Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Today I watched as Nora became overwhelmed at the number of gifts she received. While the gifts did have a tangible value, they were given out of pure love. But, more important than that was the joy received in watching her open these gifts. She is a true joy, and that smile breaks my heart.
Christmas is not my favorite holiday, but when a gift is given purely, it is a lovely thing.
Lately I've been happy to see my library grow along with my mind and my heart.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It scares the hell out of me. Of course, I won't get the diploma until May, but I'll keep myself busy with graduate studies until then.
In the past few years, I've learned what the word "stress" actually means. I've also learned how to communicate fully. I am still trying to learn how to listen without excitedly stating my point of view at inappropriate times.
I've learned that putting everything on the line, when done with pure intentions, is always worth it. I am now beginning to fully understand what a truly good man looks like, and it is an incredible sight. I've learned that being honest is not always easy, but in the end making the decision to be honest is well worth it, even while working through the consequences.
I understand that my soul can be cleansed with the tears of another or the laughter of my child.
I know that not watching television is one of the best decisions I've made to date. I know that good novels and poems have likely been edited over and over again. I've learned that books affect my life and thoughts more than any other form of art.
I've learned that following through with stated intentions can be very difficult and very rewarding. I know that patience is a virtue I with which I will always struggle. I have a dry sense of humor. Being an English major has completely changed the way I look at the world; this can probably be said of any field of study.
I know that I will always be a bit unfriendly. I will doubtless always incorporate the words of those that I admire into my own vocabulary.
I know that when I made the decision to live by the words: "If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain" (Dickinson), I made a damn fine decision. While I may only be able to help heal one heart or stop one heart from breaking, I hope to touch the hearts of many.
I don't know who decided that I deserve a degree, a title, but I think that person made a good decision. Pardon my gloating, please.
Monday, December 7, 2009
1. old fashioned #2 pencils - I don't believe there is anything better than writing with a pencil that actually has to be sharpened. There is something about it that just makes me feel more creative.
2. The sound of the fan as I drift off to sleep...
3. A novel which leaves a lasting impression on me, like Light in August or Skinny Legs and All.
4. Anticipation. I don't know if anticipation about an upcoming event or the event itself is better. Yes I do; the payoff is totally better, but the build-up is so wonderful.
5. Using Faulkner words: lugubrious, braggadocio, effluvium, etc.
2. Moving just before Christmas and in the middle of finals - That's right I am tackling 2 large papers, finals, a one-year old, and moving all in one week. Try not to be jealous.
3. People who think that their animals are like their children. Did you give birth to that dog? No you didn't? Then shut up!!
4. Moby Dick - Actually, I just hate Herman Melville in general.
5. The phrase "I know, right!?"
Sunday, December 6, 2009
If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.
If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.
If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen's land.
If certain that when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.
But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.
After Emily Dickinson
If you were leaving in the spring,
I'd clutch each winter's day,
Knowing all warmth would be gone
Once the sun comes out to play.
I'd trap the months in drawers,
Hiding with them all my fear of
no one's whispers in my ears.
If for one hundred years
You would be here with me,
I'd grasp each fleeting moment
After this life has run its course
And thoughts of us decay,
My notions will be of you and me,
But now, as I recall your face
And how your laugh did sound,
Those thoughts but goad my mind
flouting as they move 'round.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Something has hit me concerning the holidays lately. And, it is a big something. None of them mean anything anymore. Christmas is all about who has the most lights up, who has the most presents under the tree, whose dinner will taste the best, etc. It doesn't take a very rational mind to see how materialistic things have become. I've realized for a while now that holidays are VERY commercial, but now that I am in a financial crunch that sentiment is ringing true more than ever, and let me be the first to say that it is one big bell ringing in my ears this season.
A skeptic would say that I am only saying these things now because times are hard for me at the moment. That may be true, but after experiencing something so profound dealing with the holidays, I doubt I'll ever look at it the same way again. Christians will say that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, yet there is no sign of this anywhere in their personal lives, aside from that sad nativity scene half-obscured by Frosty and Rudolph.
I've read where some are now calling it "Krismas." This, of course, refers to Kris Kringle, but that seems even more trite than the Jesus side of the story. First of all, that feeds into the commercialism of the holiday. I will admit that many people seem to really enjoy the giving of gifts, and that is great. But, why not a spontaneous gift given at any moment out of love? Why must we go hunt at 4:00 AM on Black Friday for the perfect gift? Not to mention, that the older I get the more creepy ole' Kris becomes. I mean, why is it okay for a fat, bearded, bald man to slide down my chimney to eat my cookies and then leave me a gift? If that isn't a sexual reference then Freud wasn't a psychologist.
Much to my mother's dismay, I recently told her that I am not going to teach Nora, my one-year old, about Santa Clause. She will certainly know of him, but for her he will always be pretend, sort of like Scooby-Doo. This goes for the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin. Why should I lie to my child about such a matter? She will eventually find out the truth, and then she may very likely question why I've lied to her.
Does all of this mean that I am a scrooge? By no means does it mean such a thing. It means that I am a realist. I still want to gather with my family; I'd just prefer the gifts to be a little more minimal. I don't need a lot of stuff, but I do need their love, support, and hugs. I receive those things everyday. But, sure let's celebrate the fact that that happens. I can do that. I realize I'll never fully get away from Christmas, but I don't have to embrace it so fully. I'm not trying to outrun it; I am just going to let it pass me by.
I feel lost in a maelstrom of information and longings. Everything is mixing together in ways I would have thought impossible only days ago. I just wish that someone would define the word "rest" for me. Or maybe, if conceivable, give me a bit of that fabled state.
My disheveled sheets offer no comfort. The empty coffee mug on the end table offers no energy. There is no one there to answer my prayers.
Even so, I move on. I look toward greater things, and I ponder that imagined state of rest that my grandparents seem to have complete control over. Even when my body is at rest, my mind is roving. I am constantly longing for another body to be lying beside my own, breathing rhythmically, speaking cool words about hot topics.
"Love is the kind of illness that does not spare the intelligent or the dull." - Albert Camus
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The potato that ate all its carrots,
can see in the dark like a mole,
its eyes the scars
from centuries of shovels, tines.
May spelled backwards because
it hates the light,
pawing its way, paddling along,
there is the catacombs.
Bruce Guernsey, New England Primer (Cherry Grove Collections, 2008)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
And that, that is why I love Faulkner. He is right grieving and suffering are better than not being alive. And one cannot help but try to wear out all the possibilities of living, but that list contains an infinite amount of possibilities...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Basically, I wish I hadn't worried my mother so much, but I feel relieved to get the information out in the open.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Telling one's worrisome mother that you no longer believe in the things that she taught you to believe in is not a great idea. I do believe a lot of the things that she's taught me, but I just cannot believe in Christianity any longer. I didn't just come out and shove that information in her face, but when she asked, I told her the truth.
I am now dealing with a very melancholy and concerned woman.
My mom is an amazing lady. I've now given her more to worry about with two sentences than I've given her to worry about with all of the "sins" that I've committed over all the years of my life...
Why in the world am I stupid enough to be so fucking honest...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
At least one thing has been simple today. I am feeling a loss, a far removed one, but a loss. I just received a simple text: 17 years ago today in 45 minutes, Papaw. I think it is possible that I am mourning unconsciously for someone whom I can barely remember.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
While reading Light in August (by William Faulkner) tonight, a few sentences were in accord with my general pattern of thought... As follows:
"One wall of the study is lined with books. He pauses before them, seeking, until he finds the one which he wants. It is Tennyson. It is dogeared. He has had it ever since the seminary. He sits beneath the lamp and opens it. It does not take long. Soon the fine galloping language, the gutless swooning full of sapless trees and dehydrated lusts begins to swim smooth and swift and peaceful. It is better than praying without having to bother to think aloud. It is like listening in a cathedral to a eunuch chanting in a language which he does not even need to not understand."
Tennyson may not have such an effect on you; he doesn't have quite that effect on me, but there are poets who do have that sort of effect. Faulkner has that sort of power with his words, and at one time Kate Chopin evoked a physical response. My favorite books do just that, evoke a feeling, an actual physical reaction, be it good or bad. The words linger in my mind and soul for days and years. That sensation buries itself somewhere within me, bringing itself to the surface at inopportune moments of perfect timing. The reaction is what I pine for, and when that is achieved...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
That quote is from a short story called "P.S."
These few sentences reminded me of the feel that I got when I'd finished The Awakening by Kate Chopin. That book changed my life. I don't know that this story would have had the same effect at the time, but I do know that it'd have taken much less time to read.
I've been in that relationship. Maybe not the very one from this story, but in that nothing relationship. "Nothingness should be feared by all." That is true. Because, nothing can become quite comfortable. The trick is to find someone who pushes you to be a better person, to be more like the person that you wanted to be as a young adult. Find that.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Money, the long green,
cash, stash, rhino, jack
or just plain dough.
Chock it up, fork it over,
shell it out. Watch it
burn holes through pockets.
To be made of it! To have it
to burn! Greenbacks, double eagles,
megabucks and Ginnie Maes.
It greases the palm, feathers a nest,
holds heads above water,
makes both ends meet.
Money breeds money.
Gathering interest, compounding daily.
Always in circulation.
Money. You don't know where it's been,
but you put it where your mouth is.
And it talks.
We are covering this poem, among others, in my poetry class today. It is amazing how some things just simply fall into place. The more that I learn about the world's dependence on money, the more sickened I become. There is nothing to be done at this point, but resigning to that fact is something that I do not want to do. Nonetheless, the poem rings true.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The man waits patiently, seeking no extra conversation. His wife, being more inclined to speak to others, asks the librarian about which books her husband should next peruse. He wears his usual uniform consisting of flannel and Dickies. His tennis shoes, worn and dirty, have walked many a mile at this point in their career. She wears a simple navy jacket, aged and comfortable, and a pair of faded jeans. Her tennis shoes are also dirt-stained and passe. His glasses are thick; her hair is short.
He reads dilapidated books on various topics. She scans local and national newspapers for random bits of information, rising to speak to the assorted patrons of the library. They speak to each other in half sentences with a communication so familiar that it requires little more than a glance to convey an entire sentence. The connection they have with one another is as weathered as their complexions, yet it can be seen through their simple habits. Their connection can be heard through the minute inflections barely audible in their whispers.
Sitting a few feet from them, I feel as though I have somehow become a part of this antique love and connection. By witnessing something that has remained pure despite the unknown lives that have been led around and through it, I've learned some valuable truth. Giving word to that truth is something I am failing at right now. But, I know, it will form of its own accord at the precise moment it is needed. Until then, their easy way will remain in my mind. I will continue to strive for the same sort of connections in my life.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As an adult (a young adult, might I add), I am sometimes forced to make choices based on what the decision will yield, and at times, no matter how much weight I put upon the good outcome, the other factors continue to yield more than a fair share to the end result.
I am now going to begin an overhaul of my life. I am beginning to change my habits, slowly, one by one. I began this process by cutting out television. I am now considering disconnecting the internet at my home, only getting online when I am at work or school. This idea could have an interesting overall effect on my life in general. I would write more things down in my journal and read even more than I do at the moment.
I am desperately seeking ways to be more connected to those around me. This task can be more than daunting at times. There are some people who I cannot connect to at all, yet, if I am going to try to learn more about people, then I must work on a connection with everyone. I feel that television and the social media network are having a severe effect on communication. This effect can be seen in the sudden lulls in conversation when outside media comes to a halt, or one can simply look to the ear "buds" which seem to have attached themselves to the heads of anxious youngsters the world over, only caring to listen to a personal soundtrack and ignoring the passing days with a sickening ease.
I long for something true. This is something that I've found, and the only way that I know to cling to this particular connection is to let it go. Now I am meandering in a world full of superficial conversations and glances; my focus lies only on what is ahead, for pondering the present too closely only leads to destruction. The future is filled with ambiguity, but I will continue to hope for bliss while I go about my daily routine.
I am planning to do more blogging from now on. I want this to focus more on the daily life of a college student, single mother who is striving for more than the average life. We'll see if school and all of its hindrances lead this plan astray.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
That gives the entire relationship I negative connotation. That makes a person mold her life to fit with another's life. Why is this acceptable?
There are many things that I am sure of. (One of them is that that last sentence is dangling...) One thing that I am sure of is that I know what I want in another person; I know what I don't want in a person as well, but more importantly, I know what I want.
The more I come into my own and grasp things I know to be true, the more refreshing I find life. Life can certainly be surprising and hurtful, but even pain is something beautiful and sublime. One should relish in pain like one relishes in joy. It is thrilling to know that an experience was good enough to allow you to truly feel agony and bliss. Allow yourself to fully feel both of these things. Let what is going to happen, happen. Why not let an emotion fully wash over you? There is a certain realism that comes with being passionate, and that realism is something that I am not willing to give up.
What is it that I want?
1. Intelligence (This is a quality to be decided upon based on my own views of what that word truly means.)
2. Wit (A sense of humor filled with puns and dryness)
3. Must read good books ("good" meaning not popular fiction.. e.g. Sparks, Meyer, Piccoult)
4. Not religious, but spiritual
5. Attractive (Let's be honest; I'm no harridan.)
This list makes me seem particularly accepting of many a man. Do not be confused; I am quite persnickety about such things. In fact, I can picture one man in particular who fits these specifications quite well.
On another note:
Things always change; one either becomes malleable to this or lives a life filled with discontent. Learning to be malleable is the difficult part. But, the more focus put on such things, the easier they become.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
As noted in previous blogs, my Faulkner class is keeping me on my toes. I love Billy (as he was called by his family) and his way with words. Dr. T will often read a sentence in class then say "You could be alone in the middle of the desert, pick this up, and say 'That's Faulkner.'" And, it is true; there is no mistaking his prose. My other novel class, British Fiction, is a bit daunting. I am having trouble staying in-tune with these novels. Right now, we are reading Tom Jones, and it isn't a horrible novel, but it is a bit pretentious, and that is a quality which I do not have much patience for at the moment, if ever.
I must fill out grad. school applications,read, work on my scholarly paper for said applications, read, apply for jobs, read, do my free-lance work, read, save money, etc.
Things are certainly speeding up. I like it.
New Year's Eve in London, England. Be jealous!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
This phrase rings true, in any context. When discouraged about the Bible belt, I think I will just turn my thoughts to Sanctuary, with its whores and murderers, and I will think, "they're just Baptists;" they can't help it if they don't know any better.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"The broken flower drooped over Ben's fist and his eyes were empty and blue and serene again as cornice and facade flowed smoothly once more form left to right, post and tree, window and doorway and signboard each in its ordered place."
The character depth and contradictions between characters in the novel are astounding. The last line depicts such an orderly scene, and it seems to wholely sum up the novel, at least for me. It leaves me wondering, if things truly are ever in order. Or is that just an ephemeral dream that individuals cling to?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The things we wear become a part of us. That worn pair of jeans can tell heartbreaking stories about a man, while another pair can blurt out random episodes of shopping and dancing. A favorite shirt, an accidental stain, a tear, a burn... Regardless of the haphazard way that I put an outfit together, my clothing and I have an intimate relationship.
Why do we wear the things we wear? Why carry that bag? Why that particular pair of shoes? Why continue to wear that same shirt year after year?
The things we envelope our bodies in become pieces in the story of who we are. One of my most precious belongings is a scarf that I've never worn. Things tend to become more than just things; they become the mementos of the past, of people, of lives that exist only in dreams.
I like to wear my long brown skirt because of the its soft texture. More than that I like the way that it allows the heat from earth to warm my legs. My thighs brushing lightly with each step, I revel in wearing that skirt. Clothing touches us, physically. It leeches the sweat and oil from our bodies, taking pieces of us with it as it leaves. I find myself picking out clothing more often for the way it feels against my skin than for the statement which it may or may not make.
Better than any piece of clothing, the feel of his skin brushing not so lightly against my own.
On a side note:
All the clothing talk is coming from reading Pamela by Samuel Richardson. Pamela is obsessed with clothes.. and herself. This isn't a book I'd recommend though.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
What is the meaning behind my rumpled skirt and unmatched outfit? Why does the toe of your shoe have that particular stain? Why wear that worn necklace?
Subtle hints to another's life, another's soul. These are things I long to see, but which seem to be covered up with finery. Where is the realism? Where is the raw emotion, the dirt, the joy, the fatigue?
Everyone seems to have picked a specific image to recreate...
Monday, July 27, 2009
the tears to stream down my cheeks,
turning my face into a dank room
that no one cares to visit.
When I laugh, I am inclined to let
my chortles fill the empty spaces
between my bones, making my
very being shine with delight.
When I ponder, I favor solitude
and silence, my thoughts quickly
becoming my only comrade,
leaving me in commune with my vast mind.
When I visit with you, I fancy
long conversations filled with
silence, sweat, and laughter,
arranging our souls and thoughts in
ways to keep them stationary as we move about.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I received some quick and honest replies. I sent this email to about 40 people, and I've received possibly twelve responses. And, a few of the responses were quite lackluster, to be honest. I had planned to compile the answers into some sort of essay about the type of people a girl who has grown up in rural Arkansas comes into contact with, but I've not gotten enough responses to compile anything.
I suppose I am just trying to figure out how I have reached this point. How did I get to this stage in my questioning of life and religion. How is it that I have turned out this way? ...We may never know.
However, I am not about to give up.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low
when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountians and the sea and fire at the same time
He made some mistakes
but when He created you lying in bed
He came all over His Blessed Universe.
As I said last night... Things that were once shining in technicolor are now fading to gray.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Why do I have to pay more for food that costs less to produce? Why is it that organic food is double the price when the other companies are using more money to tamper with their foods? Why do I have to pay more for soap with ingredients whose origins I know? Why is soap that is filled with chemicals cheaper? Why isn't anyone else asking these questions? Why am I a "hippie" because I want to live naturally? Why are herbal remedies often harder to find and more expensive than medicines?
It can be difficult not to become downtrodden about these issues. I am holding my ground. I feel good about my choices. I feel like I am leading a life that I can be proud of; I am making choices that I will not regret. I often hear people say that they are doing all that they can do to help out with the environment and economy, but I know it isn't true. It irritates me when others act like they are trying, but they aren't. Buying a couple of "green" products does not do anything. These so-called "green" products are packaged in plastic, and they are producing as much waste as they are saying they are destroying.
It hurts me to see that no one questions anything any more. People believe whatever it is that they are told. It does not make sense to me to not ask why. I don't understand why people do not question the opinions of others, but instead they take them for the truth. I want to find my own answers. I want to come up with my own ideas and thoughts. I will not change my opinion to better fit with yours, so please grant me the same courtesy.
Again, damn the Bible belt.
Friday, July 17, 2009
That quote made me think of a poem by Emily Dickinson. (I love Emily, by the way.)
The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.
The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.
I don't know which of these came first, because both of these jpeople were alive during the same time, from what I have ascertained. I don't think it matters though.
I am very interested in learning. I want to absorb as much knowledge as possible during my lifetime. I want to experience things. I want to remove the veil from my soul, as it were.
I will let Em and Vivekananda do the rest of the talking for me, since they both put it much more eloquently.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Lately I have been contemplating living life to the fullest, in excess even. I have been repressing, my already, reduced experiences. I do not always do this, but over the past couple of years I have certainly been guilty of it. I have always been in favor of granting myself the freedom to truly live, even if it means putting myself through heartache, serious heartache.
Some people will tell you that this mode of living is lacking self-respect. I should say that my mother would tell you something like that. I disagree. The life that is lacking self-respect is the life of the bystander. One who is always trying to protect herself, will never truly love or live. I sometimes wonder about my mother's life. I wonder if she can look back at it and pin point the moments of rapture. I wonder if she were to do such a thing, how many she would find. And even in those moments, was she truly letting go of everything else?
I'd prefer to feel immense amounts of pain for a few glorious moments. I hope to be the elderly lady with all of the beautiful tales of life and love. I want to weave my life through paths seldom trod; I want to live passionately. I want to feel others' pain and joy. I want to experience my own triumphs with the ecstasy of a child. I want to see the world anew each morning. I refuse to allow myself to be stifled in any way.
A dear friend recently told me that living passionately comes with great bouts of depression. I know this to be true. I recently watched a film called Waking Life. In this film a man says something to this effect: People are either depressed because they realize that life is passing them by or because they have truly experienced life.
I'd like to think that I will always be in the latter category. I feel truly sorry for the persons who are on the middle ground. They are content to live the way that they are told to live. The person who never thinks for himself, never feels anything he has not witnessed another feel. That is a sad existence.
Friday, July 10, 2009
But, where is it written that a fairy-tale ending must be present for happiness to occur? Why is it that I have to have a knight in shining armor rescue me to be content? Someone tell me why women feel like they must have some sort of a man to be happy. I am going to be my own knight.
People keep saying, "You will find someone who makes you happy." What does that mean? Why do I have to find anyone? Why is there this constant search for happiness? I can make myself happy. I can take care of myself. There is not some enchanted being out there waiting to make me happy. If I am not content with myself, how will I ever be content with another? Why does society push this goal upon a woman?!
I spoke with my grandmother about ending my relationship with Nora's father. She felt like it was a good decision. She then told me a story about a girl who also ended a relationship in a similar way. She said, "Now her daughter is two, and she met this nice guy who is just crazy about both of them. They got married last year, and now she is pregnant. They were at church last week, and he was so sweet to her." Blah, blah, blah. It is like the only option for my life is to eventually find some man who will accept my child, so that I can then have more babies. This is clearly the only way to be happy; this is the only way to live out a full life: be married, have kids, go to church. You know the story. It is the original American dream
So many people are stuck in this situation. It is as though that life is the only option. It may be an option. And, if it happened to me, I might be extremely happy in that sort of situation, but why is it that people, women more especially, feel like it is the only option? Why can I not be happy as a single woman and mother? Where is this rule written!? And why, why is it that going to church is always magically involved? "They met at church," "I saw them at church."
Damn the Bible belt.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
When I lie on the floor with her while she plays she will periodically crawl over to me and lay her head down on my chest, forehead, leg, etc. I always pat her back, and then she will look up at me and grin. She also does this nearly every morning when she awakes, and she sometimes gives me a kiss in the morning as well. She often crawls on to my lap to have a little snuggle. She has the most delightful personality.
Nora will be 10 months old next week. She is standing alone. She pulls up and crawls, of course. She is waving now. She can give kisses. She is into everything. Nora forgets nothing. She is not one of those babies that you can hide something from. She remembers, and she looks for the object. She is stubborn, a quality that her father and I both share, one of the only qualities we share.
As I was thinking all of these things this morning, I heard my neighbor yelling at her daughter. She has a sweet little two year old girl. This child apparently did not want to go all the way down a flight of stairs to get into a car by herself. The entire idea seems dangerous and unnecessary to me, but I am not her mother. Then, her mother noticed that she had apparently put on shoes that didn't match her outfit. I've heard that this sort of this sometimes happens when two year old children are told to dress themselves, but what do I know about such things? So, this woman then yelled at her daughter, but she didn't just yell. There was hate in her voice as she screamed, "Goddamn it, Riley!"
I cried. I cried for that poor child and all of the things that she has gone through and will continue to go through.
My life is not in the state that I'd like it to be in right now. I am trying to do things to get myself out of the state that I am in, no pun intended (I do want to leave the state). My life is infinitely harder because I have a small child to take care of day in and day out. I do not resent her for this hardship. She did not ask to come into this world. She is a true joy. I do not understand, I cannot grasp no matter how hard I try, why parents take out that sort of anger on a child.
One thing that I have learned thus far is that life is full of choices. Choices are what make life bearable. Those choices have consequences. One has to make the best of those consequences. Sometimes we have to do things that we do not want to do. One choice that I will not make is the choice to resent my child. I will instead suck it up (to use an unfortunate cliche), and do everything in my power to make things better. Things will get better.
Monday, July 6, 2009
When I got to work, my boss asked me come into an empty office with her. I knew that it was not going to be a good talk. She told me that I had been laid off. This is never good news, but for me it was exceptionally bad. I have just moved out into a new apartment. Four days ago I signed the year lease. I am trying to get on HUD and foodstamps. I am a full-time student. I am a single mom. I cannot pay the bills at the moment. I am in the middle of trying to get custody of my child.
I went to the unemployment office after I had calmed down a bit. What I learned there is that I will be receiving more money on unemployment than I was making when I was working. That is a fucked up system. It is no wonder that people don't work, stay lazy, become obese, stay on foodstamps (SNAP) and welfare (TEA). The system makes it too easy. I am not the sort of person that takes advantage of the system, but I do understand why people do so.
They make it impossible to get ahead when you are trying to do so, but they make it extremely easy to be incompetent and idle.
The lady that I spoke with at the unemployment office told me that while I am on unemployment I need to make two job contacts a week. I asked her how to go about reporting these contacts. She said, we will ask you if you make the contacts, and you answer yes or no. That is astounding.
I am now hoping to find a job that will help mold my future. The job that I had did not have anything to do with the sort of job I would like to have in the future. I am hoping to make some good contacts, and move towards my career, whatever it may be.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I drove without thinking; I didn't know where to go. I ended up at a cemetery. Maybe on a subconscious level I thought that these ancient souls and decaying bodies could solve my problems. Maybe the realization of death can somehow ease life's aches. For whatever reason, I ended up at Lunenburg.
The grass seemed exceptionally green, the trees abnormally large. As I walked from stone to stone, I did not feel alone. The number of lives that have been led, that are being led is staggering. I touched the moss covering the names of forgotten people. I wept for the young and old, resting and writhing under my feet. I delicately touched the broken tombstones. I let my touch linger on the name of a child. I fell upon my knees, weeping for those that I do not know.
When I arrived at the cemetery, I thought that I would somehow receive answers to unspoken questions, attain the solutions to my problems. I am still unsure about what I did obtain. I know that I will ponder the moments spent there for months to come. I know that their spirits touched me today, in an unexpected and discerning way.
It made me think of a poem by Emily Dickinson.
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth - the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a-night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
While I think all of these things, I recall hearing parents yell at their children to "shut the damn door" or "shut the hell up." These actions make no sense to me; I cannot wrap my mind around such despicable behavior. Deep down I know that the things I am doing with my life at the present are not permanent. I know that there will be better times. What I do have trouble with is wondering if I will know those better times when they finally arrive.
I left Nora's father to make me feel happier, but now I am more scared than I have been. I do not regret my actions. I do not want to continue walking down a path that leads to nothing. I've never dealt with loneliness, and I do not want my dealings with this unfamiliar friend to affect my child. I know no other way. I can not choose a different route. I know that if I am not content with myself, I can never teach her to be content with herself.
It just so happens that the road I am choosing is the most difficult road. The things that I want to give Nora are not easy things to give, especially as a single mother who is not finished with college. I will persevere; I have no other option. To give her the things that I want to give her, (open-mindedness, the freedom to make her own decisions, truth, love, comfort, intelligence, the ability to question what she is told) I have to do the things that I am doing.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Today I was reading the quotes on my iGoogle page, and there was one by Emerson. I like Ralph. He greatly influenced Thoreau, and he says some amazing things in "The American Scholar." So, when I was this quote by Emerson, I clicked the link to find a few pages of quotes. There I found the one below.
"Give all to love; obey thy heart."
Most people find it difficult to give all of themselves to anything, especially a thing that is as uncertain as love. While the Bible says that "love never fails," I am going to have to disagree. Love does fail. Even God had to look away from Jesus when was on the cross. This is not about my thoughts on Christianity though.
Love does fail. No one is perfect. People sub-consciously realize this. Then, because of this realization they will not give all of their heart, their love to another being. This action keeps people from truly feeling love or what love could be. This self-protection makes sense, considering that I just admitted that love fails. But, does love always fail? Just because it has always failed with me does not mean that it is destined to fail for everyone or forever. Why protect myself from something that might not fail?
The experience of love at its fullest would be worth the pain, would it not. Emerson's "Man Thinking" is also man experiencing. Why block any experience? Why not feel it all? I recently watched Waking Life. One scene in this movie is of two men in a bar. The older man says that people are depressed for one of two reasons: lack of experience or excess of experience. I agree. At least the latter of the two has blissful moments that he can look back on. He can look back and think, "I lived; I was completely alive."
That is what I want from my life. I want to look back and be able to truthfully say, "I lived. I lived passionately. I lived fully; I experienced. I was 'Woman Thinking.'"
I recomment Emerson, by the way.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I thought of the people that I know. If I use the word "know" loosely, I could say that I "know" a lot of people. But, whom do I really know? Who really knows me? Do I know anyone? All sorts of questions came to mind.
The question that lingers is this: Are there men (or women) left that are worth knowing?
As I tried to think of persons that are worth knowing, I thought of myself. I asked myself, "Am I worth knowing?" What am I doing for others? What else could I be doing? What is the example that I am setting for my child and for other children?
I am still pondering these things. I can think of a few people who are worth knowing. I want to encounter more of those types of people. I want to be a member of that group.
The real question is this; whom do you know that is worth knowing? And, are you worth knowing? These can be rhetorical questions or not. It doesn't matter. These are just some things that have been on my mind.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A day or so ago I noticed that another of my "friends" had updated her status to say something like "Billy Mays too! The world is coming to an end!" What the hell? People die everyday, and now just because a few famous people have died during the same week, it must be the end of the world. I do not understand. People are dying needlessly in Iran; people are dying needlessly all over the world. People are suffering all over the world, but Billy Mays death now signals the beginning of the end times?
Earlier tonight while I was waiting on my daughter to arrive, I spoke with my new neighbors. I have just moved into an apartment. I'd promised their daughter that I would show her my place once I got everything together. I brought her in. She was very excited to see everything. Then, I offered to read her a book. She became very excited. Children crave attention, and while some parents may think that the television will suffice; it will not. I am not trying to judge others' parenting skills, but I am determined to go above and beyond for my child. I do not comprehend how anyone can do otherwise.
Questions I have been pondering:
What does it mean to have a "green" theme on LiveJournal?
What are the $1.00 bags for sell at Wal-Mart made of?
Why has everyone forgotten that Michael Jackson is a child molester?
Why are there so many ingredients with names that I cannot pronounce in my soap/shampoo/hair products/make-up? Furthermore, why cannot not pronounce nor give definition to most of the ingredients in popular foods?
Lastly, I am angry with myself. I am having trouble controlling my emotions. I read all of these things. I witness wastefulness. I look back on my own wastefulness. I have to be able to control my anger and my other emotions. I have to know when to give my opinion and when to not give my opinion.
It is upsetting to me that the alternative lifestyle is the natural lifestyle.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I am going to start making my own soap and laundry detergent. I am streamlining my wardrobe, getting rid of unneccessary items. I have a lot of unneccesary items, by the way. I am trying to figure out just what the term "green" means. I have recently pondered what it means to be a fan of God on facebook, something that I am still trying to conceive.
I am now going to be looking for some sort of job that I can do from home while I homeschool my child as a single mother. Tough stuff. It will come with time. Until then, she will have to go to day care while I finish school. Someday I will live the life that I want. Until that day comes I will work diligently to get to that place.
I will let you know how the soap making goes. It should be fun. I am also learning to can. I plan to take lessons from my grandma (Memaw), and I plan to help my grandfather in his garden. I swear, that man can grow anything. I would probably believe it if he told me that he was growing a hot dog tree.
I am hoping to make this blog into something I am proud of, something I can share with others. It will definitely be a mixture of a lot of different things. I am working on some short writing. I am going to school. I am trying desperately not to fall apart because the man of my dreams is in Africa; he will be shortly at least. He certainly isn't with me, at least not physically. I am also determinedly trying to figure out exactly what it is that I believe. I am pouring, when the time is available, over different holy writings.
I have too much going on. Now that I have turned my mind back on, I refuse to turn it off.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I work more now, so I have a bit more cash. I feel like I can treat myself to a new book or CD, or I can even get my haircut as often as I'd like to now! Great stuff! It is amazing what not having money teaches one about money. I know that I am supposed to be poor right now, but while other college students spend their extra change on beer, I am at Wal-Mart trying to find my coupon for Huggies or Luvs.
I am reading The Time Traveler's Wife; this book may be old news to many, but it is great. Neffennegger does a wonderful job of balancing the different characters' points of view at varying ages. It is a bit sad at the end, and it is a little sappier than what I normally read, but I have enjoyed it a lot. It is a nice change from what I was reading at the end of the semester: Moby Dick. Ishmael is an interesting character, but I do not understand why he is regarded as a national treasure, literaryily speaking. I was bored out of my mind by his ramblings on different types of whales. I did love Huck Finn and Walden.
Another thing I have learned about myself is that I have a serious love for Alfred Hitchcock. His film from 1943 titled Shadow of a Doubt. Hitch has said that this is one of his personal favorites, and it is a bit autobiographical. It is about an Uncle and his niece who discovers that he has a secret. There are a couple of incestuous relationships and a bit of Freudism at work in this film. It covers a lot of ground, and it is the first film in which Hitch really lets his viewers know that he is now an American film maker. Enough rambling. I love this film.
My daughter crawls now. How adventuresome. She is into everything. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. She is also pulling up now. It took her 24 hours to figure out how to pull up after she began to crawl. She crawls up to me when I sit on the floor, and she puts her little face close to mine. She just beams up at me. It is wonderful. She makes my life much harder, but I don't know how I would ever make it without her.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
1. Nora - my daughter. I don't plan to go on and on about my child and her adorable ways, but it is a lie for me to not put her in the number one spot. She is always on my mind.
2. The Giver is a phenomenal children's novel by Lois Lowry. I've read it more than once; it touches me in a different way with each read. It is powerful stuff.
3. Watchmen - I think that the movie is outstanding. It is different from the comic. It does have a few low points for the die-hard comic fan, but over all it is amazing. Jackie Earl Haley (Rorschach) gave the best on screen performance that I have ever seen. Visually it looked almost exactly like the comic. Silk Spectre wasn't too great. I knew from the start that she would only be a sex symbol. I was correct.
4. Navy - I, for one, am very happy that navy is a "hot color" again, if for no other reason that I can find clothing that color. I will keep it going long after the trend has disappeared. I also want the world to know that I started the owl trend.
5. Green Kitchen - This is a craft blog that I read. It is wonderful. www.greenkitchen.com/blog/
1. Snow in March - Here in crazy weather Arkansas it is snowing. I am on spring break, but there is no sign of spring. March sucks. It is the insane weather month. I am ready for April to bring its showers, and I am more than looking forward to May's sunshine and warmth. Come on summer.
2. Know-it-alls - That is right, I hate people who seem to know it all. Just because something happened to you does not mean that it will happen to me. (I am taking this to heart myself.)
3. Twitter - Nice idea for a way of communication. Keep it simple. Keep it real.
4. Laundry - Can someone come over and do it for me?
5. Dry skin - Does anyone have a good solution? This is a shout out. Please help me.
Now I am different. In small-town Arkansas, the things that are important to me may seem strange to many. I don't know. I don't ask their opinion. I am finally comfortable with whom I am. I understand that I am never going to be anything except a matter-of-fact dork. I am good with that. I can freely admit that I would rather read An Underground Education than watch Sex in the City.
In high school I only tried to be like everyone else. I no longer try to be anyone except myself. I don't try to be different or weird. I only try to be, and I don't try...I do. I don't know if I am unique. I suppose that in the grand scheme of things everyone is unique--the snowflake thing.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
One of my complaints is how blogs, texts, and emails are killing the English language, the written language at least. I've spoken with high school teachers who have told me that their students will turn in papers using text message short hand. They say that it is easy to break this habit right now, but what about the elementary students? Many children use cell phones now (I don't know why!). It won't be as easy to break a habit that started in the third grade. How many papers will be written using letters instead of words? Things like "RU ther?" Instead of "Are you there?"
I don't think that everyone realizes the impact that technology can have on young people. We like to talk about about violent video games and rock music, but what about our children's reading levels? Will novels be printed in text message language? Will big words never be used again? Will everything become more and more simplified because of our increasing laziness?
Maybe the recession will solve these problems. Maybe parents won't be able to be frivolous, buying cell phones for eight years old. Maybe the TV and the internet will have to be turned off because it isn't a necessity. Maybe children will pick up books once more, because going to the library is free. This recession may help everyone to realize the difference between a luxury and a necessity. Hopefully, a few people will pick up Walden, and hopefully those people will take his message to heart.
I should probably read this post a few times myself.