30 December 2009

Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose

How lovely?
These perfumes, from Ineke, have perfectly wonderful names like "After My Own Heart" and "Balmy Days and Sundays" (cue The Carpenters) and notes of raspberry, lilac, heliotrope, plum, angel's trumpet, and cinnamon bark. Cinnamon bark!? It sounds like it has my name written all over it, in big lissome cursive letters. An evening edged in gold...it sounds like a Klimt painting.
Happy almost New Year, dear readers! Usually I find New Years to be an anticlimactic holiday one often filled with disappointment and thoughts of "Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of the year?" But this year, I am hoping for an evening of sparkles and feathers, old friends and possible new ones, and a chance to dress up as quirky and carefree as I want. I will be in Chicago, surrounded by masquerade (paper faces on parade) and hopeful harbingers of good tidings to come...no expectations for anything grander.

27 December 2009

snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes...

Snowed in! To venture out or not? It's quite white outside...and it's still coming down!

I find beauty here

25 December 2009

so come on courage, teach me to be shy

There's still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
There's still a little bit of you laced with my doubt...
There's still a little bit of your song in my ear
There's still a little bit of your words I long to hear
You step a little closer to me
So close that I can't see what's going on...

My eyelids and curls and deepest thoughts are bubbling with the joy of champagne and apple cinnamon candles and luscious chenille. I wish I had more to write...but the truth is that life is relatively uneventful right now. I'm so thankful for a moment to breathe, and yet I feel guilty that I have yet to do any work over this break. I have, however, read one and a half pleasure-reading books, seen Julie & Julia, The Brothers Bloom, and Invictus, bought a gorgeous antique lamp and a crystal bowl that looks like sunshine and is shaped like a swan, listened to Damien Rice live and unscripted, avoided email like the plague, adored the quirky neighborhoods of Baltimore (Federal Hill) and South Florida (Atlantic Avenue in Del Ray)...

Life is uneventful, but good. Now I just want a sensitive poet-pirate without emotional issues to stumble my way...to make 2010 my year in the sun...

"This was a story about a girl who could find infinite beauty in anything, any little thing, and even love the person she was trapped with. And I told myself this story until it became true. Now, did doing this help me escape a wasted life? Or did it blind me so I didn't want to escape it? I don't know, but either way I was the one telling my own story..."

05 December 2009

sepia-toned loving

Sometimes what you really need is a day of sleep and a night of blog loving, Mexican hot chocolate, Simon & Garfunkel, The Weepies, and Pete Yorn on my itunes Genius mix, and The Merchant of Venice in my lap while curled up on the couch...an old issue of McSweeney's bought for a song at Half-Price books on my wrought-iron table...

04 December 2009

you don't know what I fear

I'm completely lacking in inspiration. I don't know what to write about or where to find beauty. I'm tired and stressed and either imagining or experiencing doubt from my superiors at school. I'm dreaming of sparkly eye dust and twinkle lights and fire pits and hydrangeas and peacock feathers and fur muffs and lovely literature and wings of poetry and satin slippers and sepia tones and rose-colored glasses and words like "nebulous" and "ephemeral" and jazz vocals and full-throated ease and half-light and Bardot curls and British dandies and porcelain keys and key-lime gelato and little princess and chiffon swirls and capelets and raspberry coulis and Audrey and Grace and papercuts and eyelash flutters and soft caresses and zephyrs and snowflake droplets and lavender and hummingbirds...I feel like I haven't seen a hummingbird in ages.
In my dreams I'm bathed in violet light, and I have my pirate by my side, who whispers poetry to me in a voice so soft that it feels like a petal brushing my cheek. I'm light and airy and my insecurities are gone. Popsicle lips. Snow-dusted lashes. A velvet cape.
It's not about the pirate, although his company lends peace and pleasure, that deep-seated swoon from the inside out that I recapture in memories now. It's about me and my poetry, my voice, my crooning of Joni Mitchell ballads that float from mouth to sky like Sebastian's smoke in Brideshead Revisited.
I remember Oxford, stopping by The Grand Cafe for champagne tea and passing by the Botanical Gardens on my way to tutorials. I remember channeling Oscar Wilde and as I sipped tea and slipped into cushioned corners at The Old Parsonage. I want the Oxford of John Fowles, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh. I long to fit again, to be certain of my place.
What do you do when you feel blue? Dearest readers, I am filled too much with longing and too little with satisfaction in being.

30 November 2009

Some days I feel like if I don't write I'll just explode. On a day like today I'd probably burst into a blue flame of book pages and student essays. I need to keep telling myself that I'm happy because otherwise I'll forget. It's easy for me to forget how good I really have it when I get myself into one of my stirred-up moods. I was just feeling oddly homesick today, which is strange. I'm homesick for all of my homes from the last 5 years-- St. Louis, where I have so many wonderful memories and with so many artistic marvels within arms length...New York, where I have exbf and Bryant Park and so much activity and culture...DC, where I have the best friends a girl could possibly ask for, true soulmates...and Cleveland, with my family, where I discovered some hidden treasures this weekend and where I oddly feel myself drawn, even to teach at my former high school.
When I started this blog two years ago, I remember remarking that this time of year is hard for me. I think it might be that I always feel slightly on the outside of the holiday cheer, because I'm so often transitioning to a new city and trying to find my "home," and this time of year is really all about loved ones, memories, and special places. It's also the time of year when exbf and I first became friends and, not too soon after that, more than friends. It's always difficult to be flooded with those memories when things are so different now. This time of year, and the accompanying chill, always makes me long for body heat and familiarity. It makes me long for lighting candles together and eating holiday cookies, and being so overwhelmed with joy that you actually twinkle. Then again, I recognize that I'm working on developing myself as an individual right now and that romance will follow. I'm supposed to be with somebody; it just always happens when I'm not looking.

And high above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

29 November 2009

We passed the hash pipe, we played our Doors tapes

This still remains one of the best things I've ever seen:

28 November 2009

Who knows what tomorrow brings

You're not a dream
You're not an angel
You're a man
I'm not a queen
I'm a woman
Take my hand
We'll make a space
in the lives
that we'd planned
And here we'll stay
until it's time
for you to go
Yes we're different
Worlds apart
We're not the same
We laughed and played
in the start
like in a game
You could've stayed
outside my heart
but in you came
And here you'll stay
until it's time
for you to go
Don't ask why
Don't ask how
Don't ask forever
Love me now
This love of mine
had no beginning
it has no end
I was an oak
Now I'm a willow
Now I can bend
And though I'll never
in my life
see you again
Still I'll stay
until it's time
for you to go
Don't ask why
Don't ask how
Don't ask forever
Love me now
You're not a dream
You're not an angel
You're a man
I'm not a queen
I'm a woman
Take my hand
We'll make a space
in the lives
that we planned
And here we'll stay
until it's time
for you to go.
"Then in the middle of my set, I'd throw in this love song that I had written, because, you know, I was in love, and I found out that, you know, sometimes you just have to leave a space in your life for life to happen, see?"
~Buffy Sainte-Marie~

(photos from here, ever beautiful)

26 November 2009

The smoke it sank into my skin

I want a man with a poet's eyes and a pirate's voice.

"Her heart was so laden
She fell by a tree
Sang of some pirate
Who haunted the sea
A wail through the willows
All hollow through the willows
She'll wail through the willows
Till she finds him."

"There's a man who's been out sailing
In a decade full of dreams
And he takes her to a schooner
And he treats her like a queen
Bearing beads from California
With their amber stones and green
He has called her from the harbor
He has kissed her with his freedom
He has heard her off to starboard
In the breaking and the breathing
Of the water weeds
While she was busy being free."

24 November 2009

23 November 2009

Sunday kind of girl...

I think my version would include these:
(all items from Anthropologie and J. Crew)

19 November 2009

the strange pillows of my wanderlust

Some things I love/lust after right now:
The lovely Abbie Cornish, looking ethereal on this cover-- and memories of Bright Star, from which images are displayed below.
Ben Whishaw's notes for Bright Star-- how lovely is his penmanship?
I love these magical words
As always, Anthropologie beguiles...
It never gets old-- I cranked up the radio today in the car so I could sing along:
This incredible article about Joni Mitchell's "Amelia"

The anticipation of seeing "An Education" tomorrow

Weekend. Almost. Finally.

18 November 2009

God that was strange to see you again

There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave
You were what I wanted, I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save
I want dresses that look like cakes
I want dusted eyelashes
I want a moment to close my eyes and dream and wake up refreshed
I want sugared violets
I want cool clear streams
I want glossy lips and sweet tastes on the tongue
I want to have my thoughts and words come easily
I want to stroke the softness behind your ear, that feels like clouds
I want unicorns to exist

I long for the moors

16 November 2009

this time I as I, and not as we

Today I was talking to one of my 11th graders who is having trouble writing her essay that's due Thursday. She feels like her thoughts are all tangled and she has no idea how to get out on paper what she is trying to say. Obviously, this is a problem I've had over the years, more with oral communication than written...but I've had to read my writing with a critical eye, piling words and arguments like a child would blocks until all of my components are present. Getting started was always the hardest. I had to learn to pour myself out onto the page, unfiltered and raw, and worry about purity and structure later. That's when I found myself saying to her, "That's why I have my blog. It's my raw space." Of course, she then wanted to know the URL, which is not happening. First of all, I'm uncomfortable with my students knowing my personal thoughts to that degree, and secondly, there's something so reassuring about sending my thoughts out into this vastness, touching immaterial forms, like they're flowing into the sea. I write here what I can't say to anyone, and it's so important that I have that sounding board, because otherwise I bottle it up and get want-to-cry headaches that pain me throughout the day.
Sometimes when I have a moment to breathe, I wipe away the negativity and the stress and the words of the haters and realize that overall, I'm in a good place right now. I still lack balance, and I wish I were better...I wish it came easier. I wish my words flowed like a stream instead of like debris projectiling from a wrecking ball. I wish that I had friends here and that I had more hours in the day. But my students are loving, and for all of the problems that come with the 10th graders, I know that I've positively affected at least one child every day. I may be too exhausted and cranky to realize it in the moment, but afterwards, I can take a step back and realize that on the disaster continuum of first-year teachers, I'm probably doing pretty well.
I took these photos today. Dried roses + glitter + teacups + crochet + crystal garlands= lovely.