Monday, June 25, 2012

What am I doing here?

[4 p.m.] Today is a strange day, maybe. I have not idea what I am doing here in Tehran. I do not know what I should look forward to when I go back to Atlanta either. Everything seems suspended. I have no connections. Nothing to love, nothing to hate kind of feeling.

What is this life? It seems so empty and pointless. Going in circles until I die. Absurd.

I am not sure I have understood anything in my quest of the past few years. What I thought was love, appears now to be an escape from the emptiness within. And the emptiness itself ... there seems to be no way around it, or no way to get through it.

Is there any point in hoping that tomorrow will be different?

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[6 p.m.] I cannot help smiling, and feeling embarrassed, while reading the above lines, lol

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[11:30 p.m.] My dad's dentist gave him a new toothpaste, "Parodontax" (with mineral salts and Natural Herb Extracts), and I tried it tonight. It has a strange feeling different from other toothpaste I had tried before. I will see if I can find it in the US. :)

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[11:45 p.m.] A couple of days ago, in the Contemporary Art Museum, my sister told me about an important dream she had had recently and we tried to interpret it. Tonight she found this site, dreammoods.com, and she was excited about some of the suggestions from the site. So we spend another half and hour discussing her dream. I enjoyed it :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

I went there this afternoon with my sister. They had an exhibition of "Pop Art" and for the first time I liked some pieces in this genre. In fact, I could feel that some of the pieces moved something inside me. The architecture of the museum, as well as the worth of art collection being kept, is fascinating!

Some links:
Official site(?) 
http://www.iranchamber.com/museum/contemporary/contemporary_museum.php
Wiki:     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehran_Museum_of_Contemporary_Art
An article in Guardian about hidden masterpieces there:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/oct/29/artnews.iran

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simple Truth

Every healthy adult is, first and foremost, responsible for his own well-being.

First, the easier application : I have to understand my own needs and limits and make my decisions accordingly. No one knows what's best for me (even myself). Nevertheless, I have to accept this level of imperfection and continue making decisions and accept their consequences. I may ask for other people's help but, under no condition, I should expect them to "understand my situation, anticipate my needs, and initiate actions to help me accordingly.''Other people, no matter how close to me, are -not- responsible for my well-being!

Second, and maybe the more difficult practice for me: Other healthy adults also have the same responsibility to know their needs and follow them. I do not know what's best for others. I should -not- assume the responsibility of other people well-being, no matter how close they are to me! (As Maziar sometimes says, we all have some form of God complex, thinking arrogantly that we have the knowledge and power to change other peoples' lives!)

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I wrote the above lines 15 days ago but did not publish the post because it seemed so trivial to me! Since then, I have found out: (1) It is very difficult to follow these simple instructions! (2) Most people agree with these principles, but have difficulty practicing them. Often, they do not see how they violate them, in fact!

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It is easier to keep my balance, in the way I described above, when dealing with people who are not very close to me, who do not play a significant role in my life. What is most difficult is to follow the above ideas when dealing with those whom I love. When I love someone, and deeply care for her/him, I find it extremely tempting to try to make them happy and expect them to make me happy. Nevertheless, it is important to remind myself that it is not a matter of responsibility on either sides.

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The issue of "taking the responsibility" is of critical importance here. I had an experience last night that I saw that clearly.  It is a matter of grave importance what we do and do not take responsibility for.

This video clip (music and picture) is amazing! (Thanks to heterodoxical)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6SXXx1Fu_4

Monday, June 04, 2012

Choice, Anxiety, and Growth

Selected passages from the ``Passionate Marriage,'' by David Schnarch:
We have the fantasy that we have the choice between being anxious or not. Unfortunately, we don't. Our choice is between one anxiety or another. Do something scary----or face problems from not doing it. .... Face the anxiety of growing up----or the terror of facing life as a perpetual child. ...
These are examples of the two-choice dilemmas inherent in emotionally committed relationships. Such dilemmas arise from our human nature: we are fundamentally separate life forms who value both attachment and autonomy. ...

In my clinical work I use the term ``two-choice dilemma'' to highlight that (1) we often try to remain in our perplexing, awkward, and painful situations to keep everything in check, (b) a choice is often required to solve our situation, (c) we usually want two choices but we only get one, and (d) we try to avoid choosing (by remaining in difficult situations) to avoid losses inherent in giving up one option for another (i.e., a solution). ...

None of us wants to face our dilemma(s) and choose one option over the other. Manic attempts to ``do it all'' maintain our secret fantasy that we can have it all---and never have to face our anxiety. ... But decisions, commitments, friendship, and integrity only become meaningful in a world of finite options.

When we tell ourselves we have no choice in a situation, we act as if we can sit pa until we do. But ``no choice'' is a rationalization for the fuller truth: ``There is no choice I want!'' There is always a choice---but not often the one we want. ....
It makes sense that so many of us feel ``stuck''. Going forward means choosing. Maintaining the status quo offers the fantasy of never having to choose---or the illusion that if you stall enough, the choice you want may just appear.

Our problem is not the two-choice dilemma itself but our refusal to face it, our willingness to meet life on its own terms. Difficulty with two-choice dilemmas commonly takes several forms:
  • We can't remain calm in the face of our partner's agenda.
  • We are so reactive and poorly defined that we can't change our position even when it's in our best interest.
  • We refuse to see our partner as a separate person.
  • We are unwilling to tolerate the anxiety of personal growth.
You can use two-choice dilemmas or you can seek to avoid them. The latter is always an option but, as in any dilemma, there is a price: you can't avoid or minimize two-choice dilemmas without truncating your own and/or your partner's growth or happiness.  ...

The choice we finally make often reflects only which anxiety is the least tolerable and which options are the more expendable. We rarely accept we're choosing the anxiety we'll have to deal with. We want choices without prices and solutions without anxiety. ... Anxiety per se isn't the problem. Anxiety is inherent in growth (sexual and otherwise). It plays a productive and necessary role in sexual development and pleasure. Sexual novelty always involves anxiety and ambiguity. The real problem is our intolerance and fear of anxiety. The long-term solution (which doesn't kill us) involves coming more mature. ...

Going through the trauma of maturing---differentiating---opens up the possibility that we may yet become adults. Digesting and self-soothing marriage's restrictions ripens intimacy and eroticism. Choosing between gut-wrenching anxieties and options makes us more differentiated, more capable of truly loving.
In Chapter 10 I mentioned that the possibility of metabolizing aggression into something useful (fuel for fucking). That ``digestive'' capacity comes from going through two-choice dilemmas. These are bitter pills to swallow---but swallowing and self-soothing increase what you can ``digest'' without indigestion. ...  ---pp. 297-303, Passionate Marriage

Friday, June 01, 2012

As good as any

Today was a good day,
as good as any,
to walk in the park,
to touch and be touched,
to sniff and be sniffed,
and to leave unfulfilled

Today was a good day,
as good as any,
to take a nap in the afternoon
and then wake up
with a dull pain in the chest
and the feeling of missing someone
to the point of madness

Tonight was a good night,
as good as any,
to shed tears in the movie theater
for a gay old man
who betrayed his lover
only to find out
years later
that he had deserted himself

Tonight is a good night,
as good as any,
to say the final goodbye

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Aram Khachaturyan - Waltz - Masquerade:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNqMnfCxxC4

Clear Shallow Water

I started reading this novel, `` The Driver ,'' by Hart Hanson , and I did not like it much and decided to stop. But then I came ba...