Journalism, Reviews, Interviews, Opinion, Travel, Culinary, Creative Fiction, Short Stories & Poetry

I am a Writer, Artist, Musician and Philosopher who believes the reason to be alive is to learn, experience, grow, influence and if you're lucky, inspire.

I've created this blog to introduce my own literature to the rest of the world in the hope that it will - and I will - in some way, make a difference.

There is a quote by a Greek philosopher, Epictetus, which I love: First Learn the Meaning of What You Say and then Speak. I believe in making life as meaningful as possible, and that is why everything you find here was created with meaning which I believe, in turn, gives it the power to inspire.

I hope you will enjoy reading my writing and be sure to check out my website at www.kyrou.com for samples of my artwork, photography and music.

From Inspiration to Creation...

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Friday, 10 March 2017

A lingering taste

I met you, you were taken. You were free, then you left. I met you again and you were taken again, and then you left again. We hardly knew each other, but when we met up after all those years, it was as if we were the closest of friends. Your energy was amazing. Our chemistry was undeniable. We communicated on so many levels. I had a tiny taste of you and I wanted more. But your mind was in a different place, with a different someone, even though I felt you lean towards me. You must have been suspended for an instant between here and there, me and and her, as I felt your attraction. I was drawn in. You were so right for me. It was all so wrong.

One minute you were here, then you were gone. I never even had a chance. I was years too late - or perhaps years too early? Was she the one for you? Or might I be? Should I stay in touch, just in case you are ever free again one day? Will you even remember me if you are? Have I made enough of an impact on you already, in the few hours we spent together on that one precious night? Why did it have to be so enjoyable? Why did you have to be so incredible, in every way? Why... just to tempt me for nothing?

You spoke about her to me. It only made me want you more. Your loyalty, love and dedication, your depth and maturity. But it was all for someone else. Why couldn't I be that lucky girl? Sharing those special moments with you? Why couldn't I have had my chance with you?

We chatted, we laughed, drank wine and shared food. Your fingers brushed past my knees as you leaned in and shared your intimate thoughts with me. I didn't want it to end, but I had to let go. After all, you were not mine. You may never be.

I thought I was done wanting people who I can never have. But it seems I am cursed. It has happened again. And this time it hurts even more. Because now I realise that time is limited. Life is too short. It is slipping away, as you slip away -  from me, from my world.

The connection we felt, the flame and passion that was briefly - but brightly - ignited, was that enough to bind us together in some way? Will you remember me when you are there, so far away? Will you ever think of me when you are alone, or when you are with her? Will you miss me in any way, or desire me deep inside?

Should I show you how I feel? Tell you what I want? Should I be bold and honest? Or will that just scare you and drive you away? Is it better to play it safe, stay in touch but stand behind a glass pane, dreaming about you while my own reflection stares back at me? Are you on the other side, ready to open that window? Would you let me in if I asked?

Suspended, between a dream and reality, I dangle dangerously between my feelings and common sense, finally hanging my emotions in the closet for another day. Until I decide what to do. The only thing I know is that I have to see you one more time. I need another moment with you - not to confirm what I feel - that I know - but to see if you feel it too. To give you a chance to feel me (figuratively speaking of course).

What is going to happen? Do we have a story together? Time will tell. But it's the waiting that is hard. The uncertainty of it all. And the knowledge that I have no control over any of it.

Why is life so unfair sometimes? Why do I need and want what I cannot have? Why are the best things  that ever happen to me so brief and far apart? Why did you walk into my life, to touch me in such a way, then walk away so easily? Why can't you just stay?

The melancholy engulfs me as I let the sweetness of your smile drift away. I close my eyes and try to forget the way I feel... but your face is etched in my memory. The taste of you lingers in my mind. I try to be happy for you, because you seem happy. But deep down I know you could be happier with me.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

2012 MY DIARY - MAR 20 - want

Wanting What You Haven’t Got...

Often we do not realize what we really want until we lose it. We don’t see what is important, or appreciate all that we have until it’s gone. As cliché as this may sound, even for those of us who are aware of what is significant in our lives, we still usually do not prioritize it or enjoy it until it is too late and we no longer have it. The same goes for people. Taking someone for granted is an all too common sin - even the most innocent of you have probably been guilty of this at least once in your lives. Only when the person walks out on you, or when other circumstances keep you apart, or even worse, when death is the culprit, does one truly comprehend just how much that person meant to them. It’s as though we need to be actually missing something in our lives in order to feel as though we miss it.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. But what if the distance is so great and irrevocable that you never see that person again? How will your heart feel then? Will it still beat for that long-lost soul, no matter what? It is common knowledge that people often want what they don’t have. But can you keep wanting and pining after that which you don’t have, even when you know for certain that you will never have it again? Perhaps simply knowing that you will never have that special something or someone is why you find it so special in the first place. Some of the most powerful stories of all time were based on the premise of unrequited love, which has been said to be the most powerful of all simply because of its condemned fate. But while it is true that tragedies have a more poignant effect on their audiences, is it not also true that all of us ultimately want a happy ending?

You may have to be an optimist to believe that all things will work out at the end of the day, but the desire for things to work out is innate in us all (even if on an unconscious level for some). Paradoxically, although we are prone to yearn for happiness, by continuously wanting and searching for things we cannot have, in order to make us happy, we are doomed to fail. Strangely enough, it is our inevitable failure which breeds desire. It seems we search more actively and hopefully for things we want when we are faced with the damned destiny that we cannot have them; only when we cannot find a way to achieve something or be with someone, do we want it, or them, more badly. It’s as if our likelihood of success in being happy is inversely proportional to our aspiration of it. At the end of the day, we are cursed to living in a dystopic Catch-22 world, where we only notice the real value of things and people – and as a result want them more - when they are permanently absent in our lives.

Buddhists believe that a cup must be empty before it can be filled… they were not talking about kitchen containers. The cup is a metaphor for the mind, and perhaps, in this case, for our lives, in general. You need to empty your life in order to be able to realize what is missing and what it needs to be filled with. Only by removing things from it, can you see what and how much you actually need. Like water, which we cannot live without, we only realize just how much we need it when we stop consuming it. Only when we don’t have anything to drink, do we attach the correct value to the precious fluid which keeps us alive.

I recently became very thirsty… for love, life and purpose. I had not drunk in a while. So I took a huge glass and filled it with water (a symbol of everything that keeps me alive). I drank it up in one go and felt instantly refreshed. Unfortunately, that was the only water left. Soon enough I was thirsty again, and I wished I had rationed the water earlier. I wished that I had taken small sips of it, swirled the water in my mouth, feeling the texture of it against my tongue, the coolness of it on my lips, before swallowing the pure, soothing substance down my parched throat. Now that there is no water left, all I can think about is that I am dying of thirst and that I would give anything just for another drop of water.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The Price of Love by Nathalie Kyrou

(published in Gold International Magazine - Feb Issue)
According the wisest of men, love is free. Philosophers, educationalists, spiritual and religious people of all cultures and backgrounds will agree: the most universal and powerful thing on earth is love, and deep down all of us desire to love and be loved, and the good news is that love is free to spread around. So why is it that so many people nowadays believe they need to pay for it?
While it may be true that you can’t really buy happiness or love, the reality is that money gives you a chance to rent the idea of potential love. In our constantly growing population, people are paradoxically starting to feel more isolated and lonely. They have developed the need to connect online in a society which has become over-dominated by technology. It follows that they will use the internet to do what traditionally they did in person, which is to go out and meet someone new, go on an actual date and maybe even find love.
No one leaves things to chance anymore. Today, we control our own fate with access to the web. The Internet has changed the way we get our news, watch television, read books and shop - why wouldn’t it also change the way we date? We still may not be able to buy love, but we can buy our ticket into the lottery of love. The cost is minimal, compared to the chance of finding that special someone (the jackpot). So why deny ourselves that little help – everyone else is doing it - even if it costs a little something. It is so much easier and arguably safer to connect to the web and click to find yourself a date or at least have fun chatting online to someone, it is no surprise then that entrepreneurs have tapped into this evolving trend in psychology and social behavior as an easy way to enrich themselves from other people's innate and human need and right to find love. Online dating sites have become the answer.
Take match.com for example, Europe’s largest dating network, offering thousands of men and women the chance to find love. The scenario is usually the same with most sites: at first you are asked to enter some basic contact info about yourself, followed by an option to add more personal info. This first-stage registration - which is usually free - allows you to browse photos of thousands of friendly singles who are looking for love (a clever way to hook you and tease you) and by answering questions about yourself and what you are looking for, you can narrow down your search according to what you are hoping to find in a partner. Create a valid and interesting dating profile which will give others an idea of not just how you look but also your personality and interests and you may increase your chance of getting noticed. But when you do find someone you are interested in there is a catch: you must subscribe in order to connect with them… and this is where money comes in (to the website owner’s pockets).
On match.com, without a subscription all you can do is “favourite” someone or “wink” at another online. In order to view a profile, send or reply to messages and emails, you need to subscribe first. You can choose the Special Offer for 6 months at €12,90 per month, 3 months at €24,90 per month (which the small print says you will be invoiced in one payment for), or a Monthly Subscription at €34,90 per month. This may not seem like a lot of money at first (much less than you would probably spent on a date or a night out looking to meet someone) but it does add up, especially if it becomes a lifestyle habit. Not only is love not free, it is not guaranteed either. Of course if you are wealthy then money is not going to be the issue. You will probably not mind paying a small enough fee to get yourself a date, since you probably have a lot of cash to blow. You may see it as an investment of sorts. Which is why dating sites targeted to the rich (or those wishing to meet them) work on a slightly differently basis. Mixing business with pleasure may be considered a taboo, but putting business before pleasure is just smart.
The sites out there right now for wealthy singles, or singles who wish to date wealthy singles, understand this – so much so, that most of them verify member’s income levels in order to assure the people joining that they are visiting a professional and safe place where you won’t waste your time beating about the bush. Designed for those with money in mind, these dating services take a different marketing approach. They are blatantly reserved mainly for those looking to enjoy a wealthy lifestyle or want to find someone with a certain income. As long as you are clear about who you are (how much you make) and what (who / how much) you want, you may actually stand a chance of making it worth your while. It may sound shallow, but like all other materialism marketed to our emotions and needs, it is also serious business.
MillionaireMatch.com is rated one of the top sites catering for wealthy singles and it is one of the original dating services for affluent individuals. It offers members the chance to post a lifetime personal ad and respond to messages for free, which is one of the reasons perhaps for its popularity. The DatingSitesReviews.com community has voted Millionaire Match top pick in the "Wealthy" category for 4 years in a row, and it won top choice from the 18 Wealthy Dating Websites that No1Reviews.com reviewed recently. Millionaire Match Homepage’s states: "This is the first, most effective and largest site in the world to connect with, date, marry successful, beautiful people. Our members include CEOs, pro athletes, doctors, lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, beauty queens, fitness models, and Hollywood celebrities, just to name a few.” A strong statement indeed, but it is supported by two of the leading financial publications, Forbes.com and The Wall Street Journal. Both chimed in their opinion of Millionaire Match's premier status and leadership in the wealthy dating category.
Romance, sex and lifelong partnerships are such fertile grounds for money-making that dating website services are multiplying constantly. Take Match.com’s spin-off service, MatchAffinity, which promises you the chance to find someone on your wavelength for a lasting relationship «with real affinity». Compared to its sister company, is MatchAffinity for the more serious (desperate?) individual who wants a genuine connection with a real match? Apparently their matchmaking system seeks to recognise members’ core beliefs and characteristics through a questionnaire / personality test in order to find like-minded members with whom they could be destined for a strong, lasting relationship. You even get an affinity score (another tactic in which to hook people like with online games ?) Yes, you may be able to send a first message for free, but if you want to carry on the conversation, surprise surprise… you need to subscribe and pay in order to enjoy the full benefits. Yet another way to make you gamble away your money.
If money is no issue (or if money is the only issue), then Wealthymen.com is an extremely well-known dating service for people who focus on the financial fruit of love. It shares the same slick fashionable look of other similar sites, with good quality photos of good looking people. The home page states: “Ladies, meet successful men with verified photos, professions and incomes, and ask men who are gentlemen with a great career and make over $85k/year and want to meet beautiful and interesting women to sign up for free as well”. Options are presented to sign up or if you want to test the waters first, you can perform a search. The parameters offered at this stage are minimal with options for sex, age, and location. As a visitor (non-registered user), you can see the first page of members' listings after performing a search (venturing beyond the first page will land you at the registration page). If you have an interest in your search prospects and want to initiate contact, you will have to register, which means to choose between two Premium memberships types. ‘Silver’ allows you to respond to messages while ‘Gold’ lets you use e-mail to initiate contact or respond to interesting members. The site has few extraneous features; there are no 'flirts', chat, or Instant Messenger features. Basically, it is a site that offers a member database and communication system (e-mail), which makes it useful for those who know what they want from a portal like this, and are not embarrassed to ask for it.
In fact, in the world of the wealthy - or those intent on joining it - there is no room for being shy. No matter what you want, there is no shame in being transparent about it. Whatever you are into, you are bound to find a service which promises to help you find it. Sugardaddie.com, for example, which has been featured on television programs such as the U.K’s ‘Richard & Judy Show’ and the U.S’s ‘Dr. Phil’, is a place where you can join and find millionaires and models. Not too different from SeekingArrangement.com, which sees itself as an 'arrangement' website, a growing sub-category in wealthy dating. Their welcome page serves as a quasi-advertisement, geared at getting you to try the site with some attention grabbers. "Join free" is the most prominent message on the page. The site is unabashed in stating loud and clear that it is “The Elite Sugar Daddy Dating Site for Those Seeking Mutually Beneficial Relationships” So, if you’re a “goal seeking sugar baby” looking for a “modern sugar daddy” then look no further. Yes, it may be more than a little kitsch, but it can work if you understand the lingo. Check out the bottom of the page where you will find definitions for the common terms: sugar daddy, sugar mommy and sugar baby. If you’re still not sure what they are going on about, click on the button “What’s an arrangement”, where you can read a whole spiel about how it’s human nature for successful people to want younger and more attractive partners and that it’s also natural for younger men and women to seek out more experienced, sophisticated, wealthy and generous partners, specifically those who have the means of providing them with comforts and luxuries. It even goes as far as to remind you that anthropologists say these tendencies are ingrained in our genes and that it is only human instinct to be attracted to beauty, wealth and power!
Typically, as with most wealthy dating sites, you can register as a Sugar Dad or Sugar Mom and use the site as a Standard (free) member or upgrade to a Premium membership. Benefits of the upgrade are primarily the ability to contact all members through e-mail, use the advanced search section and see who has viewed your profile. A search, like on other similar services, will turn up a cross-section of beautifully photographed members and this particular site even has a feature for identifying verified millionaires. It's good in theory, but does it actual produce any real results? Overall, the site is interesting but somewhat confusing, and you will end up not sure what is really being offered, and to whom (perhaps another successful business snare). These specialists in 'arrangements' may offer good value for money, according to reviewers online, but these are probably retrospective comments from some members lucky enough to have gotten a date. In the big business of online dating, although there may be some successful stories about people clicking their way into love (and maybe even money), daters in general are not the ones who are getting the real reward out of this at the end of the day.
Dating services may have challenges to face, such as overcoming the widespread notion that people who use escort services and personal ads are undesirable in some way, but these sites are trading on the powerful desire of singles to connect… something that works to make them a lot of money. How successful have online dating sites been when it comes to revenues? You might be surprised. They generate more income than online pornography. In fact, online dating sites rank as the third most popular internet revenue-making machine, behind only digital music and video games. Online dating revenues are also growing steadfast; in 2007, dating sites earned about $1.03 billion in revenues, and in 2012 that figure is expected to climb to $1.65 billion. The price of love keeps going up, and the slow-down in consumer spending hasn't cramped this industry at all - if anything, it seems to have made people more eager to settle down.