d i s c o v e r i n g monsters

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Posted in friends, Life, love, Vacation by Jules on 7 February 2010

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

Real Life

Posted in everyday life, friends, Life by Jules on 4 February 2010

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.

Holiday

Posted in family, Life, love, photography, Vacation by Jules on 7 January 2010

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’re Not Screw Ups: Why I Love Film.

Posted in film, Life, love, school, seasons, tired by Jules on 12 November 2009

“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.

Not Enough.

Posted in friends, internet, Life, love by Jules on 11 November 2009

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.

ppppshhhhhh…. welluhh

Posted in friends, home, Life, love by Jules on 6 November 2009

sign

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.

 

Last Day Of Work

Posted in change, family, Life, seasons by Jules on 28 May 2009

Ron McCraw 1977

 

After almost 40 years of teaching, etc., etc., this man, my father is retiring today.

He will now have time to play endlessly with his replacement child Cody – a beautiful, albeit rambunctious, Red Golden Retriever Puppy. And obsess about his lawn, and listen to baseball games, and watch basketball and football, and visit his actual children, and granddaughters in so cal, drive around in his little red car, and have friends over for dinner, and maybe just maybe he’ll now have time to go on a vacation… 

I have watched this man work harder than anyone else in my life, and I am excited to watch him now do something that I have never witnessed in my life – relax endlessly. He has provided everything his family ever needed – but more importantly, we have always felt loved, and known, and cared for by him. My father is generous to a fault, and I hope that he is as generous with himself during his retirement, as he has always been with his friends and family. 

We could not be more proud of him, and we could not be more excited for what awaits him.

It is difficult to believe that he is actually retiring. As my beautiful niece Gwen asked him, “Are you joking me?”

 

(…just look at that baby face! Ron McCraw age 30, about 6 years after he started teaching.)

Breakfast

Posted in everyday life, food, home, Life, love by Jules on 26 May 2009

 

Hard Boiled Egg w/ Salt & Paprika, Blueberry Bran Muffin, Banana, Raspberries

My mornings, however you want to define them, have been full of wonderful food, great espresso, newspapers, and books. Beautiful. Lazy. Wonderful. Give-me-my-life-back mornings.

I will forever remember this.

Posted in change, Life, seasons by Jules on 14 May 2009

The Face of A Girl Who Survived.

 

…As the year I spent more hours glued to my computer screen than I did living.

…As the year I fought harder for myself than I ever have before. 

…As the year I found a best friend – a soulmate – a kindred spirit at 25.

…As the year that resurected the pen-pal in the most impressive way.

…As the year that pushed me far beyond any imaginable boundary I had constructed.

…As the year I lost my sister.

…As the year we moved to Denver.

…As the year my husband was accepted to Medical School.

…As the year my beautiful niece Lyla Starr was born.

…As the year I took 33 credit hours, and got straight As. 

 

 

Sunday Morning

Posted in Life, Running by Jules on 27 April 2009

Cherry Creek Sneak - Sean

Cherry Creek Sneak - Sean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday Sean and I walked to the car a little before 7am.

Quiet streets. Sleepy people walking particularly alert dogs. Morning dew on the windows. Sunshine breaking through the buildings.

We talked a little in the car. Discussed where we thought I should park, where to meet up after the race, what I was going to do until he was finished racing. 

Beautiful spring morning – sunny & a little too cold. Sean headed off to warm up and find his way to the start line, and I headed straight towards the coffee. Latte & muffin in hand, I walked around weaving my way between buildings, avoiding the shade and wandering towards the finish line. I stood, and watched as the spectators spilled in, as kids ran amok, and as the lady on the loudspeaker droned on endlessly. 16 minutes after the start of the 5K the first runners were streaming in, and few minutes later I watched as Sean crossed the finish line. Not a big race. Nothing to get overly excited about. Sean simply wanted to race so that he could practice his pacing … but sometimes it’s nice to get up early, enjoy a latte, and watch a race. 

My runs this past week have been incredible. In the past they simply were. That’s all. Just something I did because it’s good to do. But something has changed. Something in this is now good for my soul, not just my body. It is almost as if my body is a side note in the whole process – yeah I’m still sucking wind while I power up hill, contemplating if my lungs are going to explode 5280 feet above sea level, but something else is also happening. Something I’ve yet to understand, discover, fully unpack… something. The wild guess being that it might have to do with the drastic life changes that are about to drop all around me.

For now, I plan to simply enjoy that which is around me – friends, family, this family, runs, coffee, packing up the bits of our life, the end of another semester, and the beginning of a new season.

Winter Fruit Bleeding Into Summer Veggies

Posted in change, food, Life, school, seasons by Jules on 21 April 2009

Lettuce

 

…So that for a brief moment we have spring. 

My computer is fixed. It was simply a problem with [insert lots of technical, incomprehensible jargon here] but now it’s fine!

Lately I have been experiencing the typical pull between oh-my-gosh-my-life-is-moving-so-slow-it-feels-like-the-turtle-in-Steinbeck’s-novel and WHAT-THE-HELL-MY-LIFE-IS-MOVING-TOO-FAST-I-PRACTICALLY-HAVE-ONE-FOOT-IN-THE-GRAVE! Which is fabulous because it really wreaks havoc on my digestive tract, the constant nausea only intermittently stifled by the shoving of anything resembling a carbohydrate into my mouth. (And no, you baby-crazed loons, I’m not pregnant, this is s-t-r-e-s-s, or grief, or fear, or any combination of the above.) I’ve been in a continual stall pattern for the past five years, and now all of a sudden we’re packing up the apartment, Sean’s moving to California, I’m moving back to Boulder, in August I will begin my final year of this degree, Sean will start medical school, and so all of a sudden the stall is over – the flood gates have opened. Hence, the nausea and shoveling of carbohydrates. It’s been difficult living on the merry-go-round of life, but I at least understood how to do that, now I feel as if the merry-go-round sped up and flung me off… leaving me in a patch of itchy, dry, brown-ish green grass, with my head spinning, still trying to understand what the hell just happened. There is nothing unique, or particularly interesting in this experience, but it does cause a bit more silence in my life. Less inclined to write, and more to contemplative staring while I wait for my head to stop spinning.   

I’m doing a lot of this, and reading her, and him, and lots of other people with their brilliant thoughts on film, but I feel more like a ghost, and less like a sponge lately – more passing through than soaking in. Simply tired.

The spring sunshine, and early beginnings of summer vegetables and herbs have been a welcome change from what has been a long, long winter season. I am starting to believe that summer might just come after all, with it’s barbecues, and sangria, and sun dresses, and long, long evenings outside.