Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ecstasy on the inside of the atmosphere

some live creature on the roses...the sound of water was in the room and through the waves came the voices of birds singing...fear no more, says the heart in the body; fear no more. -mrs. dalloway

why am i so fascinated by blackbirds and seagulls?! the ocean? city scapes and war stories and curling copper wire? these are beautiful, ugly things, brutal and cold and violent. [does that make sense? beautiful ugly? i understand the paradox, but i do not mean ugly as in the opposite of aesthetically pleasing. i use ugly to mean raw and unabashed and real. perhaps ugly is the wrong word. i don't know if i can say for sure...] some things just can't be explained.

i think my adoration for seagulls stems from two places, two drastically different periods of my life, in fact...two ridiculously plain moments. regardless...every time i hear a seagull, there is a shudder beneath my skin. [if i am to explain this in chronological order] i realized my obsession backwards. the second time a seagull truly imbedded itself in my self was a lovely, humid april evening freshman year of college. sitting in the dark, with the room to myself (as cath was elsewhere) i was contemplating turning on the lights so as not to fall asleep. i had been enjoying the glow of the christmas lights too much to actually turn on the ugly [regular meaning] florescent light, but i knew that if i didn't do it soon, i would fall asleep on the floor, as is my habit. suddenly, piercing through the silence and the peacefully muggy evening aura, came the haunting cry of a seagull. once...twice...three times. melancholy and filled to bursting with this terribly evocative emotion, the bird was tearing a hole in my brain and bringing me to the point of breathlessness. i remember leaping towards the window sill, thrusting my head into the screen and staring out into the blackness, as if hoping that somehow i might find him-- surfer of the skies, traverser of the tailwinds-- and see him with my own two eyes. his cry continued to emanate through the night, but i never did catch a glimpse of his ghostly body. he never found the one he was calling for either...i think that maybe, as there was no other voice...a mate or a friend or another soul in the moment, that this is why he was so beautiful to me.
the first time i was truly affected by seagulls is really remembered as an amalgamation of my childhood, as a montage of images from my adventures on lake superior with my grandparents. lake superior is part of my history, part of the history my grandparents have attempted to instill in me anyway, as it is a foundation for both of their lives, and so, indirectly, for mine. every summer they would take me up to the lake for a day. driving in their car we passed through shadows and the feathered raptures of the trees in northern wisconsin, until suddenly bursting into the sunshine and the gusting, lustful wind of superior. what i remember does not come in totality, but rather in chunks and random images and a blur of color and sound. it will not make sense to anyone, i'm almost sure of it. but this is what comes. windblown blonde hair, turquoise slip ons, giant iron anchors dropped in the midst of land, out of place and mourning their lost lakes. popcorn in paper bags, rickety picnic tables, the intersection of pebbles and water. seagulls everywhere...begging for the contents of the pocket in my pink rubber raincoat. hopping and landing and bursting into flight, to and fro, like pieces of newspaper dancing on the invisible currents of the wind. i run, and they scatter; circling above me, they are laughing as i turn my head skyward to watch them disappear into the light.

the sun came streaming, burning across the sky and it splashed across the brick and rising concrete, steel, essence of the city...these buildings glowing red and gold and bronze in the evening light. right at that moment, only then, when the sun was right there, at that exact angle, i happened to look out the windows above the sky, across the expanse of the city. there they were, illuminated. the buildings ablaze and the windows soaking in light like mirrors, shimmering, shouting infinitely into the open air. the frames were surrounded by metal, burned copper and gorgeous in the sun light streaking, and they were magnetic. i couldn't look away. shadow and radiance, juxtaposed. i can hardly stand to see something so beautiful and not be able to express it in words. but i can't. those words, which i've just written...they are lies compared with the truth of that moment in time...when the buildings were on fire, exposed by windows made of molten epiphany and those screaming copper wires.

so apparently, my apple cider has fermented itself. i swear to jake gyllenhaal's beautiful arse, it tastes like sparkling apple cider. if only i knew how it had done so, i would repeat the process infinitely...tasty apple champagne for everyone!

scarf weather
ambitious bamboo plants encased in glass
stuffed animals who give good hugs
stamp-less packages returned to sender [and consequentially, katie s. assef]
mrs. dalloway, and the way 'the hours' contains so much of woolf's genius
hunting high and low (coldplay)
simonize and just another (pete yorn)
the concept of studying in the czech republic [and!] costa rica
completely harmless flirtation
glinting eyes
mood rings, global bracelets (cape cod, tolo, and new york city)
'john mccrea of cake, y'all'
anticipating upcoming roadtrips
landlocked blues (bright eyes) [special thanks to my durio for this one]

but did you notice my sigh? did you know that i meant it for you?

No comments: