Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Keeping it Real

Nothing is obsolete, everything serves a purpose. Though obscured by this and/or that, every action is functional, is fueled by motivation, desires, and ration, sometimes hidden even from ourselves. But, if you stand still and think about it, everything becomes simple.


As much as I like to keep it real, some times it's hard to say the simplest things. To quote The Carpenters, "Sometimes the words get in the way." I believe this is why all the things I write can be linked or we're triggered by something physical. Nothing like a bellyache or a sunset to stop you dead in your tracks. It's so easy to become wrapped up in your subjective interpretation of what is happening in the world, but it is undeniable that "something" is happening. Something that can so rarely be manipulated and obscured by words / emotions. When the sun sets, it sets. Done.

It's when you find yourself saying, "This reminds me of..." or rather, relating a naturally occurring event to other areas of your life, or rather, inserting the meaningful into the obvious, is when connections are made and everything becomes ... who's to say? Projections, by definition, tell more about the projectionist than the object, nevertheless an object / an action / a phenomenon is needed. I am infinitely more interested in the Why of things, but I respect the Whats because they remind me that there are somethings I cannot escape and assist in articulation even if I can't at this given point in time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Experiment, Part 2

Part 2

So what of the past? My past was lacking in mundane way, missing father figure, extremely shy with a malnourished creative streak. Solace found in books where somehow I got it in my head that all the great ideas have already been explored. Comfort in things that had a predictable cause and effect. Scared of change and loved routines. As you can imagine, this made for a weird childhood though nothing that could predict that the future has become now and I am still here feeling it out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ouvre les Yeux

When you expect nothing, anything can happen.

Friday, December 18, 2009

An Experiment, Part 1

I think there is something wrong with me. I type as fast as I think. It's almost a one to one relationship, and when it comes to the Dream Lab (a whole other story...), I can literally type faster than I can think. It feels like the words literally go from my un / sub / conscious mind to the screen without going through the normal filters cultivated by years of studying psychology ("Wait, what does that mean? Why did that happen? Are you sure that's what happened?) so much so that I surprise myself with what I write as I'm writing. It's as if I'm reading someone else's words as they appear letter by letter before my eyes.

Usually this happens on a computer, but since I have purchased my first typing machine (German DDR-era), the things I chose to type have not followed the same flow. I actually like the way I am forced to think more carefully about what I am going to type courtesy of (1) no correction tape and (2) being a cheap ass and only having one roll of tape (I plan to re-roll it when it comes to the end and reuse it...). But I owed it to myself and the typing machine to test the limits the connection I felt from mind to body to metal to paper. One of the ways I did this was to conduct an experiment: I sat down and tried to type for as long as I could non-stop.

As I didn't set any restrictions and told myself that these words were never going to see the light of day, what spilled out was extremely personal and all pride aside... about love. To quote Sade, "Love is stronger than pride." And as much as I would like to say I wrote about something deep, this is what wanted to come out at this time. I was in no position to prevent what has been yearning to be recorded.

As I've read over the pages and pages of type and typos and misaligned margins since then, with different eyes, I am surprised at my own candor. This was an experiment in being completely open, letting my fingers literally pound out thoughts that I had not have the courage to even say out loud. And now I'm taking it to the next level. Because it's outside of me now, but born of me and I have nothing to hide. Nevertheless, I reserve the right to expose myself in pieces... a little here, a little there, eventually it will be here in its entirety... because I've asked a lot of myself already and that is no small personal feat. Baby steps.

Part 1*

They say that you can only, rather, you should, or rather they say nothing in the way of anything that can be interpreted as an opinion. I believe they say write what you know. Writing what you know is subject to interpretation. Telling the truth, even to yourself, is difficult. No one knows the real facts except the writer. And that is debatable. There is a burden of truth and a burden of representation. So what is it that you think you know? One thing I can say definitively is that I do not know. I can only recall the past.


* Part 1 has appeared, slightly modified, in Berlin Everyday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

Start time: 6am, December 30th, 2006

The sun is rising right now. Through the haze the sun is getting brighter as the night falls, thick, on the the other side. I want to go for a walk. I feel like smoking - not so much for the nicotine - more for the motion, the ritual, for the excuse to breathe deeply while doing something destructive and intimate - but I know I won't. And I don't. Smoke or walk. Not today. Is it fog or haze (man-made)? It takes on the color of deep blue, grey to light grey, blurring the distinct lines of the buildings on the tops of the mountains. Like distal concerns I can see their outline, I know they're there, looming but not intimidating, when I get there, to the buildings at the top, I'll be ready.

But here, on the 17th floor, I sit looking forward, a shift of the eyes down and I see details I did not see in the dark before the rising sun. Tree tops are clearly defined, I can see each leaf that makes up the canopy that blocks my view of the ground beneath, but I know what looks like as well. Save for a few small boats ferrying people, things, back and forth, the movement on the water is minimal. While there is plenty left to be explored and I want to explore it, I know I sit on the 17th floor, flights above, height that gives me clarity about what I walk through, experience every day, today and tomorrow.

My eyes shift up and proximal concerns, the ground, occupies only the lower portion of my view. I look up and as the light from the sun overwhelms my eyes, overpowering the lights from distant buildings as the main source of illumination, the buildings become less distinct, the lines more blurred, but what hasn't changed is that they sit atop a mountain. Ever present. Though created by hand those buildings sit atop a mountain. I realize that it is not the buildings themselves that are looming and not intimidating, they were just a focal point - just like Western eyes to find a focal point and regard it as the source of...

but it is the mountains that hold them up, that allow them the opportunity to be so "highly regarded", the silent foundation that strikes me with awe. I want to appreciate those mountains, feel the dirt beneath my feet - the pressure of the earth pushing me back as I push on it - propelling me up. The buildings atop the mountains have lost their glow, swallowed by the haze. The mountains, themselves, have softened into shades of brown and grey, the backdrop to another day. Strange, yet comforting, the things I see so clearly in the dark. In the light. And for the brief moment one gives way to the other.

End Time: 7:15am, December 30th, 2006

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When you meet new people you get to present yourself as you wish. They take your word for it. It’s like telling a story over and over. Eventually you trim the fat and perfect the punchline. Re-creating yourself and they think you are normal.

Sometimes you find that you are more yourself when you are not your usual self.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mandatory Business as Usual

Very rarely do I tear pages in my notebook, but tonight I feel that it’s worth it. Friday night - business as usual - but inside we are all riding bicycles in private storms, trying to find shelter amidst flashes of lights, loud claps, and sharp liquid. Chasing the sunlight. Some ride harder, some stand still, as wet drops stain light greys to black.

We fall into old habits, comfort zones. To things we think come natural in times of instability. We hold on to hope believed to be planted firmly deep beneath the ground as winds whip the hair into our already stinging eyes we don’t dare to close.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


In Paris I met passion.
Unbridled. Regardless of supposed tos.
Beyond arms and eyes,
Passion that has had time to explore
the deep
and shallow end,
and is still here to recall.
And I am in awe,
inspired by the wildness
slightly obscured by layers and follicles.
I only caught but a glimpse of passion
and I am a better person because of that.

I said,
“Save your heart because you are special.
Not everyone deserves something so special,”
knowing full well that this will be
taken into deep consideration
before being gently and with all good intentions,
set aside.
You didn’t think I saw
but your eyes
betrayed it all
as you lifted your arm
to wave good-bye,
to be continued.

My only hope is that I held up
the mirror for you
as steady as you held it for me,
as it was just us.
Compassion and passion’s words
carrying us deeper into the Parisian night.
Beyond the stars.
Into the universe
where all provisions are distributed.


An End Note:

COMPASSION: (n) sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others

PASSION: (n) a strong and barely controllable emotion
a) a state or outburst of such emotion
b) intense sexual love
c) an intense desire or enthusiasm for something
d) a thing causing enthusiasm