Monday, August 9, 2010

reality began to sink in today.

she’s leaving.  not on vacation or a three hour tour.  she’s actually packing up her things and moving to another state.

i wonder if she knows how much i will miss her.

i wonder if she knows how much i truly care about her and want her to succeed.

i wonder if this will break us.  i hope it doesn’t.

i haven’t really broached the subject with her, and, in some ways, i’m sorry for that.  it’s a self-preservation thing, really.  i like to be strong—even when i’m not.

i’ve mentioned it in passing—“how are the plans coming?” or “are you getting everything packed?”—asking, but not fully realizing what the responses mean.

my sister left me in high school.  she packed her things and moved away.  i missed her like crazy and saw her as much as i could.

my best friend left me in college.  he packed his things in boxes and left to begin a new life somewhere else.  i was heartbroken.

now she’s leaving.  this girl who gets me in some way that i’m not entirely sure i understand.  this girl who is so entirely different than me.  this girl who has literally grown up before my eyes in the seven years we’ve known one another.  this girl i am immensely proud to call my friend.

as she packs up the boxes that contain her material life, i hope she knows how much i care about her.  i hope she realizes that while she is reading, learning, and kicking-ass in a city far away, her presence will be missed.  that cafĂ© brazil, beth marie’s, and booked up just won’t have the same kind of appeal without her.  that i’m so proud, yet profoundly sad.

sometimes i wish that we could pause time, rewind it a ways.  be those wide-eyed undergrads, confident of the futures that lay ahead for them.  rewind to cool beans--those smart-mouthed grad students having a drink after class at the college bar—bitching about some professor or arguing over who studies the better literature.  rewind to glen rose—all day spent exploring wild animals and dinosaurs.  rewind to sleepovers—playing games and watching movies all night, then crocheting all day.  rewind to archer city—exploring antique books while snow twirls in the cold winter breeze.  rewind to movie night—meeting each other for a drink, dinner, and a movie, not caring what we were seeing, but enjoying each others’ company.  i wish we could rewind. 

but we can’t.

all we can do is give in to time as it marches steadily past us.  give in to the changes that inevitably occur.  this is one of those changes.

she will go.  she will make new friends, new discoveries, have new local dives.

we will endure.  we will still see each other, still talk, still come together for pizza and glee night.

it won’t be the same.  it will be new.  there will be adjustment.  but we can endure.

we have to endure; for ours is a bond that few can fathom.  we don’t make sense to a whole lot of people, but we understand each other.  and that can be enough.

to erin:  i love you, am so very proud of you, will miss you like crazy, and promise to continue to work at this thing we call friendship.

Monday, August 2, 2010

my latest favorite.

while compiling a collection of poetry for my students, i ran across this little number by elizabeth alexander. you know, the woman who wrote this.

i love it. i think it's fantastic. so i'm sharing it with you.

“Ars Poetica #100: I Believe”
Elizabeth Alexander

Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry

is where we are ourselves,
(though Sterling Brown said

“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I’”)
digging in the clam flats

for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.

Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,

overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way

to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)

is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.

Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,

and are we not of interest to each other?