Thursday, February 09, 2006

making up me


(this is from my new "tiny stories" offshoot of Laini's Ladies - there are more on my website)

A few days ago I wrote about the days after college when I realized I had to find the "tightrope" to the big wild dreams that filled me -- and how the reality of it was so terrifying it sort of stopped me in my tracks. Well, I just found this in an old notebook, and it rockets me back to the days of wild dreaming (& I'm not going to edit out any of the extreme melodrama of my 20-year-old self!)

I want to be a raw animal voice, a sound of thunder, dandelion spores aloft on the wind. I want to be the osprey's call, the jagged edge of granite that silently guards the sea. I want to bring life out of the sand, and the constellation-drinking night-sea. I want to know how to light fires in central Nowhere that will dance against a sky as dark as crayon - I want the stars to descend on me like a sprinkling of pollen - I want to be covered with stars and stand on the highest peak and break the shrill cold night with a scream! I want to evolve. I want to DEvolve. I want to chop wood and eat berries and track creatures through the forest! I want to be joy-filled and let people know it. I want to travel the world everywhere falling in love and picking grapes and posing for artists. I want to spear-fish naked, collect shells, climb back aboard the boat with the pacific seas streaming off my hair...

I want to pretend this was written by a preposterous character I made up, but it was me! And I think that in those days I sort of WAS a preposterous character I made up. I remember making conscious decisions about who I "was" -- I recall in highschool announcing, "I believe there are more INvisible beings in the universe than visible ones." Well, lovely, but I believed NO such thing! I never even succeeded in believing in God and soon gave up and swung hard the other way and took to making antagonistic atheistic comments to my poor mother. Well, I hope I have settled down by now into who I truly "am" but I clearly remember the vivid construction of self that occupied my mind and my journals!

Wonderful weekend wishes to everyone! Alexandra and I are off to Seattle for a few days where we may put on facial purifying masks in the hotel and watch movies or write letters to mutual friends, and we'll have lunch with various folks and I may see my wayward brother, and I'll probably spend some time in a cafe with my laptop while Al is in her seminar. We likely will NOT spearfish naked or track creatures through the forest. Did I ever REALLY want to do those things? Or did I want to be able to say, at 34, that I HAD done them? I wonder!

17 comments:

megg said...

Don't you sometimes just want to go back and either hug or shake your younger self? Jamie posted a similar idea today. It's such a cliche but I wish I knew then what I know now! I think your younger self was charming, but I'm glad to be getting to know the now you!! Have an amazing weekend, I'll miss you guys!

megg said...

P.S. Where can I get a copy of your tiny story in the UK? I LOVE IT.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Yeah, I love the 26 and 10/12ths to 34 year old you even though you never went nude spear fishing between 0 & 26 and 9/12ths.

Oh, and make sure you leave some of your facial purifying mask at home for me so we'll be equally smooth when you get home :)

Luv Jim

Alexandra S said...

What are you talking about? We ARE going spear-fishing naked in Lake Washington. PLEASE don't make me cancel the reservations with our guide or we'll be charged a $75 late cancellation fee. I love everything about this post Mangopuffwick, esp the tiny dress story! Having you for a best friend is like having a year round free pass to Disneyland. You have a joyful love of life that is infectious to all!

Laini Taylor said...

Okay, self: on further reflection, I think maybe I was trying to convince myself I've grown and changed etc etc and sure I HAVE -- I hope I no longer write sentences like "I want to be the osprey's call" but heck, I STILL want to go spearfishing naked! Sort of. I don't want to actually SHOOT anything - I just like the word "spearfish" and I like the idea of having a knife strapped to my thigh, underwater! Maybe I'll just go follow sea turtles around naked instead, and ask them all their secrets and never ever reveal what I learn! Here's an idea, for my 50th birthday (not anytime soon!!) Jim, we can go "spearfishing naked" only without spears, and maybe not even naked. Just the spirit of the thing. Anyway, I think I know who I am now more than I did when I was 20, and who I am is a daydream. In the words of Max the dog, "If I didn't mention before I should mention it now. This book is about dreamers. Wishful thinkers. Dreamy blinkers. Crazy nuts."

And thanks, Meg, for your words. As for tiny stories, thus far they do not exist in the world outside my computer but this year I will be making an effort to find a place for them!

chest of drawers said...

Don´t ever stop dreaming Laini...you are one amazing woman!

Cate said...

Ohh, this is scrumptious!

"Did I ever REALLY want to do those things? Or did I want to be able to say, at 34, that I HAD done them?"

What a great question--I think I still get caught up in that--the liking of "the sound of things," but probably not the things themselves.

And I'm in awe (what am I gonna do--use that word every time I visit?!) of what you wrote in college. My stuff was trite!

You were (and have remained) one talented chick, "conscious decision" or not! Have a great weekend--hope you catch a trout!

chest of drawers said...

I almost forgot,HAVE A GREAT TIME WITH ALEXANDRA!!!!
And, I love all your amazing artwork!

jen lemen said...

yay! so happy to see you in the blogosphere. your words here are a delight.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jen! Good to see you here, too! Thanks for checking in; hope all's well!
-Laini

Blue Dog said...

wow! I enjoyed reading about you at this site as much as your other one! Yep, your artwork is beautiful, your studio is inviting, and wow--you got a job for Lonely Planet? How cool is that?!

I'm amazed by how I keep discovering such wonderful blogs! I look forward to visiting often. :)

Sarah e.Smith said...

I love your work :) I recently discovered your blog and I will be back to visit again!

Sarah
http://waxing_poetic.blogspot.com
http://www.rusticrelics.net

Swirly said...

I love that you wanted to become a preposterous character...why not?! I think because you had these wild, uninhibited dreams you became the wonderful artist you are now. Those wild imagingings fueled a fire that is burning so brightly now. Cheers to your younger self!

HoBess said...

This artwork is stunning. I love that her body and clothes are a silhouette while her face (which the mask doesn't truly conceal) and her wings are full of detail and life. Just beautiful.
Enjoy your trip!

tara dawn said...

I absolutely love this post. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving comments...it has blessed me with finding you here.
And I love your preposterous character...I'm glad that she was not fictional. These dramatic statements of who we want to be and what we want to do, and the extreme nature of it was all just another step on our journey to become who we are today. And despite the lack of reality in our youthful wishes, there is something quite beautiful in the idea of spear-fishing naked and traversing the world eating grapes and posing for artists. It doesn't matter if this is not truly what we want...maybe there is a piece of it that we do...freedom of spirit.
I will certainly be back to visit again soon. I hope you and Alexandra have a wonderful weekend. Be safe and know my thoughts are with both of you!!

Frankie said...

Laini, I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get to your blog. Things have been so hectic, but now that I've finally arrived, I want to tell you that I've fallen head over heels in love with your words. This is so wonderful. I'm twenty now, and love what you wrote as a twenty year old. It sounds just like the things I write in my own journal, and even while I'm writing them, a part of me knows what you know; that it's not EXACTLY what I want or what I think I'll do, but more a character I want to reside in my soul. I'm so glad you found my blog because it brought me to yours, to you. I look forward to reading more and more of the wonderful things you've written here.

holli said...

Your blog hit my day like a rainbow.. or a prism. The colors, writing - how beautiful!