Poem

Fable, by Janos Pilinszky
(translated by Ted Hughes)

Once upon a time
There was a lonely wolf
Lonelier than the angels.
He happened to come to a village;
He fell in love with the first house he saw.
Already he loved its walls
The caresses of its bricklayers.
But the windows stopped him.
In the room sat people.
Apart from God nobody ever
Found them so beautiful
As this child-like beast.
So at night he went into the house.
He stopped in the middle of the room
And never moved from there any more.
He stood all through the night, with wide eyes
And on into the morning when he was beaten to death.

“He was drifting in and out of sanity, but in every other way, he was fine”

Last night I was the female younger brother of a bizarrely cyber-tech hillbilly family. They put me in a wedding dress for my older brother’s birthday, but I knew they were planning on killing me the next morning.

So I ran away on a plane, and fell a few hundred feet into a meadow river. That’s where I met death. He didn’t have a stereotypical skull face, but one which was grey and smoothly androgenous but yet very old. Death grabbed me by the shoulders and told me of three important things to remember in life. (not so much to get to heaven, but to get anywhere?)

I can only remember two of them; and one doesn’t make the dreaming-to-real transition smoothly.

Firstly, a vaguely karmic idea of balance between doing to others what you would like done unto you.
The third one was something about being true to your inner self. This is the one that’s fading fast. Something like needing to not act hypocritically to yourself, doing things the way you believe, never living a lie. Like that, but more profound.
I’ll be damned if I can remember the second one.

After that there was an angel with me, although (s)he didn’t have wings until the moment I jumped from a roof top escaping from the evil family. He had a hat like scifox though. We kept running, down paths and into squashed up Escher-towns made from bits of memory and imagination.

I rode on a steel canal-house-boat that ran on a rail high above the city, and looked at a sunset I’d never been able to see before. I think I was a young girl by this point, and the angel was possibly a soft toy.

I can’t remember how it finished, but that dream was even more bizzare than the one wednesday night about the vampire conspiracies and the raven-in-a-bag. (and the intense music festival of goth and trance and transvestites)

Like I said before, REM sleep is good. 🙂

(must do more intense revising I feel)

“To lay inert and only dreaming of a perfect love is easy. It is an anesthetization from which we might never recover but for ruthlessly snagging something valuable, yet outside our awareness. For the naive and wounded, the miracle of the psyche’s ways is that even if you are halfhearted, irreverent, didn’t mean to, didn’t really hope to, don’t want to, feel unworthy to, aren’t ready for it, you will accidentally stumble upon treasure anyway. Then it is your soul’s work to not overlook what has been brought up, to recognize treasure as treasure no matter how unusual its form, and to consider carefully what to do next.”

Chaotic Catharsis for Tiggs?

After reading this entry by Tiggspanther I thought to spend a few minutes to write about a catharsis method.. I haven’t actually tried it yet (started to once, but got a phone call) It’s from the ‘moving into ectasy book’.
PS: Tiggs, can I have your postal address please?

*****
Here are some of my favourite tools to help express yourself.

The first exercise involves ‘chaotic breathing’, which helps to break up the rigid thinking patterns of the rational brain as well as activating primal emotions. It is a powerful but perfectly safe process, which creates chaos so as to jolt you out of your stuckness and wake you up.

Make syre you are in private space with nothing to bump into, perhaps have some cushions handy. If you can, put some music on, preferably something with a chaotic rhythm, either tribal or rock; you can also do this without music but it helps a little. And blow your nose before you start!

Catharsis
Stand with you feet hip-width apart so you have a strong base, soften your knees and keep the rest of the body relaxed and close your eyes.
Start breathing in and out of the nose rapidly, allowing the breath to go deep into your chest – make sure the shoulders, arms and neck stay relaxed.

Allow the breath to be chaotic – NOT a steady rhythm! Some breaths are short, others are long, some slow, some fast….KEEP CHANGING THE RHYTHM! Be as chaotic as you can. As the intensity builds up, you will find that your whole body starts to move too. You can help the chaotic breathing by using your arms like bellows but remember to keep relaxed and keep the knees soft and bouncy.

Keep going for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10. You may feel as if you are ‘losing your mind’… that’s great, welcome the feeling!

When the intensity has built up quite high, just let go! Allow yourself to go crazy – scream, shout, cry, laugh, let the sounds come out. Use physical movements to express your emotions – punch a cushion, roll around on the floor, shake – keep moving! If this is not possible because of neighbours, then keep the sounds quiet but allow the energy to be expressed through your movements.

Keep going for about 10 minutes or until you feel empty.

Lie down in silence..be still.

**********

Well, it might work..?

In other news:
One thing I LOVE about revision time is the intense REM dreams!!

Purpose of female orgasms?

Rachel has just informed me (mid revision cram) that the field of ‘Adaptive Behaviour’ (psychology) has still not decided whether female orgasms serve any adaptive purpose.

It’s quite an interesting question. Since:

  • Not having an orgasm /doesn’t/ stop women from initiating sex, and more importantly:
  • Not having an orgasm -certainly- doesn’t stop conception

It reminds me of the time Marc told me about some guy in the ‘evolutionary psychology’ lecture giving his wonderful opinion that “orgasms in women are a social pressure, since everyone else is having one so they decide to have orgasms too..” ( I can’t believe he said that in a predominately female course..)

But still.. it’s got me thinking now. Probably a little bit too much, and almost certainly in a ‘I feel like I’ve been up all night because my brain hurts’ way.

I mean, yeah, once you -have- an orgasm it’s kinda an incentive to have sex again. But there are still a good proportion of women who ‘don’t know if they’ve ever had one’ (=no) and an even greater proportion of men who don’t have a clue. (hint: be a lesbian)

..in which case, assuming it’s possible to get *more* orgasms from homosexuality (or self-manipulation, or use of toys which -don’t- go floppy) (note: I’m **really** brain fried so this train of thought is derailed and probably flying away by now) then if *anything*, female orgasms have an anti-adaptive purpose… (since if they’re that good, and you don’t need men (in fact it’s better not to) then why bother with the whole mating-for-kids thing in the first place??)

As I said to Rachel “It’s just one of those things god put there to make things fair” (which brings into question thoughts of higher power which I REALLY am not going to touch on right now..)

So yeah. Evolution theory and female orgasms? Any idea? (over to you)

Nature’s Alternative to Prozac

Or, How to get high while revising!

Kava (Piper Methysticum), a member of the pepper family, is one of the most fascinating of medicinal plants. Native to the South Pacific, a beverage (also called Kava)
made from the rootstock of the plant has been used for centuries in ceremonies and celebrations because of its calming effect and ability to promote sociability. The kava
beverage is still used today by inhabitants of the island communities of the Pacific including Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. It is thought that the frequent consumption of kava
is partially why these people are referred to as the happiest and friendliest in the world.

This is even better than the Ginko… which I’m taking at the same time, incidently. And the echinacia. Not forgetting Selenium, of course 🙂 (I’m turning into Ash, it’s brilliant : bubbling up concoctions of root and herb in the kitchen. 🙂 )

Back to linguistics…

(Exam of Doom : Day and Half left. I can do it!)

Kore wa nan desu ka?

“This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious how quickly you can find
out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing
was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though.
Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd.
But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any
coaching!”

In other news, just had my japanese oral.. got so nervous I forgot everything – pants!
But I think overal my performance will be average, and it’s not worth that much. *shrug*

Quantum computing

What can I say but ooooooh.(see also here
Just had an amazing lecture given by Ajit; such an intelligent guy. The thing I like the best is that the realisation that quantum mechanic principles could be used in computing came from some guy turning a diagram 90 degrees and it reminding him of a probabilistic computational tree structure.

As Ajit said: it’s not intelligence that gives rise to breakthroughs, more people who look at the world from a different angle.

There’s hope for me and some of my crazier friends yet then 🙂

Also, for those who don’t think they’re interested in physics: There is now, finally, an empirical question, which if answered will prove the existence of parallel dimensions.

“Do not take the lecture too seriously . . . just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself “But how can it be like that?” because you will get…into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.” – Richard Feynman

Recognition!

Wow.

Just went to speak with Dave Earle, dean of undergraduate studies for the psychology department. He informed that the university has one scholorship to give to a student (generally in their penultimate year) to help send them to British Association for the Advancement of Science‘s “Fesitival of Science” this year.

Each science school gets to nominate one person. No guesses who psychology/computing want to put forward! *grin!*

It’s quite an honour really, regardless of whether or not the university panel choses me. (I’ll have to go and burble at them for a 10minute interview some point..) Apparently tutors and lecturers etc put forward someone they think is good. Presumably my proactiveness with talking to the lecturers lots has paid off!

Seriously though, this makes me really pleased. For a long time I’ve felt fairly bitter about how the education system works; those who genuinally are interested and original get overshadowed by the ones who can cram and spurt text-book facts. With out wishing to sound immodest, part of me feels I deserve this kind of recognition after years of being overlooked 🙂 (hell, I’m not going to get many chances to feel good about myself academically, might as well make the most of it!)

If I do get the scholoraship, it’s not much of an amazing thing in itself – I still have to get myself to the festival and pay for accomodation etc. Which reminds me: does anyone live in leicester and wouldn’t mind a visitor september ish perhaps?