Tuesday, November 06, 2012
You curled in my arms,
What was the point of life,
Since all we do is die.
I saw the bodies as you spoke.
I saw the skeletons packed to the ceiling under the streets of Paris.
I saw the mummies curled up in the corners.
I saw the hundred year old writing scrawled on that mountain wall.
I saw the books of quotes piled high in my library.
Filled with wisdom and life and laughter.
And all now dead.
I thought of telling you of all my nights spent
Staring at those dates,
All so very long ago.
That had been gone for so long
That their bodies were dust
And hopes and dreams forgotten.
You were warm beside me.
Your chest was rising and falling.
Steam still curled in the sheets.
And what could I say?
How could I tell you?
How could I possibly tell you
About the billions of stories
That I see in my mind.
The billions of lives that crowd around me
The billions of people
That might as well have never been.
More than anything I guess,
I would tell you that I see the fires.
We spent ten million years in the woods before civilization even started.
For ten million years, family after family lived and died.
There were so many fires.
So many nights.
"Stare into the stars," I tell you.
Even though you have no idea what is on my mind.
What is the point of life?
It comes and it goes.
It is the eternal tide.
"I drink coffee in the mornings,"
I tell you.
You are confused.
"And I walk my dog through the dew."
I brush aside the dead
As I work in my garden.
And I write words,
Pretending as if they have not been written before.
In the evenings I sit before a fire
And the flames lick and curl,
As if they know.
Life is not a fantasy novel.
When we die,
It is forever.
But that is our savior.
The moments stretch out into forever,
Death is an absence of thought.
How could it ever consciously arrive?
The world is over-filled with stretched out
And never ending lives.
Cook a meal so that it will rot.
Draw a painting so it can burn.
Live a life so it can end.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
To truly understand something requires a depth of explanation that always leaves me dumbfounded.
How can I explain to you why I did this or that? How could I possibly tell you why the world ended up this way, why the sky is blue, or why the squirrel runs up the tree just so?
We would have to go back and back and back in time, each explanation demanding its own explanation, each tear caused by some previous hurt.
We rehash the same questions, over and over, seeking some higher truth.
And we stare at each other across a gulf that by definition can never be bridged.
There are no simple explanations in this world.
I hear your questions. I hear my own, but sometimes all I can do is stare.
The answers are so deep
That we would need to become each other
Throw another log in the fire.
Those that live forever run out of words even if they never run out of time.
Maybe that is why God is so silent.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
If you don't do anything, nothing will ever happen.
If you do not act, the days will just pass. But... is there something wrong with days passing? With spending your life in the jungle on the other side of a deep chasm? Or behind the tall walls of a monastery in the high desert?
Sit with your back against a sunny wall and toss days from the bucket beside you like grapes over a cliff until there are finally none left. Why not?
Resting in the field at sunset after our run, we lay down and pull blades of grass from the dry ground, you and I.
As the chaff gathers around us, you muse - "Your head is always in the clouds, Brian. I read all these things that you write. I walk with you down the cobblestone road, and it is all fantasy. All dreams."
"How can I commit myself to dreams? How can I lay to rest with you in a field that does even exist??"
Sing with me from the too-short balcony, I shout. Cry with me, I plead, even though nothing should be sad.
You sing to me,
from the too-short balcony
In the narrow alley.
I sit on the roof,
My words folded into
Paper airplanes of thought.
"I want to write to you,"
I whisper back,
from the empty mountain top
And through that smoldering fire.
"I am a captain,"
"I am floating through puffy clouds,
And trying to escape this dream."
But my words just don't make any sense.
And so they fly off from the roof,
Missing you yet again.
"Drive with me across a plain of wild horses,"
"Don't reject me," you plea.
On the back of a scrap of paper,
In a whispered phone call in the night,
Above the roar of the engine,
I am here.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
But now I know that I was being watched by me.
Like staring into the hexagon
Of a department store mirror,
The me's stack to infinity
Friday, August 06, 2010
With each day that passes.
Because although we always hope for one more day,
We pass by, day by day,
Into the future
And put off, for just more hour, say,
Hopes and dreams,
And those questions that it seems
Could so easily be answered,
Should I just pay them heed,
And ask how to just enjoy life
Or realize what makes it all
Worth anything anyway.
Friday, July 30, 2010
If you supply the paper, I'll show you my latest designs in the exchange: the upraised wing tips that I found let them fly long and true, the notched nose that avoid take-off wind flurries; the tight wings that stop them from going too high and stalling. Let's go flying into the night, and dip down only now and again to swim once more in that languid river.
Samson is a beautiful song because it confronts a character who is destined to fall along a prescribed path of greatness. In this path, he is a hero who changes the world, but still an imperfect being, and she is a temptress: something or someone who in the classic story is no more than a tool of the devil. And yet here in this song, we have Delilah imagining a alternative world to the path that history had chosen for them. She imagines that the Bible did not include the truth of them, and instead, within this song, we have Samson willfully asking her to cut his hair, and thus sacrifice his destiny, so that he may be a hero no more and indeed never save his people no, but instead live simply as a man in love.
Let the history books forget about us, Delilah imagines. Let the Bible not even mention us.
Let us join the legions of untold loves, she says, of quiet moments and long nights of solitude and lust.
But we are not the stuff of heroes, Tanis protested.
I just want to go home, he said:
To her and to that life.
Is it that desire, perhaps, the mark of a true hero? The unwillingness? The insurrection that comes in the depths of the night?
I don't understand why Orson Scott Card did not miss the Earth when he wrote of the Hundred Worlds and the adventures of Ender Wiggin. How could the air smell so sweet on any other planet? How could any other world's gravity ever feel so right? Dan Simmons had it right, though, when he wrote his series, and when he explained the mythos of the lost planet Earth and how humanity still wrote of it, and dreamt of it, a thousand years after it had been gone. And in that sense, it was perfectly right for the renegade AI's of Dan Simmon's universe to recreate a planet Earth, and to thus scream out for home, even as they purported to reject humanity.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Sitting under that gnarled old tree. Carving.
The shavings drift like snow at your feet,
And your soft and worn hands confidently clutch the curved knife.
You've come to this tree to rest, I know.
Your journey done.
But I still think of you each day,
I wanted you to know.
You told us to celebrate.
To lift up our heads in joy,
And packs in hand, continue the journey without you.
But in the murky depths of the night,
While the others still gather around the fire to tell stories and laugh,
I sneak off, my mind on you.
And though my tears may land
Unheeded upon the silent
In the darkness I sob,
And miss you.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Like the time traveler... I am ready to appear in that empty field where she builds her childhood forts, and tell her my name.
Standing before that little girl, I would like to sweep aside preconceptions and memories and all those arguments too often repeated. Instead I will tell her, as if in a dream, how some years from now, we will meet. "You will have short red hair," I will say. "You will be an artist." "When I come home in the evenings, I will smell your sweet perfume as it yet lingers in our bedroom, and see the remnants of the morning's potential outfits strung across the bed."
What should I tell her of our lives together?
"In college, we will be academics, and we will dream of conducting research, philosophizing upon the meaning of life, and conducting lengthy graduate seminars upon obscure books."
"Each summer we will lose each other."
"In Europe, the land I told you was old and tired, we will become sophisticates. We will ride trains and care about the environment, equality, and liberalism. We will text and drink cafe con leche and elegant wines. We will learn about Africa and Islam."
"In Mexico, we will become revolutionaries. We will worry about the state of poverty in the world. We will support indigenous movements and seek to tie the world together in a quilt of diversity. We will grow cacti, squeeze limes, and learn the meaning of wealth."
"In Austin, we will become hippies. We will eat quinoa and whole grains. We will play drums into the dark of the night. Stare into innumerable fires."
"We will buy a home; grown-up clothes; expensive gadgets. Switch from Wheatsville to Home Depot, but lose each other, even though we will live within the same house."
The basic struggle in life seems to be whether to devote it for yourself or for others. As I face the prospect of moving up in my career, and thus fulfilling my childhood expectancies of grandeur, albeit not quite to the extent of taking over the world, I will necessarily leave behind a world of near infinite time devoted to morning walks, reading, loving, traveling, exploring, gardening, philosophizing, socializing, and all the other pursuits that are simply incompatible with 40-60 hour work weeks.
With each place that we come to know, each problem whose solution we come to be invested in, and each person or people that we come to love, comes an ever finer division of our lives. You cannot run towards, sweep up, and take into your arms two or three or a school full of people. You can only come to one little girl in a field of your dreams. Devoting yourself to work, you will necessarily lose those idle mornings devoted to only yourself. I guess in my dreams of taking over the world, my scorn over the low-brow jobs of my parents, and my need to make this world a better place, it never occurred to me how I would have to lose in order to make those dreams a reality. The idea of a finite day, week, year, and life had never entered me mind.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Alone in the backyard by a fire - or high up on some overlook of the city or country.
The perfect song on the radio. A slight buzz in my veins.
It is always a bit awkward, I think because once the moment has been arranged,
I am never quite sure what I should think or say.
With a slight ahem, I reintroduce myself to my memories and thoughts.
And then.... pausing.... I wonder -
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
I like the idea of quiet moments like these just before momentous events. Of moments of silence in the minutes before standing up, brushing yourself off, and setting off to save the world.
It is hard to define what causes happiness or where it can be found. It seems to be something that you find in retrospection. Happiness, it seems, is a memory, not an experience.
In my memory: seeking magic, seeking greatness, seeking power. Laying in bed, trying to explore my mind, my brain, my world. Taking my consciousness on a journey down every nerve through my body. But finding nothing, falling asleep, waking. And into another day. Another night. Another day.
And breakfast, sitting across from Abuelita, as she sorted through the previous day's mail, magazines, to do lists. Her voice filled with the experiences of a million moments. I remember the day that I realized that I had known her my whole life, that she had filled my every day, but that to her, I was a recent event, that an entire history had passed before even the idea of my existence had entered her mind.
She whispered to me one day that every person has events, memories, experiences, that they die without every sharing.
Squirming in my chair, wishing I could know her secrets.
A secret smile on her face.
In bed that night, I launched a nuclear war before falling asleep, and gave a speech before the world explaining my actions while tears rolled down my face, and the cameras impassively flashed.
And in my life today, as the days roll down across my hands and fall out into space, I try to catch what remains in my grasp, try to wonder what to do, looking into the past for happiness, and into the future for some purpose, some secret spot in which to figure it all out, some future grandchild at which to wink at, and pretend to be wise.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
It takes effort, you understand, to get a glimpse of what life may be outside of the made-up things that we crowd it with. What is it from behind the dull-unseeing eyes of my dog? Or inside the mind of a baby just born? It is those few moments of clarity when you understand the eons of non-existence that came before your birth, the fragility of your body, and the sheer ignorance of everything you pretend to know.
It is perhaps the clarity of staring at yourself in a mirror and not recognizing your body; it is the madman writing, composing, singing, dancing, and talking, not because he wants to, but because he has to; it is the soda can being endlessly kicked down a featureless road that has no end.
It is you waking in the morning, knowing that today you will face your foe in the center of that dusty town square, and that you will lose the battle, that you will cease to exist, but that you are not sure if you could ever even convince yourself that you were ever truly here.
Life is starting at my hands over the course of decades, and watching them age. It is closing my eyes to feel my internal organs chugging and my blood racing through me; to know that I am a machine.
So go out, I will tell myself when I wake. Put on your best suit, and slick back your hair. It is time to face your battle. But go out like a superstar, I whisper. This is your one chance, a murmur between two swaths of eternity. And you are finally at the front of the line.
Friday, June 05, 2009
The immortal man looked at me, and spat on the ground when I passed him on the desert road.
Thick, brown spittle that clotted the desert dust and stunk in the hot air.
His rocking chair creaked back and forth and back and forth on the splintered front porch, and his hair, like fishing line, hung across his forehead, down his back, in long white cords. His teeth, yellowed and mostly gone, reminded me of grave stones, oozing with moss. His yellowed eyes tracked me as the spittle sizzled in the desert heat.
The immortal looked at me and spat on the ground when I passed him on the road, but I looked back, winked and hurried on.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
But it will all be made up. You know, I'll study archetypes. I'll come up with grand tales of struggle and success in spite of incredible odds. I'll tell of how important these buildings are and how brave were the men who fought for them. I'll smile understandingly when, at the climactic parts, the women heave a quiet sob, and allow plenty of time for photographs of each of the important structures and plaques. We'll sit on a quiet grassy knoll at the end of the tour, hand out cups of water, and allow everyone to enjoy a moment of pensive solitude as they review the grand events that had taken place within this small space.
Would that be better than the truth? Would it hold society together, and entice everyone to continue their individually insignificant work so that, combined, each drop would fill the bucket and continue the game? Or should we, gallantly, pursue what may just be the real truth?
Perhaps we should reconsider the tour's location and instead zoom in on a life, just one, and follow a child as it is raised by well-intentioned parents, grows, reproduces, and, finally succumbs to the turbulence of a long life. What would we discover? Would the buildings and plaques have meaning any longer? Would God still be a comfort? What questions, I wonder, would the old men ask at the end? And would the women have anything left to cry over?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The residencia door in Spain had a very distinctive sound and my window faced the courtyard; right now, sitting in this chair, I can remember that door's noise. I can remember standing up, and peeking out my room's window to see who was coming back home so late at night.
I know that these questions are silly, because, believe me, I know the answer. I know that there's really not anything to live for. I know that. I know there's no "meaning of life" and that the question itself is fallacious. I know that we are supposed to just live and work and have kids and hopefully laugh and smile and enjoy lots of sunsets. We're supposed to have a healthy mix of productive activity and aluminum can kicking introspection on isolated highways. And then as geriatrics, we should sit quietly and smile, while we desperately try to think up wise things to say to our grandchildren in order to shelter them from the meaninglessness, yet pretty-much-ok thing that is actually Life.
So go forth. Go on hikes on the weekends. Enjoy the sun. Get drunk with your buddies and stare at the stars. Read a couple of books every now and then to tell yourself that you're informed. Travel once or twice. Create great dreams for yourself; write a novel and lose the manuscript. And when you're old, make up new memories, so that you can tell yourself that its ok to die in order to forget that you probably were not ever truly alive.
Upon a raised dais before an audience of a hundred thousand, I once gave a speech. From booming yell to whispered plea, I molded the world with arms up raised. I stood out upon my stage among the yearning masses, and I gave them hope.
I grew up in this mental world of exceptionalism; with every song, speeches flew to my lips, and visions of how and when I would take over the world swamped my mind.
I even knew how it would end, as an old man in a small darkened room, giving my biography at long last, so a book could be written about the old shriveled man who had once saved the world.
Except I never knew how I would start or get there. On this one key issue, my muse fell silent. Although I walked the streets knowing that surely tourists from the future lay in hiding all about me, on tours to see the unassuming childhood of their future leader, and I lay awake at night in bed imagining my future grandeur, no pivotal event came. I knew the biography by heart, but I never arrived at chapter one. Where was the plague that would wipe out civilization and beg for a leader to bring it back? Where the computers who would try to exterminate humanity? When would I be asked to choose between a red or blue pill?
Instead I was caught in Par-Salian's lesson about time: try as we might, any single individual action no more alters history than a pebble thrown into a great flowing river.
So my speech has changed.
"Look at this world!" I will say upon the dais. "It is not Star Wars or Star Trek or Indiana Jones. It is a mere rock and we specks upon it. We are doomed or blessed to have no conception of what or how events brought us to be or what we are to do with it. We have no lessons to learn or to teach to one another, and history itself is a meaningless construct. The future which we strive for and think of is no more than a pitiful endeavour; it is the lobster who tries to get comfortable while he sits in the supermarket tank. Like the lobster, we are nothing more than future cadavers waiting to rot; our planet itself hurtles towards of future of fiery oblivion, while the universe in which we have found ourselves will continue to innocently expand until even atoms no longer have the ability to hold together. "
But do stories even have meaning in a world like this? Is this 'true' tale of inevitable destruction equivalent to any other?
I've watched both of my grandmothers die; all they've left behind is their progeny.
I'm looking for meaning and I'm not finding it; I'm crunching numbers to justify my current career track and graduate degree; I'm searching for careers, but only finding blanks. I'm searching for the perfect city, so that I can move there and be unhappy once more.
I've met or exceeded expectation in every class I've ever taken; I've traveled around the world.
I've decided to become a teacher in the vague expectation that it will allow me to travel, talk about things I enjoy, and to have free time half of the year in order to pursue other interests.
I know the finishing graduate school is the right thing to do, but I somehow feel that I'm losing out on something by doing this. Why? What else could I be doing with this year? How would that help me more in the long term? Why do I want to start teaching immediately, when I will have a lifetime to pursue that? Why am I not able to immerse myself in graduate school like I was for undergraduate school?
What do I want to do?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I wonder what I will do now...?
The wind is blowing and the air is light and warm,
And although still slanted, the sun is warm.
Up through the moist soil (I hope) will soon push sprouts,
And old bottles of wine perch on our sills to prop up windows.
Into the closets pile the blankets.
And another notch goes onto the stone wall - winter number twenty-three.
And the music changes a pitch,
Gearing up for the next bend,
Saturday, December 02, 2006
One solution would be some kind of progressive or reverse tax system. Another system, obviously more draconian, would be for the state to assume the responsibility of raising all children, so that within each generation, the monopoly game runs, but wealth cannot continue itself through offspring, so upon death, all of that "players" (the one that died) earnings would return to the state, which would then use the money to raise all children equally.
Feet pounding against the dust.
My breath machine-gunning the air.
My chest rising and falling to a made-up song,
To a beat that will never fail me,
To lyrics that puff out to my step.
What will we see? How far will we go?
I'd like to print out what I write, I think.
And with each line colored a different shade,
I'll rearrange them upon the page.
I'll close my eyes as I jog,
I'll think of looking up into that tree in the rainforest,
And seeing how many plants were growing up inside of it,
100 feet above the world.
I'll think of those kids in that school,
Living in worlds that I can't even touch or comprehend.
I'm teaching them math,
But I should be letting them cry.
I wish they were a poem I could cut up and rearrange.
A bad cup of coffee that just needs a quick zap in the microwave.
Let's sit around the fire and continue this game that I play right now by myself.
We'll each take turns saying random thoughts as they occur to us.
What will we make?
"I stretch out to infinity," I'll say. "And there's a billion different versions of my life in every universe,"
"But from my perspective, I'm stuck in an endless jog."
"Puffing out a linear path through space and time, and staring at Plato's shadows dancing to the beat of my mind."
Friday, November 24, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
But that night, as the raindrops traced chaos against the window's glass and the trees shook in despair at what they had lost, I left for that low rocky wall, and before its fluttering backdrop of stormy night, soggy pieces of the masterpiece were stuffed in the cracks between stones. And bled yellow fiber down the cliff of rugged stone and turbulent sky.
Talk is distracting for the same reason that depressed people are advised to engage in activities to distract them from their problems. Without talk - within silence - we turn inward, and are reminded are all the questions or issues which may be on our minds. With another person, as long as the two of you are talking, you don't have the time to question your reality, or even the most basic question of all - "what am I doing next to this person?"
On Oct 9, 2006, at 11:14 AM, JENNIFER ROSTAMI wrote:
Yesterday we were watching the Cowboys play against the Eagles. They lost. But that's not the point (I'm over it!); I was thinking about Troy Aiken and why he left the team. He said that he accomplished his goal and made lots of money and felt it was time to leave. I think his decision emulates a lot of athletes, like Jordan and Sampras, who left not because they couldn't physically handle the game but for other reaons, personal reasons. Maybe he left now because he wanted to end on a high note.
Is it better to leave gracefully - fade away - or burn out -till your body can do no more-?
On 10/9/06, JENNIFER ROSTAMI
Silence always seems to invoke feelings of uncertainty, whether it's during conversation, or in the emptiness of a room. Why is that?
Thursday, September 28, 2006
We reached the plaza in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, where our tour would meet at about 7:30 in the morning. We were groggy, slightly hung-over, and cold. The tour guide was there waiting for us (look for me on the side of the plaza twirling the rainbow umbrella) and we paid her, but she told us that the bus would not be leaving for another 30 minutes or so (Mexican time), so we ducked into a cafe that bordered the plaza and ordered dos cafes con leche. Old men were around us reading newspapers. A boy was behind the cafe's counter squeezing hundreds of oranges for the morning juice and in a dark corner, members of a mariachi band argued playfully with each in soft twangy voices and prepared for the day's work. Two gringos, we sat by the door, sipped our cafe, leafed through Lonely Planet, and conspired, cameras and calendars in hand.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Thought I'd share with ya'll a few charts I've been fooling around with recently in an effort to compare third world country (mainly Latin America) growth with the United States
Monday, September 18, 2006
Its difficult for me to not feel anger towards our parents. I don't want to. I want to look forward to being poor for a period of our lives, but I feel resentful nonetheless. I feel resentful about having to get into a debt that involves heavy interest rates. I feel resentful about being scared. Resentful about being cast away while still in school. It is impossible to work full time and be in school at the same time and I'm deciding today to stop trying to do it anymore. I don't care what the consequences are. I can't do it. I am faced with so many decisions to make - and I just do not know which way to go. How do we pay rent and tuition? What happens when Sarah starts school? What if she's not accepted? My eye is twitching. I'm going to stop writing now.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
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"pregnant" with change
Please, don't start to cry,
When I say goodbye.
The dust clings to my shoes,
And begs me not to lose.
Please, don't start to cry,
When I say goodbye.
When I look out the window,
The roads peer at me and say
Not to wait another day.
And through the crowds upon the road I will walk,
And upon the dais I will stand to talk.
And although the world turns without thought to the actions of men,
I will walk my dusty road and talk to those who will listen to me once again.
Please, don't start to cry
When I say goodbye.
The dust and the roads call my name,
And they beg me for just one more game.
Although I sit in an office chair, I conjure my muse and stroll down rainy Spanish streets in my head. I skip rocks across slickened cobblestones and rainy moist dripping back-shadow spaces. I conjure my muse with a whistled tune to write papers that I hope might act as a key and open doors to handshakes with the great and the opportunity to water Africa, to skip class and instead cut to the front of the line and fight the world's starkest battles, not in my head, but at the frontline.
The audacity of hope
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
How do I avoid enormous housing costs while still living downtown?
How you're doing something is just as important as what you're doing. Republicans are supporting tax cuts just because they're tax cuts and using all this tax-related rhetoric about them without even paying attention to how the tax cut is actually working, who its effecting, and who its benefiting.
60%, less than $2 a day in Bolivia
Television, of course, did not used to have programming all day.
Live on less than you earn.
in 2005, Americans spent more than they earned (negative savings rate) for the first time since the great depression
Make a written plan.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Both sides argue in polls that the other side has a culture of violence.
A failure of imagination results in old solutions for new problems and responses that mirror the stimulus instead of rejecting its entire premise.
Taking advantage of the money around us.
Neutrinos - or particles without mass - or matter in sizes so small that it approaches its energy equivalent, or E=mc2
Anticancer gene and "Unintelligent Design" article in Journal Nature
Methane emissions increasingly significant as world warms and enters positive feedback loop (increasing global warming effects per year by 63%, 500 gigatons of carbon that will be released into atmosphere as earth warms) General circulation models must take permafrost and feedback loops into account.
Titles are sacred (Doctor, Reverend, Professor, etc)
Federal government caught hiring reporters to spread propaganda (government bribes)
Origin of Osama bin Laden videos and their timing?
Links between Bush Administration and Fox News?
Could the government really be so evil as to cause 9/11 and kill Americans? It openly is killing American soldiers in Iraq to further what they believe will further just goals - why not openly kill in 9/11 to further goals? 58,000 Americans sent to their death in Vietnam. The American routinely kills its own people to further goals - just or unjust. Americans sacrificing their lives (having their lives sacrificed) for a big, bold plan. Who benefits the most from capitalism? (we all benefit, but we all benefit from any economic system - who benefits the most from any economic system?)
Iraq was under secular law under Saddam Hussein, but is now under sharia (religious law)
Number of Taliban killed day is not a sign of progress, progress is not how many have been killed. American lives are not worth more than other lives.
What really happened on 9/11/2001? Doesn't Loose Change go too far in denying the existence of the planes?
Listen to Dan Reeder, interesting artist.
Charter members of New York City Atheists
Dover Beach:Let us be true to one another. What we are here is on a darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night.
I want to watch Animal House! (Living in Twilight)
NPR Most e-mailed Stories, Monday 9/11, second story
Also, it seems, listen to the Weepies.
Image: Shooting down Aquarene Springs Drive in November/December. Just cold/hot enough - just absolutely perfect. And I'm heading to the square to work on my thesis, so my backpack is on and my laptop is tucked away. And in my ears, my iPod. And I'm shooting down the street on my bike, the air rushing past me, and music defining every bump and rise of the journey and off that moment in my life.
Most e-mailed stories, NPR, sunday september 10th, 23:30 minutes and the next story
Friday, September 08, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Take your pictures and freeze your moments in time. Pass them around and say that it was a good shot. A nice sunset. A pretty special. He looks strange there. God she's beautiful. And tell yourself that you will look at thinks through Kurt Vonnegut eyes and realize that all points in time are simultaneous and that when the world ends all of its glories will be nothing more than three points on a timeline. It didn't exist yet at the first. At point number 2 it did. And by number 3 it was gone. In a world of simultaneity there is only existence and everything that we create is around us. Every daydream I've had becomes real. Every book's characters are sentient beings, and just as nobody every dies, none of us has ever truly been borne. And what is God? The collective will of a universe briefly aware of itself that understands and predicts its fate but still yearns to create more dream and witness one more day. If only we could open our eyes and see that the creations of our minds are just as real as the invisible atoms that make up our ephereal bodies.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Is the brain a jar that holds our memories?
Then we die, does the jar break?
Are our memories spilled on the ground and lost?
Or is the brain a map
That leads down twisted paths
And into hidden corners?
Then when we die, the map is lost
But perhaps some explorer
Could wonder through that strange landscape
And find out the hidding places
Of our misplaced memories
I wonder also, in the context of emptying my grandmother's house, how long I should keep these sheets of paper that are already starting to pile up in the den. These are my thoughts. My ideas. My shout to the world that, today, I'm alive. Abuelita kept her Christmas cards and shopping lists, but now they line the trash outside.
It seems that the baggage of death is not just physical either, because suddenly I found her showing up in odd places in my head. I can't stop thinking about memories that I had long forgotten and questions that I had never remembered to ask her.
I think, sometimes, when I am deciding late at night which emotions to choose, about how I watched her hair fall off and her life slip away, but never once showed her how sad I was. I never held her close and cried. I never begged her not to die. Instead I smiled and joked and played as I had always done. How should I interpret that? Which emotions should I feel?
Of all things to notice, I see how, once a person, she's now a collection of photographs and recordings that I'll memorize and grow numb too more and more each time I see them. In my head, I am a making a transition to an idea of her as a person who has always been gone.
I think of a poem I once read in an Orson Scott Card book. He was wondering about death, and he asked if when we died, our memories disappeared like the water in a shattered clay pot. I can picture us all around her shards, grasping at the damp ground, searching, searching - what do we feel? Why do we cling at this mud? I feel my own death in her, I think. I feel what will happen when I die. I feel my body as numb flesh, and I shudder, the deep down shudder of a mortal without a second to lose.