BY maygen

02/01 Direct Link
there will be time
and there will be time
for faces
and sounds.
There will be choices,
Rubicon steps and idle decisions.

Teacups, mountains,
Poetry and airplanes,
Drive thru milkshakes, jewels and crowns
Cosmic explosions and secret midnight conversation.

will there be time
and space
and room
[and will?]
to dazzle all the world

there will be time
there will be time
for those beside, behind, beyond.
02/02 Direct Link
In this life[ye[d[moment]ay]ar]time
There's fear, hope, growth, & joy

In this moment
If I can close my eyes
and take a breath
everything is okay

In this day
If I can make it to tomorrow
with a smile,
it is an accomplishment

In this year
If I become more of who I want to be
Then I can look behind
[and move forward]
without regret

In this lifetime
There's just too much and never enough.
02/03 Direct Link
It's been a while, I guess,
since we last met.
You look different-
[so similar]
but different still.

It's the good kind of change,
can't pinpoint it precisely.
But you glow,
(just a little brighter).

It makes me smile-
you as well, I can see -
it creeps across your face.
Don't dwell, it's just a comment
(a compliment, if you'll take it).

Now, I know you're busy,
can't stop to chat.
But it was quite nice
to see you again.
02/04 Direct Link
The past weekend away from campus was a handful of firsts. The first trip I've taken this semester. The first time I've ever flown completely on my own. The first time I got to meet my family in Wales (not to mention the first time I've been to Wales). It was a taste of what I hope the rest of my time in Europe holds. A test of my own ability to figure things out (that I can actually get where I intend). Finally, the first time that getting back to campus actually felt familiar. Not home, but close enough.
02/05 Direct Link
Packing to leave for the second time is easier. There's very few things I actually need. Good company and a wonderful city should be enough (and I suppose a place to sleep is just an added bonus). Everything else will work itself out. And if it doesn't, that's alright too. Maybe twenty four hours from now I'll be kicking myself for forgetting an extra sweater. That'll pass. I'm getting used to living out of a backpack and it's kind of nice. In the grand scheme of things, four days is absolutely nothing and we'll make it back somehow (I hope).
02/06 Direct Link
Periclimenes colemani - or rather (to some), the Coleman shrimp - are the undersea masters of disguise. In the constant movement and hustle of coral reefs, they blend in seamlessly. With a spotted skin of purple and yellow (complementary colors, but of course), they can play the role of a piece of it all. They can fit in with the dazzling, with the flashy, with the beautiful, practically become it themselves. In fact, it takes trained expert biologists to pick them out of the flora and fauna of the reefs. Upon first glance, very few would notice the difference.
02/07 Direct Link
But Periclimenes colemani (it may prefer the use of its proper name, don't you think?) is not the reef. It never has and never will be. That's fine, better even, as long as we take note and remember such facts.
We can't tell if Periclimenes colemani is happy in the reef or if, given the opportunity (and ability), it would go somewhere else. Perhaps Periclimenes colemani would prefer a quiet Nook (I can't imagine that it has ever been asked) within a nook.

But after all, isn't it just a shrimp?
02/08 Direct Link
What is something you and your spouse or best friend have in common?

I have no idea what Sarah and I have in common. Besides the fact that together we have the most ridiculous, nonsensical, and unforgettable memories. Of my high school friends, she's the one I met most recently but she knows me better than almost anyone. She's the outgoing one, she pushes me to do things I might normally not. She calls me out on my bullshit but is there at any moment, despite living in different states and continents for the past 3 years.
02/09 Direct Link
What's something good in your life you've had to wait for in order to have?
I would be a complete liar if I said anything to suggest that the past 21 years were anything but good. I've got a wonderful family, friends I love, a home I adore. But only in the past few years do I think I've gained the confidence that's made me an adult. My professor, Dora Goss wrote a wonderful blog post on "Becoming That Woman". Becoming the person you used to envy without ever realizing that you're in the process of becoming her yourself.
02/10 Direct Link
I didn't understand Jenny, not really, for most of our lives. When we were little we were often mistaken for twins- just slightly differing in hair color, her with golden brown as opposed to me with a dark deep brown- but couldn't have been more different. For example, when shopping with Mom she often made a deal: for every book that Jenny read she could pick out a piece of clothing. However, every time I would (unwillingly) pick out an outfit, I could get a new book. I couldn't understand her priorities, nor her mine.

02/11 Direct Link
Even at our worst, we could always pull through when we needed to stick together. When we would get in trouble for fighting we would send "secret" messages slipped under our doors. Teaming up against or parents was the ultimate motivation to get along. I never realized certain aspects of our relationship until Mom went back to work. I was in middle school and leaving earlier in the mornings. Being home with our morning babysitter and then going to school without me made it hard on her. Despite her protests, she wanted me there and I liked being with her.
02/12 Direct Link
Mrs. Johann took points off my spelling test in first grade because I spelled "color" as "colour". I also spelled "fairy" as "faerie" because I read books that took place in England (silly me, learning from the books I read). As a shy first grader, I took the marks off without fight, but quiet disappointment (I was quite used to perfect spelling tests). Now, I flip between "internationalization" and "internationalisation". There's no pleasing everyone. But now I know I'm not wrong. To many people and many European first-graders, they're precisely right. It's all relative, Mrs. Johann.
02/13 Direct Link
If we split life into chapters rather than years, how far in my book would I be? Maybe the past twenty one years (and a quarter, which may or may not matter) would take up half the book, with hundreds of pages detailing amazing accomplishments (somehow this seems unlikely). Or maybe it'd be a single chapter. But would this be the worst thing? Maybe I've done so little that the details can be exhausted in a short narrative. But then, maybe it's not a comment on how little has mattered so far, but rather, how much is yet to come.
02/14 Direct Link
What if when they say tell me about yourself I didn't say finance major previous work in insurance looking to go into wealth management or possibly consulting. What if instead I said my oldest friends call me Mug because of a lame seventh grade joke and my dog sheds a lot but I love her anyway and my best childhood memories are from my granny and poppop's house before they moved because we made it into a clubhouse, a pirate ship, a forest. What if they asked that question and I gave that answer and then I just stopped talking.
02/15 Direct Link
And what if they then asked me where I see myself in the future and instead of MITMBACOLUMBIAETC I said I love school and kind of want to major in everything and that I would like to learn how to build cities and paint skyscrapers and also open a coffee shop bookstore and the bathroom of my bookshop will be painted the most magical turquoise and I'll collect hundred of coins from every currency and lay them down in intricate patterns or probably just randomly until the whole floor is a shining mosaic of coins and call it wealth management.
02/16 Direct Link
Yoga often teaches the importance of moderation, of maintaining balance in all aspects of life. For most of my life, I do believe I maintain this, but the past couple weeks have been the farthest from balance. We either go out all night or stay in, eat amazing food or toast, don't do any work for a week or write a paper in a night -an undulating cycle of ups and downs. It's been fun, that's for sure, but I don't think it's sustainable. But then, it's only a semester and I guess it's the time to live it up.
02/17 Direct Link
It was the luckiest, yet also most natural, thing that Jenny became my best friend. By the time I graduated I knew she'd be the one I'd miss the most. I should have known though, that regardless of distance she's the one I talk to most. Nobody can make me laugh quite the way she can, and certainly not through the most ridiculous jokes that I'm fairly certain nobody besides us finds entertaining. We're mistaken for twins again, but now based on the way we know what that other is thinking and our synchronicity (although the looks certainly contribute too).
02/18 Direct Link
I know she depends on me to vent, for school advice, for someone to do things first- college, internships etc. I couldn't count the number of essays I've proofread, the resumes I've reviewed, the friend/boyfriend drama I've been support for. But she doesn't realize how much I depend on her. She knows me better than anyone in the world. When I moved to Dublin my sister thought ahead enough to send me a tea kettle knowing that it would provide comfort. She left a hidden note I didn't find until weeks later at the point I needed it most.
02/19 Direct Link
It's quite lucky that we have so many infinities. Infinite stories that make up the epics, sorrow, and awe that is human history, and infinite perspectives to view this through. Infinite jokes told by infinite friends causing infinite laughs in infinite places. Infinite thoughts to think and ideas to learn. It's almost overwhelming, one could say, that one finite should be alone in it all. But then, somehow, all these individual finites somehow make it together to get something that matters just a bit, to at least a couple people.

02/20 Direct Link
Spring break is officially booked and I can't wait. Eight countries in twenty days, in a part of the world I've never explored. Eastern Europe is foreign to me and I can't wait to explore every part of it (at least as much as possible). I'll be without anyone I know for the better part of three weeks, and it'll be a challenge, but it is necessary. I'm not looking for the easy path, but I do think I have an amazing plan. In less than two weeks, the trip of my life will begin. It doesn't even seem rea
02/21 Direct Link
Stories tend to favor the heroes, but the villains are often the most interesting. They're the ones who change the most throughout history, the ones that we want to know more about. Whether it be monsters, witches, vampires, shape shifters, or even other humans, they often have the most interesting history and reasons for why they are the way they are. Without them there would be less of a story to tell, after all. In countless retellings, we can see the way in which writers have examined them and shown their side of the story.

02/22 Direct Link
Vampires, a classic monster, can be tranced through literature for hundreds of years. As such a common character, it's astounding that nobody can seem to agree on the defining characteristics. There are some traits that do carry through - a preference of night over day, the habit of drinking blood, etc. However, some vampires are naturally nocturnal while others are physically incapable of standing in the sun. Some have a reflection while others do not. Some must be invited into a home while others are free to go. Each story teller can craft the vampire to fit the particular story.
02/23 Direct Link
Not only do traits change, but the backstories of individual monsters also differ throughout history. The wolf in the story of the three little pigs tells his own side in The True Story of the Three Little Pig . In the original story of the little mermaid, the Sea Witch offers her the option of killing the prince in exchange for her own life. In the Disney retelling, she's after the prince herself, and in the Broadway production, Ursula is the sister of the Sea King and is just seeking power all along. The same character can change drastically.
02/24 Direct Link
Considered perhaps the ultimate monster, the devil has made appearances in every form of story telling. From tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden, he's come in many forms. The Satan of Paradise Lost is almost charismatic, declaring it "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heavín." In the form of Mephistopheles, he's a trickster who convinces Faust to give up his soul for unlimited knowledge ( Faust ) yet in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus Mephistopheles is the servant of an even more powerful Lucifer. The figures of different cultures combine to tell new stories.
02/25 Direct Link
It raises the question - are monsters born or created? Sometimes vampire bites kill while other times they transform. Werewolf bites can do the same, Frankenstein's monster was a successful experiment and Satan was a fallen angel. However, we know Grendel of Beowolfhad a mother (a nasty one at that) and it can be assumed that Smaug of Middle Earth came from a line of dragons. Medusa is the daughter of two sea gods, and the Minotaur the son of a human queen and a bull. Dr. Jekyll is perhaps the worst - turing himself into the psychotic Hyde.
02/26 Direct Link
The femme fatale is an entirely new kind of monster. She draws people in rather than driving them away. From vampiress Camilla to the sirens, the idea of a monster that one wants to go to is even more terrifying. Usually heroes and heroines can at least rely on their own sense of self preservation (although I suppose heroines are less commonly the victims here), but to fight ones own will makes be struggle even greater. Even Medusa, not usually depicted as a beauty, has eyes that draw people in, only to freeze them in stone.

02/27 Direct Link
So what then of the people that create these monsters? Some originate from legends, but many are more modern. Humans create these creatures as if we're drawn to them-and in a way I guess we are. Are they the manifestation of fears and worries or simply characters imagined to tell a story? Ancient monsters may have served as an explanation for events not scientifically understood, but even with modern knowledge, so many of these characters continue to live through stories, film, and written word. We usually like to see them defeated, maybe to prove to ourselves that we can.
02/28 Direct Link
March is going to be big. March is going to be significant. Twenty days will be spent wandering around Europe with a single bag and a couple train tickets. I'll have a lot of time on my own, which I think is very, very good. I'm nervous but quite thrilled. At the end of this saga, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't all that long at all, I'll get to come home to a different type of reward. After a day of sleeping, dad and Jenny will arrive in Dublin and I'll get to show off my city.