outloud.

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Some days my greatest accomplishment is keeping my mouth shut. Especially when so much demands to be said.

The struggle of all talkative people is that they are rarely good listeners. We don’t have enough patience to sit around, nod and listen till the time comes when you are actually comfortable to start telling us things. We invented active listening, and employ it passionately up to the point when we ask you questions and answer them ourselves.

We can’t bear silence.

We don’t distinguish between “awkward silence”, “philosophical silence”, “insecurity silence”, “I-couldn’t-care-less silence” and all the other kinds. We equally can’t stand them all, as we need to fill up the air with the whirlwind of sounds.

We synchronize thinking and talking, and most ideas come to our heads when our mouth is already open. And then its – whoa, did I just say it? This is genius!

They say, silence is a mean of communication as well. Indeed, a powerful one. In most cases, its killing me softly.

People like me only shut up when they are comfortable.

Otherwise you are unlikely to break through the waterfall of sentences and random humming. For us – silence is the highest level of trust. Unless we don’t care. but that’s a whole different story._DSC0121

It wasn’t the silence of silence.  It was my own silence.  ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

more on silence: Nobreza Silenciosa

Great expectations (sorry, Dickens)

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The last few days were insanely rich with Meaningful Conversations. You know, those deep talks which usually happen in the middle of the night? They start out with something trivial and escalate to the hypothetical causes of the fall of Austrian-Hungarian empire by the ungodly hour of 5:30 am.

I get high on Conversations like these. Set aside the fact that only one of those provides you with an array of topics that keep turning your brain inside out for a week to come. I fondly remember the coziness of Neumann’ couches and winter nights at magic-coffee-cafe, where I started appreciating the Conversations, and actually listening, instead of just pushing my beliefs down somebody’s throat.

People aren’t perfect. And I am not either (close, but still not : ). The expectation of perfection in the universe of flawed people is probably the most ridiculous concept anybody could think of. We clench the expectations with our hands, try to cover them up, deny their existence in a futile attempt to create our little perfect world. Well – I am guilty as charged – I forgot how to accept things as they flow, be patient and wait to see what happens next. In my imaginary world, I always take sharp pictures, the UV filter on my lens doesn’t reflect the lights I don’t want it to, I don’t catch a flu and the Deutsche Bahn never goes on strike. Ever.

Guess what (big surprise!) that’s not how it works. In fact, its the opposite, the Murphy’s law pretty much describes the entire human life – everything that can possibly fail, will fail. – And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.

I don’t want to live in the world where everything I wish for and everything I imagine comes true. First of all, that would probably kill me. And secondly – I do want the fascination of not knowing, the awkward silences, the blue wine lips, the half of the cork stuck in the bottle, the coffee spilled on white sweaters and the unpredictability of every single night. I want to be able to wholeheartedly celebrate the flaws and follow the philosophy of mismatched cups.

There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. 

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under the skin.

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I’ve never fully understood tattoos. Even a thought of a temporary one, which dissolves in 5 year time as the skin cells regenerate, made me shiver. Because – how do you just carve some words on your skin? What if at some point your universe does not fit into that “something” anymore? Don’t get me started on the butterflies, names and hearts that people voluntarily make a part of their identity.

And then, I met somebody with a giant cross tattooed on his upper arm. And somebody with the cross-compass on her ankle. Somebody with horses and a quote from Lord of the Rings on her thigh. Somebody with “contra spem spero” written in beautiful calligraphy on her back. Somebody with “be your own hero” on her collarbone. Somebody with a memory of his grandfather on his arm.  And I sensed the beauty, when I saw how the ink under somebody’s skin can truly amplify a character and reflect a personality.

But I’ve never been able to understand it, until I came across a phrase that I wouldn’t mind seeing every single day.

“You’re only as beautiful as your last action is. “

I’d still rather have it on my wall than on my body, but the entire notion of making a commitment and getting that ink under the skin doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

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Mad Girl’s Love Song

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_DSC0090I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

— Sylvia Plath

I fall for the Fall.

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September is my favorite month for a reason. And not only because that’s when I was born. September whispers “transition” to me. Its smooth, it rarely comes in full force, its just the little hints you notice – a fallen leaf here and there, sunrises and sunsets get more of that golden tint, and one morning you wake up and you wish you’ve closed the window last night.

The days are still bright and warm, but I can feel that autumn is looking at me through the window, as her cold air kisses tickle my skin.DSC_1743DSC_1808DSC_1802

the Blue Eye.

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“Why do we feel sorry for people who can’t travel?
Because, unable to expand externally, they are not able to expand internally either, they can’t multiply
and so they are deprived of the possibility of undertaking expansive excursions in themselves
and discovering who and what else they could have become.”― Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Yesterday I found myself in a group of strangers (predominantly Italians) somewhere in Berlin. And as it always happens to me, after couple minutes of “what do you do?” kind of questions somebody mentioned living all around the world.

When that person started throwing the names of cities at me I smiled, sipped my wine, and thought, how cool.

And I told myself – apparently I’m not all that well-traveled as I like to think of myself. I’ve been to some pretty cool places over he last couple years, and still I often feel like nothing can impress me anymore. I keep comparing cities, cathedrals, mountains, seas, you name it.

And when that comparison settles down in my mind, I see something I’ve never seen before. It brings so much hope to get a reassurance that there’s still much more to this Earth. Syri i Kalter (the Blue Eye – albanian) in the south of Albania was one of those places that proved me wrong.

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