“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment. ”
(Ansel Adams, photographer). As a photographer I can assure you that there is perhaps no other more truthful statement than this about photography.
Lately I have often found on Fb the “news” that psychologists would recommend walks in Nature, especially in the woods, as a substitute for antidepressants.
I have to admit it, I never deepened the question, I am a bit skeptical to all sites that report generic informations (for example, for years it periodically pops-up the news that in Sweden the daily working hours will decrease from 8 to 6 and, living there, I assure you that it is not true!), and even if a psychologist or more had actually made such a statement, it is not said that the whole medical class will move in that direction.
Lately, and unfortunately more and more frequently, depression (also known as Major depressive disorder – MDD) is consider as the plague of this century.
Researches by the WHO (World Health Organisation) report rather alarming data: 322 million people worldwide suffer from depression, with an increase of 18% in the decade between 2005 and 2015.
In a few years, depression will be the second cause of illness.
I woke up late this morning: I forgot to set the alarm and I slept some hours more than usual.
I woke up happy, anyway, and rested (probably I needed it) and I replanned my day: no training today, maybe I will catch up tomorrow; and maybe I will walk to work so I can still do some km.
So, shorting the way to don’t waste other time, I realised I was walking the same road as when I was going to work. And, as if I “had” to walk there, I realised I left there some of my thoughts and maybe it was time to come back to pick them up.
He sent his SOS to the world but no one got it. He tried, but no one really understood it.
“Peter and the Wolf “ and a situation in some ways paradoxical.
On the other hand he didn’t know himself what kind of help he was looking for. He understood it when it was already too late and it was not coming back.
At least in that moment.
A year ago I wrote on my journal:
“The bomb blasted at work! At home early – stress – union…It’s the turning point!”
A year ago it happened what brought me to take a radical, drastic and, for many people, irresponsible decision: to leave my job to get out from that cage I was dying in, and take my life back!
Things weren’t going well for long time already, actually were going pretty bad: I was sleeping shortly and badly because of nightmares, and during the nights I was waking up all the time thinking about work and stressing tasks to do; even during weekends or evenings with my family my mood could rapidly flip because, don’t know why, my mind suddenly could “bring me back” to my office, to my asshole colleague, to my hated boss.
Growing up, moving on my way, I started to believe, more and more, that solving our problems, overcoming difficulties, is much easier than what we believe.
Yet, when I was down, when I went through dark times, I could not remember how to feel good again, how to find the light again.
I’ve just arrived at work, as usual I’m the first.
Sunny day, the morning jogging has brought me back to life: I’m feeling energetic, happy, in a fantastic mental and physical condition.
After few hours I’m starting to feel my happiness going down: the work environment, as a vampire, sucks the joy out of me.
I’ve always had a twisted relationship with the working life, which means I have not still been able to understand how much this affects the private life and vice versa.
Until not long time ago, I was always complaining about how my work was destroying completely my inspiration and, above all, removing any will to do things: I was doing my duty as a good citizen, but I was letting the life slide on me, just looking forward to the weekends or holidays.
We are postponing things too often.
“Let’s do it tomorrow, or this the weekend, or next month…”
And then, when December is approaching, we will start to postpone it to the beginning of the new year.
As if postponing things will bring an improvement or maybe a magic that will make them easier.
Until not long time ago I was self-defeating, limiting myself.
I unconsciously restricted the flow of life to me and, passively, I was letting it slide away fast. Without doing anything, apathetic and numb in the nothingness of many days which looked all the same.
I could see only many different problems and, above all, I believed it was impossible to solve them, and that I could never find my way out.
So, slowly, I had touched the bottom and it seemed that I had decided to stay there for a while.
Since some time ago I decided to do it again.
It costs nothing and it’s good for me.
I am a dreamer, I imagine and design new perspectives in my mind.
I let the child inside me to come back to play without worrying about thinking too much.
I Dream, I imagine, I invent.
Some time ago I wrote about the path we can follow to reach happiness, inner peace, or, anyhow, a more serene life.
Actually, I was talking about working on ourselves, and how, if done well, it becomes enjoyable, and can bring the first small, great, satisfying results.
But it’s a continuous job, without any rest, because it’s about changing our ideas and beliefs, controlling our thoughts, trying to aim them to our target, trying to tune onto a “positive wavelength”.
Last weekend I was in Warsaw, Poland.
I landed shortly after midnight at an unknown and empty airport. I took the first taxi which, shortly after, left me in a suburban, deserted, cold road.
I hesitated for five minutes, feeling stuck there, my briefcase in my hand, wondering what the hell I was doing in that place. Then the person who drew me on this trip came, and brought me to a birthday party where I met about fifty people I had never seen in my life.
Lately I’ve been taking some time for myself, to remake order and change my life, or at least the vision of it: I wrote new pages of the instruction to my book and I reviewed and completed already written parts.
I believe everyone can develop and find his own way to change his life, to get what he wants, to get the most out of it, so I stopped writing the blog and started instead to dedicate more time to write and find what I really want, what I could do to get out of a situation of dissatisfaction.
I must have had a bad dream last night and I woke up with an unpleasant and strange mood.
In the silence of the early dawn, while I’m enjoying the first cigarette of the day, I remember part of the dream: someone I know, but I can not remember who, tells me “your eyes look really tired … you have really tired eyes …”.
Out of the shower, I’m staring at myself in the mirror.
Eh, I think, my eyes look really tired…and these big and deep dark circles under them…
…I’m smoking another cigarette, and I’ve already lost the count for today.
It’s another wonderful day, not a cloud, temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees, and a sky so deep blue that makes you want to go…
And I think I’m wasting time locked in my job cage, especially when there is little or nothing to do, and time goes slowly while bored on Instagram, Facebook, and so on.
And smoking, of course.
Time flies fast and relentless.
I realised it by looking at the statistics of this site and seeing how little I wrote in the last few months.
I realise it now, thinking it’s already Tuesday, and this week, like the previous one, is just flying away.
It seems like a full life, but I can not accept and cannot perceive any positive vibrations from this optimistic view of the working week.
Along the path, tall and large secular trees, some of which are marked by old letters of lovers or just by names and dates; it was funny to think that those who had graven those hearts and those letters, promising perhaps eternal love to each other, were probably already dead and buried, while those trees were still there, magnificent and strong.
Leaving the road
to get lost
as in life,
it will always be worth it
if by that
I can find pieces of Heaven
hidden and lost …
never take away my need to explore
never take away my will to go …
“I wanted to win the world championship,
.. and instead I find myself here shopping” is a quote from a song of Alex Britti that struck me a lot when I listened it for the first time.
I played it again yesterday, by accident, and it inevitably led me to think of those dreams of mine I had, and to confront myself with how many of them I fulfilled and how many I had to dismiss during my journey.
A few days ago I read that in Sweden we have reached the amount of 400,000 unemployed which is a remarkable and worrying percentage on a population of about ten million people.
I myself have been in that situation and I know what it means to look for work, knocking at all the doors, not receiving any answers or even being shout out in a bad way.
Yet, just after 5 months, I got different and interesting possibilities.
Luck? Maybe, but I don’t think so…
Leaving, traveling…getting lost!
Between unknown roads
And already caressed thoughts…
I’ve always been a wanderer, an adventurer in exploring and finding always new places: just let’s go, I’ll decide where later on…
When I was three, some old ladies found me walking in the middle of the village where we were spending the holidays; at the time of elementary and middle school, when we were spending Sundays with families outside the city, I always forced my friends to stop playing football to go hiking in the woods or surrounding hills instead.
Who has been following me for a while probably knows about my situation of “happy unemployed”.
For those who are new here, they can find in my previous posts the reason of my happiness, first because I can now do what I want (here), and second because I’ve been strong and brave enough to get out from some “dirty games” in which they wanted me accomplice and partner (here).
(whiStrange Sunday, yesterday.
Slim and rare snowflakes that slowly try to stick around, put on a thin veil that then disappears and reappears, or create only glossy whiffles on the grey asphalt.
And so I take the car to wander without direction: the fantasy, the intuition or a song will decide it for me. It does not matter.
We grew up in a world that told us so many, maybe too many lies.
I’m talking about my generation.
I was born in the mid-1970s, but I can not remember them. Instead I remember the 80s as a very happy and wealthy period, growing in a rich and joyful Italy, when everyone could easily achieve their goals and still have so much fun.
For some time now, I got close to what they call the “positive thinking” way of living.
In life you must always touch the bottom to cling to something (whatever it is) to try to come back to the surface.
This happened to me about three and a half years ago, when after a long period of time (and it has been my choice, anyway) of crazy descent towards the lowest stages of my life, I had only two opportunities: to stay there or to come back.
He got out of one of the bathrooms at the office. Deadened silence and the cold white of the neon-light.
He approached one of the five sinks lined up on the front wall to rinse his hands and face. Perhaps it would help him to finally wake up from his numb.
He looks at himself at the mirror, grinning.
Some days ago I met an old colleague of mine.
As often happens, having not shared anything else in life than working time from 8am to 4pm, we ended up immediately talking about work and the company from where I decided to get fired (as I will explain later).
I look back
The long journey that brought me here, my steps, my memories
As footprints inexorably they will be deleted by water and wind.
Maybe none has ever been walking here…
The legs are struggling while I’m going uphill, but they know the way.
The muscles harden more and more but they will resist.
Short breath, crazy heartbeat, the altitude starts to make me feel sick.
There could be a thousand excuses, a thousand reasons to stop and go back, down to the valley, but I chose my destination and nothing can stop me now
A little bit more, I hold on.
The last effort and behind that pass I’ll be there.
He was locked in his hotel room on the thirteenth floor.
The wide open windows let come in hot, suffocating air. A grey sky, as homogeneous and heavy layer over the city, made the whole situation even more overwhelming.
The constant noise of the aeration systems came up from the bottom of the inner courtyard.
Soon a constant and depressing drizzle would begin and last forever.
The television in the background showed just another talk-show. The phone switched off, the full ashtray on the window sill.
In the last couple of months, thanks to my situation of being unemployed and thanks to the early arrival of the Scandinavian autumn, I do what I’ve always dreamed of doing: the full time writer.
Daydreaming? A way to deceive myself? Or just doing something to keep myself busy?
We spend time trying to kill the time, this is the point.
After the years and all those stages imposed by the society and the family, we find ourselves in our 20s or 30s, already addicted and swallowed by the working life. We take our first responsibilities, our duties as a good citizen, and we find ourselves almost unconscious, tied up and involved with the system, the community, and the institutions around us (the same things we might have tried to fight or to evade just a few years before …).
I let my life slide faraway from me.
The world we know, and in which we are forced to live, runs on a highway just few hundreds meter away. Here comes the echo of fast cars and slow trucks sloping uphill, while I’m imagine the clock ticking, stressing that kind of life.
The only we know, perhaps, the only we are used to and so, in a way, submitted to.
I’m just a few feet away from all those noises, the hurry, the busy living, and yet I feel so distant …
A few years ago, during the lunch break, I was talking to a colleague, mostly complaining about our job. As often happens in workplaces, where one feels more as companions of misfortune than just colleagues, we were deploring our job and, in particular, our salary that was always too low compared to the amount of duties and responsibilities we had.
I often think about the endless landscapes of Argentinean Patagonia.
I do not need to look at the thousands of photos that I took then, I carry these landscapes inside me and often they pop-up in front of my eyes, as a slow slide show, on the music of my melancholy.
And I think…
I think about the vastness, the immensity, and a boundless nature so difficult to imagine and believe real.
I’ve been working almost 20 years. I did a bit of everything, so many different jobs and only on rare occasions I felt really satisfied and fulfilled (and only for short time).
Most of the time I found myself cursing the job and all the hours I was spending (wasting?) there, in a everlasting countdown waiting for the end of day, the weekend, the holidays…
Like many other people, for what I know by talking with friends and colleagues, I was working there but I was actually dreaming to be somewhere else, mostly just wishing to be home and relax instead.
The sky slides fast tonight.
A layer of clouds like sheep following the instinct of the flock.
The sky doesn’t stop even tonight, it doesn’t care about anything, it goes on its way. Fast, selfless, free, it runs toward the infinity.
Yet it gives something, everlasting colours and moments, light games, astonishing sunrises and sunsets.
To who is brave enough to stop and look…