I unearthed this from the internet, an old blog post that wandered aimlessly for a couple years before I had the guts to delete the blog. Saved all my writing though:
Once upon a time, there was a heroin addict who lived in Bushwick, Brooklyn. His name was Paul and he liked to walk through the park on Saturday nights, looking for loose needles and friendly pigeons. He believed he could fly, especially after taking a nice heroin injection. Paul would stand on park benches, flapping his plastic-bag and soppy cardboard wing. One day, as Paul was up to his usual routine of injecting heroin and learning to fly, he came across an old pair of sneakers. After he slipped them on, he became infatuated with flying and convinced himself that the sneakers would help him reach his dream of flight. Paul took the sneakers off and ate them ravenously. He woke up hours later in a white room made of fluff and chocolate.
His stomach felt heavy and he wondered what he had eaten that brought him to this condition. His mind was blank. In fact, Paul had forgotten his name. He rolled his body upwards, ignoring the constricted feeling in his abdomen. He managed to plant his feet on the ground but he couldn’t stop his body from lurching forward. The initial momentum forced his body to jet several meters into a wall of fluff. He peeled himself away from the sweet cloud and licked bits of fluff off his body; he left his hair in a sticky mess. He found it intriguing that there was no gravity in this place. With his fluff-waxed hair, Paul began to jump up and down into other walls of fluff. I must be on the moon, he thought.
Have you ever met an unfamiliar person that connected with you in a world separate from reality? A someone that conversed with you through another medium other than spoken words? It’s a natural sense of security because the suppressed emotions that lie within you, that you are too scared to show, are welcome to flow out knowing that they are reciprocated. Vulnerably; timidly; anxiously; they peek out of your actions and linger in the air for a while before they settle on a canvas or completely disappear.
This story was created from one of those moments. During class one day, my neighbor began writing on a sheet of paper that had dropped out of my journal. I was curious as to see what he was writing and wished I could turn around to read it, but I didn’t want to cause a distraction so I pretended to listen to the class conversation by nonchalantly nodding my head. A note slid up next to me. The professor was staring at my neighbor nervously. I smiled as I read the note. It wasn’t nothing but it wasn’t anything. He began to write the story, and I ended it. We barely talked to each other, and after class, he told me he rolled a cigarette from my pouch in my pocket and drifted away. It’s just one of those moments that take place in the present and when time passes on, remains a contained past. It doesn’t haunt you in the future, and it doesn’t drag you back. It’s a snapshot.
As I sat in a taxi today, returning from a Myanmar language lesson, I kept clenching my hands to control my frustration. Why was I this frustrated? At 22, I made my choices and could only be proud of them to prevent any regrets from festering. I came home to Myanmar because it was the most realistic option, albeit living here was worth it and the reward was much greater than I expected. I was studying the language so I could be a part of the nation’s rapid development. I was reunited with my old friends. However, being in this present makes me forget what I am supposed to be doing. It is the combination of the usual young adult whatthehellamidoing angst with a complete feeling of separation from what I had thought was meant for me (before graduating college).
I’m thousands of miles away from America, from where I thought was my destiny, and now I don’t give a second thought about returning. Yet, there is something inside me that can’t give up on that dream. The thought of living in America tastes of first love. I want to return, but the time has passed. Back then, I was happy, grateful, hurt, but most of all, alive. It was where I needed to be. I would have given up everything to have stayed there. Under new circumstances, I can look back and see why that relationship wasn’t meant to happen.
Still, I am in Myanmar and my mind is thousands of miles from here. I’m doing “fulfilling” projects—projects that people my age interested in Myanmar would snap a limb for—but it all feels circumstantial. I am doing it because I can, because I was raised to do this, because somewhere out there, a higher force is rooting for this destiny.
It is not my destiny. I have to go elsewhere and I feel it within me. It grows stronger day by day and it becomes harder to stay focused. I worry that this is a symptom of my boredom, perhaps with what I am doing now. My mind is wandering from my physical activities. Maybe it is my loneliness acting out. I feel a lack of connection with people. Maybe though, just maybe, its a sign that what I am doing know happens because of what will come. I don’t know which step to take. Do I prepare myself for what comes by learning all that I can, or do I go with the flow? Do I put my dreams on hold and really focus on what I am doing now, or keep dreaming and put what I am doing now on hold?
I want to return to Japan. I want to be an creative expat. I met this architect the other day, who now teaches art to elementary students. She recalled her experiences of traveling the world, working on restoration projects in Cambodia and architectural planning in other developing countries. I really admired her because that is the path I want to go on. I want to design and rescue.
I wonder what it means to be powerless. Is it defined by the state of helplessness? Is it when our aspirations collide and conflict with the current order of things, leaving us yearning and only at that? Or is it when we feel like isolated from our surroundings, lost and not found? I often feel powerless here, but I have no regrets. Having a powerless moment in our lives probably makes way for a greater fate. There is so much I have learned, and am still learning, from hardship. It is not easy living here and my heart grows fonder for things I have left behind, like really good burgers. This website: http://aht.seriouseats.com/?ref=nav_aht has become my vice and tormentor. There aren’t any good hamburgers here, and I feel very powerless because I can’t just go out and grab a good burger. My plan is to make a really good cheeseburger.
I can’t get enough of Ellen Kooi. She really captures the transient moments of photography, even though I’m assuming the photo shoot probably took hours. Every image holds a secret, a hushed story, an inner feeling that no one can really understand but can be enraptured by nonetheless. There is so much magic in the colors and the positions of the bodies. Everyone is focused on what they are doing, “oblivious” to the camera, making it seem like we’re trespassing through the lens to this solitary world that is meant only for the subject. Check her out!
I love oriental themed contemporary illustrations. Its always the eyes that capture my attention, because behind those lightly lidded eyes is a mysterious magic of the east that draws one in.
New works for her solo show, titled “Midnight Reverie” @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery
What else is there to say about a gorgeous moment like this? It’s one of those scenes you imagine in movies, with a “duh, that’s New York for you” line.
A photographer named Mo Gelber took this photo outside of the Manhattan Criminal Court a few weeks ago, and is looking for the couple in the photo.
UPDATE: The couple in the photo were located as a result of the HONY post. Man on the left is a graffiti artist. Woman on the right was serving as his lookout. She describes their relationship as a “whirlwind summertime romance.” The woman is refusing to sign a release form until the man gets out of Rikers. Photographer Mo Gelder needs the release because he is the front-runner in Canon’s Imagin8tion contest with Ron Howard. If he wins, a short film will be made based on the photograph. Currently, Mr. Gelder is fielding several interview requests. (Understandably. What a story, and what a photograph! One of the best candid photos I’ve ever seen.) Because of Gelder’s photograph, Canon’s contest is getting tons of publicity. (HONY is getting it’s fair share as well. Thanks Mo!) I’ve got to imagine that Canon is trying to figure out a way to include Mr. Gelder in their plans, with or without a release! I’ll keep everyone updated on their decision.