February 4, 2013
i was trying. for the last 18 minutes.
to describe a feeling i had a few moments ago. it was lovely. unexpected. and lived too briefly.
it reminded me of what it was to see.hear.smell.taste.feel someone’s heart.
but because everything i wrote- i deleted.
i thought i would just steal words for this one.
dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)
trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)
honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding)
never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for good likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)
in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neating each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds
-before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were.
December 23, 2012
yesterday. while driving home from rochester. i had a notable conversation with kristen.
we were bitching about the states.
it’s really easy to do.
the way our foreign policy is far too often self-absorbed intentions wrapped in benevolent language.
how we deem it a right for everyone to have luxuries.
our excess. waste. and carelessness about anything not comforting our lives at any given moment.
i mean. it’s relatively simple to pick any aspect of our culture and proceed to tear it apart.
and then we had another idea.
what did we like about this place?
what does our culture do well?
what’s something that we actually appreciate.
this turn in conversation was remarkable.
i have proudly traveled to nearly every continent. im covering asia next year and will only have antartica after that.
kristen. at the moment. is visiting from malawi where she serves as a peace corps volunteer. and i actually met her while i was in france.
our scope of the world is not limited to our home.
and yet. we still come back.
i could have taken irving and moved to france as i planned, at 19, to do this last year. and i even told my interviewer of wednesday that the biggest thing i learned in france was how much i appreciated my home. how american i learned i actually am
and kristen. she could move her life full-time to her small village of mzuzu. or take her extraordinary teaching skills elsewhere in the world. she could touch any community she decided to settle in.
but. at this moment at least. we’re not going to do any of these things.
because there is something about this place. that we like.
the most concrete thing we landed on in the car yesterday.
was our appreciation for….freedom.
when i said it. i realized how. cliched. it. sounded.
and i didn’t even mean to say the one adjective every other “patriotic” individual declares. “america the free! protect our freedom” yadayada.
but freedom does describe what i really like about this place.
our ability to be whatever we want to be.
there are social restraints. of course. but all of these limitations are expanding faster than we could ever hope.
we as a culture. even without our government telling us to. have created a firm moral foundation where kindness justice and acceptance should be our be all.
and when we look at a situation. even if we have to look at it over and over again. these are the adjectives that we’re searching for.
we have so many family structures. and we accept them all as doable.
we have kinky groups. polyamorous groups. homosexual groups. every type of religious group.
you can switch your profession any.time.you.want.
you can wear little to no clothing on a daily basis. or dress like a man when you’re a woman. a woman when you’re a man.
we can oppose the government.
we can love whatever. and whomever. we want.
we can hate whatever we want and write blasphemous things about our animosity.
we can control our sexuality. our bodies. tattoo every surface of ourselves. dance on stage and strip.
we can define our gender.
and we can decide who we want our “i” to be.
and while there are inevitable restrictions in place that try to stifle any of these declarations of individualism. we actively fight to stretch the boundaries.
because this is what our culture is.
when i have traveled, so many people have told me that we in the states don’t have a culture.
we’re just this compilation of crazy. thrown into a large geographical area.
but i’ve never believed this.
because we do have one.
we declare the importances of individualism. and are constantly opening new ways for each person to express themselves. and the best part is how different every person chooses to do so.
i in no way am excusing the problems we have. sweeping them under a rug and celebrating our awesomeness.
but i decided a very long time ago. that i believe enough in what we are. to work through our hangups. to struggle against the negative adjectives of our culture.
in the car yesterday, we ended our trip in the midst of this conversation.
i dropped kristen off at her parents house. and she proceeded into her last week visiting before she goes back to malawi.
and. selfishly. i’m content knowing that she will be coming back home if not next year. then soon.
because. like me. she sees this crazy-filled geographical area as her home.
regardless of where we end up. she will be working to make this place better. strengthen our openness.
right along side me.
November 25, 2012
And if I try to taste and understand this delicate flavor that contains the secret of the world, it is again myself that I find at the heart of the universe. Myself, that is to say this intense emotion which frees me from my surroundings. Soon, my attention will be filled again with other things and with the world of men. But let me cut out this moment from the cloth of time as other men leave a flower in the pages of a book…Today is a resting place, and my heart goes out to meet itself.
camus. journal I.
November 20, 2012
i’m addicted to words.
i love them.
and i don’t think i could ever get enough.
usually my favorite are those from the past.
the timelessness of all that’s portrayed through old words entices me.
and it opens up my mind to the amazing thought that people. so distant from myself.
could understand my feelings.
this individual. whom i might never truly know.
has yearned. cried. rejoiced. sympathized.
how i have.
and in understanding this phenomenon, the connection shared by the human race resonates.
through words. written. spoken. heard. we are able to reach out and understand that although we live in an everlasting state of loneliness we are doing so with all those who have lived before, with, and after us.
and in some sense, i believe this is what we live for.
those moments when we can truly see. someone else’s heart.
and understand in that moment. that we will never be fully alone.
yesterday. while i was working.
i had a woman ask me for a cookie.
in between saying that she wanted a cookie. and asking me which kind i suggested.
she told me that she had been robbed the day before.
i gave her one of the cool coffee cups in case its uniqueness helped a bit.
and told her my last 3 weeks had been terrible.
she told me hers too.
her mom had died.
her partner in business had had an emergency open heart surgery
and she forgot to reinstate her renters insurance.
i said i didn’t feel connected to a lot of the people i once have.
and i didn’t understand how to deal with loss.
and in that moment.
the counter that separated us felt a lot smaller.
we discussed the ups and downs of the world.
and while i knew her life would find light again.
through our conversation, i already knew that mine had.
our interaction reminded me how easy it is to connect with someone else.
i don’t know this woman’s name.
and i don’t think i ever will.
but from the pure simplicity and sincerity behind our interaction, i felt connected to the world.
no. i do not believe in our intrinsic meaning and worth.
but i do believe that it is through other people that we are able to exist anyway.
it is through their words and existence.
and our inevitable connection.
“‘The Birth of Feelings.’” Feelings are not as old as time, it began.
“Just as there was a first instant when someone rubbed two sticks together to make a spark, there was a first time joy was felt, and a first time for sadness. For a while, new feelings were invented all the time. Desire was born early, as was regret. When stubbornness was felt for the first time, it started a chain reaction, creating the feeling of resentment on the one hand, and alienation and loneliness on the other. It might have been a certain counterclockwise movement of the hips that marked the birth of ecstasy; a bolt of lighting that caused the first feeling of awe. Or maybe it was the body of a girl named Alma. Contrary to logic, the feeling of surprise wasn’t born immediately. It only came after people had enough time to get used to things as they were. And when enough time had passed, and someone felt the first feeling of surprise, someone, somewhere else, felt the first pang of nostalgia.
It’s also true that sometimes people felt things and, because there was no word for them, they went unmentioned. The oldest emotion in the world may be that of being moved; but to describe it–just to name it–must have been like trying to catch something invisible
(Then again, the oldest feeling in the world might simply have been confusion.)
Having begun to feel, people’s desire to feel grew. They wanted to feel more, feel deeper, despite how much it sometimes hurt. People became addicted to feeling. They struggled to uncover new emotions. It’s possible that this is how art was born. New kinds of joy were forged, along with new kinds of sadness: The eternal disappointment of life as it is; the relief of unexpected reprieve; the fear of dying.
Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist. There are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written, or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom, or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges, and absorbs the impact.”
November 17, 2012
i have a confession to make.
really. truly. by the bye–exceptionally.
i think this is something people don’t realize when at first interacting with me.
in fact, i have been dumped twice because the individuals did not “realize how sensitive i was”.
i have no ill feelings toward these fellows.
nor the circumstances that forced us to part.
but the situations do make me chuckle.
at the time. of course. i did not laugh.
i probably cried.
and said “whhhhhy don’t liiiiiike my sensitiveness??”
and although this sounds a bit pathetic:
ill take it.
because even though at those moments i was felt terribly exposed and caught off guard–
i realized then that i had no idea that my sensitivity was some super secret.
something that jumped out at people when they least expected it.
to me, it was just a fact.
i cry at emotion-filled parts in books and movies.
and i get overly furious at injustice and things that make the world a worse place
i believe in exuberance. explicit intensity.
i believe in living. and doing it as completely as we can.
which happens to be with all we have.
so to me, sensitivity is not equated with weakness.
it is instead, living to the point of tears.
while interacting with life to the greatest degree that we can.
and while i often use apathy as a shield.
this isn’t an attribute i would ever admire.
in fact, the more callous i am, the more cynical and emotionless.
the more vulnerable i actually feel.
i close off my sensitivity because i don’t know how to exactly show what i am to the world at that moment.
when life throws everything it has. and i don’t know how to deal with it.
that’s when i also don’t know how to be sensitive.
i don’t know how to interact with life.
and instead– i just don’t.
although this is often times interpreted as such:
this is not and never will be: strength.
for it is cowardly to hide our feelings.
i know an individual that because he did not know how to exist fully in my presence,
he just didn’t.
and as i think back at the subtleties that allowed his personality to come through,
i realize that i loved those moments best.
and while those times were far and few between. i miss them.
just as i often times miss the person a very good friend of mine will always see in me.
when i was with her. i was everything i am.
i felt. with every inch of my soul.
and on those days i dedicate to apathy, i realize that she would be ashamed of this stranger i sometimes become.
for when together, we spent our moments intertwining each and every thought that we had,
and in doing so, i became fully alive.
it is by living in this way that we are actually able to connect with one another–
when we show how and who we are.
when we let our hearts bleed. and our selves resonate.
while many people do not always see this quality exhibited in my day to day self.
it is because i don’t always show it. even though i should.
i will never believe that sensitivity is to blame for the world’s problems.
i will never see it as craven
i reserve those feelings for apathy.
vivez au point des larmes.
November 15, 2012
new moments are always my favorite.
and to some extent, i’m a newness addict.
i love the morning. and its refreshing feeling.
i love planning for future events.
a trip to indonesia next summer? taking a class or 6 next semester? becoming a savvy political guru that everyone wants to employ?
learning this and that. and actually enjoying the this and that i’ve chosen to learn.
i love new crushes. and new jobs. and new shoes.
new words. new hobbies. new friends.
and although one day i might despise any number of these things, i love their initial existence.
i love the possibilities that newness brings. and the hope that inevitably follows.
it’s that feeling of. complete. untainted. potential. that keeps me in a forever fondness with newness.
and while i oftentimes mistrust this affinity–worrying instead about the naivety behind this excitement–the exhilaration that newness brings into my life. and the undeniable hope that results.
is in a very real way.
it’s my connection. my moment swimming with a friend while a plague ravishes my algerian hometown. it’s my life preserver. and it’s my lovely reminder of what i truly want.am.canbe.
the raw purity that newness brings into my days is invigorating.
and regardless of its fleeting nature, even though i very much know how soon newness fades. i still believe in the hope it creates.
to an extent, this drastic characteristic makes me appreciate it that much more
for in some way, it reminds me of my own capricious nature.
the trials of changing. and the wonder that always comes as the next new feeling occurs.
although i do know the extent of ephemeral happiness, i don’t believe i will ever be able to let newness go.
even as i learn the benefits of longevity. and devotion.
i will always feel that special something. at the very thought of the new.
June 10, 2012
i have split my life into two blogs.
i have explained the details on my other:
April 13, 2012
watch this. my comments will follow.
April 6, 2012
i read a quotation by a pastor that i really appreciated.
he said, “The universe seems wondrous to me, with or without God. It has powerful lines and uncompromising ways. Patience and time sit like sages on the planets, strong and impersonal. There is a stark beauty to all of this.”
and while i dont usually spend my time skimming the words of religious men, this statement stuck out for me.
“with or without god”
what religious feen would ever say “without god” in an explanation for the world?
i believe: a realistic one.
so often, religious individuals get so caught up in their own beliefs that they forget the air upon which the foundation to their thoughts was created.
they forget how much hope theyre putting into their thoughts.
they forget that their beliefs are not. fact.
by their very nature, beliefs contain the possibility of being contrary to reality.
and this preacher. by saying “with or without god” suggested that he understood his belief’s transient nature.
but, as he stated, even if his beliefs are not the Truth, the universe is still magnificent.
and it is.
i do not necessarily believe in a God.
i dont claim to know “His” existence or lack of existence, because i dont care.
for me, the universe is and never cant be.
its wonderful. mysterious. and beautiful.
its also terrifying. neutral. and treacherous.
and it is all of these things regardless of its origin.
this preacher allowed himself to be vulnerable by saying that his foundation could be incorrect. and in doing so, he was actually more right than anyone who doesnt see the possibility of falsehood in their own beliefs.
and while this was perhaps not his intention, his openness to his own error made me believe more heavily in what he was saying.
yes. the universe is wondrous. with or without god. this is undeniable.
and im content just believing in that.