Short days no.1

I have always loved cities and everything about modern urban, though ugly or goody. But the imagination of vast green, dirt roads, a wooden house, a white fence, a green patio filled with thick smell of grass, lifted my soul with such an immense of pure joys that I immediately want to trade L.A gorgeous skytower for this charming countryside house. I wonder if I was being a fancy city bitch, who has gotten enough of city complex and those endless and nameless self-indoctrinated problems to the point of complete surrender that even if it is coward to run away, I would rather escape the only identity I understood for something I have never known.

Regardless, I found myself yearning for those old days, when people live in harmony with nature, when each house has a little gardens full of fruits and vegetables and a few friendly cattle that woo noisily from morning to night, and when human connection is frankly warm and genuinely dear to the hearts.

Just not yet.

Lis

Designed by Nizo Yamamoto
Designed by Nizo Yamamoto
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Short days no.1

Phũ

Người phũ tôi đến tận cùng xương cốt
Từ da thịt đến máu đỏ đường gân
Người đẩy tôi đến tận cùng ân hận

Dây thần kinh đứt đoạn những câu thề.
Người nói người thương tôi mà nhỉ
Người còn thề trên vạn vật chúng sanh
Rằng “thương em đến tận cùng tuyệt diệt”
Rằng “yêu em đến thánh thần phôi pha”
Rằng “bên em đến thiên hà vụn vỡ ”
Rằng “phang em đến trọn kiếp luân hồi”

May cho tôi,
Người tuy man di mọi rợ
vẫn chưa thề trên nấm mộ mẫu thân

Ôi,
Mây còn biết khóc
khi thần linh nặng gánh âu lo

Thời gian dẫu ki bo
vẫn có lúc tiếc thương chuyện cũ
Cuộc đời tuy là phũ
vẫn có chỗ cho kẻ si tình

Thần chết dẫu vô hình
vẫn có lúc đánh cờ
chọc ghẹo tên kỵ sĩ lơ mơ*.

Sao người với người
mà người nỡ phụ tôi?

Lis.

*câu thơ lấy cảm hừng từ hình ảnh thần chết đánh cờ với kỵ sĩ trong phim Phong ấn thứ bảy (The Seventh Seal) của đạo diễn Ingmar Bergman.

Photo by Gregory Crewdson
Photo by Gregory Crewdson
Phũ

Sleepless night no.13

On the quest of establishing my own identity, the element of “consistency” is a must. I could rightly justify why consistency is a must but perhaps, it is best to leave it as a matter of faith. Why? Because faith is self-explanatory itself and when you leave it as a faith, it simplifies the matter, no?
In process of materializing the consistency concept, I decided to devote myself into a consistent hobby. I would have chosen “reading book” but intellectually hypocrite, I would hate myself for rushing through a book in two hours. So I chose “watching movies” as my core hobby for it is something I have done ever since I can understand human languages and is something I have consistently done so ever since then.
Filmmaking industry is relatively a modern art, compared to classical paintings of Raphael and Titan but by no meaning less intrigue to the mind and no less diverse in the eyes of of contemporary bourgeoisie class. Needless to say how much energy and devotion human put into the filmmaking process, each movie itself is an intricate piece of work. Like other forms of art, a movie goes under the same inevitable class scrutiny – the academically praised ones or the commercially entertaining ones or the half-breed ones. And like other forms of art, movie industry turn into million dollar business. However, unlike writers and painters whose social stigmatization attached to poverty, filmmakers and the whole film industry seem to thrive relatively well. Just this afternoon, when I stood broodingly in front of magazine shelf, popping up to my eyes are a jungle of faces from famous actresses. We know their names, their spouses, their annual income, their past, their parents, their ugly habits down to their darkest secrets. We treat them as if they are parts of our lives. I have been there and done that. I used to wake up every day and the second thing after logging on Facebook is to find out whether some celebrity girls go to parties without wearing panties. I chose the most perverted article to point out how… pointless the information is; I have no sexual desire toward them yet I am innocently interested in what are beneath their glittering dresses. But say, did popular novel like Pride and Prejudice share the same immense popularity on the mind of Victorian contemporaries? Human sympathy on a sociological level, perhaps, but certainly not to the level of personal intimacy. Modern fans of Jane Austen create a sub-culture called Austenism which is merely an imitation of what film industry has done longs ago.
The master behind a movie is the director. To general audience, the director’s philosophies are like distant visible stars; their names share the admire looks but no true understanding. To movielovers, film major college students and interested audience, the director’s philosophies is the central spirit of a movie. To evaluate a movie correctly, one must consider how director’s background influence his movie. Outstanding directors whose name entails a sub-culture that attracts numerous fans and to certain extent, controversial debates, enjoy an immense popularity as well. I personally prefer fangirling directors over actresses but I am too shallow to understand them.  Yep, I am a shallow being. Move on.
Reading a book opens a gate to the parallel reality but watching a movie is an exhausting self-reflection journey. The audience are trained to judge themselves from the third perspective. It is like a dream, when the reality is twisted yet it feels so real and while we are involved in the process, we are constantly judging our own image from the outside perspectives.

Lis

Sleepless night no.13

Sleepless night no.12

I have been giving much thoughts on the subject of “marriage” lately. I will turn 22 in about few months. I might a get bachelor degree in about next year. I have hot temper but overall relaxing personalities. I am quite open though I cannot stand nosy questions. Alright, at least, let’s say I am physically mature for this thing called “marriage”. You might say it is early to get married at my age. I totally agree. It is just a subject among hundredth subjects out there designed to squeeze the heck of grey matter out of your brain. However, since “marriage” is a social practice that confine self-identity into “certainty” and doing so will require intense purge of bad attitudes. Especially if you are having bitchy problems, that ain’t easy.

For example, a wife should be graceful and humble. I am just not.

I am in love. I am not sure but I think I am in love. Really, I should be in love with that guy. I meant, I am. Let’s say I am in love. I want to marry him.  Rather, I should. Rather, he said we should. He told me that unlike of what I had thought about marriage, marriage is the fruit of love, not the grave. Marriage is not an end but a beginning. Let’s say, I trust him and his assumption about “marriage”.

But sometimes, when I look at him, the thought of being with him forever gives my heart such grieving pain that tears pour out like madmen. Is that because the love in me detests the sight of dying in such a beautiful confinement?

I meant, we are happy. I look up and down, to my right and left, knowing that expectation is love killer. As much as being a dreamer, reality struck. He’s right about “marriage”. He’s just so right about everything that my brain is dully melted under his words.

Yet, sometimes, my rebellious spirit don’t just surrender.

Don’t tell me to bend over. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts really bad.

Don’t tame my limit. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts really bad.

Don’t test my poisonous mouth. If you die of my words, I will die, resurrect then die again, multiple times and more times after the end of this world ends.

After a while, fear subdues. I can already imagine myself crawling onto his body like a leech. So nope, I will not marry him. Part of my life is dedicated to drive him crazy, so crazy that he gives me such excruciating pain that I die gracefully in the most humble fashion.

Really, I guess I do love him.

Damn it, it hurts.

Lis.

Sleepless night no.12

Sleepless night no.11

(… the effect of watching too much Jane Austen’s novel-based movies)

Dear my greatest love,

First of all, I wish you the best health. I sent this letter to inform you that all of your possessions and properties were properly handled by the new appointees. Hence, please rest assure, knowing that the works of your hands are prospering steadily under caring minds. About my personal life, I almost withdrew from all of external interactions for I had no business to leave the house frequently. And dear, with your absence and my heart longed for your return, the socialization could not hardly entertain me these days. But I deliberately took upon this rare occasion to increase the length of this letter a little longer, hoping to make a compassionate thought-provoking inquiry with you for I know you are very intrigued by your wife’s absolute absurdity. Please bear with me and understand that it is very hard for me to start this conversation. Also please do not see me as a shrilling wife in attempting to complicate a wonderful marriage but do mark my words with tenderness for I absolutely meant you no harm.

My dearest darling, I am your beloved wife for many years. You have been a terrific husband and oh milord, I have not seen any blessings bestowed upon one soul more generously more than the blessing you have been bestowing upon your humble wife. You give me everything a women could ever asked for: a wonderful family with loving husbands and lovely children. I am thankful still and milord, I sworn to you that my thoughts stay utterly loyal to you. However, many recent events affected me with much trouble thoughts. Wars is such horrendous atrocity; yet to confess to you, I had been exciting about the change it brought to our hometown. Wars, as it greatly degenerated men into savage beasts, also turned women into thinking humans. Oh dear, my mouth run away with harsh comments again. I had been raised to be precious and delicate. But milord, you have known me well. I was a wild creature but you had accepted me with sympathy. Oh how much I am indebted to your generosity! To continue on, because of social norms, I had never wandered the streets alone and with no escort from servants. Now you went away for business trips, as your wife, I was obliged to take up the responsibility in taking care of the rest of family and your accomplishment. I confessed I was deeply in distress, I almost lost my consciousness. However, days by days, I started to emerge into the world of men. I dare to say I did not enjoy it a bit for there are excessive calculations and alcohol for your poor wife. Well, the conclusion is that I had come to understand how much a women can do. Thanks to wars, women had stepped out of the light. Still, I am greatly concerned about the safety of our family. You had traveled far to arrange for our family a new life, so I am wrecked with guilt, thinking that I am exciting on such a deathly instrument of Grim while your safety is destined in its hands. I beg your forgiveness if any of my thoughts offended you. You know I am caring for your health very much and I said this to simply ease my mind. I am being selfish to my beloved husband and please pardon me, my dearest darling.

My dearest darling, upon a greater degree of freedom from my tedious domestic chores, I started to explore the mysterious world of literature. Oh milord, how much I am fascinated by its festive enrichment of knowledge and emotion: I was denied of those extravagant luxuries from the lack of education access ever since I was born. How much I am envious of you, milord. You and your books, you two shared such a great companionship that I did not understood earlier but now I do. Your humble wife had not known the joys of reading great books and when she did, her mind was filled with endless questions. Then I thought of our marriage milord. My marriage with you had been my life. Now that I had read that love existed since the beginning of human, I started to wonder what it was like to be loved. Oh mon cher, c’est une question difficile!

I am afraid that you might misjudge me on that statement and that was why I had been terrified to confront you on that extremely sensitive subject. However, I must confess to you that, honestly, I had not known what love is. After all these years, my dearest thing, the truth is, I do not know. By making such ridiculous statement, I had committed a terrible crime upon your fragile heart but you must know that I am as equally hurt. You had treated me with so much grace and tender, even though we hadn’t said a word of expression, it is well understood that we both share the intimacy named “love”. But my dear, I come to understand that I am a dreamer. Yes milord, your humblest wife among the wives in London is a dreamer. A dreamer could not understand love, milord. Perhaps, no living soul could. I had read so many books, yet I had not found a perfect singular definition of love and it seemed to me that all writers from ancient Greek to our present, none had understood love clearly but merely uttered the word disturbingly. Knowing that you are a wise men among wisest mens in London, I assure you that even the wisest men on earth, he wouldn’t be capable of understanding such complex thing, let alone a poor, incompetent, mortal soul of a desperate dreamer. Well, you told me once that a dreamer was born to be melancholy all the time. I had no intend to explain the term “dreamer” but I dare to beg you grand me an audition on the part of love. Please, please, please, my dearest thing, as my morality does not allow me to express any further excuses, I do wish you to share my opinions on one thing. Until this very moment, the only force that bonding our marriage is not love but a kindness among humans. I lack the conviction to understand such strangely passionate emotion named “love”. But I believe I am still capable of understanding the vastness of human emotions that inquires deep intellectuality and a grand heart at the same time. Oh milord, another fear of mine is that you might find me arrogant on making such contradictory claim. A grand heart shall be able to contain all kind of emotions, isn’t it? And here I am standing against you, confusing us on such unnecessary matter. We are still staying together, aren’t we? The fuss isn’t worthy your attention milord but I know you had given me too much privileges, I dare to use one of the privileges to pour my heart out for you.

My dearest darling, I had thought that I loved you. From time to time, I had thought I loved you to the point I could just stab my heart if it made you happy. Oh milord, I could have told you that if it wasn’t me, nobody else could love you as much as I do in one day. But dearest darling, such thing to be spoken will be a great insult to you. I also acknowledge that you are strange to such applause, I restrained myself from saying so. Oh dear, hadn’t you seen the flame in my eyes whenever your fingers stroked my breast. Oh dear, please do not tell me you hadn’t seen how my body trembled under your touch and how I gripped onto your shoulder with all my soul. My love for you however varnished slowly after years of marriage. Instead, I chose to love you by gratitude and respect. Hardly anyone bears me at my worst for the trait of savage remained inside and for that I am grateful to you. Hardly anyone hurt me at my best for I was raised by the noblest blood and for that, I am respecting you. Oh dear, am I being sarcastic again? Well, the point is, if it was not you, it would not be anyone else. We had deliberately chosen each other, my dear. And for the cause of a long lasting duration of marriage, my love must die. A dreamer do not know love but he could afford a marriage, my dear. So I am here with you.

But my dear, as I wrote these lines, I started to feel agony squeezing my heart. Oh, you are the dearest men to me, how foolish I am to say that I do not love you. Well, a women in war time sure is troubling. But love me, yes, darling? You are wiser than your poor humblest wife. Toss away this letter if you see it unfit and pardon me. Otherwise, write me a letter filled with passion so I know that you forgive me and you agree with me that that we are dreamers and that we are submitted to be husband and wife for eternity.

P.s: I beg you milord, please return with me safely for I am in demand of your presence. The house is in insurmountable of sorrow without your heartily laugh and your theatrical sense of humor.

Your deepest love
Angelica.

Lis

Sleepless night no.11

Mất em rồi.

Bế em trên tay

Tôi nhắm nghiền

nghe hơi thở ngưng đi trong chốc lát

Ôi cuộc đời gỗ đá
tình người đong đếm bằng những lời nói cứa da cứa thịt nhau.
Em ơi, tôi mất em rồi.

Mất người gái nhỏ ngây thơ
nàng trinh nữ tóc đen lay láy,
say mê em, tâm hồn tôi lần tìm từng lớp vải
mà mắt em
chẳng thấy tôi đâu.

Váy hoa em thơm, tô điểm cho đời son phấn nhạt.
Môi em nở, thứ hương trà cô đơn
lặng lẽ nơi góc đường
chờ một người đã chẳng còn thấy em trong mắt.
Em ơi, em ơi
sao em không nhìn thấy
tôi
đứng đợi em bên kia đường đến chết đi sống lại.

Em ơi, em ơi,
Mất em rồi.

Lis.

Painting by Pablo Picasso
Painting by Pablo Picasso
Mất em rồi.

Trách.

Ngồi gõ lách cách, tôi miên man giữa những dòng suy nghĩ tím ngắt. U uẩn.

Chìm đắm trong mệt nhoài không làm tôi thấy mình đang sống. Trái lại, tôi thấy mình cứ nhấp nhá ngưỡng cửa hồn lìa khỏi xác mà tìm đến khu vườn của Chúa nghỉ ngơi. Thể xác trở nên chật chội những lúc thế này đây.

Tôi thich giúp đỡ người khác trong khả năng có thể của mình. Xã hội gọi những kẻ như tôi là người tốt. Nhưng tôi không nghĩ vậy. Tôi luôn cảm thấy mình đang lãng phí thứ gì đó. Tuổi trẻ, cảm xúc, thời gian, tiền bạc, tỉ tỉ thứ có thể gọi tên. Tôi quá trông đợi việc làm của mình phải luôn luôn có ích. Tôi ghét sự lãng phí. Trễ một phút là lãng phí. Nghe theo lời người khác là lãng phí. Ngồi u uẩn thế này cũng là lãng phí. Nhưng tôi không ngừng lãng phí.
Tôi ghét sự giúp đỡ của mình trở thành lãng phí. Bởi vì, nó cũng chẳng khác gì chối bỏ tôi. Bị chối bỏ cũng là một sự lãng phí bản thân dành cho một mối quan hệ làm cho lãng phí.
Thế mà, tôi cũng chẳng ngừng lãng phí. Và tôi chắc chắn cũng chẳng phải người tốt.

Tại sao con người không cứ đi một đường thẳng? Tôi thèm nhắm mắt bươn về đằng trước. Thế mà, tôi cũng chẳng thể thôi lãng phí thời gian trách móc bản thân.

Tôi lại chẳng thiết trách ai. Tôi lại chẳng thiết ngó cái cuộc sống này để tìm chỗ mà trách. Tôi trách mình cho an tâm là chẳng ai thấy buồn. Vì tôi trách người nào, họ buồn thì tôi cũng thấy mình đã lãng phí công sức.

Những vết trăng lưỡi liềm trên tay cứ đỏ dần.

Trách.