Category Archives: musings

gatsby

I’d *almost* forgotten just how good this book was, until a summer re-read bridged the gap between finishing some old New Yorkers and waiting for this. I still have the copy I read in high school (and used again in college (twice)). Pages are falling out,  and it’s brimming with reviews and newspaper clippings and old term papers and there’s hardly an unmarked page. Oh…I also have a first edition, thanks to my extremely generous and thoughtful father.

The last page in particular just slays me; I read it aloud and it nearly breaks my heart every time.

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…And one fine morning –

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

One of my favorite lines in all of literature, right there.

*This was a good little article by someone who also re-visited Gatsby this summer and had more time than I do to write about it.

*Now: who who who will come with me to NYC to see GATZ? Every word of The Great Gatsby performed on stage (which, by the way, apparently takes over six hours). I need to go. Currently accepting offers and/or donations to cover flights, lodging, and admission to the show.

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round two:

A few more Onekama pictures. Slightly obsessed with this Polaroid-esque iPhone app…which came in handy a few times over the course of the week, when cameras were left behind and blurred white edges made everything look pretty darn cool. Now if I could only figure out how to un-overlap posted pictures…sigh. (Just click to see full-size, if need be.)

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onekama

An accurate representation of my week, last week: long walks on an empty beach with a content dog and an amazing mom. Sun mixed with various layers of clouds, clouds that make the world feel smaller, warmer, cozier. No plans, no schedule, no agenda. Sleeping under piles of quilts and blankets. Fresh fruit and fresh fish and wine and dessert and old TV episodes, every day. Long runs down winding wooded roads. Yoga, inside, on rainy mornings. Naps, outside, on sunny afternoons. Hours of reading. Hours of talking. A quiet that’s almost too quiet, silence that makes your ears strain to hear something, anything. A true escape, to a tiny Michigan town, to a tiny cabin in the woods on the lake. Where everything is a little simpler, a little slower, a little more peaceful and a little more pure. Where the days seem longer because there’s somehow always enough time…to sleep in, to stay up late, to walk slow and run fast, to stop and just look at what’s around you, to reminisce, to really think, to breathe, to write. To feel. To just be.

A much-needed week off. To re-group and re-evaluate and relax.

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where i’ve been

This is where I’ve been, where I’ll be, for hours and days and weeks. Officially and completely obsessed with and immersed in and addicted to this book. To these characters and places and to every single word that this genius carefully hand-picked because it was by far without a doubt the best word, the best phrase, for the occasion. This book is epic. And it’s so much fun to read, to research, to try to understand. I have never read and will never read anything else like it. And I’ll never write the same way again.

I also lost my Internet connection at home. Pros (no distractions, more visits to places with free wi-fi!) and cons (no ten-day forecasts, no h&w!) abound, but on the whole I’m glad it’s gone…for now. For summer. For a time in my life when I must consistently actively force myself, remind myself, to slow down, to simplify, to live here and now and today, to spend time with the people who matter most to me.

Photos will be posted and musings will resume, when time (and technology) allows. But for now: back to summer, to the simple things I love these days, to homework (another crush), to reading and writing and running and spending every minute possible outside. To this good good life.

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a high violet moon

You listened to High Violet while it streamed for free and bought it right away. And you liked it. A lot.  You set it aside, replaced it with others, and it waited patiently for you. For the right night to come. For a long day at work, for heavy things to weigh you down, for a warm sun and a cool breeze to team up and create the perfect temperature as dusk settled in. For you to make plans and break plans and make plans again, for you to finally make it home and find yourself throwing on a rumpled white t-shirt and a pair of shorts, slipping your sun burned feet carefully into running shoes, making your way outside and down the street and across traffic and through the park and out onto the lakefront. For you to run, to get frustrated and flustered by your standard upbeat fast-paced playlist and decide to choose it instead.

And you really start to run. And The National run right with you, with voices low and dark, with lyrics harsh and real, with songs that seem to cry over and over “I know. It’s hard. It hurts. I know. But it’s going to be okay” . While you’re running away, while you’re running home. You slow down and speed up; you worry about your knees, but they’ll be fine. You feel a little less alone, as you pass other runners and bikers and couples and families and dogs, as the sun sets and the moon rises and lights up the still black water. You run far, and you don’t stop because you just can’t. You feel strong and alive and free.

And you run hard at the moon, with steady breath and a quick stride. The album ends as home nears, slowing down with you. And you remember a story your mom told you not long ago, about pausing under a bright moon and whispering thank you to herself before heading home. And you do the same thing. Thanking her and the night, together at once. You thank your legs for carrying your weight, and your heart for doing the same. You promise to take care of them both, those legs and that heart; to protect them and strengthen them and push them a little bit harder when they try to give up, when they try to shy away from threats of pain.

You listen to the album again at home. You realize it carried you and pushed you and held you for an hour, and you decide you’ll figure out exactly why and how tomorrow. You’ll save all the other things that didn’t get done for tomorrow, for another day. And instead you stretch, you practice that yoga pose you finally mastered last weekend, you add a few paragraphs to that story you’re writing, you raise the blinds up just high enough to scan the night sky for another glimpse of that moon. It’s there. Lingering patient and discreet. Not quite full but almost, rising up and growing slow and beaming strong and bright all the while.

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a little more austin

A few more highlights from a wonderful Canterbury reunion weekend in Austin…a city filled with live music and rooftop bars and cheap beer and cowboy boots…and chips and salsa, at every restaurant…and tacos and barbecue and blue bonnets and brunch (where mimosas are cheaper than coffee) and sun. And no agenda, no schedule, no plans…just three and a half days with three of my favorite people. Simple as that.

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overnight…

…everything changed. Suddenly I’m walking around this city without a coat, without a care, with a steady pace and a calm heart. Spring had started to dangle its warm sunlight and longer days in front of our cold noses here and there, teasing and flirting in the subtlest ways…but I thought a shift like this would be gradual, that these changes would take time and patience and all the hope I could scrounge up after nearly running out, after another winter threatened to stay. But today…last night and today…spring came…and I can’t quite say how it managed to arrive. Not with the snap of my fingers; no, even a tiny snap is too loud, too violent, too sudden. There was no fanfare, nor any hesitation. It just walked right in like it owned the place and wrapped its gentle breezes around my shoulders as I breathed a sigh of relief. As I soaked up every second and every step of my walk to work, my walk to dinner, my walk home. As I spied through tinted lenses on runners and diners and drinkers and families and couples and people just like me, all outside, all holding their heads a little higher, walking a little lighter, as if to say “We made it, again. We survived. We’re still here”.

I want to remember today, when we’re well into spring, when we’re in the heart, the heat, of summer; when I’m rushing around trying to make the most of a sunny day, or rushing around forgetting to notice a sunny day. Today, I was satisfied with simply pausing at a busy intersection and closing my eyes and raising my face up towards the sun’s light. I felt alive: I made it. I survived. I’m still here.

A pretty, hopeful song, for a pretty, hopeful day.

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