Friday, July 31, 2009

Last night.

I saw a beautiful exhibit at the ICA. A black and white video in a gray room, that took up an entire wall. I wanted to sleep in that room. It was so peaceful. The video itself was based on the old adage where 6 blind people touch an elephant, but feel 6 different parts, so come away with separate experiences and expectations of what an elephant is. The artists tested this, and filmed as 6 blind New Yorkers touched an elephant for the first time. It was something so simple, yet so stirring to watch them--their movements and reaching--as they took their turns walking slowly around the elephant, attempting to take in the whole. One woman remarked that she didn't know they were so big. A man talked about its breathing, in and out and in, and the feeling of sensing it there even without touch. The accounts were moving, and the individuals eloquent.

Later I looked out across the water from the pier. We talked about jelly fish and analyzed couples near us, or one in particular--one my friends saw hours before, when it was only the man, waiting for the woman. His posture had apparently been impeccable. They wanted to know if she ever arrived, or if he was left waiting. Thankfully for his sake they were both there together, sitting in the same spot he first held alone. We noticed the distance between them, the ebb and flow of it. If they laughed. Which way her legs were crossed. Sadly we didn't think it was going very well. At one point they were looking at his phone.

Lisa wondered out loud why lights over water are so beautiful. We didn't have an answer. Just the solid feeling that they are, and then solidarity in that feeling. Next Elizabeth turned our gaze to the sky. She made out the Big Dipper. Or at least the handle of the Big Dipper. Which is remarkable, since it is so difficult in a city to see any stars in the sky. But they were there, if only faintly, and if only a few. At times this fact, this absence of stars, reminds me of a poem first introduced to me by my sister.

The pertinent stanza: "And now, each night I count the stars. And each night I get the same number. And when they will not come to be counted, I count the holes they leave." Even when they do not come, they are there. And so when I remember this poem, even when I cannot see them, I count them. When they do come, I also count them. Usually in Boston it is three, or two, or one. In Provo it is often more. In other places more still. I told my sister this one night in a message, my remembrance of the poem and my pattern of following it. A few days later she wrote, "Apparently tonight Eden and Mom were counting stars. There was one. Mom tried to sing Twinkle Twinkle with Eden, but halfway through Eden wanted to count the star again."

Monday, July 27, 2009

At this moment.

I am sitting on my roof and reading about Tolstoy, but will likely go in soon. Because I want cereal. And also sleep.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Provo,

I miss your: porches, bike rides, sparklers, and story times.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the last two weeks.

My class went on a field trip to a beautiful library at Boston College, called Bapst library. It was after hours, so we had the run of it, which was somehow magical in itself. To add to this, our tour guide (an art librarian), took us upstairs to the "Harry Potter room." I felt reverent and still as soon as I entered, overcome by the vaulted ceilings, columns, and stained glass walls portraying philosophers, theologians, and artists. Our host stood in the center walkway and said that there is something about an environment that can just make you feel smarter. I agree. I felt it.

Other things that struck me, coming home on two separate occasions: my neighbor on his knees, laboring in his garden, and a cool breeze as I stood under the shade of a tree. Then another neighbor to the other side, a young mother playing in a sprinkler with her daughter. I haven't seen them before, but the mother smiled warmly and said hello as I passed. Their sweet, summer fun was the happiest sight. Just getting a glimpse was enough to fill me with delight and I could not stop grinning.

Another day I passed a cute girl on a cute bike. Minutes after arriving at my destination she walked in the same door, being my friend's new roommate. Days (or maybe a week) later, Riley and Damien were sitting in my living room, fresh from the greyhound and their most recent Kerouac-esque adventure in New Orleans. Riley explained that he knew one other girl in Boston before inviting her over. For the second time I watched the cute bicycler enter a door. I learned her name is Kaity, and she swam with us that night. Later after facebook told me the additional friends we have in common, I realized we once played croquet together in a Provo park. Probably exactly one year ago, leading me to believe that we are destined to be friends. Friday I joined her in her explorations of Boston. We ended the evening with Derik, eating at Quincy Market and watching (500) Days of Summer, which movie is perfect.

I also saw a fox while on an evening stroll, and felt a little bit scared. I called Jessica to see if she thought it possible that I was looking at a fox in a residential (though forested) neighborhood in New England, because while it looked like a fox, and while I was fairly certain that it was a fox, I was still slightly unsure. She thought that it was possible and asked if I needed her to stay on the phone, since I was nervous. I said no, but we ended up staying on the phone anyway. It was a good conversation.

That same night, via gchat, Regan and I discovered we share the same intense and long-lasting love for an old Built to Spill song. The Weather. He was going to a free show the next day at Coney Island.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It is quiet and much cooler than the houses.

One night I pumped up my air mattress on my roof, and the world stood above me as I slept. It was quite literally a dream come true. And despite the fact that I was slightly nervous I would fall to my death, when sleep came, it came well. I didn't wake until morn, with the first rays of sunlight and the gentle coaxing of birds chirping. I finished watching the sunrise before returning through my window to the comfort of my bedroom. As I was still tired, I lay on my bed for hours reading before drifting back into a deep and easy sleep.

The Master and Margarita

"You are not Dostoevsky," said the citizeness, who was becoming addled by Karovyov.
"Well, but how do you know, how do you know?" replied the latter.
"Dostoevsky is dead," said the citizeness, but not very confidently.
"I protest!" exclaimed Behemoth hotly. "Dostovesky is immortal!"

Amen, Behemoth (who incidentally is a cat). Amen.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.

And to picnic. And to swim.

Bless sunshine, and Saturdays, and the Seawrights for coming back from Portugal to take us to Concord, as well as Elizabeth's delicious cookies that reinstated Dessert First Adventure Club before our picnic on a perch. Bless vegan sandwiches made with produce from a farmer's market and eating potato salad out of plastic bags. Bless Katie and her precious mandolin and ginger chews. Bless Jessica and all of her transcendentalism. Bless Thoreau and Walden Pond forever.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm glad it's your birthday, Dear Mother.

Happy birthday, happy birthday to you.

A few things about my mother: She is nice. She likes cats more than dogs. She is very, very good at Jeopardy and/or Trivial Pursuit, and will smash me every time. She loves other games as well. She is not very good at answering her phone, but is very good at calling back. She is overly generous (especially to her grandchildren, but frequently to her children). She is a good tucker inner, and would lay in my bed with me for extended periods if I happened to be sad. She gave me as many popsicles as I wanted when I had the flu, and let me wear my tiara every time I got sick. She attended every track meet, every volleyball game, every basketball game. She is the best letter writer. She is the queen of Sunday dinners and graciously allowed my siblings and I to invite our friends. She loves whoever we love. She loves us. She is an Oregonian at heart. She is very pretty and is aging well. She is funny. Her ice cream is very important to her. This love was inherited from her father. She has since passed it on to me. It was not uncommon growing up to have 6-9 different flavors in the freezer at a time. This may be because she let whatever child accompanied her to the grocery store choose his or her favorite. Other things passed on to me by my mother: my blue eyes, my love of gardening, reading, sparklers, Disney Land, cinema, and The Beatles.

Thank you, Madre!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Saturday in the park. I think it was the fourth of July.

I liked:
Bus conversations with Derik. Wishing Jessica a happy birthday on her birthday. Zen pizza. Australian licorice. All of Provo being in New York. Sitting on the curb at Union Square with Regan and watching people pass. Sunshine. Battery Park. The honey voice of Jenny Lewis. Seeing Conor Oberst in the flesh. His darling hat. Being surrounded by so many people that I love, including my two favorite philosophers and all of my favorite graphic designers (minus Meg). Later choosing to turn around and walk home instead of watching the rest of NY's fireworks. Eating candy. Sleeping. Waking up slowly. Sunday School. Sitting with Julia. Regan wearing his perfect red vest. Passing Stephen on NY city sidewalks. Blueberry pancakes made by Jessica with love (which was actually the second time she made me pancakes in one week). Sunday napping. Laying on the grass eating cherries and reading at central park--Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Vegan buritos. Wandering nearly empty streets. The night air. The water we walked to. Eating street falafel on park benches the next day. Coconut popsicles. Getting back to Boston after a long ride. Having it not be rainy. Sleeping in my own bed.

Bless Jessica for taking such lovely pictures.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sleepover city.

Derik: Who would you have tuck you in?
I know who I'd have. President Obama.
No...who would be really good at tucking in? A really motherly person?

Me: Mother Theresa.

Derik: No. That would be kind of weird. Who would tuck me in?
I would actually want some really big black lady to tuck me in, like Aunt Jemima from the pancake comercials. She would give me warm maple syrup.

Me: And cold water.

Derik: And cold water. She would sing me some gospel song. Kiss me goodnight. But wouldn't you think Aunt Jemimah would be really good? Aunt Jemimah. She'll treat you well, you know.

Jessica: Paula Deen. I bet she's a really good tucker in lady. She'd bring me milk and cookies.

Me: Oh. I know who I would want. I would want a really great story teller, like Orson Scott Card. Sci fi. He could tell me really creative stories everyday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Warmth. Alive. Light. Green. Stars. Summer.

"Warmth. Alive. Light. Green. Stars. Summer. Warmth. Alive. Light. Green. Stars. Summer..." quietly at first, and slowly, but increasingly louder and faster as we danced around the circle in our mid summer celebrations. This chant was preceded by summer poems, summer readings, summer things. Katie had me read quotes about H.M. and we each shared what we love about this season in cheesy-go-around the circle fashion. We lit and relit candles which the wind blew out all too quickly and we danced and twirled the length of the dock, scarves in hand, flowing behind us and before us.

These festivities were followed by secret summer wishes written down on white paper and made into boats. Katie's began, "My secret summer wish is..." reminiscent of an assignment in the 5th or 6th grade starting "My summer vacation..." Still there was something healing and meaningful in writing down goals, hopes, desires in this way. I lay on my stomach and reached my arm over the edge until my white boat touched the cool black water. Then I followed its course with my eyes.

I cried on the train ride home as Rachel Sorensen held me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wilco will love you.

Last week I got this in my inbox:

Dear Wilco Customer,

Your order for Wilco tickets @ LeLacheur Park shipped today.

Your tickets should arrive within a few business days.

Enjoy the show.


Front Gate Tickets

Then I got this in my mailbox:


It rained all June.

For the love of everything summer, please, please July be kinder.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yesterday was simultaneously my favorite and least favorite day of library science school.

Favorite because the topic was philosophy. And when asked what philosophers we knew from different centuries I could throw out names like the best of them. And say why they were important. And even quote famous lines from them when called for. Which it sometimes was.

Least favorite because I gave a mediocre speech. One of those speeches where you tried to prepare, but when you're up there you feel like you hadn't, and you want to sit down the entire time, and also leave the classroom and not come back.

Our professor told us we could teach however we wanted. The situation was hypothetical and it was up to us to decide the details and the topic, as well as the mode of presenting. Everyone else decided to be so digital. Websites. Powerpoints. Etc. I on the other hand, was so analog, and showed books. Real books.

It seemed appropriate for my chosen topic, or what I wanted to get at. But afterward and during I felt inadequate.

As I wasn't one of the first to go, maybe I could have tried harder to be creative, to rack my brain for a last minute electronic fix. But alas, I was tired and couldn't be bothered.