Thursday, December 23, 2010

"the horror of unlove"

I have taken to writing a lot in my journal and then putting the sentences in which I felt like I finally nailed down what I was trying to say on here. Maybe I shouldn't. I am feeling so overwhelmed with the way that everyone else thinks and expects the world to work and the way I expect it to. I am tired of being expected to handle these situations in the same way everyone else does. I don't want to, I don't even like how other people handle things. Or don't handle things. I don't want to feel like I am missing something, ever, because when things are gone, they are gone and baby, you can't get them back (especially if you don't notice they are missing). I don't just "move on" the same way other people do, closing one door and opening another. It is all so fluid that it is just not that simple and I don't WANT it to be that simple, I don't want to segment my life in that way. This is not assuming that everyone should be this way, but it is how I want to be, and I just want everyone to understand this, rather than tell me I should be doing things differently.

I see the big picture and note that it is too big to look at it all, but also I will try. How it all fits together. I strongly believe that our various relationships with people are what shape us, are the only things that shape us, and that letting these people slip through the cracks is dangerous. I am a memory box. I am something that is always changing but always the same. I can't think of the proper way to explain it but it is so obvious to me that this is true of all of us, whether or not we choose to be aware of it. I want to KNOW people. It is the easiest way to love them. and when it comes down to it, that is all I want to do really, is love people. Everyone is assuming that I am resisting the change, that I am trying to keep it from happening. I am just trying to make sure that I am aware that it is happening, and that it means something. I want to make sure I understand this so that I do not wake up one day and realize that a million changes have happened and that I can't remember them all and to make sure that I am never to distant from myself, all of myselves.

Everything is important, and nothing matters.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Part of me will never find comfort in the fact that people get lost in the shuffle because I don't think it is something that we should be comfortable with. I will take comfort in my uneasiness with the whole ordeal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


"Savannah: write something beautiful about all this. You will. You can. I can tell it's coming. And if I'm still kicking I'll read every word." DJD

It never ceases to amaze and excited me that DJD not only knows about the this tiny wonder of a place I am lucky enough to call home but that he also has been here and understands it, and it's importance to me, after just a day.

It's redbird time, and it doesn't matter that I have been freaking out or panicking because I am home for the warmest shows of the season, with people who have watched me grow up and who know me well.

To wild homes we go, to wild homes we return to, baby.

Why Heather is More Desirable Than Say, Me

(According to the General Population)
WHY HEATHER IS MORE DESIRABLE THAN SAY, ME (According to the General Population)

Heather has a bangin' body
but also
a bodacious bong,
that resembles
the most perfect pair
of breasts.

Heather's got thighs
the size of Texas
but they're not
quite as conservative
and knee-caps as smooth
as freshly churned butter.

I've got elbows
rough as a cats tongue
and breasts so small
even babies
turn their heads away.

Heather consoles me,
reminding me that I am blessed
with an awkward beauty
and because I lack her
valiant vertebrae
I pretend to believe
this is a compliment.

When push comes to shove
and lust comes to love
Heather is always
given priority.

OK, the edits are getting a little worse each time, and this doesn't say what I want it to say, which is that while I am jealous of Heather's hotness, I also don't really want to be desired and objectified the way she so often is. DON'T GOT TIME, 10 poems due in 3 hours, SHIT.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decadent Panties

Winter strikes Heather fertile;
even her jeans aren't able
to keep all of her eggs
in one basket.

She wakes up to icy windows
decorated with the same lacy pattern
as her underwear,
and notes grimly
that this season has no sense
of privacy.

Inconceivably, Heather hates children
but wants the warmth
of something in her womb
to keep her from turning frigid.

She gives one last lonely glance
out the window
before wrestling into her jeans and mumbling
another broken vow of abstinence.

Winter strikes Heather fertile;
there are too many beds
in this city for just one girl,
but she will try filling them anyways.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Talking and articulating my heart numerous times a day even if it is exhausting because we are all in strange transitional periods and I think the best way for us to handle them is to talk about them and the best way to love each other is to talk about it. Not too much, but enough that we have a good understanding of each other. These new friends are becoming so important so quickly and for once I feel like I fostered relationships on my own, not through friend mooching. I am learning to trust that even though we have not known each other for that long we will stay connected and that if we don't it will still be fine. I have a lot of trouble accepting this, the fact that people do get lost in the shuffle. I am so worried about replacing people, even though they are not so worried.

I am truly exhausted, in a new way. I just keep saying everything out loud even though it doesn't quite make sense because that is the only way for me to make sense of it. I spend too much time thinking about how I am feeling and the last few days I feel like I am drowning in my own feelings and I feel a little bit crazy. I am so tired of articulating but also feel like it is too important and like I am running out of time to explain it to everyone. I will write letters and I will be so happy to see everyone who is still here when I get back.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sarah and I talked for an hour on the computer, me in the library, panicking, wiping snot on my sweatshirt, she in a coffee shop in Seattle trying to make me feel a little better. I have never been more terrified of what is coming next, but at the same time, I have never had so many wonderful people to talk to about it. Today my friends and I talked about how it seems like everyone is in crisis. But we are old enough to talk about it without it being strange and I think that there is something incredibly hopeful and beautiful about that.

Sarah tells me my heart is different and when we say this we don't mean better or worst, we just mean different. I think she is right. I am trying so hard to root myself before I leave, so hard to root myself all the time. Most everyone else is ready to get out of here, and afraid of being tied down and getting stuck, but I am afraid that if I'm not I might just float away altogether. Everyone keeps talking about leaving. I am scared that I will come back and no one will be here and I will feel like a ghost. Sarah says to look at everything as different eras. I place too much importance on everything, it is exhausting. I always expect people to love the same way I love, and they don't and they shouldn't and I am learning that they don't'/won't and that it's O.K. I keep having the most honest conversations with everyone and it keeps surprising me.

I am a follower. What is most important to me is to be around people I love and in my head following them is equivalent to following my happiness. And I know that is not the same for other people. And I don't think it should be. I know that I could be happy anywhere, and have been happy everywhere I've been so far (which is not so many places). I know the more places I go the worst the nostalgia will get but I will learn to reconcile or at least learn to reconcile with the fact that I can't reconcile. I trust that it will all work out and I trust that there are a million ways to be happy and that I will be, always.

There are too many great people in the world. I want to fit all of them in my pocket. And I want to fit in all of their pockets.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Today I found sympathy for Heather and it changed things. I am starting to worry that Heather is becoming too much of a real person while simultaneously enjoying it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the nature of things, and things of that nature

It is winter and winter is supposed to feel slow and honey like, but it feels fast. Too fast for my liking. There are too many lovely people here, and they keep seeming to get lovelier, but I have to leave. This makes me sad, but also relieved, because I've gotten myself entangled in some messes and I need to get out of here. And there are too many bypasses and too much too clean water and too much of everything here. I need to be somewhere with a little more heart.

It is winter and I am going to love things too much and it is going to sting but it is well worth it. Redbird week is almost here and when I remember, it doesn't even matter that things are messy because I will be home in the warmth of folk-music love. Time to shake these blues baby, winter won't wait for you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am editing poems for my final portfolio for creative writing, thought I'd post 'em.
Pantoum, yo

Family Heirlooms

My most prominent feature is desperation
and I've been told I wear it beautifully.
It was passed down to me from my grandmother
along with her wedding dress

which I've been told I wear beautifully.
This morning I woke with such lush longings
they were passed down to me from my grandmother
when we passed each other sleep-walking.

This morning I woke with such lush longings,
your sullen fingers grazed my prayer-less palms
when we passed each other sleep-walking
but you wouldn't meet my eye.

Your sullen fingers grazed my prayer-less palms
which were passed down to me from my grandmother,
you wouldn't meet my eye
too distracted by my most prominent feature, desperation.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter arrived just in time to greet the newest Welch. And this weekend has brought a lovely amount of snow. There is a winter feeling I get, that I can not explain, but it is the most lovely, warm sort of feeling there is. But this winter it is mixed with another sort of heart-exhaustion feeling and my body can't seem to be able to find a way for these two to fit together so I just feel constantly over-whelmed, but in a strangely calm way. I want to do the right thing and I don't know what that is. I am running out of time.

It is winter and all I want to do is love things,but it just isn't that simple. Or maybe, it is.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ithurtsithurtsithurts. i spit. it still hurts.

Heather and I
are not ladies,
sitting with our
legs spread wide
as a turkey being stuffed.
Heather tells me
I love like a dog,
eager and desperate,
even lick my wounds
the same sad way a dog does.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Learning to be patient and trusting of the cosmos and mostly of the goodness of people. Keeping my chin up and remembering all of the gems I have found and all of the gems I have yet to find.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snow Line

It was wet & white & swift and where I am
we don't know. It was dark and then
it isn't.
I wish the barker would come. There seems to be eat
nothing. I am unusually tired.
I'm alone too.

If only the strange one with so few legs would come,
I'd say my prayers out of my mouth, as usual.
Where are his note I loved?
There may be horribles; it's hard to tell.
The barker nips me but somehow I feel
he too is on my side.

I'm too alone. I see no end. If we could all
run, even that would be better. I am hungry.
The sun is not hot.
It's not a good position I am in.
If I had to do the whole thing over again
I wouldn't.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lauren, Anna, and I are planning our lives together. And I have believe that some version of this plan will actually happen. This year I keep getting the sense that my life is starting, over and over again. I think, sometimes, that maybe I have never been so happy.

I keep finding niches that are full of love, and sneaking my way in. I keep finding new families and they keep making room for me and leaving for 4 months will be scary, I have this creeping fear that I am trying to release that my places in these niches are not permanent and that leaving will make me forgotten altogether. But Lauren and I keep talking about trust and how I need to learn to trust people more. So I am trying to trust that I am not as disposable as I sometimes suspect.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It is strange that a Freshman level, giant lecture can be the one that causes me to think the most, outside of class, and I am so glad I stumbled into this class. We watched a Jeanne Kilbourne lecture today, in class about ads and their affect on society and for some reason even though it was no surprise to me I felt certain things click. Through ads women are taught that they are objects, or at least that if they have sexuality, it is an object. Mostly we hear about how this causes women to objectify themselves and fail to talk about the flip side of this issue. Through mass-media and whatever sort of other things I learned that women are seen as objects and somehow or another got the notion that in order to be seen as a person, I had to shy away from any sort of sexuality. My inhibitions about sexuality derive from the fact that I assumed that if I embraced my sense of sexuality I would be simultaneously embracing my objectivity.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I am filing this under my list of tragedies, which is a list I wasn't even conscious of keeping until today, and a list that is not limited to strictly my tragedies. I keep being told this is hard but not feeling it, but today I am feeling it, and they are right, it is hard. and yet still, it is not sitting heavy in my heart, but airily floating around me. I am learning to function even when I am sad and I don't know what this means.

I keep doing this. Saying things in my head like "I am going away for a long time, and I don't know what this means." There are lots of new things, and I don't know what they mean. I do not someone to tell me that they know what these things mean, because they don't, not for me, and they shouldn't. I don't want someone to tell me that they were just like this in their early twenties because I feel like my experiences are constantly being undercut by me telling myself that my older cousins have already done this, that it is nothing new. It is new to me and I want to figure it out myself, with help sure, but not with "answers". I am tired of feeling unsure about whether or not my thoughts and feeling are valid. I am tired of keeping track of everyone and them not keeping track of me, so I am taking a hiatus, not just while in Kenya, but before that (I accidentally started this year, when my life started to slip a little more out of my grasp and it took all of my energy just to keep track of my own life).

I feel big changes and they have already happened, and they feel consequential and permanent and I don't know how I feel about them, but am not going to waste too much time thinking about it, since they feel un-reversible. Last night I had the strangest string of dreams, which I didn't think too much of until I told Lauren and then realized that my dream was laying out the situation for me, in a single scene. The details were strange. This is another new thing, me believing in dreams.
I am tired. I am already coming up with justifications for not going to work or school tomorrow and I know they are valid, and yet, I am pre-emptively feeling guilty for the decision to not go, which a decision I haven't actually made yet. I am going to bed and hoping for no dreams and hoping the wind blows my love/concern in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I am listening to Recommendation on repeat, which is probably the maddest that I'll get. I rationalize everything that anyone does, because everyone has reasons for what they do. The problem these rationalizations usually make me less and less mad at other people and more mad at myself. I should know better by now. I should be better at these sorts of things and I should, once again, always and forever stop asking too much of people and ask a little more of myself. I want to leave and go somewhere more comfortable. Like Portland crammed in bed with my two cousins watching house and eating disgusting amounts of candy. I need heavy Welch enforcements right now. I am quaking in my boots about Kenya and about my heart and how I am getting older and stranger by the second and less and less like the tree. I am mourning everyone else's tragedies today, maybe because I don't have enough of my own or maybe just because I want to feel in touch with people again. I am always around if anyone needs me. It's maybe the worst thing about me.

"for you beautiful ones,
my thought is not changeable"

Monday, November 1, 2010

I've never been so busy that I don't have time to think about how I am feeling. And I want to know how I feel about that, but I don't even have time to think about that. It's probably best, I usually mourn the loss of things for longer than they deserve. Mom says I have to find a more positive way to give things their credit. I've been almost cut off from Milwaukee because I don't have proper time to stay in touch and because I don't have time to think about my love for all of them, individually or to write heart-felt letters. Actually, almost anyone who is not in direct contact with me seems to be lost temporarily, and always there is this little part of me worried that I am letting them slip through my fingers. I want to be in love with something or something to be in love with me, and maybe and hopefully Kenya is the thing, for now and then I will come back a little different.

I am usually so busy swallowing everyone's lives, because that is how I get to know people and mostly what I want to do is get to know people, but suddenly my own life is too filling.

This school year started with a whirlwind. I can't get it to stop. But for the last week my body has been begging me to take a chance to mourn the losses of summer and of now. I seem to have impeccably bad timing in people's lives. Maybe I am not flexible enough. and I am certainly not patient enough.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I do not swallow my own mistakes well, and mostly I try to reverse them or to turn them into good things and I do not think that this is a sign of denial, but more a constant stream of realizations. I often make the same mistakes twice, but only because sometimes maybe these mistakes are necessary and because everyone situation varies. I am trying to make sense of a bundle of things that don't make sense, I am trying to say 'I'm sorry, sometimes I make things harder than I should and I will stop now, and make them easier."

I am tired of my one-sided readings for women's health, even though they are interesting, they are sickly biased and strange. As though abortion policies are some direct attack on women of color and not just an attack on women of poverty. Yes, there is a high percentage of women of color when talking about women of color, but that is some deeper issue and to impose racism on an issue where it does not exist gets us no where, but further divided. I am tired of this, and it is the same in every article, as though women are the only victims, as though people of color are the only victims, as though any one group can be affected by things. It is hard to read these articles and respect them. It is hard to read this, and I realize that these are why I have such difficulty with feminism.

I have too many things to think about, and not enough time to think about them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I dreamt that all my teeth fell out again. No, not fell out, but once again, my jaw got stuck, locked, and the only way for me to open it was to pry my teeth out. Like my teeth were too big for my mouth. I have these dreams too often for comfort and one day I will wake up toothless. Today, I talked about my Grandma for forever and remembered that I have rooted myself in Madison, but it is not where I come from. Today I remembered that people can not make up their minds and that everything is intertwined and that everything everyone does effects me, even when I ask it not to. Today I felt sad, not just nervous or excited or unsure, but sad for the first time in a long time, and it made me sleepy, which I think is what sadness does. I don't have time to be sleepy or sad, but I am falling apart, just for a second, silently, and inwardly, because I am in the library, and because you don't fall apart in the library. I am not surprised, but surprisingly disappointed that the mystery of people that I love so much has come again to bite me in the ass and I want to be a person who disappears but I don't know how, even though I am trying and I am running off to Kenya and no one has time for all of my bullshit, not even me, and I feel like I am maybe almost a burden on people who don't know me enough to know that I am light. I dreamt that all of my teeth fell out, and it hurt but it was something I could understand, and I only want to have dreams like this from now on or I do not want to have dreams at all.

The way I think about things keeps changing and it is good, growing up is good, learning that what you think is right is not necessarily so is nothing but good, and I am digesting this instead of spitting it out, which is new, this lack of denial is new, sitting in my underwear is new, and these new things are scary because I want everyone to know me always, but perhaps you can still know me and perhaps I am still likeable even if you do not know everything, or much of anything about me. I should trust people more and I should trust myself more and I should worry about what people are thinking less and I should love people more but think about how I love them a lot less and think about how they love me even more less.

Today I made cupcakes with my cousin and his little girl and she is the apple of everyone's eye and that is how it should be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"When I am with you, I feel the intensity of an unknown


I am too often pregnant in my dreams and it does
bother me somewhat that I refuse delivery when it
needs to happen, claiming that I can't have my baby
because I won't be pregnant anymore and that is
where the emptiness begins."
Jenny Boully
from One Love Affair
the poem "He wrote in Code"

I just read this, now and it reminds me of how I only ever seem to write about real life, and the story in this poem is so sad and lovely and it reminds me mostly of Sarah, because she could write this, if it had happened to her. Yesterday, I workshopped a poem about Grandma, and I got mad when the class didn't get it, when they asked me to maybe change the plot, because I wanted them to know that this is REAL life, and that I can't just go changing it. I wanted to tell them, I AM NOT A CHILD AND MY GRANDMOTHER DOES NOT HAVE ALZHEIMER'S AND YES, WE MAKE BREAKFAST FOR TEN, WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE ME. I am struggling, but not giving up that I will find a way to explain this. This being my life, this being the spaces in between us, this being the distance between my mouth and the words I speak, this being that overwhelming sense that we are always feeling the same thing but can't talk about it because we don't know how, so we watch movies instead and that's OK. This being my belly full of stars. Mine Blood Relations we are a miracle. In creative writing I am always surprised that people almost know what I am trying to say, and that convinces me that I will be able to explain all of this one day. If the story isn't clear, the feeling always is, and that is what's really important, and I am excited that through time I have learned how to explain myself with less words. Maybe I will send this to DJD instead of stories about the Carpe. Maybe, maybe I am good enough that he will read it and enjoy it, even if it is rough and needs lots of work. I am convinced that he knows about love the way I know about love, so I want him to read it.

I already have lots of edits in mind, lots and lots, but here is what I have so far:

Guest Bedroom
Grandma recites Wordsworth to me before we go to bed and then tells me she will probably die soon. I sleep on this, curling myself around the thought of her absence, just to see what it feels like. I dream up this conversation to the tick of the grandfather clock (which grandma taught me to wind three times today, to ensure I won't forget). "Does it kill you that you can't remember it all? and Grandma, before you answer, can you just take my heart out?" "Sometimes you just have to learn to love the empty spaces." I wake up to the smell of bacon.

At Grandma's we make breakfast for ten even though we are only two. How many times in my life will I have the perfect moment? over and over and over again.

This is already an inaccurate account of the true story, but I am learning you have to sacrifice some things in order to get the feeling right.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today has been a day of heart-tugs, starting with my all too short visit to MKE and remembering how much Beyonce family is like my real family and coming home to a letter from my 5th grade teacher, whom I have just gotten back in touch with after 10 years. There are too many places/people I call home, and part of me wants them all to be together and part of me knows that is not how it works, and that the only reason this makes me sad at all is because I love all of them so fiercely and miss them something fierce when I am not with them. I have never let myself be fully enamored with Madison, because I already had places elsewhere, but this year I knew I wouldn't survive with loose relationships so I threw myself fully into Madison life, and now I love it here, but also love it elsewhere. Returning to Beyonce felt almost as much like going home as going to el cafe does. It's comfortable, easy, fun, and warm. I am starting to feel like a grown-up, whatever that means. It makes me happier than happy to know that these people are permanent fixtures in my life and that time doesn't really muss things up too terribly.

My old teacher writes the nicest things, she has always managed to see the best in people, something I try to do but maybe do not do quite so consistently. She writes: "Live and love and laugh, but promise me you will also guard your heart? Not in a steely or fairy-tale-reaching-to-the-clouds-wall-around-your-heart kind of way, but a giving it to someone else way." Which tells me that we don't really change ever, because she is writing this based on what she knew of my 10 year old self, and it is still true today. She writes this because she knows my tendency to love things hard. She is really the kindest hearted person you will ever meet, and her whole letter was warm and encouraging but honest, and I am so happy to be in touch with her again.

The heart-tugs are good, because sometimes my loves gets dulled or lost in the shuffle of homework and work etc etc. I want to be everywhere at once but also always always, I am learning to love where I am more than where I am not.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the last two days I've been thinking about my cousins (as per usual) and my music making desires (as per usual) and other such things that so often creep into my head when I am left to my own devices.

Two things that are important to me about my firey-haired Madison cousin:

We are talking in the car about boy names for the baby. He says non-chalantly but excitedly "I can just see him being the hot mysterious guy in high school. Ya know, the quiet guy that all the girls are intrigued by." I have talked about this before, but he is full of love maybe in the way that I am, and there is always a little gap between us but we have a lovely sort of understanding.

He checks in on me with text messages like: "How your tests go there, buddy?"

These are small things, maybe, but I am mostly only into small things. Also, he sometimes thinks my jokes are funny.

Wiz and Sarah had a weekend reunion, and I wish I could have been there to eat and watch movies with them, and somehow in the midst of all of this have conversations about Welchy things, and how our lives are still so intricately entwined to our Welchdom even as we move further apart from each other/our Welch homes. Kenya will be Welchless, and I've never really been Welchless so it will be interesting. Artie is talking about our Welch-road trip and how I might have to fly to meet them after Kenya and I was thinking about how a week or two in close quarters with my family might be the strange and proper transition to help aid my culture shock/life shock.

I am tangling myself in a variety of webs. Like I said before: this could all be trouble... or it could not be.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Already reconsidering my resilience, it's so unlike me, and hours of studying is proving to help me get in tune with myself. I need to surround myself with people who care whether or not my jokes are funny. I need to be around people who like to talk about things, sometimes, I can not be friends at a distance, I don't know how, I want to know everything about everyone and i want them to want to know something about me. I am starting to feel objectified and my post-feminist self wants to be ok with this but my person self is not, because I am mostly only interested in people and all the things that have to do with their thoughts and feelings. I keep being challenged, and I don't mind, I am learning...something. Today it is hot hot in our sun room and I keep thinking about cutting off my hair, and I might just do it, but I wonder if I am doing it to prove something. I am having a gentle shift back into reality, and it is nice, and what I need, but I don't really know who to tell about it. Maybe no one but myself, in fact.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I really need to be finishing my homework, but I am needing to talk myself through things.

For this first time, maybe ever, I have allowed myself to fall out of touch with myself. I have always been perfectly in tune with my feelings even if that meant being aware that I had no idea what I was feeling. But I haven't even taken the time to figure it out, and I am O.K. with not knowing for now and just hoping that it doesn't all catch up and pile up when I'm not paying attention. I am tired of thinking, analyzing, of being disappointed. I'm starting to get angry, allowing myself to be angry at people for being unreliable and confusing, angry with myself for always bending to everyone's will and for people expecting me to. I am not saying I am revolting, I am still an "aim to pleaser" by nature, and am happy being just that, but I am just coming to the understanding that on occasion I need to keep things to myself, slightly less of an open book so I have things that are my own. I am trying to prove my resilience, to everyone, but mostly to myself, I keep surprising myself. New friends, new Savannah's, are we onto 3.0 now?

Monday, October 4, 2010


Sometimes I can't believe I am wearing the same clothes. I am not one for material things, or I try not to be, but I am fascinated by how much these shirts know about me. I used to hate leaving home, and now I can't quite figure out which place to call home, so I am deciding on all of them. El Cafe will always be home but these cities are starting to be home too. I have always known this about myself but it is strange for me to start making myself lives in various cities, to feel the tugs in each direction. And yet my nostalgia is not as strong as it was before I had anything to be nostalgic about. Mostly I am just moving forward, hoping that I will manage to keep in touch with everyone, and that I can fit all of these people in my pocket.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not to get all academic, but I just had class and we had discussion which I was, of course, to afraid to speak during and I am going to go talk to my professor because it is just something I should do more and because I actually have things to say. But I need to organize them and however stupid it is to use a blog to organize thoughts, it is what I am choosing to do.

What is conditionality and is it morally acceptable?
The concept of conditionality is fairly simple, in principle: the giving of aid based on policy changes: giving aid and then making rules about how it should be used. In theory, I suppose that is moral enough, as was brought up in class when someone gives you money, they usually have rules about how you should use it, and it being their money, that seems relatively reasonable.
However, Africa is so fucking complicated, so unfairly so. The first problem being that "we" (who is we, is always a fair questions, I mean western cultures and political units, I mean the democratized/capitalist world) are partly responsible for Africa being in the position in which it needs money in the first place. So we reap the continent of many of it's resources, we take over and completely muddle with the systems of government and economics that are established there (now whether or not these systems were good, "moral" systems is besides the point), which really messes up everything and then we act as though we are being oh-so-generous to give money? So perhaps under normal circumstances it would be fair enough to have conditionality but this is more like someone robbing you, then giving you a chunk of money but only if you promise to use it to buy what they think you should own.
Another problem is that when giving aid we are either giving it with full agenda to spread our idea of democracy, which seems a little questionable on the moral side or we are giving it with the intention to do what is best for everyone, but assuming that what we do is what is best for everyone. We are not in a position to decide what is best in African countries, being as we do not live there or have a particularly good understanding of what people want, need, etc. Perhaps part of the problem with aid is that we give the money to the wrong people, like the government's which are run by big-men who have only their own interests at heart and will use the money to increase their military, or to buy themselves an airplane or something. So perhaps the distribution of aid needs to be studied much more closely.
Now, democracy works for us ( well, that is obviously arguable, but we will just run under that assumption) but that doesn't mean that it works for all countries or that other systems don't work, and yet when aid is given, that is the assumption. As the western dominant world tries to get to create a global market and spread the idea of free trade etc, countries in Africa have trouble competing. People assume that this is because of some structural short-coming etc etc and decide to try that when we give aid we should encourage African countries to try to come up with ways to make their economy so that it can be incorporated into the global trades. But why? Perhaps someday, that will work, but it hasn't proven to work so well now, and why do we feel it needs to? Can't Africa just have a smaller scale economy for now and not be pushed into competing in the global market?
I am under no authority to dictate what Africans should and should not want, but in same way or another, just as we have been, they have been conditioned to want and strive for western material things and to try to make their economies work in such a way that they can have these western material things. While all of this technology is great in certain ways, it also has many downfalls, and we have too much idle time which means that we are often more unhappy, and as unfair as it may sound, perhaps Africa shouldn't want these things, but the areas that have the proper environments should take a page from the days of yore and survive off of food they grow and hunt. Now it's not fair for me to decide this, and I would never try to impose this idea but it is something that should be talked about, by everyone, just to remind us that it is an idea that exists. Perhaps aid being money is the problem, because money is also something that is very western, an idea that colonialism brought to Africa (of course there was currency and ways of trading things, but colonialism brought a whole new concept of money).

Oi vay, I could keep going, but I am making myself dizzy/exhausted and I am likely boring the crap out of you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grandma and I have the nicest talk. Mostly we talk about how much we love things but also she checks to ensure that I know about safe sex, which is hilarious only because under normal grandma-granddaughter relationships this sort of talk should be awkward and it is not, at all. We end our conversation like this:

S "So, mostly I am just having a great time, and I am so happy here. And I am so excited about Kenya, but also it will be a little sad, because I'll miss everyone."
G "You were born happy, and you've just always been a happy sort a person. I was too."
S "Yeah, well being sad just isn't very much fun!"
G "Yeah, I am like that too. We were born happy, but some people are born sad and are sad all their lives. We were dealt good hands.
S "We were, I think the whole bunch of us was."

The whole conversation was us gushing, and it made me happy, happy to talk about being happy to remind me that I am, in fact, happy. I write this down, on here, because I need to remember it. Remember it for me, for her, and for a writing project I have been working on that I do not have time to do justice right now, a project about grandma and me.

I'm meeting new people and I want to tell them all about what is important to me and I want to learn about what is important to them, but sometimes people like to keep these things to themselves and I am learning this and learning to love what I don't know as much as what I do, and it is gushy and boring, I know, but I am mostly just learning to love things, always.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frosted flakes have never tasted so good. I am losing track of time, of when things happened, finally, I am always counting, days, weeks, hours, and I'm starting not to. I am trying to find a gaudy way to describe Heather's thighs, and who is Heather? and maybe this is why I love writing about her because she is no one in particular. My creative writing teacher thinks I'm implying a sexual attraction to Heather in my poems, but in reality it is my projection of the sexual attraction boys feel towards her and my post-feminist thoughts keep being challenged and all during my women's health class I take mental notes to add to Heather's repertoire. I sound crazy, I don't curr.

Monday, September 20, 2010

last night Vianne and I tried to find the moon. She asked me to speak in Spanish and I felt inadequate when I couldn't.

Madison has swallowed me whole, just like every place I go does, and I am happy to be here, for now, for however long. Weird world, and everything is turning over, and it's surprising at first, always, until you remember that no matter how much things change they don't change at all, which is comforting but strangely disappointing too.

I live with my best pals and all we talk about all day is how much we love each other. lauren and I are ordering two large pizza's from domino's. she just said "so much pizza, so little time". we are going to take pictures of ourselves with the pizza, so we can be famous on domino's website. menage-et-cat, this is the god damned charmed lyfe if i ever saw it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

da charmed lyfe strikes again, hard n fast. lauren says this is my year. i think every year is our year, but she might be right. the season of smart wools and long underwear is fast approaching, I couldn't be more pleased. winter will be cut short by kenya, so I'm starting early. this could all be trouble, but also, it could not be.

Monday, September 13, 2010

beer and french fries and phone calls from cousins on secret rooftops with new people. the madison charmed lyfe is coming back and I am ready for it. sometimes the things you need just fall into your lap.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

i keep having nightmares, not scary like a horror movie but just silly dreams of my heart breaking again and again, i keep waking up to drunk people yelling outside my window, which doesn't bother me but perplexes me because during the school week i barely get the chance to sleep let alone throw back any brewskies, i keep worrying these strangers are driving drunk, i keep waking up parched but with a full bladder, i keep waking up and my blanket smells like someone else. things are slipping through my fingers but i've been trying to force them to slip down my pen onto paper instead. I've been writing crazy letters. I've been making myself sad, just so I can get over it faster and also so I can write more about Heather, my alter-ego and my favorite enemy. All of these people, and no one talk to, I keep folding in on myself, and then unfolding and then folding again, I might be getting weak at the seams. I am not a mess, but I am just not sure.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"loving, rapid, merciless-
breaks like the Atlantic ocean on my head."
-Robert Lowell

I am going to get acquainted with lots of new poets, finally, and I am excited and a little nervous but mostly just excited and hungry to learn and to argue and to make friends and to be busy all of the time and to write letters to people about how I am feeling and to snuggle with our cat.

Things I know about myself are that I am a sucker for poems or stories that talk about eating in terms of food metaphors and stomach aches, I am excited to write, I am going to try hard to write good things and not just quick things for class. I am going to put time into everything I do this semester, I am going to be deliberate on during the week and less deliberate on the weekends. I miss Milwaukee, I miss having friends around all of the time, so I am going out to reconnect with some acquaintances and to make some new friends because I love people and being around them and I am ready to make my own nest here, if I can.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I am the new genetics office babe, I haven't had a chance to think, which is a little bit good, because mostly I have too much time too think, but I have letters to write and heart things to sort out and people to miss until I make myself sadder than sad. I suppose a bit of that person is lost. I am settling into my madison life quickly, and maybe I can actually settle anywhere and everywhere. I feel like I should be more freaked out, but I'm not, and I don't feel like I have time to be. I want to write everyone letters. Everyone everyone. I think they help me sort out how I am feeling, like a slower stream of consciousness and I don't want to confuse anyone, and I mostly don't want to confuse myself but I think I am. confused yet? I drank too much coffee, I have to pee, and I want to go gawk at the new rushes on Frat Row.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

oh god, i love it here. i don't want to leave, though i know i could be happy anywhere, and will be happy once i get nestled into madison. tonight, we were in the basement yelling for a song and we all had a moment, or maybe i just made the moment up in my mind, but i feel like it was a real moment. these kidz make me happy, i will miss them more than i can even imagine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Everything is a little bit/a lot bit fiction.

I am reading the Maytrees, it is beautiful. It is a book about love and really nothing else, about the type of love I don't believe in, not because I am a cynic, but because something about this sort of love is tragic and heavy, humorless. But I like to read about it.

"She lacked a woman's sense of doom. She did what she wanted--like who else on earth? All her life she found dignity over-rated. She rolled down dunes."

"Once, while he slept on his side, his legs thrashed and he panted. She pressed his shoulder. Chasing a rabbit? He exhaled and said, tap-dancing." (Remember when Grandma told me she woke up sore because she'd been figure skating in her sleep?)

Is it Saturday? Is my heart broken? I love Paul Simon, but lack the same affinity for Art Garfunkel. It is Saturday. My heart is no more or less broken than it has been any other day this year. It's in pretty good shape. I have one more week here. I am scared to leave, for the same reasons I am always scared to leave. For the same reasons my Grandma is afraid, always. We don't want to be forgotten. We try to prove that people don't forget by pushing ourselves to remember. All this really does it make it hurt a little more when we realize we're not being thought of. We want everyone to be like us, but the precise reason we love them is because they aren't. I am learning to be better, to not ask so much of other people, to not ask so much of myself, but just to let things unfold naturally. Maybe the beliefs I root myself in aren't the right things to be stuck with forever. I am letting myself fluctuate but to not be completely flakey. I am scared, a little bit always, but never as much as I used to be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"this summer has been a firefly" I am sitting in Alterra teary eyed, because my cousin can do this to me. We had two very different summers but we are ending them the same way, with the same sort of denial and excitement for what is coming next. Summer's end crept up on me, and so did another sort of ending. I've been waking up afraid again.
It's not fair, really, that we all have to dance around in these jagged spirals, and last night my friend asks me "Will any boy ever like me as more than a friend?" and i tell her yes, because YES, but it's funny how these things bring us down and we have been walking around the city, trying to come up with resolution that doesn't exist. I've been struggling with my place in the world as a woman, because I want to believe there is no such thing. Is there any sort of balance? Can I be one of the guys while still being a charming sort of gal that someone might like as more than just a good pal? I used to have full faith that this was possible, but this summer has got me wondering. This sounds like some shitty Carrie Bradshaw article, I haven't found a way to make it poetic. And if I have to choose, I know I'd choose to be a spinster with lots of close pals rather than work on becoming a more feminine sort of woman with lots of tricks up her sleeve. Nothing about me is a challenge, and maybe that is a disappointment. I don't know, and I suspect the boys don't either.
I've been reading fragments of Sappho, which were recovered after being half destroyed and translated, and Anne Carson took lots of liberties, but they are short and sweet and fucking great, because there is so much missing.

]for those
I treat well are the ones who most of all
]harm me
]you, I want
]to suffer
]in myself, I am
aware of this

I would not think to touch the sky with two arms

I should be more disappointed and discouraged, but mostly I just feel a little confused and worried and always, a little bit desperate. This summer has been perfect, I got just what I wanted from it, including a new family, whom I love as much as mine blood relations and whom I will work hard to keep in tact through out the years. No matter how much I change, I'm never that much different, it's a comfort. I am in my twenties, I am working on loving where I am more than where I am not, I am learning to "watch the donut, not the hole" (as mom told me once, when I was in the depths of despair, and which has stuck with me, even though it's pretty stupid. I told her this, and we laughed and I can't explain why I love my mother, but she is funny like I am funny, and sometimes, only we think we are funny and that is ok) and I am happy, with full faith in what I like to call "da charmed lyfe".

I have been writing nothing but run-on sentences for the last three days, regular sentences aren't long enough.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tonight reaffirmed what I had already expected, that I have made myself a home, or that a new home has made me, that I have created a family that is not mine blood relations, but has the same spirit as the Welch's. I want to call Grandma and tell her, I am not sure why precisely but I just know that her reaction will be right. Sometimes, most of the time, I get caught up in our latest family politics and dramas and forget, but I know that my Grandma is the person who taught me to love fearlessly and fiercely and thus understands this fierce love the best, and helps me harness it, by letting me gush about the strange strength of my connections with people. I will miss it here like I miss everything else, but it is all about learning to love where you are more than where you are not, and I suspect my Madison love nest will be just as fulfilling and then Kenya and how much space is there inside my mind/heart to hold all of this and what is the connection between my mind/heart/stomach?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

weeona was different this year, because I've taken a new approach this summer, and it is not over-analyzing each and every thing, and weeona is usually where i gather all of my thoughts and organize them, or release them, or whatever. I felt antsy while I was there and I know that was bad. I am afraid I am losing touch with my feelings, but at the same time I am filled with a "joy of living" if you will, I am at a time where I am happy doing things, and not thinking about them too much. I am learning to trust myself, and it is scary.

spent weeona reading "Dead Man Walking" and realizing just how fucked up the death penalty really is.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

it feels like everyday is a good day here, even the bad ones. thanks pals, i'll miss you with an achey heart when the summer is through.

Friday, July 16, 2010

sat for an hour trying to write something. instead flipped my computer the bird for an hour. harness your fucking hopes and i need to stop believing in magic and start believing in piss and masturbation. i think it would make for better poetry. i'm learning how to be an asshole. is it working? oi vay, i am hopeless, over and over and over again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

days so good you are too tired to write about them. days where you feel comfortable and happy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I've been scribbling and scribbling, most of it useless, all of it useless, and I am tired, which means that all I want to do is write run on sentences. I will throw out an excerpt from my scribbles:

Dad says I'm likeable. But is that really enough? I'm learning to be an asshole. People like that. I like that. Mom says be careful. She knows me better than you do. While you only suspect I'm pitiful, she knows for sure. She listens to me try to form sentences for an hour. Do you know what love is? That is love.

I've been listening mostly to Redbird and it's counterparts because it is all beautiful and because it sounds just like what love should sound like. You know when you are listening to a song and you can hear a person smiling while they sing? I love that. I am keeping my head up, because there is nowhere else for it to go.

I'm too tired to have appropriate tact, I am going to go scribble some more.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Today I realized that I am falling in love with Milwaukee, the people more than the city, and I started thinking about going back to school and it tugged at my heart strings. The more places you start calling home the more things you have to miss. I am happy I decided to live here this summer, and I will be back often whence the school year starts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tell me something nice. All I want right now is a fresh cup of words, something that slides down my soul and gives me shivers.

I am flipping through The History of Love and it is beautiful but depressing, which I think is how I used to think of life, but then I learned about lyfe, and since then things have been looking up. Today is just one day. What used to scare me, is becoming a comfort. I always have myself. No one knows me better than myself, which means that I always have a scrap left of dignity, if not more. My problem has never been lack of self confidence, but lack of confidence that the things I know are good about myself are things that other people get to see. Last year I told mom "I am learning to get along with myself," and I feel like I am as close to that as I ever will be.

Weeona in three weeks. Sarah in a little less. All I do in the summer is think, which is probably why I never think of summer as being a season I like, but Sarah and I can just spend hours talking about life in shitville and life in wonderville and our "feelings". And weeona, well, at weeona I don't talk at all but work out my inner turmoil through lots of swimming and wandering away and sitting in the chapel singing and staring at the stars because I am crazy and think that the stars and moon actually know something about me. The things about myself that are a comfort to me are the exact things that are a nuisance to other people. Sarah always says that we love hard. She says it's a good thing. Good for who? Not for me. Not for the people being loved. I am learning to love more well roundedly, to maybe just keep some of my love for myself. We love people until they can't breathe. We love people until we can't breathe. I seem to have no control over my emotions, I don't know if that is normal or just Welchy, but they are always strong, rarely dimmed, like they are screaming at the tips of my nerves, like they want something from me, and I can not give it. I never quite understand this. How my body itches for things that it can't have, I don't understand why together my body and brain can't be a little more resourceful. The other thing I just can't wrap my head around is how we all want the same fucking thing, happiness, and certain days it just seems so silly that anyone would ever be sad when they could be happy instead and then other days you remember that we can't seem to control what makes us happy, and we can't seem to properly attain the things that make us happy. I grind my teeth.

I am a dawg, a slobbery, eager, hopeless little mess, with too much love and not enough tact. I am working on it. I am going to go to sleep and think about how lovely my mother is for being my soundboard.

Welch Preservation

Sarah and I spend an hour commiserating over our Welch-dom. We coin a new term: Welch Preservation vs Self Preservation, Welch Preservation meaning sacrificing your own emotional well being under the false assumption that we aim to please, and that our pleasing other people will result in us pleasing ourselves. Somedays I just want to be home, el cafe where my village of parents resides, the comfort of people who know me at a close distance, who will feed me if I talk sweetly, will tease me, a place where I can feel young forever. It's just some days when I can't quite find the hilarity, can we blame it again on my sleepy disposition? I always think I have my ducks lined up, always think I've got it figured out, but we know i don't really believe in that. My grandma and I talk about friends and I feel better. Artie and Pam and go for a joy-ride in Pam's new car, we drink a little beer, Pam gets loud, I get chatty, Artie bullshits, we go home and cook dinner. These are things. Are these the things?

I am looking for a Welch retreat, a few days with my kin, a few days to get my head an heart in sync, a few days to cry and then laugh at our fake misery. That is all I want today, tomorrow, maybe forever. I had lots of 10 minute nightmares, I woke up and stared at the ceiling, full of maps, Australia right in front and thought of Sage, winking at her before falling back asleep. My stomach was squealing and I stared at the ceiling writing lines of poetry in my head about those strange sounds, the best one (though I can't be sure it is good) was "The sound of fallen soldiers, comes muffled, from my stomach." Mom hasn't called me back, and I want to go to bed, but I am not sure how.


"FUCK WELCH PRESERVATION" she says. I tell her: we swallow things too often, and it makes us so full of things that are not ours that we lose touch with ourselves. When push comes to shove we need ourselves more than we need them.
It is not in our nature to hang loosely onto people, we claw and clasp, it really musses things up. Oh god, am I this lonely? I didn't even know. Welch-dom, Welchdoom, we like to take it straight to the bloodline, not just for blame but for self-praise too. We are this way because we were born Welches we say. As though that means anything to anyone who isn't us. It is only like this when we are feeling like the loneliest or happiest people in the world. We wonder if this is normal. Is this normal?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last night Lauren came to visit, and of course the usual lovely friends were hanging around Beyonce, and today Mr. Mulvey picked me up and we went on a bike ride, and I feel at home now. I call mom, in a panic, a few times a day 'mom, you've made me scared to leave the house.' 'mom, i'm being so awkward' 'mom, i can't stop falling asleep' and she is the only one that has ever been able to calm my nerves. It is days like this, when I sort of love everything that I most wish my cousins were with me, because I know they know this lovely sort of over-whelmed or perhaps just-the-right-amount-whelmedness that we sometimes get on the most ordinary of days. A few months ago my aunt calls my mom, but I answer and she says "Sorry I missed your Birthday... I mean, I didn't really miss it, I just didn't call you." and I said "It's ok, I think at this point we are old enough to know that we know" and she says "That's the great thing about this family, we just know, we don't really have to say it." and perhaps not saying things sometimes makes our feelings about each other unclear, but there is some undeniable love spread out among all of us.

What if everywhere felt like home? I think it could. I guess the real question is: what if everyONE felt like home? Somedays I am not good at making friends, somedays I feel unimpressive, and it makes me scared, so I fold myself up neatly, and don't talk or make eye contact, I do my best to be invisible. How can you ever trust that what you have to say is important? I like getting to know people, I just never know how. Usually people unfold themselves in good time. I want to always feel like home, for other people.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Snack

I have this bad habit of accidentally developing a 3:30AM snack ritual in the summer. I wake up and feel ravenous, I think partly because I eat to closely before going to bed. Does that even make sense? My fingers are sticky with chocolate cake, my hunger is subsided, and sleep is setting back in.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My thumb is sore from letter writing, so I am giving it a break before I go onto my next letter. Apparently I am full of words or thoughts, and I can't seem to compact them enough for a poem, or control them enough for a story, so I am just writing to people, hoping my thoughts are mildly well-recieved or at least entertaining. I've been riding a wave of full confidence lately, but the start of summer seemed to be a re-start to insecurities (though I like them, as long as they don't frighten me to the point of hermitude.) I try to keep myself in check. I still lack a trust, a trust that people like me, and that if they didn't I would have enough sense to know that. I think of myself as pretty OK at reading people, but I don't trust that this applies to reading how people feel in regards to me. This is a most people thing, not any one person in particular. Some days I am confident that I am likeable, but most days I am second guessing. People think it is selfish and passive-aggressive and needy to want people to tell you they like you. I am not desperate for it, and I wouldn't ask anyone point blank, and I wouldn't even hint at trying to make them say something along those lines. But in my head, it only makes sense to tell people you like them, or really how you feel about them in general. People do tend to think it is strange though, so sometimes I have trouble doing so myself. Though a few glasses of wine usually helps, and leads me to lots of arms drooping over shoulders and me saying "I love you guys, you guys are great" which is really true. Oh jeez, I keep worrying about making a fool of myself, but if any of it really is me making a fool of myself then I suppose that is just what I am, a genuine silly sort of gal. I'll take it for what its worth. So worrying be damned, I have to get rid of it before my real summer starts or I will trapped inside my hot attic room all summer quivering in a pool of my own sweat. I think my thumb has had its rest, if you're "lucky" you might be getting a sloppy savannah letter in your mailbox in the near future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The sky is always falling in this family. In truth, it really is falling, and we do our best to create a forcefield of tension to hold it up. I am made half of love and half of neurosis (and they intertwine themselves so strangely, no?). Tonight my cousins and I laid on the pier and star-grazed, talking about things of importance, talking about non-sense (just as important) and sitting in silence. "I like my silences like I like my uterus, un-pregnant". There are rifts between us, rifts of love, misunderstanding, and just the space of only seeing each other in this one place, this one way, this one element. But there is a closeness that we will never have with anyone else, the knowledge of growing up here, with the people that we know so well. I've been thinking about people lately, and how I can't really describe them to other people, because to describe a person you have to describe the people around them, the group dynamic, the way the function in the group, and I haven't figured out a way to do that. This is why I struggle to write about el cafe because it's magic is not held in any individual, but created by the whole. I want to spend my summer working on this.
I went from one family event to another, my two families so different, in one I move so fluidly know my place, in the other I feel clumsy, quiet, hover around the few people I know best. I love them both though. I wonder if this feeling of being young will ever go away when I am out of my element. My heart is full, but not breaking, it is confused, but not scared, I am trying hard not to be scared or sad, trying to release my tension in my own quiet way.
Sarah and I sat around talking about our feelings, which is all we ever really do, and it was nice, nice to be able to talk about important things without tip-toeing or getting awkward or uncomfortable, and sometimes we just sat in silence thinking about things, about Grandma (one of us trying to quell our fear, one of us trying to muster it up). The down-side of being slightly calmer and happier at all times is that my emotions are dimmed, but when we were laying on the pier shivering I got scared under that big sky, the idea that the circumstances are always changing, that I can love this family fiercely as I want and we could still fall apart for some lack of effort. I am trying hard to stay in touch with everyone, trying to see if I can be the glue. Trying to learn to love everyone in their element, trying hard not to want people to change (and failing and failing where certain people are concerned). But I do love all of you, my darling lions and miss you when you are not around.
Now off to a 3 hour bat mitzvah ceremony, hopefully I have developed a sudden talent for singing in hebrew that I did not have yesterday, and hopefully I can keep myself from giggling, though it will be hard, not because I think the ceremony itself is funny but because the awkward, out of placeness I feel in church makes it hilarious, the people mumbling hymns out of key, and me clumsily following along, feeling like I am 5 when I used to pick up books and sing them instead of reading them. Church is something I did not grow up with, and even though I went for a short time as I child I always felt strange, it makes no sense to me, but I don't and won't knock it.

to remind myself for later:
(last night I dreamt that I got dirt on my grandmother's couch, oh the horror, oh the horror)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Roamin with the Buffalos

We're off to a good start. A lovely night swim, slightly woozy/energized from wine etc, the water still and silent, looked as inviting as my very own bed. We giggled and swam and my legs were grabbed by seaweed which was scary/exciting. To lay in the water, looking at the sky, well I can't suppose there is much better. The water was warm, so warm, if you kept your limbs rotating, and I had trouble convincing myself to get out (and why did I get out? so I could come up here to tip-tap bullshit on my computer?). It was perfect. Things are perfect.

Friday, May 28, 2010

i've been home, i've been feeling dead, dead like I feel nothing, like I indifference is the only thing that I have, and maybe some shallow sense of hilarity and I love the stars and the moon but they weren't giving me anything, they weren't feeling like the ocean but now, with the help of thine blood relation my heart has opened again, and it is such a relief. I am on my roof I am on the roof and oh my god you guys have you ever seen the moon? I bet you have, but oh my god you guys how come it never gets old? I know that someday love can last forever because HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOON? my love for it will last forever, and I bet I could love a person forever too. But ya know ya know, the question is always, does the moon love me forever back? well, I don't really trust anything, not even myself, but I trust that things work out, they just do, no matter the sort of messes you make, and have you seen the moon? It is golden and round and I hope I never make it up there.

Today we made crepes, Lauren, Anna, and I and we said "next year, next year, next year" and we made plans, and the point of making plans is not that they will work out, but really just to show "hey I love you, I love this, lets do this again, and again, and again". Making plans is a way to show that you love someone. I think sometimes I get confused though, because not making plans does not mean that you don't love someone. Though me, I am a planner. My heart is hungry even though I just ate some ribs. My heart is hungry and have you seen the moon? I am not really fond of romance, but I would like to sit with you, here, and look at the moon. We don't even have to hold hands. We could sit on opposite sides. Just something, someone to make me feel al little less like I am in some strange bubble. Though, you know, sometimes I feel like I want to crawl inside people when I love them too much. Swimming is all I can think about to calm me when I get like this. Crawling inside the water, letting it embrace me, back to the womb, back to the womb, the darkness, the only darkness that doesn't scare me. This is the only thing that will make me feel OK during my first few weeks in Africa. The idea that the people you love can be far away but see the same thing you are seeing, that is more than comfort. I am sentimental (sentimental queens) but don't mistake me for no fun. I am always clarifying and reclarifying and yet, I am never clear. You are killing me and I think it is funny and a little cute. My dad says "life is pointless Savannah, once you figure that out it's so much easier" and I tell him he is pessimistic and he says "no, no" with a smile, he says "my two thoughts are conflicting because I belive in love and other things, but life is pointless" and I think that it must be rough to be in conflict with yourself all your life, and then I think "life is pointless" because what is the point in loving things, and why does everything have to have a point and shouldn't the point be doing your best to be happy? And to be American, to be a person in the modern world, we are practically a different species. Other people live to survive, and I think Is that any sort of way to live? and then I realize that maybe living just makes us happy, because otherwise those poor suckers wouldn't have worked so hard to stay alive. Life is pointless, everything is pointless, and yet and yet things keep going and going, and who needs a purpose? That is something us humans made up to make ourselves miserable. I serve no purpose, and it is strange, but I am ok with it.

I am hungry and I just want to add as many lovely people to my pointless life as I can.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

snoozin on the roof

"this is no room at all, why don't you pour me a fuckin drink?"

Let me start out by saying that I am probably committing some kind of sin by sitting on my roof under the stars and moon (covered by clouds) tapping away on my computer. But it's already polluted by city lights and city things, so perhaps I am not ruining anything that isn't already. Being home is strange, and I have been writing letters, some of which I've been sending, other sitting in my binder trying to decide if they are worth sending or not. I've been hanging out on the roof a lot, and I have this vision of myself being seen from someone flying higher up, a girl, in the middle of her room, lit up by the glow of her computer screen. Being home is the strangest sort of lonely, the biggest sort of disconnect, like I am out of touch with everyone. Not just not in communication, but like somehow I forget how to relate to people normally. It feels so much nicer on the roof, less claustrophobic, and I wonder what it would look like if we all had our beds set up on the roofs of our houses. I am not lonely in the sense that I am dying for company, but it would be nice to have someone to sit and gawk at the sky with me,

I sound so dumbly introspective, home just gives me too much time to think and even though I am trying to stay busy, it is not quite working.

Monday, May 24, 2010

grandma's house

I was here yesterday, and it turned out that it was too hot at home today and there wasn't much to do and everyone was tense and crabby, so I came here. The plan was to swim and read and write all day but I instead ended up swimming and watching tv and all day, my excuse being a raging headache, though in reality I could just use that to my advantage. Grandma's house is one of my favorites houses, but at night when it is empty and the masses aren't here I get creeped out, and I was going to sneak to the lake tonight, to just sit by myself. But in truth, I would prefer to do it with company, I am fond of the idea of doing nothing, together. The buffalos come next week and it will be great to see them, here, in this setting, which hasn't happened for almost a year. I am excited to sit by the lake and just talk, this is what Sarah and I have always done, and something we're always good at, talking for hours, about everything, about Welch-things. We need these visits, all of us, to keep us in balance.

It is summer, which has always spelled out Welch season to me, and the thought of various visits and conversations quells my summer anxiety. Tomorrow, I will do better.

Friday, May 21, 2010

learning to love where you are more than where you aren't.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Monday, May 17, 2010


As if you weren't sick of it, but it is my summer project, no?

I've spent the last hour reading the guestbook, laughing and getting teary eyed, wondering what the hell happened to Ellis Paul and Don Con. I pretended that it was research for the start of my writing project, which I am starting to think it's unnecessary altogether because I could just publish the guest book, and it would tell the story better than I ever could. But what the hell, I've got nothing to do this summer but rearrange words so I will do my best to come up with something spectacular and perhaps steal from all of the hooligans who filled up the pages of this book.

It's not just all in my head though, there is some kind of magic here, I found it in this book right here. I don't think that we can take the credit for it really, but these vagabonds find some great comfort and homeliness here, and I only hope that I make my homes half as homely for whoever happens to wander in. My attachment to my home is not the building itself, though it seems that way. It is the people, but I know that once this building is gone, once we don't have this same set up the people will stop coming and our lives will be a lot lonelier. The american folk-music scene is small, tight knit, and rather lovely. The music itself is about the same. There is something so warm about it, and that is the best way to describe it.

To live in a place that so many people call home is the greatest, and I am sure the main source of my constantly nostalgic heart because it always feels like someone is missing. I always try to bring people home, to check out the place for themselves, but I am never quite sure if they quite get it, or if I ever quite get it, so I want to dedicate a portion of my summer writing to figuring out how to describe it. I keep wondering if it will even be interesting to anyone who is not associated with el cafe. People are easy to love and hard to forget.

I am not the only one who thinks that these walls are always talking (silently), "there are angels in the doorways" .

To sum it up: "this place is a wildlife refuge" DJD/ "this is the best homeless shelter I've ever been to"

We've always been happy to take in the strays, because perhaps we are all a little bit astray and we all need a place to call home. Because I was raised on love from these strays and from some of the more permanent fixtures in this place, I sometimes suspect that I have never known such a things as sadness, though my heart tells me otherwise. I love it here, not in a selfish narcissistic way, but in a communal sort of way.

Perhaps this is all the reason i never really think of my places as my own, why I am not over protective of my room, my bed, my spaces, only protective of my meals (because there was never any need to share your food around these parts).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I felt like I should write tonight, something, even if it is bland, because I haven't written in a while and I should be, should be starting to work on my daily word spew, my daily word refining, my discipline. It is finals season, that is my excuse, though a poor one, because i have been at home and doing no studying. Unless "studying" the Brothers K counts, in which case, yes.

I have grown up on folk music, but haven't learned to love it until recently. Now I am digging through piles of CD's of various artists who have played here, because mostly what I want to hear is good, simple folk music, and I have some sort of romantic ideas about it, day dreaming of me and some faceless person, crooning to folk tunes together on a rainy day. Not even necessarily some love of mine, but just a friend, someone comfortable. I think about love a lot, and exactly what it means, and what sort of purpose it plays in our lives, and about the idea of meeting one person and spending some significant chunk of your life with them. I know the whole idea is romantic, but what if my generation changes it? What if romance just doesn't work out, so what if we just live with our friends for long spans of our lives? The idea is not to be lonely, to have someone that loves you to come home to. I suppose ideally it would be some significant other, but who says the "lonely souls" have to stay lonely while they wait/search? Perhaps it will help us all stave off the desperation and make us more appealing. But really, the goal is happiness, and I feel happy having some warm giggling friends to come home to. (the goal? I am actually not sure I have one, I think I prefer it that way).

My head is slightly achey and I am getting to romantic-y/love-y/ridiculous for my own taste. I guess that is goodnight then.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I rarely ever cry when I'm supposed to, in "public" situations (funerals etc). I only find myself teary eyed in bad movies, cheesy flicks, perhaps because I am not so worried about thinking about what is happening and just letting it happen, and somehow I get swept up in it. OK. I know that everyone is sicksicksick of hearing me rant and rave about the Brothers K, but let me just tell you, this chapter is killer. Almost enough to tell someone that they should at least read this one chapter, if they won't read the whole book. The thing about this book, is that at the beginning, the information doesn't feel essential, but I would argue it is, he is slowly and carefully setting up his characters, letting you get to know them, before slapping you in the face with this knowledge. And that is what happens in psalm wars. A good ole emotional ass whoopin. and it never felt so good. I was sitting downstairs in el cafe (my preferred reading spot) doing my best not to bawl in such a public setting. But shit. If I am ever able to do that, do that just once with my writing.

I am starting to consciously understand what I already knew in the back of my brain. This might not be everyone's book. It hits me the right way, each an every part of it, but that is not to say that anyone else I know will love it the same way, and that is something that used to bother me, and something I am learning to be ok with now. But I want to know what all of your books are. I want to read your copies, the ones that you have hi-lighted and scribbled on. Do you have these?

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Prancing through
the woods
naked save for
my backpack

on my way
to your house
for breakfast
or lunch
or dinner
or will you even
let me in?

Oh, don't I know it,
I leave much to
be desired,
my limbs so wiry
you'd think I was
made from pipe-cleaners,
eager as a god-damned dog,
salivating at your feet.

My swollen knuckles
meet your twisted
door frame,
in not-so-quiet

I glimpse you
dancing behind
your Sunday curtain,
the curve of your
spineless soul,
and a meek yelp
barrels out of my lungs,
followed by the
drip, drip, drip
of my watering mouth.

Turning swiftly on the balls
of my feet,
so red and raw
from my constant spinning,
I tip-toe around back,
to the garden.
My Grandmother,
her aged body shaking
like a frightened pup,
feasting her eyes
on the broken door knob.

Oh no,
we've been unwelcomed
again, so
Grandma and I
sit on the stoop
pant-less, bra-less,
stark naked
save for her
wrinkles, my

We swap
war stories,
hers unfolding themselves
from her skin
mine carefully
drawn out
from my bag

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


When Mom Makes A Good Joke
Furtive Glances From Across the Room
When You Set Your Cell-Phone On It (yer heart), Forget, And It Buzzes
When Smart Cute Babies Sing You Happy Birthday
When Smart Cute Babies Give You Hugs Or Bessos
El Cafe Magic
Exercise [or so I've heard]
When the Sun Beams You
Dance Parties
Snow Flakes
Snow Balls Flying At Your Face
Coffee Coffee Coffee
Joanna Newsom
When You Make A Joke Mom Would Make
When People Who You Thought Did Not Like You Tell You You're Alright

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's that time of year.

In spring I spend lots of time sitting and missing things. In spring I get sappy, clingy, hopeful, hopeless, desperate, lonely, tired, excited, hungry, full. In winter had some semblance of confidence, but it seems to have melted with the snow and I am second guessing and quadruple analyzing everything again.

This is why I have been taking so many naps.
I swear I am still fun, I just have more inner turmoil than I did last week.

"my dearest scatterheart, there is comfort, right in the eye of the hurricane"

Monday, April 26, 2010


Mifflin is coming up, which is not normally something I would at all be excited for, but I am interested to see it, and compare it to what I have been told about what it used to be. Spring always seems to bring the protestor out in me, and I swear my heart was made in the '60's. It was not just protesting the war, but a weird era of unity that I don't think I will ever get to experience. I know I seem to write about this same idea every 6 months, but it is because I never have the time or energy to properly give a full rounded explanation of my idealization of this era.

Paul says that Mifflin used to be more about drugs and less about drinking, more about everyone getting together to celebrate life and, in the back, fight the system. He called it anarchy and I know I wasn't there, but I don't think that was it. Or maybe I just don't have the right view of anarchy.

In the '60's people from all over came to Madison. Paul told me about all the Runaways. Mifflin street co-op was the only co-op in town, and it doled out food these young runaways, and helped foster various other like-minded businesses. Madison has a good heart, even if it has been slightly tainted by my generation. Many say that the Sterling Hall bombings put an end to it. It crossed a line, it was too violent, and droves of people left after it happened. Karl and his brother learned how to fly planes, stole one, and tried to bomb some WI company's fields (I of course don't remember the name or what they produced now). And they managed to do all of this without killing themselves in the process.

The don't condone violence. But to care about something so much, to be so frustrated with a system that ignores and ignores the fact that thousands of people are dying, for no apparent reason, that you don't know what else to do is amazing. I feel like that is so lost on my generation. Lost on me. I have written and angry essay or two, but I never DO anything. All these people that raised me, my fake aunts and uncles, they were a part of something, they were a part of a movement, they were fighting for what they believed in and being stupid college kids at the same time. I am just being a stupid college kid.

Someday, I will gather all the information that I have learned through years of story telling, documentary watching, book reading, and write a fictional book about Madison in the 60's, that will draw heavily of real life accounts. The take-over, the beginning of Mifflin, Sterling hall bombings, the police paranoia, everything. Perhaps a good project if I ever decided to try to get an MFA in creative writing here.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Post weekend o' mayhem I scrubbed my carpet, I swept, mopped, I replaced furniture, and I passed the fuck out. Yesterday I was not pleasant, I was sleepy, I was irritable, I needed some time to myself. This is why I need to live with these kidz. Because I love them, and mostly just want to be around them all the time, but need my own space to escape to every now and again.

I used to get like this (x's 10) every time visitors came and left, a sentimental sort of emptiness. Lately I've been having lots and lots of "I don't know what to do with myself" moments, and I think I know what this means, but it is still a little unsettling none the less. There is some hint of deeper sadness in this, just a drop, but it is something I have not felt in so long, I am not sure what to do with it. But yesterday, I was sitting, half asleep (as that is how I spent my whole day) thinking about how much different I am, really, if I look at myself a year ago and look at myself now, I have rediscovered my inner child, the one that is not so afraid of what people will think, the one that just wants to dance around and do hand stands and enjoy things. I was always trying to catch up with my cousins, trying to act older than I really was, trying to impress them. Now I trust that each age has its own sort of wisdom, and to deny yourself the perspective of the age you actually are is to deny yourself some important learning experiences.

At a certain point, when we were standing on the porch watching birds, talking about this and that he said "Oh, to be 20 again" which is something people always say, that doesn't make sense to me ("oh, you'll understand when you are older," I don't want to.) I suspect each age has it's value, I suspect our ups and downs have nothing to do with how old we are at all. I also have a hunch that each age is not so different as we make it out to be. Last week, I had the same weird break downs I used to have when I was little, one involving tears that I did not understand, a moment where I was terribly upset and had no inkling as to why. We change, but at the same time we are rather static.

I am desperate for something to happen with this, but doing my best not to push or shove, doing my best to be calm (though I wake up in the middle of the night singing "desperation is the devil's work, it is the folly of a boy's empty mind"). Yesterday I fell asleep in the living room, while my roommates watched a movie or two and I woke up every hour, ate pizza, fell back asleep. It was strange, my computer glowing next to my head the whole time, waiting for something, waiting for nothing. For the first time in a long time, I am not fully satisfied, and that is a comfort, it means I am ready for something new.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Has already proved itself an improvement on 19. I am calm, but brimming with disbelief/joy. Unfucking believable. Too tired to articulate really, because in one sense, it is such a big thing, and in another sense, such a typical day in the life of el cafe, which goes back to it being an even bigger, cooler sort of thing. In my head all I can think is :"guys. guys. guys." It is clear that my life is charmed, though I don't think the universe needed to pull this stunt to prove it.

Thanks brudder fou.

the waking lyfe

A series of strange dreams, strung together through out nights, all of them related, all of them sending me mixed messages. I suppose my wires are crossed and firing inconsistently. Today I woke up feeling a little hopeless, a feeling I have not had in a long time, I don't like what these dreams are playing at. I don't like surprises. There is some amount of anticipation, my expectations always get too high, I am always a little disappointed, even though I have no reason to be. That and even when I don't realize it, I plan things out in my head, even Savannah 2.0, who is less concerned with how things will turn out, plans things in her head, just little things, details, which are really the important things anyways. It is a bad habit, it is something that needs to be shaken out of me, so bring on the surprises (and bring on the stomach aches).
My heart is permanently in my stomach, I can not get the two separated for the life of me, so these dreams keep having me wake up earlier than I should, with a big hollow sort of stomach churn. Having just woken up from such dreams, I am not sure I am making sense, and convinced I am being more dramatic about the dreams than necessary, but there is a certain amount of drama or distance required when writing, and I can't seem to play the distance card today. I am always trying to make my dreams mean something. Last week Lauren and I were talking about dreams, and she told me she heard that dreams are just us playing out possibilities. Not necessarily desires, just the various options. We both liked this, mostly because it comforted us.
My hair is in a not, my eyes are pale, my breath has a faint taste of tobacco, and my body is just recovering from the routine morning weakness. I am nothing but I bundle of nerves, and that is all to apparent to me most days. When I was sick last time (not fatal, just something that happens when a young gal like myself decides to not take her medicine), I went to Mary (a message therapist, of sorts). My leg has a "shaking point" as I call it, but she said it was all the toxins releasing themselves from my body, and that the gurgling of my stomach proved it. She held my leg at it's shaking point for 20 minutes maybe more, waiting for the toxins to be released, waiting for the leg to stop shaking. At the time I just thought she was not very bright. Now I am starting to consider the possibility that my constant nervousness actually produces this many toxins. Regaurdless, I left the appointment feeling so nauseous I thought I was going to have to puke in the bushes. I made it to the car and slouched, low, as low as I could get without falling onto the car floor. I missed eating custard, my stomach was too angry with me. There is never a moral to my stories.
On the other note, I have been thinking a lot about my lovely nest of friends, my true niche (at least for this time and place). I know some good people who know some good people who know some good people, so basically, I know lots of good people. These kidz could not be nicer (well, they could be, but I wouldn't want them to be). I am learning to be comfortable around people, which is new and so much nicer than being constantly uncomfortable around people. Regardless, I, for once, feel like I really belong somewhere, and am not just always lurking on the edges of various social scenes. 19 was a success. I suspect 20 will be even better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Today, I am being a birthday brat, which is completely unacceptable because it is not even my birthday (which everyone has so kindly reminded me over and over again). I won't go into details, because they will most definitely make me sound bratty. What is it about family that sometimes make me act so bitchy and terrible, even though I am fully conscious of it. It ends up making me more annoyed (with myself) and ergo more of a brat. I should know by now, that Birthdays are not special. I don't mean this in a passive-aggressive way, I mean, in general, no one I am close with thinks much of birthdays. But I have always thought they were nice. Celebrating the fact that someone you love exists, it is a nice thought. Right? A good reason to eat good food, and get down and boogy. Which I will do soon. Perhaps I am realizing that the things I used to consider as family things, are being spread out to the families I have created for myself. And I am perfectly OK with that. Or, I am learning to be. I don't know what is wrong with me. I am going to blame it on hormonal imbalance. Yeah, that always works for girls, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



It is spring, my window is open and I can hear the rain trickling outside my window.
The last two days have moved in slow motion, I just feel sleepy.

Monday, March 22, 2010


pick yer
favorite food
and run with it
like you've never

some dudez
made another fuckin
jam band
and people
that shit

get drunk enough
to make eye contact

talk about something
important, like
being alive

decide this is
the most profound
important conversation
you've ever had

take it to the bank
and let it accrue

don't spend it all
in one

ask your mom
if you can have

I suspect this is not the end of these

Friday, March 19, 2010


Today Lauren and I decided to test out pipe smoking. So thus we were sitting on the docks by the union, failing again and again to keep our pipes lit when we were approached by a man in his 50's. And here is the interaction we had:
We nod our heads cautiously.
"You guys are just smoking pipe tobacco right?"
"Just don't make a habit out of it. It's nice once in a while though, I think I recall I used to smoke every once in a while. I mean, I'm a health nut, but I think it is healthy if you do it occasionally."
Lauren and I mumble something or other.
"I just have a question for you though. Does it ever make you sick, from all the stuff you inhale?"
We nod, even though we don't know, we've never smoked pipes before.
"Yeah, I think it used to make me sick."
"So, it will be hard to recognize or understand but, face to face booking when you figure out what that is THEN let me know if you are still smoking."
And thus he left.
This is not right, these are not the exact words, but it felt like a very profound conversation. He said it like a threat, as though he was trying to tell us we should not be smoking, despite his claim that it was healthy on occasion. He said it like he knew something I didn't.
Face-to-face booking:
Social commentary? About how we are all so dependent on facebook as a form of communication that soon it will be the norm and talking to someone in person will be called face-to-face booking? What does that have to do with smoking?
"Let me know." as though he would just turn up once we figured it out.

It is hard to explain, it is half hilarious half perplexing. I did a terrible job of telling the story, perhaps I will edit this later.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I feel a little bit like I am losing my mind. I've been writing, too much, writing non-stop but saying absolutely nothing. Pages and pages of mixed messages, pages of words, none of them really able to get at what I am trying to say. And ideas, lots of good ones, but too many at once, too hard to carry out, my mind always buzzing. Trying to figure out what this means, since when did I become more fun, since when did I start making friends, since when did I get so lost in my life that I can no longer see myself in it clearly? I feel fine, no I feel happy, I feel like I have nestled my way into a nice spot, a niche. And yet, I am worried, the last few days almost in a panic, I think I have gotten to lost in my own happenings, I have forgotten to properly worry about everyone else's.
Time is slipping through my fingers, in a way it never has, and time used to scare me so much, but I am not worried, I figure I will just keep making fun for myself, forever, until it is time to go back into the Earth. But I do worry that I am changing, too much, keep wanting to call my mom and ask her "Mom, is this ok? Mom, am I becoming something worthwhile?"
My age of "rebellion" is coming at a stunted time (because my parents never gave me anything to rebel against), and I am hesitant about it, asking "am i doing this right?", as though there is a right way after all. Thank goodness for my mother for never being terrified of my choices, for allowing me to talk her ear off, to sort my thoughts. Though maybe I talk too much. I don't know. I am worried. Mostly, I am always checking myself and I've stopped, which is good on my behalf, but maybe not good on everyone else's. Am I living for myself, or for everyone else? I still haven't decided. I am wondering if I can find the right balance.
What is it with this? This not being able to express myself properly? I feel so concerned about myself, not in a real way, but in a distant way, I usually don't go full force in life like this. No, I never go full force, I am always teetering on the edge so I have some option of turning around, some sort of choice in direction. But I am going full force, without any sense of direction, which is really how I like it, but I keep peeking over my shoulder, a small voice telling me I should probably check the situation a little more, before deciding that this is who I am, this is where I am going. But I don't want to. I am worried I am going through this stage too late, with no one here to help me make sure that I am doing OK.

And what is it with me and this blog? Does anyone read it besides Sarah? I assume not, maybe I make it too personal. Maybe I should just send her e-mails. But something about pretending there is an audience makes my writing different, usually better, usually a little less frantic, usually a little more poetic. I have piles of ideas for essays in my head, want to write a whole book about my Autogeography, half prose about my personal attachments to the places that have nursed me into this fine young 20 years old, half essays about their history. Madison has a great history of protesting, something that I have been enthralled with forever, have heard stories and stories about from the various rabble rousers that raised me. Even though I am moving forward, full force, I am inquiring more and more about my past, wanting to collect it.

I get to see Grandma in a week, I am so excited to talk her through my 19th year, to see what she has to tell me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Today, while I was struggling, trying to wrestle some sort of idea into place so I could write, it occurred to me to write about all of my places, in order, explain myself through them. At first I thought one long poem, but now I am thinking a series. After 45 minutes of scribbling, two pages, I still, can not for the life of me find a way to explain el cafe in brief sentences, let alone long run ons. The best and only thing I came up with was "How do I show this to you without cutting open my heart and letting you look inside?"

How do I show you this place, perhaps a wall dissection, perhaps peeling off each layer of plaster, showing you what is hiding inside these walls, THESE WALLS, they are not any walls, these walls hold my history, these walls know me better than anything, anyone.
Layer one: I was raised on home-made desserts and folk music. I curled myself up on these uneven wooden steps and let the music lull me to sleep.
Layer two: What is a family? It was never a question that everyone was family, we gathered people by the dozens, lonely people, less-lonely people, anyone with a good heart, welcomed them into our happy home. It was all of these people that raised me, and our family was always/is always expanding. It is these people who taught me about love, that made love an intrinsic part of me, taught me what warmth is.
Layer 3: The music, the musicians, dirty, clean, crazy, sane, they would come in hesitantly or not-so-hesitantly, but never left disappointed. Have you ever seen music weaved into love, have you ever watched the way the lights dance off the guitar, watched the way the heads nod out of rhythm? Have you ever SEEN music?
Layer 4: Childhood, like any other childhood, but filled with more people. Not just my mother, father, and brother, but piles of self-declared Aunts and Uncles, who all took care of me as though it was no chore. Always treated me like I was a person, always listened to what I had to say, encouraged my self-expression, my humor, my desire to learn. Kept me company, kept me from ever being too sad, always kept me questioning if I even knew what sadness was. Taught me about people, most every sort of person, and how to love them individually, collectively.

How do I show this to you without cutting my heart open and letting you look inside?
Here is what you would see: faces, hundreds of them, smiling unabashedly, teasing me, teaching me, scolding me. El Cafe, it is not just a place (no place is just a place", but an idea, a family, and the story of our lives.


I will keep trying, forever, because it is too important, I don't want us to die before it is written down, on paper, proof that this place existed, can still exist.