I breath slower in libraries. I carefully take in air through my nose and inhale the earthy perfume of the books which I hold deep within my lungs exhaling only when necessary. I was maybe fifteen when I realized this. I was lost in the stacks at the University of Calgary during a cold, gray and slushy day. I remember winter days like those well. I would spend them on the train listening to music or wandering through the Devonian Gardens which were housed in a mall in downtown Calgary. If in the gardens, I was with friends and we were likely drinking cheap beer and raising hell. But on quieter days I could be found in one of the cities libraries seeking out various histories, facts or revolutionary theories. This day that I am recalling, in particular, I was on the search for Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. I frequented this particular library at the university because I had learned that if I unplugged the photocopier and plugged it back in a minute later I could get as many free copies as I liked.
mbiguity describes a certain uncertainty due to the plausibility of multiple meanings gleaned from a number of different interpretations of an event or thing. Ambiguity is a part of everyday life, yet there has been an attempt to cull or domesticate it. There has been a move to sterilize everything that surrounds the process of learning and discovery and to divert epistemic curiosity in favor for the mechanical and systematic regurgitation of didactically implanted facts; unfortunately, learning just doesn’t happen in such sterile environments, and; furthermore, learning doesn’t happen without ambiguity.
The Schooling Epidemic
How STRANGE AND self-defeating that a supposedly free country should train its young for life in totalitarianism … all the time you are in school, you learn through experience how to live in a dictatorship.
Grace Llewellyn, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
I have been using Storybird as a platform for writing stories for my family and as an educational platform for my students for several yers now. I decided that I would try to experiment with it and I have written an experimental short love story called Variations of Interpretations A Quieted Love. It was interesting and fun to use a platform dedicated to young readers and writers to create something a little different. Below is the result of my fast paced experiment: A 10-page short story written in less than an hour.
to the face’s
the only line
in a field of curves,
the subtle instrument
that connects me
to the air.
the dense scents
of jasmine, anise:
them all in.
Translated by Yvette Siegert
Let me be honest with you, one reason I have decided to live in Mexico is purely and simply for the taco. In my mind, the taco is as close to perfection as a culinary treat can get, and this is why every taco is an ensō. The ensō is a calligraphic stroke in Zen Buddhism which takes the form of an open or closed circle. These circles are drawn by practitioners in one continuous and meditative stroke. The ensō might be left open, as an incomplete circle, to allow for one’s essence to flow in and out of it. It may be left open to express the work of perfection as an infinite never ending process (acknowledging that absolute perfection is a myth; instead, perfection is the process of realizing maximum potential). Conversely, the circle may close in on itself. This closed ensō represents the emptiness of being and provides the opportunity for our meditation of the void or nothingness. In Zen Buddhism, any meditation of emptiness is also fundamentally a meditation of fullness. When we speak of emptiness or nothingness it is in relation to our own-being-in-this world. Emptiness is an expression of the awareness that no phenomenon we experience has a nature of its own. This means that these phenomena are void of a separate being, that they just are in the context of our being-in-this-world.
I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color—something which exists before all forms and colors appear.
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.
The history of Jai Alai is somewhat murky. Some claims are made that it may have been a Mayan export to Spain and was taken up by the Basques. Others claim that it simply originated in Northern Spain within the Basque population as a derivative of popular handball games known as Pelota. Roughly translated from Basque Jai Alai comes to mean Merry Festival. It was a game played on the weekends and during festivals among the Basque population of Spain and France within and around the valleys of the Pyrenees mountains. Even if we don’t know its exact origins, we can make the claim that the sports popularity was a result of its Basque heritage and evolution.
I detest audiences. Not in their individual components but en masse I detest audiences, I think they are a force of evil.
Music for entertainment … seems to complement the reduction of people to silence, the dying out of speech as expression, the inability to communicate at all. It inhabits the pockets of silence that develop between people molded by anxiety, work and undemanding docility.
Song elevates our being and leads us to the good and the true. If, however, music serves only as a diversion or as a kind of vain ostentation it is sinful and harmful.
I have what could be considered a mild, although likely to most, dry and banal, obsession with doors. What has always drawn me to them is not only the mystery of the other side, but the meaning of the spaces that they divide, both imagined and physical. Doors certainly stand in the way of physical space, but in no way do the impede imagined space. They force one to ask what is beyond them, or to ponder what the exact purpose it is that they are serving. An inquisitive mind might draw certain conclusions based on design, architecture, adornment or general aesthetic to identify their purpose or what is beyond them, but lacking a key or the appropriate access, what is behind a door will remain a mystery.