folded paper & broken glass

I’ve never liked the idea of a person being a mirror. Being pieces of broken glass. I’ve heard people relate to this – a broken mirror put back together, never fully the same, but still there. Still some semblance of what it had been. In places where the glass broke easily, it was able to reform and be “glued back together”, but there would always be some spots missing. Some spots unable to be found. Broken, disappeared for good.

I am not broken glass. I am not a shattered mirror. Pieces of me are not gone, missing, unable to be found.

I am folded paper – paper that’s been folded so many times that the creases can be easily found, could be ripped seamlessly, frayed. I am a swan folded so many times that there are holes wearing in my thin skin. I will never have missing pieces, because no one ever took anything from me. Nothing was cut so surely out of my life that it would return, or I would not grow over it.

I do have parts that are covered so fully by other pieces of folds that it would take a master to dive underneath the shadows and find places where the paper just barely meets, where I’m hidden but not trapped within the bends. You can’t see them unless you’re looking for them. You can’t get to them unless you unfold me.

I am thin, holed, frayed, folded paper. I am ornate in my patterns. I can be anything. I don’t have missing pieces – I will always have them, be them, be part of them. I am origami. I am not broken glass.

i like my tea black and bitter

I grew up to the smell of Earl Grey tea brewing in the morning. Before I even opened my eyes the scent would fill my nose, lift me up and out of bed, and into the open arms of my mother. Earl Grey tea has always been my favorite tea – I drink it black, with no milk, no sugar, no sweeteners. I believe tea is at its finest when it’s brewed as it should be, ingested as pure as it can be. When someone drinks tea and mixes in a handful of other disgusting things, it turns into the same discombobulated mess that most people’s morning cup of coffee turns into.

Tea isn’t coffee. Tea doesn’t offer the frenzied promise of waking up, of opening up your eyes and pushing you through the door. No – tea offers serenity. Tea offers calmness, an air of relaxation. Tea offers flavor, body, richness.

It offers memories, and small fleeting moments of happiness.

I remember dipping tea bags into mugs so hot that I could barley hold them, water spilling over the top as I ran from kitchen to bedroom, bringing my mother her morning tea. I remember moments like this vividly, unlike most things about her.

I don’t drink the same tea she used to drink. It’s still Earl Grey at it’s core – it will always be Earl Grey – but mine has the added softness of lavender and rose petals. I grew up from tea bags to loose leaf, and now can only drink bagged tea when I’m on the run when I know I’ll need a moment of calm in a sea of insanity. It’s funny how one thing – one small, tiny thing – that my mother used to do in the morning has stuck with me and grown into what it has.

I don’t talk about my mother much, and for good reason. It’s a dull ache now, the spot that she left. It doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. The tea makes the ache lessen even that much duller.

suns lost, and mysteries of grace (part 2)

I finished two books in the last two days. The first book of the New Year finished was Tessa Gratton’s The Lost Sun, a story about what would happen if Norse gods were real and if the United States of America was actually the United States of Asgard. I love Tessa Gratton. She’s one of my favorite authors, favorite people…she’s just got something about her. She’s so accessible, and I adore her writing. Up until now, I’ve only ever read her works in the Merry Sisters of Fate short stories (where herself, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff would all write a new short story each per week based on a monthly prompt – wonderful, wonderful, wonderful works, and you can find their books on Amazon, I’ll link to them below), however her stories have always been my favorites. I’d always meant to pick up her books, as I often meant to do things, but I never succeeded. Then I finally put my heel to the grinder and bought the first two books in her new series.

I certainly don’t regret it.

I’m not going to do book reviews on this blog, as that’s reserved for my goodreads account, however I will say that I finished The Lost Sun in one day and it was worth every ounce of energy I put into it. Soren was an absolutely wonderful narrator and I adored his prose. There was something special about him – there’s something special about the way Tessa writes, actually. She’s forthcoming without being right in your face, if you understand what I mean? Either way, a brilliant choice to start off my new year. I couldn’t turn off my eyes for the last hundred pages of the novel and was insistent that someone had installed a rain cloud in my house, right above my face. Surely that was the issue.

Now, onto other things – I meant to finish the Mystery of Grace first. I didn’t. I lied to myself, I lied to my people, I lied to the internet. I’m so sorry, interwebs. Please forgive me.

I found it highly odd however that despite the fact that the only thing that these two books shared – at least from the outside in – was being fantasy novels, it turned out certain points of their plot were unerringly similar. I won’t go into detail, but I think it was a mighty good thing I finished one before the other, because both have left me emotionally stunted and unwilling to open another book for at least another hour (I’m actually going to go pick out my next book in just a few minutes, so I’m lying again, sorry internet).

God, I forgot how much I love reading. It feels like flames have attached themselves to my veins and like I’m suddenly burning it up from the inside. All I want are books, books, books. Stories, stories, stories. I adore them. I adore these worlds. I forgot how good it feels to get lost, to dive in head first and be someone else. I forgot, I forgot, oh, I forgot.

I don’t plan on forgetting again any time soon.

the mystery of grace

I’m reading a novel by one of my favorite urban fantasy authors, Charles de Lint, to start off the New Year. It’s been years since I’ve read things with any actual commitment. I don’t read anymore. I don’t spend any time doing something that I grew up needing. Somewhere along the lines, it just got too difficult. Too difficult to put aside some time to relax, to let another world suck me in. Too difficult to process new people and new characters and new stories. Somewhere along the lines, I think I lost myself. Not in the way I had always lost myself – never in new worlds and stories. I just kind of…disappeared, fizzled out. Stopped showing up. I was more obsessed with lying on my couch, staring mindlessly at a television screen, than I was with the idea of entering a new universe.

Sure, television has its own universes too – but lets face it, how often was I watching shows with substance? Half the time I watched the Cooking Network, dreaming of a bakery I’ll never own, while I sat on the couch and promised myself I’d get up and do something tomorrow. I never did get up and do that something. I got up, I packed myself into the safe little compartment that was a shadow of myself, and I went to work.

This year, I’m changing all of that. At the very least, I’m reading more. There’s too many books on my shelves, too many unopened worlds, too many missed opportunities. I lost years and years of reading time. I’m not going to lose more.

I think starting with something by Mr. de Lint will be perfect – his worlds are always so beautiful, so detailed, so precise, and yet whimsical. Exactly what I need, I think. Now, I’m not sure how many people are reading this – and that’s okay, I don’t post for the readers so much as for myself – but if you are, would you leave a comment with a book you love, a book you’d like to read, a book that broke your heart? Whatever – as long as it’s about a book, I’d love to hear your story.

Happy New Year, everybody. Happy New Year, self. We’re going to try to make it a good one.