“Words on my sleeve”

I’m a big thinker…I always have been. I think about every little detail, how it affects me and others around me. I’m good at remembering things, remembering things visually like a secondary reality within my mind, a visual diary almost. I’m a big dreamer, believing everything can happen if you want it to…it really can, I’m making it happen or at least trying. I’m obsessed with words, their weight and impact, their communicative language on different levels and how they can be read…a word or sentence can stay with you forever where sometimes here, I am putting my “words on my sleeve”. This is what makes me, and makes my blog somehow. Just before lunch I’d written a very honest blog post about how and why I wear these “words on my sleeve”, speaking very specifically and openly about how certain emotionally charged happenings and uncontrollable situations back home in China and the UK over the past two months had made me give China (or the world) a double thumbs down, especially the day before yesterday…that was a tough one. To be honest to myself and you the reader, the original blog post read extremely negatively, not constructive or healthy at all…very much in contrast to my usual positive, inspirational, creative, motivatory ramblings. For a moment there, I could have told you my current innermost thoughts that should be kept only within a “box of trust”.  Usually I just put them out into the public realm without really giving them a second thought…but today for some reason I stopped for just a few seconds and thought…no, not today. So for once, I’m actually giving my words a “vito” which I don’t often do….although the odd statement and phrase still remains.

On lunch, whilst wandering down the lanes in between Weihai Lu and West Nanjing Lu I came across the ‘2666 Library’, which made my day…largely because the first book I picked up in there was ‘Wittgenstein’s Mistress: In the beginning sometimes I left messages in the street’ by David Markson. It is a novel I recently read written in a Samuel Beckett style all about a women’s protagonistic feeling of being the last person, alone, on earth. Very apt right now. ‘She breaks down the components of her troubled past and so “deconstructs” both her own narrative and the putative “reality” of the history of the world.’ I love the work of Beckett…and this book…and this library in fact. Surround me with books any day of the week. It has over 40% English texts which I was very pleased to see, alongside an odd selection of local arts and crafts, and a nice little cafe too.

I can definitely see myself hiding out here during my lunch breaks in the Summer…an escape from the impending terror of the Shanghai heat and sun, which is only round the corner…and perhaps new place to write my PhD. All I want to do at the moment is swim, swim for hours in silence until I have that contented exhaustion from exercise…sit in a sauna and bake myself until I forget my name…running away with thoughts, dreaming and daydreaming  about what could, can and will happen in the coming months of my life, in my 30th year and post-PhD land. These endless possibilities make me excited inside bringing an immediate smile to my face as I look out into the world with its beautiful idiosyncrasies that makes this place so interesting. It’s time for weekend adventures…I hope you enjoy yours.


  1. hah, this post tells me the doorway to spirituality is opening .. if that word is uncomfortable, just think of it as becoming aware of awareness

  2. I love Wittgenstein’s Mistress; I am glad you found it. I am glad I found you when I did, I cannot remember when, but your blog has ever since brought me joy.

  3. I’ve found living abroad to be a very emotionally complex experience, and sometimes I’ve felt nothing but negative feelings towards this place for extended periods. To me it’s just a part of being away from home and everything that I connect with the concept of home, and it’s lessened over time. I am also somewhat dreading the impending summer. I don’t think mine’s nearly as bad as yours, but it still goes on for too long.

  4. You say you decided to give your words a ‘vito’. Wikipedia says Vito is, ‘… an Italian name of disputed origin, usually thought to originate from Latin “vita”, meaning “life”, and also corresponding to the English and French Guy (given name), or Italian and Spanish Guido. In fact, it is derived from the Ancient Germanic name Wido, Wito or Witta, meaning “young man from the woods” and recorded in old Germanic/Latin texts representing a man such as “Robin Hood” … ‘ Which is a long-winded way of telling you I spotted a typo. But a nice image, of sending off the negative package of thoughts and words with a young man from the woods, and if he then shares them out with his band of merry men, they would all end up as only minute packages of negativity, probably losing all their original meaning and gaining some new attribution completely – a sort of archaeology of words in time and space?

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