ready for the next arrow.

As sad as I am that I haven’t been blahgging, it’s way more tragic that I haven’t been journaling. I read a quote about journaling that really hit me. I can’t remember what it said [because apparently i write nothing down these days], but paraphrasing, it said, “People who say they keep a journal but don’t, suck.” [very loose translation from memory.]

Last night, falling asleep with no hope of savoring another minute of eyes open, I wished I would’ve written down everything. There are days you want to remember everything. everything.

the light.

the laughs.

the brisk air.

the conversations. [the words. the words.]

the feeling.

the song.

that song.

the colors.

that taste.

So here goes nothing. Instead of journaling for myself, I’ve chosen this computer. I’ve chosen you. Why? Unclear. The convenience. The procrastination happening on this here computer.

Nothing even spectacular happened, but it was all so beautiful.

It’s fall here in Missoula now. Yesterday was our first cold day of the season. Off on my bike, there was snow in the hills, a freshness. Blue skies that we haven’t had in so long. Blue colliding with orange colliding with white.

Sometimes at work, you feel like it’s not worth it. You feel like as much as you create and as much as you find victories in your work, in yourself, in collaborations; you’re still at the bottom, fighting to breathe and get out from under heavy, wet blankets. And then two co-workers leave you a sweet bomber beer in your mailbox with a note of encouragement and joy smiles as it kicks up within. It’s the feeling of familiar friendship. In a place that still feels foreign sometimes, you have friends. I have friends. !! [be cool, be cool, be cool.] [this is me on the inside.]

Sitting at my beautiful workspace with a window that’s a frame for orange leaves and snow in the hilly distance, I can’t help but want to hold on to the feeling of looking out at Missoula, listening to The Lumineers…

After work, having some make-shift cocktails on the steps of the building whilst laughing hard at each other’s stories and waiting for a friend.

Watching the presidential debate at a completely packed bar. Everyone watching. Evan and me sitting with a dear friend from out of town. A dear friend who usually votes and represents the party opposing the party I support. [if you didn’t know, i am a huge fan of obama.]

We talked about how we have so much in common, believe in so many of the same things, want so many of the same things… It was so refreshing. Hope.

Exhausted, it was time to go home. I could not wait to collapse. As I rested my things on the kitchen/dining table, I was so touched to see the scene of our living room.

Recently, I bought two chairs that I could not stop thinking about. [i know, chairs.] But, alas, we couldn’t figure out where they would go in our home. [small spaces, adequate seating.] I kept telling Evan, I didn’t know where I wanted them to go, but they would be great “nook chairs.” Saying that as though everyone knows what a good nook looks like.

Last night, this scene…

western oak chair nook

He made me a nook! He made us a nook.

I love this home we’re building. Knowing that this is not our forever home, but this is the place we come to celebrate and toast this life. This is not a forever moment, but this is a bright time. These are not things we’ve known, what lays ahead? no clue, but this is our nook. This is our place. This place.

And then I just had to get rid of my pants [settle down, i wasn’t that thankful for the nook], because I had a bandaged knee and it was driving me crazy. I injured my knee a few days ago from sliding in kickball [totally worth it, i got to second]. Okay, I’m going to show you my knee now, but be forewarned, it’s nasty…

gross knee, blame kickball

So nasty.

I couldn’t go from taking a bandage to getting into our bed, because, well, it was all oozey and I had to let it dry out before getting into our sheets. [so gross, i know.]

So I had to lay on the couch and let my knee dry.

– Evan, will you read me a story?

He sat in one of our new chairs, next to me laying on the couch, and read Billy Collins. I was so happy. It was so perfect. I tried to stay awake a bit and soak it all in. I couldn’t.

Today, I try to remember every poem he read. Can’t remember a single one. Think this was in the mix…

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.


In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.


This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.


The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.


No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.


No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then


for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.


But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.


After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,


so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

— Aimless Love by Billy Collins

 

As I faded into sleep, the words melded into my thoughts. With my right hand, my fingers, on my left hip. Thinking about the shape of my hip, the feel of my own hip. How it’s been here, been there, changed, stayed the same. How many readings of Billy Collins this hip has rested through.

 

As if I were drunk, delirious, my thoughts drifted to how beautiful this hip is. So many things I could find wrong with this hip; but the feel, the shape, it’s so comfortable, so wild, so beautiful. Why would I ever hold on to anything else but this hip.

 

This love. This life. This time. This place. This boy. The feel. The shape. So comfortable. So wild. So beautiful.

 

[why would I hold on to anything else?]

that’s a cold-ass honkey.

In the playroom of the home I grew up in [until ryland came along and it was bedroom number three], we collected felt flags. Everywhere we went: baseball games, amusement parks, national parks, etc., we got a flag. To hang up in the playroom.

So when I saw this…

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I was immediately brought back. I want it so so badly for my little office. Wait, have you seen my [our] little office?

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It’s fun times. And I want that little felt flag to inspire, to encourage, to affirm… but my goodness, close to forty big ones for decoration is not a part of life right now.

What can I afford these days? Thrifting.

And that’s part of why I am ob-sessed with this song/video these days:

I’ve been dancing to it a lot… smiling from ear to ear… wearing my new thrift shop finds…

[p.s. you should click on that song and then watch me do this…]

x1VDBy on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

e7jwtQ on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

wanting to go back to jackson, saturday, greece, italy and then wanting to go back to now.

It’s a troubling time of wanting to go back.

To anything, everything.

Two of our dearest Missoula friends are in Jackson right now, at the Bike-In Movies:

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The poster was designed by moi… which makes it even harder not being there. Talking with Sarah on the phone, telling her where to go around town, I ached wanting to go back.

A gchat conversation between Evan and myself…

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I found myself, on this Wednesday, even wanting to go back to Saturday. This past Saturday was ah-mazing. I ran a 10k, went to three different markets, bought only purple and green produce…

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And then it was off to a record swap at an ice cream shop… where I got the following:

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If you can’t tell, that’s some Paul Simon, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul Simon again. Oh, and the DVD of You Me and Everyone We Know. I got it for a dollar at a yard sale on Saturday. Please remember how much I love Miranda July.

I want to go back to Saturday.

And then Lisa [my bff] had to go and post photos from Greece. I die. I ache to go back.

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Love.

There was just so much love, so much laughter in that trip.

And as I ride my bike around Missoula, it’s hard not to think about, “what if I weren’t riding to work?” What if I were riding in Italy for the day.

But, no, live in the now! That’s what I tell myself. I have to remind myself that I love what I’m doing, where I am.

I love what I worked on today. I love what I ate today. What I drank today. Where I ran today. Who I laughed with today. Who I laughed with last night. Where I was today. What I read today. Where I’ll be tomorrow.

I love it.

I must remind myself.

Onward.

On to dancing to this song on repeat in the kitchen whilst delving into baking adventures.

p.s. I absolutely love that video. The way he looks when he dances and sings is the way I feel when I dance and sing at my freest.

the simplicity. the love.

Evan was here [in missoula… my new home] this weekend.

Yesterday, after running around, moving things, garage saling things, we had plans to go to the River City Roots Festival.

We stumbled in my new [ah-mazing] apartment, with nothing really ready to go in there… except for my new favorite thing.

A record player/radio/iPod player that was given to us at a garage sale that morning.  We had got it situated and finally turned on the radio to see if it was working.

This song was on their community radio station:

Oh, it was so perfect.

With wine in hand, I started dancing.

Evan put a pizza in the oven and we toasted to a happy home.

And then this song came on:

…It was just too perfect.

A love of mine, Gretchen, had just reintroduced me to the song just recently and I remembered how much I love it… then, that moment, in the kitchen, dancing [in the most precious interpretive, ballerina manner], it was all so well, beautiful.

The windows open, the wine poured for a third round, good pizza, we sat on bins and toasted.

 

We toasted to so many things, I can’t remember.

Evan took arty pictures:

Evan said…

– Do you still want to go to the festival?

– We’ll leave when a bad song comes on.

That time never came.  We stayed there, in the kitchen, all night.  Listening to music, talking, drinking wine, dancing and admiring the new record player.

It was one of those night.  Special.  Magic.  Perfect.

[…for no other reason than the timing.  the simplicity.  the love.]

with glittering eyes.

A lovely sent an email yesterday saying…

some words for you today…

thought you might like this, I know I did

xx

[gorgeous.]

And then another lovely sent this:

A favorite gorgeous song to a beautiful video.

I figured out I need more pretty songs in my library.  If you know any lovely songs, please share.

a love/dislike letter.

Dear Texas,

How to I love thee?  Let me list the ways…

• [and foremost] My Family.

• Your TexMex Food.

• Your Margaritas.

• When you have my BFF around for long periods of time, I want to cry of happiness.

• Antiquing.  [oh, my… wonderfulness.]

• College Friends and Their Gorgeous Families.

• Incredibly Awkward Salons.

• LIVE MUSIC.

• Middle School Reunions.

• Your Year Round Running Weather.

• The Austin Airport.  [maybe this is because i hardly ever have to spend extended periods of time there… and all the local vendors are oh, so lovely.]

• Mass Amounts of Ah-mazing Pearl Snaps at Every Thrift Store.

• Your Incredible Radio Stations.

• The Friendliness of All of You.

But, as you know, our relationship has been a bit on-again-off-again.  In a honest affair, I feel it best to express my dislikes…

• Bug Bites.  All The Time.  All Over My Poor Legs.

• 80° One Day, 27° The Next… Too Fickle.

• Chain, Chain, Chain… [what happen to all of your lovely independant francishes errrrrrywhere?]

• Where’s Your Indian Food?

• No Mountains.  [well, at least not near me.]

• People Are Too Styley… I Can’t Keep Up.

• How You Are Just So Tempting To Eat and Drink in Excess.

• All Your People Think I Live In Mississippi.

See, not too many complaints.  You know I love you dearly.

Thanks for always being there.

Thanks for always being so awesome.

LOVE,
ray.