everything in its right place

the end of last semester was a period of complete internal chaos. scratch that, college was a period of complete internal chaos, of which, almost 5 years after i started it, i’m still understanding the full scope of its consequences.

its a place of self-discovery alright,  its perplexing how i was able to at the same time come to terms with–rather, realize my limitations and create grandiose plans for my future. but i think the deepest scar comes from crippling self-doubt that i learned in college. i don’t trust myself anymore, and lets say i get by on subsistent levels of self worth.

almost a year after i graduated, im still left with this herculean project, its long overdue, but i think the professor will still accept it. i need to revisit plato. sigh.

anyway i decided to write this awful post because i remembered how at times i became so in need of a clutch, and considering that i’m a nonbeliever, and a fan on music, i started to take radiohead’s lyrics pretty literally. i made myself believe that everything would be ok because thom yorke said so!

i mean, wow. Kid A was my personal bible.

i also remember maybe a month later after i acquired this new religion when i realized that he maybe he was ironic/ i was being crazy/ although a great album, it cant be my reason to live.

ridiculously enough, i still remember how my heart sunk at the realization of a false religion. there really was a period of my life that i believed that everything was going to be ok because “if you try the best you can, the best you can is good enough”.

its certainly one of those moments when you don’t know if you should laugh or cry. but thats college for you.

nanda

what seems to have been in a different life time

hey, do you remember when we went to see deerhunter on election night?

it was raining, and cold, it was november after all. I think it was before we really got to know each other, we just randomly went to a concert together, Michelle and Sasha were there too.

it was at the black cat, the place was damp, and scarcely populated being that we were in DC and it was election night. few fellow dcers consider a deerhunter show more important than watching election results. I barely remember the opening act, all that i can recall was that i didnt really like them, and that the lead singer was dressed in some scary costume…. was that that concert? i think it was, like he was dressed in something with feathers and i think he had a hoodie  with a bird’s beak.

we were both on the look out for a man, wearing red lipstick and concert attire, i think you might have suspected that a certain someone might come to the show. i think i drank my usual red stripe… wait were sasha and michelle there? i feel like there were, it might have been the first time you met them.

during the opening act, bradford was hanging out with the crowd, i think some ‘muc kids were there as well, and they talked to him. and then we went up to him, you greeted him, i was too embarrassed–i just smiled at him. how embarrassing. i wasnt a big fan of them yet, i didnt understand deerhunter yet.  but im so glad that we went to that concert.

when they came on, i remember it being really loud, fuzzy. the black cat doesnt have the greatest sound system. but i think two things that stick out the most on my mind was: a) how they announced that obama got elected and then they played star spangled banner, and b) how there was that girl guitarist (or did she play the base?), at one point she messed up and bradford snapped at her. i think she was dating the stoner looking guy (… im still strangely attracted to him).

when it ended, i had a headache. it had been so loud. So opposite the feeling that i had when i saw them again in bmore, at the round robyn thing (god, when i saw them then, i couldnt get enough of them, i ultimately was so frustrated with no age… they were so subpar when up against deerhunter… anyway, different concert).

out on the streets it was a party, Ust was in chaos, people making noise, walking on the streets, honking, waving at each other–overall sense of euphoria, i think.

to sound cheesy, i think that the whole night really just felt like a deerhunter song; disorienting, full of emotion, and beautiful.

this brings a tear to my eye, but warms my heart… i’m so glad that these will be the memories of my early 20s.

full of never ending sap (im starting to suspect that its the effect of occasionally watching brazilian soaps), much love to you my music lover friend,

nanda

What song defines me?

oh boy.

I came to this question when I began the hilarious task of trying to think of three words that define me.
I was filling out my OkCupid profile. So, please don’t hesitate to make fun of me.

Now I sat there thinking of three clever words to choose from, only to find it that I’m not that creative–and that led to a minor breakdown, well not really, but still, minor I suck at life moment. I quickly moved on as I resorted to music to attempt to find words that define me, and thats when thought of said question. Really, I’m surprised that I haven’t thought of figuring it out before. I have a pretty clear idea of what band best captures how I generally view/ feel about life–that is Radiohead. I think you will find that answer tiring. I know that for you its painfully obvious.

That is the kicker though, I don’t know if I can find my song in Radiohead’s repertoire. I was thinking about how to define my song, and I guess I meant something like, well, if I were to have a theme song that played every time I came into a bar, or if I were a character in a movie… you know, cheesy things like that. I mean, seriously, the whole task is a very smelly cheese. But who cares.

Frankly, I don’t even know where to begin. I thought maybe Joanna Newsom, but I’m afraid that that is just a reflex from having listened to her so frequently in past month.

Well, so I’ll keep you posted of my findings. This won’t be easy.

I hope you are having some amount of fun around Europe. I hope you are taking some pictures.

nanda

Welcome to the Jungle

“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s”
Franny and Zooey

I think we can broaden that, and say that anyone wishing a good life should aim for some form of personal perfection. We should view ourselves as artists striving to create beauty.

Prior to that passage, there is a bit about how really the ones who genuinely reach greatness, do so because they are driven by their egos. Or that they are doing what they truly wish to–they are doing it with all their might. Thats the point that I want to get at. I think that to be happy, we need to know and understand what drives us, reach for it with all our might–and that is how we can attain/create beauty.

That felt really pertinent to me. I’m embarking on a career path right now, frankly, I don’t know if this is what I want. It feels like its in the general direction of what I want. Is it too late to for me to discover what drives me? Optimistically I believe that its never too late, but that may just be one of those fairy tales we tell ourselves so we can continue on bearing existence.

Sometimes I question if I can hear the siren.

So right now there is no knowing, just hoping. And my new struggle is to do it with all my might. Completely devote myself to this choice, if something better presents itself–great, and if not…, if I don’t give it all…well…..

.

Sitting at the airport in Rio waiting for a plane back to São Paulo, I’m having coffee and pão de queijo next to some randomly famous person. At first I thought he was one of the members of Guns n Roses, and since he was literally right next to me, I got a better look and realized that it was Sebastian Bach. At one point he asked me if he could have this chair that I wasn’t using and I said “Sure. That’s cool.”

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention how before that interaction I had spent a good 20 minutes daydreaming a scenario where he was a total asshole and how I’d tell him off. Why? I don’t know. I barely know the guy, I couldn’t name one of his songs, I just had this desire to show some passé celebrity that he is no better than I.

Anyway the point of that story, I think, is that i feel like it does a good job at epitomizing the absurdity of reality.

Most of the time we go from A to B as a result of random happenings in our lives, there are though, the few life changing moments when you are conscious of the choice that you are making and where its going to take you. But even within that subset, the variables are always changing and you just never know who you are going to meet/where you’ll end up.

I guess what i’m trying to say, not so eloquently is: on the flip side, if your life doesn’t turn out to be something big, huge and exciting, there’s always the random absurd occurrences; some may change your life (you may meet a best friend) and some may just amuse you (you may come across an aging rock star). And that is also beautiful.

NANDA. over and out.

On your impending reunion with the Tigress

“The masses do not see the Sirens,” Nikos Kazantzakis observes.  “They do not hear songs in the air.  Blind, deaf, stooping, they pull at their oars in the hold of the earth.  But the more select, the captains, harken to a Siren within them… and royally squander their lives with her.”

Kazantzakis’ siren is a “merciless voice — the Tigress.”  She is his companion on all his journeys.  She “digs her claws into my brain, and we reflect on all we have seen and all we have yet to see.”  Robert Graves calls her the “White Goddess,” who can appear as a “she-wolf, tigress, mermaid or loathsome hag.”  The test of any writer’s vision, Graves says, is “the accuracy of his portrayal” of her.

The goddess’s physical beauty lies only in her eyes.  Her allure is the life of the mind.  For it is the yearning after comparisons and metaphors for each new object and landscape that sanctifies consciousness.

I’ve started reading an interesting book by journalist Robert Kaplan about his prolonged travels through the Mediterranean in his twenties.  Mediterranean Winter seems like the perfect read for me here and now, especially as I consider how to best live the next 3-4 months of my life.

You’re leaving to go on an adventure in mere hours.  I found this one little snippet in the first chapter to be fitting for the both of us — for me, as I grapple with and consider my own intimacy with the Tigress (lately she appears as a loathsome hag), and for you, as you look to rediscover her, go about with her, and depend on her for the new sort of consciousness that perhaps can only come about from following her call.

Travel is where we truly meet ourselves.  Thank god we’re the types who can hear the Sirens.

Be safe.  Miss you a ton.  And most importantly, share stories of awkwardness and delayed response due to weird language abilities.  I find that entire thing hilarious.
GERTRUD

Out of Practice

Its been too long, and really, its just because I’m in this place in my life where I seem to be shunning introspection. Perhaps I successfully visited  the “doer” –not world–erhm, reality. And suppressed my more introspective (read: self-conscious) self. Dostoevsky talks about this. How men of action don’t suffer from the pangs of acute self-consciousness.
Am I a woman of action now?

ha. Hardly. I just spent most of my day not doing anything productive.

So maybe I just disconnected from everything because too much on the outside is changing so I need the inside to be a constant for now, otherwise it’d all just be too much.

Gertie, your previous posts were excellent. And this shabby one doesn’t do our blog justice, but its better than nothing. I’m hoping that once the big move happens, the reality of my new situation will hit me, and then I will have more profound thoughts.

For now I’ll leave you with this: today I had one of the best music experiences that I’ve had in a while. I was listening to Panda Bear and I drove through one of those old school car washes. The all encompassing chaos caused by the disorienting swirls of the brushes, the thick layer of soap, and the playful bubbles perfectly fit with Panda Bear’s music. It was magical, and it made my day.

Hope all is well,
Nanda