22 August 2007

in lieu of flowers

so i haven’t been wanting to talk about this with many people, and i still don’t, but it deserves writing.

someone i went to elementary & middle school with died of cancer on sunday morning. he was one week shy of his 21st birthday. i found out sunday evening, through, of all things, facebook. i hadn’t talked to him in something like eight years, but it still hit me pretty hard.

i had the hugest crush on this kid for a long time, lol.* he had the most incredible smile anyone i know has ever seen. was always in the habit of lighting up rooms and that nonsense. he helped teach me to play soccer when i was in fifth grade, and that’s how i’ll always remember him, i hope. i didn’t like the things i heard about him in high school, although it seems unfair to say that now.

i cried more out of shock than anything else, i think. i don’t generally cry when people die....although maybe that is becoming untrue. i did not know how to react to this, and it’s likely that i still don’t. i haven’t had to deal with death since i had a rather substantial spiritual reorganization a few months ago . . . i need to figure out how this fits into, well, everything. **

i feel a strange mix of guilt, ambivalence, and confusion . . . guilt because i’m 250 miles away, the funeral is tomorrow, and there’s no way i can make it back. however, i don’t really think that going to the funeral would help me at all. i’d just be seeing a bunch of people i haven’t seen in a really long time, none of whom expect me to be there. there are no right words i can say to any of them, and no right words any of them could say to me. i tend to think funerals are silly, and i think that would make me unwelcome, even if i were the only one who knew it. ultimately, each person grieves privately. guilt also because i haven’t kept in touch with any of these people well enough . . . tragedy makes you realize that in a big way. confusion because i have no idea how to react to all of this. at least, i have no idea how i’m supposed to react to all of this. part of me feels like i don’t have the right to grieve for him: i haven’t seen or talked to him since about 7th grade, i’ve thought unkind things about him in the meantime, and there are many more people who have been much closer to him than i have.

i wrote a song, and it helped.

the morning after i found out, i ran into the lady who does housekeeping for my building as i was leaving. she had a big smile on her face and welcomed me back (i just moved back on campus after the summer), and she showed me a picture on her cell phone and said, “this is our new addition! as of last night.” her new grandson had just been born. i couldn’t help being happy for her, but i started crying as i walked away. that kind of stark juxtaposition can really help to put things in perspective. people are born and die every day.

i won’t say you shoulda met him, because how could i know at this point. but god, did that kid have an amazing smile.

goodbye, nic/k . . . you will be missed, and you have made more of a difference than you probably know.

*i choose my words carefully. “lol” means exactly what i want it to mean.

**at this point, “brighter than sunshine” came up on pandora, and it messed with my head a little bit more.
then i had to leave for a couple hours to do things.

18 August 2007

things i have enjoyed this week:

sitting outside for 2 hours with someone i don't see often enough, talking about things that matter.

croquet with good company.

mom's banana bread, and sharing it.

making introductions.

walking barefoot on the grass.

seeing the stars from a huge backyard during a good conversation.

seeing the stars from a moonroof driving through the suburbs.

seeing the stars crisscrossed by powerlines as we walk hand-in-hand between our apartments.

the bus ride to and from the airport.

consistent internet.

moving all my things into an exciting new apartment.

unpacking some of my favorite things that i haven't seen in four months.

not being tired despite getting less than three hours of sleep.

the decemberists.

wearing my wings.

being totally happy to be exactly where i am at a given moment.

17 August 2007

found - post secret

i was thinking how much i wanted to post something today, because it's been a while, but i didn't know what, because i wanted it to be meaningful. (i always do, but sometimes that's more important than others.) then i came across this:


08 August 2007

end-of-summer musings

i am sitting under the stairs in the UHC so i can use teh internets and plug in my computer. i am one meeting away from my work for the summer being done (well, two, if you count the one with my advisor in the morning). i am killing time in the air conditioning, waiting for you to call, so i don't have to be in my hot and stuffy apartment in the 90+ degree weather with the heat advisory from the national weather service until 8pm.

i have 22 pages of a paper sitting in front of me, and i don't feel like it could possibly be finished. i should be panicking at 2 o'clock this morning; it's not due until noon tomorrow. i made a real poster, which i didn't think i was going to get the chance to do, and it's simple but effective. i can't comprehend the possibility that i have nothing to do.

and i know there are things i could be doing. but there's nothing i need to do.

i'm kind of overwhelmed by the idea of the summer ending, to be honest. it's been such an amazing summer. i've met great new people, and re-met some others; made incredible friendships, some from scratch and some with existing foundations; and reasserted my independence. i've found closure. i've learned more about the universe than in the last few years combined. i've paid rent for the first time. i spent my first birthday away from home. i've done work that has meaning, even if only to me, and i've loved it so much that i'm trying to find ways to continue it. i've walked everywhere and flown several times. i visited home and didn't want to kill myself or my mother at the end of ten days.

i wonder if it will be a bigger challenge to readjust to school starting again, having been here. the bubble that occurs when i spend time at home won't exist, because i've spent the whole time here. the first two weeks after everyone moved out were so strange, because campus was so empty, but now i'm used to it and i think it will be even stranger during the first two weeks when everyone comes back. i kind of enjoy having things mostly to myself.

i should be reading, either the abstract booklet (another exciting physical product of the summer) or through the looking glass. or trying to get down to target--that can be tomorrow afternoon, or sometime this weekend, depending on who i can convince to come with me.

i feel like i am somewhere right now, and it's not defined by my work or my location or my company.
it's a satisfying feeling, i think.

07 August 2007


i wrote a new song last night....in one sitting....quite an accomplishment for me.
it sucks, but don't they all.
it's hazy outside.....i hope it's raining.

i have these notions of updating this regularly.....it may or may not ever happen. i'd like to get it to at least once a week. thoughts?