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the eighty-ninth key

…to a body beauty and to a soul wisdom and to an action virtue and to speech truth, but their opposites are unbefitting.




I love powerlines. I photograph them at any opportunity (the pictures above are from my Instagram). Rather, better put- I love lots of things, and powerlines are one of them. I love the sound of trains. I love falling asleep in the car. I love peppermint tea with honey, the way raw string beans snap when you eat them, and long, hot showers. I know, recognise, and acknowledge that many people would say ‘love’ is far too strong of an emotion to assign to these things, these little loves, mis amorcitos. But I am also absolutely certain that it’s a disservice to simply describe them by the word ‘like’.

These little loves tie me to the familiar, tuck me in at night. More than that, they break the monotony. Possibly the downside to the way my processors run is that there is a certain white noise to living. My brain flies at a million miles a minute, rarely taking pause. The little things that catch me are often literally breathtaking to me, even if they don’t seem outwardly remarkable for any particular reason. They’re the perk of when other things blur, of when my memory eludes me of months at a time, of when I mix up details and make them up to fill in the gaps. They act as catalysts. They pull the lynchpin and give me a moment of REAL.

Snow Patrol has a somewhat creepy teenage romance song called “Spitting Games” that I am absolutely in love with. Some of the lyrics in it are spot on about the relative beauty of these momentary fixations:

But after that the floodgates opened up
And I fell in love with everyone I saw
Please take your time I’m not in any rush
And it’s in everything I ever write

-Snow Patrol, “Spitting Games” (in at 2:00)

A close friend called me out the other day on my habit of writing the world in a very romantic way. She jokingly challenged me that I could probably romanticize anything if I tried. The truth of it all is that I earnestly see so many situations in such light. I could possibly trace it so some strange psychological quirk, or at least anchor it in a measurable shift of dopamine or serotonin inside my skull. But regardless, the symptom is unchanged- these beautiful little loves that ‘open the floodgates’ and inspire such a glow to the world.

My father has a mantra: “change is the only constant”- but these are constants too, amidst and despite the change. I still love holding hands. I love good eggs and toast. I love train tracks, I love tendrils on grapevines and rows where plants line up in groves. I love architectural crosshatching on bridges and high ceilings, and I love not sleeping alone. I love collecting quotes, everything about Aaron Sorkin’s TV shows, and listening to a very certain list of incredible music through good headphones.

I remember the first time I learned the word “submerge” for an elementary school vocabulary list, and how over the course of the coming weeks I said it a million times in my mind, smiling at its conveyance, at its sounds. I found a way to include it in stories and journals, even through high school, with words like “fluctuate” and “immerse” and “ineffable”. When I would read poetry, of my own writing or others’, I learned to hold the words in my mouth, taste them, love the way they fit in my teeth and against my tongue. Words, moments, fleeting images, and symbols alike- these are things I keep in my pocket. They are my constant, not secret but not flaunted, like a smooth found pebble one holds for luck: portals to a place of peace.


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