29 September 2009

Origins (and I'm not talking the class)

Right now, I feel like crying. No particular reason, I'm just down and dissatisfied with life at Union. I'm sure it has nothing to do with reality, but instead my energy level. While the coffee is brewing to raise my mood, I'll post a happy happenstance that just happened (yeah, I just said that).

Brandon: You have a brother?!
Me: I'm the youngest of five kids. Lol, why are you so shocked?
Brandon: No one tells me anything. Haha, I always imagined you just appeared out of nowhere in the middle of some field surrounded by fairies and elves.

Best sentence I've "heard" (it was via facebook chat) all day.

28 September 2009

Let's pull out the books

My (periodically updated) reading list
Last updated 23 Jan. 10

For pleasure

  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • A mind of my own by Chris Costner Sizenmore
  • Goddesses in every woman: a new psychology of women by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D
  • Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida
  • The Quran translated by M.H. Shakir
  • Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943 by Erica Fischer
Interesting assigned reading

  • [Conflict and Peacemaking] The Irresistible Revolution: living as an ordinary radical by Shane Claiborne
  • [World Literature] The Norton Anthology: Western Literature (currently: Tartuffe by Moliere) edited by Lawall, Thalmann, Patterson, James and Spacks
Needing to finish, but not currently reading

  • Glancing fires edited by Lesley Saunders
  • The collected poems of Audre Lorde
  • The Pink Triangle by Richard Plant
  • Do they hear you when you cry? by Fauziya Kassindja and Layli Miller Bashir
  • Christianity and homosexuality: some Seventh-day Adventist perspectives edited by David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson
  • Sexism and language edited by Alleen Pace Nilson, Haig Bosmajian, H. Lee Gershuny, Julia P. Stanley

Recently Read
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore
  • The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling
  • Sapphira and the slave girl by Willa Cather
  • Paradise by Toni Morrison
  • Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • American Indian Stories by Zitkala-Sa
  • Background readings for teachers American literature edited by Venetria K. Patton
  • The rhetorical power of popular culture: considering mediated texts by Deanna D. Sellnow
  • Nonviolence: the history of a dangerous idea by Mark Kurlansky with forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama 
  • The Norton Anthology: Western Literature (selections: Tartuffe by Moliere, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, Emile by Jean-Jacque Rousseau, part of A Letter to the Women of England, on the Injustice of Mental Subordination by Mary Robinson, An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope) edited by Lawall, Thalmann, Patterson, James and Spacks

    22 September 2009

    Tell me your story (or at least leave some words at the door)

    I was creeping on my friend Michael's list of blogs he follows, and fell across Write In My Journal.

    "I approach people who look interesting – like they have a story to tell – and ask them if they, knowing they’ll most likely never see me again, will write in my journal.

    They’re free to write whatever they want. I may give them a prompt to start but ultimately it’s up to them.

    There are so many people out there with such diverse backgrounds and perspectives! It’s absolutely fascinating to me. Have you ever looked at a person and thought, “I wonder what their story is? How did they get to where they are? What are their dreams?” I do. All the time. (Is that weird?) This is my chance to get to know some of them, even if it’s just a glimpse, and share their stories that would otherwise go untold."

    It's fascinating. I wish I could do that here in Lincoln, but don't want to be an idea thief.

    14 September 2009

    I was twenty (and I don't even know you)

    by Tegan and Sara

    I felt you in my legs
    Before I even met you
    And when I layed beside you
    For the first time
    I told you
    I feel you in my heart,
    And I don't even know you
    Now we're saying
    Bye, bye, bye
    Now we're saying
    Bye, bye, bye
    I was nineteen
    (call me)
    I felt you in my life
    Before I ever thought to
    Felt the need to lay down
    Beside you
    And tell you I feel you in my heart,
    And I don't even know you
    And now we're saying
    Bye, bye, bye
    Now we're saying
    Bye, bye, bye
    I was nineteen
    (call me)
    I was nineteen
    (call me)
    Flew home,
    Back to where we met
    Stayed inside I was so upset
    I cooked up a plan,
    So good except
    I was all alone
    You were all I had
    Love you
    You were all mine
    Love me
    I was yours right
    I was yours right
    I was nineteen
    (call me)
    I was nineteen
    (call me)

    09 September 2009

    What do you see?

    Images: in your face, at the barely-visible end of your peripheral, behind you, inside your mind. You don't need to be visually-oriented like I am to figure out that the world is pretty much a 5-course meal for your eyes.

    In Rhetoric class, we're learning about the persuasive power of images (often mixed with words). While it may seem like a no-brainer, it's often the obvious, taken-for-granted concepts we ignore rather than carefully consider.

    Of course, me being me, I love to consider things--roll them softly along grey coils, spin them till up and down are only intangible concepts, taste the strands of truth slowly unraveling, feel the explosion of understanding in the tips of my toes, bask in the stillness after thundering enlightenment (the stillness crying out that I still know nothing for certain).

    I love to consider things. Words and images are pretty powerful entities, throwing me in a whirlwind of thought whether I'm ready for it or not.

    An advertisement stole my mind yesterday. For our class investigation into the persuasiveness of images, we focused on pages found in outdated publications. I don't know what magazine the particular advertisement was from (my friend Sierra was originally looking at it) or how it relates to the product or service being sold (I think it's for a computer company).

    However, it did succeed at causing me to question that "silly" decision to stop smoking. I'll upload the image later, but here's a taste.

    Image: Sensual woman with a burning cigarette between her teeth.

    some people say
    that we should go through life
    with our eyes wide open
    those people will never see what i see
    they will never experience
    the joy of sitting in the dark
    a darkness that gives birth do ideas.
    when imagination
    mingles with inspiration.
    it is then that you realize
    that darkness is not unlike
    a blank canvas.
    anything is possible

    Today marks Day 9 of my smokeless journey. I wonder why I quit buying lovely Crushes and want to cave for artistic reasons. I haven't tried writing a poem yet without my dependable "sin stick." What if I can't do it? What's so great about keeping my eyes open to a distant, potentially cancerous reality when the world dancing in my head looks so much prettier? I cannot see death, but I can see poetry formed from waves of smoke. Dammit.

    I need to remember that:
    -Smoke isn't just killing me, production is also injuring the planet
    -Creativity is not ignited by flames but by soul
    -Frivolous outside stimuli (images) should not dictate my decisions (I can be persuasive back)
    -Um, it's BAD for me--don't do it...

    I will keep my eyes open to see Day 10.

    06 September 2009

    Have you seen my Satori anywhere? I can't seem to find it...

    Yay for Ortner Center computers and not noticing the "Please limit your time at the computers to 10 min." sign. Oops.

    I started a new blog called Cosmic Enlightenment, which is centered around my spiritual journey: http://cosmicsatori.blogspot.com/

    We'll see where it goes, and how that path will influence this blog. Maybe it won't.

    I should probably get off this computer before campus security comes after me. Ha. Okay, maybe we should go with realistic scenerios. I better get off this computer before I waste any more time online.

    05 September 2009

    Dead computers, vibrant life.

    My computer has finally refused to charge. It's been on the brink (I had to twist and hold the cord to make it work) for a while, and now finally plunged into the "goodbye-for-now-laptop" arena.

    Completely unrelated (or is it?):

    Lately I've been thinking "I want to live simply, but not simply live."

    My computer's about to die. This may be the end of blogging for a while.

    04 September 2009

    Let's get ethical

    Our Public Relations Principles class was assigned an interesting assignment this week: write our own Code of Ethics. Sometimes I have a hard time always living up to mine (occasional gossip? Totally guilty), and found this exercise to be eye-opening. It's not that most of these things aren't common sense, or of the general "be a good person" variety, but sometimes I don't reflect on the obvious.

    I'm going to (try and remember to) print them out and hang them on my bulletin board as a constant reminder of what I'm striving for and how I should be treating existence (humans, animals, the planet, myself, etc).

    Hannah's Code of Ethics

    Embody Compassion

    1. Respect for living beings
    a. As inhabitants on this world, we are all equal
    b. Abstain from causing unnecessary physical and emotional harm to animals and humans
    i. Humans: Avoid violence of the body (except in self-defense), avoid violence of the lips (gossip, malicious words, etc)
    ii. Animals: If I do not need to be the cause of an animals death (meat products) or suffering (non-free range dairy products), then abstain

    2. Respect for truth
    a. Do not deceive others (unless to present a surprise) or self

    3. Advocate equality

    a. Value The Declaration for Human Rights
    b. Act on behalf of the socially, economically, physically, politically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally oppressed
    c. Impassion and educate others

    4. Advocate the Earth

    a. Reduce carbon footprint/negative impact whenever possible
    b. Impassion and educate others
    c. Spend time in nature

    Seek Personal Growth

    5. Be free
    a. Do not develop emotional attachment to objects or places
    b. “Want,” but do not “need”
    i. Do not return to smoking/addictions

    6. Be open
    a. Always be open to new ideas, experiences, beliefs, etc.
    b. No one can be 100 percent certain they’ve found the (only) truth

    7. Pursue truth
    a. Use science, wisdom and personal experience to discover truth
    b. Truth is relative

    8. Pursue enlightenment and awareness

    a. Clear the mind
    i. Meditate
    ii. Abstain from frequent use of alcohol
    1. Takes away clarity, clouds the essence and does not promote creativity or new perspectives
    b. Follow The Eightfold Path as a guide
    c. Foster creativity in self and others
    d. Practice active observance

    03 September 2009

    Thursday's Melencholy Quotes

    I wish I could believe that "Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better." Henry Rollins.

    Virigina Casey said that "Tears are like rain. They loosen up our soil so we can grow in different directions." The world is crying today. I hate the grey.

    Two conflicting views:

    "Loneliness breaks the spirit." Jewish Proverb

    "Loneliness is a nest for the thoughts." Kurdish Proverb

    Maybe it's our thoughts that break and re-make our spirits.

    "The eternal quest of the human being is to shatter his loneliness" Norman Cousins

    "The palace leads to fame, the market to fortune, and loneliness to wisdom." Chinese Proverb


    I feel cut off from my summertime Lincoln friends, from my summertime life, and my group of amazing best friends from last semester is not longer together. Sure, most of us are still here but we've gone our separate ways inside of Union's social construction. Dynamics have changed, they've wandered over their ways. I feel like I'm still here, waiting at some metaphorical meeting point for the others to show up. And it's lonely here.

    How can I feel so lonely when I know so many people on campus, when I can't walk three steps without someone saying "hello" or blowing me kisses? I have many friends. I have no best friends. I'm not sure how this happened--is it me?

    I miss Sierra, but she's always been this way (hot/cold friendship). I'm glad she found someone like Heather, another person she can really connect with and share struggles. But I miss being that person for her.

    I miss Zach, communicating without even speaking. Laughing about the nerdiest of things. Always sneaking out and meeting for breaks. But I cannot be that girl for him, so does that mean our friendship must also be negated?

    I miss Brennan's humor, but we're very different people with different interests. I understand.

    I miss Kelly, who ran away to Colorado and is now planning for a wedding. <3

    I miss feeling important t0 a group of people, someone always texting or calling to see what I'm up to. Connecting. Talking about philosophy and religion. Not wasting our minds away with small talk. Creating stories and puzzles with our bodies. Experiencing life like it's something beautiful, and like all beauty should be shared.

    Alanna bailed on our plans tonight, but I shouldn't have been surprised. Maybe I just need to share the beauty I find in the world with whomever I come across--with everyone I come across.

    "If you keep yourself enclosed, even if you live among thousands of people you will still feel very lonely. However, if you keep yourself open, then even if you are living alone, you will still have a very full life. So open your mind and treat everyone as your intimate, virtuous friend."
    Shih-fu Sheng-ye

    02 September 2009

    Wednesday's Quote

    One day Ananda, who had been thinking deeply about things for a while, turned to the Buddha and exclaimed:

    "Lord, I've been thinking--spiritual friendship is at least half of the spiritual life!"

    The Buddha replied: "Say not so, Ananda, say not so. Spiritual friendship is the whole of the spiritual life!"

    Samyutta Nikaya, Verse 2

    01 September 2009

    Tuesday's Quote of the Day

    "Although gold dust is precious, when it gets in your eyes it obstructs your vision."

    Day 2

    I'm a quitter--my mother has pointed that out.

    When I was six, I took gymnastics--then promptly decided I definitely wasn't a gymnast.
    At eight I started piano lessons. Let's just say that was a fail.
    Around the same time, I became convinced that one day I'd be a dental hygienist. My dental-hygienist dream lasted four years, until I realized I wanted more out of life than time with other people's teeth (as lovely as they may be).

    I burn out and quit things.

    I also have an addictive personality. When I find something I REALLY like, I...well, let's just say "like" is an understatement and it doesn't go away very fast. This is great, and helps me shed that "quitter" tendency.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't mind if my quitter tendencies overrode my addictive personality. Especially today.

    What's special about today? It's the day following yesterday, and yesterday I decided to quit smoking. Yesterday, with my single (and last) cigarette in the morning, was difficult. I can smoke half a pack in twelve hours, easy-peasy. Just one cigarette? Not so easy-peasy.

    Today is 20 million times worse than yesterday. Maybe it's the craving for nicotine (I'm not using nicotine patches or gum), maybe it's the psychological dependence--I don't know. All I know is that today has sucked--definitely the worst day since school has started (maybe of the last few months). Why did I decide quitting early in the week would be a good idea? Then again, I usually smoke waaay more cigarettes on weekends, so I suppose there was some logic to the madness.

    And that's what this is--madness. I drank a large coffee, ate too many nerds, and purchased tons of blue gum to compensate for this new adjustment. Hsi-Tang said, "The secret to happiness lies in the mind's release from worldly ties."

    I'm trying to do that. Eliminate this dependence on things. Yet, more dependences are created as the result. Is there anyway to truly be released from worldly (material/superficial/unhealthy) ties (addictions/dependence/bondage)?

    I think about all the things we've created that manipulate our minds and bodies by causing cravings--sugar, caffeine, nicotine, fried foods, etc. I want to get away from it, and consume things at my own leisure for enjoyment--not because I "need to have them."

    It's not just food or drink that I feel tie me down. It's whatever I can live a happy, full life without. Like this computer. I can survive without it, yet I'd be terribly upset if that's what I was forced to do.

    I will keep what is already in my possession and useful to being a well-rounded person (like this laptop, which is great for school work). I want to clear out the excessive things that do not contribute to any sort of personal growth or centered-ness (I believe books/art/music/artistic expression can be important for a person to experience, so I'm keeping the ones I frequently use).

    I want to make choices based on important factors, not say:

    "But I can't live without -random item/addiction-, so I won't -dream/aspire/work toward personal or societal growth-".

    I want to quit dependence and be free to grow, touch the world, understand, travel, touch people.

    And so, Mom was right--I am a quitter. And for that, I'm very glad.