Monday, March 26, 2012


re•jec•tion noun
1. the act or process of rejecting.    
2. the state of being rejected.
3. something that is rejected.

1st thought
I once sent a manuscript to a publisher. The publisher said "this is something we'd like to work with, please revise, and make an appointment for discussion." I never did. Since then I've never tried to send in any of my texts or manuscripts to anyone, except for a few poems and articles here and there, but none of my projects. The fear of being worse than my 18 year old self, scares the crap out of me.

2nd thought
Next year I'm supposed to go abroad for two semesters. The deadlines, forms and papers are piling up on my desk, threatening to bury me in academic sounding nonsense. I never finished High School and have gotten to where I am more out of luck, than out of anything else. Twice I've woken up in panic, with the ringing echo of a nightmare in my ears: "You're just not worth anything after British standards,"  in the poshest, most condescending voice you could ever imagine. Seriously, Dame Judy Dench would have a challenge portraying a person this posh.. And she can do anything.

3d thought
When asking for favors, I often spend more words explaining how okay it is if the person can't help, than I spend on explaining the favor. This way, I don't feel like I'm putting too much pressure on the person, and I don't feel like I can be rejected, as I've practically said no to myself.

4th thought
In our wedding, when the priest asked if Hubby would take Wifey and all that jazz, I was never afraid he'd say no.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Flirt – verb noun court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions; play at love; coquet. trifle or toy, as with an idea
6. a person who is given to flirting.

It happens every year. When the birds start singing in the early morning, when the sun starts thawing the iceicles that hang, long and heavy, from my mood and self esteem, when people start playing with the idea of wearing thinner clothing; flirting with the spring and getting colds in return - then I fall in love. I fall in love with the world, and every person in it. I love every book, flavor, flower, sound, song and melody. I smile to myself of inside jokes, long forgotten, I smile to my friends of inside jokes, not yet created - and I flirt, I laugh, and I flirt.

I have my spring flings, sometimes they change daily, a few lasts longer, they're never serious, and they're always with the same type of person.

It takes a certain type I think, to flirt with a person like me (loud, large and awkward), but there is this undefined quality in each person I ever had a (spring) crush on, this life in their personality. I wonder if it's always there but I only notice it in spring, or if it's something that comes alive in people with the birds, the bees and the leaves on the trees.

I get so much energy from these moments of shared joy, a chat about something funny, eye contact and laughter, and I take all this energy home to my husband, and we laugh about the way spring makes me hyper active and happy.

It's all peaches and cream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


un•bend•ing adjective
1.not bending or curving; inflexible; rigid.
2.refusing to yield or compromise; resolute.
3.austere or formal; aloof.

I'm rarely cross or angry with people, and I suppose that is a good thing. I like being flexible and helpful, forgiving and not to rigid, but last week I discovered "Unbending."

I had just found yet another compromise between two absolutes. It didn't fit me, nor the people on the oposing sides very well, but it worked out fine and seemed better than the alternatives. I wrote the decion down to remember it.

Just as I had put down my pen, this glorious word stood out from a page, jumped up and down and screamed "NOTICE ME, NOTICE ME!"


I flipped the page, but the word was stil there. "That's odd," I thought. Because it's not really a word you see a lot, is it?


I shut the book, but it wouldn't close. Unbending held the pages up on his strong arms and kept yelling, "NOTICE ME! NOTICE ME!".


I put the book in my backpack, but Unbending jumped up, punched me in the face and said, "DO NOT BEND! DO NOT BEND!"

So I didn't. I didn't on my way home with the lady who tried to push me out of the queue, I didn't with my friend who wouldn't say "sorry," I didn't with my students, I didn't in an e-mail I should have written a long time ago and I didn't with my decision to write a blog post today.

Turns out, not bending is kind of useful after all.

Monday, March 12, 2012


fly - verb move through the air using wings. be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency float or flutter in the air travel in an aircraft or spacecraft. move suddenly and quickly

Do you remember that feeling? When you were a child, and ran as fast as you could, maybe down a hill, and you truly knew that if you just ran a little faster, you would take off and fly? I remember that feeling well.

A couple of summers ago, I observed one of the most devious and clever schemes I've ever seen. I sat in the sun, I think I ate an ice-cream, but maybe I was drinking soda, or maybe I just sat there. A family of four came walking towards me. A very pink princess (around 4), a tough older brother (around 7) and their parents. I overheard their conversation, and it went something like this;

Pink Princess: Mum, may I PLEASE have another ice-cream, please, please?
Mum: No, you've already had 2 today. You cannot have 3 ice creams in one day.
Pink Princess: But muuuum, please?
Mum: No, don't be silly.

Now, the denim-clad brother was playing his NintendoDS and couldn't care less, but I think the Pink Princess felt that someone was about to give in.

Pink Princess: Daaaaaad?

Mum immediately intervenes. She knows how these situations work, she sends Dad a warning look and he sighs.

Dad: Yes?
Pink Princess: Can we run and see who gets to the car the fastest?
Dad: Uhm.. sure?
Pink Princess: Daaaad? If I you run as fast as you can, and I run as fast as I can, and I still beat you to the car. Then may I have an ice cream?

And something happens inside this poor doomed dad. He knows he can beat his daughter to the car. He knows there's no way her stubby little legs can match his long, strong daddy longlegs figure in a race. This can end this constant begging for ice-cream. He will win this, he will win!

Dad: Yes, you may.
Pink Princess: Do you promisecrossyourheart?

Warning bells are obviously going off in mummy dearest's head, but Dad ignores her.

Dad: Yes, I promise.
Pink Princess: But daaaaad?
Dad: Yes?
Pink Princess: Since your legs are soooo long and mine are so short, can I start here and you there?

She points at two spots, no more than 2 meters apart. Not a distance to be feared from Daddy-O, so he agrees. Pink Princess holds a thin pink jacket in one hand, and her (open) backpack in the other. She takes her place, and crouches down in the obligatory get-ready-set-go-position of four-year-olds all over the world. Daddy winks at mum, and gets ready as well. Big Brother is granted the honor of yelling 1-2-3.

Big Brother: 1!
Big Brother: 2!

The split second before 3!, Pink Princess jumps up, throws her backpack and jacket up in  the air, and starts running the instance her feet touches the ground. Daddy dearest runs into a hailstorm of buttons, stuffed animals, crayons and the backpack itself, he stops and tries to catch it all in the air. It takes no more than a second before mum realizes what happened, and yells for dad to run, run, run!.

But it's to late. His momentum is lost.
Before he gets up to any speed at all, Pink Princess is almost at the car.

She calls out to him when her hand touches the hood,

Pink Princess: I think I'll have a strawberry ice-cream, thank you.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Mist noun
1.a cloudlike aggregation of minute globules of watersuspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth's surface,reducing visibility to a lesser degree than fog.
2.a cloud of particles resembling this
3.something that dims, obscures, or blurs
4.a haze before the eyes that dims the vision
5.a suspension of a liquid in a gas.

When the night has been cold, and sun is trying its hardest to break through the thin layers of ice covering the world, I often see mist. It glides over the lakes and fields and slowly in between the threes by the road, glimmering in the fragile morning light. By the time I get to school, no mist is visible and if present at all only lingers as a cold touch in the air. Sometimes I wonder if the mist was really there at all, or if my eyes were just still clouded by sleep, and it took sight this long to break through.

Mornings like these go well with songs like Don McLean's "Starry, starry night", Regina Spektor's "The Flowers" and Ingrid Michaelson's "Keep breathing".

I really like mornings like these. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


mel•o•dy  noun
1. musical sounds in agreeable succession or arrangement.
2. Music .
   a.the succession of single tones in musical compositions,as distinguished from harmony       and rhythm.
   b.the principal part in a harmonic composition; the air.
   c.a rhythmical succession of single tones producing adistinct musical phrase or idea.
3.a poem suitable for singing.
4.intonation, as of a segment of connected speech.

I remember my first piano lesson. I was about four and a half years old, and everyone knows it was that half year that separated me from the four-year-olds and lifted me up towards the fivers. The piano teacher was an ancient lady, with thin cotton candy-like hair that held the memory of once being red. She smelled really good, and rolled her r's in the back of her throat. This made her exclamations of "Ja, bra! (Yes, good!) sound like spells that wrapped around my fingers and helped me remember the tunes.

I remember learning to read music, learning that a quarter note placed here made a D and if you moved it up here it became a G. Learning how this squiggly thing meant pause, and so did that dot over there, but one was longer and one was shorter. No matter how much you spelled out C A B B A G E PAUSE F A C E it did not make cabbage face, but a short melody.

I remember coming home from a piano lesson and noticing how tiny melodies were hidden in the way people talked, and how a whole new set of melodies opened up when I started to learn English. Even more when I started listening to French, German and Italian.

These days I'm reading Chaucer, and lines like these make me repeat them over and over, to listen to the wonderful melody it creates:

So aungellyk was hir natyf beautee
That lyk a thing inmortal semed she,
As doth an hevenish partfit creature
That doun were sent in scorning of nature.

The other night, I practiced reading the Lord's Prayer in Gothic. (For a presentation, not just for fun).  I listened to a recording, tried to connect the sounds with the spelling, figuring out what sort of tune each sound was supposed to make. I tried to turn this unfamiliar spelling into a new kind of sheet music, reading it out over and over, noticing the pauses and dynamics. After reading through the whole thing for the last time that evening, stopping at the last note, I smelled a faint whiff of a long forgotten perfume, and I swear I heard the room around me whisper "Ja, bra!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012


child•like adjective
like a child, as in innocence, frankness, etc.

I rewatch sad movies and series, truly hoping for the ending to change. The third time I watched Vincent die I sobbed just as hard from disappointment as from sadness. 


struc•ture noun, verb.
3.a complex system considered from the point of view of thewhole rather than of any single part
4.anything composed of parts arranged together in some way
5.the relationship or organization of the component parts of awork of art or literature
9.Sociology .
a.the system or complex of beliefs held by members of a social group.
b.the system of relations between the constituent groupsof a society.
10.the pattern of organization of a language as a whole or ofarrangements of linguistic units, as phonemes, morphemes or tagmemes, within larger units. give a structure, organization, or arrangement to; construct a systematic framework for.

I can often tell how separate events are linked together, just by hearing about them. If you ask me to help you declutter your life, your office or your hallway, I can make you a system so easy to follow it would make your eyes water. Grammar makes sense to me and first order logic is nothing at all.

People say to me "I could never fill my schedule with as much as you do. You must be very structured." I look around and try to take in my cluttered desk, the overflowing book cases, my six boxes of random yarn, my stack of dishes waiting to be carried down stairs to the kitchen. On my wall hangs a large calendar, peppered with deadlines, appointments and meetings. Yesterday I found two rhinestones and a feather in one of my school books. Today I spent hours on a cafe with a friend, learning how to crochet, time I probably should have spent writing essays. My life is chaotic, messy and cluttered, but I always get done what has to be done. How? I have no idea.

So when people tell me "I could never fill my schedule with as much as you do. You must be very structured,"  I look around at my beloved mess and answer "I guess I have to be."