Wednesday, June 30, 2010

shape stirs beneath me

Poison introduced me to Frightened Rabbit in the beginning
we were riding down Beacon in Jazzy and
i thought they sounded like they had just finished 
having tubes removed from their throats, initially,
like so many bands before them
form a line
get to the back
i need to listen; let me hear you.
it takes a while, like any good thing
until you hear a song that reverbs 
off the walls
off the atoms
off the backs of those who came before
sliding out of the skin they rode in on
like snakes, molting.
the wrestle, the sea felt different, today
to me it meant more than the knashing of
teeth and that cold blue bruise inside my cheek
that i keep flicking 
with my tongue to be sure it existed, exists.
and i put it there, in the wrestle.
bare those teeth to me, please.

ex? oh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

i swallow the sea

so i went for a nice, easy run on Sunday.  the kind of run where you don’t care if your ipod is on shuffle or if it will play straight through because you know, inevitably, you’ll hear them all (and some of them twice) so you’re content.  in fact, i was curious to know what songs were still on my playlist.  I had an hour to find out.
it started off as any innocent run would; no head games, just the slicing through of the thick wet blanket of humidity that was slowly thinning, as though some great savior had begun to whisk milk in a bowl full of egg whites.  
on longer runs, i tend to ease into my thoughts slowly.  it’s like they’re in sync with my heart chambers or something.  i’m not breathing hard so i’m not thinking hard.  the pressure is off.  just run and enjoy.  but of course, i get into a rhythm (which is to say that I start to run a bit faster,  and then i see some guy or a group of girls running at a good clip and i feel the overwhelming desire to flash past them whilst breathing only slightly under strain.  this is mostly always an act.  it’s usually hard to maintain, but i flippn love it).  so this starts happening and i engage in some fantastic speed work on the back end by the arlington bridge until i tell myself to CHILL OUT KAYMILLER this is supposed to be light? be easy? remember?  but my thoughts race on and I go to chase them down.  
so i go on and i get more in the zone and my heart chambers are dancing.  i’m letting myself take on a slightly faster clip than i wanted, but it feels good and I know the next 20 minutes towards home will be doable.  but my thoughts turn back on, and i am chasing invisible fears and with known strengths.  i have walls that start to stack themselves around this four-chambered blood beater.  and i am trying, with every inch of ground, to knock them down.
Then, as I flick my eyes out to the distant Memorial Bridge, I see a man running towards me by the BU boathouse.  He’s got a fuel belt on, a bald head and a grimace.  He’s oil slick with humidity and clearly in the midst of facing his own demons....and loving it.
He reaches me in a few steps and in that brief moment we see each other.  we are runners we are running we run.  he drops his hand, palm out, and holds it in front of him.  I slap it and in an instant, we gone, each running into our own unknowns.   
i kept that smile on my face until i hit the showers.  that experience was pure joy.  and it caught me wholly off-guard; my reaction felt so absolute and real.  it’s coming eye-to-eye with a wild animal and you see in the iris of their eye that life is much, much, much bigger than you.  it’s the silence of a deep woods where you feel the most understood and you’ve yet to utter a single word.  it’s more than an arm around your shoulder, a pat on the back.  it’s more and i can’t explain it except that behind the smile was a tight ball of emotion.  because the high-five was a hole-punch to the sky of the rational.  and i saw something shining.  we’re all out there, fighting the good fight, chasing down our demons, running from them, running towards something, grimacing, smiling, holding down, holding back, letting go.  and we think we’re on our own.  and then someone sticks out their hand.  and gives you a high five.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Us Ones In Between

i heard it and i loved it and the lyrics terrify me in that way that speeds up the bloodrush of a good song to the head and his voice is tremendous.  and every lightening rod has got to watch the storm cloud come, it's true.

enjoy + xo,

Monday, June 21, 2010

breath holding

do you remember when we were life-sized and skipping in the park?  
when our hair clung to our popsicle-stained cheeks? 
we had joy by the fistful.
we had air under the soles of our feet and laughter 
under our rib bones.  we still have
each other and a whole color wheel of life 
now my pockets are full of goldfish with tight 
bellies and big lips.
all my life in their gills.

xo ©,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

are we human or am i you are i... (through a futbol lens)

It wasn’t the strongest shot, the way Clint Dempsey wheeled the ball through defenders at just about the 18 and took a shot on net.  I’m not even sure he was looking, but that’s the thing about strikers at that level of play; they don’t need to look; they are pulled by a magnetic force having spent every waking hour practicing, playing, replaying, reviewing, drinking, breathing, sleeping with the one sport they love to live and live to play.  it breathes in them, becomes them.  the net is merely an extension of the leg; a trajectory of sinew and grace connecting player to play.  and the man who defends the 192 square feet of open space spends equal time training to become the greatest obstacle between the two.  he perfects the art of reading body language in split seconds, anticipation becomes second nature, periphery vision is 20/20, his hands move deftly in front of his body – he paints the air the color of Brick Wall.  the goalie makes it his life to know how to fall and how to fly, to stop the ball from pulling into the only space it’s meant to go. 

and when he misses, the world stops.

or so it seems, or so it’s seen,  as the world saw, when England’s goalie opened his arms to receive Dempsey’s shot, and the ball rolled between his hands and into net.  when his fist came down and met the earth in defeat, I can only imagine the heaviness of heart and hand as it fell to the buzz-cut grass of a South African stadium amidst the blaring vuvuzelas at the World Cup.

now the game was tied, and remained so, until the final whistle rang out.  a great “win” for the U.S., and an embarrassment (perhaps) for England.  oh, we won’t remember Dempsey’s shot for being excellent, but instead, the butterfingered mistake of a world-class goalie.  the chain reaction of foot to ball to goal through hands to net to tie.

chain reactions are a funny thing that way.  you never know what can happen. 
those chains.
those reactions. 
what you put out there, how you handle something, someone, some idea that is impossible or amazing and is hurtling at you as fast as that adidas sphere on the world stage.  what will you do?  and how much of it is left to chance?  so how much should you do?  all of it.  everything you can.  put it all out there.  dive.  I suppose if you miss or you don’t miss, you’re left with a new perspective.  and the world absorbs the impact as you hurtle through it.  and therein lies another chain reaction.

watch this.  love cloud cult.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wet & Rusting

Hadn't really given these guys a good listen, but now I can't get enough.  Menomena.  Fun and disjointed tunes.  
Though this song is not on their latest album, Mines, I have been listening to it and a few others on repeat these last few days.  Given to me by a few dudes at work, the dancing in my apartment hasn't stopped.  then I landed on this video, shot by Vincent Moon (who does a magnificent job at shooting the Takeaway Shows) and cracked up laughing at the brilliant joy.  Oh, to be a kid again:)

Hope you enjoy on this rainy ocean gray day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Trial of Miles

Today I woke up and did what was supposed to be a really effortless, shake-it-out, relaxed 30 minute run.  But by the time I turned up the ramp onto the Mass Ave bridge, I was picking off “fast-looking” runners on my way to creating about 18 different challenges that would leave me breathless and heaving against the wrought iron fence under the dogwood tree in front of my three-windowed apt.  It’s days like this where I perform recklessly for the sake of one big fat Kay-Litmus test to see if I have what it takes what?  School the early morning joggers?  sure.  Anything to entertain my mind and drop the innocent like flies.   I rue the day i became competitive and the days when i should take it easy and i decide to lay guts on the esplanade.  reminds me of one of my most FAAAAVorite quotes, which secretly I want to memorize and perform to an unsuspecting audience during 
  1. an acceptance speech
  2. a wedding ceremony
Or we can blaze!  Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere!  We can scald dogs, put records out of reach!  Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out!  We can become God’s own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls!  We can race dark Satan himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway....They’ll speak our names in hushed tones, ‘those guys are animals’ they’ll say!  We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels.  We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet!  We can, by God let our demons loose and just wail on!”  ~Quenton Cassidy, Once a Runner 
(ummm, can you imagine saying it - with theatrical pause - as the opener to a Maid of Honor/Best Man speech?  fantastic.)
I measure me.  I take little measurements of me every day.  Mostly, I think, without knowing it.  And then I stack it against the backdrop of the tapestry I think I am.  It’s like knowing what you look like, and seeing your face in the mirror.  The two are very different, because one accounts for the 3D picture, the other is just your surface shot:)  
For me, running is the simplest way for me to be every angle of who I am; vulnerable, fierce, timid, engaged, happy, distracted, cool, pensive, confident, uneasy, etc.  What I think is funny is the weight I give to the fact that I pass others or others pass me.  It really doesn’t matter.  The guy could’ve eaten a banana with bad almond-butter.  Who knows?  The truth is, a run reflects very little of where you stack up against others, and very much of where you stack up with yourself.  
some days, you just need to wail on.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

About Today.

I’ve moved!  Which is partly why it’s taken me a long time to update the blog.  
I am in my new space in a city that tucked me under it’s wing again, only this time it feels like I own a little more of myself and i like it that way.  it’s like making snow angels in snow you feel good about.  it’s a perfect temperature to make snow angels in snow that makes good snow angels and it makes the angels even better.  but enough about snow.  i’m here to say i’ve started chapter 11 of my life and thus far, it’s been one tiring journey.  
Tuesday afternoon I drove the UHaul down to Marlborough St (avoiding crazy Storrow Drive and all its low bridges even though I was pretty certain I could clear them) and unloaded just before the big thunderstorm hit.  Poor KateMills had to drive a very unfamiliar UHaul back through the city streets and up to New Hampshire.  She is a rockstar, but still - scary.  It took 32 minutes to unload.  Having moved almost every year since I moved into the city back in 2002, I am STILL in awe of how long it takes to pack n’ load and how quick it is to unload a truck.  Physics are involved.  
Wednesday I started my brand new job at Full Contact.  I love it.  The people are smart, kind, funny, creative and they make me laugh alot.  They all like each other and that’s huge.  It’s always tough the first few days at any job - adjusting, diving in, uncertainty of the process but confident in your ability to figure it out.  It’s like being the new kid in school.  You know how to be a student, it’s just....well, new.  
Thursday after work I went to see one of my FAVORITE bands, The National, perform at the House of Blues with my friend, Claire.  She got me into these fools and I blame her for my addiction.  Such an addiction, in fact, that I purchased my tickets way back in March and even as exhausted as I’d been over the last few days of moving, was STOKED to hit up the concert for what was sure to be a late night.  Started pretty dramatically with the HOB ticket police telling me I’d purchased last night’s show....(what??!)  I almost vomited, my knees went.  Pois was all levels of Cool as we speed-walked to the ticket booth to sweet talk me into the SOLD OUT show.  Two words:  Katrina Peruzzi.  She was the worker who exchanged my ticket.  I finally was able to swallow, and thanked her in my shell-shocked state.  Still berating myself with inner monologue “How could you be such an idiot?!”  Ah, well.  It all worked out:)  The opening act, The Antlers, were flippn fantastic and magical.  The lead singer has a crazy good voice and his harmonies were sick.  Great opener.  Hung around back until The National and then we made our way up to the middle section.  This really should be another post altogether but I feel like I haven’t talked to you forever so I’m going to Reader’s Digest that shiz right now:  B.O. man with a shirt soaked entirely through to the bone stood right next to me.  His buddy had the worst breath.  Oh gosh it was AWFUL.  honestly my eyes were burning.  He had this way of rolling/shaking his head around like he was at some Slayer concert.  I mean, I spent a good chunk of the sound-check time wondering how the H-bomb this kid got so sweaty.  The Antlers is not house music.  Then, to our front-right were about six kids (yes, children) who couldn’t have been more than 16.  Now, this wouldn’t have bothered me if they could’ve acted older than their age but let’s be honest:  I knew one girl who acted older than 16, and she was the President of our Senior Class and went to Harvard.  So I can’t blame these fools for showing up to The National and playing a rousing game of “whose back can I pour down all the ice from my cup?!”  And playing eight-way pattycake?  Yeah, i think they meant to hit up the Miley Cyrus concert and missed the boat.  
Aside from BO-man, Halitosis Boy,  The Babies of Boston...I loved it.  Everything melted like hot wax off a candle once the boys came on stage and took us to another world.  If you haven’t seen The National, find them, listen and fall in love, patiently.  It takes time to melt into their pacing.
So then it was Friday and then it was Saturday and IKEA and building a bed, a table, and outfitting my bathrooom with Toe (ask me about Toe), nursing a right hand who’s hardly recognizable because of the screwing, pounding, slamming, lifting, shifting it did all day with the IKEAness of my bed....I can safely say the place is coming along really nicely.  I love it.  And no small thanks goes to my friend, Ben, who’s been helping me via phone, email, pictures, texting, etc figure out where all stuff goes.  He’s an amazing designer.  And GIANT low-high-fives go to Pois, for driving us to IKEA, for Jazzy Jasmine Jetta fitting the bed package which definitely looked like it wouldn’t fit until Kind Man from IKEA helped us and tied knots + stuff:) 
I still nurse my right hand.  My thumb can’t type the space button and I’m nervous that tomorrow it will be immovable.  Hopefully I can get out on the river for a nice long run.  A deep breath.  A sigh.  A long pause.  A grateful heart and a high five for a city that winks at it’s regulars, the people who know it’s streets, it’s pulse, it’s skin beyond the stained Massachusetts Avenues and trodden park paths.  The people who love it for what lives under it all, the regulars.  The ones who return.