We'll always be together in eclectic dreams

And finally he gets to the obligatory quarterlifing
Although, really, it hasn't been quite as bad lately, due to greater excitement (read: stress, but closer to eustress than distress, most days, anyway) at work. After all, who would have time to worry about such vague fluffy things like a sneaking sense of directionlessness, or a lack of perceived agency, or the feeling that the past twenty-three years of existence haven't - on the balance - amounted to much, or, in short perhaps, a fear of just "not getting" something terribly important (and terribly obvious to everyone else), when (whew) there are much more clear-cut concerns to deal with, like bug reports and deadlines and task lists?

Still, well, ahem, I guess I would have to admit here that I would. I would always have time to worry, it's just the way I'm wired, and the way I've comported myself for most of my life, though it never really showed to people who never got to know me. To most, I was and am just that quiet harmless dude with a reputation for being smart and aloof, and some have even called me carefree, oy, little do they know.

Don't worry though, gentle reader, I'm not about to launch into that practiced, desperate roll call of everything that, over the years, I've determined to be wrong with myself and my life. We've had just about enough of that over my blogging lifetime, haven't we, and now it's time to grow up and move on. Instead of dwelling on the negatives and on feelings of helplessness and doom, why not look forward and ponder solutions?

I once believed with all my heart and mind (such as they were and are) that enlightenment would eventually come if I just continued mentally chewing the cud. The act itself also held a strange, masochistic allure, or maybe it just became more comfortable to worry about the same things over and over than to actually act and do something about them. I didn't think I knew what to do, I couldn't get out of the cycle of thinking, and so I bemoaned many ruts and periods of depression. (Clinical sufferers may scoff at my use of the term; I've never had myself diagnosed, but I can say those times were no walks in parks.)

Bit by bit I think I'm making progress. Right now, I do still feel as if I have no idea whatsoever what I want to or should do with my life, but it hasn't got me quite as down, and I feel as if I've also grown much less tolerant of stupid wallowing in that years-fermenting muck of useless self-recrimination. I'm grateful to be where I am now, despite still not being able to shake the feeling that it's all just been a series of lucky stumbles. I mean, if I've just been lucky so far, I should be in for even better times now that I'm beginning to actually pay attention, right?

Making lists helps, and writing thoughts and hypotheses down, anything to concretize the vagueness and thus make it manageable, even for instance this little exercise of acknowledgment and making light. Maybe it's a false sense of accomplishment that such items arouse, but at the same time it can't be denied that doing anything is better than doing nothing. (Well, in most cases, and if you keep from doing stupid things.) Move, make mistakes if you must, but just keep moving.

I promise, if I ever figure anything out, I'll tell you all about it. (Or did that come off more like a threat of more stories from a boring uncle?)

In a pleasant post-Murakami-novel daze. I'm trying to resist the usual urge to go out and read reviews. It seems now that that would just be me sparing myself the effort of framing my thoughts about the book for myself. I intend to do so some time soon, perhaps even in tomorrow's morning journal entry, I don't know.

As a small concession to laziness though (and as a none-too-subtle invitation to join me over at GoodReads), here's my short review when I marked it as read and rated it 5 stars out of 5:

Marvelous. I can't quite find the right words yet, still basking as I am in that incomparable afterglow of a great novel, but this is definitely Murakami at his best. Cool, mysterious, funny, but with a surprisingly warm, steadfast heart. Those words seem about right, despite how they sound like they come from some uninformed review (which they do). I am going to read this book again some day.

I feel inspired in a way to take up my own pen and explore my own thoughts, perhaps by way of a story, which I haven't attempted in a long time, and I've never really succeeded at, except in some small imitative manner. Perhaps reading about characters finding each other, themselves, and their own resolutions has given me some hope for myself and my own narrative.

Better milk this state of mind before tomorrow comes and I have to return to the same reality as always.

Nostalgia for the Present - Jorge Luis Borges
At that very instant:
Oh, what I would not give for the joy
of being at your side in Iceland
inside the great unmoving daytime
and of sharing this now
the way one shares music
or the taste of fruit.
At that very instant
the man was at her side in Iceland.

Writer's Block: Going the distance
Would you uproot your life and move to another city for someone that you love?

There's nothing to uproot, really, but the prospect is exciting nevertheless.

On Haruki Murakami
Hello, let me tell you how I fell in love with the work of Haruki Murakami.

Well, you see, Haruki Murakami is this Japanese writer, translator,
erstwhile jazz bar owner, and long-distance runner. I could go on to
tell you that his novels have been translated into more than forty
languages, or that he was given the controversial 2009 Jerusalem Prize
on top of many other awards. But none of that would tell you why I
have become obsessed with his work.

It wouldn’t help you understand why I have never before or since felt
so keenly the desire to read everything someone else has written.

Inside Someone Else's Head

In most of his novels and stories Murakami puts us inside the head of
a pensive, solitary guy with a knack for peculiar observations,
strangely apt figures of speech, and attracting metaphysical trouble.
I first met him in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World,
where he proceeded to win me over with a thorough, humorous
consideration of elevators, of all things.

Now, I like to think of myself as a pensive, solitary guy with a knack
for peculiar observations, so perhaps it was inevitable for me to form
a strong, even wishful, identification with this protagonist. This
willing immersion is helped immensely by Murakami's deft story-telling
and unmistakable ear for rhythm.

I am an introvert, and so spend a lot of time – some would say too
much time – inside my head. I have to tell you, it was a wonderful,
pleasant surprise to find out that I am just as comfortable nestled
inside this fictional head as I am inside mine!

Largely passive, this main character often finds himself listening to
the stories of other people, proving himself an intelligent,
sympathetic listener, seeming to naturally ask the right questions at
the right time. All that time spent listening to his own thoughts, I
suppose, must have attuned him to the rhythms of narrative and
thought, even those not his own.

Music and the Rhythm

Rhythm is just as important in writing and storytelling as it is in
music. I know, from unfortunate experience, how even the funniest joke
or most interesting anecdote can fall flat if told without regard for
properly timed delivery. This quality of being “in rhythm”, while
being difficult to describe, is unmistakable. And Murakami, an avowed
lover of music having run a jazz bar for some years, has unmistakably
got it.

Murakami’s language is deceptively simple, avoiding complicated
sentence structures and scholarly diction in favor of being frank and
straightforward. He works his pared-down language skillfully; the
ceaseless interior monologue of his protagonist feels natural and
uncontrived. Once meeting his main character had hooked me, getting me
to stay was no problem at all. I didn’t even want to leave.

Reading him is in fact like listening to a favorite record:
engrossing, familiar, rewarding. It matters little whether he is
describing the most mundane of activities or discussing loss – of
life, love, innocence, or any one of those essential things curled up
inside us.

Escape and Exploration

Murakami’s protagonists more often than not live lives that seem just
as pared-down and inevitable as his language.

They lead isolated existences, with barely any contact with or
attachment to society. Reserved and self-sufficient, they touch other
people’s lives only incidentally, or more relevantly, by accident.
They remain inside their own heads, either lost in contemplation or
fully absorbed in the current moment.

For an introvert like me, not much seems to be more satisfying than
living alone, cooking and doing housework for myself, spending my time
reading, downing the occasional beer, and, of course, thinking. It is
much too easy for me to fantasize about leaving everything behind and
living such a peaceful, carefree life.

However, everything is not always as it seems, and I eventually get a
nagging, gradually strengthening feeling that something isn’t quite
right. In the external narrative, strange events and people filter
through and widen the cracks. Then, I experience, along with the
protagonist, a certain internal current, an ominous movement in the

And thus I come to recognize that, if I want to escape into Murakami’s
world, I must also be prepared to explore the mysterious darknesses
within myself. The characters I meet in Murakami’s world are troubled
souls, carrying burdens deep within themselves. Just like me and you.

Haruki Murakami and me, and you

As I near the end of this, my communication with you, I begin to feel
with greater intensity the desire to do right by Haruki Murakami. He
has, through his writing, managed to reach out and touch my mind, to
share a part of himself with me in a deep, significant way.

I can only hope that some small echo of my experience has come
through. As our brief acquaintance ends, I hope that you will listen
closely for a soft, resonant note sounding within yourself, and pay

In Murakami’s world, as perhaps in our own, the music that grows from
such tiny beginnings may very well transport us to places we never
thought we’d be.

Posted via email from momeng's posterous

The aquamarine- or turquoise-colored rock that,
as a child, you picked up and pocketed and kept
tucked away: no longer there. You can check;
your fingers will encounter nothing
except the nothing you don’t expect.

Not the nothing-special bit of brick you chipped
off the old broken-down wall back home, or
that accepted-offering shard of sea glass,
or even any of the indistinct pebbles that did
or did not sometimes wake sleeping windows.

Posted via email from momeng's posterous

Remember that night on that beach when you leaned closer to me and
whispered, I can draw perfect circles (but only in the sand)
and then you stood to enclose my lying body in just a one?
I was delighted. I always took you at your word, remember?

Me, I was your other shaky hand. From what remains
of my memory, I can only draw a crooked but unbroken
series of accidents: a motel-room conception, an ugly-duckling adolescence
(but at least I was smart), meeting you in university,

growing up and apart and me powerless against the drift and the pull
into an endless succession of lovers and jobs, one after the other bringing me
inevitably here. Sometimes you would send me letters, remember,
in your meticulous handwriting all about your meticulous exploits

in your rarefied, ivory-tower air, and if you didn't know I loved every bit of it,
even though I was lucky to understand every other word. Many times I tried
to write you back, but the husband or the kids or the boss or the dog, well,
I was sure you didn't want to hear about it. So you never did.

But on this bright night with its perfect-circle moon, I'm in a looking-back mood.
I remember your coffee smell, and the slight trembling of your arms when
you would tell me about the latest tiny bit of order you've found and brought
into the world.

Posted via email from momeng's posterous

Testing Posterous
Hey, this post-by-email-to-everywhere thing seems pretty cool. (If a little risky.)

Posted via email from momeng's posterous

This feels really weird.
Hello, social networks I used to frequent, how have you been? This is a cross-posting test.

(no subject)
I'm writing here because Multiply is forbidden to us during school/office hours here on campus. I've been carting this clunker of a laptop around for more than two weeks now, and one would think that I would be blogging more often, but the connection at home has been down again for the past few weeks, so any internet time I manage to snag at sundry wifi hotspots is more or less devoted to just catching up on my feeds and (gasp) looking up things for school.

In any case, I find that I don't really have much to say at the moment. Consider this as a sort of lazy wave, as I drive slowly away into the lengthening shadows. In the distance, a glittering point. Et cetera. Bye!


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