Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I have a question:
Which one of these is a stronger act?
Feeling hurt and crying when something upsets you or suppressing the hurt and telling yourself that it is "ok" and you can move on?

I wonder if by NOT crying, by not feeling, I am hardening my heart. I fear that when I do this for long, a time will come when I will not feel at all, when I will be nothing but some kind of metal, so resistant that I won't even rust or wear out.

At the same time, however, in one sense I could be stronger, able resist the forces of nature and ultimately live for myself, by myself. Alone.

On the other hand, if I do feel and break down when events disconcert me, I feel like a time will come when I won't be able to carry on with my work. When the sadness will accumulate to a point in which I won't be able to see any joy.

In this case, I could argue that since I would be "feeling" things, I would be "living", unlike the former case.

But I do wonder which is better in the long run. People talk so much about "independence" and all that, but this also means resisting one's heart from feeling too much, getting too attached to others. Independence does come at a price. By no means am I saying that dependence is favorable in comparison. All I am saying is that they both come at a price. This whole thing about balance is too hard to do. But then again, this very struggle about balance is what keeps us living, what motivates us to use those feelings and harness them into art, which will in turn be a monument to a moment in time, that has the power to transcend death.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I found out today that my library has a copy of one of the Brontes' juvenilia!! One of those tiny books with miniscule print!!!! I was so excited I think I almost died!!! I simply can't wait to go and see it!!

In other news, my Bronte class just started! I try not to care about what other students think of me when I talk with enthusiasm...this is one subject I love so much and I should feel free to talk in class if I choose instead of having to worry about what others( who don't speak up in class) think of me. Of course there have been classes where I have rarely spoken up..so I do know how it feels to have nothing to say and in that way I can sympathize with some of the those very girls who don't speak up. The thing is I probably know more about the Brontes' lives than just their works so it is hard to not tie both of these things. Like today we looked at Charlotte's very first writing where she mentions Anne's love for the sea. I thought this foretold Anne's fascination for the sea (esp. the poem "Lines composed on the woods on a windy day") and her wish to die by the sea coast.

I am so looking forward to how this class goes. I do hope this will strengthen my resolve to go deeper into Bronte studies, instead of taking me further away from it.
I also think I am the only one in class who has not only read all their books, but who has also read their poems and a few biographies written on them. There is some comfort in doing this in secret because you don't have to care about what others think since you know that they don't know how much this means to you. But it is entirely a different matter when other disinterested people, some of whom are only taking the class because it either fulfills a requirement or they couldn't find anything better to take, notice the excitment in your voice when you talk. Yes, in some ways, I feel like I should hide my passion for the Brontes. Some how I see that a lot of people I meet have no passion for anything. By that I mean that even if they did like something so much, they either hide it really well and pretend it does not exist, or suppress and think of something else. Even here, where I would think students would be more passionate about their studies, I feel that many scoff at others who seem more passionate than themselves. I have talked to some people who've told me that they found nothing that they really love and actually despise other people for having found what they love. It is always a constant battle: I do want to tell the world how much I love Bronte and yet I feel like I have to keep some of the enthusiasm for myself instead of releasing all of it. It is like water boiling in a saucepan..exept there is a cover over it.

And finally, Frankengirl, I managed to read the article you mentioned: Caroline Knapp's "The Merry Recluse". It was a nice read :) If anyone else is interested, the article can be found here.

I do wonder though that though she claims that she has many caring friends, she still calls herself a "recluse". That would mean that she is probably not that much of a loner, or that she is probably not that close to her friends. If one were to have a deeper friendship, they'd be prone to do things together with the other person. Knapp says she spends most of her time alone and likes doing so.
Knapp mentions the need for a careful balance in which to not let solitude rule so as to be isolated from the rest of the world. I do think that this balance is very hard to find. She says, "Solitude is often most comforting, most sustaining, when it's enjoyed in relation to other humans". When Knapp says "fail to strike the right balance and life gets a little surreal", I wonder if her act of her writing this piece presumably in solitude is not very different from the act of dreaming about TV characters. Are they both surreal acts? If the act of writing is an art and art requires concentration and hard work, would she not have felt at times that "minor occassoins that others find perfectly ordinary start to feel bizarre and unfathomable" even for herself?

As much as she claims to be a "merry recluse", the questions she raises show that she might not be as merry as she says she is. She says she is not always able to "bask" in solitude.

I guess the answer is the same always: that one just has to find the "right" balance. Somehow this task is elusive and often more burdensome than choosing the either of the the extremes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One of my short essays on Jane Eyre

Bertha as Rochester

Although much talk revolves around Rochester as a controlling man set out to quench Jane's fredom, and Bertha as Jane's "other" self who tries to fight against the injustices placed upon her by a patriarchal society, when seen through another lens, I found much to support quite the contrary: that Bertha could have an ENTIRELY different purpose for her presence in the novel, that instead of being presumed as Jane's double, she could well be Rochester's.

For one, Bertha represents Rochester's past. Even though Rochester tries to start a new life in England, Bertha (and therefore his "bad" qualities) continues to haunt him (even literally). He tries to "trap" his bad conduct of the past but it continues to follow him even when he tries to change a new leaf.

His bad conduct lies in the means by which he conducted licentious relationships with women. His approach was conniving, and accordiing to Bronte, "unacceptable", wrong. He was attracted to the wrong type of women: shallow women with material possessions and superficial attractiveness. All his mistresses were beautiful and insipid and he tosses memory of them away like he had nothing more than a shade of interest in them. He was drawn to Bertha because of his vices: he was attraced to her wealth and beauty, two "evil" temptations bound to lead man to misery.

Bronte, being a reformer, sought to correct his faults. In order to be happy he needed to give up such vices-so he tries to "trap" Bertha (thus the evil in his nature), and he tries to start a real, genuine relationship with Jane-a poor, plain girl devoid of any connectoins or material wealth, but rich in "acceptable" qualities (according to Bronte) that readesr must value and emulate: intelligence, independence, honesty, passion (the right kind of passion), humility, and courage.

Rochester, unlike other men of his society who dismissed women that seemed "invisible" , saw Jane (who had a "double" identity in that she appeared to be meek, passionless governess on the outside while she hid such strength of character, intelligence, and indomitable spirit on the inside) for who she really was, and loved her for herself alone. As his relationship with Jane blooms, he must still "purify" his love for her, based on "good" qualties. I believe that Bertha still haunted him because he had a lot of learning to do: he needed to give up the controlling streak in his nature (Bertha controlled him as well because he was afraid of her and this fear is a result of control imposed by another entity). In addition, unconsciously or otherwise, intially, he might have entertained lustful designs on Jane (for example, she had fueled his imagination, as he had associated her with fairy tales and other contexts), so he needed to rid himself of such "unpure" thoughts.

Rochester has is final battle with Bertha (and therefore with himself) when Bertha tries to burn down his house. This was a warning that his bad qualites had the capabiltiy to destroy all forms of strength: not only him, but also a fortress (and symbolically meaning Society at large, and Imperial Britain). However, because Rochester still harbored kindness for Bertha (kindness for human kind despite the evil in them) he tries to save her thereby injuring himself. However, this act of kindness (and therefore the injury) actually "saves" his soul. It humbles him, makes him realize his mistakes, and gives him the will to survive despite any obstacle: he knows now that even if he has to go on living without love or hope, he is prepared to do so. He has gained the "good" qualites that Jane possesses: will to love one faithfully and whole, courage and independence. Only after this is is he rewarded. Only then does Jane return to him-her love is all the more intense and true because she sees him beyond physical appearance or material gains. She sees him as the "reformed" man, capable of loving her truthfully and whole in ways he wasn't quite able to before, in ways she truly deserves.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

To find out which L.M.Montgomery Heroine you are, go here

Monday, January 23, 2006

What is wrong with Jane?

I've had another yet another response to this question from bored dominatrix. I do love this discussion. Here's the link to the post and comments if anyone is interested.
A friend says she is bored and would like to me to come over. Which is fine with me. But this isn't the first time, for it has been a while now since she is also confined to her room for some time. I do like spending time with her and I think she is one the nicest people I've known. And yet...I want time for myself too. I need time to read and just think things. I need time to get inspiration for something or another. I need time to create something. It is not like everytime I have time for myself I automatically do something creative or feel like brooding on an issue. Often I just do nothing . Even when I brood...I can't make something concrete out of my thougths. My friend of course knows nothing about this. She does not know how much reading means to me. She does not know how much I want to drink in books. She does not know how much I need to create something. If I tell her that I need time away from her, time for myself, not to do homework but to do some writing...I am not sure if she'll understand. I don't know why I can't even bring myself to tell her something to that effect..

Today I dropped by her room and seeing that she wasn't in, I left a message. She calls me up and tells me to come over. I then called her and told her I won't be able to. Just that. I fear that she might think I am a loner because I do like spending at least some time by myself instead of spending time with her. At the same time, if I am in my room too much, I feel lonely too. It is this whole balance one has to figure out...the need to go out and be with people and the need to be by one's self. I know I want to live in books...but then if I do that, I won't have people (friends) in real life because I'd have missed out on them. The trouble is when you want too much and nothing can fulfill that for you. When you want too much out of real people and you don't get it from them, you find comfort in books. But the things books can't give you, you try to find it in real life. If only books can come alive...if only there was some kind of secret garden I can go to, some way of keeping my imagination alive and staying in the real world..
But of course..it'd be the stuff of dreams..

Sunday, January 22, 2006

You know how sometimes you just don't know who to trust? Like there are things I would like to tell to friends, thiongs that reveal depths of my character, but I just don't know how they would react..I am afraid of them thinking too lightly of the issues that mean so much to me. Of course I can't expect them to approve of all I say, but anything is better than indifference. Worse of all is if they make fun of things that are dear to me (whether they do it conciously or otherwise).

Like today I convinced a few friends to give Wuthering Heights a shot and we ended up watching it. They have a vague idea of how much that book means to me. But somehow the moment they started dismissing the story, calling it "too melodramatic" (without giving enough evidence to support their claim), I got frustrated. I didn't say anything to that effect but the anger was immense. I was angry because I felt sad. Sad if others take something so lightly and laugh about it in my face. The same way, I am hesitant to tell them other things because I'll feel like in telling them things about myself, I'd lose parts of myself.

Isn't it so? In giving your thoughts away, you lose a part of you.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Aren't these two pics uncannily similar?

From a flyer for a Chinese production of Jane Eyre

From the cover of Zaferelli's Jane Eyre
How do you tell the difference between your love for someone and your love for their work/their art? Does love for art translate into love for someone automatically? Does one's work become them?

I bring this up because I find the pupil-teacher relationships in Villette and The Professor very intriguing, especially in The Professor. Crimsworth finds Frances interesting because her work (her art) is different from all the rest. Through her compositions he was able to read into the world of her imagination. Because her work was so different from the rest of the pupils, Crimsworth becomes more interested in Frances. In doing so, he learns more about her life and then falls in love with her. But I wonder, could he not have just liked her work and appreciated it fully, instead of tangling this up with her as a person and having a romantic relationship with Frances? Did he just fall inlove with her Imagination? Or did he fall in love with all of Frances? Was Frances all Imagination?
you know how sometimes you worry about who are and what you are if you are not working. If I am not teaching or writing or drawing, what would I do? Who would I be? Would I even like to do anything else?

I was talking to a good friend today and she brought up this fact. She said "You and I have a good friendship because we don't see each other 24/7. We have intellectual conversations and we see the world a certain way but we won't be able to endure each other for more than an hour a day". This was like some kind of blow on the head...and morever,it seemed true for the most part. The friendship I have with this friend is based on conversations we have, not on anything active like sports or recreational activities. It is true that we both need our own spaces: we both have different work to do, and yet, she can talk about her work and I can understand what she means. Some of it, if not all of it. Now if she was doing the same work like me, then we'd have even more to talk with. If only she was as much into Victorian Literature as I am, I'd have more to talk with her. But my question then is, is talking enough? Would I be satisfied in just talking? Would I not want to do anything else? If I don't feel like talking, I'd rather be alone writing or doing something creative. But then, this requires mental exertion on my part. Even if I was dancing I'd find something to keep my mind engaged. In other words, I'd find something frustrating. I might hate myself for how I can't dance or I might get annoyed with the petty behavior of people. Even when I do certain sports, I will admit it's hard for me to enjoy them too much because there is the pressure in having to do well and win the game. So if sports is out of the picture and if I don't want to be engaged in intellectual study all the time, I wonder what else I'd want to do. My friend says that I won't be alive if I don't venture and as much as I agree with her, I'll say that the roads can be rough and some destinations are not worth entering. Why should one want to do sports if they feel nothing for it? Why should one cook if they have no appetite to eat? Why should one go and socialize if they care nothing about who they talk to and what they say and do each other?

So my biggest question after all this rambling is this:
What makes us alive?

Friday, January 20, 2006

A lesson
I suppose one would say that everything happens for the best..and I suppose one ought to believe that. But I know I wasted, and I mean WASTED, YEARS trying to study something else when I could have not only been thesising right now, but also could have made some mark in here. Why! Maybe I'd have had a more concrete plan for the years ahead even. On top of wasting those years, I also spent loads of MONEY studying and taking those exams!. Not cool. What a wretched semester that was...I could as well have been in some kind of trance..I remember so little of that semester...except it being exceedingly erratic and confusing.
Still..the reason I am where I am now is because of everything that happened. Perhaps those exams were the final blow. Perhaps years from now I'd look back and think that none of this was a waste after all. The after shock of those exams are certainly going to plague me for a while yet...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

aww this is so beautiful! I found this picture quite randomly but I thought it reminded me so much of Anne and Gilbert's wedding :)
How in the world could Mr. Rochester still have been sleeping when there was a FIRE in his room?????? It baffles me!!! Is this even plausible???

Monday, January 16, 2006

You know that dissapointment that comes over you when you tell someone your secrets and they don't see them as something worthy?
I just did. I told someone something that I felt meant a lot to me and they just listened, and their air gave me the impressiont that they didn't think much of what I said. Of course, I don't want them to like it necessarily...but at least comment on it, tell me why they don't like it if they don't.
Its indifference that I hate.
I was thinking lately about death in conjunction with Villette. Lucy Snowe is attached to her dead loved ones and memories of them keep her alive while she seems "dead" to the world around her. Even at the end of Villette, death is powerful for her. When M.Paul dies, she will once again have him entirely for herself and love him the way she loved her beloved dead, something she cannot fully do in real life because she is afraid of being hurt, since the living always have the power to hurt her, emotionally or otherwise. The dead loving her also gives her a powerful imagination.

But..I wonder how useful this is for suriving in this world. A friend of mine told me that there was no use in pondering about the larger questions of life and getting depressed when you can't find the answers because the whole point was to surivive in this world no matter how stale it is. But we must find comfort somewhere. If that friend can get comfort from her work or her studies, and that keeps her away from thinking about these "larger" questions, then so be it, good for her. But if some people cannot help thinking about these questions, then one way for them to cope is to find happiness in the dead. The beloved dead can love and cannot hurt you. But if you think about that, Lucy's way of coping with the world is distancing herself from the living for fear of being hurt (not that the people around her(except M.Paul) were worthy of her love) and how useful would this have been for her to keep "living"? That's why I think M.Paul's dying was actually a good thing for Lucy because she will always have more to imagine, and imagination keeps her alive. But I still wonder...Will she ever lose her sense of imagination? If she does, what will become of her? How else will she be happy if the world disappoints her too?
I am dreading it...going back to a mindless routine that is...
I wish the long weekend would never end :(
Ideally, at the moment, what I really want to do is sit in my room all day, turn off my computer (so I don't get distracted), and just read, read, read and read everything I've been wanting to read this break. I don't want to think of all the other stuff I have to do, the jobs I must look for, the resume I must build up, the bills I must pay, the boring work I have to do at the ***, the conversations I must have just for the sake of it, or the false face I must exhibit. I wish someone would just pay me to just live and read. Like one of those summer stipends they give you to go and work, I wish someone would give me one (including room and board) to just sit and read all day. Of course, I wouldn't mind writing them a research paper or developing some kind of curriculum or project at the end....but if I could surround myself with books I love AND get paid so that I wouldn't have to worry about rent and food, I'd be pretty well satisfied. I don't need much money to eat and clothe myself anyway.
I just don't like the thought of having to go and "work", doing something that is not directly related to what I want to do. Like the work in the *** is only fun when I get to search for books. Then I can get to read all these descriptions and reviews. Other than that, I hate making fund lists and printing some long report about which departments got the most books from which sellers. I could tolerate that kind of thing for an hour at most ..but beyond that my brain just cringes and I have to do something drastic to distract myself, including running out of the *** for a few minutes if necessary. Then there is the work in the preschools which is more fun than the library because at least I am touching people here. But even this doesn't become fun when the teachers tell you that you can't get attached to the children, that you have to keep this emotional distance from them. See..that's hard for me to do..because its hard for me to find a balance in these things. I go into the extremes: all or none, there's no midway for me. If they tell me not to get close to the children, then I am as cold as ice and I find it hard to say more than a few words to them. Not because I want to but because that's what I am forced to. Its not easy for me to do at all. I have to tear myself away from them, crying inwardly, and constantly remind myself that I am not their playmate, just a hard, cold adult. Which I am not, but have to pretend to be. I hate pretense. It does nothing but transform you to a mere doll, without self and without feeling.
And now I have to do that all over again starting tomorrow. It's not like I have a choice. If I had stayed at home, I'd be reading all day, without needing to work, but then I'd have to do it within the confines of a box: my room, constatly fearing when my mother would erupt. Here is no better either. It seems like whichever way I look, home or away, I am always going to be trapped one way or another. Unless that is, some generous soul out there pays me to sit in and read, and read, and read, and read. Thank God no one stops you from loving when you read. You can love your books as much as you want. And no one in this world can dare interefere and take that away from you. If they did, they'd be murderers for I would cease to exist.
After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean possession
and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant your
own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn...

Veronica A. Shoffstall

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just finished watching Wuthering Heights (1970) starring Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff and Anna Calder-Marshall as Cathy.

Some comments:
*There's more in this version that supports the claim that Heatchliff's Mr. Earnshaw's illegitimate offspring. Mrs. Earnshaw alludes to that fact in the beginning and the case of the inheritance and the tension between the two boys suggest there is more to Heathcliff's being brought into Wuthering Heights than what we are told.

*I liked how they developed Nelly more in this version. She is not only a young girl (not much older than Cathy) but also seems to have feelings for Hindley. Through Hindley's treatment of her, we see the full range of his abusive nature. I always wondered how Nelly felt as she watched Cathy and Heathcliff become tangled in love. Did she not feel the need to be loved herself? Was she all cold hearted?

*When Cathy drops her fan in the woods, it is symbolic of how she must shed her "upper class" haughty sensibilities in order to unite with Heatchliff. The fan symbolizes the world of the Lintons and the wood symbolizes the world of Heathcliff (and their love). The woods are reminiscent of the scene in Tess of the d'Urbervilles when Angel plays on his harmonica and Tess is seen surrounded by the lushness of nature. In Wuthering Heights this stands for the primeval nature of Heatchliff and Cathy's bond with each other: they are like Adam and Eve in Paradise. They are also soulmates who need each other to complete themselves. The love they share is like nature: it is pure, wholesome, fresh, redemtive, and reviving.

*Cathy and Heathcliff in this version are also carefully chosen to resemble each other in appearance. Some scenes deliberately make use of this effect. I believe this is done on purpose to furthur highlight how it they are inevitably linked to each other. Also, it is true to Cathy's proclaiming "I am Heathcliff": she is literally so because she looks like him. It is furthur evidence that they are two parts of a whole.

*This version questions the paternity of Chaty's baby. Is it Heathcliffe's or Linton's? It also appears that Heathcliff and Cathy's encounter in the park could have had larger consequences.

*By completely leaving the story of Hareton and Little Cathy out, this movie does leave out (what I consider) one of the major themes in the novel: the theme of redemption and forgiveness. Hareton does forgive Heathcliff and Little Cathy and Hareton's love is a variation from that of Catherine and Heatchliff's because it is not only less tempestous but is also "purer", resulting in the uniting of the two estates of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some more screenshots ( I just finished watching the 1983 BBC JE)

So dashing!

This scene was really intense..especially the way Rochester pleaded to Jane.
More questions about Jane Eyre.

*Why did Jane not question Rochester more than she should have? He kept Grace Poole even though Jane told him she did not like it. Even when Jane senses she is unsafe with Grace Poole in the house, Rochester still continued to not tell Jane the truth.
Also, what was Jane thinking? That if Rochetser was able to not tell her something when she asked for it, what guarantee was there that he would tell her his secrets after they were married? How could she have just trusted him like that even when he told her he could not tell her truth (until after they were married).

*If Bertha was mad, how come she found Jane's veil in Jane's room and tore it up? How mad really was Bertha? Was she even mad at all?

*How come no one else showed up for Jane and Rochester's wedding? Did Rochester not have any friends for family AT ALL? I realize Jane did not...but could she not have invited her pupils or even Mrs. Temple? Wasn't Mr. Rochester known to the gentry in the neighborhood? Then why did he not invite any of them? Why did they keep the marriage in such secret? Were they both ashamed of it unconsiously or conciously? Or did they just not care about having anyone else at their wedding..that what mattered was just each other? Or did they know that no one else would have approved of such a marriage?

And here's a pic of a screenshot from the 1983 JE:

awww :D :D
This is really frustrating! So I was in Barnes and Nobles an hour ago trying to look for some kind of Bronte poetry book. And I found none! Then I looked in the fiction aisle and found Jane Eyre, Villette, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. They left Tenent of Wildfell Hall out again, and there was NONE of Emily's poetry! Yeah..I love Anne's poetry more but most people seem to like Emily's. Even so, I couldn't find any of their poetry in the bookstore.

I just don't understand this. The Brontes are supposed to be THE most FAMOUS literary family in the world and yet, so little of their works are available in the bookstores. Why??? What the hell is wrong with people? Do they not care for solitude, passion, truth, courage and beauty? If they do, then why leave out the Brontes' poetry? Why are people just NOT listening to the Brontes' voices?

"But thou, poor solitary dove,/Must make, unheard, thy joyless moan;" like Anne says in the "Captive Dove", the Brontes' voices don't seem to be heard by a lot people these days...

"The heart that Nature formed to love/Must pine, neglected, and alone." this line from the same poem by Anne, I think, applies to people in general. If people don't know about Bronte, if they don't learn to appreciate Bronte, then they will "pine, neglected and alone" because they will never know about integral parts of their natures.

As for me, it looks like I just have to order some copy of the poems online since the library is closed as well. But it would have been lovely to have had a chance to snuggle up with Bronte poem tonight :(

Friday, January 13, 2006

I *hate* misty nights in a gothic-looking campus. Especially when someone tells you about all the sad and miserable things that have happened in its grounds and within the builing you live in.
I was walking back just now and I couldn't stop looking up at this room and thinking about how someone died there in the 1920s. My brain just conjured all sorts of grisly thoughts! And to make it worse, there is this figure of a woman in a cloak with her arms spread out and in the dim light with the mist hovering over it it looked even more ghastly . Quiet, foggy winter nights are just not the thing for me..and I wish I hadn't heard the wrong sort of stories..
From colorquiz.com

ofcourse..not all of it is true.

Your Existing Situation
Non-realization of hopes and the inability to decide on necessary remedial action has resulted in considerable stress

Your Stress Sources
Feels unappreciated and finds the existing situation threatening. Wants personal recognition and the esteem of others to compensate for the lack of like-minded people with whom to ally herself and make herself more secure. Her sensual self-restraint makes it difficult for her to give herself, but the resulting isolation leads to the urge to surrender and merge with another. This disturbs her as she regards such instincts as weaknesses to be overcome; only by not succumbing to them, she feels, can she withstand the difficulties of the situation. Wants to be valued as a desirable associate and admired for her personal qualities.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Remains emotionally unattached even when involved in a close relationship.
Circumstances are forcing her to compromise, to restrain her demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things she wants.

Your Desired Objective
Needs to feel identified with someone or something and wishes to win support by her charm and amiability. Sentimental and yearns for a romantic tenderness.

Your Actual Problem
Depleted vitality has created an intolerance for any further stimulation, or demands on her resources. This feeling of powerlessness subjects her to agitation and acute distress. She attempts to escape into a substitute world in which things are more nearly as she desires them to be.

Your Actual Problem #2
Greatly impressed by the unique, by originality, and by individuals of outstanding characteristics. Tries to emulate the characteristics she admires and to display originality in her own personality.
I just read a wonderful poem today:
Dan Chiasson's "Purple Bush" in his book,"Natural History"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Poetry is not poetry without Plath.

--Sylvia Plath

If you dissect a bird
To diagram the tongue
You'll cut the chord
Articulating song.

If you flay a beast
To marvel at the mane
You'll wreck the rest
From which the fur began.

If you pluck out the heart
To find what makes it move,
You'll halt the clock
That syncopates our love.
More questions:
Am I the only one who finds the fate of Shirley Keelar at the end of Bronte's "Shirley" really depressing?
Its like she is just not Shirley anymore by the end.... :( :( :(

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

*The honesty of kids is admirable. Really.
If they want something, they'll tell you. If they don't like someone, they'll tell them in their face, then they would be encouraged to talk and make up and come to a compromise. If they find that their friend is mean to them, they go and find some other friends to hang out with. The kids tell you if you are nice if you are nice. They tell you you are wrong if you are wrong. Then you realize your own mistakes and learn.

*The feeling when a kid holds your hand.
The ground was icy and I didn't have my boots on and kept slipping, barely saving myself from a fall or two. Then a kid comes, and he's half my height. He holds my hands, looks up into my eyes and tells me that he'll walk with me, that he'll hold my hand so that I won't fall.

*The innocence of young children
Talking to kids is tons more entertaining than talking to many of the adults I come into contact with. The kids' stories are exciting, filled with wonder and questions. The also have a different way of analyzing the world that is fascinating. Now compare that to some adults who don't tax their God-given brains enough, who are comfortable wasting their time with what is superficial and worldly. I'd choose a kid any day.
The unexamined life is not worth living - Plato

This is so true. If we don't examine ourselves and our actions, if we don't question ourselves, how will know about who we are, what we want, and what we are here for.
I know that its hard to question...it is not pleasant learning about how what you have always believed to be true was just mere conjecture. It is not cool learning the bad parts about your nature. But they've got to be learnt because only then can we grow.
I think people should be constantly growing, intellectually, academically and personally. There is so much to learn about in this world, so many new discoveries to be made, so many way to contribute to make us and our world a much better place. But while doing these things, intention is important. One can't just DO things becuase that's all they they should do, but rather they must ask themselves whether they are happy about what they are doing. If their conscience is clear and the rewards are better than the costs, then they can tell themselves they've done their best.

Living, for me, involves feeling feelings intensely. If we don't examine, how can we know how we would feel? If there is still more to feel, then we haven't really lived.
I know that feelings are subjective and uncountable. However, one must do one's best to learn about their emotinal responses. I personally know of a few people who are like that: who would rather shut themselves off from questioning themselves because it would be "too hard" and lead to crumbling of their worlds. They are not happy being oblivious either. It makes me sad to see that happening, people willinly choosing to NOT question....
willingly choosing to NOT live.
hehe :P

*Why in HELL are people SO shallow???
I was sitting in this room with 4 other people and all they did was talk the most silliest things that I know meant little to them. I wanted to run out of their house and freeze in the cold rather than continue to sit amongst such boringly insane company. First it was about silly reality tv stuff, then watching sex and the city. I absolutely detest that show. Its disgusting. I find it so degrading to women and I don't find much in the show other than the fact that one must try and look sexy in order to attract men (oops I mean sex), and if you don't do that, something is not right with you. Charlotte is the "prude" in the show but even she is looked down on if she does not do the "in" things. If such a show was tastefully done with deep themes, I might try and watch it, but it is so not the case here.
I'd rather sit through a Moll Flanders or a Sade story than watch 5 minutes of Sex and the City or reality tv. Puhleaze!!

*Why in HELL are some people so obsessed with superficial appearance?
Like this one guy talks about an actress in a film and all he could tell about her is "I hate her. She has a fat, ugly face". And the whole time I was seething with anger. Heaven knows how much I've had to control myself today from lashing out. I did manage to tell him that her having a fat, ugly face is something she cannot help. And he just stares at me with a crooked insinuating smile. Instead of commenting on her acting style or the technicalities of the script, her characterization or even costuming, all he could talk about is how UGLY she LOOKED!! Give me a break!!!!

*Why are a lot of people just not deep enough? Why do I find them to be so?
Its almost like they purposely choose to be lazy. COME ON!!! Kids in preschool are never even lazy. They are always giving puzzles and games to stimulate them, and they are so open to challege. They are really active too. Then you see these pathetic adults, gathered around the stupid tv (I am not much of a tv fan, you can tell), watching shallow shows and not even interacting with each other, exchanging ideas with each other. Did they even consider watching the news? NO! Instead they'd prefer something like Beauty and the Geek!! I've worked with preschoolers--they are SO much more mature than these people! Its almots like they just want to shut off what they do at work and talk about dumb stuff when they are not in work. Like if one of them had even talked about their work in detail, that would have been more intereting rather than loosely talking about inane things.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

If I don't post in my own blog, I won't be able to say it anywhere else.

As much as I want two people to be together and as much as I know that break-ups are painful, I have yet another reason for why I don't like a particular break-up.
When someone else is happy (or seems so), you can be allowed to feel sorry for yourself when you compare yourself to them. Somehow pitying myself gives me a feeling of being more alive. But when someone breaks up with their SO and you see then unhappy, now you can't feel sorry for yourself anymore..because you realize that others are unhappy too. Thus, you have to share you unhappiness.

So I feel as if I've been robbed. Robbed of self-pity.

Monday, January 09, 2006

when you are with someone who is your own, your face lights up. It metamorphises (sp?). I observed that about someone today. I must be used to it by now..having to leave the room just because their SO called. Or having to have them tell you that you are not as important to them as their SO even though its you that they come to first when they have problems with the SO. I don't mind it really...although I used to before. I don't know why I don't mind it anymore.

Sometimes you have just got to admit that you can't live the way you always have. You can't merely have a conversation just because you hate being alone. You can't merely assume you are someone's closest friend just because they tell you things. If anything, they are just stories within stories. Nothing more, nothing less unless they mean more to you.

I miss art. I really do. I wish I could just take up my charcoal and DRAW. But I can't. I wish the words would come flying to me...but they don't. I wish I could write my story...but I can't bring myself to. I wish I could just DO something that makes me feel like I am "someone" instead of a dead, stale object.
You know how sometimes you hate the silence and the loneliness and so you go out and "socialize", talking...stuff you aren't that concerned about. Then you come back to a cold and dark room feeling like "yes, I've spent my time" but realizing you were empty the whole time anyway.

Some questions regarding Jane Eyre
* What is wrong with Jane's character?
Surely she cannot have been perfect. True, she did have a hot temper before she came to Lowood. Although she feels like giving into temptation, she overcomes it.
Is she not passionate enough? Is she too naive (why didn't she question Rochester's double-dealing even more? How could she have just accepted what others told her about the "strange laugh?"). Is she too uncertain about her own feelings? (she was almost about to accept St.John). Was she a sly coquette by any means? (did she encourage Rochester?)

They are just a few questions...but
Tell me, what is wrong with Jane?
Something I remembered from Memoirs of a Geisha

When Nobu gives Sayuri a gift, she looks stunned and says, "no one has given me a present before". I thought this was similar to how Jane is surprised when Rochester gives her a present.

On another note, I wonder why Sayuri (Chiyo) did not think that the Chairman had already given her a gift (of the sweet ice) and also that Mameha had adopted her.
I feel too confined when I should not be. Home is not the reason since I am no longer there. But I just have this sudden urge to draw something...a human..and I can't seem to. I can't just sit somewhere and draw people...the benches are caked with snow. I can't ask a friend I go to console to pose for me..she is certainly NOT in that state of mind. When I draw, I feel like I have "something" that is mine--a work of art that I made. It is so frustrating to be stuck in your own room, not finding anything you would want to draw. For its not merely objects that I seek...but live, moving beings.

Sometimes I feel like one big sheet of glass that is waiting to shatter.
The fragility drives me insane since I can't predict when I have
To glue myself back together.
And yet, I feel like I am an illusion trapped within the glass fibres
Waiting to exhale, to soar, to fly.
Anywhere but here, Anywhere but there, it is a constant battle.
The spider caught in measurless oceans of space, the dove captive in its cage,
Its native wood.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Went to see Memoirs of a Geisha today. I thought it was alright..I wasn't too impressed by it, especially the acting. The book was tons better anyhow.
Some observations:

*I like the doubling here: Chiyo and Pumpkin, Hatsumomo and Mameha, Mameha and Chiyo, and especially Hatsumomo and Chiyo. Hastsumomo was once a famous Geisha and when Chiyo took her place, she had no where to go, no one to love. Being a geisha robbed her of happiness. At the end she was left trule desolate. I did like the way the movie portrayed her, the way we see the pathos in her eyes. She was a "villian" but how bad was she really? True Chiyo was not as outspoken as Hatsumomo but we also see Chiyo becoming more assertive later on. Perhaps she would have turned out to BE Hatsumomo. I like Hatsumomo in the artistic sense. I wish the author (and the movie) had explored her character more.

*Why is Chiyo so beautiful? Does her beauty win her the Chairman? I suppose most of you would say no. However, everyone praises her on her "beutiful and unusual eyes". Now...what if some one DOES NOT have beautiful and unusual eyes? What if they are not beautiful at all? The only way to know them (and therefore get to love them) if by having good conversations with them. Would the Chairman have fallen for Chiyo if she did not have those eyes? There is something about beauty that brings with it so much power. I am sure it has its drawbacks (Chiyo was forced into the living the life of a geisha because she was indeed pretty), but it seems to bring beautiful women the good men too. :-/

*When Chiyo cries out "I want a life that is mine", it is very reminiscent of Jane Eyre. Also when she repeats the phrase "I am not worthless. I am not worthless," its very Jane-ish as well. When Mrs. Nitta scolds Chiyo and tells her that she has done no good to the House except bring in her temper and her determination, I thought it sounded like Jane in Gateshead.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

oh man...i feel really bad now. My mother is really upset. She said I don't know how to "talk" to her.
Basically...I asked her something I am not sure if I should have. I asked (in a fit of rage) what the point was of having children if you only want to live through them. You ought to have a life of your own before you turn to your children to have your dreams fulfilled. That should not be the purpose of having chidlren. You should have children because you love them unconditionally. I told her that if someone just wants to love (and mind you we dont' use this word in our house...it just doesn seem right in our language), then it shouldnt' matter whose children it is: you should love a child you adopt just as well as if it was your own. I don't think she got my point.
Now she was really hurt about why I asked her these questions. She said it was not right for me to do so. I told her that I couldn't help questioning these things. My thoughts could be bad...but I could use some guidance in the right direction if this is the case. Simply NOT asking these questions is much worse than asking them and facing the consequences.

Do you think I asked the wrong things? At the time, I just had to "ask"...I couldn't contain these questions because they had been bugging me for a long time too...especially about why people have children. I didnt' want to make my mother upset but I didn't know how else to "talk" to her. She always used to tell me that I have stopped having conversations with her. If I do talk, then I express my opinions. If I do that, then it hurts her. What do I do?

She also said that I was thinking too much "too deeply" and that she was much more "simple" and therefore "humble". The point of Education is to question and when I said this, she told me, "now you are gloating about how you have more education then I do."
hmm I know my blog has been filled with gloomy thoughts lately. I can't help it. I am at home.

tell me, what is better? Live with a fake smile and pretend things you don't feel, or actually fight and argue and stand up for what you believe in, even if it is going to hurt the people you tell that to? Even if it means they won't talk to you?

I just had another row with my mother. It was NOT pleasant this time.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jhumpa Lahiri says that she has always grown up feeling like she didn't belong anywhere, neither American, nor Indain...and yet, she was able to relate to her Indian culture. At least she COULD have an Indian wedding.
I can't even pretend that I have ONE thing that is uniquely my own, except myself. Who am I? Who are my people? Really?
I guess these results speak for themselves ?

You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours

from: http://quizfarm.com

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

grrr...I *hate* it when my mother talks about how I should get married soon!!! Like huh??? HOW??? It is not as if she has anyone particular in mind for me *rolls eyes*
That's also the reason she is not supportive of my studing English instead of going to medical school like I had originally planned. She thinks Med School would have given me better prospects for a husband. OMG for her, my only reason for being alive is to be married!!

Me: What do you mean? Why do you think I can't get married if I became an English major?
Mom: How long are you going to study for?
Me: I want to study for as long as I want. Why should you devalue education?
Mom: Then when can you get married?
Me: WHAT? Why should my continuing to study interfere with getting married?
Mom: Who would marry you if your plans were uncertain? You'd be too old if you wait longer and you'd become ugly.
Me: Huh? What guarantee is there that I am going to marry at a certain time? Who knows when the right guy will come?
Mom: What do you have? Are you beautiful? Are you rich? What man would want you?
Me: I would want someone who takes me for myself alone
Mom: YOu will NEVER find any man like that. Your mother is telling you that. Mark my words
Me: You don't have to find someone for me. I will find one who suits me.
Mom: Well anyone you choose will be disaster. Those kinds of marriages do not work. You will bring shame on us.
Me: huh??? I have done nothing. I don't even have anyone in mind. What do you want me to do?
Mom: Think about what you have done for your parents. Look at how you have ruined yourself.
Me: You call changing my major into English ruining myself? My teachers like me. School supports me.
Mom: To hell with them. They don't know you as well as I do. You don't know yourself as well as your parents know you. How can you NOT listen to us?
Me: I am over 21 years old. You still think I am a child?
Mom: Do you think your father and I are going to keep living forever? Its your duty to finish your business in time.
Me: By business you mean marriage, that is all.
Mom: Look at all those girls we know who are your age. Most are married or in Grad school or Med school. Some even have kids. You have seen what happens if girls get too old. No one will want them.
Me: Mom, you are talking about what happend to women in our society a generation or two ago. This is not the case now, especially for those of us in the US.
Mom: You argue too much. You only have a big mouth. But mark my words. Your plans will not work. You will not succeed.
Me: If I was married, nothing else will matter right? I could study what the hell I want and you wouldn't even care.
Mom: You don't know what a girl is supposed to do.

and we go on and on!!


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

You know what I could use for the New Year?
I wish my family didn't make fun of me when they see me writing. I wish they would just leave me alone when I am silent. The sight of me with my writing pad upsets them!! Jeez!!!
For now...I am constantly bugged by them..whenever they see my writing, they laugh or pressure me into telling them about WHAT I write. As if I want to..as if they'd understand anyway.