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Thread: Member Questionnaire (lemontrees)

  1. #1
    killer wolf lemontrees's Avatar
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    Default Member Questionnaire (lemontrees)

    Member Questionnaire 1 (lemontrees)
    What is beauty? What is love?
    "Beauty" is my substitution for "truth."

    I think a more accurate statement would be that I don't know what either are, but am drawn to both, so I am always using one to approximate (or delineate, or define) the other.

    Love is something that can equally fill an empty space or a full one--what I think of as love has no known source nor known limit. It is that feeling when you can hold an openness in the mind and watch it filling. (But who knows.)
    What are your most important values?
    Transformation
    Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
    I encountered the work of James Turrell a few days ago. He is an artist that plays with light and space. After looking at some of his pieces, I wrote down this:

    "Many of the Turrell pieces pivot around the simple idea that it is possible to make "nothingness" into "somethingness" by manipulation of light's effects on the eye. Turrell wants us to see that there is an inherent “somethingness” about that experience—that, as viewers, our changing relationship to space, brought about by the biological impulse to make sense of certain visual patterns, subtly alters our perceptions of what’s expected, what’s possible. When visual focus is shifted onto illusionary space, the hierarchy of “real” vs. “unreal” space becomes disrupted; Turrell co-opts the laws of lines and visual logic to show us what can emerge from a space in which the boundaries are already very clear. It felt natural that much of the language he used to describe his own work was spiritual. "

    I've always felt a spiritual connection with art that create estrangement through a subtle altering of perception or an innovation of form, which can paradoxically bring a viewer's attention to things that are obvious, or buried, exposing people to aspects of themselves/ reality about which they were unaware. (This is not exactly what I think Turrell is doing, so this is a bit off-topic.) I used to think art was my substitute for religion. I take a lot of solace in art's exploration of indescribable, interstitial spaces (as personified by Turrell's floating light-form-objects!)
    Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
    I am terribly bad with political knowledge, and trying to fix this.

    Power to me is something quite vague, but palpable. I'd like to not having power over others or have them have power over me. Once, someone told me that cruelty was casual neglect wielded by someone in a position of power to you, but I am not sure if I believe this.

    In an interview that the poet Lucie Brock-Broido gives on her collection "The Master Letters," a series of poems that mimic letters Emily Dickinson wrote to an older male figure that literary historians know as "the master," she says:

    "There are a lot of times when the speaker, quite nastily, speaks of the master’s hand, which she says is “concaved around her mouth.” In other words, it is his will to temper or tamper with her languages. But the speaker always surfaces again and says, “You have the catchweed of quiet on your tongue, I have the power of speech.” "
    What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
    I used to have these long desperate conversations about art, love, and beauty to heighten my experience. Now I think it's better just to focus on living life, which is pretty difficult in and of itself.

    I think I process the world often through things I read or filter my reactions/explanations of my reactions through literature/art etc that I have thought about. I don't try to do this but my mind is pretty obsessively stuck on those things. At the same time, I am aware that I tend to adopt thoughts or judge my own ideas against the structure of pre-determined ideas; I am not a conceptual person and so I rarely come up with anything new.
    Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
    No, not usually. My mother is obsessive about health. She used to have these psychosomatic episodes. She wanted me to grow up to be a doctor so that I could look at her body for free.

    I am bad at taking care of the needs of my body, but simultaneously, I am extremely attuned to subtle shifts. Right now there is a faintness in my hands, and it bothers me.
    What do you think of daily chores?
    I'm bad with them unless there's someone else I'm sharing my space with, then I get diligent. I really enjoy tasks like cleaning, etc, once I get into them, and can get obsessive.
    Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
    A lot. Currently working on Thomas Bernhard's "Corrections" and Karl Ove Knausgaard's "My Struggle." (both just okay so far.) Most recently finished books are Helen Oyeyemi's "White is for Witching" and Miranda Field's "Swallow."

    Most recently finished books that I actually loved were probably Art Spiegelman's "Maus" and Siri Hustvedt's "The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves."

    Most loved books of all time include "Swann's Way," "His Dark Materials," and "Housekeeping."

    I spent some time today reading the Amazon sample and reviews of "Crazy Rich Asians."
    What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
    I cry a shit ton. So everything.
    Cute animal photos make me smile.
    Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
    It really depends. Usually doesn't happen, so when it does it's always a revelation.
    What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
    Weaknesses: impracticability, some laziness, flakiness.
    Dislike about myself: everything, at one point or another.
    What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
    Strengths: kindness, courage.
    Like: creativity, stubbornness, ability to start anew when hitting rock bottom.
    In what areas of your life would you like help?
    Job, career. I really want someone I can go to at all times with job advice. Execution I can do on my own.
    Also: apt-hunting, prices. I am such shit at this sort of stuff.
    Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
    Yes.
    What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
    Dislike: Fakeness, shallowness.
    Like: Straightforwardness, boldness.
    What types do I get along with: it depends on the person.
    How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
    Romance/sex: usually difficult for me to manage, b/c I'm a hopeless romantic. I get myself into weird straits or shy away from contact.

    Qualities: Intellect, some degree of empathy, some interest in the arts or literature helpful. Playful.
    If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
    I would want to be able to meet their needs, even if there are quite different from the needs I had as a child or necessitate a different upbringing from the one I would want to try my best to give them.

    I want to expose my children to arts and to different kinds of people/events, etc, so that they have a thorough education and an open context by which to make sense of their world.
    A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
    Outward: a shameful attitude of "my opinion is not as important as yours."
    Inward: upset-ness turning into anger that I don't have the power to express myself.
    Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
    I would hope that social structures/subsets/class/hierarchies/etc don't define us.

    I wish there was more money going into our public education systems.
    How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
    They're people I've come to love and trust. I can be bitchy to them when I'm floundering but I try to give them what support I can.
    How do you behave around strangers?
    Usually don't talk to them.

  2. #2
    killer wolf lemontrees's Avatar
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    I feel like this past year has been one of the most "okay" in my life to date. So due to that, boredom, and narcissism, I decided to answer these questions again. And as a marker for myself just to see where I'm coming from and where I'm going...

    What is beauty? What is love?

    Love is that feeling of warmth and consistency you can get from another human being. Beauty is what happens when you let the sense of reality being flawed fall away.

    What are your most important values?
    Same. Transformation

    Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?

    I still do think art is my religion.
    Basically I think that spirituality is all around us, we just have to access it.

    Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
    Wars seem complicated. Hard to create stability in the aftermath. (but really I don't know much about them)
    Power is self-possession.

    What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
    My close people are dead or distant. My interests are literature, art, food, fashion, design, and Miyazaki movies

    I haven't been very close to someone in a long time.

    Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
    Nope, unless mental/emotional health. I'm Si so I always notice my body... even though I secretly feel like a brain and a heart in a vat, tied together by wire.

    What do you think of daily chores?
    I've been obsessive about them in the past year. To the extent that I feel like I'm just "pretending" to myself to be an ideal image of someone who cares about chores. Lmao.

    Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
    Currently reading: fourth Proust volume
    Just finished: Austerlitz, a book of poems by Dorothea Lasky, a book of Bolano essays, a shitty novel called "Stoner" about an academic unable to find love

    Recent books I loved: Marguerite Duras' "The Lover," Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and "Ocean at the End of the Lane"

    Recent movies: re-watched the old Disney movie "Swan Princess" recently and still loved it =___=

    What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
    Everything. But a few years ago I cried every day and last year I was down to once a week (until I became suicidal). The last time I can remember crying was three weeks ago. I'm really happy for myself...
    Um everything makes me smile too I'm like a compulsive smiler.

    Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
    Oh man. I feel at home in my own sense of not belonging.

    What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
    Same answers

    Weaknesses: impracticability, some laziness, flakiness.
    Dislike about myself: everything, at one point or another.

    What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?

    Strengths: kindness, courage.
    Like: courage, creativity, ability to evoke change

    I can own these traits in myself now while also seeing them in others.

    In what areas of your life would you like help?
    I guess I would continue to like help with logic when my emotions carry me away.

    Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
    Yes. I usually make a drastic move.

    What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
    Basically same
    Dislike: people who aren't very in touch with themselves or others
    Like: people who are straightforward

    How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
    I'm over romance so this should make sex easy! Actually I'm not really over it but I don't care anymore for the time being. I think that things will come when they do and I'm not worried.

    I like being intellectually intimidated by people but I also like people who are kind. I always wanted a relationship that feels stable and reliable.
    I would love being able to enter into some dark mental-emotional-sexual universe with a partner though. That's always been my ideal.

    If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
    Same. I would want to be able to meet their needs, even if there are quite different from the needs I had as a child or necessitate a different upbringing from the one I would want to try my best to give them.

    I want to expose my children to arts and to different kinds of people/events, etc, so that they have a thorough education and an open context by which to make sense of their world.

    A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
    I might say how I feel but then feel bad later when I discovered there was some underlying emotional reason they said the other thing.

    Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
    I really love people as a whole and want to get to know them but sometimes am misanthropic. Prevalent problem is the amount of shaming and blaming that various groups place on each other without trying to take concrete action towards change.

    How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
    Don't know anymore.

    How do you behave around strangers?
    Shy.

  3. #3
    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    This is very nice lemontrees

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