I'm Not as Unpopular as I Thought.

Well, all month long I've been tracking the hits here... there have been a total of zero. Until today. I looked into it and found that the html script that keeps track of all that data had gotten all messed up when Blogger reinvented itself! So it's not that no one cares - which is what I'd feared.

This means I'll have to start posting again. I'll get right on that.

Hope you've all had a happy holiday!

Sometimes I think it might be easier to be damaged and broken.
On occasion I'm convinced that I am.

But I'm pretty sure that I'm stronger than that.

What I Think I Will Say Tomorrow

This is a photo of my uncle Dave helping my mummy out of the car at her wedding to my daddy 23 years ago tomorrow:

Check out those pants! Tomorrow is also Dave's memorial service, which is actually a big celebration in his honor. He died a few months ago.
I think I'm going to talk. I think this is what I'm going to say:

Dave would have loved this party. The consummate host, he’d be making sure that everything runs smoothly and remedying the situation when it doesn’t, he’d make sure that we all have a full glass in our hand—Dave is responsible for the first time I got drunk, by the way—and he’d ensure that each of us feels cared for and special.

That’s what I miss the most: at some point after greeting me with a lively “how’s my darlin’!”, Dave always found a moment to check in with me, no matter what the occasion. He really wanted to know what was happening in my life, and it was really easy to tell him. He made me feel like an equal, like the most important person in the world to him, and he’d offer advice so insightful that after so many of those conversations I can’t remember a single piece of it, I just know that it changed me and my world.
I know he didn’t do this just for me, I’m sure a lot of you know exactly what I’m talking about—and I’m not even jealous.

There is a dichotomy happening here: Looking forward to this weekend I felt a strange mix of excitement and trepidation. How great it is to be in this beautiful place—and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as beautiful as it is today—with these wonderful people! But I keep expecting to hear Dave’s laugh. This is a time to mourn, but it’s a celebration. There is laughter and there are tears. And that’s okay. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you this quote that I keep returning to. It’s from Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and theologian:
“We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity. We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.”

Please let me know what you think. Is it too speachy? Does it make sense and flow well? It is okay to use words like "dichotomy" and "consummate"? Should I go to the podium or talk from my chair? Is it normal for me to be so anxious about it?
I'll be awaiting your imput...

On Staying Strong

Earlier this week someone navigated to this site by doing a Google search for "molly merrick stay strong"

I'm sure they'd seen the site before and wanted to find their way back here... but I appreciate the reminder. I needed it.

Oh, and also: Thanks for your visits!
Actually, we named him Picco (short for piccolo).

Introducing Azzo

...or Mauro, I haven't decided yet.
He comes home in about 2 weeks.

Holes are spaces with no things in them.

I've gone through stages when I can't find things. Last fall I kept locking myself out of my apartment, I lost my wallet, and on several occasions I lost my subway card. This summer I've been loosing things again - only now I'm losing people. My great-uncle died this week, my wonderful uncle Dave died last week, my dog died right after my birthday (okay, not a person), an old family friend died on the 4th of July...
and then there are the misplaced: Rachel and Ashley and my Girlies and all the friends and aquintances I left behind in Illinois (and at Porters, and at AB, and beyond). I know they're not gone forever, but I can't quite get my hands on them right now when I need them. Like when you're late and you can't find your keys.
And of course, there's Boy. I don't know what to say about him, except there's an emptiness.

There's an emptiness that comes from all of this. It's an expanding kind of emptiness. It's like a wall that needs pictures, but there are no pictures to hang. I lost some important things, and when I go to fill the empty space left, I find that whatever it was I was going to use is missing. Someone dies and all I want is for someone to come and keep me company, but there's no one to call.

That's not partucularly true. There are lots of people I could call. I don't lose friends, I sort of collect them. There is no one in my life who I wouldn't want to see or hear from again. No one I've cut ties with. Some of my relationships are packed away in storage, some are sitting on a shelf and collecting dust, I mentioned earlier that some are misplaced, many need some repair after so much disuse. But if I pulled them out and shined them up a bit, I know they'd still sparkle. It's just that they seem to be just out of my reach.

So the sense of emptiness prevails.
And I'm trying to fill it up in other ways: With my family. With grad school research. I joined a gym and I'm actually using it. It's a project that fills the empty hours. That's productive.
Not so productive is my desire to shop. I want more books and more shoes and I'm dying for a new laptop and maybe some clothes or accesories or jewelry or home furnishings. I feel like those things are going to fill the void a little. But the reality is that I will love my new brown t-strap wedge heels, and I'll imagine how cute they'll look with skirts in the fall, and I'll be so disappointed and annoyed when they get their first scuff. But then they'll get more scuffs and soon they'll be another pair of shoes that I own and not something special. I'll still use and enjoy them, but they'll be something else weighing me down and not something that lifts me up.

I don't think there's anything wrong with owning things - some of my favorite things are things (go figure) - but I'm looking for something fill me up and raise me higher. Maybe I need to make new friends - I don't even know where you find them these days - or maybe I need to invest the time and effort in my old collection.
Maybe I just need to rely on TJ Maxx and their liberal return policy and excellent deals for awhile.
Maybe if I can flounder a little longer the answer will come to me - and maybe not.

But here's something I'm sure of: No more losing people. You hear that everyone? Just because you haven't heard from me in awhile doesn't mean that I'm done with you, so don't go dying on me. I can't stand it and I won't have it.
I'm glad we settled that.
Here is an excerpt of an email my aunt Polly sent to the family about her husband, Dave:
It is with profound sadness that I am writing to you to tell you about our family's decision to let Dave go in peace. In spite of every conceivable diagnostic test, there is simply no explanation for the extensive clot in Dave's lungs; it is irreversible and untreatable. He has been 100% dependent on the ventilator and cannot survive without one. Continuing to do so is explicitly against his wishes so, after several meetings with his doctors, our family is going to honor his directives.

It hasn't happened yet, and I'm just waiting to hear when it does.

I might write more on this later. But that's enough for now.

Except for: no, I'm not okay.

On Love of Drama

At work the other day one of the custodians was moving an empty filing cabinet and punctured his wrist. There was quite a lot of blood so we made him go to the nurse who turned out to be incompetent. As my boss talked to the woman on the phone with tone of combined horror and aggravation, I stayed nearby and took it all in. One of the ladies I work with turned to me, smiled and said “You love drama, don’t you?”
She has no idea. I hate to be a part of it, but I adore being in the proximity of it… this is mostly a product of my family, I think.
Her remark made me laugh at the time. But there has been a lot of drama lately. When Mae West claimed that “too much of a good thing is wonderful” I think she was probably talking about jewelry or ice cream... because even if you thrive when big things are going on, there is a limit to how much a girl can take.

Everything that is happening keeps reminding me again and again how important relationships are. I’m not referring to how valuable it is to have bonds with the people in your life – although that’s also important. I’m talking about the roles that we play and how we’re connected.
Have you ever held someone’s hands and then both of you leaned way back and balanced one another’s weight? If one of the two people falls or lets go to scratch his elbow the other person is going to lose balance or fall. Imagine that balance with more people, now. Imagine your family, or everyone you know, or even the whole world. If one person changes or disappears every one is going to be affected until the balance is found again.
I am in the midst of that post-change confusion. There are nodes in my network, including me, who have disappeared or shifted or let go and now every one and ever thing is stumbling about.
I trust that equilibrium will be found again, but in the meantime it’s sloppy and scary. And for now, drama is not something I love.


Postscript: I like this photo for it’s simplicity and the different levels of meaning it carries for me. I know that it's probably as cryptic as the entry itself. I've left a lot of details out because this isn't the place for stuff like that. But you can always ask and I might tell you.

Today Is My Birthday

Which adds to my sense that I'm hurtling through time at an alarming rate.

this is me struggling and falling and failing
and not living life to its fullest but wanting to and trying
and continuing to figure out who i am and who i want to be and how

it is messy and muddled


I hate my job.

But these are things I have to look forward to:
the Vineyard for the 4th.
my birthday.
a new computer (someday soon)
the end of my job and the subsequent start of working with the kids again.

That'll get me through the summer... or at least July.

What do you have planned?


After driving home I went to get an oil change and I was in the waiting room at Jiffy Lube when I realized that I never see grown-ups sitting cross-legged in public places. I thought to myself "If I'm a grown-up, I should really sit like one" and then I continued to sit cross-legged anyway.

People keep asking me if I feel different and, other than things like that, I don't.

But it's been a month since I graduated and a lot has changed:
I've moved back home after 7 years in dorms and I'm attempting to move everything old out and everything current in (and then I want to redecorate).
I started working a week after graduation in special education. I'm in charge of the 8th graders in one of the resource rooms in the junior high. Basically, I go to each of the classes so I can keep track of the material and assignments, and when the students are in the resource room I keep them on task and help them if they need it. That's going to change over the summer, and I know what I'll be doing then... but for now the job is great. I get weekends off and I'm home every day by 2:30, although I do have to be there at 7:30 every morning.
And of course, I am far away from some of the most important people in my life.

A lot of it is very exciting, and I manage to spend a majority of my time upbeat... but I can feel it draining on me. Yesterday I slept all afternoon and then burst into tears before dinner. I am tired and overwhelmed and especially lonely.

Eventually the dust will settle and everything will be clear, but right now life is pretty murky.

I Graduated!

More photos can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/molly_merrick/sets/72057594138496772/

My View

I was lucky to have decent dorm luck my last year at Lake Forest College. In the past it’s been bad. Let’s review, shall we?
Freshman year, Roberts dorm. It’s shoddy and not substance-free and I was in a quad.
Sophomore year , McClure dorm. It’s a twin of shoddy Roberts, but substance free. I had a off of a landing in the stairwell and students here call it a “suicide single”. It was tiny, and the bed was permanently lofted over the desk and armoire and permanently blocking the window. There was no set of drawers (I stacked Rubbermaid containers in the armoire) and to use the bathroom you had to go downstairs and people in the stairway were really noisy. The best part was that I had a sink in the room.
Junior year, I was hoping to move up in the world, but instead ended up in McClure again! This time in a single in a ground-floor hallway which was quieter and involved less going up and down. It was still small, and I missed my sink, and the window looked out onto the path—which means that most of the campus probably saw me in some state of undress.

But senior year things worked out a little better, as they should: Fall semester I was living in Chicago on the Gold Coast. I had a small, but livable fourth floor apartment directly across from the vintage elevators. It had a kitchen and a bathroom. It had murphy-beds, and more windows and more furniture than most of the other apartments in the building and we made sure it had cable and internet. We could walk a couple of blocks and find ourselves at the Lake, at the eL, at the grocery store, at a club, or in the Loop. It was pretty great.
In the spring it was a crapshoot. I’d given up my room lottery by studying off-campus and so they basically put me wherever they had room. Luckily, they had room for me in a pretty, old dorm in close proximity to my friends. This room is also really really small, but it’s on the first floor and it’s the woman’s dorm so it’s quiet and nice and it’s really not so bad. And the best part is the view:

My room this semester looks out over the ravine. Not only does this mean I get to be naked as much as I like, it also means I can lay in my bed and gaze out at whatever weather there may be and whatever the seasons might be doing at the time. Right now it’s warm and sunny and becoming green. (The photo above is from the fall... and not taken out of my window... but it seemed to fit best). The leaves are coming out and dusting the trees with that new golden-green, and maybe by graduation they will grow into the full lush green of summer.

I was just looking out and contemplating the branches. The limbs of some of these trees grow out of the trunk and towards the sky… but then abruptly change directions. I theorize that part of the limb was cut off and so it put all of it’s energy into growing a branch and so now the limb looks like it’s bending at a 75 degree or a 100 degree or even a sharp 90 degree angle. Never an acute angle though… which is getting to my point. These trees, their limbs change directions suddenly and abruptly, but whether it happened naturally or it happened because something was cut off they still keep growing towards the sky.

While I know it’s not a very novel analogy, our lives are like those branches. Things happen and our directions change, but we keep growing up.

Happy May Day!

An arbitrary story from my life:

I usually don't shower in the morning because I babysit almost every day and I prefer to shower when I get home so I can wash off any squished food or playdough.
But today I have a few meetings I'd like to look less scruffy for, so this morning I got up and showered before class. While I was standing in my shower shoes I thought to myself that I would be doing this every morning after graduation because I start my great new job on May twenty-second. I'll be working in the Special Education program at the Acton-Boxborough Regional School System. I thought to myself "I won't be able to wear jeans to work, I might get confused for one of the students!" and then I realized that there's no way that anyone will confuse me for someone under 18.

I guess I'm a grown-up. eek!


The other day I was walking next to the ravine and I something fell from a tree. I went to see what it was and saw a grey squirrel looking stunned on the ground.

Squirrels live their lives in the treetops. I am incredibly comforted to know that they fall from time to time.

He looked at me for a second and then ran off.

I am also comforted to see that after a big fall, it's possible to climb back up towards the sky.

Burning Into the Night

Tonight around 10 I decided I was tired of this terrible feeling of being lonely and trapped and helpless and like my head is going to crack open. I decided I didn’t want to wait for something to happen to make it better any longer, so it was time to clean my room.

My tiny dorm room has been a terrible mess for way too long and has been stressing me out. I’m so effected by it that last weekend I actually burst into tears when my boy cracked a joke about it as he tiptoed his way through the tangle of clothes, scarves, textbooks, cords, and shoes that blanketed my floor.

So I headed for the closet where I unpacked my suitcase from spring break
(!!!) and set my shoes in rows and put away the laundry I did 2 weeks ago. Then I worked out from there: I filed papers that needed filing, I set aside more clothes to consign and more stuff to send home, I gathered up all the materials for my latest project and set them aside in a showbox, I threw away a lot of receipts and random pieces of paper, I made about 20 paper cranes (I've been behind), I updated my to-do list, I did my finances for March, I wrote a letter to my aunt, I unpacked a box that’s been sitting there since I moved in in January.

Some of my clothes in my drawers need to be re-folded, I have a some dishes to do, and the floor desperately needs to be vacuumed but all in all I’m feeling wonderfully accomplished. My 4-day headache is down to a dull roar and the desire to scream has diminished. I’m glad I didn’t wait until it was time to move out to do all this like I told myself I would. It wasn’t hard and I feel so much better.

Now the test will be: can I keep everything in its place for the next month?

Dear Devoted Reader,

(or hopefully-soon-to-be-devoted, if it's you're first time)

I have been sick all weekend with a yucky cold. I've done nothing but watch television and movies and movies on television and play on the internet. And slept. And eaten chicken soup (thanks boy).

But have I written an update? No. And has it been way too long since I wrote an update? Yes. And would these past two days been the ideal time to do such a thing? Most definitely!

So I'm sorry. I've been meaning to... I've even had a few ideas. And sometime soon I'll type one of them up and release it to the internets for you and your cohorts to read. I promise.

In the meantime, I'm going to go blow my nose some more.

Snuffly yours,

On Seabrook, SC

This place has magic.
I go to sleep at night to moonlight and wind chimes and wake up to sunlight and mysterious footprints in the sand under the porch. We suspect cougars.
There are seeds in my orange juice and sand dollars waiting to be found on the wide flat beach.
The windows look out over the river as it curves through the marsh, and the spanish moss hangs lazily from tree branches. This place's casualty is enchanting--no rush or urgency--the live oaks can’t even be bothered to shed their leaves in the autumn, preferring to just let one leaf fall as the next grows in.
The sun is warmer here, the colors brighter, the days slower, and the creativity stronger. The meals are longer here, the conversations more meaningful, and the company is as merry as ever. There is magic here.

(They also have a fantastic grocery store. And I got a massage and some ridiculous light blue Crocs.
Needless to say, I’m a happy girl.)

The Power of Words

It's funny how when you try to put some things into words they change.
They cease to exist or they grow to titanic proportions. They get better or worse. They lose their meaning. They gain meanings. They gain import. They are trivialized. They are transformed in countless ways.
Whatever the transformation of those things is... they are forever different once they are expressed with words.


Sometimes I think I see Perfection in something: a photograph, a story, a relationship, a lifestyle, someone’s skin… and I think “Why can’t I have that?” It seems that there’s nothing perfect in my life and sometimes that really gets me down.

An example of my imperfection: When I was little, I hugged a sleeping dog and now I have 4 scars on the left side of my face. I’m lucky, the emergency room doctors did a good job sewing up the tears and the scars are relatively small and subtle. But I hate them and they are the first things I see when I look in the mirror.
People tell me “I never noticed them before you pointed them out! Don’t get rid of them, they give you character!” I hate that too. Surely an imperfection that was painfully inflected on me doesn’t give my face character!
But consider a handmade product, like a garment, piece of furniture, or quilt. It is the small imperfections—the variations in color or pattern or whatnot—that makes those products unique and valuable. Maybe my face is like that.

When I really think about it I like my life this way. Those imperfections set me and my life apart from other people. They give it value, they allow room for improvement and space to grow, and they give prospective.
If everything was perfect there would be nothing to look at, be surprised by, work on, hope for, cry about, laugh at, be inspired by… and I could go on.

Without those things, who wants perfection?
(Well, I do. Go figure)
new entry in the works... hopefully a good one.

(this entry is my assurance that I will actually finish and post it)

Often I Feel Like I Can't

I don't write here often because I want write from an optimistic, insightful, inspired place; and I want to do it honestly.

This dissatisfaction makes me ache.

To Do in the New Year*

Floss every day
Drink more water
Earn excellent grades
Apply to graduate school
Write more letters
Save money
Be smart
Connect with people, including friends + family in my extended network
Take responsibility
Talk to strangers
Recognize patterns, then change the negative ones and foster the positive ones
Be honest
Find and take opportunities
Take risks
Be brave
Be proud of myself
Be happy
Feel beautiful
Be part of a community
Find balance
See beauty everywhere
Create something every day

*This list is subject to change.