My Newest Self-Portrait

I am proud to present my newest painting. It is more of an externalisation of my feelings than a reflection of my outward appearance.

If I were an art critic, I would describe it thus:

“The artist deliberately uses monochrome, dark colours to establish the atmosphere of sadness and struggles. The quick brush-strokes and the thick, haphazard application of paint reflect the painter’s inner turmoil and agitation.”

 

The Inner Self

 

 

 

Mirror

The human soul is a mirror clearer than all

That reflects not only what the eye can hold

But also what’s hidden at the core.

An open smile shines on the surface

Brighter than sunlight can ever gleam.

But so can chilly indifference

Extinguish the proud flame.

A hurled word may dissolve in a moment

But it lingers forever in the mirror’s depths.

And the smallest prick of hatred

Shatters the glass to a million pieces.

And when it’s broken,

It won’t be whole again:

If the pieces are distorted,

They can never mend.

Random Acts of Kindness

Sometimes, at a tube station, I accidentally touch my card on the Oyster reader too soon, and I am held back by an error message. A similar situation occurred last evening at Piccadilly Circus. When I touched my Oyster on the reader, I saw the red light flashing up, so I started looking for a staff member to ask for help. However, unbeknownst to me, the light at the gate turned green all of a sudden, meaning that I could go through. The station guard pointed me back to the gate, while the gentleman behind me waited politely until I got through. I feel embarrassed for holding up the queue, but most of all I am grateful to him for letting me pass and not sneaking in through the gate.

Unloved by Men

I am immensely grateful to my friends, who are supporting me in these difficult times, but I can’t help feeling that I need something more, something that only a man could give me. But despite my constant prayers, I cannot find this special person, so all I can do is channel my loneliness into poetry.

Across the land where lightbeams dance,

Humans live in eternal cheer.

But I dwell in the field of darkness.

The sun fled in horror, and the moon is afraid to rise.

Sorrow and cares weigh me down

As I lie unpursued in the muddy grass.

The kingdom of nightmares has triumphed,

The rain falls and gathers into a sea.

And the water flows dim, velvet

And black as every heart.

A candle-flame flickers and dies.

Tide rises. The old wind stirs sometimes.

But otherwise all is still.

Silence echoes through the land,

And vain despair.

But the tide rises

And rises

And raises me

And as my worries swim away,

I float, and melt into the dark.

Seawater tickles my face

And unites with my tears.

I would shriek and beg for help.

But all is useless

And unseen

And unheard

And uncared for.

While I cry tonight,

You’ll be far away,

And you.

And you.

And you.

And you.

And you.

And you will sleep

While I weep.

I slept once

By your side.

But that was a millennium ago.

The heat of your hand still warms my fingers.

The balm of your kiss still rubs my lips.

But your arms do not shield me any more,

And my head no longer belongs on your shoulder.

I grieve as I recall every bygone ray of hope

Until the whirlpool lures me in,

And I dive into obscurity.

When my shadow-self will be a memory,

Crowds will gather at my grave

And gossip haunts forevermore

The ghost of The One Unloved by Men.

 

My New Venture

I just wanted to let you know that I started another blog alongside this one, intended to be an honest account of my struggle with social anxiety. Of course I will carry on writing this blog as well, because this is my main site, but if you are interested in what it’s like to live with a mental illness, or if you or someone around you has similar experiences, it might be useful to take a look at my new venture at rainbowthroughthestorm.wordpress.com.

Bricks

We all go through darker periods when we encounter difficulties or lose hope. And sometimes society puts even more pressure on us by expecting us to behave as though everything was fine. I reached the point where I don’t want to pretend any more. I want to be open, as open as I need to be, and to confess that I am not feeling well. I am fighting a war against the haunting memories of my injuries in the past that still exert a paralysing influence on my life. But, empowered by God, I am more determined than ever to defeat the dark forces, and to leave my past behind for ever. Art is one of my weapons, and even more than that. It gives me shelter, hope and joy. So I will march through the battlefield documenting my struggle through poetry, and I won’t stop until I’ll triumph over the army of shadows. Because my faith in God makes me stronger than my enemies. And deep down I hope that one day someone will read my posts, and feel empowered to fight their own battles.

My pillow is the granite of the floor

My blanket is the starless night.

Dead time floats in the air

As flies circle around me

Like black, fat ghosts of my past

And agents of hate.

Of my undying past that alienates,

And of dark hate that destroys me.

The icy hand of silence squeezes my throat

And the war of tears is suppressed

Before it even breaks out.

In the grey fog, all thoughts are drowned,

And what remains is the prick of pain,

Ubiquitous and yet unreachable.

Sometimes a word flies towards me,

Or a snarl, or a cruel laugh.

Their weight crashes into me

Before they hit the ground

And then turn to bricks.

Bricks that build up, unprompted,

Until I am trapped behind a wall.

A wall, how curious, that is transparent!

Across the wall there beckons the promise of joy.

But here I am a prisoner

Of the bricks,

And of my own soul.

Barcelona – Prolonging Summer

I decided to embark on one last holiday before the inevitable start of the new university year. In an effort to prolong summer a bit longer, I chose a Mediterranean city, Barcelona as my destination. In terms of the weather, it didn’t disappoint me, as it offered a hot 28 degrees throughout the day and night. Although it was occasionally cloudy, but it was still warmer than London on an average sunny day. However, I couldn’t help feeling slightly underwhelmed. I knew that it was the second largest city in Spain, as well as a popular Mediterranean holiday destination, so I imagined it as a buzzing, vibrant city with a sort of permanent carnival going on its street. The real Barcelona, by contrast, is significantly more laid-back, which might be the effect of the hot temperatures… What affected me the most was the lack of night transport options. There was no late-night transfer to Girona, one of its major airports, which is surprising given its status as a global hub. That is not to say that I didn’t like the city. It is truly beautiful, its variety of architectural styles is exciting, and it offers what many urban metropoles cannot: a seaside beach.

As I was roaming the streets, I was seized a weird feeling. While arguably the city is widely different from my home town, Budapest, I wandered onto some streets that made me feel as though I was back in Hungary. I had a similar impression in Paris and Vienna, for example. Is it because these cities were all built in a similar fashion? Are all cities alike in some respects, because they were built by humans, and human nature is essentially more similar than we can imagine? Or is is simply that I am able to feel at home in many different environments? I mean, I’ve lived in 3 countries already, and I have an ever-growing list of cities I want to live in in the future. At any rate, it is always beneficial to explore new places, whether they are completely different or similar to where you come from, because they can widen your horizons, open your eyes to the beauties of the world and maybe even increase your appreciation for your home.

My regular readers know that I prefer to explore a city on foot, rather than taking public transport. In most cities this can be done with facility. It is still possible in Barcelona, although you have to be prepared to walk longer distances, as some of its major sights are slightly further away from the city centre.

I started my sightseeing trip at the Arc de Triomf, an edifice in the style of a triumphal arch. It was built as the entrance gate for the World Exhibition of 1888. In front of the arch there is a long, very pleasant piazza with fountains and palm trees.

 

Arc de Triomf

 

Arc de Triomf piazza

From there I walked towards the Sagrada Familia. a peculiar church building that is considered to be the symbol of Barcelona. It is mind-boggling to know that it has been in construction since 1883, and its scheduled completion date is 2026. Apparently, the most challenging phase is yet to be started. It is already a remarkable feast of architectural creativity, so I am really curious about seeing the completed building in the future.

 

Sagrada Familia1

 

Sagrada Familia2

From there I walked upwards on streets with an increasing elevation, to take a look at another one of Gaudi’s designs. It was quite a trek up there, through narrow streets and battling through hordes of tourists walking two-abreast on pavements too narrow for more than one person. But it was absolutely worth the effort. The park’s cheerful architecture often reminded me of the world of the Flintstones, and it was a real haven of peace and relaxation. You can also get a breath-taking view of the city from the park’s peak. It’s definitely not the kind of park one goes jogging in, but it immediately became my second favourite park of all (right after the park near my childhood home).

Park Guell

 

Park Guell 2

 

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I could have spent hours daydreaming there, but time was short, so I moved on to continue exploring the city. I walked back towards the centre, which gave me the opportunity to take in the various architectural styles of the city. Some parts of Barcelona appeared rather run-down and poor, but they still had a peculiarly Mediterranean feel about them. What I found especially appealing was the great range of little independent shops and cafés, which seemed to be favoured over identikit chain stores. The city has not taken on the international trend of over-sized takeaway coffees, but on the other hand, it does seem to have a penchant for fresh, delicious pastries and cakes.

Barcelona house1

 

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From the more derelict back streets, I turned on to one of the more elegant main avenues, Gran Via de les Cors Catalanes. Here the buildings became more refined and the streets took on a uniform white and grey exterior. Of course the peaceful, quiet atmosphere I’d enjoyed until that ended as soon as I turned to a busier tourist road, but I was still captivated by the pure elegance of the area. (Ok, I won’t make any comparisons to Oxford Street, I promise!)

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Then I turned on to La Rambla, an avenue widely popular with tourists, and at the same time a picturesque medley of Spanish architectural styles. Alongside the two sides of the road, it also had a third stretch of pavement right in the middle, which was dominated by various kiosks and food stalls

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I was getting exhausted after walking around for hours, but I told myself that I couldn’t leave Barcelona without visiting the beach, so I marched on diligently. There was a protest going on at Port Vell, presumably against the high number of tourists in the area, so I had to seek an alternative route, but I reached my destination at the end.

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The air was still pleasantly warm, but the water felt slightly chilly, so I didn’t stay long. Tired but happy and excited, I made my way to my accommodation to take a well-deserved rest. I stayed at the 360 Hostel (http://www.360hostel.com/barcelona/), which I can highly recommend. It is welcoming, comfortable and equipped with computers, kitchen facilities and balconies all free to use. The staff and the guests regularly get together for parties or communal meals, so whether you are looking for fun activities, or just some peace and relaxation, you can find it there!