Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You want to do WHAT at your wedding?

If I ever left this town, I'd never settle down, I'd just be wanderin' around, If I ever left this town...

The questions come in rapid fire, but I'm ready to answer them. They see the ring and start. When's the date, how did it happen, do you have a DJ? Who's in the wedding? What are your colors?

My most favorite is, "What are you thinking?"

People know me I guess. They know how happy I am roaming, traveling, living. I guess it's hard for others to imagine me actually settling down.

Maybe it was because I used to tell Jon if he proposed I would kick him while he was down on one knee and run so far in the other direction he would never find me.

But now, I have this sparkly little thing around my finger.

This sparkly thing though doesn't mean I'm done running. Now I just get to make plans for two. Yes, it's harder. Yes, it means more luggage, but I'm pretty flexible. I'm willing to make a few changes to my life.

Sometimes I still wake up with my heart fluttering and that itchy feeling calling me to run, asking myself the same question everyone else has. I've even had a bag packed a few times, but something always feels a little off. Like I'm missing something. Someone.

And perhaps, this time if I ran, i'd be missing the biggest adventure of my life...

If I wasn't by your side, I'd never be satisfied, Nothin' would feel just right, If I wasn't by your side...'Cause I'm not easy to understand, But you know me like the back of your hand, I'm your girl and you're my man, And we're makin' plans, We can go on and on, Won't ever feel too long, I'll always call you home, And we'll go on and on...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

a most loving and loyal companion.

What'll you do when you get lonely, And nobody's waiting by your side? You've been running and hiding much too long. You know it's just your foolish pride.

It was too warm to be christmas, but then again this was the south and when do they follow any rules? I was back for a quick visit. I was back in the land of strong coffee, sticky children's fingers and embracing arms all too eager to welcome you back home. Our visit was meant to be quick, we had a few short days to see everyone, love on all the kids, and get our fill of Common Ground before making the long trek back into the cold wasteland of the midwest. Our days had been filled with tutoring and holding hands. Playing basketball, sorting clothes, and tromping across fields and under overpasses to meet new Outdoor friends. 

As I sat on the steps of the White House, I watched how the kids had grown, how big they had gotten in just the six months since I had last been down. As I sat a little shivery black puppy came cautiously up to where I was sitting. She looked eager and yet restrained. She was maybe six months old, a little skinny, and covered with all sorts of bugs. She worked up the courage to take another step closer and I held out my hand. In an instant she was in my lap and licking my face. I laughed which caused about ten kids to come investigate, and before long we were surrounded by little hand after little hand petting, touching, and loving. The dog was in heaven. 

As dinner started I got the story of the dog from a friend. Someone had dumped her on the street as a puppy. No collar, no tags, no one looking for her. The neighbor had started putting food out on his porch, but this was the same neighbor that was probably selling drugs out of his house and was known for his winningest fighting dogs. He was the neighbor that the minute he stepped out of the house, all the kids came running inside. Rumor was this little black lovable one was either going to be trained to fight, or end up one day as practice. 

My heart fell. Then my brain started. We were going home in two days. We could take her with us. 

Dinner ended and the night wrapped up. On the drive to where we were staying I told Krysten my plan. She laughed and didn't think i was serious, but the image of that little puppy licking the kids kept popping up into my mind. 

The next day, Krysten in all her glory, summoned up every little bit of courage and knocked on the neighbors dilapidated door. In seconds she was back, scooped up the dog and shoved her in my car. 

We had done it. The next two days we spent washing, loving, and trying to contain the dog in the fence while we were gone. But every night we came back she was there waiting for us, as if she had known she would always end up where she belonged. 

We traveled north for 14 hours in the car. First to Kansas City and then to Wichita. We lost her favorite ball at a rest stop. She didn't bark, didn't whine, just sat content. Ready to go home. As we drove through downtown Kansas City, Eric Clapton's Layla came on and she gave a reassuring bark. Probably more for herself than anyone, but the name stuck. Layla. 

When we arrived on the steps of my parent's home Layla sat patiently, pushing into my leg, nervous of what was to come. My mom knew the two of us were coming, my dad didn't and wasn't too pleased. But she eventually won him over. 

She loved chasing geese. Felt responsible to keep the neighborhood clear of squirrels and cats. Ate tampons, Kleenex, and Q-tips. She would play ball as long as anyone would throw. She was a pro with kids, kept the house protected from the mailman and the neighbor who worked at the zoo with the gorillas. She loved giving kisses, and standing on her back legs so she could look you in the eye and kiss you one the mouth. 

She made you feel like you were home. She grounded our family, pulled us together. Gave each of us a companion when we needed one most. 

Layla broke her back yesterday. She was playing in the park that she loved. Outside, free, next to the small zoo where she always visited the bobcat. 

It's hard to think about going home without her there. I may have saved her from Louisiana but I think she really saved me. 

I'm really going to miss her puppy kisses. 

And I don't think I'm going to be able to face all the squirrels and geese without her. 

Let's make the best of the situation, Before I finally go insane. Please don't say we'll never find a way, And tell me all my love's in vain.
Layla, you've got me on my knees. Layla, I'm begging, darling please. Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I see the bare moon,
 Raise his big bald head
 I see my friends play the fool,
 I'll make my own way, In the wide world
Just know I don't want to wander too far...

Even the stars,

 Sometimes fade to gray,
 Even the stars, Hideaway

Some call me
 All kinds of names, 
 Some say I don't play the right kind of game,
 I try to be honest, I try to be kind
and honestly leave when I know that it's time...
I know that it's time

Hear a phoebe sing his only song
The summer's day is hovering

I'll write my full heart
Troubles fly like embers

Out the windows of our traveling car

Even the stars, Sometimes fade to gray, Even the stars...Hideaway...

Saturday, October 22, 2011


And all the gold dust in her eyes won’t reform into rain , You had and lost the one thing, You kept in a safe place, Remember the face, Of the girl who made you her own, And how you left her alone 

The voice cuts through the dark night like the scalpel through the skin. The words are undecipherable but the tone comes across with a clarity, loud and grating like a bone saw. I roll over, hoping it was just a dream and the words were not coming from the next room. That tone comes again and again, as if it were pulling back layer and layer of skin and muscle, pushing through the ribcage, past more muscles to the precious pericardium. And there, in the silence lies the softly beating heart. Mine lays nearly silent to try and catch the topic of angry discussion. Hers has shut down, left beaten and bruised with word after angry word from the angry tone. 

The heart is a fragile thing. One that most protect with all of their strength. We add walls and fences, and yet sometimes we let ourselves become vulnerable with another. One that we love. We share our deepest darkest secrets. The ones that have never been voiced before., our struggles and failures. The wounds that still hurt after years and years of impartial healing.

Sometimes that vulnerability, in the heat of the moment is used against us like a finger jabbing an already tender wound. Our secrets are turned around to be hurtful. Hurtful in a multitude of ways. The kind that hurt because one has not healed and because the one we love uses purposely against us. 

How does one decide when to cut out the one that knows us the best? When is enough enough? When does she allow her heart to beat again? Who will shock her partitioned heart back to normalcy?  Keeping it from it's impending death? When do her eyes open to the reality of the situation? When does the tone turn into one of healing and comfort? 

After a few more rounds, the tone cuts through the night one last time. One last final word, the last peak before the flatline.... 
and then,...simply silence.... 

And if you burn the road that’ll lead you back to her in time, I'll watch you turn to stone, She’s moving on without you...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Somethin' gotta give with the way I'm livin', Seems I'm gettin' down everyday, The more I strive, the less I'm alive, And seems i'm gettin' further away...

When can you decide enough is enough. When is quitting something, not giving up but more of a moving on? Can I let everyone down? Is there something better?

I've been here since April. It's about time for me to move on, but there are so many people who will be heartbroken. Do I give up my happiness for them? Who decides?

How can I be so uncomfortable with this accepted normal. With the stagnant? With the stuck.

I feel like everyday I dig myself a little deeper and deeper into this hole. How do I get out? And when I do, where do I go?

And am I just running away?

...I've been goin' joggin' in the park after dark, Draggin' 'round with me my ball and chain, Took southern skies  to make me realize That I'm causin' myself this pain, 

Hey, you better figure it out now
You know you ain't comin' back down, yeah
You better figure it out now

You know you ain't comin' back down...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

road rage

...How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies, And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know, This weakness I feel I must finally show...

It started with a movie set in Rio de Janeiro, a reminder of the impending wedding of a boy from the past, the misplacement of hours worth of solutions imperative to the successful outcome of an experiment and finally an angry man in a large grey truck yelling at me demanding i go faster. Literally yelling at me,while driving 65  miles per hour going down the highway. His large head sticking out of his large grey window, with his stringy hair blowing back into his eyes as he screamed, asking why in the world I was slowing down when passing a police car parked on the shoulder. While going 65 miles per hour.

That was the tipping point.

I was done.

I am done being stuck. I am done playing the game according to everyone else's rules. I am done letting others make the decisions that determine my happiness.

The reminder of where my soul longs to be, the heartbreak that was long long ago that still mysteriously and frustratingly weighs heavy on my heart, the feelings of inadequacy because I haven't worked long enough for a certain science company, and the bald man yelling woke my sleeping gypsy soul I had lulled into complacency.

Kansas City is where I live. It is where friends are and is close by to family, but I don't think I will ever be able to settle down here. I feel often like I am trying to squeeze myself into a shell that is too small for me. I don't ever see the signs of life in this big city. Life doesn't happen on the streets, but in little houses and personal cars. This isn't how I want to live. I want to interrupt my commute with a stop at the bagel stand down the street. I want to feel comfortable taking a coffee break with others to work on relationships rather than another experiment.

I don't want science to be a business. I don't want to fit in. I want to be challenged. I want to be able to tell people that I have done something exciting the night before, rather than say I stayed at home. I want to work with my hands. I want to work with real people. The ones who have struggles and desires like mine. The ones who aren't all about making another dollar.

I don't think I have to be overseas to achieve these desires, but I do need a little help, and maybe a little direction, and definitely another run-in with the yelling bald man. I have a few things I need to tell him.

...Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all, But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall, Lend me your eyes I can change what you see, But your soul you must keep, totally free...
...Awake my soul...
...awake my soul...
...Awake my soul...

Monday, September 12, 2011


I have't been sleeping. Not at all actually. It started about two weeks ago. The weather turned, work was tumultuous, I couldn't keep anything in, and life just seemed unsteady. I would lay down at night, dead to the world and would only let sleep keep me oblivious for an hour or so. Then I would be awake enough to know I wasn't sleeping but not enough to get out of bed. I would get up with my alarm clock and feel as if I had never closed my eyes.

I would make it through the day and try again the next night, but before I knew it I would hear the alarm and the trudging would start again... and again and again...that was until the night of the beeping.

It was 10:30 pm and a fleet of tow trucks came to the apartment complex to tow cars that were parked in covered parking and not supposed to be there. There were maybe three tow trucks, but when they are all backing up at the same time, the warning beeping sounds more like fifty trucks. It caused the whole place to walk outside and see what was going on. Then there was the usual yelling, the attempts to drive cars away before it was too late... and then it was over. And peaceful. Even the cicadas were quiet.

So I rolled back over, closed my eyes and worked on sleeping. Before I knew it, my blanket, Big Blue had wrapped itself around me and peacefully lulled me into the land of dreams.

... I opened my eyes and knew immediately i was in Portugal. I was on a barge floating down the river, making my long awaited return. I passed slowly by the neighborhoods full of flowers cascading from balconies. Restaurants full of people sitting outside under brightly colored umbrellas. People meandering down the cobblestone streets, children playing in parks, and castles bathed in sunlight. My Lisbon. The salt water cleared my lungs and caused my hair to curl. The sunshine warmed me to my soul. I could feel the vitamin D being released into my blood, and the fist that had been around my stomach relaxed and let go altogether.

We rode in peace as we approached a bridge that had stood strong for years. It wasn't particularly big. I could reach up and touch it as we passed under. It was made of golden rocks held together by ages old mortar. It was glowing yellow in the sunshine and it let me trace each grove between the rocks as we passed.

Past the bridge was a woman standing in the middle of the dock. She was waiting for us, her long brown hair was swept back into a loose ponytail. She stood tall and strong, yet like the bridge glowed, from the inside and out. She waited patiently for us to come. We drifted towards the dock slowly, watching the women wait, the gentle breeze played with her hair and caressed her cheek.

Before I knew it we were pulling up to the dock, the woman had turned her back on us and as we bumped to a stop on the dock she turned around and in an instant transformed. Her hair turned wispy, her clothes tattered and her skin puckered and sour, as if her whole body had been burned. She screamed and screamed and screamed.

The crewman turned the boat around and fled as fast as they could, but the screams kept growing louder, and then I realized that they were coming out of my own mouth and that my own hands were that of the woman's on the dock. And my face was not smooth but rough and pitted. The sun burned my tender skin and the salt water added insult to injury. And I screamed in terror. I screamed because they were leaving me behind, I screamed because this wasn't my Lisbon....

I startled awake. The sweat was pouring down my skin. Big Blue was wrapped so tight I couldn't get loose, and I'm sure the neighbors were wondering why someone was screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.

I rolled over unwilling to risk the chance of sleep for fear of returning to the dream, got untangled from Blue and wondered how i'd make it through the next four hours until my alarm clock rescued me.