So tell me,
where shall I go?
To the left, where nothing's right,
or to the right, where nothing's left?
(by Higher Perspective)
So tell me,
where shall I go?
To the left, where nothing's right,
or to the right, where nothing's left?
(by Higher Perspective)
The Apostle of Temperance
'Why have you decided to smoke?' asks me five years old boy, my friend's son.
'I don't remember why, it's been a long time ago. I'd like to change my mind though' I tell him.
'Before I was in mammy's belly and my brother was on a cloud, my mammy smoked also. But then one day, she decided not to. Maybe you can smoke less and less, and one day just stop?' he says.
'Maybe you right. Perhaps I should try' I say. I can't believe the seriousness of this conversation.
'Try', steps in his brother, who is three years of age. 'It might work. And if it won't, it won't', he says in tone which suggests that it would be okay, too.
'If it won't work, maybe you can try some other way', persists five years old.
'Like what? Do you know?' I ask.
'I don't know right away. But I'll think about it' he replies.
Their mum takes them to bed. I go outside for a cigarette.
'How did he managed to formulate the question this way?' I ask my friend afterwards.
'Because we raise them this way' she smiles. 'We tell them people make choices, and they must be respected, no matter the story. Of course, it is a great challenge to explain to such age kids the difference between their mum having an odd glass of wine with dinner, and a homeless man, each evening walking the city in zigzags , talking language unknown', she spreads caramel on a slice of toast and gives it to me.
My god. They teach the boys not to judge.
'You told them you use to smoke?' I ask her, a little surprised. 'You smoked two cigarettes a year, like.'
'But I did, didn't I?'
'I don't want to shock the boys, by revealing the truth about myself ten years down the road, like our parents have done', she reminds.
Yes. I understand. And I am grateful, for this parenting class just on time.
Coalition of Irrelevant
(in a French cafe)
I am hijacked by loneliness these days.
Lots of sadness flow by closed doors to madness.
Wine glasses are one of the most elegant things in the world.
Men with decent cameras are the sexiest.
I swing my crossed leg.
I look at how it swings.
Conscience is just a random nice word on the wall.
Rain spreads its mist on my designer blazer while I smoke a cigarette outside.
Not a chance I'd do that in Ireland.
But I never drink coffee at 6pm in Ireland, too.
Holidays are for to do things we don't usually do.
I still have a habit to buy random things in Lithuania.
Now I own a bizarre red hat.
A man next to me drinks 'Red Brick' beer.
Through the open door we watch fancy cars.
Vilnius puts on the lights
(...I know I know. But at least I can write in English this time.)
Alice went to the woods. Birds warble, mushroom pickers drink Coca Cola, peel boiled eggs for breakfast, bicycle thieves, delighted with themselves, getting ready for bed. Peace and quiet. Thereby Alice met a fox. The fox asked: 'Alice, would you like some fresh raspberries?' - 'Yes please, - cheered Alice, - I would love some fresh raspberries!' The fox got embarrassed, as for she doesn't have any, she only asked to sound polite. And how could you possibly have fresh raspberries, it's January, snow and ice cover bedspread all raspberry bushes.
- I only have raspberry jam, - admitted the fox with slight disappointment, - shall we jamm?
- You're grand, - replied Alice, - all good, I got rum in my bag, show me the jam, we'll make some sandwiches some baps and strike a party, will be fun!
And so it was, fun for everyone, and in the morning no one woke up being sad. We live once, right, so no point to sob or to distress your heart, said Alice to the fox, and powered down the laptop.
...by Agnė Žagrakalytė, 'Pure truth about Alice Meler'.
Translated from Lithuanian. By me. Discovering new forms of poetry...
-Tove Jansson, Moomin, Vol.1
Dublin is warm and wet.
Isabel's fingernails are painted in coral red, to match her new cashmere jumper. And gentle burning passion for the man, who'll bring fresh fish for her tonight.
I listen to her talk about the possibility of a new job, about an ice-cream that she fell in love, about an empty wardrobe, and what a peculiar latest amusement - watching birds!
She sings her song, I paint my fingernails same red coral.
With rhubarb pie we sip Darjeeling tea.
And nothing above the earthly world needs to happen, to enjoy the presence of a dear friend.
It is enchanting as it is.
I'll leave my magnifying glass at home to have a rest...
Isabel drives me to the airport to catch a plane.
Luke 12: 34
- the ability to control life by controlling yourself.
If you lie about the small things, you will cause a catastrophe when faced with the big things. Be honest now to have more character later.
For better or worse
'Dear Universe, please make things go tomorrow the way that is better for me, not the way I want', I mumbled in trust before falling asleep.
That night I had a dream.
I was wandering a city, a little unfamiliar, but at the same time, known to me. I sensed something wasn't quite right about the place, but I couldn't tell what exactly. I kept on walking the empty old streets in search for an exit, as that stuffiness in the air was too much to bear. After a while, I came out by a tall weary wall which surrounded the entire city. There were two exit doors - one on the left, and one on the right side, both slightly open. I went to the door on the left and opened it widely. All I saw was a dirty beach and the ocean with unsettled horizon. I turned on my heels and went to the door on the right side. To my great disappointment, the scenery was the same. My nostrils recognized the smell of intense gothic moisture - moss on stone, moisture - the old and the dark, the past and the question marks. I stood there, digesting what I was seeing. Suddenly I realised that somebody looks after these exists. The doors were left open because of the present low tide. It felt like the city was given a chance to exhale, or inhale after a stormy night, or something along those lines. So when the high tide comes along, they close the doors to protect the city from flooding, I thought to myself. The city is drowning? Do people who live here know about it? My sixth sense whispered they do. Indeed, I started to think how on earth I was to get out from this place.
Vivid was the dream. Clear and so perfectly symbolic that I woke up knowing how all will go today.
I knew he'll say No.
I chew a tip of a pen watching unusually delicate sensibility of this elderly man. I watch how calm objectivity, certainty about things and rich knowledge transforms into an instinct of a child, who apparently struggles to understand boundaries and so insists on knowing 'who is in charge here'.
'Briga, who has the last word?' he draws the line.
I put the pen down.
'What do you want?' I ask him a straight forward question.
'I want control over the project. I want to make it better' he says.
'Give me an example of 'better'' I ask.
He has none. He just knows he cannot deal with being 'controlled'. He cannot deal with someone else correcting his draft. It makes him feel small. It's not that he is not good enough to take part in this project, he is. He writes well, when supervised. But he just won't do it, because acknowledgement will have to be shared. And that is just too much to give up. Silly old Ego. Fair enough.
'My dear Albert, a chara. You're forgetting the project has copyrights. You cannot be in charge of an idea you didn't come up with' I remind, and try to open a bigger vision hoping it might help.
'Look at this project as a business proposition' I wink. 'Let's have fun and write about it. Let's put it all into one story, release a book, make people laugh. Let's make some money, get a little known, and walk our own literary ways afterwards. Ha? What do you say?', I hear myself adopting first signs of 'entrepreneur' mindset and I feel glad.
He looks curious; I see a sparkle in his eyes. But. The silly old Ego reminds him why he is here in a first place. That's the idea of someone else! It means he'll need to 'comply' with one or two things. So the answer is No. It never was (was it not?) and never will be this way! Besides, he's busy. He has his own things to write, in fact - three of them. And he doesn't need money. So hey! He is not going to share the fame! He wants it all to himself. He needs it all. (The Ego has reasons but he wouldn't reveal that to my friend. It's job is to protect it, not to tell.) In seventy years time he never managed to make it, but this time he will. Glorious marvelous Cork Albert knows best. So I may feck off.
I walk home annoyed.
This was a rare moment when someone's you thought you knew devil's tail slipped out of pants. A moment, when I wanted to scream in his face: 'You obviously didn't learn much this lifetime, old man!' But I didn't, thanks to god. I let Albert go and do 'better'. I let him open and close the gates of a city as the tides come and go. Those walls are very very old though. I wonder, how long they'll hold.
First failed attempt to craft a bigger literary piece is nothing but an inspiration and self-acknowledgement. It's a good feeling to know I can do things others can't. It means I'll make it. And that is all I need to know for now.
We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.
is a bit of an enigma as he vibrates indefinable. He is an echo of the unreal and the illusionary.
Pisces represents death and eternity. So how do you describe the latter? How do you specify the ambiguous? Can you imagine something with no shape, no form, no substance, no direction, no time, no reference points? This is the murky dreamland of Pisces, in which we reach beyond physical reality, beyond social reality, beyond the unconscious, beyond everything that is known. What do we find, out there? Only Pisces knows. But he won't tell. And even if he did - would we be able to understand?
Pisces' nature is blend of all twelve zodiac signs, a lot to cope with.
Cancer and Scorpio are symbolically half-land-half-water creatures, but the fish can't breathe air. He must live in cool green water, sometimes muddy, always moving. His soul is always near the light and the dark. Pisces is a sign of contradictions. A symbol of duality and sacred union.
Pisces is the great chameleon of the zodiac. 'What you see is what you get' is not a case with Pisces. His moods, opinions, perspectives are ever changing. He doesn't know exactly what he thinks or who he is. He can turn on tears, than turn on sunshine by pressing the invisible switch. Neither is truly real. It is all illusion of Pisces and he finds it hard to tell the difference itself. Often he has a major lack of direction, clarity and sharpness. He carries on without knowing where to, how and why. He can be spacey and aloof. He denies having a dark side.
Pisces find it hard to deal with 'collective reality' as he tends to miss 'a beat' at time. But he wants to be just like everyone else; he insists on having a place in this bizarre and greatly challenging world. So he often pretends to be able to blend in. Pisces is good at make-believe. He has a sarcastic, clever tongue, and often wears his laugh as a mask. He acts selfless and stays smug about his saintly self-denial. Pisces rides a rollercoaster most of the time - going into a mystical trance or most severe depression.
Although Pisces is perhaps the most powerless of mortals, he secretly envisions himself as a ruler of the world. Pisces has a syndrome of 'misunderstood genius'. His memory is legendary. Forgiving takes time.
Symbol of fish swimming in the opposite directions symbolise the choice which is given to Pisces - swim to the top or swim to the bottom and never quite reach his goal. Though it's never easy to either real or human fish to struggle and fight their way upstream. It takes less effort to go with the current, wherever it takes them. To swim upstream is a challenge for Pisces - and the only way he ever finds true peace and happiness. Life for Pisces is either the most difficult obligation a soul can choose, or a chance to reach perfect fulfilment. Sad story is that, often, Pisces won't be able to find the happy middle, the balance point between valuing his dreams and crafting them into shape. When these sort of things (confrontation with reality) happens, Pisces simply becomes disillusioned, embittered, and so he gives up.
Pisces dark side never knows where and when to draw the line. He easily 'lets himself go' and tends to be fragile physically as well as emotionally. He breaks either into a genuine psychosis, or into self-destruction - whether quick or slow kind like drug addiction or alcoholism, or in subtle, unnoticed destruction of another. It's rarely overt, it's all under the surface. It often turns out that Pisces who always denounced sugar, drugs, smoke, porn, or hypocrisy is an enthusiastic consumer or practitioner of same.
Serve or suffer is yet another famous cliche of Pisces. He happens to glimpse into different wounds, so he has inner compassion. He absorbs every pain. Most Pisces don't know how to say No. Often he buries his personal dreams to brighten odd corners of relatives and friends.
The journey of Pisces life is often the one of moving through periods when everything seems to be falling apart and nothing yet has come together into a new form. 'The future may beckon but the past is still unravelling' kind of way. In essence, Pisces represents not so much type of a person as a rendition of human nature. He is any man's distorted, exaggerated, but a true mirror.
Pisces is idealistic and enthusiastic, but usually without drive. He has such a talent and vision he is the most blessed of men. Yet so often his life is a failure. When life dumps him into hopeless conditions, instead of leaping out of the murky danger, he is more inclined to hide behind his pale green illusion, which keep him from making practical decisions. He often lacks power, discipline and continuity. Perhaps strong emotional side, a state of being that generally seems to take over much of his logic at time. Pisces dreams his way through life.
He lives in lonely understanding of truth too deep to express in words...
(...written in collaboration with Linda Goodman.)
Astrology is just another tool I use to understand human nature better. I find it helps me to take an extra step in greater compassion and empathy towards another. When we understand - we forgive. When we forgive - we accept (we stop judging). When we accept - we love. Easily.
is the darkest of all zodiac signs.
He is a fallen angel lifting up the sky.
Scorpio represents the elements which are considered to be taboo, or are forbidden in society altogether (such as religion, sex, and death). Scorpio represents which is hidden and unseen in our psyches. Scorpio represents our subconscious and unconscious longings. In essence, Scorpio represents which is truly dark and fierce within our collective psyche.
In astrology, Scorpio rules the night. According to folklore, the night is associated with the dark, hidden and demonic.
Scorpio constantly walks the edge between the dark and the darkest dark. To him darkness - is normal human nature, it's always beside. Scorpio is attracted to dark shadows, and wants to know the darkest secrets of the world. He is fascinates about all phases of life and death, and tends to experiment with the darkest mysteries. He has this morbid desire to know the worst. He goes places other's simply can't. No avenue is too dark, forbidden, risky, or dangerous for him. He has no fear. He flirts with danger. He understands pain like no others. He can overcome any blow. Scorpio was born knowing the secrets of life and death, and has the ability to conquer both, if he chooses. He could be a sinner, or a saint. That's a grand magic of Scorpio.
Deep inside him is the most intense power. Scorpio has an incredible ability to focus, stamina of a thousand people, creative superpowers, and on top of all that - brilliant mind. In other words - Scorpio is tough and determined, well equipped, has a desire (to win), goes for it, and conquers. His dark and mysterious power turns a desired dream into reality.
There is no pretence about Scorpio, what you see is what you get. He digs deep looking for the truth, keeps his emotions and opinions to himself, and takes nothing at face value. Having issues with trust, Scorpio is the natural detective of the zodiac, so it is best not to use any type of deception, prevarication or falsehood when encountering him.
It's difficult to 'pin down' Scorpio. He fools many easily. He doesn't flatter. He dictates. In general, Scorpio is all about the Ego.
When Scorpio is bad, he is horrid. Paranoid, vengeful, self-destructive. He has the ancient hatred rooting in his heart. He knows how to burn you down and bring your pride out. Scorpio is a fixed water sign. Look at what a glacier can do to the earth to have an idea of the power of Scorpio. He takes control slowly, but very surely. He can destroy your Universe. The good (bad?) news - no one is able to destroy his.
Scorpio seeks dark shadows and lies dormant sometimes. Melancholy and hard work can make him ill. But he never slides deep enough into bitter depression (as Pisces does), and never gets down on his knees to pray for help (as does Cancer). Scorpio is supported by Pluto (which runs nuclear power) meaning when the time will come, he will rise from his own ashes again (this way personifying resurrection from the grave).
His mastery of personality is the one to be envied.
Scorpio reforms itself each lifetime.
Pisces is afraid of Scorpio's clarity. He makes darkness whisper into Cancer's ear.
I have a sense, Scorpio doesn't know sadness. His nostalgia is pure - Scorpio was born during the November rain...
'Tough, ha?' I asked one my Scorpio friend the other day.
'Could be. But I take it as a compliment' he stroked half a smile.
This kind of attitude sobers me up.
is famous for his (her) passing moods. One moment he could be in a beautiful flight of fancy, the next - in the dampness of melancholy that deeply hurts. All just happens, with no particular reason; something Cancer cannot control. The sky can lift up, or fall down on him in a blink of an eye. And no one knows why. Maybe because of the hypersensitivity that these people are made off, sometimes I think. Cancers are like those glasses full of water - they gather, absorb and reflect all what happens around.
When the dark wave comes along, Cancer can get very intense. He'll wrap himself into a wet blanket and sob his heart out until shiver and shake. Cancer's tears are never crocodile tears. They come from the very bottom of his fragile and vulnerable (too soft?) heart. People say Cancer tends to exaggerate. In a way - yes, sometimes. But please remember that Cancer feels the world. So that also might be exactly how the world feels at that particular moment, for him. Cancer easily connects to everything. And he embraces it all. May that be the light or the darkness, no different. When Cancer is high, he is really high. When he is low, he can dive into depression deeper than the ocean floor. Pretty extreme alright. Doesn't take much for Cancer to get disappointed in life.
Cancer has many fears which haunt his days and nights in a vague sense. Most of these fears relate to security, as Cancer afraid to lose things he already possesses. He has an addictive personality; he clings to all sort of things. He clings to darkness, as well. In this case, he'd better to stay away from Scorpio's dark charms. Scorpio can trick him into a gloomy prison cell, where Cancer, most likely, will lock himself in.
There is a lot of uncertainty and despair around Cancer. Pessimism is never too far away ready to spoil a lovely day. And the inner voice keeps nagging him without a break. Cancer knows what's best for the world and so he tries hard to be the perfect light that shines bright. Even that he already is that shining light. But that is not the point, according to him. Cancer is barely good enough for himself.
And yes, Cancer is sad. But his sadness is not necessarily bad. Cancer in general likes to lull, to lurk and to loiter, anywhere really, so the clouds of sadness above suits his nature well. Sadness is shady, misty, slow, quiet and still. The one without nostalgia attached. If nostalgia is present, sadness turns 'bad'. Then Cancer has a hard time getting rid of it.
Cancer likes to know. He broods over everything. He wants to understand why. He is sort of mental archeologist, always digging for facts. When Cancer falls back - misery sets in. Often he feels a victim, and so he complains. Worry and apprehension can make him ill.
But Cancer keeps moving no matter what. Maybe without such passion as Scorpio has, but keeps tipping along. He could have a good bit of a distance walked, before he stumbles into a deep hole. And if he falls down there on his back, oh boy. He turns blue. He goes to sleep and wakes up in darkness. That is one big challenge for Cancer - to turn upside down and to climb out of a hole. Takes time.
But the Moon changes and Cancer gets back on a smooth path. Cancer always gets back on the track. He never loses his sight (as Pisces does), no matter how dark. Cancer never gives up.
The concept of zodiac originates in Babylonian astrology, 3rd millennium BC. According to astrology, celestial phenomena relates to human activity on the principle of 'as above, so below', so that the signs are held to represent characteristic mode of expression.
I do not fully understand the stars from a geometrical point of view, but, I believe, I have the insights into four classical elements, identified as Fire, Earth, Air and Water. They are all equal, of the same age. Each rules its own province, and each possesses its own individual character. Different mixtures of these elements produce the different nature of things, that is why we interpret and relate to the world, our own selves and each other, in different, unique ways. NATURE. It's a big word, agree? I am talking here about the inborn, not a hereditary determinant of personality.
In Latin - Natura - means 'birth, nature, quality.' I call it a natural force, which is responsible for physical life and exists independently of human activities. Nature is humankind's original (natural) uncontrolled condition, simplifies the Dictionary of Cambridge.
I believe our nature can be modified only slightly.
Many of us are not in-tuned with our nature at all. Others deplore it, even deny it. Especially when it comes to the so called 'negative' forces like sadness, melancholy, apathy, procrastination, depression, etc. In our culture they are classified as being forces of the dark. Like it or not, they are part of everyone's nature. In bigger or smaller amounts.
I am psychologically-oriented believer in stars. I also feel people's energy fields - auras.*
today I'll share with you a broad understanding of my own, drawn from the encounters with other two water signs, my sisters and brothers, Scorpios and Pisces. Beside myself, the Cancer girl. On topic: how do we relate to darkness.
Before I begin, there is a list of a few significant facts to take into an account.
According to the astrological polarity, Water signs are considered to be negative (or introvert) feminine signs.
All three considered, as direct equivalent to Hippocrates personality types, as being melancholic.
All three are self-containing, masters of emotions, empathy and sensitivity.
That is what we have in common.
What differs, are:
(1) Astrological modalities.
Cancer is a cardinal sign. It means he/she is dynamic, initiative, and most of the times - in action. Great force.
Scorpio is a fixed sign. He/she is resistant to change, inflexible, and has great will power.
Pisces are a mutable sign. Flexible, adaptable, and resourceful.
(2) Different planets. Planets have energies of their own (positive and negative) which highly influence the zodiac signs.
Cancer's planet is The Moon.* The Moon represents the basic nature of our instincts and feelings. It has a nurturing influence that gives a deep impression and unique sensitivity within the mind.
Scorpio is ruled by Mars (modern astrologers also suggest Pluto). Think of Mars as a double shot of espresso in the morning. Mars is fueled by passion, sex, love, death and rebirth. Pluto extends this power overboard.
Pisces, by Jupiter (Neptune). This is a kind and benevolent planet, one that wants us to grow and flourish in a positive way. As the guardian of the abstract mind, this planet rules higher learning (expansion).
(3) Different houses. The houses of the horoscope represent a specific area of life described in terms of physical surroundings as well as personal life experiences.
Cancer - House of Home and Family (translates as Parent).
Scorpio - House of Reincarnation (translates as Death).
Pisces - House of Self-Doing (translates as Prison).
According to a mode of expression, houses are classified:
Angular - (keyword - Action) for Cancer.
Succedent - Security, for Scorpio.
Cadent - Learning, for Pisces.
According to the four classical elements (Fire, Earth, Air and Water), houses can be grouped together by triplicity, relating the signs to a level of experience.
Level of experience for all three Water signs - emotional, Soul.
No wonder we are most in-tuned with darkness.
In the next three posts you'll find a short generalisation of my own understanding of a classical knowledge of zodiac signs. There always be variations depending on our culture, intellectual background and psychological traumas. Also, this and that what it comes to the stars. If you are interested in people and the stars, you'll find plenty of information available nowadays via books and websites. Or, perhaps, you already know.
So I'll just tickle my own mind for a while, hehe
*You can either see, or feel auras.
*The Sun and The Moon are not exactly the planets. In astrology, they are The Lights. Five planets which rule the other ten signs (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) are the wanderers.
(...to be continuing)
these two crocuses overlooked a fall vineyard, post harvest, and an olive grove, not to mention the grounds of chateau coujan, where the grapes would be made into wine, and the olives into oil. we might all be as cheery as a yellow crocus, if we had been planted in such soil.
(coujan, languedoc, france)
This piece is from one of my favourite blogs.
A lady, the author of this blog, posts one image of gathered piece of nature, each day.
'This blog', she says, 'is a place to stop. A place to look at one thing at a time. A place to be still.'
I, with thousands of others, gratefully share my morning tea with her every day.
THIS IS NOT A DIARY ANY MORE
Celebrations of two years in Cork.
Welcome to the theatre of heart's blue eye.
it's been two years of lower and lows. it's been the episodes of rolling down the drain.
it's been a lot of struggle. in the beginning - for existence. then - for survival. then for existence again. the establishment of so called 'new background'.
it's been realisation of habits hard to change.
it's been a little growth. then - fall. keeping the hope, but forgetting self-love. working hard. pushing. keep building. not playing enough. watching new background sink. rising question marks on significant statements. then erasing them. then asking again. again and again. with no intention to take in the answers. just asking. and blaming. mostly the world. just a little, myself. you know this kind of way?
it's been two years of constant uncertainty, which felt like playing game of chess being blind. it's been a lot of intense negotiations, frustration, make of choices each day. it's been change of mind. also mistakes. doubt and shame. and anger came back again. it's been a feeling of worth nothing. and a feeling of being better than the rest.
there haven't been enough of conscious reflections. but plenty of stands-by, which always called for some kind of paradox. it's been a web of contradictions. confusion. loneliness. and the church bells ignored. it's been the change which hasn't just walked by, it ran and ran. new place. new people. different culture. different games. it's been trying to hard for the best.
it's been plenty of projections. mountain of tears. sweet promises which happened to be lies. it's been realisation of not being 'normal'. no sense of belonging. rivers of begging for love. blocked ears and sore eyes.
it's been a shift in friends. it's been closing the past.
it's been a few accomplishments. including the most favourite one. writing, of course. to watch it scattering into a thousand pieces, in three days. left me covered in dust.
it's been two years of poor physical health. autoimmune system disease, medics have said. what is that? that is when your body starts to attack itself. take a moment to think about that.
'you seem to live either in black or white, all the time. why can't you just stay in between of them?' my mother has asked, clearly having enough.
i don't know bloody why.
perhaps 'in between' requires something I lack.