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It’s 3 a.m.; I must be lonely

Well, the former part is true, at least.  Am I lonely?  Not…lonely persay.  Pensive?  A little.  Riddled with self-contemplation?  Somewhat.  Ever-so-slightly shocked at myself?  Yes.  Yes, I am.

I’m having a girlie moment.

Gasp.  Crash.  Hiccup.

I know.  I knooooooooooooow. I’m seldom outright girlie.  The pensive self-contemplation stems primarily from that blatant fact.  In many ways, I defy mainstream, pop-culture girl-dom.  I hate pink.  (Okay, maybe not hate, but I feel it ought to be used in very, very sparing quantities.)  Chick flicks are enormously depressing for me.  I don’t want to be a princess, unless it’s the warrior kind and I get to rampage about killing monsters and saving the world.  Diamonds bore me at best, and I loathe diamond solitaires (this time my adjective is not overstated).  I would be mortally offended if my boyfriend spent two months of income on an engagement ring, and only slightly less so if he spent more than a week’s.  (He knows these things already.)

My momentary bout of girliness is coming from the mere fact that my relationship is progressing.  And it’s filling my head with all sorts of fuzzy shiny happy thoughts.  It makes my tummy feel warm and glowy (and NOT in that pregnant way, so don’t even ask).  I may have even sighed and made goo-goo eyes at Edward the Elephant in my boyfriend’s absence.  *ahem.*

On a more serious note, this feeling is entirely new.  Without going into too much detail, no one has ever been committed to me before.  Me.  I’ve never felt anything like this — the sense that someone truly wants to journey through this life at my side and wants me there at his.

And so I’m being girlie.  I’m looking at pretty colors and imagining future moments.  I’m listening to the conversations we had over and over in my head and reveling in it.

I feel like I got a belated birthday present/early Christmas present.  Because as I’ve tried to wrack my brain for gift ideas for myself (always a precipitous sort of task), I’ve returned only to the simple (if gushy and cliche) sentiment that all I want for Christmas is….well, him.

Before I turn completely into a porcelain dolly with ringlets and ribbons, let me remind you once more:

Warrior.  Swords.  Zombie-slaying, kicker of dragon asses, vampire-loving, princess of general awesomeness — that’s who you’re listening to here.  And don’t you forget it.


You Say Financially Questionable, I Say Necessary

Just a quick update to say that I am going to Scotland this summer! It was kind of a snap decision on account of me finding a good fare a solid $400 cheaper than anything else I had found, getting to see Julia, and taking a solid retreat into my favorite place in the world.

I cannot wait.  It’s been three and a half years since I was last there, at Christmas 2006.  So much has changed since then, but one thing’s for certain:  this is exactly what I need.

we are beggars all.

Today I have been listening to and thinking about this song, the lyrics of which will be interspersed through this post.  The song is called “The Weight,” and it’s by the band Thrice.  My boyfriend brought it up the night he gave me my magic wand, and though I couldn’t think of how it went right then, I had heard it before and was taken in by it.  I honestly think I have never heard a truer expression of what true love is, and I am deeply touched thinking about it.

There’s many who’ll tell you they’ll give you their love,
But when they say “give” they mean “take”.
They hang ‘round just like vultures ’til push comes to shove
And take flight when the earth starts to shake.

Someone may say that they’ll always be true
Then slip out the door ‘fore the dawn,
But I won’t leave you hanging on.

Another may stay ’til they find someone new
Then before you know they’ll be gone,
But I won’t leave you hanging on.

No, I won’t won’t be that someone.

This will likely be a very candid blog — not that I am ever anything else, but you know.  Just a disclaimer.  I have often felt like a beggar.  In many ways, my life has been that of a vagabond or a drifter.  I’ve moved 33 times in 25 years.  I have gotten where I am today because of intensely hard work and because of the help and charity of others.  I use the word charity not to imply a sense of pity, but in the almost spiritual sense of giving out of the need to pass on the blessings one has been given.  More about the act of giving than the perception of need implicit in the receiving end of such a gift.

And come what may, I won’t abandon you or leave you behind,
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side,
I won’t run away, though the storm’s getting worse and there’s no end in sight.

Some talk of destiny, others of fate,
But soon they’ll be saying goodbye,
But I won’t leave you high and dry.

‘Cause a ring don’t mean nothing if you can’t haul the weight
And some of them won’t even try,
But I won’t leave you high and dry.

I won’t leave you wondering why.

In love as well I have often felt the beggar.  I have often felt myself unworthy of real love — I have been tossed aside often enough that I am supremely unused to having anyone stand by me.  I have always been at the whim of others’ convenience — there when it suited them and cast off when it stopped being convenient for them.  I think because of this, I don’t understand why anyone would want me when I am the mess that I am.

And come what may, I won’t abandon you or leave you behind,
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side,
I won’t run away, though the storm’s getting worse and there’s no end in sight.

And storms will surely come,
But true love is a choice you must make and you are the one.
That I have set my heart to choose
As long as I live, I swear I’ll see this through.

I spent quite a long time waiting for my current boyfriend.  We knew each other for a year and a half before we started our official relationship, and I won’t pretend that some of that time wasn’t incredibly difficult for me.  I still wrestle with the idea that I’m either not enough or too much or both at the same time.  I think everyone feels that way sometimes, but I have it honed to a fine art.  Which is why I think that this Thrice song is such a resonant depiction for me.  I’m not used to a love like this.  As one of my favorite gods said in one of my favorite books (by David Eddings), “Thou wilt warily give love, but you must also learn to accept it.”  I’ve never known a love like this, but come what may, I will see it through.  In the words of another, newer favorite song, I’ve got nothing left to lose.

Come what may, I won’t abandon you or leave you behind,
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side,
I won’t run away, though the storm’s getting worse and I see no end.

Come what may, I won’t abandon you or leave you behind,
Because love is a loyalty sworn, not a burning for a moment.
Come what may, I will be standing right here by your side,
I won’t run away, though the storm’s getting worse and there’s no end in sight.

In other news, my beloved city of Nashville, Tennessee is under water.  If you haven’t heard about it, the Cumberland and Harpeth rivers that both run through and around Nashville gained about 26+ feet over the weekend, causing catastrophic flooding and billions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.  I-24 became a raging river, and the water was forceful and deep enough to detach homes from foundations and even sent a modular school building floating down the interstate.

One of my closest friends had to be emergency evacuated from her apartment — she’s very lucky, and it turns out the water only got ankle deep and her car even still works, but thousands of others were not so lucky.  My old boss had to sit and watch from his home as a man was stranded up a tree in his Forest Hills neighborhood — Tom couldn’t get to him as there was fast moving water that was far too dangerous to move through, and I’m told the man was stranded there for at least 20 hours in the pouring rain.  There are thousands of other stories like these.  I’m dismayed and disappointed that the national media is paying only cursory attention to this disaster.  Almost 30 people have died so far, and countless others are without power, clean water, and homes.  If you are at all able, please text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the relief efforts.

I only lived in Nashville for a year, but it is a truly lovely city full of warm and inviting people.  To see loved ones and colleagues entrapped in this disaster and also being nationally ignored is heartbreaking, and I wish I could do more to help.  I don’t get a ton of views on this blog, but hopefully enough people will read this and be moved enough to spare $10.  If enough people do it, it really does make a difference.

Please help.  We are beggars all.

❤  Emmie

oddities, life lessons, and a starless void

maybe it’s working at a school, but i’m realizing lately just how much i’m learning about myself and how i work.  for instance, i’ve been trying to work on appreciating the small things in life as much as possible, like people who don’t tailgate and days when i can sleep in.  i’ve always sort of noticed the little things.  you’ll notice if you look at my facebook albums that i take an inordinate number of squirrel pictures.  i’m quirky.

i’m learning to appreciate a good quirk.  the squirrel thing is one.  i also tend to bounce when i have food — that’s something that i’ve mentioned before.

i really like sleeping.  as in…really like it.  so much i might even consider it a hobby.  first on the list is probably staying up late and sleeping in.  that is a glorious use of sleep right there.  there really isn’t much i find more personally satisfying than that, except perhaps adding a nice cuddle into the mix.  behind that is naps — the kind where you can get cozy in bed and curl up with a pillow.  again, also very nice if you add in a cuddle.  it’s one of my favorite things on the planet, sleeping.  maybe because the world just isn’t built for people like me, who function best between the hours of around 9 pm and 4 am.  add to that the fact that i get so anxious when i try to go to sleep that i have to drown out any little noises with a fan and have it completely dark, and i’m just not really made for this world.  so whenever i do get a chance to sleep and sleep well, i treasure it like it’s the last flower petal after a nuclear holocaust.

maybe that’s a little melodramatic…or not.

i also have some really ridiculous fears.  one i realized on the way to work this morning is that i’m afraid of the “friend zone.”  i think it’s an after-effect of one of the most favored relationship cliches:  “i think we’d be better off as friends.”  shudder.  what an awful thing.  of course, i’ve always been of the mind that the best relationships are passion rooted in very deep friendship, so hearing “we’re such good friends” as a reason to not be together is really counter-intuitive for me.  but maybe i’m weird.

on that note, and just because i thought of it, i’ve been thinking about just how many relationships begin about 2 seconds after meeting someone new.  you meet, you date — with dating as the way to get to know someone.  i’m a pretty picky person, so the percentage of people i like after a couple dates is pretty dismally low.  i think that’s one of the reasons i kinda hate dating.  i mean, face it — how often do people meet someone they really click with enough to have a relationship?  and i mean not just someone they can stand to be around for a few months — i mean someone who they genuinely like enough to get serious about.  that doesn’t happen very often.  and i see a lot of people who do the former and try to force it into the latter, which usually just makes a big, big mess.

maybe that’s why i’m so happy right now.  i’m in a relationship with someone i’ve known for almost a year and a half.  we didn’t start anything till now because of distance, but it sort of forced us to find out how we worked together.  and we work rather remarkably well.  i could get into this fully because frankly, i already knew that we still liked each other after over a year had gone by.  more, even.  i don’t have to worry about what i’m gonna think of him next month, and even better, i don’t have to worry about what he’s going to think of me.  he knows me pretty damn well, and he’s quite fond of me just as i am.

anyway, my current happy place aside.  i’m just sort of rambling.  i think i had other interesting things to say.

oh, right, that.  i remember now.  i wanted to talk about my fascination with preternatural critters.  you know, the ghoulies and ghosties, long leggedy beasties, things that go bump in the night, etc.  those ones.  (after seeing paranormal activity, “things that go bump in the night” take on a whole new level of yikes, by the way.  sheesh)  i have always, always, always liked the supernatural.  anything weird or creepy, gimme fangs and a full moon over sleepless in seattle any day (seriously, see above, re: sleep.  sleep > sleepless, hands down)

first of all, we’ll start with vampires.  and for the record, i’m not really that big a fan of the tragic vampire character.  you know, as in interview with, or angel from buffy.  or, *gasp, egads, the horror*, edward cullen.  i’m a big fan of the self-actualized vampire.  gimme a fanger who is quite fine and reconciled to her or his situation in unlife.  those characters are much more fun, because they’re just not so goddamn whiny.  “ooh, poor me, i’m beautiful and immortal and virtually indestructible, i don’t want to drink blood, call the waaaaambulance, wah.”  stake me now, why don’t you?

obviously, vampires in general are a rather interesting concept.  first of all, it’s not so entirely out of the ballpark of the conceivable.  there are plenty of critters on the planet who sustain themselves fully upon the nourishment of blood.  even some mammals.  so why not vampires?  plus, they’ve been so sensualized that they’re just so sexy.  vampires are irresistible.  even the ones who are supposed to just be ravening monsters (what you’d expect from say, 30 days of night if you only saw the movie and weren’t awesome enough to read the graphic novels).  they have an allure about them.  maybe it’s the fact that they almost always go for the neck, and that’s an erogenous zone for most people.  yep, i said it.  i think that might actually be one of the biggies in terms of why vampires rock people’s socks.  sexy little bloodsucking bastards.  bite my neck.

next, i’ll go onto witches.  i’m also gonna say here that they are not entirely out of the realm of possible.  who hasn’t looked up at the harvest moon in fall and felt that something magical could exist? there are plenty of unexplained phenomena out there that we don’t understand — not that they’re conclusively and ultimately unexplainable, but it’s usually enough to make you wonder on occasion.  witches are interesting as hell, because they can control things.  sometimes thoughts, sometimes manipulate the physical world or create something ex nihilo — all of which are really quite nifty tricks.  plus, they make great scapegoats.  someone in your village got cholera?  that’s because that grouchy old lady put a hex on her!  cows not givin milk?  damn witches must have spelled those titties.  better use them for combustibles.

which brings me to my main point about witches (not that they are flammable, weigh the same as a duck, or float).  witches are intriguing because they have power that allows them to change what is into what could be.  and we all know that human beings covet power.  that’s probably why witches have been both the subject of extreme interest in all of the literature, films, etc they have spawned/inspired and also got the whole short end of the scapegoat stick.  personally, i like them because they gots some shiny shit.

now for the furries.  and no, i’m not talking about people who strap on tails and perform bizarre sexual rituals (hey, to each their own.  if you wanna get some tail in a real and literal sense, at least it’s attached to a human and not something of the bestial variety.)  first of all, how freaking awesome would it be to change into another animal at will?  i can’t say i’d really enjoy having the moon dictate when i got furry with it, but if i could shift on command, that’d be sweet.  plus, the lycanthropes usually end up with the animal magnetism goin for them as well.  notice a trend with that?

on a very basic level, i think that psychologically, the furries represent the primal animal nature that we’ve (mostly) learned to eradicate in our oh-so-civilized culture.  the draw is about surrender to the instinct, surrender to the id.  (go, freud, go.)  so go for it.  take your tail and howl at the moon.  of course, lycanthropes are probably the most far-fetched of our preternatural critter zoological journey.  while you can stretch to think that psychic activity and bloodsuckers are within the stratosphere of the quasi-believable, shapeshifting is something that is like taking macroevolution and turning it up to eleven.  but they’re still fun as hell.

so that’s that bit.  now, since it’s about 2:23 am, and i’m wide awake, maybe that’s something to write about.  i really like nighttime.  first of all, i like the dark.  i have a hard time sleeping unless it’s as dark as possible.  cave-like, if at all feasible.  second, it’s peaceful.  maybe that’s the introvert in me; there are less people around after midnight.  i like the quiet of it, the serenity.  i also like stars, and i’ve always been fascinated by things in outer space.  nebulae and star clusters and galaxies far, far away……….. 🙂  ………..but really, there’s plenty of light when the sun goes down — it just doesn’t seem like it because it’s farther away.  i like night.

i think i’m kind of a weirdo.  i can’t help it, i suppose.  i like all manner of odd things.  i’ll go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf in fall (look out, cos here they come).  i like looking at animals.  i’m very fond of tea.  i like books, movies, and videogames when they come with creepy crawlies and lots of blood and guts i can squash or shoot or pummel (or watch).  one of my favorite things is when someone brushes my hair back from my face.  i like the word “marmot.”  i cry when i think about world war ii.  i love all things celtic and handmade leather shoes.  i mostly don’t care for fashion, cos most of it doesn’t seem to really be me.  there’s an awful lot more to me than just that, i suppose.  when i read over that, it doesn’t sound all that weird, but i still often feel like i really don’t fit in.  i’m not sure what the reason for that is.

it’s another quiet night after a long sort of day.  my whimsy seems to have deserted me, and at the moment i feel sort of…lost and alone.  somedays the world seems so small that i can reach out and touch every part of it — see the rolling highlands of scotland with their heather and gorse, feel the grass of the planty under my hands with wawel castle in the distance in krakow, smell the olive trees in spain as the rainclouds roll in over the hills — but right now the world seems very vast, very much bigger than a very small me, with only a void slipping between my fingertips.


but probably not the kind you’re thinking of.  or maybe, but that’s a whole other thing.

what i’m talking about is that font of effervescent joy, that bubble of feeling, that smile that tugs at the corner of my mouth when i realize where i am…and that i am home.  home.  haven’t felt like that in a while.  for god’s sake, i’m not even in my own place yet.  and yet.

call it love at first sight.  call it whatever you want.  but for the first time on this side of the atlantic, that plane’s landing gear hit the tarmac with a thud that infused me with utter contentment.  and i didn’t really think i would ever feel that on this side of the pond.  never in my life had i set foot in this city before thursday.  but here i am, and here i’ll…stay.  indefinitely.

what an amazing thing.

i realized last week before leaving nashville that my life has consisted of a series of expiration dates for as long as i can remember.  there was always another massive upheaval ahead.  nothing seemed solid.  each new home had a sense of the temporary about it.  and not temporary as in “move to another house in the vicinity” temporary — i mean that in the sense of another large, long-distance move ahead.  i was looking for something ephemeral, something i couldn’t quite grasp.  i was always pulled eastward.  i’ve known for a long time that if i were to live anywhere in the states on any kind of permanent basis, it would have to be on the east coast.  i’d planned to move to boston a few years ago with a friend, but she ended up running off with some polish guy and dropping off the face of the planet.

when i moved to poland, it had a timestamp.  scotland was always the same way.  when i returned to denver, it was the same.  always a nagging feeling of not-belonging in dcnver’s case — as for europe, there was always the knowledge that i carried the wrong passport.  i know people who have done it, up and left.  but those people without exception have a safety net in the states that i don’t have.  parents or family who could, if necessary, bail them out in a bind.  they may not agree with that, but they didn’t grow up at half the poverty level, either.  it’s always been too big of a risk for me, as much as i love europe.   wherever i’ve lived for the past six years of my life (longer, really), i’ve had this feeling that i’d have to leave soon.  for whatever reason.  that’s made life rough.  no continuity.  i think in a lot of ways, i’ve kept myself distant from people, knowing that i’d probably be leaving them soon.  it’s not really a good way to try to build lasting relationships.  and it’s not a good feeling, constantly seeing drastic changes on the horizon.

that feeling is gone.  i don’t see an expiration date in sight.  i don’t know if i will stay here absolutely forever, but let’s put it this way — i don’t see myself leaving any time in the foreseeable future.  and that is saying a whole hell of a lot.

i honestly don’t really know what to do with myself;  i’m that happy.  it’s still sinking in, and will continue to do so.  first job.  first bills (yeck).  first place of my own.  all that stuff.  but the fact that i don’t plan on leaving this place in a year or even two or three has filled me with so much happiness.

this city is freaking amazing.  i haven’t even seen all that much of it yet, but what i have seen is pretty sweet.  this, for example:

i could live there.

i could live there.

so right now, i’m nothing but joyful.  good things are happening in all corners of my life.  and the best thing about all of it is that there is no rush.  except maybe to find that first job.  🙂

you can fly

Think of the happiest things
It’s the same as having wings
Take the path that moonbeams make
If the moon is still awake
You’ll see him wink his eye
You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!

any merry little thought….

so today, that’s what i will do.  these short snippets are what i want right now, what i yearn for.  with the click of my mental camera and the quiet shuffle of memories long past it all converges into:  shimmering sunlight daydreams, little lemon drop desires, and the images of dreams that come under the glow of soft moonlight, that’s where i’ll go.

second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

bare feet in sand as the ocean foams at the shore.  wait.  pause.  inhale.  salt tang on the wind, exhale with the breeze.  tiny crystals make up the glimmering beach.

a thrill, a tingle.  pop rocks up and down my spine.  thrum of bass, muted booming drum.  slinking chords in a minor key.  heart pulses, muscles ache just to move….

it’s evening, and the crickets sing a lullaby to the day.  lightning bugs flash in the dimming light, as the sky turns to cerulean with the exit of the sun.

blurred landscape of green and brown flows past windows.  wind rushes in through the gap between glass and rubber.  naked foot against the sun-warmed dash.  here goes nothing.

lie under starry skies.  pinpricks of brilliant light spread across inky black.  fuzzy blanket.  shift, rearrange, settle and sigh.

morning eyes opened slowly, drift across crinkled sheets.  hands meet empty air as the blink of lashes wipes away dreamscapes.  dreams dissolve, illusion shatters.

warmth blossoms in my core.  the rich lull of golden peat, velvet liquid on my tongue.  amber swirls, turns to honey in the light as the scent of oak and heather rises from the glass.

any merry little thought…

shoes drop into the sand with a whisper.  granules part beneath my feet, and the spongy damp gives as earth meets water.  splashes of salt fly in the air as the cold shock of the sea coats toes, ankles, calves.  laughter.

blades of emerald — shock of summer green.  cool brush of grassy scent through humid air.  white stone gleams in the distance across a shining pool.  buzz of voices, giggles, flash of smiles and floppy hats.

cuddles on a hard pew.  a circus of people surrounds us, bright colors, hum of activity in the air.  no one stands at the pulpit.  all of that in the background of the soft kiss of skin and a gentle embrace.

the pillow gives against my back as i turn with a sigh.  sunlight filters through the blinds.  late morning, lazy morning.

the dusky scent of books weaves tales of centuries past.  mingling smells of cracking leather covers and pages brittle and worn with time.  deep maroon and navy blue, faded in the dim light.  whispers from the pages within, stories, adventures, history, knowledge.  thousands of voices murmur, bound  forever in stasis between covers and thread.

laughter, always laughter.  knowing smiles and shared glances.  sparkling eyes and easy cameraderie.  laughter.

any merry little thought…

think of all the joy you’ll find
when you leave the world behind
and bid your cares good-bye

….i’ll let you all finish the rest.  of course, we all know neverland has its pirates, cruel mermaids, glorified juvenile vagrancy, ticking crocodiles,  and very un-pc racial stereotypes, but….

…second star to the right and straight on till morning.

femme fatal-ist

i’m not much of a fatalist.  the movie serendipity is one of the most noxious fairy tales i’ve ever seen — due in part to the fact that i’ve known people to base their lives on the epistomology of this movie.  which, for whatever odd reason, seems to somehow fall spectacularly to bits when held up to any kind of scrutiny, or when put into practice — causing tears, recriminations, and binge eating/drinking.  if you haven’t seen it, allow me to sum up:

if you meet someone special, and a seemingly insignificant obstacle gets in your way (ie: the piece of paper she wrote her number on blows away when a street sweeper goes by), you should just assume that you’re not supposed to be with her right then.

instead, devise a series of concocted ideas and tell each other that if they all come together in exactly the right way, you’re meant to be together, so there.  then, a few years later, you will find each other again and live happily ever after when fate brings you back together after you found her mysterious toenail clipping in your lasagna at maggiano’s.  works every time.

or, in the real world, you’ll never see this person again, and you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what could have happened if you’d just written the damn number down again.

here’s why it’s dangerous — when taken to the extreme (as, of course, they do in the movie), you will start seeing “signs” everywhere.  like a dude named peter?  every other person you meet is peter.  or married to a peter.  or is watching peter pan.  or says something petered out.  or invokes saint peter to kick you out of heaven.  or summons a wolf and stalks around to prokofiev.  whatever.  but these things don’t actually mean anything at all.  you notice them precisely because you have peter on the brain — that they occur is merely coincidence.  if you liked someone named…mark, perhaps, you would never notice all the peters floating around the world.

the human brain is a spectacular mechanism.  complex, intricate, and fascinating, the brain is capable of doing things we haven’t even discovered yet.  people tend to like to categorize things.  if we don’t understand something, there’s a decent chance it will be put in the box with “unexplainable,” “miraculous,” “god,” “mystery,” etc.  the fact is, however, that just because something is heretofore unexplained, it doesn’t follow that said thing is henceforth unexplainable.  get it?

the unexplained is something i like to ponder.  and today, my contemplatory musings ran away with me and led in an odd sort of direction.

i was trying to think of plausible explanations for a situation in my life.  i thought carefully about the circumstances of the last ten months, wondering to myself how on earth so much time has passed.  and a thought came into my head.  what if the event that started all this hadn’t happened?  june 17, 2008.  what if that day had been different in one arbitrary way?  what would have occured then?  what would this year have looked like?  without…i’m at a loss.  without so much of what made it good.

2008 was a right shite year for me.  the situation in question — we’ll call it the purple blanket* — lent me strength.  gave me courage.  made me smile, and gave me some of the highlights of that horrible year.  without it, i would probably still have gotten to where i am now, but i would have fallen down a lot more on the way.

and i realized something.  if that seemingly arbitrary event had robbed me of the purple blanket, i would still be on the path i am on right now. the main factors that influenced my choices remain unchanged without the purple blanket.  in fact, without the purple blanket, i may have been even more resolved to the path i have chosen.

i say this because the purple blanket unwittingly gave me strength to walk away from something bad.  reminded me gently that no, my chances for happiness are not over.  they didn’t end in august of 2007 after all.  that i am, in all my me-ness, okay.  i’m okay just as i am, with all my baggage and mess, my foibles and quirks.  just as i am.  this gave me strength, gave me power back that had been stripped from me.

without that, others would have filled in that gap, but not before i got a lot more hurt.  not before i got wounded more.  and maybe not before something worse happened.

in essentials, however, the main factors would have remained the same.  i’d have still met ana and my friends who worked so tirelessly to see obama elected.  we connected on an entirely different level.  and in the end, it may have been they who moved me forward.  but i would have moved forward.

when i realized that, i had a startling moment of discovery.  if june 17, 2008 had played out differently, if the purple blanket had been shunted away in a moving van and gone before my feet touched nashville soil, it would still be waiting for me in dc this summer.

when that thought flitted through my mind, i felt as though the world moved around me, as if i were falling through the air, feeling the wind raise the hairs on my arms in gooseflesh, or the charge of electricity that precedes a spring thunderstorm.

i would still find the purple blanket.  because now, as it stands, i’m not moving to dc to get to it.  not at all.  but somehow knowing that if i hadn’t found it in june 2008, i would find it in june of 2009 makes me wonder.  fills me with awe, really.  while i certainly can’t say what would transpire if this parallel version of the last ten months had happened, i do know that i’d at least find the purple blanket.

and that leaves me to wonder about this thing called fate.  i don’t know if i’d step out on a limb and say that certain things are meant to be.  a billion times a billion different things could have happened in the past ten months, could have moved me in a different way entirely, but they didn’t.  and had they hinged on who i found in the living room on june 17, 2008, i’d still be here, counting down.

and maybe weeks from now, i’d ask a different question.  what would have happened if i’d found the purple blanket in 2008?  i’d wonder then what it would have changed.  and i might laugh at the whole thing.  think to myself, “no way would we be here right now — it’s impossible.”

but i’m here.  i exist here, april 3, 2009.  thinking about the purple blanket.  and it’s not impossible.  however improbable, however unexplained, it happened.

maybe it’s serendipity after all.  maybe it’s a miracle of life.  or maybe, just maybe, in all the prosaic nature of finding something unexpected when you least expect it, the real miracle is a simple as looking at the odds, and seeing them beaten.  maybe that’s all the explanation i need.

*if spinal tap may be your thing, please excuse the color scheme.  i chose it for the memories, november days and halloween.  some stranger things upon reflection still move us in the same direction.  i can’t tell where it goes from here. we’ll soon find out — it’s been a year.

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A Leaf Suspended

I decided to start a second page about various thoughts of mine…like a journal, I suppose.  On a pretty background.

It’s Tuesday now.  Thursday through Sunday were days filled with so much awesome that I really don’t know what to do with myself right now.  Between Chipotle, good movies, H & M, and resolving some if-only’s, it was quite the weekend.  Perfect, in fact.  Perfect weekend.

It did leave me with a few more if-only’s, but there’s not much to be done about that right now.  Sigh.

On Saturday, whilst driving down an autumn-lined road, I saw something odd.  A leaf, suspended by nothing, seemed to float in midair above the parking strip.  We backed up the car to look at it.  From the car, it was really something interesting.  It fluttered a little and bobbed in the breeze, but didn’t fall.  Upon closer observation, we found out that the leaf was stuck to a long strand of spider webbing that spanned several yards.  From a few feet, the thread was invisible.

This morning, I saw another one.  It is fall, so there are bound to be many of these leaves hanging around, but the one in Toledo was by far the coolest.  I sort of feel like that leaf.  The wind might blow me around a little, and it probably looks like I’m not hanging on to anything, if you look at me from a distance.  Only ripples from far off places seem to touch me at times.  So I sit there until someone drives by and notices me, then backs up to take a closer look.  Most people just drive on by and don’t see me.

If I really was that leaf, I’d be pretty happy to be noticed.  I’d be a little odd, of course, just hanging there on an invisible thread, floating in space, while all the other leaves litter the ground, but I’m a rather firm believer that we are drawn to people and things that remind us of ourselves.  Everyone in the car was pretty drawn to that leaf.  I think each of us in our ways were like that leaf.  Just from what I found out about the others in the car that weekend, we like to be noticed for our uniqueness, our suspended leafness.  Sometimes we’re surprised when people pay attention, and it makes us self-conscious.  I feel like that.  We’re tempted to flee to the piles of leaves instead of hanging out and seeing who will back the car up.

If I’m that leaf, I think I like being me.