shantaram – pt.2

 I posted about the book Shantaram a few weeks back but due to my crazy I stopped reading, primarily because I could not concentrate on it nor lift my head off my pillow to read a sentence, let alone a page. I am still about half way through but am determined to finish it because, in case I didn’t mention it before, I adore this book.

 It never fails to amaze me just how powerful words when combined in the right way can be yet when we see them in a dictionary alone they seem powerless. We have to use them wisely because they can empower us but also destroy us.

I shared before some of my favourite passages from the story, but that was just the beginning. The more I read the more food for thought this story seems to give me.

Read on below to see some more words of wisdom.

 

I think suffering is a matter of choice. I think that we do not have to suffer anything in this life if we are strong enough to deny it. The strong man can master his feelings so completely that it is almost impossible to make him suffer. When we do suffer things, like and so, it means that we have lost control. So I will say that suffering is a human weakness.

 

Is it not true that some of our strength comes from suffering? That suffering hardship makes us stronger. That those of us who have never known a real hardship and true suffering cannot have the same strength as others who have suffered much?

 

I think that when we grow up and learn that happiness is rare, we become disillusioned and hurt. And how much we suffer is a mark of how much we have been hurt by this realization.

 

When we act, even with the best of intentions, when we interfere with the world, we always have a new disaster that mightn’t have been of our making, but that wouldn’t occur without our action.

 

Some of the worst wrongs were caused by people who tried to change things

 

The worse things that people do to us always make us feel ashamed. The worst things people do always strike at that part of us that wants to love the world. And a tiny part of the shame we feel when we’re violated, is shame at being human.

 

Lovers always find their way by such insights and confidences; they’re the stars we use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those are the heart of breaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.

 

Men reveal what they think when they look away and what they feel when they hesitate; with women it’s the opposite.

 

At the moment most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions though different in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war and the imans of another country bless their solders as they march out to meet them and everybody who is involved in the killing says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally accepted definition of good and evil and until we have one we will go on justifying our own actions whilst condemning the actions of others.

 

If you turn your heart into a weapon you always end up using it on yourself.

 

Sooner or later fate puts us together with the people who show us what we could or shouldn’t let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind and the hate filled heart but fate loads the dice of course because usually we find ourselves pitying all of these people and its impossible to despise someone when you honestly pity and to shun someone you truly love.

 

My hate is what saved me. Hate is a very resilient thing you know, hate is a survivor. I had to hide my hate for a long time, people couldn’t handle it, they got spooked by it so I sent it outside myself. It’s weird that I was a refugee for years, I still am, my hate was a refugee just like me. My hate was outside me. My family were all killed, raped and butchered and I killed men, I shot them, I cut their throats and my hate survived out there. My hate got stronger and harder and then I woke up one day working for Khader with money and power and I could feel the hate creeping back into me and it’s here now, inside me, where it belongs and I’m glad, I enjoy it. I need it, Lin. The stronger I am it’s braver that I am, it’s stronger than I am. My hate is my hero.

 

 

 

I mean… *insert heart-eye emoji here*
Xoxo

Micks

shantaram – pt. 1

where i am: montrose, CA

what im listening to: tori kelly- unbreakable smile

can i just say this holiday rocks! i haven’t been this relaxed in so long – i haven’t eaten  this much in forever – i am constantly full up. its got to the point where i may need to book an extra seat on the flight home to accommodate my increasingly large arse. not only that but i am getting the chance to write so much, i haven’t written in my notebook this much since the beginning of the year when i was a bum. the more i write, the clearer my head feels, always.

today’s post is a little different from the norm in that i’m going to be giving you someone else’s words and thoughts and not my own.

i am constantly fascinated with people, their stories, their lessons, their thoughts and views on life and everything that happens to us. 

if you’ve been reading my posts for a while you’ll know i can be quite sensitive (i pretend i am not “i don’t have a heart” is a favourite line of mine) but actually i am really sensitive and i feel everything probably a bit more than i should. i am that girl that can burst into tears over a book, a song or even an advert on the telly (yes, i’m a loser). 

i was recently lent a book by a friend called ‘shantaram’ by gregory david roberts. i am obsessed. there are so many truth bombs in the text, so many statements that make me really think and so many that resonate with me. i’m going to share some of them here. also, i’ve called this part one because i can guarantee i will end up sharing more from this book in the future. you’re welcome. 

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant. The choice you make between hating and forgiving can be come the story of your life”

The best thing in the world is power… love is the opposite of power, that’s why we fear it so much”

“She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some women are like that. Some loves are like that, from what I can see. Your love starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self respect and your independence. After a while you start throwing people out, your friends, people you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking and you know it’s going to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of girls here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love.”

“There’s a truth that’s deeper than experience. It’s beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It’s an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We’re helpless usually in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn’t always help us to love the world but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know the truth, is to share it, heart to heart…”

“I think that we all, each one of us, we all have to earn our future. I think the future is like anything else that is important. It had to be earned. If we don’t earn it, we don’t have a future at all. And if we don’t earn it, we don’t deserve it. We have to live in the present, more or less forever. Or worse, we have to live in the past. I think that’s probably what love is – a way of earning the future”

“One of the reasons we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you”

“Fate has every power over us but two. Fate cannot control our free will, and fate cannot lie. Men lie, to themselves more than to others, and to others more often than they tell the truth. But fate does not lie”

Reality – as you see it, as most people see it – is nothing more than an illusion. There is another reality, beyond what we see with our eyes. You have to feel your way into that reality with your heart. There is no other way”

“Justice is not only the way we punish those who do wrong. It is also the way we save them”

“It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would have anhilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in someway a promise to forgive. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive”


i mean…  wow, right? 

some of those i read, and re read, and read again. i copied those down in my journal and annotated them, i added my thoughts (i haven’t done that here because i don’t think it’s necessary and would probably take away from the original message) some of those made me really sit and think. others brought me to tears. does that make me weird? most likely. i’m ok that. 

i’m about halfway through the book and i’m excited to see how it turns out. if you’re looking for a new book to read i can’t recommend it enough. 

xoxo

Micks 

Book Club

Hello and welcome. I have a weekend off, the sun is shining through the window, Moana is on my telly , I’m feeling particularly anti social and I am writing, with a cup of tea. Life is good.

 

When I sat a wrote my goals for the year one of them was to post every week – I’m a post behind. Another of those goals was to read at least 2 books a month; this one I’ve actually achieved. In fact, each month (except for March because March was just madness) I’ve read 3 books. I know, high-five me! I love a good book that takes me away for a minute. I could be sat on a train physically but in my head I’m on a beach in Barbados, or travelling around on horseback in the mountains with Native Americans, crying with someone on a sofa in Suffolk. A book can take you wherever you want to go, and you might learn something whilst you’re there.

giphy-downsized.gif

 

If you’re looking for some book recs then read on, friends.

 

 

January

Book 1 – If I could tell you just one thing by Richard Reed

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I love to talk to people and find out what motivates them, to learn about how they got to where they are and why they’ve become who they are. Richard talks to a wide range of people, touches on this subject and asks them “If you could give everyone just one piece of advice what would it be?” A very interesting read.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 16.24.07.png

 

Book 2 – You and Me, always by Jill Mansell

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jill is the Queen of chick lit for me. It’s a case of same meat, different gravy but I find something so comforting in that. It’s nice that everyone gets a happy ending somewhere, even if it is only in the pages of a book

 

Book 3 – Texas Bride by Rosanne Bittner

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is actually part of a series of books ‘The Bride Series’ if you will so yes there is romance at the forefront of it. What I actually really enjoy the most of these books is the historical side to them – based around the treatment of the Native Americans, how they were viewed and forced out of their own land.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 16.22.35

February

 

Book 1 – Happy by Fearne Cotton

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Any book that talks about mental health is ok in my mind. Fearne shares her story, talks to her friends about their mental health and breaks down areas of life that we need to pay attention to in order to stay ‘Happy’. To some it may be common sense, to some it will be a tool to guide them in the right direction.

 

Book 2 – Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

 

I don’t feel I can give this a rating because this is Drew talking about her life experiences and the stories that make her, her. It’s not my place to judge her life but I really enjoyed reading about it. I really like her, her philosophy and I like to think that if we ever met we could be real life friends. Hippy friends.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 16.21.21

Book 3 – Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I felt like taking it back down memory lane – I found this book in my bookcase and as it is one of my favourite Dahl books I couldn’t not read it; it’s timeless.

 

March

 

Book 1 – Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

 

I LOVE HER. Very similar to Drew’s book, this is Carrie talking about her life and the various situations that being Hollywood royalty got her in to. She is fierce, fearless and fabulous. It just confirmed my belief that we lost a goddess last year and someone that could totally be in my gang.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 16.20.12

Book 2 – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We all know the story of the elusive Holly Golightly, most of us know Audrey Hepburn as her. I’ve seen the movie; you probably have as well. I enjoyed this more than the movie though, the basics are the same but I feel that Capote sells me Holly more – I didn’t particularly care for her in the movie but I do in the book. I relate to her in ink, but not on the screen.

 

April

 

Book 1 – The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

EVERYONE STOP THIS NOW AND GO READ THIS BOOK. I could not put this down, I read all 460 + pages of it in less than 24 hours. It is a book about women for women by a woman. I have long admired Dawn, she is one of my favourite ladies in the spotlight but this has made me love her a whole lot more. It is such a powerful novel about women judging each other but also judging ourselves. It reminds us that, actually, rather than tearing each other down, we’re the strongest when we lift each other up. You will never read this but thank you, Dawn for writing this. I think it’s what we all need to remember right now.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 10.42.49

Book 2 – Nightwalker by Diane Hoh

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Again, this was a walk down memory lane. When I was a teenager I loved the Point Horror series – I always fancied myself as a Nancy Drew type, mystery solver. This was one of the books in the ‘Nightmare Hall’ series. It’s been 15 years since read these and I still never guess the culprit right! God damn it!

 

Book 3 – Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni

 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I think that the message behind it is really important. So long as you love yourself, that’s all that matters. I would be telling porkies if I said that this didn’t bring a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, even though the main character is only 18 – how she talks about her self, how she cares about what other people see and say and think of her, it reminds me of me at times. A very important read for any teenage girl. Over the course of the summer Burn learns a very important lesson, she starts off trying to change herself for everyone else but slowly realises that she needs to change for herself, as really that’s the only opinion that matters.

Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 10.42.21.png

 

I’m now off to hunt the local Waterstones for some new books for the next few months.

If you’ve any recommendations then let me know, as you’ve gathered, I love a good book.

 

cropped-fullsizerender-5.jpg

 

There will come a time…

There will come a time where the tears don’t fall everyday. Where a task as simple as breathing won’t hurt. Where you can remember them with a smile, instead of tears falling down your cheeks. There will come a time it won’t hurt so much to talk about them, and remember the person they were. You’ll talk about them with a smile on your face and joy in your heart instead of a heaviness on your chest and knots in your stomach.

 

There will come a time when that song comes on the radio that reminds you of them you’ll turn it up and sing along, instead of changing the station because it’s too raw to listen to it just yet. You’ll let yourself get swept up in the melody and remember with a sad smile the moments that you shared with that song. When it’s finished you’ll sit there and say hey to them, because you believe it’s their way of letting you know they are still around.

 

There will come a time when you see something or experience something that you know they would have found funny and you’ll laugh a little bit louder and harder because imagining their reaction to it makes it funnier somehow.

 

There will come a time when you are used to them not being around, you won’t like it and wish they were still here, but you will get used to them being gone. It becomes the new normal, no matter how much you know it’s not really ‘normal’ that they are gone, it becomes your new normal. It has to because, although they are gone, you have to keep on living. Even on those days you don’t want to. You get to keep on making memories, going places, meeting people. You won’t be ok with them being gone, but it will become a type of normal.

 

There will be times when the sadness comes back stronger, usually when there is a big event; weddings, promotions, proposals, births and graduations. You get sad that they aren’t there to share those moments with you because they should be. They should be there for all of it. Or at least that’s what we feel. That’s the way we think it should be. Life isn’t that nice though. It’s true the only certainty in life is death, we just get too busy living and forget. We always think we have tomorrow.

 

There will come a time that the anniversaries become a time to reflect as well as mourn. On Tuesday it will be 2 years since my beloved Grandad passed. 2 years. I don’t even know where that time has gone. So much has happened since then but yet it still feels like yesterday. I found myself walking past his old flat the other day whilst I was on my way to meet friends. For a second I forgot he had gone, and started smiling at his front door and then, of course, I remembered.

 

Grief is not pleasant. Everyone knows that, those that have experienced it first hand know that. Some people find respite in various sources – drink and drugs (both prescribed and not) are probably the most common. It is my belief that they only serve to numb the pain for a time – as John Green said “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt”. I think, where grieving is concerned, you have to feel the pain in order to move on, in order to carry on. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-19-59-09

On Tuesday there will be tears, there will be sadness. There will be tea and biscuits. There will be memories shared. There will be Glenn Miller playing. There will be talk of rainbows. Gerry and the Pacemakers will no doubt make an appearance. I expect we will play The Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’ and sing it at the top of our lungs to honour my Grandad’s love of Crystal Palace.

We will remember the man, who he was. What he meant to us, and still means to us. We will, begrudgingly, thank him for his gifting the majority of us with the ‘Snook Spamhead’ – you’ve never met a family with such large foreheads I tell ya. We will wonder together what he would have made of different situations that have happened, of where all our lives have taken us. We will all know, without a doubt, how much he would have loved to have met the three great-grandchildren that came after he left; Mason-James, Lieselotte and Betsy-Bear.

There will be love and smiles as we remember him, and we will realise, again, how lucky we were to have him as ours because he really was the best.

 

Grandad,

 

I love you. I miss you. I hope you’re proud.

 

I’ll meet you at the end of the rainbow.

 

Xoxo Michaela

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-19-59-33