In his words: Jean d’Ormesson

“Do not let yourself get abused. Remember to be cautious. Even when there’s proof: it constantly changes.

Do not put too high neither people nor things. Neither should you put them too low. Yes, do not put them too low.

Rise above. Give up hate: it hurts the people who carry it more than those who are subject to it.

Do not try to be wise at all costs. Madness is also a form of wisdom. And wisdom, a madness.

Run away from precepts and excessive preachiness. Throw this book away. Do whatever you want. And what you can. Cry when you need to. Laugh.

I laughed a lot. I laughed at the world and at others and at myself. Nothing is really important. Everything is tragic. Everything that we love will die. And I will die too. Life is beautiful. ”

-Jean d’Ormesson | French novelist

translated from French as best I could 

Setting boundaries and the power of the self

I have a hard time standing my ground, more than I realize. My throat chakra has been blocked for quite some time. I have lost my voice, or perhaps, never manifested it in its fullest expression.

Am I subconsciously wanting to please so much to the point of losing all my intellect when it comes to matters of my emotional and physical safety?

Do I care about my life? Am I oblivious to my surroundings?

Do I not believe I am deserving of the love that I deserve?

Do I not respect myself?

Am I a dormant doormat?

I feel like I am none of these and somehow, I still fall asleep at the wheel.

I become too trusting again and forget to be more alert.

And I truly believe the cycle will continue until I learn to fully devote my attention to my gut.

I am learning that my time is precious.

I am tired of wasting my time on people that bring me no joy, no exchange of the minds, no laughs.

The more I spend time with myself, the more I LIKE myself and the more I want to say “hasta la vista, y’all!” and hang out with my fun and inspiring self instead.

I am amazed at the things I can accomplish with a few books, a notebook, a yoga mat and a good imagination (could sound dirty but that’s not my point).

I don’t know why we spend our lives trying to please others.

Please yourself. It’s OK to be selectively social. There’s nothing wrong with being a loner. Loner doesn’t equal “loser” or “depressed”.

Conserve your energy. Take walks on the beach and read that book you’ve been dying to read. Turn off  your phone and forget about the external world and enjoy the internal bliss.

And most importantly,  forgive yourself. You’re never regressing – just growing, always.

 

 

 

 

Fahrenheit 451 parallels our current state of affairs

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“You’re a hopeless romantic,” said Faber. “It would be funny if it were not serious. It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the ‘parlor families’ today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios, and televisors, but are not. No,no it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type or receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn’t know this, of course you still can’t understand what I mean when i say all this. You are intuitively right, that’s what counts.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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I’ve been reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, here, in Greece. It is a time travel parallel to our current political climate and modern society.  It’s a wake up call and a breath of fresh air, despite its depressingly uncanny resemblance to our present times.

I urge you to read or re-discover Bradbury’s masterpiece. 

Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1953! The novel is 65 years old, and is still extremely relatable on a personal context and relevant on a global scale.

Thank you Ray for having left this symbolic piece of poetry behind. The world needs to hear it now, more than ever.

Closure

A photo was shared of us via Facebook messenger, together in Rome, at  the Colloseum on a scorching hot summer day. You were squeezing me around my shoulders; I was wrapping what I could wrap of my petite frame around your massive body. Ex-high school football and basketball player, at six feet three you stood, and I liked it; it felt right, even when I look at the photo now, it’s comforting to look at. One of those photos you share 15 years from now, at a ski trip with all your best buddies, you know?

We had met at the university’s bar kitchen we worked at together. You were upgrading a few classes to become an engineer, I was in my last year of journalism. I was a mere dishwasher/prep cook, our boss was a filthy piece of shit, you just stared at me, with no words, and then the words came, and then we made out in the kitchen when nobody was looking, and then we stayed up until 3 am watching Scorsese movies and I made dinner for you, that one time…and you said something like nobody had ever made dinner for you before aside from your mom. She had passed when you were 15 and I could feel your pain. I told you about my tough year, you listened, you wanted to take care of me. Little did I know I needed to take care of me first as I was pretty burnt out from my last five years of university. I had no job lined up, just Europe to clear my head. And then you came along. And we fought a lot because we weren’t ready. For the longest time I had kept the darkest memories of that trip, but in hindsight, the positive ones should be held on to.

I’ll never forget those simple little memories of you and me in your apartment on second street, right by Model Milk, where you worked for a bit, and then it was Clive Burger for a summer…I was only 23. You were 25. I will be 28 this year. You will be 30… Time flies and then we look back and don’t realize how much time has already passed.

We reached out to each other in September. It had been five whole years…never too late for closure, I guess. It takes a while for people to see clearly, to realize what the other person meant to you…I know you meant a great lot to me.

That September, we exchanged words of kindness; “you left a big impression on me”, you said. You left a big impression on me too, I said back. And then you said something like “I saw you with what looked like a boyfriend two years ago. You looked happy.” Little does he know that I haven’t been seeing anyone recently but he doesn’t need to know; it might shatter his illusion of my happiness. But I am happy, and we talked, and I’m not crazy: we both cared for each other and got hurt and, that’s all I needed to know. We were each others’ stepping stone for a little while, and now we’re skipping to new stones and I’m OK with that.