Friday, October 23, 2020

autumn, my old friend

 a devastatingly beautiful nostalgia

washes over my mind

like the tide.

beige and blue 

and my mom's eyes

somehow the shadows of leaves

dancing on the wall 

makes me think of the 22 autumns

I've lived before this

a breeze of loneliness and of love,

innocence and the excitement of starting school

summer ended with its blazing heat.

the dew settles.

the puppy at our feet 

looks like a miniature version

of the dog I grew up loving.

my senses are soaked. 

I hear my sister laugh.

I know I've been here before.

the wind chime 

that used to dangle from the chicken coop

when I was nine

now hangs in a pear tree.

her song kept grandma Sonny company on hard days, 

and now the wind sends her whirling for me, too. 

that fall breeze that sent my little-girl tresses spinning

calls me by name.

an old friend

who is back to check in.

The shadows of the leaves on the wall -

they're gone now.

the sun tucks in with more of a hurry, 

but we are starting to slow down;

syrupy sweet moments inside

with steaming soups that fog window panes

and board games that last all night.

I send up a prayer 

because this fall is unlike any other.

Hell is outside the window

with thirsty fires, political strife, and a toxic virus.

inside, we are safe in each other's arms. 

Though the autumn leaves may burn before they fall

we will hold these walls up

as tall as they will stand.

The dew is settled, as is the nostalgia

and we light a morning candle.

The fresh breath of the earth feels like a good place to start

in trying to sort out whats real

and what's not. 

Happy Autumn, all. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

A note on Julia Child

Yesterday I watched the film Julie & Julia. It inspired and delighted me. It resonated. I felt validated. 

Julia Child - I've flipped through her cookbooks at the library. They have been recommended to me. However, I never knew her. And now I feel like I do. She was colorful and lively, she was thrilled with her life - her sweet husband, her home, her tallness - all of it. She reminds me of my grandma Tiger - always with a sparkle in her eye. The audacity to be content in a world full of rat races appeals to me. Julia walked through life joyful, yet honest. She wanted kids, but didn't have any. She wanted to stay in France, but her husband was transferred. When she wanted to learn to cook, she could barely boil an egg, but she pushed forward anyway. She was an optimistic queen who loved despite her struggles.

I adored everything about the film. The cooking, being in France, her being 6'2" and not looking like all of the other petites around her. She didn't care. She didn't shrink for anyone - and in turn, everyone loved her for it. She gave me an idea of who I'd like to be.

I want to inch toward her mindset. I want life in its various facets to be mine, to satisfy and challenge, to delight and test me. I want to be brave enough to be myself, and I don't want to compare myself to the petites around me. I want to be like Julia Child. And I want to cook more. One journalist said that one of Julia Child's greatest contribution to cooking was "freeing Americans from the necessity of cooking for a purpose other than pleasure." YES! I have always had a yearning for the simple things, a fresh pot of chicken broth, a vase of colorful flowers, hearty artisan bread dipped in vinegar and oil, the sunrise casting light on a wood floor. Those things carry memories with them, and those memories carry me.

This summer will be the perfect time to excel in the cooking sphere because I have my own Julia Child who will be living upstairs - my mother-in-law V-. She went to culinary arts school in 2008, and never prepares a dull plate. There is always some element of sparkle and pizazz, whether its the aged cheese she used in the alfredo sauce, or the garden cucumbers bathed in vinegar and dill, dipped in homemade hummus.

I want to devote time this summer to cooking. I want to make it second nature before we have kiddos and my bandwidth shrinks down. I want to cook like Julia, never getting uptight about the kitchen's demands. Just growing as I go, and doing it for the pleasure. I have heard my women professors talk about how they think being in the kitchen is a waste of time, they'd rather be somewhere else. They might think that, but I don't have to. I was raised on meals from scratch, because that is what we could afford in a household of ten, and to me, that is magic. Family time, eating together, and made with love. So cheers to a summer of gathering veggies from the garden, using more butter, and delighting in the day-to-day. Let's go!

Julia Child - Wikipedia
Julia in the kitchen

Julia and her husband arriving in France

Trying oysters while cruising the Parisian street markets

Taking a springtime walk through the park

Gathering cooking supplies for her cookbook project

Thursday, March 26, 2020

routines and quarantines

saturday morning | Heidi | Flickr

I've learned a great deal about myself
by spending 24 hours 7 days a week
lengthy hours into the night and
through drizzly afternoons with me

The tea is cold and
I'm less myself than ever before

I never knew quarantining in the springtime
would teach me about the way I love
the 8:35 rush out the door -
our special morning routine
that never felt so special
until today

i miss
daily classroom chatter
and the familiarity of walking up so many steps every morning
just to get to the top of our education.
I miss complaining about how hard the climb is
and you'd squeeze my hand, smile, and say
we're almost there

I thought I was resilient
and tough.
I thought natural selection would pick ME
or at least that I would pick me

But my routine must have been the very thing
strapping my life together
because now without it
I'm bare bones
and the skeleton I see in the mirror
is trying to brush her hair
get regular meals and
teach herself that its okay to try again everyday

and i just have to think that maybe
i am not the only one who
took life for granted
or can't wait to see her sister-in-law's baby bump.
who wants to scream at the top of her lungs
but knows the neighbors will hear.
who feels no privacy in this little apartment-
all eyes on us

The tea is cold and
I'm less myself than ever before

but today I think is better than yesterday
and we're picking up the pieces

How to prepare for a quarantine

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"2021 will be our year" - a list of strange happenings of 2020

Weird things that have happened since the New Year:

  • Renowned NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a tragic helicopter accident one foggy Sunday morning
  • That same, day, M- got engaged to a girl he met on mutual (maybe) two months prior
  • M- and K- eloped in the Provo City Courthouse 3 weeks after becoming engaged
  • Trump was impeached, but later acquitted by the senate
  • Coronavirus was declared a pandemic after sweeping across China, Italy, and planting seeds across every other place in the world
  • The lines at Costco are longer than general admission concert lines and the only toilet paper you can find anywhere is the Chinese stuff off of Amazon
  • BYU from one moment to the next, has transitioned fully online for the rest of the semester and encouraged its students to travel home to be with family
  • Church meetings are cancelled until further notice and temples are closed
  • V- discovered from a woman's ex-husband that J- had an affair with his ex-wife, and he laid out a timeline for her in extensive detail, with receipts of text messages and secretly recorded conversations
  • Maja, my best friend practically in the world, shaved her head - something she has craved doing for years now. We are all glad she followed her heart <3 - not weird, just mentionable
  • Yesterday morning, Utah had its biggest earthquake since 1992; a 5.7 on the richter scale
  • We are living in a self-quarantine to slow the spread of COVID-19 - that way we won't have to be on a government-mandated quarantine. Cabin fever grows each day.
- As of Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2015

not for the books

Performed at Speak For Yourself:

Not for the Books

Welcome to school!
Day one:
Halls riddled with talk of summer vacation
and the smell of brand new clothes.
Winter crept in and we were halfway done
99 football jerseys,
12 bad breakups,
2 english classes later,
we are on the home stretch.
In 35 days we will be far from here.
And it won't be long before even the echoes of my name disappear.
Tomorrow I'll be gone
and soon after, forgotten.
The hallways will no longer carry the weight of my footsteps.
The mirrors will not remember my reflection.
My name will be stripped from the honor roll to make room for next year's
and soon after,
we will be forgotten.
I don't care to be remembered.
This is not for any legacy I want to leave.
I'm not trying to make you shout my name to the sky or write it in the stars.
This is not because I never made it to the front row of the student section,
and this is not because I've had my heart broken.
Three times.
I'll be the first to admit, I am not a legacy leaver.
I didn't come expecting to change Lone Peak forever,
but I've got a few things to say.
I think we're all waiting for someone to read in between the lines.
"How are you?" is still waiting for a response other than "good".
So I'll try-- I'll try-- to be the person that makes everyone erase their fine print.
Lets pick up the small talk and throw it out the window.
Shatter every glass wall put up by high schoolers who feel small.
Show each other that bridges are meant to be walked on.
Not burned.
That you, and me, and he will never be the same.
But we were never meant to be.
So hold up your white flag
and surrender your heart,
to show people you have one.
And just because the knight in the commons can't call you by name,

there's more to this story than that.

xx Sonny Jean and Avery Moon

(AKA Ruby and Whitney Porter)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

so mine won't stop beating

There's a stream of young love crawling through my brain cells and this is a parasitic relationship. It feeds off me and I just get sicker, see, my instagram feed is starving my heart. But I stare. I scroll. I stare. I scroll. I starve, and there's not enough soul to pass around the table so I spoon it into the mouth of those I love, because I know what it's like not to feel that. I sit hunched like a bow and arrow, done being pulled back, hoping to fly soon. And maybe this time Cupid will have something to do with it. But my spine is close to snapping and so is my heart.

So I hear that if two hearts are pressed together for long enough they pulse together, so maybe you will let mine catch up with yours. Then we can talk about more than the weather, like how your family is and what I missed when we were apart. But your guard is so high and I haven't even passed the bridge over the moat filled with words we never said. Saying them is one thing and thinking them is another. You never did either of those and I was always the one who gave it my all so you didn't have to. We're dipping our toes in quick sand and heaven knows we won't end up in the same world when we sink. You're on one page and I'm on another and we aren't even in the same library, darling.

 But that never stopped me from trying. Trying til my bones burst with love for your eyes, clearer than the rarest diamond. Your hands more tender than rain drizzling on hot shoulders. There aren't many things that turn me cold but late night strolls with you are one and I don't think it was the moon blowing chills down my neck. I told you I loved you. I sat like a puddle at your feet, waiting for you to finger paint your skin with my pigment and revel in how beautiful we were together, but no. You put on your rain boots and splashed my pain all over the concrete. You were simply having fun on a rainy day. Childish was your game and guys have always been better at sports. My hand-eye coordination has never been sensational, but I'm good enough to catch a hint. Not strong enough to follow it. See it's hard to convince the brain that this is just friends, because "just friends" have never stared at each other that long and "just friends" don't feel adrenaline when their noses are close enough to touch but just shy enough not to. So sorry for misplacing the hint you dropped.

 But this time is different. I'm taking this, along with every song about someone else, every Sunday night, every meal that was never a date, and keeping that in its place-- the past. We can move forward together, but this time not hand in hand. Love has no boundaries but sometimes there are war zones that scream Do Not Enter and now we know where those lie: In each vein and artery of those who feel love as unrequited; who grow anxious over the long stream of boys and girls in love, wondering if that will ever be them. So let my heart grow close to yours, and this time it's only so mine won't stop beating.

xx Sonny Jean

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I remember...

I remember Spring Break 2k15 and not writing one blog post.
I remember the dream I had last night. My 52-year-old mom was pregnant
I remember wishing I could smash every mirror I looked into.
I remember when Lil Wayne was my hero and I was thirteen-year-old thug
I remember family reunions on the beach. Now everyone is a little too busy to get buried in the sand.
I remember begging mom for a small dog. I had saved an entire $100.
I remember my first B. Calculus last quarter.
I remember when dad and mom sat the kids down. Dad was crying and petting the dog like it would be the last time.  
I remember the time I told my mom she seemed to have grown a mustache. She replied with a passive aggressive "Well isn't that swell, Ruby."
I remember swimsuit shopping and how much I still hate it. 
I remember getting pinkeye and looking like an alien when I woke. My eyes have never felt the same.
I remember my second day at Lone Peak High School. I never really grew fond of B-days after all.
I remember watching Full House and mom walking in on a sexy part. "It's not usually like this, I swear!"
I remember my first kiss. We had just swapped silly bands and I had on my fave Bob Marley tee.
I remember when I dropped my baby sister. I blame the babysitter. I had roller blades on, hello!
I remember dating a loser. He still is one, even more so. 
I remember the Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Straight G.
I remember when my big sister ran away with a pack of cigs and a small green backpack. She always had the essentials ready to go: black makeup and a fresh pair o' undies. (a rain poncho too, duh)
I remember inadequacy.
I remember devastation.
I remember wishing I could have Tina Fey's humor and Kylie Jenners' lips. Still do (duh).
I remember being pissed that he held hand with another chick. Not cool, dude. I wish I'd just forget it.
I remember being in the friendzone (yay! ain't it fun?)
I remember each time someone didn't give me the time of day because of my appearance. It never occurred to me people could be that shallow until I came to good ole LP. We notice, people. (i still love LP,and you k, whatever.)
I remember cheering on the Ragnar runners at 3 in the morning.
I remember drill team, 6 am practices, ugly AF wigs, and never winning first place.
I remember running cross country and always winning last place!
I remember taking first in the 100 free in my heat. Girls swim took state that year. 
I remember when my pet snake bit me. I felt like Kissin' Kate Barlow off of Holes, when she lets the yellow spotted lizards devour her.
I remember screaming and crying when I discovered Terik had left. I remember finding out how he did it.
I remember the fear of forgetting my life and what has happened. How much does it all really matter?

I wish I remembered more.