A dip in relationships and misunderstandings tells us of atavistic feelings to any human being, whose desires and apprehensions are the same, because what governs society’s tensions, after all, is the eternal clash between Eros and Thanatos. So I advise you, young reader, to write, lose, break, try and answer: “I don’t know”. Go to the past stages, love, resist, sing a song. Take the train, tell the truth to everyone, stay home away from the party, feed others (it could be food or inspiration). Ride your bike with your arms raised, lean out of the window, howl in the darkness, and find peace in hunger. Live life against the current, without risking your life, but also without risking living with the lack of it. Die completely exhausted …
For stoics, happiness does not depend on external things that give us pleasure or keep us out of sleep. Simply because we cannot control what is external, what is not within our reach. This quest to control something beyond our thoughts and attitudes is the cause of many pains, anxiety, and frustrated expectations.
In other words, as paradoxical as it may seem, happiness is in the acceptance of pains and difficulties that will inevitably affect us. It’s the famous “Deal with it”. Many see this stance as fatalism or conformism, but the true stoics will say that it is resilience in the face of difficulties.
So, I want you to live long enough to look back, unrecognizable. May the smells of your youth — bread and butter, old books, the different ocean — no longer carry you. I want for you something special in your last years, something unique; a revelation.
For you, remaining youth, general admiration, new emotion — this is the kind of old age I hope for. May the little seed of your beautiful beginning remain in all the ways you smile at everything new — but nothing more. May we all survive our past.
The years go by and take us to different places. These past few days I have spent a long sabbatical forced by the pandemic. I moved away from everyone and everything, finding a colony of trips and a chest of fantasies to rest. I let my mind wander, to Portugal, Algarve, Berlin, London… I could feel it at the base of my spine. I learned to relax and get out of my head what is unnecessary. I came home and petted my son, fed the dog, and thought about the limits of life. I don’t know where it is anymore… but as everything is so fluid today, I came back to enjoy the smell of ground coffee and barbecue with family and friends, I feel satisfied, taking pictures, falling, struggling to describe my gratitude. Today I feel good there or here.