Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's been a rainy summer and especially hot. Much of Kaifaqu has been covered in a fog. Tonight I walked up the huge hill to the UFO, the lights of which from the ground were covered in the fog. Suddenly its blue appeared, lending a blue tint to the surrounding white. I stood at the top of the hill, able to see nothing but a yellow glow from the lights below but not the lights themselves. It was like I was standing on the edge of the world, the UFO behind me some transport I had just arrived in or was waiting to take off with. I listened to the chapters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle about Lieutenant Mamiya and wondered about the calm I felt, as though I had no right to it. Calm. Lately I've felt as though I were losing time. A profession in words doesn't leave you much chance of escaping them in one's nonprofessional hours. Maybe the idea of escape isn't the best way of thinking about it. I see little difference, for example, between teaching a language and writing a poem, say, and reading seems to slow time down and take my mind off the worst parts of whatever work I don't want to think about in my free time. Given the option, I would rather spend the night, or as much of it as possible, reading next to the open window of my balcony, listening to the rain that's likely to come tonight, but my body and tomorrow's obligations are pulling me under already. I'm not entirely sure what I want to be doing right now, to be honest. But I know I don't want to sleep for days.

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