Friday, March 30, 2007

"Never place a period where God has placed a comma." -- Gracie Allen

One of my new favorite quotes, noticed by me on Wednesday, when all the lightbulbs started going on in my head.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Joy and Sorrow

Joy and sorrow go hand in hand, don't they? I was so glad for the opportunity to have the "Spring Fling" on Saturday with Mom, Karla, and Christina. We shared poems, artwork, music, and stories from our latest Life goings-on. I was touched by everyone's contributions, and I think that Christina hit the nail on the head during her musings on joy and sorrow, and how they're linked, and how too often we try to deny sorrow, or we tell others that we're okay when we're feeling anything but. And it's true -- it's all really about that acknowledgement of pain, of letting our bodies & hearts process it (but not wallow in it). I've decided to just acknowledge this part of me right now. The longer I fight it, the longer it will take to heal. Sometimes being a "fighter" means being willing to let the sadness in. That often is what takes real courage.

Regina Spektor's "That Time" (courtesy of Christina and Karin) is my new Song of the Moment.

What a weekend: Hood River (with its magical bookstores)....Timberline Lodge (and the biting snow)....the Spring Fling....finally seeing B, and hugging him, and wanting us--willing us, almost--to make things right and to try again and to fight for what's Real between us....the Enchanted Forest, and jumping over the little wooden fence into the exhibit with Alice and the Caterpillar, and kneeling down, and having Karin take my picture with my "huh?" expression on my face. The Enchanted Forest, I must say, was just a pure delight. The dusty gift shops, the Free Water Show, the Haunted House and Ice Mountain. I felt so at peace--and so sad--there. Funny, isn't it, how those often complement one another.

Miss you, B. Damn.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Don't Know What to Call This One.

I've seen the same dog twice on Alberta Street over the last week or so. He looks like a pitbull-something else-mix (he has black and white patches) and both times he's dashed across the street, in front of the car in front of me. Both times he's made it safely to the sidewalk, and he just huffs and puffs along his way. I was filled with sadness on these occasions. How many times will this dog dash across the street and not get hit? Is he homeless? Is there nothing to worry about and he's just really good at crossing streets?

Mom and I saw Patty Griffin in concert last night. She played many songs I needed to hear (although I'm still waiting for "Blue Sky"). The highlight for me was hearing "I Don't Ever Give Up," which is one of my songs of the moment. This weekend has been both draining and healing. And I don't mean draining in the bad way. It's more like my heart has decided--with my mind and body's help--to fight the good fight and let in all these things I'm feeling about the Tale of the Broken-Hearted. There's so much to feel. Some of these feelings, in fact, are new to me -- so foreign (forgotten?) that I just don't know what to do with them quite yet.

I'm working on a new poem. It's partly inspired by my family, and partly by the events of the last week (and lots more, too). When I share it at the Spring Fling I don't think it will be finished yet, but I'm willing to share this draft. Speaking of writing, I do hope that B decides to read ATTS someday. Maybe that will help us both heal things a little bit. B is one of the best huggers I have ever met, and I know those hugs--to others and himself--are worth more than words could ever say.

The last few days have involved: walks with Ollie; taking Ollie to the dog park and letting him run around like a maniac; sleeping in; going to Dwight's parents' 50th wedding anniversary with Karla (the cupcake helium balloon snagged in the tree....a slide show with Dwight sitting on Santa Claus's lap and smiling for the camera....hugging Nancy and Clinton....hugging Karla); bringing out my inner Drama Student to play the part of the scarecrow (yep, from The Wizard of Oz) for the Our House charity auction on Saturday night (older gents telling me I "make a really good scarecrow," wink, wink....James being sweet and trying to find me breath mints....lots of hugs....working up the courage to go onstage in front of hundreds of people and parade the auction items around like some twisted version of Vanna White).

I am blessed to live in a world where my friends give me purple-coated Voodoo Donuts for comfort; where planting seeds (literally, from Tori's Beekeeper package) has never felt so good, the way the soil works with my fingers to make things happen; where even in Sadness there is no black-and-white....because even though the ambiguity of feelings and emotions and angles on things is frustrating--well, that's certainly the understatement of the new millenium--there is also a lovely comfort in knowing part of that gray area comes from Love, Hope, Friendship, those qualities that don't get crushed. Those qualities that are real and that make everyone involved know that they will be okay, the others will be okay, and in the space in-between there are wishes of health and wellness. That's where I'm at right now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baba Yaga

Rosie Thomas

Rosie Thomas is an incredibly talented singer, and a lovely person to boot. Check out her website at:

You won't be disappointed.

For Kaylyn

"That sucks, dude."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bicycle for Two

I witnessed something yesterday that captures my state of soul right now:

I was driving down Alberta, and on the sidewalk was a boy--more like a young man, I'm guessing between 18ish and 22ish--and he was riding one of those cool-weird bicycles where the front tire is HUGE and the back tire is smaller, after the metal curves down to meet that lower seat. The boy carried a hippie vibe, with a beard, and he was wearing beads, and his clothes flowed over him in ease. He had long hair, and he was very focused on traveling on the sidewalk. On the back seat sat a young girl--ten years old, maybe--and she was sitting sideways, facing the street. Was she his sister? She wore a pink puffy jacket that had a hood, and I think the hood was pulled up around her cute face. I just watched them for a few seconds as I drove by. They both seemed happy and at peace. They also carried a sense of adventure, like they were on a mission, and mixed up in their expressions--in both their focused gazes--was a history of something I couldn't place a finger on. I smiled to myself and drove on.

That's all.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rerun (Or, the Opposite of That)

What a delightful weekend. I think the word "delight" captures my Friday-thru-Sunday state of mind. Mom, Ben, Karin, Julie, and I spent a great Friday night at the Horse Brass on SE Belmont. I tried: the Young's Double Chocolate Stout, the Hogs Back Stout, and the Black Cherry Stout. I highly recommend you also try all three. It was a night of gluttony and laughs and good conversation (and a little personal drama thrown in to give it that soapy, primetime feel).

Saturday was busy but fulfilling. Writing, community yoga, cleaning the house, catching up (I just accidentally wrote "capturing up," hmm) on Lost (frickin' love that show), reading, seeing Rosie Thomas with Mom and Karin....Rosie gave us huge hugs; Mom gave her a present, and we all signed a lovely card to her; we met Bethany, who just relocated here from Ohio; overall, a night filled with beautiful music and friendship and peace.

Sunday. I took Ollie for a walk and listened to Rosie's new album on my discman. Mom, Karin, and I went to Francis on NE Alberta for breakfast (wow, their French toast and pancakes may be little slices of hazelnut heaven). Then Mom and I drove around and went on a little stayin'-in-Portland road trip. We went through some open houses in the NW Vista/Montgomery Drive area....walked around Powells and had some coffee and pastry yumminess in the cafe....stopped by our neighbor's and looked at her antiques, then stopped by at our other neighbor's and looked at the car he's building in his garage (and I got to peek up inside the treehouse he made about sixteen years ago, and he told me once again I could go up anytime, and he told me the seat on the second level came from an old schoolbus)....Finally, Mom and I watched three episodes of American Gothic, interspersed with pizza, breadsticks, and ice cream, all of which are Life Necessities. I settled into sleep happily, thinking how B and I have been together 4 months (and 4 is my favorite number)....Mom and I have some new members of the family (whom we met and brought home from Rerun, one of the coolest lil' stores I've ever been in)....and most of all I just gave myself hugs and told myself Everything Will Be Okay.

p.s. I just re-read this post (re-ran this?) a few days after writing it (but before publishing) and I noticed that I subconsciously (?) forgot to mention something major! C contacted Jordan, Aaron, and me after several years! After talking it over amongst us "Core Four" (my bros and Mom and me, thanks, O.C., for the cool pop culture reference) I thought, what the heck, and I was honest. I just layed it all out there, in a respectful manner -- my questions, my concerns. He responded to just a touch of it. But it was something. My Kind Warrior status is happy I stayed true to myself.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Spring is in the air. In so many ways. I just love that crisp smell, of things being born and transforming and opening up. In relation to my last post, sometimes this carries with it an air of sadness. We shed skins, and when we look at what we've shed we get filled with tinges of regret and melancholy. Still, in the end, it's totally worth it! I've been thinking about Spring a lot, on many levels. An old friend of mine from high school, Spring, got back in touch with me after several years. She and her family stayed with Mom and me on their trip back to WI. So wonderful to hug Spring, to connect with her, to see where we are both at in our respective Life Adventures. I think about dancing in the living room in Lake Geneva, WI, to Madonna and "Two Princes" (Spin Doctors!); to saying "no" to seeing Cheap Trick with her and Jordan at the Walworth County Fair (I know, a mortal sin, how dare I not hear "The Flame" live!); sitting together in the cafeteria at the, well, at the nerds table. I really, really needed to have that wonderful night, to watch The Last Unicorn with Trayton, to have Trayton blow out birthday candles, to have Cynthia feel welcomed and comfortable on the big loveable sofa....Then there are the other levels of Spring....Watching Fantasia 2000 with Jordan, that segment with Stravinsky's Firebuite Suite, and how it totally captures the soul's journey. Watch it; you'll see. One of the most beautiful things, artistically, spiritually, otherwise, that you'll ever witness and embrace....The Spring of our emotions (okay, kinda sounds cheesy when I write it) and how we come out of, yes, I've gotta say it, those dark Winters, and we emerge on the other side. Bette Midler's "The Rose," anyone?....It's hard for me to capture what this season means to me: childhood, forgiveness, fresh starts, accepting one's flaws, accepting one's awesome qualities, breathing deep and stretching out our possibilities, just like the days get stretched out. Wow. I've officially entered Hallmark Card Status. But that's okay. It's true none-the-less. And what's wrong with sappy sentiments? I find them, sigh, highly underrated.

p.s. I finished making Ben's new CD, and Patty Griffin's "I Don't Ever Give Up" and CharMar's "Step Back" are on it, and these are my Nathan Songs of the Moment. They capture the season perfectly (inside and out). And this is fitting because "Step Back" is my Dwight Song, and I will be honoring him this Thursday.