Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Sunday, August 7, 2011
My name is X. They did not call me this for nothing. My years here have been normal, humdrum, unremarkable, the stuff of personal blogs and status updates that make your eyes bleed, or freeze, choose your metaphor, we're all adults here. And yet there is this: the thing that makes us the same. Inaction.
Flowers, now, for fellow soldiers. There is no dignity in thought. Certain triggers spur us unlike anything else, and each motivation is as individual as the marks on our skin. Positivity sounds fake to me, at least at this point, and despondency accomplishes nothing but that heart-wrenching muddle of forgotten plans and unspoken hurts.
And so now there is nothing left but the blinding, all-consuming, all-destroying storm of anger. Come in, old friend, we have centuries to talk about. It has been a while.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Perhaps this is all I am and that's okay. I spent the entire massage session yesterday wide awake, thinking about my life, and somewhere in the middle of it grew tired, spontaneously, like my life was not something of monumental importance.
That's one clue.
The truth is you can't give anything to the world that you're not generating inside yourself. And so perhaps our real work is finding in ourselves that which will make us happy. And then we have the slightest chance.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Yes, I really do mean powers. When I was still quite happy and self-confident, I could often command both the weather and the convenient arrival of taxi cabs to wherever I happened to be standing. Soon after certain realities dawned, all I had was the flimsy ability to zap people with static at the office. And I don't even attribute that to my charming, guileless mess of a person but to my long, unmanaged but manageable hair.
It reflected much.
But yesterday, something snapped. The rains, which only reminded me too well of tragedies that were not really tragedies but spirit-toughening exercises, grew too strong for comfort yesterday. Going home in the cab, in paths that were once alien and hostile during those days of extreme grief, made me hate the fear that would well up inside me when I'd see the raging waters of the hometown river. There now, close to 18.
The thing is, I am a person of faith. Faith in something, that's for sure, faith in the collective desire of people to assert their sovereignty over all forces in the known universe in the face of growing terror. In the end, it is the misplaced arrogance of being the only thinking entities on this planet. But what the hell, I am human. I like being alive.
So when I think back at it now, here's what I recall. I pass by the river, too close for safety, as four wide lanes are now a single passable road, overpowered by the river spilling over onto the concrete. People with umbrellas are actually watching the water rise. Watching for the water level to reach 18 meters, which tells them all hell is about to break loose. Only hell in the form of water, and we all know what that means.
It is 6PM, the water had just hit 17 meters. In the AM radios they say the other dams have started giving out.
When I reach home everything is up at shelves my father made for precisely this purpose. My mother is slicing a hand across her chest, indicating that's how far it went up before, and so we should try and salvage what we could. Ironically, the double deck, my tiny personal space, would probably be the safest place to put important stuff. I try to make light of things. Surely a storm that strong would not happen again in the next ten, twenty years.
Time passes by slowly and quickly, we don't know anymore. We were waiting for we don't know what, really. We analyzed how things felt like the first time, and what should be our signal to evacuate. The rains get stronger. The sound is louder because my father had removed some patches of ceiling for a re-roofing project. There is water inside the house but because of leaks. I wish I could move us to a better-feeling place.
Forced to a standstill, my brother invents good vibes by ordering crispy pata. They would not deliver. I volunteer to get the food with him. We go out to fetch the food and try to ease myself by thinking hey the roads aren't flooded, there's nothing to worry about. But then I remember what flash floods mean and grow somber throughout the trip to the restaurant.
People were singing inside. Some ballad, I don't remember anymore. I happily shell out money the equivalent of three modest meals for a family of five. We return and eat and my brother and I have a laugh about this being very much like our last supper. In any case, we ravaged the poor things.
By 9PM the water was a little past 17.5m. I did a rough calculation and thought, at the rate the water was climbing, it would be at 18m by midnight. And I was growing sleepy. I could not be too sleepy for my impending demise. I struggle to stay awake. The rain grows stronger.
And then there it was, an invitation to pray.
Remember I was no longer doing the things that felt so natural to me a decade ago. I still had the books but more to remind myself that I could go back to it whenever I wanted to. But that they were vestiges of the past, too, and that none of these beliefs had been sturdy enough to sustain me. But I did, mostly because I believed my mother had a secret passcode to the heart of the universe whenever it was crunch time.
And so there, at what could only be at this point a little less than half a metre towards the 18 meter mark, the rain stopped.
Not completely, no, it was still raining intermittently this morning. But it was enough to buy us some reassurance that while we were all going to die some day, it was not going to be this night.
I slept on the sofa just in case.
In the morning, I thought about a lot of things but of one thing in particular. That we do belittle the power we have over this universe. And it is certainly appalling. I finished reading the book I read yesterday and made plans for the future. Stupid plans, really, but goals are at the core of getting anywhere in this world.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
King said something about size before that never really left my mind. Listening to Greene's Hidden Realities (and perhaps the inappropriate amount of time I spend watching and re-watching Fringe) sometimes brings tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why. There's something majestic about the laws of the universe when seen in the scope of human experience--and by that I don't mean the empirical.
For instance, I believe that pain and joy both summon energy, and therefore mass, not from nowhere, not really, but somewhere, and it doesn't matter where, only that they exist when we say they do. And by "say," I don't mean "say" inasmuch as I mean to "think up," or "give attention to," or "summon from the cosmos."
What of implications? I have them all somewhere inside me, but if forced, I might say that love does breathe life into everything, and that love is space, the space within space, the great animator. And that there is good in pain and in fear, because you know you are creator, you are not here simply to take up precious space. You can feel, you can inspire alternative realities, you can choose to be where you want to be.
It does make me cringe, sometimes. Emotions have no place in the sciences, but I'm the kind of girl who doesn't believe in walls, and separation and division and in not using the principles of one to apply to another.
I can't help writing about myself. I made a deal before I slept last night, to take away someone's pain in exchange for my life. I don't know what it means that I'm alive today, that we're both alive. The truth is you can say both there is no God and that there is a merciful God. And both apply, really and truly, and this makes being here all the more fascinating.
Today I will do secular, domestic things, but that doesn't mean my head's not in the clouds.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I just got off of a long, debilitating train ride, the kind that sucks people in. In this tiny train, life was slow, but it never stood still, and the piped-in music from the other cars were jarring and overly loquacious, a hundred different angry people speaking at the same time. In this tiny train, you ever really only have one thought. No one loves you, even if they say they do.
They make you wear shades in there, so that everything you can see outside radiates with a blood-red sheen, so that everything's depressing and unfair. The air is dry inside, and you feel eternally dirty, and there are books scattered all over the place, but they are books without endings, page sixty-fours through page one-eightys.
But this post is really about the trip back. If the slow train brought you to a wrong place, the sad truth is you can't just get off and then get on the fast one. Things happen to you, and the things that happen to you don't really go away. The shades for instance. Trade that in too fast for a new one and your eyes will bleed. Understand your eyes, they haven't been seeing the light for some time.
But that's okay. The point is you are making that trip. The point is there are hundreds of you. The point is there are thousands now, who are already there.
So relax. You'll get there. We can run. Let me join you.