Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I've been looking through a college classmate's 365 project, and I just got to a picture of her joyfully holding up her diploma. There's a comment from another girl I had classes with, saying something along the lines of, "there's no other feeling like that in the world."

And then I remembered that I still haven't ever even touched my diploma. I was one class short to graduate (I finished it at VCU less than a month after the graduation ceremony at Mary Wash), and I didn't walk. They mailed me my diploma, because I was living over an hour away and never seemed to be driving through Fredericksburg during office hours. It's in a cardboard tube in my room.

When I need to, I usually work really hard not to give in to depression, regret, and despair. There isn't a great reason why, but this is one of those moments that I'm having to fight. I wish I had passed that stupid class. I wish I had walked with my classmates. I wish I, shining with joy, had held up my diploma for a picture. But I didn't.

Even so, I loved the class I took at VCU, whereas the Mary Wash class I failed (Post-Colonial Lit) gave me hours of successive panic attacks, at the end. Turns out that I'm not an auditory learner, so lecture classes with nothing to turn in until the end of the semester are not a good idea for me. I got to take the VCU class (American Realism and Naturalism, I think) with my best friend, Sara. There's not much I love more than taking classes with her, and we hadn't been able to take one together since freshman year in high school. It was great, and I loved almost everything we read, which is a pretty rare occurrence. Things worked out okay.

Even so, maybe I should get that diploma framed. I think it would feel really good.

Relative Productivity

Am I the only one who feels guilty when bored? Like, "if there are dishes to be washed and bathrooms to be cleaned, you have no right to be bored." But who wants to clean bathrooms? I am so terrible. I am being sort of productive though--uploading pictures from Kelly's and my road trip back in March. It's taken me so long that she's given up asking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Day With Momma

I got to spend the day with my mom today, and it was awesome. We went and loaded her car trunk full of wood from a tree our friends had cut down, then went to the store, the bank, and the Clothes Rack. I am a terrible shopper, but I've acknowledged the fact that I know jack about what looks good on me when I see it on a hanger, so at this point I'll pretty much try on whatever people pick out. My mom and I have the same body type (go figure), and she is not a terrible shopper. I now have three largeish bags of new clothes. Incidentally, today marks the first day of my new life as an indentured servant. Guess who unloaded all that wood by herself?

I didn't end up getting this dress, but I did get the boots, which you can't really see but which are fantastic. I'm glad I took a picture of the dress though, to console myself about not owning it.

I may have been swayed in the "not buying" direction when my mother asked me, "so are you going into a new line of work?"

Titles and line breaks are the twin banes of my existence.

As of right now I refuse to title this, and also I can't choose between the different line breaks. And if you hate it...don't hate. It's 1:30 am and I wrote this in the past 10 minutes. So I mean, I guess, hate if you want. Don't judge me. But criticism (constructive) would be nice.

Unseeing hands gather and wrap blankets
by feel, and pale feet lower slowly
to pad bare across an open winter floor.
Ten fingers fumble hot coffee to cold
mug and two blue lips sip down darkness,
burying it deep in the red belly of
the morning's slow rising light.

Unseeing hands gather
and wrap blankets by feel,
and pale feet lower slowly
to pad bare across an open
winter floor. Ten fingers fumble
hot coffee to cold mug
and two blue lips sip down
darkness, burying it deep
in the red belly of
the morning's slow rising light.

write write write.

Look, I am not good at stories, ok? And half the time I try to write, (actually, every time I try to write,) I end up trying to Write, and that is always a disaster. It always comes out shit, and I'm sure this will be no exception. It's only when I just sit down and write something to get it down on paper that it ever works out to be halfway decent, which of course means that none of the ideas that I am sure are brilliant ever end up even slightly shiny by the time they hit the page or the computer screen. I think part of the problem is that even though I really just want to write, I also want to Write. I am a little bit afflicted with that increasingly common disease of wanting to be A Writer. I am Cinna, and my writings will be used to wrap fish in the marketplace. I'm just glad there's no Catullus that hates me enough to publish a poem saying so.

Maybe someday I'll learn patience somewhere--patience with work, that is--and I'll stick with something long enough to make it through the shitty first drafts* and write something that more than ten people feel is worth reading. We'll see.

*In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott points out that trying to do everything at once is a really good way to fail. She relates a story in which her younger brother panicked the night before a bird report was due, wondering how he would ever finish, and her father told him to "just take it bird by bird." She also says that it's okay if, when we sit down to write, we write shit. Everything golden began with a "shitty first draft."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pictures From the Summer

As requested, of food (and other things I love).

David picked these for me while I was digging up glass bottles from an old dump uncovered in our friends' yard where they are opening up a cave:

This is my cousin Tom and his sister's youngest, Lilly:

My mom and sister make amazing breakfasts sometimes. For example: poached egg on a garden tomato, grits, and waffles from scratch with homemade blueberry syrup:

David's completely adorable nephew Joseph, lying on the floor for no apparent reason:

Beautiful garden tomatoes and basil from, I think, my aunt Beauchamp:

My wonderful parents

Wild concord grapes growing at White Stone, Va

House sitting horses and a goat named Princess with Kelly

The best boyfriend I have ever seen in real life, snuggling with an extremely loving and energetic three-legged dog named June:

The Ropes

Sometimes I feel like I'm walking a tightrope trying to figure out what I really want in life and at the same time trying to pretend like I'm a non-sociopathic, functioning adult member of society. Or maybe several tightropes.

Rope 1: David. Not at all to suggest that he isn't fantastic--only to suggest that I am an emotional moron, and allowing myself to feel and think whatever things I would normally feel and think, without banishing uncomfortable items or forcing other items into view (is the only way I will ever have any hope of knowing what I want ever, and also)is not particularly easy for me, especially when I am also trying to not be a complete bitch.

Rope 2: Living arrangements. Currently I am living with my parents again--super cool. Again, not to suggest that my parents are not super cool; rather to suggest that living, at 23, with the people who raised you, is not always simple. And my uncle (a very good guy, actually, but not very timely, but yes very underpriced for family so I shouldn't complain at all) has had my car for four or five months, so I share with my really wonderful, but MUST PARTICIPATE IN EVERYTHING sister. And I have my own stuff to take care of (needs and wants), but living in a group dwelling requires things like cleaning up my own and other people's messes. Especially since my mother and sister seem to tend to look to me as their organizational savior when I am home, thanks to my occasional bursts of Cannot Stand This Mess. This opinion of theirs stands despite the fact that my normal mode of operation is "What mess? Leave me alone, I am reading. And later when you would like me to help, I will be out of town."

Rope 3: Money. No excuses here--money is absolutely a bitch and I am not a big fan. Probably this is because I am in possession of very little of it, and I would like to have a lot of it, only without working very much. It's an issue. But I've just been hired to do exciting science experiments with the aim of convincing kids that science is awesome (which it of course IS), so that's good. It's only part time though, duh, so I'll still need to find another gig.

And finally (?), Rope 4: Ignorance. I majored in English, without particularly wanting to teach English. Also, I didn't work for the school paper ever at all. Even given the fact that I'll probably apply to go teach ESL in South Korea, this wasn't the best plan, and I should probably go to grad school. The problems here are A)I cannot afford grad school at the moment, and I don't really want to add any more loans right now to the $10,000 or so that I'm still paying off, and B) I cannot decide what to go to grad school for. Majors in consideration are Creative Writing (terminal degree makes that somewhat less useless, actually); Anthropology; Sociology; some sort of physical therapy--not Physical Therapy I mean, but massage therapy or chiropractic something or another similar thing; some sort of emotional/mental therapy, like Art or Recreational therapy, or plain old Psychology or Psychiatry; Environmental Studies type things. If I think for a few more minutes I'll probably come up with another handful. Best to stop here. Problem(s) illustrated, anyway.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What can I even say to improve this?

(thanks to

"I am so excited about the Kepler mission. It is the second most important thing our species has ever done, right behind inventing the concept of delivery pizza."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So, I don't really keep up with the news well.

But rest in peace, Mary Travers and Patrick Swayze.

I liked Patrick Swayze, but I am even more upset about Mary Travers. It was one of my life dreams to see Peter, Paul, and Mary perform, but I guess that's not happening this side of the Styx. Since, as I mentioned, I don't really keep up with things well, I had no idea that her leukemia had relapsed. Her death is a great loss.

[insert transitional phrase]

Quotes from my sister:

"It was the epitomal part of your life. The pivotal turnage point!"
"I just am so problematic, in everything I do."

In response to my question, "can I save your quotes? and put them on the internet?":
"Yeah. I am a very quotable person."

Also, the extent to which I memorized the periodic table in high school chemistry, which I still remember:

h he li be b c n o f ne na mg al si p s cl ar k ca sc ti v cr

I am rather impressed with myself over this.

[insert transitional phrase]

For a number of reasons, I've decided not to go to the beach in South Carolina, after all. I plan on taking this as an opportunity to practice not regretting things.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I call this the "if it ain't broke, fix it bitter" tour.



s as)
(girl sits
and reads
sits as friends
leave her a


thanks to E. E. Cummings.

In other news: job offer from Banker's Life and Casualty Company. This was sort of exciting until I realized that hiring me would constitute absolutely no risk for the company whatsoever, as my pay would be based entirely on commission. I'd be surprised if they didn't hire almost everyone who applied. Also, to get licensed to sell insurance, I'd have the honor of paying out about $300 to various people for classes and tests and permission from the state and whatnot--non-reimbursable. Sounds great, don't it?
Also on the job front, I interviewed today with Mad Science, a company whose goal is to get kids excited about science, and a company which seems much more up-front, open, and honest, and awesome, in just about every way. I mean, obviously I wouldn't have anything close to the earning potential I would at Banker's Life, but I probably wouldn't hate my job, either. As an added bonus, they'll hire me for free! (If they hire me. Let's not get nit-picky.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

in honor

I meant to post this actually on the twelfth, but I guess now is better than never.

September Twelfth, 2001

Two caught on film who hurtle
from the eighty-second floor,
choosing between a fireball
and to jump holding hands,

aren't us. I wake beside you,
stretch, scratch, taste the air,
the incredible joy of coffee
and the morning light.

Alive, we open eyelids
on our pitiful share of time,
we bubbles rising and bursting
in a boiling pot.

X. J. Kennedy

In other news, my mom's family has been doing an annual (ish) beach week for several years, and this is the first time I've been able to come to any part of it. My mom and I are only down here in Kitty Hawk for one night, but it's been awesome. We drove straight to my cousin Staples's place for a big crab picking party, then helped clean up and came over to the house where we're staying with three of my uncles (Bobby, John, and Bud,) and my aunt Mereme. Uncle Bobby almost immediately gave me a shot of vodka and then the three of them started educating me about music from their youth--mostly by Ry Cooder. I had never heard of him, but he's pretty fantastic. Uncle Bobby and my mom and I went for a walk on the beach after dark, and we found patches of phosphorescence all down the beach. Every time we kicked the sand in one of the patches it would light up green. I've only seen the sand do that once before, in high school, and I've been looking for it ever since. My uncle had never seen it at all. I hope there's someone that predicts its occurrence so I can plan a trip someday to coincide.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nearly Worthless Day

Due to not sleeping pretty much at all recently, I stayed in bed for ages this morning. I woke up twice, once to a call to schedule an interview, and the second time to a call from my friend Mike, telling me that a good friend of his was just killed in a Marine training accident. I didn't know the guy at all, but it's all very sad.

I got up and watched A Beautiful Mind for the first time, and it was so good. Hard to watch, but a really wonderful movie. Annd, here are some quotes from it that I loved:

"God must be a painter. Why else would we have so many colors?"

"Nothing's ever for sure, John. That's the only sure thing I do know."

"I'm sorry, just give me a moment to redefine my girlish notions of romance."

Just at the end of the movie Chloe came home and watched part of 27 Dresses. Just as that ended, our cousin Lucy came over to borrow the juicer, and just as she left, Chloe's friend Anna came to pick her up for dinner. All this matters because Anna didn't arrive until 6:45 or so, and I needed to drive out to Camp (again) tonight for a retreat in the morning. I didn't get out here until 10:30.

Who cares, right? But I felt the need to type something. And I'm tired as hell and annoyed that I have to be out of the house at 7:30 tomorrow morning. So upset.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A reflection.

What kind of boyfriend suggests waking up at 5:10 am (after staying up till 1:15) so that he can take his girlfriend out for fruit and coffee before her super early morning drive home? The awesome kind, that's what.

The book is still sketch

--but intriguing. And I am crazy, because I drove 2.5 hours away to see my boyfriend for about 16 hours (during most of which he has had to be working or sleeping), and I have to be back home tomorrow for an eye exam at 9 am, and I only slept a few hours last night, and I am writing this before going to sleep. But it has been worth it, and he is marvellous. And I am going to sleep for a few more hours.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In case anyone is a) reading this and b) not 100% convinced that I'm a friggin hippie:

I'm reading this book of my mom's called "The Reconnection," by somebody Pearl, about how he is the guy who has been chosen to bring to earth this new kind of energy that humankind has not experienced to eons, or something. He says he puts his hands near people and most of the time they are spontaneously healed. Honestly, I am intrigued, but doubtful. I'd be less intrigued if I hadn't seen an interview with him and the parents of this kid whose cerebral palsy he evidently healed. more later.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A New Leaf

I have decided to (try to) turn over a new leaf when it comes to the way I view and treat my body. And this leaf shall be called "affection and forgiveness."

Instead of looking at my arms and legs and stomach and face and skin as enemies or problems that need to be solved, I will instead view my body as a friend that helps me out a whole lot and depends on me at the same time, and I will try to understand that both of us make mistakes sometimes, but that we're together and in it for the long haul anyway, so we might as well forgive each other and move on. We will treat each other with respect and care and affection, and we will learn to work together, instead of against each other. I am hopeful and excited about this.

Edit/recap of things tonight, in bullet form, plus an edit, not in bullet form:

we visited my aunt at the river, and kyaked, and road around the bay in a skiff, and picked wild grapes as we watched the sun set from the beach.

as a result of complaining that none of the houses at the river will ever belong to me, I got invited to an island in s.c. for a weekend. evidently I am stupidly lucky today.

my mom fell asleep in the living room, and my dad in their bedroom (I am back at my parents' house. man I'm cool.)--so I'm hearing the snores in stereo. kind of cool.

I finished book 10 of the Wheel of Time series. this, for those of you who don't know, is an extremely long and involved fantasy series. all of the books are around a thousand pages long. did I mention how I was cool?

also, my cousin holly asked me when I was getting engaged, and the question didn't even really freak me out or particularly irritate me. as a result of this, I am now freaked out.

one more thing: I just found this post on opendiary about the anniversary of Katrina in New Orleans. it's really good. now I want to go to nawlins and help however I can. thinking that, my automatic reaction (never fails) is, "they probably don't still need help," or, "what could I do, anyway?" or, "I wouldn't even know where to start." any excuse to stay at home and do absolutely nothing. but my mid-summer resolution has been to start doing things. to start taking risks and stop sitting at home and whining about how I used to waste so many opportunities. I don't know if I'll end up in new orleans anytime soon, but I've got to stop making excuses.

I know that anyone reading that is probably thinking, "yeah, right. tomorrow." but I really have made some progress here. specifically, I have been looking into/applying to work teaching esl in south korea, and I'm trying to actually listen when people suggest things to me. it's like my own personal little version of "yes man*."

*which I have never seen.

Gee, what a grape time.

My father's family has some pieces of land, all close together or right up next to each other, in White Stone, Va. Actually, unfortunately, it's not really my father's family--it's the family of my father's ex-sister-in-law. Apparently they are distant cousins, several generations back, but I'm pretty sure that's not enough of a blood connection for me to have a shot at ever living at Mosquito Point. Maybe if I beg I'll be able to have my wedding there someday, but I think that might be all I can hope for.

Anyway, my parents and my sister and I went out there for the day to visit said former aunt of mine (though "former," we still address her as an aunt, and always will) at her little cottage by the river and have dinner. It was beautiful. Her daughter/my cousin and her husband and kids were out there, though staying in another house, so we saw them for a little while. Mom and Chloe (sister) and I went kyaking, and then all of us went for a ride in a skiff that my cousin Holly and her husband are thinking of buying from one of the many members of this sprawling family that I don't really know. Sweetheart's husband, I think. I guess I've probably met Sweetheart at some point, but I don't remember it.

Back to topic, which was the awesomeness of Mosquito Point. I know it's a terrible name, but the mosquitoes are really less of a problem there than they are at my parents' house. It was just nice to see my aunt and cousins, to spend time on the water, and everything. Actually the ride in the skiff was really awesome, because my dad got to come. He's in a wheelchair and can't really use his hands or legs, so there are a lot of things he can't be a part of, but Brian and a friend of his that was there (also named Brian, actually) lifted him down into the boat and found a way to keep him in a seat without him falling out. He said he hadn't been in a boat like that in 40 years.

After boating we, thoroughly soaked, went back to my aunt's house and watched the sun set from the little strip of beach down the hill. I was shocked and pretty excited to find out that there were wild concord grapes (because I've never picked grapes, wild or otherwise) growing all along the beach. We picked a little bag of them, and my mom wants to make jam. Unfortunately, though the discovery was exciting, apparently I don't really like wild concord grapes. They were beautiful anyway.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Go To:

Seneca Rocks, WV

Blackwater Falls, WV.

Because Kelly and I did, and it was pretty sweet. Only don't go if you don't like hiking, stairs, waterfalls, or interesting rocks. Or driving a lot.

Man I'm starving. Also, the fly masks are still on the horses, and Kelly has passed out, dammit.

One more thing: those prius ads creep me out so much.

Status update on the "Thing A Week*" approach to poetry

Between me and David, due Fridaysish.


There once was a boredom-filled girl
who thought she'd give poems a whirl.
But she'd nothing to write
that seemed not uptight
and kept her from wanting to hurl.

Yesterday's, for last week:

3 AM

The soft clock ticks
and ticks
and ticks.
The distant dogs bark
and bark
and bark.
The mist drifts
and pours.
The horses stamp
and snort.
The moon hangs,
the lake shines,
the tall grass
and I sleep,

Thing I made while pretending I was writing a poem, and the reason I couldn't write a poem** (because I can't write about the same thing twice in a row. That's even more loserish and more of a cop-out than writing a bad limerick):

*Approach name taken from the great Jonathan Coulton, writer of such golden hits as the "Portal" theme (The Cake Is A Lie), Chiron Beta Prime, Re: Your Brains, and The Future Soon. (Hear all these for free--before buying!--at Joco's store.)

**Edit: apparently I can't think in logical progressions at 3 in the morning. Really, I already knew that, but it's a lot easier to remember before 1 AM. Anyway the reason I couldn't think of anything to write was not, obviously, the graph. Rather, the graph was the product of A) my new obsession with graph jam, and B) my not being able to think of anything (other than being awake at 3 AM) to write about. The reason I couldn't think of anything I deemed acceptable was, as you have probably already realized, the fact that I had already written quite recently another poem about being awake at 3 in the morning.

Two Uses For Pig

Watching the Food Network makes me so damn hungry. Or, to be honest, not particularly hungry at all. But extremely interested in eating something delicious.

Also, something I've been grinding my teeth over for the past several months:

The worst part is, people who really ought to be intelligent enough to know better make a huge deal out of stuff like this just to keep up appearances with the people who pay their salaries.  I bet there's a manual out there somewhere. "For People With Power: How To Be As Obnoxious and Irrational As Possible."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why am I always awake at 2 AM?

Went down  to the pond again tonight after feeding the horses, and although there were no bats, it was gorgeous. The mist was pouring over the (still unfinised) bridge, which was pretty cool to watch, and if I sat still enough I could hear noises from pretty far up and down the valley*. Why don't I live here, again?

In other news, once I finish house sitting I return to having no life (I mean, even now I have no life, but at least I'm going to get paid for it), so that's an issue. Let me know if you know anyone who's looking to hire an English major with limited job experience. Skills:

any kind of child care
saving you if you have met with an unfortunate accident:
if you have stabbed yourself in the eye
if you have broken your femur (or another bone)
if you have stabbed yourself with a fish hook
saving you if you are choking
saving you if you have nearly drowned
possibly saving you if you have injured your spine or somehow allowed your heart to cease activity.
organizing closets, drawers, or piles of crap
untying hopeless knots
taking out the trash
teaching water safety
listening to all your problems and telling you how you aren't as terrible as you think
house sitting
watching tv
reading comics
staring into space for long periods of time
painting things on rocks
writing on restaurant sugar packets

*I am fascinated by soundscapes. I was thinking whilst sitting by the pond about how (I know this isn't puzzling or anything, but I still like it) the reach of my ears could be so limited somewhere like in a cave, where there really is just nothing--drips, breathing, shifting feet--and then there in the field I could be hearing things from miles away. I love the way sound can carry so well down a hill or across water, when it's quiet. I hate the way I get so confined in crowded, closed, loud spaces that I forget.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

perhaps trepanning would help...

Migraines, headaches that turn into migraines, headaches that act like they might turn into migraines in order to stress me out as much as possible, and headaches that pretend to be sinus-related and then suddenly explode into migraines, suck.

Since I would actually never at all even a little bit remotely consider trepanning as an option, I think I'll go sit in the sun instead, and think hippie, energy-flow-type thoughts. That and hope these three ibuprophen kick in.

Pretend I didn't just write something 30 minutes ago.

Kelly and I are currently house sitting for some friends in Highland County, Va. This entails feeding their four horses, putting fly masks on the horses (unsurprisingly, they do not seem to appreciate this), removing fly masks from the horses (more surprisingly, they don't really seem to appreciate this either), feeding the cats, petting the cats, snuggling with the cats, removing the cats' claws from our pants, getting the mail (whoops), scratching the goat behind the ears, scolding the goat for head-butting our legs, applying for jobs online, wishing I were reading, and watching a whole lot of Direct TV. (Did you know that you can pause, rewind, and fast forward it? Whoa!) I would be actually reading a bit more, but this is a relatively open house, the fall chill is now in the air, Kelly loves tv, and I have no will power once the screen is already flickering. Oh well.

Today one of the cats came in with a mouse which turned out not to be dead, so it's in a cooler with some food, paper towels, water, and a cardboard box. (It being the mouse, not the cat.) This cooler is located in the bathroom, with the door closed. Unfortunately, I think the mouse's front legs may be injured. Poor little guy/girl/thing. I'll be checking on him/her/it again in a few minutes, at which time it will probably be dead.

(edit: The mouse was not dead. However, it starts twitching every time it realizes I'm nearby. Kind of upsetting.)

That was really the biggest event today. Sad, right? Kelly wasn't feeling well so we didn't go out as we had planned, but hopefully we will tomorrow. I'm not sure I can face another motionless afternoon in this recliner.

Earlier this evening though, after feeding the horses, we walked down to the pond to watch the bats. The other night we drove the ATV (I promise I'm not trying to show off here--this house really is just awesome. Normally I'm not quite this lucky) down there and could see the bats flying around in the headlights, and then two nights ago we went down a while after dark and there was only one, so I've been meaning to go back again around dusk. Tonight it was just about perfect, maybe excepting the lack of ATV headlights. Kelly got cold and left after a few minutes, but I stayed a while longer as the sky darkened and the mist rolled over the water like a curtain. I could hear a cow lowing further down the valley, and the crickets and late-season cicadas, and the horses stamping and snorting around in the field, but the bats in their circling, swooping, diving show made less sound than my neck creaking or my feet shifting in my work boots. The only aural evidence of their passage was a single flapping sound whenever one flew within a few feet of me. Most of the time I couldn't see them at all, but every so often as the light dimmed I would barely catch one zooming over its own reflection in the silvery water. It was rather magical.

Really, I think that fall just lends itself to magical moments, in a wholly different way than spring or summer would. Sometimes of course when I think of "magic" I think of fairies, but despite my Fantasia-soaked upbringing, I can't really picture tiny sprites turning the leaves brown in the fall. It's a whole different thing, once the chill is back in the air. After the eternally unrelenting heat and humidity of central Virginia in August, the autumnal nip makes me feel alive. It makes me feel like dancing or flying Icarus-like into the sun--only hopefully with better wings. (It's okay, we have Krazy Glue now.) Oh chilly mountain nights, how I have missed you. I thought you'd never come back.

It's funny, because I say this now, but come February I will probably be railing against the barometer with all the strength my vitamin D-deprived brain will be able to muster.

Anyway, my point was, bats: awesome. A few of the trout were still jumping too, which was also awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. My everyday vocabulary showcases a paucity of adjectives. (Let's pretend for the sake of my self-respect that I have another vocabulary aside from my everyday one.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is it even okay if I don't paragraph my letters?

Writer's block is an issue here, in my world. I'm sure I'm not the only one who loves to write, but runs out of things to say as soon as there's a blank window open. For me I gotta say that writing, in this sense, is a lot like life. I am full of fantastic ideas right up until the second that I want to present them, and then they are gone. I am also full of lines and ideas as soon as the moment for them has passed. I know I'm not the only person with this problem, but at the moment I'm reminding myself of Jon from the Garfield comics.

Here I'm hoping to take the pressure off, chill the heck out, and write what I'm thinking. Originally I was planning to title this "what to expect (when you're expecting)," meaning not in pregnancy, but in life. I don't have a good reason for changing my mind, except that it felt too strange. Despite the fact that I hope to be a mother someday, thinking of pregnancy (and especially childbirth) makes me rather nauseated*. Euphoranges was the next idea, and bleuphoria, bluephoria, bleuphoranges, youfouryeah, youforyeah, oophoria... I'm already embarrassed by them--I try to remind myself (when I remember) to stay the hell away from title gimmicks. It's obviously a serious weakness of mine. The thought, though, was that I love orange, I love oranges, and I was thinking of Anne Sexton's poem, "Words." The line "daisies and bruises" is from that poem:

"Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair."

But to explain why I liked the idea of euphoria, I'll show you some definitions from
1. a feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being sometimes exaggerated in pathological states as mania.
2. A feeling of great happiness or well-being.
and my two favorites,
3. 1727, a physician's term for "condition of feeling healthy and comfortable (especially when sick)," and
4. a feeling of well-being or elation; especially : one that is groundless, disproportionate to its cause, or inappropriate to one's life situation.

I feel that a lot of the time, this could be applied to me. And at times when it couldn't, I wish it could. I pretend or tell myself that it could. I am thinking, though, particularly of a migraine I had a couple of weeks (or so--my sense of time in these situations is horrendous) ago. I didn't vomit that time, which was nice, but I was utterly miserable for an evening, and then suddenly the skies cleared, and the headache was gone. (This is usually how my migraines go, I think.) I felt completely fantastic. I felt like I could fly. I felt like leaping off the sofa and dancing around the room, but in the interest of caution, I stayed on the couch and finished my tea. My sister laughed at me. Incidentally, this is also my reaction when my liver finishes (or, possibly, nearly finishes) metabolising all of the alchohol that has been deposited into my bloodstream. I have been known to spring at 4 AM from my spot on the floor, accidentally waking those around me in my--you guessed it--euphoric state.

The blog url I have now explained, and the blog title (which took even longer to settle on) is from an E.E. Cummings poem:

"i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)"

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for poetry. Other poems considered for the title and url include "Michelangelo's Seizure," "Monet Refuses the Operation," "God Says Yes To Me" (which furnishes the title for this post), "My Grandmother Washes Her Feet," "This Is Just To Say--," "Still I Rise," "Phenomenal Woman," "anyone lived in a pretty how town," "The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower," and "If a poet should ask me how I make a poem," which I like to refer to as "the pterodactyl pie poem." I never have been able to find its real name. By the way, all of the above, excepting "My Grandmother Washes Her Feet," are in the public domain. And you should read them.
I really do have a thing (for poetry. And parenthesis**). I like to write poetry too, and people say it's good, but who's ever written a poem and had their family and friends tell them it was terrible? I mean, really. Anyway I'm lazy and shy, and generally self-satisfied whenever I'm not battling--or buried in--self-loathing a-la Anne Lamott. That was a lot of dashes and hyphens and Ls.

I've taken all afternoon to write this entry (off and on) in Notepad, and now I've forgotten what else I wanted to say. But, read poems! I guess I can settle for that. Or just READ, in general.

*Despite the popularity of (and my love for) the word "nauseous," I have had to essentially drop it from my vocabulary since learning that it actually means "causing nausea." Ignorance is bliss. Misery loves company.

**Sometimes I am embarassed by this, but you know what? I am in good company***. I hear that Tolkien was parenthesis-obsessed, too. (So there.)

***While I'm on the topic of obsessions and good company, I'd like to say that I have gained my love of tangential footnotes from the great Terry Pratchett. Please, if you only do one thing this year, read him.