A storm’s charm

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Through the storm in our hearts

Through the veil in our minds

Through the blindness in our eyes

A body of storm cries.

Fearful, yet fascinated

Isolated, yet captivated

Contemplating,

Pulsating

With the rage, awaited.

 

 

Through the blinding, scathing winds

Through the loud and gusty grinds

Through the startling, instant thunders

A soul, tormented

Becomes contented.

See the lightnings penetrating

The world, outside!

Safe and sound in the shelter

Inside, a wise elder

Is and flees from, concurrently

A thunderstorm.

 

Moments like these

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There are mornings when the sky is crystal clear, when you open the windows at dawn and you can hear the birds chirping pleasantly. You welcome the first rays of the sun and they delicately caress your face. In moments like those you can feel the peace that floats around you, you can sense that there is purity and gentility inside of a human being, similar to the soft vibrations of nature and its freshness. A cup of coffee, the humid fragrance of last night’s summer storm, the crumbling, yellow pages of a rare, vintage book, your favourite crimson-velvet armchair and all those little things erase the unsolvable complexity of life, and the gigantic questions that can permanently trouble a forever-seeking mind. However, when darkness comes and settles inside the human mind, tension fills the environment, homes, cafes, parks, hearts and entire lives. This overwhelming darkness attempts to let anxiety and fear sneak inside your bones. The serenity of nature that stemmed from your spirit is overtaken by obscurity. In moments like these, the obscurity reveals the rotten and scattered pieces of ego and insecurity that lurk in the tiniest of cells. Darkness seeks to break you. In moments like these, you ponder at everything that led you to where you are right now and you question every choice you have ever made. And sometimes, the voices you hear and the answers you receive are terrifying. They are a proof and a constant reminder that you are failing yourself because you have walked down mistaken paths. More often than not, the whispers that torment you are the fragmented, secret voices of your consciousness that seek to blame you or provide an answer. Either way, the voices are never satisfying enough and regrets appear.

Regrets of things done, of paths taken, of choices made or just the opposite, the bitter, burning taste of ashes in your mouth, the reminder of everything wished and never achieved…glimpses of what could have been, would have been rotate behind closed eyelids. In moments like these, dreams of repressed desires become nightmares and welcome mornings and awakenings with tears and sadness. How do you know you are living the life you are supposed to be living? You often feel trapped in a never-ending routine, an endless cycle of predictable bullshit…eat, sleep, repeat. In moments like these existence seems dull, useless and it keeps spinning inside the same, grim wheel of destiny. The hell of never-ending routine, of isolation, of spontaneity gone awol, of joys and fantastic realms smothered, of unfulfilled purposes and of ardent wishes and desired love lies abandoned at the bottom of the sea. What hurts the most is that regrets or the dire situation of purely surviving and not rejoicing at life’s endless possibilities are entirely of your own doing. You are the only person who is responsible for where you are right now. And sometimes, you just have to take a stance and choose between the roads less travelled by and the beaten track. And yet, you levitate in the ‘Kingdom of Midway’, you struggle and you walk in-between. You play it safe by taking the road that is not predictable, but that it is not entirely unknown either. You are indecisive about your own life and you wait for the winds of change to steer you into the right direction. Two turns to the left, three turns to the right, moving forward for a bit and after, going backwards.

A life full of spontaneity would be intense and risky, but probably worth it. An entirely rational, planned existence would be safe and comfortable. The classical dilemma: Would you rather live an intense and passionate life that is short or a monotonous, long life? I am and I will always be just a kid that can’t decide which cake to choose.

 

P.S: I always had half of my cake and half of one of my parents’ cake!

Existence and Sisyphus

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It seems to me that there has to be more to human existence than the incessant, repetitive pursuit of wild dreams and interminable goals. Regardless of the character, the motivation and the beliefs that fuel the never ending need or desire to achieve certain things, a human being seems to be leading an existence akin to Sisyphus’ punishment.

You set objectives for yourself and you need to climb mountains to reach  your target. Sometimes, the climb is over a low, pastoral hill, but at other times it is over steep and rugged cliffs. Once you have made it to the summit of the mountain, you find yourself right where you started, at the basis of yet, another mountain. Climbing to the top of the mountain by graduating, getting a job, obtaining a good salary, changing to a different job, buying a car, replacing the old car, finding love, forming a family, kids, travelling through the country, then on the continent, after through the whole world – no matter what your desire or goal is, it will always be promptly succeeded by another one. Each human being is a Sisyphus who perpetually climbs mountains until the day she/he draws her/his last breath.

Now, there are those who overcome the climb, who choose to stop on the path and by doing so, they shatter the matrix they are caught in and manage to see behind the veils of mundane existence. They set aside the wild goose chase and they achieve feelings of peacefulness and bliss through their spirit. The place of balance and contentment can be called heaven, nirvana, Valhalla, the field of Yalu, Elysian fields, the Summerland, etc. and opening its gates, ending the repetitive climb equates to escaping samsara. Leaving aside religious branches, the type of beliefs or spirituality you might have, if you can see beyond this earthly, cumbersome existence then you have a belief that is justified because it aided you in transcending your role as Sisyphus.

Then, there are those who graciously enjoy the mountain climbs, who overpower obstacles along the tracks and who enjoy brief moments of respite. They are the ones who breathe in until saturation the fresh mountain air and the ones to whom the constant climbing is not about conquering a final peak, but about the adventurous journey. This arduous journey offers gifts clad in small bites of happiness.

And then, there are the rest, who suffer and who are subdued by the burdens they carry up the mountain.

Thus, during our existence on Earth, we have a few choices. We can surpass our roles as Sisyphus and open the gates to a new realm, where contentment, balance and peace reign. We can also acknowledge our roles as Sishyphus, but perceive the stones we bear as light and revel in the little things along our path and in the climb itself on various mountain ranges. Or we can, as a last resort, pity ourselves in our roles of Sisyphus and succumb to the weight of the bundle and to the strenuous climb.

 

Wise poet, Su Shi

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During the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD), China experienced a flourishing period in arts, culture and poetry. The wise, multi-talented Su Shi, 蘇軾, (1037-1101 AD) was a poet, calligrapher, painter, writer and politician, who wrote many exquisite poems that deserve attention and close analysis. However, today I want to share with you a small excerpt from one of his articles, that contains the essence of Middle Ages Chinese wisdom on destiny and the infinite beauty of nature.

“In this universe everything has its rightful owner. If something does not belong to you then you shall not even have a bit of it. However, the fresh breeze over the rivers and the bright moon above the mountains are exceptions. If you can hear it, it is a sound for you. If you can see it, it is a sight for you. It never ends and it is never exhausted. It is the infinite treasure that nature has for both of us to enjoy.”

The crib of desires

 

From the moon inside your eyes

Grant me favors!

You, enchantress, with your vibes

Feed me,

Need me,

Lead me!

From the atman of the ancient,

Wise and omniscient

Tree of life,

Roots of power,

Rife…

Flood my being

Drain me whole

Shatter dreams

And tear my hopes

Of futile existence,

Of perishable resistance.

Let me sip the flavors

Escape my role of slaver!

Praised divinity,

Allow me to slumber

In the crib of desires

Allow me to savor

The creation of the saver,

Ayahuasca in the woods

Banish this world’s falsehoods

Crush the incessant routine!

From the war of jungles deep

Fashion this grey, tedious scene

Into magic green!

Bring about the fantasy, the mystery

Free me from the shackles of vanity

Stir the foreseen

The sanity, the profanity

We summon the sacred

To wonder as fated

In a maze of visions painted!

Extravagant, grand opening

In the blink of an eye

The curtains fade.

No trace is left

Of crimson, velvet blinds.

Existence on Earth,

Spiritual, profound, connected to nature

Becomes, yet, another show!

A play enacted

In a grand theatre.

The opening is announced.

Hypnopaedia charms,

Spectators swarm.

A show on Broadway!

Except no! No, it’s not!

A most novel spectacle

From the stages of Shanghai

Diffused into the world.

Ladies with no speck of ingenuity

Gents with no signs of originality

Parade, dine and engage

Amongst Gucci bags, MacBooks

Porsches, Dior lipsticks.

Stuff and fluff,

In a city of things

A world of things.

They swallow and choke

Embrace and absorb

The concrete, the technology,

Designer goods, skyscrapers,

The latest trends, online shopping

Michelin stars restaurants.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Please swallow and choke

Buy, consume, dispose!

Come back for more!

Theatre plays of your own creation

From Shanghai to the world.

The Earth is drowning!

Suddenly, a mise-en-scene effect,

Sighs of superficiality

Sighs of materialism.

The planet is shrieking

And with it,

Some lost, rare souls.

The grand opening

Of extravagant materialism

Is a sociopathic murderer

The offspring of capitalism…

 

A futuristic, robotic world

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The advance of technology and the development of robots is a fact in nowadays world. Now, the question is: How far will these advances go and how far will humans go to revolutionize the workplace and productivity in order to save money? Will robots come to replace humans in their jobs?

Will they go as far as creating robots that will be capable of doing everything a human being can? Will we live in a world where robots and humans cohabit? Will people go as far as producing robots that are capable of feeling and thinking on their own? Will they go as far as engineering robots that can become our sexual partners? Will they go as far as starting to create hybrids, beings that are half human and half robot? Will we become beings that boost our own physical capacities by using machine parts?

Robots and sci-fi worlds make up the plot of many books and movies. The most recent Tv series I watched offers a lot of variation on the theme of futuristic, robotic worlds.

‘Love, Death and Robots’ is an extremely creative one season series. It is composed of 18 episodes, with each episode lasting between 10 and 15 minutes long. Thus, it is easy to watch and fast to finish, perfect for a whole afternoon or evening binge. I found ‘Love, Death and Robots’ captivating due to its amazing vibrant visual style. Each episode explores a different story, so in this sense the episodes do not rely on each other. They could be described as a series of unconnected, short films that fit into the same overall theme. However, each episode is constructed on the foundation of a future world in which robots, technological advancements and machines are the new normality of reality.

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The visual aspect of this fantastic, sci-fi style animation series is quite exquisite and worth to be observed and internalized by itself . The variety of episodes takes the viewer on a journey through 18 distinct, science fiction settings. Some episodes remind us of animes, others have a feel of realistic movies suddenly turned into dream-like atmospheres, full of vibrant colours. Others take us by surprise by coming on as cartoons for kids. And still, others borrow the overall visual effects of movies about space.

Love, Death and Robots. What are the narratives?

Expect to see a genetically mutated creature with a removable, computer-like brain in a fighting pit;  werewolves employed by the army; robots inhabiting an Earth where humans have gone extinct;  women transformed into robots to act as sexual fetishes; a world invaded by giant spider machines and so much more. Overall, everything is quite fluid and somehow it manufactures a vibe that the world is aactually heading towards one of the visions presented in the series, if not towards a mixture of them all. This miniseries is challenging us to envision planet Earth hundreds or thousand of years from now.