Infatuation vs. Love

I was attracted to this man for a while. I wrote to this man for a while. We wrote to each other for a while. But then suddenly somehow I ended up writing only common stuff, observing myself becoming superficial with him. The feelings were gone even though I had several times tried to look for them, carefully with my soul and my heart. The words and the feelings could not connect anymore. I wrote empty letters which were less than nothing. It happened and I did not even know why. I guess like everything, things come and go, feelings too. Especially infatuation. It can never equal love and true love. Yes, I felt for him a certain infatuation, which cannot last without proximity and sharing.

I often ask myself what is the real difference between attraction, infatuation and love. I now have the answer. With true love, you go through silence, separation, loneliness and nothing ever changes. The love is deeply anchored in you. You carry this love with you, walking through darkness sometimes, bearing the loneliness in times apart, but it is just still there. All your mind and soul and body just bear the love, powerfully and imperturbably. Silence never means emptiness. Words make sense. Separation survives distance. You connect no matter how, no matter where, no matter what.

Infatuation fades away very quickly once the physical contact is no more there. Love goes far beyond the touching, the talking, the meeting. Those wonderful feelings of love, you stand there by yourself and feel them all, carry them all inside you. Infatuation is nothing in comparison. Barely a sensation of lust.

I had experienced several times infatuation but had loved not more than twice in my life. I guess that was all the difference.

 

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Friday evening

It is all dark outside

From the window of my office

I can see the street lights

Weak glimmer for a cold evening

I can hardly guess the shape of my friend – the tree right outside

I wonder where you could be

In five minutes

I will leave this place

Turn off the light

Vanish in the night

I think I have lost you

Just like the night

Will soon lose me

The shadows of my life

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” (Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami)

Yesterday I went to see a movie with your parents. I had to pick a movie, they told me, anything except an American blockbuster. I chose “360”, the movie from the Brazilian director of “City of God”. The movie is a mish mash of different short stories. Different characters come together at some point and some don’t. Even though the stories were quite uneven, I did like the way the movie served the cause: showing the nature of human relationships and the human loneliness, showing how people change or evolve. It started with a scene with Jude Law as a business man, on a business trip, waiting for a call-girl at the bar of his hotel, and in a second decided to stay faithful to his wife and walked away. Although during the whole movie, it seemed like nothing great or important was going to happen, I still enjoyed every minute of it. I liked the way a random encounter could change one’s life.

I spent the rest of the evening with your parents. Talking about life, things and you. You were far away. I have always seen your parents when you were away. It was like an agreement. And of course, when I left them, it was always a bit hard to stay for a moment in the past, with memories and things. About you. It was sweet and weird at the same time that I have always stayed in touch with your parents. As if they were the link between us and not the other way round. I think if we took you out of the equation, we would still see each other without you. And it was exactly what we did. We saw each other and you were never there. Though you were very present during the whole evening. Sometimes I just wonder why I have imposed to myself such bittersweet moments. I haven’t thought of you for days, weeks and I have felt peace. But then I knew that seeing your parents would put me back, right there in a form of sadness and nostalgia. Still, I accepted to live that moment, of pleasure mixed with tiny sensations of pain. My heart once again was brave. On the way home. I could hear its voice: “Why would you do that to me, each time? What did you want to prove to yourself? That you are strong and courageous? “. I could hear my heart complaining.

Last night I wanted to write to you. But I realized I had nothing to say to you. I had all your news from your parents. Instead I wrote to a man I met recently. Someone who had entered my life in a particular way. An accidental encounter like in the movie. And somehow it has changed my life. Just simply as the fact that I wrote to him more than to you. I think of him more often than of you.

When I fell asleep, I realized that nothing had much changed. I might have evolved a bit since the day we said goodbye to each other. But so far my loneliness of a Sunday night stayed exactly the same. I could hear my heartbeats, for you and for this new person in my life. Same rhythm of melancholy and a certainty that both of you will always be just a sweet eternal shadow of my life.

A tsunami dream

“I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it — to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once. ” (Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami)

This morning I woke up before you.

I had a bad dream. A tsunami one. In one second, everything was gone. The wave flowing towards me with an amazing strength and knowledge that it would sweep me away. I got out of bed and checked any article giving me a proper explanation to my dream. According to Carl Jung, a tsunami dream is one of those very meaningful “archetypal” dreams carrying meaningful symbols which are universal across all cultures. A tsunami is supposed to be a symbol of some great spiritual changes, the washing away of the old and the beginnings of new growth. In the dream, I did not run away. I stayed there, waiting for the wave to swallow me. It might be my way of dealing with whatever emotions they represent.

I prepared another coffee. Waiting for you to wake up. Ready to see you leave. Ready to whatever emotions I will have to deal with. I was ready to face them all. Ready to take you to the train station. I could laugh. I could cry. I could look into your eyes. For hours. Whatever happened already happened. Thinking of it would not change anything or make anything better. You always said that. You seemed ready too. And happy. Satisfied more than happy. You were probably used to these situations. Meeting new people. Saying hello. Saying goodbye. Letting go. I certainly have learned a lot from you these last days.

Our goodbyes were normal, controlled. Letting you go was not easy and easy at the same time. No possibilities. No chances. No future. No past. I became your disciple. Trying to follow the master to the land of no emotions.

I was ready to whatever emotions I could feel today. Because I killed them one by one.

I did not exist anymore. I became nothing. That was the change. Was it spiritual as Jung mentioned? I felt nothing. The emptiness was immense around me and I had no way to measure it. I did not want to either.

A tsunami had indeed swept me away. In no sorrows. In no sadness. I had let you go. What was left was water, only water. Not even tears.

The challenge of Tulum

“I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.” (What I talk about when I talk about running – Haruki Murakami)

I travel alone a lot. The last few days I was checking for a destination at Christmas. I finally chose Tulum in Mexico. Pictures of one of my friends had made me dream. I had never seen such beautiful pictures of beaches and palm trees. I was hypnotized by the colors of the island. I said to myself. This must be the place to relax, think, write and read. My aim is also to go for a yoga retreat. I imagine myself practicing yoga every morning in front of the ocean. Unlimited view and free spirit. But when I checked the websites of the hotels. Every single one has a “wedding” section. This place like a paradise is for honeymoons. Pictures of roses and couples in white running to the ocean, pictures of candle lights and delicious dishes and tables set for two, all on the websites.

First I said: “Damn”. Then I imagine myself in the paradise decor with couples around me, newly weds. Every morning at breakfast. Every night at dinner. This is definitely something to think over before booking the ticket. Not the bugs, not the mosquitos, not the poor Internet connection on the island. The couples everywhere on the island is to be considered. Will I be ok and not frustrated? I think I will be fine. Being surrounded by couples still in love never depresses me. Instead it will give me joy and belief in something I completely lost faith. If I feel their harmony I will like it. If at breakfast they already don’t have anything to say to each other, if they look unhappy, if their faces are sad with no smiles, then I will feel relieved being alone and by myself. Either way I am good.

I am the kind of person who can easily be alone and not be sad, because I never feel pity for myself.

Of course I could also choose a destination where family and friends can welcome me. Vietnam, Thailand would be an easy choice. But traveling alone has its own delicious and particular taste and it always seems more tempting to me.

And then, it seems like these beautiful pictures dance in front of my eyes and whisper: “Come, come, come!”.

Tulum seems waiting for me already. And I am ready for Tulum too.

Give me a moment

A Bach concerto for harpsichord.

Maximum of volume.

Rain outside, once again.

I am hypnotized by sadness.

The kind of sadness that empties my brain

And my heart too

I can’t feel anything this morning

I hope it is temporary

This kind of sadness

If I don’t fight back

It will vacuum me to further emptiness

I am not the kind of person

Who can be corroded by sorrows

I will get out of my home now

I will take a walk

I prefer

To be eaten into

Grey landscape outside

Under the rain

Washing my brain

Cleaning my heart

So I can scream to the world again

“I AM READY TO BE BACK IN LIFE”

Loneliness

I live in a small and rich country where we can still afford to refuse a job when it is not in the city where we live and study. It is a luxury to be able to say no because you don’t want to commute one hour for your job. In my country people don’t move around a lot. They live an easy life, have a nice job, and are able to afford a comfortable standard of living. Things have changed a little bit lately but it is still a very comfortable country. When I was in the US, I met a lot of young American who had been living far from home usually right after high school. American people don’t see a problem in moving to another city for college or for work. We don’t have this mentality  in Europe in general, let alone in my country. Of course there are always exceptions.

Tonight at a dinner, I met a French young man. I don’t know why I was particularly touched by his story and background. He is 25 years old. He came from a very small town in the North of France, the kind of town with no charm and no particular interests for tourists and for the rest of the world. It is hard to say things like that, he said. But it is the truth according to him. His hometown is an industrial town where the inhabitants either work in the construction or are truck drivers. The kind of town in the middle of nowhere, not by the seaside, no mountains around. Nothing. No one wants to stop by and have a look at his town, he said twice. Young people grow up and as soon as they finish high school, they get out of there, trying to get a job in Paris if lucky or in the closest bigger town nearby (not especially better either). He told me the story of his town as if he was a history or geography teacher, giving me a private lesson. He added that groups of young people used to date one among another, girls want to get married by the age of 22 in average. Shortage of potential young guys. No particular nice perspective for the future. France doesn’t seem to be a dream country for him.

Unlike the other young kids, he did not only dream about new horizons, he left his hometown at the age of 18. He had lived here and there in France, got a Bachelor in literature and a computer degree. Then went to Berlin and stayed there for two years. His parents are teachers and he is the only child. When he told his story, he talked with a monotonous voice, as if it was nothing particular. His parents do not want to help him financially, he is completely on his own since he reached 18. He arrived a month ago in my city, the third most expensive one in the world. He was trying to look for a job.

The story is at first sight nothing extraordinary, not sadder than other ones, not very joyful either. But I don’t know why, I just perceived a sad struggle in him. Something more profound is hidden in his voice. Not a desperation but a kind of loneliness emanating from him. And it strangely stroke me.

I left the dinner and thought about how lonely we could be at the end of the day. He seems to carry it not only at the end of the day but all the day long, maybe during years already. And now in this new city. On my way back, in the bus, I could not stop thinking about loneliness, young, old, small city, big city, it is just something so universal and we cannot avoid it. “We will all die one day and alone”. A cliché but still true.

This encounter definitely made me sad. This young person embodies loneliness and the weight of uncertainty, so deeply and so heavily.