Layers of Love, p.1
Layers of Love
by Serena Liebfried
Layers of Love
by Serena Liebfried
Copyright 2016 Serena Liebfried
e-book cover by Andrei Dragomirescu
Thank you for downloading this e-book. It is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this e-book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite retailer. Thank you for your support.
I would like to express my deepest appreciation to Andrei Dragomirescu for creating my e-book cover.
In addition, I would like to express my gratitude to the following contemporary musicians: Wieslaw Sobieski, Rahul Kedare and David Won.
Table of Contents
To the Reader
Some old Greek Masks and Layers
Connect with me
To the Reader
Serena Maier shared the e-book “Love and Layers” on your Timeline, yesterday at 23.54
The French writer, Charles Baudelaire, started his poem To the Reader (Au Lecteur) with some powerful lines: “Folly, error, sin, greed/ occupy our minds and leave our body powerless”. He concluded that dullness was the supreme evil. Well, he was French and lived 200 years ago, without Internet, Google, Facebook or Twitter.
Nowadays, things are quite different... We are so terrified of getting bored! We fill our entire life with all sorts of useless things, burying our souls in expensive screens and tagged messages. Pathetic, isn't it? I indulge myself in nostalgic deep posts, you — in surfing the web for funny or offensive pictures. With each passing day, we both force ourselves to enjoy solitude, to appreciate everything that is free, superficially charming, entertaining and viral.
Nowadays, to rephrase Baudelaire, it is this fear of boredom that blinds us from the most important aspect of our lives: a happy long-term relationship. This is something that transcends all momentary pleasures and requires a lot of time for self-reflection... As you may have already noticed, we seem to be prone to love in moments of pure monotony.
With all these thoughts in mind, I started writing about my “layer-istic” life... a little bit poetical, essayistic, sensual, mythological... sounds too complicated, doesn't it? Unfortunately, my feelings seem reluctant to be put into simple words. Between “I like you!” and “I want you!” there are mixed emotions that make me communicate less...
I don't believe we've already lost the ability to share hues of feelings... I guess we've only become accustomed to moving a layer above our heart, dropping an inner shadow over it.
In the end, it all becomes so unreal!
My dear Reader (“hypocrite lecteur”), can you remove that noise filter effect and change your transparency preferences on me? Our happiness is not about retouching reality, but touching it deeply.
Some Old Greek Masks and Layers (not a draft)
“How do I take better photos?” I'm sure you've heard this question over and over again. I kept repeating it. “The trick is to get closer to your subject, fill the whole frame ... and then, take it home for post-processing. For better results, you can use various techniques, but to master them, I recommend you find some information about...” Well, I finally took this useful piece of advice, read and got closer to some amazing mythological figures.
However, since I didn't have that fast Canon 5D Mark II camera, I used words to take the shots I wanted. “To make the most of my subjects”, I adjusted lighting, applying metaphors and ellipses. But most of all, I looked at all scenes selectively, and found details quite revealing and already popular among artists. Consequently, as you may check, I uploaded some paintings by Rubens, Klimt and Crespi on my Facebook page.
The result of my artistic pursuit was quite surprising; I've been heavily criticized since then... for spreading false pagan stories. I've been called a “slut” for taking the liberty of posting artistic nudity! Does it matter so much if my judges are Christians, Muslims or Jews? They all seem to have the same misunderstanding of my perspective and my creative pursuits.
I've always thought Artists should remain true to their sacred nature. They are nothing but charmed birds, flying above dogmas, rules and traditions.
On this rotten realm, their only mission is to rouse ordinary people like me from ignorance, make everyone look up. Yes, they are always on top of us, far and away, passing over our expectations, simply... doodling (find out more about Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space).
An Artist should never lower his quest for my cause, but above all, should never become a jerk to his heart. “Can I get an Amen for this?” I guess my ideas have become offensive to some, lately.
Leaving religion aside, mythology consists of many interesting tales regarding our love behavior. We do not seem to feel, talk and share feelings the same way, and I do not allude to the male and female difference, as I found it irrelevant. Since each of us is an unbalanced union of both feminine and masculine traits (perhaps I have to explain C.G.Jung's theory of animus and anima), we both come from the same Earth, rather than from Mars and Venus (John Gray's book Men are from Mars, women are from Venus did not give me any clue on the whereabouts of homosexuals).
Hallelujah! (I feel like humming Cohen's song right now. “But you don't really care for music, do you?”). We are all made of the same clay but shaped differently and these inner shapes are the archetypes. Briefly, they are our background layers.
If you want to find yours, take this quiz, choosing the first answer that comes to your mind.
Answer the following questions:
1. Which do you prefer?
c) social position
2. What makes you most uncomfortable?
c) lack of affection
d) feeling useless
3. What gift do you actually want from your significant other?
a) any token of affection
b) scented candles, perfume
c) an expensive watch or bag
d) anything artistic or creative
4. What word describes you best?
5. What is your favorite verb?
a) to possess
b) to create
c) to have fun
d) to understand
6. In a relationship, you are ready to:
a) take control
b) be permissive
c) praise the other
d) make sacrifices
7. After a fight, you:
a) focus on yourself and revisit the issue
b) leave to sort things through
c) take revenge and victimize yourself endlessly
d) go into full withdrawal mode for days
8. What is the most important quality you look in others?
c) blind loyalty
9. If you could send a message to a former lover that broke your heart, this message would be:
a) It was not my fault!
b) I'll never forget you!
c) It's your loss!
d) Wish you all the best!
Now, count your answers to find out your archetype!
More b) = Explorer
More c) = Charmer
More d) = Healer
You like to control everything, you fight for your dreams and change defeat into life lessons. [I am a Ruler, by the way.]
You enjoy experimenting and crossing boundaries, you follow any path in order to fulfill your desire.
You believe in your qualities, helping only those who accept you (as you are) and provide for you.
You trust your instincts and your inner strength; you believe that good deeds will result in a better fate.
Have you found your background yet?
Next step would be to add a layer mask to it! Do not blame anyone for this; it is entirely your choice!
From White (full opacity) to Black (full transparency)
aggressivity: furious, angry, ardent, mad, vengeful, intrusive, wicked, frustrated, ironical, feeling afraid...
fear: terrified, confused, startled, anxious, rejected, alienated, submissive, humiliated, insignificant, feeling sad...
sadness: wounded, miserable, abandoned, powerless, inferior, embarrassed, defeated, helpless, tired, feeling lonely...
loneliness: speechless, guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, disgusted, lost, indifferent, homeless, bored, feeling stiff...
stiffness: vain, selfish, confident, respected, valued, appreciated, admired, assertive, justified, feeling proud...
pride: unsupportive, arrogant, selfish, bossy, glorious, playful, self-absorbed, trustful, relaxed, feeling serene...
serenity: calm, self-righteous, deep, faithful, serious, intense, cool, harsh, acrid, feeling aggressive.
Dominant love = I protect
In love, we all start as kings, but end up as closers. We all want to dominate, be admired, wed the best. However, in order to get there, we have to overrule our mirror, defend our dreams and question our freedom.
At one point, we realize our Time is almost up, and then, we become submissive. We convince ourselves it's more convenient to settle down to an agreeable social position, complete the deal “till death set as apart”. We negotiate for someone we feel entitled to possess and responsible to protect, for someone in need.
My time is up, too, I'm afraid. Here I stand tall, chin up, doing my best to work things out. I even drew up a contract to help us overcome our differences.
Please review this, before we decide to formalize our relationship.
“We, _____________as Author and _____________as Reader,
hereby agree on this day:______of this year:______ to the following terms.
1. We have the right to examine our heart and have moments in which to notify each other of any claim for the damages based on the previous life conditions.
2. Such notice must specify in details the particulars of the claim.
3. Failure to provide such notice within the requisite time period constitutes irrevocable acceptance.”
I am aware that some people may have a problem with the word “acceptance” and do not commit, others with the word “irrevocable” and replace it with “changeable”. I know you have doubts only about the first part, “have the right to examine”.
I am ready to invest all my understanding and loyalty in you, my Reader. Please, try to understand my position. How am I to protect you, if you don't let me know who you truly are?
Serena's Status: Only Me
Most people dream of spring's soft grace
and close their eyes in winter's madness.
They hope for tenderness to bear fruit,
Under some “icy” looks and silent hugs
and civil distance...
But I'm no dreamer!
And time has come
to leave the frigid harsh pursuit of perfect love,
and crown myself with some aphonic memories,
like once Apollo did with his love Daphne.
It is said that Apollo, the powerful Greek god of Music, Light and Truth, mocked the god of Love, Eros, diminishing his power.
Insulted, Eros made Apollo fall in love with a nymph, Daphne, the daughter of a river god, Peneus.
Full of lust, Apollo chased Daphne everywhere, but she constantly turned him down. Eventually, Apollo managed to catch her, but as he was taking her into his arms, the nymph called up for her father's help. In order to save her, Peneus transformed his daughter into a laurel tree.
Apollo was broken-hearted and vowed never to forget Daphne. In her honor, the god decided to wear a crown of laurel on his head. He also gave the laurel tree apparent immortality (it stays green and does not rot) and to this gift, the tree (Daphne) bowed its head in gratitude.
This plot conceals a deeper meaning. Loving someone that does not share your feelings is always a troubling experience.
1. even the hard to get and arrogant people (Apollo's type) are not immune to falling in love.
2. in the case of unrequited love, both the rejecter (Daphne) and the rejected (Apollo) experience unpleasant emotions such as: disappointment, anger, anxiety and guilt.
3. in real life, the person that rejects doesn't run away. Instead, he may send mixed messages, trying to be polite and friendly. Although he doesn't speak any rejecting words, he certainly does not invest any trust and can't commit. On other hand, the aspiring lover may become more and more frustrated each day.
4. sometimes, as in the case of Daphne, the rejecter may turn into a passive, speechless, family rooted "plant". This is a form of regression to childhood, which is a psychological defense mechanism triggered by fear. It is meant to prevent one from suffering. In some other cases, the rejecter may end up feeling guilty for hurting the would-be lover's feelings. Stricken by remorse, she may carelessly head for another intimate relationship, no matter how abusive, as a sort of self-induced punishment.
5. for the one who was rejected, the memory of the time he had been spurned might crown his mind forever (like the laurel on Apollo's head).
6. since no one enjoys being harassed, remember that true love means wishing the best for the other and doing everything to make him successful and happy. After all, Daphne symbolically “surrenders,” when Apollo is no longer an ardent lover and makes her a gift without any sexual intentions (he gave her “immortality”, after she had lost her attractive human form).
7. in conclusion, remember that unrequited love is just another learning life experience, an opportunity for change.
My Person of Interest Suits Himself
Serena Liebfried — listening to Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6, Pathétique
Movies teach us to be bold, even annoyingly persistent, because in the end: Good triumphs over Evil, Love wins over the Undecided and the Hero gets the Girl. Really? True love is not about winning and it certainly does not make wooing so difficult.
I must confess, like everyone else, I had my share of unrequited love. But unlike you, I played the rejecter and the rejected at the same time. I know it sounds impossible, and you don' believe me. For this reason, I've made my storyline as easier for you to follow as I could. Hope you enjoyed listening to fairy tales when you were a kid...
Once upon a time, when folk were not as wise as they are nowadays, there lived a plain young woman, in her twenties, working as a cultural event manager in Hermannstadt, a city so far away.
Now, every morning she would take a bus and get to the office, where a large cup of coffee would await for her on her little round desk.
So, one rainy day, when a funny crimson car was parked just in front of the entrance, making her angrily grind the teeth, she met there a young man, in his twenties, wearing a nice straw hat and a tan suit. She spotted him as soon as she opened the office door. He was annoyingly humming something and kept bending all over her desk, eager to take a closer look at some photos.
“Madame la Fleur”, she said sharply as she rushed for the cup, for fear of accidental spilling. But, then... he raised his eyebrows in surprise and gave her an innocent, childish smile, so ... she continued with a softer, feminine voice... “my cat, in the photos... likes to mess up my flowers and...” She tried to regroup behind the cup, tilting the head to the side and closing her lips in a smile.
For seconds they were the only ones on Earth ... this plain, curvy maiden and her handsome, dazzled man, with his thumbs tucked into the tops of his pockets... My God! He could have easily turned heads just by walking down the street like that. Surprisingly, he was not a Calvin Klein model, as she first thought; he was an anonymous jazz player from another country, coming to the Jazz Festival she organized.
[Now, be honest! Have you pictured Brad Pitt in your mind for a second? You are so wrong, please cast Jim Caviezel for this part, I like him better, he has that innocent sweetness.]
So he drove off to his kingdom, in that funny crimson car, but they did not live happily ever after.
[That is only the trailer, of course...]
Let's stop for a moment! I have important comments to make. I knew, from the very beginning, I just knew deep inside... that man was out of my reach. However, just like you, I was taught to dream big, work hard and fight for all I desire. I did... For the next months, at least... I did my very best to look as hot as possible, buy Steilamann elegant office clothes and Este Lauder long lasting make-up, lose all appetite, a lot of weight, gossip about him and search to find everything about his life... All that, because he made me feel special...
Now, do you remember the story of Daphne, I've just told you before? At that time, I was the would-be lover acting nice.
So... this daily theatrical performance started to drain me of all my power. Beneath our silent friendly hugs and polite looks, I was feeling a lot, I was deeply stirred, fantasizing a future together. I remember getting totally obsessed with my phone as I got the feeling he was trapped there and I had to set him free, as often as I could...