Friday, June 22, 2012

A person can't help the way they feel

Recently watched Dirty Dancing, and it is such a romantic movie - a must-see for every girl! 1) Patrick Swayze is swooning - really - such a slick dancer, there's only one word for it and that word is HOT. 2) The dancing really is groovy. 3) The music is a blast of fun - really happy.
A huge thank you to my lovely friend Justina who introduced it to me and made me watch it, I won't ever forget it!

“Happiness must preclude false indulgence and physic.”

Digging through my blog drafts and I found a stack of Emma quotes I'd forgotten to upload! So... here they are!

"No; not immediately here. We are rather out of distance of the very striking beauties which attract the sort of parties you speak of; and we are a very quiet set of people, I believe; more disposed to stay at home than engage in schemes of pleasure."
Quote above sounds like me, hahaha.

I absolutely cannot do without music. It is a necessary of life to me; and having always been used to a very musical society, both at Maple Grove and in Bath, it would have been a most serious sacrifice. I honestly said as much to Mr. E. when he was speaking of my future home, and expressing his fears lest the retirement of it should be disagreeable; and the inferiority of the house too—knowing what I had been accustomed to—of course he was not wholly without apprehension. When he was speaking of it in that way, I honestly said that the world I could give up—parties, balls, plays—for I had no fear of retirement. Blessed with so many resources within myself, the world was not necessary to me. I could do very well without it. To those who had no resources it was a different thing; but my resources made me quite independent. And as to smaller-sized rooms than I had been used to, I really could not give it a thought. I hoped I was perfectly equal to any sacrifice of that description. Certainly I had been accustomed to every luxury at Maple Grove; but I did assure him that two carriages were not necessary to my happiness, nor were spacious apartments. 'But,' said I, 'to be quite honest, I do not think I can live without something of a musical society. I condition for nothing else; but without music, life would be a blank to me.'"
The quote above compares the beauty of music to the material necessities of comfort living - love it - but one must remember priorities pragmatically - and it is unfortunately spoken by a rather annoying character in the book.
"The post-office has a great charm at one period of our lives. When you have lived to my age, you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for." There was a little blush, and then this answer, "I must not hope to be ever situated as you are, in the midst of every dearest connection, and therefore I cannot expect that simply growing older should make me indifferent about letters." "Indifferent! Oh! no—I never conceived you could become indifferent. Letters are no matter of indifference; they are generally a very positive curse." "You are speaking of letters of business; mine are letters of friendship." "I have often thought them the worst of the two," replied he coolly. "Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does." . . . "When I talked of your being altered by time, by the progress of years," said John Knightley, "I meant to imply the change of situation which time usually brings. I consider one as including the other. Time will generally lessen the interest of every attachment not within the daily circle—but that is not the change I had in view for you. As an old friend, you will allow me to hope, Miss Fairfax, that ten years hence you may have as many concentrated objects as I have."

Post office, letters of love, memories of young age! In comparison to old Knightley. Nice quote and conversing.

Yes, things endure, while the living lapse.

Quote compiled from Darius Fo's Death of an Anarchist commentary and Tricks of the Trade.
Laughter is the identifying mark of humanity, since in laughter the human being becomes fully conscious of his own potential, of his individuality and of his ability to assert his autonomy from convention and rule. Authorities, any authorities, fear above all other things laughter, derision of even the smile, because laughter denotes a critical awareness; it signifies imagination, intelligence and a rejection of all fanaticism. In the scale of human evolution, we have first Homo faber, then Homo sapiens and finally Homo ridens, and this last is always the most difficult to subdue or make conform.
Watching Part 1 on Youtube now. It should be quite funny:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Titles and Photos

There were spits of rain in the wind.

The small sands in that waste was all there was for the wind to move and it moved with a constant migratory seething upon itself. As if in its ultimate granulation the world sought some stay against its own eternal wheeling.
As if the darkness had a soul itself that was the sun’s assassin hurrying to the west as once men did believe, as they may believe again 
“A track in the dirt. A fallen bauble. Not some cause. I can tell you that. Not some cause. Causes only multiply themselves. They lead to chaos.”

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” 
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” 
“I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside. ” 
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” 
“Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation– the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. 
One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the "impossible," come true.” 


How the mind wanders, even on the most concentrated of occasions.

But then, at what moment, of all our moments, is life not utterly, utterly changed, until the final, most momentous change of all?

There is no finishing a work, only the abandoning of it.

"There are moments when the past has a force so strong it seems one might be annihilated by it."

“What a little vessel of sadness we are, sailing in this muffled silence through the autumn dark.”

As incertitude initiates invention, myths regarding the unknown inevitability begin to sprout.
The younger population of the city whose minds were enlightened to imaginative possibilities believed that the otter was magical, and arrived in the pond of its own magical accord. The adult population that had long lost their fictive mindset sensibly conjectured that the otter had been disposed due to budget cuts from a nearby zoo. However, regardless of the different superstitions, it was common wonder that the small otter managed to survive the conditions of the pond.
As to how the otter appeared in the pond in the first place, it remained a mystery in the village, encouragingly manifested by the many myths it motivated. Although many yearned to know the truth, whatever it may have been was soon abdicated – for the skeptics and suspicion aroused by the curiosity of the matter did naught but spawn superstition, which later substituted as a publicly persuasive, but fabricated verisimilitude.

The room were a constant enigma to all things living in its vicinity.

It's been a while since my completion of The Crossing and Cities of the Plain so the quotes I post are a mixed jumble of both. Long overdue, but here:

The wolf sat watching with her ears forward and her nose making constant small correction in the air. As if to make acts of abetment to the life in the world.
The quote above is just pretty. How humans may wish we had that link with nature - but I'm sure we do.
The old man said that it was not a question of finding such a place but rather of knowing it when it presented itself. He said that it was at such places that God sits and conspires in the destruction of that which he has been at such pains to create.
Pains to create destruction... everything takes effort.
Men do not turn from God so easily. Not so easily. Deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from. To imagine otherwise is to imagine the unspeakable. It was never that this man ceased to believe in God. No. It was rather that he came to believe terrible things of him.
Love the one above. Speaks of losing faith - but in defense, beautifully as it is written, I suppose there are men who never believe in God, but yes to something that recognizes his existence.
“The wicked know that if the ill they do be of sufficient horror that men will not speak against it. That men have just enough stomach for small evils and only these will they oppose. He said that true evil has power to sober the smalldoer against his own deeds and in the contemplation of that evil he may even find the path of righteousness which has been foreign to his feet and may have no power but to go upon it. Even this man may be appalled at what is revealed to him and seek some order to stand against it. Yet in all of this there are two things which perhaps he will not know. He will not know that while the order which the righteous seek is never righteousness itself but is only order, the disorder of evil is in fact the thing itself. Nor will he know that while the righteous are hampered at every turn by their ignorance of evil to the evil all is plain, light and dark alike. This man of which we speak will seek to impose order and lineage upon things which rightly have none. He will call upon the world itself to testify as to the truth of what are in fact but his desires. In his final incarnation he may seek to indemnify his words with blood for by now he will have discovered that words pale and lose their savor while pain is always new.”
Okay, the last line is brilliant. but besides that, this is an important chunk of the book because what recurs lots in McCarthy's books is the theme of evil - what is it, how do we seek it, etc. And this chunk says much. That it is the disorder of evils which is the worst, because all evil is plain. It's hard to digest but reading the book overall helps so go read it.
“If a dream can tell the future it can also thwart that future. for God will not permit that we shall know what is to come. He is bound to no one that the world unfold just so upon its course and those who by some sorcery or or by some dream might come to pierce the veil that lies so darkly over all that is before them may serve bu just that vision that God should wrench the world from its heading and set it upon another course altogether and then where stands the sorcerer? Where the dreamer and his dream?”
Dreams ... how we imagine life to turn out and how much it doesn't. So if we think what we imagine 10 years from now will be like, the dream could easily warp that interpretation.
When he struck the road he turned south toward the town riding slowly. The howling of the dogs receded behind him. A half moon hung cocked in the east over the mountains like an eye narrowed in anger.
Okay the quote above is just striking. Last sentence is like a cut on the palm, not enough to kill you but a real good sting to earn you an infection or something. I can see that  eye and I can feel the anger. Love it.
The events of the world can have no separate life from the world. And yet the world itself can have no temporal view of things. It can have no cause to favor certain enterprises over others. The passing of armies and the passing of sands in the desert are one. There is no favoring, you see. How could there be? At whose behest? This man did not cease to believe in God. Nor did he come to have some modern view of God. There was God and there was the world. He knew that the world would forget him but that God could not. And yet that was the very thing he wished for.
A quote basically saying... why do you expect your life to turn out wonderful? Do you expect God's favouring? Because it ain't there.
“She said that her grandmother was skeptical of many things in this world and of none more than men. She said that in every trade save war men of talent and vigor prosper. In war they die. Her grandmother spoke to her often of men and she spoke with great earnestness and she said that rash men were a great temptation to women and this was simply a misfortune like others and there was little that could be done to remedy it. She said that to be a woman was to live a life of difficulty and heartbreak and those who said otherwise simply had no wish to face the facts. And she said that since this was so nor could it be altered one was better to follow one’s heart in joy and in misery than simply to seek comfort for there was none. To seek it was only to welcome in the misery and to know little else. She said that these were things all women knew yet seldom spoke of. Lastly she said that if women were drawn to rash men it was only that in their secret hearts they knew that a man who would not kill for them was of no use at all.”
This quote is read only for the last line. Rash men. Not so good for marriage, but a fun quote nonetheless.
“a bad map is worse than no map at all for it engendered in the traveler a false confidence and might easily cause him to set aside these instincts which would otherwise guide him if he would but place himself in their care. He said that to follow a false map was to invite disaster. He gestured at the sketching in the dirt. As if to invite them to behold its futility. The second man on the bench nodded his agreement in this and said that the map in question was a folly and that the dogs in the street would piss upon it.”
And what is this false map? The idea that God favours all, the idea that the dream must be able to tell the future... life is so tricky and sometimes I say to myself "well here's a new lesson learned, after all this is your first time living" and I wonder how things will turn out. Love the last line about the dogs pissing.
“Snowflake. You catch the snowflake but when you look in your hand you don’t have it no more. Maybe you see this dechado. But before you see it it is gone. If you want to see it you have to see it on its own ground. If you catch it you lose it. And where it goes there is no coming back from. Not even God can bring it back.”
Metaphor of the lovely past, of time, of everything lost and gone. Lovely.
“Men speak of blind destiny, a thing without scheme or purpose. But what sort of destiny is that? Each act in this world from which there can be no turning back has before it another, and it another yet. In a vast and endless net. Men imagine that the choices before them are theirs to make. But we are free to act only upon what is given. Choice is lost in the maze of generations and each act in that maze is itself an enslavement for it voids every alternative and binds one ever more tightly into the constraints that make a life. If the dead man could have forgiven his enemy for whatever wrong was done to him all would have been otherwise. Did the son set out to avenge his father? Did the dead man sacrifice his son? Our plans are predicated upon a future unknown to us. The world takes its form hourly by a weighing of things at hand, and while we may seek to puzzle out that form we have no way to do so. We have only God's law, and the wisdom to follow it if we will.”
What is God's law? The fact that all must die and the time before that is all time that exists? The first sentence is something that Ayn may nod to. What's a predicted destiny? How could it ever form? I do think we are free to make our own choices, but yes it's true that we can only act upon 'what is given.' Is that much of a choice there then? I reckon it still is.
“He said that whether a man's life was writ in a book someplace or whether it took its form day by day was one and the same for it had but one reality and that was the living of it.”
So poetic. True, too.
“The names of the cerros and the sierras and the deserts exist only on maps. We name them that we do not lose our way. Yet it was because the way was lost to us already that we have made those names. The world cannot be lost. We are the ones. And it is because these names and these coordinates are our own naming that they cannot save us. They cannot find for us the way again.”
This is near the end of the book and zing, right perfectly there. All our road signs, shop labels - we put them there to help us find our way but they are only there because the way has been lost. Yet, I do think the context should not be looked at this bleakly. The same could be said about this paradox that the existence of these maps can help us.
If people knew the story of their lives how many would then elect to live them? People speak about what is in store. But there is nothing in store. The day is made of what has come before. The world itself must be surprised at the shape of that which appears. Perhaps even God.
LOVE THIS - McCarthy said something similar in The Road about how people prepped for tomorrow when tomorrow may not even arrive. What is in store? What do those maps propose to show? Nothing at all - how can it. Yet we have no choice but to follow because it is"what is given to us."
“Nor does God whisper through the trees. His voice is not to be mistaken. When men hear it they fall to their knees and their souls are riven and they cry out to Him and there is no fear but only wildness of heart that springs from such longing...”
Reference to the quote before - longing that there is something in store, some safety.
“There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of beind except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And . . . in whatever . . . place by whatever . . . name or by no name at all . . . all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.”
I think the quote above suggests the perpetual quality of consciousness in all beings ("sum of all ... tales) - "of the telling there is no end" - and the stories their lives create. And the "hidden...joinery" of it all. Our limited knowledge of "what can be taken away." So,  I rather like it.
He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it.”
I think the quote above speaks of the spirit's dominance over "blood and bone" because it is something the world cannot lose and "cannot be held." 
“He told the boy that although he was huérfano still he must cease his wanderings and make for himself some place in the world because to wander in this way would become for him a passion and by this passion he would become estranged from men and so ultimately from himself. He said that the world could only be known as it existed in men's hearts. For while it seemed a place which contained men it was in reality a place contained within them and therefore to know it one must look there and come to know those hearts and to do this one must live with men and not simply pass among them. He said that while the huérfano might feel that he no longer belonged among men he must set this feeling aside for he contained within him a largeness of spirit which men could see and that men would wish to know him and that the world would need him even as he needed the world for they were one. Lastly he said that while this itself was a good thing like all good things it was also a danger. 
Quote above spoken about a blind man, I think. I like the last bit, and the part about looking into our hearts because that is the only why "the world could only be known it existed." Consciousness yet again!
“Such a man is like a dreamer who wakes from a dream of grief to a greater sorrow yet. All that he loves is now become a torment to him. The pin has been pulled from the axis of the universe. Whatever one takes one's eye from threatens to flee away. Such a man is lost to us. He moves and speaks. But he is himself less than the merest shadow among all that he beholds. There is no picture of him possible. The smallest mark upon the page exaggerates his presence.”
“It was the nature of his profession that his experience with death should be greater than for most and he said that while it was true that time heals bereavement it does so only at the cost of the slow extinction of those loved ones from the heart's memory which is the sole place of their abode then or now. Faces fade, voices dim. Seize them back, whispered the sepulturero. Speak with them. Call their names. Do this and do not let sorrow die for it is the sweetening of every gift.”
Two quotes above are on sorrow. Why is sorrow the "sweetening of every gift?" Reminds one of their own hearts? Consciousness? Because time "heals bereavement," a man that does not "let sorrow die" will not wake to a "greater sorrow yet?" We can't let all we love become a "torment." So maybe the presence of sorrow and its healing is in the end a comfort because the "extinction of those loved ones from the heart's memory" could be a good thing. I like this quote.
“It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog. He called and called. Standing in that inexplicable darkness. Where there was no sound anywhere save only the wind. After a while he sat in the road. He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept. He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and godmade sun did rise, once again, for all and without distinction.”
Quote above is lovely. There is always a waking day, until death, "for all and without distinction." And it's a nice paragraph in the book, too. Go read it! 

Friday, June 15, 2012


In any case - School is out and the summer holidays are in!


Poem below is lovely. Better start working on my Personal Project!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In any case it is difficult to stand outside of one’s desires and see things of their own volition.


The dead have no nationality


Fools beget their own kind.

Analysis of The Flea by John Donne.

Click here for the poem:


The Flea is a good poem to dig under, mainly because of the witty sexual innuendoes tucked in each stanza. It is without a doubt the cleverest – but also oddest – pick up line I’ve stumbled across!
A little background is useful before undressing this poem. The author, John Donne, was at this time experiencing frustration because he had juts married the love of his life, Anne More, although it was deeply against her parent’s wishes and since they were powerful people, they got Donne thrown into prison. This poem was probably written before the pair got married – the reason of which will soon become evident.
What makes the poem memorable, and what must be grasped is the object the flea represents – the consummation of Donne and Anne. In the old times, people believed that during intercourse blood would mingle, and Donne has taken the fact that the flea has sucked blood from both himself and his lover to his advantage in arguing that the flea now possesses a mingling of their blood, and “pampered swells” from the richness of it. Yet, he laments that that was “more than we would do,” which is the point in the poem when we realize the lover refuses to lose her virginity, afraid the marriage with Donne would shame her, and the poem is therefore a disguised wooing attempt.
Bearing in mind that the flea now possesses three blood types – Donne’s, his lover’s and its own – there are now “three lives” in one flea and Donne uses this to further argue that the lover must not attempt to swat the flea (which she would probably do under the circumstances, assuming that the wooing may be getting creepily out of hand and too figurative), as the flea is their “marriage temple,” holding their holy unity within “living walls of jet,” which refers to the flea’s skin. The speaker argues that by swatting the flea, the lover not only commits “self-murder,” but also sins thrice because there are, after all, “three lives” within that flea.
So, after all the speaker’s efforts to protect this flea, the climax of the poem arrives as the lover – probably disturbed beyond compare at this points – swats it anyway and smears her “nail in blood of innocence,” the innocent object being of course the flea. Here is when the speaker has no choice but to lament and complain – he questions where the flea was “guilty” and wonders at her “cruel and sudden action.” However, what truly turns this poem comedic is the final three lines, where the speaker gives one more clever shot at trying to get this girl, despite everything that has gone wrong. “Just so much honor when thou yield’st to me,” he says, “Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.” He refers to the girl’s “false fears”, which is her fear of losing her virginity due to her parent’s “grudge.” Donne says she has really no reason to be afraid of wasting any extra honor because the amount of honor she has already lost sinning, by killing the flea that consummated their love, can’t be more than the amount of honour she’d potentially lose if the two make love. Everything will ‘cancel out’ and yielding to him won’t make a difference regarding her honour, and Donne doesn’t mind about his own either. Moreover, she “find’st not thyself, nor [. . . the speaker] the weaker now” so it is not as if her ego would suffer a blow either. So, even though Donne began this rebuttal with “’Tis true,” he still manages to whip things around and eventually essentially say, “Why not do it anyway” to his lover.
It is funny to think that John Donne – who later become a priest – ever came up with such a metaphor!

Words pale and lose their savor while pain is always new.

My analysis of a poem we studied at school:

40-Love by Robert McGough 


Here is another poem about love – but a rather tricky relationship. The first thing that must be noted upon viewing this poem is definitely its structure, something many modern poets like to play with (most notably, E.E. Cummings). The first two words of the poem announce that the couple is middle aged, like the title suggests (the “40” in 40-love refers to age). In another context, 40-Love is also a term in tennis that is called when a player is one point away from victory whereas the other opponent’s score remains as zilch. So, cleverly, the structure is divided so that when the poem is read, our eyes leap back and forth across the center like a ball hit across a net over and over again. With this in mind, the poem becomes a tennis match between a couple, and the blank space in the middle is their net. The shortness of the poem is a simplicity asset, taking us to the poem’s message quicker (like a quick tennis game). “The net will still be between them” is our best lead pertaining to their relationship. They may not be so happily in love after all. The net is more than just an object in their game, but a metaphor for a division in their daily lives – a barrier that blocks communication. I also liked how the two “be’s” were opposite each other in the structure of the poem. It is almost as if the poet was drawing a connection between the two behind the net, hinting that although they are inevitably linked and similar, they are separate. Robert McGough is actually known for being a performance poet, as he often likes to perform his poems. In fact, when I listened to Robert McGough reading 40-Love, the recital was recorded with sounds of birds chirping, and each word of the poem accompanied by a ping of the tennis ball. This is what makes the poem most special – it is written not only for reading, but also experiencing. The poem is designed to trigger you imagination, and that is why I like it.

Easy to see that naught save sorrow could bring a man to such a view of things. And yet a sorrow for which there can be no help is no sorrow. It is some dark sister traveling in sorrow's clothing.

I also read Day of Tears by Julius Lester and had issues with that too. Thing is...
it's special because it's a novel told in dialogue and jumping back and forth with time, so effort deserves commendation, but the main problem I have with it is repetition - the story line and language of the novel seems already-written, like a pale imitation of William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy. The metaphor of rain was lovely but dished out one time too many - really. First time, it was lovely (rain as 'hard as sorrow,' 'God's tears, etc.') but after a while it stuck to the reader too much. And in the bad way. I do not mean the story was not well built, but I do think it could have been more special, written with thicker language, and its message not too 'obvious' to make it a deeper piece of writing. Especially when the grandmother speaks of the school report - that was unnecessary. Could have been tucked away like a treasure expected. This would enhance the message, which is terribly important. So in all, this novel had a few gems but they could have cooperated better as a whole. For better connections with the slave trade horrors, go read Chains, I've heard it's quite good.

Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.

Midway through annotating first batch of quotes! Currently working my way through
The Black Keys' Brothers album. Think I lost my slip of paper with all important page numbers in The Crossing and Cities of the Plain. Anyway, after those, I read The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. Plot is okay - character development way flawed - the characters seem built for something they wouldn't do, based on their original description, which is very disappointing. Yes, easy to read and Wyndham was commended for that but really, plot was missing major chunks of quality quote-grinding or bed-rock basing. It could have been a richer, better book in general. Plot is there but it needs gap filling. You cannot write a book and insert an 'oh by the way' along the way to make up for a lost comment. Because then what it leads up to becomes too obvious. No hidden literature anecdotes and nothing to dig for. Just everything with potential of digging strewn on the surface. Sad to say that most of the nice language was taken from quoting the Bible, presumably. The idea of the story was fine as well, so it really is a small shame. So, I'm calling this book a hopeful disappointment - maybe a play or movie could turn it into something more entertaining. Should be commended at least for readability, though, I could zip through it comfortably.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Science Saved my Soul

Despite the horrible score I got on my science test...

This is a beautiful mix, true and lovely:

and this is a Laura Marling interview. I quite like the way she phrases her words!

Today was the last day for borrowing fiction books from the library so I seized 3 just in case:

On Cats by Doris Lessing (Have been meaning to read for ages)
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (Reminds me of Brave New World which I just finished - will maybe write a review during summer)
Day of Tears by Julius Lester (A novel in dialogue! Exciting)

On top of that, I need to collect all quotes from The Crossing and Cities of the Plain AND post about them too so be expecting all those...

Better start reading!