My whole body aches. My neck, in particular, is sore from resting my head on the car window. And then… then I remember that I’m in Germany. I’m in Germany, traveling with some of my favorite people. The excitement wakes me up, and my exhaustion wanes slightly.
It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.
As the year wraps up, I hope you’ve braced yourselves for the onslaught of “year-in-review” and “2017 bashing” videos and posts coming your way from all sides this weekend. I’ll let the big news agencies and everyone else cover the heavy stuff.
Instead, I’ve taken a much more lighthearted approach. From January to December, here’s my year, summed up in 25 Facebook statuses. I went through all my posts from the last year and picked my favorites. Never forget, 2017 was the year that Starbucks dazzled us with unicorn frappuccinos, the Harry Potter series turned 20, and poop emoji’s are still a thing, leaving sociologists and cultural analysists with plenty of material for future research.
I’ve been gone for some time, and to be honest, I’ve really missed all of you! I feel somewhat guilty for just falling off the grid with no explanation…
So now I’m gonna do that thing bloggers do from time to time, when they feel they have horribly failed their audience. Every bad apology has a few lame excuses. Here are mine:
“Wait?! You weren’t born in Mexico? But your Spanish sounds so Mexican. You have that rhythm, that accent, that I associate with Mexicans,” a Colombian friend recently told me.
And there it was: exacting and persistent, unforgiving and conspicuous as ever. It neither cares for my schedule or my need for sleep.
There it was… that deep, familiar longing to write.
I’m afraid that wherever I go, words will always follow. They pester and annoy me until with not a few heavy sighs, I walk over to my desk and commit them to paper. Or well, you know, the fathomless depths of the internet, otherwise known as this blog.
Clearly, binge-watching Downton Abbey has taken a toll on my writing voice.
Here’s to my favorite character, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, who has all the best lines in the show:
Violet: “I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.”
Matthew: “But isn’t she American?”
— Violet, speaking to Cora and Matthew about Martha Levinson.
Brother: I read your blog about healthy eating. Those are my favorite kind, the ones that are short and relatable.
Me: Thanks for reading my blog. I don’t always know when you read it.
Brother: Yeah, the ones about swimming too, and the one about the beach.
Me: Beach? Which one are you talking about?
Brother: The one with the couple having sex on the beach.
Me: What? I didn’t write about that on my blog.
Brother: Yeah, yeah you did. And there were like Pokemon Go players too or something.
Me: Wait… Do you mean the story about the blind man and his wife at the marina, the one where she’s describing to him what she sees?
Brother: Yeah!!! That was the one.
Me: HAHAHAHA I can’t believe those were the two stories you mixed up.
Me: I mean, I did tell you a story about seeing people having sex on the beach. And I guess both stories involve water and a couple.
Brother: I’m sure they were at two very different stages of their relationship.
So yes, there was one time I saw a couple having sex on the beach. And no, I don’t mean the cocktail.
It happened about six months ago. They were on the side of a sand dune, right by the entrance to the beach. The audacity. It was a cold day. The beach wasn’t crowded, but people had still come out to see the sunset. Several people honked at them, others yelled, and a lucky few were oblivious to the live performance.
I had been a part of the few in ignorant bliss. That is, until my other brother told me, “Hey Evelyn, did you see that couple having sex over there?” Because that’s what you do when you see people having sex on a public beach:
You tell your little sister so she can be scarred for life.
If you liked this post and would like to keep up with Make the Welkin Dance on social media, please like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @WelkinDance. Who knows?!? You might even get free coffee! Okay, probably not from me, but each day carries the possibility of free coffee from somewhere…
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
America, The Beautiful Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates – 1913
Every now and then, my father will tell me a story about my grandfather that will surprise me. Like how he got shot once, fled on horseback, and even though he reached safety, the bullet was never taken out. It’s moments like that one when I realize my grandparents had a very different life than I do.
I tend to reflect a lot on my family history, mostly on the vast life differences between generations. I especially thought about this during my college graduation. As I sat on the metal chairs facing the commencement stage, among all the other graduates, I kept thinking: How did I get here?
Calvin: Why are you crying mom?
Mom: I’m cutting up an onion.
Calvin: It must be hard to cook if you anthrpomorphisize your vegetables.
― Bill Watterson,
One of my goals this summer is to learn how to cook healthier. Like most things in life, this is easier said than done, especially when my culinary knowledge is severely lacking (e.g. I can name more works by Charles Dickens than I can herbs and spices).
Thus, following a recipe takes a lot of private consulting with Google, YouTube, and my mother. I’ve been humbled through the process, often having to step out of my comfort zone of cereal and milk. And I mean that “stepping out part” literally; I’ve spent much more time walking around in a daze, up and down grocery store aisles in the search of strange, obscure ingredients.
In there, his silent words lived and breathed as stories. They could think and seek and grow and give off heat.
~Haruki Murakami The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Over the eucalyptus and behind the moon, the stars like silver pomegranates glimmered before an infinity of darkness. No wonder the angels had picked a place like this to exist.
~Helena Maria Viramontes Under the Feet of Jesus
Today, Make the Welkin Dance turns one!
Unfortunately, Denny’s only gives a free birthday grand slam breakfast to living, breathing human beings with I.D. cards. Sigh…
But at least I have all of you to celebrate with! (And now you have a viable excuse for eating ice cream cake today! Woo-hoo!)
One year of blogging might not sound like much, but I think it’s important to celebrate the little victories in life. When I started this blog a year ago, I didn’t realize how much I would experiment with form, humor, storytelling, and playing off authors I’m currently reading. And I’m excited to continue doing so! Ain’t that great.
For me, the joy of writing is never complete without an audience. My words can only come alive in your mind’s eye (that is, until I write a book and Hollywood knocks on my door). I hope this blog has been a delight to you as much as it has been for me. Thank you for reading and commenting on my posts! It seriously means so much to me! (so don’t stop.)
Today, I’m re-posting my very first blog post. Last year, I spent a lot of time fussing over what to name this blog. I’m glad I’m still a fan of what I chose, and I hope you are too after reading the story behind it.
But first… a little toast…
Here’s to recalling late night adventures in Buenos Aires (I Can Still Hear Them Chanting).
Here’s to thinking deeply and laughing often.
Here’s to making the welkin dance.
“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
A mockingbird has taken up residence in our neighborhood. I finally understand why Atticus had to tell people NOT to kill mockingbirds… you know, aside from all the literary and metaphorical implications, of course.
In case you’re either not familiar with the mockingbird’s cacophonous call, too lazy to look up bird calls on Google, or prefer my hyperbolic and hardly technical description, you should know that mockingbirds are nature’s car alarm salesmen (salebirds?). Every 5 to 10 seconds, they change their song:
Beeeeep, beep, beep, beeeeeep, beep, beep;
WEE-woo WEE-woo WEE-woo;
(in rapid succession) tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet;
awk awk AWWWWK awk awk AWWWK;
toot toot CHIRRRRP CHIRRRP;
chip yip yip chip…
Bird watchers, Harper Lee, and others are under the impression that this qualifies as “music.” And I guess I agree (if you’re using a very loose definition of music). It’s as the saying goes: one person’s squawking is another’s Justin Bieber.