Friday, March 27, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I sit writing, hat on my head, unmatching socks on my feet, and between these two is a body full of: resistance, perseverance, determination, confusion. This dream brought back what I had flatly pressed into memory, brought back what was stored in a part of my brain labeled: PAST.Why are you back?
This past week, I have been less composed, less vertical, less steady. Opposition has rocked my stability with waves of a coming storm. It fights me. I fight back.
I see the windy haze between me and the mountains—and know: IT IS NOT OVER.
School is hard, but at this point, irrelevant to the weight of my other challenges. What is school? The story of my English major? How does modern era literature affect my writing as compared to my modern day challenges. And then, my most challenging: My Claire story.
Why is the whole world against my Claire story? It’s not theirs. It’s not yours. Why is it always pressing upon me? It is hard enough without the world, and we don't get it either.
I am still waiting for my Dad to write me a letter. This is the part where we go into PAST, and take the parts that are not flatly pressed, the parts that are scattered and neglected and screaming for attention. The parts that are The story of Dad. Some are monsters—I am scared of them. Some are only sad children, they are very alone—I am unsure how to finally ease them into resting. We take the children and the monsters from the back of my mind, and we… what are we going to do with them? I’m not sure, but we will start with words. I wait for the first letter, wondering if he has any idea what we're up against.
My firefighter is coming on Wednesday, and that is another story in itself. What is Our Story firefighter?
I am young and alive. I am full of beginnings, but some of them are so heavy. Some of them have their toes curled around my core, and their bodies stretched out from there… so that their fingers pull at my skin—aching to be seen. They want to be heard.
I am these stories, not because I chose to be, but because they were born in me.
I am Lyndsi Shae.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Sometimes it is necessary to press-out the edges, flatten the spaces,
before putting it all away.
Or else, know that the decay will come,
and the colors will fade, and say goodbye.
Let nature eat up the remains.
These days I am flattening what I can, and relinquishing the rest.
I give them up to the burden of measurable time.
Ideas of people I thought I would love.
I hear them decreasing in the distance.
You are my wrinkled paintings.
I am lying with my book upstairs. That’s right, the upstairs apartment.
I look at the oppressively rectangular off-white curtains and feel their
oblique isolation—attached to that clinky metallic rod which
makes no statement whatsoever, except to be blank and uninviting.
I hate these curtains, and yet, feel bad for them.
I want to wake them up— I imagine myself attempting to do this, sharpie in hand, scrawling out all my questions onto the folds of ancient linen.
What are his intentions?
Why does the night ache?
Will I ever write a page that completes my pulse?
And why, why do people nuzzle in the library?
There are more questions, but you know…
...its not like I’d post my whole soul online.
I say this as a joke, because some kids think I do that.
Guess what though—there’s still a ton of pages concealed in my journ.
That’s right, not virtual pages—paper ones.
Ink. Paste. Spelling Errors.
Words you haven’t seen.
Maybe about you.
And now, if you're still here... Time for blurbs. These days I scribble on napkins and calendars and torn out syllabus-margins.
Recently, I cleaned them out of my purse and my room.
Here's a couple things I had to say on days before Friday.
the washing machine knob signaled that it was on RINSE.
I opened the lid, what does rinse look like?
Then, I saw it. I saw the deep rinse.
I lower my head down to smell the clear water.
A minute or so later, I open my eyes... realize that I am not floating in Lake Mo.
This is not a mountain spring.
Already my mind has run away from the kitchen.
Hi. I stick my face in washing machines,
and get lost in summer fantasy.
a three ring binder was passed to me.
I opened to a page where there was a space for my name.
LYNDSI SHAE BROWN.
Next are four columns: SPRING. SUMMER. FALL. WINTER.
This is the part where they keep track of me:
Where will you be? Will you be here?
Everyone always wants to know.
Usually, I'm wishin for the answer
much harder than the relief society binder is.
But not on Sunday.
No further soul-searching required.
I answer with four stars, which translates to YES YES YES YES.
No ? ? ?!
Just clarity. Stability. I will be here.
When does that ever happen?
This paper, in its many different forms,
has found me millions of times since I came to college.
Never have I stared it down with such surety of mind.
And still, why am I sure?
No idea. But I am. I am sure.
I am here.
Today, I am thankful.
I am empowered by my twenty minutes of scripture study.
I had to do this for a Mission Prep paper, otherwise
I know I would have kept rushing through the surface of the day.
Instead, I stop, breathe, think, write.
I feel the relief of my spirit.
I am alive.
Where have I been?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I am in the grass on a patchwork of blankets with the women of the Conexsh. My friend Cait calls this place Break Up Park, but no one here is leaving anyone else.
It is Sunday, and half of us are no longer opening our eyes.
All weekend I have been full of this feeling… with no sure words to describe it. This morning, Track*3 began with seventeen seconds of guitar chords—those chords show exactly how I’m feelin. Also, yesterday, I got my hair cut. I leaned my sore shoulders back into the sink. Eyes closed, I caught the smell of lemony shampoo and thought… Lemons: This feeling is like the smell of lemons.
Both of these conclusions yield no further answers, only sounds and smells.
However, there is one discernable change in my senses—these past few days I have been awake to my breathing, stretching, aching. I have become very aware of my body. This is new to me—to be in touch with my temperature, my muscle energy, my connecting bones. This weekend, I perceive my footsteps. I swim laps and feel the rhythm. Reach, CHURN, Kick, Reach, CHURN, Kick… my breath escaping into the water… my angling arms… I am a tribal drum inside of Gold’s Gym. touch. turn. pushhhh.
After the pool, I am rock climbing—my legs lend themselves to my arms. I am forced to find my center, and then send strength outward in four directions. Right. Left. Pull. Stretch. This too is a rhythm, a dissonant octopoda song.
Even my toes are connected to my wrists by a wriggling line that bends and contracts between them. I dig my fingers into a distant hand-hold, and feel something new as I pull myself upward— within my forearms, tendons stretch like strange vertical strings, like there is a fret board in my forearm. They are side-by-side, but pull me individually. I think they are playing the chords to Track*3—it pulses me, finally, to the top, where I look down at Brooklyn and say, without much thought, “I’m ready.” She releases the rope and I fall in waves back to the people below.
I have ascended. I am tying knots to do it again.
Last week the wind went yelling through campus. It was at my back, then slowing my path, then pulling me north.
We were everywhere, the wind and I. She stirred the dust of the earth, hazing the air between me and the mountains, distorting my view of everything far away. Students swayed inside of her puzzling path, awoken from their sleeping Wednesday patterns.
“ENTER HERE,” I heard her tell us.
“The coming days will shake your certainties. Blow around in the beauty of risk.”
She was permeating and without apology, like the neon scent of lemons. I look down and say, without much thought,
“I am ready.”
Since that day, I have been falling in waves.
Friday, March 13, 2009
is also he descended below all things,
in that he comprehended all things,
that he might be in all and through all things,
the light of truth;
As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun,
and the power thereof by which it was made.
10 And the earth also,
and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light,
is through him who enlighteneth your eyes,
which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.
not to mark the ending of a journey,
But to create
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Well, back when we were, um, dating? What was that thing we did? What would you call that really?
I can ask him here, because he’s here too, he reads this with you.
Well, whatever we were doing-- during that, his old girlfriend was in a faraway country. I knew nothing of her, but she was reading this too, she read with you.
And then she came here, and did that thing with him just like I did.
Now they are together,
the real way, the not-what-we-did way.
Yesterday, me and this girl decided to be friends.
I like her. I love her a little. Mind blowing.
Yesterday, I got two other little-letters from people, both confessing their readership.
I just didn’t know.
I had no idea you all were here.
Last week Sabrina showed me how to view the locations of my readers.
Does it freak you out a little? That you are my readers? Me too.
Is it weird to come to this page today, where I am not recounting my thoughts-- but speaking. Directly. To you.
Can you handle that?
26 people today. 71 so far this week.
Hello Spain, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Brazil.
Hello North Tonawanda New York—who visits daily.
Who are you people?
Who is in Idaho Falls, New Hartford, Little Rock?
Who is in Utica, Sevierville, Phoenix?
Come on, stick your hands into the fire.
Whoever you are, its okay that you’re here. You are safe here. This is public, and I know what that means. It means it can be your place too. But before it was yours, it was mine. It has always been from the core of ME. So why are you here? I ask this not with malice, but honesty. I’m just wondering why no one ever says anything.
Today I call you out.
Read my life, its okay. Then, contribute a piece of yourself. There’s a comment button down there, you know, if you want.
Thanks for reading.
I mean it.
Right here in my little basement apartment:
He feels my full heart.
Tonight I am angry. I am thankful I am peaceful I am elated in my happiness. I am face to face with finality—and its fluid possibility to never actually be final. I am tan. Finally. I am barefoot in my highschool jeans I am baffled and I am exploding with all of this. I swim in my own contradiction, thankful for the complexity of the woman I am.
I am so full of gratitude for my junior year of college. I am full of new knowledge. I learned about the culture of India and how to dance with the Hare Krishnas. I learned how to be best friends with a girl again, only because of a feeling that we should be. Three months later, I learned how to send that girl off to China. I learned the possibility of a boy who listens, who sees my metaphors, who sees me. He really did. But after that, I learned that it’s not enough for a boy to see me. I needed more from him. I learned about what I need. I learned how to watercolor paint and string seashell beads. I learned about nineteenth century England and the way literature saved society when they could no longer believe in God. I drove and sang at the top of my lungs for hours—to battle my sadness, to prove my freedom. I ate paste. I painted and etched pottery like nobody’s business. I spun across the ice at 45 mph, in the backseat, toward another car in the canyon; I closed my eyes and thought “I might die.” I found out how to miss someone that lives down the street. I taught myself how to install a showerhead, set up a video projector, and make a bomb shelter more fun than it is creepy. With my Dad, I finally began the resolution of what we’ve never talked about. I took my car towards the lake on the horizon, turning left and right with a feeling, until I found some water—and named it my writing place. I hiked down Timp in the dark. I learned that I can be alone. I drew lines. I found peace in my solitude, and ached in a beautiful way—to let go. God rejuvenated me. I watched my hope ivy grow out towards the light. I ran down my street with my pants at my ankles. I missed my Mom. I finished six journals. I learned that sometimes I am not strong, and that’s okay. I’m still learning how to admit that out loud. I found inspiration in my homework, and knew that that is what college is supposed to be like. I discovered my love for orchestras and concertos and sonatas and oh man, cellos. I learned about Romantic, Victorian, and Contemporary authors. I ate sushi. I kissed a firefighter who walked 24 blocks to come back to my house and do so. I wrote a sonnet, and felt trapped in the pentameter. I tested the boundaries of my bravery. I found out that my favorite tree on campus has a name… there’s a little inscription just by the roots that I never noticed before: THE FREEDOM TREE.
I am thankful for this year—when many of my own roots clarified their inscriptions to me.
So many words have come into my vision.
I am branches of learning.
I am the potential of three thousand rejuvenated leaves,
a faithful green.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Last night, it came. Right in front of my face.
I waited for something in me to freak out.
And then, nothing.
(I only wish I'd worn a hotter dress.)
I felt fine.
I still feel fine.
I am not sad anymore!
It didn't come back!
A physical manifestation of my freedom.
I went home, changed into my scrub pants, and tackled my Sabrina in sweet celebration.
I danced in the street, bought double-stuff oreos, and spilled my gratitude all over this town.
"Goodbye," I said to them.
I am no longer colonized by that part of my past.