Friday, August 31, 2012


Among men, it seems, historically at any rate, that processes of co-ordination and disintegration follow each other with great regularity, and the index of the co-ordination is the measure of the disintegration which follows. There is no mob like a group of well-drilled soldiers when they have thrown off their discipline. And there is no lostness like that which comes to a man when a perfect and certain pattern has dissolved about him. There is no hater like one who has greatly loved. 

-John Steinbeck

Thursday, August 30, 2012


lost in thought
in time
in space

losing grip 
i had 
i held

told the truth
in theory
in love

hearing voices
i have 
i hold

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Thought

Photoshop is evil. It should be killed but it won't be. The "media" is pointing a sticky finger at itself for manipulating images of people causing all of us living 3D human beings to feel like we should look flat and smooth (and only a few inches tall AT MOST).   We tell ourselves that the images aren't real and yet we still look in the bathroom mirror in the morning and cringe in horror.  The usual reaction is to go as quickly as possible to the store to buy things that will aid in our goal of looking flat and smooth. Well played "media"... well played.

A thought popped into my brain tonight as I was nearly (oh wait is that a drop of...) drooling over fabulous shots of faraway places. This thought almost knocked over all the other thoughts on it's way to the front of the line. Many thoughts were maimed and one in particular remains in a state of shock, but don't worry, that thought is especially sensitive.  It happened when a gorgeous shot of Washington State came into view. I grew up in Washington. Most of it is quite beautiful. Some of it is not. This picture somehow made one of the ugly areas look like a place I'd want to build a house and retire and yet I know it looks nothing like that in person! The Thought tapped the back of my eyeballs and said "hey you're being duped about everything you don't see for yourself!".  The Thought was being slightly preachy and condescending but who am I to argue with my own thoughts? 

It was a big moment for me. I'm used to reminding myself that people in pictures are made to appear perfect, but had never considered that my own backyard might have more in common than I realize with the backyard I'm lusting after online. The only way to know for sure is to explore not only those far away places, but to go outside right here where I live in search of the beauty that lies just outside the front door.

I will not be building a house and retiring in Washington. Sorry Dad.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

seeing sun spots

don't let the smiles fool you.
we're suffering from a severe case of heat exhaustion 

This post was going to be about how hot it's been and how I'm officially sick of being overly warm all day and all night. I was going to talk about how I have spent the last few years wishing for that hot summer feeling when a girl (or a boy) can wear a sundress and flip flops all day and not even feel the tiniest chill. A summer that has you pulling the shades all day to keep your un-airconditioned apartment from slowly cooking you alive. I've been hankering for days of doing nothing but sipping iced drinks and laying on a blanket in the park for hours. I thought I'd write about how mother nature has once again taught me a little lesson: be careful what you wish for...

Instead I'm going to distract myself with things that pass the time until that cursed orb tucks itself behind the Santa Monica Mountains.  And while I'm at it, I might as well share!

The Oatmeal

Van Life


Brain Pickings

Environmental Graffiti

The Cool Hunter

Those should keep you busy for a while, but I have plenty more where those came from so let me know if you have even more time to kill! As for me, I'll be googling things like how to treat my brand spanking new heat rash...or is it a hot new spanking rash? I can't keep track these days.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


kaput = broken and useless. no longer working or effective. 

i used to feel an intense sense of responsibility to repair the broken hearts of people i love. i would lay awake at night trying to find the answer, a way to make it all better. my heart would hurt and sometimes break for them.  this does not help a broken heart.  reaching inside my chest and ripping my own heart out, throwing it on the floor so that it would crash into pieces next to their own pile of hurt never made anything better.  i'm starting to see things in a different way. i will never be able to solve someone else's issues. i can't make everything better. offering my shoulder to weep on and the knowledge that i will always be here to listen without judgement and without pulling out my toolbox...well it keeps my head above water so that at least one of us has a handle on things. i would like to be the ray of light, the hopeful voice. i can be the one who understands (because you better believe i've been there) but rather than laying down to die in the hole with you i could jump down and hold your hand and tell you the air outside feels so nice today. you don't have to come out to play just now but when you're ready i'll carry you out.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

fight or flight

Panic. That system flushing sensation of a million miles a minute. It's not something that comes on slowly. No no, it hits you so hard and so fast no clear thoughts can break through. Something inside our instinctual human selves is telling us that our environment is a dangerous one. Our safety is threatened.

Last week while happily heading up our usual path at Griffith Park, Rob and I saw something strange. A medium sized rodent with big eyes was crouched off to the side of the wide dirt trail.  Just as the words "hey look..." left my lips we both spotted the large Rattlesnake immediately behind this poor little thing. Adrenaline shot through my veins so quickly I could have sprinted back down the trail fast enough to medal in the Olympics (there's a yellow medal right?).  Rob inched closer and tried to get it to go away by throwing things at it. That snake only had eyes for it's meal. I ran past the duo instead of back down because no way in hell was I giving up my daily hike because of a hungry snake. I wanted to run all the way to the Observatory, but Rob wanted to stay and try to get it off the trail even as I begged him to stop.  Finally, the waiting was over and the snake slowly started to circle around so it could swallow the prey headfirst. I convinced him to give up at that point and Rob, ever the protector, came with me. It took a few minutes, but once the danger was out of sight my breathing began to return to normal and I no longer felt dizzy and shaky.

I spent some time today thinking about our human panic response. Often it's referred to as our "fight or flight" reaction. Our bodies are swiftly energized to either fight whatever may be threatening us or to run away from it until we're in a safe place.  But what happens when the threat isn't something we can see? What about when the thing that we are most afraid of is inside our own minds? We still have the immediate and sudden urge to fight it or to escape, but those aren't options when the danger is our own thoughts, our own feelings.  And so we panic and have no resolution. All of the physical symptoms are the same. The breathing that can turn to hyperventilating, the shaking that makes you wrap your arms tight around your body in an attempt to slow the personal earthquake, the racing thoughts that make very little sense, the realization that you are out of control...and nowhere to run. It's impossible to hide from the monsters in your head.

Nobody can throw sticks at your fear or help you run away. Our fears will always live in those crevices we like to ignore. What I started to wonder is what if we were able to call them by name.  What if we went on a snake hunt inside our own hearts and named each demon we found there. Oh it's you Fear of Abandonment. I see you're still ugly Fear of Death. And you.. Fear of Change..I thought you'd moved on by now. What if we could look each one in the eye and see them as part of ourselves and by doing that somehow take away their power to sneak up on us in the dark.  It's wishful thinking I'm sure, but I'm not above wishes.

On our way back down that same trail at the end of our hike, we rounded the bend to find other hikers watching what I imagine is the local Griffith Park snake wrangler shooing that Rattlesnake off the trail with a very long stick. It was a slow process. The snake had a full belly and a bad attitude, but eventually made its way down into the brush to hide and digest.  I found that I was much less afraid of snakes after this encounter. There is no longer the "what if" in my mind of what it would be like and what I would do. Now I know. Now I'm tentative but not immobilized...

As we continued down past the wrangler, I heard him say "I've seen bigger ones than this up here!"

I may borrow that line on my next snake hunt.