In a garden I often spend time in there used to be this very beautiful old tree. And this tree spread such a strong feeling of stability in a way that only old beautiful trees do. Then they brought it down as “it had long been killed by a mushroom”. They even tried to show us the trace of the mushroom damage on the wide and still clean stump.
The place remained bare for a few months and one could still sense the well-grounded energy the tree had left behind. Now they are building a smoking place in the exact same spot where the tree was and all I can think of is how cynical and weird this whole transition is. And for everybody new that will come into this garden from now on, that will only be a smoking place. And we, the veteran visitors, will slowly stop going into the garden taking with us the last bits of memory of the beautiful old tree.
First, it was that piece of my Self shaped by hardcore Byzantine values that rejoiced. The fatalist in me did, that part of my subconscious informed by beliefs such as “things happen for a reason” and by “it was meant to be”-s.
Just as I was being taken over by anxiety over the future, over MA applications and future jobs, over my path in life and pseudo-scientific personality tests, there I went and checked my Facebook. (Wait, what? Isn’t this what we all do when we get anxious?! Like several times a day?)
And there it stood, an NPR status update about Diana Nyad’s 5th – and this time successful – attempt at swimming from Cuba to Florida. And then I rejoiced again, at her story. And the more I was reading about her long fight to get where she did, the more my anxiety faded away.
And there I was, unable to refrain from thinking about what a lucky coincidence it was that I happened to see the news when I did. “It was meant to be” that I would get such a kick of inspiration out of her story, her pursuit of meaning and her achieving it. And perseverance, such a Western concept, “it was meant to be” that I am reminded of it when I need it the most. And then I rejoiced again.
For those that missed it, here is her story and here a must see video: Diana Nyad’s speech at TED in 2011 about her dream and her path to pursuing it. And no, there are no “meant to be”-s in there, there’s just pure determination and perseverance.
That great moment when you want you save my life. You wake me up in the middle of the night because “there’s a pipe in our room. You see? There!” and you show me a shaddow on the wall. And then you say “Oh, I was dreaming”. That great moment when I can’t stop laughing when we go back to sleep and I hug you.
“If you’ve ever had that feeling of loneliness, of being an outsider, it never quite leaves you. You can be happy or successful or whatever, but that thing still stays within you.”—Tim Burton (via goghwilde)
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”—
In the early hours we went in a Russian flavoured club downtown. They had no grapefruit juice so I had raspberry juice instead. You had a beer. Volga. Then we drove around the city. And saw the nightlife, prostitutes and a car accident. A lot of police cars on the street. Then I went to bed and so did you. We woke up early to go to the Art Nouveau tour. Before that we bought a coffee from our favourite place. The coffee boy was cold and unreachable. Then we had the tour. We loved the new perspective it gave us on the city in which we met. The guide was also cold and unreachable. And then we slept some more.
And then there was the loneliness. The burden of your departure. The coffee boy and the guide came to my mind again. The same coldness and distance of being alone while being in the company of somebody. And then I stopped. I hurt myself and I hurt you.
But oh, what a beautiful October day today was!
I am sure from now on we will look differently at the buildings in our city.