It’s done

I took the GRE last Saturday, and I am forever done with it. Words cannot express the relief that I have from that, however, after 3 months of studying I am almost unsure of what to do with my time.

The next day after the test however, I hopped a plane to Washington D.C. This is probably the most planned-unplanned trip I ever took, and certainly the first one that I have done in the states completely and totally by myself. Though I met up with a friend once I arrived. I could do a travel blog thing where I tell you what to do and where, however, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much.

Because it is the peak of the tourist season, if I went outside in tourist-heavy areas I found myself generally annoyed and longing to run away from the crowd. Thus I spent a lot of time on the subway, at my friend’s hotel and bookstores. Oh well, it wasn’t an educational trip, so sue me.

However, it was good to get away. As depressed as I got at some points, I still felt that wherever I went, or whatever I did while I was there, was wholly my decision. And the imminent return home was the real dread that I felt.

But I am home, slightly refreshed, but really just very tired, and I have set down a list with actual dates to get things done. It lasts through the end of July, and I am sure I shall add onto it, however, this is a pretty good deal for me, so I hope it works out.

At any rate, normal posting will commence within the next few days. I still have a couple of sleeping drafts, and I also have to start working on my portfolio, so the creativity is going to need to be stirred up with this piping hot weather that is going around.

Until then, I hope this finds you well.

Réflexions sur la Plage

            La plage pour tous les gens qui habitent sur la côte est le lieu de notre vie. Depuis des siècles, le remédie pour les maladies a toujours été un voyage à la plage. On peut dire que la plage, la mer, est le lieu de notre naissance. Pour moi, c’est une partie de ma vie, et quand je n’y suis pas, je me sens malade.

            À trente minutes de la ville de Beaufort, en Caroline du Sud, il y a deux lignes de palmiers qui encadrent la petite rue. Derrière ces palmiers, il y a des forêts maritimes, des marais, ou des petites îles. Mais le soleil brille tout le jour et le ciel est clair et illuminé. Même les nuages (il y en a seulement un ou deux) sont plus blancs qu’un linge propre. La brise, salée, souffle par les fenêtres de ma voiture.

Nous entrons le parc et conduisons le long du cours sinueux. Après cinq minutes sous l’ombre des palmiers et des pins, nous trouvons la frontière de sable. Déjà je peux voir des touristes avec leurs enfants et leurs chiens sur la plage. Leurs serviettes font des taches bleues, rouges et orange—un arc en ciel sur le sable. Je me promène sans chaussures ; sous mes pieds, le sable est mou et chaud. Mais, si j’approche de l’eau, le sable devient plus fort, et froid. Entre ces extrêmes, je dois marcher sur des coquillages. Parfois je trouve un ou deux coquillages parfaits (sans trous ou fêlures.) Je les prends et je continue à ma ballade sur la plage.

Ici, le sel dans le vent se mêle à l’odeur de la mer. Parmi les odeurs, les appels des gens dans l’eau dansent avec les rires, les cris de mouettes et le bruit de la mer. Je marche encore et le bruit des gens s’affaiblit et les mouettes volent vers les touristes. Je trouve par hasard un petit poisson dans une bâche. Pas très loin de la bâche se trouve ma petite forêt morte. Je m’assieds sur un rondin sec et scrute l’horizon. Les autres rondins font saillie comme de vieil os. Malgré le bruit, à vingt mètres autour de moi, je n’entends rien ; paix m’entoure.

————————————–

I wrote this 3 years ago. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, because it still applies. But here is the translation for you non-frenchies (though the English sounds a bit elementary.)

The beach, for everyone who lives on the coast, is our life. For centuries, the remedy for every sickness has always been a trip to the beach. We could say that the beach, the sea, is the place of our birth. For me, it’s a part of my life, and when I am not there, I feel sick myself.

30 minutes from the city of Beaufort, in South Carolina, there are two lines of palm trees that line the little road. Behind these palm trees, there are maritime forests, the marshes, even little islands. But the sun shines all day and the sky is clear and illuminated. Even the clouds (there are only one or two of them) are more white than clean linen. The breeze, salty, blows through the windows of my car.

we enter the park and drive along the winding road. After five minutes under the shade of the palm and pine trees, we find the sandy border. Already I can see the tourists with their children and dogs on the beach. Their blankets made of pieces of blue, red and orange–a rainbow on the sand. I walk without shoes; under my feet, the sand is soft and hot. However, if I approach the water, it becomes harder and cold. Between these extremes, I have to walk on shells. Sometimes, I find one or two perfect shells  (without holes or cracks.) I pick them up and continue my walk.

Here the salt in the wind mixes with the smell of the sea. Among the odors, the calls of people in the water dance with the laughter, the cries of the seagulls and the sound of the sea. I still walk and the noise of people grows quiet and the seagulls fly towards the tourists. I come upon a small fish in a tidal pool. Not long from the pool do I find my small dead forest. I sit upon a log and scan the horizon. The other logs jut out like old bones. Despite the noise, only 20 meters from me, I hear nothing; peace surrounds me.

 

(I also apologise for all of the grammar issues. In my defense, I was 19 and my professor had no idea what he was talking about despite going on and on about grammar rules. )

How many times have I “8 1/2″ed in my life?

I want to post something. But alas, I know not what.

  • I could go on a tangent about weddings. But that must be saved for an “awake day.”
  • I am taking the GRE in less than a week (after 3 months of waiting) and I’m maybe slightly prepared for it.
  • I have gone on a week long stint of not talking to my best friends, and yet it hasn’t been terribly depressing for me.
  • I ran away to Jacksonville for a couple days (where all of this kind of comes together.)
  • I am hoping to run away again as soon as I take the GRE (and that trip will be even more secretive. so shhh.)
  • Oh, and I cut all my hair off… sorta (this is as outrageous as I can get.)

I also want to ruminate on my age in a quirky 5-lined post, but who knows what I am doing right now.

And that is what a worthless post is like!

We’re all pretty familiar with them by now.

Caught and Loose

“We all of us somehow caught. We  born this way or that way and we don’t know why. But we caught anyhow. I born Berenice. You born Frankie. John Henry born John Henry. And maybe we wants to widen and bust free. but no matter what we do we still caught. Me is me and you is you and he is he. We each one of us somehow caught all by ourself. Is that what you was trying to say?”

…..
“I believe I realize what you were saying,” F. Jasmine said. “Yet at the same time  you almost might use the word loose instead of caught. although they are two opposite words. I mean you walk around and you see all the people and to me they look loose… I mean you don’t know what joins them up together. you don’t know where they all came from, or where they’re going to. for instance, what made anybody ever come to this town in the first place? Where did all these people come from and what are they going to do? Think of all those soldiers.”

“They were born,” said Berenice. “And they going to die.”

F. Jasmine’s voice was thin and high. “I know,” she said. “But what is it all about? People loose and at the same time caught. Caught and loose. All these people and you don’t know what joins them up. there’s bound to be some sort of reason and connection. Yet somehow I can’t seem to name it. I don’t know.”

“If you did you would be God,” said Berenice.

— The Member of the Wedding (Part 2 , Chapter 2)

Carson McCullers

I’ve got a friend…

That’s how all stories start right? Well, when I say that, I literally mean I have a friend who says this or that. So let us begin:

I have a friend, and he says that things today are too public. No one focuses on the individual anymore. I think it’s much more complicated than that.

When it comes to things being too public, I think that people are not approaching relationships the way they should. Not that I am one to talk about relationships–I’m at the point where I want to burn all of the bridges and disappear–but when people want to know someone, they glean the shallow stuff from facebook statuses, or twitter updates, or tumblr reblogs. And if that person is right next to them, the conversation is shallow too, what food you like, what you did last night, how are you (fine, thank you.)

It’s all just surface stuff, that even writers have a hard time trying to translate (or give meaning to in their writing.) A lot of people would argue, “maybe what I’m saying is really what I mean,” but that is never 100% the case is it? And if it is, you probably want to explain more to whoever you are talking to, but they are simply ok with the face value.

Maybe there is too much information going into their brain, they can only handle the 140 characters. It’s possible. We could be a culture of ADHD. We’re so public we don’t even know who we are as individuals. That isn’t what my friend is saying, but I think perhaps he would agree to some extent.

I often worry if people ever questions themselves, their actions, and try to make something of it. I mean, not that it matters, what are we doing with our lives anyway right?

Yet, adversely, from an academic point of view, there is something of a small blip of an insurgence of individuality. Maybe it’s faux-individuality “we are all special and unique as long as we follow this path” kind of deal, but that can sometimes be the vein that will backfire, because some of the people may, by accident, actually, start thinking for themselves.

But the numbers are so few. And I feel like I am losing track–not making sense.

What I mean to say, academically, in an ideal classroom setting, each student gets one-on-one care, and however they learn best is how they are actually learning, instead of being forced into another generalised method. These kids are made to think that they have their own thoughts and ideas, and that as long as they do good, and I mean do good,  then their lives will be something worth living, and that they will be successful in whatever walk of life they choose to take. I’m sure someone has some kind of argument with what I just said, but then again, the ideal has not been actualised enough to spend anymore time pontificating.

When I argue with my friend, and say that we are too individualistic, despite the public and intrusive world, I am arguing that we very much keep to ourselves, all of us. Maybe we aren’t asking each other the right questions. Maybe we all just need to sit down and listen as much as we talk. Just look at the people you follow here and there on the internet; The people you have met on the street; those you have known for years; your own family. Everyone is so obviously their own person, everyone experiences the world differently even if you are sitting beside a person when something happens. You can never be so cocky as to say you know a person, but for the sake of letting a person know that you care, or that you are there for them, you have to pretend to know them.

Touch them, remind them that they exist, that you do too.

(Well that took a turn, and rambled. I apologise.)

Le fils de l’épicier

I watch a good bit of film. Though I’m no crazy movie fiend, I have taken a course in African film and a French Film class (which was really more focused on comprehension than film construction,) and I have a couple of film-life-intense friends. But it isn’t terribly often that I find a movie that really just moves me in all of the right ways.

Now, because I speak French,  you will see me watching as many French films as I will watch American or British films. And something I have noticed about dramatic French films they are so environmentally focused. It isn’t in any grandiose way, no, but they subtly involve scenes of their countryside, of a simple café, or just a small observation of the people. It is, by far, one of my favourite aspects of film, and I think I have found a film that just captures my heart so beautifully because of it.

Oh look at me gushing on and on.

Le fils de l’épicier was filmed in 2007 and directed by Eric Guirado. It’s possible you’ve never heard of this movie. Or maybe you’re better at life than me and you have. Either way, it has been in my Netflix queue for over a year, how it came there I can’t say except perhaps fate.

And, because I’m not some posh film critic I am not going to say this as eloquently as I would like, but here goes. The film is so French. I lived three weeks with a family in Alsace, and even though this takes places in Provence, I can just tell that these guys are French. Old French people are the fucking bomb (I said there would be no eloquence.) Should I explain myself?
Either way, there is a guy, Antoine Sforza. His father has a heart attack, and despite his less than rosy relationship with him, and even his hometown, he goes home to help with the grocery business. The rest of the film is basically him driving along the countryside in a van, like a travelling grocery store, interacting with the citizens who are all elderly. Now, the real reason he goes back is because he has the major feelings for a girl, and she has major desire to study in Spain. So the Antoine “the knight” borrows money from his mother, with the promise of paying it back by driving the van, and gives to the girl, Claire (none of this does he disclose to her though–especially the being madly in love with her part.) Claire comes along with him when he goes home, and she helps calm his rather frustrated and angry ways when it comes to dealing with the customers.

But I think only a little. Seriously, if you read any plot summary of this movie they give a lot of credit to Claire, but I am going to go I don’t know, I guess my heart just really felt so much of the conflict and the resolutions in this story. It’s so simple in it’s telling, nothing is over-dramatised, and you simply feel like you are there, riding along in the van, waiting with his mother in the shop, or one of the elderly people hemming and hawing over how many tins of peas they would like. ahead and give it mostly to Antoine and his day to day encounters with the people in this village. His kindness first peeks out when he goes to an old shepherd’s house. There is a previous relationship there that you almost instantly feel. Then it reaches the polar opposite when he goes to the house of a woman who he and friends as kids used to spy on.  But that relationship blossoms so quickly and beautifully into one of the best dynamics I have ever seen, and her hair is just amazing.

I feel like I have done the film a discredit going on about it as I have. I feel almost as if I was meant to watch it now, so that I could feel as strongly as I do about it. It is definitely a film I will need to own. You should watch it. I probably could have started and ended with that sentence and it would have had the same effect.

What are some films that have just spoken to you?

(p.s. If i had written an essay like that for my film classes I would have failed. 1. because I didn’t write it in French and 2. It’s a little all over, but it’s 1:14, and I didn’t write my essays that late.)

Spontaneous poetry

Words in motion,
now that’s the notion
that things are going to change for the better.

But with these big oceans,
and minds all closed-in
do things really move at all?

I’ve got a friend,
he says nothing ever changes.
Not really.

But I got another friend,
and his life is the pits,
He’s gotta keep hopin’ that tomorrow is different.

I lost my rhythm,
I never had the rhyme,
but these thoughts keep circling in my mind.

Someone tries to analyse this,
they won’t get too far,
spontaneous poetry at the bar.