things I like this week, vol. 32

First, the poems:
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door . . . 
. . . 
For each age is a dream that is dying
or one that is coming to birth.
. . .
The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.
. . .

And then the pictures for which I can give no good source link, since they are off friends' facebook pages:

. . .

The bit of light on her inner thigh is what makes the photo.

. . . 

They were camped out in my friend's parents' backyard.

. . . 

. . . 

I'm not generally one to repost these ecards, but this one speaks to a pet peeve I've had for years.

I have the same pet peeve when it comes to people who get "to thine ownself be true" as a tattoo.

. . .
And now, the photos I can source:

Steve McCurry, again.
. . . 

Bookshelf Porn, so aptly named.
. . . 

Edvard Munch.
. . . 

And now, the videos:

Five ways to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew. (The shoe is my favorite.)

. . .

. . .

. . .

Watch what she does on her toes. Insane.

. . .

And, finally, a token, a quote, a list, and a note.
. . . 


if the seas catch fire

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at the wedding)

never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girl
and tomorrow and the earth)

- EE Cummings


albums to break up to

Apparently I've been drowning myself in music, lately. Representative songs included.


Sea Change.


los fracasos del amor

I've been listening to tango music for ages now in almost complete ignorance of anything beyond the melodies. True tango aficionados can tell orchestras by name even on unfamiliar tracks, but it wasn't until very recently that I started even learning the names of the most famous conductors.

I also, generally, have no idea what the lyrics (when there are lyrics) mean, having naught but the barest understanding of isolated Spanish words. However, a friend recently started sending me to sites with good translations, and it was more than a little surprising to discover the wealth of comforting, pleasingly overdramatic poetry in songs I've loved for years.

So far, my favorite of the lyrics I've browsed is "Nostalgias." The English version, translated by the ever-more-impressive Derrick Del Pilar:

I want to get my heart drunk
so I can snuff out a crazy love
that more than love, is just suffering . . .
and I come here for this,
to erase the old kisses
with kisses from other mouths . . .
If her love was a one-day bloom
what’s the reason that I always feel
this cruel preoccupation?
I want to raise my drink to the both of us
to forget my obstinacy
and also so I remember her again

of listening to her crazy laughter
and feeling her fiery breath
so close to my mouth . . .
of feeling abandoned
and thinking that another at her side
shall soon speak to her with love . .
I don’t want to debase myself
nor ask anything of her, nor cry for her,
nor tell her that I can’t live anymore . . .
in my sad solitude I shall see
the dead rose of my youth fall.

BandoneĆ³n, whine out your gray tango
perhaps you too will be wounded
by some sentimental love . . .
my dummy’s soul weeps
alone and sad on this night,
a black night without stars . . .
if drinks can bring comfort
I am here with my insomnia
to drown them all at once . . .
I want to get my heart drunk
so that later I can raise a glass
to all the failures of love.
He only sings the middle verse in the recording above, but it's my favorite arrangement. The original Spanish and 5 other arrangements can be found here.


the moon fell in the water

I have been wanting to post the video of this for months.

Do yourself a favor and turn the sound up and watch it full screen. The angle of the video isn't great - wish we could see her face more - but you can get some of the effect that way. 

The translated lyrics (though I think she only sings the first two verses):

You arrived through the path,
apron and loosed braids,
your black eyes reflecting,
the lightness of a full moon.
My lips hurt you
when I kissed your fresh mouth.
Your hand punished me,
but harder hit your absence.

I went back through white roads,
I went unable to arrive.
Sad with my long shouting,
singing without knowing how.
You closed your black eyes,
your face turned white,
and we took your silence
to the sound of the bells. 
The moon fell in the water,
the pain hit my chest.
With strings of hundred guitars
I caught remorse.

I went back through old roads,
I went unable to arrive.
I shouted your dead name
and I prayed without knowing how.
Sadness of  having loved
 your shyness on a path.
Sadness of the roads
that never saw you again.
Silence in the cemetery,
loneliness of the stars,
memories that hurt so much,
apron and black braids.


on space

Colin moved out a week ago today.

The physical space was filled in more quickly than I had anticipated. A friend came down to spend the night with me after he left, and when we woke up the next morning, she did the best possible thing she could: she helped me put my house back together. The empty spaces on the walls were taken up by the art that used to hang in my classroom, which I had coincidentally moved out of just that week. We rearranged furniture and threw out a surprisingly large amount of trash, and in a very short amount of time, the house felt enough like mine that my breath didn't catch every time I turned a corner.

The emotional spaces are harder to fill.

Having spent the last two and a half months on the rack, my own emotional state is somewhat more stable than might be expected. But Joley - my bright, energetic, constantly talkingmovingdancing child - has turned into a small ghost, all big eyes and lips and cheeks that have become soft pillows of grief. When she talks, she talks of him. She eats next to nothing, complaining of the same stomach ache that started the day he left, turning down even her favorite foods. She curls up to sleep in strange places at odd hours, but no matter how much she sleeps the circles under her eyes stay deep. She hears noises in the kitchen and thinks Colin has come home. She asks questions that I can't even begin to answer, and comes out of nowhere to cling to my leg as though afraid I, too, am going to disappear into thin air.

Her suffering is more acute and immediate than my own, and I seem to be completely powerless to abate the flood of it. Children need time and contact and love, and no matter how much time and love I give her, or how many times I tell her Colin loves her and will see her soon, it does nothing at all to ease the pain of the sudden empty space in her small life.


things I like this week, vol. 31

Gingers on a Canadian shoreline.

. . .

Personalized capes for kids.

. . .

Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.
 Number 10 of the 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar. 

. . .

Art nouveau doors. I want this one especially.

. . .

I am green, and it'll do fine.
. . .

A discussion on the right wine glasses. I prefer the really shallow, wide-mouthed vintage champagne glasses, myself, although that's based purely on visual appeal.

. . .

Anthropologie, you get me every time.

. . .

What I wish for is that in each dance — performances included — I may have the courage to present myself with complete authenticity, a flawed human being before another flawed human being, feeling safe in the certainty that I will be fully accepted for who I am. I wish that my partner will allow me to see him in his emotional nakedness, reassured that I will embrace him in his totality. In that moment of exquisite vulnerability when we take each other in the arms, we will make a pact to share our emotions for the next ten minutes.
- Daniela Pucci on the differences between technique and connection in tango

. . .


good advice

Once I get my school stuff wrapped up (classroom is still a horrific mess), this is what I'm going to do.

from here


how to survive a breakup

1. Waterproof eye makeup. Facing the world with a teary face is demeaning. Use waterproof eyeliner to waterline (covers up the tell-tale red) and then smudge thickly around the outside to disguise puffiness. Waterproof mascara on upper lashes only. When you cry, don't touch your eyes at all, and everything will stay put just fine.

2. Go dancing. Specifically tango. It's physical exercise, so the endorphins will improve your mood. The embrace is essentially a nine to twelve minute hug. It is a happy distraction.

3. Read Emotional Intelligence. Learn the science behind why you feel like shit. Feel slightly better.

4. Tell small numbers of people at a time. Avoid telling work colleagues if you can. Choose small pockets of friends. That way you can retreat to people who know - or people who don't know - depending on your mood. Also, providing even the briefest of explanations several times over in a short amount of time is extremely draining, so it's much better to avoid it if you can.

5. Dress up. Often. Even for going to bed. This is in line with the waterproof makeup trick: if you look like shit, you're going to feel even worse. Looking good on the outside calms some of the storm on the inside.

6. Use your blog for cathartic but very obscure references to the situation. The whole point of having a blog - even if it's a less personal one like mine - is to be able to provide your commentary on the world. Don't embarrass yourself, don't violate anonymity, don't try to offend anyone, and shrug it off if people decide to get offended anyway.

7. Apply for a promotion. Get it. Be grateful that you made good decisions and have a job you love.

8. Retreat into the arms of people who love you. Lean on them. Love your kid, love the cat, love your friends, and lean on the ones who can support you. Discover that you have more people to lean on than you thought. Be grateful.

9. Go dancing more.

10. Keep boxes of tissues in every corner of the house. And in your purse. And your car. This avoids the frustration that comes with having to hunt for several minutes to find something to get the snot off your face.

11. Be empathetic. You don't have it as bad as other people. Your world feels like it is ending; someone else's does, too. Listen carefully to those problems and yours will recede into the background, at least temporarily. This works, surprisingly, even if the problems being described are part of the situation that is making you miserable too.

12. Learn from other people's experiences; commiserate with those going through the same thing at the same time. Tiny Hands and toot's tree pose, for example, have been fantastic inspiration. It is comforting to know that you are not the only one going through a horrific breakup, and good to see that life can, in fact, continue and improve once the breakup is over.

13. Keep a few pregnancy tests handy. You don't need to add to your stress by worrying that your missed period is due to something other than grief.

14. Don't refill your contact prescription. Tears have a tendency to float your contacts out of your eyes, and they make already irritated eyes more irritated. And sometimes even just the slight distance provided by seeing the world through glass is comforting.

15. Find out the truth, whatever it is, at whatever cost. The most destructive thing on this planet is a lie, whether it's one you tell yourself or one someone is telling you. It clouds your judgement. It keeps you from healing. It makes you behave in ways that are not appropriate for the actuality of the situation. The truth, no matter how much it hurts, is the only thing worth having. Find it.


on the immaturity of others

Time to move on . . . Life doesn’t owe you your own personal happy ending, especially at another’s, or in this case several others’, expense. 
- Axl Rose