Posts tagged #reflection

the word project recap part one: matters of the heart.

8591ccc2792cf31be75e09472da6317bI've been a little preoccupied in my little corner of the world - I started school a few weeks ago and I'm still getting used to the new routine (or rather, getting used to having no time at all). Also, and more specifically, I feel in many ways I am in a cloud of my own thoughts; there is lots going on up there but I haven't quite been able to put it into words for all of you, hence the radio silence. I've found myself going into the archives of my little blog, looking for clues, remembering what I was going through or thinking about when I wrote different entries, surprised (and pleased!) to see such movement in my writing and also in my thinking; the things that used to encompass me maybe not so heavy these days.

I thought I'd do a few roundups in the meantime while I sort myself out, of different themes I've seen present themselves. First up, Matters Of The Heart. Because that's what this whole year keeps circling back to. Probably still more on the heart to come.

vital signs (n). "In this time I have realized that I am so slow to give my heart concern. This is a metaphor, and it is also not a metaphor. It is the most important thing we could ever learn to do."

palpable (adj). "I want few things, but they are all unlikely [to make manifest my songs, my writing, your heart, to summarize]. And I am wondering if that makes me irresponsible to go after one or most of them."

ventricular (adj). "The heart wants what it wants, and it manifests with such funny persistence."

tachycardia (n). "It has shown me that its voice is one to trust, always, always. In all things, the heart is fighting to keep us alive."

Thanks, as always, for visiting, and for cheering me on. It honestly makes my whole world.


orchestrate (v).

4b5c1041ac6ad25246c0b72fb840a91aThere is a river running through me that keeps me quite sure, despite disproving evidence in science and philosophy, that there is a rhyme to all of this, there is a story being told, there is something being orchestrated. It is in the ringing of my heart when I sit with a dear friend, easy and kind. It is in the sweetness of sunday walks, the returning of spring, the city of people that keep me standing. It is in the funny phrases that wake me up and compel me to create. It is in the writing or whispering of your name; it makes me sure, very sure, that this river is leading somewhere.

bungle (v).

7b9d430bdfc20efc2deb989c54ba11b2I am not old, but I have made mistakes in love. Love is a dance of opening or not opening, and I have been foolish, at times, in choices of accessibility and exposure. I have, at times, been hasty, I have been greedy, I have been flippant and impartial. I have held too tightly, I have been clumsy with my grip. I have loved those who are not for me to love, I have said goodbye to good and noble men. I am not old, but I have made mistakes.

momentous (adj).

fc5415b35fc142f0077385f9b44ca1afToday I am another year older. In the last year, I started university, learned a lot about Love (and also Not-Love), wrote quiet poetry, started drinking smoothies religiously and putting coconut oil in my hair, walked across a country, played a lot of shows, almost made it through Breaking Bad (seven more episodes!) and have kept a plant alive for five months and counting (new record). There is so little that I can project about even the nearest future; I feel as if I have shifted significantly in this last year, what I used to be drawn to I am now unimpressed with. My paradigms have shifted significantly. My scope has grown. There are four thousand new questions I didn't know existed that are daily pumping through my heart. I am dreaming about places I want to go and jobs I'd like to have, people I'd like to talk to and new hobbies I'd like to acquire (like surfing and maybe one day be an enjoyable scrabble opponent). All of this wavering and wandering, I am certain, is a perfect mid-twenties existential crisis. Let us all cheers the uncertainty with another piece of cake.

ode (n).

2677c3ce40993d378f47a2cd173337b0The other day I was on a plane. We were flying along the coast of California (may I just say, what a lovely place to be- California, not the plane, naturally). And when you're high above the ocean you get this really clear sense of the scope of its reach. It's not like flying over a city, when the cars and buildings get smaller and it puts into perspective the impermanence of everything we build. No. Getting a good look at the sea from far away only makes it more grand and mysterious. I wonder what it's like, to have that much room, and to hold so many things, and to have so many different faces, like the treacherous waves and the cool exotic beaches; the surf and the foamy edges of the eastern shore; the quiet narrow bays of the Pacific North West, the wildness at which it throws itself at the cliffs of Dover. I wonder what it's like, to be the very vessel that baptizes us, feeds us, and can seal our fate. The terror and the majesty. The power and the peace.

meager (adj).

79c4a30d31bc5b2824ba847269b1f08dYou loved me once, or something like it. Maybe just the outskirts of love, like that strange blur of streets on the edge of a city that seems like a bit of a messy mesh of stores that aren't sure of themselves, and don't know if rent will come next month. Maybe like the girl ill-dressed for the party, doubting her choices as she pulls at her hem. But there was a version of love there, I'm sure of it, even just for that brief while.

the artist heart.

9834d8e4396fc80f4b2dc7e6fc209d56I'm in the middle of my first real university grind (as I mentioned a few days ago), and it has been raising up a lot of weird feelings all over the place. These last few months of surrendering to the school system has challenged so much in me; I am in this weird paradox of being incredibly bored, and incredibly busy, simultaneously. There are so many feelings coming alive, weird whispers in my spirit, that are battling for attention over these boring assignments that I know (or at least have faith) will be foundational to bettering my writing in the long run (grammar. literary terms. painstaking over-editing. critiquing. the like). Daily, I am being challenged to find the time in the middle of the grind to find room for art and writing. The artist in me is being challenged. The heart song is being challenged. If nothing else, I am learning how many hours there truly are in a day for us to use. If nothing else, I am remembering the hunger for creating. The need to create. The need to find words for things and to make pretty things for other people to enjoy. Because we don't have all the time in the world. If it's not school it's going to be an entry-level job, or a deadline, or (maybe in thirty years), hungry babies that will need to be fed and entertained and doted on. It's 3pm and I didn't do my laundry. I didn't go to yoga. I didn't finish the essay draft I should have done. I slept in, made two pots of coffee, and sat still. And then my mom called. I haven't showered and I have to be at work in an hour and a half. Today my body said no to it all. My brain has shut down in protest. I have days like this every once in a while, where my whole self just can't sprint like our world has demanded us to. Especially as artists, we are not meant to work our world into a hazy whirlwind. We are not machines, we are this funny breed of organic plant that needs constant bouts of encouragement, inspiration, and tea. We are supposed to slow down, and stop. And watch. And observe. Take in the characteristics of what it's like to be human, and all of the messy complications and all of the beautiful things about that. Inconveniently, my artist heart stepped in today and is feeling swollen and needs some tending to, and I can barely tend to it. But this is the lesson, isn't it? Isn't this living? To find the things that we can't ignore, and clear the room for them to grow and thrive and exist organically.

Those sweet words by Rilke are pulsing in every space, today, this week, this season, and I know the words like I know my favorite song:

"Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it mean sot live as an artist: in understanding as in creating. In this there is no measuring of time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything."



hint (n).

3d28b8b09287cee34384c2d92de54766I know you would deny it, but I really did see a flicker of your full self, open; just a few times. When I would ramble and you would brush the hair from my eyes, when I would say goodbye and you would come back for a kiss, when you would crack and laugh at true absurdity, and once we danced and I caught you singing. I saw it, only slightly, but I hope that you find a way someday to participate in some vulnerability, more than few-second increments, because Open looks good on you.

revelation (n).

48c411df269c217728d43f1cf8a51ab8When you have all the time in the world alone with your mind, you start to realize the deep grooves of the tunnels your mind wanders down. Doubt and Wavering are both well paved, but need to be barricaded, really. What You'd Like To Eat is shockingly common, as is What You Could've Said, Or Not Said, and What You Could've Done, Or Not Done. You start to spend more time on What You Are and What You Are Not. You start road work on What You're Good At, and realize all the people you'd like to stick around for the road trip. You think about Love of course, and All Love's Follies, and the kind of love you want and the kind you want to give and just how vast and gripping it can be, and you see what responsibility it is to hold another so completely. And the strange grooves all form a funny track in the middle of your chest, either etching toward What You Choose Because Of Fear, or, Where You Go Because It Sets Your Heart on Fire.

And I want to be a girl ablaze.

Belorado to Agés, to Burgos.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageMy evening in Belorado was simply beautiful. Six of us got together and bought a bunch of veggies and pasta (and a LOT of garlic of course) and hazelnut Milka bars for dessert and 2€ bottles of Rioja wine and shared bread and ate dinner. It was rainy and yucky and a tiny town so we stayed in and stayed up until curfew; in some ways I feel like I'm working at summer camp again with bunks and sleeping bags, shared, moderately damp bathrooms, zero privacy, shared meals, and getting close to new friends at a rapid pace. 

Our walk to Agés was pretty rainy in the morning, but still very pretty. The terrain was hilly with strange forest trees that had black trunks, and the road was a red clay which, when mixed with the SNOW I walked through for a few hours, turned orange. 
I decided to walk most of the day alone, and I am so glad I did so. It has been so refreshing to walk for hours and hours. I feel my mind doing serious spring cleaning, and I'm surprising myself with the whole process, what my mind brings to the forefront.... Been thinking a lot about my music this trip, which is sort of surprising because I've put it on the back burner for the whole winter, and have kind of half assed music in general; maybe not half assed it, but I've been hesitant to pursue it, and there is this renewed longing to rediscover my artist heart and see what comes out of it. It feels good.
We stayed (again) in a tiny town last night, and the seven I've been traveling with sat at a big table from seven pm on and had wine and ordered mediocre pizzas from the albergue. 
Today's walk was misty and cool and a little foggy (it was perfect). We walked through rocky terrain and passed some sheep (shown above, obviously). The view 16k from Burgos was, I think, my favorite sight so far, you could see valleys and hills for miles and Burgos tucked in between, with misty grey clouds and clear skies cracking through ever so slightly. 
The second half of the walk was terrible scenery: I walked beside the highway for most of it, and when not beside a highway there was a factory or the place random furniture goes to die. We celebrated making it through the dull industrial scenery with an all you can eat Chinese buffet, which actually tasted amazing. We rolled our stuffed selves to Hotel Bulevar to avoid the snorers for a night and to not have a curfew and to sleep in; a few of us are splitting after today so our little crew is celebrating tonight! 
Tomorrow Stef and I will take a bus to skip a few days; sort of embarrassing to admit, I'd love to say I walked the absolute entire thing, but I am behind by a few days and we both have a deadline to meet so we have to skip a few towns. I think we will go to Léon and walk the last 315k's (still nothing to scoff at I suppose!).
Learning more and more about being kind to myself and trusting what my body needs (like more chocolate for instance), and I hope you can think on how you can be more and more kind to yourself too.
Posted on April 30, 2013 and filed under from jess-.

happy birthday to me.

90e47da2defcb89ad68db44ebcb20522It's my birthday today! I've already had an amazing weekend; I got pampered and spoiled and had an especially yummy dinner at  Salt on Saturday, and tonight I'm having some bests come over for some home-cooked dinner and a few bottles of wine. It's been an incredibly formative year for me; I feel like I've come into my own more than any other year, I have executed on a lot of goals and aspirations, I have gained confidence in my voice as an artist, I have developed in my artistic endeavours... This next year promises a lot of changes with the new adventure of school, but first a giant walk-about Spain, some tricky music projects up my sleeve, and of course taking it upon myself to finally learn to cook (doubtful that I'll get around to that).

Thanks to all who have encouraged me constantly and cheered me on, I am a lucky girl and truly thankful for the city of people who take care of me.



Posted on March 11, 2013 and filed under from jess-.