Does it work to write about spiritual stuff while listening to dancey electronic music? We shall see.
I like all parts of my life to be well thought out and respected: physical health, emotional (hahahahaha...HA! now there's a collection of inner turmoil: Thinking through my emotions, How I came to never feel like a crazy woman again), workful, funful, personal, social, between my toes...and spiritual. Growing up in a deeply entrenched LDS family has made me mildly obsessive (or properly obsessive, who knows) with my spiritual life. Maybe I've talked about that here before, I can't remember sometimes if I've just thought things or spewed them on this blog as well. Strangely, there are few people I can easily talk to about spirituality. Possibly it's a reaction to growing up in a proselytizing church. It's only recently that I've been able to reconcile my love of my religion with the seemingly widely encouraged idea of introducing myself to strangers while blatantly dropping references to being Mormon and planting five Books of Mormon on every airplane I board. I'm not doing that. It seems terrible to me. In fact, it feels like some sort of betrayal to my faith and...well, me.
Where the bottom drops out of the ocean in this story I'm telling you: In sincere conversations with people I care about, I lose my voice. It matters only because my soul is run with veins of this religion, it makes up me. I want to share me with you. I don't want people to see me as a card toting member of an organized religion and think it stops there. You won't ever know me that way. We'll stop knowing each other.
I don't know where the writing inside of me went. It's not that I ever felt I was writing stunning prose, but there was a key and a worth to expressing myself, publicly. I felt that, at least. Now I need to face some kind of reincarnation of letters like when I lost the talent for writing horrible poetry. What this time in my life calls for, I'm not sure. It may be dreadfully serious. I wish I could build a wall to show you all the things–of terror, beauty, stress, people, blessing, travel, love, all things Monty Python–that have made up this last year. I'd build the wall and we'd all take Silly Walk strolls up and down the way. Build your wall next to mine. I'll study it until I go blind. Everything will always be spring. Jorge Luis Borges, the great Argentinian writer, went blind at the end of his life. All the books he wrote never said anything to him ever again. (Though he continued to write.)
Christopher was fascinated by armageddon literature. Which made me start thinking, what would I do? I imagine I reach a point where the world is ending and no matter what I do it will end. When you know that, fear is over. I leave the shelter and walk over the ground shaking and splitting, watch the sky melting, and I hope I have a camera with me. The end of the world should be documented. I just want to have a record of it all.
(which could have been retitled "We make the hipsters fall in love.") a cold kind of day.
This morning I momentarily pondered showering with my sweatshirt on for my bathroom is a cold attic kind of room. In the afternoon, I sat at Megdarling's kitchen table (in lieu of my regular position at my kitchen table). We worked and the world dripped outside.
Megdarling designs graphically. A year ago she enlisted me in her project Common Threads, interviewing women about what being a woman meant to them. I sat in the background with little digital camcorders balancing on my knee recording these conversations in awe of the variety of answers.
There was somewhere I was going to go with that, touching really. However, it's now later, after a party. A party where I met this new person–well I met a couple of new people–which is refreshing since I mostly hang out with married people and that will really make a single kid feel stale–we talked for a long time about a lot of things and it was really enjoyable. Then I told him I liked Ke$ha. I have never seen a conversation end so quickly. I mean, I even tried to use the guilty pleasure line but he entirely closed up and left. the party. Left. Then Alicia and I commandeered the kitchen and turned it into a mini dance party. It was a great thing.
There's your profound thought for the night: KE$HA as a conversation killer.
Sometimes it's 1:28 AM and after giving up on sleep for the time being I'm sitting at the kitchen table staring at you, digital world, eating a bowl of homemade granola and whole milk. (It's a pretty meal.)
I feel I've lost track of documenting some of the important things to me, most particularly the nuances of dear people. Today I had a sewing party with Cousin Jefinner and Sister (& nephew too). JFNR works on drapes for her bedroom, precise and measuredly. I haphazardly sew squares of fabric together so that later on I can piece all the chunks together by hand as I watch 30Rock or sit and talk with people. Sister tries her hand at bib-making. She succeeded. Her hands are good but she estimates the fabric is not what she wanted and feels rather satisfied with buying bibs after all. Nephew sat in my arms, pulling his binkie out and putting it back in. AND I SAW HIM ROLL OVER! This chubby, peach-fuzz head is growing up so quickly.
I like these people I shared my afternoon with. Family is necessary and marvelous but frequently stressful and conversation can become tenuous and we take each other for granted. But these parts of my family are something great and always nice to be with.
My 5' Aunt comes in later in the day, "You better say goodbye to Abuela when you leave. She doesn't like it when you don't say goodbye. In my culture, you say hello and you say goodbye. You always say them, it doesn't matter." So I make a point of saying ciao, Abuela says gracias, Aunt says thank you, and JFNR and I exchange last words on whether we need more sewing machines for next time.
Then I drove through the skirts of town to find a gravel road of farmhouses. I saw what looked like a Montana view and knew that's where I needed to take my run. Can I share with you the most amazing thing? Imagine a barely paved road, houses on little handful-of-acres farms. On this road are vending machines.
Chew on that: vending machines. Goodnight, I'm going to a paperback book.
Please soak up into my bones. Revitalize me, refresh the haggard hollows I've felt growing under my eyes. There's humidity in the air that acts as a salve for everything. We look for others to lay with on picnic blankets to stare at the clouds. Or to lay on my livingroom floor, staring up through the large windows so we only see the tree tops and can imagine we're in a forest.
Is the world really humming?
Sometimes as the sun travels down the sky it shines through my window so it could blind you. Or casts rainbows on the wall, the light being refracted from the cut glass.
I may be preemptive touting spring mid-February but I've heard birds chirp and even after six years I still don't know the weather here.
Spring forever reminds me of being nine or so, with shoulder-length brown hair, or on crunchy remnants of snow drifts. Spring is wet and confused in North Dakota. Maybe I'll see it again next year.
I wondered if I would ever go back, doubted it, but missed the prairie so much. Fall might find me in my adolescent bedroom. Which seems like a gross surrender in desperation but is not. I promise [myself]. I can only go back because I'm hoping to actually have film careersing opportunities.
There are so many lovely things always. I'll miss these canyons.
Rewind three years, I was going to weekly meetings of the campus club Women In Film. One afternoon the meeting was a measly four of us: Courtney, two boys, and me. The two boys remained fairly silent as Courtney and I debated and conversed the finer points of Nora Ephron's works (When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Gilmore Girls–this list might explain the silence of the males). The next day one of those boys, whom I'll call Fred, sent me a facebook message saying something about how I sounded interesting and he'd like to get to know me more.
A message through an impersonal social networking site? What? This has happened to me quite a few times. I have to admit that my first reaction is feeling a bit annoyed that it seems to be impossible to find me after class and say, "Hey, that was an interesting thought, do you want to grab a shake? I'd like to talk about it some more." Apparently that's a really scary thing to do. I can appreciate this but it isn't actually that enjoyable to have people afraid of you unless you're trying to go for the evil dictator thing. Generally that's not my goal. But it's not always just shyness. The last boy I dated I'd been pen pals with on and off for four or five years. He was visiting a friend, we met on his last night in town. (If you're wondering how we eventually dated, he lived here this summer. He's since moved and quickly dropped out of my life entirely.) Or the boy before that who lived two hours away. How did we meet? He's a musician, I ordered an album from him. He added me on facebook then asked if he could call me. Then started texting me. Then talked me into an actual date.
What this really does is act as a great prelude to the fact that I'm actually the problem here. I'm the reason boys don't approach me. When my pen pal was here this summer I pretended we were just friends and nothing was happening for a long time. I agreed to talk to B, the phone calling musician, but I almost didn't answer the phone. And after our (enjoyable) long talk he asked if he could call me again. I said, "Sure, you can in a week."
Yeah, I push people away.
I am promising myself I will not do this anymore. So when Fred of the original facebook message (who also lives far away–I might be more attractive from a distance) sent me this valentine's today:
I actually responded. I still assume this just means he wants to be friends or got me confused with someone else or knew I would think hot pink zombies are funny. I do love morbidity. If nothing else it's fun to make friends and get notes from people every once in a while.
I thought I might be doing other things tonight (art shows with quiet friends or lying in bed watching Amélie) but I'm doing the best thing, the kind of best thing that you wouldn't think of doing but someone asks of you and it's like a good vegetable. A tasty one, really. I'm babysitting my FIVE MONTH OLD nephew. I can't believe he's been around for five sweet months and in six months I'm probably going to move far away. Ugh.
He smells sweet and is all soft chubby baby and some days (namely today) he's tired and must be held ALL THE TIME and you can't hold him and sit down. No. You must hold him and stand up. So you turn on an Otis Redding internet radio station so while you hold him in your arms you can dance and "lalala" along to all the soulful music and he'll join in with "ahhhhhuuuummmmmmoooooo."
Yesterday I remembered that the back seat of the mom van (babies and vans and I'm not even dating anyone) was folded into a bed....Or a bench to sit on! I grabbed my drawing pad, drove up the mountain, parked with the trunk facing the valley. Sitting in the back, protected from the wind, I looked out at whatever...you know, pretty late afternoon suns over mountains and a lake and a little town....I drew a volcano.
One thing about the work I do, I might never have any knowledge of if I've done any good in the world. Perhaps if I worked on high-grossing films or hip documentaries or pieces for nonprofits. But even then, I'm a very behind the scenes person. I research. I talk to people. I organize. Maybe if I'm lucky someone entrusts a camera to my hands. How often have you noticed in the credits way down at the end the names of the people who ruined their eyes trying to gather all the facts?
Right now I'm not sure if I'm bringing anything to the table of either of my jobs. Miscommunication or no communication at all is fairly typical: I'm in a "creative" profession, we're all doing too many things at once. I can't expect more feedback than what I'm getting. All I can do is dream that one day at the end of a radio show they tack on my name to say I helped put that program together. Then I'll know. But I might not. Maybe again I won't be able to shake the feeling that I've been given these work opportunities out of pure generosity. I'm not sure how much I lured employers in with my talents. The merit I have is in enthusiasm. I care, I'll work hard, I'll constantly be trying to improve. I just keep hoping.
I've been spending a significant amount of time exploring nature which, I've learned, is where I have many epiphanies. One afternoon I was running along this gravel road by a lake and a tiny airport and I had this epiphany: there's no reason to not cut my hair.
In the mood to say nothing true? As in, I love to head bang and clean toilets with toothbrushes and shop at American Eagle. Dang. That all sounds more like sarcasm (except for the head banging part. Rocking out at heavy metal concerts is kind of funny even if my neck does hurt for the next few days).
I prefer being facetious.
And I'm in the mood to lie and blast electronic music while I give our kitchen a serious throw down. HEY KITCHEN, betcha thought nobody'd make you clean up your dirty ways. Well listen here, Skank Tiles, you've got another thing coming. WATCH OUT! I'M GONNA SWEEP YOU UNDER THE RRRRUUUGGGG! (I blame the lying on my father's side of the family which sounds like I have a lot of childhood trauma but that's not true. I just thought I was related to George Washington for a few years longer than I should have.)