I wrote a poem the other day.
It’s rough and disjointed and visually inconsistent, but it’s actually on the page, damn it.
In fairness, I too am rough and disjointed and visually inconsistent, so at least the foundation of the piece is true to its author.
This insomnia, while good for brooding and general malaise, is unhealthy. It would be easier if I was an issue I could easily turn a blind eye to, but unlike things like hypochondria or something, I am quite aware that I am awake when I really shouldn’t be. There’s nothing rational about it, either — I (usually) know that I’m going to wake up in the morning, but that feeling of slipping away into darkness petrifies me enough to where I find myself doing whatever I can to avoid laying down. The only thing that helps is melatonin, but even though it’s a natural remedy, that doesn’t mean I’m not worried about becoming dependent on it.
The fact that my phone (which is also my alarm clock, because we are living in the future) is on the fritz doesn’t make getting Lor ready for school any easier. There’s a reason why Friday is my favorite day of the week, people.
Oh, boy, with the day completely booked solid and running on so few hours of sleep… well, let’s just say that it’s going to be a fun time.
I have to go back.
I found five dollars in my wallet yesterday, and for some reason, my mind made the connection from five dollars to Caffe Vita’s questionable service ethos to a broken coffee date with my Kyle from my fiction course two years ago. I swallowed my jitters, and few e-mails later, I found myself with a plan for today.
It was nice to sit there and actually talk with someone who has invested themselves in the world of academia. Kyle talked about his philosophy courses and preparing writing samples for his MFA applications, and I talked about the hurdles I faced with trying to figure out how to finish my education. He caught me up on what our professor was doing now and told me about how he got banned from the Gamespot forums (for criticizing the trailer for Heavy Rain, strangely enough).
We circled around downtown Oly, hitting up Archibald Sisters, The Danger Room, and Orca Books. As we were waiting at a crosswalk near Caffe Vita (I wanted to check out a friend’s showcase), Kyle stared past the cars and the storefronts. “You have to go back,” he said.
And even though everything he said before and after that was just as true, that moment stuck out to me, so tomorrow, I’m going to make phone calls. I’ll even make an appointment with an advisor at Evergreen. I’m not even going to bother with finishing my AA and just transfer whatever I can and go all out. Because he’s right — that’s what needs to be done. I don’t want to put it off, and academia really is where I belong. The classrooms, lecture halls, libraries… they’re the only places where I feel most at ease, even more so than my own home.
So, yes. It’s time to get that degree.
It’s strange to think that by the time I was eight years old, I had already read Whitman and Gibran. “The Diary of Anne Frank” had put words and purpose in my hands, and I had already started to write, cradled in the branches of my beloved tree. Sometimes I wonder if that tree was my muse, if there was something in the leaves that’d seep into my flesh, if the slight change of altitude made my mind a bit clearer, my lungs able to hold in those words until their essence intoxicated me.
Despite my young age, I understood the musicality of a poem. I could lay my hand on my heart and feel the rhythm of the lines take hold of me; the individual pace and tone of each piece wove itself into my sinew and I could recite it, note for note. I would later take up the violin, the cello, even the viola, and when I realized I could play a piece by heart after only reading its sheet once or twice, I attributed it not to any musical talent, but to that masterclass of rhythm taken long ago under an Arizona sky.
When I was a little girl, I loved playing with words. I don’t remember a lot from when I was very young, but I do remember climbing up and nestling myself in the boughs of the giant (oak?) tree in our front yard, pocket dictionary in my hand. I think it was my mother’s — she was insecure about her English at the time, and still is to an extent — but we all knew it was really mine, for I would always find it as soon as I got home from school and run outside to hide behind the leaves. Every now and then, I’d have trouble with one of larger words in a book I was reading, but for the most part, I’d play Jumble or Hangman, usually on the hardest setting so I could not only figure out the structure of the words I was guessing at, but also to see them and learn what they meant.
Even after we moved away from Davis Monthan, from a land of deserts and mesas to one of evergreen needles and lichen, I longed for those warm days spent in my favorite tree, staring at the clouds while filling the lonely spaces between C and I.
There are many things that don’t make sense to me. Most of them are things I see as contradictory, especially those things that define me.
For example, list-making.
I’m one of the most disorganized people you’ll ever meet. I’m as likely to finish a story as I am to finish a cup of coffee. If I’m not at work, I tend to live in a constant state of flux, of disarray. I haven’t had a “real” job in over two years now, so everything’s just been building up around me. Just imagine Pig-Pen, but instead of being surrounded by a dust cloud, he’s enveloped by an equally thick cloud of half-finished sentences, self-doubt and unfolded laundry. That’s pretty much how I live at the moment.
I love making lists, though. They give me this sense of order, and in some ways I feel like I know myself a little bit better when I write them out. What do I need to do? Where do I need to go? Because of that, the Day Zero Project appealed to me.
I’m slow to internet fads sometimes, although I’m loath to call this one due to its nature. Otherwise known as 101 Things in 1001 Days, the site is maintained by Michael Green, who built the site after beginning his own (successful) bucket list. Rather than use 43 Things, which is a lot more community-based, I wanted something that gave me a set date and felt more personal. Since one of the things on my list is to write one blog post per week, I figured I would start out with this.
Hopefully something like this will get me to become more active — not just physically, but mentally. Off I go!
Read more: 101 Things in 1001 Days