One Year Anniversary II

We went out for sushi again, because we love sushi and could.

My husband took me to the symphony. I love that old hall. It’s a beautifully restored historical building.

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One Year Anniversary I

Went out for sushi again. We love that freaking restaurant so much.

Last night my husband took me out for sushi and udon to kick off our anniversary weekend. The food was so pretty.

My Best Girl (After 8 Glasses of Wine)

I Believe it was Nathan Hawthorne that said the quote “write drunk and edit sober.” I assure you tonight I intend to only do half of his instructions so tomorrow we are both surprised by what I write.

Tonight my husband and I watched a film that he bought me for our one year anniversary (on Sunday) and polished off a bottle of wine (which I certainly feel like I had more of then he did). The film was Mame. One of my favorite musicals, only because I have only ever listened to the music from the original Broadway cast and I have never actually watched any rendition of the actual musical it’s self. Until tonight that is.

I am an avid fan of musicals. Like, in a weird way. I know a lot of people have a hard time with them, but since most of us grew up loving Disney movies (which are basically animated musicals) I cannot express how saddening it is to know how few people in the world actually enjoy a good musical.

For those of you who do not enjoy musicals…I’m so sorry you’re dead inside.

Since I was little my parents had always made sure I watched anything musical they could get their hands on. From Disney films, to their sing-along-song collection, to musicals, hymns, and anything else that could be sung, it was all handed to me without further explanation. I had grown up in a musical family. My father had a bachelors in music theory and to this day is often paid to sing at weddings and funerals alike simply because he is so highly recommended in the community as a talented singer. My mother was also very talented, though not a very well advertised, singer being able to range from first alto, to first soprano before she had her thyroid removed to prevent a potential cancer which left her an alto for the last 4 years.

I myself, was once a  first soprano in high school choirs and usually asks to perform many solos. Though I hardly know what I am now since I have not actually sung in a choir or a show since high school.

Tonight I brought my husband to tears as I sung one of my favorite songs from Mame to him, to which he remarked “I often forget what a talented vocalist you are,” as he wiped away his tears, and I wiped them from my own eyes at the emotion brought to my own heart from the lyrics I sang to him, feeling every bit of them as I sang them.

Unlike my talented father, I have never been able to remove myself from the emotion of music. It is why my father has even been asked to perform at family funerals. He is able to completely detach his ability to sing from his emotions in a  way that I simply couldn’t. I’ve never been able to sing songs that I felt deeply in my heart without faltering in some kind of deeply felt emotion. I have never had the talent of the profession as he was taught. When my father taught me to sing, he had little to do with my talent. He only taught me to sing what I felt, and never took advantage of this ability to feel what I was singing. I don’t know that being able to separate yourself from the emotions of a piece while expressing it all at once was able to be taught, and yet, in his kindness, he spared it from me. Because he knew that I was not a person who’s talent came from being able to sing from teaching, but from feeling. It was a natural talent that didn’t need further cultivating. One he never drove out of me, but one I never intended to use other than at church on Sunday in the congregation.

It was my mother, when I was in high school who wanted me to use it. So she got me in the church youth band as the lead singer, and in that time we did so many church visits that I finally had to have a nervous breakdown over the things I sang before she understood how deeply I felt music when I sang it and understood that in my few years from childhood to teenager, I and become an introvert.

To this day, I have a very hard time singing in church because I had practically burned myself out on singing after that. Yet around the house I often find myself singing and humming to myself alone. Usually numbers from musicals. More often however, old hymns that most generations of church goers don’t even know exist.

My husband’s tearful reaction to my singing reminded me of the talent I often forgot to use. The one that I felt I had burned out so long ago, only to use again as I sang “My Best Girl” to him on the couch. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed singing. How much I enjoyed sharing my emotions through music, and how much I had wished I hadn’t given it up, nearly altogether.

Dry

It’s not about

If the glass is half empty

Or half full

The point is

There is enough to swallow

That will not let

Your lips and throat go dry

“Never apologize for how you feel.”

But I still will.

Not because I am

ashamed of feeling,

but because I know all feelings are tainted

by perception.

What is perception,

but a tainting of its own?

A blackening of

my own flaws.

Dipped in

miscommunication and

worse yet

emotions founded on

brokenness and mortality

fleeting deceptions and

a biased will.

I will apologize,

because in the end

it may have been I

who was wrong.

Confession

When I was younger, I wanted desperately to be the kind of woman that people noticed for all the right reasons, if I were to be noticed at all.

I wanted to be a muse. The kind artists wrote of, painted, and photographed.

Now, I’m lucky if I go out to do anything. I’m lucky if I get to go out and dress up and look pretty. I’m lucky if I ever feel pretty at all. No amount of likes on a selfie can change my mind even if I wanted it to. It is seldom that I look in mirrors and am satisfied with the result. The days I do feel satisfied are usually days I spend a lot of time to look that way.

My husband always tells me he thinks I’m gorgeous. I wish I believed him more often than not. I don’t always find myself “beautiful” or “sexy” or even think I’m close to being “hot.” I’ve known myself to be “cute” if anything. A round face and my father’s big eyes to thank for that, but most of the time I don’t think I’m any of those things at all. I’m no Helen of Troy. I’m no Aphrodite.

I’m not even close to a muse.

I don’t know any woman who really loves the way she looks all the time, and I wish I could say I was an exception. Because I don’t want to be that way. I want to love myself and to see the beauty that others tell me I have. I want to be beautiful inside and out, and most of the time I’m not even sure I’m either of those things.

There are plenty of days I wish I was less “Marilyn Monroe” (as my father calls it) in my body type and a little more “Audrey Hepburn” in my features. I wish my hair was less frizzy and more manageable. I wish I wasn’t so childish looking, but more womanly so as to be called “beautiful” instead of  “cute.” I wish I could put on dresses and gowns and look like a woman and not a child playing dress-up. I wish I could wear street clothes and not be mistaken for a teenager or ignored by sales people because I look too young to be shopping without my mom. I wish people wouldn’t look so shocked when I tell them I’m married because I look “Too young to be married.”

I just want to be thought of as beautiful. A muse. An inspiration. A woman. A kind woman. Because most days I don’t feel like I can inspire even that much.

Breath

And in each breath

She felt a sense of loss

Like each release was

A little more

Slipping away

Her lungs betrayed her

A crude prison she made

A vicious cycle

Of capturing air

Just to let it take

A little more life away

When she willingly

And daringly

Chose to let it go

The Map

The map indicated it was from 1880 and showed the landscape I was far too familiar with by now. The two rivers encircled the small island dotted with buildings I knew still stood and buildings that were no more. The streets were artistically flourished with small horses and buggies and I looked at the buildings straining to recall what they once were.

We had been working on a project for our company owner for about 2 days when I came upon the map. We were researching a company we and partnered with that had been there for 110 years, and as a ‘thank you’ for an over 50 year relationship with them, we took it upon ourselves to make a collage of images to be printed on glass with articles and images of their establishment to the present. In our findings we found a lot of former images of our own company and community, which is where I stumbled upon the lithograph in an online database of our community.

As I studied the map further, I saw the building that was now the Mexican Restaurant my husband and I frequent for margaritas. Formerly a bank, then a general store I think, though have no proof of, just a general hunch based off the configuration of the building and the way the two floors are set up. I saw the fishing shack where the McDonalds now stood by the river. The harbor had only a single lift bridge, and the other bridge was not even built by then. Actually nearly 3 bridges were not build at that time, which astounded me considering how large the community had been even then. All they had was the cart bridge and the railway bridge, which had not even been finished by that time. There lay a railroad along the shoreline where the highway now nestled and showed an isthmus that was now much larger than it had been then by man-made means. I stared at it for a long time looking in the direction my home would be, and saw nothing but trees and hills dotting the, then, undeveloped landscape.

Now there is a church on that hill, along with a water tower and a building that had once been the hospital my younger sister passed away in her infancy, and my younger brother was born in afterward. That hospital was now a series of apartments, which I suspect are probably haunted from the many souls that may have died there (which is why I never looked at them back when I was looking for apartments to live in). A block away was the baseball field and Picnic Hill, that was called Nick’s Prick Hill by my mother and her siblings, because often cops would be pulling horny teenagers off one another up there when she was a child. Another set of apartments nestled in the woods there now, making it harder for nefarious things to happen up there, though they still happened.

The shoreline in the map looked very different. Where there was now a family beach well developed with a band shell and confection stand, there was nothing but sharp sand grass all the way to the water edge. Somewhat alien and european looking at the foot of a large hill or dune that had clearly been cut into to place the house development that now stood there since the 60s. Most of the houses in that area were from that era with a couple that were built around the 1880s still lingered there by the harbor. I could see their outlines well enough. I saw where the fishing village was as well, hardly a series of shacks along the river by the mouth where the two rivers met. Now it was the fisherman’s village museum and and a lovely boardwalk that was refurbished in the 1990s and then again in the early 2000s. Now fisherman for the local fish market parked their boats there along with the few who could afford such exclusive boat parking during the summers.

Now I lived here, in this time warp of a town resting along the shores of Lake Michigan. Working in a time warp of a company established since the 1920s, with a building that’s original foundation was built long before the map I found was created. There I was, letterpress printer and graphic designer caught between the history and the modern. The old soul with young blood, as my mother calls me. Living the past as well as I moved into the future.

Friday to Saturday

It was in the hours of that morning that I sat listening to thunder overhead. The office was warm while I kept the door closed and I found myself quite alone. Finally.

He was upstairs on third taking product photographs soon to leave for the day, and she did not come in on Fridays usually, but perhaps for a couple of hours as necessary. Today she didn’t come at all, and I found myself entirely alone. Peace and quiet amidst my design work. Read more