Thursday, February 28, 2008
Well, I leave for the lovely Kerala tomorrow and I just can't wait. It's a 10 day trip involving very little sleeping, the southern tip of India, psychedelic tripping, elephants, tree houses, endless sleeps on trains, washing clothes in rivers, tea spice fields. Tigers?!
Details? When I return.
Until then, take care of yourselves. Have a cup of tea, on me. Go for a run in the middle of the day, it'll clear your head. Also, count to 10 backwards, and then forwards, and then backwards again skipping every third number and adding Spanish words for colors in between.
ALSO, Sophie just posted a load of photos. Refer to her for fun. There are some great ones of Boy Band Magical Magicness. :))))))))))))))) [septuple chin]
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I just picked up this book by a Hugh Prather called Notes to Myself: How I Became A Person. Let us again return to Kurt, and something I found interesting in my last blog:
"'I can't tell if you're serious of not," said the driver.
'I won't know myself until I find out whether life is serious or not," said Trout. "It's dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean it's serious, too.'"
Can I answer these questions unless I answer this one first? Do I take it all too seriously, life? Is that possible? Is it not possible? Sometimes I feel like my tragic flaw is that I do take it seriously, all too seriously. But then again sometimes it is my strength--I guess it sets me apart?
Anyhow, lots of wondering lately. I think I'd sort of tried to shut that part off from me because when I do open it up it floodgates...I mean is really heavy and crazy and gooey like tar...It's a lot to carry on your back...It makes every day of living very...difficult?, intense?, serious?, too meaningful?, monumental? I wish I could reach the unbearable lightness of being, because in my mind it is unbearably light....the idea of it all...I mean its wonderful and easy and so simple....but I make it complicated. Immediately and naturally(?) I make it complicated. Is it or isn't it? Am I wasting my time, wringing myself dry on this stuff? Oh, bananas.
Yes I do want to know about my father's family, how they grew up and what their time in India was like. There's got to be more to my understandingexperienceconnection to India than this tourism. Perhaps I'll email him. (For those of you that don't know about my relationship to my father, it is not easy for me to A.Contact him and B.know anything about his life and/or history // mylife and/or my history.
So these thoughts about Indian family and my Indian identity, my connection to this land, really hit me when we were on the bus driving back from Goa this weekend. The drive back was breathtaking, curving through the forests of Carnataka, the mountains and boisterous hills, trees growing on trees, workers every where living lives of farming, getting by on what you get by on . I had this moment--well it wasn't a moment, it lasted for a good while--during that heartstopping time of day..you know...when the sun's wanting to set and everything is taking a breath and breathing more slowly. Time felt slower. I connected with something. I don't know what. But something hit, something clicked or something swung, maybe something unhinged..Whatever it was I was moved. I had my head out of the window gawk-eyed for about an hour and a half and I became quietly teary-eyed. Something was so beautiful, all of it was, the people, the pace, time and where I was in it--moments of time and the greaterness of TIMETIMETIME--the universe connecting, understanding something about PEOPLE, not just Americans but People, seeing friendly oblivious faces, smelling things and things and things in different places, letting myself just take it all in. It was overwhelming, really. I mean that time of day can make you cry in any circumstance, Indian bus ride or not.
Today my Modern Indian Though professor said "a poet is a lover of Beauty" and I felt good, like maybe I could understand a part of myself. I guess I also thought back to that bus ride and now I can look at myself now and how I am still teary-eyed from remembering and re-experiencing through writing.
Today I tried to do something which was sit down and look @ internships once again and think also about careers. eek! I'm pretty damn lost and if I was @ school I'd go to the career and development center and tell them that, but I'm Here, so I can't. So I need help. Any adults or even peers willing to throw me some of their advice. Seriously, email me if you want to share your wisdom: firstname.lastname@example.org. -->I'm Thirsty.
Oo(!) I bought a sweet new journal in Goa this weekend. Right, I'm supposed to tell you about Goa. Well we took a really unpleasant bus ride (you thought Megabus was bad) straight west to the coast. We hung out in North Goa at a beach area called Arambol. North Goa is a lot calmer than South Goa, which is where you go for your Party scene. Originally, my intention was to base ourselves in the north, relax for a while, and at some point spend a crazy night up all night being loco in the south. Olga, however, got sick with something, which prevented us from being able to move around a lot. That was alright, though, meaning we just ended up vegging in beachness up in the North. Days consisted of browsing the "hippie" markets in the area, swimming, reading on the beach (out loud and individually), sampling various eateries in the area, doing Yoga, exploring. I actually ended up buying a lot of stuff. I never do that, but I needed a lot of things that I happened to find there and also had the time to find, since we stayed at one beach the whole time.
The funny thing about Goa (@ least Arambol) is that it's like a hippie tourist spot...which is really wierd because usually you don't associate hippies with tourism, like they should be all "fuck the man", but, well...maybe they're not. Lots of Europeans, Russians, Canadians, Israelites come and came to Goa for a tropical escape, but also to do it cheaply, and to do it in a culture in which they'll feel good. Partially, who can blame them? All of those things sound pretty good, yeah? What people usually look for in vacations. What sort of irked me, I guess was that Goa straight up markets hippiness. I mean it straight up touristizes it. You know, tye-died shirt with a huge pot leaf and the hindi word "om" on the front. Here I was sort of thinking that this culture of people escapes this type of unattractive behaviour, but it seems as if they don't. I had a moment when I understood Jake, that he grew up in Berkley and sort of reacted against the hippie culture there. If you're engulfed in it like that...if you see it in that light, it becomes disgusting and annoying.
On the other hand, people were REALLY laid back and friendly and made me feel really welcome and comfortable and such and I appreciated that and felt good. It was nice to have an emotional break from having to always be on gaurd as a tourist. I could easily converse with people (tourists and locals) and completely be myself, let my alert tourtist's gaurd down. Part of this probably had to do with the good English spoken all over Arambol. You don't find that in most other places.
I'm not going to write too much more just now, because I have a lot to do before we leave for our 10 day Kerala trip on Friday (it's Tues night now). Peace out, babies. I'll be MIA for awhile, probably, but don't fret. The globe will still turn. Actually, I can't promise that.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Here, when I tell people who I am they start calling me "Nezam". Why?, you ask. Oh, just because I am FAMOUS here. The royal Nizams of Hyderabad. We ruled for eons. We have palaces all over. We da shit. Anyway, most foreigners can't say "Mallory" anyway, so they are also just excited to call me something they can pronounce.
As always, it's been a while since we last met. Let me pour you a glass of wine. Sorry, I only keep red at my place, is Merlot okay? How about some cheese, would you like some cheese? Don't mind the dog...he just gets excited when we have guests. (I wouldn't have a dog).
Chennai! and Pondicherry! I just had to check my old blog to make sure I hadn't written about this trip yet. Here goes a quick but not cheap summary of the past, what?, two weeks?
The CIEE trip was FUN, despite my low expectations. We flew, which cut down time and was way less stressful to the usual bus or train traveling. We arrived in the Chennai airport and immediately boarded a bus which took us far away to Auroville where we at--get this--organic, vegan food! What?! Yes. We were thrilled to be able to eat fresh, tasty vegetables for maybe the first time in all of India. Unfortunately, myself and my partner in crime were having stomach issues due to bacteria (her), and motion sickness (both). Auroville is a sort of "utopian community" founded by a spiritual man/philosopher/poet/writer named Sri Aurobindo. It think it was also founded upon some of the ideas of "The Mother"...? Some European lady. I don't know about her, but she played some part in the set up of the town. The town is also very proud of its dynamised water, which is treated with Bach and Mozart music. In this town there's no money; they try to be as self-sufficient a community as they can be. People plant stuff, everyone takes part in working in different areas to help out the town. We met up with this potter who talked to us about her experience of living in the community. I took some pretty sweet pictures in her studio. The light was heartstopping that afternoon. It was the perfect time of day.
Afterwards we ventured into Pondicherry where we set ourselves up in the hotel room. Alison and I suspicously landed ourselves in 420. After disentangling ourselves from the crazy vines of the happy plants in our room, we scurried to the BEEEEAAAAAAAAAACH! Sophie and I basked in the wind and the rocks and the waves for at least a good hour. The rest of the group had, at this point, ventured off in search of sustinence. For us, the ocean was enough. Eventually, we realized that A.) it was probably unsafe for us to be chllin by ourselves on these huge rocks on the beach, and that B.) we'd have to head back sometime relatively soon.
Pondicherry was a French colony at some point, so the town is cute and European and charming, so we walked around and observed this cuteness, eventually meeting up with friends at a restaurant, where the two of us, being the sickies of the trip, drank water (bottled). Back at the hotel, Sophie and I watched some of Walk the Line, and then went to bed.
The next day we were carted off to like 5 Hindu temples, a Hindu monastery, and a "vernacular home" that was also a museum. I also tried on a sari and was blessed at various points throughout the day. And most of the day was spent with my shoes Off. The evening consisted of a theatrical performance in a rural part of the state. The children at this performing arts school put on a play and sang and danced. It was a really cool. We had dinner there and I chatted with some of the school's volunteers.
We returned to out hotel in Pondicherry that night. I had a CRAZY dream that's really hard to explain but basically I was feeling all of these abstract manifestations of intensity (like in lights, and sounds, and whips, and colors, and vibrations, and stomache urches, and winds, etc...) and it was fucking terrible and overwhelming and I kept hoping to myself that it was a dream and then...eventually...It was just a dream. But then, things would intensify and I would be stuck in the overwhelming intensity once again, and then I would hope it was a dream, and it would be a dream. And then it would start again, and then it continued like that for a really long time. And then at some point I had a dream where all us CIEE kids were in the hotel and were showing eachother our hotel rooms. I had kind of gone crazy...like literally lost my mind and couldn't help doing strange, random shit, and people were getting mad at me because they thought I was just being stupid and goofing around. But I wasn't. I couldn't help it. And they were getting mad at me. And no one liked me.
(You make me feeeeeeeeeeeeeel emotionaaaaaaaaaaaaal. kissin' youuuuuuuuuuu......)
Yeah so next day we chill at the Sri Aurobindo ashram, I impulse buy some crazy books in the two seconds that we are actually allowed to explored the place, I get motion sick, the bus driver goes crazy and starts drivin' like a maniac, we land ourselves at an "arts and crafts villiage" out in the middle of nowhere. I explore. Sophie and Olga get their palms read. I buy gifts. They buy icecream. We crawl through houses, watching painting and glass blowers. That evening we head into the heart of the city of Chennai (i think?). We get dropped off at this wacko big bang catholic church, complete with 12 life-size Christ diaramas made out of plastic, monstruous crosses, lots of Christmas lights and shiny stuff. THIS is why I nam a religious studies majir...Major "lightshow" (Note: this is an inside joke between Sophie and I, but is important to comprehend if one is to fully appreciate and understand my India experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHvvvsW2p9Q You should watch it. All things in India which resemble the Golconda light show in mystique, majesty, and delight [and there are many of these things] are dubbed "light show"). Frollicking in the Indian Ocean/Bay of Bengal(?oops), Dinner on the boardwalk, tasty icecream treats afterwards. Bus ride to airport, flight home.
School week happened, blew. Really, no highlights from that.
Mallory found a cool internship, and applied for it. It's with the Academy for Alternative Journalism...in Chicago.
Well it's 13th Feb now (I beleive I started writing this like 3 days ago). I had a rough day. For some reason this evening left me feeling emotional torn apart..like I'd been attacked by wild dogs and I was just a ripped open carcass (sorry for the imagery..just honesty). Why? What's been intense here that gets me to this point? Is it the lack of intensity? Is it the fact that I'm not feeling anything too intense? Do I need that to exist, to function? Is it the lack of the deep emotional connections I have with people back home?--I don't think so, because I have some really good friends here and I find those relationships fulfilling. When I was talking to my mom today on the phone, I started crying. And when we hung up, I cried some more. Mom, for some reason, when I talk to you nowadays I just feel so comforted and I spill things out, and it makes me think about things and be honest with myself. You open up the flood gates (don't worry..it's not bad). And so tonight I thought about things. I've been missing people of my life, lately. And not missing in the I'minIndiaandwe'reseparatedIcan'tseeyoueverdaylikeIcanbackhome kind of missing, but instead the Idon'thaveyouinmylifeanymoreinalargerwaythatIndiabeyondIndia kind of way. Like my Facebook about me reads right now, I am tired of cutting people out of my life. Scratch that: I just miss the people that were important to me, that are no longer in my life, but who I would like to have in my life. You know who you are if you are one of these people. Or maybe you don't. But maybe I will be contacting you soon. I also miss my aunt Susie's presence in my life, oddly. Her and I were really close when I was a child and it was amazing. I wish someone that had that presence and that energy and inspiration in my life right now. I'm sure they're hiding somewhere and I just have to find them. Like behind that rock over there. I also miss my family. They're all actually really cool people. I wish it wasn't so few and far between that I saw them.
My friend Sophie is really great here. I'm really glad to have her in my life.
Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I will be missing Jake, of course, and hoping that all of you are having days of love. And don't feel sad or shitty if you don't have a lover to spend it with because if you ask me, it's more about spending a day with amazing friends and feeling that sort of love that's got a kick to it. I always have amazing Valentine's days with friends. One time Lauren, Court & I went to Chevy's. Do you guys remember that? This year I will be going to a romantic restaurant with a group of about 5 of my friends here. I made them all Valentine's Day cards, because I like to do that.
I wonder what Catherine's up to in SA and how she's doing. Catherine, email me when you get some time. Also, let's Skype or something, just let me know when your head touches the ground.
Last weekend the girls and I had some fun, including Banjara Hills adventures, cafes, parties galore, and new friends. We had a really great time with some new European friends and I think we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the future. So much fun.
Sophie and I have been into interpretive dance lately, so that's been a fulfilling addition to the day.
I've felt kind of overwhelmed lately. Something intense. Some intensity...I can't pinpoint it. Maybe it really is this meditative space that's making my spirit uncanny. Some taste is different, but I don't know what taste changed. I'm evolving. while life evolves. the world revolves.
I had an interesting tattoo idea today...I just accidentally ended up writing something really cool on my arm and afterwards realized that having it there permanantly could potentially be sweet. And interesting. If you wanna know about it, ask me.
Yesterday I decided that Joanna Newsom is the only hero I've ever had. She's a phenomenom. I'm totally head over heals.
Hey if you guys wanna send me emails and stuff about YOUR lives, I wouldn't object. Even if you're a crazy person I talked to once, or if you're a totally sane person that I've spent my whole life with, let's get to know eachother better.even better than that.
Anyhow, how are you? I don't care about me, YOU care about me. I care about YOU. SHOE. SPEW. GLUE. SHREW. NEW. BLUE. TOO. KANGAROO. KALAMAZOO. FLEW. TRUE. PHEW! (I just really like words)
The Persistence of Distance
What is maintained in the distance
Or the simplistic vectors that sob
across the chasm
The infinity of
catches me by
surprise; I ease into The lake,
feel slow vibrations of the molecules
the energy of the silence,
the patience of the universe.
But I know nothing.
They are trying
to mold this into
to make the present less abysmal,
throw a lassoe to the chasm.
I am not unique:
I want to understand
what it is
the dots to connect,
the signs to mean something.
Instead, I am lost
in the language
the voice of the mute,
I’m swallowed into irrelevance
if we cannot reach each other,
if what divides us is this thing they call
God: what pulls it all together.
Joanna Newsom sings the things that I think because her articulationinwritten/musical form reminds me of the things that I can do:
Svetlana sucks lemons across from me, and I am progressing abominably. And I do not know my own way to the sea but the saltiest sea knows its own way to me. The city that turns, turns protracted and slow and I find myself toeing th'embarcadero and I find myself knowing the things that I knew which is all that you can know on this side of the blue And Jaime has eyes black and shiny as boots and they march at you, two-by-two (re - loo - re - loo); when she looks at you, you know she's nowhere near through: it's the hardest heart beating this side of the blue. And the signifieds butt heads with the signifiers, and we all fall down slack-jawed to marvel at words! While across the sky sheet the impossible birds, in a steady, illiterate movement homewards. And Gabriel stands beneath forest and moon. See them rattle & boo, see them shake, see them loom. See him fashion a cap from a page of Camus; see him navigate deftly this side of the blue. And the rest of our lives will the moments accrue when the shape of their goneness will flare up anew. hen we do what we have to do (re - loo - re -loo), which is all you can do on this side of the blue.
Peace. and Grease. So much grease.