These days, I cannot seem to keep track of time. There are encounters that I’ve willed to happen but cannot bring myself to see to; other engagements that I’ve never intended for, that inadvertently occur for one contingent reason or another. Then there are the appointments that one must keep, regardless of how early or how late in the day they may be, or how lethargic you are. Those are most tedious. Continue reading
An entry from my journal on May 20, 2017:
“It is not difficult to feel self-conscious when you’re scribbling away in a notebook — quite manically, it would seem — in a middle of a subway carriage amidst the chattering weekend crowd. Sure, I could’ve typed this out on my phone, but alas, I’ve pulled the journal out so there’s no turning back.
Who, in this god forsaken place, still journals, anyway? Continue reading
— Lidia Yuknavich in “The Other Side of Burning”, in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2017)
“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.”
— Margaret Atwood
“In my first depressive episode, I believed the fact I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning because I was just a bit hopeless – I made a cavalier joke out of it, people laughed. I stopped eating regularly – I made another joke, friends laughed again. I laughed with them. Depression doesn’t knock on the door and introduce itself; it isn’t monotonal – people still make jokes, they still function, they still believe they’re happy. In my case, I would have insisted I was having a great university experience. I was also drinking a bottle of wine alone most afternoons and crafting misspelt essays to my tutors full of excuses.” – Shon Faye, “The Real Reasons We Are Silent About Depression”
“The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality, I like their completeness, I like their anonymity.” – Virginia Woolf
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! What an excuse for me to make yet another doodle and collage of my favourite authoress instead of studying for my linguistics midterms.
Here I am, once again, writing about art, or at least trying to make sense of it.
To think that four years ago, I was sat around paint-stained tables, with my friends, scribbling away about Mondrian and Kahlo. We would exchange our answers when our teacher left the classroom to attend to administrative issues — the test was hardly important, anyway, and we’d rather be painting. So whispers filled the classroom, “What do cupboards signify in Dali’s paintings?”, “What does blue mean?”, “What is the painting about?”
“What is the painting actually about?”
Four years later, I’m here, once again; attempting to write about art, again. Or at least trying to discover how one writes about art, then realising the impossibility of the task — again. God knows how I found myself in this rut despite having sworn off the study of art history years ago. If only I could better transmute my sentiments into mere language, or failing which, I could simply turn in a painting instead of a paper.
“Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.”
— Lady Lazarus, Sylvia Plath
There have been many occasions where these famous lines by Plath resonate quite closely with my own sentiments, but alas, it seems I’ve deliberately misappropriated her words for comic effect today. No, this won’t be a post about feminine angst (though I must admit, I find myself on the verge of penning thousands of words on said topic on most days). It’s simply to inform anyone who cares on here that I’m, well, not dead. And this blog isn’t either.
Funnily enough, I find myself with much more time on my hands this semester, since the classes I’m enrolled in aren’t too heavy on both the readings and assessments. I’ve arranged my classes to be so since I knew I’d be spending more time towards the end of my semester working through administrative details for my exchange programme, and didn’t want the the latter to detract from my studies. And so, I now find myself with hours and days to kill between classes. You would think this equates to more time for blogging but this, as I’ve discovered from experience, isn’t true. Sitting before my laptop, logging into wordpress, and banging away on my keyboard, disclosing my thoughts to no one but pixels isn’t something I’m inclined to do when I’m free; rather, it’s a procrastination device. Every word I write here is a word I’m not putting into an assignment or a submission piece, but the fact that I’m writing, at all, makes me feel productive. It assuages my nerves, so I write.
In the past months that I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been writing – mostly in my diary (I’ve been so good with keeping a diary this year, I think this habit might actually last through the year) but also for my college journal (penned a piece about cats, which I’m rather proud of). I’m working on my entry for the Vogue Talent Contest for Young Writers right now, whilst researching a review paper for my art history class. And I’ve got a rough sketch of an idea for another paper on Woolf’s The Waves, which I might develop into a paper, despite having sworn off that novel after spending an excruciating three months writing my previous paper on it. Oh, and I’m learning Latin now, after years of promising myself that I’d do so.
I suppose I’ve finally settled into the rhythm of university life and I’m in a much better place than before – that my suitemates have been most kind to me helps too – and, thus, it is such a pity that this stability must, and will, go. In half a year’s time, I’ll be flying off to London and settling into the city, alone. I know that my friends will be there, and that I’ll be comfortable enough (particularly if I receive a scholarship to finance the trip, which I likely will), but things will be different there. For one, to get to class, I’ll have to make the daily trek through Covent Garden (I’m not complaining, really).
If anything, I’m more excited than frightened about the future. And yet, at the same time, I feel such great remorse that college life, as I’ve known and lived it for the past two years, shall end. No longer shall I return from classes to my tiny and almost pathetic shoebox of a dorm room, where my library books are perched on the window ledge and the corners of my table because the shelves are much too small. No longer shall I plunge straight into bed after a particularly long day, only forcing myself to leave the warm sanctuary two hours later, because of the limited dining hall hours (“get out of bed or you won’t get dinner” always does the trick.) And no longer shall I spend hours watching clouds morph into and out of each other, from my bed, on days that I can hardly muster the energy to be productive.
Things, being transient, will change at a pace that I cannot determine, and as for myself, an inconsequential remnant of the intertwining of time and space? I’ll be coaxed along like a baby chick stumbling to catch up with its mother.
In this moment, however, I think I’ll just enjoy what I have: the camaraderie of my peers, the comfort of good literature, and the promise of an enthralling future ahead.
today I learned that sartre owned a cat named ‘nothing’.
and so my decision to name the cat that i’ll eventually own, when i move out of my parents’ place, ‘woof’ after ‘virginia woo(l)f’ doesn’t seem like such a cruel one, after all.