noah yourself

Month: March, 2012

want #9

As a little girl my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her a mother like her.

In its own way, this is still true. I could be happy doing almost anything if I could be a parent.

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Live through this and you won’t look back: Things you don’t say out loud

Only a few years ago I stopped wanting to die. Since before adolescence I remember it feeling like I was faking all of this. I didn’t want to be here, and I was always, at the least, partially committed to taking an early leave. I remember reading Little Women and feeling comforted by the character of Beth. She talked about not having dreams like her sisters, or plans like them. Perhaps because her lifetime was meant to be shorter than the others. I’ve carried thoughts of her with me over the years which at most points I’ve felt different or broken somehow. I didn’t dream for myself. I didn’t have hope for me, or a vision. I made my way blindly. Having done so in such a way, it is not surprising to me that I felt like living was a useless thing not meant for me.

The glimpses I had as a child, or those times in my adulthood when I felt so close to God that I thought he may as well walk out of the next room and sit down beside me, those things that I had wanted, those things that I had dreamed, seemed sparse and lacking compared to the empty surrounding it.

I went so far a few years ago as to burn several things in my life, not in the figurative sense. I burned several forms of identification, pictures, proof of sadness. I wiped out things in my life that I couldn’t or would find it a hassle to get back. I was creating for myself a no turning back situation. I was done.

And then Eryn became sick.

I couldn’t go anywhere. Or at least I felt like I couldn’t. I felt like I had to see her through. Say what you will about that one or that relationship, but while going through that mess, I was going through something else entirely on my own. I felt myself feeling pushed and I pushed back and in doing so my arms stretched further up and out than they had before. I was struck by  two cars in a row, and was still standing. I was in this awful relationship and seeing my capacity to love someone well and seeing the disparity in the love I was receiving. I deserved more.
And there it was, I was good… and I deserved things… and I was glad to be still standing.

I experience feelings of shame admitting these things. I feel like a waste. And I feel the guilt that comes from cultural context of this time, and being catholic, and being one of those people forbidden to even think about ending your own life. It is one of those things I don’t say out loud because if only I could rewrite that script, I would. I can’t though, and this is my truth, no matter how I say it or don’t say it.

I happily walk in my days, I take deep breaths. I kiss and eat and think and dream and make love and read and dance? ha and laugh and think and cast visions for my days that I’d have never, in a different state of self, be able to conjure, like a movie on a reel playing on a sheet spread on a wall, i see these beautiful things happening before me and i’m making sense of frames of film that flicker in front of me until it turns into one whole thing… because it is not yet, but it is becoming and I admit that I am a stammering teenager making mistakes here and tripping over my awkwardly growing feet but that is what becoming is and there is some beautiful in that and there is more beautiful to come and the picture just keeps getting clearer and i wish that I could explain to you how magnificent it is to feel like i woke up one day and could see things in focus, someone adjusted the camera and my eyes are doing the same.

My eyes have adjusted and my brain is catching up, figuring out what to do with all this beautiful and desire and good and hope.

It isn’t easy to keep eyes open with wonder, I feel like I haven’t had much practice.  These are my intentions though.

And even if some days I feel like my knees or my heart may give up from sadness, I won’t.

Stepping Backward

I don’t pretend like celebrity deaths often effect me. I can acknowledge when they do though.  This is one of them. Adrienne Rich has moved on. This poem has walked me through many things and I feel it as much today as I did when I first read it.

Stepping Backward

Good-by to you whom I shall see tomorrow,
Next year and when I’m fifty; still good-by.
This is the leave we never really take.
If you were dead or gone to live in China
The event might draw your stature in my mind.
I should be forced to look upon you whole
The way we look upon the things we lose.
We see each other daily and in segments;
Parting might make us meet anew, entire.

You asked me once, and I could give no answer,
How far dare we throw off the daily ruse,
Official treacheries of face and name,
Have out our true identity? I could hazard
An answer now, if you are asking still.
We are a small and lonely human race
Showing no sign of mastering solitude
Out on this stony planet that we farm.
The most that we can do for one another
Is let our blunders and our blind mischances
Argue a certain brusque abrupt compassion.
We might as well be truthful. I should say
They’re luckiest who know they’re not unique;
But only art or common interchange
Can teach that kindest truth. And even art
Can only hint at what disturbed a Melville
Or calmed a Mahler’s frenzy; you and I
Still look from separate windows every morning
Upon the same white daylight in the square.

And when we come into each other’s rooms
Once in awhile, encumbered and self-conscious,
We hover awkwardly about the threshold
And usually regret the visit later.
Perhaps the harshest fact is, only lovers–
And once in a while two with the grace of lovers–
Unlearn that clumsiness of rare intrusion
And let each other freely come and go.
Most of us shut too quickly into cupboards
The margin-scribbled books, the dried geranium,
The penny horoscope, letters never mailed.
The door may open, but the room is altered;
Not the same room we look from night and day.

It takes a late and slowly blooming wisdom
To learn that those we marked infallible
Are tragi-comic stumblers like ourselves.
The knowledge breeds reserve. We walk on tiptoe,
Demanding more than we know how to render.
Two-edged discovery hunts us finally down;
The human act will make us real again,
And then perhaps we come to know each other.

Let us return to imperfection’s school.
No longer wandering after Plato’s ghost,
Seeking the garden where all fruit is flawless,
We must at last renounce that ultimate blue
And take a walk in other kinds of weather.
The sourest apple makes its wry announcement
That imperfection has a certain tang.
Maybe we shouldn’t turn our pockets out
To the last crumb or lingering bit of fluff,
But all we can confess of what we are
Has in it the defeat of isolation–
If not our own, then someone’s, anyway.

So I come back to saying this good-by,
A sort of ceremony of my own,
This stepping backward for another glance.
Perhaps you’ll say we need no ceremony,
Because we know each other, crack and flaw,
Like two irregular stones that fit together.
Yet still good-by, because we live by inches
And only sometimes see the full dimension.
Your stature’s one I want to memorize–
Your whole level of being, to impose
On any other comers, man or woman.
I’d ask them that they carry what they are
With your particular bearing, as you wear
The flaws that make you both yourself and human.

spiders

As a kid, when those ice breaking questions asked my biggest fear, or friends tried to know me better, I lied and said it was spiders.  Even then I knew it was loss.

[aside]

I can feel the absence of your weight on my shoulder in my sleep. It wakes me. I roll left, leading with my arm, searching for your body and find none.

Being Noah

Being Noah is a lot like being exactly the same. Same smile. Same eyes. Same body. Same ambiguity with that body. Same love for that queer ambiguity with that body…. That guy, what a queer!

Being Noah is different in my stride and in my shoulders. It is different in my handshake and sometimes how I use my voice.  It is different in my confidence, which is to say, I feel confident choosing.

I choose this name. I choose to keeps things, and let go others. I choose.

Being Noah is a mindfulness. Not only choosing because of where I’ve been, but because of where I want to go.

Being Noah is this chest swelling satisfaction at the sound of my name.

Being Noah is almost the same, just a little better.

person

There are things going through my head- things going on, things happening and moving. There are all the conversations I would have with my person.

I’ve been thinking about gender and passing and T and maybe some of these decisions and hesitations come down to being really afraid of not being loved. That it felt safer to imagine possibility in the context of having that already. of having love and not being concerned about finding it. about being even more ‘other’.

I’ve been thinking that after my degree I might want to teach montessori… It is something I’ve thought a lot about over the years and it keeps coming back into my head.

I’ve been listening to so much music that something in me feels flipped on. A creative thing. It is again becoming more than something that just fills the air and space around me.

I’ve been wanting to hit things. I’ve been wanting to pick a fight with a perfect stranger that I know that I won’t win. I won’t of course.

I’ve been thinking about john and how he would have been 46 this week.

I’ve been thinking about your family

I’ve been thinking about the way spring feels and how no one holds hands the right way

I’ve been thinking and writing about need, but feel like there’s too much to say on the topic and that piece never feels finished. Or it hasn’t yet.

I’ve had the worse “dad bug” ever and I want a kid yesterday, or a dog, or a turtle, or something i can watch over and love. And maybe that is just me missing a place to put that stuff.

I’ve been feeling manic, waves of awesome and then not good enough.

I slept the other day. 8 straight hours. For the first time since being in a bed alone. I don’t expect that to be regular. But it is a relief that it happened.

I ate those vacation days from the other week and I’m feeling protective of the ones I have left now. I want to take myself on a trip this summer. Alone. I haven’t decided where or what yet, only that I want to spend a week somewhere I haven’t been learning how to do something I’ve never done before.

Pesach is coming and there’s that.

Easter is coming and I might just skip. Though if I avoid one more event or one more phone call I’m not sure what my mother will do.

I recently said the most funny thing in the world that has evolved to the point i’m ready to sell t-shirts. was hanging out with Ethan the other day and told him, “don’t worry, it’s not cheating… it’s just a bro-job” which has also evolved to “It’s not gay, it’s just a bro-job”… you know, one bro helping out another bro. BAHAHA. C’mon, you noah it’s funny!

I’ve been thinking I’ve had enough of this now. This is not where I want to be but it is where I am.

I’ve been thinking about terrariums and vertical gardening and that is something to be excited about.

I’ve been reading really excellent magazines and books and mulling all of that over.

I hate the phone and I’ve been thinking is all I want is to talk on it.  I resist that urge daily.

I’ve been thinking how I can’t stop planning anyhow.

I’m plotting the most amazing savory “cinnamon roll” recipe ever.

I’ve been thinking that I may be a sadder version, but certainly a better version of myself. At least in intentionality. The movement of evolution? The growing of a fig? These things take time is what I’ve read.

Ya know… been thinking about person stuff.

The feeling of health…. the full-noon trill…. the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.

Song of Myself, I, II; LII (Whitman)

I

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil,
this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

II

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes…. the shelves
are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume…. it has no taste
of the distillation…. it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever…. I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, and buzzed whispers…. loveroot, silkthread,
crotch and vine,
My    respiration and inspiration…. the beating of my heart….
the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore
and darkcolored sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belched words of my voice…. words loosed
to the eddies of the wind,

A few light kisses…. a few embraces…. reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along
the fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health…. the full-noon trill…. the song of me
rising from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckoned a thousand acres much? Have you reckoned
the earth much?
Have you practiced so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop    this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin
of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun…. there are
millions of suns left,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand…. nor
look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres
in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.

LII

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains
of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

The last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds,
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

I’ve been fighting. Learning to fight.
I’ve been learning to fight because it is not enough to have someone you love think you’re beautiful… not everyone will see it that way

I went to some hellish store the other day with friends, just to keep busy. It felt like being in the suburbs because of the way people were looking at me. The “what are you” looks on their faces.

I’ve been getting stronger.  Physically.
I’ve been getting stronger because it changes how I carry myself. It’s changed how I’ve been being read.  Though half of that may just be the “the don’t fuck with me face” I’ve been wearing.

I have for a long time depended on a soft hand to rest on my chest in order to feel beautiful. There’s that wonderful thing of being seen as good in your body by somebody else.  And there is something too, a comforting thing, about feeling touch in that place that makes me feel stronger. Not someone touching breasts, but placing a hand on my bound chest, over my heart.

As far as I’m concerned that is perfectly good way to feel seen but it is certainly not the only. I will see myself too… Well damnit, I will try.

I am taking up more space… and maybe that will translate to other facets of my days where I might make myself smaller, like with needs for instance.  There is all of this space around me, and I’m in one or another, trying to grow into it.

 

 

some people don’t noah when to quit

I’ve been on a totally silly (and narcissistic) pursuit of awful “noah puns”
I dare say this will ruin many a post title for the future but it has been cracking me up.

noah way, jose!
noah time like the present
noah limits
don’t noah the half of it
noah doubt about it
noah place like home
noah turning back
noah rest for the wicked
noah what’s good for you
make noah bones about it
noah from Adam
all work and noah play makes Jack a dull boy
noah big deal
noah ifs ands or buts
noah skin off my nose
noah rest for the weary
noah by heart
noah two ways about it
noah sweat
noah a thing or two
noah hard feelings
noah shoes, noah shirt, noah service
to noah avail
noah pain noah gain
noah win situation
noah joke
noah matter how you slice it
noah  my own strength
noah like the back of my hand
you gotta noah when to fold ’em
Lord noahs I’ve tried

and drum roll please…..
noah, noah, Nanette