Weltschmerz v. Wanderlust

There are so many things I could write about, but I have such little motivation.

Well, that’s a lie. I am motivated to begin and end this blog post. I am motivated to one day finish sorting the hundreds of pages of music and class notes scattered about my room. I am motivated to do all of my Lieder translations today, and look at the music for Russian diction. I am motivated to sing through Joan’s Aria, and I am motivated to restrain myself to only two cups of coffee today.

But after that I may switch to beer.

These have been the longest two weeks of my life. Professionally, emotionally, and mentally, I’ve been completely drained. My energy is at an all time low– all I “want to do” is sit quietly by myself. I don’t even really want to listen to music. That’s another all time low for me. I could at least sit with something on in the background, usually. But today and yesterday I’ve put on the last-resort playlist of the Avett Brothers’– the soundtrack of my adolescence and the only music I can listen to with a combination of compliance, satisfaction, happiness-in-remembering-home and abject misery. It’s very strange. I guess I would compare it to the musical equivalent of the concept of “Heimat.” The Avetts are my musical Heimat– especially their older songs denote my experiences both at home and at Eastman. They were the soundtrack to both homes and can comfort just as readily (and often at the same time) as they bring heartsickness.

Anyway, what was I saying?

All time low. That’s right.

But overall the past two weeks have been successful? I sang as one of eight finalists for the Friends of Eastman Opera competition. Didn’t win, but I’m not complaining, as I had my senior recital a short two days later. Both my family from home and my musical family here were mostly present, in person or over the internet. It flew by in half of an eye-blink and then this week occurred. Long opera rehearsal combined with work, schoolwork and classes… and then thoughts about the summer and how I am supposed to afford it… My brain is just frazzled. And this is without considering the natural human element. The drama here is just suffocating.

But, I’ve read a little poetry and kept to myself as much as possible. This is not to say that I’m antisocial… but sometimes (okay, more often than not) it’s refreshing to get away from others. I can’t distract myself with a dog, so no escape there… I’d go for a walk, but it’s cold outside: plus, it’s not as if Rochester is necessarily picturesque. The escape occurs when I can leave Eastman. Mostly figuratively, you understand, but when I picture myself in Philly this summer my spirit gets just slightly lighter.

And Germany. Let’s talk about that for a moment.

I have wanted to go for nearly six years now. That’s over a quarter of my life. I’m of the opinion, if you’ve wanted something for a quarter of your life and haven’t achieved it yet, it’s time.

The question is, really, how? How to afford it, how to get there? How to convince my mother? And again, how to afford it? There are so many other things that need to be paid for, the least of which being rent, and the greatest of which being the summer program in June I’ve already committed to. How to make another pocket of money, in order to travel alone, halfway across the world, just because I want to?

There really aren’t any acceptable excuses for wasting money (or even debating wasting money) in this way. I must just be selfish. Why can’t I wait for life experiences to find me? I keep telling myself, if it’s meant to happen, it will. I need to be patient.

The funny thing is, while typing “happen” just now, I made the mistake of writing “happy” instead. Twice, I did this.

Now, that should tell me something.

There are some things– like Eastman, like this Russian Opera Workshop– that happen almost on their own. Yes, I’ve worked hard, but that doesn’t always mean success. These things have occurred by a stroke of blessed, cosmic luck, and I am supremely grateful.

But other things in my life (my senior recital, which received six “brava”s from the six present faculty members, or the Mahler solo in October) have taken place and been highly successful because I’ve worked. And loved the work, and worked with love. That has to count for something, too. The work, and love, and cosmic power have to come together at some point, for some people, sometimes– otherwise no one would ever accomplish anything they set out to do.

So there’s that tangent. I want to travel and experience things (and, you know, maybe actually learn this language I’m obsessed with). I just have no idea how it’s going to happen. The sad part is, if I hadn’t signed on to do Russian Opera Workshop again, I might have been able to scrounge up the funds to do Goethe-Institut in July. Now, there’s almost no way, because I owe Ghena money and of course I’m thrilled to be singing Joan; it’s going to be another incredible June. But it is expensive.

And I feel as though I’m going to miss something! I know it’s strange, at twenty-one, to really worry about missing life. Extrinsically, I realize that I have plenty of time and blah, blah, blah. But if I’ve learned nothing else, I know that that is really not always the case. I’m stuck here at this conservatory, garnering a fabulous musical education– and I should only be grateful. I am grateful. But I don’t leave. I don’t meet anyone. I don’t sing anywhere. I don’t even have time to learn music because I’m busy with rehearsal and classes and work. And outside of this grey, miserable, freezing, windy, sunshine-less city, the world continues spinning and others live full lives with love and happiness and other types of motivating forces that often don’t seem to exist in Rochester.

But this wasn’t really meant to be a “look at how pathetic my life is” ramble. It originally started off as an update on the life of a tired soprano, for the three souls on the planet that might actually wonder (three is being optimistic, anyhow). And I know, too, that if I want change, I have to make it. That’s just one of those things, though, that is much, much easier said (or typed) than done.

I’m reminded of a poem I recently read; it resonates with my own unwinding, stormy mood this week. Like I said, this wasn’t supposed to morph into a gloomy mess, but here we are. Might as well indulge…

Ûber die Heide 
Theodor Storm*

Über die Heide hallet mein Schritt;
Dumpf aus der Erde wandert es mit.
Herbst ist gekommen, Frühling ist weit–
Gab es denn einmal selige Zeit?
Brauende Nebel geisten umher;
Schwarz ist das Kraut und der Himmel so leer.
Wär ich hier nur nicht gegangen im Mai!
Leben und Liebe– wie flog es vorbei!

My own poetic (ish) translation follows… watch out, world… 

Over the heath echoes my footstep;
Muffled out of the earth, it roams with me.
Autumn has come, Spring is far–
Was there ever once a blissful time?
Brewing mists spirit around;
Black is the grass and the sky, so empty.
If only I had not gone here in May!
Life and Love– how they flew past!

*For posterity’s sake I feel I should mention that Theodor Storm (besides being one kick-ass name) was the author of Die Nachtigall, one of my favorite poems ever. The text was set to music by Alban Berg and features as the third song in the cycle Sieben frühe Lieder. I sang these nearly a week ago for my senior degree recital.
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In limbo

I only have about seven drafts of previous attempts saved somewhere in the nebulous internet space where all drafts go to die, suspended in permanent Draft Limbo. I don’t want to go back and reread, because I’ll just feel guilty for not finishing them. And also I’ll probably wallow in whatever problems I felt I had to work out.

I’m only here now because my real journal is at home and I feel as though I should try to stream-of-consciousness away the doldrums that’ve been harassing me for the past little while. Some days are good, some days are, well, Not So Good, and I know that’s normal, and probably healthy. But there’s just something else, some greasy underlying mental or emotional abcess that I don’t quite know how to drain away.

I’ve been in a decent, businesslike frame of mind lately. I feel as though I’ve had to be. I have grad school applications to submit tonight, and that requires all of the faculties…  I can’t afford to think about the future in any capacity, I just have to complete the required steps with purpose and with efficiency. If I don’t, I go into complete meltdown mode… i.e., last Saturday around dinnertime, in my closet. (Yes, my closet is big enough for me to entertain a complete meltdown. And yes, the littlest, stupidest thing set me off. Something totally unrelated to applications, mind you– but because I was thinking about how incredibly important these applications are, it didn’t take very much straw to send this camel tumbling ass over teacup down the side of her metaphorical sand dune.)

Also, this is the first Thanksgiving I’ve not been home for, and although I know there are a million and one things to be thankful for (and I am), it still makes me sad not to be around my family. You know, my teacher had us over for a late lunch yesterday, and it was extraordinary… but she was talking about going over to her grandmother’s when she was young. The carpet in the dining room, as well as this massive, beautiful grandfather clock were her grandma’s… she said it made her feel as though her grandmother was with us. I’d like to think that those we love can still be with us in spirit, even after they’re gone. I know this just took a turn into a weird place, but what the hell… this will probably end up in Draft Limbo as well.

That brings me to weird topic number three… what happens when we die?

Just kidding. Sort-of. I’m so sorry you can’t really sense my arch, philosophical tone via computer. Or phone, whichever. (It’s not like anyone reads this anyway.)

In other news, one of the original songs from She Loves Me just came up on my Christmas playlist… it feels a little like someone’s putting a mediocre effort into sawing at my heart with a butter knife. I’d forgotten what it was like to be broken up with someone and then see them out and about… this is it! How bittersweet.

I’m going to leave it on. It will be good for me to keep hearing it– that’s the way to get over something. It’s not as though I can go back and magically have the show back. The energy, the companionship, the happiness of being busy doing something you’re in love with… that’s part of my problem, too, I suppose. I think I’m at a point in my life where I am forced– on an almost daily basis– to relinquish control. I have a few control issues. It’s one thing to know that there are things I can’t change: things about grad school, or about relationships, or even about the way this semester is going to turn out. It’s another thing altogether to say, “I give up. I’m giving up completely and I’ve given it all I have… here it is. There’s nothing left for me to do, and I can’t change a thing from this point forward.” I can’t completely say that– not right now, not yet. As soon as I send these applications in– tonight– I can say it about grad school until I hear back. I’d love to say that about my love life (what love life? you may have asked just now, to which I respond: “Good question.”). I’m just too stubborn (and a little aggressive), and I know it. It takes every ounce of self control I have not to force my company on those I’m interested in. It’s just hard, even knowing I’m fighting a losing battle in the alleged romantic department, not to take action. Logic dictates not to continue beating a dead horse. My own emotions hint that if I keep beating it, it might come back to life. And I know, if I leave it alone and have a little faith, I’ll either move on when it doesn’t resuscitate, or it will breathe again on its own, without my help… but it’s so hard to just let it be.

I used to have the kind of faith that kept me sane and happy and disciplined. This was that all-consuming, it’s-going-to-be-fine-even-if-I-screw-up-in-some-extreme-way kind of faith. I’d like to think that I still do, somewhere, and it’s just dusty. But I don’t really know how to access it. Do I need someone else’s hand to hold? Some other person’s support? I’d like to think that’s not the answer. The only other answer I have for myself involves putting my trust in something bigger. Something else, that has it all figured out so I don’t have to worry. In the interest of total disclosure I’ll say that I think that thing is probably God– but what that means for me, personally, in the grand scheme of things, I can’t say. I don’t know. It’s taken a good handful of years to even admit out loud, to my closest personal friends, that God is something relevant to my life. (And here I almost backspaced and typed “The concept of God”… so if that doesn’t tell you how tenuous that line of thinking has been for me in recent years, I don’t know what might.)

Le package room aka work

Le package room aka work, aka I didn’t bring anything else to do so here, you have a picture of my face and a run-on fragment of something aspiring to be a sentence

Anyway. It’s approaching the time where I have to stop playing on the computer and do some package and envelope logging. I have the easiest job on the planet, for the record… for which I am thankful.

And it looks like this post isn’t going into Draft Limbo, after all. Good evening!

Dear Friend,

She-Loves-Me-Logo-JPEGTonight’s the show! “She Loves Me” opens in Kilbourn at 7:30 tonight… my cast goes tonight, and again on Saturday. I am SO EXCITED.

Jacob was just over (he brought his accordion….) and we ran through our scene together. I’ve discovered that is one of the best colleagues a girl could ask for. I’ve treated him as a combination of great friend, accompanist, therapist, drinking buddy, and partner in crime. But most of all, we’re collaborators. Having the opportunity to build a real relationship with someone from artistic groundwork has been a huge privilege of participating in this show, and I think it gives a great deal to our onstage chemistry as well as on a personal level. I’m extremely grateful, not to mention proud of and excited for the work we’ve done.

There are a lot of other things for which I can be grateful today. My mom and grandmother are coming to see the show. I’m in really good voice today. I belted an Eb (what the hell, actually). My hair looks nice. I’m not as socially awkward as I could be. I’ve had coffee. I’m not sick (knock on wood). I am surrounded by some of the most talented, kindest, extraordinary people on the planet. And I am so happy.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have to share, too

I have to share these posts, the first by a colleague of mine and the second by his friend Justin (whom I have never met).

ANDREW:

I have to share this post by my good friend Justin. He sums up very eloquently the plight of harassment that is still very real for gay people (tempted to emphasize ‘gay men,’ although some may disagree with me) and even people simply assumed to be gay. Read this if you want to know what it feels like, if you want to understand why myself and many others are still so outspoken about creating an accepting world for gay people to live in. It’s not just about rights; it’s about about respecting difference on all fronts, and it’s about bringing a moderate-to-high level of understanding and empathy to your interactions with your friends, and, yes, even strangers. We all have demons and prejudices that were transplanted to us at a young age. At this point, it is our moral and civic duty to try to obliterate these prejudices…to see people for the good that radiates from them rather than judging them for the aspects of their person that you cannot understand. Read below.

—————————————–
JUSTIN:
“I feel the need to write something VERY important and I hope all of you will read this and consider it. I don’t want to proselytize here, but this is something different anyway, a personal issue.

Last night, walking in downtown Boston from the subway to the museum, I was harassed by a small group of (white, male) thugs. It was dark but very early in the evening, and somehow I was the only one on the street. Had I needed to call for help, I’m not sure from where it would have come. I tend to pay no attention to people on the street and have only rarely had issues of this kind, but this group of men proceeded to provoke me from across the street with homophobic slurs (“faggot”, “Clay Aiken” – never heard that one! – among other things too explicit to write here; to my brothers and anyone else who thinks “faggot” is funny, *this* is how it is used and what it feels like). I didn’t acknowledge them, and they proceeded to cross the street, follow me, and continue to harass me. One of them laid an aggressive hand on me. I naturally walk quickly, and somehow was able to get away with only a little more attention from them. I said nothing throughout the whole exchange – an exchange of their demeaning idea of fun (or “civil duty”, for all I know) for my sense of security.

(It’s worth mentioning that I was dressed normally, like any New Englander in deep winter: heavy coat, hoodie, scarf, boots. That I was immediately assumed to be gay, however accurate, was not obvious. That merits a different discussion.)

I do not often fear for my safety on the street in general, and I am loath to think that I should have to as a gay man. However, this is not the first time I have been accosted in public for being a “fag”. As for last night, I am over it, in as much as that is possible. However, it leaves a myriad of questions to be addressed. Questions which range from: “What the fuck kind of society is this?” to “How is a verbal and physical violence of this kind any different from the non-support so many LGBT people receive, from people they know, from their country and society at large?” I can’t answer the first question. But about the second: “It’s not different.” The effect – be it psychological or physical – of not feeling as though you matter, to a single individual or to a society, is an silent and destructive form of abuse. I in no way mean to trivialize the troubles of those who have suffered abuses far greater than I have; and I should mention that in many areas of my life, I feel supported and cared for. But not in all, and incidents like these remind you of those colossal gaps. For the record, my sexuality (like gender, like skin color) is on the table for precisely no one to discuss, for no one else to have a say in. The ways in which one can be violated are many, but all they feel the same at the end of the day.

I consider myself lucky to have gotten off so easily this one time, in a situation in which my privacy, my personal space, my sexual safety, and possibly even my life is at stake. You never know, and everything hangs in a tenuous balance. There is no excuse for sitting idly by. To say nothing IS a lack of support. To say nothing is to do nothing, while abuse ten times greater than this is happening all the time. People need to know EXPLICITLY that you are backing them, that you care about what they are feeling, and that they are valued; and it is not enough to be “mostly valued” or “pretty much supported, but not totally”. Nothing – literally nothing – will happen on a societal level without this kind of attention on a personal level.

I don’t mean to be sappy or dramatic, but I feel like, this once, I deserve to say whatever the hell I want. Because it’s huge, but it is so, so fixable.”

I felt the need to repost these thoughts once I read them via a facebook post of Andrew’s. I thought that this would be a way of giving the matter attention on a personal level, as Justin calls for. 

There are a couple things I wanted to call attention to, and to discuss a little. First the “gay thing.” As a girl who’s grown up on the outskirts of a small town, and a smaller community, I was privy to the typical village-y small-minded stubbornness and old-fashioned thinking. Remarks like “that’s so gay” were common in my public middle and high school days and toward the end of high school “faggot” was a frequently heard term, especially from the athletic, “I’m really hot, cool, etc” boys (both white and Native) who thought that they could continue to reaffirm their manhood by supposedly undercutting their peers’.

I don’t pretend to have never spoken the word (although I do not use it now, and haven’t for what feels like a very long time) and I don’t pretend to have held the same views I do now in high school. But the beauty of humanity is in change, and accepting the faults in one’s own character and learning from them, addressing them. And in trying to fix them.

But even in the adult world I’d experienced problems, stemming from lack of consideration, respect and education.

I’ve worked for Cattaraugus County in western New York for two summers now, and I like my job, for all it doesn’t challenge me a great deal. It’s physically demanding, and the hours are long and usually not air-conditioned or filled with empty time. I’m either working extremely hard (physically) or I’m sitting around, extremely bored. But 98% of the time I am accompanied by at least one white male over the age of 20.

None of these men are gay. Most of them are outspoken. And nearly all of them refer to one another in a playful, down-putting but affectionate sense as “homo” or some variation of “faggot” (I’ve heard “gay boy,” too) at least a handful of times a week.

One of these men was my supervisor. I can’t tell you how depressing this became. I made every effort to ask him to stop (not in front of his work buddies, so as to not upset him). We had many conversations about homosexuality, not because I really wanted to, but because he liked to hear himself talk. We also discussed gay marriage, but to my surprise, on this he ended up agreeing with me– in that everyone has a right to marry someone they love, no matter the gender. After that small victory I began to think there was a little hope for the manly-man men at the county.

My hopes were dashed when one of my other supervisors, a devoutly religious guy, decided to bring up the topic of gay marriage and lecture me on it one day in the truck on the way to a job site. He asked me what I thought, and I told him, assuming he’d agree, too. He’d seemed like an easy-going, open-minded guy.

He puffed right up like a bantam rooster. “it’s wrong, it’s immoral, the Bible says, blah blah blah.” I’m embarrassed now because I kind of just let him ramble on. But this summer I called him a bigot to his face, in front of a few coworkers. I might have been considered insubordinate or what have you, but he went on a rant in front of everyone about “the gays” and I let him have it. He wasn’t expecting me to say anything, but I made it clear that I found his remarks offensive and he never brought up the subject again. He had obviously been raised with a specific set of values and adhered to them– that in itself is admirable. But he refused to reconsider, to self-reflect, or to admit that there might be something in the world he had a limited understanding of.

And honestly, the biggest fault in a small town,small county setting is the sheer lack of awareness. Half of those people haven’t met an Asian, let alone a homosexual, and wouldn’t know what the hell to do if they did. They base their judgment and mindset on the media and what their children come home talking about (that is, if they pay attention to their children in the first place), and of course, the stories their friends tell them. And that’s really all. Until some fresh wave of insight arrives to deconstruct the ignorance, there will continue to be huge numbers of people (small-towners particularly)

who do not realize the sheer injustice and prejudice in the views they hold. It’s just miserable that so little is being done to bring about the awareness and the acceptance that gay people (among other minority groups, as well) so desperately need.  What’s America doing to remind everyone of our little motto– oh wait, it’s actually a pledge, right? “…With liberty and justice for all.” …RIGHT?

– – – And now… a New Ramble! Get excited, kids. If you’ve stuck with me this far, that is.

The second thing I wanted to dwell on is street harassment. There were some really good comments below Andrew’s post that talked about this. I won’t post them here because, well, I’m going to talk about it (and also this isn’t facebook).

There’s been an escalation in street crime in my area. I live in the artsy-fartsy district of Rochester (East End) and we’re all music people, in some form or another, living one on top of the other in our own little corner of the city. It’s unlikely to walk to class or down the road or across the street without saying hello to someone you know.

That said, we’re smushed up against kind of a seedier neighborhood. Not that seedy neighborhoods as a whole are filled with creepy, lecherous middle-aged men with a hard-on for engaging in street harassment, but the likelihood increases that there might be a handful of people you pass on the sidewalk that are, frankly, unsavory.

I mean, no biggie. You just pass on the street and go about your separate lives. Right?

(Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.)

Well, or not. We’ve had two muggings in the past week. One of them happened outside of an apartment where some of my good friends live. I know that at least two of them heard the victim yelling for help and called the police, then ran down to him as his attackers were scuttling off with his cell phone and wallet. This occurred in a well-lit, highly populated little section of our corner of the city. This happened right down the road from my building. This took place shortly after the school closed for the night (eleven pm) and the person who was attacked and robbed was walking home from practicing.

It doesn’t matter whether he was gay or straight or a fucking Martian. He was victimized and it happened very close to home. That is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable anywhere.

I feel that, as a student population, we have been (for the most part) walking to class and our friends’ apartments and home from the gym and to the library and the café and our jobs with more than just a small slice of fear tagging along. When I walk home, I walk fast, and I keep my cell phone in my bag (although that’s just being safety conscious in general) and my coat zipped all the way. I don’t wear heels unless it’s to studio class and I keep my bag across my chest so no one can grab it easily. It might be paranoia, but I’m not that tall and against two bigger guys I might not stand a great chance at keeping my valuables (or potentially even my physical safety) unless I could clear a knee to a set of balls. You know?

On top of that, last Tuesday a friend and I were harassed– verbally– by a set of four or five guys, clearly inebriated, pushing a bicycle (yes, between the four or five of them) up the street. They were coming from the seedier part of town. My friend and I hurriedly crossed in front of them… I’m an impatient person and they were taking forever to meander their way up the sidewalk. We kept our heads down and simply walked across the street toward our building, but one (and then two, and then three and the rest) of them called after us. “Kelly, hey Kelly!” At first it was an invitation, a cajoling, “Hey Kelly, hey blondie, where ya going?” Then they started to warm up to the game, and the catcalls became threatening. “Kelly! Hey, fuck you Kelly! Why don’t you come back here, Kelly? We’ll fuck you, we’ll fuck you up!” And so on.

There were others on the street. It was well lit. It was right in front of Eastman. We didn’t report it– we didn’t think to, we were just happy we were across the street, and after that we tried to ignore them, and they continued on their merry way in the other direction. We’re lucky they didn’t follow us, I guess, now that I’m thinking back on it. I’ll admit it, I was a little shaken… mostly pissed off, but nervy and jumpy as well. It just sucked.

And I can’t say that an alleged increased police presence has helped a great deal. They increased the police after the first mugging. And oh look, then there was a second one.

I guess I just don’t know where a desire to commit a crime, or to waste so much energy on violence or hatred comes from. Yeah, there are times when I want to give an annoying classmate, a difficult colleague, or a creepy guy leering at me in the gym a healthy punch in the head. But that negativity spawns from frustration, at myself or at a situation or admittedly, often at a person– even then there’s no real inclination to actually physically or emotionally harm someone. And, to be honest, as someone who’s experienced a form of emotional abuse, that shit’s no joke either. You’re left feeling just as vulnerable, just as wrenchingly insecure, and you hate yourself and resent the rest just as much.

And I mean, let’s be serious, all violence is horrific in real life. But there’s something about randomly mugging someone on the street– or following them, harassing them– or calling names to a random passerby– that’s chilling. It could happen to anyone. And as Justin pointed out, you really never know. The situation he (or I, or the guy outside my friends’ apartment) found himself in could have escalated and become much, much worse. You just never know. What happened to Justin is terrifying, and I think it’s made worse by the fact that his antagonizers– bullies with nothing better to do– used homophobia as a mask for their own cowardice (as evidenced by the Pack Attack) and general jackassery. 

All in all, I felt it was important (for me, anyway) to add my own thoughts about harassment to Justin’s and to Andrew’s. The more ideas that can be pooled and discussed and thought about, the more consciousness can be raised around these very real problems in our society. Because you really never know. That’s why I wanted to talk about it: so more people might know, and maybe think about it and talk about it with their mother or their roommate or their elderly neighbor with fifteen cats. And then maybe someone somewhere might, instead of watching How I Met Your Mother, walk their elderly cat lady to the post office on the day a group of Hey Kelly-ers might have considered her easy pickings. You just never know.

IMG_1483

This is just a picture of a crazy cat. Not a cat lady. Sorry…

Things I want

A dog.

My own place. Preferably with things like a kitchen. And a bathroom.

To pass theory. With all of my heart, I yearn to pass theory. In fact, if I could kick its ass all the way from here to Never Land, that would be optimum.

To go to grad school for free.

To write a book this month. I promised myself last November that it would happen and it didn’t. I guess I hadn’t wanted it badly enough.

A 3.5+ GPA this semester.

To take Intermediate Deutsch next semester without getting yelled at.

To learn to learn to learn to learn to learn to learn to learn without fear of failure

Reviens, reviens radieuse

The song I’m singing tonight for studio is Fauré’s “Après un rêve.” That means, “after a dream.”

I feel like I’m waking up.

I’m waking up from a strange place into a world that’s grey with some splashes of color that are only glimpsed in moments of great artistic or emotional poignancy. I’m waking to a shimmering dawn that’s bleached but still beautiful, and it’s only those moments of clarity that lend it something really special.

I did my first “breaking up” yesterday evening. I woke up this morning and was just sad for a while. It’s weird for me to wake into sadness but there I was, and my heart hurt.

I don’t think it’s the same for him. I think his distance was achieved a few weeks ago and that’s why I’m having the more difficult time of it. I did the breaking up, but it was because I refuse to see myself as a last priority, and that’s what I was becoming. It wasn’t because I wanted to be alone, or wanted away from him.

So I’m a little sad, and feeling kind of bleak today. But something interesting, and, I suppose, valuable, happened to me today, both in my lesson and in Intro to Lyric Theatre.

I almost cried.

I was on the verge in both places, both right after I’d sung. My Intro piece, “Meine Liebe ist grün,” is a Brahms Lied that stirs up extravagant imagery: glistening, glittering glowing sunshine throwing a verdant lilac bush into dazzling happy light; dizzy with love, a soul rocked into love-drunkenness– these things are beautiful. But the accompaniment is set strangely– a thickly textured, rambunctious sweep of notes that leave the listener hanging at unusually placed fermatas– this leads me to interpret a story of a person yearning for a love as extravagant as the harmony… but whose needs aren’t really fulfilled.

I cried a little after singing that today, because it applied to me.

Après un rêve was a little less extreme, but its entire encompassing theme is a yearning: Awakening from a slumber, you’re there, you call my name, we venture off into the light together… Then I begin to wake… Return with your lies, return oh night mysterious– the concept is of one clinging to something that isn’t real, and the melodic language is powerful.

I have to sing that in little over an hour, so I hope I don’t blubber in class, too.

I guess they’re just incredibly relatable to how I feel right now. That’s where I draw from the sense I have of color, and real artistic breakthroughs… It’s moments like these, “real” moments, when I’m feeling something (other than pressure and stress, ha ha) that remind me I can bring “real” things to the music I perform. Granted I’m just the tiniest bit upset still, and that doesn’t help a whole lot… but the fact is I remember I can feel other things and bring them to what I’m doing. And that’s something important I can draw from this.

Dear Boy I Used to Love,

I think you’re an idiot. And I think you gave up too soon.

You told me once you wanted to work hard. I took that to mean you wanted to work hard no matter what it cost you, because you were determined to make something out of the bullshit life handed you. I saw that as a perseverance to be respected, a drive that would prove to the world how special you were, and how extraordinary.

Well, I helped get you a job, and you fucking blew it. I put in a good word for you and you decided that it wasn’t for you. Instead of sticking it out for the summer, for a measly twelve (or less?) weeks, you quit. You left your colleagues with a reminder of the kind of dumb shit they hate to work with– someone with a piss-poor, know-it-all attitude and a preconceived notion that life owes you.

Allow me to clue you in: life doesn’t owe you a goddamn thing. And you can look down your nose at me in jaunty confidence and treat me to a patented, affronted reverse-snobbery; you can ask me how the hell I would know, haven’t I been handed everything I could ever want?

I’ll tell you something, and it’s up to you whether you want to pay attention. The only reason I grew up with a childhood so different from your own, is because my mother worked as hard as she possibly could at a job she was mentally overqualified for, for nearly thirty years. My mother’s work ethic and drive to give my sister and I a childhood so far removed from her own, are the sole reasons I didn’t grow up with your childhood.

Where do you think she got her drive? Possibly her own determined mother who worked day and night to be the only provider for her three children. Perhaps seeing her father and uncle kill themselves with the bottle had something to do with it. Maybe it was the fact that she realized, almost too late, that she might not fulfill her own potential as a human being. She didn’t go to college for long. She realized that she needed money and she loved my father so they began a life together– but they earned everything they now own from the ground up. Her life wasn’t fucking peaches, either, but she didn’t whine or complain that the work was too hard or that she deserved better than what was handed to her. She didn’t blame others for her mistakes.

She passed those traits on to me. I don’t blame you for hating me. I don’t blame you for giving up on our friendship without so much as a struggle, even though I was hurting and I needed you. Even though it looked like I hated you, I was absolutely miserable without you and you didn’t even bother to look away from your empty-headed, real-college friends to notice. By the time you figured it out, it was too late and my heart had broken and spilled out and healed over. And you didn’t so much as turn your head, except to complain to other people that I was “mean.”

I’d thought we’d worked toward becoming friends again, but you don’t give a shit. You don’t have the balls to tell me so, even now, and truthfully I don’t care enough to make it clear to you. Then again, maybe I’m hoping in some deep recess of my heart that you’ll grow up and we can share some (not all) of the bond we once shared. I do think that once (if) you pull your head out of your ass and realize you’re going to be twenty, that you might come to remember that I apologized. I apologized, and after that I didn’t know how to behave because how could things go back to normal? You seemed to have thought they could in a heartbeat. But I couldn’t do that. I didn’t know how.

Then you were angry and the cycle of misunderstanding started again. I was mad too, don’t get me wrong. I was furious. Even now, you seem not to give a shit that you’ve disappointed many of those who care about you, including my family and, well, me. Like it or not, I do still want the best for you, even if I don’t really like you as a person anymore. And if that didn’t make any sense to you, read it again.

I know now that you think I’m some pretentious diva who lords her expensive school and fancy ideas over everyone (don’t worry that I’m paying for the expensive school out of my own pocket and that I work constantly). Because I’m quiet, I’m stuck up, and I don’t tend to drink like a sloppy whore so I’m not any fun. I don’t dress to cover only my tits and ass so obviously I don’t fit in with the girls you prefer now, anyway. Yes, I’m a bitch, and I’ll stay that way in your mind until (if) you decide to grow up and maybe then you’ll realize: I would have given you everything.

But it’s okay. You’ll continue to earn mediocre grades and a respectable beer gut at some state school where it doesn’t matter how well you actually do, because unless you have something special that sets you apart, you’re going to settle for a mediocre job somewhere that you loathe. You’ll take your enjoyment on the weekends with your slutty girl friends who only want in your pants because they believe you’re the best they’ll ever get. Not because they want what’s best for you as a person or as a lover, not because they give a shit about your dreams or your hopes or your fears.

It’s okay.

It’s even more okay because I’m thinking about this after seeing your pictures on facebook… Don’t you realize potential future employers see those things? How could you be so stupid? I know for a fact some of your past employers have gone back and looked to see what kind of a dumb ass they were mistaken enough to hire, so they won’t do it again. I hope you don’t have really high goals for future jobs. Then again, if you don’t like the work, you can just quit, right? That sort of lack of discipline is acceptable, isn’t it?

I think you talk big and you never follow through. I think you had all of these big plans and loved to tell people about them, and then you realized it would take blood, sweat and tears (God forbid you don’t have “fun” all the time) in order to achieve those goals. So you quit. You gave up too soon on those dreams, and on working hard. And on me.

But, Dear Boy I Used to Love,

I’ve long since given up on you.

What good would the moon be

I woke up this morning thinking that I would be really productive and get all of my work done.

I mean… I’d still like to, and plan on it, mostly. But I got side-tracked, as usual, and found myself writing. Then I was listening to Street Scene (our opera for the spring), and then I was here.

I said it in my last post, but it’s been a while. I feel sorry that I don’t force myself to write more. Even if it’s just my own musings, my own stream of consciousness, it still counts, right? I suppose I just feel bad sometimes because my stream of consciousness is not the most captivating nor the most interesting and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

On the other hand, though, it’s really easy for anyone bored or annoyed to click the little x in the corner of a screen. And it’s really easy for me to come up with excuses not to write.

Bad segue, but I really want to complete NaNoWriMo this November. I tried last year, and I tried the Summer Camp option in August. Much to my dismay (but not surprise) I can’t make myself dedicate. I can’t carve out fifteen minutes a day to channel my brain into writing mode. I can’t create believable characters because I’m so concerned with their believability (or lack thereof) that I give up altogether. I let my fear of what might be overwhelm me and I decapitate myself before I even start.

I don’t want to do that this year. Here, or for Nano, or in Intro to Lyric Theatre class. Or in life. I don’t want to short-change myself before I even embark on a task.

So here we go, new task. Write a blog a day until my birthday, 30 September, regardless of the topic or the logic of it or even the stupid sentence structure. And I’ll try not to let myself down here.

Image

Refusal to take myself seriously

It’s the end! Of the second year. Oh boy, oh my. Oh dear.

But here I am, still in one piece. Actually, I think I might be more whole than I was coming into school this summer. And I’m definitely more of a real person than I was at the beginning (middle, or end) of my freshman year.

It’s amazing, how much a span of a few months can change a person. March was the month of change for me, and it catapulted right into April with that same new, thrilling momentum. Now here we are in May, and all I can think of is summertime, cool breezes and hot sun, learning my music and keeping up with my language and theory skills. Not that I have a great deal of those, just to clarify. But I’d like to try to keep up.

That’s all I really want to do, to be honest. Learn, and drink coffee and sit outside with my dogs. But I’ll be working.

Anyway. Total change in subject now. So. I guess that last post was mostly me drinking. I don’t usually drink and write– normally I know better. But I’d gone out and come back within the span of an hour and a half, and I hadn’t felt tired.

But I had felt alone, and lonely with it, I suppose. That’s not really my style, to be clear. I love to be alone. In fact, I often prefer it; I’m more productive, and certainly more sociable when I finally do see people. I guess there’s something about a two o’ clock on a Tuesday morning that brings out the sentimental in me.

I can’t help but laugh it off, though. I’ve been really silly lately and I’m blaming it on the end of the semester and three and a half more finals to go. Speaking of, I’d better keep studying for Deutsch, and I think I’ve lost my voice final… Uhg. Maybe I’ll return to WordPress before I set out for the rustic land of dial-up internet. In case I don’t though, bis später!

Blah blah blah not being productive

Things I should be doing right now (and will, probably… in another few minutes)

  • Showering
  • German study
  • Russian study (if I feel like it… but then again, why did I buy that huge book of verbs last year? WHY, IF I’M NOT GOING TO USE IT TO LEARN SHIT FROM?)
  • Blah blah blah clean room blah blah nonsense
  • Charge phone
  • Review translations for jury
  • Go to sleep (or at least consider it)
  • Clean desk off blah blah messy
  • Hole punch my music for the summer… huge stack (two and half inches, wtf guys?) came in the mail today
  • Maybe copy new Italian stuff out of the pile of books from Sibley… maybe
  • Set alarm… maybe

Things I have already done, aka Points for Me

  • Made a Do List (see above)
  • Put things for tomorrow in bag (mostly)
  • Located phone
  • Watered plant
  • Daydreamed (huge waste of time)
  • Neatened area near printer (kind-of)
  • Placed books to study from on bed
  • Stopped using pronouns
  • Reread some old drafts, edited
  • And that’s about all….

Productive evening, clearly.

Another list because I can’t seem to get off the internet

Yeah, I have about zero will power right now. Mary, EE, Ivana and I just got back from Relay for Life at U of R. I spent the rest of my money in support of cancer research. Not only has every other person in my immediate family had it, but I’m likely to, and so is my sister, unless we luck out like our father has so far. I made a luminaria for Grandpa, Aunt Ginny, my great-grandparents, and Aunt Josie. I also have a really spiffy t-shirt and pink button necklace now, but I would have spent the money anyway. It’s probably the best cause I can contribute to right now, and shit, if it means I’m without Java’s for a week, the world won’t stop turning, will it?

Anyway, I guess I said this was going to be a list in the post title, so here we go. What did I do today/think about (not that it’s relevant, or that anyone cares)… this is my own blog, after all, I don’t even have to write well, let alone justify myself. So there.

List of things I did/thought about today (in no particular order)

  • Matt Grills is a wonderful artist/human being and I could have sat in his recital for another few hours… days… weeks. Whatever
  • I can’t go to Wegman’s without spending money on cheese… I’m a sucker for a certain Brie, and I don’t care who knows it
  • I’m getting old
  • I had to check and delete my full voicemail inbox today, and heard messages I’d saved from two years ago. My great-aunt Mary Jane left me a message asking for my mailing address, and I’d saved it, probably because I guess I saved basically all of my messages at that time. She passed away over winter break this year. It’s not like I’m unaware that she is pain-free now, and I hope happier and at peace, but it was a quick clench of the heart to hear her sweet voice again, so unexpectedly. Also I was in Java’s waiting for my sandwich and basically about to cry. Knowing she’s better off now and missing her are two separate things entirely.
  • You know when you’re looking for someone who’s supposed to be meeting you, and end up literally staring at someone you know, but not really looking at them (more of a looking-through?)? Did that tonight. Whoops. I blushed so hard afterward I felt like I was hot flashing.
  • My eyesight has gotten SO BAD, to the point where I’m beginning to be concerned…
  • I think I’m going to enjoy the German future tense
  • I miss Russian more than I thought I did… I wonder if Michelle found my notebook when I asked her to, three weeks ago
  • I want to go home and see my family
  • I want to go home and have a fabulous place to practice
  • I don’t know how I’m going to make any money this summer
  • How shall I obtain Professor Daigle’s signature?
  • How shall I admit that I actually have a physical list of questions to ask about performing?
  • I just yawned wide enough to crack my jaw
  • I thought about Daniel today, after I listened to the Aunt Mary Jane voicemail. I guess because his is another death that has affected my life, albeit a little differently. He was nineteen, three years ago and eleven days from now. God.
    But as I thought about him, and felt sad for a pretty good chunk of time, I swear I almost heard a voice snap– pleasantly but sarcastically– “What the hell are you doing? Go out and live,” and I probably imagined it, but it killed the morose mood I’d sunk into and spurred me into getting ready for my next class, and resolving to be a little ballsier.  I’d like to think it was Daniel, even though I know that’s nuts, and if I were him I wouldn’t waste my time. But I know he tried to live life to its fullest, so, I guess you never know.
  • In other news, Mu Phi is lame, and no, I didn’t get a damn email, or text
  • I’m tired of this list and I’m tired in general. I guess I’m not very interesting this evening. Oh well…
  • “Guten Abend, mein Schatz! Guten Abend, mein Kind…”

Things I Loathe:

  • being ignored
  • having my laundry all over the floor
  • not being able to find a decent healthy/tasty damn piece of food in the dump we call our dining center.. except for a banana, which doesn’t even really count
  • not having a proper black shirt
  • having split ends
  • being acquainted with individuals who feel that it is their duty to point out my flaws in a less-than-constructive manner
  • people as a general rule
  • the unnecessary recurring clutter of my workspace
  • the lack of perspective Eastman pushes on everyone
  • BEING IGNORED
  • being forced to take the social initiative three times in a row with the same person
  • BEING IGNORED

The next part of this post would, typically, address how I (in typical, mostly level-headed manner) plan to solve the aforementioned dilemmas.

Well, I’m just not going to. I am going to stew in my own righteous bitchiness– I just slammed my door a few times, for pleasure– and hope it carries me through the rest of my history homework. And that is all.

Variations on a common bass pattern

Blah, blah. Here I am again. Did I post yesterday or two days ago? It’s been kind of a swift slither of days for a little while.

I had a serial killer dream last night. Something about little kids being taken to a room with pink walls and there was a knife involved, and I’m pretty sure I remember a garrote. Ew ew ew. I think it’s because I watched two or three episodes of Criminal Minds on Sunday while I was waiting to feel busy. I really should have cleaned my room instead. There are clean clothes all over the damn place (floor, lamp, laundry basket) just begging for me to get off of my ass and do something about it.

But I guess I won’t, because right now I’m writing and after this I’m going to put my shoes on and go to history class.

History always stresses me out. It’s one of the few “typical” academic classes we have here, and it’s so stupid because everyone is trying to be more of a know it all than the person they’re sitting next to. I don’t even bother raising my hand, because although most of the time I know the answer and’ve done the reading, there’s no point– someone will either mutter or squeal out the appropriate reply and they’re the ones who are expected to answer by now, anyway. So what’s the point? And in addition to those who actually speak up in class, you have the rest of the vast majority who sit there seething with self-righteousness because they know but they are too good to put their hands up, unless it’s meekly and demurely every once in a while. Then there’s usually eyelash batting or self-deprecating smiles involved. It’s like, please, guys.

I actually don’t give a crap, though. I don’t fall into either of those two categories. I don’t feel left out because I don’t answer– I don’t feel unjustly ignored and too perfect to contribute, either. I just don’t feel like getting involved in it at all.

That’s me. Plain detachment. When I become emotionally invested in things I can’t change, I have to remove myself from thinking about it, caring about it. Having some kind of emotional input about it. Otherwise I tend to drive myself crazy dwelling on it and that’s unproductive, and why — seriously, why?– should anyone be miserable because of a situation they can’t control?

I’m not really talking about history anymore, but the question remains the same. Why should I allow myself to feel like less of a success, less of a musician, less of an intelligent and capable human being?

A question to ponder on the way to history.

Hin und zurück

… are vocab words for this week’s chapter in Deutschland-Klasse. “There and back.” Well, it’s weird because it feels like I’ve experienced the concept this week.

I got back to Eastman last Saturday afternoon with one goal only: to write my history paper.

I began at four and was done by seven-thirty. I’ll probably go back and revise, closer to the due date.

I then unpacked for most of the night and was the only brand-new ASM at opera rehearsal on Sunday afternoon. Beth and Abby came to the second one that day and then off we went, it seems.

There begins the “hin” portion of my tale. I had no idea what to expect, but crammed in that black box theatre with the chorus, I started to feel, for the first time, that this was really, really where I wanted to be. Not assistant stage managing, hopefully, but for now that’s enough.

Alongside Abby and Beth, I’ve fallen headfirst into this show. It’s finally (finally) coming together and there are only two (dress) rehearsals left until opening night this Thursday. I’m not sure if I’m excited or bummed that it will all be over so quickly for us. I think that the three of us have grown quite attached to this show (as weird and kind-of uneventful as it is), and we definitely love the cast.

Anyway, long story short, today we had a day off and it was the weirdest thing ever– it was like life had been suspended in some Eastman Theatre-esque space. But today we didn’t have to be there. So, I practiced in the morning, but other than that didn’t get a whole lot accomplished because I was busy waiting to be busy… if that even makes sense. I’m most productive when I have a schedule crammed full of things I enjoy doing, because then I’m motivated to get the things that I don’t enjoy doing the hell out of the way.

Uhg. Speaking of, I have to sleep now. I’m going to read for a few minutes first and then I’ve got to try to sleep. I just said sleep twice (now three times) in two (three?) consecutive sentences. Definitely time to go.

Gute Naaaaacht!

I wanna dance with somebody

Well, this is cool. I’m blogging off of my phone, as my lack of computer for the last couple of weeks has left me a little desolate in the blogging department. 

Whitney Houston just came up on shuffle, the room I cleaned yesterday has fallen back into its regular state of unoffensive clutter, and I’m still in my coat and shoes. My 8.30 class was fantastic, as per usual, but the happiness has faded a little. I don’t have a lot of fun here outside of class and homework and books– not that I’m saying that those things aren’t fun. But I missed a chance to go skating tonight (well, I’m on the waiting list). But I didn’t think to ask if anyone wanted to go with me until a little while ago, because as a rule many of my friends don’t like the same outside-of-school things as I do. Hockey games? No way– an Amerks game (with discounted tickets!) is out of the question. Boxing? Only now are a few of my singer friends starting to trickle in. And I guess, thinking about it now, aside from those and a few other things, I don’t have any fun things in my life here… besides reading and music. That should be enough, right?

Right?

I like to make lists

So, here is my day in a nutshell.

1.a. History class

1.b. Drama that I am going to ignore and hope goes away

1.c. Learned that, actually, all straight boys here ARE really weird or involved with someone

1.d. Reminded myself that it’s okay to be single

1.e. Reminded myself that I hate people anyway and don’t play well with others even under the best circumstances

1.f. Chose to ignore the fact that I lie to myself about hating people… all the time

2. Lunch, class, stress, meeting with teacher, failed practice session, quick break, more class, gym

3. SA meeting, where I showed off my incredibly toned legs, cute choice in workout shorts and ability to look sarcastic and fit (read: slightly sweaty but pumped on endorphins) at the same time

4. Saw this quote on Edo’s facebook and decided it suits my week thus far: “I will, however, prove to myself that I can do what I want to do, and that I am as good as I know I am.” I am capable. I am smart. I am efficient, productive, strong and determined to do what I’m here to do, regardless of whatever may stand (or try to stand) in my way. I’m here for a reason, and no one, not even myself, will tell me differently.

Brief rant

I don’t consider myself weak-willed. I don’t think I’m a pushover, I don’t think I’m an easy sell or a wishy-washy personality. I have a love of compromise, and I value harmony.

But there comes a time when a girl just has to stand her ground and say, “Look, buddy. This is my career, and my education we’re talking about. I need us to do what’s right for me, whether you feel like it or not.”

Of course, nothing is that easy. I can state my viewpoint and give a list of reasons why I stand by it, and still be overridden by someone who thinks that they have the greater insight into the music that wants to be made.

But, sure. That’s fine. I’ll just sit here, miserable and hurt, and not just a little angry, while you call my primary teacher directly to discuss a two-page piece that we could easily present five days from now. Go right ahead, override me, make me feel small and stupid and unskilled.

Thank you, but no thank you for being an inconsiderate, falsely concerned, uncommunicative ass. I really appreciate your efforts to ruin my day.

The end.

Half of a confession (one’s enough for tonight, anyway)

My room is a disaster zone. Half-wrapped gifts are strewn everywhere, flashcards half-studied lie piled on my desk and all of my books and notes for every class I’ve taken this semester are piled on my bed, waiting for me to organize them and decide what I can throw out, what I can use to study from, and what I need to bring home for the break.

I have some Christmas music playing, but it doesn’t help the pressure go away. I have cinnamon coffee freshly brewed on my desk, and that does help. But it also serves as a reminder that I have four days left to prove that I can be a smart, dedicated, and productive person. I feel like this semester has pressed me into a corner, and while cowering in that corner, afraid of the work and the knowledge and failure, I’ve forgotten that I really am someone who loves to learn. I absorb new knowledge. I LIKE IT.

I didn’t like anything about this semester except the German language and diction classes, the excitement Dr. Laitz brought to written theory class, and the door Frau Balsam opened for me (helped me open myself?) into the world of German lied. Those things, and my illegal Christmas lights.

They make me happy now, when I force myself to reflect. They’ll make me happy for the next four days, until I can get the hell out of here and prepare myself for the semester to come in the comfort of my own home for a month. I am looking forward to learning the rest of the rep for Lucy’s and my recital, I am looking forward to teaching again… I am looking forward to being a huge cookie monster and going crazy for Christmas. I haven’t been this thrilled to be celebrating this holiday since I was about nine. I’m not kidding, either. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can now get my parents things: real, useful things. And I can spoil my sister like I’ve always wanted to be: with random, frivolous, happy little things that have no value to the rest of the world, but are so fun and precious between the people who give and receive them. (Although, Michelle, if you’re reading this, I didn’t get you a thing…)

Oh, and I can’t stand this– this pointless rambling about stuff that’s not really pointless, no, but it’s not the heart of the matter. None of it’s why I’m writing, none of it has anything to do with the sick feeling I have, all the time. I can’t even blame it on seasonal depression, because there’s no snow (yet).

I can’t (won’t) talk about the one thing, the thing that’s really wrong with me regarding finals week. That’s not for a public blog. But I can talk about the boy thing. And it might seem a little bit stupid, a little girly. And certainly a lot unimportant, considering you’d think there could be one or two other things I could be thinking about, right?

But no. Instead I sit here wishing that, for once in my life, I could meet someone. Maybe it’s this stupid little hope I have of a sleigh ride in a quiet woods, with gentle snowfall and a knitted scarf. Maybe it’s the hazy daydream of laughing with someone, of caring for them enough to find them a thoughtful gift. Maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in me that pleads for an impromptu hockey game on a frozen pond, or a morning of making hot chocolate with Bailey’s and Christmas cookies, or a night curled up together watching tacky traditional holiday movies.

But those things happen in books. Those things happen in movies. And those things happen mostly in my mind. And they happen with someone who’s not a musician, who understands that there is more to life, and who’s typically about four or five years older than I am. Someone who wants all of me, not just the physical aspect. Someone who at least pretends to have a brain located somewhere other than the place where all boys keep theirs.

I’m not saying I want to get married and have babies. In fact, I turn a little green when I think about that. Honestly it’s too early, and I want a Career (yes, with the capital C). But (and this really is pathetic, because there are bigger worries, in reality): I’m lonely. I haven’t dated anyone in over four years. I’d trade all of the kisses since then for someone that respects women, respects what I do, and is a real person.

And that’s enough my emotional weeding for the evening. I have three finals this week and a recording session tomorrow evening (as well as class), so I should probably go and pretend I’m being productive.

This, and who I used to be

“This, and who I used to be, don’t matter much at all to me
To pin you down, to plant your feet, ‘s a far cry from my destiny”

I don’t know why that quote makes me feel better right now, but it does. If I were to guess, I’d probably say it’s because right now, I feel like a speck. I tiny speck floating in time without much meaning, without much worth. In reality, I know that’s altogether true (and yet, not true): but that’s a thought for another time.

There are a number of things I should be doing right now, but I can’t seem to think much past the fact that my Dakota bracelet is, yet again, gone from my wrist and pressing in on my heart. It wouldn’t press so hard if I had just kept track of it, made sure it was there! The empty space on my wrist wouldn’t feel quite so bare if I had paid more attention to it. I should have realized that it was likely to fall off– hadn’t it gone “missing” two days ago, and ended up on top of my sweater sitting in the chair? HOW it had gotten off or WHY my wrist is so small are questions at the very top of my miserable list of things to do tonight. I checked everywhere in my room. Frisked my coat, emptied the scarf drawer, scoured the floor and my bookshelf and under my bed and rug. Rummaged through my bag until I was sure, absolutely sure, it wasn’t there.

I just don’t understand. I had been checking it, on and off, since that moment two days ago when the bottom of my stomach lurched away and I’d noticed it gone. I’d been thrilled when I’d found that purple bracelet again.

Now, it could only be in the practice room where I’d spent my time from seven to eight; or else in the street? on the floor of the dorm lobby? in front of the main desk? I wouldn’t know where to begin searching on this campus: the likelihood of it NOT being trampled or picked up and tossed by cleaning staff is really, really slim.

I asked my mother to mail me another one. If I have to staple it to my damn arm I’ll be keeping this one.

The only upside to this is, I think of Dakota constantly. I remember him how he used to be, and how he is now. I remember how he looked when I saw him with Kenny and Jon on Sunday (so much better than the time before, as always!); I think of him as I sit here now, and I think of him every time I look down to see where my bracelet is supposed to go. I think of him, and I toss out hope with my heart. And look forward to a time when he can cut my bracelet off of my wrist himself.