I wrote this when I was 18 or 19 and graduating high school. I always had a problem with “growing up” and I think this was a response to that. It is about losing one’s self when growing older in years. It is about only being able to dream about being free then waking up to a reality of cold coffee and cubicle life - something that I am terrified of. I framed this and gave it to my dad for Christmas one year.
Delicate, floating on clouds of white and wings of the friendliest dove.
Sailing through the breeze into the harbor amongst the golden ships,
Children laughing as they push each other off the plank they imagine to be there.
Flaunting eye patches of midnight and shrouding little bodies in red and white stripes.
Up and down, jumping and then taking flight.
Playing Peter Pan with the old man next door.
He never did grow up.
Little scratches cover little knees.
Not bad enough to require a band aide.
Whistling and hooting.
Diving into the frigid twirling pools of pale blue and turquoise,
Laughing in transit.
Happiness and truth in their smiling cheeks of red.
Days of youth refuse to be numbered.
Running as far away from that ticking crocodile as possible.
Heavy clouds of gray carry the children off to lands covered in thick black tar.
Removing the eye patches and throwing them into the rush of the sea.
They jump off the deep end and into red ties and cranberry socks.
Unforgiving khaki and corduroy.
Meetings, home late and up early.
Returning to the harbor and twirling pools only when the night is abandoned by even the moon.
The light of the day brings it all again.
Back to a reality of unenthusiastic mornings and deadlines to be reached.
Longing to dance with the butterflies and sing with the crickets.
The opera singer of life carries a bad tune.
Children stirring in the night,
dreaming of playing in those far off lands that they can still reach. Just maybe if they focus on it long enough!
Ok. so this is just for fun - I wrote this at age 15 (10 years ago!) when I was on a sort of rhyming tangent. I don’t care though, because this was one of my most fun poems to date and it is about the end of summer. I guess I was always trying to escape this world through writing.
As the trees shed their summer leaves,
so do the fairies dance amongst them pleased.
Passing by the park one day,
the fairy song drifted my way.
Soft and sweet and light as day.
I looked and looked but to my dismay,
the fairies had all but hid away.
Quiet and still I stood.
Then upon my silence kept,
there they crept from out the wood.
One fat and round and bright and gay,
one small and long and thin looking like the month of May.
They danced in the fallen leaves,
sharing dandelions with each other that they stole from the earth like innocent thieves.
Jumping from flower to flower,
I don’t know how long it lasted,
maybe an hour.
I hid behind the cherry tree to take a better look.
They swam amongst the fallen blossoms they gingerly picked up and took.
Placing one by one in their hair,
I wanted to speak, but I did not dare.
For how rare it is to see,
a fairy running and jumping and laughing with glee.
Upon darkness the moon did shine,
I lay down in the wet grass smelling divine.
They came near me with a light linger,
I dared not move,
not even a finger.
Resting with me on pillows of flowers,
we drifted off for hours and hours.
Until yesterday turned gently into today,
misty dew covered our pathway.
Awakening in a far off land,
with new eyes the horizon I scan.
The fairies bid me adieu,
I am sad, but I must leave too.
Into my deepest dreams they go,
as the weather changes from fall leaves to white snow.
I will remember that day again,
when I played with fairies and called them my friends.
“The fact is that “y’all” is pretty useful, as formal English doesn’t have a distinctly plural version of “you.” There is no “yous” (except in places like New York city and New Jersey, sometimes in the form of “youse guys”). This suggests that the referent is usually clear enough in context. But the existence of “y’all,” the related “you-all” and “all-y’all,” and other workarounds like “you guys” and “you lot” show that there is, in fact, room in the market for new second-person plural pronouns. Visitors to Texas typically realize the value of “y’all” within 48 hours.”—
“NOBREZA SILENCIOSA. SILENT NOBILITY. It is a mistake to believe that the crucial moments of a life when its habitual direction changes forever must be loud and shrill dramatics, washed away by fierce internal surges. This is a kitschy fairy tale started by boozing journalists, flashbulb-seeking filmmakers and authors whose minds look like tabloids. In truth, the dramatics of a life-determining experience are often unbelievably soft. It has so little akin to the bang, the flash, of the volcanic eruption that, at the moment it is made, the experience is often not even noticed. When it deploys its revolutionary effect and plunges a life into a brand-new light giving it a brand-new melody, it does that silently and in this wonderful silence resides its special nobility.”—
Decided I will go to Poland or the Czech Republic for a weekend October 1st - October 3rd because German re-unification day gives us a day off from work. Excited, but in the meantime I am still going to post about Portugal and I have some new Berlin pieces for yall as well.
An alternative choice would have been the day the Berlin Wall came down—November 9, 1989, which coincided with the anniversary of theproclamation of the German Republic in 1918 and the defeat of Hitler’s first coup in 1923. However, 9 November was also the anniversary of the first large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews in 1938 (Kristallnacht), so the day was considered inappropriate as a national holiday. Therefore, 3 October 1990, the day of formal reunification, was chosen instead.
Before reunification, in West Germany the “Day of German Unity” (Tag der deutschen Einheit, without capital D) was 17 June, remembering the failed Uprising of 1953 in East Germany against the Stalinist government. The revolt was crushed with Soviet aid; the exact number of fatalities is unknown, but estimated at somewhere above 100. In East Germany, the national holiday was 7 October, the “Day of the Republic” (Tag der Republik), commemorating the founding of the German Democratic Republic in 1949.
And here is David Hasselhoff helping with the re-unification…
This is a poem I wrote in Lisbon. It is about everything or perhaps nothing at all. In the past. - Natalie
There is a place somewhere inside my heart that only beats for you. Blood boiling and pulsating pounding rhythms, thumping for you. My cold jet-lagged heart is yours. I do not know what love is. I do not know what it looks like. I do not know what it tastes like or feels like or smells like, but I breathe you and I taste you and you are sweet smelling dripping in honey.
You dictate me easily and I weep for you and I smile for you and I am confused by you and all I think of is you. Every puddle reflects your image and warmth, you are in every store window and in every sweet smell.
You are full of light - there is a darkness there but it is hidden behind your smile. Hidden far away from anyone but yourself and that is where you will always keep it and I know this. You exhaust me and invigorate me and I can’t think around you and I think too much as well.
I think I met you somewhere in my dreams because you will never be a part of my reality. You live in my dreams. You consume me.
Still, I do not know love. I only know your eyes and how they cut me so deep.
Sometimes I feel like my soul is literally being sucked dry by you. Sorry, maybe that is too harsh, but it is how I feel. I appreciate you so much, so do not get me wrong! You are where I go to escape and also where I go to connect with my loved ones and family members that are thousands of miles away - and I love you for that - but at some point I cannot step back and just live in real life. Sometimes you leave me feeling numb.
When I am with you - everything I say is in 140 characters, I dream in pixels and I am consumed by the the LCD light that emanates from my macbook. There is this point where I feel so sick of looking down at screen, but I cannot be pulled away for fear of feeling some sort of emptiness that comes without the fall back of my digital escapism. I love you, but our relationship is unhealthy.
We need a break; a trial separation.
On Friday I am getting on plane. First, to Amsterdam and then to Lisboa, Portugal where I will take a much needed vacation by the beach for 10 days. I am detoxing. No computer, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Tumblr - no You at all. I will only have my notebook, a couple of pens and a few books (West With the Night by Beryl Markham, Fight Club by Palahniuk, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Through the Looking Glass by Guy Deutscher and my favorite - On the Road by Jack Kerouac) to keep me company.
For the next ten days I will be off the grid and I will miss you but this is necessary. I need a break to connect with myself without having to connect to you. I hope you understand.
I woke up on Saturday morning in a kinda daze. I felt like the night before I had been punched in the face, beaten to a pulp and now I was waking up in a kinda hungover stupor that came not after a night of drinking, dancing and general ruckus making — but instead, after watching a movie. A movie that left me feeling suffocated and drained emotionally.
On Friday night, Lorenzo, Nick, another Italian guy and I went to seeMelancholia at Babylon near Rosa Luxembourg Strasse in Mitte. Earlier that evening I had fallen into a deep sleep after work that left me disheveled and more exhausted than when I had first laid down my head. I arrived at the theatre and was alarmed by how packed it was — luckily Lorenzo, being a huge Lars Von Trier fan boy, positioned himself near the front of the doors — ready to charge in to get a good seat. I was not so ready and neither was Nick, so we stood to the side. You could feel the anticipation boiling to the surface and the faces on the people in the crowd were nothing short of serious; raw determination in their eyes.
When the doors were finally opened, we were pushed and jammed together like cattle being driven into pasture. We all funneled toward the small entrance, creating a massive clogged traffic jam. Our bodies smashed together — a sea of limbs all heading in the same direction. A great ocean of skin. Alcoholic drinks being flung about. At the entrance, a flummoxed man with a semi-bald head stood frantically tearing up ticket stubs as everyone fought to get inside the theatre. After struggling to get to the door, the man tore my ticket and my body squeezed through the opening crammed between two women and finally I was freed into the large room. Lorenzo waved to me proudly, summoning me to what would be the resting place for our bodies for the next three hours. He look very relieved, but why not? He had done a tremendous job holding down four seats in the most coveted section of the theatre — front and center.
Finally, all the tension that left me so uncomfortable outside the doors was slipping away silently into a kinda calm quietness that took over the room. As more and more patrons piled in, we passed the time with a few words that did not mean much. I complained to Lorenzo about stupid things, he talked to me about things I cannot remember and Nick sat playing a game on his smart phone — “Always being a nerd,” Lorenzo said when we noticed Nicks eyes stuck like glue to his game.
A man who looked important took hold of a microphone in front of the giant screen that stretched abundantly from one side of the room to the other. In German he announced the movie and talked with a deep voice quickly. He laughed and smiled and then he put down the microphone and walked away. As the lights went down, the mood that once was calm and quiet yet cheerful changed to a solemnity that blanketed the room with a sort of darkness in anticipation for what was to come.
I am not going to give away the movie, but it starts out with a bang. Within the first ten minutes of the film, I felt as if I had to cling tightly to my chair for fear that my body would be sucked into thin air if I let go. Oh and the music! The music that Von Trier chose was immensely powerful and made me feel tense. My jaw was clinched and my palms were sweaty, Von Trier knew how to open a movie and I fell head first into the world he created — gasping for breathe as I clawed my way out around the 132 minute mark. Time went by extra slowly, as Von Trier no doubt had intended.
The movie was broken up into two parts, the second being my favorite as the first was focused on Kirsten Dunsts character who proved to be quite the handful; a beautiful blond bombshell doused in crazy. Layered like a never-ending cake of chaos, depression and confusion, Dunst’s character was complicated and her storyline was intense. I was glad when the focus switched to that of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s waif-like waspy character. A sweet, yet strong individual who is a good mother and a good wife. She was real and the emotions that she made me feel as she came to grips with her impending demise left me shaky. I felt for her because she was so familiar to me; she was real. At the end of the second part, I was ready to rejoin the real world. Von Triers world scared the shit out of me.
Blinking slowly and breathing quickly, I looked around shocked after the credits started rolling down the black screen. I didn’t have any words, they had escaped me. Nick got up after a few minutes and motioned that he was going outside - I followed him. I wanted to get out of that room. No one was moving, everyone was just staring blankly at the enormous screen as the credits went by. It was surreal watching everyone sit there with eyes glazed over, fixed on empty credits, not moving, not talking and not fighting their way to get out when they had been so different on the way in. Oh the humanity of it all.
Nick and I met outside and he asked me what I thought of the movie. I just shook my head as to say, “I have no clue,” and then he said frankly, “I thought it was bullshit.” I could not help but laugh, it was the best thing that anyone could have said to me in that moment as I was feeling utterly drained. I was knocked back into reality — it was just a movie, but it was still powerful.
I went home that night and watched five episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm, while listening to the Spice Girls and simultaneously looking at pictures of puppies. Von Triers world slowly disappeared from my mind and I finally fell asleep sideways on my bed clutching my blanket tightly.
I wrote this last month. my mood about the weather has changed considerably and I think it was a particularly gray day when I wrote this but I still wanted to share it.
Sunday morning in August and I was just as flabbergasted as I had been for all of July (flabbergasted, by the way, is a word that is not used enough). It was weird staring out the window into the gray day. I should have been used to it. I should have been hardened by now to the unpredictable ways of the Berlin “summer” but I just wasn’t. So I kinda pouted and dragged myself to the kitchen. I made a large cup of hot coffee then sat on my bed facing the window willing the colors outside to change. I was waiting for a kinda Cinderella transformation to occur; from gray and cloudy to giddy blue and clear.
As many times as I closed my eyes real tight and opened them, it was still there - that grayness. I refused to believe that the sun would hide away from me this long as I had never experienced life without it since moving to California as a child.
The sun makes things easy. It makes it easier to smile, easier to get up from bed and easier to socialize. With an absence from the sun comes the necessity to put in more effort. There is a struggle daily to get out of bed and walk down the street because you don’t want the wind to blow your umbrella back or you don’t want your feet and socks to become soaked yet again by the rain that can only become your friend in the end. You learn to accept this as life because what else can you do?
Still, it is a shock to live ones life in a tone of gray.
“Going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.”—Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises