The one who seeks

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment


I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.

Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend

The Dignity of an Empty Space

•August 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As a child, my father and I watched science documentaries as the rest of the country watched football. To this day, when I feel a deeper shade of indigo, I turn to space and my love for the pathetically insignificant. A documentary, a book, it doesn’t matter. So tonight I came across this scaled map of the solar system.

UE Designer and fellow Los Angeleno, Josh Worth, made the map possible through the use of horizontal scroll. And what a scroll it was! I didn’t expect to be so thoroughly enthralled or for all my toxic thoughts to dissipate into a seemingly endless scroll of…..NOTHINGNESS.

It got me thinking about how humanity interprets and copes with its own insignificance. Not many centuries ago, we thought we were the center of the universe. As new information persisted, it quickly became clear just how small we really are. Not just in relation to matter, but in relation to space. There is so much [“empty”] space.

Whether you more strongly feel the monumental significance of tiny things or the massive void between them depends on who you are, and how your brain chemistry is balanced at a particular moment. We walk around with miniature, emotional versions of the universe inside of us.

I’ve always felt grateful for being the speck of consciousness in a vast backdrop of void. Like a fervid memory in one’s life. Life isn’t all memories. It’s mainly just time. At least that’s what seems to be the case when a special moment lived in time sinks deeper into the past and the moments spent between then and now start to blur.  Space is sort of like that time between a fond memory and the present.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.26.00 PM

It’s reassuring to know that no matter how depressingly bleak or ridiculously momentous we feel, the universe, judging by its current structure, seems well aware of both extremes.

As present day humans, we’re all a bit myopic when it comes to imagining what something so disparate as nothingness really is, or what it isn’t, rather. Much less are we capable of delineating it. The thought of nothing existing before or after the universe throws some people into panic mode. It’s hard enough to believe that we as individuals will cease to exist. When I was a child, my thoughts looped the void that came before my own existence. It may sound pompous, but I found history to be a respite from the anxiety I felt from the thought of having not existed, because it almost gave breath to the extreme of nothingness I was before being what I am now.

Because of thoughts such as these, some prefer to live a muffled existence as an escape from the extremes that are found in the universe. Perhaps we can’t avoid the vast voids such as the space between Jupiter and Mars, but we can avoid our worldly voids, such as the price of fulfillment by not fulfilling, the pain of loss by never having, or the stabbing pains of the heart by simply limiting what you feel for someone. We try to be constant in an inconstant universe, because looking at the vastness of the other extremes makes us feel powerless; it’s safer to pretend we are capable of living in between. The authentically human concept known as, “Limbo”.

We are not insignificant.

We are merely an extreme.





On Raising Thinkers

•September 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

syriacafeI was standing in line for my daily mocha, when I started eavesdropping on a father telling his three sons, (of about 7 to 13), about the war in Syria. I prepped my eyes for the inevitable eyeroll that was sure to ensue after hearing yet another American, suburban parent inflict their political beliefs on their children. I was pleasantly surprised to see this was not the case at all. He described the present Syrian situation as clearly, unbiasedly, and thoroughly as a man could in a short matter of time to 3 young boys. Then he asked for their opinions without interjecting. The three had varying comments from “it’s not our business” to “we need to help them NOW!! We need to fight for them!”. Without making any of his sons sound more correct than the other, he drew out their reasoning behind their answers and developed a little mini debate over sandwiches and fizzy drinks.

Parenting done right.

The Innovation of Loneliness

•August 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen

I write.

•June 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

kafka“I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.”
– Franz Kafka

Thoughts on security, ataraxia, and a homeland shooting.

•June 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

wireIt is in the young hours after the day of the Santa Monica shooting rampage that I find myself unable to sleep. My inability to sleep is for a multitude of reasons, but my thoughts of the day’s events not far do thus contribute.

Six people, not far from what I’ve called home had their lives cut short today. Their memories, potentials, and current endeavors eradicated from existence. A longtime question of psychologists and thoughtful minds alike, is, “what exactly goes on in a murderer’s mind?” I am not a human behaviourist, and I did not end up pursuing my original major of Psych. Therefore, my humble fascination with the mind can not give a scientifically backed answer. I can, however, give my take, and that is that these actions are based on a distorted interpretation of the individual’s background. This is not meant to sound completely nurture-based. The idea is that the given  interpretation is propagated from biological makeup. Adrian Raine, author of “The Anatomy of Violence” (worth a read!), explains that there is alarming evidence that killers possess an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex. Known as the CEO of the brain, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for emotion, temperament, problem solving, and complex thought. In the end, the concept of murder may not be as complex as it is made out to be. It may very well boil down to what that individual perceived to be acceptable.

This all can be a scary thought, as this would prove that murderous tendencies are expected amongst the vast array of populace. Risk is taken with the act of living. It is common to overlook this and try to identify relevant characteristics in a situation, so that one may learn to avoid them. The Stoics, who dominated the ancient school of thought, preached ataraxia in an unpredictable world. If emotions are governed, anxiety is limited. Nevertheless, even with a peaceful mind, tragedies will happen, especially with technological advancements.

It is a natural assumption that a left-leaning citizen would be absolutely opposed to any form of artillery, much less civilian owned guns. A gun is, in fact, an apparatus for obliterating a living organism. That is putting aside whether the shot was for murder or protection. The full make up of a gun is designed to end a life. Achieving this of course, depends on the shooter and his or her intentions. A gun can not achieve its purpose without a human pulling its trigger. However, it is with guns that an unarmed victim finds his life arbitrarily obliterated without chance of a winning fight. It is the frustration in this last statement that a somewhat-liberal such as I, can not fully deny sane, law-abiding citizens a chance to protect themselves, should they choose to do so.

This brings me to the idea of general security. With a largely populated country, comes larger security. I believe the problem is in the inability to distinguish security from safety and liberty. Safety is an impossible dream for a large country. Government responds to safety breaches by creating greater security through diminished liberty.

A current example is the fuss about phone companies providing the NSA with metadata about the duration of calls and to whom the calls were made. This, coupled with internet surveillance, is an invasion of privacy, especially if one  believes that knowing the duration of a phone call is a stepping stone to more wiretapping. Security is a complicated ground where officials may feel that sacrifices must be made in the name of safety. The history of under-achieving, overly-sanguine surveillance programs is a great one. The most recent being accepted as an erroneously temporary one. It is a sad state, to say the least. However, I’m sure the public will reach the even more elaborate consensus that this is all to stalk their mundane yahoo chat exchanges, their 30 minute conversations with their mothers, or the 90 minute breathing-into-the-phone exchanges with their significant others. It bears mention that corporations collect consensual data that can be sold and used against an individual, long before unwarranted non-egregious data can be used.

An Ostentatious Library

•February 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

bookescape“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote 

And then there were books.

I always saw reading as an activity best done in isolation. It’s not exactly an activity that requires much interaction with others. However, there is much interaction with text. Once thought to be unprecedented feelings and experiences quickly become strange connections to someone you have not met that gives eloquence to the very thought you were sure only you held.

I have enough books to fill up 3 and a half average sized bookshelves. I’ve realized most of my spending over the years has gone to this ever-growing collection and unfortunately my closet has suffered because of this. But the money spent is not the part that bothers me. Rather, it’s the fact that I have this nasty habit of bookmarking. I buy a book, obsess over it, read a few chapters, and insert a card that promises to hold my place for a more convenient time. That time never arrives, because I am quickly reminded of another subject I wish to explore and thus another card that promises to hold my place is created. I’m not sure when this habit was started, but it went on for years. I collected quite an eclectic library. One year I received a comment on this from someone that didn’t think much of my intellect. It drew attention to fact that these half-read books made my shelf seem pretentious, random, and flat out ostentatious. I am an individual who values her eclectic passions and feeling as if my passions were under attack made me vow to never buy another book until I read every single book I possess.

booksIt’s been a journey.  I read feverishly as a child and adolescent and somewhere along the way I got caught up in the simple world, forgetting all I am fascinated by. It’s been 2 years since I have started this project, and I still have a ways to go. (And I do, admit, I cracked and purchased 2 short books.)

But thanks to this project, I’ve rekindled a passion long lost to unfounded feelings of incompetence. For this alone, I am immensely thankful.


Among the Lessons Learnt, is a Lesson in Selectiveness.

•December 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This year I decided to post my end of the year musings for my close friends on Facebook. You may find my post there. That being said, there are plenty more musings for the coming year.

Goodbye 2012. You were a great teacher.


The Joys of Commercialism and Difference

•December 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

HolidayzThe season of love and giving. Many people wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if there were no holidays during the winter. In many ways the “Holiday Season” is what brings us all together to reminisce and reconnect, to share stories of the year gone by, and to cherish the time we have with one another. It’s also a time when we celebrate our faiths. Whatever those may be. Jesus qua God qua Father Christmas seems to be the entity that holds this season and everything in it together. It’s a time of prayer, hope and above all good will towards men.

Unfortunately, it’s also a time of hurt feelings and offended people. Not everyone was brought up the same way, and we don’t prescribe to the same version of “holiday etiquette” or acumen. Not all of us come from the same milieu. Some of us are well off. Some of us are struggling. Some of us are thinking of what to get others. Some of us are wondering where the next meal will come from. Some of us believe in Christmas. Some of us believe in Chanukah. Some of us only believe in family. And in the midst of all these differences is spending and commercialism. The cards, the gifts, the phone bills, the airline tickets, the parties.

But does all this really construe all that is wrong with the world? Or does the fact that so many people find this all repugnant, try to inculcate only what each of us deems apropos. Have we really come to expect so much during this holiday season, that we get offended by a “Season’s Greetings” sign outside an Italian restaurant. “Why didn’t they just say Merry Christmas?!”, one scoffs. “Why did they assume I celebrate Christmas?!” says the Pagan. Why does receiving a holiday card in the mail surprise some of us now?! We even scold ourselves with “why didn’t I think of that?! It must be this Satan’s Web (AKA the internet) zapping me out of the real world!”

And while so many of us are glad to have this time of year to relax and take a break from work, some people are thankful for the work and inspiration this season brings them. All the toys, the electronics, the inventions of new ways to connect, the products that took years to concoct, the useless ingenuities that are created solely to bring one joy…all of this put food on someone’s table and a smile on someone’s face. All of this vilified “commercialism” and “difference” that offends so many holiday advocates is precisely why these holidays should exist…

To remind you that this world isn’t about you and what you believe/expect. It’s about all of us keeping each other alive.

Happy Holidays.

Remembering Tony.

•August 21, 2012 • 1 Comment

Tony Scott, directing in his famous vest and pink hat.“The biggest edge I live on is directing. That’s the most scary, dangerous thing you can do in your life….It’s the fear of failing, the loss of face and a sense of guilt that everybody puts their faith in you and not coming through….The true strength of rock climbing is in the head, not the body…. It’s controlling the fears I do while I’m directing.”

Director, Tony Scott is known to the public for his popular, box office hits. To others, as a loving little brother, a husband, a father. And to some, a dream maker.

November, 2004. I was doing what any other young girl who was born in the city of glitz and glamour was doing; pursuing acting. No? Is this not what everyone else does here? I thought it was. But I didn’t let the fact that everyone else was dreaming discourage me. It’s all I ever wanted to do. I had been taking classes, doing shorts or student films, and had been auditioning like crazy. When I learned I was going to be in Tony Scott’s new film, Domino, I was ecstatic. I rushed to Chapman University to tell my aspiring director friend, Joe the news. “I don’t have any lines,” I said, “but I’m going to be on camera with Keira Knightley! This is my first big movie!!!….by the way, who is Tony Scott?” “Are you f%#&ing kidding me?! Top Gun?! Enemy of the state?!” This sad little problem associating names in Hollywood eventually became a recurring theme in my “career”. So I decided I needed to do my homework. But like all homework, I put it off, and the morning of the shoot, I could only list a few titles and facts. Did I really need to know this for a 1 to 2 day shoot with no lines? Probably not. But I still felt unprepared when I arrived on location.

It was a warm day for November in the shaded streets of Downtown LA. There were so many people. I couldn’t imagine what each of them must be assigned to do. It looked like they must have hired 10 people for every small piece of equipment. I looked around, lost, and confused, knowing I had to get dressed and made up. “You want to go to the honey wagon.” A girl told me who introduced herself as Holly. I still remember her name and her black hair with green eye shadow. She was quite pretty but very sweet. I made sure to stick by her for the rest of the shoot, as she taught me the ins and outs of a day’s work. I was dressed in a gorgeous black and white dress. My make up was done. And I was a model. I felt beautiful. I interacted with so many people, I didn’t know who I was not to talk to in those days. I was still fresh. Full of questions. Empty of shame.

When I saw the pink cap and the vest, I thought, is this guy going fishing? I went up to him and shamelessly (but sweetly) asked “so am I attacking in this scene or what?” He laughed. I giggled. I asked more nonsensical questions and he entertained me despite being overwhelmingly busy. I got the sense he didn’t care if you were Keira Knightley, Keira Dazi, or the homeless man that was invited to some craft services. He had the same warmth towards everyone regardless of what you could do for him. At one point I asked him if the pimple on my forehead was going to ruin the movie. Knightley said it wasn’t noticeable and shot a compliment. Is this really happening? Am I really here? I wasn’t starstruck. I was just…filled with hope. I shared my jitters, and was told I’d do fine and that we were about to start again. And with that I got a warm smile and a friendly wink.

Now it’s 2012. I’m doing other things now. The years in hollywood jaded me, and I used to look back on my first days on a big set and laugh that this could induce such excitement and intensity. I got small roles in Music Videos, 7th Heaven, Dexter, and other things; either as a coffee waitress or some other unnoticeable role. In most of the music videos, you were lucky if you saw my red hair flipping around. I learned who you are not supposed to talk to unless spoken to, how to behave on set, how to not mingle with the complainers lest you be thrown in with the cattle… I became self conscious about my face. My voice. My body. I became cynical. Negative. I thought I knew it all and that there was no more to learn. I grew ashamed of wanting to act. I was afraid of sounding ordinary. Everyone is an actor in LA. I got jobs behind the camera. I read scripts for producers. I slowly moved away from the frontlines, until I broke away from the business completely. I also fell in love with a boy and it took me to the opposite coast for awhile only to return to a cold city of memories and an abandoned and failed acting career. So I left. I moved to San Francisco. And then to France. Filled with new worries, new adventures, new memories. I forgot all that came before.

Cynicism is a stage of fear. It’s the point where your nerves have had time to mature without control and eventually propagate apathy. Tony Scott controlled his fears in Hollywood with the same precision as he controlled his fears when climbing rocks.

I wonder, like some, if he regretted jumping. I witnessed a man jump off the Golden Gate in my last days in San Francisco. I could see he regretted it in the way he twisted his body before hitting water. But would Tony regret jumping? Reports say he jumped without hesitation. What ever pushed him to it, I don’t think fear had any part.

In the video below you will find his brother, Ridley Scott’s first film, which Tony stars in. Please pay close attention to what he says exactly 20 minutes into the short. I imagine he is young again right now and is zipping around in this same landscape, on his bicycle.

And so as others remember him for his movies, this girl with an interminable inability to associate names, will remember him as the winky, smiling face in a pink hat saying “You’ll do fine”….

R.I.P. Tony Scott. ❤