Monday, March 28, 2011

fiona

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reactionary

When I think about the past year, I'm not sure how to describe it.
Even though it is March, it feels like I am coming to the end of this year for me. The end of some sort of cycle or perhaps just a marker I can't avoid. I'm sure it has something to do with my grandparents. The last time I saw them alive was at the end of March last year, beginning of April. A month later, everything would change. The past year has been difficult to say the least but I am also tremendously grateful for it, because it blew the lid off everything. It forced me to stop and sit still. It forced me to feel. And it inspired me to want to change. Even through some of those dark months, I was still trying to power through a heavy depression, one I had never experienced so deeply. The guilt, regret, self-hatred felt like it was going to wash me away at any second. I can remember sitting on the beach in July, by myself, before anyone else got there, and watching the waves, listening. There was no distraction and I suddenly felt terrified and then came completely undone. Leading up to that year and a few moments during it, I witnessed me and my anger in almost out of body experiences. Like the angry me was fighting the real me to the death and I wasn't sure who was going to win. But I knew that if the angry me won, I would lose everything. I started to see myself as the product of something I never had control over. I started to admit that maybe I wasn't always right. That maybe the reason I was so directionless in my own life is because I never focused on myself. I took care of other people. Told other people what they should do. Judged them when they thought they knew better than me. I realized I had a compulsion to immediately respond with advice, when friends or family had problems. I had an opinion on everything and everybody, except myself. I had no idea what I needed for me and I am still figuring that out but I have a hell of a lot more of an idea. My identity has been founded on being the animated, passionate, angry one, the tough one, the bossy one, the agressive soccer player, the fighter, "the hurricane" as I have been nicknamed by family.  And if there is one word I had to use to sum up this year I think it would be Reactionary. And for so many reasons. For the trail of events that happened and how things unfolded. For the way I have always been and what I have now put as one of my foremost goals: to NOT be reactionary. To take a minute before I do anything- before I say yes, before I open my mouth, before I take action, before I promise, before I judge. To just wait a second and give the real me a chance to weigh in before angry me pulverizes 9 out of 10 options. I don't know why I am writing about this. I was looking through writing prompts I never wrote and was getting tired of the idea of "assignment." One of the subjects was anger and the first word that came to mind was reactionary and then my chest sunk a little and I knew I should write on this word even though when I started I had no idea why. I feel good right now. A little sad with the anniversary of their deaths approaching but a little happy and proud at what I have done for myself this year. I feel stronger than ever even though I am not as tough as I used to be. And I feel so grateful for my life and the people I have in it, especially Mike who is the most amazing person on the planet, I'm convinced. I could not have weathered the storm without him and we have come through the other side with a kind of respect and love and deep understanding of each other that blows my mind everyday. Alright, enough mush. Here's to a happy, healthy spring when it fucking gets here!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pretty

Thanks to Mike for showing me this poem

Writing Prompt: Clutter

As Mike and I settle more into a our tiny one bedroom apartment (two extra shelves here, a hanging door coat rack there) a few things have become clear:

1) We need to move.

2) His collection of furniture and tools does NOT compliment my collection of papers, paid bills, and receipts. We are both pack rats in totally different ways. Besides the couch which we purchased together at the end of last summer, I have not bought or brought home one piece of furniture. Our apartment is filled with inherited or built pieces of furniture by Mike, almost all with the idea of function over form, though Mike does have a style. Meanwhile, Mike has amost no papers and I have drawers filled, not to mention the notebooks of past taxes with receipts I have in his parents' attic.

3) I cannot get magazine subscriptions. If I don't get a chance to read them, I have a hard time parting with them and so instead they sit and collect for a time I will never be able to fully enjoy even a quarter of them.

4) I need to begin scanning my papers and writing materials with feedback or just throw them away.

5) Mike needs a workshop.

6) I need to practice using my desk and not the coffee table as a place to put things and work.

7) We need an office.

8) If a medicine or lotion has an expiration date tha thas already passed, throw them away.

9) I need a dresser and a bigger closet.

10) Mike needs a dresser and a closet.

11) A little bit of cleaning everyday is better than a huge cleaning binge on Sunday night.

12) We need a spice rack. The plastic bags of spices all thrown together is no longer working.

13) For our next apartment we will pick a theme that has a little bit of him, a little bit of me, and the rest is Us.

14) There was a time we actually kept bikes in the living room, as well. I think I may retire the idea of being a Brooklyn cyclist. And after seeing and reading about the Ghost bike tour this past weekend, I think I have lost my appetite for charging the streets of New York on 2 wheels with pedals

15) Once we move, I am never sleeping on a loft bed again.

16) An actual entertainment system with cabinets and shelves, etc, would be nice.

17) If we get a smaller coffee table does that mean we will keep less shit on it?

18) Why would anyone get a dog in NYC?

19) It might be time for real curtains.

20) Everyone should live in a small apartment once.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Writing Prompt: A Box Full of Books

On top of being very busy with book reading and script reading, Mike and I went to a book sale to weekends ago where I could not resist buying some of the classics for $2 not to mention a week later I went to a reading and bought another two books and recently used a gift certificate to a book store I got for my birthday in September. I have always loved to read, but even if I don't get to read all of these books for a couple years, I have always loved books! The smell, the feel, the words...I'm a proud bookworm. Here is a list of things I am currently reading or have recently bought. I can't tell you what I read for coverage because THAT is confidential. However I did just finish a 319 page book and two scripts. That being said...
Julie Orringer's Collection of Short Stories: How To Breathe Underwater
Nick Flynn's play, Alice Invents A Little Game and Alice Always Wins
Nick Flnn's new collection of poetry, The Captain Asks For A Show of Hands
Andre Dubus III's memoir, Townie
The Complete Collection of James Joyce
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (a favorite!)
Joyce Johnson's In The Night Cafe (a former teacher)
The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci
Rick Moody's The Ice Storm
And that is all I can remember for right now...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing Prompt: Sleeping In

I layed out my running clothes last night, hell bent on waking up at 5:40 and going to the Y where I would run four miles and redeem myself for the Mexican food I splurged on the night before. But when the alarm goes off and his arm is wrapped around me and his slight snoring is in sync with my breathing, and the comforter is so squishy and warm, I think better of my plan, and enjoy the morning for what it is.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Too early?

I've taken this image of tulip gardens from the website: http://www.types-of-flowers.org/tulip.html. I am willing myself into spring. The slightly warmer weather, the tulips on the corner, the rain every other day. I'm loving experiencing this season change. I have been feeling really grateful lately, and the longer days remind me that I should be.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Writing Prompt: Her Mother's Daughter

I went home this past Christmas and my mom was intent on showing me photo albums of her mother. She pulled out boxes and plastic bins and worked up a sweat trying to find them.
"I want you to see..." she said.
It was important for her to show me in chronological order. To  remind me, this is how it happened. The albums were in excellent shape, unlike the ones kept at my dad's place where there are two, both bought from the 99 cent store when I was a teenager. One of them no longer has a cover, and so my Kindergarten picture is now the first page that greets you. The other one is filled with an assortment of pictures from my father's childhood and my borhter and I playing soccer when we are about eleven and nine years old. There is no order, only splatterings of memories, like paint droppings on a canvas meant to cover the floor. But mo mother's albums, once my grandmother's albums are perfect, with years written out, indicating, "London, 1948."  "Spain." "Germany." I see my grandmother as a baby and within a few pages I see her as a teenager, a young married teenager, and her smiles are big as if with each one she is sucking a breath of fresh air. Her shoes are off in Morocco. Her hat is blowing away in Spain. Her plaid coat is perfect against the black and white Scottish Highlands as if to say, "there is texture here."
"They were really happy at first," my mother said when referring to my grandmother and my biological grandfather, her first marriage, just before they had kids.
We reach my mother's photographs and she looks strikingly similar like my brother's baby photographs: open mouths, big cheeks, soft brows. As I watch my mother grow up, her childhood in military bases in Europe, she looks like a boy.
"I hated brushing my hair, so Mom kept it short," she said.
When her sister Leslie comes along, she steals every photograph with her delicious dimples, perfectly combed pigtails ending in curls and ribbons.
"Leslie was the cute one. I was the bad one."
And from her photographs it certainly looks that way. My mom is constantly moving in every photograph, one knee sock down, one dress strap off her shoulder, annoyed when she is supposed to pose in matching outfits next to Leslie, the cute one. But as they get older and they move to California, the pictures find color. My mother grows her hair out and the color does justice to her sun kissed hair and beach tan from days of playing hooky in high school. Leslie remains perfectly coiffed, not a lash uncurled. But my mom becomes sexy, laughing in alomst every photograph, wearing slinky tank tops, standing with bad posture, not ever posing with an attitude that seems to say, "I just don't give a fuck,"
like going barefoot in Morocco.