Back Pain & Why Tattoos :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I know more and more I talk about chronic illness. It’s not meant to just be a purge, a kvetch or a notice for recognition. Lately, my flare up have just been getting worse and longer. All the advice doctors gave and the awkward hard to explain moments just seem worse. More then ever, I am just tired. So very tired…

A friend of mine is coming up to visit me in April and I am so excited to have someone see where I go to University and be an understanding friend. I had been debating when ( and more importantly) where to get a back tattoo I have always wanted.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Yakuza movies, samurai movies and ronin movies. I loved the traditional colorful tattoos on them and the values that seemed to come with them. As I got older, learned more about what it meant and how it was perceived I didn’t want such a large piece anymore. For awhile, I thought about abandoning the idea completely.

Then I got my diagnosis and I started to reconsider. What eventually solidified the desire to get the tattoo was this increasing problems. My drugs are increasing and surgeries that seemed far off seem sooner and sooner. More and more I feel like I am missing out and that I’ll miss out on things even more in the future. Weighed down by everything around me and having it all be unseen is taking a bigger toll on me. I can do less then I used to at the moment and no one really sees it or understands it. More and more I have to come to terms with being seen by the average person as a ‘disappointment’.

It’s these things that make me stop caring about some of the things I used to. If I feel like life is short and changing so much for me I have to at least do the things I enjoy? A giant back tattoo or some crazy visual representation of all my problems probably won’t do much for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stick to aesthetic and feel as if I did something to show it.

My back has two curves and a tiny hump on my neck. At the top of my spine there are signs of bones thinning and possibly going to fade away. As you got to the bottom of my spine fusing has started, my hips are out of place and my legs are now two different lengths. None of this can be seen or understood unless I give up and say I want to walk around like Quasimodo so people notice me. That is always going to be the reality of my back. Anything from now on won’t be seen.

I like small minuscule and thin lined tattoos. Normally, I don’t want color and just want simple black. I’ve known since I was small I would want tattoos that represented ideas that meant a lot to me in life. Knowing this it isn’t hard for me to know what sort of tattoo I’d get on my back.

At the top of my neck, I would want in thin black lines Vegvisir. Vegvisir is one of the most popular Nordic charms. It wishes for the person to never lose their way in storm and bad weather even if the path is unknown. I don’t think there is anything more symbolic of everything going on then that. However, there is one more reason. My great grandma’s mother was a Swedish Orphan. She had come to the U.K. and met a Spanish Jew. They married and moved to the U.S. Apparently, unlike her husband and the efforts she put into now being Jewish and raising Jewish kids she never gave up her belief system. She was very very very Christian. I’m talking crosses and bloody Jesus pictures everywhere sort of Christian. Yet, there was one thing that my great grandma remembered seeing even when she didn’t know the name of it until I told her: Vegvisir. In a legacy where only food and some old myths managed to be passed down, my great grandma could vaguely in her dying times remember seeing Vegvisir as a child. Now how could I argue with that? Jewish or not, my great grandma read me Nordic myths as I was growing up, joked how if it was true Odin was 100% cooler than Zeus, and how we were meant to be tough because it was just in our blood. I’m traveling rough waters right now and maybe that means it isn’t just about being Jewish, but remembering all beliefs that helped create me.

Underneath Vegvisir is the real highlight though. Running in small thin lines will be the I Ching and its 64 changes. For a person of my aesthetic and weirdness (and love for Asian culture) what is better then 64 line patterns each symbolizing a different part of early understanding and divination? Nothing. Seriously, nothing at all. My life is certainly one of change and phases, of fortunes and dis-fortunes, and of joy and sadness. These line patterns will follow the crooked path my spine takes all the way to my tailbone. Maybe it will seem funny to some, but to me it’s a little part of the truth. And when these inevitable surgeries come, the scars appear on my back and the fight through new types of pain begins, I have marks of it all. Little lines that exist as part of scars and as part of the journey.

Going through all of this has taught me that living behind a mask is no longer something I’ll really be good at again. My body demands of me the truth. It demands that I grow past the angry cynical jaded girl I was when I was young and try to find the joy of life. It tells me that it will not tolerate lies and will only tolerate truth.

Don’t I have to do it then?

I.L. Knight

P.S. Odin really is way better. Norse > Greek everyday <3

Vegvisir

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I Ching

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Pagan Folk Music – Vegvisir

Exhausted :

Hi Hi Y’all,

I am completely and utterly exhausted. BUT. I have to push through for at least another 3 days…SO. Adding to the site today we have one chapter update for American Horror Story Fan Fiction:

Chapter 7

AAAAND… I have Part 1 of the updates for an orginal web novel series between Outremusings and myself, called H x E. There is now 21 chapters up!

H X E

Other news, I did one of those Buzzfeed thingies. I tried to go back to my past life and stuffs. So I asked myself (as instructed by the video) what have I brought with me, and this is what I saw:

The sight of tan bareless feet running….trees…I’m in a forest. I love the forest…It’s so beautiful….But I can’t think like that because I’m suddenly filled with worry…I’m fleeing from something…I can see my hands. There tan, rough. I think I’m Pacific Islander. Maybe South Asian…But my instinct says I’m Pacific Islander…. I can also feel smoke although I can’t see it….Just like how I can suddenly feel the ocean near me…I keep falling… I want to stop running…I’m exhausted…So exhausted… I just want it all to stop.. BUT..I know I can’t. I have to get where I’m going.I think I’m a screw up. That I’m not good at what I’m supposed to be good at. And now I know all these people depend on me getting there. And I hear the sound of someone crying, but I can’t see them. I didn’t know the pain could get worse…and as I run I see black start to cover my vision………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I think I died. I don’t think I made it. I think I let down those people. Because suddenly I hear lots of cries, and know a fire is crawling towards me. That I’m about to become ashes and return to the earth…I know I never made it………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….And then I’m back in that world tree. The accumulation of all mes is a little girl with a bunny doll. And I watch her drop this tiny old fashioned bunny. I watch it fall from this tree and place that is dark and light all at the same time to empty space. Falling until somehow I can no longer see it. The words in a voice I can’t recognize linger in my head, ‘Let Go’.

Welp. That was my one fun introspective update of the week. Also, I got called a Kyke today in class. I won’t get into it, but… I haven’t been called a Kyke since I was seven and in such rural South you questioned  everything about yourself…Still processing that. But I know I’m feeling some sort of pain.

Also, to my friend Outremusings, my ride or die, I’m sorry I’ve been falling into old patterns and not being a good friend. There’s no excuse.

My goal was to stop myself from feeling so overwhelmed. It was to control my anxiety and be here in the present with the people that love me and the people I love. And you are most definitely on the top of that list.

I really just want to feel like I’ve become successful in any capacity…I want my service dog.

I.L. Knight

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Shalom Chaverim

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[ Picture is COMichael Cohen’s ]

 

Update On Disappearance:

Hi Hi Y’all!

Just in case you do stop by and noticed my absentee behavior I wanted to fill you in. I got super sick my last week in China. Right after I got home an important family member died, which resulted in a funeral in New York and the traditional 7 days of Shiva. After the funeral I had to be hospitalized and than my phone got taken away. My mom forgets I’m 22 and pay my own bills sometimes.

Anyways, I AM BACK. Been making money moves. And have a lot in store for you! Tune in this week for updates, changes and surprises.

I love y’all crazy fellows,

I.L. Knight

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Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

 

[ Image via withlove-thewho/Tumblr ]

Ruining My Happy Place:

Whelp, I moved houses. And this new house has been super great, it fits every box for a warm happy home that is conducive to living a new chronic life. An added bonus: it is next to the Japanese gardens in my town. It is a great place I love to just sit in silence and like find some time to myself and be around nature. It is a happy place for me in a town that has historically not been so happy for me.

AND THEY RUINED IT. THEY FUCKING RUINED IT. THEY RUINED IT FOR ME SO BADLY I CAN’T GO BACK FOR AT LEAST A YEAR, SO I CAN GET OVER HOW THEY FUCKING RUINED IT.

First, my grandmother went around the gardens complaining how the price of entrance and how it was a money trap. Which she emphasized when she saw the mini shrine statues where people were leaving change as offering for luck. When I tried to explain they are mimicking what is done in Shinto shrines SHE LAUGHED AT EVERYONE. I may make fun of a lot of people, but even I try to respect spirituality… It got even worse when she kept taking water from various water stations in the park only to constantly spit it out and insult it… THEN END THE TOUR BY SAYING LOCAL PARKS ARE FREE AND PRETTIER….

My Aunt decided to remark in her loud New York voice and persona at every single person who passed us and politely asked us to lower our voices. It is a majority silent garden where people come for peace. THERE WAS NOTHING RUDE OR OFFENSIVE FOR WHAT THEY WERE ASKING. I mean everyone in our family was quickly walking through the gardens anyways without looking. What was there for you to stop and talk about.

And there is my mom. My lovely, sweet All-American, blonde cherub of a mother. I WILL NEVER ALLOW YOU IN A PLACE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME AGAIN. Forget trying to share common interests, forget having a simple basic conversation with your daughter. Forget all of that! No matter how much you are frustrated with me, UNJUSTLY FOR A WEEK STRAIGHT OF TORMENT I MIGHT ADD, you don’t say stupid fucking cunty shit.

First, you call me dirty, disgusting and belonging in the woods in the morning, because I changed from washing my hair from everyday to every other day or every two days. A thing that I was doing, because I NEED TO FREAKING HEAL MY HAIR THAT IS DAMAGED. Oh no, you don’t stop the day there. You enter my peaceful refuge and in the middle of a crowd of plant appreciating people yell that I am fat. That my trainer, who by the way if you listened your daughter at all in any conversation is there for helping me regain atrophied muscle and mobility, is failing because I look like shit. OH AND LET US REMIND OURSELVES HOW I AM A BITCH, UNWORTHY, MONSTER, COLD, LAZY, STUPID, ETC…. person in front of this now gawking crowd of people. Then follow me off into a side path to scream at me for not meeting your ideals as the perfect fucking daughter.

And even after all of this. I still feel like crap, because you know what. I entered a state I haven’t been in years! I blacked out for a moment. I didn’t see anything or know what I did. I only know that I felt myself falter and try to regain my balance. But I could tell what I did, I gave you a light kick to the back of the leg to shut you up.

Something I can’t even take satisfaction in because, (1) it is wrong to lift your hand to anyone in that manner, (2) it occurred in a state I was not in control of and (3) YOU DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING SHUT UP. No, the only thing that happened is me self reflecting in the car ride home. Remembering the one and only ever time before this something like this has happened…

I was around thirteen. Our problems had been escalating the last year or two with your insanity getting worse and my general emergence into puberty… Bullying in school was getting worse and I myself was sinking deep into something I wouldn’t yet have a name for. I was in the kitchen making breakfast as I did every day for you, even if I knew you were going to not eat it and throw it out anyways. What the fight about I can’t remember. But I will always remember that feeling of blacking out and coming back into yourself only to see a surprising a result. A result that you instantly wish was satisfying, but has the complete opposite effect. At the park, it was kicking you. Back then, it was the sight of egg dripping down your face. I had cracked them on your head… A surprisingly creative thing though.

My favorite place was ruined for me though the moment I made that connection. It would be a place where I was brought back too one of my worst memories. A time when I was so out of control, because of my feelings, I literal lost myself. It made me realize it’s not just pain, hurt, guilt, sadness I have for my family. There is a large boiling cauldron of resentment that doesn’t want to just stay in the pot anymore.

I kind of wonder now… with another place leaving my list of safety zones where I can go to escape everything. Where can I go to calm my mind or get rid of a migraine…

I sort of wish Ukiyo was as true as the stories. I could bend down right by the edge of a pool of water and reach out towards a reflection…Where I went or what the place was didn’t really matter. It was just disconnected, separate, more realistic than a fantasy, but still yet a fantasy.

It would be a completely different world… wouldn’t it?

I.L. Knight

 

 

hotaru-no-hikari

Japanese Instrumental

 

 

*The picture has a cat in it o(≧∇≦o). This almost a perfect recreation of what I wish for my retirement.*

The Classic Bagel Joint :

Every Jewish girl, boy, appreciator has normally one constant in their lives: a good bagel place that knows them since they were children. So naturally, I do as well. A place that stockpiles the good tofu cream cheese and nova. Although, if we are being honest they need to improve their sturgeon game (seriously, it is so dry).

Today, though, in a place where everyone knows everyone, I was embarrassed. With my family it is always the same conversation. My grandfather tells me all the natural remedies and the power of Tumeric and says that will solve everything. It goes on for twenty minutes, as I get lectured on my dependency on medication and how I shouldn’t do my Humera paperwork, because it has so many side effects. I eventually get frustrated with him, because let’s face my entire family ‘cares’ a lot about my illness and has down all the research. You inability to even name what I have, or generally know my health concerns is a great example.

Still, the embarrassment wasn’t coming from me having to tell my grandfather, “Enough. It’s an auto-immune disease, dad. I don’t get to just take Turmeric every night and I will be cured. Besides, I already do take Turmeric every night!”, it came from walking over to my grandmother afterwards. Her words,” Stop it. That’s all you ever talk about. You and your list of problems. I’m tired, or I hurt. We know. You sound like no vaccine people. Natural cures do work sometimes…” You know why you guys can’t name what I have or my symptoms, MAYBE IT IS BECAUSE SINCE I FIRST STARTED HAVING HEALTH PROBLEMS YOU NEVER LET ME FINISH THE LIST OF ISSUES THAT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED BECAUSE THAT WAS CALLED COMPLAINING AND DEPRESSION TO YOU. The immediate answer every time can’t be a cut off, positive story, and now let me inspire motivation. Just acknowledge that waking up feeling like your body is on fire, SUCKS ASS. Acknowledge that I try so hard to keep with your beliefs and not be my mother and avoid relying on medication. I avoid pain killers, nerve-blockers, I even try to maintain sleep without sleeping pills, so I am succeeding on my own strength. Why you got to constantly embarrass me like that?

The woman at the cash register even felt like she needed to say something. Her sister has Lupus, so she said she sort of understood what I was going through. I thanked her, said her sister was brave and lucky to have her, got a free coffee, and a good luck from her. You see. Normal way to engage in conversation. Normal actions. No embarrassment.

I really hate that I write about this stuff so much lately. It’s like all the time my writing is about this and all I want to do is be writing about other things…But this is a part of my life now…a big part…a part I’m struggling with, because it affects everything around me and can change me so much. I can’t predict how I’ll be the next day. I can only hope my pre-planning works out. Fevers out of nowhere, forgetting things a lot one day, not being able to concentrate because your brain can literally not follow a sentence, and the constant check ins to monitor your medication or general health is my new life. It’s uncharted rough waters. You don’t know how to stop you from waking up one day and not being able to lift your knee up more than a few inches, or it being a day where you can’t leave your bed for awhile because you are stuck in a position you don’t remember laying in.

You are just in everyone else’s eyes weak and depressed. Even if you know you aren’t depressed, because of how you can see yourself struggling. I mean, I struggle to try and live through this chaotic ups and downs and even try to be strong, to be happy, to recognize I can’t carry the luggage from my past, and that I have to accept things because my body has no other option at this point. Still, I can’t argue it does make me mentally tired. Explaining these things over and over and not getting the results I want, because I myself can’t decide what I want to hear…I can’t even be a good friend sometimes, because I can’t handle another person.

It weighs heavily on my mind how when this all started I didn’t listen to my gut feelings about this all and got to the point I was at. How I can’t lose the weight I gained in any quick manner, because I can’t do the cardio that would burn those calories, and even if I did I need to dedicate time to body weight training sessions to maintain mobility and regain atrophied muscles… It eats away at me SO MUCH.

There’s a reason I am at a bagel place for my cheat day. I need to be able to eat a proper bagel more then every three to four months. I am a Jewish girl. OKAY. We live on this stuff. It is part of our culture. There is even a Yiddish saying about lacking bagels, “Lign in drerd un bakn beygl!” It directly means, May you lie in the ground and bake bagels… In other words, you should burn in hell and be depraved of bagels you are being forced to create. Bagels are serious man….

So can you at least not embarrass me at our bagel joint? Our last name even means bagel…..It should be sacred ground.

I.L. Knight

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Tradition – Fiddler On The Roof

A Topsy Turvy Day :

Here’s the thing:

 

I can’t help, but write about my health. It’s one of those things that becomes an all consuming void…pride? Relationship in your life? Still, after 2 years I somehow have not managed to accurately explain it to anyone. The frustration of it all. It’s invisible, you know! You are a child about it, you know. You look fine. You must have anxiety? Must not be able to handle the stress in becoming an adult in a modern world? You’ve adapted your mother’s issues. Damn it all, man. Damn it all. How do you explain something that no one will ever be able to see. Except, when you have black circles under your eyes from extreme lack of sleep during a flare, or a rash from your skin deciding it likes to have temper tantrums. Even then. It’s all fixable with some magic cream prescribed by a doctor. The wondrous marvels of modern medicine.

Anyways, I’m not here today, not present in some form of anchoring, to rant about the invisible pain in my life. Well, not that specific pain or any pain to be exact. I’m strangely here to talk about something good. Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, I faced a massive amount of apprehension about walking back into a school environment with an unsupportive Uni and professors who seemed to hate me for taking a medical leave due to becoming unable to walk properly. Hence, the equally invisible frustrations. Anyways, back to the point. I somehow did it. I survived the anxiety, left an hour early to walk up a giant hill at eight in the morning all without having time to do my morning stretches. I was a fat robot who struggled for an hour to get to a class I didn’t even know I could do. I mean, I was totally out of it. I had stayed up till 4 am the night before to do the readings I was supposed to do for the first day of class. It was a riveting set of film theory on studio films and how it applies to the development of cinema in China. News flash, it was another sense of fetishing the ‘Oriental’ as somehow being a child like country that white people loved to look at as enticing. A conspiracy of a Lolita reenactment going on as some sort of expected lens. Feh. White people. Although, it isn’t really fair of me to say that…considering even my insistence on a Jewish ethnicity can’t cover up the fact my bastard of a father I’ve never met before is as white as you can be. A good old U.K./French mix that made its way to Canada to only end up as a wannabe redneck in South Carolina. Apparently, a yellow pick up truck and a lucrative business in drugs was quite the enticing offer back in the 90’s.

Man, I’m really rambling on about all of this. I don’t know its like something is stuck in my head. Tuesday, was good though. I knew the professor very well. Three classes checked off on the list and it wasn’t hard to guess what his rambling was leading too. I had already learned he loves analytical metaphors, over zealous vocabulary and a hint of alliterations. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing if you have a writing style like mine: unorganized, spastic and completely dependent on the poetics of another fucking person. He’s a pretty great professor. Maybe that’s why the success in the class could only make me feel good. Not special. Not self assured. Not anything other than good. I had simply taken a step back into the stress pot of education at a pretentious Uni I hadn’t completely faltered on my first day. Yep, this invisible suffering outwardly bitchy female was doing good.

But Wednesday man, this day has been more than good. I fucking got away with only doing half the readings, falling asleep during the film screening and being completely silent during the actual lecture. I even saved enough coffee in my cup after 4 hours to be able to walk home. Ah, I hadn’t mentioned yet. I went to bed at 4 am on Tuesday. A friend I really need to keep at a distance due to her all consuming ability to extend everything to be about her self and her timeline made sleep impossible that night… I’m sure you are wondering, if you actually take time out of your day to stop by to this blog, how then did I seemingly do more than good? Well, not only did I never have this professor and she most likely heard terrible things with my somewhat destroyed reputation within my department, we managed to have a delightful conversation after class.

Part One a refreshing acceptance of the fact students can have disabilities or problems that you can’t necessarily see on their fucking face all the time. Even managing to ask what I might need during the year to make class actually be put on the same level as everyone else for me. Riveting, I tell you. Absolutely a fresh experience. Well known Unis’ often suck monkey dick.

Part 2 though is where I somehow managed to hit the nail on the head. I asked her about a simple sub point of a debate I had once back with the Professor from Tuesday about the difference between Modernism and Modernity. I told you over zealous and pretentious vocabulary works every time. Although, I happened to not agree with the insistent pop up of the word modernity everywhere. In case you don’t know the difference let me explain. Modernity is like a transitional movement where a culture or location goes from sort of point A to a point B. The transitional frame is colored in the ideals of Western industrialization and Western dipshitting around the East. Got to make people wear suits to reflect that they have officially entered into a ‘modern’ society. Modernism is not that. It is like the distinct choices one makes most likely within modernity to reach this point of ‘Modern’. An example would be the person moving from traditional work attire to a suit in order to display the new status of the individual within the society. Wow, even I think I sound smart reading this back… Too bad I’m not.

It was a total rip off, in a sense, of the fact Tuesday’s professor is crazy about the ideal and on Tuesday I watched the film Shadow Magic which is about the emergence of film in China. Told through fictional lens of course. Naturally, then I could pull out some off the cuff analytical bull crap about the locomotive movement of the story displaying an upward movement within society was actually a display of modernism and not modernity. The guy was going from the country side to an upcoming area of Tokyo. Now wore a suit to work and over the film was shown with foreign goods increasing around him as the plot went on. Modernism. The decisions made by a character within a transitional point of a narrative style of film.

I mean, the side readings were also annoying as hell. Western critics and their fetishing of the ‘Orient’ literally looks as the introduction of early film in Japan as some unique cultural experience. It’s really not that unique. Not for the people there. Think about it. Traditional forms of entertainment started as some form of silent moving spectacle that was than enhanced by a spectacle of music and a narrator to draw attention back to the silent spectacle in the background. So now the ‘silence’ was coming from tiny squares. No need to cause some pure film debates within society over it. Media changed not your cultural standards. And saying it was being used to police the environment? Please, whether it is the modern NHK or back in the age of Imperialism, Japanese authority has always used popular media to persist structured ideals within the common populace. It’s not even a unique Japanese method. Most states do it. Making an emphasis on how controlling it is, because now the films had more directly stated organized structure of social mannerisms versus cultural ideals isn’t a great argument. It’s annoying. It’s being over analytical to the point reaches several moments where people need to shout at you to just stop. An apple can be an apple. It doesn’t need to be a solid Cider or a solid juice…. My analogy sucks. Never mind.

Damn. I really did leave that class on cloud nine though. It was like someone handed me direct proof that I can actually do this. That brain fogs and a struggle to be the student you used to be was not an inhibition. Oh no. I was right to take this challenge upon myself. I was a fighter destined to grow beyond my family and past life experiences. Even if I couldn’t remember when the dynasties were or the names of the movies I’ve seen I could still recall the beating heart that made me fall in love with the Asian continent. A lack of words to portray it or not. My ties to the continent were a life link in the blood and in the marrow. I couldn’t help, but smile on my way home. Try to call every single one of my relatives and tell them I got this, while I felt the light breeze of an enjoyable cool Montreal winter day. The world was alive and full of colors and I had hope to be apart of it all. To not just exist anymore, but to find a way to live. I know it was awkwardly optimistic of me. I didn’t even mind that much that the same friend showed up twenty minutes late to our appointment at the office of student disabilities and then made us go to her coffee shop and suddenly tell me at mine that she didn’t have time, because she actually had a class. Strangely optimistic. I normally don’t get over things in the way of my morning coffee.

Here I am. In bed. Still, slightly feeling the remnants of this wonderful Wednesday and of the new Boruto episode this week. Still, a part of me knows that my struggles have just begun. That a large part of me will remain invisible and un-understandable. That I have a higher statistical chance of not meeting this challenge and finding acceptance of myself than actually succeeding. I most likely won’t get the summer internships I need, because of my Uni being a dick and money makes the world go around. Study Away? FEH. Who will get approved for that. And god forbid if I try to lose the weight from NOT BEING ABLE OT MOVE FOR LIKE 4 MONTHS.

Fun fact. Did you know there is like no fat people in Montreal. Not even among the foreign students? Yet, here I am getting looked at because I am now one size away from having to shop at obese stores and all you can look at me is like I AM FUCKED UP AND EAT TOO MUCH. News flash. I gained my weight from a dead metabolism. I actually don’t eat that much and struggle to move. Yet, I can’t scream it at the top of my lungs. I’d sound insane. And in public. I am a good southern girl. I smile as best I can and not be caught with the matches. However, do trust that I definitely have those matches. As the same friend mentioned through out this point does lovingly refer to me as being a bitchy cunt who is a horrible human being. Well, it was my joke in the first place. Can’t necessarily blame her for that.

Here’s the take away of all of this:

  1. I am still strangely optimistic; although, it has returned to be mixed with extreme apprehension.
  2. I forgot I have no classes on Thursday, so maybe I can catch up on sleep and go the gym. *snicker*
  3. I still desire a semicolon tattoo on the side of my wrist, because I am fucking idiot about trends when it comes to messages. Especially when they are ‘poetic’.
  4. Intj are actually the coldest people in the world and Intp are the warmest robots…. I am Intp.
  5. All hail Slytherin and HP rps.
  6. I have legitimately no real friends in Montreal and should probable commit on improving myself for once.
  7. Can you fail a paid community French class?
  8. If I get to Asia I will definitely feel worse about being fat. Partly because I’m American and that can be an annoying stereotype to be labeled with. I already have to fight hipster and weeboo, because of dumb people.
  9. I don’t know anything in life. Not really.

So, before I go to sleep I need to watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Because some article informed me Jewish women were wonderful representatives on female representation and anti-discrimination within Hollywood at the Golden Globes. I didn’t even see the award show. Although, I saw Natalie Portman’s quip. Fuck yea. Ani ohev et Israel. You kind of cause a lot of problems, but you gave the Jewish community Natalie Portman. By the way did you know the Jewish comedy lead actress isn’t Jewish? I mean, she sort of looks more Jewish than the Jewish actresses that get cast more often than stereotypical Jewish images, so I get it. You can be a MOT that brings the hammer at the Golden Globes.

I fucking love crude comedy,

I.L. Knight

P.s. I have listened to Joseph King of Dreams and The Prince of Egypt way too much today. I might have to re-compartmentalize my internal angst.

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Demons – Imagine Dragons

 

** The singer is my brother in Chronic Illness warrior training. Respect.**

On Confusing Heritage : Getting Reacquainted

So seeing that Jason Momoa video also kind of reminded me of an interesting point. Jason Momoa’s step daughter Zoe Kravitz (can’t do accent for some reason) is of mixed heritage. They all are. Zoe’s mother, Lisa Bonet, comes from a Jewish mother and an African American Father. While Lenny Kravitz comes from a Jewish father and an African American mother. Jason Momoa himself is Caucasian and Hawaiian. Putting aside the obvious sub point that most people make that mixed kids are beautiful it reminded of something more personal.

You see, Zoe Kravitz admitted growing up she didn’t have connection to her African American heritage and identified as white. Now, she is interested in reconnecting with that side of her roots. Personally, I think it is a wonderful move on her part, because it is a part of who you are. But it also confuses me. Lenny Kravitz identifies as Christian when it comes to religion. I’m pretty sure Lisa Bonet identifies as spiritual, drawing from all walks of life for inspiration and understanding. But I don’t understand 100% of that decision.

People only like to admit being of Jewish descent in situational moments like this, when they aren’t religiously Jewish in some article. However, the religion of Judaism is separate from the ethnic background. It seems like although raised within the Jewish religion they gave up on their ethnic dies. As Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz are technically by Orthodox standards ‘Truly of Jewish decent’ due to their matrilineal line. So why then is there this seemingly disconnect with that part of their heritage? Sure, in America the Jewish community is looked down upon by other Jewish communities for a lack of spirituality, but we do embrace our ethnic ties in some ways.

It makes me think about my own family. Where things are a little confusing, because it was some secret that wasn’t supposed to be brought up that we weren’t ‘truly of Jewish decent’ based on our religious affiliation. You see my grandmother’s heritage gets very mixed as you go back. You draw in many european and asian ethnic groups such as: Spanish, British, Swedish, German, Mediterranean, a few different Eastern European groups and my favorite the apparent Cossack Russian. I mean my grandmother was only Jewish, because her Swedish Grandmother married a Jew of Spanish/British decent. Her mother then married a Jewish man of seemingly German, Russian and Middle Eastern descent (all Jews claim the traits of their Middle Eastern ancestors sticking within them). My grandmother married my grandfather who was ‘truly Jewish’ by his Austrian and Polish descent. My mom in her rebellion married a Canadian of Scottish, British and French decent (from what I know). Yet, with all of this somehow I was still Jewish. Being Jewish was so hard core pushed on me I found little ways to reject it. I defined it only as my ethnic background, I didn’t go to hebrew school and certainly didn’t join in the community service groups. Temple was an only Yom Kippur thing, because I believed in fasting. Jewish was my ethnicity. It was the only thing I could embrace: not being white. I wasn’t like them. Now, I look back on it like I was even more stupid then people told me.

A couple of years ago, I went to Taiwan to live in a monastery to explore my growing interest in Buddhism. The experience was the best thing in my life so far when it came to becoming a person. It’s funny, the more I involved myself in the community the more I would read books on other Jews who explored Buddhism. One of my favorite authors is a woman by the name of Sylvia Boorstein. Who asserts her Jewish beliefs through Buddhist daily life practices. It was fascinating. The dots of this not connecting until someone who lived with me made an awfully racist comment about Jews. Suddenly, I was compelled to take up arms that I was a Jew and would not tolerate that. Then he pointed out that most of us aren’t ‘truly of Jewish descent’ by our own standards. And gosh dammit, why was he fucking right. Two things happened in that moment: (1) somehow I understood what Sylvia Boorstein was talking about and how I was rediscovering the Jewish religion through the lens of Buddhism and (2) I truly cared about my ethnic ties. It wasn’t just I am not white anymore, because in truth I was.

How could I miss that? I am so far from the Jewish stereotype people still ask me what I am doing for Christmas. Even liking Adam Sandler surprises people. I had to take a hard look at myself, because I lived my whole life by not being another white person. In truth, I don’t think anything I ever did up to that was about the Jewish religion. It was just my cultural upbringing. Then I remembered it wasn’t the only part of it. You see there was a trickle down effect of the smallest things that clung to my family like a desperate plea to remember. Times of Swedish dinners passed down by my great-great grandmother, stories of Norse gods and Russian fairytales, Yiddish and German in the household, and nights going to hockey games because I was Canadian. Looking back on it now I find it funny. It was like I did exactly what young Zoe Kravitz did. I embraced something because that was the environment at the time.

I truly respect her choices when it comes to exploring her heritage, but it still confuses me. It’s like a part of it seems to be overlooked. How could you do that? I mean I had to admit to myself I was a white person. I was mixed, by everyone’s standards. No one said anything about it, because I was pale. Only saying I was annoying, because I suddenly realized I want to identify as mixed. Like the right was not mine to say.

Their comments just made me place more importance in reconnecting to the heritage that was still passed down. It was a part of me that I had to now embrace and accept. I just don’t understand why in her interview with the press that never seemed to come up. Both African American and Jewish ethnic ties are her makeup. Seriously, she runs a high risk of health problems, because of us so it might be wise to know that.

Wonderful choice, but a choice that makes me feel slightly wrong and empty. It was another person not realizing that Jews are an ethnic group and Judaism is a religion. They don’t always go hand in hand. Why not think about that too? I try to now. I left my sheltered South Florida bubble. I wish more people would too, because at the end of the day it’s not about religion. It’s about recognizing who you are and accepting it as a joyful thing. Ethnic descent is a part of that.

Zoe Kravitz brings up my own confusion. Even though I know nothing about her personal journey. She could feel connected to it by all means. Yet, I am confused. If you seemingly deny it then I am just another American talking about not ethnically being American, because my great-great-great-great grandfather was Irish. I mean, ethnically no one is American except actual Native Americans. But I get the whole it’s kind of hypocritically, because we are so patriotic about our countries some times… But I don’t think I am a part of that. Parts of of these ethnic ties did survive in horribly understated cliché ways.

I am figuring out what I am separate of my religion. The food I eat, the stories I am told as a child, the music I listen to in the background, the dances I saw my family dance aren’t about religion. They are the backbones of culture itself. So while I am figuring out this confusion and watching others try to figure it out let me try to have changing opinions of others who may have similar confusion. Maybe let me have a temporary tittle of ‘mixed’ even?

Life is confusing enough now a days. Why make someone else’s life harder by being like that? I just want to figure out what it was like for my grandmother to Move from Sweden to the U.K. How did she bring British culture and Spanish culture into our lives. How did Russian stews survive, a barely spoken European language or a fondness for fermented fish and Lingon berries become an iconic part of who I am. It’s not much. It really is only a trickle down effect.

But in all the confusion I have as a person, I grasp on to it as a lifeline to a steady foundation. It is a part of me…. So Jason Momoa, the Kravitzs and anyone else out there struggling with confusion. Hold on to the confusion, because its changing viewpoints will help you grow I think. You are not one thing or two. You are just the combination of all sorts of things. And you will have a solid foundation at the end of it all.

I am still trying to find answers, but now I understand just a little bit more of myself… Thank You my dear loved ones (´・` )♡ .

I.L. Knight

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German Cradle Song

I am Building My House – Joe Crone

In The People’s Republic of China – Ella Jenkins

Accidental Racist – Brad Paisley Feat LL Cool J

Marvel Universe

I know I tend to overly favor DC Comics and how I demand others to know it has the best comic characters, but I do honestly enjoy Marvel comics as well. Especially the character Magneto, who holds a special place in my heart. And no, it’s not because he is a bad ass catastrophe level mutant who wields abilities similar to a god on many occasions. It’s because he’s Jewish. Before you react to that sentence just hear me out for a second.

Growing up as an American Jew can be sort of weird at times. You don’t get much of the spirituality or religion. You get forced hebrew school and in a sense New Money American social ideas And a HUGE amount of guilt from your parents to always be up in arms about the Holocaust. I can’t even forget the nights I stayed awake as a kid sad for the great-grandparents, Great Uncles, Great Aunts, and cousins I never got to meet.

Through all the new money flashing, forced hebrew and yiddish, their was a deep collective sadness towards Poland and Austria. How much my grandfather loved his families language and food, but could not stand the topic of loving the country. Even though they were now some of the safest and best places to live for anyone who was of Jewish or an ethnic minority descent.

Add to that this weird forced idealism that a Jewish kid shouldn’t look at the actors who are in the movies, but those who are behind the scenes making it. It’s confusing. I know I am the farthest thing from a walking Jewish stereotype with my purple hair and tiny nose, but I was sad to see that none of the actors Jewish or not seemed to look ‘Jewish’. And when they did it was in comedic roles like Adam Sandler or purposely Jewish themed moments like Barbra Streisand.

It even seemed to extend to comics. DC originally gave us characters like the Atom, Martin Stein (1/2 and the Brain part of Firestorm), and a whole bunch of side characters. Sure, we eventually got Felicity Smoak, Katherine Kane and Harleen Quinzel, but look at the stereotypes here. They are always the brainiac ones, the I freaked out from stress and pressure or the I am liberal about my religion one. I’m not trying to complain about that, because I know I myself push that same stereotype with Jewish characters, but it is frustrating.

Even Marvel started with characters like Justice, Shadowcat and the The Thing. With a character like the The Thing you are literally just making them Jewish for some backstory side credit about diverse city backgrounds. It’s sad. It’s like a super hero can’t be representative of his ethnic/religious background unless they need him to make a point. That they are Pro LGBTQ rights, Islamic anti-terrorism or African American social welfare. These things are of course important, but shouldn’t be the only times a hero is allowed an actual fleshed out identity.

I mean, do people even know Nightwing is part Romani? How about Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver? How about the 1/2 Vietnamese Cheshire? That Talia Ah Ghul is of Chinese and Arab descent? Or that Kyle Rayner is Mexican-Irish and that Arsenal was raised in Navajo traditions?

Sure, Magneto doesn’t scream ‘I AM A JEW’ by any means. And he does exist to push the fact that holocausts leave detrimental effects on a persons psyche, but he was one of the first characters we had to an ideal were he exists as what he is said to be. Magneto is always defined by his cultural background and upraising. It doesn’t just come out in moments to try and move some point, it is just a normal part of him. Being Jewish is no different then his eye color or dorky helmet.

As a kid, I loved that and was drawn to it. I couldn’t help, but say Marvel did what DC could not do with him: create an actual human character as a superhero. Because Magneto is not anywhere close to perfect, and finds himself filled with character flaws, he seems actually the most representative of his ethnic identity.

If I could know more about Marvel and write a Fan Fiction or anything similar to it, it would have to be about him. For being a good character. A character that showed a little girl that being Jewish in comics meant more then being the side character, the brainiac character or the casually mentioned off topic background sub plot character. Magneto was an inspiration.

It’s time to get on it DC. Give the people what they want. Let them actually have Romani representation for Nightwing or Arab representation for Talia Ah Ghul. They don’t have to be pale or African American to sell well. There exists in-between shades, I assure you.

Watching the Gifted,

I.L. Knight

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Quicksilver Meets Scarlet Witch & Magneto!

Yom Kippur

Everyone has a particular trick or two for knowing when their body is out of whack. Some little quirk or feeling you get that just let’s you know that everything is all good in Jamestown and Patriciaville. For me, that thing has always been Yom Kippur.

You see, if you are not familiar with Jewish Holidays this would be our big fasting day. From Sundown to Sundown the next day no food or water shall pass one’s lips as they sit in reflection for the New Year. You normally don’t get a lot of reflection and more classic styles of Jewish whining.

The thing is, I’ve fasted since I can remember. The earliest fast being 5-6 years old. The holiday isn’t an easy one. Especially the thirst for some water. However, your body somehow accepts after a few years the skill to not feel the hunger as a jab to the stomach, but as a warm soft burn. You feel it, but it’s not a painful annoyance.

When Yom Kippur is not like that I know that my body really is not right. I know this, because I feel nothing. I go the whole time not thirsty or hungry. I just am. And by the time I get to the food I take and bite and escape the dinner table of grouchy feasting Yids.

Maybe I was looking for something this Yom Kippur when I didn’t get the feeling I wanted. Maybe I wanted a sign that my metabolism wasn’t at a standstill and the things were moving in my body besides the things that cause me pain. Maybe I wanted some sense of normalcy. That even when now living a ‘sick’ life style parts haven’t changed.

I guess the only winner was the holiday this year. It definitely got its self-reflection.

A brooding,

I.L. Knight

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Yom Kippur