RSS

Tag Archives: relationships

A Fond Farewell (Letters from Beena)

Hey Gang!

I hope you are all doing marvelously! It has been quite a while since I posted on this blog and I couldn’t figure out why. I would think of something to write, sit down to write it, and then nothing would come out. It felt forced and I felt like whatever  I was going to write would, honestly, be complete shit. It was incredibly frustrating. I loved the community surrounding this but it felt like something foreign. It felt like I was a different person; someone separate from the person who posted these words.

Once upon a time a great man said, “Writing is simple, you just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.” Bled I did or at least tried to. I wrote as honestly and truthfully as I could as a young man just trying to figure life out. I was in my mid twenties when I began this blog. It bloomed incredibly early and I was not ready for it. I felt like I had to write in a specific way. I began to deviate from that and I understand that some didn’t like that. I was telling my truth at the time. I went through highs and definite lows in the waning years of my twenties and my creativity fell away.

It was the stress of adulting too hard, I suppose. However, that was a person outside of whom I am now. It doesn’t seem fair to negate what I wrote and the trials I went through in my twenties. I am about six months from 30 and I must admit that I have a new outlook. A better outlook. It is much different than the pensive and sometimes nihilistic outlook of my younger visage.

I am happy and sad to say that this is my last post on this blog. Herein are my emotions, triumphs, and pitfalls. I loved this blog and community so much and still do. I remember getting an email with a woman thanking me. I remember she said, “Thank your for your writing. Reading it makes me feel less alone. Keep writing.” It was the most beautiful thing I have every read and I wanted to thank her! I felt so connected.

I am moving and I found something that broke my heart. I had a penpal I met through here named Beena. We spoke over e-mail and decided to send letters back and forth. It was a fun friendship! I loved opening my mailbox and seeing my friend’s handwriting scrawled on the front of a letter. Her personalized cards were beautiful as well. One day the letters stopped and it made me sad. We lost contact and I lamented. As I moved boxes recently, I found the letter I thought I sent to her years ago. The one I thought was never responded to.

To her I say: Beena, you are a fascinating and wonderful human being!

I would also like to say thank you to three other amazing people on this blog: Sweet The Sound, Fencing with Ink, and Margaret (hopefully those are still accurate!). You were both amazing and constantly made me think from giving your points of view.

It is with regret that I say goodbye but I will leave this blog open for someone, years from now, to stumble upon and hopefully find a grain of beauty, peace, or  something close to it.

I have created a new blog called thirtiesshmirtiesblog.wordpress.com if you would like to follow along with my misadventures in a way separate from what I touted in this one. Less anonymity and more life. More color. More beauty for the sake of beauty and not in the face of tragedy. At least not wholly beauty in tragedy. Tragedy is always around the corner for all of us. However, the light within the tragedy is what is important. That is what continues our growth.

I shall end this with how I should have began it; a brief introduction.

Hello, my name is Christopher Noel. I am a writer, a son, a brother, a friend, a dreamer, a believer, and a lover of life. All life. Your life! Use it well.

-Christopher Noel

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A lot like gravity.

A lot like gravity.

Force

Hey Gang!

I recently had the privilege of being the best man for my closest friend of nearly 15 years. I wanted to share the speech I wrote. I wrote it because it rang true about he and his wife from my point of view. When I was done with it, I wanted to share it with my gang because I think it is really about what we all want at the end of our story. What follows is the original words I used, with errors, I am sure. I hope you enjoy.

*****

Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I love storytelling in any form. I love reading them in books and telling some of my own. However, my favorite story isn’t my story but I will tell it anyway.

I don’t want to take up all of your time because, ya know, open bar but it is a story about a boy and a girl.

The boy was a bit of a troublemaker some 15 years ago when I first met him. We had our own adventures for a long time. We grew up together.

Eventually, the boy went to college here at ISU. We would talk every once in a while and he told me about these amazing characters who sit around me at this table and in this room now.

However, he would frequently tell me about this girl. He always talked about how funny she was and how she was like his best friend. I remember the first time I talked to the girl, it was over the phone while they were at Goodwill and found a picture that be known as T-bear for years. I knew then that this girl meant a lot to my friend.

Years pass and their friendship grew. Like any good story there were the ups and downs, the will they or won’t they get together moments.

Spoiler alert: they did.

They loved each other but then they fell in love. They were in love across town, they we in love from city to city, and their love spanned hundreds of miles to Georgia.

Like any good story, the boy too a leap by writing a few words on an egg.*

Now, we are here and the boy and girl are together as man and wife.

This isn’t the end of my favorite story however, it is just the end of that first book in a series of books.

Like any good story, there is a moral her. And I believe it is this:

There is a pretty famous book that says “love is patient, love is kind” but I think there is something more here. Robert Frost said he took the road less travelled and it made all the difference.

These two unintentionally took all of the right turns, out of billions of turns, to get to one another.

You can call that fate, or serendipity, or kismet. But I like to think there was something more there. A force that made them naturally drawn together. That had to be in each others’ space, in each others’ orbit.

These two people are together and bound with love. I think the moral of the story is that love is a lot like gravity. It cannot be denied. When it happens, you can’t fight it, you just have to fall.

So please, raise your glass with me as I make a toast. To gravity, to love, and to my two favorite characters.

Cheers!

*****

I hope you enjoyed. I got a lot of thank you afterward. Many told me that they cried during it, which was not my intention. I wanted to get across the idea of love being something that is hard to define, merely experienced.

I hope you have experienced gravity such as this as well.

-Chris

*Author’s Note: The words on the egg is a reference to how he proposed. It was on, or near, their first Easter living together. They were coloring eggs and he showed her the one he was working on that read: “Marry Me?” I know, it sounds too good to be true but that is how it went down. As I said, my favorite story.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Ass In The Field

The Ass In The Field

Pinwheel, Mallorca, Metal, Wheel, Wind, Wind Energy

Hey Gang!

I was driving home and listening to music at an unreasonably high volume this weekend. I saw multiple things around me that caught my attention: I saw a woman picking her nose, a flock of geese narrowly miss a semi, and the poor mangled body of an old deer. I saw these things and really took no notice expect if they were funny, sad, or cringe-worthy but there was one thing that stood out so strangely to me that I have been holding on to it for the past few days.

I looked to my right and there was this small farm. A large, gated pasture was on the hill as it sloped down beyond the horizon. The sun was setting and it gave the verdant grass a shimmer that was breathtaking. Patched with white and brown, cows grazed looking in different areas. They all had their backs turned towards one central character: an ass, or donkey for the lay person. The ass stood there completely still. His statuesque nature bewildered me. What was he doing there? Among the sea of cows where they took no notice, what was he to gain from being there?

I went home and began helping my mother with moving. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her arm. I called 911 and they took her to the hospital, which brings me back to the days when hospital visits were an everyday occurrence for me. That same sterile smell, the back hall conversations nurses have that you overhear, the way nurses chew their gum like rabbits chew their cud. It was all so similar, yet different.

I sat with my aunt while my mother wept from pain. I tried to be there for her but she has become so different from the woman who told me not to cry when I get hurt, to be tough. Now she is so fragile and I realize that maybe we are who we pretend to be to others but in our depths that surface when pain and pleasure are at stake are the realities.

I wonder when I will break as my aunt yammers on about her issues. It is a repetitive damning thing to visit with her. It is hell at its finest as she repeats the same story over the past five years: My cousin is in treatment for another breakdown, he has tried [insert highly addictive drug of choice here] and is now unable to control his bipolar, she is having a nervous breakdown because he doesn’t think about her and her feelings, her body aches, she is a godsend, she helps everyone, she is a martyr, she is going to have a seizure, she forgets to have a seizure, she lies, she cons, she is.

Afterwards we come back to the city where I currently am and it is a major ordeal. My mother is high on pain meds and wants to drive, my aunt is upset because I won’t chauffer her around the middle of the state to get my cousin as well as drive her to my mother’s new house. My aunt becomes huffy. My mother cries out in pain, my aunt somehow becomes ill as well. She has an asthma attack and begins to dry heave because a breeze blew, or something of that nature.

I finally get home and Eleanor Rigby, my puppy, has violently chewed on my shoes, Blu-ray of “Funny People” and “Where The Wild Things Are”, and somehow managed to turn the house into a disaster area. I believe I saw a guy from FEMA in my back room but I can’t be sure.

The funny thing about “Funny People” is that it was about people who were funny not being funny. People that are supposed to be one thing but violate our expectations and act like someone other than whom we thought they were: funny people.

I get my mother to lay down and she drifts to sleep. I go to my room as well and begin to drift, but I have a realization. I am an ass, probably in more sense than I mean here. I am not an ass, I am THE ass. The one in the field. I get why he was unnoticed by the cows and didn’t do as the cows do. It was because he realized that they do cow things and he was an ass. However, what is an ass to do when there are no other asses around. What happens when an ass is surrounded by cows?

You stand still.

You stand alone.

You think.

You drift.

You lament.

You realize that you completely and wholly exist but outside of this fenced in yard with all the cows that graze.

You just are.

In the middle of the weres and going-to-bes, you just are.

-Chris

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Fabulous Damned (Part 2)

The Fabulous Damned (Part 2)

We are all high.

I think there is a truth about myself and about some others. I would like to think, to some degree, that this is true about everyone. I believe we all want to be natural disasters. We want to be seen as beautiful and ethereal and monstrous at the same time. Ladies, call a fella a ‘big teddy bear’ or some other simile. Gentlemen, call a woman ‘dude’ or ‘man’. These terms set us away from that goal of what we want to be. This is not what I want. Cute names and checking boxes on Facebook delineating our relationship status are far from the perfect, proverbial “one”.

This is far from what we want, I believe. We want what the movies refuse to show. Reality. The fact is, we all want to be beautiful and flawed to someone. No god or goddess. We want to be more than an object or a sedative. Who gets high on us?

I think some people, I finally see this in me, want to be the destroyer and the destroyed. The haunter and the haunted. We crave relief from the banality of Netflix and idle conversation. We want someone with the power to destroy us…but doesn’t.

Why? Why would someone with all this power over you not destroy what you have built? Such power is infectious and dangerous.

So, why?

I believe the answer is because they would destroy themselves. You have as much of that “power” over them as they of you. This symbiotic beauty with breaking and regenerating becomes its own drug . After a while these static things: food, sleep, making others feel so that you can, the ability to emote again; all of that fades. Finally, the chasm fades and you are left with two entities that blessed and cursed with each other. That is what it means to find the one in my eyes. When you realize how much it would destroy you if they left and how much you would destroy them if you did the same.

We believe this does not exist but I still sit at my table. I see all of the patrons around me and I know I am impatient but I still wait. I will always wait until she comes. My great disaster sitting before me.

For those whom this resonates with, you know this all too well.

We are damned to wait. Damned to yearn. Damned to wither without it.

Behold, the Fabulous Damned!

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Modern Ape

Image

Hey Gang!

There are three things that one must accept in this world. 1. Sharks are the perfect predators, swim accordingly; 2. Dolphins are able to notice their own reflections, one of two which includes humans.; 3. We are, be you creationist or evolutionist or evolution-creationists, all just animals. We are beautiful, flawed creatures that are incredibly close to the things around us. We go to higher education and think that that somehow makes us better off than the box jellyfish. This fact is actually quite amusing because, take away all of those niceties that we take for granted: shelter, electricity, friends and family; what you are left with is the complete sense that you are alone.

You are not alone.

FACT: Eating a banana is 50% cannibalism as we share about 50% of our DNA with the banana, which is actually a berry.

I bring this up because the other day I remembered something that I had forgot long ago. A simple theory that Nate and myself made years ago, when we were in our teens. I was reminded of it when I was at my desk, wholly frustrated with a project i was doing. Whenever I get frustrated, I play with my Rubik’s cube. I never really have the goal of solving the puzzle. For me, it is about the ability to clearly think one one thing. There is nothing more than the rotating, oscillating form in front of me. So, I almost jumped out of my seat when a deep, kind voice said, “There’s a video for that you know.”

I turned around and saw a lanky, tall man I knew to be a professor staring down at me with amused eyes. I laughed and said, “Yeah, no one will ever solve this thing.” (I say this in reference to an old film called “The Wedding Singer”, it does not compute).

“Yes, they have. I think there is a way to solve it,” he said as he pointed to my computer.

He truly meant to look it up. So, I appeased. We found a video with step-by-step directions and i must admit, the puzzle made sense. He laughed and I finally realized how stupid I felt. THE MAN HAD SOLVED IT MANY TIMES BEFORE! He knew how to solve it and basically walked me through the steps like a small child trying to learn how to ride the bike.

I was insulted and yet, I was elated.

I felt a jolt of excitement. He left but I started looking at the puzzle in a different way. It started to make sense.

FACT: Orcas have an additional portion on their brain that allows for the feeling of more emotions than humans.

A few moments later and I realized this feeling. It was primal. I am guessing this is how humans felt when Prometheus brought them fire. I realized, however, that my demeanor must have seemed archaic to someone who knew the puzzle. The design was there in front of them and I was this grand creature twisting and turning the pieces aimlessly. It must have been a funny sight. I felt like an ape who had just started to figure out what good a tool a club was.

I laughed pretty hard at that as I thought of myself like an ape making calls and hunched over on the ground. I imagined myself grunting at the puzzle when it did not turn out how I wanted it to.

This is when I remembered the theory of “Angry Hot”.

FACT: We too were once single celled organisms, for about half an hour, much like the Gromia sphaerica, or amoeba.

Nate and I contended that there are women out there so hot that it would actually cause you to go into a frenzy. So, attractive were these women that it caused men to go primal. This was a thought process of two 17 year olds but there is actually a precedent. Women are, in evolutionary theory, able to make men more primal. There is a hip to waist ration that women have (.07) that causes men to find them more fertile. The primal act of mating takes over and you get a truly attractive person eliciting a response from another animal. So, “Angry Hot” can happen when other males are around to contest the attention of the female. 

Are you bored yet?

Listen, all I am saying is, we truly are close to that primal self. The one that kept us alive in the cold winters and scorching summers. We are still animals.

FACT: We are made of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms. Hydrogen and helium began our universe, followed by carbon and then a supernova occured and spread out these elements. Every creature on earth has elements of these basic natures. Zinc, iron and more. These make us up and were brought to us by an exploding star. Thus, every creature on this planet is made of stars.

Animals, we are animals. We breath and we fight and we make tools. We do these things and we see ourselves as better than other animals. Yet, I am an animal, as are you. We are all animals yet we have no communal sense. Why hurt this animal or that animal? Why get pleasure out of pain? Why pass by a homeless person in need of help? Why hate another person for their beliefs, values, skin color, or disabilities? Why do all of these things to better your life? That is like poison for a species as amazing as the ones on this planet.

Be animals, not beasts.

We are animals but we, every entity from the cold-blooded to the warm-blooded to the photosynthetic, are made of the same things that bind us together.

Us modern apes, we are all made of stars.

 

-Chris

PS- Good to be back! Hope you enjoyed it!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Universes, part II

 

 (Hey Gang! This is a post that is from another blog that I write for a newspaper’s website. It was unfortunately censored. I decided that I would uncensor it and publish it here.)

I sit here now, talking my brother out of making me into an incidental chat roulette star while I type. I think about a conversation I had a day or two ago. It had to do with meeting women. A friend was talking about hooking up with someone downtown and how he was going to wear this shirt and tell this lie, or that lie. It was beyond me because I have come to the conclusion that nothing awesome ever comes out of downtown.

How many individuals have found “the one” while grinding?

How many have found their soul mate while jersey turn-piking?

How many have found Mr./Mrs. Right white “dropping it like it’s hot”?

My guess, not a lot.

That is one thing you learn with age. You actually want more than a crazy story and one night stand. Conversation because increasingly more of an attractive trait in someone. You begin looking for those people, not in clubs, but in your favorite places. People who share some common interest with you and it is visible. Sometimes you do meet someone and there is a click, mentally more than physically. You may get their number or just hope to see them again but there is always that part of you that is hopeful. More than attraction. Optimism in an emotion. Embodied in something that is not soaked in alcohol or other things.

I remember thinking how great it would be to strike up some kind of conversation with someone at this Laundromat or while walking around Barnes and Noble. Something where you relate on another level. Outside of school or bars or clubs. Outside of your world. Your universe colliding with another. That journey outside of yourself in another is a beautiful thing, I believe.

Your friends may talk about their latest conquest but you have that moment. That one moment when everything was in its place and you met someone, out of billions, that made you stop and give up your time willingly. They gave theirs. It became time for you both. The person may not be the one but they mean more to you in that moment than a night at the club. Being present with someone can be an incredible thing, if you give in to it. Take your headphones out and put the phone away. Pay attention to those around you because they may be paying attention to you.

I may be a hopeless, I would prefer hopeful, romantic but it is truly incredible to meet someone organically and in a place where no one is desperate or intoxicated.

A place of chance.

A place where two people met by random happenstance.

A place where universes collide.

-Chris

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Forget Yourself

https://i0.wp.com/ak9.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2996197/preview/stock-footage-subdued-lighting-and-tight-focus-on-the-hands-of-a-cellist-in-action.jpg

 

 

Hey Gang!

So, I have been bogged down with taking notes on the textbook that I will be teaching to students this year. It was a terribly dull and arduous four days of taking in-depth notes but i feel as if I could teach speech to great white sharks in a volcano! (can you imagine?)

While doing this is beneficial, it is also quite dull and sucks the creativity out of me. So, I felt uninspired to write. I did take breaks in between to play my bass. I would play around on the strings as I thumped the E string, emitting a beautiful, warm thud that dissipated. I played strings erroneously.

Then, I moved into my old default: Pixies- “Where Is My Mind”. It was the first song that I learned to play and it has always been my go-to song whenever I need to think. My hands, knowing the song all too well, move on their own. They play the opening warm melody and in my head I can hear Kim’s high, angelic voice ooo-ing.

Then I started to remember a conversation that I had via text with one of my best friends. We started talking earlier in the day about perspective. I told him that I was feeling so much better because I was back at school. I felt like I had purpose again. A place. Something was new.

He told me what I had assumed for a long while. He felt alone and was feeling unambitious as well in his austere lifestyle in the military. I couldn’t blame him.

I kept playing as I thought about that conversation and it gave me this mental picture. I usually try to think of things as analogous and metaphorical as possible. It helps me visualize a problem or an event. I guess it is just the way that I am wired.

I saw this boat drifting in the darkness. Rain poured down and the ocean swelled as wave after wave crashed upon the darkened vessel. It bowed and tilted under the stress of the ocean as it went along aimlessly in the mercy of the environment. Then, ahead of the vessel was a beacon. Bright and warm as it beckoned the vessel back to shore.

For some reason, I just started playing notes on my bass and eventually came up with a song that I entitled “Beacon”. I sent the rough recording to him and he seemed to enjoy it. I hope it made his day a bit better. Maybe he even got a bit inspired to play a bit or pick up a pencil to draw again. Either way, I hope it helped.

This got me to think of the past year and the amazing cast of characters that have stepped in and fallen out of my life in that duration. I remember talking to people and when I spoke of feeling insufficient; so much less than, they would usually have the same response but in different terms:

You need a girl.

I suppose the idea was if I were to be with someone or “be with someone” that my situation would be solved. That everything would be fine.  I see this a lot in the people I have met. Love, or the semblance of, is some sort of cure all band-aid for us. Love is the answer, the drug that satiates some sort of unexplainable hunger. Love is that part of us that needs to be filled for us to be full. To be a whole person.

I wondered for a while, during my little break between note-taking, about that idea. Should I have done that? Should I have just been with someone and let that preoccupy me?

Would I be whole?

Then I answered my own question when I thought about what I had just asked myself, should I let it preoccupy me. Thus meaning that somehow Love, with a capital L, would be a distraction from whatever was the real problem.

I feel like I talk about a lot of things on my blog when relating to relationships but I hardly ever talk about love. Maybe platonic but not romantic. Even if you read Clocks, you still only read about that closeness that I admire and would enjoy. Love is different and more complex than synchronicity.

I have never been in Love. Sounds great but just never has happened. Optimistic it will happen but what I do know about the subject is that it is not a bandage. It is an added attribute, not the prosthetic limb to “complete” me.

No, I know what I was looking for now. There are some things greater than love. They overthrow its throne, in my belief. They are what can take the ship from sea and what has been my goal all along.

The power of self-respect and self-efficacy.

These are what complete us. They complete me. That moment when you look in the mirror and know who you are is brilliant. It’s a symphony that exudes such delightful notes. It slips seamlessly from chord to chord, note to note. It plays a song unique to you.

It’s your song, now just to listen!

Once you understand yourself. Respect yourself. You can be open to the world that is truly beautiful. Let fall to the wayside those who try to break down what you have built in yourself. If you lose yourself, it is only you who can find you.

Hear your song and then, when you gain the power of self-respect and self-efficacy; when you know yourself, you can finally know how beautiful this all can be. The complexity of Love and pondering its meaning as a standalone entity and not a bandage. The revelations of just how close you can get to another when you are you. You are able to be present and live without regret because, in the end, you are doing what you know is true to you. You are true to yourself.

You finally see, with unfiltered eyes, the beauty that is life.

-Chris

 

 

I found this quote today that inspired this blog from one of my all-time favorite authors and playwrights and I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasure, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget Yourself.

– Henry Miller

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: