Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dalian and The Lorax

Beer-sickles may be the most entertaining thing all day. Maybe not the most fulfilling, but probably the most entertaining (but its only 2 o’clock so who knows whats around the river bend. Pocahontas maybe.) Yesterday I put several cans o’beer in the freezer because they were room temperature, and the little mini-fridge/freezer hadn’t been plugged in. This was around 3pm I proceeded to pass out like the suffering jet-lagger I am, and boopitie shoobop ~ twilight comes around and I realize i’ve doomed my sleep schedule. Gotta start making good habits while you can but... aaaah heck ~ toss the repercussions... im tired. One thing leads to another I wake up at 1:30am and I go through the night until the sun starts to come up again around 5:00 and then take a nap and wake up at 7:30. I finally realize that I should brave the freezer and see if all my cans-o-beer have exploded. What magic ~ not a one of them did. So I moved them to my fridge in the morning and went to climb this mountain/ steep hill thats on campus. its about a 10 minute jaunt to the top of it (past the heaps of peoples trash : / and the cellphone tower : / ... the Lorax would not be pleased im sure). At the top is one of the more breath-taking views of the open sea that i’ve seen in quite a while. I’ll get you all pictures the next time I go up and take my camera (might be a while... or might be very soon ~ the crux is me remembering to take the camera. If only I had an iphone eh?) So anyhow, after lunch I took one out ~ still yet unbusted and put it in my New Zealand cozy and flicked the top twice. The question going through my head with my finger on the tab (Chinese beer cans have the pull tabs by the way~ the oldschool ones that actually pull off the metal opening completely) ~the question was... when beer is frozen... what happens to the carbon dioxide. WELL! It didn’t bust so lets find out. SCHPLAT! some how this pressurized vessel managed a 360* splash zone from a small hole in the top. My glasses, my computer screen, the wall, the closet... we all got spritzed. Evidently its still got some spunk even when its been frozen. Also... alcohol and water freeze a different temperatures (water freezes first...). One of the quirks of a beer-cicle is that once you pop the fun dont stop... no seriously... you kind of have to steadily drink it or the ice will displace too much liquid and it’ll flow all over your desk as it melts. SEEEE?!?!! science is fun. --- But a little bit about the city I live in: Dalian The first person I met when I got to the airport and fetched my luggage (praise be, it was all there) was a super awesome guy named James. He’s from inner-mongolia, which pretty much instantly makes him famous in my eyes. All you have to do is say it and I’m all eyes and ears. And then he has to go and seal the deal by being interesting on his own. Shucks. We take a taxi through a kind of ghetto part of town that evidently sells funeral supply stuff. I asked if the next area was gonna be babies and then weddings: get the whole spectrum of life right?. (so darn clever of me) All the while there are 2-3 things ringing in my head: this is real China and they’re not trying to hide it, the air is clear and I can actually breathe (a step up from my previous city for sure), and finally ~ there is so much potential for this place to be a great new stomping grounds for me. We got me to my apartment which is on campus and “cozy.” now I just have to make it homey : / Where’s that box with all my flags that I mailed here...? I’ll have to ask someone about that on monday. The place is swarming with dragon flies and I mean by the thousands. And my personal favourite common bird: the Azure-winged Magpie. Though I do really like crows too. --- Randomalia aside I have a question for everyone: do you think emotional susceptibility changes based on other events that happen in your life? For example ~ people like me have an irritation-o-meter and the more irritated we get, the more likely we are to blow up about small insignificant things. But the same applies for other emotions too. Like the other day I came in and saw Dalian for the first time, and I was so elated that the ghetto-ness of my apartment even made me laugh. (there is a booby-trap switch out of the three for the bathroom that will flip the circuit breaker... that seems to be its only function: to mess up your midnight bathroom trip...) These are two fairly superficial examples, but I think (and for myself I know) that it applies for deeper more shaking emotions too. To be transparent - I’ve left home to cross the big water 3 times now. Each time has been different, and this time has been incredibly potent. I suppose part of me expected it to be easier (the second time was pretty easy, but this third time was about as potent and moving for me as the first.) Without getting into the details of how that happened, we’ll say for now that I was basically in mourning over leaving my people this time. OK I guess i’ll give some of the why and how. I never really expected to be as close to my family as i’ve gotten. That might confuse you, but I don’t care. Be shocked and amazed if you want. But each step forward that I take in finding who I am, I have also found that i’ve taken another step closer to understanding and wanting to understand these incredible people in my nuclear family (sorry extended family... you’re still on audition : / ) And so to leave them, even though it was completely of my own doing and volition, and definitely the healthy step that I need and want to take, was a separation that I really lament. I started writing something on the topic earlier and i’ll copy paste that in here now. Some of it will be redundant, but it might interest you to see some of the differences in my writing that show up when I write in different moods: ----------------- It always feel so funerary when im about to cross the big water. There’s this feeling like you know the end of what you’re doing now is coming to the end, and you can feel yourself carried towards this “wall of the end” but never know what to expect next. You don’t feel like there is the other side, nor that there isn’t another side, but all you know is that this right now - is ending. I’ve been so touched this last trip home, because I saw, felt and over-all experienced such an immense love and closeness with my people. I never really thought that i’d be in that boat~ where I was so emotionally moved by that kind of separating from my family. This is the third time. And this time in some ways has been the most potent. I think its one of the most healthy and sobering things to feel sadness every so often. And as I have dealt with my sadness today I chose instead of suppressing it, to let it wash over me. Not to wallow in it and count it a misfortune, but to bathe in the feeling and let it remind me of how deeply loved I truly am. Sorrow in most situations is a recognition of lacking or loss. We talk of mourning, but you can’t mourn unless you had something worth having in the first place; so it was a deep and extensive reserve that breached the boundaries of its container within me today: because I have been so blessed and loved so well as to be worth mourning. And I consider that power. I consider that a measure of wealth that has been invested in our lives. And I want as much of that joy and the mourning as my little bones can take. I think to limit our experience of emotion and what they are there to tell us, is a form of robbery. We pillage and loot the depth of what we have had, and are having, and will have if we are so fortunate~ if we don’t recognize and embrace our emotions and seek to understand them. --- I watched a movie about C.S. Lewis and his coping with the death of his wife by cancer. He made a statement in their letters ~ one of which was along the lines of: We are only living in a world of shadows, real life has not yet begun. ---------------------- So thats another part of me for you, not that I imagine it surprises anyone that im super emotional (part of being a drama-queen I suppose). And to round this bit off and finish asking my question about my emotional susceptibility theory... I just watched the Lorax on recommendation of my sister and a friend from Zhengzhou... well he’s from Mexico but anyhow... And I was moved to tears by certain parts of it, and im pretty sure it wasn’t just the movie itself. I tried to explain my take on emotions to someone in the past few months and one of the metaphors that I really stick with is the door in the chest idea. It all goes back to love I think. happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, infatuation, theres a whole slew of “emotions” that come and go without your bidding, and you can’t really do much about them. You can bottle them, or you can experience them. Sometimes that means ulcers, sometimes that means venting them ~ and how you do that is your business. But love, in its many varieties, has a profound effect on, i would venture to say, all of those other emotions. It imbues and augments each of the emotions in a different way. So im here watching the Lorax, and these things that i’d normally brush off my shoulders are all the sudden bringing me to the brink of tears. What gives yo?

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