Archive for Anger

The Artist

Dan,

I grew up in a house filled with music and voices discussing said music. I grew up in a house filled with laughter and doors opening and closing as my family wandered in and out of our vast backyard. I grew up in a house that smelled like coffee percolating and vegetables being sautéed. And I grew up in a house where the walls were never bare, a house filled with art that remains vibrant in my memory

I can play piano (not particularly well anymore but still), I can write a story or a poem with some ease and I can even break into song on occasion. But I have zero skill when it comes to the visual arts. This fact bothers me because I love art; I have a decent collection of original pieces for a 28 year old even.

I would love to draw the images I see in my head, capturing the essence of how a view inspires me or leaves me with my jaw dropped. Unfortunately I can only admire the work of others or attempt to capture the image with my words. Perhaps this is why I’m drawn to poetry, it allows me to paint a picture of a moment using the most beautiful words my vocabulary has to offer. This doesn’t quench the thirst I have some days to sketch a face though.

I’m lucky to have artists in my life, people who make my photos into oil paintings or take instruction so I’m able to have a unique image on wall. People who don’t see sketching as complicated and messy, but as second nature. I cling to those people in the hopes to have the pictures in my head eventually put down on paper so I can share them with the world.

Yes I could probably take classes to develop a basic skill, but I would never capture things as beautifully as I see them in my head. I would end up disappointed. So instead I will leave the visual arts to the skilled people who can make simple things beautiful and I will do my best to create a masterpiece with my words.

Typing along,

Adair

Try A Little Tenderness

Dan,

I think we can both agree that we try to make the most of the opportunities given to us. We fight hard for our achievements but we also recognize that we are lucky to be in that position. We appreciate the beauty of pursuing passions and dreams. Our lives are not perfect, we still battle our respective windmills, but we are living a lucky existence.

This being said, something I’ve seen as a habit for myself is the growing impatience I have with the pace of those around me. I’m a fairly lighthearted person in the day to day but I also know what it is to hurt and struggle to claim your own identity. I spent years floundering, fighting upstream to get to the place I find myself at now.

I have a job I love, friends who support me, family who understands me, passions that drive me and I reside in a city that constantly inspires me. I am living the life I worked for, I am the woman I struggled to become and now I feel like I’m waiting for the world around me to catch up.

The projects I help on thrill me but do not feel completed in the way I desire them to. The financial goals I have for myself are established but nowhere near accomplished. And I see people around me focus on what goes wrong rather than embracing how lucky we are to be given the opportunities we are offered, and taking action and make our lives better.

I know I fall victim to wallowing, overthinking and depression but I am able to dig myself out. I spent so long feeling so helpless that I don’t want to waste my limited time focusing on what I can’t have. I want to create, live and grow and I want to recognize every day how lucky I am to have these options.

Despite this I become impatient, I want my life to feel more like it’s “started.” I don’t want to wait on others; I want them to be at this ready place as well. But that’s not how life works is it? Part of embracing existence and learning is recognizing you may be alone in this some days. People, projects and jobs may hinder you at times; you may even become your own obstacle. Knowing this is half the battle and allowing life to go at whatever pace it needs to is the other half.

Practicing Patience,

Adair

I’ve Heard That Song Before

Adair,

Life has taken me around to a few places. I’ve been lucky enough to travel abroad a time or two and to live in a few different places. At twenty six, I’m no Jacque Cousteau or Gary Johnson, but I’ve traveled some. Right now I’m traveling over two thousand miles with my wife from Flathead Lake Montana back to Brooklyn with our new (to us at least) car. It’s been interesting to get from Montana to Chicago and see the sameness of parts of the country and the vast differences. The distances, the geologies, the accents, the industries, and the politics: all of it changes or stays the same even from county to county. And I’m barely halfway back right now.

This constant ebb and flow of landscapes and peoples has got me wondering about what galvanizes us together as a people. What do Americans have in common with each other? Do we have a binding agent, a glue that keeps us as one, or are we distinct regional tribes all floating on distant islands? A couple of poets once said that “everything is an island.” But does this include people and especially Americans?

If we look to religion, politics, ethnic heritage, or taste in Television you would have a hard time finding a binder that holds us all together like preschoolers crossing the street. From before Columbus or the Vikings before him, to when the first people crossed the land bridge into this part of the world, things have been different in some regards. Even our government, the laws of which we live under, is not a unifying factor. When rights are applied to some and kept from others, when the constitution is political chessboard rather than a statement that can be changed as needed, when the law is enforced or not based on class or race, we have no governing body that unites. We have a government that rules as it sees fit.

It would seem then, that America as a rule has no one people or idea that keeps it whole. So how are we still here?

Some would say that we aren’t. They would have you believe that this is a new state of chaos and the plight of modern times. Others would tell you that we are closer than ever to realizing the dream of unity, but those they push aside for not being unifying enough would beg to differ.

I think the truth is that we are both whole and broken. Because the only thing that makes America, America is our experience of her. It’s the shared memories of our people as a people.

Those of us who saw the moon landing were forever changed. It is a moment of public memory that changed everything. Some dreamed of flight school and the chance to see new worlds, others began writing of the perils and heroism of far off imagined worlds, and some spent their lives trying to prove that footage was directed by Stanley Kubrick.

We all remember 9/11 differently, but we all remember it. Some are still shaken by the horror of those who jumped to their deaths, others share pictures of a melted metal online and demand more answers. We all remember, and though our lives and experiences lead us to see different things that day, and to remember different things, we share in the experience of having seen it.

This is what makes America whole. We either see greatness or sorrow or a mix of both in wars, monuments, politicians, and American Idol results. We are a tribe of many tribes, but we have all seen the same story. Some parts are well told incorrectly, others hidden from view for their harsh truths, but the biggest moments were felt by all. How we saw them and what they did to us varied wildly. But our shared and varied memories makes us a country. More than that, they make us America.

Taking a moment to remember,

-Dan

Roses

Dan,

Having just returned from our home state I am left ruminating on all that has, and continues to change in my life. My time in Montana was often simpler and more relaxed whereas Washington brings me more joy and opportunity for growth. Every day is filled with questions and challenges that I do my best to solve. But there are times when I reflect not on what I’ve acquired during my life but what it is lacking.

I am not a person who pretends to have myself together. I have a good job, comfortable home, projects I’m passionate about and people I love, but I know that I haven’t reached my fullest potential by a long shot. I am a person who takes on too much, expresses themselves too little, and develops a numbness to cope with disappointment. But above all else, what I lack is a pride in the person I’ve become.

I understand that I am not a woman who is easy to truly know, I am difficult and damaged. I’m very slow to trust people, to put my walls down and to share my true feelings. Part of this is due to past disappointment by those I’ve let in and another part is from own basic need to defend myself, and my choices, from the world around me.

I could count on one hand the people who truly “know” me, the ones who have seen my eccentricities and habits, and accept them for exactly what they are. For the most part, this is my own fault. I do not trust people to see me without judgment or to understand why I am the way that I am.

This doesn’t mean that I’m harboring some dark secret or have suffered a terrible injustice. I am a work in progress, not yet fully formed in who I am and the process it takes to get there isn’t simple. I am not proud of who I have become because I am not yet someone who I see as worth being proud of. This is not meant to be self-deprecating but I recognize my own expectations in myself, and they have not been met.

I know the strength of my will though, I recognize the kindness in my heart and the intelligent thoughts the flow through me. I know I will be something exceptional someday; I will be someone worth knowing. And I know eventually I will feel pride at who I have become and the effort it took to create that person, and that will be a good day.

Looking forward,

Adair