Archive for the 'the scary future' category

August 22nd, 2011


New relationships are a funny, delicate thing. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately, that strange sort of dance you do, the meaning imbued in the most casual gestures. I can’t shake all the cliched images: tightropes, tender blossoms, cupping something warm and alive and fragile in your hands. Everything is acute, heightened.

My roommate and I were talking about it a couple weeks ago, that kind of mania that comes over you, the dizzying swings between paranoia and exhilaration. The fleeting moments you’re able to step back and recognize that you are perhaps being a little insecure and crazy — and that your friends probably deserve nomination for sainthood for listening to yet another ecstatic, gushing account, and for their thousandth reassurance.

I started writing this almost a month ago, actually, and got stuck. Unsure what I was trying to say, exactly, but wanting to say it anyway. Wanting to be able to remember later how this feels, how whirling and gut-wrenching and wonderful.

Stuck also on the fear of jinxing it. It’s a little strange, this impulse toward privacy in our joy. The worry that as soon as we name a happiness it will vanish. But things change; that’s how they work. That’s life. And right now, life feels impossibly big and beautiful, and there’s no reason not to celebrate that. I wake every morning smiling. I can’t stop dancing in my car, swimming my fingers through the slipstream of air out the window. I daydream constantly. I revel in my luck. I am absurdly happy.

June 19th, 2011

» meet cute

I don’t believe in love at first sight, but first moments often stick in my mind. I love them: the possibility; the unknown; the dream of remembering them in a month, a year, ten years; actually remembering them later, looking back at when you were strangers. The man stepping into the coffee shop, the sweep of his lifting eyes and the little smile blooming. Knowing nothing, then, about the way morning light looks caught in the curve of his ear. Another turning from the marina, phone in one hand, the other fingers lifting in a wave; his whole body tilting a little, smiling. And me, having never pressed my face into the comfort of his neck. A mop of tangled hair. A body on the dancefloor. A slightly tip-toed step. A faint blush over a bookcase.

People fade off into the past; they change, they grow, they slip away. It’s the present I like best lately. Being in the place where the future is a distant, half-dreamed, unrolling promise. No pressing concern, no gaping black nothing.

“Now” seems easiest to find when I’m moving. So I keep moving, pushing. I walk, I hoop, I ride. When I dance it is for hours: I wring sweat from my hair and move, trancelike, all variations on the same motions, the music spooling through, playing me from inside my bones. This afternoon I pulled my bike out for the first time this season. I was a little apprehensive, worrying I’d've forgotten everything, but it was back in moments: the sweetness of the wind, the easy spin of the pedals, tires singing. A leisurely Sunday ride, slower than I used to go; I was surprised to discover, later, that we covered over 10 miles, quite by accident.

Today I ache a little: a hike yesterday, a long night of dancing, the afternoon bike ride, a little hooping. It feels good, this hurt. It feels like a new beginning.

June 14th, 2011

» never not broken

Recently a friend shared a link to this article, and it really resonated with me. It’s called “Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea,” and talks about how “there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been.”

It says beautifully some of what I’ve been feeling lately: fractured, throwing light. If you can find the vigor in your sadness, channel your despair, you can break yourself apart with it in this crazy, exhilarating way. You’re not just invited to remake yourself: you’re forced.

Every time you step out of yourself makes the next time easier. Every time you are someone else, you change. I find myself caring less & less (about expectations, about “should”, about what is safe and smart and known) and dreaming bigger. The worst that could happen doesn’t seem so bad any more. This crocodile, this fear and uncertainty, will spin you out into something big and bright and beautiful, or it will devour you. Either way, it’s a hell of a ride.

April 18th, 2011

» Bali: Interlude (a spoiler)

So. Clearly I’ve fallen far behind on the Bali entries. I really wanted to be done with it months ago; I had a lot of enthusiasm for it, but all of the photo choosing and editing sort of ground me down, and then packing and moving, and then — .

I haven’t known how to talk about it, really. If to talk about it. I go back and forth about why I write here, what I should write here. Cautious of the future, not wanting to regret saying too much. Exposing too much. And at the same time this is my space for remembering life, good & bad, and for exorcising what I’m feeling. Lately I have been drawn strongly to people’s stories of their own loss and pain. I have been desperate to know how other people deal with it, how they’ve lived through it. How to go on. Searching for some assurance that there is happy again somewhere on the other side. Other people’s brutal honesty, their willingness to share living through the bad times, has been a balm to me. So maybe talking about it will pass that gift on to someone else.

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March 10th, 2011

» Limbo

Over six months ago, I downloaded a much-hyped little indie xbox game called Limbo. It is beautiful and clever and a bit creepy and exactly the kind of game that I adore, and I twisted my boyfriend’s arm into trying it with me. He’s not a big video game player, so I felt pretty damn excited when he tried it, and again when he liked it well enough to continue playing. Between one thing and another we let it languish for a long, long time — but last weekend we finally finished! I don’t want to give anything away because (I know I’ve been over this a million times, but you’re going to hear it again) I loved the experience of finding it all out first-hand. It’s just an awesome game: the gameplay, the art, the story. If you liked Braid, I think you’ll like Limbo too. Same spirit of puzzley goodness.

So, other than that, and everything I’ve been going on and on about on the horse blog, I moved. It sucked, but a LOT less than it could have because I have some REALLY really really amazing friends and family, and have I mentioned that they’re amazing? Thanks again guys. The gut-wrenching process of packing, and moving, and moving, and moving, and cleaning — it’s already starting to fade to a distant, hazy memory of suffering. (I have to admit — though the night before the actual move I was seriously nauseous and convinced the world was going to end, the morning of I got this absolute rush of adrenaline and crazy, and for the beginning part of packing the truck I felt totally happy and high as a kite. That wore off eventually and by the end of the day I wanted to die, but that will surprise no one who’s ever moved.)

So now here I am in this great new place, and I’m suddenly socked with this cannonball of a realization that I somehow have to fit all of my personal belongings, which had previously been tucked away in the vast warren of closets of my old one-bedroom apartment, into this one small bedroom. In the process of packing I did send off boxes and boxes of stuff to donate — lots of books, clothes, and home decor — but I’m still left with this feeling that I have too many things and not enough space to put them in. I will be combing back through my drawers and bookshelves, and I’ve invested quite a bit in organizational stuff for my closet, but I’m fast coming up on some harder decisions.

I moved on a Saturday and I kid you not, on Monday I had people asking me if I was all unpacked. Talk about guilt. Talk about being buried suddenly under this crushing sense of failure. Maybe people are just trying to make conversation, and I’m all too aware that I’m unusually emotionally vulnerable lately, but man. That is one I didn’t see coming, the expectation that I would move on a Saturday and be unpacked by Monday. Like it’s that easy, like why don’t I just take some stuff out of boxes?

When I moved into my first apartment I thought a lot about how I wanted it. I considered the flow, I plotted stuff out on graph paper and made little furniture representations so I could look at arrangements without really having to rearrange. I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed about when I had a place I could paint, about elements of my ideal home, about one day having somewhere permanent. I couldn’t afford much but I did what I could and started taking notes for One Day. I made my bedroom a No Electronics zone: no computer, no tv. I did leave my sewing machine there, but as part of my crafting and writing desk — my little place for inspiration and creation. The rest of the bedroom was a space to breathe and decompress.

Man, I loved living there. I learned so much about myself in that apartment.

I’ve always liked to see moving as an opportunity to self-reflect, to try to move closer toward my ideal life, but this, now, is no gentle invitation. This is a demand that I stand up and reinvent myself. So I have been trying to take a good hard look at my life. I am trying to hold onto only the things that I love and that make me feel good about myself. I’m trying to rediscover the path to what and who I want to be. I’m trying to free myself to fit in this smaller space. I know it can be done. It’s just one foot in front of the other. One box at a time.

This is not where I thought I’d be at this point in my life, but it’s where I am. And that, I suppose, makes it the perfect place to start.