Life is perception

I often wonder if the world sees me as I see myself.

Do people perceive me as I really am?

Am I what I think I am? I don’t even know.

For some reason, when we exhale into the world, we disguise ourselves according to the context we are breathing in. We unconsciously blend in. We say what we think we should say, not what we really want to say.

Does that change who we are?

I envy those who have the courage to stand out. They embrace their awkwardness, their creativity, their uniqueness. I tend to hide mine. Deep in the confines of my head.

Blending in puts you in a safety bubble, where you are overlooked by most and ignored by many.

In one of Maria Popova’s amazing essays, “7 things I learned in 7 years of reading, writing and living“, she teaches us something – paraphrasing Maya Angelou – that I personally took to heart: “When someone tells you who they are, believe them. When someone tries to tell you who you are, don’t believe them”.

 

Life is perception.

KurtVonnegut2-1024x485

A friend once told me that I was arrogant. I’m really not. But she perceived me as being arrogant, because of how I spoke. In thoughts, however, my speech sounded very different.

Life is perception.

“You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.” (Maria Popova)

If I consider myself kind, considerate and thoughtful – which I do – does it mean that I am also being perceived as kind, considerate and thoughtful by others?

In contrast, if others think me to be arrogant, rude and stubborn, should I be worried? Is it possible that they are right?

A few weeks ago, a friend gave his opinion on a topic we were discussing. My response was perceived as arrogant, rude and stubborn by him (and maybe it was, to some extent). I spent the following week thinking about what he said and eventually decided that he was right. I called him back and told him so. An apology of sorts. Am I still arrogant, rude and stubborn?

No. I’m human.

Life is perception. And humility.

And so it goes.

 

A poem I wrote 8 years ago, when I realized that throughout life I’d often be misunderstood:

UNKNOWN

In my lifetime
I have passed by a million people
unseen untouched unspoken
I have breathed their air
and shared their glances
looked deep into their souls
passed by them in acute silence.
I now encounter myself in the future
and I find myself
completely
unknown.

Year Long Prayer

Jeff Buckley is an artist that admire for many reasons, some being his incredible capacity to turn poetry into music, his voice, his guitar-playing skills, his passion. He was complete. He once wrote a beautiful poem, which I have replicated at the end of this post. Inspired by his poem, I wrote the following:

Year long prayer

I pray that you will smile always at the silliest things, like the uncommon brightness of the sun, the colorfully-stained mess your child made on your wall, the crunchiness of that butter-filled toast on Sunday mornings

I pray that you will kiss your lover whole, inch by inch, skin by skin, until everything is permanently stained and scarred and tainted and branded

I pray for everlasting temporary relationships for which you will cry endless tears of sorrow and happiness

I pray for true love at least once in your lifetime, even if it doesn’t last

I pray that you will enjoy full glasses of cheap red wine of the most terrible taste with your closest friends on a boring Saturday night while laughing at nothing in particular

I pray that you will wake up the next day and swear, in the midst of a catastrophic hangover, that you will never drink again (until next Saturday, of course)

I pray that you will cry with every highly uninspired holiday commercial (tears are for the courageous)

I pray for kaleidoscopic frenzies, blinding flashing lights and hypnotic music loudly playing, forcing your body to move in its rhythm, losing yourself in an abstract dream of powerful ecstasy

I pray that you will dance in each and every opportunity

I pray that you dream and in your dreams discover the beauty of your soul

I pray that you discover the magical power of forgiveness

I pray that you understand that knowledge is the most powerful weapon you will ever handle

I pray that you will accomplish all these little things that you probably won’t remember in a little while, for we have a tendency to forget everything that matters

I pray that you become free

I pray that you see

I pray for you and me

I pray

Larissa Fernandes – 2006


Jeff Buckley’s New Year’s Eve Prayer:

You my love are allowed to forget about the Christmas you just spent stressed out in your parents house

You my love are allowed to shed the weight of all the years before like bad disco clothes, save them for a night of dancing, stoned with you lover

You my love are allowed to let yourself drown every night in bottomless wild and naked symbolic dreams

You my love in sleep can unlock your youth and your most terrifying magic and dreaming is for the courageous

You my love are allowed to grab my guitar and sing me idiot love songs if you’ve lost your ability to speak, keep it down to two minutes

You my love are allowed to rot and to die and to live again more alive and incandescent than before

You my love are allowed to beat the shit out of your television, choke it’s thoughts and corrupt it’s mind kill kill kill kill the motherfucker before the song of zombiefied pain and panic and malaise and it’s narrow right winged vision and it’s cheap commercial gang rate becomes the white noise of the world (turn about is fair play)

You my love are allowed to forgive and love your television

You my love are allowed to speak in kisses to those around you and those up in heaven

You my love are allowed to show your babies how to dance full bodied, starry eyed, audacious, supernatural and glorified

You my love are allowed to suck in every single endeavor

You my love are allowed to be soaked like a lovers blanket in the New York summertime with the wonder of your own special gift

You my love are allowed to receive praise

You my love are allowed to have time

You my love are allowed to understand

You my love are allowed to love

Woman disobey

Little man believe

You my love are a rebellion

The perks of dreams

What do I want?

Some people dream of building a balloon. They want to travel the world or maybe just next door. Some want to cure cancer or AIDS and some just want to get rid of myopia. There are a few who dream of playing at the World Cup and others wish they can be healthy enough to play ball with their friends next Saturday. Some people dream of dancing like Michael Jackson and others just wish they could loosen up at a party. Some people want to pilot planes or run for Formula 1, others just want to be able to pay for this year’s family vacation or trade their old noisy car for a newer one.

Some people dream of having 5 kids, some are happy and fulfilled with a few nephews. Some people want to be rich, others just want enough. Some people want to swim at the Olympics, others wish they could see the sea for the first time. There are some who want to live to be 100, others wish their loved ones could live forever. Some people dream of having a million friends, others prefer as many as they can call every week. Some people don’t want anything and there’s all kind of people out there.

Some people wish to be loved, others are afraid to be touched. Some people dream of hearing their first I love you, some wish they hadn’t waited so long to say it. Some people dream of having the wedding of the century, others are happy living their entire lives just having that one person to talk to every day. Some people want to be big, some dream small. Some people want to grow up, some wish it hadn’t happened.

What do you want?

What I want, I will.