Category Archives: Uncategorized

Koniec nevinnosti

Standard

Koniec nevinnosti

Neustále čítam a počúvam o prítomnom okamihu a o žití v ňom. A s trochou prikrášlenia by som sa mohol nazvať skeptikom prežívania prítomnosti. Teda niežeby žitie v minulosti, či budúcnosti bolo lepšie, ono je to všetko totiž postavené len na našom naučenom vnímaní času. Aj to prehnané zdôrazňovanie života v prítomnosti.

Na krátke vysvetlenie by som si dovolil použiť ukážku z knihy od Sarah Manguso, Dva Druhy Rozkladu.

~ Meranie

Obdobie deviatich rokov začalo a skončilo. Meriam čas podľa pohybu tejto planéty. Tak ako to robí každý, kto je pri zmysloch.

Občas zabúdam, že meranie času je tu aby ma odpútalo od toho, čo sa skutočne deje.

Občas zabúdam, že kráčam po povrchu mäkkej hmoty, ktorá kdesi veľmi hlboko horí, po povrchu ohrievanom a osvetlovanom explóziami vzdialenými deväťdesiattri miliónov míľ. Explóziami, ktoré v nejakom bode začali a rovnako v nejakom bode skončia.

Občas zabúdam, že som vznikla z tejto explózie a – napriek môjmu pocitu, že som od nej oddelená – zase sa do nej vrátim.

Prečo deväť rokov?

Prečo si ráno musím 60 minút čítať, poobede zaplávať dvadsať dĺžok v bazéne a večer napísať tisíc slov aby som mala pocit, že som svojich 24 hodín dňa prežila zmysluplne?

Čo znamenajú tieto čísla? Čo nimi vlastne meriame? Čo si myslím, že objasňujem aktom merania? Stáva sa niečo meraním jasnejšie?

Na začiatku je počatie, tehotenstvo, rast nového mozgu v lone, zjavenie hlavičky, prvý nádych, pomenovanie.

Na konci, ak sa náhodou nevyparíme v explózii, zastane srdce, ale krv ešte tečie žilami, potom krv prestane tiecť, ale tkanivá ešte žijú, potom tkanivá odumrú, až nakoniec zomrie posledný neurón v mozgu. Ako dlho to presne trvá závisí od príliš veľa premenných.

Moja židovská stará mama sa dožila osemdesiat-päť rokov. Myslela si, že sa narodila desiateho decembra, ale keď sme našli jej rodný list, ukázalo sa, že sa narodila ôsmeho, alebo deviateho. Boston bol totiž vtedy zavalený snehom a to bol prvý deň kedy mohol niekto nahlásiť jej narodenie.

Mám od nej dva listy, ktoré mi napísala do letného tábora v 1980. Jeden je z utorka 29. júna a druhý, zo 4. júla ku Dňu Nezávislosti.

Aké dátumy nemožno spochybniť? Aké časy sú jednoznačné? O konci vojen sa často píše s udávaním presného dátumu. Končia vtedy keď sa podpíše deklarácia o ich konci. Končia v okamihu v ktorom sa dá deklarácia považovaná za podpísanú.

Ale nie je to náhodou tak, že vojny ani tak nekončia v tom okamihu, ale ľudia sa proste iba dohodnú ich za skončené v tom okamihu pokladať? A tak sa meranie stáva neuskutočniteľným. Nepresným. Proste neuskutočniteľným.

Vlastne nič sa nedeje v okamihu. Nič sa nedeje rýchlo. Ak sa vám niekedy zdá, že sa niečo deje rýchlo, je to preto že sa pozeráte iba na malý úsek diania.

Výstrel z brokovnice sa zdá byť vykonaný rýchlo, ale čo pohyb prsta k spúšti? Čo s myšlienkou ktorá viedla k rozhodnutiu vystreliť? Čo so všetkým tým tréningom pred tým? Čo vlastne so všetkým, čo sa stalo pred tým než uchopíme tú pušku? Ako môžeme oddeliť samotné stlačenie spúšte od toho, čo bolo nevyhnutné pre to aby sa to stalo?

Nie, nič sa nedeje v okamihu. Nič sa nezačína a nič sa neprestáva stávať. História nikde nezačína. A rovnako nikde nekončí.

Prečo by som teda ja musela nájsť začiatok a koniec tohoto rozkladu o ktorom píšem – ktorý napokon je aj tak len menším rozkladom môjho väčšieho osobného rozkladu?

A nemá celý ten rozklad náhodou aj iné mená – napríklad aj život?

 ~ Koniec

Sú dva druhy rozkladu – môj a rozklad tých ostatných. Toto je len celkom obyčajná kniha o chorobe, niekto sa uzdraví, niekto ochorie.

Tí, ktorí tvrdia že píšu o niečom väčšom a dôležitejšom ako o sebe samých len zlyhávajú pochopiť svoj skutočný rozmer.

Väčšina ľudí považuje svoje vlastné utrpenie za akýsi široko aplikovateľný model a ja nie som výnimka.

Utrpenie skrýva poučenie: sústreďte sa. Dôležitá časť nemusí prísť tak, že ju okamžite rozoznáte.

Nemusíte ani vedieť ako ju milovať. Ale sústrediť sa je milovať všetko. Vidieť budúcnosť ako svetlo.

Čokoľvek sa deje, sa deje len vtedy, raz a naposledy. Vidíme veci len ako ich vlastné svetlo a za tým svetlom už nie je nič.

Nemôžeme sa nič naučiť z pamätania si, nemôžeme sa nič naučiť z hádania.

Jediné učenie je v pohybe vpred, akým sme vpred posúvaný, ako svetlo pohybujúce sa do svetla.

(Kniha Dva Druhy Rozkladu je vskutku úžasná a odporúčam ju.) >>>


Podnetom na napísanie tejto úvahy bolo ono zistenie, že nič sa v skutočnosti nedeje v okamihu. Ako je vysvetlené v ukážke z knihy. Ku všetkému, čo sa deje sa viaže nejaká udalosť v minulosti, často viac udalostí, okamihov, všetko sa teda deje “naraz”. To iba my vnímame čas ako rôzne okamihy tým, že ho delíme na minulosť, prítomnosť a budúcnosť.

Povedzme, že za okamih budeme považovať milióntinu sekundy. Naše zmysly a mozog sú schopné spracovávať javy určitou rýchlosťou, ak sa ale veci dejú príliš rýchlo, nemusíme na ne reagovať v prítomnom okamihu, viacmenej teda vždy reagujeme na veci, čo sa už stali, nie na veci čo sa dejú. Sotva si na niečo pomyslíme, už je to minulosť. Prítomnosť sa proste deje príliš rýchlo aby sme v nej mohli skutočne žiť. Prežívame teda život ako minulosť, prítomnosť a budúcnosť zároveň. Možno je teda naše pátranie po žití v prítomnosti založené len na nepochopení času. Že sa jeho tri zložky snažíme oddeliť.

Je to ako s tou Božou trojicou, nikdy som tomu nechápal. Otec, syn a Duch Svätý. A jeden Boh, ktorý ich všetkých obsahuje. Niežeby som tomu teda chápal oveľa viac než vtedy v detských rokoch keď som o trojjedinečnosti Boha počul prvý krát. Ale ono je to všetko v tom, že sa snažíme veci chápať rozumom, ktorý je síce skvelý nástroj v rukách človeka, ale skrátka nemôžeme ním odhaliť všetky tajomstvá života.

 ~ 6,400,099,980

V knihe Hľadanie prítomného okamihu (A Tale For The Time Being), od Ruth Ozeki, som sa dočítal o učení majstra Dōgena, ktorý vo svojom učení spomína číslo 6,400,099,980. Hovorí, že toľko krát za deň prežívame prítomný okamih, v toľkých úsekoch času vieme zmeniť smer svojej cesty, zmeniť myšlienku, ktorú máme. Svojich žiakov učil navráteniu sa do prítomnosti lusknutím prstov, ak im myseľ zablúdila príliš ďaleko od prítomného okamihu.

Dá sa teda jednoduchou rovnicou zistiť aký časový okamih by tomuto číslu zodpovedal:

24 hodín (86,400 sekúnd) / 6,400,099,980 =

>>> 0.0000135 sekundy!!!

Veľmi krátky časový úsek.

Čiže taká krátka je prítomnosť ako ju vieme prežiť. Neviem či je ale možné žiť iba v prítomnosti a byť si jej neustále vedomý.

No a v rámci hľadania definície prítomnosti som si dal takú úlohu, nájsť bod, okamih, v ktorom dieťa stráca nevinnosť. Niečo ako okamih v ktorom Adam a Eva zistili, že sú nahí. Iste, niečo k tomu všetkému vedie, rôzne predošlé udalosti, ale ono spoznanie vlastnej nahoty sa odohrá v jednom okamihu. No a mňa zaujalo, či je možné ho zachytiť. Možno všetko to, čím prechádzame sú kvapky do pohára, ktorý má svoj limit.

A ako žijeme >>>

kvap ‘

kvap ”

KVAP “‘

Až kým prvá kvapka nepretečie.

Malá má šesť rokov a stále je to nevinné dieťa. Niečo, čo sa oplatí pozorovať, všímať si a z toho všetkého sa učiť. Učiť tej nevinnosti s akou žije. Možno aby si ju človek mohol pripomenúť, spomenúť si na svoju vlastnú nevinnosť, a možno neskôr, i tomu druhému ju pripomenúť.

Ešte stále sa malá nebráni svojej nahote a sotva si uvedomuje, že jej na jej malých chudých nožičkách začínajú rásť chĺpky. Svet je pre ňu jedno veľké ihrisko.

Neviem tú jej nevinnosť opísať, ale intenzívne ju vnímam. V tom ako pozoruje svet a reaguje. Iste, od mnohého je uchránená, ako aj my a iné šťastné deti sme boli uchránení našimi rodičmi. Jedného dňa však zistí, že svet, hoci možno stále ihrisko, občas vyžaduje ísť na dno síl a ani tak víťazstvo nie je zaručené.

Ako teda opísať tú nevinnosť a ako si všimnúť jej koniec?

Je to iskra v očiach?

Chuť zobudiť sa každý deň a myslieť na hry?

Úprimné sa tešenie z malých vecí ako časopis s lacnou hračkou a nálepkami, či sladká limonáda z obchodu na rohu?

Naivná dôvera v dobro ľudí?

A kedy sa to stratí?

Bude to vidno v jej očiach?

Spoznám to podľa jej slov?

Dotyku?

Neviem.

Naozaj neviem.

Sám neviem kedy som prišiel o tú detskú nevinnosť, kedy začalo moje dospievanie.

Možno by sa to dalo napísať takto:

Ako dieťa rastie a dospieva,

srdce pripravuje sa na moment,

kedy pieseň nevinnosti bude musieť dospievať.

A tak vedomý si toho, čo sa nevyhnutne stane, možno viac než striehnuť na ten moment, by som mal počúvať tú tichú pieseň jej malého srdiečka. Kým spieva nevinne.

little feet

How I struggled to remove PayPal from Google Play Store

Standard

So,

in the past few weeks I started to let my 6 year old daughter to play on my tablet, which had my credit card and my PayPal account linked to the Google Play store. And although it is not always connected to WiFi, today, when I saw her pressing a shop button in this game with “in-app purchases” I reconsidered my Google account settings and I decided to delete all my lined payment methods and only use the store credit, which I planned to purchase locally in the shops, keeping my account balance in the area of £5-10, as I don’t tend to make many purchases there (I already purchased the items/apps I really wanted, or needed and there is simply no need to have another connection to my bank account.

So I went and removed credit card, but when I looked in the PayPal option, it all became slightly strange. PayPal wasn’t showing as a method on my Google Payments page.

04 Not showing PayPal

So I tried to purchase an app by selecting PayPal as an option trying to see how it will go and to my shock, after I confirmed the Google password (remember this, not the PayPal account password), the purchase was successful and the app started to download.

I didn’t like this as I was hoping to have a “double security” on my account, where in the first step, every purchase would have my approval by confirming Google password, and then, in the case of PayPal payment, confirming PayPal password. (I will now fast forward and will provide you with what I learned from PayPal employee, which was really really helpful. She said, that there is a MERCHANT on my PayPal account, which is Google, and somehow I must have entered into a BILLING AGREEMENT with this merchant, Google, which means, if I am purchasing anything on Google Play Store using PayPal as a method, I am billed to my linked PayPal account and even the change of the password on that PayPal account wouldn’t stop this billing, as the billing is linked to the account, completely ignoring what password I have on that account. So then she kindly cancelled this agreement, which means Google cannot bill my PayPal account anymore.)

This is what is on Google website about PayPal method:

01 PayPal method

And this is the information they have to assist users with removing a payment method from Google Play Store:

03 Remove a Payment method

So I rang Google and asked them to remove my PayPal account from my Play Store account. After a few emails and phone calls, they successfully erased my PayPal account and it is now showing this method as “blank”.

Everyone was helpful and I experienced top quality customer service from both, Google and PayPal, although the second person I spoke to about my PayPal account was much more knowledgeable tham the first one, as the first PayPal employee didn’t even mention something like “a billing agreement”, which would save me time explaining to Google what is wrong. After the other PayPal employee, Sam, told me about this, within a few minutes I knew what is going on and she simply cancelled it and as Google already erased all my PayPal account details I achieved what I wanted.

Google has verification control process, as below, but the verification in case of PayPal, doesn’t provide user with extra verification by requesting PayPal login details:

02 Verification options

The issue is, PayPal is a very popular payment method. And from the above it seems that its users are somehow mislead (well, at least I was) when selecting it as an option when signing up for Google Play Store services, that this will provide them with usual security (by requiring password approval, I mean PayPal password) when they are making Google Play purchases. But instead, if the user will set up PayPal as a method, and they pay by it, Google Play store will ask for Google password (if set up to ask) and then the purchase will happen. Which means that PayPal password is not requested. (Apparently this is achieved by the “billing agreement”, that somehow the user agrees for Google to take payments of his/her PayPal account without confirming the PayPal account details – PASSWORD. Which I think is a security loop hole.)

 

SUMMARY:

I am coming from a financial background (workwise) and it is all about security and I was always reminded to watch out for any weaknesses in the system. Now this might not be a big issue to some, but as I am longtime PayPal user and I really like using their service (as opposed to using credit card which I hate) and it was really disappointing to find out that if I decide to use PayPal on Google purchases, it will not, like it is normal on my eBay purchases, ask me to loginto the actual PayPal to complete the transaction, it will just PROCESS IT, robbing me of the extra layer of security, which as confirmed by PayPal agent, is what PayPal is for, providing extra secure payment processing.

Please let me know what you think about this. I have escalated this to Google and I hope to have some sort of update in future. For now, I am not linking PayPal to my Google Play store.

Some links that users can try (UK):

Request a call back from Google >>>

PayPal contact information >>>

Learning Excel #2, Designing Math Challenge For Young Children, Template #2

Standard

Hello all,

 

As I was pleased with the achievement on the previous Math challenge for young children I have designed, motivated, I immediately went to design a new template.

 

Once again, I set up the challenge with two goals in mind:

– pleasing design with some lovely cartoon character

– interesting layout with some visual verification of the answers

 

I have to say that I really like this template and I hope you will like it too. Please have a read and download the file and try it. (Download at the end.)

 

1, The idea

The idea is pretty simple again.

What I have changed from the previous template is the layout.

This time the file after opening only displays one equation.

Once the answer is provided, the new equation is given by running a macro assigned to a button right of the equation, unhiding row above the starting task and new tasks continue to be given one by one until the last one is uncovered.

 

The answers are confirmed in a form of a picture. The correct answer gets Doc McStuffins and the incorrect a plaster. On top of this, the answer is filled with green, if correct, and with red, if incorrect.

 

And as a final reward for all answers being correct, there is a picture saying “Congratulations.”

 

2, How does it work?

~ Checking the answers

Each answer is checked through a macro. Next to each answer are four pictures laid one on each other, the top picture being a white background hiding all others underneath. The correct answer runs macro that removes the top white square uncovering the Doc McStuffins picture as a reward. The macro that runs after incorrect answer deletes the top white square, the Doc McStuffins underneath it, and also the white square floating above the plaster. So basically it removes three layers of pictures.

 

Both macros then unhide the row above and give user new task.

 

In the cells where answers are provided, conditional formatting is used to give the cell appropriate fill, either green, or red.

 

~ Checking whether all answers are correct

This is achieved by calculating the difference between the answer provided by user and between the correct answer checked by Excel itself. If the difference is 0, the answer is correct.

Then the SUM of all differences is pulled into the master cell, which again, if all differences are 0, means all answers are correct, and in case its value is different than 0, at least one answer is incorrect, in which case the reward picture message won’t be displayed.

 

~ Commands/Macros

Again, I decided to execute the checks by user. So there are macro enabled buttons next to each equation to execute this.

 

Within the last macro there’s also a code that checks whether all answers are correct and unhides the message with congratulations text.

 

~ Coding

Here’s the full code for the challenge:

Macro to delete pictures based on answer being either correct, or incorrect:

Sub Delete_White1()

‘ Delete_White1 Macro


If (Range(“F16”).Value = 9) Then
ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(“Pic 3A”)).Select
Selection.Delete
Range(“G2”).Select
Rows(“15:15”).Select
Selection.EntireRow.Hidden = False
Range(“F16”).Select
With Selection.Interior
.Pattern = xlSolid
.PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
.Color = 5296274
.TintAndShade = 0
.PatternTintAndShade = 0
End With
Range(“F15”).Select

End If


If (Range(“F16”).Value <> 9) Then
ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(“Pic 3A”)).Select
Selection.Delete
Range(“G2”).Select
ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(“Picture 43”)).Select
Selection.Delete
Range(“G2”).Select
ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(“Pic 3”)).Select
Selection.Delete
Range(“G2”).Select
Rows(“15:15”).Select
Selection.EntireRow.Hidden = False
Range(“F16”).Select
With Selection.Interior
.Pattern = xlSolid
.PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
.Color = 255
.TintAndShade = 0
.PatternTintAndShade = 0
End With
Range(“F15”).Select

End If

Rows(“15:15”).Select
Selection.EntireRow.Hidden = False
Range(“F15”).Select
End Sub

And this is macro that uncoveres the Well done! message:

Sub WellDone()

‘ WellDone Macro


ActiveSheet.Shapes.Range(Array(“Picture 101”)).Select
Selection.Delete
End Sub
Sub HideAll()

‘ HideAll Macro


Rows(“2:17”).Select
Selection.EntireRow.Hidden = True
End Sub

 

Sample pictures

doc mc stuffin math 1

doc mc stuffin math 2

correct incorrect

doc mc stuffin math 4

doc mc stuffin math 3

 

~ Possible improvements

 

1, It was suggested that instead of deleting the white background pictures covering the pictures I want to display I could use a True / False statement code to make whichever of the two I need visible, or invisible. (This wouldn’t make a difference for user, but would be easier to write and would give possibility to restart the challenge.)

 

2, Randomization of the equations automatically as soon as the file is open

 

~

 

So,

 

this is my second attempt at designing a Math challenge for young children. I might have explained this in previous post, but I will explain it again (just in case). The idea of designing these challenges comes from a chat with my Excel guru, who cleverly suggested that the best way is fine learning Excel is to play with it. Now to play with it, it’s probably good if one can have some challenge on mind. So to give myself a motivation I decided to kill two birds with one stone and I set up a target of creating a few math challenge templates for young children, including my daughter, which, in the end, could be used by any user who wants to teach his/her children math and computer skills in a simple, but visually appealing way.

 

I also wanted to create a little Excel portfolio of my own designs to be able to give anyone about idea about my Excel skills. So that’s why this blog.  And I also want to have a little platform for sharing creative Excel ideas with others.

So if you have any, please get in touch.

 

Download:

Full Excel file can be downloaded from here >>>

To be who we are

Standard

“I came here with the last wave of refugees, expecting a hell. It sure is hot here, but there’s some tranquil comfort in observing those slag harvesting monstrosities minding their business, harming no one. It’s unbelievable that such horror would have no intention of killing unless disturbed, or provoked.”
~ Dejvjiri, The Igniter

Sometimes I struggle to understand why am I trying to write so hard, why am I thinking about things. It becomes especially hard after hearing “too much thinking is bad and useless” from someone. (Which I heard recently and worst of all, it mad think even more! Like – Why the hell did he need to say that?) I always start to doubt myself and I somehow fall into judging myself based on someone else’s opinion.

But too much of anything is bad, right?  Even too much love will kill you (as sung by Queen). So if one of the greatest things, if not the greatest of them all, known to mankind can kill us, if we are exposed to too much of it, it’s easy to imagine how dangerous all the shit that we consume, or are exposed to, must be. So yes, I totally understand that if I would start paying too much attention to things that don’t matter I will eventually not be able to focus on what does. But I guess this is how I am. A thinker. I just think. It’s difficult not to think for me. Not impossible, not that I could not do it, not unimaginable, it’s just difficult. And I am still only waiting to experience the divine state of mind when nothing exists within it, only silence, peace and love (to me that can only exist after death.) But it seems that even those who can reach this state are capable of staying at peace with their minds only temporarily.

My mind is a playground, war zone, school, library, zoo, hospital, graveyard, church. A hiding place. It’s where I am becoming me, it’s where the roots of my self are holding onto darkest depth of my sou(i)l, it’s where I decide what I do. It’s where I find peace. But sometimes there just is no peace. Sometimes it feels like a mine field full of beautiful flowers, whispering silently “pick one if you dare…” But that’s ok.

It’s becoming clear to me that if this is what I am, if this is inseparable part of me, I cannot ignore it, or worse, try to change it, get rid of it, just because someone said something. Imagine if someone said to the nightingale “You sing too much. Too much singing is bad for you. What you even accomplish by so much singing? Nothing. It’s useless. Just stop it. Stop it right now.”

Not everything we do, we do in order to accomplish something. Sometimes we just are who we are and it’s then when we create, communicate, connect at our best. Right now I am not writing what I write, because I want to achieve something. I write, most of the time, because I feel like it. It’s like singing in the shower, apart from this being transferable into the blog post, which I can share if I want to. I can’t imagine someone’s singing in the shower becoming a massive hit on internet and so I am not expecting this jabber of mine becoming hit either, but there is magic in sharing certain intimate details of one’s life with the world. Sharing who one is. I’m really interested in knowing people who know true me. I don’t mean the most intimate things, we just cannot share everything, some things are to only be savored by the chosen ones.

There’s nothing wrong with letting others know that “I sing in the shower.”, “I write poetry.”, “I go to the near forest once in a month and make tea and coffee for others.”, or even things like “Sometimes I walk naked in the house all day”, or “I’m peeing in the shower” can be wonderful to share. They sound like they should breach some silent covenant what is acceptable and what is not, but there’s no covenant to breach. We are who we are, whether we try to hide it, or not. Just because the world “doesn’t need to know” about these things, doesn’t mean you cannot share them (if you want, if you feel like it). They don’t add “value” to how we live, they probably don’t make the world’s problems disappear, but what they do is, they are creating a bridge between us, they open us to each other and they create opportunities to understand we might not be that different from each other. I think that’s enough to stop being afraid who we are.

There isn’t a single person who would love everything you do, or agree with everything you say, think, believe in. But this diversity is the beauty and the essence of life. So please, be who you are. That’s how you will fulfill the purpose of being here. I am sure no one would end up being completely unlovable for being who he is. It must be difficult to be loved for what one isn’t anyway. So let’s be who we are.

Yours

~uth~

A promise (Meet child of mine)

Standard

I went for a walk yesterday. Going out for a walk was actually a task I had to accomplish (as funny as it sounds). But it wasn’t only a walk I had to do, I should also get into touch with my inner child and talk to him (I suppose if there is an inner child in us, it would be an entity similar to us when we were children, each of us unique and unrepeatable, still dreaming, hoping and innocent). So my task was to open up myself to this hidden entity inside of me and find out how he is (I’m referring to it as a boy as that’s how I imagine it).

I hope this doesn’t sound too extravagant as now when I write about it here, shortly before 7 in the morning going to work, with all of this going public, I find it all a little bit too dreamy myself. I know that people do crazy stuff and that there must be socially acceptable level of weirdness and it’s this weirdness that makes us ourselves and sometimes we even full in love with each other’s weirdness, but I still feel a little bit strange about talking about it, but I’m going to do it anyway, this is what getting out of comfort zone means, right? And it’s a good thing, right?

So I went to the forest, with my camera, to find out what it’s like trying to talk to someone you never knew existed and who’s existence might even be on the same level as that of an imaginary friend. It turned out to be a nice autumn day, it was quite warm and wetness of the morning rain still hanged out in the forest air. I’m not going to describe how did I talk to this inner child of mine, I don’t really remember, it was pretty much like Gandalf’s encounter with Bilbo at his doorstep, awkward, uncomfortable, but somehow enchanting and uplifting. It felt like a beginning of something important, something meaningful, like there is an unexpected journey ahead of me.

The trees in the forest looked all the same and I decided to reward myself with some nice profile pictures, I wore my nicest scarf and my favorite hat (I hope this doesn’t show me as narcissistic, I hope it is acceptable for a man to tak pictures of himself (unless it’s a topless selfie in the bathroom, that’s just wrong)). I was supposed to walk alone, talking to my inner child, finding out what he wants, how can I help him, protect him, make him happy. But there were too many people around and I had to interrupt my dialogue quite often. (Now this is actually weird, man in his late thirties trying to have a dialogue with himself. Well, that’s what I was doing, not much point in hiding it.) Since this was supposed to be an initiation of the inner child into my life, like I was summoning it into existence from some long forgotten world beyond this world, I felt slightly strange about it all (well, wouldn’t you too?). I guess everything unusual, every step in new direction, every journey into the unknown feels like this. You just don’t know. But it’s ok to not know. To not have a clue what is going to happen to you.

Half way through my journey a met a solitary man standing behind a folding plastic table offering coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cordial water to all passing by. It felt so great to see him. To witness his own weirdness, to spend four hours of serving local community by this act of kindness. I’m only calling it weirdness, because that’s how would it be called by the standards of this world as it is (deep in shit). Somehow, after talking to my inner child for about 45 minutes, I found him being in the forest perfectly normal, acceptable and, most of all, enjoyable and encouraging. So I asked him for a cup of coffee and after he made it we started to talk. I found out that he’s doing it every first Sunday of the month. He was part of Church of St. Mark which was a church in village down the road. Although I’m pretty tolerant towards religions that try to help people and build them in spirit, I found it even more impressive that apart from a banner on the table he didn’t say a single word suggesting we should, in return for a coffee, or tea, visit a church, pray, or in any other way repay for his kindness. As far as I’m concerned, he was there, doing his little job, serving others as we all should, I’m unsure how often, but once in a month sounds acceptable. I’m sure we would learn a lot about ourselves and world this way. I will think about it.

I said bye to this man, letting him serve the big group of dog walkers and went away continuing on my journey.

Towards the end of my journey I discovered a beautiful tree and I decided to make myself a picture sitting in front of it, on a stump. It was actually three trunks growing from one and it really looked amazing, I imagined I am sitting on the throne of the king of the forest. (Picture here) I think it’s pretty cool picture and I like it (think what you want).

On the way home, as I was walking out of the forest, I promised myself to do this again. I think I really enjoyed being out there, not knowing much about myself, like I forgot it all, trying to remember. I think I remembered a bit of who I was. Who I was meant to be. The freedom, th hope, the joy.

Childhood.

I’ll bring it back.

I promise…

Yours

~uth~