a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...

she likes: making kites, dancing in the rain, adventures, little-while friends, letters, whole-leaf tea, crayons, bare feet, jumping in rivers/streams/creeks/waterfalls, language, catching the clock as it changes numbers, sleepovers, trains (big or small), cuddling & waking up before the sun rises, among other random things.

oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.

Monday, June 25, 2007

little boxes

-you/re a hopeless romantic, aren/t you? he said.
i didn/t respond. i smiled wider & moved closer to the night sky.

little boxes. in the states, we put ourselves in these little boxes. whether categories or cliches or interest groups. we go to college to study, we try to fit square concepts into round holes, but we all come out the same. we box our clutter, our knicks & knacks, our identities & we move to the confines of four more walls.

i stepped onto a box this morning. an oblong box with oblong windows. i held her hand as the ground beneath us shook & we breathed in deeper with the realization that we all share the same sky.

we crossed the pacific, chasing the sun. watched him rise for three hours straight. i was scared the beauty would fade, that after staring so long i/d become colourblind to the bleeding of the horizon. but then i remembered. i/m a hopeless romantic & my love for an honest sunrise will never fade.

[the sunrise from the plane]

[valerie watching the sun rise]

[again, the sun rising.]

children. sometimes i envision my life, a giant oak standing majestically at the top of a rolling hill. each twisted branch a possibility. i can see a lot of lives of mine, but none of them are without the laughter of children. two boys, fascinated by tennis balls. i watch their eyes light up as she shows them the secret of what/s inside. just rocks & beads, but to them, it/s magic. they sit in the row behind us on the plane. the little one runs carefree throughout the cabin, giggling secrets to himself. he has only one sock. his older brother is missing teeth. they both smile with their eyes.

[val befriended some kids in the airport who were fascinated with the rock-and-bead-filled tennis balls we use for juggling. the were amused for hours.]

[the same kids were near us on the flight & came to entertain us a few times.]

we start our descent. the clouds are the cotton balls & marshmallows my mother described as i drifted off to sleep as a child.

i miss her touch. i can see the change on the cusp of the wing outside our window. i reach to touch it, to feel it mold me, melt me, transform me. but there/s steel & glass between us. i/ve put myself into yet another box & it/s hard to believe what i can make out through the scratched panes is real.

for some reason i thought it would feel different. more visceral. more real. we land with no problems. we snap hurried shots of the flight attendants in their emerald suits, their spring-tight buns, their pasted smiles.
[me with the flight attendants]

their kindness seems genuine but in this foreign air it/s hard not to confuse with formality. they teach us how to count to three. we repeat, broken whispers & then it/s gone. language is such a fickle thing.

it/s early here. not quite yet six when we file through yet another security check. what is this obsession with the illusion of safety? we remove our shoes, we risk dehydration, we follow each proposterous rule & regulation. is it really to keep us free? with our thirst for freedom are we not imprisoning ourselves? boxes. circles. trains. a bowl of smooth brown wood.

waiting. we sit & wait. to file like sheep into yet another oblong box.

[the first oblong box. seattle to taipei.]

to search for comfort within four more walls indistinguishable from the ones we attempted to escape back home. i/m not sure whether to laugh or cry. i think about how far away from everyone i love i am & i lean towards the latter. but everyone here around me seems so happy. is it just a formality? instead i sit, unsure & uneasy & wait with the others. still young. still unwhole. still imperfect & still ready to be changed. i close my eyes & breathe deep. the hopeless romantic in me finds peace. no matter the distance or the differences, i know that when our eyes close we are all the same.

[the world passport gang, seattle division, waiting in the airport in taipei for our connecting flight to kaohsiung.]


pop_pop_pop said...

Wow. You are one helluva writer Miss Chelsea Elizabeth. We miss you across the pond, and hope you are well and having the time of your life. Write more soon. We want to hear the rest of the story.

Your loving (and Corny) Dad,
"Pop Pop Pop"

Anonymous said...

simply exhilarating...miss chelsea

Rose said...

i love when you write. it's all truth. i hope you are safe and having lots of adventures. virtual hug and kiss.

jonny boy said...

hey chels, just popping my brain into yours, beautiful writing and I wish I had that ability to get across some of my feelings when i traveled. Truth about the boxes tho, what if we all lived in circles?? of just 2D line?
missing you and wishing you the best
much love