Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Could I drop out of college to play with Brad?

Last night I took a bath.
I was on a mission to take the best bath in the history of time.
There was a playlist made specifically for this event.
There was a spiral notebook taken from the paper-drawer downstairs,
7 pages of which became full.
(Yes, I write in the bathtub. Are you really that surprised?)
I would love to post up the clarity I found, but there is too much backstory.
And sometimes I keep these things to myself.

I can tell you that today
I walked through the pet store with Brad.
It was his idea.
His winter boots were clunkin under his little legs
He ran from snakes to guinea pigs,
to sounding out the labels on the fish tanks:
"Guh-ol-duh-ehn Bobbies... Golden Bobbies! Those little guys are golden bobbies!"
His lips were blue from the lollipop he got at the drive-through bank today.
He hung out the window in the back seat and waved to the banklady two lanes away,
She was behind the window and he was discovering pneumatic tubes for the first time.
"Woahhhh!" he said. "Hey I can see you over there!"
"This is fun. Ya'll should come more often," she said.

Later in the car, he is rollin down the window and screamin
Because I told him that's what the crazy guy on the corner was sayin.
The southern man wavin his giant flag
in his star-spangled sweat pants and bandana.
He was probably screaming about politics that have
gone to the edge of the right wing and jumped ship.
But I just told Brad
"He thinks we're really lucky to live here. He wants to yell about it."
We drive by later that day and Brad wonders why he's not there anymore.
"Sometimes the police make those people go home," I say.
"Because they scare people away from the shops on the corner."
"I don't think he's scary," Brad says, blue lipped and dancin to the radio.
The light turns green and the man pops out of nowhere, still wavin his flag.
Brad rolls down the window.
"I LOVE AMERICUH TOO!" he yells as we turn left for home.

Being five years old is so dang cool.

I am thankful to get both.
To be the crazy college girl, tearing up in the bathtub with her journal and itunes.
And the big sister, running errands with the motor-mouth of curiosity.
In both roles, I spend most of my time trying to explain the world.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So Inclined.

1. I am home with my family.
I have been readin my old journals, I brought the last 4.
They start in late July.
I am trying to figure out how my life got this way.


3. I want to paint things.
I want my little brother to think he is smart.

4. I have a cat named Cutie. She is snoring on the bed. Corey named her when he was 6. Corey is on a mission now. He is 19 and almost to Nicaragua. This cat is old and ROGUE. She scratches at the door and we let her out, knowing she'll probably pick fights and come home with bald spots. I'm pretty sure she always wins. Sometimes we joke that she will never die. I always feel bad because I mostly ignore her, even though she's a survivor and I love those.

5. It is strange to come home, to think of all that I was doing last Christmas break and be shocked, again, over the changes. I will never predict my life.

6. Littering is a huge turn off for me.

7. I miss my friends. I've been too absent.

8. I have sat on my old bed for hours, writing out words that need to be recorded. Because I'm not so good at writing about actual events. I have pages and pages of how I felt about what was said, with no recollection of the original words spoken. Tonight I exhausted my memory until I could preserve it.

9. I believe in taking breaks from things that are hard. Breaks from homework and writing papers. Breaks from cleaning the house and breaks from thinking about money. But there are some things I will never walk away from. Some things I cannot justify breaking, not even for a day or two. Mainly if I love you. If I love you, I will figure it out. When it's hard, I will not step away.

10. I watch my little sister live. She wants her driver's license so bad she could tackle an army of crabby DMV employees. She wakes up early for seminary and can't watch the first thirty minutes of a movie without fallin asleep. She makes scrapbooks as Christmas presents and takes care of little Brad and cleans the counters and is tired from constantly standing up for who she is. She goes to parties and turns her music up loud. She is always sore from track or soccer. She won't date the boy she's liked since middle school because of the nasty things he wants to do with her now. This girl never stops. I know she is fighting so hard. Does she know?

11. I am so young in my learning. I am so bewildered with how big life is. Four journals ago there is a page filled with one fat question mark. I made it out of oil pastels and then explained that this mark of punctuation personifies my life.
I say "I am not ready to be adult and play multiple choice." 
I look at that page and read about all the paths I was considering. I read about cryin with my best friend Katie over what to do. I read but I know how it all turns out. I know that those questions resolve and then evolve to new questions... to the ones I'm writing about tonight. I know my life evolves in this way.

* * * * *

These are the first eleven things that came out of my mind.
I read over them and realize that even my random collection of thoughts remains centered on this idea that one must KEEP GOING.
I believe in forward motion.

"I chose and my world was shaken.
So what?
The choice may have been mistaken.
The choosing was not."
--Stephen Sondheim

It is in these periods of my life, these eras of choice and forward motion, where I feel most alive. Even if it creates a struggle, even if I am racked with complexity, I am creating my future. And so, I find myself more fulfilled than I would be in a period of indecision, of stagnant calendar weeks, of horizontal silence. Because surely if I am not reaching up, I am sinking down.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

This is Finals Week.

While I study, I keep a blank Microsoft word document open.

This is where I write all my thoughts, so they can have a place. 
Because when they don’t get a place of their own, 
when I don’t listen to them… 
they won’t let me study anything else.

Sometimes these thoughts are inspired by what I’m learning. 
Sometimes they are trying to survive, 
despite the irrelevance of things I’m learning.
These days, most if not all of my writing is done this way, 
right inside of everything else.

My laptop has almost no memory left.
So while I am typing, it struggles to catch up. Thoughts don’t actually appear on the screen until minutes later. It’s ok though, I can’t keep up with them either. So I understand.

On this page are short paragraphs and three word phrases.
Some are directed at certain people— words I have to say right now.
Some are just thoughts for sending outwards, towards anything.

There is a letter to God, so personal that I couldn’t post it for you. Not even because I am embarrassed for you to see that part of me, but because it is sacred to me. It deserves to be selectively exposed. Does that make sense to anyone out there?

Here are two pieces of what started on that page today.

Do you ever hear a few sincere guitar chords and suddenly remember everyone you ever loved? I am overcome with old questions, thoughts of the lake and the radio and saying goodnight.
That happened to me today. A lot of those times are over forever. A lot of them were later exposed to be less pure that I had thought. But it just doesn’t matter. All of them remain. All of them are capable of resurfacing. A few sincere chords. And there they were. I was sitting in the library. But I miss those people.

Is this normal?

Does anyone else’s heart do this?

Sometimes I feel very foolish just spillin my love everywhere, like I have no control where it goes. People are staring but I just can’t hold it all at once.

Like you know when you have a huge load of laundry? And you’re tryin to carry it all in your arms but you just know you can’t do it? I used to try in my first apartment, try to carry my clothes from the dryer, down the hall to my door. But my socks always fell and I’d have to go back to get them. I felt like that today in the library, like I was carryin my love around the fourth floor. It just showed up in my hands after I heard the guitar comin through my headphones.  I did my best to put it away. But it was fallin everywhere like my socks, the socks always do. If people had known all I was feeling, if it had shown up like laundry in my arms, I think they would stare. “Doesn’t she know that’s personal?” they would say. “Isn’t she worried that we’ll see? What if her underwear falls out?! This is the library.”
Sometimes I feel very foolish with my arms so full, but I can’t help it and I don’t want to.

Just see my love.
I saw an album title today: Love is red. It said.
He’s right, love is red.

* * * * * 

I am reading about Shakespearian times. 
There were letters with titles so long I laugh before I finish reading them:

"To the Noble and most Vertuous Princesse, Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, of England, Fraunce, and Irelande, Queen, defender of the Faith. Etc:"

"The Copy of a Letter Largely Written in Meter, by a Young Gentlewoman to Her Unconstant Lover"

I think about what my letters might be titled:

An Email To a Very Busy T.A. Who May or May Not Hate Her Life When I Tell Her That None of my Grades Have Been Posted Online And This Ofcourse Means All is Lost... Forever.

To My Brother Elder Brown, Who I Want so Bad to be Best Friends With Even Though I was Sometimes Mean to You in High School and Who Should Really Stop Being Obsessed With His Girlfriend Who Never Writes and Just Write Me Instead.

To the One I Have So Much To Say To, Here is Another Letter That I Will Write And Never Send Because I do This Almost Every Day Just To Help Me Figure Out What I’m Feeling. But No Worries, In a Moment Of Involuntary Honesty, Probably Within The Next Few Days, I will Say it All Outloud Like I Always Do.

* * * * * 

Sunday, December 6, 2009


My mind wants to get some things out before it falls asleep.
Some big things have happened. I haven't written them down yet.
That makes me feel like I can't write about anything else.
But I can.

Here's a try.

Tonight I saw an indigo coat at Target.
A coat is something I should ask for this Christmas.
Next to this coat, was rack after rack of bathing suits.
Some of which were fantastic.
None of which I should ask for for Christmas.
I tried on three.
Can't help it.

Tonight I am very inbetween.
In between what?
Thought and action.
Mind and voice.
Lonely and resolution.
I am tryin to ask the right questions.

I wear a ring on my middle finger, always.
Just underneath, I am missing a tiny piece of skin.
I am reminded of this when I stick my hands in
cold or hot water.
In either extreme, I flinch.
I am reminded of this when I hold on tightly.
I am reminded of this
every time my skin
is not ready for the intensity.
It is new, and it stings.
I lost this skin on Friday, while I was trying to climb rocks.
I like it. It makes me look tough.
I am tough, but I am not stoic.
It's hard to be reminded
that some things are still too intense for a straight face.
I flinch. I sting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Today the sun came through my window and I sat inside of it.
That means I was sittin on Brooklyn's bed.
She was on mine.
"Can you believe it's DECEMBER?" she asked.


My friend Claire says sometimes she looks at old posts from this blog.
I think that's a good idea.
So today, I did the same.

Who was I two Decembers ago?

Ironically, two years ago this time... I was writing about who I was years before.
Because there is something healing about going back.
But that phrase, going back, is misleading.
Because there is no backward. There is no retreat or regression.
It's not that I am stepping back from my current self in order to feel the past,
but that I am inviting that past to come forward. To me.
Inviting these two december voices, into one moment.
Today, full circle, we met each other.

Here's what I found: Collide. Kaleidoscope. 2007.