Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear Paisley Rekdal read some of her work at the reading series at BYU. She is a poet and associate professor at the University of Utah. When she first got up to speak, I decided I liked her. Perhaps it was her cozy blue sweater with bell sleeves and a large cowl neck. Or her naturally simplistic look and beauty similar to Renee Zellweger. But then she read. She read poems and made jokes and mixed up her mind in explaining her motives. But it was her essays on divorce that caught my attention. The Book of My Husband. In the Beginning. It frightened me. Her words were so descriptive that I worried that I too would evolve into her state of feeling, the emotion and sadness. I felt a little uncomfortable. And scared. After she finished, I craved daily interactions that are informally impersonal. I wanted to read about her, chat with her, have lunch with her. I hesitated when Britt suggested we tell her we enjoyed the reading. And that we liked her sweater. I guess I’m not good with people. But she chattered on about where in Salt Lake she bought it, and how it was an impulse buy, and that she didn’t know if they’d still have them or not but it was a recent purchase so maybe they would. And then I hesitated to leave because I wanted her words to influence mine.

goodbye mike

I continue to stalk my wedding photographer Nick Adams. And he has been away from posting pictures on his blog for awhile. I was overjoyed to see an new picture when I clicked on the bookmarked link of my toolbar. “Goodbye Mike” the heading said, and a thumbnail of the sun in a blue sky with people sat below it. I clicked and read on. Mike was his friend who recently and tragically died. This picture encompassed all the thoughts and words and melancholy and friendship. I just stared at it – the beach, the heavens, the endless expanse of sky. And I loved it. It beautifully captures the sadness and hope of the scene. And one day, when I die, I hope it will be as lovely as this picture – respectfully mournful and yet hopeful too.

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