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

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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

free-writing and thoughts about spring

I’m re-reading Writing Down The Bonesand I did some free-writing the other day when I was back in Nashville. It was the day after Easter, the sun was shining, and it felt like Spring for the first time this year. So here’s what I wrote, unedited and un-thought about, what ended up on the page in the time I gave myself to write.

Spring has come. The Sun has risen, the flowers lift their petals in gifts of praise to their life-giver, rehearsing amens for the drops that fall on their faces as they drink in the rain. The green grass dances to crescendos of wind that caresses as it blows, now gently, now boldly. Spring has come and the land is happy. Shadows are realer, they have taken over the landscape, hiding behind trees and people and buildings, waiting underfoot to jump out as each step is taken. Birds sing chorus after chorus of unpracticed tunes, each one the star in its own show.

It is Spring, and the world rejoices.

Babies are born, lives begin in the fog of the morning, opening weak eyes to the face of a mother, rays shining through to newborn skin and fur, glistening. Spring has come, and new lives begin their journey of praise. Little fingers and toes curl in adoration, paws are licked by grown up tongues, preparing the little ones for the world to come. Mothers pull babies to their bosoms, warming, comforting, cleaning and feeding. The time has come to nurture a new life. Spring has come, and a new life shines in this world.

He is risen, and Spring is bathed in glory unshining, glory that loves what it sees, what it hears, what it smells in the trees, the flowers, the birds. Spring pushes past frost, past frozen ground, into greatness and bright flowering praise. The world loves the Spring, it has waited for rebirth since the Sun took its reprieve in the night of the winter, peeking its head up for a time, no longer, giving the world hope, for the future, for the time when He will lift his face upon it in light, in praise, in glorified goodness.

Spring is here, and the Earth rejoices.

-me

these days

There are times when I feel like my brain won’t stop working, I think double-time about everything that happens in my life, and things that aren’t even happening in my life, and I could spend hours writing in my journal trying to get it all out of my head.

Then there are times where I can sit down and try to think about things, like, for instance, something to write about on my blog, and literally nothing comes to mind. It’s as if my mind is on vacation, taking a rest from those times when it’s in overdrive.

Can you guess where my mind is now?

I don’t know what it is, but my thoughts are all dried up these days. Or at least my ideas, for writing blog posts. Maybe it’s because I have a lot to think about in my everyday life, practical matters that require most of my brainwaves. Or maybe it’s because, for the most part, my life is pretty boring and predictable right now. Not in a bad way, I love it because things are going well and there’s no drama, but I feel like it sort of stifles creativity.

I suppose I’m just being whiney. I shouldn’t be complaining, should I? But as a writer, I’m like, come on world! Give me something to write about! Maybe I should listen more.

Just give me a little while to get back on top of my game. In the meantime, you get to read posts like this one. And look at pictures of my puppy.

In other news, I go to New Orleans this weekend for one of my best friends’ bachelorette party! So that should bring back some exciting stories, or at least a few extra pounds. I can’t even begin to tell you how much food I plan to eat. I’ll be sure to Instagram all of my meals, like a good little hipster.

love,

boring me

p.s.

raydalove