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Gift List [Dec. 21st, 2004|09:31 pm]
Saravana
This is a little list of the presents I am going to give this year:
  •  An amazing three faced doll, to play the whole "Little Red Riding Hood" story: It is hard to describe, but she has two heads, like this o+<>+o, a dress that is red on one side, blue on the other, which you can choose to cover either one or the other doll. On one side is Red Riding Hood, on the other are the grandmother and the wolf. Yes, the second head has two sides, and you can cover either one or the other head with a hat. I think this gift is rather amazing… I may offer it to myself ;-P but I think I will just buy a second one, and offer it to a specific nephew, or his parents.
  • A flower press, for kids, with a ladybird and snail theme. I know one of my sisters would like her boy to have one, because she loved that kind of things when she was a kid. 
  • "Angry Housewives eating Bon Bons" by Lorna Landvik for my little sister who wanted an uplifting book describing her situation (or the one she preceives herself to be into, as she is not a housewife (she works and in quite a good job)). 
  • A book called “The wicked history of the world” by Terry Deary and Martin Brown. I will offer it to one of my nephews (my godson) whose father is in the army and whose mother (my sister) is a devout catholic. I know they will be shocked. In fact, I liked horror stories when I was a kid, and while I think the book is a bit “gross” (it details all the horrors people inflicted over each other through wars and other niceties over the centuries), it is very English too, in that they seem to consider all that with ironic and rugged detachment. 
  • A  CD compilation of songs by Beth Orton, "Pass in Time", for one of my brothers whom I know will like the singer (she is amazing) salt and vinegar chips because you don't find them in France and he is a fan.
  • A T-Shirt with a “The Distiller” theme for my little brother. I am not sure he likes them, but he will like the T-shirt, that I am sure of.
  • Crackers for everybody, like last year.

I also participate in

  • A gifts for my parents (probably a subscription to a golf journal a book in the Pleiade collection (luxury books with the complete work of one author on bible paper, as it is a tradition to offer one to my father every year). 
  • A gift for my elder sister (the one with many kids, we offer her and her husband a week-end for themselves in a nice B&B while one of us takes care of the kids).
  •  I do not have to bring gifts for two of my siblings, because they are abroad (overseas French territories), I will simply send them postcards and give them a gift next time I see them. 
  • I also bought a small soft ball and a checkered mouse for the cat I was sitting for and I will bring back some cheese from the Alps for friends here and maybe some Calvados if I find some.

I am leaving tomorrow my friends’ house as she is coming back from NY and I am leaving for vacation in France. I will move to my new, awesome house (I signed the contract today) when I come back. I will miss this place, and will miss the cat too (but I will adopt one).

 

This next year is going to be nice. This past year was OK, even though I lost a lot of time and didn’t pursue my objectives with the strength and the will I would have liked to apply. I will keep on trying to prioritize, i.e. be conscious of what I really want to do, what I really value, and then, work in that direction, even if I don’t believe I can make it.

 

I have done so with renewed application in the past three months and I am feeling better. I am really glad anyway at how lenient life has been to me up to now. I think it gave me a lot I didn’t deserve, and those presents were always received by me with much surprise and astonishment. I am wondering when life will tire of giving me my chances again and again. Not that I don’t take the opportunities it gives me (though I could do more with them), not also that I can be overwhelmingly proud of what I did do (in fact, I do think I am a complete nothing compared to so many people around me or in the news whom I admire). But I am grateful to life because it never broke me to the point of not being able to rise up again, and I am grateful because it always let me dream. Now, maybe it will wake me up, and maybe that will be a good thing? Who knows?

 

Happy Christmas for those who celebrate, Happy Holidays to the others, and happy New Year to everybody.

Link2 wrote on me

Christmas!!! [Dec. 20th, 2004|09:48 pm]
Saravana
It is starting to really feel like Christmas. I love Christmas, how people start being completely distracted thinking of what gifts they will receive, how you have lots of soothing happy music in the stores and nobody can be rude and you also try to be nice, how the air becomes colder and drier, how you get to enjoy a sunset at 4pm, the special kind of light, the animations in the streets and you seem to be the only one noticing them, the choirs and skating rinks, how people hurry home with packed gifts, hot wine parties at 5pm, meeting at the restaurant around a cup of chocolate, leaving the year behind and not worrying, staying up at night until 3am and waking up at 6am because you are so excited, also how you get to travel all over the place and never know who is going to be there or not and you plan everything at the last minute but everybody is nice about it and there is always somebody who takes charge, how you get to meet most of the family and phone people who couldn't come because they are far far away abroad across the oceans, exchanging pictures and everybody showing off, one a new baby, the other a new job, the last some gadget, and there are the ones who try to re-assert themselves and change their image, and others who are cool and observe all that with detachment, I also love how you always get the same role year after year (I am tree decoration specialist), how you freeze over in the huge cathedral, how you make the same jokes over and over about the liturgy, how everybody at one point or another is like a little child and there are lots of little kids around too. I really like Christmas. Best time of the year.

Unrelated: I have to learn how to handle compliments. I do so with the most utter ill-grace, first very self-conscious, then wondering what horrible scheme is behind that praise, or discarding it by downgrading the flatterer in my mind. Then there is the second wave of embarrassment, when I think how badly I handled it, and may have hurt the other person’s feeling. All in all, I must acknowledge that some praises are truthful and play a role in making relations go smoother. And praises do not all have an ulterior motive, thinking so is simply the result of my over-inflated ego. Paradoxically enough, I do am becoming better at expressing pleasure at being with other people; I do enjoy seeing others pleased that I enjoy their presence.

Interesting story: Guardian Unlimited | Arts news | Play axed after Sikh protests: "The Birmingham theatre attacked this weekend in a violent protest by Sikhs today announced it was ending the run of a play that depicts murder and rape in a Sikh temple. Stuart Rogers, the executive director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, admitted that the play's closure amounted to censorship, but said he had a duty of care to staff and audiences. A performance had been scheduled for tonight.

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's drama Behzti (Dishonour) sparked violence on Saturday night when Sikh protesters clashed with riot police outside the theatre as a production was in progress. Her play was suspended and the audience evacuated as clashes outside caused thousands of pounds worth of damage."
LinkWrite my body

Stupid girl [Dec. 19th, 2004|10:21 pm]
Saravana
YWCA


This is the cover of a leaflet distributed by the YWCA in the UK as part of a campaign to help pregnant teenage mothers. From their website:

YWCA England & Wales - women changing lives for 150 years: "The National Opinion Poll, carried out this summer, shows how people's strongly held views on young mums are more often a reflection of ignorance, misunderstanding or prejudice than the facts.

Comparing the poll's findings against a bank of research, statistical evidence and information gained directly from young mums and the people who work with them, YWCA separates myths from reality.

The charity is now mounting a campaign across England and Wales under the banner RESPECT young mums, which aims to end the poverty and prejudice faced by them."


On the inside, they go into the exposition of some prejudices teenage mothers face, and why those are based on a false perception of reality. Basically, they use a shock tactic by playing on a stereotype and then debunking it. And I don't like that! It assumes people are idiots who think of pregnant mothers that way ("slags", "tarts", "slappers"). I don't see why they have to assume people are stupid, and why they feel the need to shock people who do not need to be shocked. I also think this is counter-productive, because people who DO think teenage mothers are irresponsible and stupid will certainly not change their attitude with that single leaflet: it will seem obvious to them that the leaflet is partisan and does not provide objective information.

In short, the sole effect of their leaflet will have been to anger people and insult teenage mothers. I understand they have a limited advertising budget and must maximize its impact, but shit! Why use it in such a way! OK, OK, I may not know enough, and after all this is their organization and they are free to do what they want, but I hate hate hate seeing insults printed like that, even if the aim is to show how outrageous those insults and preconceived notions are. *pissed off*

I do hope they get lots of money though. Best of luck to them. I think what makes me angry is to think that they are right, and there are people who do have such disrespect for teenage mothers. It enrages me. And I hate being bundled with that kind of crappy people. Sure, my inconvenience is not an argument, but... sheesh...

PS: You should go read their website. The point is: Yes, it may generally be better to be pregnant later, but there is no reason to punish teenage mothers and make their life more difficult + This campaign comes in addition to governmental programs to promote contraception, it is not an alternative and does not promote teenage pregnancy. It simply tries to limit the adverse consequences of that pregnancy for both the mother and the child.
LinkWrite my body

Hair [Dec. 19th, 2004|07:21 pm]
Saravana
I am really enjoying growing my hair. This is because along with this comes a greater readiness to stop trying to control it. In the past, I didn't enjoy it as much as I always hated how thick my hair was, and would try to tame it, using gels and getting it cut quite short. In the times where I let it grow, there were some nightmarish days, when I was ashamed of how they looked, when they did not look smooth and controlled. I hated how my hair would curl and form some sort of golden corolla around my head. I thought it looked ridiculous.

Now, I don't know if this is because I am more relaxed and self-confident, or because my hair is not as wild as it was, or because I use conditioner, or because my environment is more tolerant, anyway, I am able to go out with my hair in its wild natural state. I enjoy looking at it and touching it too.

I still do think I look better when I discipline it, but I think that it will become naturally less ruffled as it keeps on growing and becomes heavier. See my icon? I think it would become like that, or at least that is what previous experience tells me. And that would have made me feel awkward previously while I MAY be at ease like this now (I am not sure, we will see).

Anyway, the main breakthrough is this: I am more comfortable with myself, less reluctant in affirming my personality. I do feel quite good those days. You know the story of Dalida vs. Samson, how she cut his hair and he lost his strength? There is some truth to that. More hair = more sensuality = liberation and enjoyment = more strength and openness in other fields too. I think everybody should grow its hair AND take good care of it. Short hair = discipline = repression. It is no wonder short hair is the norm in the army.

Long hair is a statement of freedom, and some people feel threatened by it. I am not imagining things; I gathered evidence! (Remarks and some stares) Which are compensated by envious and/or admiring looks by others. Which is cool. I think many people appreciate looking at nice hair, spontaneous, refreshing. People generally like seeing others happy, or at least, looking happy.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Old English [Dec. 13th, 2004|10:32 pm]
Saravana
It is when I read old plays that I realize that two hundred years from now, people will not understand half of what we wrote or said, neither our TV programs, movies or any of our entertainments (if it is entertainment that survives of us). I tried to read Jonson's "Epicoene" directly in the text from the Gutenberg archives, but soon had to switch to borrowing an annotated version ("Ben Jonson, Four Comedies" edited by Helen Ostovich). I do enjoy it much more that way now, and learn many new turns of phrases and ways to deal witty sarcastic remarks. People in those days were quite insolent! And they seem to have been a lot more subtle than we are now. But then of course, those who attended those plays were the educated elite.

Obligatory funny link:
"One reason why Shakespeare is worthless is that he didn’t write in English. Reading Shakespeare requires studying “Old English” in order to understand his boring cliché plots and to identify with his deadbeat characters."

OK, so it is not very funny (too blunt, too short) but what is really amusing is how some people actually seem to think the author meant what he/she wrote. I always enjoy seeing somebody being humorous and others taking him/her seriously. I love it because usually, those who react think they are so much better and say things like "oh that person is so stupid, of course Shakespeare wrote in "Old English", old English was not old in his times". Yes... thank you... but who is the stupider of the two. I love the aggressiveness with which those who feel superior go on the attack; try to humiliate the one they feel is their inferior. It still frightens me, but I take it more lightly now.

Then of course, it may be a bit childish of me that I laugh at others or look at them with such disdain. I console myself by thinking that anyway, the party I mock is also enjoying its mocking of the party I am on the side of. So this is an equal deal and I am not profiting from others. And maybe there is a third party that is laughing at us all. So, I am reasoning, I am not being superior.

Oh OK, I lied, when I say I laugh, I don't really mean it. I don't laugh. I don't enjoy seeing people misled. In fact, this is why I am always very truthful. Brusque, ill reasoned, but truthful. I always take full responsibility for my words and will back them up to the end. I did the reasoning above because I also do not understand those who, like the author of the text I link to, enjoy misleading others. But then, maybe that person doesn’t enjoy doing so, and what it wrote was what it really meant, and it put it like this, in such a trollish form, so as to better attract attention? But then, why that need to attract attention? … working on it, working on it. I am all the more baffled as the text is not even well written or poignant or very provocative. All in all, a rather sad link when I think of it. One example among many, of course.

Oh my, this entry is so confused. Sorry. I just wanted to say I am still here and reading you. Hello.


Other news:

I will post a list of books I did not have the time to finish (or even begin) in my friend's house I am leaving soon. She also subscribes to a number of journals I will have to subscribe too. I think I gained bad luxury habits while I was there. Oh, in moderation, I am such a moderate person.

Peace, love and sassy nannies sitting on a bench in Piccadilly Street.
LinkWrite my body

The Silent Woman [Dec. 6th, 2004|08:40 pm]
Saravana
"Perhaps the most thought-provoking message of “The Silent Woman” is its implicit depiction of gender roles. The men in the movie, though cunning and intelligent, all reveal sexual impotency (in one scene, Dauphine struggles to resist a woman’s advances while Tom Otter does little to stand up to his wife) while the womean are sexually aggressive and domineering. Epicoene, Morose’s silent woman, falls somewhere in the middle, and we discover through her and the other characters that gender, in addition to class, education and social status, really is an arbitrary assumption, as Jonson comically notes.

Thus, the playwright’s characters are strict stereotypes of the flaws he saw in his society and, prophetically, in ours. As director Michael Kahn noted in a New York Times article: “Everyone comes in for their share of kicks.” Indeed, “The Silent Woman” leaves no one with his dignity quite intact, for husbands, hedonistic bachelors, aggressive sorority girls, pretentious aristocrats and spoiled old men all lose the facade of aplomb as they all try to outwit each other. We experience the play in laughter, but afterward, upon second thought, we find that laughter is perhaps not the most appropriate response to Jonson’s glum depiction of humanity."

I learned a new word: "Epicene", which is the other title for "The Silent Woman". It means "Having an ambiguous sexual identity. Having unsuitable feminine qualities." I downloaded the script from the Gutenberg Project.

It is amazing how already in that time they dealt with such problems. Well, not so amazing, considering men used to play the role of women on the stage, in the same way as women are barred from acting in the traditional theatre of many countries. It seems the UK was particularly reluctant to allow women to act, while this was accepted much earlier in France. I will have to go further into the exact chronology.

I am also becoming sick of men describing the thoughts of women, or describing women, or trying to picture what they think of women. And there are so few women authors! The book I am reading now, Gao Xingjian's "Soul Mountain", is full of that, a guy full of himself telling stories to the women he meets, trying to frame them into his own way of thinking. Fantasizing. And he is prefectly conscious of that, I guess, since he often relates how those women protest and tell him he is wrong, wrong, wrong and doesn't get it.

His stories are really cute though. But I don't know how perceptive he really is. How much of it is universal, and how much is merely the vision of a sensitive macho man.
LinkWrite my body

Yoga cards [Dec. 6th, 2004|08:01 pm]
Saravana
Update on the Yoga cards of my previous post: quite valuable in fact. I found a way to put them to good use. Every morning I pick up 6 cards at random. I put them "in order" (standing poses first, or in the "usual" order in which movements are made). They then form the basis of my program. I add by myself the necessary transition poses and counter-poses.

It is a good diversion from my routines. It adds variety and also forces me to think about the logic and progression of the exercises.

I also found that breathing exercises (simply “Aum”) before a session improved it a lot as I put myself to the rhythm of my respiration. I don't understand why my teacher didn't get us to do that before every session. Except for the fact it really sounds strange.

I am seriously thinking that I would like to set up some yoga course, just for some friends. I have already got some people to try some poses, and explained many times what yoga was about to sceptics. I think I was convincing.

The only problem is that from a moral point of view, I don't feel authorized to teach yoga. And from the technical perspective, I am not flexible enough, although I do think I have a good understanding of most of the basic asanas. Besides, i do know from experience I am not too appreciated as a teacher, and since I don't yet understand exactly why, I will have to wait. I think it has to do with the fact I am not flexible in my mind either, I am too directive, closed onto myself, suspicious and quite simply... not kind.

I will definitely go to a retreat one of those days, maybe just before the summer. I think this is necessary so as to prevent myself going soft and bungling my practice.
LinkWrite my body

Hodge Podge [Dec. 5th, 2004|11:05 pm]
Saravana
At the beginning of this week, I was at a talk for young Catholics. It was given by the local bishop on the topic of “Eucharist and justice”, i.e. the relation between the mass and the political role of Catholics. It was interesting because I come from a tradition that goes against any involvement in political matters (French secularism), and this guy is more into the Latin American view of things (although he would deny it, and he indeed has nothing to do with the theology of Liberation.)

It was fun because he began with a quote by Hitler saying basically that the Church and the State should be held separate. He didn’t tell us who wrote it and asked us whom we thought said that. Many (we were about 20) answered “The Pope?”, “St Thomas”, … and then he told us how prevalent this view among Catholics, and why it was not in the spirit of the Bible. He gave us quotes by Che Guevara and Marx, telling us that in some way they represented the Christian ideal.

LOL. My kind of bishop ;-P He gave me references on places on the Internet where to get some Catholic texts, that was interesting.

http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/ for English Catholics
and the very cute website of the Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/

I could have found it by myself, but never thought about it.

Now I would have to read of course, just so to better know what they presently think. It may be a good reference on some points.

--

I have borrowed some CDs by Roxette and Tanita Tikaram http://www.tanitatikaram.com/ Not that they are very good, but both have grave voices and I have no problem getting down to their pitch. I feel good trying to sing along. If I was a woman, I would be a hard, aggressive one I think.

--

I am rediscovering the pleasure of having longer hair. But also the hassle of making them look good. I can’t wait for the time I could put them in a ponytail, but I don’t know if I will dare going to that point. I don’t want the messy, dirty hair that men with long hair usually exhibit. I would like. But then, taking real care of it is considered as very epicene (a new word I learned!). I guess that could be a statement though.
LinkWrite my body

Haircuts [Nov. 28th, 2004|12:09 am]
Saravana
My treat now on Saturday is to go to the open-air market there, with lots of small stands, some being little food stalls, and take one egg roll with a hot chocolate and stay there listening to people and watching. Well, I did it thrice, not always on a Saturday, but let us stay it is now a habit *oh horror, habits, I am getting into habits!*

Got my hair cut today (well, I let it grow, this was only to refresh the sides) and went to a gent’s barber. I like it a lot better when it is a guy who cuts my hair. It is quick and done without hesitation; for some reason, girls are slower and shyer. This is probably because when I go to a general hairdresser, those are cheap ones, and the girls are novice, while gent’s hairdressers, which are always cheap, have long-term professionals. This may also be because, quite simply, guys are more used to handle things with authority. And hairdressing is a matter of handling people. This therefore links into the passive-active analogy, i.e. cutting hair = having sex, oh! I just had sex with my hairdresser!

In the same line of thought, but a bit apart, I am sure also, women’s hairdressers are much better with women than with men. This time, it is a matter of anticipating tastes in hair cutting. So there is a bit to say for each side.

What else? Oh yeah, bought a yoga matt, purple because purple is my favorite color, and it is associated to yoga in my mind. In the UK, not only do you get the matt and its protective “housse” (cover?) to carry it, but you also get an other, plastic cover, in case it rains!!! Oh, the English are so practical… I also bought a deck of yoga cards, because I am tired of drawing Iyengar’s programs on a sheet of paper and following based on this. I am unsure I will really use this though, but they are nice, and this could help in devising new programs. I am not sure they have a sufficient number of poses; it is more for beginners. But well… that might get me to practice more… more probably not.

OH! Forgot to say. My deal on the house on the border of the river is finalized, so I get it when I come back after the Christmas vacations on the 3d of January. Oh boy. This is why, BTW, I am buying some things, just so as to provide an atmosphere. I will make of one of the rooms my “empty room”, one in which there will be nothing but the floor. A room to exercise and create new things. I have always held the theory every houses should have an empty room where nothing stays but ephemeral projects. Could never apply my theory as I never had a house, only apartments (but my apartments were always quite empty anyway).
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

Inside - Outside [Nov. 20th, 2004|06:54 pm]
Saravana
The nice thing with writing is that you can show what is inside, and not be impeded by what you got used to show to the outside. I am looking from the inside, not the outside. And everybody does so, in some way, though they don't usually realize this. I only picture the inside, not the outside. The outside is rather boring, at least it is to me. This is because I can't see it, so I have to describe it as an indifferent observer. I prefer conversing with my inner self rather than expounding the outer one. I am much more tightly related to my inner self, I know it much better and can play with it at will, re-organize it and re-arrange its relations with everything, since everything is under my control.

Though I do have fun making the inside get out and experience the wild. At one point, the process will be achieved. For now, it is only experimental, and very surprising and amusing.

---

Also, probably from the same line of thought: The more people listen to me, the happier I am. This is because I am not there to express myself. I am there to get people to listen to me.

Which then of course leads into very complicated considerations devised to "prove" that the more you reveal of yourself the more people will listen to you, enjoy the experience. As long as they don't know where the energy comes from. You have to hide to show. Don't let yourself go in the way of your self-expression. The best option is to disclaim any of what you express as your own. Don't put your ego behind what you say.

---

Of course this is ultra top secret and any person revealing this will be shot without trial. I am of the "take no prisoners" school of thought.

This entry will auto-destruct right after you read it, its digital tidbytes dissolving into the Internet ocean, broken and humbled by its all forgiving but altogether too impressive indifference.
Link5 wrote on me|Write my body

Reality [Nov. 19th, 2004|08:52 pm]
Saravana
I swear there are some conversations I should record.

I was at the market this morning, after visiting my future new house (of which I talked in my latest post) and took a late additional breakfast there (whence I discovered what egg rolls were: basically, a fried egg inside a bread roll. I quite liked that. So there were a group of people (mothers and their boyfriends) apparently out of a consultation at the NHS and the woman was reading an article apparently given her by the practician to inform her about the heart ailment of her kid, and she was like “You see, those articles, those diagrams, they don’t represent reality, this is not what I am living”. But of course, she said it a lot better, and even if I had recorded it, it would take me hours to get it right in writing…

I worship conversations… the art of writing conversations: it is so incredibly difficult to get it right. Of course, you don’t want the real real deal, but you don’t want to make mistakes either, and you are always scrambling to find a reference that proves you right, or tells you how to put it.

Awww.

Next time I bring my tape recorder.

I saw “What’s up Tiger Lilly” of Woody Allen recently (basically, putting an original dialogue into the mouth of actors in a very bad B-movie) and it induced me into the strange impression of being disconnected from reality. Everything took up two dimensions, one what you see, the other how you transcribe it in your mind. In the same way as in the movie, you superimpose the movie and its interpretation by an outside viewer who imagines what the actors are saying.
LinkWrite my body

Reality [Nov. 19th, 2004|08:51 pm]
Saravana
OK, so I visited the “small” house I was talking about and well, it is not small at all: a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, 2 bathrooms, one bedroom and one guestroom upstairs, lots of storage space, a very small courtyard… I am quite impressed. View on the cathedral, and super small garden with a wooden bench and a little tree, which gives out on the quay and then the river… two beautiful bridges on sight… woah!

I will definitely take it, I even negotiated the possibility to have a cat there (I may not use that opportunity, but I wanted to keep the possibility… I quite like having a pet, not that I really love the cat that is here at my friend’s house, but it is a nice presence and cats are amusing and so… free! It is a good reminder for me, everyday, to relax and feel good in my body… because they look so good!

Yesterday night, we were entertaining an American guest, and I noticed he was kind’a awkward when I came close to him. He made a remark at one point, as I was holding an umbrella over him, that really, he didn’t mind being under the rain, that he was not made of sugar, etc, etc. I quickly realized he thought I was hitting on him and didn't want anybody to think he consented to it, so as a joke I was even more forceful afterwards, taking care of him at the restaurant, pouring him some wine, making sure he was OK, chit-chatting him and he was so embarrassed it was real fun. LOL. I am evil. I don’t think the others noticed the game I was playing, so the joke was lost on them, but I was laughing inside.

Oh, and he was kind’a cute too. I guess that is what happens when you play the game too well: you come under your own illusion and start feeling what you are supposed to be feeling. And believe in those feelings too!
Link9 wrote on me|Write my body

Music [Nov. 14th, 2004|10:09 pm]
Saravana
Was at a concert with friends, music players (violin).

Listening to classical music makes me more and more aware of my imperfections and lack of drive to be perfect. General laziness.

It also makes me aware of my mortality and lack of genius. I have to breathe hard and be courageous.

DZ was talking and talking and talking, I don't know why I am so tolerant of others' ugliness. I guess I need company. But here he was wasting it for all of us.

TC as usual very nice, but why so superficial. Mechanisms of defense. I am not able to set up such walls around myself.

I don't know how long I will make it here. There is something beyond. I have to keep on striving in my writing, at D. Don't hesitate in being sophisticated. Write and rewrite my parts. Be long and detailed. Which is a change in policy, but I have to be to the standards of screen-writers... and xetes who is able to manage the words in a very chic and efficient way, while at the same time being griping (life experience).

I am more and more alone in my thoughts as this LJ is not read anymore, and the other it is not "me". I guess I have to keep on working on the sublimation of my feelings, a good way being to translate them in the voice of another.

And anyway, I cannot stand others reading my private thoughts. Because I am ashamed of who I am and am too sensitive to what others say. I can't have a dialogue. And saying meaningless things just for others... has no meaning!
LinkWrite my body

House [Nov. 13th, 2004|07:48 pm]
Saravana
I was going this evening to check on a house I may come to rent when I leave my friends' place. It is by a river, in a quarter that is being renovated, and I wanted to check that it was OK by night, as it is a bit close to the "red light district", I was told. Blah, that wouldn't bother me, but that could bother people I would invite. And I do am a bit afraid of aggressions, to be honest. It has happened to me before, because I am rather aggresive myself, and react badly to chidings from people I despise.

Anyway, I was amazed. There is a small quay by the river, very calm (this is very close to the city centre, in a hip area). A man and his son were fishing. The water was very dark, a bit frightening. Many places to get to the water (mooring places). I had better not get too depressed else it would be easy to drown myself. The water is a bit too calm for that, though. Too bad. If this doesn't inspire me good poetry, what would? I can't even begin to imagine what the mornings look like there!

So, next Thursday I go see inside. I should get it. It belongs to a friend of a friend, a rather aged woman who has a country house where she cultivates vegetables (that she sells on the women's market in her area, she looks like Germaine Greer and has the same sort of background. A thoroughly English woman, who drinks brandy before going to sleep and while finely educated I am sure could be as rowdy as any man out there. It is amusing that I keep meeting strong willfull women around here. I think I entered the queendom of strong women. Wee!)

Anyway, I think the plan is to keep the house in a close circle of acquaitance, keep it in the company, in a network of relation. First because it is somewhat of a hip house (perfect location for young people, lots of chic bars close by, and possibility to invite people and organize parties. (I am more or less expected to take that role, it seems, (entertain people), for some reason (maybe my background))).

Anyway, it is a very small house, (the usual here, one house divided in two symmetric houses), but there are two storeys, one of the rooms gives onto the river (probably a study room). A small garden in front. It will be renovated in December, I would move into it in January, and I managed, I think, to lower the rent as at first I said it would be too expensive for me, and she lowered the price by £100 (saying she consulted an estate agent).

It still is a bit expensive, but having a house would really be nice (I could have a cat maybe!!!) and I am tired of living at my friends' place (not that there are any problem, she is in NY, but I still don't totally feel at home, for example I can't change the decoration, and nothing belongs to me).

So yeah, barring any big problem, I should move there in January.
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

Huh hum. [Nov. 13th, 2004|07:14 pm]
Saravana
The issue is that of the difference between beauty as a man and beauty as a woman.

I have always found men who try to act and look like women rather pathetic as they never can equal the fineness of a woman's feature. Harsh but true.

On the other hand, I hate the arrogance of beautiful men. I could look macho (macho is the coquetry of men). But in the same way I don't have a lot of respect for girly girls, I don't have a lot of respect for macho boys.

So, what way to follow between effeminate behavior and prettiness, vs. machismo and cockiness?

I am neither one or the other, effeminate or cocky, but that makes me a bit too neutral. Not affirmed enough.

Whatever makes me feel good I guess? One thing I would never do is any change in my body anyway, as I think it is perfect like that.

So, if I want long hair, let's have long hair, if I want flowers, let's have flowers, if I want to look serious let's be serious and if I want to smile and be charming let's be charming. And if I like dresses... well I still wouldn't wear any in public. That is when I have to push against the limits. Which would be very amusing indeed.

I am thinking of those dresses you wear over jeans. I think I could manage that quite OK. After all, that is not so different from what people in India wear. I could begin with very plain material.

;-P

No, really, at the basis, what pisses me off is that girls can wear all those beautiful things and we guys are left with the crudest ugliest junk. Which is why I now buy some of my stuff in the girl's section. Because anyway they don't have my size in the boys section in the UK. And what they have is repellent, really. The sizes 14 to 16 (UK) are what fits me best. Which is about size L in the US I think. Only problem is that my proportions are those of a man. No fat anywhere! (A little bit of fat in the right places is delicious, BTW).

Geez, I am so jealous of girls! ... Not really. It is OK frankly. Most of the time. I am not one to ignore reality checks.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Poetry and War [Nov. 12th, 2004|05:01 pm]
Saravana
Poetry and War, a collection of English poetry illustrating various periods in the last century, each introduced with some historical background.

There is also a special "Women's Voice" section, as befits an organisation with close links to the Women's Co-operative Guild.

Collection prepared by Margaret Melicharova at the website of the Peace Pledge Union.
LinkWrite my body

Theatre [Nov. 12th, 2004|12:00 am]
Saravana
Went to the Theatre again today, this time with T. I so envy those actors, and the ability to control and express one's borrowed emotions on stage. I may go tomorrow too. Saw the same long piece again. Amazing. Beautiful actresses <3 <3 <3 !!!

I am rather good at expressing borrowed emotions in writing. Maybe I should do more experiments like that.

May get a house on the river, in the center. Could be good. I need a house, and maybe receive more people and lead a real life.

Tried vrious ways to get out of the Internet-LJ addiction. Post it with "do something else", limit on number of hours... nothing does. It is horrible. A big drain on productivity. Although at least I spend most of that ime writing, not too much reading. I am becoming better at not obsessing over other people. Not feeling the need to see what happens everywhere.

But still, I have to make a more productive use of that writing time. Produce real good pieces of writing, and not only dumbed down things. Because Irony is too easy.

OK, tschuss.
LinkWrite my body

Poppy! [Nov. 9th, 2004|10:53 pm]
Saravana
White Poppy for Peace


In relation to the previous post.
Link1 wrote on me|Write my body

White Poppy for Peace. [Nov. 9th, 2004|10:38 pm]
Saravana
In the UK, as the day of remembrance for the dead of the first world war comes up, two kind of poppies to be worn on your vest's lapel come up. They are sold by volunteers for the benefit of charitable organization.

There is the white poppy and the red poppy. Basically, the red poppy is worn by British patriots to honor the dead, the white poppy is worn by those who want to protest the war. The red poppy is a lot more popular than the white, but some people wear both, and some people like me wear only the white, mainly because the red one is too associated with patriotism, but also because it was created by the co-operative women's guild, and therefore represents a more feminist view of what war is.

Here is the history of the white poppy from the white poppy website:

"White Poppy - origins

The idea of an alternative poppy dates back to 1926, just a few years after the red poppy came to be used in Britain. A member of the No More War Movement suggested that the British Legion should be asked to imprint 'No More War' in the centre of the red poppies and failing this pacifists should make their own flowers.

In 1933 the Co-operative Women's Guild produced the first white poppies to be worn on Armistice Day (later called Remembrance Day). The Guild stressed that the white poppy was not intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War - a war in which many of the women lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers. The following year the Peace Pledge Union joined the CWG in the distribution of the poppies and later took over their annual promotion."

The website also explains why they chose to differentiate from the red poppy and outlines the history of the red poppy as well. Check it out, and maybe, introduce that idea in the US if it is not present there already. I will scan my white poppy so that you can see what it looks like.

PS: It looks real good too!

(cross-posted)
Link8 wrote on me|Write my body

Play [Nov. 9th, 2004|11:00 pm]
Saravana
I was at a play by amateur actors today, and it was surprisingly good. Really enjoyed it. They started with a series of dances and sketeches, and then played "The Last Banquet", which apparently was an original screenplay. Plot remarkably well executed, charm of the actresses, etc, etc.

Felt so limited in the expression of my feelings, but also, was interested in seeing how hard they found it themselves to do a good performance. because of course not everything was perfect.

I have to take course. Break the barrier. I felt so little and limited and shy and constrained.
LinkWrite my body

Nude pictures [Nov. 9th, 2004|03:15 pm]
Saravana
I think I should take nude pictures of myself like ovariancyst does.

He is really cute. Makes me feel better about myself too. I think he is cuter than I am; his lips are fuller, his hair is longer (but that will change), and while he is very thin, he still preserves some roundness that I don't have.

But I do have things going for me too I think. I look too serious and tense though. It is a matter of attitude. I am rather macho, because I had to overcompensate when people were making fun of me when I was little, calling me the “garcon-fille” (boy-girl). I had to fight with my fists and beat them all one after the other to prove my masculinity. And also, stop spending my time around girls. Hanging with the boys; something I never was good at because soon I would be tempted to flirt with them (or they would behave as if I was a girl). I liked that.

Ok, coming back to ovariancyst, I still feel awkward looking at him, because he is so shameless. But I really admire that he is able to expose himself like that. Too few men do so, or they are bodybuilders.

Problem is: well, I have to learn how to put make-up, and also, how to pose for the camera. This is a real art. How to be graceful and not ridiculous. My only good poses are when I look serious and well-dressed. I will post some more pictures of me like that, I took some new ones recently. If they come out OK.

I think that would be one of the reasons I would buy a digital camera. There would be a lot of rejected photos. Anyway, the only things I would post (publicly) would be details, not the whole body I think. Not anything publicly recognizable. Oh, and probably not pictures of my sex (or under an lj-cut). Eh, the penis is not so ugly after all. If you look at it with some compassion and love. I think my penis needs some love. I have been rejecting it or being indifferent to it too long. I have to learn to accept it. Acceptance.

I admit it: I still feel I have to play the role of a man, strong, secretive. And I admit I would be uncomfortable being a womanly man. If only because they don't get much respect. But there is something to say for men who take the best from women, i.e. no mannerism, only the nice clothes, the shamelessness. Keep the strength, the aggressiveness, the self-confidence. Those are things I admire in women when they have it. Though I also have submissive fantasies.

Much too short a post of course. I would have to explain better what my ideal of a person is. The full person, with the whole range of humanity. The yogi who can choose when to be a man and when to be a woman, and who is both at the same time. That is power, that is completeness.

Power of course meaning freedom. Not power in the bad sense in which we see it used all the time. That power is servitude.

Say freedom. Say honesty. Say truth. And the truth is hidden. And honesty expresses itself in roundabout ways. But it always finds its way.

I simply have to find a way to express my femininity in the "real" world too. That is the only way I can cope. I can't be frustrated all my life. It is bad for me, bad for my self-esteem, I would become very sad.

And let's say it; there is also the pleasure in provoking people and drawing attention to me. Seducing them. Breaking their resistance.
Link5 wrote on me|Write my body

Lessons [Nov. 7th, 2004|12:18 am]
Saravana
One lesson I keep learning and forgetting: DO NOT USE DISPOSABLE CAMERAS. My pictures from Spain and Paris are rather bad. I thought it would be clever to use a disposable camera so as to bring it everywhere. I will scan some things, but I am afraid not much is good. I want a small digital camera, and I am more and more in love with my Pentax (XZ-5n), a wonderful beast tank of a traditional camera which survived some pretty tough ordeals (especially in India). If I lose it or break it, I think I would replace it with the same. It is so reliable and the lens I have is so crisp. Too bad my scanner is rather shitty.

Was at a dinner with real local English people this evening. Very good cooking! But I really found it hard to follow the conversation, as they were using lots of names of places and were referring to very specific historical or cultural events. This is when I see I have lots to learn still. A Danish guy there for a long time and with perfect English told me the best way to improve was to do the crosswords and use the Chambers dictionary.

I bought a wonderful low rise flare jeans at Topman, which is a rather trendy chain here for what I can judge (but not too incredibly expensive). I love how my legs look wit it. Relaxed. Chabada-bada. In the city, there are explosions everywhere, this is their way to celebrate some foiling of a plot to blow up the Parliament.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Dead cat [Nov. 6th, 2004|12:14 am]
Saravana
OMG. I saw my cat sleeping on the side, after seeing a movie (Thirteen) and for one moment I thought she was dead. I am still shivering. I immediately thought "What did I do wrong" and I was so afraid. Of the guilt.

Thank God she was perfectly OK.

ION, I think I look real good those days. Tired, but good. I like my hair. Very thin face. Profile. Too severe a mouth still.

I am also beginning slowly to understand what makes men attractive. It is interesting. Hate. Love. This is not something I am used to. Seeing them as objects. It is interesting. Something I have to hide, because men don't like being treated like that. Being seen like that. That surprises them.

It is interesting because I see them from another perspective. Experimenting with a change in my thoughts and attitudes. The beginnings, the suggestion. Do I want to go further.

It doesn't even matter they are ugly. Coarse. That had always been something I had been wondering about. How you could hang out with horrible shits like that. It doesn't even matter. Other things matter.
Link1 wrote on me|Write my body

Civil society [Nov. 3rd, 2004|11:26 am]
Saravana
This is just to say there are many alternatives to voting, many ways in which you can act in the civil society other than participating in the democratic process. If the State is not with you, then act around the State. Nothing can stop people of good will from participating in associations that patiently work among the people, far away from the noise of politics. Nothing can stop you from acting the way you see fit. Elections are a sacrament. But you don't have to believe in the ritual and its sanctity. Nothing is lost as long as you keep your eyes open.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

UK Catholics for Kerry [Nov. 3rd, 2004|12:34 am]
Saravana
I was at a Catholic group meeting/dinner/social event/tract folding exercise this evening. It is nice because the Catholics in the UK are a very diverse bunch. The host was Indian of origin, cohabiting with a French girl. Yes. Cohabiting. OMG. Also because I come from a family with a strong Catholic tradition, so I can relate with most people there. I am not very much of a Catholic, but I know a lot about the traditions and their references. Although Catholics in the UK have their own history and specificities (Irish, Scottish, or the few who managed to stay out of the Anglican church and stay loyal to the Pope.)

Anyway, the topic of the US elections came about. Surprisingly perhaps, the clear majority was for Kerry. There was only one guy who began evoking the gay/abortion issues, but he was clearly rebuked with the Iraq/deficit question. I never would have thought of using the deficit as an argument for Catholics to vote Kerry, but one person there clearly thought running a deficit was un-Christian because parents should make sure children don't come out indebted in life.

Also, we made fun of Bush hearing voices. Some guy, I am not sure he was joking, called him the anti-Christ ;-P

None of them seemed to know Kerry is a Catholic.

My position? Don't mix religion with politics. Religion is personal. Spiritual. Individual. I guess I am the typical French secularist. But I learned there also is a strong secularist tradition in the UK.

Anyway, good luck to the US. I really hope Kerry comes out on top. This would make the political debate so much more rational. We could go back to discussing really important stuff and trying to solve them, instead of talking about the insane stupid things Bush does all the time. Bush was a fluke* of history. Let's keep it that way.

* "Fluke: Parasitic flatworms having external suckers for attaching to a host"

Good luck people.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

London [Nov. 1st, 2004|09:29 pm]
Saravana
I was surprised to find some colorful streets in London (Hampstead I think, but maybe Camden High St.).

Colors in London


And I am a sucker for wet cobblestones lit by the setting sun through a reflection in small shop windows. Yes, I am very peculiar about my preferences like that. (Camden Lock Market).

Sun setting street cobblestones
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Gao [Oct. 30th, 2004|06:25 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Beth Orton - Sugar Boy]

I started reading "Soul Mountain" by Gao Xingjian.

I hope it will give me some insight into China. I have such a (undoubtedly distorted) vision of China as a place swarming with anonymous people eating rice and soup from bowls with chopsticks while making awful lapping noises.

I don't have the same a-priori at all for other Asian countries. I love India and Indians for example. But China... I guess I picture a mix between an East European country of the communist era and Asian folks and traditions. Not pretty. Industrial. Depressed.

I have to re-evaluate all that. Gao is perfect; after all, he now lives in France. He will be my initiator into the spirit of the modern Chinese. I hope I will get out of it with less reflexive distaste for Chinese people.

After all, I would probably have despised Japanese people if I lived 50 years ago, when they were pictured a bit like the Chinese now. But I saw so many Japanese movies and the Japanese dress so much better and their culture has been marketed so well that I don't have the same vision of them at all.

I think Africa also suffers a lot from how it is pictured in the media. Unlike for China, I do know Africa (well, a small bit of it), so I don't fall for the scorn with which those countries and their governments are treated. I have lots of esteem for Africans (well, those I lived with). I guess I should go in China and live there for a while. I have never been to a country without ending up admiring its people.

Oh well, oh well.

In other news, I am really happy France hosts Arafat and is going to treat him. I hope he recovers fast. I really like the fact we are able to do that kind of thing without fearing reprisal. This is France in the great tradition of humaneness.

I listened to some bits of Ben Laden's speech. I agree with some bits of what he says, but I guess that this is what he meant to do: appeal to some parts of the world opinion by using their words and ideas and try to justify his actions that way. But his methods are unjustifiable, no matter what. And I don't think his words are true to what he really thinks. While I found his analogy between the US and Arab regimes well pointed, I don't think he really cares about tyranny in the US. And while I agree that the US is guilty of war crimes in Iraq, I don't think this justifies killing its people indiscriminately. While I do think like him that the Americans have their destiny in their own hand, I think they are like any of us the victims of forces that are far beyond their control. So it is not productive to threaten them. People don't learn that way. And we all are responsible anyway. Ben Laden as much as any. I wish he would realize that.

Peace love and cheerios.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Funny Face [Oct. 26th, 2004|10:57 pm]
Saravana
I saw « Funny Face » yesterday, and I must say, this is an awesome movie. Here is the list of its awesomeness:

1) The woman who leads her fashion magazine with an iron fist, ruling over a hilarious hive of female fashion editors. That fits my matriarchy dreams perfectly.
2) The expression of love for Paris. A time now sadly gone by.
3) Fred Astaire, not “any actor” this man… expressive, sensitive, not some dull faced man made of stone, he!
4) Audrey Hepburn, intellectual, dreamy, difficult, impulsive.
5) The dancing, amazing. Those were the good Hollywood days, the reason why I love Bollywood (Indian movies), where theatre, dancing and other older expressive arts are still alive.

This made me realize that in movies, I don’t go for realism; I go for artificiality and exaggeration. Why? Because too often, movies put people in unrealistic setting and make them do psychologically realistic things. I don’t like that. I think movies should put people in realistic setting (the street, the house) and make them do implausible actions (dancing, singing a conversation, have outrageous fits of temper, lust or aversion, etc.) That is what I call art.

I am not interested in knowing how a human being like me would act in some hypothetical situation I never faced or how normal people from other backgrounds than mine act. I am interested in how an extraordinary human being can change the present and see it in new ways. I am interested in seeing artists on screen. Not in admiring the artistry of the director.

Yes, I do know the movie is cheesy, but the point is, we know this is not meant to represent something to aspire to. There is no pretense this could happen to us. Everytime you would be lured into thinking so, the movie becomes so scatty you lose that temptation. Eh. Dancing and singing act as some kind of wake up call: "This is not real, you idiot!".

Of course, I will say otherwise tomorrow. I know movie and theatre are two separate arts. I merely resent the fact there is so little theatre on screen.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Movies [Oct. 24th, 2004|11:39 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Aretha Franklin - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man]

I also have been seeing some movies recently:

Mona Lisa Smile, a bit disappointing, not even a good feminist movie. Too boring. Didn't relate.

Sylvia, which basically is a movie about her relation with her husband (whose poetry I don't like), and how supposedly his departure led her to inspiration. That is quite enraging, I was there to see Sylvia, not her idiot husband, and I was not there to see her defined with respect to him (even though, yeah, he probably influenced her... to her death. Thank you H.). It was not even a good presentation of either of the characters. Not so bad though, there is some interesting ambiance, and it is a bit inspiring poetically speaking. So yeah, why not.

Breakfast at Tiffany's of which I talked before, amazing. But then, now, I am going through the other movies in that box of 5 Audrey Hepburn movies, and it is not quite as good. Of course, Audrey is always so amazing, she reminds me of my cousin I am so fond of...

But I saw "Paris when it sizzles" and "Roman Holiday", and in those two she plays a boring male ideal of a woman. Too polite, not independent enough, and so keen on pleasing men it is quite annoying. I can hear and feel the producers formatting her into that submissive role. It is a pity when such actresses do not get good roles.

Oh, and the ideal of a man in those two movies is quite risible too, they are so bland they are almost transparent. Which is a pity too, I guess. So this is probably more proof that putting women into scripted, socially acceptable, submissive roles makes men's color run off too. Yes, in those two last movies, the heroine plays somewhat of a rebel, but this is better to get her back into the fold, with a bonus which is that she does it "willingly".

At least, in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", it is only at the end that the scriptwriter makes a quick bow to the proprieties by providing an excuse for a "happy ending". But at least, it is not the whole movie that is contaminated by that all-pervasive leper. Or if so, at least only at a relatively acceptable level. Yes, there are some scene in that movie that are a bit annoying, but they are played with a man who is a gigolo, giving him some fragility that I like.

I will look at the two last movies, hoping she got some really good roles.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Voice [Oct. 24th, 2004|09:19 pm]
Saravana
I recently went through a voice workshop. Very well organized. Good instructor. It was quite amazing to discover some unknown possibilities in my vocal chords. We weren't even 'singing', only each one of us playing with its vocal cords going up and down the scales. That was quite beautiful, each person has its own tone, coming from the whole of its body, and it reveals a lot.

I tried to replicate this at home, and while I didn't yet get the new routine up OK, my voice was much clearer, true and stronger afterwards. Love it!

Today was French radio listening day. It has been a while now I have been away, and I found a radio at my friend's house that picks up the signal from major French radios perfectly. Oh the lovely voices! I am becoming nostalgic... I don't like France or the French so much, and my blogging writing style in French is not too good (I don't like to talk about myself in French, even though I did have journals in French before). But well, I am becoming a bit nostalgic. It is a matter of not losing one's roots.
LinkWrite my body

Frenchie going places [Oct. 24th, 2004|09:20 pm]
Saravana
Also, I get invited quite a lot to various people's places, just because they want to get to know me and see what to do together. It is nice but every time is some kind of rite of passage. And some are not so entertaining... the higher up the ranks, the more annoying ;-P
LinkWrite my body

Note to myself [Oct. 22nd, 2004|06:31 pm]
Saravana
One important thing to remember: When you don't feel esteem for somebody, when the only reason you entertain that person is because of curiosity, then, you should stop and re-evaluate your behavior and relation, because your lack of respect will show, sooner or later, and probably not in an healthy way.

The question is then: How do you move from simple curiosity to empathy and liking without going into the pond of disgust? Or, another danger, how do you avoid the mire of indifference?

Because one day or another, you have to reach out to people who are different from you. Open up a bit. And those people are like you; they usually do not want to be reached, especially by somebody who does not belong to their circle.

So, how do you find the middle ground between being indifferent to people, and then only frequenting people you are comfortable with, and being a dilettante, and then going from people to people with sick curiosity without going further.
Link2 wrote on me|Write my body

Beauty Behave [Oct. 20th, 2004|10:19 am]
Saravana
In other news, I would like to record that I find myself very pretty those days. It must be because I am letting my hair grow. And I am taking good care of my body. A bit more exercise would do me good, because I always am at the limit between being emaciated or simply very thin and healthy. I also have to sleep more.

But I can see in the eyes of others that I am rather attractive. This must be because I try to hide myself less. Be more spontaneous. Be more myself and let it be seen. And this leads me to interesting experiences. Where people behave towards me in ways I never would have let them do before. And I enjoy it.
Link4 wrote on me|Write my body

Breakfast at Tiffany's [Oct. 20th, 2004|10:14 am]
Saravana


Can you believe I never had seen "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (with Audrey Hepburn)?

I completely broke down at the end. When she rejects it all and is abandoned by all. That was so me. I have been in that situation so many times, when the world crashes down around you, the masks are drawn and reality hits so hard.

It still makes me cry now that I think about it again.

I love it when she eats her breakfast in front of Tiffany's, and she is so ugly, masticating. I love it when she doesn't take herself seriously. I love it when she is drunk and says horrible things she doesn't think. And I love it when the only anchor that remains for her in her life is her cat.

I have had anchors in my life, passions, ideas and loves. Well, not so many in fact, and they betrayed me one after the other, or I let them down. And I can so understand how a little living thing, such as my cat, can provide such emotional relief! A little thing you love and hate at the same time, that doesn't depend on you but for which you feel responsible. A living being to which you can give love without fearing love in return.

I wish the movie didn't have that pretence of an happy ending. Because nothing will change.
LinkWrite my body

How have I been? [Oct. 20th, 2004|09:53 am]
Saravana
This is what I wrote in answer to somebody (past LJ friend, of the vriane era) who asked me how I have been lately:

"Not too bad, frankly. New job, new place, responsibilities forcing me to go act out in the world; poetic inspiration low, but my writing is OK (Well, so so). Getting into other areas for self-expression. Journal in the dump (mostly private now). Still rather anxious.

And you?"

Eh, you can answer too if you want. He did.

Kiss to all.
Link5 wrote on me|Write my body

How did I get to writing all this from such insignificant get-go? [Oct. 17th, 2004|12:02 am]
Saravana
This is a comment I wanted to post about this post,

commentCollapse )

but there is now a long process merely to join feminist, and quite frankly, I try to stay away from that community as much as possible. Too tense. Too argumentative. Too many privileged stars. Too PC for me. Not radical enough. There is an equilibrium of fear in that community, with the powerful allowed to crush the minions at will. A bit like at debate, except that in debate you are allowed to reply to established members in the same manner as they address you. So after my first impulse to join, I unjoined immediately, so as to stay away from that bad influence on my thoughts and my mood.

I have become very wary of communities. They are a way for people to project their ego in a setting in which no truthful, respectful, lively conversation can take place, because you lose all the physical signs and other codes that keep you in line in the real world. I have also become very suspicious of any online relations. I try to always maintain a barrier against people who become too interested in me online. I don't think there is a continuity between the offline and online world. So I always cool them down when they are too eager.

This is also why I am newly working more on myself, my behavior, my speech, my singing, my appearance, so as to put them more in line with how I am. So as to externalize what is inside myself. Because I realized that a lot of what I expressed here when my journal was more public, more lively, didn't find a translation in the physical world. i eveolved a lot in my mentality, but the translation in actual behavior was behind.

And this process of working on my body, my attitude, my physical skills: it does work. Amazingly. *crosses fingers* Lots to do of course, but I do have an objective. Which will require a lot of courage to bring about. And I have always been quite the coward. Eh. It is my cowardness in fact which drives me, because I am so afraid to live without having developed myself to the full.

My fear of the long term consequences of doing nothing drives me to boldness on the everyday path in the fulfillement of my long-term objectives.

The world is surprising.
Link15 wrote on me|Write my body

Orgasm lecture [Oct. 16th, 2004|11:07 pm]
Saravana
"(...) Doris Lessing's professor Bloodrot in The Golden Notebook lectures confidently on orgasm in the female swan; as Bloodrot proceeds, the women in the audience rise one by one and leave. What women have found hard to take in such male characters is their self-deception, their pretense to objectivity, their emotion parading as reason."

Toward a Feminist Poetics, Elaine Showalter, in The New Feminist Criticism, Elaine Showalter eds., Virago Press. (lots of essays published in the 80s about the feminist approach to literature)
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Some of my recent activities [Oct. 16th, 2004|10:59 pm]
Saravana
I found the most delicious coat in the women’s section of a low-priced store, after going to several very upscale places looking for a pretty man’s raincoat. Isn’t it incredible? Cheap woman’s coat >> ultra expensive men’s coat…

This reminded me of the saying that the ideal of a woman for the fashion industry is the man: no hips, no breasts, and no periods because they starve themselves.

So anyway, I have now the cutest coat, mid-length, shitty fabric but nice to the touch and looking good (not looking straight enough, but this is OK), very light and hot at the same time. I look the cutest in it.

Spent the afternoon with Dylan, first at the forum, then going to the cathedral and then up a hill overlooking the city. He is a bit bizarre, a catholic preacher actually, but apparently fascinated by homosexuality, crime, rapes of children, women behaving badly (he actually recounted me the story of a woman giving a blowjob in the streets near the train station). He also showed me the gay bar. He did his MA on the persecution of Jews beginning in the City with the murder of a little boy, in the 12th century, of which the Jews were accused.

Still happy about my raincoat. It was such a surprise. Not sure at first, but then realized this was exactly what I had been looking for: very classical, but since it is for women, there is the touch of transgression that makes me love wearing it.

Back from the party: nice, no big ambience, shitty music, but discussed with a poetry writer, an artist who also leads art workshops for young and elderly people, a scriptwriter and actor, etc. So overall, no time lost, relatively interesting discussion.

The thing in small cities is that the distinctions cannot be as fine as in big cities; people of different occupations have to mingle with each other. Of course, the level is not as high, but you do have cross-fertilization.
--

PS: Have to write about hat girl I noticed going around at Uni dressed strangely in the most “haggard” way. I thought she was doing some kind of art performance, looking lost. I sure noticed her but everybody was trying to ignore her, except for the magazine seller. I could not define her age. She acted retarded; she was limping, one of her feet turned slightly inside, her rock badly adjusted and her spine mal-adjusted, so that her butt was clearly prominent. She was going quickly though.

I loved her; I was fascinated. She was the person I am trying to represent with d. I followed her discreetly, trying to fathom whether she is working here. I will definitely try to engage the conversation with her. She looked fascinating. I want to know what a person who dresses so strangely, inadequately, thinks, and whether this is a protest. Or maybe she comes from a poor family and does not have any taste, but then I want to know how she thinks. Also, dressing like a little child, or a teenager: there is the will to remain young. Maybe she is a writer?

--

I took notes during the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany'', with Audrey Hepburn, another model for d.: Reminds me of Sophie. At ease with men, like a pet. Dreamy, very fast, cute baby voice. Vivacious. Superb legs, cleanly shaved. Always amazed at the things that go on. Likes to be petted. Smoking is made so sexy… Confidence in others. Relation with gigolo: gigolo in the same situation as women traditionally. Always busy with many men to keep them competing?

“She honesty believes in all the phony she is spouting.” Naïve. “Very lovely and very frightened” beginning of story)

Also, this encourages me in taking up more acting, and singing. I have to develop those functions, it will make me a more complete being, less denying of myself and my true nature, so repressed. I am a person of drama, of show. I like showing myself.

Oh, did I mention I write 15 times each day both “I will publish an article” and “I will become a great actor”. Tip gotten from Dilbert!!! And yeah, it does help a bit. Pb with second statement: am I not already a great actor ==> define this more precisely maybe. I do read everyday a new piece of theatre in a book of audition speeches. I also try to sing along with Alanis Morissette. Not the easiest. My voice is very bad.

--

PS: I wonder how long I can keep up this facade of the social person.
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A man's world. [Oct. 13th, 2004|10:36 pm]
Saravana
Horrible 5 hours of having to go through "induction" for a stupid program of learning how to teach. Scandalous. At times, I thought this was a joke and they would tell us at the end: "OK, this was to show you how horrible teaching can be for the students."

D., teacher here, called me "she" at a dinner we had last week-end, then marvelled today on my beautiful face. He was also behaving with me like with a woman at this dinner.

I guess it is not only in my thoughts that I appear to be a woman...

Not sure I like it, but this is an interesting experience. I am not protesting so as to experience further what it feels to be a woman in a man's world.

Also, some reflections: it does change quite a lot to be a professional. You have a career to plan, requirements to fill, the prestige that goes with a role. A role. A role in society, something to play, expectations for what you will do.

It may be a danger. You can become intoxicated by that.
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Journal [Oct. 9th, 2004|10:03 am]
Saravana
PPS: I am also realizing how nice it is to go back into your own entries when you wrote them for yourself, even if the expression is not refined and the post unstructured.

I am not anymore comfortable with the mix "blog" and "journal". I am tending towards making a clear separation between the two. And this, I have decided, will be my journal.
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Journal Rules [Oct. 9th, 2004|09:55 am]
Saravana
There must be effort in analyzing what I am writing about. There must be a second breath, after the first spurt, where I go further into my feelings.

PS: I have been going "private" those last few days, but I do am reading your posts so don't drop me! I am just being quiet.
Link3 wrote on me|Write my body

Love [Oct. 9th, 2004|09:52 am]
Saravana
Dream this morning of fusion with a girl. Very non sexual. First meeting, discussing then walking hand in had, then coming closer together, on the bank of a river, laughing, getting progressively more nude, then she touches my balls and I begin exploring her nether regions, with various fantasms of a vagina coming up one after the other (a bushy volcano, a bloody hole, an hungry mouth, etc). She had short hair on her legs, very similar to mines. As the dream progressed, it was more and more about fusion and less about going together.

I was scared all the while observing my reactions to love, wondering if I was able to withstand it, if I oculd be worth it.

But then realizing that was her free choice.

Also thinking: wow, this is really going to change my life, how will I live without all that anger building in me.

And when I woke up I was discouraged realizing that anger was still there for me to live with.

But still, in my dream, I felt love, which is an improvement. Confronted with love. Trying to love in return.
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Bournvita community info. [Oct. 6th, 2004|08:57 pm]
Saravana
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Amazing women [Oct. 6th, 2004|04:09 pm]
Saravana
My Sunday was amusing. I went to an art festival with a friend of a friend who manages the collections for a local modern art museum. That was nice because she knew everybody and introduced me to many. I met some of her dyke friends, a very impressive couple of deep voiced and straight eyed women whom I looked at with great admiration and envy.

I don't know why, but I felt energized by them. So happy to see the gender divide broken that way too. Masculine women are the ones I feel the most at ease with, because there is so much less of that game of attraction, so much more direct and frank relation.

I also had breakfast with the rather opposite type of woman, the sweetest looking deep eyed fair skinned marvel of creation. And I didn't blush while talking to her. Or so I think... eep.

It is sad that I still am unable to relate to a feminine woman in the same way I relate to a man or a masculine woman. Why is that so? Is it due only to me and my a-priori? Or is it because their adopting a feminine behavior is a barrier erected to prevent direct and frank relation.

I resent feminine people sometime (even though I am kind ‘a feminine myself).

Anyway, those are interesting times.
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Oh [Oct. 2nd, 2004|06:56 pm]
Saravana
I was at a French market, with French shops with French people. Oh boy.

I came back under the rain with my bottle of Pinot gris and various cheeses... for a dinner this evening at a friend's place.

I was completely drenched. Had to put all my clothes in the dryer. Then took a nap deep inside under the covers in my bed, trying to calm my thoughts; this is in that state of semi-consciousness I let the strangest ideas surface. Those are the ones I am sometime able to express when I am inspired.

Or, they are the ones that serve as an ideal for what I do. The ideas; never translated in reality, except through miraculous flashes of brilliance.

Hard work. Hard work. Hard work. HATE IT.
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Cat again [Sep. 28th, 2004|10:13 pm]
Saravana
I am beginning to be nicer to my cat, actually caressing her some times, when she quite simply goes in my way and rolls on the floor so that I may caress her. Yup, she is quite aggressive like that. Cute.

I had some reflections on how many men actually think of women as pets. That works the other way around too I guess.

That is to say: too many relationships do not involve intellectual exchange from equal to equal. I think the ambition of too many is simply to live nicely with another person who will fulfil their emotional needs. But real exchange between humans is about much more than emotions and feelings.

This is why I had the strange thought that many people would be better off with a pet than with an human as a companion.

I am not really kidding.

Though of course reasoning on my perception of how people feel is quite a stupid thing to do. There is, and I am becoming aware of this more and more, a lot of hidden beauty in people.

People are very complex.

Quite amazingly so, and you never would guess.
Link8 wrote on me|Write my body

Breathe [Sep. 28th, 2004|10:10 pm]
Saravana
I should do more breathing exercises in the morning. It is especially amazing when after a session, you still try during some while to keep your attention on your breathing.

I had an interesting experience that way; it was when I looked in the mirror and was not interested at all in what I saw. More to the point: I didn’t recognize it as part of myself. Because the appearance is such a thin layer on top of yourself. I spend so much time paying attention to the outside.

I became conscious of that fact when I realized how, as I noticed myself in the mirror, my eyes lost their attention to the inside and turned themselves outward, bulging. And no, I am not describing some freak experience. If you paid attention to it, you would realize your eyes too are deformed by that attention to the outside. What I describe is simply becoming aware of what you do.

This is also when I realized the role of the mirror in building the ego. In a very specific way that is different from how others perceive yourself. I think there could be some work to do on the difference in the mirror-ego and the social ego.

Another experience: when washing myself, not interested in the SURFACE, but in the inside, the movement, etc. There is so much in us that is devoted to paying attention to the surface of things, and not experiencing them from the inside.

The ego.
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Gap sweater. [Sep. 25th, 2004|11:48 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Khaled - 01. Sahra]

I bought myself an awesome Gap sweater today. The texture is very soft, 100% cotton. X-small because I like my clothes to be tight fitting. Everything is in the collar and the shoulder-buttons. Basically, you can choose to raise the collar up your neck (something I like to do at times because it makes me feel secure) or you can roll down the collar (not very comfortable, you feel a bit strangled) or, and this is when it really looks cool, you can unbutton some... buttons and fold the collar down, which makes the pullover's front present a very satisfying asymmetric shape. I like the fact a part of it is then free to fly and breaks down from the boring symmetry of a normal pullover.

OK, so I thought it really looked cool.

Navy blue. I am going to the point where I will wear Jeans only + cool pullover and long-sleeved shirts with alternated white-(red-green-violet) lines + navy shoes. I guess this is the way I feel the most at ease: not innovative, good quality, quite strict but comfortable. I also think it is the best fit for my body type: slim, straight, unbending.

Then, I will let my hair grow to an appropriate length (I didn't totally recover yet from my short cut two months ago), and this could look really good.

I also borrowed a book with actors audition speeches "for all ages and all accents" by Jean Marlow. It is very fun because she gathered texts with accents from Asia, Jamaica, South Africa and various UK regions. The range of accents in the UK is amazing BTW. Through my travels there I found much more variations than there can be in France or in the USA. For France, I may not have noticed how much it varies because it is my mother's language, but I do am sure variations are much stronger in the UK than they are in the US. While in the US I have never had problems understanding people or getting understood, here, it can become a real issue (and people seem less used to listening to other accents).

Anyway, this book will be some real good training. BTW, that same author produced many similar books, if anybody is interested. Go see the link and click on the author's name.
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Strong [Sep. 24th, 2004|09:52 pm]
Saravana
I am fascinated with strong women. Their arms tattooed with blue ink going out with short sleeves in the rainy windy dark evenings. Dressed in black with long flowing robes. Goth, but not those cheeky chubby bubbly adolescent ones that have no self confidence.

I admire those who made it their lifestyle and stay that way beyond their teenage years. The thin frail ones, with their gaunt cheeks, white skin, tired face, long uncared for hair, the face of a woman truck driver her skin ravaged by cigarettes. And the wisdom of many dangerous encounters.

I would like to project the same image of a malevolent, dark personality. I envy those thin white uncared for girls with a butchers’ face. I wish I had a carved face, a face that tells of suffering and privation. A face that tells you I am no apprentice, the face of somebody who faced failure, a face that tells of disappointment with life.

But not scornful, not arrogant, not frustrated. Only the hidden wisdom with no resentment. Resigned but still strong. Somebody who fought and lost.

Finally. Losing. I want to let myself lose. Once. And then I will have learned. I want to learn how to accept the loss. Stop hiding it. And will stop being afraid. Of myself. And how I lost.
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A bit worried and unsure. [Sep. 24th, 2004|05:20 pm]
Saravana
[Current Music |Ute Lemper - The Part You Throw Away]

My "poetry journal" at i_had_a_dream is very neglected. I know that whenever I want to write a poem it just flows naturally, but the issue is with getting to write them.

Another issue is that I attach too much ego to what I produce, as if there was one poem that was better than the other, and writing a new one detracted from the previous ones. I should tell myself they all are as shitty one as the other, and that anyway, I am always free to come back and make my own choice for a more exalted setting.

I also am into sketching, and get the same problem: going into it. I know my sketches are good, they are dynamic, they are precise, they are decisive.

I think I am going to close down i_had_a_dream because it doesn't make sense to have a separate journal for what I value most. I simply end up publishing in two journals instead of one. I prefer using the "memory" feature to easily reference my favorite entries.

Oh, and I reread my poetry; that was really shitty! HOWEVER, they have real meaning to me, they describe situations and events and feelings that are important, that define me better than anything I could write.

Same thing for my sketches.

Truth is: I am very narcissistic, and looking at what I produce gives me the same satisfaction as when I looked at myself in the mirror when I was a teenager.

I don't look at myself as much in the mirror nowadays; I am not as fascinated by my face as I was before. I don't know what that means. The easy way would be to say I am less beautiful than I was. Or that I lost self-esteem. But it may also be that I am more mature. That there are other things in me that I value.

I am very much into my own body still, though. But, and I won't go over this in detail, but for some precise reason, I know I am both more comfortable with it, but also, more into dragging it, shaping it, dressing it into the direction I am more comfortable with it being.

Which worries me a bit. Because I have great respect for my body. And the body of others too, BTW.
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