hello to all that.

The following are the contents of my head NOT currently occupied by WTF just happened with that Kanye/Spike Jonze situation (a SIZEABLE space)

NPR is warming our living room and leaking through my door, as is its wont on coze weekday nights around here. During some report or another, Brooklyn was mentioned, and Jonathan said “Brooklyn!” as I was crouching in front of the oven, checking the status of my sweet potato fries, the air hot on my face and smelling like a perfect precarious mix of something melting and rosemary.  We had ourselves a little mock “hayyy, represent!” moment and for the first time, it didn’t feel like someone else’s Brooklyn, someone else’s New York. On so many Sundays here I’ve crossed the floor again and again with empty water glasses and fresh mugs of tea, my progress marked by “It’s 2:37pm and 65 degrees in Central Park” and the two never connected, this place and that place and my place in it. They’re starting to, in their own way. There’s a lot of image and an armour of romanticism to get through here before the notion that it can hold any part of your roots can even be dreamed.

But more importantly, can we get back to those fries, and give it up for fall veggies? Way to only require an oven, olive oil, and minimal seasoning to rock out with your savory out, kids. Sliced up yam, with a garlic/rosemary corner and a chipotle powered corner, to leave the rest of the cookie sheet with nothing but sea salt and a readiness for a good slog through lots of honey? Was perfection tonight. I ate them with what I’ve been eating for a not insignificant portion of the past few weeks: some variation of brown rice with black beans and an assortment of tomatoes, peppers and onions. It is simple and ridiculously easy and reflective of my broke-ass lifestyle but I have not tired of it. I eek out as many meals as possibly from each pot of rice but when I eat it I feel rich and pleased and satisfied. I could live on the ol’ R&B, is the real truth. (I didn’t even realize what happened there, but to clarify: both the beans-and-rice kind AND the music kind.) My heart aches for famdin and ambitious cooking though. Big pots of root vegetable-laden soup are on the horizon for sure.

Oof. There is so much to say. About right now, and last week, and the past month, and how it feels like–not that things are falling into place, because that is not, of course, what things do. They scatter and surprise and delight and crush and slip and fall from edges and light up without any warning. They have no place in which to go, not for long, not now. But it feels like the right choices are being made, and that ones that were made have weathered the necessary sacrifice to end up here, almost functioning. It feels good. Most of the time lately, I feel content in a way have not in a very long time. In one minute I turn 22, and I feel good about this. I feel worlds better than I remember feeling on the eve of my 21st birthday, which just may be what now marks a solid year of uncertainty and quiet panic and a total lack of center where once thered been what I thought to be my core: contentment and a settled peace I had no idea could become so frighteningly detached.

I’ve been daunted by the task of needing to fill a space with part of you since I was handed a blank paged book with a hard white cover on the first day of fifth grade and told that this was my science journal. I stared at it and freeeekt, wondering how I would ever fill it, unable to imagine the rational, sane pattern of assignments that would follow. I felt the same way when I got here, and sat on the bare mattress of this little room, suddenly scared of it all, and unable to unpack or process until I closed my eyes, fell asleep and woke up a little while later, still addled, but able to move. It happened again with graduation, only it was you know, life. Here you go, it’s yours! We’ve handed things out and dropped you off and we’re already on the way home, but you’ve got what you need now, so see you later! I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at how I reacted, and how long I took to begin to settle and to move again and to heal, given the scale. I guess I’m at my best when I’m actively filling these things, whatever they may be, moving too much to notice until one day I am changing the paper towel roll and baking potatoes. And on my way out the door I turn to find a made bed,with shoes lined up underneath and pictures on the wall and a table with sundry receipts and menus and a tea bag drying in a mug, and veritable evidence of a life.

And so here I am. In the past two months or so I’ve felt the change in my bones. I’ve given myself over to this city and its contradictions, and the things it hides from me so carefully, insisting on the discovery that keeps me in motion each day, red cheeked and breathing hope. And then for three days I escaped it for New Paltz, for the inimitable comfort and reaffirmation of a team, for the perfect and ridiculous and so damn heartfelt girly bursts of pride and excitement for a milestone, for people I want to grab and say I live better when you’re here, for apples and ridges and hilltops and cheers and Bravo and chlorine and singing along as HARD as my lungs will allow to this and this.

When we had fires in Eva’s backyard this summer, my favorite part was watching everyone’s faces, the way they seemed to glow infinite, one after another in an invincible circle. I’ve been looking at all my friends that way lately, including the ones I can’t see. We have no idea where were headed, but nobody is going anywhere. Look how we move, look how we live.

This nasty chest cold has kept me from running for over a week, but that ends tomorrow, no matter what state my lungs wake up in. This needs to start right. I’m turning twenty two grateful.  Thank you.