Wednesday, January 25

a letter to you from me


I followed you down to the snow covered hillside and we came here as a peace offering to the caverns in our heart that desperately needed to be filled with softness. I knew you were feeling the same way as I was — when the world doesn't feel like your world. Instead, it feels like a mirror in which you don't even recognize your own reflection. A month ago, you were decorating a tree and drinking hot cider, but now, January says something unaware like playing a card game and life is always throwing you a new deck. We wanted to be reminded that although we skate across the January pavement with shaky shivering palms, this is still our world and springtime will be made all the more sweet because we've known and sang so loudly to the blues of winters beast.

My voice spoke to you with no uncertainty as I told you to listen to the birds who seemed to not notice we weren't birds too. In fact, we were so human in that moment and it is also what lead us to each other and onto this hillside. Being human after all means exactly this; to weep, to wonder, to ricochet between needing this world and wanting to run away from it. I told you that I loved you and like every other time I said it, I meant every word. All the stutters, all the ache, all the togetherness and separation that comes with saying it. Some people don't mean it like I do. They say it to you because you are so worthy of love, but they don't see the compass that turns my eyes towards you when somebody asks where is my home.

I know there is a dying light every time I part from you, and every time we part from places like the hillside. I know when you are distant from me, it is only because you have been losing sleep or because you are longing to watch the hollyhocks grow. I know winter brings with it a caravan of sleepiness and sometimes, your hands cannot mend what is expressed in your heart. More than this, I am utterly incomplete without you.

You are my bones, my belly, my mind, my feet and all of those feelings which exist in separate and strange parts. There is only one you. You are me. I am you. There is no ordinary in your vocabulary and that is why the blues bite you like you're a trout swimming through cold water. You notice things, little things where other people move on from. Sometimes, I wish I could detach from you momentarily just so I could break from thinking this much or thinking at all, but then I wouldn't be me anymore. I could survive winter, but I couldn't survive without my head.

When I rise from the bed where we both sleep, you will open the shutters to see that winter is still here. You will tell me, I will cry for a moment, but then I will make a recipe that calls for cold hands, something to warm us, something to say that the winter still has a heart for the living.

outfit details: chicwish dress, thriftstore shawl, winners tights, free people boots
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Wednesday, January 18

going to and from a train

Sometimes, my face aligns with the faces of those who take the train into downtown. I stay seated as the tracks whistle and roar, everybody wrestling to their destination, me not wanting to be on the train but knowing I have some part in the hustle. I watch people travel along with the hurry of ten sled dogs. I don't know why they are compelled to live a life where breath is just an automated response and the rest of the day turns into the rest of our lives and soon, we become strangers crossing the street from one another. I do not want to ever - not for a moment - turn the light in the attic that is my brain off or numbed. I exist, but that is not enough. I breathe without trying, but that is not enough. 

To live in the city means to forget what the sea whispers or the mountains confess. Sometimes, it is the difference between the horse running through the grass covered plains and the horse being a contestant in a rodeo. We shouldn't, but we do it often. Forgetfulness reels rampant when we're chasing something we do not yet have. We need friends, but we don't need to count them on our fingers. We need money, but we don't need so much that we don't know what to do with it. We need love, but we don't need to stay in relationships that slowly leave our hearts rotten like teeth without a tooth brush just because we're afraid of being alone. We may not always know what it is that marks the difference between just living and being truly alive, but somebody along the way must have said to find what you're looking for, you need to run. run to the train station, run to your place of work, run to your computer, run to your esteem, run away from, run to, always be running. This call for running can be so loud in the ears of those who hear it, but I do not want to rise early only to lace up running shoes every day for the rest of my life.

Why must we run, when there are so many little beams of sunlight and what could be is making friends with the dust bunnies while we're moving too fast to pay any mind. Go to school, find a job, get a husband, have a baby, retire, die, leave a legacy. Have you ever looked out the window and noticed something for the first time? Although, you have traveled to and from that street every day for the last seven years, do you remember a day where you noticed a sign post or a bramble or a house for the first time, even though it has been there all along. We are so busy - we don't remember what it was like to crane our necks and count the stars at night, even when we do, we're told to wish on shooting stars because they travel so fast, too fast for thoughts of our truest wishes to begin taking shape in our heads. We always want something else. When it is midwinter, we want the mist to turn into tall grass. When it is autumn, we want the fallen maple leaf to be a tulip bulb. I don't mind dreaming, it is the only place I visit where I am always myself. There, in these dreams, I do not have to try, but I would like to see what is in front of me too, otherwise I am bound to a life of sleeping.

I do not want to look at life as if it is a stop watch, losing time between each breath and exhale, but I would like to stop running and to do so, sometimes, I'll need to be pinched in order to really feel something besides simply being a human going to and from a train. This is why the woods matter. Without even trying, they tell me what I needed to hear as if I couldn't hear it when I was in the city. 
This is not a race. This is a life.

January, you are not yet over. Life, you have not yet left. Rise and put the coffee-maker on, this feeling calls for a cup of take your time and a brain that says there is nothing else you need to do today.

 outfit details: chicwish skirt & blouse, free people socks, crown and glory floral headband, gift necklace
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Thursday, January 12

5 goals for January

 The windowsill in my kitchen is covered in tiny icicles that look like broken glass. It is cold, so cold, and the only way to warm the bones is to draw long baths and boil water on the stove top. I am hesitant to wander outside, not even the woods could call me now, not when the winter hours glare so obviously at the hands of those who walk within it. I want to tell the bouquet of snapdragons to grow wise and tall, like they did at summer's calling, but I know they cannot. If I run outside to take photographs, to walk dogs, or to go somewhere that requires leaving, I am caught by a coughing fit and the insatiable desire to return home, where we can gather by the fireplace and forget what misery winter can bring. They say it will be warming up soon, and when that happens, I'll return with photographs and hopefully happier sentiments (!)

Little goals for January 
I have decided every month to set five little (or big) goals for myself. I don't necessarily care if I fail them or not and I do believe we place too much emphasis on getting things done or comparing our lives to others. I just want to do this as a way of keeping track so when those quiet and lonely hours of self defeat creep into my cupboards, I can see what I have accomplished or what I have yet to do. Feel free to join me in the comments or leave a link to your own post!
  1. Decide which songs I want on my album and which songs I should finish writing.
  2. Hunker down and actually finish learning a new banjo song. Instead of starting, learning halfway, and then moving onto something else.
  3. Take more photographs of the people I love. Including the pups.
  4. Finish reading at least one unfinished book from the shelf. I still haven't fully read a Haruki Murakami book given to me for my birthday one year ago. I think I should start with that one.
  5. Become a better indoor plant mum. It seems like every indoor plant I have dies or is dying. You can find crumbles of leaves all over the floor in my room.

    Okay January, be kind to us.


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