Monday, December 31, 2012

the promise of evening

Thirteen years ago this evening, I would have been standing in the church parking lot, at youth group, sipping the champagne someone snuck into my Styrofoam cup. I would have been laughing at our pastor's jokes and watching my breath make patterns in the air. Tyler and Mike had already run off unnoticed, so they could hit the OFF switch on the church's power grid at midnight. I think of who I was back then, and what I thought life would hold for me. I think of my young faith, my belief that my plans wouldn't change, and my incessant hope for the future. Thirteen years later, having survived everything from Y2K to the Mayan Misunderstanding, I am grateful I can reflect on yet another year of life.

Something I read this morning shone a light on me, like God broke his silence for a minute to remind me of his plans. Here's the story:
Carolyn Myss, who writes about healing, went to Russia a few years ago to give a series of lectures. Every single aspect of getting to Russia that could go poorly, did. Then in Moscow it turned out that her reserved room at the hotel had been given to someone else. She ended up sleeping on a stranger’s floor. Two mornings later, on a train to her conference on healing, she began to whine at the man sitting beside her about how infuriating her journey had been thus far. It turned out that he worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said gently that he believed that when a lot of seemingly meaningless things started going wrong all at once, it was to protect something big and lovely that was trying to get itself born — that, in other words, perhaps it needed for you to be distracted so it could be born perfect.   (Anne Lamott)
I have yet to write about much of what happened in 2011. If you read much of my blog over that time frame, you'll see a lot of meandering and not a lot of detail, a lot of promising to write and never doing it. The reason is, it was a terrible year. It started fine enough: a handsome priest was showing interest. I had just gotten a new roommate. I had a best friend I trusted. And then Spring, which is known for rebirth, brought forth instead its paring knife. Priests can hold you down. Homes can be swept from under you. Friends can lie. What seems permanent can crumble, without warning, without asking, without grace. What started as a year of promise turned to ash and left me stranded. Church doors closed and God kept quiet. By the time September came, I had been carved of anything that felt human. I was stronger, yes, but I was tired. My fall and winter were spent indoors and grieving, and in the public eye I kept up my denial.

What a different year 2012 has been; what a marked change from 2011. Like a giggle that up-rises and surprises you, so is the year gone by. What bliss brings love, and so much healing, too. I want to be un-cheesy and tell you that my year has been great for other reasons, and it has. But I owe most of what this year has brought to the man that brought it. I fell in love this year, and will be forever in awe at his grace, his quick wit, and his beautiful spirit. In a quiet moment at my house last night, rolls in the oven, soup's near done, I penned a letter to the man who's changed everything. I can see him all over, in all the things he's touched, in the softer pieces of air he left hanging just for me, so that everywhere I go has no sharp corners. I can see him in all things because he is always on my mind. My heart lives to remind me of him, with the flush of my cheeks, with warmth and happy palpitations. From him I have learned what love really feels like.

As I read that story by Anne today, I saw the truth. Last year's pain arrived merely to stay me, to bring me to my knees so I could not move, so I would be here and looking when perfection came. Perfection has come, and he's a wonderful kisser.

If your head is bowing under the weight of a heavy year, know that I too have been there. Know that what feels relentless will always end, and good will come to you. This is, after all, New Year's Eve. Nothing, not earthquakes, not conspiracy theories, not death or devastation, has been able to stop the sun from rising again. This is the promise of evening: in the evening, we will not find our end; there will be a dawn to greet us soon enough.

May the new year bring you joy where it's been missing,
peace where tumult has yet reigned, and love where you wouldn't expect it.

photo credits: For Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, December 29, 2012

my whole life, explained.

  "Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating."
Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet

all photos found on pinterest (sources not found with the exception of far right, from here)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Early: a little bit belated.


i am beginning to realize how slowly the days pass by when you mark them with the heartbeats of a baby.

one hour. now ten. one day. now five.
we sleep, we wake, we watch, we wait.
we stare and crave to hold.
she Breathes

Aria the Beautiful, this quiet lioness and profound song.
with perfect gentle hands you touch
the softest of all faces: your own.
through glass or skin to skin, we Love you.


My sisters really do make the best children; one look at my niece and nephew will tell you that. Such pressure! Should I ever choose to procreate, the standards have been set: my children must be gorgeous, funny, and smart beyond their years.

Five years ago mid-December, my lovely wonderful niece was born. She was born at 29 weeks, which is 11 weeks or nearly 3 months early. What was supposed to be a quiet gearing up for Christmas turned into a heart-squeezing exercise in patience, as we waited: first for news, then for more news, then for reassurance, then for news and reassurance. We put everything else on hold, because your only response is to put everything on hold, and watched this newborn babe breathe and wriggle; on her own too early. We watched my sister sit beside the incubator for hours on end, and for days, and then weeks, staring without pause at the child that she should have been holding in her belly, or at least in her arms.

That poem above was written in the days after she was born, after much time spent in the Nicu, watching my sister and her husband (and the many other new moms and dads) struggle and wait. I'm always struck with emotion on my niece's birthday as I remember those first days and weeks of her life, and seeing how far she has come! Healthy, vibrant, delightful.

So it's a little bit belated, but I want to wish my niece a very happy fifth year here on the ol' blog. How BLESSED we all are to know you (and those of us that don't, are surely missing out). You were ready to greet the world before the world thought you were ready, but you proved us wrong. I suspect this will be the case as you grow; you really are so strong, and certainly very special, and good things are coming. When you were a baby I couldn't wait until you could talk...I so wanted to know what you were thinking, how you saw things, and who you were! Now I know and I couldn't be happier: you are everything you should be, you are perfect as is.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy New Intentions

Most people have an internal calendar; some mechanism which reminds them which month it is. Whether it be according to the weather or the way the sun sets, the activities in the day planner or the projects due at work, we usually know where we sit. As if the Lord hadn't dichotemized my makeup enough, I seem to have two calendars at work in my system: one of the mind, and one of the soul. They are not in sync.

I have alluded before that my New Year begins in September. This would be my New Year of the Soul. There are circumstances, I'm sure, that effect this feeling. My birthday's in September, the world gears up for a new season in September, buckling down for the cold with sweaters and new-formed deadlines. Of course, we've all been trained this way in some respect, because school starts in September. Those things are obvious.

What isn't obvious is why my soul starts searching when September rolls around. On no specific date, but certainly at that time of year and always pressing, I feel rebirth approaching. My soul's New Year is celebrated quietly. Solitude becomes me as I wait for details, at the ready with pen and page and baited breath. I know reformation is coming; I can feel it. I am ready.

The lead up to January is a different sort of New Year. There is no feeling except one of urgency: this is what I've come to know as my New Year of the Mind. My soul, having just experienced rebirth and renewed searching, is exhausted, and my mind takes over. I go to work I come home I organize I tidy I readjust and I focus on the external. December is always loaded with numbers: alarm clocks and overtime-before-playtime and addresses I've failed to send mail to. Phone numbers I didn't call appear on my hands like conviction. I review the dates and what I did on them, bank accounts and what I did to them, and make long and lengthy budgets for the new year. Every December I do this, and I always end the same: with regret that I didn't change things, hope that I will change them this year, and amazement at how quickly I lost step with time.

In December, my mind reviews my soul's declarations. I read old posts from New Years' past and subconsciously check off former to-do lists, or add to the one I'm now forming. I congratulate my soul on how far it's come, or remind it to be thankful for the same. My current circumstances dance in the forefront of my brain and I am humbled, reminded of God's hand in things, and pray feverishly that he won't take it all away this year. I am always afraid he'll take it away.

So this must be why I make lists. Intentions and blog posts are written, numbers are crunched, justifications are made (so are promises), and I sit like a schoolgirl in the hallway outside the principle's office, looking like some Norman Rockwell painting, waiting to be called in. Beside me on the bench in a stack are the recipe books, note pads, journals, prose, jots and scribbles, and of course: my day planner. My nylons are scratchy and my shoes are too tight, and everyone else got to go home early. It's just me and the echoes; me and hope that what I've got is enough.

This year has been a blur of beauty and healing, but it's been a blur all the same. I have seen dreams realized, learned to be loved, and I've given myself second chances. Even though I feel like it was just yesterday, and it's not even really here yet, I want to wish you a happy new year; whichever kind of new year this is for you.

While it can be tempting to forgo Intentions all together, what with their alarming capacity to disappear into the abyss, I want to encourage you to keep forming these ideas anyway. Let your good intentions come to light, even though you put some down last year, or have been putting the same ones down for a decade. Let your good intentions come to light, and follow through with them. Let your good intentions come to light, because the world needs more of you, and it needs you (and you need you) to act on your good intentions.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

my favorite time of year

Okay it's true: I have about 365 favorite times of the year. But on a slow Sunday at the office in slower holiday season, with only a bag of trail mix to keep me company, I felt like highlighting this favorite. Ladies and Gentlemen: the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012 has accepted submissions. From macro animals to stunning human beings, from planned moments to happenstance, here are some of what I consider to be the best (credit and links listed below photos. No copyright infringement intended).

lovely dinosaur

Photo and caption by mehmet karaca
Strong enough to hold on to life ...
Kahramanmaras, Turkey

Bold & Shy

Photo and caption by Anjum Vahanvati
The unlucky car breakdown turned lucky when I found this school in a small village Khangral in Kargil on the way to Leh from Srinagar. The teachers also let me and my friends in to take pictures and most of the kids were excited about it. Some were shy and kept hiding while this little girl enjoyed the limelight.
Location: Khangral, Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir, India 


Photo and caption by Handi Laksono
76 Years Old Mbah Mertadiredja (Mbah is called for an oldman in Javanese Language), dedicates his life making Javanese Puppet for decades.
Location: Solo, Central Java, Indonesia

Pelican, Walvis Bay, Namibia

Photo and caption by ROMULO REJON
A marine cruise in Walvis Bay, Namibia, is a memorable experience. I remember watching dolphins, seals, mola molas, cormorants... and having the privilege of picturing that one pelican at the exact moment he grabbed a bite thrown from the boat.
Walvis Bay, Namibia

The fisherman

Photo and caption by Ban Hup Teh
Fisherman repairing his net at dawn.
Location: Bali

How's my hair look ?

Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge
Female bonobos carry and nurse their young for four years and give birth on average every five years
Location: Jacksonville Zoo, Jacksonville, Florida

City birds

Photo and caption by Matthias Luetolf
Strolling through downtown SF during our vacation, the birds sitting on the wires and skyscrapers in the foggy background caught my attention. A lucky shot!
Location: San Francisco

...if you hadn't guessed yet, my "shortlist" of favorites was much longer than this...picking from this group is always difficult. The composition on that last one is so perfect it looks fake, and that fisherman...oh that fisherman! The details! And you haven't even seen yet the beautiful tribeswomen, the sunset on the red fields of China, or the Hamer women from Ethiopia (who are exquisite, by the way).

Go have a look yourself. Way too many beautiful stories and images to highlight here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

the first day of winter

from wintertimegirls

How pleased I am to be looking forward.

The World still sits, will see us through;
let us live a little longer. This planet, upon
who's back I stand, has granted another day with You.
There are heartaches yet to come, and heart graces, too;
and pieces of old habits that have yet to be removed.
I run my hands with intention on the frost, watch it crack,

let my breath show the air and its perfections; fall to my knees
that I may honor the weight of necessity's hibernation.
Wait with the rest of humanity in well-versed anticipation;
not for spring, but for the spring to return to my step;
not for sun, but for heat to emerge from my chest;
not for the end, but for the understanding, of winter.

© afterthoughtcomposer

Thursday, December 20, 2012

tomorrow: era or end?

Dozens of Cement People Dangling from Umbrellas

Hey God,

So, we're doing this again are we? Tomorrow is the what...the end of the world? You can hear me sighing, I know, and in a way I feel like I can hear you sighing too.

I am saddened that my culture is so obsessed with drama. If it's dramatic, we'll report it, we'll stare at it, we'll yell about it...and yet, at no point has any public voice stopped to educate themselves about the truth behind their yells. The Mayan Calendar, the one which ends on December 21, marks the end of an era. An era, not a world. And yet, this information is increasingly hard to come by. There's too much yelling.

I guess I wish you'd speak louder than the TV.

Why do I get the sense that you do, but we're too focused on the TV to notice.

So many questions. But this time around, for this end of the world, I probably won't dress up if that's ok. I'll just be at work, doing my job, waiting for your stories like I usually do.

with love and hesitance,
and with hopes to hear your voice instead,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

to love is to move

Is grief enough?

...a question I have been asking myself. I already know the answer: of course it isn't. In the wake of yet another widely publicized tragedy, we are all grasping at strings when we try to think of the answer. Lucky for us, our grief is based on shock and disbelief, and not on the loss of our own children.

Disjointed as these thoughts may be, here goes.
Hurricane Sandy was 2 months ago. The Aurora shooting was 5 months ago. 49 kindergarteners in India were brutally killed by a train less than a 30 days ago. The earthquake in Haiti was 2 years ago. The earthquake in Japan was a year and a half ago. The fire at Tazreen garment factory in Dhaka was only 3 weeks ago. Amanda Todd killed herself only 2 months and three days ago.

I suppose I bring these up as a form of confession. I grieved, but my grief was short. There is a trend here, beyond my own life and country (but certainly present in my heart); a trend which focuses on the immediate. A trend which forgets what's past. We get emotional because the images invoke us, and we cry because those people are crying, and the situation is tragic. Our supper tables are filled with conversation and heated debate: about what should be done, or what hasn't been done yet. We make pledges, and call up radio shows to discuss it. We share pictures online and feel that in "liking" we have justified ourselves. Our part is done, we say resolutely. And then the new images show up, and we cry because it's tragic, and we shift and juggle and click like and say nothing with our actions. We fight not for freedom or justice or order, but for the end of our own grief.

Voice: only useful if I use it. My purpose is only as good as my willingness to act. To love is to move. So yes, hug your children, pray vigilantly, and watch the news because you can not help but watch the news. But then, for the sake of those tiny heartbeats we will let slide to the next big news something. Write the government, and write them again. Show up to protests, or start your own campaign. Lobby. Sing louder because that song you wrote needs to be heard for hearts to be changed. Make art that pisses people off. Stir the pot for once; God knows it needs stirring. Talk about the things that no one else wants to talk about; not to anger, but maybe to upset; not to vindicate, but to listen.

More than that: put your hands to something. Do work that will not benefit your own life. Serve in a way that will make you dirtier, in a way you will be unrecognized. Sacrifice something you want for something another person needs. Stop buying so much crap and give your money away instead. Ask your mom the tough questions. Tell your friends why you haven't seen them as much lately; the stigma will survive as long as you believe it is there. Resist gentrification and support rehabilitation instead. Stop ignoring the warning signs. Open both eyes and look closely, even when it hurts. Get strong enough to help the others.

It's been said, it's been said, it's been said. Enough with the saying.

UPDATE: read this. "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" - this is what so many have been talking about. What a brave woman; we need more like her, more stigma changers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hospital Poetry

Hospiten Cancun

I was doing well.
In fact, I hadn't bitten one nail;
my hands looked like those of a real grown up lady.
So willingly entangled in the luxury of rest,
they fell
loosely at my sides, empty;
giddy and empty of cares.
And then some bad meat put my love
En Hospiten Cancun.
We hurtled there
(between hurls)
my fingers beginning their agitation.
Then I, back: overnight requirements, dinner,
and clean socks.
My eyes closed and I felt my body straining
to stay upright,
as I raced along the thoroughfares of Mexico
in a taxicab with no seat belts.
Back again, strapped in this time.
My hands, though; my poor, reality incapable hands.
Somewhere between el Hospiten y el Riviera and back
I lost them all. I have no tips to speak of,
none left to my name.
Except, perhaps ironically, on my middle finger,
which I shall extend in a salute
to the bad meat.


My soul's mate has been found.
He is over there,
on the couch.

This Visit has Worked its Way into a Bad Analogy,
But Here it is Anyway.

Before I met you I was in a state of severe dehydration.
Angels like nurses would come,
adjust the IV with their thumbs,
and pull at the corners of my blanket.
They can not make decisions,
so they bring me God.
"Does it hurt when I push here?" so asks the Lord.
"Or here; how much pain is this?"
"There is always pain
when you push me," comes my feverish reply.
After being rolled on a gurney through everything timeless,
my thirst, forever, was quenched.
Finally, the angels have succeeded in their duties:
they brought me you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

can't wait.

In just three days I'll be sitting on a plane, headed to a Bestie's wedding. Sun and surf await me. Sand and heat and the occasional shot of tequila await me. The wedding is in Mexico, and will mark my first real-life vacation. Grandiose thanks to Bestie for having a destination wedding! Excitement, while present, is quieted by the busyness of final preparations, as if waiting in a queue for its turn. I joked the other day that by the time Mexico gets here, I will probably fall in a scatter of pieces out the plane door. Anita comments on this thought line:

I don’t know that adults are capable of reveling in the anticipation of going on vacation anymore – our lives are just too busy and any tasting of the excitement is left for the car ride to the airport… and even then you’re wondering if you turned the straightening iron off.

I've got my little suitcase packed with the essentials: bikini, summer dress, sandals. The growing list of things to do before I leave is sorting itself into piles: Must Do and Can Wait. I haven't done laundry in a month: Must Do. I have to clean under the stove: Can Wait. I haven't called home in awhile: Must Do. My Christmas shopping is incomplete: Can Wait.

THE FLU OF ALL FLUS is going around the office. I've had my flu shot - am I immune? Or will I spend the plane ride convulsing in the tiny bathroom? Will I loathe the beach and long for the cool porcelain of the bathroom floor? Only God knows, and only he can intervene. I can pray and drink fluids and go to bed on time. Must Do.

I am certain my calendar knows I'm going on vacation, and even more certain it's not pleased with me. Rebellion comes in the form of speeding clocks, and pen mark after pen mark after pen mark; reminders, lists, appointments, and a few failed attempts: GYM, laundry, laundry, GYM, laundry!!

How blissful it will be to shut the book for awhile, to take space; to let someone else take notes and keep order while I sip dewy beverages and hold my favorite hand and watch the sun set over the ocean.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


photo via pinterest

What I know of  God:

He speaks quietly.
He makes ears to hear loud noises first.
He likes carrots.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

untrue things

You know, it's possible to over analyze to the point of well-kempt-paralysis. Where is the sun? I ask. And why is everyone so mean to me? A tiny voice contributes: They're not; you just haven't figured out how to take your vitamin D pills and go to bed on time. I encourage the tiny voice by sipping one-third-sweet peppermint mochas and firing spiral shaped emails to Anita at alarming speed. I drown it out by over spending, and choosing bustle over solitude. I listen to my friends and what they think of me; they sound so much like the tiny voice.

I feel like I'm waiting for something. What it is, I could guess to tell you. Maybe I want the years reversed. In my head, I took care of my leaking car and the resulting spores 2 years ago. In my head, I learned money young. I've eaten a lot of snacks since I was a teen, had a plethora of successful thrift store trips, managed to stay afloat financially, and had good luck by delaying certain consequences. Now as an adult, during a sunless winter, I feel bent under the weight of it all. It's as if the gremlins have been waiting in the shadows, tying their wrists together, so they could catch up to me at the same time.

This is a wave, like all the other waves have been, and will pass once I get this feeling off my chest. The image in my head is a cartoon version of me, climbing a smooth ice wall with skates on. The tiny voice's throat clears, a pair of hands turn the image, and I am skating. Maybe tomorrow I'll be skating. If only I knew how.

For now I want a re-do, a personality transplant, the ability to give up my grip on the remote control. I want a spirit guide, a guru, a mentor's voice. I want God. I want to feel smart and not regretful. I want my hands to make something beautiful, my will to do right by me, and my heart to let go the burden of untruth; though my knees wobble.

I have done some things well - this I strive to remember. There is so much I am not, but so much much more that I am, and am proud of, and bring to the world. If I ever forget this, there are a hundred tiny voices to remind me; in the form of friends, old letters, newly spoken words, sunny day remnants, sent jokes, and memories in my spirit. They produce hands and steady the picture for me, helping me forward, as I learn to step over the untrue things.

photo by Lukas Kozmus. Found on Colossal.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

kitty litter for the win

If, perchance, your vehicle happens to be a dud - a dud which leaks, fills your trunk with water, soaks your backseats through, and puddles on the floor - you should know that kitty litter will solve at least some of your problems. Kitty litter and a shop vac, that is. Oh, and the $$ required to fix the leaks. This must be why people don't spend all their money on clothes and tasty treats. Huh. Duly noted; will add to the budget (and stick to it) next time around. In the meantime, I will continue to turn my car into a cat's toilet. Please keep your cats away from my car.

Other benefits of having kitty litter all over the back half of your vehicle:

- The moldy-mildewy smell is gone! For the most part!
- It's a pretty blue color when it gets wet
- "You can also use it as a bathroom" says Aaron.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

three bads = endless goods

If your morning should happen to go like this:

1. Forget to set alarm, sleep in, two hours late for work.
2. Find out shortly after (late) arrival that the clock has begun to tick on blissful lovely learning opportunity. Monday to Friday, clock-watched, mind-numbing routine commencing in three, two...
3. Splurged on an expensive coffee. Only to receive the wrong drink. Only to discover once already (late) at work.

Don't forget the following things:

1. You have a bed! And a roof! And a car to speed in! And a job to be late for!
2. Paychecks are still in order.
3. This is definitely a first world problem.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

pointers, for the month of consumerism and excess

1. When it comes to buying presents, be considerate and diligent in your mental preparation. Think about the recipient in all aspects: what patterns are they drawn to, what do they talk about when it rains, how often do they shower, what is their favorite kind of tea. Other considerations: is this person funny or boring? Does this person wear deodorant? Have I ever seen this person naked? Purchase gift accordingly.

1b. If you have thought and thought but still can't think of anything to get the person, you have two options. One: close your eyes, walk three feet to your left, and pick something up with your left hand. This is their present. Option Two: buy something you like. Depending on your relationship with said recipient, you may be allowed to borrow the item on occasion. Your friend gets to share, and you get to pretend you bought them a great present. It's a win win.

2. There are two secrets to getting through your third helping of turkey dinner alive. Secret number one: grapes. Eat lots and lots of grapes about two hours before dinner, all at once. Do this again an hour before dinner. Your stomach will expand, but you won't be full because grapes digest quickly. Secret number two (that you probably knew already): low waisted pants.

3. When your boss and/or coworkers bombard you with boxes of chocolates in the weeks before the holidays, don't panic. Take them home, careful not to disturb any of the paper (or, if they are unwrapped: wrap them). Make gift tags and give them away as presents, or to your host/hostess when you arrive at dinner. You just saved yourself a whole lot of cash and at least five pounds of angry holiday weight.

4. It is appropriate to attend craft fairs and Christmas markets in search of the perfect present. It is not appropriate to spend all the money you reserved for purchasing gifts at the fair/market on yourself. It is appropriate to spend lots of money on yourself, so long as you continue telling yourself you are "shopping for other people."

5. Remember, if you spend January's paycheck on post-Christmas sales, you did not "save money".

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

poem envy: Kimberly Kaye

Still one of the best poems I've ever read. Halts me every time.

"Unsaid, While You Were Angrily Cleaning Up Dinner"
by Kimberly Kaye

I'm sorry I don't save words for you. I try to,
each morning, plug up and reserve something.
Mostly by day's end the best drain out.
The first of the day are barely worth speaking.
I croak them to baristas and doormen,
to women whose purses take up entire train seats;
sometimes, I practice on bosses.
Then "love" goes to my father, and "why" flies to my mother,
and expletives dart to tourists who halt mid-step
on the sidewalk. Loosed by noon,
phrases marked yours slide by. That joke.
That compliment. That piece of honesty.
They slip into the ears of others and I don't stop them.
Sometimes I pull a few to the side,
apples at the weigh station, perfect pearls for stringing,
but God, they age so quickly.
I wish they weren't so limp when handed over.
And of course the best ones--
the things I mean, things you need, the way I mean to say them--
struggle to survive in open air.
Written down on paper they seem trite. Which is best,
since I'd feather you in Post-It notes otherwise.
So read them in my face. Study the way I slip a finger in your palm
and trace avenues there.
Listen how I ask for nothing.
Let an egg, broken in a pan and poached in oil for you, speak.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A definative and finalized list of Oprah's Favorite Things

photo stolen from here

Something I know you've all been waiting for, and the results have come back. Let's skip the ado: here is the final, comprehensive, full and extensive list of Oprah's favorite things.

List Item #1: Oprah

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

circumstantial compassion

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

After Hurricane Sandy, millions of people on the East coast are looking to rebuild and recover. For many, this storm was simply frightening; stay inside, keep your eyes on the sky, and keep warm. For others, this storm was devastating. Houses were burned or otherwise destroyed, families were stranded, or separated (in the worst cases: permanently). Future security comes into question as the long journey starts; through insurance papers, food bank lines, and broken streets. It is undeniable this storm took a heavy toll.

In flipping through countless photos of the flooded homes, upturned buildings and washed up debris, one can not help but feel sad for the people left in Sandy's wake. Or, can they? There is an article on, posted just this morning, titled "Home Alone: Who's running to help the U.S. in Sandy's aftermath? Nobody. That's who." The author here points out (if that extra long title didn't give it away) that the aid coming to the States from around the globe is bleak, at best. She then follows that observation with a sharp reprimand, "This sound of resounding silence is disgusting."

My question here is this: is our compassion circumstantial? I'll be the first to admit that the photos of Sandy's effects on...say...Haiti, bolster a much stronger resolve in my heart to do something than the pictures coming out of New York. Why is this? The article above, if taken at its word, would suggest I'm selective in my compassion, and admittedly, I've spent quite a bit of time this morning wondering if this is true. I looked again through photos of New Jersey, Virginia and others, and then again at Sandy's effects outside the USA. The water is there, the wind is there, but there are notable differences between the two. They are, so far as I can see: infrastructure, and the hope to independently rebuild.

Why do I feel a stronger desire for action when looking at devastation on a third world country than I do looking at a first world country? The answer, of course, is need. The USA (so far as we see it in the media) often postures itself as the One with the resources; and compared to the rest of the world, in many ways they are. Consistently listed near the top of the world's richest countries, should we really expect those not on that list to lend a hand? Sure the houses have been damaged...but they're nice houses. Cars are floating...but they're expensive cars. The government has just promised unlimited funds to rebuild. One of the photos of the aftermath in the US showed New Yorkers, warmly dressed, lined up this morning, looking to purchase tickets to Broadway. Seeing this, it might be easier to dismiss the need. Are these people really suffering? Or have they simply been inconvenienced? Surely, this is no place for compassion.

Or is it? People are still people, after all. So, should the world chip in? Or do we ignore the call to action, unless those in need are poorer than we are?

In a bit of a reverse scenario, I was speaking with a dear friend of mine a few years back about suffering; I was dismissing mine. "How can I feel bad about this situation in my life, when other people are dying?" I said. "This isn't nearly as bad as that." She thought for a minute and began to tell me about an aspect of motherhood. "If one of my children gets cancer, I will be devastated, and heartbroken, and I will do everything I can to ease his suffering. If on the way to the hospital to visit him, my other child falls on the sidewalk and scrapes his knee, what do you think I will do? I won't look at him and yell, 'Oh get up! Your brother is really sick, and you're crying over a scrape? Your pain means nothing to me.' Of course I wouldn't say that. I'd bend down, scoop him up, and give him a kiss." Her point? Pain and suffering are valuable and worth compassion, no matter who it's happening to.

I do not feel a personal liberty to decide when, and when not, to give; I only know that when the nudge of compassionate action comes, I should follow through with it, if only for fear of never being nudged at all. Perhaps next time I am in need, in some great twist of fate, the hands that come ready to lift me out of the water would be the same hands that mine met when I gave.

Update: give to the Canadian Red Cross' relief efforts both in the US and globally:

Friday, October 26, 2012

the Platform Predicament

I've been in conversation with my editor friends, and others, including many people in-the-know at SiWC2012, about the future of my writing. What I've learned from them is this: writers who hope to be published one day need a platform before that can happen.

The predicament is as follows: I am not publishable, not by any stretch. I'm not sure I need a platform; not yet, anyway. I don't know what "platform" in this context actually means. I have a soapbox. Does that count?

Anyway, I checked out a few people with "platforms" and saw they had websites with their name all over them, facebook and twitter profiles, and a list of speaking engagements. I don't really want to talk to the public about my inability to finish books, so, as of twenty two minutes ago, afterthoughtcomposer's footprint (and soapbox) has expanded. I've created a facebook page. Just think, instead of having to guess when I've posted, you could get an update right to your newsfeed! And instead of just having the option to leave comments can now leave comments there OH MY GOSH YOU ARE SO LUCKY.

Monday, October 22, 2012

post-conference decompression

(re: Surrey International Writer's Conference

I don't have as many books as a writer should, though I'm trying to build my collection. There is a stack of new acquisitions sitting atop my fireplace; nestled in the corner of my eye. They read: Blake, Mitch Albom, John Irving, Seamus Heaney, and Edgar Allan Poe. My brain wanders, looking for images of the future, where in a stack on a shelf in someone else's living room, my name rounds out the list.

This weekend was spent amongst the few; published authors and well known names and hard nosed (rightly so) agents. My weekend was spent amongst the many; like me, or like I've been, or at levels I hope to reach in the future: award winners, contest takers, brilliant prose and idea-onto-page makers. There were frizzy haired, unkempt, happy wall flowers, and confident, outspoken, shiny haired rule breakers. Fellow bloggers and poets, and other kinds of writers; men and women knee deep or out past their epic fantasy novels, their children's books, their teenage drama genre benders.

At no point in my life have I felt so universally...normal. Upon my arrival the first morning, I was struck with an immediate sense of recognition. I saw myself here, and there, and though we were all different we were all...writers; socially awkward but loveable, happy in solitude but holding strong relationships and followed incessantly by the urge to write things down. Every conversation felt like the unlocking of a door. You too? My God. I thought I was the only one.

Day one can be summed up easily: Elation. I got home that evening, exhausted but filled with fire. The only word I could find that seemed to fit the feeling was: saturated; like if you squished me, I might ooze all over the floor. Days two and three were, as my conference buddy Crystal decided, defined this way: Deflation. Beautiful, full of information and thirty more pages of notes...but the weight had come. If we had been soaring through air initially, we looked down on day two, and realized how much work was now required to get ourselves back to earth, and to the reality of what we were asking of ourselves. We have things to say, and so much more to write about, and very little choice in the matter. We are writers; the compulsion is involuntary. We began to eye each other knowingly, seeing the long hard road ahead and the fact that we would take it.

Jane Espenson, a writer for Once Upon a Time (squeal!), told us a story in the opening keynote address of the weekend. She was reminding us that our work means something, that we have something to say, and in so doing closed with this (paraphrased, of course):

There are thousands of crabs, stranded and dying on the shoreline of an ocean. There is a man walking along, and one by one, he picks them up and hurls them back to safety. Someone else comes along and laughs at the man. "What are you doing?" he says, "There are thousands of crabs here, you'll never save them all. You really think you're making a difference?" The man stops, crab in hand, and before he throws it back he says, "It makes a difference to this one."

Donald Maass, in the final keynote address of the weekend, gave three predictions for the future of writing in the 21st century. The third prediction is as follows: there will be novels that change the world. And here is what I feel when I hear that said: that's going to be my novel. Definitely not the first, maybe not the tenth, but I know I have been born to tell stories. If the world I change is for one person only, I will consider myself a success.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

foggy: finally!

I read somewhere recently that using the exclamation point was like laughing at your own joke, and as such, should be avoided by those who wish to call themselves writers. Admittedly, that bit of advice stuck like a needle into my brain as soon as I read it; it takes up only a little space, but pokes me every now and again. I've neglected the rule in today's post title, with good reason: it's finally, finally foggy. The air is crisp and thick with the smell of frosts to come; jackets are wrapping themselves tighter around torsos and boots are making their way onto the street.
Finally, finally, I am home.

Summer makes me feel like a visitor. The Sun does its best to brighten my attitude towards those middle months, and those warm evenings by the ocean have come close to doing the trick. But nothing can compare to the welcome I get from the stillness Autumn brings. My soul lights up, like those turning leaves, and then tumbles softly just the same; through open air, to rest and hibernation and winter.

Summer pushes us out of our homes; to the beach, to patios and lounges; to road trips and day trips and shopping. But Fall returns us; to hearths and homemade pie, armchairs and books; to blankets and quiet thinking, making do and gearing down. Summer means giant quenching gulps and fast light eating. Fall means careful sips and slow roasted, oven baked, melting buttered everythings.

Fall is the quiet friend who sits with you, understands you have been busy, listens to every story in detail with joy, then asks you to stay for tea, for awhile, for a rest.

Welcome, Fall.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I am thankful for the moon;
that it's occasionally blue,
as if pushing nature to join me.

I am thankful for the roots
which pour out of me, guiding my feet,
gripping my heart to the earth.

I am thankful for dust in sunlight;
floating bits which remind us: things
may not have always been,
but they will be, alright.

I am thankful for my hands;
that I can raise them, take the world in,
carry what I'm able and give the weight
to my being's adoration.

I am thankful for the soul's ability to march,
steady onward, through the rain,
and rise again to meet the heart.
© afterthoughtcomposer

photo © Carus Ionut

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

FINISHED! Sort of.

Well folks, last night I completed what may go down in history as the longest process ever. I finished the re-type. That's right! My really terrible first book is ready to send off to the editors. Now all I need are some editors. Or one? Is one enough?

Ran into an interesting conundrum as I typed the last word yesterday evening; this book is short; only 89 Word document pages single spaced. Approximately fifteen thousand words were cut out between the first draft and now. I erased whole characters, subplots, paragraphs. I am resisting the urge to go back and add things back in, taking into account #3:

It should be mentioned, of course, that if I add a bunch of spaces in at the beginning of each chapter, like in a real book, then the overall length increases to 100 pages. Just to be sure, and to aid my fledgling self esteem, I Googled "Books that are 100 pages" and came across a list of books that are only 100 pages long; among which are The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which I hear are pretty fantastic.

Also, the page numbers will increase even more later on, as my book probably won't be printed on 8.5x11" paper. Unless I want it to look like some high-school kid's English project. It will read like a mediocre student's essay, but at least it might look prettier. These are all things I have to keep telling my dorky mind. Also: good books aren't necessarily measured by page number. Also, you probably spent about two minutes reading this post. Also, you will never get those two minutes back.


Monday, October 1, 2012

poeting the dream


the house was shared.
a new purchase;
a fresh acquisition that was
decrepit; forgotten.
the feeling, mutual:
the soul of the home needs work.
and so we strove to lift it,
dusting shelves and moving worn out furniture,
thinking of the roof
threatening to cave above our heads.
my sister, my heart,
we move on to the yard;
an expanse of tallest weeds
and grass grown thick;
thick with neglect.
I pull at a root beneath me;
the soil caves, putrified, and smells
of abscesses and death,
having gone unattended too long.
I and my heart feel sick;
sick with regret.
my sister, she starts, and moves
across the yard,
and helps me see the benefit of our work.

"Many Standing Mysteries" - by Jeannie Lynn Pask
obsolete world

Saturday, September 29, 2012

IDS West

IDS West - by Chelsea at chrysalisden

I made it last night to IDS West (Interior Design Show West) - one of the many Fall Events I wait for all year withbaitedbreath. With birthday excitement dwindling and Halloween just on the way, IDS West serves as an appropriate, inspirational, lovely bridge between the two. For those who've never been, IDS West is a showcase of interior designers & design, furniture & furniture makers, antiques, pickers, pieces rooms ideas inspiration. Other years, I've traveled down to the show with my friend, the design nut, Chelsea. I call her a design nut as a compliment. This woman could make toilet paper look couture.

This year, Boyfriend and I braved the event with his adorablicious (new word. suits her.) daughter in tow. Four years old and then some; energy, bravery, spunk. If you're wondering what it's like to attend a large-scale design showcase with a curious four year old, it goes a little something like this:

"Where'd she go?"
"Oh, sweetie, those are breakable"
"Come back here!"
"Put that down."
"I don't know, have you seen her?"
"....gah! How did you get up there?"

Perhaps I should also mention, it goes a little something like this:

She is interested in everything.
She wants to touch and feel everything.
She wants to figure out how everything works.
She is amazed by everything.
She is distracted and excited by everything.
She wants to show you everything. Now. All at once.

Even the glass things. Even the Pure White Italian Leather Recliner worth multiple thousands.

...and it is fabulous to watch.

While I missed the slow exploratory feeling that came with the show other years, there was something quite sweet about this time, as slight a frenzy as it put us in. In fact, I highly recommend you take a toddler to a trade show; keep yourself young. Show yourself the beauty of being delighted, by watching a delighted child.

More details (the slower version) available on Chelsea's latest post.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Writer's Process

1. Wake up. The decision has been made: TODAY I WILL WRITE.
2. Check email, twitter, facebook, other email, and text messages. Respond accordingly.
3. Lie in bed and think about today's outfit. Get up and put it on. Change mind. Change mind again.
4. Walk to the coffee shop.
5. Sip coffee and write a few mediocre poems. Feel proud of self.
6. Decide you need groceries. Walk to the grocery store. Buy groceries.
7. Walk home, turn on laptop.
8. Google "how to make poached eggs"
9. Attempt to make a poached egg.
10. Try again. Eat attempt #2. Critique self.
11. Decide laptop is too loud, restart.
12. Search pantry for a snack while computer restarts.
13. Google "hot, loud computer"
14. Internet is down. Diagnose the problem. No solution. Disable internet.
15. Look at writing project beside laptop. Eye suspiciously.
16. Ignore loud laptop. Put on top of plate to prevent desk fire.
17. Open writing project file, scroll to last known location.
18. Scoff at the terrible sentences.
19. Wallow in fear and self doubt for a few minutes. Eat chocolate as emotional compensation.
20. Start typing.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

it appears I'm afraid of bleeding

I'm doing it again.

Yesterday was spent reading through old posts here on afterthought and on my archaic, only two of you read it, not much was said but lots of words were typed blog called soup de jour (spelling mistake was intentional; I think I thought I was clever). Last week, without warning or forethought I dove into a box of old journals; caught myself up on the younger version of me.

I've mentioned before that one of the reasons I love writing is because of the way it serves to remind, console, or show growth. But something happens to a girl when she reads a half-decade of blog posts plus a decade's worth of journaling. She starts to notice patterns. Awkward, silly, obvious, stagnated patterns. As if the younger version of me has been ruling all along and I've failed to notice. As if I haven't changed at all since early adolescence.

So I'm the same as I was. My habits are unreformed. I still don't exercise and have yet to give up sugar. Whenever I go for a manicure the soft-spoken Taiwanese girl still says "Ooo...shaawt!" My heart still chooses flight when things get hard. I often decide my writing is crap and there's no point in continuing. Once a year, I boldly proclaim I am leaving the world behind so I can write books. I have not yet finished a book. I still don't think I'm a good enough writer to write things people will read.

Where was I. Ah yes, the repetition. The "Hey! I've seen this spot before!"

In a little under a month I will be attending a writing conference, one I have been dying to go to for years. Insightful Boyfriend lovingly and fantastically registered me for the conference for my birthday present and I can't believe I get to go. I am so excited I've cried. I am so nervous I've developed a twitch in my left eyelid. To be around all those writers and agents and publishers and authors and people who know good writing... I'm petrified I'll be found out. I have to keep reminding myself there is no "Point and Laugh at the Girl Who Doesn't Belong Here" workshop. I am fighting the urge to put everything I've written into a pile and light it on fire and laugh manically while it burns and discover as a result of my pageless apartment that I am actually quite good at making pots or fixing computers or selling houses and there was really no reason to try that writing thing anyway.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Who cares about the bully?

I had a very interesting conversation just now with a woman who's son is the class bully. Well, that would be the insensitive-bird-eye way to phrase things. What should be said is that the boy exhibits aggressive behavior at school. What isn't being addressed by the teachers is why, or how he feels inside those walls. In fact, he feels unsafe. He is bullied often, and has been since early elementary. He has been threatened on many occasions by other students. The boy has a small run of social inconsistencies which prevent him from behaving properly. At this point, he has been quarantined (no really); told to walk only in certain hallways, not allowed to speak with other students; forced out of the places at school where he feels safe, where his only friends are. But this boy is big and tall, and with those social difficulties, is an easy hiding place for the quiet fighter.

While I don't wish to excuse aggressive behavior (not acceptable), I do hope there are teachers willing to look at the reasons for the behavior and how to best address those reasons, instead of slapping "zero tolerance" band-aids on every aggressive kid. At which point will this boy earn the respect of appropriate teaching? Rather than dismissing the problem by way of avoidance, which is not productive at all, I wonder if the teachers would, instead, deal with the problem, and in so doing: teach.

I remember boys like him, both in elementary and high school. Large in stature and in voice, bumbling through social cues where others their age skated gracefully. Yes, they bullied others. But what most people failed to notice is that these boys were bullied too; often first. I was in grade 6 when Sean, the socially awkward "loser", pulled my ponytail so hard I actually saw black spots and felt dizzy; I heard my neck crack. Oh, didn't I mention? I made fun of him immediately prior (quietly, of course). It's not a proud moment, but one that should be looked at. In that situation, I was the instigator; Sean simply lacked the ability to deal with rude people appropriately and lashed out.

While I understand this new move for "zero tolerance" bullying, I have to ask: when will we take a closer look at the reasons, and not just the reactions, of those who bully? I want my children to grown up with empathy and understanding, even for those who are mean to them. If my child is the aggressor, I want that child to constantly meet people who will set boundaries for him, so he has to learn. Hiding these kids and cutting them out of society will not teach them anything good. I am much better off for having to deal with those who picked on me, than I would be if they had been plucked from my view early on. I had to stand up for myself. This is good for kids.

Perhaps I should reiterate: I was bullied in school, and I get it. I get how much it hurts, and I can't even imagine how much it would hurt to watch your child go through it, and of course there are cases where reconciliation would not work. But what if we made education and growth and relationship the first goals, and put alienation as a last resort? No child should be disregarded; even those who bully.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

fta: nostalgia

Funny how some things never change.
Regardless of the good, there will always be things to miss.
And yet, I wouldn't trade the good.

Here's another post from the archives: my 7-years-ago thoughts about nostalgia.

original post: Monday, September 12, 2005

In the sky last night were the most beautiful northern lights I have seen in awhile. By my fourth year in Saskatchewan, wandering out into fields late at night, at -35C, had sadly lost it's glory (mostly due to the fact that I didn't know anyone who'd walk with me by that point--and I'm a pansy who, at almost22, is still afraid of the dark) needless to say, I was absolutely amazed by the brilliant lights displayed in shades of green and purple waving across the sky; now fast, now slow, now faded, now radiant.

Nostalgia: those fleeting and yet resilient moments where the past comes close enough to feel but not close enough to touch; memories hit you in the face with their suddenness, yet softly cradle your heart in the same instant with their warmth. Time seems to happen in one moment: you remember four years (or perhaps a lifetime) of joy, pain, hurdles and triumphs...and suddenly wish you could relive them..hold on to them for just a little bit longer. And then you remember; they're already gone.

It had been, and was, a good evening. Lying on my back looking straight up at the sky, letting the body heat of friends beside me be my source of heat. It took a little effort to ignore Elvis, the dog, as he sniffed my hair and eyed me quizzically. As cute as he was, I was busy: watching the most beautiful of God's creations dance above me in the black sky.

So why the flash of emotion? Why the tears? Why the longing for years gone by?
Perhaps it is because watching the northern lights, which are so majestic and awe-inspiring and mysterious, I can only be still and allow God to gain me some perspective, and give me grace to ask questions I don't need answers to; to step back from myself in a way. To focus on everything and nothing at the same time.
to breath
to be

...and in this graceful allowance feel and realize that which my busy, selfish, day to day life does not allow me to stop and think about: though I miss days past, it is vital I embrace today; this recent future. How ironic; in four years I may be gazing up at the northern lights, wishing for today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

welcome Fall.

welcome Fall and its changes;
welcome turning leaves and new formed frost;
teach me what the summer held, what I miss
and what I've lost. bring me closer to winter
(that sweet hibernating darkness)
wrap me up; my dreams avoidancing, accost.
weave your way in, find there my heart,
use hands, entwine with warmth,
like fireplaces burning:
melt ice, hesitation

hold me to my sentences, to my
best intentions, bring me closer to
the heart of what my heart holds dear
and all it mentions. Break my
stride; hold the hours steady;
marry my thoughts to my deeds
and keep them at the ready.
      wander me not;
keep me from that permanently suspensioned eddy.
push harder where I oft' forget; don't let;
allow me to forgive me for the things
I've not accomplished yet.

let's move on, to stiller days and slower traffic,
to unfolded page corners and loving the stuff of life;
to shutting off auto-pilot and making good responses automatic.

welcome Fall and its changes;
welcome mittens and sweaters;
welcome boots and knit scarves and Vancouverite Umbrellers.
welcome hugs and hot cocoa and crisp nights warmed with fires;
welcome leaf's turning and untold adventures;
welcome Fall.
welcome Fall.

Monday, September 3, 2012

15 year wait on a 13 year old dream.

Dear 13 Year Old Self,

You will never believe me when I tell you this, but I saw HANSON in concert last week.
I know right. How much dying did you just do.

Self: they are what you hope; what the DVD's suggest, what your CD's promise. It's probably a good thing you don't get to see them; you'd probably embarrass yourself. I was much cooler.

For the most part.

Taylor's voice sounds the same, so many years later, and he moves his mouth the same too. He sings a few octaves lower, of course. He still wears tight pants. Silly boy pulled them over his boots though; it looked awkward. You'd never guess it, but Isaac is the most attractive to me now. How weird is that! He started out so geeky, I know. Aging does good things to men (you will learn this, soon, too).

Taylor Hanson at the PNE Amphitheater
photo source: sceneinthedark

You've wanted to see Hanson live for awhile now, and I know you've resolved yourself to the fact that it will never happen. So you stare at your poster-laden locker door, CD cover, fan page, and just imagine it. But guess what, it does happen, you just don't know it yet. You have no idea what's coming. 15 years later, you'll be 30 feet from Taylor and his piano, singing along to! You might not believe me, but I had completely forgotten about Hanson until I saw the concert listing just last week. All these years they've been producing music, and I payed no attention. Isn't that funny? You're completely obsessed.

I've been thinking, 13 Year Old Self, about dreams. You have so many, and truthfully, so do I. Our dreams aren't the same anymore; I've seen yours come and go, reshape themselves, or vanish completely, and I've thought up new dreams on my own to make up for the lack. Where you want to learn guitar (and you have...basically), I want to make music. Where you want to be popular, I want to be respected. Where you want to be an author, I want to write books. See the difference? You don't yet, and that's fine. It will come.

I've learned so much about us in the past 15 years, and I wish I could tell you now what I know. But in a way I think it might spoil the surprise, or the lesson, or both. If you knew these things, you'd be ahead of your time, and even more awkward than you are now. Hard to believe, but you eventually get less awkward.

For the most part.

You're nearing 30, self. One more birthday and another year and you'll be the age you've wanted to be since birth. Only this time, you'll actually be 30, and not pretending. Guess what (I'm a little sad to tell you this); you haven't finished those things yet. One more year to go - I'm trying! - and we'll see if I can hold up my end of the bargain. I can feel you rushing me, but only I know these things can't be rushed. I know because I've learned it; you haven't yet. You wouldn't believe how quickly 15 years can pass. I can feel the pressure coming from your young, expectant eyes. What will I have accomplished? Self, I don't know yet. I'm trying, but I still don't know.

You're just 13, and you don't realize: life is not your picture. Learn early to put down your defined markings and solid lines and enjoy the feel of a blank canvas; feast your eyes on the fields of white, untethered land lying before you. Learn to relax when the drawings finally show up, and when they take shapes of their own; it will be good in the end. Dream even though it seems impossible, but give your dreams time to show. 15 years late, they still feel amazing.

I promise.

with love,
Your Almost-29 Year Old Self.

Monday, August 27, 2012

i have so many things to tell you

I have so many things to tell you,
and not enough time to sit and actually tell you.
Day job - takes time.
Coworker's staccato laugh & immense dislike of the sound of my typing
prevents me from jotting ideas.

Type quickly.
Perhaps to the beat of her staccato laughing.

I ponder God, and listen
to the buzz of my anxiety.
I have so many things to tell you, says God,
but not enough time to sit
so I can actually tell you. Your buzzing gives me a headache.

So does that staccato laughing, I reply.

Where were we.
Ah yes, the sound of life;
clicking keys
(I just received an evil eye)
ticking hands,
calendars on fire,
and mustered courage
to punch the clock.
I will sit and write
the things I've been meaning to tell you.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

when Gotye won the internet

First he dominated the world with this song.

Millions and millions of people liked it, loved it, responded to it, downloaded it, played it on repeat, and some even recreated it in their own way. So many people have remade Gotye's song, some have parodied it, many more have remixed it. Essentially: it's permeated the music world and people's brains. We just can't get it out of our heads.

As if that wasn't enough, now Gotye has officially "one upped the entire internet" (JRamundi, youtube commenter). Turn up your speakers & enjoy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


If someone could phone their friend in Greenland,
and ask them to stop by,
that would be fantastic.

I'm only one continent away
from world domination being read the world over.

Unless the North and South Pole also count as continents,
in which case my confidence shall be hit;
who among the polar bears and penguins reads the internet?

So anyway.
If someone could phone their friend in the North Pole
and their friend in the South Pole
and their friend in Greenland,
and ask them to stop by,
that would be fantastic.

Greenland, you are beautiful.
Come read my blog.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

hope is a leaning flower

photo via sophie oetling

hope needs a flower to lean
upon; a stem to call its own.
the intertwining way it
works will fortify my
home; though my walls all
crumble, my doorway
blocked with shade, hope
leans upon a flower,
and beckons me the way.

where is the flower to lean
upon, here amidst the drone
of noises which surround me
in the void of truest homes?
I miss the future shapes;
I miss a world, I don't.
I look upon a flower,
and pray it leads
to hope.

© afterthoughtcomposer