The ‘Secret’

The title of this post shouldn’t wonder you as it is expected that one day I would explain the name of my blog. Though I didn’t spent much time choosing the name I didn’t choose the title ‘Secret Little Paradise’ with that little care. Or did I already explained this in a previous post? I can’t remember and as I don’t feel like scrolling back to my previous posts I’ll just keep continuing this boring monologue about something that I already know, you probably don’t even care about and it just takes me a lot of time and effort to explain. So why am I doing this anyway? To waste some time? Yes, let’s just keep it at that.

I can’t focus at all. What was it that I wanted to explain again? I wanted to explain myself? Or something. Eh yeah the title, was it?
Secret; Because that’s the way I am. I can’t open up to people very well and I’m quite good at hiding the truth if I want to. Instead of trying to pretend that I do want to open up and be less secretive I think sometimes it’s just better to face the truth and accept how I am. How I want to be is a whole different thing and that process is also established in here. In secret that is.
Little; Because I’m trying to be modest.
Paradise; The word says it all. Or no, it doesn’t not at all, it’s just that I’m not in the mood anymore to explain myself any further. Why did I start this post anyway? I’m so lazy, it’s ridiculous. About a second ago my whole mind was filled with theories about secrets and my whole lifestyle and what not, but what is this now? Ha, the moment I’m asking myself ‘why can’t I just type what I’m thinking’ the answer already pops up in my mind. It’s because there’s no advantage to it. Not for me no, because I’d be only typing what I already know and well, perhaps for my ‘readers’? But honestly, would any of you be interested in my blab-story? I don’t actually think so. It’s boring, really.
Since the point of this whole blog is ‘For Me’, I’ll end this post here since ‘For Me’ this is just no use.

Selfish? Just let me be.


‘Who is like God?’

It’s the literally translation of the Hebrew name ‘Michael’ of which my name ‘Michelle’ was derived from. I don’t believe my parents took the meaning of the name in account when they chose it for me; they probably just thought it sounded beautiful, of which I have to agree to. It was only when I was about 12 years old when I searched for the meaning of my name.

“‘Quis ut Deus?’ A Latin sentence meaning ‘Who is like God?’, is a literal translation of the name ‘Michael’. ‘Michael’ appears as the name of several men in the ‘Old Testament’. In the ‘Book of Daniel’ it is the name of the ‘prince’ of the people of Israel. In the ‘New Testament’ the name is given to an archangel in the ‘Epistle of Jude’ 1:9 and, in the ‘Book of Revelation’ 12:7, to the leader of angels who defeat ‘the dragon’ and his fallen angels, a dragon identified in ‘Revelation’ 12:9 as ‘that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world’.
The sentence ‘Quis ut Deus?’ is particularly associated with Archangel Michael. In art St. Michael is often represented as an angelic warrior, fully armed with the helmet, sword and shield as he overcomes Satan, sometimes represented as a dragon and sometimes as a man-like figure. The shield at times ears the inscription: ‘Quis ut Deus’, the translation of the archangel’s name, but capable also of being seen as his rhetorical and scornful question to Satan.
The Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel also bears this phrase.”

The Archangel Michael is a strong being, who fights for what he believes in, who fights for the good against the bad, who fights for justice, who’s willing to challenge and overcome Satan. With his name alone he’s a warrior from God who’s strong enough to ask Satan the rhetorical question: ‘WHO is like God?’.

If Michael can be such a strong angel who fights for his belief , then who says I, Michelle, can’t?
In my own modest ways I should be able to fight for my beliefs too, to challenge not only Satan, but also myself to become a stronger person and overcome Satan as he appears in everyday issues; whenever there’s the choice between right and wrong, and the choice between the easy and the right road.
With the name my parents had chosen for me, they subconsciously also gave me the strength my name carries. I may seem like a weak and sweet little girl, but God knows the power I have inside me. The power to not choose for the easy road, but for the right road, to fight for what I believe in without any doubts.
I’m strong, just like the ones who gave me this name and the Archangel who my name was derived from, and I’ll live up to it.

If truth be told, I’m still a girl who has the cheesy dream of a loved one singing this song to her.

Norwegian Wood

‘Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life.’

This story isn’t about the people who die, this story is about the survivors, those who have to continue to live. If only for the sake of living.

When 17-year-old Kizuki suddenly commits suicide, he leaves his best friend Watanabe and his girlfriend Naoko behind. ‘Continue to live’ is what they’re supposed to do, but that’s easier said than done for the survivors; does being able to breath, talk and read, mean that you’re living? When a loved one has suddenly died in such a way, time seems to stop for those who are left. It’s not living, nor dying; it goes beyond that, almost emotionless, but painful when you allow yourself to feel the pain. There’s only the emptiness one’s trying to fill with nothing more than mindless conversations, travelling and reading, which all seemed like nothing more than running away.

That’s how Watanabe attempted to continue his life, by moving away from the place where in one moment all of his certainties had crashed down. Naoko did the same and though they’d parted ways, they did meet again in Tokyo. Mindless conversations followed and not a word was spoken about Kizuki. At the moment of Naoko’s 20th birthday Watanabe accidentally spoke about him, which caused Naoko to run away again.
Is it ‘love’ that made Watanabe wanting to care for Naoko? Or was it that he felt responsible for her, since his best friend wasn’t there anymore to take care of her?

The same goes for Naoko; did she want to be with Watanabe because she loved him? Fancied him? In what way? Did she want comfort? Did she feel guilty for what happened with Kizuki? Did she might wonder: ‘Was it because he didn’t love me that he’d committed suicide?’
To continue to live for those who are left is an extremely hard thing to do. Naoko did try, but because she couldn’t do it on her own her parents sent her to a sanatorium in the mountains of Kyoto. By breathing the fresh air and being surrounded by nature everyone hoped this would be her cure, as a broken soul is a disease too. With the love she received from Watanabe it almost seemed like she did became better, but nothing was less true as eventually she died too.
‘Your presence is painful to me!’

After all that had happened Watanabe eventually chose to stay strong, to live and to grow up. Time had stopped when Kizuki was 17 and again when Naoko was 21, but now he felt it was about time he continued to live.
Midori, a former classmate of Watanabe, had a major influence in this decision. She tries to seem like a smart and almost cunning girl, but in the end all she wants is comfort and the certainty of being loved and not being left. Because of his feelings for Naoko, Watanabe almost seemed blind towards Midori, as if he couldn’t see her desire for comfort or simply ignored it because he didn’t want to be bothered by it. In the end he did love her, maybe in a even more real way than he had loved Naoko.
What it is that makes two people love each other anyway?

Never before was I this touched by the emotions of a movie character. As if he was standing beside me in my room and I could feel his pain radiate through everything, it hurt me too. This raw acting wasn’t acting; it was real, it was all real and it took me some time to realize that it wasn’t.

Everything was presented in a raw and real way, nothing was made more beautiful than it actually was. But just as it is the imperfection of a person that makes him perfect, it was because this movie seemed so real to me, that it was beautiful. It didn’t try to make the viewer cry, it simply told the story of something that could have happened and that itself was painful enough.

After reading this, please listen to the soundtrack of the movie here. The music had in my opinion a great influence on presenting the story in a raw way.
Reading the book this movie was based on is the next thing on my to-do-list.

Valen-, valen-, valentine!

‘Surprise your lover with this special Valentine’s gift and enjoy your night!’ sounds a commercial from my speakers. Shut up! Not everyone has a loved one to spend Valentine’s Day with! Don’t be so inconsiderate, you blabbering fools!

I’ve never had a date on Valentine’s Day, but you don’t have to feel sorry for me, because this year I do! We’re going to watch a movie and perhaps have something to drink or eat afterwards… I’m so excited! It’ll be so much fun!

About a year ago, or maybe two, the movie ‘Norwegian Wood’ was in the cinema’s, it’s based on the homonym book written by Haruki Marukami. So far I have read only one of his books and I loved it, so when I saw that one of his other books was made into I movie I badly wanted to see it. Sadly there was no one who wanted to come with me and because I also failed trying to download it, or buy it,  for me it was ‘byebye Haruki Murakami’.
Poor me.
A month ago I saw on a website that the movie is shown again for a day in the Public Library of Amsterdam!! It just happens to be on the same day as Valentine’s day, but I honestly don’t really care about the place or date; all that matters for me is that this time there is someone who wants to join me and I’ll finally get to watch this movie. I have to admit that even if there was no one again who wanted or could watch this movie with me, I’d have gone on my own this time.
I guess I’ll have to disappoint you to say it’s not a romantic date, I’m just going to watch the movie with a  friend (the one who gave me a blueberry muffin, she’s such a sweetheart!) and together we’ll have our own amazing Valentine’s Day!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Look around (2)

With my previous post I wanted to emphasize how important it is to look at what you have instead of what you haven’t. If you keep counting the things you don’t have you’ll just find yourself a poor person who isn’t able to see the things you do have.
Always, always, always just keep counting your blessings. Trust me, it can only make you happier.

Claimer: the story of the previous post was written by me.

Look around

Once upon a time, there was a giraffe. She had a very long neck and a nice view of everything that was beneath her. She could keep close watch of everything; if the other animals were nice to each other and who were fighting. In a way she was a mother of everyone.
She liked having that role upon her and she knew that the rest liked it too that they were definitely not alone.
But still, after a while she got a bit lonely.
Her own giraffe-babies left her, and her giraffe-husband died (stupid lion). She did have other animals in the kingdom that cared about here, but still she could feel the distance between her. She started to drink less water and eat less leaves, because she had lost her appetite. After a while she knelt down by the lake, because she felt tired and she began to think.
‘What do I do now, now I don’t have anyone anymore? My animal-children will soon leave me, and then what do I do? Find myself a new giraffe-husband? But where do I even find him? They don’t exist in this area! Oh, I’m so lonely!’
In the distance she could see a couple of birds fly.
‘I wish I was like them, free to be wherever I want to be.’
She fell asleep slowly, thinking she was alone in this world.

Poor giraffe.

When she woke up, she suddenly wasn’t alone anymore at the lake where she had fallen asleep. The whole bank was loaded by all kinds of animals you could imagine: Zebra’s, elephants, ostriches, rhinos, monkeys and even more! She also saw the birds she had seen earlier.
‘My, what are you still doing here?’ the giraffe asked,’I thought you would go your own way and leave me. Why are you still here? You all will leave this herd sometime, just like my giraffe-children, right?
‘Why those unpleasant thoughts, giraffe?’, asked one of the birds, who had called the whole herd together. ‘That animals come and go, isn’t something to be sad about, it’s something to be happy about, if you can send them into the wide open world as well-bred animals!’.’Yes, I can understand that, but it’s still lonely for me, to be left alone here’
‘Lonely? LONELY?! But you’re not lonely!’, the chimpanzee suddenly roared, ‘don’t you see that you’re surrounded by animals who care about you and won’t leave you, even in times of drought? That it’s necessary for some animals to leave the herd, doesn’t mean that everyone will leave you! Why can’t you look at the animals who stay, instead of looking at the animals who go?’

Those words from the chimpanzee had touched the giraffes heart and she looked around her once again. But this time she payed a little more attention and she saw all the animals who had stayed with her all that time.
Until that time she could only think of all the animals who had left her, without realizing that there were also animals who stayed and suddenly she realized that all that time she’d been wrong.
Why did she keep looking at those who left her, instead of those who stayed? All the time when she had those in her thoughts, she could never completely enjoy the time she had with the rest of the herd. She was the one who had created the distance between them!

She got up and made herself strong, like a giraffe is supposed to do, and said: ‘You’re right, and I’m sorry I didn’t realize how much you cared about me and that I shouldn’t forget that I still have you. I will keep each and everyone of this herd in my heart, even those who will leave me, and enjoy the time I have with everyone. Then it won’t matter if there won’t be another giraffe-husband for me; as long as there’s even one animal in this herd, I’m happy’

And she quickly got herself a leaf from the tree to make her words sound more powerful and soon a load applause and roar rose from the herd and the giraffe felt how loved she was.
How could it be that she had felt so lonely earlier, with so much love around her?

In the time that followed, she noticed that she started to enjoy life more. Because she could accept that some animals left the herd, because eventually they went their own way too to explore themselves, and because she realized that whatever happened, she wasn’t alone.