxic particles like green leaves do. Then, there is the constant palpitations, beats spreading out of so many hearts, beats quickening in the rush hours, so many beats of hearts in love, joyous, worried, passionate, stressed. Bodies swaying from and to each other. Life lived in so many forms, with so many stories, souls echoing and dreams whispering. Conversations started, arguments highlighted, singing offered in the middle of restaurants, humming kept for private bedrooms, broken glasses and drilling messes. Every moment a scene is watched and a comment listened to.

In winter, it is dense in the foggy, low and heavy vapour that fills and numbs my nostrils, in summer instead density seems to evaporate from my own skin in the heavy heat, drying out my mouth.

Thank goddess, there are moments in-between when the air lifts and life is heaped.

For WPC.

The simplest wish

Sometimes, I feel spring wakes up our soul with its desires and dreams, gets us going joyfully again in that relaxed atmosphere of insouciance. It’s the sun, yes. Then, it’s the flowers too. The simplest ones shyfully popping out of the ground, white, yellow, purple. Reminding us life can be simple as well, perhaps. Taking a walk in a local little forest with my grandma I only have one wish. For more of these moments, chatting and laughing, sharing the enjoyment of beauty with the people closest to me.

For WPC.

I intend to … gracefully.

Live tall, in all due respect to others and yourself.
At Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux.

Learning to be graceful is a complex and ambiguous task, nevertheless probably not an impossible one. It doesn’t have rules, yet I believe the to-do list I found at the entrance to Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux, is a part of its vague guidelines. Living tall, in all due respect to others and yourself. Not as learnt by heart and repeated daily, but as encouraging the gracefulness that is already somewhere there inside, whispering we’re quite alright where and how we are.

For WPC.

Fear of dying

I had a dream a few weeks ago that I was dying. My mom leaning over me, saying I had a strange, but fatal disease. Not much time left and all. I woke up in the morning with a hypochondriac and not quite placable feeling that something actually is wrong with my body. Later in the day, a friend asked me what I would have thought about my life if it had been true. For a minute, I forgot the paralyzing impression the dream left on me and let it produce some kind of reality check.

In the middle of another bad period of the year I took a look at my life and surprising even myself a bit replied ”You know what, I lived. I haven’t done everything I desired or should, but I don’t have real regrets, because I tried and did my best.” Continue reading “Fear of dying”

New horizons are in the view

There’s nothing saying new horizons better than superb views, especially those including water or the higher bird-like eye. It inevitably and instantly puts you in the meditative mood. In Puerto Varas, South of Chile, I found it very enlightening to watch the same lake from so many different perspectives. Diverse viewpoints on its coastline, the towns and villages with that strangely Germanic charm… And then the ones from the top of the special kind of mountains, the occasionally erupting ones. All so equally beautiful, from up above to down below, and vice versa. Looking back now, on the adventure of the year, as sad as I can be it was the only long one, I can see how holding on to one single perspective is impoverishing and how sometimes opening your eyes to multiplicity of things in front of us is complementary to the search of the actual new. Maybe that is why I’ve always felt dedicated to that quest without ever really making it my resolution.

For WPC.

When you don’t remember to relax, take it easy.

The cut between the summer holidays and working autumn that has now transformed into a chilling winter seems more brutal than the one during school years when the classes and the tests began. Or is it just a lack of relying memory? Now, the time when I relax is the time when I rest, catch a moment to breathe, lie down and watch a movie. It’s getting harder to read with this rebellious short concentration, to write is a miracle rarely fully realized.

In summer, though, I actually took a whole day to get away and walk the anxiety out, meditate at a distant grassy spot, I could take my shoes off and splash the sea water around me, I was reading a complicated essay collection that got my brain cells going.

I’m glad I took a photo of those moments. They just reminded me to make a plan and escape the unbearable hardness of the morning commute I somehow became a part of. Work itself is not the problem, its omnipresence and overwhelming-ness is. Its insistance on consuming all of your energy and efforts, so that your personality and joyful passions are slowly vanishing into nothing. Wake yourself.

Etretat, Normandy, France.

 

For WPC.

I choose love.

I could comment on the unbelievable-ness and the awfulness of the week and then correct myself by saying ”no, the year actually” and then correct that again, with two years and then a decade. Yet, with the news that shocked, but not really surprised the world a couple of days ago, something else crystallized in me. I’m done, I’m over responding with hatred and anger and scorn and fear and cynicism, I’m just done. I choose love, even when that means silence, even when that doesn’t necessarily mean hope. Continue reading “I choose love.”

Bludgeoned

I’m far more on the non-aggressive side, I’d maybe even call myself a pacifist. Yet, I have those moments when I get knocked down by an invisible force or a very present person, bludgeoned on the inside. And that hole that is left in my chest screams for that same weapon to be used on whoever, even myself, again and again if necessary, just because I need some specific action, right? An answer. Well, as an introvert I usually ignore that urge and respond differently, with isolation, more or less complete one.

The violence that could be produced is left with one single target then, the target I eventually get some compassion for. After all, I know her so well. Continue reading “Bludgeoned”

It’s been 2 years, Paris. I’m still here.

I actually forgot the exact date of my official move to Paris (yeah I know, how utterly unacceptable and disappointing for such an important event of my life), but I do know it was in late October, sometime after the 20th and a bit before my birthday. So, that means I’ll be celebrating two years of my life in Paris any day now. What a story to tell. To mix things up a bit, I decided to join the challenge and tell it almost wordlessly… And for the actual word-ful story, I’ll have to write a book someday.

From a tourist to a full-time Parisian? Peut-être. Never lost the wonder, though. Continue reading “It’s been 2 years, Paris. I’m still here.”

The locals’ joie de vivre is at the riverside

I don’t know if it was because I had already considered the riverside as the loveliest place in my hometown that I fell so much in love with it in Paris. Or was it the contrary, did I first discover the city’s charm here and then opened my eyes for the one in Ljubljana? Either way, both are among my favourite places on Earth. It is here I always feel most at home, exactly where I’m supposed to be.

And what I admire is how the touristy and the local intermingle on the banks. Overflown with foreign visitors, but still just as much appreciated by the Parisians themselves in the moments of their joie de vivre of bistros’ lunches, drinks at the cafés, regular stops at the  bookshops or the bouquinistes, enjoying bottles of wine on the benches, listening to guitar players in the distance. Of course, you can find the scene and the feeling in other quarters, too, yet nothing can compare to les quais de la Seine.

locseine

For WPC.

Isn’t honesty the most graceful thing you can be?

They say suffering can wake us up, sometimes. It makes us face the inside of our self we’d rather avoid, it makes us realize once and for all (but not really…) who we are and what we feel, more profoundly than we could ever get to know it in the good times. Some still turn away and ignore it. Then, there are those who not just not deny it, they embrace it, they own it, they carry it as the vital part of themselves that it has become. Not in some empty pathetic sentimentality… If suffering is graceful at times, it’s because its expression comes from that brutal truth of life, that simple honesty. Continue reading “Isn’t honesty the most graceful thing you can be?”

The richness of personal perspective in travel

Sometimes, we can’t explain why a thing appeals to us, means so much or seems to be so close to what we are internally, even if it is just for a precise moment of being that passes soon. I find the same pattern to be true when I travel. There are parts of a country or a city which are objectively true and lovely, but our perception still definitively defines them. Who you are during your stay to some extent influences how you see, and vice versa. It may sound egocentric to think about a place this way, yet there is a side where, because of feeling unlimitedly everything in us as it is here and now, we allow the place to touch us in ways it otherwise couldn’t and reveal layers of its own being we’d otherwise ignore. Continue reading “The richness of personal perspective in travel”

The list of things I had thought I’d never do – but did

Because it might be just as inspiring to look back to your used-to-be wish list than it is to always just keep adding stuff on it. Maybe. At least we see how sometimes life is only the choices we make and the stubbornness of our will, and other times it surprises us by itself. I’m personally trying to feel its openness and less and less of the contrary. It feels more natural to think of it as a flow than to see it as our prison… (Not that I’m denying existence to certain limitations.) Because things may seem distant in the future and possible at the same time.

  1. Living in Paris. The youthful dreams that we dare to keep alive… and then one day we say ”Ok, I’ll wait no longer!” and move. Just like that. And once you do it, you have to keep going.
  2. Speaking French fluently. Almost. Hey – I can communicate!
  3. Seeing Alex Turner live. With The Last Shadow Puppets, not Arctic Monkeys, but I’m an equal fan of both and Miles Kane is just as well hot as hell, so… yes I saw my teenage crush live and was pretty close to the stage, too. Who cares about growing up, khm khm?!
  4. Attending real music festivals. With friends, alone. Austrian, Slovenian, French. Can’t believe I used to be awkward about going to a single concert by myself and now my ideal idea of having a good time is a solo enjoyment of a 3-day music festival. Glastonbury is still waiting for me, though.
  5. Traveling alone. Yes, it used to be unbelievable, too. I think I used to call (female) solo-travelers brave actually. Funny that I now roll my eyes when others describe them that way.
  6. Backpacking to South America solo. Yes, I did it for only three weeks which is a minimum of a minimum, I did it in the most comfortable country maybe, but I was there. It started. It didn’t take too much nerves neither.
  7. Reading Virginia Woolf in the original, English version with all the difficulties of the subtleties of language, but – I was right – all the more charm of her flow than the translations. Not that they are bad. I mean, they try and mean well.
  8. Falling madly in love. Like you know, flying high, you know what I mean… Intense. All consuming. And inevitably short. The impossible attraction and a certain kind of surprising connection.
  9. Writing as in finishing a novel. The count for now is two. If they ever get published or not, if they are any good or not, I persisted and poured my heart into it. Got the guts to (successfully) submit my short stories, too. Writing and getting my writing out is feeding my soul.
  10. Being a waitress. Yes. It wasn’t on my wish list, you can guess. However, I would never in my life believe I could do it, me, a shy, extremely introverted and quiet person who never wishes to approach others, ask, speak, receive attention. Yes, we can change, not in the core, but so that we function and are alright with the situation. We learn so much in the process and occasionally even enjoy it, because we might be lucky enough to meet awesome colleagues (and clients) there.

And I’m only, almost, 26. Still got a way to go.

Fierce

you’ve just had your heart broken in Paris.

it’s a pretty nice place to have your heart broken in, don’t you think?

you think about your strolls in those cute districts

when he still held your hand in his

gently caressing it

after a movie and a dinner telling you to take him home

because it’s cold and he could use some tea

a tea became your warm torso wrapped around his

his hand on you and soon he was in you

he fullfilled your body, right? he made you feel wanted

when he grabbed you in the dark and kissed you like he’d been missing you his entire life

your stomach ached at the sound of his voice and knees shivered in his hug

his presence overpowered the rest

but let me ask you

did your soul sing because of who he was?

was your heart on fire because of his?

didn’t it bore you sometimes how he numbed your mind so often?

remember those walls you had built?!

there are still there standing strong around your heart and your mind and the very core of your soul

the only ones that fell are those in the middle of your body

good. now you know what profound pleasure is.

but seek empathy that can transcend it into more

bring you where you’ve always wanted to be

burning running dancing wildly adventuring and shouting

because you are not an angel a decoration or a puppet

you are a mighty presence you are a person beyond anyone’s desires and expectations

loved for who you are first

and if changes come they are secondary

first are the presents of these moments when life is lived and not waited for

those moments of companionship that doesn’t fail because of a few traits

you’ve just had your heart broken? did you?

a scar isn’t a massacre

it might heal or it might not

and if you bleed slowly you will not die

and if you bleed intensely you will transform with the cycle of your body

be careful though when going sad to a supermarket

pasta and alcohol and cookies and ice-cream …

rather have a solo slow dance later or evoke the rocky

no — the punky yearnings of your fierce steps and rising hands

you are allowed to be yourself

eternally

A day in the life of an expatriate?

A single moment is enough to scare the shit out of yourself. I don’t get it. Why did I break? Running down the stairs in tears, on my way to the last vacation dinner before taking off to my favourite city again. Why is saying goodbye suddenly so much harder than before? Continue reading “A day in the life of an expatriate?”

It is in the eyes.

You know what I miss so often? Someone who looks me in the eyes and sees me as I am. I’m not talking about trusting conversations or secretiveness we sometimes play. What I mean is just one look and he understood something about me everyone else had failed to notice. Does it matter then what we actually told each other? All the things we didn’t say out loud?

Even if this wasn’t my illusion and it is actually possible, are we strong enough to withstand it or do we run away from the intrusion?

Because eyes are powerful. It’s through them you realize someone’s place in your life, their soul as they say and what this soul can do to you. There’s the beauty and the terror. Continue reading “It is in the eyes.”

My personal ultimate self-care list

or The list of things that make me happy

They are too popular, I know, and mine is going to be a cliché to many as well. But hey, it’s my reminder when I’m felling down that there are things I enjoy and appreciate in life. So, why not?

  1. Read. Read. Read. Novels, short stories, poetry, essays; literature, philosophy or quality journalism. No matter, just surround your mind with meaningful words regularly.
  2. Write. You know what, right? Sit down and reach within.
  3. Plan a journey or a trip. Remind yourself of places you want to visit, or do a research for new destinations.
  4. Go on a journey or a trip. Discover and embrace the adventure on the way.
  5. Listen to ”your” music. The classic favourites or the new best songs ever, I bet the next best act of the moment is around the corner.
  6. Sing. Who cares if you can?
  7. Dance. All crazy and with your eyes closed.
  8. Go for a walk into the heart of the city. Meet your lively friends the streets.
  9. Enter the cinema for a good movie, the surprising European one or something of completely random interest.
  10. Buy a ticket for a concert, or two, or three, and one for a festival. And then be excited a month, a week, a day in advance, until the night when everything falls back into place again.
  11. Read out loud in French. Nobody’s listening to your false accent, flow with the melody.
  12. Look at the sky, into the clouds. There is always some inspiration or calm or just beauty up there.
  13. Watch a sunset (one day try a sunrise as well), the slow descend of the sun, all the shades of yellow and red, the burning lines and shadowy clearness.
  14. Observe the plants and animals. Tree in the middle of a busy square, a buzzing meadow, little bugs on leaves, spiders on walls, a dog passing by, a cat following you with its gaze from a balcony.
  15. Caress animals, touch wood and plants, smell flowers and inhale the scent of herbs.
  16. Eat fresh fruit, and dark chocolate, and sorbet ice-cream. Or pasta with your favourite absolutely green vegan pesto.
  17. Have your morning routine in peace. You’ll be grateful (and everyone else around you).
  18. Drink water. A sip there and a sip later. Refresh yourself.
  19. Buy yourself flowers.
  20. Nurture your whole body with a nourishing cream.
  21. Put on a funny brooch, colourful earings or your everyday rings.
  22. Make yourself a simple, but delicious lunch.
  23. Tidy up your room. Make some space. You live and breathe in there.
  24. Smile.
  25. Laugh out loud, really loud, ignore anyone’s annoyance.
  26. Draw and paint. Colour!
  27. Look at the present. All is here and all passes. Whatever suits the moment.
  28. Fill your notebooks. With quotes or your own ramblings. You actually do go back to those some day.
  29. Make yourself some grandma’s herbal tea. Or have a glass of wine. Depends on the mood.
  30. Allow yourself to say no… and yes.
  31. Write a diary. Again, you do go back to those memories some day. Lessons are well preserved that way.
  32. Sleep. Take your time for it.
  33. Dream. Asleep and awake.

Waw, it’s a long one.

Good, life is good.

For Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making.

Luxury in present tense is simple

Maybe luxury isn’t something we strive for, but something we are already surrounded with. Talking from a privileged perspective, we already have that life full of things escaping a strong definition of absolutely necessary to stay alive and the rest, there only to give us a minor or a major pleasure. Even more, it seems luxury itself is escaping a permanent definition, and it is this which perhaps defines it most accurately.

Wouldn’t you say as well it changes with a certain perspective and the minute we pick another, items that fall into its category also change? Continue reading “Luxury in present tense is simple”

No muses here. Just people.

You’ve heard those stories, right? It’s mine as well. Most of my young life, I’ve read I could be a muse at best. What if I don’t want to stay one? What if I come to realize that position can only give me a restraining passivity and empty adoration, while I don’t desire to be a cold statue, but an alive and kicking humane person?

The muse’s story is not her own, so I refuse to wish to be one. I’ll find my own inspiration in the richness and the beauty of this planet’s surface, the sky above it and the touch of its grounds that penetrate further, of our minds and dreams and sentiments.

Now, I know and read better. I can make my own story with just as burning enthusiasm.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a muse, quite the opposite, to be inspiring is a privilege. Nevertheless, I believe it’s wrong to be reduced to one, to shrink one’s existence to a dependence on the other. Continue reading “No muses here. Just people.”

Sometimes, cherry on top is an actual top.

One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama.

I was getting ready to leave Chile in only a couple of days and this trip was one of my last adventures of the actual last week. One of the best journeys I’ve ever had closing with yet another breathtaking panorama. In my thoughts I was already saying goodbye, imagining myself on the then cold streets of Paris and in warm hugs of beloved friends. Still, on this volcano top, Osorno, first of my life, I was acutely present, feeling an overwhelming gratitude and joy, against the cold wind in my messy hair. Travel is a privilege. Breathe it in while it lasts. Embrace the views and the lonely walks on dusty and rocky paths. Appreciate those moments when everything you need is simply clear and there and it seems that everything that may come next is just another wonderful contribution to the already magnificent picture.

Volcano Osorno.
Volcano Osorno.

For WPC.

 

Details grow with age.

Sometimes, a girl buys herself a rose after a certain celebration, hangs it upside down beside the window and leaves it there to dry for a month or two. Then, she puts it in a vase with another which she got as a gift, as a permanent reminder on her shelf, the first standing effortlessly, the second invariably reposing. In every detailed wrinkle the rose wears proudly and beautifully she can see there are lessons and experiences that never die inside of us. (For WPC.)

rose2Do you really wanna know,
About these lines on my face?
Well, each and every one is testament to
All the mistakes I’ve had to make
To find courage

– Villagers, Courage

 

 

The frailty’s shadow play

Beauty always seemed frail to me. Just as life, it is of an elusive and melancholic nature, even more: it seems to be built on a certain kind of weakness, maybe even helplessness. For me, there is always some sadness in beauty, just as much as there is no sadness without beauty. I once shared this belief with someone and he replied that was because we found beauty so much bigger than us. I felt there was more, though.

It is a paradox, yet this play of indirect contrasts shows us how profound joy and profound sorrow coexist in the world. How separating one from the other is somehow cruel and sinful, and most of all it is blind and sturdy. Continue reading “The frailty’s shadow play”

The under-appreciated moments of being on the way

I remember how I loved the journey, the act of being on the way to somewhere, as a child, always being a bit disappointed at the moment of arrival when it inevitably ended, even if I sincerely wanted to see my destination. It was the moments of observing the world around me I adored so much.

There was a certain unconscious thrill and a conscious delight in the calm back seat of the car, going to my grandmother’s or being on a trip in an unknown country, devoting all my attention to the passing scenes of the streets and the highway, fields and forests, people on their errands, sneaking a peek on their balconies or through the windows. All of life seemed available on the plate to my eyes, thoughts and feelings. It was a meditation of sorts, maybe it was even an escape. Continue reading “The under-appreciated moments of being on the way”

Will vs. Strength

The more you go through, the more you can go through.

Why we push ourselves out and go live somewhere without a proper safety net, putting ourselves in situations where things aren’t as self-evident anymore? And how can we keep up with all the challenges, surviving things one after another and still see sense in it all?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a change of phrases that could lead to the change of perspective. They say it helps to motivate yourself if you say ‘I want to do this’ instead of ‘I need/must… do this’. But what bothered me is the ‘I can’t do this, this is just not possible for me to do…’. Is there really anything, besides things limited by physics and ethics, that we genuinely cannot do?

Maybe we should start saying ‘I don’t want to do that’ and lift from ourselves the burden of incapability, defeat and fear. Continue reading “Will vs. Strength”

Autonomy in all its glory

If I had to personally define autonomy (it’s the daily prompt, yes), I would say: ”that independence from anyone and anything as the one single thing I’ve strived for my whole life”. I’ve been too stubborn about it, like a blindfolded hurt buffalo thrusting my way through every relation I had, family, friends or love, it didn’t matter. All they had to know and what I wanted to feel was the eternal I don’t need anybody, any-F*-body, ok?. You can guess it all pretty much went wrong, except my precious family and a few friends who somehow saw through my walls to the core that they, God knows why, appreciated. I was lucky.

I’ve reached my autonomy quite closely in the past year, moving to a foreign country, Continue reading “Autonomy in all its glory”

The hidden pearls

That’s the thing with travel. The best and the most memorable moments catch and refresh you unexpectedly like a shower of rain on a steamingly hot day. They smooth your mood like the soft comfort of your own bed after a long series of hard-working hours. They are pearls found in the field of grass. Admittedly, it is the all-of-a-sudden-ness and the contrast that highlights their beauty.

I remember a grey day in the middle of October, somewhere between Cappadocia and Olympos, in a town with no other obvious landmark or a must-see sight than its own melancholic feeling, sneaking around the corners of blackened houses. I remember our own fatigue and weariness after a night spent on a bus that seemed to swallow the remains of our enthusiasm. The clouds were pressuring low on our heads and the raindrops had no sympathy for our clothes.

We expected nothing more, nothing worth mentioning. We were just waiting for the weather to pass, for the time to come when we would get on the road again, in thoughts already on the pretty beaches of Olympos. But we had to eat and fortunately enough our guide treasured in his soul the everlasting excitement — and the knowledge of the region. We let him lead us,  knowing there is no escaping following him: the hills and paths of Cappadocia taught us well.

He brought us to a small cosy restaurant on a not-really-busy street and we sat among the dirty walls, behind simple large tables with jars of water in the middle of every one of them (no one dared to drink it). Our laughter fuelled by curiosity filled the air between the seats. I remember looking at other girls, wondering who would check the toilet first (one of them later returned shaking her head with a smile). We had no idea what was about to be brought before us, we were only aware of our own longing bellies.

Two meals soon came, followed by murmuring response of a common ‘yuuum’. I was glad to be a vegetarian immediately after the first bite. Even others were for the first time envious when they tasted the non-meat option of the menu, despite the tasty chicken on their plates. It was simple baked dough with lots of melting cheese on top, but it left such a deliciously amusing sensation on my tongue, it left me wondering what else was in there. I wasn’t sure I actually wanted to know.

It still seems improbable, but this stayed in my memory as one of the most memorable meals of my life to this day. I sometimes ask myself if it can really beat the pad thai on Koh Lipe, the falafel with its amazing red sauce in a tiny Parisian shop, the veggie burger on one of the London markets, the uncountable flavours of Tuscany. It is definitely up there somewhere in my mind with all of them and more, locked as the symbol of hidden and unexpected treasures on the way to everywhere.

Oh yes it was a pearl found in the field of grass – of the dry yellowy one for that matter. But what travelling with a whole bunch of precious stones you came home with teaches you is that sometimes these stones are the grass itself, no matter what colour, size or thickness, doesn’t it? — Oh yes you do learn to be all sentimental about the meaning of life when you try to assemble these footprints of the past, but why avoid it? It spices up your life like that secret ingredient I’ll never know.

 

Joie de vivre

I’ll never forget that weird Saturday afternoon 8 years ago when I arrived to Paris, alone for the first time, driving with a stone in my guts to the 19th arrondissement where I was staying, but not sure how to feel really, me – a petite and timid teenage girl.

I just stood in the middle of the room that was meant to be my home for the next couple of weeks, looking at my own hands, not sure what to do next, somewhat nervous, yes, but mostly just confused. Should I unpack or go out, eat something or find the nearest metro station? After some time had passed without any kind of specific action from my side, I heard the old lady’s voice, shouting my name with her harsh tone and strong French accent, saying she was about to go to the market. ‘’Would you like to join me?’’ Continue reading “Joie de vivre”

The dark side of the thrill

There is a point in solo-travel when you get uncomfortably nervous. It only comes once in a while and you can recognize it right away by the feeling it leaves in all of your vital organs and on both sides of your limbs and you can separate it from sheer excitement by the squeaking sensitivity in the back of your head. And it’s not the same as simply being worried about missing your flight because of the bus delay and constantly checking your watch. It’s much nearer to the reaction of your guts when a somewhat odd guy sits next to you and just doesn’t stop talking and asking you for your phone number or time to meet-up. It’s the point when your desire to walk everywhere and get lost in the unknown streets turns against you.

It sometimes happens in Porto, on your first day there, only a few hours after you arrived and found an empty hostel bed at the last minute. It probably happens just when you start to love the rough side of the city, its messy mood and buildings with a character. It always happens after the night falls and when you still aren’t anything near your intended location. You know: when you come to the same place over and over again, not sure which turn you already took before, looking around for someone, but the square is empty and street lamps hardly shed a light on its corners. You have no idea where you are really. You realize your map (if you have one) is of no help at all. Then, your intuition plays a funny trick on you, saying you should take the darkest and the narrowest street of all.

So, you do. And guess what: it was right, as always. In ten minutes or so, you’re already taking a shower, forgetting about the intimidating feeling you had not so long ago, improving your mood by mute whistling. Because that’s how it goes: if you’re lucky enough to pass that point smoothly, you never think of it again with that same nervous feeling. While remembering it, you always confuse it with the exciting bits and believe they are all the same. Your memory only keeps the thrill.

The Mysterious Ways of Intuition

Do you ever wonder how intuition works in mysterious ways? How you can sometimes just know things after the first glance and sometimes the first impression completely misleads you…

I couldn’t see my best friend when I saw a shyly vivid blond girl sitting in the first row on our first day of high school, but then I immediately knew I had to speak to a guy I met in a hostel just by observing his movements on my first night there. I’m still glad he did two evenings later, because he was one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.

I almost didn’t send my application for the job (and was near to cancelling the interview later) which I at the end got and am still very grateful for, because it was the reason I was able to stay in Paris for a whole year (and counting…).

However, I knew from the very first step that the street I was walking on would once be my home. And indeed, a year later I’m doing my groceries and laundry right there and living just around the corner from it.

So, how does it work?

Is it just us not listening to it? Does it sometimes mislead us on purpose? Or, is it sometimes simply not there?

Or maybe it’s never there and it’s just us believing in something and working for it, making it a reality, our reality?

I can’t decide.

And maybe, it doesn’t really matter in the end. If we just let life be.

Mundus or Why I travel

There are a lot of things that impress me in life. A melodic song on the radio that stays in my ears all day long and makes me smile every time I whisper its tones, makes me want to dance in the street. A simple sentence that conveys the sense of beauty in just a few words. A cheese-pie, especially my grandmother’s one, sweet, crispy … mhm … delicious. A magnificent cathedral, pyramids, Buddhist temples, mosques… Faithful people who can believe and pray to something never seen, never heard, never touched. Or sometimes it is just a simple glass of water after a long hot summer day.

But still – there is nothing like nature, despite the comfort, convenience, accessibility, accommodation and luxury of the human world. A scent of meadow in spring, daily sunrises and sunsets, all blushed, frozen trees, covered in snow, extraordinary shapes of clouds, blueness of the sky, waves, lonely island in the middle of a huge ocean with a small palm for its charming decoration. It seems so effortless, but so incredibly fascinating, marvelous, divine.

—- And here I was, somewhere in Africa, few kilometres from Mombasa,savana standing in a van while driving on a bumpy and dusty road, watching the landscape, trees and grass of savanna, flying birds, termite mounds. Continue reading “Mundus or Why I travel”