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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Ulysses

Bloom was talking and talking with John Wyse and he quite excited with his dunducketymudcoloured mug on him and his old plumeyes rolling about.
—Persecution, says he, all the history of the world is full of it. Perpetuating national hatred among nations.
—But do you know what a nation means? says John Wyse.
—Yes, says Bloom.
—What is it? says John Wyse.
—A nation? says Bloom. A nation is the same people living in the same place.
—By God, then, says Ned, laughing, if that's so I'm a nation for I'm living in the same place for the past five years.
So of course everyone had the laugh at Bloom and says he, trying to muck out of it:
—Or also living in different places.
—That covers my case, says Joe.
—What is your nation if I may ask? says the citizen.
—Ireland, says Bloom. I was born here. Ireland.
The citizen said nothing only cleared the spit out of his gullet and, gob, he spat a Red bank oyster out of him right in the corner.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I don't owe you a good time

When I first started dancing I somehow got the impression that it's impolite to refuse when someone invites me to dance. After some experiences with creepy men though I decided that I don't owe anyone a good time. Now I say no if I don't want to dance with someone. I don't make excuses, and I don't feel like I have to explain why (though if asked very politely and non-passive-aggressively I will often give the most honest answer that I can manage). I think real meaningful consent is very important and if at any point the lead or the follow (regardless of gender) feels uncomfortable, we should feel empowered to openly address that. How about we make this part of the new attitude in the lindy community?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

At last, at last...

At Last the Secret Is Out

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
Still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke without fire.
Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,
Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,
Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh
There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.
For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the convent wall,
The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the hall,
The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.
W H Auden

happy birthday to me

I talk about what I want to on my birthday. 



Child sexual abuse: it happened to me. It happened to many around us. I wondered if it was my fault; if anyone would believe me; if I'd be stigmatized; if I'd be better off keeping quiet and trying to "get over it". But if we don't talk about it, we'll never know that so many of us are asking ourselves the same questions. We'll never know the prevalence and the scale of its destructive force. I speak out because I believe that it is the best way to empower myself and protect others. I hope you find the courage to do the same. (feel free to share) /// 兒童性虐待:曾經發生在我身上。我曾經懷疑這些事情之所以會發生是否是我的錯、如果我說出來我是否會因此被鄙視、永遠不提這件事會不會比較好?許多我們周遭的人都有過類似的經驗,也自問過相同的問題。但是如果我們默不吭聲,我們永遠不會知道這類的性侵犯多麼普及,傷害性多大。我決定在每個機會中揭發我的經驗,因為我相信這是我替自己平反並且保護他人的方法。如果你也有過類似的經驗,我希望你也能找到勇氣,替自己發聲。(歡迎分享)/// Sexuelle Misshandlung von Kindern: Ich habe es am eigenen Leib erfahren. Viele Menschen in unserer nächsten Umgebung ebenso. Ich fragte mich, ob es meine Schuld war, ob irgendjemand mir Glauben schenken würde, ob ich dadurch stigmatisiert sein würde, ob es mir besser ergehen würde, wenn ich einfach still halten und "darüber hinweg kommen" würde. Doch, wenn wir nicht aufstehen und darüber sprechen, werden wir nie wissen, dass so viele unter uns sich eben diese Fragen stellen. Wir werden nie von der Verbreitung und dem Ausmaß dieser zerstörerischen Kraft erfahren. Ich erzähle von meinen Erfahrungen, weil ich davon überzeugt bin, dass das der beste Weg ist mich selbst zu stärken und andere zu beschützen. Ich wünsche mir, dass du dazu ermutigt wirst dasselbe zu tun. 

余秀華

《穿過大半個中國去睡你》
其實,睡你和被你睡是差不多的,無非是
兩具肉體碰撞的力,無非是這力催開的花朵
無非是這花朵虛擬出的春天讓我們誤以為生命被重新打開
大半個中國,什麼都在發生:火山在噴,河流在枯
一些不被關心的政治犯和流民
一路在槍口的麋鹿和丹頂鶴
我是穿過槍林彈雨去睡你
我是把無數的黑夜摁進一個黎明去睡你
我是無數個我奔跑成一個我去睡你
當然我也會被一些蝴蝶帶入歧途
把一些讚美當成春天
把一個和橫店類似的村莊當成故鄉
而它們
都是我去睡你必不可少的理由

《一院子的玉米棒子多麼性感》
它的黃,僅僅是一種顏色?
此刻,我的敘述中斷,在一院子的玉米中間走失
我是它們其中任何一個都矯情
我是它們中間任何一個都居心不良
它們橫七豎八,漫不經心
好吧,這樣的高傲前我願意低頭
我粗魯地把它們想成男人的生殖器官
我把它們踢飛起來,或者把它們踩扁
沒有誰阻擋我成為一個女王
我善良地時候,也會爆米花
讓它們如花地觀摩
--------愛情或者,寂寞
其實今年雨水少,玉米長了蟲,發了黴
我確定那些蟲都是女性
所以我掐死它們毫無憐憫
被蟲蛀過的玉米棒子被我扔在一邊
------被惡俗偷過心的人
怎麼配進我的小院
《在打穀場上趕雞》

然後看見一群麻雀落下來,它們東張西望
在任何一粒穀面前停下來都不合適
它們的眼睛透明,有光
八哥也是成群結隊的,慌慌張張
翅膀扑騰出明晃晃的風聲
它們都離開以後,天空的藍就矮了一些
在這鄂中深處的村莊里
天空逼著我們注視它的藍
如同祖輩逼著我們注視內心的狹窄和虛無
也逼著我們深入九月的豐盈
我們被渺小安慰,也被渺小傷害
這樣活著叫人放心

那麼多的穀子從哪里而來
那樣的金黃色從哪裡來
我年復一年地被贈予,被掏出
當幸福和憂傷同呈一色,我樂於被如此擱下
不知道與誰相隔遙遠
卻與日子沒有隔閡

Saturday, 24 January 2015

capacities

This is a little embarrassing to admit but I used to have trouble making friends because I found it hard to share my experiences as a victim of childhood sexual abuse. This was a problem because it used to define a large part of who I am and I felt that if they didn't know this one thing about me, and couldn't share my pain, then we weren't really friends. Furthermore, I felt that I wasn't (and couldn't) really being genuinely myself with anyone, because such an important part of my make-up had to remain hidden.

Later on I realized that most people make friends by sharing some laughs FIRST, before moving on to the heavy stuff. Similarly, I have (in the past) been so caught up with how to survive that I forgot how to live. Now I try to remember that it's my capacity for joy that defines who I am, not my ability to take any amount of beating and get up again (though that has also at times come in handy). 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

just what the doctor ordered

Cake, soup, and Scotch: 
The cake is in the oven, 
The soup is on the hob. 
So com'on over and bring the bottle,
Don't make me wait up.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

That time I cried in that church

It's the little church in downtown Toronto, next to the Eaton Centre. I was going to New Jersey on the Greyhound that day to meet Sarah. Then we'd drive to New York together. I was ahead of schedule and wandered into the church. I sat down in the foremost pew and looked at the altar. All I could think of was Keble, and how happy I was just a short while ago. I felt so utterly defeated and alone.

Come to think of it, in Toronto I once realized (while on the tram) that I felt like my whole person was slowly disappearing - becoming translucent as I ceased to mean anything or be anyone to anybody around me.

That was not such a good year. 

Then you wrote back

... and there's such a great big gap, when we lost sight of each other. Now we know nothing. Still a part of me just wants to ask what hurts (and make it better). 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Mark Twain on New Year's

New Year's Day--Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.

- Letter to Virginia City, Territorial Enterprise, Jan. 1863