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03 December 2011 @ 03:13 am
Today I caught up on my 'marked unread' inbox. Now I'm onto the messages I had marked 'read' with the intention to go and do later, like question and picture memes. I'll keep working on these as I start tackling LJ-catchup tomorrow.

For now...

1. If the question mark is your favourite piece of punctuation, WHAT, then, do you think of the semi-colon? First I need to clarify that the question mark is my favourite appearance-wise. I’ll quote from kitty_ryan’s LJ: But I think question marks are nice with a feminine curve, strong drop line and enigmatic 'dot'. Very appealing, as far as punctuation and aesthetics go. For utilitarian purposes, I’m not sure what my favourite piece of punctuation is – perhaps the hyphen, which I abuse. As for the semi-colon, we have a love-hate relationship as far as utilisation. As for aesthetics, I find her positively dashing. I love the pert point up top and the slope of a curve below; I love the way she connects two ideas that aren’t close enough to embrace but are also not parted enough to let go; I love that she is punctuation for the togetherness and hand-holding of ideas. She’s pretty. I have a feeling she doesn’t like it when I butcher her.

2. What is the first thing you'd like to do, on returning home. I waited too long for this: I am home. I believe the first thing I did was greet my pug, which seems sensible, really.

3. Where do you find all your lovely rainbow things? I go to a lot of pride rallies – every single one I can feasibly get to – and I pick up a lot of rainbow there. When I was growing up, people often gave me rainbow after I came out to them as this way of saying ‘yay! It’s totally okay with me that you’re gay!’ The more rainbow I got, the more rainbow I had; the more rainbow I had, the more people believed I loved rainbows; the more people believed I loved rainbows, the more rainbows I got… But it’s all delightfully wonderful to me as I do, in fact, adore rainbow! I have all my life. So my tricks are to 1) hang around gay people (I give myself as an example here); 2) have friends that like to give stuff; and 3) keep eyes open for rainbow all the time. I find a lot in big thrift stores. Since tie-dye counts as rainbow, eyes open anywhere tends to help.

4. How do you survive long plane trips? I either sleep, read smut (during hoggywartyxmas), attempt and fail at writing or listen to my iPod. Most often I listened to my iPod for the seven hours straight, quite contentedly, really. Although that often lead to sleep and missing the meals (thank goodness).

5. Do you have a favourite piece of poetry? If so, do share. I tend to stink at favourites. In my life I have memorised Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (which counts as poetry), i carry your heart with me by e. e. Cummings (since forgotten for the most part) and pieces of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam, which, as part of a lecture, helped decide my course for my dissertation. ”The stars,” she whispers, “blindly run…” is repeated in this noggin of mine a good many times a day, reminding me that life is not run by predetermined purpose and to instead embrace proceedings and a life in which I supply my own meaning, rather than to feel trapped and fixed. It’s funny because Tennyson seems to be referring to the philosophy of universal mechanism replacing vitalism, as science was doing at the time, but somehow I find this great sense relaxation in the thought that everything in the universe—including life, and thus little insignificant me—is guided by natural laws. It gives me this “let it be” feeling while also allowing me to acknowledge that natural laws have produced the matter that created me and my brain, and because of that I can use my brain to direct my own path as well as I can, with what I have been given in genetics and the resources I was lucky enough to be born into due to a long line of natural laws and cause-and-effect dating back to before the earth was a planet. But ultimately to relax as I do so. I seem to use Tennyson’s statement as a reminder that what appals him appeases me. The best of contradiction.

I’ll go with that one at the moment, then, though it’s not my ‘favourite’ (and if I did have a favourite I’m sure it would change multiple times a day!):

O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

“The stars,” she whispers, “blindly run;
A web is wov’n across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:

“And all the phantom, Nature, stands—
With all the music in her tone,
A hollow echo of my own,—
A hollow form with empty hands.”

And shall I take a thing so blind,
Embrace her as my natural good;
Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?

It ended up in fic, once – though more appropriately, as it was one of character death. The fact that I use it as personal empowerment may be a bit odd…but then, my favourite film is Harold and Maude, so can we really be surprised?

I’ll post another favourite of mine, then, from when I was in high school and had realised I was a plant geek through and through…but not of the floral variety. This was just how I felt in high school. It was more about the idea than the combination of the actual words.

Identity, by Julio Noboa Polanco:

Let them be as flowers,
Always watered, fed, guarded, admired,
But harnessed to a pot of dirt.

I’d rather be a tall, ugly weed,
Clinging on cliffs, like an eagle
Wind-wavering above high, jagged rocks.

To have broken through the surface of stone,
To live, to feel exposed to the madness
Of the vast, eternal sky.
To be swayed by the breezes of an ancient sea,
Carrying my soul, my seed,
Beyond the mountains of time or into the abyss of the bizarre.

I’d rather be unseen, and if
Then shunned by everyone,
Than to be a pleasant-smelling flower,
Growing in clusters in the fertile valley,
Where they’re praised, handled, and plucked
By greedy, human hands.

I’d rather smell of musty, green stench
Than of sweet, fragrant lilac.
If I could stand alone, strong and free,
I’d rather be a tall, ugly weed.

Okay so also not super happy but at least it’s actually meant to be empowering. I wasn’t the biggest fans of humans at the time (still am not, in fact); I used this poem as my turgidity—or my spine—for strength in not fitting societal standards and living life the way I wanted. I enjoyed the idea of being a weed because it indicated something I would be born into—as I had been born into being short/eventually handicapped—and the idea of choice in “I’d choose it anyway!” That I could see what the flowers were born into and I would willingly—and did willingly—choose to be something else, despite hardships (others’ perceptions). Mind, any plant can be a weed out of context…and I’d have preferred to be a tree. Even an out-of-context weed tree (which sounds way naughtier than I intend).

That’s all from me on these! (“Thank goodness,” breathes the crowd,” how long as she been going on for?! I think I’ve sprouted roots of my own.”)
minervas_eule: Judi procrastinationminervas_eule on December 3rd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
I love your procrastination about the semicolon.... you are absolutely right ;-)

And the poem "Identity" is very interesting.... I'll have to do more thinking :-)
Kiwi Crocus: Kiwi || Muusack.cranky__crocus on December 3rd, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, but for once I wasn't procrastinating, which is really rather joyous! I'm finally getting to the questions people asked me ages ago - before I even left England! - that have been sitting around my inbox. I decided as I was answering my 'unread' emails that I would also go back to the memes, finally.

Glad you enjoyed the tidbit about the semicolon! :B

I see as I read now how negative Identity is toward conventional (floral) people(women). At that point in my life, as I was always getting made fun of by them, I somehow needed the negativity to offer me further strength. Nowadays, if I were to pick a poem to offer me strength in my unconventionality, I would use something more based in positivity because I have grown into that mindset. I don't dislike conventional people. I'm not particularly fond of when they make fun of, slander or ignore me, but those are only certain people and I no longer dislike them for often being victims of societal conceptions that have become so ingrained in them by growing up in said societies.

But Identity still gives me a touch of pride in my being a weed and understanding of why I went down this path to begin with (at least as far as what I actually chose).
101mutts: Britomartis butterfly101mutts on December 4th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
I really like Identity. It sounds familiar... Dufault's class perhaps?

Kitty_ryan asks good questions.
Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on January 10th, 2012 08:08 am (UTC)
Yes, I think it may have been Dufault's class, actually. I have some recollection of copying down one of the poems we read in his class.

Kitty certainly does ask good questions! Now I only have to get around to the other questions I was asked by other people. :B