Those who sit at my round table
"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it" — Margaret Fuller
Hi there! It's been a while. I hope you're well. As for me, I'm here. Which is very close to being okay. With no intention of boring you with details, I'll just say I've been busy sorting out life matters, and since these words are being typed by my fingers, succeeded I have. Hardships are part of the deal, that we should all already know, and mine are most certainly not to be considered special. Still, a pat on the back, or better yet, a nice hug of appreciation, is of course due. And so I thank myself for getting it together and being here.
Oh, and what better way to officially come back to writing than to do so for the Weekend Engagement? Week after week, amazing topics are proposed, for the enjoyment of many authors seeking to spark their creative side in the blazing embers of the finishing workweek. It's a beautiful concept and I'd like to see it continue to grow, and to keep contributing somehow with some stories, more often than not. So here I am, about to start a conversation, with myself, unsurprisingly, and hopefully with a few curious readers too.
Questions are a fascinating thing. We may not know the answer when we ask, which sounds like the purpose for asking the question in the first place. Sometimes, we even ask questions we don't need an answer for, just for the sake of exploiting the part of the brain that undoubtedly makes us human. We get off of the fact that we can reflect on our own existence, consciousness, motives, and so on. We do it for fun. And the most beguiling questions, those some of us lose an incredible amount of time to... They all begin with something along the lines of: "What if?"
My very own panel-of-life-advisers
This weekend's questions revolve around the topic of who would we choose, if we could choose anyone. To be, or to spend time with, or to be advised by, and it's the latter that caught my attention undividedly. You see, we humans like to think we can figure everything out on our own, that we are of course the most independent creature, and so on. Or is it just me? Okay, it might just be me. Note taken for my next therapy session! Anyway, we can't deny our craving for social connection, which is actually coded in our DNA, even when it's society itself the motor driving us away from it. From meaningful social connections.
I like to fantasize with the idea of each and every one of us carrying centuries of information in our genome, and not just that, but with the possibility of accessing it in a manner suitable for our brains to fully comprehend it. Then, I think about art, music, books. History. An endless amount of human lives are compressed and packed into digestible chunks of wisdom and experience, all at our fingertips. We just have to type the right questions on that little search box that follows us everywhere we go (with our phones and other devices). The amount of information we have available is actually very overwhelming, so when in need of answers, advice, or inspiration, where would we even begin? Do we have time for that?
Well, I can only vouch for myself there. In a world where people seem to be divided into two groups, those who blindly worship social media and those who utterly despise them, I am neither. With the limited resources I have, and the even more limited amount of time we each get in the universe's lifespan, it seems only right to take good advantage of what's already there, and what's to come, tech-wise. I'll not delve into the topic of social media ethics and whatnot, because that would make this an unreadable write-up for most.
Instead, I'll just say that human diversity — diversity of thoughts, of emotions, and of experiences — is truly a beautiful thing, with an underlying universality that makes it even more valuable. So, when utilizing the tools that social media provide, one just has to know where to look to find like-minded people, real people, to enrich our lives with, hopefully giving something back too. And that's what I've been doing.
Of course, not every social media app can suit my needs and goals in that respect. In fact, they are not even designed for it, but I make do. I do my best to trick the algorithm and step outside the wheel without missing out on the precious knowledge that's hidden here and there, up for grabs.
That's how I've come to form my very own panel of life-advisers. Imaginary, but no less authentic for that. A few people from all around the world have guided me and taught me many things, and continue to do so, mostly unbeknownst to them. The knights sitting at my round table, all as equals.
Andrew Huberman - The neuroscientist
Andrew D. Huberman, and more specifically his Huberman Lab podcast, is my go-to for top-notch, up-to-date scientific information on the most
simple complex of human behaviors. His way of presenting topics is very didactic, organized, compelling. Hard facts served with a side of well-educated guesses, all with the goal of discussing science-based tools and tips on improving everyday life. Plus, he seems to be a good man, down-to-earth, focused on learning, and having left something good behind when his time is up. So, Dr. Andrew Huberman is a must on my panel-of-life-advisers.
Noemí Casquet - The femininity
Besides being a successful writer, journalist, businesswoman, and activist, Noemí is a goddess of true femininity, and what's more, she's yet another expression of primal polarity and its beautiful dance inside each and every one of us. She's a refuge for the weary travelers that, like me, have spent years trying to discover what sex and love are like without all the rubbish we've been fed with. Mamá Casquet has been my go-to for guidance on reclaiming my freedom, of thought and of expression, and finding its origins. She advocates for diversity from an honest point of view, and I love honesty. I love people that allow themselves to be real, to be truly human. Noemí has a seat at my table.
Tommy Shelby - The operator
Okay, a fair warning, Thomas Shelby is a fictional character from the Peaky Blinders TV series, and not everyone can call him Tommy. I can, because I've earned that right. Or he has earned that privilege, I should say. Tommy Shelby is a World War I survivor, a fighter, a man who built himself from the tracks of the barefoot, grimy kid he was. He's definitely far from perfect, and his ambitious side has cost him a great deal. But what's not to love about a man that goes well out of his way to protect his own?
I see a lot of myself in his character, all things considered. I also see in him a lot of the qualities I admire and seek in a partner. Relentlessness, an unbreakable sense of honour (although Tommy's moral compass isn't quite conventional), and that fragility that sometimes shines through the very few cracks of an iron will. Tommy Shelby is one of my go-to's for strength beyond standard human limits. He's definitely one of my advisers when it comes to protecting myself against threats, or potentially dealing with bad people. Tommy, and those pure of heart but still deadly as an Eastern brown snake, have a seat at my table.
Hermann Hesse - The artist
Last but not least, Hermann Hesse, who is my all-time favorite writer, and has been so since I was twelve. Someone I met once told me that one does not simply find one of Hesse's novels to read. Hesse's words will find you when you're ready, and when you need them, and that's exactly what happened to me. One day, I just stumbled upon Demian, one of his novels, and the turmoil I carried inside started making sense somehow.
How can someone you've never met, someone who comes from a radically different background and who is from the opposite sex, someone whose life elapsed and ended long before yours, speak your mind with so much accuracy? Hermann Hesse is my go-to for messages from the universe, the exact same knowledge I feel within myself but haven't accessed yet. And Hermann Hesse wasn't just a writer, but an artist. A mere channel to give voice to the suffering and joys of an entire generation marked by war, a voice that would echo through time and space, and reach a strange kid that so avidly sought answers. Hermann Hesse has a seat at my table.
Sources of the images:
📷 by David Tomaseti
📷 by Helena Cook
📷 by Nathan Dumlao
I'd like to thank you for reading this. I hope my words resonated with you in some way. If they did, or even if they didn't, I'd like to further connect with you, so I invite you to drop a comment and I'll answer it as soon as I can.