It’s Time

It’s time.
Like the snake changing its molting,
We too must free ourselves of that we have outgrown today.
Maybe it’s time to change mask.
To change role.
To change attitude.
To change home.
To change country.
To change job.
To change the way we see ourselves.
To change the words which we use to describe ourselves.
To be.
It’s time.

– Tanya Gervasi

(Photo edit @WTFOG on instagram – Original photo Adolfo Valente)

War and The Human Nature

Yesterday I finished reading this book, it’s the second book I read about the life of a Native Indian tribe – the first one was about the Hopi. This specific book is the story of the life of Pretty-Shield, which is intertwined with the story of her tribe when they were free and the bisons lived.

Without having read any book about the Native Indians, you will agree with me that we generally look at them as wise, peaceful, etc. they remind us of a time when everything worked, when nature was flourishing, when peace was reigning on Earth. Ahem really?
In this book, Pretty-Shield speaks of the numerous wars they lived between the tribes. They were ALWAYS at war, especially with the Lakota. Men wanted war: they would go steal horses from the Lakota, or the Lakota would come for food in the Crow land, or just for revenge… and you know revenge is a never ending thing – until the last man dies. It was actually a thing of pride to be killed in battle.
This made me think especially of the upcoming war we are observing today between the US and the Middle East. I said to myself “so really it’s part of the human nature, there cannot be a world without war” ….
My friend Michela agreed  “yes the essence of life is death and destruction”.

I believe the Old Sages knew this and accepted this thing… to the point of living lightly. And laughed.
“We are always at war. War is an illusion… every war outside is an archetype of what we have inside… “ – Michela – “War is contrast, CONFLICTO… envy, jealousy, falseness, hoax, lie”.

And so yes we are always at war, be it:
small or big
visible or invisible
openly declared or secret

I see people are very sad about what is happening far away from them, some feel guilty for having a good life when others don’t, many are angry, a lot are depressed. Yet we should give thanks for the life we are living today. Accept that the world has different realities. People have different realities.
I’m not saying to be indifferent and not caring, for Balance on Earth lays in that tension between war and peace, good and bad. Perhaps something useful could be to ask yourself where is the war in your life? Can you bring peace there? How can we bring peace to a conflict such as US and Middle East if we still strive to live a peaceful life in our day to day reality? ….

What I observe changed from the times when the Native Indians ruled the American grasslands is the awareness and the knowledge of the human nature. Humans and spirits also worked together and that helped maintain balance. There were rituals for everything. People knew when to feast and when to mourn. People could read the signs and rarely went out of the track. …. at last there was little space for caos.

Of course today is different, we don’t live in tribes anymore… or do we?

We have a limited time. We don’t even know how much is that. Make the most and best of it. Be the happiest you can be (and again, not saying you need to become the selfish asshole – hope it’s clear), be the best YOU you can be. Don’t try save the world, for the world will be saved when each one of us has saved him/herself.

All Those New Year Resolutions…

What is happening in the world?
What is happening in you? …
We are so used to looking outward, at the fires in Australia (like the latest news put it) for example.
And what about our fires?

I admit I refused reading the news, yet the info that got stuck in my head is that half a billion animals died in the fires since September 2019. Correct?
I decided to do a little fun exercise and reverse everything that is seen as destructive outside as something positive.
A little what if.

What if the fire is there to clean and purify?
Oh can you count the number of fires we had last year? 2019 The dramatic year of fires? The Amazon… California… Siberia… Africa (which didn’t get any news coverage, wonder why? Please ask yourself why)… Australia…
Fire has a double nature: it destroys yes, but it also purifies. It cleans. So that new can be born from its ashes. It makes the land fertile again. It takes away the unnecessary, or the too much. Or it simply takes away what is, so that the new can have space to flourish.
We tend to fight everything. We are at constant war with nature. The Ancients knew and accepted what is. Our response to fires is desperation, we simply lack the ability to see a possible advantage.

What if Mother Earth is undergoing an inner revolution, a deep change and need comfort which is given by warmth which is given by fire.
What if new animals we cannot imagine are about to be birthed, but Earth is over populated for more evolved species to walk its lands.

What if…

We humans tend to forget we have a double nature, like everything. Now we tend to focus on the destructive and stupid side of us. Well, but just like the fire we have a positive nature and I wish for all of you to remember it.
The beginning of the New Year calls for resolutions and new projects. Are we ready? Have we cleaned the unnecessary? Have we purified the space within us from the weeds for new flowers or trees to grow?
Or have we kept fighting when surrender was the only way to a possible future?
Rain… the tears of surrender will come at the right moment, when we are ready. Are you?

That what happens outside happens inside. That what happens inside we see it happening outside: in the world.

What if… 

New year resolutions were about becoming more ourselves; having the courage to see through our bullshit; having the strength to live life fully and about committing at making changes in our life first! Before going out to preach the world about how to live how to recycle how to speak how to act how to dress how to love how to talk how to walk etc…. 

Welcome 2020!

On Love

I will never write about Love.

For when I did

I believed I could capture

Something so uncapturable.

I thought I understood

Something so unexplainable.

When words stay fixed

And are subject to interpretation

While Love is mutable, because alive

Yet fixed

But in the opposite way to words.

I will never write about Love.

For today I don’t know what it is

It is not what I thought it was

What I heard wispered in my ear

Unnumbered times

I wish I never pronounced Its name.

I will never write about Love.

For all definitions

All the teachings

Don’t match with today

And make me question my yesterdays.

I will never write about Love.

For it’s the only thing

We shall not write about

But live

And tell no one

So everyone can be caught by surprise

By a whirlwind

By a smell

By a word

By a coffee

By a kiss.

And know.

Still unable to name it.

What Santiago taught me…. #scatteredthoughts

Santiago… is not a man 🙂 nor an infant 🙂 It could my Eldorado.
Santiago was a destination. A goal. An objective.
Santiago is now a memory.
Santiago is my lesson.

I would say almost 4 years passed since that trip. Only now do I realise what it meant. Or perhaps, I knew even then but on a superficial level. I remember booking a ticket for Bilbao, with return 35 days later, and I left with a backpack. I thought I knew why I left but like it happens… there are reasons for which we do things which stay hidden behind the reasons we tell ourselves and to others. Then at the right moment they pop up.

There I was.
There I am.

I think that trip initiated a list of changes in me, supported by unnumbered situations. Some people, I’ve seen change radically right after the camino. Many don’t change at all, but tell themselves stories about being a changed person. I’ve heard and even met people who never left the camino – are in an endless loop of walking even after 10 years. To me it was complicated to change radically, I wasn’t ready. I probably needed to get slapped by life until I could stand up for myself and say no more. I kept chasing goals, chasing Santiago after Santiago. I kept a well polished and shiny suit to show the world 🙂 The woman I saw I was during that trip, or at least a glimpse of it, I thought was too hard to become… especially from the place I was back then. There really isn’t a map that takes us from here to “ourselves”, is there? There aren’t guidelines. Despite everybody becoming gurus of self loves, self respect, self whatever… there really is no manual! There are no instructions! You can take all the fucking self care baths and eat all the self love chocolate cake you want…. and still if you’re not ready YOU’RE NOT READY! You can say I’m done dating assholes but until life says so you will keep dating those assholes! Sometimes enough comes quick, other times it takes years and years and more errors and more forgiveness and more rerouting. You still need those fake friendships until you’re left alone when you need them for real. You need more empty promises until you start keeping the promises you make to yourself.

Today I asked a friend “what do you want really?”
He looked at me, “I don’t know. I came here for a reason that doesn’t make sense anymore now.”

I was walking around the city. Looking at people. And planning my future. Is Santiago worth it when we lose our health, happiness, and most importantly precious time? I look around and people chase endlessly something believing they will be happy when they get it.
Oh but my life.
My life is now. As I write.
A week. A month. Six months of life…. running, being frustrated, angry. For what?
Is it worth it? Is your dreams worth the price? I asked myself.

…. Is it even my dream? Was I chasing my Santiago or someone else? Because when I chased my Santiago… I felt different. I was truly enjoying every single moment. So much I didn’t care about Santiago at all… I enjoyed the route deeply, passionately. When reached Santiago I kept going… I went further, because after it there is Muxia and also Finisterre. And there the beer tasted sublime watching the sunset or having a 1 minute bath in the ocean! ….

What am I chasing today? Did I come for the right reasons to London?
No.
But I am surely leaving for the good ones.

I wish you to find your Santiago.
Love
T.

 

On Beauty and Silence

I haven’t written anything on my blog about the book I have written and published this year. Perhaps because it’s in Italian, and most of my readers of this blog are not Italian so I thought why should I even bother to speak about it? … Now I decided I want to translate the poems and will put the translations on my blog in the section Words & Stories.

I never thought I would publish my poetry, perhaps because unlike fiction or other forms of writing, poetry is incredibly intimate. At least my poetry is.
I began writing obsessively last September and it’s not until I had a good amount of poems that I thought to turn them into a book. I had gone through the roughest time of my life, a low I didn’t know how to overcome so I wrote down my feelings as a way to turn pain into something beautiful. Also, I wrote it to never forget and to not allow the same things happen to me again.

This week Italy is raging about the multiple newspapers that write articles about the last femminicidio (woman murdered by a man) case. The headlines excuse him, saying he was a good man, he loved her too much, he didn’t mean it… and yet he killed her. We raise girls in a culture that teaches them to excuse every violent act of men, to understand men, to help them… never mind if we lose our life in pursuit of “saving” him. My book talks about the pain and the consequences for a woman to be in a violent relationship: be it physical or psychological.
Psychologically violent relationships are the most vile, for the simple fact its scars and bruises are unseen on the outside. Many times I tried to confide in another woman (who on the contrary was in a physical relationship with her husband and father of her three children) but she would brush me of saying I am ungrateful and that the man I am with is so good and helpful… I should be ashamed of thinking anything bad of him. Well he was all that she was describing, just not with me. Anyway, somehow he also did the very best thing he could do (I didn’t know at that time though), that being kicking me out of the house – only to try get me back multiple times. Though the moment I was out of there and surrounded by my family and girlfriends, I began to write… to try heal, make sense, make something out of the nightmare I lived in.

On the beauty of life, and on the necessary silence to translate that beauty into words. My book is a reminder to women that they are not alone, that love has nothing to do with violence, that when you start sensing something is not right… it most likely isn’t!

Every word written has a meaning and a reason for being there. Every poem has multiple layers which can be reached differently depending from who reads it and its sensibility. I wrote and wrote only to understand many months later the reasons of those poems and their meaning. And only a year later I asked myself: why did I begin the book with Vasilisa…..(which you can find here).
Why is it the first? Why Vasilisa? Who is she? … Do you know the Russian story of Vasilisa The Beautiful? I wasn’t sure why that name came to my mind when I was thinking of a title to give to this poem, but it makes sense as Vasilisa’s story on a symbolical level stands for the beginning of a quest: the quest of oneself. Vasilisa is a story of female intuition.
So everything, every word, every paragraph, every sentence has a baggage.
I hope it touches you – like it touched me.

 

P.S. here you can buy a copy of the book 🙂