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19 August 2011 @ 04:26 pm
Everything seems to be just out of reach in stagnant summer. Memories and thoughts and ideas and emotions just float around my stuffy room mingling with the dust particles that refuse to be dusted anywhere but up up into the air. It’s like I’m constantly trapped in a tornado of my own mind, except it’s the eye of the storm, I’m right in the centre and everything is quiet and impossible to hold onto. Every now and then a piece of the past touches my skin and I’m thrown backwards and I can’t reach out and steady the emotions that should accompany these memories and I’m feeling motion sickness even in the stillest place there ever was.

This morning I slept too late dreaming a nightmare of illness and monsters and when I woke up it was hard to distinguish between then and now. Everything feels intangible, and for a while I consider the possibility of all this being an ever-expanding daydream. Even my parents seem blurred at the edges; I constantly beg at their feet for physical affection, cling at my mom in the hope that it will make everything seem more solid, more alive. They laugh at me and shrug me off after a moment, busy being people with direction and plans and “things to do” while I wander aimlessly through the backyard of my brain, kicking at stones and dried up foliage.
07 November 2010 @ 02:46 pm
There are so many people who I miss at the moment. When I traveled in America, I stayed with some of the best people I know. Each city I went to, however long I stayed, it felt like a little lifetime with that person, a glimpse into their life, their routine, a taster of what it would be like to live with them, or near them. An imaginary of what it could have been like if I was born in that city, if we had met through school, or in a mall, or somewhere more tangible than the internet. I loved it, and miss the lives I lived there.

Whenever I hear Animal Collective I have to stop for a moment and smile to myself; I take a moment to reminisce or perhaps not even that, it's not a voluntary thought process, it hits me without my permission and suddenly I'm back in the passenger seat of Sam Galloway's car and it's pitch black and we're driving with the music so loud and Skylar is in the back seat and we've just eaten at Waffle House and that music will never stop reminding me of that exact moment. So no, I don't take a moment to remember; I have to take a moment to stop remembering, to bring me back to my surroundings.

So yes, I lived in Champaign for a year (give or take a few months), but by this point let's face it, I've lived in Ohio too. Even before the year abroad, I'd lived in Ohio for a couple of months, and I've lived with Sarah and I've been a part of her family and we've woken up, eaten, lived and slept on the same schedule. My one week or five days or whatever it was in Seattle was a whole lifetime too. I miss my life in Seattle, because yes it was sightseeing (sights that I have always wanted to see) but it was also beer pong and band parties and band practise and movie nights and car rides.

And this could go on and on, it really could. Washington DC with the monuments I had yearned for, and New York with Alix's Brooklyn adorable apartment and cool group of friends, but the point isn't naming names or places, the point is that at this point I feel so connected to so many people that are so far away. These lifetimes I have lived, (and yes Champaign was one of them, and I miss my roomies, but there was so much British invasion that I can easily go back to that moment at any point) they are so far away from me now. And a lot of the time I just want to talk to someone about my day, and it's one of these people, and it's a longing to meet them for coffee or hang out at their place.

I am stretched too far across a map, spread too thin.
02 April 2010 @ 10:27 pm
This restless feeling leads me to drastic statements. “I’m not sure I want to be here anymore.” And doesn’t that make me feel a fool? And who am I now if this isn’t everything I ever wanted? At least one night a week I sit here with this feeling of discontent, with this itching beneath my feet, with this impulse to do something, whatever that something might be. I sigh loudly. I walk amongst the rooms and hope that someone, anyone, will request my company. Ten thousand times a year I am lonely, (a warlock if anything) locked in a tower with no doors and one hundred windows. Here I sit and observe but if I call out I can’t be heard. No long locks to open doors or throw down to princes. No price or prize for discovering me here in my room. Weeds grow upon my door and cover all evidence of any tenant, and I lack the correct shears to change this outwardly appearance of wanting my solitude.
08 December 2009 @ 10:41 pm
It's going to pour this week. There is something very comforting about that. I've been waiting for the cold for a while, and now it is coming, and now I am really here at this time, in the non-summer portion of the year. I am in America and I love it, I truly do. I have friends here who I will miss, who I will write to, who I will visit. I am making friends and I am feeling loved, and even when I'm not, who cares? I am here. I love the rain outside when I'm warm inside. I sat and drank far too much coffee with a friend I'm intrigued by, and stared at the rain on the window, on the pavement. I listened and talked and we protested in the rain. And that is what I need from friends, I need the protests in the rain at 9am and I need the coffee afterwards. I think we find ourselves everywhere. Under sofas, inside dark cupboards, in the arms of a friend, in the bottom of a cup, and in photographs that capture the moment that you didn't even notice at the time. I am obsessive. It's okay though, I don't mind it sometimes. I love my friends with all I can and then when I can't I'll hate them but still underneath that, love them more. Hate that can be scratched away with a nail like grime on a window. Love shining through underneath like sun through clear glass, and every cliche is true when it comes to love. I have missed writing. I have missed talking and speaking and expressing me through fingers on keys. Pen and paper is more difficult now than this, and that's technology I suppose, and that's the sad fact of time and progress and the diminishing use of old ways. Sometimes you have to just type type type and maybe amongst the drivel a real idea will come out to play. Lying quiet beneath dust and discarded objects like a treasure in an attic. One clear metaphor/similie/idea/non-bullshit expression. And you have to keep writing to find it, keep writing to let it go, let it pour out of you like the weather outside. Write write write until you find something to say. That's my plan anyway.
09 September 2009 @ 12:40 pm
What makes a woman? In the case of Caster Semenya, apparently nothing makes a woman, when you are trying to prove that you are one. In the vast history of gender repression, of homophobic tension, and of scientific rule, never has biology been so quickly thrown out of the window. For three years now Caster Semenya has been undergoing sex testing, because while apparently it takes nothing to make a woman, it takes nothing but a winner to make a man. A woman who is too good to be a woman; a woman who is so good at what she does, that the IAAF claim that she must be a man, and not only do they state this in private to each other, written on notes and whispered behind hands, but they are bold enough to come forward and argue their case to the world.

So what made them make this bold statement? Well, other than her incredible sporting power, she has…muscles… and a deep voice. Some say she even looks… ‘mannish’. Try your hardest to hold back the shudders…this is a woman who doesn’t wear make-up. After some speculation, science was eventually called in on the case, and so began the long trial of sex testing. First comes the visual physical test, which (imagine it now) most people would find mortifying, though it comes a close second to the embarrassment of having your gender so openly questioned and denied. She passed step one, she looked like a woman under her clothes, but as we all know, there are ways to get around being the sex you were born and so the next step was testosterone levels. Hers were high, higher than many, but not high enough to conclusively state that she is male. The next step? Oh, gather ‘evidence’ from her hometown, evidence of a tomboyish sense of fashion and a lack of boyfriends. Because if there is one thing we all know, it’s that a lack of men in your life, makes you a man. The issue here is not whether Caster Semenya is a man; the issue is the type of evidence being used to deny her womanhood. Not only do I find this offensive on behalf of women and men, but also on behalf of South Africa, whose females are being judged by a European idea of femininity. The idea that a different culture could cherish different traits in a gender seems to be lost on the IAAF.

This brings me to my original question; what makes a woman? At what point would her testosterone levels bypass female and become male? We are taught sex and gender as if it is all so concrete, so secure and final. At what point do the two genders merge, what is the exact count that would tip the scale and turn a person from one stereotype to the next? And if she did begin life as a man, and she had undergone a sex-change operation, what would that mean for her status now? If the IAAF discovers she was once male, does that mean she cheated? Then of course there is the question of intersex people, and which race should they participate in? To me, this whole fiasco outlines how ridiculous all these gender stereotypes are, the ideas that men and women are born so completely different, with their opposite interests and their gendered character traits. What makes a woman? Attraction to men? A penchant for skirts? A low level of testosterone? A certain body shape? Simone De Beauvoir famously stated ‘One is not born a woman, but rather, becomes one.’ So what do you want to become? Who do you want to become? A man? A woman? A stereotype that can only allow themselves certain talents and shortcomings? Personally, I’d rather just be me. I’d rather just live by what I believe is right and act upon my emotions and not worry about whether I’m meant to be good at something because of my sex, or whether it is strange that I have a knack for something ‘manly’. The huge barrier between what makes a man and what makes a woman is a combined product of society and our unwillingness to accept difference, and if the case of Caster Semenya has taught us anything, it should be that.