Why write this blog

My photo
It is a way of giving my other self, my unconscious and perhaps artistic self, a way of expressing itself, and thereby helping me working things out. It is somewhat cathartic in a positive way. :)

30 September, 2009

When people change...

When people change, things change.

But why do people change? And do they change suddenly? I don't believe anyone can change who they are overnight, but, as I said before, life experiences and learning will change you whether you realise it or not.

But what they can change is their attitudes towards you. That doesn't necessarily mean they have changed, but something may have changed. Either someone will have said something, or something will have had to have happened.




My friends assure me I'm not insensitive or cruel. But then they also tell me that if ever I was at any one point, they would have forgiven me, because they are my friends...




28 September, 2009


Saturday I decided to finally get out of my fat arse and actually do some kind of exercise. When I moved to Birstall I noticed there was a Running Club, literally, a few yards down the road and I wanted to be part of it as I had been playing regular football anymore. But it was like, I 'll join, I'll join but you just never do.

Given recent events, changes and transformations, big or small, since my birthday I've been rethinking and addressing certain things in my life. Work included. One of them was to get out of the house. On Saturday I finally rang the Running Club, the lady scared me as the standard they weer expecting seemed quite high and quite daunting and I thought I would have to do a lot more work on my own first. We chatted for a while and we agreed that I would come in on Monday and give it a go.

To test myself and not feel really bad, I got up early on Sunday, beautiful morning, and went for a quick run down to the village, which was very pleasant. At the end I ran back for about 11 minutes and I thought that was my limit, and that I would feel less bad on Monday.

Today I went through with it, I had been looking forward to it up to the moment I put my shoes on and then I was dreading it. I had no real idea of what to expect, how far I could do it because playing football is so different and I had even done that for ages and meeting these complete strangers was quite scary in a way.

But I did. The lady i spoken to on Saturday, Angie, was very very patient, and she assured me that as she had just come back form an injury she would run with me and to pay no mind to others. She was terrific, always encouraging me, I actually did not feel that bad at all, and I coped a lot better than I expected. More than that, I must have ran about 5 times what I had done on Sunday to the point that Angie admitted she didn't even expect to have done much today and that she was really surprised with me. Not as surprised as I was!!! About an hour later with only two or three stops we finally got back to the club and I was quite elated. Of course, having someone telling you all the way, for about an hour, how well you are doing and how determined you are helps a lot.

So thanks to Angie, and Tom and Angie's husband for being so nice and making me feel welcomed.

I am now doing exercise!! My chest feels a bit tight to be honest, I don't know how legs will be tomorrow, but all I care now is hoping I will be ok to return Friday. I am excited and pleased to have taken this step. (M I hope you're proud of me, you've been telling me to this for years!)


27 September, 2009


I have recently moved to the quiet village of Birstall, 10 minutes from the centre of Leicester, yet at times you feel like you are hours away from the city and almost in a little world of your own.

I have only lived here for 4 or 5 months, but I feel I have been here for years. My dad told me that it was a nice people to retire. And it is, because it is quiet and lovely and beautiful, just outside the lakes of Watermead Park. But is is also a great place to live in, because if at any time you feel the quiet is too much you have the city on your doorstep, but for a daily life it is superb.

Today, four things have happened that have prompted me to write about Birstall. One, was the change I have decided to make my blog.

The other three happened because I left the house. Dangerous business leaving your front door, Tolkien would say!

I decided to go for a run this morning in what it will probably be one of the last few days of beautiful sunshine in England. Practically outside my house, I saw these two beautiful brown horses, what elegant creatures!

A few minutes later, as I sat in Watermead Park for a quick rest, by the river, a family was paddling along in two canoes, looking so happy and having the most great fun!

On my way back, one of the locals, a villager no doubt said Good Morning to me, I have been in Leicester for 5 years and I have never had that, a complete stranger speaking to you if only to say a good morning, it reminded me of where my family is from, from the village of Corga, Viseu where everyone is like that. No soon did that happen, a few metres ahead another person, a lovely old man walking his dog again, said Good Morning! Maybe it is something about living in a village that makes people happier, friendlier or politer.

Whichever, I appreciated it. As I have said before, I love the Small Things.

A change in name and ideology

This blog used to be called Wallowing in Self Pity. It was thus called because that was the state of being I thought I was in, although my feelings were more aptly described as helpless, empty and frustrated. I never felt desperation, depression or other more radical ideas.

Notwithstanding, I have had to argue my point over the rationale of being able to feel whatever it I was feeling at the time, and at any given time, without remorse, embarrassment or shame. All of which, are arguments and valid points I still hold on to. Why shouldn't I be able to feel, even if it is sadness, and show it?

However, I believe that in fact there is not an English word or sentence that describes what I go through at times like that, when things less agreeable happen in my life, and I had a flash of realisation when I was thinking yesterday about the cultural differences between England and Portugal.

I have realised that what I go through is a much deeper sensation, something akin to our very own Portuguese Fado. There is no true definition or word in English that can equate and fully explain what Fado is. Somehow, I think I have been imbued with a true portuguese spirit of adventure, love of the sea and other cultures, hospitality and kindness, and resilience (even if coupled with an innate compulsion for complaining and whining!).

Fado, for me, represents a national identity, an identity of feelings, a national predisposition for apparent tragedy, nostalgia and sadness, but always, always with a remnant of hope and lightheartedness in the face of sometimes emotional and hurtful events, which means we can always overcome. Which we do, after some grumbling!

Thus, this is my Fado.

26 September, 2009


Whilst I object in principle to changing who you are and what you are like, I do believe that one should always look to continually improve and learn and attain a better state of being.

This is not easy in the slightest, and it is a fine line between re-working things in your brain and learn from your experiences and forcefully change who you are.

You can't suddenly change your music tastes, what food you like or what you believe in. However, it is possible that you may look at things in a different way, and with time and life experiences some of these may change somewhat over the course of your life.

When in doubt, I normally turn to my music, or books or films. In the present case, I turn to my favourite book and film, The Lord of the Rings, and there's a couple of lines that I have been reflecting on for the past couple of days, for different reasons, one is: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." and the other one is: "There never was much hope. Just a fool's hope.".

Which most of us have probably heard of in one form or another. And I get different things from both lines. The second one teaches you to never lose hope, how many times have you heard that, but, the difference here is that it also tells you and acknowledges that that hope is probably misguided, far-fetched and unlikely, yet... you should still hold on to it. And I agree, something may have a 99% likelihood and change of happening, but there's always the one percent, with the exception of death (100% certainty!) everything has a chance of happening, however minute, and life is always Stranger Than Fiction....

The first one teaches us that we concern ourselves unduly most of the time with what ifs and what nots and we really do need to concentrate on the present. But it says much more than that, it also tells us that it's what you do with the cards that you have been given, it's how you make your decisions. If you have been given a hand of 2's at poker that's all you can play with, if you have a hand of two kings you may think you're laughing but that is never enough to win, it's how you play the game, sometimes a hand of 2's will beat the king's.

And really, it is all in your mind at the end of the day. How you chose your approach and how you chose to react is what counts. I don't pretend to presume that you can chose what you feel, that is much deeper and unconscious and irrational, but what you do with those feelings is conscious, or can be. Your actions and your deeds will show who you are.

How you process the thoughts and the feelings in your head can come from a conscious process. You can re-wire your brain if you want to, if you can convince yourself, after careful and detailed analysis of how you act in the face of determined situations.

And I wonder, if I should rename this blog...

22 September, 2009

Passion or Love

I suppose this is the question most people often ask themselves after "Do I really like him/her?"
And it is not an easy question to answer as no one really knows what love is, it has been the subject of much debate of many better writers than me and many, many poets over the aeons, and yet we still have no clue on how to define and identify it.
In all likelihood this is because it usually happens unannnounced and it is not rational in the slightest, which is why it is easily confused with passion. They both mess with our emotions, our hormones and our head.
How can you tell the difference? I don't pretend to know the answer but I can however attempt to expose my view on the issue, based on what I told my friend, and in which I genuinely believe and have believed for a while.

When you are together that you feel so comfortable that it's like you have known each other for years and you don't have to try, that's love.
When the way they speak and the way they laugh is capable of lighting up a room and that alone lights up your mood, that's love.
When just being in someone's presence is enough to make you happy and feeling content, that's love.
When you can imagine yourself with that person when you are both old, in 40/50 years time, sitting outside in the garden and you still have stuff to talk about and you are still in love, THAT is True Love.

Maybe... I think! But ask yourselves those questions, especially the last one. What do you feel?

21 September, 2009

The things we say...

The things we say when we are hurting can be incredibly frightful
The things we say when we are jealous can be so hurtful
The things we say when we're not thinking straight can have a deeper impact than we realise at the time
The things we say when what we really want to say cannot be said can be so spiteful
The things we say when our minds are lost can be so unfair and so unkind
The things we say when we are frustrated can be so cruel
The things we say when we are confused can be so damaging
The things we say when what we want to say is I hurt because of you so I want you to hurt as well.

It is not fair.
It is not pretty.
It is not rational.
It is not excusable.
It is completely out of order.

Why do we think such stupid and twisted things when we hurt?
Why oh why do we hurt the ones we love?
Why do we became so completely irrational that we convince ourselves of outrageous things?
Why oh why do we lose our thoughts and our logic when we love?
Why can sorry be such a meaningless and inappropriate word?
Why oh why do we hurt the ones we love when all we want is to see them well?
Why do act so completely selfishly when we are confused?
Why oh why do we make the people we love cry?

It is not right.
It is not smart.
It is not conscious.
It is not defensible.
It is completely unacceptable.

Stay - A film by Marc Forster

I have just a tremendous film by the same director of Stranger than Fiction, Marc Forster.
Stay is a complicated and difficult to follow film, yet you can just about follow it, in glimpses, until the very end when you finally think it all seems to make a sort of sense. But its triumph really is the way it is shot, because the scenes themselves contribute to the story. It is a wonderfully shot film. This guy has also directed two other brilliant films, Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland. He is clearly someone I will be looking out for.
For a much more informed and authoritative review on this film have a look at what Roger Ebert thinks:


Can't I be sad when I feel guilty for being jealous?
Can't I be sad that once again I'm not loved?
Can't I be sad that nobody ever loves me?
Can't I be sad for always being alone?
Can't I be sad that being even remotely sad compounds the problem and keeps people away?
Can't I be sad to contemplating that I may forever be alone?
Can't I be sad?
Can't I?

19 September, 2009

Why wallow Part 2

"One of the main objectives in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is to show the client that whenever unpleasant and unfortunate activating events occur in people's lives, they have a choice of making themselves feel healthily and self-helpingly sorry, disappointed, frustrated, and annoyed, or making themselves feel unhealthily and self-defeatingly horrified, terrified, panicked, depressed, self-hating, and self-pitying. By attaining and ingraining a more rational and self-constructive philosophy of themselves, others and the world, people often are more likely to behave and emote in more life-serving and adaptive ways."
source: Wikipedia

I think I am, and through the use of this blog have been, one of the former. I chose to feel healthily and self-helpingly sorry, frustrated, angry and sad. The key word really is self-helpingly. What I defend is that you can be sad, and you can wallow in your own self-pity, but that you learn and use it as a tool to recover, grow and overcome.

There's nothing like being validated by a scientific theory and current medicinal practice. The REBT was developed by Albert Ellis, a psychologist who is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and the founder of cognitive-behavioral therapies. In a 1982 professional survey of U.S. and Canadian psychologists, he was ranked the second most influential psychotherapist in history, after Carl Rogers.

source: Wikipedia

18 September, 2009

Being alone

Being alone is more than just being physically alone. A lot of people will recognise, through own experience, the old adage of feeling alone in a room full of people.
I was alone yesterday, but not really. I spoke to people all day long. Not only people, but friends, real ones, the kind that ring you at 2 o'clock in the morning and that if you need you can ring them at 5am !! (M ;) ). These are the people that are worth knowing and letting in to your life and keeping close to you.
They will keep the loneliness away when you are alone,
They will listen to you when you need to be heard,
They will share with you when they need a friend also,
They will make you smile even if just for a moment,
They will know you better than you do,
And they will definitely tell you off when you need to and protect you from yourself when you are too blind to see.
I am lucky that I have people like that. I have had little luck in little else in my life, in fact, I normally completely discount the factor luck as it is so alien for me, and ensure I do what I can to plan to do without it. For one reason or another I will always end up in the most ludicrous situations where luck is certainly always absent. Sometimes I walk into situations because I speak from the heart, and that is rarely accepted in this world of ours. But I do know of one situation where that works and from which I have benefited. Friendship, with capital F.

16 September, 2009

Am I in love with the idea of being in love?

I heard this line somewhere recently, in a movie or a tv series or something. And following yesterday's chat with my friend I have started wondering.
CENSORED one wonders how you know what is real at any given moment in time. It's not like you can possibly know what anyone else feels with absolute certainty, that's obvious, but can you know with absolute certainty, what you feel?
After all, feelings can be fickle, depending on how you rationalise things and events, and how often do you feel rage and anger that is simply disguised as frustration, self-disappointment and disgust?!
How often do you think you want something to completely change your mind soon thereafter?
How many times do you choose certain things depending on what mood you're in?

Do your feelings for someone change that easily as well?
Do you believe you have feelings for someone because you think you do?

How can you tell the difference?

I'm not sure I am either the most qualified nor the most experienced person to speculate about this, but I thought I knew. But could it be that having spent so long alone I have become such a helpless romantic that I am actually in love with poetic the idea of being in love? Does my idea of loyalty and honesty and openness too demanding and utopic? Have I possibly become so demanding that if even anyone would like me for whatever reason I would scare them away with this demanding idea of a seemingly perfect relationship and a perfect love?

But I do not even believe in that kind of perfection. Is it simply that I seek a person that cannot possibly exist? Am I so different that there is no one out there that can ever fulfill my idea of what the important values should be shared and treasured?

CENSORED How can I know? And can you ever know for sure? CENSORED 

All I know, is that I have liked other people before. I have fancied other people before. But there was never nothing there. I can think of two particular times on my life with two particular people, quite recently as well, A & G, but there just never was enough there. Funnily enough the opposite is true of two others, another A & L. One of them I knew the minute I looked at her, and the first time we talked and as we spend more time together it all became obvious. With L it was different, a kind of intermediate medium, you knew there were feelings there but we never spent enough time together for it to develop despite keeping in contact via letters. It all kind of developed into a fond and caring relationship.


I don't know. CENSORED 

Conversation with a friend

I was chatting to a friend and I was posed a very interesting question:

Q - Because love is the most painful feeling ever, especially when its close to home on a daily basis. CENSORED 

I don't know if I can tell the difference. I do know that I don't fall in love every other day. I have felt like this for someone once, ok, maybe twice, so I know, I think, I hope... It was real hard the first few day days (...). I felt quite lost and empty, music didn't help, being quiet didn't help, so I decided to write, and that helped. (...) friends were quite cool as well. I realised that I rather be close to her and talk to her then be distant and not have a friendship. (...) and so I hope. even if I have to wait.

Nothing is ever more truthful when it comes from the heart and you don't have to think about it. And that is why I started writing this blog. Because it hurt in a way that made me empty. Why I started writing again at all. CENSORED 

14 September, 2009

Little things will change your life

I think I may have just watched the best film ever, why it took me quite so long to watch it is mystery.
Stranger than Fiction is not your average movie. There's just so many levels and layers and metaphors you can extract from it that I cannot possibly name them all, I do have but a glimpse of them, I shall have to watch it a lot more times before I can fully comprehend all its message.

Nevertheless, I can comment on what it means for me now or what I got out of it after this one first viewing.

It is a genious tale of someone that realises that his life is not his own, and that in consequence his death is already decided. When it will happen he does not know, which is not different from any of us on a daily basis, but he does find out that he is to be terminated soon. Not only that, but he is character in someone's novel. He seeks his "maker" and confronts her with his plight in the hope he will not be killed off. How much can you draw from this comparison to each and every one of us, whether we are religious, believers or not, about our secret desire to not die, and to meet our God, gods and somehow convince them that we shouldn't die?
Amidst it all, it is also a simple and common life and love story about somebody realising his life is not satisfactorily enough and that it should probably change somehow, but doesn't know how, until he hears his own life story in his head narrated by his "maker". He does make changes and turns his life around, to such an extent that the prospect of him dying so soon after changing so much is an absolute tragedy.
This aspect of tragedy and its role in literature is also present. Read Roger Ebert's excellent review of this film and its uncanny role in discussing the arts.


The film is absolutely brilliant, and excellently acted may I add by Will Ferrell especially, and it ends with a monologue from the author about why in the end it decided to change the fact of the character and save his life.
A much more endearing and beautiful exposé of the importance of small things than I could possibly ever achieve.
As she says, the little things will change your live.

13 September, 2009

Is it real? Part Deux

Yes indeed, CENSORED


In recent times I have been telling myself that I was wiser once than I am now. I used to think and believe that if it wasn't corresponded then it wasn't real. And I have been trying to convince myself that that was true and that I was really smarter ten years ago. Which clearly, is rubbish. Nothing is ever that simple or black and white. That line of thought is taken when you try to convince yourself to move forward. It is a way of self protecting. A biological leftover from our evolution path. It doesn't, however, make it true.

It steal away my sleep causes me pain..

Oh, I wish it were easier than this... As it stands, words are all I have, and thus, all I am allowed to offer. But even that little gift is plentiful for me.

12 September, 2009

The simple things

After it all, what it matters really are the simple things. I may talk about the larger picture a lot of times and use big words but in the end, as somebody once told me, words are like stones. It is actions and presences that count.
There's this song by a portuguese band, called Xutos, that goes "small things that are missing from your life make the big incomplete (...) measure the importance of the small details like a screw in a space rocket" I promise it sounds better in portuguese. 
And I am all for the little things and the little pleasures in life, I really am.
The smell of the air just after it rained.
A walk in a park.
A cuddle on a couch.
A talk with a friend.
A nice dessert.
The company of that someone special.
The way the sunlight falls on the grass on a Summer's day.
A rainbow.
Lighting at night.
Sunset on a beach.
Dusklight as you walk home, you know, when the sky is not dark nor bright, but the light at that time makes the cloudsd various shades of red and orange.
A complicit look.

I could go on, I generally do but I lack the inspiration today, I am determined to keep on writing though.

I am so easily pleased. I just wish I could find that person, that for once, would reciprocate my feelings. All I ask in return is loyalty and honesty, is that so much to ask?

11 September, 2009

11th of September - The first day of the rest of your life.



Thus this is the first day of the rest of my life. Why? CENSORED  And so it is that one must look to the future once again with a mix of some possibly misplaced hope and disappointment, sadness and frustration. CENSORED 
The sun shines, it is a new day. The rest of my life starts now, maybe all I need to figure out is what it'll or should be like...

08 September, 2009

Let it hurt

The title of the last post was supposed to be let it hurt but I digressed and talked about something entirely different.
Hence, I shall do it now. Some people I know may know where I stole the idea from.
Basically it is this notion, similar to the "wallowing", that sometimes you should not rush with all best intentions to try and fix and cure and repair the hurt.
Sometimes it is best to just let it hurt.
Because there is no cure.
And no cure is better than multiple failed cures.
You just have to take it as it comes and accept it.
It may be hard, it may hurt.
You may not understand it.
You may want to be angry.
And you probably will.
But it will not make a difference.
You just to have to accept the situation and wait.
Being patient is just so hard though, yet, time really is the best of all help.
Some people may deal with hurt by getting distracted and by pretending and by ignoring it. That is just not me, for better or for worse I just have to dig deeper. That is who I am, that is how I deal with it. This "wallowing" of mine is not filled with negative thoughts and sinking feelings. I am not poking at my wound (T!). I am simply looking at it, and see how bad it is, exposing its grotesque features to the light of day, and thereby assessing its condition. Maybe its that I am too inquisitive. Or maybe it is that I am just weird. Or maybe I just do not like to brush it under the carpet.
And so I let it hurt.
For better or for wherever it leads.
I let it suffuse my consciousness for whatever time I need to.
And at the end, I can once again function with some semblance of normality.

As I said before, this time the reality is that it seems to be less a question of hurt and more of emptiness.

Funnily enough, or scarily depending on the point of view, I saw this movie yesterday called Downloading Nancy, and I was surprised at how much I could understand and identify with the character on some levels. Not that I have ever been that radical or entertained such thoughts, but I could comprehend how one could get to that level of desperation and emptiness, that you would do whatever you could to feel. That maybe hard to accept for some people but that is just the way it is. does that make me dysfunctional? Does that means I have issues? Does it make me a weirdo? I don't really care, who wants to be normal anyway?

06 September, 2009

The moment

How does one know what one feels at any given moment in time? (My lecturers at uni would have been proud of the way I framed that question, completely scientific).
But how do we? I remember discussing with some friends a few weeks back if one could possibly fall in love at first sight, if such a thing even existed. I argued yes, it has happened to me before. But what it is I do know or cannot describe. It might be something that clicks at the back of your mind when you see someone. It can happen straight away or later on, once you know someone for a while, someone for which you have harboured fond feelings for and realise that actually there is more there.
I liken it to "problem-solving". When you are faced with a difficult problem, you cannot answer it no matter how much you look at it, but once you studied it a bit deeper and find out more about it, even if you need research, at some point in that quest the answer will dawn on you and you feel energised and excited. Other times, the same problem can be extremely hard for somebody else, yet you may see the answer straight away, a bit like the Who wants to be a Millionaire quiz in the 8th or 9th stage, when you just know the answer.
Not that I am arguing that feelings work just like thoughts and riddles but they must be similar for they originate in that same complicated and most wonderful of our organs that is the brain.
And so you know. When that happens it can be joyous. You feel like you are alive. I have always understood and completely agreed with Tennyson's adage that "It's best to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". I know because I have lived most of my life without it, but, I have experienced it. And thus I know the difference.
Even though, due to whatever reasons, never having been consummated and or reciprocated. You see, when that happens, you hope that there must be something back form the other person. And it most definitely, there is, how can it not? Unfortunately, it either does not run as deep in them or they haven't yet figured it out. You most likely have a very good friendship. In which case, you can either be patient and wait for their epiphany moment, or be angry and blow it all to smithereens. I have done the latter before, and it wasn't so good.
I do so very much, hate being the Friends Only guy. I have plenty of Friends though, and we have been so for a number of years, which has only strengthened our relationship. CENSORED 

05 September, 2009

Self Pity

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird
will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt
sorry for itself.
D H Lawrence

20 bands

I'll give £10 to whoever can name the 20 bands from a few posts ago.


Following on from the idea that sometimes it is right to do the wrong thing, sometimes it's also damn great to just say fukitol. It's very liberating if not exhonerating, but then in those moments that is exactly what that is about.

It's about throwing responsibility and common sense and discretion to the wind and just do something outrageous and shocking and out of character. Although it is like a perpetrating spiral of which you cannot get out of, sometimes it just feels good to be there.

In the darkness. Wrapped up in yourself and your loneliness. Warding off everything and everyone. Sick of the world, sick of the lack of compassion, sick of it all. It can be like a wall to self protect you against that very world that has caused you the grief and the pain that you feel and caused you to descend into it in the first place.

Yet you want to shout. And you want to be heard. You want to be helped. It's the duality again that can leave you at times paralysed and feeling more hopeless than the grief and the despair and the pain themselves...

04 September, 2009


And, suddenly, without warning, it struck once more
It is never far I know, always lurking in the background
Waiting for a chance to regain a foothold in the cracks of fragility
It comes in a wave of emptiness and sadness
Wrapped in a cloak of hopelessness.

Feeling it again shakes me to the core
All my hopes lying on the ground
Even if they were but a product of my ingenuity
Building castles in the air with such fondness
Only for its foundations to be shattered by the enveloping hopelessness

Thus it came to be, that an absence, has provoked me to regress once again. Absence of contact. Not just physical contact, but emotional or psychological, which in a way can be even stronger. One wonders though, if regress we did or was but an illusion. An illusion created by a desperate willingness to believe... in something more! Of daring to hope! Oh, fool brain of yours that forever confuses you and leaves you dizzy of so many conflicting emotions.

03 September, 2009

Standing up for your principles

I can understand why a lot of people don't believe in anything too deeply or commit themselves to an idea and/or ideal. It is much easier and one does not have to contend with personal and moral dilemmas. It is a much more fluid and flexible state of being.I suppose in away, that's why people can give themselves over to religion so easily, as it is all laid out in front of them, what is right, what is wrong, how to act, etc. without ever having to make a decision.
This idea of personal choice kinda strikes like the old stuff about free will and all that. But in a way it is true that choices and what we do with them governs our life and ourselves. Not only choosing what to do in a given circumstance, that's too simplistic. But choosing what to believe in, how to act, what is right and what is not. The idea that you CAN have morals and a sense of right and wrong without religion may seem alien to a lot of people, but the reality is that mostly everyone achieves it, especially in this day and age where there's less and less church goers. Obviously we are greatly helped in this by a national code of conduct and set of laws. These laws however have changed and morphed and evolved over the years as society itself has changed.
So the concept of freedom to choose your own ideas and thoughts and principles is kinda of true in essence, but every one of us has been influenced by whichever society we live and grew up in. Add to that personal experiences and you have the whole spectrum of human existence.
Yet remarkably, there's less people with principles that may be assumed. And the reason for this it's because it's hard. And it is hard because of the unpredictability of the consequences of our actions. We fear what these could be, we do not know their ramifications, or its long-term effects. Worst still, what we do is received and perceived by different people in different ways. Such are the complex mechanics of human interaction.
More specifically, I have been thinking about this recently, because I have stood up for what I think is right recently on behalf of someone. I'm sure everyone at some point in their lives must have that choice before them, to stand up for someone. The difficulty here is that sometimes that implies a change of behaviour and relationship with others because of that one person. It is easier to remain neutral or fashionably ambiguous (sitting on the fence!!). There are benefits and dangers to this middle of the road approach, as you may come out unscathed as easy as you may lose both/all persons due to your inability to stand up for one or the other.
So you do. You stand up for someone. You say what has to be said. You act on you have said. This involves determination and sometimes to be quite detached and tough skinned. But, the person that you have stood up for, is not like you, and they either bow out or do something to betray the values for which you have decided to make a stand. I can't help but invoke the film to which I most clearly can identify this feeling with, Primary Colors, with John Travolta and Adrian Lester. The scenes at the end when Lester character realises that the man which he has followed and believed in and deposited his hopes in is not perfect nor is he the ideal he had envisaged. At this stage there only seems to be one way, to abandon everything and go away. And yet, he changes his mind in the end and decides to follow the ideal, the principle, even if it is on the back of a flawed human being.
I thought that was incredibly poignant and relevant, because it shows that we can stand up for people even if they themselves do not hold the same values as us, or at least may not live or have the ability to be able to act on those sets of values.
Having principles is hard, holding to your values and your views and your feelings can be lonely, especially as you are likely to have your own and different from others. This does not mean that yours are more right than somebody elses', but that you should hold onto and act as you see fit according to your own conscience. (although obviously this may contradict with what is accepted by society as a norm, but so long as it is nothing too radical and criminal you should always stand up for what you believe in).
Well, didn't that sound like the end of a perfectly moralistic and cliched american movie...

01 September, 2009

An Experiment

"And now for something completely different." I had this idea of writing a post based on music, more specifically, try to write a post by cutting and pasting lines of my favourite songs. This come to me whilst browsing through my charts on LastFM, thus I have decided to attempt it, using LastFM's statistics, picking the top 20 songs, and using no more than two lines from each song. Here goes it.

"I'm contemplating, thinkin' about thinkin'"
"All my life I've been searching for something, Something never comes never leads to nothing"
"I've got nothing, to gain, to lose. Silent my voice, I've got no choice"
"I wanna be free to know the things I do are right"
"I got too much life running through my veins, going to waste. I need to feel real love and a live ever after."
"Stars in their place, mirror your face. I need to find you, I need to seek my inner vision"
"Come and be with me, Live my twisted dream "
"I know, how I feel when I'm around you, I, don't know, how I feel when I'm around you."
"The poetry that comes from the squaring off between, and the circling is worth it, finding beauty in the dissonance"
"I no longer wanted a mirage, It was real, it was you"
"Fear waits, for us,when the present cant be sealed, fear waits, for us, Till the moment is revealed,"
"What's the matter with calamity anyway?"
"There's a pain that's inside us and we're letting it out, Charge right in, we dare to fail"
"Will not succumb to doubts that I hold onto, Release the fear of my pain"
"Puppeting your frustrations with a blinded flag, Manufacturing consent is the name of the game.
"Don't want to be down here,soothing my narcissism I Must crucify the ego before it's far too late I pray the light lifts me out"
"Well, I know time reveals in hindsight, I can wrestle with the stormy night. Because your love lasts a lifetime, but I can see you through the snowblind"
"I'm just the man in the back! Just the man in the back!"
"The door is closed, The lights are out"
"And says at last just as the time bell rings, thank you goodnight now its time to go home"

The next stage

 I feel good, or shall I say, better? Better than in previous day that's for sure. I think something has clicked on the back of my mind that makes it all slightly more bearable.
Amidst it all, the confusion, and the frustration, pain and exhasperation, some good has come insofar as I feel I have made some inroads into adding to my circle of trusted friends. Which really has no connection to what I have been going through, but may, for sure, make it all easier to understand and bear, as little as medicinal power as sharing can have, which to be fair, I think is not so little at all, will make the healing and recovery all that much easier and less painful, and that is only good news.
Funny how certain situations can bring people together, even if for the act of sharing alone. You may know someone for months, weeks or years (not too many yers though :D) and they can still surprise you or change your point of view, or help you where you previously may have thought no help would have been forthcoming.

And so we move one, or shall I say it, I must move on. Which the light that has been lit at the back of my brain has certainly provided. Something which I thought would take much longer to achieve, but the simple fact of the matter is that the middle and common ground must be reached immediately and without delay, if I may to progress without further hurt to others and minimal to myself. I am weird in the way that I like to talk about things and share thoughts and feelings but then I am quite able to close and isolate myself, when awkwardness sets in. It is this that I want to address and will it to go way, consciently or not.

Hence, the cat has met the reality outside of the bag and they were strangers and wary of each other. But the inherent familiarity will make them get acquainted and a new level shall be reached.

But I waffle in metaphors. I am more confident I shall be able to tackle and confront awkward situations head on, besides I am not that young anymore to get away with coyness and timidness. A greater degree of courage and thick skin will be required for the foreseeable feature, however hard and frustrating it may prove to be, I shall I endeavour to get it.