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Our Story (Me and My Blog, Obviously)

The essential sustenance for contemporary aliveness. What does that mean? Who am I and what qualifies me to talk about such things?And why would I want to spend my time blogging about it?

I think these questions would best be answered out of order, so if you wish, just try to follow along.

I’m a young adult living in a big city trying to figure out the things I most need to make a happy, fulfilling life in today’s world. If I’m being honest, which I usually am being, then I must reveal that I don’t think I have a whole lot of qualifications. I’m not always happy and I’m not always sure what it means to feel fulfilled. However, I am alive (maybe the most essential qualification) and I hope to continue wanting to be. When I moved to this big city I spent quite a lot of time ‘being’ here and not enough time ‘living’ here. This blog is about the things that help me make that transition.

As for the blog, I’m mostly writing it for myself. If you haven’t noticed, I like talking about myself and I have a lot of free time to do that. Writing, for me at least, tends to be a fun hobby that can sometimes illuminate what it is I’m really thinking and feeling. Recently though, I have decided that the human experience is not always a solo one. If I find something to be enjoyable and worth while I would be willing to bet (no, I’m not a gambler) that other people would find a similar joy. This blog is for sharing in the hopes that someone else will relate to me.

Finally, this is just a hobby. I’m not willing to spend the $4 to take ‘food’ out of my url and the best quality any photo I post will most likely be only as good as the iPhone camera gets. I think, overall, I would feel much more alive spending that $4 on literally anything else.

Can We Still Have It All?

I wish I had stopped him from boarding that plane

even though I knew he had to leave either way

I hope when he landed he felt me waiting over here

holding the umbrella he left me last year

you see, I’d stopped writing and that wasn’t like me

but I found new words through these apologies

and so much love that seemed to be lost

it’s not run out like what I thought

leaving someone who isn’t meant to be

shouldn’t be this hard, it should be relief

of course I was lonely, he wasn’t here with me

of course I was scared, it was vulnerability

today I know that I’m all in

and I’m not changing my mind again

I  just need him to remember that big blue house

or the dog named Goose we talked about

because I might not love dogs

but I’d like our dog

I’d like our house and our friends and our city

our life together would be really happy

he needs some time to think it through?

I already know he’s the one I choose

I have the time available for taking

when he’s ready, I’ll be waiting

should I need to be more straightforward

I can chalk it all up to just a few words

Just one line will paraphrase:

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the rain

-EKJ

Will I ever like mornings?

I woke up this morning the same way I’ve woken up the whole summer, snoozing my alarm until it’s ten minutes past the point of me being able to get ready in time to not be late for work and feeling like I’m in desperate need of some kind of change. Maybe if I cut off all my hair I would feel different. Maybe I just need to redecorate my apartment. Maybe what I really need is to quit my job, start working at a coffee shop, and spend all of my spare time writing poetry. The only certain thing in life is that it is always changing, and somehow, in this interim of almost being done with school and almost being done living in the city that currently claims me and almost starting a new part (I would say chapter but it feels slightly bigger than that), I feel like I walked through drying cement barefoot. Maybe this is my minds way of preparing me for the changes that are coming my way. Or maybe it really is past the time for me to make that appointment at the hair salon.

It can still be your song

You both like the song. It’s a good song. Right now, you think that song is ‘our’ song. It’s one of the things you share. When you are no longer with him it cannot be shared. Couples who are no longer together don’t share things. That’s why ex-husbands and ex-wives get lawyers. They can’t agree on who gets what. But that restaurant that you used to go to together? It’s not one of the things the lawyers talk about. Neither is this song. This song could continue to be his. He could define those lyrics and that melody. You used to sing and dance along but now you will have to turn down the volume or change the station or, most tragically, take if off your favorites playlist. The better choice? You keep the song. That song can be yours. It should be yours. After all, you both liked the song because it was a good one. So listen to it. While you’re listening to it think about the exact thing you’re doing right then. Be in the moment.If you’re driving, pay attention to the scenery. What does the sky look like? Think about how damn capable you are, driving yourself to the grocery store. If you’re running, smile and feel how strong your legs are. Run and breathe to a rhythm in time with the song. And next time you hear it?This can be the memory you think of. Redefine that song by reliving listening to that song. It can still be yours. It can still be good.

-EKJ

I saw graffiti on a park bench and wondered why someone would want his/her neighborhood looking bad

When you were little and you were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, did you imagine all of the possible lives you could have lived?

Doctor. Author. Lawyer. Hairstylist. Scientist. Accountant. Clothing Designer. Architect.

I always felt that I was expected to choose. That I would eventually commit myself to one sole profession and that is how I would identify myself. I would be a doctor OR I would be a clothing designer.

This weekend Benjamin Franklin reminded me that having a title doesn’t restrict me to that small area of work, because people are capable of taking on more than one title. Once again, I began thinking of all the things that I might be capable of doing.

Of course, I haven’t jumped into any exciting new projects or written any ideas that might change the world. Instead, I spent last night pondering over the selfish thought that the world is mine to change.

Your World: A philosophical thought experiment.  

You are your neighbor, your teacher and your student, your doctor and your patient, your president and your advisors. You are society. You are the whole world.

If you were living in a world filled with only ‘you’ what kind of world would that be?

Would it be a kind world? Empathetic and understanding? Supportive? Cold and unforgiving?

What about a productive world? Would all of YOU have enough to eat? Would all of YOU survive the next winter? Would you be inventing new ways to make all of YOUR lives better? Would the roads be maintained? Would the buildings keep rising?

I can’t say what my world would look like, but I can tell you that I’m tired of complaining about what it doesn’t look like.

I complain about inconveniences and expect other people to come up with solutions. I complain about having nothing to do, when there is much much more than to be done than what I could ever be capable of doing. I complain about society, but I am part of that society.  This world is mind. This community is mine. This life is mine. It’s time I take ownership.

 

 

Living in the Not Quite Yet

“Wasn’t that enough?”

He was pleading with me

He had told me his secrets

He had let me in his house

I was standing beyond that threshold of a door

in the entry hall

but after one quick glance

I felt ready

(not to stay for dinner)

to take over the kitchen and cook

to see and accept all those spider webs in the attic

to look through the closets

and to lay in his bed

“No”

I was relentless

God, if only I hadn’t said it so seriously

But it wasn’t enough

And now

faced with this question

I wasn’t sure if anything

save everything he had to give

was ever going to be enough

I still wish I could go back

and change my answer

Give myself the chance to appreciate what I was given

Allow him the feeling of having given at all

“For Now”

I would say

-EKJ

 

Sarah

You say you’re cold all the time,

but I think the reason you need the extra sweater

is because you run warm.

The warmer you are,

the colder everyone else must feel.

I know how people surrounding you

are always trying to find a way

to bask in your warmth.

I know, because I’m one of them.

It happens to you

when music touches your skin

and we can see it flow right through you.

It’s light and free

and people might question

whether your movements

are good dancing,

or bad dancing.

All we know for sure

is that we’d like to join you.

We’d like to get taken to that space you occupy,

where the fireflies look like fairies.

The kind of place where you don’t just see emotion,

you are able to feel it quite deeply.

We want to taste sweet sangria

and laugh so loud it’s shocking

(we forgot we were capable of laughing that hard).

We want to thaw in the shelter

of that feeling you give off,

because that feeling,

it’s sunshine.

Sarah,

we want to dance with you.

-EKJ

 

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When I Was 16

When I was 16

I went to a lavender farm.

The whole field was purple

and swarming with bees

and the scent enveloped me

in the most irresistible calm

I’d ever felt.

Now I try to bring that feeling home with me.

I put the purple flowers in the vase

on my windowsill,

I diffuse oil,

I imagine myself

walking through that field.

It’s never quite the same.

When I was 16

I took my first pilates class.

The instructor’s voice

was almost hypnotic

and the ceiling fan

was pushing waves of air over me

like some sort of great relief,

like all of my bad energy

was being washed away

and I suddenly understood why

there were people who believed

in the possibility of achieving enlightenment.

I don’t enjoy workout classes the way that I used to,

maybe I just haven’t found the right one.

I still sleep with my ceiling fan on

whenever I have access to one.

It doesn’t help me fall asleep

the way that it used to.

When I was 16

I thought my ten year plan

was a sure thing because

I’d written it in pen.

That confidence in the future

isn’t really something I go looking for anymore.

I know I’m going to look back on 22

and wish I could find some part of myself

that I left here, I just really can’t imagine

what part that is.

-EKJ