Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree

I was talking to my mom on the phone this afternoon and she was telling me about a date she went on the other day. We actually are the same person. Its funny that I turned out so much like my mother, but I guess I would be better off had I turned out more like my father.

My mother is a very sensitive, scared individual in a lot of ways. The more I think about how I react to certain events in my life, the more I begin to realize that I too am a sensitive, scared soul. Love right now seems like the cruelest thing on earth and I wish I could rip out whatever part of my mind responsible for the knot in my stomach. My dad moves through the stages of his life like a machine in a very categorized, scientific sort of way. There is a standard which he follows, dictated by norms, everything fits in a little box. I think I take my life on in a more circumstantial way, reacting to events according to past experiences.

I wish I was a machine...I also wish I could study certain people's parents to see which parent they most resemble. Maybe we can predict a person's future by examining what path each parent took and which parent they most resemble. Are you a kind house-wife who loves her kids to death or are you your dad; cause I don't really like your dad?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

On winter and nostalgia

There is something to be said of winter. I am a winter hater. I hate everything about it; I hate the cold, the rain, the wind, the lack of sunlight, the snow, waking up in the morning to cold.....in short I think February is the most miserable time of the year. There is only one thing that I can appreciate about winter. Sometimes, if you're lucky enough to run into one of these moments, which, at least in my experience, have been far and few between, you can enter into a surreal world where time itself seems to be frozen.

It usually happens during dusk, perhaps also early in the morning too (I wouldn't know as I am rarely awake during the wee hours of the morning). For the most part I have walked into these timely tundras during my walk home from work. Also, you need a park. Think of these moments which I am about to describe as black holes that can only create themselves if conditions are just right; a perfect storm of sorts. The ground can be covered with snow or the air might have an extra bite to it. Usually, you also require a lot of wind; mostly you need the wind in order to recognize the moment as it happens.

The last time I entered this place that seems so out of the loop of time and consciousness was in New York City. I was in Central Park, sitting on a snow covered bench, trying to shield my neck from the burning of the wind. I closed my eyes, burrowing my neck as deep into my shoulders as possible. The wind suddenly fell out of the sky and the world felt completely still. I opened my eyes and saw that the wind was no longer tormenting everything around me. The world was literally frozen. No people walking about, no noise from the street; in short, no movement from the air or on the ground. The world around me seemed complacent, still, calm, as if the trees, the ground, the air had all suddenly become self-reflective and, like myself, had begun to turn inward.

Its then, when nothing stimulates, when nothing begs for your attention that nostalgia turns most violent. It is confusing this nostalgic feeling that reins over my wintry black holes. I usually think of nostalgia as something that pains the heart, pumping mistakes and missed opportunities through one's system, propelling the body to pump adrenaline and the soul to barter with God. And yet, nostalgia in this world, this frozen moment, is both comrade and conspirator. The pain of the heart is still there, but in the absence of movement and stimulus comes the inspiring sense of endless possibilities. When time seems to stand still you begin to feel the entitlement of power. The capacity to mold and change seems to fall into your lap. And yet, I find myself resisting this new found power. My desire to change things disappears and is replaced by the blissful complacency of surrender. The beauty of this moment makes one feel as though there is nothing to change. In the immobility of the freeze there also seems to be this sense that things can only, and will only, happen one way; and in the way that these natural forces have given in to the power of this bitter nostalgia, so too does it demand that we surrender to the fates and find freedom in the absence of power.

These frozen moments are ethereal and short-lived. And for someone who is sensitive to matters of the heart, enough to pretend to bear a heart fertile enough to grow a tree, these moments are the only escape from the tug of the tragedy we make of life. And as fertile as I may think my heart to be, it is only in these frozen moments that spring out of my most hated season that I can find solace in the fact that no matter how much things may hurt or as confusing as they can be, one day I will find myself once again in this nostalgic vortex gazing at it and beyond it, towards the shining dream of what will always be, and be, at least for the moment, at peace.

Its supposed to snow tonight and I am thinking I will strap on my boots, wrap myself in everything I have and trek out into the district in search of the winter that I love. There is a park near me that has called out many a time with the promise of this vaccum.