Loneliness is nothingness

Lonely shepherd found dead ‘after having sex with a scarecrow’. She read this news about this guy in Argentina. At the news, many laughed, many joked, many unleashed their best witty comments, but at least the man did not assault any fresh and blood woman to satisfy his basic instinct. Maybe he still had some sanity in his madness, or in the cruel loneliness of his life…

She then closed her eyes, lying in her bed wrapped up in the sticky cocoon of her own ugly loneliness, bracing herself to keep warm, or could it be to feel safe?
There’s again this feeling she’s going to wander about in that thick unknown smog all day, invisible to the others. The ceiling seems to be crashing down onto her, the walls, those familiar walls designed in her imagination as a giant size coffin, o so familiar claustrophobic feeling, but nonetheless scary.
The humming of the cars outside, the song of the birds, the sound of her snoring neighbour, a door that shuts, sum up her vibrant interaction with the living world.
Loneliness is soundproof, because people cannot hear it. Loneliness is waterproof, because it doesn’t let the source of life in, it dries you up. Loneliness is nothingness. It’s the emptiness of an empty nest, perched up on top of a giant tree. The canopy is her green line of separation from the living world. She hangs on there where the oxygen is rare. Just one faux-pas and the fall could be deadly. Immensely terrifying, but not so as her life. There’s nothing up there; it’s lonely here; it burns during the day and it freezes at night.There is no in between. Maybe she would have liked to have a scarecrow up there, just to have someone to talk to. The illusion of connecting with a human figure, imagining it’s alive. When she dies, how many will attend her funeral? Ten people maybe?
Loneliness is a creeper. It’s tenacious, like weeds you can’t get rid of. First time she has had a taste of it, was a few years ago. She had made a decision. She had left. She had flown to an unknown place. She had everything ready for a new life to start afresh.Though exciting at the beginning, all of a sudden, the enchanting unknown place became a very lonely place. She remembered having being let down by the only person she knew. It was like being suddenly forced into retreating inside the cell of a cold monastery with nothing to hang on to but her lost soul. She remembered she had cried everyday, spending hours engulfed in her solitude for almost three months. Missing her children, her family, often thinking aloud like somebody who has just killed someone they loved: ‘What have I done? What have I done?”… Inside, she was consumed with a deep sadness.
She is not at all a bible reader, but she randomly stumbled upon this psalm, a psalm that nailed her loneliness, that very feeling that was crucifying her love for life and connecting with people:

My life is consumed with sadness;
my years are consumed with groaning.
Strength fails me because of my suffering;
my bones dry up.
I’m a joke to all my enemies,
still worse to my neighbors.
I scare my friends,
and whoever sees me in the street runs away!
I am forgotten, like I’m dead,
completely out of mind;
I am like a piece of pottery, destroyed.
Psalm 31: 10-12

The lonely version of herself was not pretty, but she would cope, she would smile to the cashier at the till – in fact it was the only person she would speak to or at least say a couple of words for nearly three months: ”Hi”… and ”Thank you”… This was it. To her far away family and friends she would speak on the phone to she said everything was great and fine here, simply fantastic! Truth is, she was on the verge of breaking down, feeling miserable. All she wanted was to hibernate in her cave for a few months, hoping when she would be coming out, the outside world would be much warmer and more welcoming.
At that time, she had money. She could have gone regularly to nice restaurants or pubs and talked to random strangers. She tried once. It was awfully worse as her loneliness was made more obvious by looking at couples having dinner, groups of friends laughing together or loud people having a ball. The truth is, in this city, no-one talks to a random stranger, she was invisible. People go out with their own people. They’ve known each other from university or even from nursery school and their circle is unbreakable. She felt like an unsettled and unwanted alien or a demon wanting to penetrate their sacred circle. She could have rejoiced herself and thought that at least she was free in a majestic city when there was no curfew, no bombing. Except that her life in the city was being bombarded with fiery loneliness attacks.
Countless times she repeated to herself ”be strong, this shall pass, be strong…”. Easier said than done. Try to imagine being from a small African village, living in a community like any other and then suddenly you decide to parachute yourself over to the North Pole. Conscious decision-making. The air is pure, it’s beautiful up there. Thrilling! But…the community of penguins is far from being welcoming, and so is the icy deep sea world. She ended up wandering about like a headless chicken on the ice-floe. The feeling of isolation was throat-cutting, her head wanted to be somewhere she could belong to but her body wouldn’t know where to go, so best was to cultivate her invisibility.

She gradually slipped into a place of a very quiet world, not asking much about life, just food, books to read and a job to meet new people. The job didn’t come but thanks to her boy who came over to brighten her life, she eventually joined a group of fun people and she smiled to life again. She felt good after her more than 100 days of complete solitude, eclipsed from the Big World, that very world that was there at her door, but that she wasn’t part of. Not only after tying new bonds of friendship she learned to laugh again, but she also decided, following some friends’ advice that she might want to sign up on a dating site. So she did. At first it was exciting to see she could stir up attention and meet new persons of interest. Little did she know she was clinging on to dead branches. The guys she met were as alone as she was. Still, she tried hard to create or made up the love that was desperately absent from her life. In all honesty, she put herself in a place where she was the scarecrow herself, although nobody died during the experiment. Only her hope faded and faded. Until she met him. He was the one. She was sure. It was like something she had always imagined was eventually coming true. She felt fulfilled having met that someone who didn’t complete her but complement her. It had been long due. Loneliness was just a story of the past, happiness was hers now. It was real and she could almost grasp it during every second she breathed. A magic and fated encounter, one of a lifetime. She even asked herself if she did deserve such an amount of happiness. That was unreal but so real at the same time. He was there, loving and adoring her, promising her the world and eternal happiness. She, in return, would pour joy, fun and love into his life. Alas, the beautiful world crumbled down a few months after, leaving her with a deadly void. Loneliness was hammering again at her door like an hideous ghostly figure from the past. She decided she would fill in the void not to let herself eaten alive by loneliness again. Treacherous suffering. Dark days. Mental earthquake. Some voracious men came to occupy her thoughts, eat in her kitchen, drink in her glass, sleep in her bed but she wouldn’t let one of them sink into her heart. She wouldn’t let them, she just hated them. They were just mere instruments in the orchestra in which she was the conductor of her own disharmonious, shapeless, ill-rounded life.

But loneliness was not only brought to her by the lack of love. Sadly, the lack of money has also been a determining factor in her lonely life. When she had money she could go out with friends, meet up for a drink, invite them over for a fun party or dinner. Now that she has been on a very tight budget for years, in survival mode, loneliness has taken its toll again. She would have thought that people she knew would have come and visit her. At least she could have offered a coffee and some biscuits. But people keep up with their busy life, their keep going out and having fun. It’s just it did happen, but without her. Not that she was unwanted but she wasn’t able to partake in anything.
One day she decided to attend a free event, a walk in the hills with a group of unknown people. First, she realised she had no decent trainers or shoes to go walking and that she couldn’t afford to buy a new pair, even a used one in a charity shop. Still, she decided to go with what she had. The majority of the people who were there were over 60, either couples or small groups of friends. They talked to each other and plainly ignored her in what turned out to be a painful experience of a two long hour walk of solitude.
She rarely sees people. It has happened 4 or 5 times over the 8 last months. Loneliness is a scary thing and maybe the scarecrow this man dolled-up is just a reflection of her own life when she gets that fleeting thought she would do anything to have it again, to create an imaginary friend just to feel alive.

Now she has the strange feeling that her loneliness is her faithful and fated companion, one that sticks to her like a familiar shadow. The shadow side of her, the one she has learned to live with, the one she has tamed despite all odds. She didn’t deserved it, but she earned it. She doesn’t blame the others who are either too busy getting on with their own life or either they don’t know this shadow is as heavy as a burden weighing one ton. She doesn’t blame the others for her loneliness. So maybe next time one of them will ask her out she may well reply: ”I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m too busy f*****g with my solitude…”
IMHO

Mirage

The reflection upon the water

Is casting glittering flakes that sunder

Like a mirage swirling for ever.

As I glide through the stillness of the mater

Your icy heart has lost its power.

 

Thirsty vampire on my lake

Leave me here and now for my sake

As everything you do is take.

Your heart will burn first at the stake

You, vile evil hissing snake.

 

Feel my heat, dearest vampire

Hear the fear silky sire!

Feel the fierce flames filled with my ire

But wait till my silver wire

Makes your last hour dire.

 

Consumed with your magnificence,

In the thick air dies the evanescence

Of what was once love’s pure essence

You shall never come back as a reminiscence

In the abode of my existence.

Once upon a time I strayed away, now I stay away…. from ”Facehook”

Facebook, the ‘great illusion’ has been creating many avatars of ourselves. As for me, it totally turned my life upside down until I came up to a full awareness of what this social media could do to us. It triggered a shift that I would never have envisaged for a second 6 years ago. Now I have opened my eyes on social media big pandemic.  Of course, some will say ‘Facebook saved my life…’, ‘ I got back in touch with people I had long-lost sight of…’, ‘I met on here the love of my life… ‘ Amongst these nice oddities and serendipity, I tend to think most of its use is tainted.

There, I will be talking of my experience. The latter might differ from yours, so what follows is from my own and sole perspective and experience we may agree to disagree with.


What do I believe? People on Facebook, are they just mere faces? Friends? A caricature of humankind? Over the last year, I’ve seen very few of my friends (I can count them on my fingers) – just one hand, please. Well, I was quite busy with my studies and keeping up with a tight budget. Still, I tend to think, FB is the perfect illusion where everyone can become a fake baked product of the social media’s Words/Sentences/Pictures/Videos. The binge recipe where all ingredients cohabit in a chemistry in disguise to create an
all-man’s- land cuisine, where we mix, blitz, add and pass on the grill. And there it is! You’ve got a fresh friend.
We, as human beings, crave for a sense of humanity, but the latter has become more and more amputated by the illusion that written words in these wall posts mean everything and nothing, just crumbling walls of mandatory coercion for covert bullshit. On their own, words and lovely sentences cannot replace a voice, a tap on the shoulder, shared laughter or physical contact. As a result, we have become lazy in friendship. Friendship is not shared on Facebook: it’s diluted.
I thought FB was a fabulous concept. In fact, it’s perverse. I’ve been there, I’ve done it, I’ve got blood on my hands too – I confess. The big illusion of connection, the big praise of the self to eventually become an hermit connected to people who can pretend being anything from prophets, journalists, photographers, thinkers, talented comics, politicians, commentators, activists, all part of a brotherhood of mind, but most of all, people craving for acknowledgement, reclaiming their existence through an unhealthy state of self-importance. (Selfie-fish and Duck-face-fake to name but a few of the diseases affecting this medium).

We have become a big pack: together we like, we dislike, we comment, we share, we empathise, we shout, we whine, we complain, we brag, we boast, we show off, we talk rubbish, and if none of these, there’s still the passive spying and stalking types. This is our world big comedy show, one I don’t want to be part of anymore, at least this way.

Now, on my account, I’ve got only very few friends and I follow the media that publish articles I enjoy reading. It’s a lazy way to let the info come to me from one click. I’m not even compelled to share or like – I’m at least free to use Facebook as a media with no interaction from my part but my own thoughts. (In case you’ve thought I’ve become crazy or assuming I have spent the last 4 weeks with Jean-Claude Van Dam, you’re damn wrong for both.)

For some, Facebook is the greatest way to connect with the world, a world that affects the way you behave or think, where the side effects of this virtual pill turn into hundreds of hours of solitude that can hug you like a million people crashing onto you… 

Coming soon: ‘Tide’ – A short Scottish film, by Gordon Napier

” An ageing lobsterman from the Isle of Lewis, engrained in a celtic culture and way of life suffering from the erosion of time, begins to question the value of his life in a world where a man can vanish into the sea and not be missed. ”
An island, the sea, a man, a suicide, and the haunting landscapes of the Isle of Lewis and the Hebrides.

LABOR DAY (2014)

A film by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Juno and Young Adult) based on  Joyce Maynard‘s novel Labor Day (2009)

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1054189593/

First, I’m not a film reviewer, I’ll leave that to the experts, or to my sister, whose passion for cinema is way beyond my thin knowledge of everything that has been going on in the motion picture world.

There are few films that have touched me deeply: Doctor Zhivago; 1965 epic dramaromance film directed by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christieis one of them.  I was 12 when my grandparents took me to the only cinema there was in town for my very first screening (well, in fact the first one was Snow White, but as a cartoon, it doesn’t count, does it?) The long epic romance-drama blew me away despite its length. Sadly, I regret most of the films have slipped my memory. Films have always served my entertainment purposes or were just a mere distraction in my daily grind.I had so much to do with 3 boys that I had more going on behind my scene, than to sit with my behind in front of hundreds of scenes from the 7th Art. Shame on me… Needless to say, I feel shy when I face all the savvy big headed blokes of 7th Artvenue. (but it’s never to late to catch up).

Why did I choose to speak about Labor Day? Is it because like Adele (Kate Winslet), I’m a single mum raising her 13-year old boy? That, like her I deserve some magical unexpected event to happen in my life? And logically said to myself: ”Oh.. I should see that film” – No, it was just a random choice.

The film is narrated by Adele’s son now a 30 year-old man. It’s a film about haunting memories, nostalgia, depression and a heartfelt mother-son relationship. It’s a film tricking you with the ultimate good-old-macho-man stereotype thrown away by Frank’s character (Josh Brolin) who casts a light on a whole new perspective of manhood that will set the tone of the film. This largely makes us forget about a somewhat awkward script.

OK, it’s romantic. OK, it’s a drama, but there’s more to it than romance. It’s deep and it conveys a sense of humanity, of faithfulness and sincerity that will make any hopeless situation back off. There’s more humanity in Labor Day than just plain romance. It’s a sociological drama about acceptance, stereotypes, respect, genders roles, nosey neighbours, teenagers and the life in the late 80’s.

Adele is a modern Madame Bovary, living a life of agony after she’s lost a still-born child, soon followed by her husband who ran away to settle with another woman for a passionless average life. Adele is an empty damaged woman, overwhelmed with fears and anxiety, scared of the outside world but paradoxically longing for a man’s touch. Only her son’s devotion (Gattlin Griffith is awesome as young Henry) is keeping her alive and makes up for her sad life. He almost babied her, pampered her and is trying his best to lift up her spirits. Still, he cannot be the missing husband she’s been dreaming of. Their relationship is very touching. Adele is fragile, yet, she stands so strong in her femininity and sensuality that she does not need any artificial atour nor the Hollywood brushy-brush embellishment. Her ex-husband, when speaking to his son said of her: ”Your mother needed passion. Oh God, yes..she was passionate. She was in love with love…”Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin exude a palpable tension that unravels out into an array of emotions. Our senses are tickled when the characters bask in an unspoken genuine sensuality. Their moves, the look upon their faces translate their feelings with an unparalleled elegance in a heavilycharged atmosphere.

The film seems to unfold into a slow motion of sweet languor whereas on the other hand, the feelings of the characters seems to develop at a faster pace in another dimension.

Frank (Josh Brolin) has the badass masculine look to him, but quickly he will appear not to be the guy he seemed to be. A good kick in the butt to the stereotypes is always nice, isn’t it? His whole manliness wipes away all the clichés of the tall dark handsome but useless guy. Much to our surprise, he satisfied Adele’s needs – and when I say needs I mean EVERY needs – in her life without her asking. He cooks, he bakes, he is the husband, the father, the good man, the house cleaner (he irons, does the laundry), he repairs Adele’s car, he mopped the floor, is great at DIY, he is a cracker with Adele’s son but also with her neighbour’s disable son, Jack. Frank is THE man. Handy as handy a man can be with an immense generosity of spirit. Strong as he is, he appears to be a deeply hurt and sensitive man who doesn’t whine, whose pain threshold is as high as the highest building in Dubai. Clearly, this man won’t let you down because of man flu! So, there he is. A male figure, most women would dream of. A bombshell thrown at role genders where a man is still a man even when she teaches him how to dance salsa under the eyes of her not really amused and bewildered son. Frank is Adele’s salvation, he is God sent …from prison to hospital – to Adele’s – and then back to square 1…

Their first close scene appears when he ties her up and feeds her (no SM ropes and chains here…) after he cooked a gorgeous chili into which he had poured some coffee (I need to get to know why!). Then there’s the pie. American Pie 1, 2, 3… back off! This peach pie is a key in the film. Whilst Adele’s, Frank’s and Henry’s fingers are intertwining in the bowl, their hand getting wet and sticky over the diced peaches, we have here a revisited version of Ghost ‘s pottery scene, this time in a scene with a countryside fresh and simple feel to it. This very pie will trigger an unexpected and meaningful outcome for Henry’s and her mum’s future.

There’s no nudity, no sexual scenes, no extra make up or scenes where the fairies turn up to brush off the pangs of a cruel reality. The film is not about the dialogues or the plot itself. It’s about a profound connection in between people’s souls, a ‘labour in process’ that will give birth to something that everybody (or almost) on this planet is looking for: a beautiful soulful relationship.

The shades and photo-like cinematography aesthetic rendered by the lens flare is in almost every scene. Throughout the film, you can feel the intensity of their feelings as for example when the camera is focussing on Frank’s hand grabbing gently Adele’s waist whilst they are sitting on the stairs and she almost surrender to him, or with the well-chosen close-up that draw our attention to details (a leg, a knee, a look, her mouth, his deep look).

The five-day love affair ends up on Labor Day, before Frank, Adele and Henry may even have the chance to flee to Canada to start a new chapter together. A goodbye note left by Henry to his dad; Henry confiding with his new manipulative friend about the secret plan and eventually the neighbour turning up unexpectedly on that morning will sabotage the whole plan.

Adele will be left once again in a stark isolation, more depressed than ever as her life without Franck consumes her. Labor Day could also be a metaphore for when she went into labour years back and lost her little girl, and was left with nothing but emptiness.

     As for me. I haven’t been left empty. What I’ve been left with from this (supposedly) aborted passion is the hope for love in the most incongruous situations coming across our path. Remember, The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, was another powerful four-day love affair that didn’t let time cast its shadows of habits upon a man and a woman in love. Four days for them, five days for Adele and Frank will always make it live more intensely because the love was short-lived and remained unspoiled. Nonetheless, the heartache is always in sight as it was in Titanic too.

Now, should I stand as the whole-rosy-rose glasses-gal and tell you the male characteristics depicted through the story would pleasantly be my Graal? (nicer than a cup of tea).

Dream on girl… but wait, isn’t it soon Labor Day? (Or rather, May Day its counterpart in the UK?)

May Day May Day May Day May Day May Day....

1, 2, 3… 50 reasons not to…

1, 2, 3… 50 reasons not to…

Could it be that life’s problems are now coming down to a list of figures that would solve our existence’s big equation?

It’s not because I’ve recently hit the big 50, nor because half of a century has made me more maths-savvy, but if I add up all my years of non-awareness, multiplied by what I’ve learned, divided by Pi (my share of the pie), I wish I had known (seriously – not! ) as good as my tables, my ‘lists of truths’. These list are the new trendy pheno-theorem not even Pythagoras would have thought of.

First things first. Tips for life come now in a full figure attractive package. From 1 to 30, (as seen below) we are told that we shouldn’t bother, brothers and sisters, all is good, all is simple, all about life stands within a very accurate number of secrets, exclusive benefits, reasons, ways, facts etc… if only you knew. But, there’s still hope, cause if you can count till 30, you can count on the ‘list of truths’ to get your ticket to ride on a roller-flatter wonderful life. Easy, isn’t it? Maths and life seem to walk hand in hand to give us the truth – well, in theory. (However, I’m not denying any theory as some of them have blown up humanity and have proven themselves outstanding).

But let’s go back to counting our chips. From relationships, to health, well being, sex and so on and so forth, a new psycho-type of journalists and bloggers have invaded the media with their 1, 2, 3… a, b, c…

It seems there’s now a tendency to deal with serious matters in a view to a kill with these all- figures-out lists. The latter come across as almost life saving. The proof is in the latest articles that keep popping up in blogs and magazines:

1 Secret of a happy relationship

1 Old trick to kill diabetes

4 Things that surprisingly haven’t changed for women since the 60’s

5 Danger signs for your finances

6 Things that will help you love your body more

7 Ways to make your boyfriend happy

8 Pieces of life advice from women who’ve been there

8 Badass celebs who have called out Hollywood sex

9 Exclusive benefits of being in a long relationship on line

10 Stories of everyday sexism in the workplace

10 Tips for loving life in your 30s

10 Things I learned from getting divorced

10 Sex and relationships tips

11 Facts about twins

12 Reasons having curly hair rocks

15 Classic movies with the power to change your life

17 Fixes To Common Internet Problems We All Know And Hate

18 Things you wanted to know about guys and were afraid to ask

19 Very real struggles of women with big butts

21 Extraordinary women who changed sex forever

21 Way Gloria Steinem taught us be better women

30 Reasons to love my manfriend

(OK – 2, 3, 13, 14 16, and 20 are missing. Well there’s NO reason why you shouldn’t use them for the lottery!)

In a nutshell, I tend to believe complex thoughts and lengthy analysis rarely generate money these days. So why not decide to make us understand the complexity of life, by simplifying, mashing it all up for us thirsty target readers, bombarding us with clichés and generalisations. They deliberately bullet points the o-so-very obvious uncanny truth that we, mere mortal, have all missed out so far but that THEY (the aware briber-writers) know beyond all doubt. Amen…