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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Elena's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
3:01 am
~ the shadow-boxing arena ~
There are days when things slip out of focus and smudge into imprecision. Shadows become larger than lit-up corners and words shout louder than deeds. It's almost as if a massive hang-over stings the edges of reality into drained out colors and distorted images . . . and as you bang your knee in every possible chair around, your mind keeps echoing "what was i thinking," "what was i thinking," "what was i..."

Well, i know it's gonna be shortlived and yeah, i know it will soon be over . . . but i do have the feeling i will be picking up broken pieces of glass with naked hands and hoping that a small drop of blood -- delicately forming in a tiny spot of throbbing skin -- will remind me that, once again, i'm alive.

It's always precious things that make us whole again.

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
12:47 am
"The Telling" by Mookie Katigbak
"The Telling" by Mookie Katigbak

When I tell you that you have an effect
Upon me you may not intend, and you
Ask me to render, not tell,
I think of cities I have been to
And have yet to see, where at some ungodly
Hour, a train slips through unseen tracks,
All grooved wheels and steam pipes
Announcing neither arrival nor departure
But passage, sure and swift as rain after
A dry spell. In the town square, vendors sell
Candied nuts by the glare of gas lights
And the derelict hit-or-miss of prayers
Everyone forgets to follow through.
When a train passes, the makeshift stalls
Allow the ground its procedural
Shiver, then it’s business as usual.
What’s earth-stopping is the howl
Of a train expressly on its way
To not here. It moans a phantom hunger
All the more terrible because unseen
—Hear it?—This is the sound of all
That rifles through us and does not stay.
Everything is in the details; wail of the train
Through tracks unseen, destination
When I show you how you and I
Have more hunger than we know
What to do with, I am telling you
Goodbye before you know it.

Tulaan Sa Tren

Current Mood: worried
Thursday, November 26th, 2009
2:57 am
~ in retrospect ~
amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
7:24 am
Monday, October 19th, 2009
3:59 pm
~ Turin Brake: What's really happening? ~
I had a magical weekend. Reminded me of things I last experienced when 17.

Look at the light, it's full of stars
What's really happening? Something wonderful,
It's not as bad as I was told,
To lose all that was loved
It's the demons who drag you down
But the angels pull you up...
Saturday, October 17th, 2009
12:18 am
hmmm . . . reminds me of . . . it's better this way
A Working List of Things I Will Never Tell You
By Jon Sands, August 28, 2009

When I said I wasn’t with another girl
the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time,
it’s because it wasn’t actual sex.

In the February that began our radio silence,
it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts
that go below your waistline.

Not only do they make you look too young,
but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs.
I screamed at myself in the subway

for writing poems about you still.
I made a scene. I think about you almost
each morning, and roughly every five days, I still

believe you’re there.
I still masturbate to you.
When we got really bad,

I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar
to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed.
You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing

I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck
wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in.
I remember when you said being with me

is like being alone with company.
My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies.
I’m scared you’re my pink pony.

Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead.
You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever.
You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls.

I have a growing queue of things I know
will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them.
I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay,

I would not have said no.
It would never mean yes.

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, March 28th, 2009
8:10 pm
~ Renoir's Bathing Girls ~

Renoir's Bathing Girls, originally uploaded by smilezthief.

This happened last weekend. This weekend has been about having a not-so-nice make-up birthday, trying to reign in my ADD, cooking, cleaning, biking, and stealing daffodils instead of studying . . . and watching Gossip Girl and now Lost. But tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning. Otherwise, my ADD coach is going to kick my butt, and -- believe me you -- she can kick! ;-)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
4:11 pm
~ passion ~

passion, originally uploaded by ellie_pavlova.

My all time favorite tangka. The one that makes my room sizzle and my head balanced. The one that brings energy to the right level. Passionate, but in an enlightened and stylish way.

Just wanted to share seven of my favorite poets: jeffrey mcdaniel, jack gilbert, leonard cohen, dylan thomas, michael ondaatje, charles bukowski, & Hafez. I'm sure there are some favorite women poets there as well, but I just don't remember them right now.

~ Beneath My Hands ~

Beneath my hands
your small breasts
are the upturned bellies
of breathing fallen sparrows.

Wherever you move
I hear the sounds of closing wings
of falling wings.

I am speechless
because you have fallen beside me
because your eyelashes
are the spines of tiny fragile animals.

I dread the time
when your mouth
begins to call me hunter.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want to summon
the eyes and hidden mouths
of stone and light and water
to testify against you.

I want them
to surrender before you
the trembling rhyme of your face
from their deep caskets.

When you call me close
to tell me
your body is not beautiful
I want my body and my hands
to be pools
for your looking and laughing.

Current Mood: sad
4:07 pm
Portugal . . . a funky maritime building

DSCF2785, originally uploaded by ellie_pavlova.

. . . near the maritime garden and the Aquarium.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009
10:56 am
~ a space of my own ~

DSCF2755, originally uploaded by ellie_pavlova.

In addition to the much overdue paper that I'm trying to complete, I've dedicated the rest of my SPRING BREAK to a massive home-cleaning project. Ever since my roommate moved in with her boyfriend (but she still has her stuff in the other room, just in case; with relationships these days you never know!), I've been confronted with the stark reality that I can keep a place clean when there's another person living there, but I am impossibly messy when it comes to living on my own. I can tolerate dishes in the sink, and balls of dust in the corners, and clothes and books everywhere. I can also agilely jump over or rummage through stuff in order to get what I need. But enough is enough, I've decided. As I'm the lady of the house, I can just as well make an effort and make it a clean and pleasant experience to live in. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a quick and effecient cleaning enterprise became an obsessively thorough monster cleaning project. It involved scrubbing the oven and its rails in addition to the gas stove; washing by hand a number of wool garments; washing my comforter (as well as the sheets & other laundry); scrubbing the kettle and all pots in existence; scrubbing the bath tub and washing the entire bathroom; tidying up my papers and adding new flowers to the home residency. As such, I'm still cleaning as I write since today is the day when the floors will be vacuumed and washed and my course papers organized. A pair of clean sheets will be placed on the bed, and book cases and other open surfaces will be dusted. But such is LIFE.

On another note, I also watched a couple of amazing movies: Sex and Lucia, The Long Engagement (by the same director as Amelie), City of Men (the sequel to my favorite City of God), Shanghai Triad (amazing stuff with the exquisite Gong Li!) & the Emperor and the Assassin. Throw in some nice chick flicks and that meant me staying up till 2 am every night.

Before I wish you a pleasant weekend, I just wanted to share with you 3 websites I absolute love (and check on a daily basis):


http://www.101cookbooks.com/ (great veggie recipes)

http://www.exoticindia.com/ (great for all sorts of Indian, Tibetan, and Nepalese art products, in fact the TANKHA over my bed is from there)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
7:14 pm
Can You Guess Which One is the Sphynx???

I miss Syria. I miss my friends. I miss the never ending feeling of real-life wonder. I even miss being harassed on the street or picked up by strange teenage boys. I miss talking to the juice store owner and the croissant maker every morning. I miss learning Arabic or being surrounded by Arab people. I am having a serious *syria* moment

Thursday, January 29th, 2009
1:13 am
~ Dune quotes ~
I think it's time I re-read the Dune series. It's been my pillar of strength in hard times, as well as the source from which I've learned the most in terms of personal growth and wisdom. Three favorite equotes that maybe I've posted before and maybe I haven't:

Humans live best when each has his place to stand, when each knows where he belongs in the scheme of things and what he may achieve. Destroy the place and you destroy the person.
-Bene Gesserit Teaching

Mood? What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises — no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting.
Counsel of Gurney Halleck to young Paul Atreides when he declares he is not in the mood for training.
-Counsel of Gurney Halleck to young Paul Atreides when he declares he is not in the mood for training.

It is your fate, forgetfulness. All of the old lessons of life, you lose and
gain and lose and gain again.
-Leto II, the Voice of Dar-es-Balat
Monday, January 26th, 2009
3:18 pm
~ Sometimes It Happens ~
Sometimes It Happens

And sometimes it happens that you are friends and then
You are not friends,
And friendship has passed.
And whole days are lost and among them
A fountain empties itself.

And sometimes it happens that you are loved and then
You are not loved,
And love is past.
And whole days are lost and among them
A fountain empties itself into the grass.

And sometimes you want to speak to her and then
You do not want to speak,
Then the opportunity has passed.
Your dreams flare up, they suddenly vanish.

And also it happens that there is nowhere to go and then
There is somewhere to go,
Then you have bypassed.
And the years flare up and are gone,
Quicker than a minute.

So you have nothing.
You wonder if these things matter and then
As soon you begin to wonder if these things matter
They cease to matter,
And caring is past.
And a fountain empties itself into the grass.

Brian Patten

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, January 25th, 2009
6:44 pm
~ it's been awhile ~

DSCF2725, originally uploaded by ellie_pavlova.

It's been awhile since I've updated my LJ page in a substantial manner. Life has been busy, in more good ways than bad ways. It's been challenging to make yet another transition into a new place with its new rhythms, and into a new lifestyle with its pressing demands. To be a PhD student in a fascinating university with a long intellectual tradition has always been my dream. In many ways, I felt that when I did my undergraduate at Harvard, I was unable to immerse myself fully into the scholarly activities because I had a lot of growing up to do. Knowledge can fill our heads, but only when we are ready to process it into wisdom.

The second time around, I felt ready. And wanderlust wise. And life challenges tough. And hungry, and focused, and disciplined. Not that there weren't some unexpected challenges in my personal life and in the lives of people i care greatly about (my godmother passed away, god bless her soul). But i persevered and kept moving. I'm currently at the end of my first semester at Princeton. I've turned in my papers and I took my Persian exam. I did my laundry and I cooked my lunch for tomorrow. Yet, there is a lingering feeling of loneliness rooted somewhere deep inside of me. Perhaps it's tiredness. Perhaps it's working too fast for too long. But i enjoyed the journey. And I will keep on moving as i keep on writing.

During my self-imposed paper writing isolation, i signed up for Facebook. At first, i felt excited and scared about connecting to people long lost yet vividly remembered. But after the first couple of months, i felt the exchanges there were quite shallow. I missed the intellectual expansiveness and emotional ambience of LJ, in addition to the deep immersion into different people's lives. In many ways, i feel closer to all of you by reading your entries than to people i know posting one-liners. So-and-so is motivated today. So-and-so is listening to sad songs. So-and-so won't come to bed when asked. Not that such pieces of info are irrelevant or too mundane to merit attention, but what really gets me is that they convey nothing more than the phrasing mentioned. No context, no experience, no color. Nothing. So, here i am back to the LJ space. Craving meaningful contact in a meaningful space. Strangers who are friends because i know about their lives more than i know about the lives of my friends.

It's been awhile, but i'm back.

Monday, November 24th, 2008
6:38 pm
~ The Rule of Beauty ~

~ The Rule of Beauty ~, originally uploaded by smilezthief.

Leona Lewis: Better in Time


It's been the longest winter without you
I didn't know where to turn to
See, somehow I can't forget you
After all that we've been through

Going, coming thought I heard a knock
Who's there; no one
Thinking that I deserve it
Now I realize that I really didn't know
If you didn't notice you meant everything
Quickly I'm learning to love again
All I know is I'm gonna be ok

Thought I couldn't live without you
It's gonna hurt when it heals too
It'll all get better in time
Even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to
It'll all get better in time

I couldn't turn on the TV
Without something there to remind me
Was it all that easy
To just put aside your feelings

If I'm dreaming don't wanna laugh
Hurt my feelings but that's the past
I believe it
And I know that time will heal it
If you didn't notice- boy you meant everything
Quickly I'm learning to love again
All I know is I'm gonna be ok

Thought I couldn't live without you
It's gonna hurt when it heals too
It'll all get better in time
Even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to
It'll all get better in time

Since there's no more you and me
It's time I let you go
So I can be free
And live my life how it should be
No matter how hard it is - I'll be fine without you
Yes I will

I'll be better in time

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
6:12 pm
~ Hmmm, Sarah Palin seems to know more about terrorism & terrorists than I do ~
These elections' PR spin -- on the Republican side -- has become a virtual rip-off on the GWOT. Now that GWOT is no longer a "global war on terror," but an equally if not more mis-named "global war on Islamist extremism," Sarah Palin is America's Superwoman and saving (honorary) knight in shining armour. Seriously, the woman breathes and sees terrorists/ radicals on every corner. Check her latest 'pearl of wisdowm':


The only question is why do we need the CIA and the FBI if Sarah Palin is more informed than they are on the issue of domestic terrorism??? And, what the heck are those two intelligence institutions getting their salaries for if Sarah Palin ascertains that there are 2 accredited American professors on the board of reputable universities, who are either terrorists or radicals/ terrorist sympathizers? It boggles my mind.

But on the other hand, what do you expect from a woman who considers the geography of her home town as foreign policy experience? Btw, there's a hilarious response by a group of Russian hunks "in love" with Palin. Check it out, it's too good to miss:


Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
4:57 am
~ breathing in time: Mount Qassiyun at Sunset ~

It's been a long time since I've updated anything, but I guess I got caught in the desert mode of hiding my head in the sand. Just a quick hello to all my dear LJ friends, and some updates for you: I've been accepted to Princeton, and I will be heading on my way there this fall. It is a dream come true and an amazing opportunity for me to continue thriving on my special interests and loved topics ;-)

How have you all be doing?

Love, E.

Monday, January 21st, 2008
9:04 am
~ Goddesses Are Known By Their Scent ~

Bryan Adams: To Really Love a Woman

To really love a woman,
To understand her,
You've got to know her deep inside ...
Hear every thought, See every dream,
And give her wings when she wants to fly.
Then when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms ...
You know you really love a woman

When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's really wanted.
When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's the one.
'Cause she needs somebody to tell her that it's gonna last forever.
So tell me have you ever really, really, really ever loved a woman?

To really love a woman Let her hold you,
Till you know how she needs to be touched.
You've got to breathe her, really taste her,
'Til you can feel her in your blood.
And when you can see your unborn children in her eyes ...
You know you really love a woman.

When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's really wanted.
When you love a woman,
You tell her that she's the one.
'Cause she needs somebody, to tell her that you'll always be together
So tell me have you ever really ... really, really ever loved awoman?

You've got to give her some faith,
Hold her tight, a little tenderness.
You've got to treat her right.
She will be there for you taking good care of you ...
You really gotta love your woman yeah.

And when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms,
You know you really love a woman.

Friday, December 28th, 2007
5:23 am
~ star startled ~

DSCF2377, originally uploaded by ellie_pavlova.

5:21 am
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