Sunday, July 24, 2011

White lie

Yesterday in a fan-made music video I saw a picture allegedly taken from deviantart. It portrayed a teddy bear toy situated on the pavement in a sitting position. Next to it lay the head of another teddy bear toy and the rest of its body was drawn on the pavement with chalk. The idea was quite simple but the final result bore a powerful emotional impact. So this morning I tried to locate that picture (to no avail alas!) but in the search process I had to rest my eyes on countless images of lonely, abandoned teddy bears helplessly waiting for a friend that most likely will never be there for them. It all got me quite depressed. Yes, I am aware those were toys on those images, man-made objects with no soul. And yet the allusion with broken innocence was too direct for me to preserve objectivity. And just as I was about to dive head first into my private pool of sorrow and self-pity I remembered my own words that I posted just yesterday. That’s why I pulled myself together (what was left of me at lest), disguised in my best smile and went out to make sure that life goes on. So far I’m doing pretty well. However I found out that to keep a positive attitude just for the sake of it takes quite an effort. No wonder it’s not very popular. Lie may be considered a sin but, as the truth and error trial has proved over the years, to lie to yourself is sometimes a vital necessity. Who knows-some day I might even believe myself.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A moment seized

I came across a cover of The Smiths’s “I know it’s over” done by Jeff Buckley at a concert somewhere in the mid 90’s. Though I love the original his version made my heart bleed. That voice, so tender and fragile at times and so strong and firm at others commanding “Listen to me. Hear what I say.” His performance is so beautiful it hurts. I can’t help thinking Jeff Buckley will never sing anyone’s song ever again. Most of the time we think nothing of significance happens but it isn’t so. Moments pass all the time; moments we can never claim back. Do you know how many moments you’re given? Do you know how many of them you can afford to waste? Of course not. Just as with everything else we tend to appreciate our time only when we run out of it.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I keep this blog- to capture some of those never to be repeated moments.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Carpe diem

“- Can we leave it for another time, aunt Augusta?”
“-You are wrong to be so confident in the existence of another time.”
from “Travels with my aunt”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In a country, not that long ago…

I love Graham Greene’s writing. So when I stopped at an online book shop puzzled what author to look for his name emerged on the top of the list because 1) he’s a contemporary writer meaning I’m in no jeopardy of filling my head and vocabulary with outdated words, phrases and language structures, and 2) I enjoy his books meaning reading in his (but not mine) native English will feel much more of a pleasure than of a language practice. As for the book of my first choice there were no hesitations what so ever: “Travels with my aunt”, originally published in 1969. I read it a long time ago in Bulgarian and my only memory of that novel was that it was all fun and joy. Perfect, I said, it would satisfy both my mind and my heart-you don’t get that combination too often do you? (OK, my dictionary says I should use the idiom “to kill two birds with one stone” but I’d rather play ignorant than refer to a phrase that hints even slightly at cruelty to animals. Not that it isn’t almost the same in Bulgarian language-“to kill two rabbits with one bullet”. Yuck.) 

According to the story the protagonist, Henry Pulling and his aunt Augusta board the Orient Express at Paris and set on a long and tiring journey across Europe due to take them to Istanbul. As the train leaves Central and enters Eastern Europe the passengers spot quite a change in the scenery outside the train windows. And when they reach former Yugoslavia:
“In the fields horses moved slowly along, dragging harrows. We were back in the pre-industrial age. Tooley and I were both depressed yet it wasn’t the lowest point of our journey; that came as evening fell in Sofia.” Oops. I opened my Bulgarian 1989 edition to compare those lines and to no surprise I found them to be a bit different: “Tooley and I were both depressed and yet there was some more excitement to come our way.” 

1989 was the year of the Perestroika in my country. Twenty years later I wouldn’t say life is better or worse; it’s just different. But at least Bulgarian society of today is spared such ridiculous cosmetic makeovers. Today everybody’s free to speak openly and tell jokes about the government without looking around first to see who listens. I was too young then to appreciate that aspect of freedom. To me change meant I could drop the hideous ink-blue uniform and go to school in my jeans. And teenagers of today don’t even have a clue how it used to be just a few years before they were born. They take freedom for granted and why wouldn’t they? I do. You don’t think about breathing unless your access to air is cut off, right? But still it is vital for the memory of the past to be preserved to make sure that it remained just that: past.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some flowers age well

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Two of a kind...the lovely kind