Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Goldfinch and me...and everything else in between

Last week i went to Iguazu falls. Like i always do, before i go somewhere, i book a hostel. just after booking the hostel i realised the hostel i booked was on the Brazil side, not the Argentinian side, not a great side, not a great start...

So one thing led to another, after an hour of coffee, ice cream and being normal after the night bus to Iguazu, it was time to find  a hostel on the right side of the river, more and more buses were arriving, everything was taken online, it was time to call around (the old fashioned way) and see if any hostels not listed online had a bed and my luck was running out.

Luckily, one hostel did, but the bed was on the other side of town, so off i went and i arrived at where i though the hostel was, wrong hostel, but they had a book exchange, so after a quick swap, with very little though, off i went to the right hostel further down the road.

The book i got? Why ´The Goldfinch´ by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch 

Before all this, i did not know what a Goldfinch looked like, now we both do.
Apparently, this is the book everyone is talking about, at cocktail parties and social gatherings, maybe now i will fit in? La de dah!!!
Ahem, Excuse me, i´ve read the Goldfinch, i have a feeling we have a mutual... connection
And now i´m going to add a few words, it wasn't do much the book that caught my attention, it was what was going on around me that related to the book that was captivating, let me begin...

A common theme in the book is:
Life is playing what ever cards your dealt with, and playing them well

And then i saw this...

Amazing hand with Miss Finland

Tom is listening to every word...

The last few chapters of the book are epic, words of wisdom are rolling like a herd of stampeeding buffalow, a bit like a Tom Robbins book, every sentence is gold!

Say his name and you were born to be, born to be Neal Cassedy...

One of the main characters Boris, he is to this book what Neal Cassedy is to ´On the road´ by Jack Kerouac. He is full of life and optamisim, things are never really bad, because they could be way worse, if he is going to hell, he´s going to go laughing, and you´d be tempted to go with him, because it will be fun.

On the road...

Boris says life is a miracle, where your born is luck, a toss of the coin and Boris point of view was that you cant see yourself as a victim asking why this happened to you, Nelson Mandela said something similar, although not recently.

And then i saw this...

Does money make you mean?

Boris was saying, good can come from bad, and when it does you need to take advantage of it.

One of the themes was trust, Boris talked about a book called ´The Idiot´, in it the character Prince Myshkin, all he ever did was good, he treated everyone with respect, compassion and what resulted was murder and disaster. He trusted all the wrong people and made bad decisions.

Also, the bad stuff we think we are going through, can be pushing us towards who we really are, our true selves. Anywhere you get there, isn´t really important. Reminds me of a farmer i met in Columbia that overturned a tractor on his way to a rave in Ireland, true story, and he paid for his holiday by selling drugs.

This book has made an impression on me, or maybe its becuse this month i havent been drinking, i´ve been eating less and losing tons of weight, or maybe its the voices in my mind?

Boris says, Embrace life, the good and the bad and when you get a bad deal, you can bluff and fake it until you make it. Snap out of the self destruction and get living.
´Worry is the mark of the primitive and spiritually unevolved person´

Boris as a Dinasaur...

As bad as Boris life was, he never saw it that way. He got beated up a lot by his father, it was nothing to him. The filter of his life, his way of thinking was different and he saw the world in an optimistic way, whats interesting was, from the first day he met him, his attitude never really changed throughout the book, and he never took no for an answer.

As crazy as Boris life was, he was pretty much in control, as much as anyone could be, he never saw iself as the victim.

Whats interesting about Boris was he saw the good and bad in people, he was objective he never judged people for who they were. Theo on the other hand was subjective, it was like they had two versions of the same story. Boris saw the good in Theos father, something Theo couldn´t see.

In Boris mind there was never a problem, since most of the worries and problems are in our heads.

The cuckoo clock

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock

And what funded the amazing Renaissance culture in europe? The misery, slavery and plundering the Spanish did in Potosi, Bolivia, but thats another story...

Sometimes all the bad stuff that has happened in your life can end up with people meeting and having a common bond, the current moment is always the most important time in your life, this was one of the themes, both had lost their mothers and nothing ever bad happened to their no good fathers.

By losing the Goldfinch painting, they end up helping recovering many more and collecting a huge ransom, the silver lining in the cloud, in the end.

Whether something is good or bad, who can tell? I missed a bus today, because i couldn't get money, good or bad? I don't know? i wouldn't be writing this now in a bus!!

Every story has a beginning middle and end, until you reach the end, its not a story

Keep going to the end...

Boris wasn't greedy either, he was more than happy to share the wealth with people along the way. Maybe because he was optimistic about making more in the future, he got shot, to him it was only a graze. He was luck he didnt get killed.
One of the differences between happy and unhappy people is happy people are optamistic

When Boris was young, he stole to survive, but he would only steal from people who could afford to lose it, especially corporations, never steal off of the working man.

Richard P Feynman

You can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, that's life. There sometimes no warning signs, you cant go on asking why me, to be here is a miracle, the universe is a miracle, to be born is a miracle, Richard P. Feynman said something similar once, check out his ´Pleasure of finding things out´

After all things going wrong for me, booking the wrong hostel, went to another wrong hostel, picked up a random book, everything turned out nicely in the end, and it might happen for you too, so what are you waiting for, get your library card and get that book, you can bring the dog for a walk too!

You see? A win win situation.

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