irrepressible beauty

tonight my vision was obscured by the vivid glare of the sun as i danced in a field of my childhood. ever since i was six or seven, this field has been a place i’ve gone to to let my feelings out. when i was little, i would play tag there with one of my friends, and i’ve watched the sunset there obsessively, especially in the spring.

today was the first time i’ve been able to go there this spring. and it was even more beautiful than i remembered.

tonight i drove down one of the backroads near my house with the windows down, singing my favorite songs. i had the opportunity to visit the grave of a friend, as well as another cemetery, where phlox and candytuft were blooming in profusion.

when i got home, i laid in the grass and watched as the the sky turned into a violet haze.

i’m drunk on the beauty of this life, even now. i’m drunk on love, and how it makes us endlessly foolish. on how the sky never looks the same in this place i love. the way i’m crying, thinking about the beautiful things this world has to offer, the beautiful things i’ve known and seen, even after everything.

sometimes i forget how to live, but not today. not right now.

i have hope. hope that things will become free again. that i will live a life i love, that the universe will fall into place exactly the way we need it.

i wish you a life of beauty, loves. i wish you a life of boundless, irrepressible hope.

even in our worst moments.

lit collection #2

(literally all of these come from either pinterest or tumblr, so yeah- i’ll try to give credit to authors and such, but in most cases, i genuinely have no memory of who shared it with me)

the song of achilles, madeline miller (i need to get a copy of this masterpiece)
-“wild geese,” mary oliver
-the god of small things, arundhati roy
causerie (conversation), charles baudelaire
another wonderful line:

“O Beauty, flail of spirits, you know best!”

that’s the lit collection, loves. there are also a few songs whose lyrics really resonate with me recently that i’ve had on repeat, so i may put together a collection of those in the next couple days.

a world of quarantine

“the world is celebrating being alive right now, but that’s happening in the midst of so much worry and fragility. and both of these things are equally true.”

my english teacher said something along these lines earlier this week. i think it pretty much describes what the world is like right now.

i didn’t get around to doing a blog post this week, nor did i do a friday lit wrap-up (i don’t know what i was thinking with starting a weekly series to begin with- i’m horrible at blogging on a schedule -lit wrap-ups will happen when they happen). this week kinda sucked. it was definitely the worst week i’ve had in a while, probably since the first week of quarantine.

here’s the honest truth. i’m doing pretty well. but i’m really not doing that good in some ways. its a struggle to get schoolwork done. this week i had to write a personal essay, and in writing the essay, i managed to conjure up some unfortunate memories, which i then had to discuss with my english teacher. and he’s a an awesome human being, but i absolutely hate talking about this stuff, especially over video call.

this week, i got a very negative text message from someone who i’ve known disliked me, but it was still shocking to see how much this dislike had festered. this led to some issues with another relationship i have- a relationship that was already a bit strained.

i was hoping to get to plant my garden this week. that didn’t happen. i need to apply for a job, but i can’t do that until things have died down a bit.

here’s the thing. things aren’t perfect. life isn’t perfect. you’re doing really well after a long time of not doing well, and then, suddenly, you’re not.

the fact of the matter is- i don’t like quarantine. sure, i like having some more time on my hands, but i despise not being able to see the people i care about. i despise the interruption in routine, i hate the way i’ve lost moments i hoping to have this spring, i hate how my cousin and her friends aren’t going to have a graduation ceremony. i hate going to the grocery store and seeing fear on people’s faces, instead of the friendly greetings i’m used to.

twice a year, my family and i take a camping trip to a place that’s really special to me. we’ve been going there as long as i’ve been alive, and its wonderful to get to just spend time outside and have fun and take hikes through the beautiful place i get to call home. this is true of so many places near my home where i wanted to spend this spring and summer. going to these places keeps me sane. but all these places are closed right now.

things are up in the air and i really don’t like it. but here’s the thing- life is wild. and there are beautiful things coming from this. people are coming together, beginning to realize the things and people they care about. realizing how much we take for granted.

i get it. quarantine is rough. but i think there’s beauty to be found, even now. i think this time we’re living in is full of growth, even though everything feels stunted.

take care of yourselves, lovelies. do what you need to do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. do your best to keep connected with the people you love. we need each other, now more than ever.

you are everything

happy monday, loves. i hope your easter weekend was filled with hope and joy, in spite of the everything going on right now.

today i want to write about an idea i’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few months. i think everyone encounters this one question at some point in their lives and i find it interesting how people answer this question so confidently sometimes.

who are you?

i think the most logical response to this question is to say your name. our names seems to carry a lot of weight in choosing our sense of identity. people change their names if they feel as if some other name expresses their identity better. but i feel that one’s name really doesn’t have that much to do with who people truly are.

i was raised in a religious household, so all throughout my childhood i was exposed to this idea that people have no identity outside of god. that god becomes definition once you accept him, and therefore, you can be friends with god because you’re…sorta like him. this is another idea i don’t really want to focus on, although i personally believe it does hold value.

another thing that seems to happen a lot is attaching nouns to ourselves. “i’m a teacher, i’m a writer. i’m an atheist, i’m a christian. i’m a republican, i’m a democrat.” there are pre-conceived ideas that come with each of these statements- ideas that in many cases, are harmful and cause people to be misconstrued.

i don’t believe your existence as a human being can ever be defined in it’s entirety. no matter how many words you use to describe who you are, there is always something wonderful and distinctive and irrepressible that is a part of you and can never described.

so much of identity’s value is placed in trying to find specific things that define you. this is such a twisted idea- that you must find words to capture the miracle of your existence -because the simple fact that you are alive is perfectly indescribable.

you are entirely up to you. don’t put yourself in a box.

you’re not just another file folder in the cabinet that has a limited amount of space for labeling.

this idea that you literally cannot be defined is oddly freeing, because it explains why one might act differently in certain situations, or might change when different things come across their path. when someone says you are something, it’s wonderfully liberating to know that they can’t know who you are.

my belief is that you and i are everything. i think everyone holds pieces of every characteristic, that we are literally pieces of the entire universe. this idea of opposites, that if you’re this, then you can’t be that, is damaging.

expression is everything. you define yourself, and truthfully, no one else can.

one of my favorite quotes expresses this idea really well. in letters to a young poet, rilke writes: “think… of the world you carry within you.”

you literally carry a world inside you. how could your identity ever be expressed with words alone?

none of this is meant to say that you can’t strive to be something. you have the choice to be who you are, and that choice is completely up to you. but trying to fit yourself in a box isn’t possible, and i believe society promotes some dangerous ideas when it comes to finding the essence of who you are.

i hope all of you are staying well, both physically and emotionally. take care of yourselves and have a wonderful week. 💛

spring snippets

happy saturday, lovelies. today i have some snippets from my journal and a story i’ve been working on recently, as well as some pictures i’ve been able to capture. spring is vivid here in my hometown, so i thought i’d share some of the beauty that’s been materializing around me.

#1: untitled- c&n’s story

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#2: journal entries

3.26.2020- thursday
3.28.2020- saturday
3.29.2020- sunday

#3: photography

i hope spring is beautiful where each of you are, and is coming to bring healing, hope, and comfort to your hearts. happy easter weekend, loves.

friday lit #1

(my goal with this series is to share the new literature pieces i discovered over the past week that resonate with me. these are taken from books i’ve read, collections of literature, and some of my favorite quote blogs.)

Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.

the secret history, donna tartt

Not to know. Not to remember.
With this one hope:
That beyond the river Lethe,
there is memory, healed.

czeslow milosz
-kitty o’meara

We consume, we are consumed. You couldn’t live otherwise.
-pat cadigan

To me every hour of light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle..
.
-walt whitman

Ah, awful weight! Infinity
Pressed down upon finite me!
-renascence, edna st. vincent millay

Because the sunset, like survival, exists only on the verge of its own disappearing. To be gorgeous, you much first be seen, but to be seen allows you to be hunted.

-on earth we’re briefly gorgeous, ocean vuong

I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.

the song of achilles, madeline miller

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes from the first moments of our first great sorrow when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and healed, to have despaired and recovered hope.

george elliot

how to live with pain

(a note- everyone deals with things differently. don’t think you need to follow someone’s specific formula. this is just what i’ve learned, what’s helped me. always trust yourself in the way you heal.)

  • don’t think you’re going to live through this. some things can only be lived with. some piece of this will always stay with you. (so in the moments, years later, when you begin to feel it again, remember- you are always healing)
  • get up. make your bed, do something you enjoy. eat, if you’ve not eaten.
  • move your body. stretch, dance, walk or run. do yoga if that’s your thing. move your body, get your blood flowing.
  • when you’re angry, go outside and throw something. run until you can’t breathe, rip pieces of grass until they’re no longer visible, throw rocks at tree trunks until there are dents.
  • stand in front of the mirror and take a good look at yourself. if you hate the person you see, keep looking. every day, until you love them. watch yourself cry and watch yourself laugh and smile. learn to know yourself and love yourself.
  • document the moments when you feel most beautiful, most alive. take pictures, write about it.
  • remember what caused you pain. grasp at details, run it over and over again in your mind until you no longer want to scream, until you no longer want to cry.
  • listen to music that makes you happy. listen to music that makes you cry.
  • feel everything. happiness, guilt, grief and jealousy.
  • love someone. love someone and watch as people become beautiful again and the world begins to open up again.
  • spend hours in nature. make moments for yourself. dwell in the beauty. lay on the ground and recognize what it feels like to know you’re alive, to know you’re whirling through space violently on a huge ball of rock.
  • collect things that make you happy. if you’re into rocks and flowers, cool. if it’s words, quotes, that’s awesome. maybe you love taking pictures. make a collage.
  • know that you can hold yourself. you have what you need.
  • wear clothing that expresses who you are. dress in a way that makes you happy.
  • consider going to church. a church you’ve never been to before. community is the beginning of healing, belief is the beginning of hope.
  • go to the middle of nowhere and dance in a field, or run down a deserted road. find an open, abandoned space of beauty and make it your’s.
  • never try to put yourself into a box. definition is your’s. you are entirely up to you.
  • separate yourself from the things that caused you harm and look back at them objectively, as an observer.
  • build the life you want. write down your dreams, your plans and work toward them. the life you desire is the life you deserve, if you work toward it. it’s your’s.
  • don’t look for outside validation.
  • realize perfection doesn’t exist.
  • choose who you surround yourself with. boundaries are important.
  • take care recognition of your pain. evaluate it everyday. realize what you’re becoming.
  • realize there’s a certain point where you have to let go. don’t rush, but don’t hold on too long. release when purpose is wrought. an entrance and exit are vital.
  • find the people you care about and cherish them. hold them close.
  • when beauty comes across your path, rest in it. claim it as your own. the universe is holding you in ecstatic motion.
  • hold a child in your arms and marvel at their existence.
  • always remember: your pain is not a puzzle to be solved. healing is not found in forgetting, but in remembering and living.