Sunday, November 28, 2010

this must be the place




last week i was home for the thanksgiving holiday. the break was mainly nice, but some of the memories that resurfaced when i went home were too much. there is something about going back within the four walls where you first felt those things that makes them come back with an intensity that doesn't seem to have faded with the passing of time. the people who used to have power over you get it back, despite all the growing you've done. less of you belongs to you and more of you is in their hands, again. all the walls that were put up and reinforced with experience and pain and 'learning the hard way' fall apart, and it's as if you never left. as if all your work in dimming the sting of those experiences was for nothing.

i felt that this week, as i do every time that i go back home. no matter how much i want to remember that those things do not define me anymore, i can not deny how much i still care. i wrote about this in one of the first posts i wrote last year, but i want to write it again.

She was gone during those years when adultish longings hatch. Those of us who remain captive in our small teenage worlds tend to transfer our longings (loneliness, desire, beauty, friendship, sex) onto our hometowns, hanging them from the trees we grew up near
and the houses of the first people on whom we had crushes, like Christmas ornaments, where they remain, powerful and sad, whenever we go back home.

i still can't believe that someone could write something that perfect. anyway, i'm back at school now, and i'm happy. it still overwhelms me going back into the mindset that i used to be in that seems to overtake me when i go back (not that i'm that much older or have that much more perspective now). i love the people and experiences more than i can articulate, but i can't think about them too long. i still like the feeling of watching the horizon fade behind me and thinking that with each passing mile i am farther from some things that still torment me. maybe that's running from something, or maybe it's looking for something i still haven't found.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

sea change








and to 'scape stormy days, i choose an everlasting night.
john donne


one of my two of my favorite things to describe: the sky at different parts of the day and year. those were some photos from the inky frozen granite chicago night. i hope you are all having a fantastic first few days of the holiday season, and last few days of late fall before winter.

In keeping with the tone of the nightsky, my friend Mike took this in Colorado. I love it so much and I guess he took it by accident. This really makes me want to explore the West. Also I like that people are beginning to know the kind of stuff I like and sending it to me. Let's keep that going.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

sun child

you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ray bradbury“It had the gravid air of a place where things might happen”

All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. Slaughterhouse-Five
blood transfusion snowy white television whirlwind lithium formaldehyde vice
i had to walk down this really thick red velvet staircase and suddenly i'm in the middle of this secret party in paris. people are speaking french really quickly to me and there's champagne everywhere, and the music is coming from a gramophone in the corner. they'll find out i'm living a double life.

“Touching him was always so important to me. It was something I lived for. Little, nothing touches. My fingers against his shoulder. The outsides of our thighs touching as we squeezed together on the bus. I couldn’t explain it, but I needed it. Sometimes I imagined stitching all of our little touches together. How many hundreds of thousands of fingers brushing against each other does it take to make love?” Safran


Tell them everything is worth it and that the richness of life is only ever enhanced by its inevitable, brief flashes of sadness and loss. I Wrote this for You

all photos are from ppapertissue



Friday, November 19, 2010

new moon




Someone mentioned to me that the title of the last post was really dark. 'The order of skull and bones' was the former name of a secret society at Yale. I like the title, and secret societies.

I just finished The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway. It's about young expatriate writers in France and Spain. They all hung out and drank all day at little cafes. It kind of reminded me of The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson.

I am writing a story about insomnia for my magazine writing class. I asked two of my friends with insomnia to keep a journal the nights that they can't sleep to explain what was keeping them up. I was just reading them; and I couldn't get over how beautiful a lot of what they wrote was. It's kind of liberating to put the thoughts in your head on paper. I loved reading them, and the chance to be in someone else's mind. They are so full of conflicted energy and striking poignancy.

I'm at home again now for Thanksgiving. It's getting really cold out; it gets dark early and the sky looks like zinc. The cold silvery light of the moon falls on the tree in the front yard and it looks like bone. It will soon be time to start building character shoveling snow and turning on the car 10 minutes early so the engine will have time to warm up.



I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love's not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I'll ever have. And you cannot regard your own life with objective curiosity all the time.

The unabridged journal of Sylvia Plath




Sunday, November 14, 2010

the order of skull & bones






I realized that the stuff I've posted lately has been boring. I'm sorry. That's so lame. Here's a picture of a research symposium, a little anecdote about my job search, blah blah blah. Here's some things that are actually interesting.


i used to write the coolest stories when i was a little kid. and i would be so obsessed with them that i would tell to anyone who was interested in hearing. almost all of them involved characters from candyland or little books i was reading coming alive and taking me to a magical land. the one i remember most was about a brontosaurus that found a magical flower with a ruby inside. when the brontosaurus found the flower, it opened up and gave him the ruby. he took it away with him into the jungle.

also, i'm pretty sure that i have an existential mystery to be solved. if anyone is feeling up to this i would really appreciate it.


my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder.

Friday, November 12, 2010

how we are hungry











I have been so so exhausted lately. Not the bad, drained kind of exhausted where you don't want to do anything; the kind where the days are so full and ridiculous that when you get back the last thing you can do is reflect on everything that happened. Here are some of my pictures from the past few weeks. The squiggly light ones are from the candles that were set up all over the Quad for Diwali. There are some from Halloween and a research symposium I worked at. There are also some pictures of me with one of my idols, Dave Eggers. Here are some things I've heard lately that I like. I am feeling so tired and inarticulate I don't have any good kind of explanation or context, so I'm just going to list them.


"Kathy defied most stereotypes, as do most human beings."

Dave Eggers

"I guess the whole problem is that journalists are constantly accused of fiction and fiction writers are accused of truth. Can't you just write?"

My anthropology/journalism professor

"Don't rush into what you are going to do the second you get out of college because you think you have to. You need to stop and address the other parts of the world and the other parts of yourself."

Dave Eggers