Cherry Blossoms

I am obsessed. There are two ideas that have obsessed my time and energy these days. They are not new. I have had them for quite some time. But what brought them to blossom was my recent trip to the USA, my participation in a seminar on liberty and my ever growing conviction that the Americans are right – what you do is what you are.

This happened in the season of the cherry blossom. Washington D.C.’s prime time for love confessions. I knew about the cherry blossoms from Reni. She told me a story once about being on a date watching the cherry blossoms. I thought it was very romantic. The fact that I can’t remember that date’s name only means that love needs more than confessions to bring fruit. But I now understood how beautiful a setting the cherry blossoms are. And more than that I feel like something in the air during that trip infected me with enthusiasm and new energy to make things happen.

Since I came back I acted on ideas I had kept in me for some time. Enough time thinking whether or not they make sense, doubting if the efforts are worth it and enjoying the procrastination and insecurity that often haunt my projects. It was time to confess to my ideas that I love them and I am ready to have them grow.

Idea One: During my research at the national archive I came across a memoir written by a Bulgarian trader and business leader Hristo Yotsov, a guy nobody knows much about in Bulgaria let alone abroad. His book is a gem for it presents a classical liberal viewpoint generated in Bulgaria as opposed to imported through an American NGO post-1989. It is not the view of an economic theorist or philosopher but the view of a practical man whose philosophy is all the more impressive because it reflected his own experience. Accounts of the economic history of Bulgaria often tell us that the dominant culture in the country is anti-capitalist and anti-market, state-dependent and state-reliant; that liberalism was introduced from abroad and capitalism was imposed against the heart of the Bulgarian nation. But entering into the life and memoirs of Hristo Yotsov offers us an alternative point of view, opens up a debate by giving evidence that the pre-WWII Bulgarian society was not a homogenous anti-capitalist tribe but included powerful voices speaking economic freedom in a local language.  The book is fun and exposes not only state incompetence but the author’s own process of learning by doing. I think that publishing his memoirs and making them available to a wider audience is a good idea and I have started acting upon it.

Idea Two: Poetry and story telling are my passions for a long time. I listen to The Moth podcast, I attend poetry readings every time I have a chance but those do not happen very often. This year around May 24th (The Day of the Cyrillic Alphabet) I am planning a literary event in Varna, my hometown on the Black Sea. I will gather young as well as established writers in the nice atmosphere of a bar and have them share their ideas and emotions through language. I want to see people stand up and share their creativity; open up their hearts and offer their stories to others; to make us laugh or cry and thus remind us of the boundless glory of humanity.

D.C. cherries are in full blossom for about 14 days. What will happen to these ideas in reality is up to the market, I mean up to other people’s attached value to them, not just mine. I needed to share the feeling of blossoms that has obsessed me in the last two weeks. And before I return to my more mundane work on chapters 5 and 6, I have just one more Idea three:

A love confession, when it is awaited and welcome, makes you feel capable and encouraged to go ahead with your bravest ideas. Makes you want to give, to reach further, to extend yourself. It leads to things following. America, with its tempting promise that anything is possible, reminded me once again of how enabling it feels to be with friends, to be who you are and happy. I took her confession with me into the Eastern European spring where lake Pancharevo is still half-frozen. And started doing, I got going and soon things will follow. Not all trees blossom with the cherries and not all fruits are ripe with the strawberries but if you love something you will live up to it and see it complete, you will be what you do and you will be happy to be obsessed by it.

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