Archive for October, 2007


A New Style of Writing

Writing a will is fun if you do it early enough in life.
 
There is a little rush associating with remembering what people have done for you in the past, and what you wish to give them in return for their kindness. There is also a little rush associated with cutting people out of your will, admittedly.
 
It is all fun and games for those who are very unlikely to die in the near future.
 
 
For me, however, there is a certain sense of urgency required in finishing this piece of writing.
 
Fortunately, I do not have many possessions. I have my clothing, this temple, my favourite pen, and countless old poems which were never published on this space, and which are embarassing to me.
 
Unfortunately, I do not know how to evenly parcel these out amongst my friends. This is as tough a decision as I have ever had to make.
 
Hurrah, more things to worry about.
 
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Bah.

There are multiple ways of becoming immortal, my friends.
 
You could throw a brick at someone immortal, for starters. I personally don’t like that method.
 
Then there’s the athletic route, which relies a lot on genetics and natural skill. This route isn’t for me either.
 
 
 
Then, there’s art.
 
Actors, musicians, writers, and visual artists.
 
 
Me? Well, I am a writer. I quite enjoy writing, and yet… sometimes I regret that I became a writer.
 
Why? Two reasons.
 
The first is that writing seems to be the least respected of the arts.
The second is that I could have done more.
 
You see, we exhalt the actors above all else, and pay them millions to show off their talents for us.
The musicians are also well loved, though they are slightly lower than the actors.
 
And then we have the writers and visual artists. Seldom do we get glory. Aside from Mrs. Rowling and a select few others, most of us are unheard of until after we die. This is nice and all, but I would much rather know of how successful I’ve been BEFORE I die.
 
 
 
What gets to me is that I could have done more. I don’t have that charisma required to be a musician, but…
 
I could have been an actor. I could have been a damned good one too. I tried it once, and performed very well. I never tried it again. Why? I had no one there to support me. No supportive parents, no supportive friends, no one. So I just let that aspiration slip. This was a bad decision, but I can’t fix it. It’s too late for me, my life is nearly over.
 
But even if it wasn’t… Even if I still had another 20 years, it’s still too late.
 
You need to start acting before you’re a year old to get good in most cases. The only way for that to happen is through parents. You need to be lucky. I wasn’t.
 
I’m just too fucking old.
 
 
 

My Problem

As far as I can tell, this has been my problem:
 
I have expected too much from life. A very simple problem with a very simple cause.
 
The bottom line is this: The human mind has no limit. The human flesh does. Recognize that limit, my friends…
 
 
 

Respect

I was speaking with the Runner today, and he brought up an interesting argument on the topic of respect. Our conversation (or at least the relevant part of it) went as such:
 
We were in the library. The Runner was reading a pamphlet of some sort, and I went up to him and asked him what he was reading.
 
One thing about the Runner… recently he has taken to being very commanding.
 
So, when I asked him, he responded: "You’re not allowed to be here." This was not true; he just seems to enjoy being aggressive for no reason whatsoever nowadays. I decided to confront him on this point.
 
"Runner," says I. "You’re not very intimidating at all. You’re the same height as myself, and you’re not any stronger than me either. Who are you trying to scare?"
 
"I run your show," said he. "What’s the best you ever did in a race?"
 
"That has nothing to do with anything that we were talking about." I replied.
 
"Yeah it does," he said. "People respect you when you’re good at something."
 
"I don’t respect you being you’re good at running," I maintained. "I respect you because you’re usually honest, and you have a different way of looking at life than I do. I find it interesting."
 
"Childish." he said, and left.
 
 
 
 
I didn’t really think about this at all until a few hours later, when school had finished.
 
 
 
It may be stupid and superficial, but people do indeed respect you for being good at something. Why else do we have sports stars and celebrities?
 
So… the Runner was right on that point, wasn’t he? He’s smarter than I give him credit for. That’s his alternate view on life that I admire so much.
 
I made sure to see him later and tell him that I had reconsidered my opinion.
 
"People respect you for being good at stuff… You might be onto something there," I said.
 
"Thanks." was his reply.
 
 
Let’s take this idea and run with it for a bit.
 
It seems so insignificant, and yet…
 
 
There are so many reasons why we respect one another.
 
We respect people because they’re kind, honest, generous, funny, sincere, loyal, etc etc etc.
 
 
Yet, it is the people who are good at various things who we exhalt above all others.
 
Sports stars, actors and actresses, authors, musicians, et all.
 
They are given the respect and attention and veneration that a hundred of us normal citizens do not receive. Is that right?
 
To be fair, they are in a position to lose all of that respect really quickly should they make a bad move, but…
 
 
It is an interesting thought. That Runner is a heck of a guy, isn’t he?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Success

Nature threw everything it could at me today. Rain, cold weather, muddy conditions, and a huge hill.
 
Yet, somehow, I prevailed. That bloody hill could not defeat me this day. It was able to hinder me, yes. It was able to exhaust me, yes. But, it did not defeat me.
 
It is interesting how all those scalar factors (time, speed, distance, and temperature) seem to melt away into insignificance over the course of a 7km race. You don’t know how long you’ve been running, or how fast you’re going, or how far you’ve gone, or how cold it is, because you can’t feel it anymore. Running is by far the best way to empty one’s mind, though not the easiest in terms of effort required.
 
All in all, things went well.
 
Since only the top four runners from each team have their scores counted, my performance was inconsequential to our team’s overall score. Nonetheless, the team as a whole performed admirably. We won in all three divisions that we competed in, and thus, winning the overall boys title. This was our fourth straight CISAA title (out of the four years that we’ve competed for that particular title, essentially making us undefeated as of yet), and our twenty-ninth straight league championship. But enough about our glorious victories, lest I begin to sound like Kakunaman.
 
Also of note is that today I finished one spot ahead of the same person who beat me by one spot last time. Another score settled.
 
T’was a good day for myself, methinks.
 

Two Things to Note

Just two little tidbits that I’d like to share with you all today.
 
Firstly, I saw something today that rather disturbed me.
 
In one of the hallways in my school, two of the younger students were horsing around. Chasing each other, stealing each others’ stuff, etc. You know how boys are.
 
Now, one of the two kids stuck his leg out in an attempt to trip the other as he passed by, and his attempt was successful, albeit a little more successful than he probably intended to be. The other boy fell to the ground and landed hard on his left knee.
 
It became clear within seconds that the boy was injured.
 
Immediately, and I mean immediately, the injured boy was surrounded by both friends of his age (including the one who had tripped him) and other concerned boys who happened to witness the incident. They all asked him if he was okay, and offered help in the form of getting ice, a drink of water, or a hand to help the injured boy get up.
 
Interestingly enough, a group of older gentlemen approached the injured boy as well. They, however, did not offer help of any kind. Instead, they mocked him. "Back up," said one. "Give him room to cry. He’s gonna have a good cry now."
 
 
The age difference between the older gentlemen and the younger boys was only about three years, and yet the reactions of the two groups were polar opposites. Terrible, terrible thing to watch.
 
Yes, I did simply watch rather than offer help because it seemed redundant to be the sixth person to go fetch ice. In hindsight, perhaps I should have offered more help. Alas…
 
 
 
The second tidbit is more of a personal matter.
 
Earlier in September, I ran my first cross country race. I felt great for about the first half of the 7km race. Then, I looked up, and saw it. Mount Trinity. It was a daunting hill climb to say the least. I felt so terrible going up it that I couldn’t enjoy the relatively easy downhill section which followed. About a kilometre after the hill, I developed a side stitch, and that was it for me. I was forced to walk for two kilometres (including a second climb of that dreaded hill) before summoning the strength to run the last 800 metres. All in all, it was not an enjoyable day.
 
Tomorrow, I return to that same God-forsaken place for my final race. The weather report calls for 11 Degrees, and rain. Not the best conditions at all. 
 
This time, however, it’s personal. I refuse to let that damned piece of earth get the better of me twice. Mount Trinity is a cruel bitch, to be sure, but not undefeatable. Sick or not, this is something that I have to do in order to prove something to myself. Being my last race, I’m giving this one everything I’ve got. Wish me luck.
 

Change

People change. It happens. Between the ages of 10 and 18, the rate at which we change is ridiculous. Within these few years, our moral values and aspirations change countless times. You might start off at six years old wanting to be an N.B.A. superstar, and then later on, your ideals might change, and you might want to be a video game designer, and then a teacher, and then an actor, and then a writer, and then a motivational speaker.
 
Something to keep in mind: Even the six year old future N.B.A. star knows what he wants out of his life.
 
Look at this list:
 
N.B.A. player, video game designer, teacher, actor, writer, motivational speaker.
 
All those careers are different, and yet they bear one thing in common: All of those careers involve influencing people in some way, and quite a few of them have fame associated with them.
 
Is this coincidence? I think not. The way that the mind of a child works is fascinating.
 
 
 
Not only do our aspirations change, but our morals do too.
 
For example, I don’t know of any six year old who envisions himself or herself smoking in ten years. But, as we all know, a fair amount of sixteen year olds do smoke.
 
The question, therefore, is "What happened?"
 
The answer is, of course, that morals change over time. Not only morals, but personalities, likes and dislikes, hobbies, and many other things about us change with time. Look at me, for example. I went from writing Old Entries to writing poetry to writing reflections in two years.
 
This all ties in to love.
 
How does love die? The people involved in love change, and so the relationship is changed. What once was love is no longer love. That is why we have divorces. Almost always, the two individuals getting married do love each other. The problem is that once the two live together, they will be spending much more time together. They will be seeing each others’ imperfections and vices far more frequently than they are used to, and so problems and pain occur.
 
 
The bottom line is this: Everyone that you know will change, including yourself, and so your relationships with these people will change. The first rule of nature is as such: Adapt, or become extinct.
 
If your relationships cannot adapt to the ever-changing situations in your life, those relationships will become extinct.
 
 

The Wedding

My friends, if you have the means, I highly recommend attending the wedding of one of your former teachers. There are a few reasons for this.
 
Firstly, though I do not endorse their actions, seeing drunken teachers is rather hilarious, I’ll admit. Seeing drunken teachers dance is more so.
 
You see, at a non-school related event, your former teachers may just look upon you as equal. They have no authority over you anymore, and so there is no point in acting superior. You would be surprised at the things you can learn, given the right circumstances.
 
 
 
Another thing: Weddings in which you only know the groom/bride and one or two other people are great. One night friendships are quite fun. Yesterday I had the great pleasure of meeting with Annys(I think) and Steve, a middle-aged couple. Incredibly friendly people, if a little intimidating at first.
 
 
I also had the unexpected opportunity of correcting relations between myself and one of my greatest rivals. Her and myself have been rivals for a few years now, and I did posess a little bit of hatred for her, I must admit.
 
I really should have met her and taken the time to speak to her before. It turns out that she is not only intelligent, but humble and friendly as well.
 
One less enemy to worry about. It is a nice feeling. Enjoy your day.
 
 
Secrets can be terrible, terrible things. Telling them can hurt you a lot more than holding them in might (though this is not always the case).
 
I have always been terrible with secrets, especially the "You can NEVER tell ANYONE" variety. Knowledge of such treasured information is good, but the ability to share this information and shock your peers is usually so much better.
 
If someone tells you to keep a secret for them, go ahead and accept their offer. They will usually tell you something worth knowing.
 
After that, it is not a case of whether or not you will keep the secret, but how long you will keep it for, and whom you will share it with when the time comes.
 
How long you will keep it is up to you. In most cases, it does not matter. There are risks associated with waiting too long before telling it, the biggest of which is that the secret will be exposed. This is bad on two counts. The first of which is that you might be held accountable by your friend for the secret being unveiled, and the second is that you will have lost a valuable advantage over your peers. You see, we are in the information age. Information is a valuable commodity, and people will repay you generously if you can give them information that they do not have.
 
As for whom you decide to tell, there really are only two groups that you can tell without risking far too much.
 
1. Ultra-low risk group: If a secret is eating you from the inside out, and you NEED to tell someone, then I would suggest telling someone who does not personally know whoever the secret concerns. Telling such a person poses no risk, since this person could not possibly betray you even if they wished to.
 
2. Low-risk group. If the secret isn’t harming you, then you can "sell" it in exchange for another secret, or a service of some kind. Tell someone who trusts you more than the person who the secret concerns, and you should be fine. Just watch out for backstabbers.
 
 
That’ll be all for now. That was just something I wanted to say. Hopefully it is comprehensible… There aren’t too many synonyms for "secret", I’m afraid.
 
 
 

As It Stands

My friends, yesterday was not a good day.
 
With the obvious out of the way, allow me to say what I must.
 
 
I do not wish to beat around the bush or sugar coat my situation: I am dying, and have been for some time now. I intended to keep this fact secret for as long as I could, but it is no longer possible to do so.
 
During the conflict with Bellij, I was poisoned. I know not when this happened, nor who did it to me, nor how they managed to do it. It is a very slow acting poison, but one which is difficult to detect. We did not discover it within my system until the very end of that war, and by then it was to late to stop it. Since I do not know exactly when this incident occured, I cannot say how much time I have left. A month is a good estimate. During this month, I will grow progressively weaker, to the point where I will be unable to type anymore.
 
This matters not. Until my final breath I will fight. When I can no longer type, I will dictate to Kakunaman or the apostle, and they will type for me.
 
Time has become my enemy now, and so I will attempt to write far more frequently than usual. I do not want to die with an idea for a writing in my head, so I will attempt to write something (even if it is only a sentence) every day, if possible. The saying "Live each day as if it is your last." needs to be taken quite literally for myself at the moment.
 
That is all for now.