Technological silence

When my phone is quiet

And Facebook sends no notifications

When Twitter feeds no new characters

And Instagram stops showing pictures

When there are no new videos on YouTube

And no news to be heard

When my laptop has died

And the radio makes no noise

When the lights have gone out

And the candles have burnt down

When my violin is broken

And my books won’t open

When the only sound I hear

Is your voice’s song

Then I’ll have found

Where I belong

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Conversation on a train

When I was taking the train home a few days ago, I sat opposite to an about 17 year old guy and – I guess so at least – his mother. Opposite to them and thus next to me sat an exchange student who seemed to stay with the guy for the time of her exchange. They guy did not seem to be the best at making small talk, because they were discussing in quite a harsh way.

They were talking about a thought experiment where you had two people, one was handed 20 Euros and then that person could decide how much of that money the other person would get – the choosing person would keep the rest. The mother and her son argued that everyone would always keep the whole 20 Euros, and even if there was someone who would not that would still not say anything about his/her character or how (s)he would act in a similar situation in the real world, simply because following them, there was no situation in real life that resembled the one in the thought experiment the slightest. The exchange student tried to argue against them saying that the thought experiment was not useless – but she struggled with the language and was not capable of forming her thoughts into strong arguments as she kept explaining them in an abstract way where she had to stop every few words to search for the right vocabulary. The mother and the son on the other hand were repeating themselves, not even really listening to her I felt, compensating their lack of arguments with volume which intimidated the exchange student apparently, although she kept trying to argue against them.

That was the situation around me. I was listening to music on my headphones, but the music was quiet enough to hear what they were talking. And I felt awful for the exchange student next to me who was getting rolled over by the strength of mother and son. Now I don’t want to say either opinion was wrong or right, it was the way they argued against her that made me feel bad. And I thought about whether I should say something or not. On the one hand, it obviously was none of my business what they were talking about or how they did that – I only were there by chance after all, they could just as well have sat down anywhere else on the train or taken a different train. On the other hand, I felt like the mother and her son made the exchange student feel bad for what she thought about that experiment – and I think her opinion was not that absurd that it could somehow probably make up for their behavior – and I really would have liked to help and show her that her thoughts were not stupid like the other two said they were.

I still am unsure whether it was right to stay silent or whether it would have been better to say something, but I still think about that situation, although it only lasted for about ten minutes and since then a week has passed.

What would you have done? Would you have kept silent or spoken up – or would you not even have thought about them and just ignored them?

-Ben

Daily struggle

“I want to,
I’m sure I do!
Why would you
Ignore this truth?”

“Because I know my desire is wrong,
It doesn’t matter how strong.
I have to leave my comfort zone,
And today, it can’t be postponed.”

“But out there, everything is so hard,
A world of which nobody really is part.
Here is where you belong,
Why else would your desire be so strong?”

“I may be weak,
But I haven’t given up yet.
My decision is set,
Now I’ll get up on my feet.”

“Noooooo! Why would you move?
There still was some time to snooze.
How could you leave this comfortable bed?”

“That doesn’t matter now, because there’s no going back.
So I’ll get me a coffee and start my day instead.”

 


This has been written as part of writing 101. Today’s prompt was titled ‘Give and Take’ and can be found here.

I hope you liked it. (:

-Ben

Three important songs in my life

Today’s writing 101 challenge was to write about three (most) important songs in my life. So these are mine:

Time – Hans Zimmer:

Four notes and the theme is set for the whole song. The never-changing theme in an ever-changing surrounding. For me, this song is a memory, it captures the one year I have been studying in Canada: The friends I made there, the fear and uncertainty while flying there, the emptiness when going back and leaving everything from the last year behind, and the memories. The song starts with a single melody – a single person flying to a new country without knowing anybody there – And it ends with that same melody, alone again though somehow richer – the flight back. And in between, there is a lot of musical adornment surrounding the theme – everything that has happened while being there, from meeting new people to saying goodbye at the airport, slowly building up at first, but then ever going.

How To Save A Life – The Fray:

This song was shown to me by my dancing partner years back when I took a class in classical dance. I really liked it, but – as time went on and I didn’t keep in touch with her – it evolved to not only remind me of her, but of all the friends I have lost contact with due to time and/or distance. And the song also tells me to be grateful for the friends I have, because there is no way of telling whether they will be there in the future too.

Fake Empire – Ryan Lewis:

Because sometimes 7* words and simple, but great backing track is all that is needed to send a message – and to remind me to actually live.

I hope you liked it. (:

-Ben

*8 if you count “we’re” as two words

Rain

I’m walking down a small cobblestone street. It’s pouring, I don’t have an umbrella. My shorts and my shirt are already soaked, and more and more cold water is hitting me. It was so warm just a few minutes ago.
I look at the girl next to me. She’s as wet as I am, smiling widely nonetheless. “Rain is wonderful, isn’t it?” It is. I’ve never minded rain and hopefully never will.
“Let’s look for a street musician.” She takes my hand and drags me forward, down the small alley. We pass old archways, half grown over by plants from the adjacent houses’ balconies. I follow her lead, a mass of wet brown hair in front of me, occasionally replaced by her smiling face. We cross a deserted square.
“Do you really think there will still be street musicians out in this rain? If I were them, I would have brought my instrument into safety.” I asked.
“I don’t know.” She said and walked on with determination. “I hope you didn’t want to imply that we should give up looking for one, but rather go home.” The rain got even stronger. The water already filled up all the spaces between the cobblestones.
“Never” I smiled. “Let’s turn right here, towards the market square.” We passed through a gate and ended up on the market square, a usually busy place with restaurants on the sides and a fountain in the middle.
“Look.” She pointed straight towards the fountain, in front of which an old man sat below an umbrella that was somehow held in place by his music stand and played on an accordion. We slowly walked over towards the old man and his music.
“Let’s hope this rain sticks around for a long time.” I said as we sat down in front of him, like we were little kids.
She smiled. “We’ll force it to last.”


 

This blog post was inspired by the Writing 101 / Daily Post prompt: “Choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?”

It turns out that for me that place is not really a place, but more a feeling the place I would like to be transported to would give me.

Hope you like it (:

-Ben

Randomness

Randomness. That what my thoughts feel like.

Isn’t it weird that actual randomness cannot be computed, that it is mathematically in expressible – though it exists. That it is imitated artificially using prime numbers and the time.

The ground principle of life. Randomness. Newton’s three-body problem. The unpredictability, unpredictable and thus not repeatable. Probably it makes sense that randomness cannot be (re)produced by a computer, by ones and zeroes.

Numbers. Prime numbers. Identity through the prime factorization. Every single one is different from the others. The numbers may have a same prime number in their factorization, they have something in common, but still they’re different, individuals.

Prime numbers would be ancestors. The high numbers the smallest children. Their factorization their parents, ordered from biggest to smallest.

So people are not even that different to numbers probably. How would a mathematician react if I told him that he actually adds and multiplies people, or a philosopher that he actually thinks about the morals of numbers?

Okay, they most likely would just tell me that I’m crazy. And maybe that’s true. You never know. How can I be sure that I am not crazy and everybody around me is just acting as if I was sane, because they don’t want me to know and/or feel bad about it?

No answer to that, at least not a final one. Although, how would they manage to make every person I ever meet know about me. Wouldn’t that be quite impossible to do? Especially thinking that I would not be the only crazy person. Because although people might be as individual as numbers (or maybe even more individual), there is some alikeness, some patterns going through.

Ok, so let’s just pretend that I am for sure not crazy, to simplify this a bit.

And what does crazy actually mean? Different form the usual? But isn’t that what the whole Individuality-thing is about: Being different? So is crazy actually bad? Or does crazy just mean that nobody understands that person? Is everything that does not fit into our society’s pattern crazy? Or is crazy what cannot be explained rationally? Would that mean that randomness is crazy?  Because we can’t recreate it, because we cannot explain it? And what can be explained rationally after all? People can’t, because if every person would only act rationally, then we would have no three-body problem applied to people.

So the definition of crazy is actually quite random and based on the understanding of the world of a majority, or on the society. Maybe being crazy means actually objectively not being crazy.

Maybe – just maybe – being crazy isn’t so bad after all.

 

Well, that was my stream of consciousness today. Hope you liked it. (:

– Ben

 


This is part of writing 101. The prompt was: “Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.”