Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Music and Rollercoasters

"When the revenant came down, we couldn't imagine what it was. In the spirit of three stars, the alien thing that took its form..."

-Sufjan Stevens, "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois"


Niko's favorite song is "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" from Sufjan Steven's "Come on, Feel the Illinois!" album. Because my son has remarkable taste. We used to play it in his room to help him sleep, and if "UFO" or "John Wayne Gacy, Jr" or "Casimir Pulaski Day" starts playing on our computer, Niko will drop whatever he is doing and come running. His leg is so much stronger, and his limp is better. What a relief. I'll say it again: what a relief. Anyway, the song is in my song queue at the bottom of this page. It's astoundingly beautiful; melancholy and ethereal. My favorite part is the squeak of the piano seat right before he leans forward to play. That's so human. I wrote my first novel to this album. I hear it and think of Niko, and also how lonely I was when I was writing. We had just moved to this awful, awful place, and had no friends. Nobody from the ward, nothing. I felt more included when we lived in Finland, and heavens knows we were alone there! But something good came out of all of that, didn't it? Of course it did. Because that is the way that things work, and it's beautiful.

I'm happy when Niko goes to school, because then I get to focus on Nina. I feel like she never gets the one-on-one time that Niko had with us. Two kids is hard, a permanent balancing act. I don't want to be all, "Niko's school, Niko's hearing, Niko's doctor's appointments." And I don't want to be all, "Nina's roly-poly cuteness, Nina's adorable dresses, Nina's babbling." My parents were sensational at making sure that Riley and I were both equal in everything, especially my mom. She took great pains at it. I don't know if I ever told her how much I appreciated it, but I did. But my kids, you throw the two of them together and they're happy. They like each other. A lot.

I asked Luke yesterday if we could drive to a town 45 minutes away to go play. Well, calling it a town is being generous. It has maybe five buildings and a terrifyingly rickety roller coaster with one of the biggest drops in the world. Pyper and I went on it in November last year, I still didn't have my heart problems under control, and partway through I began laughing maniacally. I mean, it was the craziest laugh that I have ever heard, and it was coming from me! She asked me about it later and I said, "I thought that I was going to die. Just then, I realized that I was still alive." You should see the picture we took after it. Not only had we just split the biggest burrito known to mankind, (delicious!) but we were windblown and both of our eyes were wild. It must have been the lighting, but to me it looked like my pupils were star shaped. I miss her. I wish that she lived next to me and we could do these shenanigans all of the time. Plus she gave me lip stain that looks like a vial of blood. This is why we're friends. :)

Oh, and road trips. I still promise never to tell, Pypes.

2 comments:

Andrea, Mrs. said...

[deep breath]

You have the most beautiful way of describing the world. I look forward to your postings the most of all my friends--because I can feel and see and understand everything more clearly through your writing. And--I already know you so well.

[sigh]

Thanks

Katie Aldrich said...

I love that you can look at a picture and love it because it looks like you have star-shaped pupils. You live life so vividly- which I'm sure brings a lot of pain, but also a lot of joy.