February 2005


Answer only in song titles by a musician:

Are you male or female: “I’m Every Woman” (Chaka Khan)

How old are you: “Age ain’t Nothin But a Number” (Aaliyah, RIP)

Describe yourself: “Final Hour” (Lauryn Hill)

How do some people feel about you: “By Your Side” (Sade)

How do you feel about yourself: “Fear not for Man” (Fela Kuti & Mos Def)

Describe your views on significant others: “Possibly Maybe” (Bjork)

Describe what you want: “Mo Money Mo Problems” (Notorious B.I.G, RIP)

How do you see the future: “Beautiful Struggle” (Talib Kweli)

Describe how you love: “Ex-Factor” (Lauryn Hill)

Share a few words of wisdom: “Umi Says” (Mos Def)

Describe the state of world politics: “Ain’t Saying Nothing New” (The Roots)
(American Politics?: “The Rape of the World” (Tracy Chapman) )

Want to ask a question? I”ll respond will a song title to all of the two people who check my blog.
(Wish I could do this for essays: i.e. How has rationality changed in Western philosophy, what problems of ‘objectivity’ have brought about this change: “Nothing even Matters” (Lauryn Hill)

Love in the Negative

As though we live underground
where the scents do not rise but simmer below
many visions exist, still nothing to show
for this underground life we lead

like it means to love when you deny yourself comfort
like it means truth when you choose not to speak
like it means good when you turn your gaze
love in the negative.

Okay, its 1:36am. Thinking about yesterday’s phone call…

There is a French Proverb that says: “To understand all is to forgive all…”

Not to say I understand everything but my impulse is to rationalize.
But why can’t I hate? I just really want to be angry and feel it deep deep inside. The type of anger that is pure ignorance. Where you meet eyes and turn the other way. Where you get a phone call, say ‘hello’, and then hang up. Where you block the name on MSN. Where you avoid any memories creeping back by doing other things. I am jealous of girls who do this.

But I don’t feel it at all.

I want to meet eyes and see the truth. When I pick up the phone I want to listen silently for an explanation and communicate more. I smile with some memories and feel hurt with others.

Maybe there is something wrong here? Isn’t the correct response to betrayal, anger? But I just can’t feel it. I want to help and be there and show that everything I said and promised was real not contingent on the way things will turn out. But when you do this people mistake integrity with stupidity. So now I have to fake anger and indifference just to get some respect. Takes a lot of energy to play these games. Energy that could be spent on loving.

This is a twisted world, or maybe its a good world with twisted people. Either way, there is some twisting involved – twist or be twisted.

Been absent from the blog for a little while.

It is hard to build momentum back up after not writing for a bit. Kinda like working out. You do a great job consistently until that week or two off that throws you off kilter. I am back on track for both of these things. Blogged and worked out today. Hope to be more diligent in both.

So what’s new? Had a friend stay with me for a week which explains my absence. But she’s not just a friend she’s a sister. The kind you fight with every 5 mins then forget about it and laugh for the next 20 mins. Boy can we fight. I think we are both very headstrong and proud. But we are both kind and giving. (talk about tooting one’s own horn…)

Otherwise this week has left me rather uninspired. I am busy working on a lot of essays. I am stressed out. Feeling like my skin is not doing well. Bought some organic food on Wed. of last week which is now completely done! So expensive yet so scarce. The price of health here in Canada is ridiculous. It is easier financially to be unhealthy. Nutritional anthropologists actually back up this assumption. I once wrote an essay for some guy (a friend’s roomate) on the Fast Food industry in the Western world and how it is demographically organized in my 3rd year of university. (I wasn’t in the class but I had to do research and he ended up with an 83%.) I learned among other things how the wealth of Westerners is defined by their resistance to food (avoiding excess) as opposed to the Third World where people are “healthy and rich” according to their access to and consumption of food.

So fast food industry caters to the poor while organic food industry caters to the rich. How ironic.

Anyway…I’ve figured that eating expensive granola is not the only way to eat healthy. You can eat tons of fruit with fibre such as apples which is less expensive overall. I think that drinking 2L of water/day is a great concept but it makes you go pee like mad. My pee looks like water and I keep interuppting people while they talk to go to the toilet. Ah well good way to end conversation anyway.

You know, one of my best friends used to always say that I was the best at ending conversations. We would bump into people at the mall and she’d say wow, we all wanted to leave but you eventually did it. You did the ugly deed, ending the useless babble of acquaintances.

I think this is the reason why I’ll eventually rule the world.

two of my favourite poets growing up were pablo neruda and kahlil gibran; they still are, although I have less time to browse through my leisure books now. But I went back to my old friends pablo and kahlil today, before the clock strikes 12 and we say good night to st. valentine. Found a few jewels, doggy-eared pages in the books…

XVII

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other
way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you.
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
————————————————————
The Prophet (1923)

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. ‘
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

[…]

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully […]
———————————–

Here I end what turned out to be a Valentine’s Day special…much love to all!

Just talked to a friend for an hour about some relationship issue she’s having…
One thing I’ve learned is that women tend to think that men have all the answers in a relationship. We generally don’t see how vulnerable they also are. So we think they know what direction things are heading, as if they have a master plan, when usually we’re just taking each other for a rollercoaster ride.

Mexican-U.S. lovers exchange Valentine’s day greetings, it’s beautiful, love without borders…

Made me think of parts of a book by Chicana feminist writer
Gloria Anzaldua (RIP): Borderlands/La Frontera.

La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness (Anzaldua)
Una lucha de fronteras/A Struggle of Borders

Because I, a mestiza*,
continually walk out of one culture
and into another,
because I am in all cultures at the same time,
alma entre dos mundos, tres, cuatro,
me zumba la cabeza con lo contradictorio.
Estoy norteada por todas las voces que me hablan
simultaneamente.

As Anzaldua writes:

“The ambivalence from the clash of voices results in mental and emotional states of perplexity. Internal strife results in insecurity and indecisiveness. The mestiza’s dual or multiple personality is plagued with psychic restlessness. In a constant state of mental nepantilism, an Aztec word meaning torn between ways, la mestiza is a product of the transfer of the cultural and spiritual values of one group to another. Being tricultural, monolingual, bilingual or multilingual, speaking a patois, and in a state of perpetual transition, the mestiza faces the dilemma of the mixed breed: which collectivity does the daughter of a dark-skinned mother listen to?

“Cradled in one culture, sandwiched between two cultures, straddling all three cultures and their value systems, la mestiza undergoes a struggle of flesh, a struggle of borders, an inner war.” (McCann & Seung-Kyung Kim Eds., Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, p. 179.)

I wish I could copy the whole essay here. In the rest of the essay Anzaldua talks about how people who live in-between places, i.e. an African in Australia, a South Asian in Norway, must come to tolerate ambiguity and perplexity and, in a word, contradiction.

*Mestiza is a woman of mixed-race ancestry, especially European and Native American. “Mestiza like corn, is a product of crossbreeding, designed for preservation under a variety of conditions. Like an ear of corn- a female seed-bearing organ – the mestiza is tenacious, tightly wrapped in the husks of her culture. ” (Anzaldua, 182)

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