Wednesday, November 26, 2008

call me crazy, or don't call me at all.

Warning to family members: if you don't want to see a drawing of me naked, then don't look at the photo at the end of this post. On the other hand, it is just a drawing, so it might not be creepy at all. It's not like it's really me or anything!

I spent a full week of November sleeping on the floor at Cecilia's house in Corning, New York, until a blizzard came and forced me to head south. Cecilia is a perfect friend for me, because she is one of the few people who is as unique in her outlook on life as I am. We both do things that make others think we're crazy. Indeed, we both wonder if we're crazy sometimes, and at other times we just wonder if we are on the verge of it.

I met Cecilia during the brief moment that she worked at the Lotus last year. I latched on to her youthful energy and fierce bravery that bordered on stupidity (and I mean that in a good way). She was one of the friends who sprouted out of the fertile soil after I planted new seeds of friendship to help occupy the space left by my husband. Cecilia inspired me to begin knitting and commuting by bike, and gave me a bunch of new fashion ideas to exploit. I think what really connected us, though, was our thirst for adventure and constant questioning of life. We are both terrified of being boring, and we are both usually on a hill or valley of some kind of wild emotional journey.

This woman is so rad, readers, let me tell ya. Upset with the high cost of natural gas, she objected by flat out refusing to buy it for her apartment. That means she spent the entire summer without a stove and hot water. By choice. To keep from getting nasty, she improvised baths, used cold water, or even hiked it down to the city fountain. And noticing how little she kept in her fridge, she decided that it was too loud and a waste of energy, unplugged it, and turned it into a table.

If anyone else did this, I'd hazard a guess that they were out of their mind, but if you knew Cecilia, you would realize that for her, this makes perfect sense. When asked about it, she offers a completely rational response, "People don't even question why they need things. They never even consider if they can live without them. Everyone wants to be rich, but nobody asks themselves why." For a single person to burn all that energy keeping condiments and beer cold didn't make sense to her, and I can't really argue with that.

In addition to having a thoughtful brain in her skull, the woman has the Midas touch when it comes to art. She can mold any medium she chooses into something beautiful. Her knitting ability is only outdone by her ability on the potter's wheel, which is only outdone by her fabulous talent on the sewing machine, which is outdone by her jewelry-making skills, which is outdone by her drawing skills. I don't think I've ever met a more talented individual. Move your caboose, Da Vinci!

self taught

We spent the week doing yoga, chatting chatting chatting, making kim chee, visiting the glass museum, knitting, and creating fabulous little meals to share. I even got to model for her art homework! Check it out. Oh, and by the way, this is her very first drawing class!

Captured the caboose!

Quick nude study

I'd been tossing around the idea of having an iPhone fast for a few weeks, and it was Cecilia (not surprising) who finally convinced me to take the plunge. "Mail it to Dan in Albuquerque," she said. "And pick it up when you visit him, that way you won't be tempted to cheat." When I anticipated being without Google Maps, GPS, the weather, the internet, email, and texting at my fingertips, she said, "People did survive before iPhones." And with that I turned it off. But I didn't mail it to Dan. Instead I stuffed it in a drawer where I can find it if there's an emergency.

I've been phone free for two days, with a couple of surprising results. First, I don't have a clock now. Last night I found myself wondering if it was time for bed, and then the thought clocked me in the head: go to bed when you're tired! When I woke up today, my first impulse was to check the time, then I thought: get out of bed when you're not tired. It's so simple that the idea has never occured to me. I went through the whole day today not knowing what time it was. I ate when I was hungry and slept when I was tired. I have felt a little withdrawal from not having GPS, but I suppose I can't really get lost when I don't have a destination. Losing iPhone has given me my groove back.

Why did I need to turn it off? Because I was addicted. I was sleeping with the thing, waiting for it to ring. I'd wake up and check my text messages in the middle of the night. I used it as a crutch when I got bored, randomly surfing the internet. I checked the weather compulsively, and let it dictate where I was going next and when (now, when I get the urge to know the weather, I just take Ralgh outside and I suddenly know the weather!). The iPhone was my connection with Portland, and constantly having it by my side meant I was never really alone. And that's what I need right now. Time to be alone and think.

I do wish I could call Cecilia, though, and tell her how great it is to not have a phone. But that doesn't make sense, does it?

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Portland is still with you, iPhone or not.