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Hanabutta Days

can you see the ocean?

4 August 1974
External Services:
  • grahzny@livejournal.com
  • lupintoby AIM status
Well, Allan, he's just zis guy, you know?

I'm from Hawaii, where I thought I was a country boy. I moved to California to go to college (although it was a while before I found one that stuck). I've stayed close in the cities, where I can easily take transit to work and visit many fine, friendly people. I think back to what I was doing, and how I lived before being in a city. I think about what my parents and the adults in my life did. It's hard to look at it with any kind of perspective.

The first thing I was assigned when I went to college was to spend a semester writing my autobiography. I didn't do it -- it was a bad time for academia in my life -- but I still think about it, and about people who write their own stories. How they try to capture the flavor of where and when they were -- the people, the times, their own roiling dilemmas. And then I sit down and stare at me for a whie, and where I'm attached to this world: my family, friends, loved ones -- even the places I put my body and awareness day after day. Focusing on our inner lives -- so necessary! -- seems like it can lead us to forget that everything around us constantly shapes us; more, I think than we shape it. Is there a path? No one will say, "Expect this," when it's dark. I see older people losing connection to the world -- clinging to their children for purpose, stacking old and useless things up in their ever-more-crowded homes. Other folks dig deep into either their communities or their gardens, and seem to find all sorts of reasons to stay right here. I want to be part of the world. I do.

"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life--they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all." -Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun


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