on a distant inkling

January 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm (Uncategorized)

Every time I write, I realize that I never really know what I am going to say, and then all the ideas pour out of my mind and I somehow formulate something coherent. I like this about my writing. I have no idea where it is going, but it feels so good just to let my thoughts go free for a little while without restraint.  

So what shall I write about on this lovely Friday? Well, I think I will write about something that has been bothering me for a long time. I’d say half of a year, but it may be more, maybe less. But these feelings have been brewing in my heart and there is no one who really can understand me unless you have been in the situation. People will nod their heads with that horrible pitiful glare, but no one really knows 

I had this friend who have been best friends with for at least 1-2 years. And then all of a sudden, this past semester, she has completely changed, or maybe I have changed I am not really sure. But I tell myself that no – it wasn’t me who changed, it was her, and therefore I am part of the non-guilty party. This is an aside but I have to mention it, everyone I meet always tells me not to change – what on earth does this mean? But this is straying from what I am saying so forgive me please.  

Last semester, I don’t really know what happened and that’s the strange part about this entire conodrum is that nothing – nothing really happened. We didn’t have a big argurment or fight. No one told lies about the other. No one did anything really to hurt the other…So what was the problem, right? Good question, and if you could tell me, well I would be forever grateful, because the answer is one that will always be far from reach…What happened to two friends who told each other their deepest secrets? What happened to two friends who told each other that they would be the godparents of their children? What happened to two friends who drove around to every Starbucks in the area just because they were bored?  

Anyway, things are just awkward now, really awkward. We haven’t really spoken in months, and when we do talk it is so forced and pitiful. We ask all the trivial questions that you ask someone who you meet for the first time – how are things? How’s class? What are you taking? Which teacher is that? Nothing more than meaningless banter, something that I am quite good at by the way, but always leaves me aching.

Yesterday when I saw her I wanted to runaway…I somehow feel guilty, she looks at me with those menacing eyes that say its all your fault! And the scarlet letter on my chest expands and turns a dismal shade of red and so do my cheeks. I don’t want to feel this way, so I avoid her at all costs.  

I look at her now, and wonder how we were ever friends in the first place. I feel that she hurt me, abandoned me in a way, found new friends and left me alone. But the truth is, I realize now is that she was always holding me back from meeting new people…It is has forced me to reach out to others, and be the friend that I always wished I had.  

I guess I have never really had a real best friend, except for my sister – who is also a literary scholar like me and is planning to pursue English in the college which has yet to be determined. Thank God for her.  

Friends stay friends

But family –

Family will never go away

They are always there

Like the wind that blows in from the east…

 

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on being horribly sick

January 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm (Uncategorized)

Yesterday I was so sick that I could barely move. I haven’t been sick like that in a long time and it hurt me and I hated it. I slept all day and then all through the night. So I think I got at least 24 hours of good sleep.   

The morning before I threw up, I knew that I was going to be ill. I could feel that awful heaviness even in sleep. I could feel that aching that only sickness could give. I could feel my throat pinch, and I couldn’t stop coughing that dry cough that makes you feel pitiful. I wished my mother was there to make me soup and warm honeyed tea, but there was no one.  

I lay in bed only with that heaviness of mind and spirit and a certain coldness that I couldn’t get rid of, and I prayed to God that it would go away only to find it still there, lingering in the depths of my bones. I would close my eyes to find them plastered shut, only the strange part was I’d wait for sleep that would take forever to come. I hated sickness, of all things – sickness like this – you are cold and then hot — was probably the worst. Simply because I felt like I would soon depart from this earth, I felt as though I didn’t have much longer here, all I could do was sleep and even that was restless.  

But the next day, I remember being so helpless, I sat on the bathroom floor crying and I called my mother, and because she was at work it took forever to get through to her, and she had Zizi pick me up from school, and I felt a little dizzy and could barely move. That morning I sat in the bathroom, I will never forget how white that room was, and how white was such a horrible color.  

I slept the entire way home, and as soon as I entered my house I was at peace. I lay on the couch and sleep came immediately. I slept all day and I had many visitors. Mema came by, and gave me Ginger Ale and crackers, and then she came by later with bowls of chicken soup. And Patina took me to the doctors and then made me some tea. I found out that I had viral bronchitis. The doctor gave me medication and I thanked the Lord for doctors. She said I would feel better soon.  

I could tell my mother was really worried about me. But in sickness there is one thing I will never miss, being pampered by her. I even played Monopoly with my littlest sister last night which was nice, though I fell asleep halfway through the game, this little mental stimulation made me happy again.  

And today I feel better. That heaviness and horrible coldness that leaves my bones frozen is no longer there and I can move and speak and EAT again …how wonderful it is to move and speak and live.

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my return

January 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm (Uncategorized)

So I returned late last night…Home again!

The strange part is I don’t ever feel like I left. My soul can never quite leave what’s here, I suppose. For it is so deeply rooted within who I am that forsaking it would be the ultimate sin. And it put things in perspective for me. I was too down about things that I couldn’t alter. I was too sad and I had no reason to be. I wanted all the answers, I wanted someone to lead me from place to place, but I learned that is never what I wanted. I didn’t know what I wanted but to teach…and now I realize more than ever that I will never ask for anything more. Teaching is my vocation and I thank god that he gave me something I can put my entire heart into. For God works within everything. He works within the sky, the trees, the sea, the people in our lives – how can an act of kindness or love not be a working of God’s magic? I realized that my mother more than anyone I knew, had god’s spirit working within her. I knew God through her.  

This trip was life-changing for me in so many ways that I can never even begin to recapture here. Words can never express what this opportunity meant to me, and how it finally allowed me to explore, travel, and grow as a human being. Not just learn – but to grow! That was something I never knew how to do before.  For the first time, I was solely reliant upon myself. I had no one. I couldn’t talk to anyone at home and for two weeks I was completely detached from reality. No cell phones. Barely any computer. And this killed me, because I longed and longed to speak with my mother.  

As I lay in bed at night, I would wait for sleep only to find myself restless even though I was exhausted. I would sit by my reading light and write until my mind wandered too much and my eyes would drift off in sleep. I couldn’t imagine being so faraway from her and it made my heart burn and burn. Sometimes her voice was my only comfort and without it I had nothing. I felt completely alone. I thanked God for that reading light — I wouldn’t have survived those long nights without it. For stories and poetry were my comfort, the only thing I knew in this foreign land.  

But with time these achings subsided and I tried not to think about it too much.  I grew. I grew in a way that I never knew I could before. I thought about all the characters I read in books and I thought I was one of them. The words from an article rang in my mind – You need to go outside the home in order to grow… There was so much here and I couldn’t believe how green everything was. There was so much life. So much joy. So much music. So much connection. So much spirit. So much power. I wondered how so a place could exist, could exist so faraway from me.

I wished that these infinite fields were mine. That I could see that sunset everyday. That those hills were mine. That the North Star was mine. That the light that emerged from the pubs at night was mine. That the music played every night was mine.          

The entire trip kind of felt like a fantasy happening, a dream …I look back on it now and say wow, that happened to me! I did that! I survived two weeks on my own, and though it was incredibly difficult for me, I overcame my fear…My fear. It is now no longer one that is so close to me, but a distant inkling. It is like my heart has grown larger. I could feel it expanding, for it is not the same me who left Momma standing on the train platform two weeks ago.  When I think of all the new Irish friends we made I smile in great relief – the shopkeepers from the music store and the woolen store, the drummer, the accordion player, the London couple, the young man at the grocery store, the nice woman at the school, the lady at the phone café, the monk named John, the couple from Switzerland, the Monsieur… I wouldn’t have traded anything for this experience.  

To overcome the self – now that was something.  (and no that is not a quote but my own words)

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ireland!

January 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm (Uncategorized)

A cold, breezy day In Dingle.

No rains today –

 Only sunshine and soft blue sky. (new stanza)

The town is lined with stucco yellow, pink, green, blue storefronts

Sleepy-eyed stray dogs meander up and down sidewalks,

Moss grows on mountains and covers rooftops

Few people are here. (new stanza)

Fires always lit.

Cars always slicing by.

Pubs always open.

Music always playing. (new stanza)

Europe!

The scent of this place

So fresh, crisp, new —

is what Heaven or Paradise must smell like.

The winds — always restless

The skies — always changing pace

The sea — always speaking – (new stanza)

The Lord must live here

How could he not?

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dingle, ireland

January 6, 2008 at 4:24 am (Uncategorized)

“We read to know in order to know that we are not alone.” C.S. Lewis          

I came across this quote and smiled immediately. I loved and connected with it so!  I think I will put it on my syllabus someday.*** 

But, I wanted to tell you that I am traveling to Dingle, Ireland tomorrow! Yes, I Angela S. is finally traveling out of the country and on her own for the first time! To a new place with new people, new faces, new lands, new shops, new life, and new stars…

I will post as much as I can about everything there, but I don’t know if I will have much Internet connection, but I will keep a daily journal anyway and post on everything later…Wish me luck!  

Ummm…everyone in my family continually tells me to be safe and to watch out for strangers, like I am a 5 year old idiot! What on earth have I have been doing for 21 years of my life, I think, parading around like a drunken idiot and partying hard every night…Don’t drink too much, don’t go any where alone, don’t drink the water, don’t climb mountains, don’t this and do that, but guess what – I think to myself — I am alone in another country — far away from any of them — and I can do whatever I want…I know I will never take this to any extreme (it is not apart of my nature), but it just feels good to say it. I can do whatever I want! I can finally travel and explore and be free for a little while. It’s only 2 weeks, but those two weeks mean a lot to a person like me…you have no idea.

I remember the day I decided to go. I was so upset about everything in my life, and I called my mother. ‘

“I am going,” I said sternly. I never gave her a choice. I didn’t care how in the world I was going to pay for it. I just didn’t care. I gave her an ultimatum and she accepted it without question. All she said was what do I have to do. I loved mommy for that more than she will ever know.  

Dorothy and Hobgoblin, I’ll send you a postcard, of course J

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black girl/white girl

January 5, 2008 at 3:24 am (Uncategorized)

oates.jpg            Right now I am reading Joyce Carol Oates, Black Girl/White Girl, and though it is a quite disturbing novel and racially charged, I am enjoying it a great deal. I know I read a few short stories by Oates before in the second-half of my American Literature class, and I have been meaning to read this since I got it for free at the library. It is a wonderful hardback, glossy edition that was withdrawn — with a sad red stamp — because they had too many copies and not enough shelf room, so when I worked there over the summer, I was able to take this book for free. I was really excited. A special library bound edition for me! It still even has the barcode and the wonderful manila card holder!          

Let’s see, I am halfway through the novel so far, and yet I don’t feel as though much as happened, plot-wise anyway. It takes place in the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and in a time of social tumult. Genna, is a well-to-do middle class American student who attends a liberal arts all-women college in which she is a direct descendent, yet she is very alone and yearns to procure a friendship with her African American roommate Minette – who is very indifferent and seemingly by haughty by the rest of the schoolmates, and spends much of her time locked up in her room, eating and studying… Genna constantly feels at odds with their relationship, she tries her best to be a good friend but for the most part Minette remains detached and disconnected.

Though this friendship is one of the major conflicts that runs throughout the book, we see that there is a greater problem of racial tensions. Minette is the target for racial discrimination. First, there is a rock thrown at her window. Next — and I found this to be the most heart wrenching part!! – she finds her Norton Anthology of American Literature in the ground stuck in the mud. Lastly, someone slips an obscene portrait of Minette under her door; however Genna shields this from Minette and from the college, she fears the reaction, and especially that from her roommate. She wants to protect her from getting hurt.  

So this book is fraught with racial tensions – in a predominately white, female college, individuals like Minette, who is there on a full-scholarship struggles to deal with her identity, as a black woman in a new postmodern world which is still grappling with the prospect of race.  

“What is it like to be a descendent of heroic individuals? Do you share in their stature, or are you diminished by it? Do you share in their idealism? Their courage? Their faith? Do you imagine that you can know them? Do you measure your life against theirs? Have you become a better person because of them?” (Oates 54).  

I am anxious to discover the perpetrators of these crimes…so I will continue reading to find out! 

I just want to add that I am very proud of myself for reading this book, because this is not something that I would normally choose on my own, for fun. But I am learning that I have to read a wide range of literature in order to be more learned and so this is what I am trying to do.

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the icy breeze

January 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm (Uncategorized)

  The icy breeze stings —    

only leaving me more scorched

and spilt.  

I smile.  

As I watch the burnt leaves dance in circles,

And sing their familiar melodies.  

The wind sounds scared,

like the squeak of an old wooden rocking chair.

It cries for something.  

The small river by the creek flows,

Without stopping,

As though it’s being chased.

But, it’s only me.  

But the sky! Sky!

The sky is still a warm, milky blue

The color of a newborn star.  

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my collection of frames

January 3, 2008 at 4:35 am (Uncategorized)

New Years day! What a wonderful day!

I awoke to the sunlight spilling onto my face and admired all the books scattered in small, haphazard piles about my room — I had them stacked to interminable heights on my little ivory stained desk, and upon another small side table that my sister and I use to stack yet more books and jewelry and nothing important really, and then there are some squeezed by my bedside and in the corners of the room and others are hoarded in between trinkets and collectable dolls that I collected since I was a child.  

I think of how empty this place would look without them. For I wake up to their music, and to the faces of those who I love. During this vacation, I spent a lot of time working on my postcard collection, and framed all them in simple black-rimmed frames, and hung them on the lilac wall beside my bed. The frames I bought for approx 2 dollars a piece, and they look so professional, all these wonderful individuals, can see me, perhaps they can see me and understand me.  

Mema once gave me this book called American Characters, (it’s a biography book based on about 100 different people) and I feel a little guilty about this, but I cut out the faces of those writers who I felt compelled hang up – let’s see, who’s photo did I cut out? Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton (it was a wonderful sketch of her as a child though), Richard Wright, Dreiser, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (who’s portrait I was very excited to find, by the way!)…

So I added, cut and snipped these photos to fit the size of the frames and added them to my Wall of Authors, for which I already had – Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Billy Holiday (I purchased these at a Black Historical Research Center in Harlem) and framed all these faces… 

But, you have to see how magnificent this frame portraits are! My sister likes them too, and she always comments on how wonderful they look. Apart of me wants to make her some, and I will. Her side of the wall is pretty bare, and I wanted to fill up that lonely space somehow, someway. But then I realize that she has to do that on her own.  

I love waking up in the morning to see their bright, hopeful, and yet determined gazes…it gives me hope and it makes me feel happy. That these people made it. They made it and maybe so can I.

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new year’s resolution

January 3, 2008 at 4:32 am (Uncategorized)

What is my news year’s resolution? I actually never make one, but this year I have been inspired by someone to do this. I think, I don’t know how in the world I am going to do this, but I have to be more organized.

My life is a mess, but it doesn’t mean that everything surrounding me should be too. I can honestly, never find anything! Ever! I travel everywhere with about a million different books, folders, notebooks, and papers and stuff that I don’t need but carry anyway, just in case some free time might spring up and I have a chance to do this or that.

Another thing, my car. I named it Angela’s Book Mobile J I am not kidding when I say it is like a mini library — with boxes of overdue library books and old food trays and empty water bottles. I have books stuck in the seat and strewn throughout the seats. I basically have books everywhere. But, I have grown to love my sweet Book Mobile! I do…I like my space, my car, my mess, my books… 

I pray to Saint Anthony at least twice a week! Saint Anthony…please help me find…my… About 90 percent of the things I lose I find, but then there’s the other 10 percent that I just have no idea where it disappeared to!  

So, from what you and I can see, I need to be organized. There I said it, and now I just need to figure out how exactly I am going to do this.

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