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


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


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


Someday soon all will be calm once more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brave Face

Perhaps I seem melancholy to my friends lately. I see myself in the mirror and "sad" screams back at me through tired green eyes and pale skin, so it would not surprise me if it were the case. I have been sad lately, mostly from worry and stress, most of it caused by myself.

Today I got home from "Wizard of Oz" callbacks, defeated emotionally, physically, spiritually. I plunked down on a chair at the island, and with my heavy head resting in two exhausted hands, I closed my eyes. And I just sat. I sat fixed in that position for minutes, trying to clear every bully out of my head, trying to find the quiet calm that chaos and constant motion stamped clear of its welcome post some months ago when life fully manifested its brutal reality.

Silence is still missing, and I have not yet managed to rid myself of the continuous panic that seems to guide my heart through this everyday maze. But when I looked back up, I had new blood pulsing through my veins.

You are surrounded by love.

I am. Everywhere. The amount of love bestowed upon me is more than I deserve and the people sharing their own with me are beautiful, beautiful and I love them, I love them with every ounce of me and still I know that isn't enough.


Today's song is "The Chain" by Ingrid Michaelson. Shout-out to Katie Collins for introducing me to her other album, the one I didn't have. Also, you are the perfect Dorothy in my eyes.

So glide away on soapy heels
And promise not to promise anymore
And if you come around again
Then I will take,
Then I will take
The chain from off the door.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"I miss you."

The fact you said it first is the only reason I allowed myself to reciprocate those fatal words.

Already I regret them.
At least you don't know.