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Archive for the ‘World travel and wanderlust’ Category

The guillemot (a European bird much like Bernsie, herself) hurls itself off a precipice before it is fully fledged, not as a test of will or wings, but as an instinctual following act just a few steps behind its mother.  And the fledgling guillemot doesn’t stick the landing.  It doesn’t even fly.  The guillemot feels weightless in plummet just moments before it crashes to the rocky beach below.  But even as it crash-lands in the grit, the guillemot is not unsteady.  It dauntlessly, haplessly perhaps, picks itself up and continues its relentless waddle to the water.

What mother leads its young into a hopeless crash dive off a cliff that doesn’t end at the sand below, but continues to drive forward into the great blue deep?

Each morning I wake up hoping to have grown in my flying feathers, and though I have what appears to be feathers growing in, I still can’t fly!

I have my own nest.  I even have a flock of young creatures (not of my own species or procreative efforts, of course) to look after — think Jean Piaget flock of ducks.  And, yet, I continue to feel unfledged.   I can’t save a dime.  Alright that isn’t exactly fair, I have managed to save a few dimes with my save the change account that rounds off my debit purchases and puts the extra pocket change into my savings account.  But it doesn’t ever seem to amount to much.  Because all I ever do is move my money around to delay its expenditure until it is appropriately allocated.  Then, by month’s end, I’ve nothing more than a few spare dimes to save.  I don’t know much about credit, but what I do know is that it is very difficult to build and very easy to obliterate.  I’ve bombed my credit off the map!  And it isn’t as fun as you might think it sounds.  I only have one credit card and has a very modest credit line.  Trouble is, my credit card has been my emergency safe and I’ve had more emergencies in my young adulthood than I had ever planned on.  So even though my actual debt is fairly minimal, I’ve only one credit line and it’s close to max.  I can’t seem to pay it down because my interest rate is horribly astronomically bound (we’re talking black hole big).  And the credit company won’t offer much to help.  So I slowly pay pay pay pay pay what little I can here and there throughout the month.  It’ll work.  It just takes time.  A slow drip drip drip of time into a tiny bucket of dimes.  All the while, I spend my time practicing to be a fledged adult.  I try to keep a responsibly clean and organized apartment, and I try to get my oil changes regularly, and I try to forecast a future for myself at my job.  If I squint hard enough at the horizon, I can envision a doable future of flight.  I can see it!  But how the hell do I get there, do I just keep hurling myself off the precipice hoping to either fly or make it to the bottom in enough pieces to walk myself to the water?

It isn’t a new theme.  It isn’t a new question.

You see, like the guillemot, women are born with sea legs and have to learn to walk on the land of men.


Maya Deren, “At Land” (part 1 shown), 1944.

As Maya Deren wrote of feminism in her films, I think that the strength of men is their great sense of immediacy.  They are a “now” creature.  And a woman has strength to wait.  ‘Cause she’s had to wait.  She has to wait 9 months of the concept of a child.  Time is built into her body in the sense of becomingness.  And she sees everything in terms of it being in the stage of becoming.  She raises a child knowing not what it is at any moment but seeing always the person that it will become.  Her whole life from her very beginning it’s built into her a sense of becoming.  Now in any time form, this is a very important sense.  I think that my films, putting as much stress as they do, upon the constant metamorphosis.  One image is always becoming another.”

Time is built into my body in a sense of becomingness.  But what am I to become?  What is to become of me?

That is a question that can only be answered in the air drift en plummette.  That can only be secondarily confirmed by the sea.  If I can make it to swim in the kelp, even if I become enmeshed and tangled, I’ll know, like the young guillemot, I have made it at least so far.

Photo Credits: “A guillemot swimming over the kelp beds” by Jonathan Wills

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There have been a lot of comings and goings in the past few weeks, which have permitted little time to compose new posts, but there will be much forthcoming!

A brief suitcase update:

April B-F has just returned from sunny Myrtle Beach, SC and is busily unpacking and reorienting herself for the work week. Rachel B-F, however, is packing all the bits and pieces of her everyday scholastic, extraordinary, romantic, domestic, and international life into two suitcases and, perhaps, a carry-on as she prepares to leave for Prague! Within the week, the jetset twins will be inter-coastal! Sad news, yes, but it brings with it all the hope and promise of the following:

  • Webcams and g-talk! (For us girls, of course, but perhaps we’ll post a clip or two for you folk too…)
  • Upcoming interactive lists! Just imagine JetsetBF now, but with more lists! — Lists of our historic sound-scape song selections with audio and video clips! Lists of recommended summer book reads and tales of our history through the pages of our favorite shared authors! Intercontinental to-do lists with larger than life deadlines and line-items! More tripartite self-reflective lists, of course! And, perhaps, a few city reviews in lists!
  • A Day in the Life Photo Journals! We’ll select a random day of the week and will photograph the tiny moments of our days in each of our respective cities and lives, and will share these through Jetsetbf in a globally juxtaposed swap!
  • Diatribes, polemics, digressions, and general posts on the intimate nature of our lives, thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears, and consumption of all things tasty!
  • Reviews and lists! Yes, music reviews, Netflix lists, and more more more!

Be patient. All of these things and more shall begin to arrive shortly, but, in the present, we have one last day to commingle in Baltimore and there is much that needs to be done! Deadlines to be set, last thoughts to be shared, presents to be gifted, and warm kisses to be had!

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We are, between us, the following:

One world traveler/grad-student-to-be/post-Brookylnite/post-post-Baltimorean/canvas shoe wearer/fledgling orthalogian/daily consumer of Americanized Mexican food

One domestic cat-lady-in-waiting/psychiatric rehabilitation specialist/counselor/fledgling harpist/wannabe philatelist/incredibly redundant wordsmith/potential theology student

We are both cheeky. And avid coffee swindlers. And, of course, obsessive list-makers.

Once in a seminar/training, titled “Therapeutic Crisis Intervention: The Cornell Model,” I was asked about my own coping skills and interventions. What do I do to relieve stress and self-soothe? I write lists. A completely original/novel yet odd answer replied the trainer.

Why do we write lists? It’s a tradition began in our freshman years of high school (and, incidentally, our first year of friendship). These are not to-do lists. We write lists because we are process-oriented people and obsessive cataloguers of information/data, including personal information. The process is self-evaluation, or: when together, mutual collaborative evaluation. We make most lists in an informal tripartite reflective structure with the following categories: Good, Bad, and the ever-fluctuating Questionable.

So, even now, as we prepare for the departure of one half of our homo-social life partnership (Rachel) to the Czech Republic, we are engaging the process of reflection through list-making. When we planned our last stateside time together, there was a tacit understanding that list-making would/should commence. Only now, and for the near-first time (we did very briefly blog together — but it was often far too listy and did not have enough textual content), we are publishing our lists online. Names will be changed to protect the innocent and, the more likely of the two, the not-so-innocent (and, most importantly, ourselves). Moreover, these lists will be more prosaic as they are meant to document our intercontinental experiences in a variety of contextual ways, but most simply in the ultra-textual Internet.

So, here it starts.

Good:
Us.
Johnny Depp.
Taco Bell. (The first 3 are historic inclusions, and required. By our own rules.)
Today (23/7/08 — Rachel writes the date this way for practice. April writes it this way because it makes sense — like Russian nesting dolls).
Moving on — taking the next BIG STEP. (No more baby-steppin’!)
Commitment to our new blog!
2008 so far!
Colby Canada (Ape swoons!) and mustaches.
Escape from the rats (also known and heard as kangaroos on rollerskates).
Sweet summer romances.
Nostalgic mixes.
Baltimore music scene (at present).
H&M T-Shirts — casual. cheap. perfect-fit.
Good-fitting jeans — Levi’s and J-Crew.
Canvas slip-on shoes.
The unexplainable energy sweet romances gives you that somehow transforms your body and the way you feel about yourself. When someone else sees you as a beautiful, it is because you finally are beautiful — there is an energy that surrounds and encompasses you. You are more forgiving of yourself and the way you look.

Questionable
Going home with co-workers.
Limited choice of Baltimore music venues.
Friendship with England.
5 cats:1 house ratio.
Job status.
Grad school (Where? When? How!)
Where April will be this time next year? Is Austin the next big thing? Chicago?
Time-limited relationships – can you put a time-limit on feelings?
Canvas shoe tan-lines.
Packing up your LIFE in 2 suitcases or less – how to trim the fat and stick to the essentials?
Ape wonders about writing a children’s novel…
Being 5 pounds away from your ideal weight.

Bad
Solo birthdays (birthdays apart from our homo-social life partners).
Drifting cat odors (gross!).
Cat incest (these species don’t have taboos!).
Sick + Tired.
Car expenses… + repairs (Gemma the Jetta is 10 after all).
Rach has no wheels.
Bone spurs.
Rach has no health insurance and Ape’s health insurance doesn’t believe in women’s reproductive health!
Feeling creepy-crawly this summer.
Not having enough time together!
Feeling skinny but having stretch marks.

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