[ed. note: refer to the first “and bravely, i.” soundscape for context]
song: brother courage – “growing old”
“i imagine yes is the only living thing.” — ee cummings
there is one still point in a turning world. one piece of clarity for each moment. one bright star, winking at […]
photo: ‘and so runs the world away.’
song: ra cailum — “fall in chicago”
i imagine yes is the only living thing. — ee cummings.
i imagine there is a world that is only all of our moments, strung together like the christmas tree lights of rockefeller center. that on this world of […]
photo: ‘for everything.’
song: secret players society – “keep me”
‘now rushed into this brightness,
as if by a shutter
that, once opened,
can never be closed.’
— billy collins
it’s something i think about regularly, whether the smoke from a cigarette i inhaled two years ago on the beach in california, or the mountains in denver, or the coffee-stained, nicotine streets of chicago is still floating around inside my body.
like one atom of tar and smoke, one atom of time, one atom of a booze- and coffee-fueled night is a part of my body now. attached to the walls of my heart, coursing still through my blood, around and around and around again. always. and when i exhaled its brothers in a final sweep of movement from my body, stamping out a cigarette on my boots or crushing it on the sidewalk, one particle of smoke remained, trapped in the canals of my being. and now he is joined by a new family of fellow atomic smoke — the last cigarette smoked in the golden sunshine of a perfect day, the break up cigarettes, the after-sex cigarettes, the early mornings and late nights and too-far drives.
have they joined together in a band of orphan smoke particles, or did they resign themselves to a life of solitude? a life of lonely rhythmic cycles, accompanied by the heavy sound of blood pulsing through my veins. accompanied also by the memory of where they came, the significance they held at the time of my life.
Continue reading [soundscape] and here, instead. →
photo: ‘sleeping, bravely.’
song: peter and the wolf – “safe travels”
i was 19. i had moved, recently, from los angeles, where i had been homeless [sleeping in my car, then sleeping in my office when my engine seized] for a month before moving to colorado. i went through bouts of almost- and near- and essentially-homelessness for a few months before finally getting approved for an apartment.
when i found out i had been approved, i was professional and courteous on the phone. i didn’t act surprised. i acted non-chalant. like getting approved for an apartment was normal and that i was like every other 19 year old girl. after walking the many miles to my new apartment and finally being able to pick up the keys, it was late at night.
i unlocked the door.
i walked into the bathroom and i realized that i could bathe whenever i wanted.
for the first time in months, i cried.
Continue reading [soundscape] on where you are now →
song: bon iver — “flume” [stream only] | buy
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]
“character — like a photograph — develops in darkness.” – yousuf karsh
i was twenty one, living in colorado, platinum blonde.
i was also heartbroken.
i was dating a really wonderful person. a person i love to this day. i was in love with someone else, though. someone foolish and young. someone with melancholic eyes and mischievous lips. someone vibrant and so alive. so alive, it hurt.
especially when he left.
it was a shitty situation, what i did. dating someone even though i was in love with someone else. it’s the sort of thing you never expect yourself to do; it’s the sort of thing i never expected to do. be anything less than painfully honest with someone. but it happened, and i was, and this boy and i spent a long time together; longer than i deserved with him, honestly.
when i think back at that time when i was twenty one, living in colorado, platinum blonde, heartbroken, dating a really wonderful person but in love with someone else, i am incredibly melancholic. i remember listening to this song on repeat at the time and it’s funny that now, years later, this song so perfectly embodies that time for me. not just because i listened to it incessantly during that time, but because this song is melancholic and a little dishonest and just filled with a lot of grey area. which is exactly what i was.
most of the time, i don’t think we ever get the opportunity to truly apologize for things. how, for example, could i ever apologize to this boy for being confused and involving him and loving him, but never being able to fall in love with him? how do you apologize for years of letting someone be in love with you?
Continue reading [soundscape] weight →
photo: ‘first dance’
song: edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros – “man on fire (little daylight remix)” [mp3] | web
‘one day i will find the right words and they will be simple.’ — jack kerouac
when i had been 18 for two weeks, i decided i was moving from california to nashville. it was a spontaneous decision i made at 10:30 at night and by 5:30 the next morning, i had packed everything into my truck, mapquested directions, bought coffee and was on the road. i drove for 4 days — crying most of the way — listening to “turn the page” on repeat for at least 600 miles. it was the sort of decision that i made by closing my eyes and being quiet. it was the sort of decision that i made by listening to myself.
it was a simple decision to make.
really. it was one of those moments in life where all of a sudden everything is clear and sparkling and all the broken glass has turned into stars. the discordant humming turns into melody, turns into an arc, turns into something beautiful and graceful and clean.
Continue reading [soundscape] tangible →
photo: ‘a beautiful captivation’
song: the shivers – “beauty” [mp3] | web
“all changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” — anatole france
one of my favorite things about being a grown up is being able to cuss in IHOP or Denny’s or some other family dining establishment. i find myself doing this on purpose, sitting over my $6.50 eggs benedict and peppering “fuck” into the conversation in every acerbic way possible. and i think i really like doing it because, despite stern looks from WASP-y moms two booths over who are afraid their children’s ears will start bleeding, i can.
i’m not 7, my parents aren’t there, and i don’t have to say “thank you” to the server for wiping up the water stain from my perspiring glass of water, or that i’d like salt, please.
Continue reading [soundscape] when everything went exactly as you planned except nothing did. →
photo: ‘something single and solitary and perfect’
song: ben howard – “promise” [stream only] (buy)
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]
‘somewhere, something amazing is waiting to be known.’ – carl sagan
my very first memory is from when i was three or four. i was with my family, we were outside and it must have been fourth of july because we had a big carton of sparklers. i remember watching mine burn and flash and bite in the summer air, the shrieks and laughs of my sisters echoing, and i remember being very, very still. i watched mine burn and die and i remember looking up at the moon. at that age, like most children, i pictured the moon as a slice of something that changed shapes. i didn’t understand that the moon stayed the same but our perception and view of it changed. and for some reason, as i stood there with my stump of sparkler, barefoot, i realized for the first time that the whole moon was there, i just couldn’t see all of it. i could see the crescent, and the very trace end of the sphere, but the majority of the moon was dark because i wasn’t in the right position to see the whole thing yet.
and that’s life. we see part of it, we’ve experienced part of it. part of it is tangible. many of us can see a trace outline of the end — we see goals and careers and maybe, eventually, getting married and having kids. but the middle part is so murky. a year from now, we could be somewhere completely different and we have no way of knowing. and it’s a little scary, a little unknown, a little adventurous. but it’s also sad, because in order to keep advancing the light across the surface of our lives, some things have to change.
Continue reading [soundscape] a season of loss →
photo: ‘party crashers’
song: 13th floor elevators – “may the circle remain unbroken” [stream only] (buy) [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
‘we don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.’ – anais nin
pain is an amazing thing, really. obviously it’s terrible in a lot of ways; […]
song: cocorosie – “lemonade” [mp3] | web
“it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings
it’s a funny thing. thinking about what exactly we’re made of [genetics, blood, sinew] and how those little particles play into the bigger picture of who we become. it’s an […]