Friday, October 12, 2007

Balancing Urges

I am excited and nervous to start writing for Rena (founder of Indyish and Open Montreal Journal, both online big info blogs in Montreal). And that is enough to cut my inspiration off.

True, I have been feeling low enough recently; I have only depressing thoughts to share. But since I am not one to tolerate depression (from others, it’s my first) I can think of hundreds of self help solutions. Whining, nor the self discovery journey, appeals to me as a reader, or to Rena I am sure. I have to think something up if I’m to post my thoughts out of Beijing.

Like Hemingway would advise, “Let’s start by one true sentence”: She doesn’t know what she wants.

I used to want to be a (famous) writer, and then found a devious way to forbid time to be on my side (creating homônumos magazine thus having to play the editor’s role). I have craved a baby for a decade, and now that I have a man (and sperm) I plan to make it happen in five years’ time (by then my eggs will be dry). I dreamed of moving to Buenos Aires to explore the avant-garde drama scene, dance tango, and drown in a sea of flirts. But I re-met the man of my life and decided to rent an apartment in Beijing (one year lease) to allow time for my dog’s anti-rabies vaccine certification to be approved by the EU canine import authority so we can all move to Ibiza paradise. I sent my man an email last night, which probably insures I will remain single for the next year.

Allow me this personal incursion into my situation. I now am taking you somewhere smart.
I live in China land of business growth opportunity, career development, hands on top training capitalist boot camp. Yet the more years I stay here, the more I crave what China doesn’t have to offer (sensuality and men, civility, avant-garde exploration.) I am obviously in the wrong country for my own good.

But no. Wait. I am exactly where it is I need to be. To continue ripping from Hemingway’s head, “the picture looks clearer when you have a hungry stomach”.
When I am broke I crave duck à l’orange. I have a vivid imagination for the taste of duck à l’orange down to its secret ingredient. (The secret is to rub salt on the roasted cinnamon stick, before shaving slivers into the juice.) Even though I did not own a computer at the time, I started a literary magazine. I worked from a smoky online computer-game warehouse typing smartness from a scummy keyboard. I learned to tango in China. I’ve an intuition for dancing as if I were a born Argentinean because I haven’t “___ _____ ____ __” a boyfriend in years (fill in the blanks).

I come to wonder if what it is I crave, is what I would crave were I, say, living in Montreal. Or New York. Or Barcelona. What I want depends on what I don’t get. So if I get it, will I still want it?

For it is a question of balance to be craving what it is we don’t have. That the grass is always greener on the neighbour’s lawn reinforces the idea that we have a lawn of our own. How else can we compare? Envy and comparative valuation brands our ego with what it is we possess. The more we crave the more we have. Or else, the more we crave what we don’t have, the more we forget to look at what it is we have.
So the urges I have to write act as reinforcers branding my ego with the fact that 1) I am a writer. 2) I am someone even if I am not a writer. The worries I have of being a good writer proves that 1) I am a writer 2) I am good at something even if it is not as a writer.
I agree with myself that we crave what it is we have that which makes us miserable is not having what the other has which is what it is we crave, not knowing that we (deep down inside perhaps) also have it. We can only see what we learn to recognize (ripping from Oscar Wilde’s head.) If we can’t identify it, we won’t crave it.

But what of balance for balance’s sake? I do live in the land of yin and yang, yes, so I am aware of the need for harmony.

China is the land of “I express they”* culture; I crave “I express I”* culture that I had taken for granted in Canada. I feel a civic responsibility to fill the void in experimental writing (Beijing has loads of cunning journalists, and skilled copy-artists.) That I may not be an award winning writer is beside the point. I still feel the responsibility to establish a harmonious balance in my Life. Experimental writing is something I cannot find in my surrounding, therefore I need it.

Tell me why it is I crave so much to write. Was I always a writer? Am I wanting to spunk up my real job? Am I acting up someone else’s karma? Is becoming a published author something “I” wish, or is it a wish that is imposed on me by my surrounding/by my constituent?

Do my urges belong to me or to the collective conscious?

As long as there is a roof over my head...

(On knowing what it is I want, and a bit more on Freud, my exploration goes on)
Beijing, Oct. 05 07, the Golden Week of National Chinese Day, “bless those non paid 10 days off.

“I express they”*: the art of copying the masters.
“I express I”*: the art of reaching out from the inside.