See and be scene
My dentist is not doing a great job at rewarding me for coming to see him once a year, like a good patient. When I went in about a year ago, I found myself in the hospital the following morning to get two wisdom teeth pulled - I was nauseous and miserable and looked ridiculous for over a week (Those who saw me know all too well). When I went again last week, he gave me the following rhetorical gem: "Miss, how do you feel about extraction?". Awesome. Tooth number 3 came out, the final one is due in about a month. And again, I look preposterous. A face only a mother could love. And thankfully, she does. Nonetheless, I spent a big chunk of my weekend holed up in my room. Hours and hours of one of my favorite activities: scrapbooking! I use these tiny adhesive stickers for my pictures, and I went through about 2500 of them. That's scary. BUT all of my Canada experience and most of my summer has now been documented for posterity. And I knew if I didn't get that done now, before school starts, it would drag on for ages.
So strange to see months and months of my life summarized in a few albums. It's very hard to create something that does it justice - I know with my Denmark albums I did this whole colour scheme thing, and added a bunch of "local" stuff like magazine covers and shopping lists...it helps, but it's never quite right. The most frustrating part is knowing that eventually the album will be what I actually remember. All the people and days and street corners that I have no photos or ticket stubs or other memorabilia of will slowly fade into oblivion. And eventually Canada will take on the form of the stories I choose to tell, and of the visual evidence I bothered to bring home - rather than the real deal. It becomes a tableau, a fictionalized version of events, filtered very selectively through my eyes: no mentioning of completely uneventful days, no unflattering pictures, no recollection of sitting on the edge of the bath tub crying my eyes out or of leaving a class having spoken to absolutely no one.
That being said, there are plenty of occasions where I thoroughly enjoy playing my role, consciously thwarting things. To the point where I don't like being taken out of it. Yesterday night, my parents and I went to the Botanical Gardens here, for the opening night of the cultural season. Candles everywhere, dancers, singers, flamenco music, jazz, poetry readings, theatre, percussion...beautiful. But whenever I go to see something, I want to be the audience, the spectator. I don't like being told to clap in a certain rhythm (like they did at the tango concert I saw in Brussels last week, with Jen, Tom & Liesbeth), being spoken to from the stage (you'll never see me sit front row at a stand up comedy show), anything like that. I want to sit or stand and I want to watch and listen. I want to let my mind wander, turn the performance into something personal, into what I would like it to be. And I can't do that, or less well, when I'm being directed and guided in a certain direction. That just makes me feel selfconscious - I don't know if it's me, but I generally feel like an idiot singing or clapping in synch with the rest of the audience. Just let me take it in, read it and see it how I want to.