“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”via Good Morning Good Night
I asked him did he really love New York or was he just wearing the shirt.
He smiled, like he was nervous. I could tell he didn’t understand, which made me feel guilty for speaking English, for some reason.
I pointed at his shirt. “Do? You? Really? Love? New York?”
He said, “New York?”
I said, “Your. Shirt.” He looked at his shirt.
I pointed at the N and said “New,” and the Y and said “York.” He looked confused or embarrassed, or surprised, or maybe even mad. I couldn’t tell what he was feeling, because I couldn’t speak the language of his feelings.
“I not know was New York. In Chinese, ny mean ‘you.’ Thought was ‘I love you.’”
It was then that I noticed the “I♥NY” poster on the wall, and the “I♥NY” flag over the door, and the “I♥NY” dishtowels, and the “I♥NY” lunchbox on the kitchen table.
I asked him, “Well, then why do you love everybody so much?”
— “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
via Jess' blog Ad Astra Per Aspera
Marshall II, my hard drive of two years, died this past week. After falling from the glass kitchen table onto the hard wood floors of my summer home – yes, I’m calling that place my summer home, for that is what it was – I wasn’t able to revive it. But I still had hope. After shopping around for the appropriate technicians who could perhaps save Marshall II, I finally decided on a company and shipped Marshall II off to sunny California in a heavily padded box. Days later, and a sad phone call, I learned my dear Marshall II didn’t make it. He/it was shipped back to me, for free, and I finally laid it to rest a couple of days ago.
Why this emotional connection to an external hard drive? Marshall II, much like his namesake, was a wealth of information. For two years this amazing 880 GB hard drive held every picture I had ever taken since 2006. All of my college work, portfolios, writings, and other miscellaneous but meaningful data were in there…seems weird that now I don’t exist from 2006 to the spring of 2010 in pictures. That everything important that I worked on has vanished with the wind. Melodramatic? Perhaps, but I’ll still have the memories at least. My trip to Spain, the amazing Thanksgiving dinners, the trips to New York and Chicago…they’ll all exist in my mind.
What? There’s facebook? I scoff at those low-resolution photos, but I’m still thankful. Now I just need to go album by album, copy and paste each photo into a new folder, save it to a new hard drive (Marshall III), and have a hard copy.
Yep, that’s right. I’ve learned my lesson. From now on all my files, pictures in particular, will be saved to at least two spaces with a physical backup. I just spent a small fortune on DVD-RWs and their respective cases (why don’t those ever come together?).
So I raise my glass to the complexities of data back-up and to remember Marshall II and what a great hard drive he was. Let us all remember to be careful when it comes to data storage and that those expensive pieces of equipment aren’t indestructible, or fail-proof, after all.
In movies, don’t you tire of the clichéd symbolism of a bird trapped in a cage? Look closely; it’s almost always there. Most recently, I saw it in Eat Pray Love. It was in Baz Luhrman’s Australia, in the indie-flick Real Women Have Curves, embedded in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and countless other Hollywood narratives that strived to be coy in their symbolism. But what I think people fail to realize is where that particular symbol stems from.
A quick mental search down memory lane may lead you to Maya Angelou’s autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Good for you if you reached back that far in your academic memory. But we have yet to arrive at the origin. Although we would like to think that the literary mastermind that is Maya Angelou came up with this book title all by herself, think again. She too reached back into her memories of well-written poetry and into American history. Famed American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar came into view; in particular, his poem “Sympathy”. In the beginning of the third stanza, he writes, “I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,” I’ve provided the rest of the poem below.
So look for it the next time you sit down to experience the latest Hollywood film, which involves a protagonist vying to escape their current physical or emotional destitution. More than likely you’ll find that caged bird.
Perhaps filmmakers can think of a new symbol instead of being so blatantly obvious with their attempts at subtle themes.
Can you tell I’m a bit annoyed at the caged bird? Haha, if nothing else, enjoy Dunbar’s poem below.
I KNOW what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —
I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting —
I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —
I know why the caged bird sings!
Bet you can't do this with your empty toilet paper roll! Like what you see? Check out more of this, shall I call it art? here
Remember when I posted that awesome black and white picture in the post "Spin"? Probably not, but that's why "Spin" is hyperlinked back to it 😉 Anyways, the Great Rebecca and the Amazing Bridget helped me recreate said photograph, but it was all in vain. First, we could not find a merry-go-round. Then I pressed them for time because I had a store meeting. So instead, we found a lovely tire swing a bit too small for any of us to fit in. But Bridget managed, and this was the result.Till next time!