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"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy, permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." ~Jack London

Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Way To Write

Magnetic Poetry

Dance young.
Let your heart wake.
Open your mind.
Rejoice inside your body.
Throb with life.

Surround those dark translucent layers of sky.
Demand of them their secrets.
Trust their timeless sacred question,
Why not me?

Explore this.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Light Of Some Kind

I walked up the stairs and plopped down on the green wooden bench. Through the archway I watched the blustering winds blow the small, harsh snowflakes into a frenzy. They moved in every direction imaginable. They appeared irrepressible, lawless, wild. They flipped and spun and sang their freedom as though to do anything else would be a waste of time. They reminded me of such a truth. I sat and stared in silence as they danced within the chaotic whirlwinds like young lovers within the notes of jazz. It was beautiful. I smiled.

I took out my journal and reached for my pen. My fingers were stinging in the cold. The ink began to freeze underneath the cheap translucent plastic. I knew I had to hurry. I wrote, "It is snowing. I am so incredibly happy, for no real reason at all. It is just that I am here and alive and grateful." I closed the book and placed it back inside my oversized cherry bag. I sat there, quiet and peaceful in the eye of the storm, laughing softly to myself.

I am well aware that this next statement will sound lame, silly, and perhaps even a little bit dumb, but over the past few days I have suddenly found myself feeling very grown up. I have taken risks. I have dealt with situations with more courage and integrity than I ever knew I had within me. I have been taking care of myself. I have come to realize that taking care of myself doesn't mean that I am selfish, or that I should feel guilty, but only makes me more capable of taking care of others. The change has to begin with me. I have discovered that. I have been more calm and patient with my students, with myself, with those pieces of me that I am generally so quick to become frustrated with. I have sat down in silence and embraced those fragments of self loathing. I have not been afraid of imperfection. In fact, I have fallen in love with the idea.

In ways that are as simple as learning to take a hundred pictures and only get one that I like, to write a hundred pages and only be proud of a single word or phrase, to spend twenty three years on earth and only just now feel truly alive. I wake up in the morning, happy. I go to work and spend the first twenty minutes with my ipod on, dancing like a fool through the empty halls. I make plans for my evenings and stick to them. I go out to dinners and drink wine and have interesting, meaningful conversations. I reach out to old friends. I spend my free moments floating around the blog world. I support the arts. I sit on benches at train stations and write, and write, and write.

I have not turned on my television once all week. I have been eating when I'm hungry instead of just because. I have been listening to my body, what it needs, what it wants, what I can and should do for it. I have (as insignificant as it sounds) been wearing make-up to work, which is just another means of proving to myself that I deserve to feel pretty sometimes. I have felt pretty sometimes. I have answered every phone call, email and text. I have even initiated a few that were long overdue. I have not been hiding from people or events or my life. I have not allowed myself to feel awkward. I know who I am. I am one step closer to liking who I am. I am standing on the edge of acceptance.

My coworkers ask me what's going on. They tell me I am glowing. I smile and think, that is simply life brewing inside me. That is simply the radiating light of my pulsating heart as it rises and falls a million times a day. That is simply who I feel I was meant to be and who I feel myself becoming. I glow with life. I am alight with happiness. I am dancing within the chaotic whirlwinds like young lovers within the notes of jazz. And it is beautiful. And I smile.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


She asked, "when was the last time you cried?...."

One of my very close friends used to cry all the time. I would watch her eyes swell into small blue pools of sadness, and a dramatic single tear would roll perfectly down her cheek. Then another. Then another, as though synchronized to look a certain way. She cried delicately, the way women are supposed to cry. She cried from somewhere deep inside her, some soft and gentle emotional space that I kept locked within myself. Her voice never wavered. Her body never quivered. She never gasped for breaths. In fact, if it hadn't been for those tender tears dripping so easily from her eyes, you might never know she was crying. She cried in a way that made you want to hold her, protect her, love her forever. She cried in a way that made the universe stop, and listen, and understand. She cried in a way that could only be described as beautiful.

That is not how I cry. I am a loud-choppy-can't-speak-can-barely-breathe-pain-in-my-soul-that-needs-to-burst-free kind of crier. My face turns bright red. My expressions are not pretty. I am a mess. Which is why I almost never cry in public. In fact, I can think of three times I've cried in front of another person, and even then, I was fairly restrained.

When she asked when the last time I cried was, I realized just how long it's been. I don't mean tearing up. I tear up all the time. I tear up with joy, with an overwhelming sense of the beauty that surrounds me, with laughter, with hope. I tear up at books, and movies, and shows, and commercials, and blogs. I tear up whenever a child repeats something back to me that I have taught them, or says "I love you," or comes over to hug and kiss me for no reason at all. I tear up when I think of all the goodness and sadness of my past, my present and inevitably my future. I tear up when I think of all the goodness and sadness the world has to offer. I tear up thinking of the world, of each of us, of our journey here. I tear up at least a hundred times a day.

But crying is different. I have not cried, not shouted out aches, not felt the burning of tears upon my cheeks in at least two years. I have not allowed myself to embrace that kind of pain. I have not released the wounded animal of my being out into the wild to howl. I have kept it locked up. I have silenced it.

I think of how strange it was to leave your house on Saturday night and not cry. I think of how strange it was to feel so apathetic to something that seemed so crucial and defining. I think of how strange it was to not feel guilty about the only thing in my life I really have to feel guilty about. I worry about what that means. I worry about what kind of a person that makes me.

I should regret it. I should call it a mistake. I should spend my days hiding beneath my covers, crying into my pillow, repenting. But instead, I find no tears, and I wonder when they will come, if they will come. I wonder why they are so unwilling to rise to the surface of my being. I wonder if they are being trapped somewhere inside. I wonder what it will take to let them out, to set them free.

Because I know I need to cry. I know how good that feels. I know that I have stored up moment upon moment of swallowed sobs, and have no means of letting them go. I know that I need to let them go. I know that I need a release, a washing away of all of that unnecessary guilt, and pain, and self-inflicted suffering. I know that I need to drown out the deep rivers of my self doubt. I know that I need to flood the depleted oceans of my soul. I know that even though I do not pray, I am somehow, somewhere, praying for my tears to rain.

And I will take the storm lovingly upon my cheeks, embrace it, no matter where I am, no matter who I'm with, no matter that I will never be the kind of woman who can shed those perfect tears. For that, too, I will weep.

Monday, February 25, 2008

When A Busy Day Becomes A Busy Night

And I only have one thought, this is it:

Thank you for making me feel wanted.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


My mother was always trying to encourage our creativity. "Let's draw," she offered one rainy afternoon. The three of us sat around the kitchen table, quiet and thoughtful, pencils dashing madly about our pages with ideas. My brother was always the stronger artist. He takes after my mother that way. I remember looking over to see his beautiful portrait of the bowl of fruit in the center of the table, the lines curved just so, the shading immaculate. I looked over at my mother's portrait of our cat, Jasper. A few strokes of her hand, and there he was, alarmingly lifelike and perfect, created from nothing. I cannot remember what I drew, but I remember feeling that heavy pit in my stomach of disappointment and jealousy. Why couldn't I do that?

I took two music classes in high school and therefore had no room in my schedule for art. It saddened me not to be able to do it all, but knowing I lacked talent anyway, I didn't fret too much about it. I had enough on my plate at the time. Art slipped away from me. I have not attempted to draw since middle school, have not dragged a paint soaked brush against a canvas, have not immersed my hands into the softness of clay. I have not felt that drive to create.

In my early teens, I took to making scrapbooks of celebrities. I would strip the pages of magazines my mother bought and cut each one out to fill the large blank pages of my scrapbook. They would fit together perfectly like puzzle pieces, each edge lined to another in just the right way. I liked the way it felt to cover those pages in faces, to produce something unique, to create something from nothing, just as my mother had done. I liked the way it made me feel artistic, despite the absence of any intrinsic ability. Eventually those pages became the wallpaper in my room.

I awoke this morning feeling inspired. I decided to sort through some of my collections of things -- cards, ticket stubs, photos, notes, articles and ads I have saved. At the bottom of everything, I found a sketch pad I had bought years ago and forgotten about. I decided it was time to put it to use, and so I began to cut and arrange and glue things onto those blank pages. I began to fill it with things I love, with pieces of myself. I began to create something from nothing.

About an hour into it, I realized that I was creating art. I realized that art, like life itself, is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. It was so cathartic, combing through these little fragments of beauty I have collected along my path, combining them together, seeing a reflection of myself grow upon the page. I realized that art is a means of healing. It is a means of expression. It is a means of learning to love what we are capable of creating. I realized that having no real talent doesn't mean that I can't still participate.

Three days ago, I discovered etsy. It's been around forever. Most of my blogger friends use it, write about it, share pieces of themselves on it. I am only just now finding my way there.

I am so grateful to have opened its doors. I love the way it offers up this space to create, to connect, to inspire each of us to release the artist within ourselves. I love the way people have responded to its challenge to dig fearlessly into the depths of our souls and bring to the surface these tangible pieces of what we unearth there. I love the results of these searches, the way so many have found bright colors, wise words, beautiful pictures somewhere inside, the way they have so courageously brought them into being. I love what is being created here.

Using some birthday money, I bought myself this and this and this from Madelyn. And because she is a generous, beautiful soul, she offered to send me this as well. I am so eternally grateful. I am so in love with these pictures.

It surprised me to feel so connected to these photographs, to this art, to something I know so little about. It surprised me to discover that even if nothing tangible is ever made, even if nothing is created, there is still an artistic soul stirring somewhere deep inside.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Grateful Friday - Birthday Edition

That today I am 23 years old.

That I awoke to a blanket of snow.

That it was soft, inviting, and not the least bit icy.

That being a morning person means that I got to be the first one to make footprints in it.

Making footprints.

That school wasn't cancelled, because quite frankly, I wanted to be with my kids (even if there were only six of them).

That I think of them as MY kids.

Pajama parties.

Watching two year olds devour cupcakes.

Sugar highs.

Simon L. Rogers.

That his name appears exactly that way in my email inbox.

The beauty and kindness of those emails.

The beauty and kindness behind all of his words, his actions, his being.

That he fills the world with music.

That he fills my life with joy.

A beautiful bouquet of flowers and delicious cake from the parents of my students.

Feeling appreciated and loved.

Feeling like I have created my own kind of family.

My mom.

That voicemail.

The text I received from my little brother.

That he remembered.

That, despite everything, my father sent me a birthday card.

Endless cards - beautiful, funny, creative cards - that made me laugh and cry and burst with joy.

Bursts of joy.

Facebook comments.


Phone calls.


That we have so many ways to communicate love to one another, for one another.

Melissa McBride.

Our inside jokes.

The journey we are on together.

That even the two days I had to spend away from her this week were excruciating.

That it reminded me how much her presence, her friendship, means.

Friendship in general.

Love in general.

People in general.

Andrew Sharp, in particular.

Because of that message he left me.

Because he is my friend despite everything he knows about me.

Because he was the first person to ever make me feel deserving of something.

Because at least a hundred times a day I feel compelled to tell him how much he means to me.

And because he lets me.


Making new friends.

Reconnecting with old friends.

That I've returned to this space.

That I've written more posts this month than in all of 2007.

How good it feels to sit down here and write, and read, and connect, and feel inspired.




Two year olds.

Their daily reminders of goodness and hope and love.

That their lives revolve around believing in magic.

That at twenty three, mine does too.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Of Those Nights

Today I wrote a hundred blog posts in my head.

Now I sit before my computer and draw a blank.

Sometimes I just have to let things go.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Movie Script Ending

It is this constant joke between us. She calls me a baby. I call her an old lady. I know all about technology. She has good stories to tell. We laugh over the forty year gap between us, and how it makes us different, and how it essentially changes nothing about our friendship. We revel in the fact that we have so much to teach one another.

I have thought about death for as long as I can remember. Long before the first funeral I ever attended. Long before I understood about loss, and sadness, and suffering. Long before I considered what death would mean to those who continued to live, I had thoughts of it. Death meant something else to me then. It was an ending, a final curtain, a magnificent way to wrap up the story of a life. It was dignified and peaceful. It was scripted and rehearsed. It was every movie I had ever watched where someone had died with triumphantly wise words, with repentance, with forgiveness. It was the panning away of the camera as the sunset slid languidly down the hillside.

I have lived my life with the knowledge that someday I will die. It is not a want or need for death, but rather a simple acknowledgement, a small aching awareness inside me that at some point, this will all be over. My story will have reached it's end. I will take my final bow. I will no longer exist here on earth.

And so I have spent my life listening to the words of the dead, of the dying, of the people who have gone deep down deviating paths of their lives that I have yet to set foot upon, that I have yet to know exist. I listen to their advice. I listen to the lessons they have learned, to the things that they regret most in hindsight. It doesn't matter if they are a family member, a friend, a stranger, even fictional. All that matters is that they have something important to teach me, something important to say.

I listen. I open my ears, my mind, my heart to their offerings. I collect them within me. I decided, very young, that I would not repeat their mistakes. I decided that I would take their wisdom and let it soak into my life, let it transform into my own. Sometimes the things I say are generic. Sometimes the experiences I have, the lessons I learn, are no different from any quote about life ever posted anywhere. But more often than not, I am cliché because I am discovering the truth of their timeless honesty. It is not that I'm unoriginal. It's that I'm learning what it means to be human.

It is true; life is short. Sometimes, in the thick of it, it feels long and unbearable. It feels as though I have all the time in the world to do everything that I want to do and such endless possibility, such endless room for lingering, frightens me. Sometimes I wish I could fast forward to a place where I was comfortable, settled, defined. Sometimes I wonder if such a place or time exists for me. More often than not, I think I'll always be a little restless, and more often than not, I like that about myself.

Still, I know from listening, and partially from experience over these past few years, that time moves more quickly than any of us would care to admit. I know that each year arrives faster than the last. I know that it feels like only yesterday that I was turning 22, and before that 21, and before that 16, and before that the first big double digit number. I know that we've got our whole lives to do something, and that's not very long. I feel myself increasingly trying to slow things down, to capture moments, to savor this quick, fleeting life of mine.

I listen to the stories those forty years she has on me have brought her. I read between the lines of her anecdotes. I pay close attention to what she is saying, but moreover, what she is trying to tell me. There are treasures hidden there, beautiful jewels of wisdom and experience that I will add to the growing collection inside me. I will take these gifts. I will use them to learn my own lessons, so that someday I may find a friend who I can share them with. So that someday I may be the teacher as well as the student.

And because life is short, that day will arrive more quickly than I can anticipate. Because they understand things I have yet to experience, their stories are invaluable. Because death is a part of this journey, I intend to live.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Because Sometimes I Just Need To Vent

I took a deep breath. I bit my tongue. I went outside for some fresh air and perspective.

But when I came back inside and felt no better, I wondered how I could have let things get to this point. I wondered why I have spent the last few weeks denying my frustration, internalizing it, attributing it to one of my own many faults. I wondered why I have allowed this act to become such a habit. I wondered why I deny myself my emotions.

Not the happy ones, not joy or gratitude or awe. I know how to feel those. I know how to feel them more deeply and profoundly than most I have come across. I know what it means to be so filled with light and love that you feel as though at any moment you may burst with exuberant bliss. I know how to give myself permission to be happy.

It's annoyance, frustration, anger, sadness that are the problem. It's asking for help. It's admitting to myself that it's possible for bad things to happen that aren't my fault. It's reminding myself that I am human and that entitles me to feel the bad along with the good, the pain along with the joy, the imperfections along with the moments of divine transcendence. My humanness entitles me to my mistakes. It entitles me to tears and screams and pain. It entitles me to everything that life has to offer.

Why is that so hard to remember? Why is it that the moment I begin to feel frustrated or angry, I reflect it back upon myself? Why am I so quick to assume that it's something wrong with me?

I repeat this pattern over and over again. Then weeks have passed -- months, years. Then it seems too late to say anything. When I bottle it up, it grows, it evolves, it becomes this ocean of rage in which I drown. If I choose instead to share my frustrations, I then carry the heaviness of guilt that only gossiping can bring. Often the admitting of such ill feelings only makes me feel worse, feel more stuck, feel weak and helpless and unwilling to take the next step. Sometimes I don't know how I'll ever escape this cycle of guilt.

I am so tired of feeling guilty. I am tired of regrets. I am tired of allowing myself to feel like the bad guy in every scene, of stepping aside from people who are more self-assured, of being suffocated beneath my own self-doubt. I am so tired of being angry. I am so tired of wanting to be someone else, of wishing my life looked differently than it does, of trying to escape myself. I am so tired of denying myself things that I want and need and deserve. I am so tired of feeling undeserving. I am so tired of running away. I am so tired of hiding. I am so tired of carrying all the should haves, would haves, could haves. I am so tired of feeling the weight of things that went unspoken. I am so tired of feeling the constant nagging of the alternate version of me that I was supposed to be. I am so tired of feeling like a walking failed expectation.

I think of those moments bursting with joy. I reflect on those days so filled with light. I take a deep breath and fill my heart with their hopeful promises of brighter days, days when my soul doesn't feel quite so tired, days when I am awake, and alive, and lacking a single thing to vent about.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Signs of Spring

It was raining this morning. I bundled myself up under layers of clothing, assuming the bitterness of the winter wind was as cold and unforgiving as it had been for the past few weeks. Instead I opened my front door and discovered the smell of spring. It is a distinct smell; the scent of cool rain mixing upon the warm concrete, the scent of grass, the scent of warm nights in my youth spent dancing beneath the stars. It greeted me this morning with an endless supply of cheer and hope. It welcomed me into the day. It sparked within me something which had long been dwindling in the frigid dampness of winter. It ignited. It burned with possibility.

Last night I had a dream that I was packing the perfect collection of gifts to send to you. I cannot remember what the gifts were, not even why I had decided to send them to you, but as I brushed my teeth, I remembered how much joy I felt filling that box. I remembered the excitement of knowing you would receive them, and smile, and know how much I love you. I remembered what it felt like to consider how much I love you.

We've grown apart. I didn't think such a thing was possible, not when it came to us, not when it came to our friendship. But we are young. We are learning how to live, how to define our lives. Sometimes that means that our paths will not overlap in quite the same way, that our journeys will lead us in different directions. Sometimes that means that we will not be in the same place, emotionally, mentally, physically, metaphorically. Sometimes the distance between us is excruciatingly palpable.

And sometimes not. There are days, weeks, sometimes even months, when I don't think of you. Not even once. Perhaps that is a terrible thing to admit, but it also, in some strange way, speaks volumes about who I've become. I do not feel like a reflection of you the way I once was. I do not feel dependent on you to define me, to validate me, to be my purpose for waking each morning. I want you around as much as I ever have, but I don't need you around to survive. I don't need you to set the tone for my life.

I am learning to do that on my own. I am learning how to take action, how to identify what I want out of this life, how to open my front door and invite spring inside. I am learning to find the assurance I sought from you within my own heart. I am learning what it means to listen to my spirit. I am learning what it means to be brave. I am learning what it means to be exactly who I am. I am learning to love my life, like you.

You will always inspire me. You will always be the one who DID inspire me, to take those risks, to dive into each day with all of the passion and love and good intentions a person can summon. You will always be my fellow seeker, of the world, of it's beautiful offerings, of souls, of this adventure we call life. You will always be my friend. You will always be with me.

Because this morning when I opened my front door and could taste spring upon the tip of my tongue, feel it soaking into every inch of my skin, sense it wrapping itself around my heart, I thought of you. I thought of the warm nights spent by your side. I thought of the conversations we had beneath vast darkened skies. I thought of your laugh, your voice, your delicate words of wisdom. I thought of how I curled into them the same way I curl into the comfort of signs of spring. I thought of how both set me ablaze with promises of hope, rebirth, an awakening of the spirit. I thought about how I filled a box within my soul with these gifts you once gave me, and the way they make me smile, and the way they remind me how much I love you.

I thought of how I opened the front door expecting to find winter, and my old life, and my old self, and instead found spring -- and you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Note On Love

Yesterday I got thrown up on.

I picked her up, asked her how she was, told her I adored her, gave her belly a loving tickle. She giggled and then, there it was, half digested macaroni and cheese and huge chunks of red grapes, sliding down my chest, imbedding itself in my freshly washed hair. I felt the slimy, smelly mixture move down my shirt, getting caught inside my bra, sitting there, wet and heavy and undeniably gross.

I tried to run her to a sink, but we didn't make it. Instead she continued to leave a trail all over the classroom rugs. When we had finally reached the sink, she had nothing left inside her, and so I stripped her down to her pull-up and washed her off. She was shaking. Her bottom lip trembled. I hugged her. I told her everything would be alright. I gently pulled half chewed grapes out of her baby fine blonde hair. I showed them to her. We laughed.

Half an hour later, after we had found her new clothes, after her mom had come to take her home, after I had scrubbed down the rugs and moved the rest of the children to another room, I started to clean myself off. I changed my shirt, I rinsed my hair out, I hosed myself down with extra baby wipes. The scent still clung to me.

A few hours later, I texted the friends I was going to meet when I was done and told them I would be a little late on account of being puked on. They were both completely tickled and disgusted. When I finally arrived, one of them opened the door and asked "Weren't you so mad? Did you just want to smack her?" I laughed accordingly.

Yet as I followed her down the long hallway to the apartment stairs, I thought about how truly NOT mad I was, not annoyed, not impatient, not even really all that disgusted. I thought about the look of repulse my friends give me when I admit to them that part of my job is potty-training, that I spend part of every day changing diapers, and also the look of confusion that follows when I tell them that it's really not so bad. I thought about the way the most gruesome of acts pales in comparison to the power of love.

Because the truth is, it's not that I have a strong stomach for these kinds of things, it's that I would do anything for the people I love. It's that taking care of them, for better or worse, is just a way of showing them that I love them. It's that it's so easy for me to love them.

I think then about standing in that small dilapidated room, spiders marching up the peeling grey paint on the wall, her dress and skin soaked in the spilled Iodine. I think of his trembling hands and the way his breath smelled of cigarettes and cheap Indian beer. I think of the look of hesitation in his eyes.

And I think of the way I had spent all afternoon driving with her from hospital to hospital, trying to find someone willing to see us. How I had run up and down the stairs of this hospital asking anyone and everyone for help. How it was the one and only time in my life I can remember not being afraid to ask such a thing. How so many people walked past without even acknowledging me because I was white, a woman, an outsider. How that was the first time I had felt such a thing. I think about how none of that stopped me because I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to help her.

I snatched the needle and thread from him. He didn't protest. In fact, he looked almost grateful and relieved. I put four stitches into her leg, gently tugging after each to make sure it was tight, feeling the resistance of her flesh as I placed the pointed needle into it. I tied it off. I placed a bandage over it. We paid our forty cent doctor's fee and left, and it was only hours later, sitting in the back of a rickshaw, dehydrated and exhausted, that I realized what I had just done, what I could do, what loving my friend made me capable of.

I had been fearless. I had been strong. I had been brave. I had been all of those things that I never experience myself as being. My love for her allowed me to be that person. Loving her allowed me to forget all of the pettiness of my self doubt, my fears of being judged, my worries of acting appropriately. Loving her saved us.

And I think of that day when I am changing dirty diapers, wiping snotty noses, washing throw up from my hair. I think of the way my love of people, for people, makes me stronger than anyone would guess.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Falling Is Like This

I held the ladder as he climbed. He reached his arms high to fix the tile in the ceiling. I looked up to watch. His shirt was untucked, and for a moment, I caught a brief glimpse of his stomach. It was an ordinary stomach. It was what you'd expect a sixty year old man's stomach to look like. There was nothing strange about it, and yet, seeing it somehow changed everything.

I remember thinking, even then, how odd it was that he should be so ordinary. How peculiar to think that underneath those clothes he had a body just like anyone else. How curious to know that he was simply human.

Because before that moment, it hadn't occurred to me that he was, a thought I hadn't realized until I saw that small flash of skin, that small reminder that we were created the same way. This was before he confided in me about his love interest. This was before I made visiting his apartment a regular occurrence. This was before I understood his loneliness and struggles, before I understood my own loneliness and struggles. This was before I understood what it meant to live a life.

This was the first time he fell. As he stood there on the ladder, I felt the pedestal I had placed him on within my mind slip from beneath his feet. I felt the heaviness of his body hit the floor. I felt the earth move. And within me, something changed. I looked at my mentor. I looked up searching for answers in his face, as a child does, as a hungry animal looks at its owner to plead for food. I needed something from him. I needed for him to look back down at me and have the answers. I needed him to still be the person I had created out of faith.

But when he glanced down and smiled his knowing smile, it was different. He was different. I was different. And we stood there, two adults with too many questions and too few answers, looking at one another as if for the first time. Of course, he couldn't have known what I was thinking. He couldn't have known what I felt in that moment, that great crack in the universe, that great shattering of an ideal, but it certainly felt as though he did. It certainly felt as though he understood that his days as a superhero were over, that he would have to turn in his mask and cape, that he would have to settle now for a more simplistic human identity. It seemed to me that he was okay with such a thought, and I realized that I was too.

It is funny to be reminded that you are just a girl, that he is just a boy, that we are all just human. It's funny the way admiration creates this aura of invincibility, of nobleness, of heroism. It's funny the way we create small Gods in the people we love. I think of this as you list for me your faults, as you inch the pedestal of infallibility out from under your feet. You fall. You rise. And then we are just two people standing side by side, broken and vulnerable, honest and real, open and beautiful. Then we are just two people whose imperfections are perfect.

And it is only after you have slipped from grace that I realize the depths of my love for you, how I could be perfectly content to spend the rest of my life falling into such an abyss.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!




Just to remind us that we live in an endlessly beautiful, love filled world.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I was awakened at one o'clock this morning to the sound of ice being crushed and shoveled outside my window. I was tired, confused, annoyed. All I wanted was to sleep, and even knowing that they were just doing their job, even feeling compassionate that they had such a job, that they were stuck outside shoveling snow at 1am, I was still angry. I still just wanted it all to stop.

As I left for work four hours later, I discovered my car was completely cocooned in ice, and of course my scraper was nowhere to be found. I spent twenty minutes standing out in the freezing rain, chipping away a thick layer of ice with the top of a water bottle. By the time I sat down behind the wheel, I was completely drenched from head to toe.

At WaWa, the woman standing next to me spilled her piping hot coffee all down my leg. Had I not been freezing, I might have minded more. She apologized profusely as I continued to tell her not to worry about it. These things happen, after all. Still, I pulled into the parking lot at work twenty minutes later than I would have liked, drowned in the extremes of temperature.

The parking lot was frozen. I skated carefully across it, holding my coffee at arms length to avoid further spillage, thinking to myself how it would only be funny to fall if someone were with me. Alone, it was simply sad and pathetic. Alone, I was just a klutz in a slippery parking lot.

I made it safely inside, feeling very proud of myself. At least most of my morning children would be late as well. At least I'd have some time to just sit and drink my coffee, read my book. Maybe all this bad weather was for the best. Maybe it would give me a bit of a break.

I unlocked the door, turned on the hallway lights, clocked in, opened the door to my room and felt the familiar splash of my boots against the floor. Flood. I put my stuff down and waddled through the pool to the light switch. It wasn't SO bad. We've certainly seen worse. Still, the hallway and a good portion of my classroom were underwater and I knew that I would not be getting any kind of a break.

I called my boss. She was great as always. I told her we'd be able to handle it, that I had faith in us. My best friend there showed up and together we attempted to soak up the water in any way we could think of. We stopped and looked at one another and asked "how is this our lives?" before breaking into hysterical laughter. We laughed for a good ten minutes before giving up on the water completely and returning to the endless barrage of phone calls from parents, wondering if we were open. With a heavy sigh we'd respond "yes, we're here."

Eventually things worked out and the day continued on. Still, beginning that way pulled all of the patience we had from me. Being stuck inside for the third day in a row with eighteen energized two year olds was driving us all a little crazy, and by the end of my shift, when Sadie climbed inside the trash bag filled with toys and looked over at me to tell me she felt like garbage, I couldn't help but laugh. I couldn't help but think, yes, me too dear friend. Me too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tangled Wings

Dearest Michelle,

Thank you. Thank you for the wonderful words you wrote to me tonight. Thank you for responding to me at all. I had no idea what you would think of my email, if you would think of it, if it would mean anything to you. I suppose what I feared most was not my own truth, was not admitting how greatly I missed you, but facing the realistic possibility that you didn't feel the same way about me. I suppose I feared I would be too late. I suppose I feared I had grown unworthy of your friendship.

Discovering you out in this blog world changed the way I write. Reading your words changed the way I think about things, the way I pay attention to the life around me, the way I articulate the inner workings of my soul. Being able to open this space filled with your beautiful poetry and photography, your beautiful self expression, has meant everything to me. It has given me strength when I've felt weak, hope when I've felt lost, inspiration when I've felt as though I had nothing left to give. Your endless talent and vast depth inspires me to be a better thinker. Your courage and honesty inspires me to live a better life. Your blog inspires me to be a better writer, a better woman, and a better person. Discovering you out in the blog world changed the way I live. Knowing you has changed my life.

I like that you noted how I was asking for what I need. It's been the mantra of my life lately, the lesson I am slowly trying to learn, the goal I am working so very hard to reach. People seem to think that honesty is never a problem for me, but that is only because I stick to topics that are easy for me to be honest about. Asking for help, admitting I miss people, reaching out for a hand to hold, are the kinds of truths I still struggle facing each day. I do not know how to say I need you. I do not know how to tell you I am hurt. I do not know how to express I miss you beyond those words, and those words are meaningless when it comes to the way it feels to miss you.

Which is not just you, but a universal you, a past you that existed during a past version of my life. Slowly I am learning that letting go is not always the means of moving forward, that sometimes the future is about reconnecting with the past. Because the truth is, you think of me in Barnes and Noble, and I think of you every time I am inspired by a wonderful poem, or a line from a book, or a single word that leaps out at me from some idle page somewhere. I think of you when I think of old friends, of people I miss, of people I regret letting go. I cannot move forward when I am stuck in the present, missing you.

You are so right that guilt just adds a lot of unnecessary and unneeded heaviness to our lives. I am burdened with guilt, consumed with it, and that enveloping of my soul in such a useless emotion only leaves me feeling guilty about feeling guilty, about allowing myself to be endlessly plagued by something I know to be such a waste of time. Writing to you, being honest with you, was a way of lifting that heaviness. It was a way of apologizing, yes, but also a way of allowing a truth to surface, of setting myself free of the daily reminders that I lost you. It was a way to say all of the things I think about each time I sit down here to write. It was my way of saying I miss you, beyond those three little words.

And to receive your email tonight, to once again read your words beyond your blog, to know that, even for an instant, you thought of me and missed me too, means everything. It means everything to reconnect with you. It means hope. It means forgiveness. It means my life is undoubtedly about to change once more, for the better, because of you.

Because I have been blessed enough to find you out here in this blog world. Because I have been blessed enough to have phenomenal you here in my life. Because I am in awe of you in every way.

Because I am so grateful that you are exactly who you are.
All my love,

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Need You

I stole this idea from Michelle because I think it's beautiful, because I think it's just another way of defining oneself, because I think, sometimes, on a freezing Monday afternoon, that's all anyone can ask for.

"...I need you to see me...need you to find the beauty in me..."

...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I hate umbrellas...because I believe we were meant to get wet in the rain...because I have an irrational fear of getting my eyes poked out...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I have a closet full of shoes and would rather be barefoot...because the feeling of the earth beneath my toes is one of life's greatest pleasures...because I tattooed "write your life, live your writing" on my foot in french, just because I could...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I consider children to be the most exquisite thing in the universe...because I never tire of their tiny laughs or kisses or smiles...because everything they do touches me so profoundly I feel like bursting into tears a hundred times a day...I need for you to find beauty in my love of language...not what I read or write or say, but in the sense of comfort the acts of reading and writing and speaking provide me...I do not need you to love language, but I need you to love that I love it...that I need it...that I consider it an essential tool of survival, of happiness...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I like to be alone...not to feel alone, but to be alone...I like to have quiet time for self reflection and I need for you to understand why that's important, why that's beautiful...I need you to understand that my silence is not always a means of hiding...that sometimes it is about gathering things in my memory...that sometimes it is about restoring my memory, my mind, my soul...I need you to understand that when I am sitting quietly beside you, I am collecting you...I am tucking you away somewhere deep inside me...I am savoring our time together...I need you to think I'm beautiful because sometimes I need for you to compliment me...because I never learned to take a compliment well...because I could use the practice, the validation...because sometimes I depend on you to validate me...I need you to find beauty in my search for self acceptance...even if I am far away from such a goal...I need you to think my search is beautiful...that even to embark on such a journey is beautiful...that my longing for such self improvement is beautiful...I need you to think that there is beauty in the way I listen...in the way I take in other people's stories, hardships, joys...I need you to understand that I carry their emotions with me, often longer than they do, often more deeply...I need you to see that my whole existence is about feeling what other people feel...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I laugh loudly and at inappropriate times...that I can fill entire rooms with that sound...that I have often embarrassed myself with such a capability...I need for you to find beauty in my embarrassment...because it happens often...because I cannot find beauty in it myself...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I could spend hours, days, weeks sitting outside and be perfectly happy...because at any given moment the vastness of the sky can leave me feeling both insignificantly tiny and amazingly grand...because the grass and trees smell more heavenly to me than any other scent...because the smell of night tattoos itself onto my greedy skin...because my skin is greedy for such aromas. I need you to find me beautiful because I could get lost for days in a journal...because if I could do nothing else, I would write down every thought...because I am not conscious of my thinking unless I am writing...because it feels like I am wasting my time if I am not recording it...I need you to find beauty in my shelves of books...and I need you to find beauty in the fact that I have not read them all...that I can walk into a bookstore and buy twenty books at a time...that it will take me months to read them all...and that knowing that doesn't stop me from buying more in the meantime...I need you to find beauty in my need to be surrounded by books...in the way I associate them with being home...in the way they remind me of where I came from...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I was born and raised in Philadelphia and have yet to see a single Rocky movie...I need you to think I'm beautiful because all of my favorite love stories do not have happy endings...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I believe in happy endings...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I do not know what I believe in religiously...because my thoughts on God change daily...because your not believing only makes me want to believe it more...I need you to find beauty in my desire to be a good person...I need you to see how hard I am trying....I need you to think I'm beautiful because I am open, honest, loving, loved...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I cannot get enough of this world...because the more I see, the more I want to see...because the tiny details fill me with as much joy as the big pictures...because I notice more than what meets the eye...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I live with an open mind...because I try my best not to judge...because I think our differences are equally as important as our similarities...I need you to find beauty in my strives to help others...in my lending of money or a hand or an ear...in my wanting to help in any way I can...And mostly, I need you to think I'm beautiful because I don't...because that's never a word I would use to describe myself...because I can and do see beauty in everything except who I am...I need you to think I'm beautiful because I am still learning how.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Feels Like Home


We've been discussing the colors we will paint our walls, some complimentary bright pastels to match our personalities, something soft and loud all at once. I think about the shade of lavender I picked for my new room all those years ago. I wonder what was happening then that I was unable to see, what conversations were being had behind closed doors, what was being screamed through the silence.

I remember how excited I was to move into a bigger room, to have an entire wall made of closets, to get this chance at a new beginning. I remember feeling grown up. I remember feeling, for the first time, like I had a room all my own. It went through so many changes over the years. I rearranged it more times than I can count. The walls transformed from tapestries of celebrities to pictures of my friends, ticket stubs, birthday cards. The room itself became a testament to the definition of me. I planted myself there. I called it home.

I don't think about the house of my childhood nearly as much as I had ever thought I would, but when I do think of it, I find that I know it as thoroughly, as intimately, as I have ever known anything. I can recall every inch of it. I can feel the imperfections of the walls beneath my hands. I can close my eyes and see our living and dining rooms, both before and after the walls that doubled as bookshelves were removed. I can feel the cold smoothness of our kitchen floor. I can anticipate each squeak of the floorboards. I can know, assuredly, that this once was home, and that I loved it as such.

I have moved four times since then, each time surrounding myself with the little pieces of me that I can't seem to let go, each time thrilled by the idea of a new beginning, each time telling myself that this is my new home. But more and more, I find that I leave my walls blank. More and more, I discover that fear of becoming too comfortable anywhere. More and more, I grow accustomed to this nomadic life.

I have no home. I have no childhood room to return to and explore, hide, rest easy in, waiting for me with open arms. I have only the memory of such a place. I cannot go back. I can only move forward.

And the truth of the matter is, if given the choice, I wouldn't go back. The significant changes in that house were not the removed bookcases or the transformed walls. It was happened within them. It was what happened to the people, the family, that lived there.

At our final yard sale, where three of the original four of us stood all day selling off the trinkets of our childhood, I began talking with a woman who had returned for the third time to buy our sleds. She had just gotten married. She was about to start a family of her own. "I hope you don't think I'm crazy," she said at the end of our driveway. "It just seems like you have the nicest family. You have what I want." I smiled. I restrained myself from telling her the truth. To this day, those words haunt me. Not because she had gotten it wrong, but because we were that once. We were what my parents wanted. We were what most parents want. We were the family - a mother, a father, a brother, a sister - who had played together in our big backyard with our beloved family dog and cat. We were that ideal, somehow.

And then, somehow, not. I cannot remember the shift in things. I honestly didn't know anything was changing until that night my parents gathered us together to tell us they were separating. I honestly didn't see it coming. Nor did I know what it would mean for my future. I couldn't have known then that I would spend the next four years trying to uncover clues in my past, trying to figure out where things went wrong, trying to understand love and its loss. I couldn't have known the secrets that would rise to the surface, or the deep, harrowing ways they would effect me. I couldn't have known that nothing would ever feel safe or simple in quite the same way. I couldn't have known that I was forever losing that comfort of feeling home.

Since then, I haven't allowed myself to get too comfortable anywhere -- in new homes, in jobs, in relationships. It would be easy to say that I lost faith in things, but that isn't the case. I still believe in comfort, in love, in happiness. I still believe that it's possible to have a happy life, and more than that, it's possible for ME to have a happy life. I still believe that one day I will be able to accept and forgive my past. I still believe that one day I will be able to move forward. I still believe that my walls will not be blank forever.

Even now, as we spend mornings discussing the possibilities, I have hope that I will one day find something that feels like home.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Another Grateful Friday

That when I asked him what he loved most in the world, he answered "boogers" without skipping a beat.

Returning to work.

Feeling better.

My mom.

The love and support of my coworkers.

That she confided in me.

That we share a secret.

That it only makes me love her more.

That as I returned the shopping cart to its row, I thought about how we are all connected in these small, intimate ways -- ways as simple as sharing a shopping cart.

The beauty of such a thought.

The beauty of such a truth.

Our connections.

The text from you today.

The efforts we are making to be kind to one another, even if we don't necessarily spark.

That she offered to buy me lunch.

This video.

That you are getting ready for your first real adventure into the world.

That there are sure to be more to follow.

That you deserve it more than almost anyone I know.

And the discovery of this.

That my birthday is exactly two weeks away.

That it lands on a Friday.

That it is just another excuse to be grateful for this little life of mine.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I returned to work today for the first time since Friday. It felt good to be back. It was the most human I've felt in almost a week.

All of our kids looked older somehow, as though they'd grown up over the few days I was gone, as though I hadn't been able to notice their growth until I stopped watching for it. Children are funny that way. One minute you're holding them in your arms, rocking them to sleep, and the next they're out on the playground, outlining the rules of the games for anyone willing to listen. Time really does move so very fast.

I was thinking exactly that as I gave him his afternoon bottle. I nuzzled my face into his little cheek. "I remember when you were just an idea," I whispered. And I did. I remembered clearly the day his mother told me she was pregnant, long before we knew he would be a boy, long before we knew what his name would be, long before we knew he would be so beautiful. I remember how excited she was, how excited we were for her, how honored I had been that I was the first person at the center she had told. I remember how just the idea of him brought so much joy.

And as he lay snugly in my arms, gulping down his milk, I thought about how that felt like both a lifetime ago and only a single moment ago, a single blink ago. I closed my eyes for a second and a new life arrived. I stopped paying attention and an entirely new world was created. I reveled at his tiny nose, at the perfectly deep pools of his eyes, at the way his diminutive five fingers gripped so tightly around one of my own. "You have brought so much joy" I thought, "you are a miracle."

I marvel at all of the little brothers and sisters whose arrivals I have been fortunate enough to greet. I am so grateful to watch the process. I am so grateful to have a job that revolves around this idea of birth, of new lives, of new beginnings. I am so grateful that so often there I am reborn, revived, renewed. I watch my little students take in the process as well. I listen to their excitements and concerns. I am enchanted by their pride, by their promises of unconditional love to people who have yet to come into existence. I am in love with their faith, their innocence, their trust in things that I have come to doubt. I am so grateful to have them as reminders of all that is not lost.

I think of how I was their age when my little brother came into existence. I think of the people who were involved, who shared in our joy, who loved me simply because I was a child, simply because that made me deserving of love. I can't remember them. I wish that I could. I wish that I could believe, in some small way, that someday when they grow older, these young souls will think of me, will remember the way I loved them, simply because they were children who deserved love. But I will understand if they don't. I will understand what I am slowly beginning to learn now, that these are not their lessons. They are mine.

Their lives have changed more over the past seventeen months than mine has. Their lives will inevitable change more over the next seventeen months than mine will. I am beginning to settle into definitions of myself while they are still creating galaxies inside their minds. But I am learning what it means to combine the two. I am learning how to take the ideas of pride, of trust, of unconditional love and mold them to fit the real world. I am learning how to intertwine my wisdom and responsibility with the child in me who likes to dance barefoot in the rain. I am learning, not how to separate, but how to balance the beauty and the sadness, the highs and the lows, the miracles and the realities. I am learning what it means to walk that fine line between genius and madness, between skepticism and pessimism, between foolishness and hope. I am learning a little thing called faith.

I look down at the tiny hairs on his cheeks. "Someone created you out of nothing," I think. "Someone knew, undoubtedly, that having you here would make things better. Someone loved you before you were even an idea. Someone believed, long before you were born, that you would be this miracle."

And they were right to have such faith.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


**Photo by Simon Rogers**

I've been sick with a sinus infection since Saturday and haven't gotten a chance to write. Actually, I haven't gotten a chance to do much of anything but sleep. Slowly the antibiotics are starting to take effect.

I had assumed that it was a cold that would go away on its own, that time would heal everything, that there was no reason to seek help. I had assumed that, like most things in my life, I could handle it. I could take care of myself. I could curl up and hide away from the world. I could become rejuvenated within the comfortably quiet rooms of my apartment. I could hibernate.

But when I awoke on day three and felt no better, I called my mother. I needed a ride to the doctors, but later, waiting by the door for her to arrive, I realized that I needed more than that. I needed to feel taken care of. I needed to BE taken care of. I needed to be beside someone who loved me even at my worst. Waiting by the door for her to arrive, I did not feel like a woman waiting for her friend. I felt like a little girl waiting for her mom.

It's been a while since I've felt that way. Not because I don't love my mother, not because she isn't my friend, but because she is. Because more and more I've thought of her as a friend, because less and less I've needed her as a mother. Which I suppose is just part of growing up. She's taught me well. She's taught me how to be independent. She's taught me how to survive. She's taught me how to exist without her, a kind of bittersweet, selfless lesson that only parents can teach. It's a difficult feeling, to both want to be needed and to want to be certain that things can continue on without you. So much depends on our little lives.

I've been thinking about you lately and what our ten years of friendship has meant. There have been times when I have loved you more than I thought it was possible to love, times when I carried you within the routine of my daily life, the curves of my smile, the depths of my heart. There were times when I was sure that to not see you each day would be the end of me, of us, of the bond we had devoted such endless effort to building. There were times when I was sure that we had grown apart, when we were both happy, when we didn't depend on one another in quite the same way. There were times when I was sure that we would never, could never, return to what we once were.

But there have also been times, particularly lately, when I have felt that renewed sense of love for you. Not because I need something from you, not because I am dependent on you, but because simply to hear from you brings me joy. Because to know that we will always be friends means more to me than anything. Because to know that we are not finished building our bond gives me hope for the future, for our future, for our friendship.

Perhaps we can never return to what we once were, but instead we choose to move forward, past the drama, past the points of doubt, past the places where it would have felt comfortable to let each other go. Instead we have chosen to hold on. Instead we have chosen to put faith in us. I am grateful we have made such a choice.

I only mention it because before I picked up the phone to call my mother, I considered calling you. I considered you to be someone who could love me at my worst. I consider that a true testament of what we have. I consider my life incomplete without you.

And I consider that to be everything.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Harry and Frankie

She said it is strange that we aren't better friends because we have so much in common. She's right. It is. We do. We both have that insatiable hunger inside us to create. We're both social, even if it is in different ways. We're both smart and for the most part, reasonable. We're also both impulsive and adventurous. We find the same things funny. We know how to laugh with each other and at ourselves. We share a common history. We have both felt that loss of family.

For whatever reason, I have very few memories of us as children. I imagine we must have been closer then, playing together in the backyard until sundown, creating adventures under forts of pillows on rainy afternoons, delighting in Christmas mornings together, exploring the park across the street as intently as the foreign countries our parents took us to. I remember these experiences, but not what it felt like to share them with my little brother, not the looks on his face, not the joy in his eyes. I can't seem to remember him at all.

On Thursday morning, I pressed play on the stereo in the baby room. A song came on from James and the Giant Peach. James began to sing "my name is James..." and suddenly, I was in the back of our van with my little brother driving to West Virginia for my first experience at sleep away camp. My brother was singing this very song in a British accent that I could never pull off, despite my best efforts. My sides were aching from laughing, tears rolling down my cheeks. I remembered, for an instant, what it felt like to grow up with him.

Things didn't change until later, until he began to discover he wanted nothing to do with the life he was living, until he cast aside the only life I knew. Harry is three years younger than I am, and has been, since the age of twelve (if not even earlier), cooler than I will ever be. He feared nothing. He learned quite young that things like age and race and social status mean nothing where friendship is involved. He can talk to anyone, about anything. He can find connections with all types of people in all walks of life. He can be exactly who he wants to be, exactly who he is, without any of the insecurities or guilt that seem to plague my every move. I am so jealous of that, of him.

I was jealous too, of all of my friends who had younger siblings who looked up to them. I was jealous when they started to bring them out to their first parties, when they began introducing them into their social worlds, when they got to be depended on. Harry was never like that. He had his own parties, his own social worlds, his own experiences. He didn't need me. He didn't want any of the things I felt I had to offer him as his older sister. He was already living his life before I had time to define my own.

He thought my life was small, which it was. He didn't find contentment in that the way that I did. It didn't comfort him to have a select group of friends that he knew better than anyone. He wanted to know everyone. He wanted to go out and explore. He wanted more out of life. He wanted big things.

At the time, I hated him for it. I didn't understand his need for more. I was happy and certain that my happiness entitled me to preach about the "right way" to live. I was young and sheltered. I had so much to learn, but had yet to discover the desire to learn it, the way he had, the way he continues to desire and search.

He was fourteen when he moved out of the house. At the time, I saw my parents as allowing it. I saw them as ignoring the problem. I saw their lack of action as a lack of caring. I blamed them for all of it. Their absence of rules, of punishment, of consequences had allowed him to become a person who knew no boundaries. I was the extreme opposite. I loved boundaries, reveled in them, lived my life by them. They made me feel safe, knowing those concrete rights and wrongs I had set for myself. I was sheltered between their lines.

And between those lines, I believed I understood everything. I believed that his life was wrong and that mine was right. I believed I was the only one who was even trying to save him. So I took on the role of playing mother. I pleaded with him to come home. I yelled at him. I told him he was making mistakes. I thought that was what I had to offer him as his big sister. I thought that if I couldn't introduce him to the social world, the least I could do was introduce him to the responsible one, the reasonable one, the one where good things happen to good people.

I really believed such a place existed. I really believed that if you did what you were supposed to do, impressed those you were supposed to impress, played by their rules, that your life would be guaranteed happiness. It seems foolish now, somehow, to have ever believed it was all so simple.

Things were never quite the same between Harry and me after that. We grew apart. We just seemed too different. He understood things then that I am only growing to learn now. He saw that there was a bigger world out there, one filled with injustices and experiences I had yet to know existed, one in which there is no such thing as concrete rights and wrongs.

Still, on Christmas when I found him locked in the bathroom, crying over the state of our family, over the lack of it, I wanted to hold him in my arms as a big sister should hold her little brother. I wanted to tell him that everything would be alright. I wanted him to know how proud of him I am, how amazing he is, how it is an honor to be his sister. I wanted to protect him within the boundaries of my love. I wanted him to know that we are not so different, that I too have spent time crying in the bathroom, that I too understood our loss. I wanted him to understand that it is OUR loss. I wanted him to feel, within the deepest parts of him, that no matter what has happened, or will happen, he will always be my little brother.

And I will love him always for being just that.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Grateful Friday

That this morning I walked two full blocks before realizing that it was raining.

That when I did realize, I tilted my head up and laughed at the sky.

The intricate, delicate tapestry of darkness it left upon the glowing blankness of the sidewalk.

My new Postsecret books.

The text you sent me a few days ago.

That I took the initiative and wrote to you in the first place.

Wednesday night.

A certain clown I love.

That she said my bestest and I seemed truly happy.

My bestest.

Our happiness.

Our first gift for our new non-existent house.

The idea of that house soon existing.

The idea of a new home.

Jackson asleep on my lap as I write this.

The return of Lost.

The return of my ache to write.

That I choose to write loving words to you simply because I can.

That I can.

That I do.

The voicemail from my mother.

Returning to the gym.

Feeling stronger in every way.

Feeling open.

Feeling alive.

Being alive.

That I (knock on wood) managed to avoid this current plague.

That knocking on wood reminds me that I believe in things.

That I believe in things.

That I believe in us.

That I am here, happy and believing.