Tuesday, August 10, 2010

smile for the camera

"You can't take a picture of this. It's already gone." -Six Feet Under

My camera broke. This is very upsetting because this is the third camera in about 4 years that I've rendered useless. Also, I don't like relying on other people to capture memories...

Which leads me to my recent mini-family reunion over the the past weekend. My grandparents planned a last minute trip from Florida and stayed at my aunt and uncle's. It was my aunt and uncle, cousins, mom, brother and sisters. For the first time in a long time (longer that I can remember), we were all together.

There were many pictures taken that weekend, but there was one that wasn't taken. That's the one I've thought about the most.

On Saturday night, we were all zonked out on baked ziti, beer, and wine. A bunch of us were sitting in the family room,our eyes glazed over as we watched TV. In came Grandma. "I want to take a family picture." Me, being me, said, "You pick the worst times to take pictures." I didn't mean to be callous, only slightly sarcastic. And it's not that I (and others) didn't want to be a picture, but I just didn't want to be in one then.

Grandma walked away. I knew instantly I was a bonehead. My aunt, mom and I went to get her and cheer her up. We crowded around her and gave her a big but she wanted nothing of it. My grandma, one of the most loving and caring person I know, was pissed. My mom went back into the family room but my aunt and I followed Grandma into the guest room.

Grandma started to cry, and I never see her cry. "I wanted a picture of all of us together. Who knows when we'll all be together again, with all our health issues and what not."

I was stunned. I didn't even see it that way. My grandpa's health has been declining, and my grandma had been showing signs of forgetfulness (more than usual). Yet, in taking time and life for granted, I assumed they would be around forever.

We said we'd take the picture. She refused then and she stubbornly refused to take the picture the next morning. The moment was already gone.

I wondered why she needed a picture to capture our family together. But I've been realizing that memories can be fleeting. Hell, I barely remember yesterday. It's the capturing of memories that keeps them safe. We took pictures all weekend, but I don't think I'll even forget the family picture we didn't take. I learned that we need something to help us remember. That there's something intangible about act of posing for the camera and smiling.

I should learn to take better care of my camera.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the edge

 "My life is like a stroll upon the beach...,

As near the ocean’s edge as I can go..." 
-Henry David Thoreau

...Last week, I went to Long Beach Island, an 18-mile long strip of land just off the coast of New Jersey. And what a stay it was. I went with Alissa and I had some reservations,given some past skirmishes, but I think it only brought us closer. I think that happens when you have a new experience with a friend. It brings you together because you mutually experience things that invoke your senses. And when you have a memory of that sense or experience, you think of the other person.

It was just beautiful there. The weather was perfect. We stayed in a motel 200 feet away from the beach. One morning, I got up early and went for a run. I ended the run on the shore. The ocean was calm, with waves gently lapping the sand. The sun's rays reflected shimmery light off the water. The absence of the roar of the high tide pounding the beach left a tranquil solitude that I will never forget.
And I went surfing for the first time ever! That was an adventure! I'm hooked! It was difficult at first to get the movement and rhythm of standing on the board, but at the same time I felt so comfortable out on the water. I think the hardest part was paddling through the breaking waves. The falling was difficult, also, which happened often. And I didn't fall gracefully; it was like I was competing for the worst wipe out award! But what a sense of triumph I had when I stood up and rode the wave to the shore!

Now that my gypsying ways have ended (for the most part; a few side trips here and there. A gypsy can never stop in one place for too long, after all...) this summer, I can focus on life here and {slowly} switch gears for September. Because whether I like it or not, it's almost August and that means summer is almost over. But what a summer it's been...

"she walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land just like she's walking on a wire in the circus."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

summer is delicious

I spent the first 2 weeks of summer gypsying around, spending time with friends and family. I've had some great times and wonderful, fun experiences. Here are some "wordbytes," if you will...

...Reading a 400-page book during a lazy, rainy day...

...Watching Natalie and Emma share a towel and eat potato chips on a perfect day at the beach...

...Sailing for the first time ever...

...Spending a full week with my mom...

...Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds live...

...Sumptuous dinners in Canandaigua...

...Getting hit on by a redneck at a car race...

...Running around a reservoir and down a tree-lined path...

...Now that I've settled back down from my travels, it's time for another adventure! Destination: Long Beach Island, NJ. I'm sure I'll have some blog-worthy stories to share upon my return...

...Lately, it feels like there has been a ripening of my soul, like delicious piece of fruit. Is this happiness? In the back of my mind, there's always a voice warning me to expect misfortune and bad luck. And I'm sure some adversity is bound to happen at some time or other. But please, let me enjoy the warm sun on my skin and life ripening before my eyes. Ah, summer...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

my gypsy ways

There's a feeling I get
when I hear the rustling of the trees.

As the wind rushes past me 
and through the leaf-heavy branches.

Waiting for the end of the cascading wind 
and the eerie silence that follows.
The silence that soothes and comforts, 
but beckons for more.

I yearn to go
where I choose.
I want to feel the impact of others 
as I 
rush by.

Nothing to hold me back
the air.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

run down memory lane

Start on Couch St, slowly, finding my pace.

Turn right onto William St.
College house party.
I remember the white and blue-striped top I wore.

Jog passed Zuke's Deli and cross Brinkerhoff Ave.
We'd hang out there after school, biding our time before practice.
One time, in 8th grade, we found a pornographic book in the church parking lot.
We brought our promiscuous loot to Zuke's and read it with fervor and confusion.

Left onto Cornelia, then a quick left onto Grace Ave.
Pass by Kate's childhood home.
Many days and many sleepovers. 
Her mother's lasagna.
Her parents have split.
The house is sold.

My pace quickens and my stride lengthens.
Left onto Bailey Ave, then right onto Lynde St.
Pass by Lafayette. 
Jake Lessor lived down that street. 
After-prom party.
Busted party.

Now Boynton Ave.
The relentless sun, fresh and hard after a passing storm,
Beats down on my face.
Breathing slow,

Straight unto Cumberland Ave.
Pass by Katie Dahlen's childhood home.
Spent the ice storm of '98 there.
Crept out in 8th grad.
Her sister
Picked us up on the side of road.
Brought us to a college party.
We're no longer friends.

The humidity starts to get to me.
Sweat drips down my face.
But the breeze rushing off the lake
Cools and refreshes me.

Pass by McDonough Monument
I took my prom pictures there.
I wore a light blue strapless dress with a gathered hem.
I felt like Cinderella.

Up the hill.
I hate hills.
Chugging along, I want to walk up it.
I keep running.
I pass by the spot where I won the pie eating contest.
It was a cherry pie with a piece of bubble gum in it.
I had graduated high school.
I got my eyebrow pierced immediately after.

Through downtown Plattsburgh, onto Court St.
I know I'm almost done.
I pass by my high school.
A part has been torn down.
It's being converted into senior citizen housing.
The art wing was included in the demolition.
I had two murals painted there.
The only evidence of any artistic ability I possess. 

The end is in sight, 
Left onto William St., then Couch St. 
The home stretch.
I slow to a walk,
and saunter back to 
My car.

It seems so long, a run.
But a blur when it's done.
And you see it behind you.
The phantom steps 
The linger.

Monday, June 28, 2010

a conversation with a 7-year old

My sister, Emma, and I were doing at-home pedicures when she asked me about Ty.

"What happened with you and Ty?" She inquired.

"Well, we decided we shouldn't be together anymore," I replied.

"Did you have a fight?" She went on to ask.

"No, it just didn't work out."

"Yeah, boys are silly. They don't know what to do with you."

"Very true. You shouldn't be worrying about boys, anyway. You should just have a lot of girlfriends."

"You're right. And then when you do have a boyfriend, you can tell them what to do."

...This made me smile. We should listen to our inner seven-year old more often. Sometimes it's the most simple sentiment that makes the most sense.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I have a reasonable suspicion that Ty has a girlfriend (reason #599 that I need to take a break from facebook). I had a feeling, though. He stopped texting and asking that we "hang out."

So, how do I feel?

I don't really know. Different feelings run through my mind. Sadness. Relief. Confusion. Release. A part of me misses him and is mad that he moved on first (thanks, sinister sarah).  Another part (the more dominate and sane part, might I add), thinks, "Ha, not my problem anymore!" 

I thought I needed Ty. I thought I needed the reassurance, the attention, his ability to take apart my futon and bookshelf, his powertools. I relied on constant texting and contact.

But honestly, I can take my own futon and bookshelf apart. And I can advocate for my own happiness. I can be alone and be okay with it. My phone doesn't have to be constantly buzzing. To quote SATC: "That's the thing about needs. Sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore." 

At the end of the day, I don't need him. I need me to the best I can be. And I couldn't be that person when I was with him.