Posts Tagged ‘book’

Wise Friend,

I met your friends. The evening went well, for a while. It was light and funny. Then something went wrong. I do not understand what. It bothers me.

Sensitive Friend,

It’s not relevant. Sometimes, I express an opinion I take it as to be common sense, maybe a light comment within a conversation.
Suddenly, I notice in the facial expression of the other, that I stepped over a boundary. To me, that boundary doesn’t matter, so no wonder I didn’t know about it, and it’s not even significant for me to cross.
Yes, I could explain myself, wanting to dissipate the negativity I feel, but I don’t see a need; it would provide an allure of undeserved importance to the subject.
Had I continued, both parties would become uncomfortable. That‘s in my mind. For the other person, this might be significant.
However, I forget to think that way.
The subject doesn’t “deserve” so much respect. The time spent on explaining is irrelevant.
Don’t worry.

Wise Friend,

It is INCREDIBLE, how you describe precisely a nuance I felt as well, though I could not formulate it. As if a door opened and now I see with clarity what was behind it when I had only a hint and was blurry (I‘m tempted to use the word “revelation“).
Bravo to you, with thanks and pride for you.
If you agree, though it’s not fair to insert my words into your thoughts, I would suggest a slight modification one of your phrases.

Would you use “it would provide an allure of out-of-place importance” instead of “it would provide an allure of undeserved importance”? This would leave more space for additional flexibility of the interpretation.

Sensitive Friend,

I like when people correct me in any language.
I don’t understand why “out of place” doesn’t convey what I wanted to say, for me. Would “non-deserving” be more adequate?
If you remember, I wrote the subject seemed natural, light and unimportant for myself.

Wise Friend,

You wrote, “I welcome being corrected in any language. I don’t understand why ‘out of place’ doesn’t convey what I wanted to say.”
If you don’t know (rational), there is nothing left but to feel (intuitive). How about that?
Reflection goes: and I who told you that maybe you are “too” rational.
“Would ‘doesn’t deserve’ be more adequate?”
I don’t think so, because “undeserved importance” includes a shade of imposture, which denigrates and distorts the core.
In the end, what do you mean by undeserved importance, and why? Maybe you thought about “forbidden”, though even this is debatable: who thinks is God to judge such things?
The link between liberty and necessity might become a new subject to debate.
But no, don’t fear, I propose to not tire ourselves for the time being with such speculation, as life is beautiful as it is.
Would you mind using the term “inadequate”?

Wait! I think the penny dropped related to the term you used of “undeserved importance”. I think you wanted to say “importance that doesn’t deserve the exertion”. Something like “waste of time”.
If this is what you meant, my theory (discussing in details about toothpicks) fails, as it would imply something else: undeserved being unjustly obtained.
However, you see, this is a compromised solution, as I disagree with this meaning as well (it doesn’t deserve the exertion) – what do you think about my impertinence?

Wise Friend,

Your call last evening was short and silent.

Sensitive Friend,

Many times, it happened that all I needed was to dial the number of a close friend, say “hello” and then I couldn’t discuss what preoccupied me as if putting all that in words would make my issue sound so superficial. Each time, this confused the friend I called, who ended up with the feeling of not having helped. However, this minimal contact of a few seconds was essential to me. It has been selfish of me to initiate such a call, and I learnt to control and abstain.

Wise Friend,

Please don’t tell me merçi so many times because there is no reason. I’m not offering a service, a present or just amiability.

It throws the dialogues out of balance, and it makes me feel inadequate.

I have only one upper hand over you, and it is not my merit: I express with more clarity in this language, which you had no opportunities to use for a few decades. It’s crucial for me to use the exact word which would reflect the most adequate nuance of what I want to say.

I can do that only in this language. I dislike words of complacency or used to fill the space or to show off.

In turn, you benefit from the advantage of intuition, realism, and of your talent to convey states of mind indirectly, and thoughts one can hardly notice between the lines, sometimes not even linked to the content word by word (mot-a-mot).

Yet again, you would tell me I “project”. And I’ll answer it might be so.  There is nothing we can do, such we are, each one with own psyche formed thought own life. Sometimes I feel such a waste. I guess now I overstepped what I mentioned above.

Sensitive Friend,

It’s tempting to say you’re projecting. In this instance, I’m not.

Wise Friend,

For the time being, I don’t know what to reply to what you wrote. It’s not the first time you turn my words around, which disorients me.

This dialogue had no content though it is pregnant with meaning. Do I project, yet again?

I believe I’ve reached a dead moment. What do you say? Shall I stop writing?

Sensitive Friend,

How come? If you think we need to communicate about something specific, write. We had long spells of silence before. That my mind stops from time to time means nothing.

Experience with a snake in suit

Posted: September 14, 2018 in Musings
Tags: ,

Sensitive friend,

How is your disliked colleague?

Wise friend,

Years ago, I had read a book “Snakes in Suits – When Psychopaths Go to Work” by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hate.

When Fabian joined our team, I was going to witness how one behaves, soon after reading the book. Now, I was able to identify such people.

Fabian is deceitful every single second. If I can have any joy, I feel that he loses his positions in the eyes of the management. I once fantasised, that he was fired and I could then tell him while waving to him, that he did that to himself and I’m happy he is gone.

Then I remember something, which some religion has been advising people: after a war, even when you win, you are not allowed to express joy for your enemies’ death and loss, and you have to pray and ask for forgiveness. You have to acknowledge the pain you created even if you had no choice. A tough way of denying the joy of winning!


Fabian lives in his own world of cockiness and foolish compromises. He uses pretentious words and expressions, which promise too much and give nothing! A web of lies, when none are needed! A pleasure in deceit or knowing no other way! Surrounded by intelligent people whose skill he could use to his advantage, and pick up the fruits, of their work, and sell to his own master. He accumulates one title and soon after, relinquishes any focus on it, as he proceeds to hunt for the next title, which seems more prestigious, more moneymaker while lacking any imagination for the power already invested in him.

Watching him going in different directions and almost stupid, makes me think that the human mind never stops amazing me: where does intelligence start and where does it stop based on our emotional makeup? His emotions, his unreasonable wants, and his scattered ways don’t allow him to focus. He is consumed by wanting other people’s jobs and responsibilities while he manages 30 people. Never enough for him! “Carpe diem” is there for him to say “I want this title” and when he gets what he wants, he drops the leadership role adequate for that new title, and truly believes that nobody would notice.

Not knowing that in most realities “Carpe Diem” is useless for a day only. You seize the day, and then you have to seize all the days after that, to hold on to what you really wanted.

He wants to recite like a theater actor, to bring poetry to the job and to a product or service, and refuses to bring himself down to the earth, where people live in their daily reality. Only when that reality would be good, it would make sense to bring in poetic words to beautify that reality even more. Somewhere he thinks that this stupid poetic way, almost an evangelist way, would charm us and charm our prospects and customers and that he is our savior.

As if suddenly the product or the service is the Messiah!

His ‘charm’ harms us all. He is not aware that everybody knows that he continuously lies, and there is no more room left for any trust. He twists and twists the words and enjoys the moments of our silence. At that moment he thinks that he wins. He has no idea that he touched that point in us when we saw, again and again, everything in his small dirty soul. By then we know that the discussion is useless, as he behaves like a fool, as he removed all the layers of the willingness to interact, by disregarding our talents and intelligence. Or maybe, this is a point of time where he stirred our rage, and one more word on our part would bring group discomfort where manners have to stop us to tell him exactly what we know, and therefore what we feel.

Sometimes, I confront him, and with that, I bring discomfort to the group, as I don’t do that from the position of calm, but of impatience. Nobody perceives my reaction as assertiveness, anger or impatience, but as a negative emotional response, as lowering myself to his level. A new lesson for me!

Other times, I wonder how often this guy can put me down in front of others before I say something. I feel that I have to show him that I see his game, but also to ensure that my silence is not an acknowledgment of mine for what he tries to convey. I get advice from my colleagues, while none of them is so much under his daily fire.

I’m lost.

“The Signature of All Things” took me by surprise. It is another book that I started reading trying to understand what readers like in contemporary books.

Soon after I started reading it, I completely forgot my initial intention. I was drawn into it and forgot about the rest of the world.
The book is a family saga of two generations only. It’s written in the language of the 19th century, the time of the events. A young Dutch poor adolescent boy, Henry, becomes a rich man settling in Pennsylvania. He marries a competent Dutch woman, and they have two daughters (one of them adopted). The story of the second generation focuses on Alma, the biological daughter, who has an extraordinary intellect, a scientific mind and a desire to be loved and love.

What’s striking about most of the book is the sheer amount of research Gilbert has carried out and the brilliant way she embedded that within the plot and the characters of the novel. The ability to sustain the language style of that era is also impressive. Some readers might be disappointed by the part of the story taking place in Tahiti, even though it offers an image of that population at that time that if right, it is essential to know and sense.

At some stage, I thought that I would struggle towards the end of this long novel, given its sheer size, as it has happened frequently. Alas, no, the last part of the story brings again to light the amount of research Gilbert carried out on other areas, among others the emergence of the theory of evolution. Gilbert brings daringly into the narrative the contradictions and the gaps within the evolution theory. These are essential philosophical gaps to consider, frequently forgotten or unknown. With that, the novel captivated me until the very last page.

Who would have thought after “Eat, Pray, Love,” such a different, rich book? Who?t

“Ghosted” by Rosie Walsh

Posted: September 11, 2018 in Musings
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I use for my online searches. According to Urban Dictionary, ghosting in dating is, “When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding friend’s phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public.” Hence “being ghosted.”

Recently, I listened to an interview with Rosie Walsh, and the interviewer mentioned the incredibly way Walsh describes emotions of love, happiness, and heartbreak. I wanted to read such descriptions in successful contemporary novels.

Many people around me don’t know the word “ghosted.” It is a terrific word, which describes so well experiences of unmarried women trying to meet that final man for once, so the relationship lasts and doesn’t disappear in a split of a second. I talked with aged women as well. Without exception, they told me how many times they experienced that. I don’t know why I felt the need to point out each time: “Married women wouldn’t know about that.” Maybe because married women were around when I mentioned the word. Some of these women had been married for decades. To my surprise, the openness of the unmarried women made me uncomfortable while married women participated in the conversation.

Back to the book.
The experience of being “ghosted” in this book, however, is unique. The story includes a few twists, mystery, some tensions. Few ghosted women would wonder if the men died and that’s why they might have disappeared. Susan, the heroine of this book, wonders a lot about such a possibility.
In real life, while angry and disappointed, women seem to accept that they had the experience of a man ghosting them, and not only once.
As I started reading the book, I felt annoyed and told Susan to let it go. Only my curiosity about what young women like reading nowadays kept me going.
The book is a romance novel. Not the cheap-quality category available on supermarket shelves. It belongs to what I would call a literary novel quality.
However, it floats almost between the two styles. Yes, Walsh captures and describes some emotions very well. She also captures very well the refusal to let it go, the persistence to want to understand the “why?”, the obsession with reviewing every detail of the seven-day blissful encounter. All women went through such phases from time to time, after a relationship suddenly disintegrated, especially when that relationship was apart from any other.
I was wondering if I could advise a male friend to read it, and whether he would enjoy it. I don’t think so.
In the end, it reads like a Hollywood feel-good script. The book has been very successful.
Still, I think that Walsh will end up with remarkable good novels. Just one more step up.