31 July 2009

last post for july

the most politically-correct definition i can give of myself:
i am a female-bodied person who presents in untraditionally feminine ways and is attracted primarily to other female-bodied people, of various genders.

29 July 2009

my view

just in time for it to set, the sun finally came out, after hiding behind positively vengeful gray and wet all day. and the angle of the light and the patience of the trees and the low, racing clouds are nothing
to the shadow of the flag against the roof of the carnegie music hall.
perfectly centered and slow-dancing

26 July 2009

a note more justly scribbled

a lot of my words lately have been happening in real life. spoken or signed. or thought and trapped there.

i came to the realization recently that my inner life has its own merit, and not every thought needs to be written down. it seems counterintuitive to even type this. mostly i'm trying to excuse my written absence over the past few days, and the fact that i still have nothing to write here.

a lot has been going on. very little of it has even been penned. i fear the eventual loss of my memory.

i could very happily start every day the way i started this one.

22 July 2009

about time

i just read something i wrote to someone else at the beginning of my sophomore year [of college], right after a bad breakup. and i am horrified....at who i was, or maybe just at how little i knew. it would be easy enough to write it off as "i still had a lot to learn, and i wasn't familiar enough with myself to be mature in my interactions with other people"--but that was only almost three years ago. yes, i've changed a lot in the last three years (some parts several times over), but i can't have changed that much. ...right?

i'm young yet. how much am i going to learn in the next three years? how appalled am i going to be when i look back on the things i'm writing and saying now? with how much regret/sadness/nostalgia/wistfulness will i remember the relationships i am building/have built/am losing?

at the end of three more years i'll have my master's degree and my C's, assuming i do everything right. i have no idea what part of the country/world i'll be in or who i'll be with or who i'll even still be talking to. i'm certainly not now where i expected to be then....maybe part of the lesson is to live life with no expectations.

20 July 2009

[untitled poem 7/14/2009]

i want to make things explode
learn to breathe in the staggering smoke
let them free and imagine what
breaks out

your lungs are the vessel
for precious words i long to capture
my ears the home of your freed creations

my mind the g(r)asping, comprehending,
mmm-uttering resting place
for a thought that began with you
its travels long and perilous
its bridge crafted out of thin air

its journey succeeds
when we are both understood.

16 July 2009

breaking the silence

U.S. military deaths in Iraq since war began (3/19/2003): 4325
(since "Mission Accomplished": 4186)
U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom (since 2001): 739
as of 7/14/2009 at 10:04 pm, from antiwar.com

If we as a nation were to hold a minute of silence for each American killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11,
we would be silent for three and a half days.

just a thought.

13 July 2009

poem 07/13/09

if i were to speak the truth
if this were within my power

to say the words that held the meaning of the universe
and make everyone hear them

...no one would listen.

there is no room for a modern-day christ
but there is room for a small voice,
whispering from the darkness,
rustling through the leaves of the trees,
reaching those who most need it.

a smile crosses the lips
of the first person to hear
the words
that give meaning
to everything,
and she resolves to keep it quiet in her heart
and speak it through her deeds.

the wood of the cross holds no greater secret
than this:
love is the (most) powerful means to an(y) end.

she touches her finger to her lips
and looks at you
with a shy grin,
before turning and running away,
skirt flapping, eyes shining,
all brightness and living.

11 July 2009

storytelling, part 5

it came up in conversation last night that perhaps the reason for telling a story is not what i have previously posited: you tell a story not to get the point across, but for the sheer joy of the telling. the experience of relating the story is at least as important as the story itself.

think of all the people who tell stories to audiences that already know them. no new information is gained by any party, but the storyteller takes such pleasure in relating the tale that the redundance of it doesn't matter. sometimes, the listener is as enthusiastic about the retelling, but often they are not: how many of us know all our parents' stories already, and don't think they're likely to gain any new ones? it doesn't seem to matter to the storyteller, and maybe that's not a bad thing.

or--and i think this was my favorite example that came up--think of the old couples who don't need to tell their stories to each other anymore, but they do anyway, for the sake of reminding each other and reminiscing together. they get to a point where the performance is practiced, well-rehearsed. (and) each has their own part to tell, but both know all the lines, and they tell it the same way anyway. [i look forward to having someone to tell stories like that with. i imagine there is no deeper joy than building your life with someone you know fits you just right, to the point where even improvisation feels natural and well-rehearsed.]

09 July 2009


i've written a few times on the topic of Home...i'm beginning to suspect that the quest for such a place, be it a physical location or otherwise, is one of the main journeys in any given life. this week, i feel pretty good about it.

two weeks ago tomorrow, i moved into a new apartment. from the very first, it felt like mine. this is a big change from my prior living situation: i shared an apartment (i now live by myself), and more often than not i felt cornered into my own bedroom, for no good reason other than my own discomfort, so i spent as little time in the apartment as possible. it became less a place to live and more a place to keep my stuff. now, i want to be here; i want to spend time in my place, and when i don't, i want to figure out why, and i want to put work into making this place even more mine--even more my home.

it's funny, because the last place that really felt like a home to me was also in this building. i went up to visit one day last week, and it was odd. all my bedroom furniture was exactly where i had left it over a year ago when i moved out.

aside from having a place of my own, where i truly feel comfortable, there's something else to my life lately adding to that feeling of Home. it's taken a long time, but i finally feel like i'm in the right place. i've known for a while that i'm in the right city; i've lived here for four years, and though i don't expect to stay here forever, it's not time to leave yet. i'll know when it is. Pittsburgh fits like that space in your shoulder where my head goes when i've had a bad day--and the real sense of Home comes from being able to make that comparison.

[the relationships we build in college, the networks we find and create niches in, are so much different from the spaces we make for ourselves at any other time. i can't decide if i'm excited to see how the development of new relationships changes as i get older. it seems like it only gets harder. i have better friends now than i've ever had in my life. i know that at any given moment there are at least three people i can call and find a space to crash if i need it. there are people who would miss me if i left. i know my role, and i know i'll have support in changing it if need be. this is what it means to have a Home: to know that you belong somewhere, whether it's in an apartment or among people.]

06 July 2009

random image for the day:

a man in a motorized wheelchair transporting two children: one seated between his feet, and the other behind him on the reclined back of the chair.

05 July 2009

Adventures & journals

i always wondered what makes people stop keeping journals.

i've been keeping them consistently since i was 8 years old, and almost every day since i was 15 (after i spent a month writing nothing, and realized it would drive me insane). but i never saw grownups keeping journals, setting aside a regular time to write the way i eventually had to do, even grownups who i knew had kept them when they were younger. grownups never talk about it the way little girls talk about their diaries. (the difference between a diary and a journal could be its own post.) and i always wondered: what made them want to stop writing? or, what made them stop wanting to write?

the older i get, the more i realize: you don't want to stop writing, or really even stop wanting to write. but eventually, you become more busy living your life than writing it down. other things become more important than having that written record. time doesn't grow short so much as it grows full. you write when you have a few moments to do so, but it becomes less important to make sure that those few moments aren't spent on something else.

part of my concern has been that i can't remember anything unless it's written down. maybe i'll learn to remember in other ways.

anyway, if i were more concerned with my journal, these are some of the adventures from this weekend i would want to write in more depth about:
-playing an out-of-tune piano and the attention this garnered
-building a bear with an accidental resemblance to a real person
-$30 worth of candy, to go with ridiculous movies
-impromptu alternatives to supercuts
-dressing for maximal confusion (and feeling shockingly normal as a result)
-sitting so close to fireworks it was like they were going off around my head
-walking back from downtown
-hitchhiking on someone else's trip
-getting lost in public transit & refusing to be late to church