Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

Wise Friend,

Travelling around the world for a few years was vital. Now I know, what I mostly miss: having close friends, with whom I don’t have to censure what I say. I had a friend like this in LA. Lately, I’ve been living in a friendship hiatus.

Yes, I can call anybody around the world, but a close encounter (face-to-face) weighs a lot in gold.

A beautiful relationship would answer this void, but it seems I don’t get any help here. I’m so surprised, and I’m asking myself: how do I appear to a good, intelligent woman, what do my manners, looks, face convey? I have no answer. So I’m not concentrating on women now. One day, I caught myself praying.

Wandering Friend,

I think you brought it as close to God as you could.

Wise Friend,

It is time to let it go.
I’m now concentrating on just being relaxed, always, which I’m not, on being warm, always, which I’m not. I scare myself when my tone is too blunt and frustrated when I feel heavy because I have no other reason to be like this besides of this internal garbage I still seem to carry.

Wandering Friend,

You are a passionate person in any area, in the art you love, books you read, museums you visit, in friendships, and love.

Wise Friend,

I blame my current isolation on being a passionate person. I’ve become more and more aware that this passion I have isn’t surrounded by clean feelings, it doesn’t live in a background of serenity.

It comes surrounded by garbage, by losing sight of the other person, and the uneasiness this other person might feel, by a momentarily strong willingness to have my ideas accepted and acknowledged and, importantly, bought-in.

It’s almost as if I enjoy a subject too much and expressing it ends up hurting me, not because of the impression others have, but because it manifests itself with a self-destructive attitude.

How to continue, how to relax, detach, be conversational, charming without passion and without apathy?

In fact, how to separate the passion from the garbage that wraps it? How to bring it first wrapped in serenity, and if possible lightness and happiness around it?

I don’t have a solution, besides ensuring I have to feel the serenity for long spells, choose this state, talk detached, and not let anger touch me–only in exceptional cases, but even then I don’t want it ever.

I don’t mind sadness, but anger is my biggest enemy.

Wandering Friend,

Serenity with no passion? Who will you become?

Wise Friend,

The real me.

Wise Friend.

I have a highly educated friend working in garden maintenance.  He asked me to join him for two weeks. I wanted to do some physical work. I accepted.

We joke with quizzing customers about both us having masters and somehow having become blue-collar workers.

Wow Friend,

How do you cope with the physical work?

Wise Friend,

Gosh! It is hot and hard! At the end of each day, I’m tired and euphoric, intoxicated with feeling great. I love being outside, and I love hard physical work.

Wow Friend,

Shall I envy you?

Wise Friend,

Yes, please do!

We chitchat a lot. My friend mentioned that one little conversation back at home becomes the obsession for a man if he works alone and nobody distracts him. This is the risk of men doing manual work by themselves. He returns home emotionally worked up. Sensitive to extreme he demands assurance to rebuild his trust. The wife resents it.

I attended a book club today. Mainly women. I repeated to them what he told me. You should have heard them. This is what they said:

“Women are extremely good at making an elephant out of a fly inside their heads.”

“It’s a myth that women don’t obsess on small comments and gestures.”

“They speak with all their girlfriends, and they expect full support for the ‘seriousness’ of the issue. If the friend tried to shake them up, to check their priorities, the anger would be endless.”

“Back home, she lashes out emotionally.”

I was speechless. Did you know that? How clueless am I?

Wow Friend,

Somehow, yes. How is it in your home?

Wis Friend,

Sometimes, we both lash out. We take turns. Probably, it depends on who obsessed that very day. You don’t want to be a witness. Thank God, we love each other.

Wise Friend,

I’m looking back at conversations, emails, and turmoils people shared. So much pain due to broken trust.

I elevate trust about love. What’s love without trust?

Good Friend,

It’s NOTHING. No trust, no love.

Lovely Friend,

Your ache is your way to doubt yourself and still attack yourself; knowing that aches me. Right now and for a while you’ll continue to be unfair to yourself, but this is such a complicated pattern to break.

OK, OK, you still want to turn this pain on its many sides. I promise you it will go away.

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You seem to refer a lot to the physical part of you: to your looks and weight. I can only tell myself you have an unusual sweet smile. Your voice! Your voice is so pleasant one can drown in it. You are caring, intelligent, giving, with a great sense of humour. You brought so much to my life and to many others who crossed your path. Consider your children and your relationship with them.

Michael didn’t appreciate these in you, and he never had the skills to lavish himself in this generosity. You were the best thing that happened to him, and he didn’t know how to handle it, so he chipped at you and proceeded to destroy you. I know you know all that and the pain drags you down.

Each one of us, man or woman, has deep needs one wants the other to fulfil them, even without being aware. It goes both ways, though in many marriages or liaisons, one may give, while the other not.

I don’t understand why partners, who don’t give, destroy. But right now, each time you feel the pain you are hurting yourself. This is tough to unlearn.

Wise Friend,

If I hang my head in shame, what will you think?

Lovely Friend,

I was sure you’ve concocted enough shame. I didn’t imagine there is more room. It seems the container is made of live skin, and it expands.

Take a little plastic bowl and for each shame and anger drop a small pebble inside.

I will continue and risk repeating myself. The way you use the English makes it a song in itself. I always wanted to hear more and more of it. When you called the Offen(s), they both remarked the voice, and they mentioned that. Lana inherited hers from you.

Wise Friend,

This is such a beautiful letter like an arm around me offering love.

By the way, I love getting little musings notes from you. There is so much nice energy, despite your addiction to Latin and “mea culpa.”

In one note you wrote, “Despite his perfect words, Elvis was a bastard.” I like this. Why didn’t I think of this? I would have written “in spite of” instead of “despite”. What’s the difference? It’s “in spite of” and there’s no difference in meaning or use, I suspect. I find “despite” neater.

Going to bed now; I send you my best thoughts and loving fond wishes.

Lovely Friend,

Latin and “Mea culpa”?


(image “Glass Tears” by Man Ray 1932)

Wise Friend,

I went to a community dinner. I didn’t like the surroundings. I joined, hoping to interact with people from that city.

In the beginning, I chose a table and sat next to Myra, a lawyer formerly from Mexico City, a lovely lady with a great sense of humour.

Later, Pat and her two daughters joined our table. There was something so humble about her. She mentioned somebody had invited there and she didn’t know people around the room.

I told myself she must have been a single mother and probably that someone invited her for being relatively poor.

Sweet Friend,

I wonder why?

Wise Friend,

I asked Pat if she was working. “I wish I would. However, I’m on a sabbatical after fifteen years working on community committees. I wonder if this isn’t a waste of my degree.”

I replied that it was a fantastic idea, muttering something about being able to afford the break concerning putting bread on the table.

Pat said her husband had been very generous since the children were born.
“Hmmm!!!,” I thought. So Pat wasn’t poor!

Sweet Friend,

Funny, isn’t it?

Wise Friend,

Myra, the lawyer, moved her seat closer and asked Pat from where she knew her. Pat mentioned her full name and Myra seemed satisfied with the answer. I was clueless.

Three of us chatted about children, dyslexia and schools.

Pat left. I told Myra that initially, I had thought Pat was a poor single mother. Myra laughed and said that Pat was the wealthiest woman in the city (I’m not sure if in that community only or, in the city at large). Pat’s husband did not support her financially, as she was wealthy herself coming from an extremely wealthy family.

Myra knew Pat from the media, as Pat frequently had appeared in newspapers and on TV organising this or that event, donating vast amounts of money to this or that charity.

Sweet Friend,

Wow!!! How far from your initial assumptions!

Wise Friend,

Wow, indeed! My dearest son has been begging forever not to make any assumptions. Each time I think back to that evening I smile and my son comes to mind.

I reflect on my experience with these communities. As I travel, I found a way to join events of local communities. I met many comfortable, wealthy women in Sydney, Beverly Hills, Houston, NYC, and elsewhere. Many times, I heard wealthy women dress ostentatiously, wearing glittering fabrics and jewels. I never witnessed that.

I visited beautiful homes and met elegant women, but nothing glittery as such. Clothing-wise, I noticed modesty and elegance. Sometimes, though rarely, some dress in bad looking and or cheap clothing. Maybe some great jewellery though not excessive. ,

Even at evening events women rarely expose their backs, wear extremely short hems or low-cut dresses/blouses.

Now, I’m wondering about these comments about wealthy women, both from the outside and inside the communities as such.

Sweet Friend,

You are very observant about life. Reading your emails is like watching a movie.

Wise Friend,

I went to Houston to meet some new acquaintances. I was there for a week.

Sensitive Friend,

“Acquaintances?” Who, besides the British uses that word? I find people expect me to call them “friends” since calling them “acquaintances” hurts their feelings.

Wise Friend,

I experienced the same. I can afford to be precise with you. Such a relief!

 

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I toured Houston in stages.

On my way to meeting them at their office, by the tollway, all areas are flat. I lost my way, and I didn’t like the neighbourhood. I knew I was close, but how close?

I was driving back and forth under the tollways/freeways, faced with concrete strips and poles sustaining those strips. It was a dry image from a movie of cities without souls. I imagined myself living in Houston, and I already felt trapped for years in an unattractive city.

On my way back I drove again by concrete sustaining concrete, concrete running by concrete, concrete running under and above concrete. It wasn’t for me!

Also, I could not find even one classical music radio station or even one with political commentaries.

Sensitive Friend,

I don’t remember Houston being so dreary. Hmmm!

Wise Friend,

Next evening, Jeff, one of the guys, hired a 15-seat van and took us around, showing us Houston’s beautiful suburbs. The city has a lovely downtown, alive in the evenings. A stadium built downtown years ago revived the nightlife.

Its medical centre is humongous, a city inside a city. Hospital near hospital, a place to get lost and treated if needed. “If you want to be sick Houston is the city. It’s at the same level with Boston” (I hope we never would need that.)

Houston has beautiful architecture and stunning mansions on charming streets with wonderful gardens.

Some of their high risers have a very delicate design. The Transco Tower, near the Galleria, is tall and slim with vertical lines created by its relief and attracted me the most. It’s the tallest skyscraper in the USA outside of a downtown area. Whatever this means!

Jeff took us around golf courses, and parks, along jogging allays and walking paths.

I asked Jeff about classical music radio stations. He pressed a button and Voila! 92.1. He pressed another button—political commentaries!

It rains frequently, and therefore Houston is lush. Next day, I looked out of the windows their office. This was my fourth day in that room. This time I saw the greenery of this city—a sea of treetops from grey-green to bottle green and in the distance the elegant skyline of Houston downtown. The things our mind filters based on wants, fears and again those so self-limiting assumptions!!

By now, I warmed towards this city.

Many questions welled up. I concluded that I don’t know how to visit a place, that I need to return again and again, force myself to open my mind and with it, my eyes would open beyond my assumptions.

Sensitive Friend,

The same goes for some books. When I joined the Proust club in my city, I repeatedly remarked I had not read it correctly. I had read it differently. Indeed, I had noticed and interpreted things in a novel way from the others, but we all missed on parts, depending on our interests and background.

When I miss on details, guilt overwhelms me for at least 30 seconds.

Travelling, like fine arts, antiques, and music, requires experience continuous drilling, keeping in touch, and probably some talent.

It can’t be done from home, books or libraries.

(Photo – pixabay)

Sweet Friend,

For the first time, I’m going to Nevada. I dislike gambling, but I’m looking forward to seeing the opulence of the casino. I wonder what changed since those old Hollywood movies and now. How is luxury displayed? How are women or men dressed? I’m looking for my tuxedo.

Wise Friend,

I flew once to Reno Nevada for a conference. During the flight, I sat next to a beautiful American woman from Reno, who told me the Hilton hotel has a great shopping centre under the hotel, a grand casino at the entrance and a great night bar ‘The Garage’ in the lobby. I was so excited! While passing through Los Angeles, I had time to buy a gorgeous blood red woollen dress with a turtleneck.

I entered the hotel, and in the lobby, I saw tens of poker machine, an image I distaste, and I forgot what she told me.

I went to a party of the conference. Those attending were aged hippie-computer-geeks with body postures affected by sitting twenty-three hours a day in front of their computers, and not enough hours dedicated to fitness—movements and behaviours frozen in the sixties, looking sad, trying to catch up with times. I watched them dancing.

There was something so grotesque about their sense of dress and dance. Everybody was keen to pick somebody up for a night of “romance.” I didn’t want to see any of them undressed. Among them, there was one dancer who knew how to move. He looked better and fitter. I watched him and with my passion for dance, I enjoyed the only graceful person on the dancing floor.

Sweet Friend,

Anybody in a tuxedo?

Wise Friend,

No.

By the evening, I understood that the poker machines were the casino (duh!).

Nevertheless, I put my red dress on and was ready to walk through the casino. I was looking very well, but I expected to be the most modestly dressed woman. I expected glamorous women with gorgeous evening dresses, with naked backs, great low cut fronts, and men in tuxedos. Everybody was dressed in jeans, sweatshirts and pants. Some colleagues, who liked me, told me I was looking like a model. The ones who never liked me asked why I dressed up. From modesty, though in red, I was the glamorous one. Disappointed but flattered.

I gave in and gambled $20.00. I won a bit in between, lost it all by the end – my tributes to this world of strange fun.

The next day I visited the shopping centre—a lousy array of cheap shops.

Later, I decided to go the ‘The Garage’, I in red, they in jeans. A colleague of mine joined me. I ordered a virgin Marguerite (which I found out means without alcohol, duh!) and then I had a great time watching the locals. They came in couples and danced ‘western dancing’. I’m not crazy about non-couple dancing such as line dancing. I watched only the couples, and I had such a good time. The western swing is so gracious and requires great skills. I loved it. My colleague left. I didn’t want to go to bed. Imagine, being alone, watching couples dance and being happy. Not bad!

Take your jeans and a t-shirt. Leave the tuxedo at home.

Sweet Friend,

Ruined it for me.