There was time when little worm-like creatures you now call caterpillars never changed into butterflies. They were born, had their babies, and eventually died as caterpillars all the way through. But then it all changed.

There was this young caterpillar once. Life was nice to it. Day in and day out all was same. All was safe. Many other caterpillars munched away on the leaves, chatting happily to each other. So it went until one day our caterpillar looked around and thought: “I’ve been a caterpillar long enough. Time to be something else.”

The caterpillar didn’t know WHAT it wanted to be yet. “Something completely different!“ – it thought. Deep in its mind it had a vague idea of something colourful and airy. Full of grace. And, oh, yes! It didn’t want to be eating leaves any more (it was rather full of leaves by now). AND it didn’t want to be crawling about in this fat slow body of its for much longer.

Having come thus far in its thoughts, the caterpillar very wisely decided to sleep on it. It didn’t want to be interrupted while having the most important snooze of its life. And so, it made a very strong and cosy bed which went all the way AROUND it. “Hum! How very innovative!” – it thought, and decided to call it a Cocoon.

With the cocoon ready, it went into a long sleep.

Meanwhile it rained outside. Really hard. So hard, that for a while water covered all the land, and the caterpillars didn’t make it. They drowned all. Except one.

The one which was sleeping safely inside the cocoon, having colourful dreams of a new life. The water carried the cocoon, throwing it in all directions, up and down, hoping to smash it against the floating bits of trees. But the cocoon was made so sturdy and light, that it simply bobbed on the surface, giving our caterpillar dreamy ideas of flight.

Eventually the rain was over. Angry currents turned into tame friendly streams. On the bank of one of those streams lay a little brown parcel. The Sun came out and helped the Life to tidy up the mess. All was back to normal and even more beautiful.

The caterpillar now had a pretty good idea of what it wanted to be, but it wasn’t sure HOW it was to do it. “Anyway, time to come out“, it thought, and took a deep breath…

The small brown parcel on the bank of a stream burst open. Out of it came rather a dazed unknown creature. It sat there trying to figure out where it was and what it was. Everything was so different! For one thing, its’ body changed completely. Also it had something wrinkled and wet stuck on the back of it. Trying to see it better, the creature unfolded the things. Wow! Beautiful wings with a colourful pattern. It buttered them cautiously and flue in the air! “I am a butterfly!” – it decided.

Flying carelessly up high, a butterfly noticed some beautiful things of various colours, which smelled very nice. It decided to have a rest on one of them. At that very time the butterfly felt hungry, and realised, that it can drink the flower juice using it’s new long spout! “Great! No more leaves for me then!” – it said.

When time came for a butterfly to have babies, it saw, that they were caterpillars. Which brought back to the butterfly all the happy memories of its’ childhood. The little caterpillars were very curious about the world, but most of all they were curious about themselves, of course. “Mummy, who are we?” – they asked. “Why we are not like you?”
“My darling little children. You are caterpillars now as I myself used to be. But in due time you might choose to change. And you can.”

And so it went since then, that caterpillars have a choice – stay a caterpillar or become a butterfly.

Marina Kim

This story is really about one day. A sentence even, which caused a change in me. But it is necessary to start a few years earlier, when I was 11.

The secondary school. Autumn term started with 4 classes in our year. Soon after the beginning of the term one of the teachers left, and her class was split between the remaining three. We had the intake of about 10 extra pupils, and on the day they were brought in I fell in love.

He was the handsomest and the most charming boy there ever was. His mother was an actress, a beauty with black hair and brown eyes. Marat was very like her in features, but he had soft wavy blond hair and grey-blue eyes. He was the only one of that colour in the family. His step-dad was a typical Uzbek of dark complexion, as well as his little half-brother. Marat once told me, that he took his colouring after his real father, whom he never met.

He was The Popular Boy of the year. All the boys wanted to be his friends, and all the girls adored him. I loved him.

And I never even thought of hiding it. I asked teachers to be sat at the desk with him, which they gladly did. During the tests, I’d work on my own sheets, and then help him with his variant. If we were sat apart, I’d throw the answers inscribed on tiny bits of paper across the classroom when the teacher wasn’t looking. He knew I’d try my best to help him, if he had to answer the lesson at the blackboard, and looked out for my help. He got used to rely on me. My devotion was apparent, quiet and unquestionable to the degree, that there was never even any teasing me among the classmates.

He was friendly with everyone, and very entertaining. He told jokes, made funny impersonations, clowned about on every break-time. He was happy and adorable. He was handsome and funny. He was supple as a snake and loved acting. One enjoyed simply watching him move. He was quick-witted, always up for a laugh. He was good at sports. Not brilliant academically simply for the luck of interest. He was interested in attention, which he had plenty.

Wasn’t long before he made his preferences in girls clear. I didn’t expect it to be me, and it didn’t change the way things were. I still helped him unconditionally, and was the same with the girl he liked.

In general I am and always was a quite sort. A thinker. Which externally might have looked like I was sad, or even sulking. Perhaps, I was. Until one day three years later.

It was a school outing, and at the end of it we were allowed a free run in the park. I was as usual on my own, sitting on a bench. For a minute, on the bench opposite landed Marat with one of his friends, who might have had a soft spot for me. At least couple of times I saw boys teasing him and pushing him towards me, when I was passing by. But I might have been mistaken. At the moment the two of them were sitting three meters away, facing me and the other boy whispered something in Marat‘s ear. In reply he got an irritated: “To heck with her, with her ever sulky face!”

I cringed as if slapped and longed to disappear on the spot. They could only be talking about me.

A sulky face…

I didn’t want to be a sulky face. I wanted to be happy and fun. And that’s what I became. A bit of a shock for the teachers though. Always a good example and obedient pupil, now I was skipping the lessons with the others, sometimes even initiating the escape, talking back, behaving arrogantly. But I became popular with my classmates.

That didn’t buy me his love, but at least he joined in the things we did with the other pupils, which I now usually lead, and he never again said that I was boring. I became a mate.

In a year time, I returned to the school after Summer holidays completely cured. I had a new sweetheart. I even had had a kiss. Marat had changed too. He wasn’t a happy lovable boy any more. He became kind of angrier, edgy. Smoked a lot, often the pot. The boys, they all did, but he was the one who really meant it.

His love turned to another girl too. By the end of the high school I guess the two of them were more advanced in the practical knowledge of love-making, than any of us. Their relationship, I heard, lasted after we all left the school, but he was becoming increasingly difficult.

When we were 20, all of a sudden he turned up on my doorstep with that very friend of his, the whisperer on the bench. Asked me out for a walk. I was surprised and intrigued. Somewhere along the way we lost the other boy. Marat didn’t bit around the bush, and bluntly said, that he wanted to make love. After a short reflection I went along with that. I wanted to know how it would feel, making love to him, after I loved him for so long, even though it was in the past.

Perhaps I knew, that it was going to be a disappointment. Yes, I knew. Strange though, because he still was a handsome boy I used to love. And here I had in bed with me the supple body, the blue eyes, the delicate hands… Something was dead. That part of the boy, which used to illuminate him was dying out for a long time now. There was just a tiny bit of the real him left, which was crying out, trying to survive, to put the bits back together, but the voice was hardly audible.

We mechanically made love for a long enough time to call it a session, our souls searching in vain for the crumbs of our past selves. We parted that day, without saying much. He came again later for the last time, was being persistent and even aggressive, but it was over for me.

Five years later the girl who was his first school sweet-heart phoned me to say, that he died of an overdose of heroin. She spoke through her nose. It was appropriate in given circumstances and she was always good at doing the appropriate thing. I had nothing to say. Nothing moved in me.

Some weeks later I met one of his close friends on the street. He was drunk and cheerful. “Maratka, huh… Clogged it, didn’t he?” – said he grinning.

He surely did.

Marina Kim

Who am I?

March 16, 2011

When we strip you down to the most basic elements of what you’re all about, what do we have?

I never really strayed too far from my basic elements, so it should be easy for me to go back.

I am just me – a child playing in the dust. Which is mud, which is clay. Quiet and self-contained. Going out on adventures every now and then. Free. Unpretentious.

I just realised something.

I was thinking: What were my needs? Very little. None almost.  What are my wants? None (although I can get some if necessary). So, is that why I am free? Why I feel so free?

And then I remembered the sensation of not understanding what the life is all about and why there is this atmosphere of anxiety. Especially in the Western world. I know now why. People in what we call the West more than people in other places convinced themselves, that they have needs – lots of them.

And then I remembered what I read yesterday on Steven Fry’s website: “Eat shit, a hundred billion flies can’t be wrong”

Which is not to say, that it is bad to have wants! On the contrary, it is great! It’s fun! Wants are the engine of the progress. But wants are not needs. One can drop them any time. You need nothing. So, be free 🙂

Interviewing myself

March 16, 2011

“Developing your brand
During the development of “BrandYou” you need to ask yourself some basic questions.” More where this came from.

What are your values?
I value that thing which they call the source which is the divine thing inside a human being. You see how I am playing a clown here, dodging those stupid, naff, un-cool, abused, yucky terms like god, divine, spirit, soul etc… But I still value That Thing the most.
It’s the wounded but still alive cynic of mine is wriggling about somewhere there. Deep.

What do you love?
I love progress. In all it’s manifestations.

What do you hate?
Stagnation.

What are you insanely great at doing?
What I always felt insecure about is my sticking to the realistic representation of the people and objects in my visual art. The problem with that is, as common criticism these days goes, there is not much creativity involved in doing that. It’s just a copy of the nature. And NOW I see it for what it is. (I am thinking along as I write here). I see things realistically. That is my way of seeing things – as they are. If I were a writer, I’d write realism rather than sci-fi, if I were a painter, I’d paint realistic photographic portraits rather than abstract cubes or splodges… You see, I wrote “if I were a painter”… Funny that, because I kind of am a painter. Just now, just moments ago I made a transition from a visual artist to … what? Who am I? I finished Me The Painter now, and who am I then? I am a helper. Am I a healer? That doesn’t sound quite right. Am I a facilitator, an inspirator? Something along those lines. I am kind of a little ahead on the path and I am calling the others to follow, I trod a path, I am a path-treader. Fun!

There are millions of paths, there are millions of path-treaders. I just tread and show one of the millions of possible paths, and most likely this path will be suitable only for me, but it might help someone to see HOW I trod it. It is about applying the method of finding one’s path rather than the path itself.

Or, yeah. I remember now. There is a term for it which I came across a lot recently. A way-shower. So that’s what I am . That, I must admit, spoiled much fun for me – first, I wasn’t the first; secondly, that term comes from those creepy alien, new-agey, spirit-channelling people… Hmm.

But I strayed away from the question.

Ah! The answer came to me just now! (I have definitely tuned myself into something good!)
I am insanely good at analysing myself and applying it to a human behaviour in general, listening, comparing, analysing again, learning. And I can see now where all of that is leading me. I am a helper. A way-shower.

I am having a special moment here… Sorry. Back soon.

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my family. I created it! With Tim, of course, and the girls, of course, and my mum of course, and many other people involved to a various degree (It sounds like an Oscar nomination acknowledgements…), but still, it’s me at the core of it! From my point of view. I am extremely proud of being able to support a fine healthy balance in my life and therefore the life of my family.

What do you want to be?
I want to be an inspiration. I want to be of  help. But not in a charitable way. Giving as such doesn’t inspire me, not as much as helping someone to find their own way.

What is important and valuable to you?
Freedom. Independence. Interdependence.

What do you want to be known for?
I want to be know as a … words “white clown” come to my mind. Have no idea why. I guess the answer will come to me in a few years time, which is usually the case.

“Basic, fundamental questions, yes. And yet, sometimes these are the most difficult to answer. But they must be answered and must be true.” Garr Rreynolds

What are you insanely great at doing?

What I always felt insecure about is my sticking to the realistic representation of the people and objects in my visual art. The problem with that is, as common criticism these days goes, there is not much creativity involved in doing that. It’s just a copy of the nature. And NOW I see it for what it is. (I am thinking along as I write here). I see things realistically. That is my way of seeing things – as they are. If I were a writer, I’d write realism rather than sci-fi, if I were a painter, I’d paint realistic photographic portraits rather than abstract cubes or splodges… You see, I wrote “if I were a painter”… Funny that, because I kind of am a painter. Just now, just moments ago I made a transition from a visual artist to … what? Who am I? I finished Me The Painter now, and who am I then? I am a helper. Am I a healer? That doesn’t sound quite right. Am I a facilitator, an inspirator? Something along those lines. I am kind of a little ahead on the path and I am calling the others to follow, I trod a path, I am a path-treader. Fun!

There are millions of paths, there are millions of path-treaders. I just tread and show one of the millions of possible paths, and most likely this path will be suitable only for me, but it might help someone to see HOW I trod it. It is about applying the method of finding one’s path rather than the path itself.

Or, yeah. I remember now. There is a term for it which I came across a lot recently. A way-shower. So that’s what I am . That, I must admit, spoiled much fun for me – first, I wasn’t the first; secondly, that term comes from those creepy alien, new-agey, spirit-channelling people… Hmm.

But I strayed away from the question.

Ah! The answer came to me just now! (I have definitely tuned myself into something good!)
I am insanely good at analysing myself and applying it to a human behaviour in general, listening, comparing, analysing again, learning. And I can see now where all of that is leading me. I am a helper. A way-shower.

I am having a special moment here… Sorry. Back soon.

Ностальгия?…

July 17, 2009

За этим меня раньше было не поймать – за ностальгией.

Или не ностальгия это?.. А что тогда? Захотелось всех из училища собрать в одну кучу и вернуть ощущения.

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