Saturday, May 25, 2013

the lacuna

Some quotes I've liked (or were pretty) from the above book in the last couple of days:

"For any homeless wanderer he is a miracle of instruction: now that he is exiled from every place on earth except a desert wilderness, he declares a passion for cactus."

"'I think an artist has to tell the truth,' she said finally. 'You have to use the craft very well and have a lot of discipline for it, but mostly to be a good artist you have to know something that's true. These kids who come to Diego wanting to learn, I'll tell you. They can paint a perfect tree, a perfect face, whatever you ask. But they don't know enough about life to fill a thimble. And that's what has to go in the painting. Otherwise, why look at it?'"

"The survivors stood in the ruined courtyard blinking at the light, with eyes unprepared to see the life that is spared into their custody."

(It's by Barbara Kingsolver, by the way.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

crazy dreams

Yesterday morning I dreamed the car I was driving--borrowing, from the Colombiana--got hit by a meteor. Mornings usually go like this for me. I'll wake up before it's time to get up, fall right back asleep for another hour or so and dream the wildest things and nearly always remember them. 

I've driven once since the accident. Not because I'm afraid to, just that I didn't have a car in the States and here of course have absolutely no need for one. But the one time I did drive was a trip. I was dding for a friend on Superbowl Sunday and all of a sudden, there in the dark lit up by the headlights, just a split second, an orange cat. Real fast and abrupt. And I ran him over and shrieked because it surprised and scared me so badly and luckily my friend was drunk or who knows what she might have done. The poor cat, and I was still jumpy around any and all sudden movements on the road (despite the fact that I wasn't driving and didn't see it coming--the wreck, I mean, haha that's not very clear).

And anyway it's looking like I'll be borrowing my friend's car while she's honeymooning at the end of July. And I'm so anxious that no matter how well I'll drive somehow her car will end up totaled completely out of my control. You know, like a meteor hitting a cell phone tower and the broken off chunks of rock squashing the side of my car.

We should be hearing back about the claim in the next month. So that might be good news. The thing on my stomach is still there but looks much much better than it did four months ago. Good news for sure. The one I'm watching with the most interest lately is a bruise that was pretty deep and nasty on the back of my calf--since then it's moved around to the front on my shin and mostly gone away, but there's still a hard discolored spot. It itches sometimes so it must be trying to heal.

I'm gonna miss good public transport though. It's easier and so much cheaper here at least. One of the several possibilities for what comes next, moving to California has me hoping the public transit's at least better than it is in North Carolina although a car might still be something that has to happen. Where it will come from and how that will happen I have absolutely no idea. But it's a reminder of the ease with which I get around now, all the walking and minibuses and especially the metro in Bucuresti. And I love the city, which is where it's all at.

Not sure where to end this one. If I do get by a meteor, you heard it here first!

**I do realize that it's a meteorite once it's hit the earth or your car. But until then, do you say meteor if you're talking about something you're getting hit by? It's still a meteor up until the moment of impact, right? You didn't get hit by something that already landed. Anyway I'm just gonna go with meteor and be consistent, even if it's wrong :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


"This theme is especially important for combating social or familial or economic fatalism. Christian hip-hop communicates with urban youth and beyond them to the rest of the culture, "You are not merely the sum of your background experiences." The music combats predestination with more predestination: the predestination of drugs, gangs, and family background with the predestination of a God who chooses what the world dismisses to bring about his purposes... Maybe Christian hip-hop is not about using hip-hop as a "bridge" between evangelical faith and urban youth. Instead, maybe it's about building a bridge in the other direction: a bridge of empathy for a largely white, middle-class church to a fatherless, economically forgotten, and sometimes angry youth culture. If so, maybe it can help pull American Christianity out of its white middle-class ghetto and into the vastness of the kingdom of God—a kingdom that has room for both Jonathan Edwards and Jay-Z."

From here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"social terrorism" (!!!!!)

I have a dream, y'all. One day again I'll have a bedroom that's a real bedroom and a bed that's a real bed.

Not sure whether I've mentioned this on here before--probably, as problematic as it's been, and hopefully not too much because I don't want to just complain. But this morning I'm not writing this out of frustration but because I read a blog that finally made all the trouble I'm having make sense.

So first, my room is the living room. Meaning any time there's anyone here, my room is a thoroughfare. If there's company, my room is often, but not always, the place where people hang out (regardless of whether I'm home). And you never really know when someone's going to pass through (why would you knock to come into your living room on the way to the kitchen?). It's not an issue of hiding anything. It's just space. Thankfully I can say the room and pull-out couch/bench thing are no longer shared with a sixteen year old girl. 

With my first roommate in Bucuresti, I had my own room and was able to close the door and kind of get away, but sometimes I'd come home and see her mom had been in and had cleaned things or something like that. Not a big deal--kind, if I remember to look at it like a Romanian. But it makes me realize that this is in part a cultural thing. It's just not as big deal, things and space seem much more shared here. In several different ways it's probably good practice for the future.

And then I read this:

The well-intentioned social terrorist does not alert you before they invade your safety bubble. It's always a surprise. You'll come home, exhausted and eager to finally feel safe from unwanted interaction. But then... You're cornered like an animal. There's nowhere to go. You'd always assumed that your own home was a safe place--a place where you were not in danger of sudden, undesired social interaction. But your pathetic delusions of safety implode into the realization taht nowhere is safe anymore. You could try to lie and say that you're just coming home to drop some stuff off before you have to go somewhere. But if you do that, you'll have to spend the rest of the night in total darkness, because if your friend walks by and notices that your lights are on, they're going to know you were lying.
But if you allow this person into your house, you are no longer in control of when the interaction ends. This is not as simple as finding the right opportunity to walk away. No. This is some next-level shit. You can't just walk out of your own house and leave the person there. Where would you go? If you want to be left alone, you're going to have to wait it out until you can convince the person to leave. But even then, it isn't over.
Now that you are aware that your home is not the impenetrable fortress of protection you once thought it was, you are forced to live in a constant state of slight uneasiness. Someone could surprise you at any time. What if your friend decides to surprise you with a visit every day? Now you have to worry about keeping your place picked up, "just in case." You're scared to play music or watch movies because then you can't pretend not to be home if someone knocks on your door. You are no longer in control of your life.

It's funny--the pictures that come with it are hysterical so you should click on it ("I'd love to hang out but I have to go sit in my house by myself"--yes yes yes). But holy crap I read that and thought yes! I'm not being crappy and horrible. All those times I hid in under the covers on my couch when my friend Scott would knock on the door, and I'd not move so he wouldn't see me when he looked through the window--sorry Scott--and the lack of urge to do anything social at all outside of work here. It's because I'm under constant siege!!!! It's so dramatic, but for real y'all. And I'm not the only one. 

What this means for the rest of life and sharing a room with a husband and having kids to whom these rules are definitely not gonna apply and maybe evening living in community, I have no idea. Honestly it sounds kind of horrifying, mixed in with all the good stuff. But there's a small glimmer of hope! It might sound ridiculous, but I'm totally praying that when I'm back in Wilmington, however long or short it ends up being, I'll be able to have my own room. With a door. That closes. And people who leave me alone. And then like half an hour later I'll actually want to hang out with them and do things! Crazy! We'll see, since I'll likely be bumming for a little while for various reasons.  But in the words of that cute little kid JP from Angels in the Outfield, it could happen.

(To be fair, it's probably a good idea to mention that I did make the deliberate decision to stay in this apartment. I had a chance to move out, but it's cheaper here than anywhere else. Plus I really like my roommate. So here I am.)