Sunday, 21 June 2009

Being together, but separated, and therefore - alone.

So this weekend, I was "away". Well... kind of. I had to do my practical exams for my diving licence. So I went to this "lake". I guess it is a lake, but when 15 divers are in it, it really seems more like a swamp. And in this swamp... sorry... lake, I had to perform training lessons etc to make sure I know how to act in an open water. Before this, we had only trained in a pool, so the open water was something completely different. The sight underwater was about 50 cm, if you were lucky. Sometimes you didn't see anything at all, especially when you got to the bottom of the lake. I learned how to dive, but more importantly, I learned about panic.

I am a very controlled person. You probably never see me lose my calm. However, there's something about being 6-7m under water, seeing nothing due to the mud and then having to remove your diving mask, put it on again, and remove the water from the mask by breathing out your nose to press the water out. These things are fairly easy and doable in a pool with chlorine water and the surface clearly visible 3m above you. Now this was a completely different feat.

I don't know why it was difficult for me, but to remove my mask, essentially blinding me, and having water on my face, eyes, and nose, scared me quite a bit. You just cannot panic when you're under water. It could harm or possibly kill you if you do, so that's good that I had to learn to cope with it this weekend.

Something I also learned/experienced was this weird combination (see title of this blog). You're on the bottom of the lake, holding hands with your diving buddies, but not seeing them, hearing them or anything. You're down there, together, but there could be a world between you instead of the 20-30 cm of water (more mud than water actually) and it would not make a lot of difference. But the contact with your hand to your buddy's hand, can keep you calm.

This is why it can mean so much, if you just put your hand on someone elses. In a crisis, in the hospital, to give comfort or to console. The hands are our way to convey that we care and in my opinion, they are much more so than the eyes. Eyes can be ambiguous, they have a lot to do, they are connected with the mind and thoughts. Your hands are connected to your heart and emotions. They have nothing else to do. If you put your hand on someone's hand, that's it. That's where it's put, that's where it's at, that's where it stays. Calming, comforting.

I am so drained, I'll go to bed early today.

Btw. The picture above might very well be the best picture I have ever taken. It's incredible, if I dare say so myself. And it fits the blog perfectly. Moon, stars, sky, trees. Together, separated, alone.

I hope I don't have a cold tomorrow and hope you're all well.

Lyrics of the day: Comfort by Deb Talan:

When everyone has gone to sleep
& you are wide awake,
there's no one left to tell your troubles to

Just an hour ago, you listened to their voices
Wilting like a river over underground
& the light from downstairs
came up soft like daybreak
dimly as the heartbreak of a lonely child

& if you can't remember a better time
you can have mine, little one
in days to come, when your heart
feels undone, may you always find
an open hand
& take comfort wherever you can,
you can, you can

oh, it's a strange place
& oh, everyone with a different face
but just like you thought when you stopped here to linger
we're only as separate as your little fingers

so cry, why not? we all do
then turn to the one you love
& smile a smile that lights up all the room
& follow your dreams
in through every out door
it seems that's what we're here for

& when you can't remember a better time
you can have mine, little one
in days to come, when your heart
feels undone, may you always find
an open hand
& take comfort
there is comfort
take comfort wherever you can,
you can, you can, oh

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Blog? Nah... more of a snippet.

Religion is what brought us from the caves to the civilisation.
Religion is was brought us from civilisation to the dark times
...and back again.
Religion is what binds people together.
Religion is what drives people apart.
Religion is undebatable, because it's written in stone.
Religion is a matter of heavy debate.
Religion is fixed. There are 5 major religions and that's it.
Religion is fluid and inherently individual.

Actually... religion is not that much different from human emotions. Go figure.

Lyrics of the day: The Ascent of Stan by Ben Folds

Pangs of silence
From the room upstairs
How's the view there?
Do you read what they're saying about you?
That you're no fun
Since the war was won
In fact, you have become all of the things you've always run away from

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

So where'd the years go?
All the time we had?
Being poor was not such a drag in hindsight
And you wonder why your father was so resigned
Now you don't wonder any more

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

Stan: Once you wanted revolution
Stan: Now you're the institution
Stan: How's it feel to be the man?
It's no fun to be the man

And now, watch it all go down

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

Stan: Once you wanted revolution
Stan: Now you're the institution
Stan: How's it feel to be the man?

It's no fun to be the man

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The word sabbatical gains popularity in my book these days

My life these days is really really hectic. I don't know if I like it ;)

I just had a "long" weekend. Thursday was a religious holiday here, so I had the "chance" to drive with my parents on a little 1-day-family-vacation. Basically, I spent the day driving in a car, studying and speaking French. One more thing: my French these days sucks major a$$.

Friday was my day for errands, flew by. Now there's Saturday... the big day. 2 of my friends got married yesterday. Congrats to them :) It was very sweet and a lot of fun (even though it lasted about 12h). The picture above was taken by my phone (hence the quality) when we went to the river and put self-made paper boats on the river with little candles and wishes for the couple. The night was clear and crisp and everything was so idyllic. I mean look at that picture (you can see the neighbouring village over the river).

Is marriage something I would consider for myself? I think this question is mute (is this the right word). I don't have a boyfriend, let alone a fiancé. But no self-pity from me today.

On Wednesday I have my theory exam for my diving lessons and the whole next weekend will be spent by me in a dirty little lake 1h from where I live. I already hate it. I wanted to dive in carribean waters, not mudholes. Ok... here was a little bit of self-pity.

Like I said, my life is hectic. I haven't even mentioned that I have my final PhD exam in about 3-4 weeks. Yay. Life is grand.

What I would love more than anything right now is take a sabbatical after my PhD. Take a year to travel to the south of France, to all my friends across Europe, Japan, etc and visit them. Go diving in Indonesia and Australia. Go to a zen monastery in Japan.

I probably won't be able to do that just now, but I am definitely thinking about finding a job that revolves around my life, not just a job that's completely seperate from my life.

Enough rambling (originally, I wanted to talk about the sense of smell and the connection to certain memories :D ). I hope you are well. I am. Stressed, but well. Alone, but well. Good, not great ;)

Take care.

Lyrics of the day: Do what you have to do by Sarah McLachlan

What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage
Created you a monster
Broken by the rules of love
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do ...
And I have the sense to recognize that
I don't know how to let you go
Every moment marked
With apparitions of your soul
I'm ever swiftly moving
Trying to escape this desire
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
But I have the sense to recognize
That I don't know how
To let you go
I don't know how
To let you go
A glowing ember
Burning hot
Burning slow
Deep within I'm shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can't be with you
I do what I have to do
And I have sense to recognize but
I don't know how to let you go

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Update? Sure thing.

Where to start... oh. I went to see Sunshine Cleaning today. I really liked it. It was hilarious in places, but overall very quiet and sad. Just like me :)

I have made a tumblr (again). I had a tumblr account about a year ago, but it has changed quite a bit and I like it. I don't know yet if I want to use it as my main blog. If so, I will tell all of you :)

I got to thinking the other day... the thing that annoys/angers/frightens me a lot (it's way up on my annoy list) is people who have a picture of themselves that's not correct.

People who think they are more intelligent than they actually are, are really annoying.

People who think they are more tolerant than they actually are, drive me up the walls. There are many people who would probably tell you that they are illuminated beings, tolerant, liberal, live and let live, but God forbid they see two guys kissing in public. They are completely ok with lesbians and gay people, but the "sex scene" in brokeback mountain was much too graphic. I mean, really? Double standard anyone?

Have I told you that the kite runner is PG-12 or something and there's a "gay" rape scene of a child by a gang of older kids, a scene which brought forth a crying fit when I read it. But brokeback mountain is R rated, because there's two consenting gay guys having sex (and you really don't see anything, because that's not the point.

The thing is that being gay is ok in our culture, if it's the cute kind of gay. The Adam Lambert nail polish, Jack in Will&Grace kind of fun gay. Decorating, musical loving, hair dresser gay. That's acceptable, because it's not dangerous. The other (the real) kind of gay, that's always a bit dangerous, that has to do with sex, that's still not ok.

Sorry, ranting. I have just encountered too much of this behavior to stay calm.

I had 7293 things more to talk about, but I can't really keep my eyes open. And I'm seeing lights, which is a bit odd, because normally that happens when I drink to much tea or coffee.

Goodnight, take care, have a great today and an even better tomorrow.

Lyrics of the day: Your song by Elton John.

It's a little bit funny this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show
I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one's for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

What's it all about, Alfie?

What is life all about? No, really - someone tell me. For me, life is about variations of the same thing. However, these variations come in shapes and sizes so vastly different that you can barely figure out the original plan. And maybe that’s my problem. I can’t figure out the original plan. It’s funny though, because everytime I figure out what one shade looks like, I’m into another one. I’m growing and I’m changing and, therefore, I’m gradually out-growing everything I thought was important to me. Even the constants change (if that is even possible for a constant). I love art. I love music. I love movies. However, my taste in these things has gradually been changing. Granted, I still love Monet&Klinger-Franken, Mozart&Bach, and Disney&Ghibli. But now, I also love Picasso,The Bird and the Bee, and Angels in America. I am changing, but I’m also staying the same.

I think that’s what’s important in life. Change. Ever change. Never stay the same. Also, stay true to who you are. The balance between changing all the time and staying yourself at your very core. This is what matters. If you manage to do that, you will find the common place. The site where all the variations find their origin. Because everything we are, everything we love… originates from our true self. That means that what life is all about also originates from this deep well that some people might call our soul.

What is life all about? I can only answer that one for me, because it’s a different answer for everyone. Funny thing that my posts in the last weeks all centre around this topic. What makes people different, what makes people the same. Why can something that is the same be different for everyone.

Ask someone the question “What is life all about?” and you will get different answers. Most people will tell you that they don’t know. Many will tell you that life is about happiness and success. Some will be wise enough to tell you that they can only answer you this question for themselves. The really wise might tell you the following:

It’s not about knowing what life’s all about. It’s about living your life in a way that makes you feel like you know what life’s all about. Because we can never know the common origin. We can only know the variations.

Lyrics of the day: The Rainbow connection by Kermit the Frog.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under its spell,
We know that it's probably magic...

... Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
... Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm s'posed to be...
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ehm... yeah. About tradition.

Traditionally, I start my blog post with a pretty picture. Well... to make up for the horror you see on the upper picture, I took one of a pretty rose today to make it all better.

Let me talk about Saturday for a bit. A good friend of mine is getting married in 2 weeks, so on Saturday, all of us embarked on a traditional adventure known as stag night. For this purpose, we (and by we, I mean others) chose a venue that's a bit... peculiar? You probably all know the Octoberfest. Well... this is like the Octoberfest, but open air and with less space. For people like me, who

a) don't drink
b) eat meat maybe once a week
c) don't like being groped by drunk older women (excuse me while I control my shivering)

this is less than stellar. I went for it, because it was my friends day and not mine. Sometimes, you have to put your own wishes aside and do something for somebody else (I'm so noble, ain't I). So I'm in the biggest "Biergarten" (=beer garden) of Europe and thinking to myself:

Who are these people and what the frick is going through their mind?

1.3 million people in 12 days sit/stand/lie there and do what. They eat, drink, fuck (? probably... considering the state most of them are in), shout (!), dance, and have the ultimate good time. I'll be honest with you, I don't get it. Where did all of these people go wrong on the glorious road of evolution? I know that not everyone can be excited by a paintint or a symphony, but honestly? This is what you consider having a good time? Take another look at the picture at the top. There are so, so, so many people there making me wish I was somewhere else...

I don't get it and I'll be honest with you, I'm glad I don't. Don't get me wrong, I now and then enjoy a packed club and loud music (although I use ear protection ;), but this was disgusting. Maybe this is a good place to be thankful that noone I know reads this blog.

Anyway... in 2 weeks wedding and then we'll see. My life is running forward and in a few weeks I'll have graduated and have the possibility to get a new job, if I want to look for one.

One last thought. How do you think I would do studying philosophy at King's College in London? Because that's one of the things I'd love to do :)

I hope this post is finding you well and happy, take care.

Lyrics of the day: The Luckiest by Ben Folds

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest