Thought Deposit

Saturday, October 10, 2009


So a long time since I've blogged, but in an attempt to save me feeling bad about that, I won't dwell on it. I will offer two thoughts that are connected by being on the topic of writing:

1) I wonder whether blogging is really such a good idea (ironic given the medium, I know). Sometimes I can't figure out whether it's a good way to get your thoughts semi-organized and up to semi-publishable quality, or whether it forces a person to try and process the world through "blogger eyes." You know, like trying to parse all experience for whether they have blog-value.

2) On another note, I've come to think about how nice writing is because it allows you to slow down and meaning-check your words; it allows you to change a word if doesn't carry enough of the sentiment you're trying to express. The image in my head is one of trying to find the right-sized box for a present.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Ver

Right. I think maybe the trick to blogging is to treat as you might a journal, not waiting for complete posts, but kind of posting things willy-nilly, as they come to you in fragments and blops and vignettes and such. Although, as some of you might now have noticed, I'm not really Oz when it comes to administering blog-maintenance advice. Now that I'm writing, I'm also thinking that the trick to maintaining my blog is remembering how much I like writing in it, remembering this energy when a piece of a fragment flits through my head.

I'm off to bed just now, but with a personal and blog-public promise to write at least one more post before I leave Burgos early Tuesday morning, one that talks about the best things I've learned here from the best people I've found here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good Metaphors in the Springtime

Who knows why, but my favorite images come to me next to water in the springtime. Sometimes it's like taking an old favorite shirt out of the closet and remembering how it feels.

When I have one of those thoughts, I feel like I could go and live with it for a hundred thousand years.

It's been a couple weeks now since the feeling of the year turned on the realization that the end is near. And the truth is that this is one of my favorite feelings: living while knowing that there will be an end to what you have. And another truth is that I've discovered some things that I love here in Spain: the expression, "forma de ser" which means "way of being" and is used when talking about people; poetry on Monday mornings; looking at the velvety-green headed ducks floating on the river; and stories, lots of lots of stories told the animated, Spanish way.

Somebody asked me recently what I want for the future of my life. I don't know if it's that I haven't thought about that in a while, or whether my thoughts have changed, or whether the way the question was asked just touched me more deeply than other recent times; but in any case, the question set me thinking . . . and I thought it probably a good question to ask ourselves every now and again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Atop the Empire State Building

I think I'm really kinda getting ahead of myself in my desire for Spring to arrive. Leaving for lunch today, I put on my blue "FRANCE" t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and my favorite pair of flip-flops. Ten minutes later, with my lips looking like my t-shirt and my feet looking like stumps of ice, I decided that Mother Nature didn't care what I was ready for; the weather was gonna get warm when it damn-well-pleased - and if I wanted said luxury of warmth I could, as my mother would say, "stop walking around like a cowboy."


On a different note, the season of weddings (both this summer and in these, my 20s) is starting: Derek Slagle is engaged, which was decided atop the Empire State building. I think it's pretty clever to have your girlfriend at such a height when you pop the question. "No pressure."

For them, and wishes for their permanent joy, I post the following, which is one of my very favorite love poems:

"You loved me first: but afterwards your love" by Christina Rossetti

"I lov'd you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drown'd the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seem'd to wax more strong;
I lov'd and guess'd at you, you construed me--
And lov'd me for what might or might not be
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not "mine" or "thine;"
With separate "I" and "thou" free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of "thine that is not mine;"
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one. "

Congratulations, guys!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Otra Vez

I'm not sure anyone's reading this blog anymore - and I can't say I blame you. Although the idea of returning to it has come in and out of my mind lots of times, I didn't decide to add another post until about this very moment.

This past week I spent mostly traveling in between cities in Spain, and my travels took me to Madrid (where I saw La Guernica by Picasso - and it's one of the paintings I've seen that is better than I heard it would be), Toledo - which we toured so quickly, most of the conversations went like this:

"What does the book say this is?"
"A must-see monument"
"Wow - it is gorgeous, no?"
"Actually, it's the one behind you"
"Oh. Wow - it is gorgeous, no?"

Not so long later, we were on our way to Cordoba where we spent a night laughing more than I've laughed since I've been in Spain trading stories about the crazy things that have happened to us this year.

The next two days were full of warm sun and even better food in Sevilla, eating with Matt's coworkers and friends at little tapas bars near the city-center, sharing foods like eggplant in a tomato curry, chicken with bechamel sauce, and chicken in a sweet-raisin and almond sauce with french fries.

Back here in Burgos, I'm thinking right now about how thankful I am to have so many good people in my life. It's seems like everyone I've met here has a treasure of information about how to live life well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Been to Salamanca

That´s right: last weekend found me in the really rather enchanting city of Salamanca. I´d try to put the picture of what it looked like to me into words, but previous attempts to do just that in anticpiation of this blog post have failed. I won´try again, lest I reduce what it looked like to something icky, like the bottom of a pool in winter.

What sticks out in my mind the most is the first morning after I arrived, I was having breakfast with Matt in this stacked-stone cafe with mahogany wood trim, and enjoying how the place made me feel like I was ensconsed atop some snow-peaked mountain when I started talking about all the things that had happened since we last spoke. Half-an-hour later, I had talked so much for so long, so quickly, I felt really, actually dizzy. Thinking back on the trip, the fact that I had so much to say to someone spreads light across the whole memory.

On a different note, I´m including a Rumi poem that I´ve been reading everyday without the law of diminishing returns having taken effect. It´s good.

"One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked.
A voice asked, 'Who is there?'He answered, 'It is I.'
The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.'
The door was shut.
After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked.
A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?'
The man said, 'It is Thee.
'The door was opened for him."

I´m sorry that I haven´t gotten back to some people with my address, but I include it here:

Rahim Manji
13 Avda de la Paz Piso: 3A
Burgos, Spain 09006

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On Joy and Sorrow

I´ve been thinking so much while I´ve been here about Kahlil Gibran´s chapter on "Joy and Sorrow" from his book, The Prophet. In it, he says, "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. "

I was with my boss, America, this past weekend walking around Burgos on a day that was so cold that one might be led to suspect that here was a place where even Santa Clause would lose his elves to frostbite. Round about two hours after walking in this city-sized igloo, we were ready to go back to America´s house for some coffee and and maybe a stint in a kiln. As I got off the elevator and rushed to open the door of her house, America held my arm and said, wide-eyed, "Rahim, waaaaaaaaait." She extended her arms above her head and told me, "It´s gonnnaaaa be waaaaaaaaaaarm." And I thought about Gibran: the cold which had moments ago been so burdensome had brought with it the opportunity to appreciate warmth.