"To the impartial eye, the world not only seems an unlikely one-off phenomenon, but a constant strain on reason. If reason exists, that is, if a neutral reason exists. So speaks the voice from within. So speaks Joker's voice." - Jostein Gaarder

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random Snippets of Life

I started writing computer programs back in 1993. My cousin Houssam had just come back from Germany with a Ph.D, and took on himself to start an information revolution in our sleepy Latakia. I was his first and most personal student. I remember those first few months quite vividly. I remember almost all the programs that we made on LogoWriter. That summer, I remember spending 8-9 hours everyday in front of those black and white screens. (Pixel-burners as they used to be called, because the monitor physical pixels would actually be burnt out if they weren't changed in a timely manner, hence the invention of Screen Savers!). My mom wasn't very impressed when my glasses doubled in thickness the next year.

Houssam, 10 years after coming back, went into depression, sold everything and moved back to Dubai/Germany.

After coming back from Syria this October, my Professor offered me to join his Lab. I am writing programs again (a little more complicated than moving a drawing turtle, but still programs). It feels just as satisfying as it did 15 years ago.

***

I love the Spring and Autumn time in Japan. Spring here (and autumn likewise) is an explosion of Color, rather than colors. What overwhelms you is not all the different colors that pop out of no where, rather, the intensity of that pinkish hue that overtakes everything. The cherry blossoms bring out all the spectrum of white and pink, they fill out the trees, the ground and the sky. Every single petal has its own distinct lifelines of pink, but all of them seem to flow together in perfect harmony.

Japanese spring comes unannounced, takes you by surprise, and leaves just as unexpectedly. In 2 weeks, you won't find a trace of that white blanket that used to cover everything... All that you're left with is Summer. Autumn, however, sneaks in much more slowly, the leaves start changing colors in early October, bringing out all the burning of red and the seriousness of brown. It takes over everything you see, by mid Noveember. Even the November sunsets, they all seem to be intertwined in some heavenly plot to paint the city tangerine. Autumn never really leaves, in the coldest of winters, there would still come Sundays where it feels as if Autumn is in full blow.

***

I find myself, more often than not, repelled by the argument that there is no fundamental difference between masculinity and femininity. And that the whole concept of Gender is a socially constructed type of myth.

I agree heartily that our own perception of Gender is terribly flawed and inevitably affected by centuries of conscious social imbalance.
However, that does not, in any way, negate the fact that even before human consciousness, gender was indeed a factor in self-perception, and that gender is rooted in the very concept of the sexual act.

I find it hard to believe, that through the 200 million years of evolution, since the first mammal, having one particular dominant pattern for sexual reproduction, had no effect whatsoever on the self-perception and even the evolution of both sexes.

***

Lately, I've been having quite a hard time going to sleep early. Insomnia has plagued my nights for almost a month, while sleep deprivation ruins my few hours of sunlight.

It's a terrible feeling when you're rolling in your bed, thousands of thoughts seem to race around at that particular moment. You catch yourself, one too many times, conversing with yourself, or with a person that happens to be stuck in the back of your head that night. I have found myself, involuntarily, conversing with people that I haven't met in years, or people that I've only met once, a long time ago, just because I happened to land on their name, or facebook page before I went to sleep.

Every half an hour or so of futile attempts to sleep, or when my thoughts lead me to particularly painful or depressing memory, I light up my cell phone, look at the time, sigh, and shake all the thoughts out of my head. Maybe even open my macbook and take a look at my email. A glance at the clock and suddenly it's not 2:30 anymore, it's 3:15 now, 1 hour less of sleep.


Good night everyone!

5 Comments:

Blogger Mariyah said...

Your description of the seasons in Japan is absolutely beautiful. It sounds like a wonderful place to spend time.

I too am an insomniac...I spend most nights up writing and the days dragging myself behind my brother's two kids. Somehow I still manage to stay alive and relatively sane. I think its the talking to myself that keeps me on the straight and narrow!! LOL!!

Was just going to ask you if you'd be posting something soon...and there was your most wonderful post. Thank you!

November 14, 2008 2:19 AM

 
Blogger Katia said...

Sleep tight, dear Yazan!

November 14, 2008 6:06 AM

 
Blogger Maysaloon said...

Wonderful and fascinating. Good night Yazan basha, haven't heard from you in ages!

November 14, 2008 9:35 AM

 
Blogger poshlemon said...

Yazan,

you are like the summer of london. It comes and goes unexpectedly...

You should be writing more often. Your words are beautiful and especially as mariyah said, your description of Japan. It's good you enjoy it there. This is what matters. To live somewhere we sort of like.

Your cousin... his story sort of reminds me of me. How I just feel depressed in Lebanon and can't wait to be over and done with my fieldwork and back to London... sadly.

Insomnia... the story of my life. I have been insomnic for all I can remember. But recently it's quite bad. I have very long and tiresome days that include hours at the gym and yet I seem to be incapable of falling asleep before 4/5 am - which is bad especially when I have to be up by 9 am. As this goes on, the pain and tiredness accumulates and ... you know the rest.

xoxo

;)

November 16, 2008 7:44 AM

 
Blogger maroo said...

OMG i wish i would go one day for japan .. its my biggest dream .. :(
great description by the way !!

November 19, 2008 10:32 PM

 

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