Monday, January 31, 2011

White screen

One would think people get blue, but no ― I get a white one.

I can only see the tabs at the top, so I know it actually is my blog. I'd be pretty much clueless otherwise.

I've been meaning to write for a while now, but every time that thought comes back, I shake it off with something else.

Okay, a sip of tea.

I say it out loud, yes. I turn the mug around and try to figure out what kind of berries is printed on it. I never learned the proper names in English, which has pretty much ruined my vocabulary on the subject in others as well.

Raspberry? Mulberry? What's mulberry look like?

I stand up to pick up a dictionary and drop down even faster than I stood up. I think to myself how stupid I am. Google right in front of me and I'm getting a book. Silly me.

Is that why I don't remember the different names? Is that the reason I only pick up a book when I know that I wouldn't find whatever out otherwise? Is the white Google page strapped with a single entry line what's keeping me away from the small pleasures of life?

Do you remember getting letters?

And it's still there ― a white page ― only a different one this time. I don't know what's going on with it, but it's not loading. And all I can see are glimpses of a page I remember.

It feels almost as horrible as a blank Word document, reminding me of the lack of inspiration, eagerness or, simply, will to write anything.

A blue screen might be a bit more appropriate at the moment, with the whole mess going on in my head.

Feeling blue.

Where did that come from? From feeling uncomfortably chilly maybe? Or from the vastness of blue, both horizontal and vertical, which surrounds us?

Why not black? Isn't it the darkest? Well, maybe it's just not that bad.

Dark green or navy blue? Even purple. Or hell-dark red. Mulberry!

And all I get is white.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The New, Happy 2011

I still can't gripe the fact that another one has creeped up on us. Twenty-eleven, with all its surprises and expectancies. Since I'm lazing off in Austria, I still haven’t been forced into paperwork that much, so I'm not used to writing the number yet.

I don't see it that often either. Only when I went through some blogs now did I notice the horrid number above the posts. Should I be terrified it by it or just enjoy the bliss of knowing that 2010 is finally over? Nine was horrible, ten wasn't that much better and I simply don't know what to expect from it.

Aside the fact that it's basically just a number on a piece of paper, people (sometimes including me) tend to make a big deal out of it. In a way it reminds me of what I read when I was preparing an exam on Americas' Indians and how they knowingly divided the years in periods, in order to finish a certain circle and be able to start a new one ― fresh and optimistic.

Why can’t we have our own personal calendars, where we write our own personal tasks, plans and hopes? Why does it all have to be predetermined? Why do we have to align to someone else’s calendar?

New Year’s resolutions are so unproductive anyway. People just make a big fuss out of them, struggle for a couple of weeks and decide they’re going to try anew at the next year beginning anyway. And even if they do manage to work it out, they’ll just swap it for another resolution in a bit more than three hundred days.

There should be decade’s resolutions. Try to work that out!

Most of the people who know me won't even bother. You just have to perk up is what most of them are likely to say. When you're pessimistic (or at the very least realistic), people you're surrounded by usually won't give you much credit when talking about some stuff that leans more to the serious side. It's just your pessimism talking...

I really need a good year. Nothing selfish indeed and not much to do with me really. I can't think anything good will happen by nature. Maybe less bad. It's just that I hope all the bad things have come too an end. We've had so many lately and I reckon people need a perk up ― something to make it all bearable. A bit more bearable. At least something.

Fuck, I don't even know what I'd want. I know what I wouldn't want. But if some thing or being came up to me and said a wish of mine could be granted, I wouldn't have a clue in this world. Some would call it indecisive, some spoilt, some lazy... I just don't want to make plans for something that I have no control of. I’d probably go all miss-World and rant about world peace and health and no hunger and stuff.

Especially lately, when the world is changing so rapidly, can one notice how helpless we all are. And how we think we're running our own lives. Steady jobs, mortgages and bank loans. In our own vicious circles, forced to a life we don't really want and inhibited from those we'd prefer.

An invisible and untangible leash.

Pessimism sucks. It's so contra productive and it brings you down. Whatever you accomplish, a novelty just pops up. Something new to occupy your mind and make you lose sight of some (possibly) nice things that are happening around. It's so tiring. I despise it.

But it cannot be helped. Not unless you run away. And not even then, I think. It's hard for me to leave stuff behind. Not so much things, but thoughts. And people. And thoughts about people. Sometimes I wish there was a button that I could click which would just make me stop analyzing. My thoughts, my words, my deeds, my efforts, my opposites.

To be free of thoughts and worries; of tabs and lists; dates, cards and expiration dates. Of schedules, discomfort, annoyance, hopelessness and helplessness...

I’ve been there once. And I managed to forget about it all. But it all still came back.

That moment is way too precious to forget it though. So you cling to it and hope it will come back. Hope you’ll be able to get there once more. Maybe it’s not that close and maybe it’s not a place at all, but you cuddle the feeling and nourish it and water it and hope it will grow so big and cozy and powerful it will simply devour you.

I better go and finish my coffee now. I think the milk has gone bad. I'll really have to get used to the date.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Hundred Words: Austria

The terrace door is open and I can hear water dripping from all the snow melting up on the roofs.

A car drives by from time to time, but not as often as one would think.

There's a weird expectation in the air, since I had a feeling I could feel the building shake last night as the train passed. At that time I wasn't sure whether it was a dream, an earthquake or the train itself.

In a foreign country, surrounded with foreign people, one would think I'd feel lost.

Or at least alienated.

Yet it feels strangely comfortable.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The often-called Spelling Nazi at his worst

As I lay in my bed (well, on the couch in the living room), I had a clear picture about what I wanted to write about. More a visual image of Word being opened and both my palms hovering over the keyboard than an actual image of the situations and people at hand, but I still managed to lose it.

I've written (more like ranted) about it before, especially while I was in India. I still leaf through the dodgy notebooks from time to time, trying to make some sense out of the mind storm that was going on in my head at that time. Losing, as Germans would say, den roten Faden after a blink of an eye. I see myself as one of those freaks one day, or autopsy people, talking in a digital recorder, trying to store thoughts, ideas and shapes. I wonder if it would be the same. I think not.

Trying to remember certain phrases or sentences has always been kind of hard for me. That's probably why I've always had isuues with theoretical exams in my life. It just doesn't seem natural to me to learn things by heart. Oh, when I remember the stupid poems I had to learn in school ― so pointless.

I think forcing an idea might somehow level out with losing it, if that makes any sense. Trying to remember thoughts seems like trying to copy a museum masterpiece. It's something one simply can't copy and, what's even worse, it's being stuck in an institution, in an unnatural environment, for people to stare at it and judge it.

But isn't that what we're all doing? Launching our thoughts out in the open, for everyone to see them and feel free to decide whether they like it or not. Is there a point to it after all? Aren't those our thoughts and ours only? Do we lose ownership over them by clicking the Publish button? Does is work that way at all?

Maybe it's comparable to literature, poetry and any form of art really. Canvassing an idea that people might appreciate. Simply the sharing. Some might dislike it, but who cares, right? I think there's surely someone out there who'll ditch your idea. I will be the first to dislike most famous artists' products. And that often turns me into an asshole. When I say his or hers new album or some new blockbuster with a mega famous Hollywood braud sucks. Mainstream people think I'm an ass. But I think they're the ones who're doing it wrong.

I like words, since I believe that the final cause changes the idea itself. Some people might be better off with a brush or an instrument, but making art just to make it somehow loses its purpose in my head. Art’s being made for its own sake.

Not that I'm an artist ― far from that ― but I somewhat like to use my own brain. My own inner compass. I sure as hell won't let other people tell me what I like and what I dislike. I've been taught to express my opinion and that's what I tent to do. I'm aware of the fact that it can be annoying though, but believe me, I'm the first one to be annoyed by it.

I hate the fact that I see an error calami when I open up a page. I hate stressing over grammatical errors in an article I like. I hate the fact that my friends hate it when I see those errors and hiss over them. I'd love to be more tolerant. I really would.

But I still believe there’s a difference between constructive criticism and a yapping mouth. I’m not the type who’ll go comment on errors, although I feel that I might as well turn into one of those. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who reacts to spelling and grammatical errors in the daily newspapers, but it sure annoys the hell out of me. (The reason is so many self-declared journalists and news people, who in fact just have connections or a nice cleavage, but that’s another story.)

After all, we do have spell checks in this century...

And whenever I read a cover story, I open the page and see three errors. Right away. It’s not only a professional deformation, but a curse. I’m horrified by the fact that there will be a typo in my texts. Especially when I’m writing in a language that isn’t native to me. By the mere fact that it’s in English, thecoefficient of the members of the jury who might find an error storms right up. I don't think there's a point to it, but it sure does make me even more uncomfortable.

Maybe I'm just not cut out to write. After I write a text, I just can't see the errors. I'll have to give my final thesis to various people, so that they find the errors I'm surely going to oversee. Sometimes I wonder if the same systems works with other things than writing.

But I'll do something ― I'll try not to care. I really enjoy reading a good piece of a text and I won't let it affect me. And now, after not writing about what I wanted to write about, I'll just go and read some texts that I wanted to catch up on. There's very nice blogs out there and they give me hope. Hope of quality ideas and no typos. Texts that make me think about stuff an hour after reading them. Texts that make me wish I were more fluent in foreign languages. Oceans of words that make me shut my computer down with a subtle grin on my face.

You are my psychiatrists and my tour guides. You're my imagination and my windows into other worlds. You're my newspapers and my TV. My photo albums and tickling ideas about all that is out there. So cheers out to you guys from snowy but sunny Österreich!


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