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Traveling the world by following poetry

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Traveling the world by following poetry

Just like professor Keating from the Dead Poets Society said: “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

People on the street, in the park, while they walk, are followed by the imaginary music. Poetry accompanies me. However, I never thought much about the benefits of reading and writing, until I became the author of the novel I published two years ago and numerous verses scattered throughout the Internet, napkins and bank deposit slips. Never after I asked myself this question which now sounds absurd, because there is no verse made just for watching. Verse is an attempt of a poet to make a revolution.

I fell in love with poetry because of Antić and his stars and Bukowski and his whores.

Since then it’s been a lot. List of reading has gone to a brilliant heights, and on the way, slowly but surely, often shy, but with fervor, I made my revolution that has grown and taught me of a completely new, direct and simple use of poetry.

Poetry is, in fact, an amazing way to tell your story so that everybody hears, everyone understands, but also to take a break for a moment, forget to breathe, just as I forgot to breathe in the nineties, listening to Robin Williams in the role Keating.

Take me to the water is a novel that was the lymph which forced its way through my wound. After the greatest struggle of my life, the only thing that was natural for me, was to put my core on the paper.

After that, my growth as a writer in the public stopped – because, all topics seemed insufficient or less important. A novel in itself has the poetic moments that will probably be the part of every next. It is a paradox that, while I was writing a novel, poetry became my greatest love. And exactly that was the most important part of my life for the last two years, after Take me to the water was published.

Everything that happened before and during writing a novel, helped me to comprehend what is worth living for, and gave me the strength to live only for those things that for me are crucial.

From this perspective, it is paradoxical to seek strength in yourself to live your purpose, because any other choice would be more difficult and I really hope that all of you can make that step from triviality to the life with a purpose that you find deep inside, without twinge of environmental influences, your past, beyond the meaning and this world.

Why would you think you’re creatures of this world, or any other? The worlds are the limits, too.

I needed two years to mature from the being that was breaking the borders, to someone who really doesn’t feel that they exist at any level. I’m not saying I’m free. Free in relation to what? Freedom is the limit too. I want to say that I am present. Not in the world, but in myself. Therefore, in the world I have never been more present. In my friends, in my poetry, in all the cities that I love so much and that I allowed to be the home of my stories.

It seems to me that, until the end of the world and the end of time, I could be fed only with travels and verses.

This is exactly what I’m doing. Traveling by following poetry.

I found the way to weave two of my greatest loves into one that makes me what I am at the moment. What keeps me awake and eager.

At the beginning of this great journey I choose, was a man who inspired me and so many other people to travel, solo, without a lot of money. He followed the Sun (1000 days of spring), I follow poetry.

The story for the the second novel was born in me almost two years ago, and all this time I was looking for the the city that will be a home for it. That’s how my first solo trips began.

Last June, I packed up my life in my backpack and started with a trip through Morocco. Morocco was a journey on which I’ve found the path to my heart. If the core of my being is the Holy Grail, that’s where I found it. It prepared me for what was to come.

I fell in love with Fes, Marrakech, Essaouira, Sahara, Rabat … I went to every corner of this magical land, but the story I wanted to write did not find fertile soil for its roots. I did, that’s where I found myself and then left. I brought it with me. Became a traveler.

After that, Prevert happened. Paris happened. Paris is a city to which I would always come back and it brought poetry to me. Milan is also the city in which I created. But all these cities brought poetry to me. I wanted a novel too.

And then I read a poem. Random poem, somewhere on the Internet ( I will write more about that one). I read it dozens of times, but after the first time I knew where is the story I wanted to write. Where it’s born and dies over and over again, while waiting for me, madly in love with it, to go on the road and put it on the paper. To appease it and let it be outside of myself.

I read the poem, I booked the flight, packed up and went to Lisbon.

It was there.

The story.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Hotel Durmitor: Searching for trust in a city of rust

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Hotel Durmitor: Searching for trust in a city of rust

I’m a writer who never writes about nostalgia. About any kind of nostalgia.

A few nights ago, as it usually happens during the night, I was missing one’s hands.

Oh, how they knew to touch, to carry all the weight of my gray days on their palms. That night I almost felt them on my waist, on my skin, and everywhere my memories drifted. Even my memories are blind and deaf under the surge of nostalgia that I feel when I see him. And I see him often, even now when he’s on the other part of the country.

My novels, my poems are all based on love, passion and death. But not even during those nights could I ever write anything about nostalgia. It has always been a subject of which I had nothing to say. When it comes to overcoming and letting go, all I have to say is: keep quiet and put up with it, this too shall pass.

However, today I want to pay a tribute to something that is forgotten. Maybe it will be easier to write about when I’m not the forgotten one.

Or not.

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It is a national treasure of Montenegro, one of many that is left to decay and oblivion.

All my life it’s here, 300 meters from my house, and every day I’m the witness of it’s destruction. One collective suffering.

Back in the time Hotel Durmitor was wonderful, lively place, with 650 workers and a rich offer. Now, Hotel Durmitor is a ghost house.

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Montenegro is a beautiful country, but I think that there is no other nation where people care so little about their home. In general, unintelligent nation and insatiable government. They don’t sell the land anymore, now they sell the spirit and identity.

It seems that me and Hotel Durmitor, while drinking coffee in it’s ruined lobby, accept deterioration with the hope that the same will not happen with everything around us.

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The only thing that comforts me is that when their tits, brands, empty talk and deeply rooted nihilism rot, my mountain will still be there.

There’s a song that I’ve heard recently, so tender and harmless, such as those common morning coffees SOKO – First love never dies.

Dear melody fills the blue room, and it’s funny to me that I found it right here. In my life the concept of the blue room has always been a refuge.

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I close my eyes, I hear the birds and the trees, and beautiful, pastel curtains, the sound of fine crystal, the smell of fresh cakes and peace.

Here we are, quite alive.

I never let myself miss my past, to the past I can always go back. I go back often, to be reminded.

Remind myself what is the value of all what I have gave and lost.

Remind myself what is the value of what I still have.

Remind myself that I can’t be satisfied with wrong stories, cause I  know how I used to be loved.

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Kotor, Montenegro: Ain’t no love in the heart of the town

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Kotor, Montenegro: Ain’t no love in the heart of the town

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Two years have passed since i have been living in the most beautiful city in the world, or at least one that is listed as the most beautiful to visit this year. I’m not saying that I’m not happy and grateful for it. In fact, when I started my blog, I wanted to write about Kotor. And I promise, I’ll write.

When I moved in here for the first time I strongly believed in the soul of this city, and then it was so hard to find it. At first glance, Kotor evaporates with it’s spirit, but at the first touch, every stone of this city is so cold and gray. Ain’t no love in the heart of the city! Ain’t no love in the heart of the town!

Kotor makes you feel alone if you spend enough time here. People come and go, and you stay between these stones , and the stones are not the place where you should be. It seems to you that the sea is no the sea anymore and the water is not the water in which you can come to quench your thirst.

But you’re so thirsty.

Oh and sometimes you wake up in the morning, and that view welcomes you.  The view that makes you feel guilty for saying that Kotor is gray. Some mornings are shining painfully, and they makes you feel bad that you’re not glowing with them.

You’re wondering if you’re depressed or if all this city is depressed and at times you can’t find the answer to this question.

I asked for months.

Then I stopped.

Because then came spring and Kotor .. oh, Kotor – lying again.

Or only then telling the truth.

Kotor can bring you a good man, who is just passing by. Kotor can bring you the morning sunlights to wake you up in the morning and the smell of coffee.

It almost brings you that coffee to your bed.

And you forget that it was cold.

As a lover for whom you are attached, and when you play strongly, forget that he played a cold.

And you’re hugging him and kissing, you dance in the narrow streets that are the most beautiful streets in the world.

And my God, they are the most beautiful in the world.

It brings you beautiful people. Friends, lovers, drifters, travelers. It brings you wine, smiles, hugs, stories that you will remember forever.  It brings you yourself. It makes you question yourself as the best psychologist, makes you be alone with yourself, so you can be the best version of yourself when you’re with other people. It makes you become the stone. The stone with a soul. And what, in this world, is more precious?

You do not care, your beloved  took you under his wing, forcing scents and sighs happening after your steps and tells you that you’re beautiful.

A woman is even more beautiful when she walks through the streets of The old town.

And you’re telling to Kotor that it is beautiful.

You’re falling in love.

Write a poem about it.

And you know it will hurt as soon as first winter comes.

But it’s okay.

After Kotor you will be the beautiful, stunning rock.

And you have to be a rock in this mad world.

Just don’t forget the soul.

Kotor haven’t forget its soul.

(just too good at hiding)

 

Montenegro: Black Mountain

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Montenegro: Black Mountain

 

I don’t know when exactly  it happened, but there was a moment when I realized that place where I live isn’t ordinary. It was a long time ago, I believe. I knew at the very young age that a view I was waking up by, all that mornings, must be something special.

I’ve always wanted to travel. To hug the world, to see every inch of it. Maybe to find myself somewhere far away. Today I wish the same. To pass the Trans-Siberian railway, to drink Mojito in La Bodeguita del Medio, to go camping in Norway. But today, more than ever I wish to see this country in Southeastern Europe. Today I wish to know every inch of this part of the world where I’m waking up. Not to let average salary, politic, mentality to blur my view, to make me think that only goal of the life here is to go far away. This country have so much to give and I want to feel all of it.

***

Ne znam kada se tačno dogodio, ali bio je tu nekakav ključni momenat kada sam shvatila da ne živim na običnom mjestu. Znala sam već kao mala da taj pogled koji bi me dočekao svakog jutra mora biti poseban.

Uvijek sam željela da putujem. Da svojim rukama obgrlim svijet, da upoznam svaki njegov kutak.  Možda da prepoznam sebe u svakom od njih. Danas nosim tu istu želju u sebi. Proći transibirskom željeznicom, popiti mojito u La Bodeguita del Medio, otići na kampovanje u Norvešku. Ipak, danas, više nego ikada ranije želim da upoznam jednu zemlju u jugoistočnoj Evropi. Danas želim da upoznam dio svijeta na kojem se budim. Da ne dopustim prosječnoj plati, politici, mentalitetu da zamagli moj pogled, da me natjera da pomislim da je jedini smisao života ovdje, otići daleko.

Ova zemlja ima mnogo da ponudi, a  ja želim da budem dio svega toga.

Jelena

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