We love a cool pocket on something. But why? Not really for containing things because people like my professor who fill all of their pockets with phones and wallets and receipts and pens seem somehow slightly deformed and/or unhip. Yet, we crave them like caffeine. Crave them anywhere we can fit them. Pockets are fashionable. Like the pockets on these super slick black yoga pants and bulky army coats on the girls in my class, cool just because they create a sense that they might have a purpose for all of these extra-body boxes. Flesh so tight and soft that they needed more layers. Just clothes, just covering isn’t good enough. Their lives are so big they need extra space but the right kind. Pockets are controlled space, a buttoned, flapped, streamlined way of discretely adding volume without sacrificing figure. Carefully placed aerodynamic indications of extra volume that accompany their entrance into the room. Pockets are drama. But in practice, aren’t these just more places to heighten costs of superfluous garments? More places to dirty? More places to lose things? More places to hide secrets? Empty. Easy places to forget.
I’ve been putting too much pressure on my writing lately. It’s like I expect every single sentence I write should come out complete and expressive of exactly what I am thinking, but ultimately it just frustrates me and I compulsively bake some bizarre dessert or research careers in PR. It’s crippling. But recently, the good people of my life have forced me into some free flow spaces that stop me from focusing on those barriers and just let me explore what’s floating around my head. It’s hard in a way, to begin. But then I get going and all of these things start pouring out, and after I’m done I think I’ve just written my best work. It’s delicious. So, here’s where I pledge to do that more often. To make my mental wanderings a little shelf on the internet where they can live and even grow maybe if I let them.
Why not begin tonight right? As far as emptying my brain contents goes, tonight I reflected on my current reading material. Romans 6. You might have heard of it. Anyway, that’s what I’m sorting through at the moment, along with some poetry and some Margaret Atwood. This very small pocket of the very never-ending list.
Here’s the spillage:
Romans has provided the kind of basic field guide that I need right now. It’s a call to Christians to stop trying to pull our faith apart and start getting stuck to the most crucial tenants. It lays out the most important things to remember so that the getting lost in the world becomes easier. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, Romans is really a great counterpoint to the book I’m reading for poetry A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Both works are sort of personal letters to a larger audience. Both are maps someone’s understanding of faith or life or what have you. Both encourage you to be less afraid to live & try new things.
I have a lot more writing to do about that before I know all that I want to know about the connection that I just made, so I will get back to the reflectiony part here.
I think also it’s been really important to me that Romans is such a meaty, beautiful text. It’s full of all sorts of glorious soaring phrases and really up there imagery that gets right at your heart strings. It’s rich and daring. There’s no fear about making claims that are too much. It’s clear and yet its enormous. It is how I want to live and how I want to write and how I want to approach my faith. Reading this particular document has also made me realize how interested I am in reading similar accounts from Luther, Lewis, Bessey, etc. that could help me start to maybe account my faith in such specific, a thing that I have largely been unable to do ever.
Romans is jewel tones. It’s blood red, cobalt blue, gold, vermillion all shining out of the page in words that I learned forever ago, realized were gorgeous, and then forgot until I saw them embraced by these sentences again. I want to bathe in them like I do the light of stained glass windows. Romans is terrific. I wish I had been the lucky first Roman to receive this letter. I wonder what the Romans thought of it… I bet they knew it was wonderful.
After a heated two hour intermission between church and a relaxing Sunday afternoon, my two roommates and I dropped off our borrowed car and walked triumphantly across the scorching pavement to our apartment with our new cable modem and 343 Mb/s router burning in our spoon-ringed hands.
The Martha Stewart paper lanterns sway gently in the breeze as the door opened into our bright white living room. I inhaled strength from the air conditioning and got to work. Twenty pain free minutes passed and we had Wifi. Turns out even a doodle-less Google looks unspeakably glorious after several days of “Server not found.” Crisis averted, and status quo replaced, I began surveying the apartment with new eyes as the roomies buzzed busily away on dinner in the kitchen.
An eager to please walnut bookshelf on the left side of the desk holds the required basic office supplies and chick flicks so that its partner on the right has room for the desired cookbooks and novels. Spots of light hit the room for a moment and shoot the eye over to kinky gold chain slinking its way up the wall until it reaches the kitschy pink and gold chandelier that demands a smile from the student at the second desk, so damn cheery that for a moment I think I saw a student smiling in spite of their grim reflection in the shiny black desk top. Across the wall, a burgundy cello case carries on a much quieter conversation with the unnamed couple dancing in the mist of an elegant gold frame. Just as I started to wonder again who the couple was and why they were dancing in the fog, the intimate scene was pleasantly interrupted with the sound of tonight’s fresh chicken breasts heating up the soft blue and white kitchen.
For the first time in my life I understood what Debby Reynolds must have felt just before she popped out of that birthday cake in Singing in the Rain.
And the icing on my cake was how earnestly, like kids on a playground comparing the lost rings and smooth rocks they’ve found between the wood chips, my foodie roommates compared notes on marinades while they shucked sweet corn.
In the midst of this colorful finery, there was positively nothing to do but plop on to the tweedy cream couch cushions and snooze underneath Grandma Gerty’s diamond patchwork quilt and the lovingly arranged wall of our personally crafted decor.
After three days of unpacking, decorating, adjusting, shopping, and re-docorating, apartment 311 is in full bloom.
I’m not sure where you are in your internet journey tonight, but if you’ve landed on this beginning blog of mine I’m sure you’re a much more sophisticated crawler than me, considering I’ve dedicated about five hours just to understanding the whole successful blog launch thing. (Okay maybe about 2.5 hours of actual not cooking dinner or watching The Next Food Network Star time). It turns out preparing a blog is no easy task this decade, but I am determined to assume the task regardless.
I have to admit: It’s freaking nerve wracking writing the first post of something you’ve spent countless hours titling and un-titling in your head. Now that I’ve claimed this domain as my own, well my own partnership with WordPress, I feel I must wield it responsibly. After all, if some impressionable young blog maker like myself comes across me one day on her own quest to create a dynamite title, I don’t want her to be bitter about the waste of a good one. (It’s clear that I’ve spent way too much time processing this).
So, I’m using this Welcome as a pact with you, reader, as a witness. I pledge to consistently update this blog as much as possible so that I can begin to train my ideas, my writing, and myself to be as dynamic as this thing we call the internet. No ifs ands or buts.
Five minutes later, drinks in hand, we figured we’d sit outside and enjoy the fresh summer weather to try and revive the cool post-yoga vibes. Unfortunately, good weather for sipping tea also meant good weather for the construction workers to kick it in to high gear just around the corner. We switched tables to something further from the area in turmoil but couldn’t even take any sips from our drinks before moving back inside the Starbucks, where Michael Bublé’s soothing ballads set a much pleasanter mood.
We jumped right in to the small talk basics, comparing to do lists and nightmare fragments. We were just about finished with our drinks, in other words very well primed for conversation, as we reached our social media notes and Mia insisted I watch Fashion Film, her recent Vimeo discovery. It wouldn’t load very much, [insert free Wifi shade here], but just the first line, “when I’m alone, I like to pretend I’m in a movie” was enough to spiral us into a caffeine-driven conversation about our own irrationally passionate actress worship.
Mia, future fashion designer, current New York art school student, structure loving, invisible hem sewing Mia immediately began swooning over Audrey Hepburn, specifically her Roman Holiday incarnation, but before she could reach Holly Golightly I cut in with my disdain for the cult that surrounds all things Audrey Hepburn. I said maybe it was the petite frame, or maybe it was my inability to disassociate her accent from the street child Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady, but I had never really been able to relate to Audrey. In fact, I was always a bit jealous that Gregory Peck had fallen in love with her in Roman Holiday, come to think of it.
I felt the evil of my words as soon as they left my mouth, but the caffeine empowered me to continue the argument nevertheless. Outraged, Mia demanded to know who my icon was then. Which of course got me very descriptive about the way Grace Kelly says “tomahto juice” in High Society. And then who could forget her utter sophistication in Rear Window. I was sure this was unchallengeable. Turns out, Mia finds her awfully dull, I was so noticeably flabbergasted that all we could do was laugh and leave the conversation at a draw.
Until the next day, when I was searching Netflix for a good accompaniment to some closet cleaning and Sabrina, starring none other than Miss A. Hepburn herself, came up. Interest piqued, I clicked play and was instantly hooked. Where had this movie been all my life? The music, the romantic Humphrey Bogart, the Givenchy, the parties, the comedic ensemble, it was everything I love in a movie. I watched Funny Face to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Fred Astaire, modern art, beatnik cafes, fashion magazines, cheesy dance scenes. Another winner. I hated to admit it, but Audrey wasn’t as awful as I had contented. In fact, she was so un-awful outside of Breakfast at TIffany’s that I wanted more. Charade is next up on my Netflix queue.
Blushing cheeks and all, I composed a remorseful text to Mia renouncing my attacks on Audrey, but ever more fervently asserted my love for Grace and insisting Mia investigate more movies as I had.
It was a valuable lesson kids. Never judge an actress by their cult incarnation.
It begs the question… what other icons do I need to be more educated about?