I'm reminded of a web comic I've always loved. A stick-figured young woman fills her apartment waist high with plastic playpen balls. When her perplexed stick figure associate inquires about her motives, she says: "We're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means."
I played(more) a barefoot soccer tournament this weekend. Ten hours out in the sun with old acquaintances and friends of friends. I'm not as fast as I used to be. My muscles aren't so limber, and it's taking me longer than it used to to bounce back from the aches and pains. But there's a strange, sunny corner of my soul that feels unusually full. I want to find more ways to feed that feeling.
I want to hide little treasures everywhere. Poems between the books in libraries. Silly drawings on the place mats at diners and fast-food restaurants. Origami cranes nesting on the concrete road dividers cluttering up the corners of empty parking lots. Things that may not be found or noticed for days or weeks, if ever. The noticing is fine, if it happens. But the act of anonymous creation, the active infusing of the world around us with something unexpected-- that's where the magic lies.
Some people will tell you that such gestures are empty. True, they won't feed the poor, or liberate the oppressed, or empower the disenfranchised. But all the things they might do-- in the right place, at the right time, for the right person-- could be amazing. Even having that hope to cling to, I find, inspires me in ways few other things can.
Magic is the one thing that you and only you can give uniquely to the world around you. Don't deny it to the world. And, more importantly, don't deny it to yourself.(less)
I landed my first job in the summer of 2012. It wasn't anything more than a part-time gig at a fast food joint (as a matter of fact, that's exactly what it was) but at the time, it was all I could have hoped for.
I had m(more)y own place, my own car, and finally my own income! Granted, it was only for the summer until class started up again, but I might as well have been on top of the world at the time. I had a new roommate to get to know, friends in town, and all the freedom I had ever wanted (All the freedom that a 19 year old can possess).
I discovered The Black Keys that summer. By June, their album El Camino had become the soundtrack of my summer. Every single day on the way to work was a repeat of the one before it. I would start on the same song, and by the time I got to work it would end at the same place on the album, and I'd pick right back up where it left off when I was done for the day.
I started writing this story because of the tag "Tighten Up" which is a song by the Black Keys, and honestly this summer is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of them. I didn't have an end in mind for this story, but it's my first response to a trigger and I hope to continue using the site frequently in the future, and maybe even get a little more creative with the stories I come up with. Thanks for reading and sorry if this post didn't seem to go in any particular direction. Mission Accomplished. (less)
There's a lot of things to see but I'm gonna need you to tighten up baby, tighten up.
What do you mean? Tighten up what?
Your heart. Your soul. Your pain. That little icky things inside you that hurt and sting. The vicious comments, the neglect an(more)d the hurt that blooms all over your chest like a cloud of ink, spreading, always spreading.
I need you to be strong. I need you to be full. I need you to be tight and control those little tears in your lining. Everybody comes unraveling at the seams. It just matters if you keep on going.
What if...What if I can't?
You can. Hear my words and listen well. I know you can because you are human and you are made of bone and blood and matter. You are full of decay but that decay has life in it. You can endure. You are strong and smart and you will learn that those little knives people leave in your side never hurt as much as they did at first.
You will learn that cuts heal and that the scars that exist in their place are beautiful, beautiful little memories of all that you have survived. Sometimes everything hurts baby but those days come and those days go. The next day you are still throbbing but you can walk away. You can breathe again. You are alive again. Strong and still and awake.
The things that hurt you don't ever go away. They don't ever stop. There is always a new, fresh hell waiting to tear your little heart to pieces. But still, you persevere. Still you push on. And those tears in your side, the knives that once pierced you with agony now bristle out like spires, reminding you of all you've overcome. (less)