Resolution Reminder and Renewal

Like anyone, I constantly set goals for myself.  Like most, I often fall short.  It was my New Year’s Resolution to be more loving, patient and accepting.  Although this goal may seem only to deal with my relationships, both close and inconsequential, it begins with how I treat myself and how I maintain a level of mental and emotional health conducive to treating people with genuine love and empathy.  This post is my way of putting into writing what I hope to accomplish in both the near and distant future.  I think we learned in my middle school “Skills for Adolescence” class that writing down a goal is a pivotal step in the journey to accomplishing said goal.  So, here we go:

  • Train for and run a half marathon.  Dear Jodi, your classes do not begin until 11:15 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Go to bed earlier, get up earlier, and go for a run!
  • Do yoga at least once a week.
  • Begin attending church regularly.  Bonus points for mass in Spanish.
  • Practice guitar for at least three hours a week.
  • BLOG!  LOOK AT HOW EASY THIS IS!  Once a month posts are shameful and a waste of such a witty URL.
  • Stay on top of assignments to keep your stress to a minimum.
  • Say ‘no’ when you don’t have time and prioritize what benefits YOUR well-being.
  • Stop procrastinating and running late.
  • Eat healthy and make choices that are in keeping with long-term happiness.
  • Take time for a little reading and thoughtful prayer everyday.
  • Work must come before play.
  • In two years, after completing your masters program, move to Buenos Aires for a MINIMUM of six months, even if you must go alone.
  • NO EXCUSES AND NO COMPLAINING.

 

Marry me, Samuel Beam.

I had no idea I would ever find a bearded man so sexy.

While making the short trip from Athens to Atlanta on a Fall Friday afternoon, I was worried that I would fall asleep at the wheel, or worse, at the Iron & Wine concert.  Meghan and I had been counting down the days to the concert in the months following our birthdays when our parents bestowed the coveted tickets upon us.  It was 11/11/11, and we couldn’t wait to see the show; the day was bound to be magical.  But I was tired.  I’d suffered through a week of too much to do and could barely keep my eyes open, no matter how I tried.  I was frightened by the seemingly likely prospect of Samuel Beam’s soft voice lulling me to sleep in a crowd of strangers (snoring doesn’t constitute consent, does it?).  Meg and I grabbed coffee after a quick bite to eat in the Virginia Highlands, and as I felt my will to be awake falling more quickly than the sun, we shuffled off towards the Buckhead Theatre.

We pulled into a small lot behind the theatre, per the instructions of an attendant with a thick Eastern-Eurpoean accent.  As we walked towards the entrance, we noticed a large body guard outside a door close to our… minivan.  Excited by the prospect of how close the band must be, we trotted in to take our spots.

The opening band was truly incredible.  The beautiful Marketa Irglova (formerly of The Swell Season and the leading actress and writer of all but one song in the movie, Once) sang and played keyboard alongside Iranian singer-percussionist, Aida Shahghasemi, who kept rhythm with a daf.  They were flawless; they were haunting, and they were too peaceful for my sleep-walking state.  Fortunately, there were two total assholes talking so loudly in my ear, and my heightened feelings of rage were enough to keep me awake (dear larger of the two d-bags, I am sorry that my gum fell out of my mouth and into your hair).

When they exited the stage to a well-deserved booming, whistling applause, Meghan and I forced our way closer to the stage in anticipation of the main attraction.  The lights dimmed once again, and the crowd hushed.  Iron & Wine took the stage and the energy of the room immediately radiated with excitement.  I finally woke up.

I was so pleasantly surprised by what a lively show Iron & Wine performed.  Sam reacted to the obnoxious shouts of “I love your beard,” “I want to carry your child,” etc. with charm and wit, and within three songs I found myself more enamored than ever before.  Their songs, which typically have the warmth of a record and the tone of a lullaby took on a strong jazz, blues and rock sensibility, causing the crowd to bounce around rather than rock to sleep, as I feared they might.  Marketa and Aida joined Iron & Wine’s full stage of astoundingly gifted musicians to contribute their perfect harmonies.  His line-up showed a fair span of favorites from albums past to more recent material, and it could only have been a more satisfactory show if I were the only one in the crowd… And in his life.

The only disappointment was the band on his left ring finger.

No, Sam, you take ME home.

Alas, I am doomed to love a musician.

You’re so far from who you once were.  It seems reasonable that I should seek you in all that I do.  In myself, while I teach myself how to play your old guitar, trying so hard to push my weak fingers against steel strings.  I hear you every time that I laugh at a bad joke and feel you when I dance.  You are my curly hair, my blue days, and my big teeth.  I see you in the mirror, when I am putting makeup on our nose.   You are my passion, my rebellion, and my excessive generosity.  When I make a new friend, I think of how I admired the way you never knew a stranger.  I practice Spanish, because you told me to, and English, because we both love it so.  I am not fulfilled by the shadows of you that appear in myself.  I keep pursuing you in everyone that I meet and most hopelessly in you.

“Fire and Rain” – James Taylor

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here, eat.
you will love again the stranger who was your
self.
give wine.  give bread.  give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
take down the love letters from the book-
shelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your image from the mirror.
sit.  feast on your life.

– derek walcott

“A Comet Appears” – Death Cab for Cutie