November 23, 2010

Playing Chicken with a Train

I challenged you to this race
A game of skill, a gamble if you will.
Neck and neck we kept the pace
The chance of a tie was nil.

You chugged along,
My engine strained.
Every sound: our competitive song
Our passion would not be tamed.

I ignored the warning lights ahead
Speeding faster to get there right by your side.
It was as if my tires were lead,
The crossing arms slammed down, as I arrived

And you, dear you, you kept on the go
And I, poor I, waited for a time
While searching for a way out, a tow
Away, away from the scene of the crime.

October 9, 2010

Admittance, Acceptance and Expectancy

"Children expect nothing, therefore they see everything."

Or something like that. I remember those days. When I really thought that if I made a wish at the exact moment underneath the San Diego Bridge I would turn into a unicorn, or a mermaid. Or even better a unicorn AND mermaid. I never even needed an imaginary friend because my adventures alone were so much better than I could share with someone who was imaginary. I explored a new profession everyday, hopping between countries like borders were only lines in hopscotch. Night time was nothing more than a chance to dream, a new morning nothing but an opportunity to put those dreams into play. 

Amalthea: But I'm always dreaming, even when I'm awake; it is never finished. 

And then, it changed. Suddenly my imagination didn't work the same way. Instead of something that enriched my daily life, it became an escape from my life. And somehow the sweetness of imagining was lost. Don't get me wrong, I still loved my time in the different world my mind had created, but it was a different enjoyment than ever before. 

Unicorn: I have forgotten that men cannot see Unicorns. If men no longer know what they're looking at, there may be other unicorns in the world yet, unknown, and glad of it. 

Then the days came when my imaginations were criticized. When it was no longer ok for a 14 year old girl to play dress up and be one of the Queen Anne's hand maidens. Those were the days that I found public school is nothing like the place I had pretended to attend. The days when I was told women couldn't be Navy Seals. The very day I discovered that just because I could jump around the room or battle Captain Hook like Peter Pan, didn't mean that I was immune to growing up as he did. 

Schmendrick: It's a very rare person who
 is taken for what he truly is. 

This was when I started to hide my imagination. I stopped writing in fear of my imagination being discovered. I worked towards more practical occupations such as Speech Therapy or a Legislative Secretary. I knew I would more than likely work for a few years, get married and have kids. I had hidden my imagination so far within me I forgot I had it.

Haggard: You may come and go as you please. My secrets guard themselves. Will yours do the same? 

One chilly October Day I began to write again. Ironically the day after I watched The Last Unicorn. My favorite childhood movie. Quotes from that movie pulled me back into a more complex time. Simple in my understanding of the world, complex in my curiosity of it. So I started to write. I wrote everything that had affected my writing and therefore lack of it. And the wall came tumblin' down. It is a subject I have written of often in the past year. My understanding of who I am, and my struggle to come to terms with it. 

Prince Lir: I wish you would ask something of me. 
Almathea: Drown out my dreams! Keep me from remembering whatever wants me to remember it! 

The other day I had an emotional, philosophical, drunken conversation with Robert. A guy next door who I can do nothing but admire for the grace he exemplified that night to me of his battle with his own emotional demons. I came away with many jewels of that conversation but one stands out the most and best serves the theory behind this blog.  I have to own who I am. Every last part of me. Take it and make it my very own. Forget the stereotypes or bias against that attribute, revamp it and show the world how great it can be. How great I can be. Scratch that. How great I am. I'm not saying its something I believe in, just yet. 

Molly Grue: But you do. You have magic. Maybe you can't find it, but it's there. You called Robin Hood, and there is no Robin Hood. You have all the power you need if you dared to look for it. 

I would rather just be someone else altogether. But I've been down that road. And it wasn't a pleasant or fulfilling one. I have yelled and I have scoffed. I have battled and I have run. I have won and I have lost. I have questioned the timing of events. And in the end, I have come to find that is all I could've asked for. As long as I'm still questioning I am still that little girl imaging a world wholly different than the one I'm experiencing now. 

Amalthea: Once, I can't remember, I was long ago, someone strange. I was innocent and wise, and full of pain. Now that I'm a woman, everything has changed. Once, when I was searching, somewhere out of reach, far away, in a place I could not find, or heart obey. Now that I'm a woman, everything is strange. 

Everything is strange now. Nothing is how I expected it to be. Everything is a question I yearn to answer. And someday...somehow that answer will come to me.
 In the end the dreams of my childhood will become the reality of  my adulthood. 

Molly: No, it can't be. Can it be? Where have you been? Where have you been? Damn you! Where have you been?  
Unicorn: I'm here now. 
Molly: And where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you! How dare you come to me now, when I am this! 
Schmendrick: Can you really see her? Do you know what she is? 
Molly: If you had been waiting to see a unicorn, as long as I have... 
Schmendrick: She's the last unicorn in the world. 
Molly: It would be the last unicorn that came to Molly Grue. 

And so here I am. Writing on a blustery fall day, curled up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and embracing my whimsical mood. I always say that admittance is the first step to recovery, and maybe acceptance is the second step. And as Robert told me that night, expectancy is the third. So I will start expecting greatness in my life and I'll start expecting it of others too. So long I've thought if I didn't expect people to come through for me, I wouldn't be disappointed when the inevitable happened and they didn't.
How can I expect people to believe in me, if I am to afraid to believe in them? 

Prince Lir: No. My lady, I am a hero. Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever. A happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story. 

August 26, 2010

Everest Bound

Ahh college. Student's faithfully trekking to class everyday. Frolf on the greens. Coffee at Margies. Beer pong. So far it's been a good experience.  I love my classes. I love trekking to my classes. I haven't experienced Frolf yet, or beer pong. But I have started joining clubs, meeting friends. It's been my dream college experience already. I love the structure, the late nights, the friendly people. Above all else I love how our campus feels like a family brought together by an allegiance to Clawz the Bear (GOOOOO BEARS!) I can't wait for September 4th. Our first football game. Everyone in blue and gold. Cheering on our football boys. It's..well great. You all know how big I am on patriotism, throw some football into the mix and I'll be a Bear for life. So I have to sit back and wonder where my anxiety came from. Why I didn't think I could handle this. Why I was so afraid to move to Colorado and do something new. And I realized...

I'm deathly afraid that I will be one of those girls who peaks in college.

I don't want that. I want to move higher and higher.. I want to be a lifelong learner. I want to always be learning something new. Always achieving something new. My first assignment for my English class was "What is Good Writing" I wrote my opinion and everyone I've asked about it tell me it's so far above the 120 level it isn't even funny. Some have even suggested with a little more meat to it, it's graduate level work.


Me? Capable of graduate level writing? psh. I dunno about that. I learned to write by...well writing. I've been at this blog for almost a year now. And that's all the "formal" writing I have done in years. I admit. I panicked when I considered this. Does this mean I'm already peaking? Is it all over from here? Well I don't know. I know I certainly have a lot to learn, and I know I can be better. 

Maybe that's enough.. recognizing my potential for greatness. Perhaps like in my paper, I can peak...and then move on to the next mountain's peak...Everest here I come!

(here's the writing btw. tell me what you think!_

To ask “what is good writing?” is like asking “why is blue your favorite color?” It is not as simple as asking “what is your favorite color?”, because it cannot be answered easily or with one word. It is not a straight fact that is true for everyone. Yes, you may find a group of people who like blue because of the ocean, or blue because of blueberries, but in that select group you will find each has a different “sub-reason” so to speak. It could be related to childhood memories, inherent desire or a reflection of their daily life. One could gather from this that the why of favoritism is directly correlated to the what of good writing. Both are relative to each individual, to their perception of imagination and its relation to reality.
A more simple definition may be that good writing has an effect on you. This can be in a positive or negative way. A piece of literature, no matter the form, may cause you to laugh or cause you to cry. Great writing on the other hand has a deeper affect in that it forces you to think, and this can eventually bring about a change in you.
I firmly believe that we can all become good, even great writers. For some it is an innate gift, for others it is an inclination that can be cultivated into a desired habit. All writing is a journey that involves diligence, encouragement and eventually reward. As you traverse the writing path you must accept the lessons in stride and apply them when you leap off of the highway of classical writing.  Here you will find that the mechanics of classical writing are still vital. Sentence structure and correct use of vocabulary still plays a part, however here you make a discovery. A discovery of the significance of your own thought, your own style and what your writing really means to you. When you reach the destination you set, you will be surprised to find that not only have you put your heart on the line, but you have put your heart down on a page. What started out as a rough dirt path quickly evolved into an interstate of discourse and thought. Here you realize that your destination wasn’t an end after all but a checkpoint along the way.
However the process is not as simple as I have described it. In reality you may need to scramble back up the bank onto the highway to establish a firmer foundation before traveling on. Writers block will waylay you along the way. Good writing grows from finding the joy in frustration. When you seek the joy in your frustration you find how your struggles have bettered you. It can be assumed therefore that writer’s block is a hidden joy that has bettered you.
Good writing rarely means good reading. Yes, mechanically and structurally it will be good reading. I simply mean that truly good writing is that which affects you deeply, whether by association or by confusion. To truly think and be changed your world’s axis must tilt and you must ascertain your own opinion. Whatever the genre of writing; fiction, biography or an essay, it must include a certain amount of confusion in its depth. In a society that requires being on the fast track, the confusion in good writing slows us down physically but mentally speeds us up. As we gain speed we learn more of why we are instead of what we are. That realization is the first step on a new journey. A voyage we all seek called living a life of challenge. 

August 1, 2010

And After All, You're Still My Wonderwall....

I haven't opened my journal since June 12, 2010. The date of my last blog. And when I opened it tonight I was surprised to find an unfinished letter. All it said was 
"Dear Katie Butcher,
Change is in the air. Can you feel it? And no it isn't Obama's change...."

I was so overjoyed to tell her of my decision to go to Greeley. Of my decision to move past Jeremy and really live the exciting challenging life that was before me. I think even then I was afraid to tell her and so I chose to write a letter...Because the spoken word is so often misunderstood, but in the time it takes to read a letter one can normally take the time to really get it.

However I never got the chance. I never finished the letter because I was busy at work with some Calvert Crisis and later than night she dropped by. I was so excited that I blurted out my news and I could literally feel the disappointment and the disapproval rolling off of her. The stony glare she gave me told me all I needed to know. She held all the cards and she knew it. I immediately doubted my decision because if she didn't approve...who would approve? Looking back I'm sickened that that was my response. 

Fast forward almost two months. I'd like to expound more on those two months... but it's not worth it to me. The biting words and immaturity is in the past, thankfully where it belongs. Partly it was serious busyness and partly I was just so over it, and over her it is now August 1, 2010. In 16 days I move to Greeley Colorado to pursue a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and Marketing at the University of Northern Colorado. Not only is that a mouthful its a lifeful. 
Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. I pick up long time friend Chris at the airport for three days
 full of tattoo's, long drives and concerts. 
I'm giving Ghost back to her owners.
I'm desperately searching for a home for Percy.
I'm starting to sand Brutto on Thursday so I can paint him.

So once again change is in the air. Can you feel it?

Everything in my life is changing. But I guess there will always be a twinge in my heart that makes me long for older more complex times. I'll always wonder how he is fitting into my life at the moment. When he is a jackass and rips his thumb to shreds I'll always cry and worry for him. That much hasn't changed. 

He will always be my wonderwall and I'll always wonder if he was supposed to be the one to save me.

There wasn't this pull a few weeks ago I swear. Until I heard his voice for the first time in week in that crowded parking lot in Loveland, Colorado. Or when I naively looked at the picture Eric showed me, my violent reaction of tears and the quick coverup of shouting "jackass!" was as much a surprise to me as anyone. When he came up in a recent conversation with a guest and  I looked away and closed my eyes his softly whispered words of "it still hurts doesn't it?" told me all I needed to know. 

I still love you Jeremy.

No matter how much you distance yourself from me, no matter how many reckless decisions I make and no matter how many boys I try to distract myself with; it's still you I think about when I'm not even thinking. Other guys may make me smile and my heart flutter, but on St. Patricks Day 2010, you became the guy to make all my butterfly's fly in synchronization unlike anyone else in this universe.  

 I know that isn't okay with you and that isn't how you wanted this to go. And it isn't how I wanted it to go either. To be honest I wanted you for your dangers, booze and body. That quickly morphed into wanting you for your quick wit, raunchy humor and your body. Before I could identify it, 

I wanted all of you, your brokenness, flamboyant heart and your understanding. 

Until you said those three fatal words I didn't realize how strong of a connection we had unknowingly built. Now I'm left with a desire that hasn't been quenched and invisible threads that tie us together. There are so many things I would like to say to you, but the most important has already been said. But that is so hard for me to accept that it won't change anything. 

I strongly believe that our words matter, spoken or unspoken, written or unwritten. 
For our words are a sound wave of the heart. 

But as much as those fatal three words mattered to me that rainy spring day and as much as they changed me, those same fatal words won't change you. They will matter, but they won't change anything. They can't change anything. So you keep telling yourself and so I keep repeating to myself 
like a broken record of chinese water torture.

Those words keep repeating over and over. 
"Your love doesn't change anything. Your love doesn't change anything."
But sometimes a spy from the enemy camp called my heart invades and softly whispers,
"why not?"
And for the briefest of interludes I am once again sitting in your truck with a pug chewing on my thumb as I stare into your eyes and listen to those three fatal words fall from your lips. Emery's teeth were the only thing I felt in the moments that followed, and so in what should have been the happiest moment of my life, all I remember is the pain of puppy teeth. And the needle falls back on track and the broken record starts again.

"Your love doesn't change anything. Your love doesn't change anything."

My love doesn't change you.But your love changed me. The fire in my heart was out. But an ember remained and it softly flickers in the dark. Even though the chinese water torture is ongoing, the water cannot help but reflect the light of the ember.

And after all, you are my wonderwall....

June 13, 2010

Life Don't Go How You Planned It

I fully believe that everything happens at a predestined time. Fate, if you will. If I'm upset but don't have the words to write, I don't force it. I wait for when the words flow easily. The correct timing will give words to the emotion and healing to the hurt. If a book doesn't draw me in, I put it back on the shelf. For another time, another day, another emotional chaos. Soon enough when I pick it back up the pages will speak the words that my soul cannot. If a movie doesn't feel "right" I wait to watch it. It never fails that when a movie does feel right, it will be "for such a time as this." 

Becoming Jane was such a movie. It was accidentally sent to me by Netflix 3 weeks ago when my number one choice wasn't available. Since then it has been carried around in my backpack disappointed that it wasn't my first choice. But last night was the night for it to be right. And how right it was. I'm always gungho for an "old fashiondy" love story. But this is the type of love story not often told, but just the type I needed to experience. 

*Spoiler Alert*

It doesn't end in love. At least not the kind you most often find in "books" (which I of course find wildly ironic) It's the type that you sneer at originally because you think "o. just another trite tale." then find yourself rooting that  the tragedy won't happen. That it will be trite again! That love will conquer all. That love will override the pride, the prejudice, and the standards. The type that when it ends you sit quietly and wish that Jane's ruined love is not foreshadowing your own. 

"A novel must how how the world truly is, how characters genuinely think, how events actually occur. A novel should somehow reveal the true source of our actions."

Maybe if more "creators" had this mindset we would grow up with a truly realistic sense of reality. Perhaps we wouldn't expect sunshine when rain is predicted, and then experience the hurt when the rain does indeed come. Life would be very different 
if we were raised in realism, instead of idealism. 

Jane wanted to write what she knew, the matters of the heart. Somehow her novels end up more "right" than her own love story did. 

"Mrs. Radcliffe: Of what do you wish to write?

Jane Austen: Of the heart. 

Mrs. Radcliffe: Do you know it? 

Jane Austen: Not all of it. 

Mrs. Radcliffe: In time, you will. But even if that fails, that's what the imagination is for. 

Even so I wish it weren't so. From an idealistic standpoint it is unjustifiable. But to be broken hearted and alone? That is real and understandable. I don't know why it was so. I just know it was. Becoming Jane was oddly refreshing in that it reminded me that the condition of my heart is not a new or solitary one. Many woman before me have experienced it, truly since the beginning of time. The tragic lives of lady Victorian authors has always been near and dear to my heart ever since my mom
introduced me to Jane Eyre. 

Life is tragic.
Life is hard.
And life doesn't go how you plan it.

Sometimes I trick myself into thinking that if I don't plan, or dream I can't be disappointed. But I now know that strangely, not living is a more painful disappointment than the first. To not live vicariously is an injustice I commit of my own volition. And injustice is a bittersweet pill I have swallowed to many times before. 

Dad whispered in my ear the other day that I need to feel free to do whatever I want. To not march behind anyone else and essentially to do hard things; no matter the possible end result. I know people have told me that all my life, but I don't know if I ever really believed that I could be the girl who went for it all. I had expected that life would go as planned, the plan I thought I wanted. I would lead a perfect high school life, I would proceed to college immediately and get an unknown but useful degree. I would marry young, have lots of babies and live out the rest of my life in a planned way. I would die at a grand old age. 

I haven't accomplished any of that, and I'm not sure I want to. Life up until now hasn't convinced me that is the way to go. Plans go awry. Really, my relationship with Jeremy has me convinced that the status quo isn't for me. The trite sayings and the things I was supposed to say and supposed to feel that wasn't me. And I suppose that became clear to all of us on
April 12, 2010.

I want more out of life than love. I want it all. And if it means living a crazy, solitary, degree-less, early death life? I'm ok. I really am. Because that means I lived "life unexpected". 

I regret much of life up until now, because I have constantly done, thought, felt; what I thought I was supposed to. I lived in fear that if I didn't meet the benchmarks I would never have another chance. No more. I have a bucket list and I'm going to accomplish it all. -by golly- (<---felt that was necessary) Without fear. Because even if I fail, I still did it. I started it. Which is more than I can say for my life right now. So I'm going to work and transfer in January to UNC for prevet. Or maybe I won't. Maybe it will be criminal justice or theatre. Maybe I'll work my way through Europe; scrubbing dishes for my next train ticket. Or maybe I'll settle in Helena and work my way to the very top in the legislature. Or maybe I'll fall and move back in with mom. But I'll get back on my feet and try again, and again and again. If that is what it takes to live my dreams, then it's ok. 

But, like I suspect, so many writers I can be braver on this page than I can in life. But life doesn't go as we plan it. Love doesn't last we expect it to. We must prepare for loss and the fact we may never get it back. Whether "it" is our jobs, our love or our sanity; the truth is the same. We may need to branch into another work force. He really won't ever come back, but your next lesson dressed in wranglers will come along and it will be an epic love story that may not end. And sanity is relative to individual situation. 

So silent friend I often challenge you to greatness 
but this time,
 I challenge myself. 
I'm ready for life, and I'm ready for it to not go how I plan. 

June 8, 2010

Grasping At Straws and Empty Arms

Written June 1, 2010

Although years and years have passed, I almost started this blog with "dear silent friend" just as I did in my early years of high school. I guess it's fitting since these are the final pages in my composition book; that I'm also putting every remnant of childhood behind me and jumping into adulthood headfirst, eyes closed...but I forgot to plug my nose. 

I bought my first truck this week. I've been living on my own for two months now. I'm paying more bills than ever before, enjoying being a workaholic and all else that comes with newfound maturity. Notice dear readers, I don't say freedom. I guess I haven't been able to fully enjoy it yet, or haven't wanted to? I have to much to prove and so little time to prove it. In spite of all the responsibility of being an adult, or perhaps because of it, I still feel like a lost little girl. I want nothing more than to crawl into my daddy's lap and cry like I once did. Back when my biggest worries were my friends getting cell phones and Bridger liking Abby. A daddy hug made everything okay. But now? I can't crawl into daddy's arms and cry over being heartbroken. Because I broke my daddy's  heart when my impetuosity made a decision for me. I learned tonight that when he arrived home to my empty room he sat on the floor and cried for hours. It's not that I regret my decision perhaps my regret is for how I went about it, or maybe I just want to have my cake and eat it too. My regret is that I was not there when he cried in my empty room.  Maybe if we had cried in each others arms we would have had all the strength we needed to move forward. I'm grasping at straws...and empty arms.

Instead we are sugar coating it, being distant and acting like we aren't hurting. Like we don't miss being around each other. I miss his dumb jokes, when he would do that chicken neck thing that made me dizzy. I miss when my first boyfriend broke up with me; he handed me an ax and told me to take out my hurt on the logs we were splitting. I miss our early morning ski trip traditions.
"Any advice dad?"
"Don't die."
I miss the rare occasions when I would wake up early, creep downstairs and sit next to the fire with him as he read his Bible. There I would lay my head on his shoulder and we would talk about all that life had to offer. I wish I had woken up earlier more often...I even miss our discussions on horse training and never agreeing on how much contact was correct. I miss blue striped shirts, one finger waves and that smile that George Straight ain't got nothin' on. 

Truth be told that as hard as that wedding was from a Jeremy perspective, it was more gut wrenching when I tried to imagine walking up that long aisle alone. To have to give myself away. When Kaylin's dad stood up and performed the ceremony I didn't think my heart could hurt worse, but when he broke down crying I wasn't sure I would be okay. 

I miss you daddy. I miss your future schemes and memories. I still want you on my arm that fateful day when I finally walk up that aisle. 

But I don't think I'll ever be ready for you to give me away. I want to always be your only little girl.

Even when I ruin everything daddy, even then.

I'm sorry
I love you. 


May 30, 2010

Wedding Confrontations

Weddings, weddings weddings. You may as well say "misery! misery! misery!" Katie and I took off to Wyoming this weekend to go to a close friends weddings. We both needed the break from life as usual, specifically Lewistown. An escape from all that life has been in the last seven weeks. I wanted to "run away. run away. just get on a fucking train and leave today." I needed to leave family, Jeremy and my numerous other woes at the Montana state line and just...heal. And I do think this weekend set the healing into motion. I was confronted with all that I can't figure out in my head and my soul. 

As I watched the groom lead his parents up the aisle I was completely ambushed with the thought that if this were Jeremy's and  my wedding everything would be the polar opposite. He would not be escorting his parents up the aisle. Jason would not be his best man. In fact I suspect the entire right side of the aisle would be empty. They say you don't just marry a man, you marry his friends, family and heritage. I was shocked at the injustice of him losing all of that because of a simple thing called love. It's...cruel...

As the ceremony progressed I noticed all the parts of a wedding I have always taken for granted. The opening prayer reminded me that God would have no place in our ceremony. A covenant established by God Himself, and He would not be welcome. The location made me thankful I want an outdoor wedding so we would not have to quibble over what church would allow a "heathen" wedding ceremony. As the ceremony went on it became more and more of a blur of all the things that would go so very very wrong. I grieved that the most important day of my life as the pastor mentioned, aside from the day I accepted Christ, would have to be plotted out minute by minute to equalize all the religious aspects. And then the words that came next shattered my mind and heart, for the fight I still desired to maintain.

"till death are we separated" 

A twist on the more traditional "till death do we part", it still brought home the point that no matter who is "right" in this, we would still be eternally separated by death. 
Love on this earth is beautiful, powerful, sustaining to life and most importantly it was created to be eternal. To outlast our strivings and our pain. The only thing we carry with us from this earth to our eternal existence. 
I know we have no tears in heaven. I have to wonder if that soul tie we have held onto all our lives would have us standing at Abraham's bosom trying to reach across the dimensions to feel just one last electrifying touch for the rest of eternity? We are eternal beings and our love that we share so joyously on earth is eternal also. Eternal but never enough. 

The power of love alone can not bridge the gap between two souls with a different outlook, of eternal significance. Just as it could not bridge the gap between our souls on this earth that rainy spring day. In this case love does not conquer all. 

Love conquers our fears and our tribulations. We can live on and we will live on. And one day, love on. But to conquer doesn't mean to change in the way we expect. Life's battles are a mystery, and this Sherlock in training is going to solve it. 

One wedding at a time.