Thursday, October 9, 2014

little girl

Dear little girl,

You look really darling with your flowers and your sneakers. The bouquet is maybe too big for your little hands to hold onto, but that’s okay, it’s probably good practice for the rest of your life, where you will struggle to hold onto some big, heavy things. I can tell by your restless eyes that you are up to something – that your brain is always on, infinitely curious, constantly searching. As you get older, people might ask you what you are looking for. You don’t have to tell them. And you don’t have to know.

I can see that you will be beautiful. You are charming me already, and we only just met. I wonder about all of the men you will hurt as you dazzle your way through this world. And I wonder about all of the people you will offend, just by being you. I wish I could be there when you learn that sometimes your best is not good enough. I hated that lesson.

Little girl, you are smart and precocious. In five years you will read Gone with the Wind and you might want to be a little bit like Scarlett O’Hara or Jo March from Little Women, but you won’t have any idea how. In ten years, you’ll learn that you can actually be the leading lady of your own story – but you will have to write out all of the chapters. This is not always easy.

One last thing, little one. Be kind to those who love you. Be gracious for what you have, and decide if what you do not have is truly worth seeking.

You might find that all you really need are some flowers and a good pair of sneakers.

xx

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

inside

Here we are again. The universal quiet of an empty house. I feel a cool hint of fall through the window as summer begrudgingly stands down. In the midst of the drumming chaos, I sometimes forget how much I like the sound of rustling leaves outside, the hum of the insects, and yet the stillness, the softness, the stability. No creaky stairs tonight. No running water. Just white sheets and dim light, and a whining train somewhere nearby. I don't play any music. I think about the predictability of change and all of its relentless irony, which I am reminded of by the circle of rust that surrounds the shiny drain in the shower, or by the changing leaves of golden yellows – catching the sun-kissed city by surprise though the leaves are changing like they always do. We’re back, the yellows say. Knock knock, purr the deep reds. They weren’t here just a week or two before, so things are different – things have changed by definition – yet what about this seasonal pattern of predictability makes fall less of a new transformation and more the underwhelming product of short-lived routine?

Here we are again.

And I am locked inside the quiet. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

things

1. the orange sun through the curtains in the morning
2. fletchy's smile
3. songs like cherry wine
4. dad's laugh
5. pancakes
6. the kind man at the toll booth who I don't see anymore
7. christmastime
8. you + all that
9. the people around me in the beginning of august
10. this city, its heartbeat
11. nice soap

Thursday, August 14, 2014

you're not

There is nothing wrong with being somebody you're not. 

Who are you if you're not someone's pleasantly drawn up sketch, a perceived notion, an inevitable victim of the world's misimpression? 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

anytime


It’s early in the morning. We are driving somewhere. Father-daughter bliss, the way it was always supposed to be.
Ain’t no sunshine when she goes.
You know I love this song, you say. You look happy but feel sad when you say it.
I wonder about the time so many years ago when you were late picking me up from school. You are never late. I held hands with the principal and cried while I watched the boys throw rocks into the creek. I didn’t even know we had a creek, until then. When did we get a creek? I asked. Just a few more minutes, she said. He’ll be here soon.
You pulled up and my heart exploded in my chest. She was worried, she said with an embarrassed smile, like I was her kid.
“That’s my dad,” I said, looking her square in the eyes. "That's my dad." 
She smiled again, and so did you. Yours was different.
You held my hand as we walked to the car. I’ll never be late again, you said. I’ll never let you down again.
And you haven’t.
I wonder though, so many years later on this early morning when we are driving somewhere:
Have I?

And this house just ain’t no home, anytime she goes away.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

look

 I stopped thinking about specifically who and what I wanted for my life and just started thinking about what I hoped it would look like. There was this woman holding a glass of white wine at a networking thing. The space was neat and industrial – exposed brick, polished concrete floors, slick steel finishes, exposed beams. Anyway the five-o-clock sun came through and hit her glass at an angle so that the white wine looked more like a bunch of diamonds had melted into a big, liquidy puddle in her glass, and I thought that I needed to be drinking a glass of what looks like melted diamonds right before the sun sets in some thoughtful, inspiring place, maybe Europe, soon. I thought about the tiles on the wall in my future kitchen. What would the tiles look like? Maybe a backsplash made up of small black and white octagonal tiles would be really nice. Maybe I would have a big window right above the sink where I could watch someone I love reading a book I wrote in the backyard. After that I would go pick up some flowers or get coffee or do something that always looks really artsy on all of the blogs I follow but actually just makes me feel lonely, like read in bed or put on an expensive sweater, but maybe then, after my time in Europe and my black and white kitchen and my somebody reading a book I wrote, all of the things that make me feel lonely won’t, anymore.

Rather than think, I hope to find adventure and happiness and love, I think: I hope to find white wine, and a big window, and someone who likes me and my silly expensive sweaters.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

pieces

There was some kind of pulsing addiction to this new place I called home. I think I loved the pieces of it. I loved the unpredictable degrees of strangeness that the city wholeheartedly embraced. There was so much variety in just one pocket, there were vintage shops and there was bold pink hair and these big beautiful trees that cast shapes of shade in the park that had no children. There were old brick buildings and hues of the sky that I had never seen before, there was live music and there were colors and feelings that I knew were the living veins to the heart of it all. It was no surprise that I also loved the pieces of my life that were specifically mine to own, mine to adore, mine to carry. I loved my clean bedroom and I loved my cluttered choices, and I loved that in the lost chaos there were people I had found. I loved that when I drove to work, I could see the mountains. I loved that here, in this city, I wanted to understand the art exhibition with all of the confusing paintings, because I loved that the learning curve was so steep, that the snow was so cold, that the air was so thin. There was a moment recently where I smiled at a baby girl sitting on her father’s shoulders. I remember that she smiled back at me and I was surprised that she did because I thought she was too young to understand or return my gesture, but she understood and returned it, and in that moment I thought that perhaps I loved this new place so much because this new place had loved me back. More than anything, though, I loved that when the frozen river finally melted and it was too hot to ride your bike, I felt alone and invincible.