But then arose the confusion of, what is home? It’s not LA, I barely spend time there anymore, it’s not New York, because I don’t have a home there and there’s a lingering anxiety whenever I think about New York and having to find a place and settle in again. The older I get, the more I feel my heart split, a little piece here, a little piece there, mostly embedded in memories of feeling comfortable in a place. Is that why I like to spend time alone, undistracted by the present, thinking of the past so I can be at home because in the present, the concept of home is only an abstract source of confusion?
Then comes the question, what is memory? In Hiroshima Mon Amour, He said to Her that he’d always remember her as the symbol for love’s forgetfulness, and she replied that she was forgetting him already. It’s a crushing thought to know that someone that means the world to you now may be forgotten some day, how feelings and your identity are so dependent on whom you form your attachments to, and those aren’t permanent. And then there’s that crevice in which the threatening thought of mortality can creep in, nothing is permanent. That’s why, in my happiest moments, I’m simultaneously sad, knowing that this moment is impermanent and in the future will mean very little to me. Maybe I’ll remember it wrong, maybe I’ll even forget to remember it, maybe it just won’t mean as much, when right now, it feels like everything. I’m afraid I’ll forget I was happy, rendering happiness absolutely meaningless. Because if happiness were meaningless, then what’s my purpose?
I always thought that I wanted to be happy, and that’s what I was fighting for, going to school, building a life. But I realized, I am happy. Maybe what I’m trying to do is create a space and temporal reality that is stable, where I can feel comfortable. Thus, a home. I want to create a home. But this thought is ironic to me, because I’m someone who always runs from home, someone who ran to New York to be far away from home, then Shanghai, and now Paris. Always running away from comfort, because it scares me, so why am I trying to create my own, my own worst fear? Then this becomes, my worst fear is my dream. Why can two concepts drive each other that are so distinct in our minds? It’s like love and hate, they seem like separate sides of the coin, when really, they’re fueled by the same emotional impulses. I hate change, yet I love it. I hate comfort, yet I love it. I hate who I am right now, yet I love it. I hate you, yet I love you.
It’s a struggle being anything definitive. I guess in that way, the only definitive is my fluidity.
Stendhal syndrome, Stendhal’s syndrome, hyperkulturemia, or Florence syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and evenhallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.
The illness is named after the famous 19th century French author Stendhal (pseudonym of Henri-Marie Beyle), who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.
Although there are many descriptions of people becoming dizzy and fainting while taking in Florentine art, especially at the Uffizi, dating from the early 19th century on, the syndrome was only named in 1979, when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed and described more than 100 similar cases among tourists and visitors in Florence.
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”—Anaïs Nin (via moldavia)
1/2 of it was about a pedophile who himself was a child. he looked like a mutant, with a long face and buck teeth. i was running away from him too, as he was a convicted rapist. i had to hide behind buff guys and pretend they were my boyfriend to feel safe in my dream.
the other half was about shopping in the hair section of a pharmacy with someone, i don’t remember who, and buying this thing with claws on it that you stuck in your hair very much like hairagami and it’d pull it in 2 sections and clamp it and make a cool design. i tried it over and over but couldn’t figure it out, but felt the burning in my scalp of the claws digging in. i bought it anyway, knowing that i could look up how to use it online. i almost bought extensions too.
great. my troubled unconscious only thinks of two things: running away from rapists and problem solving involving hair.