Tuesday, June 30, 2009
His muscles twist and stiffen creating a stuttered movement as he walks. He towers over me, skeletal, hagard, used up. Aged beyond his years by hardship and struggle, an illness. Even his skin betrays him. The small folds hang heavy pulling him further down. In some respects, I wish we were that way...Obvious...not deceptive or hidden. I have to believe that people would make more of an effort to heal and treat others kindly. But at the same time, maybe people wouldn't reach out to the broken. Maybe they would be avoided and discarded. One time I asked the old man how his day was going, he instantly became a different person. He has a smile that would light up the largest of rooms. Now when I see him, he is no longer the hagard hollowed out man I initially saw. He's a kind, gentle, lively young soul. Ultimately, given the chance, their truths will shine through.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
inside this house that we built.
Seems like the window is finally open,
letting the memories out.
Well go on and love her,
love her forever.
I will not tell her
you told me too.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Lovin's for fools.
Lovin's for fools.
I'm conducting an experiment designed by Canada's top subjective well-being assignment: to record my level of happiness and then get on a bus and initiate a conversation with a stranger. When I get off the bus, I will record my happiness level again. Helliwell's research has proven that the more positive social interactions we have, the higher our happiness level is six out of ten. If Dr. Helliwell is correct, a conversation with the gangster knitter will raise my happiness level to seven.
I throw my best "what's up?" look across the aisle, but the gangster knitter's gaze, hooded by thick brown lashes, is fixed out the window. Her gaze drifts to the Full Throttle energy drink advertisement above my head, to the floor, to the yellow safety bars near the back door. I remember what Helliwell told me. "on a bus you think 'I'm being nice to these people by not invading their space.' But research tells me that, in fact, if we shared a little more space, they'd be happier and I'd be happier. So who's the real loser?"
Ten minutes later, the bus pulls up to my stop. At the door I turn and say, "I like your tattoos." She removes her iPod buds and looks up at me (hazel eyes. I love hazel eyes). "Thank you," she says, a smile dancing at the edges of her lips. As the bus pulls away from the curb, I record a happiness level of seven into my logbook."--Ian Bullock, a Vancouver freelance writer who is at work on his first novel.
Botox is the solution. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and a Joan Rivers style pick-me-up may eventually be required. In the meantime, there are a multitude of cosmetics that plump up, fill in and camouflage. Ad if that doesn't work, I can bake my body into melonoma oblivion at the local Fabutan in an effort to look "healthy" and "vibrant." People will like me. Men will want to fuck me. Life will be wonderful.
Once I am wrinkle-free, my graduate degree will suddenly materialize on my wall, my boyfriend will no longer want to screw Megan Fox, and I will be the greatest woman that ever lived.
Yes, the botox, the self-induced melonoma and the obsessive, self-important desire to look good would surely impress thousands of women who fought for my right to be more than a mere reflection of beauty. I'm sure Emily Carr and Jane Addams aren't rolling in their graves everytime society glorifies Paris Hilton as anything more than toxic swill. I'm sure I'll be a better person if I have a frozen forehead.
Oh the O generation, how proressive you are."--Sheena Edmundson
It plagues men and women alike...the desire to remain forever young. PAAh. Good luck. I'm not saying you shouldn't take care of yourself, eat alright, exercise, protect your skin. I'm just proposing a new attitude towards age.
Instead of being so hung up on wrinkles, receding hairlines, a little skin flab, take pride in your years. I know it's easy to say when I'm only in my twenties, the age people strive to maintain many years after, but I hope to adopt my mother's philosophy as I age.
She is the most beautiful woman I know. She's 50 something, and looks it. She still strives to be healthy, eat right ect, however, she's incredibly comfortable with her wrinkles. I would go so far as to say that she's proud of them. She's said to me numerous times, "I've earned every one of these years." She never thought she'd live this long, and she views reaching her age as a huge accomplishment--which it most definitely is!!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should embrace who you are and where you're at in life. Stop picking yourself apart, and spending all your time and energy on a fleeting goal....that's just what the media wants you to do. Consume. Consume. Consume. Youth, however, is a state of mind. Stay forever young at heart and LIVE your life instead of wishing it were different.
I need to remind myself of this often.
"You say there is nothing to hope for. You say we are all headed for doom. You say democracy is dead and America is the devil, as you take another swig of your Jack Daniel's and Coke.
You say banks are evil. That they feed off our vanity and greed, making us clowns in a grotesque comedy. You say the West is dead, destroyed: no morality, no life...just shopping. Tell me, could you say that to the girl who is beaten with sticks for revealing a lock of hair? She cannot say anything.
You say everyone works for money out of egotism...that we all just pretend to care. You say our way of life spells the end of humanity, and that we know nothing of what we speak. You say we are enslaved by fashion; but so is every society, even tribesmen in the Serengeti.
You say it all because you have the luxury to complain.
True, we live in a capitalist system. True, we have become disconnected from our political system and live in a hyperconsumerist culture.
But I will not allow you to bring me down from my high. I will not let you judge me. Nihilism, shmihilism. The freedom of negative expression maintains oppression. Think twice about pessimism--it keeps unwanted systems in existence.
Say something I haven't heard before."--Stephanie Bailey
I'm definitely guilty of a defeatest attitude. I've passed pessimism on long enough, I now strive to focus on the beauty of our society. If I've learned anything this past year, I've learned that humans are capable of change. This motivates me to promote social change and not submit to "norms." I recently read a quote on a friend's wall, "it's not a sign of health to be adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Truer words have never been spoken. Solution:be the cure!! Instead of merely denying societal standards or worse settling for them, ignite change. Be the spark. Set this beautiful, horrible, crazy world ablaze!!
"Be the change you want to see in the world."--Mahatma Gandhi
"I see what I see that is that. I see wars, I see poverty, I see struggle. I see a generation too spoiled to care and too arrogant to dig deep.
Democracy is dead and a new world order is colonizing our souls. Media chokes us, coerces us, makes us believe that being more than human is better than being. I see women desperately seeing perfection, enslaved by their magazines' false ideals. She says too much of nothing.
I see selfishness. I see caricatures and parodies aspiring to become iconic. I see heat, I see meat, I see vice. I see posers paddling in a media pool waxing lyrical about life, believing that they know. They know nothing.
They swim in style, adrift in champagne politics.
True, we live freely within a capitalist ethos of consumption. True, we all work to live. That is life in all systems.
But I will not allow the future to be choked by the present. I will not tolerate a society that is all style and no substance. I will not permit my children to live in excess.
And I will speak until I am heard."--Stephanie Bailey