Who Am I?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004 06:45 pm
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
Who am I?

I am not my nationality. Loyalties can change.
I am not my race. My ancestors are not me.
I am not my age. That will be different whether I like it or not.
I am not my gender. They have surgery to take care of that now.
I am not a political party. Their platforms leave little to stand on.
I am not my appearance. Nothing on the surface is stable.
I am not an occupation. There is more to a person than the things they can sell.
I am not my relationships. I have control over no life but my own.
I am not what you see. You can view me only from your own perspective.

I am not my actions. I am the one who acts.
I am not my beliefs. I am the one who believes.

This is all trivia.

Who am I? I'm me. That's the only answer I can stick with and the only label I could call a comfortable fit.

And today I am eating a Limited Edition Inside Out KitKat bar. I pronounce it: Good for the first few bites, but too sweet beyond that point. If you're desperate for a sugar high, go for it.

(no subject)

Sunday, June 20th, 2004 03:47 pm
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Do you ever start to feel like your tastes have been too influenced by other people's ideas, that you're not sure if the things you've been taking pleasure in are things that really please you after all? Do you ever feel the need to take a chunk of time to just enjoy something you know for sure you'd enjoy no matter what? It's not something you like because it's cool or something you like because it's uncool. It's not something that was recommended by your mother or your lover or your best friend from sixth grade. It's not something you like because you think it shows off your good taste or your bad taste. It's not something you like because nobody would ever expect you to like it. It's not something you like because it's like everything else you like. It doesn't remind you of a special time, special place, or special person from your past, present, or ideal future. It's something you're sure you like for the simple reason that you like it.

Suzanne Vega's music is in that category of things I'm sure I like because I like them. Before I'd bought any of her recordings, I'd heard most of her first album played on three different radio stations. One station was a kind that let the DJs play around with the playlist, playing mostly cool new New Wave or cool older punk while throwing in weird artists nobody ever heard of, famous singers most of us were sick of, and even bits of stand-up comedy albums (this station later became a standard corporate modern rock station); one station played lots of rock music from the sixties and seventies and newer music that fit right in (this station became all-classic rock); and one station on the AM dial played light rock that none of the other light rock stations played. None of the stations told me anything about what I should think of the music, and nothing made me associate listening to the songs with anything other than listening to the songs. All three of these stations helped me fall in love. I'd go around quoting from "Small Blue Thing," "Undertow," or "Marlene on the Wall," and my friends would nod indulgently or point out that I was, obviously, a weirdo.

Eventually I did find out that someone I knew had heard Suzanne Vega's album, but she would just tell me how much I needed to hear "The Queen and the Soldier," one of the few songs I hadn't already heard. When Suzanne Vega finally came out on CD (I'd been waiting for months!), I promptly paid more than 16 dollars for it, more than my allowance at the time.

After a while, other stations played some of the songs, even though none of them were popular here yet. One of those stations was a weak-signaled college station which mostly played punk, very early industrial, and music by college students who seemed to think that noise was a good substitute for melody (this later became a New Age station). The day that the afternoon student DJ got a copy of Suzanne's second album, Solitude Standing, they said they'd play one song from the album in each set until they'd played the whole record. I spent the day alone in the house, doing mindless things I don't remember, listening to mostly forgettable, noisy music which would suddenly be interrupted by the entirely different sound I was waiting for. The radio station received so many phone calls about the music that they decided to play the second side of the album straight through, no interruptions of any kind. I sat still on the floor in between the speakers and stared up at the ceiling, hanging on to every note.

Hey, you!

Saturday, June 19th, 2004 09:33 am
hummingwolf: (two)
Yes, I'm talking to you.

I know you feel that you need to achieve something more than you have, that there's this nagging belief itching at your soul that you won't really be somebody unless you've done something important. You may or may not want the spotlight; but either way, you want to know that you have done something you can feel proud of, and you are sure you'll feel unfulfilled until you've done it.

I've got news for you. Great accomplishment will not make you a great person. Sorry, it just doesn't happen that way.

Noteworthy achievements simply make it easier to see what kind of person you already are.
hummingwolf: (two)
It finally hit me today: I'm officially sick of those cute little online quizzes with all the multiple-choice questions that somehow fail to include any choices I would ever make. Why can't I finish one of these quizzes without having to answer questions as if I were somebody else entirely? Is it some sort of law nobody bothered to tell me about? Hypothetical-Me has completed more of those things than I ever could and I tell you I'm sick of that wench. Why should I care which member of the Osbournes she is when I've never even watched the show? If some stupid test says she's X% gay, what relevance does it have to my life? And as for mythological creatures, I'm neither the phoenix nor the dragon she's been labeled as: I am the Hummingwolf, and it isn't my fault that Homer and the rest of the poets didn't bother to write about me. (Pervy Ovid was jealous of my relationship with Hermes, but that's an old rivalry I won't go into now.)

Bah. If I take another multiple-choice test within the next 30 days, somebody please shoot me.

(no subject)

Wednesday, April 24th, 2002 10:10 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
The rough beginning of something I want to say to someone who won't listen to me anyway.

You keep asking why you're so miserable with your life when you obviously have so many things going for you; but isn't the answer to that question also obvious? When your deepest belief is X yet you're living in a way that's made you very nearly the anti-X, how can you help being miserable? Why would you rather follow everyone else's rules when you are convinced that those rules are the culture's greatest mistake? Why follow rules that you believe make people dead inside? Why not follow the things you believe in--risky though such a path may seem to outsiders--when what you could lose walking in that way is so much less than what you lose living the "normal" life?

You probably realize that I don't agree with all your philosophy. As a matter of fact, I believe that a great deal of it is flat-out wrong. But I'm not going to try to convince you of that today: you and I have had vastly different life experiences, after all, and you are sane and intelligent enough that you must have had good reason to begin to believe. So what I wish I could convince you of is that you need to put your own beliefs into practice.

You're living a life that you can't defend simply because it's what's expected of you, because it's the prudent thing to do--when you and I both know that living what others call the prudent life is the one sure way to make you feel hollow inside. All those essays and books you've recommended over the years, the ones holding the Deep Secrets of Life: Think of their message, and decide for once to put it into action. No, I'm not saying this out of some deep-seated urge to resolve all the contradictions I see in other people's lives: I'm not such a big fan of consistency as you suppose. I'm saying this because I want you to live for a change. Whatever you do, don't let yourself think that the emptiness you feel now has anything to do with Real Life.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
So many people work hard to find themselves. Why do you have to find yourself? Aren't you standing right there?

Reincarnation was never a big part of my belief system. When someone had a past-life memory, I tended to think that they were simply fishing something out of the vast psychic sea surrounding us (energy never can be destroyed, after all; and where energy exists, there will eventually be some way to detect it); or, alternatively, that they were delusional or misled by some stronger personality. Yet now I'm slowly becoming convinced that people have indeed lived before: not because I believe that I have lived before, but because I'm fairly certain I haven't.
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hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)

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