Monday, December 26, 2011

taking flight

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

-e.e. cummings

the nearing-end of december:
fleeing the sorrow of this year
entering into true-pure-love-and-care
growing in good graces and the knowledge of impermanence 
watching grin upon grin in the low light, holding each one close to my heart
feeling ukulele tunes down past the soles of my shoes
reckless rides in a big box van and a million walks treading dirt and dust
reconciling with the past and learning to appreciate still, more, always the present
hands and hugs and unforeseen warmth
films which reach down deep and pull the truth into plain sight
less time squandered, less time spent in regret
these moments are all we have

Monday, December 19, 2011

compiling and compounding

This has always been one of my favorite music videos. Probably always will be. 
There's a reference in the song to Canadian author Robertson Davies' novel,  Fifth Business,  
which I didn't know until I read about it on a once-upon-a-time close friend's blog. 
I read Fifth Business in summer, but I don't really remember very much of it because 
some parts of summer were sad and some parts were scary and some parts were simply too distracting. 
"I wish I'd paid more attention" seems to be the general theme of my life lately. 
I'll probably be working through summer happenings for a long, long time and my moroseness sometimes
gets the better of me, but the other night I read something Jack Layton said, 
"Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair,"  
and I think that's true, so obviously true, and, sadly, it is also rather easy to forget and allow myself to wallow. 
So I am trying, little by little, to turn my fear to hope and change my despair to optimism. 
It's just going to take a while is all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

notes from saturday

     Remember, you don't have to make the whole world romantic, or even the whole bedroom. Just the small space in front of your face. A very manageable territory, even the working women will agree. Because when he looks at you (or she--romance has no biases!), he has to look through the air in front of your face. Is that space polluted. Is it rosy? Is it misty? Think about these questions during the lunch break. 
     We ate our sandwiches and looked at each other through the air in front of our faces. It looked clear, but maybe it wasn't. We thought hard about this while we drank the provided soda. This could change everything. 

-Miranda July, "It Was Romance"

we'll have a bookstore filled with books
we'll have a cupboard filled with chocolates
we'll drink tea like the british and eat baguettes like the french
we'll go camping in the mountains and hiking in the woods
we'll go for road trips and museum tours
we'll wear proper coats in the cold and let our limbs shake free in the sun
we'll live the life we'd like some day-- 
but for now, let's sit in bed and dream it

Friday, December 16, 2011

the days we had

"Think how you love me," she whispered. "I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember."

"You'll always be like this to me."

"Oh no; but promise me you'll remember." Her tears were falling. "I'll be different, but somewhere lost inside me there'll always be the person I am tonight."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I am climbing into a translucent container of sea-colored glass
I am tying a yellow ribbon 'round the neck and corking the bottle
I am tipping and rolling slowly into the foaming water
Drifting as a message to whoever finds me
A testament to indistinct aches
Accompanied by a note which reads:
Bottle it all up,
Shrink to the size of a bouillon cube

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a grateful endeavor

My first longer-than-fifteen-minutes walk since June happened to fall on Thanksgiving. It was calming and lovely and precisely what the doctor ordered. I ran a bit on the horse paths with a nice old chocolate lab who took to following me around. Running becomes a whole new kind of exciting when you've only felt your limbs moving beneath you for a very short time in a rather long while, I must say.

(final finals today!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

all good things

I watched this film when I was in bed with a broken foot on July 17th. It was beautiful, especially the mock home video footage, but also very sad and strange. The parts when Katie and David are in love were blissful, but of course there's sorrow and gruesomeness and eventually a killing, because it's based on the real-life happenings of Robert Durst. Sometimes I wish movies could stay how they start. I would happily watch people acting as though they're in love for an hour and a half. 

It has been a teary day and a memories day and very-much-is-missing day. 
I can't wait for Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

particles of light

there are days when i feel like everyone else is much, much stronger than me,
and i am still a child in the sense that i simply want to be held and told that everything will be all right,
while having my hair smoothed gently, over and over again

finding my footing in the midst of the current (trying, at least)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

notes from saturday

Who knows how to make love stay? 

1. Tell love you are going to Junior's Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if loves stays, it can have half. It will stay. 

2. Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a moustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay. 

3. Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning.   

- Tom Robbins
(forever my favorite postcard)

dreaming up a million changes, 
mulling over present choices, 
wishing for a bar of lavender soap, 
laughing in the morning light, 
baking in the afternoon,
peppermint tea and cookie dough in rounds,
listening to bonfire music by night 

taking it all in, all the while knowing everything will be different this time next year

Friday, December 9, 2011

piping red kettle black

we go to the library and wear buns in our hair and stockings on our legs
and even pretend to classy (but really just make fun) and this is a typical day.

Temecula above, Murrieta below, both from November

Monday, December 5, 2011

nearing the end, nearing the beginning

"As silly as it sounds, I think one of the most important things is believing that everyone contains magic. Magic's not the word for it, but what I mean is that at some point, everyone was a child and completely fascinated by something, and that childhood belief/fascination is so so beautiful to see glints and glimmers of in people."

Sometimes we all need simple reminders; this week, this month, this year, I need simple reminders. 
My mind is a teeter-totter of fleeting reflection, up, down, this way, that, I am tugged to the best of it, 
then back to the worst, but I will always be ever grateful for those who help me find my balance again.

Nearing finals and winter and a new season of splendor, to be sure! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

in the quiet

Thy fingers make early flowers
of all things.
thy hair mostly the hours love:
a smoothness which
(though love be a day)
do not fear,we will go amaying.

thy whitest feet crisply are straying.
thy moist eyes are at kisses playing,
whose strangeness much
(though love be a day)
for which girl art thou flowers bringing?

To be thy lips is a sweet thing
and small.
Death,thee i call rich beyond wishing
if this thou catch,
else missing.
(though love be a day
and life be nothing,it shall not stop kissing).
-e.e. cummings

Wild Geese 
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver

1. Sophie Van der Perre 2. Chad Siddall 3. Kaye Blegvad

Thursday, December 1, 2011

this year

There was that one night I lay there longing for someone, anyone, but especially you, and I pulled the covers up around my throat which made me feel warm but not loved, and I wondered if you were longing for someone, anyone, but especially me, too, and I hoped you felt both warm and loved.

There was that one night I decided I wanted to sit cross-legged and alone in the middle of an empty room and close my eyes and breathe and feel my breath inside of me so I went through everything and put my books in a box and my clothes in a box and my clutter in a box but it still wasn't empty enough for me to feel anything besides stale air and memories.

There was that one night my dad told me his friend from high school, who he met in 1975, passed away three days ago and at the funeral that day his wife died and I asked, "How does that happen?" and he looked at me with grave eyes and said, "The heart, it just fails, it can't take it."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

inside and outside

november said to me (albeit a bit too late): 
when your eyes are in tears, it is not time to act; it is time to be quiet and it is time to be alone 
(and it is also maybe time to find a someone soft to squeeze 
or a something furry to cuddle in the nearby vicinity)

(for a certain someone whom i will be squeezing in twenty-three days)

1.Elissa Mielke 2. Kaye Blegvad

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

please come home

There are certain musicians who will make me weep always (whether inside or out) because memories on top of memories on top of memories, some of which I cherish, some of which I'd rather forget, some of which will haunt me as the most incredibly bittersweet-but-mostly-only-sweet moments in my life, it's true. 

Also, I wanted to include 'Cat's in the Cradle,' because that's one of my dad's favorites, but of course there aren't any actual live performances of that one on the YouTubes. Cat Stevens mentions Alfred Hitchcock's "lovely chin" before playing 'Peace Train' anyway, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

Also also, Joni Mitchell is the cutest.

Monday, November 28, 2011

once, always, not at all

“Someday, we’ll run into each other again, I know it.  Maybe I’ll be older and smarter and just plain better. If that happens, that’s when I’ll deserve you. But now, at this moment, you can’t hook your boat to mine, because I’m liable to sink us both.” 

“But I believe good things happen everyday. I believe good things happen even when bad things happen. And I believe on a happy day like today, we can still feel a little sad. And that's life, isn't it?” 

You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.”

Gabrielle Zevin is on my To-Read-Immediately List.

photo c/o Sara Soderholm 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

an hour in san francisco

Photos taken June 27th, 2011 (four months ago, exactly). 
For some reason I was too distracted to take an actual picture of Golden Gate Bridge, maybe because this was sort of a sad day, despite its also being magical (never mind the fact that I had no idea what the day after would hold in store). I wonder how much more conscientious we would all be if we knew the future, even if only a day ahead of time. I probably would have paid much closer attention to the state of my surroundings and much less attention to the state of my heart and mind while I was in San Francisco, had I that sort of advantage. All the more reason to appreciate and absorb the present down to its last silly detail.
(There is, luckily, a  teensy tiny peeking bit of bridge in the last photo.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

sara teasdale

Let It Be Forgotten 
Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold.
Let it be forgotten forever and ever, 
Time is kind friend, he will make us old. 

If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footwall
In a long-forgotten snow.

She who could bind you
    Could bind fire to a wall;
She who could bind you
    Could hold a waterfall;
She who could keep you
    Could keep the wind from blowing;
On a warm spring night
    With a low moon glowing

The Gift
What can I give you, my lord, my lover, 
You who have given the world to me, 
Showed me the light and the joy that cover 
The wild sweet earth and restless sea?
All that I have are gifts of your giving— 
If I gave them again, you would find them old, 
And your soul would weary of always living
Before the mirror my life would hold.
What shall I give you, my lord, my lover? 
The gift that breaks the heart in me: 
I bid you awake at dawn and discover 
I have gone my way and left you free.

I Am Not Yours
I am not yours, not lost in you, 
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon, 
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still

A spirit, beautiful and bright, 
Yet I am, who I long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love--put out

My senses, leave me deaf and blind, 
Swept by the tempest of your love, 
A taper in the rushing wind.
I Shall not Care
When I am dead and over me bright April,            
     Shakes out her rain-drenched hair
Tho' you shall lean above me broken-hearted      
      I shall not care. 
I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful       
     When rain bends down the bough, 
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted      
      Than you are now.

One of my favorite discoveries of 2011. She is at once cunning, clever, cynical and romantic, and it makes my little heart sing. On the eighteenth of November, rather than working on necessary projects, I went to a nearby Starbucks and sat on a big cushion and read through eighty-eight of her poems and wept at it all. It seems I will always most identify with female poets who are fervent in love and also wind up committing suicide? 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

as autumn turns to winter

1.  sssbf    2. ashlikaan   3. emilyharriet

quite often love is not something you lack, but something you fail to acknowledge
(remember, always remember)

happy thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

do i dance inside your head?

today was: 

(wake up and get up and put this dress on here it is so bright and early you will be happy
traipsing along the trails, finally feeling nature, crunching leaves and brisk air 
new friends and helping hands along the rocky stream path because still very weak ankles
oohing and ahhing over a colleague's pups, warbling the names 'buttercup' and 'butterscotch' and please let them make little 'butterfingers' over and over again
reading through this book and that, writing about this and that, sulking about this and that
renewed admiration for martin luther king junior
a quiz which consisted of "what are your thanksgiving plans?"
a cheerful-grinful-laughful conversation and a fluttery hug
a slew of text messages from the best gal i know
sweets and sweets and too many sweets in the overwhelming light bath of a big-large-loud family)

mostly swell

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the bible on love

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore
      “ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
        If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
        For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”   

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:9-21

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends
Proverbs 17:9

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Sunday, November 20, 2011

necessary covers


(my very favorites)

it's another one of those days, where i had strange dreams, where i want to curl up with a kitten, good music, and a never-ending supply of tea (but must work on papers, of course), where i question my own sanity, my own naivety, my own ability. i am endlessly fascinated, endlessly loyal, endlessly curious, and yet, continuously make mistakes. i feel so slow in it all, as though the world is passing me by before i get the chance to catch up. as soon as i am here and ready, it is there and over and done. i am losing sight of whatever pursuit, holding onto dreams of mountain ranges and pine trees, coffee shops and bookstores in the rain. i want to live simply, my brain says, i want to hole up until someone who understands my own longing, who has the same longings, embraces me in all my messy asymmetry. i want to feel alright and do alright and be alright. 
in my dreams, you finally said the words i so desperately needed to hear, let me off gently, honestly, truthfully. we both knew. i don't know why i held on for so long. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

at the core of it all

When I was a little girl, my Greek grandfather, who made the best vegetable stew in the world, would bounce me up and down on his knee while singing rhymes in Greek. October 20th of this year marked the tenth anniversary of his death, and my family went to his grave site that day to sit in the grass and remember him. Something he always said, to his sons, his daughter-in-laws, and his grandchildren, is to simply "love and forgive." Lately, I've been reflecting on those words that he left behind. He was a person who truly lived by that phrase, lived a life that reflected his beliefs. His heart was kind and pure, his spirit was generous and sweet. 

Sometimes I fear I have been so bad at loving that I cannot be forgiven, but I have learned that if you're loving correctly and being loved correctly, you probably won't need to be forgiven, or won't have anything to forgive. If there is a weight in your chest, if you're harboring resentment, you need to love, forgive, move forward. If you feel the need for atonement, ask for forgiveness, love, move forward. I made a lot of mistakes this year. I allowed myself to be anxiety-ridden and depressed. I was self-centered and foolish. Even in sincerity, I found myself doing the wrong thing over and over again. I thought I'd let so many people down. But I've seen evidence of love in my own life, and as the realities that I blindly looked past for so long become clearer, I am determined to continue to love, continue to forgive, to continue to allow myself to be forgiven.

In June, just before my life went crazy, I wrote probably the best thing I've ever written, words that would have helped me through everything, if I would have only read them. I needed to be still. I needed to transcend my own painful existence. It took me a long time to cease dwelling in the past. I wasted so many days by failing to appreciate what was in front of me, but I have realized that I am still so young, still have so much more to learn than I even thought I did, that we are all humans and we are all trying and we all need encouragement. I am still learning to love, learning to appreciate the beauty in truth and simplicity, learning to be patient. The pain is still raw, but, hackneyed as it is, it's true that life is a never-ending process. Stating something today does not make it so tomorrow, but every day is a fresh start, a chance to do what's right, a chance to continue yesterday's progress. A chance to stand firm in our convictions. A chance to be still, shake the dust, and let it settle.

illustrations c/o peacay

Thursday, November 17, 2011

to everyone i've ever known

I miss when we would lay in the grass in the cold and stare up at the stars and I miss the night you watched for my first shooting star with me and I miss when we ran around barefoot on our skateboards and I miss the nights when you would play your guitar over the phone to me and I miss staying the night at your house and your shampoo smelled like oatmeal and honey do you remember I remember I miss hugging in the parking lot in the glow of the streetlight and I miss when you held me close and I felt your breath and your warm chest on my cheek and I miss when we drove around and had tacos and I miss when we discussed The Road and you helped me pull out my thesis do you remember I remember I miss your tea party when we had tea and cookies and played drawing games and ate too many cookies and I miss staying the night at your house and when we woke up it smelled like coffee cake that your mum made and I miss that night you did cartwheels and the carpet was rough do you remember I remember I miss walking in my new dress with the wind and the cold biting at our lips and teeth and how we gritted against it and I miss watching you graze and I miss watching you sleep and I miss when we talked about falling in love and I miss when I felt your hair in my hands and I did it all up in a braid and I miss when you made me laugh so hard I thought my stomach would burst do you remember I remember I miss when you pushed me around in the wheelchair that day and you picked me a daisy and you said the little old woman from that Charlie Chaplin film reminded you of me do you remember I remember and I miss watching you dip your croissants in hot chocolate, always two of them, I miss talking about botany with you do you remember I remember I miss when we fought over Marxism and when we went for coffee and when we talked about religion and I miss when you caught my eye when you were on that stage and you were playing that song and I knew everything would be okay and I miss that day you didn’t want your hot dog so I ate it because I wasn’t vegetarian yet and I miss making you sandwiches and teaching you colors do you remember I remember I miss running on the beach that one night and knowing you were there and I was here and still feeling you deep in the pit of my stomach I wish you could remember I remember do you remember why don’t you remember

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

filling in the jigsaw

Sometimes I want to pull people in close and grab them by their shoulders and shake them real quick, all the while shouting, "I love you, I love you, I do!"

My intentions are pure, but my actions are poorly executed.

 illustrations c/o Bio Diversity Library


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

tread softly

“Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow." - Sylvia Plath

I'm sorry to whichever man should meet my sorry state

Remember me the way you knew me best

I fought against the current for so long, I forgot how good it can feel to relax one's limbs and drift; it's as though life is dissolving on the tip of my tongue, like a cube of sugar in a hot cup of tea.

Monday, November 14, 2011

the blog that's back in business

We're all messy people, doing messy things.

other places you can find me: