march 3, 1999

so what is it about eggplants?

coming in like a lion, going out like a lamb, huh?

what is it about those phrases, the way they stick in my head? april showers bring may flowers.

tonight, when we got back from tutoring, the sky was shovelling clouds like a conveyor belt, all purple and mauve, puce... hiccups of lightning brightening the darkening sky. hiccups of lightning. that phrase popped into my mouth when i was talking silently to myself about the sky on the way home from dinner, and it seemed to fit.

i went to a writing workshop once and the writer told me i should keep notecards in my pocket so i could always write down those little flashes, but i still rarely write them down. and now the wind outside is keening and whooing like a mournful dog. well actually, my dog has never made any sounds quite like these, but i like the way it sounds.

so it's been weeks and weeks since i've worked on my webpage, or at least it feels that way. i actually haven't had a page quite long enough to really have gone weeks and weeks without working on it. still, it's been a while. i certainly haven't written any new journal entries in a while. i haven't had much time to write much of anything, actually, except papers. it's that time of the semester.

the paper i just wrote for my english class, though, was an enjoyable experience. i'm taking english 67, (Asian) Ethnicity and (Hetero) Sexual Normativity. we joke about the title of the class a lot, and most of us just call it by its nickname: "asian sex." always fun to tell people that's what you're writing a paper for. it was nice, though, writing the paper -- it was the first time in a while when i felt like there was actually more to say than i had time or room to say in a paper. so often i'm just too busy to really invest myself in a topic enough to feel like i'm grasping more than the bare minimum.

we read a book this week called Rolling the R's by R. Zamora Linmark. it tells stories of a group of fifth grade filipino / filipino-american kids in hawai'i, their experiences with sexuality, ethnicity, pop culture, assimilation... it's not linear like a novel, really, but a collection of very short pieces that form a whole. some are like short stories, some like prose poems, some like monologues, some poems... there's so much going on, so many serious issues, but it's so easy to read. in some parts truly hilarious:

Edgar, are you possessed because I swear to God, you're beginning to turn into a Linda Blair from The Exorcist. No, make that Linda Blair from Roller Boogie since you are getting F-A-T.

it's definitely a book i want to keep thinking about, because it makes me think. and it feels so good to surface with some sort of new, if not understanding exactly, at least new questions, new hypotheses.

surfacing. that's what i feel like i'm doing, now. like i've been underwater for too long, and now i'm floating again, wiping the salt out of my eyes, tears flowing out to take away the sting. there are periods of such intense stress here sometimes; well, anywhere, sometimes. this weekend, it was just way too much work to possibly get done. so, it didn't. at least not on time. but it's mostly done now, and i'm floating again, letting the sun bake into my skin.

last night, i went to the body image discussion group that's recently formed here. it was my first time going, though i'd been talking to people in the group about some of the issues. maya read a passage from some book that was about floating; about how infants, if put into a pool, will perhaps go under and surface again, but will quickly float, will come to some sort of equilibrium with the water. six year olds, on the other hand, will thrash around violently and not be able to float at all, upon first being put into water. the author used this as a metaphor for how we are all distanced from a sense of oneness with the surronding world. we are all alone in our bodies, our minds, and this is what makes the body and body image such a difficult and often painful issue.

i was thinking about this, both within the group and afterwards. about times when i have truly felt connected, felt that i've transcended the self and the body and become more than that. and my thoughts immediately turn to what i consider some of my most profound religious and/or spiritual experiences. my thoughts turn to the worships that i experienced at conferences all through high school as a unitarian universalist youth. all of them were special in their own ways, but the most potent, or at least the ones i'm struck by now, in retrospect, are those which occured outdoors, some at district conferences, some at concon, the continental conference.

there was something added about being in the darkness, seeing faces only as they were lit by starlight or moonlight, that made it easier to distance myself from myself, my body, my inner monologue of doubt and rationality. and give myself over to the chants, the songs, the almost tangible sense of love between people. when i think of what god means to me, this is still what i think of. the energy of each individual rising airborne in our voices, our smiles, our tears, rising and mixing, like drops of water finding each other on a rainy windowpane and becoming one, and this force that was each of us and all of us and magic and more than any one thing was god, and it existed everywhere, and as we inhaled, we inhaled god, and as we exhaled, we exhaled part of god, part of ourselves.

and i carry this image with me, and i turn to it when i'm feeling alone and very much like god is no longer within but somewhere without, and i am without god and without connection and without purpose. and it still has power, even though concon and my most profound experiences of this sort were nearly two years ago now. but i long sometimes to feel that again. not just within me but all around, a viscous ball of light surrounding me, surrounding everything.

for now, i just rely on friends. and that's not a bad thing. we're so good for each other, the quint. it's like having a family, almost. and i have family, too. i'm going home in a couple days, and it will be so nice...

for now, you can read what i wrote about the concept of home last month on my main page.

or, you can explore...

writing || journal || dekalb || maine