Monday, November 28, 2011

O Tell Me The Truth About Love.

Some say love’s a little boy,
And some say it’s a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that’s absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn’t do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It’s quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its  singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn’t over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air.
I don’t know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love. 

W. H. Auden

Saturday, November 26, 2011

May we not steal some great happiness?

"We must come to grief and regret anyway—and I for one would rather regret the reality than it's phantasm, knowledge than hope, the deed than the hesitation, true life and not mere sickly potentialities."
R.H.A., via A.S. Byatt, in Possession: A Romance.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I told him that was a stupid bet because the rainbow was enough.

I can't let this moment get past me. I am so in love with learning right now.

I have had several moments lately in classes, while studying, even just while thinking about school, that I realize how happy I am to be here. I am learning so much. Maybe not every single day in every single class, but with incredible frequency I learn something in class or make some connection that has never crossed my mind before. I love learning for the sheer joy of knowing something I didn't know before, and it is even better when I myself am able to find that information. Just me, and the Information Age we live in. Is anything better than this? Honestly, I have not felt so happy since... my mission. Yup, the mission again. Another remarkably happy time in my life. Good thing it hasn't been that long and I'm already finding the world so full of joy.

Today, I learned about how the creation story in the Bible is just a simplified version of what really happened, and as with all things simplified, it doesn't really tell an accurate story.

Then I went to my British lit class and had a class-long debate (involving lots of meaningful stares and eyebrow raises) with a classmate about moral relativism.

Then I had my perspective changed about the words of the prophets and how they are culturally constructed, not necessarily the direct words of God.

Then I finally understood why some people are vegetarians because of animal rights, and why it is immoral to accept a Pell grant when I have enough money to pay for college (I wouldn't take money from a person who is obviously having trouble making ends meet, right? Then why would I take money from a government who is TRILLIONS of dollars in debt when I can earn enough money to pay for half the $2,000 dollar tuition at my university?).

Then I learned about French socialism and grocery shopping and the French Revolution.

Then I came to the library and checked out books for the first time in years and now I'm reading about rainbows and how "Many people are moved to thoughts of the miraculous by the fact that the glowing body of the rainbow (so delicate and thin) can never be touched, can never be grasped, no matter how hard we try... When a rainbow suddenly becomes visible (apparently from right out of 'nowhere'), the previously mundane world seems to be transformed, almost made sacred, for a moment" and that's why Ntozake Shange decided to not commit suicide that time when she saw a rainbow.

Isn't this world so wonderful? And I'm just majoring in ONE thing at ONE university, and I just have a job in ONE department, and I just have ONE internship. There are infinitely more possibilities in this world to learn learn learn learn. I hope I never ever get bored of learning.