31 December 2008

A bit of bubbly to ring in the new year

I am sitting on my couch drinking champagne, painting my toenails scarlet and watching the Nancy Drew movie-- dreaming of cardigans with jeweled buttons and fitted-bodice, flared-skirt dresses, blondies and lemon bars and brooches and sailor trousers.  And good, old-fashioned courtesy.  
Tonight I will don my Victorian childhood dress, with either my 1950s Killer Heels (4 inches!) or my new Sparkly Girl Flats that I got on sale in the outer banks.  I will dance and dine and imbibe more champagne, perhaps a kir royale.  I will twirl my swirly skirt and dance with the girls and ignore all text messages.  My new year's resolution: to live with passion and happiness and success, in every aspect of my life.  Here's to being the best I can be!

29 December 2008

Floating down moon river

I am a thinker, and right now I am not enjoying that fact.  I am making myself miserable by analyzing issues that are not even issues.  And once again, this blog has gotten far more personal and whiny than it was originally intended to be.  Seriously, what is the point of reviewing the events of Friday over and over and over, when I myself am not even sure what I am feeling?  Maybe I should just lay low and let things work themselves out, without effort or stress on my part.  Stress is only there if I make it.  Stress is only there if I make it.  If things fizzle, clearly that was meant to happen.  I will be more passive than I am normally comfortable being.  I will focus on the beauty in my own life.  I will focus on ME.  
My friend Emmy has been a source of wisdom lately, and she's illuminated that I've been moving so fast in trying to get my life together that I've been forgetting to live it.  I have been trying to fix job, friends, boyfriend, graduate school, all at once...and in the process I am making myself miserable.  I have been making drama for myself when perhaps none is there.
Someone asked me the other day what makes me happy.  I found myself lighting up and babbling about beauty and the little things.  Dogs with curly ears.  Photography.  Intertwining vines.  Vintage clothing.  A discarded tube of lip gloss glinting in a puddle.  Poetry.  Words words words words words.  Wide-brimmed hats and crimson lips.  Music.  Anything that bubbles.  I worry that in my insistence that I need to move on, I am almost doing myself a disservice.  
Maybe things are supposed to be a little bit out of place.  I need to embrace fuzziness and coloring outside the lines.  I am not supposed to have a perfect life right now.  I read about Dabrowski and his Theory of Positive Disintegration, in which he basically states that those individuals who go through the most angst and anxiety become the most evolved, artistic, empathetic individuals-- they are the movers, the shapers, the names in tomorrow's papers.
Life is being good to me; now I just need to be good to me.

"And I say there's trouble when everything is fine.  The need to destroy things creeps up on me every time.  And just as love's silhouette appears I close my eyes and disappear tonight." 
~Rilo Kiley
"I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,
And you must not be abased by the other." ~Walt Whitman
"I need shine, I need shine, I need shine." ~Laura Marling
"The supposed great misery of our century is the lack of time; our sense of that, not a disinterested love of science, and certainly not wisdom, is why we devote such a huge proportion of the ingenuity and income of our societies to finding faster ways of doing things--as if the final aim of mankind was to grow closer not to a perfect humanity, but to a perfect lightning flash."
~John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman

27 December 2008

I think my heart may be crippled

Or I'm numb.  I think that I have forgotten how to feel.  What is WRONG with me?
I just spent the evening with a fantastic boy-- interesting, intelligent, thinks I'm beautiful and wonderful, which leaves me speechless and pink-cheeked.  But more like a "please stop that" pink-cheeked than a pleased and gracious pink-cheeked.  He, pardon my vulgarity of language, just kissed my face off, but I was not swept away.  Far from it.  I found myself planning my day for tomorrow and slowly panicking.  I wish I could be honest with him, but I have no idea what I am feeling.  My brain appears to have turned into chocolate pudding.  And my heart into moss-covered stone.  Moss-covered because I don't like to think that my heart could ever be that hardened, but maybe I underestimated the extent to which my past hurts have shaped me.  And my past loves, for that matter.  I just got so used to those feelings flooding in and overwhelming me, making me feel like I might deflate if Exbf ever left. Granted, that is not the healthiest of positions, but the point is that passion seemed to make my puzzle pieces fit together.  The way his eyelashes grazed his cheek when he sighed.  The way my heart pounded when he touched my hand, but it maintained its rhythm and never turned threatening-- it was a rush within reason.  The way we fit and I never questioned why.  Was that just my innocence?  Has it been taken over by jadedness and self-preservation?  I dread that the answer may be yes.  I hope that Fitzgerald's belief about second acts will not be prescient here...but the fact that I am terrified is just as worrisome.  Sigh.
Hello, is there anybody in there
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone home
Come on now
I hear you're feeling down
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.  I need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts
There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb
Just a little pin-prick
There'll be no more-- ah ha ha
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up
I do believe it's working.  Good.
That'll keep you going for the show
Come on, it's time to go
There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown, the dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb.

25 December 2008

Just a girl. Standing in front of the world. Making a difference.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating, and Happy Hanukkah to my fellow chosen folk!  I'm feeling a bit lonely and exiled from the festivities of pretty much all of my friends, but this video made me feel like a bit less of a Negative Nancy.

22 December 2008

How time flies

Clap hard if you believe, boy.  Here's to the "authentic face," and to the remembrance of things not-so-far-past.  And to whatever "always" we can promise.
"I don't think I'll ever dry out." ~Big Fish

"Twice in her life she had mistaken something else for it; it was like seeing somebody in the street who you think is a friend, you whistle and wave and run after him, and it is not only not the friend, but not even very like him. A few minutes later the real friend appears in view, and then you can't imagine how you ever mistook that other person for him. Linda was now looking upon the authentic face of love, and she knew it, but it frightened her. That it should come so casually, so much by a series of accidents, was frightening."
Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love

17 December 2008

"the last echoes died on the white slopes"

I just finished Brideshead Revisited.  It is magical and makes me think of Amy and her limes in Little Women.  And the heart's journeys and struggles...Will we ever be satisfied?  And yet there seems to be hope.  Every time I suffer one of life's disappointments and need to look for the silver lining, I will murmur to myself, "But the white raspberries are ripe..."
"'Do you remember,' said Julia, in the tranquil, lime-scented evening, 'do you remember the storm?"
"That night and the night after and the night after, wherever she went, always in her own little circle of intimates, she brought to all whose eyes were open to it a moment of joy, such as strikes deep to the heart on the river's back when the kingfisher suddenly flames across dappled water."
"That day was the beginning of my friendship with Sebastian, and thus it came about, that morning in June, that I was lying beside him in the shade of the high elms watching the smoke from his lips drift up into the branches."
"'Perhaps,' I thought, while her words still hung in the air between us like a wasp of tobacco smoke-- a thought to fade and vanish like smoke without a trace-- 'perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us."
"Julia wore the embroidered Chinese robe which she often used when we were dining alone at Brideshead...It was thus that I had rejoiced to see her nights without number, and that night, watching her as she sat between the firelight and the shaded lamp, unable to look away for love of her beauty, I suddenly thought, 'When else have I seen her like this? Why am I reminded of another moment of vision?'  And it came back to me that this was how she had sat in the liner, before the storm; this was how she had looked, and I realized that she had regained what I thought she had lost forever, the magical sadness which had drawn me to her, the thwarted look that had seemed to say, 'Surely I was made for some other purpose than this?'"
"Julia pulled off her hat and tossed it into the rack above her, and shook her night-dark hair with a little sigh of ease-- a sigh fit for the pillow, the sinking firelight and a bedroom window open to the stars and the whisper of bare trees."
"These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime.  These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again."
"Dearest Charles--
I found a box of this paper at the back of a bureau so I must write to you as I am mourning for my lost innocence.  It never looked like living.  The doctors despaired of it from the start...
I am never quite alone.  Members of my family keep turning up and collecting luggage and going away again, but the white raspberries are ripe.
I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice.  I don't want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits.
Love or what you will.

Je l'aime

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

16 December 2008

Uncharted territory

Dating, that is.  I don't want to go too much into individual dates with individual people-- although, I will say that there are two different men, if they are not so put off by infectious disease (terrible cold) or unexplained freakishness (the usual)-- but it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  The expectations, the unknowing, the best-foot-forward, the unknowing, the coquettishness, the boredom, the intentions (the unknowing of), the etiquette, did I mention the unknowing?  What is appropriate, when?  How should I feel?  How much attention is too much, and when should I feel something, if I feel something?  If a guy seems perfect, does that mean that by extension he is a psychopath?  Will I always be terrified by such perfection, or this perfection someday seem less than daunting?  I have been telling myself that I want someone who thinks I am luminous and brilliant-- and then I meet people who think just that, right away, and I am terrified and repelled.  
Perfection scares me.  I feel the need to put my fallible nature out there so that my complexity, my quirkiness, will be known from the very beginning.  But if someone thinks these qualities that I have tried so hard to preserve despite a culture of conformity are "cute" or "amazing"...are those the correct adjectives to describe my rebellion?  It almost makes my personality seem diminutive, like I'm transformed into Thumbelina being cupped in some guy's superior, stabilizing hand, even though they may intend to convey respect.  
I don't want to send good things scattering with the breeze, but I am at a point in my life where I am different and I like that about myself.  I do not want to normalize to suit anybody's whims.   I am passionate, and passion is messy.  I want to eat cookie dough and drink kir royales and wear tutus and read Waugh out loud and watch foreign films for their beauty and travel off the beaten path and go thrifting and burn candles and teach with all my being and be the beautiful disaster that I have come to be.  And even though sometimes-- many times-- I miss Exbf, and sometimes I wish for snuggling and holding hands while walking the streets and drinking hot cider, I find myself wondering if maybe I do not want to be in a relationship right now.  Or at least, not when I am forced to look for it, online (just writing the word makes me want to vomit, even though I know that many people have found love that way!).  
In the end, maybe I just feel like-- as terrible as it sounds-- I'm above it all.  That I'm not the type of person who is supposed to find love, but that rather, it's supposed to find me, at the most inconvenient time possible.  The best relationships arrive by happenstance.  When you least expect them.  Like a butterfly in the subway.
"Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway and today, I saw one!  It got on at 42nd and off at 59th where, I assume, it was going to Bloomingdale's to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake.  As almost all hats are."
But then again, didn't Joe and Kathleen meet online?  If it is good enough for Joe and Kathleen, shouldn't it be good enough for me?  Maybe it would be different if I had someone writing me about bouquets of sharpened pencils...
Something else beautiful: Zooey's Christmas list.  I want.  If this is luminous, then so be it.  I want a life of magic and sparkles and hot cocoa.    

09 December 2008

Tu es vraiment special

This Dirty Dancing inspired number may be the hottest thing I've ever seen.

And Nico! Oh beauty, depth, intensity. Crystalline eyes. Fluidity, passion, grace, and surrender personified. Congratulations.

07 December 2008

At the edge of the night, dewed lives are set alight

What good are words I say to you?
They can't convey to you what's in my heart
If you could hear instead
The things I've left unsaid
Time after time
I tell myself that I'm
So lucky to be loving you
So lucky to be the one you run to see
In the evening, when the day is through
I only know what I know
The passing years will show
You've kept my love so young, so new
And time after time
You'll hear me say that I'm
So lucky to be loving you.
"We are mysterious creatures, aren't we?"
"What if we just sang and laughed together...for the rest of our lives?"
"Isn't it pretty to think so?" ~Jake Barnes, The Sun Also Rises

06 December 2008

I long for the moors.
"Too long I roamed in the night. 
I'm coming back to his side, to put it right. 
I'm coming home to wuthering, wuthering, 
Wuthering Heights, 
Heathcliff, it's me, I’m Cathy, I've come home and I'm so cold,
let me in your window."

03 December 2008

Petticoats and peep-toes

I love a good 50s-60s silhouette.  I simply adore the look of the cardigan, puffed out skirt, and heels a la Reese Witherspoon as June Carter in Walk the Line.  I am also finding myself newly obsessed with Mad Men-- I know, I'm late to jump on that train, but can I please raid the closets of the buxom Joan and the prim and proper Betty?  (And can I please have some of that Betty lingerie from when she's not being so prim and proper?)
I don't really watch Pushing Daisies-- yes, I know it's being cancelled-- but I also love Anna Friel's sophisticated but flirty 1950s fashion.  So very Grace.  So very Audrey.
If you want to fully embody the spirit of the age... (this) and (this) and (this) and (this)
I'll have a Brandy Alexander, please.  And a Kir Royale for later.

01 December 2008

Oui, bien sur...je le veux!

I have discovered So You Think You Can Dance Canada...and it's dangerously intoxicating. This is Nico-- of course I like him, he's the unconventional, beautiful, troubled one. (Take out the piercings, and it's even better.) And I now want to date a French Canadian.

I'm not kidding. I'm contemplating how to get to Montreal and where the French Canadians hang out in the D.C. area.