Sunday, July 13, 2008

Say yes......

As a writer, you're often put into the role of observer.

You're sitting back finely picking a label for every moment. You remember a quirk in someones voice, the placement of wrinkles on faces and a fleeting look of disappointment or adoration. Your food isn't just a taste but a variation of distinct smells and spices, you name the texture and mentally note the description on the menu. One color turns into thirty different shades of red, so when you tell your story you're able to describe that the cherry was actually a deep Burgundy rather than a crimson. Being that it was burgundy the reader knows that this particular cherry was especially plump, a good batch of juiciness, less tart than others.

Remembering the details are essential keys to telling the story, for giving someone a vision and transporting them there.

As an observer, it's easy to find that you've stepped outside of the moment and now you're are telling the story as someone who has only really halfway, lived it.
It's just as a person with a camera, ready to capture each laugh, or each moment of romance. When romance is actually something very personal and captivating, so much in fact that that intimacy is rarely caught (genuinely) in a photograph. In order to do that, you must be observing the moment.

I've stepped away from my computer for the last few days, without the expectation that I would have to "produce" something later for people to read. Instead I went about my life without expecting for a story to come about worthy of telling.

Friday night, my cousin, father and my uncle decided to go out for dinner in a random location, at a restaurant we've never been to. As we were walking down the street we were beckoned into a small, brightly lit art gallery with incredible paintings of musicians and athletes. Bright colors and bright personalities. Being that you aren't invited into gallery openings with cheese and red wine all that often, we kindly obliged. Only moments after stepping in we ended up having a conversation with the artist who, it turns out, is very much a kindred spirit. We spoke of energy and creation, freedom, travel, artistry, dreaming and achieving etc....we shared the same philosophy on life, indeed. Within half and hour we had not only been surrounded by a world renowned artist but had made a new friend, shared stores and I was then offered to sing at the restaurant next door before I left for Europe at their Thursday night jam sessions. Jazz, blues, and soul, in a room of people emitting good energy and many of whom are living their dreams.
The whole point was, when you (meaning me at this/that moment) start saying "yes" to the moments that you "stumble upon" or to the doors that are open, sometimes literally, the stories happen organically.

The rest of the weekend I stepped away from the computer and continued living without expectation of magical moments or with expectation of relaying back hysterical one liners. I hiked five miles, enjoyed a picnic on top of a mountain and later spent hours chatting up an old rock cover band at a saloon and throwing out requests for Fleetwood Mac. I don't have pictures of any of it.....but as a person with an impeccable memory, I also managed to live in it and store enough to retell the basics.

I'm headed back to NYC tonight for four days. Four days of packing up my things, leaving my barely-there apartment and my favorite restaurants. To enjoy truffled egg toast, long lunches and sugary cupcakes, followed by long aimless walks and midday mimosas. To share drinks with new friends and old friends and say goodbye, at least until Dec when I'm back from my "little" journey.

I've decided to leave my computer in Colorado, to give full attention to my last days in New York City. Undivided, complete attentiveness to the moments I'm in. Until then......

What doors are open for you to say "YES" to??? Have you said yes???


JUST ME said...

I'm going to say yes to being open and adventurous like you. :)

Call me so we can get cupcakes and say goodbye (for now) :)


TKTC said...

Chels, I do love your questions. I needed to that one. Yes to not struggling. Yes to a bigger paycheck and yes to just loving him and telling him so. Cheers to the bumpy, beautiful road!

Bayjb said...

I really love your questions and your ability to step away and let the story happen organically. I don't know if a door has exactly opened for me like that yet but it's amazing where you draw inspiration creativity from. Have fun in NY!

BurningSky said...

I know what you are talking about and it's difficult to maintain balance. I love taking photographs in the moment, but, almost always, I'm too into what is going on to reach for my camera and snap the perfect photo. Afterwards, however, I never feel regretful, because I know that I experienced those moments to their fullest and my memory will suffice in being the record of my life..:-)

For everything else, there's the blog...

nicole antoinette said...

Perfect question... you opened a door for me and I've yet to say yes.. Eek!

Enjoy NYC for a few days! There will be cookies for you in Colorado soon :)

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic post. Love.


Anonymous said...

Have a WONDERFUL time in NYC! I can't wait to hear about Europe :)


Anonymous said...

"Remembering the details are essential keys to telling the story" This sucks for me because I have a horrible memory!

I also love this post and your questions. I can see the door and it's wide open. I can also see myself standing outside of it.

Mike said...

One cold, gray October morning, while I was in college, I was standing outside of the door to my rented room.

My books and clothing were inside, and I was sopping wet and wrapped in a towel.

I had accidentally pressed the lock button on the inside of the door before I went to the bathroom.

So, I kicked the door with enough force it split into two large pieces and a few hundred splinters. I changed, got my books, and went to school.

Later that day, my landlord asked if I would replace the door.

And I said, YES.

Dolce said...

Yeah! We'll be in NY at the same time. (not that it means anything) I am VERY excited since it's only my second time there. I'm excited to walk away from my computer for a fews days and concentrate on the writing I get paid for.

Tiff said...

Awesome's really making me think about some things.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

Kiah-Monique said...

Hmmm... I said yes to working 7 days a week for minimum wage all so I can afford my new apartment when I move back to Philly. *Le sigh*

readsalot said...

I'm saying yes to applying for jobs in Georgia a full year before we were planning on moving there, yes to the terrifying yet exciting change that will come with this. Oh, and I am saying yes to buckling down and finishing this damn degree if it kills me.

Loralee Choate said...

I didn't see a contact email, or I would do this privately. I am leaving to BlogHer tomorrow but I wanted you to know that in my search of a person that has plagiarized my blog, some of your work has turned up on her blog at Cafe Mom that she is putting out as her own.

My post about it is here It all unfolds in the comments.

Her post is here is here

It is a theft of your post called "Awakenings" back in March (Which was BEAUTIFUL, by the way.)

Since I will be in San F. and since she will pull it down, here is a copy and paste of her post:


June 6, 2008 at 6:11 AM by miainvegas
* 1 Comment(s)
* 23 Total Views

* Add Shortcut

"Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for
all abundance. The fact is: Whatever you think the world is
withholding from you, you are withholding from the world."

- The Power Of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

Wow, that sentence hit me like the times my Mother would make me wear a clothespin on the bridge of my nose to change its shape. Hopefully the quote proves more effective than her attempt at giving me the patrician nose she so desired me to have.

Oprah has in fact, proved she has found another gem worth knowing and that she is, smarter than the rest of us for finding it first (or at least her people are?) I've read Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now" before and as a result I lived "presently" or in the now during the entire duration of reading the book, proving it's effectiveness somewhat ineffective, unless I was reading. Not to take away from its brilliance, it's just when I stepped out of my bubble into life it was hard to avoid future thinking and to step out of imprints/habits of the past that were affecting me presently. Without my compulsive thinking on the future I felt as if I might be one step behind, I may look lazy, or I may not reach high enough, etc. SO only briefly was I right where I was, and more frequently I was somewhere else....that mostly existed inside my head.

By page 200 it looked as though a graphomaniac had taken the book hostage. I wanted to underline everything, I wanted to memorize it and sing it on street corners, or create a new language and speak only in, "New Earth." I'd just finished a conversation with my one of my best friends, Hector, when he said, " You've got to let yourself be loved."

I stared at the quote above for an hour. WHAT AM I WITHHOLDING that I feel is being withheld?

Right now in my life, I am writing and in return more writing has come. It is self perpetuating. More than anything, I have been wanting love for a very. very. long time, and have pushed it away in the past when it got too close, afraid I was not worthy of it.

I'd been wanting arms wrapped around me, skin and goosebumps and I'd been giving, a tap on the back, and a half-smile? I'd been wanting all the good stuff; deep kisses, little moments, organic communication, unadulterated expression, morning sighs and shared french toast. Instead, I'd built a steel cage around all of the parts of mine which are delicate, which are rare and visceral. Everything I'd been wanting in relationships, I'd selfishly kept my own. It's like that "special something" you keep hidden, it's just that special you're afraid to lose it. Then you completely forget where you put it and know its around here somewhere but no one will get to enjoy it. Until it's found, it's just talk. I was that "something special" and I'd hidden it.

"Whatever you think people are withholding from you- praise, appreciation,
assistance, loving care and so on- give it to them. You don't have it? Just act
as if you had it, and it will come. Then, soon after you start giving, you
will start receiving."

What is it that you feel that the world is withholding from you and are you withholding it from them?
Should this post be popular?

Written by: miainvegas
June 6, 2008 at 6:11 AM

I am so sorry this is hijacking your blog, but I really wanted to let you know.

If you have any questions, leave a comment on my blog or email me.


Emily Brownell said...

Enjoy your adventure!! I love this post because I often find myself stepping back then stepping in, if only I could remember the details as well as you can!

modelbehavior said...

Hey Chelsea - I'm a fellow girl blogger and fan of your site with a question for you! I sent you an email to your purevoice33 account, but I'm not sure if that's right. If it's not email me :)

Melissa Leeanne said...

Since I moved to a new apartment and ceased to have internet at home I've definitely found myself living more and observing less. Lucky for me, I have a good memory (unless alcohol interferes) so I've been able to piece things together coherently if not gracefully during my downtime at work.

Enjoy the adventures!

Princess Pointful said...

I adore the sentiments in the first few paragraph. You really do see things so differently when you write. You memorize details, rehearse great bits of detail in your head, and so forth.

Kim said...

Nice questions. However, I'm not going to answer it. Just because I'm in quite a negative mood, and it's not fair.

Hope you have a great time. :-)

ORION said...

Wow were we on the same wavelength on Sunday or what...I was thinking about this all last week.

Anonymous said...

I'm saying yes to confronting my fears with my fiance instead of denying them