Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Hurricane

"As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord when You awake, You shall despise their image." Psalm 73:20

I had a dream years ago. How long ago that dream was, I can't say. I do know that it must have been after I awoke because I remember it clearly. I have since understood the dream as being revealed in my waking life, so it has changed in my understanding from a dream to a reality while remaining the same in its entirety. I only know One Storyteller who weaves a simple narrative into a beautiful complexity. He is my Lord, and He alone can tell this story of the Hurricane dream. In fact, I am forbidden to speak the dialog I had with the voice that answered mysteries concerning the Hell fire. I am confident that had I been allowed to remember the words that were spoken to me as I looked down on that pit, any soul that heard them would be assured of the truth of that place. So, after all, I am not the best one to ask about what happened in that dream, all though I was there...conscious the entire time. However, I must put something down to make sense of what is happening as I am living in that dream while awake.

If, immediately upon waking, I were asked to describe where that dream took place, I would have answered in my old elementary school gym. In fact, that is how I began to describe the setting before I knew where it truly was. The fact of the matter is that the place that I found myself inside in that dream had not been built as of the time of the dream. Well, that is not entirely correct either. The place had not been restored to its original, in reality, it sat divided in an entirely different state then the one in my dream.

Not knowing that I was dreaming of a future location, my mind raced to find something I could describe that place as, so I called it what I knew at the time. It looked like a large open room with a hardwood floor(ie a gymnasium) although I later learned that the floor is actually sealed cork, a fact that was perhaps not even known to the architect that would design the future room, yet. However, not knowing that the room was a restored 100 year old Grand reading room (because that idea didn't exist in my mind yet) I clung to the fact that it was my old elementary school gymnasium.

The setting of my old gymnasium didn't quite fit with the place I found myself in inside the dream because of the giant windows that looked out onto a beautiful array of trees. Also, there were dozens of old study tables that lined the center of the room. I am not sure how my interpretation of the setting effected the telling of the dream. Perhaps it is like a father telling a night story to a child. As the father tells the story, the child pipes in that there are certain points he is missing. If it is night then there must be a big sleepy moon in the sky, the child says. And the father allows the child to add to the story in that way, without effecting the narrative, only embellishing details that make it more accessible to the child. In that way they share in the creative processes.

I believe that is what my Lord has done with me. I thought it was my gymnasium from elementary school, and I said then there must be my gym teacher who we called Mr. B. He always had his whistle. And there he stood guarding the doorway to the grand reading room. as I entered it through the hallway to my old gymnasium, he blew his whistle and told me to take off my shoes. I noticed a pile of shoes next to the door, and he indicated to me that mine belonged among the pile. The pile reminded me of black and white photos I had seen of piled shoes from the holocaust.

As I walked into the room, barefoot, I saw that the only light coming into that massive open space was through the windows opposite of the entryway. The windows in the grand reading room are two stories tall, providing enough light for the entire room, the light stretches across the room at the different angles of the day. And, no one in the room seems to notice or care about the beauty of the space. I often stare out of windows, enchanted by the creation on the other side. People look at me, and then try to see what I am looking at, and then grow bored and snap back into their own being.

These windows were so special. I had never seen any windows like them when I was dreaming of them. And now that I have seen them I would agree that they are special. I look at them from the outside as I walk into the library, as they show the warm light of reflected sunrises with floating clouds above me. And, when I am inside the building I see that they are amazing to look out of in view of the seasons with the trees that are immediately outside the library. There are trees from all over the world that are planted outside those windows. I would stare out those windows, if I didn't feel oppressed by the people in that room, studying.

After noticing the windows and the scenery outside them, I next noticed that the room was full of people who had their backs to those windows. They were all seated facing the door I had just walked in. In fact, they had all just watched me take off my shoes. I had the feeling that I was holding them up from starting something. As I eyed the roomful of people, each at their own table, sitting perfectly still and silent, I noticed an old friend named Amy. I walked up to her and gushed about the past and how great life was and is.

I have known Amy since we were 5 years old. I say We because were were born only a few days apart. When I was six years old, I heard the story of Jonah in Sunday school, I was excited and wanted to tell all of my friends about the man that lived for three days inside a giant fish. Amy heard the story from me, too. She was confused and asked me if I got the hero's name wrong. She was confident that I was speaking about Pinocchio, the Disney cartoon. My heart sank as I realized how hard to reach with the amazing truth she had already become through counterfeiting. That night before bedtime I prayed a prayer that would get answered 25 years later. I prayed that I could share my Lord with Amy.

In the dream I approached Amy as we were children again. We both lit up in expression, not noticing the stuffy cold atmosphere around us in the gym. Perhaps the other people were listening in as we shared our stories about life. Then I heard a whistle blown from my "gym teacher" and he yelled at me to take my place seated in the back row against the windows. I was confused, as I didn't know how a place could be set for me, not even knowing what was happening in the room at the time. As I scanned around me it appeared that each person who was seated had a pencil and paper in front of them. I immediately realized that they were waiting to take some sort of test, and I had stumbled in, unknown, and held them up while I fumbled with my shoes and chatted with my old friend.

When I was 18 years old, I drove home from a high-school graduation party, drunk. I didn't want my parents to smell the alcohol on me, so I decided to stay out longer to sober up before my curfew. I took the long way home that wound around the base of the hill I lived on. Just before I was to cross the river and go past the cemetery, I decided to stop and turn around. My decision led to my arrest for DUI. When I finally got home, my sister beat me up. She said that she had a dream that I was in a fatal car accident in front of that cemetery. She said that she just knew the dream was a premonition,as she cried and beat me she said that I should be dead.

Amy called me sobbing on the phone. We hadn't spoken like this in 25 years. She said that she couldn't forgive herself and I led her to Jesus, my Lord. She was born again, a new creature. She started attending the childhood church of her husband Andrew. It is a church in Northern Kentucky called St. Andrews.

When I was born again with the spirit of my Lord inside me, I became aware of the spiritual struggle in my life. I had a dream that evil spirits were chasing me down to destroy me. In the dream, I stopped running from them in fear and turned to confront them with a question: "What about St. Andrews?". The spirits fled away, scared of something in that statement that was far more powerful then them.

7 years after my DUI, I returned to the scene of the crime, a new creature. I drove all the way to where I had turned around before the bridge. This time I decided to keep going, to pass the cemetery. As I looked over I was stunned to find that the cemetery was named "St. Andrews".

In the Grand reading room I found my place in the dream. I sat down, uncomfortably, wishing that my place was facing the opposite direction, so that I could be looking out the beautiful windows at the trees outside of them. However, I didn't want to cause any further disturbance by turning my chair to the other side of the table. I noticed how all 50 or so tables and chairs had been properly organized like perfect squares, spaced out evenly across the sealed cork floor (that at the time I thought was hardwood).

Perhaps this was done for the test, I thought. People needed space so that no one could be accused of cheating. After all, what good is a mental competition of individual merit if people are sharing results? Mr. B blew his whistle in short bursts and everyone perked up. "Listen up." he shouted to an echo as it rang again and again through the giant two story room. The Grand reading room seems to have been designed to create echoes. Everything in the room is hard and unbending to sound. The placing of a pencil on a table can result in an echo. Mr. B's voice was far beyond the intended volume for that space. The echoes of his voice were also louder then the peaceful level required to not disturb the entire grand reading room.

He told us to take our tests out of the manila envelope's on our tables. He had all kinds of instructions about how to open the envelope and how to organize our papers and pencils. I followed along as long as I could, hoping to catch his attention later to explain the mistake that had been made in my sitting for this exam. However, there was no break in his instructions that got ever more detailed and overbearing as he began to tell us all how we should write our names on the paper in an certain way.

The stress that was caused by this exam flew out of Mr.B's mouth like an invisible dragon, flying in loops over the heads of the test takers, then sitting on their shoulders as they hunched, listening to his every word. The over-burden of his commands became so large that I began to giggle to myself. There was no way that I could take part in this competition. I hung in as long as I understood what his words intended, but then he told us to get out these strange slide rulers that had been prepared at each table. It seems that we were each being asked to use the rulers to write our names on the front of the test. It would not do if we each had our own hand writing, so we would have to identically use the rulers to write our names.

I struggled to understand how to use the ruler, it had an axis that could rotate to various angles that he instructed us on. He began teaching how each letter of the alphabet was different angles on the ruler, but I missed what he said about the capital letter "A". Being named Adam, I needed that letter to complete my name on the test, and there was no stopping his instruction to ask him to repeat. I gave up trying to write my name and slowly turned around to look out the window at the trees.

Mr. B's voice and echoes continued, but softened as I replaced my attention to the beautiful creation outside the windows. I prayed a prayer of worship to my Lord for creating such beauty as the sky changed to imperial violet over head. It was the last sunset, and the other people in the room were missing it. At the time, I didn't know that it was the last sunset, but I did know it was the most special event I had ever witnessed. When I had filled my heart to over-flowing with praise for what was happening before my eyes, I slowly turned back around to the exam.

Mr. B had finished instructing the exam-takers on which angles to use for the slide rulers to write their names. He was now beginning on how to unseal the test booklet. I was looking for any break in his instruction that I could excuse myself from the room politely. My soul longed to go outside and converse with the maker of that sunset as I watched it slowly change colors. I wanted to feel the breeze and hear the birds sing their praises. But, I had to sit patiently, as Mr. B did not let up in his instruction on how to unseal the glue to reveal the first page of the test.

I must admit that as a child I was intimidated by Mr. B. However, I had long since grown past that fear, and was only remaining seated out of a loving respect for the man, and the other people who were diligently trying to pay attention to his unceasing detailed instruction. Indeed, it seemed that the people following his words had all grown weary, before the test had even started.

The test did start though, I noticed mainly because Mr. B stopped talking. The room was far more silent then I though silence could be. Perhaps this was because it was no longer ringing with echoes. I was about to get up from my seat and attempt to leave in silence when Mr. B's hand slapped down on the name sheet I hadn't filled out. It seemed that he had noticed me the entire time, as I gazed out the window. How he had not been more interested in the last sunset I will never know. But, he was glaring at me for my insubordination and clear lack of order in following his instruction. He whispered threats at me that I should quickly open my test and begin, that each phase of the test was critically timed, and I had fallen behind already.

When I was young I climbed trees. My house was on a cul-de-sac surrounded by forest on every side. It didn't take much effort to find a suitable tree to climb. I was a good climber, and light in weight. I would spend hours hiding in the top branches of a tree. Tree branches get smaller as you climb to the top, I knew it was important to recognize the smallest branch size that would hold my weight.

When I got as high as the tree would allow me, I would wedge my foot into the natural y shape made by the branch as it meets the trunk of the tree. If I wedged my feet in far enough, it didn't take much effort to stay supported and keep from falling. I could spend hours up in the top of a tree, feeling the gentle sway as the wind blew.

I remember looking down at the world and feeling completely secure and hidden. I never met a tree in my childhood, that given enough time and entry branches low enough to the ground, I would climb it. They were all different, all amazing, challenging puzzles to climb. I climbed all kinds of trees, even sticky and sharp pines. Some trees took hours to master. I can look back now and say I had a great relationship with trees in my childhood.

Back in my dream, Mr. B backed away from my table as I opened up the test. His eyes never left me as I read the first question. The question was about trees. There was an image of a tree, drawn by a computer in black and white. It was a smooth oak tree with very little detail added in. The question asked something like how many carbon-based molecules are inside this structure. The question didn't even use the word tree, it called the oak a structure. Fortunately, for me, this question multiple choice. I looked down at the possible answers and chose one by guessing. However, I was unable to figure out how to write down the answer on the paper because I had to use the complex slide ruler.

I wasn't frustrated, but I was done pretending to take the test. I got up from my chair and walked to the door. As I glanced out the giant windows again at the trees behind the test-takers, I thought it a shame that they should be tested to know what a tree is made of without being able to appreciate it for its beauty. Turning back around, I was almost out the door when I heard Mr. B's whistle echo behind me. He told me to put my shoes on. I had completely forgotten that I didn't have shoes on, dreams are strange in that you don't feel the cold floor under your feet. I was looking through the pile for my own shoes when my Lord told me to look out the window.

My perspective from the windows had changed, I was further from them now, with a room full of people sitting, testing between myself and the windows. There are 5 giant rectangular windows in the grand reading room. Each giant window is made up of 40 smaller rectangular windows. This creates a cross-work pattern of light and darkness between the glass and framework of the giant windows. Each smaller rectangle is its own little window, but from far away, they split the landscape behind them into hundreds of masterpieces.

Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven will wear away, And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll; All their hosts will also wither away As a leaf withers ...

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matthew 25:13

I remember thinking the comforting irony of how the world was ending, so I shall never be to blame for not finding my shoes in that massive pile.

As I looked at the windows for the last time, under the instruction of my Lord, The little rectangles showed the sunset had turned golden amber. Then, some of the smaller rectangular windows began to turn black. That is they turned blacker then night, completely void of light, into darkness. The action of these windows turning void reminded me of a hurricane pulling shingles off of a roof. One, two, three became void...there was missing reality behind the test-takers and none of them noticed at all. The change happened quicker then the eye could see erasing pieces of the creation behind the test-takers.

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:2

I tried to make a sound of warning to the test takers, but didn't find my voice. I watched as people were erased, the event had sped up and moved from just the window panes to now all of what I could see. Blocks of reality seemingly flew away into pitch black, I was in awe of the scene as I watched the last test-takers still focused on their task at hand, were erased completely. Then I asked if I should be erased as well. I felt sin being pulled out of me violently. I was being torn apart. My mind was being pruned like an over-grown tree. I remember specifically seeing a branch removed from my mind that represented everything that I knew about speaking Spanish.

Perhaps it was my foolish pride, but I felt the urge to hold onto my knowledge of speaking Spanish. Even now, in describing the event, I still call it "my" knowledge as if it is mine to keep, like I earned it or something. I reached out to grab the branch and felt like I was being pulled away with it. My Lord asked me to think of my friend Fred and how he would view such an event. I immediately laughed a humbling laugh and watched Spanish go away with a ironic smile. I thought of how ironic this event is to the humble man who can see it clearly. All the work I put in was done for the wrong reason, so that knowledge had become sinful and would lead to my destruction if not pulled off of me by my loving Father.

The thought then comforted me that I would be able to experience the reality of who God is in my own being as I lived in my newly pruned body and mind. That is, I would know what God approves of first-hand by being pruned by Him, I would become approved. I would then be a little reflection of what God calls good. That though comforted me as the pruning continued. When it was finished, I felt like a little child who needs to completely trust in a parent who knows better. I was humbled. I felt like I had just given up my toys, and trusted it was for a good reason because I loved the One who took them away. My thoughts became simple.

"So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" Matthew 18:4

The only question that I asked my Lord was: "Where did it all go?" He showed me. He moved me without any effort of my own. I remember feeling nothing at all, so sense of motion. Everything was black.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

in love we trust

Adam Dorsey
Chinese 505
Research Paper

In Love We Trust: individual pursuits of happiness

The film "In Love We Trust" by Wang XiaoShuai is a film filled with emptiness. There is the empty Beijing cityscape in deep focus that allows the camera to show acres of bulldozed land around the frames of empty high rises. Director Wang returns to these Beijing shots as a constant theme of empty space develops throughout the narrative of the film. The film begins and ends with a car trip through the maze of urban landscape; the camera lens is ever tinted as a soft blue grey that draws the attention to the polluted grey of the Beijing sky. The camera never escapes the concrete of Beijing to offer any alternative view of landscape; this gives the film a secluded urban feel.
It becomes quite clear that director Wang is intentionally filming the city with as few people in the shots as possible, allowing for the theme of emptiness to permeate through the cityscape just as if a permanent setting of the film. This is a statement made in contemporary China that contrasts the romantic socialist past. Director Wang is making a statement about how individual pursuit has impacted collective well-being.
We ride along on the subway as it carries the characters through Beijing with the camera always pointed out the subway window toward the rolling empty streets and seemingly abandoned buildings lining empty neighborhoods. The camera seems to avoid the people of the city as one's eye avoids contact with a stranger's. A soft piano plays while this landscape moves by outside the subway car window, speaking to the dampened psyche that develops inside such an empty place.
The seemingly empty buildings that rise out of the empty bulldozed lots have been built, in part, by the characters that Wang presents in the film. We are introduced to Xiao Lu as he is on the site of a tower being constructed. Again, Wang focuses the camera's eye on the empty frame of the building that is being raised from the cleared earth. Xiao Lu works in the construction of these empty buildings as a project manager. Xiao Lu's job is one at which he is constantly on call and lives between heated arguments over building materials. He uses a cell phone to negotiate deals at all hours.
Xiao Lu works on the outside of the frames of these buildings separate from and his ex-wife, Mei Zhu who works inside the new buildings, selling spacious, empty apartments. Mei Zhu works in real estate and walks couples through empty rooms. She leads buyers through these empty spaces in attempt to fill them as homes. Director Wang XiaoShuai uses the frames of the empty rooms to separate the characters in the film. This is one way that the director uses inside the film to expose the new reality of life in China as an isolated existence. While it is true that the material comfort, represented by the spacious apartment, is a positive thing; isolation can occur as a result of the over-pursuit of material comfort.
The blank walls of the empty rooms become dividing lines that isolate the characters inside the apartments. Mei Zhu is never able to close a deal for selling apartment number 2007. The potential buyers comment that they think the space is too big. The camera remains below Mei Zhu and blocked by a wall from the space of 2007, leaving the viewer to imagine the empty rooms. Mei Zhu uses a cell phone from inside this isolated space, to connect with her family and home.
While the theme of emptiness permeates the film, cell phones are an important medium to traverse the empty spaces between people. The symbol of the cell phone is told as a riddle between Lao Xie and HeHe: "With tens of thousands of miles in between, everything can be heard clearly". The cell phone appears as a vehicle that transmits through emptiness.
Cell phones appear frequently through the film, as a means of detached communication. This contemporary form of communication is a break away from the face to face communication of the past, a point driven further home by the reality that contemporary China is moving away from its socialist past and becoming more and more a nation of isolated individuals.
The use of cell phones allows for nameless and faceless characters to enter into the narrative. The cell phone also works to bring two separate scenes together through the emptiness of the narrative surrounding them. In fact, the point is made that the cell phone can operate without even any meaning or intention in its call. Mei Zhu accidentally "pocket dials" home on two occasions, with one of these occasions allowing her husband, Lao Xie to hear her adultery in action. The cell phone becomes a type of objective observer of the narrative that is able to transmit through the empty space of the setting. The cell phone is able to connect the characters in scene, while remaining independent of actual human connectedness.
Traveling through miles of empty space continues as a theme of the film. Xiao Lu's current wife, Dong Fan is an airline stewardess. As a stewardess, she traverses the globe through the empty firmament above the horizon. Her job would appear to be enviable to the average person. However, when Lao Xie (Mei Zhu's current husband) comments that Dong Fan's job must be great to travel, Dong Fan answers him with an uncomfortable smile and blank stare. A job, it seems, can not fill the empty void in her life. Dong Fan longs to be rooted with a family, her heart is not comforted by her enviable job position.
As Dong Fan and Xiao Lu ride an escalator through a posh Beijing mall, the camera pauses on a showcase of Golden paw-waving cats. The excess in this case is humorous as the film turns toward the emptiness created through unchecked capitalism. It could have been a healthy capitalist pursuit that built the empty towers and bulldozed the land. Perhaps it is the same excess in pursuit of money that allows the golden cats to wave at Dong Fan in the mall.
As the cats are grinning in their perpetual wave, Xiao Lu tells the cell phone in his hand that money is not a problem with the construction bid, but he is not on the work site because of a family problem. And, as the narrative shapes around the emptiness in two families, the viewer is aroused to the dilemma of the family problem spoken by Xiao Lu.
Dong Fan is empty and bored in her discontented stroll through the mall. Her gaze reminds the viewer of another scene in the bedroom of her home. She wants to have a child, to fill her empty womb. However, Xiao Lu has become impotent around her, unable to fill her desire. Their “family” life consists of buying things to fill the emptiness of their home and heart. Dong Fan reminds Xiao Lu that he is already a father from his previous marriage, and she too would like to have a child in her life.
Children are seen as symbols of happiness inside the film. It is the disease of Hehe, Xiao Lu's only child that drives the entire narrative. The only time that there is any laughter in the film is when Hehe is on screen. The blank stares of the adult characters liven up to full smiles as she touches them.
The film begins with a still shot of an empty entryway that is filled with the playful laughter of Hehe, Lao Xie, and Mei Zhu as they leave their apartment. The same empty entryway is shown at the end of the film as it is filled by a class full of happy children on their way to wish Hehe well in recovery from leukemia. This is a way for director Wang to complete the theme of childhood happiness that runs through the film.
Hehe's leukemia is a symbol of trouble plaguing contemporary Beijing life; A hollowed out existence. Leukemia literally empties bones of marrow. The question: "who will save Hehe?" is a central question to the film. The means that the film's characters are willing to go through to save Hehe presents the larger dilemma of emptiness in contemporary life. Relationships are seen as removable constructs that are only detrimental toward the individual pursuits of happiness.
In a post-modern world, value systems have lost there meaning, marriage is just another social construct from an outdated meaning system. So the characters move from marriage to marriage, only pausing as the wake they leave catches up to their discontent. To save Hehe, Mei Zhu is willing to sacrifice two marriages her ex-husband's and her own. Mei Zhu's current pursuit is leading to her future divorce, as in the film, she asks Lao Xie to divorce her while she stares blankly at a television screen. Her words are without feeling "Let's get a divorce" as if they have no meaning.
It is not a coincidence that "In Love We Trust" is a film narrative that comes out of China in 2007. The post-Mao era dealt with the transition between the end of socialist-romanticism and the beginning of a new capitalist-romanticism. That age saw possibilities in the budding economic transition. As those possibilities turned from fresh green to corrupted grey, a new school of thought is developing in urban China. This period of reaction to the trappings of capitalism in China could be called post-romantic capitalism. The film "In Love We Trust" falls squarely in place with this line of thinking as it shows the result of the end of the pursuit of the capitalist dream.
Mainly, the film shows the result of the ethically-unfettered, get-rich-at-any-cost approach to the capitalist life. Much of the film's human setting can be seen as a result of the past pursuits of the characters. The past divorce of Mei Zhu and Xiao Lu is a constant in the film's memory. The divorce is a past decision that haunts the ethics of present film narrative. Like-wise, the abortion of Mei Zhu and Lao Xie's offspring is a haunting decision from the past. This aborted half-sibling for Hehe touches the here and now of the film, offering only a regretful ghost of genetically matched bone marrow salvation.
The characters of the film are caught in pursuit of happiness. Even as they mop up the consequences of past pursuits, they still chase after present idols. So, the characters can be seen as having given up on the emptiness brought about by chasing the golden waving cats for the mantle. This pursuit could be classified as the romantic dream of capitalist happiness in the larger sense.
However, these older, wiser characters have not settled to rest without their current, more middle aged happiness idols: the healthy family life. It is not that a healthy family is a bad thing in itself. But when worshiped as an ends to happiness, even love can be hard master to serve.. The film depicts Mei Zhu turning life upside down to save Hehe, serving her need through adultery. Mei Zhu is willing to sacrifice all for her daughter. In the harshest of light, she is willing to create a life for its umbilical cord blood (think of the future consequences).
Ultimately, these pursuits can lead only to more emptiness, living for ones own happiness. Lao Xie tells Mei Zhu not to cry in front of Hehe, as it is bad for Hehe to see. Then, Mei Zhu spends the rest of her on screen time with Hehe…crying. Mei Zhu saving Hehe is not about Hehe, it is about Mei Zhu living for the gain of her own happiness.
And, emptiness is personified in the film: the emptiness of solitary, isolated existence. Personal emptiness is internalized in the film through slow piano music over close-up camera angles on blank stares. During the hospital scenes, director Wang is even able to erase all expression from the faces of the characters as he places bleach white surgical masks over their noses and mouths. The men are constantly smoking cigarettes, and the camera sees each one as it fills the void of their lungs and disappears into a cloud around the faces. Lao Xie's only moments of individual freedom in the film come when he goes out in pursuit of his next pack of cigarettes.
The film deals with the hard reality of contemporary issues in an objective and non-didactic way. The emptiness that surrounds the characters is presented as the landscape of contemporary city life. The emptiness inside each of them is the relational void, ironically, created by pursuing alternative individual solutions to happiness.
Who will save Hehe is the call to create a new, viable life. Indeed, the genetically matched marrow, to be born from adulterous affair is the only hope provided for Hehe inside the narrative. The viewer is left to question at an objective distance weather the joy in Hehe’s heart can be saved as well. Or will Hehe be saved only to live as an isolated individual pursuing her own private gain, in the contemporary adult world of emptiness.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Statues

"What have you done with yourself? What is your major?" Mr. Green asked. And I assumed he only wanted a word for an answer.
"English" I replied.
"English?" His question dripped with a sarcastic jibe. He had pulled himself up to the circulation desk and met my eyes as if to study me. "What good is English?" he continued in his line. "What accomplishment could come from studying English?"
It was at this point of our "conversation" that I realized that Mr. Green did not want an answer from me. He was using his questions as an argument to change my interests toward his own. I was puzzled and my face showed a question that I refused to ask, mainly out of respect. That was: "Who do you think you are?"
Seeing me in a state of silent questioning, he bridged the gap. "I own Aunt Jamima"

He was a statue man.

स्तातुए में

Accidental Hindu? I pressed a button that I should never have touched. I only did it out of the fancy that some day there would come a use of that transliteration. But that use was just a fantasy and I became trapped inside Hindu fonts that would not go away. Somehow I saved the above title into my blog before I was able to turn the Hindu off. Another small reminder of my uncertain reality as seen through the true reality.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

mist and rivers

A soft, thick mist hangs between the towers like a web blanket slowly lifting off the riverbanks. The sky is turned on like a bulb covered by a translucent screen. Light dosn't stream through, but is caught, dampened, clouded, and released with trimmed edges.

Pulled away from the just waking ground below, and lifted as it bunched together and suddenly was transformed into water that fell back down, that blanket became a process. The rain fell an entire day. There was no sun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Called, disolved, not an one to be dismayed. That king went pop with pills in his head, money, frills, dead. That king went dead, slow suicide paper red. Today, away yesterday's freak, how now holy speak. That king went pop in public space, no more that face. Changing asthetic life that puked on top. Wretched on top. Molested sainity beyond extreme, never to dream land. No more dead ever land, Peter pan is sick. Children to bed fairy-tales are twisted, media insisted. Alone seperated individual are our rights. Vomitous nights. Queer sickly fights. Is this what left the den of theives to shame on? No more gate beautiful to lame on? Just porceline plastic and salesmen sheets. None left retreats, Play boy, play and get your game on. Into this scene let heaven stare. Aware. Alive, awake, sovergn, controlling. Will it to be your son in fullness be applied, this world's air ruler denied. Peace on earth.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It all began when Xin just couldn’t stop scratching her bug bites. Mosquitoes love her, so we thought she was just scratching the normal mosquito bites. These bites were different though. They were in a line on her arms and back. A little research showed they were bedbug bites.
First we spread a powder over every part of her room. We covered the bed, the walls, and the carpeted floor. The powder was supposed to dehydrate any bug that touched it. The problem was it didn’t work; Xin was still being attacked nightly. We were going mad.
The next step was to cover every inch of the bed with sealed plastic. That will get them. We washed the bed with a steam vacuum and sealed it with thick plastic and duct tape. That didn’t work either. The next day Xin got bitten twice. I tried to convince Xin that it wasn’t bedbugs. That was a bad idea, she had already caught one.
As soon as I had thoroughly convinced myself that it was not bedbugs, a bedbug ran across the top of the bed between Xin and me, in plain sight. We had them running, that was good. It was filled with blood, which was bad.
I began to research bedbugs. I wanted to know everything about them. How and what they ate, what they liked, where they lived, what they dreamed about. One thing was sure; they didn’t like 106 degrees Fahrenheit. They are like us; they felt feverish at over 98 degrees. They drink our blood; they become prone to our own disadvantages. Blood doesn’t like heat.
It was over 90 degrees outside already, so I figured we only had to turn up the heat by about 20 degrees to kill them off. We sealed the room and turned on four space heaters. The temp in the room reached 120 degrees. Our sample bug died as the blood inside it dried like a scab.
A few days later, a bedbug was discovered running in the bathroom. That was good, we had them running and confused. Even better, it was empty of blood. We chemical bombed all three floors of the house and went out to eat. While we dined they were chemically destroyed.
It has been three days since the bombing. There are no signs of bedbug life.