System error

When I’m in need of a cold shower – when I need someone to tell me the rational point of view of how things really are, I go and talk to one of my colleagues. He doesn’t embellish, nor does he spare me of cruel reality. Every time I need a withdrawal from my ideal world, I go and ask him to wake me up from dreaming.

Me: What’s wrong with me? Why do I have this feeling like everybody is leaving me?
Him: Because you care too much. You show your emotions too much.
Me: And is that a problem?
Him: It scares people away. You can’t show that much emotion. Try to hide them, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Put on a mask.
You open your heart too much and it allows people to take advantage of you.
That’s how this world goes.
Me: Then I don’t like this world. Why do I have to hide my emotions? I don’t like this kind of world at all.

It’s a cold, cold world without emotions. I feel like the Dementors got way too far away from Azkaban and are now somewhere here amongst us, turning everything cold. And Muggles don’t see the dementors, do they?

And I feel like screaming out: EXPECTO PATRONUM!

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Emotions are great. Showing them feels great. When I hear something funny, I laugh hard. When I like something, I praise. When I’m sad, I cry my eyes out. And I really do cry a lot – tears of happiness and sorrow. And when I love, I show it.

At times, I feel like emotions are suffocating. I choke on laughter. I choke on tears. I choke on melancholy. It’s sometimes so hard to breathe, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my way of feeling things.

But my colleague is probably right. That’s just how this world goes.

People don’t really care that much. People stopped repairing things. We stopped repairing broken relationships, even if they can be fixed. We rather go and replace them with new ones. It’s like on facebook: Add friend. Add friend. All of a sudden, you have 400 friends. Remove friend. One less, who cares? But what about memories? Feelings for the person? What about this friends’s unique personality? Can everybody be replaced? It seems like they can. Like with furniture or electronics. You simply throw it away and buy a new one.

And wait a sec, so I was ditched because I cared too much? Until now, I always thought it’s a good thing to love someone. If people had to speak in all honesty, what would they say? I break up with you because you care too much about me? I am ending our friendship because you were too good of a friend to me?

It’s a weird, weird world.

Should I stay, should I go?

I’m so sick of the direction my home country is going.  So, so, so sick! In case you don’t care for Eastern European politics, in Slovakia we had parliamentary elections on 5 March.

I don’t want to talk about politics, so I’ll just quickly summarize it for you: Basically, the biggest thieves, scammers, and corrupters won again thanks to their populist politics and people being that stupid. 14 neo-nazis got to the parliament thanks to – yeah stupid people again, together with a couple of blond plastic ladies with LV handbags and a funny rich guy who’ll soon become a new Genghis Khan – having more kids he can count. And yeah, two parties that appeared quite worth voting for, ended up betraying their voters and after the elections teamed up with these corrupters.

And the best part? We’ll have the most absurd and nonsensical coalition of all times consisting of four absolutely incompatible parties: social democrats, rightists, nationalists, and Hungarians. Amusing, huh?

There’s been much talk lately among the people who THINK that the situation has not been this alarming since over a decade ago. Many young people say stuff like: “Okay, I’m buying a one-way ticket to <insert country here> and I’m off of this doomed land.”

Yeah, their thoughts are completely justified. The current situation is a tragedy for the Slovakian nation (only the herd of sheep is not aware of that just yet).

But is this the solution to everything? To just leave? I mean, of course, we do not owe this country anything. But it makes me so sad even thinking about how many quality people will go helping to build other countries. Nothing wrong with that, but what will become of Slovakia? I love this country, I don’t want to see it crumble and collapse.

Good people are, after all, what this country desperately needs.

Though I was considering leaving myself, now I’m thinking I’d rather stay and maybe try and help a little. I don’t exactly know how, I’m still working on that part.

But I believe that in a country where virtually everything sucks it’s quite an easy task to do something good to make it a better place to live. I am quite a hopeful person and I truly hope that there will come better days for Slovakia. I want to see this country thrive and its people happy.

Until then, I’m disillusioned. But I am also sure that while there’s life, there is still HOPE.

Other love

My heart is broken to thousand pieces.
My lungs heavy as stones in my chest.
My pride buried three feet underground.
My dreams don’t let me sleep at night.

Each new day hurts more than the last.
Each meal is a battle rather than feast.
Each breath is a triumph to stay alive.
Each word hard to utter to make a sound.

…And I’m the one who hasn’t loved?

I am

“For there is not a single human being, who is so conveniently simple that his being can be explained as the sum of two or three principal elements; and to explain so complex a man as Harry by the artless division into wolf and man is a hopelessly childish attempt. Harry consists of a hundred or a thousand selves, not of two. His life oscillates, as everyone’s does, not merely between two poles, such as the body and the spirit, the saint and the sinner, but between thousand and thousands.”

Hermann Hesse – Steppenwolf

I am Harry Haller. An average Steppenwolf who has all sorts of personalities inside of him.

I am good, and bad. I lie, I tell the truth. I love company, but I often long for solitude. At times I go mad but I can be as tame as a lamb. I can be rude as hell when I want to, but I know my manners. I’m a saint, I’m a sinner. I scream. I’m as quiet as a mouse. I cry, I laugh. I am shy, I dance all night. I’m a lady, but a child as well. I love, but I hate sometimes. I make mistakes. Lots of them. I am a teacher, but I still learn. You will love and hate me.

I am all that.

And I am sorry for what I am sometimes.

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But the world is not black & white. The world is not divided into good people and bad ones. Into believers and faithless, into liars and truthtellers.

We all have dark and light sides to us. The good and the bad. We’re imperfect. And imperfect is human.

One Sun, one window, 13 sunsets

From my desk at work, this is what I see every day when I look to my left:

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Yes, it’s a window. A pretty dirty window.

The view is not the most picturesque one, but still, we can see the Bratislava castle – right in the middle of “Two Towers” plus some cranes and construction sites and trash… An interesting mixture.

I love sunsets. Who doesn’t? And this particular sunset, out of this dirty window, has a special place in my heart.

So, I watch the same sunset everyday but it’s still not getting old. The sun is setting every single day, it’s the most common thing in the world, yet – it’s always different. Always special.

I took tons of pictures on my phone. Here are some of my most favourite ones.

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And one extra black & white sunset. I picked 12 photos for this post but then I thought: my favourite number is 13, so I need to choose one more.

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The saddest thing is that as of February, we’re leaving this coworking space where we work from and we’re moving to a new place. And from what I heard, there are no picturesque views from that place, so no more sunsets for me 😦

Edvard Munch

Today I took a day off at work just to go and see the Edvard Munch exhibition in Albertina, Vienna (I didn’t want to go over the weekend – too many people).

The exhibition was called Edvard Munch: love, death, loneliness. And no other three words could describe the Norwegian painter’s life better than that.

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“Like Leonardo da Vinci studied the inside of the human body and dissected corpses, so I am trying to dissect souls.”

I love his painting for the excess of emotions running through the paper or canvas. He was the master of emotions, even though he didn’t experience many positive ones throughout his life. Like I said in one of my previous posts, the negative, or sad emotions for some reason tend to be the strongest. And this is very true with Munch. He could beautifully play with dark emotions. He often painted or drew several copies of the same motif in different color variations just to play with senses and emotions of the onlooker.

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His art revolves around one question: what is life? That’s why he titled his body of work “Frieze of Life”. By the end of the 19. century he started sorting all his to-date works by theme into separate cycles. The Frieze of Life is his own account of life as observed via love, jealousy, sexual desire, depression, anxiety, melancholy, angst…

Edvard Munch led an unhappy, yet rich and thoughtful life. He was melancholy and depressed most of the times but his mind was beautiful. And his life was full of love. It was a destructive and painful love, but that’s how love often is. That’s the kind of love that inspires the most beautiful art.

“My path led along an abyss, some bottomless depth. The angst has been with me for as long as I can remember.”

“I was given a singular role on this earth: a role imposed upon me by a life full of illness, hapless circumstances, and my vocation as an artist. It is a life that does not even know the semblance of happiness, in fact, does not yearn for happiness at all.” 

Munch was not only a painter, he was a poet, too. When painting, he used to write down his thoughts. They’re leaving me speechless (and I think they’ll do the same to you).

“Like a star rising from the dark and meeting another star that flashes up for a moment only to disappear again in the dark, so man and woman meet each other. They are gliding along together. They light up in love, a brief flame – and disappear again in different directions. Only few find themselves together in a large blaze in which they can be fully united.”

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“He lay down, but could not sleep. Her image – in the bright summer night, with the pale moon above – stood before him. Her eyes in the shadows. And yet – the way she looked at him. Like she was waiting for something. Should he take a chance? Should he kiss her? Wasn’t she expecting it? He had never kissed before.”

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“When my eyes look into your big eyes – in the pale moonlight, with delicate hands weaving invisible threads that are tied around my heart. They are guided by my eyes and by your big dark eyes. And around your heart. Your eyes are so big, now they are so close to me. They are like two big dark skies.”

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“The ancients were right to compare love to a flame, for like a flame, love only leaves ashes behind.”

“I know the mystic look of the jealous. It is a searching look, full of hatred and full of love.” 

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“The picture is a warning. It says that love goes hand in hand with death. And yet, it is only a woman kissing a man on the neck.”

“Togetherness has a price: the loss of individuality.”

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And there’s a reason why his painting “The scream” became one of the most popular paintings of all time. Even though the three color versions of “The scream” were painted by Munch some years before, the drawing became acknowledged during the interwar period, for which it became a sort of a symbol. The despair and fear coming out of the painting served as a representation of the era.

This is Munch’s note on the Scream:

“I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear.”