Sunday, 27 February 2011

oscar night

I know which film I'll be rooting for. 

(Also, guess what I love about time zones? The red carpet starts at midnight, the ceremony at three a.m. and it's over by seven in the morning, when I have to catch my train to go to school. Perfect.

Oh well, it's obviously worth it.)

Saturday, 26 February 2011

happy saturday

Life is sometimes completely, inexplicably, exquisitely wonderful. I have so much to tell you about, so much has happened since yesterday, and I can't remember when I've last felt this purely, simply, serenely happy. (Apologies for the overdose of adverbs. I'm not at my most coherent.)

Happy weekend to you all!

Friday, 25 February 2011

why we are who we are

"Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing; that we cannot properly speak until there is someone there who can understand what we are saying; that, in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved."

(Alain de Botton: On Love

This, today. I could rattle on and on about Alain de Botton's skill with words and minds. De Botton goes on to speak about how we mirror the people around us, acting according to their expectations, and how important it is to be close to people whose expectations are good for us. "We cannot come to a proper sense of ourselves if there aren't others around us to show us what we're like," de Botton writes. "Our selves are fluid and require the contours provided by our neighbors. To feel whole, we need people in the vicinity who know us as well as, and sometimes better than, we know ourselves."

 "The problem with needing others to legitimize our existence is that we are very much at their mercy to have a correct identity ascribed to us. Everyone returns us to a different sense of ourselves, for we become a little of who they think we are. Our selves could be compared to amoebas, whose outer walls are elastic, and therefore adapt to the environment. It is not that the amoeba has no dimensions, simply that is has no self-defined shape."

This is something I've been talking about a lot with my therapist recently, my too-sharp awareness of the expectations of the people around me, and my too-urgent need to live up to them. I will act stupid and insipid with people who don't expect much from me, I will retain a happy look with people who expect me to be fine. And inside I feel lost, because I am so inherently unable of acting like the self I know.

It is the curse of humanity, isn't it? "A man can require anything in solitude except a character,"  Stendhal wrote, and sometimes the process of requiring a character feels desperate and even pointless. (But I will get there, I know I will.) 

home again


Paris was everything Paris should rightfully be, and maybe more. It was waking up to see the Panthéon through the window of the hotel room, it was croissants for breakfast. It was forcing myself to speak my fragmented, accented French. 

It was glasses of Champagne in corner street cafés and cigarettes smoked outside galleries. It was thé au menthe and crêpes with chocolate. It was room after cavernous room of pastels by Degas at the Musée d'Orsay. It was my repeated wanderings amid the bookshelves of Shakespeare & Company, all the talks I had with the Tumbleweeds.

Paris was several rolls of film (yet to be developed). It was tiny shops in Le Marais and on Rue Mouffetard. It was Sacré-Coeur in the horizon and the view from the Tour d'Eiffel by night. It was hours upon hours of walking. It was those incredible, ubiquitous, unmistakably Parisian rooftops.

I adored Paris, more than I would have thought. But it's nice to be home again, ensconed in familiarity, is it not?

Basin and Shells by Christine Lafuente

Sunday, 20 February 2011

à paris


I'll be back in a few days' time, finally as an eighteen-year-old. And speaking French like a native, naturellement! Bisous.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

dreams and dancing

Dreams are the oddest things, and in my dreams lately I've been climbing the rigging and then letting go and not falling at all but sommersaulting through the ropes and against the sails and almost flying.

Yesterday we danced and danced the entire day (a traditional ball held annually for second-years) and everyone was beautiful but none more so than my friends. After that we went gallivanting over icy seas and dancing some more (not so traditional at this point though) and I had to run to catch the train home at the darkest hour, between morning and night. And today I woke up to the pale cold sunlight with a raspy voice and hair like a lion's mane.

And tomorrow I leave for Paris. We're living exciting times, aren't we?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

stories we tell


I'm currently writing an odd post-apocalyptical short story set in Wales, of all places. Involving books, the sea and children named after animals. It's peculiar and I have no idea why I'm writing something like it, but I also haven't been writing much lately, for reasons my therapist would probably be more apt at describing. So I'll settle for this slightly stilted fantasy nook of my imagination, and stare at these pictures every time I lose my thread.

(An afterthought: I think I've finally cracked something about writing. At the first creative writing class I had at my current school, which was about a year and a half ago, our teacher asked us a question I've been thinking about since: Who does the reader care about? I put up my hand straight away, without even thinking about it first. My answer? The reader cares about themselves. Of course.
So the thing about writing, then, must be to feel what everyone else is feeling, but express it in a way nobody else can. Remarkably simple. Except not really, right?)



I've been taken to art galleries and museums ever since I was a little girl. There are several museums I associate with certain feelings, certain artists, certain phases of my life. The Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, the Museum of Natural History in London, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

A lot can be said about the pretentiousness and/or stuffiness of museums, but for me the quiet cavernous rooms will always be sacred not because of their potential artyness, but because they make me think.


So, a new blog.

I've been running various blogs for about two years, and the one I've stuck with the longest is with my head in the clouds, which will soon be shut down. Then I will commence to build a new blog here, called
we're everything brighter than even the sun, which is a quote from a poem by e.e. cummings.

I feel as though I should explain myself. I turn eighteen next week, which apparently makes me young in the eyes of the world. (Also, the fact that I don't feel young is apparently yet another testimony of my youth, which I don't really understand.) So two years is an awfully long time for me.

I have changed a lot in two years, mostly for the better but also, in some ways, for the worse. And I feel like every time I post something on
with my head in the clouds, I'm burdened by everything I used to be.

So, maybe this will be a blog about my adulthood, although I doubt I will feel like an adult for a very long time. But I want this blog to be about
me, because
with my head in the clouds is something I have felt distant from for a very long time. There's a lot I need to think through and a lot I want to share.

Let the blogging begin.

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