Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sexy Songs

Dear Internet,

Play these songs for me and I just might fall in love with you.  Or at the very least I'd take off my clothes.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grief in Five Acts

Dear Internet,

We got drunk and I missed the last night train.  When morning finally came and I was seated comfortably in an empty car, I nestled my head against the glass and fell asleep.  Forgetting how I left you naked.  Forgetting my splitting headache.  And the blisters on my feet.  The train jabbed me awake somewhere in the middle of the countryside.  I pressed the heels of my hands to my temples but I did not move, even when the conductor announced the next stop.  Instead, I traced the trees on the window pane and inhaled the musk of the morning hours.  Not ready to face the long ride back.

It slipped out of my hand and bounced.  Once.  Twice.  Before cracking.  Three even pieces on the hardwood floor.  Three like our family used to be.  I dropped to my knees, pressed my cheeks to the shards, and began sobbing.  Your aunt gave you that dish.  It was for special occasions.  Two apples painted on the bottom with a heavy hand.  I found the glue and prayed it would hold.  It now sits in my kitchen window three seams visible in the morning light but you still haven't come home.  Yet.

You dared me to swim to the sandbar.  It was summer.  The sky was cloudless.  And my nose was cracked and peeling.  I dove under wanting to impress you.  But the water was thick and warm like syrup on pancakes.  It was heavy as I pushed against it.  Halfway there and panting I turned to wave to you but your eyes were on the shore.  I rolled onto my back and let the water pull at me unable to swim back to you or towards the far shore.

I was over dressed.  A Marilyn Monroe on the steam grate but with polka dots and too much breast.  You stared as I twisted the cork, wary of my youth.  My eyelashes and smooth skin.  And when you began speaking there was nothing rational I could say.  Instead, I pulled harder, the cork firing like a gunshot in the small galley kitchen.  A rush of air and bubbles.  Relief.  Although half the bottle was wasted on the floor. I walked away without a click, my heels long ago kicked off.  I still think about you sometimes, on your knees with the paper towels.  But I've never been sorry.

I wrote it all on a piece of paper and tied it to twelve balloons and I let it go, instead of sending it to you.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Well Timed Poetry

The Thing Is

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

-Ellen Bass

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Poetically Weird Things I Do

Dear Internet,

Sometimes I spin my forget-me-knot ring around and pretend it's a wedding band.  I hold my hand out away from me and squint at the tiny silver ring.  Then I turn it back around and continue typing.  It's probably better we aren't married.  I don't think I could live with your gray socks and snoring.

I take the long way to work so I can see the foreign kids on the corner smoking cigarettes and laughing.  I imagine being 18 again and wonder why no one ever told me about this place when I was in college.  We could have had such a good time together drinking wine and pretending to be smarter than everyone else.

Before eating a salad I cut it into small bits with my knife.  This reminds me of how the french believe you shouldn't cut lettuce.  Then I think about that night in Paris outside your apartment when I hit you with my pink shoes.  The french have a lot of stupid rules.

When I come home from work I often leave my keys in the lock.  I always think you'll be there to roll your eyes and remove them.  But then I remember the house is empty except for Stella and she doesn't have opposable thumbs.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Promises of Future Fun

Dear Internet,

My mother and I once had a battle of wills so severe I refused to get my driver's license for years.  Content with her schleping me around in her grey minivan and bitching about my nose being cut off despite my face.

My dad told me I'd argue with a sign post.  I countered with, "No I wouldn't."

This summer changed all that.  Broke some habits.  Created others.  So, I bought a silver forgot-me-knot ring so I wouldn't forget my nose.

It sits on my fourth finger.  Left hand.  Ironic on purpose.  A feminist cliche about belonging to myself.  About the goals I once wrote out in loopy sixth grade girl handwriting.  About taking care of me.  About fucking the system.  About not caring that I'm single and childless.  About diving head first into my Life List.  About not forgetting what my mother said on her deathbed.

About remembering who I am and having a life-whether that finger ever sees a diamond or not.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We were a Contra

Dear Internet,

"I would say that if you really want to STOP knowing someone, you have to divorce him.  Or her.  Because this is what happened between me and my husband.  I believe that we shocked each other by how swiftly we went from being the people who knew each other best in the world to being a pair of the most mutually incomprehensible strangers who ever lived." -Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love

I thought you would be the one who would know me best of all.  It started out so right.  Sunflowers.  Microwaved ice cream.  Kisses in all the right places.  My favorite record on repeat.  Vampire Weekend that month for us to fall in love to.  The feeling "that you and I could tell each other everything."

But it turned out the superficial was all we could do.  You were rigid and I was too flexible.  I tripped you up when you tried walking all over me.

So it ended.  And I wish I could say as quickly as it began.  But you wanted to drag it out when all I wanted was for us to be through.  Another contradiction for us two.

You became Band of Horses' Evening Kitchen on repeat.  "You wasted my time."  "I counted on you."

And I was angry about having to pick at my wounds.  About having to drink too much wine and slur my speech.  About forgetting you.

I said things I shouldn't have. 

Hopefully, you did too.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekly Round Up of Joy in Packages

1-Look smarter when you take one of these clutches out dancing with you.
2-Make a mixed tape for that cute guy with glasses using this clever USB drive.
3-Wear these shoes when you want to be a little Marie Antoinette and a lot kick ass.
4-Put this album on, dance around your living room, and smile.
5-Wrap up with this cardigan and read books over cups of pumpkin chai.  Flirt with the barista.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Joie de Vivre

Dear Internet,

A bunch of fresh flowers.  Simple poached eggs.  A small square of dark chocolate.  Delicate kisses.

Pleasure is not synonymous with overindulgence.  Pleasure is having just enough of something.  Not too little.  Not too much.

So I wake up early on Saturdays and tie my hair in a knot.  I take my market bag and wander among locally grown peaches.  Sunbathing tomatoes.  Fat blueberries.  I fondle ripe squash and smell bunches of wildflowers.  Then I stuff my sack full of wild chanterelles, fresh goat cheese, and homemade bread.

Later, at home, I'll spend the afternoon concocting various dishes and delighting in the simple pleasure of a crust of bread smeared with goat cheese.  Its tanginess lingering on my lips like kisses do.  And I'll smile and admire the mess of dishes in the sink.

Joie de vivre on a solitary Saturday as my fingers prune in soapy water.

What do you do?


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Beginning

Dear Internet,

This started how everything starts-with a man.  A man who gave me a gift.  Gave me a name for what I so easily express, embody, and live out everyday now (thanks to my diet of yoga, good food, running, therapy, and anti-depressants).  Until this summer I didn't have the word for it-the overwhelming abundance, the wide openness, the obnoxious loudness with which I live my life.  I've always felt a little neurotic because of how easily I'm overcome with passion.

But now I know-I am Joy.  It's just me.  My nature is to be moved to tears.  To jump up and down.  To appreciate the smallest moments and gestures.  To piss people off with my happiness.

And this blog was born as a way for me to share all those moments.  A way for me to get away from that past girl I spilled about on my previous blog so I can fully crack open my heart and spread joy around the Internet.  Because joy-joy is the only thing worth fighting for.


The Poem


Joy drinks pure water.  She has sat with the dying and attended many births.  She denies nothing.  She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow.  She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon.  She climbs mountains.  She sings in the hills.  She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.

Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient.  She does not need to rush.  She knows that there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment.  She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.

At times Joy is elusive-she seems to disappear even as we approach her.  I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous.  I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it.  Yet, she waits for us.  Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her.

-from The Book of Qualities by Janet Ruth Gendler