Attempting to Explain Idleness

“Perhaps, most simply, idleness is reserved contemplation through the tranquilizing of productive and unproductive time.” I am productive. I like to think so. I must be working toward something, or I will feel defective. Rather, I must be validated by a finished-product, the thought of incompletion knots under my skin. I have this recurring dream […]

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How Much Language Means, and, Yet, How Little

There are times when syntax functions like the Powerball operated by a discombobulated robot-arm. The mind feels hollowed out, the tongue is an idle instrument. Moments like this, we face a terrifying reality—words only mean as much as their sounds. The times I truly feel that language is insufficient are during the quiet exchanges between […]

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The Mid-Autumn Festival and the Rituals that Never Escaped Me

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the harvest moon, which may include paying fealty to the moon goddess, a pale-faced abstraction with winglike sleeves. Even before my first Mid-Autumn Festival, I remember the worship of its deity. This did not yet involve the ritual devouring of mooncakes— the amazingly caloric, and gelatinous staple food of the […]

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