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.*

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

I Cannot Handle Jason Momoa

I cannot handle Jason Momoa sometimes. Every time I hear about something he’s done I wonder how he can exist in a world where everything I know has been twisted at least by one thing. And then I see this:

Jason Momoa Video Project?

I can’t even describe how often I’ve cried over my family. It’s what tears at me the most… And not only is he a funny down to earth guy with wonderfully obnoxious instagram posts of his family, but he is  also a great father. HOW DO HE AND HIS WIFE EXIST? HOW!?!?!

It feels like someone just took what I secretly wished for in a father and put in front of me as a great human being as well. I mean… honestly… I can’t even type out a decent post about it, because I feel my heartstrings being pulled at.

God Bless That Family Forever,

I.L. Knight

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Daughters – Jason Mayer

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

I’ve been wrestling with the idea for years on wether or not I should have a podcast.  On one hand, it is a great platform to talk about my interests and explore areas I never thought I could explore. On the other hand, it is also an activity that challenges my anxieties about using technology, maintaining a schedule and truly promoting a person. It shouldn’t be such a daunting decision, but it feels like with the media relevant day and age we are in that it is a much bigger choice then what it initially lets on. Putting aside the pros of it all I see two major cons: (1)OBS basic software is a challenge for me on it’s own and (2) would anyone watch a podcast without seeing the person’s face. I mean… I would still want to keep that feeling of anonymity. I like following in the footsteps of past female writers. AND I love the fact a pen name gives off the feeling anyone could basically be the writer. A podcast would just destroy that? No?

All that being said…. I did write an intro script and one on Jason Todd (because yea right I would wing it).

SHOULD I? SHOULDN’T I?

I.L. Knight

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Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas

Upcoming Week Update

As you’ve just seen there’s been a flood of posts. This was due to some pain I was having from a flare up in my joints. But fear not good folks, De pain is…manageable-ish.  Writing updates and websites are scheduled to come in large waves this upcoming week. Because I’ve decided to challenge myself! An actual post a day and one type of other update. AT LEAST! If I’m so scared to return back to school I at least need to be able to do something like this! Right?

A nervously determined,

I.L. Knight

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Defying Gravity – Wicked

Hometowns

 I’m sitting here in the middle of a Nordstrom’s shoe section looking at an angry mom waiting for her sister to show up and a herd of thirteen year old’s “OMG. These are shoes are only 198$. I can totally afford these and still buy concert tickets with my allowance.” I remembered why I always felt alone-different. The motivation I haven’t had for awhile was stagnant in the mall’s air. This is what inspired me years ago. The desire to not be anything like the hometown bubble I grew up in. I never wanted to be someone just pretty on the outside. Similarly,  I never wanted to be someone just pretty on the inside. Growing up in nouveau-riche South Florida taught me the importance of both a pretty well liked packaging and the need for an equally pretty content on the inside. My motivation was to be a complete package and to be one in a town that wouldn’t turn future me or my future kids into the very same people I grew up with. 
Thinking back to a conversation I had with a friend the other night, I can only agree with him more. Hometowns aren’t always the best to return too. Especially, hometowns like Boca Raton.  When we came home three things happened: (i) nostalgia, (ii) reminiscing and (iii) thoughts of the future. If I have ever listened any words of wisdom from therapists, online blog, buddhist monks, friends or family it’s that happiness comes from living in the moments. If you dwell in the past or the future you can never be happy. Returning home for me is a dangerous cancer. It is a set back to growth.
There was the sudden logic to my anxiety and chaotic dislike for being present  anywhere in this town. I came to a war barely being able to hold my sword. Just as only Arthur could pull the sword from the stone, not everybody can come back to their hometown and be happy. If I spent my whole life admiring birds for being free, how in the hell can I then find happiness by returning to the same nest I was born to? It is impossible. If I ever fully want to grow up and learn to move on, to get past trials and tribulations, or even just become an adult. I need to accept the fact that all I’ve ever wanted to do was leave the nest. That my decision to admire freedom was never something wrong in the first place.
Motivation is something that will never come easy for me. Biology works against me. However, maybe just remembering what I came from will be a guide to keeping little pieces of it along my road. After all, I am looking at everything I never wanted to become and realizing that yes I may not be the shiny convertible everyone wants to buy, but I am allowing myself to be the beat up Toyota with 60,000+ miles that can’t be fixed up. The person I was and aim to be has aspirations.


Tonight will be a night to try and not think. Since I was kicked out of my house I will do what I always like to do. I will look up at the night sky, listen to the crickets, and imagine a fantastical adventure in the starry landscape I longed to see again.


Tired, Sad and Strangely Motivated,
I.L. Knight

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Last Dance- One Ok Rock