A Conversation On How To Fully Enjoy The Present And Overcome Fears

Photography by Ben Zank

Photography by Ben Zank

First act : A flirt, a flying lesson or a life philosophy

Second Act: A voyage to solitude, The inner dialogue


― 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 overthinking 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?


Read the Second Act: A voyage to solitude

Laura Livia Grigore is a poet, painter and psychology enthusiast, with a background in space engineering. She likes to experiment with various mediums and types of writing. Her artwork is orientated on emotions, reflecting her opinion that most of the answers we need can be found inside ourselves, although the hardest thing to do is to be sincere with oneself. You can purchase her book here

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