Sunday, February 17, 2008

Okay, here's something decidedly not complaint-ridden and more lovely to behold -- my Valentine's Day gift from Trevor of earrings from Favor in Oakland.

I reciprocated with tickets to see Red Sparowes at Bottom of the Hill in March. BTW, we are so the same person -- we placed our gifts to each other on the other's pillow. Silly monkeys.

Also went to Santa Cruz Friday to get massaged and just sit in the sun with an iced coffee and read for a bit. Am currently reading No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy -- the author of one of my top books ever read fame. It's a pageturner, and quite intense; in fact, I almost don't want to watch the film for how intense the book is, save for the bits on Gootube that I have seen with the excellent, Oscar-nominated Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh. Besides being a real gore phobic, I'm so haunted by films lately -- took me forever to get over Atonement.

Anyway, the novel really makes you ponder your own mortality, and how you live, define, and value your life. Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with a friend last night about a class her friend is taking where students are told they have 6 months to live and they are supposed to live just how they would if this were true. So, her friend quit her job and left to backpack through Mexico. The combination of this book and pondering this class has been hitting home for me how quickly life can end and how important it is to have satisfaction in one's life no matter how long one is alive.

Trevor and I were talking about this today. How if we were told we were to die in 6 months both of us would up and quit our jobs and school and everything we've been investing in for our now and our futures and set out to be vagabonds around Europe, making our way any way that we could. But you know, the thing is, we could do that tomorrow if we wanted. And we could do that the day after we sign a mortgage or buy a new car or get a badass promotion. We know this. So the real lesson to learn is that you must keep your dreams alive and vital in one hand while always seeing to it that your life can continue happily in the other. Life can end in a second, but finding the balance between balls-out and everyday life is where you find satisfaction and happiness.

And today I was so happy on a long evening walk, hand in hand with my sweetie-pie, bellies full of Gordo burritos and cumin candied pecan ice cream, talking about just these things.

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium"

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