MonthDecember 2008

triumph over hope: contact

I’ve watched Jacob for the past half hour or so. He sits in a corner across the room from me, a bustling high-ceilinged common space where patients are carefully monitored whilst being encouraged to interact with one another within the norms of accepted social behaviour. The main ruckus of the session, a pool table dispute leading to a farcical cue-duel between a couple of the residents, temporarily disrupted all the patients from the activities they were engaged in. All that is, except Jacob. Throughout it all and since then, he has sat there next to the window and alternated between absently picking at the flecks of white paint peeling off the windowsill and staring into a distance that I suspect neither I or any other being would ever be privy to.

I wonder if everyone’s inner, unseeing gazes eventually reach and converge at just this one horizon.

Jacob’s hope and his loss play on my mind. From previous patient experience, I’m acutely aware that regardless of whatever the facts may be, the power of the psyche to make intangible nothing into concrete reality is a phenomenal one, and one that my patients may forever be locked in battle with. But like every one of us, Jacob has to grasp onto some lifeline within himself in order to gain first footing in this fight. I’ll try and provide him with the tools to hold on – if he’ll let me.

I finally manage to make direct eye contact with him and I smile. He upholds the gaze unflinchingly, just for a few seconds, and then turns back to beyond the window as the crimson sunset turns into dusk.

contributed by: Nadia Khan

repose




repose, originally uploaded by thisduck.

is this a dagger which i see before me?

I am completely taken by the simplicity of things. Something so basic and I am in awe.

I bring my hand to eye level, palm facing me, with all the fingers pointing up. I bend my pinky down and up, then my ring finger, then my middle finger, and then my index finger. As if each finger, one by one, were taking a bow. I end with my thumb. No, I don’t really end. I repeat the motions in reverse, now starting with the thumb. And again, and again. Each time I slow down a little.

This only gives me more time to think. This motion, this movement. The slower the finger, the more I think. I have to find its source.

I slowly trace the movements back. As much as I can. The signal must come from some where, some place. I trace it down my palm, through my wrist and to my elbow. It flows up my bicep, around my shoulder blade, and up my neck. My mind, it is coming from my mind.

A mere thought causes these movements.

This motion is a thought.

Where do these thoughts come from? These thoughts that move me, where do they come from?

Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

gone

[audio:http://www.jaaduhai.com/bol/gone.mp3]

[direct mp3 link]

my every moment gone

i did not see the stars

[audio:http://www.jaaduhai.com/bol/lookup4.mp3]

[direct mp3 link]

look up

create

when you don't create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. your tastes only narrow & exclude people. so create.

design

I don’t think I’ve commented at all on the new design. I’ll do that now.

I like it a lot. I’m very comfortable with it, yet there’s still a certain level of discomfort. And that’s fine. I love the design. The essence of it.

It’s a lot, in nature, like my best design. I made that up in 2003. The date and the content and nothing much else. The design is very bare bones and simple, I like that. This design is very bare bones and simple also, I like that as well.

This design didn’t have a link to the comments initially, so I added that. I increased the font size. Which is very different from the 2003 design where the text is so small. I don’t know what I was thinking back then, but at the same time, monitor sizes and resolutions were a lot smaller back then. I like the large font size. I find it easier to read. Though, I suppose, some may find it annoying.

I really like the way it lists the archives, although it’s not immediately obvious how to get there. The archives page could be improved by using AJAX to fetch a post when you click the title and display it immediately with you having to leave that page, and also allow commenting from that same spot. I will play with that sometime. I already pull in contents of all single line posts to display immediately, no point in making a person click just to see one line.

There are no sidebars. Apart from that 2003 design, I’ve always had sidebars even if they were empty. Most of the things I had in the sidebar were fairly useless. Like search for example. Seriously, who really comes here to search for things? I do, but I’m sure for everyone else that’s a fairly pointless feature. The “I’m currently reading” and “My Flickr” areas in the sidebar felt way to self-promotional for my likings. I mean, yes, this is my personal blog and naturally you will get information about me. But it’s not important enough to be on every single page. Maybe just the first page? Maybe not even there? I’ll have to figure that out.

I miss having the blogroll, I think that’s a key component toward developing some sort of a community and encouraging collaboration to some degree. I need to find a clean way of bringing that back. I like the idea of having a “quick links” type feature.

Categories and archives in the sidebar? What good are those? No use showing a huge list of archive page links from 2002 to 2008. That’s just information clutter. Likewise with the categories/tags. But all this information is cleverly embedded into the post data. So you still have access to it without generating sidebar clutter.

I’m not saying all this stuff is necessarily bad. I may not like it now but then like it tomorrow. But I think there need to be better ways of presenting this information.

Speaking about design and better ways of presenting information, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Fathima’s new site design and her new blog design. I think she has awesome design and HTML/CSS coding skills and you should hire her.

So I’ll play around with this design, tweak things and over time figure things out.

Also, the design was made by Jonas Arnfred from ifany.org.

look up

i did not see the stars tonight
i blamed the city, i blamed the light
i blamed the weather, i blamed the fog
i blamed pollution, and i blamed the smog

i thought, where did we all go so wrong?
i thought, maybe i should write a sad song.
i thought, oh lord, why is the world so stuck-up?
but, in fact: i did not see the stars, because i did not look up

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