Posts tagged with "understanding"

terminal velocity

The jour­ney lasts an hour, by turns mov­ing and bit­ter­sweet, a mix­tape with­out a name that’s pos­si­bly the most thought­ful col­lec­tion of music any­one has ever giv­en to me. It’s the addic­tion I’ve been wait­ing for. Proof that I can still be under­stood when a feel­ing is shared if not a his­to­ry.

Yet new songs on repeat don’t define this moment, cause I can’t tell when one moment ends and the next begins any­more. There’s no sense of per­ma­nence in any­thing. I don’t know whether to be scared or relieved to know that every­thing will inevitably change.

view of Mississauga, Ontario

Shawn thinks I’m plum­met­ing towards rock bot­tom cause I need to prove to myself that I can pull myself out. The idea was on the very tip of my con­scious­ness, and it’s get­ting hard­er to deny how right he is. I’ve always been a per­son who needs to explore the lim­its of the pos­si­ble. I just won­der whether I’ll sur­vive the fall.

a million distractions to keep me warm

Two hours lat­er, I woke up with­out any sense of direc­tion.

Now I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to stay awake so I can be tired enough to fall asleep again. The fatigue isn’t enough to keep me down. I had a big break­fast, some­thing I haven’t done in as long as I can remem­ber, owing to the fact that they used to be the rit­u­al of a per­son with week­ends and a need for rit­u­als.

At some point along the way, I real­ized it’s eas­i­er to take care of my friends and help them fix their prob­lems. I can’t fig­ure out why I’ve avoid­ed deal­ing with my own, but I decid­ed that as long as my dis­trac­tions are ful­fill­ing and healthy in them­selves, there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Sometimes, there’s noth­ing else one can do.

In turn, they’re help­ing me through this odd pas­sage of time, where I find myself unsure of what to do or feel. I’ve had to open myself up to give them a chance to help me. It always leaves me vul­ner­a­ble at first, but when they lis­ten and under­stand and sup­port me, all my inse­cu­ri­ties go away. It’s a tan­gi­ble love that goes far beyond words and inten­tions.

A Different Kind of Understanding

The doc­tor told us she has anoth­er 5–6 months. Her colon is so enlarged from the tumor that it’s thick­er than her spine, and the pro­ce­dure was just a tem­po­rary solu­tion to pre­vent fur­ther block­ages.

How strange it is to “know” how much time there is left. I guess that’s why they call it a dead­line. I had already assumed that this would going to be the last time I could see her, but that won’t make it any eas­i­er when I have to leave.

I’m grate­ful to the peo­ple who have been send­ing me their regards. It’s a nice com­fort. One of the best pieces of advice came from Charlotte, who told me to “not leave any­thing at all unsaid to her…leave no ques­tions unan­swered, and to not with­hold any affec­tion you feel for her”.

I had come to Hong Kong with the inten­tion of telling my grand­ma how impor­tant she was to me. Finding the right words in Chinese to express exact­ly what I want­ed to say.

But try­ing to speak with her has made me real­ize that she does­n’t care about any of that. She’s a very prac­ti­cal woman, almost to the point of tact­less­ness. For almost her entire life, mar­ried at 14 and as a sin­gle par­ent of sev­en kids, she’s had no time for words or feel­ings.

I’m here, and that’s how she under­stands how I feel.

The Fault of Misunderstanding

There’s a rid­dle that goes:

Two chim­ney sweep­ers are work­ing in a chim­ney when one los­es his foot­ing and caus­es both to fall into the fire­place. One ends up with a black, sooty face, while the oth­er is lucky and stays clean. Both look at each oth­er in aston­ish­ment after the sur­pris­ing fall. The one with the clean face goes to the bath­room to wash his face, while the oth­er con­tin­ues work­ing with his dark­ened com­plex­ion. Logically explain the actions of the two sweep­ers.

The answer is sim­ple. The one with the dirty face sees the one with the clean face, and assumes that his face is clean as well. The one with the clean face looks at the one with the dirty face, assumes the oppo­site, and wash­es up.

And even though I know the answer to the rid­dle, some­times I for­get that such con­fu­sion exists. For exam­ple, if I had a car, I’d be giv­ing peo­ple rides to Tremblent. And since I’d be going there myself, I would­n’t ask peo­ple for gas mon­ey. Other peo­ple, how­ev­er, see the car ride as part of the cost of going there, and will plan on split­ting the cost of gas when orga­niz­ing the trip. Both ideals are fine, but I pre­fer to not ask peo­ple for mon­ey if I’m not going out of my way to do some­thing.

And, being the igno­rant idiot that I am, I will some­times for­get that oth­ers are not like me, that oth­ers assume that gas mon­ey will be split. Perhaps it can be said that I’m as much at fault as oth­ers who assume the oppo­site, but that does­n’t real­ly mat­ter to me. The best solu­tion, in such cas­es, is that an under­stand­ing be reached when things are planned.

An exam­ple like this, which has been tak­en from per­son­al expe­ri­ence, can be relat­ed so many oth­er things in life. That just means that I need to work hard­er at being con­sid­er­ate of how oth­ers think.

Because some would rather be angry than under­stand­ing.


It’s so hard to wit­ness some­one being made fun of, sim­ply because they’re mis­un­der­stood. I get flus­tered and bite my lip, because try­ing to defend them nev­er does a thing. I also get either angry or sad, depend­ing on whether or not I know the per­son who’s doing the mock­ing. In my expe­ri­ence, some­one who’s so quick to come to a con­clu­sion will refuse to see things anoth­er way. They have enough pre­con­ceived notions to keep them­selves igno­rant and secure.

Perhaps I’m like this because I can relate to what it’s like to be mis­un­der­stood. As an exper­i­ment in one of my English class­es, I wrote an extreme­ly graph­ic sto­ry about a necrophil­i­ac doc­tor who ends up get­ting raped up the ass, and pre­sent­ed it. I want­ed to show that the inten­tions of an artist are irrel­e­vant if he or she is mis­un­der­stood, because oth­ers will con­tin­ue to care­less­ly judge them. The more odd­ly my class­mates stared at me while I was pre­sent­ing, with­out try­ing to grasp what I was try­ing to do, the more I felt like my point was proved.

The thing is, some­one is usu­al­ly mis­un­der­stood because they don’t explain them­selves well. A per­son can be extreme­ly provoca­tive, con­tro­ver­sial, or com­plex, but as long as oth­ers see what they’re try­ing to get across then every­thing is fine. Of course, it’s much eas­i­er said than done, and some­one is most often mis­un­der­stood because their ideas are hard­er to grasp. In addi­tion to this, I find that the eccen­tric­i­ty relat­ed to a per­son with such ideas clouds their per­cep­tions as to what they believe oth­ers are capa­ble of com­pre­hend­ing.

Sometimes, I wish the world could see what I see.