Monday, 23 November 2015

Respectful Wishes

Whoa... You ever read something written when you were stupid-drunk and kind of go "whoa". Part impressed with the world's worst legible poem, but, also, mystified... I don't know how to delete Messenger "conversations" on my phone so that certain people aren't top of the list and accidentally accessible... Bear with me....Sorry you had to deal with that... In the interests of "dealing", though, I think it's right for me to say that you were right,  you did hurt me, though, you know well you're not the only human here... Sorry you have to deal with that now too.... No nuance from Jones... Try and have a light Christmas Cole.






I think it's natural on some human level, to want, to try to redeem yourself, but, how does a person do that, with no redeeming features, to one, now, irretrievably lost?
And why? When that person just doesn't care? Respect their wishes to be left in peace? Though, who respects my wishes to share my piece?
Respectfully of course...
Irrespective of this mess, these people never care enough of me, to ever question, wonder or worry...

That's ok.

I'll never make anybody sorry.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

[FEC!] Fragile Empathetic Capacity


However, these brains – let’s call them walnuts in honour of their appearance – are also very subtly and dangerously flawed machines, flawed in ways that typically don’t announce themselves to us and therefore give us few clues as to how on guard we should be about our mental processes.
The walnut is extremely bad at understanding why it is having certain thoughts and ideas. It tends always to attribute them to rational, objective conditions out in the world, rather than seeing that they might be stemming from the impact of the body upon its thought processes. It doesn’t typically notice the role that levels of sleep, sugar, hormones and other physiological factors play upon the formation of ideas. The walnut adheres to a psychological interpretation of plans and positions that are, at base, frequently merely physiological. Therefore, it can feel certain that the right answer is to divorce or leave the job rather than go back to bed or eat something to raise blood sugar levels.




Recently, or, this year rather, this lady's Walnut has made some utterly shoddy decisions.
Instead of recognising that I'm physically drained, overwhelmed or stressed by some particular thing, I sort of blanket that anxiety over everything, unable to tell if it's a new relationship, a work deadline, an offhand remark from a loved one, or, crucially, I haven't been eating right or need a proper rest.
I realise all of these things are linked of course, if i'm stressed I eat poorly, if I'm worried or bloated or in pain I don't sleep well, if my mind isn't reseted my body is unlikely to be and of course vice versa. 
Often though I will neglect caring for my body (drink too much caffeine as a short term solution to being tired, or do less and feel bad for doing so, rather than sleeping properly. Or shut myself off from things that cause me anguish - new relationship insecurities - ensuing guilt from detachment or further insecurity) or making a sensible choice, in favour of some inferior mental sticking plaster.
My dad in his professional capacity knows this - in the past when things got particularly bad, and it seemed like the world was ending, my dad knew, to pick me and my tear-inducing cluster headache up from uni, driving us home, offering me a sedative in the mid afternoon, closing curtains switching off lights and instructing sleep, chemically induced if necessary (and it was, then, reader).

I wrote some, about my fragile walnut, here and linked to the original kernel too, but, I don't know if any of you dopes bother to click on these links I lovingly provide you with, so, the good people at The School of Life have kindly made a video of the article, beautifully narrated by Alain de Botton, so you don't have to trouble yourself with too much reading...




I read this short article, Black clouds and Revelations,on my way home on the train Friday night. It was a shitty, cold, damp, tear-filled and tiring journey, delayed, it got in at 2am instead of 00.45. The poor Walnut was not helped by this sorry state of external affairs, that's probably the main reason I was so anguished, lack of sleep, shivering, bloated and bleeding... This quote I took out when I  shared with my 132 facebook buddies, as a way of emphasising what I took most out of the account;


"Something that isn’t discussed too often is the deeply frustrating ridiculousness of depression – I know it’s selfish, I know it’s absurd, I know that in so many ways I am so very lucky. But this doesn’t take away the sensation that there is a stack of bricks where my heart should be, or that something inside me is rotting.
When my friend explained that they couldn’t be there for me, they vocalised the voice in my head that so often says, “No one will love you when you are like this. Your sadness is contagious.” The rational part of me knows this isn’t true, but also knows that on certain levels, this friend simply rejected me."

Did you just reject someone Helen? Did you miss out on knowing a fine person? Is that what has happened? Is it still happening? Could you not have lightened things a little? Could you have put aside a part of yourself?

How could you do anything, though, when all you could see was he peaceful on a beautiful old Danish couch? The thought of your disturbing that, so deeply disgusting.
Though, you should have done more you selfish weary woman.



Fragile Empathetic Capacity 

In September, while e-corresponding with a friend, I sent the following in response to his ruminations and condolences, his comforting words. He had asked how I was feeling about my failed romantic situations essentially, and I had worried about my tendencies to rush to put people on pedestals, he had asked something like; If you can't put the person you love on a pedestal what's the point of a pedestal? And I replied;

I think that's probably a little bit of what pedestals are for , to be sure, as well as plinths for carved marble and fantastic metallurgic castings...  In terms of me and him, I just don't know if it was even love yet, ya know?
I think I've just been treated quite shoddily in the past, that, someone, I don't know, human (?), with the faculties of kindness and a little decency, just floored me.
I don't know what happened specifically to make me feel so unworthy of (and therefore so easily taken by) normal nice people, but, it seems I'm prone to being carried away when they rarely come my way..
Again though, if you can't get carried away in a new liaison then when and with what can you legitimately expect to be spirited away..?
Sometimes I think I almost fell, other times I think it's just terribly wounded (almost) pride that convinced me that I did, I had to have, well, to excuse the anguish experienced since...

Other times I realise, other people are actually just less shit than I am for the most part... for example, is it even ethical of me to share the correspondence of friends without even asking? 
Just assuming they won't mind is crappy... I would clearly remove anything if people asked, but, imagine I'm your friend? 
Imagine every time you send a message you have unknowingly signed a release-clause for dissemination of your words...
Well, reader, if you're my friend, take comfort in the fact that you're probably one of 5 other friends to have read this, and nothing goes any further! 
Which reminds me, all of that ^ was like some giant "at least"... Like I've one-upped someone's bad experience to justify something awful, in the process doing something awful (sharing without consent)  and belittling it (excusing it with an "at least nobody is reading it") That is not cool...



Yesterday morn one of my friends shared this lovely animated video about the differences between sympathy and empathy and it just fit in so well with all the stuff going on in my mind right now - am I a good person who just does bad things? Do I have a heart? Why am I so selfish? How to work with my weaknesses?... How to be a better human in short...!
All of this made me realise how poor a listener I am, how self-involved and hypocritical, and, most worryingly of all; how bad a friend I am.
I internally (and externally - here!) lambast others and their lack of communication yet am guilty of it myself! Where is the application of this yearning for far-reaching understanding when it comes to the lives of others Helen?!
Why am I so bad at cutting people slack for being tardy with text replies?

Yes I really like to hear from certain people, but, I'm not always so great at getting back to some people myself.

I often am irked by people's desire to phone instead, and, sure, as an activity, texting is less overtly obvious, but, it still requires a concentration and effort to be done well...

Even though I'm not in the habit of phoning people, maybe that should be how I correspond with people? Book an appointment to hear their voices and interject my own... Yes it might mean not hearing from people as often, having to make this altered effort, but, for those non urgent correspondences, the "I was thinking about you the other day" or the "have you heard this? Thought you would enjoy it" Type conversations, that's ok...?

I think what I'm getting at is, I've grown accustomed to this speed, even though I often loathe how instant everything is nowadays, I am used to it and I have allowed myself to be corrupted with habit... I expect you to answer back, even when I know you are not obligated, you may be busy, you may be worrying about what to write, you may need a break, you may be lying down in the dark trying to forget the world... This is your right, person, and I need to get on board with that... Yet, when I see a message has been read and still no reply after hours, where is my mind? 
That was a stupid message anyway - should I send an apology? A "you don't have to reply by the way, I just wanted to share that link with you"
Or;
Fuck, fuck, fucking fuck, they hate me, why the fuck am I bothering them, they clearly wish they had never humoured me, this is a huge mistake, my chest aches, I can't deal with this, I should Not. Be. Allowed. Access. To. Communicative. Devices. EVER.
Why is nobody supervising me?! How am I just allowed into people's lives?! I am NOT QUALIFIED for this!

It's ok...

Fragile Empathetic Capacity 

And without another nut to crack with, nobody to properly discuss these things with, once again I turn to the written, typed, printed, recorded words of others for consolation.
There's a wondrous quality in literature, that isn't available to film really. My lighthouse is not necessarily the same as your lighthouse, not at all... 



Lighthouse at Two Lights, Captain Uptons House Lighthouse Hill, Lighthouse and building, Portland Head.

Even so, there is a great comfort in reading out that you're not alone...

Virginia Woolf, to the Lighthouse, p 25
For her whose wishes must be obeyed, the happier Helen of our days

p 26  how the girl had said "At home the mountains are beautiful" and there was no hope, no hope whatever.

"she winced like a dog who sees a hand raised to strike it. She would have snatched her picture off the easel, but she said to herself, One must. She braced herself to stand the awful trial of someone looking at her picture. One must, she said, one must. [...] But that any other eyes should see the residue of her thirty-three years, the deposit of each day's living, mixed with something more secret than she had ever spoken or shown in the course of all those days was an agony."


p 58
To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others. [...] this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest of adventures. When life shrank down for a moment, the range of experience seemed limitless. [...] the things you know us by, are simply childish. Beneath it is all dark, it is all spreading, it is unfathomably deep; but now and again we rise to the surface and that is what you see us by.

p 141
The extraordinary unreality was frightening ; but it was also so exciting.[...] Perished. Alone. The grey-green light on the wall opposite. The empty places. Such were some of the parts, but how to bring them together?

p 151-2 
The brush descended. It flickered brown over the white canvas; it left a running mark. A second time she did it - a third time. And so pausing and so flickering, she attained a dancing rhythmical movement [...] and so, lightly and swiftly pausing, striking, she scored her canvas with brown running nervous lines which had no sooner settled there than they enclosed (she felt it looming out at her) a space. [...] Here she was again she thought [...] drawn out of living [...] into the presence of this ancient formidable enemy of hers -this other thing, the truth, this reality.

p 169
The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again [...] For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty). It was one's body feeling, not one's mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain.





An Armenian Sketchbook (Vasily Grossman);

p 126
What simple and frugal means nature uses to create a picture of extraordinary power. A calm and clear winter's day, snow on the mountains, pine trees... I do not know if it is the vastness of the sky and the infinite forest, or the stern peace or the extreme purity of the colours [...] but the view has an astonishing charm, a simplicity, an inner wisdom.
A man looks at this clear silent world, a world of crystal peace and purity, and decides that he does not need the valley of everyday life, that its vain  bustle is destroying his soul. Tempted by the great purity of the snowy summits, he imagines feats of asceticism. he sees a little shack in the woods.
Involuntarily I began to think such thoughts. Life in the valley is indeed bitter and turbid. And I had inflicted a great deal of grief on people, probably more than they on me. It would be better for me to live on my own.

p 128
Is the life of a hermit really a manifestation of courage? Can there really be courage in withdrawing from life? What about suicide? This too is a withdrawal from life. A retreat into being a hermit forever.

p 132
"yes, this is where I must come to heal my soul. Here I can find peace, tranquility and silence. Here I can enjoy the charm of the evening, mountains, the silent forest...". 
None of this, however, is true.
The anguish of the human soul is terrible and unquenchable. It is impossible to calm it or escape from it.
No outward tranquility can save you from grinding anguish; no mountain air can cool you when flaming pitch burns your insides; no bloody and gaping wound can be healed by life in the wonderful town...




Roberto Bolano, Nazi Literature in the Americas, p 116;

Given the ease with which he fell in love and took offence his life was one long series of indignities, which he endured with the fortitude of a wounded beast.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ad-hominem


I took myself to Paris for 4 days and 4 nights at the beginning of this month;




























It was a very low budget, last-minute decision, I took the Megabus over and back, because Beach House's two London shows were sold out, so, I bought a ticket to the first night of the Pitchfork Music Festival, and, alone, as usual, I went on my way... Let's not go in to that now...

I’ve not communicated here for a while, after that rhythm I built up over summer, and after I returned to the UK in October, from a whole month in France (with a brief interlude of 3 days in Budapest), I expected to have gathered myself somewhat… 

This will likely be a lengthy and multi-stranded post today… Loosely on the subject of communication, but, broadly, as ever, touching on some of those many human weaknesses of ours.
When I got back at the beginning of autumn, I spent nearly a month away from Social Media, well, Facebook (- I don’t have Twitter and this blog is pretty much the only other online outlet I make use of).

It was a personal choice but one I undertook with the support of my close friend and housemate, Soph. Partly I also wanted a break because after Budapest and the Symposium on Youth Participation in a Digitalised World (14th - 16th September, #YPDW15) I had a lot of new Facebook friends, some of whom are members of work's European Network, some of whom are pretty big deals in the Council of Europe (CofE), so, I thought I could evaluate what kind of social network Facebook actually is for me, scrutinise what I share. I was very wary that my blog has been linked to intermittently, and, you may or may not have delved that far yet, reader, but, there are some pretty baring confessions hereabouts... Did I want to risk the president or the head of youth work policy finding out about my depressions or neuroses, transgressions, past self-harm and an abortion? I might want a job someday... Though, you know, would I want to work with the potentially morally judgemental hypothetical person I'm hypothetically embarrassed by...?

So, Soph and I were both going to do “real world” things. Whenever we felt the urge to share anything, it could be tactile, and Soph even had some wall space cleared and blank-papered for the purpose of this “real world” posting.
I too would work on leaving “real” traces and documents rather than all of these digital photographs and maps - I took a lot of photographs throughout (France and also in Budapest through) the beauteous month of September, but, I didn’t just want to upload them in one grand mass, I wanted to forge something lasting…
Well, firstly, that was a rather lonely month, towards the end of it I even took to Tinder again in the hopes of some distraction, some limpid connections to fill the void left in the wake of the departed thumbnails of faraway “friends”.



MAP

I read this yesterday, and, as flippant and smug as it is, I couldn’t help but agree that there’s not much of an online/offline divide nowadays.
And the closing quote; “Don’t bore me with your self-imposed sabbaticals; I accept you are a better person than me, who fully connects in a deeper way than I can manage. For I am quite happy on social media, waving not drowning. My friends there will come and rescue me if I need help. For we have only connected.”
 
It obviously struck a most resonant chord with me… Not that our month away was intended as a “holier than thou” exercise, not at all. More an attempt, certainly on my part, to (re)collect experiences and push back the overwhelming sensation that I was and am losing myself every time I don’t track back and gather my thoughts, get my bearings and survey my mental surroundings.

In that month, there wasn’t much catharsis or purification, post Facebook. I just felt more detached and isolated. All those meaningful conversations I was going to have with strangers and loved ones in “real life”, of course they never came to fruition…


Some 'Moments' - I know, I'm fucking beguiling! Nailing Online Dating... 


I’ve mentioned often that I grapple with depressive/destructive tendencies, and the effects these can have on my personal relationships (not least that fractious one with my own self), sometimes I want to share so much, to understand, to be inclusive, to not offend anyone, but, the internet in particular is big and messy and there‘s a lot of hate out there...

On Saturday a Norwegian friend living in France posted this;
“I find it surprising that some people would use a tragedy like this to make some sort of political agenda out of it, like "other cities have been bombed too", like somehow we are comparing massacres to see which had the worst one”
His French boyfriend replied; “Yup, this is still the time of emotion, not the time of making smart-ass comments. Let us grieve a few more days.”

A person who I don’t know added; “I think it's more about the fact that Beirut was bombed just 24 hours before Paris, by the same terrorist organization, and it is not even mentioned in the norwegian news. More than 40 people was killed there as well, and if we had a more balanced news reporting it would not feel so much as an "us" vs "them" situation. And that is espacially important if we don't want the terrorists to win.”

An emotive and important back-and-forth between the above commenter and original poster ensued, and somehow I felt compelled to add;
“I agree with all of this ^
They are all horrific tragedies, and any detraction from that, the loss of life, is abhorrent.
The media is troublingly selective "in the west", but, personally, I think the fact that it seems so close, many of us have visited, have friends there (or in mine and Christoffer's case, have only recently returned from there ourselves), it just makes things seem so surreally grotesque and horrific.
I'm one of those people who hates it when they announce on the news "the British death toll", I always felt, "great, so I should take notice now?" but I've come to learn how awful it must be for listeners/watchers to sit and speculate fearfully, waiting to hear if it's someone they know or love - we're only human after-all.
It is wrong that somehow people... Expect? Is that the right word? That people expect things like this to happen "over there", in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria etc., and the fact that lots of UK families have relatives in those places too, does make me think that the media-coverage discrepancy is more purposeful than "timing" for example... It's all an unsavoury business anyway, those vultures generating hits with the tragically cut-short lives of others, sensationalism and fear-mongering...
But let's have these discussions when the wounds aren't so fresh, let's continue important questioning and scrutinising of where your "news" comes from.
It is a valid and important exercise, but not one worth hijacking an innocent's funeral for, as it were.
I'm glad you're all ok xxx”

I rarely comment on things anymore, even on posts from pages and people I’ve liked expressly for their seemingly loving and accepting world-views. I’m not saying everyone has to always be serene and happy and super on point with their phrasing, with their up to date terminology not possibly offending anyone, ever, people are allowed to be angry, that’s a given, especially when those particular people’s focus is on intersectionality or the #BlackLivesMatter movement, people who face ignorance routinely, who are subject to hate-filled comments and vitriolic threats, yes, you don’t need my permission, be angry!

But it makes me shudder sometimes when good people like this revert to hate and racist slurs as a means of combating exactly those things... It makes no sense and it saddens me. I used to follow one awesome black queer femme and her quest for equality, she was witty, brilliant and passionate, but, after the terror attacks in Paris, she decided to add more hate into the mix and started spouting her own race-hate towards “all white people” for not changing their facebook photos to the Kenyan flag back in April. I find the whole thing problematic, selective media, white-supremacy, none of it is good and I can empathise with the outrage, but, firstly, good people of many races died over the weekend, and, secondly, calling “us” (though I’ve often “passed” as non-white and am not 100% sure of my ethnicity...) “mayo stains” and “nazi crackers” doesn’t help at all...

Also, yes, changing your profile picture doesn’t do much beyond tell your friend-group that you “care” and are keeping up with certain current affairs, but, I totally understand people’s need to do something to show their compassion, however superficial the act itself may seem, it’s not remotely born of hate and that in itself is awesome!

A couple of months ago in Budapest I took part in a last-minute solidarity action, a small token or show of support for the large number of refugees in the city, each of us held a card reading "It Could Be Me" and read that same message in our native tongues; to be honest I was glad to be able to literally add a Welsh voice to the cause, however mundane and nationalistic that seems.
Literally the next day, a friend on facebook had shared a flippant photo (of someone else’s) with a grim faced lady holding a card that read “I’m holding a piece of paper with something written on it” and the post’s caption was “Please share and make no difference”, ho ho ho. At the height of all the positive #RefugeesWelcome posts...

Someone had then commented, doubtless patting themselves on the back for already liking such tongue-in-cheek cynicism with all its contemporary relevance;
A post postist posting, to point the pointlessness of re-posting others postings?  Exemplifies the Anti positist position beautifully by the significance of the sheer vacuousness of its non message.  

Then I, drunk in a caravan in southern France, lonely and mentally hungover from a wonderfully stimulating few days in Budapest, chipped in with (yes, it’s heavy on the sanctimony, but, see how cogent I am even whilst inebriated, marvel at my lack of errors and heartfelt humanity, go on!);

I think that some people who aren't as fortunate to subscribe to your levels of indifferent superiority feel so powerless in their privilege.

They feel so guilty under their ill begotten "Western" shelters that they want to do something, anything, to let these other, less fortunate humans, know, implicitly, know totally, that there is solidarity...

"Refugees" they say, you can share my roof, share my tinned food and public transport links, you're free to my healthcare and cheap-to-purchase layers (sewn by brown children in conveniently faraway lands).

You are welcome to my advantages by dint of our shared humanity!



We are aware of our flagrant hypocrisy but our plutocracy allows us not the opportunities to right our national wrongs. 

We are trying to send some small message, "you are not alone and we will not allow you to languish in solitude".

How easy it is to lambast the (knowingly!) empty gestures of others, how hard it is to effect real change and literally help a fellow human.

Please don't be so hasty to judge us simple others before offering your own magic solutions to a terrible situation.

Offer help rather than easy criticism, please...


He;
I didnt read refugee on the notice, so dont understand that long heartfelt post so reject your wrong supposition as to my views

I;
You don't understand yet you're sure I'm wrong? Kudos to your far-reaching insight.

Mine it seems is far narrower than yours, but, tell me, to what does the initial, undoubtedly pithy post refer?

He;
Nothing and anything. You may have a connection for some reason but I see none there. No specifics no meaning. I do admire you feelings as to what I still have to presume is the Syrian refugee crisis.  Its dreadful . Its been dreadful for years before the little boy was washed up on that beach and photod.  Untill then most of this country didnt really care about 10 million refugees or displaced.  Had there been any clue in the picture about that then posts here would be different !  Sorry you were to put to so much pain above. The "pithy" post did not undoubtedly refer to anything for me. If it is a coded message forgive those who cant read through its ambiguity here

And finally I (#IKnowRight?! Totally won…);
If it relates to nothing, isn't this whole enterprise an uninspired exercise in entertaining the absurd? 

Oh what grand and insightful statements we could all make if they each had no reach and nothing affected anything... 

I'm sure our esteemed and mutual friend wouldn’t just "share" anything for the empty sake of social media traffic?

Was it not a response to those lofty albeit inadequate responses to the pressing crisis in Lesbos and Budapest?

It is hard to admit to a thoughtless castigation of others, especially those others heavy of conscience, and especially when no easily applicable alternative exists…

Whatever your stance and however you respond to all these “share to show support of” bla bla bla things, can anyone tell me why some people have to just shit all over the (possibly vain!) attempts of others to do... Something?!


Just that very day I had seen Sergey Ponomarev's photo posted the previous day while I was still in Hungary, captioned; A ‪#‎migrant holds his child during a clash with ‪#‎Hungarian riot police at the ‪#‎Horgos border crossing in ‪#‎Serbia, Sept. 16, 2015

The man looks desperate and bloody and like he could be anyone's father holding anyones frightened child. I shared the image with my friends with the plea; I could respond to this powerful image with a pithy statement like; "Out of the frying pan, into the fire"! BUT, it's so inadequate!
Even a share and all these likes the (truly terrific!) image receives, what happens to this generated outrage and "awareness" of the awful situation?
I wish I knew what I could do, from the privileged position of safety as a spectator, to actually change something...
What can we do with our heavy consciences to help these fellow humans of ours?
Suggestions most welcome...

I should stop worrying about the haters and just continue to take part in these little actions, yeah? 

Well, after Paris one of our group (a group of 5 out of hundreds, set up to edit the Budapest video – I think I’m only part of the group because I offered to help, not because I’m special!) sent the following message into our conversation (that had been quiet for some weeks while we waited on CofE and the European Commission to give us the green light to upload to their Youtube channel...)

Our video has died

Our video has died Do not forget in the future that you were a part of humanitarian work

Nice to know you guys


I naively thought the files had been corrupted or lost, so, I happened to be the first to see and responded with;


How so?!

What happened to it?

(So, he’ll be green and I’ll be blue)

After Paris attacks I think it's died

I think it's more important than ever at this time

For me I can't ask people in Europe to welcome refugees who come in illegal ways now

According to the Associated Press there are two Syrian refugees took part in the attack

I see... It is a very emotive issue... Still, we can't shun the masses for the actions of a tiny tiny minority... it's an awful situation. Absolutely terrible, but, I understand your position.

The entry of refugees is a humanitarian work, but there are people who enter with them for other targets

We can not support the illegal ways now

He then shared a link to this post he’d written, I should mention Islam is a journalist focused on economics who works for Reuters, based in Bahrain but from Egypt, he’s won awards for his work, in particular work he did on the woefully lacking rights of Bahraini women, this is what he had to share/say;
“Since the refugee crisis has begun in Europe, I have not published any comment about, because I know there will be negative feedback from Friends may will not get my opinion well, I just discussed it in Norway with three European journalists working on refugee issues and a Syrian artist a few weeks ago.

No doubt it is a humanitarian issue, and I have been part of a campaign to support this issue in Hungary with activists from several European countries. In the other hand, we must recognize that there are people using this crisis to enter Europe for other reasons. this is what makes the number of refugees very huge and has a negative impact on those who really need to be survived!!.

There are people who say honestly in the TV channels ( we are going to look for a better job.. nothing else ) and there are certainly others going for terrorism targets, the problem is People just divided into two opinions (allow refugees or don't' allow ), but the best solution is how to deal with this crisis and allow who are really need and deserve in legitimate ways.

Second, there are people who living in Europe but hate Europe at the same time, especially its habits, traditions and the concept of freedom. ٍSincerely, if you consider the sale of alcoholic, bars, dance and Gay rights etc.. as crimes, please you do not have to stay in a place that you do not like. go ahead to Deir ez-Zor, where ISIS has the power and enjoy their rules. Do not try to change other cultures.”

After reading that I wrote back; That's a very valid point and the whole crisis warrants deeper discussion than "in vs out", I totally agree. It is difficult to manage such a nuanced response in the most timely way, when so many people are in need though...


Along these lines, the European Commission’s facebook page shared a video of the Commissioner speaking, with the text;
The events that unfolded in Paris on Friday night have affected many people around the world. Our Facebook page has since hosted a variety of comments and questions from our global community, all seeking to make sense of this tragedy.
The Commission President warned against any amalgamation of the terrorist attacks that have struck France and the refugee crisis, reminding that those who carried out the attacks are those that refugees are fleeing
This issue is being taken very seriously however. With regard to the ongoing #‎refugeecrisis, a number of instruments are available to improve screening procedures, to facilitate information sharing between intelligence, law enforcement and border guards, with the support of our agencies Europol and Frontex.

Since then, I think Islam has cooled a little and being the proactive person he is, has decided to set up an event on Facebook, especially to promote our video, with the added caveat that the victims are the same. Terror is terror and blanket unfounded suspicion has no place in an empathetic and inclusive society.


It’s really difficult to avoid these knee-jerk reactions though, I get that and I am highly culpable of such heated riposting and inconsiderate responses myself.

All too often what we stand for in theory (empathy, compassion, grace, understanding and patience) isn’t always best practiced when it is most requisite.

During my most recent flirtation with Tinder I happened to meet an absolutely awesome man. Someone I hope I’ll be able to count as a friend for years to come, for now though, right now, after committing the above outlined faux pas of not giving things time and allowing my own judgement to be clouded by years of neediness and insecurity, things have taken a turn into quietude... I hope that changes...

In these self-doubting situations Jennifer is my saviour, time and again, no matter what harrowing things she’s dealing with, she always accepts and advises me on my trials and tribulations, “let me live vicariously through you” she says. I frickin’ love Jennifer Kirkham and I’m not ashamed to admit that...

 So I says in response to her strains and my own incomparable woe;
Waiting games are the worst! Your heart and head must be wringing out something rotten... I would prefer the hunger games to those to be honest. I have such a low tolerance for uncertainty that I had to cut Mr. Cole lose, feeling that he was going to inevitably come to his senses, I couldn't wait for that... I think I have some kind of disorderthough, always so extreme, all or nothing... But, you know, you do deserve to be needed, it's not neediness...

And she, in response to an earlier confided and rather negative message from my Tinderman;

Oh man that's a shame. Although, he wasn't doing anything to make you feel secure. Those kinds of conversations early on would make my heart sink too.

I;
Oh men!

Yeah, it was like a huge kick in the stomach..

I got this this morn;

This whole experience has been very pleasurable at times (I'd like you to know that. Sincerely) but ultimately confirms that I'm not ready for a relationship. I have enough problems in my own head to deal with, that I'm in no fit state to be with someone. I am sorry for that....I shouldn't have dragged you into my world. But maybe something important will come of this..
If you want to see me, stay friends, anything I would like that but I also understand if you don't. I'll let you digest that and get back to me anytime you want.
Also - I hope that you be at least a little kinder to yourself. You are wonderful.
H x

Ouch right? [why was I so easily hurt? That ^ deserves respecting!]

Also, the fuck I can just contact you whenever? This ball has never been in my court!

Sigh

Super Jen;

That's like the nicest possible way to say 'I wanted to end it first anyway'

Why is he on a dating app then?

Helen Jones’s callous response;
… One of these pretenders on dating sites who don't actually have the energy to pursue let alone sustain a thing...?

It's fair enough, and I'm not one of those awful "friend zone" people, but be up front, advertise your uncertainty!

I’m the least decisive person ever (I think…)

But don't be all beguiling and lovely then drop the depression bomb...

Also, how can I now be friends with him? He's like, much awesomer and together than I am, I am way too much the wounded confused animal now. Someone needs to put me out of my misery - time most likely, then, in a year or so maybe I could befriend him...? God these cycles!

Also, the things that make him a poor lover, occasional indifference, only sporadic interest in the lives of others, they are also shit qualities in friends...

J K;
Yes! If you're all about being depressed, it should be the first thing you talk about, not 'morning after' when everybody is all vulnerable and stuff.

Helen Jones
I know! If it's major, it's MAJOR! Get it out there...

He sent me this a week ago, after telling me about his cats;

 My Cats
I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and
concerns.
but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so
much.
they complain but never
worry,
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t
understand.
their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
without
hesitation or
remorse.
when I am feeling
low
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my
courage
returns.
I study these
creatures.
they are my
teachers.
- Charles Bukowski

So, I came across this poem last night (titled Inessential Things by Brian Patten), and shared it with him;

What do cats remember of days?
They remember the ways in from the cold,
The warmest spot, the place of food.
They remember the places of pain, their enemies,
the irritation of birds, the warm fumes of the soil,
the usefulness of dust.
They remember the creak of a bed, the sound
of their owner´s footsteps,
the taste of fish, the loveliness of cream.
Cats remember what is essential of days.
Letting all other memories go as of no worth
they sleep sounder than we,
whose hearts break remembering so many
inessential things.

And, nothing... Don't be telling me the ball in my court!

I hope you get a little cat-like comfort from these words at least.



Maybe I'm growing reader? Maybe the fact that I felt insecure but sturdy enough to sabotage a new 'thing', with a beautiful person, maybe that means I'm growing? Learning what I want and how to extricate myself from circumstances I don't want to flail in?

Nah, it's not growth, just hormonal imbalance and life stress most likely... Last Thursday I was restless... Literally and metaphorically on hold all day.
Some colleagues in Luxembourg had asked if I could Skype with them as a representative for Wales, at a student fair they had organised, - it was a good idea, basically they wanted people from different EU nations on hand to skype with interested young Luxembourgians who wanted to know more about those particular countries, for exchanges and so on, better than fobbing young people off with a website, right? Link them to a real person to direct their inquiries to... 

Wales didn't have any takers, but, I didn't know that until the end of the day obviously. I'm crap at Skype, I have done it only a handful of times, and was anxious and stress-eating all day - at 5 I signed out and took a valium and a half to blot out the rest of the night and avoid more potential snacking time... Long story short I napped for just a couple of hours and was still stressed and insecure - the lack of words from Tinderman and the plan changes, but mostly the anxiety really, no great revelations, compelled me to cut us off before the real start...

This is me, pre and post;



Thursday 12th November, waiting to Skype..

A timely gift from Cole...


Friday 13th November, no Cole.



Solidarity with my papa and his weekend-long hospital scare;



I guess the point of this ridiculous over-sharing, all these words, is to at first get things down, to see them in stark contrasts with the backgrounds I put in place, and, ultimately reach out in my yearning need for advice and approval… Maybe some of this mess is useful to you reader?

I’m also aware that my facebook feed is full of beautiful pictures of faraway places and it looks like I’m having a bloody riotous time of it (oh yeah, I'm off to Armenia next month on a week-long training course..).


Sometimes I am reader, but, this here is a place for my mess, my unfiltered life. 
The shadows that follow me to those beautiful picture-shows, that linger with me in the strange streets, the newrooms.

Earlier in the year I read a bit about people’s pressure to project perfect Instagram life-likenesses, and the extreme effects this can have on some people, who need support rather than likes, who need to love and be loved in ways that aren’t comparable to shares and hits.


One young woman at the University of Pennsylvania who had the perfect instagram life, a top athlete, studious and popular, had taken her own life, and as a response, in shock, her family decided to start an awareness campaign with the hashtag #UnfilteredLife, I think… I’ve done a bit of cursory  searching and came across these;






The latter blog actually looks brilliant, and I’ve subscribed and followed and I’m going to read more, for now, the closer; Loneliness exists for eternity. Our relationships with others only fill temporary voids in our life. It's up to us to fill the rest internally. Fuck… Seems wonderfully apposite… I’m off to fill a little void with Soph and Melody Gardot at the Wales Millennium Centre, enjoy your nights;




On the 18th of November I posted a letter to Cole, it should arrive today. Today I'm off to London. I have a day-long course with the British Council tomorrow; Erasmus+ as a tool for Cultural Diversity. I will have this afternoon to myself in London, and I'm really hoping to catch that misty exhibition on consciousness at the Wellcome Collection. When I first started corresponding with Mr. C, he'd just missed out on that very exhibition over a busy half-term weekend visiting friends in the big city. We half-planned to catch it today and make the most of my free overnight stay... Ah well, I wonder if I'll be sad later? I expect I'll be too overwhelmed by other things, I expect...

I opened the letter with something like;

I hope this isn't weird for you to receive, and I hope it finds you well and in one piece.

Firstly, I have to apologise, because I'm apologetic and it warrants a mention.
Sometimes I'm guilty (through my jerk's knee-jerk reactionary ways) of miss-seeing a person's perfectly innocuous need for solitary time as some ad-hominem attack rather than a natural result of newness and change.
I guess I did feel insecure and so did you and perhaps that's not a good atmosphere in which to start anything  really, but, I don't want to have driven you away Cole.

I accept that you're a solitary one, and that it's largely preferably to the alternative I can offer, but, I feel the need to know, has it been something on my part that's lead you to actively seek sanctuary away from me and my corresponding, or, is it just you needing you-time.
Either way I accept that, patently I will respect that. I just wanted to know, I was just about to write "I just wanted to know so I don't keep making the same mistakes and driving people away", but I never can be sure, nobody can, and the only way I can avoid this grief in future is to eschew companionship altogether.
Something I consider every day, several times, to varying degrees of seriousness and aqueous ocular discharge...

I should also be sorry for these garbled words. We have discussed my stream-of-consciousness style of drawing out letters and your comparative writers block. I only hope none of this is unwelcome or too tedious to traverse...

You're probably thinking; "oh that poor guy!" and, yeah, maybe, but, I think it was ok? I closed with;

Last Friday was an immensely sad day.
I took myself out.
I thought I'd end up at the barrage, sodden and fluey... Instead I went into Waterstones and got a drink and looked at books.
There's a beautiful big book about maps, Cole.
I fucking wish I could have smelled you there, felt you near me in the warm deserted and window-less space, while we looked at how they thought the world was, and tried to figure out how our particular one might be...

I don't want to lose you from my life, certainly not yet, but I can't keep yelling and prodding at empty space.

Our knowing of the other is in its infancy and I'd love it to be nurtured somehow, some way that doesn't encroach on your routine too much...

I still have things I want to share, books to open and ears too, do you think that it will ever be possible?

I can try to get over my attraction to you (though the mere written acknowledgement of it has me tingling in places I oughtn't be), I can do that, if it means I get to sit opposite you and we can talk about things while we awkwardly eat the wrong thing that I ordered.

Or lie on the floor or bed together, looking at pictures in books....

I don't know what's happened in my life, what great neglect has lead to my utter neediness... But I am willing to cast a greater shadow over that phantom, with some light trickery and little trickles of you in my life, however great or small you will they be.
I'm sorry for all my gushing, my torrents, I'm willing to fashion a tourniquet for you though.
To give you space.
I get that you're not ready for me, I even respect it foolishly, who in their sound mind is capable of bearing all this?
I understand.
I'm just glad that we met and I'm glad that you're out there.
I hope you're not hating yourself.
I've met some beautiful people in my life, but you're right up there Cole, right up there.



Come down awhile and languish with me?
I'll let you drift back up, promise.