meet me in the dark.

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Ironically, I’ve had the most enlightening experience in total darkness.

At first, upon stepping into pitch black room, you try to keep closer to the walls – who know what’s hiding in the darkness? You close your eyes and open them again, hoping to see a trace of light, or- at least – the darkness that is lighter than the ink blackness surrounding you. Some infinities are shorter than other infinities, after all.

After a dozen of steps, a long forgotten feeling starts bubbling deep within, and you slowly let go of the wall. You still occasionally brush your fingers against it though, just to make sure its there. At the same time, your feet stop instinctively looking for steps, wires or other traps. You start hearing other people talking, laughing and dropping things.

Your build up enough courage and step away from the wall.

And once you let go of the one thing you thought will give you some security, all your other senses sharpen. And you start seeing without actually seeing.

The entire “get the hell out of your comfort zone” concept became suddenly so real to me in the complete darkness of the old Hamburg warehouse building.

There’s a hell of a good universe next door. But you won’t see it, unless you let go of the wall and walk through the darkness. You have to believe its there. Otherwise, there’s no point of looking. _DSC0059

the fermata.

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It is a mark from the composer to the conductor: Hold the pause as long as you like.

When we finally have the attention of an audience, our instinct is to rush. Attention is precious, please don’t stare, okay, I’m hurrying, there, I’m done. It doesn’t have to work that way. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Slowly. With effect. The audience isn’t going anywhere. At least not the people you care about. No, don’t waste their time. Yes, handle your message with the respect it deserves.

If you have to rush to say it, it might not be worth saying.

- Seth Godin

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no winter lasts forever.

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I am terrible at dressing according to the weather. In my head, if I’m not freezing enough to wear a thick winter coat (yet), then its not winter (yet). As a result, on the last day of November, I find myself walking around Prenzlauer Berg in my thin beige coat, thinking of starting wearing a headscarf ’cause those Muslim women I met on the way looked oh so warm.

Winter is a fantastic time to hibernate by limiting your outdoor activities to Christmas markets, and if you’re wondering what to do with all the free time – just wrap yourself in a blanket and watch movie after movie, swallow book after book. That’s probably what my winters will look like when I get my own place and decorate it to my taste. However, at this time, I prefer walking purposefully through the windy streets and moving from a coffee shop to a coffee shop. Luckily, there’re plenty of those in Berlin: getting sophisticated with my coffees and trying something new every time is not a challenge at all. Also, except all the ways a coffee can be brewed, and all the kinds of coffee beans, there’re so many cheesecakes to be sampled.

Even when the temptation to stay in is strong, remember that hugs are better than blankets, and happy people around you are better than the comfort of your bed. Even if you need to survive the painfully chilly outdoors in order to be around them.

Hello, December. You’re the last one, so be the best one.

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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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