Close to breaking.
Some of it's kind of scaring me, too. I'm finding myself growing resentful of Ashley, resenting the fact that she's being openly hostile toward *everyone* right now, even though some of us are under just as much pressure as she is. I'll admit, I'm probably not one of them, but I'm close. And she acts like we don't understand what she's going through, as though we somehow aren't burdened as much just because we know how to chill for a bit, how to relax and not go off on everyone in earshot. I don't want to feel this way about all this but I'm moving more and more in that direction every day. And AP exams won't be the end of it, either; she'll get through those, and realise that finals are only a month away and go even more ballistic. I'm really not looking forward to the next two months. The worst part is, though, she's setting herself up to do it again next year, with a bunch of hard courses. Don't know exactly which ones, but I know it probably isn't going to turn out too well.
I dunno. I've probably been thinking too much about this, but it's kind of hard putting it aside when there's someone acting like they're the only one under a lot of stress and snapping at you for absolutely no reason.
I mean damn, things are pretty awesome right about now. Cherry Blossom Festival was Saturday, and was absolute awesomeness. I got my new, overhyped SAT scores this morning, and scored a 2300 out of 2400. With a perfect 12 on the essay. Pretty damn awesome. Still can't believe that that's really what I got, though. I'm kinda waiting for CollegeBoard to say, 'whoops, we goofed, you really got a 1300'. Still, so bloody awesome. Can't stop saying that. And, things are going great with Presi, at least as far as I can tell. So, I have absolutely no right to complain. So, I'm not going to. Davidson out.
'In-to the Night, and through the Rain....'
Just felt like posting this; I love it when the government screws up their plot to ruin my life.
Another one of those days...
Though, of course, that's not to say that today was entirely bad. We watched Reefer Madness (an old propaganda film on the dangers of 'Marihuana') in English today, and lunch was fun. Other than that, though....
So, yeah, hype the new SAT. Let's hype the damn thing out of here and go back to the older, shorter, only slightly boring one. I think the other one was harder, too. Not that it was hard. Just harder. As usual, the first section (the part where you have to fill out your name, age, et al) was the hardest part; I almost didn't get it finished in time.
The essay was blindingly easy. Though, I must say, 25 minutes is not nearly enough. I was only able to jot down four (or was it five?) short paragraphs. And I'm the type who doesn't outline at all; I just write the thing straight through. But, I think it came out pretty well. Forty minutes, the same amount of time you get for the essays on the AP English test, would have been nice, though. Maybe that's why I thought this one was easy; I'm so used to the AP questions that this one just begged to be put out of its misery.
The math was easier, too. Of course, that could be because I didn't know half the stuff I do now when I took the old SAT last June. But then, I got a 640 on that section, so I must have known *something*. Eh, it doesn't really matter. As long as it's somewhere near what my PSAT scores this year predicted (straight 80s for the language sections, 63 in math) I should be okay. But I do have to wonder about that essay. I've heard from a trained essay scorer that they'll probably be pretty leniant in scoring them this time around (just a hunch, not an official statement), but I dunno. I'm thinking I pulled a 10 out of 12, but I may be wrong. There's always hope....
So where the hell's the inspiration?
Watch, it'll happen as soon as I get into bed. Life sucks like that. And is it just me, or did this blog get very boring very quickly? Eh, probably just me; most likely it's been boring the whole time.
Posting about randomness
Reason - Part 1
What is there to live for if life is nothing but a series of chemical processes taking place in the brain and elsewhere? What are reason, and consciousness, but processes of these processes, and how can they give any sort of meaning to life therefore? Is there a higher thought, a soul, as it were, or is there nothing but empty chemical nothingness, and therefore no real reason for life? And if this can be proven, can not anything be justified, with no true consequence, as therefore life has been proven to be naught but random signals and not something that is sacred? It is true that all we sense, all we feel, all emotion is a process of chemical reactions in the brain, and the result of numerous hormonal impulses, themselves chemical reactions inside of us. These reactions are caused by external stimuli, and our responses to them, though varying by individual in certain circumstances, are for the most part uniform, and not the mark of any true individuality. Though individuality may exist on a certain sublevel of response, the true individuality of radically different responses is largely not present. This is especially true in cases of large scale and extreme stimuli, such as a frightful experience or the witnessing of a tragedy. Pre-programmed responses take over, and the result is largely the same: panic and fear. these responses are designed to protect the human from whatever it is that the body perceives as a threat, and, though to a certain extent it is a conditioned response with regards to the stimuli that can be used to provoke such a response, the mechanism itself is a trait passed down through successive generations that, at times when such responses were crucial to the survival of an individual in the field, allowed such individuals to thrive and allowed their progeny to pass down their genes successively, spreading them throughout the human race. Why, you may ask, am I delving into this topic when my main focus is to be spirituality? For the singular reason that this above example illustrates perfectly the point that I am trying to make: every subconscious, irrational response present in the human psyche is a product of the conditioned responses of past generations who then, having successfully survived, passed their conditioned responses down to you and I. reason is a product of this subconscious conditioning, in that it allows us to peer into the mechanisms used by the body to create such conditioned responses, and to form them on our own, without the need for conditioning stimuli. Reason and logic are simply the crucial underpinnings of the brain mechanism made available to us, to use and misuse as we see fit. But what is it that allows us to use and misuse our reason? Is it the soul, that ever elusive ethereal essence that to so many holds the key to salvation? What exactly is the soul? Is it some lucky misconnection that allows us to access a part of ourselves that would otherwise be inaccessible, or is it instead something divinely granted to us to make us one as a race, and separate from the rest of nature’s beasts? Nature would seem to have us think the former.
Art, or tyranny?
Though I cannot give an exact definition as to what art is (and who can?), I can say for certain something that it is not. Art, whether visual, aural, or linguistic, is not, as some think, something that can be 'trained' or 'developed'.
Some would argue that this assertion is untrue, and that one cannot be truly artistic without developing to some extent that which is already present within: talent. How is one to draw realistically, they might ask, if one cannot express effectively the true forms that permeate our world? How indeed. But is not drawing realistically drawing to a form, and following a template, of sorts? Does not one work within a set of constraints and rules? Thus, drawing 'realistically' is drawing to a form, and while it may be aesthetically pleasing, it is not worthy of the title 'art'.
To any one 'style' apply a number of constraints, as a style is by definition something that ties together disparate things in a sort of continuity. If these constraints develop innately, such as a certain form of linework pecuiliar to an individual, then so be it; this is still unique, and not a reflection of an already existant reality. But the style in and of itself cannot make a piece art. While the style may be unique, the subject matter may still be bland, unoriginal, and cliche. True art does not follow any form, and one cannot hold it to any standards; to do so would be to betray its true purpose.
This is an extreme view of the matter, but it is my own. Though, honestly, I can say that I truely am a hypocrite when it comes to this point. At least I can be open and honest about it. For those less inclined to take the extreme route I have chosen, suffice it to say that it is art that should make the culture, and not the culture that should make the art.
Chapter 2 - The Village
Chapter 2 - The Village
Rhys walked slowly up to the door of the house and, after a moment's hesitation, knocked on it. There was a sound of creaking wood that issued from the house, but no-one answered the door. Again Rhys knocked, to no avail, and after a minute of consideration turned the smooth brass doorknob. With a click the door was open, gliding silently inwards in-to the near-dark room beyond its threshold. The room was sparsely furnished, having only a desk, two chairs, and a fireplace within it. At thr desk sat an old woman, and a lit candle upon the desk cast dancing shadows on-to her craggy face. The woman did not move as Rhys approached, and he was not entirely certain that she was alive until she slowly turned to face him.
'So. What brings you here?' the old woman asked with a chuckle, her voice hoarse and brittle but nevertheless possessing an undeniable force.
'I don't know,' Rhys replied, shaking his head. 'I don't know where I am, or how I got here. Where am I?'
'This place has no true name,' the woman said, her icy grey stare boring deep into Rhys' soul. 'But we often refer to it as "the Village". Not that we are truely a village, the Magistrate and I. We once were at the heart of a great empire, when the world was young, but no longer; now it is odd for us to see but one other a month.'
'The others, where did they go?'
'Some pass over the river to the other side, and the others return to that from whence they had come.'
'What is across the river? Why doesn't anyone stay here?' Rhys asked, puzzled.
'I would not as yet deign to tell what lies on the other side of the river, child. Suffice it to say that you must never cross the river; no-one who has done so has ever returned, save myself. Terrible things lurk there, out in those fields.'
'Has anyone ever returned to the village, after leaving it?'
'Only two: myself and one other,' the woman said cryptically.
'Nay, not the magistrate,' she replied, a curious look in her eyes.
'He now stands before me, questioning me incessantly,' the woman said slowly, the slightest of smirks crossing her face. Rhys paused for a moment as this last statement sank in, and then slowly shook his head.
'No. It can't be me. I... I don't know where I came from, or how I got here but... but I know I've never been here before.'
'Oh, but you have child. I have known you, and well, for what seems like all your life. Though not physically, mayhaps, you have indeed been here for a very long time.' Rhys, though knowing naught but his name, still knew, somehow, that this could not possibly be true, but there was nevertheless something in the old woman's eyes, or perhaps in the firey spark behind them, that felt strangely familiar.
'Perhaps now it is time that you get some rest,' the woman said abruptly, bringing Rhys out of his reverie. 'You may sleep in the room up the stairs and to the right,' she continued, indicating a staircase that until that point Rhys had not noticed.
Slowly and deliberately Rhys moved toward the staircase, wondering what it truely was that he had seen in the woman's eyes. The flash had come... when? Ofcourse, Rhys now thought, that makes sense. Her eyes had flashed when she spoke of the river, and its other side. But what had she been feeling? Anger? Fear? Longing? Rhys could not guess, and as the stairs reversed direction he, too, decided to return his thoughts to the original dilemma that as yet remained unanswered. Nothing, however, came to mind before he opened the door to his room and stepped inside.
Chapter 1 - Arrival
Anyways, this little project as yet has no title, but hopefully one shall be forthcoming fairly soon. And yes, I know, it's pretty darn short.
Chapter 1 – Arrival
Rhys slowly opened his eyes, and then closed them again, for what he saw did not sit well with the rational part of his brain. Above him were desolate branches of barren trees, and he lay upon a bed of dust and dried mud studded with pebbles and small rocks. Though his eyes were closed Rhys nevertheless saw an unyielding sun high above, banishing any hint of darkness with its brilliant rays. Again Rhys opened his eyes, and sat up. He definitely wasn’t where he had been ten minutes ago. The trouble was, he couldn’t remember where he had been ten minutes ago; he just knew that it wasn’t here.
Climbing to his feet, Rhys could see a hastily-beaten dirt road stretching out past the edge of the forest clearing in which he stood, and in the distance brown blocks of colour (houses, he reasoned) lay in stark contrast to the lighter grey of the trees. Barely discernable grey smoke rose from one of the houses, and it struck Rhys as odd that he should see such a thing; it was, if anything, positively hot outside, and not a breeze blew between the grey trunks of the withered trees, nor stirred the sparse clumps of brown grass that littered the broken ground.
Rhys slowly ran a hand through his auburn hair, and began walking toward the houses. He figured them to be not a kilometre distant, and within ten minutes was upon them. The trees thinned as he neared the four structures, only two of which now appeared to be houses, and at the first house the forest stopped altogether. There was more grass here, Rhys noted, but it was of the same brown, wilted stuff he had seen before. The sun was directly overhead now, and its rays beamed down with an intensity unlike any Rhys had ever before felt.
As he stepped finally out of the grip of the forest, Rhys felt a slight apprehension. What was he trying to accomplish here, anyway? He knew he had to get back home, somehow, but he didn’t have the slightest clue what or where that home was, much less how to get there. He felt a definite unease at being in this place, as though something was lurking just out of sight, just waiting to be seen but altogether impossible to apprehend. Rhys contemplated the situation for a moment, and then decided that it would be best to first figure out where he was, and to hope that something here might jog his memory. He turned left to face the nearest house, and started toward the door.
Finally, Christmas Break.
Now that I've come to my senses....
And so to fulfill today's random quota, a sort of random 10-minute sketch of Tycho Koroliev!: