Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Wine makes me reflective" or "This is Perfection"

The sun is almost too hot. It's making my legs feel all tingly and prickly and so vey close to itchy, but not quite there yet. If it weren't for the glass of cold Chardonnay (some California winery I'd never heard of that was on sale for $10.99 at the local grocery store), and the lanai above shading my body and head, I might be uncomfortable. Either way, I probably should put some on some sun screen, at least an SPF 15 (to prevent wrinkles, obviously, as I've been blessed with skin that only rarely burns), but I'm not going to. Living on the wild side. The waves are starting to pick up, still small enough that they'd be good to swim in if it weren't for the coral shelf. I'm not all that surprised to see people snorkeling. It's got to be pretty bad, not nearly clear enough and personally I hate snorkeling when there's waves, all the up and down gets me faintly motion sick. Tourists. Despite it being (by Hawaii standards) terrible, they persist, and probably have a grand time. Good for them. Up on my 2nd floor lanai (or 3rd floor depending on how you count it) I can't see any fish, but I can see the island of Lanai'i and bits of Molokai when the wind blows just right. I've been watching the water hangs colors all day. This morning when I got up to nurse Maxwell (at 6:30, despite him not sleeping at all last night) it was a pale peach color, streaked with silvers and links and only hints of blue. As the morning wore on, the silver took over the peach, and then the blue took over the silver. Now it's a deep sapphire, except on the crests of the waves. The waves have stirred up enough sand and coral and little bits of the other stuff that makes up the ocean (besides the water, I mean), that they are green. Not the algae green of Carpinteria, but the bright tropical green of, well, a tropical island. Which is only suiting, given that I am on one. I've got endless books on my kindle, and a couple physical books, too. Maxwell is finally napping (hopefully for at least an hour), and joe went inside to read, which of course means he's napping as well. I found it somewhat amusing that I still had to hop on a plane and rent a car and book a hotel room to get the Hawaii that so many people assume I live in everyday. That's ok though. Even if I dont get to feel that perfect almost too hot sun and watch the whales leaping out off sapphire water all while reading a good book and sipping perfectly acceptable Chardonnay, I will still enjoy it without resenting that this isn't my normal life. After all, it would be much harder to appreciate if this became my "ordinary."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Itch

As you all know, I love reading.  When I was a kid, I spent a large percentage of my days up in a tree, or curled under a blanket, or even walking around reading.  I remember one year in elementary school we had some kind of contest to see who could read the most.  I read more than everyone else combined.  The teacher thought I cheated (I think this was 4th grade?  Maybe 5th?).

I didn't.  I just loved books.  I still do.  Books are great.  The entire universe can be found within their pages.  They aren't confined by reality either.  So when I say the whole universe, I mean everything, real or imagined.  Past, present, or future.  Things that definitely did happen, maybe could conceivably happen, and things so crazy and defying all logic and physics that within a book is the only place to find them.  I both love and hate that about books.  They are so big, it's easy to get lost in them.  Sometimes this is a good thing.  All my favorite books are ones that I've gotten lost in.

But that's the tricky part.  You get lost.  So what happens when you put the book down?  Where are you?  If you're like me, you're not quite sure.  For lack of a better term, I call this feeling itchy, because I really don't know a better way to put it.  It's not uncomfortable enough to be called painful, but it sure isn't pleasant either.  Grand epics take place in books.  Even ones that are only about a relationship or book store or friendship or whatever.  They're all wonderful stories.  And you get lost in them.  So lost that sometimes, when you stop reading, it's hard to remember where you are now, what you're supposed to be doing, and what your life is like.

It's so easy to put down a book and say "Awesome!  Now I want to go on my grand adventure!"  But real life adventures never feel like the ones in books. I recently got married, moved to Hawaii, and had a baby.  I travel nearly constantly.  I'm busy teaching myself how to cook, and trying to teach the baby how to turn into a good person.  These are adventures.  When we go out for a walk we never know what we'll see.  Sometimes it's something obnoxious (like the group of kids who all got pellet guns for Christmas and have been hanging out in our cup-de-sac (which is different from most, as I have to drive through it to get to our house) shooting at the trees, lizards, and each other), sometimes it's something beautiful (like the tiniest baby day gecko I'd ever see, or the amazing patterns the clouds get while being whipped around by the trade winds), but those walks are my daily adventure.

It's just, sometimes they don't feel like it.  Sometimes when I put a book down, my world feels so very small, so very repetitive and ordinary and boring.  I feel trapped.  This feeling only intensifies when I think about the fact that I am on a pretty small island in the middle of a large ocean, and leaving the island requires hundreds of dollars and planning and packing and time and energy.

It's the energy that's so hard to come by.  Everyone has the same amount of time, so when I look at people who are my age and are Accomplishing things, people who are Adventurous, people who are Important, I wonder how on earth they managed to get all that done when I was barely able to do a load of laundry.  My theory is that these people were just born with more energy.  I only have the energy for so much activity in one day, and today we had to go to Target.  No starting an exciting new business or learning to paint or saving the world for me. I just need some dish detergent.

I was talking about this to my dear friend and she asked a very valid question that I realized that I didn't have an answer for.  She asked "Do you want to squelch the itch or scratch it?" I don't know.  I know that I love the space that's found in books, and that after reading, I feel a keen sense of loss that I don't have it, but would I rather that sense be gone and I can live my ordinary life happily, or that I actually do go on some grand adventure?  Honestly, do I even want either of those?  The first requires such ignorance, the second so much work.  And I really am happy with my ordinary life.  I understand that my life is far more exciting than a lot of people's, too. It's just that, after being exposed to something so much bigger and grander, it sorta makes me feel itchy, you know?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dare To Dream

Ok, this is a quick one.

I just opened a Dove chocolate (with caramel, yum!) and inside the saying was "Dare to Dream."  Dare to Dream is a stupid saying.  It really, really is.  We all dream.  Whether we want to or not.  Often when we're unconscious (how daring!), but I would wager my car that at least 95% of us daydream too.  It doesn't require any effort to dream.  It doesn't risk anything.  The saying should be "Dare to ACT on your dreams."  Which is still usually wrong, I know most of my dreams are ludicrous, but at least then it would be a teensy bit inspiring.  Dreaming of being a writer?  That doesn't mean jack until you start writing.  Dreaming of climbing a mountain? That won't make your feet move.  Dreaming of becoming a great chef?  Then stop making ramen for lunch everyday! We all dream.  That is not impressive or daring or worth mentioning in a Dove chocolate wrapper.  But not everyone does anything about their dreams.

Rant over.