Amparo: So are you ok with black and white scary movies just not real scary movies?
Me: Mm, yeah I think so.
Amparo: Yeah cause the black and white’s not really scary but the rainbow one is.
Me: Rainbow huh?
Amparo: Yeah they get to me, well not Jaws though, that wasn’t scary, but that guy with the mask and the knife stabbing people (does motion where she slices her neck, and I cringe) - yeah that one! hmm what was it Halloween! You know we have 1-7 but yeah I guess it’s scary. You know you shouldn’t be that scared of scary movies. They’re not real.
AGH i jus saw will smith’s daughter, willow, on tv and she’s coming out with a music video on BET today. She’s turning TEN this halloween. She’s my height, way younger than me, and done more in my life than I have.
I hate famous people because I don’t want to be famous but I’m way jealous of their privileges.
Also, my friend Bianca is meeting Wyclef today! I’m just throwing jealousy all around.
"No poetry should come forth from his. May my hand fall off if I write this. So I sit around. Naturally and unnaturally without words. Stunned by the knowledge of the price people have paid for their words. If I write this, I exploit and betray. If I don’t, I die.” - Antjie Krog, writing about the testimonies of victims in the South African apartheid.
I’m reading Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog. It’s made me cry already and I haven’t even gotten through half of the book. The accounts of the victims, both black and white, in the apartheid has taken over me today and I’m finding myself pretty much in a pitiful mood. But I don’t want to be pitied of course. Nothing’s happened to me except a very limited third degree witnessing of these people’s experiences. And there’s so many of them that it’s just bringing me into this dark world of atrocity that I’m having trouble facing. Some of the details are so unimaginable and it’s hard to think that I, a priviledge college student in New York City, has such a surface textbook knowledge of the apartheid. I want to delve deeper but it brings out such strong emotions in me because it is so depressing. At points I had to take my eyes away from the book even though I felt like if I didn’t read almost every sentence I’d be also ignoring the words of the victims. I keep imagining this darkness and what do I do to escape it?
I end up pouring myself a bowl of cereal, reading the back of the box that tells me to match the dates of important country events when in the back of my mind I’m thinking about the dates of the new government election and the violence that occurred after apartheid was taken down. I keep pushing it back, repressing it. That’s the only way I’ve been doing different things today, by repressing. A character in one of Raymond Carver’s stories said, “It’s better not to think about it.” And it’s so right. When faced with these horrors I’m struggling to get a sense of the world I’m in, the human race that I’m part of. Its all just really sad and I’ve been having a hard time with it. Yes, I am a sensitive person and I know some people would tell me to get over it and not be so emotional. But this isn’t just an outlet for me to cry my eyes out. I want to keep my compassion as intact as I can even though I feel myself becoming more cynical and bitter as the months pass. It’s hard to read things about traumatic experiences, like the Holocaust and the Apartheid, but if I choose to ignore it I’m not giving an ear to the thousands of voices that have survived long enough in hopes of being heard.
And its even more hard knowing that I can’t really talk to people about this. If I mention it even to my closest I can see them starting to retract, they’re protecting themselves and don’t want to know. They don’t have to read it anyway. Dealing with all these terrible stories has been very interesting but more difficult than I thought it would be. So I’m left with this new knowledge and nowhere to keep it going. That’s been my hardest experience with this book and with this class. It makes me feel a bit alone, a bit guilty for my privileges and the opportunities I haven’t taken, and a little lost as to what this is all adding up to if people can be so horrible as that.
PHEWW So I just needed to let that out, and now I gotta go on with the book and find diversions from it so that I don’t collapse on myself.