writing

I Had a Dream

Literally.

Everyone dreams even though most of us don’t remember exactly what was it really about. For the last couple of months it seems like my dream memory is improving because almost every morning I vividly remember all the details which I find very amusing, but silly me, I would say to myself: “Woah, this was cool, I’m sure I won’t forget it this time!” But not surprisingly, if I don’t write it down right away, poof! It’s gone.

A year ago I could’ve sworn that I was a no dreamer, which is kind of sad when you think about it, not that dreams are always that interesting, but when you do the math (I didn’t, of course, someone did), in an average lifetime six years is spent dreaming. Not to mention the big range of artists who get inspired by dreams, breaking the line between what’s real and rational (at least by society’s standards) and otherworldly elements of human psyche, our behaviour, relationships and atmosphere in general. That is where the genuine, uncensored fun is born, but I’m going to stop myself from turning this into another David Lynch appreciation post. What I wanted to stress, everything can be dreamy if you want it to be, a ray of sun falling on the kitchen table, a bike ride, the view through the window, a cat sleeping on your lap… Just add a bit of filter – mental or through an app, it all counts.

babypics_1558896607936

I woke up this morning with a very detailed memory of a dream I had and I wrote it down on my cell phone and didn’t look at the notes since then, but somehow I still remembered everything, even the anxious atmosphere and the familiar, but also weird and unknown surroundings. So, now I’m going to get back to it and draw as much details I can to keep them here written until the world ends or until internet is down forever, which is the same thing.

The Projection

Winter time, or so I think judging by the clothes I was wearing. I got all dressed up to go to a very special projection in my favourite old cinema in the center of Zagreb called Kino Europa. This isn’t surprising because that place means a lot to me and in exactly a week it will be closed for renovation and no one really knows how long that’s going to take. There’s not even a guarantee it will be reopened as the same cinema again. But, that’s a story I’m not really eager to type into right now.

157577

Before I entered the cinema I met a random high school friend, we awkwardly said hi to each other and that was it. He was standing next to some other guy and they were selling flowers.

I was wearing a huge, fluffy fur coat (real fur, but don’t judge, it’s my dream) and started feeling nervous as soon as I saw the line of people waiting in front of the cloakroom, my usual ‘fuck this shit’ instinct kicked in and I started walking towards the stairs, but someone stopped me, “You can’t go upstairs with the coat.” In real life there’s no need to go upstairs in this cinema and I realized later that my mind combined the interior from Kino Europa and Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, which was a really cool mix.

It was finally my turn to hand in the coat, the woman working there mumbled under her breath: “It’s 10 lipa”. This is a ridiculously small amount of money, a 10 lipa coin is small, rusty and basically worthless. I gave her 20 lipa and said: “It’s ok, keep the change.”

tumblr_mvmbgozFEL1rn8ya7o1_500

source: rebloggy.com

The cloakroom situation doesn’t end here, instead of the usual routine of handing me the number that will connect me to my loving coat at the end of the night, the woman shows me a big piece of paper with everyone’s names on it. I had to sign it and somehow that will be enough. It didn’t make sense and I started asking questions making the woman rolling her eyes like I’m the biggest idiot ever. I’m still holding the coat and it’s very heavy, the woman takes it from my hands and marches to the back. I can’t find my full name on the paper, I’m getting very anxious at his point, I just want to sit down and enjoy the movie.

Another, younger woman comes back and shows me my first name on the list – Matea. “Yeah, but how do I know that’s me, there’s no last name. The woman nods her head, sighs, opens a laptop (I don’t know where it came from) and starts reading everything I ever put in my CV, but not the regular one, just the ones in Europass format. I have a couple of those in different languages written for different purposes so that’s a lot of information. Now I nod my head and pay 160 kunas (around 20 euros) for the movie ticket. I think to myself: “Well, this is quite expensive and yet so many people came.”

Finally, I go upstairs and enter the movie theater and sit down. I have no idea what movie I watched. I hope I got my coat back, though.

Advertisements

To Run In Disorder

Hello there, long time no see – I was busy falling down, creating scrapbooks, memories and friendships, having quite an unbalanced diet and dancing.

A big, messy pile of topics accumulates in my head every day, now it’s time to clean my mind shelves a bit, but not too much because cluttering is a lifestyle choice (clutter =to run in disorder) and I absolutely welcome it.

Imagine any  discussion – with family, friends, colleagues, random acquaintances, it doesn’t matter. The amount of  passion and determination I’ll put into the conversation depends of course on how interested I am in the topic, but mainly how well-informed I think I am. When you let yourself develop a certain level of getting away with words, you grow an ability to improvise along the way, it is supposed to be smooth and fun, like watching Fred Astaire’s  toe – tap dancing.

giphy

I don’t have a ‘go to’ topic I like to discuss, but movies are my safe place and well, fortunately, almost every topic can be analysed through movies. Now, *insert a jump cut* I want to talk about feminism and how the misuse of the word (and what it stands for) by useless campaigns and public figures annoys me, but even though I have a huge rant slowly pouring from the tip of my fingers, I won’t write about it. Let the movies do the talking this time. In no particular order, chosen because I’ve seen them in the past year or so, and also because they simply celebrate womanhood without fake spectacles, fireworks and ridiculous T-shirt signs.

feminism lol

 

Caramel

Even if you’re not a fan of getting out of the comfort zone of English-speaking film (but c’mooon), it’s necessary to sometimes give a chance to other parts of the globe.  How to start? My advice is to follow the sunrise and go east, it won’t be boring. I’m not sure where I found this gem, maybe it was an Instagram recommendation that caught my eye during a random scroll. It was simple, I was drawn to the title – Caramel, it just sounded yummy.

The plot is similar to the name – sweet, warm and easy to follow, acting is natural, the film’s down to earth atmosphere evokes a feeling that is getting a bit lost today in our constant thrill-seeking existence. Wise men say: the story doesn’t have to be extremely complicated to be intriguing. Often we crave simple pleasures, like caramel candy for example. You can quote me on that one.

Female director Nadine Labaki created a miniature world taking place in a beauty salon in Beirut where five female characters spend most of their time enjoying each other’s company. You may expect a lot of differences due to our cultural backgrounds, but relationships, struggles and desires are the same everywhere. Strength and fragility, eccentricity with a lot of humour can be found among these women of all ages. Everything is so familiar, yet unique. A silent Middle Eastern girl power anthem.

 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

A title that guarantees a poorly written scenario and hysteric overacting is misleading to say the least. I wish I watched this brilliant story of growing up when I was in my early teens, awkward and uncomfortable with myself and pretty much everything else around me.

Different sexual relations, drug experimentation, dysfunctional family, a teenager dating an older guy… sounds like a dark, fucked up story with a predictable tragic culmination and a fluffy moral message in the end. Instead, it’s a smart, witty and incredibly creative film that stays in mind even if your teen years are left behind a century ago. The exploration of female sexuality doesn’t have to be vulgar and exploitative, it can be written into a direct, bold, yet unconventionally easy-going story.  This film proves it by celebrating youth and turning insecurities into exciting new possibilities.

 

À Nos Amours

Maurice Pialat’s classic has been on my watch list for too long. I guess I knew I have to watch it from my pretentious ‘lover of everything artsy and French’ side, but I didn’t now if I would like it as much as I think I’m supposed to. It’s ridiculous, I know, but the most important thing is that in the end I wasn’t disappointed, AU CONTRAIRE mes amis!

First of all I was blown away by Sandrine Bonnaire’s performance, it was her first movie appearance and the character she’s playing is a confused, but determined 16-year-old. So, it’s not an easy one to say the least. Basically, Suzanne is everything I wanted to be when I was a teenager, but didn’t have the courage. Don’t get me wrong, this is much more than a cheeky teen romance story, it is also a raw depiction of a family falling apart and young girl’s anger turning into rebellious acts to affirm her existence. Sex and seduction are powerful tools in exploring one’s identity which is authentically shown in the film, and just like in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, not at all vulgar or cheap.

Mustang

There are times when after watching a movie I keep thanking myself that I did it because what I’ve experienced actually improved my life a bit. Traditional values which lead to oppression of young women, stripping them away from what they appreciate the most – their freedom – this is how I would describe Mustang in the shortest way possible. An important topic to discuss, but oh so frustrating when you think about that is not just a screen fiction in some parts of the world.

Placed in rural Turkey, five young sisters are playing on the beach with some boys from school. Lots of laughter, fun and as innocent it can be, but considered inappropriate by the local conservative standards. After the incident, their lives change when family members start looking for candidates they will get married to. During the process of finding the suitable pairs for the arranged marriage, the girls become prisoners in their home. This is where Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides influence is clear, but this is not a copy or remake of the celebrated 1999 drama.

What washes off the bitter taste of this absurd situation while watching the film are the sisters, their unity and love for each other, thinking of  clever tricks to make cracks in the wall that is crushing their youth and trying to break their spirits. Emotional, beautiful and inspiring celebration of girl power when it’s the most needed, when freedom and emancipation are endangered.

Carol

This Todd Haynes’ subtle masterpiece wouldn’t even be on this list if I haven’t seen it again a couple of days ago. After watching it, I felt guilty that the first time I’ve watched it when it came out, I didn’t ‘feel it’ and told my friends it’s not really worth a watch. Now I want to print out ‘WATCH CAROL PLS’  posters and hand them out to strangers on public transport. In my opinion, this is the best performance the goddess in human form Cate Blanchett ever delivered, and we all know she has a variety of amazing roles up her sleeve.

Love is a tricky topic to present on screen, to use in all forms of art actually. It’s universal, familiar to us all in some form, but also always unique and the artist has to be careful not to cross the line from being honest to turning into a cliché.

This is a love story between two women of different ages whose lives spontaneously  cross paths and after that nothing is the same. You can say it’s love at first sight, emotions are thrillingly intense, but they remain calm enough to allow their relationship develop naturally. It just feels right and close to home.

I’ve always been a sucker for details in film, Carol is full of them, using them to boost up the film’s low-key but breathtaking aura. The element of society standing in the way of people’s happiness is also present since it’s the 1950s, not a great time to be openly gay and trying to live your life to the fullest. Carol is unapologetically being herself from the start until the end even though it means breaking the so-called social conventions. The story is set around the Christmas season which adds just a little extra magic to the atmosphere, and is also another reason why December is a perfect time to watch it. Maybe even turning it into a tradition.

carol-film

– Tell me you know what you’re doing.

– I never did. 

Wisdom Teeth

Crying while watching a movie even though you’re not really sad means your soul just treated herself with a generous spa coupon.

I enjoy spending the nights reminiscing and being nostalgic about the things that didn’t happen and are not very likely to happen.

tumblr_oi0snp4w9d1rebgcoo1_1280

Artist: Ayham Jabr

Loving a track so much you get sick from overplaying it is as annoying as tearing a cuticle skin on public transport. Annoying, but inevitable.

Keep discovering my pleasure centers, but don’t be gentle, don’t be coy. Surprise is the magic word!

Complete anonymity is a rock made of gold, smudge some mud and shit all over so it doesn’t attract unnecessary guests.

cc8282b4b7ea06469a07e772ec541098.jpg

Artist: Beth Hoeckel

Whole day – whole night parties should last for one day and two nights.

Constantly wondering what the other person is thinking kills your charm and clips your wings.

The reason why something is illegal is not based on its dangerous nature, but it’s owner’s desire to keep it for himself.

Once you go glitter, you never go back. I’ve seen it happen to the best among us.

Pants are great, but never forget that they are optional.

Anthony Hopkins was 70 years old when he was diagnosed with autism – there’s always time for finding the explanation.

It’s art if you decide so. Just don’t be afraid to making fun of it every once in a while.

Never reject childlike emotions with an ‘I’m an adult now comment.’

Keep your friends close, keep your friends who sometimes wear mismatching socks closer, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Cheerleader-Throwing-Up-Glitter-Team-Spirit.gif

Never apologize for leaving lipstick stains on their pillow sheets.

Oversharing is not caring, but it sometimes has to be done.

If there’s no word for it – invent, mold it around your needs!

Onion Bulbs, Balloons and Sparkles

People I appreciate the most are those with complex inner worlds. Their mind is both cozy and scary destination where strong connections are being made, surfaces are reflective and the air is fresh. There are so many layers that a visitor can peel off slowly like holding a huge onion bulb.

Inner worlds mean stimulating thoughts, exciting ideas and bright eyes. Meeting someone for the first time, talking and looking them in the eyes, it’s easy – there is something unpredictable going on in the back, I caught the infamous twinkle, a spark in the eye. Literally and figuratively. It’s nice, we’re cool. Even though it sounds banal, the twinkle eyed folks are not very common (or are just not easy to find in typical environment), and the experts are not exactly predicting a sparkly future.

The arch-enemy of the spark is not just dullness of the mind, to be politically correct, oh no, I’ve seen many brittle minds being suffocated by the haze of an inflated ego. Self obsession can start subtly, we are all spending too much time in our heads over-analyzing unimportant events instead of building our own cities and countries, but once it spreads on other vital organs, it’s probably too late. Metastasis. The haze is addicting and the sense of judgement is fragile. Even the good, altruistic deeds now get projected into puzzle pieces that want to turn everything  about the person into something remarkable.

There are two platforms – the foggy, disproportionately big headed ego dances on the first one, and everything beneath is a stale waltz of the common folk.

When ego reaches its last stage and the head gets so inflated that the person can’t carry it around anymore, the body rejects the head and the amount of air makes it float away. It may be forever.

Next time you see a body looking, hearing and tasting its surroundings with its limbs, don’t be scared or feel sorry for it, it’s not a tragedy. Even a beaten up body is more useful than the most beautiful balloon head, the only problem we may need to worry about is the atmosphere being  cluttered with too many of those skipping up and down and bumping into each other. We could be encountering a new form of global warming.

 

Self Portrait 2012 by Morbido13

Source: deviantart

 

The Dada Method

It’s been a while since I wanted to do this, I used to do it when I was a kid. With books. Everyone was angry when they found out, of course.

How to make a dadaist poem? Just do what Tristan Tzara, the inventor of dadaism says:

dada1

That’s exactly what I did, I found last weeks newspaper laying around, chose the first short article I saw at the bottom of the page in the news section and this is the result (not sure how I feel about the comment how the poem is supposed to be like me). The headline is added afterwards, it wasn’t created by random words I was mixing up. Of course the original was in Croatian since I used local newspaper, but I tried to keep it literal while translating.

 

School Break

formation of the Kentucky attacker

the state

because of the shooting Twitter reacted

the reasons are fought down

celebrities in the middle

shooting published shooting state

one federal governor wounded

it came tested middle

claimed

about rarity but in detention

school is to be more schools

real didn’t

agency published to school

across the police is

person one killed

the police governs them

_20180131_143028

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Kick Yourself in the Ass and Other Important Advice

In most cases I think being nice to people is the only possible way of being. The fact that I’m, just like everyone else, surrounded by rude, pushy, generally just very self obsessed humans doesn’t stop me from holding up the wall of niceness throughout the day. That wall isn’t built because I’m an amazing person, it comes from selfish reason. It’ s almost like self preservation even though I feel it damages me more and more in a subtle, but visible way.

1413812976_image_561006142212152362081

I think it’s selfish because I don’t feel good when others don’t, especially if  something I may have said or done made them uncomfortable. I’m thinking of small stuff that happens in daily interactions with neighbors, colleagues, people you meet during the day, but don’t know them or you just don’t share a deeper connection.

Before writing this I spent a good 10 minutes unconsciously damaging the skin around my finger nails just thinking about situations when a person was being insulted, humiliated or just failing at something and me trying to smooth things up, calm people down or trying to give a humorous tone to an awkward situation. Again, I do it to protect myself from feeling anxious, hurt or most likely trying to hide from the horrible agony of second hand embarrassment. I invented cringe before it existed, I must have cringed at bad jokes and disgusting pick up lines on TV as soon as I could make sense of the words I was hearing. Or maybe even sooner, I was born in a floating balloon of cringiness that is too powerful to break down.

Be nice to keep things going without unnecessary trouble even if the lady at the bank is giving you shit. You’ll see here now and probably never again. Fake a smile or two, trow in a wink if you’re feel like it, it confuses people and gives you enough time to escape and let them think. Maybe. If not, still, you win by the score Universe is tracking.

This doesn’t mean I am against a good argument and heated discussion. I’m all about that, actually I’m not into people agreeing with me completely on every single subject because I can’t learn or improve myself from being around those people. Again, the selfishness is my hidden charm.

The lack of lashing out at people has its downsides because I seem to directly inhale all of the negative and passive aggressive energy I get thrown at and carry it around in my gut like a ticking time bomb until I can’t do it anymore and the only wish is to disembowel myself samurai style. The results of the bomb finally exploding is me being offensive and mean towards the people I love for a short period of time and then being incredibly mad at myself for much longer period.

Luckily, the explosion doesn’t kill me but makes me wait until my limbs are ready to grow again, learning how to crawl first and then getting up to walk slowly, rebuilding the fragile brain and body connections from scratch while replacing all the negative with clarity and hugs. Lots of hugs.

Final step means saving the energy for future battles because it is certain that they never stop completely. It’s much easier when you’re aware that all of this is bullshit with a casual ticks of fun – that’s what I meant by clarity.

 

P.S. Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday, it’s time to celebrate so grab your balloon.

 

 

 

Sunday Clichés

Ideally, Sundays should be all about:

  • sleeping in without feeling guilty for avoiding responsibilities
  • breakfast + coffee in bed
  • staying in bed for as long as possible
  • cuddles and kisses
  • showering is optional (depends on how wild your Saturday night was)
  • brushing your teeth isn’t optional, but feel free to take your time
  • deliberately missed phone calls
  • writing haiku poetry inspired by random objects in the room
  • fluffy socks
  • watching this movie

mb

  • online food orders
  • inventing new wor(l)ds
  • being quiet
  • being too loud
  • more coffee
  • screenplay ideas
  • finishing a scrapbbook
  • firmly deciding about painting over that wall even though you know it’s not going to happen
  • laughing about it
  • raindrops on the window that will all be gone by Monday
  • uninstalling Pinterest from your phone
  • the dogs taking themselves for a walk
  • movie soundtracks
  • serial killers/real life crime documentaries
  • convincing everyone Lana del Rey is one of the greatest living artists
  • having too long conversations about which numbers are male or female
  • the same thing with colors
  • and geometrical objects
  • exploring Marina Abramović’s career phases
  • crying a bit because you’re not Marina, feeling better afterwards because you’re at peace with yourself
  • finally watch the rest of Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
  • going to bed early because you never really left it in the first place

 

_20171203_195709

 

Pucker Up Babe, Winter Is Coming

When it’s good, it’s easy. Everything feels smooth, makes sense and gives an impression of stability, like it will last forever. Then comes the bitter comedown when feelings hit back in the opposite direction, a knockdown is inevitable. A fucked up defense mechanism panics, it turns all mind and bodily functions into a battery saving mode, limiting my willingness for social interaction to a minimum. It’s not the lack of willingness actually, it has more to do with the ability to function like an adult and not like a spoiled, wrangling baby.

4597afd9c28a69667cdca76e739959a5

All of this is nothing but a shitty way of myself trying to explain my actions to no one other than myself which is a contradiction since I’m afraid I’m not the most objective observer right now, or ever. It’s all fun and games but when the ‘elephant day’ comes –  the feeling of the biggest elephant casually sitting on my chest,  changing positions just a bit so I can catch a glimpse of air to keep me conscious – that’s when  I feel the need to catch up with what’s new on Button Poetry, a community led by awesome, talented and brave people sharing the talent and joy of playing with words rolling down their swift tongues.

Performance poetry, what an honest beauty! Raw, direct, clumsy, but genuine to its core. Everything I want to be. The cathartic feeling of recognizing the lines of your stupid face in those verses is naturally amusing, sometimes scary, oh but it’s much more than that!  Even the stories of people whose life paths don’t really cross with ours bring an abundance of inspiration (in a lack of a better word because my word treasure box is restricted and dull at the moment).

One of the most successful performance poet is this Amazon queen warrior named Sabrina Benaim whose videos keep punching me in the face, making my nose bleed and my stomach ache. 

Not to mention the different types of awe I’m feeling, firstly because of the incredible amount of courage it takes to rip your old wounds open in front of thousands of people, the non given fucks concurring the hell out of insecurities and fear of being mocked for your weaknesses. Because,  you know, we’a re all so cool, independent and distant hiding behind memes, hashtags, sarcasm or whatever you choose to get high on. More than 6 million views on her most popular video performance makes me think how I would rather get physically naked and do back flips on stage in front of that amount of people.

But like the Ancient Greeks and I together concluded, it’s all about reaching the sense of being reborn, brushing the dirt off your shoulders and moving on. I wish I could do any of those,  the back flips and public poetry. Maybe even combine them.

 

Btw, if you want to buy me a perfect Christmas gift, look no further, thanks: depression & other magic tricks

Surprise Me!

I’m in love with stories that surprise me. Whether it’s a short story, a newspaper column, anecdote or a movie, doesn’t matter as long as there’s a plot turn that makes me question my own reality. It’s also irrelevant if the surprise is positive or negative, subtle or loud, realistic or pure science fiction – just hit me with it, expand my mind just  bit beyond the borders of a mold it is currently in.

Watching a predictable drama or Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy can be both fun and cathartic every once in a while, but when it comes to movies, the unusual genre hybrids are what keeps this love going strong.

I’ve already heard impressions about Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ unusual ways of coming up with stories before I watched one of his films and naturally developed my share of expectations. I knew I would encounter something atypical and was very much looking forward to that.

The first one I watched was The Lobster, a 2015 dystopian drama probably taking somewhere in the near future. I already wrote a piece about that one so I don’t want to repeat myself, I just wanted to stress out how it exceeded my expectations. I was baffled, impressed and entertained in a unique way. It met all my ‘surprise me’ wishes and put Lanthimos on the list of foreign directors I keep yapping about to my friends, pulling their arm and saying: But trust me, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! TRUST MEEE, go watch it! Read the reviews,  here’s the trailer link, did you watch it? Did you like it? Did you? Isn’t it funny when you realize why the film is named Lobster, is it? Can you imagine this happening to us one day?

And so on.

At the moment I’m impatiently awaiting The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the latest Lanthimos’ work so today I decided the time has come to go back in time and watch 2009 critically acclaimed film Dogtooth. Of course I didn’t expect it to have anything to do with The Lobster, but the cold, sterile atmosphere crept on me right from the beginning and that’s when I was able to recognize a similarity. The feeling of alienation and characters pronouncing the dialogue like reading school textbook lines in a bad play while  turning absurd statements into logical conclusions are shared in both movies.

That is where the comparison ends and the weirdest plot I have ever seen begins (and I’ve seen Martyrs, thank you for asking).

Three teenagers live with their controlling parents, completely separated from the real world. By that I don’t mean they go straight back home from school to do their homework, they never leave home and are literally unaware of other people or anything that’s going on in the world (assuming that it really is our world), the only one who leaves the property is the father who works in some kind of factory. The children (two sisters and a brother) are told they can leave home on the day their ‘dogtooth’ falls out.

They are coming up with endurance games to keep themselves busy, have gathering ‘parties’ by watching old family videotapes that they already know by heart or listening to their grandpa singing. A little spoiler alert – the man they think is their grandpa is actually Frank Sinatra singing Fly Me To The Moon. Those poor kids.

At times it felt like a much more censored and brutal version of  The Truman Show, but the rest of the story is far more original in making levels of absurd hitting the ceiling. I caught myself often getting annoyed by the characters – their way of talking, reacting to pain, following their animal instincts, general lack of empathy or any kind of usual reaction. But then again, there’s no place for normality in a story like this one so who can blame them? Their family dinner time taken out of the context sounds like a bad improvised sketch performed by not too intelligent amateur actors.

Oh and please remember that the cats are the most dangerous animals you can ever encounter and that zombies are small yellow flowers.

Confusion, sex, violence, incest, more violence, confusion and the open ending is how I would put it shortly. At the end of the day,  I’m glad I watched it but the feeling of having a 90 minute physical fight with this film is something I wouldn’t like to go through again.  I think I can finally say I watched something that was just too much for me to absorb or break down to pieces and analyze. But it sure did surprise me, disturbed me, but made me laugh at the most unusual moments, and like I said at the beginning, that’s the most important part.

 

Lightly, My Darling

It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly, child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling.

Read it out loud, this beautiful excerpt may sound familiar, it is from the utopian novel called Island, told by even more beautiful mind of Aldous Huxley.

I know I need to read it once again because I think I would have much more use from it (if I may say so) now than I did 4 or 5 years ago. I think about all those books that I read a long time ago and it’s not that I didn’t enjoy them or understand them, it’s just that it may have been too soon.

One of our crazy high school teachers actually made some sense when he said that he agrees that making a bunch of 17-year-olds read Marcel Proust’s Combray in a short period and then expect them to identify with the novel’s main subject – the passing of time, is ridiculous. Proust was obsessed with destructive effect time has on people, events and relationship, an obsession worth having if you ask me now, but what the fuck does a kid in high school have to do with that?

The only thing that happens after reading Proust when you’re that young is deciding you don’t want to have anything to do with his work ever again. Ten years later, I still remember how unbelievably confusing Combray was, even though I didn’t hate it as much as most of my peers. Ten years later, I haven’t yet decided it’s time to go back to it and continue reading the remaining six volumes, more than 4 000 pages aptly named In Search of Lost Time. I still have time to lose before I start feeling really bad about it, at least that’s what I’m counting on.

aldous-huxley-island

Huxley’s Island on the other hand acts as a sedative, but not a mind numbing kind, it slows down time in an enlightening way. If you compare the cruel, frightening reality of Brave New World and Buddhist influences on Island – his last novel, it makes me happy that Huxley didn’t get more scared and worried as he got old and sick as if it’s somehow expected from an average modern mind’s point of view.

The key to being lucid and painfully aware of everything that is wrong (is dystopia our reality?) while making peace with your current state without feeling powerless or out of focus is of course not yet known to me. The path is, I believe, somewhere between Proust’s melancholia and fragility and Huxley’s spiritual philosophy that was often enhanced by psychedelic drugs he started experimenting with in the 1950s.

A couple of days ago I learned what his last moments were like, which made me like him even more, not because of ‘wow, he’s so cool’ factor, but because I think it represents a great mind fully embracing everything that is happening. The decaying body does not equal a decaying mind.

On his deathbed, unable to speak due to advanced laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for “LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular”.

There are things known

and there are things

unknown,

and in between are

the doors of perception.