Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons To Stay Alive

So what, you have a label? ‘Depressive’. Everyone would have a label if they asked the right professional.


There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping. It is not where we are, but where we want to go, and all that. ‘Is there no way out of the mind?’ Sylvia Path famously asked. I had been interested in this question (what it meant, what the answers might be) ever since I had come across it as a teenager in a book of quotations. If there is a way out, a way that isn’t death itself, then the exit route is through words. But rather than leave the mind entirely, words help us leave a mind, and give us the building blocks to build another one, similar but better, nearby to the old one but with firmer foundations, and very often a better view.

 ‘The object of art is to give life a shape,’ said Shakespeare. And my life – and my mess of a mind – needed shape. I had ‘lost the plot’. There was no linear narrative of me. There was just mess and chaos. So yes, I loved external narratives for the hope they offered. Films. TV dramas. And most of all, books. They were, in and of themselves, reasons to stay alive. Every book written is the product of a human mind in a particular state. Add all the books together and you get the end sum of humanity. Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself. But each map was incomplete, and I would only locate the treasure if I read all the books, and so the process of finding my best self was an endless quest. And books themselves seemed to me to reflect this idea. Which is why the plot of every book ever can be boiled down to ‘someone is looking for something’.

One cliché attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me books were my way out of being lonely. If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.

In my deepest state of depression, I had felt stuck. I felt trapped in quicksand (as a kid that had been my most common nightmare). Books were about movement. They were about quests and journeys. Beginnings and middles and ends, even if not in that order. They were about new chapters. And leaving old ones behind.


THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind.

To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.

Yet we have no other world to live in. And actually, when we really look closely, the world of stuff and advertising is not really life. Life is the other stuff.

 Life is what is left when you take all that crap away, or at least ignore it for a while. Life is the people who love you. No one will ever choose to stay alive for an iPhone. It’s the people we reach via the iPhone that matter.

And once we begin to recover, and to live again, we do so with new eyes. Things become clearer, and we are aware of things we weren’t aware of before.


‘Put your ear down next to your soul and listen hard.’

—Anne Sexton



You need to feel life’s terror to feel its wonder.

And I feel it today, actually, right now, on what could seem like quite a grey, overcast afternoon. I feel the sheer unfathomable marvel that is this strange life we have, here on earth, the seven billion of us, clustered in our towns and cities on this pale blue dot of a planet, spending our allotted 30,000 days as best we can, in glorious insignificance.

I like to feel the force of that miracle. I like to burrow deep into this life, and explore it through the magic of words and the magic of human beings (and the magic of peanut butter sandwiches). And I am glad to feel every tumultuous second of it, and glad for the fact that when I walk into the vast room with all the Tintorettos in it in the National Gallery my skin literally tingles, and my heart palpitates, and I am glad for the synesthesia that means when I read Emily Dickinson or Mark Twain my mind feels actual warmth from those old American words.


That is what it is about.

People place so much value on thought, but feeling is as essential. I want to read books that make me laugh and cry and fear and hope and punch the air in triumph. I want a book to hug me or grab me by the scruff of my neck. I don’t even mind if it punches me in the gut. Because we are here to feel.

I want life.

I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it.

I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt.

Source: Matt Haig – Reasons to Stay Alive

Because I Love You


Why won’t you talk to me? Why won’t you tell me what is wrong?, she asked.

Because I love you, he responded.

Why won’t you accept my apology for being scared, for being addicted to my drama, for wanting to embrace the fear that has dominated my life?

Because I love you. Because I love me.

Why won’t you help fix me, be my strength when I am weak, be my ears when I grow deaf, be my breath when I cannot breathe?

Because I love you. You are not broken, you are perfect. You are not weak, you are strong beyond measure. You are not deaf, or blind, or anything else, you simply choose to keep your ears and eyes closed. I cannot give you air when it is you who is holding your own breath. I love you enough to allow you to discover these things not through me, but through you.

Why are you so distant? Why are you being so cold?

Because I love you. I have little interest in the tattered, rotting layers of fabric you’ve wrapped yourself in. Beneath them is the light I’ve grown to love, the song I love to hear. I love you there, and I am so close to you there that I cannot be close to you anywhere else. I accept the layers, but cannot embrace them and you at the same time. Let go of them, and see me where I am, right there next to you. Hold them tightly, and see there is no room in your embrace for anything else.

But they’re part of me.  You cannot love me without loving them, too.

Ah, but I can. Because I love you, I cannot love them.  They are not part of you; you have told yourself so many times that you and they are one that you now believe the lie. You’ve adopted them as your limbs, leaned on them as your crutch, and created an entire existence based on the stories they tell.  I tell you, that because I love you I can see the entire truth. You are not the noose you place around your neck, or the shackles you place around your ankles. You are the executioner and the jailer, but you are not the gallows nor the prison.

Why don’t you just accept me, for me, and love me for who I am?

Because I love you. Through your protests and your tantrums I have loved you. Through your delusions and your fantasies I have loved you. I can’t, and I won’t, carry the crosses you have built and decided to carry. I accept you, but cannot accept them. They are yours, and yours alone, and you choose them all. If you think it isn’t painful to watch, if you think it isn’t hard not to take them from you, you are wrong. Yet, because I love you, I am willing to simply watch you struggle so that you can choose either to cast them aside onto the ground, or continue to carry them as if they have worth.  These are your lessons to learn, and I can’t take them from you and love you at the same time.

Because I love you, I will listen to you suffer under the weight of your own devices. Because I love me I will recoil when you try to hand them to me. When you try to cover me with those rotting, tattered layers of fabric you have wrapped yourself in, the light within me will burn them away, and you will become angry. You will say horrible things, you will do horrible things. You will try to use your fear to force me to grasp, you will try to use your pain to injure me. Yet, because I love you and because I love me, it will not work. I will focus on our light, and bask in its glory.

Yes, because I love you, because I love me, I let them be as they are while remain rooted in who I choose to be. We deserve nothing less than to walk as one in the experience of our own individuality discovering our complete Oneness. Is there a greater cause for which we live?




Lumea este modelata din ce in ce mai mult sa ne aduca la depresie. Fericirea nu e foarte buna pentru economie. Daca am fi fericiti cu ceea ce avem, de ce am avea nevoie de mai mult? Cum vinzi o crema anti-imbatranire? Faci pe cineva ingrijorat ca imbatraneste. Cum convingi pe cineva sa voteze un partid politic? Il faci sa fie ingrijorat cu privire la imigrare. Cum convingi pe cineva sa cumpere asigurari? Il faci sa se teama de absolut orice. Cum ii convingi sa recurga la chirurgie plastica? Accentuandu-le defectele fizice. Cum ii convingi sa se uite la un show de televiziune? Ii faci sa se ingrijoreze ca vor pierde ceva daca nu se uita. Cum ii convingi sa cumpere un smartphone nou? Ii faci sa se simta lasati in urma.

A fi calm devine un fel de act revolutionar. A fi fericit cu existenta ta ne-upgradata. A fi confortabil cu sinele nostru haotic si uman, nu e bun pentru afaceri.




A free man is one of the most terrifying things for a woman because once a man becomes free:

He cannot be trained.
He cannot be moulded.
He cannot be controlled.

He cannot be manipulated into who we want him to be.

You complain that your man isn’t strong enough, doesn’t fuck you hard enough, well enough or frequently enough, isn’t strong or passionate or exciting or masculine enough.

You say you want a king who is established and mature. A man who isn’t dependent on mummy’s love, so starving for her nourishment and so scared of its withdrawal that he will do anything to keep it on tap.

But what you aren’t grasping is the very thing that would make this man all of that and more is also the very thing that when it truly shows up, will threaten to completely destroy all your Disney princess fantasies and christian conditioned covenants that are keeping it alive.

And that shit is terrifying.

A free man’s integrity is more important to him than his need for your approval.

He loves you, but loves himself more.

A free man says ‘no’ when he means no and ‘yes’ when he means yes, and he’s 100 percent committed to living his truth and his path whether you choose to walk with him or not.

That kind of man is terrifying because it puts us women in a certain position where our tried and tested hooks no longer work.

No longer can we control with our feminine emotional and sexual superpowers and tricks that have worked on every other man since we became daddy’s girl, those parts that know precisely all his weak spots and how to trigger, seduce, overwhelm, entice, and frustrate him to get exactly what you want and keep him there.

When a man becomes free no longer can we use him for our own sense of security, safety, and holding.

Suddenly those things become our own responsibility.

We are pushed into having our own discernment, to walking our own path and finding our own truth and fullness.

You want him to embrace and love your wildness don’t you?

But what about his?

Not being in control of men is a terrifying fucking thing for a woman – with memories of torture, rape, burnings and witch hunts in our blood.

But don’t be fooled into believing we are the weaker sex by any means.

Over the years many of us have learnt a far more covert style to have the upper hand.

You think patriarchy is a dangerous force of control and oppression?

So is a woman who wants a ring on it.

We’ve turned around the very thing that was created to own us – and used it to own them.

Payback perhaps.

Who could say exactly?

But the fact is all of us are suffering for it.

Because man or woman – none of us are here to be owned, to be put on a leash and given treats when we do good; punished when we do bad.

This isn’t about polyamory or monogamy or what is a right way of being together. But this is about examining what love really is and questioning whether the bargains and contracts and subtle power agreements are really that.

It’s a difficult dichotomy to get a handle, on I know…because there is a part in all of us that really does enjoy being given everything we want:

The princess.
The brat.
The little girl.

She doesn’t want to hear ‘no.’ EVER.

She wants it all her way. ALL THE TIME.

But there is a big sacrifice to pay if you let the princess, the brat, or the little girl run the show, and that is the emasculation of the man and the inner death of the woman.

A real man does not get hard for little girls, just as real women do not get wet for little boys.

Yet somehow we continually turn each other into just that and then wonder about why the spark has gone.

And the most terrifying thing about a free man is also the most beautiful, because to receive the love of a free man is one of the most nourishing awe inspiring, powerful, special things you will ever receive.

When he is with you you know it’s because he really fucking wants to be there.

When he chooses you, you know it’s because from every part of his being that this is his truth.

Not because you worked on him to do so.

Not because of conditioning or fear or signed rules of engagement.

Because you surrendered to allowing him to be exactly as he is and the true love that has the potential to flower from there is magnificent.

Because you can truly meet and receive who he really is, rather than a watered down compromised version of him that came forth because you pouted your lip in just the right way that he caved.

Because secretly the man you really want, the ‘perfect’ guy that you so totally ‘deserve,’ is the one who won’t always make you happy.

He is going to challenge you, even scare you.

He’s not always going to please you – and, fuck, you’d hope he wouldn’t, because your happiness is not his job…

…It’s yours.

sursa: Vanessa Florence

Taieri ilegale in Carpati

Ce-a fost odată pădure pare acum un cimitir de soldați necunoscuți care înghite încet nordul României și vestul Ucrainei. Adică, cea mai mare pădure virgină din Europa și speciile ei protejate.

poster-cccClear Cut Crimes durează 42 de minute și a fost filmat timp de un an în Munții Carpați.

Investigația noastră urmărește banii, trece prin toate etapele tranzacțiilor financiare cu păduri seculare, studiază anatomia acestor afaceri de sute de milioane de euro și localizează corupția sistemică care anunță dezastrul.

Banii se mișcă în logică de cartel, iar cartelul e format din oameni și corporații. Principalul beneficiar: grupul austriac Holzindustrie Schweighofer. Ei sunt centrul de gravitație al cartelului și procesează mai mult lemn decât poate fi tăiat legal în România.

În jurul lor rămâne câmp și crește o rețea de crimă organizată care taie ilegal păduri, aranjează dosare de revendicare și virusează instituții. Are două niveluri: gulere albe și interlopi violenți. Primii sunt politicieni influenți, ceilalți – “echipa de intervenție”. Și ei câștigă.

Folosesc oamenii săraci drept paravan și trec la propriu cu buldozerul peste orice și oricine le stă în cale, în timp ce poliția asistă liniștită la spectacol.

Rețeaua Schweighofer se întinde și în Ucraina, de unde lemnul ajunge la fabricile din România ale companiei. Aici, în țara vecină, o mână de combatanți din conflictul cu Rusia încearcă să i se opună cu forța. Se numesc “Batalionul Cazacilor”, blochează în drum camioane, opresc trenuri care transportă copacii tăiați ilegal peste graniță și organizează ambuscade în pădure. Nu-i suficient însă: cartelul e puternic, a corupt și funcționari din Kiev.

Clear Cut Crimes dezvăluie cronicile criminale din dulapul tău. Un proiect RISE Project & OCCRP.


Kinds of Silence


Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.

Source: Paul Goodman – Speaking and Language

You should date a girl who reads


“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

― Rosemarie Urquico