Monday, June 30, 2008

I want to write a love poem every day this week.

I met you in a room with red walls, I remember
that much, couldn't say what building on
the campus it was but I remember your smile
against those red walls like it was already

tattooed on my breast. I fell in love with you
that day and have again every day since in the
nearly eight years it's been. Fate is called
fickle but I think she's more constant
than she's given credit for being. Because

in those eight years how many days
have I woken wishing I was with you, kissing
the place on your breast where perhaps my
smile might be tattooed? The answer is Yes,

the answer is Every One, the answer is Someday,
Fate will decide I'm ready for all of you and
you're ready for all of me and we'll build
a home in Costa Rica or perhaps India where

people come to be fed and hugged and read to
in any language, where love songs will fly
through the air and cannot be dodged, where
our arms will never untwine, and every wall
will be painted scarlet and smeared with our smiles.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The F-bomb

I bet you thought this blog was going to be about a four-letter word. One that makes little old ladies and babies cry. No, this F-bomb has eleven letters, and so far the only person I've seen it make cry is my damn self.

It's still hard to say the word out loud. I practiced it in person on someone this past weekend. I had to look not in the eyes but just below, just at the apple of the cheek, and say it syllable by syllable, slowly, wincing...





I follow omens, follow the path the universe lays out before me, and sometimes life's nudges feel more like shoves. I've definitely been feeling some shoves into this, but then the good lord doesn't give us anything we can't handle, right? So I reckon it's damned time for me to learn this very important life lesson.

I'm reading up about For...give...ness... and what it means. I intend to write about it more later, but I want to share this little anecdote I've learned right now. I've been studying what forgiveness means scientifically, and what it means to buddhists, christians, muslims, hindi and jews. The Jewish bit has really really gotten to me especially. Here's the thing they believe - if you do wrong, you make two sins. One sin is against God because you broke his rules, and the other is against the person you actually wronged. You can ask God to forgive you for sinning against him, and he probably will because he's God and he's cool like that. But you also have to ask forgiveness from that person. God can only forgive what you did to him, not what you did to that person. And the person has no religious obligation to forgive you unless you ask. Here's where it gets really fascinating. If the offender goes to the offended and apologizes and the offended does not forgive, the offender walks away. If the offender apologizes a second time and the offended does not forgive, again nothing happens. But if this happens a third time, a third apology and a third refusal, then the offender (if s/he was really sincere) is now absolved of all guilt, and the guilt now belongs to the person who refused the apologies.

Freaking heavy. My little dabbles in forgiveness have been going really well. Like, bliss-inducingly well. I'm not going to lie - I'm really getting a taste for the stuff. I want more.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Letter to Lee Pace

Dear Mr. Pace:

I won't want a big wedding. I'd much rather it be small - just a few close family members, just a few close friends. I don't intend to wear white because I think a bride should have to earn that honor. I just went to a wedding where the bride DID earn it and still wore cream. I will want to look stunningly beautiful for you, but I won't sport a color that implies virginity.

I do want to get married near water. Whether it's a lake, an ocean, a river - doesn't matter. I have a favorite body of water or two in mind but am open to suggestions. In fact, you should know that I'm a compromiser on most things - this should make our marriage go smoothly because you seem like a pretty easy-going dude yourself.

It's important to me that you know I don't want to marry you because you're some famous actor and I want your money. So, to that end, I think we should keep a joint checking account and each put equal amounts per month to pay the rent and utilities. After that we can each have our own separate accounts going - your money will be yours and mine will be mine, period. I'm willing to sign on this in a prenup.

I never wanted to have children until I fell in love with your eyebrows. This has now become a negotiable issue. If you want them, we'll talk, if not, I'll just go back to plan A.

I won't want to follow you to every shooting location because I respect that your job is just that - YOUR job. However, please understand that if you ever wind up in a movie like The Fall ever again, and they're shooting in twenty nine different countries (I don't know that I could even list twenty nine countries off the top of my head!) I will probably be trying to follow you around. This will not be to stalk you nearly as much as it will be to capitalize upon travel opportunities.

I think we should discuss whether we want an open or a closed relationship and upon what terms. Monogamy has always been a very difficult thing for me - but again, then I fell in love with those eyebrows and now a few things have become negotiable.

You should know I'm a poet. This means that you will be getting ready to leave the house one day and find a poem in your pocket. Then you will find a poem stuck to your windshield another day. Then perhaps on a birthday or anniversary, when you were expecting a fancy shmancy present, you'll instead get another poem because I'm a poet and I'm broke. This also means that if you ever do me wrong... well, there will be poems. The thing of it is, though, I don't completely suck. I'm not E.E.Cummings or Nikki Giovanni by any stretch of any imagination, but at least you won't be disgusted by the poems and lose all respect for me.

You should also know that I'm a little needy. I'll leave all these poems, and I'll see little things that remind me of you and either buy them or steal them... and I'll expect tokens of affection in kind. They don't have to be the same as mine, but they should be nearly as frequent or I'll start to doubt your love for me. And despite this need, I'm not big on P.D.A.s You can have your arm around me, but I won't want to be kissed in public. That's just for us, just in private, not for the world. Being photographed when we go out will take some getting used to for me, as I don't enjoy it at all. But then you have those eyebrows, so I'll see what I can do.

I'll await your reply,
Ginna Funk Wallace

P.S. I love my name and intend to keep it. Our beautiful-eyebrowed children can use yours if you like.

P.P.S. Did I mention I have a culinary degree? You can expect to reap the rewards of that regularly.

P.P.P.S. Parents? LOVE me.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Challenging Fear

I am reminded of this blog I wrote after having read Montaigne’s “Of Practice.” As a preface to this, I have spent all summer for the past four summers swimming away issues and stress out at Lake Ouachita, the second cleanest lake in North America, swimming across and back as many times as possible without stopping. This is a first draft, never edited.

I think everyone has thoughts like these sometimes. I think this because I have to in order to stay sane. If I thought people didn't think like this, I'd think I was insane, and if I thought that I'd start to believe it and then I would be crazy and they'd lock me up.

I like things that make me feel close to death.

I'm not sure what this is about. Let's start with the fact that I have a substantial fear of heights. It's not debilitating or anything, but it does make me feel nervous, feel fear, and this problem with vertigo takes over if I get too close to the edge. So, naturally, I climb buildings. I hang out on rooftops; I go to the mountain tower; I ride roller-coasters and at the very top, while everyone's looking forward to see what comes next, I'm peering over the side at the ground below, positively ready to defecate in my britches. I think fear is the mindkiller (shout outs to those who read that and recognize) and I try to fight it at every chance I get.

And the only thing you should really be allowed to fear is death: it's the one thing you can't survive. Sure, I hate bugs - I'll kill a bug and put a cup over it and try and psych myself up to actually pick the dead thing up and throw it away but it takes days. Sometimes I think maybe my fear of bugs is the main motivator for my relationships with men - there's someone around to take care of it then. But a bug won't kill me, you see. Public performances? Oh I can't hold the paper without it shaking, can't even sign up on the open mic list without having to scout out the ladies toilet so I can hit it up seven times before they even get close to calling my name. But I'll live through it. And I do still kill bugs, and I do still perform publicly, because these things frighten me but I don't want them to control me - I want to control them.

Death, when you really break it down, isn't that scary either - not, at least, to me. I'm only twenty five, but I've been to eight countries. I'm bilingual. I've been to a couple of different higher-education-institutions. I've made friends all over the globe. I've ridden airplanes and trains and roadtripped. I've had a handful of really awesome lovers and can overlook the not-so-awesome. I really feel like if I died tomorrow, I'd have nothing to complain about. Sure, I'd have things I would have liked to have accomplished, but I honestly couldn't be sore over it. I've done more than my share already, and it's been freaking sweet.

I say all of this as preface to the thoughts I had this afternoon. I try to conquer my fears daily in my mind, and today while I was swimming, I thought about what would happen if I drowned one day. I've been swimming across this lake and back for four summers now, and I'm pretty good, so God willing it won't be an issue. But it's possible. And I think about being out there, swimming, on a Thursday afternoon when no one else is at the lake - no one on the shores, no boats - maybe one boat but far away. And I think about, as I swim across, what if... what if one of the times that water splashed in my mouth, I didn't spit it right out. What if I accidentally breathed in? What if a muscle seized up and I went under?

Well. I think a few days would pass before anyone knew. I wouldn't show up to work, but they'd chalk it up to a no-call no-show like any other job. Wouldn't worry until the second day, and who would they call? Maybe the girl I work with would call my roommate, but he wouldn't know where I'd gone. Some park ranger would come to the door of my apartment, or maybe even my father's house, who knows, knocking and asking why the car had been sitting on the side of the road for three days and somehow two and two would get put together.

And I'd be waterlogged at the bottom of the lake. I think about this while I swim and I keep swimming and keep swimming and keep swimming off the stress of the week, off the memories of travels, swim off all the past lovers, swim off everything, everything, swim off the fear. If I drowned at the bottom of Lake Ouachita, I'd say leave me there, put a stone near the shore saying Here She Dove and Did Not Rise; Here She Was Never More Happy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Whyever not?

There are a couple of artsy-fartsy boys here in my artsy-fartsy town who got a wild hair up their collective ass and got themselves an art gallery. The venue is small (and the gentlemen aren't exactly giants themselves) so the theme of the show is "it's not the size but what you do with it that counts."

I'll pause for a moment while you reflect on that statement and what it implies. Pause, giggle, gooood.

The gimmick is that they're accepting submissions from anyone as long as they're 3"x3". That's really effing tiny, just so you know. I have a few short poems so when I read their bulletin about it I said to myself, "Self?

"Whyever not?"

I made these nine pieces that I just turned in without photographing first. I realize how stupid that was now. But they're fun. Not great art, but good poems, and I made them, me the carpenter's daughter, went and picked out some quality pine 3" wide boards and took a bandsaw to them and got my poetry on them and lacquered and drilled wee 1/16" holes and put me some eye screws in to hang them with. It was super fun.

The show is this Friday. If you're a Hot Springs person, you know about it already, and if you aren't you won't make it anyway, so I won't list the details, but I bring it up because I'll have to miss it because I'm working. I'm hoping they'll be open earlier in the afternoon and I can slide in to check it out before I work at 4.

There are nine. There may or may not be up to eight more depending? This was really super fun.