Does the Love word really exist? and A Message…

I’ve been reading “Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene. This entry is just a quick review of the book. I am not highly recommending it because some of his views and propositions are considered unreasonably manipulative. In love, manipulation or deceit is always going to be a destructive component of it. However, it is very intriguing to read if you want to be an “expert seductress”; which is such a ridiculous concept in my opinion. Why should one try hard? Okay, maybe the desperate ones need it haha. But these things should run naturally. I’ve been introduced to the different kinds of seducers in the world there is by this book. It’s comparable to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” but this book should be more likely entitled  as “How to win in the Battle of Love”. But why does love always have to feel like a battlefield? (As Jordin Sparks asks in one of her famous songs.. hahahaha! I know corny) It shouldn’t be, but more often than not it inevitably turns out that way for the majority. I strongly think neither of the two have to win or lose. It’s just life. Love fades, two lovers move on and learn from each other. So what’s the point of this post you may ask?

I’ve come across a quote in the book that made me think and analyze what this complex, stupid, tragic but sometimes magnificent thing “love” is. Here’s the quote from Theodor Reik  in “Of Love and Lust” (pp. 150-151 of “The Concise Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene)

I have stressed the fact that the beloved person is a substitute for the ideal ego. Two people who love each other are interchanging their ego ideals. That they love each other means they love the ideal of themselves in the other one. There would be no love on earth if this phantom were not there. We fall in love because we cannot attain the image that is our better self and the best of our self. From this concept it is obvious that love itself is only possible on a certain cultural level or after a certain phase in the development of the personality has been reached. The creation of an ego ideal itself marks human progress. When people are entirely satisfied with their actual selves, love is impossible. The transfer of the ego ideal to a person is the most characteristic trait of love. 

BAM! Enlightenment or Disillusionment? This is ultra similar to Jean Paul Sartre’s conflict of the Other which he wrote about in “Being and Nothingness” and can also be found in my previous post “The Missing Piece”. So is love even authentic or merely a project to better ourselves and enhance our ego ideal in the expense of the other?! (the beloved or the lover). When people are entirely satisfied with their actual selves, love is impossible. – Can people ever be actually content with their actual aloneness or selves?  Maybe not, because we are always evolving. But some are such a rarity. The only thing certain is that nothing is certain. We always want to improve or self destruct constantly; whatever floats people’s boats. That’s why the phenomenon love has been invented. Some never feel gratified of their being single. I glorify those who do not feel the need for an enhancement of an ego ideal, or of a lover. Independent woman, I will be you someday, in a sense that I will not look for an intensification of myself through someone else but only through myself.

On a friendlier note,

I want to take the time and tell you. You who may never even come across this entry or maybe will, after several seasons have passed that I hope the best for you. The song below sums up what I want to tell you. I am happy with my life and you deserve to be prosperous in all directions of yours especially in finding someone to give you what I was not able to. I’ve learned and without the pain, no gain. 🙂

(The lyrics are specially meant for you.)

Fathers and A Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

The setting of the movie is in New Orleans where a community of (for a lack of a better word) barbarians reside. The people are used to a lifestyle of depravity and resort to living in a vile and disgusting swamp; refusing to be aided by volunteers who may help in improving their economic level and moral standards.

Hushpuppy, the main character is wise beyond her years and adapted so easily to the misfortunes of her life. Living in an unhealthy environment, having an absent mother and being burdened by Wink, her father who is troubled by his own issues, she sees the purpose behind such a heavy circumstance. Relating all the minuscule events to the the bigger picture. I quote her from the movie: “The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece… the whole universe will get busted.”

At first, the movie seemed too complex and shocking for me. I had to absorb it to really find the meaning behind it. The aurochs (ancestors of the cattle which are already extinct) appear in the movie symbolizing power and stature. They represent the destruction of the community. “Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied.” Hunting, disease, climate changes, and habitat loss caused aurochs to go extinct in 1627, when the last individual died in Poland’s Jaktorów Forest” (source:http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/17/exclusive-the-secret-of-the-aurochs-those-beasts-of-the-southern-wild/)  At the end of the movie, Hushpuppy faces the aurochs with courage while the others strayed cowardly from it. The beasts bow to her as if to recognize the power she had within.

Hushpuppy losses Wink, her father, due to illnesses because of his way of living, being an alcoholic, lacking sanitized food and water and living in a dismantled shelter, he’d rather have nothing cured nor changed. Despite his many flaws, he recognizes his duty as a fatherly figure. “My only purpose in life is to teach her how to make it.” he says. I admire Hushpuppy’s character in this movie. She had to cope with so many adversities yet she remains strong, accepting the things she cannot change and knowing the meaning and beauty behind death.

Hushpuppy states in the movie: (and this quote hits me hard) “Everybody loses the thing that made them. It’s even how it’s supposed to be in nature. The brave men stay and watch it happen, they don’t run” – Relating Hushpuppy’s situation with mine, I lost my father (who contributed a lot to my character and who made me) at 13 and by his death, he made me stronger. Although I could’ve grown into a different person with his presence during my adolescent and prime years; and maybe have gotten wiser and smarter because he had always been the wittiest and coolest man I’ve gotten to know; I’m slowly recognizing the meaning behind his early departure. Up until today, I’ve always wondered how it would be like if my dad were alive to guide me in my words and actions. I rewind the past and imagine what I would do to have made my relationship with him better. I would have apologized for being a brat and for all the shortcomings I had that he never had the aggressiveness to correct at certain times because of how much he loved me. But Hushpuppy taught me something tonight. I will be brave to forgive myself and watch how his void in my life unfolds. I will stop running or wondering what could’ve been. I know I still commit mistakes my father would’ve disapproved of if he were alive, but at the end of the day, I believe his love for me is unconditional and he is my guardian angel.

Wink teaching his daughter how to be strong. "Show me those guns!" :)

Wink teaching his daughter how to be strong. “Who the man?” “I’m the man!”

How To Be Irreplaceable

A very good read! Thank you Christopher Hudspeth

JAN. 16, 2013

How To Be Irreplaceable

What really defines being irreplaceable? From the jump, you’ve got to be open with embracing your unique self. Toss aside cookie cutter personalities, practicing common actions and molding yourself to be similar to what you know to be safe. Fitting in is comfortable. It can seem enticing to be well liked by the vast majority of people; avoiding stepping on any toes, offending others or having individuality that’s considered a little wacky or different.

Embracing who you are can be really difficult to do, especially for a modest, shy person. Many of the people comfortable in their own skin, saying what they feel and being who they are have an abundance of confidence. That self-assurance allows them to avoid acting and it usually oozes authenticity, while self-conscious script-fitting reeks of imitation. So the first and only step, really the overall key to being irreplaceable, is flourishing as the unique person you are. We’re lucky too because, as hateful as the current world can be, there’s never been a better time for the weird, zany personalities to flourish. The judgmental folks are going to do what they do best; condemn and hate on anything unknown or different. Don’t allow that to influence you, or shy you away from being open about who you are. Different is great. Different is irreplaceable.

For the longest time I’d get upset when I did or thought something dissimilar to those around me. I didn’t like handling myself unlike my acquaintances, or having contrasting interests from friends. It’s a battle I still struggle with, and at times, I’ll catch myself in the middle of an Oscar worthy performance, acting instead of simply being. To be irreplaceable, you can’t only recognize that you’re different; you’ve got to embrace it with open arms. Fuck what everybody else is saying, doing, eating, drinking, wearing. Not in a rude way, but fuck it! A decision for yourself should never be entirely based off of so-and-so’s choices.

So this is what happens. We get wrapped in the habit of conforming, trying to upkeep an unthreatening image, and going with the grain to avoid any potentially negative attention. We won’t be critiqued, we’ll be very agreeable and we’ll play a social game of monkey see, monkey do. When this happens, all of the things that make us a valuable person are sucked out and replaced with dull, basic-ness. No longer are we original, first editions, we’re carbon copied reprints. We’re a dime a dozen. Think about it, how many of your casual hangout friends are interchangeable? If you want to grab a beer or go shopping, there are probably a chunk of different people who can provide basic conversation, basic opinions, and basic-ass-company. If you’ve been suffocating the real you, you’re probably that basic person for several others.

Now consider the rare friend or family member who offers interaction that nobody else can. They aren’t like anyone you know, and what separates them from others might not even be describable. Some just have an aura or inimitable ways that you love and appreciate them for. This person offers something that only they can provide, can you say you do the same for someone? If you can’t answer “yes” without great certainty that you march to the beat of your own drum, chances are you ain’t carrying products that can’t be found everywhere else.

When talking about people, nobody is a literal necessity. Air, water and nourishment are required to maintain life, but a person never has to be around for you for your survival. There are those who enhance it and, by simply being themselves, make you happy to be in their company. Irreplaceable doesn’t quite mean necessary, but when someone finds you irreplaceable, that means you and you alone, offer them something that NOBODY else amongst the billions of other people in this planet can.

If it’s your jokes, they can meet other comedians. If it’s your advice, they can find amateur therapists. If it’s your happiness and love for life, there are other blissful people to hang out with. Yes, those people may be lovely, they may be similar to you or capable or imitating your ways, but there’s nobody who can be you, like you. If you feel like a misunderstood Martian, with odd taste, uncommon style and a different way of seeing things, embrace the hell out of it. Some people who come across you will love you, some may despise you, but they won’t be able to say they know anyone who makes them feel the way you do — and that, ladies and gentlemen, is irreplaceable.

One Art

Image

Painting by: Justin R. Christenbery 

 

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; 
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like a disaster. 

Elizabeth Bishop

Independence and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body.The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?” 

 Image

Man’s primary instinct is to always find a better life for himself. With that I reflect, what entails a better life for me, at 24? My family has always been, if it could, my number one priority. But we have been separated by the different courses of our lives, we try to keep in touch as much as we can.  My mother is running a resort business in Antique whilst promoting the eco adventure spots in that region of Visayas. (pandanbeachresort.com) My sister has her own thriving career as an assistant manager of a renowned cafe in San Diego,California and my father has long since passed away due to lung cancer when I was only 13. I am left on my own in Manila working for real estate sales which I truly enjoy. I do however question if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This kind of job requires not only hardwork, marketing your products and selling yourself to your clients but you need luck as well.

Luck is on my side that I have been given a career I could focus and put my mind into. The sale is yet to come but fingers together with all body parts are crossed. My job distracts me from being alone. Although pangs of lonliness sometimes seep in, I have to remind myself:  Being alone does not equal to loneliness. Aloneness is an acceptance and simply the act of not having anyone around. It can connote the state of comfort just being by yourself. Lonlieness on the other hand is an emptiness. It is the absence of attention and love.  I do not blame any of the people I love, particularly my family when times of depression sink in because everything that happens is the best possible thing that can happen as Chris Prentiss puts it. (Zen and the art of Happiness – a great read if you want to attract positive vibes). I am growing older and more mature (I genuinely hope so hehe) and I have to learn to be independent in all aspects, financially and most importantly emotionally.

In Milan Kundera’s “Unbearable Lightness of Being” (I highly recommend this book for all 20 something women to read) Tereza’s character reminds me of myself.  She felt lonely and wanted to get out her small town in Zurich so badly to find a better life. A ticket out was by a chain of “6 improbable accidents” or coincidences she created in her mind that led her to meeting Tomas and falling in love with him. She grabbed the opportunity and decided to leave her hometown to  follow Tomas in Prague with all her belongings to stay with the man whom she decided would take care of her and love her forever. Tomas loved Tereza and allowed her “salvation” by him to happen. The following analogy of Tomas’ loves and situation with Tereza  which he stated in my book, I find so fitting with my own.  He  was The Egyptian queen and Tereza was Moses that was sent down into the river by his mother in a basket in hopes that a good samaritan would provide Moses with a  much better life than the helpless mother could give. I do feel at many times like the baby Moses. A stray kitten left to fend for her own, a rotten spoiled kid that has never learned to correct the horrible habit that was instilled in her growing up.

I am of age and writing these things make me realize that Moses wont be a baby forever. A kitten will turn into a cat and this 24 year old sometimes vulnerable girl will learn to be an independent woman that will grab life by its hands. Nearing my quarter life I will take life’s wheel and drive it myself. If obstacles and flat tires happen to befall me along the way, I have  first and foremost myself to rely on, then  a family that will always be there for me and give me unconditional love that no other lover or “missing piece” can.

Here are the most striking quotes in my opinion by Milan Kundera in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”:

“Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.”

“Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.” 

Love after Love

 
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
 
and say, sit here.  Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine.  Give bread.  Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
 
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
 
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit.  Feast on your life.
 
 
Derek Walcott 

Christmas shmismas

saturnalia

Coming into the disordered condition of my own mind and circumstances, your entrance was definitely not in the best of timings.What are the chances that throwing my dignity out of the window for a fascinating and dandy stranger would save me?

Saturnalia, a holiday the Roman pagans invented, way earlier than it was constituted as the birth of Christ, occurs from the 17th -25th of December. This was a time of lawlessness. Hedonism, violence, and murder games were promoted. People celebrated by intoxicating themselves, fornicating, singing and dancing in the streets with all their nudity and eating biscuits patterned after children… and this is how our generation still celebrates it today, although in a tremendously subtler way. We drink and be merry, we look for a significant other we can share the beautiful holidays with, hence all these cheesy christmas love songs. People Singing in the streets ruthlessly naked, evolved to Caroling. Plus the Gingerbread which is a bread patterned after man, (duh) is still being served during the occasion. Chatholicism developed, converting most of these pagans and transformed a festival of brutality and viciousness to a celebration of harmony and love. One day was chosen, the final date of the 9 day festival, the 25th, the birth of a savior, of a god.

Although, I do not know what exact beliefs I should contain about Christmas, all I do know is it’s a time of blessing, of saving, of sublimity. Your entry into my chaotic life is a symbolism of the occasion of the birth of god or it may be a magnificent coincidence or accident.  My Saturnalia has ended. The supression,  my “9 day Saturnalia” has finally ended. Thank you Christmas and to the person who represents it for me this year.

With all my love,

Vitamin C

Source: http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm