Tuesday, May 26, 2009

words to live by...

The lovely Lea
The scanned, worn out words which never get old to me

I was with my dear friend Lea one night and we were getting all heartfelt over cocktails when I remembered the piece of paper I had folded in my purse. I had been walking around with this tear out for months. Whenever I wasn't sure which way to go, didn't know if it really would be ok in the end, I would cling to the words and follow them like a beacon in the fog. Creases in the glossy paper ran as deep as my sadness on some days. She needed those words that night so I gave her the piece of paper and told her to be strong. I also told her that she had to give me back that piece of paper some day. It must have been over a year ago and I had completely forgot about the whole thing. I have no idea how she knew that today was a day that I so badly needed to be reunited with those words. Today I hold hands with those words and breathe deeply. Thank you, Lea, I just remembered how strong I am. I think of you often as well.

"Hold on to what is good
even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe
even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do
even if it is a long way from here...
Hold on to my hand
even when I have gone away from you."
- Nancy Wood, From Many Winters

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"The harder you fall, the higher you bounce."

There are these little toys, you find them in your stocking or maybe your easter basket. I think you can get them at a dollar store. I am not sure, though, I have never been to a dollar store. Anyway, they are little and plastic. They sit on a disk with a spring and a plastic figure of some sort attached to a suction cup, kind of like a bobble head. The figure gets smushed down on to the disk and is held down by the suction cup. It sits on whatever flat surface you put it on. Then you wait. Eventually the suction cup gives in to the pressure from the spring on the inside and it pops up. The cool/annoying part about the toy is that no one has any idea when the little guy is going to spring back into action. No one knows how high it will bounce or what direction it will go. I am like that toy. You can push me down but I always pop back up. It is not a question of if, it's just a matter of when.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I may know the words, but not say them.

I was wandering around my mom's house looking for a distraction when I stumbled on to a Pablo Neruda book that was given to my mom by my bother in law, Bryan. I had forgotten how lovely his poetry is. This is one of my favorites that I am sharing with you:

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes?

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her?
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her void. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Pablo Neruda

Monday, May 18, 2009

True Blue

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I knew Brooke was my soul mate pretty early on. Like most soul mates, I knew I had to have her. We were 14 and I worked my ass off to steal her from her then best friend (Sorry, Amy, you didn't stand a chance). We have been inseparable since, though we rarely share a city. Like true soul mates, we are so very, very different. That is why it works. Our contrasts and curves combined make one kick ass team. We listen to each other, laugh with/at each other and try not to go to bed mad. Sometimes I piss her off, sometimes she makes me want to scream. It's something like true love. Brooke has always been known as the sweet one, but she and I both knows who is the real mush. I know she wishes I would put my heart back under my ribs where it belongs. She gets very protective of me and I make her job really hard when every time she turns around I have let my heart escape me again and she finds it, laying on the table, all soggy and vulnerable.

It wasn't anything huge that made me realize how blessed I was to have her. We were on a plane, sitting quietly. We weren't talking and I remember thinking how grateful I was to have a friend that I was so comfortable around that we didn't even need to talk anymore. Those silences speak volumes about how true the friendship is.

Brooke emailed me today with an addition to my birthday blog:

Sarah, Here are some other pearls of wisdom that I have learned from you:
  • you can turn heads in LA with clothes from the sale rack at the GAP
  • your natural hair color can also be your best
  • putting your heart out there is painful but worth it
  • your net worth should match your self worth
  • girl movies and candy can make any Sunday better
  • ESP exists
  • ladybugs are pests
  • laughing can't solve all problems but it works for most
  • soul mates can also be best friends
  • dance offs are the best way to solve problems

Love you,

I love you too.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

They say it's my birthday...

"At this point in my life, I am doing the best I can." -Tracy Chapman

Today I turn 29. I am not old and I am not young. I don’t know a lot, but I am learning. Some days are really hard and some go by with sweet hints of a happy future, raspberries floating in a cold iced tea. I am watching some of my favorite girls gather poolside on this warm, east side day and they are giving me the laughter and love that I need. Brooke, Jordan, Amelia and Emily brainstorm about the things I have taught them in our twenty-something years of friendship. They are not doing a very good job so far. Us Weekly and margaritas have them distracted. So, in honor of me and my 29 years of learning/living/loving, I will tell you what I know:

  • Being kind does not make me weak.
  • Contrary to popular belief, I do not have too many best friends.
  • I will most likely drink whatever is in front of me.
  • Eye drops and concealer are my idea of a power nap.
  • I am fiercely loyal.
  • No dreadlocks in my bed. Ever.
  • I can always drink more water.
  • You can’t trust people to use their turn signals correctly.
  • I am boy-crazy and someday soon my sisters hope that I will be man-crazy.
  • To truly pluck your eyebrows successfully you have to move into three sources of light.
  • It is never too late to tell me you are sorry.
  • Sitting up straight in public makes me feel better.
  • Some things you don’t have to let go of, no matter how many times people tell you that you should.
  • I am a cryer and it is ok. It is not sad and it is not bad.
  • I don’t believe in artificial fibers.
  • Have a valid passport and be ready to pack in 15 minutes. You never know when someone is going to want to take you somewhere.
  • Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.
  • Stop. Think. Then speak.
  • There is a shower window.
  • Less is more, except for earrings.
  • If I don’t remember saying it, it was one of my other personalities.
  • Four shades of blue is better than four shades of black.
  • Don’t waste your pretty.
  • A “courtesy smile” is better than a frown.
  • No man is worth crying over and the who is won’t make me cry.
  • I am not good at yoga.
  • Try adding "right now" to the end of everything... it works. "I don't know what to do... right now."
  • There is a bigger picture.
  • I will always be able to find something that makes me laugh, even when I am on the floor.
Happy birthday to me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm On A Boat

Reed introduced this video to me and now I realize why we are such good friends. He knew I needed something to make me laugh and oh God how I laughed. FYI, it's funnier the third time around (and the twelfth time).


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jonni Lynne

My mother is a poem I'll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother.
~Sharon Doubiago

Dear Mom,

I can’t write a blog that will tell the whole truth. There is not enough words in the dictionary to capture me and you. I can’t spell out all the times we have laughed and cried or talked without speaking. Our story is more. Our story is sometimes public, sometimes private. You are my mom. Every time I think you are done teaching me, there is always another lesson. Every time I think I know every moment you have lived, there is another story.

You teach me not to take life so seriously, but seriously enough to be grateful and gracious. You teach me to be female and strong, always to stand up for what I believe and not to sacrifice my authentic self. You have taught me to protect myself, because nothing around any of us is permanent. We carry ourselves always, even when everything else may fall away. You have promised me, in my loneliest moments, that my heart won't always hurt.

You told me to always put your name down as my “emergency contact”. This directive came at a time when I was twenty-something and living on my own. Being the eternal single girl always had me wondering if something happened, how long it would be before I was missed. Knowing that you are so deeply protective of me that you would want to be the first to know if my world collapsed is a safety net I depend on. A nook to crawl into. In the future I hope my emergency contact will have a new name and you have always helped me hold on to the idea that there will be someone who wants to protect me as much as you have.

There is a quote I love, “I know what I have given you but I do not know what you have received.” This is what you have given me. These are the little slivers of wisdom that I still carry with me:

Think about what you are going to say for five seconds before you say it. Always.

I want to eat the entire cake. I really do. I want to take the cheesecake and make out with it. You usually think this is a bad idea. You know, that like most women, I will fish the cake out of the garbage in a moment of weakness. No one wants cheesecake that has been drenched in hot water.




It had been raining for, I don’t know, three months straight and there was a break in the weather. You loaded all the kids up in your Volvo to go traipse around the dark, slimy urine-stained cement barracks of Fort Casey. I was dressed head to toe for a lovely tea party at the royal palace, complete with bows and a fluffy dress and my plastic lace jelly shoes. You warned me they were a bad idea and when I ended up sprawled out at the bottom of steep stairs, covered head to toe in mud, crying, you took a picture. Later you told me to always take the sad pictures too. “Why?” I asked you. “Because, there will be thousands of pictures of you posing for the camera, smiling,” you said. “These moments are a part of your story too, and you don’t want to leave any of the parts out, not even the bad ones.”









Thank you, mom. You are my best-case scenario. Happy Mother’s Day.



Friday, May 8, 2009

Very bed behavior

"I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?" Ernest Hemingway

According to the research one in five couples now sleep alone because of their partner's bad bed habits. After googling the subject to death, here is what seems to have couples up in arms:

* Disagreement about who gets which side of the bed
* Differing sleep positions
* Temperature of the room
* To cuddle or not to cuddle
* Sheet textures
* Alarms
* Tossing and turning
* Teeth grinding
* Degree of quietness
* Getting up in the middle of the night
* The size of the bed
* The firmness of the bed
* Snoring
* Having a window open
* Sleeping with children or pets
* Nightmares
* Going to bed angry
* Sleep walking
* Amount of pillows
* Number of blankets
* Time to go to bed
* When to get up in the morning
* Insomnia

I sleep with one foot out. Not one foot out the door, mind you, just one foot out from under the bedding. I find this keeps my body temperature perfect for deep sleep. I never thought this could be bothersome. My foot doesn’t cause trouble while its out there or anything. It does not snore or pick fights with other nocturnal limbs. That’s why it baffled me when the BF told me how much he did not like the fact that my side of the bed was always “all untucked”. I layed there, the toes of my right foot wiggling in the night air, long after his breathing had steadied and the weight of his arm grew heavy. It could be worse, I told him silently. I could be a cover stealer. I could be kicker, a sleep walker or even a sleep talker. I could have night terrors and wake him up with screams. But, no. I sleep with one of my feet out. How dare I.

So, is there anything good about sleeping next to a significant other? Well yes, of course, or we would all be in separate rooms. When we make skin contact, our bodies produce Oxytocin, the bonding hormone, which makes us crave greater closeness. Greater closeness in the dark leads to greater closeness in the daylight.

But how much of a relationship depends on each other’s bed behavior? I know I tend to be sensitive, so it has never shocked me that I can take him turning his back to me in the night as a sure sign that he is no longer speaking to me. I never pause long enough to realize that he is no longer speaking to me because he is sleeping. When I look at it a little more realistically, I know that it is my issues (and usually my period) reacting to his body language.

I found this article about the most popular sleeping positions for couples and what they say about the relationship:

You're both on your stomachs, sides, or backs and one of you has a leg draped over the other's leg. This is one of the healthiest positions, because it shows a couple with a comfortable connection. It suggests a real friendship. What if your legs are just barely grazing each other rather than looped, in a pretzel-like manner? You're both feeling equally confident about your relationship. Just as a couple that really clicks can communicate with one gesture or word, the two of you can say “I love you” with just a brush of your skin.


You're both on your sides, touching and facing the same direction. This is the most popular position for couples. Some of it has to do with comfort, since most of us sleep better when not face-to-face, breathing on each other. But this classic pose satisfies more than just a need for a good rest. With its hand-in-glove fit, spooning rates high on the intimacy scale. When you nestle in matching fetal positions, it shows you're being vulnerable with each other and in sync. What's key is who is spooning whom. Though this position is influenced by men usually being larger than women, “whoever is behind protects the other in the relationship,” says Hargrave. “The partner in front may be less secure.” There is an exception: Whoever's holding on tighter is less confident. So if he's behind but clutching you all night, you're his mast in a storm.


You fall asleep on opposite sides of the bed. Is a crisis brewing? Nah, you're only normal. Most couples say goodnight with a smile, then settle into a more comfy position. (Adults generally move 40 to 70 times per night, as a reflex from their dreams and to avoid cramping.) But if you head straight to your separate sides without even a passing embrace night after night, you could be having intimacy issues, says Suzanne Lopez, a psychotherapist and author of Get Smart With Your Heart. (Having a big bed is no excuse, say the experts. Connected couples will find a sliver of space to share on a king-size bed, while fighting couples will defy physics by avoiding contact on a single one.) That said, a physical condition – from a slipped disk to an advanced pregnancy – can force madly-in-love twosomes to slumber this way for comfort. Careful, though, or a temp arrangement can become a hard to shake habit.


You're on your sides, facing away from each other but touching butt-to-butt. What's up with that? Independence alert! Despite the linked derrieres, you're no joined-at-the-hip pair. “You probably have separate bank accounts,” explains Hargrave. “And you don't need to consult the other before purchasing a big-ticket item like a car or a computer.” Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, this snoozing style illustrates a definite bond, but it's looser, since you both like it that way. “Even if you are just touching bums, you've still got that intimate body contact that we see in married couples that get along really well,” adds Pease.

He sprawls kinglike while you cozy up to him. Or you're the duvet diva, facing the ceiling while he sidles up. “Stretching out on your back, especially with one or both hands behind your head, is a typically dominant position,” says Pease. That doesn't mean your man is lording it over you. He may just be feeling cocky about how he's doing in his fantasy-football league. If you're the nuzzling spouse, you're after attention – and may not be getting it outside the bedroom, so plan a date night. One caveat: If this is only an occasional pose, you two could be role-playing, a sign you're a flirty pair. Sometimes a dominant woman will curl up, while her spouse is on his back, to help him feel more macho.


You fall asleep in a frontal embrace. That could mean only one thing: You're reading this on your honeymoon, you lucky girl! “We call this the newlywed hug, because it's common early in a relationship, when you're desperate for each other,” says Hargrave. Yet this nighttime position isn't common in couples after nine months of sleeping together, because facing and hugging restricts blood flow to your arms, says Pease. He adds with a laugh, “It usually stops around the time you show your true selves when he clips his toenails in bed.” If you have been together for years and stay asleep in a bear hug, you're among the most romantic couples.

Who knew that so much happened between the sheets besides all the other stuff that happens between the sheets? Is how we sleep with a person also how we love them? It's a lot of pressure. Move here, say this, don't do that. Geeze. Maybe all relationships need are foundations built in side by side hammocks, hands interlaced in the middle. I can see mine now: I am swaddled in a cotton beach blanket, one foot out, my big toe pushing off the deck in a quiet, steady sway.