I suppose I feel something akin to relieved. Flashes of The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) are running through my head. Those moments of old ladies in pearls shaking their cocktails, and old men with cigars bombarding you asking “what are you going to do now?” Or else, the desire to simply float in the pool, and do nothing.
Big! Life! Moments! usually leave me quiet. But quiet should not be confused with lost. More, that moment some time after The Moment when you’re just sitting doing something horribly ordinary and dull, and someone looks at you, and you smile, because… everything has changed, and as wonderful and big as that is, it’s also just another something. I’m a middle child. So in fitting with that, I would rather skip the spotlight and the speeches. More than would rather, would prefer them not to happen at all is more appropriate. But, some moments in life have to be recognized, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Since others often find the words I’m floundering for, I’ll leave this to someone more talented “I imagined feeling a lot of things about the end of all of this – but I didn’t really think I would feel quiet inside. As if this was all about something so much bigger than school, obviously, but still … I sense I won’t get it for a long while down the road.”
And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson…
Also, [fill in everything that might have come before that “also” in your head, and know that this is the end of a long, long list of why no one has heard from me in months] I’m just tired. Deep down tired. This-has-been-too-long-of-a-journey tired. Not give up tired, just tired. Tired the way you get on a WAY too long road trip. And you’ve talked yourself to death with all the people in the car, and it’s just silent. That kinda tired. When you all still really enjoy the company, but holy hell, when do we get to get out of the damn car?? As though everyone is simply holding in all of their thoughts until they get to crack open those doors, and step into the fresh air, and stretch, and take a deep DEEP breath of whatever wonderful, amazing air that was NOT being re-circulated in the car.
The moment right after the silence of getting out of the car, when everyone all of a sudden comes back to life, and starts laughing and talking again.
…I’m just waiting for that moment. The moment when I no longer have to breathe my own re-circulated air.
I sit down. Instantly, the man next to me starts talking to me at me. AT ME! before I’ve even had a chance to free myself of the tangle of bags/jackets/scarves. So in turn, I immediately I have the kinda surprised, kinda taken aback, kinda annoyed face from the get go.
Man: [never looking up from his paper] You smell like coffee.
Me: [Instantly annoyed. I hold up my mug of coffee so that he’s forced to look AT it] No, this smells like coffee. I smell like I just got out of the shower.
Man: [finally looking at me, but only moving his eyes, so I’m getting the looking-over-your-glasses glare from him] Same thing.
[He immediately goes back to his paper after these two ugly little words.]
Me: Uhh. No. [pause] Those are completely different things.
He seemed incapable of discerning the difference. Children can do that sir, CHILDREN.
The internet allows for some tremendously important arguments to take place. Like this one:
Me: I don’t know if you’ve listened to it much, but I made a Miles Davis radio station on Pandora, and it’s awesome. I’ve been listening to it for days.
Sean: I made that radio station, but yeah, it’s great.
Me: Nooooo. I made that station.
Sean: I distinctly remember making it.
Me: Well, the point is, I’m really enjoying the radio station that I made.
Sean: That I made.
Me: That I made.
Sean: I know I made a station like that.
Me: Well, I know I made that station, not one like it.
Sean: Well it is a good one.
Me: I know! I created a great station.
Sean: I created.
Me: I mean, I’d make my own Pandora account, but I’ve put so much work into making these stations great.
Sean: Yeah, the stations I made.
Me: I made.
And so on.
But here’s the point: I’m right. I’ll even give you an example of why I’m right, so that you can have a bigger picture idea of how I know I’m right.
Me: [out on the back porch, drinking a glass of wine, reading a novel]
Sean: [Comes out, starts rummaging through the storage shed]
Me: [glances up quickly, then back down to novel] Whatcha doing?
Sean: Well…. I’m looking for the coolant fluid, because I’m going to check the fluid in the truck.
Me: [still not looking up] It’s empty.
Sean: How do you know? Did you check it?
Me: Nope. It just is. I know.
Me: [still reading] It just is.
Sean: Well we’ll just see.
Me: You’ll just see. I already know.
Sean: [leaves to check fluids in the truck, then comes back, and says nothing.]
Sean: [just enough of a pause, that he knows that I know] It was empty.
Me: I know. That’s what I said.
Clearly, I MADE the Miles Davis Radio Station. How? I just know.
I can’t let this one go, because it’s deep. In there deep. Like, can’t talk while you’re doing dishes deep…
This song it’s in there. Deep, deep in there. It’s one of those that comes on, and I get that feeling… that same kinda feeling you get when someone you love so much gives you a hug from deep down in their soul… deep because they know you deep. Those hugs that come when you need them; need them because you think you might possibly split in two, or three, or a billion pieces. And that hug, far more than being comforting is literally like that person holding the pieces of you together, tight, tight, tight. Because they know. They know that you’re about to crumble, and they’re there… they’re going to hold you together until you can hold yourself together. That love that kinda hurts. Kinda hurts bad, because you need it bad, bad, bad.
This song. It’s like that.
Robert Stam’s List of Eight Assumptions/Prejudices Made Against Film:
1. Valorization of Anteriority and Seniority
2. Dichotomous Thinking
6. Myth of Facility
7. Class Prejudice
Sometimes I have a hard time expressing what is happening inside me. Especially when it’s big. Especially when it’s really big. When the beauty, and gifts, and thankfulness are so large, I cannot grasp their depth, it’s then that my words and feelings well up inside me, but cannot seem to find a way out.
I have no words of my own, no way to fully express or describe my weekend in San Francisco and Berkeley. I could give you a successful laundry list of what we did, how I felt, but I lack the talent, and ability to convey the fullness of the experience. Therefore, so as to not dampen the beauty that was last weekend, I will offer this quote. Because last weekend, being with Caitlin, and meeting those who love her, truly left me “richer for having known it.”
“The subjective response, however, when a … book has been finished and put aside is that, upon reflection, it does not seem so much that one holds the memory of a story; rather, it is the after effects of a poem rich in metaphor that seem to remain.
This I value, partly because it does defy a full mapping, but mainly because that which is left of a … story when the details have been forgotten is a thing which comes to me at odd times and offers me a feeling or a thought; therefore, a thing which leaves me richer for having known it.”
– Roger Zelazny
For the past 173 days I have hit the alarm clock, put myself in the shower, and cleared my head of all those thoughts I can’t have. ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE.
Days to go until graduation: 97
Days to go until I get to kiss your face: 40.
Hours to go until I get to hear your voice: 1.
1 is a number I can handle.
Sometimes my real life is real beautiful.
As often as it is ugly and not put together, it is also beautiful.
I miss my fictional life in California. My fictional life in socal, and my fictional life in the bay area.
Sometimes in real life you only get three hours of sleep. In real life you wake up with snot-like vestiges of flu clinging to your face. In real life there is a bank account at the end of the day.
But sometimes, in real life you wake up to a fresh dusting of snow covering everything, and a beautiful beautiful fog. In real life you get on a bus, you go downtown and all of a sudden you look UP and realize how beautiful, beautiful, beautiful your real life is. Even with its hurt. Even with its disappointments. Even with its sticky, dry sleepy eyes, this real life – this hard life – is beautiful. Beautiful because of, or in spite of its ugliness I’m not sure, but beautiful nonetheless.
I’ve never been so filled up by one singular birthday in my whole life. The amount of gifts, hours of laughter – a laugh I will forever remember, FOOD, drink, phone calls, e-mails, lunches, cakes, pastries, beautiful talks, walks, dinners, text messages, never-ending PACKAGES arriving on my doorstop, new friends, gifts pouring out of one girl’s purse like I’ve never witnessed before. I’m not sure I’ve ever needed a birthday as much as I needed this one. 25 you were one lame-ass year. You, 25, were the real life that is ugly. But without 25 I wouldn’t appreciate 26 quite so much. So, hello 26. It’s nice to meet you. Please be a little bit kinder to me, for I am very, very fragile.
Oh, and hello there, I’m back. Sans camera, and a lot of other things that normal people seem to be able to keep track of, but I’m here. So hello again. It’s nice to converse with you, or at you.. but I like to think with, because it is more like a friendship, and less like a lecture, and I’m far more fond of the former.
Nieces. I like them. Even when they don’t like me. But I especially like them when they do like me. I also like when they’re only just 1 and they want to explain things like the ocean, and birds, and the moon to me.
Yesterday I finished The Brothers K, let it digest for a few hours, and then picked up my next novel Shutter Island. “The Orchid Thief” is on deck. After? Emma. And then? Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Reading on break is like trying to eat a decent lunch in thirty minutes. Not enough time.
“We have a cardboard window.”
Sometimes you just need a beautiful film to remind you that, you are ok, or that you’re going to be ok – that even when everything around you seems foreign, crazy and unrecognizable as reasonable or sane, that you’re still going to be ok.
Film is often written off as a lot of things. Often it is supposed that I chose this degree because it’s “easy.” Film is a lot of things, none of which are easy. Because of course I would pick something that as its basis in history must battle uphill to prove that it is not simple – that it is not an art form that lacks intelligence. That in the face of everything that is “normal” – sculpture, writing, painting – that it too is art, something that deserves as much appriciation, and requires more from its audience than something static does. So that is why you break my heart when you assume that that which I love is simple-minded – that I am simple-minded.
You don’t always say it this clearly, but this is what is in your face. This is what I hear. This is what I see… The old argument articulated here by Benjamin, “Duhamel calls the movie ‘a pasttime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries . . . , a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence . . . , which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someonday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.'”
I don’t agree. I don’t agree with what you see. I see importance. I see something that saves. I see something that speaks. And if you cannot see that, then my heart breaks for you – for what you are missing… for the small life you choose. Because there is something abundant in film… And you are missing it. You have written it off… and there is life in it for you. And you are missing it.
Something about repetition, like we need to hear that we are loved about 30 times to drill through the layers of clay and then it gets in deep.
Sometimes when a woman so beautiful, and so brilliant says something like that… you just find yourself erupting. And, maybe it comes out something liiike this:
…There are other things… a million other things… but they’re going to have to wait. Because… because. Because that’s life. Because I can’t put everything out when I want to. Because we live in other states. Because I CAN’T COLLAPSE ON YOUR COUCH WITH A GLASS OF WINE. Because I hate that I have to type everything. Because I hate that it takes so long (and I type damn fast). And I have so much to say, and.. and… I don’t have time. And even if I did… I don’t want to say these things this way. Any of these things. I want to see your beautiful face. I want to HEAR you laughing, or crying, or screaming. I want to wake up and have coffee with you. I hate this. I want to touch you, and see you in real life. Real, living, breathing, horrible, no make-up, sore cheeks LIFE. THIS IS NO LONGER ENOUGH FOR ME. *sigh* I’m thankful. I’m so very thankful. I don’t want that message to be muddled, or confused. I’m thankful. I’m thankful for you. BUT HOLY HELL THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. I want to tell you about my day today. I want to come over, and throw my bag on the floor, and just spill it all. I want to have a drink with you. I want to just BE. And so I sit here tonight, and I’m yelling… THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. I want the bad hair days, I want the holy-smokes-you’re-really-hot days. I WANT TO HAVE DAYS WITH YOU. I want to eat, and share meals with you.. I want to cook, and hang out in your kitchen. I want to talk while things simmer, and boil, and bake, and brown… I want a life with you. A real life. Not this cyber life. My desire is for a life with you, where this computer does not exist. Cyber friendship is a very poor excuse for friendship. Like cyber sex… you can’t equate the two. Real friendship, real sex… you can’t put that shit online and call it the same. So yes. I am thankful. I am THANKFUL for you. For your friendship. For who you are. I’m THANKFUL that you are in my life. But for all of that, because of all of that I am saying…. not enough. Not ok.
Oh hell. Someone’s ass sat on the remote control of my life and it’s holding down the fast forward button.
The weeks fly by under stacks of shoes and papers and jackets and books… and late, peel-your-dry-sticky-eyelids-from-your-eyeballs-late nights. Every hour seems unbearably painful, but each week seems to be gone in an instant.
On the weekends, I traipse about… vagabond-like, every night somewhere new. Lugging my life between that which I have to do (school) and that which sustains me (friends, laughter, food, wine).
In the midst of all of this madness – where nothing feels normal – I have found myself more grounded than I have been in a very long time. Things are still hard. Still Strange. …but just when I needed it, an important friend reappeared. Someone who has made an indelible impression on me. And I feel more at home. More myself. I often forget how deeply friends affect me, how I become more fully who I am when they are around. And I have missed myself. It is nothing shy of miraculous the amount of laughter and love that this friendship has brought into my life. The feeling that nothing has changed, has made all the change seem so normal. …and I need a little normal.
I haven’t started chewing on sticks yet, but sometimes I think I’m not too far away from that. I’ve been quiet, spending most of my time writing papers – lost in my own little world of films, theories, histories and criticisms.
If I were more disciplined I could be spending my Sunday afternoon at a tea shop, reading The Atlantic and enjoying the fall weather instead of what I am doing… sitting at my computer in the basement typing, typing, typing, typing—desperately trying to avoid becoming, as this brilliantly hilarious and deeply honest woman said, “[feeling] like and eyeball and a finger attached to a computer.” (A visual that never fails to bring a smile to my face.)
If last semester was the semester of barely-hanging-on, this semester seems to be shaping up as the semester of mindlessly drifting. Papers are being finished, midterms handed in, tests completed—nothing going awry… and I’m 1/2 way done with Fall Semester 2009. I’m working hard, but assignments just seem to keep coming in and going out—a well oiled machine. Not in a completely calm way, more in the vein of Chaplin in Modern Times (Charles Chaplin,1936). I am still awaiting the deluge of work waiting to dump itself upon me when my weekend course on Hitchcock starts 10 October. More reading, more discussion, more watching, listening and writing. As much as I would like to say that I am fully! present! in! my! current! situation! it just isn’t true. I simply stand, like the tramp, screwing in bolts as they pass in front of me. Waiting for the whistle that tells me I can stop.
But until then it is Sunday, with an entire service dedicated to blessing little kids goldfish, old ladies cats and family dogs, with football, newspaper, The Amazing Race, Mad Men, and the Ladies are back!… and, least you become too relaxed, the ever-looming paper due in the morning.
To be completely vulnerable with another person.
To allow them to love you in ways that you cannot love yourself.
To know that someone could hurt you deeply.
To always give the benefit of the doubt.
To know the sound of their voice.
To love with both feet off the ground. Crazy, foolish, beautiful love.
… to hold them loosely, allowing them to persue their dreams.
5 years! A Bellis Perennis anniversary. As this year needs more reminders of smiles and happiness and joy, a daisy seems just right.
When all else fails, and you can’t deal with the strange twilight zone that your life has become, what better way to cope than to completely dive into work? Keeping busy painting “my” room, picking out Flor Tiles, bedding… and sort of writing papers while the paint dries. Literally.
One thing is for sure, I feel that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle of the ever-popular gals at 2720. Or for that matter the lifestyle of my almost 2-year-old niece – she’s hosting her own toga parties, obviously. C-l-e-a-r-l-y cooler than I am. It’s been a wonderful, completely exhausting weekend. I just wish that I could crawl into my own bed at the end of these long, long days.
My thoughts are a little drained out for the time being, having just turned in my first paper for Film Theory & Criticism. However, I did watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) last night and not only did I think it was an incredible film, but it seems I will continually be blown away at the amount of things that are going on in a film – the layering of meanings – even opposing meanings, the allegory, the political what-have-yous, the boldness, the creativity, the industry, the frame…
So rent it. Place it in your queue. Enjoy.
I walked outside tonight, and truthfully – it no longer smelled like summer. And my heart leapt. I love summer. I love being able to eat outside. I love wearing flip-flops. I love lawn games. I love the smell of Jasmine. I love going to the lake house in upstate NY. I love porch sitting, and camping, and going to the beach. I love entire meals cooked off of the BBQ. But my heart… my SOUL loves the fall. There was a SMELL outside tonight. And it was autumn.
My toes are a little too cold.
I needed a sweater to go outside tonight.
And then – as if by MAGIC. THE smell. THE autumn smell came wafting over. Sneaking through bushes, and yards, and still ripening tomato plants…. fire. Not forest fire. Hearth fire. Fire in a fireplace. Someone just lit the first fire of the season in their fireplace! I almost wanted to cry and jump around – to sprawl on the driveway, and stare into the sky and just take it in. Usually on these evenings Sean is around, and he holds me and smiles and kisses me, and says yes to taking the dog on a walk at night just so that I can SMELL the coming season. That smell…
The spring is difficult for me because winter hangs on SO LONG, and the spring seems only to tease me with the coming summer. I’m READY for summer, and spring seems to simply be an annoyance, a penance I have to pay to get through to summer. But autumn.. ahhhh my love.
Favorite fall films are Dan In Real Life, and You’ve Got Mail….Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, and Sleepy Hollow. As well as a smattering of Halloween cartoon tales Charlie Brown, and Ichabod Crane…
I will miss this most about Colorado. The real smell of fall. I will miss FOUR! VERY! DISTINCT! SEASONS! I will miss the last winds of fall that are so cold they make my nose turn bright red and run. I will miss the snow at Christmas. I will miss ducking into cafes for some coffee & warmth. I will miss the elation that comes in spring – the almost righteous anger at winter that you can yell out at the sky that has been pelting you with snow, “Take that bitch – summer’s coming!” And then sweet, sweet give-you-your-life-back summer with all that it brings.
And it’s as if I am ONE with Mother Nature … I picked up some Pumpkin Ale earlier today when I was out. I know, I’m really chomping on the bit when I’m buying pumpkin ale on the 6th of September. But it’s my FAVORITE. No surprise there. And they only have it for TWO MONTHS. And now… NOW I get to have my pumpkin ale, and let the first smells of autumn waft in the windows while I watch Mad Men.
Tomorrow morning I will wake up, and the sun will be bright and still hot, hot, hot. And it will still feel like summer. And that will be all right. I’m not one to kick summer out ungratefully… But I needed the smile and excitement that fall brings me.
I’ve started something new for someone old. A project.
And I am starting to catch glimpses of myself again.