Just recently I came back from a very difficult business trip to Dubai. Only thing I enjoyed was the view from the office, as I spent in there 12 hours daily for a full week. My journey was truly epic.
I was fighting bugs, like ancient monsters, repelling requests from other departments like raids of rogue nomads, getting through the new version of the binary for the Appstore release like it was a caravan traveling through the scorched desert.
But the sun of the desert was the sun of yesterday.
Today I am looking at the European autumn, enjoying my mate tea on my terrace. Trees flutter with their colorful leaves stroked by wind and the rhythm of their whispers seems to be synchronized with a breath of my newborn son sleeping on my chest.
I look at my son and then at these trees. Then the realization comes through.
Autumn is a parabola of the passing of time. One thing in life never changes, – it goes on.
Our biographies are like the autumn trees, full of colorful leaves – all the different colors, are like frames of a movie of our life.
Some will float away carried by the wind.
I listen to Anathema now. The band’s tone is like a voice of autumn.
Weather systems. Somehow I cannot break the connection that this band has evolved with me. The brutal anger of the Dying Wish. The desolate music of Kingdom. Terrifying
dark, Alternative 4.
These were the tunes of my early twenties. When I was seeking my spiritual path. And I was roaming through some dark woods. This was not surprisingly a time when I wrote some of my best-received horror stories. But at what cost?
Grim music of early Anathema albums was my soundtrack. I managed to scratch the surface of the abyss back then. And these dark melodies were the beacon…
Yet I managed to find my way back into the light.
And so it seems with Anathema.
If you pick their latest albums, you realize that how much they changed. There is hope now in their music. There is a reflection upon life and its purpose.
There is peace in words of such ballads as “Lightning song”.
“I found my place
In time and space
In hope and faith”
Quite a leap from the depressing lyrics of Alternative 4… ”Come and hide me from this terrible reality”. Don’t you think?
And guess what is the title of their latest album – The Optimist.
It is a hopeful feeling to see that one of your favorite bands seems to be evolving in synchronization with the development of your life.
Maybe you have to go through the darkness to find the light?
Here comes the calming voice off Lee Douglas from Anathema.
“Your world is everything you ever dreamed of
If only you can open up your mind and see
The beauty that is here”
I look at the face of my sleeping son.
—Post from “Sword in the woods” archive—
Rosary – powerful tool of spiritual combat.
Kettlebell – there is a reason, why Roman gladiators used kettlebells as a base of their training.
Yerba Mate – every man needs his drug
E-Book Reader – because as Mark Twain said “A person that does not read has no advantage of that who does not know how to read”.
Notebook – writing crystalizes the ever-flowing life into something more tangible.
People in every religion are the same, but not every religion is the same
Religion is a filter through which people perceive the Truth, or as one might call it the Ultimate Reality. The filter comes from the boundaries of our human mind, the Truth comes from the Divine.
Warriors life is ought to be based on Truth. Because the Truth shapes our Codex, the principles we follow and the masters that we serve.
And don’t be fooled, by thinking you can serve no one. You are just human, you will always have master. Even it will be just the needs of your own body.
Choice of religion in warriors life is paramount. One might say – I don’t need religion, I just need spirituality. You will be a fooled again.
Spirituality is a vague term for transcendent experience, and that is anchored in the Ultimate Reality. If you will try to embrace it, your mind will make an attempt to grasp the meaning of it. Hence it will apply the filter of your own convictions and your own limitations. You will follow religion. Even if that will be just the one of your own.
So I chose to follow the footsteps of people greater than me.
To benefit from their learnings, to avoid their mistakes, to take their advice and to consciously apply on how will I perceive That what is Transcendent.
I choose my religion conciously.
I embrace it, with all the faults and corruption of the organization that stands behind it. I decide to apply the filter, the belief structure developed through centuries by an imperfect organisation, because I know for a fact that even a poor author can create a masterpiece in a moments of great inspiration.
I chose to be Roman Catholic. Against the world, against the enemies internal and external and sometimes even against myself.
I chose this, because I attempt to see beyond the people that represent the organization, and see what it meant to represent. I chose to see the whole battlefield not just the corruption and disruption in the ranks of my own army.
And that choice, step by step leads me closer to the Ultimate Reality, and reveals the the universe for what it truly is. It reveals the true scale of the celestial war we are part of.
It shows me the true, malignant face of my Enemy.
But it also shows me that I we have Powerful Allies next to me. And a sword and a shield in my hands. We are the Ecclesia militans.
But that is another story.
Here is the paradox.
Having both a lot of talent for something or not having it at all can be both equal obstacles in achieving anything, if you let it get to you.
All my life I was told I am talented in many things. And guess what?
I wasted many opportunities because I thought I don’t need to do shit to be good.
I was so wrong.
All my life I was told I have no talent for many other things. And guess what?
I wasted equally many opportunities because I gave up right from the start. If I suck at something anyways, why even bother?
I was so wrong.
And I would have gone like that, all the way. Wasting chance by chance, missing out on an lifelong opportunity to improve myself.
My teenage years have passed, with myself not being particularly good at anything.
I had big dreams and ambition, you see, like any other idealistic young guy, but I was lacking all the means to make the change. And it was consuming me.
Why? Because of that talent myth. And the fact that I was believing in that myth, instead of believing in myself.
Until a time would come when I told myself to wake **the fuck** up.
It is only then, when I discovered that good things in life such as skills and achievements do not rain from the sky but are forged in fire. And what fuels that fire is focus, discipline and determination.
So is ability to chose and decide, as if there were no boundaries. Because in reality there are none.
And then it happened.
In the past my novellas got butchered by the editors, people questioning my writing talent & my big dreams of becoming a writer.
Today I am a published author, having won several national literature contests and with a portfolio of short stories printed by major publishing houses.
In the past I was told I had no talent at mathematics & computer science, merely a curious case of wanna be writer, “humanist” born into family of engineers.
Today I am managing team of IT engineers across 3 continents, in a successful, tech company.
In the past I would be a hopeless loser, when it came to the courting game, hopelessly drifting from one failed attempt of getting attention to the other. I sucked at romance so much, that compared to me Howard Wolfowitz from early episodes of Big Bang Theory would seem like reasonable dating choice.
Today I am married to my Sweetheart, a girl who in my earlier years would not even give me a second look (and trust me, I was not the only one trying to win her heart).
I there a secret to it all? There is none, and never was.
Do not wait for the ray of light piercing the sky, magical sparkle of inspiration, self enlightenment mumbo jumbo.
Just go out there. Chose what is important for you. Decide and focus.
Be annoying and consistent. Do the shit.
Be brutally honest to yourself, so you see clearly mistakes you make on the way. And adjust. Try over and over again. Take the different angle if needed. But keep going.
And remember: There is no such thing as talent.
There is only blood, sweat and tears.
/Post from my archived blog “Sword in the woods”/