“There are certain mortal moments and minutes that matter. Certain hingepoints in the history of each human. Some seconds are so decisive they shrink the soul, while others are spent, so as to stretch the soul.”
Neal A Maxwell
So, it has been a while since I have posted and for this I can only apologise. Life in France has left me with little time for thinking, but today I was walking home from university and realised just how lucky I am to be given such a great opportunity to spend part of my life living in a totally new, foreign place. In the lead up to my year abroad, things were not always so smooth, but I don’t think I’d have had it any other way – I have learned so much from those experiences already. Even in the short time I have been here, I feel like I have changed already, become more self aware, readier to face challenges but more sensitive to different people, and I can tell already that this year will be a big marker in my life. I think this quote also applies when it comes to the luck/ chance/ fate (call it what you will) of finding these opportunities, having certain experiences and meeting certain people. I know I’ve been incredibly lucky to have met some people who are now very important to me and I’d definitely call those moments “hingepoints” in my life.
“What is the fatal charm of Italy? What do we find there that can be found nowhere else? I believe it is a certain permission to be human, which other places, other countries, lost long ago.”
I arrived back home today from 10 days exploring northern and central Italy and I had a truly fantastic time. For me, there is something so charming about Italy – perhaps it is the lifestyle or the people, but I find it easy to be there. I saw many beautiful things and tried a few new things as well and I think that those 10 days, in those beautiful places, with some good friends was exactly what I needed. Most of all, I am so pleased I managed to practice my spoken Italian; by the end of the trip, I was quite happy to speak to the locals in Italian even if my grammar wasn’t the best. Vita bella!
“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”
What would you be like if you were squeezed?
“Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard, oh, take me back to the start.”
Coldplay, The Scientist
Coldplay basically did a mini concert at the paralympics closing ceremony and I loved it! I found the whole thing weirdly emotional – I don’t know if it was the music or the people or the video clips but it was quite moving. I think that it was a perfect end to the games. This is another of my favourite lines from a song- noone ever really tells you how things will really be.
“We dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate, and love by narrative”
I came across this quote a few months ago in a ‘Reading Culture’ lecture, which was all about how we narrate our experiences and stories in a very specific way in order to convey them to other people. The order of a narrative usually follows this: an introduction, a difficulty or obstacle, an experience and then a solution or conclusion or realisation. This lecture popped through my mind earlier today when I was telling a coursemate and a flatmate about some of my experiences and feelings. What I said followed this order and it made me realise that almost everything that we do or think is created into a narrative by our minds. Even what I have said here has followed this vague pattern. It got me wondering whether the mind does this in order to rationalise our thoughts and feelings to make sense of things that are difficult to explain; or if it helps the mind to cope with the vast amounts of information we take in and process every second of the day- just a thought.