Monday, April 8, 2013

on loving: because we know no other way

This could use some revision... but I am going to post it anyways so that it can be beautiful in all its threadbareness (a favorite word of mine by the way).

Sometimes, simplicity is elusive. It inadvertently cloaks itself like the sunshine which glimmers amongst the leafs while hiking an arboretic path. Other times, simplicity is simple. It beams so bright that you wonder how you could ever let yourself forget it's there. We all know we need to simplify, yet we continue to construct labyrinths. Why live in a little trailer when we could have a mansion? We're all battling the ever cumbersome inclination to complicate.

I do it too, worry too much, over complicate everything. I also tend to write it off, leave it at saying But Don't we all? However there are a certain few amongst us who do not. In my life, my granny and poppa are some of these treasures. They, without trying, on a daily basis light my way, their lives becoming my instruments of hope – complimentary knowledge that I too, can discover, delight in this alternate path.

It is hard for me to imagine that they didn't always live in that single wide trailer which has been my first stop all my life - home from school, home from college, the first place I start my day after I wake up late on a summer day. In fact, my Poppa and Granny had worked at a sewing plant nearby all their life and finally made enough money to build their dream home when not even a month after they had moved in it had went up in flames. Today, I see their flamed filled eyes, my poppa who was born with the temperament of a skittish dog, and my granny keeping composure only for the sake of him and her youngest daughter, my aunt, a young girl at the age of seven at the time. How did they tell themselves in that moment everything was going to be okay?

My mind recalls a church sign which I have passed countless times, like a scrolling marquee permanently engraved in my brain: Where there is love there is life. How every time I would think of my granny and poppas, as well as my first love. The two are somehow connected.

On a life map, the hiccup of your first love is much like the sight of a haphazard tree in the middle of an open field, unforgettable, a milestone. With the start of sophomore year, I was patiently waiting for the first sign of a spark. Shortly, I learned that first loves are not sparks, they are fireworks, grand explosions that make you feel like you have never been more alive. All of the knowledge you gain, the perpetual lists of firsts together. Yet, fireworks are ethereal, they come and go, as do most first loves. We are reminded how animated our heart can be, only in retrospect to realize how nearly impossible it would be for amplified excitement like that to last forever. Still though, the love was not lost, buried in some special part of your soul, like first steps, or first brushstrokes on a a new brillo pad, uneraseable.
I know now that when I am in love, I am the little curly haired girl running across the tennis court length cow pasture which connected my childhood home to my granny and poppas house. Running Bare-foot. Unafraid. Comfortable.

The little house doesn't match the houses from better homes and garden which speckles my grandmother's nightstand inside; this small fact only makes me love it more – with it's threadbare beauty, simplicity and imperfections made majestic. Pay close attention and the crooked homemade mailbox before you arrive tells all. Drive up the rutted out, once upon a time gravel drive way that follows the highly rusted fence that sprawls around the entire house and property in its haphazard way. Nowadays, the house is a light green with dark green shutters, which was either an act of entertainment or to transform the typical white of a trailer into something a little more homely, or both. From afar the paint job looks professional, up close you notice it was done by shaky hands and inappropriate paint brushes with which they could only try their best to paint all the tight corners. Still, even when I know that to passerby and new guests it's probably best described as ruins, my heart tells my mind it is a small castle, refuge, fortress.

The inside of the house has much the same effect. The back door, which is the door of choice, pushes you immediately into the heart of the house, a small yellow kitchen where my grandmother is queen and she ordains love daily, by the biscuit and glass of sweet tea. The extent of her decorating the kitchen consists of every so often splurging on a new decorative plastic table cloth. A relatively empty school calender, marked only with birthdays and doctors appointments, always hangs on the faux wood paneling. The emptiness reminds me of two things. First, that ever since they were both laid off, their retirement has been comprised of days which are mostly the same. My immediate discernment is boredom, then I sit down and eat supper with them and realize that is far from what it is. Like the chicken stew hot from the oven, there is warmth at that table, radiating inner peace, revealing the simple joys of routine.

The second is that my life is far removed from these simple pleasures. My calender is completely booked, blank days like rare animals almost extinct. Reminders that I am not that little carefree girl anymore. The one that made rock museums in the hedges in the front yard. Or the one who got pushed to new heights in the tire swing by her father on the huge tree out front. Even the tree is no longer there, only a hidden stump remains. I have duties. My granny and poppas lives seem light years removed from my own.

This year I missed Easter sunday at my Granny and Poppas for the first time ever. I didn't get to savor the giblet gravy and dressing, watch my little cousins hunt easter eggs, share the laughs about how my Poppa's method of hiding eggs is not hiding them at all. I was working, of course, left only to create imagined memories. Waitressing tables so that other people could enjoy their easter with their friends and family. But what I learned that day is something I've known all along, my granny and poppa, my family, that little girl, that place are all things which keep me going.

The day after Easter I jumped in my car in the morning intending to only go grab some breakfast, but the only thing I was hungry for was some of my Granny's Easter left overs. Before I knew it, I was pulling up their drive way. I was home. My little cousins were there too, on account of it was their spring break. Together we hid eggs and pretended like it was easter. In the front yard, we did hand stands and cartwheels. While playing with them, tears fell gently down my face as I discovered that it isn't as hard to simplify as I let myself believe. And as for being that girl again, she is still alive and well inside of me, she always will be because where there is love there is life. Lucky for all of us, sometimes love is simple. I love my granny and poppa, that place, myself because sometimes I love because I  know no other way.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Often times, life offers up more questions than answers. Today, I would like to pose the question:

What if you were meant to love an unlimited amount, but it's the world that makes you choose?

I have been toiling with this idea ever since reading a poem by Adrienne Rich titled "For the Dead"
I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer
The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself
I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight
As I read the third stanza, I was suffocated all at once by a rush of assorted emotions associated with previous and current loves, even the loves that were to come.

Do we have an unlimited of love? Is there always "left-over energy?" Do our hearts contain an abundance of love? Will they ever run out of water?

We will never know for certain. For humans sake, I hope it is the second and I will spend my lifetime fighting to live by this truth.

Here's my attempt to explain it:

 Subconscious curiosity: yearning

Wondering, dreaming of possibilities.

It must have been the awkward space between

          Which our minds hoped to fill.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Haikus

A new friend of mine, Rob, told me that he attempts to write a haiku a day. So recently I have been experimenting with writing these little morsels of creativity. As of now, I have not quite determined my attraction to them but I do know I find awkward comfort in their contrast. So few words, such profound simplicity. This one is my favorite so far:

We wake up early
          Smiling, Laughing, Falling hard
          in warm sheets so soft.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

school is what you make it

Now that I am in my junior year of college I have heard my share of people complaining about how much they hate school. Unfortunately, I would be lying to myself if I did not admit that I too sometimes feel that way (mostly those days when doing homework does not seem nearly as appealing as spending time with my friends). However, I still have not forgotten that learning can be fun. When school starts to get the best of me I like to play this song and remind myself of all the simple joys that make school worth it.

P.S. I'm also planning on playing this song for my son or daughters first day of school. Saying :
"Honey, I know school seems scary but your about to embark on the journey of your life. And don't worry if you are anything like your mommy and daddy then you will have no problem making new friends."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

strength undefeatable

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

- Helen Keller

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Him: Everyday should be a little better than the last! That's true happiness and that's the best life! Obviously some days are worse than others, but I think life really is a lot of what you make it.

Her: And now I would even argue it is who you choose to make it with.

Him: Agreed. I think we've only scratched the surface.

I'm beginning to realize that people like to complicate things when it really is quite simple; all you gotta do is find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you're set. PROMISE.