konnichiwa sayonara

Today started on a wrong foot and continued that way.  It was like a wrongly buttoned-up coat.  A confusing time in my life.  So many voices telling me where to go, where I should be.  What I need more than anything is probably silence, a hermetic space.  I don’t know why, (well, I do know why in terms of the circumstances, but I don’t know why my nature is so) but I am easily confused, confounded, doubtful, frightened, and discouraged, but that is how I am today, at this period.  I would like for that to be different and so, I am taking some positive actions.  I can’t lose this fight.

Sometimes it is easier just to pretend all is ok, and let it all slip by.  I have the (minimal) honesty/awareness/recognition that that is a state of dystopia eventually.  The other extreme is also bad, however.

I am going to bed.  I wish I had the energy to get moving constantly.

\”Dopperugengā\” (ドッペルゲンガー Doppelganger)

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Dream (düş, indeed)

So, a somewhat vivid dream from this morning (feels like last night, while it was dark, but I realize it is more likely that it is from this morning).

I was at Tyra Banks’s house (yes) and I saw Tyra Banks (no I did..).  A friend of hers was there, too, and we were all in a dressing room together.  I was wearing light brown leather boots, a grey-ish tweed skirt, a jacket, and then a white knitted hat.  My hair was the way it is now, short and curly with golden streaks, and the hat brought my hair to frame my face.  Anyway, I think I was over there because — I have no idea.  Ms. Banks in my dream was not very beautiful, as far as her eyes went, but she was still a very cool lady.  She left, and then her friend, a gay male friend of dark complexion, asked me whether I thought I could catalogue model (uh huh.. you can laugh) the hat.  I said yes, and he went on to point out the things that I was doing with my body and my dress to show me why I was wrong in my assessment.  I was still kind of giddy.  It was really cool.

This next part, which is the more exciting part, I don’t know if this was before the modelling part of not, but here it is:

I was going through small alleys — the closest to which that I have seen are the alleys in Hallstatt, which is a very old town in Austria — with my parents.  We were all dressed up, and there were tables lined up along the alleys, with patrons eating.  The houses / walls between which the space ran were not tall, so they were not dark alleys — it was more like sectionalized open spaces.  It turned out to be an Italian restaurant.  Food was being cooked outside, right next to the patrons.  We were seated at a table near the cooking fire, which was contained in an oil drum.  We were encouraged to cook our own food.  Available ingredients for the main dish of the evening were: some sort of white meat (turkey or pork? not chicken), red and green bell peppers, asparagus, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, pepper, etc.  We brought them over, and cooked all the ingredients together.  The meat was browned nicely.  One dish was done, but the slab of meat was so large that I could complete a second portion with just a little more vegetables.  My mother thought I should throw the meat away, but my father and I thought we could definitely eat it, and then mother agreed as well.  So, the second portion was cooked.  It was delicious.  It was all very pleasant and happy.  I cooked the two portions for my family with a longish stick, etc. (I know, doesn’t make sense, but what do you expect — it’s a dream.)  I saw the goat cheese crumble, and the whole dish turning into delicious brown.  I don’t remember us sitting down to eat, so I might have continued to cook a third portion.  Who knows.

Then, somehow, I was confined in my parents’ house.  My dad, especially, wanted to make sure that I wasn’t leaving the house and kept a close eye on me.  I of course ran out.  It was a house on the hill, with lots of bay windows and green window shutters.  I came through the back and out, and my dad asked why I was running.  I might have said something like “you know why”.  He was being his bull-like self that he turns into when he is angry, which makes him seem crazy to me and makes me run away from him even more.  I was scared but then, I wasn’t really, because I did not really respect his anger (? I am not sure what this really means. If you knew me better, maybe I could tell you or you would understand — but my mother would understand the best).  This is kind of odd because in this dream, the only person whose anger I really saw was my dad, and he is usually not the one to chastise me, really.  Anyhow, I ran away and away down the hill into town, and burst into a restaurant.  I don’t know who was chasing me — there were servant-like people in my house who were keeping a watch, and it may have been a couple of men among them who chased me down the hill and into the town.  The restaurant I burst into was like a 삼겹살집 — a kind of barbecue house you see a lot of in Korea.  There were many men, who all said they would call the police and make sure that I would not be hurt or taken away by whoever was coming after me.  When my chasers came inside the place, however, the men in the restaurant suddenly changed their attitude.  They weren’t actively turning me over, but they certainly weren’t fighting to get my chasers out of the place or anything.  I called the police, but I was nervous and kept dialling 122 instead of 211.  I saw what I was doing, eventually, and dialed the right number, and I think it was ok after that.

This next part was with the gay man from Tyra Banks’s place.  We were dressed quite nice for the “night out”, and we headed to the hip part of the town that I had no idea about.  There was supposed to be a performance somewhere, and we walked into this gallery/costume-store which had a small performance space and seats that looked down to the stage area from slightly above.  There were people, but we decided that it was going to be quite boring after we came inside and were about to sit down.  It was all quite lighthearted and fun, and also somewhat adult in that even though I was enjoying the new experiences, I wasn’t wide-eyed with excitement, heart palpitations and all.  When I was younger I would get those types of rushes all the time, any time I was doing something exciting, or new, or happy, or saw or heard or smelled anything like that.  I responded like crazy.  Now I don’t, and that is good, too.

Anyway, my dream.  Why did I write all of that down?  I don’t know.  Sometimes my dreams work out the things that I want but deny myself, and those dreams usually make me feel much, much better.  I don’t know what kind of dream this was.  About a month ago it was a dream of me on my first night at work at a brothel managed by a friend of mine.  I wrote a detailed account of that in an email I sent to myself.  I think I know where that dream came from (from a pretty mundane source i.e. TV show I watched, combined with my desperation for a job and financial gains) — that one was quite obvious, like the one featuring an old cello teacher of mine and my mom agreeing to let me go far away again to study, or something.  I really wish I had written that one down, because that one really felt significant.  I remember her changing her mind over some crucial detail, or was it I? about my re-pursuit of music.  This one, though, not quite sure.  I don’t think it was all too trivial — I think the dressing up with Tyra Banks part was just something about my desire to look nice and fit, attention to my outward appearances and related health issues, and the cooking for and with family part something of my perception of the current dynamics in my family and my role in my family / relationship with my family, and the running away from home part is, well, obviously, me trying / wanting to run away from home, family, figuratively.  Men not helping was just to add some more drama maybe.  The last part I have no idea what it is.  Maybe that is just me being somewhat carefree and getting to taste some new (exciting) experiences that I would get as an adult, away from home, away from family, as my own person, whatever.

I am hungry now, and in the mood for pork chops. Mmm. I elaborated the paragraph above after writing this previous sentence [“I am hungry now, …”], and came back, and toward the end of the last paragraph, which I just wrote, I tasted coffee truffles in my mouth, and now I want them. Mmmm. Creamy. Coffee. Chocolate.

I feel like a nice lunch today.  Or, I could work out before that.  Or, I could read about feminist approaches to international law and attend the makeup class.  I should probably show my face to the makeup class, even though it is unlikely that I will either do the readings over the next two hours or participate in the discussion even without reading anything.  I feel dumber and dumber in that class — well, not really, but I just find it hard to engage myself in that class.  I wish I could.  It was far more exciting in my intensive course lectures in int’l law with Prof. Koskenniemi.  But he is just amazing, and that course had a very clear thesis.  This one is more like a survey, and somehow it just fails to captivate us in any way.  I could probably read these things on my own, and have more interesting discussions with my friends or intelligent people on twitter.  I am not even kidding.

I’ve been listening to Bruckner symphonies lately, and since yesterday evening I have a craving for the 4th symphony, the one that I played in this beautiful church in Austria.  The conversation I had with my therapist about what music means — and her words about it being an entity into which I let myself loose, a thing of unconditional embrace, makes me miss the warm, grand, earnest, gentle, forgiving, cathartic, orchestral cries.  I’ve been listening to the whole symphony this morning, and the whole thing played once and the 1st movement is playing over again now.

I need to eat.  I have no desire to smoke.  (That is a good thing.  A great thing.  Keep going.)  I believe I am still slightly under the influence of the alcohol from last night.  It was quite a bit of drinking.  It was a bittersweet night.  Oh well. : )  I need to eat.  Ciao, ciao.

First Day of Therapy and My Life with All Its Anxieties

Had a preliminary meeting with my potential therapist. There is much going on with school and finding a job, plus uncertainty in living situations for me and my parents for the next little while, and financial worries i.e. debt, so maybe I could have started this earlier — but it was today. Not sure yet whether she is right for me, or whether this will do anything much, but I am giving it a try.

I was a bit rushed because I had thought the appointment was at 4:30, but it was actually 4:00, which I only realized around 2:00, and it was a bit tight for me to finish the remainder of my small assignment for History & Theory of Int’l Law class under two hours. I was done mailing that thing off by 4:10, and then I hurried off in a cab. She was waiting outside. It was a very nice day today. It was a bit troubling for me that she was waiting outside to welcome me in, though it was a very nice day and she was taking in some sun for a few minutes. We only had about half an hour as a result of my lateness. I didn’t like that. But, decisions had to be made, and I had to finish that assignment off, because now I really need to start turnings some things in in that class. I have four comment papers to hand in throughout the semester, and there are five classes remaining.

We went in, and it was a hallway.  This was a therapy centre where a few therapists have their offices in different rooms.  No one seemed to be around, or it was just that quiet — on my way out, I noticed that my therapist’s office was double-doored, and I assume the others are probably that way, too.  There were two comfortable chairs facing each other at some distance, plus a couch behind the patient’s chair, and a bookshelf, and side tables next to the two chairs facing each other.  A bit dark but with enough indirect sunlight coming through, with a high ceiling and carpeted floors.

I was a bit out of breath.  I realized that we did not have much time, which she reminded me, though in a neutral way, but I became more conscious of that, because I was much later than I had anticipated or planned to be.  And I didn’t quite know where to start, in terms of giving her a picture of why I had wanted to see her.  She knew that I had asked some other therapists, including one who works at this centre.  Anyhow — I was rushed, but wanted to do my best trying to tell her a little bit of myself, and what I wanted to work on with her.  I always feel that there is too much to my family history, especially my “tumultuous” childhood, and all that went on.  I tried not to be too detailed, but some things were important and so, I wanted to let her know.

In retrospect, perhaps I didn’t have to tell her everything — but somehow, I felt an urge to give her as full a general picture of me as I could in the limited time.  There is one aspect where neither of us was quite sure whether I would be seeing her again, and me gauging whether any of my “issues” were registering with her, and whether the way in which she engaged with my story would be effective or beneficial to me — impossible as that really is in just that one meeting.  But I am impatient, and there was that. I was going to say “the other aspect was…”, but I suppose this next bit is related — perhaps the cause of this first part.  I felt such an urge, almost a desperation, to give her as a complete a picture as possible, and to gauge the effectiveness of these meetings, because I am going through a lot, and I want to be relieved, as soon as possible — and although I should be patient, financially, psychologically, emotionally, and realistically I have room neither for inefficiency nor adverse effects from this.  In general I am feeling anxiety and desperation, or lethargy, in which I just feel like giving it up and in fact do sort of give up, as much as I can, to the maximal reasonable limit in my circumstances that I can allow myself — it is quite far, as I feel it — and I just feel I have no time to waste.  Or money.

She was quite mindful of my current financial situation, which I appreciated.  We set up another appointment for next week, on Friday.  I will see how it goes.  Today, my short but intense “interview” with her resulted in some crying, plus some memories from childhood and something that hit too close to home, so that was tough.  Every time I cry like that (not sobbing or bawling or anything — it’s not the type of crying that matters as much), about things that get at the raw parts of my heart, safely concealed away under usual circumstances, I feel a bit empty.  It wasn’t so cathartic this time, partly because we did not have so much time, and I had spoken about so much in my desperateness to share as much as possible because of the obligation to myself and the necessity to figure out whether this was it for me.  It is kind of absurd, or unreasonable, that I took such an approach, but, I didn’t know how  else, really — it was either that or a half hour of slow, very timid, or wandering investigative conversation, and that’s not really where I’m at right now.  For this reason, too, I wish I had started earlier, but — it was now, today, and so. Yeah.

It was a bit hard to leave it at that because I had shared so much, and I felt sad, empty, and like crying, and too tender, because it was a deep probe into myself, my past, and memories, people, and things that are dear to my heart, but not toward a resolution yet both because we did not have enough time and because it was our first meeting.  We will see how this goes.  She did mention that it would not always be like this.  But today, it was a bit hard.

I don’t like it when people tell me that I had a right to be angry, that I must have been quite upset, or sad.  It makes me pity myself, or makes me absorbed into an extreme state of self-centredness.  I usually end up crying then, because I either feel relief, or, I don’t know, some kind of explosion of emotions, but I do not like to feel that way — angry or sad or whatever I must have felt, or deserved to feel, etc.  I do not like being angry with someone.  I do not like to feel that I somehow have an excuse to feel a certain strong way that lets me find causes for my behaviour in excuses..  Some of it may be true and/or helpful, but for the most part, I have just dealt away with them through my life, and here I am.  But then, problems to emerge and re-emerge, and in some way it means it would be good for me to work things out.  I am lost right now, and have been unhappy for years, so as much as I am used to being this way, I do need to change.  I guess it is nice to have someone to speak to on a regular basis.

When she asked me what cello meant to me, I really didn’t know what to say — I just cried.  It is not that I regret my choice entirely.   I did have valid, pressing reasons for me to leave it, at least at the time, under those circumstances that had accumulated over the years.  It was more the sense of loss that is hard to deal with, and the function / role it plays / used to play in my life, what it means for me that way.  It is a symbol of much of my life, and it is a mirror — it shows everything for me, and speaks everything for me.  When she compared it to my grandfather, well, I wasn’t really convinced of that sort of analogizing or comparison, but they are similar in that they were my rock, and they were taken away from me, though partly through my own will.

I don’t know how much crying is ahead or whether I could handle it, or whether all that is beneficial to me.  But I have also observed in myself over the years the capacity (unfortunately and fortunately) to coast along in pretended oblivion and unconcern, a sort of inertia where I make myself numb and things feel ok, though nothing is being done, and I am sinking.  I think being emotionally honest with myself is important.  I can’t pretend to live in a paradise when things are going shit. I don’t want to dramatize my life, because I really do hate that, the maudlinness, the sentimentality, and I don’t believe it is all too helpful either, even though you are meant to work out even that anger or whatever else you are entitled to feel.  I do want to put feelings aside on the one hand, because I can’t live in the past or any other box — but at the same time, I see that certain important questions about myself and what I want out of my life do keep getting lost, pushed down, and obliterated, even though I feel that that is blocking me from living my life as a full, authentic self in a way that makes me happy.  I need an honest, constant someone to discuss that with even when I don’t want to — because I need to.  Or maybe I don’t need to, and I will figure out that I don’t need to by talking these things out.

Not sure whether I feel better now that I have written all of that down.  But, at least I felt strongly something, and that is, well, something, since I am so dead anyway.  I am exhausted from that crying, though it was only for a few seconds at a time — I mentioned how exhausting it is for me to cry like that earlier.  So.  I hope my comment paper that I submitted today is ok — I liked what I had to comment on, though it was a bit long and convoluted and perhaps not too clear on the specifics of its thesis.  It could perhaps have been better, but then, it was all right, and I intend to continue this way.. just getting some work done.  It does not need to be perfect, and I don’t have the time to be fussy about things.  Mostly it will just be Bs, like most things in law school if you just put in a decent amount of effort (other than exams — of which I have one this time, Evidence).  I have a lot of work to do.  I will now look at what the next reading to comment on is in History & Theory of Int’l Law, and if it isn’t too much I will start reading that.  I also need to write something for Legal Archaeology.  I wish I found it more interesting.  I also have my upper year thesis, and I am really going nowhere on that.  So many things to do.  I also have a job app deadline on Friday, and four others for the end of the month.  Phone calls need to be made tomorrow to inform some people of the date change for a meeting w/ a minister, and an email to be sent out to confirm a gig and to deliver a personal message.  I cannot believe there are only fourteen days left in this month.  But what can I do?  One day at a time.

Gentle persons and gentle music bring peace & offer a refuge to the mind.

I love you, Ravel.

Arturo Bendedetti Michelangeli with Sergiu Celibidache, performing the beautiful second movement of the Piano Concerto in G Major by Maurice Ravel, the watchmaker, the gentle Impressionist who soothes the soul & brings a welcome reverie to the soul. It is a refuge.

Another performance by Martha Argerish, with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmoniker:

I can’t remember when the first time I got to listen to this piece was, but it struck me so intensely with its beauty, and it still does today. I have many memories attached to this piece, particularly this second movement. One of them is of a girl friend of mine who had passed out from an exhausting episode (details tastefully saved), whom I took care of in my dorm room in my sophomore year in college.

She lay in my roommate’s bed, and I played this music / this music was playing on the stereo. It was peaceful, amidst a distressing circumstance, though there was much drama that was a result of some exaggerated actions and responses, which made it not such a threatening situation to begin with. I looked down at my friend, sitting by her, and caressed away the hair that had fallen across her forehead. She looked like a baby, sleeping like that after a traumatic episode, and I just sat there, for hours.

When she woke up, it was as if nothing had happened, much like a clear rest of the day after a gentle, quiet, but persistent afternoon shower had swept over the streets. The green of the trees was vivid, the cloudless sky hanging over the streets with a freshly washed face. It was all quite gentle, and I was grateful for that gentleness. Sometimes it is comforting just to know that another being had enough delicateness in his mind to caress every unsuspected ripple and wave of your emotions. So, thank you Ravel, for your gentleness. Gentleness allows us to surrender.

“Comfortable seat”

Comfortable seat.

Calm.

..

battling fear, handling disappointments, not being threatened, living together. achievable little steps, not being afraid, moving together, staying calm.

.

I think the day I find a job, I might be quite happy.

Back to resume-revising.

Listening to Gesualdo does calm me down. That’s great. Very tired, sleep schedule off. Feel that there is something tightening its hands around my chest, making it hard to breathe, and making me feel quite miserable indeed. Not sure if this has a legit cause, because the reaction thereof then is pretty extreme, or if this is a symptom caused by my lack of sleep. Chicken or egg — what came before?

Life is no joke. Limited time. Waste does make you pay, even if that was your best.

Back to resume revising & cover-letter writing.