Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Memories of Dreams

Underneath an incensed pink-orange sky
I found myself dreaming of a troubled hero
Swathed in shades of grey
Even as the night turned mellow indigo
A play on colours and shades
Like love which once was vivid
Turn a corner, start to fade

What would you and I
Make of each other if
We accidentally wound up
In the same physical space?

In Thailand I dreamed
We were sitting in a white capsule
Surrounded by glass and
The crystal clear water, which tried to splash in
Slid smoothly back down the protective surface

It couldn't reach us
Just like we couldn't reach each other
(Like we couldn't reach ourselves?)

In all the ambivalence
I'm comforted to know I haven't even scratched the surface
I only keep coming back to you
Because there's no-one else to come back to

Your loss is another's gain

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Socially Acceptable Emotion

Out of sync with what passes for 'common experience'
I run far ahead then linger as if in a trance
Waiting for the world to catch up just a little
So I can reprise my instinct to leave it far behind again
Searching for resonant questions, wondering why
Nobody told me I would grow up to be
So unreceptive to the majority

I'm all upset, and they don't like it
Don't want to see how much deeper things can go
How assumptions are best questioned
How they've been mired in horror for so long

My life is half documentary, half fantasy
I become attuned to the need to rearrange
Everything I know about this page
I currently rest my pen upon

And if I look further I would no doubt discover
A sidelong surreptitious glance owned by another
But I'm too panicked by my own spectacle
When will I feel at my most respectable?

My eyelids are heavy and I glisten with hope
People shatter and raise it, I perspire and dehydrate
I know I cling on to an unreliable rope
I oscillate between sedate and irate

Wouldn't understand how to numb my curiosity
Couldn't dumb down my culture of enquiry
I'm aglow again, because they think I'm askew
My happiness can only signal a radical break from socially acceptable emotion

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Melaccan Mystery

The doctor wants to get a sample of my blood
But I'm too busy bleeding metaphorically
I don't want to give anything away
Except ideas, which I share, euphorically
Fruit is borne of the conflict
That keeps me stirring, inside
Fabulously fragmented living
I'm resolutely mine, you'll find

I can get caught up in the details
Of the number of days spent in a town
But if I juggle different clusters of variables
The perplexing constructions tumble down

Melacca, a tiny dot on the map
A place to experience traditions
Can I learn something irreplaceable
From this charming brand of conservativism?

Big Asian megalopolises I've seen before
In fact, I still struggle to let Seoul sink in
I breathe in the excitement and sedation
Grimy emissions, silky transmissions...

Such an instance, fails to abate
The joy of the bigger picture
I'm more in touch than I believe
I've always thought it was an inferior tincture
I was lugging around
Stamped atop my halo
And carved out by my steps in the ground
But I'll let the concept go
Unfurl itself out of my system like invisible smoke
To myself much metaphors I do evoke

Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Evening

When the people are almost completely drained of their energy, I have a choice: Do I stay asleep, or awaken?

In the Morning
I wonder if I can find another, more rewarding way to be. Does it involve being less or more aware? Am I approaching the right note, or am I in the wrong key? How many frequencies should I resonate in?

In the Afternoon
I visualise myself as going with the flow, attuned to the undertow, making with the overtones, persistently reinventing the zone.

Where am I now?

It's always evening, morning or afternoon somewhere. I am a multiplicity of states. They bleed into each other, even during the same day. I wake up at 10am. I wake up at 10pm. It's never the same journey.

What will you see in me, I wonder?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Disrespect

Stockholm's Nobelmuseet (Nobel Museum) is so full of treasures that it was only towards the end of my stay that I noticed that there were words stuck on the floor around the two movie theatres I was mesmerised by. Some of them were not particularly surprising, such as creativity. But then I saw one which reinvigorated my thought process.

Disrespect. White letters on dark grey.

If you want to engage with something more interesting, you have to say goodbye to all the unconditionally respectful dynamics you were encouraged into from a young age, then misguidedly clung to out of fear.

How hard can you swim against the tide?

Happy to fail, ecstatic to succeed

I guess that's the philosophy I need to adopt.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebrating Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is somewhere between mainstream and eccentric, and I have been devoted to his inventive melodies and soul-wrenching lyrics ever since I was in high school. 

Here are some of my favourite songs of his:

Bent by Matchbox 20 (the verses are pure genius):




It's the chorus and bridge I adore in Gasoline:


I love everything about Downfall, except that I feel the gospel goes on a little too long:

 

All That I Am, meanwhile has beautiful Oriental touches:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Accentuate the Quirky

My accent is a subject of great curiosity for many of the people I meet. Inevitably, at some point during the first few sentences we exchange, they will inquire about my heritage. I've been assumed to be nationalities as diverse as Canadian or American, British or Irish, South African and Scandinavian or German.

When I was in Lopburi, the gathering of English teaching expats I joined had a brief debate about whether I was from the UK or North America. When I told them that I had a permanent home in The Land Down Under, they couldn't get over it. "Australia?! But you don't sound anything like an Australian!" Only one person in recent memory has guessed that I originate from Eastern Europe - he was from the region himself. ("People from our nations make sharp consonant sounds," he explained after noting my astonishment at this insight.)

I have noticed that a person is more likely to think I'm from the UK if they have a Northern American background, and vice versa, which perhaps says more about a tendency not to be very educated about the use of the spoken word on continents other than your own. I have described myself in various ways over time. My earlier foray into self-styled semantics represented a conscious effort to combine as many of the sounds I identified as pleasing into the one narrative. "My accent is eclectic," I proudly went back and forth between different cultural and regional norms. People just nodded bemusedly. A girl from Hong Kong told me that she thought my accent was International, but I think this is too convenient, too lacking in context.

I believe that my strongest influence is North American English, and so, if asked to identify a specific region, it's the one I usually mention first. I might say I have American overtones or undertones, or that I'm inclined towards the American accent, or that I have "an American emphasis", when I'm feeling in the mood to get in touch with my inner Bay Area Californian or Vancouverite.

Why is it that, despite only having visited Vancouver for 2 days, and living in Stanford for eight months or so, I have so much attraction to the lingual features of their brand of English?

It started with American cartoons and TV shows in my childhood, and probably blossomed around the time I started learning about American history. In particular, the culture around human rights struggles vividly captured my imagination, and still hasn't let go. I have often noted that I would love to live in San Francisco, Berkeley or Santa Cruz. However, due to the difficulty of moving to the States, I don't have much hope that I'll have a permanent home there in the near future. And even if I did, I would fit in no more than I do in Western Europe.

But that's okay.

A Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum participant wrote that I was not a "unique snowflake", attempting to mock me, but that's actually a wonderful metaphor for individuality - mine, and yours. Even if the difference between your accent and that of your neighbours is minimal, it's still there. No one speaks English (and the other languages you might also speak) quite the way you do. You have your own distinctive sound of voice, so enjoy that uniqueness; those things that make you you.

And if you should ever want to study and affect a multitude of different accents, go for it - you will find that most people find you memorable, original and inspiring.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Knowledge is Power, but...

Knowledge can be torture.

In their eyes, she's examining thoughts that they don't want to follow. In her eyes, they don't want to stray from their familiar tone poems and mood pieces. It would inspire exertion of a moral imagination which forces them to confront their most obfuscating shades of darkness. Their minds are committed to revoking the rights of aforementioned darkness to spill over into the regimented sense of reality that they feel is necessitated by their surroundings.

We are all revisionists of our own history, but most of us won't admit to it - it hurts too much to undercut the effort we make, year after year, to keep our deepest of selves in line with the painfully stilted and stultifying personas made available for public scrutiny.

Very little can be done if the soul was not willing. Then again, Amanda was always up for a challenge. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Strike Up A Conversation,

For I'm ready to fly
Either soar to new heights of artistic achievement
Or back into the vastness of the sky

I don't believe in fighting, so I fly

*

Everyone should travel as often as they can
Emerge from the grip of the local
Find out what you're like
In another space or town
Get more quiet or more vocal
Do whatever deep-seated urges
Or capricious fancies inspire

Flying around, this way and that
I only regret that I return to a fixed abode
Travel has always been my antidote
Withdrawal from even the barest of routines
Mixing up the banality brought by 'everyday scenes'
So that I might turn it on its head
Highlight different types of beings
A penchant for controversy, perhaps

This is my role, but no-one knows what I do
I refuse to identify it. Rather break up in two
I'm so deep underground
That you only hear the rumblings from below
Perpetually in the air
You might see a cloud readjust
I've got two hands buried deep in the soil
And two feet firmly in the clouds
A headstand, some might conclud
I'd like to turn upside down
Lost track of which is the right way 'round
I'm aware I make for an unconventional sight,
Epiphanies aiming for a constant state of flight

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Floating Around On My Hard Drive Pt 2

Low tech Buddhist attire and hi-tech iPod technology mingle at Angkor Wat

Is this Banksy?
I think this was by Magritte
A Taiwanese artist

United Colours of Bennetton ad

Floating Around On My Hard Drive

Taken by Kiana Smith in New Zealand

Originally used by owner of Facebook group 'Gay Marriage Rights in Australia'
Japanese Chocolate Wrapper, from Engrish.com
Picture of Lego filling in the gaps on a Danish street. Below is a Toronto-an with a sense of humour. ;o)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creative Failures

Hello peoples,

So over the past week or so I haven't been giving myself much freedom to fail. I wanted to write the perfect blog post. Yet that's probably not what you look for in my work; perfection. You probably look for interesting new ideas, clever turns of phrase (I don't mind a clever song lyric, exclaimed a music producer to me), some inspiration here and there. You expect perfection of me no more than you do of yourselves... or, if you are a perfectionist, you think I'm perfect in my own special, imperfect way. Well, however you read me, I'd like to thank you for taking a little time out of your busy day to spend some time with Postmodern Epiphanie.  :o)

I have had so many different ideas for books that I could probably write a book on just that alone. Even though I am still struggling with some depressive tendencies (I'm on medication for them), I put pressure on myself to conceptualise of, begin and finish, market and monetise, the perfect literary project. However, I'm suspicious of products. I'm suspicious of bodies of knowledge. I'm suspicious of everything except postmodern narrative, as informed by fragmentation as possible. A book of quotes, or short, bite-sized pieces of wisdom, as Nietzsche indulges in in Beyond Good and Evil are more appealing for me.

Ideally I should just start something and enjoy it's twists and turns - present my life, as it is, as a work of performance art. Yet, I'm insecure. Some people will be happy, but what about the ones that won't? Do I know enough about myself to do a great job on the subject? My work is often oriented towards self-discovery, but it remains an issue I'm shy about tackling head-on. Part of me is afraid of my own malevolent forces overwhelming the benevolent ones. I seem to have created a space where it is safe to self-negate.

I'm going to be 27 on the 12th of November, so I'm re-evaluating my life. I guess I'm doing pretty well. I'm relatively healthy, I am materially provided for, I have dreams and hopes. I laugh, I cry, I breathe. I interact. I have light touches and dark patches. I oscillate. And that's okay. I'm trying to find a balance between always searching for something better, and always accepting that what I have is good enough.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Key Words For Sydney

effervescent
touchy
idiosyncratic
endearing
offputting
curious
well-meaning
quirky
"the bookshop"
Just Another Restaurant
No Name Restaurant
Name This Bar
Gary's Greek Yum Cha
Chish'n'Fips
balmy
empathetic
co-conspirational
smiling
gently encouraging