some words

I usually get this with songs. A decrescendo of the verse, then a beat, then BAM! Drums and bass kicks in, and the song just... hits you. Like a tidal wave. The lyrics hit me hard too. You are driving in your Honda and listening to that one new CD that seems alright at first, but then all of a sudden, the words hit your ear drums, and you have this moment, this connection with the songwriter (A STRANGER for the most part!). You and another person experience this one lyric as shared memory of similar backgrounds, situations, and tones. It's seeing through someone else's eyes as though they are your own. This MOVES you that someone else put into words what you've been silencing so long, and wording it so incredibly perfect at that! It's almost as though they tapped into what happened to you two, three, twenty weeks back. And the most amazing part is the healing that comes with it. Strangers healing strangers, unknowingly, and possibly unintentionally.

Music hasn't been as powerful as it usually is during a time like this-- a time of digging in deeper within myself, discovering, thinking, and meditating. But, I will say literature has taken affect that music usually does to me. In particular, Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. I read this today and have been reading it all day. It was the cactus I split open and realized how incredibly thirsty I've been all this time once water hit my tonsils. I thought I'd share some of the juiciest excerpts from his seventh letter; feel free to read, though I have no idea if it will hit you as hard as it did me. 

On the topic of love and solitude, 

Most people have (with the help of conventions) turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must trust in what is difficult... We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it.

It is also good to love; because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginnings in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time ahead and far on into life, is solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. 

But this is what young people are so often and so disastrously wrong in doing they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment... : And what can happen then? What can life do with this heap of half-broken things that they call their communion and that they would like to call their happiness, if that were possible, and their future? And so each of them loses himself for the sake of the other person, and loses the other, and many others who still wanted to come. And loses the vast distances and possibilities, gives up the approaching and fleeting of gentle, prescient Things in exchange for an unfruitful confusion, out of which nothing more can come; nothing but a bit of disgust, disappointment, and poverty, and the escape into one of the many conventions that have been put up in great numbers like public shelters on this most dangerous road. No area of human experience is so extensively provided with conventions as this one is: there are live-preservers of the most varied invention, boats and water wings; society has been able to create refuges of very sort, for since it preferred to take love-life as an amusement, it also had to give it an easy form, cheap, safe, and sure, as public amusements are.

It is true that many young people who love falsely, i.e. simply surrendering themselves and giving up their solitude (the average person will of course always go on doing that), feel oppressed by their failure and want to make this situation they have landed in livable and fruitful in their own, personal way. For their nature tells them that the questions of love, even more than everything else that is important, cannot be resolved publicly and according to this or that agreement; that they are questions, intimate questions from one human being to another, which in any case require a new, special, wholly personal answer. But how can they, who have already flung themselves together and can no longer tell whose outlines are whose, who thus no longer possess anything of their won, how can they find a way out of themselves, out of the depths of their already buried solitude?


via chicago

dear chicago, illinois, 
one day ill be back
in your windy, windy arms
do you remember that one night, 
around this day but a year ago
we rode the bus, got off at lincoln park,
and ran out of the sleeting slush hissing in our ears
into this warm, calm, iranian restaurant
sipping tea, 
eating hummus, 
hearing farsi spoken in the other room

or that cold day in chinatown where we took off our shoes
and prayed in the buddhist temple, 
everything around us so silent and sacred

but i think my favorite was standing in front of a cy twombly
the city of athens 
and thinking, 
"man... i could really stay here"

well... spring break 08's a'near
sxsw is gonna be good,
but would be better
if only on the L train


i wanna be your dog

i miss my dawgg
.....i dont like the whole "cute" picture genre, but HELL, guys,
theres nothing better than a pic of a six week old weiner pup


garden of selves

meet robert parkeharrison, 

the guy who introduced me to black and white photography combined with sculpture in the most unique way.

the guy who is inspiring me to stay in school for say, 8 more years, so i can have my thesis in photo and sculpture