Tuesday, January 24, 2012

a funny thing.

i was the type of child that wouldn't talk to strangers (which i slightly blame on being mildly traumatized by the weekly escaped-convict-on-the-loose-and/or-kid-brought-a-gun-to-school-lock-downs at my elementary school)

yes, extremely obedient. cautious.

and careful (honestly, i have my suspicions that i suffered from some form of childhood anxiety. i know, right? i was cool. cool little keen. and since we're already at it--i also had glasses that sat crooked on my face by the time i was in third grade. so yes, here we have an anxious, worry-prone, terrified-of-guns, nine-year-old with crooked circular glasses and straight a's on her report card. mmmgh-hmmm. yesssss, please. pour me up a child like that for myself.)

strangers inquiring about my life always caused me wonder and hesitation. even at a young age. i wondered why they wanted to know the things they did. i felt like there was always some hidden agenda.

i found myself curious as to their motives.

distrusting, maybe? (i know, most little kids will tell anyone just about anything. i was a freak child apparently)

i mean, i didn't know them. therefore, i felt no obligation to tell them anything about myself or my life. no obligation whatsoever.

may have made for some awkward lingering moments when i wouldn't respond to a question or choose not to go into depth on a subject (but then again--i was about as awkward as you get as a child. so whatever).

strangers and me. just not a match made in heaven.

now twenty-three years old.

and after twenty-three years of living in this world, having friends and loved ones always around me....endless amount of people to go to with my concerns and cares....twenty-three years of faces i know that are willing talk to me with the most intimate of details...

it is the stranger that i find myself confiding in. telling them the things i struggle telling to the closest of relations in my life.


walking into a strangers home. two people that don't know each other.

i observe the interiors. notice the toys scattered across the floor and hear the voices of small children and dora the explorer from a room down the hall.

the smell. the sofa. the pictures on the wall. i don't know any of it.

maybe that's it.

somehow being around a new face in a place i don't know, with no past judgements, and absolutely zero back-story just does it for me. my heart softens, becoming just a little less guarded. my pride is set aside. and the truth, yes--the truth--then finds its way home.

the truth about the aching. the truth about my feelings. the truth about what angers me and how i feel i've been let down.

the honest-to-the-heavens-above truth. what makes me happy. what wrongs that i've done. the acceptance of my weaknesses and strengths.

of life and everything that keeps me up at night.

it's in the home of the stranger.

that i find no hesitation or doubt in my voice. no worries of hidden agendas. where i can take a clean breath and speak as free as i choose--as if i've been confined in some 'big-brothered' world where i worry about who may hear what and what they will take of it.

where i can listen to their lives and understand what their pains and worries are.

we both just breath. okay with the fact that we don't actually know each other. different stories. different lessons learned. and at the same time---so much that we can understand together.

two strangers.

brought together by some form of fate. or an unexpected answer to an undeserving prayer. maybe it was really nothing, just a text message and a phone call later.

and then, i walk out the front door of a home that i didn't know existed a mere two hours earlier.

saying goodbye to a stranger.

a beautiful stranger.

and i ache for her. for her pain. for how many tears i know she cries during the dark hours of the night after her kids are fast asleep and her husband fails to come home.

and then i get in my car, unsuccessfully hold back the tears and drive away.


funny thing, isn't it?

how something i was frightened of as a child is now an interaction that i crave?

Monday, January 23, 2012

cassandra barney.

"the incumbent"
by cassandra barney

i'm obsessed.
isn't it whimsical and yet, so profound?

see, my mother is an artist.
it's simply what i grew up with.
it's what i know.
just like boys grow up to watch sunday afternoon football,
i grew up with a deep-rooted love for art.

the smell of a canvas spread with fresh mixed oil paints,
the sophistication of ink smudged across fingertips
...and the stain of watercolors left on the paint palette.

i realize it's no ball game.

but it's what i love.

from keen.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

my week. instagram style.

top instagram moments from the last week (or so)
1. bought new fantastic bedding
pretty, eh?
compliments of t.j. maxx, ikea, and home goods (all my faves)
2. i have a small love affair with this utah winter...
the beautiful skies and mountains tease me constantly.
3. weekend outfit:
cherry red grace and audrey cardigan w/ favorite jeans
4. bought this vintage stanley thermos for a friend
rad seafoam green, right?
5. brought out the leopards one night...
when i was feeling extra sassy.
love them with all my fashionista heart.
6. night out on the town with my hip b.f.f.
7. fell in love with an antique hutch...
i know. it's the definition of the world charming.
8. struggled with insomnia for a good portion of the week...
found myself resting my head on my desk.
drinking way too much dc.
9. did my nails in champagne sparkles.
and found matching vintage pumps...

so there was my week.
at least---according to instagram.

from keen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

to love.

i wear my heart on my sleeve.

okay, no i don’t.

but i wish i did. really, i do.

sadly. my memory no longer allows me the luxury of remembering such frivolous times.

nonetheless, i’m completely infatuated with the idea.

and it’s raining outside.

from keen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the fight she waged.

she stood there, a victor in the good fight which all her life
she had waged against the assaults of reason:
hump-barked, tiny, quivering with the strength of her convictions, a little prophetess, admonishing and inspired."

thomas mann, buddenbrooks

need a song for the day? here you go.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

just like couples do.

i have one wish.

a wish for a little something. that couples do.

and i realize, i’m not completely deserving. yes, of course i realize that.

i’m not perfect. i’ll never claim to be.

impossibly difficult doesn’t even begin to describe how stubborn i can be at times--you know, when you catch me on the wrong day or during a more ‘emotionally sensitive’ time of the month.

moderately ocd is a more-than-generous-way of labeling my dishwasher-color-material-sorting, endless-bleach-sinking, visually-controlled-mind.

and sure, i struggle--more than some--with handing over the reins when i think things should be done my way.

i have weird habits. yeah, i get that. like oreos for example. i pull the cookie apart. take the side without the frosting, break it into a few decent size pieces and then ‘scoop’ them into the frosting from the other half. whatever frosting i don’t use, i throw away and then eat the other chocolately half of the cookie.


and yes, i have a defensive nature that is sometimes uncalled for. in my defense, i believe that it comes from being the oldest and having two very much-too-beautiful sisters. i couldn’t help wanting to kick the sorry-a of any guy that treated them in a way i didn’t approve of.

i still do.

so yeah, i’m not deserving. i realize.

i’m prideful. i have this fire within me that has been kindled over the years, where i refuse to be walked on or taken advantage of or put in a position where i will get hurt. and i’m not the quickest to forgive when i feel i’ve been wronged.

and though i think they rock, i guess i do want to name my children strange names like ‘valley’ (yup, sounds like it’s spelled) and ‘mila’ (m-eye-la).

i get it. i’m weird. but still, there is this thing that couples do.

yes, yes. i know i get grumpy in the cold and no, i will not be a happy camper if you insist on taking pictures of me when i’m having “one of those days”--that all females have--where nothing seems to be going well. hair is not working. butt seemed to get bigger over night. and the zit forming on the ol’ chin appears to be extraterrestrial.

yeah, don’t take a picture of me on those days. i’m not gonna like it (just a friendly note from the females of the world--probably avoid that if you can).

i know, i know.

i’m not always the optimistic delight you’d probably wish for. sugar and spice and everything nice--sadly not really me.

you’ll probably get sick of my obsessive list composing. wonder how i can drink so much diet coke. and want to scream at me for always having an opinion. cause yes, i always do. and most of the time i freely express it.

like i said, noooooot perfect. i get that, k?

and at the end of the day, i’ll be the first one to admit it.

i’m undeserving. but still.

there is just a little something that couples do. that i really, truly want.

my wish.

to come home, to a kitchen much like this (uh-huh. perfect, i know).

with you--darling--standing there. one of your playlists of mellow music playing in the background--the kind i like. you'll stand there. work clothes still on. top collar button loosened--making the chicken that i left you instructions for.

i’ll set down my bag and slip off my heals.

‘how was your day?’ i’ll ask. like most couples do.

you’ll turn around, as to be expected. and my hands will wrap around your waist. i’ll prop my head against your chest, giving you time to brush your lips across my forehead.

the tom petty track that was playing will switch.

and some sidney bechet “si tu vois ma mere” will begin playing.

a little bit of magic will fill the air (as it always does when this song comes on, no matter where you are in the world).

time will stand still. you will pull me in tight and say, “it was fine love. how was yours?”

just like couples do.

we’ll kiss.

you’ll turn back toward the chicken and i’ll start chopping the vegetables for the salad as we chat about this meeting and that co-worker. and haggle over our weekend plans.

si tu vois ma mere will linger in the air.

and we’ll go about our evening.

you'll turn on your espn. i'll scroll through my instagram and throw on my gym clothes.

just like couples do.

so deserving or not, that is my wish.

there it is.

and seriously. listen to that song here. it's my "it's-a-beautiful-life" song.

Friday, January 13, 2012

dream catchers and a pretty dress.

i watch that dream catcher sway back and forth.

whimsical, isn't it? brave in a way--fighting off evil during the night and all.

heroic, maybe?

and despite the lack of opportunity it’s being given to ‘filter away the bad dreams’--considering my current struggles with insomnia (yeah, my brain is hating on sleep these days)--i know that it does its job well.

and yes, i like to embrace my navajo heritage (okay, navajo by marriage. but still.)

because as i watch it be. i’m starting to remember what was forgotten.

the good dreams.

remembering what it’s like to wish something wouldn’t end. feeling that power within your chest as you take it in.


that eagerness to know more. wishing you could close your eyes and see. see what good is coming. just a quick glimpse of how it all ends--just to keep you going through the day.

to be renewed, able to start fresh. to feel that sense of being. a sense of being a part of the world. of purpose. and of life running through the veins.

embracing the different paths that wait so patiently there in front of you (and oh-how grateful i am for their patience).

remembering, that all you really have to do is choose one. make the decision. and run. and keep running. and you are good at that.

look straight ahead. and tell yourself to focus.

let the adrenaline rush through your body as quickly as it will (adrenaline is my current crush. yeahhhh, it's just so sexy).

feel the winds coming at you from every direction. letting the sun pierce at your right cheek bone from the west. and breath in the chilled air from the eastern mountain shadows.

salute to the sun. and breath in it’s magic.

this, this is the good dream.

when you wake up on a friday morning.

realizing that your problems are absolutely nothing compared to that most beautiful individual you met this past weekend. most beautiful in every possible meaning of the word.

the one who struggles to walk and is living on the mercy of time--which could run out at just about any moment.

he never complains. and continues to do what is right. and rather than ‘waiting’ out his remaining days. he is embracing them; focusing on the good dreams.

i have so much to learn from this individual. and i’ll stand nearby, dumbfounded. watching him cling to what is right when something so very very wrong has taken over his life. wishing i could change the scene in front of me.

yes, the good dream.

when you sit at work, going through your g-mail and can’t help but click on the web clip at the top saying “robert pattinson shaves his head! omg!”

suddenly feeling moderately embarrassed for yourself--that your google account is now automatically feeding you entertainment news.

invasive? no. not really.

you’ve accepted the fact long ago that this world is no longer a place of privacy. you do what you do and you share it with the world.

and then that presents its own question.

a question of truth.

what do i do? and what am i sharing with the world?

your thoughts linger back to that man with limited days on this earth. who struggles to even lift his left leg. he’s too young. much too young to be leaving this world. he has so much to do. so much to share.

you cry.

and then think about that dream catcher. brave. heroic. legendary.

it’s peaceful. and beautiful. and protective.

so sure of it’s purpose. of what it is doing and what it is sharing with those who choose to care. yeah, i kinda envy it in that way.

maybe one day i’ll be able to say that for myself.

and though i know i will never live up to the strength of that beautiful individual that so bravely carries on day by day, i will never forget the simple truths he has taught me.

and like a dream catcher. like this new friend of mine--i will hold tight to all of those beautiful, hopeful, "please-don’t-wake-me-i-have-to-see-how-this-ends" dreams.

oh, and you're probably wondering about the pic? yeah, totally random. i just fell in love with it. and decided that one day--in the future--i want a dress jussssst like it.

got it from here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the drill.

she looked up from scanning through e-mails on her iphone.

which may as well have been an appendage to her small framed body.

those two blue eyes looked glassy, shadowed with dark circles--dark enough to suggest at least two or three sleepless nights. though i couldn't decided whether the wateriness was a product of emotion or irritation.

"yeah, it's ok. i'm fine. really."

she trailed off and began sipping up the last bit of her diet coke--an unconvincing reply to my previously asked question. her eyes scanned back down to the screen of her phone.

i shifted in my seat, preparing my next verse. praying for some inspiration. i desperately wanted to say the right thing.

my lips opened, not sure of what may come out, when she quietly and unexpectedly continued.

"i'm no stranger to the feeling."

her gaze was now shifting back and forth, from different points of the room back down to our table. never directly at me.

"eventually," she began with a deep inhale, "...eventually a girl just learns."

what do you mean? i asked.

a small, nervous-slightly-cynical sounding laugh came from across the table.

"i mean, you learn the drill.

cause it'll always hurt. being alone again will always suck. but you've been through it before and you know that you can get through it again.

you take a deep breath every morning. and forbid your mind from wandering too far into what-has-been-lost when you get in bed at night.

it's the drill.

find ways to keep yourself distracted. avoid any 'old-nostalgic-songs' or country music radio. because you know that shit about rain and heartbreak is just going to leave you swallowing your own endless tears, trapped and alone in 5:00 traffic. putting on a comically pathetic show for your fellow traffic-jammers.

the drill. where you start thinking about every possible way that you can improve your life--you know--things like getting a new hair cut, buying yourself some new over-priced blouses from nordstrom, hitting-up the tanning beds, visiting your local barnes and noble to buy all those books you've 'been-meaning-to-read-but-just-never-had-the-time'...and making all sorts of new goals to be the best you that you just never could be.

and after a massive and mildly dramatic self-improvement attack, you'll find yourself burning out. snapping at the core. breaking down. unsure of what to do next.

tears--not only from sadness--but also the unsettling nature of the unknown.

of starting fresh. of picking up where you left off. and honestly, you can't remember for-the-life-of-you where that was.

the drill of dreading all the things people will say. and of the things they may be thinking. and at the same time...not really caring.

being reminded that you're actually really good at being a hermit. and that mexican food can be a great comfort.

and though the winner does usually take it all. and you wish that could be you. because you're a competitive beast by nature...there are times when nobody wins.

when you both go home. without words. without explanation. without any real understanding. sharing the knowledge that you played all your cards...the only way you knew how. and somehow, you both lost.

you'll always love them. you wish you wouldn't. but you will. wishing you could have just had some crappy-a parting. the kind that you see in movies--where you turn and walk in one direction--and never look back.

but that wouldn't be the drill.

you'll pretend like you're over them. you'll pretend like you don't still cry at random times when that song comes on. you'll pretend like you're stone. that nothing can getcha' down.

yup. these are things a girl just learns...

and then you'll head home, turn off the bathroom lights and hop into a dark, steamy shower. and just stay there for a while.

maybe because no one can hear your crying amongst the sound of running water. or maybe because it just helps you calm down. maybe it's just a good place to think.

or maybe, because that's just the drill."

there was a long silence. her eyes met mine briefly. then fled back towards her new text message. she began composing a message back. to someone. someone who probably had no idea what she was feeling.

someone that didn't understand--not that it was their fault.

because she would never tell them.

here, i began as i stood from my chair, let me refill your diet coke.

she looked up and smiled, "thanks..."

"you know the drill".