Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Song to say Goodbye

Would it be happy or sad? If you had to use a song to say goodbye, would it be a sad goodbye or a happy farewell? Would it be filled with melancholy or with hopes for a happy re-encounter? i never thought about it in fact, i kept on listening to this specific song that repeated the phrase on and on like a scratched record and it was only now that i realized that the phrase is actually quite interesting.

On its own, detached from any other words, signs or phrases, that one specific sentence can really put your brain to work. Of course there are sad songs, happy songs, violent songs, songs of all sorts, but what does a song to say goodbye sound like? Should it be mellow? why would anyone use a song to say goodbye anyway? Goodbyes are moments dreaded by most of everyone; when have you ever heard anyone saying that they "loved goodbyes"? I would not raise my hand for that one, and i am pretty sure that pretty much everyone's answer to that question would be: never.

it is simple as that, if a goodbye turns into a moment, than it is most likely not a happy one. Even if the goodbye is happening because of a really cool occasion, like a promotion to a branch in a grater city or a scholarship in that cool foreign country, the goodbye on its own, the act of saying goodbye at that moment is not necessarily so filled with joy.

So, at the end, i guess that a song to say goodbye could turn out to be a pretty cool thing. Imagine; you are at the airport, dreading that awkward moment when you hug-kiss-cry-all at once moment, and everyone else around you can tell whats going on, and then, all of sudden you lover, or child, or parent starts singing you a little song, and that song will probably stick to your brain, better yet, to your heart, and will help both to go on and give both something to cling to whenever missing that special one can't even be translated into words.

Songs are meant to lift you up, songs are meant to generate emotions, to make your heart beat faster, songs can lift moods, carry movies, change the course of a play and make or ruin your day. Songs keep you company and never ever let you go, not even when you don't have anywhere or anything to play a song on, not even if your mute and can't even humm, you will always have your songs stuck within the walls of your brain.

So, yes, a song to say goodbye probably would be something very cool and generous, a true act of love!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Order and Progress

Times have changed, and they still change constantly and much faster than they used to. you get around nowadays and talk to people from whatever part of the world, and the level of education and knowledge is maybe 10% of what it used to be fifty years ago. The perception of the world have changed; yes, it's easier to get around and access information, but how much of the knowledge are we really absorbing?

There was a time when people would get great education at their countries, learn the history of the world and be open to know the stories of the past. Those who had some level of money and power would send their children to schools abroad, to learn different languages and get higher level of education and broader cultural knowledge.

Nowadays the furthest you will go is with an exchange student program for six months, and even then, the level of education is not guaranteed to excel. Yes you have experiences that are valuable for your life, but what is your money really paying for? Maybe some different scenery views, movie sessions and frat house parties?

Let's talk about day to day politeness too. Back in the day, families ate together, talked about issues of the world. People asked to be excused, said they were sorry when wrong and complimented their friends even at the smallest accomplishment. Hello's, goodbye's and pleases were exchanged at all social levels and ages, and the grammar was respected in both in the writing or in a conversation. Letters helped too, it made the reader use its imagination, it encouraged writers to practice their writing and had a certain romance to it too.

Today is today only, and maybe there's room to discuss tomorrow, but today is never yesterday. The past has been shot dead by a bazooka and with the years passing it's getting deeper and deeper under ground, buried under a pile of stupid useless knowledge. Who now has the time to think about the formation of the great lakes, or who made the first airplane, or how some of the countries that are now living in poverty used to be the safest, most educated and more sought after in the world?! Not many people; not many are interested in what makes the world spin, in the mechanisms that could change the course of history. The short attention span is one of the causes of the decline of the modern civilization, people are interested on what's hot now, but five minutes from now something else will be hot and that's when the world starts cracking and why it is now falling apart.

There is a reason for every little thing that happens on earth, the explanation for it all is available, be it in a text book, a biography, Google or in a Discovery documentary; but the information is there none the less. What is really scary is the fact that even though the information is more abundant and accessible than ever, people still choose to live blindly, and even the ones who choose to see, don't feel empowered enough to affect changes into the system.

The truth for these times is that it takes a couple of bold people to affect change, and even the smallest change is a big push to our world. Our planet is going down, and the way of the future has to be made by the combination of knowledge, action, hope and urgency, because if order is not urgent for the progress of our planet now, than I don't know what is.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Greatest

This morning I was in a bus on my way back home from the beach after a weekend of fun, and after a good hour of sleep I woke up to realize we were almost arriving at the bus station, and as I looked out the window the greatness of the city hit me. The skyscrapers, the bridges, the tunnels, even the bus station, everything here is greater and grander than any other place in the world, but not in a show off kind of way, this is a city that wasn't designed to be that way, it just happened.

But the city's greatness is not limited to the city itself, the city is only this great because of the people in it, because the people here always worked harder than anywhere else, the people here were the people from everywhere else, people who arrived here with no money and the will to survive, the will to start fresh and rebuild their lives, because talent here is appreciated and recognized, because from the start, years and years ago the city was built by great people, and they set the bar really high, and that was it.

Location was important too, whoever had the idea to come here was really smart, this piece of land is nestled in the heart of the universe. Whoever got here first also set a precedent for the prices we deal with now; the prices we deal with now, however, only seem to matter in the beginning, when you first start paying rent, because after a while you feel like what you pay is quite all right for such a great place to live in.

What other city in the world is as great as this one? Culturally there's nothing like it. The theaters are always packed, filled with energy and great productions, everyone wants to perform here and the audience loves it. The Broadway shows are filled with charm and again, greatness. The museums are innovative and always open to new ideas, filling their hallways with old and new blood side by side making for a great experience. The streets are also part of the culture, there is street art, street dancing, street music, street performances and pop art, everywhere. Even the way some of the billboards are made are still very old-school, someone is paid to go all the way up there next to a tall building wall and paint the adds that you will be looking at for the next two weeks and feel like they were printed by machines on paper to be glued on that very wall. But they weren't.

If you want to travel in the summer, there are endless options of beaches to get to within a 6 hour drive, it doesn't matter how rich or poor you are or how long you're willing to travel, you can get there easily, by train, bus or car! In the winter you can also go up to the mountains for snowboarding and that's not a big stretch either. You can even cross the border and go to another country if you want to. You can get to Boston or D.C. if you're in the mood for a different capital. All within those six hours. You could go to a different place every weekend if you wanted, and never get too tired.

Here you can also hop in an airplane and within 8 hours you can be in any major European city, or in the middle of the Amazon, or enjoying tango in Argentina. You can also opt to stay in American territory and visit your friends all the way in the west coast or maybe try your luck in Vegas, or even see the greatness of the grand canyon and the glaciers of Alaska.

Here is the city that truly never sleeps, here you can get a slice of pizza at any given time, you can also go shopping at 3am if you feel like it, or you can go dancing to jazz, salsa, dance or samba music at the endless night clubs available. If you're up for a more quiet and natural experience you can go bird watching at the Central Park, said to be one of the richest natural environments for wildlife in a big city. You can go ice skating, you can go to times square to look at the signs that are so bright that they fill the sky with light and erase the stars, you can cross the bridge into the next door neighborhood and see the postcard skyline live and filled with energy, like no picture or movie on earth could reproduce.

Here is where everyone wants to be, and also where everyone is welcome to be. Here there are no boundaries for you to be whoever you want to be, you can be black, white, yellow or red, you can be Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or Jewish, you can be gay or straight, married or divorced, fat or skinny, you name it, you can be it, there is a place for you out here.

This is New York, the greatest city on earth, the city that made me feel like part of the world, because this city as problematic and complex as it may be, as any other large city is, still manages to be in peace, still manages to show the world what the world could be like, a peaceful piece of land, where its citizens care for the environment and each other, where people live together in unison, where its narrow streets make you feel like you belong and its large avenues can show you the beauty of a sunny day, be it summer or winter, the sun always manages to come out to bathe us in joy. In New York there is no room for mediocrity, here is the land of the great, and as Frank would say, if you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere.

This is New York, the Big Apple, so come on in and take a big bite at it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Am Love

And so it is, you feel human once again. Not very often though, it's not something constant, but every now and then something pushes you towards your hopes, fears, emotions, thoughts and even your own soul. We are inclined nowadays, by accident as I like to believe, to just live, get through this or that issue, say big words like love or happiness without being sure of what it is we're saying, but we keep saying it, because that's what we're supposed to do, that's what we know.

Once in a blue moon though, something happens, what you thought you knew as angst shifts and shows you the real meaning of the word, and makes you wonder: do I really know what it is that I'm doing around here? Am I serving my purpose? Do I even have one? The minute life throws you a curve ball is the minute you come face to face with your life. How will you deal with what really matters? How will you deal with your feelings?

What I believe in, is that we put a mask in our feelings without knowing it, because it makes it easier to go on living, or perhaps because it's not something that we really know how to handle. We don't learn anything about it in school, our parents don't sit us down for a talk about it, apparently the use of a condom is a bigger priority, and our friends, well, they are just as lost as we are; but perhaps, we should also consider the fact that many go on living blinded by facts, numbers and rules.

The breath of fresh air and the shade of hope in life comes as it always has, through inspiration, through ideas, through the universe that conspires for us, not against us. Painters and sculptors had muses and their art inspired millions, and so it is, to this day, we are constantly being pushed and inspired by outside factors that surround us. A song, a goodbye kiss at the gate in the airport, the laughter of a child, a great book, someone's life story or a movie; these are some of the things that can wake us up, depending of course of where we are in life. Or where we aren't.

I am love. A simple phrase, but a phrase that makes you think, that sends your neurons spinning and that also is the name of a movie. I am love was for me a source of inspiration and fuel for thought. This is not just a movie, this is one of those things that puts life in check, it speaks to everyone, maybe not entirely, but there will be something that will catch your soul. I am love makes you feel it all at once and than it crashes you only to lift you up all over again.

Every aspect of this masterpiece is engaging and mind blowing, the soundtrack may be simple but comes into perfect coordination with the cinematography, that highlights the arts, the architecture, the actors and their brilliance; the elements are put together in a way that you are also there, feeling every breath of every character and hearing their thoughts even if they are not thinking, because you feel their life coming through the screen, because the screen is merely a way to communicate to you what someone had the skill to write, direct and produce, with love, with feeling, with brilliance. That's why the title, as simple as it is, screams for your attention, read it again: I am love. Io sono amore. Je suis l'amour. eu sou amor. Yo soy amor.

The phrase resonates, makes you wonder, drives you crazy; this single phrase, as simple as it is, pushes you, sends you off the edge. This phrase makes you feel. Well, how can anyone actually be love? How can anyone love that much to actually be love? Or how can one assume that he or she is that important to deserve such a feeling? How does one even know what is love? How do I know what is love?

Well, here is my point exactly: I don't know, and nor do you. We don't really know what any of those feelings mean until they run into us and we assume that's what it feels like. What we feel is very particular, very intimate, but this is, when it happens, the opportunity to have a dialogue with ourselves and decide where we're headed and reflect on where we came from, to figure out what our core is. My life is here now but it may not in the next ten minutes, so, what do I do? I grab on to these little moments of inspiration and enjoy them as if i was a drug addict having that lat hit, because i don't know when something will inspire me that much, i don't know when will the next muse come around the corner, so i choose to feel it all, and keep feeling everything to exhaustion.