Shall I at least set my lands in order?

Buildings burn after an earthquake near Sendai Airport, northeastern Japan March 11, 2011. (REUTERS/KYODO)

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me.

Houses are in flame while the Natori river is flooded over the surrounding area by tsunami tidal waves in Natori city, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, March 11, 2011, after strong earthquakes hit the area. (AP Photo/Yasushi Kanno, The Yomiuri Shimbun)

Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

A whirlpool is seen near Oarai City, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeastern Japan, March 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Kyodo)

Fires burn in the port area of Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture following an earthquake in northeastern Japan, March 11, 2011. (REUTERS/KYODO)

Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina*
Quando fiam uti chelidon–O swallow swallow
Le Prince d’Aquitaine a la tour abolie

Houses are swept by a tsunami in Natori City in northeastern Japan March 11, 2011 (REUTERS/KYODO)

These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

A view of flooding and destruction in Natori city, Miyagi prefecture, Saturday, after a tsunami was unleashed by an 8.9 quake. (Picture from CNN)


*From Dante’s Inferno: “Then dived he back into that fire which refines them.”
**Quando… : “When will I be like the swallow [so that I can stop being silent]?”
***The Prince of Aquitaine in his ruined tower
Complete text of The Waste Land. Excerpts from section V: What the Thunder Said
Pictures from, compiled by Alan Taylor


for you i’d burn the length and breadth of sky

Inside the labyrinth walls
There lies a tiny child who sleeps alone
And as the daylight falls
The wind becomes so wild across the stone

For I have made her prison be
Her every step away from me
And this child I would destroy
If you tried to set her free

– “My Medea” by Vienna Teng

At a recent visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, I saw a sculpture which attracted my interest.

The sculptor captured the naked, unyielding resolve in her expression. Her face is twisted so as to reveal a trace of bitterness, her body tense, hand clenched around her dagger.

But why is she holding the knife? Perhaps what she is about to do goes beyond a mere suicide. She is not merely looking inward as to her determination and intent. She is also surveying with her mind’s eye the landscape of what she is about to do. Something she is going to carry out with that knife of hers. Something she has laid on herself to do.

What is it you see?

Without us knowing who she is, the sculptor tells us: this is a woman who is going to do something terrible. She has lost something very dear to her, and in recompense, she is going to take fate in her own hands and make it so that the person who has wronged her is going to suffer more than she has.

So come to me my love
I’ll tap into your strength and drain it dry
Can never have enough
For you I’d burn the length and breadth of sky

For it’s my thoughts that bind me here
It’s this love that I most fear
And this child I would destroy
For I hold her pain most dear

There is madness there. A madness that would overturn the worlds of others, carving a swatch of destruction even as she herself is destroyed.

A madness she would allow. There is no turning away from this point forward, for her.


Picture not by me

No haven for this heart
No shelter for this child in mazes lost
Heaven keep us apart
A curse for every mile of ocean crossed

For I must die for what I’ve done
A twist of fate, a desert sun
For I see what I destroy
Sweet reflection knife into me
For I see what I destroy
I can see what I’ve begun.

Perhaps the child you sing of is not merely that which you have given birth to, but that which is in you, and that which is lost. That which you would destroy, and for which you must die, is not merely something you have begotten, but something inside you.

Maybe the child you sing of is also you yourself.

But why would you erase that part of you? Lock away something permanently so that you may never come back to it?

And why would you take that future away from her?

Who are you?

Medea, tell me: what is it that you saw?

hot chocolate

To my mind, there are few things better than this on a cold and snowy day.

Stay warm!

And naturally, a book.

What do you do on your snow days?

Oh, and Teton Cocoa Company on Etsy is having a giveaway until January 25th! The winner gets a large bag of cocoa.

I’ve never had their cocoa, but I’m sure it’s amazing!

Link to giveaway

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

I am a constant satellite of your blazing sun

Brown is such an ordinary color, isn’t it? It’s the color of mud. Poop. Unflattering things.

And actually, quite a lot of lovely things as well.

… moths…

… tea…

… chocolate…

… tree bark…

… sepia toned photography…

… driftwood…

I want one of those lamps in my house.

… wet sand…

… and Vienna Teng’s music video for Gravity.

She’s wearing a pretty dress, playing the piano in the middle of the wilderness. What’s there not to love?

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

paper boats

There’s one thing I think of when I think of paper boats, and that’s happiness.

With that said, I’m very sorry for not visiting blogs and returning comments, or even posting new blogs of my own. But sophomore year is turning out to be a lot busier than I thought, what with all my music classes and reading and practicing I have to do every day, on top of other responsibilities, that it’s really hard to make the time commitment to just sit down and post stuff and return comments. I’m very sorry about this, and though I’ll still be posting now and then, less frequently, I’ll be back in December.

Of course this makes me feel very sad, because blogging is something that’s been very near and dear to my heart for a while. Thank you for staying with me this summer. This is a journey, and I’m glad you could take it with me.

Of course everything will resume December!

Flower Study

I saw this flower lying on the street and tried to photograph it. I’m very amateur so please forgive the quality of the pictures.

It looked kind of sad… I wonder who had left it there.

Tried to get a close-up shot of the petals…

I rather like the lighting in this next one… and I think it is my favorite. The petals looked as if they were glowing, and I tried to capture that.

And finally. Poor flower.

It makes me wonder further. Have you ever seen a seemingly random object somewhere and felt compelled to make up a backstory for it? Because I’m really curious as to how this flower got there. There weren’t any flowers of the same type growing anywhere around.

Maybe some guy offered a girl a flower and she was disgusted and rejected it. But not before ripping some petals out. God, that’s awfully depressing. Or maybe some guy offered a girl some flowers and one fell and they didn’t notice?

What do you think?

Lastly, please don’t use these pictures without my permission.

This is how I work.

This is how my screen looks when I’m working on a new blog post.

Click for large size

Having everything cluttered like that makes me feel busy, I suppose. In some sick way.

And I love Regina Spektor. Haven’t bought this song yet, which is why I’m listening to it on Youtube. I work pretty well listening to music, unless I’m having trouble with something, or need to get my thoughts more together. Or if I have to finish something before I go to bed. Then the music goes off.

Sometimes I collect ideas in a Word document before I type the blog post out into WordPress. I’ve been doing that a lot more lately, especially with longer, more research-consuming posts. At least I call it research. I usually have more than one WordPress window open when I’m blogging, though, because I want to check comments and see my stats.

If I’m doing a picture-heavy post, the corners of the screen get covered with picture files, downloaded from Flickr under a Creative Commons license. Blurred some of them out for obvious reasons.

What does your screen look like when you work?