Hi. It’s late.
Today I did a couple things. I listened to Owl City’s 2009 album Ocean Eyes and discovered that, in fact, “The Bird and the Worm” still makes me cry a teeny tiny bit, and I also discovered that I still love “Vanilla Twilight” as much as I ever did, and I have decided that it is one of the greatest introvert love songs to ever exist, and I found myself missing the days when I used to stalk the hell out of Adam Young’s old blog and realized that I do some of the same kind of ramblings.
Brief pause after reading some of Adam Young’s new bloggings: Yup.
Brief pause after further reading: He just used the word ‘fantastiska.’ I don’t know if he knows that’s a real word in Swedish but I have a case of the 1 a.m. need-to-brush-my-teeth-and-go-to-bed fangirls.
So that’s where I’m at right now.
Update: I’m four pages from the end of the archive and I found a poem he copied that has haunted me to this day.
Here you go.
There was a time when I could fly. I swear it.
If I think hard enough for a moment,
I can even tell you the year.
My room was on the ground floor at the rear of the house.
My bed faced a window.
Night after night I lay on my bed and willed myself to fly.
It was hard work, I can tell you.
Sometimes I lay perfectly still for an hour before I felt
my body rising from the bed.
I rose slowly, slowly until I floated three or four feet
above the floor.
Then, with a kind of swimming motion, I propelled myself
toward the window.
Outside, I rose higher and higher, above the pasture fence,
above the clothesline, above the dark, haunted trees
beyond the pasture.
And, all the time, I heard the music of flutes.
It seemed the wind made this music.
And sometimes there were voices singing.
AND I FOUND IT THE PIECE OF LITERATURE WHICH OBSESSED ME WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN (and still does by mere virtue of having forgotten to find it again for so many years, and also by virtue of having been found at one a.m. when I haven’t yet brushed my teeth or turned the lights off like I told my parents I would)
Here this is it.
I love Adam Young. I forgot how much. Thank you, universe, for bringing me back to him now. (And thank you, internet, for making the deep memories of poetic nothing that obsessed me as a young teenager reaccessible in the archives of a Tumblr.)
“The more I think about it, the more I’ll bet that things like these happen all the time and none of us know about it.”
It’s one a.m. here and the laundry still tumbles in the dryer. I’m driving back to school tomorrow, alone, with my family’s big green car filled with my odds and ends – the bag of Swedish fish from my friend that I can’t eat yet because I got my wisdom teeth out last week, the jars of soup from tonight’s dinner my mom sent with me because my eyes lit up at the prospect of buying my own bread on purpose to eat with it, books and clothes and leftover Christmas chocolate, my study abroad forms, a damaged copy of The Other Side of the Sun. I need to make my saltwater mix, rinse the holes where my wisdom teeth used to be and go to bed, but I’m still reading.
(I’m drawing from Adam Young again.)
I find myself imagining that maybe I will one day create an Anthology of Beautiful Words and include in it everything I think is worth reading again and again – like the passage that begins “For he has the territory of harmonicas” in e. e. cummings’ The Enormous Room or the descriptions of Yuri and Lara’s desperate, habitual love in Doctor Zhivago or the Alden Nowlan poem two paragraphs up from here. Or lines from an Owl City song.
That’s the thing, I think – the thing that beauty is pervasive, but not insistent, present, but not stifling, everywhere, but not obvious. Beauty understands nuance. The name Green Bay is beautiful. Soup and bread for dinner is beautiful. The word haunt is beautiful. Other people’s headlights while driving are beautiful. The lack of synonyms in Nordic languages is beautiful – and the abundance of synonyms in English is beautiful. Lovely thick sweaters are beautiful. So much is beautiful.
I’ve been struggling a bit lately with bad moods and bad meds and uncomfortable teeth, but I am reveling in this reminder that songs and books and loaves of bread and last-minute Hail Marys on fourth down with a minute to go in the game are beautiful, and that I can enjoy it. Good things are everywhere.