Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some true things I'd like to tell

Dear Diary, I woke up at 6:30 this morning, raised my head to turn off the alarm on my iPhone (a little ethereal piano clip I took from Angelica by Lamb, apparently stolen from Debussy), saw a display of gold and orange streaks across the eastern sky over the tall buildings along the Charles. I thought of getting up. I looked at my phone and a text had come in while I was sleeping - a friend still in college asking me if I was watching the meteor shower. I missed it. I missed it when I was in college, too, even though I always sorta remembered when it was coming. I fell back on the pillow. When I got up an hour later, I did a sun salutation yoga series for the first time. Sunshine was glowing in my windows. It seemed the thing to do.

Dear Diary, last night I had the 3rd-to-last bottle of a lavender Belgian homebrew left over from the batch my good friend made especially for me when I turned 30. This morning I had a pinch of cooking lavender in my oatmeal. With cinnamon. I also have a rag doll donkey stuffed with lavender from Apifera Farm. I don't remember when it became my favorite scent - was it before or after I started visiting Seattle every summer when Dad's neighbors would harvest their lavender and leave heaps of it overflowing from a wheelbarrow by the side of the road? I put it in buckwheat blueberry pancakes, too. Real maple syrup is non-negotiable in these parts.

Dear Diary, when I write about a male character, he always ends up with a smooth forehead and a certain gesture of putting his palm to his forehead and then running a hand over his hair when stressed or trying to think. I should probably come up with a new gesture.

Dear Diary, it has been too long since I: read philosophy, ate butterscotch pudding, got back to the midwest, drove for pleasure, had a flying dream, finished a story, watched Harold and Maude, got out my huge box of old magazine/newspaper clippings and made a collage, danced like a crazy person alone in my room, ate pecorino toscano, traveled abroad, wrote a love letter, spent time with anyone very much younger or older than me, took care of a plant, read out loud to someone.

Dear Diary, I didn't buy the latest Indigo Girls album, but I did download the song True Romantic. For me, listening to that song is kinda like scratching a bug bite raw. I find these lyrics painfully true and compelling (as a long out-of-the-closet romantic):

Baby, if you took all the good stuff and you put it all together
And you took all the bad stuff and you threw it all away
Would I still be the girl that suits your fancy
Would I still be the boy that rocks your world

Dear Diary, sometimes when I'm singing onstage I look out into the dark crowd and see impossible faces.

Dear Diary, I lost my camera charger in the basement bathroom of a New York club (I think?!) and I really miss taking pictures but also I guess I think I've been more present without it.

Dear Diary, I of course L O V E D the Where the Wild Things Are film. It surprised me at first (and then seemed deeply obvious) that my most heartwrenchingly powerful moment of identification in that film was to Carol when he watches Max sail away.

Dear Diary, I love the Snickers ads. Hate the Pepsi ones. I think this really hits on my relationship with words but I've never fully fleshed this out.

Dear Diary, is everyone as driven to connect as I am? When I perform, I want nothing more than to feel recognition from the crowd - for even one person to be feeling a significant Yes. Yes as in, I know...I know exactly. When I think of the people I've loved who have sailed out of my life, I want nothing more than to believe that every once in awhile we are thinking of each other at the same time and smiling. When I am talking with someone, I so want them to lean forward and really absorb what I am saying because it resonates with something inside of them. I tend to believe this drive is fundamentally human, but as inherent to the human condition is the absolute inaccessibility of any other consciousness, so how would I ever know? This kind of thinking makes me a bit mad at times. Reading Milan Kundera makes it worse. Reading Jonathan Safran Foer makes it better. I just learned that he was a philosophy major, too. I think he stole "everything is illuminated" from Kundera. I also happen to think he stole the passage where the phrase "extremely loud and incredibly close" appears from Wind in the Willows. Anyway.

Dear Diary, it has taken me some time to get back to this, but it is now possible to take a snapshot of my wardrobe and in any given frame to find every color of the rainbow represented. Today I am wearing orange and purple and green. My beer-making friend recently told me my wardrobe is entirely too colorful for me not to be working with children. I concur. I regularly read a lot of artsy parenting blogs. Sometimes this makes me self-conscious. I am nowhere near having kids. Sometimes this makes me worried.

Dear Diary, most of my friends call me MacK, if anything, for short. Generally you know a person met me before 2002 if they call me Kenzie or some version of that.

Dear Diary, Christmas is coming. I recently gave up holding out till after Thanksgiving and put on Little Women. I've had the same TV with built-in VCR for ten years and I still have that movie on VHS. It's starting to get a little fuzzy. I wonder if there's any movie more evocative of my childhood. Is there something about 4 girls and a mom in a home that is inherently fertile ground for laughter and play and creativity and wildness and the occasional dramatic outburst? We used to put on records and dance. This is a myopic representation of my childhood of course, but if a person can't be a romantic at the holidays, then when? I haven't been home to Iowa since last Christmas. It is the longest I've ever gone. I am so homesick.

Dear Diary, live music I've seen (in large venues) in the last four years: Death Cab for Cutie (2), Dar Williams, Ellis (4), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2), Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Leonard Cohen (2), Beirut, Amanda Palmer (2), Bob Mould, Paul McCartney, The Cure, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, U2 (one layer back in the inner circle!), Snow Patrol, Natalie Merchant (with the Pops), Noah and the Whale, Airborne Toxic Event (yes I love that midnight song, say what you will), M.I.A., Andrew Bird, Calexico, Silversun Pickups, Band of Horses, Conor Oberst, St. Vincent.... Oh, and Steven Tyler and David Cassidy doing the national anthem at Fenway. Two different games, of course. Leonard Cohen wins, by the way. Well, U2 was an AMAZING show and I jumped and sang my heart out. But Leonard...he romanced me to the bone.

Dear Diary, I have a problem with my ears that gives me a great excuse never to sky- or scuba-dive, even though I kinda always thought I'd eventually try both. I did fly that plane once, which remains one of the best experiences of my life, and I still hope to do that again someday. I am also strongly considering trying to learn Greek; I want to learn to think differently. The last skill I learned was mandolin playing, but I haven't played much since my last lesson. Boo.

Dear Diary, juice is one of my favorite words. I LOVE Rodale's Synonym Finder (really this is no ordinary thesaurus), and the entries for juice and juicy have to be the best collections of words EVER. My Nanowrimo novel (currently stalled at 10,000 words but that's still more fiction than I've written in five years) is an exploration of the idea of potential. Last night I realized that for me the juice metaphor - the sweet, vital stuff under the rind, under the skin, hiding inside - has everything to do with potential.

Dear Diary, I could keep going like this forever. There's so much in a life. And still forever something yearned for.

Dear Diary, last night I read a tip in the Nano forums about writing small talk dialogue with significant subtext. I feel like I am always painfully aware of subtext and sometimes am just dying for people to come out and say whatever it is that is flowing under the surface because that's the juice and that's the truth and that's the most human vital stuff. I love you. I miss you. I'm sorry. I drive the people in my life nuts sometimes, forever prodding them to just say what they have to say. But the person who posted that tip was right - talking around those concise punches of truth VASTLY boosts the word count. I ended up writing 800 words of dialogue about what kind of bird each character would be. The subtext was I care about what happens to you so take good care of yourself.

Dear Diary, some songs will always make me feel like crying. Two of them are This Blue Heaven songs and another is a future This Blue Heaven song. You Are My Sunshine is another. The sun has made good on its early-morning promise today. Happy day.


Post a Comment