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Gratitude

My mind has a bit of a mystical turn if I allow it such leeway. When undergoing a great personality shift, in hindsight it often seems the entire universe has conspired to facilitate this shift. The right books happened my way. The right people and experiences.

I owe a lot of who I am – though currently I am so displeased with myself that who I am is largely an embarrassment to me – so let’s say, who I was and hope to become, to the people and books that were in my life at those junctions. To people who altered my views of self and widened those of the world, to books that strengthened it. And vice versa. It has been vice versa, too.

Shameful

Like the two springs before, I’m reading Jean-Christophe. This time it’s the second book. The first 50 to 100 pages I was a bit tired of the story. There seemed no development whatsoever, just the same type of things repeated over and over again: criticism of the local (French) music and art scene, Christophe alienating everyone, gathering enemies and falling into troubled relationships with women, and other people. The way this narrative repeats itself in just slightly different forms IS tiresome. It’s very predictable that after the artistic commentary and struggle chapters comes an infatuation chapter.  And not only that but there is no change in either either. This is not a typo. But anyhow.

I somehow got over this. The other day I felt a pleasant kind of cosiness to pick this book up again and be in the company of Christophe. This will sound sentimental – I’m trying to think of a way of phrasing it so it will sound less so – because it isn’t so – it’s a very down-to-earth sort of feeling, but he is like a friend to me. Reading this novel is like interacting with a friend, keeping an eye on his life and doings. A gentle, earthy sort of pleasure. Like touching moss or tree bark.

That was my first emotion and mood. But it got worse. I noticed I was slightly falling in love with me him – (if ever there was a Freudian slip, this has got to be the master slip…). When his appearance was described, I noticed it particularly (no, he isn’t beautiful). I’m also becoming to understand his strength. In the first book, the narrator kept referring to Christophe’s strength, but I failed to see a neurotic like that being particularly strong. Now I can see it more, though his type of strength is hardly my prototype, which probably made the suggestion laughable at first. One lives and learns.

Admiration and adoration of fictional characters is something I do sometimes, being of such a temperament that adores, but I don’t recall ever falling in love with them. I can’t say I have done so now either, but I noticed the gentle buds. So yes, I obviously have a screw or two loose.

Oh. And I think trees and moss are my favourite things in nature.

Beautiful things

It’s strange to look back on the development of a thought and see what unusual detours it made and which connections happened along the way. Mostly such criss-crossing leads nowhere at all, but sometimes they lead up to a personal or general truth. I love those moments when something that was vague becomes transparent like morning dew on a cat’s whisker.

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This morning I daydreamed of wandering around in an abandoned wild garden. I lived next to it as a child, so it is firmly rooted in reality. There was an apple tree in that garden with the darkest red apples I have ever seen. They didn’t taste very good, but they had pink flesh. Very beautiful bright pink like the sunset on a watercolour painting. Our family made preserves of these apples and then their taste changed and became sweet. Such apples I’ve never seen anywhere else. I also explored the abandoned villa on the same property, climbed up a narrow staircase, almost fell, but reached a tower room with windows on all three sides. The windows were not broken, but there were cobwebs, white lace curtains, and street lamps lighting it up like moonlight. I had a companion with me and we had dialogues befitting a symbolist play. How can you not turn symbolist with apples like that? And gardens and rooms like that? It entertained me for 2 hours. Such are my favourite mornings.

Storms outside and in

There’s a delicious storm outside and since the blog has not yet had a post dedicated to this phenomena, what better time for it.

I’m not entirely sure why I love stormy days as much as I do. It’s just one of those things that you love without knowing why. Like cats, books or strawberry ice cream.

Although I like sunny and warm days, they don’t quite touch my soul. They are lovely and warming, but seem to lack the X factor. Maybe it is because the essence of a pretty summer day is not compatible with the core of my nature.  I’ve seen too much of the darker side and have a contemplative, melancholy turn of mind, even if I do indulge in careless, childish abandon every once in a while, and am a rather optimistic sort.

Or maybe it is just my love of wild things. Uncontrollable, powerful, and yet not absolutely life-threatening (we don’t get hurricanes here anyhow, so I don’t actually know, but I assume I’d be very scared). Things that toss you about and play on your emotions, but don’t absolutely destroy or control you. Maybe it is a kind of partnership, really. The storms within being released and running with the storms outside. But like classical music, wordless, just pure feeling and chance of communion.

One of my favourite childhood memories is being at sea with a storm. How the boat tossed and the winds blew. People were falling over, but I, with the childlike lacking sense of danger, was absolutely gloriously happy. I also loved “swimming” on a stormy day, jumping into the waves and being thrown back towards the shore with them. It is little wonder then that water sports figure in my list of dreams.

And lastly, imagine the joy of returning home after being outside with a storm. Or the choice or chance not to venture out at all and relish the safety and warmth of the indoors. Today, I’m opting to stay at home – to write, sip tea, read and contemplate my future. Storms make being indoors seem a little magical, don’t they? I definitely love both being with them first-hand and observing them from indoors.

Sea

 

I wish something exciting would happen

Whenever I have really wished for something, it has come into my life. Usually in the form of an opportunity, not a ready-made-wish-fulfilled. But it has come. Then it has been up to me to do what I will with it. Use it, realise I don’t want it after all, or make a mess of it.

Only a few days ago I was infinitely bored with life. Nothing exciting seemed to happen and there seemed no opportunities for me to do anything about it either. Sort of like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot must have felt when they hadn’t had a case for weeks. I have the same craving for mystery and puzzles. Extreme sports does not provide the kind of excitement I long for. Neither does travel as such.

When I get bored with life and wish something exciting would happen, I wish for some stranger to put a little crossword puzzle in my coat pocket or a coded message. I wish to meet some new captivating individual who is unlike anyone I’ve ever known. And preferably, to meet that individual under very unusual circumstances. I wish someone would suggest I could come spend a week at their cottage and sleep in the loft. I’d spend weeks dreaming of it and my mind would grow quite intoxicated with all the pastoral dreamscapes.

But nothing THAT exciting ever happens. And if it sometimes does, it gives me my fill of excitement for a week.

Conclusion: wish more, wish with all your heart. It works more often than not.