Let’s Dance to Joy Division

‘Cause this could all go wrong, but we’re so happy!

Hey-oh, Creeter Readers!

Okay, so this is the second week in a row that I used a song for the title. I promise I don’t only think about music….mostly. I’m in a sing-and-dance mood right now because I just (as in, 20 minutes ago) got my very first iPod. He’s pretty. Not sure what I’m going to name him, yet, but it will be well deserved.

I feel somewhat hypocritical for delighting in my iPod, given my stance on using old school technology (see my Mix Tape Tuesday post for details on my awesome discman). But he’s so pretty! And it’s one from 2005, so in today’s fast-changing society that could almost be called old school. Right? Yeah, I’m going to believe that.

So now it’s time for relevant topics, rather than Rachel’s rambling on about her vast love of music stylings. (I’m also quite fond of alliteration, in case you couldn’t tell.)

I’m having a hard time coming up with anything to say. Anything I feel would be worth reading, anyway. It seems all I have to offer right now are recommendations of the various things I enjoy. All my original thoughts are scrambled (at best) and I have no topic to guide my wandering mind.

I could mention my overwhelming feeling that I’m not doing enough with my life. I suppose that’s a typical college senior feeling, so it’s not like I’m treading any new ground here. That still doesn’t give me much peace of mind, though.

It’s not that I don’t have an idea of what I want to do professionally after graduating (in case you’re interested: go to Boston, get a master’s degree in publishing, become an editor, and write my own stories). It’s not even that I’m bogged down by all the stuff I have to do this semester, although I am (not recommended: working two part-time jobs while taking 18 hours of classes). It’s mostly that I want to do more good. And by do more good, I mean be more loving. And by be more loving, I mean be less selfish. And by be less selfish, I mean have compassion for those around me. And by have compassion for those around me, I mean take myself out of my hypothetical life long enough to see who is in need—and then do all I can to take care of that need.

I have lived for so long inside my own mind, constantly retreating there because it is familiar and comfortable, yet interesting and always open to improvement. I love to learn, I love to come up with scenes of how people interact, and I love to think about how I want to be a peaceful, loving, giving old lady who opens her home to those who need a place to stay (for example). In short, I am a person who thrives on potentiality rather than practicality.

Those of you who know me probably know that I am a very empathetic person: I hurt when I see others hurt; I never want to cause trouble for anyone. But I am so thoroughly self-absorbed that I wonder if my empathy is doing any good at all. Now, I want you to understand what I mean by self-absorbed:

Sometimes, on my worst days, I feel conceited. I am proud of my family, and am of the opinion that we are rather exceptional, intelligent, and talented. I wouldn’t trade my family or upbringing for the world. Now, I’m not sure if, on my worst days, I really am being disgustingly conceited or if I am just having another attack of my self-loathing (probably a little bit of both).

Most of the time, however, my self-absorption comes in a less recognizably offensive manner. I know me. I know how I think; I know how I feel. And I like to be in circumstances that are recognizable. That means I want to spend a lot of time with myself. It’s like Joel Hodgson once said (and they have a paraphrase of it on a tee-shirt now), “I’ll admit sometimes I do go into my own little world….but that’s okay, they know me there.”

My mind is always at work. It’s not always the most intelligent work, sometimes I just like to escape there for entertainment, but I always have something to say to myself. Since I’ve become so accustomed to living inside my head, though, I sometimes forget how to live in the world. I don’t say the real world, because I consider my thoughts to be a valid form of reality. Not tangible, maybe, and maybe not even productive—but they form so much of who I am that I don’t feel right about abandoning them. I just wish I paid more attention to what is actually going on around me so that I can show more love to people who don’t realize I care.

I’m not sure any of what I meant to say was clearly expressed, but that’s one of the problems with language. I love language and all the wonderful things it can do, and all the wonderful art that can be produced through it—but it has a nasty habit of breaking down and leaving me feeling even more disconnected from my fellow human beings.

I have the urge to end this note with an MP3, but I’m sure I’ve done enough of that already. So here’s a fun fact, instead: A law in Detroit, Michigan explicitly states that it is illegal to tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.

Aaaaaaaand, another one for good measure: The first item that had its barcode scanned was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s gum, which can now be found at the Smithsonian. Says so right here.

-Rachanting monks

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5 thoughts on “Let’s Dance to Joy Division

  1. Your unique Rachelocity is what I love about you. I hope you always escape to your mind because some truely great things have come from it.

    Good jorb, da chort!

  2. I think what you said was very clear, and very relatable, to me at least. I too spend much of my time in my own head, and tend to think in potentiality rather than practicality. I’d love to read some follow ups to this post in the future.

    My own useless fact contribution: Do you know the history of the term “OK”? It actually comes from President Martin Van Buren, who grew up in the Kinderhook neighborhood of New York and got the nickname “Old Kinderhook.” As president, when he put his initials on a document indicating his approval, he would sign it “O.K.” Now how about that.

  3. P.S. Rachanting Monks has always been my favorite of your name variations. I’m so glad it’s made a resurgence.

  4. Rachello de Maquelway,

    Thank you very much for expressing yourself so, it is very beautiful. I cannot think of an appropriate way to respond, so here is the end of a poem that has been on my mind:

    I grow old … I grow old …
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me.

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

    TS Eliot

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