Breathing … sand …

(poem inspired by a dream, credits to the subconscious :D)

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Breathing …
Sand …
And blue water …

Breathing …
The wind
That I can see in the small waves,
The biggest of them all,
A mountain far ahead.

Breathing … (hiccup)
With hiccups. (hiccup)
From my balcony,
I can see one building,
Which ate a slice of the sea. (hiccup)

Breathing …
It’s slowly …
Getting dark …

Breathe in, breathe out …
Dream in, dream out …

A silent noise:
The mountain turned into a wave,
To my right,
The sea falls down like a valley,
To my left.

It took away with it the sand,
The building,
And my breath.

With what air is left in my lungs,
I look out:
It’s bluetifuuul !

The sea is rumbling,
Yet somehow,
I cannot hear it.
The mountain is still far away,
To my right,
The sea is falling down like a valley,
To my left,
And I am safe,
On my balcony,
Breathing…

Salsa for people who think too much

I write because it lets me predict the future. Yet for the first time, I had no clue where this story will bring me. Maybe it’s because, when I started, I was mature enough to understand that:

I’m Perfect!
I’m Smarter than you,
I’m Faster than you,
I’m Better in every single way,
And for all I have done
Let’s be honest,
I deserve more than you!

I was somewhere in this cheerful mood, when I went to my first salsa class. Now I have to confess something: I have never, ever danced before. Not even under the shower. After I took the first beginner class 3 times, the second beginner class 3 times, the third beginner class 3 times, moved to intermediate, and then came all the way back to beginners, I realized … there must be something wrong with the teaching method. So I decided to come up with my own. Salsa … for people who think too much.

Lesson 1 – the upside down umbrella

You dance in a circle, switching partners. By the end of the class, you’ve done the full tour twice and you get a pretty complete and consistent image of yourself:

You’re frowning, you’re angry, you’re thinking too much,
you’re counting, not counting, don’t do it as such,
so wait for the next one, next time, boy oh boy,
now?
Now you’re not good enough.

Let’s skip all the blaming and get things straight – Yes, I’m the guy, Yes, I’m supposed to lead, it’s all on me. Yes, I really, really wanna do things right. Yet here I am, stopping in the middle of a move because I forget where the freaking legs are supposed to be, stuttering back and forth a bunch of times until I think I got the rhythm right (and I look into her eyes – nope, I didn’t). Here I am – hating myself for every clumsy little move, and I put in my google calendar that the next time when I go, I won’t just talk about my mistakes, I’ll make people compliments, but I can’t. I guess that was my first salsa lesson – you cannot make compliments when you’re frustrated.

One evening, at a salsa party I saw a really strange thing. In the middle of the stage, a chair, and a little kid sitting on it. Two larger, heavier kids, were pushing him from the sides, trying to see if they can fit him in smaller space. I could read on his lips, he kept saying, if only I could disappear, if only I could disappear and these two assholes would bump into each other, if only, I could disappear… I ran off to help, but the children vanished.

I looked around, and on my right, there was a girl, who I asked to dance, and for 2 minutes, I forgot all about my salsa mistakes. All I could think of was her hair. Whenever she turned around, her hair raised, weightless, like an upside down umbrella. I didn’t say anything. Back then, I feared that making compliments always has consequences. Instead, she looked at me and said, in the sweetest possible way: you think a lot, don’t you ? It might have been a compliment.

Lesson 2 – the alien

I land. I watch the dancers float on the stage and I am amazed. I make contact with the humans: unbelievable, we have the same five fingers. But what do I say? On my planet, the whole world lives inside my head, but here, your world is too big, and I cannot carry all its emotions. I am … a mirror. An emotional amplifier. You want me to be myself ? If I share the dramas that live inside me, they would crush you. So I break the loop. Instead of reflecting emotions, I transform them. I become a drunken clown, that turns fears into jokes. A colorblind poet, that paints the world with words.

That night, I left early, exhausted from too much thinking. I reached the entrance, and there I saw a man, sitting down, his legs closed, flipping one coin over, and over again, never happy with the outcome. After he flipped the coin a thousand times, I found my courage, and went back to the dancing floor.

Lesson 3 – What did you wanna become as a grown up?

When I was a kid my dream was to become Michael Jordan. My plan was to sit in the sun, all day, until I would turn black. I was pretty sure that if I’m black, I’d play basketball like there’s no tomorrow. So, if right now I am just one shade of brown darker than the average white guy it’s because, well, I gave up too early. But now, for serious, when I was a little kid, what I wanted to become was an extrovert. Many years ago, I used to go to parties, I wouldn’t talk much, but I would say bye – to people I knew, to people I didn’t know. It was the easiest thing to do – I didn’t have to have a half-an-hour conversation after that goodbye (although that seems to happen all the time lately and I love it). Somehow, doing that has become a sort of tradition for me. Because for me, goodbye, is when people get to know me: I am … the child who didn’t disappear. I am the man who flipped the coin a thousand times, the coin that every single time showed, in reflection, his face, to realize that I am … you!

Epilogue

If to be broken,
Is to live in a world,
where only the satisfied are fed,
and you,
you’re so hungry,
that you learn to pretend.

If to be broken is to live life,
like it’s a Mario game,
never making it past the first level,
always falling down into that first pit,
because for some odd freaking reason,
in the those twenty something years of your life,
I had no idea,
that THERE’S A JUMP BUTTON!
that I can skip over pain,
jump over yesterday,
live like a child,
never right,
never wrong,
too small to make sense of any of this,
but still taking the jump,
the bold leap of faith,
and hoping
that one day
I will learn to fly.

Thinking that maybe, maybe the happiest moment of my life
Is right now,
And right now, I am split, spread out,
between the lines,
Between you,
Letting go,
With so many walls torn off,
With nothing to fear,
And nothing to defend,

If that…
if that…
if that is what it means to be broken,
Then broken is what I want to be!

The King, the Two, and the Search for Home

Most sources say that, in the beginning, there were just two of them. Honestly, I think that’s quite unlikely. There must have been millions. We won’t have time, however, to look into all of their stories. So I picked two of them, at random, a man and a woman.

To understand what their world looked like, you’ll have to get out of your comfort zone for a moment or two. Don’t worry, it’s safe. Make sure you’re in a place surrounded by other people. Don’t read any further until you’re in the middle of a crowd, in a café, or watching through your window as people cross a busy intersection. Are you there? Ready now! Look at that swarm of known or unknown faces, and imagine, for a bit, that they’re all naked. Keep at it for a while.

As odd as it may sound, that’s what their world was like. In the beginning, they were all naked. Not once or twice a day, but all the time. Not just the two of them. The whole million.

They did wear clothes, though. It wasn’t their bodies that were naked, no, only their minds. Innocent, with nothing to hide, with no self-critical inner-voice, they all lived in … some sort of eternal moment. And the most amazing bit was that, everywhere they went … they felt like they belonged.

Although grown up, in the prime of their life, the two were really bad at communicating. The funny thing was – they had no clue. And so it happened that one day as they roamed around the world, they encountered a group of storytellers, and joined them. The first time the two shared a story, it sounded a bit like this: I … umm .. went to work … and … then … I … came back. Umm, that was it. The storytellers could have looked at two, stuttering, and said, you guys, you have no chance, go away and try something else. Instead, they saw in them people who are yet to learn to think in words. After just one month, the two left the group, now both of them master storytellers.

And so they grew, and bloomed, and everywhere they went, they felt that they belonged. Until one day, when they heard that a stranger from another land was roaming in their neighborhood. Rumor was that he was a man of great standing, distinguished in his speech by a prominent hiss, who tried, without success, to poison people with dangerous ideas. And there he sat, one day at dusk, in the middle of the woods, right in front of them, relaxing on the branch of a tree. His eyes strange, his voice a hiss, his mind covered in “clothes”, so they couldn’t read his true intentions.

You are beautifully perfect, man and woman, he said, you are as perfect as all the other beings, and as happy as all the rest. There is only one thing that you are missing, and that thing only I can teach you. It is a secret hidden from the beginnings of time that I can bestow on you, on one condition: that you will listen to what I have to say.

Ok, said the man and he looked cheerful at the woman. The only thing he could waste is our time, and since we live in the eternal moment, we’re pretty safe, I think.

Let’s give him a chance, said the woman, he has been traveling around, offering free advice, and nobody even dares to listen to him.

You have spoken wise words, my dear, said the stranger, his hiss now turning into a load roar, and his stature raising high above the trees.  I will teach you the greatest wisdom of all. I will show you how to distinguish between good … and better. You… you guys, you waste too much energy with all that team spirit, help each other kind of attitude. Focus on yourselves! Focus on your defects! And learn how to fix them! Become better than the others! And wear some “clothes” for heaven’s sake, you are disgusting. I cannot stand watching into your true emotions, and listening to your true thoughts.

His words pierced through their souls and broke their wholesome hearts. Envy and pride spread like a contagion. In one year, one year only, Cain, their older son, killed Abel, jealous that the younger was loved for his better spirit. Their daughters were kidnapped because they were more beautiful than all the other women. Their house, which showed behind a window, the very first and most beautiful rose in the world, still unwithered, their one and only house, was robbed, and the rose never to be found again.

Paradise was not taken away… It slowly disappeared. Nobody, nobody was naked anymore. And as if things were not bad enough already, the woman and the man were punished to live forever.

Quick and sure, the whole of mankind became greedy and stopped caring about the earth. Temperatures rose, and people ignored the warning of water levels rising. And then … came the flood.

Through the whole thing, the man and the women watched, in despair, humankind stripped of kindness. Through the night, when they were not dreaming all the nightmares of mankind, one could at times, hear them whispering … home, I want home.

Many ages passed, centuries. Every cycle of history was for them a commemoration of the beginnings. Every “promised land”, every hope, was followed by an exile. Worn down by the burden of time, their hearts withered, and the two forgot, for good, what it was like to feel at home.

And here they were, many thousands of years later, in exile, serving at the court of the greatest king on earth. For all the wisdom they have acquired over millennia, they have earned their position as advisors to the king. It was the middle of the night, when the king called the man and the woman, in an terrible mood. I had a dream, and I demand to know what it means, said the king,  What is the dream? they asked. I do not know, but you, who have dreamed all the dreams of mankind, will surely be able to dream my dream. And so the man and the woman went to sleep, and they both dreamt the same dream. They saw a big statue, with head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of clay and iron. A rock came out of nowhere and smashed the statue from its feet, and covered the entire earth. And as soon as they woke up, the man and the woman ran off to the king to tell him the meaning of the dream. You, king, and your kingdom, are the head of gold. But your kingdom will not last forever, after you will come another one, and then another one. And at the end of times, a rock will smash all kingdoms, and then, we’ll be home. But the king said, Nooooo! My kingdom, which is the best kingdom, will last forever, I will make the world great again! I will conquer everybody, and then make them feel like home! I will restore paradise! And grumbling angrily, he went out, and ordered a huge statue to be built in front of the palace, one made entirely out of gold, with a big wall around it so that no rock could topple it down.

When the king calmed down from his anger, the man and the woman went to him and said: there was one more thing in the dream, which we didn’t have the chance to tell you. Come, we’d like to show you something. And they walked up to the nearby mountain, and started climbing.

On his way up, the king was sweating like never before. Sweating because of his many clothes, sweating angrily because he could not keep up with a man and woman thousands of year old. Slowly, they got to the mountain top, and up there, the king, the man, and the woman, discovered, in awe, one thing that neither of them has seen in their dream: a person, naked, the first naked person they have seen in ages, with emotions so true, and thoughts so pure that they shined through her eyes.

That was when the man and the woman remembered again what it was like to be naked. What it was like to be home. To belong. And their withered hearts started beating again. Drawn to that image of humbleness, the king took off his crown, and, as he did that, a little rock slipped from under his foot, ran down to the statue he just built, ran through the wall, hit the statue at the bottom, and it toppled down. And the king asked, confused, wait, I thought you said that in the dream, the rock will destroy the statue at the end of time! And the man and the woman answered: this is the end of time, from now on we live in the eternal moment…

I don’t know what became of them afterwards, but for that moment, for that eternal moment, they were home.

Descartes didn’t think enough

There is one downside to being a superaware cameleon,
I have no energy left for joy,
When every drip of blood that flows under my skin
Goes into asking:
What’s wrong with me this time around?

Oh shit,
my hands are dangling awkwardly
as if in an out of the body experience,
I guess I’ve always looked like an astronaut on fast forward
navigating the void space between my mind and others,
without the gravity of confirmation.

And look,
the socks I picked in a rush
don’t match my clothes and I wonder,
before the whole pants below the waist thing was fashion,
did people wear them low to hide the socks out of shame ?

You see, the great Descartes said
I think, therefore I am,
But for all the 50 layers
Of hierarchical meta-thinking,
Self-fulfilling, self-deprecating loops,
I’d hardly say I am,
At best, I’m a bit lost.

To my grandlove

The last time when I fell in love,
I was counting in the wrinkles on your belly,
The ages of hunger, and of overweight…

It was lunchtime,
when I proposed.
But you…
You were too old,
and too slow
to respond.

The rest … is haze.

I think,
I just stood there,
Petrified,
Waiting for the first lightning,
To bestow on me the shape of time.

Carried down by winds to your beginning,
I could see all the future,
Which has already been.

Or maybe,
Maybe I just left,
Moved on, away.
And now I’m falling down with other raindrops…

I’m getting closer, close, to understanding…
nothing,
Reciting,
to a selfie stick,
and 7 billion cameras,
the timeless poem,
the hope of joy,
the breath of life:

Je
Roo
Nii
Mooo!!!!….

When I am done, my love, must promise you will hide me,
At dinner time:
I’ll be another wrinkle on your belly.

Chicago rain

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Be fruitful and ye
Multiply a dozen bridges o’er the river,
Build towers up into the sky,
One thousand floors of shining silver.

And whilst the rain fills up your hollow,
One million droplets of the same,
Thy shadows run, I try to follow,
A zillion people, with no name.

Until thou stop…
Against all odds…
Thy ghost forsaken to the now,
And then I learn,
Thy name,
Thy why,
From whence thou came,
And where thou run.