и это было все желтые

what is it about this place?
i am not shocked by unflushable toilets and malnourishing diets. i feel no discomfort, no rush of new.
so what is it, what am i supposed to learn here?

i walk outside and breathe in the wet air. this baltic sky still has a lightness to it at 11 pm. can only two stars make a constellation?

gravel crunches beneath my feet and the chains of the swing sigh under me. stretches of identical apartment buildings surround me, nine floors for miles and miles. the trees here are old. the willow looks the size of my apartment. it saw invasion, production, revolution, and stagnation. it must be wise.

there are so many things about the world that i don't understand. the complacency of rule. the hunger of occupation. or, could it be? a generosity of spirit? a trust in authority? the more i touch the world, the more gray it gets.

but, still. that moment of his tiny arms around my neck are a reminder of what love feels like and what love is: learning to let go.


a haiku map of my dc

this is my city as i know it.

dc surprised me. i didn't expect to love it as much as i do, but it will always hold a lot of significance for me. i became much more of an adult here, and i think more authentic. the city offered me a lot of opportunities to really invest in an interesting, ambitious, courageous version of me and i like who she is becoming. it was lovely for me to feel like i belonged in a place and within a few different groups of people. that feeling doesn't often come to me in provo.

my little map has red and green pins of all my favorite places to eat and to go. i wrote a little bit about them, but then i decided i'd rather remember the memories in all these places and i wasn't sure how to include that. so i made extra purple pins of all those street corners where my love is and wrote a little haiku about my memories. hi, i'm pretentious. we're going with it.

so here's my formal goodbye to dc: thank you. you were perfect. and i can't wait to return to you.


love beginning

i'm here. i live in a baltic state. in a little soviet apartment. in the land of rain. 

i'm teaching english again, this time as the head teacher. my leadership abilities often feel questionable. it has been chaotic as the beginning always is. i think about china all the time and i miss those sweet children that hold so much of my heart. i can already feel it here, though. i can see love beginning. 

i've said it a zillion times but that love i felt in china changed my life and my soul. living in a different country, especially countries like china and lithuania, is challenging. the other teachers don't see it yet because they haven't lived it, but i am already anticipating those heart bursting goodbyes and the way it feels to miss a life and a self that you cannot go back to. 

missing is something i am getting very good at. it feels like a gift now. i want to feel it, that sinking soaring feeling of loving something so much that it hurts, or just that simple and deep appreciation for people and places that have offered you growth. missing is terrifying and precious. i have spent too much time numb. 

i've loved and lost, and the world still spins on. love and attachment have never broken me. i would rather continue to give it without requirement for reciprocation than protect myself. not to say that i don't have fears or pause. i can give love and accept love, but the idea of needing, of dependence, that still seems suffocating. i am probably still afraid of it, but now i would rather be brave.

i met a mormon latvian national volleyball player named matiss this weekend, and his name sounds exactly like matisse, and i am so happy about that. eastern europe is treating me well.



i read a short story once, and in it it described how every age you've ever been is like a tiny tin can inside another tin can, and on and on, like russian nesting dolls, and all the while all your ages are rattling inside you. i was thinking about it on my walk to school, and i thought that maybe love is like that, too. maybe all the people we meet and love make our hearts grow, but our hearts grow layer by layer, person by person. so the reason our hearts can be so big is because we've loved and been loved by so many, and the influence of those people rattle inside us as we move along. 

but maybe not, maybe that's not what love is at all. who really knows?

but i do know that i can still feel certain things rattling inside me. certain people rattle inside my heart, making noise and reminding me. i wonder how much of me i really am, and how much if me is a conglomeration of all the people i've met and all the love i've felt.

i wonder if my determination is jenoa rattling inside of me, or if jackson's tin can is what makes me so still or if trevor's drives me to be kind, and maybe julia and whitney are where my laughter comes from and the way i squeeze people's hands comes from mikelle's place in my chest, and maybe mack gave me two aspiring green thumbs.

when i gracefully concede in arguments, parker taught me how. michelle painted me lavender, and the wrinkles in my nose when i laugh are steve's. i think my generosity originated all the way from the sands of weihai's international beach, where mei first handed me an orange and a can of coconut milk.perhaps all future lifts of my right eyebrow will have a bit of ben in them; perhaps my blinks will be sydnee's. all my sunshine came from allie's light, and colin is in the way i dance.

i ask emily's questions and listen with ari's ears,
or at least all that is what i'm trying to do.

and i could go on and on,
and on and on,
but if you're ever around and you hear rattling,
it's my heart making room for your's, too.

originally written 8/25/12
*i often find that things i wrote on the diaries of a fly on the wall keep teaching me lessons i need to learn. i would like to relearn them, add to them, and collect them again. anything posted with a date at the bottom like this is a repeat of something already written.