The moving train compartment, and in it we are. We make our way in this world that is not that predisposed for comfort and relaxation. We assist each other in making a fascinating red line on the contour map between our birth and death. This opportunity to meet once, to unite and create something new: stirring stories, haunting memories, objects of collective creativity, good deeds, provoking thoughts, whispers, fragrances, touches, hugs. We help each other to be, improve, better comprehend our life experience and just feel deeper… We are each other’s kindling companions and our lives pass in pieces – segments of stages, while alternating jobs, places, relationships, continents, realities. We do not part, we just pass by, leaving a part of ourselves in the souls of others. Our final essence will always be elusive to us, for the simple reason of our inquisitiveness. As soon as we tell ourselves “that’s what I understood”, at this very moment we will be asking ourselves a new question. Looking for a new inspiration. We look into each other’s eyes and accept each other without words and also do not accept each other without words, as they happen to be superfluous. The doors of the compartment are opening again and we move on, next to each other. Though not by our design, we actually like it as this.
© Elin Vidoff
“When you are free from delusion, you can enjoy illusion. Enjoy the dream but enjoy the dream being free”.
As the sun sets in the eve and the wind blows, the birds coast high above. Effortlessly flying, they coast, float, no wings batting; the wind guides them in the blue sky.
Trust, Faith in life with a bird’s eye view; aware, focused, driven, yet detached. An aerial perspective is peace, is freedom.
© Elin Vidoff
Benirras beach. Where hippies, dreamers, romantics, free spirits gather and surrender to the wonders of mother nature around them, the ritual going back to 1991 when many hundreds of people joined to protest about the Gulf War. A unique mesmerizing Sunday spectacles when the sun all too soon is descending beneath the waves, while the drummers deliver their awe to it. You watch the drumming circle, and the build-up is sedating but messianic, from a first beat of the first drum. You fall into a trance in this spiritual, tribal experience… The rhythms you are listening too are turning in what you want them to be. You focus on one drummer particular and it alters the way you start to take in the rhythm. This drumming circle is eccentric and unyielding, you don’t move and don’t want to, eyes closed. This vibe and elation are different from the high-octane hysteria of dancing the night away in Pacha the day before…
Perceptive conversations over Suntory Hibiki with your accomplice when you are gaining ground after this reverie spectacle. These full mighty presence moments… When you run a marathon. When you are on a chancy journey and wondering what’s ahead. When you plant flowers. When it hurt and when it got absolved. When you took shelter from the rain and deliberately walked in the rain. When the embrace is double, as with heart and with soul. When someone truly understands you. When the walls fall, but there is still time. When you are surfing the rapid wave and overlook it is about bound to break at the shallow shore. When the wind blows in your face, and there is that yet another turn… When time is judged by the distance of one ticket or one call. When you can’t stop smiling from the moment your are awake. Tapping into your five senses.
© Elin Vidoff
When you are a mirror-person, you happen to hear the phrase from others – “Oh, we are so much alike, and you are even worse than me!….” Ironic distortion.
People whose personalities and actions tend to push our buttons or who get under our skin are generally our pronounced teachers. They serve as our mirrors and illuminate what needs to be revealed, about ourselves and the path we are now on. Magnified pictures of our weaknesses and deficiencies, surrogates, stuffed feelings, repressed emotions. Your hallucinations, illusions and ancient fears are boldly staring in your face. When there is only one denominator – you. The other is only expressing your own otherness. Those are very clear moments that teach us where it is we are holding back. What to unleash, change, balance or heal. Declustering. Shifting Perspectives.
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will Disappear.”
How many masks do we wear… This is how a person talks with a mother, so with a best friend, such a syllable appears when we talk with a loved one… Sometimes we are wearing a mask or few even in our own internal dialogue. The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
Maybe they are not even masks – this is how the mechanism of understanding is arranged… You connect with someone on their wave – to know, recognize, empathize. How many waves are we riding simultaneously… Almost a scary thought. Though In essence, we just know how to accept and understand the rules of the game. “Games people play, people that play games.” Mastering compartmentalization. Fully present, but detached. The most eloquent stories are created by cynics.
The proximity between people does not arise because they are ideally suited to each other, but because they start to recognize each other… Because they begin to empathize with what the other (and yourself) were or are going through.
The trial and error method works. Mainly it is
when you’ve got a precipitate tendency to adjust your conclusions to random situations, instead of experiencing these situations and not running ahead led by a primal defense mechanism. How many times we have done this before…
Somewhat a skeptical smirking researcher by nature I am. The mechanisms of various behavioral algorithms are truly fascinating. Not forgetting to indulge in self-mocking irony on the way.
Looking at photos, made over last few years – something that at first sight appears the same, shifts nevertheless. New books on your shelves, new conclusions, new meetings, experiences, trials, attempts, escapades… And stepping forward. Even though sometimes thinking that moving in circles. And always on the edge.
Time goes by. A fat dot. Changing so much and quickly that hardly even pausing to register it. These changes are noticed by your close ones. You are so flawed and imperfect. So many dubious layers. You are in itself a miracle of nature or a natural disaster.
© Elin Vidoff
Chet Baker – the current mood. A light midnight jazz and a missing glass of Martini in hand. Herbal tea would just about do. And if you brew it – a restorative ritual.
Another long frantic upbeat day overboard collapses into the balmy night. People, intoxicated with satisfaction from the finally arrived late, very late spring, walked along the streets with faces as if just after a very good sex.
The moon froze as if colored with gouache on unwashed, dark-painted glass. Lights of the city in jazz pacification.
I live by thoughts simultaneously in four cities, scattered from each other just by the distance of unpurchased tickets.
Silence ringing in my ears. Calmness and anticipation. Something astounding is bound to happen. Like pivoting on the edge just after falling in lust and just before falling in love, even if a little bit and for a little bit. For a fantasmic organic chemical top up. The value of cardboard house isn’t in it’s durability. Not ever jaded to fascinate and get fascinated, with the concealed agenda of a premeditated unremitting quest for interlocking jigsaw, a corresponding tip of Maslow’s pyramid…
Few sleepless nights. Surrounding to insomnia. The moonchild. When you are that dazed, the mind gets numbed, but senses become sharper…
Another flight to catch with dawn. A stirring game of alternating few coexisting realities, bringing closer one and distancing another. Stepping in and out. Sliding on the timeline, rotating memories of the future and dreams of the past.
Never quite mastered the art of sensible packing. Now – just looking at still Thames and blinking lights from the terrace, feeling grounded and belonging here for this night. Homecoming. Snuggling soothingly in bed.
On the bed table 5-10 books, reading at the same time. Some swallowing in a day, if get lucky.
Living fragmentally just as well – at the same time reading a bunch of intriguing books.
Can not say devoting myself to one thing. Do I even need to concentrate on one thing? Not sure. Why limiting to tunnel vision. Traversing through a lavish fair of possibilities. I like everything and like the way it all unrolls.
You are bewildered, somewhat lonely and above all free, roused by experimental rummage for unknown insightful occurrences. You study me. Looking at the soul as a window. Giving yourself away, though whisper would be enough.
Connected by thin intangible inter-exchanging threads of conversations and touches, in misfired search for a lifelike or larger than life depths of intimacy, we tenderly embrace each other in the interim to avoid feeling emptiness around. Sporadically, numb amnesia appeals more than void. I rotary dial. Your familiar hoarse voice distorted by the wires. Our clandestines fly over the dozing roofs of the spring city.
© Elin Vidoff
Old European port town, here from the very dawn buried in reading. Seagulls break from under the feet of passers-by and fly away gliding between the sky and the sea. The sound of the morning bell is heard. Along the street, there is a row of coffee shops, umbrellas, tables. The rustling of freshly printed newspapers. The light reflects from the walls and windows and forenoon becomes more alive and saturated. The town slowly and lazily wakes up.
It is difficult to underestimate the influence of the atmosphere on us. The best books we love for the atmosphere in which they immerse us. The same about films and photos. The role of the setting in our lives is often overlooked.
Sending the letter from the old post office, so old that it smells of sealing wax and has ancient doors, and when you look out the window, you could even spot the distant past. Well, the same past from childhood, when it is still unknown what lies ahead. My attempted to be neat handwriting on the envelope will fly to Saint Petersburg, one of my other pasts. My dear ones are scattered all over the world, they live their own fortunes, and we are affixed with thin red threads, keep moving away from our collective nodules – intersections.
Everyone in their childhood admired how patched cloud suddenly changed its shape, how the bark of the poplar is so warm, the sedge is sharp, the wave is salty and we lived in this delight of discoveries. The process was all, not the outcome or its expectation. Everything is bewitching in nature, and nothing is superfluous. In childhood, the magic happening depends on your imagination. The magic window, the courtyard of the house with twisted staircase, a cliff overlooking the silhouette of the city where the clouds are born. And through all this, suddenly recurring entrancement, by a fine thread – we grew up. A consoling cognizance – that when we are adults, miracles return by themselves, when we replace most fears with courage and nerve.
Reading little messages left in iPhone’s notepad. A Twitter-diary of life. Quizzical sometimes to peek into the past, dig in these archives and suddenly find that some of the circumstances that you considered bona fide, in fact, had a completely different chassis. Remythologizing. We, after all, tend to embellish, percept something as more dramatic or beguiling, while time erases figments and states the reality. The people around us become what we look and not fail to find in them. Gaining a valuable skill not to confuse illusions with fantasies. Creativity with an effort to please. And above all – sending all the fears and limiting beliefs away.
“The place” – an ambitious and metaphorical film by Paolo Genovese (director of “Perfect Strangers”) makes burying your head in your values, perusing how justified are some of our craves. If you really think about it, most of our arcane inward escapisms, fortunately for us, are impracticable. A conceptual “huis clos” and a dialogue film with one but relevant question: how far would you go to get what you want?
© Elin Vidoff
Elapsing into pale blue silk, the sun drizzled drops of its rays, and they spread out in incredible stains. The wind subsided, round boat, as brown as a basket, lay on the sand, the flowers of trees from the hill smelled. Their scent always held back till the evening and only at dusk emerged on its short intoxicated promenade.
The tide began to calm down. Rolling smoother waves, reflecting sloping long rays, making the water gleaming. Finally, the surf became so calm that some waves managed to carry the foam mane on the top without losing it all the way to the shore. We wanted to be among them.
We did not talk. We walked along the embankment, and the giant was silent beside us. Dark and cold. Only sometimes its broad round like a stingray wing slightly moved, and then the sand rustled, and the grains of our souls rose and fell with it. Or our souls were these drops, and we stirred in our inner oceans pebbles of possibilities and sand of junctures.
As soon as we enter the water with the board, under the endless desperately blue flowing sky, we have surfing and experience the range of sensations that can gift only the ocean and dynamic colloquy with it. Now it flows in our blood vessels, flows through our hearts. To the blood density of red it mixes the blue, and our thoughts no longer tolerate a conditional, trivial framework.
When I got up on my first wave and felt that was flying over the water, over a vast ocean, that it allowed me this glissade after a long struggle, it was a minuscule moment of light-heartedness. The euphoria that I live. In a mundane life, there are too many routine thoughts, vain emotions and low noise hindrances. When I get up on the board, I do not think about anything. Switching off inner dialogue. Only I feel myself “as I am”. Only I and the ocean. Inside you, Freedom pulsates, you are absolutely Free.
Free to choose a new dream or, without looking back, to strive to achieve the already existing one. It’s a blessing to learn to live without going away in your dreams any further than tomorrow. It is wise to live in the process, not the outcome.
Seizing the moment. The rhythm of the waves is becoming the markers of time. Dreaming with my eyes wide open, riding the waves of my life. A mixture of philosophy and meditation, despite the dynamics of movement – to catch the wave, to stand quickly and firmly, but without fuss and with relaxed concentration. This unity with the ocean, when thoughts and habitual perception of the world go far away, nothing matters and everything is important at the same time, overcoming your abilities and dissolving the fears, one by one.
Watching the lace skirts of the waves crumble, revealing for me the sweet secret of the unadulterated momentum. Savoring the salty air, this is my place, my time.
© Elin Vidoff
Pre-dawn wake ups. This morning was electrified. The blue sky blazed the azure lagoon, closing up with white sparks in its contiguity. The current was also flowing through us. Its positive charge entered the reaction with water when we kissed its electrified surface, and it pierced us through the thin skin of our lips. We rode the waves, gliding among these energies, like electrons and we talked about the rays, whose own currents lay, probably, somewhere under us – in front of us mantas several times jumped into the sky.
The ocean is somewhat like a long-distance train compartment, where, on the spur of the moment, a soul box is unlocking in front of a random fellow voyager. Often, lying on the board waiting for the next wave, you suddenly begin to start talking about something. Maybe it instantaneously becomes that far-reaching that you impulse to share, or perhaps, on the contrary, it’s skin-deep, and now you want to fill it up with water around to add some depth.
When the glare dances on the thick sea, this gambol of light and water seems spectral. On the surface it’s scintillating and rapid, skipping in unison to unknown rhythms, dropping into the blue stratum, the wind is buzzing, the surf rumbles, the foam is hissing.
We streamed through this light, it fell from above, it beat from below with a solid luminescence, as it was reflected by the dense water, causing scarlet streaks to incise the deep blue; we rowed through the spray while it was laughing in our faces – a mixture of colorless and cerulean, mocking and muscular. And finally, letting go the tension, the flow of blood and air inside moving with strain through our pumped hearts and engulfed lungs, the abyss finally began to open before us, and boards finally slid into it. We had waves to ride and they were also in us. Splashes, heart’s palpitations, salt on our lips, rhapsody and velocity mixed in us.
Longing to melt away into the ocean and to become a mermaid – these infantile urges probably don’t fully expire. If only you could edge into the sea and swim away with playing dolphins, you know you’d never return.
When the noise is full-throated, nothing distinguishes it from silence, the roaring and pounding obliterate all. Individual voices of the world are also indistinct in it. Perhaps, the universal chaos was full with roar before pouring into the Order of the Universe.
Because the water flowed, not sharing with us the purpose of its current, the reef felt uncomfortable. And the bottom, seeming close because of the incredible purity of the water, was fluid and unsteady, because dense glare ran along it without visible order.
The wave that fell on us was not that sizeable or menacing, but the waves are measured not in meters – they are measured by fright.
With the approaching of the wave, I ducked under the ridge and got covered with the bleak ash of foam.
The ocean lifted me with a ruthless blue palm and dipped into the very core of its turquoise body. And did not let go.
In such troubles, often flowing one from another, one should only blame yourself. After all, it’s you who climbed into waves that you can not cope with; you did not recognize them, that’s why you were knocked down, twisted and banged against the bottom, from which you buoyantly – because now you understand where is the surface – reflected and resurfaced.
I squeezed in one rapid breath and rattled from side to side, as if wanted to mix with water. Indifferent was the flaming impartial sun validating everything happening. The raw tempestuous wall did not release, and the sky and the sun did not mind.
My body lived separately from the mind that dragged the body to this triple accursed surfing, and just longed to live on.
When you load a vessel of your soul with cobblestones of artificialities, there is no much space left inside anymore and, according to Archimedes’ principle, is superseded. Although not fully, of course.
Covered with condensation inside, you are misted, muddy and full of burdensome rocks. And you can not fly with them, you can not swim with them.
When you to match the body with a wave, you become identical to it with your spirit. Knowing that you merge with the wave not to become better than others, but to overcome your old self.
The seabed was necessary! It was necessary to gain this sensation of the ground underfoot. There was no up or down, left or right.
Swimming out on the board in the ocean – it’s like going out into the open space. As if in the ocean you are somewhere in another Universe, where time and space are different, and not on your home planet Earth, you do not need there this notorious “ground under your feet”, because the board is a sufficient support for your legs, for your confidence, no worse than the shore and certainly boats.
And what’s the difference, are you standing with square feet of your feet on the ground or on a board.
But in order to understand all this, you had to trust yourself.
“The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there’s no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness.”
I’ve experienced this state – a controlled understanding that it was time to move down. Found the deepest well and descended into it to give myself the opportunity to reach the bottom and feel the firm secure ground under my feet. Pouring your every drop of self-worth into its bottomless pit. Until that moment, I was sometimes haunted by the desire to lie and lie down on the ground, sheltered safely in embryo pose. Now, this feeling is in the past. It’s unnerving to sink to the bottom, as well as to climb up. To achieve anything can generally be distressingly blood-curdling. But it is needful.
Guardedly, slowly, I inescapably paddled back out to the frontline, and the wave braced me back in its hands.
© Elin Vidoff
Seven in the morning. The rustling of the cars and boats, the Thames waking up. Summer is one week old. Coffee maker alarm clock – like flirting with yourself. Wake up at dawn to a smell of freshly brewed cup – someone took care of you. Mmm. You took care of yourself. It’s damn agreeable! Bitterness and caffeine – yesterdays drug of choice. I sip and analyze, my favorite activity by far. A murky surface. The first notes of “Sympathy for the Devil” by Rolling Stones playing in your head. “I’ve been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man’s soul and faith… tell me, baby, can you guess my name… what’s puzzling you, is the nature of my game…”
Vivid dreams last night with unambiguous characters – protagonists from a distant past, in whom I happened to have recognized myself. Drinking coffee and thinking about how amiable it is for me presently to believe in reincarnation of a kind. We do not repeat in this life the experience of another person, our behavior reflects the repetition of different situations associated with others. There is no program or predetermination, it overflows with symbolism, metaphors or even hyperboles. We, as the authors of our choices, ourselves change the scenarios, switch the realities, choose actualities.
Do you like the first snow or dig into my thoughts? Do you like overdrive or drive distortion, the smell of burning matches or icy hot temples? When someone switches off your mind or books, books, books? Imagine, I have no idea what you love! Maybe this is an unexacting desire to fill a two-dimensional life with elucidations and lurid colors?
Another frantic day, in many complementing contrast conversations. We are chemical elements, time is ticking and so we transfigure. Every cell of your body is completely renewed in 7 years, and it takes only 16 days to renew by 72%. After not seeing someone for seven years, you meet an entirely different organism. But personality? Something lives in us, this something develops, evolves, reorients. When you do not see a dear one for 7 years, they keep moving and changing all this time… Though keep living in your memory as you have known…
Mix-ups arise mainly from fantasies. If you did not have speculation, you would accept life as it is. But then you would not have a romantic love, because the romantic love is when you found your dream embodied in someone who was far from matching it. “Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.”
Life in the style of hardcore. Sometimes you feel that you’ve been “hit by a train.” Astonished and drown in an arduous alternating experience… Then we suddenly secretly hope that it will happen again… In substantial selfishness and incessantly denying banality. Time passes in the self-studies, and we realize that we are those “trains” for others too… You create this state around you, your energy, magnetism lead to consequences, to results that change what has been unchanged before you…
Wondrous conversations. We talk about lost love and voyages, less about books, more about ideas. We build plans that we learn to implement immediately. If left for later, the expiration date will expire. We learn to build fences, year after year, all the better, traps, evaluations, probes. All this shunning from our vulnerability, apprehensions and previous disappointments. We are like hunters on our territory. Hunters after ourselves. We guard what is left in the soul, by a mix of habit and instinct, not being a function, an instrument, a spare part or a mechanism. But a unique substance consisting of the atoms of stars that exploded millions of years ago, and which somehow miraculously received the ability to recognize themselves. Joined by covalent bonds that force particles to hold together, when atoms of a molecule share galvanizing electrons.
And the coffee on the windowsill is cooling at the speed of light.
© Elin Vidoff
The sun shone on our glossy boards, reflected from the clear floor of the coves, and the water in them flashed green like a glacial bottle in which an old pirate kept hidden pearls.
Siesta reigned on the coast, beginning exactly when the first-morning bird fell silent, and the beam became steep from gently sloping. The leaves were still, the clouds on the horizon were immovable in the piercingly blue sky. You wanted to surrender to this sizzling “non-movement” and live like a ray, without a visible effort sliding along trunks and lush leaves.
Only the butterflies fluttered with rapture into the swealter and the pinkish wax frangipani flowers melted smoothly in the heat. We were slightly tired, like these dazed flowers under the sun.
But the ocean moved, rolled its transparent layers to the cliffs, with fragments of corals and mixed with the sand of our tracks…
We dropped exchanges without meaning but with laughter, without emotion, though in their expectation. It was hot. It was empty inside. Inside it was clean as if all the anguish swept away all the corners there with a swoosh broom, and our own words boomed in our heads as strangers, having sunk in this emptiness, reflecting not anything and melting.
When the ocean is restless, a series of waves pass through it by vast distances. Each wave – its blue plane, under the pressure of the wind rising a powerful fold in the light of the day. It seems that they are all similar and have no faces, doing the same work, laying out the moist power of the ocean along sandy and rocky shores. And this is so for anyone who leisurely glances along wired waters, but the surfer knows that each of the waves has its own face.
Wave, big or small, is yours, and you’re on it alone. This co-event and co-being with the world.
You face the greatness of the ocean, and in the intercourse with it the depth opens in you, there is a union with what you were torn from, this is the way back to yourself. In the face of the ocean, you are left alone, there are no one’s backs behind which you can hide – everything that seemed to appear significant becomes ephemeral. You here the depth of silence and letting the ocean to open your soul, and it returns it to you careless and clean, as it was once in your childhood.
Surfing is a way of fighting for one’s own soul, a higher tension and the way of entering a certain border state, when all the bother remains abroad and you are confronted with the pure existence of your “I”. Your brain starts slowing down, leaving a space for numerous sensations. Soul and mind converge at one point, feelings are sharpened to the limit, and you literally feel the pulsation of life. Your heart beats in one rhythm with the waves. It’s like the birth of spring, the state of flight and inspiration when the daily duel between you and the encircling world disappears because at this point you gain unity and Freedom. Though lasting only for a moment, but for a few deep breaths it’s not just air, but life itself pours into your lungs.
To be a surfer means to contain many things, to combine sets, just as surf combines light, air bubbles, water, shine and twilight. Knowing your goals – that’s what surfing is. It is something that blocks future and the past, but most importantly it seizes the moment and makes present complete.
We get closer to nature and tune to its biological rhythms, we have our own clocks, that depend on moon phases and swell chart.
Each wave changes something in you, flushes something unnecessary and frees up space for the salient… and when you fly along this green wall, time seizes for you, and there is not a single thought, which means you can easily hear the voice of Universe. Perhaps that’s why you go there again and again, conquering fears with each next wave, as you clearly know: you won and became a little stronger, a little better, a little purer and more connected to Universe …
Early wake-ups, licking the wounds, ignoring bruises, believing in yourself, focusing on your goals, moving to new challenges, never stopping to learn and grow and never, ever giving up. Because you know, it’s the only way to reach the stars. Life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone.
© Elin Vidoff
Have you noticed? Looking at someone through compassion gives you the “low level” data – the gestalt, the deep kernel of him/her.
It sometimes lasts several minutes before we overlay it with the mental noise, analytical layers and references. We often forget it. But this is THAT data which has all the answers and out of which we can build a context to everything else when needed.
Looking through compassion is the looking from the place where the mind can’t get. You are not seeing with your physical eyes – you simply KNOW it all. Meet this person completely – you have the whole feeling of him/ her, you know this being at the deepest and the most complete level … you don’t need more information…
This is the level where you get with out-of-body or transcendent experiences, lucid dreaming, REM sleep cycle, deep meditations and most powerfully – love … not the romantic loving… but The Love.
Compassion is the greatest place of your power…
It is like widening the aperture of a camera lens and letting more light in…recalling what we have forgotten.
© Elin Vidoff