Monday, February 28, 2011


I should  know that.
That math problem.
It's not clear.
I don't get it.

But I know this stuff.

I know that information is there, somewhere.
I can feel the information locked inside me.
It's there.
I know it is.
But unreachable.

Staring at the paper, numbers swimming, doesn't magically release it.
That information stays locked away.
I have no control over it.
I know it is there, but it isn't up to me to decide when I can access it.
Need does nothing to coax it out.

Until it's back.
I don't notice its silent return.
When it once again becomes part of my life.
Rejoins the reachable information.

So I forget.
What it is to lack that piece.
Until it retreats again, silently.
Behind locked doors.

I don't know what it's like to have it stay.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


The woman’s toes tap anxiously on the floor,
She is powerless.
Sitting in a chair that jabs into her back.
The buzzing fluorescent lights tensing already tight muscles.
A muted TV flashes in the corner.
Even through her closed eyelids, the harsh light prevents relaxation.

Her fingers begin to tap in time with her impatient toes.
She notices her chipped nail polish.
Begins to pick at it,
Creating a small storm of black flakes.
They fly off,
Faster and faster.
She has to remove it all,
She must get down to the bare nail.

Her head jerks up,
Fearful of being caught.
Terrified of being seen so vulnerable.
Terrified, but her anxiety insists she continue to pick at the stubborn polish.

The woman shifts in her chair, uncomfortable.
She discovers a marginally more comfortable position.

She shifts again,
Convinced there must be a better way to situate herself.
Slouches down,
Ramrod straight spine.
Feet flat on the floor,
Tucked underneath her.
She stops.
Is anyone staring?
Is her discomfort attracting attention?
Settling into the most neutral position she can find,
She resolves to not shift again.

The polish is close to gone.

She checks the area.
Just the man with the army haircut behind the desk.
He has been scribbling in charts for over twenty minutes.
Wait, is that a white coat behind the doors?

Doors that swallowed the bustle,
The chaos, the commotion.
The rushed voices.
Running shoes, squeaking on the fake tile floor.
The large bed,
The bed that almost enveloped his fragile body.
He fit too well.

His body too accustomed.
The white sheets,
Freshly laundered.
Remotes and wires surrounding his head.

A head with hair, so curly and unruly.
The black ringlets a stark contrast against the sheets.
Beautiful hair that casts a dark shadow over his face.
A face she has burned into her memory.

The eyes,
So penetrating.
Ears sticking out at odd angles.
Eyebrows, flat and serious.
A nose centered perfectly above a crooked mouth.
A mouth that enables him to smile.
A smile that can crack her heart in two.

Her toes speed up.
Her brain doesn’t obey orders.
She doesn’t want to consider that possibility.
It’s not a possibility.
The doors,
The doors that wrenched him out of her outstretched arms,
The doors swing open.
They smack into the wall,
Yet are noiseless.
She flinches, sensing the impact.

At tall figure.
A figure in a white coat.
He walks with authority.
Silently, he approaches.
He gives nothing away.

He strides purposefully to her chair.
She tries to disappear into it.
Hiding behind its faded cover,
Letting its sharp edges dig into her body.
His coat collapses around his legs as they bend.
He kneels, ignoring identical rows of chairs ranged around the room

She is fixated by his mouth:
He holds it in a perfectly straight line.
It is a mouth that has delivered the lines she is about to hear an immeasurable number of times.

Her breath catches.
Eyebrows raised in shock.
Words and sentences blend into ambient noise.
Shaking hands move to cover an open mouth,
A gaping hole of surprise.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Every Day

I write everyday. It's not necessarily coherent, or understandable, and most of it isn't for the world to see. I write every day because I want to.

I've learned that it helps me to work through things, and it keeps me sane. By writing it on paper, it is no longer part of me. It gives me distance from the problem. It allows me to step back, to move on.

I take pictures every day. I'm still learning what this means to me. It is something I want to do because I love it and it calms me and allows me to forget the world and its problems.

The idea came from 365 Days, which is taking pictures to share. I elected not to participate because I foresaw the pressure I would put on myself.

I need to find a place of comfort that allows me to pick up my camera everyday because I want to, not because I have to.

That feeling of "have to" comes solely from me.

So I pick up my camera, suspending it carefully from my neck, every day, when I want to. When I see the beauty in the world around me that must be captured and preserved. I adjust the f-stop and ISO and shutter speed to let light in.

I pick it up with heavy hands, because I know I need to see the beauty. That today it isn't jumping out at me, that I will need to look in the unexpected places, finding the hidden joys.

I don't think about all the metaphors my camera embodies as I am looking through the viewfinder. I just see my world, the light and the dark, old and new. I strive to take a good photograph.

What I have learned is that taking a good photograph entails more than having the right exposure and white balance and composition. Little pieces of me come through. My mood is preserved in the 10.1 megapixels. As I find ways to take photographs for me, because I want to, I am finding the pieces of me that are transfered into my photos are the lighter pieces. The joyful pieces.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Networking

No wonder I feel like I'm the only one who isn't on Facebook--600 million people are. That's twice the population of the United States!

The other thing I learned from watching The Social Network is to always, always have your lawyer check legal documents. Or you might end up suing your (ex) best friend.

Seeing as I'm not on Twitter or Facebook, I've never seen what companies' pages look like. I think it's rather strange that big corporations have Twitter accounts. What do they use them for?

Although I did run across al-Qaeda's Twitter account in the course of research for a project. It was terrifying. Please tell me you're not one of their 30,000 followers.

Go see The UnMom for some real Tuesday randomness.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On the last eight days

I can't believe it's only Tuesday
I had a wonderful weekend
but it was full
which means I didn't feel like I really recovered from last week before this week began

on Monday:
I had a surprisingly good day considering how full the week felt

on Sunday:
we watched the Super Bowl
we ate Indian food

on Saturday:
I had my training for volunteering at the hospital on the post-surgery floor
I'm pretty excited
I had art class
I have another painting that feels stuck
it's not done, but I'm not sure where it's going

on Friday and Thursday:
I had school

on Wednesday and Tuesday:
school was canceled due to "extreme cold" 
we were sadly lacking in the snow department

on Monday:
I had school and what felt like 37 doctors appointments

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Winners

It's been a while

But it's ready to go

Snow triangles

The possibilities a new journal holds...

Crabby socks make me smile

A quiet moment

Keeping out the cold

Circles on circles


Friday, February 4, 2011

List of Hate

I am doing a project on Islamic Extremism and Terrorism.

I was on Wikipedia, a page called Terrorism in the United States.

A section on Terrorism Related to Islamic Extremism.

A list of terrorist attacks committed by Islamic extremists on US soil, against US civilians.

It was staggering.

I had heard about so few. But that's not the point.

There is so much hate in the world. So many people feel so strongly that their way is the right way, or that others people's way is wrong, that they feel they have to kill people.


I sat at the computer with tears in my eyes.

So shocked and stunned by this list of hate.

I feel like a lot of the time I don't really feel or take time to absorb the news. Because it is constant and never-ending. Bus crashes, bombings, shootings, accidents, murders.

There is so much death and horror every day.

I've learned to not really absorb it, or even think about it.

I feel guilty, so guilty, for not giving those people my time or empathy. Yet I know I would lose my hope and potential for optimism if I let it all come rushing in. Because there is just so much. All the time.

But for some reason, that list hit me.

It came pouring in.

I was horrified.

For no small  part because I don't get it. I can't relate. Not that it's bad to not be able to relate to terrorists, but I just don't know where they're coming from. I have never felt that. I don't have beliefs or convictions so strong that I must create chaos to make other see. I don't hate with a passion that drives me to destruction.

I have opinions and beliefs, but I'm generally not stuck in stone about them. I may not change my mind, but I'll probably listen. But even when I listen to this, I can't relate. I can't relate to people who need to push their beliefs onto others. People who are so convinced that their way, and only their way, is right and true.

Unable to relate, combined with proof of people so different from me, so hateful and destructive, was sort of overwhelming.

I don't know what to do with that information. I can try to learn, to understand, although I think terrorism is, by its very nature, un-intelligible. I don't think I can understand people who blow up buildings to kill and destroy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Muffin Girl

I'm a muffin girl. I started baking because it was something I could control. My life and body were doing their own thing. Without consulting me, my body had betrayed me. It went and got sick and completely changed my life.

I was sick and confused and out of control. But really I was too sick to do much about anything. I tried to control what I could. I organized.

Things needed to be in straight, orderly lines. I could put the game pieces into place, put them where they were supposed to be.

The baking started as a result of boredom. There's not much to do when you're sick and out of control.

It became something I found comfort in. The routine, the regularity. I knew where things were; I could create a product out of carefully measured individual ingredients.

I knew that if I followed the recipe, I would get a certain result. I learned the temperament of the oven and its tendency to overcook. Storing the information away, I would try again the next day.

From start to finish, I was in control. Everything was my decision. Whether to use whole wheat flour, which measuring cups to use, the order in which I combined the ingredients.

It was mine.

We ate a lot of muffins. I branched out, searched for new recipes. There was the failure of the nutmeg/molasses recipe that made three times the normal amount of a rather disgusting muffin. I felt guilty for making my parents eat so many muffins. Yet I kept baking.

The favorites: two variations of blueberry, apple, chocolate chocolate chip, raspberry orange, pumpkin.

There are the recipes that have notes and addendums. The ones I've perfected. The safe ones, the ones that envelope me in a hug as I sift the flour, beat the butter and sugar, gently combine the wet and dry ingredients, lick the batter off the spoon.

From clean kitchen to clean kitchen, it is my process. One I've perfected.

One that gave me hope that this sickness wouldn't last forever, because I had the energy to make so many muffins.

One that allowed me to take some control of something in my life, when it seemed everything had fallen apart.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

High School Pieces

It's amazing to me that what started out for me as a sort of public journal has evolved into so much more. At the time I started my blog, I was reading one other blog. I don't really remember what I thought having a blog would entail.

Google gave me some tips for writing a blog, I came up with a name I didn't really like (and a URL I'm still stuck with), and off I went. I wrote about my mundane days of doing homework, doctors, and my parents' occasional adventure.

A year and a half later, here I am. I have followers I don't know in person, and even an occasional comment. But most of all I've found a community. One where people don't care what my hair looks like or that I'm not a "normal" kid (did you see the name of the blog?). People read what I'm writing because they want to. It's a pretty awesome feeling to know that there are people out there interested in my writing.

I still have no idea how people find me, but about a month ago I got an email from the editor of High School Pieces. She was wondering if I would be interested in writing for the online magazine for girls she founded and edits.

Time warp ahead a month and I am writing for HS Pieces in addition to Skipping Breakfast. (I started writing for Skipping Breakfast, which is focused on preparing for college, about six months ago.)

I'm pretty busy, between writing for me, writing here, writing about preparing for college, and writing about girl-related topics.

I was feeling slightly crazed for a while, trying to figure out if I could really do all of it. The writing for me is non-negotiable--it keeps me sane and grounded and helps me think. I only wanted to commit to writing for others if it was relevant to me and I could truly give it my best.

I've found a tentative balance, for now. My editors are great and don't send me screaming emails if I'm a little slow. I try to give myself the same space to be human.

Drop by either blog, here or here and let me know what you think.

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Snow

Good thing we took full advantage of the sun as it made a brief appearance over the weekend, because we are now back to full on winter. And Snow Days!

Grapefruit juice in a paper cut = way worse than lemon juice in a paper cut.

I somehow picked another cancer book. Not only does the main character get cancer, she dies. Someone needs to tell authors and script writers that other illnesses do exist.

I am very adept at putting the soap in the dishwasher with the intent to start the dishwasher. I just don't seem to have mastered the pushing of the Start button.

Ever since I watched The Sorcerer's Apprentice, I've had Secrets stuck in my head. Definitely not a great movie, but I love the song.

That's all the random I've got this morning, but head over to The Un Mom for your random fix.