T o u g h w o r d

When things are for real. Not like there's a time when they aren't, or at least there shouldn't be.

This is Rody Jr, or me.

by rodyjr

A Pursuit

by rodyjr

I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I at least remember the DART Photographie blog. Those pictures were beautiful. They made me believe there was a richness to the most mundane of things. That anything could be made beautiful and meaningful. I told myself that I would go on this similar search for the extraordinary and keep it. I would protect it. I wanted to do the same as this photographer was doing. Capture beauty. That was one of the main motivations behind my buying an extremely good camera.

And now I feel I’ve kind of died inside. It seems I don’t believe this beauty is there. Or finally it seems like I don’t feel like looking for it anymore. I guess what I’m saying is that it takes work to find beauty. It might be there right in front of you, but it won’t necessarily jump out at you.

I remember thinking that I would go out to parties, or get togethers, and I’d have this passion to really get something out of it; out of the people, their faces, the light. Something deep. I’m still convinced that it’s there. But it seems I don’t want to do the hard work. And maybe every good deed comes from hard work; a kind of fight; a determination to prove that life is meaningful; that things aren’t just bland and repetitive.

One thing I know is that I’m hungry for this sense of meaning; this sense of deep knowing of each other; this sense that we’re living.

Being true, judgmental, sensible and serious. Saying “this is beautiful”, or seeing how something that is almost there could be beautiful.

What I’m implying is that there is a laziness I seem (I’d like to say “we all” but I’d like to think I should start with myself first) to fall for. I get satisfied with less, somewhat.  I don’t care to dig much deeper; to make something beautiful; to believe in it even if right now it doesn’t seem like much (I would call this ‘faith’). To be passionate, inspired.

When I bought my camera I remember feeling happy that I got one really good camera. For me it meant that there would be no limit to my imagination. I would be able to go and make something incredibly meaningful to me even if it was just with colors. But it seems I don’t want to make things meaningful. I fear I’d look a bit crazy. Thus, I guess we are crazy when we believe in something. I’d like to be crazy for a good while.

“This is all I have”

by therendezvous

these strange conversations will set your heart free
our strange conversations lift burdens from me, my friend, come back again
[...]
our strange conversations will leave us amused
you’re faster and clearer, you seem less confused, my friend.

‘Dain’ by Denison Witmer

I sometimes feel the need for a seriously deep talk with my confident/mentor. This is a person I’m able to share things with that makes me feel cared for. It’s not that this person is necessarily more open than others I know, but what I do notice is that he seems to care for me more than others, and this drives me to confide in him more deeply because I tend to have this assurance that I won’t be rejected–but again, maybe all humans are limited somewhere. I feel like I should describe it by saying that, he is loving–most of the time.  From time to time I’ll be talking with a friend about something, and whatever it is we’re talking about will remind me, deeply in my heart, that if it wasn’t for my mentor’s help and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And it’s there also, in those moments of remembrance that I feel a need to talk to him again–I feel called to a warm, true, heartfelt discussion. It’s interesting that I just described it that way. It seems to imply that most discussions aren’t like that. They aren’t heartfelt, aren’t warm, aren’t true, aren’t…and somehow something tells me we need these like food.

But more generally, I’ll tend to feel sort of ignorant of this apparent need to talk. It’s perhaps not necessarily that I’m doing better or that everything is fine, but rather, that I’m not willing or able to get real.  It may be that I use the high of previous heartfelt discussions to get through life and then must eventually come back to have another one to keep going. It seems I go through this process of continually being mistaken about what’s important; following after certain things until I finally see that I need to just calm down and possibly, just be real. That’s why this ‘’real’’ conversation stuff becomes necessary, it’s like a confession. Maybe most of the time I’m lying to myself until I finally need to let someone know the truth…and it seems to hurt.

There’s something incredibly painful about this confiding; maybe in the same way that it hurts to follow my passions. It’s not that whenever we meet things hurt in me or anything. But lately I’ve been feeling a recurrent need for this heartfelt discussion, but can’t seem to get to it. It seems like these courageous moments of desire to confide come and go quickly. This sort of will to be true doesn’t remain for long within me. That purity loses itself. Vanishes. It’s a shame I find. It’s kind of like my heart becomes clear, and then foggy. It’s kind of like having courage and then, not caring anymore. The more I think about it, all this seems to resemble my understanding of what prayer is. What Christians call our “running away from God”; And then one day, we open our bag, and a few rotten fruits fall on the floor, and we say…”this is all I have, (Lord)”. And we seek some kind of grace, some kind of compassion.

I’m not even sure what it is exactly I have to confide, maybe just that I’m hurting. maybe just that I’m tired. maybe just to know that someone cares about the real me, even if I don’t deserve it.
And if I’m running away from this, it may be because I’m running away from this truth that I need love. Maybe this is what honest beggars feel.

Inspiration

by rodyjr

Yesterday, while on the bus, I saw this black mom who had a really original haircut. Most of the bottom of her head was shaved, and the rest on top was all carefully and stylistically arranged in an admirable way. I was taken aback. Then, I looked over to this girl that was about to get off the bus. She had a really nice tattoo on her wrist of what looked like a leaf. It struck me, it inspired me. I’ve always had admiration for people who dress in an original way, or have something original about them. It’s not that I hate people who don’t, but inside, I always seem to react in a special way to something I find original in someone. There’s something refreshing about them, something inspiring, new. That’s what I’d like to be like, fresh–in the sense that there be something about me which communicates life. Not passivity or deadness; the same-old. What I realize about all this is that, some people seem to strive to do something beautiful, something that stands out. I think it’s one of the things I like and need to do more of but don’t give myself enough time for. It’s easy to ignore our hearts, somehow. Anyway, I realize I like beauty a lot and that I need more of it everyday. Let’s make the world a beautiful place.

There is a lot of beauty in giving. I don’t think the value of what you’re giving matters that much. I think the act speaks and does more than the content. Please Give.

IMG_0171_edit

A smoothie that my sister kindly offered me this morning. Merci Em.

(In case you’re the type who has nothing to do today, and you have more time (8min), this short video is worth seeing. It pushes the boundaries of what I thought was possible in love.)

Joy of Reading

by therendezvous

A few weeks ago now–because it takes me so long to get down to writing my posts–I went to Lunch Beat. I found myself enjoying it without even trying–which is great. I felt like I fit right in which the bunch I usually sort of don’t identify with. The joy of good music seems to unite all people. I felt like everyone was cool–everyone was there to have a good time. There actually was something special going on. At least I felt there was.

Afterwards I left and walked down St-Laurent. Every single store seemed to have something for sale on the street. I felt overwhelmed and tired and in need to sit down and die for a while. But I didn’t do that. I didn’t have much time. I kept walking like I always do when I should sit down, until I noticed that a bookstore had a few books for sale on the street. Even though I don’t read that much, and have a bunch of books waiting to be read (for more than a year now), there’s something about books that gets me every time. I’ve been to bookstores and bought books which simply end up on a pile for years. I guess that has to do with my temperament of not really wanting to sit down and take some time off to get into another world. But this summer I’ve done that a little more and have reveled in it.

bookstore_again

I walked out with three books: an old-ass Bible which has a nice regular book-style layout; ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (by Jane Austen of course–I started, but never finished reading ‘Persuasion’ years ago and I remember liking it a lot so I have faith in her); and ‘The Journal of the Plague Year’, by Daniel Defoe–this was a book I started reading a year ago when I was planning to take English Literature classes, it was necessary for the class. I never did end up taking the lit classes, but I liked the book), all for around 11$.

Before leaving, I asked the old-man who owned the store a question I later realized I would probably never ask anybody in another kind of store. It seems to me that some bookstores sort of open up for more personal exchanges/connections that wouldn’t happen elsewhere. There’s something about walking into a personally owned bookstore like this one. There’s something about shelves and shelves of books and the atmosphere it creates. In someway it feels like you’re walking into somebody, into their more private space while being free to choose whatever you want. I’m not really associating the bookstore to that old man in particular, but there’s something about people in bookstores. Something about people, ideas, thought, reflection, other worlds, others and me. I asked the old-man, “do you have a favorite book?”. Without really looking at me he said,

“No…not really. I just enjoy reading a lot”.

‘What kind of answer is that?!’ I thought. I looked up to this man for being so old, I felt like I would have bought whatever he’d suggest. To be honest, book covers are often the main thing that get me to buy a book. (I have a lot of faith in Penguin Books. I like the colors on the design…and most of them are classics). But sometimes I’d like something a bit more personal to get me to buy a book. I feel that when you read a book that you know someone else likes, you feel like you’re sharing something–you’re enjoying another world with someone else, you’re getting into a dialogue, there’s something to talk about the next time you see them.

IMG_9693book
Later that night I sat down reading the ‘foreword’ in that old-ass Bible of mine, and besides noticing how much the people who assembled the Bible deeply cared about the Bible, the word of God, I remembered what that old man said about his joy of reading. There is a joy to reading which sometimes doesn’t seem to depend on what you’re reading. I’m still unsure if this is a good thing, because what you read should matter. Nonetheless, for me, I felt the joy comes from this feeling I get sometimes which I really enjoy, this feeling that as I’m reading I am sort of digging down and discovering something. It’s coming up slowly and I have time to re-read it if I want. I’m in the book.  Other times it’s just the idea of letting go of the real world for a bit and just relaxing–something I don’t do enough of. Anyway, the joy I had that night reminded me of what the old man said, and that feels like a good foundation to keep reading.

If you have any suggestions for books to read please fill the void left by that old man!

Ce que j’ai, ce que je donne, et ce que je garde

by therendezvous

Quand je reçoit une lettre venant de groupes de charité, m’encourageant à leur donner de mon argent, je réagis plutot mal. C’est ce type de lettre que j’ouvre le moins rapidement. J’en ai encore plein qui s’empile dans ma chambre. De la même façon que je réagis quand il faut que je pense à quelqu’un d’autre, je préfère porter mon attention vers quelque chose qui va me rapporter quelque chose à moi. J’ai pas tendance à voir qu’il y a quelque chose pour moi dans l’acte de donner à un autre.

Aujourd’hui j’ai prit le temps d’ouvrir la lettre et de la lire. Très difficile pour moi de m’arrêter durant mes activités quotidiennes pour quelque chose comme çà. (Très difficile pour moi de m’arrêter tout court, mais çà c’est une autre histoire). La lettre m’avisait des efforts que cette organisation à fait pour venir en aide à des gens démunis. En continuant à lire, j’ai cru avoir compris quelques petites (pour moi des grandes) choses. La dite lettre me parlait d’un enfant qui avait absolument besoin de recevoir des traitements pour survivre. J’était troublé–comme je le suis souvent–de voir en moi un sentiment d’ignorance, un manque de compassion. Après il y avait l’histoire d’un homme du Kenya qui a été victime d’une violente attaque à la machette qui l’avait laissé presque sans bras.

Peut-être que je skip des bouts important, mais afin de pas m’égarer, je vais essayer de dire maintenant ce que j’ai compris.

Moi

je suis en santé–mais je réalise pas que je suis en santé.
je ne me fait pas attaquer quand je sort de chez moi.
mon pays ne vie pas une guerre.
j’ai jamais été gravement malade.
j’ai toujours de la bouffe.
Tout semble allez si bien, et je le réalise pas.

Je connais pas la détresse. J’en connais quelques unes, (celles qu’on dit du ‘monde moderne’) mais pas celles que cette lettre me présente.

C’est très difficile d’avoir des sentiments pour ces victimes et leurs détresses parce que j’ai jamais vraiment vécu le type de choses qu’ils/elles vivent. De m’arrêter pour être sensible à leurs problèmes me demande de réaliser ce que j’ai. C’est là que je réalise qu’ils on si peu, et que j’en ai tant sans le savoir.

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