Friday, May 31, 2013


I don't believe in fate. I haven't for a while. Probably since my dad got all burned up in a fire. After that, the people who didn't know how to say a simple "I'm sorry" would say something along the lines of: "everything happens for a reason". To which, I wanted to stab them in the face and, with a witty smile, ask them "what was the reason for that?"

I know it helps people to think that every tiny detail is organized by a supreme being who has everything in order. It doesn't help me. I've never really enjoyed being micromanaged. Not to mention, how unrealistic it all is.

Imagine with me for a moment that there IS an all good, all ruling, just being who has the ENTIRE world (or universe, you know, whatever) to be in charge of... and this entity is going to care about "blessing this food to my body" when millions of people are starving? It's going to care about my grieving heart after the death of one person when people all over are getting massacred? It's going to care about me landing the job I want when poverty is pulling people under down the street, across this nation, all over world? Can we be anymore selfish?

So, we've got my stance established.

But here's what I want to say: Just because I believe that fate is an ill-designed fantasy - that doesn't mean that when tiny, lucky moments present themselves, that I'm not excited by the fact of what can happen with them. Just because every detail wasn't written eons ago by god, that doesn't mean good things can't happen. Because good things can.

And good things will.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'll Keep This World From Dragging Me Down

I keep making deals with myself.

"Pay this bill then clean the house, ok? Run to the library then clean the house. Listen: if you clean 2 rooms, you can watch a Star Gate. Write a blog post THEN clean the house. Clean the house then you can go on a bike ride. Clean a few rooms and read your library books. Start at 12n. Well, just start and be done by 3. Do this and get FroYo later." And so on.

Listen, I know I'm lazy. Also, irresponsible. And, while I'm at it, I'm messy.

But, I'm happy right now, so it's hard to wash the dishes and scrub the toilet when I just want to marinate in this feeling. It's familiar. It's waking up at my nena's house. It's excitedly anticipating. It's *just* buying Season 5 of The X-Files. It's Architecture In Helsinki with the windows down. It's right after my first rock and roll show. It's seeing a Common Loon dive for the first time. And so on. And so on.

So, I'll start cleaning the house after I have a tiny dance party in honor of how things are going. Okay? Deal?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

tell it to me slowly

Yesterday, a friend sent me a picture of a dead bird. "What is it?" the text message asked. I wanted to respond: "a goddamned tragedy", but instead "cedar waxwing" is what I said.

I know where I was when I saw one for the first time. I know where I was when I heard of one for the very first time. And then, there it was, right in front of my face - seeing one with a broken neck for the very first time.

There's something here about life and death. There's something everywhere about life and death.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I don't care: I love it

I had a revelation today. Basically, it goes like this: if I'm unhappy - it's on to the next one. I bet you want a little back story, huh?

Yesterday, I was offered another job. Like, she called me. She said, "The whole office voted," she said. She said, "We all want you." Well, anyway, this is troubling because I just accepted a position at that little, local winery right west on 24. The problem is: I want both. And I want school. And I want time to be a real life person. And I want to be able to eat this summer. But I also want to play backyard games and get stupid sweaty and really drunk with a shuttlecock in my hand, at least 2x a week, you know? Is that too much to ask? (probably.)

And let's face it, what a great problem to have. I totally recognize this, and please, don't hate me for stewing... but no worries, because me? Well..

I've made up my mind and it goes something like this: I can do whatever I want. And I damn well intend to.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

You Belong With Me

Can you even believe I learned how to water ski in a cove named Lick Run? And a few years later, my Papa taught me to slalom in a bight we call Paradise. My dad caught his last catfish in the green waters across from Message Beach. Kingfishers nest off of Hummingbird Hill and the most coveted arm of our lake, of course, is Cell Point.

The hills above Indian Creek were bought by an old man who cleared the trees, promptly died and now his estate is all for sale. Cedar Hill Marina sells the best deep fried pickles. Wolf River Cliffs tested my guts every year until someone banged his head and died. The Milky Way trail and meteor showers make my brain explode out in the middle of this lake.

This lake belongs to me like my gray shirt belongs to me. But also, like the universe belongs to me. The summer my dad died, we wondered if it'd be a place of grief. It was, but the water cleaned our wounds. We wondered, this winter, if this summer would be different because my nena's health - but we're anticipating the clear water to work it's magic. It will. We know it will.

The limb lines will hang after the fisherman chore the shore. The slate rocks will lay until we pick them up. Poison Ivy will eat up our flesh. The sun will bake us. And we will drink Grey Goose in our orange juice and Bailey's in our coffee and listen to Billy Joel loudly.

And even though it's just a summer place, Dale Hollow water pumps through all the Andersons' bodies. We know the lake like we know ourselves.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I broke free on a Saturday morning

Do you remember how in a few days I am leaving my job at the library? Do you also remember that I'm so happy, but also so sad? It's this weird juxtaposition I don't know how to handle - I'm doing a lot of crying, but it's self-inflicted, so, please, don't feel bad. (Except, I'm sure you wouldn't anyway.)

Unlike everything in my life thus far, I'm going to allow this transition the grieving it deserves. It's a change. It's allowed to tear my heart into tiny bits of paper. It's also allowed to make me climb on my roof and scream the Hallelujah chorus. But, as I'm typing this non-linear thought-blog, let me just say: Can you even fucking believe life? I mean it. Can you?

Because I can't.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Meet me everywhere

In college, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Typical personality inventory, right? Except I had to take it twice because my E (for extrovert) was 99%. It gave me career choices like Social Worker, Teacher, Retail and Food Service. Got it. What it didn't tell me: You will most likely be a little... well, unbalanced.

On a very related note, my social wrap-up after nearly 30 years: Sometimes you're a part of stuff, other times not.
(I had to stop seeing my counselor. Can you tell?)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Said Things I Meant to Say

My papa tends to things in a way no-one else can.

He is making bat houses this spring. He raises worms. He feeds his birds. His flower garden is unparalleled. He adopts stray cats. He heals my heart whenever I'm anxiously sad. He makes sure his wife doesn't forget her evening pills. He is attentive when anyone is speaking. He loves to watch a good game of ping pong and always cheers for the winner. He might disagree, but it's always respectfully. He compliments servers. He sends me newspaper articles he thinks pertain to me. He lectures about life lessons (I listen).

He shares what he has - all the way from his worm-tea to bean dip to space on his houseboat in the summer, any summer. He fixes things, and paints things, and hangs things for my nena. He knows just when to hug me. He says the phrase, "grab and growl" before any meal. Sometimes, if we pray, he says: "So mote it be" at the end (which might be a freemason thing, but who knows? more importantly, who cares?) He listens to the Babs. He taught me to water-ski, to cry in public, to drive, to shoot free throws, to be kind and most importantly, to be happy no matter my circumstances.

I'm still really working on that last one. I suppose that's one that comes with age.

Have I told you lately that, basically, I'm the person I am because of him? I'm sure my dad was just like him - I never got a chance to know that. But if I'm anything, it's lucky. And loved.