Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jet Stream

Many times I look up into the sky and wish I were a jet stream. To be something so fleeting, but to have that perspective. To be suspended in the sky for a moment, over cities, countries, continents...people. To find meaning in minutes and not years - what an amazing idea.
When I was little and dreamed about the future it extended to ranches with a zillion horses that I would ride all day, and never have the bother of jobs, work, money - all of those horrible things that make the world go round. I dreamt of simplicity.
Now, I dream of places, things I want see, stuff I want to eat. To attain that cultural, palatable, visual realm exploration and experience. And the older I get the more I wish it could be true that I could just go, and maybe (just maybe) come back.  
I’ve never had that satisfying taste of adventure that Mark Twain would say is necessary. I read the books, and I watch the shows, and all it does whet my appetite, it makes me hunger for those experiences that are as exciting as they are terrifying.
When I look out of my window the jetstream in that picture is now a highlighter pink stripe across the sky, a testament to the vibrant beauty that comes from that magical scientific process of the refraction of light - I have scarcely seen a thing so beautiful, so enticing.
To be a thing left in the sky for all to see, to make poor dreamers like me wonder, and to aid in the desire to be on the plane that left that mark. To be the white flesh of a scar on Earth’s wide atmosphere, but to be impermanent. Wow. It’s truly terrifying...and yet, what I want most.
These thoughts make me feel young and ill-prepared for what my future will really hold. But I really hope that someday I get to be on something that makes jet streams, going somewhere strange and wild...maybe to stay.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

i care about you

     I watch all the time, everything that happens. I watch her walk in and out of your life as if you were only one part of her reality. The sad part is - you don't care; you always welcome her back with open arms. No matter how badly she treats you, you always take her back, and in the end she always leaves. 
     You get upset and quiet, and then you disappear for awhile. Eventually you come back to me, and I always welcome you with open arms, but not in the same way you welcome her.
     I try to keep my distance when she's here, because it burns me up to see you with her, and because I know you know. You know.
     "Hey," you say as you walk through the front door.
     "Hey, what's up," I try to hide my smile, but it's useless - seeing you always makes me smile.
     "Is your sister home," you ask and my smile fades.
     "Yeah, she's in her room," I say, holding my breath, "do you want a drink before you go face the dragon," I hope the answer is yes.
     "Sure, I'll take some water." I put my laundry down and get you the water. "Your sister isn't that bad."
     "She's leaving again, did you know?"
     "No, where to this time?"
     "Out West, she says she needs some adventure in her life. Not just the same old, same old she gets here," your eyes fall as soon as the words leave my mouth and I'm instantly sorry. "She probably won't last long."
     "Well," you sigh, "she hasn't got much to keep her here."
     "Hey, you know that's not true," I pause, "she cares about you." You smile and walk down the hallway. She was gone the next day.

     Things are different when she isn't here. You come over more often, and things aren't so awkward between us. Things are so much easier when she isn't here. I'm not always reassuring you, and you're not always asking for it.
     When she's gone I don't resent either of you. It's so easy for me not to like her when she's here, because I know she's going to hurt you; but at the same time I resent you for giving me those feelings. If you would stop taking her back I wouldn't need to dislike her on your behalf.
     I like you the most when she's gone because you need me in a different way. Suddenly I'm a friend, not just your girlfriend's sister. My time is no longer spent comforting you.
     "Hey," you say as you walk through the front door.
     "What's up," I say, smiling full-on.
     "What'd you think of that Statistics test?" We fall into comfortable conversation, but we both know you aren't here to talk about school. "Has she called?"
     "Yeah, she's coming home next week," and just like that we're back to that place where I'm not your friend, just your girlfriend's sister, but I'm not ready to go there yet. "Why?"
     "Why what?"
     "Why do you stay wither her," you look at your shoes.
     "She's the one," you whisper to the floor.
     "How," I feel angry now, "how can it be her? She doesn't care about you, she never has!"
     "But I care about her."
     "All she does is hurt you, over and over, why?"
     "Why what?"
     "Why her," 'why not me' is what I'm really asking, and I know you know.
     "I can't-" you stop talking.
     "You can't what? Face the truth?"
     "I can't do this," and you leave.
     Every time it ends like this. I yell and beg and cry, but all you do is hurt me. I tell you the truth and give you my heart and ask you hard questions, but all you do is leave. I should be asking myself those questions, 'why you?' I don't. I don't because I already know the answer.

I care about you.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Expectations Exceeded

     They’re playing. I can feel the wind rush across my face as they pass by, everything is moving quickly. They pass the ball too and fro, and they run up and down the field. Each one of them is engraved in my mind – their movements, the way their hair bounces when they run. It’s a picture that is stored away forever.
     The grass I’m sitting on is wet. The sun is glistening off of it in dew-ey sparkles and I can’t help but stare for a moment. Everything stands still for a second as I watch the raindrops begin to fall on the grass. The rain transforms the scene. Suddenly everyone is wet. Their hair sticks to their faces and necks, it doesn’t bounce with their steps anymore – it’s contained.
     I glance at the cool metal sitting next to me. Its presence is a constant reminder that I’m stuck like wet hair sticks to people’s faces. I’m stuck. The machine taunts me in a way that no one will ever understand. I can never be out their with them. I can never play.
     The ball is black and white, but it’s stained by mud and old age. It’s obviously used. They kick the ball around, and every time it flies through the air I can see the mud and water flying off of it in droplets. Every time it flies it leaves the person who kicked it splattered with dirt. But they don’t mind, the dirt is exhilarating to them.
     As I watch I can see their chests rising and falling heavily – their pulses are racing – and I’m reminded of why I can never play. My heart can’t race. A rising pulse equals death for me.
     I undo my long hair from its braid and pull it up into a ponytail. I stand up. Already I can feel it, my heartbeat has begun to quicken. I unhook my arm from the moniter by my side and I leave the AED behind. I walk with determined steps through the rain and onto the field.
     I feel their eyes on me; they’re confused but afraid to ask. I take their silence as permission and continue across the field. At last they stop staring and the ball is back in play.
     Slowly I begin to move. I walk towards the ball. Then I begin to run. A slow jog at first that gradually quickens, I’m running for the first time in seventeen years – for the first time in my life.
     Knowing my time is shortening I jump. I feel what it’s like to not be touching the ground at all, and I’m amazed. It’s not like flying. There is no essence of weightlessness. There seems to be no crest to reach, no pause before I descend. Disappointment overcomes me for a moment, but excitement takes over once more when my feet touch the ground again. The reality is, I got to jump.
     I continue to run, my legs hurt already, but I still lift my feet from the ground. I can feel my heart racing; I can feel the offset beating – the mistakes. But I still run. My legs feel like deadweight, but I don’t stop moving. It’s becoming clearer now, the arrhythmia, but I can’t stop yet.
     I know it’s almost time when people stop moving and begin to stare. My face must be betraying me, reflecting the shutting down of my body. I know it’s time when I try to step forward but my leg gives out. I know it’s time when I try to catch myself from falling, but my arms are too heavy to outstretch in front of me. I know it’s time when I feel the wet grass on my face, and I can’t open my eyes. I know it’s time.
     I can make out the screams of the people around me. I can hear their thudding footsteps on the ground as they get closer. I feel them turn me over, yelling about getting the AED, but it won’t work. They don’t know that it won’t work. They don’t know that they’ve just watched me die. They don’t know that it was the happiest day of my life. They don’t know that my doctors told me three months ago that I was supposed to have died yesterday. They don’t know that today I ran, and I jumped, and heard my heart pounding in my ears. They don’t know that in death I found life.

This is something I've been thinking about writing for a long time. Several years actually. I intended on writing this as a multi-chapter story (and I even wrote the first three) and this scene would have been the end of the book, but it didn't turn out as well as I planned. So to give you some background so that you understand what you're reading I'm gonna tell you a bit about this story that I have titled "Expectations Exceeded." 
The main character is a seventeen year old girl named Rina. Rina has suffered from a disease called Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) since birth. This disease effects how the heart beats when a person gets excited or scared or shocked or exercises or whatever might raise their pulse. So when someone with LQTS experiences one of these things they experience an arrhythmia and  often lose consciousness. They then require the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) which shocks their heart and brings them back. 
Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Altar Call

     The pastor calls the people forward, following his opening about miracles and demons, but what he says effects the people, "Come forward, come. Forget that this is a service and let us pray for one another as a family." His words effect the people.
     There is only one at first, hands reaching out to see, but soon they come by two's and three's, feeling in their hearts - nay, souls - the need to be heard. They place their hands on each one, on their shoulders, face, and arms and they pray. They send up their pleas for healing, and peace, and for compassion. They lift up their faces to a white-washed, popcorn ceiling, but their eyes seem to go beyond, they delve deep into the heavens to the throne of God. They enter with humility and grief, but they return refreshed; some ready to stand with the boldness of a lion, others with broken spirits, their tear stricken faces speaking of their patience and their fears.
     One by one they all descend to their seats, and as they return others get up to take their place. Prayers travel across the building in waves.
     "We pray for sight."
     "We pray for peace."
     "We pray for healing."
   The soft music of the piano urges the onlookers to partake, and, all at once, heads are bent and prayers are being whispered and songs are being sung.
     The pastor ends with prayer, "The Church is a body that functions as one." And, sitting amongst the congregation, one can't help but feel as though unity has been experienced. Entering the building, leaving, the service, and the prayers - it was whole.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A little bit of winter...

Winter for us this year has been very fact, that may be an understatement. The weather has been between the 70's and 50's so far, with only a few truly cold days. I love it! I thought I would share a few pictures of our winter thus far..

1-2. I've been drinking water and tea out of the cutest little cow cup! 3. Enjoying delicious Darjeeling loose leaf tea! 4. Opened one Christmas present today (Christmas Eve!) and was super excited to get Howl's Moving Castle. 5-6. Shot a gun for the first time in my life, and spent time with my family over Thanksgiving. 7. My mom, brother, and I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Charlotte, and they were incredible!

I hope you all have an extra wonderful/delicious/fun-filled Christmas season with your friends and family!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A little something

My friends and I made a music video to SS501's song Love Ya, thought y'all might want to see it.

Note: This is just for fun, my life only slightly revolves around South Korean pop culture. ;p


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Angels will follow me

     It was the same every time, and I honestly believe that if it changed then my entire world would come crashing down. He would leave, come back for a while, leave again, but most importantly he would tell me to stay. I hated it when he told me to stay. You see, he was supposed to be my role model, the one person I could always come back to and depend on, but when I tell him things he laughs, when I ask where Mom is he pulls a beer out of the fridge, but he’s my role model.
     Now I’m old, I’m grown – not really, I just decided to not stay. He left in his usual way, packed his duffel, put the top down on the car, grabbed a couple beers from the fridge, told me to stay and walked out of the house.
      I watched him pull out of the driveway before I left. I packed my duffel, looked up bus times, robbed my piggy bank of its insides, emptied all of the beer into the sink and walked out of the house.
      I walked to the bus station and waited for the bus and thought about what it was I had done.
     See, the thing about Dad is he had money; he can up and leave if he wants to, but I didn’t. Sure, I had some in the bank, but most of my money had been in my piggy bank, of course I’d been saving for a while, but what I acquired still didn’t amount to much, but it was enough.
     I caught the bus that day, I took my seat with fear and trepidation, and, trembling, I exited the bus when it got to where I was going, of course I didn’t know that was where I was going until I realized the bus had left without me and abandoned me in a small town in Maine.
     It wasn’t what I expecting, I had thought that world would fall at my feet. That if I just stepped out and took a chance then this amazing feeling of freedom would empower me. I thought I would be invincible. I suppose I should have known that it wasn’t going to be like that, but I’d spent so long dreaming that it was hard to give up.
     Reality bared her yellow-stained teeth in a frightening snarl and brought me clambering back to reality. I was left in a small town in Maine with almost no money and nowhere to stay. My dream of living in the untamed West was definitely over.
     I spent the first few days living on the beach. I watched the tide roll in at morning, and sink into the horizon at night. One day it all changed.
     I was sitting where I always sat when a lady approached me. She sat down beside me and I felt sure that she was some sort of community watch person about to tell me that I had to leave, but her words were much different than that.
     “I’ve seen you here for the past three days, always the same spot,” She paused waiting for a response, but I just looked at her. “I know you’re not from here, because I’ve been living here my whole life and this is the first that I’ve seen you,” another pause, “Look, Sweetie, I don’t know your story, what I do know is that sleeping in the sand is awful and you can only buy so much food after combing the beach for change, so what I’m suggesting is that you come home with me and have shower, and bite of food.”
     “Okay,” my response seem to catch her off guard because she jumped a bit at hearing my voice, to be honest I jumped a bit too. I hadn’t expected it to sound so ragged, but you can only buy so much water after combing the beach for change.
     She and I stood up and I followed her to car that was parked by the beach entrance. She drove me to her house, handed me a towel and pointed me to the bathroom. I never expected that the first shower I took in Maine to be in some stranger’s home, but I was really in the position to decline.
     After my shower she gave me some clothes to wear, explaining that they belonged to her daughter who was in college. She led me to the kitchen and we sat down to a satisfying meal of burgers and beans, and she asked me to tell her, so I did.
     I told her about my dad and his drinking, I told her about my mom and her leaving, I told her that one day I decided I just didn’t want to stay, so I left. She asked me how old I was; I told her that I was eighteen.
     “Where did you leave from?”
     “Florida, I’d wanted to go west, honestly I’m not sure how I got Maine, but I got left in Maine.”
     “Must’ve been angels brought you to us,” was her reply, at that time I really only had the ability to nod after a statement like that, so I did.
     If there was one thing I knew then, it was that God didn’t seem to exist for me. All the crap that had happened to me seemed to prove it, but I didn’t want to disrespect her in her own home.
     We’d finished our dinner by the time her husband and son came home. She explained who I was.
     “Hi Honey, this is Jenny, she’s staying with us tonight.” I’d braced myself for a response that would tell how unhappy he was that I was there, what he said I did not see coming.
     “Hi, Jenny it’s a pleasure to have you with us,” he said before engulfing me in a hug, “This is our son, Mattie.”
     “Hey, Jenny, how are you?”
     “Fine thanks, you?” My Southern drawl made a reappearance like it always did when I was nervous.
     “You sure do talk funny,” was all he said to me.

     A year later found me still living in their house and in college, it wasn’t like I didn’t value my education in Florida; it was one of the only outlets I had that I knew I could excel in. Mattie and I both attended the local state university that was an hour away. We’d take off in the morning and drive home at night. One particular night owned a conversation that strikes me to this day.
     We were sitting eating dinner when they said, “We sure are glad you made it to Maine, Jen, you’ve been such a blessing to us.”
     Not a very terrorizing sentence I know, but it was the first time anyone had described me as anything other than useless.
     “I’ll never know how I got here, but I sure am grateful to you all.”
     “Must’ve been angels brought you to us.”
     It was the same thing she’d said to me that first night.
     “I reckon it was something, that’s for sure,” I replied and continued to eat my dinner of, wouldn’t ya know, burgers and beans.
     “I reckon you know who it was, Jenny-Penny, but you just don’t want to admit it,” Mattie said to me.
     “Some things are hard to let go of, Mattie.”
     “Don’t let it hold you back, you know how and who sent you here.”
     “I reckon so, but I'm not ready yet.”
     “We won’t force you, Jenny,” they interjected, “but we will pray for you.”

     Several years after that found me where I am now moved out, done with school, and making my own way in the world. I’d finished my degree in business and managed to take all of those trips that I’d always wanted to take. But right now, at this moment, I found myself somewhere I never thought I’d go back to – my Dad’s.
     I rang the doorbell, but he still hadn’t fixed it, so I pulled open the screen door and knocked on the wooden one behind. It took awhile, but eventually I heard footsteps and the door swung open.
     “Whaddya want,” he exclaimed before he really looked at me, “Jenny?” The first thing I did was hug my dad, the second thing I did was hand him a Bible and told him to read it.
     “It’ll change your life, Dad, it’ll change it as much as it changed mine when I decided not to stay all those years ago.”
     We went inside, and we talked. We talked about the past and the future, we talked about him and we talked bout me.
     “I reckon angels were watching out for you, Kiddo.”
     “I reckon so, I know so.”
     “So who’s the special someone,” he asked pointing to the ring on my finger.
     “Someday I’d like to meet this young man.”
     “Someday I’d like you to meet him. Preferably a someday before the big day.”
     “I reckon I gotta go up North, then.”
     “Yeah, Dad, I reckon so.”
     “Alright, Kiddo, just tell me when.”
     “Right now, Dad, pack your bags.”