Everything changes all the time and real-life metaphors are everything.

Somehow during yesterday’s storm I somehow fucked up the left lens of my glasses and I need to go get it looked at tomorrow; My vision’s been impaired. I need to take action to see clearer. So right now I’m wearing an old pair of glasses to get by and it’s been okay. But it’s not the best. Kind of uncomfortable to be honest. Sometimes relying on old methods isn’t a permanent solution. I’m still figuring it out.

Things change fast and slow all the time. Sometimes we can’t see it until after it happens. Sometimes we feel it more than we see it.

Today was one of those lazy days hanging out at home – Catching up on TV and snacking in pajamas. I hadn’t had a day like that in awhile. It felt good. (but also a little shitty. Sometimes I feel bad for letting myself indulge like that. I need to get over myself.)

I find myself thinking about how friends sometimes leave or diminish in our lives somehow, some way. But when they do, we start to recognize the indelible mark they’ve made on us – In the way we speak, tell a joke, view our outlook on life, respond to others. And how when we lose those friends, other friends come to fill in that gap made empty. But they do it with such force and will of life. Something dead was there before. We didn’t even realize it was dead. Now it’s a beautiful bouquet of flowers with hummingbirds and bumblebees. We must water and tend our relationships all the time.

We learn so much from each other that sometimes when there’s a falling out, it’s easy to equate a lot of things with that relationship, things that you shared. Things that afterwards seem less enjoyable because you shared them. I’m getting over this bullshit.

Last weekend I was going to shows and traveling alone and so my routine is all out of whack. I’m really looking forward to getting it back on track by hitting the hay early and waking up and being productive. I must be productive. Exercise! Errands! I’m even getting a massage tomorrow. (One that is desperately needed.) I must clean my room and do my laundry. Get my affairs in order. Catch up on email. Pay bills. Figure it out.

Life is so amazing and short. I’m realizing I don’t have time for other people’s bullshit. I wanna love my friends and and get out there. Enjoy life. Do things. Do things that will make the memoir interesting. That’s my mantra. I don’t want to rely on others if it means diminishing my own sense of self. I’m a strong, independent woman. I am Life.

Tomorrow morning, I’m making coffee and a to-do list and getting started. Dust the cobwebs off the shelf. I’m going to listen to all the music I’ve been putting off. I’m going to start teaching myself more songs on guitar and work on my technique. I’m a Jill of all Trades. I’m going to meditate and breathe through every triumph and tribulation. I am breath embodied. I’m going to organize and feel good about myself, feel good about Life.

But first, sleep. Sleep is important.

 

Suzuki

To anyone who’s known me/knows me well knows that Saves The Day has been a very important part of my life since circa 2007. And I don’t believe this to be the time or place for me to recount my entire journey with this band (perhaps someday), but I’d like to just say a few words about the track, “Suzuki” on Saves The Day’s new album, entitled 9.

Before 9 even came out, a website posted the tracklist and I was absolutely intrigued to find that Suzuki was the name of a song. Suzuki is one of the fascinating things (imo) Chris and I have in common. He studied cello (as the song says) and I, piano. Suzuki was a really important part of my life as it helped to develop my musical ear and was a foundational part of my early music education as a kid. And being that I was awarded a music scholarship for writing an essay about the guy, that small coincidental factoid somehow makes the world seem way rounder than it really is.

On Friday, when 9 came out, I went to that track first because I was so excited to hear it. It was around 5:30 AM when the world is still dark and quiet, and 30 seconds in, I hear my name in the song and immediately thought, Is this a dream?

Cutting out the part of me listening back over and over to confirm I hadn’t misheard, since Friday I’ve still been sifting through many emotions. They are complex and multi-layered. It’s a lot of things being felt at once. But I think most importantly, I’d like to acknowledge the self-reflection I’ve been experiencing, which is what 9 is – A self-reflection of a band/life-long music career and the story behind it, the ups and downs that come with it. But for me, I think back to my 10 year journey with this band and it makes my heart swell beyond it’s own capacity. I feel so honored and thankful to be acknowledged, and even that acknowledgement and thankfulness does not seem like enough to express the gratitude and love I truly feel. The journey, my journey, is nowhere near finished and I do not know where it will take me, but I feel so overwhelmingly blessed and grateful to have had the privilege of spending it with this band and the friends I’ve gained through our mutual love of music.

I’d also like to say (despite my name drop) that “Suzuki” is a very well-written song and I find myself constantly tearing up about it because the weaving melody and performances from the entire band are just so heartfelt and tangible and real to me. It’s cathartic time-travel while simultaneously making reality feel cinematic…It’s still difficult for me to articulate.

Additionally, the first time I saw Saves The Day was at Highline Ballroom in NYC in 2008 where Moneen and Kevin Devine opened for them. It blew my mind and changed my world forever. Kevin is opening again for them on their upcoming tour and it somehow feels so right for all this to be happening right now. Hope to see you at a show –

44846040_10156732026217103_7457972063941165056_o.jpg

I look at myself in the mirror in triangle pose.

Who is this girl?

My hair in free fall, like a lion’s mane. I look into my shrunken pupils,

I think about all the things I’ve said and done and need to do and I breathe, slowly.

Examining myself, looking at this thick girl in the mirror, thighs massive, defined biceps trying to shed their bottom fat.

And it’s okay. I’m not vain about it. But there’s something about acknowledging a reflection, finding the confidence in your own eyes to accept yourself and connect with the soul within you.

And when you’re home and in private, stand naked in front of your bedroom mirror and realize you will never have a Hollywood body – and that’s okay too.

And instead of picking out imperfections, find a place to love and appreciate.

The curve of the belly. The protrusion of the clavicle. The small of your own back.

It is in the this gradual acceptance and love of myself that I have found deep compassion for others.

 

the yard

I’m in the yard watching the spontaneity of flashing fireflies. It is peaceful and quiet out here.

Last week we cut down a really big tree in the yard and can now clearly see past our fence to Parallel Street. I miss the tree but love it’s absence and how it brings in so much natural light into the kitchen – even at night.

I meditated twice today. I think I need to start doing longer sessions. I did a 15 minute one today. I opened my eyes and it was like a whole new planet. My anxiety is still persistent, but I’m smarter than to fully identify with it. It’s not truly me.

I remember when there used to be a swing set in the yard. All plastic and metal. When I was a kid, I couldn’t imagine the yard without it. Now I often forget that it existed at all.

My dog’s buried in the yard. A secret kept. I wish I felt more emotional about it. But I suppose my upbringing was very much rooted in solemn, factual understanding. I couldn’t change it if I tried.

God bless the humidity when it leaves. Like anxiety it is sticky and viscous and clings without asking, choking. It makes me panic. But I am not my anxiety. The weather is not its humidity. It is a side-effect, a part of the whole.

I’ve been thinking about melody composition and what a magical process/accident it really is. I listen to Tigers Jaw and dream of being in a band and looking into your eyes and singing to you because I can, because I understand. I understand.

I never want to move to New York. I love the yard too much. Where the ghosts of old friends making smores in 2007 are almost fully faded. Where the birds and bees and cats and squirrels and skunks run and fly free, where the poison ivy grows.

As the night goes on I slow down my breathing and feel the weight ease off my chest.

I will make friends and go on living. I will learn new skills and stay close with the people I love most. I will gain more than I will lose. I will grow as a person even when I think I have already grown. I am the grass. I am a wildflower. I am an untamed wild stallion crying on the prairie.

I want to love more openly, but I am atypical and unexpected and too calloused for my own good. I toss my neck and scoff and make others uncomfortable. I am terrified of admitting to any feeling that may make me vulnerable. I have had my heartbroken. I have felt embarrassment and shame. I do not know how to get over these hurdles. I am still not over those teenage moments. I do not trust men’s intentions at bars.

I love all my queer friends because they understand what it’s like to be different and not fit in. And I think that’s why I get along so well with them: Because I have never fit in anywhere in my life. Occasionally I’ll dip a toe, but the water soon dries up or gets too cold.

Will there ever be a time where this yard will no longer be mine? Will there be new yards with swing sets and dead dogs and animals and flowers and dusk summer nights alone wailing to laptop screens on fingertips bated breath oh wait I have to breathe close my eyes look up at the sky silhouettes of trees –

Deep breaths,

5.13.18

My dad cuts strawberries in the morning for a Mother’s Day fruit salad he is preparing.

We talk about life and a bunch of things I’ve already forgotten, but wish I better remembered.

I always love our morning talks.

It makes me want to stay in the kitchen forever and put the rest of my day on hold.

My mom walks down the stairs, having slept as late as she wants.

I make her laugh by traipsing ahead in front of her, leading the way to the kitchen, pretending to by Igor from Young Frankenstein. My brother joins in.

We eat and share what Dad brought home from the bakery this morning.

I drink coffee. Everything is great. I must try a little piece of everything he’s bought.

Afterwards, we all separate. My parents take care of the dishes.

We let Mom get ready and go to Mass. It’s what she wants.

It’s raining and miserable.

I go for a walk while she’s out. It starts to rain. I decide to chance it.

As soon as I walk up the hill, the precipitation intensifies.

I press on, doing my usual four laps.

I come home with my windbreaker soaked, take off my clothes, and take a shower.

I wash my hair really good. I don’t think my dandruff will ever go away.

I eat leftover turkey chili and watch Iron Man 3 in my robe, procrastinating get dressed. When I eventually get around to it I put on sweats, sans bra. Sweatshirt reads ‘Ramapo’, pants, ‘Montclair’.

The rest of the day is spent in a kind of lazy contentedness.

Tomorrow I start a new internship. The anxiety suddenly catches up with me. I push it away.

Everything feels new and different. I can’t wait until it all feels normal again.