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Inhale/Exhale
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
There is no greater, more constant exchange of matter between ourselves and the world around us than our breathing. In and out, we take what we need and give the rest away. We are subscribers to the atmosphere: to the lofty tides and the streams that carry away our refuse and import a fresher gust. The breeze is constant. No sooner have we sown the skyey seeds than reaped their fruits and thrown out the chaff. Breathing is an agriculture of its own, self-sustained but with a reliance on and love for what Nature allows.

What air I exhale yesterday a stranger will inhale tomorrow. All are kept under the blanket of the same sky. This connection makes me forget my personal concerns and reminds me of the purpose of all life. But maybe we will outgrow even respiration one day and become like the elements, the dead seas, and the unmovable mountains. Breathe consciously for a moment; breathe as slowly as you can.

You are a petrified forest. You are the ocean floor. You are Fuji.

But with my deepest breath, I cannot swallow the sky whole. I cannot erode the plateau's face or even bend the arm of a single tree. I might as well be the fleeting scent of a spice wafted and splayed on the endless wind.

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Tea Time
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
If I was a man of honor, my first instinct would be to introduce myself. But who am I to say what a man of honor thinks? A man of honor is hard to read due to his protective coat, thick and warm and covered with medals and puddle mud from a woman who couldn't just walk around. The medals deflect bullets, and the mud washes out into every article of clothing in the laundry that day. A man of honor lies still in a pothole, ducking from the enemy fire, until another man of honor comes by and throws his coat over him, and the honor is absorbed and carried away like that woman into a honeymoon suite. And then there are potholes everywhere. Please watch your step I say.

No, I will not introduce myself. Second instinct, third instinct, none of it. Perhaps there lives honor on the other side of the window, but this is a solid frame with no thermal leakage. An insulated aperture. On his side is warmth, cake, and tea. I would kill for tea. My dog, my family, my self. With a hunting knife. Call it fenestration frustration.

I can see the tea but I can't drink it! What is that?

I punch him in the face and his window shatters. My hand is a bit cut up, but I was anticipating some blood loss. A dainty little squirt in the corner, a delicate little squirt in the planter, a darling little squirt in my pocket, all dry and buried like a cat clawing at a polished marble floor. What comes next is very graphic, you see. I take the tea leaves and drop the fuckers into a cup of boiling hot water. Don't look it's horrible.

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Eyesight
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I often feel as though I look at things longer than they deserve. I haven't yet deciphered the wood pattern on my dresser, and am beginning to think there's no answer or rhythm to it. How many more times can I stare into a picture upon my wall and wonder how hard it must be to water the plant considering how oddly-shaped the artist painted the planter, or how easily I would be distracted from my task by the cool and moist, blurred blue presence of Mt. Fuji through my window. If I took a few steps further, would it become clear? Like a memory, light has a way of reflecting off of everything in the room and fecundating the walls with the ever-looming presence of Fuji and how blue she and I are.

I can focus on this picture for longer than a rabbit can, but I never asked for this ability. It is not what I need. I wish that light would refuse to bounce off of my wall; angry and indignant, having traveled 149,598,000 kilometers for what? Just to be trapped in a room and bouncing between my eye and a fake planter? I offend the sun each and every second that I continue to debase its exertions for such a trifle. I wish I were a real plant, blind and without question. My life would depend on the presence of the sun. I could take what I need, and turn the rest into something meaningful for what lives around me.

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Pastoral Epistle
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
After having lived a year in a more rural quarters, I yearned to move somewhere with more activity, to once again be part of the hustle and bustle of downtown.

I felt set to the side, placed in a quiet corner of the campus. When I was young, I did something I knew was bad, and when my parents found out, I sentenced myself to stand in the corner for a half hour to think about what I had done. Last year I placed myself in this corner of the campus, strangely compelled to think about my transgressions against nature. I love my city, but how could I abandon the bucolic landscape from which I was raised? Each time I opened my window to the sound of wind tugging at the leaves and birds' sweet song, I felt guilted to hum along for a few bars. It was my penance as a human who has strayed so far from nature, and I strove to forgive myself in this romantic way.

We no longer possess the same relationship to a flowing field or a shaded bower that we once had. Why is it that we can look at a maple or a rose and be taken away by the inherent beauty in each? Why is the hunt of a bear deemed majestic, or the flight of a hummingbird nimble? What are these adjectives if not human invention? We attribute to nature our very own man-made qualities, and thus imbue ourselves into the trees, flowers, animals from which we have strayed so far. Some people do this because they cannot conceive a better way to describe nature, but I and many poets do it out of guilt and longing.

As I lie in my fifth floor bed and hear nothing but the hum of an air conditioner, knowing well that opening my window now would only invite the sound of passing motors and vociferous pedestrians, I feel a pang of regret in the pit of my stomach. I find it much easier to get to classes on time, to see friends, to find food at eateries, but the subtle lack of the soft song of the wind and birds makes me gray, mass-produced, and easily interchangeable. But at the same time, the grass grows greener inside of me, grows lush and pillowy, awaiting my lazy body to lie into its cool, moist embrace. Someday soon.

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October
Monday, October 1, 2007
When the clouds roll in, I feel an affinity to the ground. I'm one with the soil, the rock, the grass. Because I look at the clouds and the first thing I realize is how different from me they are. Wafts of smoke, walls of haze that block the sun instead of becoming illuminated. But most of all, the clouds are always changing in one way or another. As the wind tosses them over the mountains, they change shape and imitate animals and items, but are never more than a mirage. Or, when it's their time, they swell with sweat and release themselves through water, leaping towards the earth for which they longed, and disappear.

Today isn't that day. The clouds coated the blue sky thick and completely, sapping all color from above the trees and the cemetery. I can hardly tell shadows apart from substance. October is a test to see who can hold on to their color and who is not up to the challenge. Already I see the brown leaves scattered and galloping down the streets, the remnants of those already defeated. Dry and shriveled, brittle and easy to crush, that is what I am during the winter when the humidity is sucked from my lungs and replaced with the affect of a stinging, dusty twig along the inside of my throat. My guitar warps, and melodies sound a bit sadder during the fall.

Whether things were better in prelapsarian or post-, I do not know. But neither could have been worse than during the fall.

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This is a Test
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Of the emergency weblog system. This is only a test. If this had been an actual entry, you would have been instructed to comment with witty retorts.

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