Memory [writing]

I wrote this during the last full moon.

In Namibia I could never sleep during the full moon. The light was overbearing. On a clear night, the light illuminated the sand, a cold white sea. The silhouette of the palms like tall stately ladies, long hair blowing in the breeze.

I listened to the crickets and the silence. So much silence you could almost hear the pull of the moon on your skin.

Now I lay awake and remember the restless nights. The cat gone out to hunt. My spirit longing to follow her through the darkness. If only for something to do, somewhere to be. Because the full moon has no use for sleep. She calls you to something more. To something wild. Something deep in all our memories.

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A letter my younger self…

In November 2011 I posted a Letter to My Younger Self on The Real World.  I decided to write another one, this one to myself as a senior in high school.  This is for all the girls out there waiting for someone to know you.  

Dear Jenn,

You don’t know me, but I know you.  I know you better than you know yourself right now.  I see you for the flawed little beauty you are.  Isn’t that what you always wanted?  I wish I could tell you don’t look for this in another person, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t listen.  You don’t really like to be told how to live your life, even by that little voice in your head.  The one that knows better, the one that knows the truth.

The truth is, there is only one who can know you.  And it’s not “the one” of fairytales, but rather The One.  The One you will come to know when you find yourself.  The One knows you now and will know you long after you are gone.  I know you can’t see it right now, there are too many clouds in the way.  Doubt.  Question.  Rail against.  You will always return.  Call it what you like.  God’s still there.

You will see The Truth in song and dance.  In the plains of Africa and the parties of Spain.  You will find The Truth in your travels and in the soft, quiet comfort of home.  You will see it in the eyes of friends and the voice of a man.   You will see The Truth and you will run.  It will bring you to your knees and lift you so high you fear the fall more than the climb.  Soak it all in.

Fish Face in Sevilla, Spain

Big things are coming up around the bends.  Soon you set out from home, taking your first tastes of freedom.  Going on a journey that leads around the globe.  Yet, you will look back on these days of struggle with love for the girl you once were, and thanks that she made it through.

People are saying a lot of things to you right now.  I thought I’d let you know, you create deeper friendships with most of those you know now than you ever did in high school.  You treasure those people who helped you grow into the person you are today.  And you are about to meet the people who in some respects save your life.  They show you how friendships are built and maintained and how to create a chosen family.

You will fall in love.  And have your heartbroken.  And fall in love again.

You will make your own way.

my crazy family

You will fall.

You will get back up.  And learn to look for the rocks in the way.

You will be loved.

You will be known.

You will learn to love yourself.

You will find The One.

Here’s to your future.  It’s a good one.  Get ready.  It goes by fast.

Love,

Jennifer

In that moment I swear we were infinite [writing]

It’s been a nostalgic kind of time.  Everything feels like it is opening up wide, but I can’t see what’s out there cause the light is still in my eyes.  I have always loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower (the book, never saw the movie).  It was one of the few books I had vivid pictures in my head of.  These are not from the book but are just feelings that linger from the space that the book (and perhaps the music of Jewel and a few other things) have created.  An impression of what it was to be 15.

We all take the train into the hills and stop to look around.  Tiny white flowers bend under the soft wind.  The sun descends; quick, quick, slow.  Quick.  Quick, slow.  Gold wheat weeds set aflame, orange to red.  Sizzle, crack.  The sun slips in between its sheets and the stars poke moth holes in Lady Night’s navy gown.

No one speaks.  We lay in the grass and search the stars for ancient wisdom.  Warm soil embraces, braces from the chilly breath of darkness.  Heads touch, hair entwined.  Hearts beat, in rhythmic time.  The changing clock is electric.

Skin buzzes, hairs raise.  Everything is alive.  Time expands out to the farthest reaches of the earth.  Edges once imagined drip and peel.  Minds strain to push further, go deeper, break free.  Small seeds once planted beneath skin blossoming NOW.  Blue, purple, red.  Burst forth.  Everything is epic.  Everything is NOW.

Babbling strings of words escape parted lips.  Animal sounds ripped from the gut.  We leap up and dance in the moonlight.  Bathed in the reflection of the sun, we are safe.  We are whole.  We are infinite.

—–

Dark basement.   Scratch that.  Dim basement.  Lit by a corner lamp.  Old.  Shielded by a large fancy shade and some silky scarf.  Set the mood.  Sexy.  Not seedy.  This party’s going to be the shit.

The kids gather.  Not kids exactly.  But not adults either.  The girls wear tight jeans and soft gypsy skirts.  Navels show.  The nervous ones pull at the corners of their shirts.  Not ready for what a bare midriff means but needing that not to be true.  They twirl and flit.  Chirp chirp chirping.

The boys stand or rather slouch against the walls and stare.  Foot propped on the wall.  Arm resting, nonchalantly against a couch, a table, a buddy.  Hair flops in the eyes.  Stoic, strong.

Everyone gathers in the middle as someone sets the needle on the record.  Sinking softly into an old white shag rug.  Incense burns.  There is a settling, everything moving inward.

A head finds a shoulder.  A hand reaches out; met by trembling fingers that find strength in union.  She rests her head in his lap.  He brushes hair from her face.  She looks up, big bright eyes.  He leans down, soft sweet kiss.  Others move to their posts.  You sit still and lonesome, heart crying so soft no one hears.  Crack.

Everyone writhes and moans.  You stand and dance and she holds you, but not the way you want.  Bathed in the glowing lamplight, you are torn.  You are broken.  And still the moment is infinite.

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Just for fun: Growing up in the 90s

This has nothing to do with yoga, or the sutras.  But does have a lot to do with who I am today.

Recently this BuzzFeed has been popping up on my Facebook.  I have to say it is a pretty accurate depiction, right down to the excessive use of butterfly clips that actually looked like butterflies.

For me the 90’s was middle school.  I remember most of my life at that time through songs and TV.

My first CD: Alanis Morrissette, Jagged Little Pill – My dad read the lyrics before giving it to me and explained the meaning of the “F” word in the front seat of his red truck.

The first CD I bought: Jewel, Pieces of You – She’s still one of my favorite artists

The first song I remember hearing on the radio: Ace of Base “I Saw the Sign” – My friend and I were on our way to the lake dance.  Her mom was driving.  We were in third grade and not technically allowed at the dance.  We went anyway.  I heard the security has gotten a lot tighter these days.

Favorite Boy Band: BSB or probably 98 Degrees, but they’ve been forgotten

Party song: “I Love You Always Forever” – danced to at the roller rink

Song I sang at the 8th grade dance: Mariah Carey “Hero” – I stood in front of the whole class and sang this over the mic with Mariah for my friend’s birthday, which happened to be the day of the dance.  To this day I am not sure how they convinced me to do this.  It was not in my nature at the time.

Most embarrassing moment: Barging in on a conversation between some of the cutest guys in class when I heard them talking about Billy Joe (of Green Day) with “I love Billy Joel.  I listen to him with my mom all the time.”  Smooth…

The show I couldn’t miss: 7th Heaven – We were only allowed an hour of TV a night, WB primetime definitely took up that hour.

Friday night was spent: Watching TGIF!  Loved Sabrina and Boy Meets World (I’m a little excited over this new Girl Meets World idea)

Show I wasn’t allowed to watch: Dawson’s Creek – The student/teacher affair was just so scandalous at the time! I watched it up in my parents room on a tiny camping tv with a broken remote.  I kept my foot on the channel button and changed the channel if someone walked in.  I’m not sure my parents believed I was really watching that much PBS.

Favorite Romantic Comedy: Drive Me Crazy (though now I’d probably say Clueless)

Favorite Movie: Titanic

I loved growing up in the 90s.  TV was light and fun (even the backstabbing was innocent), there was a never-ending line of teen romantic comedies and the Spice Girls ruled the world with girl power.  AOL instant messenger had just come on the scene and we were helping create a new shorthand language that has become the standard the world over in email, text and even spoken conversations.  You loaded games on the computer with an excessive amount of floppy disks and the internet took seven hours to launch.  Singer/Songwriters were huge and PLJ didn’t play any hip-hop or rap.  Shirts might have been short, but pants reached the waist, and pastels were the color of ever season.  Glitter got on everything and never came off.

I played outside, watched corny shows with my sister and talked about them with my friends.  I went to school and debated which was better, NSYNC or BSB in 8th grade art class with the popular kids, because we were all equal when it came to boy bands.  I longed for anything with a Tommy Hilfiger label and the cute shirts in the Delia’s catalog.  I shopped at Dots and picked out the shortest shirts my mom would allow.  I looked up to people like Jewel and Mariah Carey and longed for a soulmate like Dawson.  I saw Titanic twice in theaters and hung posters of Leonardo DiCaprio on my wall, my locker and anything else with a surface.  I taped songs off the radio and listened to my few cds (which eventually grew to hundreds) in my discman.

Every generation of girls has their things.  These are ours.