Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best Experiences of 2015



Flying over Stockholm




I wouldn’t be much of an experience connoisseur 
if there wasn’t list like this made in my mind frequently and regularly
and even though that enjoying experiences is just a different way of telling that I’m enjoying the process and not only results
I do treasure some of them more than others


The ones that will leave lasting impression


and I wish to treasure these by making them public, therefore forever-lasting.

Readiness

Upon arrival to somebody’s home being greeted by person wrapped up in robe only, naked and ready is new experience for me, one that shoots its way to most wonderful experiences of my life with unprecedented ease. This will be one of the things I’ll cradle in my consciousness on my deathbed, revisiting it for comfort.

Ocean Drive

There is a reason this song is not on the list of best songs of 2015 and it is not that this song was not one of the best. It is an awesome, catchy and dance-compelling song, one that I’m certain will sound just as awesome in a year, ten or 25. But there is something else making a difference for this song. I was driving to work one morning when I first heard this Duke Dumont song on Soundset Plavi. It has a lovely Drive-esque start oddly reminiscent of Kavinsky’s Nightcall and instant intoxicating bitter sweetness pulls my attention completely in. Robert Owens vocals paint most wonderful picture of despair. At 1:22 there is tiny Britt Daniel-Spoon riff appearing what causes bout of piloerection. I can hear my heartbeat in carotids. My heart is lost.

Love

Year after year I am surprised and humbled by the fact that there are still soft bits beneath my diamond-hard armor. Lot less frequently I am treated with an experience of meeting a person that just walks through the minefields and armors and reaches the soft bits with complete grace. I do make an extreme effort of tossing them out, eventually, but from the struck-by-lightning feel of meeting them to complete broken-heartedness of exiting this arrangement it surely is enthralling experience. Rarer than rare. Maybe even unique. Pure love, one that includes complete honesty and unyielding truthfulness is rare and incomparably beautiful beast.

Simultaneous Orgasm

I never had one before and not for the lack of trying. Mechanics and timings are familiar to me as well as ability and willingness to manage and direct/submit to directions. But this was not an orchestrated event. It was spontaneous and effortless. It only took genuine emotional involvement.

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

I read this Eric Klinenberg’s book through this entire year. It is not that long - it is that awesome. I read it slowly, thinking about it, returning to paragraphs, commenting and speaking to friends about it, even touting it to strangers. I always knew that living alone is my favorite living arrangement but I also try out other arrangements for size and enjoy them intensely while they last. What this book brought, on top of immense pleasure of reading scores of statistics and experiences (I highly recommend reading the method he used!), is a kind of warmth and kinship; sweetest, lightest, brightest sense of belonging - one that was as pleasant as is was surprising - since I usually feel as much warmth toward belonging as I do towards plague.

It was a wonderful year, enriching and growth-bringing year.
I am off to spend its final day celebrating it 
and I wish you all lots of pleasure and prosperity in the next!

Skol!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Songs in 2015



I think it will come as a surprise to nobody that I like writing things down and making statistics at the ends of periods - ends of relationships, closing points, arbitrary markers.
End of year is always good for such statistics;
gives  perspective and data to mine,
allows for answering questions that wouldn't even be asked without it.

This year I chose not to participate in Gorilina Godišnja Glazbena Gozba (Gorilla's Annual Music Feast) even though I signed for it. It just did not feel right after making my list and reading it twice.
So I've cut it down to 10 of my favorite and most listened to songs (listed alphabetically and links will take you to youtube/soundcloud sources so you can hear them too):




This song excites my inner hunter. As an experience connosieur I love when lyrics make my eyes glaze over with recollection.


EL VY - I expected no less from Knopf but Berninger senior has raked some more pluses in my book with this project after Mistaken For Strangers (see why in my review here). Even though there is no second-rate song on the album Need a Friend took lead as my favorite.


This is - by far! - the song that thought me most this year. There are things I had to google to learn in each sentence. Also, even though I'm more of oxytocin than lean junkie this is the song that spoke to my mood most.


Intelligent, hymnic, awesomely produced and also one of the songs that can teach you how great a service Genius lyrics are.


 I already wrote about Emily this year. And after I wrote about it I listened to it gazzilion times more. Ellis Ludwig-Leone is a god and Allen Tate his just voice.


One more song I wrote about this year, in my "On Relationships" series. There's no way of knowing how many times I listened to it (171 times only on my last.fm and it could be 10 times as much unscrobbled) but just like hearing it for the first time it still produces complete meltdown in my mind with its first chords. Even now, listening to it while writing this, I can feel my heart skipping a beat, making room for that desperate sigh.


Intoxicating earworm. That is how you drown in addiction - voluntarily and joyed up out of your mind.


 Sheer energy that went into this is stupefying. Drum and bass line out of this world.


Seems positive and uplifting by tune but follows the same pattern as the rest of the songs on this list. Grey areas are not grey while happening, only in retrospect. While happening it truly is black and light collage.


Great velvety voice, sense of humor, lurking mischeif.




Thursday, December 10, 2015

Type.ING






Sometimes
 - on a particularly trying day on the job -
when I raise my eyes from my hands typing frantically on keyboard
(can you believe this is how I concentrate?!)
and I grab mouse and click send
I am just so unimaginably glad this is my work
and am so happy I was brave enough to pursue my dreams.

I freakin’ love this job.

Every day I am out of my comfort zone
and every day I learn something insane,
interesting
and amusing
and when I look inside myself
I can hardly believe who I grew up to be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Let's embrace the point of no return."





As time goes by
I,
as a creature of discipline and intense introversion,
feel that I’m getting closer and closer to my true self.

Immersing into experience more
And also wielding the sword of truth with yet unprecedented resolve,
Dividing reality from fiction.

Pain is no longer bordering with pleasure.

I went for a run night before last.
It is finally cold enough to run comfortably
And it was so late it was almost tomorrow
But the night was cold and crisp and beautiful
And even the dog-walkers were absent from the world.


Such unearthly bliss.


I’m listening to Disclosure’s Caracal while running now.
It dissolves daily toil into nothingness.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Incubus

You already know I dream rich when I am down.
Engaging.
Vibrant.
With feel.
Using a lot of color to paint a lot of pain.

When I woke up this morning,
minutes before the alarm,
I still felt the touch and the emotion
and I knew - for a fact - that the dream was a lie.
Often it takes me minutes, sometimes days, to be certain that the dreamstuff did not happen.
But not this time.

The pain is fierce and fresh.
The decree final.


Thoughts whistle through the silent void.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Dancing With Myself



Q: If you had to summarize this whole marriage dissolution situation in one word, one word that would encompass all the heartache, anger, emotional and financial loss, image management, relationships management and all other material and immaterial consequences of this proces, which word would that be?

A: Educational. The word would be educational. Like not having something valuble in the beginning and then later - having it! It is a powerful word and a powerful concept that is deceptively difficult to grasp in all its simplicity.

Q: Have you ever regretted not staying in that relationship considering all the personal and social specifics of this dissolution, single parenting included?

A: No, I have not. Not because I was not thinking of it or because of the emotional load. I am not angry now and haven't been for a very long time. Anger was acute emotion, in use while there were still things to resolve and agreements to respect. After anger was spent and disappointment took center stage there was nothing more that could be done. Regret was prevented by thousand and one action I tried to make the relationship work while still in it. At one point losses were acknowledged and defeat accepted and the whole affair lost all of its value in one fell swoop.

Q: WTF? What you're saying feels a lot like wisdom distilled by thousands of rationalizations and lot less like true closure. It just takes once to hear you speak about some current crap he did or about some issue your opinions substantially differ to see that there's still fire in that furnace. What about that?

A: They are not truly dead when we divorce them even if they are dead to us as partners, LOL. Not everything about him was matter of dispute then nor is it now. I'm acknowledging that during the years following the dissolution I have seen also the things that made him appealing in the first place, but in the large scheme of things they are not enough to sway my opinion based on experience at hand, not only during the marriage itself but during the whole period we know each other.

Q: Let's speculate that he would be interested in getting back together. Are you afraid you could like him again? Or are you actively trying not to be in the situation to have to think about that?

A: Being afraid of that would imply that liking someone is a condition like contagious disease, one we cannot predict or avoid. To like someone you need some common ground and some trust that things which are not openly common have possibility to be common. Here that is not the case. We already know that our common ground is too small for comfort. I am not afraid of liking him. I'm not avoiding the issue. With the information I already have I can make better than educated guess that even if we both consciously worked on getting along that would not work. And there is ridiculously small chance of us both consciously working at anything, be it pizza pie or relationship.


Q: Why are you talking about this so much then? Writing posts? Re-visiting experiences?

A: Just like I already mentioned in the beginning of this topic exploration  there were open case studies that made this experience, my experience, more accessible and I chose to revisit it to see how it's holding up. I'm a experience connoisseur and would like to keep this one nice and fresh for reference. 

Q: Fresh for reference?! Meaning that you will inspect other relationships through the prism of relationship demise??

A: That is an interesting assumption but I do not think I will do that. At least not in a doomsayer's kind of way. I love relationships. I love their ups and downs, getting-to-knows, opening one's heart in trust to embrace the possibility of success. I also love learning about myself in those situations and I think I would like to keep having opportunities to keep learning. Experiences school us, that is true, but people are not so predictable that they would not be awesome and wonderful packages of characteristics, skills and mores - bringing surprise and joy just as often as bringing some less desirable content. 

Q: Big talk from someone with so prominent proclivity to non-belonging.

A: Yeah, well. Nobody's perfect :-P But there's still hope that there is some belong-worthy material out there.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Crossroads




After you separate from your spouse, however public your differences were, you become less than welcome in the homes of all coupled friends and acquaintances.

When you visit a couple that lives in a way that includes black eyes and broken ribs explained by way of awkwardly opening kitchen cabinets and unfortunately losing step on the stairs they sit with you and assure you: "Do not worry, it will all be well - you're going to be back together in no time!"  

When you visit a couple in an acute power struggle they never sit with you together at the same time and at least one will say to you, with great conviction and too loudly for it to be only a message for you to take: "Good riddance! You did not need that piece of shit!"

Sometimes, somewhere, but very rarely you'll be greeted with a hug and a smile, given a comforting drink and asked: "How are YOU doing?" and "How can we help?".

After these first visits, when time (and not words only) starts to show that you are truly going to go through with divorce, world not only divides into your friends and his/her friends but also ones that can and cannot bear your lifestyle change. 

It is difficult not to take this personally but it helps to remember that you're not the only protagonist of this situation. The situation stars all the people coming into contact with it, in their own little universes and all the feelings of the people shaken with this decision. Keep some and let others go, whoever really can be friend will never be lost.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Usual Fare



Distress is like a location beacon for all other misery searching for company. As soon as experience manages to crack you open, showing your unprotected innards, people flock to have themselves a piece.

While I was in marital distress there was a constant stream of offerings of sex, by no less distressed individuals, because; what could be better to soothe and tide over this existential quandary before it settles into acceptance of "that's what life is" and "they're all the same". 

It did not fare well for them. Willingness to part with unacceptable conditions even at the price of breaking the mold of my own behaviors that facilitated the issue scared and threathened them and they would react with hatred and agression - yet it was as impotent as all their previous efforts.

During the divorce I was frequently told how brave I am and I did not understand it at a time. It did not seem to me that bravery is taking a stand to protect my child and myself from the life that I found demeaning and detrimental. Surely - that is the norm, anyone would do it, everyone does is - I thought.

But no. It is not and they do not. Social pressure even makes sure that the entropy of the system is increased.