A note to myself

To think, and to feel.
“To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is…at last, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away…” -Virginia Woolf

Thinking and self-reflecting lead us to thoughts that torture, ones that compel us to look our life in the face: Why am I here? Think real, think hard, think about the truly relevant questions: who are we, how we live, where are we going.

Or else we are just yet another robot hurrying to fulfill tasks one after another, diminishing humanity.

Never, never, never repress thinking.

I think therefore I am.

Now I grasp the meaning. I grasp it, I — feel — it.

“To feel, to trust the feeling. I long for that.” -Ingmar Bergman
Irving Penn, Ingmar Bergman (1 of 4), Stockholm, 1964 © Copyright by The Irving Penn Foundation.

Feeling is another tricky thing.

To feel is to open ourselves and welcome the chances to be moved and, equivalently, to be hurt.

I was afraid to feel, to become emotional. That is why I can hardly finish a travel guide, a “10 places you have to visit in your lifetime” sort-of website; that’s why as much as I love movies, I also hate some of the really good ones, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Because they are so beautiful that creeps inside me, sneaking past my usual emotional guard, challenging my very existence by making me vulnerable.

But wait, if we are not to feel, then what’s left in us that makes us humane? To feel is to be alive. To have a broken heart is the fundamental energy that leads us back to ourselves. To feel, to trust the feeling, to put aside our logic sometimes, is what make us human, make us *US*.

So, to feel, and to be true to my feeling. To love what I instantly love, to share, to be vulnerable, to write about things that break my heart. To survive as myself.

“The real challenge is not simply to survive. Hell, anyone can do that. It is to survive as yourself, undiminished.” — Elia Kazan

Yes, life is so — much — easier as a robot. Thinking and feeling take a lot of energy and expose us to the danger of heartbreaks.

But I would oh — so — much want to live a life that is worth living, as a human, as me.