Thursday, May 28, 2009

You're living in a Fairytale

A Professor i had once ended her lecture emphasizing the importance of imaginative activity. She gave an example of the hiring process at a large and successful company. For the first six months on the job, the powers that be give you nothing but blank paper and a basketball hoop. To sit. To think. To do nothing, but dream about everything. The earliest artifacts dug up and dusted off that indicated the human capacity for greatness were not wheels or manuscripts. They were toys.

It is interesting, being an English major and feeling afraid all the time. Jokey and rarely defensive, "Well i guess i could always become a teacher." I wrote an essay for a Brit Lit class that made me feel silly. The assignment was to write an epic or mock epic poem of thirty lines, and then in an adjoining paper explain why you poem fit the conventions. I wrote a mock epic on Snow White, when the hunter doesnt kill her, with the justification that a whimsical fairytale having such massive readership (being ingrained in childhood and forever knowing the story) is epic in itself. So even though there is no armoring, sheild decriptions, or invocation of the muse, Snow White the fairytale provides the exact purpose epic poetry in that it is remembered because of its magic, rather than conventions.

My Conclusion:

Retelling Snow White in epic form is an opportunity to further understanding about the cornerstones of literary tradition. Although the story itself is not steeped in grandiose action or national consequence, it retains the ability to inspire the abnormal, rebellious, and very human process of imaginative activity in the earliest minds. A quality that is fast becoming marginalized in this current day of recession and crisis, but is nonetheless at the very foundation of human creation.

...I guess what i was trying to get at is the point my professor made. To put stake and serious time/dedication into something like an English degree, surfing dream, art exhibit, clothing line, acoustic song, autobigraphy, the perfect dessert is to essentially disobey. It is a shaky but defiant middle finger to the post grad timeline, the respectable adulthood, secure future. These things have been reduced to hobbies, or whimsical projects. They dont connote livlihood. So to live one's life pursuing any passion that is not lucrative or reassuring enough for the boomers to rest easy, is something that takes courage, chutzpah, Mut. Then again, this defiance, this pursuit of the extra-ordinary could be our downfall....meh, Phunk that, i think it's man's most shining attribute.

alright Milton, tell us whats up:

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.
Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 1.


I didnt get an A. He said my poem was beautifully written, but he failed to see why is was epic.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dropping like Flies

In massage, my teacher often refers to the time when the client being worked on "drops". Its fairly self explanatory, considereing word context, but brielfy, a background. The Nervous System (one of the 11 body systems i have my final on monday) has two parts: The CNS and PNS. Central is brain and spinal cord and peripheral is automatic and somatic. The somatic deals with nerve fibers that send information to the CNS and help project skeletal muscle or something. uninteresing. BUT the autonomic controls the smooth muscles and the glands (involving other systemes like digestive and endocrine[hormones]) and IT has two branches, well three but two only interesting to my topic sentence. Hailing back to seventh grade bio, there is the sympathetic nervous system "fight or flight" and the parasympathetic nervous system "relaxation response". they are the opposites of one another, and in an effort to keep your attention, parasympathetic is the response that decreses heart rate, restores body resources, returns body to a non alarm state. The post coital cigarette. Hot sand after icy water. Your "happy place" The best place to be.

So, when a client "drops," he or she is going there, to the parasympathetic. All the massage trainees throw around that verb like our mama never told us to, because its really cool to get someone to that state. You feel almost maternal, especially when you flip them over, and their jaw is slacked, facial muscles all droopy. You pull their arm out from under the sheet to massage it and its like a dead weight. Sometimes i want to lean over and pet them i am so grateful. But that is a)creepy and b)severely unprofessional. So i just continue with my protocol, trying not to breath too loudly.

It's funny that it is refered to as dropping. Dropping usually means something bad; dropping out, dropping the ball, dropped on your head as a child. Shit, now i've said it so many times its starting to sound weird. The thing about dropping is that no one can drop you but yourself. Even in massage, sometimes even the guy oftn referred to as "Hands".....(pause for the RIDICULOUSNESS) can't get a client there because the body's own response is ultimately determined by itself.

To drop something, you have to let go. I guess its not always a bad thing. In fact, dropping sounds healthy. It sounds like a purge, a way to renew oneself and clear out the system. You can't carry the extremities of everything in life: spacey expectations, obsessive self image, impossible standards, devastating heartache, hateful grudges, anger, pessimism, Narcissism, unrealistic day dreams. I highly believe that you can tell when something is weighing you down. Somewhere in between your third and fourth chakra you know what you need to rid yourself of; and of course it's hard, it developed because you needed it to.

For instance, if you have read my previous post on Anger, i am definetly holding on to some sort of melodramatic emotion. It is completely self serving, completely ineffective in "getting even" or proving my point. In fact, the hatred i feel eclipses all notion of rationality and clearly defined logic on why i feel this way in the first place that if someone were to ask me my original complaint i would probably just sputter on about how much i hate the bastard.

Somedays, I can envision what it would be like to let go. I see me, in white, graceful and having a great hair day. I envision an exhale, a gradual return of static, parasympathetic emotion. a cool healing, a peaceful relationship with myself and the little woodland creatures around me. Im in field, hair blowing, zen as shit.

Dropping could be misconstued as sacrificing something that maybe gets you up in the morning. But you wouldnt have to let it go if you could carry it, but now it's TOO damn HEAVY. You have to leave it be. This is a good drop. Drop the hurt, drop my ridiculous hate, drop rejection, drop my snarls, my drunk dials, my hissy fits and hair pulling. Drop my pride.

I think it is well to drop things. Go nuts. Drop as much as you can without losing yourself.

Haha massage is crazy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Running (wo)Man

I just got back from a run and am sitting, sweaty, on my bed. There is no other space for me to sit I am afraid. Running is terrible and masochistic. I heard somewhere that it is bad from your knees, ipso facto bad for your body, and I feel that justification rotting in the back of my mind every time I fall into a slump of inactivity. Which happens often and cyclically.

My mother once ran a 5k, or 10k im not really sure. It was when she and my father lived in Alameta in an apartment before they moved to nj. I don’t think I was born yet. Childless, poor, and so cool. Anyway my mother is, and I know every person says this, but she really is infinetly interesting. People unrelated to her would say that as well, so even though I am biased by blood I still think this anecdote is worth reading. Your parents are the best things to look at when you are looking at yourself and I often day dream about my mother, especially her youth and her sisters when they wore pastels and high wasted jeans and sweated seasonless summers out on Oahu.

So my mother was signed up for this mini marathon (Excuse my inspecific run-ology I don’t use the word marathon literally; what I mean is that it was a reasonable length that would require some training, at least some cardiovascular preparation). I don’t think she trained, if at all minimally, but my mother is a pretty athletic person and likes to sweat. Who cares! Young beautiful, in love, probably tan, she could do anything. So unprepared, she ran the full amount of miles that I do not know. She was so exhausted that upon dragging herself home and pulling out a carton of ice cream, fell dead asleep on the couch.

My mother has this mantra, and when she speaks of it to me, she always laughs and says her sisters are shaking their heads. She believes, wholly, that she could do just about anything, if she really wanted too. We smile on the phone with one another and list off activities. Go to space. Write a book. Run a marathon. Buy expensive stupid clothes. We fall about at the clichéd and sillyness of these challenges we describe, but beneath our laughter I wait as my mother weighs the process of work and motivation required for each possibility. And then I hear the break, “Well, I mean…” and I almost have to reel myself in because I feel absoluetely radiant. She knows, undeterred by just about everything and everyone else, that her desire will grant her a completion.

My mother is a teacher , a fighter, a lady lunching. She is unassuming and quickly absorbing. She has brown eyes and short hair. But her belief sets her free. Who else knows you better than yourself. I have known my mother for 2o years. And I do not expect to know the vast reserves of strength the moving timeless potential . I feel like she is Wonka’s Factory or the Midsummer Woods. Sublime, mysterious, unexplained, unexplored. I do not wish to try and comprehend these things that she has or is. Why would I dare? But knowing they exist, that they course through her veins and being daily, that she could split a sea after we watch La Cage aux Folles and eat pizza, pull a rabbit from a hat after opening the wine, and then turn said wine into water because I am too young for vintage Merlot, is exciting and reassuring enough. It comforts me when I feel unoriginal. It placates me when I feel frustrated. It makes me happy when I am dull.

Come to think of it, it must have been a triathalon. Smile.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shit's a drag

Last night i went to my first drag show. I dont think i had ever seen a drag queen in person, just on television and in the movies. My friends and i got ready with a feather bolero and vodka lemonades as we quoted Priscilla QUeen of le Desert and tripped our way to campbell hall.

We got there early, and fast walked so that we could sit in the front row. it was slightly manic, the desire to be as close as possible to the gay men. I hate saving seats, it makes me nervous, but i felt deserved of the seats we retained because we got there so early. i watched the community trickle in. Professors and gays, a bunch of lesbos, a few drag queens in the audience, the coffeehouse girl who is currently in rehab. 

Im sorry, i have to pause briefly to remark, out of the story's context, about the horrible electro that my neighbors are raging to. I feel so boorish. ho hum. horrible. As long as i am talking about horror, i am also imagining my ex whatever at said electro party, fists pumping, horible red acid wash girl jeans from urban turquoise studded belt with monstrous buckle and possible fake hot pink wayfarers and chiodis shirt. shudder. hatred.

I hope i am on the rag soon, bc i have not felt so much disdain and abhorence for things that used to interest me. Some trash can lid bass infused downbeat makes me want to pierce my eyelids and i find myself uncomforted by france gall or beachhouse. Instead of xui xui of whatever the FUCK their name is being interesting it sounds like noise. or a cat taking a shit made out of crystal. i want something awful and campy, sublime is almost good again for the first time since seventh grade. Gypsy kings, makaha sons, moonight sonata, my fathers bavarian radio station, anything besides what i have already heard the aa hoodied razor haired silly silly group stomping around to. some alive, sweaty, chubby brunette guy singing the blues. flamenco guitar.  my best friends band from high school. someone with a first name and a last name. barbara streisand being strangled. Not a badass. reggae. 

I will have to get back to the drag queen later. right now im too preoccupied. MIA is playing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You might have to say, "Im So Angry"

Lately I have been harboring a hatred.

In the process of being a Mature and Well Rounded young woman, i usually define my progressions of growth by my ability to let go of anger and be at peace with something or someone. But this time, with this specific person, i fervently and adoringly have abandoned this pervious notion of goodwill and bullshit for something that has been far more useful.

"Moving on" is too fluid, its too clean and wavey. It cannot be used to anything, it is a neutral state of being and a careless one. Good for things that actually matter. Good for times when stability is the best answer. But when you live in a college town, racked with instability and ridiculousness, moving on doesn't fit in. It doesn't quite do the job. it doesn't give you that sweet, perverse satisfaction.

Meanwhile hatred can be gleaned and harnessed. It can be carefully nurtured until it is as beautiful and edgeless as a pearl. It is a much more interesting way to pass the time, daydreaming gruesome scenarios of acid shits and monumental failure than a potentially happy ending that in all likelihood will never happen. A favorite authorial phrase, "Her features, once beautiful were now ugly, twisted with hate..." is such a lie. Such a quick insertion of myth to discourage the feminine reader from feeling excatly what she should if she wants to remain beautiful. fuck that. I have never seen a woman so beautiful as one that set her x boyfriends guitar on fire and danced blithely around it. Who were the hateful women: Ann, Marie, Cleopatra, Edie, Sara Palin. You may not like them, but no one can deny their appeal. God Bless the woman who fuels on hate.

With my newfound and surprisingly ongoing hatred, i have never been more productive. I have learned to control it, and enlist it when i want to feel powerful or strong. I know how to trigger it. I can rile myself to a state of happiness, diligence, snarkyness, bad-ass/ness...most things. It has become my all purpose emotion. Except for wallowing. One thing my hatred cannot do for me anymore is to allow me to wallow. Which sometimes i miss, bc a nice documentary and vodka tonic are two of my favorite things.

My hatred takes me running, its blow dries my hair nicely, sometimes even straightens it. It puts out my cigarette, it writes my papers and electrifies my readings, it talks to boys. It wears my best dress out. It is my newest and most interesting companion i have had in a while. It lets me know just when it feels badly, in the most exciting ways.

At the end of the day, when this is all a big joke, i will still remember the good times my hatred and i had together. When i eventually let it go, it wont be without a slight regret. But for now, while it is still intact, I couldn't be more enthused at the prospect of seeing red tonight.