Monday, April 30, 2007

still travelling, it seems

human plans are so fragile. why do we even bother. it is nice to think of things lined up like dominoes... decisions make themselves and you can't do anything about it. you can take a piece out now and then and avoid certain outcomes, but really... do you understand how that works? liberating. why do we need to control so much, after all? i think i don't have strong feelings either way... control or anarchy, plans or seat of the pants. which is why both seem an imposition at times. and life doesn't really fit in to polarized perceptions, anyway.

finally tomorrow arrives. and at the same time, more dominoes topple after that... anxious to begin that game, but not sitting in suspended animation until it occurs.

yeah, i still daydream about the same things. i might still be stuck in the same indecision, it is a new colour this year, though. so paralyzed by inability, so distracted by desire. the same old problem. how can i concentrate long enough to become what i want to, when i am still filled with this drive to something huger. but it will only ever be a drive, unless i succeed at concentration. like in everything, i guess. i am a bad loser.

Friday, April 20, 2007

the loneliness

"In the conflicts between man and man, between group and group, between nation and nation, the loneliness of the seeker for community is sometimes unendurable. The radical tension between good and evil, as man sees it and feels it, does not have the last word about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste. Always he must know that the contradictions of life are not final or ultimate; he must distinguish between failure and a many-sided awareness so that he will not mistake conformity for harmony, uniformity for synthesis. He will know that for all men to be alike is the death of life in man, and yet perceive harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance." Howard Thurman

Thursday, April 19, 2007

things are maybe looking up

Monday, April 16, 2007


The ICU waiting room is a small tense box with uncomfortable couches... waiting room couches... the first item that struck me was the tiny tissues box. I have seen lots of tissue boxes in my life... but one would think they would need a bigger one in here. But the environment is so taut, maybe the bigger tissue box should be put outside, for the people who leave to be able to express their grief in a less tense place... the busy hallways, the bathroom. The drugs they are giving her paralyze her... she can't communicate, open her eyes... we think she can hear, but who knows? It is hard. We slept to have emotional energy. All we go is sit and wait, the only energy you need is emotional. To sit straight. To talk. To look people in the eyes demands enormous strength. My dad and my uncle slept in this waiting room. Grampa, Auntie Mary, my cousin Pip and my sister Katie slept at 1350 Sycamore Drive... it is strange. It is Grannie and Grampa's house, without Grannie and Grampa. Feeding yourself in a house where you were only ever fed by others. Sleeping on a couch... it was fine, but it was a big reminder of the unnatural situation. As if we need any more.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It is going to be a strange day today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Sad Day

Kurt Vonnegut. 1922-2007

The first Vonnegut book I read was Breakfast of Champions. The quick humour, witty drawings and feeling-saturated ending captured my young affection. He wrote shocking, daring, hilarious, outrageously false stories about the truest feelings I knew. He would go on for a page about the genitals and reproductive history of his characters, include illustrations of his interpretation of assholes:

among other things. interspersed with the silliness were poignant images and TRUTH that hit you like a sledgehammer, because you weren't expecting it, you were expecting to laugh. The perception of the artist who put piece of day-glo orange reflecting tape on a bright green canvas haunts me still: "We are all unwavering bands of light." Simple, really.

I loved every Vonnegut book I read. His sharp, cutting sarcasm was always so infatuated with foolish hope, when so many people have taken the opposite approach. He was a misanthropic humanist. He was a doomsday prophet comedian.

I read Galapagos second, I believe. It appealed to me because it was set in Guayaquil. Of course, it diverged a bit from reality when the passengers on the cruise ship turned out to be the only humans on the planet with reproductive capacities. They settled on the Galapagos islands and evolved into seals, since all the miseries of humankind were caused by "the only true villain in my story: the oversized human brain."

Slaughterhouse 5 changed me just as much as it changed anyone who ever read it.

Timequake was another book I read over and over. I wanted to contain within myself the wisdom of the man who could write that, the humour, the comprehension.

All I can say is, you must read Kurt Vonnegut if you respect yourself at all as a human being. Read his articles about war, you can find them everywhere online. Read his short stories, read his interviews, they are always funny. Read his books. Just, read him.

Life here feels a little lonelier without him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

caveat lector

It is nice to think that most of the papers on my floor could be safely thrown out, and it wouldn't matter, as they no longer belong to projects which need to be worked on, but rather to courses I have now written final exams for. There is a nice little limbo now, and the final deadlines will have come and gone by the 17th. There are a few things I have postponed mentally until after exams are done to think about... in fact, most thoughts have been pushed into future time slots, just for convenience. House search, travel plans, personal priorities, cleaning stuff up. I can't even spend energy thinking about things I need to think about, that would violate emergency procedures.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What have you learned today? Never get involved in a land war in Asia. What have you unlearned? Buckets-full.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Way

In the spirit of taking jokes too far: "If you know the words, sing 'em, if you don't: shut up, it'll sound crap."

1 down, 4 to go.