Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just a thought...

I want to go back to Crater Lake. I want to sit on a wide tree branch some summer and just wait there until the first snowfall. I'll watch the first snowfall, and then the second, then the third (or maybe it all just comes in one steady continuation of white that lasts days and days or even weeks), so I can know how the snow lays on the pine needles and th edirt and hugs the edges of cliffs with such graceful, perfect curves. I want to see the transformation from summer to winter sitting on a tree branch overlooking Crater Lake.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh, Summertime. Come back to me.

Some summer pictures...

I miss my Kansas.

Friday, April 10, 2009

One Day

I woke up at 6:31 this morning to a knock on my door. Shoot. I had forgotten--Matt and I were going running. I pushed on my glasses and, squinting, opened the door. We were both super tired, so we decided to do just one lap around Porter Park this time. The sky was gray with eager rainclouds and there were cars everywhere--cars of parents and grandparents who had come to help their little college person pack up his or her stuff in preparation for another break. It was noisy for 6:3o-something in the morning, but the park was quiet.

At noon, my aunt and uncle came to haul my boxes into Grandpa's pickup and transfer them to my grandparents' house for the next five months. One contained a pile of Rachael Ray magazines, my dictionary, and my reading lamp, among other things. I watched as my uncle pushed that box to the far end of the pickup bed.

Around 2:26, I walked past the digital clock on the oven and out the garage door. I walked down South Park Street to the post office a couple of blocks away. The road veered to the left a little, but I walked straight. I walked across the grass. The pointed heads of the grass blades peeked over the sides of my flip flops and graced the outlines of my feet.

I arrived at the post office a little tentatively. Confession: I have had a fear of post offices for a long time. I think they started when, as a little girl, I would wait in the car for my mom while she went in "to mail a few things . . . but I'll be back in just a minute, okay?" I would sit between the driver and passenger seats and look at the watch she left with me to count the time. She was always gone for more than a minute. After a minute passed, I would look around for a cop car so I would know where to run if my mom had been abducted or something. Thankfully, such an action was never necessary. Later in life, I matured to the point where I was expected to go into the post office myself while my mom ran another errand. The workers at the post office looked mean. They were either grossly overweight or grossly skinny, they cussed under their breath, and none of them smiled. Except once: Once, this black man was working there (I had never seen him before; he must have been new), and he smiled and asked, "What can I do for you today, Miss?" But other than him, all postal workers have scared me to no end. I was positive they were all thieves or drug dealers or both, in cohorts against the innocent citizens of Manhattan. But I digress. The point is, when I walked into the postal office of Sugar City, Idaho today, I expected to meet an unsmiling swearer, but instead, a nice middle-aged man asked me how he could be of service. He sold me a book of stamps, then he weighed my tax money envelopes and placed 59-cent stamps on them. He thanked me and wished me a good day. I did the same and pushed the swinging door open, walking out.

I walked across the street to Sugar City's food market. I believe it is the only real store in the town. I didn't feel like buying anything--just walking--so I walked up and down every aisle, even the aisle that had nothing in it but dog food and lysol. But I enjoyed it.

Something was different today. Maybe it's because school is out for five months. Maybe it's because Spring is in the air. I used to wonder what that really meant, for Spring to be in the air, but I think I have figured it out. It's still a little chilly outside and even gloomy, but some breath of fresh air has whispered to the tree bark and the robin and the dirt that April is here. And they have listened.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The crown upon the forehead of humanity.

It is 11:41 PM, and I am reading John Keats in preparation for British Literature tomorrow morning. In about twenty minutes, I'll probably venture over to Porter Park and swing for a bit, but for the moment, I thought I would share this passage...

"...the crown of these
Is made of love and friendship, and sits high
Upon the forehead of humanity.
All its more ponderous and bulky worth
Is friendship, whence there ever issues forth
A steady splendour; but at the tip-top
There hangs by unseen film, an orbed drop
Of light, and that is love: its influence,
Thrown in our eyes, genders a novel sense,
At which we start and fret; till in the end,
Melting into its radiance, we blend,
Mingle, and so become a part of it,--
Nor with aught else can our souls interknit
So wingedly: when we combine therewith,
Life's self is nourish'd by its proper pith,
And we are nurtured like a pelican brood."
John Keats' "The Pleasure Thermometer" from Book 1

Monday, March 9, 2009

Okay, I think some clarification is in order...yes, my blog address is "Kaitlin lover of Fred..."
The "Fred" I refer to is the one and only Fred Astaire. Let me introduce you.

Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987)[1] was an American Academy Award-winning film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of seventy-six years, during which he made thirty-one musical films. He is particularly associated with Ginger Rogers, with whom he made ten films.
According to another major innovator in filmed dance, Gene Kelly, "The history of dance on film begins with Astaire." Beyond film and television, many classical dancers and choreographers, Nureyev and Robbins among them, also acknowledged his importance and influence.

Anyway, yeah. He's amazing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


A few weeks ago, a friend dropped by my apartment and after chatting for a bit, our conversation turned to discussing various personality traits. He asked me whether I was more energized by spending time alone or spending time with others. Honestly, I can't remember what I answered that night. But last night, the answer to this question slapped me in the face.

In high school, I was fairly extroverted; I had a lot of friends, and I loved being with them. However, I also loved being alone. There's a creek about a quarter of a mile away from my house in Kansas, and I used to go there several times a week all by myself, just to think, or to sing, or to dance, or to sit and let the water play between the cracks in my toes. I was energized in those moments.
My freshman year of college, I was unfortunately deprived of any nearby creek, but I still found times and places to be alone, and despite the fun I had with my roommates, I cherished those quiet times of solitude: in bed looking out the window at the night sky, or running in the early morning before others had emerged from their houses.

Now it's my Sophomore year of college. Which, by the way is weird. But my thoughts on aging should probably be saved for another post. Anyway, this year has been significantly different than any other year of my life. I've been lucky enough to have had friends throughout the years, but this year, I've made more friends in less time than ever before. Naturally, when you become friends with a person, you want to hang out with them, and they (presumably) want to hang out with you. So over the past two semesters, I have honestly had very few nights when I was not doing something with someone else. Whether it be dinner, or watching a movie, or chatting, or playing the piano, or going out for hot chocolate, or going for a walk, or studying in the Writing Center until the library closed...I have spent nearly every evening engaging in some sort of activity with someone--almost never by myself.

Perhaps it's understandable, then, why last night felt so...odd. I returned home after class/work around 6:45 PM. Three of my roommates were home watching TV. I checked my phone: no text messages. No missed calls. I shrugged it off and started heating up some frozen vegetables to eat with my crusty bread and string cheese. When the microwave dinged, I gathered my food in my arms and plopped onto the couch to enjoy American Idol.
I had my computer on my lap as well, although I don't really know why. I couldn't do homework and watch TV at the same time (I've tried this before and have failed miserably), and I had deactivated my facebook account the night before, so it's not like I was going to chat with anyone online. So I set my computer aside.

After American Idol finished, I checked my phone again. Still nothing. For some reason, I didn't feel comfortable with that. I began to fidget a little. My roommates started to watch some movie on TBS and with nothing better to do, I just continued to sit on the couch and watch with them.
After fifteen minutes or so, I started to feel tired, so I reached for a quilt sitting by the couch, laid it over me, and slept for about an hour. I woke up at 9:30 PM, and realizing I had been asleep, I reached for my phone again and flipped it open. Nada. This was weird.
Eventually, my roommates went to sleep, but I stayed up. I alternated between studying for my Nutrition test and playing Colbie Caillet songs on the guitar for a couple of hours. But I couldn't get rid of this sinking, self-pitiful feeling I had. I felt sluggish. I felt unfulfilled. Still, I wasn't ready for bed, so I looked on Old Navy's website and then read for a bit before finally deciding to hit the sack around 3:30 AM.
Then, just before I closed my eyes, it hit me: I had had no energy tonight. For once, I had an opportunity to spend time with myself, alone, to catch up on homework, or to think, or to revel in solitude. Instead, I was disgusted by the solitude. I had longed for the companionship I've become so accustomed to. I had been alone, finally, for once, but I had not liked it. And this realization did not make me happy.