Winter Wonderworld

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Winter is truly being winter in this unofficial Shire of mine.

The power is on.

Some light sledding was enjoyed.

My toes are warm and my hands cradle a warm mug of tea.

The weather may not be the most efficient, and our daily life may be on hold, but if you take a second to take a step back, winter shines in her glory.

 

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My One Little Word and a List

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I felt compelled to write a post that I can look back on in the coming months and make sure that I’m keeping myself on track. A sort of lenient manifesto that is essentially a collection of words that equal goals, inspirations, and ideas that may or may not form my reality.

I’m also partaking (albeit wildy inactively in the One Little Word creative/lifestyle prompt – more about that HERE).

So here we go, to 2017 and beyond:

Make more art, look at iPhone less.

Connect with people that care and build more meaningful relationships with people who want to build them.

Read more at night with music playing and lamps glowing.

Light more candles and send more good vibes.

Watch more movies that pique my interest and veg out less on TV I’ve already seen (I’m lookin’ at you Parks and Recreation and The Office!).

Communicate more honestly. 

Take more pictures with my cameras and actually learn the proper way to use them.

Ferment more veggies and sauces.

Have a somewhat productive garden at my new house.

Cook more new things and make sure to do so with Daphne.

Emotionally let go of the feelings that bind me in a stagnant place. Or at least try to.

Be a more present mother and play more mini-golf and go bowling more.

Be more vulnerable and open.


Now, I may add more to this list as January slowly progresses, or, I may just leave it simple and straight up. I’m not quite sure just yet. But that’s part of my journey right now: to wait and see what needs to be where instead of filling the vacancy with uncertain objects that may actually impede my personal, professional, and spiritual progress.

Could you guess my ‘One Little Word?‘ It’s MORE!

I may not use it in any sort of scrap-book/memory keeping application, but hey, I do love working with paper and images, so who knows, maybe I will whip up some creative endeavor with my word. Mostly, though, I want to use the word to mediate on, and as a daily reminder of what I want to manifest my life to become. Passing the corner from my 20’s into my 30’s has really shined a light on what I want my future to be and has given me the courage to pursue it. Passively or aggressively. As weird and wonky as 2016 was, it helped me gain my bearings, and for that, I’m extremely grateful.

Leaping into 2017

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I usually start a blog post with where I’m physically writing from.

Well, today, I have failed to vacate my pajamas. My hair is in a newer sloppy bun than the sloppy bun I assembled it into when I went to sleep last night. I’m sitting on my sofa that has been pushed to one side of the room to make way for the boxes and the general disarray that accompanies a move that is nearby. Chaos. I hate packing and unpacking so many books and movies and music, but, I love them all so dearly – so, into the boxes they go.

I’ll be starting a new chapter of my life soon. And it seems fitting that it is also the start of a new calendar year. 2017.

To keep it simple and internet digestible, I’m moving 30 minutes away from my current home in the rainforest-y woods, to the town of Eugene, Oregon, into a tiny little two bedroom/one bathroom bungalow-ish house. Accompanying me are four cats (Dweenie, Gibs, ChoCho, and JujiBean), my daughter (for half of the time), and my enormous media collection.

My husband and I came to the conclusion that we enjoy being married to each other (we’ve almost put in 10 years!), we like parenting our daughter together, but alas, we absolutely do not enjoy living together. Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. The Odd Couple. I believe we have both reached a point in our personal evolution where we no longer want to sacrifice our goals and dreams (no matter how small or large), nor our particular brand of comfort for the image of marriage is supposed to be. We typically compromise so much that neither of us end up feeling passionate for the outcome.

I guess you could ask: “why would you stay married, then?” A totally valid question. But really, why not? We have experienced no loss of love or friendship – and most likely, with the impending relocation, I presume our relationship will only get better. Life being what it is, a total mixed bag, who knows though, maybe it will tank so hard and fast that we won’t know what hit us? That’s the gamble. But, staying stagnant is not an option for us.

The biggest obstacle to this transition is financial. Hopefully, though, as I’ve been told, “leap, and the net will appear.”

This leap is scary and exciting. Equal amounts of both. I’m incredibly excited and apprehensive. I’ve never been one to shy away from change, and I don’t mean to stop now.

I’ll probably talk more details of lifestyle in the weeks to come, but for now, moving and packing are on the immediate horizon – so pass all the soy lattes and donuts!

 

Embracing the Dark Season

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Sitting in front of a heater, cold coffee nearby, and watching the snowfall turn to rain.

I remember.

Snow always makes me melancholy. The acute silence. The stillness that mirrors the dark corners of my subconscious and beckons for an awakening.

Every season that passes, and every summer that transforms to autumn, and then every winter that ultimately finds itself at my doorstep, I remember what my soul screams ever so gently into my ear every October, that I, down to my core, am a child of the summer.

Summer. The sun burns away any gritty residue of thoughts that linger towards dreary. My heart can breathe it’s deliberate breath, and not be troubled with dirty memories and complicated loves. It can focus on what’s in front of it. Summer is the soul’s blessing. It’s clean and calm and steadfast. It’s kind and doesn’t hurt.

Winter is a cruel love that reminds you what you lost and what you may lose.

The snow is now rain and the trees are no longer painted in white. It’s still cold and I can feel it encompassing me. Winter tells us to bundle up or leave. And since I’m not one to take orders from a bossy winter, I intend to bundle up. Feel the snow on my red cheeks. Embrace the silent and dark corners of my soul, and walk on, through the snow and the rain, and make my peace with the cold – and know, that there is a reason for winter and it’s bitterness.

Every season is a chance to be born anew. Every day, really.

What will I be tomorrow?

 

Moon River Time Traveler

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When you get older ‘Moon River‘ is guaranteed to make you all kinds of messy emotional.

It’s one thing you can count on.

I don’t know if it matters if you’ve seen the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ but yeah, every single damn iteration of that song, I can feel my cheeks get tingly and my throat dry, I get these pesky goosebumps on my arm, and my eyes get unusually water-y. I don’t usually cry, but dammit, it’s close.

Moon River, and the like, is a brief pause, a chance to observe your life from an elevated perspective. Like watching a river wind back and forth, flowing onward, from the comfort and safety of a mountain. The glorious thing about it? You can play the song(s) as many times as you like.

Nostalgia. It creeps up, grabs you, and momentarily shakes up and dumps out all of that petty human bullshit you’re clutching onto. It helps you see the forest through the trees. It helps you see the beauty and the best of our humanity. It sharpens the lines, if only momentarily; often, it’s enough.

Music can do that. It can show you the past and the future all at once. At it’s core and at it’s best, music has the power to transcend time and gives us, the listener, the ability to truly time travel.

I believe that if you lay still enough, in a place of happiness, and wear a pair of headphones, music can take you anyplace in the universe. Truly.

So go, go time traveling, venture across the universe, see what you see and hear what you hear. There is no limit to the madness and the magic. After all, that’s what being human is for.


While writing this, I listened to Yann Tiersen’s eloquent and whimsical score for the film, Amelie. I also listened Audrey Hepburn’s simple and touching recording of Henry Mancini’s, Moon River – and I listened to Hans Zimmer’s, ‘Time,’ from the film Inception.


 

Old Faded Photographs

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A vast and empty white space. So intimidating and so promising.

The emptiness, it’s a beginning. And beginnings are intimidating and promising.

Now, I consider myself an adult. I’m 31, I can fully comprehend (some) complicated processes and I take my car in to get the tires changed. I’m responsible for a child and a herd of fuzzy and adorable animals. By definition, I’d say I’m an adult.

But, when I sit down to write in this vast white space, I find myself wandering back to write about what I loved when I was 14.  My 14 year old self delighted in poetry, travel, and love. I fervently took images of clouds. I could feel time start and stop in the ocean, my body fully submerged. I gazed down from airplanes and knew that the open spaces of the world knew my name and I knew of their hidden depths and secret beauty. I understood the language of the lonely.

Granted, when I wander backwards in time, I now have this annoying adult perspective. I see things with different eyes. More empathetic and relaxed eyes. The world is now this big grey mass, where there is no firm yes or firm no to anything or anyone. Obviously, fanny packs are a firm no, but other more nebulous things, that to a 14 year old seemed abstract and definite, are no longer definite.


Now love, the glorious love like in movies, I still believe it exists. It’s no longer a game with end – no “happily ever after,” like I initially believed. Love is the entire game itself, whose moving parts are still baffling and beautiful. There are infinite ways to love another human being, and there is no knowing how long or with what intensity you will love that individual. The game of love is a frustrating dance that destroys us while it fulfills us.

I’ve always been fascinated by love. Not necessarily the pure and simple kind of love; the kind between family and friends and animals. That love is so true and fundamental. It rarely hurts, and it typically feeds us the way a fresh loaf of bread feeds us. Warmly and softly.

No, I’m intrigued by the love that burns swift and bright.

The kind of love that buries it’s blade so far into you, that the idea of ever living whole again is an alien notion.

The kind of love that feels like a mental illness – and might as well be.

The kind of love that feels like an ocean swelling right under your rib cage, not letting go, ebbing and splashing and making your mind a mess with debris that it leaves in its wake.

The kind of love that nourishes and starves you in the same helping. It’s electric and it knows it.

It ends. It transforms. It moves on. It leaves you as it found you or it leaves you broken or it leaves you more whole than you could have ever imagined.

This love, that is both infinite and fleeting, why does it feel like it knows all the secret’s to the universe and shows you in brief bursts?

I hate it and I adore it as it runs up and down my spine.

Is it merely a manifestation of self? Some bloated belief that our consciousness and subconscious needs to cope with existence?

Does it actually exist beyond our physical death, floating in space, cradling the souls of those we love with it’s light?

Do we remember the love we’ve felt before like an “I know you” sort of memory? Not a soul mate. A love that is less soul mate and more like an old faded photograph. Like a feeling that was felt on that distant shore of live’s long past.

I think so.

I try to remember these feelings, these faded photographs, and look past a person’s skin and bones and see them for what they have always been and what they will always be. Magic and stardust.

When you find those flecks of stardust, that you recognize as part of your galaxy, remember, they might not remember you, they might be searching for their own particular magic. Let them be. Love them. And know, that not all stars shine side by side – sometimes you must seek your light and they must seek theirs.

Love is never wasted. No matter how small or how grand. Love with all you have. For when you’re dust floating in space among the light and love of millenniums, you’ll know, that your love mattered.


…and these thoughts are what I’m filling this vast empty white space with today.

 

 

The Music I Make – I Write

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I write.

I write to get the buzzing out of my head and stored somewhere other than my body. A tidy white place.

I write as a love letter to the spirits and souls whose connection(s) I crave; both known and unknown.

I write to have revelations noted. Usually, when I sit down to write, these revelations are long gone. So I write to dig them up and bring them to the foreground of consciousness.

I write because words are magic; man made magic. Thoughts that are given construct, stories that become guides, warnings, and dear friends.

I write to feel happiness in my stomach and in my eyes.

I write because there are things in my darkness that I want to poke and prod and shine light upon. Granted, it’s usually with shaky hands that I shine the flashlight on my dormant thoughts, but writing enables me to gradually see what lurks in my corners and crevices, and then ultimately, accept those notions or disregard them. Unrealized thoughts lingering in dark corners only decay; bring them to the light, and know you as you truly are and not as you perceive yourself to be.

I write to quiet all that I crave that is currently out of my grasp.

I write as a plan. To plan exactly how to acquire all that I crave that is currently out of my grasp.

I write because a little voice inside me says that I’m not bad at writing. A louder voice says I’m not exactly good at it, but that smaller voice is still there. So, I just say “whatever” to that louder rude voice. Ain’t nobody got time for rude voices. Write.

I write to feel sadness down to my bones. To feel my bones ache with a sorrow and stillness that is gently and deeply transformative. An acute stillness that can only be described as a black and warm loneliness. However, in that loneliness, I can clearly see the stars and my place among them.

I write because I can’t play music. Words that come from my soul and consciousness are the music I make. They always have been.


 

An Oregon Autumn in Images

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Chioggia beets.

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Varying tones of decay.

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Water levels rising.

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Water and dampness.

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Gazing downstream.

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Autumnal textures.

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Softness among the dampness.

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Catching light.

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Water beginning to rush.

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Itty bitty fern.

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Scope.

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Wildcrafting abunandance.

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Ever present and always special.

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Making sure to look down and look closely.

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Medicinal and prolific lungwort.

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Magic shadows and beams.

Time is a Flat Taco – An Excavation of Sorts

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What do you write about when you want your voice to be heard yet you don’t want your voice to completely define you?

I have a blog where I write about movies. I haven’t written there in a while. Writing about what other writers write about feels somewhat defeating. And while yes, criticism is important, and I love love love writing about movies and getting immersed in that world of storytelling, it never quite feels like “me.”

I can tell you about what isn’t “me,” but I’d have a much harder time explaining what IS “me.” I get frustrated that I can only define myself in the negative and not the positive. Then I get frustrated because maybe it isn’t actually negative to define yourself by what you are not instead of what you are? When do you dismiss society’s rules of governing your identity and just be “you.” Unless you’re a psychopath, does it matter?

I don’t think so.

So here I am, re-branding this blog a bit, tweaking it, and writing about what I want to most of the time – which is largely self examination – and food.

I recently watched a trailer for the movie ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ and it was lovely and inspiring and had some of my favorite actors and the writing and cinematography looked breathtaking. It’s simply a story that needs to be told (especially in the political climate the US is facing right now). I just can’t bring myself to pore over the trailer and the movie in detail and produce a polished blog post. Maybe someone would read it, maybe not. So, instead I’m writing about not writing it. Probably WAY less useful.

So, I digress. What do you write about when you want to be honest and raw on an open platform, but you also want to keep some of your personal identity in tact?

Well, you probably just have a freakin’ journal at home and throw your laptop into the damn ocean.

I won’t do that. My hand cramps pretty quickly anymore holding a pen and the ocean is at least and hour’s drive away; so I’ll stay here and work through all of this.

I’d like to write about the processes of life. The good big ones. The exquisite little ones. The muddy ones. The ugly ones. The sad little asshole ones. And the just plain boring ones.

It would be nice to have one of those “mom” blogs that documents travel and life raising a small human alongside my husband. But that’s not me. I’m a mom, yes, but to write only about motherhood would be far from my truth. I’m a wife, yes, but I’d never put that on any kind of “bio.” Neither of those wonderful titles (wife, mom) define me at my core. And sometimes I feel guilty for that. Meh.

Ok.

I’ll end this little excavation post (trying to dig stuff up and figure stuff out) here. Maybe next time I’ll talk about motherhood or wifedom or just simply, loving. Maybe I’ll talk about how I feel the head and the heart are too vast to love only one person at a time. Maybe I’ll talk about what I ate for lunch (hello, Thanksgiving is right around the corner!), or maybe I’ll just talk again about wanting to talk but not comprehending what to actually talk about.

Time is a flat circle and tacos are tasty.