Adrift, a Dream

Not sure I want to see

Being neither moored
Nor steered.
Closing broken doors
On fears
I am
Drifting

Pools of neon lights
Made me
Cringe into delight
Scared me…
And I
Am loose

Books are piling up.
The dust,
Now, is filling up
The room –
Am I
Adrift?

Open one of them –
You’re done –
Peace and war poems
They sung
Voices
Of loss.

Sending thoughts to float
Across
Spaces far remote
I toss
And turn
Adrift
Un-lost.

Bitterness blinds the wings of dragonflies.

The Wings of Dragonflies

The heavy bass resonates in the room
Pressures her skin out of reach
Rings and repeats
Tight and taunting
Tauten the noose to her heart’s screech.

The chocolate spreads velvet smells in the room
Becomes bitter on the tongue
Melts and parches
Thirst and patches
Of dry, gasping dreams gone too long.

Bitterness radiates from her lips
Liquefies the sensation of her eyes
From her ears into her hands, it drips
Blinding the wings of dragonflies.

 

 

PS: In Japanese culture, the dragonfly is a symbol of joy and rebirth, among other things.

This is about Fear…

This blog is not about politics – and I don’t want to turn it into a political blog because this is not why I started writing it. Some issues, however, need to be addressed, if only briefly. After Trump was elected, I thought to myself: “I knew it was bound to happen.” And there was nothing I could have personally done to avoid it. I wanted to trust that the American people would do the right thing. They didn’t. Now, the French are proving to be close to doing the exact same mistake. Or is it really a mistake?

Let me get this straight. I am not okay with what is happening – still it was far too easy for the media to make it seem impossible for the far right (or for Trump for that matter) to be elected or to even come close to being elected. People are avid for safety. They’ve been disappointed. They’re looking for a solution that will let them express their frustration, their resentment, their anger and above all… their fear. This is all about fear. About the fear and exasperation and lack of understanding and feeling of invisibility/insecurity of a people that’s never quite heard. It’s about the fear of extremism and war and difference. Because there’s a war going on. Of course there’s a war going on and people are all the more scared that this war seems invisible and is unpredictable. It strikes punctually, takes on the form of terrorist attacks and the troops that have been sent (for reasons that are not questionable in themselves) are so far away that they, too, have become almost like virtual realities, except for their anxious friends and families. There’s a war going on and yet no trace of it. There’s debt and mass consumption. This world is moving so fast and in such a paradoxical way that it is virtually impossible to get half a grasp of the situation.

And then, there come people who “speak” to the people and make them feel as though they had been heard. People who make them believe they will protect them, give them a voice and help the country. But in all honesty, it is hard to blame them for believing, because who doesn’t want to feel as though they mattered? To feel as though the situation was going to change for the better? The world has been there before, hasn’t it? The world has been tricked before, hasn’t it? The world has been afraid and avid for safety before, hasn’t it?

It has. And now, as much as I want to rise and shout and make a revolution, I am also humbled. I am humbled because I am reminded once again of the conscious and unconscious suffering of the world. So I will end this post quoting John Keats and try, as always, to work, as well as I humanly can, to make this world a better place.

 “Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?”
John Keats, Letter to George and Georgiana Keats.

Healing Yourself – The Value of Playing

We go about our daily lives – working, speaking, sleeping, eating, thinking, working some more. And when we do not work, how we worry about tomorrow’s tasks ahead! What about that deadline getting closer? Or that meeting we yet have to prepare for? Work, taxes, money issues, the trifles of the day, the burdens of the night, and the old memories of wounds we believed had closed that keep coming back to us in dreams, and the one negative thought that triggers a train of associations sending some of us spiraling down, down, and further down… That is when you are looking  at your own personal life only, the life we get caught up with, sometimes forgetting to look outside ourselves and beyond.

My girlfriend, my wonderful, complex, curious, clever, beautiful and funny, but terribly anxious girlfriend, knows all too well what it feels like to be overwhelmed by her own thoughts, and to become trapped inside her mind. The best I can do to soothe her is give and show her love – and I have plenty to give her. But there’s something else that we love to do to heal our nerve-wracked minds – we simply just play!

Friendly January.jpg

We are adults – young adults for sure, but still, we are supposed to be grown-ups. We have teaching jobs that place us in a position of responsibility towards teenagers and still we find ourselves playing like little children all the time. When we went to Auvergne together, we tried going to the top of a mountain, but had to stop halfway up the road because the wind was too strong and we couldn’t see anything for all the snow that was flying and dancing in the sky. So we made our way to the foot of the mountain again, but made a pause on the way to do a snowball battle and to run in the fields. We did it again the next day, and we had fun in the swimming-pool at our hotel. There was an older couple there who looked at us tenderly, probably thinking we were quite a bit younger than we actually are.

But the games that we play – the real, innocent, funny games that we play together – make us laugh; they keep us smiling and feeling alive and happy. Adults tend to stop playing – or perhaps they start to believe that it is no longer for them; maybe some of them even forget how it feels to have childish fun – but there is no better cure for dispassion and sorrow than a good laugh. Playing triggers the imagination and lets your soul rise and shine.

Playing is living differently for a few moments, with different rules.

Playing is reuniting with your inner child. The one who is still there, holding on to your dreams, believing, always, that you can make it.

Playing is healing your soul and and soothing your heart. 

So go out and play… Go out and heal yourselves!

Love,

Sacha 🌟💙

Make it art!

Transcending pain and suffering through form-making…

First, there was dull anxiety. A peculiar, arrhythmic beating of the heart and feverish tingles running down my back.

Then, it became oppression – lungs that seemed to breathe in no air and a knotted stomach that would accept no food.

It morphed into angered hope and delusions – heart pounding and parching tongue, shivers and fevers, a confusion of overwhelming, unexplainable sensations and numbness, both somatic and mental.

The colours and the poetry have deserted me; I cannot hold my pencil to make form; my brush will not apply the paint; my eyes refuse to read. I am filthy.

Comes the time of silence. My pulse is low… I can no longer hear the heart that beat so strangely before. I can only feel the tears flowing endlessly down my cheeks. It seems the weeping won’t ever end.

But still, I must work. I must read. As I force my eyes to focus on the words through the salty mist they are clouded with, they begin to reach me. I am reading Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, a wonderful piece of work written by poet and scholar Susan Stewart.

The first chapter, on which I was concentrating on, deals with the human fear of darkness and the rise of poetry as a way to counter the formlessness of darkness through form-making, that is, through metaphor, which is a fuel of poetry writing. In the process of describing the birth of poetry since Ancient times, Susan Stewart tackles the subjects of laughter and weeping, of grieving, of loss… of pain.

So I start thinking about the relationship between pain and poetry, and about the transformative power of art, which can make even the filthiest object a thing of beauty and transcend the greatest suffering. Stewart quotes Adorno:

“The substance of a poem is not merely an expression of individual impulses and experiences. Those become a matter of art only when they come to participate in something universal by virtue of the specificity they acquire in being given aesthetic form”.

Adorno, “On Lyric Poetry and Society,” in Notes to Literature.

With poetry and form-making, then, individual experience becomes universal as much as it remains intimate. It crosses the thresholds of individual existence creating intersubjectivity: I write with my “I”, but as you read my “I” aloud, “I” becomes you. It stops belonging to me – it is universal. The discussion continues and explicates the links between the lyric and love and suffering. What is the role of poetry in all this suffering? What can poetry teach me, after all? And art?

Susan Stewart then teaches me what I feel I already knew deep inside – she does not quite teach me then, but she verbalizes intuitions I could not give linguistic form:

“The enunciation of pain at the origin of the lyric must appear before the emergence of a self-conscious sense of one’s own subjectivity. […] Pain has no memory; its expression depends on the intersubjective invention of association and metaphor. The situation of the person resides in the genesis of the memory of action and experience in intersubjective terms – that is, the articulation and mastery of the originating pain […]. Yet, the mastery of pain through measures and figures is not merely repressive, it is as well a matter of coming to knowledge and expression.”

Susan Stewart, Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, p. 46

It dawns on me… From what I cannot comprehend, I can learn and through mastery of experience, gain knowledge and understanding. I can thus ease the pain, and produce explanations similar to the process of myth-making.

There is pain and suffering. In my life, in others’. Sometimes as I think of all the injustice and strife there is in the world, tears well in my eyes. Sometimes, it is my own, intimate heartache that troubles me, selfishly. But I can transcend these feelings if I make them into art. I will not claim, like Ezra Pound proudly did, that I want “to make it new”. But I will perhaps too ambitiously, yet quite humbly, exclaim: “Make it art!” 

And doing so, you may help yourself, and if you do reach someone else’s soul, may help them too and infuse this personal experience with altruism as you share it with the world.

If I must lose you, or…

If I must lose you, promise me only that you will become a brighter, more accomplished person. That if I cannot spend this life with you, you will use the strength inside yourself to get better, that you will not let the apathy and fears that control your lovely mind take hold of you, but instead, endeavour to find your inner light and hold on to it forever so you can let this spark grow into the flame that I could always see within your soul.

If I must lose you, I can only promise you that I will not let myself wilt away, because you once told me I was your favourite flower and never wanted me to fade. All I can offer is to try and be studious, creative and good. To make my PhD the best work I can, become a better artist and complete the stories and the poems that I have begun to write. That I will not stop drawing, reading, writing or laughing because I am missing you.

I never wanted to lose you though… I never dreamt of this life without seeing you smile, without being the first to witness the look in your eyes as you wake up in the morning, or watching your eyes glitter with joy as you eat pomelos, grapefruit, mushrooms or spaghetti.

My heart brings tears into my eyes as it asks: “Who, then, will you share your reading anecdotes with? Who will read your poetry and who will you write it for, now? Whose happiness will you guard and whose soul will you cherish and blend with yours? Who will call you with a thousand questions and whose hand will you lace to yours? Who will you share the morning cup of coffee with and whose bread will you toast with jam and butter? Whose tears will you dry but your own?  Whose eyes will you simply, kindly look into?”

No one. No one’s. But if it means you can start to heal – I do not mind as much. If it means that in a month, or in a year, you can stand on your own two feet and look at yourself in the mirror thinking “I am happy” then it does not hurt as much, because I love you far beyond my own pains and desires – I love you so very much that all I ever want is for you to be fulfilled, even if it means that you must be forever away from me.

So if I must lose you, please be well, please be healthy, please be your truest, most beautiful and loving self, be the sublime, intricate, colourful sunset I fell in love with.