Little gifts of life

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You walk on the beach carefree, relaxed, with a sense gratitude for existence awakened by the smell of the salty breeze and the immense body of waves moving towards you. You come across an almost perfect shell, that tells a story of a being who used to live in it and experienced the magic of the underwater world we never get to see: a keeper. Then as you walk more, you find a pebble in the shape of a heart with rounded corners and wonder how nature -without the help of humans – is capable of creating such a perfectly symmetrical human symbol of love – as if nature would sometimes read our collective minds, find what’s significant in it and spit out an artwork for us as a gift. Another keeper. And the longer you walk, you find all kinds of little useless treasures that you end up not understanding why you collected except that the moment prompted you to do so.

These little gifts are everywhere, and sometimes they are overwhelmingly sweet. He opened the door for me, and poured me a glass of wine while politely refusing one for himself. We shared some ideas about our views as writers and the gift of self-reflection and its impact on the growth of a person, and how wonderful it is to just come across unsolicited inspiration, that just shows up and fills you with more to say than you can record. Each part of our dialogue was a spark of recognition, a familiarity with an inner world that we both just happen to understand, and the joy of exchanging with someone who understands that world.

And there were so many more gifts that came from a smile, a gesture, a question, an answer, the warmth of a simple embrace that grew into an exchange of energy, then into a quest for understanding the emotional power driving it, to map the uncharted territory of intimacy with someone you feel so connected to and the desire to immerse deep into each other’s body and soul. The power of that embrace lingered around me keeping me wide awake for hours before falling asleep, filling the space that separated us laying side by side with a thick bond of sweet fantasies.

When you go on a trip you return with souvenirs. The most valuable ones are the memories. Some are so powerful you become addicted to their consumption. They are little gifts life gives you for no apparent reason, and you can rewind and play them on and on like a favorite movie you never get tired of watching, until they fade deep into the past. The shells and stones eventually become dusty sitting on your dresser for years, time washes off their brilliance and the magic power they hold, and you get rid of them or bury them in boxes or move them into your attic. And then you go on another trip, take another walk on the beach, and collect new pebbles and memorabilia of sweet moments. Life never runs out of gifts…

The anthill

The sum of our habitual thought processes, actions, interactions and perceptions defines our perspective of the current world. We like that specific seat that gives us that specific view of it. Perhaps it’s comfortable and we are used to it. It’s also where everyone else sits and watches the show called life from. It’s a safe place to be where everyone else is, as if others’ presence would confirm the validity of a viewpoint. Until someone separates from the crowd, walks to the other side and suddenly you are reminded of the other side.

My first correspondence with Steve which I still have to dig up from a dusty box from 25 years ago was something like: “I’m walking on the edge of the abyss. Everyone else is on the other side. I watch them from far away, and they seem strangers going about their lives in their own world, according to their own rules. I am an alien to that world and have been walking on this side of the abyss for what it feels like ages. And then, after years of walking alone, I see a tiny moving figure in the distance, walking in the same direction, on the……….. same side. Can this be true? You are ahead of me and eventually as we close the distance between us, you turn around…” This was the start of a correspondence of a few months followed by an intense love story that prompted me to leave my home, my country, move into his fascinating environment of avant-garde art and theater, which ended in me overdosing in sleeping pills, contemplating suicide by various means and finally walking away from an emotional attachment that almost turned fatal. He shaped the way I am and the way I see the world, I was very young at that time and malleable. We did share that different perspective of the world, of being on the other side of the abyss, but entirely different agendas for life. I often wonder if he is still alive, he must be in his 80s now.

As I was reading the French words, fragmented phrases and images emerged through my limited French comprehension, just enough for a switch to happen. It prompted me an introspection, a dive into the depths of my soul which now I believe I’ve been avoiding. The reason perhaps is that eventually, as you walk on the other side of the abyss alone, you get tired of dealing with your own thoughts and lack of exchange with another human being, so you build superficial threads to connect you to the other side and become part of that other world. You get used to building superficial relationships, friendships, talk about the weather, politics, art, current events, people’s everyday life, moves, travels, changes to their lives. You also relate your life to them – somewhat hesitantly – while a lot of people don’t understand your need for privacy. They wonder why are you keeping secrets. And you don’t want to explain that you are actually keeping up a facade of a regular life whereas you are an alien to their world, and don’t understand their runnings about like an anthill full of ants working together in perfect synchronicity and purposefulness to build and maintain – the anthill.

Diving down into my soul and leaping back to my side of the abyss – which I thought I owned for a while – is a bittersweet return. Those few moments of the switch hang around me like ghosts that those French words conjured out of the shadows. They were there all along except I’ve ignored them and they got used to my oblivion for their existence and stopped bothering me. Now his words on the screen were like the magic words over a Quija board, and they all came to life and started floating around asking me are you ready for the dive? I am always ready for the dive. I am a mermaid by nature, pretending to be human. So I dive down, and sink into the waters of recognition of old and familiar places I haven’t visited for ages – my side of the abyss. And it brings me back to my Search…

The Journey

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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The journey started when the sun and the moon separated, when the earth switched places with the sky and light and darkness became mortal enemies. Since that happened Life tries on different forms, experimenting tirelessly to offer meaning to existence.

Life is an asset to the blue planet, unless you are looking at it from the inside, when you realize this asset is also poison.

So humankind set out to also search for purpose, and that purpose is either self-fulfilling or love. One could argue of course that love in itself is self fulfilling but we’ll leave that to another time.

Some of us are burdened more and some less with the responsibility to attach purpose to existence so we either make one up or spend a lifetime searching for it. This blog is about the end of the search, the final destination. Stay with me.