October 13, 2012
I feel as though I’ve been abandoning most everything lately. While I came here to lament that I have not written nearly as much as I wished to, yet I find myself thinking on the reality that I have let most of my life fall by the wayside in the past few months.
This year has dealt an incredible amount of blows. I feel bitter in a way I never have, like the juices have been sucked from me and I’m all dry pith- no fun for anyone.
But I work, work, work, all the while…I commit myself to trivialities in the hope they might amount to something. What does it mean to work? Who really cares about my ‘voice.’ I barely care.
It is hard to pinpoint this exact inertia into something I can tangibly hold and say ‘stop it, really, just stop it now.’ There is nothing explicitly wrong to counteract with positivity. I’m stuck under a wave of not so good stuff, like a piece of glass, scraped along the bottom of the ocean too many times. I’m smooth- I pose no threat.
You young, sharp shards point your interests elsewhere- this curios offers nothing but a murky tinted view and besides has lost all properties of magnification. Best toss it with the others on the shelf you have collected, of drift wood and shells which grow pale but can come bright again when you run them under the tap.
There is nothing else to say, really, but be kind to one another, as always
September 25, 2012
I have a tendency to make grandiose statements- my therapist years back called it ‘black and white’ thinking. For example, I went to start this post by proclaiming that ‘I am often surrounded by fear.’ This is, irrevocably, a bold faced lie. I am no more surrounded by fear than I am afflicted by famine or genocide. Why is my initial compulsion to lie myself into the negative?
This trait emerges in other choice phrases or sentences. I would once upon a time often lay claims to feelings of things happening ‘always’ or ‘never,’ as in ‘you never say you love me,’ or why are you always like this, I would never do this to you.’
Over the years (of said therapy), I have softened this compulsion somewhat, but it still lingers. I feel perhaps it has something to do with injecting yourself in to a grand narrative- it lends pathos to my dramas, my emotions are terminal, fixed, hopeless- I have cast myself as the hopeless heroine in my own life drama.
Yet lately, truth be told, I have cast myself more and more often into an ocean of calm- I am not, as my lie would suggest, surrounded by fear, but am in fact less fearful than I have been in years. I am anxious at times, sure, confused, most definitely, but we must be careful when we interpret such things as ‘fear.’ I do not believe we do fear the unknown- we are in awe of it, we respect it, we anticipate it- we very often will it to be. This word ‘fear’ is abused too often, aggrandising the lesser and lessening the truly frightening. This is how we can stand war, and hunger, and rape and torture- we are taught that not owning our own home is ‘appalling,’ ‘horrific,’ near destitution. When we skipped lunch we are ‘starving,’ when hot we’re ‘dying of thirst.’ This exaggeration allows us to feel elevated, important…special. But it denies us the very essence of our own experience, which is to be thankful, aware, knowing. Our conflated language masks what truly matters.
This is why I try never to use always, and I never say never. Try it and see what it does for you- I bet you’ll be as completely surprised as I was by how often you say it. What might surprise you even more, is how much softer the reactions of those around you will be to your statements, if you soften it from the definitive, to a more balanced ‘sometimes,’ ‘often’ etc…
Language is the barrier between us and everything else.
The ghosts are women who cannot fart or piss or shit.
DO NOT MAKE A SOUND
- silence has been a traumatic theme in my life.
From a magazine- Of all the organs the uterus putrefies last
I am in Berlin, the city of my dreams. You go to each, expecting something more, and each time emerge with palms up, begging, is this it? Is this it?
Time to plant roots and build our own cities- the great cosmopolitan centres are dead- they are useless now- the internet has drained them of vitality.
I’d plant my seeds in richer soil where more sun hits and I have room to grow.
Perhaps this is the ancient lament of one growing older. I have no time for bars filled with empty promises or cheap deals made with cheap labour any more. I want my soul to feel good, and I hope this is the mantra of a new generation, not of luxury tourists, but those who seek to plant a seed and watch it grow, to become the centre of their own universe.
‘The point for me is to transform a detached intellectual scepticism into a harmonious way of living.’
- Aldous Huxley, Point Counter Point, via Reborn, Susan Sontag
Tourists take photos of me as though I am the essence of Berlin. I know I look the part, but I don’t dip in.
Tonight I felt real joy, understanding my aloneness is beautiful, and that I should fight for it, rather than always running (what is it, some maternal instinct?)
I practically ran home to write. Everyone asks me for dire tions and I feel authentic. This is happening at the right time.
I’ve hidden in the bathroom to write so I’m not disturbed. I despise this open living lifestyle you have to endure when travelling. I have erected a firmament around my bunk from towels. It will suffice for now.
I saw a woman with a shaved head and she was so beautiful to me. Stripped back, like a piece of rolled beach wood, made hard like rock. I wish I didn’t cling to these remnants of hair I have- still that little too afraid to go all the way, to be ‘un-pretty.’ I wish for it so intensely though. It is the essence of freedom, to be ugly.
So these are my travel notes from today. My journey moves on…
June 21, 2012
My blanket was covered in the tiny rolled balls of cotton created by too much friction against the body. It felt like bumpy skin sometimes- a nice big, flaccid hug. Like almost everything I owned, it wasn’t chosen by me- it was chosen by my mother. Other well-meaning relatives also gifted me with much of the random detritus that littered my existence. Most of it was made by other children, probably my age, in Asia. This thought disturbed me greatly, and often. Yet still I surrounded myself with it. I was used to it now, and it provided a sort of comfort- the more things I had, the less dead air there was to fill in the old brain. I didn’t want to speak to anyone, so I focused on objects. They couldn’t scold or howl or mock or point fingers. I was safe with my slave made writing sets and teddy bears and hair-pins and plump tattered cushions and toy chest.
June 9, 2012
Frida Kahlo could only be as brave, as progressive, as bold as she was, because of the unrepentant aggressivity of the size and nature of her love, particularly for Diego, but also for the past of herself, her people and their custom, and the natural habitat she grew up within.
It is only when we give in to the overwhelming tides of the ever rocking sea of emotion we fight within ourselves- accept ourselves as human, that we can project with force and almost vengefulness, the beauty of this (the all important truth).
I admire Frida for her courage to be weak. To acknowledge weakness is the truest strength.
I am wary of those who extol stoicism, braveness and reckless abandonment of the realm of emotions for the sake of advancement, without acknowledging the indispensable knowledge that comes from frailty, from forgiveness and compassion, but most often, from loving beyond one’s means.
I am often asked why, when it most often brings me a great deal of pain, do I continue to love those around me as furiously as I do. It is a question which baffles me, mostly, because the answer is so obvious. I have had more great love, as sad as it sometimes is, more adventures, more experience of myself and a deeper connection to the desires, heartbreak, fears and truths of those I’ve loved around me, than most will ever have in one lifetime. Anguish is a facet of that great love, but I know (now), I can no longer experience the exalted heights of true joy without the crater of frailty that rocks beneath it.
Frida, you inspire me to be so much more than I am…I am no revolutionary. I look at you and your wok- I am humbled by the generosity of your spirit. I endeavour to live freer, more truthfully, and with less self pity.
I try to be les ashamed of my love, and to give it more willingly, no matter how often this fails, or falls flat or is humiliating. To be true to myself, I must not care whether it is accepted, only whether it is the truth for myself.
For you, a love letter.
May 29, 2012
Touching me, touching you…
What is often found to be most difficult, is learning how to prioritise. To separate big from small. The saying goes ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ but often I wonder if not the reverse were true- don’t sweat the BIG stuff- its the little things which matter. In fact, how can I just not to stress at all please?
Learning how to take time while still feeling as though you’re contributing is something I’ve found quite hard to achieve in this life. I feel lazy and bored when I’m not producing something which will help not only myself but also those around me.
Here is the best tip I can quote:
“The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.”
Here is the wonderful video this quote is from: