Monday, October 24, 2016

Diogenes' barrel

     While reading one of a highly appreciated Romanian author’s books, I came across what I had kept trying to depict and could not find the perfect metaphor: Diogenes’ barrel. Incidentally being said, many say that the philosopher chose to live in a barrel because he was disgusted by the outside world and, in fact, he really was. He is a cynical philosopher, after all. In any case, I shall not talk about cynicism, but to me, this eccentricity of Diogenes seemed very intriguing. 

Antoine Pirotte - Observant
     He chose solitude and yet, as the author I have mentioned describes, his decision included the solitude in the midst of the crowd. In other words, Diogenes desperately needed his own self and some time spent alone (when he probably was blaming people for all their vices and mistakes), but also needed the crowd, maybe out of an inner demand for belonging - not necessarily to human species, but to the vibrating nature (which gathers together all living creatures) Metaphorically speaking, Diogenes’ idea was a wise one. Why?

     As this Greek philosopher, I also condemn many of the society’s manners that seem, while time goes on, more likely to immerse in mud, in triviality and in a denial of authentic human relationships. Anyway, the fact is that sometimes (too often, perhaps) I get this oppressive feeling that it would have been better for me to be born in a different century (not necessarily very far away from the present one), but who knows..

     Resuming: yes, I condemn many aspects of the contemporary society, but this does not mean that I would choose the path of atop a mountain kind of solitude, getting used to eating leaves or, worse, caterpillars. No way. I strongly believe we are beings who possess a sense of belonging and, if deprived of it, we would not be exactly how we should.

     However, I feel - more acutely than what I have stated above – a crave for solitude, when I can hear my own breath and when my thoughts fly at peace, undisturbed by any other sounds, through my mind – a mess! But what a sublime mess! It is impossible to deny my introversion, I accept it and, even more, I invite it to visit me quite often. Where else to find balance than in silence?

     Therefore, this is my barrel: a comfortable one, I might say; right in the middle of the crowd, right in the middle of my intimacy. Another modus vivendi.  

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Maira Gall