enjoy every sandwich, living each day as if it were your last
such an inspiring and short read, although i should have slept earlier but ah, always the problem too many good books!

i want to try and start one of the longer books on my list, hopefully this weekend i will have time for that.
here, some excerpts and notes i would like to remember from this book.
to the degree that we can embrace our mortality rather than deny it, we can live that much more completely and joyfully. when something profoundly shakes your worldview, it radically alters the preconceptions and paradigms of your life.

accepting death is intensely clarifying, helping us to know in every cell and understand in every fiber of our being, what matters and what does not, how we want to spend our precious time, doing what, and with whom.

Being fully alive has nothing to do with the presence or absence of disease.
Compassion and forgiveness frees us form suffering.

When we can apply that compassion to ourselves, shining a light int he darkness, letting go of anger and judgement, then it frees us and everyone else around us.
why waste time holding on to hurts and grievances…

live each day like its your last.

avoid nihilism…why bother, nothing matters, etc…
make a conscious choice to live as fully as possible.

an antidote to nihilism: create meaning in all aspects of our lives.
making every act sacred is what enables us to more fully enjoy life.

every day is precious, every moment.
its not just how long we live but how well we live that matters most.
fritz perls: i dont want to be saved, i want to be spent!

i no longer have a bucket list. i have love in my life.

Rilke: have patience with everyting unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. a man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
-          Mark Twain

Even, death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

­** esophageal cancer

Every day for the last 20 years i have practiced gratitude. I start by thinking about the things I was grateful for on a daily basis, writing things down that i was grateful for on a nightly basis, reminding myself of how lucky i was. later i began to use gratitude in my meditation practice.

Gratitude is a vital part of savouring this sandwich of life.
Studying the science of yoga and meditation, my anxiety slowly began to fade. the less anxious i was, the more clearheaded and creative i became.

Exercise helps with sleeping better and thinking more clearly.
The goal is not int he doing buti n the being.

I needed to learn how to live within my daily routine with clarity and happiness and understand that the end result would be authenticity and a sense of connection w purpose and meaning.

Pay attention to your souls calling.
stress is just response to life’s events.
Stress was not something to be managed. Once it happens, it has happened.
Looking for stress creates stress!
How little control we have over life events…how sometimes, a curse becomes a blessing.
I learnt gratitude in light of adverse events or circumstances.

If each night I wrote down or told Kathy 3 things that I was grateful for, each day was filled with more fun and joy. Fear and anxiety began to fade.
My newly adapted practices of meditation and yoga changed my life and attitude. I was less grumpy, I yelled at our kids less frequently, I enjoyed work more, I no longer felt agonizing pressure of discord in my soul.
The greater our sense of peace, the better our hearts, brains, and immune systems.

Meditation works only if practiced on a nearly daily basis and practice takes time and commitment. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice practice practice.
We dont need to run out and do the bucket list of seeing and doing new things. We just need to sit, listen, and learn. This, over time, has become my philosophy of living. Pay attention to the good stuff that happens every day and enjoy what is, not what should have been or might be. Enjoy every sandwich. My life is my sandwich, and I might as well savour every bite.

Kundalini experiences. huge flows of natural energy, much like an electrical shock wave, that pulse throughout the body as the energy floodgates open wide.
Helen Keller: Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
fearing the unknown seems like such a waste of time and energy. knowing this may not be our last sandwich helps us not to regret that with each bite the sandwic slowly disappears.

we can create the world we live in by shaping our own reality in our minds, and in doing so, we can reconfigure the structure and function of our brains to match our new reality.
Reality is just a concept. Perception differs from person to person. based on peoples unique life experience…reality differs from person to person.
new experiences and the practice of new thoughts can re create our world.
New experiences actually physically enhance or diminish neural pathways overtime, neuroplasticity.
In the Native American tradition, the snake is the bringer of medicine, of healing.
I had a profound feeling that this life is not all there is…and this was liberating.
continue to strive to make meaning out of each moment and opportunity out of each obstacle.
living involves tearing up one rough draft after another.
Roberto Assagioli: psychosynthesis
as we are exposed to more life circumstances and people, we modify our behaviours to fit the environments in which we live.
All of our different subpersonalities.
Never hold onto anger and always have forgiveness, otherwise it can create havoc with our bodies…
to get to our passion and purpose we must be willing to shine the light of awareness ont he shadow parts of ourselves.
we can transcend anger and fear.
i have a body, but i am not my body.
i have feelings, desires, thoughts, but i am not any of these things.
i am the self, the center of consciousness.

having no control can be liberating if you can relax, accept this concept. living life this way, leads to wonder and curiosity. just live life, do your best, and enjoy the moments that life brings.
become more detached from day to day worrying, and you will be more open to change, creativity.
you get to choose the world you want to live in.

we all have the opportunity to remake our lives if we just remember what meaning and purpose we have already. we can simply reach into our pocket and find the pieces of our life that remind us that this is in fact a wonderful life.
no man is poor, who has friends. ( Clarence the Angel )

instead of looking for things that are wrong int he world, start focusing on things that are right. After doing this for 3 weeks you will note the difference. you are remodeling your brain to be grateful, even optimistic!
when you are inside a boksz, scratch away. depression, pain, self pity, get rid of it all, with prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, laughter, art, movement, gratitude, acceptance, love.
there is so much more to life than what we imagine itt o be.

a few of my favourite things of today
it was surreal. one of my students, an older girl in the 7th standard, has one parent from Venezuela and the other Hungarian, and she was born here so she speaks both. It was exciting and just all kinds of other worldly to start exclaiming in Spanish, in the hallways of a Hungarian primary school. well, at least i wont have to worry about totally forgetting all my spanish while year. i wish i knew how to make more progress with the Hungarian language but im really clueless, i tink its still a psychological barrier wherein the grammar fears prevent me from clearly absorbing or comprehending the means to actually LEARN. and i just use the basic phrases i know or need in most situations aka i guess that adequately named, survival phrase box of words. nevertheless, i so hope that some point i can indeed have that moment where its like, cool, i think im getting somewhere with this language! ah, well. i will have to think more on this later. its late and i must try to sleep.


' the adorable german shepherd stray dog that follows me when i walk around
' they love their dogs here! at the bakery, the golden retriever accompanying an older man, and the lady feeding him bits of poppy seed bread
' the lady herself, who was just so kind and lovely. little things that always make the day so bright.

learning that over here i feel immensely that life is simplified and although i do admit i give in to indulgences still, since theres just soooo much amaying chocolate here and though i live in a small village, because the bigger city is so nearby, lets say, oh, i want an iced latte from mcdonalds, yes they even have that mcdonalds, so its not entirely living or learning to do without but the indulgences are still fewer and more modest and so even in little ways hopefully i am learning...

The Yellow Wallpaper
I cannot recall who had told me to read this first, for I was never required for any class. It may have been Kristin from my VCU days, or it may have been Lunaria, both fellow language and book lovers too. =] anyhow, I thought I had read it before but i definitely did not. sorry in advance for spoilers - but to be honest, I am not entirely sure what we are to make of the situation that the narrator finds herself in. is she actually suffering a break with reality, with how she sees these shapes and figures, specifically the images of these women in the wall paper? and is she actually trying to free these women that she feels are imprisoned, because she cannot have freedom or release from her own prison? or is she just having fun, like any little girl would, just ripping things up because what else can anyone in her position do. i would go crazy too if someone told me that in order to get well i had to just sit like a lump all day and do absolutely nothing with my mind or physical body. i also wish i knew more what happened with the end, like does she stay with her husband, what happens to him and herself in the end?


I completely agree with Charlotte Gilman Perkins, in her words: the traditional structure of the family does not benefit anyone. the woman is made into an unpaid servant, the husband into a master, and the children are most tragically victims to both.

I agree! Financial independence for wmen would only benefit society as a whole.

( this work was so clearly autobiographical, seeing as how Charlotte herself was stricken with a severe case of depression.)
Pao…unbearable inner misery, ceaseless tears. made worse by the presence of her husband and child.

A rest cure of forced inactivity.

Is depression brought on by too much mental activity and not enough attention to domestic affairs?

Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good. ( of course! doing nothing, how can that lead to progress or anything good.)

one of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.

when you follow the uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide, plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.

I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me. but i find i get pretty tired when i try.

He would as soon put fireworks in my pillow case! as to let me have those stimulating people about now.

the bloated curves and flourishes, a kind of debased romanesque with delirium tremends. isolated columns of fatuity.

we were liars
too sad, even for me. that is all i can say at the moment. but it was still a beautiful read.


he was contemplation and enthusiasm. ambition and strong coffee. i could have looked at him forever.

i had come here to this island from a house of tears and falsehood and i saw gat, and i saw that rose in his hand, and in that one moment, with the sunlight from the window shining in on him, the smell of wood and ocean in the air, the apples ont he kitchen counter, i did call it love.

i wanted to touch him like he was a bunny, a kitten, something so special and soft your fingertips cannot leave it alone. the universe was good because he was in it.

random interesting dreams
- that i was playing piano and teaching my students. makes no sense as i am not that good and i did get to practice one day last week but otherwise i am out of practice, oh how i miss it. i think i need to go viola shopping at some point while here

- watching jeopardy with my mom and the final question had something to do with argentina and my mom said, i think this is a place we need to go to at some point in our lives. but what is in argentina? but i like the song. dont cry, for me.

- this one would make anyone now laugh like crazy! a dream i was running a cross country race. omg. to think i was capable at one point of running 5 or more miles all in one go, now i cant even fathom running 1 mile. walk maybe. but it would be a very long walk. preferably with lots of coffee and cookies.

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are
I substituted Budapest, Miskolc, any city really so far that I have been to in Hungary for this! Györ, Szombathely. I think it still fits. Paris is charming but it doesnt fit me in the same way. I think that is the best part about this world, so many fascinating far off lands and somewhere for everybody based on their unique personalities.


A story should have a beginning, middle and end, but not necessarily in that order.
~ Jean Luc Godard

~ The art of enjoying life. What does it mean?

~ Parisian women: spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to spin every episode of their existence into a very good story.

A Typical French enthusiasm for transforming life into fiction.
Don’t be afraid of aging. Don’t be afraid of anything but fear itself.
Wear a black bra under your white blouse like two notes on a sheet of music.
Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible. It gives you a healthy glow.
Be aware of your qualities and your faults. Cultivate them in private but do not obsess.
Make it look easy. Everything you do should seem effortless and graceful.
Not too much makeup, too many colours, too many accessories…
Take a deep breath and keep it simple.
Be your own knight in shining armour.
Fashion rules the world and Parisians rule fashion. Fine, it may not be true. But the world still needs fairy tales.

Her paranoia verges on megalomania. If her unquenchable thirst for subjects of dismay were used to solve equations, she would get the nobel prize in mathematics every year.
Marie Antoinette: she was Austrian! At just 14 years of age, she married Louis XVI and became queen. A Figure of frivolity.
She’s Parisian, to say: she is melancholy.

Always look as if you are gazing at the sunset. Even during rush hour in the metro. Even during rush hour in the metro. Even when picking up frozen pizza from the supermarket.
To the delight of visitors and the dismay of locals, Paris is an open air museum. Each street is steeped in history; each cobblestone carries the weight of tradition.

Madeleine de Scudery: she drew a map of an imaginary country, called Tenderness. In order to reach the city of Love, one had to pass through several small villages, each one a new step toward winning the heart of ones beloved.
Things develop over time, but you need quiet strength to nurture strong ties.
It’s her personality that sparkles and nothing else. The signs of intellectual wealth.

You have no real reason to be where you are. Drinking coffee alone at a sidewalk café. You will stay as long as you like and leave only when you are ready. On a whim you can decide what to do and how to do it. There is something a bit dangerous and yet delicious about freedom. You are anonymous in your own city; no one knows your age, who you are, or what you do for a living. In this moment you can regain control of your life. Feel the beating of your heart, take a deep breath, listen to yourself. Do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Savor these stolen moments. They help you regroup, and belong to no one else. You alone are responsible for what happens to you.

It is exciting to break your own habits; you are cheating on yourself, expanding the scope of your possibilities. Ennui is your secret garden. And solitude can be a luxury.
Take time to take the time because nobody else will do it for you. And don’t forget to daydream in the bath, just like when you were little.

love is the only part of your life in which you truly have no choice.
crying is not a weapon, its little more than noise and needlessly wasted energy.

Jealousy is a complete bore for all involved, regardless of whether you are on the giving or receiving end of it. it’s a no win game!
Don’t speak ill of your inlaws. Tell your husband that his mom is the ideal woman, and he will never get over it!
sulking is an act of self punishment. it is a waste of time that could be better spent channeling creative energy.
be cheerful, bright, and sensual, anything but sullen.

The period of crystallization: fleeting, obsessional, and quixotic. a phase during which the object of affection is completely idealized.
Being in love with the idea of love.

As we grew up, we came to face the facts. Mother was right all along.
Love alone is not enough. You have to work at it.
Be financially independent so that you love only for love.
When you no longer want to love each other, its that you are still in love. When you still want to love each other, its that you have fallen out of love.
If he is the right horse, he will come back at a gallop.
Just because you have only one life doesn’t mean you should be afraid of wasting it.
Trust firmly in your luck, cling to your happiness, and dare to take risks. They will see you and learn to accept you.
! Idea, the book game.
When you work to please others you cannot succeed, but the things you do to satisfy yourself stand a chance of catching someones interest.
one should never talk too much about oneself.

to truly live in your city, you need to know yourself well. which means knowing your every need, desire, and problem, so that you can address them. every place has its function. you too can find your unexpected refuge. somewhere slightly offbeat, a little strange, where you can wander when you need to forget the weight of your daily grind.

lots of candles, plenty of cake
haha, the second book in abt 2 weeks now or maybe 3 that has cake in the title. after all I am in hungary where there are some really famous ones, delectable and good for me in the sense that they are not overly sweet so they dont get my sugar addictiveness spiraling out of control.

sorry for typos my computer i am using now has the hungarian keyboard and i was trying to type my favourite excerpts quickly! anna quindlen just really resonates with me, i adore her wisdom.


The art of inventing someone, becoming that person, and liking what you invent.
Thats whats so wonderful about reading, that books and poetry and essays make us feel as though we are connected. the thoughts and feelings we believe are singular, sometimes nutty, are shared bz others, that we are all more alike than different. its the wonderful thing about writing, too.
A vast loneliness that went untouched because it went undiscussed.
What happens when wishes are fulfilled yet one still feels exhausted:
Its a long story, the story of our lives. the mistakes we made the ones we avoided, some things i took a long time to figure out, and others i will never understand. all i can say for sure is that i want more.
Life must be lived forward but understood backward. § Kierkegaard
What advice would you give yourself if you could travel back in time?
I would have to break the news to my 22 year old self that…she knew nothing, really, about anything that mattered. nothing at all. you dont know what you dont know when you are young.
You are like a cake when youre young. you canot rush i tor it will fall or just turn out wrong. rising takes patience and heat.
most of the learning takes place not in a classroom or a library, buti n the laboratory of our own lives.
The wise giving advice to the young, it is like they speak a different language. a language we learn over time, of experience cut with failure, triumph, and tedium.
Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.
to deadpan
I feel a pronounced urge to shrink my surroundings, stick to just a few comfortable rooms, have less instead of more.
Possessions mean, prove, solve nothing. Stuff is not salvation.
No clutter. Less stuff.
Tocqueville. Americans cleave to the things of the world as if assured they will never die. They clutch everything but hold nothing fast and so lose grip as they hurry after some new delight.
work like you dont need the money.
love like youve never been hurt.
dance like no one is looking.
you dream yourself a life out of bits of fantasy and imaginings, like cotton candy, pink and mostly air. and then you have an actual life that has almost nothing to do with the cotton candy one.
to be a good friend and to appreciate the value of friendship requires honesty and concentration.
merits to single sex education?
a frantic existence left too little time for friendship as it ought to be configured, deep and consistent.
henry james, 3 things in human life important. be kind.
what will we talk about. what did we talk about? who knows, who cares? its the presence at the other end of the line that matters. reliable, loving, listening, caring, continuing. what would i do without her?
conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating of conformity.
mark twain: they didnt know it was impossible so they didi t!
as we grow older, we learn we are not always piloting the plane. unexpected things occur. control is a nice concept, little more.
every face is both a mystery and an identity.
by the time you have lived for 50 or 60 years, you are better armored to embrace the things about yourself that are true even if the world may see them as odd, eccentric.
Tolerance for ambiguity.
nothing is written in stone.
the unexpected comes to define us, the paths we didnt see coming and may have wandered down by mistake. the older w eget the more willing we are to follow those, to surprise ourselves.
do something everyday that scares you
you are never too old to have the best day of your life.
as a mother, part of an unbroken wave but no longer its leading edge. when looking at children, cannot deny own progression.
perhaps thats the key to getting older, that how you feel about it has to do with context, the combination of past associations and current tempo.
little everydaz miracles. that a daffodil bulb sprouts a flower year after year, that kittens know how to use a litter box wo being taught, that the music of samuel barber and stephen sondheim and the last sentences of a christmas carol make your soul rise and shine.
! movie, a Christmas Story.
life is short, this can make one driven and joyful. dont waste time, dont take things for granted, dont be jaded or bored.
Our Town, play.
Oh Earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it, every every minute?
the human being is the only animal who thinks about the future

the heavy - a mothers memoir
hm, i suppose i do miss my mom! ok, honestly i do miss my parents, but there has been something very special about the relationship that has emerged with my mom and i in, recent years. certainly we are not perfectly in harmony and amiable at all times. but maybe as we grow older we value our relationships with parents all the more so, in spite of, despite all the faults and arguments.

i am really interested to know if others have read this, what their thoughts are did the mother do the right things? where do we draw the line between ah, life is short, let your child enjoy, and no, we cannot be so lighthearted because my child is different and she needs discipline in order to have health?


Share one? She ventured. With those words, she turned a kids innocent request into an opportunity for mother daughter bonding. a chance to connect over our shared love of, obsession with, the indisputably empty calories of cupcakes.

I closed my eyes for a second, savouring the flavour of the delectable treat but more so the exquisite pleasure of spending time with this delightful child.

(tangent but even the author of this memoir talks about peanut butter being addictive. i do adore the stuff but i didnt think it was addictive in the same way as i struggle for example with sugar and dairy. so maybe everyone is different...but i do hope to buy peanuts and make peanut butter using my new chopper blender here in hungary.)

Is there some emotional component to eating compulsively…loneliness, insecurity, boredom? i would say absolutely. boys and girls alike.

Classic dieting conundrum of mind over matter, willpower vs appetite, id against ego.

but food and weight always occupied a disproportionately large place in my thoughts. isnát this the plight of every woman! not even necessitating a formal diagnosis. its like, if you are content with your eating then theres something wrong with you. the norm is to be on some strange schedule of eating whatever that is...

those innocent, delicious, spontaneous yeses in a world filled with nos. our stolen moments together, sharing our favourite vanila frost cupcake.

Diet fads come and go but there is no debate that someone who burns more calories than he takes in will lose weight…you can achieve that energy balance in any number of ways, through excluding certain food groups or increasing activity. the bottom lineÉ if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less. calories matter. ( i am confused bc I feel Ive heard far too many cases against this idea.)

What happens now that we cannot enjoy dinners, the restaurant trips blemished by arguments. would every party be made tense…
why is food involved in so many of our social events and recreational outings? maybe the problem wasnot just how we approached food in these situations, but that food was a part of them int he first place.
( well...Indians are known for being food pushers. I absolutely acknowledge food being important as a cultural and social means of connecting, but life would feel muchmore tolerable and I would feel I could breathe more easily if I didnt have to worry as much about the typical social pressures that do involve eating most unfortunately. whatever happened to eat to live? )

planning was replacing spontaneity. fun was sometimes pushed out in favour of enforcement.
hoping that the sacrifices we were making now would be far outweighed by the long term benefits to her health and happiness.
it may actually sound sad but its my life…once you start going on a diet, it makes you feel great, but inside you know that you are different from other people. and you will never be able to change that.

when we contemplated a visit to a new city, what we looked forward to was not the sights, not the shopping, not the hotel or the people, but the food.
The enjoyment of food is a big part of what vacation and life is all about.

Some idioms I dont think I grasp as of yet.
? a spade a spade
pot calling the kettle black
a red herring

We are getting fa tbc we eat too much, not because we are sedentary.
we cannot jazzercise our way out of the obesity epidemic!

the goal of any behavioural change is do something you can live with independently. eat in a way that was sustainable for the long term.
i wanted to create a moment where the two of us could sit huddled together with Bea warming her mittened hands around a steaming cup of sweetness after a long day at school. so we stopped by our nearest starbucks J
we are lucky to have many things to celebrate in our lives and i didnt want those moments to be spoiled by guilt.
special occasions are a part of lfe. food is a big part of most of them.
cautious about connection btwn food and festivity, food and emotions, dont use food as a reward, it should not be a requirement for every celebration…
but we have cake on birthdays bc its is fun to eat cake and social to share it.
eating does provide some entertainment when i am bored and some relief when i am upset. its okay as long as it doesnt happen all the time.
sigh..no matter how well i control my eating, still feelings of fear andguilt around food.
still a complicated relationship to body, to food.
like an alcohoic who is sober. you are managing the disease and have it under control at that moment buti t is still int here in you. you think different from nonalcoholics and you need to monitor your environment and decisions differently.
you must manage your behaviour more stringently than someone who does not share your addiction. it will always be a part of who you are.
she had indeed changed her body and lifestyle, but the metamorphosis was bittersweet bc it cost her some of the innocense of childhood.
who she was had not essentially changed.
being able to exert that control is a huge step forward…but the essential challenge w food, the normative discontent w body, has not gone away…
food, dieting and weight, eternal struggles for me, and now they would be for her…
there is no blueprint for neurosis.

my homework assignment is to read controversial novels and watch 8 mile
this, as dictated to me by a hungarian high schooler. so apparently i should really try this whole fifty shades of grey. i mean, is it really that bad? people have said it makes twilight look like literature or something, ( but i am biased, i loved twilight and i find vampire and wolf stories to be fascinating ) i guess i will have to try it at some point. and my students today asked me about eminem and whether i liked him, i said yes because despite the profanity there is an outpouring of creativity. lose yourself still sends chills almost, to my skin when i listen slowly, cautiously.

i am so grateful for this journal because especially when i am still acclimating to the new environs, there is always so much i want to remember or something makes me feel this, another experience reminds me of that, and i see it all as worth noting, each encounter no matter how seemingly insignificant is still a link in the chain. i am probably still in that honeymoon phase where i could just keep walking around and staring at hungarian words for eternity. i think i gave up on the language the minute i woke up here in hernadnemeti my 2nd first full day and realized that i lacked the words for oh just about every practical thing, but i have to say i am proudly capable of ordering anything vegetarian or vegan, i know the words for every kind of lactose free milk except for maybe fancy grains or something, i know how to order just any variation of coffee - tea, hot or cold even though i never like to drink hot drinks even when it is insanely freezing.

i feel still frustrated with my schedule, i love my school in miskolc but in hernadnemeti there is more extreme detachment, they perhaps figure i am temporary so why invest much energy in really helping me adjust. and i dont blame them. or maybe they sensed my tendencies for insomnia and anxiety the minute i landed here and they are politely but adamantly avoiding me as best they can?

but its the total opposite in miskolc. well, i am grateful and i also am trying not to compare so deeply. i still do not think i ever want kids of my own but it is so nice to be hugged and appreciated by students!

ah, if only i didnt need to keep paying an exorbitant sum to renew my contract! I could see myself here, i feel quite sure it is a possible destination for a long-term residency and thats saying a lot given that its well, me.

i wonder, will this novelty ever wear off? will i ever grow tired of this or that? what am i missing? is there anything i need so much that i cannot get here besides my cat twiggy in the us, and libraries, and cheaper peanut butter? but actually it might be the same price as here too.

i love dogs but this one near my apartment is just randomly barking at all the wrong hours for me, maybe not for him so i think i need to reorganize my sleep schedule to match his. sigh. i couldnt find ear plugs at the spar today but maybe someone will help me figure out how and where, tomorrow.

i had a really nice, if not somewhat melancholically nostalgic, dream about my grandfather last night, on my moms side. we were watching its a mad mad mad mad world which i have still never seen but is among my parents favourites and was one of his, too. he was doing a crossword puzzle. i was playing with a pomeranian.

Invisible Cities
I loved this the first time and as I am obviously in this midst of life in a new city, I felt like this was a valuable work to peruse.

I forgot how good Italo Calvino is!
Sorry, I know I am like being a total LJ whore.

Kublai Khan listens to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity, than any other explorer. Historically, did they have a very special friendship?

There is melancholy and relief of knowing we shall soon give up any thought of knowing and understanding all the territories we have conquered…

The sense of emptiness that comes over us at evening, with the odor of elephants after the rain… a dizziness that makes rivers and mountains tremble.

Diomira: a city with 6ö silver domes, a crystal theater, a golden rooster.

He feels envy toward those who now believe they have once before lived an evening identical to this and who think they were happy, that time.

Isidora. the building have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, perfect telescopes and violins are made.
Desires are already memories.

The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in thecorners of the streets, the gratings of the windows,the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightningrods, the poles of the Bags, every segmentmarked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.

Anastasia: kites flying over it, agate, onyx, chrysoprase, varieties of chalcedony.
The city appears as a whole where no desire is lost and of which you are a part, and since it enjoys everything you do not enjoy, you can do nothing but inhabit this desire and be content.
your labor which gives form to desire takes from desire its form, and you believe you are enjoying anastasia wholly when you are only its slave.

this city which cannot be expunged from the mind is like an armature, a honeycomb in whose cells each of us can place the things he wants to remember.
redundancy? a city that repeats itself so something will stick in  the mind, or repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.
are we all just emblems, one among many?

can the past change? a travelers past changes according to the route he has followed…
the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.
our real or hypothetical pasts, something that had been a possible future but is now someone elses present.
futures not achieved are only branches of the past. dead branches.
journeys to relive your past? journeys to recover the future?

Fedora, a grey stone metropolis, a metal building with a crystal globe in every room. into each globe you see a blue city, the model of a different Fedora.
a museum of cities. every inhabitant visits, chooses the city that corresponds to his desires, contemplates, imagines his reflection in the pond…

on the map of your empire, there must be room both for the big and the little.
each man bears in his mind a city made only of differences, a city without figures and without form, and the individual cities fill it up.
it makes no sense to divide cities into happy or unhappy, but rather into those that continue to give form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it.
euphemia, pistachios, poppy seeds, golden muslin, ginger, nutmeg, raiin.
the void not filled with words. the cities had this virtue. when described. you could wander through them in thought, become lost, stop and enjoy the cool air, or run off.

With cities, as with dreams. everything imaginable can be dreamed, even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or its reverse, a fear. cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears. even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurb, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.

You take delight not in a citys seven or seventy wonder but, the answer it gives to a question of yours. or the question it asks you, forcing you to answer, like thebes through the mouth of the sphinx.
signs form a language but not the one zou thnk you know. Hypatia..there is no language without deceit.

"And yet I know," he would say, "that my empire is
made of the stuff of crystals, its molecules arranged in a
perfect pattern. Amid the surge of the elements, a splendid
hard diamond takes shape, an immense, faceted, transparent
mountain. Why do your travel impressions stop at
disappointing appearances, never catching this implacahle
process? Why do you lingeY over inessential melancholies?
Why do you hide from the emperor the grandeur of his destiny?"

And Marco answered: "While, at a sign from you,
sire, the unique and final city raises its stainless walls, I
am collecting the ashes of the other possihle cities that
vanish to make room for it, cities that can never be rebuilt
or remembered. When you know at last the residue of
unhappiness for which no precious stone can compensate,
you will be able to calculate the exact number of carats
toward which that final diamond must strive. Otherwise,
your calculations will be mistaken from the very start."

the city must never be confused with the words that describe it. and yet between the one and the other there is a connection…
Sophronia, two half cities. one: a roller coaster with steep humps, carousel, ferris wheel, trapeyes.
the other stone, marble, palaces.
one is permanent, the other is temporary.

Octavia, the spider web city. the foundation: a net which serves as passage and support.
All the rest, instead of rising up, is hung below.
suspended over the abyss, life is uncertain, they know the net will last only so long.
without stones there is no arch.

The copper reflection of the ancient palace of the Sung was shattered into sparkling glints like floating leaves.
Memorys images, once they are fixed in words, are erased..
perhaps i am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it…or perhaps, speaking of other cities, i have already lost it, little by little…
Eudoxia, an anguish to find concealed among the arabesques, an answer, the story of his life, the twists of fate.
the carpet and the city.

a silence streaked by the rustling of leaves.
is the enjoyment of new and different things, or is the enjoyment of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity?
Taking so long to construct so that the destruction will no tor cannot begin.
What is the aim of a city under construction unless it is a city…where is the plan you are following, the blueprint?
outside Penthesilea does an outside exist, or no matter how far you go from the city, will you only pass from one limbo to another, never managing to leave it?

"The inferno of the living is not something
that will be; if there is one, it is what is already
here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by
being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it.
The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become
such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second
is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension:
seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of
the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give
them space."


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