Category Archives: one for all

The eyes, chico…

I just remained there, sitting at a high table in the coffee-shop window, looking outside at all the people that were busy living their lives, whichever those might be.
A tall man in a suit rushing through the crowd, late for a meeting, a kid cruising on a skateboard, one young couple kissing at a stoplight, a dancer performing for coins at the corner, a police officer whistling anxiously in the intersection, a woman holding her child…

The more I looked, the more I realized that in each of them I was seeing a little piece of myself at one point or the other in my life. The realization was strange but it felt good to see a familiar detail, an annoying reality, a childish mistake. I missed that…looking at myself, even if in a somewhat twisted way.

It seems that time isn’t what it was anymore. We’re constantly running, speeding or rushing through the days, the months, the years…and the time for introspection is always postponed or underestimated.

During the week, we barely survive, crawling from Monday morning until we stand tall, full of energy on a Friday evening, living the weekend as if those are our last days on earth. We spare little time for us. Maybe a few minutes on a Sunday evening, when we think with melancholy about the past two days.

The world has changed…and I have changed with it many times. Probably with each bucket of five years came a different man with it.

I see it in the eyes of the friends that I learned to love too. Their eyes seem older in one light, younger in the other and I know it’s not the age that changed them…it’s the experience that left one more shade in them with every passing moment…light green, dark blue, amber red…

If I would believe in souls, I would be confident that the eyes always tell the truth about a person. Probably that’s why I seldom look closely in the mirror.

“The eyes, Chico. They never lie.”
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As long as time smiles on me

He was out of breath when he reached the doors. He opens them slowly as if being afraid not to attract too much attention, as if being afraid that people could see how late he was. It was the first time he came to this place. She suggested it.
“Isabel’s” was the name.

For sure not a high end restaurant he thought, but a cozy one nonetheless.
The bar was stretched against the wall on the left side, from the entrance until the end of the room. Around 15 tables were scattered around, all covered with tabletops in white and light blue stripes and each had a vase with one rose inside.
There was space for more tables but probably there was no need for them. Even now, on a Saturday evening, only two of them were taken. A middle age couple occupied one and an older man smoking a cigarette the other. There was a small stage at the far end of the room  where three to four people could performed. It could be seen that it hasn’t been used in a long time however. He briefly imagined how a concert would look like in this place since he was a musician on his own, but then he remembered himself and why he was here. But most of all remembered that he was very late.

He went at the bar and approached the bartender.

“Good evening. Have you seen a beautiful woman in the last half an hour, waiting for an idiot like me?”

“Sorry, but nobody came or left in the last hour.”

“Perfect. I’ll have a glass of white wine in this case.”

This changed things of course. He was not the one that is being late anymore. But how come she is?  This was one of the few moments when he regretted his decision of not wanting to own a phone. He thinks that phones limit your freedom and kill your creativity. He still thinks that, but he had to admit that today a phone would have been useful.

He took a table in the middle of the room, pulled out a cigarette from his pack and was searching for a lighter. He realized that he doesn’t have one.

Two tables away from him, the old man was still smoking.

“Excuse me mister, may I borrow your lighter?”

“Of course” he responds, “but smoking is not a healthy habit, you know?”

“We all have to die of something, or for something.” he said, smiled and took the lighter from the old man’s stretched out hand.

“I guess you’re right. We do.”

He handed the lighter back and return to his table. The old timer was still looking at him as he was taking his seat.

“I overheard your conversation with the bartender. I’m also waiting for someone. What if we are waiting together. Time could fly quicker.”

“A conversation never hurt. Why not?” he said to him then took his glass of wine and moved to the old man’s table.

“Who are you waiting for, if I may ask?” he said.

“Do you hear this song?” the old man asked

He didn’t notice it until now, but now that the man asked, he realized that there was a well sung Jazz playing in the background. In the fashion of older times. Not a classical, he could hear some foreign influences in the way the words came out from the singers mouth and in the way the tunes were played, but it was a good one. From what he could guess, the singer was a young lady, probably in her mid 30’s.

“I do hear it. It’s a very good jazz. Probably from the 60’s if I can take a guess at it.”

“You guessed well. It was recorded in ’64. It’s my wife that sings it. It is her that I am waiting for. She is also late. But better late than never I always tell myself when I’m waiting for her.”

The young man smiled hearing that. He could have said the same thing.

“How did you meet her?”

“Oh kid, that’s a long and sad story.”

“I have plenty of time.” the young man said with a semi smile.

“So be it then. I will tell you our story.”

“We meet in the late 50’s in Cuba. In the Havana harbor, on a street called La calle del Placer. The street of pleasure.
I was a young sailor back then, wanting to do what all sailors do when they arrive in a harbor. Search for a brothel and pay for a woman to sleep with.

I found a brothel and payed for a woman, but when I’ve seen her, I couldn’t lay with her. Not because she was not beautiful, quite the opposite, she was the most beautiful woman that I have seen in my whole life, but she was afraid, scared, horrified of me. I did not touch her, but I talked with her instead. The whole night.

My Spanish was not the best, but we understood each other. She told me that I should have been her first customer. That her parents died when she was little and that her brother sold her to the brothel so he could put food on his family table. She told me that she doesn’t hate him for that, but I couldn’t believe her.  I should have been her first customer but I didn’t touch her even though I never felt more attracted to anyone before. I paid for the whole night, to be sure that no one puts a finger on her.

I felt deeply in love with her so naturally, the next day she was the only thing on my mind. I was feeling a strong urge to take care of her.

I went back to the brothel before it opened and waited for the doors to open. Once they did, I went in with a pistol that I stole from my captain in my hand, went upstairs to her room and took her with me. I didn’t hurt anyone, but I would have if I needed to.

That day, she was the happiest girl in this world in I was feeling the same.

I hid her in our boiler room and until we reached home one month later, I smuggled food and water for her daily and each moment that I could, I spent it with her. Luckily we were not discovered.

I quit sailing, got a job as a bartender and she started singing each Saturday evening. It was in this place where we are right now.
Faith smiled upon us and after a few years we were able to buy it. I chose the name and named it after her. Isabel’s

We were madly in love. She was the only thing that mattered to me. We got married one year after we arrived here. Married in the eyes of God at least. Not in front of the law since she was not living legally in the country.

We lived in harmony for more that 11 years. We had everything. A nice house, a good business but most of all we had ourselves.

Until disaster struck and destroyed our hard build paradise.

An Emigration Officer found out about her in a drunken conversation at that god forsaken bar over there. The next day he stormed this place and took her in front of my eyes.

She was screaming as they grabbed her. I tried to stop them but one of them hit me in my head and I fell unconscious.

When I woke up I went straight to the Emigration office but she was not there anymore. The officer, however, was. I beat him  with a possessed rage and nearly killed him while I was crashing his skull with a chair, but a police officer stopped me in time.
I spent 6 years in jail for that outburst. I regretted it every day of it. Not for what I did, but because I couldn’t go and find my wife in that time.

When I was released I sold everything and went to Cuba to search for her. 10 long years I searched. Nobody seen, heard or knew her. I didn’t find any trace of her existence. As if she only lived in my heart.

More than 40 years passed since the last time I’ve seen her. I haven’t touched or looked at another woman since.

Each Saturday, when her concert would have been, I come here and I wait for her. The people here still do me a favor and play her songs when I am here.

As long as time smiles on me, I will wait for her.”

The young man didn’t know what to say. He looked in the old man’s eyes, but he couldn’t see any sadness in them. He just seen hope.

A noise came from the door that swung opened and they both looked at it with excitement. She finally arrived.

 

 

 

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The Fighter

He realized a long time ago that life isn’t always ending up as planned. “You have to be happy with what you have” his father would say. That of course if he would have been around when he grew up. He didn’t choose to be where he is today but it didn’t matter now anyway, did it? He had to go ahead with it.

The room was awkwardly quite. A large room where 100 people could easily fit in. He was all alone, however. He sat in complete silence, his rush breath was the only sound that left a noise. Silence…the total opposite of what was going on in his head. 

All kind of thoughts racing fast…memories, things he should remember, small victories, movements of the past, nonsense that didn’t matter…most of all, didn’t matter now. He had other things to think of.

Among all of them, something was creeping up his throat, like a shadow that he couldn’t get rid of. It was fear. 

“Fear is for the smart ones. Fear keeps you alive” his father would say. That of course, if he would have been around when he grew up.

He was not, though. But from all their imaginary conversations this was the best thing they didn’t talk about: “Fear keeps you alive”. Maybe he came up with it because he was always afraid. Not vulnerable…he was never vulnerable, he couldn’t be, but fear was always by his side. Fear of defeat, fear of drowning in mediocrity, fear of not being the king of his world anymore.

He heard a door opening and noise flooding in the hallway. The door shut and the noise disappeared again but now he could hear footsteps rapidly approaching.

A knock in the door and it swung open.

“Ready?” the intruder asked

“Does it matter??”

“I guess it doesn’t.”
He rose from the table that was hosting his ass and started walking. Out of the door, into the narrow hallway. He starred stupidly at a lightbulb that was flickering. “Flickers as my heart” he though and passed under it.

The intruder went a few steps ahead and widely opened the thick door that was connecting his peace from earlier from the chaos that was about to start.

The arena was sold out tonight and the noise of the crowd nearly made his head spin. People everywhere. Starring. Screaming. Shouting in anticipation. Wanting to see what they came for. 

He walked alone through the narrow sidewalk between the crowd.

Hands were wide spread for him to touch or shake, faces crying for a look of his, but he couldn’t touch or look at anyone…fear was controlling him. His eyes were fixed. His heart was exploding.

He stepped into the ring and fear became uncontrollable. It was inpowering him now, fear was giving him strength, fear was each breath he took, fear were his fists, fear was his essence. Fear could be seen in his opponent’s eyes.

“Fear keeps you alive. That of course, if you are not on the other side of the ring” his father would say.

  

When disaster strikes and your world is crumbling

According to Murphy’s law, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong at some point or the other. In many cases, this is indeed the truth. We can’t control everything in life, even if we would wish it. One of the biggest difference between men, is how we cope with disappointments or with failures.

Some people stop their efforts at the first rock on the road, while others see it as a motivation to go further and transform each obstacle into a step. 

The difference between us is the way we are seeing life or in the way we understand what is happening to our efforts or plans.

We can sleep well at night if we think that the world is perfect and Karma is the power that spins the world, but as we see every day, this is not the case.

The solution is always the same, the solution is acceptance, that if something is not in our power to change, we have to accept it and move on. I am not talking of the idealistic concepts that everything is possible as long as we wish it or that we should not accept a “no” for an answer etc, etc, etc. I am talking about real life. Where a car is breaking down when you are on an Eurotrip, when due to an accident you can’t arrive at your sister’s wedding ceremony or when you scheduled a big event and you have to cancel it because of who knows what reason. I am aware that those are not life changing events that will haunt us for eternity, but the way the little things make our journey worth living, those little accidents can make it worst sometimes.

Life is not fair and it never will be. We have to accept it as it is and make the best out of it. Happiness is a self induced feeling but so is anger or what we feel when we are disappointed or experience failure.

 Stop promoting negativism in your life. I know it is not possible to be always in good spirit, but when disaster strikes, take a break, breath deeply and overcome it, no matter what it takes or how much time. Overcome it!

You have the power to do so. You always had.

Remember your past experiences and how much you have learned from them. Remember that when those happened, you felt that the word is crumbling under your feet. Time has passed since then and now you see them as experiences that forged your character. Keep that in mind each time a new problem appears. It will help you understand it and help you move on.

You have the key to everything. You are the God of your life.


All I ever wanted, was the world

We drift in this beautiful life as strangers in the woods on a forgotten road, never knowing which direction we should turn and as a consequence we almost never understand what we truly want; what our ultimate dreams are or what we should expect from the almost never ending tomorrow morning.

We start a school that doesn’t interest us very much. We work a job that pays the bill, but that we don’t enjoy. We live in a place that doesn’t suit our needs anymore. We love a person that only exists in our mind. We shoot blank bullets on dreams and goals.

This cannot go on anymore! We have to decide what we want in life, it will not go on forever. The years are passing and our white hair starts growing. We don’t have time to loose or to donate to misery. We have to decide.

I firmly decided. I realized that all I ever wanted was the world.

I want to have everything that this life has to offer. I want to stop dreaming and start doing. I want to love, to dance, to laugh, to wake up hangover on the beach just because I can. Just because life can offer us everything, we have to take everything.

Why should we live in a shadow, when we can get a tan in the sun? Why should we accept what is given or ‘written’ for us, when we can create everything that we want, reach all goals that we set up for us? Why should we embark in this journey and not decide where we want to stop or decide when it’s time to drift further?

We shouldn’t! We should be the ‘writers’ of our book, not society, not strangers, not even parents or friends. We! We are the ones that can choose if we want to live in happiness or rot in non-fulfillment. We decide if we live this life or if we let it pass by.

So go! Decide, realize, think and then go and start living it.

Hai sa plecam!

Hai sa plecam. Stiu ca ma vei intreba unde sau cand. Dar nu conteaza asta. Hai sa plecam. Hai sa ne urcam in masina, sa sarim in tren, autobuz sau avion si sa plecam. Vreau sa fugim impreuna si sa nu ne mai uitam inapoi. Vreau sa fiu doar cu tine. Pe o insula pustie, pe un varf de munte, intr-un lac termal. Hai sa plecam.

Ne uitam telefoanele acasa, inchidem laptopurile si ne deconectam de la matrice. Pe o plaja tropicala, cu o nuca de cocos sparta in mana sau pe un vas cu care sa inconjuram lumea. Nu conteaza unde. Hai sa plecam.

Hai sa calatorim peste tot impreuna, hai sa vedem tot ce ne poate oferi minunata si nebuna asta de viata. Sa ducem limitele si intelegerile gandirii si ale iubirii pana la absolut si inapoi. Haide sa zburam, daca nu prin aer atunci prin traire. Sa ne amintim constant cat de usor e sa fi fericit, sa gasesti bucurii, sa dansezi, sa razi.  Sa ne amintim ca in fiecare clipa e prezentul. Sa ne amintim ce frumoasa e viata cand o traiesti iubind. 

Hai sa plecam!


Viitorul e prezentul trecutului

Lumea se transforma. Ce era normal in urma cu cateva decenii, astazi nu mai este.  Suntem inconjurati de negativism. Incatusati de nocivitati. Avem razboaie interioare, revolutii morale, calamitati si distrugeri in masa.

Traim intr-o era in care viitorul se scalda in incertitudine.
Planurile se fac pe termen scurt. Ne mutam. Ne schimbam constant viata. Ne gasim mai greu calmul si pacea .

Insa eu continui sa cred in viitorul nostru. Cred in viitorul meu si in viitorul tau.
Cred ca fiecare clipa pe care o traim e un dar, iar ca atare, fiecare moment pe care il petrecem cu zambetul pe buze e o binecuvantare.

Cred in certitudinea zilei de maine. Stiu ca imi voi deschide ochii si voi imbratisa razele diminetii. Maine, poimaine, raspoimaine – imi voi deschide ochii si voi imbratisa razele diminetii,  pana atunci cand nu o voi mai putea face. Dar cu fidelitate, zilele care imi sunt ramase, le voi trai. Le voi trai bine. Le voi trai zambind.

Omul are nevoi doar de trei lucruri, pentru a putea atinge fericirea: un acoperis sub care sa doarma, mancare si acces la apa potabila. Restul lucrurilor pentru care ne zbatem atat de mult sunt dispensabile toate. Mofturi care ne ridica stima de sine sau ne ajuta in mobilitate; ne ridica nivelul de trai sau cel putin ne fac sa credem asta.

Lucrurile cu adevarat importante in viata, vin din interior.
Sunt acele lucruri pentru care traim, lucrurile care determina conceperea prezentului si posibilitatea viitorului. Dragostea, fericirea, simtul de apartanenta, prietenia, linistea mintii, calmul sufletului. Lucrurile pe care nu le poti cumpara, dar pentru care trebuie sa muncesti.

Cred in viitorul nostru pentru ca am invatat cum sa ne traim prezentul. Cred in viitorul nostru pentru ca prezentul e trecutul lui.
Cred in viitorul nostru pentru ca acum punem piatra de temelie si pentru ca acum plantam copacul din care vom culege roade in timp.

Un an, o luna, o zi, o clipa, un moment – oricat timp mai avem, sa il petrecem zambind.

Eu am zambit astazi. Tu ai facut-o?

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