You see all my light.
She remembers a time before me.
She remembers a time before cell phones and HDTV and internet and me looking down at my phone instead of at her face.
She remembers pound cake recipes and what to do when my grandfather lost his fingers to the bite of a band saw and how to cut my father’s hair when his feet couldn’t even touch the kitchen floor and the shape of my tiny hand wrapped around hers, my lungs like the wing beats of a hummingbird on fire, long before I should have seen the light of day.
She remembers family. She remembers work. She remembers a time when her hands held things together better than the rusty ones she has now.
She remembers putting my father in the ground. His ashes are caught in her tear ducts. I see them every time she looks at me and sees his nose on my face, and the waste of his life in my eyes.
She remembers all of it. Stories fall from her lips like spun gold.
But today I said, “I’m your granddaughter.”
And you love my dark.
Stay tuned for our Special Guest, Tori’s, No Rules Friday next week.
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
I’m going back in time on this one, because nostalgia has me in its grubby hands today. Does anybody remember those newspapery order forms teachers gave out every couple of months for book ordering? My memory escapes me, but it had a name. It may have been Book Order, but I feel like it should have been more original than that. I used to dogear the flimsy pages and run home to my mother and beg for words.
The only one that made it from the blurb on the order form to my little 10 year old hands to high school and college and my first apartment and now my first home is Watership Down by Richard Adams. I thought I was ordering a book about a journey undertaken by disgruntled rabbits, but really I had themes and ideas much bigger than my fifth grade self. I was holding a novel full of determination, adventure, growth, and the impact of humanity on nature.
Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time. Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.
Adams creates such a lush and reaching culture in this world of rabbits that includes language, poetry, love, family, and a complex hierarchy that explores leadership and the impact of tyranny. This is a novel that expands every single time I pick it up. It adapts itself to the age of the reader, and in that realm of thinking, it is a book that never loses impact. These are not the average bunnies, and this is not the average adventure novel.
This poem is inspired by Audrey’s Nymphs and Satyrs
Water is nothing and everything.
Rain falls for gravity only, and how it loves the fall,
waves crash at the mercy of the moon, over and over and over again.
Love slipped through my fingers
He rests at the bottom of my waterlogged heart.
There is no moon to pull him back,
no gravity to steady my hands,
and I am trapped here
Stay tuned for Anne’s No Rules Friday next week.
I’m going rogue and reviewing a movie adaptation of a book that I already reviewed. The Fault in Our Stars, anyone?
So I said a couple months ago that this book made me ugly cry with the best of them, and allow me to inform you: the ugly crying was audible throughout the theater on this film’s opening night. The girls across from me were basically in shambles before the credits finished rolling.
So it was sad.
I don’t know what we expected. Seeing a heart wrenching storyline portrayed in real life was nothing short of devastating, but ALSO let me tell you that this movie was the most accurate book to movie adaptation I’ve seen to date. The characters were cast spot on, the dialogue was 90% verbatim from very pages I cried onto, and the emotion was raw just as spectacularly translated as it was under that famous cloudy cover. And oh, it’s humor was not lost on me.
I laughed. I cried. I cried harder. I was thankful for waterproof eyeliner. And despite the tears and the wadded popcorn scented napkins (a product of my wringing hands), it was absolutely beautiful. And of course, I plan to go again.
Stay tuned for Anne’s Book Club post next Wednesday.
The Song of Wandering Aengus © Copyright William Butler Yeats, 1899. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the Creative Commons License.
The night of the Hunt we always stole away, Mica and I, just in case. Most stayed with their families to say goodbye in case the glow started, but we stuck together. The elixir lingered on my tongue, heavy and sickly sweet like molasses. My hands shook as I waited for my veins to glow white, or not.
Mica bit into an apple he stole, keen to get the taste of the damning elixir out of his mouth. He tossed the fruit to me. It was crisp and light, one of the best I’d had here. We waited for the glow. It should have only taken a few minutes.
“Don’t worry about me,” he said.
“I always worry.”
“I know, so do I.” His brown eyes were made black by the slivered moon above us. Then he kissed me and I forgot everything, and we ended up a sticky mess of Macintosh nectar and summer heat.
I’ve worried every month since this deal was struck. This was the price we paid for the protection of the Headers. They get to hunt us like dogs once a month, and we get to sleep in the protection of the city away from the demons rising from the ashes outside the untouchable dome of Nacht. They would kill three people tonight, chosen by the elixir we all just drank. Drink the placebo and you can go home, but drink elixir and your veins spark like fireworks. That’s when you start running. It’s a sport.
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Birds have hollow bones. In numbers, they make shapes like shadows that live. A murmuration. That’s what it’s called. The word sounds soft, like whispers, heartbeats. Those birds turn air from nothing into something solid, something with weight like a hand on my shoulder, like my name on your mind. Something light, something heavy. I’m not going anywhere with this but to say that everything is light, and everything is heavy, even when it seems like nothing’s there.
A little bit of poetry on a sleepy Friday morning? Sure.
I once wrote about rain and skeletons. I asked for them back, but you can’t get words back. Fingers twisted and crushed and words became noise and something to hold out of reach, just like a heavy heart. You can’t get words back.
You can’t get time back. You can’t get back the first rose blush of love.
But that’s good, because you don’t want it back.
You want white flags and white doves and a red heart, more alive than hope. A heart dripping something so hot it burns through the floors of doubt in a house made of glass. So loud they can hear it in the street.
Do you want my white flags? Do you want my white doves so full of promise they can’t get to the clouds fast enough? Do you want my red heart?
It’s loud and hot and my doubt is crashing so hard I’m catching shards of shrapnel like shooting stars, and every wish is sitting six hundred miles away painting a red heart onto a white canvas.
I said I’d never give away words again, but you can have them all. No more glass houses, just your arms. Go paint our hearts on your canvas and give me every burning constellation you’ve got in your eyes.
Let’s break every bit of glass in this place if it means making galaxies so bright I can’t think of anything other than kissing you under the stars.