Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wanting

This post is one that wanders, according to my custom.

It's a gorgeous night tonight, and somehow walking under the nearly full moon made me start to think about what I want.

And what I want is to do what I want. Just me. No compromising or making nice, which feels as natural as breathing. And so when I daydream, I daydream about being alone.

I want to spend my days writing and walking by the water, rising early and drinking coffee in sunlit rooms (built to bring the outside in), staying up late under the stars, reading poetry, doing yoga. That's my most persistent daydream. The daydream of my stilted, crumbly heart.

Of course, there are others. I want--perhaps on principle--to be a person who welcomes others into her home. The kind of woman my great aunt was, who hosts missionaries and refugees, who invites people to dinner, who opens her home and heart to those in need.

I also want to move in with my friend Kelly. I want to treat my car nicely, as it deserves to be treated: get her all fixed and tuned up, clean her out, paint her pretty colors with rustoleum. I want...hmm. I want to be more of a doer, and less of a killer-of-time. I can kill time like it's an Olympic sport I've been training for all my life, and it's shameful, wasteful, sickening. It is not life-giving. I am learning, slowly, slowly.

And today (or at this point in the evening, yesterday) was my three-year anniversary with Ian. And I want unfair things of him. Or are they unfair? Maybe unfair for me to ask, or expect, or maybe "unfair" is a meaningless term here. But:
Sometimes I want to marry him. Is it, would it be settling? Marriage is not something I desperately want right now. I don't walk around feeling overwhelmed with lovey fuzzies. I'm not consistent in my feelings and I am often uncomfortable with them. But at times I do feel the lovey fuzzies. And in some ways we balance each other quite well. And in some ways we drive each other nuts. Am I supposed to wait for or find someone who makes me feel lovey fuzzies more consistently, more confidently, or what?

Regarding nuts: I am, in many ways, quite independent. I do not always respond well to advice, or to others' expressions of concern for my safety. I also don't like to plan things. Typically I'd rather wing it. Also I am unbelievably forgetful. All that drives Ian nuts, and still he graciously acts as my personal reminder service on a regular basis.

Here's what drives me nuts: Ian is not very independent. I don't mean to imply that he is emotionally dependent, but rather that he likes to do things together, and make decisions together, and sometimes those things are hard for me. He also likes to plan things down to the most minute details, which I find tiresome (but which I admit is a good quality). The downside there is that he is not comfortable with much spontaneity, and that is difficult for me. Lastly, anxiety. He is working with it, and working hard. Still, wrong as I may be, I have been unable to escape the idea that anxiety is the king of Ian's life. Because of that idea or fact or whatever it is I become irritable, angry, condescending, demanding, and sometimes mean, and that needs to stop one way or another.

More importantly than the way we drive each other nuts though is the way we communicate. There is plenty of friction in our relationship--there is a lot we don't have in common--but we go out of our way almost daily to better understand ourselves and one another. I've never had a relationship with communication this good, and I definitely can't take the credit here. Every step of the way, this man has asked questions, communicated his feelings and frustrations, and, when I finally started talking, listened to what I had to say. We often have trouble understanding one another; for example, I strongly suspect that the phrase, "life giving," would have no meaning for Ian. And that upsets me because I want the things that are important to me to be important to everyone I care about. I want Ian to believe in the God I believe in, and to feel the connections and the joys I feel at the same moments I feel them*. But isn't that life? As difficult as it is for me to grasp, life is different for everyone. The best we can do is try our best to bridge the gaps.

*why? Because I'd feel connected? Because I'd believe in his depth of emotion? Because I feel that I'm "right," and I want him to be right too? I don't know. There is a story I've heard about a child with autism who had trouble grasping the idea that everyone had a different point of view, and everyone had a different experience of the world. Sometimes I feel like that child.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Yoga

I haven't been to yoga class in ages, and I've missed it. Still, when I went tonight I found myself a irritated by the guided meditation thing that this particular instructor was throwing in. Stillness is harder for me when I haven't been practicing it (and I haven't), but typically I find deliberate introspection uncomfortable even at the best of times. So she had us lie still in shivasana and picture light and clouds and this and that, and I tried but felt like I wasn't doing it right. Like I wasn't getting it.

Then she told us to look inside ourselves, or something. It was the type of instruction that tends to frustrate a literal minded person like myself, but I tried.

I tried, and I suddenly felt something happening. I closed my eyes and saw my tight little nut of a heart softening, swelling, and unfolding out of itself like a time lapse video of a flower bud.

I don't really know what happened there,  what it means, but I'd like some more of or.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Duh.

After a summer of wearing Rainbow flip flops (very comfortable; not at all squishy) almost exclusively, taking an evening walk in athletic shoes feels like heaven.

(What are these things on my feet? Springs? Maybe I can complete today's burpee challenge after all!)


Life, by the way, is rolling steadily along. Had quite a bit of drama in the family/close friends group over the past six months: a long hospital stay, a twice-broken ankle, a cancer scare (that is to say, it was indeed cancer, but it's been removed), a bipolar relapse...but things have been leveling out, and there are also several weddings coming up, and there's been a good amount of playing in waves and sand, and a couple of friendships restored and others renewed, and a new camping hammock, and more reading than I've done in quite a while. Things are good.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A friend encouraged me to keep writing--I've known for a while that I needed to, but it never seems like the right time. Or never seems like the right thought. Or never seems nonthreatening enough. In good moments I have felt that I wanted to just live and enjoy it, rather than watching it through a camera lens, so to speak. But I think that running beneath almost all of my choices not to write has been fear and discomfort--an uneasy reluctance to turn my gaze too sharply on any part of my life. I still have not rectified this.

But lately there have been enough difficult moments to drive me back toward my pen, though I still have actually written very little. I have taken to carrying a notebook around to encourage myself to use it. 

I composed this in my head tonight on my way home from the hospital, and wrote it down in the driveway when I got home. I labeled it,

"April 17, returning from my 58th visit to the hospital in as many days."

It hurts too much to keep hoping.
Some days, all I can believe is violence.

I hear, in bright, energetic voices--
--too bright; they hurt my eyes--
--that honesty is all. That masks
only hurt.
I'll be honest: I've said it myself,
in better days.
But how can I believe it when I,
seeing my hero falter, wince, struggle for breath,
Feel my heart pound, and weaken, and sink into the ground.

It hurts too much to keep hoping.
All I can believe
is violence.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello, April

It was downright cold this morning, after a chilly weekend that followed a few days of record-breaking heat. This is all my fault. I took my winter coats out of my closet too early.

But the fresh-cut grass smells beautifully sweet this morning, and the combination of smell and cool freshness felt like a morning at Camp, which is always nice. Made me a little homesick, though.


This past weekend I made two avocados worth of gorgeous, chunky guacamole* and bought two bags of sprouted grain chips by "Simply Sprouted: Way Better" snacks. Both were surprisingly delicious, and I have just run out of guacamole. Really a shame.


In other news, I have temporarily ceased recycling (I'm quite ashamed of this) because our back door (which leads to the recycling bins) is entirely blocked by inchworms and webbing. Also the recycling, which needs to be carried through the house to be taken out, is covered in inchworms and webbing. Gotta love April under the trees.




















*I make it wrong, always, but I love it this way: avocado, minced garlic, salt, and apple cider vinegar to taste.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer is coming.

I've spent the last two days working quite a lot--daycare in the early morning, then for my aunt in the late morning and early afternoon, then daycare again, then helping to renovate a house up the street. I sometimes dread such days, but it's been pretty great, actually. It's amazing how much more productive I am when my free time is cut back. My taxes are done, I've got some books from the library, and I'm heading to NYC for the weekend on Friday morning. I learned to use a circular saw tonight--we cut all the shelving for the kitchen--and now I'm covered in sawdust and my nostrils are filled with it.

And sometimes I just love working for my aunt. Lately family means more to me than it ever did when I was younger, and I love my aunts. It seems as though they just attract beautiful things to themselves, and it all swirls around each of them like a tornado of light. Really, most of my family is like that, actually, on both sides. I'll be visiting my cousin in New York this weekend, and doing some work for her. She has some similar tendencies, though they're expressed in different ways. (Emma, will you be around? Assuming you see this in time? I don't know if/when I'll be able to get away but I'd be happy to say hello if you were interested in such a thing.)

Anyway, my aunt's house is beautiful, and spending time with her was just another beautiful piece in a beautiful week I've been having, really. Here's what I scribbled in my notebook this morning, favorite pieces of my week so far:

cold grapes on a hot day
sprinkler spray through a car window
a bottle of wine down by the river, in the dark
a rain of flower petals
polishing silver in the shade on the side porch



Also, I think I should move. I hesitate to write it down, because the more I talk about things the less they tend to happen, but here it is, just for the record. For my future reference.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ritual

Ian, sweetheart, texted me to make sure I'd eaten dinner. I had, but it was, as I told him, some utterly unsatisfying (though filling) leftovers. And I kind of wondered about that. What made them so terrible? They tasted fine. But I pulled them out of the fridge, scooped them out of their plastic containers, microwaved them for forty-five seconds. And then I ate them alone, hunched over my bowl on the sofa in the dim living room, watching a computer screen. And there's no joy in that. There's no life or satisfaction in that. After a night like this one, where the things I eat are nothing but necessary sustenance, I find I can better understand those people who find no pleasure in food. I can see how a life of microwaved and/or prepackaged dinners might do that to a person. I was raised on homemade lunches and dinners, because my mom is awesome and found the time to make them--and thus these days my most satisfying, most pleasurable meals are those that I cook with Ian or my roommate, and those that I eat with my loved ones. The food is second to the ritual of brainstorming, prep, cooking, talking, cleaning, and second to the community it fosters. After experiencing that kind of richness, eating alone in an empty house makes everything seem very grey.