The following online journal entries are from February 2002.
SUNDAY. 11:37 PM. Hair of the dog, anyone? Where the heck does that phrase come from? I'm going to have to do a little snooping around. But, yes, I have a bad hangover this morning.
It's not that bad, actually. Nothing a little food, hot tea, and a whole lot of doing nothing won't cure.
Sadly, I really don't have much time to be doing nothing. I actually should start packing. I'm also madly trying to get the revisions to Tellings done. There's time, right?
But before I totter off, I have a couple of random thoughts to share.
First, my friend Miriam, the cartoonist, wrote an email after going to the Alternative Press Expo. She exhibited her comic book, Tantrum Comics (Issue #1), for which I did the book and layout design. She writes in her email: "I managed to get through most of the APE exhibit, but it was tough. Still I enjoyed hanging out with friends that I met there last time. I didn't sell a lot (I have to figure out a way to get these to the right audience), but -- get this -- Matt Groening bought one and had me sign it. I didn't find out it was him until after he left the table (thank God!). So right there it makes it all worth it. And another cartoonist who does stuff about parenting (but hers is low on text -- fine art stuff), loved my book, which made me feel good."
Matt Groening bought a book that I helped to create! Cheers to Miriam! Cheers to me! Cheers to Matt Groening! You have to admit that's pretty darn cool.
Second, my friend Shahriar sent me a pretty cool link: the miniature earth. It's a poignant flash animation that reminds me of an exercise I used to do with my English 101 students called "The Assumptions Quiz." A fellow instructor gave me the idea. Basically, the quiz asks six questions:
1) What percent of the world's population is male? female?
It's pretty startling to hear what answers people give. Of course, we go over the questions and talk about the assumptions we make about our world, our nation, and our lives. Pretty neat.
God, I want to be teaching again. Hopefully, I'll get my wish this coming fall.
MONDAY. 1:14 PM. I am still in denial, I think. Denial about leaving. I finally settled down enough to start the packing process. Last night, I began to sort through my file boxes -- oooing and ahhing over things from when I was in elementary school. But, I'm being diligent. I'm trying to make myself throw out as much as possible.
I just finished packing up two boxes. Two...count them...two! I guess that's a good start. The sharp snap of packing tape is jarring yet exciting. Now, the ball just has to start rolling. I just don't want to stare at blank shelves for a whole week before I leave. It's too depressing.
What must be done must be done, I suppose.
My friends have been writing emails in response to my last big update. A few are offering up crash space for Dustin and me. Unfortunately, we still have yet to find some room and board in the Mountain states. I think we'll end up just zipping through those places.
My friend Seth wrote to me: "Something I've believed in for some time, and seen happen on several occasions, is that this leaving, this separation, this casting off what is familiar to face the unknown yet again, is a gift. The strangeness, the constant reappraisal of who we are in new circumstances, is valuable. Perhaps more valuable than anything else. I express it simply. Separation: illumination. It's both a statement of belief and a mantra to repeat when the road seems empty. It's worked for me -- the insights from these forays into the unfamiliar help me discover who I am. Enjoy the strangeness, the loss of routine. And damn, enjoy that trip across the country. Stay in touch...Seth"
I thank him for that depth and sentiment. I very much plan on enjoying the strangeness.
Well, back to life... back to reality... but never back to the way it was. Peace.
WEDNESDAY. 10:46 AM. You wouldn't believe how much stuff a person can accumulate in three years. You wouldn't think this tiny little two bedroom apartment could hold so much stuff. I should be designated a localised black hole. The amount of matter and density is enough to make gravity cringe.
I've managed to throw out a lot of stuff though. It's a little depressing to go through years worth of things and decide what is no longer useful, relevant, important. It's cathartic, yes. It's freeing, yes. But I attribute a lot of emotion and energy to material history. Maybe that's why I'm not a very good Buddhist? I want too much, I have too much, and I keep too much. But, cost of shipping and sheer determination to clean up the chaos in my apartment is making me leave things behind. I tore up nearly ten years of letters. I destroyed hundreds of photographs. I threw out piles of paper.
I'm still waiting for the soul to lift, the spirit to lighten, the weight to evaporate from my shoulders.
I need a bit more help, I think. Actually, I think I really just want some company, some commiseration. I also need to place my cat, Mojo. Ahh, too much worry in such a short period of time.
© 2002 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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