I consider myself not a person of extremes. Okay, I do admit that I one minute can be over the moon and the next I can be totaly depressed because something or someone has triggered something that makes something go off in my mind. If have days that I do believe that my star sign is responsible for that. Capricorn right here! I am used to it by now but believe me I still do have moments that it does take me some energy to understand myself. Oh yes, I have done things against my belief, principles and faith because I had some very good reasons to do so. Yes, some did involve some regret but at the time I did overcome my own judgement and conscience because it did involve a certain sentiment that I do consider very strong and ultimate important.
Personal I have the deepest respect for that sentiment because I have seen up, close and personal the power of this sentiment at work. It is the source of so many things that I consider worth to fight for. I dare to go the distance because of that one feeling. In most situations it will even keep me sane and it will make me stay away of the place where the world is so much darker. Oh yes, it involves fighting back and sometimes holding my tongue. Also it will question some of my strongest beliefs and principles that I try to live by. I am under a constant attack but up till now that one feeling has saved me over and over. It made sense and then you are happy to even make a few sacrifices. The people out there who know Stallie will know for sure what I mean by this. This sensation has shaped my heart, my mind and my conscience. It is who I am and I might have to forsake now and then some things I care deeply about but what it has given me in return I am 200% sure that it is worth to fight for. So in my personal life the power of LOVE still prevails and that perhaps makes me a bit more naive then most of you out there who consider themselves realists and very down to earth.
The moment I found out what had happened in Paris I sat there and my mind just went blank. That I was all by myself and that I could not even think of one single 'correct' word might not surprise you. The thing is that Stallie has normal no problems with coming up with words. I am someone who believes in the power of the word and who thinks that the freedom to express what you think and feel is ultimate important. I have found out that the written word can have negative side effects. That will always be the case. Every single action can have that effect. It would be so naive to think that we can just do what we feel like at every single moment of the day. That world I do not wish to live in.
That in France people once did revolt because they were after a new kind of society and needed more freedom is to be found in the history books. Yes, people have fought in 18th century for freedom, equality and brotherhood. In 'La douce France' many people were fed up with power and supremacy of one person who did think he was even God on earth. It was then that so many people started to express openly their mind about what they did think. And oh yes, at that time satire was a very useful way to get their point across. The French have taken satire to a level that most of us never will get. It is in France that the expression of ideas and thought even the extreme ones is daily business and it sells.
Now, I don't consider myself a person who can laugh with everything. Satire is sometimes a bridge too far when it comes down to the humor I consider funny or of a certain quality. But as the French state so lovely:'Des goûts et des couleurs, on ne discute pas.' Nope I not always agree with everyone I come across on a daily basis. Now and then I even disagree with the other significant one when he once more has total different priorities then mine. I have to hold my tongue more then once when I do think that I am more right then him. It will happen again and sooner then I even account for. But that is part of the bargain. But love prevails over and over and that is keeps me sane and also the people try to live, work and have to put up with me day in day out. Or at least that is what I hope for.
That we now with so many ventilate our opinion about what has happened in Paris and beyond does not come as a surprise. It seems that suddenly everyone feels like we need to take a stand. The thing is that what is going on in my mind is a bit more complex then the sticker or the poster:'Je suis Charlie'. I have dived into the press shortly after this happened and I then suddenly had a lockdown in my brain. It is then that I try to be zen, even step away from any IT-tool. No I am not one of the persons who will then call my family in overdrive. That might only happen if after that moment nothing sensible comes out of me or the world even makes less sense then before that. Nope, Stallie then dives into a pool of solitude. It is not a happy spot and the water is ice cold and deep. I am going under and I even will hide there for a while before I decide that need to come back for fresh air.
It is in those solitary moments that I suddenly try to come up with the answer to the following trival questions:'Who am I? What do I stand for? What do I believe in? What is my faith? What stand do I take? What is my opinion?' Believe me, I refuse to ask for help during those rather dark moments because chances are likely that after that I might not be understood by all the people around me. I have found out that in the 21st century so many times we are asked to have an outspoken opinion about something and it seems that we are even forced to always say what we think. The thing is that I in the first place wish to be who I am without having to justify myself and I feel threatened by others that my opinion might trigger something that is beyond my control. It is then I do think twice before I express my opinion but there are a few things that I consider sacred: my freedom to be who I am and this without fear.
I am fully aware that many have died in the past to safeguard many of the things that I have almost started take sometimes for granted. So that a few days ago three men decided to end the lives of people who take their right to express their rather extreme opinions made me feel...... Actually I failed to find the right words to express what I felt.... The aftermath of this I am still digesting and I am quite sure that it has caused a major impact on the lives of many.
In case you have hoped to find out here what my 'exact' opinion about all of this is what is going on then I am sorry to inform you that you won't find it out here. And no, that is not that because I am afraid to express what I think. As stated so many times before: what is going on in my mind is a complex process and for the moment my mind can still not come fully to terms what is going on. Perhaps I try to tell you out there that when I feel ready to express my opinion that you might be in the room with me and that you just have asked me the right questions and that I feel ready to express myself and that we can have a very deep going conversation/debate/discussion/chat/ (you see, I don't know yet what then will happen but I am trying to come to terms this could end up in many forms of dialogue) of which we both hopefully will benefit.
BUT for now I wish to state very clearly that I hope the following: I feel free and this is also thanks to this blank space that I am able to fill in with words. I am able to say so many things about what I feel, sense, experience, taste, witness, read,learned,etc. The idea that there might be a day that I might not have that opportunity to do so and that will have to hold back because it might cause destruction and total havoc that scares me. Because yes, I am Stallie and I love to write.... It is something that has become part of who I am and I strongly believe that every human being alive should feel safe when using a pen or pencil.
To wrap up some of the things I came across that for me stood out in the jungle of reactions that I came across since:
1. Jojo Mojes, one of my favorite authors, expressing in a tweet what she felt like that day when she saw a picture of a crowd holding up pencils:
So moved by crowds holding up pencils, pens, Je Suis Charlie signs. The imagery of good can be just as powerful as that of evil.
2. This is a part of a commentary published in a Belgian newspaper by the Belgian columnist Guillaume Van der Stighelen. He wrote this just a few hours after what was going on in Paris:
"Er is een nar onthoofd. Laat dat het goede nieuws zijn: een vorm van onmacht is ontbloot. Nee, het zal de pijn van de nabestaanden niet verzachten. Maar lach. Lach harder. Lach luider. Lach zachter. Lach gemener. Lach teder. Lach vrolijk of lach groen. Maar lach. En blijf lachen. Als eerbetoon aan de jongens die niets anders wilden dan ons wijzen op de beperkingen van de wijsheid die wij allen menen in pacht te hebben."
'A jester has been beheaded. Let that be the good news: a way of impotence has been dispelled. No, that won't make the pain of the families and loved ones less. But laugh. Laugh harder. Laugh louder. Laugh softer. Laugh meaner. Laugh tender. Laugh cheerful or laugh forced. But laugh. And keep on laughing. As a tribute to those boys who did not want anything other then point out to us the limitations of the wisedom that we think we own.'
3. The music I picked out to go along with entry is ofcourse linked with what is going on and there are few lines that stand out and express what I do feel like and what kind of person I hope to be most of the time without hurting anyone's feelings:
'I'll be a bright red rose combusting the concrete
Be the cartoon heart'
& Because I have a very strong preference for everything that is Italian and that language also expresses so well what I feel like and what I believe.
'Fra di noi
c'è bisogno d'armonia
poi diventa facile
aiutarsi a vivere'
there's need of harmony
then it becomes easy
help each other and live'