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six impossible things before breakfast

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Friday, October 22nd, 2004
1:12 am
One searches for the out, but it's never there. I keep building up what ifs, constructing elaborate fantasies that are based on nothing, in the end - it always circles back to the intractable nature of truth and reality. I made a mistake. I failed. What if, what if, I could, I might have...I did not. I did not.

But oh oh oh. If I could just go back...

And so on and so on, always in those circles, broad strokes narrowing, circles tightening down into a whorl, into the hard unpenetrable knot in the center that refuses to be broken into. I need to move on; I cannot. I can only move inwards and closer, not out. There are barriers out there as well: I'm blocked either way. I need divine intervention, anything that might lift this burden of responsibility off my hands. I want nihilism; the freedom of inability. Of a course set by others. But it's never that way; I have to face up to my own charges.

I failed. That's all. That's all but that's everything. I failed.


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Wednesday, August 18th, 2004
12:08 pm
Having not been around for all these months, coming back home and realizing that it is not quite home anymore is a shock. I want to hold on to everything, but my hands can grasp only so much; what do I keep, what do I let go? I have ties to other people now, but I'll never see those people again. It's because I'll never see them again that I want to keep those ties, perhaps. And meanwhile people here have glided forward into new lives - a serene process, a subtle one, so I can't tell when the break began or when things tipped irreversably. I don't fit in this place, in this country anymore.

I don't really fit over there, too. But that's how it's supposed to be, and so it's easier to handle. Here is all familiarity and the hard-won accumulation of a settled world: not so settled now, not really my world. I gave that up when I left, perhaps. I don't really want it back, that's the problem - I've come back and I need to live here but I don't want to anymore.

If I were to sit down and talk about my experiences, it would have to happen in darkness, and in tears. Long stretches of silence. Funny, because my memories are essentially bright, something in me that I treasure; but the talking, now, that's something that doesn't come easy. Or maybe it's just that gloom is better suited for these kinds of recollections. I would need patience from my listener, and willingness to be still as I talk. I would need a projector for my brain, so I can flick across the wall all the small bits and pieces of my life there, the shots that never made it onto film or paper, all those precious, throwaway moments that comprised my whole self.

I cannot let myself forget. It's already started happening, though. The erosion of time.

It is impossible to say just what I mean!

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Thursday, June 24th, 2004
9:09 pm
What's annoying: when I write up long posts that mean something to me - about things I hold dear, about things that move me, about all those hidden bits I am terrified to show - and get comments that miss the point entirely. Quibbles over a throw-away sentence; joking replies, when I am at the furthest end of mirth. These are things that matter most to me; why should that be so hard to understand?

It makes me feel furious and ashamed and, worst of all, worthless. I know I'm not. But that's how it goes. URGH.

Have been mulling over what one of my writing teachers told me once, when I used the term "unreliable narrator": it's a demeaning phrase, he said gravely; people tell their stories the best they can, and however they can. Respect them for that. I don't know why, but it comforts me to have such faith in people, in their stories. (Stories are truth. They are the most beautiful, truthful things in the world, even if they're made entirely of lies. This is what I believe.) It also makes me unable to heckle high school angst and melodrama as I used to do...but I think I prefer it this way.

On a completely random note: Kubozuka Yousuke, why?? ;___;

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
10:43 pm
One day I will sever myself from this place. That's the only way, I think, I'll be able to escape. From loneliness; from myself; from the irritating cobweb feeling of old history and old intractable patterns cloying up my eyes.

I stunt myself with my pettiness. That needs to stop.

There has to be a way out.
(thinking of the key, each confirms a prison)

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Friday, May 28th, 2004
3:49 pm
It's funny - by which I mean strange and unsettling - to witness the effects of one's influence. A few years ago I introduced jrock to a friend; he grew so passionately in love with it and with visual kei that he dropped out of college, moved to Toukyou, and began seriously pursuing a career as a rock musician. We joked how it was all my fault that his life had taken a 180degree turn (for the better, we both hoped, but that is yet to be seen I suppose), but then later I began mulling over the trajectory of his life and was shaken to think that I had a direct hand in shaping it. Years from now, when he's a famous jrocker dazzling the world, he'll look back on his life and think, perhaps, "She started me on all this."

Of course, I had no direct influence on how he chose to shape his life; I didn't tell him to go to Japan, I don't plan on writing big hits for him. But still, it's a glimpse of what it means to have power over someone (love?), and a taste of what it feels like to be an essential human being in this world. We are all essential, but rarely do we feel it. I felt it. I don't think I'll ever take it for granted again.

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2004
6:56 pm
Sometimes I wish I could just strike out on my own, recklessly search out adventure and misfortune. Isn't that how you really live life? By rushing straight into turbulence? So I think, sometimes. At the very least I would be alone, surrounded by the comfort of strangers, in my own very peculiar kind of peace. Letting events settle into me - "yuuyake ga mune ni haitta toki," as Sakamoto Maaya sings it. Mune ni hairu...tte iu koto.

I can only really be myself when I am by myself. Maybe that's why I want to go off alone; every word I speak will be a reflection of trueness. Everything that I do will be unadulterated; all the paths I choose will be exactly the ones I want to take. It's just selfishness, I suppose, but I want to be able to indulge myself in my romantic fantasies of being an intrepid explorer, a disturber of the universe, someone who is being watched out of the corner of people's eyes.....

Or it's just that I'm tired of being around these people. Anti-socialness is exquisite.

Tomorrow is easy, but today is uncharted,
desolate, reluctant as any landscape
to yield what are laws of perspective

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Friday, January 30th, 2004
2:11 am - feeling snarky... >:3
George W. Bush meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"

"Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Bush frowns. "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?"

The Queen takes a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligence riddle."

The Queen pushes a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?"

Tony Blair walks into the room. "Yes, my Queen?"

The Queen smiles. "Answer me this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, "That would be me."

"Yes! Very good," says the Queen.

Back at the White House, Bush asks to speak with vice president Dick Cheney. "Dick, answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," says the vice president. "Let me get back to you on that one."

Dick Cheney goes to his advisors and asks every one, but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men's room and recognizes Colin Powell's shoes in the next stall. Dick shouts, "Colin! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"

Colin Powell yells back, "That's easy. It's me!"

Dick Cheney smiles. "Thanks!"

Cheney goes back to the Oval Office and to speak with Bush. "Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Colin Powell."

Bush gets up, stomps over to Dick Cheney, and angrily yells into his face, "No, you idiot! It's Tony Blair!"

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Monday, January 19th, 2004
1:37 am
Driving home, late in the afternoon, bars of light and dark crossed over my face; thousands of them it felt like, with the same rhythmic feel and lull and shape of a train thudding along on rails. I love that image, that sound - the train. For a moment I felt I had unwittingly stumbled across some kind of liminal space, a magic moment, a view in which the coin is tossed and you watch it spin in the air - light and dark, light and dark, over and over - until inevitably it falls, and you find yourself looking down into some strange, unearthly face. Like a rug, sliding over my shoulders and my head; a child's game, a skipping over lines; an evasion; a peace. The dark shadows were like bars and I wanted to grab onto them, tear them loose, and I wanted to wrap them around me and watch the world glow with the light left behind.

Something like that. Something close enough.

Ah, I am so in love with Kimura Takuya. In all his roles he epitomizes a kind of childness - not to be confused with childishness - that makes you want to see the world as he sees it, with joy. Not to mention the urge to run up and squeeze him to death.

Don't particularily feel like going to bed. Wonder what to do....

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Friday, December 26th, 2003
12:34 am
I hate being passed over. I wonder if people know how much it hurts -- being friends with someone, considering yourself close, and then having that relationship suddenly made insubstantial, cheapened, untethered because of someone prettier, more vivacious, smarter, cooler, whatever it is that would turn someone away so wholly. I came to the conclusion long ago that it doesn't matter what faults I have, because that's who I am -- that's what makes up me, the me that people might want to befriend or love or whatnot -- but how can I keep on believing that if you continue to abandon me so easily, so clearly let me know that suddenly the person that I am is not good enough? How can I believe in the supreme, ineffable joy of individuality when you so callously judge my personality against others, as if my self were something so easily quantified, qualified -- so shifting in worth?

This has happened to me twice. The first person I have cut entirely out of my life, or as much as I can -- it was a slow rot, you see, so the gangrene set out before I could make a clean incision. I still take a petty joy (or is it sorrow?) in ripping apart old photographs and imagining how it might be, to hurt her, deliciously, as much as she hurt me. This second time....I don't know. It's not deliberate malice; it never was. I don't think either of them noticed, really, and maybe that's why it hurts so much. If I disappeared from his life, would he ever notice beyond the retrospect realization, the belated sense of distancing?

Half the time I think I may be in love with him, but that's silly. I think we must all be more than half in love with those close to us. Hating, desiring, yearning, weeping, screaming for someone, both content and uneasy, both repelled and adoring, sweet, wonderful, insane: that's more what it is, what the dark swirl of emotions that people call close friendships may be.

I only write the depressing things in this journal. Funny, because my outer self is so different. Suppose that's why I created this journal: to purge, to cleanse, in a secret place with a secret name; safe, for once, and free. In freedom is darkness. In freedom is pain, and the transcendence of pain.

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Tuesday, November 25th, 2003
5:47 pm
Musée des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the plowman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

---W.H. Auden

If there is any true poem about grief, it is this poem. It may seem callous, too casual on the surface, but grief is there, and it keens all throughout with the hard knowledge that the world cannot help but move on. The distance and the small kernel of containment: the suffering and the vast indifference of the world, of others; of your own life, perhaps, as you mend slowly, walk forward, begin to forget. ("Practice forgetting.")

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Friday, November 7th, 2003
2:09 am
Mrrr. Hyacinth garden feelings again.

Sometimes I wonder why I have such a hard time reaching out to those I love, especially when it takes comparatively so little effort. To be honest, the strongest thing that stops me is a sense of embarassment -- a residue of emotion from, I think, the relationship I have with my parents. Silence is sometimes the best weapon against cross-language miscommunication, the slipperiness of weaving together a conversation from English and Korean. It doesn't work -- not for us. Silence is a better way to convey love, loneliness; my life is filled with the silences of lulling car-rides at night, city lights sliding across my father's distant face, with the hush of the tires and the clattering of nearby cars to distract us from one another. Perhaps it's just an individual thing -- being afraid. Or not understanding the words. Not wanting to understand. Having to confront myself then.

Maybe that's why I'm afraid to talk, now. Because if I do, I know I'll have to acknowledge some hard truths about myself: that I've been too selfish to notice, that I'm too afraid to help, that I have the nagging suspicion that I'm part of the problem, and that I'm too set in habits to change. Maybe it's because I never know what to do afterwards -- you know, after the earth-shattering revelations and the tears and whatnot. No one ever tells you the proper etiquette for that. Do I smile at her, awkward, hesitant, showing that I don't know what to say? Do I pretend to move on as before, with the silence, the blitheness? I can't imagine the lazy, habitual equilibrium of our relationship changing. Well, it has changed, once before. Maybe it can change for the better.

I know that I should be going to bed or finding a nice, quiet, padded room to bounce around in when I start misspelling "mustn't." ARGH that just looks strange to me right now. XD Have broken 15,000 words for NaNo, though, which makes me feel extremely accomplished, though also rather depressed, considering that what I've got is all crap. Oh, well. Number 2, with gusto! >)

(or not)

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Saturday, November 1st, 2003
3:17 pm

Ah, the sweet masochistic joy of churning out crappy novels. Already I feel the plummet of my GPA spiralling down into NaNo Hell. Already my eyes burn with the fever of 50,000 words dancing in tantalizing vision around me. (I think I need more sleep.)

It's a funny thing, writing stories. I've always had a contempt for those people with the cloyingly-cutesy pretension of thinking that their characters exist outside of themselves. "I was going to marry Bill to Sally, but Bill had another say in the matter!" "My character refuses to die; she hates me for contemplating her murder." Et&. Too artificial; too deliberate a way to explain the mad, ineffable process of creating things on paper. Story-writing is messy, if anything - horrendously, slopping-over-into-real-life messy - and to equate this messiness, this raging combustion of inner self with outer world, subconscious with conscious, all the thousands of selves contained in the liminal space of your body....that is unfair.

With that said, though, I have to say that there is truth, I suppose, in the matter. Something happens, something inexplicable; you set out to write one thing, and end up with something completely different. Characters morph; some things scream to be written. You surprise yourself, sometimes others. But it's always you. It should always be you.

I can't explain things properly at all. Just read Steppenwolf.

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
1:39 am
I feel like the prostitute in Gone with the Wind - the scene where she's comforting Rhett about Scarlett.

Incidentally, I find it interesting that no one ever mentions the physical realities and awkwardness of such moments. Stomach growling, legs cramping up or shoulder going numb from the weight of his head on me. Maybe this is my own thing - having to constantly keep up an internal monologue (an LJ post!) during those moments when I should be concentrating on the pathos of emotion most. Pathos, despair, tenderness, whatever. Has there ever been a moment when I haven't had second-thoughts (and third-thoughts)? I wonder.

Feeling, despite it all, oddly isolated. Maybe because it is such a one-sided thing, after all. Am a bit envious, I think, of tortured love angst and all-abiding relationships forged out of such despair. Even the "as long as either lived, he was hateful to the other" deal would work. Perhaps. Unloved is the wrong word, sentiment....un-noticed for who I truly am. And who, exactly, am I? Someone worth noticing, obviously, or else I would never be writing in LJ (an inherently narcissistic act for anyone).

Am also quite fed up with stupid tragic self-pitying mooning around. Lost love is obviously something to be mourned, but there's no reason why one should have to wallow in it. Here I suppose I follow more whatsherface, whoever Emma Thompson played in Sense and Sensibility (ahhh must read book!), rather than the Kate Winslet character. Argh annoyances.

I need a short-lived, turgid love affair, that's what. Some sign that I am not isolated in the world after all.

Or - I know, even better yet - a good book. Mmmm.

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Saturday, September 20th, 2003
1:53 am
When she rises in the morning
I linger to watch her;
She spreads the bath-cloth underneath the window
And the sunbeams catch her
Glistening white on the shoulders,
While down her sides the mellow
Golden shadow glows as
She stoops to the sponge, and her swung breasts
Sway like full-blown
Gloire de Dijon roses.

She drips herself with water, and her shoulders
Glisten as silver; they crumble up
Like wet and falling roses, and I listen
For the sluicing of their rain-dishevelled petals.
In the window full of sunlight
Concentrates her golden shadow
Fold on fold, until it glows as
Mellow as the glory roses.

--D.H. Lawrence, "Gloire de Dijon"

Is that not beautiful? I am positively drunk off of his words.

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2003
1:09 am
Confusion. I should really figure out what it is I want, and then actually stick to it. It's too bad I can't really be asexual. Or, barring that, something akin to kemmer (oh, Ursula K. Le Guin, how I worship thee), where one can get such things over with in a lump sum deal, and then be free to move on serenely with one's life. Well, perhaps not serenely - that would be exoticizing or romanticizing it - but, anyway, with that one less thing to worry about. I think my problem is that I'm too self-aware of my own actions as they appear to others; and so in constantly watching myself through double mirrors, loose myself, the core and shape of myself, among infinite shattering nonrealities.

Or something.

If I were to ever become religious (Random Chance forbid it!), or invent a religion, I think I would have to outline empathy as one of the key cornerstones of life. Isn't empathy the true building block of morals and society and all of those other vague, generalized formulas for survival? Do unto others as ... well, I can't finish that because I'll get tied up with thees and thous and untos and ones. But. I don't even think one can really be altruistic (unless you're insane, possibly), because even that implies knowing and understanding the possibilities of one's own fragility within the world in order to understand the plight of others. There is no true selflessness, because there is no true self-less state. That is, how can one understand the concept of hunger without having some instinct, some instance, some parallel (even if it be a negative one, since all negatives imply the positive and vice-versa) to draw from? And how can that instance or parallel come from anything but one's own inner self?

Or something. Yeah.

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Saturday, September 6th, 2003
1:08 am
A few days ago I met someone who described himself as a French Filipino who grew up in Japan and went to HS in London. I do believe that my jaw, quite literally, dropped. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to stop the drool from actively slavering out of my mouth, but all the same I am sure my instant adoration was, alas, apparent from the way my jaw kept refusing to shut.

Dear me. All those enviable people of this world.

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Friday, August 29th, 2003
1:07 am
「ほしのこえ」is a beautiful anime. So, so beautiful. ここにいるよ…

Sharing those small precious things....sunlight, wind, the sound of rain falling on an umbrella. That is love. Those precious moments shared. That unspeakable communication, the understanding that comes from loss. That loss. How could they bear it? How could they find the strength?

One wishes, so hard, for that. ここにいるよ…

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2003
12:09 am
Tired. I am definitely allergic to direct sunlight.

I have this neurotic habit of avoiding people I find attractive. I suppose it all stems from my basic, intrinsic, cripplingly pervasive "EVERY MARROW OF MY BODY IS INFECTED WITH IT" fear of being ridiculed. I avoid them because I'm afraid they'll notice I find them attractive, which opens up the possibility of being rejected; I avoid them because it's just uncomfortable going through all the small inane motions of daily life with their attractiveness glaring at me all the time; I avoid them because, basically, I'm psychotic. And then it's just simply embarassing. I would like to change this part of me someday, as this thing of mine prevents me from becoming good friends with, I think, some genuinely nice people, but oh well XD I really need sleep.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2003
11:08 pm
Loneliness, for no real reason. A bit like Eliot describes it - being paralyzed, seeing beauty, a kind of childish joy; but unable to speak, as it were, to move, to be.... That phrase, "looking into the heart of light, the silence" - that phrase gets me. And now I've lost the feeling, trying to analyze it, and I hate myself for loosing it, because even with the loneliness and the darkness, the inability to choose, it's a beautiful feeling; it's seeing the choice, the heart of light, the childish voice prattling on with all of the life, the joy, Spring - that's the word i'm looking for, SPRING - in her white dripping hands. Knowing, understanding oneself - one's self - even in those most crippling moments; the fascinating grace, the humanity, of despair. How wide and desolate the sea, indeed.

It's a loneliness that makes me want to catch a train and ride it to nowhere in particular, watching my face pass thin and insubstantial among the sliding trees. And you see immediately how ridiculous this is - trees! By traintracks! (train tracks?) But that is the mood that I'm in - finding myself alone, abandoned in a car, except for perhaps an old lady who mutters darkly in the back and a salaryman, to use the Japanese term with all of its intricate connotations, slumped across from me, suit wrinkled and worn-down; dozing fitfully, wanting home. Gatan, gaton. Gatan, gaton. Like Hitomi, stuck in one of those awful ruts of life where existence just stretches out into one aching dullness, the weary horror of the Sybil's life; narrating in unwitting poetry as Sora whispers alien music in the background. With such loneliness, one cannot help but crave to be alone. Seeking relief among others would only ruin you. There are no others here; you only know the poetry, the darkness, the immense stillness gathered within your heart. The trees that call out to you. The stars, so cold and distant and lyrical, speaking in some unfathomable language of dying worlds; the knowledge that it is OK to be alone, it is redeeming and peaceful just as it is painful and grief-filled.

So. Just so.

I love Tolkien. I wish I had his sense of language, his intelligence, his incredible hold on the power of fairy tale, myth, and art. I sense that this reading of On Fairy-stories will be a turning-point for me - No, not a turning-point, a returning-point; a feeling that I've found my way back to the beginning of it all. How can he make words so beautiful? How does he see past all of the junk, the glitzy Spells, Incantations, warlocks and wizards and paper-cut-out dragons, to see the worth, the marrow of it all? I think I could read him a hundred times and never figure it out. But that's OK; because one can love something without figuring it out, and, if I'm lucky, learn.

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2003
10:24 pm
It annoys me when people put trite, "inspirational" quotes written/spoken by themselves in away messages and profiles. Such quotes always strike me as rather pitifully bland, but the added egotism of advertising yourself is just....a bad combo, I suppose.

I am so addicted to reading profiles and away messages. I suppose it's for the same reason I'm addicted to LJ - because I have an insatiable desire to pry into other people's lives without any of the messiness that comes from actually interacting. ^^

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