Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do things differently

I had a dream that I was in a drafty, stonewalled room standing before a giant fireplace. A string of iridescent green-blue birds appeared and one landed on my finger and gripped with its little feet. I became weightless as they flew spiraling up the chimney to take me to soar above mountains and desert, where we stopped on a ridge or a tree branch or the like to stare in awe at the beauty of vast wilderness.

The dream I have come to interpret as a visual representation of a transition I have been undergoing for the past year. Cycles of grieving, jubilee, panic, and tranquility have been consistent and of cumulative intensity and October was a drafty, stonewalled room.

There was a moment a day or two ago I stood up too fast and the room shook like an etch-a-sketch while my head adjusted to gravity. Everything was blurred and out of focus save for these words in white on a painting: Do things differently. I wrote this soon after in a moment of connective clarity:

You said I'd write a book someday- the story of your life
the story you've forgotten, the life you didn't want
But the best laid plans not set in stone
are scribed in sandy shores
wiped away by rising tides that signal season's change

He says, "I know that I'm memorable, my mother knows my name"
But mine's forgotten I exist
her hairline bears her shame

I am not superwoman
tonight the world will smolder while my eyes are turned away
You hear the words I utter:
I am human. Take my hide.

Walk away, walk away
Find another place to stay
your home is packed onto your back
you're pulling baggage from the sack to lighten up your load
You're lightening your load
And lightning down the road is warning of the storm
A low pressure system with beauty in its form
You're shifting in your form

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Red light Green light

Two weeks I've been in one place, not carrying my home in the back of a car or counting on open hearts for a square of couch for a night's rest. What phases me more than staying put a while is returning to see that life continued while I was away, and things and places changed. The old house I lived in before has fresh coats of paint over the crazy, colorful murals that roommates and friends painted last year. The little Toto-dog who danced and sprung with exuberant joy and raced in figure-8s through the yard rests in a hole in the back corner marked by three simple rocks and a wreath of dried carnations. And while I used to live in a house on a one-way main street with people coming and going and sleeping on the couch or in our beds, home is now a small house on a neighborhood street behind the high school football stadium, and three roommates who keep to their rooms mostly since there's no communal living room. I must say, it's nice to be home- to have a home- but I do miss living by an atlas instead of a calendar, the sun instead of a clock, and a forest instead of a bathroom.

Midnight facebook stumbling last night, I found a friend's blog and read through posts that weaved every day experiences into words of wisdom that I took to heart in a way. She told the story of sitting at a traffic light behind two cars. One had a green turning arrow, but the other still a red light, however, impatient, inattentive, and eager, the second car proceeded with the green arrow and narrowly missed an oncoming car. Right now, we're both sitting at red lights in life and we see other people with green arrows, moving forward. There's a frequent conversation I have with myself, one side becoming impatient and "waiting" for passion and adventure to land in my lap and envious of others who have found their's, the other side showing the first where adventure lies within every day life and the passion that does seep through every now and then. I've kept a journal all summer, for the past 72 days, documenting each day's adventures, and there's not been a dull day so far. Even days spent in front of a book or the TV (only two!) are an adventure by comparison to each other.

So, the point is, every day is what you make of it. It's all in your perspective. Life keeps going, whether you're in one place or the other, whether you're paused at a red light or passing through a green light. Do with it what you will, this is what you have to work with, this is the life you have to live with.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Free and feeling everything

Sitting in the big blue papasan chair in the room I call "mine", I sit with my leg propped on a pillow and an ice bag on the wooden chair that serves as my nightstand. The sun is setting and green is the only color I can see when I look out the window in front of me. Vines have taken over the space where trees and shrubs do not grow and these plants all intertwine and creep up the walls of our house and between the cracks in the windows in the room that was Ali's and is now Taylor's.

The growing vines, setting sun, and my slowly healing ankle are only a taste of the changes in this place. Spring semester is over, Saturday was commencement ceremony, Sunday was farewell day. Now I find new things to do and spend time with new people. I find myself thinking about changes a lot. Funny how the things you want to change don't and the things you don't want to change do. But when people and things change and leave, a place that was occupied in your time is now open for something new. This is freedom, in a new sense.

Today, I hobbled around on crutches, organized my room, aired up my car tires, read an entire book that made me smile :) and made an intention for this summer: live and leave theory alone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Open heart surgery

Myself vs. others. Myself and others. Others, then myself. Others and others. I've been wrapped up in this relation and concept lately. I envision all these little people floating in a big, dark expanse, connected by strings. All the sudden, something pulls the end of the string and all the people schoompht! together in a cluster, a tight, secure cluster. I envision one person as the puller, yanking the string and jerking everyone else around until finally we all are pulled together and the puller is left dangling. And sad as that is that the puller is left that way, but the everyone else is stronger because they're united and close and protected.

But one thing I became conscious of today was the scraping and wounds of other people attached to the puller, outside of myself. My aunt said, "I just want my sister back". And hearing from my aunts the tidbits of conversations they'd had with my dad over the past few heart swells with pride and with love.

And then, dad's heart swells. I mean, it literally swells- snapping- clogged with debris and breaking. And his heart is the twig Joel and I hold in our teeth to distract from our own pain. And finally it snapped, and we were all awakened. We strain to make our fantasies of carefree gathering and peaceful dinner conversations of football, grades, and FAFSA but they are a distant light we have not reached yet.

I read a book about a mountain man who climbs the highest peaks to get closer to God and I turn the doctor's heart attack diagram into a mountain range dotted with a little town and a weaving, tumbling spring. A man raises his hands to the sun and reaches up to grab the hand that descends from the golden rays.

"He climbs the highest peak, the closest physical place to the sun, the closest place to God"
- In the Mountains of Heaven by Mike Tidwell

Broken hearts are mended every day
and strings that sew the vessels back together
pull the stars that dance upon on the ends
towards each other, close and tight
where joined as one
and ten times bright