Thursday, June 30, 2011

All I Needed Was the Rain

"When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent..."
-John Milton, "Sonnet On His Blindness" 

There's an alluring summer storm brewing outside. The bellowing thunder is in good company with the "hard rain" that's falling. There was a time not too long ago, when it rained with such insistency that the only explanation was that Utah is way emo and it's lover was unfaithful and all Utah could do to alleviate the pain was cry and cry. Or maybe Utah's favorite dog died and it couldn't get a grip. Either way I think the only reason it stopped was because it ran out of tears and had to resort to cutting itself because that's what Emos do best. Maybe the cutting isn't working anymore though because it's raining again. At any rate, though I am aching for a little sunshine, it being JUNE and all, I am grateful that today, while the sky is sobbing, I have nowhere I need to be but right here in my space.

So I recently confessed to another that "Off and On" relationships have been the bane of my existence. In that context, I was referring to relationships with my lovahs. But it got me thinking. My life itself is one, undying, "Off and On" relationship. School and I are "on", then we're on a break. My spirituality is "on", then it takes some time "off" for a little holiday. My ability to lead my own life, be the creator of my circumstances and not a creature of them, will be "on" and lumionous. And then, a wrench is thrown in my spokes and all that autonomy shuts "off" like the flick of a switch. Does all this On-ning and Off-ing mean I am not a solidly rooted person? 
How tragically disappointing. 

Socrates said, "Be as you wish to seem." I love the simplicity with which he implies that is to be achieved. Just "be". Similarly, one of my favorite quotes is by Richard G. Scott. He says: "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." A little Socrates + a little R.G.S. = Be what I wish to seem by consistently being each day what I want to become. It sounds so easy, but I struggle. "In vain, I have struggled, and it will not do." (I wish I were saying that in the same context as darling Darcy did, but it's still fitting for the occasion, I think.) So how do I "be" what I'm trying to become? And who is it I am striving to become? I am fond of the parts of me that I know the very best. And it's good to have that sort of appreciation for oneself, I think. It's necessary for our happiness. When we can find subtle contentment with who we are, we find much greater success in finding and creating happiness outside ourselves. But there are quite a few unfamiliar fibers making up my whole, and I think they are to blame for my propensity for indulging in On-and-Off-Again relationships with myself. How to thwart this intrinsic epidemic?

In an attempt at answering the rhetorical, I ask myself: 
What does it take to make a relationship work? Like I would even know... But if I venture to analyze what my past relationships have lacked in one way or another, the negative space might help elucidate a more precise formula for success. Lemme see...

{Genuine interest}
which leads to
{Time invested in the right pursuits}
which can often lead to
which lends itself to
which inevitably breeds
which encourages
{Personal growth and development}
which ultimately develops 


I've figured it out. My lapse is in Step Two: Time invested in the right pursuits. The deplorable ways in which I spend my minutes... Oh Heaven help me! In my most treasured of books urges the aphorism: "Do not labor for that which cannot satisfy."  And therein lies the secret ingredient in becoming what we wish to be. On that new-fangled infatuation I mentioned earlier, Pinterest, I read the following:
What have I done for my mind?
My body?
My spirit?
My relationships?
My creativity?
My passions?"
Well mercy. That sounds like a perfect recipe for self-appropriation, if I don't say so myself. Stare those questions straight in the eye every day and NOT investing time in worthy pursuits seems kind of impossible. And in the spirit of impossibility, let me remind you of that ever so delightful quote from Ms. Audrey herself: "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, 'I'm possible'!" 
So there. And please forgive this erratic flow of thoughts but I have to interject an Audrey quote whenever I can. It's my own personal form of Turret's Syndrome.

Here's how I want to be: Happy, educated, insightful, well-read (and not just from F. Scott Fitzgerald's books), cultured, virtuous, a connoisseur of beauty in all it's forms, open-minded, and humble.  

Here's who I want to be: life-long learner, writer, wife, mother, faithful daughter of God, disciple of Christ.

I wake up each morning hopeful for the day ahead of me. I know that each day granted me is another chance to work towards "becoming". I don't know why I struggle so feverishly and get so lazy in the building of my character. But I am grateful for the moments of introspection that come on days like today, when the rain outside encourages me to turn inward and realize that attaining ourselves comes with carefully invested time in worthwhile pursuits. How lovely to be able to reflect at the end of the day and say to myself: 

"For my mind, I read words uncharted until today."
"For my body, I ran farther than I did yesterday."
"For my spirit, I communed with the Divine. I carried a prayer in my heart."
"For my relationships, I served."
"For my creativity and passions, I wrote. And read. And wrote. And wrote. And wrote." 

A formula for a lovely day, indeed. No more missteps for Yours Truly.

Peace and Love.

Source for photo:,r:2,s:0

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Girl: Happy

Oh. My. Summer. I've been enjoying it so fully that I've neglected to catalog it...

Firstly, I give you the one, the only: Nina Simone.


She is often referred to as, "The High Priestess of Soul". Is. she. ever. Nina was so inspired with the classical masterpieces of Bach that she aspired to become a classical pianist and in the process developed an original and distinctive sound. She felt that "pop" music was inferior to classical and so injected as much of her classical training into her music as possible. She is just so extraordinary. I love the bluesy deepness of her voice. It makes me want to listen to her all the live long day. Give this a listen and tell me it doesn't move your whole soul. Dare ya.

Seconduvly, I bring you:

The Utah Art Festival! I really do love the art festival here. It's so inspiring to see all the tangible creativity. Last year there was an artist by the name of Trevin Prince (Google him!) who creates his pieces with his own blood. Cross my heart. He calls it "Blood Works". He actually has a nurse come and draw his blood and then mixes it with enzymes or something to make it more yielding to paint with. For someone as squeamish as I, it is a  wonder that I can even appreciate something that gross. But I was so fascinated with the concept of his art last year and was totally excited he was there again this year. I can only look at his works for about 13 seconds though before I start getting that light-headed-knees-betraying-me-someone-better-catch-me-before-I-eat-it feeling, but still. So cool. The guy does look pretty flimsy though. I bet he reads all the Twilight books. Here are some other gems from the festival I snappity-snapped:

Thirdly and favorite-ly:

Earlier last week I decided I wanted to start collecting vintage books. I must be doing something Karma likes because she most certainly smiled upon me favorably: literally six hours after I had that little musing I was in the Salt Lake Library sifting through their book sale and found not one, but TWO absolutely loverly vintage books from the 1940's. Best part: They were a buck a piece. How's that for serendipitous? That's exactly the kind of fortune I want to just bottle up and wear around my neck like my bubble necklace from first-grade. Anyway... Don't they look just oh-so-marvelous?

And lastly but not leastly, I bring you, {Pinterest}

Anyone heard of Pinterest? It's just the most fabulous thing ever. And since I was in the market for another addiction, I couldn't have discovered it at more opportune time! (There's that Karma doing her thang again...)Basically, it's an online inspiration board for interior design, clothes, food, books, dreamy vacay destinations, quotes, just anything and everything. You simply must indulge yourself, if you haven't already.

That's all for now. But as it is only the very beginning of glorious, bohemian, free-wheeling summer, I cross my heart and kiss my elbow there will be more to come. 

Peace and la la Love.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Starting Today


"Whatever is dreamed on this night, 
will come to pass."
William Shakespeare,  A Mid-Summernight's Dream

 { hol-i-day }
 1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person. 
 2. of or pertaining to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.
Oh by no means is it an altogether recognized "holiday" to most people. But I am not most people, and The First Day of Summer is, in every above sense of the word, a holiday to me. In my private little sphere of existence, and in a place where four sense-able seasons are not just folklore (R.I.P. Southern Cal), the arrival of summer is like being born again. There is no season which makes me feel more alive, and more grateful to be so, than does summer. It is amongst the lush green grass, the trees voluptuous with leaves and life, the buzzing of bees and the smell of barbeque coals, all whilst drinking in the buttery rays of sunlight, that I feel most assured of the good that is to come my way.

 June 21st marks the beginning of the annual Summer Solstice. "Sol" + "stice" is derived from the Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky. As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Ancient cultures like the Celtic Druids found just cause for celebration in this, the beginning of longer days. The Druids' celebrated this day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth" (isn't it marvelous?!) with their Fire Festival of Litha. Today, modern Pagan cultures gather at Stonehenge where they light a sacred fire and stay up all night to welcome the dawn of Summer Solstice. Now, I cherish my personal religious dogma with all my heart. But Oh Delilah... I'd venture to say there's a little Druidess in me, absolutely, because I so wish that I could light a fire and dance around naked with flowers in my hair, celebrating the summer. Unfortunately, I haven't gone to the gym in eons and nobody would appreciate seeing that.

Even though I don't dance around naked to show my appreciation for summer (not in public, anyway), I absolutely can relate to those Druid's enamoration for it. It's not just the warmth and the aesthetics of summer that promote that feeling "so like perfect happiness, that it [can] bear no other name". It's what summer implores simply in it's be-ing: that unparalleled feeling of bohemian freedom that faithfully dawns with each summer morning. Granted, the tangibility of that freedom has been somewhat diminished with the responsibilities of adulthood. But there is still something about this season that makes me feel like I could do or be anything and that all the universe would conspire in my favor. If only there were a way to capture that feeling forever and live a little off of it each day of each remaining season.

What other season can claim days characterized by mirth and governed by sunshine? Or nights christened with starrier canvases, dreamier repose, and promises of a bright tomorrow? None, I tell you. Summer is intoxication in it's most alluring form. "Be awake and alive as much as you can", I tell myself, because I don't want to miss even one second of it. And therefore sleep comes only because the sun has acquiesced to Rest and therefore so shall I.

Nothing puts me in a holiday mood, Pagan or not, the way summer does. Happy First Day of Summer to you. May you make as much of your summer as it implores you to! 
I know I absolutely, positively will.

Peace and Love. 

Solstice Sources:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let It Be Me

"The essence of the like of you is usually inherent in the name."

Yesterday I said, "That girl gives Brittany's everywhere a bad name." And then I got to thinking... What if other Brittany's out there are saying that about me?! I mean, it's not the most ridiculous notion, by any stretch of the imagination. 

I find it compelling to think that all that I say and do can contribute to making a name for myself. Not in the wordly/successful/Us Weekly/TMZ/Wall Street kind of sense, but in the making-my-name-the-most-exquisite-word-to-grace-the-English-language kind of sense. Though I know that's not ever going to be the case. As Anne Shirley so despondently lamented: "I know I'll never be angelically good." And neither will I. But, if there were adjectives within my human grasp to which I could aspire, what would they be? If in my eulogy, someone were to sugar the memory of me with word candy, what oh what would it taste like?

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not as vitriolic as I might appear to be. No, no. I have just as many girly fibers as the next lady. And, though I find sardonic pleasure in exploiting my somewhat unrefined traits, it is not {just} these for which I wish to be remembered. No, indeed. When I hope, I hope emphatically. When I enjoy, I enjoy entirely. When I feel, I feel deeply. And when I love, I love absolutely with everything I have. Those quirks are just as real-ly a part of me as are the not-so-becoming ones (lazy, selfish, and my very favorite courtesy of my most recent male exploit, "impossible". Screw you, man.). 

Because L.M.T.'ly is a happy, hopeful place most of the time, normally I would choose not to focus on those somewhat acrimonious descriptors and only spotlight those aspects of my character most desirable. But in order to be completely honest with myself, I must acknowledge all facets of Brittanyness for which I'm going to be remembered. To do this, please allow me to employ that marvelous first-grade tool, the acrostic poem. (Good to know my seven years of college to teach ABC's finally paid off, eh?) In knowing my ins-and-outs, here's what I hope to be remembered for; the good, the bad, and the ugly:

B -  brave, beautiful (gosh I'm needy), bohemian, beneficial, bitchy, brunette, brilliant, brutish, blessed
R -  righteous, romantical, ridiculous, real, reckless, respectful, respected, resplendent, rude, reflective
I - irreplaceable, intelligent, interesting, irrational, inspirational, important, irresistible, imaginative, intriguing
T - tender, talkative, temptress, trustworthy, tormentor, tough, tidy
T - thoughtful, thrilling, thankful, theatrical, therapeutic, thick-skinned 
A - able, appreciative, articulate, authentic, absurd, addictive, amusing, affectionate, affordable, alive, alluring, ardent, annoying 
N - needy, nurturing, natural, necessary, naughty

Y - yours (to those people, places and things I loved, most absolutely)

So what is in a name? We give substance to our names through the living of our lives. We define our names, we give them meaning, because of who we are. How we execute our hopes, measure our triumphs, examine our pains and gratify our joys, garnish our thoughts, employ our virtues, hone our vices, etc.- that is how we distinguish ourselves from others with our namesake; that is how we make our names meaningful. We "neglect not the gift that is in [us]" and by so doing, create a name for ourselves unlike any other. So what if others employ the same phonemic stream of letters to identify themselves as I do? Brittany for them does not mean Brittany for me. For better or worse.

 Peace and Love. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's a Matter of Time

"Time is on my side, yes it is."
-Rolling Stones

The concept of "time" is precarious to me. On the one hand (heh heh... Get it?), what you do with your time is your own. You decide how to spend your minutes. On the other hand, there are things that Timing decides all on It's own. 

When I think about who I was five or six years ago, I marvel at how different I've become. I most definitely have discovered intricacies about my identity that never would have surfaced had certain events taken place or not taken place in the past few years. What I find most liberating is that finally, after living for twenty some-odd years, I have finally allowed myself to feel what I want to feel and think what I want to think without the impediment of being concerned about how it may be perceived by others. (You'd think that would have ended with high school, but alas.) I'm oh so grateful for this awakening, this truth, this discovery. Now that I know and am certain about who I am and who I am trying to be, I wake up each morning confident in my pursuits and my passions and find so much joy in the journey of that becoming.

 In years past, those years when I was still in search of "my muchness" (to borrow a phrase from Wonderland), even though I wasn't aware I was in search of it, I let my insecurities and unknowns dictate my decisions. I found comfort in clinging to the parts of myself that were somewhat abrasive, because that sanctioned my emotional safety. Basically, I would not accept new possibility if it somehow didn't fit into my realm of what I thought I wanted, in every facet of my life. I stayed at a mundane and excruciatingly mindless job because it was familiar. I lived in the same apartment complex for four years because it was familiar. I dated the same guy, in varying physical forms, because, it was, familiar. I somehow convinced myself that familiarity was what my soul needed, and so I clung to it. So in the time it took for me to relinquish that familiarity and allow myself to spread my wings, so to speak, in retrospect I realize I have passed up on some seemingly good opportunities because they didn't conform to what I thought was altogether necessary for my happiness. So this begs the question, are some experiences, when refused, gone forever? Or, can they come again, maybe reincarnated in another form? Or, cross your fingers, simply return for a second chance? 

I've been pondering on this concept a lot the last few days; lost experiences. And I have to wonder: How much does Timing really factor in? If a situation presents itself and you don't feel ready or willing or inclined to take it, but Time passes and identity blossoms and for whatever reason you are compelled to remember that potential situation and all of a sudden feel that it has been lost because of your emotional ineptitude or fear or whatever it may be, is that it? Game Over? Did you blow it? Or, on the extreme converse end of argument's sake, is there a divine purpose behind things like this and, it simply equates to the fact that you weren't prepared on whatever level to accept that situation but after the refining workings of Time, you now are ready for it, whatever "it" is, and so you get a second chance? (Have I ever mentioned what a devoted fan I am of second chances?) This is what I mean by the precariousness of Time. On one hand, I decided how to spend my time, how to react with the gifts Time was granting me, either accepting or denying them. But on the other hand, of the opportunities I did accept which did not flourish, could those be attributed to Timing as well? In other words, was Timing to blame for those experiences not being as fruitful as they could have been? And conversely,does Timing also look longingly upon opportunities lost and thus warrant a Round Two for the opportunities I didn't accept because of who I was, but would jump through hoops for now because of who I am?
 { Cue hopeful clasping of hands and batting of eyelashes}

As I think about who I have been and am and am trying to be, the frugality of how I spend my time seems more vital than ever. I've felt a certain disquietude as of late, feeling like I've robbed myself of certain experiences and people and you-name-its because I have been insecure and scared and overly-cautious when I should have been casual and underly-cautious when I should have been meticulous. And yes, these emotional stigmatas were obviously intrinsic and somewhat involuntary, but that's who I was at that time. I reacted or under-reacted to my opportunities because of the person that I was then. Given some of those opportunities now, I would react so much differently, because of the Brittany that I have evolved into. And I think the restlessness stems from this whole concept of Time and Timing and how I feel that they are somewhat cruel masters. And, if there was a way to beg each of them for certain second chances, Oh Delilah- I'd sell my soul. That probably doesn't hold a lot of weight since I'd sell my soul for lots of things (and probably have, actually), but still... 
I guess all I can really do is be absolutely well-intended with the Time I spend, and hope against hope that Timing is as big a fan of second chances as I am.

Peace and Love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Girl: Happy

 "Everybody's wearing a disguise, to hide what they've got left behind their eyes. But me, I can't cover who I am."
-Bob Dylan

{Exasperated and melodramatic sigh} 
I finally finished all of my chores and can At Last sit down to relish in some time to myself to think about my charmed life. 
(I had to vent last time. I try, try, try to be positive but sometimes a woman just needs to roll up her sleeves and hate a little bit, ya feel me?) 
But anyway, I have much to be thrillified by/with lately. 
And in threeve... two... one...

Bob Dylan's birfday. The folk-master turned the big seven-zero last week. Nooooo, I don't usually celebrate the birthdays of famous people. (Except for Elvis. And Audrey. Duh.) Howev, I did show my appreciation and support for the man behind the music at a tribute concert in SLC. Having actually had the privilege of seeing Dylan perform a few summers ago, I was anxious to hear how some of his gems were interpreted by other musicians. 
(Do I need to remind you of my ardent enamoration for live music? Do I?) 
The Folka Dots did a great rendition of "Boots of Spanish Leather" (One of my faves! Hear Nancy Griffith's versh {HERE}). 
I didn't catch the name of the band that did "Tomorrow Is a Long Time", but it was just loverly. 
(Hear Elvis' versh {HERE}).

Extra Extra Read All About It... Bonafide Dylan quote: "The highlight of my career? That's easy, Elvis recording one of my songs.” 
SO boss. 

I didn't always find favor with Bob- I won't front. Because my pops is such a religious fan of the guy, my childhood was scored by chords of various Dylan anthems. I didn't understand what the appeal was about someone sounding as if they were in excruciating pain (take "Idiot Wind" for example.) Especially when one could be listening to, I don't know, Wilson Phillips instead... (It was the nineties, ok?) But the day I recognized a Strung Out line in his song Abandoned Love (another one of my very faves), my whole scope was broadened. It's like my heart opened up and just swallowed him right up. Since that day, I've seen his influence in so many artists which I whole-heartedly adore. I've not only come to appreciate him for the influence he's had on so many of my favorite musicians, but come to appreciate the artist that he is as well. Truly, there is no other musician more succinctly adept with his words than is Bob Dylan. And he's funny, too, sometimes. Not to mention I've never met a harmonica'd tune I didn't like. Happy Birthday to you, Bob. May you live for seventy more. XO / Deer Tick station. Oh. Delilah. Who ever do I thank? And how can I ever repay you? I feel like I've sprouted a new heart string. 

Paris When It Sizzles = Newest Audrey purchase. Best five smackeroos ever spent! If you haven't seen this one yet, I highly recommend it. I can't believe it took me this long to actually own it. I've also decided that my... appreciation (?) for older men can very well be attributed to Audrey movies. With the exception of Paul Baby (Breakfast at Tiffany's), she most always ends up with a daringly older gent. So not mad at that. Disclaimer: Only older men that are "remarkably well-preserved", FYI. I'm not a grave-robber.

And finally... O. M. Glee. Moonriver backdrop. Literal breakfast at Tiffany's. Wicked montage. Finn and Rach locking lips. A finale indeed.

Oh, and I got new shoes. That might be the most thrillifying thing of all. Just Like a Woman, indeed. 

Peace and Love.