And so we watch and so we learn/With eyes wide for our dreams to yearn

Archive for the ‘ramblings’ Category

Resolution

It’s August. August September October November…time is creeping closer. Diwali is nearing. The time to fly back to India inches it’s way over the horizon and into the periphery of my visible future. 

And I am scared. 

I’ll be flying alone this time. No family, no parents, no grandmother watching my back this time. I’ve flown alone before, but never so unshielded, so without established structure and shelter. And that is thrilling. But…it’s new. Daunting. India is dangerous, especially for an 18 year old, for a white woman. So many bad things could happen. This goes against all the conventions of safety. I don’t even know how well I will be able to cope amid so much unfamiliar, without anyone guiding me. If I’ll even be able to make enough money to afford the full trip. There’s so much uncertainty, trepidation, unfamiliarity and yes fear, of the unknown and quite possibly life threatening. 

But I have to go. 

It’s not a want or a whim or a fleeting dream anymore. This isn’t 2012. This is need, this is the moon calling ocean tides, tugging them closer, dhanyavad, shukriya and nandri being mixed with efcharisto and gracias in my mental responses, to my predominately greek and spanish speaking co-workers. This is the familiarity and trust and joy, established in the three days I had with my friends there, last time, demanding to be built upon. I need to come back, and find familiarity in the sound and sight of friends laughing beside me in person. I need to see the cities they all speak of, the beautiful and the ordinary and the ugly, the reality that created so much that I love. 

And it will be a risk. I am trusting myself to stand alone and strong, beside those who may permit me, in your India. Things can and probably will go wrong. But I have made too many plans to bail now. And I know, I believe with absolute certainty, that it will be worth it. 

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Before and After

Nostalgia is such an odd thing. We forget sometimes, how much we live in it sometimes. I know I do. 
But not of the past. The past has always been something to move on from, grow from, work past. People say they find comfort in the past, but I don’t. I find comfort in the future. In dreams. 

In planning and yearning and imagining and making true – in wishing and hoping and trusting. It’s a bad habit in ways, but it also makes life…when your dreams come true – and yes, they have and they do – there are never enough words to describe how incredible life feels. How overjoyed and euphoric and brimming with exhilaration, because this is what you dreamed of, and it’s real.

I felt that when I flew to Argentina. When I walked through a South American rainforest. When I had lunch with my boyfriends family. I felt that hour after hour in India – those three days where I spent time with people I’d never heard laugh before, when I hugged them and watched them smile in real time. Reality became surreal, my brain barely able to process anything that wasn’t directly related to this wish unfolding before my eyes, as naturally as if to say ‘Of course they’re right there – where else would they be? How else could the universe be, but this?’
And yet, what they don’t tell you about dreams coming true, is that there is an After. A time and a place where this present has passed, gone, moved on. Life is not still, stagnancy is poisonous, and so change just happen. And so your dreams do happen, and then sometime else must. Your dream, once so vivid in your imagination, and then so breathtakingly alive – they’ll be gone. Their hug cannot last forever, the ice skating rink will finish the session, you’ll have a plane to catch. And it’ll be gone. It’ll be past, lost in the depths of time again – not to go too Disney princess on you, but when you’re faced with your wishes coming true, and …What if it’s not everything you dreamed it would be? And when it passes, what if it is? What do you do then?
I guess Eugene is right. You just gotta then find a new dream.

Handprints

When I was in Rajasthan I stood in a temple and held my hand against a print on a wall. The village had been abandoned for centuries, lost and forgotten, save for the story of their disappearance, tourists clambered over old stone houses and posed amid the ruins. All we knew now, was that the village was haunted. 

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But I stood. In that temple. With that handprint. It wasn’t the only handprint, but this one was in my reach, close enough that I could stand on tiptoes and press my palm to match hers. I knew it was a ‘hers’. Another woman, just like me. 

But she was a woman of long ago. Who’s language I could not understand, even as today words stood carved on the pillars of that temple. Who’s life and culture differs from mine so greatly it takes whole books of ideas to understand. A woman’s handprint, henna red against sandstone. Bu I had been told, I knew what that means; a woman condemned to die. 

In my world, our world, we tell stories to each other, to explain feelings and ideas and what mere facts can explain. We share lives and fantasies as easily as the sun shares sunlight, as the breeze shares coolness with our vividly alive skin. Just think. To be alive. We weave our stories as immortality, armour against our world of fleeting life, held onto with every passing second. Because without them, we forget. What can we remember, but the stories we spin our lives into? Does this make us more substantial, documenting every moment of our existences, with diaries and momentos, Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. Clinging to our nows and making them forever. 

But we forget. 

We forget that lives happen, lives are lived and loved and lost in the hopes of so many, desperation and joy repeating like the seasons. That a woman once stood where I was, and grieved. Not just for the loss of her husband, but the loss of her life. Having tied all her worth to a mere mortal, her life was to be cut as surely as his was, be it by her jumping or being pushed onto his burning body. Cremation for two, because surely love burns eternal.

The real forever lies not in our tweets and saved MP3 files. It lies in handprints, scattered across the globe. It lies in carvings, not in rooms of wood and stone, but in time. We are as old as the universe, truly, and each moment we breathe merely adds to the compilation of time we barely know ourselves. 

Every inch of our planet is layered with the past, of stories and lives told over and over again. Searching for something greater, never knowing if we’ve found it. Will we find it? Maybe, one day. But until then, we can only feel. We can only remember.

We remember for those long gone, what their worlds would have been, when lives ran so alien to your way of now. They weren’t as different as we imagined. They felt wonder and curiosity and fear and pain and joy, just  the same. They died, just as their forefathers did before them. And as feet tread this well worn path, again and again, baby steps of change incrementing us forward imperceptibly, blinking under the sun, one handprint comes to mind. Red, small, thin. The handprint of a wife without a husband. The handprint of a woman about to die. A piece of humanity amid the wreckage ensued by time…more than what is left for so much more if our past. As obscure as our future and as alien as martian life…and yet, her handprint fitted mine, so perfectly, perfectly…

Minds; Across the Universe

(A/N: Dug this out from an old draft and thought, what the hell, I’ll post it anyways.)

“So. I’m on this bus trip across southern Patagonia with 20 or so people right now, and aside from the spectacular sights and stuff to see and experience (we haven’t gotten to that part yet) its rather interesting. Just because no one aside from the bus driver is over the age of 30, 95% of us being between 15 – 18 and the same percentage having grown up and lived the majority of their lives on other continents. There’s 2 chicks from Canada, some Kiwi’s, 2 Swede’s, some from Switzerland and Finland, and a whole bunch from Deutschland. I am the only Australian – in fact I haven’t met a fellow countryman since I left it in February, which is…an experience. And all this is fascinating from a socialistic viewpoint, in the way we’ve all grown up in completely different worlds. And yet we’re all together, 3 continents, worlds, lives, united on an alien one. (We’re all exchange students, in case you need pieces put together.) For one thing, they say plenty beforehand how many people you’ll meet and bond with, people in another country, but dude, you sorta assume it’s gonna be the locals they’re referring to. 😛 Because you don’t realize until you’re eagerly chatting with other travelers, how easy it is to connect with other people who are doing the exact same thing as you. Who fly, see the world, have adventures like you do, and know in person how truly fantastic it is too.

The socialistic part I mentioned before though, was about how you may be going along a similar journey in life, but all of our paths are so completely different it’s quite fascinating, for me at least, comparing all the differences. You read about these things, get it in theory, but until you really Get Out There, your mind doesn’t realize there are those who live their lives, childhoods in a world with as little as 4,000 people, or as many as 4 million. Farms and mountains and israel and moose & penguins & bears & whales & koalas being commonplace – the bare environment affects a personality more than you’d think. Especially when said environment is completely alien to the environment theyre currently in. For many of us, seeing the wide glittering blue ocean after 4-9 months, living in what is about as hilly and dry and as inland can we get, was quite an emotional experience. This is when we start to really sympathize and understand the lores and poems of our forefathers, when they spoke of their love for their country, the lands and landscape of their home.

But I’ve rambled. What the main idea of this was more about the culture, and how much influence you don’t even realize is there. You don’t see these things when you grow up in the same 100 sq kilometers all your life, everyone has the same influences and life habits. That’s great, but we need a wider scope for comparison. Many of the things that define you, haven’t even been realized consciously. The food, the manners and habits that are polite or expected, the holidays, the languages spoken, the immigration rates, the music and brands common…your family and lifestyle is one of the huge and yes most important but, like I said before, your environment and the world you adapted to has adapted you to fit it, quite subtly and deeply.

My case and point sit in the seats of this double decker bus around me. (To those who are a part of this trip and read this, I honestly don’t mean to offend I’m taking a purely intellectual and detached viewpoint here.) There’s over a dozen of us and it’s funny how patterns follow unconsciously in these social groups.
To start with, clearly those who are of the same country have a bond immediately. Even if it’s as far apart as east and west coast, or even if they’re completely different types of people, there are some things which can only be known or appreciated by those in your home country. And naturally languages too, the german and austrian and swiss have a fantastic time talking in very fast German to each other. [Icht ferurun nicht – I understand nothing] 😛 But it’s more than that, subtler and deeper – beyond countries and languages. Because the Canadian chicks get on great with the Kiwi’s and no matter how much the South African girl had laughs comparing the similarities in languages with the Germans, she and moi the Aussie chatted so much more. There was a Brazilian girl and a girl from New Zealand who became incredibly close friends in a short amount of time. These are entirely different continents, far and away from each other, but something in the similarities draws them together, isn’t that interesting? Because then you get a girl from Montana, USA, who has an entirely different way of being to the girls just kilometers above the border, and then there’s the differences in the French and the Italian and English, the Indian and Chinese and Russian. Haven’t gotten them all in the same room together though… 😛 This is why its extremely difficult bordering-on-illegal to experiment on people, right?

I do hope you’ve seen some patterns in my musings on human nature, to do with how interesting patterns form, how we’re unconsciously drawn to people like ourselves in ways, how even sharing an ocean or common immigration patterns can make another foreigner feel closer to you. Obviously there’s buckloads behind the personality and presentation – a particularly funny guy from Sweden laughs loads with the Canadian-French girl. So it’s a mix really, of minds and worlds and such subtle influences it’s hard to see where patterns end and imagination begins 😛 But searching and trying to figure out why and how and more, oh isn’t it fascinating? Humans never change but, why do we, there’s already so many possibilities and intricacies in the variation we have!

Afterthoughts: University is going to be a killer
😛 I could study this and half a dozen other subjects that are equally as fascinating (anthropology, languages, physics, music, biology, engineering) for the rest of my life in bliss. Hey, this is my blog, I am allowed to express as much lifescience as I like 😛 Sure it could be a type of diary about every day things, but I’ve already got 4 of those that I’ve written in!”

Flying Home

WARNING: Emotional rant 😛 If you don’t know me/care about me, I don’t recommend you read the following, unless you want some messily arranged psychological my-head insights.

I’m going home soon. That’s quite possibly the scariest truth I’m facing now. In 16 days I will be going home. Home; Melbourne, Australia. Home, mine, since I was 5, hosting my mother and father and beloved little sisters and grandparents, and all my cousins an hour or 12 away. Home, where I grew up, had my childhood, swam ran learned sang and laughed, made friends and lost them, the sprawling city I’ve loved, where I’ve planned for years to one day raise my own family. Home, a world I haven’t seen for nearing 10 months, 12 if you don’t count the ten days between Indonesia and Argentina.

 

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away
All the pain of yesterday
Know my kingdom awaits
They’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world in coming…

 

If only it was that simple. On one hand, I will be returning, to the security of my own family, to the ease of 99.9% English, to the well known lives and paths of the people who have been around me for years. I won’t be Taasha from Australia who Came Here in February and Speaks Good Castellano now, or Taasha from Australia who Sits In Class Quietly (writing or reading, music or talking occasionally), or even Taasha from Australia who lives in Argentina, who has Travelled the World and Plays Guitar Music that Nobody Knows but Everyone Likes a Little. That’s surface-me here. That’s probably who and what they see, who I appear to be on first glance, and I’ve gotten used to ‘being’ that, even though that’s not who I was. Back home I was Taasha the Smart Talented Student, the Eldest Sister and Happy Caring Friend. I fit in, had family and friends and confidence and the security of years. They were the things I missed the most when I first arrived here, the things I ached and longed to have.

But I don’t anymore. It’s been bloody 10 months, I’ve gotten used to being alone, not understanding a lot of the time, being the strange one who has a hard time communicating, the one without a real family, the loner. The one who has seen more of this country than most of the people around me, (in less than a tenth of the time they’ve spent in it) seen more of the world than most of the people I’ve met, the one who’s learnt to cry silently in the night because she daren’t go to anyone in person. I’ve learnt to be that, and I’ve adapted, and it’s pretty good most of the time, especially the last 4 months. I’m the one who strolls confidently throughout the city, who has fantastic conversations with the street artists and revels in the vivacity of life, the one who never has homework, the one with the expensive iPhone, but lives out of a suitcase and a fantastic array of earrings. I’m happy here, happy being the odd lonely artistic Australian, and I know, knew this existence wasn’t sustainable or quite possibly healthy, but I also knew I couldn’t live craving what I’d left behind. So I didn’t.

And now I’m going home. Back to school in the morning, and classes that are actually taken seriously for a change 😛 and proper uniforms and no nailpolish or hoops, back to my wonderful family who sheltered and loved me enough to encourage me to fly away, friends who were all so close, before the year split us apart. Back to English and taking my bike instead of hailing a cab, busking for my money instead of going to an ATM, back to homework and exams and assignments and little sisters who are wonderful and pesky and talkative and loving and invasive and charming within 1/2 an hour. Back to the city being a dangerous place to hang out, going to the beach on the weekend, singing and hugging when I feel like it, not being alone anymore. But as always, the price of security is freedom.

Far away, long ago
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart used to know,
Things it yearns to remember

Someone holds me safe and warm
Horses prance through a silver storm
Figures dancing gracefully
Across my memory…

Melody, long ago
Sing this song and remember,
Soon you’ll be, home with me
Once upon a December

~Once Upon a December, from the Disney Anastasia

It fits so well. Because it really has become more of a memory to me, the world I used to know. I’ve changed, I’ve learned to live alone, Argentina is my world now. I never quite belonged, but I was happy here, and now that it’s time to leave…I don’t want to. Change is frightening, especially when one is unsure of what change it’ll be. When I left on that plane, on an early Saturday morning, I only looked forward, to the exciting unknown new adventure I was facing, not back at the world I knew, loved and would someday return to. Now when I step onto the airplane, I’ll be leaving behind so many friends, so many places, memories, a world and way of life I will never be able to truly experience the same way again.

And the worst part is; the world, the home I’m returning to? It’s not the same anymore either. And neither am I.

Changes

He sat in front of the screen
Another day passing,
Another day in his world of grey
He sat and posted, linked and shared
She watched him living and despaired
Does he know how much I care?
How much I need him, but how I don’t dare
To reach out, to heal him, hear him smile
How my heart breaks if he’s gone for a while
He was the one who was there from the start
He always will have that place in my heart
But something has changed, twisted, gone
A veil is up, something is wrong
The worst is I know, understand why
What he really needs and wants is not I
So I’ll dry my tears and let it go
Giving up after this time, coz I know
There’s nothing anymore that I can do
Although what I wish, I cannot dare
Only watching, hoping, this pain can I bear?
But I must, only wishes I now send to you
There’s nothing anymore that I can do

….Yea. I wrote this, again, a while back, for/about (obviously) a mate of mine. Who’s name doesn’t need to be disclosed. You can imagine the emotions running behind this, and while it’s now basically moot and merely history, it’s still a decent poem. This’s the thing about me; give me a strong emotion, something bubbling and bursting and pushing inside of me, be it pain, joy, love, fear or any of the more complex, and it usually ends up taking the form of poetry, after I’m done letting out some of the steam by playing my guitar/listening to music. So I’ve got quite an array of poetry stored up from the past few years – I’d much rather be able to write music, but. Enjoy and cultivate the talents you were gifted with. Expect more poems from the past popping up!

N/B: Because the title got it stuck in my head, go listen to Changes by David Bowie and Butterfly Boucher xD

Growing Up

Do you know what’s interesting? How people grow up. How people think. Just, imagining back when you were 7 or so. (For some that’ll be merely a handful of years, for others the dinosaurs were still evolving :P) But, remember how grown-up you felt? Like you were big and could handle anything. And then when you were 12. Leaving primary school/being in middle school and starting to look at boys and going out and doing things by yourself. Most definitely grown up. And looking at the 7 year old babies, how so much less mature they were. And then there’s you now, at whatever age you happen to be in. To quote Andrew Blake who probably quoted it off someone else, “You’ve never been as old as you are today.” or something like that. And it’s true. Things happen in your life, over the years, change your mind and how you perceive the world.

We, as individuals, are constantly changing, the same way a teenage boy is constantly growing – and although its difficult to measure in small doses, and easier to see after large intervals of time. I think maybe that’s part of the reason teenagers get so cocky; because they’re thinking new thoughts with bigger, opener minds, and they can see that they are, and how much more similar they are, and independent, from the ‘Adults’. So, they start thinking that they’ve matured Enough, and that they should be treated the same as The Grown Ups. I don’t blame them, everybody wants to be important, independent and treated like a grown up – even 7 year olds. But that’s the thing I’ve been coming to realize. It’s not that simple. There isn’t ever any stopping point, a marker that says Done. There’s always something more, wisdom experience or understanding, that matures you that much more. Think about the Adults in the world around you – sometimes, they too have nofuckingidea what to do, what to say, or what the solution is to the curveball life’s thrown at them. 😛

It’s like those head-spinning physics theories, about 7th and 8th + dimensions. They could quite plausibly exist, but it’s incredible hard to imagine the idea of existing with extra dimensions, simply because we have no idea what it could possibly be like. Our minds cannot fathom an idea it has never encountered, it can’t imagine something so alien to anything it knows. There’s been examples made, of 2 dimensional and three dimensional worlds, but for more modem world examples; try and ask a lifelong nun to describe the sensation of French kissing. Or a man to describe the pain of giving birth. Or even a child who has lived on a farm inland all her life to describe the ocean in all 5 senses. It’s impossible. Not their fault at all, and I’m sure there are things a celibate nun has experienced that a boy-happy teen party girl hasn’t. But that’s the great conundrum of life really, getting more, be it experience or wisdom or understanding. Or maybe I’m just an a-typical Ravenclaw 😛

Back to the point though – we can’t imagine anything beyond what we’ve already experienced. So how can we imagine or be any wiser or more mature than we already are? Simply put, time. Just keep living, living life to the full, living and experiencing as much to the full as you can. And accept that there’s still more, that there’s always things you don’t yet understand. Yet.