Thursday, September 30, 2010

ode to pumpkin

may i just say, i am ecstatic that october begins tomorrow.
^ (this type of sentence has always perplexed me. is it supposed to end in a question mark? seriously, though. if you know, let me know.)

as i was saying....there is very little in this world, with the exception of humans, that brings me greater joy than the month of october. it is such a mass of goldencrunchapplepiepumpkincoffeefloatglowleaveschillynutmegmittens sensory overload. unabashedly orange. and it always feels like the beginning to me, not the end. though the leaves the flowers are dying and falling falling to the forest floor, it is a more glorious death. like a phoenix, born in its majestic demise, the heart of autumn sets itself ablaze and pounds on in rhythm to a new life.

it feels utterly fitting to be here now, embarking on my new life as all turns to lush and golden flame around me.

but sometimes it hurts. last night was particularly hard. i go to school and then i apply for jobs, but in the long hours afterwards while i'm procrastinating my homework, there is little to occupy my time. so i fall deeper into the occasionally dismal abyss that is my mind. to keep from going insane, i just drove. every day, i explore a new place with the hope that maybe someday i'll know which way is north. maybe someday i'll feel oriented.

i stick to the cities, knowing if i wander too far i may never get my bearings back. as i passed restaurant after restaurant, i considered buying food. food is supposed to make people happy, right? but contrary to what society tells me, i find that there is no satisfaction in impulse shopping. or eating. i passed clothing stores and shoe stores. i pulled into parking lots, intending to at least go inside, but something chained me to my seat and i couldn't.

then i saw petsmart.

and it dawned on me: i must buy a fish!

it makes perfect sense, yeah? if i can't have furry pets and i can't have friends yet (they just don't SELL those kind of services, at least not legitimately), the next best thing with eyeballs and a brain will do. (some fish's brains are even visible!)

so i walked into the petsmart with great determination. i was the only customer, as it was around 9 pm, but i strutted past the greeter with vigor. i knew my purpose in this place. i headed straight to the wall of fish, where i was suddenly whelmed with the responsibility i was assuming over this creature's life.

i remembered, then, why i had boycotted fish as pets all these years:

*they seem to have no souls.
*because of aforementioned belief, i frequently forget they are alive.
*they are afraid of me.
*my childhood fish were cannibals. watching your children eat each other is no testament to your mothering skills.

i looked into the great, soulless eyes of some sort of orange fish and wondered, do i have what it takes to raise a fish?

i dejectedly walked away, knowing the answer. i just couldn't handle the possibility of loving this fish and then letting it die because of my neglectful fish-parenting (i assure you, my human instincts are far more reliable).

i left unsatisfied.

but today is better.

i have a fantastic roommate, immeasurably loved friends and family in utah (and california!), and that great balloon of a thing we call hope. and apparently i'm goodish at improv.

i feel better about rewarding happiness than sorrow. so i went to jamba juice and got the thing the thing the mighty thing which i await all year.....

this. is. autumn in a cup.

and it all rushes back to me, this fiery and passionate and above all ALIVE feeling. electricity pulses up through my feet and into my heart and mind. and i know that behind this dark curtain of soft autumn night lies that oh-so-real thing i lovingly call the future. and that i am HERE. life, life can be where'er and whate'er i want. i made it this far.

and the golden days embrace me when you can't. i hope your autumn is doing the same for you, in my place. ♥

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

uncertainty and his accomplices

everything happens
up and over and across and inside us
it placates you for a moment now and then
with a quiet wind sweeping the alleys of your skull but too soon
or nearly too late
it grabs you by the umbilical cord
and swings you out into the vast beyond
where you are blind
and icicles grow like stalactites
in your marrow.
above all
you fear being alone
above all
you fear being forgotten
so with your last frozen swallow of oxygen
you will start a riot
you will demolish an empire
you will shout your love
you will do it,
all you ever threatened yourself to do
in what seems to be
your final moment
and it won't be too late
everything everything everything
bring you back
for another indefinite period
of hollow breezes
when you feel in control
and you
and you
and you may even forget
why it was
you used to tear your pillow
with knifing sobs
and you will be happy in this moment.
but don't forget
don't abandon
inside and around and under and through us
everything happens.

Monday, September 27, 2010

hello teacher, tell me, what's my lesson?

i love my logic professor. some of the reasons for this are:

*he is my logic professor.
*he is maybe the oldest man alive.
*he wrote on the projector screen, thinking it was the white board. now there is a green blur in the corner of it for all eternity.
*he looks so much like a monkey, i almost believe in evolution now.
*he has the gentlest of voices.
*his curriculum combines math and sentence structure.
*he told us openly how much he hates his boss.
*he makes jokes using terms like algorithm and aristotelian theory.
*the other students stare blankly at him.
*he misplaced his watch during our class hour.
*he says, "if you're not following hell with it."

golly, i love school.

Friday, September 24, 2010


the sun was out today!

i went to the best buy to purchase a camera cord, so now you can all see the glory i live in. first, a few photographs of the trip here:

my final utah sunset, just before crossing into idaho.

3 am and struggling to stay awake

this is, ironically, the columbia river gorge. which i have been told repeatedly i need to drive while i'm out here, and it was unexpectedly a part of my charted course...but it was just before dawn, so i saw nothing but silhouettes.

AND NOW, my friends, my forest home!

jacco quite likes his corner of the woodland, as well.

i drove into portland today for the first time, partially to kill time and partially hoping i might come across something useful like my school or that enormous bookstore. instead i just meandered about, not daring to look for parking. i turned when i desired to turn, and somehow miraculously did not get lost. instead, i found washington park and what i assume was the hoyt arboretum, for i wandered in the trees for hours (in the middle of the city, mind you!) oh, the glory.

discovered this joy of a spider...

then this one....

....and then i began to realize that these particular spiders exist EVERYWHERE. on the side of every road, sometimes near my feet and sometimes above my head (often in front of my face). the fascination stopped immediately as the disgust settled in.

finally, a bit of exploring around my home:

i love the ones that live in this house:

all the roads here look like this. i am in constant disbelief.

i miss you all desperately. i had movie night with my invisible and imaginary friend tonight (we watched a beautiful mind), but he wasn't feeling very talkative, so it was still quite lonely. just call me if you ever want to get a pizza and go to a park.

good night, my deers!


I drove into Portland at dawn today (for here, in the Pacific time zone, it is still "today" for a few more minutes). Which seemed a fitting way to begin my beginning of whatever this is to be.

The drive was pleasantly uneventful. Neither Jacco nor I broke down at any point as I had feared we might. Aside from stopping to add oil and again to sleep for a few minutes, we travelled continuously from yesterday at five p.m. to this morning at nine thirty. It wasn't supposed to take quite that long...the last four hours were spent in Lake Oswego being oh so hopelessly lost. But what a place to lose yourself! Every wrong turn simply led me into another lush and living wonderland.


It's everything I ever dreamed it would be. I go outside and nature hugs me.

I did finally discover my house, WHICH IS GREEN. with teal carpet. and squirrels skittering up the moss-draped trees. And ferns. So what I'm saying is it's perfect.

And it's a good thing I'm in this place that is so strangely familiar to me. It's a good thing I have school on monday. It's a good thing that I'm going to drive around tomorrow and look for a job. It's a good thing my roommate's girl-crazy friend has chosen me as his future wife before meeting me. It's a good thing anything at all is happening, because the more details I can focus on, the more I can obsess over this beautiful paradise I find myself in, the less I will think about the dark and blooming fact that lies underneath it all:

I'm terrified.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

here i go... long as i don't hit any deer which as a result explode my car, with me and my belongings fatally trapped inside...i should be fine.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

....tomorrow. :)

on the eve of everything
no one sleeps
they only stare into the
ceiling sky
and swallow their regrets
trying to remember why
they are going
what will they find?
and what will they leave behind?
they wish the answers were
carved somewhere above them
celestial petroglyphs
to light a dark road
but they wait instead for the morning
whisper goodbye into the dying night
and then set off on
their great journey

Thursday, September 16, 2010

let's talk for a moment about the why.

after the series of questions i am barraged with each time i mention oregon (do you have family there? ...friends? ...a scholarship?), and after my series of negatory responses, the final query is always "why?"

i don't have a reason. not a good one, anyway. I have plenty of justifications, such as: "they have good trees?" or "(mumblemumble) voodoo doughnuts..." but no satisfactory explanation.

in fact, there have been many times over the course of this summer that i have entirely HATED the prospect of leaving. because let's face it. my life here is wonderful. I have a mildly enjoyable although insultingly cheap job, i go to a great university with stellar faculty, and i am friends with the most wonderful people alive. (I'm not hyperbolizing for your sake; I've done research and remain convinced.)

BUT still I go. although it's going to send me into unnecessary debt, and I'm not receiving any school credit for it...still I go.


Last october, I was on a train. I was happy but dissatisfied with my current station in life. And it was then that I realized there were no ties keeping me here. I could go, do, and be anywhere, anything, and anyone I wanted to. And the other realization came that this will perhaps be the ONLY time in my existence where this is entirely the case. it was then I decided to go to oregon.

not forever....

but know. to be in another place, all by myself, and live.

i prayed about it, and from there everything just fell into place. i discovered the national exchange program, which is magically allowing me to attend portland state university for the school year and pay resident tuition. Glory.

Because suddenly there WERE ties i wanted to keep. Suddenly my life was nearly perfect, and how could I leave it?
9 months isn't that long. but it also IS.

i prayed some more. I thought some more. and once again I decided to go. Finally I was ready again. Finally it felt right and good.

and then my financial aid screwed me over, because I'm paying more money than i'm getting. It is going to be just this side of impossible, but i am determined at this point. I don't know how much this will alter my life; I don't plan on that, though I'm always open to it. Margaret brought up a good point, which is that perhaps someone there needs ME. which actually makes lots of sense. Because while I do love oregon, I don't need it.

I leave next wednesday...if the universe doesn't stop me first. I leave next wednesday.

And I suppose the only explanation I can honestly offer is...

why not?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

this time around

in scarcely more than a week... i'm going home. thank you for expanding my glorious world.