dreaming of truth

“Life is too short to not say what you mean.”

A dream told me so, so it must be true…

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The Achievement Ideology

Social Health

“Ambition makes you look pretty ugly” – Radiohead

Imagine you are at a funeral. A close friend of the deceased steps up to the pulpit and proceeds with the following eulogy:

He was a was a hard worker… highly organized and independent, a skilled communicator who could work well with others, detail oriented, and was able to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.

He was a wise man… never received a grade lower than an A-, balanced a full course-load with extracurricular activities, and maintained a full scholarship throughout college.

He was a loving man… he loved the sweet taste of victory every time he closed a deal.

He was a committed man… always committed to the bottom line, he could consistently increase profits by 30% every quarter.

You would be startled by this friend who completely neglected the things that actually matter. Rather than a eulogy, it would look as if the…

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And so it begins…

Finally. Starting an online course on theatre and criticism. And not just any course – this is a university accredited course. I don’t know why that’s important, but it is. Might be because I’ve never dealt with criticism or philosophy or theatre at university level.

intro

First stop: Aristophanes and realism (no idea how Aristophanes could be considered realistic, but that’s why I’m taking this course…to learn).

So excited!!!

Let the games begin!

Saturday #book roundup

OK, I’ve decided I’m turning this into the Saturday book roundup because clearly Fridays aren’t working for me.

Currently reading:

Ο απρόβλεπτος κύριος Τσέχοφ by Άντον Τσέχοφ (ανθολόγηση και μετάφραση Σταυρούλα Α0010550_195ργυροπούλου).

The title of this book can be translated as The unpredictable mister Chekhov. It features forty two short stories written by Anton Chekhov and translated into Greek by Stavroula Argyropoulou. While I’m not a fan of deifying authors or playwrights, the broad selection and sheer variety of work gives plenty of insight into Chekhov’s genius.

The tales unfold through fresh and innovative narration (even by 21st century standards) and deal with a great breadth of themes and characters: from death to love, from sailors to aristocrats and civil servants… Like a well-coordinated buffet, there’s something for everybody. Furthermore, each story involves a surprising and gratifying twist which renders some of them almost cruelly funny (or maybe it’s just my sense of humour?). Whether you find them funny or not, the man’s work remains extremely impressive.

I only  wish this book existed in English so I could share a few good quotes with you all. Maybe I’ll look into translations of Chekhov in English.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Having only read part of Sputnik Sweetheart 4929and a few short stories from after the quake, I had no idea how surreal and dark Murakami’s writing could get. Sure, I’d heard a bit about Norwegian Wood, but without having read it or seen the film, I had no frame of reference.

I’m about halfway through and the story is teetering on the edge of darkness – I suspect the ‘worst’ (if you could call it that) isn’t over yet. However, Murakami’s style flows so well and so lyrically that it’s incredibly difficult to judge him for the gravity and peculiarity of his content. Talking cats, possible UFOs, inexplicable memory loss…

And yet the story makes perfect sense so far. Part of me is terrified of what might happen next but the book is written in such a way that I need to keep reading and find out. Murakami doesn’t just dabble infrequently in dark and sensual themes, but rather fully embraces them. Let the darkness devour you…

 

 

 

And the darkness comes creeping in…

See that darkness? Hear that silence? Feel that numbness? That nothingness?

Bury it deep.

So deep it’ll never see the light of day. 

My heart actually hurts today. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the darkness. From burying everything so deep. Some people have said that they find it strange I don’t react strongly when I’m angry. I used to think it was an advantage – mastering my feelings so well that I could hold my tongue when my blood boiled. Over time, I’ve come to see there is a price.

I have no idea if it’s related.

I can feel the sinking feeling tugging at the corners of my heart, as if to wrench it from its place. Like a loose brick being pried out of place with a crowbar. I want so badly to give in, I really do. Embrace the darkness and forget. Darkness isn’t so bad, after all. It’s why I became a teller of stories. A wordsmith.

I couldn’t carry it within, couldn’t leave it be. I spurted and spilled it all over the page. Page, after page, after page. Diligently. Obsessively. I skipped sleep. I fucked up a few (well, several) times. I’ve been lucky in that I didn’t have that far to fall.

Time spent writing is never time wasted.

But once I click open that lock, what demons will I unleash?

I am probably overreacting. What’s the worst that could happen? I write something shit? Well, that’s nothing new. Maybe if I throw myself into something, I’ll actually stop feeling so crap.

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#wordoftheday

Alright, alright… technically I’ve cheated a bit by adding two words of the day in this, but it serves merely as a demonstration of the broad range of words available through the word-a-day email from dictionary.com.

Oh, and guess which one isn’t recognised by spellcheck?

fubsy:

(adj.)

short and stout.

vicissitude(s):

(noun)

1. a change or variation occurring in the course of something.
2. interchange or alternation, as of states or things.

Attempts at using these two properly (in one text!):

The penguin waddled warily in my direction. While most of the Eudyptula minor species were short but lithe, this particular specimen could only be described as fubsy. Pushing him down a hill would only result in him rolling perfectly, like a black and white not-so-fluffy beach ball.

That is, if you were cruel enough to shove a penguin down a slope. Still…wouldn’t it be hilarious?

Of course, being a penguin, Malin – named for his infrequent but remarkable demonstrations of intelligence – did not care to observe the vicissitude of the Antarctic seasons through the changes in temperature and weather as we did. He was only interested in the amount of fish readily available.

The following images are some of the results that came up when I typed the words into Google, looking for images to reflect their meaning.

  • fubsy:
fubs_sign

Fubsy the clown doesn’t actually look fubsy at all!

s4jaughv

Fubsy sloth in a bowl?

10-words-wed-like-to-see-used-more-often-fubsy-870@1x

Cheeky, fubsy gnome up to no good.

julierado-fubsy

A visual definition from Julie Rado

  • vicissitude:
download (1)

The vicissitude of seasons by Thomas Wright of Durham. Looks quite accurate!

9537

Vicissitudes of a Rising Periodical – image borrowed from finedictionary.com

jason-decaires-taylor-vicissitudes

Underwater sculpture, part of Jason de Caires Taylor‘s work called Vicissitudes

8303

A definition… of sorts. From johnsonsdictionaryonline.com

 

I’m thinking of establishing Word of the Day as a another regular feature. That is, using a ‘word of the day’ to write even just a sentence or two could be a way of writing a wee bit every day again… What do you think?

And you (whoever you are!) can try using them in a sentence as well!

Writer Interrupted.

Sunday. The pale peach-pink glow of the sunset paints the side of the dirty white building. The sky hasn’t begun to darken yet, but the shadows stretch and skew, languid acrobats of darkness. This is the time occupants of flats appear on balconies, like animals creeping out of the undergrowth. There, on the fifth floor, she darts around, collecting pieces of clothing from the line. Her motions are quick and practiced as she folds each item carefully. A full basket later, a new batch of wet clothing comes – a change of the guard.

The chore is complete. The sun sinks like a rock in water, its rays hidden by the

FUCK’S SAKE! The thought escapes me.

hidden by the concrete statues that are the blocks of flats. The light is fading fast. Warm hues of pink and orange give way to cool blue.

There it is again. The slightest elusive hint of inspiration. I can almost feel the euphoria sinking into my heart. The beauteous ease of composition is mine once aga-

NO! I don’t want anything. Just leave me alone. Another interruption. A question about food of all things. I’ve just eaten food! Sustenance is very low on my list of problems right now. I need to write! Of course, the thought vanishes into thin air. Can I not have a moment of silence?

It’s not your fault. It is my fault for not writing as often as I promised myself. It is my fault. I must find a prompt today. Complete something, some form of creative work. I must write before the self-doubt sets in, soft moss upon a stone. And once it grabs hold, it is incredibly difficult to shake off – like a dog’s fleas. The itch must be scratched.

I want to write until my fingers hurt. Until they bleed.

I.

must.

keep.

writing.