Category: 2020 Solar Terms

惊蛰

Awakening of insects.

A picture from a botanical garden I visited late last year.

I’m not a big fan of insects. I acknowledge that they can be great, and some are pretty-looking, but for the most part I am a large coward and I am afraid of things with many legs. There’s a snow warning for today, but so far there’s only been rain and the regular surplus of wind. I didn’t even have to wear my parka.

It’s the last month before exams! I’m incredibly stressed and incredibly busy, so there’s really nothing too interesting happening besides that. Time passes quickly during the school months, but it seems even faster during the summer. I’ve been trying to carve out time to read things I like or just to draw for fun, which also passes time. My living situation has also improved so there’s less distractions and things inhibiting me from doing what I want.

I hope there’s no misconception that every post I’ll have some sort of topic or thing to report. So far I just have a few of my shower thoughts from this past month, so walking-home-from-class thoughts.

Never mind, there’s a few sparse flakes of snow drifting about right now.

Anyway, since it has been fairly warm this past week (above 0, slightly), I’ve been feeling less uncomfortable physically. Always a plus to feel like you want to go outside. I’m not really having too good of a semester though, my classes aren’t as fun or interesting and all the assignments just feel so tedious. I’m honestly enjoying my physics elective more than my studios, which Says Something.

One last thought: there’s no real escapism. Leaving a place for another doesn’t render your origin obsolete. At some point or another, you’ll have to come back to the beginning, if even just to take a look.

雨水

Rain water.

The sunset yesterday.

 

There hasn’t been much rain here, since it’s usually in the negatives. I woke up the other day to the sound of persistent water dripping, and I thought it was rain… which would be something I’m used to. After opening my blinds, I noticed that it was actually just the melting snow and ice.

I’m halfway through my reading break, and I can’t say I’ve been the most productive. I haven’t been unproductive, either, but then again, I tend to feel unsatisfied regardless of how objectively productive I’ve been. Whether I’ve written, painted, edited, etc, I still feel unproductive. This is probably because I either haven’t finished the project, it’s not “perfect”, I haven’t received criticism or praise, or just because I know I made it and therefore it can’t really amount to much. I wonder how I’ll ever compensate for that last reason, though. Well, anyway, I’ll never run out of work to do.

Recently I’ve been thinking about reading. As a little kid, I was a typical voracious reader who had read pretty much everything in their library that was their genres of choice (I liked historical fiction and sci-fi and spooky things). I read extremely quickly and had a pretty good memory, which is why I was good at writing and story-making in school. As a result of constantly reading, I was always living in a world which was not mine. I would live in borrowed realities, existing mostly in my head and not in real life. But then I entered high school and stopped reading for some reason. I did read manga (and not all useless fluff, although there’s a fair amount of that), and realized I liked movies… so then I watched a lot of movies. Except they were mostly Japanese or Chinese movies. I have no idea why. Anyway, I went to the library last week and got two books, and finished them in two days. Which was nice, because that meant A) I still read fast, and B) I should get more books. It’s a nice way to fast-forward a few hours, since when I read I kind of don’t exist anywhere except for between the pages (if it’s a good book).

The book I read most recently was One Hundred Years of Solitude. A quote from it was present in a Chinese drama I watched last month, which made me curious. The copy in my school library is very old, and very shady (there’s a bunch of notes, marks, and smears that look like dried blood? in it), and also thicker than I thought. I referred to the family tree in the beginning of the book multiple times, up to the very end. It was a very interesting book, and I’m not half as wise as I need to be to comment any further on it. But anyone older than me should read it. It’s wild.

I’ve also thought about adding books in other languages to my (not really existent) reading list, but I realize that that’s a bit ore time-consuming… and brain-energy-consuming, and I should really save some of that for my assignments.

So, nothing too interesting these past few weeks, just some more mild introspection. Hopefully it’ll be less cold next time.

Until then.

立春

Beginning of spring.

The little white dot is Venus, I think.

In an attempt to write more often, I’ve decided to post on the solar terms. Since I’m not super knowledgeable about dates or the history behind old calendars, I’ll be limited to writing about my personal observations. Which is pretty much what I usually do. I’m predicting that I’m going to end up posting within one day of the actual observed term in EST/EDT, and ramble for a few paragraphs every half month until coming to the conclusion that I have nothing exceptionally interesting or new to offer. I’m of the belief that writing something is better than writing nothing… thus I’ve decided to embark on this posting schedule experiment.

Although the name of this term is the beginning of spring, it’s still very Winter here in Toronto. There’s a snow and ice alert for the next few days, and the wind still freezes my face after thirty minutes outside. Back home there’s also an extraordinary surplus of snow, too. There seems to be an abundance of coldness around the world recently (interpret that as you’d like), and I wish we could fast-forward just a little bit. To warmer weather, to spring. Personally, I just think it’d be nice. I don’t favour one season over another, aside from a small preference for summer simply because of my birthday.

Speaking of celebrated days, Chinese New Year was a few weeks ago. It’s the second one I spent apart from my family. Holidays spent away from home makes it feel like it never happened, and I lose my sense of time. How long has it been since I sat at home? When was the last time I saw this person? Do they feel the same loss of time? I can’t tell if it’s been a long time or a short time. My sense of self has always been fairly stable, so at the very innermost, I feel as if I haven’t changed a day since becoming conscious of my existence. If I haven’t changed at all, then how can I tell the passage of time? It just seems like everything else is moving forwards quickly, and I am being swept up in it. Not as an omniscient observer, but more like a little creature in a boat, holding on for dear life.

Well, that’s not really a bad thing. It would be unfortunate if I was the type of person who had a specific goal in life, striving hard to reach it, battling the strong currents. As it is, I’m free to wander as I wish… as long as I don’t fall off the boat and drown.

Anyway! It’s the start of a new year. Technically, the year can start whenever you want it to. If you reserve goal-making for January 1st, or your birthday, or the Monday of the week, you’ll never really start. So I’ll start this year on February 4th, in the space between classes where usually I would be grocery-shopping.

That’s all I have for now. Will report back in half a month.

Until then.