25 April 2010



Hi EndOfApril!  I so did not expect to see you here so soon!

If I would have known you were coming, I would have finished so much more shit on my to-do list/cleaned my winter weary cobweb riddled windows/shaved my legs.  (That last one's a stretch but I try to go all out for guests, even if they're unexpected and temporary.)

Since you really surprised me this time (no, really, it is ok, really, seriously... seriously it's fine...  It will be fine...) I didn't get groceries/meet deadlines/practice choir/call anyone back that I was supposed to.  But you know I can pull a party out of nowhere so let's get shakin'.  Would saltines and cheap vodka and ginger ale be ok?  What's that?  You're on a no-carb diet?  Is that a crack on my gaining weight instead of losing it before my best friends' wedding in a month and a half that I haven't finished planning the bachelorette party for yet?  (Ok.  You're going to have to lay off, I told you this is a surprise visit.)  No?  Well my apologies, it's just that's what I have leftover from my little nausea episode last week.

No, no, no chance it was morning sickness.  Thanks for asking I guess, you're the 3rd person so I guess I still seem like I might be having fun/getting some action/being irresponsible.

Seriously, you don't have to go.  What's that?  May is on his way?!?!?!?  Well f#*@.  You can't just stay a little longer instead, make him wait a little?  Fine.  No, it's fine.  Have a nice year I guess.  I'll see you again in threehundredwhatever days.  (What now?  If I knew the exact amount of days maybe you wouldn't be a surprise?  You know what, no need to get snarky.  Here, have a saltine for the road.)

20 April 2010


Take a walk with me...

I go to clean out my inbox every once in a while but there are emails that I cannot archive much less delete - emails from my brother Brendan.  They remain in my inbox, the most recent one almost two years old.

I notice tags and stickers, graffiti, street art, on public property everywhere now, some ugly and poorly thought out, others well planned and well executed, real works of art.  I know that the former are probably gang tags, and the latter most likely have nothing to do with turf.  I know this because since Brendan died his friends, many of whom put art on the streets, have done what they can to educate me about the difference.

Sometimes in the morning I eat oatmeal.  Brendan went through a phase when he was small where he would eat instant oatmeal for breakfast everyday, and after one St. Patrick's Day when Dad added green food dye to his bowl, I don't think he ever ate an oatmeal colored bowl again.

Brendan was born on the 20th day of a month.  He died on the 14th day of a different month.  Every month has a 20th and a 14th.  Every so often, a Friday falls on the 13th day of a month.  The last full day Brendan was alive was a Friday the 13th.

I spend a couple days a week standing behind a table at a farmers market and I get to see lots of people, lots of families walk by.  There are some boys that have very blonde curly hair.  That's what Brendan looked like when he was a child.

Sometimes in a conversation it is relevant for someone to bring up their siblings.  Many other women have younger brothers.  Brendan was my younger brother. 

Most of us every day will deal with font and typeface.  Most of us don't know the difference.  I found out from his graphic design colleagues that people using those terms interchangeably was a huge pet peeve for Brendan.  I also found out that he "didn't do bullet points" in presentations.  I use bullet points.  Since he died, I question whether I really need to.

Do not hesitate in conversation with me out of fear of reminding me of Brendan or that he died - I would rather you say something that could sound insensitive and have it in front of us than see your pause and the flicker of worry behind your eyes. I need no reminder; my brother, and his absence, are always present.  Better you share in it with me than keep yourself at arms length from my honesty - it is much warmer here walking closer to me.

15 April 2010

Great Advice

"No ONE, I repeat, No ONE ever gives you the message that your 20s are going to be hard, do they? It's a vital message that I missed or was too cheeky to hear until suddenly I found myself in the throes of it and was, like, "shit this is really hard." 20s = tough times. Just climb your way, tool and nail, up to 30 and then have a drink."

I really hope she doesn't mind me quoting her again.  After a rough patch and a brief exchange of messages, I found this in my inbox, and it was like a warm blanket on a cold day.

12 April 2010

Tired Heart

We say goodnight and he catches me off guard when he says, "Think about what you said about your heart...  That doesn't sound like you."
I was so tired but thought I had enough bravado in me when I slipped earlier in the conversation and said something about the state of my heart.  "I've given too much of my heart.  Now my heart's tired."  I said thinking we could casually move past that as it wasn't something I considered much before I said it out loud and now that it was out loud I realized I didn't want to dwell.
It doesn't sound like me, he's right.  But I am tired.  My heart is tired, a little hopeful, a little sad, confused, and pulled in many a direction.
Spring is here.  Change, and new hope, will be her gifts. 

09 April 2010


I have got such a girl crush...

"Of all your work, you are the most beautiful.  The most beautiful work of all."

-Patti Smith in her last letter to Robert Mapplethorpe.

06 April 2010


Some thoughts on Neruda.

This should be a verb.  To Neruda is to be swept away in moment of blissful beauty, of romance, of love and warmth.

I cannot say whether I'd feel this way if he wrote his poems first in English but if for him along I am so fortunate to know Spanish.

I know little of his work, mostly I've read the Veinte poemas de amor (20 Love Poems) and the Cancion desesperada (Desperate Song, but usually with very little focus, always wanting to return to the 20 poems), and the Cien sonetos de amor (100 Love Sonnets). 

While some lines, so lyrical and seducing in spanish, seem almost spooky in english (I like when you are silent because it's like you're absent sounds so tender when it's Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente...)* some seem to have a love in them that transcends literal reading in any language.  Se que existes no solo porque tus ojos vuelan / y dan luz a las cosas como ventana abierta  he writes - I know that you exist not only because your eyes fly / and give light to things like an open window.** 

Read more poetry.  Learn another language.  Love bigger, love more, and love with beauty. 

Please excuse the lack of spanish punctiation as I can't figure out how to do that on here.
*Poema 15 de Veinte poemas de amor
**Soneto XV de Cien sonetos de amor
Poems by Pablo Neruda, with [loose and probably mistaken, but who cares it's poetry] translations by me.

01 April 2010

Country Song

We did burn brightly didn't we?

We were a beautiful story, a true romance you only read about. 
I changed my curvy wandering path to nest where you had to be.  I played a roll because I wanted to be the most you could love.  You wrote me love songs because you wanted me to be enough, but really you hadn't yet found the bottom of the hole that you needed to fix before somebody else could fill it.

We knew we were going to love each other the second time we ever met.  I knew my children would have your humor, your eyes, your fingers.  I hoped they would have my humor, my honesty, my politics. 
I felt what I never knew I could feel, a faith in the unknown, an exhilarating fear; awash in my new-found adulthood I said I would follow wherever you needed to be - I was willing to make my life fit the shape of yours, and I almost completely convinced myself I wouldn't be giving up too much.

I heard the rose song tonight and I feel a heaviness in my chest.  When it was good, it was so good, wasn't it?

Even at the end there were moments when delusion outweighed sadness, and I could envision us making music and love and babies, and living the fantasy that had shined so brightly not but 18 months earlier.  You would sing a song you had written for me, or the everything song, or the rose song, and for that moment love softened misery and I didn't want to run away.

I learned to take care of the rose bushes at our house together.  When we moved in they were neglected and ugly.  When we moved out, at different times and each with our own scars, they were gorgeous.  That's another country song right there, isn't it?