I love this poem so much. I remember it from last year and the year before that’s Spanish classes. I love the quirky personality revealed, the “I would never bring an umbrella or parachute.” I agree with this poem completely. It just moves me that Borges was an old man when he wrote this, and that he wrote it to the young people, for whom there is still time.

If I could live again my life,
In the next – I’ll try,
– to make more mistakes,
I won’t try to be so perfect,
I’ll be more relaxed,
I’ll be more full – than I am now,
In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously,
I’ll be less hygienic,
I’ll take more risks,
I’ll take more trips,
I’ll watch more sunsets,
I’ll climb more mountains,
I’ll swim more rivers,
I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been,
I’ll eat more ice creams and less (lime) beans,
I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live
prudent and prolific lives -
each minute of his life,
Of course that I had moments of joy – but,
if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments,

If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of,
Don’t lose the now!

I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umbrella and without a parachute,

If I could live again – I will travel light,
If I could live again – I’ll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till the end of autumn,
I’ll ride more carts,
I’ll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live – but now I am 85,
– and I know that I am dying …

Attributed to Jorge Luis Borges*

 

Ha, I haven’t updated for so long that WordPress has gotten a new format! Oh, dear. I can only laugh in consternation.

So. This summer’s been terribly busy – in a good way. Now it’s tennis preseason – the first week has just ended, and it’s gotten me simultaneously exhausted and revved up for tomorrow, when we play a scrimmage against 3 other very good teams.

Let’s just say that for tennis, every morning we run for at least two miles (Tuesday was 5+, for example), and I’m not a runner. I’ve never been a runner, but as I get into it and get past the dislike of running and the strain of your aching muscles, I’ve come to appreciate the rhythm, the sense of focus you get. Today we did cardio for 20 minutes around the track, and I felt calm all the way, knowing I did a longer run on Tuesday in town and it was over unsmooth surfaces, and today was smooth and with the satisfaction of knowing I could do it. It was ineffable. Usually I don’t get a rush from physical exercise, I guess. Tennis is more of a competitive thing – 90% mental, 10% physical, they say. But running is physical, at least for me, at least for starters. So it’s good, this getting slightly used to it.

Haven’t been writing poetry as much – maybe three or four this entire summer. But I know I’ll feel the inspiration, when it comes, and just seize the moment then. It’ll be fine. (Can you tell I’ve gotten more relaxed?)

Songs I’m listening to:

Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) by Katy Perry – because it’s Friday!!!!
Simple Things by Amy Kuney – b/c it’s the song from Michelle Phan’s most recent video (lotion masks?) and it’s a great song to calm down to. That, and Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson.
Gold Guns Girls by Metric – it was stuck in my head – the line “Is it ever gonna be enough?” Great song.
Once Upon A… by j meridian. It sounds folksy. It’s a boy-girl duet, talking about damsels in distress/heroes, etc.

Peace out!

.via yahoo.com for more photos, and Natsumi Hayashi’s blog.

This is amazing. I only wish I could devote my time and energy to something this intense, awe-inspiring. I know – accomplishments can be quieter. So I will have a quieter sort of breakthrough, with poetry as my grad project. I absolutely love Jim Moore’s right now.

Succinct, every word counting.

I had this conversation with my friend and confidante a few days ago, about Spanish: ‘L’ is me and ‘A’ is her, Amelia.
 
L: [I]sn’t this the most wonderful thing you’ve read? ‘Eres perfecta aunque tu lo niegues. Me haces la persona más feliz del mundo.’ Spanish can be so beautiful.
 
A: Las poemas de esta lenguaje son las más bellas. No me gusta traducerlas porque, a mí, parece que para hacer eso es para desmerecer mucho significado de ellas. Deseo hablar el español con fluidez.
 
L: Si, estoy de acuerdo. Espero que pronunciar este lenguaje mas bien, tambien. Cuando veo espanol en el papel, me gusta mucho porque el voz espanol en mi cabeza siempre es fluente y tiene tranquilidad. Es mas fluido que chino, por ejemplo, o ingles. Me encanta el vocabulario de ingles, y me encanta el sonido de espanol.
jajaja.

A: Sí, exactamente. Es una (un?) lenguaje perfecta en mi cabeza. Las palabras son tan bellas. y, jajajajaja

Hopefully the Spanish is right. On Spanish Literature, I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez (the dentist and the mayor story, “light is like water”, 100 years of solitude (have yet to read that), Pablo Neruda (on his poem…long nights or something – I have to read again), Borges (his “if I could live life anew right now” touches my heart).

I love Spanish.

I must have been listening to some deep echoing in my heart, some echo of the future, when I chose Spanish instead of French to study in 7th grade. Both languages are beautiful, as they are of Romantic descent, but I’m inherently glad I chose Spanish. Perhaps it’s the old sentiment that once you choose something, you feel more strongly towards it, but nevertheless.

Last year for a time Spanish wasn’t going anywhere and I wanted to take French. Those days are over…I still want to study French, though. I want to study many languages, lenguajes.

I’m listening to: Once Upon A… by j meridian.

After watching this video about an owl befriending a (pussy)cat, I was immediately reminded of this Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat:

I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
    Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
    And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
      What a beautiful Pussy you are,
          You are,
          You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’
II
Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
    How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
    But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
    To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
    With a ring at the end of his nose,
          His nose,
          His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
    Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


.via nonsenselit.

Incidentally, the last line “they danced to the light of the moon” is a rising rhythm, which places the emphasis on the last syllable of each foot. And furthermore, this line and the introduction to rising rhythm in 9th grade inspired my poem feeding clouds (previous post). It’s all a cycle that keeps churning out reminiscings & musings, even after the initial inspiration has been accounted for.

Lear’s poem reminds me of Louis Sachar’s Holes poem about the wolf and the woodpecker, which I remember from several years ago b/c my best friend Helen had it written on a picture of the wolf and woodpecker…I love its rhythm:

“If only, if only,” the woodpecker sighs,/ “The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies.”/ While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely,/ Crying to the moo-oo-oon,/ If only, If only.”
Louis Sachar (Holes)
 
…Which further reminds me of the World War II song from Vera Lynn, because it was in Katherine Patterson’s book Jacob Have I Loved:
 
‘There’ll be bluebirds over, the White Cliffs of Dover, Tomorrow, Just you wait and see.

                                       There’ll be love and laughter, and PEACE ever after, Tomorrow, 

                                                                                                                                                        When the World is free.’

Pollen, itchiness, redness, swollenness, CON-GES-TION. All things that this weather brings. I don’t need to mention how much I dislike this weather, it’s quite schizophrenic, the first hour moderate and a little cool, gets you thinking you could wear spring clothes, then drizzling as you get off the bus, trying to walk sedately, dodging the raindrops. Every day, it’s the same glum day – save for the two noon hours of glorious and spurious sunshine.

Three years ago I didn’t have allergies. Everyone’s saying this year, the allergies are the worst.

Oh, and

Rapture, today! I went to church last Sunday, the first in a long time: not because of “Rapture”, but because I was in the dumps and sought enlightenment. I liked it. I would have liked a little more involvement, but the Christian band was  inspiring, and I loved the literary analysis (not quite literary, but quite analytical) about Nehemiah, and his being a great leader.

Thetical
haiku

thin man, thin woman
sleeveless, calm, two eastern winds
tidy as textiles.


note: poetry is time-stamped.

on this picture: i wanna live here. travel. middlewest, breadbasket.

Right now, I’m free as a bird, and feeling quite confined. I’m done the hard testing – U.S. History, Chem, Calculus. English next Wednesday, though I plan to look over the review books a little. English should be fine, out of all of them. Oh, and “atape” or “ATAPE” is an acronym for “After the AP Exams.” Original, huh. 

My God! Two+ months of studying, and I’m finally done. I guess this is the “waiting period,” now. I just…yeah. I wrote so many poems – or it seems like it, since I always reverted to that inner place whenever I had a break from studying…it kept me sane, yet I can’t seem to stop.


.from goodreads.

I’m reading A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. I love it. I hate the subject. I am pierced by her scathing, pleasantries-less style of confrontation. I completely agree with her…yet there’s nothing to “agree” upon. It is what it is. America came in, conquered these territories, named them “protectorates,” or otherwise “Americanized” these small native islands…I learned about T. Roosevelt’s “Big Stick” policy, about how the “Pacific Ocean looks more like an American lake,” and it sickens me, thinking back about it. There should be some other way, to be a world power. Some other way…if not more peaceful, at least less conformist. Kincaid speaks of how the tourism industry affects Antigua, changing it from the “Old Antigua.” How the library she once loved has a sign hanging over it, with the words “Will repair in 1937″ or something or the other. It saddens me, is shocking.

I want to be in a calm place, but feel freer.

listening to I Want Tears, Michelle Branch

.from writergrl.

I love a huge stack of paper and writing utensils. I love them. You could become a writer by just loving white paper and a pen or a pencil…

clean, clean feeling.

I’m finally editing my NaNoWriMo work from last (2010) year. It’s been too long. I’ve only rewritten – as in, put in a new character already, driven the entire story – ENTIRE. STORY – off the tracks – and it’s only been 1,000 words.

I’ve realized that excerpt about the woman and the childhood swings I posted weeks earlier wasn’t that good. I distanced myself and read it. I’ll have to edit it, but whatever. The Caldry/Malcolm story first. Yes, yes.

Also, a sure sign I am the victim of an extravagant obsession with vocabulary. I go to Thesaurus.com all the time for my writing/editing, and I went today and I saw this little blurb that said: Use smarter words: What’s a four-syllable synonym for small? and it had the link fro the four-letter word and before I clicked it and it loaded I thought in my head: small…pecunious (which isn’t even a word), diminutive…and it turned out to be ‘diminutive.’

And then the same thing happened when it said “Think of a four-syllable word for ‘happy.'” I thought of halcyon, joyful, jocund, jocular (none of these are four-syllable-d), and then convivial (randomly, I don’t even really know what it means) and then ecstatic. And it turned out to be convivial.

Things just keep on happening.

sometimes you read a book and all previous sense and experience is ripped from you. what i do cannot be called writing; it may be the basest form of recalling your own feelings onto paper; it is certainly not…writing…a novel, such as The Fountainhead. i could go on for days telling about this book and i am only halfway through, but to tell for days is meaningless. i can only say that through the central character of this story, who exhibits no emotion and who does not bend himself to society, is someone who redefines all sense of self, who is not a “martyr” – Dominique said that saying that would give more credit to his enemies, which it shouldn’t do… who is someone who is a heroic figure, without having heroic qualities. all i can say is i was not interested in architecture before this book; i am now; i was not interested in the intricacies of things happening to a stoic man; i am and forever will be now.

my song these days:

A Silent Film

.from ihO.

Meanwhile, I’d been wasting time, though in a better way than most, with this Great Gastby online game. My English teacher tried to forward it to those deities of the English department, and, like a martyr, had it contain a virus or something or the other.

I spent some while beating it…

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

.from coventrypublicschools.

I believe this may be the most beautfiul ending line ever, though the meaning that the narrator, Nick Carraway, implies is far from idyllic. Here he is, the friend of him dead, his half-romance torn asunder by he himself. I remember two years ago I saw the book in a library and, since I’d heard of it before even back then, I wanted to read it. I guess the thick first few lines dissuaded me. I recall I was looking for something more fast-paced (the first few chapters of The Great Gatsby were heavily world-building), so opted for James Patterson’s Fourth of July. If I’d known the discrepancy between those two back then…

But luckily it was a school assignment :P. I read The Great Gatsby a month or two ago in English class and my friend’s blogging about it recently evinced the memories I had when I was reading it.

There is another great line that I can’t find online…it’s Nick, describing some vestige of some thought he has that has the sense of great important around it. I think it goes something like this, with more language: But it disapppeared, and what was once communicable was lost forever.

I think F. Scott Fitzgerald is a writer of great pathos and tragedy and I think some lines in his book are the best in mankind.

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