Sunday, 23 January 2011

Michael Ende’s Momo and the Men in Grey

Momo is a little orphaned girl of no determinate age, anything between 8 and 12 years old is possible. From unknown origin, she chooses the ruins of an amphitheatre at a remote unnamed small town as her new home.
Although Momo does not have many possessions, she does have a unique gift. In return of the locals’ help, she simply listens to them. For when Momo listens, people become instantly inspired, comforted and enlightened, finally able to easily solve their own conflicts, doubts and fears, all by themselves.

"Momo was there and joined in, that was all, but for some reason her mere presence put bright ideas into their heads."

Momo becomes a little miraculous hero for everybody. The expression “Go see Momo!” has turned an all answer to all problems, the perfect panacea.
Unfortunately, this idyllic scene doesn’t last long. Suddenly, people start to be obsessed with work to save as much time as possible. Soon enough, the town grows cold and sad, without any activity for mind and spirit, for they are now seen as time wasting.
It all started with the arrival of the sinister Men in Grey who promote the idea of timesaving. Yet the more ‘time’ people save, the less they have. The Grey Men consume the stolen time in form of cigars, made from the dried petals of hour-lilies, as this is how they survive.
If Momo has any other form of wealth than her ability to listen, that is time and while the Grey Men can’t rob her, she is determined to help her friends who’ve succumbed to their power.
Momo must overcome the odds and find the Keeper of Time, Professor Secundus Minutus Hora, with only the singular help of a tortoise called Cassiopeia, which can communicate through writing on her shell and predicts thirty minutes further into the future.

This is the fascinating yet terrifying story of Momo and her friends. Terrifying for its so very real analogy.
The 'almost could be non-fiction' fantasy novel was written by Michael Ende, who is best known for his "Neverending Story".

Michael Ende has a way of illustrating deep meaningful themes such as the importance of time through amazingly simple words and fantastic imaginative worlds that also children can fairly understand.
Written in 1973, the main theme couldn’t be more contemporary.
The world we’re living in has become an insanely busy little sphere, the modern society is unhealthily fast-paced and consumerism driven. People rush in a frenzy that doesn’t allow them to stop and feel.
The loss of values has increased with the loss of time, the time to truly appreciate all the small pleasant moments that are in fact what life is all about. People live to work instead of working to live and with all the hassle, time simply vanishes in smoke.
Furthermore, we tend to forget how important human connections are. Ende too illustrates beautifully this theme, the powerful value of listening to others, probably the most important value within friendship.

The grand moral of this remarkable tale is that enjoyed time is not wasted time, it is but the sum of true life’s values, the importance of every single satisfying moment. Time where happiness lies.

"Time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart."

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The dark side of my Imagination

My Imagination and I have huge fights all the time. I mean, all the time. Yesterday she was probably right for I knew already I shouldn't have seen horror movies so late at night. The thing is, she, my Imagination, only allowed me to watch horror movies when I was already in my early twenties.
I remember one time, before these twenties, that after a friend of mine told me about a movie my Imagination gave me a whole month of nightmares. And do you want to know what movie it was? The Fly! Just The Fly! An innocent science fiction movie, where a man mixes with a fly. What's scary about that? To actually mix anything you'll have to have this machine first. Did I have this machine? No.
What scares me when it comes to horror movies are those things we can't see, can't fight against. Ghosts, spirits, dark forces. That's what really scares me.
When I was 14, 15 years old I lived in a student residence under the week for I was studying arts in a different town than my parent's. I had three other roommates - miss you guys - that used to scare me with ghosts and such before sleeping. And they knew nothing else could possible scare me. Back then, I was afraid of nothing. Ever. I would always be the one diving further into the unknown dark searching for adventures. Still do. I would always be the one defending everyone till the last big bad guy was down. Same ho.
But when it came to sleep I would turn into the most afraid little girl in the whole world. All my life I've been having nightmares, all my life my sleep has tired me, all my life I’ve been afraid of my subconscious.
Time passes by though and I am learning, even when I know I will never sleep like normal people do. And that in order to have this amazing Imagination of mine - love you girl - I will have to accept all that she brings. For better or for worse, right?
And so, night after day, we will keep on fighting, my Imagination and I, and she will still remain one of the best friends I will ever have.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The very last quarter

Here I am. The last quarter of this journey. What a ride it was. I'm going to miss it for sure but I never felt before this urge to start working. It's a passion and I wouldn't know how to live it differently. I know how fortunate I am.
And how fortunate I've been with these many great teachers pushing us students further up the advertising hill. They are as passionate and this energy among us is almost visible and highly contagious.
What I never understood though is why some teachers, very very few, systematic "warn" us about how awfully hard this industry is. Why do you have to tell us continuously how many weekends we're going to lose? Or that every time you stay late at the agency or have a rough client you have to come the next day and ask us if that's what we really want. If I didn't know better I would think you were having second thoughts about your own path and that's not what you want to transmit to your students.
Nobody said there's a work somewhere that's perfect. There will always be downsides in every single industry but the ups are what make us pursuit a specific career.
Don't complain. Instead, fuel our dreams, let us believe we are going to accomplish great things for the ones who dream are the ones who actually accomplish great things.