counting rhymes & what the songs don’t account for

1 08 2004

our awesome next-door neighbors, who are also our only friends in this whole mad, cold northern town outside of our skeevy graduate department, had their wedding yesterday.  (and what i sacrificed to be there hurts like a bitch, just btw, although i don’t regret the choice now made, for what it was; i’ll always want both things (in any pair!).  i’ll always want the one i didn’t take)

i counted crows on my morning walk (they announced themselves–it wasn’t like i went looking) & found only good omens: joy, a wedding, & somewhere down the road a birth; no single criers, no sorrow. the morning rain (it’s syracuse. it has to rain whenever it’s too warm to snow) stopped in time for the ceremony itself, & presumably petered off to a small enough sprinkling that pictures went forth as planned; at least when they arrived at the reception, they were still beaming, and didn’t look at all like people whose rose-garden plans had been rained out. it was a nice ceremony, & if the minister emphasized the word “christian” a bit too forcefully as a necessary adjective everything he said “marraige,” he also told stories about longfellow & trees, and made them turn around to grin at everybody before finishing their vowmaking because he said they should get to see all the happy faces <i>he</i> was seeing. & then the reception was full of dancing and wild craziness–their families alone (he’s got 2 brothers, she 3 & a sister, & there were lots of cousins too) filled the square in the middle of the room, and everyone else had to dance on the carpet & get bumped on and off the raised floor. their friends are cool–we had a great time making idle chatter with people in the lobby before the room opened and at our table afterwards–and we managed a dance of our own without falling off the floor’s edge, and the speeches helen’s sister & seth’s oldest brother gave were sweet & touching & they both kept crying, & everybody kept hugging their mommies, & then getting back on the dance floor w/helen’s brother jesse, who was just a dervish of crazy dancing & dragging the quiet girls & the grandmas out there with him…

and for all that it was a fabulous time, and the energy in the room was all good and joyful and warm and made for sharing, i had to drag ty off home after he’d had his fill of wedding cake & before anybody threw any flowers, because i just couldn’t do it anymore.  it was just too hard to watch them being so close, & so happy, & so together, & to keep smiling and sharing stories with these happy strangers from far out of town whom we don’t expect to ever see again.  some of it was as simple as envy: “i wanted to grow up in their house,” i told ty at one point–not because i don’t love my own family, but just because there were so many of them, & they were so obviously still so close & happy to be with one another.  & “i want one of those; how do we get one of those?” about jesse, b/c i want a friend, or a brother (in addition to, not replacement of the one i already have!), or a kid of my own w/that kind of manic loving inclusiveness to shine on everybody. 

more of it, i think, was just where i am right now.  it’s been hard to do this for a year already, to turn all of our sight so far in, to be so emotionally insular; i’m a tribal kind of soul.  i have–and need–“my people.”  right now i think i’d live at otp all year if it wouldn’t drive everybody else bonkers to maintain, although that’s probably extreme.  it was nice, in college, to have both a tribe and a much quieter room to retreat into periodically.  a year into this, though, i’m already stretched too thin to go out there and act all crazy with those strangers who’ll never be mine, to stay any longer building little bridges of understanding that would be forgotten by the dawn.  i’m in a gather/protect mode–i’m looking for people to pull in, & ways to nurture & care for the ones i have, however far-flung they might be.  if you’re staying–if you’re even thinking seriously about the possibility–i’ll spend every spark i’ve got on knowing you & loving you & weaving you a nest in my little forest.  but i don’t have the energy to reach that way for people who just won’t be there to smile back at me tomorrow when i’m down.




12 responses

1 08 2004

Oh sweetie…I’m sending you thoughts and hugs right now over the Internet. I hope you can feel them. You do such a great job of nurturing your far-flung friends. I know at some point you’ll be able to move to be with some of them. And the time when you are with them will be all the more valuable after having gone through the pain you’re experiencing now. At least that’s how I try to look at these hard moments in life.
On another note, the problem-solver in me can’t help opening up her big mouth. Have you considered trying to work out a distance deal with school. One where, say you finish your coursework there and then teach online and finish the rest of your PhD from afar.
It’s a thought, anyways. I’m aching for you right now and I just want to help and make everything better. I’m always here if you need me.

1 08 2004

(just to answer the very logical question) while i COULD maybe arrange to finish the phd from elsewhere, i have to be here through passing exams, which is at least another 2 years… and then ty would have to be here through passing HIS exams, which will more likely be at least another three, by which time trying to leave & do it long-d might just be more trouble than it’s worth! i do appreciate the idea, & i’m really glad it works well for your program & so will allow you to live the way you want to w/your hubby-to-be & finish your degree at the same time; the way this one’s organized is just much less conducive (& it helps to that technology & online teaching like you’re talking about is a major focus of your study!) πŸ™‚
thanks for the warmfuzzy thoughts, lovey. i’m not really sad, i’m just… only able to be so happy, in situations where i’d rather be able to be happier. if that makes any sense. ty & i are great. & we do a pretty good job of keeping one another feeling loved & familied, even in our little tiny group of two. but this certainly explains why i have to answer “lj is my LIFE” when quizzes ask the question!!!

1 08 2004

can i help build my nest?
you have done such a wonderful job of being there for me even though we are on opposite ends of the country and i just want to be there for you now. i love you guys so much and “i’m not really sad, i’m just… only able to be so happy, in situations where i’d rather be able to be happier” makes perfect sense to me.
*smiles* i can’t help but think of meg’s pancake song of a few parties ago. we still sing it whenever we make chocolate chip pancakes, and then i think of you and your smiling face saying “i won’t sing” and it’s all so good.
and i guess what i am trying to say in my rambling way is that this is what gets us through the rough spots…remembering the good times with “the tribe” and knowing there will be more… eventually…

1 08 2004

Re: can i help build my nest?
you’re so awesome.
thanks, rae. πŸ™‚ we could play the happy-tribe-memory-game all day. (& come the dark of winter, we might just have to dedicate a day to doing so!) in the meantime, i’ll make a confession: we sing the pancake song too. i’m such a faker when it comes to being ms. grumpy-bear about that kinda stuff.
my favorite janet’s-kitchen quote:
“in the wild, dogs always make pie.”
(& i’m still waiting for the rest of this year’s quote-list–and the pictures!–to make the web… “just to prove the world was here.” of course, YOU’RE still waiting for me to scan you that picture… you want it printed & snailed or digitized & sent electronically?)

1 08 2004

Re: can i help build my nest?
heh we sing it too….
and it brings us right back into jynxy’s kitchen. and sean making crepes…. I;m not sure where THAT memory came form but it is there…. course that drags me out to missouri and the crepe dude who ran a little shop in teh corner of the lakota coffee house where the Geology dept grad students all gathered for coffee between teaching duties and classes. and reminds me that I too have been exactly where you are love. striving to maintain what makes us who we are in a world that doesn’t know us form adam except that we have belly buttons. but it does end, and re-integration into your world isn’t nearly so hard as it seems…. hey, we’ll make chainmail bracelets, and I’ll see if we can find a chocolate bunny around here somewhere that we can have cut on his leg…..
if you ever need to call and talk about it, we are here for you, just a phone call away. (that’s and order dear)

1 08 2004

Re: can i help build my nest?
can we do both? in regards to the picture that is

1 08 2004

As someone told me the other day….
You are not as alone as you think you are beautiful, I understand the gregarious need, I miss George Takei fire drills personally. But your friends are an electron away. Hell maybe we should synchronize a movie night…. I am wondering with all the techno-geeks we have, why we havent web-conferenced a few parties… Of course then sharing the last bottle, or kissing and hugging each other isnt as easy, but at least we get the sight and sounds….
Anyway the whole point is Even if there isnt boffer weapon in sight, I know that my family (that means the gang) is there, I feel them in my heart and soul even if the sight of their little cherubic faces are light years away….
Kendrick, Whose leathery-wings crack open with a sound like thunder to embrace a new day and new winds because he has good friends like a certain red-head in the far north-east

1 08 2004

we’ve missed the sound
of that particular thunder. and the jingle-bell at the end of that knee-length hat you used to wear when i was eighteen & thought you were just the cutest thing EVER… *hug*
thanks, lovey. we’re all of us a little too good at forgetting the things we need most to know. like how once we say “you’re mine. you belong. this is a family here,” that means for always, no matter how far or how long or how oddly-circumstantial.
repeat as often as necessary. i’m trying, i’m trying, i’m trying.
but “cherubic faces”? they’re devils. c’mon. i see them much more often wearing horns. πŸ™‚

1 08 2004

You know, I still have that hat, and whats odd is I keep hearing that, but no one seemed to tell me that then… So many lost opportunities….. But then again probably for the best, I have a lot of good friends this way…..
Remember all devils have angelic faces, they just sometimes dont show, fallen didnt necessarily come with a plastic surgery. Easier to tempt us that way….

2 08 2004

My brothers and I get along great now, but I absolutely loathed them sometimes when I was growing up. It was all worth it though, and I love having a big family in general.
Saturday night Bagel and I hung out at Cael’s place and talked for a long time with him, Liz, Rebecca and Jason. I wish so much that we all just lived a quad away.

2 08 2004

me too. and three, and four, and five… πŸ™‚
especially if it had kitchens, so we could make pancakes. with chocolate chips in them!

4 08 2004

Babydoll! It’s so sad to read the loneliness in your words:( The irony is that I so often think to myself that I want a ‘tribe’ of friends like you’ve got – more of a family, really – and yet you sometimes feel similar feelings about other people. every time i’ve been around your friends who are not already my friends, i feel a twinge of envy for the closeness you share with so many people – and yet i’m simply happy for you that you have that in your life. I’m so extremely lucky to have a few folks down here who I truly respect and trust, but I still miss having so many right around me and at arm’s reach as I did before. and I understand your feelings about new people and those bridges you so desperately want to construct, only to be saddened by realizing the fact that those around you aren’t necessarily worthy of that effort. It’s exhausting to stay in touch with far-away friends, and it’s never adequate. but you know what? you’re doing a damn good job of holding on to the folks you truly love, and that’s the most important part. and you won’t be able to reach out as often as you’d like or pull those people as close as you’d like, but you still touch their lives profoundly. This past year was hard, but aren’t you proud of yourself for getting through it? and won’t you be that much prouder after it flies by in a blur of lonely, irritated busy-ness? and then you’ll suddenly have a baby, and all that loneliness will melt away with his or her first ‘smile’ that’s actually a reaction to gas but you’ll go ahead and pretend it’s a smile regardless. You are important to me no matter how far away you are, and I hope knowing that helps at least a little. I love you.

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