Monday, April 21, 2008


I woke up this morning with an overwhelming urge to run. Instead of going running, I spent an hour thinking about why I wanted to run. 

As I write this, I laugh at the strangeness of my tendency to write about doing things instead of actually doing them. A few years ago, struck with the running urge in the middle of the night, I sat in bed and wrote a two page description of running through my neighborhood during an approaching storm. The description morphed into a poem a year later for my first creative writing class and made an appearance in every creative writing class I have taken since then. An early version is even in this blog. I do not have the later versions of it because I lost all my creative writing from the past two years when I dropped my computer in November. Those edits are no loss though because they weren't genuine.

Over the first two years that this piece existed in prose and poetry, I fell in love with it and worked on it with myself as the only intended audience. Then one of my professors finally asked me, "What is this about?" I was not entirely sure. I knew it meant something to me, but I did not know what, and I had assumed that it would satisfy my writing teachers merely as an exercise in concrete description. I shrugged. "What are you running from?" Nothing, I don't think. And then I began to doubt because I was in therapy at that point and was pretty sure I was subconsciously running from a lot of things. But I couldn't figure out what I was running from in this poem. During that semester, the poem became the story of a girl with an eating disorder. It didn't feel like my poem anymore, but now it was about something and satisfied my professors.

What is this poem about and why do I wake up with a need to run so strong that I would go barefoot and bra-less, still in my pajamas? Better that I write about my feelings until I calm down a little. I don't think I am running away from anything in the poem or in life. I do my running away psychologically and not physically. As I recall, I wrote the original running story during the best summer of my life and I feel pretty good about my life now, so what would I be running from? Maybe I am so used to being miserable that I run away from happiness? I really don't think that's my problem. I think my problem is that I am stuck in the cliche metaphor. Why do writers always use running to mean escape? I am sure the postmodernists have already asked these questions and long ago figured out what I am now discovering. What if I am running towards something? That makes much more sense to me. Life is good, but it is not yet complete. There is something out there, something that feels close. I'm not sure what it is or where it is exactly, but maybe if I run around the neighborhood, I will find it before it has a chance to get away.

On that note, I am going to go running now. 

Sunday, April 6, 2008

24 (the age, not the show)

Last night, I was thinking about past birthdays. Stream of consciousness led me quickly to the image of a photograph (unrelated to birthdays) buried somewhere in my parents' house showing me and some friends (notably, KTB, who remains one of my most favoritest people ever). We are in third grade. I am wearing a favorite outfit: lime green leggings and a bright purple Hard Rock Cafe tee shirt that is at least three sizes too big. When did I stop being nine years old? When did I get rid of those awesome leggings? When did I get to be twenty-four?

My sense of time is fragmented lately, and I can't decide what age I am. There are a lot of reasons for the confusion. Several of my coworkers play an older brother role in my life, and I am giddy to regress to cute, innocent, elementary school Anna in my relationships with them. Then, Dad is always happy to remind me that my job is beneath my education, experience, and skill level, and it is really only appropriate for teenage Anna working her first job. But when I sit alone in my room late at night, I am acutely aware that I am neither child nor adolescent, that the past several months have thrust me into adulthood. The feeling is both satisfying and surprising. I don't understand how it happened. I kind of wonder why I haven't had a crisis of faith or a psychotic break from reality. When did I develop poise, grace, faith, patience, charity, perspective? When did I grow up?

I'm pretty sure I would still wear the green leggings if I had them. *shrug*

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Guess What

I'm going to work in the temple.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From the Mouths of Babes

Jacob has been throwing up all day, even after we restricted him to water and saltines. When the other kids got chocolate, Jacob insisted, "I didn't throw up! I was just coughing until boogers came out!"