These Vines that Choke but Do Not Bind

She watches a butterfly breeze past her eyes,
The colors reflecting across the grass.
She reaches out to grasp the hues,
But they fall through her fingers
As pain breaks through her knee
And her body closes in on itself
Trying to shield her from the ache it causes.

Sometimes she will wear dresses on ordinary days
Because if she looks good, sometimes she can trick herself
into thinking that she feels good.
The tulle unfurls around her waist.
For a moment she is a blossom in autumn,
precious, vibrant, a miracle,
not a person collapsed on itself,
bringing down everyone near,
like a black hole.

Sometimes she will stand outside in a storm
While everyone else runs inside.
You’ll catch your death if you stay out here
but death has already pulled her near.
It grabbed ahold when she was born,
Pulling her to emergency rooms,
Growing out of her ear like a thorn.
It curled its way around her knees, her joints, her brain,
It moved her muscles, pulling her closer to its embrace.
What did it matter if the thunder was threatening to bring down the trees outside?
What could they do to her that her body wasn’t already doing to herself?
Everyone had an end to their song,
Hers would just end a little earlier than most.
Let the storm do it’s best; she’d lasted this long.

Speaking Into the Void

Intro Post

So I guess I’m trying the writing thing.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young. I was always a strong writer; in third grade, one of our weekly spelling assignments was to use all of our spelling words in a short story. My stories were always so complex that my teacher allowed me to switch the days I wrote them from Tuesday nights due on Wednesday to Friday nights due on Monday. I just couldn’t stop myself from writing a several pages. It was probably one of the more nerdy things I did, but it was a thing I loved and my family encouraged it.

Despite my talent, I was dead focused on being a teacher. I wasn’t sure exactly what grade I wanted to teach, but I knew I wanted to teach English. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I realized I had been focused on the wrong career for my whole life.

The big change was my discovery of a book. It was an accident that I found it. I hung out at the school library in the mornings because I had choir before school. Choir club ended at 8 am and the first bell didn’t ring until 8:30 am so I had time to kill and instead of standing in the cold, I bothered the librarian. One of the two librarians my middle school had was putting books on display. A flash of emerald green caught my eye as she put them up. I went to the shelf and I saw it.

the queen of attolia
A cover for The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. The cover depicts the title character, Attolia, in a deep emerald dress with a circle neckline that slopes to the middle of her chest. Only her chest down can be seen. Her slender fingers hold a green cuff that has a hook attached to it.

There was something about the colors, the dress, and the sinister looking hook held in creamy white hands that drew my attention. I checked it out immediately, not even bothering to read the blurb on the back.

The book, The Queen of Attolia, is amazing and honestly deserves its own blog post. Political scheming, monarchs who get shit done, ladies who are physically ugly but powerful and beloved, men who only see the beauty of a woman and not the cunning politician beneath the dresses and jewels, all centering around the lies of a disabled man who is both defined by his disability and yet more than just a disability, it was all so much. It was also probably not age appropriate but that didn’t matter to my thirteen year old heart. I was in love.

I had also accidentally picked up the second book in a four book series.

Despite all this, the book started something for me. See, over the summer while helping my aunt hang up decorations outside her classroom, she noticed something alarming: my right knee had turned bright red. She pointed it out to my mother, who was a nurse, and when my mother touched my knee, we found it swollen with some sort of fluid build up. Within months I was experiencing debilitating pain when I walked or stood for too long and the leg was quickly losing muscle mass. Worst of all, no one could figure out why my leg had gotten so bad so quickly.

It was the first thing to go wrong with my body, but it was far from the last. Over the years more and more physical ailments have cropped up, as if my body was waging war on itself for existing. It’s led to a lot of missed opportunities and a lot of pain. At thirteen years old, I was on the beginning of what would be a difficult journey and I think I could sense it somehow, which led to some truly volatile mood swings. I had a disturbing temper and a propensity for break downs that was troubling even for a girl in the midst of puberty.

So when I read this book and was introduced to its main character, a not-quite-man named Eugenides, I found myself relating to him. A terrible, awful thing happened to him that made him a cripple, just like I was becoming. He was angry, depressed, and moody, lashing out at enemies as often as he did loved ones. He was relearning every skill he had acquired up until this point in his life and even more heart-breakingly, he was learning that there were some things he could never do again. It stuck with me, this idea that I would not be able to do many things that I loved but that this didn’t mean my life was over. Even more so that I could be angry about what was happening and still go on with my life.

I don’t want to get too dramatic here, but for a thirteen year old, a character like that can change your life. And he changed mine.

And suddenly, I knew what I wanted to do in life. It wasn’t that I wanted to write, necessarily, but that I wanted to help people the way this author had unknowingly helped me. I wanted to reach out to someone, even just one person, and change their life for the better. I knew that I was a strong enough writer to do it. I knew that I had stories inside of me that should be told. I believed that those stories could help people.

So here I am, eight years later, still stick, but still determined to help someone, anyone, find some sort of peace in their differences.

Thing is, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I figured a wordpress might be a good place to start at least, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I guess this is the first test. Let’s see how this blogging thing goes!