closing in

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the world seems so small sometimes.  then i am reminded of all the things “out there” that effect me, even though i don’t see them.  like the president.  like the shooting one street over.  then really the world seems even smaller because the tightness in my chest threatens to suffocate.  how can anyone plan anything in a world so chaotic?

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ghostown

Writing Sample

Tell us about your home town.

  • What was it like growing up there?
  • What are some things to do or see?
  • What are popular foods in the area?

Write 1 to 3 paragraphs in your own words.


The town I grew up in wasn’t a town at all.  It was open countryside with a few people per square mile.   spent a lot of time looking out the window and reading.  I had a younger sister and an older brother, we were all born within a three year span, so mom must have had her hands full.  We didn’t have a lot of money but I remember being happy.  For the most part, the seasons regulated our activities, as very young children we only watched PBS, and our books were conservative; it was a calm childhood.
The area we lived in was blue collar, dominated by the steel industry and farming.  There was very little outside cultural influence.  We all loved going to the library and picking out new books. It’s still my favorite pastime.  An exciting weekend would have been payday, which meant a trip into the nearest town, twenty minutes away for groceries, VHS rentals, and carryout pizza from Josie’s.  Every once in a while we went to a mall in the next town over for soft pretzels and a movie.  I remember the mall entrance smelled oddly like vanilla, old men used to sit in the atrium smoking cigars.
Sometimes we went out of town to visit my grandparents or to one of dad’s fast-pitch tournaments.  I still love the sounds of the ballpark and the lights on the field at night.  We would bring picnic food but get bubble gum and candy at the concession stand. The games were long, we would be there all day.  It must have drove my mom crazy but I just remember it as being fun.  There was usually a playground nearby and we would all pile into the station wagon at the end of the day, covered in dirt and totally exhausted.
In the fall, we would drive out to an old covered bridge and walk in ankle-deep, dry, decaying leaves by the creek.  There was an apple orchard near there, dad knew the way because he used to hunt squirrel and trap coons in those woods.  We would buy apples and cider for the scenic drive home.
I don’t know. None of this sounds very exciting now. But it sounds pleasurable and very comforting.  I don’t live there anymore.  I can’t.  When I moved, I noticed something I couldn’t before:  The new people I met talked about their plans, their projects, the future.  Everyone back home talked about the break they never caught, the thing that ruined them, the past. I can’t be a ghost.

nog & cookies: day three

I’m really trying this Christmas. This is the third day in a row where after the kids have gone to bed I start drinking nog spiked with spiced rum and eating a lot of Christmas, or other, cookies. It’s not working. This is a sincere effort. There is a Christmas tree in my living room that has been up since before Thanksgiving. Sure, it only has a top hat and only half the lights are working now, but it used to have a full set AND ornaments. Where has Christmas gone? The joy? The belief that no one was working or suffering on this day? It’s all gone. And my efforts to pretend are not sincere. I can’t forget them no matter how many Christmas songs they play on the radio. What about my dead grandparents? What about Aleppo? What about those children there? The dead ones and the live ones. They have no Christmas. They’re not even Christian so the odds were not good to start with, but now? We shop. We buy. I bought my brother bread and water. I thought it was funny, but it’s not. Those little children don’t have bread and water. Let alone cinnamon raisin bread and BOXED water. I want to shout. And shout I did! At the bank! At Rodney at the local Chase bank! He couldn’t help me. He couldn’t help anyone. There is no help to give. Or is there?

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metamorphosis

I like reading back through all these entries. How strange that I lived them, am living them, and will still continue to live. How time’s flown! How you’ve grown! Have I? How much? I seem to be crawling at a snail’s pace yet wracking up the miles. How does this happen? I feel like I figure a few things out every once in a while, and then when I turn around, I am blasted by the face confusion. The eerie thing is, it is MY face. Who IS this person? I don’t even recognize her! Yet, IT IS ME. Without a doubt.

(Bear with me, this desk is uncomfortable, I’m a little rusty, and have very disturbed sleep.)

I’ve been reading Haruki Murikami lately and his dreamlike stories seem more logical to me than the headlines. Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping well.

I thought writing this post might help me get my mind around a few things but I feel even more confused now so I’m just going to try again later.

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i spend so much time in a world of words and numbers, observing and listening, as if trapped inside a snow globe, that sometimes the interruption of that comes with difficulty and absolute shock.  a sudden, fascinating moment throws you into the present and reminds you you’re alive.  i just read this line, “he grabbed my hand” and a memory came on like a flashbulb.  it felt good, i mean, the original sensation, of course, but the memory of it had a similar effect.

“in these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

Image: Ruby Vroom , Soul Coughing

soft waking mindfulness

insulated by dark winter curtains, i slowly woke to join the world today.  easing into rainy daylight with a cup of tea and airy images of spring vogue.  the gentle atmosphere stirred by strains of coldplay’s a rush of blood to the head, chorus accompaniment graciously provided by my impassioned neighbor.  because of this and other music, i want to meet him and may cajole an introduction with carrot cupcakes later.

 

Image: {this is glamorous}