Inherently Ridiculous


Emersonian Poetry
April 22, 2007, 2:14 pm
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, blarg, creedo, grief, hopeful, media, quotes, spiritual exercise, thesis

 what i should have read at the funeral. 

GIVE ALL TO LOVE

GIVE all to love;
Obey they heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Estate, good-fame,
Plans, credit and the Muse,
Nothing refuse.

‘T is a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high;
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
Untold intent;
But it is a god,
Knows its own path
And the outlets of the sky.

It was never for the mean;
It requireth courage stout.
Souls above doubt,
Valor unbending,
It will reward,
They shall return
More than they were,
And every ascending.

Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet
One word more they heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,
Keep thee to-day,
To-morrow, forever,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.

Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young,
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture’s hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.

Though though loved her as thyself,
As a self of purer clay,
Though her parting dims the day,
Stealing grace from all alive;
Heartily know,
When half-gods go,
The gods arrive.

Good-Bye

Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home;
Thou art not my friend, and I’m not thine.
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on ocean brine,
Long I’ve been tossed like the driven foam;
But now, proud world! I’m going home.

Good-bye to Flattery’s fawning face;
To Grandeur with his wise grimmace;
To upstart Wealth’s averted eye;
To supple Office, low and high;
To crowded halls, to court and street;
To frozen hearts and hasting feet;
To those who go, and those who come;
Good-bye, proud world!  I’m going home.

I’m going to my own hearth-stone,
Bosomed in yon green hills alone —
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green, the livelong day,
Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to though and God.

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I read on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening stars so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

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The Passage of Time
April 19, 2007, 5:55 pm
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, good times, grief, hopeful, spiritual exercise, this one time

I thought about Adam today.
I remembered.
And this time?

This time, I didn’t cry.

In fact, I was happy. Happy to have known that man. Happy to have shared my life with him. There’s sadness there, tragic longing and aching hearts, but there’s joy there also.

I remember the first time I went to Waco to see him and only him. The weekend before we’d had Waco in Waco for no other reason except the high school crew and I weren’t used to living apart. Wemissed each other, we were bored, and there’s nothing better than drinking beer in Texas in the summer time.

Late at night, after we were all quiet snockered, Adam sat me down and told me how he felt about me. Sincere, honest. Adorable. He kissed me in the kitchen. We giggled in the dark by the fridge, excited and scared and happy. We didn’t know what we were doing, what we had found be we liked it.

He said, “If you’re even in Waco again, give me a call. I’d like to take you out.”
I called him two days later and said,

“Did you mean it?”
“Mean what?”
“What you said?”
“Every word.”
“I’ll be there in the an hour and a half.””Do you like sushi?”

He barely fit in my tiny car. He made fun of my driving until I peeled out, throwing him into the door, laughing. Then he gave me props for being a bad-ass girl who drives a stick. Hippie stickers aside.

The next morning, I woke up with a horrible taste in my mouth, a blinding headache and a deep confusion as to what had happened to my clothes. I decided I didn’t care when Adam, mid-dream, stuck out a huge hand and pulled me snuggly to his side, head on chest. He kissed my forehead, all without waking up. I went to sleep happy.

Come to find out, my clothes were in a neat pile on the dresser. Folded. All of my jewelry, ALL OF IT (dear god that must of taken 20 drunken minutes in of itself) piled neatly on top. My shoes were there too. And my purse and my cigarettes. My car keys. My book.

I love this man, I thought.

He pulled me into his lap whenever there was room, still able to see over my shoulder.

We went to a party once for a frat he was rushing or something. Unclear, but the point was I needed to be dressed up. Waco dressed up. I decided not to give a shit, threw on a shirt from Target, put on some make-up and had Adam make me a fortifying drink. He told me I was beautiful. And could I help him do his hair? See, he’d broken his shoulder and couldn’t quiet do it right. He could make sandwiches, but tousled locks were beyond him.

45 minutes later, roommate comes knocking on the door. His hair was done and I was sitting on his lap.  We were laughing. We hadn’t realized we were still in the bathroom.

At the party, a brother told me I’d won. Won what?, I asked. The contest. Turns out there’s some unspoken beauty contest at these things and my and my $4.00 shoes were the winner. I asked in Adam got bonus points.  Guy said maybe, but Adam said he’d probably forfeited them when I ACTUALLY DANCED. This is a Baptist university, Mia. Ooops, I giggled, shaking my ass.

Sure, sometimes we yelled. Sometimes I cried. But sometimes? Sometimes we woke up early and watched the Price is Right in our underwear, yelling at Bob Barker. That boy could cook breakfast.

He used to call me and tell me about his labs.

Sometimes, we laughed. And we always loved.
Always.



As I pretend i’m not going to a Woman’s Care Appointment
March 8, 2007, 10:36 am
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, jammin', links, list, mental health, spiritual exercise, the future

BONNAROO!
damn, i love bryan.
i’m glad that we’re going to do this together.
ultimate hippie companion.
everyone deserves to have a bryan in their life.
boo snow.
hooray falafal.
martin sexton!

keller williams!

it really is going to be summer soon!
all the music is coming back!
50 pages in less that a week.
i’m a bad ass?
i can do it!
if only i could concentrate.
emailed dr. b. about that
dr b: email me back!
finals are nigh!
i can’t believe it.
so almost done.
i’ve been sleeping upwards of 15 hours a day.
and i’m still exhausted.
dr. b was all like,
“every had mono? maybe you wanna check that out?”
“i’ve already had mono.”
“oh. depression makes you sleepy?”
yea, boo to that.
you see, there’s this shoe.
and while it hasn’t dropped yet . . .
i’m finally finished with last quarter.
thank god.
the quarter that wouldn’t die.
i think i might submit that paper to some conferences.
if you want to read it, let me know.
by finishing last quarter and that paper, i now have some thesis done!
i win.
i dont want to go to the student care center.
i don’t really think the quarter is going to end.
i keep waiting for some tragedy to occur.
what? just a finals week?
just papers?
no out of control emotions?
no horribleness?
damn hoovering shoe.
i should call lila.
i should finish categorizing everything.
i know she wants to see all the stuff about adam.
i miss him so much.
i actually was thinking about how if i went home for spring break,
maybe he’d pull his head out of his ass and see me.
oh.
wait.
silent in the morning. . .
boo woman’s care appointment.
speculum
sounds like something philosophers do
but no
i miss other adam.
i wish i was in l.a.
oh god i want to go to grad school.
turns out that UC Santa Cruz has the most ph.d. applicants.
ever. every year.
arnold davidson might talk to stanley cavell about my paper!
then my head would explode.
let’s imagine: arnold and stan eating breakfast.
arnold read my paper that morning.
and as he’s talking to stan, something stan says
REFERENCES SOMETHING I SAID
AND THEN HE’S THINKING OF ME AND STANLEY CAVELL
IN THE SAME THOUGHT SPACE.
really, what more do i want from life?
snoe.down.

mf’in snoe. down bitches.
and bonnaroo? did i mention bonnaroo?
hooray!
i’m ready for a vacation
interviewing at the Jewish Community Center today.
think: jobs.
oh i need some jobs.
i bought good resume paper.
step one.
i’m good at things.
i could do these things for you?
and you could pay me?
and give me health insurance?
and not steal my soul?
my feet are cold.
metaphorically?
seriously shoe, what’s your deal?



Of All the Voicemails
March 3, 2007, 6:15 am
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, blarg, grief, the future, this one time

I found this unpublished post when I imported everything from the old blogger.com space. I miss him so much. I vividly remember when I got this voicemail. I’d lost faith. And then I found it again. I was leaving Cute Baby’s and I missed his call. I called back; he was riding in the car with Lila. The sky was brighter as we talked.

May 3, 2005 12:06 am

I didn’t think it’d be him. Of all the people. Adam. Adam Adam Adam. It’s amazing how one word, one voice, one phone call and I feel my life shift — I feel things fall into place. I’m scared shitless that he’ll leave again, walkout on me, my life, but at the same time I trust. Suddenly there’s plans, and love, and an angel chorus singing in my head. Adam. I didn’t expect this — I hadn’t given up hope, but I’d given up expectations. The earth slids under my feet, the future spins. Bonnaroo, that stolen week in Texas, summer visits, Thanksgiving in Paris. This time I won’t count on it yet, but look forward to it, trust I will. Oh Adam. I missed him in my life, though he was always in my heart. He said he needed me in his life. He apologized for this fall. I forgave. Don’t cue the hearts and flowers — cue the understanding, the joy, the brillance. Adam. Oh Adam.



Energetic! Annoying! Offensive? Offended?
January 24, 2007, 7:32 am
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, grief, meds

Welcome to Day 6. It’s 6:30 in the morning and that should tell you something. After three days of being tired like I’d actually done something with my life, these pills changed their mind and decided to swing the other way. And woo have they. Jaw-clenching and all, I’m up at what I once deemed the ungodly hour of ass o’clock in the morning and for what? Because I realized that if I got up now I would have time to clean my house. And do some reading. And dance around naked to the Grateful Dead. Not because I have to, not even because I’m necessarily well rested, not because I was obsessing but because I can. Any idea how good that feels?

If you are the proud proprietor of an online retail establishment, don’t let me purchase your products. Really. It’s for your own good. My first year, I got into the drunken habit of doing some late night impulse shopping, then promptly forgetting I had done so. Magic book! Where did you come from? Sweater of awesome? Holy crap! I never knew I always wanted you! The fact that you can store your credit card numbers makes drunken shopping much more hazardous. If yur 2 durnk to tyep then yurr porbably sholdn’t byhu shit. But now however! I remember what I purchase. (And you thought my short-term memory was shot!) By ‘remember’ I mean get impatient as hell. I’ve taken to calling these online establishments to politely inquire about said belongs. I think I called the nice people who sold my my Heelys about 14 times before my shoes got here. But hey, I went on the quest for the Perfect Sweatshirt. Damnnit. A sucessful quest. Give me my just reward!

Turns out I accidentally and unknowingly offended a friend monday night. A dear friend whom I use as a moral compass. Hmmm. When asked repeatedly for an opinion, I gave it honestly. Turns out that that may have not been the best call. Or maybe I shouldn’t have explained my perspective in such direct terms? Unclear. Like all good southern women, I bend the truth to spare feelings on occassion, I just didn’t think this was one. Isn’t there something to be said about honesty among friends? Seems part of the problem was that my opinion had already been divined by said offended friend and she hoped that being someone of <insert nice compliment in that mildly backhanded way>, I wouldn’t say anything. But when directly asked while rather tipsy, what is a girl to do? Should the truth be contingent on friendship? Does it change things that it was merely aesthetic issue, an emotionally charged one, but aesthetic none the less? Again, hmmmm. Ultimately, I didn’t mean to be rude. I said so and apologized.

So, yesterday, I was asked to join the “In Loving Memory of Adam Richardson Todd” Facebook group. I declined. I object on principle I’m pretty sure, I just haven’t been able to determine precisely what principle that is. Let’s see if I can tease it out, shall we?

It seems to cheapen him, turning our memories into profile updates, new feeds, and created public personnas. It makes my baby bird something that was and is no more, something none of us can touch. Maybe it’s just me, but Adam’s alive with me every moment. As corny as it sounds, he lives in my heart, he lives in my mind, he lives in my life. The love we shared and the lessons I’ve learned from him are evident in my life, and in that way he’s always here. Period. It’s by living my life that I remember Adam.

There’s the arguement that it helps his mom to see him remembered, to see that he was loved. I think my love was pretty apparent when I was a drunken, sobbing mess at her house for three days during the funeral. For godsake, she and I talked about the nature of love, marriage and death in our pajamas on the middle of her kitchen floor. The woman who introduced me as ‘the love of Adam’s life’ doesn’t need to see my facebook profile to know about the first time Adam and I met. She knows: Adam called her and told her I was the girl he was going to marry. If she doesn’t know how I felt about her son by now, I give up. I’m determined to keep Lila in my life. I think Adam would want it that way. He wasn’t always that great at being a friend and loved one. Maybe I can do better.

Dammnit, the whole thing feels so morbid. I’m sorry, but Adam’s life and Adam’s memory are not going to be a group that appears on the left of my facebook profile between ‘Jugglers Make me Hot’ and ‘I Love Jesus and all What He Does for Me.”

Look ma! No overarching theme!



boo logic, hooray beer
December 17, 2006, 12:21 am
Filed under: adam, blah blah blah, blarg, classy broad, grief

i’ve been doing logic all day. ALL DAY. Mind you, my day started at noon, with beer drinking following shortly thereafter. But how long does it take to be logical? oh, right, all day.

i’m ready to be done. i have to pass this class to graduate. That thought takes metaphysical form at night and hovers above my head as i try to sleep. i’m ready to escape the anxiety of these problem sets. Every paraphrase, every schematization, interpretation, justification: i’m convinced that i’m wrong. When you couple that with the crippling nonspecific anxiety that mounts-recedes-mounts-recedes like so many crashing waves, it requires many deep, slow breaths.

Yet, i’m not ready to go home. What am i ready to do? Sit on the couch. Consume media. Paint. Engage in personal projects. Try not to abuse prescription drugs or alcohol. Try not to sleep all the time. I can do these things much better from my own home, thank you very much.

This seems so contrived.

What’s my real point? What am i avoiding? Adam is dead and i still can’t write about it. Eventually, i hope to but i haven’t been writing because when I open the window and see the “new post” button i freeze. As i look at the bank slate my mind switches to white noise.

There’s that anxiety thing again. What do i have to say? i think of things that have happened in the last weeks, moments i wanted to share, thought i want to engage in further, topics, lists. But how can i approach those topics while ignoring the obvious ones — mortality, life, choice, failure. i don’t think i’m writing well, and i want to hide.

Sometimes you’re no where. And that’s a confusing place to be. Being illogical is highly detrimental at this point. Problem sets don’t solve themselves.



Oct. 27, 2005
November 29, 2006, 6:40 pm
Filed under: adam, grief, mental health, spiritual exercise

My Dearest Adam,

Before I left, you for all practical purposes asked me to leave your life — not because you don’t love me, but precisely because you do. I was ready to accept that as the last thing I want to do is cause you pain. Yet, constantly hoping that one day it would work itself out, still loving you, but understanding wanting to protect a bruised heart.

I resolved myself to let you go: I may have enough faith for two, but I refuse to give it where it’s not wanted. As much as it broke my heart, i let you go. I refuse to be the only one invested. I was ready to accept your wishes. After Sean, I promised to myself to never be the only one who cares. So, please understand how hard this is to write.

Now, like any good southern girl, I hear about the situation at home, and though so far away, want to do something if I can. To quote Eric, “You should get in touch with him; whether he responds to it is his choice. You are the only thing besides drugs that calmed his mind. Everyone knows that.” So, here’s my best attempt. I won’t pretend to know the truth of the matter, but I do know he’s worried, and if only to ease his mind, I write.

Also, the distance and separation from you, from my friends, from my family, from my medication has given me a bit of mental clarity. I think there are things that at I didn’t say to you while I was there. Important things that should be heard. So, grant one more letter, one more email. Please excuse my verbosity: I blame the French and their love of ridiculous clauses.

There was something unsettling, a slight air of falsity, a lack of quality the last time I visited. And there was a space, both mental, emotional, and physical that had never been there before. Did you know you never once kissed me? Never once just took me in your arms? Did that pain your heart as much as mine?

You said you don’t know how to be in an open relationship, which I completely agree with. I remind you that it was you who said, when we’re together, we are, and when we’re not, we’re not. If you were going to change the rules, you have to tell me. I don’t think I made it clear enough that no on else is you, or was you. I wasn’t looking, preferring to have faith in you.

In light of the news I receive — which says people are worried — I think I understand why my last visit was as it was. It seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, that you pushed me away not only to save yourself from the fear and trust that comes with emotionally relying on someone, but to save me too. Save me from the pain of what? Knowing who you really are, seeing you in an unsettling, unhappy period of you life. To save me from emotionally counting on you, and being let down. To clear up all those little unimportant things like love, before you self-destruct. I don’t know whether to thank you, or smack you.

Adam, I learned to not count on you too much after all your departures, your radio silence, and then three months later bringing so much joy back into my life. I take solace in knowing the only picture you have in your life is of me. I’ve learned to love you as you are — the most amazing, confused, difficult men I know. I’m proud to love you and it eats at me that life takes me so far away, yet doing anything about that would mean losing everything that I am.

Try as I might, I do love you. All of you. Even when you tell me to stop. Even when you push me away. I convinced myself otherwise, but the truth remains. You tried to explain things to me in your kitchen, tried to make me see your less the stellar ways. I still love you though.

I tried to talk to you about losing my mind this summer, and you didn’t listen. Didn’t care? Or refused to engage because then that would mean you might need someone just as I do?

I wish you could have been their: you of all people can understand. If you couldn’t be there in the way you used to be, you still owed me a bit more, even if we’re to be as you say, only friends.

I won’t belabor that point, except to say that it’s been difficult — beyond difficult — to learn to live with the ever present possibility that the edges of my reality can come lose, the hinges of my universe flying open, as I tumble into a world I can’t control.

A feeling, I’m sure you know well.

I wanted to talk to you about this because I think it’s a problem we both deal with. Remember last summer, right after your surgery, when I cleaned your bathroom and did you hair? We were sitting on the bed and I told you that you’re the only one who’s ever quieted my mind, and you not only completely understood, but agreed. Then you leaned in conspiratorially and almost whispered, “My mind’s not like everyone else.” I, of course, agreed. We were so happy to have someone that understood; we laughed.

Even when you do push me away and keep me there, I still love you, and I still understand. No, my mind is not the same as yours, my life neither. Regardless of how you feel about me romantically — how you convince yourself you feel about me — that doesn’t change the facts.

I understand.
I love you.

These seem to be the same things I tell you over and over, and they’re always true. Even if you can’t let me into your heart again, which would be a shame — a damn shame — I’m still here for you if ever you need it. And I love you.

I won’t give you advice on how to get your life together if in fact it’s falling apart, nor will I tell what you should or shouldn’t do. Yes, I could, but I’m sure you know. You’re smarter then all that. What I will say is don’t loose focus, don’t loose your raison d’etre — reason for being. While that can change briefly, you’re too intelligent to forgo your amazing intellect. You are the most fundamentally brilliant people I know. Use that as a base, a reason, a way of life. For me, there have been so many times that without school, with out academic pursuits and painting, i would have had to been put away. And I’m thankful for those thing. You have outlets as well: use them.

Please don’t break your life. If you did, I might lose all faith, my own world cracking too. I love you more than I can say. I just hope you can understand and see that everything — everything — is out of love.

I miss you and have missed you for a long while. Please come home.
I love you love you love you.

– m

Ps. Paris est la ville de mes rêves. Je garde le espoir que une jour, je peux le partager avec toi.