The Cupboards are Empty and Money is Tight

The cupboards are empty and money is tight
Said I to my wee pages unfilled
There will be no dinner tonight

And though I try with focus and might
The fields of imagination untilled
The cupboards are empty and money is tight

Inspiration lay no where in sight
My dreams of expression killed
There will be no dinner tonight

My guide, unsympathetic to my plight
My pen, unmoving and stilled
The cupboards are empty and money is tight

And so my wee pages lay pristine and white
My thoughts obstructed, intimidated, unskilled
The cupboard is empty and money is tight
There will be no dinner tonight

The Free-Write

I’ve always had a love for journals. Not empty ones, though. I love the feel of crinkly abused pages; pages that have been written all over front and back with a rough, feverish pen; pages that have been pressed and scribbled on from top to bottom and seem to be able to stand on their own.

A fresh journal with its perfect pages that lay flat against each other entices visions of possibilities: adventures to be had, deep thoughts to be expressed, secrets to be set free.

Yet when I open a beautifully bound journal with its perfect pages, all I see are blank lines in front of me begging to be fed. The vastness of the blank page scares off any inspiration I may have had, and like a poor, destitute mother, I struggle to express to my starving children that there will be no dinner tonight.

Coming Out

The other day when I published a letter to my family, two things happened: 1) I found some profound perspective and 2) I think I officially “came out.”

Just a little bit about the perspective. The feedback I got was completely unexpected. I half hoped it would get buried in the feeds never to be seen, but it was a message I needed to get out about my past in order to provide healing for others as well as myself. Some expressed their love for me and for our friendship, another told me how they simply let those little things go because they can empathize. The part that kept ringing in my ears was my sister’s bullet points 2 and 4: [paraphrase] you don’t fit in, and [paraphrase] nobody likes you. These are the knives that have been cutting at my soul my whole life. These are the glasses with which I’ve been looking at the world. For the first time ever, I’ve been able to take those glasses off and throw them in the trash once and for all.

Anther piece of feedback I got was that it was clear, had good theory, and was well organized. To all of those who follow my blog, Jumbles & Jots: True Confessions of a Closet Writer, I’d like to make the following announcement: I’m a writer.

It’s been very hard to stay in the closet these past few months. I’m finally back in college, majoring in English, and taking English Composition-HONORS. I kept wondering if I was in the right place, and worrying about being able to keep up. I am now working on my final essay and I am happy to report that I’m passing with flying colors. My most recent essay “Changing the Course of Childhood Obesity” will be published on My Food Therapy Voyage blog soon.

Thank you for your support! I hope to write more pieces for your enjoyment.

Happy New Year!

I have recently come to terms with the fact that I’m not much of a blogger. However, with the turn of another year, I find myself compelled to review my year in the form of a blog post.

I set out on my 2013 journey in hopes of either finding a job or improving my career direction. I started getting paid for my volunteer work, then received a raise months later. A few months after that, I took on a new roll that provided more training and experience as well as better pay. This alone marks my year as a complete success … HOWEVER, it didn’t end there. In addition to financial improvements, I found my direction. I discovered what I enjoy in life.

It’s true: I like writing, drawing, and being generally crafty. What really inspires me, though, is figuring out problems with programs or websites. Logic. I can see the way data can and should be organized to maximize the efficiency of collecting, storing, and ultimately reporting or reviewing. It may be boring to everyone else, but I’m positively tickled pink by it all. I tend to geek out … a lot.

Yes, it was a great year for self-discovery and career direction.

2013 was a year of gratitude. So many opportunities came to us. Even when trials came our way, I’m so proud of the strength we had to endure them. Each trial brought a deeper and more profound sense of gratitude.

As this year comes to a close, I think of all we’ve been through and all we’ve accomplished. I’m filled with awe and appreciation. My hope for the coming year is clean up what we’ve been working on and make a tighter performance. 2011 was the year for mental health and improvement. 2012 was the year for physical health. 2013 was the year of financial and career improvement. 2014 will be the year of cleaning, organizing, clearing out, decluttering, and straightening up!

The Artist vs. The Writer

As I sit here trying to materialize the “perfect” wording to describe the adventures I had with my daughter the other day I’m hit hard with the realization that not everyone can write.  I believe anyone can draw … especially since I can do it … and there are plenty of others who are better than me.

Drawing involves hand-eye coordination and truly observing what is in front of you.  Pulling something out of one’s head takes more practice since it comes from inside and it’s not tangible.  Writing on the other hand is not so easy.  It’s observing, but instead of making universally understood marks into universally understood shapes, one uses words and language to craft an idea.  Writing is nothing more than an intangible idea.  One can read an author’s words describing a sky so blue that the depth of the aqua tints brings tears of joy to the eyes and wells of emotion in the depths of the soul, but all that is real is the page with marks in a patterned code that only a select few may understand.  What is “aqua”?  What is the difference between tint and shade?  No comprendo.  Je ne parle pas l’anglais.  Scheist.  (I wanted to include a clip of Kid’s in the Hall: Brain Candy, but I couldn’t find the “I don’t speak German” bit.  The nipples of Mother Hope have run dry.)

To really understand what an author is saying (even then it’s still fractional), is to see into their soul for a brief moment.  The ideas that can only be contained in one’s head are as fleeting and as tangible as wisps of cirrostratus clouds high in the outer atmosphere of this spinning rock we are privileged to call home.

Books have always been my best friends, but I never gave much thought to the people who have applied themselves to each piece I found comfort in.  How spoiled and ungrateful I’ve been to overlook such a deep and profound notion.  I have always appreciated the great works of Monet, Manet, Degas, and David.  They captured a moment in time and told stories through each brush stroke, every color choice, and each use of proportion and space.  Shakespeare, Twain, Bronte, and Dickens, however, used nothing more than language and rhythm to craft their stories and ideas.  They used the unseen chemistry of characters to paint the picture of the spinning atoms that bond or repel which create the almost tangible breath of life all around us.

At times I feel overwhelmed by this desire to tell a story.  Any story.  I see so much life around me and I want to capture it.  What I see is so beautiful and I want to share it with the world!  Sometimes what I see is not as simple as a drawing or a photograph.  Sometimes it’s a style.  Sometimes it’s a poem.  Sometimes it’s a string of words and sentences twisted and turned to create a picture.  I have a lot of hopes and dreams and I tend to be as wild and unpredictable as the wind, but the goal of expression has remained constant.  (The clip of Joanna quitting from Office Space would have been nice right here, but alas, no such luck.)  Dr. Faye sees me as an artist, but whatever I am, I’d rather not wear a label.  It would be like capturing a warm autumn breeze scented with the crisp falling leaves of the red and gold maples in a jar.