Kickin' down the cobblestone

January 31, 2013

I'm a bit flabbergasted about the response to my last post. I have always, and probably always will, contemplated my role in Bosnian society. I don't think anyone's can be strictly or narrowly defined. But there is one role that I am particularly fond of. Simon and Garfunkel called it 'feelin' groovy', the Beach Boys called it 'good vibrations', Seal calls it 'Crazy.'

Anyone who has an intimate relationship with Bosnia (and again, Hercegovina please accept my apologies, you are never, ever's just so much easier to write Bosnia), knows that it can be an exceptionally fucked up place.  It's easy and, unfortunately, in our psyche to be skeptical and cynical. Way too easy. But like I've said, I have always seen Bosnia in a much different light. I have no romantic illusions of the place. I know gdje smrdi i gdje mirise and am well aware of the mountains of problems we face. We do, however, always have a choice. Forgive the cliche, but I choose the glass half full option. Well, usually.

I don't think forward progress is possible if we don't set ourselves free from our past. I am not suggesting forgetfulness but rather mindfulness. When I'm mindful, I'm aware. When I'm aware I find it easier to let go of things. We need a big, collective letting go. The more I think about, this whole blog thing of mine may be exactly about that.

This blog was started for several reasons. One of them was to vent not my frustrations but my very real and emotional relationship with the people and places of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a very selfish way I wanted, and still want, this to be just for me. It's my therapy. A way of trying to remember the people and events that have set the course for my adult life in ways I am sure I am not even aware of yet. I don't want to write for an audience. I am thrilled and honored to share my thoughts and feelings with any of those who care to join me whilst I feast on my personalized roller coaster ride. My good friend Juancho recently reminded me to keep it real. Not to hold back. I was, quite honestly, amazed that he picked up on that.  'Twas good advice. I shall heed. Just let me finish this thought...

I try to honor my role as pseudo-ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina by keeping it real. To the outside world my feelin groovy about Bosnia talk is genuine. Simply put, BiH can be and is that for many people who experience it. I do try to herd my positivity within the realm of reality, though. I hope I succeed in that endeavor. Besides, I am quite sure that most people have been more than inundated with negative images and I have no need or desire to reinforce that. Bosnia and Herzegovina generally tends to leave people with those good vibrations the Beach Boys were always on about. Why on earth we are so often unable to do that amongst each other is a big part of the mystery for me. Which brings me to the inside. And reminds of that Seal song I mentioned.

Internally is a much more complex issue. We are tough customers. We meaning Bosnians. I have taken the liberty to include myself in our collective. See, I did it again. Perhaps that's why I hold back. I cannot boast to being thick-skinned. Sometimes I feel like public opinion is more like a pack of hyenas just waiting to tear the one who dares to speak limb from limb. We can be hyper critical of everything under the sun, often without being overly objective or objective at all. Nothing seems to soothe the desire for the unachievable perfection that we all know will never come. It's almost like we want the place to fall apart so we have something to criticize or complain about. Not only are we narcissists but masochists to match.

I often ask myself what purpose does the lunacy serve. Why, when we have all the tools to be a little central Balkan paradise - and occasionally do resemble one, do we always choose the rocky road? We all know the magic is there. People feel it. When will we set it free?





The Bosnia Guy