Tuesday, June 30, 2015

it's nice to breathe

My second photo made the website and looks comfortable, I think.

(That website has become a cozy living room where people who love the same as me meet once a month. I love when a photographer's work becomes so familiar that you recognize them by what they do. I've just been told that I have a chance to actually meet all those people next week.)

"I grew up with an ambition and determination without which I would have been a good deal happier. I thought a lot and developed the far-away look of a dreamer, for it was always the distant heights which fascinated me and drew me to them in spirit. I was not sure what could be accomplished by means of tenacity and little else, but the target was set high and each rebuff only saw me more determined to see at least one major dream through to its fulfillment."

Earl Denman
Alone to Everest
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, page 91

He says, "It's the applause. It's the crowd standing, the cheering. That's why they do it."
That's why he does it, the guy I talked with today. The guy in charge of the weight room.

He says, "Kindness is a heroic act," while he wears a hero's uniform.

She says, "Reading gives you empathy," and then she tells us all what empathy means.

Today I am grateful for an early morning interview where I was able to see young people wide awake and hard at work preparing for a season. I am grateful for bags which named those that carried them heroes. I am grateful for a lunch of smiles, an evening swim and time to read.

It's nice to breathe.

Monday, June 29, 2015

what Krakauer does

He gives me this quote.

"There was loneliness, too, as the sun set, but only rarely now did doubts return. Then I felt sinkingly as if my whole life lay behind me. Once on the mountain I knew (or trusted) that this would give way to total absorption with the task at hand. But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way only to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind."

Thomas F. Hornbein
Everest: The West Ridge
Into Thin Air, Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer, page 43

On page sixty-one I am already doubting that I should go further. Me, the comfortable reader on the porch, because of Krakauer's writing and because I already know what's going to happen, am wondering if I even want to get past base camp. The answer is no. I don't, but how dare I not turn another page if that man was willing to endure what he did to pursue what was once a boyhood dream but now a way he made a living.

I don't know.
What I do know is that Krakauer is going to do what Krakauer does.
He is going to take me, the reader, with him.
In my comfort I should go, see what he saw, learn what he learned.

Today I am grateful that Krakauer survived and was able to report what happened. I dare come here to pay tribute to those lives lost, but I will write that no doubt Jon Krakauer is doing his best to honor what he and others knew to be true about those individuals with whom he came into contact.

(by page sixty-one I already know that at some point in some way he is asking all of us to seriously consider the risks we take in this life and how those risks affect others in this world.)

At 29,028 feet above sea level as he straddles China and Nepal and later writes, "I understood on some dim, detached level that the sweep of earth beneath my feet was a spectacular sight. I'd been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn't summon the energy to care."
Chapter One

Also, climbing Mount Everest through reading is not about economics.
I checked out this book from a library.

this guy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dear sweetie,

Today we walked up and down a country road. But not just any country road. It was a country road where your Daddy and I would ride on dirt in the back of a pickup truck. To your right there was a pasture where we rode a motorcycle or rode a school bus designed to pick up hay. What  you are experiencing right now is a childhood we loved. That church to your left, it was always there but the fire department, that has grown with neighbor being there for neighbor in the greatest sense of I'll put the fire out.

Down that road lived a man named Woody. You may hear stories from your sister Jess or hopefully you will be able to walk by that place sometime. It all depends surely on how we conduct ourselves.

Today I am grateful to be reminded of intention and focus. Some lessons are just easy, I think.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


My next book.


walking with pride while fumbling along

I have pride.
I come onto the internet every night


I think I have something to say.

It's very pride full to think you've seen enough or done enough to know and believe.
With our friends we are pride full.

We say things that we think are important.

And we deny that truth may be relative.

So today we needed to get past something and no doubt both our hearts were in it.
The first man I ever loved and still love and me.

He said, "I think you have a problem with pride."

And I felt the tears well up in my eyes because I don't think I have a problem with pride unless it's just that I have too much of it.

"If you had any self esteem you wouldn't live like that."

And you know what? I have to give it to him. He's right.

So what I say is what I should have been saying all along, "Yes, sir."

Today I am grateful for a talk with my Dad, for a realization that in a loving relationship you at least have compromise.

(balance, says Mom, and today I hiked for the first time since Monday.)
(so I'm taking a point for that.)

Shelby C

 She is a teacher, and Slater says to me, "She thinks differently, and that's good."

And I agree, "I know, baby. I love the way she thinks."

I love how funny she is. I love how at some point in this young lady's life she said, "I'm going to be a veterinarian." And then.

She got coated yesterday.

Now let's go ahead and say that this Harry Potter loving, Sherlock Holmes following, Dr. Who? Dr. You young lady is bright. Math and science compute. Wires in the brain work in overdrive of graphs and numbers and thought and estimation and problem and solution.

Till the point of Eureka, she has it.

He loves the way she thinks, and I love him even more for that.

They are teachers, and what they taught me yesterday is that love grows, and well.

Today I am grateful to be their student.

Shine On by Eric Bibb was more perfect than I ever could have imagined.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

he calls.

Says she has been studying for orientation and I, like him, fall in love with her all that much more.

procrastinator on the beach

Do you remember when we titled this? It was I will be blessed. It is the first of the two photos that I plan to submit to Sowashee by Tuesday. This month's theme is in the early morning.

Not sure about the second one yet. As usual that decision will only be made in the very last moments of  I hope I'm not too late.

find points to count in your favor

Battles are exhausting especially when you are the enemy and not the enemy but just that you are battling yourself means you already lost or won or it matters less now. Less now that the car is fixed and the house is ready and work was done and water drank and carrots, carrots for lunch today.  And guitar practice. Yes but definitely not the best one.

You are not the worse thing that ever lived. There are things you did to move forward, though you could have had more energy. Sleep well, friend/foe/the head on the pillow.

Today I am grateful for an evening rain, for a talk with my Mom and plans to see two of my favorite people.

Quixote is tilting at windmills

Be the change. Whatever change it is. Be it.

(but they)

They came to teach you, precious.

I was less than I wanted to be today. I attacked imaginary enemies. I rode into battle on the foe's horse. I denied any treaty. A warrior, I was. You will not talk to me like that was my default. I was my own defense lawyer, but I didn't have the stomach for my case.

In my mind it was a standoff.

What was it that George said?

The winner loses all.

We both lost.

And I found out I don't want to win anymore.

Today I am grateful for the miraculous healing of a Honda, for plans to get another fixed, for that one guy in that hallway who took my hand and said, "I love you," and how nice it was to feel that and be it, how easy it is to see beauty when I looked through his eyes and how what he was giving me was an example of how to be.

(man, I'm slow but surely I have it now. new day tomorrow. right?
you're already there, Patsy Cline.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

the new country music

is kinda like the old country music.

"God is great.
Beer is good.
People are crazy."
Billy Currington

Do you remember George Jones and The Race is On?

It was a highly romantic song. He was describing what was happening in a heartbreak.

Well, the race is on.
And here comes pride up the backstretch.
Heartaches are going to the inside.
My tears are holding back.
They're trying not to fall.

My heart's out of the running.
True love's scratched for another's sake. The race is on.
It looks like heartache.
And the winner loses all.

(did you just read that or sing it?)

I always loved that song.
When I was a kid I used to try and sing it as fast as George Jones did.
I used to think it was funny.

But Patsy Cline. That woman. That was serious. Hardcore heartbreak.
(shameful admission no. Thank God only a couple of us are reading: I actually went out walking after midnight when I was a teenager. My poor parents.)

Time Magazine should nominate that guy on that message board with George Jones' voice for Person of the Year. Any guy who puts a car on blocks and separates a transmission from an engine and follows a crack to a bolt and keeps coming back to tell people what he found and how he fixed it is a country song in my book.

Country music, whether new or old. (it doesn't matter to me) feels like home.

Today I am grateful for a morning of boot scootin' boogie.

Monday, June 22, 2015

article, attendance

The risk is you are talking to the wrong people, and the people who are listening will only be frustrated by your insistence they should be doing something that they are already doing.

And there is always the ever popular in your own head, What do you know anyway?

Other than
1. You skipped thirty-two days during your junior year of high school.
2. You think to the point you believe that in order to function society must maintain a schedule, that our children must be taught to show up to a particular space for a specified amount of time so that they can survive if we die. And we all will. We will all die. And our children may be left with other children like we are now and they will all be trying to figure out a way to survive and hopefully thrive.

They have to show up. Right?
And attendance is about showing up.

We have a system for thriving, and though that system is admittedly flawed, it is the best way we have found to date to give every child access to knowledge.

We're not talking college. We're talking learning to read in the language they speak.
First things first.

What if the children who are not receiving an education have parents who don't see the importance of an education?

How important is an education?

(I can't read an article like this without reading the comments. Those people are way smarter than me.)

So here's the deal. All over the world there are children being "left behind" for a myriad of reasons and if I read too many articles everything just jumbles in the my brain till I look at the clock wondering when I can stop thinking about work like I'm waiting for some bell to ring.

I have to get simple with it, because complicated is just well, you know      complicated.

The issue of showing up sounds simple, but we'll see.

Today I am grateful that both my parents were in complete agreement when they came down on me like a hammer after finding out about my truancy. I am grateful that they valued an education enough to force me to at least get my high school diploma. I am grateful that the habit of showing up was shown to be important, and it was at the very core of how I was able to feed my child and relay the same message to him while he was eating.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

this guy

It is the way he looks at Wyatt. That's why I love him.
The sweat on his shirt.

He was in the watermelon patch, vibrating while destroying weeds.

I had to scream, "Daddy."
Then more shrill, "Hey," while standing next to the fence.

He turned around, put the weed eater on hum, looked at me.

Then I said, "You gotta come take a picture. Jason and Wyatt are here."

Once upon a time and that time is now there is a man who loves his family. And that man is nothing more or nothing less than a man whose three children call him Daddy, Dad, Father, Sir. Because that respect, he not only deserves it. He earned it.

Today I am grateful for 67 worry stones, for how a walk turned into a collection of prayers for a man who we got to keep for another day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


I had one of those aha moments. Like I'm four years old, and a teacher just watched as my eyes in an instant flashed with I realize how to read.

And if I could reply to that writer I would respond to him.

We vacate for perspective, brilliant sir. Thank you for urging me to think about how I can get so caught up in one world that I forget there are so many others and sometimes having to search and filter water and putting up a tent and sleeping on the ground beneath me is just what the doctor ordered.

Because seriously sometimes so much can be too much no matter how bad or good it is so showing your heart and head where to go is not such a bad thing.

I think I vacate the me in a situation where I may find a million ways I have failed and I count them against me in whatever game I'm playing until all I have to do is monitor/find/filter water, hike and eat. I found that I could so I come back with the confidence that I can do all those other things that are needed.

Today I am grateful for how it feels to carry what I need and how each shoulder can share that load. I am grateful for how it sounds when I click that backpack across my waist and again across my chest. I am grateful for waterfalls. For how when you finally get in that tent you go to sleep okay with the knowledge you're sharing it with at least one but most likely many ticks.

Being that exhausted shows me how I love to be.
And it reminds me of what my Dad has always been trying to teach me.

Carry your load.
Work till exhaustion.

Friday, June 19, 2015


"Maybe our work is better than us."
Words and Pictures on Netflix

not a planner

"Don't put your trust in walls." Be Here Now by Ray LaMontagna

Around that curve was fine.

It's going to be okay or it's not and even after it's not then it still will be or won't and something somewhere will be okay or maybe not. We'll make it or we won't but even if we don't then people still will or they won't and hopefully

it's Friday.

Vacate, lady.

Anxiety can be defined as a default thought when everything you see is the worst most horrible thing. You may grit your teeth. The muscles running along the right side of your neck could very well tighten and become knotted when someone you love is in pain.

And somehow you have added to that pain by not being the best person you could be. Because if you really loved him you wouldn't act like that. You wouldn't do or say those things. You would plan better for

you know,
something catastrophic happened.

'Cause anxiety is fearing something catastrophic will happen.
You and me, we've seen it. Catastrophic happens.

The only way I know to avoid catastrophe which is never avoiding catastrophe is to not plan for it.

People lost their Dads this week, today even. I have friends and family that won't have their Dads with them because they never have their Dads with them anymore. There are people who never knew their Dad. Some who could have been better off not knowing that guy.

What I know here now is that I am one very fortunate person.

Today I am grateful for a weekend to treasure that my Dad is still here to get mad at me, to help me, and there is still time for me to be a better person. Because not doing that is not avoiding catastrophe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

owning it

"Are you mad at me?" She asks.

"No." I don't hesitate because I don't feel mad. And I don't tell her but maybe I should say that me being mad wouldn't have anything to do with her. If I was mad it would be about me. But I'm not mad.

So I ask, "Why do you think I'm mad?"

"Because, you know, I haven't been practicing."

"Oh no. Mad is not how I feel. I've been working a lot lately and I went to the beach and I heard you weren't practicing and I don't know. Maybe you could help me with this. If one day you have a niece and you both decide she wants to play the guitar just like we did and you do it just like I did it and get her a guitar and arrange lessons and practices and go wherever she is to listen to her practice everyday for only thirty minutes.

And that's all. Thirty minutes. That means twenty-three hours and thirty minutes left of a day to do whatever it is she would like to do that day. And you find out like I did that without you there she could not do that thirty minutes a day she committed to. How would you feel? What would you do?"

She does not have any problem with eye contact. She owns it when she answers, "I don't know."

"Me either."

And here we are. She understands me. She has empathy.

"It's just that it's not any fun when nobody is there to listen."

"Yeah. Learning can be fun, but it's not always. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I don't want to write and sometimes I wonder why I do and when I wonder I have to find my answer and remind myself of why everyday even when it's not fun I still have to do it. And that answer can change and I can always wake up and decide I won't do it anymore. You can decide that or you can think about that goal which is what? six years from now?"

She nods.

Today I am grateful for a photograph, for more than one kid who was able to make eye contact and own what she was feeling. And I know they write a million books on how to parent and how to teach but not so much on you should most likely take up another hobby and there are people on this earth that I look at and think, Man! I wish I could do it like them. So maybe it's not too early to start being rather than just wishing. And maybe the nod meant we got past the futility where we connected.

Or maybe not.


Sometimes I have to ask myself, "Where have I been?"

Today I am grateful for the realization that in my hurriedness to get everything I think needs to be done I have missed some much needed time in my life.

Monday, June 15, 2015

so here it is, the laughter

Enter upstage left. Full front position. 
Hand over eyes. Shoulders down. Posture lacking. 

It was the fart.
The expelling of gas as I walked by the administrative secretary's desk.
A quick puff of air as I took the next step.
The sound? Please tell me only I could hear it.

Walk to center stage. One quarter right position. Head up. 
Speaking to someone else in the room but nobody sitting in it. 

It could have been the chocolate or the greens or it wasn't stinky or I hope she didn't have to get out her can of disinfectant when I left the room.

Change position to full front. Speak to the audience. 

Surely not.

She's the kind of person that would spray me down as I ran.
A friend who makes sure you are presentable and sometimes I'm not.

Step back into upstage center. Head down. Shoulders slumped.

Like today when I farted.

Move to downstage center. Pause. Gesture finger to chin. Head tilted to the right.

But now when I think about it.
No matter what was happening in my gastrointestinal track.
Surely we all need a good fart joke every now and again.

Look directly at those children. Pray that they laugh.

So today I'll consider that fart something special.
It meant laughter.

(spoken word poetry for a drama class tomorrow. bracing myself for the next wave means planning to tell a good fart joke to a bunch of kids first thing on a Tuesday morning. With great risk comes hm. we'll see. I'm almost scared to think about looking at their little faces after saying this. maybe I won't.)

why vacate

Monday is that first wave.

A writer once wrote that he hated the word vacation. It was too much vacate. If you were being exactly who and what you wanted to be then why in the world would you remove any part of it or you or why would you vacate anything?

Anyway. Monday is that first wave. Except I haven't laughed yet. And I wasn't ready though I've lived through several first days back to the world that for a few days I didn't look back to all the things undone and not taken care of and Monday came crashing down.

The ocean said, "Here's Monday. Now brace yourself for Tuesday because as soon as you fully feel the push of that first wave the second is already pulling. And this is life, chic. By Wednesday you'll remember to dive into it as the weight of it carries over you."

Or you won't but as soon as you do things will once again start happening without you not taking of enough because you tried to put your hand in everything.

Focus. (when you dive you lift both arms centered above your head. fingers touching. bent at the knees. push from your feet. come on. you know how to do this. yes, there is a whole ocean and it is teeming but here comes the next wave and it's right in front of you.)

1. Transmission.
2. Floor.
3. Class.
4. Work.
5. You have to walk.
6. Simple foods and water. (do not complicate what you put into your body)

This is life. You are blessed.

Today I am grateful for music that stays, for no matter how ungrateful I may seem I can't imagine life without my family and friends and a broom and air that is cooled and a job and shoes and how it's never a bad thing to realize we weren't taking care of the simple things because we went looking for all the complications of the world. (silly. you are forgiven. now learn and get back to work.)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

the chef under the bridge in Perdido Key

He cooks for me.

And I say me, though he has no idea who I am and neither should he. He's cooking for everyone, and it would be a sin to deny anyone that type of pleasure.

But yeah, it's personal when I eat in his restaurant. The most money I spend in one huge chunk is on this experience. Those who go with me agree. We love him, and we know he loves us with blackberry barbecue sauce and gouda grits and a crawfish linguine and huge shrimp and that one night he created a teepee in the middle of that plate.

It was Valentine's Day. Fresh tuna and crisp wontons with a sweet maybe mango drizzle, and I had to half it but I'd rather just eat the whole thing for dinner once a week.

Dear Chef,

I am a fan.


P.S. Slater, the self proclaimed world sauce with a doctorate in barbecue tasting expert, hurt himself on the blackberry stuff. Never thought I'd see the day something like that would happen.

land meet ocean

I could not tell you the last time I dove into one of those crashing waves but not before it hit me like I remembered when I was a child. Surrounded by blue and white and there is sand between everything. You are push and pull and struggle and let go and this is why I love the ocean. I laughed the first time one of those waves came crashing down on me and then I braced myself for the next until finally I just dove below it and let that water carry over me.

Today I am grateful for the ocean, how it teaches me.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Today I am grateful for time with two extraordinary people.

This trip calls for some Jack.

Friday, June 12, 2015

the silent type

It is the backside of the beach. Holes in fences, a woman in her garden.

It was the day I decided I would never ask that question again.

Today I am grateful to let go of that hope, that pressure, that "if only", the what you were supposed to do because I said so or I wanted. As always, we are both growing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

venturing out

Going Home, a silver print by Julia W. Gary at Meridian Museum of Art 39th Annual Bi-State Art Competition

He emails, "I was kind of hoping you would say that. I found a cool gravity feed system that looks wonderful and the straw is working out. We walked 14 miles today and are camping by the car now. Love you, see you tomorrow."

And my playing it cool reply is, "Sounds good. You two should sleep well tonight. Love you!! Tomorrow it is."

What I spend the rest of the evening thinking about is that guy and that girl, I so love that they are doing this. I love that what they are doing is a type of survival at it's best. The type you plan for. Order the waterproof map. How will we filter water? Backpacks. A tent. What will we eat? There will be bugs, some we have never seen. Make sure we leave it as we found it or just a little better we will begin to understand it. Together.

Once you get past being lost and wondering if the sun will ever stop beating down or you are begging them to stop and crying repeating, "We have no idea where we are. The trail ends there."

And you realize that this is not your best moment. You are not standing as a good role model for three teenagers. You break down but because those boys took some type of solemn oath not to throw themselves, you or each other off a cliff, they find the trail and cut through where the tree had fallen. 

And there were times when we all needed each other and at least one of the other pulled through to past the thirteen (the day the rain never let up) miles till we finally found where we parked the car.

Rain gear. Pack some rain gear.

Today I am grateful for state parks and national forests and those people everywhere who work so diligently to preserve place where we can be our finest and our not so great. I am grateful that those two venture into the forests and plan ahead and change plans and allow time for me to hug them and be in their space.


Still one of my favorite movies of all time. (and that's a lotta time.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

not an expert

So 10,000 hours and you master something, dear Gladwell.

And I guess it was in my early twenties when I first read Spong's book. The first reading was the only reading, and I don't remember who I gave it to, but it was one of those books that you would not only recommend. It's one of those you gave away.

Which is interesting because that is when I first heard of such an intensive gratitude that it was essentially a state of being. And for whatever reason that thought, that one thing from that book, has lasted in my head for almost a quarter of a century.

Anyway. He suggested sin to be a state of being within any moment which you were not grateful.


I thought I was such the expert. Typing every night about gratitude. Bragging that if I don't do it it makes me physically ill. I mean I feel like maybe we all come here with something. Whatever that it is, it is what makes your ship sail. And wind blow and waves come and music plays and it is your joy, your light.

Today someone allowed cooled air to circulate in my house.
And I realized I had not been grateful enough for the air that fills my lungs.

Today I am grateful for air, for how it feels when it is cooled. For the suggestions of people who were all, Whut? I am grateful that it was only a situation of an attack of ants and that one guy is off in a forest feeding ants to a plant.


Monday, June 8, 2015

this is not a race, you

This is a dance.

This is Ray LaMontagne's Gossip in the Grain. It is romance. Falling in love with the hum of air conditioning, a swept floor, a breeze on the back porch. It is Fred, the possum with beady eyes and every damn bug on the earth circles that light.

It is finding a rhythm, a comfort where you can read and listen and see and sweep and throw away and a cold shower for both you and Billy Sue.

Tonight was the first night in over two years that you missed TV because you didn't have air conditioning and yes, air conditioning is a complete luxury. That Carrier guy, smart man. The person who fixes my air conditioner, complete genius.

Though some may call it a race, this is falling in love with a place

and a people.

and a rhythm.

So life is a circle because now we have returned to the music and the dance. And this is not a race, you.

This is love.

Today I am grateful for a porch, a phone, bare feet and concrete, and the chance to meet and know that I will watch bloom a young, beautiful, brilliant leader.

Even better.
Children will be following.


How quickly time passes when we discuss the attributes of vampires and werewolves and that one guy, the one who played the werewolf in the movie, he was F I N E fine.

"Oh child. Please."


"Never mind."

Today I am grateful for our conversations and that I can still remember Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders and Teen Beat magazine and how there was nothing you could tell me to dissuade me from loving him.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

he wrote about red flags

"You'll lose everyone."

And I smiled because I thought, "No, you're never alone."

Paraphrasing I try to repeat him, "The world is crazy. That guy wrote three letters. Only three letters and he had something like a billion hits. One word, three letters. Fun. Just keep doing what you're doing. It's never going to make sense to me or you."

And I never felt so alone as when he left, but I am grateful for the time I can remember.



(after a while their lyrics began to sound like a criticism.)

"There ain't nothing for me to fear.
Open the window and smell the peach blossom.
The tiger lilly. The marigold."

like irony.

"I'm not knocked out but I'm on the ropes.
No retreat.
I may never get everything I bet.

Gonna feel so good when it's understood.

I know how."

Do any of us? Really?

"Another morning in the evening.
And I don't even know her name or if she lives here.
I had enough that I want more.

I always picked the hand that beat me.

Never trusted anyone. Don't see why I should now."

It's cutting and biting.
It's a type of blues.

"Six bucks in my pocket, no shoes on my feet. The first step is out the door then onto the street."

Alright. Here's the problem.

If you quit this blog.
You can't quit this blog.
This blog you cling to.
And you need 10,000 hours because of Gladwell's book.
But it's no longer about counting. Stop counting.
You can't walk out that door.
You're here.

"You know what I'm in a good mood today.

I guess you could say I have issues.

I'm changing up what this story is about."

"We gotta stick together. That's right.

I see everything. It's crystal clear. It's here."

The drums is a whole 'nuther story, but I think he would have loved this song because of the drums.
I can hear him in this album, the drummer I said I loved.

Today I am grateful to acknowledge shame.

"She is a true original.

She can find her own way home.

You just have to let her."

Everyone, every last one of us needs help in this world.
Not one single one of us just talked to a volleyball.
There have been times when I didn't help people like I should.
I just got mad at them.

And sometimes I'm not fine. Sometimes anyone can be not fine and it's okay surely to feel what you feel, and then acknowledge it. Because everyone everywhere at one time or another for whatever reason be it worthy or not. It doesn't matter. Everyone does get the blues.

"I've had enough of being complacent.

I no longer keep my mouth shut.
And if you're not ready you better get out now."

We all have bombs in us but being mean makes us feel like shit.
I know. I have been mean before. Sometimes words can paint the most awful of pictures.
So I stop painting those.

Or try to. (sometimes a four letter word is fitting the moment but in a good way, among really, really close friends who know your code.)

"You're my friend."

Great album.

music to start the day

It's so personal. Music.

Of course I'm grateful for the reminder.

Friday, June 5, 2015

silly, wish I was more

Today I called my old boss who is still my boss, and I realized, This is the first time I've done that. In almost two years I never called her on her cell phone. This is a first.

Then I blew up some balloons and threw confetti around the room.

"Hello," she answered.

"Hello, this is," I proceeded with as much title and job description and where and what and who I think I am.

She laughed.

And I realized how much I love it when she laughs.

This has to be at least one of the things that you know you'll miss about a person. I wonder if she'll call every now and again and laugh for me. Is that too much to ask?

Today I am grateful for what sincere laughter feels like though what you find funny may be different from me. I'm okay with that because sometimes I think the best laughing comes when we are laughing at ourselves.

How silly we are. How serious. How we can preach love and feel not love. And I think of the Tower of Babel and what it says. We're doomed. We'll never all speak the same language. We have to be divided.

So I think I gave up trying to be any different from you though I know there are differences in everyone. I found when I became different and accepted it I could better see our similarities.

Social anxiety disorder? Sure. Lots of people make me nervous and I become a woodpecker in warp speed. Life gets fast. Light streams through windows on full blast. People are everywhere but not strangers. People I love are on the phone, wearing their jeans, talking about the weekend, and life is one huge loudspeaker of we are as much love as we thought we could be but then another day happened.

and we became more. whatever that means. (it means I am grateful for our time together)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

conversation notes and simple food

There is this little patch of land alongside the road. It has what would be considered a wheat by the untrained eye. Mine is untrained so we'll call it wheat. What my eyes love is how the morning sun streams down and through the gold of that wheat. How it sparks. I didn't have my camera but if I did I think I would like to show that to you.

Anyway the backstory is I grew up with someone just like him in my life. A police officer. Well. Not a police officer, a highway patrolman, and he's a sergeant for a sheriff's department. Law enforcement because he saw an episode of Cops when he was twelve years old. In that episode he saw a guy beat his wife. He also witnessed the type of authority which was used to stop a situation he knew was not right. He said, "That's me," at twelve years old. He was the first in his family to take such an oath.

Like the guy I grew up with, he's a good guy. Someone concerned with his family, neighbors, community, state, country, world, earth, universe. He is a caring man who knows he can do something for a future. He wants to do what he can in order to make it safe for his children and wife and you and me and our children. I think it's always good to listen to what those men and women say.

He said he never wants to kill anyone. What he wants to do is develop a rapport with children and their families. He wants to help, and he does.

Today I am grateful for backflips and water and how one cousin and one sister look at that one girl who is the expert of all swimmers and plays music they dance to. I am grateful for eighteen fresh eggs, lemons and peaches. I am grateful for plans made with that special guy and his girlfriend.

Bananas. I am grateful for bananas. And nuts. And tap water with ice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

a day filled with butterflies

He is science.
She is energy.
She loves to make people laugh.
She hardly says a word.

When it is over I realize that two hours have passed, and we did it. We completed the task.

However many vials and I don't know how many there were. I forgot to count. However many were no more. We pretended to be scientists and measured and stirred and heated and poured out of one bowl into another bowl and extracted and filled and in less than two hours we created something that people use every day.

We were totally disgusted and said things like Ewwwww and Ehhhhh Groooooss and Cool but we persevered and kept reading and following the instructions and when we were done we were excited about what we had made.

So we went home to talk about it. Or at least I did. Hopefully they did too.

Today I am grateful to be reminded of butterflies.

The strangest thing about today was walking out of a building and realizing the world had kept turning. It didn't stop for us while we were creating. Our little laboratory seemed to make time stand still, but it didn't. There was a feeling of relief in knowing nobody was waiting on us.

Also, this.

Monday, June 1, 2015

all the greatest lessons in life you learn from eleven year olds

Dear me,

It's that point in a practice when you are up against a wall.
You have to make a decision do I give up or do I press on.

That is you. All you.
All those people you ask, they tell you to do as you would like.
You're on your own.
This is up to you. You made a deal with yourself. You have to live with you.

Even if you are a kid and you are eleven years old and you see the very awesome presentation which leads you to believe that Boy Scouts of America is where you want to be.

I said no to that face. "Nope. Uhuh. Ain't gonna happen."



"But you don't understand. There was this guy and he came to school and there is rock climbing and hiking and camping and"

"What is the goal?"

"I can be an Eagle Scout once I do everything."

"How long does that take?"

"I have to have it by the time I'm eighteen."

"That's seven years. This is the only deal I'm willing to make. If I'm going to sign this piece of paper and give them this much money and buy a shirt and a book, and, son, you're gonna do it. You understand? You're eleven. No backing out. You either get your Eagle or you do this for the next seven years whichever comes first."

"Yes ma'am."

"You do hear me. Right? The only way you get out of this is if you have your Eagle Scout or you turn eighteen."

"Yes ma'am. I understand."

Seven years later he did what he said he would do that day. A week before his eighteenth birthday of I don't want to and do I have to? he earned that badge. He pushed past, jumped hurdles, camped alone on a creek bank, cycled 100 miles, got real dirty, made great friends, learned to make lasagna and balance a life. I recommend it but not for the faint of heart. There are going to be times when everyone will say it will be better if we just don't do this anymore.

Just last week I attended a guitar lesson with another eleven year old.
The one who four months ago said, "Yes."

"Really? You want to."

"Yes," she said like the kid who had just seen the most awesome boy scout presentation on stage at school.

"Okay but we have to stick with it."

"I will."

"Are you sure? This will be expensive, and it's gonna be work."

"Yes. I know."

Verbal contracts between adults and eleven year olds are binding and tough and sometimes a lesson is that you didn't practice enough. I thought that night she would for sure give up. She wanted to and put on her best act of yawn and pout and squirm and fidget and I can't do this and That's too hard. It's painful to watch but beautiful too because the next day she showed up at practice with a step I hadn't seen before, a new zest for that guitar.

And in the question of do you or don't you continue you have learned some of the greatest lessons from eleven year olds, you. Keep listening to kids.

Today I am grateful for the examples of those people around me who push forward because they made a commitment to something or someone but mainly themselves. Those jiminy crickets, that pillow.