Archive for November, 2008

“There’s a handful of normal kid things I kinda missed.”***

Posted on November 28, 2008

Not my actual family

Not my actual family

The Girl is painting. The Girl is gluing rocks to the wall. The Girl is full of questions. The Girl has no regrets. The Girl wonders if she’s said too much. The Girl was dreading the impending madness. The Girl feels like a heinous human for saying that. The Girl believes that Bobbie Sue had her reasons. The Girl wishes time didn’t fly. She also wishes she were having more fun. The Girl wonders if “anybody really knows what time it is.” The Girl doesn’t think the “last word” is all it’s cracked up to be. The Girl is so sick of the fact that FACEBOOK makes her think in sentences like these.

I hear last night was the biggest bar night of the year. Perhaps it is just my nature, but The Girl has never felt the draw to go to her home-town bar the night before Thanksgiving and play “Remember When” with a group of people she hasn’t seen in 10 years. As Tony Soprano would say “remember when is the lowest form of conversation.”

Overall, Thanksgiving weekend is generally a bust in the WaterWorld. Aside from the minutely serious domestic incidents (the fork hurling scene comes to mind) and the historical significance (the sudden death of her grandfather), Thanksgiving feels like a mish-mosh of mixed memories and celebration of familial tension.

When the movie Garden State came out in 2004, it became my early 20’s anthem for soul rebellion. For indulging that which is right if not rational. It started with my addiction to The Shins (who were prominently featured on the soundtrack), but escalated to epic proportions when Zach Braff ran through the airport to Frou Frou’s “Let Go” and back to the girl he found intoxicating. In spite of the fact that he didn’t know what was next… (ellipsis.) Sigh.

I saw the film four times in the theatre (don’t judge… I was 23). It wasn’t until the third or fourth time that I really heard the speech Andrew makes about family…

Andrew Largeman: You’ll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s just gone. And you can never get it back. It’s like you get homesick for a place that doesn’t exist. I mean it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.


Those last two lines. They totally hit me. I can’t help but feel like the whole exercise is futile. Am I grateful? Absolutely. Am I blessed? You betcha. Do I love stuffing like nobody’s business? Uh huh.

But somehow, some way, I could do without the whole thing.

I sit there, mind adrift, contemplating the stories behind the stories. The parts of the sum total. The experiences and synchronicity that put a group of 11, almost completely unrelated people in the same room. And allow them to be called friends and family. Would I opt into friendship with these people? For the most part, no. Neither here nor there. Here we stand. Experiencing moments within moments. I also consider the more intimate knowledge that I have about each of the beings who surround me. We would be having a far better time if we could allow ourselves to be those people.

So here I sit, back on the boat, being me. Contemplating the day. Staring at the city lights. Forcing my eyes to focus until they blur and merge and I force myself to look away.

There is no ending to this. No neat bow to tie it up with. It continues. The ultimate ellipses…

***Post title also from Garden State

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“Waifish Little Wanderer”

Posted on November 26, 2008

Wanderlust

Wanderlust

My Mother signed off of our phone conversation today by affectionately calling me her “waifish little wanderer.”

She has no idea.

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Erroneous Analysis and the Plight of the Dead Poet

Posted on November 25, 2008

Has she grown or has the room shrunk?

Has she grown or has the room shrunk?

The Spouse and I have long argued the value of literary analysis. Whereas I relish the opportunity to dig between the lines in search of message that I am supposed to learn, or find the motivation and beauty in the most tragically flawed characters, he believes that this practice is expository at best, pompous and self-righteous at worst.

As it turns out, I am both pompous and completely self-righteous.

My 11th grade AP English teacher would encourage us to express any idea that we may have while discussing literature. No matter how ludicrous, she believed there was intrinsic value in exposing all possibilities. Value in possibility. Value in ideas. No matter how unpopular. Besides, dead poets can’t tell you how far off base you are.

Live humans are different than dead poets. They are able to tell you your situational analysis is wrong, but should they?

I am currently believing that even when we are terribly far from understanding the writers truth, if we’ve read the shadows when they really wanted us to read the lines, perhaps the work has actually still succeeded?

Maybe it has taken on its life and affected its reader exactly as it should have, if not strictly as intended. After all, words, as art, no longer belong to the artist upon release into the larger universe.

Still, it always helps to have a free thinking teacher encourage continuance of your discourse, for the most pompous and self-righteous among us are almost always the most insecure, as well.

March Hare: …Then you should say what you mean.
Alice: I do; at least - at least I mean what I say — that’s the same thing, you know.
Hatter: Not the same thing a bit! Why, you might just as well say that, ‘I see what I eat’ is the same as ‘I eat what I see’!
March Hare: You might just as well say, that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like”!
The Dormouse: You might just as well say, that “I breathe when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I breathe”!

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Old Views in New Shadows

Posted on November 23, 2008

Same background. New light.

Same background. New light.

It is mid-July in New York City and I stand on the corner of 25th and 6th Avenue, tucked behind the lip of a building and suck in the delightful poisons of a cigarette that I am openly sneaking. I exhale and watch my smoke swirl and combine with the particles of dirt and subway steam that hang low in the summer air. I feel kind of like a fire breathing dragon, which is a thought I don’t actually relish, so I opt to focus on the trail and path of each puff as it exits my body and begins it’s metamorphosis. It combines. It detaches. It floats on.

It is mid-November and I stand on a cobblestone overhang, staring at the frozen tundra that is now my fair city. I exhale and observe my smoke swirl and combine with my freezing breath. I cannot separate the two, no matter how closely I watch. The cold brings a silence to the air which I find entrancing. I believe I could hear for miles, if only my brain would cease it’s endless chatter.

I long ago decided that if I could add any “feature” to myself, I would opt for a recording device attachment for my brain, so that I could recall the thousands of thoughts and observations that I lose between inception and writing. I’m sure I was high when I had that thought, but unlike most stoned ideas, this one seems to hold water when sober as well.

I read Emerson’s “The Transcendentalist” in the winter of 2005. I remember being attracted to the ideas therein, but I hadn’t thought much about it in the past few years. Today, as I focused on nothing (which is somewhat of an anomaly within itself) a seedling of a thought penetrated my forced internal silence. It was related to the question of perception vs. reality. I was so moved by this shadow of a memory and how connected it felt with my current mental chaos, that I looked up the essay upon my return to the boat. Emerson puts forth the idea that “new views… are not new, but the very oldest thoughts cast into the mould of these new times.” He continues by stating that though the light is always created through the same composition, it’s appearance varies dependent upon what it is falling upon.

I couldn’t agree more.

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Confession

Posted on November 22, 2008

I like to stay up so late at night that my eyes sting with redness and I must pretend that there are wooden toothpicks forcibly holding them open. I also adore these so-called “witching hours” because it is then that my thoughts are truly free. I lose my censors and any manifestations of propriety shortly after 10pm. I like me lots more then. Lots more, I say.

In reverence,

The sleepiest (but fighting like a champ) Girl in all the Water…

Do not doubt

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“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.” - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Posted on November 21, 2008

Kiss the way we were goodbye...

“With longing I recall yearning for a caress. Hollow and empty, unsheltered by the pain of the rest. Not without justification, torn down for my compassion. Free formed in emptiness” ~ Shadows Fall (from 1997’s Somber Eyes to the Sky, “Nurture”)

“Daniel my brother, you are older than me. Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal? Your eyes have died but you see more than I…” ~ Elton John (from 1972’s Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player “Daniel”)

The year is 1979. Carter is president, Kramer vs. Kramer has won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and a brown-eyed baby girl is born to a young, married couple in Southern California. She is instantly adored. She readily smiles and giggles and seems to relish the attention bestowed upon her by family and strangers alike. She is healthy and rarely shows signs of discontent, except when she is expected to sleep, which (much to her parents dismay) doesn’t always come easily to the baby.

The year is 1986. Reagan is president, Platoon has won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and a blue-eyed baby boy is born to the mother of the brown-eyed girl and her second husband, in New Jersey. He is instantly revered. He is a strikingly beautiful child with eyes so wide and clear that they appear to occupy ¾ of his tiny head. He cries often and doesn’t appreciate when his mother focuses her attention on anything or anyone but him. He is colicky from the start, and suffers from frequent ear infections, and sleeplessness.

The children are raised together but are completely unequal. The brown-eyed girl excels in the arts, and the blue-eyed boy is a gifted athlete. The girl is highly attached to their mother, and her brother shares a special bond with both parents. The girl has fear surrounding loss. She rarely sees her biological father and feels as though her stepfather simply does not love her in the manner that he loves his natural son. She cries easily and is deemed “sensitive”. She has an “irrational” fear of the wind. Still, she smiles and laughs, though frequently she does so for the benefit of those around her. The fussy baby-boy has turned into a temperamental child. He rarely cries but has found that yelling will often ensure satisfaction of all that he desires.

The year is 2001. The brown-eyed girl cannot cry (perhaps for the first time in history). She sits at the funeral quietly, and glimpses her brother sneaking out the back door with a boy she has never seen before. She is 20 years old, and wishes that she could numb this pain. Her mother took a Xanax on the way to the service and the blue-eyed boy reeks of marijuana. She wishes she hadn’t been so mean to her father during the divorce, she wishes she had spoken with him since, she wishes that he hadn’t looked that awful gray color which she deemed the “mark of death”, when she visited him in the hospital. She’d erroneously assumed that there would be time to rectify… She was 4 when her mother married him. 18 when they split. She had spent more time with him than any of his other children. And she cannot cry.

The year is 2008. She hangs up the phone and sips her wine, while saying a quiet prayer for the blue-eyed boy. Talking to her mother can be trying. She steps on to the balcony and lights a cigarette, an act which still does not feel totally organic. She had her first cigarette at age 25 and is a “casual” or stress induced smoker. No more than 4 a day. Never more than 4 per day. That is the rule. She loves rules. More accurately, she loves to break them. She thrives on the challenge. Nothing challenges her.

She sifts through her mental rubble and breathes in the evening. She breathes in the evening and sifts through her mental rubble. Again. and again.

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Jessica Biel Seems Like an Odd Choice, But…

Posted on November 19, 2008

Desire

Desire

I adore Edward Norton. His choices. His attitude. The fact that he seems to know exactly how fantastic he is, and is utterly unapologetic regarding the sheer enormity of his ego. Beautiful.

So I find it rather odd that Jessica Biel was chosen to co-star in The Illusionist with the indomitable Mr. Norton. I totally get the casting choice of the full lipped, busty, lusty love interest. And I get that Scar Jo and Kate Winslet cannot POSSIBLY play every single “period” role that Hollywood churns out, but really? “Summer Catch” phenom Jessica Biel?! Hmph.

Yet, just as I climbed atop my high horse and began to marinate on what exactly Scarlett or Natalie were filming when the casting directors offered them this part (for they obviously MUST have), my breath catches in my throat and my heart beats noticeably faster. The two are having an argument and then he grabs her and kisses her so deeply that middle school tingles rush my senses. I am slightly embarrassed, but oddly entranced. This passion, this emotion, this seemingly impossible desire. My. God.

This does not allow complete forgiveness of the odd Biel casting, but it does momentarily distract me. Truthfully, the evocation of this level of emotion from one moment… one passionate, lust-filled moment… is more than a little disconcerting…

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Droplets of Happiness

Posted on November 12, 2008

Re-reading books I’ve highlighted. Only reading the highlights. Ironic thoughts. Iconic people. Walks in Central Park with a hot soft pretzel and vintage sunglasses. Moments in Wonderland. Knots in my hair which remind me of childhood or Summer. Problem Solving (for others). Marinating on problems (of my own). Hollywood Regency. Thomas Haines Elbow chair. Modernism. Finding new friends in people you’ve known for years. The fact that it was ok for Huey Lewis to sing about his desire to explore other drug options. And define exactly what he wanted from it. Accents. Fabric. Summer covered in sand, lost in the sky.

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What We are Seeing is a Rampant Case of the “Re’s”

Posted on November 12, 2008

I am willing to call it an epidemic. Though perhaps the negative connotation therein is inappropriate.

Still, I do believe the radical spread of recent “Re’s” amongst my contemporaries is the sign of a magnificent shift in consciousness, which is effectively infiltrating our souls. Our minds will surely follow.

Where we once recoiled, we recompose. Where we once considered repercussions, we now reactivate our passion. Where we sought reinforcement, we now seek redemption.

We reaffirm our vision of an ideal reality, by exiling reason and reincorporating desire into our daily diet of responsibility.

It is a Renaissance of Rebellion. A reconsecration of all that is Holy, though possibly not wholly logical.

We recoiled as we reexamined the destination of our recent paths, and are now attempting reconciliation with our dreams. We are on a collective mission of Soul Reconnaissance.

With a total life redesign being the only recourse, we set about freeing of our inner refugee.

We recite our recently reformed mantras of our redefined selves, and redouble our efforts to move towards a refined spirit.

We must remain steadfast and dedicated to the recouperation of our destiny and recogize that full rehabilitation often takes more than one go-round.

Different Sort of Revival...

Different Sort of Revival...

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If You Continue to Make Me Angry, I Swear I Will Clean the Entire Fridge.

Posted on November 6, 2008

Will Clean for Control

Will Clean for Control

I will throw away every last container of two month old rice, I will toss every last condiment that has 4 drops of un-retrievable sauce, and I will absolutely throw away the Tupperware container filled with what was (at one time) a fun experiment in Thai cooking. I swear I’ll do it. Don’t test me.

With love,

The most passive-aggressively OCD’d Girl in all the Water

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