Golem & Jinni

For a book with such a cheesy title, this book really surprised me. It really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be and there was a quiet pleasure in reading it. Admittedly, the title WAS the reason I was attracted to it and wanted to read it. The word “Jinni” just has such a pull to it, at least for me because of the mystery surrounding the legend rooted in our culture and religion. Regaled with stories from our parents and friends as kids about these mythical creatures that are made of fire and have powers that could allow them to rule the world if they so wished, our level of interest just got wired at the very mention of the word “Jinni” making us hungry for more information, any story that could reveal the nature of these beings so hidden from us.

The myth of the Golem was not something I have heard of. From what I read and will now research, it is a Hebrew legend. Beings made of clay as opposed to the Jinni being created from fire. In my religion, humans are made of mud and clay too. Does that make humans a form of Golem too? Hmm. I wonder. It’s unfortunate that Wikipedia doesn’t have the answer to life. It would make my life so much easier.

Anyways the book read like an epic and in a good way. The language was expansive enough to keep it interesting and not formal enough to be a difficult read. It was poetic and yet easy to make it an enjoyable read. The ideas were there, woven together and just like in life, some characters didn’t play an interesting enough part or have much of a role in the overall story and it seemed like it was close enough to real life and how some people just don’t play an important enough role in your life to make a lasting impression.

Her future unrolled before her like a dreadful tapestry, its pattern set and immutable. There would be a wedding, and then a house somewhere nearby on the avenue, with a nursery for the children that were, of course, mandatory. She’d spend interminable summers in the country, traveling from estate to estate, playing endless games of tennis, chafing under the strain of being constantly a guest in someone else’s home. Then would come middle age, and the expected taking-up of a cause, Temperance or Poverty or Education—it did not matter so long as it was virtuous and uncontroversial, and furnished opportunities for luncheons with dowdy speakers in severe dress. Then old age and decrepitude, the slow transformation into a heap of black taffeta in a bath chair, to be displayed briefly at parties and then put out of sight; to spend her last days sitting bewildered by the fire, wondering where her life had gone.

It’s true isn’t it? Sometimes I feel like we are all following a script and we are expected to play the roles that we are supposed to. Our entire lives are planned out by our society and we can’t choose a different life for ourselves. If we want something different for ourselves, we have to fight for it every step of the way.

She didn’t have the stomach for prolonged family strife, nor the fortitude to make her own way in the world.

And that brings us to this quote. Who has the strength to extend wars we have to fight to live the life that we want, that may be different from what others want for us.

Memoirs of a Soldier

I am currently reading a book in the process of being written by a very dear friend of mine. A friend I met after he spent a year in the Army deployed in Afghanistan during the war  and who decided that one way of dealing with all the trauma and the concurrent nightmares that he was having was by writing his memories down in the hopes of giving himself some perspective and distancing himself from the same memories that were toxic and poisoning his dreams.

I understand that. Most of us have trouble dealing with things in a way that is not destructive. Writing is a great way of dealing with those issues. Whether you blog or you write about those issues and your feelings in a leather-bound book, I believe it is a great and constructive way of dealing with traumas that have rooted themselves deep into you and changed who you are. Because I believe that the one thing capable of helping us heal the damage that has been caused to our soul is by consciously thinking about it and observing the change it has caused in us. As long as you can step out of your life and see from a third-person perspective, change your frame-of-reference, life has a funny way of opening events to interpretations you didn’t expect that can help you cope with incidences. Being conscious of yourself and the things that have happened in our life allow our will to take control of our lives and fix things.

His book, although untitled, is one that I would want him to one day publish. It is a form of catharsis for him and I believe it will help many others deal with the same issues they are facing and need someone they can relate to. There are so many soldiers out there that in dire need of help. Of someone who will just listen, even though most of us are not capable of understanding the events these men had to endure when they were part of this war. Dealing with things that happened and the stress they were under when the shit was hitting the fan. Most of us are already so distanced from the idea of war and are pretty insensitive when it comes to war, we don’t realize what a harrowing experience it is for the people who were right in the crux of it. People who had to take lives, people who lost friends, people who were witnesses to seemingly senseless cruelties, people who had to make tough decisions because someone had to make them, people who were bystanders as violence took place around them, people who did things that by any moral code would be considered reprehensible but seemed justified, and people who did things that would be considered justified but seemed reprehensible in the moment.

His book gives context to a lot of things most of us take to the internet to complain about. Things that seem appalling but when taken in context, make you think that the things that happened were in a way reasonable. Things that make you angry but set the scene and give you a bigger picture to make you look at things from a soldier’s perspective.

His book made me laugh and it made me cry. It gave me some things to think about and provided some fodder for my brain to chew on because I belong to the country which this man invaded to kill people. After reading the book, I feel like I have seen the other side of the story because just the way a coin has two sides, no one side is perfect with faultless stories. Once he publishes, I am hoping people will read this book with an open mind. I am hoping it will help him and others like him deal with the events that overshadow their lives.

You – Caroline Kepnes

This was one creepy messed up book but it was totally in keeping with the new-age twisted storytelling techniques that today’s authors are employing to shake things up and make them interesting. This book was from the point of view of a stalker and how he went about life obsessed with one seemingly normal girl. It was fascinating and I think this study in the mind of someone off-the-rocker was pretty apt. Specially since, in all honesty, we all have the tendencies to be kind of mental, and are all prone to stalking and sometimes manipulating and needling our way into the lives of those we think we love. We all have the tendency to construct these fantasies in our mind around our world that are just blatant lies but somehow we convince ourselves that they are true. Or maybe that is just me…

Back on topic: the book was creepy. The antagonist was fascinating and the object of his interest was annoying enough to make a person root for the stalker. If that was the feeling the author was trying to evoke: job well done Miss. It was a little long-winded and I found myself getting mightily annoyed at the whole situation (and in all honesty I wanted the woman he was stalking dead already) and was getting really mad at how the stalker was so blind as to the flaws of this woman he was stalking. Kind of how I feel when my friends are usually the ones making the same stupid and very real life-changing decisions. By the end of it all, I was starting to think of the stalker as a long-lost friend; reminiscent of a very real friend I have had for a while now. Overall the book was a job well-done, even if it drag for a tad longer than I would have liked.

Rein in the Emotions

I don’t know what it is. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I seem to lose all form of control over my emotions and I do what I have always done best as a child: I put on my resting bitch-face and stop all forms of communication (body language and otherwise) and become this stoic bitch of a rock with no expressions that no one saw coming.

When I am upset, it is very obvious. When I am flustered, when I am nervous, when I am awkward, when I am irritated, everything seems to show on my face. I feel like I have no control over my face or over my emotions and over the years I have tried to, time and time again, deal with these flustering emotions but in the moment before I can escape into the peaceful sacred place in my mind or escape from the situation itself, the emotions I am feeling can be seen coming and going like the full spectrum of colors undulating on my face. My struggle to keep myself in check seems to go to waste. And boy-oh-boy is it a struggle. I think of excuses to tell people why I look as upset as I do because telling them the truth is embarrassing. Most of the time things that affect me are, in all honesty, childish. I think it has more to do with who I am when I am not upset that tells people that something is off. Which is also why they are probably so willing to accept my lame excuses for my current behavior. Or maybe they know and they just let me off the hook and here I am thinking that I am so smart that I actually fooled people into believing the lame story that I gave them.

But the fact of the matter remains that I have trouble controlling my emotions. I wish I could be like everyone else – capable of either hiding their emotions so well you can’t tell what they are feeling or like one of those people who have the guts to wear their emotions like armor and show it to the world. Or I wish I never felt anything as strongly as I do about things. I wish I didn’t care about anything at all. That would make my life so much easier. I tell people I don’t care, but I need to face it – I do care. All I do is care. Uselessly. Fruitlessly. Ah, the futility!

Sometimes it feels like things come in such sharp focus when something offends me or catches my attention. It’s like my entire body reacts to a single stimulus that no one else probably notices. What people do notice is my entire body’s reaction to whatever the stimulus is. I, honestly, don’t know what to do with myself. Maybe I should employ the depths of my thoughts to things that will actually bear fruit. Like homework. Or learning in general. Hmm.