Monday, October 21, 2013
Irfaan stopped to think, desperately trying to marshal things known and experienced into something he could identify, own and articulate. As the deliberate part of his mind trudged through the custard of his thoughts, its disquiet neural cousin ran ahead, shouting phrases and streaking colours that offered the exciting shadows of parts that looked like they fit and flowed together. The subtle glitter of cleverness and easiness distracting and persuading.
Irfaan stopped thinking. The small beginnings painfully assembled design that covered belief and knowing discarded, and the instinct for lifting the thought through pieces of others - ready-mix ideas, pregnant with substance - and sifting them together with beguiling words and cloudy turns of phrase. Synthesis and the instinct to identify the value and broad shape of an argument doing away for the need to think.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It's a visioning, perhaps? When your brain and heart skip ahead away from the tedium of what, when and how, and imagines how you'll feel if you accomplish this wonderful thing (the details of which and what needs to be done can be determined later) and for a basking blip in quantum you inhale the potentia of the pride, and success, and wonderfulness you feel for what you've done (details of which are not presently available).
That's what this scramble of words is. Custard1. I can skim your finger over it distractedly, but as soon as I hit it to get through to some of the pieces underneath, nothing. And so, wrists droop listlessly from extended arms, as a quiet terror shepherds the smoky shapes and shadows out and away. Words, and pictures, and ideas hidden under the opaque film. And all I have is an abstracted (but real) sense of loss - that swoop and delight that was nearly tasted, that wasn't ever there. Elbows reel in the futures of words, of thoughts, of changes never realised. And a boy that very nearly almost began to be, now famous for fuck all, collapses like flan in a cupboard2.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Because instinct works out that escaping the dusty tethers of this constrained and (relatively) unremarkable existing will fade into a being that's complete. And free from the inhibited appreciation that's governed by a sulking boy's perpetual temper, sour mood, and irrational pride.
But the overwhelming and swollen heart usually subsides into a darkened undertone of contrition that seeps from my bones. Because I know as much I fall in love with a sunrise, or a dark eyed girl, I don't deserve those things. And my brain furiously pencils out the parabola of things I deserve to have, and my shoe laces feel to big for my feet, and I stumble and graze an existential chin.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Now, a decade and a half later, I don't really remember those things as painful. The scattered scars are curiously remembered, and the stories fondly told.
What does still hurt and sting, is the humiliation and abandonment by peers3 and friends3 as I tried to fit in as a too-clever, un-coordinated boy from a little too far away4. Bored, rejected, lost in strange cultures, and well into university, very afraid of people and not being liked.
I'm very reluctant to reflect on whether any of those things apply to me now, because of the dread of finding out that they do.
- Fat, awkward, and a little bit too clever
- Though, weirdly, no broken bones
- I was born on the east coast, grew up in a rural dorpie in the middle of the country, and moved to the west coast when I was 8.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
That's what it takes for me to see the letter I type on my screen. The fact that you can see it, and what's necessary to allow this to happen, is utterly improbable and stupendously impossible.
And still we can bear to wither our lives away on some fucking bullshit.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
That means for every moment you're standing still, the ground beneath you is spinning through space faster than you can spit; spinning at a speed of about 1,700 km/h, and swinging around the centre of our solar system at a speed of 4,500 km/h.
The solar system spins around a galactic core, a superset of the Earth's motions, and our dwarf sun is moving through the galaxy towards the constellation Virgo (the jokes you could make, eh), taking the Earth and 8 other lumps of rock along with it, the entire solar convoy spinning around the centre of the milky way at about 1900 kilometres per second, and hauling ass through to Virgo at about 194 kilometres every second.
So stand still for a moment. Feel the tranquil stillness of your breath. Anchor yourself in time, in this moment. If it took a second, you will have moved 12,000 kilometres - a quarter of the way around the Earth - as a passenger on board a machine with galactic mechanics.
(If you're interested, this is what it looks like - not accounting for galactic spin:)
Our solar system occupies a negligible amount of space and matter in the universe.
Which isn't really related to anything, except, the next time you stand to pray and you say the words 'God is Great', for the moment it took you to say those words, imagine what He has made happen through the heavens, and what he will continue to make happen until the end of time, and understand that our comprehension of the word great is miserable.
Which may be the point.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
And then I always try to do the processing: that the biggest of the little celestial dots, which only occasionally has the courage to be visible in a photograph glides gently through the morning with a size and (almost) mass of the Earth. That the white light is the pearly sheen of clouds of sulphur that are wrapped snugly around her. And that the closest I've ever been to Venus is 38,000,000 kilometres which, at a space shuttle speed of 28,000 pm/h would take me 2 months of travelling to reach.
And then, feeling overwhelmed and small and overly aware of my insignificance, my brain collapses like a harassed flan in a cupboard. So I blot her out with a well-placed fingertip and swear a lot.
I have a headache when I look at Jupiter.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Apart from swearing, sarcasm, chronic procrastination, being follicley unpresentable1, and having the fashion sense of a damp2 rag, the only other major reason I get into trouble at work is around my prickly issue of ambition and goals, and my utter lack thereof. For two reasons:
- I treat my job like a job3, and apart from having a comfortable and only mildly stressful environment, I don't really mind/am indifferent to what I'm being asked/told to do.
- I don't have any career plans further than lunch.
Which doesn't go down well, because it looks lethargic and lacking grit and determination even though I'm an intelligent4 boy. Making "growth" and a "career path" only something which can happen retrospectively (if indeed at all) rather than looking ahead.
For a while, and still now to some extent I suppose, I feel a little embarrassed about it. Because people around me have lives to live, and things to work for and towards, and I simply plod5.
And while the plodding is instinctive, I think I'm working out why it feels right for me. Goals and goal-setting are remarkable exercises to undertake, and are very responsible for making extraordinary things happen. But ethos and ethos-setting can be, if not as easily to ceremonise6, also quite more-than-ordinary.
In the last 9 years of my life, switching degrees a handful of times, making career decisions more than that, and generally having a fluid time making and discovering lifes paths and the briar bushes of its decisions, I've learnt that it's okay not to know. And I really don't know, and it apart from social shyness, it doesn't worry me. While goals have shifted, and changed, and sometimes altogether disappeared, the ethos of being and doing hasn't. Getting stuck in, be kinder than you need to be, learn hard and try to teach and share as much as possible. All these things have been more important to me, than reaching the tenuous goal of being employed.
Life isn't meant to take you where you want to go, and you definitely you wont do or become the things you expect to (there are obvious exceptions to this, but lets pretend they don't exist). While I generally exist in a delusional bubble of distraction, and abstraction, I think that's okay.
- My beard. Eish.
- But practical
- Revolutionary concept. Wait till you read the book.
- Above average anyway
- Like the policeman in Noddy
- Throwing a party for, etc.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Not failing, which is in and of itself1 laudable, and tells of courage, bravery, and sexy kind of stupidity. Failure is difficult because without a good and sense of self, self-importance, and that necessary tinge of despised narcissism failure becomes relative2.
And this applies doubly so to me, I suppose, because I've spent a not insignificant4 part of my late teenage and young adult life defining failure as an inability to impress/make happy/keep in favour with others. So that my ability to fail or not succeed5 was a function of other's6 tolerance of my action. Not being funny and entertaining company was a failure. Not being academically resourceful and logistically convenient was a failure. People in general are quite happy and eager to determine what the criteria for my failing is.
It is quite tumultuous7 to cycle through this as a realisation, because well apart from recognising my own failing8 to decide for myself what failing means, it's easy to want to wag a finger at the flavour of people I accepted failing criteria from before. And its an undeserved scorn, because I happily determine the criteria of the failure of others.
Maybe that's where those persons who have incredibly accepting and loving hearts come from; through their inability to decide how other people fail.
I'm not sure I've done it yet either. My vapid9 extra-curricular year and a half since graduating10 talks to two things:
- I'm fortunate to work where a "performance culture" means my constructive corporate progress is passively taken care of, and my mental engineering fault means this will continue
- Because my weekends and time away isn't seen or cared for by anyone else, these have descended into stagnant puddles of meh.
Deciding what constitutes my own failure feels ... awesome11. Because re-wiring, or attempting to, at that level can only bring about washes of change and conflict. Importance changes. Things stop mattering. Things start to matter. Energy becomes a resource which needs to be strategically re-thought while the momentum of entertaining decisions already made needs to be (mostly) kept.
The flip-side of this flip-floppy chameleon like being, I guess, is Elon Musk. Now there's a personified instutionalisation of self-determined determination.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Vapid (Adjective): Offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging.
If you want a movie metaphor, it's the difference between the movie Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror mirror.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I've decided to guinea pig myself later this evening and see if my iPod can induce lucid dreams that I pick
And I made you a 15 minute YouTube mixtape
1. Regina Spektor - Dance anthem of the 80's
2. The Pretty Reckless - Zombie
3. Miike Snow - A horse is not a home
4. Karmin - Take it away
5. Flash Republic - Devestation
Monday, April 09, 2012
Friday, April 06, 2012
There's a wonderful thing I noticed that happens at live comedy shows. When the comedian makes a very subtle, very clever joke that doesn't have an obvious punch line, it usually goes:
- Comedian delivers subtle, clever line
- Immediate laughter from some people
- awkward pause as first laughers finish laughing
- secondary laughter from those who needed a little time to identify and process the humor
- secondary silence
- hushed whispering as the tertiary batch of none laughers are explained what the joke is
- awkward tertiary laughter consisting mainly of the primary laughers feeling sorry for the tertiary
Some comedians like a Dave Gorman (YouTube the Googlewhack adventure, it's phenomenal) and Eddie Izzard (YouTube the Death Star canteen) demand a smarter audience. Snobbish and exclusionary, true, but when it does happen the comedy is utterly remarkable.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
glare of tightening waistbands • and the reappreciating of
sleepy-sexy faces (apparently)
It disappoints me that the Hog's Head just has a sign painted "Hog's Head" rather than an actual (or even wooden) hog's head outside of it. Bad show Hogsmeade, bad show.
Frenetic day(s) are being made accomplishable1, but not kindly endorsed by pants2 which are getting more and more snug. But there's an absolute truth in the idea of busy people getting shit done, but functional, operational, tactical shit, not wide-eyed, wandering, slightly flirty-and-nappy shit3. Flirty-nappy, incidentally, is the best kind of mood to be in.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Well, that's the reason I'm camouflaging my recent endorsement of properly corporate being and participation. Hippie me5 would vomit in my ear. And not in a sexy way.