Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loose Ends: II

I was right in expecting it: this week I have been lambasted with unresolved issues. Half-finished relationships and all sorts of repressed emotions re-emerging. Even with mental preparation I'm sort of reeling--there is way more stuff here than I anticipated (though in many ways, it's been much easier than I thought and I think I did ok--what do you think, loose ends?). The news, though: I feel totally humbled and happy and hopeful. (Weird.)

The thing I learned: nothing is ever finished. The problems I pretend to bury inevitably resurface. My world is a very small one, granted, but I feel like the longer I live, the more I see that the world is small. We run in crowds, everyone knows everyone, how did I think I was going to outrun this?

My sister pointed out that our life-as-progression is less about defeating an endless series of character flaws (compulsive lying--check, serial murder--check, chewing fingernails--check) than about doing battle again and again with the handful of flaws we've been fighting all our lives.

And so I find myself pulling open festering stitches and pawing through boxes to find rubbing alcohol and neosporin. Letting myself feel and acknowledge the sting.

I'm excited, I feel blessed, because maybe this time I can dig the pebbles out for good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


1. Frank McCourt of course is who I mean.
2. I don't hate men. Or anyone (you know, within reason). What I mean to say: I'm done obsessing over what people think about me. I'm done being hurt by thoughtless words or actions. I've spent a long time concerned about these things and I'm tired and I'm done.
3. That bit on love sounded really arrogant and terrible. Of course I want to be completely swept off my feet. But I am starting to wonder if I am even capabale of feeling that ever. I'm certain that you fell in love and it was wonderful. Yeah. Poorly put.

In a minute I'll start posting again for real. Thanks for indulging me. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The long and short of...

Costa Rica: I came home early. One day I will go back and explore Granada and the San Blas Islands. I promise.
My brother-in-law asked me for my three best-and-worst moments of the trip and I answered terribly. So my revised list:

  • Best #1--swimming (as clothed as you'd like to imagine) on our first day. Quepos. Substantial wave action. The sun going down. Me+the ocean and the thrill of swimming fast and far underwater, sort of disappearing there. This. This is why I spent weeks planning and packing and a night on the plane.
  • Best #2--Gabriel Garcia Marquez's yellow butterflies. Were everywhere. Everytime I saw one I thrilled a little. I think there's something here I'm saying about finally experiencing Latin America, just a taste of it, and hopefully not in an objectifying way. I guess something about wanting to experience more.
  • Best#3--Becoming a man-hater. This isn't what it sounds like, but has more to do with getting in touch with me and God and our relationship. And with knowing how I feel and with expressing how I feel precisely. And getting comfortable with me. And telling off a bully which was delicious. Teasy teasy teaser.
  • Worst #1--La Fortuna. Ripped off, bad hostel, no lava. Fail.
  • Worst #2--The moment when, after driving with aplomb the entire 2 weeks and me admiring in the "there's no way in hell I could pull this off" sort of way, Jennie told me I needed to take back the rental car. We'd driven all night to the airport (getting lost sort of and taking a wild detour) and I'd waited for an hour while she checked in and I was sleep deprived and panicked and I nearly cried. (Great turn-around, btw--fantastically nice people, not a bad drive, a long morning nap in my gorgeous Quaker-run hostel.)
  • Worst #3--I went to this bonfire at a bar in San Elena. I was talking to these Irish school teachers Donald and someone and we were getting along really well (a balm to a sort of 'you don't fit in at the beach'-roughened heart) and the party was good and mellow. I walked Jennie back to our hostel, then went back to the bonfire and it had nightmared out. The adorable Irishmen were so occupied with their discussion of Costa Rican weed that they didn't notice I'd come back, our California friends had left, and the Costa Rican kid who was chatting with me was accosted by local girls who started calling me puta to my face. Grody.

Seattle. Is a run-down sort of place. Great company, bad city. We did cool stuff--running and a great bike ride and delicious food. A day in Portland which was fantastic. A very mellow vacation.

Frank O'Hara: I love you for many things. Teacher Man was lovely and may have changed my life a little. Your reading at AWP was phenomenal. You seem like a great kid. But Angela's Ashes just wasn't that good. A tragedy I know, and I mean that in all respect for the dead. But really?

Love. I may not believe in it. Or maybe my definition is shifting? I read The English Patient and there's all this inexorable passion. I was listening to something, too, a song or This American Life or something about how it feels to fall in love and I kind of think it's bullshit. Love is hard work and calm joy I think. And there's thrill, but is the thrill so different from, like, getting a raise or having a really good party? Extended? And the thrill isn't really love anyway, right? It's just someone like stroking your ego: You think I'm cool and I think you are too? There's more here, but I've been surprising myself with my own pragmatism lately. I don't think this has too much to do with man-hating, btw.

Maybe I'll post sooner than later. :)