Tag Archives: happiness

An Appreciation for Loneliness

Dear Loneliness,

My loyal companion, my dedicated friend. For as long as I can remember you have always been there for me. Throughout the years you have always stuck with me no matter what.

I must admit that I did not always appreciate your presence. At times I felt that you dragged me down and that you stood in the way of my personal development. I looked down upon you in disdain and I’ve often tried my best to shut you out of my life. I did not want you hanging around me with your overwhelming influence and melancholic demeanor. No, what I craved for, what I thought I really wanted, was the attention of Happiness and Love. They were fun and popular. They were the cool kids that everyone wanted to hang out with. If only they would accept me within their inner circle, I thought to myself, then my life would become richer and more satisfying. Alas, Happiness and Love did not deem me worthy enough to step into their circle. So I sought to change myself. I strove to become a better person, whatever the hell that may mean. I tried to conform to their standards, their expectations, all in a desperate attempt to prove that I am worthy for their attention. I failed of course. Miserably. But then again, could there really have been another outcome? How can I possibly succeed when I could only think of changing who I am?

When I returned to you, you were there to welcome me back with open arms. You did not chastise me for my shallowness. You did not blame me for shunning you in the first place. Instead you merely embraced me with silent understanding. All the more unforgivable then that I turned my back upon you once again. You were not good enough for me, and this time I sought my refuge with a different crowd. I started to hang out with those dangerous types like Indifference and Resentment. After the sadness and the disillusionment I had felt, their philosophies upon the world appealed greatly to me. They whispered at me that nothing else in the world matters except ourselves, and that we should always only look out for ourselves, first and foremost. They took great relish in badmouthing Happiness and Love, much to my delight. Once again, I lost sight of who I am, and I fooled myself into a state of non-caring, and that feeling empowered me. It made me feel like a big man.

Just in time you pulled me out of that environment through your everlasting presence. As I look back, I shudder to think what would have become of me had I kept associating myself with Indifference and Resentment. I thought their words strengthened me, but in reality they were just leading me further down along a negative spiral. And I always thought your presence weakened me, but in reality it is you who kept me sane and lent me strength. After all, it is you who reminds me that I am only human after all, that I’m just an imperfect blob of flesh and blood just like everyone else. I always thought that feeling lonely was a great sin, but I realize now that feeling lonely does not mean that I am a failure nor does it mean that I am forever destined to be alone. On the contrary, I realize now that feeling lonely means nothing more than that I care deeply, for better or worse, and in the end, isn’t that the only thing that truly matters?

Ah, my dear sweet Loneliness, we have been together so long, that I cannot even start to imagine a life where you no longer exist. I know now that you will never ever truly disappear from my life. However, there may come a time when I start to yearn for greener pastures once more, so that our grips upon one another may loosen again, but I also know you will always be there waiting inside me, within the deepest and darkest recesses of my heart, ready to embrace and welcome me whenever I have need of you again.

And for that I am deeply grateful. Forever and always.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel

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Filed under Reflections

The Argentine short stories – Bondiola

Bondiola?” I pointed at the entry on the menu card. “What is bondiola?”

I was about to order the bife de lomo, the Argentine tenderloin steak, at El Cucharon when my gaze fell upon this mysterious word, especially since the price tag was similar to the one behind the lomo. The menu card indicated that it was pork, but that wasn’t nearly enough information for me, so I looked up expectantly at the waiter, even as my mind started to wander off. Bondiola. The very word conjured up images of the tough gauchos of Patagonia, sitting steadily atop their mighty steeds while their eyes never averted from the herd of cattle they were attending to. Bondiola. I could almost hear my imaginary gaucho whisper the word softly, all alone in the wide open pampas with only his dog, his horse and his cattle to keep him company, as the wind rustled across the dry, desolate desert landscape. The word itself was pregnant with solitude. And with longing. Longing for his home and family. Longing to consume his next hot meal together with his loved ones.

“Ah! Bondiola!” the waiter exclaimed, a wide grin appearing on his friendly face. He formed a ring with his hand by bringing together the tips of his thumb and forefinger, while the other three fingers were pointed toward the ceiling. He brought the tips to his lips and made a soft smacking sound as he kissed them. “It’s pork shoulder. Excellent quality! Muy bien!”

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Filed under Argentina 2011, Stories