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

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Schreiben

Well, well. It’s been a while. Hi, WordPress. Hope everything’s been cool here.

I’m at work right now, on a little break while I sit in the shop and make signs for the town of Olean. My life is riveting, I know (major points to whomever caught the sign making pun there).

I’m still trying to figure out how to readjust to not being halfway across the country. I loved South Dakota. The hills, the air, the people… I adored it. Now my softer, greener hills here on Cattaraugus don’t seem quite as ferocious and wild. Instead, they’re the shyer, prettier younger cousins to the loud and brazen Black Hills of the Dakotas. I think I love them equally.

I also thought the buffalo out there were the coolest damn things. Tatanka, tatanka! Oh my God. Just so awesome.

Anyway, what else to talk about? I have to start learning some roles. I need to solidify my theory and get that Berg together. I also want to explore the Rimsky-Korsakov set Paulina sent me.

I need to figure out my living situation for next year and email a man about a job. Then, and only then, if I have time, can I snuggle down with my new Russian books.

Oh, and since my mother has been sick the past few weeks and has been unbearably cranky because of it, I volunteered to make dinner tonight. What the hell was I thinking? I don’t really “cook.”

In any case, I suppose I’d better get back to work before I get in trouble for blogging on the job….

Asking for beautiful

Maybe this kind of vulnerable post should better be left to my spontaneous journal, but I don’t feel like writing by hand. Yet again laziness fuels me to take an alternative route. Oh well.

I can’t write, and yet I’m making myself. It’s just been kind of a one eighty from earlier. Lucy hasn’t been back in all that time. I took a quick nap and gave myself a weird headache, I daydreamed. I read some stories online because my daydreams just aren’t good enough lately. Or maybe they’re good enough, they’re just NOT enough. I don’t know, but I feel a little sick. I just sat there wishing for something more than what I have.

A better body, a more charming personality? A boyfriend? They all crossed my mind. But I don’t know if that really is what I want. It’s absolutely completely stupid because I know who I am, for the most part, and I like her. She’s fine, she’s okay. Occasionally creative and brilliant and lovely.

And I know– I know I’m going to have to wait until probably after college before any of that romance business gets to me. The kind that’s closer to being real. I could probably sleep with a few people between now and then, but the likelihood of it meaning anything is highly unlikely. I’ve had enough of that shit. I don’t want just the physical. It’s a little unpleasant, actually, and that’s probably why I feel ill.

I want the simple, and the romantic. The beautiful and the elegant and the lovely, without the filthied meaninglessness the world today tends to put on it. I know it can all be ugly. I’ve experienced that firsthand.

I’ve decided that I don’t want any of it if I cannot have the beautiful.

Living on a string of harmonic paradigms

As I sit here trying to think of how to put the words down, I’m struck by the hundreds of possibilities, hundreds of routes this one little post could take. I feel like my mind’s continually expanding, not unlike dry-rotted elastic, to be honest. Think hairtie: you pull to stretch it out and it just gives, with a little initial unsettling snick-groan of resistance. Then oh– well it just keeps going, the elastic inside fraying and crumbling away while the threads that bound it stretch to their breaking point– eventually you have a ring about twelve times the size of the hairtie.

The only issue with that is finding out what to use it for, now that it’s been ruined for its original purpose.

That’s kind of where I think my brain is right now. Just crammed to bursting with new information and pressure, not to mention deep concern and love for family and friends, combined with the stress of keeping grades up. Now, I love school, and think it’s fun– but the fact that I struggle in some subjects worries me and is material for endless hours of freak-out. Let me see you take a harmonic dictation for an eight bar excerpt from the literature and put roman numerals beneath it. Then have that make up twenty-five percent of your grade, or have it determine whether you fail a course or not.

That’s okay, I can’t really do it, either.

It’s really a learning process, and it’s better to gain the skills– they’re what’s important. But if my grades slip? I lose a scholarship. And other semi-important things, oh, I don’t know, self-respect.

So classes are stressing me out.

But I’ve really wanted to write, lately. And I’d like to write every day, without pressure or obligation, since I get too much of both from school right now. I do think it would be a nice change to just sit down and let some pressure go through words, though. I haven’t done that regularly in probably a couple of months, and I’m sure the style of this blog post shows it.

Oh, shit. Okay, well it’s 1202, and I have class at 1230 and I need to listen to that dictation one more time before it’s due. Maybe I’ll see you later, WordPress.

Regarding the password

It’s silly, but I figure once something’s on the internet anyone can see it, so. My last post? I needed to vent out some things. If you’re interested in reading my come-to-Jesus rant to myself, just drop me a line somehow (see “Contact” up at the top of the screen) and give me your name. I’ll be more than happy to send you the password, no questions asked. Have a splendid night (even though, well, I won’t be. lolz.).

* EDIT: Or, this is probably simpler.

email: yellohxylophone@aol.com

Two minute typing

I’m considering writing fiction again. I know I’m way overloaded with things to do but honestly if I’m going to get my ass kicked by college I might as well be doing something else I adore, right?

Seriously. Creative writing at River Campus next semester? I’ll see what I can do.

I’ll give you a statement

I hate this class.

I’m sitting here with my head spinning from lack of caffeine and wondering why anyone would want to read an academic paper in the first place, especially when the action is supported by an FML-laden, “I’m going to read your essays whether they’re brilliant… or total pieces of garbage, because I’m paid to do that.” Thanks, Professor. Now go get a job you actually want to do so I don’t have to sit here listening to you. Every word chafes, acidic little scrapes that say to me, “Just because you’re musicians, you’re not above manipulating the English language… but because you are musicians, I’m going to assume you don’t know anything about language, as well.”

Clearly we’re just stupid music geeks with superiority complexes. And obviously the reason I hate this class is my predilection to assume I’m too good to write, especially because I think I know everything but REALLY lack all knowledge whatsoever about essay composition and/or snagging myself an audience that actively reads.

Maybe I’m just a bitch this morning, maybe… maybe… shit, I don’t know. This is just so pointless. “You need to make your reader interested.” Check. Readers usually engage because in anything I write, I usually make sure I know what the hell I’m talking about first.

“Your thesis is your point.” Okay. We all know this. If anyone was not aware, they can take this hellish course instead.  I’m sick of this. I’m sick of sitting here having the theses of each classmate ripped apart in front of me. I’d rather not destroy others’ writing. I like writing. I don’t like critiquing my classmates’. It makes me uncomfortable. And According to Azzara, a classroom setting should not be threatening or intimidating. My thesis was just up on the screen, and although it’s anonymous, it’s like, come on. My tone was addressed, and apparently theses need a great deal of specificity. Whatever. It obviously doesn’t matter what I think or how I write, because I’m not educated and need the topic of thesis statements plowed into the ground until it’s just a slimy pathetic puddle whimpering on the pavement.

“You need to set up and explain the problem and then provide a resolution.” Here’s a resolution, then, or we might call it a revelation. Perhaps one should be able to notice when the majority of one’s class is b0red to tears (this ten person class is 40% Asian,  50% female, and the other boys are clever, despite always being late). One should also be able to engage the class in a pleasant manner. Also, it’s freakin’ critical that one have the ability to note and somehow proactively address significant lack of interest. Here’s a headline: NO ONE CARES, Because Everyone in this Class Already Knows About and/or Can Do What is Being Discussed.

“How does this help you with your paper?”

Well, it doesn’t. I’m not writing a paper right now. I’m blogging, and I’m pissed that an hour of my day is glommed away by this utterly pointless course. If we’re required to take a mandatory writing course, can’t we at least be offered courses that aren’t booby-trapped? Like, you should pick this one, it looks vaguely interesting, but you’ll really spend your first semester wanting to beat your head against the desk in front of you in the fruitless hope that you’ll forget the hours of torture incurred three times a week at 8:30 in the morning.

So, yeah. Just in case it wasn’t clearly outlined, I’ll reiterate: I freakin’ hate this class.

Yeah. No thanks.

This is what happens after two weeks at Eastman

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but if it doesn’t really flow or whatever, give me a break, I’m tired and I’m thinking in 2/4.

I’ve been hearing classical music in my head constantly. I find myself conducting to a piece in order to find its meter. Even if it’s Queen’s delicious “Somebody to Love” (simple duple, thank you very much, although it could be quadruple). I have had more spelling errors in my notetaking and writing within the past week than I’ve had in the past twelve months of my life. I daydream about living the Sibley Music Library, and I have a newfound fascination with the sound of a baritone range. I think I’m assimilating into what I like to call my musical Hogwarts.

And I love it.

Bach duet altered for marimba. I want to say it's in G Minor

What did Brendan tell me? Oh yeah: “Kim, I feel like you’re searching”

*Just a quick note: I wrote this from my cell phone late at night (or, early in the morning) before this past Wednesday. I spent the day with this awesome German I know all day yesterday, so I did not get a chance to type it and post it. But, here it is, unedited and in honesty.  

Brendan texted me tonight, from Waynesburg. Told me about a book he feels I should read. He said, “Kim, I feel like you’re searching.”

  
I feel like I am, too. 

So here is how it is. Here is how I come to be typing– texting, really– forming a blog entry from my phone because I was dumb enough to leave my macbook upstairs, and it’s past midnight: my entire family’s sleeping.

Here is how it is: how I am sitting here sniffling and experiencing mild heartburn, feeling like a complete fool with a temperature.

Here is how it is. How I have come to abruptly halting my reading process and doing this, setting down (temporarily) Don Miller’s Searching for God Knows What.

Miller writes: “…I felt something missing inside myself, some bit of something that made me feel special or important or valued. This thing missing inside me… is something God would go to great length to explain in His Bible. …By trying to find an identity…

Don Miller also wrote Blue Like Jazz, also a good read

I was displaying some of the very ideas God would speak of in Scripture, some of the ideas about being separated from a relationship that gave me meaning, and now looking for a kind of endorsement from a jury of my peers” (Miller 42).

Isn’t that exactly what I have been doing since June, scrabbling frantically around to improve myself, to impress others or receive their attention, simply to feel accepted? To find an identity.

Here I was so worried about making the right impression at Eastman or at work or even on my adventure/excursion that I was completely and totally blind to the fact that I’m obsessed with my image or what people think. Haven’t I trusted God before and never had to worry about it at all? Hadn’t I felt a sense of peace, finally, and an invasive, infectious happiness, a sunshine?

I’ve been trying to find God again, and I think my dip into Spiritualist Central helped concrete my own beliefs and outlooks. It didn’t shake them as much as it could have.

It served to remind me that, without God once again as a fully recognized presence and driving force in my life, my worst and most horrifying fears will be realized and I will fail. God has been with me every step of the way thus far. I know He won’t “leave” me, but I am scared of the consequences. Scared of the thought of evangelism, of losing sight of things, and dumbly, of knowing God’s love as it was meant to be felt. But mostly I’m just ashamed.

I know as a Christian (is that what I am?) I would feel the need to reach others– and to be honest I feel as though that impulse has been with me my whole life. But I’m not good enough to do it, I’ve tried before, when my faith was really strong. Or I thought it was. Now I fall back under the excuse, I’m too flawed, even though I know that’s stupid. But time and again I’ve kind of tried and definitely failed to serve God because I didn’t want to give it everything and fall short, again.

I think I’d want to share news of God’s love. Of an nonjudgmental, unconditional, unrelenting love. I just doubt I’d be a decent spokesperson. Plus it doesn’t help that it feels like, as soon as you tag “Christianity,” all anyone ever seems to see is piety, when (at least in my case) they couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So… how do I go from being “in control” of my own actions to handing myself over to God?

The search is far from over, but I’ve found something at least. Here is how it is.

Pathetic, brimming with shame, and flawed, I figure it’s about time I stop moping around scared and wimpy and be an instrument for God to use. Or, I guess it’s more fitting… a voice for his love.

Here’s a criminal mind… mine

I have discovered why I have been so unhappy lately. Why my senior year of high school made me so miserable. Why there’s just this little spot of rot just above my heart that keeps eating away at me.

It’s because I’ve reached the point in my life where people expect a great deal of me. So it’s not only my own self pushing me, but I have to live with the idea of those I respect the most really counting on me. Counting on me to make the most of myself, to kick ass in college, to do so much with my life. To learn more than how to tie a string of eighth notes together.

In addition to that, I’m facing the stark reality that the dreams and hopes I’ve carried for so long might fall to the wayside. They might never happen. The best intentions could result in the worst circumstances. So many terrible things could happen and with the drop of a hat, my life’s course could change forever, take an angle I’d never considered before.

I’ve always considered myself lucky and blessed to have grown up in the environment I did. Last night I was trying to fall asleep and found myself thinking about Criminal Minds, and writing. I’ve been obsessed with the show lately (lately meaning, a few months on and off), and in my daydreaming (and actually dreaming) hours have found myself picturing scenarios, picturing an alter ego of myself acting and solving crimes. Getting inside the minds of the Seriously Screwed Up and figuring out how they tick.

My interest in psychoanalysis doesn't come from these guys, but the show adds fuel to the plot-generating fire

I realize there are only about eleven real profilers in the world, and don’t worry– I have no intention of switching careers right before Eastman. But I’ve always had a lingering fascination with the why of the human mind. What trigger in their past claimed their energy and turned it to murder? How did their parents’ relationship affect them, how have vital occasions in their life turned them into serial killers?

Mingled with my predilection to write, to tell a story, this appreciation and interest in psychoanalysis has led me to develop some pretty whacked out plotlines. Despite my glee at arriving at such atrociously exciting stories, though, I can’t help but think, in all seriousness, how do people do such horrible things to one another?

I tend to wonder about and picture every possible aspect of others’ lives in my spare time. We could be driving past a suburb and I wonder, who lives in that pretty house, and what are they hiding? What do they enjoy? Do they hate their job? Dog or cat people? I see two Canadians come into Tim Horton’s and I think, why are they traveling? What brings them to Gowanda? Do they come to Timmy Ho’s because it’s familiar or they want coffee or they need directions? Or potentially all three?

It’s a compulsion to be curious, I suppose. And with that compulsion comes certain darker thoughts, especially when I mix it with a healthy dose of serial killer research and my own life.

If someone had gotten into my house at night– which, I’ve discovered, would be pathetically easy– and killed my family, how would that affect the world? If I–or someone near me– snatched up that root beer bottle and smashed it over someone’s head, what would the consequences be? Would they be evadable? If there was a slasher in the backseat of the vehicle I always make sure to lock, how would I escape them? How would they try to kill me, what would their past look like if mapped out, to lead us both to that point?

Then it all circles back to, how do people do this to each other? What was the significant event that pushed that button: kill, hurt, maim, make suffer? How is it that beings who are predisposed to crave love, end up creating ruin? Is it in pursuit of love, of attention? How can it be rectified?

All this from the spinning mind of a soon-to-be music student. Maybe I should stick to eight notes.

The most wildly thrilling blog you’ll ever read

This is to throw you off. There is no sunniness today

I was going to title this post with the phrase “I got nothin'” but upon reflection that’s too self-explanatory. Instead I labelled it with something interesting, and now you’re stuck here wondering when I’ll get to the point.

Congratulations, you’ve been duped into reading the most pointless two paragraphs I’ve ever written. I’m bored, I work from three to ten today, I’m annoyed. I’m about ready to tear my hair out, because when my mother’s cranky the world has to be, too. I’m tense and anxious about school, and will probably escape to my room to keep packing. The most I can say is, I’m well-rested and there’s plenty of coffee. Hope your day’s going better than mine.

Look at me, I’m tired and being ridiculous (also known as me, philosophizing)

I realize this picture is possibly as pathetic as me right now and twelve times as lame/cheesy.

All anyone really wants is attention.

I’ve discovered recently (yeah, over the course of the past week and a half) that I have an ambition to act eventually. Someday. I’d just like to be on TV, to have a group of people appreciate me for what entertainment I can bring them.

Normal people, too, I mean. Opera people are weird: delightfully so, but weird. It would be interesting to have a fan base at all, let alone one of normal people.

This is why I think acceptance is so necessary for everyone. I’ve spent most of my childhood struggling to be liked and accepted by the other kids in my classes. Finally my child self basically said, “Fuck it, I’ll just go be smart on my own and if anyone wants to join me I’ll be reading and singing and xylophoning over here.”

Granted, that was just about a year and a half ago, but still.

Here again I sit and wish for MORE people to like me. MORE people to read this blog. MORE people to follow me on Twitter, to want me to sing, to ask if I’ve ever thought of TV.

I realize it’s not as simple as it sounds, but if Dr. Heischberger thinks I can then hell, I’d try it.

In any case essentially I feel pathetic for aiming for more and craving more but ambition keeps forcing me to run at a ten-foot-high stone wall. Here, try this angle, here, try it again, here, practice some more and daydream some more and get your hopes up some more, More, MORE.

Maybe I’ll succeed eventually but until then my daydreams are what feed my intensity and my goal-making ambition. I just don’t want to get my hopes up too ridiculously high only to fall flat on my never-to-be-filmed face.

Simple peace

I sit in the woods right now. By the time I copy and paste this online I won’t be anymore, but as of this very second, 7:24 pm, I am sitting on Faerie Rock in the woods and writing.

I’ve wanted to do this for such a long time. Have a laptop and go into my favorite place to write.

When I’ve thought of doing that, I’d always picture myself typing out some novel, putting some spectacular story into motion. Instead I sit slouched here pondering my own sad story and craving to know how the forest always holds what I need.

A few years ago, I needed a playplace to live out my imagination. I needed a fantasyland for a warrior, a setting for a wandering heroine, or a hideout from pirates. A few months ago, a good friend and I needed winding beauty and distractions to keep us from making a silly mistake that we made anyway. A few weeks ago, I stood just over there and needed silence, smothering silence to blight the sounds of breathless, passionless, horribly chemistry-less kisses. This land has given me all that.

And if lore and conscience hold I shouldn’t blame the earth for the mistakes of her children. (But between you and me, I frigging hope she disowned this particular child. I’m not the clingy sort, I’m just sad.) So I’ll forego the blame, skip over the empty betrayed emotion that surfaces whenever I consider that night, the night the forest blissfully forgot for me. Instead, I remember that she gives me all I need, even when I don’t know what that is.

Apparently today, I just need solace. I need forgiveness for misusing this stunning place of my childhood. Just because this place is so, so special won’t mean that any boy I bring to see it is or ever will be. I need the trees to come alive in Tolkien fashion and tell me themselves that they don’t hate me for misunderstanding.

This raw undiluted place knows my beginnings. I feel as if it know of my darkest mistakes and half-feigned innocence but chooses to love the innocence more. Allows me for just a little while to become part of the world humanity once belonged to.

That little while is enough to hold me until the next time I come. The vivid greens, the ripe mud and leaves and debris, pounded into one thick ground. The soft trickle of the stream you can hear tinkling at you if you just listen hard enough. The constant vocal constructions of the birds and wildlife that are too real to be called music. Yeah. The little grey squirrel that’s coming to check me out as we speak. It’s enough to tide me over until I see it again. I can pull it up in my mind crystal-clear but it doesn’t compare.

It really does let you become part of it for a while, too. The little rock-grey rodent that just leapt from tree to tree on my right was totally chill with me being here: or at least she didn’t really give a crap enough to be subtle about her traveling plans to the bank-side. It’s a kind of acceptance that you have to just sit and be still for; a kind of peace that hits you quietly but keeps you quiet, and feeling as if you’re part of something. It’s something I’ll never willingly give up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to come visit this place, it always seems to be just as pleased to have me, bumbling about or writing away.

Anyway, the mosquitoes are out in full force now and there is some stench that makes me feel that something’s died nearby. Oh, hey, new scent: some skunk doesn’t accept me as much as that squirrel seemed to. Cute.

So I’m off, out of the forest. Off my rock I’d christened Faerie Rock when I was probably no older than three, wandering in here with my dad or grandpa. Twelve or fifty bug bites later, and I’m out of the woods and into the real world yet again. I wouldn’t pass up this haven for anything.

Holy discontent

It’s been a few long months since I’ve heard that phrase.

I really don’t mean for this to be a themed blog, and once I get going I’m sure I’ll be writing more about other things… but lately God’s been on my mind so in pure honest fashion I’m just going to spew words through my fingertips and throw it all down.

I’m throwing down the fact that I haven’t set foot inside a church since my Uncle Bud’s funeral a few Fridays ago, and that made me feel nauseous. Not for my own personal awkwardness, although that did leak in during the beginning, the waiting. It was so similar to the Versailles church, where reverence and upturned-nose-piety went hand in hand. Stomach churning, I sat there until it passed. Then I was able to focus less on the setting that was so familiar and more on the funeral service, as was appropriate.

But then we sang, and the little girl (five or six years old) kept turning her head to stare at me. My mother was silent, as is her custom, and held the hymnal. The speaker/songleader at the time sucked. And it was all so routine and re-recognized to me that the hard sour slippery knot in my gut started to slosh once more.

It’s something about God that makes me want to wring my hands in frustration, then throw them out into the air helplessly, shouting at the sky. People fight and die and argue and hate and kill for God every day, not understanding that he is a god of love. Of deepest, truest love without boundaries, judgments, limitations or conditions. Whatever I’ve done, God loves me. That mentality collides hot and powerfully with something in my soul: the idea that my creator values me and cares deeply for me, no matter what I’ve done, always brings me back to him with an apology on my lips and questions in my eyes. What does God want from me in life? What am I supposed to be doing?

The knowledge that what I’ve done wrong so far will be overlooked as long as I’m trying to live a life of love is a happy truth I carry around with me every day, in place of the heavy guilty burdens I should have on my heart.

And there is where my seemingly peaceful and placid relationship with God ends. There is so much I really could be doing for him, I just don’t know what. Or how.

I used to be en route to changing childrens’ lives through Sunday School. Then I was tutoring. Then I was singing, a little here and there on the side for people who didn’t care. And then I was going to organize a read-in for deprived kids in Alexandra.

Now I don’t have anything driving me but the ever-present urge to learn music theory and Italian diction and perfect vibrato. Maybe that’s the mission God’s currently giving me: nothing of major importance to the world right now, but something that will spur me to success in the impossibly competitive world I will enter this fall. I don’t know for sure. I do know, though, that it’s been a while since I’ve felt the urgent nudge of a holy discontent I used to possess, and I wish I could experience it again and follow through.

My love like a voice

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged anything. A few weeks, anyway. It’s high time the writing’s continued, especially this is the summer before I head to college for the first time.

This is the sequel to my previous blog of two years, Kick Drum Heart (http://amnerisblue.wordpress.com); the title of this one is the other half of the phrase the Avett Brothers sing of in their song of the same name. It’s a step forward, of sorts: a new stanza to the same song, if you will.

So! Take a look around, read some of my thoughts and rants and musings. Leave me a note if you’d like, I appreciate any and all input (and the fact that you give a crap what I have to say will undoubtably make my day, whether your comments are nice, nasty, or otherwise).

Anyway it’s about time for me to wrap this up, so, have a great day. :)