Monday, December 27, 2010

Sledding!

This morning I woke up to my dad making waffles in his new Belgian waffle maker. They were delicious and promptly afterward my entire family settled down to watch "Toy Story 3." I had yet to see it (none of us had seen it yet, actually) and it was so delightful! I cried more than once - a result, I think, not only of the excellent writing and my soft heart, but also of the nostalgia and poignancy of having grown up with the films. I was about the same age as Andy when "Toy Story" first came to theaters, and now, years and years later, Andy went off to college at the same time as I did. This was a clever move on Pixar's part, but also a beautiful tribute to a generation of kids who grew in maturity while never losing imagination.

This afternoon a bunch of us went sledding at the Chocksett football fields in Sterling. It was freezing, but so much fun! The wind whipping at our faces, we later found out, was moving at a staggering 58 miles per hour. (Ouch.) But the snow was perfect for angels and for sliding down the steeps of the fields. So many people stayed inside today - and are sensible for doing so - but I am glad that we were able to gather together and appreciate this gift from Mother Nature for a few hours. 





I smiled and laughed a lot today.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh, also.

01. I'm excited for the snow. It keeps piling and piling up!
02. Transfer applications are going to kick my butt. Bring it.
03. I really, reeeeally want to intern at HarperCollins or Penguin or even Bloomsbury this summer.
04. My dad is watching "The Return of the King" and I can hear the beautiful score wafting up through the floorboards. It makes me sentimental, in both happy and sad ways.
05. I am sick once again, and I really don't know why this keeps recurring.
06. Tomorrow I want nothing more than to gather with my sisters and friends to go sledding!
 
My first winter in Holden, junior year. Sledding with Emily at Mayo Elementary School, going approximately 0.5 miles per hour.

07. I also really want to ice skate soon. I taught myself how when I was a sophomore, but far too much time has passed since I last laced up my blades.
 
My first time on skates, sophomore year! Determination: strong. Skill level: non-existent.

  Happy blizzard!

You Can't Beat It

Christmas was so wonderful. It was nice to celebrate with just the immediate family for once. Usually we spend the holiday with my grandparents, and a few times we've gathered with aunts and uncles too. But yesterday, it was just the five of us, and I loved that.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Things are starting to look up. I don't plan to hold my breath, but I also won't breathe too deeply.

Merry Christmas Eve!

occucco ][ ssf.tsf.ffne

I just video chatted with Olivia for over an hour and a half. It was so nice to see a familiar face from Mount Holyoke, and to be able to talk about things that people here do not necessarily know about or understand. (For example: the ugly, weird designs that people came up with for our dorm 2010-2011 sweatshirt...a Hamster? Really?) We spoke about Christmas, we showed each other our cats, I said "hello again" to her mum and dad, we talked about spring break and transferring and how complicated it makes the housing application process. I vented about my frustrations with certain things here at home and she lent a willing ear. Olivia is my best friend at school by far, and having met her parents during Family & Friends' Weekend, I feel almost as if I know her the way I know many of my high school friends--because there is that element of knowing more than just your friend, because you are familiar with not just her but also the people in her life.

A few days ago, I told Katie that the one thing that made me sad about leaving Mount Holyoke for break was that I did not think I would miss any of my friends, at least not too tremendously. Skyping with Olivia tonight instilled within me the hope and positivity that of late has been dwindling. I miss her so much and cannot wait to see her again in a month. Having a reason to actually want to return to school makes the arrival of January 24th that much easier.

----------------------------
In other words, I just wish you would talk to me, and not while hiding behind your cell phone. I do not know if you are afraid or are angry or are indifferent. I hope so very much, though, that indifference is not the reason for your lack of enthusiasm, because nothing could hurt me more. If it is not too much to ask, perhaps my Christmas present could be old-fashioned communication. I would like that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blue Faire Isle

I am frustrated beyond belief that you refuse to make this easy for either of us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It would be so nice to see your face at my door.

A bunch of us gathered last night to celebrate our "homecomings," so to speak, and to enjoy a little bit of catching up before the holiday. It was as much fun as it always is, and today I am exhausted but extremely content. Everything seems more magical this time of year and I am so happy to be home, enjoying the Christmas season with my family (including my mum, who decorates so tastefully and makes Christmas twenty times more exciting than it already is) and with my friends. Everyone fills me up with so much happiness and joy and love that I feel both blessed and spoiled for how lucky I am. There are a lot of friends and family members that I have not seen in a long time, and I miss them tremendously, but I have a good amount of faith that we'll all meet again in due time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

buffalolaffub

Greg sent me a link explaining how the sentence "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is completely legitimate. As an English major, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that the accuracy of its construction remains somewhat lost on me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Philip Glass is playing as I write my paper.

This means business.

as he stood there with the roses, which said more than he ever could

"He had not said, 'I love you'; but he held her hand. Happiness is this, is this, he thought."

-Mrs. Dalloway

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All At Sea

"She felt very young, at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything, at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day."

-Mrs. Dalloway 

Mrs. Dalloway

On the brain. Not on the paper.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh quel jour est aujourd'hui.

I have been studying for almost six hours now and I know I have at least two more ahead of me. Stats was difficult but French is proving to be nearly impossible to grasp. I haven't even packed my things to go home tomorrow yet, either. One roommate is asleep, two are watching "Lost," but the girls above (or is it below?) me will not stop making noise. My bed is right near a vent and I can hear every word (or weird noise) they make, including those private ones I have zero interest in overhearing.

French is swirling in and out of my brain. As soon as I think I have remastered a concept, I come across an example that I cannot comprehend. I try to assuage my panic by convincing myself that surely I had these same struggles when I first learned how to speak and write English as a toddler, but somehow I don't believe it. Mastering foreign languages is not by any means easy, but at the same time, it frustrates me how quickly I lose the information after learning it originally. Nothing seems to stick anymore! Et maintenant, je suis très fatiguée.

On the bright side, I am trying to keep myself awake so I am eating Cheez-its (it's almost midnight, gross, I know), and I just ate a burnt one. Burnt Cheez-its are my absolute favorite. If they ever sold reject boxes that were filled to the brim only with burnt Cheez-its, I would buy the entire stock.

Look at me, I'm talking about square orange crackers. This is not the mind of a girl with the ability to take exams in nine hours. I am going to be dead before my pencil even touches the paper.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Madame

I love my French professor so much! She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All done with classes!

And I took my Sociology exam today, as well. I've spent the afternoon watching "90210" with Rachael (guilty pleasure, I know). Tonight I get to watch Olivia dance, finish Mrs. Dalloway, and celebrate with my frands at our Secret Holiday Armadillo party. Life is great for the time being!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I feel sick sick sick sick sick.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i looked up into the grey sky

The right side of my back hurts tremendously. I think I slept on it wrong or something; probably, I slept on my side. I used to be a side sleeper but then I started getting really bad back pain. So I switched to lying on my back, and now I can't fall asleep any other way. I was at UMass last night, though, and sharing a twin bed is not conducive to healthful sleep.

I've been listening to a lot of upbeat music lately, the kind that makes me want to dance even when I'm standing in line or walking down the street. (A tiny part of me longs for my own "(500) Days of Summer" spontaneous dance routine.) The song of the day is "Black and Gold" by Sam Sparro.

I feel a way of something beyond them:
I don't see what I can feel.
If vision is the only validation,
then most of my life isn't real.

'Cause if you're not really here
then the stars don't even matter.
Now I'm filled to the top with fear
but it's all just a bunch of matter.
'Cause if you're not really here
then I don't want to be, either.
I want to be next to you.

< seven days

I have so much to do and time to do it but I'm convinced it won't be time enough.

Friday, December 10, 2010

ONE WEEK!

I am so happy!

I'm in!

Just got an e-mail from the director of The Vagina Monologues.
I'll be performing "Because He Liked to Look At It."
I am so excited!
This has made my week.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"I feel a little better."

Lately I have lost my sense of self within college. The stress, the relationships, the worries, the expectations and overwhelming commitments, all these things managed to swallow my tiny little body whole, and I sat somewhere inside this huge emptiness, waiting for illumination.

I had callbacks for The Vagina Monologues tonight. I found myself, rediscovered myself, within other selves unlike my own. I emerged from my audition breathing a newer version of my old life.

Once again, theatre makes me more me than does merely existing as me.

Mum surprised me with a visit today!

It was so wonderful getting to spend some time with her! But it only reinforces how much I miss my family! Only eight days more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

apathy)(apathy

"But nothing is so strange when one is in love (and what was this except being in love?) as the complete indifference of other people."

-Mrs. Dalloway

Monday, December 6, 2010

reference notes

1. We've all finally reached a level of agreement regarding the new room arrangement!
2. My eye is almost back to its normal color, but it still hurts every now and then. I'm scared to put my contacts in from now on, though. Hydrogen peroxide in the eye is not a cup of tea.
3. I cannot focus on my French homework. Je ne suis pas contente, parce que j'ai beaucoup de devoirs mais je n'ai pas le temps.
4. I have my fourth hour of Stats tonight at 8:00 but it is so cold out and the seven minute walk seems like eternity.
5. Not including today, there are only 10 more days until I can go home!
6. Où est la neige?!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Starry Eyes

This weekend in New York was wonderful! But now I am back at Mount Holyoke, and the world seems to have dimmed, dulled, and become altogether flat.

Only fourteen days until I can go home, which is not quite as bright as the city, but at least surrounds me with people I love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

C'est le premier décembre!

Everything about this month makes me joyful!







Happy December!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm annoyed with the people who run the NYC-Five College shuttle.

Do not tell me that you offer rides back from NYC on Saturday evenings if you are not actually going to provide them.

Homemade fudge is delicious but I feel sinful eating it and not in any way that makes me feel good.

I will never remedy the sadness that absorbs my entire body every time I see or hear from him. I feel blue in my toes and my ears and my lungs and my shoulders and my hands and all the places in between. Time refuses to move faster and in its slow-passing state, I seem unable to recover from the hurt he inevitably had to cause.

I already miss home. I miss my family more. We began decorating the house for Christmas last night and all I want now is to be there with them, humming along to overplayed holiday songs and stringing garland around the banister in the hallway.

Nineteen days and then I am free.

Monday, November 22, 2010

good things

Today I:
-passed in my English paper.
-got an A on my Stats exam.
-ate mashed potatoes for dinner.
-am one day away from going home!

I can't wait to return to something like this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

48 Hours

I cannot wait to go home home home home!

Monday, November 15, 2010

All I had for dinner was sticky white rice, a piece of toast, and some graham crackers.

How do I eat food made in the same kitchen as the food that didn't agree with me?
I hate being sick.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Registering for classes sucks.

I have nothing else to say, at least nothing intelligent.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I am writing a paper in the library and I'm freezing.

My feet seek refuge from the cold beneath my folded and crisscrossed legs. My sweater is fully buttoned as, too, is my peacoat, and yet I can still feel the goosebumps lurking beneath my sleeves.

The girls on the couches a few feet away are talking loudly. They have no homework to complete, only conversation.

Their own coats lie strewn across the floor.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I don't understand

how some people keep the company of genuinely mean persons.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

French kiss.

Posh Spice and Rihanna.
  

With Raggedy Ann.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

MacGregor at Lunchtime

One of the chefs in our dining hall loves to sing along with the radio. Today he belted out "Bad Romance" with Lady Gaga and from my own post one hundred feet away, I could not help but smile when his voice lofted past my ears.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I don't normally like tattoos, but I love this.

  
I'm afraid of becoming an adult without dreams.

In Bloom

Today I wore one of my pairs of Betsey Johnson tights.
They were black and covered in flowers.
I felt perfectly girly, and somehow everything around me smelled better and shined brighter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Outta Mind, Outta Sight

I am sick.
Being sick in college is not fun.

Every time I stand up, the room starts to spin and my head pounds. I feel tired all the time and my body won't stop shaking. When it's warm in the room, I'm cold. When it's cold, I'm hot. Somehow, despite all of this, I managed to make it to both of my classes today. I barely remember French at all, beyond smiling and repeating certain phrases. I think I voluntarily spoke twice, but anything I said likely sounded ridiculously mundane given my current state of mind. My Lit class wasn't much better. We're sailing through A Midsummer Night's Dream right now, which happens to be my favorite work of Shakespeare's, and I'm sitting in class, my head bobbing up and down only enough for me, and nobody else, to notice. Professor Yu asks what we've observed and I mention something about the fluctuating strengths of the female characters and also, for good measure, throw in how much I adore Bottom, because he makes my life complete.

I took a nap this afternoon but it was more so a restless hour spent in bed, eyes closed, face to the ceiling. The cracked patterns in the tiles played like whirligigs.

Now I'm awake, but only because at a certain point, I got tired of tossing and turning.

Friday, October 22, 2010

There is no need for you

There is no need for you to tell me that I am beautiful.

What am I supposed to say in return
that you haven't
already heard
from her?



[there is a reason I don't hug you anymore] 

4:30 PM - 10.22.10

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ducts

I cried today.
It felt good
but I stopped
before
I was
done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

(in)Destructible

All we needed were paper crowns to feel invincible.

Great Expectations

"Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise."

-Alice Walker

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I cannot focus.

Blame it on the ADHD. Blame it on the broken heater in my room. Blame it on the lack of light. Blame it on the view out my window, on the vibrancy that screams through the glass panes and ropes around my head, jerking me away from diligence and toward daydream. Blame it on the roommate who makes me wonder constantly where I stand. Blame it on sleep deprivation. Blame it on all of the other bullets on the piece of paper marked "TO DO" that taunt me because I have yet to catch up with them. Blame it on the stress. Blame it on transfer applications, on the need for a 3.5 or better to even bother sealing the envelope. Blame it on the ink in my pen running low. Blame it on this uncomfortable desk chair. Blame it on the act of blaming things.

Blech.

Rhythm

My heart beats a little faster these days.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vespers: Parousia

Love of my life, you
are lost and I am
young again.

A few years pass.
The air fills
with girlish music;
in the front yard
the apple tree is
studded with blossoms.

I try to win you back,
that is the point
of the writing.
But you are gone forever,
as in Russian novels, saying
a few words I don't remember--

How lush the world is,
how full of things that don't belong to me--

I watch the blossoms shatter,
no longer pink,
but old, old, a yellowish white--
the petals seem
to float on the bright grass,
fluttering slightly.

What a nothing you were,
to be changed so quickly
into an image, an odor--
you are everywhere, source
of wisdom and anguish.

-Louise Glück

Clockwatching

I miss everyone and seeing them for some reason only makes it worse.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Little Story

Yesterday I arrived at my theatre rehearsal actually on time for the first time in practically a month. Beaming with pride, I greeted my director Thea "hello" and proceeded to take off my sneakers and socks in preparation for our daily twelve opening sun salutations. Thea looked confused. I became confused.

I was finally early to a rehearsal at which I was not needed.

So I went to the library (because it was closer than walking all the way across campus to go back to Ham) and plunked myself down at a computer. The girl to my left was freaking out and partly because I worried she was about to have a coronary, I asked if she was okay.

It turns out she was better than okay: the printer system in the library broke. So now we don't have to swipe our One Cards to print anything. Which means we can print as much as we want...for free.

So I showed up to a rehearsal I didn't have to be at.
But I also printed 300 pages' worth of sociology readings (double-sided, so I suppose only 150 pages, I do lurve trees after all) for free.

Things happen for reasons.
I am constantly reminded of this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mad Rush

College does weird things to you. As different as everyone claims it to be--and certainly, to many extents, this claim is not wholly incorrect--college is still an exercise in the major processes of life. I still wake up every day, I still get dressed, I still eat and shower and tie my shoes, I still go to class, much as I would like to say otherwise, I still have grotesque amounts of homework, I still exercise, I still pull the covers up to my chin when I turn out the lights at night, and I still dream, I still dream bizarre dreams.

With so much similarity comes the expectation that "going home" will be exactly the same. Or maybe only I held this expectation. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle: anyone who comes home for the very first time, whether they realized it at the time or not, whether or not they admit it now, held this same belief that I did.

Perception Versus Reality plunked me on the head this weekend.

01. I was doubtful, for the first three days that I was home, that my dog actually recognized me as a permanent member of the family.
02. Between the time I left in early September and this past Friday, when I came home, three new houses were built on my street. Now I walk outside and feel overwhelmed and somewhat intruded upon by these looming tan boxes.
03. My house is the same, but I feel different living in it. Case in point: my parents got a new trash can while I was at school. This freaked me out. Apparently my acceptance to change cannot withstand fluctuations in waste disposal methods.
04. For the first few minutes that I drove my car on Saturday, I felt apprehensive and feared that my muscle memory would not prevail.
05. My room is foreign to me. Suitcases cover the floor. My closest is practically empty. Every time I walk into the room, I feel ancy and ungrounded. There is no permanence anymore.
06. My bed at school is far comfier and it took me until last night to "rediscover" how to fall asleep in my real bed.
07. Seeing old friends creates this mad rush to catch up and restore order in the tiniest amount of time and then to pretend that everything is exactly as it used to be. It's not that things have completely changed. It's just that everyone is changing in the slightest of ways and now the edges of our puzzle pieces are nubbed and altered and slightly unsettled in their fit.
08. I feel like I am on vacation. I know I technically am on vacation, but I never expected to feel this way.

The only thing that I expected to feel that I do feel is the ugly admittance that I don't want to go back to school.

Monday, October 11, 2010

One thing I love about college




is my gym class. "Hiking in the Pioneer Valley" was the best choice I made when picking out my fall schedule. The places where we hike are so beautiful. The mountain ranges go on forever and every Thursday my muscles itch to leave campus and explore another few miles of them. Autumn, in its stereotypical physical appearance, has been late arriving this year. On campus, most trees sport still-green leaves, save a few large maples on the front lawn, which burned off their fiery clothing weeks ago. 

The mountains house their well-kept secret with intensity. Trailheads disguise themselves like every other inch of forest: monochromatic images of sage and olive, no different than any other street-lining trees. Yet sheltered within these beaten-out paths are small pockets of brilliance.

My camera, in all its consumer and digital goodness, cannot begin to capture the orange, yellow, red hues these steeps possess.

This is as it should be. 
Secrets like these should never be divulged.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Pick one line from the script."

It was real to me, so it was real.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Epic Poetry

The Aeneid is eleven books too long.

Friday, September 24, 2010

it may not always be so;and i say

it may not always be so;and i say
that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
another's,and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart,as mine in time not far away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such silence as i know,or such
great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be,i say if this should be--
you of my heart,send me a little word;
that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
saying,Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.

-e.e. cummings

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upon Returning From A Midnight Theatre Rehearsal

I jam my key into the lock and turn it clockwise two full rotations, pushing down on the metal handle and quietly prodding the door open. A single fluorescent light sneers down from the ceiling, basking the girl farthest from where I stand in a glow that for anyone else would be described as "unflattering" but for her merely elicits an acknowledgment of how crappy the electricity is here. Everyone present sleeps, with the exception of my exhausted self, hovered in the doorway, silently removing this tiny metal concrete password from its rite of passage and clicking the door shut behind me. The girl closest to the door hides beneath mountains of covers; she does not want to be observed and I frankly am too tired to consider acting otherwise. My own bed, untouched and yet to be mussed, has much unfortunately fallen victim to the ranks of two rather noisy sleepers. From one end I hear the occasional passage from an airy, nasal sonata. The other end presents for me a steady, throaty performance muffled slightly by a strategically-placed textbook upon which the performer's head now rests, though likely unintentionally.

I am in between these two, and I jointly occupy the middle of all three.
They surround me in slumber
yet I feel strangely
unprotected and
alert.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day Two

I haven't had time to process all of my thoughts about college yet. I just finished my second full day of classes and am already swimming in work. I feel like there is no time to think about anything. I cannot reflect because I have no availability to do so. My brain is constantly "ON," always processing where I am going, what I am doing, and who I need to see. Tomorrow I have only one class and afterward I plan on taking an hour to sit down, shake out my head until it is empty, and then fill it back up with new reflections.

What I can say, though, is how much I welcome each and every text message and phone call. Alex, Laura, Emily, Leanne, Katie, Mum and Dad and Katiedoo: you are the persons who inspire me to make it through each day, and just know that any time, and every time, my phone beeps or lights up with a message from you, a smile climbs up my cheeks and internally I feel safe in a way that only memories and reminders of home can provide.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm finally here!

And I'm loving it and hating it at the same time.
Mostly the love outweighs the hate, and that's good enough for now.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Definition

"That's not courage. Fighting is like champagne. It goes to the heads of cowards as quickly as of heroes. Any fool can be brave on a battle field when it's be brave or else be killed. I'm talking of something else. And my kind of cowardice is infinitely worse than if I had run the first time I heard a cannon fired."

-Margaret Mitchell
Gone With the Wind

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

KGD

Katie went off to her first day of seventh grade today with a smile on her face, and even though she somehow, despite her diligent morning routine, managed to miss the bus, I am told that her loopy grin refused to subside as she hopped into the car and sped off before the school bells rang.

She is nervous but she has no need to be.
She is beautiful and I will miss her.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bedridden

I woke up with the top half of my head disconnected from its southern counterpart, which, too, was disjointed from the rest of my body. My head hurts and the bright, shiny orange capsules I've been swallowing since I woke up have done nothing in the way of destroying the millions of angry little germs swarming around inside of me.

On the bright side, I do feel that getting sick now is so much more preferable to coming down with a cold during my first few weeks at school. I want my roommates to like me, not avoid me like the plague.

The song of the day is "That Home" by Cinematic Orchestra.

Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,
This is a place where I don't feel alone.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Natural Selection

Today was my second-to-last day of work at the EcoTarium. It was bittersweet, I suppose, mostly only because of how used to its regularity I have become. Also I admit that I have grown quite attached to Penelope, our African Pygmy Hedgehog, and she has finally grown comfortable with and trusting of me. It is a relationship that I spent a long time building, and one I do not really want to give up. My boss, Tricia, is luckily allowing me to work vacations, which will probably equal out to visiting the museum about once or twice every few months. Still, it will be tough waking up on Saturday and Sunday mornings and not driving into Worcester for a few hours of sometimeschaos and sometimespeace.

I sound like an idiot for complaining. As a freshman at Mount Holyoke, I am required to work in the dining halls (no library jobs for me...yes, I looked, and yes, I found some, but no, apply for them I cannot). This is neither a coveted nor excitable job. But it helps pay tuition and at least my dorm has a dining hall conveniently located on the first floor, so there really isn't anything to gripe about. A job is a job and at least I have one. It is just going to be different. There will still be human interaction, but on a less educational and less exhilarating level. And the likelihood of someone busting out a cornsnake or a chinchilla or boa constrictor is slim to none.

I like animals. I always have, but this job has made that fact an extraordinarily acute one. I find myself spewing out facts about all sorts of creatures, whether inquired about them or not. I excitedly discovered last night that A.P. hedgehogs have a high tolerance for toxins, which allows them to eat things like scorpions and venomous snakes, and in a torrent of elation I whipped up an e-mail to my wildlife boss informing her of this discovery. Hours before that, I had painstakingly converted millimeters into a rough approximation of inches so that the children I talked with would have a better understanding of a hedgehog's body size. So, too, did I transpose kilometers per hour into miles per hour, proudly stating to my sister, who I am sure was slightly bored with so many hedgehog facts, that Penelope has the capability to run ten miles per hour.

And this from an animal with legs barely half of an inch long.

As part of my summer reading for orientation, I had to read a section of Temple Grandin's novel Animals in Translation. I devoured the book. I loved it. Temple Grandin is brilliant. She is autistic and although her brain does not function the same way that mine or yours does, it does have the ability to notice the tiniest, slightest of details, in the same way as many animals--their brains also, for the most part, less developed than our own--do, and in a way that normal human brains never will.

I do not possess Temple Grandin's astounding insight. I probably will never even come near to possessing it. But I would like to think, and a small part of me does think, that my eleven months spent working in such close contact with a variety of animals has expanded my opinion of the world in which I live. I am physically large but I am mentally tiny. I am tiny. The animals I have held and fed are tinier than me in size, but in so many ways they are larger than me, and greater than me as well.

They notice things that every day pass by my eyes without conjuring a blink or second glance. They are living in the world--they are living in their world, in this world--in the moment. Every second they experience to a staggering degree, because every second in their life is worth more than even a minute of my own.

Evolutionists may argue this is the product of intellectual superiority, or a higher order and a higher class and a higher species. We are smarter, so we live longer, and we notice the bigger things because we have the time, the lifespan with which to do so. The details matter but often inconsequentially so.

These are assertions I have heard and I have read.
But even Charles Darwin had a fascination with animals that verged on the religious.

We have much to learn and so little time in which to absorb it all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Excerpt

Today
my strengths
lie only in my ability
to hide
weakness.

-from "Yellow Dirigo"
12:39 AM - 7.5.10

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Proofreading clearly at its best.

Wachusett Mountain ski rental form. 2009.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red Line

Why does every experience have to be a double-edged sword?

Yesterday I took the train down to Duxbury to visit some of my old friends. Anticipation mixed with apprehension as the minutes grew closer to each interaction, but of course the blood pumping frantically throughout my veins was merely overreaction for what ultimately were delightful exchanges. The problem, then, was not in the reconnection, as I had initially feared, but in leaving.

The problem is always in leaving.

Were I to create a pie chart breaking down how often I cry by the various causes of said tears, leaving and being left behind would comprise at least half of the circle. This all, once again, goes back to my inability to accept change quietly and without fuss. My departure from Duxbury was tainted by the knowledge that, though physically I was the one walking away, my friends were metaphorically leaving me behind. Boarding the T in Braintree was a manifestation of this solemnity: my entire car remained empty for the majority of my ride into Boston.

Am I going to spend the first few months of college wandering around, be it literally or otherwise, on my own and without others whom I can call real friends? Will it take months of sitting alone on a cold, hard seat in a subway car until I am surrounded by fellow passengers all heading in the same direction as me? And when, during my journey toward South Station, on my way to better and greater things, will those who take a seat beside me turn and strike up conversation? Will I ever exit through the jerky metal doors and emerge at the station with companions? Or will my footsteps echo singularly throughout the cement and tiled walls of the underground?

I miss people already, even those who have yet to leave me behind.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Baggage

Packing absolutely sucks.

I belong to the hurricane.

The song of the day is "Hurricane Drunk" by Florence + The Machine, from the album Lungs. I absolutely love Florence Welch's voice, which reminds me of a punchier version of Feist's.

I hope that you see me
'cause I'm staring at you.
But when you look over,
you look right through.
Then you lean and kiss her on the head.
And I never felt so alive and so dead.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Prehistoric

Because even at eighteen, every now and then 
I like to pretend I'm something I'm not.



Dinosaur sweatshirt-- E. Doolittle original

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disenchanted Enchantment

The song of the day is "Shadow On the Wall" by Brandi Carlile. Meghan first introduced me to her music and the more I listen to it, the more I love it. Her vocals for this song are haunting in a quiet way that leaves me simultaneously pleased as a listener and saddened as an observer. 

"How I long to be
a shadow on the wall.
I will make no sound at all.
And when the sun goes down
the shadow on the wall
cannot be seen at all."

Monday, August 16, 2010

English Variations

It is a damp seventy-two degrees outside, with a grey, abstract hood encapsulating everything below it, surrounding the desperate trees and defeated earth and surrounding me existing somewhere between the two. Grey is a beautiful color but for some reason the hue only seems beautiful in an upbeat way when spelled with an "a" instead. This sky insists on an "e" and within it I reach for the same vowel.

Around me this grey bubble tinges my skin grey, and my thoughts, too, absorb the somber dye that leaks through.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Floating Fast

I wrote this back in July and just stumbled upon it again. I think I still feel the way I did when I wrote this, if not more so now that the days until I leave for college are dwindling in number.

So today's the day we pack up and leave our humble Cape abode for the real world again. Leaving is always my least favorite part of a vacation, but I guess most people would agree with me on that. There is something unsettling about having to pick up and ship off, especially following a vacation, which is so short. You've barely established normalcy in your "new" (or current) home, and just as things are starting to become comfortable, and feel "right," you have to uproot and move on once more. I feel like this is the same with my life right now. I moved here last year, withdrawing myself from a home that had taken me 5 years to mold and craft into something I loved and within which I fit. The past year and a half, I have come to live within a new life, one I love more deeply than my old lives, and one that, quite frankly, I'm not yet ready to leave. I hear all the time that the friends you meet in college are the friends that stay with you for the rest of your life. But what about my high school friends? Laura, Leanne, Katie--the three of them are my closest, best friends and I hate the idea that college is going to "replace" them with newer and better people. The same goes with so many other people here. I want my friends, both new and old, to peacefully coexist within my world. So few of my friends from Duxbury survived the physical distance that came between us, and the few friends that remain I'm even more scared of losing--because my connection to them, within just a few short months, will be doubly removed, if that makes any sense.

I guess what this all boils down to is the fact that I am not good with change. I say I like it, and I do, but I also hate the chaos it causes internally, the frantic searching that ensues to rediscover myself in the latest form of me, Sam. I am excited for the fall, excited to meet new girls from all over the world. I've been talking enthusiastically with girls from Sri Lanka, Japan, England, all of whom seem so anticipatory and so ready to get on with this next part of their lives. I want to be just as ready as them, but I feel like the next chapter of my life will be incomplete-- incomplete because I will have no guy friends within it, incomplete because not all of my friends will be with me every step of the way to share it, incomplete because every time I have to start from scratch, I feel like I always leave something out, and I'm never quite sure what it is, if I really did forget something.

There's a beautiful quote from the song "Hummingbird," by Wilco.

Remember to remember me,
standing still in your past,
floating fast like a hummingbird.

It is childish to admit, but I wish we could all be hummingbirds, suspending ourselves within each other's pasts so that we can always come back to this part of our lives, so that we never have to leave it all behind for good.

Does this make any sense? Sometimes I feel delusional.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I can't think.

The song of the day is "Intuition" by Feist.

A destination known 
only by the one
who's fate is overgrown.
Piecemeal could break your home in half.
A love is not complete with only heat.

And did I, did I
miss out on you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last Night

I slunk into my bed, a smile on my face.
A sad smile,
but still
a smile.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Planetarium

Dvorak smothers us both as the wiry bulbs catch fire, lighting up and into each other, whirring around the circular dome in an impassioned display. I am small within this bubble and you are no bigger than I. The constellations overhead taunt our meager forms in the dark, each illuminated speck throbbing, and I am humbled by the sheer enormity of this fake sky.

Humans are no match for what lingers above.

Monday, August 2, 2010

10:28 PM

I cannot tell if you are ignoring me, or if you simply just do not care enough to talk to me anymore. The worst part is that I almost wish it were the former, because then, at least, I can tell myself you are thinking of me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

College

I think my biggest fear is that, surrounded by 2,000 other students, I will feel unbelievably alone.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today is Day 1.

I start again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Explanation for Today

The rain attacks the windshield in thick sheets that burst under pressure as soon as they hit glass. I have my wipers up to full speed, using the spare seconds between each haphazard cycle backandforthbackandforth to navigate this familiar road. My car is cold. The air conditioning blasts from every direction, each vent aimed perfectly at the driver's seat, this an accomplishment considering its misdirected currents every other day. My car is cold. My skin is cold. I consider turning off the air, following through with my thoughts and watching as a siege of ice fog overtakes the glass closest to the dashboard. I backtrack. Now my car is cold. My skin is cold. Detached from my physical body, I am cold. Backandforthbackandforth my eyes follow the wipers while my brain copies their movement. Backandforthbackandforth a direct representation of how I am with you. My street seems more bare than usual. Rain always makes the road appear deserted, the houses that line the right side rising like weeds amid this otherwise untouched, wild plot. My foot pushes the brake down down down. The wheel steers right and my car aligns itself with the pavement of the third weed on this street. I leave one cold interior to enter into another, unnecessarily cooled down for the heat wave that never arrived. My voice echoes off the walls that will always be taller than me, walls that share every secret and hear every whisper. My feet pad along the floor, searching for other people. A slow, steady shuffled breath meets me downstairs, the same breaths echoed once I climb up up up, no one is awake. I am cold. This house is cold. I am a cold pest living in a cold weed.

I walk outside. Rain changes targets and begins to bully my skin, ripping at the transparent hairs on my arms and snickering at my vulnerability. I am smaller than this rain. I am a pest living in a weed. A cold weed. I am a cold pest.

My skin dampens as the drops pelt, one by one, into the black hugging fabric of my shirt. This liquid is welcoming. I am merely visiting but I am a welcomed visitor. I am a welcomed pest.

My shorts are speckled with rain. My thoughts still swish backandforthbackandforth.

I am a pest living in a material weed. I am a cold pest living in a cold weed telling cold lies to warm people. I become colder with each lie and yet I keep gifting cold lies unto warm people.

You were warm today and I could feel the sizzle of my cold skin as it melted in the presence of your warmth. I was cold and I sizzled and I told cold lies.

The rain still falls. I am drenched in water, drowning in my own frigid lies. You are warm and dry and recognize my cold words as cold lies.

Each time I see you I promise myself not to hand you cold lies.
Each time I see you I freeze and my hot words become warm half-truths until I am feeding you
lies
cold lies
cold cold
I told you a cold lie today.
I told you more than one cold lie.
I am cold.
I am comprised of cold lies.
I fed you cold lies because I love you.

I love you but the words turned cold in my mouth.
I love you warmly
but without you I am
cold.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Repeat Offender

I have always loved Regina Spektor because she is a brilliant lyricist. But lately, I find myself taking extra comfort in the way her voice wraps around me, not always melodic but always, at the very least, persistent. Her album "Far" plays in my car at least a few days a week, and no matter what other CD I pop in, I always end up going back to her music.

Today's song, then, is "Man of A Thousand Faces" by Regina Spektor.

And I'm crying for things 
that I tell others to do 
without crying.

32

The way you smile at me is the only thing allowing me to believe in what would otherwise be wishful thinking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boy On Bicycle

I am bothered that you no longer want to talk with me, but the reason for your silence is one that I provided.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19th

My dad turns 49 today. He is almost a half-century old. Imagine how much wisdom we come to acquire with every additional year. It seems silly to me that as adults age, they begin more and more to dread birthdays, viewing them as just another sign of their impending mortality. I think there is so much to celebrate as we get older: another year as a player in this crazy world, another year with family and friends, another year to love and love fully, another year to cry and grow, another year to learn and develop and become an incredible human being.

If my father cannot see it this way, then let me be his eyes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Morning

Blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah I hate getting back to reality.

Friday, July 16, 2010

10:00 PM

I love it when you just want to say hello.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Country Is My Heart

It is 3:05 in the afternoon and I am restless. My mother has collapsed on her bed and fallen asleep. My father sits in the front room with his legs crossed on the rigid ottoman, reading quietly as Katie does the same a few feet away. I have managed to position myself in a rickety armchair, the cushion tired, the wood starting to show signs of wear and corrosion from all the salt floating around here. Had I not pushed the chair as close to the card table as its arms would permit, I doubt I would have much restraint at all. I cannot seem to sit still. Surely I am sitting but I feel the need to move my fingers, to wiggle my toes in my rubber slip-ons, the black patterned flesh gnawing against the worn soles of summer feet. This house is hot and within it I am warmer. Thoughts ricochet about my head, tangling with my hair, unkempt and puffy in the weighted air. The breezes that pass through the patchworked screen door are disruptive, sending each crinkly strand of hair in a different direction. I am calm in the least calm of ways.

Two feet from the deck stairs there is a large bundle of orange flowers. They look sort of like those white weeds that grow in the woods, the ones that you can place in a glass filled with food coloring and then come back in a few days to rainbow flowers. My mum used to call them "Lace" something or other, but I cannot remember now. But the orange flowers here are almost burnt in their coloring. They are bright but also extremely dull. Every time I walk by them, half a dozen bees or so swarm from the underneaths of the flowers, up, up to meet my swinging arms and clumsy feet. The bees here have tangerine fur, tiny strips of orange hair banded by black on both ends. They are larger than most bees I have seen but for some reason do not intimidate me the way wasps and hornets do. They are almost like bumblebees, fuzzy and diligent in their tasks, but with a longer thorax and therefore not quite so fat. Regardless they seem always to hover around the orange plants, a little collage of orange  that seems to change only in composition, never in appearance.

It amazes me that any living creature could be so meticulous about one single thing. I think constant repetition would drive me mad. A bee's greatest job is to collect the pollen and nectar from plants, return its sticky bounty to the hive, then leave once more to repeat the process all over again. When I was younger I never understood that bees were doing anything but terrifying me with their presence. I would run away from one, whimpering, if it came within even a few feet of me. Every summer until I was 8, I managed to be on the receiving end of a bee stinger. Usually it was my own fault: the house I lived in when I was little had wooden benches that my dad had built into the deck, and hornets liked to build their nests underneath the seats. I would come along, sit down and begin swinging my legs, end up kicking the nest, irritating its inhabitants and leading to screams from me as I ran away, never quite able to escape their wrath completely.

A bee has not stung me in years and I admit that I still walk a little faster when I see one swooping near me. But as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate the space they occupy. Every bee, whether it be a hornet, a wasp, a bumblebee, surely even the orange bees, instinctively protects its hive. A bee will risk its life protecting its home and its fellow residents. In a way, the structure of a bee hive is a microcosm for the way humans function. We go about our daily business with generally no other intentions but to complete our tasks thoroughly and efficiently. But if something we hold in high regard is threatened, we fight: some of us with words, some of us physically, but all of us instinctively.

My old neighbors, the Scotts, were bee farmers, and when we moved away they gave us a book that Mr. Scott had written, entitled Bee Lessons. Somewhere in the middle of the book lies a beautiful truth.

Dulcet et decorum est pro patria Mori.

"Sweet and beautiful it is to die for one's country."

123 Miles to Boston

Provincetown clears my worries and makes me happy in the simplest and best of ways.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Hate Packing

I'm terrible at it. It takes me hours and hours and still I always worry that I'll forget something. I'm long past the age where I should be needing help, but my mum continues to write packing lists for me, because otherwise I have no idea where to start (and, with lists, I have no reasonable excuse for procrastination). I just tell myself that my inability to efficiently pack a suitcase has no bearing on my ability to be an adult.
Generally speaking, I believe myself.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Leaving Port

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
--William Shedd

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"What's it about?"

I laughed, shrugged, and said I didn't know.
But the subject was sitting directly across from me, asking the question.
How could I admit I wrote my first poem in months because of you?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reciprocity

I would be more excited if you were, too.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I spent this entire year excitedly planning for the ultimate summer venture: I would finally read all of the books I have ever wanted to read, because there would be no required reading for college, no summer assignments to keep me so occupied that no more than a few self-picked novels would pass through my hands. I would curl up in a chair with a new book every few days, and by the end of August would be, in a sense, "caught up" with my own personal required reading list.

This list includes, but is not limited to: classics, including Gone With the Wind, The Origin of Species, On the Road, Slaughterhouse-Five, Of Mice and Men, Jane Eyre, 1984, As I Lay Dying, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Of Human Bondage, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Fountainhead, The Scarlet Letter, The Bell Jar, The Invisible Man, Lolita (because I loved Nabokov's The Defense), The Time Machine, Watership Down (which I bought when I was 8 following my aunt's suggestion: little did I realize at the time that Richard Adams did not write about bunnies the way I imagined in my head), anything by Toni Morrison that I'd be able to get my hands on, and Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" and To the Lighthouse; more contemporary novels, like Blankets by Craig Thompson, The Last Summer of You and Me by Ann Brashares, and I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak; and a handful of plays and volumes of poetry, including All My Sons by Arthur Miller, The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare, many of Kamila Shamsie's novels (she is a South Asian poet and novelist), Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and the full extent of my Rod McKuen collection (for some reason, he's out of print and not even the full CW-MARS library network has any of his work).

I knew going into this summer that the task would not be an easy one. I am not a quick reader. I'm not bad at reading, not at all, but because of my ADHD, I tend to read slower than most other voracious readers (such as my sister Emily) so that I can completely absorb the material. No matter, I thought. I have an entire summer in front of me.

Today is July 3rd and as of now, my proud list of books that I have successfully read so far includes: 45 pages of Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own."

I'm embarrassed. This isn't like me, especially not when I have an actual written list to follow step by step until I've completed it. I started reading "Room" about three weeks ago, and I've only managed to cover forty-five pages? Perhaps I should have chosen a slightly-less verbose author as a starting-off point, but Mr. Tarmey gave me "Room" and To the Lighthouse as a gift, and so I felt, above and beyond all else, obliged to start with these two classics.

Now I feel only obligated. I cannot deny that Woolf is brilliant, because I have enjoyed part of what I've read so far, and even the parts I cannot fully comprehend still amaze me due to her grasp on the English language and her use of the sub-conscious as a form of expression. But I can't seem to get myself to finish the essay. I'm trying not to place the blame on my ADHD, but maybe that really is part of the problem.

More likely, any medical inhibitors are nothing more than wishful thinking. Part of me is afraid to admit that I'm not smart enough to appreciate Virginia Woolf. I don't think it's true, but what other explanation can there be? So then I tell myself that I'm just not old enough to understand her writing. This is much more probable.

But is it something to be ashamed of? I want to be an English major and yet my goal of reading so many fantastic novels has stemmed because I cannot finish a classic British essay. I cannot complete a task that any aspiring poet or novelist should easily be able to tackle.

So I have reached the point where instead of trying to force myself through the remaining fifty pages, I'm placing the Woolf compilation back onto my bookshelf until later. Maybe months later, maybe (admittedly) years later. But I will read both before I die. Mr. Tarmey wrote me a long note inside the front cover: how could I not?

For now, however, I am content to move on to another book on my list: Gone With the Wind. I'm leaving for a week's vacation on the Cape soon. What a better way to undertake one of the largest (and, in parts, or so I've been told by Emily, one of the most vapid) books in American literature than on vacation, with no library resource nearby?

We'll see how I do. I have my fingers crossed I'll make it past page forty-five.
I think I will.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Giving Up on Greener Grasses

Today I started writing a poem for the first time in months. I'm ecstatic to finally be producing some material again. The cause for picking up my pen, however, has me on the verge of tears every time I think about it.

I hate myself for how I feel.

The song of the day is "Giving Up" by Ingrid Michaelson.

What if I fall further than you?
What if you dream of somebody new?
What if I never let you win
and chase you with a rolling pin?
Well, what if I do?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today

...was glorious.
...the weather was perfect.
...I did not censor myself.
...I did not think.
...I did not rethink.
...I laughed.
...the sun shone with me.
...the water lapped and echoed my contentedness.
...made me happy.
...I was happy.
...made me excited for tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Again

Why is it that we always want exactly what we cannot have?

Somewhere within me, there is this terribly painful feeling. I do not even know where specifically it is. The closest description I have is that it feels like someone scooped his hand underneath and behind my stomach, or maybe my gut, and then pulled out whatever was there at the time, scraping his dirty fingernails against my skin's insides and leaving not only hollowness where there should be fullness, but also tiny scars that only make known their presence when I need it least.

I would like to think that what I just explained makes sense, but it barely even does to me. It's the best I can do. I really just think it's either understandable or it's not.

A part of me wonders what would happen if I suddenly rejected the obedient belief that "everything happens for a reason" and instead fought nail, tooth, and bone (and organ, flesh, and spirit) to effect the changes and outcomes I want to see. Maybe that sounds selfish. It probably does. But sometimes I feel like the way I want things to turn out makes far more sense than the way they ultimately do. Do things not turn out the way you hope because, somewhere on the other end of the situation (be it another person, the cosmos, what have you--I don't even know), the perception does not align with your own? Do desires and hopes only come to fruition when everyone involved concurs?

I'm waiting desperately for some sort of sign that somewhere, at the other end of this dream, the thing I want more than anything will nod in agreement, the thin string between us reverberating the welcomed response.

Until then, this string is frail and still.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Half-Dead


So I'm currently reading a collection of essays by a new humor writer, Sloane Crosley, titled "How Did You Get This Number." In one of the chapters, she discusses a trip she took to Alaska to attend her friend's wedding. While touring the landscape, they passed by something known as a "Ghost Forest." In 1964, Alaska experienced a 9.2 earthquake, and the land along the quake's fault lines actually fell between the plates toward the earth's core. And the trees along this area were terribly uprooted as the ground split apart, but were somehow preserved by all the salt water nearby. So some forty-six years later, these forests are still there. I think it's both incredible and incredibly eery.

Comet Pond

I get to go kayaking tonight as an early birthday present!
This has made my day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sleepless Long Nights

There's something about the summer that makes certain music more enjoyable. I feel like everyone has that one artist that they break out once the sun settles in semi-permanently, and as the days pass certain songs sung by that specific voice creep their way up the "Most Played" list on your iPod until people get into your car, hear the music start to play, and turn to you and say, "Again?" Or maybe it's just me. But I feel like it's not. For some reason, Feist has come to define my summers. There's something about her voice that just resonates with the weather and what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. I listen to her music all year long, but I only ever really hear her music when the weather is warmer.

I don't know. I think I'm going crazy. I certainly feel that way.

The song of the day today is "1234" by Feist. It's relatively well-known, but it's the ultimate summer driving song for me, and makes me infinitely happy and also deplorably sad at the same time.

Old teenage hopes
are alive at your door
left you with nothing 
but they want some more.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sentimental Moment Or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?

Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn't know
is that when we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand

--Robert Hershon
This was my favorite poem when I was 16.
It still makes me smile.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm in the hospital with Emily.

Every two seconds, a beeping noise pierces my eardrums from somewhere down the hall. I hear murmured female voices coming from behind the green-and-purple plaid curtain a few feet away. Emily's roommate has woken up for the day. We have just come back from X-rays. I got to push her in the wheelchair. I only hit something once: the corner of one of the foot rests on a doorway on the third floor.

I wish the sadness in her eyes would not betray her cheerful facade.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Four Hours Later

I never thought that registering for five classes would take me 240 minutes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two Sams Are Better than One!

It has been nearly a year since I last talked face-to-face with my friend Sam, and tonight we actually (somehow, due most probably to a miracle and therefore having far less to do with any ability of ours to get organized) reconnected. And while Skyping cannot replace the intimate, earthly feeling of speaking in the flesh with someone else, we live hours away from each other, and for now this is an acceptable substitute. I am sitting here in bed, with the light from the computer screen bouncing off my tortoise-shell frames, and I am beaming. In 58 minutes, we managed to seal a gap that has been growing for months. (Cliche alert!) It's reassuring to know that some things really don't change.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Twelve

01. Two days ago I wrote a 13-page letter to a good friend. In three weeks she'll have moved across the country. It still hasn't sunk in yet.
02. I've lost something and I'm terrified to admit it.
03. After months of adamantly believing that things might change, I've finally come to terms with the fact that wait lists aren't worth stressing over. Now I'm getting excited about the one school that's been excited about me all along.
04. Katie Collins and I are planning a beach trip!
05. The days grow more and more lovely and I want to don my sundresses and run around fields with my windswept hair dancing behind me.
06. I respect Mr. Tarmey more than I've ever respected any other teacher. Every class with him blew my mind and I only hope that others appreciate him and are able to see just how incredible he really is.
07. I wish Mount Holyoke had an orientation program during the summer.
08. There are certain people who want to see me and I can't understand why.
09. The new SunChips bag is compostable, which is amazing and something I fully support. But every time I reach my hand inside, it sounds like a grenade exploding within my eardrum.
10. Yesterday I was weeding in my yard when a lady bug fell off of its blade of grass and landed on the pavement by my dirtied thumb. Its cleaved shell was the most beautiful apple-red color, and it climbed onto my hand and sat there for a moment before lifting off and flying away with the breeze.
11. I wish I owned my own kayak.
12. The other day my friends and I were talking about our great-grandparents. I proudly announced that mine were both 98 years old, until reality slapped me in the face and I muttered, "Never mind....they both just passed away." Is it horrible that I seem to have forgotten? Or is that just how the truth finally sinks in?

Monday, May 24, 2010

I think I'd like

to develop a green thumb.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Neighbors

My body feels empty but my head feels full.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This I know is one right thing.

I am happy!
I know I am because this morning the sun's rays abstained from suffocation.
Instead of coddling me amid weighted layers, they brightened each next step, gifting to me a guided path for my feet as they consummated their marriage to the ground.

The air smells the way it did when I was younger.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gertrude ain't a ho, she just likes to please.

I feel like I could invent the musical genre of Old Bard rock.
Currently it seems like a welcomed alternative to real life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This book lies propped open to page 51

of The Origins and Evolution of Our Own Particular Universe. It is now 4:41 and I have spent the last five hours sifting through book after book after heavy book, reading about the big bang model and the alternative inflationary theory and the cyclic model of the universe. I know more about magnetic monopoles than I ever anticipated I would, although frankly just knowing such things exist is more than I anticipated. I sit here and read from the text, on this fifty-first page, that "all galaxies are spreading apart" and that "the farthest ones are flying away the fastest." My eyes keep moving, across the print and down to the next line like an instinctive typewriter line feed. But my thoughts stay behind.

All galaxies are spreading apart.

In our very own particular universe, I watch as you step away from me. I watch you distance yourself, although I cannot physically see you do so. But I know you keep walking. In my mind I watch as you step away from me. Is it all in my head? But I can see you leaving me.

The farthest ones are flying away the fastest.

I can see you leaving me, and the more the space between us grows, so too does my inability to urge you back—one step, two, maybe three if you feel generous. This space between us widens and it seems to me that the farther you are from me, the faster my helplessness mounds. Even before now I knew of your desire to step in the opposite direction, but then at the time I suppose I felt comforted in the power of a simple extension of my arm and clasp of my hand around your wrist. Now this distance spans far beyond the length of my body. This distance, too, drowns out all sounds of salvation emanating from my closing throat, and it seems that the louder I shout, the quicker your footsteps successively hit the ground.


In my mind I can see you leaving me.
Is it all in my head?
But I know you keep walking.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Second Aisle, Third Seat

You bounce a little when you talk to us.
I'm racking my mind
trying to surface
some minute flaw
that assuages my fears
of your superiority,
and the slight motion
of your heels
seems to be the only
justification I can muster.

Your words burst forth
like a flood or
pan of boiled water
that sat two minutes too long
and now casts its rupturous contents
onto the cold tiled floor
with a crackle that
startles and frankly
pisses me off.

The sounds that depart your lips
coo—condescendingly
or maybe I just want them
to insult me.

Your ideas,
I must acknowledge,
are unfortunately
valid
and with every statement
the tension between us grows:
you are challenging me,
my thoughts—
ones you know I have
and
ones that might be better than yours
but until you meet my gaze
neither of us can
admit or
accept this.

It has crossed my mind
more than once
that
perhaps we are
equal
but
with your eyes closed
your words fly in one ear
out the other
and leave a void
I rush to fill.

10:04 AM -- 4/6/10

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Minute I Heard My First Love Story

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.

-Rumi

Thursday, April 1, 2010

College application season is finally over.

What a horrible ride it has been.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Hermit Crab

As I watch you
move beyond the door
I remember that some oceans
have been known to come again
to their mother country
and wash ashore
more brilliant treasures
than they took away.

It is small comfort
to a man who lately
greets each season
as the hermit crab
hides in the rocks
and scurries from intruders
be they from the land or sea.

-Rod McKuen

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thread Count

Saturday I changed my bedsheets. That's really not unusual because I change them every two weeks or so anyway. But two days ago I switched out my flannel sheets and replaced them with my favorite soft cotton ones. There's something about stripping my bed clear of those warm, white sheets scattered with red and yellow flowers and in their place securing bright yellow bolts of fabric. I do it every year, and of all the sheets we own I always choose the yellow set to follow my trusted winter veterans. The yellow sheets are bright, suggestive of a spring nipping on Mother Nature's heels.

Every year it's a different time. I suppose mostly it depends on what day feels right, as vague as that word is. Saturday was just the "right" time. The air smelled like it does every year, but in a new way (were this iTunes it would be version 3.4.8, with only slight discrepancies from last year's 3.4.7).

Brief wafts flitted in my window and pressed play on the movie screen behind my eyes; I watched last summer advertise itself to me like a trailer. It was a nice preview but for a few moments I do not wish to repeat. Another breeze rushed through my room and teased my hair, shifting it with transparent hands, ushering in reminders of a different time. I was five, or four, or eight, even ten. Spring had an entirely separate meaning when I was younger. It presented itself as a huge flashing sign that with every blink promised summer's impending arrival. I'd proudly appear at school with skorts and busy sundresses, sharing my enthusiasm for the months to come with every other anticipatory classmate. These memories came with the air: abstract, not really memories, I suppose, in their obscurity, but then no other word seems to fit.

On Saturday evening, I scooted myself into bed. The sunflower satin that surrounded me felt cool against my heated skin and I allowed these temperatures to meld, mix, coalesce until I lost my sense of self within this protective barrier.

Today was cold, and I awoke feeling less than attended to by my icy sheets. Still I cannot deny the simple pleasure I get from pulling back my comforter each night and falling once more into this welcoming berth.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Whirligig

I wonder if failure to awake from a deep hynotic state is really like how it's portrayed in Office Space. Richard Feynman was hypnotized once in college, and he said when you do come around, you feel completely calm and relaxed, as if you've just gotten eight hours of sleep. He also said that while under hypnosis, he was aware that someone else was controlling his thoughts, telling him what to do--and that he would think to himself, Well, I could just not do what he's telling me to...but I will. Because, Feynman said, attempting to disregard your hypnotist's orders creates a sort of itching pull that becomes more uncomfortable as disobedience grows. So going back to my previous statement. Imagine if the hypnotist tells you to wake up, but for whatever reason you don't. He snaps or claps or whatever the "Wake up!" cue is, and then says "Thanks for particpating, you can go have a seat." And you do--because you're still in a trance, you're still in that compliant state. Do you ever wake up? Would you be constantly on edge, wanting so much to break the rules and do what your head is telling you could be done but your body is firmly swearing could not?

This is probably an unlikely or impossible situation. I was just thinking about it.
I definitely believe in hypnosis, though.
"Just because you've never seen a million dollars, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mr. Jourdain's voice reverberates from his library office.

"Lady Antebellum? Why would you ever name yourself that?"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Insomnia

The covers on my bed wrap me in warmth and then, some time in the middle of the night, they begin to stifle me with too much protection.

There is too much heat and I have lost my thoughts somewhere in these mangled sheets.

---------------------------------------------------------

Today's song is "Love For a Child" by Jason Mraz. I so love his first two albums that for a long time I neglected to listen to "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things." I finally popped the CD into my car today and am so glad I did. I know a lot of people listen to him but I really do believe that he invented a style that as of yet has remained untouched.

What about taking this
empty cup and filling it up
with a little bit more of innocence?
I haven't had enough
it's probably because
when you're young
it's okay to be
easily ignored.
I'd like to believe
it was all about love for a child.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Avocados Are Evil"

Semi-finals are over. So is our stretch of the MHSDG Festival for this year. When the judges announced the winners--and, to be frank, we knew our fate even before the first school was called--every eye was dry. There was no anger, no hate, no sadness but for the realization on the part of us few seniors that Comp, as we know and love it, has officially and forever ended.

There was no sadness.

No one was bitter, or, at the very least, nobody showed it. We were graceful, accepting, and encouraging of those schools who, perhaps for the first time in a long time, perhaps for the first time ever, get to experience the three-day whirlwind that is Finals in Boston. When we boarded the bus at the end of the night, the only tones of annoyance were accompanied with complaints of fatigue and aching bones. Our heads hurt, not physically but mentally. Our bodies hurt, physically but from mental memory of steps and movements so rehearsed and choreographed that in our robotic states we failed to recognize the pain and stress that our constant motion had caused.

We were graceful losers in every sense of the word, in the best and truest sense of the word: our grace stemmed from the truth that there was no sucking up of pride, no restraint of tears, only mere congratulations and respect for the shows that outshined us with their beauty and presentation.

I hope the freshmen and the other cast and crew members who experienced Comp for the first time have developed the immense appreciation for, and love of, the season and the sport that those of us who are saying farewell now have so deeply ingrained in our cores.

This year was particularly important for me. Duxbury also competed at our semis site, and for the vast majority of their cast and crew, it was the first time I had seen my friends in an extraordinarily long time. Leading up to the day I was nervous to a point I do not generally care to admit, not necessarily because of the competition itself, under the terms of "winners" versus "losers," so much as seeing familiar faces in such a high-strung and often tense environment. But neither of us advanced, and instead of an awkward contrast between old school and new, there existed harmony, an unexpected cohesion that made me proud of my new friends, proud of my old friends, proud of those moments. For a day, I showed friends of my immediate present the past that before had existed only in stories and photographs.

It became real.

It was like watching a play transform from stage to reality, the best sort of reality because not only was it genuine for me, it was genuine and believable to everyone around me, as well.

To Emily Merlin, one of the most talented and beautiful people I know: your abilities shine whenever you step foot under the piercing white lights of the stage. I watched you yesterday and beamed at your growth and confidence. I am so incredibly proud of you and everything you do and have done. And when I tell you to come visit me, I mean it so truly. (Leanne, too, would love to see you again!)

To Meghan Nelson, a friend who has fought distance and time to keep in touch: I love you, I love you, and seeing you yesterday brought me so much joy and satisfaction. Your determination and resolve motivates me to suck it up in the face of life's tiniest challenges and just push past every perceivable barrier. You have such gifts and I hope one day millions of others are as fortunate as I have been to experience them.

To Darin MacFarlane, my old director and longtime friend: I miss you more than words could say. When I walked through the door yesterday morning and saw you standing just paces away, I felt so much calm wash over me. Know that my tears were ones of love and happiness, and though perhaps tinged with some sadness and longing for the past were above all else a physical expression of the gratitude and respect I have for you.

To Bruce and Alysha: You both bring everybody more comfort and courage than you will ever realize. Bruce, you are our rock and just having you near us instantly assuages all fears and soothes all nerves. Alysha, you give us confidence with your positive spirit and warm hugs. Your presence at semis was so appreciated.

Half of these people may never discover their shout-outs, but the words, which I feel and mean with every part of me, are there.

Today I awoke feeling so full and content.
Spirit and completeness of soul are the two fuels that inspire me to keep moving.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mantra

Someday soon all will be calm once more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

K.C.

She sits to my right
glasses perched and hair drawn up
foot tapping always

Her scarf she fiddles
adjusting up, also down
Finally content

she withdraws her hands
I watch as her eyes narrow
piercing paper words

in front of her and
I cannot help but think how
beautiful she is.

10:57 AM - 3/9/10