31 March 2006

And if you're lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.


29 March 2006

"I'll take it."

This post is dedicated to...

- Miss Sarah Droby who persuaded me to buy the coat.

- To Cecil, from the Baxter (see below) who made it catch my eye.

- And the friend who described it as a "Jenny Lewis coat, so happy it's sad."

May 13 - today I bought a raincoat - no, that was yesterday - yesterday I bought a raincoat with a frivolous pink lining that does good to my eyes because I have never ever had anything pink-colored, and it was much too expensive - I bought it with a month's news office pay, and soon I will not have any money to do anything more with because I am buying clothes becase I love them and they are exactly right, if I pay enough. And I feel dry and a bit sick whenever I say "I'll take it" and the smiling woman goes away wtih my money because she doesn't know I really don't have money at all at all. For three villanelles I have a blue-and-white pin-striped cotton cord suit dress, a black silk date dress and a grey raincoat with a frivolous pink lining.

- Sylvia Plath

Except my coat isn't even grey on the inside & it was on sale...

28 March 2006

i love you all...

but i don't want to come back.

22 March 2006

"Is that a Gromwell?"

This movie is my favorite happy movie of the year.

I watched it tonight.

Days between Days

You might not believe it but the tick of the kitchen clock echoes through my house all day.

Tick-tick, click-click
Clock snips time in two

Despite all you've heard about how many people live here and how noisy it is, most afternoons are long and still, broken only by the entrance and exit of people going to music lessons or classes or track or outside to play. Sometimes the phone rings and every few hours there is the groan of the stairs when Dad comes down to the kitchen to make more green tea. Abby reads Lemony Snicket on the couch, her feet twitching and turning with delight, Andrew and Lydia color at the table, Lydia biting her tounge side to side in delicious concentration, Mom steals a nap in her bedroom. Things don't speed up until dinner time.

I've just woken up from an accidental nap, hot and long beneath too many blankets, and am trying to decide if I should run it off before dinner and try to make some vibrant plans for the evening.

Vibrant plans.

This break makes me think of Jack Burden's great sleep in All the King's Men. I can't believe that I didn't bring that book home with me this break. He finishes his master's thesis and sleeps for months in some cheap apartment down in Louisiana. I wonder if that is what I will want to do at the end of the summer?

These days come every spring, usually in June when I get back from school and my job hasn't started, but I get pieces of them throughout my breaks, scattered and silent. Freshman year I thought days like this were over. I remember laboring over my Latin and cramming for exams and constant stress over not finishing my reading or being prepared for class and sitting at the bottom of an empty stairwell, so overwhelmed by the constant motion, craving meaningless days. I thought I would never again have the time to fall between the cracks and get lost for a little while.

“But what about the days,” I once asked my mother. “Between the weeks? What are they called?”

I was sure that minutes and hours and days couldn't hold all of time, all of reality, that somewhere things fell through the cracks, there must be some pardon to the precision of the clock and the calendar. I realize that I've found those days. Days that begin and end in vague greyness, job applications, naps and many cups of tea, conversations that will return later in dreams and memories, ideas that seem too hazy to make out, restlessness that cannot be quenched with walks or runs or long journaling sessions.

There is a place in me that feels very hard right now. A place that refuses this rest and wants to toil so badly--or maybe a part that doesn't trust the quiet or feel that it is right to sleep when I feel so lost. I don't know how to accept the rest. I want definition and direction and I want to run with fury. These are the days between days, days wondering where all my idealistic dreams went, contemplating automated job rejection messages that pop up on my computer screen and settling in to filling out yet another formulaic lesson in my distance-learning fiction class.

And tick-tick, click-click
Pass the hours

Someone I really like to hang out with...

20 March 2006


(so good to be back)

somewhere in everyone's head something points towards home,

I got picked up on Friday by him:

Somewhere in everyone's head something points towards home,
a dashboard's floating compass, turning all the time
to keep from turning. It doesn't matter how we come
to be wherever we are, someplace where nothing goes
the way it went once, where nothing holds fast
to where it belongs, or what you've risen or fallen to.


It all goes.
Hold on fast
to thoughts of home
when they come.
They're going to
less with time.


Forgive me that. One time it wasn't fast.
A myth goes that when the quick years come
then you will, too. Me, I'll still be home.

- Miller Williams Shrinking Lonesome Sestina

17 March 2006

black roses

jules sums up a lot of what i feel about what happened yesterday.

15 March 2006

the sky is big enough.

yet again.

so much.

i'm bursting.

so much.

take the gift,
give ungrudgingly.
be at peace,
love recklessly.

ask me.

good things are happening.

14 March 2006

the night sky is an ocean

Last night I wanted to borrow a car and drive to the sea. I asked a couple people how many hours it would be. Inland claustrophobia: five hours away. How have I lived five hours from the ocean for four years? I don't know. So, Amy and Eva and I spread a sheet on the lawn and laid down, so I could see the sky. I needed to see something big and remember the size of God.

The first thing I want to do when I am back in Rhode Island is walk the beach.

the lord said to jonah, "what right have you to be angry?"

we have no time to be jaded and no time to be bitter, no time for doubt.

only time to cry out: help my unbelief.
and believe there will be an answer.

there is always strength enough.
and always abundant mercy, gleaming beneath, every shadow.

i've been fighting my way to the bottom of a well, for a long, long time.

but i think i finally touched the bottom and my feet are digging into the sand, and i'm pushing off.

13 March 2006

Long is the Day

Softly the ocean
I’m coming home soon
The sea’s not wide enough
To fill this wound
And long is the day
Long is the day

Love, take this madness
That sleeps with me
Maybe you are stronger
Than ever I’ll be
And long is the day
Long is the day

-Kim Taylor

12 March 2006

Cast off the fears that hold me here

Give me strength to find the road that's lost in me
Give me time to heal and build myself a dream
Give me eyes to see the world surrounding me
Give me strength to be only me

I hope it's true, because a lot of things are going wrong

When a lot of things start going wrong at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born--and this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.

- Anne Lamott

06 March 2006

Fair enough, fair enough

I wanted to sing you a song
This gift I was given has all come out wrong
I wanted to give you so much
I came all this way just to hand you a (broken) crutch

I let it go
This life I know
Seeds that we sow
May come to dust

I let it go
One thing I know
What's real will grow
Inside of us

I wanted to lay by your side
Take this small world and open it wide
I wanted to write it all down
Your skin was the paper your pages unbound

Lonely is just how I feel
Alone in the world and the world's a wheel
Spinning these thoughts in my head
I tangle with you and we hang by a thread

There may come a day when this dream dies
Fair enough fair enough
Until then we lay down our own lives
Fair enough fair enough

- Bergquist & Detweiler

rend your heart, not your garments.

realizing more things than i can name about selfishness and fears that motivate everything i do. realizing how much i've done in the name of love that was really motivated by hatred and resentment, underpinned by pride.

forget the former things, do not dwell on the past
see, i am doing a new thing!
now it springs up, do you not percieve it?
i am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

this is a new brokenness that is freeing me in places that i was resigned to bondage. i am most broken over the idol i made of myself and the precious things i offered at that alter.

04 March 2006


i have so much to say.


i've just been given the most unexpected and amazing gift.
i want to tell you myself. call me.

(edit: don't cheat and ask someone who knows)


something to remind me how big God is.

03 March 2006

this morning i realized
i don't have time for bitterness
but that i've been making a lot of time for it

freedom looks like: there is no fear in love
freedom feels like: the ability to forgive

02 March 2006

she was incurably dishonest

...her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face...

I wish I was Jordan Baker. Never feeling a thing. Cold, gorgeous, getting what I want. A loss to regret. (she didn't answer. angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, i turned away). She is all yellow silk dresses and impenetrable gray eyes and tall slenderness and hardness. I wish I was as hard as her. That I knew how to lie enough to protect myself, unflinchingly.

But I'm too much like Gatsby--willing to care, still dreaming. (he had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. he did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city).

The capacity to care is the capacity to bleed.

...so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...

01 March 2006

Damn, she loves to write.

We studied outside for a magnificent forty-seven minutes today. During this time Tyler wrote out three sentences and diagrammed them, crept around the corner of the house to surprise his sister (who screamed for thirty seconds when he popped up out of the bushes), dropped his pencil countless times, and planned all the things he wanted to do after we finished homework--play catch, walk the dogs, visit his Pop. Eva came down from the house to ask me a question, her high-heeled boots sinking into the earth, unsteady over the soft lawn, to where we sat at the patio beside the empty pool. I was all goosebumpy, cold elbows and knees, wrapped in my red coat but chilled in the wind, hair blowing; Tyler was in his shorts, pretending he wasn't cold, squirming like he was, shaking the whole table, stubbornly staying outside.

While Eva and I were talking, Alysha crawled out the study window and crept toward us sock-footed, her pleated school skirt swinging as she tip-toed exaggeratedly. We could hear voices across the fields coming up from the barn and hounds barking in someone else's yard, a mile away. And the forty-seven minutes were worth every bit of procrastination because when we went inside, up to Tyler's bedroom to finish, his cheeks were flushed and he was happy, bounding up onto the bed, jumping as he recited his vocabulary words, running around the room flicking open the blinds.

What makes you feel alive?
Remember that hard, hard laughter as a child? When your uncles came to visit and made you laugh so hard at dinner that you spat out your milk. And then laughed at you for spitting it out. You laughed with them, falling out of your chair sometimes, unable to contain it.
Climbing trees all by yourself, finding a new tree that your brother had never climbed and going higher, higher, clawing at the sky, hanging onto the utmost branches and swaying with the wind. The sky. The wind.Big things that make you feel smaller. Small things that make you feel bigger.Getting everything you are feeling into a song and singing it in the woods, sitting beneath an old bridge, watching leaves carried by the river, hitting a harmony just right, new bleeding, breathing prose that curls up off the page like the steam from morning tea, your morning tea.
I've been having tea in the morning.
When I come to tutor at this house I feel like a Bronte governess. All the coffee-colored walls and bookshelves in the library, the ivory molding and the high ceilings, the echo of my step, my voice when I come in the side door. Most of the house is light and airy, not dark like the senile mansions in those books, but the Bronte feeling is especially strong when I descend the front stairs before leaving each day. They are arching mahogany stairs, with a great chandelier hanging between them and tall dark doors at the bottom. Tyler sees nothing grand about them and mostly trips at the top and tumbles down, over the soft Berber runner, on his belly. But I go down on both feet and stand erect but feel estranged and out of place, and the whole house seems mysterious.
I've been writing what I want to again. In the margins of my notebooks, in the pages of my journal. Eva and I are planning a weekend trip to Eastern Market. Her away message says: any job that includes eating skittles, playing checkers, and crawling in through the window is a good job. True.
What makes you feel more alive?