a loss in the family…

I am currently submerged in work, including reading two new books. The first is a really great work of fiction entitled The Time Traveler’s Wife, and is the book that the movie was based off of. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve ordered an early copy of it as soon as it comes out. I love Rachel McAdams so I’m hoping I’m not disappointed.

Today, I was about 3/4ths through the book when I got inspired to write a peice similar to a portion of the book. The style is completely different and not my usual either, but the theme is the same. I haven’t written creative prose since I took up essay writing, but it feels good to know I still can when I want to. Here we go:

There is an awkward tension in the air. He rocks back and forth on his heels—heel toe, heel toe—and looks at her in the way men who do not know the nature of women often do. She is sitting in the armchair, her long unbraided hair falling over her thin, frail shoulders as if it is trying to extinguish the coldness between them. She drapes one arm over the chair and rests her pale face on the creases of her gown. Her expression is of one who has no expression—but empty and void of anything remotely like emotion. Her face is drained of color, and the entirety of her figure and her lifeless expression makes the impression of her being a sad plaything, a doll.

          The man takes all of this in without remark. He continues his rhythmic heel toe, heel toe; and it calms the beating of his heart.

          “Everything will be alright, Evelyn,” he says in a voice which betrays his false hopes, “we can try again. We can always try again.”

          He knows before she moves to lift her head, giving him a look of transfixed sorrow, that this is a lie. He knows it. There are some things in the world where having what one wants in the future does not replace what was lost in the past. He knows that there were things that they will never have, now, and things they will forever live with. They will never have that innocent happiness that comes with love without pain; but they will always have a drain that cannot be stopped by space nor by time.

          He goes to her, upon his knee, and tries to lift her face in his hands. She stares at him and the drain beneath her pupils are unmistakable; there is no miracle in the world that could bring back the light there that once shone. He brings her up gently until she stands, weaving back and forth like a stalk in the wind, and gathers her delicate frame into his arms.

          He digs deep within himself to find something to say that has not been said, something more honest and open than a half-hearted reassurance. He wishes he could sweep her into his arms and run out to the courtyard, point at the irises and tulips and say, “do you see what I see? Here there is life, life to be lived. We can be happy again.” The words are stuck to his lips as he mouths them—“we can be happy again.”

          Evelyn looks at him but does not see. He presses her face to his chest and feels her lips. He wants to say so much, to show her the spring leaves on the maple trees and the shaggy dog who barks incessantly at bluebirds. He wants to swing her around like a child until she laughs in that twinkling way she does. He wants to catch her, laughing with her, and say—“see? I knew everything would be alright. Didn’t I tell you everything would be alright?” and she would nod and say, “I should have believed you.” And they would return to their bed and try again.

          Instead, he can feel the tears soak his shirt and seep into his skin. It turns cold and sits there and he cannot move to say anything he wants to. All he can manage is to hold her in his arms as she weeps, rocking back and forth, and repeating the lie over and over, as if the longer he lies, the more the lies seem like truths.

“Everything will be alright,” he whispers.

It’s just once scene I wrote, and I may expand on it later. We will see.

also, I have a chictopia.com blog if you didn’t know, and it’s under the username Asiangoddess1610.

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by taking the road less traveled….

I haven’t written poetry in exactly a month. But tonight I did! of course at the cost of one of my angry rages which turned into a ridiculous episode of sobbing and dripping eyeliner and staining my pillow. But nonetheless, proved effective.

The trains sit deafening and forceful, beckoning like a force that drags in even the unwilling.

The choice is simple—east or westbound

I approach the landing and look at both trains at level.

The east is of no unusual sort, but calm and steady,

Reliable, and a guarantee of a safe ride.

The attendant looks friendly but homely, seems a bit tired or bored—either one, aren’t they the same?—and I wonder if there is woman who will ever love him.

He carries my bag as I walk up the stairs.

The seats are comfortable but worn, frayed but durable.

The windows have seen many days and nights, what do they know?

Sitting by me sleeps a wizened old man who reads the times,

And drinks a raspberry lemonade.

The bell rings and I find myself halfway up my seat-

There’s a murmur in my chest; like ice or fire

And I have made up my mind, on an act that rushes into my veins-

 to switch trains

There is no attendant at all on the Westbound train, and I guess that he is making love to a Russian in a dark corner beyond the landing.

I struggle on the high landing but make it to the seats.

The air is smoky but darkly inviting, glasses clink,

The lights are dim but I can see the outline of faces, all awake.

They seem to laugh as I choose a seat by a man whose face is turned.

The windows show no view but the reflection of high-peaked mountains.

The seats are a luxurious velvet sort.

The people are laughing now, or are they crying?

Laughing, crying, laughing…it is my imagination, or they’re getting louder!

Oh the uproar!

‘I say,’ I touched the mans sleeve, ‘what’s that racket?’

The man will not turn though I see his breath fog the glass.

We are moving now, and at moments, instantaneously-

I feel afraid, then exhilarated.

The landscape and lighting changes through mere fractions in time, it seems.

At one point we’re in a field of poppies;

Then the poppies turn the color of blood, that red-like brown and shrinks as it dries, it’s dreadful.

Then sunflowers, but the faces are faces of men as faces crumple when men die.

Some peaceful landscapes appear but they seem painted,

Fake somehow, as if the light is a trickery

Then some horrible images that speak of more deception—irises

That look like human arteries, and

Roses gardens that speak of something sinister and

Reveals those deeply imbedded lusts for things uncivilized and beastly.

The train takes a turn for the worst and here we are—

A station that is not a station, for there is no going or coming of either way;

But a fog that carries the feeling of being lost in eternity.

The feeling is more than a name, but an ever changing presence, and

All at once I feel worldly, exhausted, ecstatic, despairing.

Was it wrong then, for me to ride the Westbound train?

Where it has lead me is a foreign place, unrecognizable,

But oozes with potential or menace

Would it have been better for me to have ridden the Eastbound train?

The land beyond the fog is dangerously inviting,

Like eyes of a jaguar, the night tells me of secrets waiting to be unfolded on her streets.

The thrill is endless,

But the ache of loneliness is more than I can bear

And, so,

Am doomed to tread the grim of the station that is not a station

Until I, too, become nothing.

The man beside me stepped off the train

And I saw he had no face.  

I hope you enjoy the fruits of my manic-states. :]

meaning of mandala

This week I’m focusing on my first Febraury art project: a mandala. That got me interested in mandalas; what are they? where do they originate from? what do they look like?

The word mandala means completion in Tibetan. It appears in the Rig Veda, an Indian collection of hymns. Sandpainting is a type of mandala artwork in certain sects of Buddhism. They are spiritual teaching tools, and a sacred space.

to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises                   

–David Fontana

Mandalas are geometric patterns that represent the cosmos, or a harmonious system.

Here are my favorite examples:

(celtic Buddhism)

(the pink lotus mandala)

(cosmic wholeness)

(animals)

my art project will be posted next week :]

sexual theory

click on the photo to see a clearer version

I recently wrote another paper, even longer than before, that I submitted to the APA for review. They’re taking eons to get back to me, so I thought I’d give you a little preview. It is about answering the question: where does sexual orientation come from?

in regards to this chart, created in the 70s by Bem to chart feminine and male qualities, etc, etc, here is a quote from my essay:

“According to the Bem Sex Role Inventory, a measure constructed by Sandra Bem in 1977,  gender can be measured and fit into four separate categories: masculine, feminine, androgynous, and indifferent. An androgynous person is one who has a high amount of traits in both feminine and masculine categories, and indifferent is the opposite; one who has a low amount of either.” —The Shadow-self and Sexual Theory

I think it is interesting that sexuality can be be put on a graph; all your male and female qualities put you on a spot on the chart. Where do you think you are, or do you even agree with this inventory?

cheers.

time travel and pickover…

A natural misconception of time travel is the form in which it takes place- that it is a structured method by means of a man-made object or machine. What is time travel? The idea that one can, in theory, change his previous actions to create new results or jump into the future to take a sneak peak of what is to come. With technological and scientific advancements, is it not possible that within the next thousand years, a form of time travel could manifest itself? Or are we perhaps searching for something that is already in our grasp? –From on Time Travel and Seperate Realities December 27th

My goal for this year is to write one essay a week throughout the year and collect them into a book that I hope to be published. This is a little sliver of my first essay on time travel being an actuality instead of a possibility. It was inspired by the book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves by Clifford A. Pickover. Because the book inspired me to write this eight-paged thesis, I decided–what the heck. So I sent it off to Pickover himself, and was suprised and delighted when he replied. Here is the email for your (and my) gratification:

From: Cliff Pickover

To: Claire Nusbaum <cl.nusbaum@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sun, December 27, 2009 4:17:40 PM
Subject: Re: On Time Travel

Hi Claire, nice to hear from you!

How did you learn about my book “Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves”?
The follow-on to that book is “A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality.”

Thanks for sharing with me your essay.  Judging from what you wrote,
you might enjoy “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle.
Tolle’s idea is that we are unhappy because we live too much in the past (perhaps regretting some events)
or we live too much in the future (thinking only about how life will be once we attain some goal or status) —
but we don’t know how to be happy here and now, which is the location in which we actually spend our lives
He gives tips for trying to be more aware of the beauty of the “now.”

Sometime, tell me more about yourself.  Thanks, and happy holidays!

Regards, Cliff  

——————————————————————————————————————–

On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 5:27 PM, Claire Nusbaum <cl.nusbaum@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi, my name is Claire Nusbaum and I have a huge favor to ask of you. Personally I consider you one of my literary heroes and was inspired by your book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves. I wrote a short essay on time travel, and thought that if you had a spare moment, you might take a look at it? I’m a senior in highschool, but I aspire to be a writer and metaphysicist, and I find your books the most intriguing I have read in a long time.

hope to hear from you,

Claire. 🙂

I screamed when he popped up in my inbox.

a taste of my poetry…

I sometimes feel as though my soul has a mouth which cries through my eyes—

Dark nights, it weeps, this shadow-like portrait of myself

And even when I close those flowing lips, still I feel the swell of the tide

Until the woes of me come flooding out like the Nile

There is no sadness quite like this disparity, complete abandon;

Lying in a dark hole that grows but never fills, calling out to those

Plastic dreams that never last and people who come and go unnamed,

And crying for the dawn when the sun never rises.

The Savior is a cruel allure that sparkles from the safe, straight-lined distance,

And disappears when shone on the light of one in need of saving;

And in this shadow where the waves crash and break, I am alone

Save my eerie, ghostly reflection that says more than I can.

I sometimes crawl toward my center, feeling for a calm in the storm

The warmth I find is only tactile and never penetrates

Through my cold shell and chambers of my even colder heart

From which this dark and dreary spirit pours into my hands

I sometimes know why, I sometimes forget

I sometimes cry—unknowing

Always alone

                           —Jan. 4th

I haven’t written any decent poetry for a good two or three months now. Until some lonliness descended upon me from feeling the usual disconnect from the general public. Then I felt a need pouring out of me to express this utter black hole of despair I sometimes, sparingly but awful anyways, feel.

I found something interesting in Clifford A. Pickover’s book (as I always do) Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves. He talks generously about writers and artists, and the link between creative energy and mental illness.

“…a significantly large number of established writers and artists have had bipolar disorder…writers, artists, and composers who had bipolar disorder: Sylvia Plath (the bell jar), Whitman, Vincent Van Gogh, Mahler, Poe, Herman Hesse, Rothko, Twain, Tennessee Williams, O’keefe, and Ezra Pound…established artists have a remarkably high incidence of bipolar disorder or major depression.”

It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels most creative when wallowing in a pool of ick, and totally dry when happy as a clam.