sixty-five percent water.

It’s been two weeks now and I had hoped to talk to you about something other than my accident.

The good news is that I’m looking good for a woman who tried to take out a tree with her face…

faceprogression

It even looks better than that, but I can’t get myself to take photos of myself lately. [i know, maybe there is something wrong with me.]

With this second lease on life, I’ve made the vibrant need to take life by the horns a priority. And then I sit at a desk all day and crop photos and type emails. It’s a funny feeling.

There are so many feelings that have been rushing through me these past two weeks. It has been a rollercoaster ride for sure. While I mainly feel lucky and so deeply feel loved and feel love, this real fear has set in.

I’m so scared to ski again, but it doesn’t stop there. A climbing trip Evan and I had planned for July suddenly seems terrifying. I can’t get myself on my bike to ride the simple journey to work.

At my lunch break today, I went for a short run. It was my first time exercising since the accident and first off – I’m completely out of shape. And I expected that; I’m not asking too much from myself physically. But fear unexpectedly crept in. Am I now just afraid of moving faster than a walk? Being out there? Being in the elements?

I know it’s not crazy to be afraid of adventures like these after a traumatic experience adventuring, but I feel so lost. There’s never been a time in life where I was so defeated that I didn’t want to pursue another physical adventure. These trips and climbs and skis and runs have been leading the muscles of my life for so long. And this fear has found me lost.

Something I didn’t expect.

But even when I’m lost, my friends, my loves, my family, find me.

A radio dedication last week from my DJ friend in Jackson has become my anthem. As much as I hate to admit it, a comeback is needed. Things beyond my face have taken a hit and I’m looking forward to shaking it all off and coming back.

At work today, a friend left a sweet poem on my desk. I don’t know how she knows what my soul needs, the words it’s craving to say or yearning to hear, but I am every so grateful for her.

you are going to find yourself again

[you are going to find yourself again.]

we can get along.

Checked the mail today.  Held in my hands a bunch of stuff I don’t want, I don’t need, that’s not supposed to be for me… but then there was amazingness…

Today was a late Christmas…

Today was love…

[expressed in haikus.]

amazing photos in a card from geneva, dave and bard.

photos of bardman
to add to the collection
cannot get enough.


christmas t-rex card from allison.

a t-rex santa?
he won’t come down your chimney
cuz he’s just too rad.

 

an oregon/maine postcard from whales.

a rock but quite more
the memory of freedom
whales, thank you for this.

 

a christmas card from brittnee, robert and dylan.

a child so grown up
who knew a girl from club dos
could show love like this?


[a mix cd from my little bro.]

whoa, is that cee-lo?
where did john fogerty go?
we can get along.

 

a clinique make-up bag from my aunt.

i’d rather have words
as kind as the rest of us
but i’ll take make-up.

 

a bicycle bottle opener from anna.

bicycles and beer
a pair just second to us
thanks anna, you rule.

 

glitter dino from K$.

it’s a mother eff-
-in’ glitter hanging dino
whoa, this be my fave.

i should mention…

I woke up this morning.

Outside it should’ve been bright… but it wasn’t… it was dark and alive.

Then the rain came.  So, I quickly made a playlist consisting of some of my favorite rainy day songs…

…and starting reading my book.

It was a peace of comfort.

Then, [partly because i’m addicted to the internet and partly because i’m waiting for this silly screen to tell me my future], I checked my email.

An email from my father.  [these rarely happen, but when they do, they’re either hilarious or blindingly thoughtful… this was the latter.]

It started with, “Preface: A Letter from a Father to his Daughter”

I read and read and just started bawling.

“Because of you, I am a successful man because Love is the measure of worth & nothing else matters.”

In bed, wrapped up in down, Sufjan Stevens playing, it started hailing [hailing hard] and my cheeks were streaming with love.

I can’t help but share.  I want there to be more recognition of the success of love within us all… in me… in this.

The day went on… the rain stayed pretty steady throughout the day… which was fine because I packed all day… ’tis moving time.

Okay, I didn’t pack all day… I had brunch with a friend.  She went to the bathroom as we were leaving our brunch destination and asked me…

– Do you ever get an overwhelming fear of getting locked in a bathroom?

I laughed out loud as I remembered this story:  WHY DID YOU LOCK THE DOOR??

Oh, good times… or, funny times at least.

The aforementioned friend came over to try on clothes of mine that I was purging in honor of the recent move.

I sat on the floor of my living room that contained most of my material life in it while she fashioned outfit after outfit.  I drank my coffee and read Billy Collins in between all the “oohhhh”s and “ahhhh”s.

We giggled to ourselves as I read aloud…

Purity

My favorite time to write is in the late afternoon,
weekdays, particularly Wednesdays.
This is how I go about it:
I take a fresh pot of tea into my study and close the door.
Then I remove my clothes and leave them in a pile
as if I had melted to death and my legacy consisted of only
a white shirt, a pair of pants, and a pot of cold tea.

Then I remove my flesh and hang it over a chair.
I slide it off my bones like a silken garment.
I do this so that what I write will be pure,
completely rinsed of the carnal,
uncontaminated by the preoccupations of the body.

Finally I remove each of my organs and arrange them
on a small table near the window.
I do not want to hear their ancient rhythms
when I am trying to tap out my own drumbeat.

Now I sit down at the desk, ready to begin.
I am entirely pure: nothing but a skeleton at a typewriter.

I should mention that sometimes I leave my penis on.
I find it difficult to ignore the temptation.
Then I am a skeleton with a penis at a typewriter.

In this condition I write extraordinary love poems,
most of them exploiting the connection between sex and death.

I am concentration itself: I exist in a universe
where there is nothing but sex, death, and typewriting.

After a spell of this I remove my penis too.
Then I am all skull and bones typing into the afternoon.
Just the absolute essentials, no flounces.
Now I write only about death, most classical of themes
in language light as the air between my ribs.

Afterward, I reward myself by going for a drive at sunset.
I replace my organs and slip back into my flesh
and clothes. Then I back the car out of the garage
and speed through woods on winding country roads,
passing stone walls, farmhouses, and frozen ponds,
all perfectly arranged like words in a famous sonnet.

——————

I’ll never be able to get over that one line, “I should mention that sometimes I leave my penis on.”

“I should mention…”  haha… so amazing.

And then I remembered what a love sent me some days back…

Oh, please let my children [in the event that they ever exist] recite Billy.  I’m sure they’ll sing bad pop songs and maybe even talk smack about monsters…

…but please PLEASE let them recite Billy.

to feel real.

Trying on pretty dress after pretty dress, I smiled with forgotten contentment at myself in the Anthropologie dressing room.  The time alone had to be stolen and was danced in… until I saw something written [in tiny print] on the dressing room wall…

“Because I still press on the ceiling of the car when it hurts.”

It was like seeing a little Post Secret in real life.  Real hurt.

It reminded me of my own hurting habits.

Not too long ago in life, when I the pain was enough, I would sleep in my clothes… namely: my jeans.

When things were too overwhelming.

When it pressed on my chest and wouldn’t give.

When I was exhausted from screaming inside my chest.

When she wouldn’t quit.

When they went with someone else.

When he didn’t want me.

When she wouldn’t quit.

When I just couldn’t do it.

When everything crumbled at my fingertips.

When it was too hard.

When she wouldn’t quit.

When I was there again.

I had forgotten about sleeping in my jeans until that sunny Austin day in Anthropologie.  I had forgotten about the pain.  And I’m not sad to remember.  I am grateful.  Funny, it’s hard to describe.  Sentence after sentence: typed and wiped away.

I am grateful.

Found this:

“If I swear I have no secrets,
No unspoken desires never confessed,
Will you take your ear from that glass
Pressed to listen so hard against my chest?

I am grateful for the questions,
Though they’re just the same you asked her.
And if I assure you I’m fine, I’m great,
Will you please run from this disaster?

Sometimes you have to sleep in your jeans,
To feel real,
To feel grown.
Legs and hips accept the seams
Some poor, lonely machine has sewn.”

And a song:

[okay, two… couldn’t decide which to share…]

and here is clothing, and a good education… and here is your [brown, brown, pants fell down], i replied.

country club love.

I really cannot wait to be sitting next to the swimming pool with my dear Momma in a couple weeks.  But until then, I have to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day from afar.  I have to tell her how much I love her, without hugs.  Tell her how thankful I am for her, without kisses.

I did send her a package with a card I made her.  I wish I would’ve scanned or taken a picture of it before frantically sending it off with her present.

The card was a comic with a mother and daughter… the mother on the phone, saying…

– Yeah… Uh Huh…. WHAT?  Rachel drew WHAT in school today?!

[okay, it didn’t actually say “Rachel”, but I glued over it so that it did.]

And on the front I had wrote, “The Brown, Brown, Pants Fell Down Incident of 1991.”

Oh man… it was a doozy.

When I was in First Grade, we had to do these coloring sheets to learn our colors.

They were things like, “Red, Red, He’s in Bed.”  And it would be a fluffy monster-looking thing, sleeping in bed and you’d have to color him red.  Yep.

So, one day, we get, “Brown Brown Pants Fell Down.”

C’mon.  What do you expect from First Graders?!

I, being a class clown/attention hound [i know… you would’ve never guessed], immediately turn over the paper and draw a butt on the back.  A hairy one at that.  Oh, it was bad.

And as it escalated, my peers couldn’t stop giggling.  I was loving it… Oh, it was bad…

Before I knew it, I had turned the paper over and was drawing… well… boy parts on Mr. Brown.  How in the world I even KNEW what boy parts looked like in First Grade is beyond me… but yep, I did it.  And then turned it in.

Pretty sure the phone call came that night.  I remember Momma looking at me, giving me that “oh, you better be glad we don’t have a cordless phone yet and i can only move three feet towards you right now” look, saying things like, “Uh huh… Oh, no… I’m so, so sorry… Oh, yes… Believe me, I’ll take care of it.”

I was in SO MUCH TROUBLE.  Obviously.  And I knew I should’ve been.  One of the many times I was yelled at as a child where all I could think was, “Oh, I should not have done that.”

Anywho, fast forward eleven years… I’m a senior in High School, looking through my school files to collect anything I might need to move forward, when I find… yep, the one and only… Brown, Brown, Pants Fell Down… in all his boy part glory…

– Mom!  You still have this?!  I was in SO MUCH trouble for this!

– Oh, man… Your father and I had to compose ourselves for about a half hour before we could yell at you for that because we were laughing so hard.  Of course we kept it!

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen… is my sweet Momma.  Who I love/admire/adore/cherish.

[this poem is a must for mothers, children, fathers, everyone.]

– She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her [Brown, Brown, Pants Fell Down].

Happy Mother’s Day, Momma.

I love you so, so much.

discarded.

The deodorant I recently bought smells like Yosemite.  Or, wait… no, it smells like the kind I wore in Yosemite.  Either way, it brings me back almost every time I put it on.

Also, I saw a discarded bouquet this morning.  It brought me back.  Again, to Yosemite.

One day I came back to my tent to find a bouquet of flowers on my porch.  Weird.  But exciting.  I walked inside, my roommate was sitting on her bed and I asked her…

– Did your boyfriend leave you these flowers?

– No.  Definitely not.  Pretty sure they’re for you.

– Who would give me flowers?

– I dunno.

And the mystery continued.  I asked all my friends.

– Hey, seriously, did you guys put these on my doorstep as a joke?

No one did, they swore.

So, I figured it was a mistake.  Someone got the tent wrong.  Poor girl missin’ out on flowers and poor boy botching the swooning.

Luscious life in Yosemite continued.  We had a Dead Poets Society night.  We all sat around the fire and read our favorite poems, our own poems, song lyrics, beautifulness.

Then it was Andrew Castle’s turn.

Andrew was a tall, gangly, red-headed boy who’s mystery knew no bounds.  His dance moves were amazing and his climbing was worthy of awe.

Andrew didn’t have a piece of paper to read off of, no journal, no book… He just started reciting, almost rapping, the most amazing poem I’d ever heard.  And he kept going… and going!  Rhyming about life and love and heartbreak and food and dancing and silliness and seriousness.  It was amazing.  Jaws dropped.  We’d clap with no control, hoot and holler in smiling amazement.  It was awesome.

No one wanted to follow.  We played music and sang the rest of the night.

The next day, in the kitchen, Andrew was there.

– Hey, awesome job last night!  I did not know you were so talented.

– Oh, thanks.  Yeah, it’s just something I enjoy.

– Well, we all enjoyed it.  Strong work.

– Thanks.  Hey, did you like your flowers?

– What?

– Those flowers I left for you.  Someone discarded them at a wedding I worked at last week.  They were pretty.  They reminded me of you.

– Oh, wow.  Thanks.  I love them.

– We should hang out sometime.  I like your style, Rachel Stevens.

I like your style, Rachel Stevens.

Ha.  I had never had anyone be so brave, so forward.

I didn’t know what to say.  I was taken so off guard.

And of course I didn’t hang out with him.  Of course I have to make life/love more difficult for myself.  Won’t take a risk with the off-the-wall spoken word poet who “likes [my] style”.  No, I have to fall for the boys who steal my Billy Collins books and then tell me they won’t love me.  What fun would life be if I didn’t make love difficult?  Oh, wait… Probably a lot of fun.

Though, Andrew Castle did get busted for acid and kicked outta the park.  So, that probably wouldn’t have been fun.