22 August 2007

Several other figures of speech

Since its commencement on Monday, school has been my life. I've chosen to take - I have nothing else to take - several English and Women and Gender Studies courses this semester. Since Monday evening, my nose has been deeply buried in a book of some sort, and I'm sure that I have read the words "gender", "inequality", "sex", and other various terms more than I could have ever wanted.

This is only day three.

While I'm excited by my classes and their subject matter, I'm apprehensive when I think of the course load. This will be by far the most difficult, but potentially the most rewarding semester I've had thus far at UofL. For once I'm actually going to be challenged academically while testing just how well I'm able to juggle all of my calendar pieces. But this challenge hold a high risk: my GPA cannot lower. Once again my perfectionism reigns. Anything less than A's is not acceptable to me. Not only will I feel like I somehow did not apply myself enough, but I could potentially lose my scholarships if I fall below a 3.5 GPA for the semester. I can't afford to lose anything right now - my scholarships are keeping me afloat.

I guess it's time for me to buckle down and bite the bullet and several other figures of speech.

08 August 2007

And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief As Photos by John Berger

According to whether we are in the same place or separated one from the other, I know you twice. There are two of you.

When you are away, you are nevertheless present for me. This presence is multiform: it consists of countless images, passages, meanings, things known, landmarks, yet the whole remains marked by your absence, in that it is diffuse. It is as if your person becomes a place, your contours horizons. I live in you then like living in a country. You are everywhere. Yet in that country I can never meet you face to face.

Partir est mourir un peu. I was very young when I first heard this sentence quoted and it expressed a truth I already knew. I remember it now because the experience of living in you as if you were a country, the only country in the world where I can never conceivably meet you face to face, this is a little like the experience of living with the memory of the dead. What I did not know when I was very young was that nothing can take the past away: the past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying.

In the country which is you I know your gestures, the intonations of your voice, the shape of every part of your body. You are not physically less real there, but you are less free.

What changes when you are there before my eyes is that you become unpredictable. What you are about to do is unknown to me. I follow you. You act. And with what you do, I fall in love again.

02 August 2007

Oscar Wilde, The Disciple

When Narcissus died the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort.

And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of their hair and cried to the pool and said, 'We do not wonder that you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus, so beautiful was he.'

'But was Narcissus beautiful?' said the pool.

'Who should know that better than you?' answered the Oreads. 'Us did he ever pass by, but you he sought for, and would lie on your banks and look down at you, and in the mirror of your waters he would mirror his own beauty.'

And the pool answered, 'But I loved Narcissus because, as he lay on my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw ever my own beauty mirrored.'