Thursday, October 22, 2009

salt slab foccacia

I am in the pumpkin-scented house, my wife is cooking for me, there is a kitten asleep in my lap, Jessica is on her way home, and Glen is serenading me with his strangely perfect music. *deep heart sigh*

He has done all things well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I have a large glass of wine sitting by my hand and it is delightful. and there is a block of cheese and a cheese slicer next to it. Also, my friends live in a warm, pumpkin-scented house in SE Portland and I'm housesitting for a family with a large tub that I am going to soak in very soon. what? how did life get so great? oh, but also, I overdrew my bank account. so, there's still a healthy level of "what the hell?" going on right now.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

it smells good here.

Today I opened a window in my kitchen, put my nose right up against the screen and breathed in nice and deep.  mmmmmmm, it was raining.  I laughed.  I heard thunder and the dog, scraping his nails on the windowsill, wanting in.  I breathed in again and thought happy thoughts about the fall and the leaves and the dark day.  I love this smell.  Wet and smoky, cold and grey. 

It's been so long since I've been here.  The last fall I spent in Portland was senior year in high school, six years ago.  or is it five?  How do you count that?  freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, London, this year.  Right?  Six?  However you count it, it's a long long time away from my rainy rainy home city. 

I have two cats.  Am I a cat lady?  They're lovely and crazy and I always have stories to tell about them.  I like to talk about my cats. Hmm.  

I like to sit and think with scarves.  My neck gets cold really easily.  I like the red one.  It's long and I can tie it up in knots and thoughts. :)

Here are some rain-inspired haiku.  It's been another long time since I played with syllables.  I used to love that.  Once again,

Today I worried
about slipping on soggy
city sidewalk leaves.

that Thanksgiving smell
is wafting up from the rain-
soaked, autumn asphalt.

an eyeball licking
kitten attacks my orange
sleeves on the warm couch.

every now and then
on my mind. on my mind. on
my mind now and then.

Monday, October 12, 2009

i'm meeting a family on thursday that might want me to nanny for them starting in november. i just got another preschool from one of the other "first stage" teachers, bumping me up to three a week, and i start working the box office for tapestry theater at the end of october. things are coming together little by little. also, went for drinks with some nwct teachers and they like me. having people like you is always wonderful. three cheers for being likable. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

one flat tire

I felt so self-sufficient today as I changed my tire in the parking lot. "Look at me!" I thought, "I know how to do this! I am awesome." I rubbed my smudgy fingers together and smiled at the dark marks on my jeans. This is what it is to be an independent woman. I almost wanted some man to see me and come up and offer to help just so I could say, "Thanks, but I got this." Haha. I have known how to handle a flat since I was about fifteen. I am confident in my tire-changing skillz and I really like to do it. Seriously, if you get a flat and you are near to me I will come and change it for you.

But then it turns out that my tire is beyond repair! And the Les Schwab guy told me that at least two of my tires need to be replaced. So I drove my little car home and put it in the garage and backed out the Blazer and moved all of my things from one car to the other. Things like my ipod, my face lotion, and my sleeping bag. Because I can't afford two new tires right now. And I can't do anything about that. So I move my things and I wait until I can. There are other things to focus on. But it made me feel a little less self-sufficient. A little less independent. A little less ready to move on and move out. It's hard. But I can't help that.

I've been praying more lately. This week was a good week for prayer. For focused prayer, that is. I have unfocused prayer all the time - little thoughts I flick at God almost without thinking. I like that. But I've been writing out my prayers this week and I think that's been right. I re-read through some old blogs too and re-prayed all those old thoughts and moments. They were good ones. Like this:
I remembered that this is not new, this waiting thing. Millions before me have learned this lesson, and have waited for God to work. have waited to hear His voice. and have been rewarded with the promise of His faithfulness over and over again.
That was good to remember. Also, this:
i know that God has done all things well. that He does all things well. and that He will continue to do all things well. and i will seek rest for my soul even as i do not have time to seek rest for my mind or my spirit or my body.

He has done all things well. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Monday, October 5, 2009

two maple keys

Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Now read this. Really read it.
I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing towards Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down. All at once I saw what looked like a Martian spaceship whirling towards me in the air. It flashed borrowed light like a propeller. Its forward motion greatly outran its fall. As I watched, transfixed, it rose, just before it would have touched a thistle, and hovered pirouetting in one spot, then twirled on and finally came to rest. I found it in the grass; it was a maple key, a single winged seed from a pair. Hullo. I threw it into the wind and it flew off again, bristling with animate purpose, not like a thing dropped or windblown, pushed by the witless winds of convection currents hauling round the world's rondure where they must, but like a creature muscled and vigorous, or a creature spread thin to that other wind, the wind of the spirit which bloweth where it listeth, lighting, and raising up, and easing down. O maple key, I thought, I must confess I thought, o welcome, cheers.
Dear Annie Dillard. This is from her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I love finding similar souled authors. Sometimes when I'm out walking, I'll suddenly breathe in deep and suck down all the outsideness that I can and when I breathe out again it's with a laugh and an alive feeling. This feels like that. O, it feels like joy. Can we pause for a moment and breathe in and suck down all that goodness and peace feeling? It's fall right now and things are changing. Then let it out and laugh for your life. O brother. Can anyone write that the way that it is?
Thomas Merton wrote, "There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues." There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won't have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.
Once I start in on Annie, I can't stop. None of my own thoughts run by untainted by hers. I love it. I won't be itsy or bitsy. I wasn't born for it. I live on purpose. Today I'm going to go play with preschoolers and I'm going to shake my crimpy hair at them and growl like a lion and feel strong and silly. Hullo. I'm praying for courage today. Courage to risk life and openness. Sometimes I feel so cliché and laughably philosophical, but this is it. This is the only time we have.
These are our few live seasons. Let us live them as purely as we can, in the present.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


... i'm a geek i'm a geek i'm a geek i'm a geek ...

... but music changes me. how is it?? how does it vibrate through us like that? how does it shake our brains and rattle our perceptions like that? why am i so happy after something as silly as a singing TV show? i'm a geek, but ... watching cheno and matthew morrison duet was like a musical high. i don't need drugs. i've got kristen. and queen. :)