3 Feb 2009, 12:16am
1 comment

ideas for posts i may not ever get around to actually writing

or: things i am thinking about

community (and hawaii)

my experience with intentional community in hawaii and how open, giving, and trusting people were w/r/t to their chosen community and how really admirable that is and how very affected i felt by it, but also the willful ignorance i observed (whether accurately or inaccurately) of the unintentional communities around them: the people with whom they shared resources, the island, the world, etc.

how to take care of, be part of, acknowledge, etc our unintentional communities (our families, our neighbors, our cities, countries, the world)?
(i mean, not that i can really even contemplate tackling this huge topic in a blog post. this is one of those lifelong questions that maybe life is an attempt to answer…)

from eyes of pearl zine by leah wallace:
“I’m not so fond of radical and feminist subcultures unwillingness to cut families some slack. I’m a little bored with people turning away from their middle-class parents primarily to gain some sort of downward mobility cred, a way of shrugging off class privilege. As if, by not liking their parents they can no longer count the privileges of their childhood. Even though these people are kind of rare, I think the tendency for radicals to think that we can create something new and better and not fraught with complexities and compromises is not the least bit rare. … The nature of family, what makes it so stable and supportive is that choice doesn’t play a role. You don’t choose your family. They don’t choose you. You don’t have to earn their love through good behavior and honesty and they don’t earn your love that way. Sometimes love doesn’t even factor in to it.”

loosely related–i found this magnetic poetry on my fridge that quite neatly sums up why i went to hawaii!–

documentation/accumulation & creating memory

quotation from the ladies of grace adieu, by susanna clarke. in the faux-introduction (by a scholar of fairy), she writes,
“Simonelli published [his diaries] first in the mid-1820s. Twenty years later he revised them and published them again. He did the same thing in the late 1860s. Indeed throughout the nineteenth century and early twentieth century his diaries and memoirs were being continually rewritten and brought out in new editions; and at each stage Simonelli reworked his past in order to promote his latest obsession–whether that be ancient Sumerian history, the education of women, the improvement of Sidhe (fairy) morals, the provision of bibles for the heathens or a efficacy of a new sort of soap.”
the author describes this derogatorily, but…

about a year ago i copied this into my journal, from alan bennett’s play the history boys:
DAKIN: The more you read, though, the more you see that literature is actually about losers.
DAKIN: It’s consolation. All literature is consolation.
SCRIPPS: No it isn’t. What about when it’s celebration? Joy?
DAKIN: But it’s written down when the joy is over. Finished. So even when it’s joy, it’s grief. It’s consolation. That’s why it gets written down.

the ways we conceptualize and re-conceptualize our pasts.

photos lost jan 8th:
–a cluster of signs pointing the way and distance to various cities, including tokyo, seoul, and roswell, new mexico
–matt hanging upside-down from a tree branch

photos lost jan 14th:
–laura eating cookies
–laura packing up cookies to send to faraway friends
–katie’s silver-painted toenails

when i was 14 or 15 years old, i created the person i was gonna be later. i didn’t know at the time that she was gonna be me. at the time, she was just my persona in a mmorpg (yeah). she had pink hair, piercings, a tattoo, generosity, lasting relationships, and way better social skills than i did at the time. and i think that maybe (several years later) i chose the pink hair and the piercings in order to get the rest of it–and now it is all such a strangely entwined part of my self-identity, etc etc.

from some emails i sent last month:
“i’ve been taking a photo a day in 2009, just ’cause mostly, to practice noticing things i guess. yesterday i didn’t do much all day, but matt asked if i wanted to go hang out at the pub, so i brought my camera to get my photo of the day in… we ended up going on a walk to ladd circle, wandering around, and i took a bunch of nighttime photos… but then i went to put them on my computer and they DISAPPEARED. nowhere to be found, i seriously don’t know what happened. i was VERY VERY frustrated for a bit and wondered why, really, because it wasn’t a night that i would usually bother documenting at all… but because i HAD done that documentation, losing it was very frustrating and made me feel quite angsty. then i was like ‘damn, i am such a packrat,’ looking around at all the ‘documentation’ i have accumulated. i collect everything, i seriously need a fucking museum to arrange it very carefully with little typed labels. but there’s no point in that, there’s a reason people call emotional baggage baggage, because it has the same weighing-down effect that physical baggage does, and maybe that’s what a lot of this crap is. i have always thought of my packrat tendencies as, like, an irrevocable personality trait, but i dunno. maybe my quick temper used to be a ‘personality trait’ but that doesn’t mean it was good, or something i shouldn’t have worked to diminish. and lately i have been thinking (or wondering) that maybe jealousy is the same kind of thing. like, i’ve always said very dismissively, ‘oh i’m just a jealous person,’ like that’s OKAY, to have useless negative emotions like that. so now i am wondering about packrat-ism as well. i don’t know how to go about getting rid of stuff, though. i would feel so guilty just tossing or recycling it or whatever, but finding it all homes seems like so much effort. and if you asked what i was gonna get rid of i’d be like, uhhhhh, and find justifications for keeping each individual thing, each scrap of paper.”

“i think that my journaling does originate from the same place as my other packrat tendencies, but journaling is considered more of a virtue for whatever reason. there’s a very fine line between valuing the past and dwelling on it/clinging to it. i feel like it would be an interesting experiment to try to go through a year without documenting anything, but at the same time a)i would be so, so terrified that i’d basically feel like i’d lost a year at the end of it, and b)i think it would be almost impossible! ‘documentation’ of that sort encompasses SO much for me. i basically would have to not buy anything that would last out the year, no clothing or jewelry, no body modifications, no accidental scarring even, you know? memory for me is REALLY connected to the physical and material. everything around me (physically) serves as a mnemonic device for me. do you think your memory works this way, too, or is it different for you? i think it’s definitely part of why i am in some ways (despite wanderlust and all that) a homebody… i need a place to keep my memory, which takes up more and more space! maybe.”