2009 is gone and I feel like a part of me has died. Even writing this now, seems near transcendental. I've never attached as much sentimentality to a year as I have to this one and I miss it so much, already. It provoked more change in me than I have seen maybe in my entire life to date, some painful, some incredibly beautiful. If I could sum up the year in three words, perhaps they would be
I hope every year is like this. Please read my new blog, the link is http://phoebfurr.blogspot.com/. Write to me! I love all of you. Thank you for reading this; this blog is an exposition of my mind, heart, and soul, and I feel incredibly honored that anyone would allow me the privilege of being heard. I encourage everyone who has ever felt the urge to write to do so; do not let the fear of being judged ever touch you. Never be ashamed of your mind, your passions, your creations, or your desires. My mind will forever be set on fire by the brilliance of others, and especially, by those close to me.
Here's to 2009.
on the edge
the view is clouded,
the majesty of weather
seeps through my skin:
Another food picture today. Food is so nice-looking lately. I left my mittens in a taxi cab. They were awful mittens though, so cheaply made. I bought them standing in line at the Guggenheim because I forgot mine at the hotel and ten dollars was more than worth the relief I would get from shielding my pink and raw fingers from the bitter, biting wind. So my mittens had a lifespan of about a day and now they are in the backseat of a yellow taxicab. Maybe they were reincarnated by someone less fortunate than I although I don't think the less fortunate rides in taxi cabs. The decade will be over in less than twenty four hours and I'm waiting to feel a change in me. Today I saw Hair the musical and it was incredible and that's saying a lot because I'm not a fan of musicals or of the music in them but I was a fan of this one. One of them said he liked my nose ring he also climbed on top of me and Emily with a loin cloth on and it was fun and we went up onstage during the finale, anyone could, who wanted to, and danced around and made peace signs and lovingly touched the shoulders of the cast members but only so lovingly that they wouldn't notice we, I, were, was, touching them. The lights were so hot and bright and I was dancing on a Broadway stage and I was accomplishing a dream that I never even dreamed in the first place, it was someone else's dream. Speaking of dreams, mine are graphic, and meaningless, like one two nights ago where I had my eyes cut out of their sockets and little lines cut with a knife and outlining my mouth and my head was inflated and red, the color of a roasted pig, the kind with an apple in its mouth, except in place of an apple on my head was an ovular gash, fresh, red blood beneath, drying in the open air. One more day.
I just read my blog from the entire month of August. I think August was my favorite month of this year. Good job, August. It was my favorite because it was so emotional: every emotion, rampant in me. And it was beautiful, and warm, and the end of my summer and thus my childhood. Is that too melodramatic?
In two days I'm going to post a link to my new blog here. I don't know if it can live up to this one, I don't know if I have it in me. But I will try. Also, I would like to request a favor.
The only reason I've kept up this blog every day this year, I mean the only reason, is that people read it and (I presume) like it. I've always wanted to do this, and I'm still not so certain it isn't pretentious (what is more dangerous than being pretentious?). If you are so inclined, please let me know if you've been reading or liking My Year in Photos. Like in an email or something, or a comment, or a message, or a letter, or a smoke signal, or a telepathic brainwave (the last one might not get to me). Or anything else. And you don't really have to say anything. But I'd love love love to know what you thought of it, or what it made you think while reading it. Especially if you have never told me. Also especially if I don't even know I'm writing to you! Alright that's enough talking about myself. Oh wait, that's all I've been doing for a year.
Do you know how people remember flashes or certain incidents from the past? I remember the bear cave from the Ecotarium when my mom used to take us when we were so young. I also remember the thermos she put coffee in to bring on those trips. But I don't remember anything else about them. Today I was thinking how greatly I wish that I would know, or at least have an inclination, that what I'm about to see is something I'll remember for years into the future. How much more I would pay attention!
take me back to the two days in summer
where the metal bridge in the distance
held the promise of adventure.
the rain on the highway, drowning out my senses -
no match for the swell of music, the smell of fish in the air -
was fleeting, just like that weekend.
our swords lay peaceful those nights;
taut mesh and loving resolve
kept out the mosquitoes.
Right now I'm blogging from a hotel room in New York City, although it's not actually New York City but Jersey City, in a different state all together. But it really is, literally, close enough to count. Today in the car I wrote a poem and it was the fastest I ever wrote one. If you are wondering, Auraphice is in the works! Hopefully we will finish it by the time we go back to school, but I don't know. The waiter in the restaurant tonight said "Happy New Year" and that was the first time someone wished me Happy New Year 2009. But for 2010. But in 2009.
List of reasons that 2009 was great (not in any particular order):
- I graduated high school. And after graduation we all went to Kathryn's house and slept over. And I went outside with a couple of people at five in the morning and we found a scooter and rode it all around the street. And then sat in the car and talked and the windows fogged up and there was so little room that I was touching like three people, just by sitting there.
- I went to Florida with my family and the day after I got back, which was the last day of vacation, I went to Loren Marshall's party at her house and Jenn Naze and Leah Barwise sang and played guitar and it was so beautiful. Then Kelsey drove me home and I remember thinking that it was the first day of the year that felt truly like summer and also that Kelsey was my favorite new friend I found in a long time.
- I stopped being afraid to take pictures in public, with strangers around. I also became generally disinterested with the judgments of strangers, which is a good thing I think.
- I went to Toronto for a band trip and it was so fun and I made friends with Will, who was probably my best friend in the world, but only four days. I miss that, but like I always say, wonderful and transient friendships are so wonderful in part because they are transient.
- One time at the lake Michela rode a kayak and I held onto the edge and told her a really long story about something that hasn't even happened yet. And also that day, Liz and I sang the Rilo Kiley lyric "Somedays, they last longer than others/ but this day by the lake went too fast" while laying on top of surf boards, in the lake, in the sun.
- I skinny-dipped.
- The whole first week of college.
- In California, we stayed at a tiny inn on the coast of San Francisco that was so beautiful and that made me think of Ireland even though I'd never been to Ireland. The next day one of the cooks offered to drive us up a steep hill to the next trail head. He was twenty years old and a surfer. He reminded me of someone I met the year before.
- I kissed all my friends cause I love them.
- I had a realization of sorts when I visited Graham in Pennsylvania. The realization was in the bathroom, and it was that I could suddenly imagine myself in the position of everyone who I believed to have wronged me. If you try this, it becomes very easy to forgive. It is also very humbling. We are all people, all searching, and all deserving of finding what we are looking for.
Today I went to Boston. I hate when I miss opportunities to take good pictures, especially because potd on the fourth-to-last day of the year is this dumb green horse. Taken out of context it's kinda cool though (like why is there a green horse in my house). Anyway, I have a headache that's been plaguing me almost all day. Tomorrow I'm going to New York City with my family. We're seeing Hair, which I'm told features a lot of naked people.
Since I spent the whole day shopping, my mind is kind of blank. Do you know the feeling? So instead of writing more, here's a poem.
The Pink Flamingo State
tinted windows are my last defense against the
pink flamingo state of disillusionment
sometimes I see an armadillo resting on the sawgrass
or the wrappers from the nestlé crunch of the masses
littering the edges of the interstate
the high noon heat in the everglades melts away first my dignity,
then my empathy
two three where was i? i saw a phone number on a bench
i called it for sex but instead, I got the underbelly of a
scarred manatee, hungry and licking the dripdropdrip of a garden hose;
or was that a garden snake?
we drop old bread through the slits in the walls and see
seventy kinds of fish desperately watch it:
dissolving in air, infinitesimal in water
Today Parker put a really exciting idea in my head. He wants to go through a program that sends volunteers to organic farms anywhere in the country next summer. He said he needed someone to go with and I got so electrified and we looked online and found this amazing farm in Carmel, California. I'd only go for a couple weeks but reading the farm's web page I found myself feeling an inherent need to do this. It seems like something so pure and honest and as of late, working outside and seeing new and beautiful views of the world is what I crave. So much excitement for the future today - how motivating.
If you haven't already noticed, I attach a great deal of meaning to the ends and beginnings of years. That's why I started this blog though - I guess I wanted to chronicle the progression of the year, and of seasons, and of change in myself. I feel like I should wrap up this chronicle now, but I don't even think I can put into words the difference I feel in myself from the beginning of this year to the end. I've seen so much more, not all beautiful. I did see a lot of beauty, though, thanks for that.
Song of the day is "Calendar Girl" by Stars.
All through the winter, I'm alive
Today is Christmas and it didn't feel too unordinary for me. I went to Boston with my family to visit my twenty-three year old cousin who lives in a house in Cambridge that makes me eagerly anticipate my out-of-dorm days. She is living an awesome life. We went to the movies and saw Up in the Air - which was fantastic, I highly recommend it - and then to a Japanese restaurant where I had to cook my own food on the stove built into the table. If I were a restaurant critic, I would give this restaurant an A for chic atmosphere and charming and good-looking wait staff, but a lesser grade for my dinner, which was essentially boiled meat and vegetables. And since the boiling was up to me, it was boiled meat and extremely soggy vegetables. And two pieces of overcooked tofu. Do you know what overcooked tofu feels like? I'll tell you, it feels like something entirely inedible. Note to self: do not follow Japanese-chef-career-path.
Today I renewed a passion of mine that has been withering lately: photography. At Borders I bought a photography book that I've wanted for a long time and have never bought because it was too expensive. Today I was reading it in the store and it made me want to take pictures so badly and I remembered being really passionate about photography and wanting to learn so much more about it. For some reason, I haven't been taking many pictures at all the last few months, and I'm starting to miss it. So I finally bought the book. Because I realized that this blog has really forced me to take pictures and document this year. Next year, I need some incentive, or else something really important to me which I could possibly become really good at will start collecting dust on my bookshelf. Also today, I made Ramen noodles for the first time. Verdict: entirely too salty.
Oh yeah it's Christmas Eve! I almost forgot, mostly because today was absolutely not at all out of the ordinary. Yeah, so I guess tomorrow's like the most imortant day of the year for a lot of people. In my world, Christmas is a day of isolation and disillusionment. It feels so odd to be completely estranged from everyone besides my family. Isn't it weird how winter and winter holidays bring back so many memories? Winter is the most nostalgic time of the year; that's why it snows in winter. Nostalgia is snowy.
When the sun welcomes us in
and the Earth's protective skin
falls and peels back, face to chin
then we start it all again
Today was a wasted day for all intents and purposes; this is because I spent it sitting at a desk for ten hours and answering phones for the HoneyBaked Ham Company in Framingham. Everything about my day was either depressing or funny. For example, the mass of people who came to the store to pick up their "special" HoneyBaked Hams mostly looked and acted the same. They were all middle aged to elderly, all white, all preparing for a massive celebration of materialism and excess, and all had a peculiarly strong affinity for cheesy potatoes. This was the depressing part. The funny part was Stephanie, the thirty year old black woman who answered the phone next to me, talked like she was either rather sleepy or on a heavy dose of narcotics, and routinely cursed out the manager, company, or effectually her life as a whole. Wow, that sounds incredibly depressing when I write it here, but I promise, Stephanie made me laugh a lot today. If nothing else (overlooking my paycheck), what I gained from my temporary job at HoneyBaked is a true appreciation for what education will allow me to do. That is, it will allow me to stay far, far away from the nickel-and-dime hell-hole world of indifference, mediocrity, perpetual slumber, and big ol' Christmas hams. Merry Christmas everyone!
This year will be over in a week - strange to think about. I personally don't feel like anything's ending. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In other news, I just got back from going to New York City and coming home with Lanny and Michela. It was so fun! I didn't even realize the extent that I missed my friends. I'm so glad I'm spending a month here. On the way home, we listened and screamed along to music that I can only best describe as "shit music." Shit music in the sense that we all are made extremely happy to hear any of it. Steve describes a certain form of laughing as producing tremors long after the fact. I have a few of these tremors now. For example, every time I think of Lanny's interpretation of a Jewel song. My friends!
Tomorrow I have a one-day job at a honeyed ham store. That is not a joke, as far as I know. To be honest, I can't really describe how I got this job, what I will be doing, and why I agreed to it. Actually, I will make money, something that I don't see too often these days, so I guess that's the answer to the third part. I have to wake up at five thirty. I haven't woken up before eight in four months.
....This is gonna be fun!
I still remember, fervently, the year when I kept my parka zipped to the collar, all through the day. And the walk between buildings; between days, I walked between the eyes and legs of others and no one saw me. Invisible to the naked eye, I was a microbe, orbiting, around the transitory. I remember when she whispered in my near-deaf ear that she was starving herself. They was eating her food, they were growing stronger and meaner and fatter and she was putting safety pins on the hems of her polos and pushing her hair out of her eyes. I guess I had noticed those polos, and the safety pins, and the brand names sewn onto the breast pockets but I never thought to look at the skin underneath, and to see how much was left. You told me facts and woke me up, broke me up. Between pencil sketches of the fantastic, you scribbled in cursive what you always knew as true and what took me one year, from one March to the next, to see. Walking home in the snow, feeling the corners of my world thaw and crack, I was on to something.
I'm home! It's wonderful! I have a new bed; it's queen size! This is like at least four times as good as my college bed. I've already started to make a lists of projects to do in the next month. One pertains to the mini camcorder my dad gave me for Hanukkah tonight. Oh man, so much excitement here. I love living rooms. I think what I missed most at college is living rooms. And cars. And my cat. This is the best bed I've ever felt. Today was fun. Both times I had to take an art history exam this semester I learned so much about art history. That class was so worth it. I think I was delirious on anticipation of relief even before I took my exam. Walking to Thompson, Dan and I kept singing Ruben Studdard (sp?)'s "Sorry 2004." Why anyone would release a single with a forgettable year in the title is beyond me. It makes the song completely irrelevant in any other year besdies 2004, overlooking the fact that it was already irrelevant then. Anyways, this entire concept was so incredibly hilarious to me all day, and I don't know why. I guess I don't really have a stream of coherent thoughts right now. I want to write poetry. Monday I am going to New York. I'm going to visit Mr. Tarmey! Okay I should go to bed. Tomorrow I'm going to get things done for once.
I wonder if people would like if I ever put some of my (real) writing up here.