a case of you [james blake]

found this little treasure today.
i hope it gives you the same shivers it gave me.

my life in bullet points

based on my last post and my six-month absence from blogging ever since, you might have begun to think that the rapture actually did happen. while i wish i had an apocalyptic excuse for my neglect of our heart to hardt, i don't. (unless you consider five upper-division courses, two jobs, and work on my teaching credential apocalyptic). nevertheless, here is my obligatory "don't worry, i'm still alive" post and a brief, bullet-pointed update on my life:

  • nathan and i celebrated 5 years together (i love that man more than ever)
  • got in on a styffe family vacation, yosemite style
  • had some adventures in the beaver state
  • i turned twenty-two
  • i have a new roommate, in the form of a very old, very good friend
  • substitute taught for a 10th grade english class (scary, but amazing)
  • i've been accepted to a teach conversational english in asia this summer and can't wait to fill you in on all the details


welp, it's six o'clock on may twenty-first and the rapture hasn't happened.
tough break, harold camping. maybe the myans will have better luck next december.


"october fullness" by pablo neruda
[quite possibly my new favorite poem]

little by little, and also in great leaps,
life happened to me,
and how insignificant this business is.
these veins carried
my blood, which i scarcely ever saw,
i breathed the air of so many places
without keeping a sample of any.
in the end, everyone is aware of this:
nobody keeps any of what he has,
and life is only a borrowing of bones.
the best thing was learning not to have too much
either of sorrow or of joy,
to hope for the chance of a last drop,
to ask more from honey and more from twilight.

perhaps it was my punishment.
perhaps i was condemned to be happy.
let it be known that nobody
crossed my path without sharing my being.
i plunged up to the neck
into adversities that were not mine,
into all the sufferings of others.
it wasn't a question of applause or profit.
much less. it was not being able
to live or breathe in this shadow,
the shadow of others like towers,
like bitter trees that bury you,
like cobblestones on the knees.

our own wounds heal with weeping,
our own wounds heal with singing,
but in our own doorway lie bleeding
windows, indians, poor men, fishermen.
the miner's child doesn't know his father
amidst all that suffering.

so be it, but my business
the fullness of the spririt:
a cry of pleasure choking you,
a sigh from an uprooted plant,
the sum of all action.

it pleased me to grow with the morning,
to bathe in the sun, in the great joy
of sun, salt, sea-light and wave,
and in that unwinding of the foam
my heart began to move,
growing in that essential spasm,
and dying away as it seeped into the sand.


to travel

i try but fail to contain my devastating desire to travel. somewhere, anywhere. i am engulfed in the urge to see and experience all things new. i need my breath to be taken away by something bigger than poetry and pictures. i want to be in a place, have an adventure, that stirs in me the need to create literature and art of my own. i feel like finding myself and losing myself amidst landscapes that swallow me whole and architecture that bewilders me. i am eager to absorb a culture; eastern, western. it makes no difference. i long for the goosebumps and heart-skips that the wonders of the world have given me before. i want to, need to, deeply desire to travel. somewhere. anywhere. please.


a terrorist dies, america cheers, and i write a blog

my heart is conflicted on a daily basis. but tonight it is torn in two pieces. two pieces that have been thrown on opposite sides of a great, tall wall. osama bin laden has been killed, and i can almost hear the unanimous roar of american pride resounding through the nation. in fact, i can hear it. loud and clear. my t.v. is on in the background, and america' s voice is coming through the speakers chanting, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" but i've found myself incapable of cheering along.

i love my country; really, i do. and i so understand and even feel the sense of justice pulsing through the veins of the united states. this country lost thousands of lives at the hands of terrorism and bin laden. he has been the face of the enemy, of evil, of terrorism these past ten years. and for many, his death represents a victory over all of those. but in the midst of all the hype, all the congratulations and hoo-rahs, i can't help but stop and wonder if god would be chanting too, would be high-fiving america. i sort of doubt it.

people might find me insane, may call me crazy, but after hearing president obama's address to the nation, i took a moment to think about what had happened, to think about osama bin laden, and out of the blue popped psalms 139 into my mind. bin laden was a child of god. he was "fearfully and wonderfully made." i mean, wasn't he? i know it sounds unfathomable, but i believe it's true. and no matter how utterly monsterous the man was, god still loved osama bin laden. i mean, didn't he?

i'm not saying that i am mourning the man's death. far from it. there's a part of me--you know, the other side of my heart on the other side of the wall--that's glad he's dead. that is relieved that he's gone. that finds justice in his death. i read a quote tonight, some words of mark twain that resonated with me: "i've never wished a man dead, but i have read some obituaries with great pleasure." i want to embrace that pleasure. i wish i could. but i don't think i'll be shouting "U-S-A!" and fist-bumping america. at least, not with my whole heart.


these three poets belong on my book shelf.
why they aren't there already is a mystery to me...

langston hughes

e. e. cummings

robert frost


"the minute i heard my first love story
i started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
they're in each other all along."

- - - - -

"we weep God's rain.
we laugh God's lightning."

- - - - -

"listen to the presences inside poems,
let them take you where they will.

follow those private hints,
and never leave the premises"

- - - - -

-rumi, selected poems


seven days, four states, one spring break

it's that time of year, and spring break has sprung again. that is, it sprang last week and has now wilted away, leaving behind only memories, photographs, and a good amount of home work that i neglected on my many days off. last year, i literally stayed in my pajamas 99% of the time and embraced every moment of rest and relaxation that seven days without school provided. however, this year, i nixed the r & r and spent my break state-hopping and adventure-having on the east coast. we (varying combinations of alanna, jared, nikki, claudia, and myself) ate cupcakes in georgetown; road-tripped to new york, where we frolicked through the city streets and took in a goose-bump-giving production of phantom of the opera; made a pit stop in philidelphia to eat some cheesestake and put on our best rocky impressions; consumed large amounts of country cuisine at cracker barrel (in virginia and new jersey); explored the smithsonians and beheld the monuments in washington d.c.; and had an all around wonderful time experiencing new places and reexperiencing old ones.

d.c. cupcakes in georgetown
smithsonian the monument & me
philidelphia: the windy city. ...oh wait, that's chicago? are you sure?
rocky!conquering the rocky steps
30 rock-yum!

poison & wine [the civil wars]

this song is just too beautiful not to share.