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”
“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”
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”
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”
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”