Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peach Plum Pear

This is my perfect song today. She is perfect today. Watch the video ( and read the lyrics. Put on my shoes and walk around with my tired feet and understand my Joanna place.
we speak in the store
I'm a sensitive bore
you seem markedly more
and I'm oozing suprise

but it's late in the day
and you're well on your way
what was golden went gray
and I'm suddenly shy

and the gathering floozies
afford to be choosy
and all sneezing darkly
in the dimming divide

and I have read the right books
to interpret your looks
you were knocking me down
with the palm of your eye

go; na na na na na na na na na na
na na na na na na na na na na
na na na na na na na na

this was unlike the story
it was written to be
I was riding its back
when it used to ride me

and we were galloping manic
to the mouth of the source
we were swallowing panic
in the face of its force

and I was blue
I am blue
and unwell
made me bolt like a horse

and; na na na na na na na na na na
na na na na na na na na na na
na na na na na na na na

now it's done
watch it go
and you've changed so
water run from the snow

am I so dear?
do I run rare?
and you've changed so

peach, plum, pear
peach, plum

This is another beautiful video of her: Peach Plum Pear

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whiskey and Feelings Night #2 = Success.

Whiskey was drunk. Feelings were shared. Everyone was fit to drive home and woke up hangover free. I hope. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brave as a Bear

I have two, maybe three BIG THINGS I would like to write about.

Once again, I need to sort through my spiritual thoughts. Like Pick-Up Sticks, I want to remove them one at a time, trying to keep the other sticks from shaking, looking for patterns and purpose. I think I'm sad and confused and a little scared of what I'm discovering. oy. and yet, I know that I don't have the time or the energy to do this right now. It's still happening, under the surface, but I can't focus on it. Later this Winter. I promise. I'll sit down and I'll take the cover off that shaky pot and let all the spiritual fear and fervor envelop me like a sticky mist. Ok? Ok.

You know what I feel right now? I feel inexperienced. I feel woefully unprepared. I feel unsure and I feel uneasy and not at rest. Oh gosh. It's Winter! I'm going into my Crazy! Because, simultaneously, I'm feeling peaceful, happy, filled and driven. I make no sense to myself. I haven't journaled in for-fucking-ever. That's the real issue here.

This is what I think about sometimes: I don't cook. I should start learning to cook healthy things. and then I should eat them.

and that thought, that simple little thought overwhelms me to the point of paralysis. Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you ever heard? and yet it's true. Dear Sweet Goodness, I need to give myself a fucking break. and I need to learn to cook healthy food.

Here is a list of things I already do well:
1) Wear glasses.
2) Kiss.
3) Sing in the car.
4) Listen to people.
5) Drink tea. or whiskey.
6) Dishes.
7) Phone Calls (Funny story: I used to tell people that I was bad on the phone because all of my cool friends were "bad at the phone" but it was a lie. I am so good on the phone. so. good.)
8) Pet cats.
9) Find quotes.
10) Color.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Again.

On Sunday I felt very suddenly and strongly that fall was over and winter was here. Thanksgiving seems to mark the end of fall, in some way. And winter is my season.

Sometimes I pretend that this isn't true. I think about how magical summer is and how I was a summer girl. I love summer. I think about how changeful and warm fall is and I want to fit as snugly in it as my friends do. But no. Winter comes and I'm reminded that we belong with one another.

Somewhere along the way Winter became a dear friend, a thoughtful companion, a familiar extension of myself.

You know that warm bubble of contentment and joy that swells under your ribcage when something inexpressibly delightful and comforting happens? I'm feeling that.

Here's the thing, guys. I'm going through a lot of change in my life (when am I not?) and Winter is my time to sit down and unpack all of my mind's drawers and sort everything. And I need to take the time to pull the drawers out of my dressers and empty them in giant piles all around me. I need the time to sit and pick through and turn things this way and that and relabel some of it and then re-fold it or throw it away or hang it up.

Winter gives me that time. oof. There's a lot of time in Winter. A lot of dark time. But I think I'm ready. Let's get down to the bare bones, to the bare arms of the trees. I need to stop. and think. and figure it out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

... waiting ...

I'm making an online photo album of Peter's and my first vacation together, aka our honeymoon. But Snapfish is "unable to save my photo album at this time." I'm supposed to try again in a few minutes. So I have been trying every few minutes and it continues to tell me that it is not ready to save my work. *le sigh*

Want to see some of my pictures?

We like to smoke cigars. NEXT!

This is the first natural bridge we hiked to at the Natural Bridges National Monument.

That is my husband there, hiking along.

I like to hike too. Wee!

I like to think that we're naturally happy people.

That's all. Off to save!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shamrock Run

This March (2011), I will be attempting to run a 15K. Sweet Mother of God, I am already hating myself so much. There is a 5K and 8K also available (Kyle and Dena are running the 5K), but Peter wants to run the 15K with my dad and I don't want to run the 8K all alone, so ... I will be starting a training schedule this week to see if it is possible to run 9.3 miles by March 13.

Please send strong, enduring, healthy thoughts my way.

To be honest, I'm secretly a little excited because I know that this will be so good for me. My body will freaking love me (eventually). But first, everything in my being will hate me, hate Peter, hate St. Patrick's Day, and hate this mother f***ing run.

Please send strong, enduring, healthy thoughts my way.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

... and Whether Pigs Have Wings.

Last night Peter and I sat in our living room and drank tea and journaled and tried to get our cats to freak out like normal cats. Fail.

I applied for some seasonal retail work and am keeping my fingers crossed that I get it (I'm doing that thing where I call in about once a day to check on the status of my application). There's something that sounds strangely appealing about being busy around the holidays. I may regret it once I'm stressing out about frilly shirts and shitty customers, but I want to be working more. Also, I think I'll feel less stressed about finances if I'm actively contributing to them. You know?

It's all rainy and cold here right now and I'm kind of loving it. I put on tights when I wake up, scarves when I leave the house and gloves when I get in the car. Why do I love grey and drizzly? Maybe because it feels like home. Also, I like to dress warmly. All my prettiest things are warm things, anyway. And there's more of an excuse to drink hot coffee, hot tea, hot chai and hot mulled wine. HOT HOT HOT! One of my favorite things to get in foreign European countries is a little paper cone filled with hot chesnuts. In French Switzerland they're called Marrons Chauds and in Swiss German one asks for Heissi Marroni. Oh, dear sweet goodness.

I'm feeling rambly and happy this morning. There's nothing pressing that needs doing in this moment and I'm teaching at my favorite preschool this afternoon. Thank you, rainy Portland!

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Why the Sea is Boiling Hot ...

Details, details, details.

I suck at them.

Except when I'm awesome at them. Which is only when superhuman effort or purest necessity pry me from my blissful absentmindedness and force me to notice things that need to get done and then actually do them all.

Currently, I am a list-making machine. I have lists everywhere. Life lists and phone number lists and address lists and library lists. Lists have a lovely way of simplifying things. And in my lists there is always a big box next to each thing so that I can make checks as I complete things. Sometimes I write down things I have already done, for the sheer joy of marking a big check in that box.

Today though, I am letting go of a few details. I am going to the beach. I will take a big breath and let it out slowly. Rinse, repeat. And I will not worry about whether the people who don't know one another will find things to talk about. They are competent, capable, confident women. They will discover something to share. I plan to forget a whole shit-load of things today and tomorrow, at the beach. It's on my list. Welcome home, absentmindedness.

Forgetfulness Haiku:

Please remember to
remind yourself to write down
whatever that was.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Of Cabbages and Kings

1. I love James Taylor.
2. Today it is warm and sunny and I walked to coffee.
3. I saw Katie Westerberg today! And met Thomas! What a delightful thing to happen!
4. I'm going to the beach.
5. I encouraged someone to live overseas. :)
6. I love coffee. And now Chai too. That's fun and new.
7. My hair is still red. mmmmm ... happy color.
8. Jessica and Lucas take good pictures together. They're so pretty.
9. Megan Porter writes lovely blogs. They're some of my favorites to read. Write more please, Megan.
10. I'm thinking about good things today. Big, good, non-stressful perspective-giving things. Life can be kind.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax

1. Tomorrow is my golden birthday! I am turning 24 on the 24th! :D
2. One of my best friends got divorced today. Her picture looked like someone lit a light bulb inside of her. :) She's free!
3. Tomorrow I will eat chocolate cake made by my wonderful mother who is allergic to chocolate. Isn't that the nicest thing someone could possibly do for you?
4. I felt normal about marriage today. It was a needed feeling. Thank you, Jen.
5. I like to mop. It makes things look clean.
6. I want to paint my next apartment tree-y colors. Like orange. Is that tree-y? I think it works.
7. I'm wearing a Peter-shirt right now. It smells like him - warm and safe and masculine and mine.
8. I am going to a theater callback at the end of this month. :) :) :)
9. I like to sleep with earplugs in.
10. I have two cats.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The New York Times and My Empathetic Ineptitude.

I opened up The New York Times today and saw all the leaked documents about the war in Afghanistan. I started reading them and realized that I was skimming. It was too much. Too much to take in and understand. It's so hard to read about the destructive things human beings are capable of doing to other human beings in the name of fear, loyalty, hate, vengeance, what? Nothing will ever get completely better. We may find or bring or grow peace and wholeness in one corner of the world, but just on the other side of the hill, people are being raped, suppressed, beaten and silenced. I feel like there's no end. The world is a damaged place and is in the process of beating itself endlessly over the head with a thorny bat, thus creating further damage. I hear about oil spills and global warming and deforestation and war and dying children and I can't comprehend it all. I could sit on the internet all day and all night for a week and never finish reading about all the horrible things that are happening to our world every day.

And after all that - nothing much. I don't feel much or do much about any of that. I don't like it; I feel sad, but I'm not driven to action.

I'll be the first to say that I'm not a very empathetic person. I don't weep for the children of the world in the way that sometimes I should. I don't scream in outrage at injustice. I don't even feel very sorry for harried mothers. Mostly when I read about war and atrocities, I don't register it on anything more than an observational level. I don't feel those things in the way that some people do - empathy flows from them effortlessly. But I'm beginning to wonder if I just wasn't made that way. This is NOT to say that I shouldn't strive to cultivate in myself some shade of empathy for the world. It is only to say that I know this is something that isn't natural to me. To be honest, I have always thought that I wasn't as good of a person because I didn't cry about babies with no families or write to my congressman or feel the desire to march through the streets with Greenpeace. I have tried so many times to manufacture that drive in myself and felt defeated when I couldn't conjure up that desire. I was certain that I wasn't trying hard enough, that I was just lazy and self-focused (and I am). But after years of fighting guilt over this, I'm trying to look at it in a different way, hoping that I'm not just making excuses.

There are some people who read The New York Times and are driven to action. They find ways to do and to fight and to call out apathy and ignorance. They cry and they scream and they push and they make things change. I am not one of those people. Which is not to say that I want to live in apathy and ignorance. But I want to live in line with how I was made and to seek to use the gifts that I was born with instead of lusting after the ones given richly and generously to other people.

Here's what I've been discovering: Over the years I have found myself loving many empathetic, activist-type people. They are some of my nearest and dearest friends. And when I love someone, I will love them tirelessly with drive and purpose and passion and understanding. This is something that is true about me. I see myself loving those who weep for the children and who scream in outrage at injustice. Those are my people. And I can help them in their efforts because I love them, even if I can't bring the passion for the cause in the way that they can. I can also sit and drink tea or beer with them and listen with my whole being and try to fill them up so they can continue pouring out in that wonderfully active, fighting way that they do.

I don't do this as selflessly as I should. But I'm working at it. I may be making excuses for myself, but at least I'm being honest, making my way forward and trying to do what I can in my own way for this messed-up world.

Monday, July 12, 2010

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.
I have never been more convinced that this is Truth. I sat out on the grass outside of my church and watched three dear people walk down the steps and across the street to sit by me and soak in the sunshine. They love me. They know how to open the doors and throw light into the dark rooms that I get locked into. God too, brings light and understanding into my crazy, broken places. I can't care about theology and religion right now. God is sitting beside me in the shape of my person, rubbing my back lightly, wiping tears from my cheeks and letting me sit silently, wrapped in grief and anger. She is fighting beside me and lending Her strength to my attempts to get up and walk out of bitterness. He sits on the grass with me, drinks beer and wine at my kitchen table, and gives me time and space in which to breathe deeply.
I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing towards Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down.
I'm so thankful for the Grace that follows the lost, sunk moments. So while I think of it, let me paint a thank-you on my palm for love that is given to me and for the people in whom it is brought to full expression.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Um ... yes. Our feet were in that water. In Chicago. Which was wonderful. But that water was nasty. There was a chicken in it. A chicken.

The best part was the people just a few feet away who were swimming. SWIMMING. in the chicken water. We wanted to yell at them, "YOU'RE SWIMMING IN CHICKEN WATER!" But we didn't.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving On

I "deactivated" my facebook account. It was time. Lately I've been mulling over the idea that there is no energy in logic, only in emotion. I had an emotional moment yesterday and it gave me the energy to hit all the right buttons and get rid of that time-sucker. I am so obsessive. I need to stop giving myself opportunities to waste my life. I need to take a Spanish class. And a dance class. And go to an acting workshop. And bike. And walk more. And read. Dear Goodness, anything but fade away in cyberland, waiting for something interesting to happen.

And yet here I am, on the internet, and this blog. :) Which isn't a bad thing. But it's time to get out of bed. I have coffee to make and life to live.

... little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poems by Mary Oliver.

When I Am Among The Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

I try to live well. And to shut out the voices that say, "Mend my life!" and to reach for grace and understanding. I try to sit still and listen. I don't know how often I succeed. I'm still young and naive and a know-it-all. I still move too much and share too many secrets. But I'm growing. I try to grow. I move towards that hope of myself, in which I have goodness and discernment. I ask for help. I like to think that I receive it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I start voice lessons next week.

My voice is a mess. It will take months to get it to a place where it can start to improve.

But still ... I START VOICE LESSONS NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I'm going to be in a slightly elevated emotional state for the next few weeks because I'm so so happy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Soap Box

"The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood."

I feel so strongly about this: if you are eligible, you should try to give blood. You may not be eligible. You may have lived too long overseas, or recently gotten a tattoo, or your iron might be too low, or you might be at risk for certain diseases that make your blood undesirable to the Red Cross. But! You might not be not eligible. You might have good blood. And if you do - if there's even the chance that you do have good blood, you should try to donate.


People need blood all of the time. And there is absolutely no substitute for it. The only way for someone to receive blood is if someone else has given it.

When you give blood, you make yourself uncomfortable. You allow someone to stick a needle into your body and remove a sizable amount of a fluid that keeps you alive. It can be scary; it can be intimidating; it can feel not-worth-it. And there aren't any obvious benefits in it for you. You don't make money, you don't get gifts or coupons or immunity from certain diseases. But you do come away with the awareness that you've done something selfless for another human merely being. I think that is Valuable. I think it is Worthwhile. I think it is Important.

Life is Precious. What if you could give something of yourself to help some other Person hold onto it? You can.

Give blood.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

I'm meditating on this beautiful poem today. and the concept of "meanwhile". "Meanwhile" means that other things are happening while I am wrapped up in my own angst, or joy or petty selfishness. Meanwhile, the world goes on. Life continues. I am but a piece of the intricate and facinating puzzle.

Friday, March 26, 2010

CHOICE. and Jessica E. Porter

Dear H.F.,

Today my life is different than it was yesterday. Yesterday we talked about choice and we spoke of it in two contexts. First, you showed me your muscle-y legs and told me you were running. You said that it had been a mental block for you for years and now you were running every other day and you liked it. I can't tell you how strong you looked yesterday, old friend. But it wasn't when you were showing off your defined calves. It was when you were making pancakes and talking about your garden. You stood there with your chunky necklace and your beautiful hair and your happy body and you seemed present. Present and alive and choice-filled. And then you stood in the bathroom by the sink while I swooshed around in the bathtub and we talked about a different kind of choice. We talked about choosing to commit and to work through the hard things and to love. Love is not random; it is chosen by us. Even more than running, this is our mental block. And we are pulling out our sledgehammers. That conversation changed me; I made a choice.

Jessica, today I ran for 2.3 miles. I didn't walk and I didn't stop.

Thank you,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I feel like I just made it through the spin cycle of a washing machine. I'm a little wobbly, a little sick and a lot relieved to have made it through in one piece.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Room of My Own

I am fraying. And rapidly. I can feel myself holding out for Spokane, for those twelve glorious hours alone in my car. And Spokane coffee shops! O glory.

I need my own room.

We may have a house (please please please)! And in that house is one room that would be all mine. I could go into it, close the door, sit in a corner and meditate if I wanted. or read. or call a friend. I am an intensely private person and it has been so hard for me to share every space. I need a corner with no one in it. A corner where me, myself and I can smile at one another, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and start putting the pieces back together.

(please please please)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I am slowly going crazy.
1 2 3 4 5 6

Crazy going slowly am I.
6 5 4 3 2 1

Monday, March 1, 2010

"I saw a life, and I called it mine."

"Stand here and name
the one you loved,
beneath the drifting ashes,
and, in naming,
rise above time,
as it, flashing, passes."

I'm alternately diving and dipping into this beautiful poetry, this achingly sweet music. Normally, I dislike my attempts to share my deep affection and understanding and connection with this woman because my words inevitably sound tinny, silly and shallow. But I need to try to share. and to tell you that I like being understood.

"This is a world of terrible hardship,
and I search for words
to set you at ease.
But there in the looking-glass,
a kite is soaring,
stilling my warring heart
and my trembling knees."

I'm struggling again with personal balance. I tend to not say the things I want to say when they need to be said. And I'm avoiding potential conflict and wishing for heart stillness. I'm off-kilter and yet steady as a rock. Making changes and resolving to keep them this time.

"I saw a life, and I called it mine.
I saw it, drawn so sweet and fine.
and I had begun to fill in all the lines,
right down to what we'd name her."

Joanna is helping.
And I'm thankful, thankful.
If you listen to this album, call me and we'll talk about it.
We'll sit and sigh.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Fish Two Fish

I wrote five Dr. Seuss scripts this week. Yes, five. I wrote them. And I ran through them with each of my five classes at Milwaukie Elementary School and they are going to be great.

I finished teaching my Musical Theater kids all of the choreography for their Showcase number. And we have two more weeks to work on it! So they will be ready. They just need to remember to breathe and sing and dance all at the same time. :)

I modified and sent home scripts with all of my tiniest tots at the theater so their parents can get them more excited about their one line. And I think the parents will do it! It's Thursday and I already have all the scripts ready to go for the Saturday class.

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but am I actually following through and bringing big projects to completion in a professional and creative manner?

Knock on wood, I think that I am!

I've been so afraid that I would be unable to do all of this. There are so many pieces to pull together and so many details to remember and so much prep that needs to be done. I am not and never have been a details person. I'm that person that comes up with the big beautiful idea and gets really excited about it and then lets it all slip through the cracks as time goes by. I've never been great at follow-through and follow-up.

O, the times they are a-changing.

Quick note: I have been known to follow through on a few things in the past. I have a BA, for goodness sakes. Hopefully that means that at some point in four years I completed something. Also, Tilikum. But I had a lot of help and a lot of accountability in that job. That makes a difference.

What makes these projects terrifying is that I am essentially doing them all on my own. My bosses keep telling me, "You'll be fine! You're doing great." And I've been trying to believe them, all the while feeling like they don't know me that well. If they did, they'd be a little more worried.

Today, for the first time, it's not that difficult to believe them. I will be fine. I'm going great.

Knock on wood.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Once upon a time I gave up caffeine for Lent. I was a barista. It was hard. And while it restored balance in some ways, that was as far as I went in observing this period of mourning and reflection that has been built into the Church calendar. The only true excitement I found on Easter morning was in a steaming cup of good coffee.

This year, I'm going to be intentional. I want to see if there's value in preparing for Good Friday, if there's a reason to proceed with Jesus to Jerusalem, to repent and shift my focus outward. Will Easter be different? Will I be changed? Is that even the point?

My church had an Ash Wednesday service last night in which I participated. At one point during the service I looked at the woman in front of me as she wiped palm frond ash on my forehead and listened to her say, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return." I took the bowl from her and turned to the woman behind me, repeating the words and the gesture. There is value in remembering death. My death in particular. What is important to me? Do I live as though those things are vital and true? Does it turn my focus outward and my heart towards Jesus?

This Lenten season I'm giving up alcohol. And I'm adding a Sabbath. I need rest. I need a reason to rest. I need motivation to sit down with my Lenten prayer guide and ponder these things and prepare myself. I'm going to think, I'm going to be honest and sit and look for renewal. Can I do it? Or will I, as I do in so many other areas, fill myself up with good intentions and then fail in the follow-through?

There's still some forgiveness that needs to be extended by me. Ask me if I've extended it. Encourage me to write that letter.

Remind me that I am dust and to dust I will return.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GOODNESS (excerpt from my journal).

Remember when Raggedy Ann got lost in the creek and her cotton got soaked with muddy creek water, her hair fell out and her candy heart melted? Then that woman ripped her open, pulled out all of her insides, washed her little cloth body and her clothes and hung her out in the sun to dry? Then remember how she stuffed her full of new, clean, fluffy cotton, gave her a new candy heart and new yarn hair and sewed her all back up?

Same old Raggedy Ann, but fresh, clean, bright and whole again.

That was my beach day. I was at the beach at 8am. and the hills were blue, with golden orange color backlighting them. No one was on my beach, so I sang and laughed and flung out my arms. Then I went and curled up in a huge twisted mass of driftwood. I thought about how temporary we are and how God doesn't, in His infiniteness, need to be faithful to creatures who are only around for 70 years. But He does choose, because He IS faithful. It's His/Her Person. And I can fling my consciousness out to that far stretch of beautiful blue and tangle up my Spirit with Hers. with that expansive Presence.

I thought about Thankfulness, and how, when you're filled with it, there is no room left for small things. Thankfulness is so true, and so holy, and so filling. When I, in my joy and in my struggles, take time to paint a thank-you on my palm, I am acknowledging Her place, Her Power and my own lack of control. Her blessing is so simple and beautiful. She has done all things well.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

God is so far beyond my imperfect perceptions. Mother, Father, Creator, Sustainer. Goodness.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Toddler in Me.

Anne Lamott says, "Sometimes I act just as juvenile as I ever did, but as I get older, I do it for shorter periods of time. I find my way back to the path sooner."

Last night I felt very intensely inside of me the presence of my toddler self. Four-year-old Lisa, upset for no good reason, crossed her arms, glowered and threatened to throw a full-fledged tantrum. I felt the will of that stubborn child pressing on me, wanting so badly to make scene. A truly toddler-worthy scene in which I arch my back and make ugly screaming sounds before bursting into tears. I could feel it welling up inside of me. Emphasis on the feel. Oh goodness.

I used to say, "That bothers me!" in a voice that makes parents cringe. I remember feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin. And not in that metaphorical, insecure way, but in a very physical, trapped sort of way. That sensation still jumps on me out of the blue on troublesome days. And I have to swallow a few times and remember to breathe.

So, last night. :) Toddler Lisa woke up and she was angry. I sat in the blue armchair in my front room, forcing down that rising tantrum feeling. Thankfully, as I wavered on the edge of scene-making, grown-up Lisa appeared and said that it was time for bed. Let me tell you, the toddler was not happy about it. But I think I've grown stronger as I've grown older, or at least learned how to better manage my stubborn strength. Grown-up Lisa's quiet logic that things would look better in the morning won out over Toddler Lisa's fussing and so to bed I went.

And in the morning? Things looked better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

When Winter threatens to drown me I look to The Lion King to throw me a life ring.

"I know that the night will end and that the sun will rise.
I know that the clouds will clear and that the sun will shine."

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Oh Women. Who doesn't love them? Men love women, women love women, children love women. I wrote that as if children are neither men nor women, but I didn't mean it that way.

Who can explain the bond that women have? We seem to have a collective understanding of our bodies, our hearts and our minds. Notwithstanding personal differences, there is a womanly sameness that we can all reach out and touch in another female.

I'm filled more and more every day with the realization and the weight of how important women are in my life. And, as always, not just any women, but my specific women. My women and I have been growing so much lately. And hurting so much. And drinking so much. And laughing so much. When I say that "we are there for each other," I mean that we are consistently and concretely in one another's lives; we are fully present in the places where we sit together, listening, speaking, understanding.

I have been so divinely blessed by the women in my life. One brings me chocolate and cheese and cries as she says that she too understands heartbreak. One remembers London. Another understands my search for poetry in life. One reminds me to "own it." Some drink coffee. Some drink beer. Others love the wine. We are all quiet. We are all loud. We are all settling into our genuine selves for better or worse. We all ache and struggle and find joy. Each one needs me. Isn't that lovely? To need each other in the middle of all this crazy, this gray, this rain, this time of transition and anxiety and love.

To each of my women: I love you. I need you. I can't begin to express how lucky I feel to have you close to my heart.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dear Lisa,

That is how my letter to my 33-year-old self will begin. Part of me feels that it is super cheesy to write to your future self, but it's not. There are some things that I really want that Lisa to remember. Things like how scary my life is right now. Everything is being held together with bits of string and spit. I feel like I'm waiting for it all to dissolve in my hands and escape through the net of my fingers.

There are other things I'm going to write about too. Things like how firmly I'm fixing my eyes on Jesus and trying to trust that He wants to take care of me. Life is changing, He is not. I may feel that there is nothing to hold onto, but His Spirit within me has been working to teach me that there is Truth and Goodness and Hope and that I too can be a part of these things.

There is Joy in All.

Dear Lisa, (I might say) I am having a hard time right now. But God is Good and Faithful. And sometimes you need to capitalize the important things. Dear Lisa, I hope that you are more financially stable and are with someone who loves you. I hope that you are engaged in work that delights and fulfills you. But if you are not, and if your spirit is heavy and your heart is aching, know that there is still Hope and still Purpose and still Life to live. "For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love."

There is Joy in All.

Love, Lisa