March 7, 2007

The Nature of Pain

I have been troubled by the fact that I have only been posting Self-Portrait challenges lately. I have a million things I want to write about, but I always feel that I don’t have the time to get it right, or that no one cares enough to read about my seemingly meaningless thoughts. So, I have made a conscious decision to simply post whatever I am thinking about and not concern myself too much with audience. The following post and those like it may not be as well crafted as I would like, but maybe a line or two may resonate with someone out there. If nothing else I hope this act of daily writing will get me back in the habit of writing more consistently. I suppose the blog really blurs the line between published and drafted work. Enough explanation here goes:

At school, I am knee deep into my poetry unit and listening to a lot of The Strokes. I am trying to convey the concept of sonic imagery vs sound effects in poetry to my students. They are only thirteen but they shake their heads affirmatively when I ask, “Does that makes sense?”

Last night, I watched a movie called Sherry Baby, about a drug addicted ex-con mom Maggie Gyllenhall trying to get right. It is a solid B-. The night before I saw Half Nelson. This film places somewhere in my top five movies of all time. I think at this moment it maybe number one. You can listen to most of the amazing soundtrack here. I am researching dialectics and writing my review/manifesto on the movie in my head. I am weighted down by the guilt that I have yet to begin this piece; maybe after this post I will actually start writing. See this film!

These two films have had me thinking about the nature of pain, addiction, healing and growth. I am now more than ever painfully aware of the fragility of the human creature. This terrifies me, because I am trying my best not to “break” my daughter with my own pain. See We Are All Broken for elucidation.

In other news, I am going to a concert tonight by myself featuring Laila's Lounge, a band I have already seen, a female song writer, a hip-hop band, and two guys who make music from old Nintendo songs. It is a Wednesday night; I am 32, married, have a kid, and I am living in a South East Asian country by the way. Throughout this young century, I have spent more time out of the US than in it, a pattern that will not change till maybe some time around 2020.

I am letting my hair grow long again, and I am combing it forward based on Ari’s advice. It looks sloppy, and I finally like it after months of not being able to look at myself in the mirror.

I can’t tell if everything is perfect or if I am lost again. I am excited to wake up everyday, and I feel content when I sleep. I love my job, my wife and my kid. That has to mean something. I am thinking a lot about what a friend called, in his drunken relapse, the education of caring and how it applies to everything we do. I am trying to generate more love and spread it around to as many people as I can. It is difficult because somehow the force that opposes love takes over. (See dialectics.)

This morning as I fed Kaia breakfast, we were listening to The Broken Melody soundtrack and Jack Johnson sang:
Why don't I just give you
Everything you'll take from me
'Cuz nobody owns anything
and everyone is free
I sang the words as Kaia laughed and waved her hands. It was still dark outside and the voice in my head was quiet and at peace.


  1. after reading this post, really reading it, and resonating with much of it and caring about all of it, i was about to click on over to another blog on my blog roll but then i thought: wait, stop, comment.
    so i'm just letting you know i'm here.

  2. i was very moved by half nelson...i don't know exactly what i was expecting but it was so much more than i thought it would be...ryan gosling gave such a strong performance and definitely deserved the oscar nomination...i think it resonated with me because his character was so real and human...the scene in the girls locker room really got me...