I've constructed possible the longest Saturday to-do list the world has ever seen.
These are all the non-list things I've done today:
1. Bought a red cardigan 2. Picked up film from the mall 3. Played bubble explode 4. Ate a leisurely breakfast with roomies 5. Recorded fruit snack statistics 6. Decorated art folder 7. Listened to music very intentionally 8. Wrote with sharpie on brown wrapping paper (technically I was writing something for school, which was on the list) 9. Posted on blogspot
Here is the actual list:
1. Get Website illustration done and sent off 2. Make an appetizer 3. Think of a memory, sentiment, or thought to share at tonight's festivities 4. Clean out car 5. Write Print Media short essay 6. Work Out 7. French Homework 8. Clean Room 9. Skype with Bruce and Lyds 10. Do an Atangard chore
Why I do this??
HEY. Tonight is the Atangard One Year Anniversary Party! I can hardly comprehend that I've already been living here for a complete year. Can you?
Also, I got my Saskatchewan photos developed and will post some soon!
I am happy.
P.S. Unrelated: Sofe checks me for the mouth cancer I was sure I found.
today as we roamed the farmers market killing time waiting for mitch millers to open, i was on my phone and connected to a network called groggy and thought 'that is very appropriate'. boy, was i a grump stick. after i had coffee i cheered significantly and Beth and i peppered Stephen Funk with medical questions and i cringed a lot. that guy is crazy! he is seriously off the chain. and he doesn't even know it. also, another relatively significant thing that happened this morning is this: three people on separate occasions found different specimens in my hair. Incident #1: sitting in the front entry with Vicki, she leans over and removes a small white feather from my hair. Incident #2: at breakfast with B & S (ha!) and Beth removes what we were assuming was a chunk of a flower, covered in pollen. Incident #3: Steve leans in and removes some egg from my hair. I don't even know how it got there, as the waitress had literally JUST set down our plates. what the flip! who even knows what else is hiding in there. i eagerly await incident #4, it is just around the corner, i'm sure. hopefully it will be a gold nugget. or a baby rabbit.
i love doing dishes. there is no time pressure, the water is warm and comforting, there is usually a window to gaze out of - maybe you hear the chatter of your friends as they settle into the living room - some with books and feet tucked beneath them - others cocooned in afghans on the floor- the movement of my hands under the water, the confused muted sounds, the retrieval, the scrub down, the inspection, the rinse off, the air dry, the towel dry, the put away, the opening and closing of cupboards. tonight my mind returned to those other kitchens, those different sinks, those temporary homes - where i stood beside my brother or my sister, where we stood shoulder to shoulder and fought over who got to wash and who would be demoted to drying - where we gazed out the window to mt. baker, careless chatter, towel whipping wars and sud-beards aplenty. or when i stood across from my oma, we were using a green basin, outside their camper, beside a great lake, sand still between my toes, we were talking - she was asking me questions about my six year old life and i was no doubt happy to oblige. i was perched on the picnic table next to the basin as she gave me the run down on how to dry cups the quickest -insert your tiny fist into the center of the cup with the towel wrapped around it, twist once, twist again, encircle the excess dish towel around the outside of the cup. so simple. it was genius information to my six year old brain. i still think of her when i dry cups and am not too distracted. it is beautiful to envision that scene of us surrounded by red and white checkered table clothe, the sun fading, the ocean noises - my opa still strong and most likely chopping firewood, or talking with my parents, or snoring in the camper - wherever he was, it doesn't matter, he was alive. memories come flooding in at the strangest time, and as i stood there with the dish towel over my shoulder, leaning against the counter with nothing but the house humming all around me, my eyes were stinging and overflowing with missing and loving my family. and being small enough to sit on my oma's lap where she could put her arms around me, and it was easy to know she loved me, there was no doubt back then, because there was no question. and now we are older and live in different cities, on opposite oceans and we don't occupy the same space for longer than a few weeks a year and, well, that just makes my heart ache sometimes.
so, we may have cultivated some land that did not in fact belong to us, but we were doing so in broad daylight with the support of all down towners. this morning as the groundskeeper Len casually walked by Sofe as she was sipping her morning coffee he uttered the words 'cabbies got yer garden last night'. we've been expecting a retaliation from the owners - we were just hoping it wouldn't be a seven foot fence, and so sofe came and found me and we went out there to survey the damage. we discovered that the real owners of the lot, a taxi cab company, had removed our donated wood boxes and two of our largest planters and to top it off kicked over our cinder blocks - just to prove they are indeed five years old. they also did it at twelve oclock at night in secret, as if it wasn't in fact their property! in response we are going to bust our pre-made 'save our garden' shirts, use brick and mortar to create our next set of boxes, and possibly stage a sit in over night to keep a close eye on things. sofe and i cracked open two beers at eight thirty this morning as we sat on the curb and laughed at the kicked over cinder blocks and just thanked our lucky stars they didn't step on our blueberry row. it is safe for now.
Below, is our little country in the city...
these are the seedlings i've started in my room which have sprouted in just five days, much to my relief! i thought i was drowning them or poisoning them with the old windex bottle i've been using to water them.
now, i'm going to go sow that lot FULL of wildflowers!
it is now officially impossible to clean my fingernails, or remove the soil bed between my finger prints. my knuckles are permanently dirty, i have wood stain tattooed on my ring finger and pink nail polish which has been chipping off for the past two weeks. they are in a sad state. i have a winter scarf wrapped tightly around my neck which i rescued from the give away pile in the laundry room, one season too late. i am cocooned in our desk nook watching the office, and taping safety pins to my mole skin. i feel closer to happiness than i have in many weeks. last night i was low. on the hardwood. yet, i can still feel thankful for having a person sitting in my room when i came home and slowly collapse on the floor crying out i'm not happy, and can feel comforted by her sympathy tears as she lets me spill onto the floor and swear and sob and bleed mascara all over my red face. today was somehow a healing day. nothing extraordinary. far from it. i went to work, i allowed myself to sing in my car, i worked quietly in the office all day, i took a long shower, i ate a meal of sloppy joes at the end of four tables and laughed freely, i put on a comfy tshirt, a worn-in cardigan and my oldest pair of jeans, had a smoke with my favorite and most faithful smoking partner, took in our garden for the hundredth time, sat hunched over my desk drawing friendly monsters... today was really nothing, and today was everything. somehow, as i slept last night, my eyes tired and dry, with my cheek pressed into my hand, in my exhaustion God came back to me. and today my heart began to stretch again, sometimes i am scared i am drying it out with all my anger and hurt, but i never do. i never quite can. he is showing me hope again. it feels quite far away still, but i can see it. and i can hope for hope.
as i was scrubbing my hands today, trying so hard to get them shiny and soft, i rubbed off the words i had written there on my way to pick up beth from the skytrain station, it said the whole world is a song in crooked black ink, and i smeared it right off in my efforts. i might rewrite it there for tomorrow.
one day is a miracle.
p.s. tomorrow, or someday soon, i will post pictures of our garden and my baby seedlings which i think i may have just drowned in their egg carton beds.
today is the grey kind of day where you find yourself on the street corner waiting for the light to turn smoking half a djarum, coughing your lungs up and feeling eighty years old. a day where the fifties music blaring in fromaggio's sounds like a joke and it uses up all your self control to not cry when the fromaggio guy pushes your latte forward and says 'this one's on me' or when your friend pounds on the piano keys in the foyer singing 'lay it all down, lay it all down, lay it all down, lay it all down' and you are resting your head on a wooden bench staring blankly into space. beauty almost hurts on a day like this.
So I went back to Catcher in the Rye and found the passage that I've never been able to forget and was strangely surprised. It's just, I don't even know why it stuck with me. And when you've been remembering something for four years, I think your brain starts to change it and it begins to evolve into something it never was. Here it is:
One other thing I just thought of. One time, in this movie, Jane did something that just about knocked me out. The newsreel was on or something, and all of a sudden I feel this hand on the back of my neck, and it was Jane's. It was a funny thing to do. I mean she was quite young and all, and most girls if you see them putting their hand on the back of somebody's neck, they're around twenty-five or thirty and usually they're doing it to their husband or their little kid - I do it to my kid sister Phoebe once in a while, for instance. But if a girl's quite young and all and she does it, it's so pretty it just about kills you.
it is saturday night and i am home at ten thirty painting and listening to bon iver, i simply can't wait for sunday. no reason. just. i love sundays. my roomate is off in vancouver in a video shoot with k-os and you say party, we say die and i am here at atangard, receiving photo texts of her with a foot long fake braid. i am excited to hear stories.
there is a passage from catcher in the rye that i think about at least once a month, i think i will post that next. or maybe even later tonight if i have energy. mcdonalds has free coffee right now and although they said it was one per customer, we made off with five. i shouldn't have caffeine past four, and so, who knows how long i will be up. i am glad that this doesn't fill me with dread, because spare time has become somewhat of a worst enemy as of late. but tonight i am at peace. also, i have a book to finish and that comforts me.
The idea that I will never lay eyes on this man feels absolutely absurd to me. To see my Oma, without him by her side is a sight I can't imagine ever getting used to. Or that I will never hear his somewhat booming voice say 'H-i', and reach for me in a tight hug. The image of him leaning out of his wheelchair, oxygen tank be damned, craning his neck towards the window and lifting his exhausted arms to wave until we were out of sight with my Oma filling the space beside him, will never leave my memory. I remember the heavy silence which filled our vehicle, all seven of us grand children speechless with the knowledge that we would never see him again. He was such a classy man. His relationship with my Oma was one filled with tender love, respect and consideration - it was a joy to see. It fills me with hope. As does the image of him no longer struggling for breath and being able to walk. He was ready.
nap time! (does anyone else need to keep the lights on when they take naps? i hate waking up and everything is dark, it makes me feel lonely and scared. lights on remedies this and although it takes a bit longer to fall asleep it is worth it in the end. try it out sometime friend. or maybe you don't nap. in which case, weird. i feel sorry for you. although sometimes i hate the nap and have strong negative feelings toward it, it is definitely something that brings me much joy and only rarely strong waves of grumpiness.)
this post needs a picture. DONE.
obviously, this is what showed up when i google imaged 'cool'.
this also showed up. this image however, i find rather creepy. especially the decorative edge around his boot cut jeans. come ON!
i hope you are not disappointed with these two cool images.
I'm too alone in the world, yet not alone enough to make each hour holy. I'm too small in the world, yet not small enough to be simply in your presence, like a thing- just as it is.
I want to know my own will and to move with it. And I want, in the hushed moments when the nameless draws near, to be among the wise ones - or alone.
I want to mirror your immensity. I want never to be too weak or to old to bear the heavy, lurching image of you.
I want to unfold. Let no place in me hold itself closed, for when I am closed, I am false. I want to stay clear in your sight.
I would describe myself like a landscape I've studied at length, in detail; like a word I'm coming to understand; like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime; like my mother's face; like a ship that carried me when the waters raged.