I’m greater than x and lesser than y

Posted by anya on March 1st, 2008 filed in Uncategorized

i love how this was put:
‘a lot of thinking
about survival and its costs
its benefits
its adjustments and its demands.’ (from inch by inch)

and although I’m thinking of this in a totally different way and context and light, it’s true that i’ve been thinking a lot in the last while about my own survival. and trying to figure out what is the best. what is good. what i want and what i need to be strong enough to express. how do you adjust to surviving in a context that’s been there for years and yet feels alien? how do you deal with the changing dynamics of relationships, and keep your heart from interfering in the things that are supposed to just be. because it’s so easy to be told. but not so easy to react. i need time. i need to realize for myself how to survive in these situations, which often have nothing to do with me. of constantly feeling like you are demanding, and needing, and wanting, and making me feel guilty. how do i qualify my own survival, in that meaningful, substantial way? because you see, 朋友, for every thing that is made known that reinforces my own conceptions, 5 things appear that cross that out and just create more doubt. the scariest is the doubt that deep inside, in that absolute sense, you will always be more. more this more that. more of everything that i am not. and i don’t know how to reconcile that. the idea of less than has never been that easy to accept.

I remember, some time ago, talking to Anna Cheung about… letting go. and she had told me about telling someone she needs a break. and I remember being so compelled by her honesty towards that person, and her respect for herself in being able to do that. was it about survival? and then… I think of Elena, and the idea of realizations of need, and all that stuff that promises to come with age and experience and loss and gain. but… why are they always filled with so much gray? why can’t the pixels separate until i see either black or white?

here’s another thing that makes me angry: this expectation that I’m somehow always supposed to justify my feelings. that I can’t just feel angry, or upset, or frustrated, or happy. that there always has to be a source, and constantly being pushed to talk about why I’m reacting to things. “you can’t ever just feel, silly.” i wish I could, though. because sometimes, you don’t want all these words and frames and assumptions and complications. all you want is your fingers laced around someone else’s, their energy, their presence, their smile, trapped in just that particular moment. Those are the same moments during which you wish time would stop imposing its agenda. this is indulgence at its best, and i hate the fact that part of me wants to keep it from. from what?

aside: you probably think this song is about you.

One Response to “I’m greater than x and lesser than y”

  1. Anna Cheung Says:

    “People will do anything rather than admit that their lives have no meaning” –Margaret Atwood

    It’s 8:51am on Friday morning and I’m sitting at my desk, alone, avoiding the unimportant, non-immediate work I have to do. I’ve been here since 7am scouring the news wire and collecting media clips. Prior to work, I was walking up my snow covered street in an irritated state thinking, “what’s this all worth”? Then my rationality sets in to help me cope and to remind me that things (the insane amount of snow) aren’t as bad as they seem and that the end will justify the means. Or, as one of my favourite blogger’s would say: the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.

    To me, when I come across survival, it does not have the denotative meaning of ‘not dying and sustaining a lineage’ ie, survival of the species, of the family name, Darwinian blah blah blah (I’m such a beautiful writer, I know) or the overrated television show that propelled reality televison into the mainstream and made Mark Burnett a crap load of money. No. The kind of survival that I refer to is of the emotional kind. When I examine how I feel about survival, I’m not sure that I’ve found a clear definition for myself yet. There have been instances when I told myself, “I survived that, and therefore, I can survive this” or asked myself “how am I going to survive this?” But when I think about those times, I’d like to know how I qualified survival, and, what is it exactly, that survives? Can we claim to be survivors when the pain absolves and it becomes a distant memory? Or are we rewarded when we ‘fall but get up again’? Is there a transcendental truth or lesson that we are meant to learn about ourselves and our existence through these painful trials?
    What does survival mean?
    Is it when we refuse to remain stagnant and fight through the pain to grow, to feel ‘alive’?
    We hope that all the trials and tribulations we go though yield meaning, otherwise, we’d never feel like we could move forward in fear of more harrowing experiences. In the end, most of us survive in the sense that our hearts are still beating and our lungs can still be filled with air—but there are intrinsic parts of us that are left crippled.

    And there, perhaps, is why so many of us need to have emotions justified. We cling to the hope that nothing happens without a greater reason and that the joy and pain we go through is what textures our existence, gives it meaning. The scars we bare must hold some truth, otherwise they disconnect from the associating experience and forget stay the same, lesson not learned.This then leads to the quote above that I thought of when I read your entry. Why is it that we have to give so many things meaning? What are we without them?

    And finally, in regards to the situation about me you were referring to, I never felt like it was a brave thing for me to do until I read your entry. I never thought about it as a mechanism for survival, but looking back on it now, I suppose it was done as a means of self-preservation.

    (It’s 3:08 pm now, and before you lambaste my poorly thought out comment, I had to finish tasks in between, and there are many more questions I’d like to raise, but I’ll leave it for now)

    Until next time,

    You know you love me,


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