Don’t Burn The Bridges, Part The Veil

Recently I came into conflict with some articles and other people’s opinion on how to deal with an end of a relationship and the post breakup feelings.

It seems that general post breakup protocol dictates limiting the contact with the other person, some advice went as far as recommending burning all the bridges. I guess it depends on the specific conditions under which the relationship ended and perhaps in some circumstances it is the healthiest way to deal with it. 

I remember  how strongly I felt about a fantasy character of the popular card game, Magic: The Gathering, Narset, a highly enlightened being who is also known as Parter Of Veils. I always imagined that she was able to part any veil that human mind can create and see beyond it. And it is a fairly common knowledge amongst truth seekers that we live in a strange state of having our vision veiled by our own agenda and conditioning, only seeing a portion of the truth and if we don’t try to look beyond the immediately visible, we might never really see anyone as they are, but rather see them just as our own interpretation of them and sure, maybe that’s enough we need to, or want to see in many instances, it doesn’t really satisfy me when it comes to someone I once felt very close to. It’s almost as if we are encouraged to see those who left us as “betrayers” and us as victims of their betrayal, because there are so many quotes saying we need to protect our dignity and self worth from these people as they will use, or abuse us again and it’s only by us cutting them off and drawing some kind of mental border we are able to heal from the harm they’ve done. 

The thing is though, if we get too stuck with the narrative of betrayal and ignore that what we once felt was true, we might end up betraying ourselves. Maybe even they were true at the time, but something has changed and they had to review their investment in being with us and realised that it no longer matches their requirements. And it could actually broke their heart to see that, before they went and broke our heart. But we almost always focus on our side of the story, because that is all we really know.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we have to spend an enormous amount of effort to see someone for who they are, if we lost all interest in actually knowing them after there no longer is a destination that we both want to go to. We are not obliged to know everyone the same way. Our time here on Earth is simply too short to even get to know ourselves really well, but I guess we all long for being seen by a few people who we care about and that tends to happen when we actually make some effort to see them and all of this takes time and as we know, time is one of the most expensive commodities.

And by the way, I am not writing this to give anyone any advice on how to find the right way of being, or not being with someone they broke up with, or they broke with them. I myself am only at the beginning of this journey and this post is simply my personal attempt to draw some kind of road map I can refer to should I feel lost where I am in relation to the person I once believed is the one. 

Perhaps it also depends on where we are on our own journey as not all we meet, as important as meeting them was, are to stay with us, or near us as we wander towards our destiny. We all love company, well, a good company, I’d rather be alone than stuck with a bad company, most of our journey is spent on our own, dealing with our own emotions. Even if we might walk with someone and look like we’re journeying in the same direction, we can have different reasons for going there, or after reaching certain checkpoint we might realise that our journeys must split. So maybe often the honest processing of the hurt we feel from having to say goodbye to those we met is the most important thing we do as sojourners. To say an honest goodbye is as important, if not even more important in some instances, as an honest hello. 

I cannot and don’t want to control  how the other person looks back at meeting me, but I want to be able to recognise that they came to teach me something, show me something, that maybe the darkness I experienced from having to say goodbye to them was also a gift. 

And I am willing to go against the stream a little here. I have met with some strange comments from friends on my decision to remain friends with the girl I was with, but I realise that only opinion that matters here is my own. No one can advise me how to be, where to go from here but me. It is this personal responsibility that plays the major part in not hastily accepting any advice from those who were not really feeling what we felt. As confused as we are, they aren’t really equipped to give us guidance on how to deal with our emotions and I would rather find my own way and get lost a little in the process, than to accept advice from someone who doesn’t know how much someone meant to me. I also believe that we must get lost a little before we actually find ourselves. The losing of who we were with someone and finding who we are without them is an important part of growth, as there will always be more losing as we go and it can teach us important lesson that we’re destined to lose everything in the end and that it’s okay!

I want to end this personal post by a wish to the person I dedicate this to:

Hope that you find it, hope that it’s good
~ Ode To The Mets, The Strokes

And the opening sequence of a poem written by King Olav V of Norway dedicated to all that can still see and feel remnants of moments spent with those they loved and had to say goodbye to.

Quote in the beginning of the video. One of my most favourite songs.

When I look back, I see the landscape that I have walked through. But it is different. 

All the great trees are gone. It seems there are remnants of them, but it is the afterglow inside of you, of all those you met, who meant something in your life. 

~ Olav Rex, August 1977

So why so sad?, or, Welcome to my blog

The idea for the name of this website came from a Magic: The Gathering card, sometimes referred to as “sad robot”.
The two words, solemn and simulacrum always appealed to me and as I can quite relate to being a robot, especially a sad one, I decided to name my page solemnsimulacrum.

There’s actually a story about a sad robot I keep sharing and perhaps this is a place where I can save it for future references.

Here it is:

“No piece of art has ever emotionally affected me the way this robot arm piece has. It’s programmed to try to contain the hydraulic fluid that’s constantly leaking out and required to keep itself running. If too much escapes, it will die so it’s desperately trying to pull it back to continue to fight for another day. Saddest part is they gave the robot the ability to do these ‘happy dances’ to spectators. When the project was first launched it danced around spending most of its time interacting with the crowd since it could quickly pull back the small spillage. Many years later… (as you see it now in the picture) it looks tired and hopeless as there isn’t enough time to dance anymore.
It now only has enough time to try to keep itself alive as the amount of leaked hydraulic fluid became unmanageable as the spill grew over time. Living its last days in a never-ending cycle between sustaining life and simultaneously bleeding out. (Figuratively and literally as its hydraulic fluid was purposefully made to look like it’s actual blood). The robot arm finally ran out of hydraulic fluid in 2019, slowly came to a halt and died – And I am now tearing up over a friggin robot arm that was programmed to live out this fate and no matter what it did or how hard it tried, there was no escaping it. Spectators watched as it slowly bled out until the day that it ceased to move forever. Saying that ‘this resonates’ doesn’t even do it justice imo.

Created by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, they named the piece, Can’t Help Myself. What a masterpiece.VWhat a message. “Extended interpretations: the hydraulic fluid in relation to how we kill ourselves both mentally and physically for money just in an attempt to sustain life, how the system is set up for us to fail on purpose to essentially enslave us and to steal the best years of our lives to play the game that the richest people of the world have designed. How this robs us of our happiness, passion and our inner peace. How we are slowly drowning with more responsibilities, with more expected of us, less rewarding pay-offs and less free time to enjoy ourselves with as the years go by. How there’s really no escaping the system and that we were destined at birth to follow a pretty specific path that was already laid out before us. How we can give and give and give and how easily we can be forgotten after we’ve gone. How we are loved and respected when we are valuable, then one day we aren’t any longer and we become a burden. And how our young, free-caring spirit gets stolen from us as we get churned out of the broken system that we are trapped inside of. Can also be seen to represent the human life cycle and the fact that none of us make it out of this world alive. But also can act as a reminder to allow yourself to heal, rest and love with all of your heart. That the endless chase for ‘more’ isn’t necessary in finding your own inner happiness.”
~ James Kricked Parr

Edit: I recently read that the above isn’t entirely true. Apparently the robot simply reached its exhibition end. The piece was actually shown at the 2019 Venice Art Biennale working properly.

It looks kind of sad, right?

There’s still a lot of truth though in the interpretation of the art. All art is subject to beholder’s interpretation isn’t it? If this piece evoked a response different to what authors intended, if they actually intended a specific response, it probably is just a reflection of what public carries in their minds. I mean, who could not connect to art reminding us of finity of our lives, life of us all and resources around us? Sooner or later each one of us has to come to terms with our own mortality and whilst it’s not something one wants to spend time on daily, it is good to be reminded of it, in the carpe diem way, to perhaps re-align with who we are and what we are doing and what we want to be and do.

Welcome to my blog.

On cigarettes and being present

I am waiting for the 6.16 train from Nottingham to Leeds and as I am drinking my Costa coffee, I ponder how did I end up here and what can I learn from it.

I was travelling back to the UK from Slovakia yesterday and I have bought three cartons of Davidoff cigarettes for my friend. I carried them in a plastic bag given at the Bratislava airport and somehow I managed to forget that bag on the Leeds airport link A1. It was a long journey.

I realised this when I sat down at Pret A Manger at the Leeds train station and I kind of threw the towel in, accepting I’m around £125 short repeating “Fuck it.” as a mantra in my head.

Then I told my brother about it and he said – “Why don’t you call them?”
And as much as I can say that it probably should occur to me as a possible action, it never did. I guess I was kind of blinded by my rage and anger and what not, that I simply wanted to “punish myself” for this mistake by “losing the £125” I paid for these cigarettes.

I managed to find the contact for the Flyer and messaged them over WhatsApp. I messaged them at 15.01 and at 15.31 they messaged back saying the cigarettes were found.
My sister’s boyfriend called me a lucky bastard.

And here’s the learning I can see in this story.

It has been recommended in the 12 step recovery to find someone to call or message to should we find ourselves in the state of falling back into the addiction, or should we feel we are close to giving in. Because sometimes the difference between overcoming a temptation and falling into it is just a simple message or phone call.
I dare to say that losing £125 isn’t something that would destroy me, but it also isn’t something I really want to let happen if I can help it.
And I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my brother, I would have fallen into the negative self talk (you deserved this bullshit) and I would have not messaged the Flyer management and the story would end there.

Though my brother being the brother he is, didn’t forget to add that this probably happened because I wasn’t fucking present.
Of course I wasn’t fucking present, I rarely am lol, like show me someone who is 24/7 present you dumbass.
I’ve recently finished a book by Mark Manson, Everything is fucked and he mentions Quang Duc, the Vietnamese monk that somehow managed to stay present whilst burning alive protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm in 1963. Like if we are talking about that kind of being present then I can say I’ll never achieve that and I’m okay to be present my own chaotic way as it’s kind of fun. It earned me a trip to Leeds on a fine sunny May morning and I can play some more Placebo on the train. In my books that’s a pretty good thing.

But back to the importance of support network.

We all have blind spots in our vision. There is no better way of putting it, then to say I indeed was blinded by my anger in the heat of the moment when I realised what happened. But someone else could see beyond my blind spot of anger. And chances are, in whatever situation we are, there’s always someone who can help us more than we can help ourselves and we shouldn’t be afraid, or ashamed to ask.
Though technically I did not ask my brother for help. I’ve actually been upset and just wanted to vent. Luckily, people who know us, can decipher what we are saying. Can you please help me have many different ways of spelling.

Pretty much any bad can be turned into good, or we can at least shift our perception of it. It might not always be easy, but it is almost always possible. Sitting on the morning train to Leeds, looking for some final words of wisdom to end my little piece on being present I sense my mood being nicely fuzzy and soft. I am actually happy it happened.