allow me to re-introduce myself…

Posted by anya on July 9th, 2007 filed in Uncategorized

Okay, so I think that, on a whole, my writing is far too affected by my moods. That probably happens to everyone to an extent, but I feel like my expression of this is usually more vivid. For example, the last blog entry was written in a state of happy euphoria which struck me after a particularly memorable couple of days. Now, I feel like I need to clarify. Beijing is not absolutely fantastic. There are many things that bother me, and there are many times during which I wish I were elsewhere. I get lonely. I don’t have friends in the same way that I do in Vancouver. I crave something familiar a lot. Even my apartment still does not feel familiar. I wonder whether that happens to anyone who has just moved somewhere they know they will not stay� I don’t have much stuff, which is perhaps something often associated with familiarity. I feel like I am missing so much (mainly because of the language barrier) that I am still constantly in a state of bewilderment as I go exploring this vast city. I feel like things are good, and I love how dynamic things are, but I perhaps over-emphasized this in my last entry. I definitely have my moments of profound weakness and doubt. This is okay. This is a part of any experience, and mine is no more or less remarkable than anyone else’s. Here’s one thing I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been thinking of how it’s interesting that we form images of people based on things which we think represent them. For example, before I really knew anyone in Beijing, I tried to grab my hands on as many free Georgia  Strait-like magazines as I could (there are at least 4 that I know of!) in order to find out “what’s going on” with the scene(s) in this city. One of these magazines is Time Out Beijing, and the first issue I grabbed I came across the last-page column, which is an editorial by someone I did not know. I remember reading it and wondering what the person writing it must be like, what he must look like and where he gets his ideas from, and what his day-to-day life is like. I realize that I do this with many people whom I somehow think I can grab pieces of through their creative outputs (although I’ve become increasingly skeptical of this, especially with musicians.) I suppose that, no matter how I try to separate the person from the art, it’s tough for me to fight the temptation to illustrate and romanticize whoever I am trying to relate to. By now you’ve understood that the point I’m trying to make isn’t too profound. But it continues. When we meet the people who we’ve been imagining, I find it hard to go back to relating to their art in the same way. Actually, I probably have no validity saying this, since I have “met” very few people whom I actually romanticize in this way. But, by coincidence, I did meet the person who writes the last page editorial of Time Out Beijing. And now that I have, I can’t help ascribing the things that I already know to his writing. Now that I know the way he looks like and talks, it’s hard not to read his column with an image of him in mind. And it’s not the same image I created before, but something that wishes to be more “real” and “valid”. Makes me think of Anna Cheung, who always says that she can hear my sarcasm and spot my idiosyncrasies when she reads my e-mails and blog entries. Because most of the people who will read this know me enough to be able to do this, I feel funny and kind of warm knowing that I am perhaps more than just an intangible thing which exists in the realm of ones and zeros and whatever else makes up the Internet. I wonder whether I am all that my writing makes me seem to be. I also just finished audio-listening to Chuck Klosterman’s “Killing Yourself to Live” and it had much the same effect on me that “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoapuffs” did. He says things that make sense. Once in a while, these things are so close to what I haven’t been able to voice it’s scary. I suppose, however, that may people have this feeling with different parts of anyone’s writing, and that’s maybe why we all have favorite authors. One of the things that struck me particularly about this book is the way Mr. Klosterman defines love and art. It is perhaps the closest to what I think my idea of the two is. He says that both art and love are “the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” The more that I think about this the more I think that this man is onto something. Although I don’t know why I like certain things, and I will definitely never understand why I love(d) certain people, I do think that whatever it was made a lot of sense to me. I saw myself in that music and those people in ways which seemed right, and ways which still at least partially seem right. Since I am of the camp which believes that people are pretty egotistical, it makes sense to me that what I love ultimately boils down to how I see myself in it, and how I am defined my it. This is also perhaps why both love and art are never things which are statically “happy” or “sad”. Because understanding yourself is something that comes with a lot of pain and joy and cruelty (often at the same time), the whole “process” is usually very roller-coaster-like. I like this definition, and I don’t know whether it’s because there is something more profound in it than I have found before or just because it makes me feel better about my own emotions. In any case, it makes me happy to be able to put down something concrete about something so fluid.

One Response to “allow me to re-introduce myself…”

  1. Anna Cheung Says:

    I really enjoy that you referenced me in your entry. First and last name.

    I also really enjoy your references to Chuck Klosterman.

    Also, when you say “Although I don’t know why I like certain things, and I will definitely never understand why I love(d) certain people, I do think that whatever it was made a lot of sense to me” it makes me think about the things and people who I love(d) or will eventually. Maybe I’m just caught up in the romanticized notion of how inexplicable love is.

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