The New Leaf

07 April 2013 Curtis

Half-way through this year seems a good point to figure out what I hope to achieve with the rest of it. In no particular order, here goes:

– Learn to Surf
– Learn to Ski
– Learn French
– Learn to Dance; swing, salsa, jazz particularly
– Get good grades so I can go on exchange
– Organize my exchange (what a nightmare…)
– Visit Stewart Island (at the very bottom of NZ)
– Get a Job and save some money to travel next year
– Travel through New Zealand in the Summer to all the places I’ve not been. Maybe hitchhike? Not sure yet…
– Work hard on a novel
– Win the University Student Poem competition
– Talk to an advisor/think about how I can move towards travel writing or freelance journalism.
– Volunteer in Dunedin, maybe with the elderly?
– Be open-minded towards everybody I meet. Judge not.
– Start a blog of my travelling, even if only before this Summer.
– Keep a journal CONSISTENTLY!

I want to be busy, immersed and stimulated. I want to be tired at the end of the day and excited at the start of the next. Good night 😉

The Sperm Whale of Happiness.

The Sperm Whale of Happiness.

Musique.

Not really a post but thought I’d spam you with a few excellent songs I’ve been listening to recently; been getting very into Hybrid Minds and Kryptic Minds (no relation), the former especially, so enjoy some fantastic electronic chansons. Also, been committing to some new writing so hopefully will post a few samples of that soon. As you may have guessed by the lack of posts in the past few weeks, I’ve been busy/distracted/happily oblivious of everything. Obviously I encourage you to listen to more of these guys; these are just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, Moby needs no introduction, but I particularly enjoy this track at the moment.

Make love to Tides. I dare you.

YOU ARE THE MUSIC WHILE THE MUSIC LASTS.

The Shadow.

Hello my dove we meet again
this time introduced as friends,
I did not recognize your face
with a smile in its place.
But come now cherub what’s the joke?
I know time’s passed since we last spoke
you did not truly think we’re through?
I was never gone from you.

You let me see the space within
then opened up and let me in,
letting me fill you up inside
guiding your body down to lie,
and in those moments in the dark
you felt me close – I’m never far,
for I have crawled inside your heart
filled the chasm – never part.

I knew you cherub flush with tears
sweet little dove arrest your fears,
for you will never be alone
inside your heart I’ve carved a home,
caused a carnal black embrace
caressed the tears upon your face,
became your joy and your disgrace
saved you – laid you down, to waste.

Please remember, please remember
to when your happiness was embers,
and it was I who gave you warmth
took your hand and pointed north,
gave you pain and grief and anger,
let you crawl inside my manger.
My little love what I have sewn
will never leave you – no, no, no.
My little dove what I have sewn
will never leave you – grow, grow, grow.

Escape.

Start of the Kepler.

With my friend newly returned from his travels to the mysterious Far East, we decided it was well past time to start exploring again. Originally, we’d hoped to get back to Mt Aspiring (a strong contender fro my favourite place on Earth), but ultimately it was too far to drive for just a weekend, and we opted for Te Anau instead (in Fiordland). Also, a couple of my new found French friends were heading in that direction so it was mutually beneficial; they got a ride, I got company.

Once there, Tom and myself did our own thing, whilst Sophie and Claire caught up with a DOC Ranger friend who more or less hooked them up with one of the staff huts on the Milford Track (if only I were a girl and could make such connections so easily).

Anyway, this post is a lot more photographic than literary; mostly since I’m feeling tired and this just isn’t coming out right. Tom is “off the grid,” and has requested that no images be posted of him, so you’ll just have to deal with that; he’s determined to remove his digital footprint entirely. The guy only carries cash. It kills me.

Trippy Mushrooms.

Tree…fallen on top of another tree. You’d be surprised how often this seems to occur.

Good.

After several hours, we decided we were just too hardcore to stay on the track, and headed bush. We found a secluded river valley and set up camp, following which we napped for several hours. Hardcore indeed. Also, nearly burnt the forest down when the towel (I was using to pick up my can of spaghetti) caught fire. I didn’t even get any spaghetti. I cry errytime.

Scene of the crime.

Since there’s just way too many photos to post here, I’ll wind it up; might post some more sporadically. I will say one thing; there really is such thing is a “fresh air high.” Just escaping Dunedin lifted me to another level. I felt liberated. This place just isn’t me as much as I try. It’s difficult.

Thanks for stopping by.

So. So. Cold.

Expiration Dating

Sunset from my trip back home. Worthy. The Earth’s not that big…right?

 

Another relationship-based post, and I’m sorry if they’re becoming a theme. I do know it can get a bit dull, so expect something far more interesting/creative/insertadjectivehere in the near future.

Just a little over a week ago, on my birthday, I met somebody. This was quite an exciting moment for me; it’s not that I’m “shy”, but I tend to not really initiate contact with people if I’m attracted to them. What was great is I saw her arrive at the party, wished badly I could walk up and talk to her, but I didn’t. Fortunately, she came and introduced herself later on and we spent most of the rest of the night talking.

I asked her for her number and she said yes. Score. A couple of days later, we went on a “date,” and it was good. Date is one of those stupid words which have no reason to exist; two people spending time together is exactly what it sounds like; you don’t need to slap it with a label to make the dynamic entirely unnatural. In any case, it’s been such a long time since I did anything like that, a date so to speak, that I was nervous enough as it was.

Overall we seemed to have a good time. Strikingly, she turned out to be an entirely different person to who I imagined she would be; the most notable being that she was really philosophical and thought-provoking. Needless to say, I was pretty amped.

So we’ve hung out a couple more times, totally casually which is perfect. Like I said, I think slapping labels on things completely over complicates the situation. The problem is, she’s going home really soon, and has suggested that she doesn’t really want to get into “this situation.” Oh, at this point I should probably highlight that her home is roughly twelve-thousand miles from mine. We’ve talked, and things have been relatively open and communicative, which is good. The word “dating” has been dropped a few times, to my horror; it simply makes it impossible to get to know people authentically with that hanging over the whole interaction.

So basically, I’m hoping she won’t let worries about leaving get in the way of getting to know each other, but ultimately I can see where such a fear would come from. Knowing that pretty much no matter what happens, she’ll be gone soon…it makes you think differently about things. Recently, I’ve been pretty fatalistic, so I’d still like to give things a go, whatever that “thing” may be. It’s hard though, knowing there is an expiration date on things. My flatmate had a similar experience when he exchanged to Germany, several years ago; his advice has been helpful, but ultimately I’m struggling to get the whole thing off my mind.

I could probably read into every little interaction to ridiculous depth (a bad habit of mine), but I’m trying to break that mould. What it comes down to I think is, ultimately, I’m going to get hurt either way. If she vetoes the whole thing and we don’t hang out anymore, it’s gonna suck a lot, and if we get closer and she then leaves, its going to suck a lot too (more/less depending on one’s point of view). Basically I’m on a hiding to nothing, but I know exactly which path I’d rather take.

Humans are incredibly strange creatures; how so many times we would rather miss an opportunity than take it and end up losing it. Hopefully going hiking/camping this weekend; I could really use it clear my head out.

I’ll finish you off with some music. I think I mentioned the other day, I’m getting into electronic music a lot more at the moment and this is, ironically, a duo she’s introduced me too.

The Week That Was + stream of consciousness.

So it’s been a fair long time since I wrote anything; apologies.

I really needed to go home for a few days; things had gotten very stale, I was agitated and getting volatile. I’m starting to notice a theme in myself in which I start out contented or even extremely positive with things, but after a while the rose-tint fades rapidly. Things were getting pretty washed with black.

I ran into my old girlfriend while I was home; it was extremely awkward. Long story short, her and her sister ignored me totally, then left because they couldn’t handle being in the same venue. We were together for some time, thought we loved each other. Somewhere along the way things got toxic (but subtly so) and, obviously, we called it quits at the start of the year. We haven’t spoken since the breakup, which has been strange. Personally, it’s not that I still harbour feeling at all, I just feel that ignoring even my very civil requests (asking for stuff back/old photographs ect) has really cast a cloud over the entire memory. What was in truth a beautiful and special relationship now feels quite horrid; coming to terms with not being worth a “hi” in the cafe we saw each other….its been strange.

But that’s well in the past now, just thought it was something worth sharing. It’s done away with a lot of my naivety about “certainty”; for example, I was totally convinced that relationship was the real deal. Ultimately, nothing at all is ever certain. There’s a scariness to that, but there’s also a beauty. Your life is yours to do whatever you wish with it.

I hung out with a very good friend in Auckland; the girl who visited me in Dunedin; had a really lovely time. Missing home a bit now and hoping things are going well for her and everybody else. Subsequently, I’ve turned 22 (must remember to update my bio), and my birthday was pretty good. I don’t usually make a big deal out of birthdays, so it was convenient that a friend was having a party on the same night; got to have some fun without it being arbitrarily about me, you know? Also, I met a cool girl that night and we went on a date which was a lot of fun. Pretty sure I managed to get drunk in the evening and screw things up, but we are meeting up tomorrow so we’ll see how things go. She’s teaching me piano and with any luck on Friday taking me Salsa dancing (omfg I will die). It will be a good thing though, for me to take things less seriously.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now; need to write frequently to keep the flow going. Might be going camping in the next couple of weeks which will be fun. Also, been watching a lot of George Carlin so expect one million political ideas int he coming blogs.

A feeling of helplessness.

The worst thing about the past five or six years has been watching everybody around me struggle and not being able to do a fucking thing about it.

Up until a couple of months ago, I’d been in a relationship that had lasted about five years. Just how much I had changed and adapted to suit this girl seems scary now, in the cold light of day. But I’m not here to talk about that story, rather about how the most difficult part of our being together was her semi-constant unhappiness and me feeling totally powerless to change it. I blamed myself so much, even when it wasn’t me that was causing it; at points, I was a young, inexperienced teen, and all I could think was, “If I were better she’d be happy, right?”

But I was wrong, and sometimes there just is nothing you can “do” to fix things for people. It’s just the most terrible, hollowing realisation, but it’s true. I’m a person who really champion’s the people I love; i fight for them, defend them, protect them, and to use a beautiful lyric from Trampled by Turtles, “Their enemies are mine.”

However, I’m very much realising that while this sort of love and loyalty is a valuable thing, it also sets you on an emotional hiding to nothing. Right now I have a friend enduring the sort of thing that just makes me wish a flood would wipe humans off the planet; total brutalising injustice. I just want to be able to do something for her to make it better, to somehow fix things, but I can’t, and anything I say or do falls so wildly short of the mark that it verges on insulting the seriousness of what she’s feeling.

I talked to somebody about this feeling of helplessness and got pretty much exactly the advice I expected, “Just be there for them.” How exactly you can “be there” for someone is really a circular idea if you can’t help them when you know they need it. Anything you say is irrelevant and useless and it just fucking tears you up inside that you’re not good enough to make things better.

For self-preservation, I’d like to say to everybody in my life who I love, whether you know I do or not, that I’m thinking about you all the time, and if I could bear it all for you, it would already be done.

Anyway, that’s what’s crept back into my mind in the last couple of days. I wonder if it’s just me.

On a different note, I got my lip pierced. Neat-o.

Before his first step he’s off again.

Long time no blog; that’s how the saying goes, right?

Given the lack of substance you’re about to endure, I’d better offer something tangible. I’ve been formulating an idea for a book (so soon after I started another one….discipline = O). Roughly, it’s about eating each other; a world in which the moral abhorrence of eating people has dissipated, and some humans are actually farmed from birth in order to feed the more fortunate humans. I hope I can pull it off. I imagine it will be shocking, but hopefully good.

For the past few days I’ve had a friend visiting from back home. We’ve known each other a long time now; about 6 years. It’s a cute story, really, but I’ll save it for in person. The short version is we never met, txt’d for about a year, finally met in person, then didn’t meet again for so so long. Anyway, 6 years later we’re finally hanging out regularly and it’s just ridiculously pleasurable.

She came and stayed at our flat down south; Tom’s away so his room was free (who, incidentally, might be stuck in a North Korean labour camp atm). Initially figured we’d camp for 3 or so days but I managed to end that idea by forgetting the tent, discovered at approximately 8pm of our first night camping. The next few days was just so interesting; I can’t really remember a thing we did, but we were doing them, I know.

There are seals not in this photograph. Skilled.

Hanging out was wonderful in the most ridiculous way; I’ve always thought she was incredible but actually spending a significant period of time with her has made me realise how right I was. I feel quite liberated around her, and everything is just…good. Was so sad to see her leave but I’ll be heading back home soon enough for the Tool concert so we can catch up then. She read her way through Catcher during the weekend and we just talked and talked. It killed me, it really did.

This is seeming a sort of pointless blog entry, I know, but I guess the core is that there were moments that weekend where I was just so happy. As Holden says (not verbatim); it was real right then. As it turns out, by some weird twist of fate, she’s one of my oldest friends now. Makes me wish I was home though. I could fly home tomorrow. I wish.

Since this is going nowhere, and I’m totally exhausted, here’s something I wrote the other day for you guys to muse on, if you feel like it. It’s the closest thing to poetry that I’m capable of.

Every man has it within himself
to be born privileged
Perhaps not with a silver spoon
in his mouth, but
with a song and a fire in his heart
that as long as he
wishes it, shall never be extinguished.