Thursday, May 30, 2013

labels

why do we use words like "my" or "mine" when describing specific relationships with people? love isn't equivalent to possession.

we don't belong to one other.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

so we beat on

I've gone through more than I'd ever imagined I would. That's no surprise. And though I've felt so beaten--as if my innocence  had been stolen from me--I now realize that I still hold my same perspective, so it was actually never stolen. It's here. I feel mentally like myself more than I have in years, but more and more alone--on a personal level--with each passing day. As I watch all my acquaintances, old friends, and those close to me growing through life. As I watch them progressing and taking steps forward. I know I'm growing too. But I feel like I'm standing still--and not just literally. Everyone looks so beautiful. I feel like all these years have deteriorated my youthful passions and zest, or even something as petty as my outward appearance.  I started crying the other night. A lot. When I was alone and had the opportunity to do so. I realized 2009 was the last year I've had of full stability. No unhealthy amounts of fear. No depression. No diagnosis. No multiple visits to the ER for psychological or physical reasons. No stays in either ICU. No endless weeks in the hospital. No high doses of medication. No multiple near-death experiences. It's been over three years since all this began. 

I can't recreate the past; it's pointless to even think this way. But I guess I just miss the last two years of high school. I still talk to some people or we're at least FB friends. But everyone is off living their lives. Attending college. Finding job opportunities. Or just recently graduating. From university...from high school. The freshmen from three years ago just graduated and are off to college. First graders are 8th graders. I walk around this neighborhood and any time I run into someone from my past, I feel out of place. Everyone--everything--is moving so fast. And I'm standing still, stuck in spring and summer of 2010. Stuck in my second semester senior year. Everyone else is gone, having developed new relationships and ways of living-- happy to have graduated years ago and face reality as they look forward to future ventures. I, on the other hand, am apparently capable of facing directions only far behind me.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

nostalgia

the blue sky disappeared as i walked to the house. i stopped near my bench to watch the cars rush past, the sailboats entering the marina. five birds flew in circles above.

i stood there,
listened to the wind;

and started to feel. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Animism vs Anthropocentrism

Western religions hold an anthropocentric worldview, putting mankind on a pedestal above the rest of life. They believe that only humans have an immortal soul and are therefore the only beings with any trace of divinity (having been created “in God’s image”). Because of this fact, they feel entitled to control any and all of nature for their own benefit.  Animistic religions, on the other hand, believe the exact opposite. They see the interconnectedness of life, viewing all animals, planets, and aspects of creation to be just as divine--and alive--as humans. In fact, they believe that every aspect of nature makes up a greater, united whole. The word “Animism” stems from “anima,” meaning spirit or soul. Animistic religions believe that everything in the Universe has a soul.

Unfortunately (and that word doesn’t even begin to capture my emotion), the anthropocentric worldview too easily fits into a capitalist economy and as a result, our world has reached a point where this sort of belief has become so widely embraced that almost everything is used and built for human benefit and monetary profit. The animistic worldview, of course, holds no place in our capitalist economy. This problem can be seen as we continue to destroy our planet--the issues of energy consumption probably being the most obvious result. So many aspects of our life come from non-renewable energy sources. We are creating and living in more pollution than many of us realize. After all, in our society and economy today, hurting and taking advantage of the earth is a great way to make loads of money! (That was sarcasm) 

This fact makes me incredibly sad and at points in the past, spurred depression. I personally feel that this beautiful planet--and all of life for that matter--is spiritually alive. I always unconsciously had this view (i.e. I sensed that my animals had souls and were equals with me), but halfway through high school this worldview started to increase without any conscious effort (it may have to do with the fact that it was around that same time, I started reading more philosophical and spiritual books, creating my own worldview instead of the one I was raised with). I love this quote by Einstein: “Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” 

As sad as the state of our world and society makes me, I finally (though it took a while) realized I needed to stop fixating on this fact. Getting angry about it just sends out more negative energy that this planet cannot afford, and wallowing in sadness is not only bad for my own mental and emotional health, but it prevents me from taking my feelings and putting them to positive use. I have to remind myself to instead maintain a sense of realistic hope. 

As Thomas Paine wrote, “I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.” I can’t force other people to believe what I believe, but I can send out positive energy for this planet and its people. Ultimately, it’s not in my hands. And I’ve finally accepted that. For too long I was a control freak. I can’t control anything. It’s hard enough trying to control my mind and restless thoughts. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

i appreciate

this blog's existence.

all the others feel too open now. i don't know what i'm saying. i just know i'm glad for this blog as well as my new journal, which--in terms of its specific use and emotional benefit--is entirely different from any previous journals i've ever kept.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"create your own religion"


I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves. 

--Hermann Hesse--

I was raised Catholic, so it’s no surprise that I started attending the infamous, ritualistic (not to mention dry, boring, and repetitive) Sunday services from birth. The Catholic system followed me through archdiocesan elementary, middle, and high school(s). As a child, I of course accepted the religion’s teachings (or at least those they told us at that age, which were basically just happy fairy tales about an awesome man named Jesus). I didn’t really have to think about believing in the rigid doctrine they taught my little friends and me because I was too busy enjoying my childhood. As I grew older though, I naturally started to think for myself. 

The years passed and I became more and more disillusioned with everything about the religion. Even as a high school student, I was forced to go to mass every single Sunday (that led to years of draining fights). But eventually I just stopped resisting and brought my journal with me to read during mass. It was in them I’d written down quotes from philosophy I’d found from my personal reading outside of school. I had decided to start searching for answers on my own. You could say I was doing what Ralph Waldo Emerson once suggested: “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” At this point, I wouldn’t have thought of myself as an atheist; one could say I had become an “agnostic.” When it came down to it, I was just sick of religion as a whole. I didn’t care what anyone else believed, but the more I began to find universal truths and philosophy that resonated with me, the more sickening it was to see the childish way the world behaves over something as trivial as who has the “Absolute Truth.” 

But over the years, I drifted away from agnosticism as I formed my own perspective, creating a personal “truth” I have kept to this day. I would never call it a religion though. A great amount of the points Thomas Paine speaks of in The Age of Reason capture the way I feel. For example, I too would say, "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turk church, or by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” Because my mind is my own church, I am the one capable of creating my own hell--not a God or higher power. If we’re going to be honest, I despise religion for what it has done to mankind and the earth. But I have learned to accept these feelings and for the most part set them aside--instead appreciating the present moment and remembering to be here. Now.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

6/1/2009

found an old journal entry:

the sun is out!

well, it was while I went on a walk just now. It'd been gone for a while. this can be taken literally and metaphorically as well, in regards to how I'd been feeling the past few days.

today, more particular--this afternoon, I'd been in a strange mood. It was an..unusual type of tired, you could say. But...I wasn't really TIRED. I felt like someone drew a circle in my chest and somehow, a ball of energy and enthusiasm was sucked from that very spot. in the car--eyes closed--I kept my iPod on and the hood of my gray, 'spirit sweatshirt' over my head. i like the way the music streamed into my ears and thoughts as I could feel the car's wheels rolling, moving. my mom dropped off caterina first from carpool and had to continue on with the others and then take Brennan to swim practice. she was going to drop me off, but I was just like...hey, I'll walk home from here. I have my key. so, I grabbed my black backpack...slipped it through both arms, grabbed my iPod, and unwrapped the 'organic lemon lollipop: trader joe's brand' that Laura had randomly given me as I walked past her locker a bit earlier.

Listening to "Songs for a New World," I took my own sweet time with each step. I saw the trees slightly moving in the wind. The clouds moving horizontally across a much bluer sky than I'd seen these past few days, or at least that I'd been aware of. leaves rustling across my feet. cars driving past, people before my eyes. flowers moving as well. fresh air rushing across me. every so often, i'd stop at a corner and observe. different angles. moving straight ahead and then turning right, i continued on directly in front of me. as the music of the final song started to build, I threw away the stick of the now-empty lollipop into the black trashcan to the side of me and started to speed up my pace.

skip.

run.

look at the sky.

skip some more.

it all perfectly matched to the last step.
brilliance.

"Hear my song. 
It'll help you believe in tomorrow 
Hear my song.
It'll show you the way you can shine
Hear my song. 
It was made for the times when you don't know where to go.
Listen to the song that I sing; 
You'll be fine." 

I missed the sun.

Friday, May 3, 2013

how could i forget? tonight, i remember.

"maybe i've been the problem. maybe I'm the one to blame,
but even when I turn it off and blame myself, the outcome feels the same.

i've been thinkin maybe i've been partly cloudy,
maybe I'm the chance of rain; maybe I'm overcast, and maybe all my luck's washed down the drain.

i've been thinking 'bout everyone, everyone you look so lonely.

but when I look at the stars,
i see someone else.

when I look at the stars, i feel like myself.

stars lookin' at our planet, watching entropy and pain. and maybe start to wonder how the chaos in our lives could pass as sane. i've been thinking 'bout the meaning of resistance, of a hope beyond my own.

and suddenly the infinite and penitent begin to look like home; i've been thinking 'bout everyone, everyone you look so empty.

but when I look at the stars, i see someone else. when I look at the stars, I feel like myself. everyone, we feel so lonely.

everyone.

yeah everyone, we feel so empty.

when I look at the stars...i feel like myself. when I look at the stars, i see someone..."

{thank you, Jon}

Thursday, May 2, 2013

far

solitude has always been vital, but now i need it more. i recently returned from a walk with bosco, and it is probably the longest walk he has ever had. we usually walk up the street and then i turn us around, having to drag him along because he insists on sniffing every little flower or pile of dirt for as long as possible.

but today i let him do as he pleased. 

we walked for close to an hour. we ventured down the hill, through streets farther and farther away from this house. the weather was warm and the sun sort of just...shining. god that's so cliche, but that's the only word that appropriately captures a certain feeling. it wasn't setting yet, though. it was about an hour before that would take place. 

anyway.

the two of us were having a grand time. and of course, my headphones accompanied us. it was beautiful. but about halfway through the walk, i began to feel something that happens more often with each passing day. i don't know if i can even describe it without sounding melodramatic or ridiculous. but i'll try. i am grateful to say i have reached a point of not being "sad," "angry," "bitter," "depressed," or any other similar adjectives. 

no.

i am finally working (instead of just understanding the benefit) on developing the insight to watch my thoughts and let myself feel things without allowing them to kill me emotionally and spiritually. i am grateful that i am remembering to connect with the spirit that never left. but sometimes, in spite of all this, i feel an ache. and i don't mean that in a stupid way. it's literal...like, it's a physical ache brought on by emotion? i guess. i don't know...the only way i can describe the way it feels sounds so stupid. but i mean it in all seriousness.

it's as if i'm walking with a piece of me missing. like, that makes no sense because i finally am reconnecting (or at least trying) with myself. i mean, i feel healthier mentally and more stable emotionally than i have in a while...so it's just this weird physical ache. like, i'll be walking along listening to music that comforts and brings me peace when all of a sudden, i realize that there's...some sort of hole or gap within me? ugh this sounds insane. i'm trying (and failing) to find words to express this. maybe the word dissociation works? i don't know. 

it's in these moments of much-needed solitude where i become aware of and literally feel what i carry with me throughout the day but manage to suppress until the night when i feel it at full force. as i said, the only way i can describe it sounds melodramatic, but i'll say it anyway.  because this is my blog and fucking goddamnit brittany stop trying to make it perfect and don't worry what others think you've done that you're whole life and you don't need to do so anymore

so. it literally feels as though a part of me has been ripped away. like a huge chunk is gone and i'm walking around with a gaping hole, missing half of my entire being. and it's in these moments where i can pinpoint that it was somewhere along the past god knows how many years of hell when someone ripped away half of me.

and the scariest part of all is later, when i remember i did this to myself.