22 November 2007

set the table.

after mimosa's (champagne & juice from an orange) for breakfast this morning, boopy and i snuck into the sitting room---with it's beautiful oranges and green's, a delicate painting here, some sculpture there----and opened the china cabinet. not your traditional china cabinet either, children, more like a Chronicles of Narnia style armoir filled with worldly treasure.



the "good" silver.

and i got to peak into her 72 year old soul, as she boasted of wedding gifts and tony's mother's serving platter and a collection of teacups with four-leaf clovers on them. these delicate pieces we treat with the utmost care and yet never touch on a daily basis. beautiful, hand painted creations. timeless and entirely breakable, but never put to the test of a weekday meal.

i want to eat my toast on limoges. i want to dig candy pumpkin's out of the milkglass candy jar. i want to sip my evening tea out of that 4-leaf clover cup & saucer. i want to treat my daily consumption habits with the utmost of consideration and respect.

i don't want to polish the silver.
and handwash my dishes, every single day.

i don't want to take the time to have what i desire.

isn't that the truth?

my body was repulsed when i woke up wednesday morning, after a late night out with the strangest of characters, and i looked at my room---an explosion of spoiled-rotten american girl---and i had to leave it once again while i went to work. so the past 48 hours i've layed so low. i've polished silverware. i must have made 10 cups of tea. i've run two bathes and loved every hot, steaming minute. i watched two movies, made my bed, googled countless random things, retrieved old drawings, downloaded new music, written letters, held on tight to my soul and it's simplest of needs.

i have been meaning to say something to myself for some time: take care.

stop taking care of everyone else and take care of you.
take that small moment to get what you need.
set the table of your soul, stephanie.

21 November 2007

i lied.

there is eloquent noise outside of my window, but it's not as beautiful within my heart. the echo that doesn't end is inside of my tin soul. the ever-reverberating sounds that respond to my questions about life, relationships, future endeavors, voice, paths, places, tampons, tape. i am caught, Macbeth style, with blood on my hands, and my eyes see this blood and i keep washing them, over and over and over again, until they are raw and that mystery blood is now my blood, and i've cleansed my own inadequacies by punishing my self with more threatening hurts, more damaging threats, more hurtful damage.

readers don't intend to find words written that they predict; they read for enlightenment. movie goers don't know what to expect; they know the plot and nothing in between the beginning and the end. writers have a conscious intention with the written word; they aren't able to predict what word will register as it is written. all this life and still no ability to predict it's outcome.

i lied.

by silencing/shuddering/failing/retreating/averting my eyes/disengaging my heart.

that's the worst of the blood i spilt: the swift motion where i took what i'd claimed as my own, ripped its lifeline away from the throbbing center, and stole it back. as if it was ever mine to be had.

and look at my hands.
look again.

"A little water clears us of this deed ." (Act 2, Scene 2)

does it? because it's pouring outside.

deep in the caves there are mourners; people who are dancing, touching one another, being flooded by the pounds and pounds of rain falling outside their safe, dark, cold spot. inside of each of their chests is a cave as well, one that is calling out a louder storm than the flood falling from the sky. when they finally quite their souls, they hear very clearly the word being told all along: love.

18 November 2007

fearless, feisty faith

spend the afternoon; you can't take it with you. annie dilliard


today has been quite the day. i've been waking up early every day this week after having had numerous strange dreams about paris. most of the dreams revolve around the theme of discomfort. they are seemingly real depictions of how uncomfortable i would be if i lived there. i don't believe those dreams; i believe they are calling forth fears and letting go of them...saying g o o d b y e to mediocrity and false faces that reflect your own when you look deeply.

so after a few moments of letting those dreams settle and speak into my life (and my throbbing post closing the nachbar headache, i am so deep and yet so shallow), i got up the motivation to text mere and make her meet me for delicious coffee. lucky for me she agreed! so i was accompanied by the lovely meredith to sunergos, where we spread out the contents of our mary poppins style bags, full of: glue sticks, scissors, paper, journals, books, transfer type, writing utensils, and a delicious spirit of creativity. it's amazing what you can do when you sit down next to someone who allows you to be fully, organically, wisely, you.

out of this time we both created and collected. wise words, new words, stories, quotes, creative inspirations. bifurguer is my new word. it means to fork; to branch off. i am such a meandering human being. in a beautiful, organic way, i suppose i spread my self and then rotate, put this left foot in front of this right and walk in yet another direction. i both appreciate and mistrust that piece of my self. but i'm learning to trust that life coming forth from within without question. doing life sans doubt.

this week was rather trying of that practice. a few times i was concerned that i wanted to reevaluate and go back to rethinking everything everyone (and myself) says and does. not fair to anyone, that's the bottom line. so feeling feisty and trusting and boosted by the recent past and the approaching horizon, i went on towards what i knew deeply was most important: that bloody pile of flesh, thrusting itself naturally towards a plethora of people and passions in THIS life. because in case anyone has forgotten: we are alive to be living. not dead. not defeated. no drained.

and though there will be days for those feelings,
it's not today,
it's not meant for everyday,
it's not non-existent,

it's just life, and that's so sweet and ever-changing and always calling forth fear & faith & that true stuff that is what we call...

15 November 2007

grandpa's cowboy boots

grandpa's cowboy boots. and making old friends laugh.
and asking for someone, anyone to dance.

that is life.

i was listening to this song today called 'creation lake"
by 'the movies' and i heard this line:

"there are twenty four parts in a day that divides me from you.
twenty four parts in a day that divides me..."

i've written something about these words earlier. but that was then.
and this is now. and when i want to be close to someone, i am.
almost eternally.

exhibit a: my father.

but really. we are all separate entities. we have life inside of our selves,
and despite our common thread, which we could state something basic here like: oh! that we have beating hearts! well, from that perspective, our common thread is still there, but i just have to say this too: think of how much separates us.

like my grandfather probably never looked at me, as this small, rambunctious girl and said to himself: someday her feet will fit these boots perfectly.

and yet they do.

and lauren witt probably never dreamt that i would tell her silly stories, ten years down the road, reminding her of sweet old times and friendships that never fade. if God had told her that, she would have never sent me that first christmas card in 8th grade. that would be way too much commitment for anyone.

and yet she did. i love her for her laughter and her listening and her life.

and for all of you who dance: thank you. move your bodies, so breakable and vulnerable to the eyes of other...well guess what? your rhythm makes me feel mOrE aLiVE. so thanks to you. and for the rest of you, thank you too. you contribute. it's quieter. less obnoxious. more wall-flower like.

and yet you're my inspiration to keep moving.
i see you and stomp my feet and shake my self because i can...
probably in your honor, or maybe my own.

common thread or separate entities: we're all in this together.
so thanks for just being you.

12 November 2007

love above all

half-way through november, you never knew it, but it just could be that your life will change, is changing, has changed. what about your life is pending? who and what have you pursued? what ignites you to be more fuLLy aLive? my long awaited migration seems to be approaching ever so quickly. i am wing-wide and root deep. this will always cause a bit of turbulence, i can tell, because it has thus far and all i've ever experienced are little aches and pains, and still i've ended up like this. as this woman, in this world, with these eyes, and oh! my hands. these two glorious hands, with ten fingers and when they are spread i know it is all so real, and so really out of my control.

i was reading some bell hooks, well, quoting some bell hooks this weekend. and i feel like doing that again. "I place love before work because i know that without a sound foundation of self-love, I risk undermining my value and the value of all I accomplish through work. Self love can sustain us, but to thrive in community, which is how we LiVe, we need to receive love from others."

again? (oh, i can't bear to learn this lesson again.)
yes, again.
ok, fine, yes.

this is certainly something i will be working on for the rest of my life. i don't need to say it doesn't come naturally for me, that is a known fact. it is difficult, but the work that kneads and turns and moves all the attention from me to community is work i want to participate in for the rest of my days. i never desire something where solitude is the only option present. love above all is the work we must do daily. it is hard, hard enough, undeniably difficult at times and so simple, too. its amazing how i find these things present in the midst of even my most mundane days (and i've had none of those recently, thanks to magnificent company and new inspirations). however, in the presence of the community i find myself standing before i mirror, one where i see myself seeing myself, and that self craves change, transition, migration.

but i must wait. and in the mean time, love; for these are the days with which i am being filed and found and refined. "Not only does something come if you wait, but it pours over you like a waterfall, like a tidal wave. You wait in all naturalness without expectation or hope, emptied, translucent, and that which comes rocks and topples you; it will shear, loose, launch, winnow, grind." Annie Dillard

08 November 2007

completely random & utter procrastination.

so much to do, so little focus. i had some thoughts today, so get ready for this.
1st of all: did you hear about what's happening this weekend? ashley hepburn is coming to louisville and we're planning to take the world (ok just the city) by sToRm. this is going to be wonderful wonderful wonderful. prepare yourselves.
2nd: i was allowed the priviledge of watching my boss do pullup on the crown molding at bluedog today. i mean really, in the middle of lunch, bobby starts doing pull ups. absurd and lovely at the same time. i really didn't know what to think.

3rd: the michele and i are hanging out tonight. and i have one million things to get done, did i mention that? but i'm sitting here NOT achieving any of them, and i'm about to go drink wine with her, so we both know i'll especially achieve nothing in an hour. in fact that reminds me, i have some wine i want to try before i go... and jeopardy comes on pretty soon too. did i mention that's my favorite thing on earth, and i'm seriously hoping someone will get me the new jeopardy home DVD game for christmas? time for a plug: (in case you need to find it fast)

love love
p.s. this post is completely random & a tactic of utter procrastination. go do something stephanie. gosh

05 November 2007

between buildings and breasts

you should see my desk. i am a creation goddess.

i have been working on playing with new ideas. the way you give a child a new toy and they USE it, that is my new motto. USE what you have. put it to the task, enjoy it and make it into something you visualize. instead of putting projects off, i've been playing with them, often. it's so fun, too...and i'm seriously developing some skills here, people. it's amazing. i just make and make and make and it is this fascinating process... ugh i just love it.

tonights creation came from daily inspiration: my cup of tea per la noche. i've been super intentional recently about buying teabags that have a quote on the string attached to the teabag. the brand "good earth organics" (a new line at whole foods) carries delicious tea and inspiring words attached. the quote on this particular cup was:"there is no remedy for love but to love more." thoreau

wow. that will make you stop dead in your tracks if you're listening. sure, you could keep going but what for? where are you going if it is not a place where you will be able to LOvE more? that is where i want to LIVE. in addition to this inspiration, i've had quite the day. ever since i woke up at 8 am, i've had distracting but fascinating (and certainly strange) visuals i've been creating in my head. this is all a product of the poignant art of frida kahlo. i watched "frida" last night and i admit i've been seeing people with their arteries connected to inanimate objects and clotheslines between buildings and breasts all day long. it's a very absurd experience, but it's personal too: visualizing art based on the normal human experience. i am nothing special, really, in fact i was feeling less than energized all day long. but when your mind is made up that you need to create what you keep imagining, there is nothing to do but let your hands burst open. and what do you get if inside of my open hands you place good pens, some paper tchotchke, a journal and a gluestick on my desk, and maybe some good tunes on the laptop? that's right---a masterpiece.

now really, you and i both know that my work is juvenile.
but on that note, it's liberating and i'm a child.
so what's the big deal?

04 November 2007

look! look! LooK!

the world is FULL of fascinating things! the past week has been outrageouly inspiring to me. i have been given a full invitation to participate in the community of saints right here in the city of louisville. i have met new people, developed a particularly interesting new method of journaling, exchanged magical little blurbs with the wine shop hombre, delved in libations late at night and courageous positivity at any hour. early on in the week, i drew a signpost in my journal, one of the kind that has arrows on it pointing in all directions, the kind that tell you how far some random town in england is from the exact point that the post is planted. and on the arrows of this signpost (what is the official name for one of these?) i used a magnificent new discovery of artistic medium called transfer type (thank you brooks reitz) to scribe this simple phrase: how did we get here?

there has been something informative and moving about that small drawing for me this week. that began the month of november for me. it was a new day and my flaws were old and the adventure ahead of me was fresh. and i wrote something on the side of my little sketch that said: "so i gotta go. but that is just a perfect explanation for today...and the answer? well, honey, that's in the living..." it's funny what insight having a conversation with yourself holds.

by the way: LOOk aRounD! i sware to you there is something glorious and life changing in your midst, you only have to OPeN youR eYEs (and MayBE your HEaRt, too) and take those palms and turn them UPward and spread each of your ten fingers wide. pray for this very day to creep by, and for all your faithfulness to be put to the test.

p.s. do you like the new look of my bloggy blog? photo compliments of jakob paur, my incredible german friend. location: oxford university. result: glorious.

01 November 2007

love in any key you want

you know those people who use words and change your LIFE? enter exhibit one: aka: LOVE in the key of longbrake. i get jealous when i read this kind of stuff, like who is this guy that he is stinking incredible with words, and what is being affirmed so religiously inside of him that whispers, "speak, share, capture THAT with your language, it is your gift." i don't know this longbrake character, i don't know what that means or what to think, but i have heard about him. i've read his blog because he posts comments on a lot. and i post comments on a lot, too. why? well, mostly because i think i have some wisdom to share to some men-loving men. and those same men-loving men respond to my comments so i keep on writing them, thinking, some d a y... anyhow, i don't care where you are, or who you are, or what you have to share, but sit down with yourself, and affirm what it is you have inside you, and give language to that. it's incredible: i see wendell berry a few times a week, and just small tastes of his language reminds me to be incredible intentional about my own. and i have to practice listening, too, because wonderous human beings like wendell and longbrake are all around, we're just not hearing what they are saying.

and what they are saying is life changing. let's listen.
and share our own voices, too.

"And so I ask you, what do you love? Do you love photography? Are you taking photographs simply because you love to tell a story without words? Do it more and more. Keep creating. Are you cooking food that speaks of the beauty of God and the earth? Send me a box of goodies. Just kidding. 135 29th Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112." Longbrake (and on that note, i want a box of goodies, too.)

"What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here." Wendell Berry