‘It is as though things have been worked out in private, in the delight of existence.’

October 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Etel Adnan, Of Cities and Women

— from letter dated February 19th, 1992, Rome

Italy is a fortunate place because it has changed without destroying too much; it has refined its ideas, its men, and its women. The women have gradually defined their aim: they are neither preoccupied by obedience nor desirous to gain control through their powers of seduction. They seem to live for themselves, certain of their moral equality with their partners, living in their own way, with a certain discretion which is their exclusive space. Generalities make no sense in these streets, sidewalks, workplaces or cafés. When you see or listen to them, you get the feeling that each one seems to pursue her own destiny. They are living with a kind of independence which is reflected in their bodies and in their ideas, in their attitudes towards life. It is as though things have been worked out in private, in the delight of existence.

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Che Guevara, via Letters of Note: Grow up as good revolutionaries

October 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

[1965]

To my children

Dear Hildita, Aleidita, Camilo, Celia, And Ernesto,

If you ever have to read this letter, it will be because I am no longer with you. You practically will not remember me, and the smaller ones will not remember me at all.

Your father has been a man who acted on his beliefs and has certainly been loyal to his convictions.

Grow up as good revolutionaries. Study hard so that you can master technology, which allows us to master nature. Remember that the revolution is what is important, and each one of us, alone is worth nothing.

Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.

Until forever, my children. I still hope to see you.

A great big kiss and a big hug from,

Papa

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2013/06/grow-up-as-good-revolutionaries.html

relocation

August 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

“I’ve not had much opportunity, or just haven’t been doing so, or able to? Don’t know. to think much about studying; to get excited. It exists like a room I’ve not been able yet to see into, where the excitement is. The anticipation. Finally I can hardly look forward and am stuck in this room, this present. I feel disinclined, since last night, to read even — to let my mind be in fiction.”

adoption

July 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

“An argument of sorts on Friday night. On adoption. I: that more people should adopt, were they conscious, if they wish to have children (rather than reproducing in their own image). To take children from bad situations and in need of parents, lacking parents and in poverty, in areas with poor healthcare and few opportunities and poor education, and to give them better opportunities. This assuming the move were good and the adopting people good. Perhaps already too many assumptions. Regardless, I argued that and was met with the counter argument (and I probably do it injustice, misrepresent, unfaithfully reproduce): that you may not change the world, that always people have suffered and there been bad situations. (And so do nothing?)

I gave the first argument and felt still a small part of me that, were I to have children, would want my loved one and they in me also, reproduced. That mesh of blood. And added weakly that of course perhaps one’s own child is indeed easier to love.

The argument of course is personal. I feel indescribably grateful for my own adoption and so also eternally indebted.

Anyway, it was good to walk the streets talking and to speak of real things and so at least to be shocked a little from routine. Not shocked but jolted ever so slightly, even with topics familiar. To look again. To argue, to discuss real things. As a kid I used to beg my Dad please just to argue back with me. Because it seemed that no one would.

Isn’t challenge worth something? When people care enough to engage and challenge?”

(from an email)

Aciman

July 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

“I am reading Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman.
Wonderful to read in summer. Reading, I am reminded of how I have longed to be male, as a child, innocently — like my father — later, like my brother, and later again, still, the men I admired. Loving men, so much, their beauty — the hard lines and their hands, shoulders, everything sensitive and private, the faces and legs and beautifully haired limbs.  I loved how men and boys were able to behave and talk and their intelligence, some, a surer thing, and charm, … an ability for indifference or removal I sense perhaps fewer women are capable of. But perhaps that is rubbish. I loved men so much I wished to be man (not to change from what I am but to be naturally so), to love men.”
(from an e-mail)

Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction

May 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

(opening:)

and it’s a story that might bore you but you don’t have to listen, she told me, because she always knew it was going to be like that,”

This week-end I read The Rules of Attraction. The first Bret Easton Ellis book I’ve gotten more than a few pages into. Something of a sado-masochistic move, on my part. Something to do with breaking myself down, against my own sometime insistence upon naivety — this habitual itch of a yearning toward purity, where it is not.

So, I read the book, and it makes sense as I read it, fits my state of mind. Even sort of confirms some things. And Easton Ellis, to my mind, is not glorifying fucking around, taking tons of drugs, empty, wrecking-ball behaviour, indifference — but rather, writes as if he is merely observing these things. I note that the only times that “fun” or any pleasure is recalled by a character is in reference to time spent with a person that they actually seem to believe that they love (never, in the case of The Rules of Attraction, a love that is reciprocated).

Anyway, as a whole, once read — and actually, aside, I liked the writing once I got used to it — I was left with a) the basic idea that the only thing worth doing is engaging, living, now, and b) the sense that the only thing worth living for IS love, despite the impossibly sad and painful nature of it, (or perhaps actually just that human beings always will love, will always endure that) and that c) love will always contain pain and incomprehension, a large dose of the bleak and the bland, too — and the gap between I and another, you and her, he and she, always.

\//\/ I start writing this list, and edit, and edit again. Because perhaps more than anything else, the story is swept through with such arbitrariness, wariness, haze; any message or statement submitted by a character is then put down again a moment later, turned over or dropped… No one cares for long enough to see any thing through. No one remains.

And suddenly looking around the living room of Windham, Roxy Music blasting, a fire roaring, a half-decorated Christmas tree covered with bras and panties tilted to one side in the corner, I hated these people, yet I wanted to stay here with them. Even with the guy who was a shitty guitarist talking to the loudmouth alcoholic; even with the dyke from Welling; even with the waitress from Dunkin’ Donuts who had showed up and was hanging on to Tim’s arm; even Getch, who was loaded, sitting in the corner, crying, fondling a pony-keg. These were people I would never have spoken to out of this room, but here, at the party, I loathed them more than I thought possible. The music was loud and it was snowing lightly outside, dark in the room except for the fireplace and the lights on the Christmas tree in the corner flickering off and on. This was the moment that counted. This was when it all came together. This was where I wanted to be. Even the ex who was going to fuck Tony. Even her. All that mattered was that we were here….

The feeling sort of clicked off when the beer didn’t come and the guys who had been trying to get it were arrested for drink driving, Getch announced. (…)

— The Rules of Attraction, Bret Easton Ellis

England

April 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

It is warmer here and the colors so bright they seem like gifts. So often, I am impressed by them now. Did I not see them properly before, years ago? Or do my eyes receive them differently now? So vivid they appear amazing to me, supernatural.

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