Poems/lyrics that I have written.

let your will displace me on the ledge

Yesterday I fractured someone’s cheekbone.

I had been doing really well with both forehand and reverse shots on goal when we were warming up at our hockey game, doing the usual “pass-pass-shoot at goal” drill… but then for some reason a teammate of mine was crouching behind the goal. I’m not sure why – picking up a ball maybe? No one saw her there – even the goalie wasn’t aware of her presence because she was crouched down by the backboard – until she suddenly stood up just as I had taken my shot on goal, which either pinged off the post or whizzed right past it, I’m not sure. Either way, it ended up smacking her square in the cheek, and down she went. I felt awful. And still do. Even though technically it is entirely her fault and not mine, this is the second head injury I’ve given someone at hockey – regardless of the fact that both times have been caused by the carelessness of the person injured, ahhh!

Anyway, I’m glad to finally have the time to blog, now that I’m on semester break. The last couple of weeks have been absolutely hellish, and during repertoire assessment week, I was just rehearsing and playing hours on end, trying to get things right. It was mainly for other people’s assessments as mine was the second out of the entire bunch so I already had it out of the way first thing on Tuesday morning. Somehow, sometime in my very very busy week, I managed to scribble out this poem in the space of five minutes or less in bed:

Fragile Contents

Can I give you my entire heart
place it in your palm
let your fingers trace
around its edge–

Can I entrust you my entire heart
place it in your care
let your will displace
me on the ledge–

Can I tell you my entire heart
though tainted, broke,
has long been yours;
an accident

please be sincere
not careful

I don’t know how I do stuff like that. When I write, it kind of just magically happens, so fast that I don’t know what I’ve written until I go back and read it afterwards. Also, I finally grew some balls drew up enough courage to put up some writing in the WRITING PAGE (or click on the page in the navigation at top of page). It’s taken me ages, but I think I’m going to try and keep putting stuff there, despite the largely personal nature of my writing – I guess I just got over it and thought, oh heck, why not. So if anyone ever reads anything, please do share your thoughts.

Also, I know I’ve probably regurgitated this topic a million times, but it’s a recurring theme lately, and this blog post has reignited the whole identity crisis once again (I have lots to say with regards to the blog post I linked, but I’ll go on that tangent another time). I suppose I’ve always been pretty torn on the idea of “art” in general. I’ve always thought that art is rather self-indulgent, and yet I can’t help but think of myself as an artist in general. Not just as a musician. Which, there in itself, is a tough topic to wrestle with. I know I’m a jazz student and that’s how a lot of people initially or primarily identify me as these days – because, you know, this is the age during which everyone becomes “defined” in an annoyingly large way by what degree they’re studying at university or whatever (which later in life turns into what job you have); but I’m really tired of the title of it and would rather just be known as a general creative, artistic person. Or, not even that, I’d rather just be known as me, and be attributed with artistic creativity and intellect. As I was just saying to the boy a couple of hours ago when we were walking his dog at the beach, I’m having a really hard time feeling focused on just jazz. I do love and enjoy it (despite complaining about how this is a very expensive and painful way of spending three years of my life), but at the same time I am hungry for so much MORE, all the time.

I write hungrily, lustily, as if all the words flowing out in black ink was fulfilling and feeding me in some way: rather than the idea that what I write is actually output, it actually feels like input. When I was younger, I read as if I was consuming something, and I could read very, very fast, yet somehow still retain what I was reading. But these days I’ve been reading at a much slower tempo. OCD habits and a shortage of time aside, the main reason and difference is that I feel like I am absorbing all these beautifully crafted sentences and letting them inspire ones of my own. I finally finished the Great Gatsby the other day, and it took me a few hours to read the last hundred pages of it at the boy’s house – the reason being, I felt like with every few sentences, my mind was forming new concepts of its own. I now seem incapable of just purely reading, instead I’m involuntarily analysing the damn thing as I go along. Wow, the choice of diction in that sentence. The style in which that was said and how it helps to portray what is being said. On and on. I can’t stop. It’s driving me insane. Which is also why I get so annoyed whenever the boy asks, “have you finished it yet?”. It pisses me off so bad. It’s like, ARGHHH when I do find the time, I can read fast, I just seem incapable of doing that right now because of how many channels what I’m reading is being processed through.

But back to what I was saying earlier. The other night I had a short chat online with a former teacher of mine, and for the zillionth time I got told “I had always thought you would be a lawyer”; and prior to that a friend had joked “but who’s going to handle my divorce?” – and once again a wrench was thrown into my system. My friend David and I were discussing last night about how we both miss the academic, analytical, use-your-brain-and-pick-things-to-pieces-from-every-possible-angle business that being a music student just really doesn’t quite fulfill. He’s a composition major overseas whilst I’m doing performance. He could have done med or anything else he wanted to, but stuck to his artistic “talent”. And what do I make of genuinely enjoying the boy’s practise law essay questions and wishing I had the academic means of answering them? I don’t know what by, but the academic side of my brain needs to be fed. More. And the jazzically (yes, I made that word up) creative parts of my brain needs a desperate top up of inspiration because I’m running dangerously low, if not empty already. I’m such a scatterbrained person that I need something really concentrated and direct to keep my attention – so how do I focus on an art form that is so… scattered? The rule is to “learn the changes, then forget them”, but my gosh that is far easier said than done. Just as I thought I had smothered this quarter-life crisis, it rears its ugly head in again. But one key thing I must point out is that this whole “what should I have done/did I do the right thing/what will I do after this” in reference to studying jazz instead of law, and whether I should be doing either, neither, or both of them has plagued my mind since last year – so I hope that clears up any confusion with people thinking that the boy has influenced any of this. If anything, I think he would raise an eyebrow if I ever told him, “right, I’m going overseas and studying law” after this.

In the meantime, I think I am going to rearrange my room a little (or at least tidy it) for a bit of freshness, and enjoy my mother’s quiche. I found these 4-month-old photos the other night and started craving quiche. A craving which my lovely mother was kind enough to cater to the very next day. Yum!

Don’t you see your dreams lie right in the palm of your hand

If this blog is anything to go by, I have seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for a couple of weeks – just as I had predicted. I ended up having a splendid birthday, albeit a couple of bumps and hurdles I had to deal with on the day, and I had fun at the party too. The last huge, ginormous challenge that lies between me and semester break is my repertoire jury on Tuesday. I’ve been sitting at the computer trying to figure out how to write the score for my arrangements, because one of them is really complicated with complex cross-rhythms that change back and forth, ahhhh. So instead I’m seeking refuge in my blog again. And I have to admit now that earlier today I also wasted three straight hours watching the Stanley Cup Finals. Three hours. It was awesome until the Canucks came back from behind to go into OT and then managed to score in 11 seconds. ELEVEN SECONDS, PEOPLE. Sometimes Mister Thomas should just stop being such an aggressive goalie and should just keep his post. Anyway, the only reason I said I “wasted” three hours rather than “spent” three hours is because the Bruins lost. Had they won like they ought to have, I would be a much happier chappy right now.

Yesterday, unlike most AU students who spent their Saturday at home chilling, studying, or pretending to study (and actually chilling), I spent it at uni arranging – with eternally grateful amounts of thanks to my pianist and drummer – and rehearsing instead. And then fell asleep immediately after dinner. So needless to say, when it came to a normal person’s “bedtime”, I wasn’t sleepy at all. I ended up spending all night browsing crap online and listened to Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch and Norah Jones on Youtube whilst Wikipedia-ing their biographies.

I know I probably come off as a music snob too often, but I’m now going to bare my 13-year-old self. I also think that in a couple of days’ time when I’m finally on semester break that I’ll resume my writing project that I had started last year, working title: Songs and the People They Belong To. I’ve never posted it here, but maybe eventually I will. I had started it at the lowest point in my year last year, but then decided it was probably too raw and honest to ever see the light of day without heavy editing. And now I think I’ve changed my mind about it for the billionth time. I don’t know. Because the concept is a recurring theme in my life. You know when certain songs and even bands attach themselves to certain memories – to a phase in your life, a certain feeling, certain people – in such a way that they almost seem to “belong” to someone. I just can’t listen to things without feelings being drawn upon, except I guess a lot of things have numbed over the years, either through time or the sheer force of my will, or both.

So back to this “13-year-old-self” business. When I was 13, 14 ish, I was convinced I was completely and utterly in love with someone. Actually, to this day I sort of, rather jokingly, refer to him as the “first love of my life”, because I do believe that people have several “love of their life”s throughout different periods of their lifetime. And because I lived really, really far away from him, he (believe it or not, it wasn’t me!) came up with how Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” would be “our song”. So when I went on youtube last night, it was the one song I had no interest in hearing, much. I didn’t want to think about being 13, plus I knew the song faaaar too well. But what I didn’t know was that Carlton was training to be a ballerina and in fact almost turned professional.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a couple of songs…

I will never hear this song in an unbiased way, and will always remember the countless people who liked to play this song on the pianos in the music department back at college:

Seeing her dance in this video makes me really miss doing ballet, and reminds me of how for the last couple of years out of the decade plus that I had danced, I only did it in the hopes that I could move on to doing lyrical dancing. How that never happened… heh.

I really like the lyrics of the first two lines of this song. I don’t know why. There are far better songs out there, but I just like the circular feeling of this song. What’s with me and “circular” songs? There’s this, and Blonde Redhead’s “23”, Metronomy’s “On Dancefloors”, etc…

For wishing you could keep me closer, I’m a lazy dancer, When you move I move with you

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” – Glenda Cloud

View from my favourite room at jazz school, a.k.a. the room I’ve arguably spent the most time in:

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film; Nikon F3

A poem I just wrote. It wasn’t part of my “things to do today” plan. Which I admittedly haven’t even tended to. It just kind of happened. Maybe I’m too honest sometimes. Too honest and too trusting. And hopeful that my trust won’t be used and abused. I wonder how other people would see a piece of writing like this – not through my eyes, nor the informed eyes of those close to me. I wonder, a lot. And apparently wander too:

say that, I’m a wanderlust
That I can’t stop. I can’t control myself
I drift through streets, alleys, backstreets and streets again,
cities, countries, continents –
ought I write a review?
of the scenes I’ve sought and sowed and bought
of the sheens I’ve been and leaned at nineteen
I could fill three lifetimes’ worth of biographies
and I feel I haven’t even begun.
why do I seek a piece of paper
merely to confirm myself of this brain which
I cannot see, touch or feel
but am told exists
I want to argue all the time
but He doesn’t play fair
He doesn’t even play
even though our season is on.

she says that I’m a wanderer
That I can’t stop looking for-
I can’t prevent myself from leaving
how do you justify caging endangered species?
I want nothing more than to break through the dates
that bind me to a certain place
that keeps me dissatisfiedly unentertained.
I want this Heart of mine to fill to the brim
then creep over the edge
with things undone and future memories
yet-to-be photographed
then ooze down the outer rim so full of life
so full of which never fills me
cos I’m just so full of it,
full of shit
that ain’t mine That’s why I keep looking. Past. Beyond

he says that I’m just lust
That I can’t stop chasing-
I can’t keep myself from wanting it
I drift through people, rooms, houses, people’s rooms,
somewhere in there it happened too soon
but all not soon enough.
I could slander them all with diaries unwritten but in mental ink
like a stained white shirt with a merlot stink
and the privilege will never be again.
Sometimes He keeps things from me
not because of confidence
but because His confidence
exceeds that of his confidantes
Now my He-art’s in a silver cage
can I just leave and

D A N G E R O U S. The most unsuitable pet, It’s been long enough so lets, Make a mess lioness

I’ve had a super topsy-turvy week thus far, and with tomorrow being Friday the 13th, I’m not sure how normal that will go either. I don’t want to talk about the assessments I just had, the assessments I’m about to have, and will continue to slave through until June. But what I do want to say is how happy and proud of the boy I am today. After the grueling process that the past couple of months has been, today he received a comfortable amount of offers for a summer clerkship at prominent law firms. I say “comfortable” because I don’t want to state how many, precisely, but a solid number. What’s more important is that he’s got what he wanted, so I suppose all I have to worry about now is what the hell I’m going to be doing over summer in 6 months’ time. By the way – I’ve noticed that a few of my readers have been mentioning my upcoming “summer” – but unfortunately I live in the southern hemisphere, so summer isn’t arriving in a month, it’s 6 months away! I’m currently tossing up my options in terms of staying and acquiring a full-time job to save up; or heading back to Taiwan to spend time with my dad and maybe work somewhere; or jet off somewhere else and maybe scope out some kind of internship. Regardless of what ends up happening, I already feel like it’s going to be a life-changing sort of summer. It’s scary to think that it will be my last summer as a student, ahhh!

The main exciting event of the month (besides my 20th birthday… for which I’m actually not excited) for me is actually taking place on the other side of the world. My mum and her female photography friends used to put on annual exhibitions in Taipei, but they stopped doing so after 1998 when we immigrated to NZ. This month will be their first show they’ve reunited for, and I had to drive my mum to the airport at an unearthly hour. The exciting thing about all this is that they had invited me to put in five pieces of my work! It took me forever and a half to decide what to submit, but I finally managed to whittle my options down and ended up with five compiled pieces that consisted of 27 photos total. I don’t think anyone else is showing as many photos, but they’re all themed and crafted in relevance, so I think it will be a good contrast and turn out okay. For my last and probably most personal piece, I even added poetic accompaniment, and I’m pretty anxious to see how that goes down. I really wish I was able to attend it, but obviously with all my assessments (on top of flight cost, the heat! in Taipei) it’s been impossible. The show runs from the 21st of May into early June, so I can’t wait to hear how it goes and see photos of how my photos look on a wall in a gallery!

I don’t want to spoil the anticipation of opening night – although I’m not sure who for, seeing as it’s not exactly a secret or anything, but I just don’t feel right posting the photos up here before the 21st – so I think I’ll just post random photos for now. Plus, I have a special one saved up, to be posted on a special day.

Here’s two silly photos I took of the boy, after mucking around with double exposure for a while. Have a great weekend everyone, and try this out, haha:

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film; Nikon F3

And oh yeah… now I totally know why students love making their money by tutoring. I’ve picked up a student that I’m tutoring for AS English Literature and it was one of the easiest hours of work I’ve ever had. Not as easy as the “sit here and play boring background-type jazz plus a free dinner and we’ll give you $100+” hour of work, but still very nice nonetheless. I mean, I’m essentially getting paid to sit there in a flash house on an expensive street and ramble and rave about something that comes naturally to me, with minimal preparation. And it’s going to be a consistent, weekly thing. At least in the foreseeable future right now.I had said to the boy that his sister should totally go for the boy that I’m tutoring… because they’re in the same English class, he’s a swell kid – a good looking one at that – who also plays hockey! What more could she possibly want in a boy-person?! I should totally hook them up. Jokes. Mister boyfriend would totally kill me.

You seem very well, things look peaceful. I’m not quite as well, I thought you should know

Sometimes, some things just aren’t okay. And don’t feel okay. And… well they just aren’t okay. And when there’s nothing more you can do about it, when you’ve done your very best according to you and everyone else you can find solace in, then what are you supposed to do and feel from here? I hate that so many things are great in my life right now, but it seems that fate will never let all external factors be okay with me. I know, I know, life’s not meant to easy. Neither are friendships and relationships with everyone and anyone in life – but it just seems like there always has to be something wrong in my life. When it wasn’t drama with one friend, it was drama with another friend, or drama with classes, teachers, classmates, drama on the sports team, drama in the music ensembles, drama in the family (okay, that never seems to and I know will never go away, but it at least has its calms), drama with boys, girls, more boys and more girls, drama oh drama drama drama, all the time. And it sucks so bad when it’s with someone so close to me, who I so badly want to talk to, hang out with all the time, and it’s not reciprocated. In this post from back in September of last year, I expressed the pains of breaking up with a former best friend, and how it feels like – if not worse – than breaking up a romantic relationship. It’s different of course, but you know. Anyway, some really messed up and traumatic thing from about 15 or 16 years ago unwittingly surfaced for me recently, and I’ve finally managed to deal with it head-on… and afterwards it just made me think, gosh, the things I really want to say, and the people I wish I could tell them to right now – the shoulder that I really need… isn’t there.

I was feeling really shitty and end-of-mid-semester-break-blue today, and got really cheered up by the surprise revelation that classes don’t resume on Tuesday as I had thought they were – classes actually don’t start until Wednesday! I was all frantic and “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?!!!” to the couple of people I was txting who replied with “I thought you knew”-type responses, but heck it made my day. Also, instead of getting anything legitimate done (okay, I did some more writing, but that’s not uni-work, thus not “legitimate”), I devoured three films with mum today. One was a Chinese film which at first seemed like commentary on life, romance, priorities, marriage, etc – but with a really warped and twisted sense of humour – but then it ended up really depressing towards the end when someone died of cancer and decided to hold their funeral while they were still alive so that they could attend it. I don’t know if there’s a proper name for when they do that, instead of an uhh “funeral”. And the latter film was Robin Hood. You know, the one with Russel Crowe, which I had largely questioned about the casting of, and was initially skeptical about but it ended up being enjoyable enough and wasn’t quite as the mother and I had expected it to play out as.

I’ve had a huge up-and-down of a long weekend, starting on Thursday night when the boy and I decided we were going to make it an overtly indulgent and decadent evening of fine dining and wining at home. The highlight of dinner was my chicken cordon bleu with pesto, and my god we drank so much wine that night that even with the copious amounts of food, I was drunk enough to doze off whilst watching Boston Legal – and it’s my all-time favourite, funniest show, so that’s saying a lot. The wines were a mix of his 21st birthday presents and leftover party wine, plus some Villa Maria that I had bought on sale ages ago that’s been stashed at the back of our pantry. Neither of us are habitual wine drinkers, but we’d been talking about it for sometime now, and watching the film Sideways the other night had helped to kick it off. Four bottles that night. Or technically three and a half. Not a bad effort. It was fun to mix and match up Riesling, Chardonnay, Sav Blanc/Pinot Gris (and also some Merlot) to see which best matched what food.

I’m hungry, just looking at this now.

A lot of capsicum. I had  kiiinda forgotten how expensive they were, but my god I love capsicums. Or as Americans call it, bell peppers.

Brock’s Italiano salami – my favourite – and brie. Another favourite of mine. Ahh!

These photos were all taken before I got too “happy”…

Another night later, another bottle of wine.

So many calories to burn off, but hockey training is getting tougher, and to make things worse, a fitness regime is also kicking in. But we are still young and must live close to the edge while we still can. Before we are too self-important, and too heavy with weights too dear to bear the risk of toeing the edge. And I will leave this post with this:

“Honestly, honesty never gets you everywhere. It may get you a lot of places, likewise your pretty face and ratio between your waist and hips, and those glorious breasts of yours that both sexes visually devour. But you hate that you can’t take any credit for how you look, so you feel more and more empty every time someone does a double take at you, or when strangers cross the room just to meet you. Because all they like thus far is to look at you, and maybe some of them like to hope that there is more to you… but alas, most often there isn’t much to them either so you’ve learnt to not get your hopes up. You need to learn what it’s like to look forward to something again, to be so excited for something that you’re counting down the days, hours and minutes as if nothing further down the line matters. You need to learn what it’s like to be free and young again. And worst but most of all, you need to remind yourself that you are indeed still young.”

Oh, and I ended up finishing Looking For Alaska the day after I started it, and am back to The Great Gatsby. Hopefully reading stays on track as my life starts to veer again.