No Excuses

You gotta be kidding me, I haven’t posted in a little under a month. Lots of things have happened! Exciting things, terrifying things, sad things, happy things, and life-altering things. I’ll do a bullet list for simplicity’s sake:

  • ArtsWells: Five days of running around relatively unshowered, mingling with musicians, drinking in the gorgeous scenery and shows, and managing a crazy merch shop for volunteer hours. Free tickets, guys. I only got injured once (rebar dropped on foot: bruised, bloody, but not broken), and we ate delicious vegetarian feasts every day. So much food. So many good people. So little clothing. I want to go back.
  • The End of School: My exam that I wrote the night I got back from ArtsWells was….uneventful (and by “uneventful” I mean “off-the-cuff and chock-full of the finest bullshit academia has ever seen). My other two classes were AWESOME. I aced my big papers, killed the finals, and generally was awesome. I made a thank-you card for that professor: should have taken photo, ’cause it was pretty sweet.
  • ArtsWells Recovery: It was difficult. It was. All I wanted was coffee and a hug. Every five minutes. Also a strange aversion to showering regularly, and a affinity for office dance parties to the $97 of merch CD’s I bought. Well, there were poetry books and a poster, too, but…
  • Piercings/Armageddon: I went and got my daith and tragus pierced on my left ear. As I’m still living at home (at twenty years old, not too shameful), I had hoped my parents would understand that I had pierced my ear (again) for some very personal reasons, but unfortunately, that was not the case. It was a ‘take them out, or get out of their house’ situation. So it’s back to the drawing board. I’ll be removing them tomorrow, a week after getting them done, in the interest of keeping a roof over my head. Pragmatism, guys.
  • Timeline for the Future: This leads into my next trick, moving out. It’s a thing that’s needed to happen for a while, but tensions are varying levels of high in my parents’ house, and it’s time to start seriously thinking of starting out in  the world by my lonesome. My timeline thus far is: travel in spring (Thailand and New Zealand), return to set-up job, work all summer, and move out just before fall semester. To fund the travelling, I’m hoping to get a job at the bookstore in my university for next semester, as they pay nice sums of money and work around your school schedule. I’m also going to be setting up an Etsy store and doing a few Christmas craft fairs to raise funds (and keep me creating). Wish me luck!
  • Bow ties: I made my fourth bow tie last week. I’ll post it as a project, but it’s real nice. I’ll be making another, for my dad’s birthday, tonight.
  • So how’s everyone out there? Have you been writing, creating, adventuring? I’ll be posting more often, in an effort to banish mood swings etcetera, because that shit’s no fun. Anyways. Keep being lovely. I love you all.

Love, Emily

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cotton milk

my mind is cotton batting
soft, bound by sleepy circumstance
and wooden window frames
through which a gentle sunset soaks
the shadows, steeped in soft light,
imbued with quiet morning milk.

© Emily Bragg 2013

When You Notice Me

I walk across each day not noticing people noticing me. Sure, I’ll notice the appreciative once-over from the guy on the bus when it’s too early for me to care that yes indeed my legs are still very much there, and I’ll notice the girl eyeing my tights as I pass her in the hall, but mostly ’cause I’m busy checking out her fantastic curves at the same time. But with most people, I don’t notice them noticing me.

I notice other people quite a lot. Friends, strangers, acquaintances. I notice their jawlines, cheekbones, how their hair falls just so across their eyebrows and brushes their forehead with a certain, quiet grace. I notice the girl standing in the Tim Horton’s lineup with the raucous auburn curls cascading down her shoulders, and I want to run my fingers through the corkscrews and soak up their warmth.

I notice socks, smiles, freckles. I notice eyes: pale, muddy, piercing, jewel-toned, clear, warm, endless, crinkled in laughter, half-asleep, studious. I notice hats, the colour and each specific dip and bow of their lips. I notice lipstick. I notice the delicate curve of collarbones and neck-pockets and hips and hands waving excitedly, soft hair curly hair long glorious wavy hair facial hair stubble eyelashes.

I notice the three birthmarks on the girl’s neck sitting beside me on the bus, like baby fingerprints dipped in molasses.

But when I notice you noticing the small dots on my neck, like some errant painter dipping burnt umber speckles across my skin, curving taut over my collarbone, hiding behind my ear, I notice you noticing me in quite a new way.

Your new eyes make my skin crackle.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Falling

I’m looking out the window and it’s raining
And I’m wishing I was out there with you
With life running down our cheeks;
Happiness increasing with each drop tracing across
And under our skin, setting our eyes afire with the knowledge
That I’ll never tire of your touch.

I want to stand on your toes, and step where you step
I want to arrange a time and place for your lips to meet mine
Over coffee, and maybe after they could take a walk.
I want to know you behind your smile.

I want to throw myself across the space between us and hold you,
Like there’s a time limit for the idea of us
But we’re slowing down the clock so that each second
Seems like an hour.

And every hour I spend with you is like
An injection of peace
And every second I spend away from you
Is like a lease, like a debt I can’t repay, like time is a bank vault
Locking each moment of aching loneliness away.

And I know sometimes I get worried,
Worried that I’ve said too much and you’ll start avoiding me
Worried that I’ve drowned your affection in my own;
Too late for resuscitation or a loan of
Breath from my lungs.

But it’s a transient state of disquiet that evaporates
Like the steam on the bathroom mirror in which I traced the words
‘I love you’.
We might end. But I hope to skies of spirits
That it isn’t soon.

Because this ancient emotion feels like a revelation,
And I’m reevaluating my diction into the words that lovers use.

And this sensation confuses me, because I’m not used to
This carved out hole in the side of me
That marks your absence;
I’m not accustomed to finding want in solitude;
But I could exist with you for days and days and find myself missing you
If you left for an hour.

And this overpowering awareness of the space where you could be
Is like trying to ignore an addiction, it’s a contradiction
To all that’s glorious and free.

Over time, I’ve learned cynicism to be the best ism to follow when falling in love,
But my surety is slowly eroding away, the cracks filled by fidelity
And the solemnity of ascending to something higher
And sweeter than anything I would have ever known to dream of
Before you.

I want to thank you
For making me feel like a live wire cut from a telephone pole when you’re around me,
For making each brush of your lips a story,
For making each page of each story full of suspense, without
Common sense or inhibitions,
Without definition of boundaries or conditions
Each intermission filled with reverence
And only the position of hands on the clock can bring us back to reality.

There are times when I wish I could plot each point
Charting a voyage from your thoughts to mine
Running a ruler across a map of cerebral connections
Just to find out what you’re thinking.

But I know that silence can be beautiful,
Because silence with you is often unusual,
Crystalline in its perfection
Every moment a reflection of quieted passion rippling from our bodies,
Breathing in harmony with understanding
Falling in tandem into something deeper than expected.

And I know alone is okay,
But somehow alone is just an echo
Of being with you.

I wrote this ages ago, during the first few months of my now-almost-two-year relationship with my love. Everything was such an incredible revelation, I can still conjure up the intense feelings that I tried so hard to put into words. This is meant to be spoken; whisper it to yourself. If you have this, rejoice. If you don’t, wait; it will come to you.

© Emily Bragg 2013