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Feb. 12th, 2009

Yay for selling Vagina Monologues tickets.

All things come to an end. I intuitively and intellectually understand that, and my rational, independent self can accept that. But that's just some far-off, ambiguous thing, it doesn't actually happen. That, however, is a lie. It does happen, it is happening, and when you see that period at the end of your proverbial sentence rapidly approaching, it hits you - hard - it knocks the wind out of you. And no matter how much you tell yourself it's okay, or that it's not actually real, or that you ca delay it - you're lying to yourself. And that realization, that knowledge, is numbing, it's completely destructive - nothing else matters and you can't be bothered to do anything except fight it. In doing so, however, you're only exacerbating the situation, pouring salt into a rapidly deepening wound - you're spiraling out of control.

And as much as you say that you don't care about th distance or the time or the pain - you do. Even if you believe you can wait, that this can work and that you're willing to endure, you really know, deep down, that you're lying to make yourself and those involved feel better. To delay the inevitable "it's over."

So how much longer will this continue? How much longer are you going to deceive before you finally break and ruin everything anyway?

Dec. 9th, 2008

T-11

In my fear of what being forced into my old life will be like, I lash out with anger, bitterness, hostility, anxiety; I exaggerate my emotions to cope with that fear, to attempt to blindside it out of existence. And in doing so, I exacerbate the resistance I feel, the excitement, the cascade of other emotions – some nameless – which are enveloping me in these last weeks before I return to where I became who I am, where I lived for 18 years.

Oct. 3rd, 2008

Fall.

Eyes raised to the grey sky,
I wait for the drops to fall
to wash away the grime of loneliness
and leave clean my skin for a new day.

The biting cold is refreshing
a pain I want to feel
need to feel
to be alive, to suffer my lows
and revel in my heights.


I am a feeler in a city of escapists
Choosing to live everything
at the risk of having nothing
rather than missing those moments that make life real
to feel less, to see less, to be less.

Random writing.

The bell of her alarm goes off at seven every morning. Rather than being the vaguely obnoxious welcome to a new day of a new life it once was, for some time now it had been yet another reminder of yet another day in her six week old new life. To spite the day, she hits the snooze button at least twice; rolling over and sinking further into the sheets and warm down comforter that cover her bed. Usually, she is dreaming about him, and isn't ready to say goodbye yet. Those last few moments before sleep ends are the only time they have together, and she doesn't want to waste them on eighteen extra minutes of morning prep time.

Some days, like today, she ignores her alarm entirely, and allows herself to become enveloped by the lingering smell left on her one item of his clothing. She imagines, for just a little while, that she's not really gone, and that he's really just gotten out of bed or gone to get some coffee. Then the jarring sound of her alarm and the sun shining through her black-out blinds (That don't actually black out much of anything in the morning) force her to face reality: he is not here, she is still gone, and it's still October. So she rolls out of bed, throwing aside her covers and gently laying her dreams down under her pillow for later that night.

Most days she showers, though depending on how late or lazy she is, sometimes she'll just put her hair up and try to appear presentable. The morning ritual is nothing exciting: brush teeth, wash face, put on some lotion, add makeup, pretend to rein in crazy hair, maybe add some jewelry, get dressed, check e-mail, water plant, pack school bag, grab coffee and croissant, walk to class. Most days she eats alone on the way to class, but there are still those days where her friend bangs on her door and forces her to be social, which is probably a good thing.

Classes are largely uneventful. Occasionally she'll make a contribution, but generally she sits as the quiet observer of those around her. The walks between classes and from campus to her dorm are, at times, the best part of her day. Life seems so vibrant, and so simultaneously dulled and blurred that it intrigues her, paradox and all. The leaves begin to turn, children and parents walk to ballet, couples guide each other through the city turmoil, a bum sits on the corner begging for change, coffee shop life ebbs and flows, buses and bikers rush past. These days, swirls of wind stir up leaves and trash, reminding her of the biting chill in the air and the deceptive warmth of the sun. Slowly, the earth is preparing itself for hibernation as she watches the days pass from her window above the city.

Evenings are spent trying to focus on work: reading after reading seems to slide by under her vision; retention at a minimum. Even the breaks in the routine have become routine themselves: the weekly shows she watches with her friends are now little more than a blip in the radar. She never sleeps at a decent hour, choosing instead to talk to him, to read, or to catch up with people from home.

Then again, every day, the routine begins again. Despite its sameness, something about the rhythm makes the days seem shorter, and time seem to move faster. The close of every day adds another X to her wall, and brings her twenty four hours closer to the day she will disembark in PDX, and finally be home again.

The weekends are a perfect respite from the mundane and times where she allows herself to see the people she is surrounded by as ghosts of her former life. She finds comfort here, in fitting in and feeling at home; in finding people with ambitions and interests and desires akin to her own. They don't need alcohol or a party (social lubricants) to have fun, but rather they enjoy each others company.

This is not to say that she does not miss her friends who were a part of her life and her identity for so long. Or that he is not constantly in the back of her mind. She keeps him tucked away there so that when she is lonely, he is there to be a comfort, or when she needs to remember to tell him a funny joke or experience, his memory will remind her. But there is not room for constant sadness in this new life. There is only room for love, for acceptance, for patience, and for hope. And these are the things that she carries with her each day, as beacons against the loneliness, the fear, and the doubt.

Sep. 7th, 2008

Why?

I haven’t had that moment yet where everything just clicks. There have been no epiphanies or shining lights that have made me feel as if McGill is where I really belong. It’s a beautiful city, a great school, and an amazing opportunity. But those things don’t make it for me here. I just don’t feel as if I belong here. Every day I am here I am reminded of Portland, of my friends, of my family, in ways that make me wish I’d never left; make me wonder why I did.
I don’t feel like I chose here for the right reasons. I feel like I chose to come to McGill because the reasons were ones I wanted to be true for me, rather than actually saw as true; were ones that Cris and Brad pressured me into believing, and I completely fell for it. So now, here I am 3000 miles away from home, in a city where I don’t speak the language, with few new close friends, two old ones who I hardly see, and alone in my sentiments. I don’t want to be the lame kid, like a few others on my floor even, who is ready to go home so quickly. But unless it gets better here as the term goes on, I don’t think I’ll be staying at McGill for the entire year, even if that means I move in with my parents and don’t attend school again until next fall.
I left everything I love behind for essentially nothing. I left the man I love because I was too blind to see what we were becoming, I left my closest friends, just to discover that I couldn’t live without them here, I left my family who spent months trying to convince me to stay because they love me and don’t want me so far away.
My biggest fear is how people will judge me if that’s the case. And I know it’s irrational and at least I will have tried, but it would still be hard to cope with not knowing what others really thought. Also, what happens if I do transfer home, and by then, Edgar and I are completely over? How awkward would that be? After all of the drama that we went through when I went away, to have me come home when it’s too late?

May. 28th, 2008

Dear Ms. Adams

Ms. Adams,


We can understand your point of view, but we are again going to reiterate, echoed by our peers, how much we completely disagree with it.


We would like to think, that after four years, you would understand that we, as seniors, are responsible enough to be able to conduct ourselves in a manner becoming of our maturity level. Teachers, also, are responsible enough, and in enough control of their classrooms, to be able to tell seniors when they are allowed to have yearbooks signed, and when they should be stowed away.


How are we expected, as graduating seniors, to make memories worthy of the time we have spent at our wonderful school, if getting our yearbooks on our last day of school is essentially saying that underclassmen are not worth remembering? There are many people who we may never see again, who will now lose the opportunity to say a final goodbye as we are all swept up in the final events on Friday. The purpose of the last two days of school is making memories, it's not instruction, it's not testing, it's finalizing what Beaverton has meant to us for four years. High school is about making memories, and we feel that privilege has, in part, been taken away from us.


Regarding our brief meeting, it felt as if you weren't willing to consider what we had to say - even if it will only benefit next year's class - you summarily dismissed us when you walked out of the main office already with the word 'no' written with your index finger. We felt we respectfully addressed you, and we believe we deserve the same in return.

May. 17th, 2008

Activism?

In an era of grand-scale movements and larger-than-life media, it's hard to be an average citizen of the global community and still feel like you can make a difference. Not everyone has the resources or time to entrench themselves in Darfur or provide aid to any number of the other ailing areas worldwide.

As our world and understanding have expanded, so have our abilities to stick to more conventional methods of protest and change-making lessened. No longer can sit-ins and small-scale protests do the job - the media doesn't care about anything that doesn't involve death or huge view gain - and senators stopped personally reading their mail years ago.

The saving grace of the nation's bleeding hearts has been the increasing dependence of our global society on technology - specifically the internet - and its ability to spread awareness. I get alerts about crises around the world from Amnesty International, the UN Foundation, Congress.org (just to name a few) on a daily and sometimes twice-daily basis.

Communication through e-mail and internet advertising has done more than it's possible to imagine for human rights struggles worldwide. Turn on your computer and you can't help but read about the crisis in Chad, or about displacement in Palestine. At the same time though, one must consider the effect of such tactics on our response to these tragedies. Evidenced by the blame we place on the media for making us numb to violence and sex, we are also becoming numb to genocide, to oppression, to death.

yes, there are those of us who still care - and a great deal at that - but in a time where being eco-friendly is the biggest trend, it's hard to believe the rest of the world won't quickly shuffle over to the next biggest thing in the months to come. Unfortunately, the laundry list of problems doesn't exactly give one hope for the future of our planet. But that's not the intent. What you need o take away is that there can be no improvement or real change without a recognition of the faults of the previous and existing systems.

Rather than giving up, it is no our responsibility to use our newfound awareness to get up and do something. Sign those petitions, write to your congressman, sure, but also try to branch out more.

Educate. As long as humans have the ability to speak, face-to-face communication with someone will remain the best way to relay information. Cater to their emotions in a a way that makes the subject applicable to them, reach people on their level, don't preach at them.

Act. If you can't give large sums of money, time is your next bet. Volunteer at the local chapter of whatever organization you're interested in supporting. Make phone calls to congressmen. Do something that helps someone else.

Make an impact. If you're going to march, sit-in, picket, or what have you, don't do it at a time that's convenient for you and for those around you. Leaving your house at two o'clock on a Saturday afternoon won't call as much attention as walking out of class in the middle of the period. If you are truly passionate about something, the loss (monetary or otherwise) will be more than worth it when you get at least one more person to take notice.

So what does this mean for you? I would hope at this point that it's pretty self-evident. If it's not, I leave you with this: whether we caused them or not, the problems we face are being heaped upon our generation, one-by-one. It is our responsibility to make the impossible possible by forgetting ourselves for once in our privileged lives and stepping beyond our comfort zone, making a real sacrifice for those things we believe in.

May. 7th, 2008

Legitimacy.

Especially after studying the 19th century, I truly understand how important legitimacy is in the success of a government, or a leader. Just as the people of France questioned the legitimacy of Napoleon, being a Corsican, as he rose to power, we must also question the legitimacy of every presidential candidate in this election.

This is not to say that John McCain is not a legitimate candidate, or that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama are. Each candidate has every right to be contending for the presidency: they are American people, with American interests at heart. Whether or not I agree with their policies does not matter.

A key component is, however, the reaction of the people to the candidates. People say that Obama, for example, is less legitimate than the other two candidates because of his lack of experience. They say that people - young voters especially - only support him because of his youth and his charisma, not for his policies. But to say this is to call the majority of the youth of America, and every other Obama supporter, illegitimate and incorrect.

We do not have the right, if we are to claim to live in a democracy, to completely discount the entire movement that is sweeping across our nation in this election. The fact that we have record voter turnouts - especially in the younger demographics - and massive grassroots activism, means that something has truly changed in the way we interact in our own democratic system. And that means something.

We cannot discount the discussion that has been started by the idea of change, the idea of a democratic revolution so to speak, where we transform the partisan politics of today into the cooperation of the future. To deny that discussion, to say that the American people do not want to change the way things are right now, is ignorant. Even if Obama is not elected, change will happen in this country, because this discussion will not end in November. We have truly revolutionized the way we view our role in government over the past year.

You and I are living in America at one of the most powerful times in its recent history. It is now our responsibility as free citizens to take full advantage of the opportunities afforded us by that freedom, and to vote, and get out and change as much as we can, and deflect the path we are currently walking on as a nation, before it's too late. To say that we can't is to give in to the pessimism, and to fear the possibility that something could go wrong. If we live that way, we will never progress, and everything will crumble into self-doubt and denial. Hope is the only way to better our world.

Yes. We. Can.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but merely the recognition that something is more important than fear."

Mar. 15th, 2008

(no subject)

A year later, and I'm having some major deja vu about people's opinions on my involvement in activities.

I will repeat this for the final time:

My life, is my life. Not yours. I have never said no to Beaverton, never, until now. And the one time I say no? Beaverton jumps all over me. For my sanity, and for my happiness, I am saying no. And Beaverton is just going to have to accept that. Because right now, I am more important than one activity in a school that I will be leaving in 3 months.
Does that mean I am completely detaching myself? CLEARLY NOT. I am simply taking a break from one activity that also happened to be the most time consuming one I participated in. And the one I least enjoyed.
Accept it, or keep your criticism to yourself, Beaverton.

Mar. 8th, 2008

(no subject)

Written about The House of the Spirits.

Amanda
If hell is other people,
the house is a haven of the Supernatural.
She blows through like a cool breeze
in the heat of the bodies that aren’t there.
The jangles of her bracelets and trinkets (5)
like the bones of the dearly departed;
The black of her hair
the darkness of nothing beyond.
Lost in the fog of war, discontent, and death,
the cloud grows that surrounds her, (10)
concealing her pain.

A new life lost to a man who was a boy
and a girl who was a woman.
The life ripped from her loins,
she lay accepting her fate (15)
cradled in the arms of a man who she
did not understand.

Mother to a son that is not hers,
instinct often wins out,
and protection is her mantra. (20)
Her lover is a creature of fleeting passion.
Easily forgotten, she drifts away,
unaware of the hidden eyes that watch her;
until even these are lost in Time.

What is lost is always found again, (25)
the recognition seen in a twinkling of an eye.
A past long hidden does not easily resurface.
Hardly recognizable behind the decrepit exterior
is the exotic temptress of yesterday.
The drug having played a game (30)
of Metamorphosis.

The drug is a harsh lover, no worse
than the men who use her like a hand towel
to be tossed aside.
Behind those old eyes, weathered skin,
needle tracks, tattered rags,
is a child in need of comfort and vitality.
Destroyed by years of life’s cruelty,
she returns to the beginning
at the End.
-Courtney Graham

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