Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A stream of words

sometimes you just need to do a stream-of-consciousness post. with all the conventions of a e.e. cummings poem. because sometimes life is just too much and there are so many thoughts and feelings and words allwrappedintoone and you just have to get it all out, you know? you know.

we are all going a bit crazy in our apartment. it's that time of the semester. aka the last full week of classes, which means for us humanities majors that it is the week of terror because everything--final papers, final projects, our firstborn in the wilderness--is due on monday. we've made a new hashtag for when everything is going terribly. it's called #apartment210. it's been trending frequently this semester, and now there is a hashtag symbol right by our apartment number on our door. because it's one of those weeks. good thing we've got each other. and good thing we're good at thinking up clever hashtags. especially ones with alliteration.  

there are four of us graduating this semester and we have no motivation to do anything. like, anything at all. but don't make us talk about graduation. because we don't want to talk about how we are leaving each other. and we don't want to talk about change and about uncertainty and those fears of entering the great, big world. "sister, remember that we're leaving in two weeks?" "sister, i don't want to talk about it." so we don't. avoidance is always the best policy, right?

you never know what you'll find around provo this time of year. hard boiled eggs from easter egg hunts. forgotten frisbees. lilacs. i love lilacs, did you know? they are some of my favorite flowers. i love their scent. i love their color. i love that they sing of spring. i love lilacs. i also love tulips. especially orange ones. spring and autumn. my two favorite seasons. seasons of transition and life. "your voice is the color of october gold." i am an october soul who loves the spring.

looking from life at both sides. moons, and junes and ferris wheels--that dizzy, dancing way you feel--as every fairy tale comes real. i've looked at love that way. but now it's just another show. you leave 'em laughing when you go. and if you care, don't let them know. don't give yourself away. i've looked at love from both sides now. from give and take and still somehow it's love's illusions i recall. i really don't know love at all. opposition in all things. knowledge of good and evil. life and death. love and hate. despair and hope. doubt and faith.

my daughters will read books with strong female characters. jane eyre. pride and prejudice. middlemarch. their eyes were watching god. sense and sensibility. to kill a mockingbird. little women. a tree grows in brooklyn. persuasion. little house on the prairie. the secret garden. they will learn to be "unafraid to be weak, unafraid to be strong." and my sons will learn these lessons from literature, too. they will learn to be kind and take responsibility for their actions. lessons of leadership and love for my girls and boys.

russian literature is life. it is my life. dostoevsky. pushkin. akhmatova. tolstoy. war and peace and anna karenina.  i am more like anna than i once realized. he is andrei. oh, is he ever andrei. but he is also levin. so am i sometimes. . . . or maybe i'm actually anatole. yep. anatole all the way. #shameless. perhaps i read into things too much. people are so much more nuanced and complex than we like to give them credit for. complex and deep. and we all meet in the middle of each other's stories.

i'm the writer and she's the muse. hearts, desires, and fears. there is something wonderfully endearing about watching a hallway of russian speakers support one of their comrades in asking a girl out. "look over this for me, would you?"but where do i put the smiley face emoticon?!" that fear of sending the message. "send, send, send!" "it's sent." the waiting game. that infernal hope.

april is national poetry month. t.s. eliot once said that april is the cruellest month. it can feel like that, especially this time of the school year. but it is also a lovely month. full of hope and spring and new beginnings. but the weather can be weird in april, especially in utah. every single one of my friends who have gotten married in april had snow on their wedding day. there was rain and snow today. i forgot a coat. but i did have my "petty coat" on today (it's totally a thing--we invented the term yesterday). so watch out, world. because today is a red lipstick and brown combat boots kind of day. don't mess with me. because i'm channeling some phenomenal women. their poetry courses through my veins. does my sassiness upset you? why are you beset with gloom? 'cause i walk like i've got oil wells pumping in my living room. did you want to see me broken? bowed head and lowered eyes? shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries. but still i rise. i rise. i rise. 

i still am studying and writing about emily dickinson and anna akhmatova. incredible women. especially akhmatova. he loved three things in life: evensong, white peacocks, and maps of america. he hated it when children cried, he hated tea with raspberry jam, and women's hysterics. and i . . . i was his wife. she is just stunning, isn't she? her experiences span generations. "can you describe this?" the voice of suffering women. never forget. history, you must never forget our voices. we will not allow you to forget.

jbull is coming home from dc today. so today is a very, very good day because jilly will be back in our time zone. she is going to take over the world someday and i am privileged to be on her lovelist. i am grateful for the people on my lovelist. and grateful for milkshake runs in times of crisis and girl talk and inside jokes and quotes that come at just the right times. "the true tragedy of the world--the weak ones, my girl--are the ones who stop looking down the road for the good things. the ones who stop believing in dreams. the ones who become permanently cynical and bitter and quit believing that good things will work out for them." because the power is in hope. in believing and wanting the good things. long live the glass slipper.

you, he said, are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain. i do not know how to be anything but real. i choose to be real. i choose to feel. i choose vulnerability over masks. i would not want to be fake. i choose awkwardness over flawless first impressions. i choose russia over france. tolstoy over baudelaire. i choose wheat and soil and fire over macaroons and mirrors and gold. i don't want any less anymore. "it sounds trite, but honestly, it comes down to the fact that the heart wants what the heart wants. so. what do you want?"

choosing everything. giving all. sunlight on the mountains. tendrils of spring. brisk octobers and pumpkin spice. dreams and realities. healing and hope. give me this mountain. this new chapter. i stand on a precipice. "but what if i fall? oh my darling, what if you fly?"


  1. "good thing we're good at thinking up clever hashtags. especially ones with alliteration." #allidoiswin


    #shameless << speaks for itself.

    also. i like that you used the word comrade. how russianfitting.

    "i choose awkwardness over flawless first impressions. i choose russia over france. tolstoy over baudelaire. i choose wheat and soil and fire over macaroons and mirrors and gold. i don't want any less anymore."
    ^^sister. this is stunning. somebody give this girl a pulitzer.

    - - - - - - -

    i adore stream of consciousness posts, almost more than the refined ones. because there's something in the stream that i find to be actually more refined. because it contains that which matters most--that which is the most real and important of all.
    and also. i love the streamed lack of specific punctuation. the way some things run purposefully together, others purposefully apart.
    i love when you write. i love the way my nocapitalsallowedwheniwriteformeunlesschosenpurposefully has spread.
    i love your words and quotes and the spring's october gold.


    'i could not have parted with you,
    my [meg],
    to any one less worthy.'
    [only to the oneandonlyOXFORDdream itself.]

  2. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your words!