Wrinkles

Wonderful experience.

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Her wrinkles shine,

with every frown she takes.

An older woman they said,

but make no mistake,

like fine wine,

wrinkles full of life.

Face full of living,

glistening and shining,

marks of an existence,

time spent on the surface,

without any resistance,

I approach her.

I stare down into her soul,

and her into mine,

youth and age,

bundled up into a shrine,

beams erupting from the glares,

as we continue to stare,

down the rabbit hole.

I will never forget her frowns,

her sighs,

and especially her wrinkles.

Norwegian Wood: Review

Excellent novel for me.

This is the first Haruki Murakami I’ve ever read, and to say the least, I was vastly impressed.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought, why not take a friend’s recommendation with a book seriously for once, and I’m glad I did. I don’t usually read fiction, but this was a pleasant surprise by all means.

What I enjoyed mostly was the depth and plethora of different themes provided. The highlight theme however, has to be death for me. The notion of suicide and how it recurred throughout was a central existentialist whirlwind to the reader. From Kizuki’s suicide, to Naoko’s, even to Watanebe’s nihilism, death was always lingering around it seems. On the complete counter-part of the theme of death, comes along life, and the essence of it, which is Midori, like an eruption into Watanebe’s life. It’s an interesting mixture, and I absolutely enjoyed how Murakami was able to use such themes with great care.

Aside from themes and such, the descriptions were at times beautiful, yet at other times rugged and showed you the nature of the places where you were put in a mind-set by which you can easily imagine the places that Murakami was writing about. The first thing that comes to mind regarding this, was the place that Naoko was being treated in. The Ami Hostel seemed like a real place to me, as a reader, and I imagined Naoko there, struggling to reattach herself into something whole again, with the help of her friend Reiko. The restaurants, the streets, the pubs, and the sexual imaginations add a touch of genius I might say, from the way everything was vividly described. This is probably the easiest fictional work I’ve been able to imagine whilst reading. It was like a movie playing in my head most of the time, and that’s very rare to happen to me, since I do read quite a lot.

I enjoyed how the novel itself started, and this plays perfectly on the aspect of time, since Watanebe is introduced to us at his 30’s , and how we have this loophole of 16-17 years where we have no idea what was occurring during his life.

The ending however, can be a hit or miss with some people, but to me, it was perfect. You are left with a sense of confusion, yet somehow it is a good type of confusion. You somehow know what the outcome might be, but fate and the optimism that Watanebe had might make you think of another ending, this is where Murakami hit a home run for me.

It was a solid, and entertaining read. I found myself thinking about the characters, and the complexity of each one of them. May it be Storm Trooper, Toru’s eccentric roommate, or Reiko, Naoko’s friend, I felt like I could relate to all of them, which is commendable.

I loved this novel, and I honestly can’t wait to read more of Haruki Murakami’s work. I finished Norwegian Wood in two days, I’m curious how indulging and grasping his other works will be, I’m about to find out.

 

Rain

The rain is nice — sometimes.

Whispering gently into my ear,

your words brought me satisfaction.

I pondered day in and day out

about what they might mean.

Satisfaction wasn’t enough,

and no matter how rough

the situation was,

I lingered upon the threads of the promises made.

I have only but memories of utterances you rained down upon me.

They kept me safe.

Even when the airwaves strike my face,

and grace of rain hails down from space,

all I can see,

feel,

and touch,

are the words of unholy contentment.

A pure delight.

Someone New, #8

Maybe…

I haven’t written one of these in a while, and now seems like a decent time to. I know with my previous posts it is quite clear that I was feeling lonely, and painstakingly lonely that is, but I met someone recently, in a coincidence that I didn’t expect at all.

I guess you can say we have our loneliness in common, and that’s scaring me. Yet, it is really exciting at the same time. I never thought I’d have a glimpse of hope while I was spiraling down into a bit of dark and disturbing loneliness. Would you call this fate? Maybe, but that’s a very cheesy statement to make honestly. We seem to be very self-aware, both of us and this is making it easier and harder at the same time. I can feel that she’s longing for someone, and I’m sure she knows that this is what I feel, and I’m trying to reconcile everything within myself, and I’m trying to take it very slowly, but that’s not how things work with me unfortunately, and I think she noticed that from the get go, and I’m worried that this might be a breaker.

I can feel the chemistry though. Maybe a small glimpse of aspiration and desire that beams through with every single word we say to each other, and it’s a comforting feeling to know that another person might feel this way.

I haven’t felt nervous talking to someone for quite a long time now, and again I’m scared. I’m at the point now where I can’t handle loss, or anything of that type, that’s why I’m trying to tread carefully.

What’s pulling down deeper into this deep pool of muddy curiosity is that I’m worried this might all be in my head as usual…

Please, don’t just be in my head.

 

Death of Satisfaction

I don’t know what or how to feel anymore.

Don’t you hate it sometimes when things are going just spectacularly shitty? Well that’s what I’m going through right now I suppose.

I hate this stupid fucking feeling man. This eeriness that surrounds everything around me is just haunting, and not in the cheap horror movie sense, but in the literal sense.

I’m trying to be positive, but I’m barely satisfied, and I don’t feel sure of how everything is building up. I have a plan, sure. There are things in motion, however it’s not jolting for me.

It’s the little things. It’s the tiniest of little things that just manage to thwart any shred of satisfaction or comfort I might have.

From the inability to manage a date with anyone recently, to not being able to eat the food that I like… The list goes on and on. The worst of the whole lot is feeling that I’m not on the right path in terms of a lifetime of employment. This one is really scaring me. Do I want to be a teacher for the rest of my working life? I’m not so sure, and this is no walk in the park decision. Growing up is scary, and I hope I’m up to the challenge, but right now, it doesn’t feel this way.

Everything and everyone around me makes me feel lonely that it’s not even funny anymore. I keep wishing I could see my friends more, but I don’t make enough effort to do that, and at the same time they don’t as well. I feel like I’m losing everyone that is around me, and the thought of that is frightening.

Maybe I’m not looking at the brighter side, or perhaps I’m not putting enough effort; well that might be the case to be honest.

It just might be the case.

I don’t know what to feel or how I’m feeling.

This sucks man.

Can Pleasure Lead to Happiness?

Interesting question indeed.

Happiness: the ultimate goal that all humans strive towards in their short-lived life on this planet we call earth, well not all humans of course, we don’t want to leave the nihilists out of the picture here on a funny note. While discussing the notion of happiness, you are bound to stir controversy, as different people have different perception on what makes us happy. This can be quite problematic while diving deeper into the situation we have at hand, which is: can pleasure lead to happiness?

If one is to argue that pleasure indeed, does not lead to happiness, I’m certain the scope is broader than arguing for the latter. However, I’ll be targeting both sides of the pendulum and hoping to find out a reasonable situation on which I can build my argument around.

First off, if you are to talk about pleasures, we need to understand the different forms of pleasure that can be achieved in this world. Some people might go for artistic pleasure, or some people might strive for bodily pleasures, and so forth, it’s a recurrent cycle just like the flipping of a coin when it comes to counting the different forms of pleasures that humans can try to attain in their lifetimes, or try to sustain in a broader sense of things. This talk about the abundant amount of pleasures available to us, prompts up the talk about Utilitarianism. Personally, I love to keep the definition of Utilitarianism sweet and short, it’s simply the greatest amount of utility (pleasures, benefits, …) for the greatest number of people realistically achievable to. Plain and simple. However, what is important of this mentioning of Utilitarianism, is its founder Jeremy Bentham. He’s highly important because he invented what I’m basing this argument on, which is the Hedonic Calculus. The Hedonic Calculus aims to statistically or mathematically measure the certain act you are trying to do on a pleasure and pain scale, and the comparison of the scores should afterwards prompt you towards venturing forward with the action intended or backing out of it. Now I know that this ‘scale’ was highly rejected in the philosophical realm, but I beg to differ. It offers a very pragmatic way to solving this swing-state that always seems to happen to people before indulging in a certain state of pleasure. Humans are quite good at knowing what can harm them, and what certain types of pleasures are not for them, so I don’t find this method to be problematic at all. Let me give a practical everyday life example on which I can base an actual function of the Hedonic Calculus. Let’s take the example of playing the violin on first hand. Playing an instrument is very intense, and can lead to a strong pleasure. Learning to play an instrument is pleasurable on the long run as well, so it’s going to last for quite a long time. If someone willingly goes for learning the violin for a choice, then the percentage of the pleasure to occur from the music played is likely. Like everything else, learning takes some time, but with patience, soon the learner will be able to get the attainable pleasure soon. There’s nothing as sensible and emotional as playing music, so concurrently, playing the violin will spark a lot of emotions in you. Also, playing the violin is the purest of acts, no bad pleasures I can think of that can occur because of it. By adopting the violin as your source of pleasure, you aren’t negatively affecting anyone, on the contrary, you can emit your pleasure by playing to other people. I just followed the seven different ‘steps’ on which someone can base a pleasure and what it radiates based on the Hedonic Calculus, and in terms of practicality, it certainly sounds very effective to me.

On this basis, pleasure can lead to happiness, but a problem is present. What if playing the violin stopped providing pleasure? What if at an older age, your fingers simply cannot handle the instrument anymore? What if at a younger age you simply gave? There’s always different things we must take into consideration with this literal measurement of calculating pleasure, and the rebuttal to it was very minimal and simple, and it was the few lists of questions that I provided.

In terms of happiness, let’s try to now deconstruct the notion of pleasure leading to happiness, since we already paved the way in the latter example of questionnaires.

The example of pleasure that I gave, which is playing a musical instrument, isn’t a type of pleasure that most ordinary people in the world would strive for. When talking about pleasure, the first thing to pop to one’s head is sexual, or worldly pleasures, and that’s actually very true in concern to pleasure. Most people view these generic ‘wants’ as pleasure, and they are entitled to do just that. For Plato, this is problematic, and he classifies those material needs as the ‘appetitive element’. The other elements in Plato’s Republic strive for being in line with your spirit, and achieving things that would fulfill you on a spiritual level. Plato here only proves that we need to strive or achieve a balance, on order to get to the desirable happiness that usually every human wants in life.

Deontological ethics in my opinion is the best weapon to fight against the argument at place. We simply have to take in the ethical codes of conduct and the rules at hand in terms of actions and their moralities. This applies because pleasurable actions usually have ethical boundaries to them, usually advocated to by a certain set of rules, and that’s only normal. Let’s say for example, someone achieves their pleasure that leads to their happiness by committing rape against young children. This is unethical, and the rules of society bind us with a duty to not commit such an act, even if it might lead to our happiness. I find this very appropriate while dealing with this type of pleasures, because often society rules in our favor against them, and people simply can’t indulge in such acts as rape, or they simply need mental help if they still insist on doing so, or being sent to jail.

We can also look in the scope of virtue ethics while dealing with the aspect of pleasure. Virtue ethics have to do with the person and his build up, and what makes us human. We should act in a way that shifts away from the deontological ethics of duty and act in a way that gets us closer to our characters, and to who we are, and lead us to a place where happiness is found in the bigger picture, not just in pleasures. For example, Aristotle (the father of Virtue Ethics), says that friendship can lead us to happiness, hence the pleasure of friendship. Our happiness doesn’t necessarily have to do with what is mundane, or simple pleasures that is. The enhancement and development of all these good virtues will lead us to the point of Eudaimonia, which is happiness, and this consequently leads us to a satisfying life.

For me personally, away from all the philosophical explanations of the fact that if pleasure can lead to happiness, my answer to that is that I’m simply still not sure yet. I know this doesn’t come off as deep, but I just don’t have enough experience yet in life, to determine what is it that has yet to drive me to reach my state of what I call happiness. Sure, I have desires like everyone else, but I still find it very early to even think of my desires having a long term effect on my happiness. Or maybe, I’m just a nihilist that sees no pleasure and seeks no happiness? Perhaps. I still think it’s early to tell for me.

As our technology advances, and as humanity grows, I think that happiness is something we will always try to strive for, no matter what the means of achieving it is. I find humans hard-wired or ‘programmed’ in some way to indulge in what they find can make them happy, and I don’t think humans will ever change in regards of that. Does indulging in what we find as pleasure worth it? All we can do is try if we really have to, and see where that takes us.

Fool

Some things will never change.

The dripping stains I see them clear,
with every passing wave,
I stay still and feel,
the tears falling onto my shirt.
They plummet with a heaviness unseen,
unwitnessed and unfelt before.
Like the rain in October,
slightly felt and clearly seen.

With the foolishness of a fool
I tread heavily into maze,
full of despair and agony,
burning like indistinguishable fuel.
My heart clasped with a cumbersome
ashamed feeling of a daze.
I feel sick in my stomach
as I never fail to amaze,
the belligerent fool in me.

The same mistakes over and over again.
I get disgusted with myself sometimes,
from the pathetic, finicky heart of mine,
that never seems to give me any time,
to process things,
and tread with refrain.

I fall in love too easily,
and I will always remain a fool.
Someone please help me,
to find the fucking cure.