still I rise

Friday, May 30

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
- Maya Angelou

I was writing a paper about her when I heard the news. Rest, dear heart.

Via *


Tuesday, May 27

The birds started chirping at about 5 AM. I know I'll regret staying up all night writing while sitting through seven hours of class today but this sunrise smells like sugar and summertime sings so softly in these pale hours. 

the smallest memory

Friday, May 23

People say I'm romanticizing you and making you better than you were. They remind me of your shortcomings. But I just keep reminding them of your dusty blonde hair and how it stood straight up in the morning. I'd brush it down while you made french toast and hummed softly along with the playing music. You told me we could stay in bed all day long. You'd cook us french toast and we'd pick at it all day and nap together and read together and make love. I wrapped my arms around your waist and could smell my perfume glued to your shirt.

I'm not romanticizing you. I'm trying to romanticize the pain of missing you. Make it into something beautiful. Meaningful. Not the toxic emptiness that spreads like cancer from stomach to heart to bone.

via *

a visit

Monday, May 19

Cemeteries are playgrounds of names and stories all ripe for the picking. I’ve walked through many cemeteries in my day and always spent more time jotting down names and piecing together ideas for stories than mourning my losses, facing a hunk of stone that is now supposed to be a place holder for a spirit that is gone. Crossed over. Vanished. But this cemetery, this headstone, her headstone, I know her story already. I cross back into it every time my car finds its way back down the familiar path toward the tree she rests under now. Even when I’m a few streets away from the cemetery entrance, I turn my music off and let the wind carry me forward. Maybe I’m afraid of silence and that’s why I need a constant stream of music. But in this place, I feel silence pressing in and I want to be alone with that fuzzy sound it has. 

My aunt died tragically. She was fine on a Monday and by Wednesday evening she was gone. Nine hours later my uncle, her brother, followed her into death. Unrelated. Both cancer. One known, another a sneaking viper that took her heart before mine had time to handle the break. I’m not a religious person but I always feel her at her headstone. I feel the eyes of all of these names watching me as I write them down in my notebook for use in my stories. But I feel her entire being at my back as I clear off the lighthouse on her grave. She was always so connected to the world around her and to her own mind. The borders people normally had didn’t seem to block her from knowing more than seemed possible. And now with me in ratty jeans, her beneath my feet in a white gown no doubt rotting and tarnished, but really her at my side, I feel light in my head for the first time in months. I see her opening a door and releasing pressure from my mind. 

All the names I’m seeing around me seem bigger than they should. Bourne. Blood. Killpack. Holding. Holding onto what? The decaying flowers sitting above your skulls? Born into what? The secret world we all want a peek into but that we are all dying to avoid. This cemetery is drenched in history and memorials. A marble angel stands guard over its child corpse, an angel that would turn from lovely to fearsome in the moonlight. A sand blasted headstone stands not even two feet tall for Millie Clair next to my great-grandfather’s headstone. Born October 20, 1891. Died February 12, 1892. Her headstone has a tree stump and a lonely little dove. I can see her blonde curls, pure as the dove’s wings. Next to her headstone is a newer model. Decorated with a basketball carved into the stone, another actual ball at the base of the statue. Flowers overflowing the pots. Did Millie see this boy’s family leaving the flowers what looks like hours beforehand? Did her little heart break at a lack of visitors for over 200 years? I vow to bring her flowers next time I visit. Yellow like her hair. 

An amazing pyramid while I am here. I stand with my Aunt. Three rows away two gravediggers are finishing filling a new grave. They are smeared in dirt and decidedly less cheerful than the clowns of Hamlet, headphones bouncing around as they swing their shovels back and forth. A few rows behind them a casket sits on a pyre high above the ground, all guests having left minutes before my arrival. Two maintenance workers work at removing floral arrangements and throwing them back into their bed of their truck. A few petals fall into the hole beneath the casket. One worker curses as he stubs a finger against the wood. Is this what we have to look forward to? 

via *

desert pages

Thursday, May 15

The virgin pages of this sketchbook
were deflowered by charcoal and 
graphite in the desert.
Sweltering stars bore into my
retinas, begging me- urging me-
to paint their sparkles onto her cheekbones.
I could smell her lavender moans
mixing with the juniper and sage brush,
the aroma growing stronger with
every stroke of my pen 
against the sighing pages.
Her flesh prickles when I tickle
beneath her earlobe; I tickle
the page, as smooth as skin and just 
as mysterious Just as new.
Just as supple as her.
Page upon page glows like the 
innocence that drips from her lips
as mine move across her thighs in 
even, moonlit paths.
With the silence pulling her out of
my fingertips, the desert grows
ever hotter like our fire kissed 
summer nights in June. 
Silence and pen strokes.
Howling and longing.
She'll breathe on these virgin pages
and I'll live drunk on her caramel curls.

via *

*Inspired by the words of an artist I know

food for thought

Tuesday, May 13

"Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. This question is one that only a very old man asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it. I will tell you what it is:
Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor's question has meaning now. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are on with it. THe other will make you curse your life One makes you strong; the other weakens you."
The Teachings of Don Juan

via *

checking in

Sunday, May 11

I miss you all so much. It's been busy and bruising but I'm still here. I'm very happy with work, although being in a theater for 14 hours a day moving set isn't as fun as it sounds (does it sound fun?)
I've made wonderful friends and I'm always surrounded by so much glowing, booming life. I love the collaboration of theater and the life these people bring. They truly make the walls hum with life. They have the rhythm of life in their hearts.
It's odd to feel lonely among that. Loneliness is an interesting feeling, isn't it? Because sometimes it's just one different kind of loneliness out of the one million different kinds of loneliness.
I have the rest of stage crew with me, but I feel lonely when the entire cast is laughing together. I'm fully content at being alone but watching Grey's Anatomy from the beginning and watching those people fall in love makes me ache for that kind of real love. I want to kiss someone softly every morning, as if it were a habit, something I get to do every single day. I want to hear his voice behind me telling me everything will be ok and know he's right because he loves me and that's all I need anyway.
I am truly so happy for everyone who has found their bliss.
I am truly so sad for everyone who feels lonely or unheard.
I am so sad for everyone who will die alone.
I am so sad for everyone who can't remember the last kiss they shared with the one they love and will never feel those lips again.
I am so sad for everyone who has decided that hatred is the most viable coping mechanism for sorrow or pain.
But I am so happy I have all of you. I'm sorry I've been gone, but I will be back soon.


Thursday, May 1

Insert an NSYNC meme reference here.

Truly, as I've gotten older this whole "year" thing has been reduced to milliseconds. And May will be the fastest millisecond of all.

I finished all of my finals last week and CRUSHED THEM. 200/200 on my final English Theory final essay. The rest went just as well but that one was my biggest victory. Sadly I don't get that big of a break from school since I'm taking 18 credits this summer. Bring it. I'm less than thrilled about it but, you know, I also want to graduate before I'm 30 years old so summer semester it is! Summer semester starts on the 12th so I have a little bit of time before classes begin.

Today I'm also starting a job at a professional theater company in Salt Lake stage crewing a show! It'll be all day every day but Sunday's for the majority of the month. So May... is gonna kick my ass for real. I'm excited though! It's been a long time since I've been able to be involved in theater so it will be nice to be back on a stage and working with a crew.

With all this being said, Happy May everyone! I hope I'll find time to blog somewhere in this Manic May, but we'll see. I hope you all have brilliant things planned!

via *