Tag: daily

lucky dragon

E. convinced me to try it as we sat in his living room one night, while eating chocolate-covered figs. He retrieved a Swiffer from the crowded broom closet and taught me how to paddle. He sat down next to me on the couch, handed me the Swiffer, and we pretended we were on a boat. I expressed my doubts. He shrugged and suggested that all the guys who do it are really fit and good-looking. The whole situation was comical, and I bought into it. I mean, there were chocolate-covered figs involved. Of course I was tricked!

The next day, he texted me at like 8:23am and asked, “You awake?”

Ugh. So I pulled on my stupid tiny bike shorts and geeky waterproof shoes to trudge downstairs for my first dragon boat practice. We arrived at the World’s Fair Marina, already drenched in sweat. The heat was nearly unbearable, even for me(!) I felt my hair immediately growing lighter, my skin growing darker.

We got on the water. I felt like I couldn’t breathe after every run. But E. was right in the end. All the common suffering buoyed us, and I just reminded myself what he promised (tricked?) me: “Yeah, it seems like you’re doing to die and you won’t make it through the sprint. But TRUST ME it will make you forget all the suffering your heart is going through.”

… yeah. sho’ did. For a hot minute.

***

Before we went out on the water, the very fit and good-looking guy in front of me (that part wasn’t 100% a lie) turned around while the boat was still docked and introduced himself.

“Hi, I’m Jack,” he said.

“Hi, I’m Rose,” I replied.

“Oh man. It’s like… Titanic! We met on a boat together!” he ventured, grinning. Which makes this the first time in history a guy has initiated the cheesy part of the Titanic reference with utter sincerity. “Just promise me you’ll never let go.”

You really can’t make this up, even if you wanted to.

So yeah, um. After that, I paddled the sh*t out of that race, my eyes following his paddle the whole time (I got lectured later about the difference between paddling and rowing).

That evening, my roommate brought home a whole bag of Jamaican sweet currant rolls and asked if I wanted any. I told myself, I deserve this.

And yes, I believe I do. I deserve this life. My heart sure will go on.

You can’t have everything at once. But give me one of each: the sun on my face, the water, a way to paddle to another shore, and the ability to write myself out of any storm.

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“you’re very romantic, for a cynic.”

reminders:

“When I have a thousand options, I actually have none at all.” — Michael Haneke

1.
“There is really one city for everyone just as there is one major love,” she wrote. In her diaries, she expressed her joy of landing in bohemian Greenwich Village, “where all night long typewriters click, people sing in the streets, hurdy gurdies go all day and the laundry boy reads Turgenev.”

— on The Diaries of Dawn Powell, the New Yorker (blogged in 2013)

2.
He said to me “Kid, of all the stupid things I ever did
You know, I let her go when I should have pulled her in”
And he handed me his cell phone

When I called you were on your plane
Moving back to Portland for the rain
“You only get one person knows you best
And it’s temporary everybody else.”

— Matt Nathanson, Bill Murray

3.
You won’t fall but when you think about them, and for all the pleasure of being a little higher the tradeoff is your own absence from presence. You’re losing your own fealty to the ground. Which can’t be ignored. You lose your earth for your sky.

— Eileen Myles, Protect You Me (blogged in 2015)

4.
even to the roughest surf there’s a rhythm findable,
which is why we keep coming here, to find it

until that’s how we like it. I’ll break your heart, break mine.

— Carl Phillips, Radiance versus Ordinary Light (blogged in 2012 and recorded in 2015)

 

Bonus:

“Now New York seems like every little thing in it is beyond priceless, and nothing will ever be yours. That’s absolutely true, and you never will have the things that you helplessly crave—but also it has always been like that.

Let Me Tell You About The Most Heartfelt $200 I Ever Made, via NYMag

The edge of the world

They said, “You have a blue guitar, you do not play things as they are.”

The man replied, “Things as they are are changed upon the blue guitar.”

— Wallace Stevens

 

I went down to the waterfront and ran along the crashing waves for a little while. The sun and the wind layer upon each other, and the white-capped water fades into the horizon. It’s strange to contemplate how close to the end of the world we are again.

The water color, the temperature, the mountains peeking out from above the cerulean, the hazy distance, and Antarctica just beyond our reach.

As I mentioned, I’m trying to listen to Podcasts while I run. Death, Sex, and Money was recommended to me. I listened to how love comes up as a subject so frequently in conversation, no matter the original topic. I listened to how vulnerable it can be, how secrets can be kept from each other in relationships for over 20 years.  I contemplated Jane Fonda’s decision between “being with a funny man who keeps you laughing” and “being whole.” She chose the latter. The stories that were most striking included examples of when love surprises us, when love is bigger than we could have imagined, and that it can overcome the clichés. That when given the chance, lovers may be more understanding than you could ever expect. That you don’t have to follow the set narrative that everybody else does, you can decide to go a different way.

The wind sends a cloth of clouds over the mountaintop every afternoon, reminding us that there is something greater than ourselves.

This life is an opportunity to lean in, to face whatever we fear, to calm down the urgency that can lead to unguided action. While still leaving room for the unexpected to unfold.

“The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.”

— David Bowie

The way through love and life is more difficult to find than the way beyond it, or even away from it. I am no longer sure what parts of the path are fiction that I make up as I go along, and I am no longer sure that there even is a particular reality that I am trying to arrive at. I am no longer sure that it matters to be certain one way or another.

The moment I convince myself that what I’m staring at is definitely the edge of the world, the moment I am certain we will fall into nothingness, you quietly hand me a way to see that on the other side is yet another luscious shore.

“The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else.
The exquisite truth is to know that it is a fiction and that you believe in it willingly.”

“After the final no there comes a yes,
and on that yes a future world depends.”

— Wallace Stevens