Monday, September 29, 2014

Suffering in Tartarus

A million needles rain down on me as I sit still, trying to put what I feel into words.
Is there a way to describe pain without using the word itself?

The problem is that I can't explain what it feels like to be in pain. Pain is well, painful. (The idea that words are simply incapable of describing pain, or any feeling for that matter, shows how important emotions are to us humans.) Emotions can never be described; they can only be felt.

I'm not out to write about what pain is like, but what pain is. What is pain?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quote of the Day ~ J. G Ballard

In this chaotic world of floating delirium, reason is the one thing that stands still. Logic is our fair compass, always pointing due Reason. But few take a peek at their navigation instruments.

If the world was to run on reason, logic, and the objective truth, it would be a cold, hard place.
It would be the kind of place where stars aren't the lanterns in the sky that wink at us conspiratorially, challenging us to reach for them, they'd be large (impersonal) orbs of burning gases that are light years away. 
It would be the kind of place where calculations are more popular than colorful speculations.
It would be a world where guesses and quirks and anything out of the ordinary would be regarded as a mistake, a deviation from the straight line of purpose.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Do you believe in Happy Endings?

The sunset was a medley of all colors red, and it was like a fire in the sky; the French Alps were in sharp contrast to the blazing fire above them. The couple stood leaning into each other- they were only a silhouette.

           “I’m soo happy for you,” my mother stated, her voice wasn’t emotionless as much as it was truthful; she was really just happy for the woman in front of her, and stoically devoid of any other thoughts on the matter.

I simply stared at the picture our guest was showing us with my best imitation of a calm demeanor, while my mind shrieked, “She got married in France, in the Alps! There was even a sunset behind her!!”

I sat at the kitchen counter, my elbows on the table, and my feet dangling off of the absurdly high chairs. My mother bustled about the kitchen and produced my breakfast (of pancakes with chocolate syrup) with a happy smile. We hadn’t done this kind of thing in a long, long time.

Maybe it was because I was swinging my legs and eating chocolate covered pancakes, or maybe it was just the smile on my mother’s face, but I felt five again, and I wanted to talk to my mother like I had talked to her then- not our usual, mundane, and potentially alienating, topics of chores and grades, but about things: thoughts, hypotheses, crises etc. - just things.

         “The news from yesterday was really cool,” I began, “Imagine getting married in France. The picture made the place look so beautiful!”

              “Well the French have always liked to do things in style,” she said - or something like that anyway. I was drifting away into my thoughts of sailing off into the sunset and getting happy endings; I was dreaming of a day when the movie of my life would end, and was wondering who my director-inspiration was- Woody Allen maybe? No, someone with a Jane Austen-y inclination..

               “I can’t believe it,” I said, “here I am, facing important decisions at 17, and I get to see what a happy ending looks like. Was this some sort of cruel joke to tease me with?” I really meant it; my life lacked that Jane Austen factor- at the rate I was going, I was worried about whether I could even have an ending at all, let alone a happy one.

               “A happy ending?” my mother snorted, “Isn’t that concept a bit too juvenile? Even for you?” I swear that the last three words were spoken contempt even if she is my mother and she loves me.

Is the concept of happy endings juvenile?

Well, for starters, life doesn’t just end like movies and books do. So, I suppose it’s childish to thinking of such things. But phases of life do end, and new ones start.

Happy ending is not a singular term. We all have many endings in our life, and whether these are happy or not depends on us.

Isn’t looking forward to a happy ending similar to looking forward to the completion of a long term-goal? Happy endings are simply moments in the future when the emotional rollercoaster or life reaches a high, what’s so wrong about thinking about them?
It's all for the highs.

I’m not stupid (no, really); I know that living changes as we go through the course of life. There are times when things will never ever be the same again: those turning points can be the fulfillment of goals, or simply a change in personality or personal outlook.

Shouldn’t we all be working towards such turning points? Shouldn’t we all be working to better ourselves or climbing mountains that will get us where we want to go? Isn’t working towards change the purpose of life?

Happy endings are successful turning points; in reality, there are no unsuccessful turning points, because you reach one until you have succeeded. What’s so juvenile about happy endings? They’re goals, and they’re the perpetrators of change- what’s life without change, and what fun is a roller coaster without any highs?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quote of the Day ~ Plato

The blackbirds are congregating on the telephone wires, and I can tell that what they're plotting this time is going to be truly devastating.
         I wonder if they realize that the wires are sagging dangerously; surely the poles can't take anymore?

My inner cynic makes me ever so paranoid, and makes me ever so firm in the idea that humans are inherently evil, and that one day the world won't be able to take this kind of thing anymore. *poof* It'll just self-destruct. 

But then I think, 
Her smile is just underneath the surface; that piece of art is gorgeous; John Lennon was one of us; you have a personality, and I do too.

The world is a gorgeous chaos.. Isn't that just enough reason to celebrate? We're so distinct, and different. The world is a piece of art, and it's so beautiful. Opinions are everywhere- some artfully put, and others thrown in your face, unfiltered- and they have such a beauty to them.
Everyone is (a little bit of) everything, and that is why they are nothing. 


We're not blackbirds, we're more colorful and confused than that; blackbirds are decidedly evil, whereas humans...we just don't know what we are (though we like to think that know exactly who we are and what our priorities, in every hypothetical situation, are).

There are many problems in the world: 
extremist groups which hate America that are waging religious, and cultural, war; 
rainforests that are being mowed down like they are wild blades of grass in a sophisticated neighborhood, and 
the heads of corporations -the top 1% of our population- who are lounging in some exclusive resort in Luxembourg, who couldn't care less about any of us.
I could go on, but the list would never end be really long(in case you're wondering, these are the first 3 that popped into my head, and are by no means prioritized)

Here's what I think the problem is: humans cannot ever be all-good, they have to have some evil in's very very natural, and that's what makes them so beautiful blah- but the bad side of so many people is adding up to become something terrible.

How can we solve the world's problems without turning everyone into angels?

John Lennon's dream of no heaven, no hell, and no borders is beautiful, but it's also pretty scary. If there is no war, it is because there is no difference of opinion. Passion sparks arguments, but it sparks art too. 
If we're all working together, we will all have to conform. Our differences are what make us unique (heck, uniqueness literally means different-ness - I need help with abstract nouns!); our dark sides too. 

So as long as the world is a world of beautiful chaos, there will be problems, and wars, and destruction. Utopia is going to be our unreachable horizon, something we will work towards but we will never reach. Our suffering makes us beautiful, and our measures to stop suffering is the most beautiful of all. 

I do not find this thought very depressing. I'd rather have a beautiful world with passionate suffering, and efforts for change than an ugly world with unhappy peace. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

We're trapped.

For the claustrophobic in me, being a high school senior is such a scary experience. Being educated at any level invokes claustrophobia, anyway. 
               Here we are, in our cozy little corner of the world, not caring for the economical, political, or social conditions of what’s around us, while we (ironically) learn in our history, government, and finance classes. Here we are, safely behind closed doors where our only knowledge will be theoretical, and somehow smaller than life.
             We’re not exposed to the world. We’re learning about a world we haven’t been exposed to. Aside from the distorted views of Hollywood, and the dreams of our fellow underexposed prisoners of education, we haven’t seen much of it. If we're going to be ready for it, we have to know what "it" is. Will the real world please stand up?
It’s a puzzling dichotomy: to learn about the world by alienating ourselves from it. We’re stuck in a cocoon of theory, a prison with a tantalizing glimpse of the outside world, and we can’t seem to escape.