Thursday, February 21, 2013
And now I wait.
At 9:05, my phone rings. It says, "UNKNOWN." With my heart in my throat, I put the headphones in my ears and answer the call.
His name is David Hanson, and he's on speaker phone because someone named Phil is joining the interview. I'm not sure who Phil is, he's sitting too far away from the phone and it's hard to hear him so he doesn't say much. I take a minute to have a silent flail about the fact that I'm talking on the phone right now to someone in England, and then I'm calm again. Weirdly calm. I know that's not me, it's the blessing made manifest.
Hanson asks me about the degree I have from SUU. I tell him, being sure to talk up my film and playwriting classes. This is, after all, a Master's in Writing for Screen and Stage. He asks about my job, and seems genuinely fascinated by what I do. We talk about that for a minute, then he and Phil take me through the general workings of the degree. I already know everything they're telling me, it was all in the documents they sent over, but I listen attentively and take notes anyway.
16 June 2014. That'll be the day.
The more I hear about the degree, the more I want to do it. I tell Hanson this. I need to convey to them just how much I want it. He asks if I someday want to settle in London, and if I've ever been there before. I tell them the story of my first few days in London, how different I felt from the rest of my classmates because I already knew London was my home.
They tell me I sound like a good candidate. A good candidate! That's better than I'd hoped for. We say our goodbyes and end the call. I flail some more.
I feel different, yet familiar. It's different because it doesn't belong here, in this place. It's familiar because it feels like home. Emma notices. I'm not sure what to do with it.
And now I wait some more.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I've never cried like that before... I'm not sure how I know, but it was somehow different. Fat tears rolling down my face, the kind of crying I've only ever seen in cartoons - Simba comes to mind, just after his father's death. Fat tears like those ones. But happier.
The blessing said that I should be happy and understanding, no matter the outcome of the interview. That scared me. It's not the first time I've heard wording like that, "What's supposed to happen will happen." I don't want what's supposed to happen, I want what I want to happen.
But then he said that if I prayed specifically for the outcome I want, I'll get it. He actually said that. So that's what I've been doing, in my mind and out loud.
He said Grandma Mollie was on my side. She would be, wouldn't she? She was a writer too. I always forget because I was only nine when she died. But I do have one specific memory of her sitting in a folding chair by the trampoline, yellow legal pad on her lap.
I'm not afraid anymore. I feel almost weirdly calm, actually. But I still think I'll fall asleep upside-down on my bed so I can watch TV until I fall asleep. It keeps me from thinking too much, makes it a lot easier to fall asleep.
I’m so nervous. I’m freezing and my stomach hurts and everything on my insides wants to be on my outsides.
I need to remember not to giggle. Or fidget. Or talk too much. I always talk too much. I always try to answer the question before they’ve asked it. Maybe that’s my problem, why I can never find a job. I need to be more professional.
I wish I was doing the interview in person. The fact that it’s via telephone is nerve-wracking. I want to see who I’m talking to. I want to know who they are, what they look like.
Oh my stomach hurts. I don’t want to be sick, it’s such a waste of time and energy. No wonder I was so thin last winter.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this. Maybe so if I actually do get in, I’ll have something to talk about, something to blog about, a reason to be inspired.
I need to find another job. I’ve been looking. I would love to work in the mall, or someplace where I can do something, unlike what I do now. Too much sitting around.
I haven’t told very many people about my application. I’ve told even less about the actual interview. I’m so afraid I’ll jinx it somehow. I’m afraid I’ll let them down. If I tell everyone and then I don’t get in, it’s just that many more people I have to tell, “I didn’t make it.” I don’t want to have to tell them that.
I’ve been meaning to write a poem. Something about stars. I don’t know what I would write about though.
Why is it so cold in my room? Well, at least it’s not snowing yet.
I feel like everything I’ve ever wanted is riding on this interview tomorrow. I want nothing, nothing more than to move to London, to have a reason to. And I’m terrified about what will happen to me if I don’t. What will become of me if I don’t make it? I wish I could talk myself out of putting my every last hope on this.
I’ll do some yoga tonight, and tomorrow morning I’ll have dad give me a blessing. And I’ll pray. And I’ll read through the documents, get as much information as I can. That’s what I can do.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Thursday, February 2, 2012
- Not that I've noticed.
- I don't think so.
- Your cheeks are rosy, it's very difficult to answer that question! I don't really know if you are embarrassed that often around me. But my first response it to say no, you don't blush when you're embarrassed. But I definitely do, so that makes me want to say that you do.
- Yeah. You do. But you also have natural blush.
- Sometimes yes. Why?
- Your breathing changes and you clench your teeth more than blush, but there is still a slight color change. Then again it could just be that I haven't seen you in extremely embarrassing circumstances.
- Umm, depends on the level of embarrassment. You generally don't get embarrassed around me, so...
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I had deja vu watching this clip.
People sometimes give me grief for loving Johnny - he's so old, he's a drinker, all thetattoos, etc - but he is very talented, deep, and wise beyond his years (well...).
He's always learning from the people he encounters. He doesn't just meet someone or work with someone and move on. He learns from them, he takes their wisdom and lives with it.
He loves his family, more than anything. It's clear the way he talks about them, or doesn't talk about them, how much he loves, and respects, and wants to protect his family.
I love this man - not because he's beautiful on the outside (which he definitely is), but because he's beautiful on the inside.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Lying on the cold concrete,
A flannel blanket folded beneath my head,
A thermos of hot coffee in my hands.
The darkness of the heavens stretch above me,
Dotted through with burning, white-hot stars,
Each the size of a pinprick.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
When was the beginning of the universe,
and where will it end?
What is the destiny of mankind?
A flannel blanket folded beneath my head,
Lying on the cold concrete,
I contemplate my own insignificance.
Not made for this world.
Brilliant, otherworldly shades of azure and magenta.
Swirling about in a rage of heat and pressure.
That beauty is not of this world,
It is too great, too terrible for humanity to behold.
Better to observe at a distance –
If viewed too closely,
Such terrible beauty could annihilate the human race.
I’d forgotten how cold it is before sunrise.
Sitting here on this cold, hard, blue plastic slide,
Waiting for the sun to make its slow way over the horizon.
My camera is ready, my compass is set,
But still, everything is grey.
The frost sparkles on the grass.
The horizon becomes too bright to look at,
But still, everything is grey.
I keep waiting.
I keep watching.
A sliver of gold.
Warmth on my face.
I always knew it was,
I’d read about it,
Seen photos of it,
Even seen video footage of it.
But until I looked through the telescope myself,
And saw it up there in the blackness,
Suspended in face with its four Gallilean moons,
Two red equatorial bands and all:
Seeing the vastness –
We can’t be the only ones
In this universe.
Eternal void overhead,
Gravity keeps me.
Lighting the darkness,
Billions of miles away,
Tiny burning suns.
In the endless night,
Streaks of light across the sky –
Pre-dawn, all is still,
The grass glittering with frost,
Steely grey-blue sky.
The sun is rising,
Flash of gold on the mountains –
Sun in the window,
Looking through a spectograph –
Rainbow on the wall.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
VAN GOGH’S SUNFLOWERS
Mom always wanted a copy of this painting.
Yellow, she said, was her favourite colour.
The golden sunflowers droop, full blown over the lip of the saffron vase,
Arching towards the olive tabletop.
Set against an icterine background,
The yellows are dull yet hopeful,
And stenciled in cerulean on the vase, a name:
THE PARTHENON MARBLES
I have not often contemplated eternity in a block of stone.
Scenes of glory and bloodshed,
Etched, erased and preserved by the hands of masters:
Sculptors, time, historians.
With Keats before me and millions after,
I write to create, to preserve.
And we hope that one day our work will be as precious.
Zeus dominates the skyline,
His rod of lightning stretching every higher.
Poseidon rules in the Thames,
Quenching the thirst of the metropolis.
Hades blows his foul hot breath through the tunnels of the Underground.
“It took no practiced eye to see at a glance
that the Londoner was different…”
Sixty-seven years ago
These words were written about a time
Three-hundred and fifty years before.
Another time, an older age,
As true today as ever.
The Londoner is quick but unhurried,
Busy but not frantic.
She spends her leisure in the shops, in the streets, in the park –
Shopping, socializing, sunbathing – when the weather permits.
She is call, collected, cool,
Even in the face of the pushing, sultry, sweaty crowds aboard the evening Tube.
She has learned not just to survive, but how to live in her world of speed and quickness.
She is who I want to see in the mirror.
THE ENGLISH VOICE
The English voice
Is at once softer and more harsh than its American cousin.
Clipped consonants, rounded vowels,
The sound of eloquence to my untrained ears.
The sound of drama, conditioned by the BBC,
At once soothing and frightening,
Strange and familiar.
PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN LADY
High on the wall
In a great gilt frame
She sits by her window,
Her raven hair curling over one bair shoulder.
Her gown of brown and blue is simple,
Different from the others Peter Lely has painted:
Barbara Palmer, the Countess of Castlemaine,
Frances Stewart, the Duchess of Richmond,
The mistresses of Charles the Second.
But her face is the same as theirs,
Her hair coiffed à la mode in Lely’s familiar style.
She could be Moll Davis or Nell Gwynne,
But there’s no way to tell –
Lely’s faces all look the same.
An impassable labyrinth of asphalt and cobblestone.
It will reach you from across the world,
And pluck you out of your comfortable suburban life
And consume you.
Spires of steel, glass, and chrome,
The skyscrapers look soft against the jagged iron and Gothic sandstone of churches
And fluttering over all, the Union Jack.
You will wander,
And just when you think you’ve found your way
You realize you’re lost.
Eventually you’ll get out,
And you’ll return home,
But you will never escape.
You will never be free.
----EAST COAST LINE
Faster and faster,
Pulling us forward in one long, straight line
Until we reach our destination,
Pulling us inexorably forward,
And we cannot return.
The rail lines cross the country in every direction –
North, South, East, West –
And we travel blindly
Not knowing that we can never return to the exact place from whence we left.
Past the windows of the train,
Farms, villages, castles, the North Sea.
Slide projections of our lives,
Snapshots of memory
Seen for an instant and gone forever.
Dappled earthen floor,
Shadows in the shape of aspen and oak leaves.
This is a place of magic.
Robin and his merry men once ran here.
Still I hear their whispers
Echoed by the shifting branches overhead.
In a forest as old as the world
And green as anything,
Wet under an eternally gray sky,
I sip coffee and contemplate my own insignificance,
And the oak trees drop rainwater on my head.
Sidewalk of Baker Street
All twenty-six shades of grey,
Sticking to my shoe.
On the Way to the Station
A touch on my head,
Unexpected in grey light:
Early morning bird poop.
Warm bodies press close,
The humid breath of hundred
Fills the Underground.
Baker Street Station
The stench of years past
In Underground’s unmoving air –
Coal dust in my eye.
Untouched for centuries,
Growing and green in the city,
Stretch of wilderness.
Laying in bed,
Hazy moon in the window.
Last day in London.
The twelfth day of May,
Six pounds and seventeen steps,
Three rooms in 221B.
Mecca in a three-room flat
Crammed impossibly full
Of reality mixed with dreams.
Tourists, worshippers, disciples
Cross the world to visit this place.
The table set for two--
Ignored in favor of the old violin
And the softly simmering test tubes on the table in the corner.
The smell of tobacco, formaldehyde, and rain
Has been smothered by the sell of cross trainers and perfume,
But the rooms remain untouched,
Everything in its rightful place,
Just as shrines are wont to be.
Is there really such a thing as reality?
Surely not here.
Not here where Robin ran,
Where Harry hunted,
Where Sherlock sleuthed.
Existed only in stories.
TWO MONTHS LATER
The last night,
Standing on the corner of Marylborn and York Gate.
The sky overhead looked like water,
Blue and shaded, rippled by the wind.
Cars streamed by, red and white lights a blur in the darkness.
I tried to memorize every detail –
The cool evening breeze,
The way the air smells of grass and water and petrol,
The rushing silent sound of city traffic.
But even now it’s just a memory.
Was I ever really there?