“I’ve seen women, with fire that radiates from each pore of their skin, get into relationships and slowly but surely that fire dies. I’ve seen the fire within myself die as well, countless times.” ~Enlightened Society
My father once told me that I need to marry a rich man.
When he said this, I didn’t quite grasp what he meant or what he was trying to imply. It took me five decades to understand where he was coming from but it doesn’t mean I agree with his implication.
True, when I was young they had to coat me with baby oil before I could walk the six kilometers wasteland between our house and the only primary school in the neighborhood. I was or rather my skin was and still is allergic to grasses of any kind among so many other things. Even to these days, my naked skin cannot have direct contact with any surfaces that meant for public use like park benches, restaurants tables and chairs, buses seats and so on. I get itchy bubbles on my skin the very minute I come in contact with I think full of germs surfaces even though at first glance they look spotless. I bruise easily as well.
Prolonged contact with hard surfaces always resulted in bruises that never fade but turn into leathery skin like an elephant hide.
And I don’t know why.
I could not help our mother to wash our clothes either for I was allergic to any laundry detergent, liquid or powder. They made my hands look like raw meat. Which reminds me of the time I was on a cruise and tried Yves Saint Laurent products from the ship’s cosmetic sections. That was a big mistake. My eyes looked like someone had punched me and my lips will pass for a Botox treatment that had gone horribly wrong.
Another thing is I cannot sleep with someone next to me. Not then, not now. I always get the only bedroom in the house when we were growing up. That or I stayed awake whole night fiddling with the priceless possession of my father, the radio. Two husbands and I never managed to share a bed/room with any of them. I can’t stand the smell of another person on the pillows and bedsheets. I can’t stand them breathing next to me. I can’t stand their presence in the room. In short, I want to sleep alone.
Someone once remarked that I remind her of the story about the Princess and the Pea because I can feel every single tiny grain of whatever on the bed whether it is particles of dust or one single crumb.
How much I love working in the garden I could not do it without surgical gloves under ordinary garden mittens. I can’t stand the feel of soil between my fingers but not as much as I hate dust under my feet. Anywhere but not under my feet and between my toes.
Again, I don’t know why.
You might say my father is right. I have to marry a wealthy man, but let me tell you the other side of the story.
I am low maintenance.
Lower you cannot get.
First of all, I don’t like bling-bling or branded items. Don’t get me wrong I have them for sure but I hardly or don’t use them at all. They are given to me as gifts, from people who thought like most women, I wanted to own few if not all. I don’t go to the hair salon. I cut my own hair using ordinary household scissors that meant to be for papers. I do it in just three moves. I bend down, cut my hair straight, then trim both sides to frame my face. That’s all. I don’t wear make-up and just discovered lipstick when I was forty-eight. I don’t polish my nails, either. Heck, I don’t even shave my legs.
I don’t even need sex.
I don’t go out, rarely drink alcohol, I hate restaurants and dislike parties. I don’t even have to tan my hide, literally. I know… I know… I am already tanned by nature, so…
I don’t gamble or smoke, no expensive hobbies because my hobbies are reading, walking, writing and gardening. The last one is probably the only thing I splurge money on. When it comes to plants… I will gladly skip dinner.
So, how can my father say I have to marry a millionaire? I refuse to believe that was the (only) reason why he sold me to the highest bidder. That bidder once told me that simple things make me happy, and that is the most difficult thing to achieve because simple things are hard to come by. For him at least. When another bidder who outbid him confirmed this, I begin to consider the possibility that probably there is some truth in that claim. I am not convinced so far.
And I don’t know what to write anymore because it is a full moon and I can’t sleep and my thoughts are muddled and I want to take a bath but it’s midnight and my hair will not dry properly and I’m against using a hair dryer because it dries my hair and if I lie down with semi-wet hair I will wake up with semi-dry flat hair that is so brittle I have to take a bath again.
That’s all for now and till the next full moon.
What if one day we wake up in a world without color?
Would it change our perception of everything?
Would we see people from all walks of life equals?
Could we resurrect respect and appreciate more?
Could it make us more tolerant friendly and forgiving?
Would our lives be more simple and joyful?
When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls.
Is it true?
I remember one rule of design.
If you want to know what’s wrong about a room (inside or outside) photograph them in black and white.
C. JoyBell C. said:
We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colors and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don’t share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.
The downfall of the attempts of governments and leaders to unite mankind is found in this- in the wrong message that we should see everyone as the same. This is the root of the failure of harmony. Because the truth is, we should not all see everyone as the same! We are not the same! We are made in different colors and we have different cultures. We are all different! But the key to this door is to look at these differences, respect these differences, learn from and about these differences, and grow in and with these differences. We are all different. We are not the same. But that’s beautiful. And that’s okay. In the quest for unity and peace, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to be all the same. Because in this, we all have an underlying belief that everyone should be the same as us at some point. We are not on a journey to become the same or to be the same. But we are on a journey to see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful as a human race, and if we are ever to grow, we ought to learn and always learn some more.
It is when we think we can act like God, that all respect is lost, and I think this is the downfall of peace. We lie if we say we do not see color and culture and difference. We fool ourselves and cheat ourselves when we say that all of us are the same. We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors!
What do you think?
Me personally, like Mark Rothko when it comes to humans
I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.
Wherever of the spectrum you’re in, I hope you’ll do what’s right. Not only for yourself but for everyone concerned.
Till next time.
I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn’t open. The only thing I had was cracks. I’d do everything to get through those cracks – scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. ~Dwayne Johnson
Only I didn’t do all those things. I was not aware of the cracks. I thought they were doors. I didn’t want to escape, I was happy where I was. I guess if you don’t know any better… I knew there were people who were dissimilar from us but to me, they were just people. I never envy them nor aspire to be like them. Though they behaved differently towards me and my family, their attitude never made me feel inferior or less fortunate. It should have been. Perhaps if it was the case I would try harder getting through the cracks instead of___ what are the right words to describe what I was thinking/doing back then___ going through life one day at a time, more or less happy (in my own way) making the most of how little there was.
I don’t believe in destiny like I don’t believe in supernatural even though I had enough experience to write a dozen books about both. Things happen and that’s all there is to it. I got through the cracks somehow and stay out. No amount of coincidences, conspiracies and risky endeavors catapult me back where I came from. If I believe in luck I would say I am probably lucky.
Lucky that even though I follow my heart most of the time and pride is my greatest sin and I seem to be fond of illogical thinking, I’m still alive and in one piece and far from destitute. Hmmm… maybe the last one is debatable since I am not rich in my own right. Sometimes it is good to be a woman.
There are people who want nothing in their life than to get through the cracks but if offered a lifeline they use it to strangle themselves. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Watched it happening from the ringside often enough to know that those cases are classified as lost causes. No one can help them unless one is willing to commit suicide. Try to teach them to fish and they will hate you for not just giving them the bounty on a silver platter spoon and all. They want to eat fish but they don’t want to go fishing. They expect you to feed them through the cracks. Day by day, year by year. All their lives.
I guess it could have gone wrong for me also if I didn’t make certain choices. I tried it for size and those few times are the only decisions I ever regret making. No harm done. No course altering or life-changing events but still… those deliberate error of judgment is not to be repeated. Shameful they are.
Chances that could stir my life towards the one I had dreamed of never happened. Not for the lack of trying. It just didn’t happen. Everything I had envisioned for myself never materialized. It reminds me of the saying about God gives us not what we want but what we need. Who needs decades of nightmares I wonder.
If I could choose my own destiny I would choose to be a successful career woman ( what I mean by this is I work as a bestselling author/painter, Broadway/actress, an FBI agent ala Mulder and Scully, food/restaurant critic, travel photographer/journalist, a psychologist or even a pirate) unmarried, childless and enjoying one night stands in every city. Like a man.
Too much to ask?
Maybe I just have to be content that I got through the cracks in one piece.
Word I have learned today:
stealthy, subtle, surreptitious, sneaking, cunning, crafty, Machiavellian, artful, guileful, sly wily, tricky, slick, deceitful, deceptive, dishonest, underhand, backhanded, indirect
My ex-husband said to me that I pretend to be intelligent but the truth is I’m stupid really. I think what he meant was I lack the qualities that are mentioned above. Virtues that in my experience most women I know possessed and I seem to be lacking. I never learned to use my gender as a weapon of advantage, like I never learned to sway my hips while walking or say things but mean another. In my world, I say what I mean and mean what I say and I learned to walk with a purpose: getting where I want to be as fast as possible and leave when it is not necessary anymore to stay. I am stupid indeed.
I have nothing to offer to a man.
My ex said that too. According to him I just lay there like a corpse. I told him it takes a real man to make me moan in bed. He didn’t like that. I wonder why.
The truth is I never thought of offering someone anything in any circumstances. Another thing I never learned: to negotiate and barter. Take me as I am or walk away. No hard feelings.
Reminds me of what Rose -an old friend- told me when we were young – not to eat directly from the pot when there is a possibility that someone, especially a (potential) suitor might see me. The person could lose interest when he catches me doing unladylike things. I told her why hide when sooner or later he will learn to know the real me and preferably sooner than later so he could not blame me of pretending and tell me afterward that if he only knew he would not get into this and that. I rather that he will know how I really am in advance so he has time to make up his mind if he is going to venture further with me or run away. Same reason why I don’t string suitors. If I like you I tell you right away so we can spend time doing wonderful things together instead of beating around the bushes pretending, wasting precious time which otherwise we can use to get to know each other better. Likewise when I don’t fancy the person, I will tell him right away too so he could devote his precious time chasing other preys instead of wasting it on me. Fair is fair, right?
Lately, looking back, I sometimes believe that maybe I am indeed stupid, not using my feminity at its best potentials when I could but even if, I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to flirt or seduce someone. I don’t know how to twist the truth to my own advantage and I don’t know how to lie for personal gain. I cannot shut up when I supposed to shut up (like don’t criticize your mother-in-law in the front of your husband and don’t antagonize your husband by pointing out his mistakes and don’t voice out other people’s thoughts which otherwise they rather keep for themselves for the fear of rocking the boat etc. etc.) I don’t know how to caress someone’s ego to be liked and be sweet and amenable to please and I don’t know how to be who I am not for popularity. If I don’t know all these, how can I be smart?
Smart people, women, in particular, my ex-boss said know their way in the world. He said this after I refused to attend his 25th wedding anniversary because I didn’t want to wear a long gown. After I refused to go to the sauna with him. After a female colleague cooked him dinner and after I didn’t get into his proposition of being employed by him to take care of his invalid wife on paper but in reality living with them and taking care of him. He fired me but tried to hire me again three weeks later. Funny guy.
I’ve met quite a few who are insidious. I wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror and believe they are the paradigm of virtues. I admire people who are overly self-confident when clearly there is no reason to be. Like stating on their profiles that they are very attractive while their pictures say otherwise. I know what false modesty means and it is equally unflattering. They say the best part of being beautiful is when one is not aware one got it. That’s when the allure becomes powerful and at its strongest.
Do you believe it?
If you’ve got it, flaunt it they say. It’s a good subject for a debate, but not today. All I know is it is endearing to watch someone who is not aware she or he has a devastating impact on people. Kind of innocent. Kind of sweet. Kind of everything I am not. False modesty aside.
But I’m getting sidetracked again. See what a single word could do to the mind of a person?
I better stop I think.
See you next time.
“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”
― David Lynch
Does the above quote applicable also when looking/hunting/choosing for a potential partner? I heard it before, so many fish in the ocean and to quote a fifteen-year-old boy who thought he knew better he said: She’s not the only pussy walking around. He was, by the way, referring to me, angry because his own brother and first cousin were on the clinch for my attention. But if I read him correctly, he got an adolescent crush on me and probably angry at himself. Those were the days.
Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. Oh, I thought the higher you go up on the social ladder the poorer it gets when it comes to attitude and manners. But then again, Lynch was talking about ideas, not people.
But ideas come from people, and I believe that in order to have depth on anything, the source got to have layers, multiple layers. And layers come from life experience, years of experience. The harder the life you lead, the more colorful and complex the layers become. No wonder most if not all geniuses were tortured souls. All great art comes from pain they say, and history is there to prove it, There is no need to mention names, we all know who they are. The Myth of the Tortured Artist, remember? They say it’s not a myth. Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. Suffering gives insight they claim. What tortured them is what made them great. I can only agree. I write better when I am unhappy and can’t sleep.
Experience and the ability to feel and to know where those feelings are coming from give art authenticity in my opinion. It’s your soul that is out there, no one had been through what you have been through, your stories are solely your own, unique in every way. Your craft is an expression of your personal journey and the bumpier the road, the greater is the experience the deeper is the source of inspiration.
I have lived a thousand lives. No exaggeration. I could write about a million things others could only imagine about. My history and my experience lend truth to my voice as opposed to someone who is writing fictional situations. They say in every book someone writes, there is always a piece of autobiography in it and I believe that. We draw characters and places from our own personal experience. It doesn’t matter if we are writing fiction or not, we based personages and situations on people we know and places we’ve been. There is always a piece of truth in every lie they say. I believe that too. Where else we could get our inspiration but from life itself, right?
With a little bit of imagination or lots of it, we can make ordinary extraordinary and simple to wonderful. All we need is to catch some big fish, and in order to do that; we have to explore bigger and deeper seas and risk drowning. Sink or swim people.
Till next time.
Kahlil Gibran once said: “Some words pass through us quickly and vanish into the air; others burrow into our very flesh and change the way we think, speak and feel.” In my case, it is definitely true. Each time it happened, I am amazed to find out that even after all these years words still have the power to hurt me. I thought I have long past caring, that I don’t give a damn what other people think of me and in certain aspects I am but there are individuals who never lose the power to hurt us and those are mostly the ones who are closer to our hearts. They know which buttons to push and never run out of ammunition because they know us through and through and that gives them the advantage.
There are words also that when spoken will find its target dead center and pierce through. It took me years to know why. The words that hurt us the most are the ones that closer to the truth. Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you…unless you believe them. True isn’t it? It reminds me of something I’ve read somewhere, that words are like knives, it can only wound us if it hits home, otherwise, they are useless weapons. Criticism is just empty expression unless it’s true. Terms and names are just futile remarks till they hit the target and become a painful memory that replays in your mind, spiking a sense of remembered pain. Forever fresh, always potent.
It’s only words indeed.
My ex-husband said I have a fixation problem.
To him, it means not being able to forgive and forget his deliberate mistakes and failing to turn a blind eye to his shortcomings and not shutting up about it.
In another context I would agree with him, I do have a temporary obsessive interest in something sometimes, like scarves, bags, shoes, succulents, porcelain dolls, silk flowers, and food. Luckily like happiness and the first intoxication of morphine, it doesn’t last very long. I could easily forget the obsession and move on to the next thing.
But while I am in that obsessive state, nothing can stop me. I must and will acquire whatever the object of my desire at that moment. Which reminds me of someone accusing me of exactly the same thing but talking about people.
Anyway, the other day while watching Strictly Come Dancing I noticed that everyone wore a Remembrance Poppy brooch and I was right away interested. I saw paper versions of the same pin but these ones were different, they were proper jewelry, beautiful and shining. Looking closely, I saw that there were few varying designs, some were larger, some smaller, others had only one stem and no leaves and one was with diamonds. After scrutinizing each, I decided that I want only three and was so elated I was practically dancing around on the front of the T.V.
Then, like a cold November shower, I suddenly came to the realization that there is no way I could have them; not those exact designs, and before I knew it I was in tears. I was so sad if my heart could break it certainly would at that moment. And I don’t even like jewelry and seldom wear any. But those pins were so cute I wanted to put them next to each other and admire them. I like to have anything that can put a smile on my face. There are not so many of those. The list is short: certain puppies, certain dolls, certain babies, birds and anything unusual.
Before the night was over, I have forgotten about the poppies already but for one short moment, they were so important to me, enough to make me cry, and I didn’t even bat an eyelash when I’d lost 2,000 dollars on a bus while on holiday and certainly didn’t shed a single tear during or after my divorce or when my parents died.
Do I have a fixation problem?
I don’t know.
What do you think?
Countdown to Christmas… Is new year resolution still in fashion? Or Que Sera Sera is the ‘it’ approach these days? Is the thought that really counts or deep down inside everyone’s dream present is the one with the priciest tag? Me? I don’t expect anything. That way, I would save myself loads of disappointment(s)… If I have to alter something this coming year, that would be___ to learn to relax, to have a proper sleep and to get out more. Basically the same M.O. each year.
How about you?
Somewhere someone told me: “You’re too heavy to digest on a daily basis.”
It reminds me of what a reader once said to me a long time ago, that she will not recommend me for daily consumption. According to her, she didn’t yet meet someone who is constantly in a dark mood 365 days. People get depressed, have bad days, angry, hurt, grieving lonely and sad but not ceaselessly she said. In most cases, being down is an exception to the rule. Normal people are mostly happy most of the times she added. I, on the other hand, seem to have a perpetual dark cloud hanging above my head, following me everywhere and on occasions releasing torrents of rain if not thunder and lightning.
Before the revelation, I was not aware that I was projecting this kind of image out there. I thought I was just being me, relating things the way I always do: honest and straight to the point without beating around the bushes. In fact, I didn’t realize I sound pessimistic. Like in real life, I tell stories matter of factly. I never like drama nor I ever aspire to play a victim. It is simply not my way of handling things. I can’t help that my life happened the way it happened. Believe me, if I could choose, I would have chosen another path you can be sure of that.
But according to my mother-in-law, it isn’t the constant dark mood that is the problem with me because she never has seen a more well-disposed individual than I am. (She must know because we go together on a three week holiday each year.) It is those weighty/heavy conversations I seem to favor that the problem is. Most people don’t do these kinds of talks because they are often revealing, confronting and emotionally taxing.
I beg to disagree.
What they call a heavy conversation is to me a chit-chat. If they want me to go shallower than that, I might as well shut up. Why spent hours talking if you have nothing sensible to say? If you are not genuinely interested in the person/people you are taking with, why pretend? Why spend time with each other? Why bother?
Anyway, I still don’t believe I really am like that. I could believe I am not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s nothing new to me but perpetually dark mood and favoring emotionally taxing conversations … no.
Again, it reminds me of yet another incident which happened again, a long time ago when people I then acquainted with said another thing which again wasn’t true.
I didn’t know anymore how it all begun and what was the reason but while sitting on a terrace looking down to a group I used to hang out with back then, I heard one of them said I have a frozen heart. Then someone chimed in: “Frozen? It would be better if her heart is only frozen so there will still be a chance of thawing it but if you ask me her heart isn’t frozen it is made of iron.” Laugher followed. Not to be outdone, another one of them stated: “Iron you said? Then my friend you are wrong. Her heart is made of concrete it is impossible to melt.” Another burst of laughter.
They were aware I was watching. They knew I was there, hearing their comments, and I believe they mean no harm and only fooling around and the remarks didn’t make me angry or hurt but it made me think though. It made me realized how wrong they were and how little did they know me.
It reminds me of what my mother said to me once upon a time. She said I am not capable of loving anyone. I don’t know if she was talking about herself because her own judgment certainly is applicable to her. My ex-husband would agree with her though because according to him I am a man-hater.
The truth is I am neither one of those they were accusing me of. I just didn’t find anyone yet worth___ how could I say it? Loving? Losing myself? Breaking my heart over with? Crying buckets full? I don’t know also on what they were basing their opinions of me. All I know is they aren’t true. And I’m getting better. There was a time I could not incorporate the world love in writing I always substitute it with aarrgh instead. And I am not terrified of colors anymore. I can stand them now on my blog. I still favor black and white or sepia but colors are no longer banned.
But still, I don’t do happy. I cannot. I don’t know where to begin.
If I say I am watching a beautiful bird and I like it, am I happy?
If I enjoy walking in the city, am I happy?
If some days I feel blessed and content, am I happy?
How do I know I am happy? What happiness feels like?
Can you tell me?
“Pinocchio went out into the world. He went on his road filled with good intentions, with a vision. He went ready to do all the things he dreamed, but he was pulled this way and that. He was distracted. He faltered. He made mistakes. But he kept on. Pinocchio, in the end, became himself — because the little flame inside him, no matter what crap he went through, would not be extinguished.”
Seems to me even before he becomes a real boy, Pinocchio was already experiencing the reality of real life and more real than most of us. Everything that was mentioned above is characteristic of being human. I beg to disagree with this passage ” in the end, he became himself. “ In my eyes, he didn’t become, he was himself all along. He stayed true to himself no matter what without losing his core -the little flame that refused to be extinguished. When he first ventured out into the world, he was naive (recognizable?) and made poor choices and picked the wrong company and tried to get out of tricky situations by lying. We all did these in some points in our lives. If you tell me you hadn’t, then you’re lying. None of us were born aware and equipped with all the knowledge to survive in this world. We learned it as we go along stumbling and falling. In the end, like Pinocchio, we will realize who we are and where we belonged but the foundation of our true selves is already laid from the start. No amount of experience good or bad could alter our genetic makeup. It could alter the shape a bit but not the core. We are who we are and how we deal with things (attitude) shows what lies beneath. No mask and amount of lying and pretending could hide the real character of a person because eventually, it will show through his actions. I rather deal with an obnoxious person with a good heart than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
How about you?
I wish I could say I have a love-hate relationship with food, at least, that way, there is still one positive side to it but the truth is I neither love nor hate food. For me consuming any form of nourishment is nothing but a necessary evil. I don’t enjoy the act nor the taste. My father said I eat like a soldier and it doesn’t change since then. I gobble and gulp the food as if there is no tomorrow and with minimal chewing. The sooner it’s done the better. If I have one feeling which associated with food that would be guilt.
I feel guilty when I eat and I don’t know why. Never been anorexic or bulimic. Never had so much issue with my weight. Of course, I don’t want to get fat who does anyway but a serious problem regarding weight I never have. But I feel guilty nonetheless when consuming a fair quantity of food. What is a fair amount in my book? Eating three times or more a day. I feel that I should be eating only once or not at all. If I could skip a meal or two, That would be ideal. I feel better that way. Believe you me if I can go on without food I will, there is no doubt about that.
I only eat when I’m dying of hunger or craving for something. Mostly fried crunchy food because sweets I can’t tolerate. I never fancy cakes or ice cream. I can eat them without a problem (if you consider lactose and gluten intolerance not a problem) but I draw the line at chocolates. No matter how hard I try I simply cannot acquire the taste for it. I can go so far as saying I hate them. I don’t care if they are artisanal or expensive coated with eatable gold leaf, if it’s chocolate, I pass.
So, where is my aversion for food originated from?
From my youth, where else you might say, but I don’t think so. We were poor and every meal we considered a feast back then. I grew up on a diet of seafood being born and bred in a fishpond. Meat was scarce and so hard to come by we only had them once a week on Sunday. If you want to know a little bit more about how my life was when I was growing up, you can read some of the painful details here and here.
Anyway, whatever psychological issues I have with food, I don’t know where it comes from. All I can say is: Food doesn’t excite me. I wish I can go on without.