Journal Musings People

Book By Its Cover

Just finished watching the first three episodes of the American television program Black. White.. It is very likely the most difficult television program I have ever watched. Five minutes didn’t go by in which I wasn’t clenched up and tight-jawed, and so wound up that I kept fidgeting in my chair and getting up to visit the kitchen or the bathroom or just to look out of the window.

The program is about two families, one black, one white, who, through make up and coaching, switch places as blacks and whites and experience what it is like to live life in the opposite shoe. Watching the different family members go through their individual awakenings and gradual comprehension of what it is like to be black or white really has you sitting at the edge of your seat, especially because some of the transformations get quite intensely emotional. I found myself agreeing with and cursing at both sides, coming as I do from a family of both blacks and whites and Asians, and having experienced all sides of what these people are going through.

More than that, though, the program had me looking intently at myself and my own daily experiences and prejudices that I carry around. The other day one of my readers wrote that they didn’t see any difference between the experience of whites and non-whites, that much of the hostility that goes on is just in people’s heads. I did not want to reply because it is such a common belief among whites that trying to argue about it usually results in denials and resentment, even heated fights. But if you happen to be non-white, the way that other people, even other non-whites, see you and react to you comes out in a million nuances that will just not appear when you are white. There are big differences in how whites and non-whites experience these little and big things in every day life. As the members of the white family in the TV program soon realize, when you live in the white world in general you don’t have to be on guard; you can blithely speak your mind or interact with people around you without worrying that others will not accept you on looks alone. Things like where you walk on the sidewalk or which words you use or how you might inadvertently touch a stranger can make or break your chances to get into restaurants or be served at a store.

But what I really admired about the people in the program and the program itself is how they try to be honest about how blacks themselves hold preconceptions about whites and how those preconceptions can affect everything about how they understand whites. There is one scene where the white woman, Colleen, visits a black neighborhood as a white with her husband dressed up as a black and the hostility that they encounter and the realization that the simple fact of her skin color being different totally closes their world to her and conjures up hatred among those blacks with stronger feelings and closed minds. It is quite sobering to watch her struggle with the anguish of dawning comprehension as her face literally alters from one of someone simply having fun to one of grave recognition of reality. Her husband Bruno refuses to budge, still clinging to his safe, unchallenged, middle class white views of a world existing in relative utopia. Their 17 year old daughter, however, embraces the chances she has and makes courageous efforts to both immerse herself in black culture and be completely honest with them. Of all the people, she seems the most able to gain something from the change. In some ways the white family resembles my mother’s German side of the family, but Germans tend to carry a quieter, more self-effacing outlook on life than the almost oblivious, unassailable self-assurance that the white American family seemed to take for granted, so there were differences.

At the same time you watch the black family and I guess whether you are white or black or something else you will run through a gamut of agreements and objections to their observations and experiences. They resemble my father’s side of the family (Filipino/ South Carolina blacks who have lived mostly in New York’s Brooklyn, the Bronx, and across the river in New Jersey), with the same openly expressed strong opinions and colorful language and awareness of less privileges in life. I found myself almost ready to shout at the the members of the family when they walked into a white place and without anything happening immediately raising their hackles. You could almost feel them fishing for hostility. Since the show has only just begun there hasn’t been much development in how the black family learns to see the white world, but it would be very interesting to see whether they can learn to appreciate the reality of being white. Things are not always what they seem.

Probably the most powerful message I might get out of watching the show is in changing the way I angle my view of situations. So much of politically correct conversation these days acts upon established stereotypes of what entails such no-no’s as racism and sexism. If you go to a movie or watch a television show or read a popular book, you can almost predict to a letter what the women and men and blacks and whites are going to do or say before anything happens. Whites always “don’t get it” and always subject blacks to indignities and losses of chances. Men always miss what women are asking for and trample women’s “empowerment”. The women in the movies have to be strong and morally incorruptible. The blacks in the movies always have to be indignant and full of rage against injustice. There is rarely room for real human beings who make mistakes, learn, hurt others, fail, or question their own identification with their predetermined roles.

Recently, Chris Clark of Creek Running North, wrote a piece about feminism. He ran through a list of reasons why a man cannot count himself a member of the coalition for women’s issues, simply because he is a man. I unreservedly agree with Chris’ assertion that men simply cannot know the details of living as a woman, in the same way that a non-white cannot possibly know what it is to live as a non-white. However, what rankled me about the post, and the consequent comments, was not its defence of women and the need to work to improve women’s situations in the world, but with its assumption that all men are somehow innately misogynistic and that women are somehow morally and socially superior to men, basically lumping all men together in the same way that men are accused of having done to women. That kind of thinking has become almost universal in the States now, so much so that it is extremely difficult for any man to publicly voice his opinion without automatically being voted down as ignorant and opportunistic. In the comments, as in so many such posts on feminism, no one dared contradict Chris, especially not men. The present climate in these debates is that rape and mistreatment of women is a trait all men carry and that men should take it on faith that whatever comes out of their mouths has no worth in the conversation. Either the men acquiesce to the pronouncements made by women, or they should shut up. Forget the fact that there are plenty of men like me, and for that matter, Chris Clark, who have always respected women, often the “nice” men whom many of the women ridiculed in high school and at social gatherings, for not being “cool” or “sexy” or “bad” or “confident” enough. Chris’ post stereotypes all men as the macho jocks that I so hated in high school. Indeed, much of the whole debate takes on the high school flavour of cliques and hierarchies. There doesn’t seem to be any room for diversity among men as there is always assumed among women.

One thing that I find so important about the “Black. White.” show is its attempt to get blacks and whites to experience what it means to live in another’s shoes and then to get the participants to talk about it and to not set the individuals into molds as to how they should react as things unfold. This, more than anything, I think is the crucial point to learning how to live with and deal with social issues such as racism and sexism; all the people involved need to somehow get a view of what it means to live as the other does before they open their mouths and paint imagined pictures of the truth of others. You cannot solve such problems by sitting with your own kind and beating the bush; eventually you have to come out and face those things which you fear to face, namely your own ignorance and unwillingness to give another the benefit of the doubt.

My one question though, in terms of authenticity… how exactly do the participants get genuine reactions with the camera crew hanging around in the background all the time? How much of what is going on is pure entertainment, and how much unadulterated truth?

Journal Musings People

White Flags

With Chris Clarke’s call for an ongoing discussion about racism in Blog Against Racism Day my ears have pricked up and heard the buzz of blogs around me again, and I made the rounds of old, familiar blogs, and in the process tripping over some new ones. There certainly has been a lot to say by lot of people. Some of it quite moving.

My first reaction, as a person of very mixed heritage, was that the idea of setting aside one day to honor sentiments against racism seemed cavalier and irresponsible. After all, how can something that follows you everywhere from the moment of your birth, poisoning so much of what you touch, excluding you from a complete and fair experience of the society that you happen to inhabit, be vilified within an afternoon’s blithe hat-tipping? It just seemed illusory. Guilt-ridden without action. Pedantic by so many who I presumed never experienced the fruits of racism.

I decided to give the topic time to ferment, while reading more entries and letting the thoughts I read mix with my own experiences and conclusions. Bigotry comes in so many forms, much of it solidified into stereotypes based purely on presumptions of one’s skin color or cultural bent or sex. “Whites are racist.” “Muslims are all devoutly religious.” “Blacks understand discrimination.” “Asians study and work hard.” “Americans are arrogant.” “Jews don’t commit genocide.” “Native Americans have done no wrong to the European settlers.” “Women respect life and would never start wars.” Everywhere you look, in everyday life, in each individual you meet, you see the kernels of disagreement, misunderstanding, dislike, and ill will. Who’s to say that racism would not grow among any group of people, given the right conditions? At what point is an individual capable of distinguishing their own righteousness from the confusion of all others’ wrongs?

In my own life, living between the self-battering anguish of my Filipino/ American Black side and the self-searching, confused outlook of my German background, all I have been certain of is that people in my family have continually surprised me. I discovered that my German grandparents risked their lives during the Second World War attempting to protect a Jewish family, all of whom were eventually captured and sent away. My paternal grandfather, a Filipino who left the close-knit community of his childhood in the Philippines, wandered halfway around the world to South Carolina, there to marry a black woman, a woman who would never be accepted back in the Philippines. Another Filipino-American side of the family vehemently supported Bush’s attack on Iraq. My Brazilian-of-Japanese-descent wife resents people assuming that she can dance. Even in myself, in spite of my pride in my tolerance of all people and cultures, recently find flares of resentment and impatience with Japanese, especially on the trains where the worst of people’s ugliness comes out while crushed up against a train door. The other night a businessman, disliking being forced to share shoulders with foreigner, shoved me away and snarled, “Fuck you!” at me in English. I stumbled out of the train at the next stop, dazed, and soon after finding myself silently cursing at all the Japanese around me for this feeling of being knocked out of kilter. I know very well that few Japanese harbor any real resentment against non-Japanese, but the feelings bubbled out of me nonetheless.

The only way I can see overcoming racism is to forget identifying with any group and consider each individual you meet on their own merits. It is the very act of setting parameters by declaring “We…(fill in a racial group, cultural group, nationality, sex…)” that creates the breeding grounds for exclusion. Those who are passionate about rending the walls often differentiate the discrimination into neat categories: racism, sexism, ageism, nationalism, fanaticism… But aren’t they all one and the same? People finding things to refuse or disrespect in others?

In the end it all comes down to me living within my own skin. I’ve lived in enough different places and cultures to realize that the tides wash both ways, that what you thought of as set in stone here, has been forgotten elsewhere. And that people will always surprise you.

When I studied at the University of Oregon I lived in an apartment a mile or so outside the campus. The apartment faced a tiny, intimate alley that didn’t admit cars and that set the houses and apartments close enough that many of the residents greeted each other on a daily basis. One day a woman moved into the empty cottage across the street from my apartment. She was stunningly beautiful, blonde, and white. From the first day she waved at me and shouted out a bright, guileless “Hello!”. I often sat out on my deck and leaned over the railing, conversing with her as she sat on her doorsteps. We learned quite a lot about one another, confessing details of our lives that normally we would not have shared outside the societies we both hailed from. I learned that she had been a model for Playboy and that her father was a millionaire. She eschewed sorority life, but spent a lot of time hanging out with men and women from the Greek world, something that I had never once been invited to, and which seemed to me a surreal form of hedonism catering almost solely to whites. She learned about my growing up in Japan and my father in the United Nations. And about my elementary school days at a school in Harlem and my activities in the Asian-American club in which members barred whites from participating in events (an attitude that eventually made me quit the club). These bits of information didn’t come between us and our friendship grew, to the point where I began to fall in love with her.

But I noticed that all her boyfriends were white, well-off, and straight from the cover of GQ. My whole experience of wealthy white women, dating from my high school years in a school of amabassadors’ children, consisted of exclusions from conversations, being beaten up by older brothers outraged at my temerity at even thinking that their sisters might have an interest in me, condescension by the girls themselves in the form of coquettish dismissals, as if I couldn’t understand where my place was, “the skinny Indian”, as one French girl, the darling of the class, dubbed me during a chemistry class one afternoon. So though I fell in love with the woman across the street, I kept it to myself. My perception of her was reinforced by her never once attempting to come up to my deck and sit with me. I just assumed that she would make friendly talk with me, but always at a distance. Several times she invited me to have dinner with her in her cottage, but I always declined, citing the need to spend time at my architecture studio. When she started dating this athletic, he-has-everything man I backed into the woodwork of my apartment, leaving her to be with a man who most likely wouldn’t give me a second glance.

Then in the middle of the night my phone rang. It was the woman from across the street.

“Miguel, can you come over? Please?” Her voice was shaking.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

There was a sob and then a thin wail, “Oh, please… Miguel. Please…”

“Okay, I’ll be right over.”

I threw on a jacket and ran across the alley to her door. No lights were on. I knocked. No answer. So I pushed the door open and peered inside. She was curled up in a ball on her couch, wrapped in a blanket. She lifted her head and turned to look at me. Her face was streaked with tears. There were clothes all over the floor.

I rushed to the side of the couch and kneeled beside her.

“God, are you all right?” I asked in whisper. I dared not touch her.

She broke down sobbing again and after some time I tentatively reached out a hand to touch her shoulder. I rested it there, feeling her body shudder. She cried for a long time. Then, “He… he…”

I shook my head. “It’s okay… Don’t speak. Just let it out for the moment…” She cried again for a long time. When she seemed a bit calmer, I asked, “Would you like me to call your father?” Her mother was no longer alive.

She shook her head, her eyes wide with alarm.

“Okay. Then we’ll just sit here like this for now. How about I make you some tea?”

She nodded.

“Okay.” So I got up and put some water on to boil. When the water was ready I made two cups and brought them over to my friend. I handed her cup to her, sat down beside the couch, and together we sat in the darkness, not saying a word. We sat like this until dawn, when the curtains began to glow with the first light.

And all the while my mind shifted between the strange numbness of realizing that this white woman had all along accepted me for who I was, and the odd peacefulness of being handed her vulnerability and trusted with it. I had been carrying around a racism all my own, blinding myself to the genuineness of her smile, and allowing stereotypes built up over past wrongs to shape her in my mind. I’m not sure if her acceptance of me was without exclusion, but perhaps it was the very fact that I did not live inside the sphere of her white world that she found safety with me at that moment. My visage differed from the familiar faces of the men she knew. She had trusted me enough to allow those quiet dawn hours, before the telephones rang and the officials came asking questions.

To blog against racism. Perhaps it is the very act of sitting and thinking about what you are writing and attempting to make some sense of it that points to the value of the exercise. You come away with the feeling that the mote in your eye has splintered and dispersed. Upload the act and it is like the smoke of incense at a temple: the gods will surely hear your confession.

Japan: Living Journal Life In Musings

Big Bother Goes Digital

Sluice hatch
Sluice hatch along the Noh River near my home

Oh great, this news (via On Gaien Higashi Dori) just drove another nail into my emotional casket over whether to leave Japan. After dealing with discrimination almost daily, especially with such things in just this last week as muttered comments between two high school girls on the train about my looking like a terrorist (because I am olive-skinned and look Middle Eastern to those unfamiliar with Middle Eastern traits… always a strange and blind prejudice, considering the disproportionate number of terrorists hailing from Japan), or my newly-moved-in-next-door-neighbor closing the curtains and window to her apartment every time I walk to my front door, or a group of young men in a coffee shop blowing smoke in my face and when I asked them to please stop they, assuming that I can’t speak Japanese, even though I just spoke to them in perfect Japanese, sneered and, in insolent and insulting language told me to my face, “Go back to your stupid little country and play with the dogs like you did before you came here. You’re stinking up my space.”, now learning that very likely I will start to be required by the Japanese government to carry some sort of tracking device so that my potential terrorist activities are constantly monitored, well, the rising of the outrage meter is ticking awfully close to the red zone.

Just hope something can be done to stop this. Of course, the Japanese themselves will, as usual, not be required to participate in the whole thing.

Nothing like xenophobia and paranoia to spice up a perfectly splendid morning, eh?

America: Society Iraq War Journal

Root Causes

What a bizarre little story (US military takes tough line against soldiers who wed Iraqis), and so telling of the very attitudes that would make two peoples take up arms against one another. Why not get married? What better ambassadors would either side have? (taking into account that such hasty marriages might be ill-advised from personal standpoints.) What could possibly show more humanity between two people than the possibility of their falling in love with each other? What could show more clearly that perhaps there really isn’t anything to all the claims on both sides that the other isn’t human?

A possible solution to all the strife between peoples around the world: mix up the cards till you can’t tell up from down, left from right. Blend the paints till there is nothing but uniform, well-baked brown. Lace the languages till tongues intertwine, slip into babble, and emerge a new, all-inclusive lingo. We will all be mutts, with one blue eye and one green.

Japan: Living Journal Life In Musings People


Pond Ripples
Ripple patterns on Shirakoma Pond, Yatsugatake, Japan, 2003.

On my way home from work this evening a sweating, smelly Frenchman, wearing a bright yellow shirt and bug-eye glasses, his face a cloud of hoary grey and brown beard, decided that since I was another foreigner waiting on line for the train, it was perfectly normal and acceptable to just come up to me and start talking as if I was his parlor room guest. Never mind that I was reading a book or that there were any number of purely Japanese passengers sharing the same general vicinity who might just as easily have been liable to his attentions. I knew he was French because he blithely told me so, in a baritone chatter of French accented English.

His follow up words to me were, “You are from Europe, aren’t you? I can tell.”

Now just how could he tell that I was European? I look like a Mexican or Iraqi or Indian or Turk, or possibly Spanish or Portuguese, but at first glance people would tend to generalize toward Third World material. It couldn’t have been my clothes, because I was wearing a very American type of underclassed chino pants with short-sleeved shirt and mismatched, bright, flower-embroidered silk tie, a combination that I suspect any real self-respecting European wouldn’t be caught dead in. And it couldn’t have been my accent, because, if he deemed it at all necessary to actually listen to my reply, he would have filtered in a very American twang with un-“u”ed colors and un “ae”ed airplanes.

He proceeded to launch into a story about how his friends in Paris had held onto his apartment for two years after he’d left for Japan with his newfound Japanese wife. “Uh… Excuse me?”, you may ask with complete credibility. After all, stories usually come attached with reference and precedence. But he bulldozed on with his story, jumping back and forth between France and Senegal and Brazil and Hong Kong and Germany and naturally Japan (but not America because the food is awful and not Korea because the people hate Japanese), all places he claimed to have graced with his long-term presence.

The train pulled into the station, the doors opened, and the waiting passengers filed in and took their seats. I stepped into the car and bee-lined for the center of the seats, to avoid the tippiness of late night Japanese after-drinking commuters who tended to lean all over you if you sat near the ends of the seat. To my dismay the Frenchman positioned himself right alongside me, and pressed pretty close, what with the train accumulating passengers like a flooding tunnel. Now this Frenchman reeked of male bacteria and continued to babble nonstop as sweat poured down his face and into his beard and spittle flew from his lips onto my unappreciative shirt and face.

Why am I being so mean to this man? Well, let me tell you.

First he started on the Koreans, relating anecdote after anecdote about how every Korean he had met in his life had proceeded to enlighten him with how much they hated Japanese and what they would do to avoid letting any Japanese even come within arm’s length. When I attempted to open my little mouth to express how many Japanese friends of mine went out of their way to go to Korea and make friends there, he shook his head violently (spittle leaping unpardonable gaps) and told his Japanese wife’s story of being shunned by Koreans in her French class.

He took the next step of enlightenment and proceeded to downdress all Africans. “They are a dangerous people. Killing everyone all the time. Just barbarians.”

Then it was Arabs in France, and on this subject he proved a grand master of irony and sledgehammer subtlety. “The Arabs in France are a bunch of degenerate, murdering, thieving, uneducated criminals who should all be put in jail. And you know what the problem is? French law. Unlike America, where everyone is allowed to carry guns, in France only the bad people can get hold of guns, knives, and bazookas (“Bazookas?” I tried to question with upraised eyebrows, but there was no response).” “France would be a better place if everyone could carry guns and kill those bastards and get them out of the country. And those blacks and Gypsies, too. Everything went to hell when the Iraq war started. Arabs taking over the whole world.”

So much for the lily white image of innocent French people. To my immense relief he stumbled off the train one stop before mine and continued to babble his way right out of the train, never thinking to ask my phone number or e-mail address. All I wanted to do was wipe off my shirt and face and step off into the night, where the air was fresh and clean and my Arab-looking face could soften a bit. And to clean that stupid grin off my lips… a grimace held in animated suspension as disbelief, disgust, and diversion bore the onslaught. I was too tired to do any telling off.

Journal Musings

A Dancing Flame

Moosehead Lake Dawn
Moosehead Lake at dawn, Maine, U.S.A., 1991

It’s a little late, but I just discovered the wiki Ecotone: Writing About Nature and Place where there is an ongoing series of writing projects. The most recent topic is titled “How Are We Defined and Shaped by the Place We Live?” was due July 1st, but I want to see if I can still contribute to the discussion.

Back in elementary to high school, at St. Mary’s International Boy’s School, Tokyo, Japan, I was one of the “Others”. This meant that those of us who belonged to this unofficial group basically didn’t come from one of the significant countries, like America or Britain or Australia, or, to a lesser extent, even though we all lived here, Japan. Usually us Others had dark skin, we played soccer or table tennis, instead of the more macho basketball or wrestling, we ate weird food at the cafeteria tables, and we had to be sanctioned off into the “Non-Christian Religion” class, the other two being “Catholics” (the best denomination) and the “Protestants” (the tolerated denomination). Since a majority of the students hailed from Asia, Africa, and South America, the disproportionate weight of our numbers had to be counterbalanced by strict reference to the West as the basis of our education. We spent seven years studying American history, one year world history, six months Japanese history, six Chinese, and one year Roman history (in Latin, of course).

Now I wasn’t the sort of person who kowtows to convention, and since I had enough conflict with the American and Australian bullies under the great camphor tree behind the school, I spent whatever time I had away from the school out in the fields and woods around Tokyo, hunting insects, kneeing through the susuki grass, and walking the trails around the rice paddies and the hills and mountains. This is where I was at peace and where the world made sense.

As a German/ Filipino/ only-discovered-at-twenty African American who grew up in Japan, the States, and Germany, who has been traveling since he was two, and was stateless until twelve years old, places as defined by humans, such as the arbitrary endowment of nationality or the invisible barriers of borders, never gave me any sense of belonging to a place. Even today the fervor that people build up in mindless displays of nationalism, such as the madness that seems to have overcome the U.S., makes no sense to me. The way I see it, the mobbing arises out of a herd mentality, each individual feeling safer with companions nearby and most importantly, companions with whom they are familiar. That these people declare American or British soil as the container of their identities seems, to me, to get the picture backward. Places have always seemed to work more as catalysts for identities; after all, the Native Americans developed a completely different world outlook from the immigrant Europeans, and even modern African Americans bear little resemblance to Africans from the continent, both culturally and often physically.

As I grow older Asian influences on the nature of existence and identity take greater and greater precedence in how I view myself. The Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist idea that the self is no more than an illusion, and that all of creation is but a flicker of a dream, makes sense and seems to explain a lot of the dilemma of body/ soul, life/death, mundane/heavenly, and human/ divine that Western philosophy seems unable to resolve. Buckminster Fuller put it succinctly: “I seem to be a verb”. Lately I’ve begun to see myself, my whole being, as a series of actions and ideas, constantly fluctuating, always becoming something else, but in the end, not having been anything but some dancing flame.

Looking back over my life, I often wondered why it has always been the wild, healthy places, or on occasion some well-designed garden or structure, that held sway over me and kept me coming back or stopping me dead in my tracks with awe and delight. If it is that I am just a dancing flame and that places around me just shifting veils of illusion, then what is it that arouses such wonder in me? What is the relationship between beauty, health, love, and place? Why does a beautiful place universally draw people, to the point that they will travel around the globe to see it?

Perhaps it is that when a place and an individual (or group) participate fully with each other, a recognition of the inseparability of each awakes in one’s consciousness. That is my experience at least. Throughout my life I have always felt most in tune with a place when I forgot myself and just “let go” into the elements. Walking a ridge, gazing from a boat window, crouching in the garden observing tiger beetles, or even drifting off into a deep sleep.

Life begets life. Though I have lived in disparate places, thousands of miles apart, they have all been linked, mainly by the forces that greet me each time I wake, like wind, sunlight, rain, trees, birds, insects, and fellow people. All these things have always moved in and out of my life, like seconds in a continuous curtain call. What happened in each of these encounters amassed into the theme that I play today. And tomorrow it will change again. I feel the restlessness that characterizes us humans and will probably move away from Tokyo, to be shaped yet again. A constant honing:

…walking in the woods of Germany with my grandfather, who taught me to find wild blueberries and hazenuts…
…hunting butterflies and rhinoceros beetles in Karuizawa, Japan…
…bicycling the gravel roads of the 1970’s Hokkaido, Japan…
…arriving in Oregon from Japan and dumbstruck by the hugeness of the douglas firs…
…strolling the same azure and corn yellow lanes of Arles, France, that van Gogh frequented…
…watching a hundred humpback and fin whales amidst a thousand common dolphins, all cavorting in a copper-colored, mirror-still sea in the Stellwagon Banks, off of Boston…
…bicycling to work in a blizzard along the blue ghost of the Charles River, in Boston…
…sitting silent all day on a cliff in the Shetlands, watching fulmars and puffins and razorbills…
…paddling a kayak across the Suruga Bay, Japan, with my first encounter with deep sea swells, like the earth heaving…
…falling asleep beneath an ancient cedar and waking up to Mt. Fuji bathed in gold…
…running along the Noh River near my apartment, as pipistrelle bats loop above…
…pulling weeds in my garden with mosquitoes biting and cicadas singing…

Anecdotes, but like a string of pearls. These make up my world and my mind. Places drawing through me, more like lines than points, and insisting that I dance along.

I am that blue marble hanging in the darkness. The Earth that shapes me. Perhaps a song. And finally, nothing, nothing at all.