"I'm just a candle trying to stay lit on this windy night" -Matisyahu
No one tells you that you're going to lose hope sometimes. They don't warn you that at the end of the day, every now and then, you feel wasted and aimless. They don't prepare you for the times when you disappoint yourself, or forget about why you started down this road. Part of growing up is learning to regard these moments as temporary. To know that no matter how dark the sky gets, the sun will always find its way back. If you're lucky, you'll have someone there who reminds you of this. Someone who doesn't join you in suffrage, and remains tall when you are meek.
But if you do find yourself alone, and unconvincing, here is one thing you can depend on. Somehow, every morning, no matter what is going on in your head, your feet will put themselves in front of each other. One after another they will keep going, even without your consent. Because sometimes, it's just about going through the motions of the day. You can't expect everything to be exciting, or to feel good. Life is a spectrum, and living means experiencing both ends of that. Like therapy, over time, the light will find you again, and you will quickly forget what it felt like to be so cynical.
I know I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I'm simply writing within a frame of thought that I usually don't deem worth writing down. I mean, why write something that is just going to depress you later? Moreover, why write a blog that might depress other people? But, sadness is a part of my life. Whether I like it or not, it's there. I don't see much use in hiding these portions, as this record is more for me than anyone else. Even in recent years I have grown to enjoy taking pictures of tattered things, ruins of buildings, pieces of something else that once was. These things are worth noting, and worth acknowledgment, but it's important not to dwell there too long. It's important to try and pull yourself up when you're down, and to try and see the brighter side. You'll usually find what you're looking for, either way.
[ t h e . c o a s t ]
This weekend Zac and I got to say goodbye to Oregon in the best way possible. Maria and her husband, Zach, took us to the beach in Oceanside and rented a cottage for the weekend. The room we slept in was one of the most beautiful ways that I've ever woken up. It had two-story ceilings, white walls, white sheets and pillows, white towels rolled and stacked on white tables. It goes without saying that it's the kind of place you don't drink wine in bed. The side opposite the bed is basically one giant window to the ocean, porch, and beach. The sound of crashing waves and high tide puts you to sleep, and the warmth of the sunrise wakes you up by ten like clockwork. Maria brought us champagne every morning before we even got out from under the covers.
Oceanside is 6 miles out from Tillamook, Oregon; home of the infamous Tillamook cheese and ice cream. Also, home to one of the strangest stenches my nose has ever mulled over. For the first time I took note of how large cows' nostrils are, and I couldn't help but feel badly for them as we drove by in the safety of closed windows. If I lived here, I would cover my house in flowers and sage. I would take aromatherapy baths and burn candles that smelled like pine trees; enough scents to make my mother sick to her stomach. For anyone looking to travel here, I would recommend booking a few miles away from the city center. But if you don't mind smells, the elegance of Oregon's coastal landscape is more than enough to make up for it.
The instant we arrived on Saturday afternoon I watched Zac surf for the first and last time in over a month. I'm not sure who was happier to see him run into the water, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I was far enough away so that I wouldn't see the startled expression of ice cold water on his barenaked feet. If it weren't for that, he would have been grinning as wide as I was. We spent the weekend in the element of retirees who frequent B&Bs together, playing dominos and watching old movies left over from other passerbys. The air was quiet and cold, demanding that we rest our worries and take deeper breaths before we depart from PDX.
"It's had its ups and downs," Zac said this morning, looking over the mountains of pearl white comforter that separated us, "but it can't go up unless it comes down." I fought the urge to disagree with him, because I suppose he's right. In the last few days, I have become overwhelmingly thankful for his patience. This man has seen me in all possible lights, both unflattering and inspiring, and I wouldn't wake up every day half as happy if it weren't for the comfort of knowing that I am not being judged. He allows me to be myself, and demands that I do so. He isn't interested in the facades of appropriateness anymore, we passed that line a long time ago. These days, we know each other so well that it's second nature to recognize when one of us needs cheering up. I spent late September so worried about him, that I forgot to give myself the pep-talk when panic came around. But like the amazing friend he is, his pure enjoyment of every day keeps my chin way up.
I missed Hawai'i a lot this weekend, fighting the urge to get in the water all day. I wouldn't last a minute in there. Another point on my list of "things I don't tolerate" is cold water. It's up there between tags sticking out of shirts and listening to feminist rants. In our last hours on the shore we all drove up to an infamous Fur tree. It stands at a towering 400 feet tall and is over 800 years old. If it could speak I would have asked it if it would like a shoulder massage, and thank it for letting us take family-portrait styled picture on its toes. Later we hiked down the hills to the beaches lined in black rocks and tunneled caves. I took too many pictures and traced pathways in the sand with my feet to scratch the itch of swimming. More than anything, this weekend gave me the room to think about shifting back into transit mode. Here we go again, on the road again. I tried not to think about what could go wrong, but some of our recent luck has left me cautious. This week marked the middle point of our trip, and it's hard to believe this has a lifespan of 100 days. It feels like so much more than just days, and hours. It feels like a new direction.
On the drive back to Portland we listened to The Mountain Goats. A friend of mine once recommended that I download them while I was visiting Colorado, but this was during her oxycontin phase of life, and every chance I've given them has forced to me switch playlists by the middle of song number two. Today though, suddenly, they found their time and place. 22 out of 84 tracks later we began searching for an Oil Can Henrys to have the astro van serviced one final time before our push to Colorado. As of right now, all of the gauges are disconnected, the service engine light keeps winking at us. On long and lonely nights, the engine ticks as it rotates, reminding us of evaded responsibilities.
My job for the next 24 hours is to finish my mural at Refuge, so that Maria can either buy it from me or sell it for me through the venue. I can't believe with 21 days behind me that it's still not done, and I'm far too content to finish it with any organic emotion. I have to stop thinking about it so much. I used to be able to kind of leave my mind and let my body paint for me, but it always happened so naturally. I guess this is why I've never tried to make a business out of art. It's harder for me to give things when they are being asked for. As always, wish me luck.