other bits of blog

Sunday, May 23, 2010

too tired to talk

Right now, I'm really tired. I just loaded on 200 photos to my computer and deleted 130 of them. Then I finished all my homework, practiced a very hard song with an out of tune piano, and now I'm here, writing.
Earlier today I went to a little party to celebrate my sister.
I practically followed Sadie and Rosie around, everywhere, clicking away on my camera. I ended up with 334 photos. Not kidding. I spent about 45 minutes deleting 100 of them, then an hour deleting more.
And on Friday I had a dance recital, and I'm still tired from that. Really tired.
So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I don't really want to talk right now. I'll post a couple pictures, and, of course, words. No, Words. Capital 'w'. As I said before, I don't want to talk, so, here goes...


The plane did land on that tiny strip of something that Jade couldn’t exactly call a runway, or even a road, for that matter. It was more like a dirt road. One of those back ‘roads’ that you see all the time in the country, Jade thought.
The runway-thing was somewhat, well, soggy. That was the best word Jade had for it. The somewhat paved (more dirt than anything else) road was wet with rain and—soggy. Jade could feel the small puddle-jumper that he was in sink into the ground as it landed on the packed, gravelly road.
Rain much around here? Jade thought. But the announcer was telling them all to gather their carry-on luggage and get ready to unboard the plane, and he didn’t answer his sarcastic question. Instead, Jade looked at his dad skeptically. ‘Unboard’ was not a word.
Ignoring the captain’s bad grammar, the passengers of the small plane collected all their belongings and tensed in their seats, ready to stand up and leave the tiny, claustrophobic space.
Jade got up slowly. He wasn’t eager to get of the small plane. He wanted to stay there. If he got off that meant he would have to live in the Amazon. It would mean it was really true.
So he decided to wait for a while, and let his mind go blank, for once. All he wanted to do was sit there, and never to get off the plane.
But his dad got up and tapped Jade’s shoulder. Jade suddenly felt a rope in his stomach that was tying itself into giant knots that would never be untangled, never. And his Adam’s apple was suddenly the size of a baseball in his throat. He choked on it, and felt his eyes go hot.
He tried to push away the tears, but it didn’t work. Little drops of liquid fire burned down his cheeks. Jade felt like the whole plane was watching him cry, and his face turned pink.
“Honey, are you okay?”
That was his dad. Jade couldn’t say anything, but he nodded, even though it wasn’t true.
Jade didn’t know exactly why he was crying. He knew that he missed his home and his friends and his pets terribly. He knew that he wouldn’t go back there for a long time. He knew that he would be living in the Amazon for that long time.
But most of all, Jade was disappointed at his parents for letting this happen. He had at least thought that when they were confronted with something like this, they would consider his opinion, but they didn’t even do that. He was angry with them, that was it. And he didn’t want to live in the Amazon Jungle, but now he had no choice.
Trying to stop the stinging flow, Jade lifted his arm with effort and wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his sweatshirt and stared ahead. He bent down and took hold of his backpack. Then, straightening his shoulders, Jade turned briskly and walked out of the plane onto the mud. His feet squelched and sunk in it, and he fought to stop more tears.
He looked out at his surroundings. Wet. More wet. And still more wet. It was all humid and hot and wet. There was a forest about six or seven miles away—visible only in the distance, if he squinted—and even that was insanely wet.
Focusing on the forest, Jade realized that it was his nightmare: the Amazon, with a thick branch of the Amazon River running through it, and through the mud and a small village close to the runway.
Jade sighed and mumbled, quietly reassuring himself that it would all be okay. But he knew it wouldn’t be.


He was jostled as the small amount of people bumped into him, trying to get onto the ground. They acted like they wanted to want to bruise and batter him, just to tell him that he would never leave. Maybe all they wanted to do was give him a welcome present—the best thing he would get on this journey.
“Come on, Jaybird, this’ll be fun!” his dad said, trying to convince Jade of something that, in Jade’s mind, couldn’t be changed. Jade only scowled at the use of his babyish nick-name, and said nothing.
They walked for what seemed hours through the vines on a small dirt path, but it was probably only Jade who thought it took that long. The walkway leading to the village was long and skinny, but the twelve or thirteen of the passengers endured. Jade looked down at his sluggish feet and sighed.
“Where are we?” he asked.
“Um…somewhere near Manaus, going toward a village called, hmm, I’m not very sure…” his mom answered.
“Mom! You don’t even know where we are?” Jade yelled.
“We’re in the Amazon Basin, okay?” Jade’s dad inerrupted, cutting off the fight. “Look, Jade, remember when we landed in a city to switch planes and stretch?”
Jade nodded. “Was that Man-ows?” he asked, mispronouncing the name.
“Yes, Jade, and right now we are going to a little village, Mura,” he said, looking at Jade’s mother, “near there.”
“Then we’ll find a guide and go into the rainforest via the river. He’ll help us set up a jungle home!” his mom said excitedly. “Oh, what an adventure it will be!”
Jade wholeheartedly disagreed.
About half an hour later, the party came to a village, Mura. It was very small, only seven tiny huts clustered together. Grubby children played with sticks in the dirt, while dark-skinned women were making some kind of meal. It looked more like gruel than anything else to Jade.
They all moved closer to the village, looking around as it started to get tropically hot. Jade was sweating profusely and had to take off his sweatshirt. As they walked, the villagers stopped what they were doing and turned toward their visitors.
In some Portuguese dialect, a tall man with feathers in his hair and only a loincloth covering him said something like ‘hello’. Jade thought it sounded a lot like the gibberish games he had played in his acting classes back home.
But his father, not even looking over the half-naked man, said, “Hello,” except it was in Portuguese or something, so that the man who seemed to be the head of this Mura place might under-stand him. Then Aden and the chief had a fast-moving conversation consisting mainly of words Jade didn’t know. Once they stopped, the headman smiled and welcomed the visitors with a wave of his hand.
The tall man motioned them to a hut made of bamboo reeds lashed with vines from the jungle. The roof was made of giant leaves that seemed to be somehow sewn together. There was a small opening in the front of the dwelling, which was covered with a skin of some sort. Jade wondered if it was jaguar skin.
Jade’s father, obviously the only one who knew Portu-guese, asked if they should sleep inside. The tall man nodded and motioned to the sun. Jade could see that it was getting dark. But he was apprehensive about sleeping in some weird hut in the middle of a weird gibberish-speaking village in the middle of the Amazon Jungle.
“Mom,” Jade whispered at his mother, “how are we going to eat?” He was looking over at the children and women and other men, who were eating the gruel-like mixture rudely with their hands.
“When in Rome, do what the Romans do, honey,” his mom whispered back. She motioned to the leader of the village and made eating signs with her hands, pointing to the other members of the village.
Something was exchanged between them, and then suddenly the whole group was shuffling toward the bowl. Jade took one look and decided to be hungry for the night. He told his father he was tired and not feeling wonderful. He wanted to go to sleep. Jade’s father nodded and told him to go lie down, the humidity was probably getting to him.
Jade slowly and carefully wandered over to the hut. He really didn’t want to be bit by something poisonous tonight, but if he did, it would all be his parents’ fault.
The hut was dark and small, but there were skins on the floor of it, and they were soft. Jade quietly took off his boots, then put them back on again. What if the bug found him through his socks?
He lay down on the makeshift bed and tried to go to sleep. Darkness comes early here, Jade thought. It must be the trees. Then he mentally kicked himself for thinking about such stupid things. He was going to sleep in some dirty hut in the Amazon Jungle, and he would be leaving on the Amazon River tomorrow, and he had no idea what would happen next.
Again Jade went over in his mind why he was even there. His parents hadn’t told him yet, and he was pretty sure they wouldn’t for a long time. Well, I guess there’s no use in thinking about it, because I have no idea, and I’ve wondered about it too much, Jade thought.
Finally, with pictures of spiders and bugs that would kill him overnight, Jade fell into a restless, dreamless slumber.

And that's all. Good night. Oh, and I hope that poisonous bugs don't kill you overnight, because they might to Jade......

Monday, May 10, 2010

inside me

Sorry I haven't posted in so long...busy week. Too much to do and to much to think about.
But I'm here today. For once I have no homework and nothing to do, except listen to 'In the Heights', my new obsession. So I took some pictures of lilacs.
They're so...lilac-y.
And now I'm writing. And I have no idea what to write. No idea at all.
Are there ever times when you feel like your brain is fighting a battle over what you know and what you should be doing? That's me right now. This reminds me of a tiime when I was in fourth grade, I think. Anyway, we were supposed to write in our notebooks, and I didn't know what to write--like now! But I wrote a story about the battle in my brain. It was pretty cool.
This moment also reminds me of a poem I wrote.

Filled with Something
It is empty
Filled with nothing
No inspiration
A white, crisp sheet of paper
Waiting to be written on
But my pencil is dull
My pen out of ink
I have nothing to write with
Nothing to say
I am empty
Yet perfectly full of something
Something immense
And I don’t know what it is
I am empty
And full
And something
And I must have inspiration
Since I am writing this now
So I must be filled with something
Something that I will imagine
And create in my hand
Like a chick
Hatching from its egg
My ideas will punch their way through this empty barrier
I am the director
The author
The actor
The characters
I am all
And every little bit
Of every thing I write
Must be filled
With everything I do
It must be filled
With something

So right now, I must be filled with something. Some kind of...something. I'm not empty, I know that, and I'm happy about it.
Of what I'm filled with, though, I have no idea...

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Yesterday, I went canoeing. Yesterday, there were pictures of the water to take and snowflake-like flowers to smell. Reflections stood out to me like a bright pink sun in the middle of a clear blue sky. I needed to photograph them. Yesterday the hot weather was enough to make me jump into literally melted ice water and almost have a heart attack...But I was alright.
Yes, yesterday will hold memories for me. Lying down in the heat of a summer night and watching the International Space Station fly overhead. Finding a steep path by the pond I was canoeing in and discovering a secret place, complete with a river and a big waterfall from a dam. Yesterday makes me think of tall, blue people with tails as I watched Avatar for the second time. Yesterday was having breakfast with friends at a brook. Yesterday was seaweed rippling in dark water and yesterday was eating an apple as I sat in a canoe, shivering under a towel. Yesterday was. It just was.
And the days go by so fast that you don't even know they're gone. They just whiz over the treetops like a plane while you barely even have a chance to board them. You go to sleep in the dead of winter and wake up when the flowers are blooming and the weather is rising in temperature. You know nothing about what happened the day before or how old you are or even the month.
But there are the memories that hold you and how you hold the memories. There are those little seemingly insignificant moments that make up life. One sunset. The way your best friend looks at you after a fight. Finishing a story. Hugging someone. Watching something or someone slowly grow until you have to let them go.
You can never undo these moments or redo them. They are things that twirl around and stop in front of your nose for one second, then spin away to the wind. They never end up the same twice.
These seconds, these moments, these little memories are what makes you who you are. So don't try to forget them. The sad times and the good ones. We can't forget.
There are steps we have to take and roads we have to cross. People we must let go of and friends that we will never see again. There are choices that we have to make and things that we must keep in our hearts because they will never be the same again.
Which reminds me, I have a little poem about choices that I have to show you.


Dig down deep
Wonder, don’t just go
It will get you into trouble
So stop yourself
Before you judge
Get evidence
No one is the same on the outside
But on the inside, we all are

So build an anchor
Dig down deep
And when the ship leaves harbor
Leaving one trunk
One passenger behind
You are wrong
Build an anchor
And think before hoisting it

When you are asked a question
That you’re not sure of
Stick to your anchor
The rocking of the waves
Check your belongings
And answer
Follow what you know to be true
You can’t turn around
What you choose stays with you

So build an anchor
Dig down deep
And when the ship leaves harbor
Leaving one trunk
One passenger behind
You are wrong
Build an anchor
And think before hoisting it

No uncertainty of your choice
Just bury your body in the sand
Form a barrier from lies
And paths that take you
The wrong way
You know in your heart
And your mind
That you must do nothing but dig
Dig down deep
And build an anchor

Memories are something that happen only once in a lifetime. Sometimes all you do is hold on to the slightest thing that gives you joy. Anything. And sometimes all you can do is take a chance, and jump.