the latest from mazzy star \\\ ‘in the kingdom’
this post has been percolating for quite some time as my mind is like a vast sea of confusion…
about what, you say?
life. and the next step.
most of my friends have long since settled down into one place. but me, i spent my 20s and part of my 30s moving back and forth across the country and traveling.
with a good portion of my worldly possessions being in storage for the good part of a decade, i’ve been feeling this tug to reclaim them, unpack them, touch them… mostly it’s because i want a place to put them.
the only way i can describe how i’ve been feeling is this:
i feel like i’m standing above some ground fissure, like when there’s an earthquake and the surface starts to split, and i’ve got one foot on each side of the crack. and the fissure keeps getting wider and wider, making my legs separate further and further. that unease, panic of needing to make a choice to pick one side or the other before it’s too late and i fall into some dark unknown of complacency i don’t want to be in. kinda like my very own continental divide.
here, like this:
what’s the big deal/decision, you ask?
where to move/live next.
i feel more pressure this time because i’m so tired of feeling unsettled and like i don’t have a home. i mean, i have and have had places to live, but it’s been a long time since anything has felt like home. the next time i move, i want to make it last, at least for an extended period of time.
the beauty, and sometimes hindrance, of my job is that i can work anywhere as long as there is internet and a relatively major airport nearby. i love that aspect but man it’s making me feel a bit stuck. more like overwhelmed with the options. because there are so many.
i’m a super independent person but moving with someone or to a place where you know people always makes the transition a bit easier, but this time, that might not be in the cards…
so here are the places that have splashed through my mind at some point over the last few years:
1. new york – this one’s pretty obvious. i have friends and family here and it would be incredibly convenient for my work and work events. expensive though.
2. jersey – i have friends and family here too. close to nyc, with a bit of a break on the finances.
3. los angeles (again) – i’ve lived there and have friends there.
4. portland (again) – i have friends there and i’ve lived there before. loved it, much more so towards the end when i was meeting more people. it rains a lot though. but it’s cheap.
5. seattle – i’ve been there and liked it a lot and for some reason, years ago, i thought about it being a fun option. i know a couple of people there.
6. somewhere in the midwest? – haven’t spent much time there so i don’t know.
7. asheville, nc – lots of friends there. family close by (is that a pro or con?!). it’s beautiful and cheap.
8. and lastly, somewhere in europe – i’ve had this on my life list and in my dreams since i was a kid and in recent years i’ve thought about berlin, especially after visiting there last year.
see why i’m confused? too many options, all pretty good ones also. i’m sick of moving so i want to pick somewhere and make it happen for longer than a couple of years. commitment freaks me out more than you know but maybe it’s time to get over that?
any thoughts/advice/helpful hints/persuasions/love/gentle nudges you all would like to provide? all advice welcome, unless it’s the asshole-y kind.
there’s nothing like a song that can bring you to your knees… when the lyrics and melody weave in and out of your body and oftentimes, your heart, producing a musical goldmine that you just can’t seem to forget.
it can be a song that evokes happiness, melancholy, anger, you name it, but if it makes me feel feelings, than i’m probably going to love it.
here’s a live version recorded at WFUV:
here’s the official video:
and now the lyrics… the oh so beautiful lyrics, all about love and heartbreak…
Some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a fading thing
Just as fickle as a feather in a stream
See, honey, I saw love. You see, it came to me
It put its face up to my face so I could see
Yeah then I saw love disfigure me
Into something I am not recognizing
See, the cage, it called. I said, “Come on in”
I will not open myself up this way again
Nor lay my face to the soil, nor my teeth to the sand
I will not lay like this for days now upon end
You will not see me fall, nor see me struggle to stand
To be acknowledged by some touch from his gnarled hands
You see, the cage, it called. I said, “Come on in”
I will not open myself up this way again
You see, the moon is bright in that treetop night
I see the shadows that we cast in the cold, clean light
My feet are gold. My heart is white
And we race out on the desert plains all night
See, honey, I am not some broken thing
I do not lay here in the dark waiting for thee
No my heart is gold. My feet are light
And I am racing out on the desert plains all night
So some say love is a burning thing
That it makes a fiery ring
Oh but I know love as a caging thing
Just a killer come to call from some awful dream
O and all you folks, you come to see
You just stand there in the glass looking at me
But my heart is wild. And my bones are steam
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free
i remember reading this in college and falling in love with it…
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
someone asked me recently why i don’t have a job in photography since it was, after all, what my degree is in.
i first went to school for english and anthropology and while i loved the subject matter, i wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. years later, i was done with it, mentally anyway.
photography has always been in my veins. it’s something that’s always been close to my heart and i knew i wanted to learn more about it.
i started taking a couple of night classes to get reacquainted with the basics (first learned in 4th grade). i loved the smell of the chemicals and processing film and printing photos.
around that time, one of my best friends was talking about going back to school. to scad (savannah college of art and design). a lightbulb went off in me. that’s what i wanted to do. so we did it. we moved to savannah and went to school for photography.
the crazy part was that i knew i didn’t want to do photography as my job.
that’s crazy, right? why bother going to school for something that you’re not going to make into your career. it was more than that though.
it was my creative outlet. i really loved capturing that one teeny tiny moment in time on film. but the best part was having your head buried behind or bent down peering into a viewfinder, hiding from the world.
i spent my childhood wanting to hide in the corner, overwhelmed with shyness to the point of it making me physically sick. never feeling worthy of anyone’s love or attention made me cower in fear that people would actually tell me that they, in fact, didn’t love me. i lived dreading having to talk to anyone that wasn’t already my friend. even that was difficult. and truthfully, spending time with your face behind a camera was easier than trying to socialize.
i didn’t grow up talking about my feelings. you just didn’t. for me, i began to eat my feelings, stuffing them way down, only comforted briefly with food in hopes that i could bury my feelings of self-loathing forever. instead, it only made things worse.
my shyness was always there, still is, but the older i got i was somehow able to shelve it to a degree. but, the self-loathing lingered. it’s something that i have to literally fight to this day, every single day. and that’s hard – so damn hard, especially living in a world that tells you you’re not worthy unless you’re skinny and perfect. well, i’m neither of these things so it’s a constant battle. a battle that still makes me want to hide in a dark corner hoping someone kind will notice me, love me, and generally think i’m okay just how i am.
after decades of battling the self-hatred and running every time a camera surfaces, i’m trying to find tiny ounces of love for myself and hope people aren’t judging me the same way i’m judging myself in the photos. yes, i still cringe every single time i catch a glance of that familiar face staring back at me but i’m trying so hard not to critique what i see.
every phone now has a camera and every person is taking a mulitude of selfies, but at first i just couldn’t do it. i started out slow, almost never taking any, but now, i go there more often. why? i guess in hopes of some day being completely okay with the outcome; of possibly not believing that all there is is ugliness looking back at me. mostly, it’s helping me to be okay with myself, little by little, one selfie at a time.
always loved this rilke poem…
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.
I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.
translated by Annemarie S. Kidder
i picked up this book by donald miller last month after hearing about it for a couple of years and then being reminded of it when erin loechner referenced it in her post about slowing down. excellent read, by the way.
she mentioned a passage in it that said:
“People get stuck, thinking they are one kind of person, but they aren’t … The human body essentially recreates itself every six months. Nearly every cell of hair and skin and bone dies and another is directed to its former place. You are not who you were in February.”
so true, right? you can’t get stuck on who you were, what you did or didn’t do, the mistakes you made. everyday is a new day to be better, do better. we choose the person we are and want to be. it’s not always easy, hell, i struggle with it daily and have most of my life, but it’s a nice reminder to let go of the image we have in our mind of ourselves.
it’s like my amazingly honest and smart friend tony told me (about me), “you have to forgive yourself for being stuck; stuck on who you were and the decisions you’ve made.”
can’t wait to read this book… anyone else read it?
one of my favorite films. it came out in 1996 when i was working at these independent, art house theaters in raleigh, north carolina. one of the perks of the job was being allowed to watch anything and everything whenever we wanted and luckily i was able to see this one a few times.
i’d always loved timothy hutton (i mean, how could you not?!), and this film made me love him even more. his interactions with natalie portman always break my heart a little, he’s the older, 29-year old man back visiting his hometown, and she, the 13-year old neighbor of timothy’s father. there’s an immediate connection, not a dirty, sexual inappropriate one (although i’m sure that’s how some people saw it), just one where you know this person is coming into your life for a particular reason kind of connection. to teach you something.
maybe i love it so because i always know instinctively the second someone in particular like this comes into my life that they’re there for something deeper than just chit chat. i get the same feeling every time it has happened and i’ve yet to be wrong and while it hasn’t always been without pain, they’ve always been a vital piece to my life puzzle. they’re the ones that make me dig deep emotionally and challenge me to go the distance because they, to me, are worth it, as I am to myself.
ah, and then there’s michael rapaport in one of my favorite scenes about beautiful girls:
“Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will. A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking Jack and Coke all morning. She can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man – promise. Promise of a better day. Promise of a greater hope. Promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl. In her smile, in her soul, the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it’s going to be okay. The supermodels, Willy? That’s all they are. Bottled promise. Scenes from a brand new day. Hope dancing in stiletto heels…A beautiful girl is all-powerful and that’s as good as love. That’s as good as love.”
here’s the scene:
and then here’s the ensemble singing ‘sweet caroline’ and i have to say it’s probably the only time hearing that song wasn’t annoying. i’m sure you can imagine that i’ve heard this song once or twice in my day…
watch it. i promise, you won’t regret it.
ah…the lemonheads – my drug buddy. this song reminds me of my senior year in high school and first year in college. for various, never to be published reasons.
found this poem in an old sketchbook of mine and thought i’d share.
If she says something now he’ll say
it’s not true if he says it’s not true
they’ll think it’s not true if they think
it’s not true it will be nothing new
but for her it will be a weightier
thing it will fill up the space where
he isn’t allowed it will open the door
of the room where she’s put him
away he will fill up her mind he will fill
up her plate and her glass he will fill up
her shoes and her clothes she will never
forget him he says if she says
something now if she says something ever
he never will let her forget and it’s true
for a week for a month but the more
she says true and the more he says not
the smaller he seems he may fill up
his shoes he may fill up his clothes
the usual spaces he fills but something
is missing whatever they say whatever
they think he is not what he was
and the room in her mind is open she
walks in and out as she pleases she says
what she pleases she says what she means.