ellipses

We Women

We women, we grasp at straws or air in our efforts, sometimes, eyes wild.

In the next moment, we see the futility, and

Our chests fill and our jaws set and our chins rise.

And we let go.

Sometimes in tears.

Because, for reasons we all must discover on our own,

We know and are capable as our Own.

Back & Forth

Colorado holds me gently. I’m en route from near Santa Barbara to Boulder, and it’s a beautiful two-day drive made even more pleasurable by my manual Audi and fourteen speakers. I love to drive, controlling the machine and watching the landscape open up differently around each turn, even if seen before. Set to my music, the memories appear and somehow feed new plans, and I wish for some way to record the movie more accurately and completely.

It’s been nine years since I moved to Colorado from coastal Northern California and I am tugged back and forth. That pull of voices from the latter becomes stronger every year and more regular, family the loudest, the blood in my ears. But as I knew would happen, as I take each turn through the San Juan Mountains of southwest CO, I am again reminded of the gentleness of this state, in its people and character, contrasted to California’s busy, often selfish and rude individualism. This state is oddly kind in its toughness, even with all the Ford Super Duties and guns, the snow and wind. And I mean no reference to the new marijuana laws.

I’m a California girl first and foremost, but even with your dull brown landscape of winter, Glorious Colorado, you and your people have stolen my heart.

written Feb 7, 2015

The Snowy Day

I wandered into Boulder Bookstore with a friend and his daughter last night and ended up in the children’s section. “The Snowy Day” immediately caught my eye, a book whose simple, yet striking and award-winning pictures intrigued me as a little girl. Still do.

When I finished reading the short book, the same swelling sense of adventure and possibility and hope in my chest that I felt at age 6 suddenly came back as I looked at that last picture. And I smiled.

And then it was gone. My adult awareness snapped me back to “it’s just a book” and my burdens felt heavy again. How very sad.

After I hugged Benjamin and Charlotte goodbye, I skipped to my car. A smile on my face. It was uphill, but it wasn’t that hard.

written and posted on Facebook, Jan 30, 2014

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The Wheel in the Sky

Written early July, 2010 while parked on the side of the road. Journey was blarring, en route from Colorado to Silver Lake, CA for 6 weeks.

Remarkable things happen when you travel alone. I spent the night in a canyon campground, in the hard back of my precious Audi, convinced that aliens were outside and considering abduction (seriously, but a story for another time). I found a local café in Baker, Nevada that morning, so far off the highway that only wanderers or park-seekers would find it. “Jewel in the rough” was coined here. My search for a 120V plug for my now dead phone and a cup of coffee was the impetus but I knew that I might need to do a little sweet-talking to plug in here…I was hoping for a Starbucks with an abusable bathroom. I tried the sweet-talk, but Grumpy, who obviously caters only to the few presumably odd locals for milk and occasional traveler, was about as warm as a desert lizard at 6am, which it was. Wouldn’t have it. Fortunately, he conceded.

Eclectic doesn’t begin to describe this place. I commented on his remarkable book collection, including Sinclair’s “The Cry for Justice” (which I bought) and several original late 1800 editions of books on San Francisco to which he chirped, “Well, they’re for sale. I turned and saw the small hand-drawn “book store” sign and said dryly, “Ah. Yes. I see that now.” I got a slightly warmer albeit still wry smile. Phone charging, mug of coffee in hand, I sit on the old saggy couch and read how Claus Spreckles invented the sugar cube and the Union Hotel in SF was the first brick hotel in the City. While I purused, my coffee cup sat on the floor on an old Persian rug that had never seen a vacuum cleaner (probably because they – 3 of them – were hanging from the ceiling) and a fly sat lazily in the sunny window, oblivious to the sugary spoon near it I’d just used.

The bell above the door rang as two classic-looking traveling Americans walked in, asking loudly for Gatorade. The fly started buzzing around and I got up to leave. A genuine smile and a nod was all I got from Grumpy and I had tears in my eyes as my now caffeinated, turbo engine accelerated onto Hwy 50, the sun rising over the desert.

Frogs in Anti-Gravity

First drafted June 6, 2011, completed almost two years later. How ironic.

Joe, a very close family friend died today at the age of 51 after an inspiring, almost 2-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Such struggles typically last months, not years, so allow yourself a moment to imagine the strength of character, love, and will to live this took. But our lesson from Joe is not so much perseverance, but the joy of life now because that is how he lived his entire life. Now.

And yet here I sit, a little sad once again that I am alone on a Wednesday night.

***

Growth and motion forward is something we all seek, whether or not we’re aware of it. A fast car or a better client, a destination or goal, the uplifting we feel is sweet as our minds and hearts are pushed forward by a seen or unseen energy. When stagnant, we weep, we shrivel, we atrophy. Sameness is boring and the feeling of going backwards, well, that ultimately feels like failure and is just another F word, so we change our clothes and food daily, and the music on the iPod is on shuffle.

Yet familiar feels good. We savor good memories, get lost in them, hear the song that takes us back to that time. “Remember when?” Maybe we cling, missing what was, distracted by what isn’t and all the while pining or fearful for what could be. Even the expectations that form in our minds are a form of familiar, as we base what’s in our future on the foundational memories and experiences in our past. They stop me all the time, dead in my tracks.

Does fear keep your mind on top, rationalizing you to consider possibility? Let me be the hypocrite that reminds you that’s pretty fucking lame. How about the now, the what or who in front of you.

You may not be here tomorrow.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  ― Joseph Campbell

A Stare at the Sun

Look at our magnificent sun and the eyes tighten shut and brow furrows. The squint comes, and then the recoil from the light… it is too intense, so much so that the image continues. The head bows and turns away, a folding inward as the eyes blink to erase the remnant pain.

Lose a loved one and there is no blinking, there is no turning away. It’s a stare at the sun with all its pain and none of its glory.

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