May 26, 2011

I climbed a mountain

yesterday. when i got home i tied on my running shoes, and ran. trails, railroad tracks, a small loop past a small farm in a small town.
i'm dangerously close to being debt-free. and by 'dangerously' i mean there's no reason i can't call it good and move on to something newer, free-er, less here and more there any one of these lengthening days.
my soul is stirring and it wants so very much to be released, but the piano seems insurmountable and the pavement has lost its appeal.
when i ran out of the river and into your arms, i was happy. and warm. but what is happy. and even when i know what happy is, is it enough?
i wonder just how far back all of this really goes.. does it go back to that summer i fell in love with a house of strangers and found out that judgement can kill and guitars can bring freedom and grand pianos sound better when you're barefoot.
or maybe it goes back to the red dirt. oh, that's something.. i know that's something. i can't get over that and i can't go back to that.. not in my mind, not in photographs, not in the natural. but i'm going back to that.
or maybe this is really about saying i would go anywhere, do anything, and being driven in the dark to a place i didn't recognize, in a vehicle i'd never been in, to a place i couldn't locate on a map, and having no idea how to find my way out..
when i'm on a beach in the woods caged in by metal canoes and people who redefine beauty, i am happy.. but my soul begins to stir, my thoughts get ragged, and i'm driven to the mountains-
where all i need is my backpack. and a few weeks, maybe months.. alone.

but what i really want is to know:
would that really fix it. would that change anything. if i don't know how i got here, how am i to know what it will take to get out.

May 15, 2011

Love, Kendra.

I walked in my parents house at 1130 last night to find a self-addressed envelope containing the following:

November 16, 2010
Well Kendra- YOU'RE ALIVE! And hopefully you're mere breaths away from being debt-free! And hopefully your Suburu is singing like a champ! And hopefully you're excruciatingly happy on the inside. You and Laura should be closer than ever, your spirit should be more certain of what it wants, needs, feels, is called to.. and you should be on your way toward that, intentionally.
But as of right now-
As of right now I'm about to graduate from ten months of service that I really wasn't convinced I would make it through. Three days and I no longer have health insurance, no longer have to wear a uniform, no longer make $176 a week- no, every two weeks! No longer drive a government vehicle, wear steel-toe boots, and call an old psych ward "home". In fact in three days I'll be off for the next adventure- a four day roadtrip/excursion with this kid called Man Cub who somehow got ahold of me this last round. I've not understood a lot of it, but there are times, also, when it makes so very much sense and sits so perfectly with my soul. He's good for me and bad for me at the same time. But evenso, I feel it's been good, it's been right.. and somehow it's been beautiful. Is this going to last forever? No. It's not. Do I hope I always know him? Yes. I do. Because he's helped me in so many ways. My confidence has returned, but with it has come a meekness that sometimes makes me feel beautiful. He's shown me, subtly, how I'm special, different, wonderful. He's let me be free.. to really be me. Perhaps I'm learning how to feel, how to let myself feel for me.. how to let someone else make me feel. I've felt the weightiness of the world around me but rarely have I been comfortable letting the world around me feel for me. I have a hard time believing it's love, but I absolutely believe it's positive, worthwhile, meaningful, and good.
So by the time I get this letter it will be May. My 285 days of national service will be long past. How will I remember this? Will I remember the painstaking days at Mason Neck? The over-crowded days in the trailer? The heartwretching weeks in Camden? Will I remember what it felt like to be alive and dead at the same time- sitting on our row-house roof, pounding through the trails in Virginia, laying in the grass en route to Lake Charles, LA. Will I remember 4th round as a person or an experience? It was both.
I hope I explored the realm of music and the piano and the way they play with my spirit.. alot. Alot.
I hope I'm still running. Alot. I hope 18 miles is still an adventure I want, need, and have. I hope my family is still an integral part of my life and that I know and love them even more than I do right now. I hope I'm learning life, love, spirit, body. I hope I'm confident as I am. Kendra, you're more than a body. You're more than a list of what you've done. You're more than a ball of potential. You're someone trying to understand who you are and what that means in the world you've found yourself in. You're broken. I hope you always are. But that's part of what makes you really beautiful.
Perhaps you've found where you belong. If not, keep finding yourself.. keep finding your God.. and trust that one day you'll be home.
These last ten months have developed me more than changed me. I'm still me, moreso than ever, maybe. I'm not trying to be anything, I just am. And that sure feels good.
I hope you're still drinking wine out of coconuts. Promise me you'll always drink wine from coconuts. Promise me you'll always read books that stretch you. Promise me you'll always sleep outside when you can and that no matter the weather, you'll jump in the sea.
Remember the Atlantic, and how it loved you. Remember Allen's guitar. Remember the dolphins, the sea-turtles, the dumpster-diving, the way the ocean rose to kiss you goodbye that last morning in Virginia Beach.. before you waved goodbye to the rising sun, and ran away.
Life is beautiful. Even when it hurts. Even when it sucks. Remember that. Remember Kate, Liz, Puck, Mary, Rob, Heather, Michelle, Kenny, Josh, Nick, Zais, Buck. Remember this crazy place, these absurd people.
And carry on.

May 8, 2011


there should be more searching for the perfect word because
the perfect word doesn't exist; a word rises and falls and its not enough because the moment is exquisite and exquisite is a color a weight a sensation, not a word.
if i buy an orchid without smelling it did i miss the tropical room the squeaking shopping carts the echo off the stained cement floor or the eyes that lit and burned like a cheap match for 6 seconds at the register. did i miss the moment. for "the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks... your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. conformity explains nothing." at least that's what emerson said and who's to say he's not a god. but God knows what it means to be alive because he's never been dead.
think about that.
if i let my face turn brown in the summer the circles forming under my eyes won't be quite as obvious. and if i don't tell you you won't have any way of knowing that the reason my right eye is often smaller than my left is because there are days and weeks and [sometimes] months when i'd rather do anything but sleep. this is how i know life is good:
it's okay to run without a watch because the numbers don't matter as much as the way my eyes press the bits of gravel glass dirt and dust together when i forget about the miles in the midst of a new discovery somewhere in the center of my chest. i decide love is not acceptance and acceptance is not love, and yet they co-exist, just as i co-exist- a vessel filled only with spirit and a container with no lid saved solely for the collection of people places and ideas. and if i need to be isolated to pursue one thing then is it really the thing which i should be pursuing. and if there are people who make me feel calm then should i separate them from the people who make me rage. must one's every step be conscious or would an unexpected sleep-walk do us all a bit of good every now and again. but if i wake in the middle of the walk will i panic or die or will i see colors i've never seen before. if there's a chance of color i'll take the risk and i'm believing right now that for color there is always a chance.
if you walk into the room and show me a painting and say "see my new poem" i'll look intently but not closely for to analyze is to disect is to rip apart meaning. it wasn't always so for me but i'm quite wise now and so it is so.
dear dostoyevsky, you've shown me there is no such thing as writers block; one can always ramble. and if my rambling is fluid enough it becomes a painting and when i paint there are colors never black and white and as long as there is color i know i am alive, and as long as i'm alive, i will live.
but someday i'll make an account for all of this, right? one day i'll have to explain why i did what i did and my greatest fear is that i will hang my head as my heart fills will lead and drops past my feet and i'll cover my face with my uncalloused hands and picture in my clear and open mind the glorious life i could have run for.
or did.

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