26 April 2010


Thoreau's cove at Walden Pond

The mind is subject to moods, as the shadows of clouds pass over the earth. Pay not too much heed to them. Let not the traveller stop for them. They consist with the fairest weather. By the mood of my mind, I suddenly felt dissuaded from continuing my walk, but I observed at the same instant that the shadow of a cloud was passing over the spot on which I stood, though it was of small extent, which, if it had no connection with my mood, at any rate suggested how transient and little to be regarded that mood was. I kept on, and in a moment the sun shone on my walk within and without.
age 34, July 1851, pg. 63

25 April 2010

"A traveller!"

from the journals of Thoreau

A traveller! I love his title. A traveller is to be reverenced as such. His profession is the best symbol of our life. Going from ----- to -----; it is the history of every one of us.
age 33, June 1851, pg. 58


Why should pensiveness be a kin to sadness? There is a certain fertile sadness which I would not avoid, but rather earnestly seek. It is positively joyful to me. It saves my life from being trivial.
age 34, August 1851, pg. 66


And why should I speak to my friends? for how rarely is it that I am I; and are they, then, they?
age 34, August 1851, pg. 67

24 April 2010

Henry David Thoreau central

This blog is probably going to become Henry David Thoreau central for the time being. I am reading his newly published -- abridged -- journals. Although they are abridged, they are the greatest compilation of his journals to date. And he has so many nuggets of interesting thoughts and observations that I feel I have to write them down somewhere.

In literature it is only the wild that attracts us. Dullness is only another name for tameness. It is the untamed, uncivilized, free, and wild thinking in Hamlet, in the Iliad, and in all the scriptures and mythologies that delights us...A truly good book is something as wildly natural and primitive, mysterious and marvellous[sic], ambrosial and fertile, as a fungus or a lichen...The fault of our books and other deeds is that they are too humane, I want something speaking in some measure to the condition of muskrats and skunk-cabbage as well as of men, -- not merely to a pining and complaining coterie of philanthropists.
pg. 43, November 1850, age 33


What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.
pg. 42, November 1850, age 33

22 April 2010

a separation from life

I'm starting to think that people who kill themselves are courageous.

To say, FUCK OFF, this world sucks and I don't want anything more to do with it.

It's a good thing I have an avid interest in theatre and books and people (usually ones I don't know -- people are always better when you are far away from them). Otherwise, I may consider off-ing myself. However, I wish I had more REAL things in my life, that made me happy.

Or, I think as Henry David Thoreau does when he wrote in his journal that The most positive life that history notices has been a constant retiring out of life, a wiping one's hands of it, seeing how mean it is, and having nothing to do with it. A bleak but sometimes comforting thought.

16 April 2010


Ushered at the Benedum today for SWAN LAKE, my favorite (really, only) ballet that I like. I had about 6 hours of sleep which for many would suffice but I can't function on less than 8. Got up at 7:00, just as it was getting light. But I was excited to see this ballet again, after having seen it at the Royal Opera House in London.

It was a student matinee so there were lots of kids. It's always great having school children. They are always better behaved than you might think they would be, and seem genuinely thrilled by everything they see. We get both private and inner city schools. The ballet mistress and master were there, and the artistic director, sitting in my section. They come to every ballet performance.

This is a clip from the American Ballet Theatre production of SWAN LAKE, a production that I hold dear. I've watched many ballet performances on tape before, but none that lives up to this.

At one point the woman who plays Odette/Odile has to do 32 fouettes, which are essentially 32 turns. It is very difficult and not every ballerina can do it. Not only does Gillian Murphy do it in this production but she is the only one who has ever added extra turns to the combination. This starts just at 3:00 on this video.

13 April 2010

for every good there is a bad

I feel myself get weaker and sadder. I try to move on, I try to find a job, I try to hope that something better will come along. I haven't felt the need to write like this in some time. Though I've felt sad for what feels like forever. Every time I write something or feel like this I remember a former friend of mine telling me -- when I would write him these things -- that I should see a therapist. That cold, decisive, practical advice would hit me like a fist. I lack emotional fulfillment; I look for it ever where.

I just move on. I go to cafe's and drink tea. I scour job advertisements. I read literature. I watch British comedy shows and old American shows like Buffy that I never watched when they were on.

I have some sort of juvenile wish to be in a safe place where I cannot be harmed and where people are happy. And I HATE this, because it makes me weak, this wish. I will be in a therapist office one day and he (I dislike women, so it will be a he) will say that I did not have a safe place growing up and that now I am unable to function in this normal unsafe world because I want only good things. And then I will feel even more that I will always feel unsafe and will always wish for something that I do not have.

People are mean to me. They talk about me behind their backs. I wouldn't believe this if a good friend or two didn't tell me. I don't understand why people would say things, mean things, about me, especially when I have not wronged them. Probably they do it because they lack self-esteem or something, they are threatened by me, but I cannot relate how sad this makes me, that I am surrounded by people like this. I may be too sensitive but that is because I am an emotional person. I think it would be very difficult to be an emotional person and not be sensitive. The two seem inextricably linked. For every good there is a bad.

"Who besides me will ever read these letters?"

Sometimes I believe that God wants to try me, both now and later on. I must become good through my own efforts, without examples and without good advice. Then later on I shall be all the stronger. Who besides me will ever read these letters? From whom but myself shall I get comfort? As I need comforting often, I frequently feel weak, and dissatisfied with myself; my shortcomings are too great. I know this, and every day I try to improve myself, again and again.
Anne Frank, pg.41

10 April 2010

real life

Me: Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a warped Jane Austen novel.

Mike: Very warped

09 April 2010

a snapshot

10:30 at night. Lights off. The window behind my futon open, a cool breeze drifting in. I'm laying on my futon, four large pillows behind me, a huge comforter wrapped around me, Cadbury milk chocolate opened beside me, a diet pepsi in my hand, and the second season of the British comedy The Vicar of Dibley on the telly in front of me.

08 April 2010


There is a therapy called PhotoVoyage that helps people come to terms with their self-image by changing views you may have about yourself by viewing pictures of yourself. I think I look totally different in real life than I do in any of my photos. Either I look uglier or more depressed in my photos than I think I am in real life, or I look more interesting or pretty than I fancy myself. I can't figure out if I have a good or bad opinion of myself.

06 April 2010


Went to my first hockey game tonight. It is a good way to let out both anger and joy by shouting, screaming, clapping your hands to music vigorously, and jumping up and down without the drawback of being sent to a psych ward.