Monday, February 14, 2011

on the line

the sharp scent of pillow cases
washed months ago-
sitting in linen closets, waiting
for the right time to replace
dirty worn in versions of themselves.
they are crisp and ready
pliable enough for heavy heads
that are longingly courting sleep
and they wait there unadorned
at the beginning of dreams-
their sweet smell
transporting the reposed to
long-ago memories.
slacking slowly sleepily
drifting together in an imaginary breeze
by the sea-
by the mountains-
by the forest-
by the side of a lost love.
and they rest unadorned
cradling the warm faces
drinking in the tears
of unattained dreams

Thursday, September 30, 2010

before the fall

it is the time of year again
when everything feels fragile;
pregnant with possibility...

the world swells and shakes from within
the heat recedes
houses throw out their tenants
onto cool streets

and everyone is quiet;
and the air is light
but minds are heavy
with the feeling that everything

will soon burst into flames

that in one moment
everything will change
and the people strain
afraid of missing the moment

and this is the part I always forget to love
the part that I always forget to look forward to
the slow building anticipation
before the fall

Monday, February 8, 2010

The things you love..

Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight.

Yes you're lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheek so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart...
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.

Lovely ... never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'cause I love you ...
Just the way you look tonight.

And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
It touches my foolish heart

Lovely...Don't you ever change
Keep that breathless charm
Won't you please arrange it? 'Cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight

Just the way you look tonight

My mom and dad met when I was 6 years old. I was going through some weird phase where I was acting as if I was a cat. Yeah, meowing is something I'm sure little kids do often, but not me. I was crawling on the ground, nuzzling up to people trying to get them to pet me on the head, purring, jumping on the furniture, pretending to clean my face with my 'paws'... I was a full on kitten. Mom dated quite a bit, but of course she saved only the prime choices for bringing home to meet the girls. Dad came over and I was in kitten mode and it didn't scare him away. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thought it was 12 kinds of adorable. From the day I met him, he took to me and I knew that he was someone special.

Mom and dad decided they should get married and I was the awkward little flower girl who cried during the ceremony because I was so happy that we were all becoming a family. Dad had what I would call a borderline mullet at the time, and mom wore a big poofy sleeved pink wedding dress. I remember the wedding and it was spectacular. We were a family. A happy little family, soon to be added to with a new little sister and a lot more love.

I remember dad always driving a truck, I remember singing along to Diamond Rio with him, each of us choosing a harmony and listening to the same few songs over and over until we had perfected them.. "Holdin'" and "Walkin' Away" were the two I remember the most but there were hundreds of country songs that we would turn up and sing along to every time we got in the car. On my 16th birthday, I had a party at a place with a karaoke machine. Dad goaded me into singing "When I Fall in Love" from the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack with him. I was super nervous to sing in front of all of my guy friends but it was comforting to have him up on stage with me singing the male part of the duet. When I got married (we all know what a huge mistake that was.. and dad did too) we danced to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra. I was thumbing through pictures the other day and my friend's husband had taken a bunch of photos of the two of us dancing. In one of the pictures it was obvious that he was singing to me while we danced and the memory flooded back to me. A month or so ago we were sitting at the kitchen table and both of us started singing the song together, talking about how we danced to it, and what a lovely choice it had been.

I guess the point that I'm trying to get at is that I remember music... and I remember my dad associated with music. Dad passed away on January 16th. He was hiking with his friends in Callahan and one second he was laughing and joking and the next he was gone. Dad was 41 years old.. in the best shape he had been in since he met mom and full of life and energy. He had a massive heart attack and he was gone. The past month has been a blur of people and tears and a sense of loss but it has also been a journey of spiritual growth for me. I have never felt God as much in my life as I do now. He sends all of the right people, the right scriptures, the perfect songs, He is comforting and healing.

The way that I deal with stressors is likely different than most people. I go into a shock, find something I can control and do it and then move on to the next thing. I don't think I have fully grasped the fact that dad isn't coming home, that our lives are completely changed forever... at least I don't think I've allowed myself to do that yet. All I know is that I had the best dad in the entire world. Every time I would go to leave the house he would take me by the shoulders and stare at me and say something like, "I love you, my daughter" or "In case I haven't told you lately, I'm so proud of you".. he would ask for extra hugs and kisses, he would tell us how much we meant to him at every opportunity. He truly is the best man I have ever known. There was a spark about him, a joy for the simple pleasure of having his family around him, a love for God and all of His creations. There was nothing that he left unsaid to any of us.

Dad emulated the unconditional love of God here on earth, and for those of you who don't believe in God, I'm so sorry for what you're missing out on. I cannot imagine having to go through this kind of thing without hope, without the promise of the things that He has for us after we leave this world. I cannot imagine not feeling God's love in the darkest of times.

We had bookmarks made with part of a verse from a passage we found to put on the back of the funeral program. The full passage is below:

Paul's Prayer for Spiritual Growth

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you all know why I have been away, what a great man my Dad was, and what a good God we have, providing comfort and support in times of sadness. I know that my dad lived his life without regrets, loving fully, experiencing everything passionately, and seeing beauty even in the darkness so I hope to continue making him proud by the way that I live my life. I know he'd be thrilled that this has caused me to seek God again, even though the situation sucks, I feel peace about what has happened because I know Dad is looking down at us from a much better place. Mom says he had to go so soon because he's building a perfect house for us to live in once we get there. I tend to agree. He and God are trying to find the best granite countertops for mom's dream kitchen right now.

I'm glad that over the past few months I stole extra hugs from dad. I'm glad that he was at my graduation and that I have the gift of the BEST picture of the two of us to hang on my wall. I'm happy about all of the memories that we made as a family, I'm happy that I let dad walk me to my car and give me an extra hug the last time that I saw him and I'm so glad that we had the relationship that we did. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have had him for 20.5 years of my life... and I'm horribly sad that he isn't with us anymore.. but I know that there must be something that God needed him for more than we did.. I can't for the life of me figure out what it could be, but it must be something BIG.

So please, call your parents, call your loved ones, tell them how much they mean to you. Give extra hugs and kisses, laugh, smile, create good memories.. you never know how long you will have with them.. so do what dad did and make the best of the little time that you have here on earth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Music

There are certain songs that no matter how many times I hear them still reduce me to a bawling three year old. O Holy Night is one such song. Every time the music swells up and the choir/vocalist/band sings "Fall on your knees" I start crying without fail. There is something about this song that reminds me of how small everything really is, how powerless I really am in deciding my own fate, and how I want to be a better person.

That being said, I'm particularly defensive about versions of this song. I downloaded the free itunes sampler today, and was subjected to the hell of "Musiq Soulchild's" rendition of this song. In my opinion, there is no place for a rastafarian sound in O Holy Night. This should not happen. Ever. I'll stick to Amy Grant's "O Come All Ye Faithful" safe as it may be. I don't like my serious religious songs tempered with anything but simple acoustic guitars, piano, choirs, or orchestra music. It just doesn't seem right. If you want to remix "Santa Baby" you have my blessings, but don't mess with my Jesus music!

Give me Mariah Carey, give me Amy Grant (especially "Mary's Song"!!), give me Sarah McLachlan, give me anyone willing to sound somewhat traditional.. just keep your synth pop for the less important songs!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

everything leaves a mark...

It seems like every time I make a new mixtape I want to update this blog. Maybe I should start making more mixtapes. Maybe some of you disagree ;)

Big things are happening in life and while change is usually scary, I'm finding these things quite the opposite. I have gotten rid of my nice reliable car and I'm going to buy something cheap to get me from A to B. I have felt for a long time like I need to simplify my life but I just haven't gotten around to it until now.

I have no idea what I'm doing-- I have never bought a used car before, much less one for under $5K.. it could turn out to be a bad decision, but whatever. I'm going to give it a try. I may be buying a house soon. I'm not sure if that's the best idea for me right now, but we'll see on that too. There is something inviting about owning real estate and something entirely terrifying about it at the same time. If something goes wrong there is no landlord to call for a quick fix... you're the one responsible for fixing it. I'm not sure that I'm at the point in my life that I can afford to buy a water heater or replace central A/C... but I feel like I'm at the point in my life where I'm too old to be renting a box to live in for a ridiculous amount of money every month.

Anyway, all of that is boring.

I'm graduating in three months and 9 days. Graduating from college. Sadly, this won't mean a pay raise.. it wont' mean a different career.. it will just mean a piece of paper that I have paid roughly $25K for. Someday I'm sure it will come in handy but for right now it's a piece of paper and a sense of accomplishment for 9ish years of work to complete something substantial. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up though. There are days when I am 100% sure that I want to teach HS English. Days when I read a good book, talk about literature with someone, explain Gatsby to my baby sister, I'm sure I want to teach in these moments... but there are days when I'm doing homework and realize I have no idea about writers of specific time periods, couldn't teach a grammar lesson without having kids laugh at me, and couldn't really care less about MLA style formatting when I think I'd be doing a disservice to students. I know that I want to write .. but I still have no idea what I want to write because I have yet to have time to write anything that hasn't been for a school deadline for quite some time. I know I'm marginally good at a lot of things.. but I don't yet know what I'm great at.

My friend Amanda is great at teaching. She has kids from prior classes that seek her out on Facebook and want to be friends with her. She goes to events of her students.. she goes to school dances, etc. These are things that I know would make me a horrible educator... I can't imagine students feeling the same way about me.

Now though, I'm not sure anyone really knows what it is they want to do until they fall into it. I'm not worried about it anymore. I'm not worried about ANYTHING anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm anxious about not having a place to live set in stone.. and I'm anxious about not having a car at the moment.. and I'm anxious about getting everything ready school-wise before my vacation, but I know everything will work out just fine. Things will be just fine.

Let's face it.. they always are.

So what's there to worry about anyway?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

true story...

I'm taking the most fabulous course in the second summer semester right now. It's a literary nonfiction class and part of my requirement is to read and write book reviews on two nonfiction books of my choice and the other part of my requirement is to write a 2500 word nonfiction story of my own. In addition to these requirements I am to read our textbook about creative nonfiction and Three Cups of Tea.

I know it doesn't sound fabulous to people who don't like to read or write, but this class is exhilarating to me! I'm thrilled to be forced to write a story as part of my requirement and thus far, I love my teacher. He's very involved in what's going on with the students and called to personally introduce himself. You can tell he's very passionate about what he teaches.

So I've been mulling over what to write for my nonfiction piece, and while the ideas I have would be fairly easy to come up with material for, I'm hesitant to commit to them because I don't want to write about them. The problem is, I can't decide what to write about, and I told Dr. Burns I would turn in my updated contract letter with this information in it by tomorrow afternoon.

I don't know if any of you write for fun (except for little miss Manda!) but I tend to not know what I'm going to write until I've tried a million things and am surrounded by a sea of crumpled paper and mashed out cigarettes. (attractive, eh?) So committing to one subject and delivering it is a daunting task.

If every class in college was like this one, I would never stop going to school.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Tonight I have been thinking a lot about just how much there is that we don't know about our parents.

Through some strange and unexpected circumstances, I came across a blog written by my father's girlfriend full of recipes. One post said something about how she wanted to reward her "sweetie" for mowing the yard so she made him one of his favorite meals. Salmon patties, mac and cheese, and something else I can't remember. It was strange to read what it is my father likes to eat on a blog somewhere when I would not have been able to answer this question myself.

So I started thinking about all of the things that my parents must think about throughout their days that remind them of each other. I know that there are certain things that will always make me think of my ex-husband no matter how much time passes and how many people come in and out of my life. Certainly this is the same for him, as he has said so himself a dozen times, and therefore, it must be the same for my mom and father.

There are a million moments that only the two of us will know about, and I guess I just hadn't put two and two together that it would be the same for my mom and father.

That being said, I know that this post is not well constructed or eloquent in any way shape or form, I just wanted to write it down while I was thinking about it.

We all have more in common than we think.