Curious Hook

I used to drive past the road where my boyfriend had a house. I would stare down that road anytime I drove past, wondering who lived there and where the road lead. It was magnetic. He and I met about 10 years later. Now I drive down that road from time to time, to run errands to the renters at his old house.

That curious hook has drawn me into strange parts of a building and wind up in coversation with new people. It’s lead me to turn the wrong direction on the road and show up late. It’s put me in the middle of an argument, taken me away from powerful people, drawn me to befriend sick people. It’s made me a lot of friends.

If I close my eyes, it feels like mild warmth, like the heat of sunrise. There is a clear brightness in it that I can’t see.

It’s easier to swat than a gnat, easier to ignore than a cloud. I frustrate myself quite a bit when I do that. I guess it’s called “intuition” by some. I call it magic.

If I listen to it consistently, it brings peace and beauty. Even knowing this, I lose my patience and turn away. Grasping for it is like trying to pinch smoke.

I have no conclusion here, just a curious wonder for this strange, unsophisticated magic.

Rage Outside My Boundaries, Please

I often regret how many relationships I’ve had to go thru in my life. I know it’s a mistake to do this but I wish that I’d had one partner all along, who would have stood by me, seen my growth and changes, et cetera.

BUT that is not what’s happened. I am the only one who knows my story, and count on my friends to accept my history from my stories instead of experience.
My last relationship was underscored by anger. He was enraged daily over every thing that irked him, every thing from the labels on food to traffic snarls.

I would lean in to provide a listener to his anger, try to help him deal with it. It got to the point where almost every conversation with him was about anger. He’d call, I’d pick up the phone and ask how he was and he’d say, ANGRY. FRUSTRATED. PISSED OFF. That was literally the beginning of 90% of our conversations.

(I mean literally as literally, not exaggerating, just real and factual.) (Oh good grief, I’ll just say “actually.” That was actually 90% of our conversations.)

Me, caring, him, enraged. If he acted violent at all, like throwing something or striking a surface, I left. He got worse as time went on. It was one of the factors in my leaving him.

Now when my boyfriend gets pissy, I get up from my chair and move away. He can rage alone, I’m not interested in being part of that. If he asks for help I’ll be there, but I just don’t want anything to do with rage.

Likewise, if I get enraged, I leave. I go work it out, get to where I can think and have started to track the real feelings that lay under the anger. I’ll ask for help then, if I can’t finish the process that my therapist taught me.


My dogs taught me some of this. Princess was high strung.  She frequently wanted to fight with things outside the fence or past the end of her leash.  Harley was calmer and bore the brunt of her frustration.

He didn’t soothe her when she came at him, he fought just enough to protect himself. They would snap at each other, growl, rear up, bark, snap snap snap, then she would run off to stare at what had irritated her, what she couldn’t reach to fight with.  Harley would sulk until she was done with her anger.  She never hurt him.

You cannot lean in to rage. It’s dangerous, and to pay attention is to pay into its existence.

But, angry people need help. What is the right way? Sometimes anger is legitimate. Sometimes we should be there for angry people, right? or should we always wait for the cooling point, that turn of mind?

Anger comes from fear, sadness, or both. If you can, if you are motivated enough to dig under that layer of rage, then you’ve earned the right for help.

Any Dry Red Will Do

I am not a fussy eater, it may surprise you to know. No need to tempt me much or cater to favorites. I will drink cardbordeaux* as long as it’s some kind of semi-dry red. I will eat slightly stale potato chips and grocery store brand mozzerella. I love olives but will eat spanish stuffed with pimento almost as happily as queen stuffed with bleu cheese.

Language is another think. It is native to me, inborn, almost unlearned. I stumble to explain the details of dangled participles and tensity of verbs. But like a pitcher who when asked how to throw a ball simply winds up and throws, I can give you a perfectly constructed sentence with perfect spelling and verb tense. I can also have it rhyme or add alliteration. (See what I did there? Probably not, because that’s consonance, not alliteration. Neener neener neeeener.)

My adoration for language extends past proper English. I love body language, emoticons, making faces, slang both old and new. This puts me in conflict with myself. I fight with me over grammar, spelling, anything that simplifies this young, complicated language. It is my art and my science, to be interpreted, researched, or revamped when needed.

*boxed wine

Hashtags for Saving our Ecosystem

World leaders meet in Paris soon to discuss how to pull us back from the brink of catastrophic, artificial climate change.  I’ve tweeted incessantly:

#climatehope #24HoursofReality #climateaction #WhyImWatching #EarthtoParis

A rain barrel on every downspout! Fresh rainwater is better than draining water from underground.

End lawn tyranny! Green the suburbs! Grow gardens & flowers & food forests! Why own .5 acre if not for gardening?

Photovoltaic carports over every parking lot. SOLAR PANELS SHADING ALL THE CAR PARKS. Cars in shade + solar farm = win

Down with disposable, up with biodegradable! Give tax breaks for biodegradable packaging and carry-out dishes!

Compostable, non-toxic food containers would reduce landfill. Re-useable as planters for gardens, too!

Methane is fuel! Clean and renewable! Let’s capture it and use it, every sewage plant and landfill becomes a power plant.

Turn waste into fuel, capture methane from sewage & ethanol from food waste. No drilling, no landfill! No drill no fill!

Replant coastal mangrove swamps to soften storm waves, protect & shade shorelines, rebuild wildlife homes

Offer classes & videos on green habits like how to sort recycling. Seeing is believing; seeing is also comprehending.

Every bin a recycling bin. Let’s all get on the composting wagon and eliminate new landfill

Give me solar panels ASAP! Make a genuine energy grid, decentralized for everyone’s safety. Photovoltaics FTW.

Let’s get moving on tree planting for shade, water conservation, CO2 absorption and food production. More trees, please.

Reusable packaging! Flour sacks become handtowels to use instead of paper towels, double benefit!

These are all things I think make positive headway against the damage we’ve done to our environment.  I forgot to mention camp showers (where you soap up with a washcloth before turning on the shower) and driving conservatively.  Yes, I’m the one with my cruise control set at 60mph on the Interstate.  And I’d rather be dozing on light rail, thank you very much.

Advantage of Being a Religious Wacko

When you believe weird things, you don’t have room to criticize. I could stop there. That’s the point I wanted to make. We’re done. Thanks for stopping by.

News stories arrive in which politicians admit they believe women are less valid creatures than men and don’t deserve things like paychecks or job promotions. That Jesus traveled around the world making sure every tribe got His message so that no one gets out of choosing between Heaven and Hell. That Jesus’ magic blood-drinking ritual saved them from cancer. Or that God is playing hide and seek from behind a comet.

I was raised to think all of these (except the last one) were valid religious beliefs. (I don’t have examples of other religions’ wacko beliefs, but feel free to leave comments if you know some good ones.) I still think they are valid, the same way I believe Narcissus was a beautiful young man who fell in love with his reflection in a pond and was turned into a flower. The same way I believe that Sedna’s fingers became whales and seals. The same way I have conversations with trees and babies and people’s pets and see the future in how a handful of stones fall.

I really stretch the patience of my secular humanist friends. Bless them, they love me even as I make them palm their faces in confused exasperation. Bless them a little extra, because they don’t usually believe in things like blessings.

Write down things you believe in and take a look at them again. Try to explain them to someone. (Trees are good listeners.) Do you believe that your feelings affect the outcome of your most beloved sports team’s scores? That closing your eyes makes prayer work better? That your hairstyle makes you look better? Do you believe that eating fast food every day won’t actually, literally, genuinely hurt anyone?

Yeah, those aren’t very religious examples. Hopefully they’re less aggravating or personal that way. I don’t want to anger anybody. I say claim your wacko beliefs. Everyone has their own.

Maybe we should have International Wacko Day where everyone posts their strangest deeply held belief on the Internet, so we can find fellow wackos and enjoy their company. We can all drink the traditional melted ice cream and strike things that irk us with inflatable toys, as has been done on Wacko Day for centuries. Or for the first time. It’ll be great.


Medium: between small and large, between earth and ether, between one and another

I walked on my treadmill for 20 minutes this evening. On the treadmill, I focus on form more than when walking outside. Pull my lower abs in, stretch my lungs to expand fully, make sure my twisted spine and weak side pull their share.

I need the treadmill now that we’ve returned to standard time. Sunset is 4:48pm, I don’t have time to run in the park because I get off work at 5:00 and the parks close at sunset. Not sure how I’ll get to keep running during the colder months? Last year I left work early, maybe? But then I lived 5 minutes from home and ran in the neighborhood. Now I’m 20 minutes from home and we have a pack of coywolves in this neighborhood. The treadmill stands between me and failing to reach my goals.

When we attempt to avoid a life lesson, what happens? The lesson re-appears like a stalker, again and again, until we finally get thru it. Life is the most dogged unrelenting teacher. When we chase the lessons, what happens? Life drops presents around you like a pet cat, like a trickster, like a game master. The gifts might be more like puzzles than presents but they all fit and are in your new favorite colors.

Tonight I sat with a friend and stretched out painful life lessons like latex balloons, seeing how far they could go until they broke. Tonight they snapped back and stung us but we know in time and with learning, the lessons will give way to wisdom. Life lessons are harsh. You have to give up so much to learn them. Give up certainty, give up protective stories, give up that rigid history that defined you, even if building that history was its own lesson.

Who stands with you? Who stands between you and that harsh lesson? Love is the medium, love knows the ins and outs, love is the friend who shares your pain.

Deer and Running Wild

Plot Planter
episode: deer

Boyfran shot a deer today. He knows I want to build gardens and that deer and rabbits and mice threaten that goal. He’s also a chef with a love of fresh red meat.  But while I changed into pants and boots, planning to help him retrieve it, the dying animal made its way back to the thicket.

Chris tracked it part way. Later I re-traced the steps and heard it chuffing and panting. I wish we had made a clean kill but that wasn’t the case. Our friend and teacher Rick will search for it in the morning, see if the local pack of coyote-wolf hybrids didn’t get it first. It took them a few weeks to find my dog’s grave, so maybe we stand a chance. And we left human tracks everywhere.

Elsa cat was hunting something tiny as we came back to the house; I hope it was mouse or shrew or mole in nature.

I had the chance to charge thru the scrub woods and get scratched by thorns and caught by thicket growth. I made my way thru gloaming woods, discovering limestone clearings and secret man-made trails. It was a throwback to my young years and I felt bright and alive.

I respect agriculture but I feel so very paleolithic, myself. I should have carved my first flute before turning 8 years old, learned to weave baskets and fish traps, hunt small game and know where all the medicanal herbs grow.

Instead, we lived in apartments and suburbs and I learned how to avoid snobs and beat up cowardly bullies. Now I have a desk job, but I run miles thru tame forests and imagine harsher times.