Sunday, July 22, 2007

Commitment (Ceremony)

I've had a lovely weekend. Ben and I went with Eric and Heather to dinner at Yahala, a Middle Eastern restaurant, on Friday night. We savored falafel, hummus, delicious red wine, fresh pita bread that popped and hissed steam when you poked its yummy crust. Then I got to curl up with Ben and Missy in his air-conditioned bedroom, and--despite my weird dreams--I slept like a baby and woke up refreshed and happy.

I've been haunted by weird dreams as of late. Does this have to do with my first acupuncture session I had last week? Acupuncture is amazing, folks. Annabelle Snow at the North Portland Wellness Center works wonders, and we spent the first chunk of the time discussing my needs: physical, mental, spiritual. Then we moved into my actual treatment plan, and these warm flushes--pulses of energy--moved up and down my body. During the treatment I felt it most in my head (right where our "third eye" is) but afterwards I felt it most in my shins and the top of my feet. I almost felt like I could float. Since then, I've noticed some changes, and these could be changes I would have gone through at this point anyway, or they could be because of the acupuncture, or both. Strange, disturbing dreams that leave me with a feeling of catharsis. Also, elation, like a caffeine high without the jitters. A sense of calm, a lessening of my OCD. Not sure yet how acupuncture will help my bum knee, but it seems to have lessened the pressure and creakiness, even if only a touch for my first session.

Yesterday, Mom and I went to Ciara and Aster's commitment ceremony at McIver's Park outside of Portland. What a lovely time: tables with lace clothes and topped with fresh bouquets of wonderful smelling flowers; a potluck galore; tiki torches lit up around the meadow filled with dandelions; trees protecting our tents; pathways down to the water; dogs running all over and having fun. I was impressed -- it was the Misfit limped, another was missing a leg, and another had extra toes....My heart goes out to their owners/companions for taking them in and giving them loving homes. What impressed me most was the community of people. Ciara looked beautiful in her faerie wings and green dress, while Aster looked dashing in what I think was a Celtic-inspired vest. Friends and family gathered in the meadow's circle at dusk, and there were people of all ages and all walks of life, a collage of tattoos and colored hair and fishnet stockings and cotton button-ups and slacks. The couple wrote their own vows, and had everyone take in one another, person by person, and then they lit candles and passed the flame on until each person helt a lit candle in the circle. Jan and I met lots of great folks over the course of the evening while we gathered at the tables and then at the bonfires -- Karen is a joy and a beauty to boot, and Skyler is just a spiffy, nice guy who reminded Mom and me of a happy-go-lucky hobbit (who happens to like wearing Spiderman shirts). And you're not going to believe this: Mom and I saw Abra and Dana, whom we know from Madison! Abra was friends with Jordan and Aaron and our friend Kristin! How funny, and fitting, to see them there, a sign that it was all meant to be. Abra and I exchanged book recommendations, bonding over Harry Potter, Anne McCaffrey (Abra, am I spelling her name right?!?!), Christopher Pike, and other geeky faves. Mom and I had a few special moments alone during yesterday and today on our way back....Breakfast at Francis's on Alberta, and the Redland Cafe....a stop at a very cool estate sale....reading in our foldout chairs down by the waterfront in the park....tucking ourselves into our tent and contemplating all the cool names people had given themselves who were in attendance at the ceremony (me: "I really liked the lasagna that Catalyst made." Mom: "No, I swear she told me her name was CataPULT!")....and we both had to pee at the same time in the middle of the night, and when we got up it was in that moment when the sky was just about to stop being gray and start turning a pinkish, sunrise-y yellow. The generator for the hundreds of strung white lights was running out of battery juice, and it made this whirring, pausing, whirring noise as the lights pulsed in and out like heartbeats. Then, right when we were walking past, the batteries completely died and the lights blinked out and silence filled up the meadow. It was just a perfect moment.

Now? Me? What am I doing? About to settle in with Jan and Ollie and pick up the newest--and, sigh, last--Harry Potter book and snuggle into the comfiness of our home. I'm thinking of you all and sending you tons of love.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Mom, Ben, and I went to the Oregon Country Fair this Saturday, the land of make-believe (which, as you all know, is not make-believe to me but reality). We walked amongst faeries, Green Men, a purple & silver space alien on stilts, children with butterfly wings, lots and lots of shirtless yummy people, and more. Some of my highlights were: the hemp milkshakes; all the music playing; again, the bookstore in the woods; stolen moments of being close, warm, next to Ben and Mom; the water sprinkling out over the crowd at times; the hemp store where I got my new pants and purple hoodie; the mystical,magical trees and dirt and scents in the air and stores with thatched roofs with moss growing on them; really, just about everything. In life, many if not most transcendent moments--when we feel close to God, the Universe, call It what you will--pass by and through us in a flash. An exquisite flash, but a temporary foothold none-the-less that reminds us to go, keep going, keep trying, keep hoping. On Saturday, that moment lasted all day, starting with the morning at home and all the way through the drive home. My inner muse (Hi, Cassandra!) opened up like river upon river upon ocean and filled me up with characters, storylines, settings, descriptions, juicy emotions tangled into delicious knots. I feel at peace.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Non-Fall Boy & His Opposite (a prose poem for you all)

Non-Fall Boy & His Opposite

When you fell I was looking at too many other boys who had fallen before you. I studied their jaws, hips, and fractures, smiles and tongues and toenails, and you slipped past the statues, cracking more than your intentions on the way down.

After your voice I was sold on trying. I want to pretend that the WAR is separate from our DNA, the particles we call love, but I can’t help thinking that WAR spelled backwards is RAW, and my heart feels grilled in some barbecue tribal ritual. We chose each other uncooked: will this be our salvation?

Now I capture you, always. I flick a switch and turn you into a compass, a shard of mirrored glass, a playground friend. Walk with me; I’ll hold you up; we’ll shimmy past churches and stained glass heroes. We’ll construct our gates from the carousel horses and discarded dolls, plywood and fishing hooks, creaky dreams and timeless seams. I am your (non-) fall boy.

Copyrighted by Nathan Buck 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

I was chatting with Ben, and--lo and behold--a black cat approached me and rubbed his head and back against my legs, wanting some attention. I've (unofficially) adopted him and named him Jason, in honor of this holiday. He has beautiful green eyes, and I plan on making sure he keeps fed and watered.

Lots of convergences in my life lately, ranging from light princesses and falls to tang sunrises and a grip on tea leaves. I feel drained and exhilarated simultaneously.

Doesn't Tori look like Kira from The Dark Crystal in this picture?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Birds (and other life happenings)

I just hit a bird--a sparrow, I think. It smacked into my car on my way to work, and while I didn't hear a heavy thud I can only fear the worst. This makes me sad, and oddly more connected to the novel I'm writing. There is some "bird stuff" in the book, and lately it's like my muse and the witches of the woods (whether literal or the figurative ones inside my veins) have been conjuring some magic, coiling in energy for my writing. Last week a young raven was "trapped" in the backyard of the Buck Motor Inn. At first Mom and I thought it was sick or wounded; it hopped around but couldn't really fly, and Ollie had it trapped in a bush at one point, and then it found refuge in the coiling ivy by the cow skull hanging from our fence. After Mom called the "bird folks" (Audubon Society, I believe) we were told it was probably a young bird and was just taking off for its first flight; we were to keep the dog away from it and to give it space; and--alas--it did manage to fly to the top of the fence, then the roof, then a branch of the neighbor's pine tree. This relieved me greatly. Other bird happenings: while camping this weekend I perched on a large rock on the beach at Oswald West State Park and looked down to see a dead gull not far from me; Ben heard what he thinks was an owl swoop into our campsite and snatch up a young woodland creature, probably a squirrel, mouse, or chipmunk; the remains of a dead sparrow or robin lay on the path at work, being eaten by ants; I keep thinking about Angel, the dove at work, and how someone new will have to feed him and change his cage because K passed away, which saddens me greatly.

Life has had more ups and downs than usual lately: a lovely trip to NYC to visit Jordan and Aaron, a time of rice pudding, the Mythic Creatures exhibit at the Natural History Museum, dancing, shopping, the Mermaid Parade and Cyclone rollercoaster at Coney Island, hugs and fun and bonding and walking and eating and celebrating Ben's birthday and just being....Camping, as mentioned above, with Christina and Ryan, and the crackling bonfire and s'mores and crawling through the roots of a large tree and reading and getting over my cold and breathing deeply and reconnecting with some morsels of myself....K (a different K) deciding to stay with Jan and me for a week before she leaves for Canada, and how I can only hope I can be the best friend possible to her to help her heal, at least a tiny email from J, wanting to reconnect and work on touches of things in our friendship....Mom receiving some not-so-good news from a close, longtime friend....and so much more.

I must keep coiling this energy, and I hope no other birds get hurt in the process! I feel a touch fractured, but it feels like a necessary fracture, one that makes my bones stronger in the end.