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October 23, 2006

Promptly #5

Ahhhhh damn. Well. I have just accidentally erased my blog. Twice. Behold the opposition of (wo)man and technology!! And how will I deal with this opposition this time? I will write my blog in a word program and save the damn thing every three minutes just like I should have done each time before! Sigh. SO. On to my witty and insightful observations… again!

Diary of Oppositions
My weekend was kinda rough. My biweekly ‘Oh-god-I-am-now-living-in-Minnesota-and-it-is-cold-and-grey-and-I-cannot-go-surfing-nor-pick-mangoes-from-my-front-porch-anymore- breakdown’ fell on a Saturday night this week and by Sunday I needed a little cheering. It was looking like a dreary road ahead come Sunday afternoon- Monday morning threatened a major drawing review and I was not yet done with all my drawings. This meant a long night in the library or some other lonely location with nothing but a pencil and a heavy book in front of me. Hmm… Here I came to my first opposition: the opposition of Desire and Duty. To me, this is one of the most fascinating oppositions we deal with. Its universal (among humans at least), and we all handle it in different ways in different situations. While desire seems intimate, personal, or even instinctual at times, duty is largely culturally-determined. Compare, for example, a Japanese student who commits suicide after receiving poor grades, and your average angsty American student. Cultural. Anyway, my duty told me to go to the library and patiently draw a bunch more drawings and then go to bed at a reasonable hour so to be fresh in the morning to elegantly handle to onslaught of criticism guaranteed from Mr. Petrovsky . My desire, one the other hand, had a much more enjoyable alternative cooked up. It said, “Screw the homework and go to a fantastic dance show of a company you have been wanting to see forever!? I wanted both. This was around 6pm and the show was at 8. The resolution? I rushed home, started one more quality drawing; at 7:20, I threw on my heels, grabbed my friend, kissed my dog and my worries goodbye and left for a remarkable night of dynamic human sculpture with the Pilobolus Dance Company.

The show was amazing. The most intriguing part for me was born out of yet another opposition: that of Man and Gravity. It’s interesting to me to think about all the incredible things done in reaction to gravity. Every step we take is in defiance of a universal force that is trying to keep our feet on the ground. But look how we resolve that!...
we kitesurf agaisnt it

we dance with it
we create incredible technology to defy it…

And without it, we would not exist. So there you go. Thanks be to gravity!
So after a nightful of gravity-defying dancing, I went home happy and inspired. Finished my drawing and gave in to the desire for a hot bath. Here yet, one more opposition (several actually): Humans and the Elements, or, more specifically, the opposition of Ranier and the Cold. I resolve my body’s need to be warm and nature’s need to have a cold season, by taking hot baths and putting extra comforters on my bed.
Lovely hot bath finished, I got a late night call from someone I wanted very much to talk to, leading me to my final opposition and that it: college and the college student’s need for sleep, which seem to be near impossible to resolve. :) However, I will now try to resolve these two things for myself ending this blog now, and getting my tired butt to my glorious bed (with extra covers).


October 9, 2006

Prompt #4


A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

~Helen Steiner Rice~


Phenomena: Mother's love- and incredibly strong force that can be imitated and interpreted but never artificially re-produced completely.

Framework: Fixed relationship between mother and child.

Clockwork: Life cycle of child and mama from birth to death (average life span depends on location, culture, and lifestyle among other things...). Also- the maturity and individuation of the child. Psychological theory holds that from birth to 5years old your values are imprinted; 10 years old is a major marker for the development of your beliefs. Typically you begin to challenge these beliefs (and your parents) during the teen years, and seek to establish your own during your 20's. The years of puberty are universally significant, with the hormonal and physical changes that take place, as is menopause for the mother.

Things: The mom- a woman who has typically undergone intercourse, pregnancy, and birth (although it is also arguable that one does not have to necissarily give birth to a child to feel motherly love towards it); generally 20-37years old. The child- every human, the term specifically refers to the younger years of life when the parent is most responsible (0~18).

j kissin s
the inspiration for this blog... my niecie and sister (in-law, technically) :)

October 2, 2006

Prompt #3

Choose a place that you find meaningful. Find it’s Genius Loci.
Describe it in text and image.

I really liked this prompt untill I started thinking about it. I tried to think of places here in Minnesota that held large amounts of meaning for me and started getting really bummed out. Then I read the Genius Locci piece and started to get downright depressed. In the last four years I have moved seven times, and attended six different schools in three different countries. I have seen a lot, and made more 'life-changing descisions' than most people have by the time they are 35, and been exposed to all sorts of lifestyles. It has been one heck of an adventure, and I am grateful for every bit of it, however, it hasn't left me a whole lot of time for 'dwelling'. Conversations of 'roots' and 'settling' and 'meaningful places' therefor have become something of a sore spot. In trying to figure out where was meaningful to me, and why Minneota didn't host any of those places, I realized a lot about what it takes to qualify in my mind as a meaningful place...

So. Tried to think of places around here that are meaningful to me and discovered my first principal of meaningful places and that is that (for me) they have to be places where you can really let down, relax, and let the spirit of the place in. I thought maybe MN was still too new to me, and that roots were required, and roots take time, and that's why I don't have a 'place' here yet, but then I thought of the island of Inishbofin in Ireland that holds more meaning to me than almost anywhere I have traveled to, and I was only there for under a week. So, that kills the time hypothesis, but adds an 'energetic-exchange' criterium- it has to be somewhere I could (and wanted to) let down enough to sort-of merge with the ground beneath me.

Which brings me to point #2. In almost every 'meaningful' place I could think of in memory the ground beneath my feet was just that- ground. Not cement, tile, or lanolium, but dirt or sand or grass. My favorite places are nature places. Wild nature places: the green grass spring in the mountians of Alaska, the tree where I did my daily meditation during my summer in the San Juan Islands, the long needled pines above Baby Beach... etc.

The few exceptions to the above rule have been really special homes (ie my childhood home, and my childhood best friend's home) and the occassional bedroom. These few indoor locations have been similar to the ourdoor ones almost every way except the walls and a roof. I felt safe, I could merge, I felt natural...

Extrapolating further, I guess it really comes down to places that bring back the depth in my being. Does that make sense? Places like Costco and the Mall are anti-meaningful to me because they flatten me and make me feel superficial in a very somatic way, while places like the bamboo forrest in Hana, on the other hand, expand my experience of reality and bring me back to my truest (deepest) self.

Minnesota doesn't have too many places that do that for me (yet) but I am sure with time I will find some. Until then, the place that reigns supreme in the meaning-factor for me is Maui. Maui no ka oi. Maui is the best. :) It doesn't hurt that the entire island is rich with unparallelled beauty, but it is also where I spent highschool and the home I am referencing when I say I'm homesick. The spirit of Maui, in my experience, is very sweet, but like all nature has a wildness that can be dangerous. The meaning it holds is one part beauty, one part memories, and two parts 'energy' factor I think. Some specific spots:

Makena Beach: a wild beach where we swam/walked most sunday mornings

The Bamboo Forrest Walk in Hana (makes the most incredible sounds when the wind blows)

Kaihalulu, or Red Sand Beach in Hana: a glorious little beach where you can go nakkie if you want to! (especialy if you are an old old man in a visor...unfortunately)

Oheo or 7-Sacred falls: A series of waterfalls that make for an exciting day of cliff jumping. At the end of the series there is an area of big smoothed out volcanic bolders where you can lay in the apex of the meeting salt and fresh water.

HaeakalaMarch05026.jpg This is me up in Haleakala Crater during a weekend backpack with friends. The inside of the crater has a lush area (here) but most of it looks like Mars. Its incredible.

Baby Beach/ Baldwin Beach: the topic of my first version of this blog (that i brilliantly erased). A 'local' (aka non-touristy) beach that hosted some of my favorite memories. Extra-salty water, betimes brutal waves, seaweed that clings in little scratchy bits to your thighs and makes great temporary facial hair, group of men that seem to throw horseshoes and drink beer on the back of their trucks eternally, site of a few memorable dates, many good talks, and the occassional skinny dip... ;)

So there you have it. Ranier's Maui Meaningful Places Tour. I am now so homesick I could throw up. :)