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Showing posts with label reflection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reflection. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Here comes the sun

Poetry Month always comes at this time of year: April, when I'm weighed down with school work and coming out of (hopefully) the stark sad of winter. 

I must admit, I haven't been so inspired. 

This winter has been long and cold and snow-filled. I think we've all taken a beating, you know? Amidst all the funk of below-zero temps and incapacitating snow, my job shifted a bit and granted me more freedom to feel... that loneliness. 

I'm not trying to complain here, maybe just reminisce about the winter behind (because I'm only going on and up), but after last year's loss, I think there is a hole that I still haven't learned to fill completely. 

The good things have been monumental really: poetry readings with amazing friends and colleagues, a lovely partner who supports and understands, selling art and feeling proud for it, connecting with photography, beautiful skies and concrete, all of it. So much of it. 

The hope is in the weather breaking, the renewal of life and love and getting something back from the world. Always. 

So this note is just to breathe and digest. I hope you are all doing the same. Especially all my local peeps... We've earned it after this winter. Be solid. Hang tight. The sun is coming...


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The house across the street

I look. 

I can't help it. It's right across the street. It's a worn white house with ugly brown trim. Looking at it, I can't quite point out exactly what it is... why it looks as if it's caving in on itself. But it does. 

When I moved in, my roommate told me the story. 

A man lived there, a big man, with no family. Nobody really knew him. Middle-aged. He shot himself a year or so ago. Pretty sad. Could it be any sadder, really? And since then, it's quirks have haunted me. 

It's been only about five or six times, but sometimes a car will be there. On a Sunday. Once I saw a small gathering, a few men and a woman, purveying it from the sidewalk. Solemn. 

Sometimes, a light will be on outside. I'll run a few errands, come back, and it'll be out. I don't think it's motion-activated. I've tested that theory. Sometimes, and this is the worst, the screen door will fly open. It will stay that way for days, flapping. I don't dare close it. I've never come that close. 


A small driveway, severely sloped and stout, falls into it like an open mouth, a garage tucked neatly below. And, on a morning not too long ago (aptly during the deep freeze of this winter), I heard a gushing sound emanating from it's eerie cavern. Water line, I'm sure. And I had to call the cops.

"Who owns it? Does anyone live there?"

And somehow I was explaining my haunt to a policeman, leaving out all of my paranoia. 

I don't know what it means or if it will ever be sold or demolished. But it's part of my (nearly) everyday. And I just wanted to say it somewhere. I'm sure we all have these things. I've even dreamed about the place, the man inside who I've never met. 

Do you have something like that? Something that scares you, a constant reminder of your mortality? 

That's just one of mine. 

mt

Friday, January 3, 2014

Post-holiday meditation

The holidays are over. It's officially 2014. I know I said it last time this season rolled around, but I'm so ready for a reprieve from the bullshit. Was 2013 been good for anyone?

It sucks because there were so many good things and good people and good, good adventures to come in 2013, but it seems it was overshadowed by the worst: loss. I've abstained from writing about D, because I'm sure it is old news. But I miss her. And 2014 hit me like a bag of potatoes, square in the gut.

And then there's gram.

It is harder to watch those you love grieve than to actually grieve yourself, I think. This Christmas we spent at my uncle's—something new entirely. But it was ok. I mean, as ok as it could be for my family who desperately missed their matriarch.

On a bright note, I made many gifts this year. It wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. I took my time and I really planned it out. Block printing is a new love of mine. I made this guy for my mom. I painted that frame too! (: I hope to get better at it... it's just so-so. But boy how fun is it! Abbie and I both have gotten into it.

...

I know you're waiting for my resolutions. Every year I railst on about all the things I want to change, how I want to be stronger, etc. Boy, do I have some resolutions. Everyone should, right? I think you have to keep growing, keep trying to grow. So by the time you're 80... you can be awesome. HAHA. I mean. (;

I did make a little doodle, but I have a real list to come. We're going to save that for another post. I still have some mad reflecting to do.

What are your resolutions? Have you reflected on the year?

Soon, kiddies. <3 p="">mt

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving thanks and feeling cranks

In my adult years, the holidays are somehow always plagued by ailments, warring family members, work or my period. I've been secretly coveting a severe case of PMS this Thanksgiving. Good food and laughs have helped. The game Cards Against Humanity is like the devil's version of Apples to Apples... if I believed in the devil. So more like the naughtier, funnier, adult version. You can print it out for free, I believe.

To enlighten you on some of the shenanigins that took place this eve with Abbie's brother and dad and brother's girlfriend... some of the "answer" cards read as follows: "Justin Bieber," "trying to pick up girls at the abortion clinic," "Taint: grundle, fleshy fun-bridge," "Daddy issues," "inferiority complex," "Rush Limbaugh's soft, shitty body," ...ah. HAHAHA

So aside from those fun times, I've been slacking on the blog deal; honestly, it's because I can't say much on here. I refuse to speak about either of my jobs, because I mean... it is the internet and it's all up for grabs. Just frustrated with the state of things. I'll leave it at that.

About the Poem-A-Day November contest (with prompts provided by Poetic Asides on WritersDigest.com): I've been keeping up fairly well. I've been writing about strange topics that I haven't thought about in years. It's like finally realizing why your shoes have been a little sticky after miles of walking. Like you just noticed it. So you stop and find there's a piece of someone's chewed up Big Red stuck under there or something. Maybe it was time to stop and figure out what's been sticky for me—namely, things from my distant past. No one wants to confront that garbage.

Today's prompt is to write a "bird poem," whatever that might be. So, you know, if you like to write for any reason at all... consider this your reason to write today (whenever you stumble upon this blog.) Stop EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! And write a damn bird poem, ok?

And, of course, I can't have Thanksgiving entry with some sap tangent on what I'm thankful for. There is so much to be thankful for; I wish there was more than one day a year to remind me of it. So... in the spirit of Thanksgiving:


  • I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my friends and my roommate. I'm thankful for my friends who have stood in as family, with whom I have shared countless holidays and meals and bonding time.
  • I'm thankful for warm socks and boots and soft scarves. I'm thankful for the snow that makes me feel cozier. I'm thankful for my bed and all the things in my room that I have been meticulously making and designing and "perfecting." I'm thankful for my tiny tree.
  • I'm thankful for my time. I'm thankful for the time with people that matter. I'm thankful that I got to spend time knowing someone super special, even if she passed away this year. I'm thankful that it's given me a new perspective, importance. I'm thankful that I ever met her. I'm thankful that I got to be a part of the last year and a half of her life.
  • I'm thankful for getting to know who is true this year—more than any year yet. I guess I realize how crazy my life has been, and always seems to be, really. I hope that it gets better and I can get better for everyone. I think I'm on the right track. This has been, by far, the worst year of my life, as far as tragedies and betrayals and ahhh. Just so much. And the people that you think will be there for you forever... are gone. Everyone needs to hug each other rightthissecond.
  • ...but you know what? I'm the best me I've ever been. And it's because of all this. So. Thank you. Thank you for hard times, somehow. And strength that I don't ever believe I have. And thank you for those that have helped me see things in a clearer way. My friend Kelly and lady Abbie in particular. And thank you, Mister Dexter Doots for supportive, understanding cuddles and soft paws and letting me dress you sweater vests and hankies.
  • I'm thankful for not needing anything material-wise, for being self-sufficient and for accomplishing so much in such a shitty year: finding a love, having an art show, getting a book published, sorting so much of myself out, not jumping off a bridge.... ah, for reals on that last one. I can't say enough: thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me, everyone that has.  We'll make it through somehow. <3>


I'll stop blabbing. Maybe I had too much to drink... (;

Much love to you all,
mt

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's with weather

The sky has been loud.

See, most days the only way I know how to feel is from this: sky, weather, the way the sun hits and colors. It's not that I don't wish it could be more personal, but lately the sky has been steering me, been more demanding of me. I'm not used to it.

Just this year have I become unlike myself, my self. I'd like to split them. "Self" as a word seems hokey, but recently it hasn't felt like mine. This shift, I like to believe, is my trying to be healthy, the idea of relying on myself (my self?) for happiness, because this is what we are told to do. This is what I have resisted my whole life, for various reasons.

You shouldn't depend on others for your happiness. It's unhealthy.

I know, I know, I know. Really, at the end of it, there is nothing or no one you can depend on. "Depend" as a word seems faulty now, as does "loyalty" and "whole."

So I'm sitting here in my button-down and my sweater and my khaki-colored corduroys asking: now what? I have shut down. I have shifted. No one has that ability now--or barely. Now that I have lost some sort of connection with "others," or more aptly the "underworld," I have begun looking up for answers? Not for some omnipresent guide or god or being, but for something as simple and surface as weather. C'mon... what's worse?

Today when I stepped outside of my office, around 3:30 p.m., the world seemed at war: grey clouds huddled on top of each other like walls of puffy sandbags; the darker greys poked from beneath and east; and the sun, in an overwhelming orange, surged to topple it all. Every minute or so, a tentacle of light would peek out from its cage of clouds to grab me with an orange fist. I just stared. I don't know what it means... what? But I knew that I felt: "hope." And that pseudo-tangible thing called "sky" could mean things without words or touch.

I may have laughed to myself. I do this sometimes. If the cat isn't around to join me in my tangled thought processes, I talk to myself (which is also new). To be fair, he talks back. Er... meows.

So now, hours later, I'm thinking again (surprise), but... if "hope" were an image, it just might be that sun trying to boulder its way through the clouds--all that brightness and warmth slamming its back against the grey blanket of Earth. And why, then, I hadn't thought that way is beyond me. I mean, it makes complete sense now: maybe the sky is a way of feeling and telling and not really touch, but touching.

And so I thought of the day, the sound of my chiming alarm (one of five alarms set) and the sleepy sun that comes at us earlier than before... I imagined it reaching in with that same fist to shake me awake, to rattle me alive. Why am I resisting?


mt

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blue hour

Yesterday, I reluctantly turned the page of my work calendar from July to November.

That pretty much sums up the last few months. I think I'm still stuck there... in July. I wish I were going backwards. Like I've admitted before: everything in my world is split into before's and after's. Anytime I find a letter, go to trash an old email, find a photo online, or open up to an older entry in my journal, I think: What's the date? Oh. That was before. And I sit in awe of my younger self, because—albeit months—I am so much older.

I think this experience has dated me to, at least, 50.

Maybe it is the change in time, "falling back," and the earlier sunset, or simply the missing. Not only do I miss a friend, but the pain of "without" seems like it will never let go. And do I want it to? Maybe I'm just sick of the pain. Either way, things have been extremely difficult lately [i.e. getting out of bed, conjuring motivation for responsibilities, breathing].

So there's that, as my roommate would so aptly mimic me.

Last night, as we sat across from each other at Panera, Kelly blew my mind.

"Like twilight?" she asked, after I tried to explain the part of the day that is the hardest.

"Well, I call it sundowning, but... yeah, I mean, yeah."

"Hm. You know, all day long you're body is in control. At night, your soul takes over, so, during twilight, you're most vulnerable. You're in transition."

I think my jaw dropped, for real.

My soul takes over...?

"I'm scared of my soul, then," I answered.

Rather than go on to explain or rattle off a list of the whys [I'd rather smush myself into a tiny hole for the rest of my life and never emerge], I'll stop. I'll just stop here.

mt

Monday, October 21, 2013

I've been "Searching My Soul Tonight"...


Georgia: "So what makes your problems bigger than everyone else's'?" 

Ally: "They're mine."


I think watching this show at such a crucial point in my life has turned me into the beloved main character, Ally McBeal. Just sayin'.

Ally: I like being a mess. It's who I am.


I have hardly admitted this trash to myself, but seeing it on the screen with a skinny-as-I've-always-wanted-to-be actress playing it out—I can't ignore it.

I'm nearly typed, "This troubles me," but stopped myself. Ha!

mt

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Triumphs and wrecking into walls

Ugh. I'm ok. Everyone is all right.

Life continues to test me... Maybe? If I were religious, I'd fall back on the solace:

"God doesn't give you what you can't handle."

A friend said this once, and though, I don't subscribe, it stuck. I'd like to believe it. Hell, I'd like to believe there is nothing I can't handle. And after this year (the past two years, really), I'm thinking something otherworldly is going on. Or I'm being Punk'd. And Ashton Kutcher is about to pop up at any moment to apologize and laugh. We can all laugh. I'm already laughing...

So last Wednesday (Abbie's birthday, by the way) whilst parking, I rammed my car into someone's retaining wall. Up over a sidewalk, bending my wheel and flattening my tire, then SMACK...er CRUNCH. Like I said, everyone is ok; it's being handled. Still, the money and the nuisance of it are enough to have me thinking I've got some kind of curse going on. Abbie tells me 25 and 27 are transitional years and planets are shifting and rocking their orbits. Something. I don't know. I'm now 28.  The jig is up, Universe.

But along with the grief and the loss and the changes and the confusion and the theft (yes, there was some credit theft thrown in there too)... there have been good things. Great things even. 

This weekend was my art show at The Headkeeper in Greensburg. I'm always so humbled by the turnout—the friends and acquaintances from every part of my life coming together for me and my paintings. I find that after two shows, this one being my second, there is no greater feeling than that type of appreciation. Who knew people would come to like my scribbles?

I'm lucky. 

That's what everyone wants to hear. And they are right. I am. It's not that I don't appreciate it all, because I do, but all of my good fortune seems to be overshadowed by (or at least in battle with) some really grey clouds.

I come here to bitch. I come here to ask WHY of the world. Who knows. I'm blogging today, you know, and I'm reminded to look up this "Job" character from the Bible. Kelly keeps telling me to read about him. I did. I don't know... I mean, we know how I feel about religion. But I like the gist—I like what it's telling us, according to some author trying to analyze:


If the Book of Job reaches across two and a half millennia to teach anything to men and women who consider themselves normal, decent human beings, it is this: Human beings are sure to wander in ignorance and to fall into error, and it is better — more righteous in the eyes of God — for them to react by questioning rather than accepting. Confronted with inexplicable injustice, it is better to be irate than resigned.
William SafireThe First Dissident[3]



Irate! iRate? iResign?

Listen, everything is going to be fine. I keep saying it. I keep saying it to tell myself. Assure.

On another note, I finally got my moon phase tattoo... on D's birthday. She hated tattoos. She hated the idea of my inking myself; however, she grew to love my paper plane after some time. And since she always said I was the moon... I think it's ok to have something that reminds me. That I am. I didn't get it solely for her or because of her, but I got it FINALLY after over a year of loving on it.






I'm phasing. I swear... this has to turn out on its upside, yeah?


Be good,
mt

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Carrying

Some days it's all I see: the people hurting, the people not getting enough of what they need. The need itself is startling. I guess I'm just amazed at how much we do need—how much we need and hate owning up to it.

Pride stands in the way of many things, but this shouldn't be one of them.

I know what it's like to need—to need so badly you want to rip your guts out and cuddle them yourself. It's achy like your legs after a run. You know that feeling when you're in bed and it's late and you can't stop kicking around, because... it isn't a sharp pain, but it's uncomfortable (your legs).

For me, the only thing worse than that pain (in respect to needs) is watching other people experience it.

Why? Why do I think I'm some Superman? I don't. I know I can't save you, as much as I wish, wish, wish. But I can, at least, be the pillow you rest your achy legs on or the rain that comes to sing you to sleep at last.

Sometimes it feels like I'm carrying around everyone with me: the pain and the disappointment, the insecurities most of all. It's not about being a martyr or a saint or a Superman-wannabe. It's about knowing how it feels, experiencing it so much (becoming a pro at it, even) that seeing anyone else go through it breaks my heart.

I am the thing I needed.

Isn't that crazy?

Kelly once told me that we support people in the ways we want to be supported. We weren't talking about emotional support necessarily, but I think it applies. And ever since she said that, I can't forget it. The downside, though, is that sometimes the way we want to be treated isn't the way the other wants to be.

Learning.

I don't want it ever to stop, though: the supporting. I don't want people to know how heavy it can be to carry them, and then stop allowing me to be there. Carrying heals me too. All the sad from before is slowly being washed away... the gently push of the tide (back and forth) until little by little, one sharp edge at a time, it reaches the sand. The sadness dries up there in the sun, the only happy. Constant.

mt




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The new routine

Finally, it's not as sharp as knives. I'm learning to live without my best friend. The routine is going back, back to a time when I didn't know her or need her. I talk to her ghost less and less. I pretty much stopped journaling and poeming in. 

I feel void. 

I haven't been back. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Without

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Two-grief kind of day, maybe?

Sometimes it feels like someone pulled the bones from my body. Like a walking (somehow?) jellyfish. Sometimes I don't know how to stand up, don't know how to breathe. I forget what beautiful looks like. Isn't that horrible? Sun or rain, I don't care to be outside. I don't care to be a part of anything.

I guess it is that finite. Death. And that world doesn't interest me, permanence, black and white. It's forever that we all want, right? For everything to exist in a higher plane, for a better reason. And I think... for that year and a half it did. Finally. I had the feeling of "more." And I'm not ready to go back to what this is. This is no substitute or alternative. Not after the knowing.

It sounds dead-ended. It sounds desperate and depressed. I'm ok. I'm living, doing that thing everyone else is doing. Yes, sometimes feeling like a zombie, sometimes a human shed of its skeleton.

If I could only be empowered by this, take the lessons and the love and build on that to go forward, but those moments are fleeting. Minutes. Until the memories take over. And I can be in mid-sentence or mid-laugh and my guts fill up my brain and then... fuzz cloud.

How can I live now? How do I live now? How do I hold up everything, keep it together? I just haven't got a clue. And this writing, only here...

This is me trying to figure everything out.

xo
mt




Saturday, December 8, 2012

Auto-Bio | Your Homework

One of the most difficult feats I have yet to really master as a writer is the bio. For most journals, both online and in-print, it's typical to be asked for a "brief bio." Shit, even if you aren't a writer, how many social media sites these days are speckled with an array of text boxes that require some condensed verbiage of yourself. Likes and dislikes. Authors. Movies. Books. Music. Television show. Ice cream flavor. C'mon. Technology has not only allowed us to connect with the world, but in a way, define ourselves for the world. In words. Scary!

And so when people scoff at writing, in particular, English Composition, I have to wonder what in the hell world they live in. The Internet, smartphones included, has made life more interesting, certainly, and to the surprise of many: language both more important and somehow... it's gotten worse, skill-wise?

I'm sure it began with the short snippets of text messages. U no txts r quick n make room 4 errors & short sloppy spellings 2. But when did we become so lax as to allow for this? I mean, I'm not sure I could even consider dating someone with a horrible vocabulary, much less a lazy language of text-speak and misspellings. LMAO! (;

I'm off topic.

What I wanted to speak to is the laborious task of summing up oneself. When was the last time you had to do this? Have you ever? What did you say?

For writing submissions, it's easier. Really, any specialized venue in this way, at least, gives you some focus. But, for example, what does one do with the small info box at the top of his or her Pinterest page? Twitter? Facebook? I usually go about it randomly. Whatever pops into my head—which usually ends up being completely inane, you know?

My homework for you, those who dare attempt: write a general bio for yourself. Three to four sentences. Pretend your audience needs to really KNOW you. Not only is this a study in using language in a concise way, but really picking yourself apart to extract what you think it most important about you.

I want to know you! Go!

mt

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Sestina

Who chooses it? What it is that they want, that is. I tap my brain for hours wanting and desiring, and then hours more wondering why it is that I want what I want. Pretty unproductive, no? It can be as simple as choosing the type of syrup you want in your Dunkin Donuts Latte Lite or as overwhelming as that horrible what-do-I-want-to-do-with-the-rest-of-my-life decision. As autonomous beings, we have the right to choose (most times) but why—that's my question. And it's "loaded." And it "depends." And some are just riskier in their choices than others, am I right? Musing here.

I think that's the problem with thinkers—and by thinkers I'm not speaking about the cerebral type necessarily. I don't mean SMART people. You don't have to be smart to be a thinker, necessarily. Over-analytical. But yes, back to the problem. I've met so many people that spend more time in limbo (to be or not to be?) than actually doing anything. Now, I'm not going to come down on myself and say I don't get shit done. Because trust me, I'm busy. I get lots done; however, I think I'd get more accomplished if I could be more definitive in my thought process.

Where is this going? Sestinas, of course. What is it in me that feels this great need to keep writing these stupid things? Do you know what a sestina is? Do you care? Probs not. I know most people don't even perk up at the mention of poetry, let alone a lost form like the sestina. I mean, look at this chart, man. It's scary enough to picture a 39-line poem in your head (with repeating end rhymes!) but to witness it as this monochrome maelstrom of lyrics... shit.

Here is the point in this nonsensical entry where you tell me about what you want... things that don't make sense. Is it part of human nature to want what is seemingly unattainable? Better yet, are you decisive? How do you think you've come to be.

And if you're a good person, you'll respond to this guilt trip by filling me in. I need filled in.




sestina.png


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

"Nuggets," I like to call them. Those simple, unabashed moments of clarity when someone says something to you and it finally pokes through at the right moment. We're not all always ready to accept things, you know? We have to be at a certain "point," people say. Pencil-ended as I was on Friday, my dear friend said something that felt monumental to me. And even that sounds dramatic.

Let me also relay to you that "nuggets" don't necessarily denote anything spectacular. We're not talking just epiphanies here. For instance, there was a moment I realized that the scary test of the Emergency Broadcast System wouldn't, in fact, be beeping if there were an emergency. I used to sit in anticipation— face to the TV screen, wringing my little pink hands and listening to the long drone of that too-loud alarm. Clearly, I was waiting for them to instruct us on the emergency I'd need to hide under my bed from. Then there are the many billboards and signs that I see daily but never stop to comprehend fully. For the record, Steak 'n Shake has nothing to do with any type of new-rock dance crazy from the 50's... they're talking MILKshakes, not BOOTYshakes. Perhaps it's just the strange phenomenon of hearing something so often that you never even stop to consider what it actually means. Or my IQ is just slightly high enough to enable me shoe-tying and teeth-brushing capabilities. Ha.

Anyhow, this friend of mine—so wise in the world with such brightness, like the contagious kind—she says to me... "Life is too short to spend it with people that make you feel bad." And something finally sounded to the right parts of me.

Short, sweet and something to digest this snowy Sunday. I hope, at least, a few of you out there are at the "point" where you can gobble this up. Do yourself a favor in 2012... be near the people that make you feel great about you. Chances are, you're an awesome person and you spend way too much time comparing/envying/letting other people dictate your self-worth. And this is no damn revolution. We KNOW we shouldn't. But we do it anyway. So just don't.

Easy, huh? (:
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