Monday, August 10, 2015


I haven't been able to write anything, and it's most certainly not writer's block - I have plenty of things to say, but it's just that those things are far too dry and sarcastic.
      My mind must be disgruntled and cynical about the world, and I have no idea how to control it).

Here's a poem about the tedium, the frustration of writing - one of the less eye-rolling-sarcastic pieces of this month

I hate the emptiness that my mind has got,
And the fog swirling among my thoughts.
I hate these to-do lists that unroll themselves endlessly,
And the sound of ticking clocks.
I hate the feel of the skin in my hands as I clench them into fists,
And the wrinkle between my eyebrows that I am trying hard to fix.
I hate the smell of coffee shop vigor
And the words “resourceful and efficient figure.”
I hate their misunderstood praise
And the mirror’s expectant gaze.
I hate the check marks, the organization
And the emptying rituals of preparation.
I hate the incessant whirring of an unmoving motor,
And sowing seeds that reap no fodder.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Quote of the Day ~ Woody Allen

Watching Woody Allen movies, for me, is a struggle between enjoying myself and forgetting the nagging _ of the horrifying depravities of that artist's life. (And the fact that I'm willing to sound like a suburban housewife by saying that is testament enough of the inappropriateness of Woody Allen's infamous (illegal) private life..)
             But before I go off on the inevitable tangent on the ethics of art, I'm going to introduce my quote: a long favorite line from a long favorite movie (Annie Hall).

I'm not really a cynic nor a pessimist, but I do pledge by this quote in the least cynical/pessimist way

I think, for once, Woody Allen doesn't mean his words in his neurotically morbid way - I think he means that there are two types of people in the world: people who are allowed to be sad -the blind, the deaf, and the dying- and people who are not. No matter what the circumstances.

If you really have a visible condition (heartbreak, terminal illness, a lack of a limb/sense etc.), you fall in the former category - People who can be sad. People whose lives Woody Allen calls "horrible." This lucky affiliation means that you have a right to be depressed, or cynical, or anti-ambitious (if you want to be), without having sharp daggers of judgemental looks thrown upon your back. No, your negative feelings seem to be understood, and even - dare I say it? - accepted by society as normal/expected.

(Un)Fortunately, if you don't fall into the above category, you - like me - are among the the large ranks of the "miserable"ones. People who can't express discontent without feeling just a little bit ungrateful. There's always going to be one more staving kid in a Third World Country, or one more kid with abusive/neglecting parents - one more kid who is infinitely worse off than you are, so being sad about your own relatively plushy life will make you and your problems (valid as they might be) trivial. There's a sort of dilemma between being relatively well-off (mostly monetarily because that is all that society can see) and having problems that make you miserable. You're lucky to be where you are, so, how -society asks- do you have a right to be sad? 
             So miserable people don't have just the honor of the tragedies of human life (that befall everybody, I'm told), but also those of the trivialization of these tragedies by others -and themselves- who think them lucky to have what they've got, and better off not complaining.

I came home crying one evening -pricked particularly deeply by some thorn of everyday life- to my mother's arms and her comforting words: "Be grateful fo what you've got baby, because there's a kid out there in Africa starving right now."
           I'd basically been told that I wasn't allowed to be sad because a kid is starving in Africa. 

I know my mother meant no harm, and I do care for starving children, but it is a burden indeed when you have to feel sad about whatever is making you sad in the first place, as well as wretched and ashamed at the percieved relative triviality of your problems.

                So cheers to being miserable right?

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Next New Thing?

I know my mouth was pulled into an uncharacteristic, self-satisfied smirk - I couldn't help myself. I was watching my arch-rival (or so I thought) as he read my Creative Writing Competition entry with widened eyes, and what sounded like comments of awe.
          The entry didn't win the contest, but I was convinced that this was because my ideas were too radical - so out of the box that they'd jumped onto a new plane, invisible to the lower minds of the judges. And I validated all these thoughts with just the look of respect I'd recieved from a fellow-teenage with his own meagre experiences.

That was more than three years ago, and today, as I felt that same satisfied smirk crease my face again, I was about to come to the same conclusions about my creative ability - that my art is just out of this world.
     This time, the object of my pride wasn't a contest entry, but an idle doodle that had turned into an intense art project. But then I really looked at this doodle - this picture of the earth, and Jesus, and an aloe vera plant/ fiendish fire of hell - and I doubted the creativity here.
       Yes, I'm fairly certain that the Jesus-aloe vera combination hasn't been done before (I'm making it sound more blasphemous than it looks - really), but is the never-been-done-before aspect the only requisite for creativity, for art?
      Anyone can put two highly improbable ideas together and that can be original/new, but is that creativity? Is that art?
I mean, just because something is out of the box of conventionality, doesn't mean it is creative and artistic. My doodle of Jesus and aloe vera, for example.
Can you spot the Jesus?

Art has to mean something - it isn't just the inane juxtaposition of random ideas that haven't been put together before. If the unconventionalism in your art is just for the sake of being unconventional, it's not art anymore - it's just an empty clash of vague ideas, like the output of a scrambled computer.

For years, I've heard the cry to think out of the box, to innovate, and create new things, but I've never once heard anyone tell me to create something meaningful. I've been "thinking out of the box," "and creating new things" this entire time, but I haven't really been doing these two things with an end goal of creating meaning.
       My aforementioned contest entry was a mess of ideas - Robin Hood meets Lady Gaga meets Oliver Twist - without any clear ultimate meaning or purpose. It was flamboyant, but empty.
          My doodle, as already described, was about the "decaying fungus of humanity in hell" and Healing. Again, I didn't really put those together the way they needed to be put together - instead, I garishly pasted two different figures of healing (Jesus, and Aloe Vera) on top of the "fungus" - juxtaposing them, but not really giving the whole thing any real meaning.

So far, for me, art has just been about creating new things that no one has ever thought of before. Somewhere along the way, the "innovating," "creating," and "thinking outside the box," became more important than the end result of creating something meaningful.

I'm really only speaking for myself here, but it is possible that, in this world of social media and the rapidly changing trends, art is more about being the next "new" thing, rather than the next meaningful thing. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I've Changed My Mind About War

       I hate war, and suffering, and pain. I want it all to end - Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and every other site of recent warfare that I don't know about.
       I'm decidedly anti-war, both for the troops (young boys and girls who go out bravely, and perhaps a little ignorantly? to do their family and their nation proud - some even join the armed forces to afford college after - something about ROTC?) who're going to come out infinitely changed both physically and mentally, as well as for the families in the region - the little children who could never grow up or those who grew up too fast; the new parents who weren't parents anymore, and the bawling baby left on the road.

Widespread destruction is inhumane - is this really how civilization deals with disputes?

But so far, my anti-war-ness(?) has only been half-hearted. I always took the realistic view that as long as humans have differences, there will be war.
            Plato said, "Only the dead have seen the end of war," and so far, I've agreed. I've thought that war is inevitable - it's a product of our rich differences and uniqueness as humans (see here and here).

I thought that the world must always be at war, because what's the alternative really? I've always thought that a world without war would also be a world without differing ideas and viewpoints. And that warless world of conformity scared me more than any missile strike could.
       I thought that war would only end if everyone agreed - but now I realize that there can be millions of different opinions and still no war - if we all just talked about our opinions and differences instead of killing each other about them.
War isn't inevitable, and it can be completely avoided through compassion -looking at the world from another's eyes for example- and civilized discussion - just common sense really.

I mean no-abuse is a rule in everyday relationships so I don't understand why it cannot be a rule in international relationships. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Portrait of Domestic Abuse

I've never done this before, but I think the following content might need a trigger warning. It's a piece of fiction that clawed at my heart as I wrote it - nothing explicit in the writing, but its theme is domestic abuse.
      Well I think that was warning enough. On with the show..


          Angry barks in lieu of greeting, and cold, frosty silences while I try to make light-hearted conversation like I always do.

            Then, I become aloof - his unreasonable anger has always served its cause of pushing me away, but in this case it shoves me so hard that I’m on the ground. I pick myself up, of course, dust off my 3-day-old clothes (which receive another angry breath), retort sharply, and walk off haughtily. I don’t look or feel hurt, but I am.

           I don’t like conflict. I don’t.

           I’ve run far away in my mind even though I can still hear his infuriated anger. At least, I think I’ve run away.

           I try not to pay attention -every word taunts me, bruises my ego, and challenges me to come running back and flash angrily- and intentionally smoothen the crease between my eyebrows; I look and feel better, but I’m not.

          I don’t fucking like conflict. I don’t.

          Music, books, politics, friends, and school - I have a whole world to distract me, and it does. Life, as they say, goes on.

         But then it halts altogether when I find myself lying on the floor, blood from somewhere trickling down my fingers - I pause, admiring the deep red, and almost remark about its beauty, when I catch his look.
       He’s angry - of course he is, that’s all he ever is - and I see it shining brightly in his eyes. Anger -along with that beautiful, bubbling laughter of his- is what brings him to life.

           I’m angry too - my anger is not as becoming, and not nearly as deep as his, but it satisfies him. He likes to see me angry; he likes me in conflict, and I’ve finally obliged.

       But I still don’t like conflict. I don’t.


Thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

TomAEto tomAHto - Semantics are cool

          Have you ever repeated a word, any mundane word -lamp, tire, mistletoe- over and over again until it eventually loses all meaning (and sounds like season’s greetings in some alien tongue)?
           If you have, then you have experienced what is known as Semantic Saturation. You’ll also understand why sometimes some popular words and phrases get distorted into only vaguely familiar versions of themselves as they are repeated excessively and passed from mouth to mouth. Words often get used in different contexts, and gradually, they come to mean different things. It is Semantic Saturation in a society.

          One word that has long been a victim of this Societal Semantic Saturation is the word, “given”. For something to be for given free -a helping hand lent, or veteran advice offered- it must be a non-refundable present, one in which the presenter expects no returns. To give for free is to give with no thoughts other than those related to the giving itself.

Today, the word “giving” is used in place of the word “exchanging.” To give for free today, is to do someone a favor in return for a favor they will do for you in the future. ‘Giving’ implies that your present will be returned in another form sometime in the future. Today giving is not a present, it is a mere loan.
“Nothing is for free,” my economics teacher stressed as he taught us the workings of trade, “the economic systems of the country pivots on this fact.” In the world around us, trade is glorified and exchanging favors is what is expected, it is the norm. People today give with intentions of gain because that is the mentality that the system has instilled in them. To stop this Semantic Saturation of the word giving, we must stop referring to such mere transactions of favors as presents of generosity
         While the economy runs on trade, society -human interactions alone- does not. Social relationships are not business partnerships; they are not founded on the terms of mutual materialistic benefit; giving, in a relationship is not in return for (or to intentionally elicit) the other’s generosity, it is simply for the pleasure of giving joy to the other. If social relationships themselves are becoming subtle forms of trade, then the word "given" has definitely been distorted.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

She Was Alive and I Wasn't

       I surprised myself with another fictional piece. This one was supposed to be a blog post, but then it quickly took a turn on imagination lane, and, before I knew it, I was writing me another one of these vignette/short story things. 
    Without much (more) ado, here it is :

        She was the kind of girl that they wrote poems about - sharp, passionate, witty, fiery. She was the kind of girl you’d never forget even if you just glimpsed her on the other end of a very crowded subway platform when you were on autopilot mode, drudging unwillingly to work on a monday morning.

         The flash of her eyes, and her quietly dignified manner drew a small group of sophisticated eyes wherever she went. She was a fire burning brightly, a glorious mess, that attracted half-sympathetic, half-admiring bystanders.

I was nothing like her of course. My happiness didn’t make me throw my head back in laughter, and my sadness was a dull ache that was about as deep as my joy. I was neither happy nor sad - living smack down in the middle as the prim and proper girl.

I’ve seen her on the street corners sometimes, a cigarette in the crook of two long, willowy fingers, and an unsettling sadness on her smooth face.
         Even our momentary eye contact made my heart thud loudly with life, and her presence made emotions - sadness, love, hate, happiness, and fear - soar through my veins like they’d never done before.

          I was nothing and she was everything. Well, that isn’t quite true. I was boring, steady, and well-planned. I had everything that society would ever want from a girl like me - an apartment, an education, a life’s goal, and even money.

       She was reckless, aimless, and an emotional rollercoaster. She trailed her fingers along a new chiseled jawline everyday. I don’t know if she ever slept, but she didn’t look like she ever did.

By all means, she was nothing, and I was everything.

But it was her laughs that rang most loudly at midnight on a random rooftop overlooking the big city. It was she who stood up for things that troubled her. It was her blood that thumped inside of her proclaiming the grandness of her existence. It was she who was alive
Thanks for reading! :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Man who was Two

I'm filling my life with fiction right now, and for once, I'm writing it, instead of reading it. What brought this on, you ask? (and if you didn't..humor me - it goes without saying really) I think it's the fact that anything can happen in a piece of art - anything can be created, and anything could be understood. Writing could speak to anyone without actually speaking of anyone.
I want to create something real, that's innately fake.

          He leaned over the edge quickly, glanced down at the dizzying drop, and leaned further. The sharp wind was stinging his eyes, and frost was biting the hands that clung to the railings - still he leaned.
           In that very moment, from far below, he was looking up too. Craning his neck, he squinted against the cold, bright sun; his feet were frozen inside his fraying sneakers, and still he looked - rising ever so slightly on his icy toes.

They say that you cannot be in two places at once, but then again they also once said that the Earth was flat. They are clearly one of those perpetually wrong ones.

At first he could only shift consciousness from one presence to another, but soon he was both men - the one on the top of the tower, and the other on the bottom.

The man on the bottom stopped gaping emptily at the sky; he simply warmed his frozen feet by rushing as far away from that compelling tower as he could go.
          But the man at the top still looked, still leaned, and still hoped against hope that he would fall. He wished he could leave; he wished he could see the sights and smell the scents, but -of course- those were naught but wishful thoughts. There were no bars, no gates, and no barriers, but if he could really go himself, he would have gone all those years ago.

He was both men at once: the prisoner, the wishful thinker, who is trapped by his own ivory tower of perception, and the fugitive who left his soul, his essence, behind.

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Derailed Days

It's been so long since I've written fiction, that I've almost forgotten how to write it. I dont know hat this is - I almost don't know where I'm coming from, and I don't know what I'm trying to say. I just...don't know.

        Those long, quiet afternoons I spent reading, writing, and staring emptily out of my window - I’d hoped for philosophical wisdom to come storming into my mind, but the unending corridors inside were only filled by a loud, urgent, and rushing wind that filled my ears with an all-consuming nothing.

There was nothing wrong with me- not really, but I still wished there was. I wanted to sit on my unmade bed, in last week’s pajamas, and read until my eyes hurt. I wanted to look over the horizon thoughtfully, have a very dismal epiphany, and then smile at the tragedy of it all. I wanted to be sad, and introspective, because I thought life would be so much more interesting that way.

            It’s almost funny when I think about it now. A romantically melancholy disposition was what I had craved - a mysterious aura of quietly bearing distress. I’d wanted to be sad because I thought it was cool.

       I cringe today, but those were strange times for me. Derailed, lost - that's what I was. Gaining pleasure from pain, and pain from pleasure

      Those quiet afternoons I spent thinking of nothing, and crying tears that weren't mine, relishing a deep, heaving sadness that arose from the screaming emptiness in my mind.

So...that happened. 
I should definitely write fiction more often- to avoid things like this.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Quote of the Day ~ Christ

I’ve just realized that there is hate everywhere [on the internet] - I know I'm a bit late, but at least I’m here right now - rather startled, but coherent and ready to write.

        So here’s what happened - Innocent lil’ me was just taking a walk down the mainstream internet, flowers in my hair, sing-song voice, floaty white dress and all, when I saw the words “They deserve to be dead,” branded boldly on someone’s wall; my interest was piqued (nevermind the flowers and the white dress), and I stepped closer to investigate.

Who deserves to die and why? What did they do, but did that really matter? Does anyone really deserve to die?

        On closer inspection, I found that it was the members of the Islamic State (you know, that raging terror organization that is burning in the levant as I type) who needed to die - not just die, but die like dogs (I found that downright offensive to all parties in question - dogs and humans).

Underneath was a softer inscription expressing, in a very different tone, sympathy and condolences to all those terrorized by the group. It was almost like the kindness in the latter half of the wall posting was going to offset the poisonous hate that the first half released into the world.

Reading about dying dogs and crying mothers, I suddenly realized (using my excellent peripheral vision) that many other walls were branded with similar messages of death, all written in the same self-righteous tone of the first.

By the time my walk was done, I was absolutely covered in hate. Even the birds of the mainstream tweeted death with a tinge of self-righteousness - absolutely disgusting.

That was when I decided that it was time to pull out the big guns - I grabbed my lovely little (rather unused, I shamefully admit) Bible, and found exactly what I was looking for: “How different are we from terrorists if we too preach the same hate as they do?”

What’s worse is that we pretend to be righteous and good and pure while we do it - preaching hate (which is essentially what the terrorists preach) and wearing halos at the same time.

          Fighting fire with fire will only bring the world down in flames - if we’re fighting the nihilism of the terrorists, we should be using a force quite opposite to it, not spreading the nihilism by using it against them.

I see the need to weep for the victims of that destructive force that is ISIS, but I see no reason to attack it with as much ideological and psychological venom as it has been trying to inject into us.

Again, if we think we are so much better than the terrorists shouldn’t we not be stooping to their levels and hating them as passionately as they hate us?
         What makes our minds differents from those of the members of the Islamic State if either side hates the other so much that it wishes death upon the other?

Make Love and Art, not War! (and any other anti-war/hate cliche you can think of)

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Familiar Strangers

          Somewhere out there, a group of strangers are walking about, performing the motions of their everyday life: doing laundry, walking to dinner, dancing in a club, reading at home, or dozing on a bus. These strangers that you are so unaware of are going to become such integral parts of your life that you will wonder how you even existed before them. These are your strangers.

          All of us have our own set of strangers on this planet; strangers who will cease to be strangers when we meet them and they change our lives in insignificant or tremendous ways; strangers-turned-friends-and-lovers who will revert back into strangers when they slip out of our lives, forgetting and forgotten.

             But the people we love during our time - the people whose lives get inexplicably intertwined with ours - were once strangers on the street with closed off faces, and heads bent over unread text messages. And some of those we love might end up being strangers again.

          What is it? That force that pushes us together and twists our lives into one? Don’t tell me it is chance, because how can chance be the reason for so many people meeting their soul mates in this populated world.

There is something out there that is bringing us to our strangers, and pulling us away from them. If you’re ever feeling down, remember that your strangers are speeding over as fast as they can.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This time next year..

    It's a bad sign that I don't know how to start this post, because I thought the news I had to share was exciting enough to come bursting out of me.
        I probably don't make any sense, but when do I ever? Okay, here goes...

I got into New York University - my top choice school. The school of my dreams really. 

The problem is that I'm not excited at all (if I was a normal excited person, the first line of this post would have been "I GOT INTO NYU!!!"). 
       Maybe it's because the truth of the matter hasn't sunk in yet, or maybe it's because the truth has sunk in so much that I'm so over it. 
           But I will spare you of whatever introspection I will get up to because of this news - mainly because even the thought of college (which has been my long and short term goal for 2 years) makes me feel strangley blocked.

Future Home: Washington Square, New York City

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Testing Fate

             "You can't have everything"
It's a fact of life, and a piece of advice that is repeated over and over again to people who have lost things - loved ones, prized possessions, and competitions.

       It's also a piece of advice that I've never heard. No, I'm not bragging here, because the fact truly scares me. I've been told repeatedly that I could have the world if I only just tried; I've been told that all I had to do is ask, and the entire universe would conspire in my favor.
      (You're probably wondering if the people in my life are self-help book writers, and, believe me, I've wondered that so many times myself).

    But even if an opposing fact has been drilled into me, it is the idea that one can't have everything that I believe in. I know that somebody's gotta lose, and I know that, eventually, that somebody is going to be me.

            And that is a scary thing to know. It's like walking through a creepy forest at night with full knowledge of your impending misfortunes, knowing that there are things out there that might hurt you, but not knowing what, or when, or how.
This gif is so on par haha
A long long time ago, I wrote a blog post about choices, and someone in the comments asked me to share with him (and everyone else who might read my blog) a heart break of mine - a time when I have really suffered. It's been 11 months now, and I have not gotten back to him.
       It's not that I don't want to post something so detail-oriented about my life (though that would be a major issue), it's that I've had no heart break. Not really.

I'm only just 17, and the most horrible things I've seen and heard are from the news, or the internet, or people around me. My heart has never been broken - maybe cracked once or twice from a past relationship, or lost friends, or lonliness, but never broken.

Isn't that luck? That I have a whole heart?
I don't feel luck. I've been scared of catastrophe for weeks now - a belief that my world is going to crumble.

I hope this is just a big bad premonition, because I do not want to live my life afraid of an inevitable catastrophe down the road; that way of life might just be the catastrophe.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Quote of the Day ~ Albert Camus

            A cigarette hanging from his lips, and an existentialist thought swirling in his mind. Albert Camus is one of those people I'll always talk about, but never get down to reading - I already know that.
     I will, however, analyse his quotes like I have read his work. It's just what I do.


      Sometimes I look at this quote and wonder if he is talking to me - me who curls up with hefty books with protagonists filled with life and grand theories; me who counts thinking about life as one of her hobbies; me who talks and laughs and rants, but never does.

     But there's something to be said for watching life from the sidelines. There really is. Some of us are never meant to be center-stage, we're happy enough watching all the madness, taking it all in and smiling at the beautiful mess of it all.
     When I first joined Tumblr I was on a mission to be widely heard and read, and I set about it very methodically. Very interesting posts (unfortunately, I am the only one who agrees with this proclaimation), periodic posting, relevant (to the point of frustration) hastags, and a bunch of other self-taught marketing strategies (which obviously didn't work).
      It was very exhausting really- this pointless string of meticulously lifeless advertising. And I found myself wondering why anyone would actually enjoy the Tumblr community when it's so hard to live in.

     I was too busy creating to enjoy what had already been created.
One day, I just went on Tumblr, and followed a bunch of people. It was one of those unexplainable whims that I'm grateful for (I've learnt to be grateful for all of these unthinking actions - even the stupider ones with the terrifying consequences). And I just scrolled through my brand-new newsfeed for hours. I read, laughed, and smiled at the creativity, the humor, and the passion of it all.

      Nowadays, my mission on Tumblr isn't to attain fame, but to just make interesting content to match that of the amazing people who appear on my feed everyday.

    I'm not discounting the importance of playing the game, but I am saying that the spectator stands are pretty awesome. Sometimes you're just too tired to dance all night, sing-scream your favorite songs, tick off items in your bucket list, and all those other cliche things that the phrase "Live Life to the Fullest" may bring to your head. Those times are the best for just thinking and watching, admiring and discussing.

         To live is not just to do, but to think and watch and smile too. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Art of Math

             I lie quietly in the warmth of my blankets, watching the daylight filtering in through the blinds on my window, composed and ready for the new day. Then, the all-invasive, ungodly noise of my alarm sounds, and the few gorgeous moments of perfection when everything seems possible are broken.

            Still, I throw the blankets off with enough enthusiasm, and head out into the real world.

An hour or so later..things start to go bad.

          It’s 8:30 in the morning, and I’m hunched over my desk while a bald old man, with a big smile and slightly-offensive jokes, rambles on and on in a language I just don’t understand. Math.

           All around me, puffy-eyed and burnt-out looking college students peer short-sightedly at the board (as if looking harder and longer at those dizzying symbols is going to magically make them understand what the hell is going on).

          Me, I dutifully take notes on unintelligible (and often one-sided) conversations between the teacher and the worried-looking students up front, while doodling distorted math-y symbols on the edges of my paper.

One time, I even write a poem. Not a very good one, but a poem nonetheless.

        When my hour of torture is up, I quickly walk away, not wanting to fraternize with the other inmates. A little while later, I bump into some friends, and then all hell breaks lose.

        “I hate math...No, really I hate it. I HATE MATH!!!”

To this, I get a few glares -sometimes they are sighs- but no replies. Everyone I know has given up arguing with me - they have left me to rant and rot in my irrationality. For really, they are the rational ones, and I am the irrational one. Why do I even take math if I hate it and complain about it so much?

Why do I take a Calculus class if I’m not a math person, and if it’s not even a requirement for graduation? Why do I take a class that I so obviously hate if no one is forcing me to take it?

These are all questions, I asked myself and others asked me even as I wailed about integrals, derivatives, and axes.

            It took me a while to figure it out, but I think that I’m drawn to math because it is so mechanical, and perfect, and logical: all those characteristics that are not present in the real world. Math is always truthful - there are no opinions, and perspectives, and paradigms here - it’s all about the truth.

           This subject of absolute truth is exactly the opposite of the subject of art, and the exact opposite of the world. But can an entire subject exist devoid of art?
           I want to find the art in math - the flowing, the irrational, the innately human art of math, and I think I’m already starting to find it.
           Far from being the creatively devoid formulaic subject, math has some amount of flexibility to it. And its furthest reaches, on the very edge of our math knowledge, exist quirks and faults where all rules are abandoned, and the numbers are just as unpredictable as humans. 

Infinities collide, and seemingly normal curves twist into psychedelic shapes. It feels like we’ve only been dealing with elementary math for so long where everything is so obvious - just like how the alphabets are logical and true, but when put together they can really create art...Maybe the new edges of mathematical knowledge are what really matter, and even thinking about it is quite exciting (though I would hardly consider boring ol’ Calculus a thought-provoking subject...but maybe further down the line or if I just look closer, I’ll be able to see uncanny and slightly crooked connections and quirks).

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's all in the Moments

                Every psychoanalyst/philosopher ever has been obsessed with finding the purpose of human life. I mean, it is a noble goal to work towards: revolutionizing the culture, and saving the world from its own mundanity. And it’s a sensible question to ask: What are we doing here really?
                 But just because the question is noble and sensible, doesn’t mean its answer has to be so too. Although (almost) all conjectures for achieving the purpose of life involve being happy - most of them disagree on the precise definition of said happiness. The variety of the definitions of happiness have one thing in common, however, and that is a nobility, sensibility, and grandeur as expressed by the very question they are answering.
             To the great philosophers of the West (as far as I have studied them...which is not very much), happiness is a transcending ideal. The moment one is truly happy, one is enlightened, set above the rest, and -in a way- more than (less than?) human. 

             Some (I don’t want to point fingers but...IT WAS PLATO!!) say happiness is living in a just and peaceful society (a.k.a. utopia ugh. Read what I think about utopia in my Utopia Theory here), and others say that happiness is finding what you are good at, and doing it well (Aristotle). Even Abraham Maslow believed that only the elite few - the top shelf - would be able to achieve true happiness (or self-actualization). 

Happiness, true happiness, to these people is not an everyday life occurrence - they probably define laughter as the masses’ forceful exhalation of air when they are confronted with something they do not quite understand. They probably consider relationships as a means for survival, and a stepping stone towards the real deal --> self-actualization.

They probably think that we the ignorant public have no idea what it is to be happy, but my ignorant mind tells me that happiness is in the little moments like laughing over some forgotten infectious joke with a friend, an afternoon spent talking when you find yourself staring into the depths of your companion’s soul, a particular look from a familiar stranger a bus stop, or holding hands with (or even talking to) your first crush. Happiness is not some sort of renunciation of humanity - and being a perfect person, it is the most human of things - it is an emotion that is a symbol of all that we live for on this planet.  

           Happiness isn’t a state of mind, it cannot be captured. It is just a feeling, an ephemeral moment of realization and connection. Far from being the stepping stone to demi-God status, being happy is really the feeling of realizing that you are a loving and loved human. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Utopia Theory

             Sometimes I wonder at animals, especially the peaceful-grazing-on-the-meadow-ones; is life awful for them? Or are they unaware of their own boredom because they have witnessed nothing else?
       Isn’t the human idea of utopia something like this uneventful existence - world peace, and no justice to fight for because we have it already. What would life be if we were all satisfied? Like a herd of cows in a quiet, flowering valley?
                 Utopia means perfection, which means that there is no need, or even chance, for change. A utopian society would be one where we would all know that we are living in the closest thing to paradise on Earth; it would be a society where we wouldn’t have ambitions or secret desires or dreams. Actually an unchanging, satisfying utopia sounds a lot like dystopia…
              Reaching a society of justice and fate sounds hard enough, but imagining sustaining it. The world would be so scared of backsliding into the terrors of war and injustice that it would stand frozen so as to not fall off the narrow platform of utopia. It would a world that is stuck in a perfect condition - a beautiful, flowering meadow if you will. But what is a flowering meadow to one generation may the fires of hell to the next. Imagine the children of a society that has fought its way to the pinnacle of perfection - a peaceful world; imagine how they will feel in a society that has taught them that there is nothing better than what they now see, and nothing to do other than their meaningless (at least to them) jobs that will help maintain a perfection that they do not understand. Imagine these children in their yearning for change, and their failure to encounter it. They will feel like birds caught in cages, fish trapped in blocks of ice. To them, the utopia of their parents’ is a meaningless machine that they must keep running without understanding its significance; to them, their parents’ utopia is their prison, their dystopia.

It's only beautiful for a while
       Would you want to stay in a quiet valley, skipping among the daisies (and dandelions), having everything you need, if that is the only place you can ever be? Would you want to be imprisoned in a perfection that you cannot understand?

Maybe a sustained utopia will end up being dystopia.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To be Invisible

I’ve been waiting for this moment for years, and it has finally arrived...
I’m finally taking a class where we get to read Plato’s Republic!!! It was a moment of accomplishment for me when I spied it on my Philosophy book list, but things have gone downhill since.
I don’t really think I much agree with Plato, but the question of the ring of invisibility did intrigued me.  

There are times when I feel like I’ve melted into a puddle of self-pity, inviting others to step on me. There are times when I wish those judging eyes wouldn’t watch me so. There are times when a ring of invisibility is just what I need.
And it is during these times that I quietly slip on the battered ring which resides in my pocket, and disappear.
I sit close and stare at the bird in the midst of his carefree dance, feeling simultaneously intrusive and harmless. His plumage is of colors unseen, and his movements are of a fluidity us worrying humans will never feel. Here, in the loud but peaceful floor of the Amazon rainforest, I am glad that I can see him, but he can’t see me.
To visit places unseen, and to travel alone and unknown.
Then I’m in the narrow gaps between the strangers in the nameless, lifeless crowd of commuters on a Monday morning. I watch them: each wrapped in their own little bubble and worrying over their own worries, but also painfully aware of the hundreds around them. I see their insecurities through their transparent walls, and look away. The feeling of another pair of eyes, even invisible ones, must only hurt them more.
I return to sit under a tree in a suburban park - nature dotted with humans in their weekend-selves. Through my back, I feel the throbbing life of the tree behind me, and I sit unmoving for fear of losing this connection. I laugh aloud in my head when I think of what a sight I would have been if people could see me.
I listen to my footsteps echo at the local mall, imagining the many feet that must have returned again and again to these floors in the daylight- searching for something that cannot be bought.

When I finally pull the ring off, it is in fear of going silent. Invisibility is a freedom from society and all its restraints, but while it sets your body free, it locks your voice in a cage. Visibility is the high price we pay to have a noticeable opinion.
So while my flights of fancy with the Ring of Invisibility are perfect in every way, they are impermanent because I wouldn’t give up my voice and opinion for anything.

Tell me what you would do if you found the Ring of Invisibility :)