Capital “C” Creatives

My people make, and we struggle to make sense of things we didn’t ourselves create. Dad, an expert woodworker, can varnish the crudest chair into the luster and sheen of a throne; Mom’s sturdy ceramic mugs are what I weave my anxious fingers around on the least comfortable mornings; my brother’s guitar is the soundtrack to every childhood memory, and my sister’s watercolor and ink pieces are stacked frame-to-frame along the walls of my adulthood.

I don’t speak to my family every day, or week, and sometimes I don’t speak to them for half a year, but what they make and have made is a part of my every day, and in a way I am carrying them with me always because of this.

These are my people. Continue reading “Capital “C” Creatives”

Giant Little Animals, We Are

“If I am lost, it’s only for a little while” were the lyrics blaring from the blown-out sound system in my busted-up Jetta as I cried my way to a graduation brunch in my honor. It was May 2011 and I’d just placed the punctuation mark of a bachelor’s degree at the end of my six-year undergraduate career. The song was Band of Horses’ “Monsters,” the college was UMass Dartmouth, and the tears were tears of terror: Am I actually qualified to do anything, or be anything? Am I anything?

In addition to the existential crisis behind my post-graduation tears, I was suffering a top-notch hangover Continue reading “Giant Little Animals, We Are”

A Pretty Bold Line

I’ve known what the word “unrequited” meant since I was in fourth grade. I learned it during a Shakespeare workshop sponsored by a local theater company and embedded into the curriculum at the public elementary school I attended, which is an independent clause that reveals a few layers of the weirdly privileged life I’ve led.

Anyhow, in that workshop we played a game where we threw and caught a ball in an established order, saying a randomly assigned, decidedly Shakespearean vocabulary word that we’d been tasked with defining and creating a sentence with before all the ball tossing could happen.

It was all very educational, and I mean that with minimal sarcasm because to this day I can still trace back my understanding of “unrequited” – the word that I was assigned to belch out Continue reading “A Pretty Bold Line”

Who art in heaven

My dad laughed at me when I told him I wanted to believe in Santa. I wasn’t older than seven, but he wasn’t laughing out of cruelty. And anyways, it’s not like I was whining. I didn’t feel like it was a loss to know the truth, and I don’t actually remember ever actively believing in the red burglar.

The problem was that all the other seven-year-olds still believed and I desperately wanted to fit in, especially after the humiliation of being pulled aside by my second grade teacher at lunchtime and receiving a brisk and whispered lecture about how my classmates “deserve” to believe if they want to.

Even at age seven, I raised an eyebrow at her flawed logic Continue reading “Who art in heaven”

The Prodigal Song

I used to fancy myself a lot of things that I never turned out to be, and one of them was a connoisseur of music. We’ve all dabbled in the embarrassment of Knowing a Lot About Music, so I won’t harp on those details. But music has been in the background of almost every step of my life, and as I circle around to the end of a third decade it seems appropriate to examine the spiral, or cycle, or very crooked line that traces my musical tastes over these last 28 or so years.

As a child, a tiny child – tiny enough to sometimes not even be called a child, but instead be shoved into that strange category of “toddler,” I listened to what my parents listened to. From Dad, it was NPR’s All Things Considered or Continue reading “The Prodigal Song”