equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
12 Oct 12

it hasn't been quite a whole year yet

I still have fond mem­o­ries of the fall. It’s when the light is at it’s most neu­tral, not warmed by the sum­mer sun or cooled by it’s reflec­tion on the snow. The time of long show­ers, kit­ties being even more affec­tion­ate, and girls always find­ing the right spot to nes­tle under your neck.

On par­tic­u­larly bright, chilly days, with all the leaves a flat lemon-yellow, I can hardly take it all in.

cat in sunbeam

We are on this planet to move our cats directly in the path of a sun­beam every 15 minutes.

The sun­beams form a celes­tial cal­en­dar across my floor, slowly creep­ing along as they threaten to warp the wood in my instru­ments, remind­ing me that I haven’t spent a win­ter in this room yet. I can only hope the mem­o­ries will be bet­ter this time around.

These days, I still dream of a nylon-stringed beauty, with warm tones and crisp bass close to the sad­dle. I won­der what she’ll feel like under my fin­gers, mahogany or rose­wood, satin or glossy. It’s a dream that never seems far away cause I know it’ll hap­pen some day, so I try to cher­ish the anticipation.

toy plane

 

I’ve been feel­ing par­tic­u­larly nos­tal­gic. When the right song comes on, I’m taken to the time in my life when it was the only thing I played for a week straight. I used to write so much, but lately I hardly have any­thing to say it all. That’s why I’m addicted to the feel­ing of feel­ing, search­ing for inspi­ra­tion, using my dreams to keep me alive.

/
17 Oct 11

the things we carry

I can’t fig­ure out why I’m so moody lately. Maybe it’s been too long since I smelled the wood of my gui­tar. Maybe it’s the fresh Autumn colours that tend to mag­nify my emo­tions. Maybe I’m feel­ing over­worked, over­stim­u­lated, and too rarely under­stood. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a moment to myself in what feels like weeks, with so many feel­ings of lone­li­ness amongst so many people.

Autumn stream

 

I always think of exile in times like this, and in par­tic­u­lar, a stanza from Yevgeniy Onegin:

From all that to the heart is dear
then did I tear my heart away;
to every­one a stranger, tied by noth­ing,
I thought; lib­erty and peace
would serve instead of happiness.

Luckily, I’ve been read­ing The Poisonwood Bible, which reminds me that the only prob­lems I have are first-world prob­lems, and that I’m rich in ways many will never be.

I find it amaz­ing, the immen­sity of it, how any sin­gle per­son can be respon­si­ble for a tome of such rich sto­ry­telling, obser­va­tion, and wit. It’s the only book I’ve picked up in years, and I only started read­ing to get into her head as much as pos­si­ble (and piqued by my curios­ity on how she could describe a story of the Belgian Congo as sexy). Unsurprisingly, her favourite char­ac­ter is the strong, faith­ful, war­rior daugh­ter. Mine is like me too; the dark, brood­ing, intel­lec­tual child, dizy­gotic twin to hers. It makes me won­der if lik­ing one char­ac­ter over all oth­ers is too often an exer­cise in vanity.

In the end, Onegin real­izes he was wrong about exile, that he couldn’t fill him­self with empti­ness to replace the sad­ness, some­thing he only fig­ures out when he finds some­one worth lov­ing. That’s what’s pulling me back too, keep­ing me grounded amongst those dark moments of untem­pered emo­tion. I carry the image of her smile with me, the only thing as dis­tin­guished on her face as her Spanish eyes, and the rea­son I call her Cheeks from the way the flesh pulls up to round her face. I’ve stud­ied this smile for so long that I can see it every time I close my eyes, and with that, I carry a strength of my own too.

/
28 Sep 09

Burning Twice As Bright

I seem to be writ­ing about only one thing lately.

In the day, there are rushes of con­tent­ment amidst moments of clar­ity. Little things, like dri­ving on the high­way, feel­ing the wind ruf­fle my hair. Waking up to the fresh, cool morn­ing air that sig­nals the oncom­ing autumn. It all feels great, and for a moment, I can think of noth­ing else but how won­der­ful it all is.

The night is another story. The sky draws it’s cur­tains, leav­ing me with only haunt­ing mem­o­ries that turn vivid when the sun no longer washes them out. The dark­ness is only a reminder of the void she once filled with the very vibrancy of her soul, and with­out her pres­ence to intox­i­cate me, I’m left feel­ing numb.

Jesus christ, I could go on and on.

I won­der why any­one would read all these ram­blings about love and loss. Isn’t it just the same shit over and over again? But love is the only thing I do well. Love is the only thing I know, and I can only write that which I know.

In time, I’ll have just as much to say in cel­e­bra­tion, but for now, I need to get every­thing else out of my sys­tem, stok­ing the fires of grief until I run out of fuel.

/
13 Oct 07

Thanksgiving Weekend '07

Ah yes. My first trip “home“1 in about a year and a half, since my par­ents got divorced.

The entirety of my trip was in the com­pany of Andrew and Alex, who hosted me for the week­end. Pictures tell the story.

Drinks at the Madison

Thumbnail: Wide-angle Madison
Thumbnail: Jason and Kerry
Thumbnail: Alex and Emily
Thumbnail: Anne
Thumbnail: Rob and Sampson
Thumbnail: Alex and Kerry

On Friday night, we went to The Madison to catch up with their old drag­onboat team­mates. The Madison is a mas­sive pub, made from two or three amal­ga­mated houses in the down­town dis­trict. A very pop­u­lar spot, which was appar­ent from the amount of peo­ple in it as the night went on.

I hadn’t been out drink­ing in…two years? Something like that.

Read the rest of this entry »

  1. I’ve decided that from now on, the quoted “home” will refer to Toronto, and the unquoted home will refer to Ottawa []
/
09 Sep 07

Romanced by the Fall

The leaves start to turn before they drop.

It’s finally cool enough to sleep with the win­dow open again. I wake up refreshed, a lit­tle chilly even, with my blan­kets wrapped to my face.

Maybe I’ve been sin­gle for too long, maybe I’m being romanced by the fall yet again, but there seem to be cute girls every­where lately.

/
11 Sep 06

Autumn Recall

Fall approaches. The trees have yet to shift their colours along the spec­trum, but the tem­per­a­ture has begun to drop. Even when the air is calm it’s a play­ful shiver down the spine.

One of my favourite things to do around this time of year, before I quit, would be some wake and bake to start the day. After smok­ing a joint, I’d open the win­dows, turn up the music, and let the breeze drift inside. Sometimes I would go for a walk with my iPod before the sun fully showed itself. When the beat was right, the hard­est thing to do was not to move my body to the music, to groove embar­ras­ingly, and grind and sing and twirl.

With enough weed in the lungs, any­one will dance.

I won’t say that I don’t miss that lifestyle, because it was a way I could view things from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. My thoughts would run freely on those early autumn walks. Music would sound bet­ter. Girls, cov­er­ing up in sweaters and long sleeves, would look nicer. It was a pre­scrip­tion I would need every week.

The expe­ri­ence isn’t the same until it’s this time of the year. Smothering sum­mer heat dulls the senses. Winter over­stim­u­lates them into sobri­ety, and even after a full bowl, all one can feel is cold. It’s only in the fall, in the per­fect weather, that brings one to ones’ senses. The green air, full of that cold con­crete smell, gives a rush to the head.

Until I walked out­side this morn­ing, with !!! pound­ing in my ears, I never thought I could feel this way again.

The approach of fall has brought this back to me.

/