The Power Of Food And Music – myshortstory.

And so, the time has come. I decided I’m going to write a short story in English. Please be understanding as it’s my first one, so it may not be perfect stylistically or grammatically, also my vocabulary in English is still much less extensive than Polish, so my skills are limited, and I wanted to start off with something very simple and uncomplicated, probably even quite superficial, but I hope it will be enjoyable and still of bearable quality. i came up with this idea on Tuesday, and I based it on some writing prompts for Tuesday that I found on WordPress. Opinions are more than welcome. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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The Power Of Food And Music

 

It was a gloomy,

Tuesday

afternoon, and Eleonora Greene, known as Ellie among her friends – a young chemist – has just come back home from work. She was knackered. She spent most of the day doing all sorts of experiments in her

laboratory.

Ellie loved her job, but today nothing seemed to go well, and her opinion was that on days like these – rainy, foggy and cold – everyone deserves a break. The weather was also affecting Ellie’s mood, and she felt slightly dejected. It wasn’t a normal thing for her. Ellie was an energetic and level-headed person with an optimistic, but very practical

angle

on life. When something didn’t satisfy her, she immediately looked for ways to change it. She just wasn’t used to feeling sad. Therefore, as soon as she came home, she thought: “It can’t be like this any longer. I need to find some

solution

for this and cheer myself upright now”.

There was only one thing in the world Ellie loved as much as chemistry. This thing was cooking. Not only because she liked food, as most humans tend to do, but also because her own view was that cooking is also chemistry. So there was only one way she could think of at the moment to make herself feel better. Make some good food! Ellie carefully examined the content of her fridge. Apart from many other edible products, she found there a lot of Swiss cheese. After some good thinking and flicking through her huge collection of cook books, wondering about an ideal comfort food and a way to utilise all the Swiss cheese piling up in her fridge, she decided to make Swiss cheese enchiladas. They sounded delicious, and she had all the ingredients

close at hand.

Moving around the kitchen, mixing and stirring the ingredients and baking, together with all the enticing smells filling the house, helped to shift Ellie’s attention to more positive things. Completely absorbed by baking, she forgot about the passing time. She found the whole activity of cooking so enjoying that in the end, there were many more enchiladas than she intended to make. Nevertheless, Ellie relished her meal thoroughly and ate away as much as she could. The feelings of joy and pleasure have

magnified

greatly and her previously low mood has become only a vague memory.

Just after she finished and cleaned up the kitchen, the doorbell rang. It turned out to be Ellie’s neighbour – Nadia. – Nadia was a single woman in her late 20’s, and both neighbours were good friends, despite all the differences in their personalities and tastes. While Eleonora was

curious

of the world, energetic and down to Earth, Nadia was pensive, refined and subtle. They both were quite deep thinkers though so liked each other’s company a lot and, paradoxically, had a good understanding of each other and complemented one another.

“Oh girl!” – Ellie exclaimed excitedly – “What a perfect timing! I’ve just made tons of enchiladas and don’t know what to do with them, come in and help me get rid of them!”

“It’s so nice of you, Ellie” – said Nadia slightly confounded – “but I’m afraid I can’t. I’ve just popped in for a second to ask you whether you would like to go with me for a chamber music concert. I have a spare ticket and don’t know what to do with it either. I don’t feel like going there alone, but I love this band”. Nadia explained to her friend briefly why she was left out with a spare ticket by a guy she had been dating for a while and what a big disappointment their breaking up was for her. “Chamber music?…” – Ellie thought – “That must be rather boring”.

But she really liked Nadia and felt for her at this moment. She knew her friend was very enthusiastic about chamber music and she wanted to do something kind for her. So although she felt much better listening to something a bit less sophisticated, without further ado she simply said: “OK, when does it start?”

“In an hour. Would you really do it for me? It’s so sweet of you, I know you said you don’t like chamber music, but I really don’t have anyone else to go with.

“I’m happy to go with you if it makes you happy. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to chamber music, so who knows, maybe I’ll like it”.

Twenty minutes before the concert was meant to start, the women found themselves in front of a large, noble-

looking building, which as Nadia explained to her friend was a medieval palace.Ellie felt both bewitched and dazed by grandiosity of the building.

Finally, they found their places in the chamber, and the concert started. Ellie graduately started to feel as if a warm wave of serenity floated through her body. It wasn’t one bit boring. She wallowed in sweet sounds of piano, violin, cello and other instruments, feeling all the bad emotions of the day going out of her mind, and being replaced by calmness and peace. Between one music piece and another she promised herself to NEVER EVER judge anything before trying it out.

By the end of the day she felt not only much better, but it even stopped raining, and the world looked just like a much better place to live in. On the way back, Ellie thanked Nadia for the lovely evening, and asked her to come over to her and finish it with enchiladas. Once they were both stuffed and Nadia went home, Ellie smiled to herself and said: “I would never thought such small things like chamber music and Swiss cheese can change your day entirely”.

Remembering… or how to tell your brain it’s over?

I’m remembering

a lot of stuff from the past lately. Lots and lots of memories which I try to ignore, and sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. So I thought maybe writing about it would help, if ignoring doesn’t work out too well. Those memories are mostly related to the beginning of the school year, which used to be an absolute nightmare for over a decade.

I see people from my family and others buying their kids things for school, I hear my Mum talking how she’s afraid of the next schol year for Zofijka, I notice time flying so quickly and September approaching, and each time I see any signs of the school year coming, I have to remind my brain, it’s not you now, it’s over. But it doesn’t listen for too long, and soon I get overflooded by another wave of memories.

I remember all those days and nights before I”d go back to the boarding school when I cut myself ’cause my pain and helplessness were too bad. I remember not being able to eat and sleep because of the anxiety. I remember the feelings of utter loneliness and not belonging anywhere, along with many other overwhelming feelings with which I couldn’t cope, but finally I always had to cope somehow, so I just bottled them up, feeling them rising inside of me with every second. I remember feeling very unsafe and rebelled that I had to leave everything that felt nice, familiar, everything and everyone that I loved, and how desperate I was to not do it. I felt guilty and weak because even though the situation was the same and obvious for so many years, that there was no alternative for me, I still couldn’t adjust to it. Well in a way I did, but the adjustment was only hiding what I felt so it wouldn’t bother anyone else, because well how long can it take you to accept something so obvious and inevitable that if you have special needs and need special education, you need to go to school where they can adjust things to you, and there aren’t many of such so most children have to be away from their families. For me that was an issue, and it looked like it was wrong.

Those feelings always accompanied me when I had to leave home and go to the boarding school, but when the school year was starting, they were particularly intense. Because the school year always meant changes. Changes that could often regard me more or less, but even if they were directly to do with me, it wasn’t a norm that I, or even any of my parents, were asked about our opinion, whether we agree on them or not, whether they’re acceptable. That was normal there. If you had a friend, who was also your roommate, with whom you lived for years, you got to know very well, you should be aware that when you come back to school next year, you may suddenly be informed that you two will no longer live together because… just because. And you could not only be moved to another room, but also to a completely different group. THis exact situation didn’t happen to me, only because I didn’t have real friends there, but it did to one of my classmates and she was just told to get over it, because it was necessary and such situations happen in life so she has to get used to it. I though changed my roommates very often too, and it was often very tough. And many other changes could await you there, hardly, if ever, nice.

So yeah, I was just sick of anxiety every year before the start of school year, and afterwards too.

But it’s now four years since I got out of there, and I am so happy about it, yet each time it’s close to September, my brain goes mad. Even this year, when I’m completely free of that freaky brain washing machine called education system. I even had a pretty yucky dream last night, I haven’t have this kind of memory dreams in a while, but that one was yucky and it took me quite a while to get back to the present after I woke up. Those dreams aren’t particularly scary, like creepy or something, but are just kinda made of my crappy memories so reliving them over and over definitely isn’t nice aND I wake up feeling nausious and stressed out.

As I wrote earlier today in Music Monday Care & Love post, I am trying to fill this week with various self care activities and other enjoyable things, and that helps me to stay in the present and focus on the positive, and there is much positive stuff going on in my life. Plus it helps me to not slip down again to that self-loathing hole, which is always very easy when I’m having memories. But it doesn’t stop my brain from going back to the past, often at least expected moments.

So I wonder, how do you make your brain know it’s over? It seems all so complicated.

 

(Syn)Aesthete, or a brief explanation of some top secrets of my freaky brain.

While I’m blind, so visual value of things around me isn’t always of great importance to me, I still consider myself an aesthete.

A language aesthete. It particularly applies to my mother language, but also in all the other languages I know it is important to me to write and speak possibly aesthetically – which doesn’t always mean very seriously, politely or flamboyantly, but above all just so that it is nice to read or listen and doesn’t make other innocent individuals cringe too much. I also like when other people speak or write aesthetically, and when someone messes up with spelling a lot or uses words like they don’t know what they mean, it often drives me crazy, or close to it.

I am a total language geek and besides being an aesthete as long as I can remember, I am also a synaesthete.

Since my very early childhood, I’ve had some weird connections in my brain between sounds/words and touch, or taste, or something else sometimes. For many years I was convinced that this is just how our brains work, not just my own quirk, and that everyone perceives things the same way as me. That led to many weird, and often funny nowadays, misunderstandings, for example when I tried to describe things to people.

It was not until I was like 6 that I started to see others don’t necessarily think in shapes, textures and tastes and other things like this.

Many years after I got to this conclusion I realised it has to be some form of synaesthesia, although as far as I know this form isn’t very common, that your brain transfers sound stimuli into touch related associations. I know only one person who has it similar to me in some way, and he is also blind, so I guess it has to do with my blindness, and maybe also a little that I still am somewhere on the autism spectrum apparently.

If you don’t know or don’t understand how synaesthesia works, it’s like there is a correlation between two (or more) of your senses. Most people of those who have synaesthesia seem to have auditory-visual corelations, for example they hear a sound, and see it in colour, or see numbers in colours, or even people may have their own colours apparently, or words, or colours may have particular textures/temperatures for them, etc. etc.

For me it is so that if I hear or think about a word, at the same time I sort of feel what I associate with this word. It’s not like a delusion, I know I don’t feel it, I’d rather say it’s like when you hear a song in your head. You know it isn’t playing, but you still hear it in your head.

For me it’s not only words that I associate with shapes/objects/textures/tastes, but also many separate sounds, like sounds of particular instruments, people’s voices etc. And these aren’t always sound to touch or sound to taste associations. Sometimes it’s much more complex and not always on just sensual level. Sometimes, hearing a particular word or phrase makes me feel in a very particular way, or I may even sometimes associate words or phrases with whole scenes or lots of different, unrelated things, etc. Some words I associate with objects that I can’t recall ever seeing, so I guess they have to be made up by my brain or something. I associate many words with edible things, which is quite fun, or with things that have to do with nature. I often can associate many words that aren’t objectively similar to each other with the same thing.

it’s very complicated.

I think it’s also synaesthesia that helps me understand the colours in some way, anyway I don’t know what else it could be. I am blind since birth so have no practical idea about colours, but I’ve always had some imaginary idea about colours, and even many distinct shades. It’s often very hard for me to describe them, it’s hard to put it into adequate words, but when I was in integration school years ago, I learned that my understanding of colours isn’t that far from how they really are as I could think. My classmates were doing something with one of Picasso’s paintings during art class, and since I of course wasn’t able to do the same, the teacher asked me questions about all the colours, just out of curiosity, like very speciffic questions about colours – whether they’re calm or vivid, dark or bright, warm or cold, etc. And both her and me were incredibly surprised when I said all of them right. πŸ˜€ Of course I’d already got some basic understanding of colours, like that the sun is yellow or the sky is blue, but no one had taught me about how to actually define colours nor described them for me since it’s rather impossible.

I don’t know any other person who would be congenitally blind and have it like that, people usually don’t care about colours, or have to learn about them from others, like have to memorise what colours fit together when they choose their clothes, but I am lucky and I just somehow get it, despite that I see literally nothing (and no, it isn’t black! It’s just nothing). It’s just so so weird, but I like it. It often helps me with writing for example short stories, and describing people, one of my blind friends told me that “Wow! you write as if you were sighted!” hahaha whatever that means, I guess it was just it, that I can create people and nature that looks naturally and is colourful, some blind people tend to understandably forget about visual details or sometimes make them feel not matched or not very precise.

And yet another thing that my synaesthesia helps me with are languages. So many language learning experts and teachers say it’s good if you associate every word you learn with something. I don’t have to think about the associations. They just come to me on their own. That makes things easier to remember, I guess. And more fun, and interesting. And if you have it like this it’s just normal and obvious that you’re fascinated with words. Some of my associations may be scary or something, but most of them are very positive, creative and quirky. If I’m learning a language that is a bit out there for me (like Welsh was for quite a while, despite my love for it), forming associations may take some time, you need to listen to the language a lot and immerse in it, familiarise your brain with it, and then it comes naturally. Though there still are words – even in Polish – that I don’t have clear associations with, sometimes the shapes I see in relation to them are sort of blurred, or hard to describe, or like a few unrelated things strangely and not very harmoniously stucked together. It is not a perfect strategy for learning a language, because as I said there are many words that I associate with the same things, and I may confuse them. Normal people may confuse words that are similar in sound or meaning or something and it happens to me too, but usually I confuse words because I associate them with the same/similar things and then my statements can seem a bit enigmatic for an uninitiatedΒ  person, if the words aren’t objectively too similar. πŸ˜€ I’ve had lots of awkward situations in Swedish like that, and my poor teacher couldn’t figure out what I am talking about sometimes. πŸ˜€

 

I’m thinking about what example to give you to show you how my synaesthesia works. OK< let it be my Mum.

My Mum’s voice sounds like a piano to me. She has a rather dark voice, and when she speaks quieter/lower it reminds me of black, melted chocolate, the shade of her voice then is just similar, it just feels similar to black chocolate and I guess it is my dominant association with her as a whole. Also when I hear my Mum’s voice I feel as if I was touching the black keys of a piano. The word Mum – in all the languages I know so far, makes me think about a little plastic hat that my favourite and oly doll that I ever played with – named Eliza – had when I was a kid. πŸ˜€ That’s very weird. The word Mum as it is written in English, I associate with a little baby sleeping soundly with a dummy, and this characteristic smell of a sleeping baby. The same smell always surrounds Misha when he sleeps or is freshly awake. My Mum’s name is Anna, and the name Anna I associate with a horse – its hair, the sound of a horse galloping, the smell of horses, etc. As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts I also have other types of special associations with names, and looking this way Anna is a pure essence of femininity to me, but I won’t go into details about how I imagine a typical ANna – her appearance, personality etc. that would be way too long, I might write name characteristics some time in the future on my blog maybe. Other things I associate with my Mum are the colour black and the sound of the French language, but these aren’t only about synaesthesia, because my Mum loves black, and was learning French at school, though she doesn’t speak it now.

any other synaesthetes of any kind out there? How does your synaesthesia manifest? πŸ™‚

Or maybe anyone would like to know what things I associate with something? Some people seem to find it quite entertaining for some reason. πŸ˜€ Feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything, be it any word/sound or any questions you have as for this thing in general, I know it’s pretty rare and I realise how weird it is, so I’m open to your questions if you have any. πŸ˜€

 

Suspicious.

My Dad is very suspicious

by nature. So suspicious that I often even call him paranoid. He was suspicious as long as I can remember, always thinking that all people around are cheating – on him, on us, on the whole world. Of course, especially media, politicians, health services, Mum, Internet… but in fact, more or less, everyone. He has always had a very hard relationship with Olek – my brother. I’m sure he loves him, but he always treats him like kinda black sheep and whatever he would do is automatically perceived as absolutely wrong. It was always a significant issue and a reason to worry for my Mum.

My Dad isn’t a man you could have a really deep discussion with, as much as I love him I have to admit he has his views, prejudices and so on so any deeper conversations usually won’t make much sense or even may cause an arguement. But even though sometimes it happens that we talk about more deep stuff, as he likes to talk to me. And sometimes I talk to him about what I’ve read in a speciffic topic we are chatting about. And then he is usually like: “Why do you think they are right? Maybe they just want to manipulate people. Maybe they have paid to write this and not anything else?.” And such thinking makes me feel helpless. I mean – sure, there are lots of manipulative people, manipulative strategies in media, some form of manipulation is probably almost everywhere, not necessarily to make us any harm, but if just everyone is manipulative, what should we believe in? Or why actually should we believe in anything? Why does he believe in God? Maybe it’s just one big cheating? You know, I’m not assuming it is indeed, I am Christian as well, but, thinking the way he does… everything looks so pointless, doesn’t it? Just think, everybody is a total cheater, there’s no one to trust in the world, you have only yourself, well, I wouldn’t even be so sure if he actually trusts even himself. It looks so depressive. And thinking about it, about what my Dad’s reality looks like, makes me depressive, even if it’s not really my reality. I am sorry for him that he chose to live in such an unsatisfying way. But I can’t change it. It is only he who could change it and although he’s grumping so often, he doesn’t seem to really want it.

I am also a pessimist although I think my pessimism is more of a defensive kind, you know, I prefer to be ready for the worst even if everything looks like it’s going to be all good, but that’s how different life circumstances made me and I like to think about myself I still have have the ability to be happy and appreciate even pretty small things and I don’t really like to complain in front of other people, I just find it pretty weakish, anyway when I do so. But my Dad’s pessimism, for me, seems to be only all about grumping, complaining about others, about other people’s dogs peeing where they shouldn’t, not doing anything constructive with his life and thinking almost only about bad things that are happening to him. What frustrates me, he never seems to be really glad of anything, or, more exactly, I suppose he must have some moments when he’s at least a bit happy, but he can’t show it and it really can piss off people around him if they try and do their best to make him happy or at least to make him appreciate what we do for him. Personally I feel like he always kinda favoured me the most in comparison to my siblings, so I didn’t feel it that much directly, but I’ve observed my Mum and my siblings who haveΒ  tried a lot to satisfy him and no one and nothing seem to be good enough which makes them discouraged, and me frustrated for them. Now as he is getting older, although he still isn’t old, all these traits seem to deepen, and he doesn’t even see it. I really do love my Dad and with years I’ve learnt how to act with him, but he’s going more and more annoying and challenging for us. As my Mum put it recently while talking with me – he wants to be mentally old. He is in quite good condition physically, but mentally gets old extremely quickly. He’s not even yet in his fifties, but looking only at his personality traits, I doubt anyone could guess it.

But what exactly did I want to say in this post? No, its main purpose isn’t complaining at my Dad, not even letting out my emotions related to him and his difficult and challenging way of being.

What sometimes concerns me, when I think about him, about what he’s like, is that although I think I can’t say I’m grumpy or really overly demanding for people, I see a lot of his traits in myself. actually more than in my siblings. I think, characterwise I am more similar to him than to my Mum, whereas my siblings are rather more similar to her. She says so too. And although of course he has also a lot of good traits, sometimes I am afraid. I am afraid because as far as I can remember I had issues with trusting people, not as he has, but rather in the way I’m always pretty distant to people, even those I want to be close to. I have always had the tendency to be depressive, to overthink, to feel hopeless. I am often very stressed out about small things and always very unsettled by any major changes in life, no matter if good or bad. I am slightly obsessed about my privacy. And I often feel ridiculously suspicious about people in some situations, which can be really mentally exhausting. I know that lots of situations in my life, often very early on, helped my to develop all that and it’s not only the case of just genes or the thing that I wanted to be like this, and my suspiciousness differs from his, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that someday, when I’ll be let’s say the age he’s now, I’ll realise that I am like him. Overly suspicious, cautious and not letting people to like me. That my life will be as hopeless and empty as his is, or seems to be for me. That I will clinge to my stupid daily routines like he does now in fear of just any changes. Luckily I don’t have such temper as he has so I think having such impressional tantrums won’t be my domain. πŸ˜€ It is Zofijka’s. πŸ˜› and actually I always try to avoid this thought because I really don’t like to think about it and I feel like it’s a bit ridiculous to be afraid about such odd things which could only happen in very distant future, , but I can’t help I’m afraid about it. isn’t it a total paranoia to be paranoid about being paranoid in thirty years? πŸ˜€

 

#JusJoJan 2018, the 29th – Fantastic.

My cat Misha is absolutely fantastic! I know he loves me unconditionally, I love him this way too, isn’t it fantastic when you have a relationship like that?

Misha looks fantastic, is a fantastic companion, comforter and is just fantastic in everything he does. I admire him. My sister Zofijka (Sophie if you prefer) used to say that if only I could, I would marry Misha. Maybe… that’s not that bad idea. πŸ˜€ What do you think?

Misha is really inspiring for me every day we go through together. He is almost everything for me, which means he holds lots of functions in my life. As I said he’s my comforter and companion every day. But he also does a fantastic job as my listener, friend, warmer, pillow, baby, brother and a blanket. Who wouldn’t like such a beautiful, fantastic little creature in their life as I have?

https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/29/jusjojan-2018-the-29th-fantastic/