Here’s a Story:

 

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Photo by Staci Joy Photography

 

This was, I think, the first book that we shared together.
He brought a copy of this to Israel,
and he read me poems from it in the miklat, where we studied.

Ben has introduced me to Milne, Orson Scott Card, and Douglas Adams.
I have introduced him to Lukyaneko, Murakami, Neil Gaiman, and Roald Dahl.
And we keep doing that–reading a book, handing it off to the other person
(sometimes thieving a book in the dead of the night in order to finish it before they do), talking about books, arguing about books, loving books together.

I love that I am marrying a reader.

Love.

 

(isn’t our friend Staci an amazing photographer?)

So Long Ago:

 

When I was 20,
I left Los Angeles for Jerusalem,
for a small moshav with fir trees,
and the smell of the Mediterranean sea in the distance.

It was supposed to be a semester abroad
with two of my closest friends,
and 38 other students–most of whom had be planning to go on this wild and crazy adventure together since we first arrived at college.

We were at a model of the Second Temple (Herod’s)
when one student’s international cell rang–
his father told us that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

Nothing else, at that time.

We stopped for a moment and prayed for the passengers,
and the folks in the building,
then moved back to our lecture.

It was five in the evening–
a beautiful day in Israel.

It wasn’t until we arrived back at the moshav,
and saw the towers burning on a Hebrew broadcast of CNN
that we understood what had actually happened.

We left everything familiar and secure behind that day.

Our college decided to send all of us home–
but because of the travel restrictions,
we stayed in Israel until October 1st.

The duration of our time in Israel was a blur of hurried breakfasts,
driving out to archaeological sites,
papers written,
quizzes studied–
most of us didn’t know what was going on in the U.S. until we touched down at Los Angeles International Airport,
and realized that we were returning to a different country–
a country that was terrified,
confused,
hurt.

We had just ended four weeks with a people
who live with terror on a daily basis;
a people who deeply sympathized with the plight and fears of America,
but who also wanted to know if we understood why they fought
against terrorism the way they did,
if we understood why their men and women all served in the army,
if we understood the importance of standing together as a nation,
regardless of the cost.

September 11th, 2001 took the lives of thousands of people.

It changed my country.

It changed the world.

It changed me.

I can’t confidently say, ten years later,
that all of those changes were good.

But I do know this:
I am supremely grateful for every person who sacrificed their lives
on that day to save others.
I am supremely grateful for every man and woman who serves in our military,
for the constant submission of their own needs in order to allow someone like me
to post about a terrible day without fear of reprisal on a blog.

September 11th made me grateful
for all of the precious freedoms that I have as an American.
For being able to work, study, and play without living in constant fear
of death at the hands of another person who hates me simply because of my nationality.

I will never take that for granted again.

 

Last Night:

 

I dreamt of angel griffins
with exposed vein wings
nudging me with cold noses to be friends

I dreamt of a green tree hive
wonderfully secret
full of the sap of life

I dreamt wonderful dreams
of falling without hurt
fantasy without pretense
nakedness without shame

I woke
covered my nakedness
forgot my fantasy
fell into my car
out to the world
and hurt

 

I wish my car was a griffin.

Today I:

 

Woke up to this:

 

A Good Way to wake up

This is mah burfday bike. I like her.

 

And soft sunset colored roses.
In vases, all over my apartment,
adding up to 30, with the most wonderful notes attached.

The Boyo snuck into my place in the wee sma’s with The Roommate’s help
and set all of this up–
let me tell you,
there are worse ways to wake up than to roses and a beach cruiser.

I love this man.

 

Birthdays are strange.

When I first met my friend Wylie,
he said that he was celebrating the first anniversary of his 29th birthday.

I thought that was silly at the time
(oh, 22!).

…I understand it now.

 

Today,
I am 30.

I am now officially the oldest unmarried woman in my family’s history.

I am wearing flats with my favorite black silk dress
because, in all ironies, I tweaked my back but good last night.

I am going to lunch with my favorite co-workers,
and I will *probably* be talked into getting the lavender duck sandwich,
because it is DELICIOUS.

The Boyo and I will go out to dinner tonight,
just the two of us,
and laugh about silly things,
and do the whole gaze-into-each-others’-eyes-over-candlelight-thing,
and then start laughing again,
because true love doesn’t take itself too seriously, you know.

He’s been with me since I was 18.

First friends,
now the core of my heart.

 

He is a good man.

 

Today I am grateful for…everything.
Even my twingy back.

I’ve been so afraid to relax and enjoy what I have right now
because I had so many Other Shoes drop on me over the last seven years,
Imelda Marcos would be jealous.

 

So today?

I am grateful for everything.

For my friends who carried me.

For The Boyo who has stayed.

For a car that works.

For an affectionate, smart little dog.

For my parents.

For my grandmother, who sends the strangest gifts
out of the deepest love of her heart.

For friends getting married, for being a part of their love.

For coffee.

For sunshine and rain.

 

For roses, an adventuresome bike, and a small stuffed dinosaur.

 

Today,
I am grateful for all things.

Parallel:

 

I am not a physicist.

I understand very little of the notions behind multiverse theory,
but I do know this:

I hope there is another Rebecca out there, somewhere.

Another Rebecca who didn’t, who wasn’t,
who is, who will be
all the things that I regret not doing,
who will never do all the stupid things I did.

I hope that she is real.

 

Dust in My Eyes:

All Artwork Copyright of Rebecca S. Rea, 2010
All Rights Reserved