Keep Moving

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Above is the first thing I ever sewed. I was very young and my grandmother, who loves to make quilts, was teaching me how to sew. A couple of days ago I found it in a drawer and a lot of memories came back; I put it in a place in my room where everyone who goes in (which is nobody I guess) can see it. I hope I can hold onto it for a very long time.

Yesterday was day 1; I actually made it to all my classes (even the one at 9am) which is a miracle. They were even more boring and exhausting than I remember and I don’t think I’ve ever been surer that there is no place in law for me, especially not the legal profession.

It’s beautiful and sunny, but cold. A friend who is down from Auckland and I had coffee and a good talk. I’m pretty much dead broke because of all my car troubles recently (engine/key barrel/tyre puncture problem all in the space of a week) as well as paying back some money I owed my brother so cash is non-existent and food is really tight. Yesterday I had to go to the Student Association and ask if they could help me out, which they did (thanks so much OUSA you guys are great) and so at least I won’t be starving this week.

My mood is really meh which I’m not happy about because I’ve been so on top recently. I noticed today I was listening to a song which I think I haven’t listened too in about a year. There must be something about it when I feel a certain fear/stress emotionally.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRP6egIEABk]

I hope that our few remaining friends
Give up on trying to save us
I hope we come out with a fail-safe plot
To piss off the dumb few that forgave us

I hope the fences we mended
Fall down beneath their own weight
And I hope we hang on past the last exit
I hope it’s already too late

And I hope the junkyard a few blocks from here
Someday burns down
And I hope the rising black smoke carries me far away
And I never come back to this town again in my life

I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it’s darkest before the sun rises
We’re pretty sure they’re all wrong

I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn’t over
And I hope you blink before I do
And I hope I never get sober

And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can’t find one good thing to say
And I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out
You’d stay the hell out of my way

I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand

And I hope you die
I hope we both die

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to catch up with a good friend of mine in Auckland, despite our best efforts, however we talked a bit the other day and he told me about his recent interest in the philosophy of Bushido. Basically, he summarised it to me as the idea that every thing you do, you must try to do in a state of focus and awareness. It seemed to parallel the idea of mindfulness of all things, at least in my eyes. He then said, “How and what you are doing at the moment of your death will define your entire life.” I don’t this is meant to be taken literally (ie, you’d better not sit down and do nothing or you’re being a lazy shit) but prefer to apply it to the state of mind in each thing you do. If you can focus yourself on each thing around you or each thing you do, in a meditative way, you can be at inner peace through awareness and acceptance of the universe. Strive to achieve this in all things and the moment of your death will not be one which induces fear, but defines the manner in which you lived as one of tranquillity.

Moving on. I need to stay active and stay invigorated; obviously I really have to study, but I don’t want to forget how important it is to me that I keep having fun, learning new things, doing new things and being at peace. I don’t want to get beaten down and forget where I am right now. Today I will go out and enjoy the sunshine, maybe go to the beach even (cooooold). My flatmate wants to go camping, and we met some exchange students last night who seemed keen. I’m not really feeling it but I know I should jsut say yes to the opportunity so maybe I will. Except we’ll probably all freeze to death.

Talk soon. Be peaceful and mindful (I’ll try join you in that advice too).

Missing Auckland.

Missing Auckland.

Round Two.

E. E. Cummings

Only just discovered E.E. Cummings and he seems such an affecting writer. I like how he seems so unashamed to be consumed with writing about the feelings he thinks are important, which other’s might consider to be trivial. They mean the world to him and thus, they mean the world.

Arrived back in Dunedin today; the plane was full of students, I was fast asleep the whole time.

4 degrees Celsius, so not too bad! (heh). A friend of mine was picking up his sister on the same flight so I managed to get a ride with him. We stepped outside the terminal and it started hailing on us. Literally, that very second, it started hailing. Lovely.

This is the eve of the new semester, which means I have class at 9am tomorrow. It feels unreal being back, and knowing that I really need to be disciplined and work hard from here on. I hope it won’t get me down, especially while I’m very happy; this particular year of law has a reputation for bashing students over the head relentlessly.

I realised the other day that after this year I actually only have two years left of university, which isn’t soo bad. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my exchange next year; I’m very excited for it. My dad drove me to the airport today and he said a few things which I really appreciated. Basically, he didn’t say that I should be a lawyer, but encouraged me to finish the law degree as a personal achievement in my life, and as a source of confidence, regardless of what thing(s) I do once I’m finished studying. It was a pleasant change from my mother’s constant belligerence telling me I should be a lawyer.

Sophie sent me an email the other day which contained a beautiful poem by Kahlil Gibran…

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Worthy; speaking of poetry, I need to start working on something for the August competition. I can submit up to three poems.

I had a really wonderful day today, although I am sad I had to leave Auckland. I went back to the illusory maze with somebody else; we walked from my house to the CBD and it was gorgeous and sunny. Of course, me being me, we ended up at the Chocolate Boutique because I needed my frappe-fix…. Dear Aucklanders, the Chocolate Boutique is really average, and bad for chocolate. Just warning you. Good view though; we sat out the back.

I had a great time, very cool conversation with somebody totally new. Allowed me to indulge my theory that the world is owned by an ultra rich, faceless ruling class who manipulate people from a young age through vast use of media and social structure in order to shape society to remain semi-conscious to the fact they live in an elaborate vassalage. And also about how facebook only creates an illusion of connectivity in an increasingly disconnected society. I think I may have ranted slightly….

But yeah, I had to go back to Dunedin soon after, which is sad. I don’t dislike it the way I used to; actually, I’m quite positive thinking of what I hope to achieve with the rest of the year. Having said that, I think I’ll definitely make more trips home this semester, if possible. Listening to Fairytale of New York really doesn’t help when you miss someone, I’ve decided.

Hope you are all calm and peaceful and without worries.

PS here’s too neat tracks I’ve picked up in the last couple of days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W12_wR9fck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcsCdNRjK1o

Back Home.

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It feels like a long time since I’ve been here; in fact, I almost think I was avoiding Auckland a little bit.

The weather is beautiful and warm, such a welcome change from what’s been happening down south. Really, I’m having a very good time, and am very happy. Maybe it sounds like I’m trying to convince myself I’m happy, but no, I really am. Lots of friends have been calling and wanting to see me, and being very excited which is great; I’ve usually found Auckland pretty lonely since I moved away.

Went to a party last night which was nice, and some of us ended up back at my place for a drink. Met some cool people, but I have to say, I feel a totally different person to who I was when I lived here, and subsequently my old friends are very different to me now. I feel so much more open minded and accepting than I used to be, and also so much more confident in myself. I feel I have nothing to prove and no need to justify myself to anybody. It’s funny, probably every person in the room has their shit together more than me, but I felt like the only one who was truly myself and accepting of everything and everyone around me. I also really feel no fear about the future; I know it’s a mystery and I’m lost but I have no fear of failure because I view my life as something to be lived, not a means to an end.

Murphy’s law, there’s an inundation of girls who want to get together, but I really just don’t feel interested at all. My mind is still with somebody else, and I still feel that I belong to somebody else at the moment; it will fade I’m sure, but that makes me sad, too. Also, I’m just totally not into the girls up here, generally. I feel like I’ve been with somebody so totally different to these people; a girl who never wore make-up, never brushed her hair, scarcely showered, wore whatever she could find on the floor that day, and was unbelievably beautiful to me. We were the same, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing! Having said that, it’s great to keep in touch as friends.

But anyway, enough about trivial things like that. A couple of friends and I are going to this thing tonight called the Odyssey Maze (http://odysseysensorymaze.co.nz/) which looks like it might be very cool. I love trippy/creepy things.

Walked in the beautiful sunshine for most of the day, found myself dancing in the street a lot which was great. Really….I’ve had a fucking good day. I think I needed one.

Listening to this allllll day, hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEYM2iCQ6yA

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.

Everything and Nothing.

Me running at the beach the other day. Why is this here? Umm....rocks?

Me running at the beach the other day. Why is this here? Umm….rocks?

A strange few days; feels like so much has happened; like so much has changed, but maybe it was just all internal. I have a tendency too over-think, so perhaps it’s just that.

For one, recent discussions with somebody are helping me come to terms with certain aspects of myself; perhaps, certain blockades to true inner peace. Mostly, I feel he spouts a load of bullshit, with the occasional moment of clarity; but even a broken clock is right twice a day, right?

Without revealing too much, I know I could afford to talk less. In some ways, it’s a suit of armour; it lets make take anything poignant which might penetrate and deflect it away with a wall of words which, ultimately, give people little true insight into what’s going on beneath the surface. The recent suicide of a student just a few streets away has made this point weigh on my mind quite heavily; we only see the façade  Really, what we present to the world, and what others present to us, is more often than not an oh-so-carefully constructed mask which gives just enough to let them know we’re human, but conceals everything we don’t want people to see (most of all ourselves). If they don’t see the cracks they can’t ask about them, and if they can’t ask about them then nobody ever has to admit they exist.

Except they do exist, whether we admit it or not, and ultimately, it’s something I feel needs to change fundamentally about the way we interact as humans. I don’t know how we can change it….but I know it needs to change. Which pretty much means you can file this under “rant” in your bullshit box.

Tonight was Earth Night, apparently; what better excuse to break out the candles and another couple of bottles of wine? Myself and a few friends got rugged up and headed out round the peninsula to sit on the beach, watch the lights/stars and contemplate the universe; the fact that it was the world’s stoniest and most uncomfortable beach didn’t deter us. In any case, it was much too dark to be picky.

We talked about love and destiny and relationships and personality. I cornily made us all say things we were thankful to Earth about, heh. Mine was solitude, and the feeling of happy insignificance that the power of nature let’s us come to terms with. The other’s were good too; the power of the ocean, the timelessness of everything on Earth, an appreciation of how, for example, this rock we are sitting on went through a millennia of creation, and by fate found itself on this shore, by this ocean, at this time, so that we might sit on it. Overall, just damn good shit.

Oh, we also started giving everybody (stereotyped) Native American names, based on who they are. Lucy was Laughs with the Light, Jess was Sits like a Star, Gemma was Lover of All, Tengo was Face to the Water, and I don’t think anybody came up with one for me. mostly since when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘me’, and I was talking too much, like usual.

Overall it was quite a lovely experience. I miss it already. having said that, sitting here, it was another occasion where I managed to say everything in the world except exactly what I wanted to say, to who I wanted to say it to. Typical.

So now I sleep, with the neighbours singing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in between repeats of ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’, or whatever it’s called. Kill me.