Saturday, 29 December 2018

The days began to fly now, and yet each one of them was stretched by renewed expectations and swollen with silent, private experiences. Yes, time is a puzzling thing, there is something about it that is hard to explain (Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain).

Over Blackfriars section where metro trains meet on the bridge, at night, almost cinematographic, with the diffused orange glow of sodium-vapor street lamps and yellow tape of condensed windows.

There, in the midst of this unalloyed minimalist landscape over the Thames, the souls of strangers rush past each other. Each with its own stories, secrets, unfathomable sub rosa.

Mellow blues in my ears, "the thrill is gone", thoughts plunged into a heart-rending book or in an evening conversation of two throaty voices over a frosty city. The rushing wind hissed and beat at the windows of homes.

And in these ribbons of luminescence, there are cordial stories that are shared across the dining rooms, illustrious ups and preordained downs, sometimes obtusely pathetic outwardly, and then vice versa, so redeemable tacit with disheveled bed mess hair and liable disarmed intimacy in the pillow... This regardful "Hello!" on the staircase and the unceremonious "How have you been?" in the What's up window.

There, over the bridge, no one crowds, they are gradually going alone. Sometimes I, sometimes you. And the city lives its own life, in the windows of strangers, in the stars between interlacement of winter clouds. Where entity goes on quotidian. In divergent directions. The city understands. 

© Elin Vidoff

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

The city was slowly sinking into the winter, as if in the ice water. Today there were glass puddles, wooden people, tin hearts.

Relatively recently someone asked me: "Are you a good person?".  It made me contemplate. Am I good? And this is not a question for others as such. Mostly, the one to myself. Others
will respond to it with an opinion - mirrored. And you are answering it to yourself by inner feeling, and the answer seems dubious...

Most of us are not bad and bad at the same time... We do good deeds sometimes, we hurt others too, sometimes. We are complex creatures and depend on the level of memory, compassion, those values that live in us or are suddenly forgotten, our pettiness and generosity, understanding or misunderstanding of others.  - On this feeble distance between our souls. We are often, with little left to exception, biased towards others, especially to those who are not indifferent to us... You can learn to be non-biased but often we can but don't, or it is too late to learn. Paradoxically.

I can feel deeply, I can listen/hear (apprehend) deeply,  empathize till the ache in my body. And it is entirely not the reason to consider me good or bad. Or weak - could easily answer the question - am I strong or weak. Very strong! Many times I had proved it to myself and am absolutely convinced. So little is left of what I'm afraid.  Not of loss or betrayal - not anymore; false senses of "security"  and derived illusory "attachments" through them - vanquished; never mind whimsical littleness of being rejected or not accepted, criticized. - I so evidently see and fathom now the mechanisms of all this... Not afraid of loneliness -  I know and bide in it.  What I'm rather afeared of is losing this feeling of affability that I feel for destinies, stories, experiences. Mental anesthesia - when moving inwards to escape the pain of isolation, while letting your empathy to wither and die - settling on numbness over feeling.

Shifted instead by a mixture of zest, fascination and compassion. What wakes you, shows your best self, and so opens such wide vistas of imagination and realness combined. It is the only significant feeling in me I am convinced in.

There was a time when your eyes were the rainbows in any storm, then the light faded and all that remained was the rain, each sharp drop bringing my skin to ice. Yet in that storm, the memory of you became my stars, sometimes hidden by grim cloud, but always there. Perhaps it was your voice in the wind that took it from a savage bite to merely cold, enabled my soul to survive in that frozen wasteland. They say survival adaptations are born of necessity.

© Elin Vidoff

Monday, 17 December 2018

"The way I see it, I can own anything on Earth, even the Earth itself, if I say it's mine". 

Spellbound by surreal and wicked tales by my beloved Tove Jansson.

Retracing your footsteps, with "Travelling light" and "The summer book" on Finnair flight (that feature Moomin insignias...) to arid, deserted islands of Pellinge reachable by fishing boat, sleeping under the stars and paddling in rock pools. What she liked more than anything else was the sea... Surrounded by pine trees and total silence... 

“An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.” 

Meeting you again back home in Dulwich art gallery...

You were with me on the bench of one of the dead-end tributaries of the Huangpu. When I was frantic and began to think not only about myself but about others. When I realized that we all to each other are close friends, teachers, angels, custodians, mentors and lessons.

Later, we watched the muddy waters of Chaophraya Rive together, flowing in alternating directions beyond Mandarin Oriental's mooring. Cosmic lizards sailing and pink-blue sunsets reflecting.

As the musicians improvised on The Bambo Bar's stage in the smokey haze, that sax surged through me, purging my blues and replacing them with a feeling of lightness, like I could live in that moment, live there for the jazz.

Now you are still beside me by the river.  Like everything that belongs to me. We continue our mute dialogue. And the water has a memory far longer than our transient lifetimes.

© Elin Vidoff

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Mirages explained...

Yesterday’s newspaper; the press that had turned yellow in a day; yesterday's, by today trivial news -  a beautiful faceless background for my chance passersby.  Like powerful pen and ink drawings on pages of vintage books by Louis Jover. No one is held by the familiar past, only by the symbiotic future or assured providence. Do you see to believe or believe to see? People and sceneries pass - in fact, we do not own anything but ourselves. All have a levy - the quantum of your life you pouring into for reciprocity.

There are meetings, but there is alchemy. Well, when deeper, more, more. When you do not just register a context on the other side, through your recollection lens, but create a beguiling story by combining and fingering with a myriad of elements... You create a germane image for the person and then place it in the atmosphere. In this fictional place and time - as if living somewhere inside your consciousness. Space, which is a part of you, bore your feelings, saturated with your values - microscopic though telling details. Numb and comfortably lost in the diaphanous dream - balancing between blurred semi-shadows and crystalline serenity. In this Kafkaesque voyage into saluting absurdity, objects in mirror are closer than they appear. And as a result, your vision of the person is erected. The way he seems to you. If you are expressing it, then alchemy turns into ascendancy. It is Goya  - "as though" or "as if". In Urdu poetry and story-writing, "goya"  conveys a suspension of shifting into a dream-like feeling of disbelieve; a story that feels like reality. 

You meet from the place of your heart - aware that God kissed you, gave you passion for art, psychology, nature, life and people. Every new betoken meeting is a miracle. Behind is worth of a million of decomposed atoms, multitudinous of hours lost in self-absorption, traverses around the globe, space and written; experience, experience and experience... 

You come, sit in front of me on a chair, and I turn on all the tumblers of my ingenuity, all the milieux of the game are silhouetted in my puzzling mind, mighty observant, intuitive, insightful, deeply tuned in: the atmosphere, form, composition; undercurrents, overtones, cues, flavors emanate into our  collective aura; I study every your movement like a predator. Every facet momented. Your unvoiced words. I turn into the ideal lover, a mother, a daughter, a  clinician; I absorb you as if I had lived with you for years. Ineluctably untying all of your knots... Found something to fall besotted with, for you to pass it on. "How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved" - derided but re-evaluated Freud surfaces.

No-thingness - all you can do now is surrender sinking in this non-existence... Every ounce of breath was taken from my lungs floating into the air like midnight smoke. Fall into this silence between our words. Watch this gap between incoming and outgoing breath. Graced by every empty moment of our interim occurrence. 

© Elin Vidoff
Fate is like a train. When it pulls up, blissfully tempestuous, it's almost impossible not to get on. And, for that matter, not to stay on until the last stop. For better or worse.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Move, but don't move the way fear makes you move (Rumi).

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A heart does not choose.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

When all is said and done, You'll believe God is a woman...

The sun fell down shine at the west, on my lips the taste of buckthorn tea with orange and honey. In the ears exalted U2: "And love is not the easy thing... You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been. A place that has to be believed to be seen. You could have flown away. A singing bird in an open cage. Who will only fly, only fly for freedom". 

At times it seems to me that if God exists, then it is a woman. When she is bored, she watches over us - makes her bets. Sometimes the bets win and she smiles slyly. In any case, she mastered the art of natural selection. Filled with love of her own. Because she is Love. No, she is no stranger to weakness. Perhaps for this reason, seemingly, she appreciates strength: of spirit, perseverance,  brilliance - incomprehensible by most. And if you want to be loved, you pay with those fares you are only capable of. You bring offerings by foregoing yourself, liquefying into a raw aspiration to win love. And so culminates every game with God. After slipping over the threshold, you surrender and follow. But if you give love yourself, without bargaining for the sunlight and basking in its indulgence, then you keep in yourself the virtue, its image and likeness. And this is not all.

Love is a feeling that moves us and inspires us to become better, keeps our connection with others, gives us compassion, the vigour to accomplish tremendous feats and win over our battles, and also what you can always rely on when there is nothing more to rely on. 

"Then we fell into the shining sea.The weight that drags your heart down. Blood orange sunset brings you to your knees.Well, that’s what took me where I need to be.
Which is here".

© Elin Vidoff
Because all I can think tonight is how deep the sea, and how vast, how indifferent.  How powerless I am to protect you from it, when the shores slip out of eyeshot and we are a flyspeck in the heaving waters, keeling and titling, easily swallowed ("Sea prayer", Khaled Hosseini).   

Thursday, 22 November 2018

It's a warm place here but the streets 
Are waiting for our footprints  
Star dust on our boots sparkles and shines 
There's a cozy armchair with a checkered blanket 
The trigger hasn't been pulled in time 
Sunny days... in dazzling dreams 

My blood type is marked on my sleeve, 
My ordinal number is marked on my sleeve, 
Wish me luck in the fight, 
So I don't stay here in the grass 
Wish me luck... 

I can pay, but I don't want a victory at any cost 
I don't want to put my foot on someone's chest 
I would rather stay here with you, 
Just to stay here with you, 
But the star high in the sky is calling me on my way... 

My blood type is marked on my sleeve, 
My ordinal number is marked on my sleeve, 
Wish me luck in the fight, 
So I don't stay here in the grass 
Wish me luck...

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

"People can only meet you to the depth they have met themselves"

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Security has got you lost (Koran).

Thursday, 15 November 2018

He was discovering that being in love was not a steady state, but a matter of fresh surges or waves, and he was experiencing one now (Ian McEwan, "On Chesil Beach").

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories (Margaret Atwood).

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

She stood a moment before my eyes, clearly and painfully, loved and deeply woven into my destiny; then fell away again in a deep oblivion, at a half regretted distance.

― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Monday, 12 November 2018

Paris is for lovers. Maybe that's why I stayed only 35 minutes.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Even in my dream I become aware that I am only dreaming it.

Watch on youtube:

Friday, 9 November 2018

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

"I do exist, don't I? It often feels as if I'm not here, that I'm a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I'd lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock".

Monday, 5 November 2018

Saturday, 3 November 2018

On linguistics, being bilingual, linear time and telepathy...

Going through my university study notes (in theoretical linguistics) I have realized that Universal/Generative grammar and being bilingual was my first consciousness-expanding experience. Deep syntax structure theory broke my mind completely. Noam Chomsky is - for sure - God's left hand on issues relating to human awakening! Indeed - WHY and HOW do all humans know what a noun is and what a verb is and what an adjective is. It is fascinating that children have such easy access to such a vast database of knowledge from infancy. I especially like the idea that we are born with this UNIVERSAL database of linguistic rules for which ANY language can be applied very quickly up to a certain age. And it is only later that we start dividing languages as "easy to learn" vs. "hard to learn". How do bilingual children, for example, start understanding without any explanation the deep structure of syntax? Say - English/Spanish combination. They somehow know that all English sentences require an object “I go” whereas in Spanish the same sentence will not require an object “Voy”.  Nobody explains it to them! They understand it very easily. Whereas when you start learning Spanish vs English later in life - this syntax difference is probably the first one to get used to… 

What would we be like without these deep syntax structures? Is it THEM that make us linear in time? And the time going only one direction?

It's interesting that the Hopi tribe have a cyclical notion of time; therefore, they have a less linear language, for instance, day and night aren't separate. Tomorrow isn’t another day. Tomorrow is day returning. Hopi day controversy. Whorf wrote about this while studying Hopi language.

Hieroglyphic speakers find Western languages difficult because they are linear. When in front of a page of ideograms they immediately see/feel what the topic is and can move in any direction. Their language lateralization is on the right side of the brain, ours is on the left.

The research on "genius" seems to indicate that "feeling" is the only nonlinear "language"... if you can call it a language. The simultaneous understanding of many aspects of a situation leads to breakthroughs in human thought aka genius. I think it can even be taught (to a certain extent)... Steiner talks about the withered intuitive sense and how to develop this. Fascinating subject. 

 The only way to speak in non- linear fashion would be telepathic so that an instant message would contain the whole picture of what is being said....and transferred to another person...💫💫

... We are doomed to be linear in time here while we are speaking the languages…

Time = change. Change = movement. Movement = energy... 

© Elin Vidoff

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Tout simplement jaloux

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

". . . from above it all, life's impossibly beautiful fabric unfolds."

Monday, 29 October 2018

Cocktails & Dreams

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Friday, 26 October 2018

"It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon".

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

A Nordic Fairytale

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Friday, 19 October 2018

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

All that anxiety and anger, those dubious good intentions, those tangled lives, that blood. I can tell about it or I can bury it. In the end, we'll all become stories. Or else we'll become entities. Maybe it's the same (Margaret Atwood).

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

I thought of nothing but her. I expected everything from her. I was ready to lay everything at her feet. I was not in the least in love with her. Yet I had only to imagine that she might fail to keep the appointment, or forget it, to see where I stood. Then the world would be a desert once more, one day as dreary and worthless as the last, and the deathly stillness and wretchedness would surround me once more on all sides with no way out from this hell of silence except the razor (Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf).

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Black As Midnight On A Moonless Night

Monday, 8 October 2018

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms  (Muriel Rukeyser).

Sunday, 30 September 2018

She stood before him and surrendered herself to him and sky, forest, and brook all came toward him in new and resplendent colors, belonged to him, and spoke to him in his own language. And instead of merely winning a woman he embraced the entire world and every star in heaven glowed within him and sparkled with joy in his soul. He had loved and had found himself. But most people love to lose themselves (Hermann Hesse, Demian). 

Friday, 28 September 2018