california

Everything teems with a buzz, a drive. Everything is very, very alive and loves being so. The flowers are as orange as their sun, their mother, and grow ever fonder of her as the long warm day stretches on. The trees race among themselves to be the most vibrantly green of them all, and, looking at them, you can say to yourself: This is alive.

And the people are wrapped more and more tightly in this life as the days go by, and slowly the layers seep into their bones, and they glow in agreement and congruency with the life that surrounds them.

the versatile blogger award

Thank you so much to hailangeliccreation for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. People like you keep me creating.

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.
  2. Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.
  3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

I nominate the following:

1. OfOpinions

2. The Little Vegan Kitchen

3. ValsDarkRoom

4. allisonmarieconway

5. jacquelinemhadel

6. heideblog

7. Idiot Joy Showland

8. The Insatiable Traveler

9. ramaarya

10. Ben Trovato

All of the above creators have brought me a lot of inspiration and have led me to a good deal of reflection on my own blog.

Seven Facts:

1. I am madly in love with the sun.

2. I believe in the Last Thursday Theory–that the whole universe and all of its memories could have been created just last Thursday–mainly because no one can prove it wrong.

3. I believe lots and lots of coffee is the only path to thorough and eternal joy.

4. I think I am very old inside; I love extremely old things and antiques.

5. I have been vegan for almost two years (without malnourishing myself even once!)

6. The further The Eagles’ music gets into Country-Rock, with emphasis on the Country part, the less I enjoy it.

7. I have a small, black birthmark on the iris of my eye.

Feel free to leave comments or questions. Happy writing, and thanks again to my nominator.

Ella

exploration!

See that! That exciting exclamation mark! It is very appropriate. I am exploring, and it is rightfully exclaimed.

My only blog post this far has been me whining about the trappings of my hometown. But I want to be more than that. I am exploring myself and my tiny little world. I am exploring my mind and trying to make it not so tiny. I want to dig and find everything that is wonderful and beautiful. This disposition has risen from 2 reasons, 2 recent realizations: the mandate of the present and the meaninglessness/fleetingness of life.

It was recently related to me that the past and future don’t exist. It sounds an odd and easily refutable claim. However, when truly examined, the present really is all we have. The past and future are just imagined—they live only in our minds. All we really know to be real is what we feel and see and think in this moment, right now. This inhale, this exhale. The sound of our heart faintly heard in the quiet. The present is our only reality, everything else a figment of our imagination.

If that’s not existentialist enough, I have also recently been subjected to the all-encompassing thought of death, of the brevity of life, and its ultimate meaninglessness. A stimulant of these thoughts was the recent death of a professor I had just last semester. She was only seventy-two. In the middle of a successful career, holding many respectable local positions, in good health, she simply died. This made me angry. That is not how it’s supposed to work; you’re born, you go to school, you have a career, you retire, and you only then do you die, warm in your bed, satisfied and happy and surrounded by your whole family. That is the paradigm. You’re not supposed to die at the peak of your career. But death does not care. It simply took her.

I will appreciate my present because I have to. I have to love where I am and who I am. That is all I have; that is all any of us have. So here’s to exploring the now.

y’all

An (intendedly cheery) illustration of the cold and empty prison in which I live.
• • •
Beautiful land, dismal people.

That is my best summarization of the southern region of the U.S., and a particularly accurate description of the, at times, almost unbelievable, state that is Kentucky.

The juxtaposition would almost be humorous, if not for how sad it is. Look around and see great, soaring mountains, reaching and climbing and progressing, stretching for the heavens; the whole land covered with millions of different wondrous creatures; the forests and foliage most vibrant and enticing, exuding life, and, come autumn, burning with the most furious and incomprehensible oranges and reds and yellows.

And, then, the inhabitants of this land, most of whom hold in one hand a cigarette and in the other a Mountain Dew, driving their deafening trucks with massive Rebel flags flying on the back, leaving an almost visible trail of nasty. (This is not a joke, nor is it hypothetical.)

The stark contrast between the proud and awe-inspiring land, its diversity and the mountains’ constant climb upward and onward, and the human majority who are completely stagnant, suspended like a bubble in Jell-O in their own tiny town (some might even say they’re actually regressing), is incredible.

I really have pushed myself to dig, search, scavenge, for the good in these people and in this small town. To some degree, I have succeeded. There truly are compassionate and worthy qualities found in the general Southern population. I know that. Additionally, for me to generalize millions of people goes roughly against everything I hold true. Therefore, my purpose for writing is not to incriminate the people who live here, but to express my violently obvious misplacement—express my need to go elsewhere. Kentucky is not my bag, my niche, nor my cup of tea. I simply belong somewhere else, and that does not speak badly of Appalachia’s inhabitants. It only means that I am a cube that has been stuck aggressively inside a circular hole. I feel in my often heavy heart that this is not the place for me; if I ever dream of creating myself—if I ever wish to even graze with my fingertips my full potential, then I must go.

The truth is that my town’s population is a staggering 88% white—(which is actually a huge increase in diversity! How inspiring!)—and mostly heterosexual, vigorously conservative, Protestant Christian people. I crave more. I crave rich, bursting diversity. I want to see people of all kinds. I want to hear them and speak to them and see them surround me, their stories and passions spilling into mine. I desire a world swimming with all things different. I want to take my roots, the progressing, soaring mountains, and to spring from them gleefully into the colorful, changing world.

stone and tree

I have never felt so strongly the connection to my family than I have recently.

I see myself in the hard, strong lines in my mother’s face. I have my mother’s hands, her skin. My mother has always been connected to the sun; it draws her and gives her energy, it repairs her and opens her unlike anything I have ever seen. And this love is rooted in me. The sun is part of my mother, and I have part of the sun in me.

My mother and my grandmother drink their coffee ritualistically. They save all their money, they shop only at Goodwill and still dress better than everyone. They love. They pour love. And in the most firm and unconditional way. They are stone.

My grandmother is made of an invaluable stone. She has lost so much.

My heart flutters and my eyes water when I think of this family tree, the huge and unmoving trunk that you cannot even wrap your arms around. It is not prone to destruction or affectation by anything on the planet, anything in the galaxy. This tree is all I have, and here I know my self.

What is this?

I do not know.

Is this my mind trying to expand? Or to keep its sanity?

Is this my soul trying to reach beyond its confines?

Is this my heart trying to kiss others’?

Is this finding myself? Creating myself?

I do not know.

This is me, figuring it out.