Weeks Thirty Six and Thirty Seven ; Culmination

“This is what Zen is about [everything ending]. To have an intimate connection with the world and on top of it to know about its passing. Of course there is sadness. But how sweet. And at the heart of it, what bravery. We know about impermanence, but it does not drive us into a hole. We dare in the face of it to stand up and become intimate and not just with human beings, which is hard enough, but also with the sky, water, chair, butter, cow, and sidewalk. Is this not also the way of the writer?” – Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

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^^ Another year, another year.

I’m turning Twenty-Four in Nine days (on the Twenty Fourth!) Recently finished the first complete (rough) draft of my first feature length ((?) (or mid-length) (currently @ 50 pages)) screenplay! Current working title is “Innards”. It is to be filmed at night, at dawn, and at the part of mid-morning where the sun is taking up everything – in summer – in New York City and by a wild ocean.

5/6/17

Sprang

Already 2017. Already May. What I really want to say is

The smell

The look

of grass (springtime)

wet & glowing like my pregnant sister in June

take all my skin please

 

 

5/8/17

24 Things I’ve Learned in My 24th Year (as pertains to my life) (I impose no lessons on others) 

24. How to take apart a bathroom sink, clean it, and put it back together.

23. America is built on evil, and we need to own up to that before anything can truly be repaired.

22. You can fall in love with anyone if you’ve drank enough wine.

21. It’s all pointless unless you do the thing you’re built for.

20. Dead mice are just that. Dead mice. Cockroaches too. I hold my breath and sweep up the remains.

19. The only people who will really care for you are your blood and your friends that are like blood. Hold tight to these people.

18. Go to church even if you don’t believe in God that day, because it’s important to be with familiar faces.

17. Everything brilliant happens in the mornings.

16. You do not have an extra dollar to spare. Just say no.

15. Money is won by doing monotonous things that hurt your soul.

14.  ^^Everybody does these things.

13. ^^^Everybody except trust fund babies. You will never be a trust fund baby. Forget that dream.

12. I can never work full-time unless it’s writing/directing. My brain/body won’t do it. Oh well. Time is well worth the poverty. (side note: I know, I know, I probably could if I had to.)

11. Love happens and then fades, people come in and then go – and that’s okay.

10. ^ You are, in the end, all you will always have – and that’s okay.

9. Bike if you live in Brooklyn. There is no other way.

8. Parents don’t last forever. They were your first everything and you were their more than everything. It’s okay to call them everyday. It makes everyone feel better.

7. Coffee will get rid of that sad feeling you have the day after drinking.

6. Alcohol costs the most.

5. Home-cooking meals – really investing in learning how to cook meals is spiritually healthy – your soul craves the tangibility of it.

4. No matter if it never brings me money or never gets read; may I never stop making writing a priority. It is the thing I want to do when I am not doing it.

3. I can be wrong about everything. That’s okay.

2. It’s nice to paint your nails.

1. Keep your expectations low, but work as if they were high.

(extra) 1. Being cool means nothing. Being kind, earnest, and hardworking means something.

 

_ _ _ _

sending all of you love and peace

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Weeks Forty One through Forty Six: Remove

Suspended

Body walks, Eyes see, Ears hear.

Summer actualizes in a dull roar:

Waves smash, Heat sweats, Jack hammers.

The air conditioning is on, and on, and               on.

Fan batters too.

Shut them off / one inhale and exhale on marble / just one – // THEN // swell up a swamp in between ears –

She makes your feet throb.

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^ They say we find green trees beautiful because green trees mean survival

“Anything you do deeply is very lonely” – Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

I’ve gotten the hang of sitting back and watching life. Watching myself live life. Watching others live life. Watching others express love; fast talking, interminable smiles, a mixed code of sharp jabs and forest kisses (I don’t see the forest kisses, but I imagine they’re in there. When everything is hushed but two).

And so. Bits and sneaks of journal entries from the past five weeks:

7/16/17

Coney Is Land

The reality of summer is that it

Is constant and

You are happy even when you think you’re not

Enough of the ingredients are slathered on top of your skin.

The sun oil has gold dust in it

You’re glittering

Hello again, myself

Hello, hello, hello

My shins are the color of the air when the air smells like coconuts and salt

They could star on a magazine cover

Except for the stubble on my knee except for

The scabby mosquito bite I colored in with marker.

 

6/8/17

Why Rewriting is Scary

My pen moves, I’m reluctant; opening up that old draft; revisiting my uncomfortable heart, pushing my brain up into the space where there are no systems and things don’t click together so easily with the same satisfaction of a zit pop or a buckled seatbelt.

The Smell of Sharpie

Like a secret sneaker heaven, where your eyes are refreshingly burnt open; teeth clean; lower body raw.

The Husband Tone

A guy saying “Honey” with that husband tone of “I know you, you are the warm shadow on my chest, the constant muted light in my everyday. I know your farts and smell them almost like they are my own – you in my old t-shirt is thrilling in the most beautifully regular sort of ways.”

 

6/19/17

When a heart is shared

All the time in the world can go by and

still I’ll think of you and

still I’ll think of you thinking of me too

Instagram, Memory of Them 

In this strange time when a like on an instagram post can act as a connection when

I can see your user name in tiny text glowing on my phone and feel your presence on the other end

Humans used to send letters and then we’d feel the presence of our loved one as they had been three weeks earlier

On my phone are notifications:

“b_winger liked your post”

“amishalish liked your post”

I always forget who amishalish is but

At least I know I’m seen over and over again by some person

 

All the faces that mutate warm in my mind

Sometimes I am present with the people here, sometimes I’m present with myself, sometimes I’m rummaging through the goop of a fictional character, sometimes (what seems like most times), I’m living in the dark warm closet of my memory

 

(memory that is gilded with dreamtime and imagination)

 

rotating faces

rotating voices

rotating arms locked in mine

 

6/20/17

What is wrong with loneliness?

Solitude means peace means

Not having to answer to anyone except yourself

 

Loneliness means Wanting

 

 

6/21/17

i didn’t say hi

STARK HEART:

A condition where in you look out on the world and everything has a sharp black outline.

A condition where you give up on reaching out or showing/telling others you care.

A condition where you sink into the STARK dry desert of your mind because it’s easier than that other thing

Than that smiling energetically other thing

We all have smashed spines

 

Wrung out

Sapped out stale raisin hearts

(And everything is growing drier)

— I see my earlier self and she was so overwhelmed with spastic energy that upon seeing someone she knew, she would have dropped the cold beverage she was holding and the ice cubes would have made her feet cold —

 

6/30/17

On Glamour (and not eating much) 

I rebel against the concept that I must hide the reality of myself to be desirable and yet.

(Whether or not I’m believing in Jesus that day, I do believe happiness is better sought in reality than in idealism.)

I would rather feel my real skin in the sun, and make believe my ocean tossed hair is flattering.

As for my stomach. . .

 

It sucks to be lightheaded but

It rocks to feel dainty

It’s gritty to feel strong but

It’s glamorous to feel delirious

 

7/6/18

After Reading Dharma Bums

BEING ALONE IS RAD

BEING A FLAME IN A SEA OF MUD IS RAD

READING KEROUAC REMINDS YOU TO BE REVERENT TOWARDS EVERY DETAIL OF LIFE AND TO WRITE IT ALL DOWN

BUT IT CAN SUCK ON YOUR WOMANHOOD AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

Kerouac abandoned every woman he ever loved, his children too

Proper sexual attraction translates to: [when i wrap my legs around you and bear the pain of you inside me, it is because i could imagine a lifetime coiled next to you with a life product of both our bodies whimpering between us]

And being a woman, I won’t be able to write like Kerouac – my stuff will bleed more, like my body does, with the moon, once a month, because I can carry life inside me, and my hardwiring pulses around that.

Weeks Thirty One, Thirty Two, & Thirty Three: Long Time No Splat

“Dreamers

go by an inward vision. Often they have to figure it out themselves.”

“So finally, a writer must be willing to sit at the bottom of the pit, commit herself to stay there, and let all the wild animals approach, even call them up, then face them, write them down, and not run away.” 

“We are often funny to cover up the fear, but this quiet place exists as we exist, here on earth.”

– Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

Things I’m afraid of:

Rejection, Ugliness, Poverty

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^^ YAY weather WARM legs FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

It’s been a minute. I am swarming, always. I realized on Easter that we are all never going to be in each other’s lives forever. It exists better to hold people in the moment, and then let the memories of them be as they are – try and not let them be ridden with the pain that comes from wanting some one in the present flesh again. I practice this.

3/24/17

Tired

Crinkled raisin veins

Dried & dusty heartbreak

Lone

Who am I when no one I’m with knows my name?

4/1/17

Ideal

A humanity

Where everyone

White, Black, Chinese, Trans, Other-Abled

Can look into the eyes of one another and see a portion of him or her or themself

Reflected

A humanity where we are always in community & friendship even when we’re all walking, talking, speaking, shaking different and it is

WE ARE ALL BREATHING THE SAME THAT IS

IN OUT

IN OUT

IN OUT

 

can’t that be enough?

 

4/3/17

Beginnings of a Poem to Dallas (where I left adolescence and found whatever this age is that I am in now ) 

Well Dallas

Sunshine

(Sunshine)

Beer, Birds, Swollen Crickets

(Sunshine)

Faces that may as well

Faces, my own ribs

One, Two, Stack

Eyes that replay in the dreams I don’t remember

But settle in there

Ribs stack

One, two

All the same

Like damp sand body prints

The salt foam (embraces) overgrows

(Sunshine)

 

Big cars, clean clothes, clean streets, white skin (Highland Park), good food,

(Sunshine)

Fresh haircuts

All of the men just went to the barber

 

Late summer night cedar elms

They carry the swoll crickets

Cars hush by

 

Everything is pleasant, no?

How could anyone be sad?

In mini mansions or at least

Large, inexpensive, renovated apartments

(Marble)

(Sunshine)

How could anyone be sad?

 

Drunk on Sunday mornings in a swirl of technicolor lights and bible versus boomed through a loud speaker.

Drunk on Sunday afternoons

Screens the size of children’s beds

And beer

Oversized texan apples

Crispy, golden flesh

Craft beer

 

Roars of sky & floodlights

(Grass)

The sunset is bigger here, the sunrise too

 

How could anyone be sad?

 

Most of all the faces that play on repeat in the recesses of my cardiac flesh and stretch themselves and their clear, plush Texas flesh

(Sunshine, beer, enough quiet and apartment space so that you can sleep easy)

Around the sinews of

My skinny, skinny, starving, weeping

(Sunshine)

(Sunshine)

(Beer)

 

4/08/17

After Pizza and Beer

Here is what happens to my body when I drink & eat well:

Release, Relief

Here is why I may never have children:

Release, Relief

 

4/15/17

Watching kids in NoHo

“I was crazy, I went away because I was crazy, but I’m not crazy anymore”

She wears all black, a floppy hat in nighttime, her height & her exuberant dark skin are astonishing even three blocks away.

 

Weeks Fifteen – Nineteen : Calm the F down

“Follow what feels good in the moment. Every moment. And it will lead you through a most excellent life.” – Jen Sincero

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^^ Anxiety. My work for 2017 is breathing through the sticky feelings. And to not drink caffeine in the middle of the day because it always WRECKS me.

So December was so busy I just shut down my plan-y mind and surrendered to every moment as it swept before me.

Or, well, for the holidays I did this. And before I left for the holidays, we were booked back to back with shoots (!) for my short film, which we have wrapped filming and will be editing this next month!

Happy new year’s eve! My resolution is to calm the F down. Thinking about the future and planning everything and/or stressing about all the things that are not planned is my crack. Goodness, I have a roof over my head and a plentiful, educated mind that (for the most part) finds productive ways to occupy itself, why is it I keep wanting greater; wanting change, travel, money, grad school, a more exciting job?? I just got here! I need to invest my presence in what is immediately in front of me! Yoga and presbyterian church taught me that satisfaction begins within. I don’t want to lose my ambition, but I would like to focus more on cultivating satisfaction with what already is. That is: Living in Brooklyn – working part-time as a nanny and writing/dancing/risking/talking/listening/reading/making stuff/discovering my soul/exploring/learning/playing/connectingwithcommuntiy for all the other hours. Do what feels good! I’m lucky that I have the freedom to do so!

12/3/16

On Nostalgia for College (The Great First Loves You Find)

My life balloons up before me when I am alone like this. I feel nostalgic for the moments (particularly in college) when I was so overcome in my body with the revelation of love that I would weep, falling asleep on friend’s couches / The devastating splendor of liking someone so much that a few hours talking with one another might as well have been the moon/ Life being so dense with magic, so easily swayed between extremes / Bless these years. The embarrassing clichés. Bless the uncertainty & romance & great desire of these years.

12/4/16

On How God has Changed For Me

I used to think God meant behaving correctly (according to the rules) – but now I think it means loving wildly and rebelling against any conventions that separate us from ourselves or one another.

12/9/16

I don’t know where this came from or what it is for and I don’t remember writing it but

I took off all my clothes and stood in a white room.

My body vibrated.

My pale skin

That hadn’t seen the sun in months

Was cold and smooth.

People on the side lines

Pressed their noses against the glass walls.

Guilt

I feel a deep regret when I am the cause of other people’s pain. A debilitating, havoc wreaking regret that I can’t shake; my soul losing blood from tetanus infected wounds; curling up in demented angles.

Can we assume the best of people and assume that they feel the same way? That when they cause pain to another human and feel no regret it is because [a. they’re ignorant as to how they’re causing pain b.they don’t view the victim as human because the victim is too different from themselves c.they don’t view the victim as human because they blame the victim for their own pain]?

12/10/16

Super Dark Angst and I Saw a Fire on the Way Home

When I was walking home

On Myrtle

Next to the Low Income Housing

– Sometimes I walk pass it and day dream of living there because I imagine that rent is           dirt cheap but that things are regulated so no mice are to be found –

A window was on fire.

An air conditioner had caught on fire.

It sent billows of smoke up into the air.

Grey smoke.

It burned for a long time.

When the firefighters came, they walked one by one.

Calmly.

I feel so heavy.

It’s routine for them.

Heavy and unable to focus. I’m drinking wine to make it go away but it’s not                             going away. It’s getting worse.

And they sent a ladder to the roof of the building.

And the firefighters

Who had their last names imprinted in large white letters on the tails of their jackets

Climbed up into the building that way.

I realize that the loneliness will never go away. I want to forget everything and I                       want to make everything eternal.

When the fire finally went out

And we had all been watching it for quite a while

It happened in a flash

And then the smoke was black.

A large man with a round face and a green sweatshirt had a tear streak down each cheek.

“That shit freaked me out. I was freaked out, my heart was beatin’.”

I asked him if they had a fire drill. If he had heard a fire alarm. He shook his head.

What a sick world

That the safety of the rich – therefore the lives of the rich – are put in priority over the safety and lives of the poor.

The problem

With everything nowadays

Is that everything is darker

And when I’m alone

I marinate in the slime, in the shadowy syrup with the gas fumes of reality.

Is it just winter that’s like this?

Or has it been like this since I realized that I had a writhing, sparkling, bloody, and stinky soul – and that I still had to go on living in the world with all it’s apocalypse, it’s abandon and it’s horror?

How is anyone ever hopeful?

How does anyone over the age of ten ever feel okay?

Week Six – That Nasty Niggling Nag (and Yay Hillary Clinton!)

“Doubt and second guessing have killed more opportunities than failure ever has” – from a video that was on this great blog post I read.

Looking back over all my journal warm-ups this week, I attack the same three themes every time. I will provide some quotes on such themes.:

  1. Why pursuing a career as an actor/writer/director is impossible and I’ll never be good enough to do it; “I do fear. Huge ginormous bagobomb balloons of fear that I’m no good and that I never will be” but I can’t do anything else, “[If I grow up and have to tell people that I quit pursuing theatre], then I will burst into tears every time. Then I won’t know who I am. I don’t know who I am until I’m acting. I forget myself and all that I’ve nurtured and developed – I forget my true self until I am in a rehearsal, an audition even. I forget myself when I am working any other job. I remember myself directing a play. I remember myself breathing pretend things bodies on a stage characters – I remember myself, familiar glow of the heart. So I must keep trying.” (9/27/16)
  2. On feeling like the world values me for my body before my mind. “I feel men’s eyes all up on me – their eye-feasting of my body and it empties me out just as much [as when I felt ugly awkward as a teenager]. When the same man won’t meet my eyes or ask a question because he’s too busy gobbling up my legs. Now, I question my mind. Now, I question what it is that really makes me valuable.” (9/24/16) 
  3. When I got bored of ranting about my torrid insecurities, I described the tea I was drinking. “Minced pineapple and papaya sitting in a cool gooey layer at the bottom of the plastic cup. Sunlight pours in the green and thins it toward the top. A forest in the Cascade mountains, early June.” 

Shortly, I am wracked almost every instance by that nasty niggling nag called DOUBT – doubt of my own self-worth, of my own abilities and, worst of all, doubt of my own choices.

But then the night before last night I had a dream with Hillary Clinton in it. We were engulfed a large yellow, golden, and bronze Aspen forest. There were deer and there was silence except for the rustle of the leaves. I said to Hillary “Everything in my life is a mess. I don’t know if I can do anything or if I’m doing anything right.” And she said, “Guuuurl, you are courageous, talented, intelligent, and gorgeous – don’t worry, it’ll all come together. When I was your age, my life was a mess too.”

I’m sure your life was not a mess Hillary, you were studying at Yale Law and preparing to become the first woman president of the United States – but I really appreciate my dream version of you giving me reassurance. To all of you, from my dream version of Hillary, I say; be patient, keep working, keep failing, and doubt not! You are a magnificent human and I believe in you!

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^ She reminds me of my mom or of my kickass female professors – poised, loving, intelligent, ready to overcome whatever hurdle or cruel word is slung her way, and STRONG. We can do it friends! Don’t let the haters get you down, most especially when that hater is yourself! Love yourself! You can do it! Keep on keepin’ on, because what else is there to do???!!!