Tag Archives: thoughts

it’s the black lineup that i miss.

ubud, bali. march 2009.

i really, really miss this.

whipping down a busy bali street, feeling the engine shift down as i pull up curbside in front of the cafe.
fitting myself between the lines of motorbikes everyone else is tearing around on. 
getting coffee and doing whatever it is i’d be doing. reading, thinking, sitting.
then getting up, picking the keys from out of my helmet, shoving the kickstand out of place, turning the key and blazing off into the heat…

 

the undertow.

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being someplace else can be incredibly healthy.
you walk different streets, you eat at different bistros, you drink different beer, you meet different people.
the skies different. it’s all just … not what you know. it’s something else.

kate lives two doors down from modest mouse. it’s a bigger corner house with a mannequin looking out of the top window. it overlooks a park and she can hear them jamming all the time. i stood in front of it and thought, 

“hey, you’re famous. i love your porch.”

seeing where they live made them normal. they make rad music, but they’re no different than anyone else, really. these dudes drink beers and pay their rent and call their friends and have a deer lawn ornament. 

but as most of my thoughts do, the boat caught the undercurrent and i found myself wondering about all the decisions they made to have their lives be this, right here, on this street, at this house. what did they decide that culminated into this?

and that, that undercurrent of thought, is why being someplace else can also just irritate the shit out of settled dust.

it’s kind of annoying. here you think you have a few things figured out and suddenly you stand in front of modest mouse’s house, cock your head to the side, and you feel it, feel something shift. and the dust does a giant, unified grab for the ceiling. f.

rely on their lyrics to articulate it better than i can:

“i like songs about drifters – books about the same. 
they both seem to make me feel a little less insane. 
walked on off to another spot. 
i still haven’t gotten anywhere that I want. 
did I want love? did I need to know? 
why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?”
– world at large. 

holy shit. i don’t know.

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the porch across the street.

these places waiting to be claimed.

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there was this one day in sydney.

nobody knew where i was.
but i was walking along the sea. for a long, long time.
and suddenly the path ended, the fence made you turn around and go back from where you came. i had walked pretty far and wasn’t happy to have to swing a 180 and retrace.

i looked around and saw that about a quarter the way up the sharp cliff was a little nook. a little scoop in the stone that looked perfect for sitting. i glanced around, weighed the option of smashing my head on the rocks if i fell and not trying at all, and started scraping my way up. my little black sneakers quickly saying hello to the dusty, layered rock.

i maneuvered myself into the groove and sighed out loud. i was pretty pleased. i watched as a few other tourists came to the end of the line, looked out for a minute or two, then unquestioningly turned around. had they only known other things could be found if they just went up.

but other than a few tourists, it was just me.

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i sat by the swirling sea and admired all the colors of blue it had picked that day.
i turned my head toward passing birds and stared straight into the sun. 
i sipped away at my orange juice and played song after song after song…

it wasn’t about anything or for anything. i had nowhere to be and no sense of time. it was just one girl, one sea, hanging out.
and when do you ever get to wander around on the other side of the world…to sit in a scoopy cliff…with orange juice and music…with the sea as your rug…and just let the minutes bother someone else?
never.

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i just took my battered travel journal off its shelf to see if i had written anything this day.
sandwiched between postcards and a picture of my grandpa was written a long entry i had written at a restaurant on the other side of the harbor that night. it ended with this:

“how do some young women not crave an adventure of their own? to get out, get lost, get known and put under the light…
this is where you find bits of yourself. in far-flung places, in side streets and unknown corners. as though these places were waiting for you to get there, waiting to be claimed.” 

february 11. 

i think those sentaments are the closest thing i have to a personal hymn. in them is a desire carved onto the palms of my hands.

with nothing to offer me but an echo.

today. july 28.

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ollie’s bargain outlet.

this was one of our stops today on our making-krista’s-wedding-happen list. the countdown is at a measly 4 days. 4 days! not long.

but as i kinda got lost and poked around, my thoughts were far from wedding bells and flower arrangements. i reached the end of this aisle, which was basically the end of the store and it was actually pretty surreal. i turned around and took one look at the long aisle and thought only one thing:

zimbabwe doesn’t look like this.

ours are shelves crippled under masses of pickle jars and bins of mayo. at night the janitor flicks off the lights and all the shelves let out a unified groan. they are stuffed with stuff.
and it’s all liquidated stuff. the big stores shimmied all the shampoo bottles and rice packets and cans of corn off to ollie’s where they got slapped with a red discount label and put on a shelf. and there they stand day after day. after day. after day.

i remember awhile back flipping through a new york times photo essay on the food shortages and inflation going on in zim. and i sat and stared, i don’t even know how long it was, at a picture of an aisle that looked much like this one, and there was not a thing on its shelves.
nothing.
the store owners were probably hoping nobody would steal the nails that were holding the shelves up. they were the last thing there that had any worth.

i wondered what it would feel like to need bread or rice and to walk into a store with nothing to offer me but an echo. for my government to have f’d my country over long enough for the food on the shelves to border jump along with most everyone else. what would that feel like.

i started to slowly walk back up the aisle, staring at the rows of lipton noodles and tall towers of green giant beans, and…i was overwhelmed with the realization that i have always been on the side that is full. i’ve never wanted for anything in my life, never gone without.
there are millions and millions and millions of people that have never once gone a day without feeling that hole remain a hole. for that ache to keep them company at night while raindrops fall on their closed eyelids, interrupting their sleep.

what is that? what is that?

this world doesn’t make sense.
and it killed me in an unexpected moment, among ollie’s bargains.

“Funny the way it is, if you think about it 
Somebody’s going hungry and someone else is eating out…
Funny the way it is, if you think about it 
one kid walks 10 miles to school, another’s dropping out…”

-dave matthews band.