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Envisioning the Light

I imagine my life as a forest, immense and dark, with tall thick trees as far as the eye can see, with branches breaking and rustling as I stumble around. I am looking for a way out to the light, but the source seems to be vague in the distance. I am pretty lost most of the time, but at the same time aware of the general progress that I am making and excited and curious about every clumsy step that is ahead of me. Darkness is not all bad, there is a lot of fun in darkness, too, especially when your eyes get used to it.

The painting is my attempt to capture a future moment, as I encounter the sun.

So this is me. The clumsy but enthusiastic redhead in the woods.

If we meet there, my name is Ana.

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Dangerous Confusion

Searching for life in memories is like searching for breath under a pillow.

(Take it from an asthmatic.)

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Disconnected

Did you ever encounter a friend, a relative or a colleague, share a few general sentences, agree that you definitely have to meet up one of these days, and then nobody ever initiated it? I am not talking about people whom you don’t have any intention of meeting and with whom you exchange shallow promises as a kind of cultural dance, before you go separate ways. Of course, this can happen, too. But what intrigues me are encounters where people would kind of like to meet up and propose it honestly, just lack the initiative to follow through.

I feel like there is a global lack of energy, that prevents us from connecting even when we would actually enjoy it. Since I am naturally the one with the german-like discipline, always knowing what I said and sticking to it, it took me some time to tune into this kind of empty agreements. But I have to admit that eventually I myself lost the will to be the one organising, so I stopped taking words seriously. What is often left is the pointless verbal dance for the sake of conversation and the possibility that the other person will make the next move.

The empty-agreement-situation is not the only example of what I feel as a sort of a global lethargy. Reading texts in WhatsApp-groups without answering, or letting a new contact with someone we connect well with fall into oblivion because we are busy – all of these things can be interpreted as lack of interest, but I feel there is more to it. (I am deliberately excluding the examples of empty or unhealthy connections, where we make a decision not to be in touch with someone.)

Of course, if someone swipes us off our feet, we will pursue them and not let them go (I hope, at least), but does this mean that we should give up all the promising relationships that can influence our lives in a less dramatic way?

I can’t really put my finger on it. Are we too busy to be present? Too exhausted from all the stimuli in our hectic lives? Unskilled with other people? Disconnected from ourselves or from others?

If you have any thoughts on the topic, please share them in the comment section. I would really appreciate your perspective.

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What Are Dreams Telling Us?

Do you have recurring dreams? Do you remember them and consider their meaning? What do you think, are they trying to convey a message?

I am the one always trying to remember my dreams, write them down, figure them out, cast light on the bigger picture in their sequence. (I’m actually the weirdo that at times thinks during the very dream “Oh my God, remember this, remember this, this is important!!”)

I have found that writing dreams down helps me remember more of them in the future, which overall makes me understand my psyche better.

One of the recurring dreams in my life in the last 13 years has been a dream of my late dog Sani. These dreams have not been particularly frequent, but very constant throughout the years. Every time in my dream Sani has been either sick or dying (the dreams started after his actual death), every time the fear of loss was the dominant emotion.

Even though I was really attached to my dog, frequently worried about him while he was alive and sincerely sad when he died, I stopped thinking about him a long time ago. Well, at least while I am awake. He always knows to find the way to my dreams.

Last night, however, the dream changed. There was no fear or worry. There was my Sani, lively and happy to see me, and another Sani, sleepy on the sofa, ready to fall asleep or die. I was caressing both of them, knowing that it was alright, that he could be lively only when I was asleep, and dead when I was awake. It made perfect sense with both of them there, a complete cycle of life, and me, peaceful and calm with all that this cycle entails.

After all these years of dreaming the same dream, this change in the dream dynamics assured me that deep down in my soul some pieces are finally coming together. Whatever it is that my pekingese represented, and I guess there are many layers of meaning, it seems to be coming to wholeness.

If you, fellow readers/writers, have relevant experience with dreams, I would be happy to hear about them in the comment section. ☺️

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Yes

(Marion Woodman)

If you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet you. And you will say YES.

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Daring the Depths

I tried diving once and I failed right at the start. I had a heavy equipment put around my body and was instructed to breathe slowly and deeply through the tube on my mouth. I was sure I could do it. I am not afraid of hights, so this must be similar, only the opposite direction. As soon as I put the tube on my mouth, however, I started feeling I couldn`t get enough air. When my instructor dived in and I tried to follow, I realised that I was not able to handle the weight of the equipment attached to me. Even though the depth itself seemed very interesting, colourful and tempting, the equipment kept throwing me on the side, so I coudn`t even reach the vertical position in order to follow my instructor under the sea. The lack of control over my body along with the uneasiness about my breathing triggered fear, so I gave up before I actually started.

The perception of the depth as an interesting place is not enough to make us capable of reaching it. There are many involuntary mechanisms that can impede our effort to get any further from the surface. The same goes for our personal depths. They can be rich, colourful and inviting, but at the same time dark and dangerous. If you cannot breathe calmly and deeply while focusing on your goal without fear, you will most likely stay just beneath the surface, with your back still dry in the sun.

Depth is authenticity, connection, acceptance, growth, creation. Depth is also darkness, confrontation, sadness, trauma, loss. You can avoid or embrace all of it.

I do hate being sad, just as anybody else, but I have realised that periods of sadness in my life brought me much more gifts than moments of carefreeness ever could. They forced me to new depths I otherwise wouldn`t know existed, they made me fight, grow and create. I still cherish them as turning points in my life.

I read it somewhere that “the depth of feeling is the pulse of life”. Beautifully put. This is my topic right now, the pursuit of these depths without sadness as my captor and guide. Staying at the surface might feel warm and safe, but the best of me is somewhere in the deep waters, waiting to be discovered.

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Words For It

(Julia Cameron)

I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say–
Or something better.
I would murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shhh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.

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Needing a Muse?

I was never quite good with expressing my feelings. In spite of deep and intense emotions, my words have always been rather factual, almost scientific (I am guessing, due to my highly intellectual upbringing). I did believe myself to be good with words, but in a journalistic way, never as an artist.

Then, a couple of years ago, I met someone (a man, of course), who inspired the artist in me. Even though we have technically been friends (that is such a practical word for a relationship where other labels don`t apply), I ended up writing (poems even!) and painting inspired by him. We joked about him being my Muse (or Muso, to have it sound masculine in a funny way), but there was a lot of truth in that joke. Although it were the struggles and pains of our friendship that were making me write, the writing itself was very fulfilling and made me free in a way I had never known.

Then, when the complexity of our relationship untangled and I came to terms with it, I spontaneously stopped writing. I saw it happening, but did not know how to prevent it. I have been thinking about coming back ever since, because deep down I know that the magic does not lie in my friend, but in me.

I just have to find the way back to the depths of my soul, where I naturally lived, while I was entranced by him. Maybe this is the first clumsy step?

Please, share with me, what inspires you to write?

Do you need a special state of mind and soul?

Do you have a muse, or have you found the secret to being your own muse?

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A Poem

(Jaime Gil de Biedma)

 

I believed I wanted to be a poet, but deep down, I just wanted to be a poem.”

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Good and Evil

(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?