Friday, December 17, 2010

#reverb10: Lesson Learned

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

Lesson(s) in song

Certain songs have a way to express feelings, ideas, and hopes when I can't fully articulate them myself. I am usually listening to music in some capacity: in the car, on my iPod, on Pandora radio, or songs I create in my head. Here's a list of song lyrics I've come to love in 2010 that exemplify the lessons I've learned about myself this year...

My mind is open wide
And now I'm ready to start
                  - Ready to Start, Arcade Fire

It takes an ocean not to break
                  -Terrible Love, The National

Home is wherever I’m with you
                 -Home, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
               -The Dog Days are Over, Florence and the Machine
Cause you and your heart
Shouldn't feel so far apart
              -You and Your Heart, Jack Johnson

Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere?
            -Chasing Pavements, Adele

These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday
          -Nightswimming, R.E.M

Thursday, December 16, 2010

#reverb10: Friendship

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

My favorite frenemy

From "frenemy" to my person,
You taught me there's more to a person
 than meets the eye.
You helped me take chances and have fun.
Let us ski, surf, laugh til we cry.
Let us enjoy our youth.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#reverb10: 5 Minutes

December 15 – 5 Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Give me just 5 minutes..

...Deciding to write and push my boundaries creatively...Skiing almost every weekend with Alissa...Learning to surf...Standing on the beach after my run and watching the sun rise over the Atlantic in Long Beach Island...My dad calling me his jewel..Running my first 10k when I thought I couldn't do it...Becoming closer with Mrs. M, a source of inspiration...Cuddling with my dog, Maxine, for almost three hours the day after Thanksgiving...First time being a costume manager for my high school's production of "Anything Goes," and continuing this year with "Phantom of the Opera"...Reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Never Let Me Go...

5 minutes is just not enough; I must have had a good year...


Monday, December 13, 2010

#reverb10: action

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

Next steps, in no particular order:
Aha! Inspiration! Let me revel in your vision.
Oh no! I have to act on it! It can't be done!
It can though, just take the first step!
Make a list, come up with a plan.
Then, without warning, comes the cold feet.
No, I'm afraid!
It's too difficult, too much work!
I reassure myself, quietly and calmly.
Yes, it is difficult.
You're right, it is hard work.
But it's the plan, the first step in the
right direction,
that makes it that much easier
to turn ideas
into action,
and later, hopefully,


Sunday, December 12, 2010

#reverb10: Body Intergration

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Sunset at the top of Jiminy Peak...

What a serendipitous reverb prompt, for last night I went skiing for the first time of the season. It was a surprisingly mild night and the trails were perfect for zipping down the hill. It being the first outing of the season, I anticipated some trouble getting back into it and finding my center, but it was like I never stopped skiing. Maybe it was muscle memory, or maybe it was the perfect fusion of mind and body, being oh so sprightly and agile.

I go through the majority of my life feeling uncertain and unconfident, but skiing is one of the few activities where I feel powerful, confident, and adventurous.I am not sure why that is; I guess everyone has a pursuit that gives that sense of accomplishment and power.

When I ski, it's like my mind and body come together, supremely focused. I concentrate on my form and the edges of my skis, anticipating jumps, reacting quickly to ice and mounds of snow. My mind and body work cohesively together, like partners in crime. And yet, when my body is working so hard, I reach a point where a part of the mind is free. Free to wonder and wander the world around me.

When I'm on a trail by myself, surrounded by snow-covered trees, I feel as if I am the only one on the mountain. Snow blankets and muffles the sounds save for swish of my skis as they glide through the snow. It's those moments in life where I feel the most alive and free.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

#reverb 10: Things

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

What my life doesn't
need is quite simple,

Needless conflict;
Hatred of self and others;

See, how simple, is that?
Some can't be eliminated,
they are a part of life that can't
be controlled.
But maybe they can be alleviated
for a time to reach clarity and compassion.
For myself and,
more importantly,


Mag 44

Ode to Childhood

Take me back to a time,
all bundled up in
warm snowpants and mittens,
admiring the freshly fallen snow.

A time where I would
gather my brother up,
chubby cheeked with envy-evoking dimples,
and bring him outside.

A time where would we
take our metal rail sled
that belonged to our
mother when she was a girl
and push it the road,
each of us taking a side.

A time when we 
would sled down
our grandparents' quiet road,
a steep hill, perfectly inviting
for a good sleigh ride.
We didn't think of the danger,
only the fun.

A time where my little brother
would sit in front of me
while I steered the sled with my feet.
The wind whipping our
faces as we flew down
the snow covered road.

We'd reach the bottom
by colliding into a snow pile
made by the plowers.
We would laugh,
brush off the snow,
and run back up without care.
We had so much energy
back then.

Take me back to the time
when life hadn't touched
my brother and me.
Where all we cared about
was having the perfect
sleigh ride on a perfect
winter's day.

Magpie Tales

Friday, December 10, 2010

#Reverb10: Wisdom

Note: My computer died on me last night, so no Decemeber 9  #Reverb for me :( But moving on!...

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Why is it easier for me to think of all the foolish decisions I’ve made in 2010? Maybe because I’m too hard on myself. Or maybe because the impractical decisions seem more fun and adventurous at the time. One decision, however, I know was the wisest was one that had been on my mind in 2009 and was finally made at the beginning of 2010.

Break ups are never fun  (how cliche of me to write about a break up!). But sometimes necessary to free yourself from others and recapture the you that was lost in the mix. My boyfriend and I had been together on and off for about four years. He was the rebound of another relationship and so that feeling of waiting for the next best thing stuck with me for most our time together. 

Caring and thoughtful in his own way, with a temper and stubborness I couldn't seem to match nor shake. We stayed together when I was in Australia and we stayed together living an hour and a half a part. My intuition, my "witchiness," told me we weren't right together. But other, more convincing parts of me, stayed with him.

We started the break up "process" in a car, on the way back from his parents after Thanksgiving last year. Another cliche, breaking up in a car. It was ugly and sad. An awkward since we still had about an hour to go.

We left our status uncertain, full of doubt on my part, yet full of hope on his part. I said I needed time to think. He respected that. What I really needed though was to get some courage and just end it. We talked throughout the month of December. I knew it was crushing him, stringing him along, but I couldn't do it. I knew it was right thing but I also knew I didn't want to be alone.

We ended things on a cold January morning, on the phone rather than face to face. I don't think he could see me, knowing it would the last time. I remember getting out of bed, shaking off the tears, and cleaning my apartment from top to bottom. It was as if I needed sort some of cleansing ritual to move on.

It's been hard, being alone, but I don't think I'm lonely. That's how I know it was a wise decision. This year led me to new things (blogs, road trips, surfing, blind dates, to name a few) and I haven't felt more myself in such a long time. Yes, there have been plenty of bumps and trials this year, but I've  realized that I can take them on, even if there are some meltdowns along the way.

Now, remember how I said that foolish decisions are more fun? Well, in the course of the year my ex-boyfriend and I have met up a few time. Awful, unwise, silly, I know! But sometimes those unwise decisions are made in the hopes that you'll learn something from them. I'm just waiting for the lesson...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#reverb10: Beautifully Different

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

"You have a freak flag...You just don't fly it."

Something must be fundamentally
wrong with me,
because this prompt makes me cringe.
Is it really that hard
to think positively of myself?

So, going against the grain
of my natural inclinations,
I'm just going to let my
freak flag fly!

I love to laugh,
the kind of laughter
the comes from the belly
and I don't care if I laugh
when I'm all alone.
I make sure to laugh even harder.

I love to make people
laugh with embarassingly
awkward tales of my silliness.

I persevere
and I hate to give up.
I think people respect and admire
that about me.
Even if I have
a meltdown
every now and then.

Like my mom and grandmother,
I have witchy hands,
kind of ugly, but strong,
which really means
I am intuitive and perceptive
(so they say).

These things may
make me a little eccentric,
a little adventurous,
but the freak flag in me
lets them come out.
And people like me
all the same.

reverb10: join in on the fun

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#Reverb10: Community

A little late in the game, but better late than never....

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

When I think about the "communities" I belong to and am excluded from (by choice or otherwise), not much has evolved over this year. Except one: becoming a part of the community of words, with their shared  powerful, and life-altering ownership we all have over them.

Last January,  I was having probably my fourth or fifth quarter-life crisis. Boyfriend gone. Job in the dumps.  A foreboding gloom in my mind that matched the early twilight of winter. My stepmother had such a simple proposal. Take three months and don't make any decisions. Figure out what you want for yourself.

And so I did, and started a blog in the process. I found the "community" of words and ways to use them in a way where I could create, reflect, and be honest when I couldn't  in other communities I belonged to. And I found other people who felt similarly. Reading others' "community of words" helped me see the world in different ways, and forced me to think about who I wanted to be.

Communities can be seen as concrete, physical places. But to me, communities are also in the shared ownership we all have with words; how we use them,  how they continually change and challenge us to think beyond what we see, but rather what we feel...

As I see 2011 on the horizon, I wonder what's in store for and what communities I have yet to be a part of. During the tail end of this year, I began to run more diligently than usual, and hating it less and less. I even completed my first 10K! I realized that the hard work and dedication you put forward using your body makes you feel better inside and out.

So when I think about how I pushed the mental, creative part of me this year, I wonder how I could challenge my physical, corporeal capabilities this year. It may be a disaster, but I know I'll have this community of words. I'll always have somewhere to belong.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

mag 43

I dreaded this moment.
I thought, if I stayed out here,
the moment would melt like the
freshly fallen snow
from the night before.

I peered inside the clean window
and saw people milling about
in black attire.
The attire in direct contrast
with the newness of the snow.

I saw everyone,
save for one.
One whose absence felt
colder and more hollow
than the biting cold
out here.

Entering through that door,
a door I've entered many
times before,meant
 I'd finally have to let you go.

Let me linger here
just a little longer.
Let me breath in the
crisp air.
Let me smell the
clean of snow.
Let me remember you
just a lttle bit longer.

Magpie Tales