Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sentimental Reasons

I'm about to do one of those things I swore I'd never do.

Talk about my relationship. Intentionally. As in, that's my sole purpose for writing today.

And I think that's appropriate. After all, I am getting married in 20 days. (!!!). (!!!). I signed a lease yesterday for our future home. This thing is happening. So it's OK to let on that I am quite fond of the fellow I'm committing to. Right? Right.

It has been insane up here in Seattle. One might even say insane in the membrane. Yep, I'm owning that one (after all, don't you know I'm loco?). Anyway, what with Taylor's school and my quite-terrible-to-me work schedule, it's felt like we have been running around all the time. Constantly working to make time and finish everything on our to-do list. Working to get the next month all planned and settled. And it's been productive, and exciting, but it's suuuuuucked.

That's why this last Friday was the most beautiful day. Since it was my day off, and Taylor doesn't have school that day, and we had no appointments or errands, we spent all day with no stress. No hurrying. Nothing. Glorious.

My favorite moment came later that night, after the movies and dinner and walks, when we got to experience (for the first time in a long time) the beauty of being separate, but together. That wonderful moment where we didn't have to entertain each other. We just wanted to be in the other's company, but not worry about "doing" something.

So we read. Curled up on the couch, legs folded into each other, lost in our own worlds. He read Gadamer, I read Fugitive Pieces. Both of us were caught up in the study of language and how it defines reality. He looked at it through a lens of theory and philosophy, while I relished poetical narrative. We swapped snippets of text like forkfuls of food, chewed and digested bits of books that enhanced the flavor of our own meals, returning to individual reading with new perspective.

That, over anything I've experienced in the impossible beauty of our relationship, made me relish the thought of marrying Taylor. It sums us up perfectly. We are not alike. Taylor and I are more dissimilar than anyone I thought I'd end up with. We don't listen to all the same music, we don't relish all the same foods, we don't enjoy all the same activities. And yet we complement each other perfectly. Our likes are close enough that we can fully appreciate the differences. We both like music. We both like food. We're both intelligent (in my most humble and correct opinion). He helped me appreciate Dave Grohl, I helped him embrace Indian and Greek food. Our approach to intellectual situations is not the same, and yet we respect and enhance the other's opinion.

We're like two parallel lines running close beside each other and sometimes crossing as we influence outlooks, creating this looping track of infinities.

And that's how it's going to be. Forever growing, forever progressing. Forever challenging each other to see the world in a slightly different view. It has been difficult, and frustrating, and everything in between, but trust me when I say IT'S WORTH IT. It's nothing I imagined, but it's better than I thought I could hope for.

In short, I'm looking forward to the many weekends to come.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ink and Paper

I visited you this weekend. While I was home--home for two whirlwind days full of wedding planning and first visits to a beautiful, sacred place--I couldn't resist spending some time with you. I saw you every night, packed up demurely in the corner of my room, or stacked haphazardly in bags on the floor, and I had to let you know how loved you were.

So I unpacked those boxes, removed tape and peeled up labeled tabs, surrounding myself with stacks of wisdom and truth. Gently, I freed you from the precarious Jenga confinements of your cardboard prisons. I ruffled your pages and caressed highlighted words. Fanned out covers and re-read earmarked corners. Built walls around myself, walls of myth and lecture, poetry and essay. Basked in the constant waves of language as they swirled around me, feeding through eyes and ears and lips, filling my mind and spirit.

And then I packed you up again. I liberated a few sad souls, souls whose words I could not live without any longer, stuffing Billy Collins and The English Patient in my backpack. But as for the rest, you were delegated back into the shadowy corners. Left to dream of that glorious day, not too far off, when you will breathe on shelves doused in sunlight, the delicate touch of fingers on your spine and exhalations of wonder on your open pages.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take Time

I have to brag for a second. I made some incredible foods last night. Taylor and Alex (the woman I live with) get home late from class on Tuesdays, so I've been practicing being domestic and making them dinner.

Last night I made salmon and asparagus. And it was delicious. And looked even BETTER than this picture, stolen from Red Lobster:

Yep. Mine was waaaay better.

One of the refreshing things about the latest move to Seattle has been having time. I feel like the past few months (or years) I haven't had time to stop, breathe, and relax. Life was full of papers and readings and lesson plans. Now I have far too much time on my hands, and I'm rediscovering some things. A love for cooking. A desire to start making music again. This insane, driving need to create.

But it's a weird conundrum. I like wanting to be creative, since I haven't really felt the pull to make something for myself in a very long time. I'd have small flashes during school, but so many other things took precedence. How can I work on something for myself when there are other people's opinions that I must read and regurgitate? How could I explore my own abilities and ideas when I needed to fit into the syllabi of so many professors?

That sounds more bitter than it should. I LOVED school, and I LOVE learning--it's my very favorite thing to do. It's just odd to have all this freedom and not really know where to begin. So I guess cooking dinners is a good start. Naturally, since food is among my very favorite of favorite things.

Being around the house, cooking for Taylor and sometimes watching Alex's kids (she has two) has also made me so insanely grateful for the women who stay home to raise kids or be housewives. It is not an easy road at all, and I have so much respect for the women who dedicate themselves to making home a sacred and beautiful environment. They are doing a truly important work, and it's difficult to juggle all the different aspects that go into creating a happy home.

That being said, I am glad I'm not at that stage yet. I've been looking for work, and today I interviewed to help tutor at a nearby school. And it was amazing how great it felt to be back in the classroom. For the first time in a while, I felt like a completely whole person--more real, more functioning. Discussing lesson plans and writing strategies with another educator brought peace to my soul. It's reassuring to think, 'oh yeah. That whole life goal you worked at for the past few years? Totally paying off. Good call, you. Teaching is the bomb dot com.'