Evasion

I read a lot as a kid. Like, really a lot. One adventure book after the other. Until at some point, I came to the stupid conclusion that this was a sort of evasion of the allegedly important things I should be caring about. That was a pretentious thought, as it implied that I would ever know what was important and what not. Even worse, the list of allegedly important things is infinite, and thus there would never be a free spot for the inconsequential. Not even in times of quarantines and lockdowns. A year ago, I decided to reserve a fixed time to indulge in evasion, no matter what. And no surprise, the books and games have taught me quite a lesson so far.

The new computer has definitely contributed to this controlled indulgement :-)

One, two, many

As humans, we are terrible at numbers. In particular, when it comes to dimensions and orders of magnitude. Probably I am not the only one who wanted to do a "small pasta" and ended up eating spaghetti the rest of the week. And it gets worse the less used we are to what we are measuring. Last week, we had the heaviest snowfall in Madrid since decades, and many claimed flat roofs would not stand the weight. It sounds plausible. Snow is indeed heavy. But how heavy? And how much does a roof stand? It turns out we were absolutely fine. It is hard to have a feeling for numbers. Not to speak of exponential growth, as we saw last year. I prefer sticking to one, two, many.

Now trees, on the other hand, are a different story

We teared off the sunshade on the terrace before the structure collapsed

Left: How cute, a bit of snow in Madrid! Right: Two days later

Spoiled

As the last hours of 2020 slip away, online media seems to be full of hate against the past months. Indeed, for a large group of human beings, it has been a horrible year. Many of them are dead by now. Still, they are not the ones reading, feeling identified with, and clicking on those headlines. Sure, the bulk of us had to do some sort of sacrifice. Being alone, traveling less, facing economic challenges. But when I read the headlines stating that it was so bad that it cannot get worse in the next year, it feels like the bulk of us is a bunch of spoiled humans. Humans who forgot, or who never listened to, what they were told in history class.

The good news is that we can learn :-) And what better way of starting off a new year than finding new insights!

Happy Holidays :-)

A strange life

I think I have never loved a character more than Max(ine) Caulfield. I am very late to the party, I know. The game Life is Strange was released over five years ago. It is a game of choices. And Max always has the choice of being a good and empathic person. Of helping the people around her. The game does a magnificent job at conveying the feelings of its characters to a depth I had never seen before. And it shows over and over again that rudeness and bad manners often just hide suffering and fear. As stupid as it may sound, in the end we all just want to be happy, healthy, and safe. All the rest is added drama.

The character of Max is designed in a way that one can immediately identify with her

It is a beautiful game. It has a wonderful soundtrack. The photography is amazing. And the story has captivated me to the point of having to remind me that it is just a game. Worth every minute and cent of it.

All around us

On a first date, I was once asked what I was passionate about. What do I live for? What is that thing that makes me wake up every morning? The feeling was in my mind. It was there, but it was blurry. How could I bring it to the point? In the end, I said "the beauty that is in everything, all around us". In the view that you get hiking in the mountains, in the cover song that you accidentally find on YouTube, in the elegance of a landing plane, in the few lines of that comic sketch on Instagram, in the magnificent plot twist of that computer game, in the perfection of an algorithm, in the design of a piece of furniture. Once I saw it, I could not get it off my mind.

She understood.

And in flowers, of course :) This one was at the Madeira Botanical Garden