Sunday, February 26, 2012


we give each other books for every birthday.
a tradition i love; a celebration of our deep lives, the inner ones--
how well we know each other, celebrating that
with titles like, the art of eating in
gift from the sea
favorites, sometimes picked up last-minute
wrapped in nothing but an ann taylor bag
last year on your birthday kaylie was wearing that shirt
pregnant as you are.
pregnant with a baby.
when i feel like i'm just pregnant with possibility--
ready to explode in a creative tornado
if i didn't have any homework to attend to.
still my pregnancy grows,
fed by light of film, metering and clicking
writing ridiculous poetry
reading more natalie goldberg
and this pregnancy i'm not off-limits from one single thing
no do-not-eat list perches on my fridge
just wedding announcement photos
I've taken
and feel proud of,
not unlike a baby child
i'd grown myself.

today is my dad's birthday celebration,
tomorrow the actual day.
sometimes i feel strange that it's alright to move things around when they don't fit your schedule, like valentine's day and birthdays.
he's perpetually 35 to me, the dad in my home videos running the camera while i screw up the courage to run through the sprinkler in my too-pink bathing suit.
he's perpetually a seminary teacher with lots of seminary teacher friends,
and i spy on the grown-up parties they have, with lots of laughing and finger food and it was like an aquarium of fun because i could press my nose to the window and look through without anyone noticing, observe and have a private smile with myself when my dad laughed so hard he coughed and wheezed.
he's perpetually that dad. i haven't wrapped my head around a dad who has two sets of married children, kids-in-laws, and is 49.

as i celebrate the changes--the new pregnancies, jobs, transitions to vegetarianism--i still ache for that too-pink bathing suit, hand in hand with my brother trying to convince me to run through the sprinkler on the simplest of summer days. i still wince at my list of responsibilities and wonder if i'll ever wake up accepting them with wide open hands. i still live in nostalgia and simultaneously run away as fast as i can so i can be the one moving on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

thoughts on abundance.

Does gratitude ever lead you to guilt? That sounds off.

But by the time I've exhausted the list-making approach of gratitude, in the middle of my gratefulness for my lack of gonorrhea and a cardboard house I start to think:
What did I do to deserve my big life full of stuff and opportunity? And the answer is always nothing. So I try to make sense of it, and give myself guilt, telling myself all the things I should do because I'm lucky enough to have all the opposites of the things I'm grateful I don't have.

It's hard to accept abundance.

It's hard to believe there is enough, and that even though I don't deserve it I can embrace it, live in it, and even increase it. It's hard to get away from my picture-perfect me to not only accept what I currently am, but accept, simultaneously, the vastness of what I could be. It's easier to make a list of things I should do that will give me a blue ribbon.
Easier to make gratitude lists long, long, long, so as to appear so thankful. So as to convince myself what I am. I am grateful, I am going to do big things, you know. It seems better than acknowledging the more frequent blah days where I don't do anything spectacular.

But I'm learning that even if all I do is feed myself physically and emotionally and soulfully on those days, I am those few steps closer to living more fully inside the mondo-ness of my potential.
Even when I'm not checking off items on a shiny list, I am still doing important work. It's just kind that can't be checked off that good.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ten Thousand Hours

I want to kiss this piece of paper, because I worked really hard to gather up this pen and this notebook from the dregs of my bag in the middle of this crowded car on the way home.
A scary q was burning at the edges of my mind:
What do I want to invest 10,000 hours in, to become an expert? What would I be excited about spending that kind of time on?

And the answer was not necessarily photography, not necessarily music education, not necessarily writing or teaching or being a zen-ish person, but just: all forms and flavors of creativity.

I felt excited when I thought it; I'm going to accept things as they come to me as a somewhat transient excited loony artist.

And right now I feel excited about my life being cracked right open like an egg and the yolk is just running out all over the wide earth. The snow dusts the mountains, powder-sugaring its cold magic on the little things that live in the fields. I get to see it with my eyes that don't see well without glasses but a lot of times when I see these things I just look and then other times I SEE, and not that my eyeballs bulge or do anything different at all but my heart accepts all kinds of possibilities and I get excited thinking of all the gifts I have in my world, and just thinking of these amazing things that have to be handmade by God and I feel happy and blessed and open and totally undeserving of all the awesome in my life, but still I know God wants me to have it.

I feel my life flowing more toward Him, naturally, and I feel the more I write the more He shows up on my paper and I include Him better, more decisively and consciously. The light is fading outside the car window, but I have to keep going. I have to keep telling about my lifelong paths and quests that other people conduct with ranging levels of seriousness. But I'm dramatic and I take everything in my life seriously because I live this life this way one time and each moment is so new and transitory and sometimes that's so weightful I don't know quite what to do? And how could I? Because I'm appalled by the wastes of time, even how long it took to turn the page to keep on writing.

I've started worrying a little less about the perfect allocation of blame and I've just started working to accept accept accept my life in the world and give away the need to know everything in its proper compartment. I am learning to balance scheduling with being wild. Because I am a wild child control freak spread out and and formed back again, like a cheeseball. A cheeseball that compliments all kinds of crackers and could do any big thing with her life she wanted. She doesn't have to write big but she can.

I feel God slowly and steadily directing the flow of traffic toward those sweet sweet little babies. They are so needy, so full of big ideas and brain waves and I am excited to meet them in a place where they can thrive in my care, in my love that will be big and wide as rivers and oceans and just as full of salt water. I will be able to take care of them with my heart open and my head brimming with ideas about how to teach them, read them fantastic literature and sing them beautiful songs and be their caretaker,
and I wish there was a more beautiful, full word to say what it really is.

It's almost pitch black and it's just the moon lighting up the corner of the blue sky on my right, a perfectly pink gradient of a sunset behind me to the west, on my left. The plants grow still, evergreen in the snow and there is dirt underneath the ice to support. The dirt doesn't die and it still compiles and hardens to make the mountains. Passing the curves of the rolling in the hills and the peaks that people climb, sometimes they even run up them. Listen to your body, the mountains it asks to climb and the world calling out what it needs you to contribute, be it dirt or a seed or a full grown tree.

It is too dark to write now.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Three Line Poems

I started with the title and went for three lines, and sometimes I had more to say.
My favorite is Lace.

Salt Shaker
contained beads of sweat
drip into the ocean
flitting home like a wave of grief.

A shivering fabric
Chokes up her neck
So fancy and free

Fireflies giggle obnoxiously
in a symphony
You blinked at me with open eyes.

All of the things in this room stood still
While the rice shattered on the floor
Like opaque diamonds.

The recipe called for you
And I said I'm improvising
We borrowed an egg from a neighbor
down the street three houses away
Your dad was on a diet
And we licked frosting off
cake for breakfast.

Killing Stones
Strange and expensive
not rare; blood kind
like the deep red flesh of an orange
by the same name.

My email was hacked
And I felt hurt--attacked
By spammers in India.