Land Locked Blues- Olympia, WA
I’m in a weird time and space where nothing is going well. Part of me knows however, that it’s only not going well in my mind—I’m getting everything done that needs to get done, I’m talking and interacting with people daily, I eat, drink, seem merry. I’m getting obsessed with things and people that I shouldn’t be and I’m walking around clicking and turning through my iPod to find a song or an album or something that will make me feel better and justify my misery.
I feel stuck—claustrophobic even—and there’s no where to go. I’m here because I have to be, I want to be?, and I need to be. But there’s something nagging and telling me to go. Just get up and buy a ticket and leave. Unfortunately for me though, it’s just not a viable option, so I need to find alternatives.
Shouting in the forest.
Writing in a notebook.
Screaming/pseudo-singing my favorite album at the top of my lungs.
Lots of coffee, lots of tea.
Telling the people that I love that I love them.
Addressing my concerns, one at a time.
Feeling the love and positivity around me.
New York- Tallahassee- Atlanta- Miami- Tallahassee
I’ve been doing a lot. Actually, I’ve been going a lot and I’ve found that it isn’t exactly conducive to doing a lot though, it has a special way of making me feel as though things have been getting done. Well, the feeling sadly isn’t true. I’ve got books to read and people to email and bills to pay and things to say and still places to go.
But that’s not what I’ve got to say.
I’ve been thinking recently about love. Not necessarily romantic love, though that may be included, but mostly familial love and eternal love. Once, I saw a man preaching with a black collared shirt on and the words “Fear God” in golden flames, and he had black and white hair brushed back perfectly the way he’s probably been doing it for 60 or so years and he had a tan that was a tan someone can only get from working in the sun, not the kind of tan at the beach tan but the kind of tan that starts to age you. And this man was sitting in a chair with a water bottle next to him and no one was listening to him so I decided to sit down in front. There’s an awe to religions and religious people that I can’t escape, and his passion was infectious and his time was precious so I thought it was only fair for me to actually listen. He asked me if I was a Christian. I didn’t want to go through my whole philosophy of religion because I figured it was a yes or no type question so I just went with no.
And he told me that I would never know love if I didn’t know God.
Now, I had to disagree with him. I asked him if that meant that what I know as love is invalid, and he said yes. I was left in awe. Not in the power of God, but in this man’s audacity and the spectacularly wondrous ways of people and the world. But what really got me is that he was claiming to me that I couldn’t possibly have ever felt love because I didn’t have a personal relationship with God. And I really wanted to tell him about the time on my 18th birthday where I walked around all day feeling as though I was about to fly and cry and fall to my knees because I was so overwhelmed with the love that my family sent me that day and what they’ve given me my entire life.
And so, almost as if this were a Missed Connections craigslist ad to this man, I’d like to counter that I do know love, because I love you, I love my family, and I love this world.
But what really brought me to think about love was an incident today where my father yelled at me over a stupid dog type shoe scrubber thing that sits on his porch. I was so upset and so uptight that I just had to cry. But my question is always, how do I get back at him? Should I get back at him? Should I talk to him about it? Should I pretend it never happened like he always likes to? Honestly, what I really want to do is break the fucking dog like thing to pieces and leave it on his bed, but that’s a bit dramatic. How about forgiving him? Who the fuck am I to forgive anyone? Is that really an act of love, or pretentiousness?
Eh, who knows.
Maybe I do need Jesus.
New York City
This is a place of Will Do. Not Can Do, not Might Do, not Want To. The energy in this city is contagious, and I can’t help but be excited for what’s to come. Somehow, being here makes me hyper aware of the present— the people walking by, the ambulances, what subway station to get off of, the man lying on his stomach on the sidewalk—but I also find myself thinking about what I will do, who I might meet, and what could happen.
The city is as depressing as it is up-lifting. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of people, the socio-economic disparities in one place and the realization that there will never be a way to change everyone. But, what I love is the feeling of insignificance that I feel here. I feel small and I love it. It just makes me think about how small everyone else is but how important we all are in our circles…it’s beautiful!
I’ve walked my ass of in this city. And I’m thankful for it, my body has been asking for a good moving around and it’s finally got it out of necessity and transportation.
Speaking of walking I did a lot of it today in MoMA because it’s massive. I’ve studied art history and photography the past year and today I saw paintings and collages and photos that I’ve only seen on the internet. It was overwhelming and I nearly cried. Studying the “sublime” and the “beautiful” and seeing Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock’s work on a 13” screen are not compatible. Standing in front of the massive paintings of drips and drags and layers and lines and red and planes and color and movement is sublime…not the internet’s pixels.
The city and it’s paintings make me feel small. And I love it, and I will return to do what it is I love to do.
Goodbye for now, New York.
Firstly, it’s hot here. Not the kind of San Diego 100 degree weather that makes you want to sit by a pool and drink fruity drinks kind of hot either. It’s hot as hell—as in, sweat is gushing profusely from my body, beading, and falling, and even when I have my shirt off it feels like I have one on kind of hot.
As a return to my family and friends here, I’m left to think about reconciling who I was and who I am. Leaving always puts you in that position. How can I express how I’ve grown to people that have seen me grow? I’m afraid I may grow stifled here if I don’t find a way to remedy this. Also, coming back to people I’ve been keeping in contact with for months through mere phone conversation is also throwing me for a loop. Relationships change when you aren’t with the person…so now that I’m back with them, will our connection slip back into what it was, what we’ve known, or will we continue on what we’ve built?
But what I do know is that it is really, really hot…if you didn’t get the hint earlier.
Because I’m here and seeing family and friends that I haven’t seen in about a year, I’ve been thinking about long distance relationships about all kinds; their limitations and their benefits. I’ve always found that in person, I’m a lot less likely to share with people how I’m really feeling and thinking but for some reason, being away from them makes me more willing to share. So long distance has a tendency to strengthen my relationships. However. Yesterday, I realized a downside of distance. My brother hadn’t answered his phone or emails or gone into work for a couple of days and left us, here in Boston and him in Atlanta, worried for his health. So my mother had the police check on him, and he was fine, and further, upset that we hadn’t respected his choice to ‘get off the grid’ for a few days. Thanks a lot, Distance.
But Distance really just sucks when you want to be with someone. And when it is their physical presence that you enjoy most. Thanks again, Distance.
On a more positive note I had a delicious Italian meal for dinner.