There are friends who are there for occasional bites and drinks. There are friends who you look up to in a few things. There are friends who look up to you. There are friends who befriend you shortly to use you when in need. There are friends who are always there when you need. There are friends who would exchange your friendship for a timely need, or a future investment. There are friends who would stay beside you despite you being an occasional mess. There are friends who make you a mess. There are friends who bring up the best in you, and make it even better. There are friends who you figure have shown you the worse before you know it is possible. There are friends who make you forget bad things are even possible. There are friends who are bundles of joy. There are friends who turn to be a big surge of unwanted bitterness. Then, there are real friends, who are all assets and no frail. It takes time for anyone to reveal, and for the friendship to take shape through ups and downs. If you do not close the door on past fails, yielding to be a hideout for accumulated fear of former pain, and do not risk extending the hand of friendship, you risk never finding the reals.
I usually pick the window seat, but this time I was sitting on the aisle seat, sleeping as always on the plane. I opened my eyes for a few seconds and saw her radiant smile, her curly hairs, her round face glowing with happiness, and her exaggerated energetic moves as she was trying to act playful following her toddler running in the aisle. No words exchanged, nor an eye contact, but I started smiling too. Affection was in the air, and feelings are contagious.
What you believe is what you deserve and big people are built of big beliefs, hearts, and expectations from themselves, people, situations, outcomes, and future. “Big people are little when they are mean. But little people are not big when they are mean”, as being mean is giving up our prime psychological defense mechanism: optimism.
Calm mode of operation with minimum resistance, avoiding any conflict, pain, movement, focus, or thinking is staying with a lukewarm head. Freeze or boil.
To earn the right to disagree, build trust, then criticize with kindness and passion for real change. As Amin Maalouf says in “In the name of Identity”, “To approach someone else convincingly you must do so with open arms and head held high, and your arms can’t be open unless your head is high”.
A pleasant morning. I woke up early, had a cup of coffee, and read a few pages of Camus’s essays on rebellion. Chill of the morning, and the light air were calling a snooze. I closed my eyes and in the first few minutes of a nap, I dreamed of an airport gate where I was taking care of an infant I did not know but apparently cared for. Meanwhile, I was talking to one of my childhood close friends, lets call her Lily, and a man I vaguely knew. At this strange departure gate, people did not get on the plane. The waiting room chairs took off with people sitting on them to join an already moving plane. Engaged in a conversation with Lily and the man, and carrying the kid, when the departure was announced all of us jumped on the same chair. Chair took off towards the plane but was too heavy to elevate. We swerved in the sky and crashed on the ground. All died and I survived. Lily’s mom rushed to pick her up as if she was right there anticipating. No one cared for the infant, and I saw myself calling the man from a phone booth to come and pick himself up. He was there, motionless on the floor, and on the other side of the line. I was indifferent to the incident, or not able to express. I was not sure. I woke up.
Morning was pleasant. My indifference in the dream reminded me of Meursault, may be since in the midst of reading Camus. Disturbed by the thought, “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd”, and the absurdity of his indifference yielding to guillotine, started reading The Stranger again.
“They look as if they belong to the same species, and yet they hate each other.”
(Salomono and the dog)
“When she laughed I wanted her again. A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so.”
“Everything is true and nothing is true!”
“As if familiar paths traced in summer skies could lead as easily to prison as to the sleep of the innocent.”
“For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.”
Subtle realities matching this extreme expressive absurd scares me: not possessing the ability to, or not willing to clearly express thoughts, facts, and needs, thus not being heard, marginalizes gradually.
“A person’s greatness is in her decision to be stronger than her condition. And if her condition is unjust, she only has one way of overcoming it, which is to be just herself.”
Resistance, Rebellion, and Death