Sketching

Nobody Needs All the Truth

Once upon a time there was a research (I can’t tell where, I can’t tell when, and not because it is a big secret, but because I read about it long ago and don’t remember details) the aim of which was to find out if spouses wanted to know what their better or worse halves want, dream or think about. The question wasn’t about a short-term clear-sight experience, it wasn’t about understanding someone right now or in any other particular moment. The question was if respondents wanted the thoughts and wishes of their husbands and wives to be transparent once and for all.

The majority of the research participants responded to this generous offer negatively. People who usually complain about not understanding their life partners or not being understood by them didn’t want total transparency of thoughts. They wanted to keep the brain spots private.

Does it make sense? Absolutely, in my humble opinion. It’s not that people usually have a lot of dark or dirty secrets we might be afraid to reveal, even though it can be true in some cases. What’s more important, I think, is that we have enough troubles dealing with that infinite chaos our own brain contains. We are not able to absorb a whole world of somebody else’s mind, and we believe, perhaps correctly, that it would be too much to get in touch with every doubt, every little concern and inner conflict of our life partners, relatives and friends. It would break any, even the most stable, relationship because an angel’s patience and compassion would not be enough for such a task.

It doesn’t mean we can’t share anything at all. I am sure that we have to share out thoughts, feelings and believes, this is the point of being in a relationship. But there are limits, and everyone needs a private corner and has a right to have it. Nobody wants to live with the Big Brother or play this role themselves. I don’t want to know anything a person is not wishing to share with me. When he or she is ready to open up I’m there to listen and help if I can, but before that, I don’t want any truth serum injected into their veins. Let them keep their truth to themselves.

 

The Daily Post

Bookworm, Sketching

It’s Not the Genre That Matters

dividing line

“What do you read for fun?” This question sounds very strange to me, as if normal reading implied an obligation and hard, hard work and only sometimes you could allow yourself to read something for pure fun of it. Almost everything I choose to read I read for pleasure. As for the genre, I don’t limit my choices. Fiction, non-fiction, who cares? A book in any genre can be a jewel or disaster.

Many years ago I read Ingmar Bergman’s memoirs, Laterna Magica. I still recall some scenes from that book as if I saw a movie or witnessed a real-life event or maybe even lived through the Swedish director’s experience, so vivid was his writing, so palpable were his joys, pains and fears.

Some fiction books, on the other hand, can be pretty boring even in their attempt to entertain. I remember how once I borrowed a ‘humorous crime story’. It was the most tedious read in my life. I noticed the author’s desperate efforts to make a joke here and there and to leave an intriguing hint about the big question, ‘who stole the apple pie?’, but I couldn’t squeeze a smile out of myself so flat and tasteless was it all. I don’t remember anything about this story, not even the title, the only thing that stayed with me was the regret that I opened the book.

It’s not the genre, I assume, that makes a book good or bad, exciting or deadly boring. It’s all about the talent an author has or, unfortunately, hasn’t. That’s where the big border lies that divides reading into fun and disappointment. All the rest is insignificant; at least, that’s how I see it.

 

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Bookworm, Sketching

Too Much, Isn’t It?

manybooks

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.”

Edna Ferber

I love reading and I want to read everything that sounds interesting. When I hear about a new book that sounds interesting I want to read it almost immediately, and immediately indeed I check if it’s available online. If the book is easy to get I don’t read it right away because I read something else at the moment; but I put the title on the list of books I want to read. On one of the lists, to be exact, as I have many lists of many books I want to read so badly.

The more I read about new books the longer the lists of books I want to read become and the more I forget the titles of the books I want to read so badly. I even forget where I keep the lists of books I want to read which explains why I have so many lists instead of one.

I love reading the lists of books I want to read (when I’m able to find them). I love it even more than reading the books I want to read. My favorite lists are 100 Books You Have To Read, 100 Novels You Must Read Right Now and 100 Books of All Time You Still Haven’t Read. I write and reread the lists of books so often that I don’t have much time left for reading the books themselves. If you think I’m crazy you are perfectly right, but I’m afraid you are quite crazy too as you are losing your time reading about the books I want to read instead of reading a book you want to read so badly.

P. S. I have no idea who Edna Ferber is, but oh, she’s right.

 

The Daily Post

Sketching

Not For Me, Thank You

vertigo

We live in the Twitter era so you can send a message to almost anyone you want, including Dalai Lama or the Pope or any of Kardashians if you are a fan of those. Sending a word is not a problem. Being heard by the person you try to connect to, that’s the real thing. I have doubts that those who have thousands and millions of followers read any message from their readers. (If you can call a Twitter follower a reader, of course. Seriously, what is there to read?) These people must have the whole staff who work for them to respond to or ignore the fans’ desperate cries for attention.

It would be a great fun, though, to see the Pope, for example, with a smartphone in his hands, texting and maybe even giggling at his own joke. Oh, I’d love to see that.

I stay away from Twitter because it’s just too much for me. I once tried to play this game and started following Ricky Gervais. I love this guy, he’s very smart and funny, but he tweets seven times a day as if he had nothing else to do, plus he tweets not only as himself, but also as all the characters he plays (another seven tweets a day for each of his alter egos), and then he retweets someone, and then he comments on someone’s tweets he retweeted… Oh, dear god almighty, my head was spinning around, even though I followed only one person! No, I decided, thank you very much, I’ll stay away from this fun. And if the Pope, the President or Kardashians have something to say to me, they can send me a letter. I will read it myself, I promise.

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Sketching

Triggers and Crossroads

thisway

When I’m given freedom to write whatever I want I don’t know what to write. I need a push, or rather a friendly nudge, and I suspect I’m not the only one, otherwise the prompts wouldn’t be so popular and needed.

Does it mean I’m not creative or full enough? I doubt so, as when I’m triggered I find the source of ideas and emotions inside me.

Does it mean I don’t really need freedom and in case I obtain it I won’t know what to do with it? Is it why a choice, when I’m given a chance to make it, is such a difficult thing? I don’t know what I truly want, what is really important, what is the right thing to do. And I’m afraid I’m not the only one here either, otherwise numerous self-help books wouldn’t be so popular and needed.

When it comes to writing, I believe you can come up with a way to trigger yourself, like Ray Bradbury, for example, who created a list of nouns that provoked his imagination and helped him to connect to deeper levels of himself. But what about life? Are there pointers that can help you to choose the right path when you are at the crossroads? I wish they were. I wish there were prompts in life to show you the direction. And I wish there were no free-write Thursdays on WordPress.com.

The Daily Post

Sketching

Help Me If You Can

shootme

I am amazed how timely the WordPress prompts can be. I have just received a portion of criticism pointing out my issues with word choice and order, and here the prompt goes, “How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?”

I am pretty brave, I think. I don’t need kid gloves, I’m ok with honesty. Not because I am such a masochist and enjoy when someone trashes me (this is how negative remarks make us feel, and this is why we all prefer not to hear them), but because I want to learn and be better at what I’m doing. So if criticism is fair and helpful I welcome it. Shoot me!

The Daily Post

Flash-fiction

The Red Date

calendar

The days of the week lined up like buckets, ready to catch whatever fell in. He stared at the calendar in despair, “There’s no hope here. The future is empty, there’s no way to fill it in.” He touched the red date of Sunday. The smell of blood hit his nostrils. He jerked his hand as if to wave the smell away, but it stayed. He shivered, his memory brought him there again.

He came back to that weekend where time lost its meaning, where the whole world stopped, where he couldn’t feel anything but the pain of burning regret and remorse, remorse, remorse. That weekend when he knocked at the door of his son and didn’t hear anything in response.

“Stupid boy, playing his games all day long, can’t hear anything but the shooting in his headphones. Open!” he knocked stronger. “I need to talk to you.” The room behind the door stayed silent. “Jerry, if you don’t open I’ll come in anyway.” Silence again. “Enough! I’m fed up with your childish behaviour.”

He pushed the door and entered. The room was empty. The computer was off, and the bed was neatly made.

“Finally, somebody came to his senses,” he thought with relief. “I hope he also washed his hair.” He knocked at the bathroom door. “Can I come in?” He heard nothing but running water. “Jerry, I’m sorry I yelled at you, but I’m your father, I know better. And I see that you have agreed with me.” He looked around the clean room and smiled: even the bookshelves were dusted.

“Jerry, I’m coming in.” He stepped in the bathroom, and his foot sunk in the pool of water. “What the heck, Jerry!” he wanted to say, but his eyes received the answer already. Jerry, dressed in his Sunday-church suit, floated in the opaque red water flowing over the brim of the bathtub.

The hysterical ambulance siren pulled the neighbors out of their houses to the street where they watched in silence the car carrying the body away. “What are you staring at?” he yelled. “There’s nothing to look at here, don’t you see? Nothing to look at!”

“Nothing to look at here.” He turned away from the calendar and wiped his tears. “I’m sorry, Jerry. I thought I knew better than you, and it’s too late now. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”