The Mending Wall

A literary blog.

All spoke at the same time, and yet none heeded a reply, but appeared as though merely addressing their own thoughts…”

—Alexandre Dumas, “The Count of Monte Cristo”

“‘Doesn’t it seem to you that part of growing up is to find some way of facing things and not minding—too much?’”

—Elswyth Thane, “The Light Heart”

"It was one of the times when the present golden moment was worth anything which might catch up with her later on…"

—Elswyth Thane, “The Light Heart”

Novels are so contrary:

They tell you a happy story about hopeless romantics who find their true loves and at the same time tell you to stop being such a hopeless romantic because real life isn’t like a novel. Thanks for nothing, books!!!!!!

Sometimes I wish there was a “This Day in History” button for my life. I’d like to hit it every morning and find out where I was on this day for the previous 18 years of my life. I’ve gone so many places I can never remember it and I just WANT to!

Memories are a funny thing. I can remember the little things as a kid. I feel them, more than remember them. I see us all in the backyard, playing baseball till dusk, and mere shadowy outlines running the bases.

I can imagine blowing dandelion wishes to the wind, but maybe all I really remember is a picture of it happening. Really, what is a memory but a picture in your head? And what is a photograph other than a memory you’ve misplaced?

Day 4

I’m sorry—I’m not even going to try and excuse myself for the past few days. It isn’t day 4. I think it’s day 7. Maybe 6. Again, No excuses, I just didn’t write. 

Today is one of those days when you just realize that winter is coming and that it’s right around the corner. I look out across the valley behind my house (I’m not being poetic, we live on a mountain with vineyards going down our backyard and all across the valley—maybe it’s a little poetic) and it’s hazy out. The mountains you can usually see for miles away are now just mere outlines.

The sun is shining now which seems to melt some of the hazy fog away, but I’m not fooled by the sun. It’s too bright for it to be warm. I know that sounds silly, but there are some cold days when you look outside and you want to be fooled by the sun’s brightness. You want to believe that if you just stood in the sun for some time you could become warm. But it isn’t. It’s as deceiving as it is when there’s snow on the ground, and the sun twinkles and blinds you and you think “Well maybe the snow is cold, but the air can’t be!”

Winter is right around the corner. I remember at the end of summer how I thought I could never live through another winter this year. Last year’s lasted from October to April, and I didn’t think I’d ever be ready for it. But now I am. I’m ready for the leaves to completely leave the trees, because it gives me things to look forward to.

If I didn’t have a calendar, I could always live off of the weather. Okay, it’s getting cold—that means Thanksgiving is coming up when we’re traveling. And then a few weeks after that we’ll be in New York for Christmas. Okay, I can handle the cold. I have things to do. 

(Words: 328)

Day 3

(Forgot to upload)

Four words never make me want to smile and roll my eyes as much as, “Where are you from?”

If I’m talking to another person who has had similar experiences as me, (growing up in a completely different location than the places our passports our from), they’ll smile too and rephrase their question. “Where have you lived?” or, “Where are your parents from?”

I am an American citizen, but I don’t consider myself an American. As little sense as that may seem to make, I can’t find it in myself to just call myself an American from a little town in upstate New York—maybe my parents could classify themselves like that, but I sure can’t. I left America when I was 8 years old—technically almost 9, but I don’t enjoy being technical, here. I have very few memories of things that happened before I left the United States, and my family is always astonished at how little I remember of that old life. 

The old life where we stayed in one little town, and where my sister spent 11 years of her education, and my brothers at least 6 years of theirs. The old life where I could get dropped off at my Nana’s house for the day and spend the day in her room watching cartoons she never cared for, and playing cards with my Great-Grandma. The old life where Christmas Eve was spent without fail at my Great Aunt’s house, and Christmas Morning in our tiny living room, and Christmas Dinner once again at Nana’s house. The old life, where the last memories my aunts and uncles have of me is me as a little 8-year-old, playing with her Barbie dolls, always smiling, always happy, the baby of the family…

That old life. But that isn’t me anymore. In less than 2 months I’ll be eighteen, and I’ll return to this old life for a month, and see how old everyone has gotten, and realize who isn’t there anymore, and see the new additions to the family that the older generation never got to see… 

And I’ll feel a big gaping hole in my heart, and feel hollow in the stomach, and nothing ever goes back to the way that it was. It isn’t my home anymore. I should realize that 9 years later, it isn’t home anymore.

But where is my home, now? I currently reside in Europe with my parents and sister, but I have one brother in California, and another in Florida. I have family in New York, Arizona, North Carolina, Alabama, and who knows where else, but none of those places are my home. 

(Words: 453)

Day 2

I’m going to make an estimate here and think about the number of times a day I change my mind about what it is I want to do with my life. I’ve only just graduated high school and am taking a year to stay at home, but am simultaneously taking online college courses. The amount of options I have before me are limitless, and the number of ideas I have every day seemingly near that number.

I always think of something I find really original before realizing that THOUSANDS of people have already done that. Here are a few examples:

"I’ll start a vlog! No, wait…"

"I’ll start a blog about food/humor/writing/being a TCK! No…"

"I’ll become a voiceover artist! Hmm… Lot of work goes into that one…"

It seems to happen quite a lot, but especially on my restless days, when I’ve been cooped up inside the house with too few people to interact with and too many things I should do that I just haven’t.

Today was one of those days. And I’ve realized that the main thing I need to do on those days is to be creative. So I tried rewriting a poem I wrote a few years ago. But I couldn’t find the words to make it better, and the more I dug around trying to find them, the worse the poem got.

I tried 5 crossword puzzles, looking for one I could finally solve, but by the time I found one that I was doing alright in I got tired of that too. 

I left the house and went grocery shopping with my family, and then I came home to watch the worst Mission Impossible movie ever (the 2nd one, by the way). And then I baked a pound cake, made whipped cream, and made a raspberry sauce to go with the two.

And even though that feeling hasn’t totally left, creativity certainly helps me out sometimes. It’s like what my sister was saying to me the other day. Creative people need to be creative. They need to be content with the reward of their final product and not expect anything more. They need to feel fulfillment just by being creative, not by getting praise from others, or money, or any sort of tangible thing. You need to be creative in order to make you feel better.

And here ends day 2 on my endeavor.

(Words:  402)

My 300 Word Challenge

Today I’m beginning something new for November—I’m going to try to write at least 300 words daily for the entirety of the month. It sounds easy, but I tried it yesterday and it’s more difficult than I realized to write 300 words!

However, quitter as I normally am, I’m not giving up on this! I must get through it! So here I am, trying as I may to write my 300 words and hoping for the best, and maybe even for some good writing to come out of this in the end. I realize if I were to do this by hand, no one would ever see it and no one would ever know I did it, so if I were to tire of it or quit, no one would know. But now, I’m putting it out there on the internet and feel somewhat accountable to write here daily!

I’ve decided to do it because I believe that the more you write, the more you want to write, and I want to write things! Also, I’ve realized that it’s difficult to get anywhere in life if you can’t write well. Writing may be a dying art form in some senses (I mean, just look at the difference in writing styles between someone like Alexandre Dumas almost 200 years ago, and the trash people are reading today—things used to require intelligence to write!) but I still think it incredibly important.

SO! Here we go! This is my first daily entry for the next month, no excuses are allowed for not keeping up with it, other entries will hopefully be better because the more I write the better I’ll get. Writing really gets you places, but no one seems to realize it. So, WRITE! (And if you’d like to join me, feel free to let me know—300 words seems a small amount, but I think it’ll prove to be a challenge!) 

(Words: 315)