revelations

“Understand I will quietly slip away from the noisy crowd when I see the pale stars rising, blooming over the oaks.
I’ll pursue the solitary pathways of the twilight meadows with only this one dream. You come too.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

I go back and forth between journaling and blogging. There’s usually no rhyme or reason; only my mood, and whether I want a pen in my hand or keys beneath my fingertips. In the last few days, I’ve been journaling a lot, trying to get some thoughts out after nearly a month of no time to think, reflect, breathe. With love week, recruitment, classes, an internship and a job, and getting strep, I haven’t had much time for the little things. Like staying in touch with my mom, or eating dinner at the house, or writing. I’m feeling behind, like a lot of things have passed me by: the chance to meet new Phis, time with friends, season 7 of Game of Thrones, and events I wanted to write about but didn’t get the chance to. I wouldn’t say I’m drowning, but I’m definitely on the verge of being overwhelmed. It’s nice (and unexpected) to be home for the weekend, so hopefully I can catch up on schoolwork, rest, and maybe some TV shows (don’t even get me started on reading––I am so behind).

I’ve taken to keeping a list of firsts. My list for the spring takes up a page in my journal; my summer list, while not yet written, will likely be longer. I’m curious to see how long this fall’s will be. I know that, realistically, the longer I live, the fewer firsts there will be. But I’d like to try to have a lot, because experiencing new things has helped me grow. And I never want to stop growing.

JOURNAL EXCERPTS

“Being sick puts a lot into perspective. You realize how much of your daily life is trivial, and what really matters. It’s made me less vain, and re-think cigarettes.”

“In the spring I grew comfortable in my own skin, something I’d been faking-till-I-made-it for years with mixed success. After this summer, I’m confident in my own skin, and I didn’t realize there was a difference until now.”

“I think there’s a critical difference between not giving a damn and not giving a fuck. The former is matter of fact; you can own your opinions without needing to defend them with a facey word like ‘fuck.'”

“It’s hard to find the right balance between hard and soft. But somehow, tortoises do.”

“You will always be my favorite what if.”

“It doesn’t hurt anymore, but sometimes I’m reminded of the memories, and for a moment, it does.”

“I wish I didn’t have so much stuff––that’s something I’m trying to be more conscious of going forward. I learned this summer that I enjoy living with less.”

“I want to keep my standards high, but that’s hard to do when you’re constantly surrounded by frat guys, or when you’re intoxicated, or lonely. I want to meet someone now, just to experience what that’s like, but my heart lies abroad, and in a few years, so too will my body.”

“I want to meet someone whose eyes give me a glimpse into their raging and beautiful soul.”

“Something I’ve learned this year: Sex doesn’t really matter. Not to me, anyway. You’re not a cooler person because you’ve had sex, or a better person because you haven’t. And sex isn’t necessarily intimate, either. Just because someone’s seen your body doesn’t mean they’ve touched your soul.”

“My memories of that time don’t rise to the surface very often, and they become blurrier each time they do. But when I wipe the fog off the lid of that glass box that holds them, they still come back in bits. Fragments. A twirl on a dimly lit dance floor, a gin and tonic in my hand. A smelly kitchen with two chairs, two beers, two souls, late night. Arms wrapped around my neck from behind, his chin resting on my head. The fire, and the trees. A pile of blankets and a swinging chair for two. A spilled glass of water; his head in my lap as I played with his hair. A couch. And two gentle kisses goodbye. This is all I remember now, and even though I don’t feel much anymore, I can remember what I felt then. The memory of it all is what brings me hope and devastation, all at once.”

“It’s hard to look at the big picture all the time. Sometimes, I just want to have fun and experience new things. New people.”

“It’s raining, like it has been all day, and the pitter-patter of droplets on my ceiling is singing my eyelids to sleep.”

Goodnight.

“I’m thinking about people and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine, and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let the savage grass grow.”
― Ada Limón, “Mowing” from Bright Dead Things

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day by day

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
– Carl Jung

Day by day, I’m feeling better. I still have highs and lows, but with each passing day, I feel myself return more and more to normalcy. It probably helps that a few close friends are back in town, and that my time in Tampa is dwindling. I’m excited for the independence and social life going back to university entails, and can’t wait to see my lovely friends, who I realize I’ve missed dearly. xoxo to you all 🙂

Today, I started thinking about Italy. Or more specifically, visiting Italy. This winter. I’ve always wanted to, and it’d be nice to avoid the brutal heat of a Mediterranean summer, but it only just occurred to me that I could actually fulfill my dream of seeing Rome, Pompeii, Cinque Terre, and more by the end of the year. Or early next year, at the very latest.
e x c i t e m e n t.

Also today, I went to the art museum downtown with one of my best friends and his girlfriend, who I got to meet in person for the first time. We brought my little sister along because I’m home alone with her the next two days, and Abby and I had a lot of laughs looking at art we didn’t understand and taking goofy pictures.

On another note, I’ve learned a good deal in the last week. One of the things I’ve realized is that even if someone is super fun and wonderful in person, if it’s constantly a hassle to get in touch with them and make plans to hang out, the friendship might not warrant the trouble. I have this guy friend who I love spending time with but who just plain sucks at communicating through text and committing to a plan, and after a year I’ve finally reached my wit’s end with it. It’s not that I’m unfriending him, and I’m sad because I truly enjoy his company, but I’m not planning to reach out anymore. It’s just frustrating and tiresome, and usually goes nowhere. That’s the thing with relationships: they involve two people. My parents taught me to go after what I want, but you can’t always live by that rule when it comes to wanting something from another person. You can’t make someone want you, or like you, or hang out with you or even talk to you. And you shouldn’t have to. If they aren’t interested in putting an equal amount of effort into the relationship, whatever kind it may be, then don’t force it. Try not to take it personally, and let it go. There are seven billion people on this planet—there’s no sense wasting time and energy on someone who won’t give you either.

“Sometimes you just give the wrong people the right pieces of your heart.” 

Another thing I’ve realized is that distance provides perspective. I’m unsure whether I made this clear in sad songs, because I didn’t have much distance from the situation at that point, but it wasn’t love. Maybe it was the beginning of something we like to call “travel love,” or maybe it was the potential for something more, or perhaps I just got a small taste of something I wanted but couldn’t have. Either way, it still hurts, and was the first “heartache” of sorts I’ve ever felt. So it’s been a bit difficult to deal with, and will likely haunt me for awhile, but it showed me something important. A few things, actually. One, I have the capacity to feel that way about someone. Two, now I know that the ability to want and have and lose someone can cause immense pain, both in my mind and chest. And three, it showed me that there are people for me out there. For nearly a year now, I’d thought there was one, and I was so scared of letting him slip away. I fought for him because of that, maybe more than I should have. (Maybe that’s why I’m not fighting for this one—that, and I can take a hint. If feelings aren’t mutual or timing isn’t right, there’s nothing to fight for. Which all goes back to that “it takes two” philosophy I mentioned earlier.) But this second person and experience I had abroad showed me there was someone else. And given that things have seemingly ended there too, at least for now, I have faith there are more out there. More of those good, good guys who are tender and have pure hearts and make me melt a little inside. If neither of the ones I’ve known so far were it, then there have to be others.

“Stop chasing the waves. Let the sea come to you.”

In the meantime, I’m nineteen. I in no way, shape, or form want to settle down (and by that, I mean commit to a person or place that will keep me from doing what I want with my twenties). There’s way too much fun to be had: places to see, people to meet, parties to go to, and things to try. Sure, it would be nice having someone to share some of that with, but I’m scared that committing to someone would mean tying myself down. I like to feel free. Besides, it seems like I’m away too much to have a relationship at home, and home too much to have one abroad. I’ve been told by many people that I’m naturally flirty, and compliments spew easily from my mouth when I mean them; I’m an open, honest person with little filter, which is both a curse and a blessing. Because of this, people sometimes think I want or am looking for something when I’m really not. And half the time, I’m totally clueless about it all. I have lots of guy friends, and I love them to death, but I’m not interested in many guys. I’m picky. I have to feel something and I usually don’t, even if they’re textbook attractive or have a great personality. Something just needs to click for me and oftentimes it doesn’t, hence why I have lots of male friends but haven’t had many boyfriends. When I do like a guy, it’s overwhelming because I’m not used to having the emotions that come with interest, or at least interest beyond the physical. So I end up convincing myself I’m crazy, which really doesn’t help things at all. Because then I actually drive myself crazy. Note to self: CALM DOWN. Your feelings are valid. Your lack of feelings is valid. You aren’t insane. You aren’t doing anything wrong or weird. You simply think you are because you are a teenage girl with hormones and a tendency to overthink and worry. 🙂

I have to remind myself sometimes that there’s no rush, and that if it doesn’t work out it wasn’t the right person. That things falling apart isn’t necessarily my fault, and that rejection shouldn’t always be taken personally and internalized. It helps to look at myself and the guys I go for—often it’s not the nice, model-esque, tall-dark-and-handsome, but rather his funny and witty best friend, who may not be as cute but who makes me laugh and has pretty eyes. And other times, it’s the guy who’s both. So if a guy isn’t interested in me, it doesn’t mean I’m not pretty or funny or whatever—the lack of interest isn’t a reflection of me and my worth. It simply means I didn’t click for him, just like many great guys don’t click for me. I’m learning that it’s okay to have feelings (or more often for me, to not have them—I think that’s why I was taken aback after Poland), and to not overthink my actions or another person’s. Sometimes I get too inside my own head and overanalyze things that I either shouldn’t or can’t. Like I said, when it comes to a person, my strategy for everything else in life becomes absolutely useless, and maybe that’s why I’ve always felt so lost when it comes to pursuing guys (hence, why I usually don’t) and why I’ve sometimes stayed in friendships long past their expiration date. I’ve found in the last seven months that it’s best (and easiest) to just be my confident, relatively carefree, and sassy self, and things usually end up falling into place, one way or another.

“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”

In 2017, I’ve really grown comfortable in my own skin, have let go of a lot of society’s expectations of me, and, all in all, have learned to love myself. I’ve become a much happier, more free spirited, and less harried individual. I am so proud of the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her. By no means am I perfect, and I will certainly continue to grow, but it’s nice after this rough past week to be able to sit here today and type this:
I
am
okay.

Or I will be, in any case.

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jumbled thoughts

“Summer romances end for all kinds of reasons. But when all is said and done, they have one thing in common: They are shooting stars — a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, a fleeting glimpse of eternity. And in a flash, they’re gone.”
— Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

I suppose it’s both a curse and a blessing, to feel this much.

Another shard from my already fractured chest broke away the other day when a homeless man in Christiania, most likely a refugee from Africa, was so kind and lovely to me and my friend who were sitting on a park bench when he and his companion arrived to set up camp. They did so a ways from us, out of courtesy, and then the one in red went across the path to sit on a bench elevated on a little hill. When we got up to leave, after having been sat there chatting for quite some time, he turned to us and said in a pleading voice that shattered me, “You are leaving? We mean you no harm!” As if they were the cause of our exit. How tragic, to have no home, to sell “antiques” on the streets to make ends meet, and to constantly feel as though you are a bother. A burden. He must have had people leave because of him before, for him to have such a desperate response. Once again, I wanted to cry.

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”
— Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

A conversation I had yesterday:
“How do you ever get over these feelings?”
“You don’t, you just learn to live with them. There’s not much you can do but live life and see where things go. Life isn’t a fairy tale, as much as people wish to believe.”
Thank you, Andrew, for helping me to finally understand.

Also part of said conversation:
“I’m too much of a dreamer sometimes. I look at the possibilities instead of the realities.”
And they break me.
Advice to self: Stop worrying about far off possibilities that you can’t control, and focus on the little things, here and now, that you can. You’ll be much happier that way.

I just absolutely love words. Quotes, lyrics, prose and poetry… I connect with them in such a deep, intense way. It often feels as though someone else has read my mind, felt exactly what I feel, and painted those emotions with words so that I might understand myself better.

I had my fun, I played around
Without a love to tie me down
I always used to kiss and run,
I never wanted love to catch me
I thought I had a heart of stone
But now I’m in the danger zone
I can feel the heat is on,
Soon the flames are gonna catch me
— Billy Ocean, “Red Light Spells Danger”

And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful
Something that’s so close
And still so far out of reach
— Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “American Girl”

I’ve been particularly drawn to poetry lately. I find it raw and unfiltered; often straight to the point, like a knife to the heart, twisting and telling me, “ah, yes, you’ve felt that too.” The three most recent poetry books I’ve read are the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace, The Universe of Us by Lang Leav, and Love Her Wild by Atticus. I loved all of them, and definitely recommend giving them a read. I’ve started getting the urge to highlight and mark my books, something I never used to do because I historically have been absolutely OCD about keeping my treasures in pristine condition. It’s nice to save the lines I love best, or connect to, though, and be able to flip back through books and find those passages easily. On another book-related note, I’m reading a book called Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer right now, and it’s impressively good. I don’t typically read nonfiction, or travel novels, but I think I want to pursue more of those types of books in the future, as this one is so well-written and eye-opening.

Do you ever wonder at how strange it is that we often let a number define our worth, or control how we feel about ourselves? I put on a couple of pounds while I was away this summer. That puts me right back at where I was before starting freshman year, before I lost ten pounds in a month from so much stress and anxiety. I’ve been slowly gaining it back this year, and when I got home and could finally look at myself in a mirror, I thought I looked good. With more defined womanly curves and all that jazz I’ve been genetically blessed with. But the minute I stepped on the scale, I felt like shit. Shit because the number was higher than it was when I left, higher than my mind wanted it to be. It’s literally two pounds; it shouldn’t matter. I probably look the same at 125, 128, 130. But the way I feel… It changes, sometimes drastically, with a slight tip in the scale. And it’s bullshit, because if I think I look good, and am healthy, who cares what the scale says? Why do I care? It’s not as bad as it used to be. In all honesty, I can’t imagine it ever being that bad again. But it always manages to creep back up, even when I think it’s gone, that I’ve conquered it for good.

I’ve been so down about being home, stuck in Florida for an extended amount of time after three months of movement and freedom. I miss the friends I made abroad, and the thrill I get from being out in the big wide somewhere. Seeing things, doing things, meeting amazing people. It seems so much more valuable to me than a college education. But seeing as I’m not quite willing to drop out, or take a gap semester and lose my scholarship, I’ve just booked another plane ticket instead. I’ll be traveling back to Europe from mid-December to mid-January for just over a month. And I am SO EXCITED. It’ll be hard to prioritize and balance seeing places vs. people, but I’m just happy to be getting out of the American, Floridian, privileged college bubble again. Next summer, I think I want to go to South America (maybe parts of Central America, too). And then the following summer, Asia. And maybe the summer after that, if I have the money and can get some work over there, Australia and New Zealand. And even aside from those places, there’s so. much. I. want. to. see. It’s sad to think that even if I dropped everything and traveled for my whole life, I’d never get to see it all. However, from this last trip, I’ve learned that traveling and seeing the world is probably the single-most important thing to me. I don’t want to settle down, not in my twenties. I want to live an exciting, fulfilling, and beautiful life now, rather than wait around working some boring career job and dreaming of the day I’ll do what makes me happy. There’s no time for that in this life. None at all.

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
— V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

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sad songs

“We met at the wrong time. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we’ll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot.”

I’m sat alone in Letna park, in a patch of shade overlooking the Old Town of Prague. The three Australian girls I met in my hostel room last night have just left me, and for the first time in over a week, I have a chance to think. To reflect, to write. And in a way, to grieve.

Last night, I saw a man in a suit hand over the lead of a black lab puppy to a haggard-looking woman who was clearly on drugs. He paid her 100 CZK in cash and she yanked the dog harshly, holding the leash tight and dragging it upwards by the neck, making it yelp. Watching it all sort of broke my heart, and I wanted to cry. 

Some people might say I’m a pessimist, and a lot of the time I’d agree with them. But deep down, when it comes to it, I’m a dreamer. A hopeless wanderer, with itchy feet and an open mind prone to fantasies. I love adventures, and the idea of romance, and I want it all, together. I used to want it abstractly and from a distance; it was more of a “someday” sort of dream than an active one. Until I got a little taste. Just a drop—three days. But it was enough.

Enough for me to want more, and to realize I probably won’t get it. Not this time, at least. It’s odd, because I’d never really worried about being clingy before I traveled. I’ve always been pretty good at separating my feelings, isolating the annoying or unnecessary in the presence of someone who might not reciprocate them. And I’ve had flings, and even hookups, during the last three months abroad. They’re fun, and they don’t last. We go our separate ways. We might stay friends on Facebook, or we might not remember any more about each other than a blurry face and a first name. That’s the unspoken rule of travel: you let go. Everyone’s here to meet people and see the world, not to stay or settle down or fall in love. Not in a way that lasts, at least. But somehow, despite knowing all of this, I sort of did.

I don’t wish it didn’t happen, not really. He’s a good, good guy. One of the best I’ve met. In fact, I can only think of one other guy I’ve known, back home, who comes across as pure and lovely as this one. My cynical British friend insists I’m naive about it, too hopeful and foolhardy. But I know. I’ve met good guys, I’ve met decent guys, bad guys as well. But only a few are… tender and pure. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s more of a feeling, that they respect you, treat you like an equal. They might be more reserved with touch because they’re a bit shy and don’t want to overstep your boundaries. They’re sweet and can express their feelings but they don’t overload you with them. They feel lucky to be with you, but not because they’re insecure. I’m doing a shit job of trying to articulate it, but like I said, when I meet one of these guys, I know.

I feel fortunate, really. It was a beautiful thing for me, and I’ll always have the memories. But it still hurts. It feels like I lost something that I only barely managed to grasp as the time slipped away. Part of it is lust, of course; I’m not entirely immune to that feeling, or the knowledge that it’s a factor in all of this. But for me at least, there was an audible click. And the hard part is not knowing whether he heard it too. Or rather, whether it was loud enough to last. Like I said, I’ve never worried about being clingy, but expectations are different with travelers. Snapchatting or messaging a few times a day at home would be normal, but I’m suddenly worried it’s too much. That maybe I’m a bother. This is all internal fear; nothing he’s done has implied as much. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when he messaged me that day, after we’d said goodbye. I left expecting it to be over, and was prepared to resign myself to it. I prefer to leave rather than be left, so perhaps I’m overanalyzing the signs, preparing for the worst and to be the first person to take that step if need be. It’s such a long shot for anything to come of it… And yet I want something to. That’s what makes me a dreamer, and that’s what makes it hurt. Because in some parallel world or storyline, something like this could happen, and does happen, for people. The knowledge that, if feelings and motivation were mutual, something grand could emerge from a simple travel fling makes the leaving hard sometimes. Painful even. Because they often aren’t or maybe they are but the two people don’t know that they both feel the same way. Want the same thing. We’re too scared to be honest, to make ourselves vulnerable, and who knows how many opportunities we miss out on because of those fears. I fear rejection, because rejection ruins the dream. And if you let it, taints the beautiful memories. 

I’ve never had a breakup before, never had my heart broken. Not in love, anyway. This is probably the closest thing to it I’ve felt, and I don’t quite understand why. Why him, why now. I wasn’t even looking for anything that night, had worn a loose dress and little makeup and thrown my hair in a bun because I was tired of going home with someone. Tired of missing out on dancing with my friends because I’d met a guy. It’s funny how you find what you’ve been looking for when you finally stop searching for it. And it’s sad because the beginning was almost the end for us; we were both about to move on. 

I could have stayed another night. Thought about it, but not really. I was going to stick with my new friends and see another town, because after all, that’s what I’m here for. Not boys, but places. And the people I meet along the way. But then he came the next day, and stayed up all night with me, long after our friends had gone to bed, because I had to catch an early bus and didn’t want to sleep and didn’t want to miss a moment of this goodbye. I can’t say how much I appreciated that. To sleep with someone—twice—without any sex. Without feeling like I owe something, or that someone expects it from me. Not to say I didn’t want to, because I did. But I think it means more to me this way. It’s more special, rare, and therefore treasured. 

It’s hard right now to imagine meeting another guy. Charlie Puth’s lyric “Does it feel, feel like you’re never gonna find nothing better?” comes to mind. I’ve only thought that before about one other guy, the only other good, good one that I’ve known. (Known and been interested in, I should say.) And even with him, it wasn’t to this extent. That adds to the sadness, because I can’t help but wonder about the “what if’s” and the “might be’s”. Will the feelings fade? They have to, if nothing comes of them, because people move on from real relationships and breakups all the time. They survive, and thrive, and fall in love again. At the moment, I don’t understand how, but I guess I’ll just have to trust the journey. Travel is crazy, and can make you crazy, I swear it. Yet I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. 

After a week, I think that’s what I needed to say. To get it out of my system, or at least sort it out a bit in my head. Writing down my feelings helps me validate and understand them, and I’ve been in a bit of a limbo this last week having them bounce around with no sort of sense. This has been a stream-of-conscious post, which I love doing when I want to dump my thoughts and feelings onto paper (or in this case, the notes section of my phone) without worrying about making them sound orderly or pretty. Despite the fact that I’ll probably post this on my blog, it’s not for anyone else. If you can take something from it, all the better, but I wrote it for me, and I hope that if you’re reading it, you can understand and respect that. I’ve been pretty open and vulnerable, and I hope to God that doesn’t make me come across as fucking clingy. Or crazy. And that I can stop worrying about those words entirely. 

“So we’ll just let things take their course, and never be sorry.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

solace in solitude

“When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?”
— Billy Joel, “Vienna”

Vienna. That’s where I am right now. To be more specific, I’m sat alone in a flat in a supposedly hip neighborhood, trying to decide whether I want to write or fall back asleep. I’ve been here since this morning, yet I haven’t seen any more of the city than the bus into town and my walk to the supermarket allowed. I feel a bit guilty about that, wasting a day. But I am exhausted.

The last week has been a whirlwind. I absolutely love meeting people while traveling—it’s one of the reasons I stay in hostels— and I find that the people I get to know tend to be cooler than the places I visit. The thing about making fast friends, though, is that I don’t have much time for myself. I’m only going to be with them for x number of hours, days, and then I’ll likely never see them again, which is a sad reality in itself. The constant on-the-go nature of traveling and meeting people lends itself to early mornings and late nights, and that lends itself to me being absolutely knackered. It’s caught up to me by now, the rush and rigor of it all, and I’m looking forward to having a room and flat to myself for a few days, to rest and do my own thing before heading to a hostel in Krakow where I likely won’t be resting much at all.

I’m sure the idea of being completely alone for four days would frighten some people, but I’ve always enjoyed solitude. It gives me a chance to think, to reflect, to recharge every once in awhile. I’ve become more of a people person again over the last few years, but I still appreciate the value of being alone. The windows are open here, and I can hear the rush of cars outside, the wind blowing in and stirring about, and my own thoughts. Despite my tiredness, I feel peacefully content.

Today I had a nap at three o’clock, only to wake up at ten and still feel tired. Today I’ve eaten about three quarters of a wedge of brie cheese, and most of a large bag of peanut m&m’s, and I don’t feel fat. I don’t feel shame or guilt. Either I’m too tired, or I’ve really come a long way—probably a combination of both. Today I talked to my dad for the first time in a long while, since I left the States. Today I was reminded what it is like to feel like a foreigner, after nearly a week of feeling like I fit in, like I belonged. I didn’t realize how at home I felt in Scotland, surrounded by wonderful, English-speaking humans, until I arrived in Austria and remembered I know next to no German and have very little idea of what I’m even doing here. The weather is shite in the UK, but the people are good. And their sense of humor is even better. In a strange way, I feel like I should’ve been born British. I have yet to meet one I don’t like, and the Isles are one of the few places I’ve traveled to that I click with enough to think “I want to live here.” Well, if not for the terrible weather, that is.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Bon Iver the past few days. His music is mellow and haunting: the perfect soundtrack for the rolling hills and mist of the Scottish Highlands. His lyrics don’t seem to make much sense until you listen to them, until you inhale and exhale and sigh along with them. The instrumentals. And his voice, my God.
Here are a few lyrics from my favorite songs.

“aiming and it sunk and we were drunk and we had fleshed it out
nose up in the globes, you never know if you are passing out”
Michicant

“So it’s storming on the lake
Little waves our bodies break
There’s a fire going out
But there’s really nothing to the south
Swollen orange and light let through
Your one piece swimmer stuck to you”
Calgary

“But what do you lose to concede?
And yes it’s hard to believe
When ’em sold for your sleeves
Just come off of your kneel
Please, please, please
I can admit to conceal
No, that’s not how that’s supposed to feel
Oh, no
(It’s not for broader appeal)
Fuck the fashion of it, dear”
666 ʇ

“And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And in the morning I’ll be with you
But it will be a different kind
And I’ll be holding all the tickets
And you’ll be owning all the fines”
Skinny Love

“Sea and the rock below
Cocked to the undertow
Bones blood and teeth erode
They will be crashing low
Wings wouldn’t help you
Wings wouldn’t help you… down
Down fills the ground, gravity’s proud”
Rosyln

“There’s a black crow sitting across from me;
His wiry legs are crossed
And he’s dangling my keys he even fakes a toss
Whatever could it be that has brought me to this loss?”
Re: stacks

“Is the company stalling?
We had what we wanted: your eyes
(When we leave this room it’s gone)
With no word from the former
I’d be happy as hell, if you stayed for tea
(I know so well that this is all there is)
This is how we grow now, woman
A child ignored
These will just be places to me now
The foreman is down
(When we leave this room it’s gone)
We’re rising the stairs

​i FIND GOD
AND RELIGIONS, TOO…
Staying at the Ace Hotel
If the calm would allow
Then I would just be floating to you now
It would make me pass to let it pass on
I’m climbing the dash, that skin”
33 “GOD”

Hands down, one of my favorite artists. If you read those lyrics and are thinking, “what the f*ck,” then go listen to the songs and I think you’ll understand the magic I’ve described.

Also, these two sets of lyrics have been in my head this evening, along with Billy Joel’s “Vienna,” which I’m convinced was written about me because it is so accurate.

“May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young”
— Bob Dylan, “Forever Young”

“Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do”
— Coldplay, “Yellow”

I think there might not be anything more magical in this world than the night sky, a sky full of stars.

But enough with lyrics for now. Although I pondered a lot whilst on the long bus rides during my highlands tour, and wrote several posts in my head while doing so, I am running out of steam (and brain power) for the night and will have to come back to them, either here or in my journal.

Thank you, J, for the title.

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