Archive for April, 2010

Revelations and Closure? Maybe…

Posted in Love with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Sara Lilly

I’ve already spoken about my emotional baggage. I’m seeing a therapist for complicated grief. Anyway, she told me the most amazing thing yesterday,

“It’s okay to be angry.”

After my friend killed himself, I was angry. Furious. But everyone told me, “You shouldn’t be angry, no. He’s dead, we have to remember him. Don’t be angry.” So I wasn’t. I grieved and I praised him and I missed him and I loved him.

“There’s this thing in our culture where we idolize those who have died,” my therapist said. “Someone can be a drug addicted wife beater and when he dies, people will still cry at his funeral and talk about how much of a wonderful person he was. Who’s to say we can’t be mad?”

So I went on a rant. This is it:

Dear friend,

I am pissed off. Why? You left me. Get that? You bailed. This world sucks, I know, I’m living it. We were all sixteen–you think we didn’t have issues? You think it wouldn’t have been just as easy to die instead of sticking it out? You abandoned me. You hurt me. You wrecked me. You ruined a part of me and tainted the best memories I have of high-school. You made me feel guilty. You made her cry everyday for a year. Your dying was a final, “FUCK YOU!” and I am MAD for that.

So when I die and I see you, I will punch you in the face. Afterwards, I’ll hug you cause you’re still my friend and we’ll play cards like we used to when we were sixteen.

Love always,

Me.

God that feels so good. It’s okay to be angry.

Tuesday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 14, 2010 by Sara Lilly

I dance in the clouds

With waving rhythmic hands

And speak the stories I have longed

To utter in all my dreams to ears

Who are finally eager to hear

Of honest anguish, grief and passion

Subtle hopes and longing compassion

On a Tuesday, I sit

And this is my prayer.

* * *

I smoked hookah for the first time today. I coughed like a maniac, drank an entire bottle of water and felt nauseous. But now, I am a devirginized hookah smoker. Woot. My friend told me everyone feels queasy at first.

The Tragic Artist

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by Sara Lilly

One of my favorite sites is SoulPancake (soulpancake.com). I submitted a question on the site about a year ago, regarding why so many incredible artists succumb to drugs and/or suicide. I’ll sort of reiterate the whole of the question here.

I discuss the topic of artistry with one of my best friends a lot. We decided we both find artistic men extremely attractive. Any kind of artist–a writer, musician, actor (a legitimate one, really) painter. Why? Because they don’t give a shit. Artists are so independent minded and so in tune with their own selves and souls that they couldn’t give a crap what other people think about them. Excuse the liberal speech but that’s so sexy.

I find real artists brilliant. They see things no one else does, and are able to bring those hidden truths to full focus in their work. They reveal the mysteries of humanity and decipher age old dilemmas in 5 minute songs.

Consider the brief list of  actors, writers, musicians and painters who have either killed themselves deliberately or drugged themselves (accidentally) to death: Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe and etc. Add to the list the amount of artists who have struggled with addiction and/or depression and the list is enormous.

None of the aforementioned artists were just okay. They were Oscar nominated, critically acclaimed, prize-winning, and in some cases, legends.

My best friend and I came up with this theory: If artists have already understood themselves through the creation of their work, and have already revealed so many things that are difficult for others to show–aren’t they bored? What’s more is, how can they relate to others who don’t possess that same kind of awareness? Wouldn’t they feel lonely?

I think too much don’t I?

Fast Car

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 12, 2010 by Sara Lilly

My Art

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2010 by Sara Lilly

“I feel I understand
Existence, or at least a minute part
Of my existence, only through my art…”

From Canto 4 of Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

I have wanted to be a writer since I could read books on  my own. My mother used to take me to the library regularly. I once asked her after I finished reading Big Max by Kin Platt, if I could write a book too. She did a little shrug and went, “Yeah, sure,” as if it were a silly endeavor that would occupy me for just that evening.

My dad had given my sister a very old laptop that was good for just writing and playing a couple computer games.

I sat at her desk and I wrote. My first stories were total rip offs of the Big Max books. They followed the same plot except for a name change here and there.

I grew a little bit, and then I created a detective all of my own imagination with completely original story lines. By

middle school, I had become obsessed with boys and ohlala, dating, (like any other wanna-be-18 thirteen-year-old) as if I had any real idea of what it all was and wrote trashy YA. High-school started this story about a fictional dystopic society.  I had little accomplishments along the way too. In eighth  grade, I won an essay contest and 100 dollars. It was my parents’ pride for the year. Sophomore year, I had a very melodramatic story published in a Baha’i magazine that was dumbed down and accompanied by awful illustrations. I didn’t have any major projects that encompassed my mind, but by the end of my junior year, my Honors English teacher handed out an assignment.

It was a creative portfolio. We had to submit a collection of different things: a poem centered on symbol, a modern day Canterbury tales, a sonnet, a satirical poem, and a short story centered on a symbol. I had the poetry down, which shocked me because all my life I had never really written poems. I was a prose writer. But I was at a loss for the story part. It was the night before the collection was due. I sat in the den of my house, and I swear I forcefully regurgitated this story out of nowhere about two brothers going to see their aunt in rural USA after the death of their mother. They road in a dilapidating old blue truck. It focused on the narrative of the older brother, who wondered and thought often of his absent father. I had four pages written, and it could only be five so I bullshitted this terrible ending. A good friend of mine who sat behind me in class, read it. He told me he loved the beginning and hated the end. I had predicted that kind of answer. He suggested I submit that story, (I didn’t have much of a choice) but make it a long novel.

Sometime in December of my senior year (the project was due in May 2007) I sat in my sex ed class and just–wrote. I drafted and drafted, changed things around, but never got a push that made anything go anywhere. That summer, I read two lovely novels: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges and Empire Falls by Richard Russo. The former influenced me far heavier than the latter, but they both provided the artistic fuel that propelled my book to its first full draft. I was eighteen. It was October of my first semester of freshman year in college. It was about 50G words. I wrote another full draft over winter break that stretched maybe 55 G. By mid-June, came number 3. It was 60 G. The summer following, I just wrote shit. I don’t mean shit to be something bad, just shit. Stuff. I have an entire word document consisting of 55,525 words of stuff. February 2010 came take four. Two months later, I’m at 32 G.

It was called something else the first 3 drafts, but I think I’m calling it Fast Car now, with all respects to Tracy Chapman.

Why the hell do I write so much? It’s more than just liking it–I couldn’t live if I didn’t write. It’s therapeutic. I find more of myself everyday. It’s heavenly. I can’t even describe it. I just do it. It’s me.

Emotional Baggage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by Sara Lilly

When I was in talks with the lovely 28-year-old that I’ve previously mentioned, we exchanged our “emotional baggage.” It’s what everyone should go through at the start of a relationship–All right, give me the 411 on all your problems so I know what to expect and what I’m getting myself into. Here’s mine:

I lost a friend to suicide when I was fifteen. His death wrecked me. It knocked me down with a wave of shock, and I’ve been struggling to get up since. I’ve managed to trek my feet along and move on with my life, but I’m seeing a psychologist weekly for traumatic grief therapy. I’m pretty normal though: I’m on the Dean’s List, I’m not a loner, I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t do drugs. Every now and then I cry my eyes out and I think about him every day.

Some days I wonder what I would be if he never died. What would I be if this burden was lifted from my shoulders? If I had a clear mind, if guilt didn’t engulf me, if I never missed someone so desparately and passionately?

My best friends know the memories of four years ago still haunt me. My mom gets it a bit. No one else though. I’m just me. It’s funny–because I seem to have no understanding of the person I was before his death. I have nothing in common with that girl. It’s like she was a different person. I wonder how people still recognize me.

Faith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by Sara Lilly

I do this writer’s group thing with a couple friends I met through my creative writing class last semester. We meet up every other Wednesday at the coffee place on campus, exchange the stuff we’ve been working on and sip our drinks. Afterwards, we get to talking about anything. Here’s what I figured out today:

If it weren’t for my religion, I would be so fucking messed up.

Don’t worry, this is not going to be a “FIND GOD AND HE’LL FORGIVE YOU!” schpeel at all. Not even close. Firstly, I’m not a Christian so the whole salvation from sin thing isn’t the core of my beliefs. I’m a Baha’i. (bahai.org) We want world peace. We think all religions are true but different based on the time period of which they appeared. We like men and women to be equal and for there to be no prejudice or racism.

Anyway, I get emotionally involved in everything I do, hear, say, read. Everything. I walk into my Principles of Lit class and ask the people around me if they cried over the last section we had to read. They stare at me like I have three heads and stretch out a long, “No.” I fully admit that I’m probably a little crazy. But when I hear a song I like, I read about it and study the lyrics and memorize it and learn the whole history behind it. I don’t watch good movies once; I buy them and see them dozens of times. I look for new underlying messages and symbols. I study the actors and the writing of the film. Everything I see or read, I connect to a part of me, and that’s what makes me so empathetic. I get empathetic and worked up a lot, because this world is full of so much shit and awful things.

My religion promises world peace through the implementation of its core priniciples. If I didn’t have this faith, this idea of a better day and the tools for it, I swear I would probably be a major drug addict or I would have killed myself by now. Maybe it means that deep down, I’m a weak human being. But everyone’s got one thing that keeps their head above the water and this is mine. I’d be nothing if I weren’t a Baha’i.

“O Son of Spirit!

My first Counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”

-Baha’u’llah