Friday, May 17, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The air's been growing colder, collars turned high and hats pulled low. I've given up on the dream of spring, burrowing into blankets and bracing myself for another endless chill. My neighbors hung a wind chime and it tinkles blithely beneath the grayest skies, deaf to the difference between a spring breeze and a winter wind. I suppose they move the same way.
The week before last, a friend taught me the word duende, a word for that exquisite moment of struggle between agony and joy. It's a happy that isn't flat like your palm, but tight like your fist; it's a sad that isn't a pressing down but a lifting up. It's standing at the edge of a cliff and knowing there's one step between you and that final fall, but wouldn't it feel like flying on the way down?
For three years I haven't looked a lover in the eye. There are a thousand ways to hold love at a distance from your heart; I've found them all. It's a happy that's flat like your palm; it's a sad that only weighs you down. We hold our breath, we close our eyes, we stand at the edge of the cliff and plant our feet in the crumbling soil. If we fall, at least it won't be because we tried to fly.
Posted by Laurie Stark at 1:11 PM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I walked home tonight in the thinnest coat I've worn all year, just a layer of cotton between me and the cold. It's been a long winter, gray skies and icy streets, the promise of spring fainter by the day.
When I got home, I sat on my stoop for the longest time, head on the highest step and staring at the starless sky. The sky is so round from that angle, like the top of a snow globe, like if I reached far enough I could touch where the sky ends, hand smudging the glass.
There's a special kind of lonely when you're never alone, a layer between you and anything you touch. Sometimes I wish we could break open our brains and see each other's dreams, our pain and our joy and the ways we try so hard. I wonder if we'd love each other more or if we wouldn't need love at all.
It was cold for nearly April, bare branches and snow still in piles, but there was whiskey in my blood and one layer was enough. Head back, eyes open, I looked through my snow globe at the inky, empty sky. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, a single star appeared, a pinpoint in the black, and then another, and then a hundred one by one until the sky was full of lights, shining like glitter against the glass.
Posted by Laurie Stark at 12:01 AM
Monday, March 25, 2013
The night before I cut my hair, I grieved it like a ghost. I'd spent three years growing it long and it was the color of honey and straw. I was afraid I wouldn't recognize myself.
"You don't have to cut it, you know," a friend said, "if it makes you feel so sad." But I knew that I did. Sometimes we mourn the loss of something but still need to let it go.
A month later, I look in the mirror each morning and think I can't believe I waited that long.
I'm feeling that way about a lot of things these days. Everything, almost. Goodbyes and closing doors, ends of chapters and lights turned off, open your fist and let it go. I'm swimming in the deepest ocean and the sandbar is farther than it looked. I'm treading water and wondering what it feels like to drown.
Posted by Laurie Stark at 8:50 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I turned thirty today. I always thought my twenties would be too hard to leave but you know? A decade's a mighty long time. I'm ready to say adieu.
This year was the nicest birthday I can recall. I was woken at 7 by birthday candles and a bottle of champagne, friends around the table and me in the least flattering pajamas I own. The day was filled with balloons and phone calls and unexpected kindness, chocolate-covered strawberries and the sagest advice.
I've learned a few lessons these past few days and I learned them in the right order, if that makes any sense. I am humbled and honored and so very okay. It's time to think more about loving and less about being loved.
Thirty used to sound like forever but the older I get, the younger I realize I am. I have wrinkles now, but only in the places that crease when I laugh.
Posted by Laurie Stark at 12:21 AM
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