Saturday, October 20, 2007

Anais Nin

Anais Nin is my new hero. She's calmly and strongly feminine without seeming to notice that in 1930's Paris, she would have been better off as a man.

"for no one has ever loved an adventurous woman as they have loved adventurous men"

Fuck 'em.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Almost Ready

I'm almost done with this semester, then I'd like to write a lot here.
I feel good, I'm ready for summer, for having time to read and think.

-I just read Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel
-I have read several Card novels after Ender's Game and I think I understand now why he has become just a career novelist
-I have given up trying to please my Greek professor
-I somehow just now realized that my initials are the same as Eckankar's original initials: EK. This is strangely pleasing to me. A yin-yang oppositional relationship of sorts.

I, Eva Kopie, am anathema to Eckankar. Eckankar, you are anathema to Eva Kopie.

Ex ek,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Charles Matton

I was reading a blog yesterday and came across a description of this artist, Charles Matton. He recreates libraries, livingrooms, bathrooms, and studios, all in miniature, all stupendously detailed. I'm just in awe.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I wrote a letter to a girl a few weeks ago, a friend of a friend, who hasn't answered me yet. My friend told me she'd been raised a Hare Krsna but is beginning to have serious doubts. Don't know how far her doubts have gone yet. Maybe my email pushed her over the edge into losing her beliefs. Something like that happened to me. Maybe she's not there yet and my email will only make her hostile, backtrack more fiercely into the beliefs she doesn't know she's losing. But I'm lonely for people who might understand me, might be able to identify with what moves me now, the specific hatreds I have.

See, everybody I see on the internet who's left Eck--I can't relate to them because they each made the choice to JOIN in the first place. I didn't get a choice. I was born with this. This was my only world until I left my parents' house as a free adult. I was raised and shaped to only this. I may be able to understand why somebody would join a cult, but I can't respect that kind of person. So I don't want to talk to any of those people. They leave Eck just seeing the surface BS, like maybe Twitchell's plagiarism, they decide it's a cult 'cause of that and maybe they join another cult, just with a more cleverly written central text.

I want to find a friend who feels the agony because she didn't have any choice, she was born into a cult, it was the only thing she knew, the only thing she'd been ruthlessly shaped to emptily accept as eternal infinite truth, her whole brain's capabilitites ruined in the process of that shaping and she nearly wasted a whole life in service to it, a cult, an empty souless organization with a dead founder, only existing because of the dumb inertia of the mass of bodies giving their lives to it.

I want so much to find somebody else out there who understands that who will talk to me.

And I want so much for one of my old friends from the cult to leave, to join me, to be my friend again but this time against the cult. I grew up with these cult kids, I felt closer to them than to anybody else. I loved them fiercely--as fiercely as I was then capable of, which wasn't much, really. And I still do love them. I see them on facebook and I want so much to go back to them, to be welcomed back into their circle of friendship--fun, easy, comfortable, safe.

But that's the great thing about a cult, hey?

The truth is, my best friend growing up in the cult, she DID leave. Left way before me. But she refuses to have contact with me. When I left the cult, I contacted her immediately. Actually, I tried to re-befriend her right after she left originally. I told her then that I didn't give a shit whether she was in Eck or not, she was my best friend. But she wouldn't answer my phone calls then, and she won't answer my emails now, not anything more than perfunctory I'm-well-I'm-in-college-studying-blahblah, not even when I specifically wrote her: I have left Eckankar, please, it is so important to me that you talk to me about this.

I think she won't talk to me because she's coping by trying to re-assimilate herself into normal society as completely as possible. That's what my little sister's doing. She just wants to be NORMAL. She doesn't want to think about what the cult did or did not do to her, she does not believe it and she wants it not to affect her.

Really, that's a better way to go, if I wanted revenge on the cult, if I wanted my life back. Because I have to admit that right now, everything I am comes back to Eckankar. I define myself as not in a cult or, as a thinker, which just means that I define myself as opposite of someone in a cult.

I can read latin, and I'm learning greek, and italian soon, maybe sanskrit next year, if my strength doesn't give out. I'm studying linguistics, and proto-indo-european culture-mythology-poetics. i'm studying literary theory and poetic theory and thinking about what a poem means to me, how you can trace what a poem is--from the origins of speech to the march issue of Poetry Magazine--and what a bizarre progression that is, and where are the leaps and gaps in it. i'm trying to cram as much of the world as i can into my head and i'm trying to spit it back out again with my identity on it. but you see, all of that is so frantically a part of me because i came so close to living a dead mental life as a member of an all-encompassing cult, and now, I must, I must train my brain, I must increase my capacities to reason and analyze and I must experience the world and then re-create my own vision of it on paper again for other people to see, and all of this is because i came so close to never doing any of that. Because I came so close to wasting my life in a cult.

So you see, all I am is still delimited by that cult. I still define myself by it. It will crush me until I die. My little sister, on the other hand, and that friend, they want clean out. I admire that. They will not give Eckankar the power to dictate their lives. They've merely slid away, calmly, gliding out to join the world without a ripple to betray the newness of their presence there. But me, I've got that cult gripped to me, tight, and I want to look at it in the eyes and murder it, and then I want to stand over the dead hulk and scream to the world that I killed the cult that tried to kill me.

I only ever feel relieved of this immense consuming frustration when I read Holocaust memoirs or horrible Siberian prison camp memoirs. Strange, that I would feel closest to Elie Wiesel or Imre Kertesz and Solzhnitsyn or maybe Dostoevsky?

I've only just this minute realized that this explains my fascination with these kinds of authors: that I feel strangely close to them. I'm obsessed with reading them, really.

I can only explain it to myself in that, maybe, I identify with the holocaust, with prison memoirs in general, because what I went through was a kind of total holocaust of the mind. Or maybe because, when stripped to such horrifyingly abject prison conditions, for the sake of survival, a person's mind and humanity is obliterated. Whatever it is, the mind makes us human. You lose that, in a Siberian prison camp, at 40 below, and a very slight jacket, and slighter cup of soup, and no end. And in a cult, you pray every day that you never become human, and you shun whatever you haven't yet been able to lose of your humanity.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

ender's game

I am exulting in the world right now. I feel so comfortable in my body, sexy even, and vivid, in a black shirt, and old jeans, on a cool night after a less cool day, the first of late winter where the air is no longer so mercilessly unfriendly. I enjoy moving through the air in the room, and I’m pointed and free, feeling slight pain in my left forearm and circling my neck. My lips are dry—I must not lick them!—my little dog is playing with a squeaky blue sheep. She's looking up at me with her tail concentrating. There’s a band practicing in a room behind me, and unconsciously I’m moving with their rhythm, like an extra in a Fellini movie as the orchestras play in front of the shot.

I just finished reading Card’s Ender’s Game, for the first time since high school, and I’m stunned. Exulting. I’ve never felt so alive. In high school I thought it was a pretty good book with a wickedly great ending, and I left it at that, but I always remembered reading it. So I picked it up again yesterday, and pretty quickly I realized that it’s a masterful work. I haven’t been this excited about anything I’ve read since I picked up Orwell’s 1984—and before that, there was only Dostoevsky and the brothers.

The novel is sci-fi—typical, really. Alien invasion. The hope of humanity’s survival rests on one man. Spaceships and relativity and instantaneous communication devices and shit. But the beauty of real sci-fi is that it is able to present us with humanity in a way that no other genre can: Sci-fi can confront us with Aliens, which forces us to confront what we think it is to be Human, in a direct inescapable dichotomy which allows us to question everything about ourselves.

So here I am, my mind racing in excitement now with the last page read, again as always frustrated trying to shove harder into understanding my own foundations: what's important to me? and why?

The conclusion I come to, tonight, having read this vivid little gem of a 'trashy scifi novel,' is that after confronting myself utterly, the violence and selfishness that I admit staunchly lies at the center of what I am however dormant, the most important thing is not even specifically that I live—I’ll die someday—and not that my line continue (I can’t help that past my own having children—this civilization will pass, humanity must pass someday, it is simply the span of time working against us, there is simply so much time out there, there is simply so much universe)--but what matters is, this bizarre miracle of self-cognizant life which has arisen somehow and must continue, must continue forever. That’s my greatest hope which I cannot hope to see realized because my death will come so soon and time will roll on around my no-longer-me atoms forever.

I’m going to stop now because my brain is starting to fray and I might go mad if I think about this anymore. It’s like smaller and larger infinities, and I don’t want to live in an insane asylum. *

*Georg Cantor developed set theory which dealt with the bewildering idea of larger and smaller infinities. he suffered from depression and possible bipolar disorder and died in a sanatorium.

Monday, February 26, 2007

How One Becomes Lonely

I feel tired, but pleasantly so, despite tomorrow looming up ahead of me.

I think that it is important to value tension over happiness: because what I am most interested in is exploring the world and writing about it, not being comfortable or safe.

Anyone who thinks about being an artist should read Arnold Schoenberg's 'Style and Idea,' and specifically an essay in it called "How One Becomes Lonely:"

"....As long as an audience is not inclined to like a piece of music, it does not matter whether there happens to be, besides some more or less rough parts, also smooth or even sweet ones. And so the first performance of my Verklarte Nacht ended in a riot and actual fights. And not only did some persons in the audience utter their opinions with their fists, but critics also used their fists instead of their pens....

"But see: an artist treated in this way becomes not only suspicious, but even rebellious. Seeing that even parts of undoubted beauty could not protect him, knowing that those parts which were found ugly could not be wrong because he would not have written them if he himself had not liked them, and remembering the judgement of some very understanding friends and experts in musical knowledge who have paid tribute to his work, he becomes aware that he himself is not to blame.

"But then this happens: after having composed an extensive work, he visits a dear friend, his closest one and one whose judgement and musical knowledge seem to him perfectly indisputable. The friend looks over the whole score and his judgement is: 'This work shows a complete lack of inspiration; there is no melody, no expression; it seems to me dry, and the way you write for the voices is mere declamation, but no kind of song.'

".....Knowing I had written melodies and feeling that they were not poor, I had the choice either of being discouraged or of doubting my friend's authority.

"....I decided not to be discouraged. But I had to wait for more than thirteen years before, in 1913, at the first performance of Gurrelieder in Vienna, the audience affirmed my stubbornness by applauding at the end of the performance for about half an hour.

"As usual, after this tremendous success I was asked whether I was happy. But I was not. I was rather indifferent, if not even a little angry. I foresaw that this success would have no influence on the fate of my later works. I had, during these thirteen years, developed my style in such a manner that, to the ordinary concert-goer, it seemed to bear no relation to all preceding music. I had had to fight for every new work; I had been offended in the most outrageous manner by criticism; I had lost friends and I had completely lost any belief in the judgement of friends. And I stood alone against a world of enemies...."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I feel good.

I feel frustrated. I feel chaotic. I feel good. I feel lovely.