An honest body.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Act of Submission

Before leaving for our quick road trip on Thursday, I submitted some poems to Wicked Alice. I was excited. The idea of being counted as a writer and having a few poems on display with other writers was super special to me.
Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything back. This isn't weird or sad. Writers often speak to the process of submitting work and then receiving the inevitable rejections and how this is all a part of what creates a real writer. I'm not really a real writer though. I just wanted to hear some good news and carry on my merry way.
It felt so benign at first, just sending some things I'd been working on off to a random email address. Then I was embarrassed. Now I'm stuck on the idea that so much, such an essential component to so many things in life, is submission. Not in the gross S&M way. (Not judging if anyone who is in to S&M ever happens across this blog, but I'm not, so it seems gross from the outside.)
The course my life has taken over my 20s has led my to believe that there's little a person can actually physically control. I can control my car, for the most part. But I can't control what happens to me on the road. This is probably why people become obsessive about some of the more manageable things in life like eating and home decor (and sex).
I want to be able to let it all go. To adopt the mantra of a tiny leaf on the water or some shit like that, but I don't want to shatter the allusion of control. I work very hard at maintaining that network of tiny lies for myself, knowing it's a false sense of security, but still hanging on to it all the same. And somehow I feel like the effort of the allusion points me in the right direction or keeps me sane enough to get through difficult times and these are important things.
Submitting in some way, means recognizing that you're part of a process or condition. So perhaps I'm not reeling wildly through the wind, but I am part of the randomness of life. I am subject to the strange way life throws things together and in this juxtapose, there's often some of the most outrageous beauty of profound hilarity. Not to get too schmaltzy, but I'm sometimes so glad for the wonder of it all. It makes it easier to shrug and say, I have no idea.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Marriage Plot

First, I think I should re-read The Marriage Plot. Jeffrey Eugenides is amazing. I should also re-read Middlesex. I find books I love, devour them and then just walk away, like thanks for the good read. Peace out. I should read them again. Many times. I feel like that's what good, responsible readers do. I'm actually not sure what a 'responsible reader' is. (Someone who wears a condom while they read?) Probably someone who reads for the sake of some academic endeavor, which I am not. I should for sure make more notes in the margins, though. I love notes in the margins.
Anyway, I loved The Marriage Plot and I read it last summer while eating tons of raspberries that grew in our backyard. The two sensations are totally enmeshed. Taking in the wonderful, well-crafted writing of Jeffrey and loads of super sweet and sometimes sour fruits with little seeds for texture and literally tasting the sunshine in the berry flesh. There's an analogy deep in there, for all the characters in Jeff's book and aspects of the fruit, but I won't get into that today, because it would probably be pretty dumb.
I was actually just trying to talk about marriage. We're driving to a wedding in Missouri this weekend. It's a friend of Caleb, my boyfriend, that's getting married. My best friend is getting married in September. We have another wedding in September, too. I'm filling in an RSVP right now (declining). But this is small potatoes. Three summers ago we went to 8 weddings or something weird like that. There were a lot. I'm trying to point out that a lot of people get married. It's a thing, I guess.
Fine, never mind. I have nothing insightful to say about marriage today. Other than, of course, I should put re-reading The Marriage Plot on my list.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

She said, "I'll never be famous."

I have a really wonderful friend I found through teaching. She's dealt with a severe amount of trauma in her life and has managed to remain romantic and soft and kind. She's older than I am, in her fifties, and the idea for creating summer goals came through her. She uses many well-developed self-care routines to help keep her stable mentally. Using goals and routines is essential for Pam and I love hearing about the intricacies of these practices.
When we were last hanging out on her porch, she was explaining that her goal for this summer was to become more spiritual and at peace in the present moment. She said she has a nice life and she wants to appreciate it instead of listening to her head spin constantly. She said, "I'll never be famous. I just want to be happy and really see the trees and the lake."
I was struck by the recognition that at a certain point, there are things you can't hope for anymore. My boyfriend told me a long time ago that he realized before going to sleep one night that he would never dunk a basketball and I could tell that this crushed a part of his soul. I remember feeling flooded with dread when I found out I was no longer eligible to try out to be on The Real World on MTV.
It's sad, maybe, when there's a finality about the way our lives turned out. My first reaction is to tell my boyfriend to get a mini-trampoline under the hoop and work that shit out or suggest that Pam write a best seller. I think the point of allowing yourself to say, this thing isn't going to happen for me, is still lost on me. I bet there's calm in it somewhere. To me, it seems like a huge, sad loss to say anything is fully out of the cards. Like, maybe I will still join the circus or figure out how to drop in on a skateboard.
Again, I won't ever do these things, and a part of me knows this, but I sort of refuse to accept it. I still own a skateboard. I still watch reality TV shows on PBS about circus families. I still allow myself to dream about any little thing that amuses me. Maybe the point for me is that, once it's a foregone conclusion in reality, it's less exciting to daydream about and I refuse to limit my daydreams. Or maybe I will move to Italy and learn to walk the tight rope.
What I'm trying to say is, until I'm deep in the ground or a soft mound of ash, I prefer to imagine that there's room for me in many different scenarios of life. I prefer to think that the road ahead is still limitless and mysterious and filled with stuff that will fulfill some part of some daydreams, if not all of them in their entirety.

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Summer

Summer, for teachers, is very important. We have the unique opportunity to live completely different lives for a few months. We can read books, clean our houses, do crafts, make dinners, travel. These are things that I find very difficult to do while teaching. I find, I'm very tired when I come home at the end of the day and most things I want to do remain on a list in my head or in a small notebook in my purse for weeks and months are are eventually forgotten.
Summer is wonderful. This is my second official summer as a teacher and I want to have some goals. I want to learn to play the drums. You heard me world. I've always known I had a drummer buried inside me, waiting to bash her way out. My boyfriend gave me a drum kit for my birthday. I'm ready.
I also want to organize everything in my house. No small feat. I think I love being very, very organized. It's hard to be organized. But I want to be.
The other things I like doing, like sleeping and reading and riding my bike seem to find their way naturally into my routine. The rest becomes sort of mysterious.
So my schedule will be as follows:
Wake up
Drink coffee
Play the drums
I'm such a lucky bitch!