morning answer


almost too much of a relief.
today the space of the camera frame is the right size
to hold in my messy limbs
my messy thoughts.

A year later and I'm still angry at you

You have no idea how much I have written about you, instead of just writing to you.

These are far-off plans

credit

First step towards living in Greenland: learn Danish.

Leaving song

I hate you leaving like I never get lost
Like my stomach all twisted not knowing who's next
I don't hate leaving I just hate being left
You can leave and I can leave, just let me leave first

Let's be insanely elegant for the weekend







Things that are making me happy


My boo in her new school uniform


Late afternoon light

IMing with my transcendentalist feminist Bostonian suitemate

Getting back my first roll of film from my Diana F+!

Hint water. You know how restaurant water tastes like lemon when it's had lemon slices in it? It's like that, except bottled and with cooler fruits, like tangerine and kiwi and raspberry. It doesn't have any added sugar or scary fake flavoring. Water, just with an extra delicious tang. Mmm.

Writing letters in bed before I fall asleep

My course load: Intro to Women's Studies, Families & Intimate Relationships (sociology thereof), Website Development, and Cultural Anthropology. No more time wasted on subjects I don't care about. This is how college is supposed to be!

Tumblng

Summermoon pointing out to me that I am basically a homeschooler.

Post-Author Syndrome [you, Shan-fans who've met Shannon, you know what I'm talking about]. Equal parts awe and gratitude, with a little regret for the things you forgot to say.

Getting to check in patients and make appointments for them at work sometimes now. I'm kind of awkward with "customer" interactions, but it's a nice break from data entry. And it's cool to put faces to the names I've become so familiar with.

Pulling off the freeway to take pictures instead of staying stuck in traffic.

In which I talk about how I'm going to Australia


I got confused by the reverse effect when I was trying to straighten out my crab's eyestalk.

Elements of good day



A small glittering cupcake.



My awesome cousin in town for the weekend.



Yerba Buena Gardens.



And then the three of us out for sushi that night - me, cousin, and sister.

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"Rebecca, don't do drugs."
- Cousin

Thanks for being so awesome, Sunday!

Sunday climbing hills with Beth



One of my very favorite bloggers, author Beth Kephart, was in San Francisco this weekend.

We met up in Union Square. She narrates it better than I can.

My heart kind of hurts on the way homes, with happiness and bewilderment, in this too-full sort of way. Why, why, why do I get to know the people that I know? Why these immense blessings? It's more than anyone could deserve.

With a woman looking over my shoulder on the streetcar, I write, Do I ever get used to these gifts? No, not really.

The best thing about blogging is the friends it's given me. Thank you.


What someone told me last August

"I don't think you understand how much you're capable of."

Lately I have been remembering it often.

She was right; I didn't. I think this year I do.

And it's intoxicating. I am so greedy to be alive.

I will never, ever stop saying, Amazing what you can change in a few months. Amazing.

A marvelous somnambulism

"Besides, these are the same questions: do you love me? are you lying to me? are you asleep? And the reply — yes, I love you, yes, I’m lying, yes, I’m asleep — is equally paradoxical. But it is not untruthful. It simply comes from another world which is not the truth of the first. ‘Yes, I’m asleep. Yes, I’m lying. Yes, I love you’ all these answers reflect a marvelous somnambulism and, all in all, a very clear grasp of the relations we establish with reality when we are sleepy, lying or in love."

"It is not true that, in order to live, one has to believe in one’s own existence. Indeed, our conscience is never the echo of our existence in real time but the ‘recorded’ echo, the screen for the dispersal of the subject and its identity (only in sleep, unconsciousness and death do we exist in real time, are we identical to ourselves)."

– Jean Baudrillard
from Cool Memories and The Perfect Crime, respectively

A reminder for myself and maybe you

I know discontent and restlessness are terribly romantic, but stop making them out to be virtues.

There's nothing noble about being unable to see the beauty and possibilities that exist in this moment. "If you cannot find it here, you won't find it anywhere."

Be present. Practice your art. Walk on the earth.

Things that are making me happy



Angus & Julia Stone. [for your listening pleasure]

Good feedback from the boss, and learning how to do more stuff at work. Medicare didn't forward this guy's claim to his secondary insurance? Hey man, no worries! I know how to take care of that.

You know those friends you can see after being apart for months or even years and you still get along easy as anything? Yes, I have at least one of those.

Harmonica.

Diana.

New season of Project Runway oh my gosling. Anyone else watch that?

The sound of Brazilian Portuguese.

Tea instead of coffee.

Velociraptor imitations.

Jumping out at people.

Erin's back from filming!

Saving at LEAST $250 by buying older editions of all my textbooks. And it makes me feel like I'm sticking it to the man.

Simplifying.

This is my favorite light

It used to make me feel nervous and afraid all the way down to my stomach—something like this—the day crying "gone, gone, no more time," but I can't get enough of it now. Exquisite.

Itemization

Things that are good that I want to keep in my life:

hardwood floors
reading in bed
quiet days at home sometimes
library books
writing letters and postcards
a cat
a rat
tangerines
soy milk
tea
tap water
homemade bread
a snack before bedtime
friends who I relate well to and who are inspiring
blogging
self-haircuts
travel
enough sleep
using other languages
windows
cut flowers
fancy parties sometimes
a sponsor child
visiting friends who live far away
doing my errands by foot or by bike
taking pictures

Things I would rather do without:

sunburns
strapless bras
a dishwasher
kitchen devices that can only be used for one purpose
stuff that I don't use

What about you?

So I can fall asleep tonight

It's okay that I'm afraid that I won't be able to get another job whenever I leave this one.

It's okay that I'm not ready to deal with the idea of going back to the college where I started.

It's okay that I'm worried about my happiness not being durable enough.

It's okay that I don't know when or even if I'll get a college degree.

It's okay that I don't have plans for much past this semester.

I'm not there yet. Life gets bigger but so do I. All I have to do is now. Just because I don't always feel brave, certain, or strong doesn't mean anything in the future is going to be too much for me.

***

I'm not sure when this blog starting taking the place of my journal, but it has.

Sometimes I don't know whether to keep posts like this unpublished or not. I don't know if they're interesting to other people.

Time-lapse diptych

1. Something wasn't true but I didn't know what
so I took what you told me and burned it up
and kept on lying to myself all day long
careful to rinse it out of my teeth
as if
it made
a difference.

2. You send me a picture of these names you have been painting out for yourself.
I am memorizing them
so when I hug you I can assure you that
one by one
they are not yours.

Our city backyard with its hammock

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Eating edamame and writing letters. Sometimes when I'm restless all I have to do is go outside.

My new camera came in the mail. I'm going to learn to shoot film!

The first and third pictures from the last post were taken by my little sister. I apologize for not mentioning that.

Bubbles in the subway

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Possibly my personal brand of existentialism.

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Depending on your definition.

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From a letter I wrote today in the sun

I am choosy, but
Bells enchant.

Do you remember
the sound of wearing
all your jewelry
at once?

I hope you need to write,
because I think I need to read what you write.

Life lately

I like today. I like working mornings and then coming back and having a good lunch and relaxing and doing chill productive things for the rest of the day.

It's not for sure that the office is going to ask me to stay on [I'm still a temp, even though I've been there since the end of May], but the person I'm helping is pushing my cause.

My family is going to see WICKED tonight. I expect it to be awesome.

I'm trying to make something kind of big work out for a friend, and I need my parents to get on board for it to happen. I'm asking a lot from them, but they've known me for a long time. And I'm the same person who decided to go vegetarian at thirteen, to transition to a real ballet school at fourteen, to be an exchange student at seventeen, to make a spur-of-the-moment solo trip to Iceland at nineteen. I think they know by now that I don't undertake these kinds of things lightly or with doubts in my mind, and that I put all of myself into making them work. So hopefully the fact that I believe in this idea will be enough to win their faith in it.

It's almost time to pay my massive red light ticket. $436, sigh. Still, at least I have the money.

Don't fall in

Lately my thoughts

Lately my thoughts are
restless and
splintered,
never content to
be
where I
am
difficult, even
pulling me wildly
tired
through the hours

I lay my knuckles against the sweating glass
jarring in a way I don't understand:
the rings of water it leaves on the table
never mind my dabbing solicitous napkin

Also,
I suspect guiltily
that this brand of minimalism
doesn't count
I am as frenzied to get rid of things
as some people are to acquire them
and I'm not sure that demonstrates independence
from that old système des objets.

Progress report [summer goals]

- read three plays by Shakespeare [read Othello and The Winter's Tale, reading Much Ado About Nothing]

- plan and save for a trip to take later this year

- take a good portrait of a stranger [with permission; sneaky portraits don't count]

- make vanilla frosting that is neither too thin nor too sweet

- read one book in another language [reading the German translation of The Horse and His Boy]

- buy a waterproof camera and take some pictures underwater

Today because I got in an ugly fight

I took a nap,
skipped a wedding,
and bought a flower.
Also made plans with this one but that's unrelated, I think.

Things that are making me happy



People who say what everyone else is thinking.

Friends in the middle of the night telling me exactly what I need to hear.

Swimming in the surf with my cousins.

Long evenings on the deck with my aunts and uncles. We take turns cooking, and then talk for ages, through and past the sunset.

An ARC of a much anticipated book by one of my favorite authors

Skimboarders [if you've never seen skimboarding, I took a video yesterday]

Packing light

How good vacation feels when you've actually been busy

Blonde brownies

"If It Kills Me" by Jason Mraz

Calling people "punk"

Home

I'm a salty-haired girl
licking salt off my arms
I belong to this ocean
that's all there is to it.

Cousins



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Midnight

Full moon and the sea is so bright, it's just a better kind of day. Not bright enough for me to take a good picture, though, so I pull my shirt and jeans off, leave them on the rocks, and walk into the waves instead.

In another version of this story I talk to the person who passes me while I'm in the water, and then again as I'm pulling my jeans back on over my sandy legs on the stairs. Maybe ask them in. Maybe in another lifetime, I'm the one walking by and someone invites me in.

The water? It was quite soft to me.

My skin still feels alive when I get into bed.

From where we are now











Two articles of business

1. You can see some of the professional photographer's pictures from the wedding HERE.

2. Remember this? I kept forgetting to tell you, but I made a machine pick a number for me, and it picked five, which means Madison, who is one of my oldest blogging friends and also awesome and wicked smart. Madison, I owe you a bloggy-love package.

Read in July

1. Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties, by Rainer Maria Rilke, ed. by John Mood

Rilke's ideas engaged me, but I thought this volume was oddly edited. Also, the translator sacrifices a LOT translating the poetry to make it rhyme in English [it does in German]. Kind of horrifies me when they do that. So I don't recommend this volume so much, but Rilke, yes.

2. Othello, by William Shakespeare

Dang, talk about tragic. It was hard to watch this plot happen, but it definitely sucked me in.

3. Undercover, by Beth Kephart

I read this book at night, and I would hang out with Elisa. I thought the plot was on the weak side, though it works for me that the book isn't strictly about high school or family or romance. What made me like this book is that I like Elisa and I liked being in her head, sensitive and smart and a little muddled with being-found poetry.

4. A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart, by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes

Oh gosh, loveliest photo book ever. One delicate slice of each of the photographers' 730 mornings. Read it read it read it. I was so inspired.

5. Strong, Smart, and Bold: Empowering Girls for Life, by Carla Fine

Hmm, interesting in parts, but probably not to many non-parents.

6. Janes in Love, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

YA graphic novel. I remember liking the first one, The Plain Janes, so it surprised me that this one didn't really do anything for me.

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