To my imaginary friends (3)

I always wanted to live in London. Almost since I remember. Life made me delay my decision about moving. After university in Madrid I started working in video games, I got married, we had a daughter. The idea of moving to UK, particularly London, was still there, but somehow it was not a priority.

Some day almost eight years ago we actually did it. Things went bad in my marriage, and now I’m divorced, and finally, living in London. A dream come true? But at what cost? I am completely on my own. And I feel lonely in this big city. A feeling that seems, is quite common among Londoners, if I can ever say I am one of them. In that sense, I am not really that alone.

It’s true that here I have more opportunities. Here the unemployment rate is lower than in Spain. Here I can work in what I love, something that not a lot of people can do, and fulfills other aspects of my life. Here I can visit galleries, museums and exhibitions to be inspired. Go to restaurants, bars and other entertainment that the city has to offer. Wander around and see architecture, parks, shops and people who you wont be able to see in other places. Thousands of photo opportunities, if you are into that picture-taking thing too.

But there is something missing here. I think I’ve mentioned already in this blog. I think already said a few things about the culture shock that one suffers when coming to this country. And going to London, even after some years living here in UK, almost feels like coming to another country, again.

There are lots of other places where people talk and ask for advice on how to overcome this feeling of loneliness in London. I have to say, I have no idea how to fix it. I’ve never been a fan of self-help books and guru mantras of that kind, and overall, I find very difficult to believe in things that are useful for other people to feel more connected as a community. Or connected to the universe, or whatever. I don’t even like football. Maybe some fault is mine, I can totally accept that. I have colleagues at work, a few other friends around, but most of them are expats too that now are starting to leave the country, because of this brexit nonsense, or some other personal reasons. All my family and loved ones are far from here. I guess all this adds up to the feeling. And in my case, being a divorced father, having to adhere to custody arrangements, makes my parenthood experience to be a quite fractured one, which doesn’t help.

I’ve tried too to find friends using things like meetup, attend to photography groups, etc… I tried too finding something more than friendship resorting to online dating… So far, no luck in this regard. Only heartbreaks and misunderstandings, and these don’t help overcoming this feeling either.

I thought that by moving here I could start a new life, maybe meet someone new, maybe settle here for years to come. More and more I feel this wont happen anytime soon. Maybe I’m reaching the red phase of living abroad? I don’t want to feel like coming to London has been an error.

Oh well… I’ll post more pictures soon 🙂

To my imaginary friends (2).

Just think a bit about what has happened last weeks in London. Now just think in a different way as you may usually do. Let’s just call things with a different name, and ask some (really silly) questions.

There are people, who claim being in some kind of special relationship with a very powerful imaginary friend, that entitle themselves with the right of killing other people who, apparently, don’t talk to the same imaginary friend. This circumstance is a good reason to kill them, they think. I am just curious…

How can we really know we are talking about different imaginary friends? What if it is the same for everyone? How many imaginary friends do exist, one, two, forty two, one per each person alive in this world? What has happened to the imaginary friends that no one ever remembers now, the ones that were so popular some thousands of years ago? Why these imaginary friends never seem to answer our biggest questions, and seem to easily answer the most petty ones? I’ve never been able to talk to one of these imaginary friends. Has it happened to you?. If so, how that conversation went? Has your life, or better yet, the life of your loved ones, changed in a meaningful way after that conversation? More importantly, what makes you so special (on the entire universe) to be listened to by your favorite imaginary friend? Does your imaginary friend talk to other people in need too, I guess in his/her spare time? What is time and who did it, by the way?

My most educated guess is: We will never know. Because perhaps, imaginary friends end being just that… Imaginary? When I think in this silly way, a crystal (ball) clear thought comes to my mind: What a waste of human lives, along the entire human history, in the name of… nothing?

I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.

― Richard Feynman

The hypothesis of God, for instance, gives an incomparably absolute opportunity to understand everything and know absolutely nothing. Give man an extremely simplified system of the world and explain every phenomenon away on the basis of that system. An approach like that doesn’t require any knowledge. Just a few memorized formulas plus so-called intuition and so-called common sense.

― Arkady Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark, Carl Sagan.

Long delays (2)…

I think I’m going to start a black and white period of pictures. I love colour ones, but I feel like black and white is better suited these days. Black and white is less distracting, helping ease composition issues as pictures can become more abstract and schematic. Also perhaps it fits better with my current mood. Or the British weather, I don’t know…

Over a year ago, I wrote a post where I said that I was doing alright. It’s amazing how things can change so fast. Someone that was like my anchor to this place, or so I thought, decided suddenly to search for greener pastures in another (more sunny) country. Also, the company where I was working closed its doors, suddenly too, for unknown reasons. So there I was again, feeling alone, in a place I really didn’t like. A place haunted by memories. After that, I moved to London, I found a job in another studio here, and everything seems to be back on track, almost. London, for all its charm and (photo) opportunities, is proving its fame of being one of the most unfriendly cities of the world. It seems very difficult to connect with people here. That’s what feels to me, so far.

2016 ended (thanks, it was time already…), and for this 2017, I have no idea what to expect. I’m scared of expecting anything. If last year new year’s resolutions were full of plans and ideas for the future, this one will be just about licking my wounds, as they say here. Yeah, I know, it’s a very dramatic way of putting it, there are far more serious problems out there, but… Someone I used to know always said to me that everything happens for a reason. To be honest, I never believed in all that “the universe conspires to make me happy (or unhappy)” nonsense. It is, in my opinion, an irrational way of thinking. Pronoia is called, the opposite to paranoia. It’s also, a bit selfish way of thinking too, making it easier to avoid confrontation with the sometimes hard to deal reality. I’m sure the universe is busy with more important stuff, like burning helium in stars and throwing dust and gas into black holes. I am a more down to earth person, I guess. I’ll just keep taking pictures, reading, learning new things, doing my job the best I can, travelling with my daughter (my real anchor here, not an imaginary one) to places, etc… and see how it all goes. No plans ahead.

By the way, the picture for this post, completely unrelated to this rambling, was taken two weeks or so ago in London. In black and white looks more interesting to me. The colors for this 2017…