Greek myth painting

My love for Greek myth revived after reading them to Nhim. Difference is now i have Google and can stay up late. And since those characters are all nude, and rather erotic, i have even parent guidance.

The nymph which turn into bay tree, pursued by Apollo.
Danae – mother of Perseus and the golden rain
Andromeda -saved by Perseus

Love the story of Hades and Persephone but can’t find any good painting.

Hades and Persephone.

Hades’s capture is such a typical genre. It repeats in so many forms, from the Beauty and the Beast to Eric and Christine. It’s so patriarchal and at the border of Stockholm syndrome. Yet it has its own dark, toxic charm that is irresistible. That is: the struggle between masculinity and femininity is also their very attraction.

The tree of life

It’s a poster we bought Nhim from the Nature Historic Museum. It’s no longer on our wall as Nhim tore it away long ago. By the way, here it is on Amazone.

On this poster when it comes to how human evolved from ape to man, guess what/who stands for the latest stage of evolution? Ok, I’ll save you from going check that Amazone link. It’s woman.

So according to evolution sequence on this poster, first is ape, then man (the middle link in between) and finally the end product of evolution: (tada) woman!

I agree that it smells a bit feminist. But as a woman myself, I’m pretty ok with this sequence. Not because it’s feminist, but because it’s, well, pretty logical, actually. Here’s why.

Look at the brain, what’s the difference between man’s brain and woman’s brain. You show man a thing, and he sees just … a thing. It has a roof, a frame, an engine, 4 doors, 4 wheels. Ah, a car. Then man walks around this thing, and checks how strong is the engine, what type of wheel, etc. Basically, it’s just observation of what’s there in front of his eyes. No more.

What woman sees: is it a family car with child seat, space for shopping. If it’s silver, the owner maybe a man, kind of business style. Maybe he’s rich. Or if it’s white, maybe it belongs to a woman who reads Vogue and Elle. Or is it glossy red, with removable roof suitable for catching girls on Saturday nights, so I’d better cross this guy out because I’m for serious relationships now.

It doesn’t matter if such woman’s speculations makes any sense or not. It matters that it’s there, that woman are able to make such speculations, ridiculous, inaccurate, for-nothing. Because it’s imagination, it’s an effort to go beyond what’s there in front of your eyes to some abstract features. It’s a higher brain function, which man is not so good at. And maybe such a higher brain function takes a bit further of evolution to get there.

What else? Who cries when Jack sinks with the Titanic? Who dreams more about great love and soulmates? Who write more blogs online? Women. They are overly emotional, which is also a feature of higher brain function. Man on the hand just sit there playing bloody games, seeing bloody movies, thinking about ‘kicking some ass’, ‘showing who’s boss’ ‘who ‘s got the chic’. In short, the aggressive, dominating instincts. Instincts to fight, to mate, to survive. Of course, woman have those too, but at far less degree. For woman, emotion – big, aggression – small; for man, the opposite. And take a look at our ape relatives, who are more savage, more aggressive, care more about passing on genes than maintaining world peace. Unfortunately, they’re more closer to man than woman.

And if you put an average man and an average woman in our civilized society, with supermarkets to make sure no one will have to hunt bears for a living, with public transport to make sure no one will break their neck falling from horses, and dish-washer, and unemployment benefit and healthcare, and so on. You’ll see that man will still tend to die before woman, given the same living conditions. They’re closer to extinction, because they lack some higher brain functions to survive successfully. How?

Men are much easier to put themselves in danger, especially when there is no actual danger around. They drink, take drug, drive bike, do extreme ‘sports’, one-night stands without aware that they do have (small as it may seems) need of emotions and once they keep shattering this need or don’t care, it won’t make their life any better.

Men are notoriously afraid of visiting doctors, though visiting tatoo is fine. They dread being informed that they are actually not so ‘tough’ as they’d like.

Women do all the things that support a longer existence: they self-care (except  for high heels), they eat healthier food, they ride bike too, but the leisure ones, in the park, to breathe fresh air and smell the rose. They try to maintain relationships. More religious. And they don’t watch that Godfather series.

No need to tell that men who are in long relationship with women lives longer and happier than those don’t. Because if you leave men to themselves, they’d either eventually kill themselves in this or that way, or kill others, which in fact is just a roundabout way of killing oneself. Is something wrong with men? Why can they just live normally? There you have it, not their fault, they’re just not that evolved.

Ok, I left reproduction out of the picture which of course means a lot. And which of course makes this a joke, as woman can not get where they are now (you know what i mean, the last stage of evolution) without men.

But maybe it’s still worth to order this poster from Amazone (i have no account there, so no worry, this is not an ads). Maybe you can also get a second thought.

Fiori and the unknown best friend

I didn’t know that i am someone’s best friend.

Sounds sweet but in fact a bit horrible.

Fiori is a beautiful Eritrean woman. Her daughter and Nhim are best friends. They play whole day together in kindergarten. Everyday. And that’s not enough. Before going home, they need to decide who will visit whom today. ‘Today’ means the rest part of the day. Often one day Nhim visits Hermela, the next day opposite. Eventually Fiori and I see each other almost everyday as we come and pick up our kid.

But i never thought i’m her best friend.

We didn’t know each other for long, and mostly things goes around the kids. Her Norwegian is not good, we don’t speak English to each other because her English is also not that good. So i can’t say i have exchanged very much info with her. I don’t confide in her and she doesn’t in me. How come i could be her best friend if we don’t know so much about each other.

Maybe it’s just something is wrong with the way i see what ‘best friend’ is. Or maybe not ‘wrong’ but ‘different’ from the way she perceives of ‘best friend’. Well, i mean it’s an honor to be regarded as best friend. I just don’t figure out how it’s possible that i’m somebody’s best friend.

I had a few that i considered best friends in my life previously. In my teen and student years, while the personality are still more flex. In my primary school, best friend was the one i played with the most, like Nhim and Hermela now. Just enjoy each other’s company.

In my secondary school, best friend jumped to the next level. I was a teenager, and i practically adored them. It was almost close to worshiping. It was nearing the kind of attachment you have in a relationship, only without attraction. Maybe this time coincides with the time i dwelled quite much in attraction to boys, and best friend was just a kind of contrasting to opposite sex attraction. When i liked some boy, i tried extremely hard to not make visible to anyone. But best friend was somehow a safer sanctuary where i could measure how much acceptable my attraction to that boy was. I didn’t dare to confide even in the best friend. I was very shy.

Anyway, best friend was when i was very interested on the personality of that friend, her opinions shapes mine, her world was a (big and important) part of my world. And there was a lot of dedication involved. I read that deep friendship does pave the way to deep relationship later in life. That’s why I’m happy Nhim has such a deep friendship with Hermela.

But apparently i have none of such with Fiori.

Actually i realized just today i have stopped to have such kind of need. Maybe it’s gone with the teen years. maybe now that I have my husband and he has taken place of the best friend, as I confide the most in him. Or maybe I have learnt to become my own best friend. Maybe I have learnt to doubt too much and abandoned the need of a best friend.

People still have best friend even when they’re married and old, don’t they. Strangely I don’t feel i have that urging need anymore. It’s kind of I’m relaxed enough to appreciate the relationship but I learn to don’t clutch them close anymore. I let them go, if life separates us. And say thank you, you’ve made a part of my life.

Uphill break

I feel i need to write.

Ok, many things, i don’t know where to start.

I was writing to Miller, a lot lot lot of mails, a marathon. Kind of funny to try to picture a remote person through some very formal corresponding. But after such a dense shuttling, it’s hard to not feel somehow that i’ve got to ‘know’ this person. It’d be a bit hard again to ‘unknow’ this person when the job is done. I guess he’s a nice decent person. I recalled my teen’s wish to have a ‘grandpa’ kind of friend, someone old and kind and generous to hear all the sillies things i committed and unrelated enough to not scold me. Well, i learnt that i can not force a relation, it happens if it’s meant to be. If not, it’s just not right to be. So let it be.

Nhim the other day was without Hermela. She was a bit lost. I felt a nipping pain when i saw her standing alone on the yard. My mother instinct was whispering some tempting thoughts like: go play with Gabriella, where is Celina, etc. But then i restrained myself. Feeling lonely and missing someone dearly is a part of a relationship. And you learn that you have a deep relationship when you miss someone, and feel that you need someone. I think this ‘negative’ feeling is a good and healthy to experience once in a while.

I read something about thoughts yesterday, and i like it. I read about it because i was a bit stressed. So i tried to jump to the meta level. Thinking about thinking. It actually helped. I do a light exercise these day to help my low back as i often end up having time only after midnight and not the best time for aerobic. But this light workout helped me to breathe deep and relax with slow breathing. It’s actually quite pleasant, to my surprise, despite that it’s short and light. I looked at the mirror and i see that i’m aging. I no longer have that brightness of carefree-ness on my face. Now i look a lot like frowning, worrying, withering a lot. Then i realized i forgot how to smile the way i did, when i just open up myself with joy. I forgot how to be young. I forgot how to be just happy as I was. So I’m writing now, because it makes me happy 🙂

Well, you can not be the same carefree and happy as when you were still single, and have only boyfriend, no kid, not much to worry about. My husband ages much too. But I like him now better. I like old guys, my weird taste. Maybe because I have an ‘old’ soul for my age.

Anyway, I was talking about thinking, so the technical things about thinking is:

. find some minutes to detach and breathe deep, relax. Do it for your self-caring. I’m already in my mid 30s and i think it’s high time i should take serious care of my health. Because i want to enjoy my later years being able to do what i love: like reading, sewing, writing, music and drawing (I should watch maybe some Miller’s tutorials).

. channel energy away from negative thought/worries. I always feel exhausted when i have strong negative emotions, like when we quarrel. Negative thoughts and stress eat up enormous energy. And I’m the slow-pace, low-energy, deep-feeling, over-sensitive person, so i don’t have that much energy to sprinkle around wastefully. That means when i start to worry, realize it, and try to distract myself by reading something out of topic, listen to some music, or watch something, or take a short walk if possible. Or just breathe with a blank mind.

. Keep a regular sleeping routine. I’m breaking it right now. But i see that it really makes me function better if i sleep well regularly. No cosmetic equals good night sleep. My face looks brighter and younger. I get thru the day also more effectively when I have this extra energy from sleep. But too long sleeping is equally bad, so i try to get a feel when ‘enough’ is enough.

I read about a woman who sit more than 30 years on wheelchair and it also changed me a bit. I used to think of disable people as ‘them’ – alien and unknown to me. For the first time i see from their perspective and felt like i’m sharing the same world with them. The same about the VNese guy who lost a leg because of drug. Gave me a lot of thoughts (and fear) about how to grow up Nhim to be safe from such things. I like when people touch my life, their life shaped my life a little bit different. I also like to touch people’s life, knowing the acquaintance won’t last but they will remember me.

Summer holiday in Poland – 2015

I’m back after more than 2 weeks away and right now I hate Facebook.

I’ve been without FB all this time, still alive. And re-realized i don’t need it. Don’t want it in my day, as much as I can withstand. And will try to keep it away from me as long as it goes. I decide so because i realized there’s so much more i want to do than to peek into what’s up with loads of people. FB gives a false illusion of closeness. In these 2 weeks I have met and talked with so many friends, and that’s what i want, not checking their latest status.

Most of what i get from Fb is trash: trash information, trash emotion, trash attention and trashy spending of my time. Trash means something you don’t need, but comes to you anyway, like the ads in your mailbox. All the stuffs that scream in your face: check me out, read this, share this, like this, be trendy as this, I’ve got enough.

It was a medium holiday. Medium means not too crazy, just tiring at acceptable level. Could be a bit more relaxing but it’s hard for us to relax on holiday. Trust me.

This is the time line before i forget:

– land in Warsaw, spend night at aunt’s flat.

– travelled to Lublin by train, stayed at Cent Hostel, very nice one.

– See the King Chapel (very colourful), the museum (very real life statues), walked in the old city, ate at the Vietnamese restaurant with a smelly entrance (but very nice owner).

– Visit Folk museum with traditional polish houses, lin festival, met authors (sunday)

– Took train to Lodz, stay at Piotr: late night chatting for the guys.

– Visit Simon’s grandma, met Simon’s new girlfriend.

– Visit Jewish palace, see the pony, ate in Apple restaurant, visit the nice old couple with a marvellous garden.

– Train to Piotrkow, a small town where nothing happens, elegant hotel. beautiful Barrock church, chatty pharmacy owner.

– Taxi to the geologist picnic in the forest, met archaeologists making iron from ore in clay oven and an old professor who explained about Nhim’s fossil.

– 2 hours wait on a wooden-roofed station, feeding pigeons which make nest on the planks, drop poo overall, before taking train back to Warsaw in baking weather.

– Playground near aunt, Lidl.

– Met Lukas + Mocala + Karolina

– Visit Marie Curie’s birth house, nice ice cream with rose flavour, Chopin on the street, soap bubbles, having to walk thru the crowded old city having problem finding a place for dinner. Managed to buy Nhim a Sponge balloon at last.

– Visit Marta

– Visit National museum: ancient Greek and Japanese

– Visit Young Mark and Kate.

– Visit Kopernic science center, missed the canteen due to false evacuation.

– Arcadi shopping center: Nhim shoes, ate mareng cake, Carefour.

– Zoo: aggressive rhino dad

– Visit Vojtek

– Visit Viktor

– Old Mark

– Flew back with presents for Hermela.

Lots of travelling, seeing people and thinking about them.

Holiday for me is the smell of cabbage soup on an old station.

The peeled off walls of a poor town.

The line of grannies sitting on park benches, looking at us as if we are the tourist attraction ourselves.

The hostel new bathrooms and their terrific double-decker beds which I’ve come to hate as Nhim’s come to love.

There’s so much to take in, so much to remember and think about. And changed me.

I’ll hopefully post the pics.

Fatigue

I’m entering this phase: fatique.

As in all big or medium size projects, people are due to experience it at some point. Maybe it paradoxically is a good thing, a sign that you’ve been moving forward.

But honestly, I’m fatique, start to feel ‘enough’, that even the wind against my face is getting me on the edge, that surrounding, unrelated issues stacking up against me, challenging my border of endurance, that parts inside me are starting a slow, numb process of dying, rottening, smelly-ing.

Told myself: Stop coping. Don’t think about it (‘it’ x multiple times) today/now. I’m pushing it to tomorrow, to the future, to a time when i gather enough strength/courage/etc. to confront it. Now I just want peace.

I know I’ve come to this known place again, to the point I need to push my own border, trying harder than I actually can, giving 100 and 20 % of youself, stepping out of comfort zone, the place where will power decides whether you excell or not, depending on how much stubborn you are in refusing to let go.

It’s just the beginning of fatique, meaning it’s gonna get tougher.

Karl K. – The size of love life.

I think i met him twice. I said ‘I think’ as each time lasted approximately 1/3 of a second.

My husband said he’s very successful professionally, good-looking, very sociable, excellent communication skill, drives a bike, reasonable, and surprisingly open (according to Norwegian standard) to my husband about his private life.

Not gay (having said the above). And by the way, below his 50s. Anyone?

From the 2/3 of the second i saw him, i can’t judge if all the description about him is true, but I trust my husband.

What’s wrong with Karl K.? He seems to have everything, he should not be alone. But he is. And moreover, he is dead stuck.

Karl K. knows very well he wants to be in a long stable relationship, as he knows how good it is to be with someone. In fact, he knows it a little too well. He tried it 3 times (12 years – 8 years – 4 years), have kid(s), looks like. I see from the descending length of the relationships, each time minus 4 years, so the simple maths’d say that Karl K. should not try the fourth time as its default value is 0. Still, he’s banging head against the wall, keeping a ‘female friend’, but now looking for someone serious.

Well, I did a little research and not surprised, while the chance for first marriage to fail (in the western world) is 50%, with the second marriage, it’s 67% and third time around, it’s 73% (Psychologytoday.com) . Karl K. simply lived according to the statistic.

I don’t know what’s wrong with him, he sounds perfect so he must have picked awful women all the time. Which means that he must have a deviated taste for women, which in turns means he’s not that perfect. Or he must have thought: it’s getting bumpy, and not so fun anymore. Because i’m so good guy, i should have no problem getting the next chic in no time, so why bother with this old unpleasant nagging wife.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he fought with teeth and claw for his 3 marriages but still without luck. But still, after the lucky 3, he should really sit back and seriously reflect what went wrong. And either admit he’s not suitable to live with women, either make a retro with one of his exes (recommendably the 12 years one, if she’s still available). We have retro for fashion, retro for furniture, retro for radios and computers, why not retro for your own ex? I think 3 times is enough of generalization, and it’s little chance the 4th time around he suddenly meet Ms. Right and it’d go magically smooth happy-ever-after.

But no, he’s has a great job and a great bike (testosterone still high), and still looks good, so he’s heading for the future with no look back over the shoulder. But what future he’s looking for? A young sun-kissed hot chic from Thailand: she probably wants kids, and he probably has had enough of diaper changes in his 3 marriages. No thanks. By the way, he’s not that open to strange culture, as he confides. Or a 40-something established European? Should be a lot of choices,but she probably has her own kids. It’s easy to imagine it’s like walking in a maze trying to draw relations between him – new wife, him – new step children, new wife – his kids, new wife – his old exes, him – new wife’s ex(es), his exes – new wife’s kids, etc. And i already assume they want no more kids. Or else, it’d really involve high maths with  some advanced formula for calculation.

I think it’s too much trouble for a soon-to-be 50. When you have ex – ex – ex – then the last abbreviation is likely to be either Single (XXXS) or Lonely (XXXL) rather than Married (XXXM).

I think we are fed with the illusion that human can fight against his circumstances, like poor boy against all odds becomes rich successful guy, stuff like that. But in fact, more often than not, we are humble and defeated to our situation. Therefore, we should care not to fall into such situation in the first place. not to race headlessly there, and then ‘Now what?’

As now all Kark K. can do every other weekend is to race his bike round and round and round, like a hamster on a wheel, dreaming of his 4th Ms. Right.