7/2/13

Hood Shit

My relationship with the hood has always been a conflicting one, of hate and social empathy. I have been in it all my life, grew up there, live there now, yet I have never felt a part of it. I respect it for what it can teach a person; that you must always be aware. That there is a seedier part of life that can and will sharpen you if you are surrounded by it, in a way that those who are not exposed can never be. I guess most would refer to those people as “sheltered.” Now I’m not saying I used to sling rocks back in the day or anything, but no one would refer to me as sheltered. 

I’ve always felt that I have rejected the hood, from a very young age, and it, me. I’m not sure which occurred first. I’ve never felt my mind and spirit was in a similar realm as those around me. Not in a sense that I was above anyone, but in terms of many having the mindset that, doesn’t place someone in the hood, but allows them to stay there and become a product of it. 

A friend and I talked of our thoughts of that mentality the other day. We were discussing how people can be so stuck and so seemingly stupid, as to keep repeating the same mistakes, committing the same crimes and senseless violence that allows them to remain trapped in a monstrous cycle. It was then that I had, I suppose, somewhat of an epiphany. A bunch of thoughts and observations and knowledge that I had been gathering since I was old enough to gather them all started to come together. I wouldn’t have been able to have such a thought 10 years ago, because I was still a child who only knew a resentment of this place I had grown up in. This place I had never been a part of and from which I could only see negativity erupt. I’m not all-knowing and as wise as can be, but I have gained more knowledge since then. 

I realized that, for the most part, the difference between those people and me was that options were not imaginable to them. I once wanted to be an archaeologist, only to realize it wasn’t a promise that life would be as exciting as that of Indiana Jones. I attended a science and engineering high school with the thought that I would pursue passion and profession somewhere in those fields, only to realize that’s not where I was meant to be at all. But to those who may be trapped, these things are not even in their spectrum of reality. They see amazing things being accomplished on TV and in movies, but because of whatever circumstance has brought them to where they are, none of it is an actual possibility. They are separate from those worlds. They have been reached by the negative forces in this place and have literally had their dreams stolen from them. Generations of passed down drug abuse may have brainwashed them into believing that all they are meant for has already been presented to them. Some people may overcome. Some manage to hold on the dreams one dreams as a child, all while the place that envelops them and surrounds them with plight tries to make them believe that all they are born with is all they have, all they will ever have. And the bad place is right. All that you are born with is all that you have, all you will ever have. But the bad place will have you believe that only consists of the money that isn’t there, of the poor education provided to you and the city that tosses you aside like its garbage. Of the violence. The truth is, however, that when you are born, infinity is there. Boundless, endless possibility. Sometimes, those who overcome don’t even know this, don’t even see it. They believe that somehow their God or some outside force has given them the courage to do the difficult things they know they must to rise up. But that’s not true. It’s been there the entire time. Their God or the Universe or whatever you must call it has only just allowed them to see. And those who don’t overcome never see. They never find the strength and courage and answers that they seek, that are lying there within themselves for all of their lives. They are looking for a way out, for happiness. And they believe that way is monetary, as most people do. And when you have had to go without food for lack of money, it’s not hard to give in to that belief. When the bad place around you has succeeded in robbing you of dreams, they become separate from your reality and impossible, and you never discover the strength and courage within yourself to rise above, the perfect storm occurs.  You use the elements around you to try and escape, because you think it’s the only way. You believe you can use the violence that happens around you as a means to gain what you need and want. You may choose to push those drugs back into your community to get the things you always thought would be denied you, not realizing that you are helping to murder the dreams of another child. You become a part of the problem. You’re helping to keep the monster fed, making it stronger. Thus the cycle continues.

I think the most frustrating part for me is that I don’t have the answers. It seems to be so easy for me to clarify the problems, but never the answers. And it has always been so hard for me to reconcile my feelings of annoyance and judgment of the dudes posted on the block or the school children on the train who are loud and ignorant and disrespectful and seem lost, and whom I sometimes guiltily believe are already gone, with the fact that there is such a larger socioeconomic plague that has placed us all here. I don’t know what I will do. But I do know that always striving to be the best person I can be and trying to touch people with only positivity whenever I can could never be a bad thing. And selfishly, it makes it easier to sleep at night.

6/6/13

6-6-13

I'm not sure I know what passion is anymore. I am exhausted. Constantly exhausted. My own mind and fear are my two greatest foes. Fear grabs hold and spreads roots like weeds. I manage to beat it back every so often, but like weeds, it pops up again, planting itself deep into my being. Or rather, reappearing, as it was all never really gone in the first place. It is the sole object stopping me, this self-concocted fear. Yet I can't figure how to beat it. Still working on it. Chopping the weeds everyday, in the hopes that someday, I will wake the next morning, and they will not have returned.

4/29/13

QUOTE: From Betrand Russell

"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my life: the longing fo love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind."


3/25/13

Digging for Epiphanies

I'm gaining a lot of happiness in small baby steps these days. Today I realized that sometimes, you have to let people slip out of your life. No matter what they mean to you, or what you've experienced together. Sometimes their presence is more detrimental than beneficial. You have to know that you must do this, even if you love them. Knowing that some part of you may always love them. That love can never spring from a place of darkness. But that sometimes, you're love can be misplaced. It can lead you to cause pain to yourself, but love itself is never the culprit.

I also feel that I'm on the brink of some huge self discovery. It may just be something in the air, free radicals maybe. But I feel like a paleontologist on some ancient site, who just knows she's about to unearth one of mankind's greatest mysteries. An entire team waits around her with baited breath. Others anxiously join in the dig. But they all feel it. Something monumental is coming. All of this going on in my head. I'm excited for these discoveries. Even if it means unveiling an ancient species that was far more advanced than the human race. I'm simply anticipating tapping deeper into myself, working on expecting less and looking forward to the changes life will bring.

3/19/13

Can't Stop, Won't Stop...But I Really, Really Want To.

...always gonna love you though. Don't think I could stop, even if I tried. And believe me, I have. True love is selfless. It asks for nothing, it expects nothing...but i'm not there yet. I must distance myself in order to maintain.

3/12/13

QUOTE: From Jack Kerouac

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
- From, "On the Road"


3/4/13

Show Me Why You're Strong

"I'll wait. So show me why you're strong. Ignore everybody else. We're alone now."
(from "Retrograde" by James Blake)

From lover to lover. From friend to friend. From parent to child. From God to man. From self to self.
From self to self. It's this for me. When your friends have gone, where will you fit? Show me your strength, show me your worth. Prove it. Speak it. Do it. Believe it. Where do you stand? Where is your love? Your love of self? Any other love you claim is worthless, non existent, until you claim the first. 

What makes you tall? What makes you proud? What makes you want to keep going, keep trying? A cause, a purpose, bigger than you. Discover. Envelop yourself in it, in all things. In all things that will make you grow. 
What is your style? Where is your voice?! What are you trying to SAY?! You want to write? Then write! What are you waiting for?! Whose approval do you seek? 

Everyone's. Everyone's but your own. Doing it for the wrong reasons. Reaping shitty crops. When no one is there, where do you fit? Find your place. Look inside. Find your place. Be at peace.

QUOTE: From Ayn Rand

"No matter what happens, I give no one the power to hurt me."

 

2/25/13

QUOTE: from Sylvia Plath

"Yes, I was infatuated with you: I am still. No one has ever heightened such a keen capacity of physical sensation in me. I cut you out because I couldn't stand being a passing fancy. Before I give my body, I must give my thoughts, my mind, my dreams. And you weren't having any of those."


- from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

2/4/13

QUOTE: From Kate Alcott


"Life is an act -- most of it, anyway. Get out there today and pretend you're in charge, for goodness sake. Do you hear me? Lift up your head and pretend...It's the secret to everything."
- From "The Dressmaker"

On Children and My Negative Positivity

I, generally and figuratively speaking, weep for mankind. I hope and strive (more ardently and actively in the future, ideally) for its betterment. If not an end to its sufferings, a greater understanding of why we suffer, of the ways in which we inflict suffering upon ourselves, so that we may at least lessen it. Yet---I fucking hate people. The mob of them. The ridiculous things they immerse themselves in. I’m not one of those who walks around saying shit like, “I just wanna send peace, love and good vibes out to everybody”, or “The children are the light of the Earth.”

Truth is, I really can’t stand kids. I think they’re pretty fucking annoying, and I think that speaks more to my capacity to deal with them and the amount of patience I have for them than it does the actual nature of children. Based on my experience with them, I think they talk too fucking much about shit that doesn’t matter at all. They require way too much attention and selflessness. They can be downright cunty; so much so that, when my nephew decides to throw a tantrum in the middle of the mall and scream a single phrase for over an hour straight, I thank whatever powers that be that his dad is there. Because if I couldn’t fucking walk away, I don’t know what would have happened. 

But then, there are those times. Those magical, epiphany-filled moments. I’ll ask him a question or we’ll be mid conversation, and he’ll just make an observation, a simple and direct reflection, as kids are wont to do, and sticks of dynamite explode in my head. Either this is the world’s smartest 6 year old, or we (people, in general) give far less credit to these children than due. Children allow us a glimpse at the human being gaining understanding and knowledge of self in the purest form. Depending on the age, they haven’t necessarily been taught to suppress very many parts of their nature, simply because they haven’t been around long enough. That’s why they’re so good at being little cunts and so adept at masterfully making each other feel like shit. They haven’t developed a sense that, “This is wrong”, or that, “This could seriously fuck this person up in the future, what I’m doing to them.” They’re acting mostly on some primordial presence. And everything they take in is so wondrous to them. Children are these mythical little dwarfs who can piss you off one second and just as easily teach you something about the nature of yourself with their next sentence. I envy the little creatures. Wish I could throw on my kid filter sometimes, or rather, take off my adult one. Become a little miseducated.

They’re still fucking annoying though.

1/27/13

QUOTE: From Virginia Woolf

Words that struck home upon reading them. I love it when that happens. Thanks Virginia. ;)

" Melancholy diminishes as I write. Why then don’t I write it down oftener? Well, one’s vanity forbids. I want to appear a success even to myself. Yet I don’t get to the bottom of it."


1/24/13

1/21/13

Nabakov on the Science of Being a Good Reader

(via Brain Pickings)



 Select thoughts from a one Nabakov on what it takes to "be a good reader." According to him, "a good reader, a major reader, and active and creative reader is a rereader." I wholeheartedly agree. Peep the link right HERE for some more of Nabakov's wisdom on the subject.

1/17/13

DEBATE QUESTION: Jump on in!

I've decided you'll be finding feisty little debate questions popping up from time to time. Ya'll are 'bout to be so engaged! Please, refrain from bombarding me with thanks when seen in the streets. Here goes ;)


QUESTION: Is one truly creative if they require some sort of narcotic or drug to "bring it out"?

It would be awesome and preferable if you left your comments on this page! Soliiiid.

1/2/13

Hybrid Beasts

(via designboom)

Take a look at these sculptures from Korean artist Yong Ho Ji. Inspired in part by his upbringing on a mountain countryside and Darwin's theory of evolution, they are made of varying parts used tire strips, steel frames, synthetic resins, wood and styrofoam. And they're fucking awesome. Check 'em out below.