Sunday, June 10, 2007

"out of the city/ and down to the seaside/ the sun on my shoulders/ and wind in my hair/ but sandcastles crumble/ and hunger is human..." (joni)

I DID MAKE IT HOME from London, about a week ago, now. I wanted to write here...I craved to write here. But, the adjustment home has been one rife with the most personal sorts of discoveries. I spent a week at "home" with my family...I use this term loosely because my nuclear family no longer lives in the town where I grew up, and I am not sure that town is home anymore anyway. Perhaps the best I can do is merely transcribe some of my journal here...since that has been my refuge more than usual in the last nine days. Mixed--conflicting?--emotions plague me. I am having terrible dreams that jump back in time, and then forward, and are filled with unwanted encounters and scenes of violence.

I am in my college town, now, having moved out of my house and 6 hours north-west, as the car drives, to the place where my adult life seems is playing itself out. I expected to come home from London and find that I saw things as flat, lackluster, two-dimensional...rather, it seems, the older I get the more dimensions life has, and some of them are more than unpleasant...they are disheartening, disillusioning, and despairing. More than ever before, I wanted to see my beautiful, sprawling, traditional family with the eyes I had as a child. But families are made of people, too, not saints, or superheros. Their faults are not heroic, except from the distance of several generations. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that I spent many hours in the middle of the night last week scanning old photographs of my family into my laptop, and editing them. They are (mostly) black and white. And I removed the blemishes and stains, the aging thick paper, the matte finish and stamped and annotated backs, explaining who and where and when... The results are here. They are beautiful. I feel a poem-bud forming...

My other refuge as of late, has been the rich, sweet, sad music of Joni Mitchell...which I have always gravitated towards in times of contemplation. Song to A Seagull is my most recent acquisition of her discography...some lyrics of particular resonance are below:

"Song to A Seagull"
Joni Mitchell

Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I came to the city
And lived like old Crusoe
On an island of noise
In a cobblestone sea
And the beaches were concrete
And the stars paid a light bill
And the blossoms hung false
On their store window trees
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

Out of the city
And down to the seaside
To sun on my shoulders
And wind in my hair
But sandcastles crumble
And hunger is human
And humans are hungry
For worlds they can't share
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I call to a seagull
Who dives to the waters
And catches his silver-fine
Dinner alone
Crying where are the footprints
That danced on these beaches?
And the hands that cast wishes
That sunk like a stone?
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach Out of cry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


so i realize that i'm obsessed with your blog...and it's because you are a great writer but also because I realize how much we have in common and as i'm reading your thoughts it's as though you're narrating my instead of calling myself an actual stalker i'm giogn to acuse you of stalking my thoughts!

anyway there is nothing more stark than going home always think it's going to be the opposite but for some reason home seems shallow and you no longer seem to least in my experience. I dunno i mean we're coming from different situations for sure, but leaving fredericksburg and school was possibly the most traumatizing event of my i can relate to your mixed feelings about leaving london

ugh..just had to get that off my chest :0)
i can't wait to visit you so we can have deep talks...or just play scrabble and obsess about nerdy english things :)

love you