Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It Will Just Have to Wait

I've been painting the dressers today, so my lamp, which would usually sit on my bedside table, is here with me on the floor.  This is the kind of lighting you find in Sufjan Stevens' songs about predatory wasps and writing while wearing leg warmers.

I am usually so deliberate about where I put things in the house, but something in this temporary arrangement feels nice, feels like the kind of looseness required to rethink why I've decided something is "right" or "where it's supposed to be."  There was a feeling I had when I was 16, and I'm sure you remember it, too.  Something both raw and timid, fiercely independent and insecure.  I remember spending whole days and nights listening to music while lying on my bed and staring into this terrifying and intensely attractive concept of freedom.  This freedom to make a life.

And this life would start with very little furniture in a studio apartment above a bar named the Red Lion Pub, and there would be a lamp on the floor lighting the page this 17 year old version of myself scorched writing freedom like a flame running toward even more fire because it didn't know yet what it felt like to be burned.

And it's strange to think this fierce and fragile 17 year old is still here with me now.  I wish I could whisper to her everything I know but it's still too early to tell her not to do the things I've done.  Besides, I love her too much to stop her.


  1. This looks to me like (at least the start of) a really awesome, in-depth and deeply personal creative non-fiction piece. Those usually involve some kind of self-analysis or self-discovery, right?

    This makes me wonder how I'll look back on my life now, twenty years from now. What am I doing that I shouldn't? What should I change? Anything? I don't think so. There's a reason God doesn't let us see the future. HE works everything out; he doesn't want us to try to manipulate our lives. Our times are in HIS hands...not ours.

    Thank you for provoking my thoughts.

  2. Your photos are growing, your grandmother sounds wonderful. Lamp on the floor, room to breathe. I think I need to practice the opposite - my lamps are always on the floor and some deliberateness would anchor.

    There's always beauty in your honest retrospect. Funny how in reading and learning about you I always learn a little about myself, too.

  3. Ah...you remind me of me. My plans were so big...plans to be creative and lie on a hardwood floor somewhere in New York City...to throw paint on a canvas and photograph everything strange I saw. How different my life turned out...and how thankful I am.