20 Sep '18 — It's so hard to stop listening to anyone.
I used to blog about things that didn’t make sense. I’d describe how my thoughts weren’t rational, how things in the world were hypocritical…I felt compelled to write because I wanted to explain, make sense of what should be–like everyone else.
Back then I loved coming across opinions I agreed with. ‘Yea, that’s how it should be…’ Now I find it less interesting. Things are how they are…at a particular second, they cannot be anything else. There are no alternative realities.
Perhaps I have more courage to accept the world. The things I see as ‘wrong’ are purely inconvenient and they exist with or without me wanting them to be there. And it’s not because I didn’t work hard in the past to prevent them from being there. It’s becoming less and less of a problem, many things are not going to go how I want it or how I think it should be. Why should it?
This morning I came across the photographs of Trine Søndergaard, an artist based in Denmark. She took a series of photos of empty rooms in abandoned manors in Denmark.
The rooms are immaculate. They look like dreamy shabby chic spaces used for photoshoots in design magazines.
“the images, like the buildings, are uninhabited. The only human traces captured in the waning light are ghostly footprints, and words scratched into the petrified dust on an attic window that can no longer be closed.”
There’s barely any dust. I feel a huge human presence in every photo. Who cleaned up?
There are plenty of abandoned manors in Europe and most don’t have floors in perfect condition. There are human touches found in every room.
However, the photos capture the romance of what it’s like to live in Europe. Abandoned manors with huge windows, herringbone parquet, winding staircases…lots of space to move.
Every picture reveals painstaking effort taken to preserve the structures. They are nicer than the manors people live in today, split into apartment homes.
‘How can they expect people to believe this?’ I became annoyed. The work isn’t representative of truth.
There should be an explanation. ‘This isn’t how abandoned mansions are, it’s wrong to perpetuate such an idea that there are abandoned spaces, free for the taking.’
The photos are inviting to explore. That’s why I bothered to look at them. They’re interesting because they suggest a fictional world of abandoned buildings that seem ready to move in–so much potential. And perhaps I’m wrong (?!) and there are places in Europe where immaculate manors are plentiful in supply.
I’ve just got into the habit of believing that things that were ‘wrong’ should be corrected. I’ve been exposed to so many people demanding me to think certain things, understand how something might be bad or good that I got into the practice myself. There’s an urgency to explain to the world why it might be ‘wrong’. I found myself doing so looking at Trine’s photographs.
Is it possible to come across anything that doesn’t tell me how to think?
I don’t know how I came across the ability but I’m starting to ignore the opinions of others. I might be persuaded at first that their opinions have validity (maybe I should calm down more, be more mindful) and I might change my perspective and behavior for a short time. But slowly, I’m listening, absorbing, but then forgetting it all when I consider how I should live.
As I’m gaining this new ability to ignore input, I’m also gaining the ability to not demand others how I believe the world should be seen.