The Great Perhaps

I never enjoy anything.
I’m always waiting for whatever’s next.
I think everyone’s like that…
living life in fast forward
never stopping to enjoy the moment
too busy turn to rush through everything
so we can get on what we’re really supposed to be doing with our lives.
I get these flashes of clarity, brilliant clarity,
where, for a second I stop and I think,
wait, this is it, this is my life.
I better slow down and enjoy it
because one day we’re all gonna end up in the ground
and that will be it, we’ll be gone.

- Samantha (Stuck in Love)

Now one of my most favourite movies, it is so beautifully written and has this honesty to life that takes my breath away.  Another line that struck my very core was when Greg Kinnear’s character says to his son:

Rusty, a writer is the sum of their experiences.
Go get some…

And that is when I had my brilliant moment of clarity, I am taking a second to stop and think. I need to take my leap and live this short existence I have on this earth. I am letting go of fear, and just going to…enjoy life. No regrets, right. Maybe then I will find my literary voice more clearly.

It is a constant in my life, I can be staring into nothing and be swept away by this flow of thought and understanding to what is beautiful and worthwhile in this life, but when I try to focus fully on that source of inspiration and clarity, it becomes a faint whisper that loses itself in the unfocused world that I live in. I have so much in me that I know is worth showing to the world. But my biggest enemy is the fear of rejection and judgement when taking that leap to experience the highs and lows of life. But I know that it is these highs and lows that shape us as writers, in a positive way.

So I need to jump off this high fence I am on right now. In the precipice of something great and unknown on one side, and the comforts of the life I am living on the other. And no one puts this better than the inspirational John Green in his wonderful novel Looking for Alaska:

Before I got here, I thought that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it didn’t exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied by the last words of the already dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life.

The Magic of London

London

Like many times previously, last week I had a horrible case of writers block. All week while I worked and when I was home or out, I was trying to think of what I could possibly write on here. And I got nada. I think my biggest barrier is that I don’t really have a life, it’s pathetic, I know. But I feel that because I am currently just existing, between my job and home, I am never out in the world to experience everything this beautiful city has to offer me. And then it hit me! Why not talk about this city, the one that brought me salvation, the one that is now part of my soul and love so very much.

I would have to say that the majority of Londoner hate London. It can be seen in their faces, like a big neon sign is stuck to their head. They hate the traffic, crowded trains and delays, the rush to get from point A to B. These things become the sole focus, I see it every morning when I am on the train on my way to work. And I will even admit to sometimes being one of those people agitated by being slowed down from getting from home to work. But as soon as I leave the train station and take in all the beauty of central London in the morning, I know that I could never just walk from A to B without feeling happy to be in my surroundings.

And I don’t just mean the sights that every tourist comes to this city to admire. I mean the small alleys and shortcuts that you take which reveals part of the city you have not seen. It’s so vast and full of life in every corner. You just have to go looking for it. Some roads you enter reminds you of Regency England and I am transported back to my favourite period of English history. You walk down the roads where people like Willkie Collins, Christina Rossetti and Samuel L. Coleridge. It’s truly magical. I feel blessed to call it home. And even in the nitty-gritty parts of London, there is character and in years to come they become part of the history of this wonderfully diverse metropolis.

I loved my city, and I think I always would. It was the place that brought me hope in bettering myself as a human being. It is full of knowledge and experiences that help you grow as a human being. In every alley and corner there is something new to discover, something to learn and something to appreciate. If anyone ever wants or gets a chance to visit, do. It is a place when explored properly, and I don’t just mean the tourist attractions but letting it take you to places you don’t even know exist in its heart, will teach you so much  about life present and past in London, but also opens the possibilities in your life.

With a small glimpse into the lives of the people who became who they are or were because of this city, you know that you need the good and the bad to shape you into a human being that can understand hardship and beauty can co-exist, but you always have the ability in a place like this to change the routes from A to B in your life easily. To bring change to your life. In a place like London, the possibilities are endless, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.

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William Wordsworth

Hurricane

Day off from work and all I want to do is write. But again I am not feeling too inspired, I feel drained and am looking forward to the next few days that I am off work to relax and catch up on much needed sleep and Netflix.

I can feel a storm brewing, it seems to be  chasing me, and preparing to take my life out of focus. But the crazy part is, I am not frightened by that prospect, rather the idea of the unknown excites me, and it has never been clearer to me than now that this is a fundamental force that is given to us as humans. It is a gift. Changes can be messy and destructive like a Hurricane, but when it is over, you are able to rebuild, and build it one hundred times more ambitious to the one that you became comfortable with. The new equals danger, and even when you fall, the world you have rebuild has  a softer ground to the one before, preventing great damage.

Staying in your comfort zone is dangerous, it can swallow you whole and when you finally escape, your life has already passed by. Your dreams were nothing but dreams, and life has become an almighty stranger. But my problem is that I don’t know how to escape my comfort zone. They are sometimes a necessity, the only foreseeable option to live for the present, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Whether it is because of money or health, sometimes we don’t have to option to escape the cages of comfort.

Maybe we sometimes need a hurricane to come and force down these cages and restrictions in our lives. I guess we need to be emotionally stable to survive such disruption in our lives. I know I’m ready, I am sick of the routine my life has become, and I don’t mean with work, but in my personal life. That is were I feel I am drowning. Fear of pain is holding me back, and I need an almighty storm to completely wash away those fears. And I am ready, ready for the next adventure, ready to look for it myself because I know I won’t find it unless I look for it. It is escaping those foundations that is the hardest, but with the help of something as strong as a hurricane building in my heart, I know I will be ready to leap, and find that the ground is much softer than what I originally feared it to be.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Dreams

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Its been more that two weeks since I last posted on this blog and I feel terrible. It is not from not wanting to, well not really, the first week I had a massive writers block. I was back in the place, were all my creative juices had dried out, and nothing I thought of writing about really took of on the page. I decided to take a little break and pick up the week after, but the unexpected happened… I finally got a job!!   I cannot describe how great to feel the ground stabilise and have a small income to start to support myself. And so the blog was completely forgotten as, I was needed and would come back to drained to want to write anything. Thankfully it is part-time so I will from now on have days of were I can do what I love the most, read and write. The days will not be set in stone but every week I will aim to write something that has affected my day or week, a thought or an idea that I want to share in with this world.

This week, it is dreams. Our aspirations, and what drives us forward in life as the goals that we want to achieve that one day will make us happy. I guess I got inspired by my recent entrance to the working world. While I am ecstatic to have a job, and one that I know I enjoy, it is not my dream job. I don’t see my life in the next 10 years being part of the retail job. I don’t want to be a person who reaches stability and forgets about their dreams. But what is my dream? My dream is to one day be part of a team whose work is to read the many pieces of literary art that enters a publishing house, and it would be my job to not only read it but share it with the rest of the world. Writing is the greatest form of expression, it is something that takes us from this world to a completely new one, and I am obsessed with it. With this free time I have, I am not going to sit on my ass because I think I have earned my right to lie and do nothing. No! Rather I will not give up looking for the one break that will give me the fortunate opportunity to enter the world were the wonders of literature is shared with the world.

 This is going to be a short one, but sometimes, what needs to be said can be said in less than 600 words. So my final bit to you all, is never to give up on your dreams. Let them burn in your heart, for the hope of achieving them is endless. Like I said to a very dear friend of mine who was losing hope in her life, of finding happiness and achieving her dreams and desires: 

We are all bright shinning stars, that incinerate anything that try to burn us out. Don’t ever feel hopeless and don’t ever give up on your dreams.

My Life with Music

Sometimes I feel like I am having a relationship with music. It’s something that is almost always constant in my life. And like many others, it has the power to make you happy, sad, or a million other things. It seems weird to me now that I think about it, but apart from very important situations or when my mind needs to be completely focused, I am always listening to music. I don’t have a specific genre that I prefer, I listen to different types depending on the mood I’m in or the song/album I’m currently obsessed with, which is what most of us do. I guess for me a song does not only touch me because of the instrumental, but like the poetry/literature obsessed “bluestocking” that I am, the words in the songs hold equal importance to me.

I truly believe that music is therapy to the soul, but it can also haunt it and latch on for the longest of time. And that is what is happening to me right now. Although I am open to new music and genres it is hard for me to find songs right now that latches onto my soul, because of the type of music that is popular right now mainstream. But when I do they are worth gold, they become addicting, and that has happened with John Legend’s “All of Me”. It is crazy that it has taken me this long to discover this song, I guess not listening to the radio or watch music channels have hindered my ability of discovering new music. I have never been a big fan of John Legend, but this song from the first notes of his mesmerising piano, captured me. It is truly wonderful, I guess that is why I decided to talk about music this week, because again I’ve been hypnotised by a song and the beautiful message behind it. I only have a list of 5 songs that also currently have this effect on me:

  • Between the Bars – Elliott Smith
  • Angel Of Small Death & The Codeine Scene – Hozier
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Cary Brothers
  • Winter – Mree
  • Firewall – Les Friction

And if you are into beautiful lyrics and hypnotic beats, listen to this songs, because they are truly wonderful. But this is where I am left pondering. Songs like these make my insides ache, and nostalgic and I don’t understand why. I don’t think I have ever been in love. But when I hear this song I feel like I am, and I have no idea with who! Maybe I am in love with music itself. And you know what, I don’t find that idea so bad. It is not complicated and each one only lasts 3 to 4 minutes, which is great. I guess in the end, I am in a quest for beauty, in everything. And therefore, what makes these artist so great in my eyes, is that through their music I feel things I have not experienced in my life yet, and makes me excited for when I do experience with that special someone. Which is what makes the art so music so great, in all of its forms.

The Magic of Ghibli

Last week I had a massive FAIL by not posting anything on here, I wasn’t feeling to well and was in no way inspired so I just did what I do best, become a real sloth. It was terrible. But while I was slowly recovering from feeling poorly I decided to have a massive Studio Ghibli binge.

While I have always been a massive fan of animated films, with all the Disney classics making my top list, none have touched me the way Disney’s Studio Ghibli does. I feel that if I had watched them when I was younger I would not have fully been able to grasp the stories and the beauty behind each of them. Maybe I am still a kid inside, because they never fail to make me smile and cry at the same time.

Japanese theatrical poster designed and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki

“From Up on Poppy Hill” – Japanese theatrical poster designed and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki

As a true romantic my two favourites are From Up on Poppy Hill and Howl’s Moving Castle, both creations of the truly amazing master Hayao Miyazaki, who is retiring after so many wonderful years of producing beautiful stories and art. He is one of my all-time favourite director/writer/producer in the business, as each one of his works hold a very special place in my heart. He is in my opinion, the King of storytelling. Once when talking about love and friendship he said:

I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live – if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.

And this I believe is what makes his stories so special and unique. There is none of the obvious attraction and expression of attraction most movies do, to show the growing and developing relationships of the hero and heroine. Rather, it is much more subtle and there is an emphasis on the importance of the discovery of one’s true self. While both these movies showcases such wonderful love stories, they are only this because they are not hidden behind the usual clichés, but rather like he says, by finding themselves, they find each other.

And this is where the true magic lies. In a world of beautiful and artistic animation, there is depth and substance that cannot be found in just any animation. There is a sense of reality in the story telling which makes the characters so endearing and memorable. I truly believe that even when I am fifty, I will want to sit and have a massive marathon of Studio Ghibli movies and enjoy them as much as I do now. They are timeless, and ageless in my opinion.

My Life in Books

Being originally from Colombia, Spanish is my native tongue, but somehow I don’t consider it that. I came to England when I was 10 years old and I did not know any English at all, school helped me a lot with the basics, but I had a very intense studying schedule when I got home every day as well. I would read for two hours everyday and at first I hated reading, it seems crazy to me now but the struggle with the language those first few months really irritated me. But I grew to love it, so much so that the pages of Harry Potter became my source of entertainment. My mum would sometimes struggled with punishing me, because I loved reading so much she wanted to take my books away; but she could not bring herself to take away something that was helping to nourish my mind.  And when I began to grasp the language better I stopped using my school library books because I would finish them to quickly and moved on to my mum’s books. And boy was it different! My mum’s book collection consisted of Encyclopaedias, Dan Brown, and John Grisham mostly. I remember reading Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress when I was 11 and being completely hooked by the complexity of his writing, which it was for my 11-year-old mind, but wanting to learn everything the novel explored. I would consequently spend hours learning about cryptography and the NSA, and I would do this pretty much for everything else I read. I took me more or less a year to be able to speak English fluently, and I thank my mum for that. She opened me to worlds that were better than any I had every seen on a television or in a cinema. And that is how my unhealthy obsession with books began.

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I guess that is mainly why I consider English to be more my native tongue. Even though Spanish is a Romantic language, and everything evoked in the tongue flows beautifully, I don’t find that beauty in the books I do read in Spanish the way I find it in English literature. One book that I instantly feel in love with was  Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, I had never read anything like it. His spontaneous style of writing was so refreshing, that everything truly came to life, and most books i read achieve this, none have been so vibrant and alive. It makes me want to take-off with only a small backpack and see where the road will take me. There is sadness, beauty, and hardship everything that life is about, but without the fantastical sometimes added to the language of a prose to express something. The simplicity in the language is amplified by the beauty of the style which brings out such beautiful poetic expression:

“And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy that I always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move on, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiancies shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotuslands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven. I could hear an indescribable seething roar which wasn’t in my ear but everywhere and had nothing to do with sounds. I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn’t remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of the wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt sweet, swinging bliss, like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled. I thought I was going to die the very next moment. But I didn’t die…” – On The Road, Jack Kerouac

And in those lines he grasped what we should all strive to be as humans. And whenever I doubt everything and everyone I come back to these lines and remember that we are in constant change, constant rebirth.

That is what books should make you feel like. They should inspire you and bring life and colour to your sometimes dull and simple life. I guess I will always be obsessed with books, but then who can blame me right?