nondualism for rooftops

I had a conversation with a college friend on the rooftop this Saturday where I wrongly described Daoism as involving nondualism – I think I was thinking of Zen Buddhism, koans, and such. Daoism has more to do with going with the flow right?

Anyways, I’m reading an interview with Garth Greenwell which reminded me of the mistake in the conversation, and a quote from Bertolt Brecht that my Modern Architecture professor Joseph Masheck brought up a couple times in class. that was….ok maybe it was actually from F. Scott Fitzgerald instead oops…but y’know the one – about keeping two ideas in your head. I swear Brecht had one though that Masheck used in a disparaging way when thinking about a historical American mindset surrounding moral truths. How we couldn’t hold more than one in mind –

Forget about all that, Brecht has so many other sexy quotes:

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

“No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”

a lot of these quotes are uncomfortably pertinent:

Dipping everywhere, back to Greenwell talking about logistics and the seriousness of imagining a world in all its details. Communicating the physicality of how bodies move during sex scenes. And paying serious attention to logistics in all art. 🖼 I’m a mess, I over-abstract, pare things down to be opaque, I don’t know how to do details. I reference as a substitute. I’m bad about details!

Alexander Chee had some advice. Or god, I hope it was him. Anyways: Write one sentence that you feel is absolutely true. And then write another.

I think there’s some writer or serious person I’ve read who really disdains the word “anyways” – um. Anyways, I –

“We falsify the world in order to try to make it accommodate the simplicity of our moral tools” – Greenwell talking about writing I think. Writing to figure things out. he puts all this a lot better.

I used to think Garth Greenwell was like an old writer, part of the canon, or whatever – but I think I was thinking of Graham Green lol who was mentioned in Donnie Darko. My mind is a terrible office.

i love her

fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one.

fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one. even love is a sub-feeling, a by-product of fear. we love out of fear. no matter what fear, it doesn’t matter. fear of loneliness, mostly. fear of death. wanting to last in people’s memories.

not sure where this is from

To all the clothes I loved before..

I’m trying to be a lot more deliberate in my looks now that I kind of have nowhere to go. For hair.. I’ve had a pretty boring series of haircuts all my life; I’ve never ever dyed my hair, never done anything wild in styling it, and have never had an unusual cut. I cut my own hair now, which is an easy 2-minute buzz of my back and side hair and a 20-minute to an hour long haphazard job with my top and front hair which I hack at using a pair of scissors and a wild amount of self-doubt.

So, I’ve had some haircuts that I preferred. For a long time it was really long hair – so no haircut at all. More recently it’s been short hair.

into this- last last summer

Here’s me with messy short hair (and overall messy look) which I liked a lot at the time:

also from last last summer

I still like the messy short hair – it’s easy, and looks alright sometimes. Having looks look good by chance was my style philosophy for a while. Intentionally stylized looks could be fake, or forced. But they could be beautiful too.

full on

My lazy style meant throwing on all the clothes I loved, messy hair don’t care. Now I guess I’m thinking of paring back, wearing maybe just 3 colors at most lol. To all the clothes I loved before.. I’m still thinking of clothes I love as items that I can still love…just not all on myself 100% of the time.

Hair is still a WIP. I love my black hair, I don’t think I’d ever dye it. I also don’t like gel, so the best I could do is something wild with the buzz. Or I could start wearing wigs.. Khruangbin vibes?

with big sunnies 😎

College: First and Last

Starting August 5th, a Monday, I’ll be taking my final course as a college undergrad. Almost three years ago I finished my first college course and remember feeling a sense of faint loss, subtle but persistent in its effect. I’m still thinking about it.

My first college course was called Israel & Palestine, and it was taught by Professor Johan Ahr. Professor Ahr was an exceedingly reasonable man, tall in stature and perpetually pitched in a red-tint that had the effect of him being a somewhat brittle figure in my eyes. He probably just had had a bad tan or something.

In class Professor Ahr dealt a slight but steady hand, guiding conversation as it came and instructing when needed. As the semester progressed, more of the former crept up and less of the latter was needed. The assigned readings were excellent, and I still keep them close at hand and heart.

My last college course will be with the same professor, this time in an online setting. We’ll be meeting for three weeks and have three books to digest in a class of 21 focusing on Western Civilization in which I’ve just joined. The excitement of a new history course has me slightly stunned. Reading the email he sent just today, I remembered exactly why I chose History to be my minor in college – aside from the fact that I had most of the credits covered from various AP exams.

I love history, and I love learning about lives and stories across the world. I love the approaches to the study, and I love the processes dealt through it. It’s something I’ve never lost but has significantly rusted in delay.

Breaking the Streak

In the last 18 hours I’ve let my regularly streamed streak of daily content subside. For some unintended reason (an accident) I had three blog posts go out all at once instead of over the course of the next three days. I’m now at the point where WordPress announces a new milestone each day, notifying that I’ve reached a certain amount of days posting daily on this platform.

In 2016, right before I headed off to college, I wrote about my experience talking to my sister about my future goals. I remember sitting on her low-to-the-ground bed in Texas, green and excited about the prospect of improving my writing by blogging daily. I was 18 then, but already felt old enough to have lived and died numerous times. I guess that was my penchant for fantasy. In another sense, it was the really real effect of my love of reading. Reading | writing. I’ve written much about both since I was 18, and I still love the subject. Going through my application materials for my very first writing internship right out of high school, I rediscovered a piece that I’d love to share… someday. It’s a terribly overwrought piece (every other word seems like it was found on a Thesaurus’ cutting room floor) on reading as creation, as a sort of magical acumen, pulled through a panoply of imagery that I’m feeling came from the Disney Channel movie Twitches, Edgar Allen Poe and some goth form of Wizard 101.

For now, in a rush of content creation for the next three days until my reviews of the graphic novel Watchmen and some films roll out, I’m writing on three topics that have been relevant to what’s been happening in my mind/life.

  • My first college course/last college course
  • My first psychedelic experience
  • Little Saigon in Houston

Hope to see you then.

the non-dramatic moments in life

I am interested in the non-dramatic moments in life. I’m not at all attracted to making films that are about drama. A few years back, I saw a biopic about a famous American abstract expressionist artist. And you know what? It really horrified me. All they did was reduce his life to the big dramatic moments you could pick out of any biography. If that’s supposed to be a portrait of somebody, I just don’t get it. It’s so reductive. It just seems all wrong to me.

Jim Jarmusch

I think he’s talking about the Basquiat biopic. It’s pretty fun.

Change your life at any moment

You know whats fucking scary? The fact that I could literally change my life at any moment. I could stop talking to everyone that makes me unhappy. I could kiss whoever i want. I could shave my head or get on a plane or take my own life. Nothing is stopping me. The entire world is in my hands, and I have no idea what to do with it.

tumblr inspo post