Tuesday, January 19, 2010

beyond mountains there are mountains

This Tuesday I began classes again.
Typically when I am in school my thoughts become noticeably more academic and I don't feel as creative as I do when my time is my own. This semester I am taking 17 hours at U of I- JOUR 250, JOUR 411, JOUR 420, JOUR 425, and PS 499. I am also taking Macroeconomics online through Parkland College. I don't know how this will work out at all.
I have my own room now and I've been able to manifest my interests in the space around me. It's kind of fun. Beirut, Grateful Dead, Ra Ra Riot, the 2006 Lollapalooza lineup, Mark Rothko, the Stockholm landscape, Dylan, Do Make Say Think, Kerouac, and Steely Dan all have a place there now. So does the birthday card my best friend made me, with some of the most beautiful sentiments in it I've ever read. It's getting kind of beat up now because I've put it up and taken it down from several walls, starting in high school. I wrote down my favorite quotes here. I hope I never lose the paper, but I couldn't deal with losing what's on it. I think I'm a logomaniac.
this was for my 18th birthday

"Though they rushed back and forth across the country on the slightest pretext, gathering kicks along the way, their real journey was inward." -Holmes
biophilia- the innate tendency to focus upon life and lifelike forms and in some cases to affiliate with them emotionally
"If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondack, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever."
"Without mystery life shrinks. The completely known is a numbing void to all active minds." E.O. Wilson

"Like you I belong to yesterday- the the bays where day is anchored to wait for its hour. Like me, you belong to today, the progression of that hour when what is unborn begins to throb. We are cultivators of the unsayable, weavers of singulars, migrant workers in search of floating gardens as yet unknown, as yet unharvested." -Lucha Corpi
"All I wanted to do was sneak out into the night and disappear somewhere, and go out and find out what everybody was doing all over the country." -Kerouac
"How did such a strange quality of human nature come about? No one knows for sure, but evolutionary genetics tells us that if even just one person in a thousand survived because of a genetic predisposition to explore the unknown and perserve in daunting circumstances, then over many generations natural selection would have installed the predisposition in the whole human race to wonder and take the dare." -E. O. Wilson
I have made a few things for people that are written over like that with music quotes and things said by people like Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, and Jack Kerouac. It takes a long time to do, but once I start I become kind of obsessed with it and I work on it for about a week. If I still have those I might put them in here because I don't want to lose those, either. Definitely a logomaniac.

Anyway, the passage that I was reading that incited me to start writing down all these things is from Barnette v. West Virginia.

"Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order."

This reminded me of a speech I wrote about the importance of separation of church and state. I don't have time to write the whole argument out now, but I will later.
Also, I realized a mistake I wrote in the Bon Iver entry. 'Winter' in French is actually 'hiver,' not 'iver.' Like, bee-hiver. I don't know why he changed it. Maybe to avoid the bee-hiver comparison.

I am currently reading the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. I saw Tracy Kidder speak here last year because I was writing a paper on him, but I didn't get around to starting his novel until about a week ago. It's a stunning account of the work of Dr. Paul Farmer in improving healthcare and building a clinic in Haiti. I recommend looking it up online, because I can't write a summary that does it justice. It was really bizarre that I was actually reading the book when the earthquake in Haiti occurred. Haiti was already the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and now they have been confronted with devastation beyond comprehension.
Jim Kim, Ophelia Dahl, Dr. Paul Farmer

The organization that Dr. Paul Farmer started more than 20 years ago, Partners in Health, is now at the forefront of treating hundreds of thousands of patients. If you are looking for a charity to donate to Haiti through, it seems that they are more prepared and understanding of what needs to be done than anyone else. I am really glad I am reading this- I would recommend it to everyone. Something else that seemed kind of strange is the fact that one of the main people in the book, the co-founder and current finance manager of Partners in Health, is the daughter of one of my favorite authors. The thank you emails for donations are signed by Ophelia Dahl.

I wish I had time to keep writing, but I have a ton more to read for tomorrow. Rather, I wish that I could automatically transcribe my thoughts. This was on the birthday card too, it's my favorite.

"My mind is exploding to say something about every image and every memory...I have an irrational lust to set down everything I know." -Kerouac

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