poezie pe care sigur a mai scris-o cineva

Am convingerea că am citit o poveste

despre cineva

care îmbătrânea

mai repede decât trebuia

fiindcă, nopţile, trăia

în visele-altcuiva.

(Cine-a scris-o? Ştie cineva?)

Poate doar am visat că am citit o poveste

concepută doar pentru mine.

Dar, acum serios, ţie nu-ţi e un pic ruşine

să-mi vorbeşti cu glas de sprâncene senine

de parcă astă-noapte nici usturoi n-ai mâncat

nici nu m-ai sărutat?

Mă simt uşor schizofrenă

să te privesc în ochi fără jenă

după ce subconştientul meu a măsurat precis

cât mi s-ar deschide braţele dacă te-aş cuprinde – în vis.

about guilt… and shit

A colleague of mine told me at lunch that she thought I looked so zen about life in general that she thought she should adopt my attitude towards everything. Which sounded quite flattering, up to the point where she said she thought I was simply not thinking about certain problems (that she does/others do worry about) – which sounded as if my attitude was a bit silly and at best mildly irresponsible. But, in any case, if I did worry about the same things, then the zen was just a facade and her image of me was ruined 🙂 .

Luckily, I trust her and, generally, people around me, therefore I didn’t get sucked into any kind of spiral of suspicion about what kind of implied judgment her comments may have contained. I just realised how differently people can value things. Because balance, to my mind, is not made of ignoring any kind of stimulus that might throw you off balance. And therefore ignoring stimuli doesn’t bestow any value upon one’s state of balance. Balance is taking in all the stimuli, thinking about what makes them powerful and choosing, in an as informed as possible manner (insert ten-line disclaimer here), which ones you allow to change your behaviours and which ones you stop fretting about. (Because, as far as I am concerned, balance is about managing comfort, angst, guilt and perhaps other little runaround cousins of theirs.)

Some decisions are easy: apparently worrying that somebody else makes less of an effort than yourself in a commonly run process is really time and energy-consuming for many people – I hardly ever bother thinking about it, except maybe when I fold a mountain of laundry – again. I realise though that it’s a matter of trust in the process partners and that trust works like a market force (I’ll have to think about this in more detail at some point – apparently people write whole dissertations about this 🙂 ).

Worrying that you will get ill or that you should eat very healthy food so that you live longer is, again, something that doesn’t keep me on my toes. I’ll go with the mainstream in maintaining my body in functioning order, check everything regularly and take action when there are repairs to be done, just as I maintain the house, but, although I might feel guilty about things I eat for ecological reasons, I refuse to feel guilty about `feeding my body poison`. Foods will keep being processed, ingredients will change with the years, either I’ll get cancer or I won’t. But I’m not going to pay for the insurance daily and get it anyway, I don’t think it’s worth it.

Some decisions are hard: motherhood decisions are hard. Do I adopt an all-healthy diet for the kids? No. Am I irresponsible for not doing so? Do I cut the tv completely? No. Are they going to develop attention disorders from it? Do I teach them schooly stuff early? Not really. Aren’t they going to miss the headstart I had when I went to school reading fluently? Do I try to dam in the pink spree of my four-year old? No. Shouldn’t I stand at least a little bit more feministically in the matter? (all right, the last one is already discarded to the non-issues bin.) 

Also, womanhood decisions are sometimes hard. Do I work at how I look or do I try to accept myself, my age and my body as they are and be happy with that? Do I like who I have become or do I want to change as a person? Is this point in my life determined more by comfort or more by fulfilment (and then again, who says they can be told apart?)?

Political decisions are horribly hard. There is so much information to take in, so little time to deal with it before there’s more information, so many voices that should be listened to properly before dismissing, joining or splitting their message into usable and unusable bricks… Am I guilty for being partly an economic migrant? Do I have the right to protect myself by not reading the garbage or should I know it all in detail?

All these decisions, taken on a daily basis (do you use two or three sheets of toilet paper?) or for life, entail a plethora of feelings about who you are based on those decisions and about your human worth. The most common of these, in my case, is guilt. Which seems to never stop pouring from everywhere, even with so-called zen. I remembered twenty things, I forgot one birthday  (guilt). The children who came to my daughter’s birtday party didn’t actually eat sweets – ever (doubt and guilt). Guilt for consuming, guilt for ecological gestures that you couldn’t afford or simply didn’t have the time for, guilt for non-bio food, guilt for your economic status, guilt for the age of the car’s engine, guilt for ever watching tv, guilt for being broken by the time you get home and not feeling like a good roll over the floor with the kids, guilt about fishsticks, guilt about the fact that you felt good about doing a nice thing, therefore it’s not nice anymre, because it’s not selfless – and it spirals slowly into the absurd.

Balance is being a witch from Discworld (I really loved this image): you learn to balance the pain (or guilt) into a big ball and pour it into something else. One day at a time. And this is why trying to achieve balance is, to me, more valuable than many other things – because you get to live and experience and learn from all the shit, but you do your best not to put it on others.

obsolescenţă tehnologică

Mi-e groază că, într-o bună zi,

n-are să mai existe industrie de softuri

de transformat

diapozitivele din capul meu

în poze digitale;

că LP-urile sentimentale

n-au să mai găsească producător

de ace de pickup;

că pentru sutele de scrisori

pe care voi vrea cândva să le caligrafiez

cu mâna mea

nu va mai exista fabrică de peniţe

care să se potrivească la stiloul chinezesc

şi că cerneala se va fi abolit.

Mă tem că va veni o zi

în care voi fi lost in translation,

întrucât copiii mei vor fi fost prevăzuţi

cu un stick de memorie

cu port diferit

decât se folosea

pe vremea mea.

 

 

… none of the above :)

There’s obviously no wisdom highground to be taken by someone who is being emotionally incontinent online (in the illusion that this saves some energy from friends who might not have any to spare for one’s shit and also, hopefully, it prevents one from blurting out inappropriate relation-altering nonsense just because it hasn’t received any vent for too long) on the notion of dealing with one’s emotions. With that disclaimer in mind, though, I’m wondering whether there’s not something to be said for… denial. If the fact that it’s part of one’s process of acceptation of traumatic experiences doesn’t mean that it might have a useful part to play in how we deal with our emotional reactions to all sorts of things.

All right, perhaps I’m being too vague. I wonder if the things we feel cannot, sometimes, be made less aggressive towards our own fabric by recategorizing them somewhat. If the consequence of calling something an emotion which is socially accepted as intenser doesn’t allow it to take over you in a more depletive way. It’s probably the same approach I have to pain thresholds (we are, after all, creatures who think in categories). What if, as soon as you say `I’m depressed` instead of `I’m sad`, that changes the quality of your emotion and it empowers the emotion over you. And while I think it’s a good idea to live one’s emotions instead of burying them completely, I’m wondering if sometimes we don’t live more dramatic emotions just because… well, I don’t know – they give us purpose as individuals, maybe?

It seems to me that the yoyo (I know, I have a fetish-image, get over it already) bounced back at some point from an (overly masculine, some will say) overly rationalistic way of conceptualising the world, towards an (overly feminine) overly emotional manner of dealing with things as a mainstream. What if the divide is not as simple as `rationalistic defies nature, emotional embraces one’s impulses`, but instead, being rational is just as natural an impulse of repressing the feelings that make one incapable of functioning effectively, while what we experience as `embracing one’s emotions` is also a greencard for filling one’s life with a host of `issues` which get in the way of experiencing any good, growth-bringing feelings? What if we might imagine this as only a gradual scale between the two attitudes and what if there was a, perhaps healthy, way of balancing the rigid, starched collar with the fluttering tye-dye robes? What if our children need to learn to harden themselves just as much as they need to understand how important empathy is?

teme şi aiureli

1. De obicei, mă motivează să mi se dea o temă. Dar de data asta e nesuferit. Am de scris un articol despre Alice. Pe care l-am început de trei ori, din care un început depăşeşte deja limita maximă de caractere specificată în temă, dar nu ajunge nicăieri; dar n-am timp să fac niciun fel de cercetare cumsecade, urăsc să scriu remestecături, n-am nicio idee şi descopăr că amorul ăla infinit care mă făcea să vreau să disec fiecare virgulă s-a aplatizat mult – lucrarea de diplomă despre care spuneam, râzând, că o fac în mod terapeutic, ca să scap de Alice, a funcţionat perfect. Terapeutic, adică. Nu că nu-mi mai place, dar nu mă mai obsedează şi nu mă mai face să râsu-plânsu.

Şi pentru că am o temă şi am mult de lucru la muncă şi weekenduri şi seri pline, şi pentru mă consider disciplinată, mă simt oribil de vinovată că nu am terminat şi că se apropie data de predat şi că nu-i acord fiecare secundă pe care o pot rupe de altundeva. Şi deci nu scriu nici chestiile care mă preocupă cu adevărat, fiindcă e furt. De timp şi de energie de gândit. „Unchiule Charles, ce să fac?”

 

2. În mail mă aştepta un mesaj cu greşeli de ortografie care zicea că e de la o editură nou înfiinţată şi că ce frumos ar fi să public la ei un volum de poezii, că sunt mişto. Că le-a citit domnul cu pricina pe Bocancul literar (unde nu mi se vede adresa de mail nicăieri şi n-am nume). Suna intens ca la scrisoarea cu moştenirea nigeriană – flutură-i omului gărgăunii din cap şi ia-i banii (că adicătelea un număr anume de exemplare, jumate banii ei, jumate banii tu – ceea ce înţeleg că se practică, e drept, dar omul fript cu ciorbă de antreprenori belgomarocani suflă-n orice chestie care n-are sediu decât pe internet). Noroc că n-am visuri egotrippăriste şi că simţul ridicolului propriu nu-mi permite să mă simt măgulită de asemenea idei mai mult de 30 de secunde.

 

3. În ordinea de idei dintre cele două puncte anterioare – joaca de-a publicatul în lipsa organului format din biluţe chinezeşti de găsit calmul (deşi mă-ndoiesc că posesorii de facto ai organului cu pricina sunt calmabili aşa), am o vinovăţie în plus de mărturisit. N-am pus mâna să revizuiesc călina nici măcar un pic, deşi dacă ar fi să fac ceva cu ea vreodată, ar trebui s-o fac minimal prezentabilă. N-am timp. N-am timp nici măcar să jelesc că mă aflu, din nou, în punctul ăla al vieţii de care mă străduiam să mă scutur acum zece ani: cu mâna în scorbură, cu nucile în mână. Capacitatea omului de a se face prizonierul definitiv al propriilor imagini despre ce-şi doreşte este nelimitată. A acestui om, în orice caz.

vertigo 2

Breathe in,
the snowball is rolling
you can see the change coming
you can feel yourself falling,
breathe out.

Breathe in,
it’s been a long way up
to the elusive peak
you weren’t mindful of the ever steeper drop
breathe out.

Breathe in,
is this as good as it gets?
is this `happy`?
is fulfilment a backpack of worries and frets?
breathe out.

Breathe in,
stick your fingernails
into the shapeshifting reality
hold on to it tight, before it bails
out, breathe out.