Katarína Varsiková

Autor -Katarina Varsikova

Nahota a vďaka

Foto: Ruže od Alexa

Tento blog je tak trochu variáciou na anglicky napísaný článok o tvorivom zmätku. Občas ma prepadne chuť písať rodným jazykom, ale prekladať sama seba nie, tak nech je zároveň o novej a čerstvej prítomnosti dnešnej nedele.

Zimné víkendy je mojím priestorom na tvorivé písanie občas wellness v Boitfort zopár kilometrov severne od Bruselu. Cez obed tam panuje pokoj, väčšina ľudí začína prichádzať po tretej, a tak sa dá príjemne prechádzať zo soľnej sauny do infračervenej a medzi tým posedávať a dívať sa do záhrady na to, ako víchrica kmáše holé konáre a ako vtáky s ľahkosťou surfujú na vzdušných vlnách. A rozmýšľať o ľuďoch, o telách a ich tajomstvách. Akú prvú som dnes videla drobnú blondínku v župane s barlami, a jednou nohou. Okamžite ma prepla do vďačnosti za život a za odvahu, ktorú ľudia v sebe denno-denne nachádzajú. Rada pozorujem ľudí, ako sa hýbu. V horúcej hradnej saune s výhľadom na vodu, záhradu a zámok, sedí pani s niekoľkými prsteňmi, náramkami, obrovskými náušnicami a knihou v ruke. V saune, kde sotva vydržím desať minút, si číta a do zápästia sa jej musí vrývať forma rozpáleného kovu. Alebo nie?  Sme rôzni a rôznym spôsobom to dávame najavo.

Herečka Gwyneth Paltrow spravila pre Netflix niekoľko dokumentov o rôznych praktikách  a výletoch do sveta subtílnych energií. V slovenskom denníku som potom čítala článok o tom, že je to nebezpečná zlátanina medicínskych nezmyslov. Myslím, že Gwyneth to má v hlave v poriadku a určite má svojich lekárov a vie, kedy za nimi zájsť. Zároveň, ako mnohí, vníma, že telo nie je mechanický konštrukt, ale živá energia v pohybe. Cítiť svoje pocity, vnímať reč tela, dychu, je súčasťou liečenia, hojenia a hľadania. Hej, Gwyneth a partia v slnkom prežiarenej Kalifornii vyžarujú pohodu za veľa peňazí, a prečo nie? Zároveň, čo v rozhovoroch  prebleskuje, je priznanie ich vlastnej zraniteľnosti, krehkosti, a tie máme všetci spoločné.

Deepak Chopra ponúkol ďalšiu zo série meditácií, tentoraz nazvanú Dokonalé zdravie. Nech meditáciu nazveme akokoľvek, vždy nás vedie cítiť život a uvedomiť si vďaku, a v nej prepojenie so všetkým.

Tu je teda žurnál vďaky týchto dní:

Alex ma včera zavolal do kina, na Jo Jo Rabbit, film, ktorý on už videl. Nakrútiť film o nacizme s takou mierou hyperboly vyžaduje odstup, a tiež odvahu. Sedieť pri Alexovi a vnímať jeho tichú prítomnosť je dar. Film je výborný, je to metafora o nacistovi v nás, nie tam vonku. A úžasná Scarlett Johansson, v skrýši-skrini hovorí ukrytej dievčine o zrelom ženstve. Film má humor, a drsnú priamosť zároveň. Pomenúva davovú psychózu, za ktorou je potláčaný strach jednotlivcov. Matka necháva svojho malého syna hrať sa na vojačika a samého dospieť k vlastnej pravde. Pán Adolf má dokonalé fúzy a žiadny driek v uniforme. Scarlett je skvelá aj vo filme The Marriage Story. Víťazstvo lásky, ale nie ilúzie toho, čo si vo svojom doráňanom vnútri pod pojmom láska predstavujeme.

Lula prišla v piatok na jogu v BYP, na ashtangu s Krystynou. Lula na vedľajšej podložke z vlastnej vôle, je splnené prianie a privilegovaný okamih. Takže prirátavam dary. A dnes prvé ráno, keď vôbec nemám pocit, že potrebujem z priedušiek dostať podnájomníka, ktorý zostal dlho po zaplatení poslednej splátky. Sloboda. Čo sa týka fyzického, energetického tela, mení sa neustále. Joga nás učí tieto zmeny vnímať. Hej, starnutie tiež. O to väčšia radosť, že sa dnes dostanem do asán, kde ma pred rokmi myseľ, či strach, či kto nechceli pustiť. Telo som mala kedysi skôr na to, aby nosilo hovoriacu hlavu, a ešte na pár vecí. A to sa zmenilo. Vonku leje. Tisíci dážď tejto zimy, v lese sa zabáram v gumákoch do mokradí, a miesto, kde som raz na jar urobila svoju prvú stojku bez opory, je teraz jazierko. No zvuku dažďa sa nič nevyrovná a stekajúce prúdy sú očistné. V saune, v prírode, tu aj tam.

Jeden citát vo mne rezonuje, pri toľkej tej nahote:

Zdravá hanba je jadrom zmysluplnej lásky.” (John Bradshaw, Creating Love, Vytváranie lásky)

Nie je to hanba za toto telo a život. Je to ochota a potreba vymedziť si zdravé hranice. A za tú tiež ďakujem. A tento článok je hlavne pre tých, ktorým dovoľujem pristúpiť blízko.

Creative Confusion

Picture by Beya on the Bright Brussels Night. Valentine´s Friday 2020

Haven´t read a novel for some time; tried a few from my bookshelves that people brought or rather dumped here, no catch. Then, in the corner of the yoga studio, my eyes fell on a cover of Homecoming by Susie Steiner. Books can be exchanged at the BYP centre but I finally downloaded my copy into the reader.

At the beginning it was difficult to hook on, then at some sentence or paragraph I suddenly found myself immersed. The magic of fiction is working and I am glad my intuition is sharp in this area. Yorkshire farm, two brothers, family dynamics charged with many emotions, dramas, passions. For me, the book is about our alienation, the cut-off relationship to our bodies, feelings, needs. A wonderful coming home of a lost son story. Like a relationship, a story needs patience, attention, focus. Reading on, sometimes switching back to Bradshaw´s Creating Love.

Still recovering from a nose-ear infection but functioning again. First down-dog was not only pain, but also territory regained. Contemplating yoga practice these days: it is good that asanas are challenging, if they become casual, it is the moment to dive deeper in them. Each yoga school has the master parts and the pitfalls. Viniyoga is a great safe base with the attention to breathing and carefully constructed sequences with a concrete purpose. The downside is that one can stay on the safe side with it, practice in a kind of a comfortable trance and reinforcing habitual paths. Whereas yoga is anything but habit, it invites into less trodden territories. I do Ashtanga a couple of times a week – rigorous, rhythmical, it leads me into poses which I need to deepen – backbends, forward bends in combination with hip openers. And I love all kinds of flows José suggests in his big classes. With a sore nose, every breath was a pranayama. Slow twists at home, they enhance metabolism and organs. According to Ayurveda, any dis-ease leads us back to the belly. Healing is a multi-petal lotus, it is a combination of attention, intention, acceptance and letting go.

Why does western medicine see healing as a fight? A pertinent question. Medicines are here to enhance the system naturally opting for harmony. Emotions are here to be heard, not fought. Anger or sorrow connect us with the deepest parts of ourselves, and with the belly again.

A huge part of western medicine also fights other approaches and therapies. I understand, there is a lot power game and manipulation in the world of healers. But that exists in the classical medicine, too. And confusion, but confusion can be a healing tool itself, it brings a good dose of doubts, questions the all-knowing ego, it is a creative material.

Haven´t been this confused for a long time – but the difference is – I bring consciousness into the confusion and that transforms everything. Conscious confusion is quite fun, nothing is sure and the part of me called Madam Wise is silently sitting in the corner. She is there, otherwise I would not be writing this in the Boitfort spa between rounds of salt-infra-red saunas. The garden outside looks winter like, but the air is mild. The Brussels airport is a stone-throw away from here, so silence mixes with roaring of planes taking off. Red hearts everywhere, Valentine weekend. Last night, on Friday I came home to the cold dark flat and found a bunch or roses on the dining table. Modest, pale pink and green ones that I love, in a blue vase made by my friend Bibi. No note, not necessary. I knew. Tears, like everything, bring sadness and joy in one.

With gratitude to Deepak Chopra and the bunch around him for creating numerous bridges to healing and with love to all Travelers through Light and Darkness and back.

Three days of recovery – walks, food, laugh.

A Square with a Mexican Bar

There is a Mexican bar on one of the squares of Etterbeek; in summer it is shaded by acacia trees of delicate leaves. The bar is great, full of colors, music and goodies. It is run by a young couple and we spent there a cozy Halloween evening with my friend last year. I pass the place regularly; once, coming back from work, I saw the owners on the pavement yelling at each other in a family row, their little daughter was standing and observing. I did a mental judgment: What a shame, to have such a nice place and to behave like this. Later, I corrected myself: Not easy matching family life with running a restaurant business.

Around Christmas, the guys shut the place and left for holiday, as the note on the door said. Of course, you do not go to Mexico for a few days, they announced a closure for the whole month of January. Nevertheless, they left outdoor Christmas lights on, plus the wooden furniture, plus many pots of plants and decorations outside, as if they were only up the street and could show up any moment. Nice, to pass the place and see it lively, even without them, lights shining into early, wet winter dusk. It is a statement in this over-protecting, fence, alarm and lock obsessed world. On the door, there is a motto:

Life is not a problem to be solved. Life is a mystery to be lived.

Generous, I tell myself and it resonates with a topic I have been walking with these days: Open and secure. Shutting off/out/away does not protect, or, it does, but it only protects illusions. At the same time, I am learning to state healthy borders, which, actually, give real liberty to being. The Mexican bar also has the borders clearly traced: by the lines of decoration lights, by the wooden terrace construction, by the pots of plants and messages in the windows. The territory is marked in an open, playful, colorful way.

For years I thought I was sun-shy, protecting or failing to protect my skin. Now, I understand the deeper meaning, the skin as the protective zone, communicating the desire to defend one´s own values, rights, the unique self. Normally, in a healthy family, children learn this step by step with soulful carers. But parents are often wounded children themselves, so the lesson is passed partially or not at all. What I unconsciously learnt was, as many girls, I believe:

I am loved only when I please others. Okay, no regrets, no turning back, to be born psychologically is our own task and the time is always Now.

By the way, the owners are back from holiday, I went by today and saw the lights inside. The oven is on, delicious pizzas, cheese and ham and veggies. Bottles of wine glimmer on the shelves.

By singing our soul´s true song we gain the freedom.

The bar is called Terracotta.

The current book: Creating Love by John Bradshaw. A great teacher, an inspiration, this guy. Just one quote, related to a Jungian interpretation of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyché:

The nurturing soul mother in all of us must learn that we will love and serve our children and our lovers better by attending to our own fate, by healing our own unfinished past, our own time of enchantment and mystification. Only by confronting this past can we make it real and transform it.

Out there. Spots and Shots

Picture is ours: Dancers in the Town

What does a viewer get from gazing at large prints, most of them black and white, of the Swiss photographer? They are not too many exposed in the stunning, charming and dilapidated Botanique of Brussels (https://botanique.be/en/exhibition/balthasar-burkhard-2019).

Sea waves, mountain peaks, marsh landscape, nudes, a series of self-portraits and a few animal portraits.

In one print we peer into a place we rarely see so close. We, women, usually with gathered courage and a mirror a few times in our lives. Under favorable circumstances, we, women, let only a few men gaze so close into this single spot, the black hole, the centre of the universe, the guarded door to pleasure and pain. (Well, on depends on personal preference here, of course).

The few animal portraits are particularly touchy; the animals do not have egos, so they do not radiate doubts, questions, praise or humiliation through their bodies. I see dignity.

We went to the exhibition with Lou and with our two cameras to a half-forgotten spot in town: the terraced gardens with a city skyline not far from the metro station Le Parc. The architectural project was an ambitious one, though obviously did not prove itself, as it happens often. Handsome police officers poured out and crossed the huge concrete terrace, going on some practice training. A group of hip-hop dancers rehearsed their choreography in harsh winter wind.  The light is grey, both soft and hard, depends on positions. It a peculiar thing – to go out with the aim of photo shooting, an awkward – What? Why? How? – moment. Successful? According to whom? Based on what criteria? Easier is not even to try, but the sense of richness when we try is worth it.

We had lunch at a very quiet Japanese place whose owner served ramens and then said they were closed today, actually. And an expresso in a little Greek café where cakes appeared almost Slovak-style and the prices, too. The coffee moment ended in a short conversation after I knocked over a little statue:

“It is a fish.”

“No, it is a ship with an eye.”

“It is a fish and a ship.”

“No, it is a ship with an eye.”

All right, so it is a ship with an eye.

Lou says I always provoke talks with strangers, even at the cost of knocking over their statutes.

Tektonické zlomy zimného slnovratu

Foto: Lula. V kaviarni v L. Mikuláši. Daždivý deň minulého leta.

2020 je graficky aj numerologicky sľubný. Dve dvojky, dvojitá spolupráca. Lucia (Živé kvety) dala v pesničke tento prísľub do politického kontextu slovenského: Dvetisícdvadsať, chce sa mi vracať. Je to skvelý album. A ten koncert deň pár dní pred Vianocami v Umelke, ach. Chvíľami som mala pocit, že sa celá Umelka odlepí od zeme a vznesie nad nočnú decembrovú Bratislavu, taká to bola energia. Ak sa raz budem rozhodovať pre Bratislavu, tieto chvíle, a zopár ľudí, ktorí sú tam, budú argumentmi. Polhodinu pred polnocou som odišla – moja nervová sústava nevedela absorbovať viac. To sa učím – vnímať vnútorné hranice a vedieť sa ochrániť. Áno, Lucia, tancujeme na lane, a ktoré salto je na rozlúčku? A na rozlúčku s čím? Konečne si priznávam, že joga násobí nielen silu, ale aj zraniteľnosť. Priamo úmerne. Mám pocit, že sa vo mne v tomto období zrážajú tektonické platne. Ty to všetko veľmi prežívaš, vraví Lula. Stačí len byť a tešiť sa z prítomnosti. Lula, si moja opora.

Kutrem sa v psychických pivniciach a učím sa prijať odhodené, nepovšimnuté fragmenty seba. Práca s tieňom. Carl Jung. Človek sa nestáva osvieteným tým, že svieti, ale tým, že nechá veci vyjsť z tmy nevedomia (veľmi voľne parafrázovaný obľúbený Carl Jung). Vynášanie z nevedomia. Tieňom túžby je závislosť, v akejkoľvek forme. Ak nie sú na začiatku života, v rannom detstve, túžby malého človeka uspokojené s láskou, ak sa túžbam väčšieho dieťaťa vysmievajú, tak sa ony skryjú a premenia na frustrácie, požadovačnosť a ďalšie. Lenže rodičia už nám život dali, a narodiť sa znova je naša úloha. Obsahuje odpustenie a odpútanie sa od minulosti. Hľadám v záhyboch skúsenosti. Meditujem. A k tomu mi Andrej prinesie knihu od kritika súčasného trendu meditovania – človek sa vďaka móde meditácie môže ľahko stať narcistickým egoistom. Čaro slobodnej vôle je: čokoľvek je možné, interpretovateľné, ohýbané, skúšané, prijímané, manipulované, zahadzované a znova objavené.

Dokončila som preklad ďalšej Acimanovej knihy  – Variácie enigmy. Ak si liečite zlomené srdce a ste masochisti, šup do čítania. Je to dobrý spisovateľ. Hodnotenie piatich poviedok o nemožnosti trvalej lásky nechám na čitateľoch. Pomenúvajú ďalší tektonický zlom: očakávať od partnera, aby vykryl nedostatočnosť či umožnil objať úplnosť? Vzťah ako cukrík, tabletka, splachovač emócií, stimulant či sedatívum alebo dobrodružstvo seba poznania.

Telo bolesti je živá energia, je to bytosť. Živí sa emóciami. Ešteže jej netreba kupovať topánky. Hoci je január, začínajú sa zľavy, takže by sa to dalo vyriešiť lacnejšie. Oblečené v mojich výbuchoch, telo z bolesti a strachu, tancovalo by okolo mňa v červených črievičkách: ešte, ešte. Ďalší tektonický zlom: emócie nie potláčať a vetrať ( bežné kombo), ale zachytiť v pocitoch, nájsť v tele, podržať v láskavom objatí, nechať rozplynúť v dychu. Náročná tretia cesta. Dva poháre červeného a pár dielov seriálu sú príjemnejší rituál, len sa v ňom veľa  zasunie späť do tých pivníc. Kurník, koľko ich je tam ešte? Netuším.

V Bratislave cez Vianoce joga s Ninou. Čoraz viac je každá hodina rituál, čoraz ľahšie plynie. Nina, si inšpirácia. Objavujem, ani nie nové asány, ako ich nové uhly a aspekty, pohľad cez, popod, ponad . Učím sa dôverovať tomu, čo je nepovedané, nevidené, nepoznané, zrážam sa tu s kontrolórom, ktorý chce všetko vedieť a predvídať. Inými slovami, čas okolo zimného slnovratu praje oblosti hrán, pružnosti hraníc, disciplíne slobody.

Neviem, ako pomáhať mužom, ktorých milujem. Učím sa byť dobrou partnerkou sebe. Občas je to  švanda, a vnášam do toho odstup a nadhľad, hej, netreba to všetko brať tak vážne. Som spirituálne lenivá, zahlásim kamarátke ráno pri čaji v Kontajnéri. A je to celkom veselé zistenie, vlastne, prečo nie, lenivosť je dobrá vlastnosť – do istej miery. Priveľa, tiež nie. A tak teda?

Dívam sa do očí človeku, s ktorým sa práve zhováram. Ak mi ujde potvora pozornosť, vrátim sa a poviem, prepáč, nepočúvala som teraz. Učím sa povedať prepáč, môj vnútorný punker a rebel to dlho odmietal. Učím sa plakať a prestať plakať, keď je toho priveľa. Vyjadriť sa. A ešte sa tu mlátia dve sestry s pohyblivým telom: intuícia a ilúzia. Občas sa prepletú tak, že fakt neviem, ktorá je ktorá.

Takže takto na tektonickom zlome slnovratu a rokov.

Advent

Picture: Sunday afternoon at friends. The painting has been traded for pictures. A strategic spot to observe the company.

Curious always, exploring whatever comes across.

On the way to the friend´s house in the canal area of Brussels on Sunday, I pass a church and pop in. A crowded Romanian orthodox church; male voices singing, the priest offering people a spoonful of something – perhaps wine? – and his assistant dabbing the mouths of the people with a piece of cloth. The same spoon and the same cloth for all, that requires a lot of trust in spirit. Rituals are fascinating. It is the first Advent Sunday.

At the spacious loft in the middle of the winter afternoon, the host, a photographer and a writer, tells me:

The ultimate art is the art of a couple. Of course, only a good one.

And which couple is a good one? For sure, the question is provoking and rich and worth pondering.

He, though, defined it for himself, and I like the definition: “In a good couple each one helps the other to grow in liberty, in his/her own unique way.”  No attempts to change, undo, teach, heal, guide the other one, that much I understand, in theory at least. Allow to be – in a trusted space.

The idea of POWER has been coming up these days in different parts of my life: Deepak Chopra offered a meditation round called Self-Empowerment. Power pops up when I am exploring my shadow: I have always feared to assume there is a justified power. I stood aside, withdrew, shut up or tried some avoidance mechanism. Numbing and spiritual bypassing are my favourite ones.

Now, experiencing an ego-death when the man I consider my companion, my twin soul, my yoga co-teacher, my friend, decided suddenly to withdraw. Yes, I see the cumulation of my – and I understand it is an illusion. Such as the ego is an illusion, though a very real one. Through pain, tears, anger I suddenly have gained access to the long-shut dark chambers within me. And I enter, remember – curiosity is stronger that fear. In a sharper-than-a-dagger-blade pain I have no other chance than to surrender and live what I so well know in theory: no other person, no outer circumstance can ever bring a lasting joy. The source is within. I dive into the rabbit hole with no end, finally, the two important aspects merge: the psychological and the spiritual. It is hilarious, liberating, joyful; sadness and sorrow work similarly as a counter point works in music. I have got a key I have been searching for a long time without knowing it.

Sunday evening, on the way from the friends´ place, I pass the less fancy parts of Brussels downtown, cafés with dirty windows and curtains, where dark-skin men sip endless cups of tea and coffee and talk, strange shops with even stranger goods, smelly gas-stations on the ground floor of blocks of flats, the infamous Maximilian park with lots of people without the right papers, the sans papiers, until I come to the shopping zones with glittering lights and a crowd carrying Black-Friday-Weekend bags. Poor, idle, coming from unfavorable places, rich, busy, killing desires with shopping. And who knows about the real power?

Powerful we are, when we dive within.  It is the power of vulnerability, trust, courage to love fully, to love no matter what. I have peeled a layer, one of zillion layers, this one leaving me raw and wounded, but finally, I am conscious of it.

The road does not stop or end, there is always more to understand:

I guy of a huge ego and toxic habits hates me and I cannot avoid him as I see him every working day. I am searching within me again, working with my fears and the wounded pride. Because, yes, part of the shadow is the wounded child we carry within. Mine shouts: Why don´t they love me?

Power. And self-worth. Not the lipstick of self-confidence. Self-worth is empowering. Why do we neglect we are worth? Because we learnt to do so somewhere on the road. A lot psychological pain has accumulated during the thousands´years of human experience. No chance to know all the reasons; no need to undo or change. Rather: grow through and over.

Grateful to all the teachers. I really recommend following the lonerwolf.com web. Rich, wise, sober, encouraging.

Currently, the book Eastern Body, Western Mind, a very detailed chakra explanation, a lot of science in it, though the skeptics would oppose. Carl Jung smiling across the infinity. Some of his quotes seem far-fetched – like discouraging people from yoga. Nevertheless, Jung has a point. Spirit-rituals should not be used as a strategy to avoid one´s wounds. Or we pay for that dearly. The price? Not being whole. And yoga is Wholeness. The shit included. Part of the package.

A new Friday evening ritual – Ashtanga yoga in a half-empty room; a teacher with a singing voice guiding a practice that shuts off the mind. For the first time, my hands join in marichyasana on both sides. That also thanks to a wonderful shiatsu massage with Tatiana. Another reason for gratitude. Friends, supporters, teaches, swell, right?

The ultimate teacher is within. My guys – Lucia and Alex – constantly put me in contact with the teacher within. I have been raising them reminding myself to fully respect all they experience, breathe through, try out. Sometimes I am frightened and doubting if I am doing it right, but then, again and again, I get messages: Yes.

Love is not an emotion. Love is a decision. Attitude. Willingness to connect.

A good advent to all.