Friday, August 26, 2011

Two-fer- Decisions, Decisions and Songs

I decided to do a two-fer-one today.  Two blogs, one post.  It has been a long week, a longer night and the longest time.  Enjoy:

Decisions, Decisions

It's funny, but every time I write a blog I have some difficulty coming up with a title.  Today's options included: 'Wearing Thin', 'Setbacks', 'Bravery', and 'Integrity', amongst others.  None of those have the effect that I want for this entry in particular. So I went with the considerably more neutral 'Decisions Decisions.'  Because that is my life lately.

At any rate, let me get on with it.  I have begun the process of phone-calling, refunding, promise-breaking.  The promises I am breaking are mostly ones that I have made to myself over time- be strong, be a fortress, keep what is yours and yours alone to yourself.  Be better.  Go to Maine once a year, every year, for as long as you both shall live.  These promises I made... I made over time and as a result to many odd and probably mostly juvenile events in my life.  But they are mine.  Which is why these decisions that I must make now are so difficult.  I do not want to break my word.  Especially not to myself.

But some things, I suppose, break.

The decisions that have been left to me, and I mean really left to me alone, are few and far between.  Most of them have been taken from me one way or another.  Return to work?  How about a hurricane instead?  Move to New England?  How about you'll freeze to death by your second night because there is nothing left of you?  Do yoga...? mmm... I don't think so- you have tendinitis in your wrist!  So I make the aforementioned phone calls and ask for said refunds.  And then I grin and bear another promise that I have broken.  And I don't have the heart to make any more to myself just yet.

The decisions I get to make are more along the lines of... run two miles today? or Four?  Clean room? Or attempt to bake banana bread?  Pretty low-key decisions.  I suppose that's just the way of things right now.  I hope only for right now.


I know that everyone has moments that are defined by songs and songs defined by moments.  So here is my current list:

I have been listening to a lot of Mumford and Sons lately.  Especially this song.  Listen carefully- there is a line which states 'it seems that all my bridges have been burnt- you say that's exactly how this grace thing works.'  That line, that line sums up what daily runs through my head.  Especially now, especially after all these decisions.  If you get a chance, this song makes me cry every time I hear it.  In a good way, I guess, because it is hopeful in it's own very British, very dour way.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver should have first billing on this list of songs.  He's been saving me, of late, without knowing me or caring for me.  I can't stop listening to Holocene.  Because I am not magnificent.  And because I have never cried so hard in my life and because hearing a male voice say these words is so much more emotive and heartbreaking then even she could be: his cover of Bonnie Raitt's classic.  If I could pull the covers over my head and sleep the rest of the year away, I'd have Bon Iver singing my lullaby.

Adele's second album 21 kills it.  The angry girl in me likes to blast Rolling in the Deep.  Of course, then I run out of energy and need something a little more restorative.  Enter more Bon Iver.  Really, you don't even need a link here, just youtube Bon Iver, pick a song, and it will be amazingly intuitive.

For the pop addict in me... Oi.. I am loathe to admit it but... The Script have my ear.

Cheers Friends.  Alas, I am not able to report on the Jesus Christ University signage of late.  I do wonder what they have to say about the 'Monster Hurricane.'  Probably something incredibly deep and powerful.  And damning.

And not at all intelligent.

Okay, until next time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bodies in Motion

So this Sir Isaac Newton fellow may have been onto something.  Bodies in motion remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force. First(ish) law of physics.

I am not, by nature, a still person.  Once upon a time I hummed with vitality and power- I was a Newtonian constant- always in motion, always moving, always always alive.  And my oh my, how the times have changed.  For now I am sitting at my parent's kitchen table, nursing a glass of wine and pondering that first law, oh Newton.  And what an important law it is.

You see, I have recently kept myself semi-alive (a kind description of my current state of being) through a series of events (the outside force) that have not only stopped me (remain in motion until acted upon by...) but have literally halted my previously powerful motion so completely that I have to worry whether or not I will ever start moving again.  It strikes me as so odd because I went for a long run today.  The physical motion is there.  It's here in my fingers as I type and remain true to my promise of honesty.  It's here in my foot that keeps bouncing in worried energy.  It's here in the goosebumps that raise on my arms under the kitchen fan.

But it is suspiciously absent otherwise.  The emotional side of me has stilled.  The mental side of me has stilled.  All in some desperate bid to survive against this opposite force.  I know everyone goes through it.  I know that.  But who is really honest about it?  Who really takes the time to expose themselves?

Newton was right.  It takes a powerful, equal force to stop movement so completely.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


A few summers ago one of my many roommates and I were sitting in the kitchen of our New Hampshire cabin and discussing how to go about impressing self-important owners of a fair-trade coffee shop in order to procure some gainful employment there.  If you have ever met self-important owners of a fair-trade coffee shop (especially one near an Ivy League) then you can probably imagine the direction this conversation took.  One of the questions on her application demanded that the potential employee identify his or her "favorite three syllable word."  I'm not kidding.  It was a no-brainer answer for my roommate- or-gan-ic- duh.  Beat that hipster Ivy-Leaguers.

The question led to a further pondering of favorite words, in general, and what those words mean. Think big- the ideas captured and conveyed in some single words are more powerful than any treatise of words in the world.

My favorite word is 'wilderness.'  I adore that word.  I am enraptured by that word.  I identify with that word- I used to use that word to describe myself.  It has been some time since I have been able to do that, but it was a part of me once, a strength that sat in the core of my being and sustained a part of my spirit that was, to be redundant, wild; the part of my spirit that was singularly unique, impossible, and entirely untouchable.

Wilderness; deep, dark, threatening, angry wilderness.  The untamable other.  The passion!  The power!

I have loved it for so long, I think, because it's presence is permanent.  To move onto a much more esoteric plane- regardless of the road humanity takes, wilderness is a haunting, hunting thing that follows us; traces our movements from some inky place in the dense shadows.  It stays on the periphery, but it is there always.  It's constancy is like a gift, in my mind.

In this context, wilderness is a measure of honesty- confronting it is an act of bravery.