Wednesday, August 2, 2017

whiskey ginger (part II)

I don't think I'm pretty, but I know that I am beautiful.

I thought that adopting a dog would save me, but in reality I think I am saving her.

The divorced woman with the dyed red hair is establishing her independence.

I am familiar with the changing of the seasons, but here the environment changes by the hour. This morning it quickly rose past 80 degrees. This early afternoon it became cool, and cloudy, and pebbles of hail dropped from the sky. Later in the afternoon it thundered and rained. Then it grew sunny again, and Hanna and I took to the trails. There we found a pond, nearly four feet deep and at least 15 wide. It was not there last week and, I suspect, if it stops raining for a few days it will be gone by the weekend. Here, you are forced to understand the constancy of change. Here, you are forced to confront that everything is fleeting.

If you could only see how big the squash and the cauliflower and the arugula have grown. The squash died back twice in the early season, the result of unpredictable mountain frosts, and I firmly believe that me telling them I believe in them, over and over again, is what brought them back to life. You are free to disagree but I know belief manifests miracles. For weeks I have been dining on salads and kale sauteed in coconut milk, walking home every night from the garden with bouquets of greens.

We named her Hanna for the river, Big Suskie, forever one of the places I can call my home.

I do not miss as much as I thought I would, and for that I feel both shame and understanding. I didn't even realize how much I was not myself. I have started pronouncing my name differently when introducing new people into my life.

There is a feather tattooed on my ribs. It is temporary, a test. When I find the right artist--a woman who specializes in watercolor designs, who believes that belief manifests miracles--I will know where I want it and what it will be. So far I am considering my rib cage, my left forearm, and the inside of my left ankle. It will be a great blue heron or Maine meadow lupines or a lodgepole pine or the V with the calla lily I designed when I was 23. Cast your votes.

In BUTI yoga I hesitated to strip down to my sports bra, and then I remembered I'm 30. I don't have time for this shit. I pulled off my shirt and I twisted and sweated in front of women I know and women I don't. I did it again the next time, and the next. In September I will show up to the training in short shorts and a blue-strapped sports bra, and I'll just let 'er rip.

I spent months after the election in a state of abject despair. I had never felt that hopeless or defeated in my life, except for maybe when I was trying to kill myself. Now I am seeing the horror and I am calling its bluff. It will never be as big as I know my love can be. Maybe we only have a few more years but mark my words I'm going to be a force of nature for as long as I'm here.

My family and I played a lot of poker while they were in town. I didn't win very often, but I think my brother appreciated my bravado--bluffing to high heaven and tossing in all my chips--and the merest hint that he might like or appreciate or even respect me is enough for me to have won. I don't know if my siblings will ever Know how much I love them, and I will never stop anyway.

Every night a different doughnut.

Wilson sits at the window staring, alert to each movement and sound. He is braver with Hanna here: staying in the living room when it thunders, walking up to the fan pointed at the wet-drying rug and pressing his nose against the slats, his 50-pound pal right behind him.

On days like today all it takes to shake me out of a bad mood is a clump of bright yellow wildflowers growing up out of the high desert trail.

I am so grateful to get to be alone. Oh it feels good to be back.

"On the Beach at Night Alone" by Walt Whitman

On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.
A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"All You Do Is Perceive" by Joy Katz

I was given a city, with coffee and sunlight. “The coin-purse smell of the subway,” I wrote. In the mornings policemen would stand, lightstruck and pleasured, over trays of danish. Mornings I wrote and workmen raised up their nets. Hallelujah the brick, the debris! I was given a city. The city got between me and God.
I was given a house. The curtains breathed over wide sills. There was a leaf in the middle of the floor, I loved the crispness of the leaf. I loved the privacy of sills. The sills sailed, I fell into the sills. The sills got between me and God.
I was given a mud hut. The walls curved to meet the ceiling like a tongue curves to make a word.
I was given God, with salt and sweet together. I was given a piece of meat. I loved the flesh. I was given bread only. I was given only water. I loved the coolness of the water. The water got between me and the feast.
I had an empty plate and there was the color of it. I cannot even describe the color of it.
I was given a cell with a window. There was a certain light at evening.
I was given nothing but the air, and the air dazzled.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Love Song" by William Carlos Williams

I lie here thinking of you:—
the stain of love
is upon the world!
Yellow, yellow, yellow
it eats into the leaves,
smears with saffron
the horned branches that lean
against a smooth purple sky!
There is no light
only a honey-thick stain
that drips from leaf to leaf
and limb to limb
spoiling the colors
of the whole world—
you far off there under
the wine-red selvage of the west!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

take it easy (Saturday)

I am so tired that we decide to drive home after watching the women's superpipe finals live on the side of the mountain.

Still, it is so warm out. I must do something.

I tell myself that I will go out for an easy 35 minutes, no big. I pump up the tires and climb astride my bike for the first time since when--November? It feels like it's always been winter. It feels hard to remember those days riding my bike in shorts. Today I am wearing skintight blue yoga tights, wool socks pulled up over my calves, an undershirt, a long-sleeved thermal, and a golden fanny pack. Within five minutes I'm having the time of my life. I take the biggest hill--20 long minutes of straining quads so I can spend three minutes flying down. Then downtown, then away from it, around the perimeter of the next town over, ducking onto the golf course paths that I skied not four weeks ago, up and down over the rollers until I hit another big hill and this one, seeing as it is lined with trees, is still covered in snow. I dismount and hoist the bike over my shoulder, carry it up to the top of the hill, climb astride again and fly down. I hit a few more snowy patches but they're passable so long as I go slow and use my abs to keep the bike from shooting out from under me when slush gives way beneath the tires. I pass neighbors and friends and so many happy dogs. I shoot up into my neighborhood an hour later calling hellos over my shoulder. I skid to a stop outside the apartment, panting. Above me a flock of birds glides like jazz.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


I'll admit I was startled. I haven't seen a bug in so long.

Because I was gone all day at the Master Gardener training Wilson has ziplocked himself to my chest. Pets and kisses are nice but the important thing is that our bodies remain in as much contact as possible. He has gained a little weight, what with turning eight years old and living in a smaller space (where there are fewer opportunities for mad dashes across rooms or up stairs), and his ten pounds press into me like one of those weighted security blankets, only this one is warm and it purrs.

Today I brought home seeds of calendula, jojoba, mini hollyhocks, lemonbalm, self-heal. I will plant them along with the rosemary, lettuces, hardy greens. I will learn how to harvest them into salves and tinctures and facial scrubs. I am still waiting to hear back from the community garden but in the meantime my neighbor has offered to build me my own garden bed in her backyard.

In exchange, I taught her about vermicomposting.

We have fought again and I have cried again and I have felt mistrustful again and so it goes.

 I am realizing that I don't have my shit together as much as I thought.

I am realizing that I need to feel cared for more than I thought.

I am realizing that I do not know how to let myself feel cared for.

 Realization is worth a pound of cure.

Her face is aged but only because an artist spent hours applying the makeup, adjusting the wig, outfitting her with glasses. What a weird world.

Friend I miss you so much I'm sorry I haven't been in touch. I remember telling you to go for it after watching you in that play, seeing you grow and honor yourself. I care about you so much and I am sorry my actions have not made that clear.

Can you believe I've lived in Colorado for nearly a year.

 I am going to focus on myself, being all I can be, and let the chips fall where they may.

Tomorrow morning, after yoga, I am getting a massage. Tomorrow evening I am participating in one of my favorite annual traditions.

There is still something to be said.

I wish I could try a bite of that.