Filip David: Letter to my younger self

The second letter to his younger self is written by Filip David, a prominent Belgradian writer, essayist and dramaturgist. The letter was inspired by the "Truth Aboug Age" research.

We live in two separate worlds, separated by time and space. I see you and I know everything about you. You do not see me and you know little about me, although you often dream of me and imagine.

Indeed, although you are only growing up, you already have your own views on life, your plans are not yet quite clear and somewhat blurred, and you're not interested much that someone, whose life path approaches his natural end, is waiting for you in the future, ready to give advice, warn or remind you. I understand, I was like that at your age. Convinced that the whole world will open only for me. When I look at pictures from my youth, I see myself in your character, one is the soul and one the body, although distanced by many years, connected by invisible threads of time. I have your photos, and with all your will and desire, you can only try to imagine what I look like.

You are careless, surrounded by parental attention, comrades and friends, bringing you security and conviction that it'll always be so, unconscious that the days of carelessness, once, perhaps faster than you can imagine, change into days of temptation, earthquakes, simply a new, different order of things that is also part of life, when everything goes wrong, when it takes a lot of determination and courage. You have enough strength to overcome the trouble, you are opposed to injustice. Sometimes I dream of you too. Wanted or unwanted, you enter my thoughts, my memories, though you are far, far away in some other inaccessible time and some space that doesn't belong to this present. And yet, we are inseparable, one can't be without the other.

In a world where no secret can be traced to its' begining, as a gift that nature gives us at the end of the road, there remains some experience, a key that doesn't open up any locks, a value that becomes worthless if we keep it for ourselves. As in the calm surface of the water, we only see our own reflection in other people's eyes; the others - that is our life.

Beware of falsehood and deception, and of the dangerous vanity and hatred. Question yourself, but beware! As your heart is in my chest, my heart will always beat inside yours. As the sky is reflected in the sea, somewhere far away, you may see the sea in another sky. When we hurt the one who loves us, we hurt ourselves, hard.

One day, all the disappeared faces that meant something to us, will reappear, but it will be too late to correct anything, because those faces will come from the empire of shadows. You will stand before them like before yourself. Those are bitter days in the life of a man. Those ghosts are what's left of us. In the eyes of others, we look at ourselves, we take love from other people's lips. What we ourselves are is very little, poor and miserable, empty. From a far, as this all is now, it's like it happened in another life. What was once real, now is unreal, and what we couldn't even imagine, which only occurred to us in a dream, becames true and our only reality. The mind is not powerful enough to perceive the entire game of various influences that make up our lives, nor are our feelings a reliable interpreter of events. When we walk towards the resting place, don't we run into the most horrible temptations, at the time of the aroused hope, isn't judgment closer than ever? How many times have we seen the reflection of the sun in the water, and the sun got out between our fingers whenever we touched it. We should therefore equaly believe the misery, the happiness, the things we see or dream. Peace brings the knowledge that the infinity is equal to the passing moment in one breath.

Silence becomes the last limit of suffering, behind it there's nothingness; I remember everything, all old sounds reverberating to the noise of the sea with the multiplied echo, and that terrible sound intertwines and drowns in the soft voyage of the evening rolled out of palm trees, sky and shore.

I have nothing to tell you. In trying to advise you, I am constantly talking about myself; Does that mean I'm a bad teacher? Take care, watch out for ypur every move in this shameless world of shadows; a delightful yearning and then a deaf peace - this is the price paid by a careless traveler in search of meaning, in a wandering that has no end, between real sleep and unreal reality.

Although we are one, we are different. A long journey through life is between us. But somewhere, at one point that will turn into eternity, we will meet again, and forever be together.

The original publication can be found at:

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