Crossed legs, hidden feet.

A gray screen covers everything.

His face turns towards the voice, his good eye staring at the mug she holds in her hands.

A smile, a tumble of waterfall hair, blue-ish hues of roughened cloth

Wind, she turns, her ear memorizing the shape of the moans.

Hair in her face, rough, against a cheek of freckles. Her eyebrows and ears taut in understanding.

The wind moans.

The shoreline sings with no one to hear it, she stands, her clothes flying, arms crossed in front of her cabin of sins.

She stands and waits for the weather to change, waits for the ocean to crawl up to meet her.

He leaps from his place on the couch to encircle her ankles. She picks him up and holds him. He vibrates like her alarm clock. His fur smells like fresh laundry. She closes her eyes against his short fuzzy back and sighs. The air is a mixture of soft cat-like wrinkles and stone cold crisp air.

Her bare feet are rooted to the sea stones but her heart is airborne in the salty wind.

____________

I read an essay entitled “Vital Signs” by Natalie Kusz from The Threepenny Review which narrates the story of Kusz’s childhood in the cold yet familiar climate of Alaska. The essay follows young Natalie from a dog attack to a children’s hospital to learning to live with only one eye after the accident. A few paragraphs towards the end of the essay where Natalie describes her retreat to the coast from her writing career caught my attention and inspired me to write the word scene above.

____________

“…I packed some books and a portable typewriter, drove to Homer on the coast, and rented a cabin near the beach. … I liked it best when the wind was blowing and the sky was grey, and the sounds of seagulls and my own breathing were carried out with the water. … When the tide had gone far out, I climbed the bluff back to my cabin and sat writing in front of the window, eating cheese on bread and orange spritzers or tea. … When the tide started back in I took pen and notebook and sat on a great barnacled rock, letting water creep up and surround me, then jumping to shore just in time” (Kusz, pg. 169).

 

 

 

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My Social Dilemma

There was a time when my mom was a young child, ignorant of many worldly concepts. And she, like most of us, was never taught early on in life how to use a fork and knife the right way when eating.

“I was sitting there,” she later recalled, explaining to my pouting younger brother after his first attempts to use eating utensils. “Just waiting for someone to come and teach me how to use a knife properly.”

Years later I still remember that comment. And I’ve never related so much to it until now.

[Don’t worry, I know how to use a fork and knife the right way. (Even though I still cannot seem to break the habit of using the knife with my left hand instead of my right.)]

But I found this comment striking my mind at a deeper level than simply an observation about dining room table accessories.

In many situations, I find myself unsure of what to do. I can get by but do not know how to get by in the way I ought to. Much like my mother, I often find myself sitting, just waiting for someone to come along and teach me how to do things the right way.

More specifically, I feel unsure of myself in social situations. Whenever I’m around people I find myself overthinking little things such as how to stand, like, which leg I should put my weight on, or if holding my water bottle is necessary or not. My head fills with an infinite amount of infinitesimal thoughts such as these, and they fill me with anxiety and dread.

Not knowing if the way I’m smiling is brightening another’s day or filling it with annoyance frustrates me. Not knowing if my enthusiasm is bringing people closer together or drifting me further away from that state of comfort I long to taste. That state, that moment when I don’t find myself wondering if the way my face is arranged is making people misunderstand me. That conversation where words flow out of my mouth naturally as though they haven’t been stewing inside of me for ten minutes straight.

That moment when my mind is a lot lighter and I feel like I don’t need the comfort I get from slouching and not being seen. The point where the dangers I could never face become a part of my ever-expanding comfort zone. When everything seems to flow from one person to the other is the moment when I find that I’m not trying anymore.

Kaleidescope

Sometimes I just like to close my eyes and let my mind do its own thing.

Let it get carried away in Jay Vincent’s notes and beats.

While my mind goes on adventures, I am curled up on the floor.

It’s easier to stand to the side and let my mind do all the thinking. To shut my mouth and let my pen do all the talking.

While my fingers fly and my notebook thins, I am silent in my bed.

Emotions streaming in are easier than emotions streaming out. That’s what music is for. To feel someone else’s heartbeat so you don’t have to share your own. To let others do the screaming and the singing; that’s what music is for.

Reading and music allow us to dip our fingers into the essence of the universe and are the tools we use to live.

Music and words allow us to create—make the invisible visible—and share our heartbeat with the world so that it doesn’t have to.

Friendship

So lately I’ve been making a lot of realizations/discoveries about myself and the things I value in life. As I was thinking about this one day, I realized that friendship is something way bigger than I thought it was, and I wanted to monumentalize (is that a word??) this large taken-for-granted thing in my life. The first time I found out that friendship went way deeper than being acquainted with someone and hanging out with them was during my TPS France missions trip last summer. So here’s a video of me talking about that:

 

Confidently she walked up to the man. Her face dirty and bleeding from the battle. She glared at him, tempted to sneer, but instead she gave him a scornful look. He held out his hand.

“The key.”

With a face like stone, she slowly took her backpack off one shoulder and then the other. Still not looking away from the man, she reached her arm into her bag. She pulled out a small metal object and opened her fist to reveal a key. She held her arm out, the other hand holding the backpack. No one moved an inch. Not the man, not her, not her friends.

The man seemed to be getting impatient.

“Give it to me.”

He said menacingly between his teeth. She seemed not to hear.

“NOW!
He yelled, thrusting his other hand into a scabbard by his side. Quick as a flash he held a blade to her throat. Her breaths came out faster and louder with the metal to her neck, but her face still didn’t change its icy stare of loathing. The man’s outstretched hand came closer to her. With one final pause, she dropped the key into his hand. She lowered her arm. He lowered his sword, clutching his newly acquired treasure in the other hand. Turning his back to her, he walked away with a low and menacing chuckle.

I Can Feel a Change In Me

Come with me and bring along your dreams, for they shine too brightly to leave behind.

Come with me and bring the kiss that your mother blew you last night.

Come with me and leave everything else alone. For they will fix themselves, dearest.

Understand that the world thrives on its problems. Without them, society would fall apart.

Time after time has proven that we can dream up the impossible, and impossibility is what drives our thoughts; our lives.

The prospect that we might not be as alone as we believe we are.

The walls that keep us from reaching out are the product of years of careful planning and thinking. The daily paragraphs we think to ourselves can be broken in one swift motion.

Yet we don’t realize this. And when we do realize it, it leads to a paradigm shift we gradually grow into.

But sometimes we’re too late, and we wake up to find that all the opportunities we had to grow and change have flown away.