Monday, April 02, 2007

BRANCHES OF GLORY

The first Manic Monday post I wrote was about Yellow. I mentioned fighting “inner” demons with my friend Brooke and people seemed somewhat interested in more of that story. The following is an attempt to explain and will chronicle the importance of branches, today’s Manic Monday topic, in our journey.

If you have ever been on the Sarah Lawrence College campus (which I am pretty sure that few people who read this blog have been except those that I know about) you know that it is a beautiful fairy land of charm and wonder. It is the perfect setting for imaginative, albeit crazy, minds to romp and play. It is also a place, as are all college campuses, full of people slowly but surely approaching adulthood. The things that swirl in such developing minds can be somewhat, strange.

Brooke and I never did well with the whole growing up thing, we’re a little more successful now but as 30 quickly approaches we’ll see how this toughness lasts. We had a lot of demons. They would follow us around and show up at seemingly normal times like taking the train to the city before spring break, or driving through the hills of Bronxville. We knew that these demons had something to do with our future success as people and that we would, at some point, have to confront them.

They were in full force one night while we were sitting in Marshall Field, the place on campus where the mystical always happens. Once I got trapped in a dark stairwell there but that is another story. Brooke and I were peacefully minding our own business under a tree when a car started slowly screeching past us. The car was scary. It swung around and started coming back the other direction. We knew it was time to run. Unfortunately, there were demons all throughout the field. Grasping on to one another we slowly made our way through the fray and came out unscathed on the other side. However, we knew that it wasn’t over.

One day in April after a heavy storm had ransacked campus blowing branches hither and yon, we decided it was time to face our demons and gain the upper hand. We were about to graduate and we knew we couldn’t leave before settling the score. We armed ourselves with the implements of warriors. The Dragons, a forked branch with two dragon heads made of leaves rested with Brooke. I had The Flag, a branch with leaves spread out like a fan, and a cute little bug that lived on it named Homey, our mascot of the day.

We took the dragons and the flag and went back to Marshall Field to show our demons that we weren’t afraid of the life that was to come (although we were terrified). We wanted to assert that we would be strong and protect ourselves from demons trying to keep us down. We had to be victorious. When we got back to Marshall Field, the scene of the initial onslaught, we found it to be incredibly peaceful and still. We looked everywhere for the demons but they wouldn’t appear. Our strong willed determination had been enough to stop them from rearing up and trying to take us down. They knew that we could not help be victorious and chose to stay home. We walked around the would-be-battlefield, knowing we had won but not quite believing it. Then we saw them. Two huge branches had been ripped from the trees in the storm. One was about 5ft long, twisted, gnarled, and came to a fine point. There were no branches coming off of it. It was the Demon Stick, dark and evil, and all that remained of our foes. Then, there was what could only be described as a larger version of our flag, About 6ft high and 4ft wide, a huge part of a tree had been blown off. It was full of leaves and life. It was a perfect juxtaposition to the Demon Stick. These two branches symbolized the good and the evil we would face and we hoisted them up in victory and began to carry them back to our dorm on the other side of campus.

Triumphantly, we set our new flag and the demon stick up against the window of our first floor common room, much to the shock of the people inside. The Flag stood up in the center of the window and the Demon Stick lay across it diagonally forming some kind of sick and twisted coat of arms. We stepped back and looked at them with pride. We were jubilant because we felt we could take on anything at that point. We couldn’t wait until the next morning to take a picture of our spoils.

Unfortunately, the groundskeepers took our Flag and Demon Stick away long before we woke up in the morning and they were lost. We only have the memory of these spoils of war against the dark side. At least we know that nothing can touch us know, for we have conquered our demons. The branches of light and dark carried us through.

This is “Guess That Song” week. Let’s see what our first five will be

1. What happened to/ The world we knew/ When we were dreaming, scheming/ Whiling the time away.

2. Megan/ She don’t eat bacon/ She never killed a sweet innocent little piggy to get bacon.

3. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know/ Sometimes I feel like checking out/ I wanna get it wrong. Ultraviolet (more commonly known as Light My Way) by U2. Identified by Jaclyn

4. Anthony walked to his death because he thought he’d never feel this way again/ If he goes back to the house then things would go from bad to worse/ What could he do? If You're Feeling Sinister, Belle and Sebastian. Identified by Monica

5. When I see you sky as a kite/ As high as I might I can’t get that high. High, The Cure. Identified by Brooke and Monica

26 comments:

With Love, Fat Girl said...

A lot of people worry as 30 approaches, and I definitely did too, but I'm telling you now, don't even think about it.

Getting older is getting tougher, more responsibilities etc., but *amazing* thing about leaving your 20's is the mindset you enter into. Before you know it you'll be stronger, more independent, and a lot more confident in ways you couldn't even begin to imagine. It's a wonderful release :)

Also, on a more techy note, how do you put that Thinking Award moniker up on your site? I'd like to put the post up of the people I've chosen within the next couple of days...

Brooke said...

Thank you for your relative subtlety, Friend. I feared much worse.

Those damn demons are gonna return with a vengeance as I approach 30 day. I must be prepared.

5 is (appropriately enough) High - The Cure

Jeff Roberts said...

It was not the groundskeepers.

Mwahahahahahahahaha...

Huh? What? What's happening? I think I blacked out.

Monica said...

4 If You're Feeling Sinister - B&S
5 High - Cure

ps i know the missing details of the story. Nice subtlety and omission

Dad said...

Natalie, after 27 years I am now officially afraid of you.

Danielle said...

Brooke and Monica beat me to the only song I knew, #5. I loved this post, girl you got skills. I did my first Manic Monday post today.

Hope you had a great weekend and that the computer works.

Until we read again...

Natalie said...

WLFG- I copied the image onto my computer and then added it as an image in the sidebar. I am guessing there is an easier way but that one made sense to me. Thanks for the boost of 30 confidence. You make it sound nice. It still scares me.

Brooke- You are welcome, I did my best. Can you believe 303030 is so soon?

Jeff- Dude did you steal our Demon Stick and Flag? That is so not cool. We hauled those things for a long way.

Monica- I totally can be subtle. Most people don't know that about me.

Dad- Sorry. Is this another story that I didn't tell you guys about until years later? Oopsie.

Danielle- I'll have to check your Manic Monday out. The computer does work, better than ever.

Mom said...

Natalie -- yes this is another story you didn't tell us about until years afterwards. But that's OK. It's a great story, and well told. And Dad probably should've been afraid of you many, many years earlier, like with that flying stuff (grin). Of course now Brooke and Monica have got me wondering about the "subtleties" and "omissions"...

Comedy + said...

You write so wonderfully well. We all must go through the same thing! The demons are always there. Excellent job.

Morgen said...

Facing your demons, both in college, and as you approach a life milestone (hey, I made it thru 40, you can do 30 my dear!) take courage.
You're a brave woman, and a great writer, so I know you'll be able to bitch slap that 30-demon just how you want it! And make it say, "more please!"
:)

Skittles said...

That was a glorious tale :)

Kiyotoe said...

one thing i'm learning as i get a little bit older (31 in a month +1 day) is that those demons we feared so much when we were younger, start to be a little less frightening.

and now i realize that there aren't as many hiding under my bed as there were 5 years ago. Ya' know?

lisa said...

In the end it's all about facing them and you did that well! great tale....

Turnbaby said...

Sugar---you must believe me--it only gets better as you age. YOu must be open to the growth and challenge of letting yourself become free. It's awesome.

Michael C said...

I thought 30 was a big deal...then it passed. Now my demons are the desire to be lazy and write for a living ;-)

Katrina said...

Truly, turning 30 is nothing. I agree with what with love, fat girl said, she's right on.

Great story, great imagination.

Lizza said...

You're making me wonder what lies beneath the surface of this story! Grrr...

Travis said...

Excellent story about facing the future and what might be ahead.

Very well done.

BionicBuddha said...

Just remember "40 is the new 20", so as far as I am concerned you are still underage ;). You are only as old as your mind tells you!

Enjoy it!

Jaclyn said...

number 3 is "Light My Way" by U2

Homey. Oh geez.

CSG said...

Great story. Did you realice you talk a lot about growing up and adulthood?

Oh, and where did you say you went to college? Hogwarts? ;-)

Natalie said...

Mom- I like telling you guys stuff years later. That way I can't get in trouble. Even though you lost getting me in trouble privileges some time ago.

Comedy+- Always there? Crap. I thought we were done.

Morgen- That is the funniest comment ever.

Skittles- Thanks, I tried to make it come alive but not be as scary as it was at the time.

Kiyotoe- For the first time, under my bead is clean enough that they could hide down there.

Lisa- Totally, we were armed and “dangerous?”

Turnbaby- I actually look forward to being a little older. I think the next few years are mostly going to be about getting things together so I can enjoy my 30s.

Natalie said...

Michael- those seem like pretty cuddly demons. Not bad.

Katrina- I am guessing it will be like 20, scary until it happens and then just fine.

Lizza- There are clues all over and it isn’t as cryptic as your Branch post.

Travis- Thanks, I am hoping ahead lie no more demons. I don’t know if I can take them alone and Brooke lives across the country.

Bionic- I do still get carded, maybe I am underage.

Jaclyn- Wasn’t Homey cute…until Brooke killed him.

CSG- Yeah I guess I work out a lot of my anxieties about being an adult here. I’m still not sure I really “get it”. Oh well, at least people can relate.

Maggie said...

Great Post. Wow. Long. Thanks for visiting mine. :)

Brooke said...

Dude Man, I am SO SORRY about killing Homey!

Graydon Webster said...

SKYDIVER = Schtum