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Thursday, January 18th, 2007
6:51 pm - let's get down to the real reason why.
what do you do, and why do you do it? whether it's work, school, sex, drugs, art, adventure, or just getting out of bed every morning (or not getting out of bed every morning)--whatever it is that you find yourself doing--WHY do you do it?

today in political philosophy my teacher asked the class the question, "why are you in school?" and the dialogue that ensued pretty much went like this:

i go to school because i want to earn a degree and get a good job.

why do you want a good job?

so i can make money.

why do you want to make money?

so i can provide for my family, live comfortably, see the world, support worthy causes, etc.

why do you want to do those things?

because those things are good.

why are they good?

because they make me happy.

why do you want to be happy?

because happiness is good.

why is happiness good?


because why?

...just because.

i imagine this is a typical response to the question "why do you do [whatever it is that you do]?" what i'm wondering is this: will every person, regardless of what they do and their various reasons, inevitably come to the same ultimate conclusion? will we all reach the same answer before there's nothing left to say in response to the question why?

happiness can mean many different things depending on who you ask. pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction. is our idea of happiness the motivation for everything we ever do? of course, we all do things that we know won't make us happy--some people spend the better part of their lives doing these things--but such activities are always seen as a means to an end. what is that end? is it happiness?

what would you say it is? i'm curious.

(8 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007
6:21 pm - the thing about unconditional love is...
if you've ever had it for anyone, then you must always have it for everyone.

at least, that's what makes sense to me. because when you love someone unconditionally, what is it that you love about them? it can't be their personality, because our personalities are always changing. it can't be about anything lovely or enjoyable or beautiful or intelligent about their mind or their behavior. it can't be about how they interact with you, or what their life means in relation to yours.

when you love someone without conditions, i mean really without conditions, you simply love their existence, their being, their spirit. and this part of us, this spirit, is the same in me as it is in you. it's the same in Mother Theresa as it is in Hitler and Gandhi and George Bush and your parents and your friends and your enemies and Bill Gates and Britny Spears and the homeless man asking for your change. it's the element that makes us all equal when in every other aspect we are not equal at all. it's the part of us that just is because we just are. if you love a person for any reason other than that, it has to be based on certain conditions. so i think unconditional love is more rare than people think.

it may even be impossible.

(1 red balloon | floating in the summer sky)

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007
5:19 pm - my logic is flawless
like most people, i've always failed to keep any New Year's resolutions that i've made in past years. in fact, not only have i always failed to improve, but i've always succeeded in becoming even worse than i was before.

so this year i came up with a brilliant plan: make New Year's resolutions that are the exact opposite of how i really want to change. that way, when i fail, everything will be perfect. genius, right? yes. genius.

(floating in the summer sky)

Saturday, October 14th, 2006
8:20 pm - the color of the universe is (drum roll please).........


because no one wants to call it beige.

it's true. you don't believe me? ask the dishes!

(floating in the summer sky)

Friday, October 13th, 2006
9:15 pm - caterpillar dreams and beatific visions
lately i've been having these moments where i am strangely aware of the fact that i'm becoming a different person. all of us are constantly changing--growing or shrinking, shedding our skin, becoming something other than what we once were--but usually it isn't something we notice until after it's already happened. i can definitely feel it, though. i can't put my finger on what it means, exactly, or where i'm going, but it definitely means something and i'm definitely going somewhere.

it's kind of like i'm in a cocoon, asleep, in a dream that i can't wake up from until i've prepared myself for my own metamorphosis.

i've been learning a lot about myself, in this dream, because the people i meet and the conversations i have are quite often reflections of myself. it's possible that everything i've been experiencing has been a reflection of myself... and this possibility is what scares me.

what terrifies me is the thought that maybe i won't ever figure out what i need to know, or what i need to do in order to get out of here. i'm so afraid of being stuck here forever, because then nothing in my world will ever be anything more than a fragment of myself, a piece of a dream. the people in my life will never be anything more than dream characters; they will never be human beings. i will always be my own universe.

and maybe that is just the way it is, but i sincerely hope it isn't.

in class the other day, my poetry teacher said that perhaps even more awesome than being able to mean it when you say to someone: i love you, is being able to mean it when you say: i know you. he described this amazing, very spiritual moment in his past, when he saw his wife for who and what she truly is: the beauty of all humanity; the beauty of life itself--right there in her being, radiating. he described the experience as a sort of "beatific vision", which, in Catholic theology, is the direct perception of God. my teacher said that he believes almost everyone has an experience like this at least once in their lifetime.

i hope he's right about that, but i'm not so sure. i am pretty sure, though, that no one experiences anything like that in their dreams. in a dream you cannot truly love anybody else, or know anybody else, or see even the briefest glimpse of God in anybody else's being.

when your universe consists entirely of your own self, there is nobody else to know.

so i hope i really am changing into something new--something pure and real. something human. and i hope that when the time comes i'll be able to complete the transition. i know that the past year has got to mean something, and i'm sure that i've been on a journey to somewhere...

i just haven't figured out the specifics as of yet.

(2 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Sunday, September 17th, 2006
8:24 pm - my friend Ali used to carry around a pig's eye in her purse,
enclosed in an empty Altoid tin.

i carry around vertebrae in my purse, enclosed in an orange pill bottle. the bottle is identical to the one i keep pills in, so sometimes when i go to take a pill, i find vertebrae instead. it feels kind of strange, kind of surreal, because i never fully expect it. i like that. i like seeing things in places they wouldn't normally be. it makes me wonder--how many times have vertebrae been inside pill bottles before?

i wonder if Ali ever went to get an Altoid and found the pig's eye instead. that would probably be even better than finding vertebrae in a pill bottle. how many people have ever seen a pig's eye in an Altoid container? probably not too many.

(2 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Thursday, September 7th, 2006
3:06 pm - i overheard something earlier that made me think...
today was the second day of my tutoring job, and all i was required to do was sit at a table in the Learning Center for three hours and wait for anyone who needed tutoring. no one did, so i spent quite a bit of that time eavesdropping.

at one point, a very intelligent-sounding gentlemen was talking about how he used to believe in the same things his parents did, because that's what he was taught. but now, since learning how to think for himself, he has distanced himself from his parents idealogy.

one thing he said really stuck out to me, so i wrote it down, verbatim:

as students, we are trained to think for ourselves.

that statement struck me as kind of funny. we are trained to think for ourselves. trained. to think. for ourselves. does that really make sense?

i can see the point he was making---there are definitely methods and tools we can learn and use to help us think critically and decide the truth for ourselves. but i think a lot of what people call "free-thought" is no more free than the thought of a child who believes what his parents tell him is true. people go to college and are taught to reject the beliefs of their parents, and, when they do, they think that means they are free-thinkers.

but if you are being trained by anyone, there is going to be a certain bias, a certain paradigm being impressed upon you with the intention of influencing your thought. if people want to think for themselves, they shouldn't look to their parents or their teachers or their friends to help them do it. they should look to themselves.

(floating in the summer sky)

Monday, July 17th, 2006
10:53 pm - so dawn goes down to day. nothing gold can stay.
the sunrise is my new favorite thing. i stayed out all night and then went to the lake in the morning to watch it. the swan is named Moses--he's my new favorite person. i thought he was going to kill me, but he didn't, and i'm so grateful to him for that. he was beautiful. the sunrise was beautiful. it was a really good morning.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost

(2 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Saturday, May 6th, 2006
8:17 pm - I've gone looking for that feeling everywhere.
it's always bothered me how people often say things like "life sucks" when really i think what they mean to say is "my life sucks" and not even that, but "the world sucks" and not even that, but "during my existence in this world, a lot of things have happened that have really sucked." because yes, the world can be a horrible place. and yes, people can do terrible things.

but life, in essence, is something that we should all be in love with, and i think we all are, whether we realize it or not. you might say, "what about people who commit suicide? they hate life." but the truth is that they don't hate life, and they don't want to die—they just want their pain to end. if God came down and said to someone who was about to kill themselves, "wait! if you don't do it, i'll make your life perfect and full of happiness", they aren't going to say to him, "no, i just hate life in general. it sucks. i just want to be dead because being alive is stupid."

and when someone says something like, "she's so full of life!" no one thinks, "sucks to be her" because we know that being full of life is a good thing.

we know that LIFE is a good thing. life is being. life is breathing. life is when you feel alive. you know those moments when the whole world seems to sparkle and you can feel your own energy, your own electricity, in your brain and your toes and everywhere in-between and you know that if you were to suddenly fall down dead it would be all right? those moments are rare, but i know i've experienced them and i'd like to believe everyone does at some point. because that's life, or at least something very close to life. it isn't always a happy feeling—you may experience it at your lowest point—but it's life, and regardless of your emotional state, you know that it's good because you feel alive.

it's like the scene in Fight Club when the narrator is in the passenger seat of a car that Tyler is driving into oncoming traffic. he starts freaking out, screaming and swearing, and eventually gets Tyler to move back into the right lane. but then Tyler starts yelling, saying, "look at you! you're pathetic. stop trying to control everything and just. let. go. LET GO!"

the narrator, having no choice but to comply, says, "alright, fine" and Tyler, returning his gaze to the road, says, "fine." they sit in silence as Tyler starts to drive the car off the road. in slow motion we see them crash into a parked car; we see them slide over the edge of the embankment and roll down a hill into a ditch, landing up-side down.

when Tyler emerges from the vehicle dragging the bloody and injured narrator, he laughs and says, "we just had a near-life experience!"

it's that kind of thing, you know... it's letting go because you know you can't control it, and, by letting go, allowing yourself to experience life for what it really is—not the things that happen to you or the people you know or the emotions you feel, but pure, unadulterated life.

there's this great book called Jesus' Son and probably my favorite passage from it is this:

Down the hall came the wife. She was glorious, burning. She didn't know yet that her husband was dead. We knew. That's what gave her so much power over us. The doctor took her into a room with a desk at the end of the hall, and from under the closed door a slab of brilliance radiated as if, by some stupendous process, diamonds were being incinerated in there. What a pair of lungs! She shrieked as I imagined an eagle would shriek. It felt wonderful to be alive to hear it! I've gone looking for that feeling everywhere.

maybe that seems sick, or cruel... but it's not really about the pain of the wife over the death of her husband. it's about having a confrontation with life and having nowhere to run, no excuses to make, so you just let go and you take it for what it is, in it's most pure and raw form, underneath all the layers of language and connotation and conscious thought, and it's beautiful even when it's terrible because it makes you feel wonderful just to be alive.

i imagine it's the way a drowning person feels right before they breathe the water into their lungs.

it's an epiphany. it's the moment of truth. it's complete and total surrender.

it's as close as we can come to the Garden of Eden, to the way Adam and Eve felt before the existence of death.

i think that sometimes the people who are the most in love with life are the most sad, too, because their days are spent in search of that feeling and they're afraid that all they will ever get are brief glimpses and fleeting moments.

and maybe that is all they'll ever get—in this world, anyway. but that's better than the disenchanted apathy of all the people who never mean to wake up in the morning because they've tricked themselves into believing that life is the enemy. these people just exist.

i don't want to just exist.

i don't want anyone to just exist, because everyone should have at least a few near-life experiences.

(20 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
6:47 pm - i'm pretty helpless
i can't even kill the little bugs that are taking over my room and eating Delilah. i don't want to kill them, but i don't want them to kill Delilah either, and i don't want them to crawl into my nose and ears while i'm sleeping.

(2 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005
Tom Cruise Kills Oprah.

so this is almost 24 hours of no sleep for me, and the last time i did sleep, i only got about 5 hours (at the very most). i've got a lot to do tomorrow (today), too. so the question is: should i go to sleep now or just stay awake the rest of the day?

i've got gingerbread houses to make.

the worst part is that, at this point, i can't find any music that makes me feel good. not even Raffi. there's just something troubling about every song i listen to, no matter how happy or encouraging it may be.

i learned how to play Sublime - Boss DJ tonight. it's so nice, i want to hear the same song twice. it's so nice, i want to hear the same song twice. but i played it much more than twice; i played it over and over again and over and over again until it wasn't so nice anymore, until it wasn't anything anymore. try repeating something that many times - it loses all meaning. repetition is a funny thing because a little bit of it can strengthen meaning, while too much can destroy it altogether.

but now i've got grape juice diluted with water and it makes me feel a little better.

i just thought of a new livejournal username i would like to have: somniloquy (sóm'nilukwee) - the medical term for sleep talking. i think that's really what i'm doing here most of the time - talking in my sleep - but probably so are a lot of other people which is why i'm not surprised the name's already been taken.

i should be going to Florida next week but everything is just too complicated. i'm not sure what's good for me anymore. my magic eight ball is empty, or it might as well be.

i hate the way it feels to look back from the future on things that haven't happened yet. there's nothing quite so helpless or hopeless. i've never really been able to explain it but that's the way i felt in a certain recurring nightmare that i used to have when i was little. it must have been in an unknown dimension or something because i can't describe it with words or even pictures, but i can remember it. i can remember that feeling that was so much more than just a feeling, of desperately wanting to stop some terrible thing that i could see happening and ending and approaching all at the same time, but not being able to do anything about it. it's like slipping off the edge of the grand canyon and being paralyzed for eternity in that moment of complete shock. it's like fast forward and rewind at the same time.

there are still moments when i experience that emotion (for lack of a better word) and it's only in those moments that i really understand it at all.

haha, i'm not insane. really. it just feels good to type this stuff out. i'm just sleep talking.

maybe i should stay awake until 8:00 tomorrow morning. that would be 48 hours. i don't think i've ever been awake that long.

no liz. why do you do this to yourself? there's nothing cool or interesting or funny about sleep deprivation.

(4 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005
2:06 pm
last night i dreamt that i somehow managed to pull the moon down from the sky. i'm not sure if it was an accident or if i did it on purpose.

in my hands it looked like a rather large, misshapen jelly-bean. it was soft like a jelly-bean, too, and coated with a thin grey shell that glowed in the dark. i kept trying to show it to people - show them what it was and how i'd taken it out of the sky - but no one would listen.

as i held it in my hands, the grey coating started to crack and crumble, which frightened me and caused me to panic, thinking what have i done? i didn't consider the moon's affect on the tides or anything like that, i just thought about how everybody would be so sad without their beloved moon to illuminate the night sky. after all, the moon was something that had always been there, something people could depend on and i suspected that, without it there, every person on earth would feel a little bit empty inside.

so i frantically tried to come up with ways to put it back - maybe throw it as hard as i could or build some sort of machine or something - but i kept thinking even if i can get it back up there, will it give off any light without this shell? i doubted it. it really seemed hopeless; i really felt awful about it. i can't remember what happened after that, but i think i just gave up.

anyway, i didn't remember any of this until i was in the car this morning on my way to work, and i saw the moon all nice and pretty and white against the blue sky. as soon as i saw it i felt so relieved but had no idea why. then all at once my dream came back to me and it made perfect sense.

it was a good feeling.

(4 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Thursday, December 15th, 2005
12:59 am - i will be grateful for this day
i will be grateful for each day to come.

(floating in the summer sky)

Saturday, December 10th, 2005
2:20 am
i want to feel exhausted. i want that to be the reason i fall asleep at night. i want to crawl into bed and feel comfortable there. i want to be able to breathe a satasfied sigh before i slip quickly and naturally into unconsciousness because i can list the reasons why the past 15 hours were worth living. i want the reason i fall asleep at night to be because i'm just too tired to stay awake any longer, and i want my dreams to be real only as long as they last.

(floating in the summer sky)

Friday, December 9th, 2005
2:11 pm - there is certainly room for change.
after the 14th of this month, i'm going to:

- do some sort of detox diet
- eat healthy (vegan, and NO CANDY)
- exercise
- start reading and writing again
- take a break from chemical substances (medication, coffee, etc.)
- read my Bible and pray every day
- be still and know that God is God and i am not
- get new strings for my guitar and learn some new songs
- practice my banjo
- practice honesty
- stop being so awful to my family
- work on being less self-absorbed

wouldn't that be nice? it will be nice. birthday presents for Jesus.

(2 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
4:23 pm - The Human Condition

ain't that the truth?

(4 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Thursday, September 15th, 2005
8:13 pm - i need some distraction.
i can't paint my nails anymore, so this pretty orange is all over my fingers. what does that mean?

the other day i saw the most disturbing video and was quite horrified by it. but it's not so unnerving if you know who "The Goddess Bunny" is. actually, technically, she's a man, and she looks the way she does because she was born with polio. apparently she's very famous in Hollywood's underground scene.

i'm going to kill myself if i lost my Speech book. honestly, i just don't do things like that. i don't lose Speech books - especially not Speech books that cost 50 dollars. especially not Speech books that other people have to use too. this school year just isn't going the way it should.

Associated Press
A local area man was taken into custody yesterday on charges of creating a public disturbance. Neighbors report first noticing the disturbance at approximately 3:30pm and alerting police at 3:45; the unidentified man was charged and arrested without incident shortly thereafter. Onlookers and passers-by described the disturbance as "very disturbing."


i really don't feel like going anywhere right now. not to Starbucks to study and chat with people to whom i cannot relate. and i don't want to be able to realte, which makes their company even more troubling, because what am i supposed to say to them? i don't want to be like them, but i don't want to cause conflict by being different. i never want to cause conflict, period.

Ali says i let people walk all over me, and i know that i do. i'm trying to change, but it's hard not to come off as rude or selfish or unreasonable. why do i even care? i'd rather be me. that's not selfish, i don't think.

anyway. life is beautiful. thank you, my twilight.

sank yu, mai tawailaiiiiiiiiight!

(4 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Thursday, September 8th, 2005
7:08 pm - i'll make you banana pancakes and pretend like it's the weekend
Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see.

haha. it's funny 'cause it's true!

i've really just been killing time today. killing time. that's awful. why would anyone want to kill time? what a sad expression. but then, i guess time kills us, too. so maybe we're just trying to get even.

well time's not poison but once you drink it all you'll die. so let's just sip it real slow...

i missed the dead bodies and that upsets me. they're coming to Cleveland soon though, so hopefully i'll get to see them there. Chicago was fun anyway. saw some cool things. met some nice people. interesting faces in interesting places. new experiences. it was strange, though, let me tell ya. it was surreal. there's something weird about being in a different place, away from my parents and everything i know so well. it's not common for me to see things that i haven't already memorized. so Chicago was good for me. i think i could live there. for a while anyway.

hmm. i'm a little bit sad today. i shouldn't be, though.

it's great that Mary and Matt are in school during the day so i can use to computer and find new music. i found a lot of new music today. and new music is a good thing.

new is nice.

(1 red balloon | floating in the summer sky)

Thursday, August 18th, 2005
1:37 pm - In the "event" of a water landing,
please keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle as it disentigrates into a hundred million sparkly burning bits.

• • •

"There is a fairy tale about two frogs in a can of sour cream. The frogs were drowning in the cream. There was nothing solid there; they could not jump from the can. One of the frogs understood there was no hope, and he stopped beating the sour cream with his legs. He just died. He drowned in sour cream. The other one did not want to give up. There was absolutely no way it could change anything, but it just kept kicking and kicking and kicking. And then all of a sudden, the sour cream was churned into butter. Then the frog stood on the butter and jumped out of the can. So you look at the sour cream and you think, 'There is no way I can do anything with that.' But sometimes, unexpected things happen."

• • •

1.) dream about end of world
2.) build fort out of sofa

• • •

Q. What pets make beautiful music?
A. Trum-pets!

Q. Why is an empty purse always the same?
A. Because it never has any change in it!

Q. Why do dogs like to bark?
A. A frog in a blender!

Q. What is the best thing in a cake?
A. Teeth!

current mood: bitterfilms.com

(5 red balloons | floating in the summer sky)

Friday, August 12th, 2005
9:49 am - my pinky nail is painted such a nice blood red.
i'm wearing a wig and it kind of makes me feel like a different person. but that could also be a side effect of my complete lack of sleep last night. hopefully i can force myself to stay awake all day, and then fall asleep at a normal and sane hour tonight. wouldn't that be something? a normal bedtime.

right now i'm in Royal Oak with quite a lot of time to kill. what shall i do? maybe see a movie, or two.

the coffee shop i went to earlier is so nice. the employees there are so friendly, and they know the names of everybody who comes in. and they actually say the person's name, which sounds so strange and wonderful to me, because i hardly ever hear anyone actually say a person's name anymore.

i think maybe i'll buy a lot of wigs and wear them every day. wouldn't that be something? a different wig for every day of the week.

(floating in the summer sky)

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