Really something

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‘This ugly mess’..

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a longer non-fiction piece-  I have had to write so many things for studies that making actual sentences for fun doesn’t sound that fun. I just came home ‘in the middle of the night’ and finally got to talk to one of my friends on the other side of the world- time differences make things more complicated. I was talking to her and I have somehow reminded of this song: ‘Really something’ from Aaron Sprinkle. It was actually the first Aaron Sprinkle song I ever listened to- it was on a cd with a mix of music that my brother had. Sometimes you have that- love at first song- I loved the song so much that I ordered the cd that it was from at a shop (not webshop-it was thát time). ‘Lackluster’ is still one of my absolute favorite albums.

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I made home. 🙂

The part of the song that I remembered was ‘being hard is hard so sick of it’. Hmm. The funny thing is that I just was going home with the idea  ‘am I a horrible person?’- I thought of the times that I wasn’t really interested in talking to other people. I am never really proud of that- but I then set boundaries which is good. For me, that’s what ‘being hard’ is, hard on others. But perhaps also hard on yourself. I’ve been reasonably kind to myself these days, and that feels quite good :). The reason why i’m writing this now is that I heard a line in the song that i’ve heard before, (i’ve listenend to the song a million times) but didn’t really think of: ‘process, this ugly mess, and figure out how to make it home‘. I’m now finishing up my studies and there is so much that I can beat myself up about- that perhaps I should have done way more- that I’m in a mess of my own making. and yet- I’ve come a long way. Some days I actually forget, that this is really something, really something good. 

 

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Almost there

One more step,

and then one more.

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The wall – falling apart

And then?

Forward again

patiently waiting for things

to grow and disappear

like friendship and sunburn

long summer nights

growing shorter everyday now

Breaks that take longer than

they need to-

writing poetry while

sitting on the toilet-

breaking away from a

deadline dooming.

 

Writing challenge- poems

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When light makes poetic impressions

So a few years ago I read a free online book that was named writing to find yourself by Allison Vesterfelt, it then was a free download on Noisetrade. The book challenges to just write if you at some point want to have something written. One of the ways to get used to writing is according to her to write ‘morning papers’ just every morning write for an hour, about anything. I’ve tried different forms of this- for instance just write 2 pages per day in my journal, or indeed writing for an hour every day (first half hours is hard, after that, much easier).  This month, however, for the sake of ‘poetry writing month’ in the US, I’ve joined a group ‘Fight Evil with Poetry’ facilitated by the amazing musician and spoken word artist Micah Bourne. I’m now at the 22nd day- one day ‘faster’ then the rest of the group mostly in the US, and it has been a good practice.

The challenge works in such a way that every day there is a prompt for the poem of the day, and these prompt range from ‘write about your favorite food’ to ‘write about something that hurt you from the perspective of someone who hurt you’- not the lightest of topics. It has been interesting for me since I usually write from emotion, or because there is some kind of inspiration or happening at the time that I am writing, and I rarely make time to write poetry about a particular topic. Similarly, I almost exclusively write ‘when the muse strikes me’- I have periods that I write a lot and periods that I write nothing at all. The challenge to write a poem a day has certainly helped me to write more consistently, and also to actually explore the less explosive or clear emotions and thoughts. By being ‘forced’  to write about emotionally challenging subjects It actually helped me to put some ideas and feelings I have known about for a long time on paper.

Of course, the great thing about doing this particular kind of challenge is that I am not alone in doing it. Others do the same challenge and because it is a reasonable ‘anonymous’ group, the most delicate subjects are discussed and explored. What is also very interesting is to see the different interpretations of different writers on a theme. Sometimes these interpretations are similar to mine, other times not at all. To recognize your own feelings in words of others, or to learn to be more open-minded or empathetic towards people that have such different lives, is very precious to me. At the same time, writing about different topics because ‘I have to’, have also allowed for beautiful conversations with friends and family. And have helped me share new found words, that help understand each other better. That to me,  connecting with others, is truly writing to find yourself.

Celebrate the short days

Since we changed the clock last Sunday here, the days are rapidly getting longer. And although I am positively thrilled about that- and the longer days are just delightful, I’m going to miss taking photos of the city in the dark. And so it’s time to celebrate the short days- although to be fair- some of these pictures were not taken during the day but more around midnight. Ah well, such is life.

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It goes so fast- New year

So apparently, today is the last day of winter and the beginning of spring is also the beginning of the Persian New year- these are the things that you learn when you are on the Mezrab Mailing list. It’s funny though because in fact, I thought that perhaps the writer of the email had messed up. The thing is I can’t believe that we already more than 2,5 months into the new year. I feel like I just started. Sure, 1001 things happened since the start of the new year, but it was such a good start that it feels like it is just a little while ago. The fact that I lost track of time was also awkwardly made clear when I was home for my dad’s birthday, and the whole looks all different- turns out that it has been that way since after Christmas, the last time that I was there. It was not as if I hadn’t seen or spoke to my parents in that long but still. The time goes so fast.

And yet,  the sun that is fighting the last cold of winter and announces the start of spring makes me feel like the new year. Same as the beautiful new things that are being born and the babies I know that are slowly growing. There are good things, beautiful things, new things coming. And as you do in new years you also celebrate the old. One of my greatest loves in life are little lambs. We had many of them. Now for a change, the photo that you see is not taken by me. But this was one of my little lambs.

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The best picture.

The birth of new things

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Musical instrument: anything is possible within the limits of imagination.

It is no surprise that I don’t like academics very much. One of the most typical things that should definitely be said about it is that I don’t like it very much because for me it doesn’t come naturally. Curiosity comes natural, excitement about other peoples ideas comes natural, and connecting these ideas is life-giving. Writing them down in such a way that is acceptable, not so much.

One of the main struggles I have with academia or ‘science’ in general is that rarely anything new happens. This is of course due to the inherent structure that we have decided we should follow: Anything can only exist if it is proven, or rather if it already exists. You see, it does not matter how much experience has taught you, if someone hasn’t said the same thing you are thinking before, it is not valid. If you say something and someone else said it first and you don’t credit them, it is plagiarism. The only time that you can say ‘something new’ is if you somehow got the credentials to back up your claim. Not the facts, just the credentials will suffice. What you end up with, in many niches, that there are one or two primary authors, and that de rest of ‘us’ all basically write what they have written, often without even fact-checking, since someone said it before, therefore I can credit them, therefore it is viable, thereforeI’mm a credible academic. And so the cycle continues. The theory of academics is nice: “Don’t shout something that you can’t back up or cant have someone else agree on”, but often it results in a toxic environment where it is incredible to make any progress, because 90% of your time is spend backing up your own ideas by those of others, instead of really grounding your own ideas.

Like I said, I do love ideas, insights, and theories, life-giving things. I happen to have many very intelligent, observing and curious and insightful people in my life. And honestly, I just want to celebrate that. I don’t know how to give these people a stage yet, but there is so much academic, self-help, philosophical and motivational bullshit out there, that I’m longing for a place where so many different voices can be heard. Not only those who have credentials, or basically a big mouth, but people who inspire you to do life differently, or understand life better. I’m not much of ‘challenger’ in that sense, I’ll just leave my thoughts and then you can be challenged by them or not, but I would challenge you to think of the last time you were inspired by something somebody said. Not online, but in real life. Something where you thought: I have never looked at it this way, but this gives me tools, perspective, life. Who are the great thinkers around you? Who would you want to give a stage?

World.

All of me says yes.

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so much beauty in stranger things.

And all of me says no.

But one way or another

I’m thorough and

I’m building a home.

 

Right here where I am

Right here who I am

Right here where I feel

 

all the things intensely

and see the incredible beauty

and it silences and humbles me

and all I want to do

is to profess my love quietly

with my whole

Heart,

Mind

Soul

I’m loving thee.

 

Stories are Stories are Stories

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Ordering the chaos in my mind.

I got a little upset. So I wrote this. 

To Scream

scream

scream

To not near the noises in your head

While all I want to be is

quiet. and to look around

You can murder reality

with the logic in your mind

not because it is wrong. But because you are missing the right point.

 

Stories are stories are stories

are love life and logic

outspoken, and misunderstood

Stories are stories are stories

are beauty, doubt, and truth

Fully biased and strong light shining through

 

To be still, and listen, and to sit

Connect with what it is, to change your heart.

 

No amount of new-found, old school, traditional

hip words – can kill the words

of stories

Can kill the heart

of stories

can kill the God of stories

God lives beyond

his words

 

stories are not there

to prove a point- but  to

put life and light and

perspective on the real world

But never in your mind

Always in your heart.

What to do when you don’t like how the world works

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I think frustration is when you see beauty but it is not bathed in light.

People who know me a little know that  I can get quite frustrated. Growing up I would get so angry and vent this to everybody and my father would usually conclude: I think you are mostly angry at yourself. Well, thanks, daddy, the kind of wisdom that is to true to be fun. His suggestion that I am mostly angry at myself was not because there were no upsetting external factors, but because I could often excuse everyone else in the situation, but still stayed mad. I would be mad because I failed to do something that other people asked of me but I didn’t want to do- I would get mad that I was in a situation that made me uncomfortable, it made me angry that I cared. These days every once in a while I get upset again with how the world is, how my actions have consequences I didn’t sign up for, or how I get upset about how other people do things, whereas it is their own life. I have some very strong pre-conceived ideas about how people should treat others and themselves and if they don’t they get upset.

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or when the light is outside but you are inside

Since I figured that that is not the most sustainable way to do things- it’s not really nice to be angry and frustrated all the time + dump that on strangers, I started doing some research. First- what kind of things would upset me? These were often things that I felt were an injustice, towards me or towards others- or they were things that made me feel like the world is not even an ugly but a limited place. It would upset me that not everything seemed possible. I would feel threatened in a way by things that were beyond my control. So perhaps it is right to not say that I was upset simply by that there seemed to be limitations, but rather that there are limitations to what I can control.

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When the places you know feel like a prison

The second part of my research was to reach out to a like-minded person- not in the sense that we think the same way about everything, because then maybe I wouldn’t get upset, but I also wouldn’t be challenged. Rather I reached out to a person with a similar mind, knowing the frustration of that the world is not how you want it to be. Luckily, I knew just the friend to ask. So we talked about what upset me- or rather I talked about these things. Not only the external factors but also the ‘angry at myself’- how actually I wished I would just not care/be different so I wouldn’t get so upset. At the same time I didn’t know how to achieve this, and also didn’t want to stop being myself. I was looking for some kind of framework that could help me channel my anger and frustration.  And so I decided to ask her what she does when she gets into these mindsets. Her solution was three-fold: First, she said- I complain. Second, I write an article about it and publish it somewhere, which is great because then it’s out there in the world. And then, since complaining and writing don’t necessarily solve the problem, I do something about it. I make a resolution for myself, instead of waiting for other people to do it, or complaining about that other people don’t do it. So here I am. After complaining I’m writing putting my frustration out there.