2.17.17

There is a boy who sits across from me,

I like to watch him.

His round face, flushed cheeks,

The mop of tousled hair.

He looks like I portrait I saw once in the

Museum of Modern Art, of a boy during the American revolution.

Beside him sits a girl whose ears remind me of raphaelites painting, and the delicate pink shells of her ears are Aphrodite rising

Everywhere there are echoes of eternity in the curve of your lips.

it is like watching

infinity

birthing itself.

 

 

Advertisements

So This Is Where…

It always seems like I start these posts with an apology. It’s not like I forget about the blog, it’s just difficult to stay on top of it with college and life and everything.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. After everything that’s happened it seems hard to consider a future at all. And yet I’m in my Junior year, and internship season is coming up. It’s hard to think past the overwhelming pressure of ‘figure your life out! NOW’.

There’s so many people screaming on the internet right now. About politics, about current events, about pain and suffering and anger. I certainly know. It’s hard to go on Facebook. It’s hard to pull up the news. I can’t have a conversation with anyone without mutual feelings of helplessness and pain and fear coming up.

“What now?” Seems to be the question of the day. How do we proceed. How do proceed, to be microscopic. “What’s the point?” is another thing I keep asking myself. Maybe there isn’t one. But I enjoy creating. I enjoy writing. It helps. I always feel a little better after I post something here. I can’t guarantee that my posts will be all that positive or cheerful. Or even that coherent.

Sometimes there isn’t a reason people write things. Sometimes it’s just enough to do it for yourself. I look forward to posting here again.

Be kind to yourself.

XOXO

Joan and Johnny in the Garden of Heaven

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-38-31-am

Last night the fan went round and round. The night had cooled the days desert heat, sticky and relentless against the concrete. Outside the fountain burbled, the girl next door having a conversation with her boyfriend bleeding through the walls. I tell myself a story

A rusted sword propped outside an old western house, next to an old Martin D-35. Joan of Arc and Johnny Cash, sitting in the garden of heaven talking quietly. They call each other Jean.

His hands do not hurt when he plays the guitar. Joan learns to play the opening bars to Daddy Sang Bass. She sings the chorus again and again. He talks about Folsom and the real prison, and she does not speak of Rouen. She does not need to. There are flowers in her hair. The circle goes

Unbroken. God’s word is close now, and it does not burn. They harmonize with Jack right next door. Joan speaks not of war, but the sunshine of Domrémy. Johnny teaches the rolling rhythm of walking the line. Every Monday June Carter comes over. There is always a freshly baked apple pie. Joan’s banner waves gently in the summer breeze.

Last night the fan went round and round, the fountain burbled, and a girl yelled at her boyfriend through the paper thing walls. I like the idea of a country boy from Arkansas singing to a country girl from France in a deep bass baritone.  I dream of

Two Jeans, sitting together in the garden of heaven in the shade of a fig tree.

Amy VS. The Sophomore Slump

IMG_3358

So I guess I’m an upperclassman now. Time flies, and all that jazz. It’s a bit…odd, looking back over my sophomore year and what I think of it. When I was putting together this post, I don’t think I truly appreciated how much of a wringer sophomore year was. Honestly, if my second year at college were an album, it would get mixed reviews. The bands just starting to get it’s sound together, but there’s a long amount of work ahead before a billboard 100 number.

And this metaphor has completely escaped me.

In retrospect, it’s been the most tumultuous year I’ve had since, well, freshman year (pause for cricket noise in place of laughter). Alright, that’s simply not true at all. Freshman year was a blur of ‘i’m at college’ fueled with desperation tinged adrenaline rushes. Sophomore year was like getting sucker punched by reality after getting off that roller coaster. I think the thing I struggled with the most was how transitory and stationary it felt – no one warns you about how much things change. All of a sudden you’re off this high and trying to figure out what’s actually happening – do you really like your friends? Or your classes? Are you sure that’s what you want to major in?

IMG_4819

I’ve lost contact with friends I could have sworn would one day attend my wedding. I experienced the biggest emotional downswing I’ve ever had. I felt frustrated at virtually every point – with classes, with art, with friends, with myself. I suffered a injury that meant I couldn’t exercise anymore, which had a profound impact on my happiness. More than anything else, sophomore year has been about getting over myself and what I envisioned and getting on with things. I literally like like that last grim faced survivor clambering out of the evil cabin into the watery light of a new dawn (or I’ve been watching too much Evil Dead with my dad).

On the other hand, sophomore year has kind of rocked. I’ve spent so much time focusing on the negative that when I was looking over the year, I couldn’t believe how much love and beautiful things I was able to experience. I pushed myself harder this year than any prior, but here’s a quick recap for future posterity (and when I start feeling whiny about my life). I wrote a ten minute play. I was in my first musical. I scripted, directed and acted in a web series. I was the editor for the school journal. I got my writing published in a literary magazine. I was given a grant to do special research that still gives me inspiration and opportunities today. I started a new job – and learned how to sew. I started a podcast. I was able to travel to Siem Reap. I saw my best friend more than once. I saw my other best friend nearly everyday. I saw BEYONCE. I was lucky enough to have my life filled with amazing people – many new, extraordinary friends – who continually pushed and supported me. This may sound like a paragraph full of bragging but I’m proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the way I pushed myself, and struggled to improve. But more than anything, I couldn’t have done it without the never-ending support and love of everyone in my life, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciated them.

IMG_4715

Anyway we’re all beautiful butterflies who are constantly in a state of metamorphosis and self growth blah blah blah whatever you get it. Thank you to anyone who was involved on my journeys, or simply for being there and reading this jet-lagged fueled spew of words. So mostly my mom and the friends she forwards these things to. Hi Mom’s friends! And also Junior year, apparently. I get to do this all again!

From the bottom of my heart – thank you, I love you, goodnight.

XX

 

Slumps

Been working on several short stories and trying to get into the mindset of sharing my writing. Recently finished polishing this piece (or at least it’s in a place where I feel ok sharing it). XX

Slumps

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I know I am in a slump because that is when I cannot look away from my flaws, and I pick at the ugly sensation hiding behind my collarbone until I feel raw and sadder than before. I have put on seven different outfits, and my cheeks are flushed from exertion. I pick until I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I pick at myself until I forget that I actually love my body, I pick until I cannot anymore because I need to go to class.

It is hard, because I am a rational person, so I say ‘You know that’s not right. This isn’t what you really think. Be kind to yourself’. But I don’t want to be kind to myself, or love my body, or do what all my caring friends tell me to do. I want to nap and be left alone.

I cannot look in mirrors, or be around people, or be left alone. Looking in mirrors will only mean I see more flaws. Being around people means having to pretend I’m not in a slump. Being left alone only lets me fall deeper into it. Slumping is hard.

I am in a slump and feel chubbier than I deserve to think of myself. I chastise myself for not exercising, for going for the extra fry that I didn’t really want to eat. In the mirror, my shirt doesn’t fit right. I eat a salad – not because I think it’s delicious, but because I’ve been taught that lettuce will make me thin. Later I will eat three cookies to quell my hungry stomach, and feel even worse.

Slumps happen regardless of rain, of time, of work and rest. I am always working. I’m working on class assignments, I’m working on my friendships, I’m working on becoming gentler with myself. But on slump days there is also anger. I am angry because I cannot do enough – because I am not as talented, or beautiful, or smart as my classmates. I am not as nice as I want to be. I do not like myself in a slump; my personality, my soft stomach, my laugh.

When I am in a slump, it feels like a day destroys a lifetime’s work of loving myself.

The thing is, it doesn’t.

I am not writing about my slump because it is a cry for help. I am not scared of my slump. This is a bad day, and I am a person who feels bruised on the inside. But I am better than I was a year ago. That helps, the knowledge that I can be flawed and feel bad, but know that I have made changes to move forward. The nice thing about slumps is that they remind you that you are human, and imperfect.

“I will be okay,” I think as I eat my third cookie and wish that I didn’t have to go to class “Bad is ok.” Maybe tomorrow I will like my laugh again.

Today it is raining, and I am in a slump. I feel bad today, and that is alright.

Welcome to Urinetown (The Musical)

It’s always strange when a play comes to an end.

12991786_1170648172975910_253386601_o

Getting into costume – Mrs. O Henry.

There’s always the immediate sensation of ‘well..what now?’. Urinetown has been such a big part of my life for the last two months. Every day I found myself at our theatre, singing, dancing and immersing myself into the wonderful cast of people I now consider my family. So when I found myself bidding goodbye to everyone (possibly the last time I’ll ever see some of our graduating seniors, or freshman who will move on to different things than the theatre), it was with both heavy heart.

12961196_10154146120017704_7652690299591809086_o

Act One Finale – Bobby Strong.

I’m so proud of the work that I’ve done during my time in Urinetown. Not least because it was one of the most physically challenging plays I’ve done. A quick change really earns it’s name when you have to race down to the voms and change into a completely new outfit and then burst back onto stage – all in 80 seconds. It wasn’t just the consistent racing to the bottom of the theatre though – for the first time I was selected to be a lead dancer, something I took on with no small amount of doubt and derision. After all, it was mostly a funny joke – that I was the one chosen to dance, with my bum knees and lack of experience . However I’m proud to say that every performance I gave it my all and held my own, even while sweating beneath a ski mask (which I am NOT sorry to say goodbye to)

12977216_10154146119182704_5465206647614483778_o

Cop Song with Officers Lockstock & Barrel.

Urinetown was quite possibly the funnest show I’ve ever been involved in, and I couldn’t be happier that it was my first department stage production. It’s constantly a shock and source of inspiration to me how talented the people around me are. One poor cast member actually sprained a foot halfway during our run – and gained standing applause for performing every dance on crutches!

12983938_10154146119897704_6119258516753494036_o

Act One Finale – Little Sally, Mrs. O. Henry, Doctor Billeaux

There are always times when I doubt why I want to go into the theatre. Rehearsals are long and grueling, directors can be nitpicky, it’s very easy to feel discouraged when you receive a small part. However, all my doubts always wash away when I get up onto stage. There is nothing in the world like being a part of a production – creating your own world and sharing it with complete strangers. It’s a rush unlike anything else. And when I look around- at my wonderful castmates, at my friends sitting in the audience to support me, at the complete strangers there to listen to our story – then I realize there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

12495060_10154123458557704_64151750861892715_n

From rehearsals…

12976889_10154146120252704_8454396892555349030_o

To showtime!

12968088_10154146118392704_6649981995703949594_o

Privilege to Pee – Penelope Pennywise.

12998436_10154146106297704_1301632426377411576_o

Follow Your Heart – Hope Cladwell and Bobby Strong.

12976893_10154136330697704_5070564647673146501_o

This is Urinetown!

Ah well, life moves on, and smacks you in the face with all the responsibilities you’ve been avoiding. It’s time to choose a major, time to figure out housing for next year. While Urinetown may be over, there are always more projects, more creativity to be found and explored. Urinetown, it’s been a privilege.

Winter Wonderland: I am a fragile tropical flower.

I assume no one’s surprised that I’m rolling into a post about thanksgiving way after the actual date. That’s because I am a winner.

 

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I celebrated my first thanksgiving in America. This year was even better than last years though, because I was lucky enough to have my family come out and celebrate with them. Thanksgiving is always a special time for me. It mark the point where I can officially start to celebrate christmas in public, instead of just talking about who excited I am about it (see: the entire month of November. My friends must be sick of my gushing. I just really enjoy christmas, ok?)

No, I’m just joking. Thanksgiving has a special connotation for me because in Hong Kong it would be one of the big parties my parents would throw. I have so many memories of being dressed up and stuffing myself with turkey, watching the adults table longingly when members of the kids table would graduate to that hallowed ground.

This thanksgiving I celebrated again in Oregon, only this time I brought along my roommate with me. She bravely embraced the insanity of my family (we are all very loving in a shouting and arms waving way) and spent five days with me in the beautiful town of Bend and then later Portland.

photo 1

 

Unsurprisingly, neither of us were prepared for the winter. We’re talking temperatures that include snow, ice and all those  fun little things about cold weather like frostbite. The second we stepped off the plane it was right into the middle of Antartica (or so it seemed to two SoCal girls). The second I stepped out of the airport I promptly slipped on a patch of ice and bit the dust. We spent a lot of the weekend talking about how cold it was and staying firmly inside. Any movement to go anywhere required the assembling of an outfit with two many layers to count. It turns out we make very cute marshmallow people though.

 

photo 1

 

We also went snowshoeing for the very first time. It’s something that I’m super glad we did, because it was just so beautiful. There’s really nothing like winter, when it goes all quiet in the soft cold light to remind you just how beautiful the world can be. I certainly admired it as much as possible, until I actually couldn’t feel my butt anymore and we slogged home. Poor Mom got a phone call begging for hot chocolate before we’d even reached the door.

 

photo 3 photo 4 photo 2

 

COLD COLD COLD.

In any case, this is just going to be a very quick post about how wonderful it was to take a break from college. The reason why i’ve been so late posting is because everything has gone full speed ahead with finals week. Definitely a good reason to relax and completely stuff myself with good food and better company.

It’s going to be a rough week ahead, that’s for sure. Good luck to anyone going through finals, and remember to be thankful for the amazing beauty that the world holds. Just, you know, from inside.

 

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14701105/?claim=jngxr8wc297″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wolves

Just something I wrote around Halloween. Playing around with story telling modes.

Wolves

When we bought the house, they assured us the wolves wouldn’t come near us. They told us not to worry. Of course, you’d think it foolish of us, but we bought the house anyway.

Who could blame us? You’re here after all. You see our house, with it’s fine interior. Of course, it’s so nice of you to drop by, we rarely get visitors. So lovely to have new neighbors. It’s been quiet since the last family moved out. It’s what was best for them, I like to think. After what happened to their little boy. I shudder to think about losing a child like that.

Come sit, have a cup of tea. What was I saying? Time slips away from me nowadays. Oh the house – yes we bought the house. Me, my husband and our daughter. Around your age now, aren’t you such a darling? Yes, it’s good tea. Look how it shines through the cup. Thin as bone. Thin as bone. My mother always told me that was the sign of quality china.

We bought the house. Isn’t it lovely? Yes, I think so. Look at the way the floor boards shine. Never a creak with these floorboards, even after all these years. I like the wallpaper as well, though we’ve had to reply it a couple of times. Accidents happen all the time my dear. Sometimes the stains show through though. No matter how much you scrub, there’s a lot that won’t come out of these walls.

Oh that noise? No, don’t worry about that. Old pipes. Old walls. There’s history around this place, don’t you know? They told us that when we bought it. Surely they must have told you. Sometimes the creaking gets a little loud, but after all these years I’ve learned to ignore it. I’m sure you will too. My poor daughter had such a hard time the first couple of years.

While I have you here, I may as well show you a photo of her. Indulge an old woman, won’t you? Yes, there she is. What a beauty, just like you. She won’t ever pose for photos any more, mores the pity. Shy, I guess.

Do you have children? No? Such a shame, such a shame. My daughter was the apple of my husband’s eye, don’t you know. Spoiled her rotten he did. When she wanted to go camping she’d go. When she wanted to sleep under the stars, she did. Used to worry me sick, thinking about her outside. Wrapped up in nothing but a blanket. There’s something unbearable about the thought of the stars, such cold, unfeeling things. My daughter loved them though, surely she did. She used to go outside all the time, even when the wolves howling was a little too close for my comfort.

It was such a tragedy, what happened to that little boy. I’m surprised they didn’t tell you about it when they sold you the house. Such a tragedy. Still, children get into scrapes all the time. Why, one time my daughter came home with such a bite on her shoulder, you wouldn’t believe. It was around two weeks before the accident. Still, it healed up right nicely it did, even if she was a little twitchy when the wolves howled. Still, They told us not to worry about the wolves, and we didn’t.

Forgive an old lady for bringing up the past. Strange, the way that lantern light turned her eyes gold. Gave my husband and I quite the turn when she came home that night. It was only the day after that we found out about the little boy. Can you imagine if it had been my daughter? It still makes me shudder, even after all these years. Oh yes, old walls in this house. They’ll remember that night long after I’m gone.

You look a little worried. Don’t worry, there hasn’t been a wolf attack in years. I remember because the last one was right before my daughter left for college. I’m quite excited you know. She’s coming back for a visit. She’s going to be arriving any minute. I’m sure she’ll be so interested to hear about our new neighbors, after all, she did love that little boy so. I shudder to think that such an accident could happen again.

Oh you have to go? What a pity, I hoped you’d stay. But it is getting dark out, isn’t it? Let me lend you a lantern, it’s a lonely walk back to your car. No it’s no bother – walking by the stars light is all well and good when you can’t see what’s in the shadows. Be sure to drive carefully dear! Come back and visit soon, it is so nice to see new faces.

Don’t forget to worry about the wolves my dear, when you’re looking up at the stars.

Paradise – Ireland Through Photography.

I was looking through my photos and found some shots of Ireland that I just had to share. This is a purely indulgent (and sponsored by fond memories) post about how beautiful my trip was.

 

DSC_0400

A real life fairytale…

DSC_0355

Met the cutest little puppy

DSC_0334

I’ve never seen so many different shades of green

DSC_0464

Even the buildings were overflowing with the color

DSC_0336

Along the Wicklow Way…

photo 2

Even through fog

photo 1

and rain

photo 2

and more fog..

DSC_0408

Ireland remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

There were times I had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Sorry about this mostly wordless post, although I did end up creating a sort of avant garde poetry through the captions (haha).

As always,

Love, Amylia.