Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Florida: A List

Things I like:
1. The fact that the state offers over 50 specialty license plates.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"I never realize how much I like being home unless I've been somewhere really different for a while." -Juno

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My dad asked me to ride the bicycle on the sidewalk. I told him that technically it's against the rules, but...
I did anyway.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I loved the softness in his voice,
but mostly I loved the softness of his heart:
how every sparrow mattered,
every orphaned kitten needed a home.
I didn't expect we'd go very far together,
and yet,
I still smell his mouth,
still feel his shadow hovering
over my kneeling frame,
offering those babies a saucer of milk.

Monday, November 29, 2010

home is wherever with you.

I do not know why so many things seem to come together at once.
Like five birthdays in the same week,
Or three phone calls in a row,
when the line had been dead for an hour.
I do not know why "when it rains it pours."
Like why couldn't it just drizzle,
or mist even?
I do not know why things fall apart
and humans break so easily,
Like tinkling glass on tiles.
I do not know why I like bird whistles,
but tell you to shut up in the shower.
Like your voice is worthless without wings.
I do not know why your path and my path
are traveling in the same direction,
as constant and inherent as
the salmon swims upstream.

Wild Geese.

"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 your 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."
-M.O.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

whinings.

There is a lot to be thankful for, that is for sure. But, for the most part, it is easier for me to gripe about my day, rather than to keep track of all the tiny graces.
I have this car that I bought from a gentleman on Craigslist a few years ago. I didn't consult with my parents before making the purchase, and feel that I have been cursed ever since for this error. To make a long story short, lots of money has been invested into Craigslist car to bring her back up to speed. Recently, she had her oil changed along with a nice bath, and just the other week the nice guys at vw replaced her rock guard because the old one was dragging on the asphalt.
So this morning, at approximately 6:57 am, the check engine light illuminates. The reasons for this horrifying occurrence range from an unscrewed gas cap to a faulty catalytic converter and about 5,000 other things. My brain starts to ache at the thought of my dishonesty, automobiles, and mysterious pasts.

7:14 am: I decide to avoid the situation altogether and pedal off to work.

Friday, November 19, 2010

in other news...

I'm pretty lousy when it comes to relationships with significant others. So, I am somewhat confused when I find myself heartbroken over another couple's misfortune. Why? I have no idea. Do I have to know them? Not necessarily, but if I do, it probably makes my heartbreak worse. Am I a sucker for quiet songs in the dark? Do I think every couple that is currently together should get married and be good to themselves?
Mos def.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

things.

Recently a lady told me that she was convinced her dog was deficient in Vitamin D. Upon inquiry as to why she thought this, Mrs. X replied, "because our house is in a very shady area and barely gets any sun." Okay, I guess that makes sense. So we talked a little about some vitamins or supplements she could give her sun-deprived canine to make sure he was getting enough. A little further into the conversation, Mrs. X lowered her voice and said, "between you and me, the real reason I think X is not getting enough Vitamin D is because I recently went to my doctor and found out that I don't have enough Vitamin D!" Okay. "...I know it's kind of crazy to think that, but I just feel like me and X are so connected that when I'm lacking something he is too!" I promised her I would get the vitamins ready and hoped to see her soon.

But sometimes I do wonder if humans are lacking in something if another human is lacking in it too? Or if you get sick, then all of a sudden you start feeling better, only to find your housemate in bed with the sniffles. I don't know. I'm just saying that it's something to consider. And if something like that did happen, maybe we ought to give credit where it's due.

Monday, November 15, 2010

like a child

I was going through one of our desk drawers and came across a large envelope with a long story inside. As I was peering into the envelope, I saw a smaller manila notecard with Psalm 131 cursived on it.
Now I can't for the life of me remember who wrote it, as there was no return address, but I can say that I forgot about that sweet little Psalm. One I claimed as "my" song, so it is strange that I had forgotten it.
In other news, it has been posted by my nightstand, where I can catch a glimpse of it at just the right times.
Also, there is a band called Waterdeep who does an incredible version of the song 131. So if you have a chance to listen to it, I think you should.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On Patience.

Quickly,
We curl up under floral sheets;
Shyly,
Kiss and press our spines together;
Slowly,
Breathe in night and fall asleep.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Follow your heart.

Sometimes when people say, "Can you believe it's already (insert month here)?!" it really bugs me. Yes, I can believe that it's already the current month that we're in. Duh. Look at the calendar, yesterday was the day before and next month will follow approximately 30 days or so later. I guess it surprises humans, in general, how quickly a couple of days, weeks, and months go by. Again, with my busy theories.
B and I will have been dating for approximately 1,095 days this coming Sunday. THAT IS A LONG TIME TO ME! But I don't think I've said to anyone, "Man, can you believe we've been together for 3 years?" Or, "I can't believe I've almost known him for 4..." I also don't think I've found it unbelievable how long I've known D or E or S or K or G.
Some days do go by quickly, but lately I have been feeling every day's 24 hours in 60 minute increments. I have also been reading alot of fiction over the past 2 months, mostly from the perspective of a woman, so that could have something to do with it.
I see things differently than most people. Not in a creepy way, just a different one. I am still learning that there are a lot of things I don't know or understand about people, in general. So, I am sorry if I have behaved poorly around any one. I, also, am hopelessly introspective. It is no excuse, but it is a start.
I don't know if this is necessary to share, but it's the first time I've been down to the Mesa Starbucks, so I might be a little over-stimulated, what with the peppermint hot chocolate and all. And besides all that, there is a group of "moms" (I assume) having some sort of PTA meeting minus the T.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

tired eyes.

I am somewhat amused by how quickly God answers some prayers; and yet for others still asks us to wait.

And in other news, WHOOPEE!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

in defense of nothing.

The royal we are still very young in terms of days and years. And so it startles my mellowing frame to find out how busy we are becoming. I feel bad when I don't have plans or goals, and even guilty if I spend an evening in "nothing." Buuuuut, I think there is still plenty of life left for me to be busy. I just hope that I can never in all honesty excuse myself from living because I am too busy for it. It seems strange, but we humans are good at making crooked paths straight. And excusing ourselves from life because of all that busyness re-aligns the road, so to speak.
I'm not saying that I haven't excused myself several times, but I hope I haven't put any of you on the back burner because of it. She is an attractive quality, but a stressful burden, if you really invest in her.
And I know there are all these verses in the Bible about being still and small voices and rest for weary souls. I'm fairly certain that Jesus took the gift of nothing seriously. And I'm pretty sure He knew how curious I'd become over a yoke that was so abnormally light.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

you cannot serve both

I don't want to sell my life for money, but some days it can be tempting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

like a river


Some times I get worried that my life isn't turning out quite how it should be. Some days I wake up and wish I was going to ride my bicycle to the letterpress factory or retirement center instead of the animal hospital. I wish I could go on walks with my dog and play fetch at the park. I even wish most of my ships were further along than they seem to be.
For me, it is hard mostly to be content in today. I know it is an important skill to have, seeing as life is just a bunch of todays strung together, so I am working harder at that. I think contentedness and inner peace, in general, are lacking in a society that slyly questions satisfaction and pushes its students towards insatiable desires.
I took a trip to San Francisco a few weekends ago, which is where I took this picture. There's nothing incredibly symbolic about it; it's just open books that look like they're falling from the sky, and the sun happened to be shining at that point in the day. I am warming up to that city, but I wonder if I woke up in an apartment in North Beach if I'd be any more peaceful than waking up where I am today. I'm pretty sure there are things that need to change inside of my own heart before I could truly live a life that is turning out quite how I think it should be. "Whatever my lot," I suppose.

Monday, September 13, 2010

on quiet confidence

I know people think I really like animals. And I do, for the most part. But it's not because I think they "get me" better than humans, even though I think they can be a lot more honest than we are. For instance, I have never met a skunk that liked me. Mostly, because I have never met a skunk in general, and I think that is an obvious way of realizing if any creature is interested in getting to know you. Several dogs (and even cats) have willingly greeted me and I think they were okay with just a pat or a good scratch behind the ears.
I took one of the shelters dogs out to the park the other day and she seemed to be honestly excited about it. And I know animals don't feel or think or act the same way we do, but I'll be damned if that dog wasn't terribly happy to be there. I'm sure it could have been with anyone, but it made me feel really good that she was rolling around in the grass and snapping her jaws and pawing the air like she did this every weekend.
And sometimes I just wonder what it would be like if we could express our joy as openly as they do. If it would be easier to love each other because we knew what we were getting ourselves into, and we knew that it would be a walk in the park.
I guess there's nothing really Biblical about that, but it is something to think about.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

some sort of light

I remember when I found out that a girl from my high school was pregnant. I was standing in front of Barnes and Noble when O said, "Did you know M's pregnant?" (No.) "Are you kidding me?" (No.) I remember seeing "the guy" one day when I was driving. I had heard he wasn't interested in becoming a father, and I told him so behind the protection of my tinted windows.
I thought about M today, and I think she's doing pretty well. I've seen pictures of her boy, and, what can I say? He's incredible.
I guess what I'm getting at is that life happens whether we think it's the right time or not. Mostly I forget this, but I am trying to keep it all in perspective.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Forgive my negativity.
It has been too long since I have written any sweet words.

"On Cities"
I have not come across a place
as difficult as you.

Your parks and sidewalks
sparkle,

But tear up my boot's soles,
challenging me to take one more step.

So I climbed to the top of all the no-name bridges,
and sailed away to the jail at sea.

I cannot seem to grasp the congestion of square miles
or the vastness of one urban block.

He has fallen into your rhythms so well;
and I, bow my head in peace,

and command my troops
surrender to your composition.

Monday, August 23, 2010

trusting the process

Maybe I've stopped by the Read 'N Post too many times this past week, but I've found myself quoting those little square cards alot lately. There's this one that has the line "slow down, don't worry, trust the process," on it. I've told a couple people to "trust the process" even though I don't have any idea what it means. A few people I know are starting new jobs in the near future, so I think this is an applicable phrase for them. And just recently my Mom sent me a card that closed with, "don't try so hard, let things come to you," which, in essence, is trusting the process.
I don't quite know how I feel about the process, in general. It reminds me of meat. Processed meat. I don't trust that process in the least.
But when I think that I don't have any plans past the edge-of-my-nose-spring, trusting the process seems like a better choice than calling it a liar. Even if I still don't know how to not try so hard, because something taught me to fight tooth and nail for what I wanted. Even though a good Shepherd asked me to come to Him, and I didn't even have to try at all.
There is some thing so intriguing though about worry and doubt and comparison. They are hard habits to shake. One of my friends told me that it's hard to beat someone if you're not playing the same game. It's harder to compare your Full House to someone's Scrabble bingo and so on. I'm not sure which game I'm playing, but it would be simpler not to play at all.
It can be disheartening to know that I still struggle with the same shortcomings as I did when I was younger. I am trying not to make things happen as much as before. I'm trying to let little pieces of life fall into place, like water freezing in the ice cube trays. I'm trying to listen harder to His voice, above the other bleatings, because I know when the rest of the flock wanders off, He carries me back to the fold.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Step Two:

Keep an even temper. (Even when you're tempted not to.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to grow a woman:

Step One: Ride your bike.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

bean bags

A dear friend of mine told me this:
"Sometimes you take risks when God says you're ready, and other times He asks you to even when you're not."
Perhaps some of the best advice I've heard this year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

high-tails


I am wondering if a simple change of scenery is better than a simple listen to my heart.
(Thanks, X.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"For They Shall Be Called Children of God"

I do not concern myself with things
too marvelous for me.

I pull young buckthorn after the rain
and watch the cranesbill fill in,

tie a clover around my child's wrist
to stop her from crying after a fall.

I do not concern myself with matters
too great. I skim the article

once or twice--rebel fighters,
refugees, tankers billowing smoke.

Shall I say each time my eyes wander
to the blue stars of lilac tumbling

from a jar on the table,
that I love those lilacs more?

I will die being no help to this man
curled around a broken IV

on a floor in Sri Lanka.
I would like to sink into his stare

and pray him through his nightmares.
But first I lie in the grass

and bury my face in the great skirts
of the sky, making peace

with the carpenter ants and the other
small brilliances of my life.

Tania Runyan.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

boots, heavier.

Sometimes my chest feels like an old, bedraggled tomcat crawled in and filled its entirety with paws and half a tail and one scarred eye. And sometimes all I can hope is that a wild pack of dogs will come careening around the next corner and chase him off for a while.
Leaving room for the next critter to climb in.

Friday, July 2, 2010

antsy

Amidst all the moving and roving and re-arranging, it is easy for me to believe that I lack many things.
But besides all that, blessed are the peacemakers, the mourners, the comforters, & the innocence.
It's almost too normal to be encouraging.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I had learned from a very early age the right way to talk, to dress, to behave, in general.
I don't know why but yesterday I thought about perhaps not talking, dressing, or behaving "the right way," in general.
What if I just decided to be sweet, good, & true?

Monday, June 14, 2010

on being where you ought.

mostly what I remember was the bird in the sanctuary,
sitting on the bench with ben,
clasping my fingers around your neck,
skanky legs,
and.
those
cornflower field
blue
slippers.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

on noodles.

we always had a couple, hoarded around the outside of the pool, barracading us against the unassuming canine or grandparent, keeping the intruders out and the fish in.
they were always made up of some sort of metal piping and white strips of rubbery plastic, burning our un-toweled backsides, warranting no sympathy from the "i told you so" looks of our kitchen aid mother.
so what if lounge chairs didn't float? it only took a couple of hurricanes for us to realize that sitting on a chair under the water was much more exhilarating than holding your breath above.
which is exactly what she was doing when i walked in to the sanctuary yesterday. her stretcher was padded, albeit with a meager foam pad and blankets, but underneath the cushion were the same plastic strips and metal piping.
her lifeguard was a gentleman who appeared to be in his early eighties: one pair of bottle cap glasses, two aids for hearing, a smattering of liver-spots on his hands.
i watched as he quietly propped her willowy frame up against the back of the chair. i smiled when i saw that her velcroed shoes still kept time with the music, that she only nodded off a few times during the sermon.
but mostly i caught his head...tilted just a little bit further to the left than normal, caught the frames of his spectacles focused only on his one, tiny swimmer.
and some thing the pastor said about a big lake and a very small fishing boat and no luck all night.
keeping the intruders out and his fish in.

Monday, May 17, 2010

on frustrations

since when did 68.4 kilometers become so far?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Defense of the Canis lupus

I was born into the fold of black sheep.
Therefore, I believe I am allotted at least one major pitfall or setback in the next few years.
I have yet to cash in my token, but believe me, I am sure getting antsy.

Baa.

Monday, May 10, 2010

on losing, pt ii.

I don't so much mind that we are estranged,
that we never write,
or talk: never swapping stories over tin-can-phone-strings.

I don't mind so much that you are older,
that your job consumes time,
makes money: some thing I have yet to manage wisely.

I do mind that in the span of less than five years,
I have forgotten to call you my brother,
and friend: and in so doing never quite manage to grasp
sister
as tightly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a parting thought.

"I bend my arrows now in circles & I shoot around the hill
If I don't get you in the morning, by the evening I sure will.
By the evening, I sure will."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

re: feral cats

I guess I haven`t been giving myself much space or time to write lately. Mostly, I have been occupied with observations about people and animals and interactions. I am trying to have more grace with all these things.
Like some days this tattoo still looks very dark on my wrist, even though I can't remember the artist's name, I have d to remind me. And some times my heart feels very heavy, even though I really didn't know you that well.
I suppose it is recognizing that I am no better and no less than my neighbor, even if I do like walking dogs. And that it is okay to communicate slowly and more thoughtfully than some one else may think is normal.
I cannot speak for you or your family, animals, or friends. So I speak for myself when I say that if there was only one thing I could do infinitely well for the rest of my human existence, it would be to live with too much grace.
Yes, I am a cynic on many levels. But, I can still try!

Monday, April 19, 2010

on naming things.

I spent the better half of the past two weeks transporting my self around town by any means other than Jetta. Jetta was spending some well deserved vacation time, housed in a garage, having her insides examined and receiving new organs as needed. I spent the majority of that time either begging rides off of e, or riding my bicycle from point a to point b. Let me tell you some thing about bicycles. There are a few different kinds; mountain, road, hybrid, commuter, to name a few. Giant is a sort of crossover, not purebred, but some mix of the above. I have had this lofty notion in my head for several months now that I will soon be trading in Giant for a SSS (sweet, sleek, sexy) Bianchi. Though we have never met, Bianchi and I will be good for each other. Sometimes a girl just knows these things.
And so I faithfully rode my Giant up and down the coastal highway two and three times a day, convincing myself that if I am "still riding this old thing!" (after a year?!), that probably means I will be the perfect candidate for Bianchi in the near future. (I can barely feel its weight as I sling the frame over my shoulder and climb the stairs to my apartment...)
Alas, I am brought back to reality as I lug Giant's deadweight up to the safety of our second-floor balcony.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

on ever

I wish he could just say, "This is the way. Now walk in it."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

do not feed the birds.

As most of you probably didn't know, I lented the internet for a couple weeks. Now, some of you may be wondering why there are a few posts after the seventeenth of February up until now. So, I confess to that. But I admit they were for important reasons, reasons I wanted to share, and, in my defense, at least one of them was on a Sunday (which I heard from someone is the only day it's okay to indulge your folly). I'm sure you're expecting me to tell you about all the incredible insights I gained from my world wide web fast. I will. Just not yet. It could be a combination of not quite knowing if I learned anything, or knowing that nothing I learned was all that incredible. (Which isn't to say I didn't learn any thing unbelievable, but maybe I'm challenging my own definition of the word. Who knows?)
But I do know that perhaps some of you have been faithfully waiting for my words of wisdom on money. Which, I promise, are coming soon.
In other news, I have started (reading) a new book. I also have some sort of ideas as to what could happen in 2011.
So, there's that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

on still behaving shyly around eligible strangers.


I have a few things to say about this. (The photograph and others things.) Firstly, I did not take this picture. That acknowledgement goes to Johan Stolpe. Most of you know who the subject is.
Secondly, I'd like to give you some advice on walking trails with someone. If you love some one romantically, it's usually o.k. to let them know that. If you love some one platonically, it's usually even more o.k., too. What I have learned from many many days and hours and minutes is the importance of sweetness. What I mean is that if we are completely honest with ourselves there are a few handfulls of people on our trails that think, act, or do most exactly the same things as we do. More often than not, we may find ourselves trekking up and down hills with someone who has a little stronger opinions, or says weird things, or plays in the sand. We can either keep hiking or turn back in search of a traveling party who only eat marshmellows and wear Patagonia. Oftentimes, however, if we keep walking, or even just moving, our peculiar companions lead us to really great vistas, and greater sliding rocks, or the best kissing trees. So many times I have thought of turning back on this long journey to search for my marshmellow-loving, fleece-wearing strangers. But, I always meet the faces of my faithfully-opposite journeyers, especially one in particular, and I can't help but turn my heels and lengthen my stride to catch back up. There is always some thing more to show me just around that next bend.

Friday, February 19, 2010

a's thoughts on valentine's day.

I am not cynical. Honest. I love Valentine's Day! I love love. I love the Format. Remember? All I`m saying is that maybe Valentine's Day isn't the best day to get engaged. But I can't rag on my little brother for it. Big sisters don't do that sort of stuff. I can't say that I'm not slightly jealous or nervous or excited, because I am. But no body needs to feel pressure for that. And even though the situation is maybe a little more than conversation hearts, red carnations, and tin-foiled chocolates, we don't forget that either. All I'm saying is if you`re going to start a family, you may want a little money in your pockets; and if you want to make that girl into your wife, then you had better make sure that antique ring won`t set you back too far. And if you're going to say yes to that boy (yes, that one), then please realize that he has the best of intentions, most likely yours at heart, but he is not a man. Not yet. Other than that, stay dry & don't let too many people tell you what will & won't happen. It already is.

Thoughts on $, coming soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

on postponing.

we talked for about an hour the other night
&i was able to end the conversation in a peculiarly peacefull mood.
"we do really want the same things?"

truly, is it so simple as that?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

on misspellings.

I know I am supposed to be paying attention to my peers, these words, etc., etc.

But right now all I can think about are lovely ragamuffins, greying pony tails, raspy voices-
"Hi, Tiffany"'s and
"Hi, Dave"'s and
"Ashley the Addict."

All I can smell is brewing coffee, the tin of the carafe, the smokey sweetness of second-hand ash draining from the tip of your Marlboro.

All I can do is exist.

"How long has it been again?"
30 days? 60? 2 years?

It is a start.

Friday, January 29, 2010

on macaroni shells.

For the past two weeks or so, I have managed to bite the inside of my lip in the same place several times over. This causes a consistent discomfort and occasional frustration with my teeth for being so inconsiderate. It`s approximately 1:50 in the afternoon and I realised that my teeth haven`t bitten me today. The inside of my mouth seems to be healing quite nicely. I also realised that tonight the H family will be providing me with some sort of delicious meal. I`m just thinking how nice it will be to enjoy it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I forfeit

my rights to satisfy your expectations of any sort of inspirational "resolution" list.

1. Learn to drive stick shift.

Monday, January 18, 2010

on holly avenue.

I
know
that
atonepointisaidthati
neverwantedanychildren.

Well, throw that cutie pie in a bassinet & call me a sucker.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

babys

I am reading a new book in the mornings, and it is quite interesting. My table manners have been altered for several years now, but for whatever reason it makes me think that my difference aren`t really that much to brag about. (They aren`t.) In a quest for the unusual and absurd, all I`ve recently found is that I want my branches to shade humans (&huwomans) that maybe aren`t so set on finding all the peculiarities of the world. Maybe they`re just on a quest to provide for their families or buy snow cones from a street vendor. I bet they know more than I do about the wonders of cramped quarters and dead rats and nursing uniforms. I bet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

on what cd asked me.

"so, why aren`t you engaged yet?"

rhetorical: a) of, relating to, or concerned with rhetoric b) employed for rhetorical effect; especially: asked merely for effect with no answer expected Ex: a rhetorical question

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

streams.

there are so many humans in this world that at times i find it difficult to figure out who needs or wants or desires my energy and attention. oh, i have a few hunches, to be sure, of those i am to be investing in. my blood family, namely, and those beings within 25 miles or so of my door step. but what i mean to say is that i wonder how far my branches are supposed to reach? are they supposed to be stunted, sprouting beautiful dogwood blossoms at every tip? or are they to grow really really high like the cedars of lebanon? would i rather be lovely or have whole paragraphs devoted to my existence? maybe i am supposed to be like the giving tree mr.silverstein wrote about. it didn`t matter what kind of tree she was. not to the boy-man, at least. just so long as he could sit and pick and play and finally, after all that, find out that he was really happy. and so was she. i suppose i would like to be the most like a giving tree. and maybe people within 25 miles of my branches will have need of me. or maybe they will be right under my nose or down the coast or across the ocean. maybe i wouldn`t even have to have branches at all! maybe we could feel the most helpful when we were whittled down to stumps because of all the love we gave a way. it is a thought. any way. i am going to see if american airlines really has a ten million mile club, because i saw up in the air with d and i have been wondering about its existence ever since.

Friday, January 1, 2010