Eh?

Is it skepticle or scepticle?

I thought it was the latter, until I realised it would make the c silent. But then I saw my Literature teacher use the word scepticism, and by dictionary, it said it was a variant of skepticism.

So which is it??

‘Of Human Bond’

NOTE: It says that some language is prohibited. Just add "age" to bond, and you’re fine.

I finally finished “Of Human Bond”- a 700 page book (with tiny
writing) about a very much ordinary life. It seems a lot to dedicate to thirty
years of trite existence.

A boy, Phillip Carey, went through childhood and adolescence
with a clubbed foot, and when he was a man, made many a poor turn in the
winding roads of life. Nothing about him was extraordinary, and it continued on
and on and on for aeons on end. I did gain a few lessons from it though,
surprisingly. The one thing I can say I learned is that Human nature can be put
into words. Not everything needs an explanation. It can be said of man, and man
could understand and empathise. It needed nothing more than being said. I’ve
also realised that all people are intelligent, whether they choose to act it or
not. Sometimes they just lack the means of showing it.

After a decent thirty years of misery, I began to grow
restless towards the last 60 pages or so, counting them down eagerly. It was
with this anticipation that I could appreciate the words so much more, because
they were the final I would read of Maugham’s (the author). I was ever so
frightened of a sad ending, after all the misery Phillip had endured. I had
read enough to anticipate a vicious twist of fate that Phillip had suffered so
commonly, but was shown mercy at last when he could give up all his dreams and
settle down to marry.

The main reason, I think, Mr Mueller asked me to read it was
because I asked him about the meaning of life one day. He smiled, as he does,
and we walked together at lunch while he thought it over. He directed me to ‘Of
Human Bond’ as a means of answering it for myself, and Carey worked it out to
be very much meaningless. Under the right conditions, humans were born. They
lived, and suffered, and died, and then it was over. Knowing this, every pain
brought about by living was dulled, and every joy that could be found in the
world was simple, but without reason. Beauty now had meaning, rather than being
an ideal to be spoken of as aesthesis.

The irony is that the book too place over a lifetime, and
indeed a lifetime it took to read. So it was the realisation Mr Carey made at
the end can be related to my future. I don’t so much believe in happy love
stories as happy endings, for I also realised that love is painful as well as
nourishing. It is the agony of being without a loved one, in opposition to the
relief of being with them anyway. And relief truly is a wretched feeling,
because it means your weary heart had something to yearn for.

I learned that you see beauty with your heart, not your
eyes, and that art is only your view of how things look like. I learned that
“normal” is the rarest thing in the world, because everyone has problems,
whether physical or mental.

To put it short, over the past 5 or so grueling weeks in which
I struggled to keep on reading, it’s finally off my chest. One of the most
boring books I’ve ever read, but a good one all the same. The lessons I learned
will hopefully stay with me for life. I also can appreciate living in poverty,
and those whose chief concern is money (though I detest the idea. Then again,
that’s only because I have enough of it to live on at the very least). I also
learned a decent 240 words or so, which is almost half of my little booklet of
new words I come across. Now that’s worth something, surely?

It’s interesting to note, that a century after it was
written, Maugham still thanks those who made it possible for so many people to
get a hand on his book. For that much, I thank his publishers for bringing it
to Mr Mueller’s light.

Copies

I like to keep a second record of things, just in case something happens to the first. I’m more comfortable when my documents are saved on both my laptop and the family PC, and if I’ve written something down that’s worth remembering, I like to type it up. Important files are sent to myself through email so I can access them anywhere, and anything I can’t be bothered putting onto paper goes on my space.

Likewise, I’m also mildly amused at my own paranoia. Safety is an illusion. A weak piece of ceiling might break off from the roof and hit you in such a way you become paralysed for life. Your chair could break and you’d fracture a leg. A man could come charging into your house and shoot everyone for no discernable reason. It’s an open possibility. So just in case something happens to me, unlikely but possible, I’m concerned that I won’t get to say goodbye to certain people. That things I’ve planned will never come to pass. That people will get the wrong impression about who I really am. So, in case of my death, I give whoever reads this permission to break open my locked drawer. For everything else, ask Ivy. She knows me best.

Thoumadw

What is the price of a dream? Think about each of the following questions long and hard before moving on.

Is there anything you would devote your life to? Is there something you want to be? Something you live for, something you dream of? How much would you give to get it?

I’ve often prayed at night that I would find something worth dying for. Jesus acquiesced to being tortured and crucified. He believed in something. Do you?

 

EDIT: Yes, I know it’s better to find something worth living for than dying for, but that’s the beauty of it. Finding something worth dying for is finding something worthy of living for, and more.

Joy

She smiled.

Raising her hand, full of birdseed, she offered it coyly to a willy-wagtail. It chirped and hopped, its tail ever-swinging as it flitted by and by. The girl laughed, a rich melody, sweet as a golden harp as she followed it, hopping on one leg, her hand outstretched. It eyed her, wagging and wagging incessantly, letting out a mellifluous chirp. Still giggling, she tossed the seed into her garden, and it fell like droplets of earth and grain. She sat back with a delicate smile set on her lovely face, her cheeks touched by a rosy countenance. The sun filtered through the swaying trees, causing shifting beams of gold to dance across the ground. A pool of liquid sapphire shimmered like a mirage, the little flecks of light weaving in and out one another as if in dance. The flowers had never smelled as sweet, nor the grass quite ever as green.

She crossed her eyes as she glared at a few strands of hair that had fallen loose from her hairband. Laughing flippantly, she tossed her head and tucked the golden threads behind her ears. She curled her toes through the grass, shivering as a wave of pleasure ran through her spine. The willy-wagtail pecked at the seed, and in return, chirped for her- a sweet and rolling melody as private thanks.

A hand rested on her shoulder, not at all startling her (for what was there to be startled by?) and she turned to look up at its owner. A fair man stood behind her, his eyes kind and his touch warm. A loved uncle, probably, who had come to admire the day. Their mouths did not move, except to smile, but the message was unmistakable.

“My, how beautiful is life, no?”

“The Author”

Tis an interesting life, being a pen.

Over the years, I have felt many caresses.

I’ve brought smiles to naïve faces,

And broken different hearts.

I have cried inky tears, and bled ruby blood.

 

I have been old,

I have been meek.

I have been bold,

I have been weak.

 

A hidden message for a lover’s heart,

The anguish of a broken soul.

A list of names, soon complete,

Precious moments I’ve stole.

 

And yet, only one of these come to mind,

If pens have minds that is to say.

I remember, once, a hold,

A tender lamb, and yet so bold.

The penship, striking in its cryptic slashes.

Defining, insightful in its calligraphic dashes.

 

A passionate font that flitted with finesse,

Like static lightning, on a page.

A supple rose that bent and swayed,

And spoke of things aghast.

Of love and joy and happiness,

These things forbidden so yearned.

But more, of fear and shadow,

An unfrequented sorrow, eternally begotten.

But foremost of beauty. Such virtuosity!

The aesthetic heart untold.

 

Writing that snared mystery and intrigue.

Elusive yet lithe as it glowed with endeavour-

But stranger still, it would always sign,

“Willow
Wisp – Forever.”

e=mc

Sweet mother of mercy, I just got my report.
 
And it’s the worst report I’ve ever had.
 
Religion: A (Excellent)
Chemistry: C (Satisfactory)
Economics: C (Satisfactory)
English Literature: B (High)
Human Biology: B (High)
Introductory Calculus: C (Satisfactory)
Music: B (High)
 
 
I started out with an average of around 80% in all of my subjects, bar intro calc. And something’s gone wrong.
 
I am no longer an academic achiever. I’m mediocre mainstream, but hey, whatever. Marks don’t count, I know that. But I’m still fucking pissed that I could do so badly. One A, three B’s, three C’s. I feel like I should be whipped.

I know that some people reading this will tell me that I shouldn’t care. And I know I shouldn’t. I know how tiny this notch is in my expansive future (if I have one, that is to say). But I feel as if I’ve performed less than average. I know my potential is, well, limitless. I’m just depressed (now that the rage has left me- depression is anger without will) that I did so dismally when I tried so hard. Not hard enough, I guess, but hey.

 
If my efforts weren’t enough, I’m not going to put more in, because I don’t need to. I gave it a shot, didn’t quite make the basket, but I’m still in the game. I’m no longer an academic achiever- something I’ve always been, to a limited extent. That hurts a little, but I have more important things than academics in my life. Besides- I’ve forgotten most of what they taught me since Year 1-10, and I’m having serious doubts about the necessity of what we learn in Years 11-12. Seeing as I’ve gotten on without everything I was supposed to never forget, I guess this won’t kill my future. Afterall, Einstein got through college by studying his friends’ notes.
 
EDIT: I also have an interview with Mr Shackleton- the chemistry teacher I’ve had for three out of four years at Trinity. He was the reason Eugene (and myself) struggled through chemistry, when juxtaposed (put next to and compared with) Mr Hay- allegedly the greatest teacher in Perth. All the same, harsh words will be said on both sides, as Eugene is coming to the interview. With some luck, I’ll have Mr Hay for the next two years and will hopefully pass chemistry. Just like Einstein.

Obsessions

I have a problem.
 
I couldn’t think of any other way to start this entry. I won’t waste time on fancy words and eloquent sentences, because I’m a liiiiiiittle bit concerned with my own psychology.
 
I am obsessed with the idea of becoming a modern-day samurai. I am obsessed with the concept of Yamikaze- treating a city block like a jungle, and climbing, jumping and leaping all over it. I am most definitely obsessed with the idea of getting into a good fight. I dream about it every night. Last night it was Aaron Jenkins. I kicked him in the face, and I have to tell you, it felt damn good. Until the guilt settled in.
 
Yesterday, Frenchie (whose real name I only just discovered is Ben- known him for years) was teasing me about how easily he could beat me in a fight. Brendan Morphett and I were grappling as part of a skit for Good Friday, to represent apathy. Of course, I whooped his ass, which defeated the purpose, so when Frenchie rocked up, he replaced me. Then he didn’t believe I could take him, and agreed to fight me right there, right then. I raised my fists, but he seemed to be having second thoughts. Instead of killing him on the spot, I just put one leg in behind him and held one arm in front of his chest. He leaned forwards so I didn’t do any crazy asian martial arts shit, and I pulled his feet out from under him and brought him to the ground. In short, I decked him effortlessly. I offered him a hand up, and an apology (for I can never hurt someone intentionally without feeling remorse), but he pushed it away, thinking it was another attack.
 
I have to get into a fight. I have to have someone beat the shit out of me, before I beat the shit out of them. I need to lose, because my ego’s too damn high, and I don’t want to be the greatest martial artist I’ve ever known. But at present, only Jack has been able to better me in a fist fight, but if legs were involved, I’m pretty sure I’d have the advantage.
 
I don’t want to be the cause of pain to others. I don’t want to be the bane of misery.
 
I need to feel the humility of defeat.
I need to feel the sting of a fist against my jaw, or a foot to my stomach.
I need someone to be able to kill me, even if they don’t.
 
Otherwise, there’s no reason to fight, because the outcome will always be a win. And if there’s no reason to fight, my life becomes a whole lot more empty, because I’m still obsessed with the idea. I need someone to help me break the obsession.
 
Anyone willing to try?

Post Script

By the way. When Dad was speeding to the school, he got pulled over by a "Constable Handcock". It was a good thing he had already walked away by the time I found out his name. I just burst out laughing. I was a half hour too early, anyway.
 
Also, I found two entries in my notebook, rather than my Christian Service Journal. For my personal experiences, you know? If you haven’t read the entry before this one, stop after this sentence and read it first.
 
***
 
[On the bus to Belmay Primary School.]
One of these ladies has a voice that instils fear into my heart. Like Mrs Gun and Miss Barret combined.
[They were the librarians of my primary school. A truly, truly frightening pair.]
One of the girls stumbled climsily to her seat. She launched herself at me, throwing her head onto my lap and clinging there. She was warm, like a babe, and carried an aroma that seems unique to children like herself.
"Sit down, or you will have to be strapped in," growled the Mrs Gun/Miss Barret woman.

One little boy keeps repeating everything he hears, as if he’s trying to get a feel of the words.

They really are, very special. But how special? Contrasted to my class of 8, they’re really quite… Confronting. The ‘village idiots’ of the Elizabethan era. Were they really so readily humiliated?

 
***
 
[In the corridor, on my way to recess.]
I saw one little girl in the pictures on the wall. Anastacia, read her name. Everything about her was beautiful. Her questioning eyes, foremost. She passed me in the corridor, as she was wheeled by on her chair. Inwardly, I smiled and waved at her, though she took no notice of me.
 
Following came a boy with lolling eyes, trying to stumble alone with a support to lean on.  Then came James, strapped to a mechanism that allowed him to walk upright by clamping around his thorrax with a vice. The mechanism, without the boy, looked like it would snap shut on its prey. A cage, waiting to be filled. A demon skeleton whose ribs ensnared. James made a meagre effort to take feeble steps as he was slowly wheeled along helplessly, his feet dragging on the floor behind him.
 
***
 
At recess, I got to meet a few more of the kids. Lara had been happily shovelling dirt into her mouth. Another girl approached Mr P (who had McDonalds) with drool all over her chest. She hung around to get chips (from Maccas) off us. One of the boys took my hand and led me up the playground to go down the slide- Jack, I think his name is. Cute fella, dressed as a cowboy. A lot of them had slightly bulging, unfocused eyes. I guess I got a rather tame group overall. My heart goes out to all of them though.
 
~John
 
PS: Easter egg hunt tomorrow. I spent $8 getting extra eggs for the kids as a leaving present.

PPS: Mr P (Colin, I think. His last name’s something like Pexter, but Mr P’s cooler) is an awesome teacher. Mr Redden through and through, even in appearance, though lacking the analytical skills of an English teacher. He makes up for it with his own martial arts academy, and his experiencing in fencing. He holds a martial arts class at the University of Western Australia. Well. I know where I’m studying after school.

Christian Service

I have a new fetish. And before you freak, realise that fetish does not relate to sexual gratification alone, though in my case…
 
You know those watches with the metal disk around the face? It says 15, 30, 45, 60 at the compass points. You can twist that with some watches, and it makes a little tick tick tick with every degree you rotate it. That has to be one of the most sensational feelings of my life. Jack’s watch can be manipulated in such a way, as can Mark Luca’s. I seize every opportunity I can to abuse it. As soon as I see the watch, the temptation builds until it’s a maddened frenzy. When I give in to temptation, the relief is, in Jack’s words, "orgasmic". Mouth drops open, breathes a held breath, closes eyes.
 
Who needs sex when you have a mechanical watch?
 
***
 
Every Trinity guy (and apparently Mercedes girl) has to do four days of Christian Service at the end of Term 1, leading up to the Easter break. That’s just going out to the community, finding a centre or school that could use a hand, and doing the Christian thing by helping them. Of course, being compulsary, there’s not much say in the matter, except where you want to be put. Unfortunately, my three possible selections were all taken, so Mrs Stewart (Stuart??) allocated me to Carson Street School – a school for the mentally disabled.
 
The kids there are really sweet. On Monday, we went to the zoo as an incursion. Yesterday, we were at Belmay Primary School for the day, to sort of half-include the kids into mainstream education. Today, we had an incursion, and a guy brought in a swamp of animals. Llamas are absolutely adorable- I fed it three carrots. They can really manouver their necks. There were two dogs with one blue eye, each, born without tails. Beautiful, beautiful creatures. I gave them both extensive belly rubs, and they whined and pined at me when I stopped. I also met a bird born without a beak. That was a sight, let me tell you. It just sort of mushes its face in food and eats its fill.
 
Anyway, moving back to the kids. Tomorrow’s my last day, and I’ve really, really grown to love them so much. They have such unique traits, skills and abilities, only marred by their disabilities elsewhere.
Jaiden  (Jay-den) is really, really good with puzzles. Better than I am, anyway. He’s 7, and he does 100 piece puzzles for leisure. He’s got wicked hair and is an overall really cool guy. (Jaiden’s an uber cool name, by the way.)
Dario (Mario, with a D) has an outstanding memory. He has uncanny leadership skills, and can tell you the full name of every animal in the zoo by sight alone. Unfortunately, he lives in Dario-land, where his whole universe is based around him. He always fights to be the first in everything, but he has manners when he wants to.
Shannon clings to my hand as often and long as she can. She’s a beautiful girl (with gorgeous hair), but tags behind everyone else with about a half minute lag. She has a little bit of trouble not pretending she’s a butterfly, and she takes a good 10 minutes longer to finish a sandwhich than anyone else, but she’s a wonderful girl.
Elaine is very special too. She can’t hear well, (though she has a hearing aid), so her speech is somewhat impaired. Now that I think about it, none of them can speak very sensicly, except for Dario. She’s quite heavily overweight, but she’s always smiling and looking out for everyone else.
Tekafa can’t hear very well either. Resultantly, his speech is slurred. He’s a pretty big attention seeker, too. 4/5 of his sentences start with "Hey, look!" He just likes being recognised for things. He’s good friends with
Soleh (rhymes with olay!). Soleh has down syndrome to a reasonable extent, but he’s a pretty snazzy dude! Quite tall, always grinning in a goofy way, and very happy to make people laugh. I saw a picture of him on the wall from six years ago. Dario and Shannon have been here for five.
Mirza (Mur-zer) is more heavily effected by down syndrome. He’s short, definitely obesed, and always laughing. I think he’s Vietnamese, too. I love him. He’s adorable, and is such a gentle creature. He’s, surprisingly, the best at sports of the group. Elaine takes a big liking to both he, and Soleh.
Johnno is pretty cool, too! He’s also good at sports and swimming. He’s probably the best behaved. Reminds me of me, truth be told. He’s also gifted at literature. Most of the kids have trouble writing their names, but Johnno can  write sentences.

They’re all aged 6-11, by the way. They really are very special kids, that you come to love without question. And not your "spastic retard" special, either. They really are very precious. Each with their own abilities, in contrast to their disabilities. From the first day, I couldn’t help but wonder where they would end up in 10 years from now. What kind of people they would be. It’s sad to think that none of them really have a future, since the government sort of, you know, took out the handicapped programs in the workforce. So says Mrs Davies, their teacher, anyway. I’d really like to see how they end up. I’d like to visit them again in a while, but in my heart, I know it’s a promise I won’t keep.

I will miss them, though. On the plus side, they’ll forget me as soon as the holidays come. I consider that a good thing. *sigh*

 
Somebody’s finally thought of the children, eh Mrs Lovejoy?