Friday, April 29, 2011

miles and stones

Did you know that my previous post was actually the 50th post I've done on this blog? I'd call that an accomplishment. The only other blog I kept up consistently (until I graduated high school) was my Xanga. Good times.

Speaking of accomplishments, and high school, and good times...

I recently did a facebook search for some of the most memorable people I went to school with. I didn't go to high school with any of them, mind you. In the middle of 6th grade we moved from Auburn to Buckley and thus I started at a new school. And after those four months of unspeakably disgusting and horrifying things--I'm not exaggerating--I started at private school.

So most of these people I have not been in contact with. A few of them stayed my friends for a couple years after I left Auburn, and some I reconnected with via MySpace (ha) during high school. And back then I was met with bitter disappointment when my previous best friend and first "boyfriend" started posting his sex life on MySpace (haha) and was ignored by people who I thought had been good acquaintances.

Today, I discovered something much better: me. I am better. My life is better. Not that it's a contest or a competition, but I really am.

None of them have left Washington, and most haven't left Auburn. A few have gone to community college. I only know of one that went to a university. One or two got married, lots had babies. Not necessarily in that order or even in combination with.

And I could have been one of those. I could have stayed in Auburn and continued to "date" my best friend. I could have gone to Auburn High School (or would I have transferred to the new and fancier Auburn Mountainview High School?) and spent my time taking secular classes and making myself secular-ly artsy and dramatic in the big PAC that I so often visited as a child. I could have married my best friend and had babies. Or maybe we would have broken up and I'd date a few other guys. I could have moved in with someone and gone off the deep end.

Here I was, all this time, thinking that if only I could have kept those friends, things might have been different. I have spent so many years wondering how my life might have changed if I had stayed in Auburn. So many hardships prevented. So many discomforts avoided. Here I was, taking everything for granted.

As much as I loved those people, and would love them still if we continued to be friends, if I had stayed I would have made a complete mess of myself.

But I didn't. I am better. My life is better. It's not written in stone or anything, but I have definitely, blessedly, come a long way.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

on my list

I am 59 days away from getting married. And many of you know that getting married often involves writing things. Writing lots of lists, writing invitations, writing playlists or programs or prayers. Or vows.

This month I get to write vows. I am excited about this. Joey is more excited. So excited that he kept saying "I'll keep it under 600 words!" and... well you get the picture.

But I also have to write something else this month, which is intrinsically related to my wedding but not about my wedding.

I get to finish my novel. Many of you know that this novel is semi-autobiographical about the worst year of my life. It's about a few of the people I knew, or at least the people I talked to, and how they impacted me. How they impacted the rest of my life.

And I have to get it out all now before I commit myself to someone else because if all that crap is still holding me back as I'm walking down the aisle, I am not going to be a very good wife and I won't have a very good outlook on my husband. I deserve more than that, and so does Joey.

There is still sometimes a panic that rises in me when I encounter some of those people and find myself dropped into those memories. I fear they will come back and chase me down a dark alley and beat me to death. Or, I fear they will just torment me until completely lose my mind.

It's true that I have come a long way from that place, from that person that I have been. But there's a finality in writing the story of it all. There is a concrete permanence to it, a solidity. I am giving the story a space in which it can exist without growing, without hurting me, because I'm controlling it. I am locking it inside 50,000 words. And once I've put it there, it can't get out.

So if you like, you can travel with me on this journey. I don't know how many words I have left but it's a lot. If you have the time, push me, tell me I can do it. Remind me why I must.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

crying out for

Why must this be the constant
I find--oh, inconsistency.
Why must you mar and mangle,
why must you tangle me?
I and we have forged connections,
don't break it off,
don't let it be.

Monday, April 18, 2011

(Letter, 13 October 1819)

"My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you — I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. [...] I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder'd at it — I shudder no more — I could be martyr'd for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that — I could die for you." (Letter, 13 October 1819)
from John Keats to Fanny Brawne.

Monday, April 11, 2011

one who falls down will grow up

There are places we return to when we are scared. The universe is vast and terrifying and unfamiliar, and in our darkest moments we turn to a space or hole or corner that is recognizable.

And inevitably, we don't want to return to some places. Memories hold fast to walls and ceilings and soak into the furniture, they lock the windows and never come out. The pain that started in that place may never leave.

But like nature does to a forest with a fire, so can a memory be erased. And something new grows there. You let go of what had been and make room for something better, something more beautiful, something to take away the hurt.

Within the context of this renewal, I have been thinking about things lately like my wedding, and some drama regarding the building it is in.

I have been thinking about old friends.
I have been thinking about the person I have been.

And I have been praying that God will make a new space out of the old one, new friends and a new "self." I was listening to the song "Always" by Switchfoot in the car, and just started weeping in the second verse.

I asked that the beginning of my new life (in 75 days!) provide a place for others to start over with each other.
It doesn't matter how deep the hurt has been, God can create a space for healing, not hurt.
Open yourself to new healing, not old hurt.

This is the start
This is your heart
This is the day you were born
This is the sun
These are your lungs
This is the day you were born

And I am always, always
Always yours

And I am always, always
Always yours

These are the scars
Deep in your heart
This is the place you were born
And this is the hole
Where most of your soul
Comes ripping out
From the places you've been torn

And it is always, always
Always yours
And I am always, I'm always
Always yours

Oo, oo, oo, oo
Oo, oo, oo, oo
Hallelujah, I'm caving in
Hallelujah, I'm in love again
Hallelujah, I'm a wretched man
Hallelujah, every breath is a second chance

And it is always, always
Always yours
And I am always, I'm always
Always yours
Yeah, yeah
I am always yours
I'm yours
Yeah, yeah
I am always yours
I'm always yours

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

because it's national poetry month

As the man beholds the woman
As the woman beholds the man,
Curiously they note each other,
As each other they only can.
-Bryan Procter


I sent out these papery treasures today. My hands are sore and my carpals have more extensive damage than a week ago, but at least now there will be people at my wedding to see how arthritic my poor little fingers are.
Don't worry, I used a sponge to seal them. All 208.