Thursday, April 30, 2009


It's 348 in the mornin.

Tonight I felt
empathy. nostalgia. bombardment. guilty. excited. thankful. muted. annoyed. calm. hungry. overwhelmed. sorry. warm. brown. confused. anxious. clean. cold. unfinished.

L e t i t g o.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I’m at the ocean. In Haceta. Instead of running and exploding from anticipation… I walk forward slow. This is where the river meets the ocean. This is where the tree fell. This is where the stones fall smooth to the wind. My elation is subdued by the quiet of the forest. I have never felt God the way I do on the coast of Oregon.

The ocean and the sand combine, but they are not the fullness of story. The history is in the trees. The Wet. The Growth. The Green. They grow forth from all angles in the wet living air. The moss below stretches down the mountain as I scribble scattered phrases onto my page...and know: that to truly be here would not be to observe, but to experience.
It would take months to find this place with words.

I am foreign to the black crow echoes living in this rock face. In North Carolina I take off my shoes and run down the coast. I dive into the waves. I am the sound of freedom. In Oregon I zip up my coat, breathe out, and let go of yesterday; my fire burns low and blue. In Oregon, my thoughts slow to the wind of another tribe, where gray is comforting and slow rain is a teacher.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'd like to say
that I am still a happy person.
Still adaptable.
Still sunny.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In my ten minutes.

I fear the attitude of descent.
I was a coward today.
Past braveries cannot avert this truth. Bummer, huh?

My heart is EVERYWHERE.

My words haven't reached me yet.
Until then, I hear a song...
"Come on... put your hands into the fire"
And I know there is something in that statement
that speaks to my circumstance.

I hate endings.
I'm not even movin away this year and still I feel sad that not everything will stay the same. Nothing will ever be the same. (How true is that?) I feel that every day. I write about it all the time-- revel in the change and soak up the potential-- and still, I hate them all.
Why do we diminish past human connection?
With all my talk of NO unspoken words, and searching for truth and bla bla BLA. I still do this. Why do we cut ourselves off from eachother?
(INSERT 3290-4539204-3201-34890214-3 ANSWERS HERE.)
Then, know that you still remain in the dark.
So do I.

My feelings are hurt.
I hate that that sentence isn't okay to admit, once you have past the age of six. They are hurt. I am a sad little girl in my barefeet, fakin bravery. Confess that. Do that. Say that.

I miss the ferry boats.

I am convinced that everyone has art
(music, words, colors, string)
in them.
Because everyone has a soul in them.

I am pukin out paragraphs and never getting to what I have to say. WHAT IS IT I AM TRYIN TO SAY? I am a hurricane on a day that most wouldn't feel the wind. You know what a hurricane is? A natural disaster. A chaotic combination of elements. I am ripping up the coast with no means to slow down. Can you feel me out there? Does it matter? Where is my masterpiece of clarity?


If I weren't so set on bein true to my mind, I might could ignore the mess. Instead, I search through its remains. The broken barometers. The new tenants. Instead, I am very aware of my complexities.

I am grateful still.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I am infinity,
so are we.
Endangered poetry.

T.S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruelest month," because of its awakening. "Winter kept us warm, covering/ Earth in forgetful snow..." But now our "memory and desire [are] stirring." With the melting of the cold, comes the waking of the truth. And then, there is no more hiding. Now: there is no more hiding.

Today I was humbled by the realization of my failings, again.

I was grateful for Amanda's bravery during her lesson, for how kind Stoph was while I was an emotional mess during sacrament, and the stability of my FHE kids sayin Heyyy Mama Shae.

In my mind, I saw a scene play out-- and realized how bad I wanted it.
The possibility was there, but not the result.

(T.S. Eliot wanted us to know:
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow.)

I was also a full circle of my changes, of a cycle that I cannot let conquer me.

Today I knew I was not the villain.

I was inspired.

Today I remembered what this chance could do for me, and it helped me place all other emotions.

Before bed I had to write sentences,
with a disjointed space in between--
because I could not bring order to my words.

I am infinity,
so are we.
Endangered poetry.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


What if there is a shard, 
even a benign fraction of you,
in all of my events.
What if you are in everything I create?

This is not a love song.
It is what scares the hell out of me.

All of you are in me, here. 
You are combining.

My Mamaw--------------My father.
My Katie -----------------and the boy.
Her countenance-------her distance.
How do I extract them from my fingerprints?
How do I keep the love and sieve out the ice?

As I turn up the slow chords of truth,
there   is   still   the   rhythm   of   fists.
Each takes on a life of its own.

Do I fight for possession of my path?
Or let you have a page
Let you have a piece 
Let you have me.

(I let you in.) You are a part,
and I am not ashamed of you.
But I am the whole.
And that is the love song.

Still, my public heart
is ready for more
and that is what scares the hell out of me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Shake

Sunday night Wayne and I were talkin' about food. AGAIN.
We discuss our daily meals at length-- Once, there was even a comprehensive analysis of the Wendy's Dollar Menu via text message. Sweet Glory!

"Wayne, if we last a long time-- we're both gonna get HUUUGE," I said.

And it's true. If you combine our unadulterated love of eating-- monstrous things will ensue. And by monstrous I mean
fantastically obese.

(Kinda Gross, but I think we're pretty cool.)

Lifeguarding Class.
Today I pretended to save an unconscious 18 year old girl. Her injured spine was straight between my forearms and I kicked at a 45 degree angle to the surface. Her name is Courtney and she drives her parents' Astro Van. When it was all over, she told me about this boy who was in love with her. Then, she saved me and my spine. But just before in the clear blue, the 12 silent feet between us and the oxygen was surreal. I think it was the sense of urgency, the incorruptible trust, the swishing of silent kick. kick. kick. back to life.

Finals Week.
Also surreal. I really have nothing to say about finals, only that there is something here with me this week. Or maybe, it is the absence of something. Summer has paused on our edges, not yet present but felt by those who wait, who need. Felt by those who know what it means. Who are starved for human connection and for a search of self-- which somehow, unintentionally, has been put on pause.

There is so much compassion in me. But blocked. Blocked by my distracted self-importance. If I could break down all that opposes it-- the anger and judgment, the pride and idleness-- I KNOW... that only clear purpose would remain. Only clarified direction.

Only healing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

To what I shall not say yet.

Saturday morning
I made friends with a lady in American Fork.

When people ask who she is, she speaks both her names.
Mary Ellen,” she says.
Like me.
Lyndsi Shae,” I say.
Mary Ellen wanted “someone young with a strong back” to help her do her Spring Cleaning.
So I came to her apartment, #113 -- “my unit,” she calls it.

I had assumed her request just an expression until I moved her couch and she said
Oh good, you’ve got a strong back.” I laughed a little.

Mary Ellen has 80 family members beneath her, which she will call to wish a Happy Easter throughout the next few hours as she mops and works along side me. There are pictures of them everywhere. She is making a strawberry cake for their Easter dinner tomorrow. There are pastel eggs in the kitchen and I imagine her here just days ago, setting out the Easter decorations for herself. It’s just her in this house, in her unit.

Before he died, Mary Ellen went on a mission to South Africa with her husband. She is thankful for the members in Capetown. “Protective,” she calls them, and “teachable.” Before that, they went on a mission to Kentucky. She doesn’t say much about this one, except that it was “interesting.” I think about Mary Ellen in Kentucky and laugh some more as I stand on the kitchen counter in my un-matching socks, reach to clean the top window, and try not to step in her strawberry cake.

I clean the windows first.

I just love clean windows,” she says. “They open up the soul of the house.
And from this one comment, I know we could understand each other.

After that I dust and vacuum and feel the calm of each room and its relics. There is a tribal whale on a tile, jumping out of an ancient ocean. An ivory carving. Mosaic glass lamps and crystal bells. And then, the birds. All over Mary Ellen’s house are birds. Not the creepy fake-feathered plastic ones— but glass ones, wooden ones, sculpted and painted ones. You wouldn’t notice their prevalence if you weren’t dusting under everything. That’s when you see them all. In a way, it is a shame to take away the dust—robbing each small memorial from its layer of time. That’s when I picked up the first picture of him. It was an old man, wise enough to smile like a child. I do not know his name, but I know it was her husband—because I felt the difference when I lifted these frames. I felt their reverence. He is 70, 30, 23 in these pictures—but each of them is undeniably him. It didn’t feel unfair to remove his dust.

She is writing his personal history and I think: How beautiful that he has someone who is trustworthy to do so.

She is bringing deviled eggs to the neighbors, namely Marilyn, an 85-year-old woman who is “well… difficult. Strong willed… but all alone.

Mary Ellen grows her tomato plants by the windowsill in the blue room. (There are two extra bedrooms. The other is purple. This one is decorated entirely in blue.)
In the center is an old striped recliner where I’m sure he would have sat. I wonder if it is for him.
Her sewing table is in here, and I imagine her working at it, trying to feel his presence.
The wind chime is in this room, though it would have matched the purple curtains better.

Maybe he liked wind chimes.
On the desk hang necklaces and bracelets of seashell jewelry and antique stones.
I think I love Mary Ellen.

I finish dusting under the stack of VHS tapes marked “Family Renuions,” and find a plate of unsalted crackers and 5 chocolate chip granola bars on the table. She put them out for me. Next to them is a carton of Pina Colada juice and I remember her
turquoise-tropically-patterned bathinsuit, which is hanging on the bathroom door. I wonder how similar we are. I wonder about allot of things, but I don’t ask Mary Ellen about them. Because there is something about this house—because I know we should preserve the mystery of what her life has been.

"It is a rare kind of time... the pause, hiatus, when the heart is like a feather... part of my thoughts is always crowding around the invisible umbilical cord that joins this world to something-- to what I shall not say yet."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The post no one cares about.

Hi. I'm on the floor all showered and clean and readin about Virgina Woolf.
People say she was nuts.
She was.

I love scholars for quoting little parts of her journal.
I love her.

"Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.”
she says.

Finals week is brutal.

What will survive my education?

My desire.

I believe in the literary practice , and I will fight for its voice.

I am eating cinnamon life.
I am nostalgic.

I am reading posts from 2007.
to the perpetuation of words.

“No living educational force can come to birth without passion for the truth, and it is precisely the absence of this passion that has sterilized our education system as a whole.” -- Martin Crusoe; qtd by Francis Mulhern in The Moment of Scrutiny Page 104. “[Literature] is less an academic subject than a spiritual exploration coterminous with the fate of civilization itself” -- Terry Eagleton; The Rise of English Page 28. "Every fairy tale offers the potential to surpass present limits, so in a sense the fairy tale offers you freedoms that reality denies. In all great words of fiction, regardless of the grim reality they present, there is an affirmation of life against the transience of that life, an essential defiance […] Every great work of literature is an act of insubordination against the betrayals, horrors, and infidelities of life" -- Azar Nafisi; Reading Lolita in Tehran Page 47

“It is time to experiment, time to leave the well-ordered but stuffy classroom, time to restore a vulgar vitality to poetry and unleash the energy now trapped […] There is nothing to lose. Society has already told us that poetry is dead. Let’s build a funeral pyre out of the desiccated conventions piled around us and watch the ancient, spangle-feathered, unkillable phoenix rise from the ashes” -- Dana Gioia; Can Poetry Matter? Page 24.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get these words out of me.

Thought Number ONE.
Today I had my last creative writing class.
There were three people I wanted to talk to before I left,
because I'd probably never see them again,
and they should know that they matter.
I notice you. You are inspiring.
This is what I was trying to say.

What I wanted to post, is what happened next.
Before I left, a girl turned to me.
She said something along the lines of what I said to these three other people.
But she was uncommonly genuine, and her level of insight shocked me.
You saw that part of me? I thought.
I didn't know anyone could see that.
I was comforted to know that I am visible.
Because I know who I am. I know my worth. But sometimes its shockingly relieving to hear that someone else also knows.

Here's the deal: Until about three weeks ago,
I had distanced myself from this girl.

I held a stupid grudge about
something she'd said earlier that I didn't believe in.

Sill there she was, seeing me,
genuinely looking for who I was.

And I, had blocked myself from seeing her.
Now she's gone.

Thought Number TWO.
After Creative Writing...
I was sittin on a bench outside the Wilk, bent over a notebook in my lap.
Black ink pen.
I was writing about the girl.
The first drop of rain came down-- and I had no idea until
It fell on the back of my neck.
And I knew that that must be the most beautiful place for the rain to make itself known to you.

"Cold cold water.
Evokes emotion.
Let it fall on me.
Cold Cold

That is what I wrote next. But you cannot tell what I meant, not from what you just read. You'd have to see it on the page, the ink running in the raindrops that ensued. You'd have to see the sporadic capitals in my handwriting and the sketch I drew next to them. Something is lost here in the void of machinery.
And then, seeing this page, you still may not feel it. Because coldplay and damien rice sing about cold water, and I write about it, and you think about it-- and for all of us, reality differs. How can I make you see my world?
That is what we are
to each other.

My page fills up with me, in those sporadic capitals.
I wonder, What has spun me into the woman I am?

And then, a little boy in a hooded jacked ran past... his family was shuffling to keep up. He looked at me on that bench and yelled "My brother is a DOOfus!"
And I loved
the blending
of life.

Thought Number THREE:
Tonight I was fixin my schedule at Sabrinas... cookin up some goodness.
I really like Mashed Potatoes and Corn.
This, I think, is a relatively healthy meal.
If you take out the cheese and butter and milk-- there is health left over.
Sabrina informs me that this combination is all starched up, and therefore will turn straight to sugar inside of me. You know what that is? A fat load of dumb that's what.
And there I was spoonin my potatoes in ignorance.
(Thought 3B:)
Has anyone else noticed a severe lack of butts on campus?
Its like the body part has failed to exist.
And I swear I didn't notice on purpose.
Is it the skinny jeans? Cause those make butts weird.
All cougs: please eat some mashed potatoes and get that mess goin.
K thanks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Um, study break for thought-spaz?

Just now I poured some Doctor Pepper down into a blue blue cup.

It foamed and bubbled and I was surprised— I hadn’t expected such a reaction.

I saw the foam rising towards me and realized—here it comes.
I was filled with a little fear just then, knowing that I must act.
I was past the point of preventing overflow…

But could I act in this next short moment—to control where it landed?

“Its Doctor Pepper,” I said to myself. “Chill.”

The urgency of the moment had overtaken me in the strangest way.

And I realized: that this feeling has taken custody of me many times before.
There is so much in me that can never be contained.

I am a child of the sudden overflow.

Where should I let it fall?

And now… back to my paper.

* * *

So I'm back. Have I ever told ya'll that I love my major? Because it's my soul. It will take me hours to write this paper because I'm so into the novel I'm writing about.
Words. Are. Rich.
Here's somethin:
"Since our extraordinary conversation I have thought of nothing else. ... I feel, I know with a certainty that cannot be the result of folly or misapprehension, that you and I must speak again-- " A letter from Randolph Henry Ash to Miss Christabelle LaMotte.


GAH I love literature.
I feel it in the nighttime here. I am bursting from who I was... from the girl I was just today-- into someone else. Did you see me tonight at FHE? Because I'm not even her anymore.
I sprint to keep up with myself.

Disclaimer: This is about a boy.

I got off work a few days ago and had a voicemail from Sister Baughan.
Sister Baughan is one of my favorite young women’s leaders from my NC days… she’s been tryin to set me up with her nephew for a while now. Apparently the famous nephew has moved back to NC because the big city wasn’t for him. “When are you comin back here?” she asks me. She thinks its time I met him.

In my head, I start to plan out my reply. One particular word seals-the-deal for why I’m not going out with her nephew. This word is “boyfriend.”

My general reaction to this title is
“I know, weird for me. But cool, huh?”

His name is Wayne. Sometimes he freaks out about all of it too, and that’s good to know.
For example: The other night he was real tired, and something like this fell out of his mouth:

“I’m layin here with you and thinking:
I’m dating Lyndsi Shae. This actually happened. Woah.”

“I know, weird. But cool, huh?” I'm not sure what I said outloud, but that of course, was my mind’s profound reply.

* * *
Jeff sat behind me in Creative Writing this week.
“So who’s that boy you were with on Sunday?” he asks me.
I tell him.
“But Lyndsi Shae, what will happen to your emo poems?”
I make him take back his choice of adjective, but then just laugh some more.

When I write about Wayne, it does not ache. I am not full of questions, I am not left anticipating. I am calm. This is new, relieving, comforting.

* * *
Wednesday night, we had a big talk about how we’re different from each other.
The weird part is that I’m not going to tell you about this talk at all. Nope. It’s ours.

I will tell you about the next Tuesday, when a great five minutes was spent rollin around, crackin up about together about the word “hash”. "Haaaaaaash. Corn beef HASh. Haaaaashbrowns." Ahahaha.

I will tell you that its great to label something ours.
There is no inhibition, no clamor of denunciations.
We are outloud.
The first time I realized this was in Salt Lake:

We were walkin down the street, and he held my hand.
I thought:
Does he realize that they can see him?! This means he’s with me. Like, the real-real way. It means all his other girlfriends will see, and on top of that, all of his potential girlfriends will see. Does he know what he’s doing? He’s ruining his chances with everyone else.
Oh my gosh. He does. He knows what he’s doing.
And he’s doing it anyway.
Right here in front of the whole city.


So then there's the weather of course, which is obviously relevant.
The night after Salt Lake we were in the livin room. It was quiet, and outside, the rain started comin down. It came soft, and was maybe a little embarrassed of itself.

“I know we haven’t had a lot of moments yet,” I said. “But I can tell this is going to be one of my favorite ones—me you and the rain.”
And then, a few nights later—there was the wind.
Howling. Violent. Crashing outside of us.
(Then Wayne went to Oregon for a little while, and I went to work.)
All over the road home, there was rain.
Deep grey clouds set low over the mountains.
But the sun also shone throughout the rainy haze, and the wind combined.
I drove home under the incongruent sky, remembering us and the wind, us and the rain, us and the sun—and now, all of them were present.
The earth is speaking, I thought.
Howling, contradicting.
I have no idea what it is saying to me, but I'm not scared.
I am curious, ready, calm.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I'm sittin in the library--
My hair is rainy today, it waves in slow remembrance of my walk home last night.
If you knew me, you'd see it and remember that this is what I'm like after the rain.
I am a slow pulse, the afterbeat of that staccato thought.

The music is in me-- it will not pass.

My laptop is at home, 19 pages of words.

They're ready for me.
Instead, I am here in front of this screen.

10 academic pages call my attention.
I am not ready for them.
Why can't my paper be about how I've felt for the past 3 days?
Please can I just turn in my journal? It's better.

I just need to say-- that I have a lot to say.
I am full, full-up with words.
I am full, full-up with growth.
And soon, 1000 people will have been to this blog.
What does that mean?
Soon, I will be swimmin in a pool and soapin in a shower and then talkin to him.
What does that mean?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Further West.

We faced the ocean.
“Should we run?” I asked.
And so he followed me, into the questions.
We could have quarantined the contradiction.
Instead, we swam inside.
I was Floating. Waiting. Trusting.
He was Sinking in his echo:

“Don’t get too attached.”

His waves came up and shrank back.
Promise and retreat.
Belief and indecision.
But never

Up, shrink back.
Up, shrink back.

“You can’t pick and choose what you go slow with.”

Up, shrink back.

I rode a wave into shore and then,
Then it was his idea:

There they were on the edge of the water, our drip castles in the sand.

They were his idea.

He was hoping to fall asleep in the transition and wake up with the answer.
But his sun never entitled him to conviction,
And with the morning, came only a plea for more time.
(One for me, and one for her.)
A neutral party in his own war.

But I loved building that sand castle,

I loved building that sandcastle, despite the coming wave.

My ignorance was washed away.
So was he.
For while he never spoke an answer,
there was a day
when I stopped waiting.

It was his idea.

I remain unapologetic for my intensity.
“Should we run?”

Up, shrink back.

Up, shrink back.

Promise & retreat.

And love said “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME?”

But he was drowning in his echo.