thoughts about rain.

rainbow

I love the sound of rain.

I always have, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved most things about rain. There isn’t a rainy day goes by when I don’t wish I could run outside barefooted and bathing suit-clad to let the water soak my skin.

When I was little I used to sit at the window in our playroom when the rain came down in sheets, mesmerized by the patterns it played on the asphalt, wishing it would come down harder. It feels so good to be inside when it’s raining outside, particularly if I’m somewhere comfortable.

At camp I would wish for rain so that I and my fellow cabinmates could return to our wooden bunks until it passed, listening to it caress the leaves and dance on the roof above us. Summer rains are the best, that ever-elusive break from the heat, the immediate cool that rushes over the earth as creatures run for cover. The flowers love it, the grass is immediately greener, and once the shower dies down the deer and the rabbits come out in full force to explore the newly dampened creation.

Even cars sound better in the rain as they pass, flinging water aside as they tumble through. And thunder, wondrous thunder, the power it brings, in its many manifestations. Whether rolling and gentle or sudden and fear-striking, miles away or right by our side, we know it is something much bigger than we are, a glimpse into the world beyond our tiny lives.

I’ve never really been afraid of storms, or any kind of weather, most likely due to my love and fascination for them. I’m the one who hears the tornado siren and runs outside, who sits on the porch as the lightning approaches, who wants to go driving in the snow to see how pretty it is. So maybe I haven’t quite grasped how much bigger these acts of God are than I am, how utterly destructive and terrifying they can be. Or maybe that just adds to my naive infatuation with the weather in all its extremes.

I’ll never stop loving the simple rain, the gentle strength that comes with soft drops of water falling to the ground with nothing but good, restorative, beautifying intentions. Everything about it is wonderful, relaxing, and for some strange reason it draws my mind to nature more than the most perfect of sunny days. I can’t help but stop a little when it rains, think a little longer. Even the bugs seem louder, and the birds, as a kind of silence allows for listening ears to hear through the raindrops.

Nature adores the rain, it needs it. I think I do too. I must have been born on a rainy day.

-me

yesterday i threw a tantrum.

I threw a tantrum yesterday. I knew it was coming, had known it for quite some time in fact. It had been a while since I’d had one, I was about due I noticed. About a week ago when I was picking up my morning bagel at Bageltown it came to me like a word from above. A switch flipped and the currents changed inside of me, warming my nerves and preparing them once more for the inevitable. I looked down at my cinnamon raison bagel with lox cream cheese and asked it, will today be the day, bagel? The bagel said no, so I breathed a sigh of relief before biting into its poor little body.

The next day I inquired of a toasted buttered everything, it too shook its head in reassuring negatives. The next no came from a croissant, and I ate it quickly thereafter because I started to hate it. The next day’s bagel must have sensed my animosity because it remained poised and still in the face of my interrogation, still managing to give off a negative vibe. It wasn’t until yesterday that a saucy looking plain bagel, naked as the day it was born, showed no signs of response and immediately I knew, today is the day. It’s funny I should know without confirmation from my breakfast, but miracles happen every day, you know. I waited for three or four minutes before dressing and devouring my fortune-telling friend, hoping the world would explode in the meantime or I would go into septic shock or have a stroke or a heart attack or something evasive like that.

When the clock struck three minutes I gave in and ate it, hole in the middle and all. After that, I was peaceful. The world brightened, sharpened, touched me all over. My skin tingled. I felt the ghosts of bagels past riding on my shoulders, spectators in the sport they knew I would play in a short time. I smiled to the bagel guy standing behind the counter as I pushed open the door, bells tinkling their goodbyes as the sun shone into my eyes. I squinted. The world focused, I breathed a little.

I turned on my heel, shoved my right hand in my pocket and walked down the far left edge of the sidewalk, dodging oncoming traffic as my left hand slid over storefront windows. I watched my shoelaces to ensure they stayed tied, checking my back left pocket from time to time to confirm the presence of my wallet. The presence of my wallet is always comforting in times such as these.

Finally, after what felt like forty days wandering in the desert of the sidewalks of my city, the sliding doors of the supermarket opened at the touch of my absent-minded left fingers. I stopped. I squinted. I pirouetted and heaved a shallow sigh. The doors slid closed. I tapped my right foot three inches in front of me. The doors slid open. This time I didn’t let them close on me, and I thanked them as I passed.

I followed the familiar lines between the tiled floors with my feet and my eyes, marching my way, head down, to aisle nine. No one stopped me, and if they tried I didn’t notice. I forgot my basket, I murmured as I entered the pasta aisle. I checked my watch, realizing there was no time for my basket anyway. Slowly, almost dreamily, I lifted my eyes to the sight of blue and yellow boxes, filled with who knows how many starchy mini-statues. I stepped closer to the farfalle, my nose grazing the plastic that revealed the bows to my wondering eyes.

And then I was on the floor once more, covered in yellow bows, yellow sticks, yellow tubes, even some red ones, cardboard under my feet, my head, my elbows.

“Clean up on aisle nine!” a voice from heaven called. I started to giggle. I checked for my wallet, still there. My eyes closed as I listened for the old familiar pattering of rubber-clad feet coming for me.

This has been a story brought to you by one of Wesley’s recent free-writing sessions. Just a little peek into what goes on in her mind when she lets it go.

me

thoughts on evil

woods

There is evil in this world. In fact, it rules the world, runs our lives, breathes through all of us and suffocates the potential for happiness that we strive for every day. Sometimes it lies dormant, as if napping until its next job, and we are allowed to see beyond it to beauty, to truth. But then, once it wakes, it clouds over us, raining down fear and suffering and debauchery and anything else it can think to throw in our way, to keep us from being who we were truly meant to be.

Evil is a great hindrance to the lives of us all, keeping us gagged and bound and incapable as ragdolls, leaving us wasted and weary and no longer searching for hope when it grabs ahold of us too tightly.

Evil is like a blindfold pulled tightly, violently over our eyes so that we cannot see the Sun, do not see the way we should go, know not which way is up. We wallow in it, wading through the muck, barely able to pick up our feet one by one as we fight to the finish, a finish we often feel isn’t even there.

Evil is our enemy, we battle with it from the time our eyes open in the morning until we lay our heads down at night, exhausted. It keeps us on the treadmill, always going and never going anywhere, busy as bees but useless as garbage.

We are stunned by it, whether it manifests itself in us or through others, on the news, on the street, in our homes. It surrounds us, wanting always to devour us, not gently, but violently, without mercy or care for who we are, for who we could be if we only could escape these chains, this prison cell, this loneliness we call pain, loss, anger, sorrow, cruelty, evil.

Evil, you are our greatest enemy. You will not defeat us.

so i’m doing this spontaneous writing booth…

spring flowers

Oh hey Spring.

Yet another idea from Writing Down The Bonesa “spontaneous writing booth” at your local/church/neighborhood flea market/garage sale/get rid of all your junk event. Luckily for me, I read this chapter just a few short weeks before Gordon-Conwell’s annual Flea Market! So guess what I’m doing this Saturday.

A spontaneous writing booth.

So, what I’ll be doing is charging some tiny amount like 50 cents a poem, and people can come up and give me whatever topic they want and I’ll write about it. There will be no promises of beauty or hilarity or nonawfulness, just a poem, whatever comes out on the page.

I practiced yesterday.

I spent 10 minutes or so just thinking up random topics and spitting out a poem about them. It was pretty fun actually.

For instance, let’s take airplane. I was imagining a little boy giving me the topic.

I wanna be an airplane
Way up in the sky
Dancing through the clouds up there
Floating way up high
I want to feel the raindrops
Before they reach the ground
To look at birds from far above
And hear the high up sounds
And if I were an airplane
I’d fly right home to you
I’d love the wind, I’d love the sky
But still, I’d love you too.

Or a cherry.

Sweet
I feel the juice
trickle
down the side of my mouth
to my chin
I ignore it
as I taste
the bitter sweet
of my first cherry of the spring
it is red
and deep
and delicious
it reminds me
how young I still am
bitter
but sweet, so sweet

So really I have no control over what comes out when I think of something, it just sort of happens. Natalie Goldberg says this is great writing practice, and also a great way of letting go of your writing, because you write it, and then you immediately give it away. No copies for myself, no coming back to edit, no throwing it away if I hate it, just writing, and giving.

It is also just another way of putting myself out there. I have no idea if anyone will offer me 50 cents for a poem. I could sit there all day and sell a couple of old sweaters. But I’m hoping at least some little kid will come up and want a poem about Batman. Whatever happens, I’m doing it, and it will be a good experiment no matter what it looks like. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Oh, I was also thinking about doing a 25 cent discount if the customer would write me a poem in return. I think that could add a little fun to things. Who knows, maybe someone secretly wants to be a poet and this is their big chance.

-me

p.s. Baby G is a boy! We’re pretty excited.

why i write

why i write

Natalie Goldberg asked the question “why do you write?” in her book the other day (well, she didn’t ask it the other day, but I read it the other day), so I answered it in my journal, in another free writing exercise. My favorite part is the last part, I think it gets better and more real, which is what free writing is supposed to do, so that’s something. And so, without further ado, I give you, my answer.

Why do I write? I write because I always have, because I watched Cruel Intentions in the ninth grade and thought Sarah Michelle Gellar’s diary was awesome and wanted to be her. I wrote at first because I thought it was cool, because I thought it would make me cool, would make other people think I was cool. Maybe I still write for those reasons. But I write for other reasons.

I write because I have art inside of me, living and breathing and dying to come out of me, and because I don’t have another instrument to play (yet). I write because the thoughts get too crowded up there, when they have to stay inside, and because the page doesn’t talk back to me when I tell it what I really think. I write because I want to make something beautiful, because I know that if I just keep writing, on day I could make something beautiful, be a part of the grander scheme of beauty that goes on in this world. I write because I’m insecure, and because I think it will make someone like me. I write because I’m frustrated, and because words on the page are something I can control. There’s not much else I can control. I write because I don’t have a boss for my words, for what I write.

I write because I feel like I have to, but I have no idea why. I write because people tell me to, because it’s something that I somehow can continue to do, or at least come back to, when most things I try last a little while then die. I write because I’m a little bit schitzo, a little bit crazy in my head sometimes. I write to see what comes out. I write because it’s inside of me, waiting to come out. I write when I’m bored and I’ve banned myself from TV and social media, I write when I want to feel like I’ve done something, when I want to look back on my day and say “hey, look at that! It wasn’t a complete waste.”

I write because I make myself write, because I’ve told myself I would, because I’ve begun to call myself a writer. And then sometimes, in fact originally, I started to write because I wanted to record things, I felt like my life and my thoughts about life needed to be put down on something more permanent than the clouds of memory. I still write for that reason sometimes. I write when I feel smart, when I think I have something to tell someone, or when I feel clever and think I can make someone laugh. I write when things feel deep and important. I write because I want my friends, my family to know things. I write because people expect me to write, and because they don’t. I write because it feels like someone is challenging me to, like it’s some feat I can accomplish, some stamp I can put on my resume of life.

I write to connect with other writers, and to people who like writing. I write because sometimes, I like what comes out on the page. I write because part of me thinks I’m a genius, and the rest of me earnestly desires to be. I write because it helps me think, it makes me think, it multiplies thoughts into more thoughts, it tills fertile ground and readies it for flowers. Beautiful ones, I hope. I write because it makes me feel important.

I mean, when I think about it, why wouldn’t I write? Why wouldn’t anyone write? What a sad life, one that goes completely unrecorded on the inside, unexamined, untilled, like a wrapped present that never gets opened. What’s the point in not writing? Who cares if it’s horrible? It makes me feel connected, real. It ties me to things, to people, to life, the words become a part of me and then, when they are read, a part of the reader too. Now that’s pretty cool. It’s a connector. It’s a divider, too, don’t get me wrong, but even that division begins with a connection. It’s just one more way to connect. I can connect myself, to anyone, to anything really, if I just write about it. And it’s not until I start to write that I will know just how deep and wide that connection will go. Oh what fun to be a writer, to forge connections without need for consent. It’s like a VIP pass to the world, one I was never really supposed to have. I’m an intruder. And honestly, when you think about it, no one can stop me. With great power (real or imagined) comes great responsibility.

-me