I’m reading again for the first time in many years. It’s feeling really great, I feel proud of myself. It started as a result of graduating school and suddenly have a wealth of time between my three 12 hour shifts a week. One book turned into 2, and now I’m on book 5 with a goal of reading 25 this year. It’s good because my goal for exercising has been far less successful.
I haven’t posted on here for a very long time. In my tumblr posting heyday, I once posted a Bright Eyes lyric I loved. My brother commented and asked if a lyric about a yellow bird in the song was in reference to Capote. Me, a 19 year old, eager to look smart and artistically minded, claimed it was…even though I had to look up who Truman Capote was and what the hell this “yellow bird” symbol was. Well, 4 years later, (having almost entirely forgotten about this blog and that post) I am actually reading a Capote novel and the yellow bird reference popped up and this vague memory hazily surfaced as I read. I finally remembered the post, and the song, and Tumblr in general. These old posts seem so odd, so unlike the current me, in both good and bad ways. I remember when I used to be moved by music and books and even though these memories often fill me with embarrassment of my youth, (I was sodramatic) I do think it was great of me to care about art and feel love for silly things that are all but absent in my life nowadays. I have grown up since then in good, good ways—I’m so glad I made the decision to marry and for how much more meaningful it has made my life—but I also grew away from things that I wish I hadn’t.
I hope to keep reading. I hope to gain back some of the youth in me that was lost when school and practical life became my only focus. Here’s to a year with more balance; more of the new me and more of the old me that I miss.
I and love and you
I bought the album “I and Love and You” by the Avett Brothers in vinyl this afternoon, and the experience of opening it and unexpectedly finding this passage waiting for me was perfect. How beautiful. And how overwhelmingly much I believe every word of it.
“The words “I” and “Love” and “You” are the watermark of humanity. Strung together, they convey our deepest sense of humility, of power, of truth. It is our most common sentiment, even as the feeling of it is so infinitely uncommon; each to proclaim these three words with his or her very own heart and mindset of reason (or lack thereof); a proclamation completely and perfectly new each time it is offered. Uttered daily and nightly by millions, the words are said in an unending array of circumstances: whispered to the newborn in a new mother’s arms;shared between best friends on the playground; in the form of sympathy – said by a girl to a boy as the respect continues but the relationship does not. It is said too loudly by parents to embarrassed children in the company of their friends, and grown children – to their fading parents in hospital beds. The words are thought in the company of the photograph and said in the company of the gravestone. It is how we end our phone calls and our letters…the words at the bottom of the page that trump all those above it, a way to gracefully finish a message, however important or trivial, with the most meaningful replacement for lesser salutations among near strangers, burst forth casually as “love ya.” Truly? To what degree? Why, how much, and for how long? These are questions befitting the stature of love, though not the everyday banter of vague acquaintance. The words have also been twisted by the dark nature of deceit; to say “I love you” with a dramatic measure of synthetic emotion; a snare set by those who prey upon fellow humanity, driven to whatever selfish end, to gain access to another’s body, or their money, or their opportunity. In this realm, the proclamation is disgraced by one seeking to gain rather than to give. In any case, and by whatever inspiration, these words are woven deeply into the fibers of our existence. Our longing to hear them from the right place is maddeningly and simultaneously our finest strength and our most gentle weakness…As living people, we are bound by this unavoidable parallel. We are powerful yet weak, capable yet temporary…
We are products of love surrounded by struggle.
…the words “I love you” have become “hard to say.” And perhaps that difficulty is as common as its counterpart. Perhaps the inability to say these heaviest of words is as much a part of life as the lighthearted candor of those who say them without any difficulty at all. And so it ends with the phrase whispered to and by those of us most defeated and most elated …
I and love and you.”
“What do you get when you mix vocals and chords recorded from ‘Toy Story’, some extra cymbals and a sine wave bass? ‘Toyz Noize’, my second remix of a Pixar film. Enjoy!”