“What’s bad and what’s good? What should we love and what should we hate? What is life for, and what am I? What is life? What is death? What kind of force is it that directs everything?” he kept asking himself. And there were no answers to any of these questions, except one illogical response that didn’t answer any of them. And that response was: “You’re going to die, and it will be over and done with. You’re going to die and you’ll either come to know everything or stop asking.” But dying was horrible too.
– War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (otherwise known as a Book I’ll Probably Never Read).
On one of the language classrooms’ boards was written, Death is a happy ending, over the week. I find that I barely remember what happens daily, and when I do muster up the energy to post, I have to update in week-long, if even that, chunks.
The wind is a muted roar around the library building and that distant sound of sheer power always leaves me a little shivery with anticipation, though for what I naturally don’t know – maybe lingering awe from ancient times. I am in that dreamy fatigued state and I would love nothing more than to retreat to my bed but work, as insistent as ever, is beckoning. I told myself I’ll post until 9 PM and then I’ll go take a shower (a medium, easy run today and a little stretching and sets, which explains the gentle ache that presses through your body) before taking a nap and screwing up my sleep schedule for the week returning to work and starting my week well. House meeting today was playful; earlier, there was dinner, an impromptu potluck: the Italians made me pork chops, so I made them French toast and (Singapore!) curry chicken, and the HK people made fried rice. This morning for breakfast there were waffles, from waffle irons, and chocolate syrup, marshmallows, whipped cream, plain syrup and blueberry sauce for it.
If you think I spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about food, you are right. Perhaps they are things that stick out, perhaps they are things that are easier to talk about, the little, concrete details that mark the inexorable passing of time.
(That earthquake in Japan. It doesn’t – it doesn’t inspire anything particularly painful, though there are four Japanese students here, and one of their hometowns is Sendai, the city closest to the epicenter. All of their families and most of their friends, as far as they know, are good and safe, but surely – it goes without saying – things must be difficult. It is still difficult to empathize – more difficult? Because you see them, you can’t imagine the disaster, the unseen, almost infinite magnitude of the impact, its horrors endless in your mind. When I feel sad for them, it feels terribly like the mere awareness of regret.) IDK, THOUGH.
Today I was aware of being happy, and affectionate towards Pearson, towards the people, just irrationally, just because they were here and for better or worse we’ve spent six months together (six months, and it’s One World this Friday and Saturday, and last year that felt like a mega event that Pearson culminates in). Took so many photos during full run today, and though I’m not really participating in it I feel incredibly proud to be in the audience watching, and it’s a school show, albeit a very good one, no illusions about the standard, but – there is that sense of ownership. I guess I don’t need that ego trip of having shaped it, or whatever. People, too, some more than others, and I suppose if anything I am learning to settle more in my own skin, and to take moments with people and stitch together a quilt of relationships instead of expecting committed friendship and a sustained buildup towards it. People with people and people and living in such a small community when you are used to safe crowds and non-converging social circles takes (took) some getting used to.
Also, I should really shower now.