i’m back!

February 19, 2008 at 2:25 am (Uncategorized)

I have realized that I have completely stopped writing. I have been so busy, with classes, reading, work, and everything else that takes us further and further away from what we love and cling so dearly to. I miss my writing! I always felt so much better after I spouted all that was inside, all that couldn’t be spoken, yet could be revealed through the beauty of language and words.  

What’s been going on in my life? Not much new really. Though I find that my nights are consumed by talking on the phone to a friend of mine who really needs my help. It’s the same business fanatic friend whose live is consumed by all that I hate and despise. All he talks about his training sessions. His new employees that he hired for so much money per month. He talks about his drinking problem. He talks about his Nonna who died 4 years ago. He talks about how his grandfather won’t speak to him and how he needs his medication and can’t get it. I could probably write a book about his life. He is by far the most troubled man I ever knew, and my heart reaches out to him. Apart of me wants to be the rescuer. But I have read too many books to know that I can never do that (A Long and Fatal Love Chase, by Louise Alcott springs to my mind). He must save himself.  

I know this, so what in the world am I doing? He has so many issues and I don’t know what to do or say, so I just make that awww….sound and say that everything is going to being OK, even though I don’t understand and don’t really know anything. But I have realized I have kind of become his therapist, he tells me everything, everything that has haunted him past and present and how scared he is about the world he lives in. But then I think, he is so alone and he only wants someone to speak to about his problems, but it’s a lot of baggage for a mere one person to handle, and it’s hard for me to listen sometimes.  

Why? My friends ask. Why? Because no one should ever have to feel abandoned and alone. Why? Because I am a human being who feels pain for others, and who wants to help this broken soul regain life. I know I am helping him. I can hear it in voice. His voice is as cool as a forest and as a sweet as the trees in the spring. I look forward to hearing his lulling melody, and apart of me doesn’t want it to ever go away.  

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kindness

February 12, 2008 at 6:12 am (Uncategorized)

I was preparing something for my Irish spirituality class and I wanted to share this segment I wrote on here as means of thanks.

Words of encouragement have come from many people in my life, but one act of kindness particularly comes to mind. I will never forget the day I went to see one of my professors and I was having a really bad day. He consoled me and told me to that I needed to take time off and travel to say California for awhile. I laughed and told him that I wasn’t a Romantic and that I couldn’t do things like that. He looked skeptical as he pulled out a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and read one of my favorite passages:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.”

I will never forget what this one act of kindness did for me. It still resonates very near to my heart, for it is what gives the means to keep going.

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my epiphany

February 12, 2008 at 5:56 am (Uncategorized)

Today I had a good day. I am taking Hobgoblin’s sentimental literature class and it has been so wonderful. I look forward to it every Monday morning, and I can not imagine a better class. The reading, honestly has been a little tough to get through, but in the end I realize, it is worth it. I am forcing myself to relate and empathize with the characters as much as I can, since I felt like I gave up a little to easy in the beginning.

The problem with me, as you know if you read what I write, is that I am a sad person. I am a sad person who likes to read to sad literature, simply because this type of literature it gives me parcels of what happiness can mean. So I am so used to reading texts like Beloved or Scarlet Letter or Flight or Black Boy – all have a victim, all struggle to attain individuality in their society, and I won’t go any further with this because you probably know where I am going… 

But today in class I had a kind of epiphany. I suddenly felt like a true scholar of literature. I was making all these connections to Hobomok (the book we were reading) to Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn and Puddin Head Wilson, and then Midsummer’s Night’s Dream…and I don’t know where any of this was coming from — but that respiratory that seemed sealed shut was now finally opened and I felt myself reveling in its magic and beauty. I felt as though all my hard work had paid off and that I was suddenly flying away – flying away with only my knowledge of literature to help me rise above the clouds. For I felt so free.  

With Hobgoblin’s help, we discovered the reason why the novel was called Hobomok, and I felt like a new seed had been planted in my soul. For literature always gives me the feeling that there is always more to seek and discover and know. And when we give up this search, then we are denying ourselves from the humanity that we so heartily seek.

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as I grow older

February 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm (Uncategorized)

As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes.

It was a long time ago.

I have almost forgotten my dream.

But it was there then,

In front of me,

Bright like a sun –

My dream. 

And then the wall rose,

Rose slowly,

Slowly,

Between me and my dream.

Rose slowly, slowly,

Dimming, 

Hiding,

The light of my dream.

Rose until it touched the sky –

The wall. 

Shadow.

I am black. 

I lie down in the shadow.

No longer the light of my dream before me,

Above me.

Only the thick wall.

Only the shadow. 

My hands!

My dark hands!

Break through the wall!

Find my dream!

Help me to shatter this darkness,

To smash this night,

To break this shadow

Into a thousand lights of sun,

Into a thousand whirling dreams

Of sun!

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a tribute to a drummer boy

February 4, 2008 at 3:30 am (Uncategorized)

small-bridge.jpg

Every night, back in Ireland we would gather at a stucco yellow painted bar called The Small Bridge. Each time I walked in, I was always amazed at the small fire that blazed in the corner. Sometimes we would sit in the back near the pool tables and listen to the jukebox, but most the time we seated ourselves directly in front of the small band that would come together every night at precisely nine-thirty.  

On Mondays and Wednesdays it was the older men – one in the cowboy hat and dried, burnt looking long hair, and the other one with a face like candle wax — and during the rest of the week, it was the young, spirited boys that played, but it didn’t matter who played – music was music, beauty was beauty, sound was sound. I was so lost within the deep inspirational tunes that I forgot again and again who I was and where I was. I forgot all things except for the resonant rhythm of something that I never wanted to live without. 

As soon as the men began playing we would order a pint Bulmer’s (hard cider) from the gothic-looking lady at the bar named Irene, and we would sip that drink all night (hey it is 4. 30 Euros) and just listen and watch the band play.

My favorite was the drummer, except he played an Irish type of drum to which I forgot the name of. I don’t think we ever learned his name, but he came every night dressed in the same tweed pants and white collared shirt. He was short, thin, and had dark, almost black eyes that had a distinct fury that I admired. His nose was pointy, and his lips were tiny and somewhat refined.  I would watch him play in awe and when he would look up, our eyes would meet, and I would blush, smile, and turn away.

One night after he and his group had played, he came up to me and my friend, V. We told him that we were Americans, and that we were here for only two weeks and that we were taking a course on spirituality in the school on Florist Street. His interest seemed piqued.  I was surprised by his soft voice and the candle glow that emerged from his eyes. He told us that he had lived in France all of his life, and that he had lived in Dingle for the past nine years. I didn’t think this seemed right. I imagined this man as a native. I could see him walking up and down the streets in the morning just to hear the birds sing.

He lingered around us for awhile, and asked me if I would like to go with him to the wine bar the street. I turned to V but she was suddenly gone. I didn’t know what to do. He seemed nice, hell everyone seemed nice, but I didn’t trust him for some reason. So I went with the indecisive answer

Ummm…I don’t know…Ummm…. to wish I regret to this day. I don’t think I looked at him then. I think I turned away and left him alone. I felt horrible. I ran away.  

When I went to find my friend and told her what happened, she seemed sorrowful. Why not go Angela? I don’t know. I don’t know, I said again and again on our walk home. It was just who I was. The indecisive, insecure little girl about me will never quite leave I guess.

He wasn’t there the night after or the night after that. The poor drummer boy! Gone! 

What had I done? I was a horrible person. I’m sorry, poor drummer, if you happen to be reading this, please forgive a poor little American girl, who liked you and whose music brought her so much joy.

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a little brown bird

February 2, 2008 at 7:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Today I was walking to the library, ready to devote a day to reading and contemplation, and I saw a bird fluttering through the hallways of our school. I thought how sad! A cute little brown bird keeps racing head-front to the large windows in the corridors in hopes of an escape only to find nothing more than a specious sheet of glass. My friend and I tried and tried – for at least 15 minutes anyway – to get the bird out of the nearest door. Except he wouldn’t leave! He kept on flying past the door without any recognition that just a few feet away – lied the ends of freedom. We sadly left the bird alone, not really knowing how or what do to in order to rescue him.

But perhaps, I thought, he was happy here, and didn’t want to leave. Perhaps, he found a sense of comfort in these lemon-scented, empty Saturday morning hallways. Perhaps he knew that out there was hell. Perhaps he didn’t have any friends. Perhaps he was scared of sky.  

Except when we walked back, the little chirping bird was no where to be found. I could no longer hear his voice. But in my mind it was there, it was there and I wanted it to be. Oh, thank you little bird for reminding me why I am here.  

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seedfolks

February 2, 2008 at 7:35 pm (Uncategorized)

I am reading a book called Seedfolks for my education classes and this quote really inspired me to write my own philosophy of life.

First here is the quote:
“I walked back there that evening and checked on the beans. They’d picked themselves up and were looking fine. I saw that she’d made a circle of dirt around the other three plants. Out of nowhere the words from the Bible came into my head: ‘And a little child shall lead them.’ I didn’t know what at first. Then I did. There’s plenty about my life I can’t change. Can’t bring that dead back to life on this earth. Can’t make the world loving and kind. Can’t change myself into a millionaire. But a patch of ground in this trashy lot – I can change that. Can change it big. Better to put my time into that than moaning about the other all day. That little grammar school girl showed me that” (12).  

Here is my reaction:

Times moves. Time moves too quickly to even think about or recount. It is a sad in a way. Sad in that we control anything that happens or make people love or hate us. We can’t do anything really to change much. We only have the power to change our circle of the world, whatever sphere that might be. We must change it, change it for ourselves, for others, but mostly for others. When I look at my days, really look and examine them like Socrates once said to do, I realize that I spend most of my time talking to this person and that person and oh, that teacher or that friend. Ninety percent of my days are devoted to speaking with other people and I find such joy in this. Human interaction, I realize is the core of our existence here, for if we can reach out to other people, truly reach out for their hands, then we can say that we are truly a living people. I feel this way very strongly. I never realized it before, but for some reason I have been contemplating the questions of existence and being, and I realize that if I died tomorrow that I wouldn’t be sad at all, I’d be ready — simply because I had experienced something called life. I realized that life – oh life – exists outside of the pages of books – life exists within us, and only we have the power to unleash it.

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the ocean

February 1, 2008 at 2:20 am (Uncategorized)

The ocean is so deep and blue and lovely. I wondered what would be at the bottom, if I could swim to the depths of something, what would be there and how would I ever get there? How could I swim to the end of something? I was so scared to go alone to that place. But that is where freedom lied, and I had to get there somehow. I knew I had to. I saw something glimmering in the far distance and I wanted to chase it and hold and embrace it in the palm of my hand. I prayed to God that I would make it there. But God couldn’t hear me down here, I could barely hear my own thoughts, but somehow I pushed along. I pushed along and I didn’t know by what force other than my own two feet. I didn’t feel pain – no it wasn’t pain or sorrow or even courage – all I knew was that it wasn’t fear. No – it wasn’t fear. I wasn’t afraid! I wasn’t afraid anymore! I looked at my skin in awe. Who was I? What was I? How had I gotten to this place? I knew I had never been here before but I never wanted to home. I saw no one, but I could feel the sky within me.  You know, I never have known that freedom. I don’t know what that means. All I know is that is there in the distance, that bright shining place is something that only the ocean can offer.

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why buisness!

February 1, 2008 at 2:05 am (Uncategorized)

It feels like I haven’t written in ages. I’m sorry. What is happening to me, you may ask? And to answer your question, I honestly don’t know. I don’t know anything except what I read in books, and that has always been enough somehow. Literature has always been something that I could cling to. It is my true savior, and without it I would be so lost, so lost and sad, yet there has been other things on my mind besides literature. 

 What has been on my mind lately is something I don’t know if I should really speak about here. But I will because it’s been bothering me, like a bad thought that I just can’t get rid of. Like a thought of my mom being always so alone.  

A long time ago, well its seems like a long time, but its been about 5 weeks maybe since I met this friend who I guess is more than a friend, but still a friend at the same time. He is so consumed with business that it scares me. He goes on and on and tells me that business is his life, all he knows, it even helps him with his anxiety issues. He was on the street at 15 and he created something from nothing. I try to understand, I really do, but I then again, I really don’t. I don’t know that life. I never want to know that life.

All I could think about was my father suffered because he lived that life. It was that life that drove him away from us. It was that life that made him sad, depressed, and lonely. I told him, we’ll call him D – about my dad and he said that would never happen to him, that he would never let it get the best of him.

But I said, OK, and deep down I knew that he was lying. This person who once wrote me poetry and wore jeans just for me, was someone I didn’t know at all. We lead two different lives. I love people, I love literature and poetry and teaching. He loves business and numbers and all I have taught myself to despise.  

But still, we are similar in more ways than one. We both lie, and tell people that we are having a good day even though we are not. We both write poetry. We both like to hum. We both like to talk on the phone for hours. We both are Italian and take pride in that. But we speak different languages – his one of money, anger almost, and stress, and mine one of humility and love.

I really don’t know what I am saying, so please excuse me if I don’t make any sense, but I truly think this man is a poet. His poetry is so beautiful, it really asks me to participate in the text, and he has such raw talent.  

Can poetry save us all?  

I’ve been reading all of Langston Hughes poems and I am falling in love with his language. He is my favorite poet.  

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,

You dreamers,

Bring me all of your heart melodies

That I may wrap them

 In a blue cloud-cloth

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the world.  

Oh, how wonderful are those words? I mean what is a “heart melody”? What is a “blue cloud cloth”? Hughes writing sounds so much like music, I can’t help but hmmmmm…..while I read.

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