Updates.

So I managed my $60 Produce only week…ish.

Apologies for the lack of posts, I’ve been back at lectures and had an assignment due. Also, had my first Swing class which was very fun, although I will miss it this week as I am going to Auckland on Thursday evening.

So, anyway, the food thing went relatively well. But with with hiccups. For one, my insides took a hammering, deprived of all the chemical coagulants they are used to and with an overload of fibre. You don’t want to know the details, I imagine. It did inspire me to learn to cook some new things, and invent a few recipes. I discovered that leeks, far from being the hideous ugly cousin of the onion that I thought they were, are in fact seriously delicious. And fun to cook with.

I couldn’t go the whole week without cheese, alas; ended up buying some to eat with a pear in a moment of weakness. Totally worth it though. Also, last night my friend brought me candies, so yeah. This is sounding less impressive as I go on but really it wasn’t so bad….

My brother and his wife bought a house last week, so I’m excited to go see that and celebrate with them. Also, I visited my grandparents while I was home last time and I really would like to catch up with them. I’ll probably end up back at the Illusory Maze, the derpus that I am.

Hopefully I can catch up with the friend I missed out on seeing last time. Oh, and also the one who I spent Sunday with, but will have to wait and see. We only exchanged a couple of texts in almost a fortnight, which is kind of a good thing too I suppose; better than feeling obliged to have awkward, empty text conversations.

Finally I’ve gotten all I need together to satisfy the International Exchange Office, so it’s over to them now; having said that, I really think I should schedule a meeting with the head of my law faculty to persuade him to put in a good word for me. Scary stuff but also a step in the right direction.

Life in Dunedin is settling back into an uncomfortable pattern, so I’m really looking forward to my extra-curricular courses starting (dance, yoga etc…). The workload already seems overwhelming and I just struggle to be interested in the subject, making it even harder. Also, I’ve not been sleeping well, and the sleep I’ve been getting has really been plagued by some uncomfortable dreams. I keep encountering people from the past, or from my current life, and having serious conversations/reconciliation/etc., and then being unable to distinguish between the dreaming and reality. It actually gets kind of saddening, because it puts you in such a good mood when you think bridges have been repaired or whatever, and then you realise it’s totally untrue. Also, those classic bad dreams where you see somebody you care about be horrible to you and loving to somebody else.

I went to an international food festival the other evening, on the green in front of the Dunedin Museum. It was cool, very vibrant with lots of people, and some very fun performances. There was a fantastic African drum band which was just so impressive. Also, beautiful light show and lanterns etc etc.

Exhausting myself is probably the key, so tonight I’ll go for a run (if it’s not freezing) or the gym if it is. I don’t think I’ve ever written about it on here, but I used to be extremely obsessed committed to my body, to the point where it was just such a drain to myself and everybody around me. There’s a lot of history there which need not be aired, but regardless, it took me a while to really become chilled out about physical appearance in that regard. In any case, in the last couple of days I’ve noticed creeping feelings of dissatisfaction, which I’m not happy at all about, so I want to nip that in the bud and get back to feeling comfy and healthy.

Anyway, this really isn’t of much interest to anybody but I felt I ought to say a few words to keep in touch.

PS. Bought the Nanobyte EP, which is excellent and diverse. The song below reminds me a lot of Kryptic Minds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzYEbenHAW8

 

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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

Judge Not Today.

Around a year and a half ago, I heard Deepak Chopra for the first time. I can’t say I was ever completely taken by everything he said, but there were parts which I thought had real value. Particularly, his spiritual idea of overcoming the need to judge was something which I had not realised the importance of before.
For the last year and a half I’ve worked very hard to make the maxim “Judge Not Today” an key one in my life. Ultimately, living to this ideal isn’t easy; I know I lapse back into judgement still, but in the past few weeks I’ve tried concertedly to be totally at peace from the need to judge.

What I learned is that, as long as we judge others, we can never be at peace with ourselves, because we create a rift between ourselves and the people around us. Judging is an inherently alienating process; it forces a conflict in which our ways are inherently right and somebody else’s are inherently wrong.

I noticed a few years ago that I was becoming increasingly negative and judgemental. Very quickly, these petty judgements on the way somebody looks or dresses or speaks or thinks become important in how you value other people in comparison to yourself. If you let it, this pattern of judgement will seep into and dominate you. Towards the end of my teenage years, I realised I was increasingly becoming a person who would instantly see the worst in people, and who would be closed minded and closed off to my own silliness.

I believe we should all have a determination now to be a people of positivity, for whom each person and opportunity is accepted and considered equally, and it’s almost as though a weight has been removed off me every day. One great benefit of not judging seems to me that I don’t judge myself the same way either, which is fantastic, nor do I feel the need to justify myself or appeal to others. Maybe this is all just an elaborate philosophy to allow myself to wear whatever I want, be silly and take nothing seriously 🙂

Anyway, still enjoying my week in Auckland although the weather is a bit meh now. Caught up with a friend last night and also met a bunch of new people, including one guy who was very cool; turns out he is a huge film buff, as well as writer, and just seemed an pretty cool guy. Went dancing in town though it was really quiet, but I’m checking out this Latin club in town tonight and hoping to dance some salsa. Scary, I’ve never been by myself! I think I’ll probably be missing my dance partner quite a lot.

The Oydssey Maze I spoke about a few days ago was very cool; lots of strange rooms with exciting use of lights and dark and mirror and texture. I really enjoyed it, and it really seemed like something that would be a lot of fun do myself in the future (who knows how though). If you’re in or around Auckland then you should definitely go see it; admission was $15 for a student and we were inside for around 45 mins at least. You’ll have a good time.

You need to be inside to fully appreciate it.

Regarding emotional stuff, I believe feelings only fade if you want them too, or if you let them. I don’t think there is a general rule that being apart will make you care less; so long as you want the person to remain important in your life, you’ll find away. Probably just corroborating to myself and saying what I want to hear though.

Just listening to this right now. “Be mindful of yourself without judging yourself.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RvtDFfLFIk

Going South.

Bluff, NZ.

Bluff, NZ.

Finally I’ve reached the very bottom of New Zealand (I lie, not quite the bottom, but close enough…)

Myself and two friends met in Invercargill at a quirky little backpackers know as Sparky’s. Decorated with the most bizarre asortment of trinkets and knick-knacks, I quickly became suspicious as to where the owner’s nickname as “Sparky” had originated form. Between his love of the notorious weed-hotspot Byron Bay, his vacant expression, collection of exotic paraphernalia, and general paranoia with everything, I formulated some idea. Whilst he seemed mostly kind and harmless, after a few days I decided things were getting weird; his belief that 9-11 was an inside job by the US Government was one thing, but threatening to kick me out for cracking my knuckles was a bit much.

The place itself was very cool and cute, with only a few rooms and a really fun vibe; it even had a spa pool out the back which was heaven in the Invercargill cold. Now that I’m writing about it, we really didn’t get up to much, but it was a good time nonetheless; played cards, drank coffee, baked cakes, got drunk in the spa. All good things.

Sparky's Lounge.

Sparky’s Lounge.

IMG_1446

Bedroom.

The trip to Bluff was…meh. Really, there’s very little there, and it was little more than a novelty. Still, it’s a cool thing to have done and I’m glad I had the opportunity to travel that far south. We found a really cool beach near Invercargill and endured a midwinter swim in the freezing water which was near fatal to my toes, but a welcome shock to the senses.

IMG_1466

A tire puncture cut the Catlins trip pretty short, so I’ll definitely have to go back some time to see more. Still, it seemed sublime, and I’m glad we got there long enough to wet my appetite for more.

So, back in Dunedin, but only temporary, tomorrow I fly home to Auckland for the first time in ages. Recently returned from Wellington with my (then) girlfriend as a goodbye trip before she went home to France, so quite a bit of moving around recently. The Wellington trip was bitter-sweet; I miss her but that’s okay, I’m still happy! We cut a pretty sorry sight crying on each other’s shoulders at the airport.

A bientot.

IMG_1465

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.