Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Tuesdays with Morrie

She sat right across the table from me, with those paper thin hands carefully wrapped around her coffee.
We were so close I could see every age spot, count the detailed wrinkles around each eye, even smell her soap when there was a breeze...
And yet at the end of her story...or the middle...or the beginning,

i couldn't help but feel an entire world apart.

i was looking at her, hearing things that happened to her,
but completely and utterly helpless to understand.
the events that she endured as a 12 year old girl during the Holocaust (and i shudder to use the word "events" )
were (and are) beyond my sphere of comprehension...

and yet how i need to hear!
and how, i think (maybe)...she needed to tell..

writers block is often, if not always at my doorstep.
but this is different.
each time i turn a page of notes, it's not that i do not know what to write's that i don't know if it is my place

there is so much there-
and she remembers so much,
and in such vivid detail...

but they are HER memories. and her details.
her entire life she had things TAKEN from her.
books, food, clothes, her home, all the material things yes,
but so much more than that.
her family members. her identity. her freedom. her spirit.
her Faith.

and so who am i? a young american girl,
to sit at my desk and letter by letter, phrase by phrase, take away perhaps the only thing she really has left-
her story.

we are meeting once a week, every wednesday.
she said she thinks it would be good to talk more about it all...
as long as i promise to tell her about other things,
about lofty adventures, and good books, and interesting people.

so i promised.

and now wednsdays with Beatrice couldn't come sooner.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Big Brother

So i can't say for sure,
but i am almost positive i am being followed.
that's right.
by a secret intelligence agency.

granted, this conclusion could very well be coming off the hinges of my new obsession with the old "Alias" drama,
that and perhaps all of my "independent alone time" is just getting the better of me...

but i think it's more than that.
because i found THIS little number outside my apartment complex. (see above, and then avert your eyes in case they find you and question you and pull out your teeth one by one).

for those whose lives who have not yet been introduced to Sydney Bristow and SD6 and the CIA etc etc.,
you wouldn't understand, because you are still a blissfully unaware citizen..
ahh, the days when i knew not the tumultuous sea we swim in every day.
but for those of us who have seen the truth, seen the "dark side"...well we must always be on our guard.

which is why when i saw this yellow blow pop looking ring with a metal wire coming out of where the candy should be,
i apprehended the devise with the deftness of a veteran field agent and immediately took it back to lab to have the prototype examined.

top intel executives are looking into the bug more closely, but i have already compiled a list of all possible enemy forces and hired hitmen, those obviously wanting me and my double agent expertise to embrace a quick and painful end. i would like to think this is all a false alarm, but my training has me otherwise convinced.

i will keep you all informed as to my whereabouts within the hour.
look for my coordinates on a brown paper bag in the trash can outside of your local coffee shop.

this message will no longer exist in 2 secon...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Miracles Do Happen

Much to my dismay, an influx of activity these past couple weeks has left little time for reflection
and even less time for documentation.

Example: (Walking back to sit with mom on the beach :
"So, did you write something good?"
"No. all of it is quite dreadful actually."

So for now, the moment of magic that I am able to articulate at such a late hour, and after such an exhausting schedule...
is a tiny victory involving his Royal Highness and a water spout...

Now i am well aware of the line that needs to drawn between a pet and it's owner.
I can say most assuredly that I will never pay for Fitz to have cataract surgery, or physical therapy for arthritis, any form of spa treatment to decrease shedding etc.
i have noticed that when it comes to the smaller things....
things like brands of food, or climate temperatures, or how the house is decorated, or the distance of his litterbox to his foodbowl, or the way in which he likes to be scratched, played with, or adored...
well i will be the first to sheepishly admit, that either i have undergone some kind of electric shock brainwash treatment...
or am just much more of a pushover than i thought...because when he said jump, i always put on my Nikes and asked "how high?"

this unattractive and weak form of adoration was most evident in a little ritual that beth and i lovingly referred to as the "rise and whine." basically it involved Fitz screaming at the top of his lungs at 4:30 in the morning for us to get up and turn the shower faucet on, since clearly he couldn't be bothered to drink out of a BOWL, and clearly he needed fresh SPRING water and not day old PEASANT water. for weeks one of us would begrudgingly stumble out of our beds in a drunken dream like stupor and adhere to his fanciful demands.

i am not sure when the epiphany came, or what conditions led us to see the truth of our slavery...
but somehow our eyes were opened to the insanity of it all, and we decided to take matters into our own hands....

so... naturally...
i purchased the DRinkwell 5000, a "vet-approved, pet-friendly devise, created for cats and dogs alike-designed to improve healthy bladder conditions as well as provide your animal with the element of fresh quality they DESERVE".

truth be told, this purchase was made with much trepadation and scepticism. many items have been brought home with these feline creatures in mind only to find that our gifts were not "royalty worthy". i cannot even begin to count the number of "catnip mice" i own that lay by the wayside, young,petstore toy virgins, untouched and unnoticed.

regardless of these concerns, desperation and lack of sleep caused me to lay the good money down.
and i brought it home and filled it up and plugged it in.
and the spout gurgled and flowed and did what the box advertised it would do.
a few prayers were said over this humming little Niagra and we continued on with the day secretly hoping for signs of improvement, of change, of hope...

well, after many a restless hour...i am pleased to announce, that our time has come!!!
because wonder of all wonders, miracle of all miracles...
after his afternoon snack, the mighty beast stepped down from his golden throne and silently deemed the new "liquid giving appliance" "acceptable."

and the people rejoice!!!!!

in all of this i have learned-
Happiness is: getting a cat do to do exactly what you want it to do...
and obtaining one more hour of sleep before 5:30 food call.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh dear.

WHAT: Yesterday I jumped out of a plane.
Actually, scratch that.
Yesterday I let a middle aged Yugoslavian man strap himself to my back and push me out of a plane.
Yes. that is more accurate.

Most of the time I find myself leading a pretty quiet life, nestled between bookshelves,
hiding behind coffee cups, or napping with the cats...but every once in a while..."it"...shows up...and i am forced to be a good hostess, whether I like it or not.


being the infamously undescribable awareness that there are places...a place?,
that books cannot take us and stories cannot convey
the knowledge of somewhere we came from but don't quite rememer how to get back to...

i think thats is why its so important to pay attention and surrender to those oppurtunities that bring us
closer to the horizion, closer to the Truth of who God created us to be, and closer to the greatness of His plans for us-
plans as vast and limitless as the sky.

WHO: With one of my good friends, who's zeal for life is inspiring. And whos bootcamp encouragement tecnique of "LETS DO THIS JENSEN" kept me from excusing myself to the ladies room and hitch hiking back home.

Yesterday! Apparently the same weekend that Bill Murray went sky diving. So yes, I take this to mean that I am famous by association now.

I am not quite sure. One minute i remember signing some papers about how I won't demand astronomical sums of money should I become severely disfigured or critically DEAD in any way...and the next minute I'm stupified and squatting on the door's edge of a plane, thousands of miles from the ground.

go figure.

and lastly, not a journalistic question, but a question none the less:
"What was going through your mind before you jumped out?"

Two things:
1. I hope beth remember to feed the cats if i die.
2. I want to go back to school.

There's that.

Monday, August 11, 2008


This is a picture of my new old typewriter.
This is a picture of me smiling.
This is a picture of the best and worst parts of writing: plunks and dings and movement and muscle and maintenance.
This is a picture of secret wishes.
This is a picture of God knowing his own.
This is a picture of the future,
The past,
This is a picture of a present.
This is a picture of my new,old typewriter.

How do you hit someone like her?
She who has the softest, smallest hands that can fix anything?
How do you scream such nasty things?
She who whispers Polish lullabies at the most necessary times?
How do you burn her skin, her spirit with your cigarettes
She who swims at dawn and flies at dusk.

You will never admit it,
but she is so much stronger than you could ever hope to be.
And if I could help her move the last of her pots and plants and Chinese lanterns to the other side of the world, I would.
But I don’t have a car, and she doesn’t want to leave her cat.
So we sit on the floor of her secret one room apartment in silence,
Knowing just how close it came…and grieving just how far it went.

You who reason in rage,
You are a fool to think you have won.
Because some day her hands will stop shaking
And some day she will sing again,
And some day I will wave to her once more from the sand.

It’s just that today is not that day.
Today He has brought her to a quiet place of rest,
Away from your anger, and your words, and your burns.
And He’ll stay watch over her as He does every night,
And she’ll dream dreams of home, of heaven, of times when she was happy,
Of times when she wasn’t always weeping, always asking:


*posted with permission

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Why I would not be a good mother.

twice twice
and fllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooosssssssssssssss.

Then you can eat as much chocolate as you want.

Friday, August 1, 2008

reading is important.

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily sheweth Himself so to me in his gift? I chide society, I embrace solitude, and yet I am not so undgrateful as not to see the wise, the lovely, and the noble minded, as from time to time they pass my gate...
High thanks I owe to you excellent lovers who carry out the world for me to new and noble depth, and enlarge the meaning of all my thoughts." Emerson

"The only ones for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes 'AWWW!'"
-Jack Kerouac (from On the Road)

"Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order."

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us,
tat God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison-that though I make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Conduct yourselves wisely twoard outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."
Col: 4:2-5

...*post revised after "incident" on metra.

reading is still important...however the art of letting words and wisdom become part of your core...letting them sink into the marrow of your bones...well this is of the UTMOST importance...and ironically, INSANELY difficult.

take for example-this evening's train ride home from the city.
it was a late one. the last one.
there was an influx of guys all throughout each box car, all very unruly and all very very drunk.
the scene was all too familiar, as i have witnessed this re-run for months.
the story is always the same. each time get would get off at my stop utterly disgusted and completely shocked, because without fail it always turned out that these "upstanding citizens" were representing the US Naval Base.
I have heard some of the most ignorant, disrespectful, degrading, and abusive language come out of their mouths right in front of women and children. and every time i would sit in silence and shake my head and wonder why i didn't come out and say something.

well tonight i said something. actually, tonight i said many things.
and while i would like to say i am proud of myself for "taking a stand"-
i did it in such an unloving, "unseasoned" unrespectful way,
that i am having a really hard time patting myself on the back.

"Conduct yourself wisely towards outsiders."

yes, Lord. but surely I was right in this situation.
Let your speech always be gracious..."

but they needed to hear the TRUTH about their actions and how ignorant they are!

..."declare the mystery of Christ....

The mystery of Christ was the last thing I declared tonight.
Instead I declared them un-intelligent, a disgrace to themselves and a disgrace to what they stand for...

there is more.
I would not have actually come to the conclusion that this little tyrade of mine was out of line if not for my friend,
who saw fit to gently come along side me and offer up the conclusion that what I displayed and communicated to those men was not out of concern or love or respect-rather it had the root of anger and the thistly blossom of disdain. That there was nothing wrong with the point I was attempting to make, but the issue of the heart, where all of it was coming from, was extremely off base.
wow. nothing like a good dose of truth...

"high thanks i owe to you excellent lovers....enlarging the meaning of my thoughts."

i love words. reading them, writing them, playing with them...
but sometimes... their Truths force you to LIVE them.
a task so much more difficult than any stream of consciousness,
succinct outline, or children's poem.