“You know, when I start telling you something by saying, ‘I was thinking about what you said about …,’ it always gives me pleasure to say that, to let you know that I was brooding on your words. And I think the pleasure is … well, I know how much I love it when you say ‘I was thinking about what you said about …’ It’s somehow as though the part of you that’s in me will be able to nourish the part of me that’s in you, or-something-I don’t know how to put it. But that there’s some circuit of reciprocity between these holding relations: your ability to hold me inside you, and mine to hold you inside me.”
∆ Eve Sedgwick, A Dialogue on Love
"OK. I mean when you think about language and you think about consciousness, it’s just incredible to think that we can make any sounds that can reach over across to each other at all. Because I mean I think we’re — I think the beauty of being human is that we are incredibly, intimately near each other, we know about each other, but yet we do not know or never can know what it’s like inside another person.
And it’s amazing, here am I sitting in front of you now, looking at your face, you’re looking at mine, and yet neither of us have ever seen our own faces, and that in some way, thought is the face that we put on the meaning that we feel and that we struggle with, and that the world is always larger and more intense and stranger than our best thought will ever reach. And that’s the mystery of poetry. Poetry tries to draw alongside the mystery as it’s emerging and somehow bring it into presence and into birth."
The intimacy of waiting for a green traffic light with other pedestrians
Maybe I should look them deep in the eye until light turns green?
Maybe I should speak, smile or radiate warmth while we wait together? I always saw waiting as a joint thing because everyone is waiting for something thus we are all waiting together.
Maybe I should hug while the light is still red and think about the chances of us being here together right now?
Or maybe I will just acknowledge the existence of this human that through a twisted logic of time and space our paths momentarily crossed and we found ourselves waiting together.
Or maybe I will open my phone and ignore life around
We are not, in the end, ever really very short of time. What we’re truly short of is affection, open-heartedness, kindness and tolerance. We’re short of the ability to create peak experiences in which we are sufficiently unfrightened, approachable, and responsive. We may have a lot to mourn, but it isn’t necessarily the imminence of death, it may more be the difficulty of living with courage and sensitivity. The challenge of our lives is to learn to live deeply rather than broadly.
over coffee with my mom this morning: “sometimes we hesitate to invite people into our life because we feel like our space isn’t good enough yet. things are a little messy, or our place settings don’t match, or our situation isn’t quite what we want it to be. don’t let that stop you. invite people in anyway.”
Everybody in their lives is really waiting for people to ask them questions, so that they can be truthful about who they are and how they became what they are.
At the sound of the bell ringing my mom would run anxiously excited to fix the house before the guests come in. I never understood this obsession to conceal your life or conceal your living when other people arrive. As if they find something out of place, they will notice and judge you for it. People perceive that if you invite them over and you have a messy house you kind of do not respect them. I don't think like this. I think that you do not respect them if you hide your life and make it look all tidy and nice - because it really isn't. You are lying to your guests and you are presenting an illusion - an illusion of comfort. Cleaning up your house before people arrive is the equivalent of small talk. I am not advocating for total mess and chaos. Just authentic human mess that is created when an organism is alive and thinking and LIVING inside a room. Living is never CLEAN, I mean yes, basic hygiene and an aesthetic comfort should be there for mental health reasons, but do things have to be PERFECT? No.
If you ask me, I love seeing the process of living when I enter other people's apartments. I see their mess, books, water bottle, drinked coffee, a jumper near by in case it gets cold and I fall in love with this. I see them as raw and as true as they are inside this room, without my presence ruining the natural flow of energy. So, when guests arrive I am not compelled to clean the house and hide what I have been doing. I want to leave the books open as they were before the news of their arrival would disrupt my current flow, I want them to see what it is like to be me and who I truly am. In fact I would not even open the door. By some weird mechanism the guests would come in on their own and find me as I am. In front of a book or laptop or watching something. My posture would say: welcome to me; this is me.
Do not identify with your profession or degrees, they are merely small derivatives of your personality of a specific point in time; do not fix your house surgically to eliminate all traces of living when guests come; do not create a false sense of self based on your social media posts, look around your room and see who you really are; do not derive pleasure from the simplicity of your opinion or beliefs if they came to be the way they are by implementing a tunnel vision of perspective, instead ask yourself what is the other route; do not be biased through thinking other people are biased; do not think you are open minded if you compare it with the narrow mindedness of others, opened mindedness believes in openness of everyone, no matter how close they seem; do not think others are a threat to you, if this is the case then the only threat is yourself; do not laugh at others if you do not understand where they are coming from, not everything works the way you think; do not think you can do everything on your own, this leads to a lonely life without its solitary pleasures; do not think you found the solution towards a better society through getting together and complaining about how bad the current one is; do not work in terms of what you want in life, but what you want most - it is important to know which desire you will love enough so you let it win; do not think one truth excludes other possibilities of truths, approach truth as a state of superposition; do not think in terms of how things are, think in terms of how things relate to each other; do not be afraid of changing your opinion, be afraid of stagnating in one; do not speak bad of established institutions without first objectively understanding all that they are and stand for, eliminate your feelings when making this judgement; do not think you are different or more enlightened if you choose not to go with the direction everyone is going, specifically if your choice endangers people; do not define subculture as a group of people that go against the establishment, instead see it as something that moves differently from it; do not be cool, be hot full of life, burning potential, challenging questions and difficult paths of growth - embrace the heat that is attached to existence, do not try to freeze it; do not feel weird if you cannot participate in small talk, in fact, make them big. BE YOU without extensions or additions, just you - the living, breathing, ever-evolving, honest, multi passionate you.