Narratives

All my life I’ve been obsessed with flying
The uplifting, floating, silent state of the heart
I practiced in my dreams:
Stretching my arms and waving them
Back and forth
This is my rollercoaster
I don’t like to be caged.
A beautiful bird of paradise
Mysterious in its silence
A flower,
A magnolia,
A white cat playing in the garden
Joyful people throwing a party in the vicinity during some popular celebrations
I pick up the inviting sounds
And while having my orange juice, I wonder:
What’s inside is outside, this rule of balance, does it apply to inner celebrations as well?
I laugh, I have a good mood today
But there are days, when sadder chords vibrate and that’s okay, it comes with the full palette of living.
Me jumping on a trampoline
Up and down,
The faster I go, the better
I like speed and it comes naturally.
I’m polishing my feathers
I remember:
I’m in Madrid, look where my art machine brought me
I have a taste for the extraordinary,
I’m a rebel at heart, i analyse carefully what roles life has in place for me
I took on a humanist mission and gladly, my voice reaches people
I have this way with words, it’s a great power, I need to handle it with care
I enjoy giving reassuring talks:
There’s a magic carpet awaiting for you around the corner,
I also enjoy playing with cats, activity which plays an important role in the way I build my novels.
I remember:
I was in Madrid and I ran to see that painting in the Prado Museum
I know what’s going on with me, this is why I came here to sit on this chair in front of you
Hello, Sir
It’s time to navigate this web of existential dilemmas
The Extraction of the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch
That’s the name of the painting I wanted to see in Madrid
And you know what I did when I eventually found myself standing in front of it?
I laughed:
Mad is how some people call the brilliant
And I think Hieronymus Bosch was taking a good laugh at that righteousness
I also think he liked to encode things in his paintings
And this is something which I also like to do.
I wrote a theater play about a man named Mr Wisebird
And I spent a winter reading Karl Ove Knausgard’s Struggle, about 3600 pages, 6 thick volumes
But it’s not the quantity that impresses me, but the quality
I could never be satisfied with anything else but writing,
I hope you understand that
It’s a though job, you say, Sir
I know, but i chose it.
According to a friend’s of mine definition, which I happily accepted
I have been highly successful at least in the past two years
Because I wake up in the morning
And I do what I want and like.
Nowadays, I read about one book a day to expand my consciousness and entertain myself
That’s my training, that’s my study and my passion and I have been doing this more or less since age 6
There were times when I wanted to become a psychologist
But I think I will stick to philosophy
Poetic philosophy.
I hope there’s someone out there who can fully understand my sensibility
The waiting thrills and the downfalls that happen in the heart only
So now you know that I have the habits of the poets:
The curse and the gift of searching for deep connections up there in the clouds
Sky rocket high
My first book is about this: the quest for balance inside the heart
While keeping the mind on cruise mode
Okay, I will bring you my book next time
So you say what I actually miss is public
And love is always welcomed, I may add
There is no need to run away from who we truly are
There’s no need to avoid our dreams
I carry a bird in my chest
And the time has come to let it fly.
I have a painting in my room with a Lady Cyclops, I once dreamt the painting will travel to Japan
And the first time I entered Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, I think I was experiencing the Stendhal Syndrome because it was so beautiful and it’s all the meaning of art there: a loveful dedication to bringing into reality the purest part of us, the one that can be met in our dreams only
I almost shed some tears as well the first time I saw my painting of Mr Wisebird hanging in a gallery
In Paris
Because of the meaning
Of it all.

Narratives, 2017-edited in 2019
Art & Poetry: Laura Livia Grigore

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There is a pigeon on your shoulder, Sir

The way you stand here, in this round square,
Overssized, incomplete and silent
Surrounded by trees and pigeons
With that hole in your chest
Close to your shoulder,
It impresses me,
I let my sensibility run free uplately.
It touches me
Although your hands are made of stone
I look at you
And your expression froze forever.
I wander who carved you and why.
I wander
If the artist who left you here
Loved art or just loved love
And what is the difference between the two, if I may ask,
Dear Sir.
Art is the time suspension
An intense addiction to a fragile moment
And only this fragility could give sense to our existence
Everything else passes in the blink of an eye
I came to sit in front of you
On this bench
And surrender in front of one of the greatest pleasures: contemplation.
You remind me of the statue of a prince who gave away his last sapphire,
His eye,
Out of kindness.
I imagine he went on blinking, blind as he was.
I walked the streets in the shadow
Alone, as usually
As I age, I’m becoming more distant
Everything I live happens somewhere inside me
The disquiet
The restlessness
The flights.
There is a pigeon on your shoulder, Sir.
You remind of all the people who lived their
love alone
At the border of imagination
Where everything is hopeless and hopeful
Where everything is possible and impossible
For a blink of an eye
Although you and me
Know
It’s
Forever.

2016

Art & Poetry: Laura Livia Grigore

The Magnolia

I waited a long time for the magnolia to blossom
And when it finally did, I was happy
I took a sit next to it and I watched everything in silence.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And it was mid afternoon when the first group arrived
They took pictures and marvelled
How beautiful, they said.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And more and more people started arriving by train, by bus
By flying carpet.
They queued around the corner
Equipped with binoculars and cameras to enhance their vision
To bring beauty closer
And to capture it
To catch for a little fraction of a second the time of beauty.
The news about the magnolia blossoming spread fast
And more and more tourists
Noisy and impatient,flooded the streets of the neighborhood where the magnolia blossomed.
I was sitting next to it, observing everything in silence
I sometimes smiled, I sometimes frowned
And there were days when I welcomed them with a white parrot on my shoulder and told them ancient stories about delicacy
And the secret of the man who thought he owned a palm tree in a city where snow can reach half a meter.
This is not my magnolia, I said, this is my friend
If you want, we can all take a sit and watch it
I have prepared several rows of chairs for those interested,
For those genuinely interested
In beauty.
Please be gentle
This is a very delicate tree, if it doesn’t like something, the flowers close
And you won’t even have the time to realise what happened.
Among the many passsers-by, there were some who knew how to respect the magnolia
And some who didn’t
There were some who got in front of it and tried to catch my attention with their noise
But I was already getting indifferent towards what is not worth seeing
So I had to use my magic power, close one eye and make them vanish from my sight
And they yelled louder and I just said calmly: I want to watch the magnolia.
Among all the visitors, there was a lady, who approached me
And told me a melodramatic story:
The magnolia was her favourite flower in childhood
and
slyly,
asked me to cut one flower and give it to her.
Me to cut it and her to have it.
And i almost fell in the trap
And I had to close both my eyes and dive deeply inside myself
I said
no
you wouldn’t know what to do with it
And if I cut only one flower, my friendship with the magnolia will be over
It would be as if cutting the link between beauty and freedom.
I got back to my chair, I took a sit and went on observing the magnolia and world circus.

The Magnolia, April 2018
Art and poetry: Yours Truly

Healing. Episode 21: The Starry Night Costume

“Do you like the costume I made for you, Elena?”
“Wow, yes, I don’t even know what to say…”
Doctor Elena Heart, renowned Soul Surgeon and Healer at the Soul Transformation Clinic is wearing a Scheveningen blue gown with Starry Night printed on it.
“I knew you had talent as a Soul Surgeon, you are so attentive and considerate, but I did not expect this! It fits perfectly”
“Yes because it’s especially tailored for you! (Paris smiles) Van Gogh helped me. He said Starry Night reflects your true colours. And then Scheherezade proposed that we make you this foldable magic carpet bag and then Carl Jung said it’s a good time to offer it to you. Everyone participated. And Goran, of course, he said it’s time for another party! Even Garcia Marquez submitted his vote for “blue”, and added a comment: “I am the creator of the Blue Dog. Blue is my favourite colour and I will take inspiration from Doctor Elena Heart, renowned Soul Surgeon and Healer at the Soul Transformation Clinic and train the Blue Dog in the same way she tamed the four panthers and why not, maybe make him a Blue God, like our Collaborator from South America suggested!”
Having said that, Paris presents a big smile, while behind him 77 orange cat guards, each of them wearing an Amazonian butterfly on their nose, perform a well coordinated dance-and-purr.
But Elena Heart, in her new Scheveningen Blue gown with Starry Night print and the foldable magic carpet bag on her shoulder, is still unable to articulate more.
“What’s the matter, Elena, you don’t like it?” Paris looks at her with deep concern.
“Oh yes, I do! it’s just that I am not used to this, I am the one who usually takes care of all the soul patients, I’m not used to someone taking care of me. This is deeply touching.”
“Oh Elena…,

I think we just need to relax in order to fully enjoy our Transformation.
It’s time to go to Magic Pools!
Elena, please unfold your magic carpet bag, everyone take your seats. Hopefully we will also get a chance to visit Galileo Galilei in Alpha Centauri!”

This being said, the story goes on and our readers are waiting impatiently to see what’s there at the Magic Pools. Are the fountains singing? What colour is the water? Do Elena Heart and Paris have matching swimsuits with Starry Night print…?! All these and many more in our next episodes!

Text& Art: Laura Livia Grigore

The Truth Project: Free Will, Transformation, Self Responsibility and Social Dynamics

In one of my previous texts, I was explaining that free will is a pre-requisite for transformation. That is, people need to be aware of their agency.

Furthermore, free will is linked to self responsibility, while self responsibility (or its lack) plays a crucial role in social dynamics and determines the role people play in the trust game or the blame game. (See previous post on this).

For demonstration purpose, we will again artificially divide the world into self responsible and irresponsible people.

Also, as a general definition, when I say self responsible, I refer to self responsibility for own life and ideally, the sum of all responsibilities deriving from the functional roles people take in life produces some synergistic effects.

At the other side of the spectrum, self irresponsible people tend to accumulate burden after burden. This does not necessarily imply they are irresponsible in certain areas of commitment. It means, that as a whole, at life system level, the life machine doesn’t work smoothly and it produces some scratching sounds (similar to those when someone tries to learn to play a violin, arggghhh, sorry for the explicit acoustic depiction :)) But without passing through that phase, one cannot reach mastery and the violin can also produce some very beautiful sounds, if handled properly.

The self responsible and the self irresponsible are two extremes of the spectrum, with many tonalities, colours (insert preferred scale here) in between.

And now we will take both of them and integrate them in society! And because we feel practical today, we will make use of the “How?” question (“Why” is still the preferred question of philosophers, but may turn out to be not very practical as it tends to make some people turn defensive :)) )

How to spot a self responsible person?
Look in the mirror! Hahaaa I’m joking. It’s a compliment for my readers and collaborators. If you read this far, it means that at least this topic catches your interest, if you are not fully immersed in our life philosophy.
A self responsible person makes often use of pronouns such as “I” at personal level: “I am”, “I feel”, “I want”, “I did”, “I will” and “We” at collective level.

A self irresponsible person makes often use of pronouns such as “you” , “he”, “she”, “they”. Responsibility is somewhere outside, not inside.

Again, this is a very rough approximation, I’m using typologies for demonstration purposes. Real life employs a full palette of subtleties and subdivision of categories etc.

When faced with challenge or hardship, a self responsible person will tend to internalise the issue at hand and identify areas of improvement. That is: “what can I do about this?” “How can I change it?” “What can I do differently?” “What is up to me to do, in line with my skills, resources etc?” ” What can I learn from this?” How can I evolve?” This mindset is not only beneficial for those who use it, individuals emerging stronger and wiser from life experiences, but for the societies they integrate themselves in.

On the other hand, when faced with hardship, a self irresponsible person will tend to assign blame on the outside. And then the country, the system, the group or other entities one is part of can be held responsible and accountable (and why not even the boogie man) With this mindset, evolution is blocked. If the boogie man is responsible for one’s problem, then the boogie man should solve it. If the problem is the country, then the country will solve it. If the problem is the system, then the system will solve it.

While you wait. And life passes.

Similarly, the source of hope can be placed outside and then waiting for Godot starts.

I am not saying that problems with countries, systems or boogie men are not real, but a truly constructive mindset is: “what is my share of the problem? (as part of the above mentioned entities”) and “what can I do about it?”

If the answer to the two questions above is “none” and “nothing” (that is, you choose nihilism according to the poem Choose by Yours Truly), there’s nothing to despair about also, you can still adjust the scale to “something” and so on. And when your answer is plenty (and you’re happy about it), then congrats, you have found passion.

Text and Art: Laura Livia Grigore

The Truth Project: A Successful Transformation

My previous poem, Choose, is addressed to individuals who already have the practice of free will and are self conscious enough to know that what they are doing is because they choose to do so. I simplified it and even dramatized it a bit for mere spectacle purpose (well, artists…) I also included my personal bias towards growth 😀 I will implement it in a nice little programme. Because, why not, poetry needs to keep up with technology. Or is it technology that needs to keep up with poetry? Or both.

In reality, of course, things are not that simple. At every moment of time, there’s a full palette of possibilities (structured on categories) and from a transformation perspective, we are faced with at least three choices: regression, stagnation or progression.

Stagnation means default mode on and regarding the energy consumption, this is the least consuming.

Why some people are reluctant to change, while others embrace it open heartedly? In order to respond to this question, we will artificially divide the world into pessimists and optimists. Coarsely, those who resent change are those who expect negative outcome, while those who embrace it, expect positive outcome.

Mindset matters and it matters a lot. (My choice for words in my poem Choose is not random, as they represent attitudes or traits or concepts, which are common to all human beings and can be subject to adjustments.)
So change doesn’t necessarily mean progress, it can also mean regress or stagnation. And it’s a risk we should have in mind, when faced with the possibility of change. And this implies assuming the possibility of an undesired outcome and thus the outcome itself.

The truth is transformation is not for everyone. Furthermore, in depth transformation is for the very few. Those who are willing to put some effort into it and approach change head on. Those who can walk mountain after mountain, with its peaks and valleys and integrate the lessons of their journey.

The more refined truth is that the only ones we can successfully transform is ourselves because that’s the truly controllable part of our life experience. We can try to influence others, we can try to explain, we can provide access to knowledge, we can try to demonstrate what to do or not to do for a meaningful life, but how they take is ultimately up to them.

Every person is responsible for their own life, what they say, how they say, what they do, what they transmit. This is what being in control of our power means, to know well what our resources are (emotional, intellectual etc), and what we can do with them, for the good or for the bad.

From a relationship point of view (see previous post on Relationships), what falls onto our ground is if we accept what we receive from the others or not, if it’s something nice and useful, if we appreciate it (and express it) and if it doesn’t fit our taste, if we tolerate it or not and if we tolerate, to what degree (and again, express it) And how we express it is also important, as communication is an area in constant need of improvement, as it is our key tool in connection. Briefly, good communication means connection, bad communication means disconnection.

This, with all its subtleties, is the perpetual dance and exchange between human beings.

Regarding transformation and going back to my poem Choose,
In reality, transformation is possible by degrees of freedom and over time. We can take each line of the poem and assign it a numerical scale and track progress, stagnation or regression over a period of time. And then plot a nice graph, entitled “My free will in relationship to humanity.”

People

A boy
Looking all day long at plants through the microscope
And then painting them,
Painting colourful functional diagrams in blue and green,
Obsessively.
At night, he pulls the blinds and looks outside the window
He has bright eyes, a grey cat and a telescope.

Let the window open
And let the mystery walk inside
My mind.

A man,
The only one,
Who owns a palm tree in a city where snow can reach half a meter
A tall palm tree,
Taller then the fence
Two times taller
Three time taller
A man who owns a palmtree in a hidden garden
And I, mere observer, will not disclose its location.

Let the mystery be.

A bar in the old town
Which popped up like a pretty mushroom
Standing on the misty edge of nostalgia
A bar called Taste of Lisbon
I guess it’s meant to feed poets
Poets who are forever hungry,
As far as I know.

A woman
Trying out a new method of escapism
As if trying out a glove
Or a hat
Or a pair of sunglasses.
Testing her winged feet for endurance
Testing myths into reality,
Playing chess and waiting,
Until waiting doesn’t make sense anymore.

People, 2018

The Feathers of Mr. Wisebird

***
I wrote this two character story about love and fears in late 2015-spring 2016. It was published on artparasites.com in episodes. I still hope to see it staged one day and why not, maybe act in it.

All the best and fly high,

Laura

***

How deep is your talk
First act : A flirt, a flying lesson or a life philosophy.

-Nobody can tell how long an adventure would last.
-Yes, true, but I don’t want to waste my emotional energy. I am looking for something more stable.
-You know, I am like a bird, I am one day in Africa, the next in Thailand. And you want a wingless bird.
-Ha! I want a wingless bird! I want the bird with the biggest wings. But it’s hard to find, of course.
-Wings to hug or to fly?
-Both. I want a bird that would fly with me, not fly away from me. I wrote this once in a poem: there are people who would try to cut off your wings because they cannot imagine themselves with wings. I don’t want to constrain you, but it’s my freedom to choose what I need. You know, I sometimes cannot help thinking that where the freedom of one person starts, the freedom of another ends.
-I will not cut off your wings.
-Okay.
-I will let you fly low so that you can land easily.
-Ha, but I don’t want to land.
-You don’t want to consume emotional energy. And there is no flight without energy consumption.
-I flew many times. I just want to fly differently. There are many kinds of birds with many different wing colours.
-And what strange bird are you?
-The Phoenix.
– This is me taking a rest. (He shows her a picture of a tropical bird.) And this is me flying afterwards. (An image with the tropical bird flying away from a tree.)
-This is me flying. (She shows him a painting of a bird). Nice feathers you have, by the way.
– What’s there in your painting? Is it a heart the bird is trying to fly away from?
-Hmm. I didn’t look at it like this. A wise bird you are!

-Your drawing looks as if the bird is trying to fly away from the heart.
-Hmm, now that you tell me, I see you are right. There are times when I draw something and it takes me weeks to understand it. I act as if I am possessed by art. You know those lyrics from Leonard Cohen? “I live my life as if it’s real, a thousand kisses deep.”
-You are flying, but in a limited space. Your fears are your limits. You are running away from yourself.
-This is idealistic and challenging! (meditative look) I will think about it. You are a wise bird! (enchanted smile) Where did you get this wisdom?
-I look at nature. If something makes me sad, instead of over thinking about it, I take a walk in nature and look around me. I try to be present.
-I will try as well, next time I go for a walk. The truth is I tried many times, but I am always distracted by something inside my mind. You know what the problem with human interactions is? We spend happiness together, but sadness is a solitary experience. And what do you do with your sadness? If you refuse to let it in, isn’t this a sort of running away? Where do you put your sadness? Do you carry it with you or you just drop it somewhere? And aren’t you afraid that it will hit someone else? I don’t want to make somebody else carry my sadness. It is my responsibility.
-You are clinging to sadness and your thoughts put a lot of pressure on yourself. But the only way to release the pressure of sadness, it is to let it go.
We spend our days running. But when we will be old, what will we remember? This chase? No, we will remember what we did. We spend our present in fear and our future in regrets. But when will we have time to live?
-I don’t have too many regrets, but fears, yes, I still have.
-The chains you put on yourself, you can shake off them off one by one. And only when you will stop waiting for your fears not to happen, you will be able to truly enjoy life. Life passes, you know, and it’s nobody else’s choice but yours, if you let it pass in fear or not.
-Yes, true. I sometimes wonder where have all the romantics gone.
-They are afraid, just like you. They hide because they are afraid no one understands them. Just let yourself be what you want and don’t worry about the others.
-But how can I fly without minding the others?
-You are the others. And you will go on reflecting them until you understand this. They will either go on living enchained by their own sorrow and fears or they will follow you in your flight. And maybe you will cross wings with other kinds of birds that you didn’t even imagine . Birds only need to fly high. You have a flight potential that is still unknown to you. You are a dreamer.
-Yes. (proud grin)
-So, what’s your loveliest dream? The one you think about often?
-I don’t have one that is repeating itself. I think about many things.
-So you’re dream is to keep dreaming.
-(Surprised look) But, you know, the drawing can be also interpreted like this: the bird is not flying away from the heart, it is flying with the heart. Its flight is propelled by the heart and leaves a trace of emotions behind.
-You’re getting closer to solving a classical dilemma: the one between the head and heart. Only when your thoughts will be unchained, your heart will be as well. There are no half measures in freedom. You either have it or not. But you cannot have freedom all the time. And now we introduce another unknown in this life equation: time. Do birds fly all the time or they sometimes rest as well? Even wise birds need to rest. (He goes to sleep) Good night.
-But tell me, Mr Wisebird, where do we go when we sleep?
-(Silence.)

Act 2: A voyage to solitude
Next morning, he walks in, fully dressed as a bird. She is fully dressed as a human. The talk starts abruptly.
-How are you feeling today?
-I have this bearable, but unpleasant feeling. It’s called loneliness. It is triggering all my fears, including the fear of loneliness itself.
-Why are you afraid of loneliness? You have been alone for a long time, you know how it feels like, you survived it.
-Yes, true, I even enjoyed it. But we are social creatures, we need someone to talk to. Even when we are completely alone, we still talk, by remembering others, by imagining them. It’s like a background sound that accompanies us all throughout our life. When it stops, the unknown starts.
-You know loneliness. Don’t be afraid of something you already know. It’s like when you have a wisdom tooth extracted for the second time, you know how it feels like, yes, it hurts, but you are not scared anymore. This is how we conquer fear, step by step.
-But there is always the unknown left to fear.
-How many things do you know about yourself? How much of you is known and how much unknown? We carry the unknown inside us and that is what you fear. You fear yourself, but you are the fear creator. You fuel your fears.
-Sometimes I feel I am running in circles.
-Yes, circles, yes! From fear to regret and back to fear. We regret the past and fear the future or even worse, we expect the future to compensate for the past. Imagine life is a circle, you are running on its circumference, the regrets follow you and the fears go ahead you. But you truly live only when you are in the center of the circle. That is the present. The rest is a bubble that surrounds you.
-And only the outside of the bubbles touch each other. We are just rubbing each others fears and regrets. Sometimes it’s hard to reach that burning core of other people.
-This is why you need to break off your own bubble. It is the only thing you can really control. But the others can always teach you something. You know, from every relationship I learnt something. There was this girl that thought me I need to communicate more about who I really am, but I had spent a long time alone together with her before I understood that,
-That is the greatest loneliness: to be alone with someone else.
-And then, there was this girl who taught me kindness when I was busy defending my hurt ego and drenching in self pity.
And there was this girl who taught me that nobody can escape anger, no matter how kind. She also taught me something very valuable, she refused to respond to my anger, she waited for the tempest to pass and said: I know you have a temper.
-And you melted.
-Yes. It was totally unexpected.
-If I think well, the best times I had were when I didn’t expect anything. But then, something happened and the fear machine started again.
-It’s human.
-Mr Wisebird, what do you think I will learn from you?
-I will try to teach you how human you are.
-Mr Wisebird, how do you keep your wings this shinny?
-I fly often.
-And you can call me Will. We’re friends now.
Flying exit.

-Mr Wisebird, come back. I have a confession to make.
-You do? Okay, tell me. (Circles the scene and then takes a sit , next to her. He opens up a bit his bird costume.) Flying makes me feel hot. (Wink)
-I feel a bit hot also. Maybe it’s my desire to fly. Maybe this has been my problem all the time. My desire gets ahead of reality and I like so much, that I close my eyes in front of the obvious.
-Your intuition works well. You just disconsider it. I think we would be much happier if we used more these two powerful tools that we have: intuition and imagination. When you find yourself running in circles with no apparent reason, you can always turn to your dreams for guidance.
-I had this dream once: a white canvas with two stripes of pink and ceruleum blue. It was something so comforting about that dream.
-And what happened next?
-I put my dream into practice. And here I am today, talking to a bird! (She laughs. )
-A wise bird.
-(She laughs again). How do I know you are a wise bird or just a fool?
-(Offended) You don’t trust me.
-(Sad look) I wish I would. I can be so mistrustful at times and so naive at other times. I trusted other people before and what did they do? They stepped on it (angry look) and I stayed there bemused, wondering whose fault is it, mine or theirs.
-Yours for believing or their for betraying your expectations?
-Mine for hoping and theirs for not being sufficiently self-aware?
– We are not responsible for the behavior of other people. And hope is nothing to feel guilty about. But there’s a difference between the hope you make others carry on their shoulders and the abstract hope that is the fuel of life.
-Is despair something to feel guilty about?
-Despair is a punishment we apply on ourselves for our high hopes we place on others. But if you go back to that abstract source of hope I was talking about, you will see there is an unlimited amount of hope you can keep creating.
-Oh, Mr Wisebird, you make me feel better. (Smile)
-Now everything I have to do is to make you laugh. (Smile)
-(She laughs) (Turning meditative) All men say that.
-And now birds as well. (Stretches his wings and rearranges them a bit.) If they say that, they mean it.
-And then, what? They vanish and find someone else to make laugh and I end up here, questioning life.
-Permanence is the greatest illusion of them all. You are clinging to a static image, trying to reduce time to silence. But as we are speaking, time keeps flowing. It is your choice if you want to be surfing on top of the wave or standing where the waves brake.
If other people do mistakes, it’s in front of their inner judge they will have to respond to, sooner or later.
-Mr Wisebird, the confession I was talking about at the beginning…
-Yes, tell me. The confession in front of a human being is one of the most important stages in healing.
-I…I tried to change other people. I told them how they should be when they didn’t ask for it.
-I understand. Learning how to love is an art, but like all the other arts, it can be learnt. Patiently.
You cannot change the way people are, even if you see clearly what their problem is. Everybody will get their revelations at the right time for them. You should not force your teachings to anyone. You should just blow them in the wind and who needs them, who has the ears, the heart, the patience, the interest, will pick them up.
-Mr Wisebird, I have another confession to make. I…I received sn invitation to a poly amorous community. (Shy look)
-(Laughs). You did? Hahaaaa. We’ll discuss this next time. Everybody likes to hear about sex, we’ll make the audience happy.
(Music. The curtain drops.)

Act 3: The spring feelings, a dancing lesson about life enjoyment

Next day, she enters the scene running, carrying a big pile of paper.
-Mr Wisebird, we have mail! (Excited) From India, Brasil, South Africa! (Emotional crescendo) Peru! (Turning meditative) Why do you think they listen to us?
He sits with his legs crossed and studies a painting by Arcimboldo.
-Hey, Mr Wisebird! What are you doing?
-(Undisturbed) I am trying to understand art.
-Oh, I see!
-But I think the best way to understand art is to practice it yourself. (Grabs the pile of paper from her hands and puts them on his head. He starts dancing) They listen to us because it is as if they listen to themselves. Life is a game of mirrors. Every one can be a wisebird. There are 7 billion wisebirds on this planet. (Keeps dancing. Tropical music on the background)
-Mr Wisebird, are you high?
-Sometimes. (Big grin) I am just trying to enjoy life. I read a fable last night. It was about a fox who couldn’t reach the grapes, so she said they are sour. (Laughs until he loses his breath)
-I don’t understand.
-My Lady, what you should understand is that I want to dance with you. (They dance. She still looks confused. He goes on talking)
-Until those grapes ripe, you could try enjoying life more. Aren’t you tired of complaining? What is that you want? Something you cannot reach? Miss, are you by any chance attracted to the impossible? (Witty smile). And then of course you get sad because the impossible remains impossible.
-Hmm.
-And to make everything more complicated, you are not just a fox, but an idealistic fox. (Goes on smiling)
-Birds, foxes, what’s the thing with all these animals in the end?
-In dreams, they symbolise the instincts. It’s the same with art or theatre plays.
-So you are trying to say that I have an instinct pulling me towards the impossible?
-No. The instincts are meant to keep us alive. It is when you disconsider them that you become torn apart. For instance, the instinct to dance with me (Smiles again), you denied it at first. So that you could go on living in your bubble, imagining things. (Turning dramatical) To be or not to be, this is the question. To live or to dream, this is my wisebird question.
(They keep dancing around the scene. After a couple of minutes, he adds:)
When you think there is nothing left to do, you could just go on dancing. Gracefully. Tell people who you are and what you like to do.
(She turns to the audience)
-I am 1.80 of poetry. I live in a bubble that I’ve created . I am the strangest creature I have ever met, I don’t know how Don Quijote and Gulliver managed to fit in the same person. I like searching for rare birds, talking to them and about them. I am sometimes joyful, at other times, stiff, grumpy and sad. (Stops a little to think) I want to go on dancing.
-Good. This is the beginning of everything. You need to know what you want.
-And now tell me about you, Mr Wisebird.
-I am everything you want me to be. But imagine me as an imaginary person. We can have everything that we please only in imagination.
-Yes, I know. The ideals are meant to remain ideals. What belongs to imagination, should stay in imagination. You asked me what I like. (Getting excited) I like handsome men and beautiful women. I like searching for the beauty within. I like witty, sensitive, intelligent persons. But most of all, I like sincerity. Do you think I ask for too much? (Worried look) (They go on dancing. She keeps talking, lost in some daydreams) And Gulliver said: let love come to me. And Don Quijote agreed: I will welcome it. (Excited smile)
-We both seem a bit high.
-(She smiles again) Spring has arrived. These are the spring feelings.

Act 4: How to deal with your emotions in a wisebird-style

The next day, they meet and talk again. This time, the conversation turns to emotions.
-Mr Wisebird, is there such a thing like feeling too much? Loving too much?
-No.
-Is there a point that we reach when we should say: I loved enough?
-What is too much for them, could be too little for you. It is a matter of compatibility. You should just look for someone that can appreciate this. Wisebirds appreciate this. Wink.
-Wink back.
-You know what I dislike the most? When people try to manipulate my emotions. I spot this attempt immediately. Or when they try to avoid direct confrontation with my feelings. Is this avoidant behavior necessary?
-If they run away from their own feelings, why do you think they would approach yours?(Laughs) But what they don’t know is that when they step on someone’s heart, they also step on theirs.
-I have such a sensitive nature, I can transpose myself in their hearts and understand how they feel and then I end up with two emotional points of views of a situation. Torn apart and stuck. It’s good for art, but it’s not good for my heart. (Laughs) Here, you have a little poem.
– It’s within your nature to be like this. But what you sometimes see as a curse, you could also see as a gift. And it’s good that you invest all this emotional energy into art. You direct it outwards and it’s constructive, instead of directing it inwards in a destructive manner. It’s good. You are in harmony with your way of being.
-There are so many people who run away from their true way of being. (She stops for a while and then goes on) I’ve been to a party last night. And I felt like a spy among them, looking at them and wondering how their lifes are. How they seem to be busy all the time. For a second I felt guilty for not doing anything in the past three days. (Laughs) Except for thinking all the time. But then I started wondering how many of them did something meaningful in the past three days. How they seem to be running on a tight schedule: work time, party time, running all the time, as if they are trying to forget something. As if they keep postponing asking themselves what life is about. And then I look around and wondered whom I could talk about what is really important.
-Did you find any wisebird? (Smile)
-Yes, there was one undercover. (Smiles as well) And I dont why, but I remembered all the wisebirds that I met. How some got away from my life, how some remained. How some of them turned into strangers until I couldn’t recognize them anymore. As if you look at a picture with someone and wonder if it is the same person that you loved. And what made them change towards you, which fear or what great wound from the past hindered them to deepen the relationship and pulled them away from you to another life, that seems so strange and different and has nothing to do with you anymore? And then I remembered my dearest wisebird, the one who changed me forever, the one I think about so often. There are encounters in life, which have this electric quality, they transform you forever. And even if I suffered -it’s unavoidable- if I were to live it again, I would live it exactly as it was. It was beautiful. I never wanted to change the past.
-Yes, I sometimes tell people: the past is your biggest teacher and it is called the past because it is not coming back. But what you could do is to apply what you learned in the future.
-Not in the future, in the present. The only thing that is truly graspable is the present.
-You are turning wise yourself. I’m impressed!
– Thanks, Mr Wisebird. I’ll take it as a compliment from such an exquisite bird like you.
-You’re welcome. (They go on exchanging compliments)
-Oh thanks, Mr Wisebird. It’s very kind of you! I am glad you encourage me, you know, I don’t react well to criticism.
-Who would?
-Yes, true. I always try to encourage people and make them see the bright side of a situation. What’s the use of putting barriers in front of their dreams? A kind word will cost me nothing.
-But did you notice there are people who expect to be treated badly. They put themselves unconsciously in a situation out of which nothing good can come out.
-The masochists!
-But just a little awareness of self-worth and self respect could works wonders.
-Yes, I think self awareness should be at the base of all human interactions. Because only if you are aware of your true potential, the good and the bad you are capable of, then you can control it. Otherwise, you just blame everything on the others.
-Mr Wisebird, did you notice that the more intelligent a person is, the more refined the cruelty that person is capable of?
-This is why I appreciate kindness as the greatest virtue. Human nature is like this: we are capable of both good and bad, but we are granted the power to choose.
-Kindness is choice.
-Wisdom is a choice.
-Love is a choice.
(They go on with this choice game and start talking faster and faster, until their voices melt into an undefined sound.) At some point they stop and lay next to each other, catching their breaths. -Choosing something is tiring. This is why most of the people just go with the flow. (They laugh). -No reward without a little effort.
-The promised paradise. (They laugh again)
– Self awareness is a safe ground that we could built on. Otherwise, our construction might crack.
-Yes, I agree. But let people build what they want, if it cracks, they will start building again. That’s it. When you realize you’ve been doing something wrong or that life hit you, you lay on the ground a little bit, but then you dust yourself off, you get up and start walking again. That’s life.
(They remain silent for a while. All of a sudden, he says:)
-You said two nights ago that you would tell me about that invitation you received at the poly amorous community. (flirty look)
-I did? (Laughs) Next time.
-But until next time, do you mind if I kiss you now? There is something about wisebirds you might not be aware of: they are impatient. (flirty look again)
-(She laughs) Easy, Mr Wisebird. If you really want me, you will need to seduce me.

Act 5 Love supreme, the great disappointments and the great satisfactions

Mr Wisebird sits on an armchair, fully absorbed in reading a text. Somebody knocks on the door. He interrupts his lecture and looks towards the door. The knocks go on, in a slow, but determined pace, almost musical. She walks in, carrying a luggage.
-Mr Wisebird, I am leaving.
-Oh. But why?
-Reality calls.
-You seem disappointed.
-I am half idealist, half sensual. And this is the recipe for great disappointments or great satisfactions. And sometimes I feel I had enough either with my idealism, either with my sensuality. It is very hard to match the two.
-I understand. (Meditative) And what do you plan to do there where you are going? You said you are heading towards… reality?
-I don’t know. To accept it? (She sighs) You know, I feel I need to constantly adjust my beliefs, with every disappointment, I need to go back somewhere deep inside myself and search for that seed of optimism. But the truth is so many people are selfish or mean.
-They are like this out of disappointment as well.
-I know. But they drain all my energies. It seems easier something to try to heal the world instead of dealing with a particular individual. That’s how idealist I am. (She smiles)
-But if you let them make you bitter, it is not because of them, but because you accepted to become bitter.
-I accept too many things, that’s my problem. And there are people who think my kindness is an everlasting spring they get connected to and they can keep demanding.
I accept many things, maybe it is within my feminine nature, but then at some point, I start pulling the chains and I run away. And I sometimes feel sorry for those who wanted to or thought they possessed me. But they didn’t make an effort to understand my innermost nature, I don’t give it to someone easily. I don’t fall in love everyday, Mr Wisebird. (Laughs) But like all human beings, I sometimes get carried away by my passion. And those who wanted to or thought they possessed me, they come back and say: you have much more to offer then I first thought. And I feel both like laughing and yelling at them. But they just have other visions upon life and our inner timing did not match.
And there comes a time when I withdraw. Back to my idealist world of fantasy.
-But you said you want to head towards reality this time.
-Yes, I thought it would be nice if I try to grow up. (Smiles) I’m 29, you know.
-Oh, I am 29 thousands years old, too!(She looks at him surprised) But I still feel young.
-Mr Wisebird, you’ve been smoking again! (She laughs)
-(He goes on) I remember the first time I wanted to grow up. It was the spring of my 22 thousands anniversary. But I am glad I didn’t. What would I have become? This childish, naive, idealistic quality of yours is what pushes you forward. It makes you keep believing in wonders of all kinds. -You know, sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who has the capacity to marvel at the beauty of life. Nobody seems to believe in magic anymore. They are not looking for the charm of being. They don’t let themselves be surprised by life. They want to control everything. But how can we control everything when we don’t even know who we are and where we are going. This control is an illusion.
-Yes, at the source of happiness there is the ability to believe.
-And still, I am unhappy. (She goes on) I was walking yesterday night in a park. There were some giant stone statues and a yellow light falling on them. I found them beautiful and at the same time I was aware of my great loneliness, that nothing seems to cure, I just need to learn how to accept it. This is why I thought it’s time to head for reality. And as I was looking at those statues, it crossed my mind that my idealism might have collapsed and broke into pieces. What I build during the day, I destroy during the night. There are times when I loose hope that somebody both idealist and sensual exist. Because I have met the idealist, I have met the sensual, but in different persons and only in imagination I can put together the pieces and create an image that can fully satisfy me. And when I meet reality, it seems almost disrespectful towards my creation and towards me, its creator. (Sighs)
So I thought a stroll in reality would do me good, this is why I packed my luggage and decided to leave and live: I want to know if I a person half idealist and half sensual exists.
-Come here. (He approaches her and pulls her towards to mirror.) Look, this person exists. It’s you. The rare bird you are looking for exists, it’s you.
-A lonely, sad bird.
(She laughs) Mirrors are dangerous, Mr Wisebird. They can trap us in a case of self erotica.
-Yes, they are. I am just trying to give you the grounds to keep believing. And when you will meet what you want, you can break this mirror. But until then, you need to prepare yourself, to understand your complexity.
-Oh, this damn complexity. Sometimes I wish things were more simple. I sometimes wish I were able to lead a simple life, no thoughts, no worries.
-But you said it at the beginning. The troubled people, split between one thing and another, between idealism and sensuality, for instance, are those capable of great disappointments and great satisfactions. Now, just think, is it worth it? Think about how high you can get in those times of happiness. You just need to accept your nature. This is not an universal recipe, but one that I tailored especially for you.
-Although acceptance is good for everyone, it can sooth so many existential troubles. Thank you, Mr Wisebird, I will think about your words as I stroll around reality, observing it.
-And remember, you can always come back to me for a talk and a little encouragement. (Wisebird smile)
-I will keep you informed. Good bye, Mr Wisebird.
-Good bye.
(She starts walking away slowly. At some point, she stops, turns back to him and says) -You know what I am looking for, Mr Wisebird? Maybe you already understood this.
-What?
-I am looking for the love supreme.

Act 6: a letter to Mr Wisebird from Ithaca

Time passes after her departure. On the background, there is a film running, with trains, glasses of wine and people bumping into each other. The scene is being lit slowly. She is at the beach and seems to be writing something. Every now and then, she stops and looks at the horizon.

Dear Mr Wisebird,

I am writing you from Ithaca. It feels good here, I spend the days half lazy dreaming about all kinds of things. My life has changed since I met the collector. I think I am becoming a little wiser also. I discovered the mind is twisted, there is always something to worry about, even when there is no apparent reason to do so. But now I have a mood control system that I am trying to apply. This mood control system is actually very simple: I just need to be aware of how I feel and act accordingly. But, unfortunately, I still punch people in the eye with my blunt honesty sometimes. I still behave like a wounded dragon if my majesty in love is threatened. But I also discovered that the road to happiness might be very simple: you need to do what you like and be careful not to wound the others.
In one of the islands I visited, I met a healer, he held me close and kissed me and told me that I am actually more balanced then I thought: I use both my mind and my heart. And I felt split for so long! But with just a little change in the viewpoint, the ensemble seems lightened compared to all that darkness I visited. I want to thank you, Mr Wisebird, for planting the seeds of hope in my soul. Without hope, we are nothing. I don’t know where I will head next after Ithaca, I feel at home here after feeling like a wandering stranger for so long. I have the Ulysses syndrome, dear Mr Wisebird, and all the strangers I am attracted to are just reflecting the way I sometimes feel, as if I am a familiar stranger to myself. I figured out this might be my life journey: to get acquainted with myself as much as possible, to stop feeling as a familiar stranger and tell the story of this. From all the trouble we pass to, there is always some wisdom we can filter and that wisdom we gain is worth living for and sharing it with other people.
I will keep writing to you, I hope your feathers are as shinny as always and that you leave a little trace of kindness everywhere you go. There are still a lot of things you don’t know about me. Maybe we are afraid of sharing our depth with other people for fear they won’t understand us. We end up being so isolated in sorrow. But since my eyes opened, I realized these problems that we discuss, everyone has them. I used to call myself complicated, but then the healer told me i am just complex and again I found great relief in his words. It’s strange, right, how much healing power there is inside words. I think you would like this healer that I met and that you would probably become friends with him too if you met him.
It’s time to end my letter here, I am meeting some people for art therapy in the evening. There is something else I discovered about myself, that these healers that I like, with bright eyes and peace in their words might have something in common with me too. It’s really surprising how much we can define ourselves by the relationships we get involved into.
Sunset in Ithaca is spectacular as if the border between fact and fiction that I have been so obsessed with dissolved. I wish I could go traveling to all the Greek islands just to see how sunsets look there. If I will get to see the sunset in the island of Lesbos, I will keep you informed about how it feels like.
A kiss for you, Mr Wisebird!
Love,
Maya

The end?
Mr Wisebird sits at the back of the scene, in a contemporary thinker posture, holding a cup of coffee. The setting is lit slowly and as Maya approaches him, the spectators can observe a wooden frame around him.
-Mr. Wisebird, people are looking at you.
-Yes, I know. (Arranges his moustache.)
-Do you like that?
-Of course. We all do. Even when we are hiding.
-We hope that someone will come and discover our true beauty, isn’t it?
-But who is that someone we never know. Maybe a stranger.
-Or a wise man.
-Or a bird.
(They giggle.)
-Or a reflection of ourselves.
-Or a shadow of ourselves.
-Or just ourselves.
-Maybe we finally make peace.
-Maybe we find love.
-Maybe.
(They start counting: One possibility two possibilities,…, (Maya:) all the possibilities.
(They stop for a while, they seem to be thinking.)
-You know, Mr Wisebird, I’ve been in Greece and I looked at the sea and I wandered: why are people afraid? Can’t we see how small we are? Imagine someone bathing, nude, at sunset, and you could only see that person’s head. And then, in the rest of the frame there is the immensity. This is how we are: putting frames on the immensity and ourselves inside that immensity and pretending we are important. But we all die and everything passes in the blink of the eye. And I want to live.
-We all do.
-So I do my best to feel I am alive.
-Do you know how to swim now?
(Maya, putting on a dramatic look, but half serious, as if she keeps playing:)
-I learnt how to swim the day I understood that every wave or sadness and every wave of joy still belongs to the ocean. (They pause.
After a while, Maya continues:)
-Did you have fun in Paris?
(Mr Wiseberd, ecstatic:)
-Oh, it was great! One of the best times of my life. Because for the first time, I felt people could see me as I really am. A shadow in the spotlight.
-Do you know that I would like to stage a theather play called The shadows of Mr Wisebird?
-Yes, I know. I wrote it.
-Do you think this is the end of it?
-No, this is just the beginning.