Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What are you calling forth from others?

When I step back and view myself through the lens of other people's reactions to me, I am frequently confused, disappointed and frustrated.

In the last few months, I have questioned myself to the nth degree... wondering if my inability to articulate what I want and how I want to live is emblematic of the fact that I am completely out of touch with who I am and who I project.

Is it that I am talking nonsense?

Is it that I am so unaware of what I really want that I am unable to deal with it when it comes knocking at my door?

Am I so one-dimensional that I can only send out the fixer/doer vibe enabling those around me to become baby birds?

My concern is that if I don't see it, yet these are the reactions that I live, how can I stop sending out those signals? How can I stop calling that out in others? How can I send the vibe that I want relationships based on mutual respect and responsibility?

I mean, I am no more in control/on top of my game than anyone else; and it gets very difficult to have to be "on" all the time. Especially trying when I am not sure that I can help anyone, really. It sounds good, but it might only be window dressing.

These are thoughts that wake me up in the middle of the night.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I could get used to this...

I cannot decide... the waterfall treatment, the fitness center with individual tv's, the great low-fat cookies and tea, the fabulous pool, the incredible salmon salad... I just cannot pick one thing that wasn't perfect.

Even though I did manage to mess up the locker combination within minutes of arriving... it was just a minor setback.

Had I known how fabulous it was going to be, I would have gotten up early and stayed until 10 pm.

I highly recommend sitting by the pool and pampering yourself all day, any day... who knew it was so relaxing to do absolutely nothing? If I had known, I might have tried it sooner. I have spent so much time multi-tasking, brining along work, books, letters to write in case I got bored. I just had no idea one could sit and do absolutely nothing and not be bored.

Amazing. Fabulous. Wonderful.

Don't worry, I won't get used to it, but now I have something to plan for... the day when I do get used to it on a regular basis.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Red Rock

Sedona is a beautiful place. The beauty and the starkness of the land around it, and the striking Red Rock emerging from it, are over-powering to be sure. I was, however, put off by the commercial pandering to upper-middle-class folk who want to dabble in the metaphysical for the weekend.

Everywhere there are pamphlets extolling the SCIENCE that proves each vortex, coincidentally located in the Red Rock formations, is a special energy field; each vortex, by the way, has its own special powers. At every turn, you can buy crystals from people who think of them as nothing more than souvenirs and won’t speak to you civilly unless they believe you are going to drop a lot of cash.

Over and over again, I was struck by the clash between this wild commercialism and the savage beauty of the place.

I understand the appeal; I even understand the marketing…we see this beautiful, unusual place and it humbles us. We want that humbling to mean something, so we attach supernatural qualities to this thing that is other than us but puts us in our place. It is all rationalization.

The thing about landscapes is that they are large, expansive, open and seemingly unending. They force us to place ourselves within them where our true size is revealed.

So, driving through the scruffy, wide desert you are humbled into seeing yourself as a dot on an endless landscape of brown rocks and cacti. You already know that you are, in fact, less than the cacti that can survive in this environment without aid from anyone or anything.

When the magnificent Red Rocks (you see, every time I even think of them they need to be capitalized) appear on the horizon your only alternative is to believe they are magical outposts where your energies can be aligned and restored.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

More EntWives

Driving up and down the 101 to Fortuna, I had the pleasure of driving directly through the Redwoods.

The temperature drops at least 10 degrees and there is suddenly no sun. You slow down... only partly because the speed limit signs demand it.

As your eyes adjust to the change in the light. Suddenly, around the tightest turn, you see it... the giant redwood... the one only Paul Bunyan could truly hug.

It is beautiful and magical and only real because you are seeing it, if only for a second and then you are nearly through the park.

The EntWives, I thought whimsically. These are definitely the EntWives, and they are happy to be here... with or without the Ents.

We have lessons to learn.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stranded in New Jersey

Not truly comparable. I am not into punk in any way shape or form. But I went to New Jersey, actually in my case, I went back to New Jersey expecting something just like these folks.

We all expected something good and didn't get it.

We all spent money and time we can't get back.

They are considering ways to make the best of it. I did that for way too many years.

They get to go home in a few days.

It took me nine years.

When I think of the time FLYING by it makes me crazy... I hate to think that I wasted so many years there. There is not just New Jersey, you realize that, right?

Tonight, I went to see the final projects of some high school students who spent the summer as fellows -- they were given a task and a few days to pull together projects as well as internships. They were lovely, well-spoken, poised teen agers. Wow, I kept thinking, I need to get myself some of the media training they got. They stood up straight; they projected their voices; they said what they needed to say fairly forcefully with a minimum of umms.

What struck me most, however, is that so many of them said, I just turned (enter teen age years) or I am about to turn (enter teen age year).

We spend so much of our youth yearning to be older and so much of our maturity trying to stop time. Go figure.

I am glad not to be stranded in New Jersey. I want to stop wasting time. I want to take advantage of every minute of every day from now on.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lost Cats

It seems as though every day there is a new sign up in my neighborhood pleading for help in locating a lost cat or kitten. The latest lost pet is Emma. The notice goes something like this: 6? week old kitten rescued... lost tail in surgery... please help us find her.

It turns out there was an Emma sighting in my own backyard. The humane trap was put out, but Emma didn't take the bait.

This sort of brings me to the point I wanted to make... are cats ever really lost??

I mean, cats are the ultimate free spirits. You only think they want to be curled up on YOUR lap. Actually, your lap was convenient and warm and the cat could have done just fine with a patch of sun on the couch or any other warm body that happened to sit there.

I just don't think that cats are ever lost. They are out adventuring. There are times that this kind of adventuring can cause a cat, like any other adventurer, to need assistance. Remember all those guys who get caught on the mountain and need to be rescued? Well, that's no different from getting a cat out of a tree of out from under a house.

It's in a cat's nature to go out adventuring. No matter how domesticated cats get, they will always have a wild, independent streak. WILD ANIMALS cannot really be domesticated.

Now, if T-mina were somehow to get out of her tank and start wandering around, adventuring, I surely would not say that she is lost. She would know exactly where she is. She may even be taking the scenic route, but she wouldn't be lost. Her curiosity and love of adventure may very well make her hawk bait, but that's the price she would have to pay for her independence, just like the cats.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Casey's Mom

And Osbaldo's widow. Tonight at the vigil, I was reminded of how life goes on. As we stood with our candles trying to garner support from those passing by, it was ironic to have SUV drivers honking and throwing the peace sign.

My cousin lost her husband in the war several years ago; he was taken very early in the conflict. She had a baby last Thursday. I am so proud that she is moving forward with her life. I get to meet her son this weekend. :) It's a wonderful thing to have that new life, that new leaf to our family tree. But, I can't help but think of Baldo and all the children he and Mayra should have had together.

It's so important not to forget while we move forward. The cars keep running down the road, using up oil we have to get from somewhere. The people keep living, although some keep grieving. The candle burns down until we can't hold it anymore. We get older while the children we send to war keep dying.

Don't forget to visit them... to see the faces of the folks that are dying so that we can drive as much as we want.

Compassion instead of anger

Just when I was feeling like there weren't real silver linings, that I had just been fooling myself into seeing them... here's one.

I read this piece and felt hopeful about the world and people...

So I share it with the blog and its readers, real or imagined.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

where I'd like to be...

I opened the dam and the world did not end.
I am emotionally and physically exhausted.
I'd like time and space to sit and work through all the things that make me wake up in the middle of the night in a panic. But I am not sure if I would actually do that work or just sleep.
I would rather go for a walk near, under, around or through a waterfall.

Friday, August 12, 2005

fell off the wagon

So, I was trying really hard to write something every day... if I didn't write in the blog then I would at least write in the journal. But, no writing, no where.

Hiding from the volcano doesn't stop it from erupting. Will an umbrella protect me when it does?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I think I blog inappropriately... almost (I said almost) all the other blogs I read are very chitty-chatty, as if only their friends are reading it. They talk back and forth like it's one big email chain. The only time you can tell it's a blog is that it is all very TMI and they believe that their significant others are not reading it. HAHAHA It's not anonymity when all your friends are reading it... it's gossip and chat sessions in writing!

I, on the other hand, see the blog as a way to write all the little observations of the world that I don't assume my friends want to hear about. I think of the blog as a class full of kindergarteners... I remember fondly how we chatted stream-of-consciousness like when I was monitoring kindergarten lunch and recess. Those kids had an opinion about everything and anything, and they were always ready and willing to share.

I think that the anonymity is only important in the sense of protecting the innocent. Obviously, the majority of the folks who are reading this blog have been invited to do so. I am sure there are the occasional "next blog" clickers that end up here... I certainly have found plenty of blogs that I enjoy reading that way.

For me, the blog is a strange way for me to deal with issues too hard, sometimes, for me to journal about as well as the random thought that falls from the sky begging to be shared but really not that significant.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Could it be?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Kahlil Gibran

had to be shared

So... somehow, tired as I am, with as much as I should have been doing, I ended up taking a ride over to the taco truck on the other side of town.

We're standing waiting to order... guy must be working by himself because he takes three orders, disappears, then comes back with one order at a time before he'll talk to us. So, waiting, patiently, talking. We're the only ones speaking English just because I guess we didn't feel like speaking Spanish. We're talking, laughing, each of us secretly plotting our taco choices.

All of a sudden, Donald Duck has appeared behind us and is talking with a kind of drunk slur. I tried to control keep from laughing. Pretty soon my whole body was shaking with the internalized laughter.

Eventually I couldn't help myself and I turned around to see... short, older man with curly hair... way beyond two sheets to the wind. The voice of Donald.

He is clearly not a stranger; the one guy in the taco truck reappears to talk to Donald.

He did not give us the voice again.