31 Jan 2009, 5:10pm
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transformation

SPRING IS COMING
my friends
and my heart is swelling in anticipation!

look what i found!

does anyone know what kind of tree this is? it is maybe the cheeriest living thing i have ever seen in january and i want one in my future garden.

and!

i was so excited and shocked and pleasantly awed to see these things today. oh yes, time passes, oh yes, the seasons, right. i have been posting a lot of photos here lately and not a lot of anything else because i have been Waiting. you know, like dr. suess says:

…a most useless place.

The Waiting Place… for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

or like tom robbins says:

…the Unhappy Waiters and Killers of Time. Oh God, there are so many of them in our land! Students who can’t be happy until they’ve graduated, servicemen who can’t be happy until they’re discharged, single folks who can’t be happy until they’re married, workers who can’t be happy until they’re retired, adolecents who aren’t happy until they’re grown, ill people who aren’t happy until they’re well, failures who can’t be happy until they succeed, restless who can’t be happy until they get out of town; and, in most cases, vice versa, people waiting, waiting for the world to begin.

no. no. not for me. it’s a mindset thing. today is beautiful and spring is coming. yesterday after dark i biked across town to an old church to see a play with a friend. on the way there, i chatted with another cyclist who happened to be going the same direction about the route and the traffic and the sheer pleasure of biking in the cold glorious night. the play (inviting desire, part of the fertile ground festival) was sexy and well done and engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. afterwards i biked maybe a dozen blocks to my parents’ house and stayed the night there ’cause my mom and i already had plans to get breakfast together this morning. we ended up walking around all morning.

had a great breakfast. wandered into the goodwill a block away and i found the most amazing(ly ridiculous) dress. it is the exact same color as my hair, satin-y bodice, crazy knee-length tulle skirt. i am paying as much as it cost me to get it dry-cleaned, but i am sure that it is impossible to be in a bad mood while wearing this dress. forget an “occasion” to wear it; i’ll throw it on over jeans and rock it.

here’s a picture of my mom and me in our matching hats (my mom made me one for xmas after i threatened to steal hers; they are super warm and soft and cozy)–

and here, some (more) photos from my glorious ride home this afternoon (lots of cats today!)–

(pigs fly; ya got no excuse)

30 Jan 2009, 12:23am
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stills from the past few days

i love:

* walking in the nighttime fog
* when my earrings clink together like tiny windchimes in my ears
* these photographs of bees
* these personal ads from the london review of books
* maira kalman on the inauguration (and in general!)
* whistling along to otis redding’s “the dock of the bay”
* my friends
* solitude
* shadows
* light

25 Jan 2009, 7:32pm
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walking in southeast portland

on this day in january…

25 Jan 2009, 11:28am
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lovely things

i promise you (read: me) that i am still planning to write that documentation/accumulation/memory post. one of the things i will write about is my knowledge that for me, personally, what i remember has a lot to do with what i write down or otherwise document. with that in mind, here are some lovely things from the present and recent past.

* there is snow on the ground and oh-so-very delicious and epiphanic and downright transcendent french press kona coffee in my mug (i just finally bought a french press a few days ago)

* one month from yesterday i will put some pieces of my heart back together, one way or another (to be very cliché about it)

* my warm kitty space heater resting his head on my wrist while i type

* popcorn, courtesy of the hot air popper i rescued from my parents’ pantry a few weeks ago. my parents actually bought it for me when i was young after i nearly ruined a microwave and kind of melted a microwave popper (i remember grabbing the popper with an oven mitt, rushing outside and down the stairs and tossing the whole thing into the lake we lived by at the time–the ducks were quite happy to eat the burnt popcorn after i fished out the mangled plastic)

* i taught my bike safety/urban cycling skills paideia class yesterday. only 2 people showed up, but they were both enthusiastic. hopefully they will encourage their friends to be safer cyclists as well

* afterward i ran into a friend of mine and spent a few minutes excitedly chatting about a possible theatre workshop group (or if you prefer, revolution) we might put together with interested friends–to practice our underused-since-graduation skills, read plays together, discuss, grow, prosper, etc

* i am really bubbling over with love and appreciation for my friends

* fertile ground: a city-wide festival of new work


(portland center stage / the armory)

* patching my favorite jeans

* catching the very last bus home and walking the last mile or two past 1am

* my bright, bright, recently redyed pink hair

* my neighborhood

22 Jan 2009, 1:32am
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what beauty is

there’s an army of lost souls don’t know quite where to fight
there’s an enlightened archer claims that all shots are strikes

danny schmidt, “today”

sometimes it’s just the small things, the tender things, the inexplicable things, the unexpected. last night it was these board game pieces strewn across an intersection on my regular bike ride home:

and tonight–tonight i took the bus. i watched a man step onto the bus, sling his messenger bag off, find a book inside it, open the book, pull out the bus transfer pass he’d been using as a bookmark, show it to the driver, and do it all again in reverse before taking his seat. i don’t know why i found the sight so touching and tender. but there you go. you find it where you can.

while i was waiting for the bus i stood near a group of reed freshman (they are astonishingly easy to identify, speaking as someone who was one myself only five years ago). i listened to them chat about classes and hall advisers and their friends and i think i caught a hint of what others (so i hear) find so distasteful in reedies. but i think it has a lot more to do with youth than it does with reed itself. these students have just discovered how very very smart they are. what they haven’t figured out yet is how very very stupid they are. and there’s something pretty beautiful in that, but it’s the kind of beauty that’s easy to hate if you’re not careful.

20 Jan 2009, 2:45pm
3 comments

be the change

hello!

how are you? happy inauguration day, i guess. i admit that i am, well, too much of an idealist to be super excited about another dude delivering pretty words and compromises, especially when i remember, for example, how disgusted i was at the way even liberals and the media treated hillary clinton during her primary campaign. yes, there is that little hopeful(!) part of me that thinks maybe i just feel this way ’cause for eight years, more than a third of my life, all of my adult life, we’ve had this awful guy hangin’ out up there on the presidency. and now i will get to see what it’s like to live in a real democratic republic with a leader who is not power-hungry, who represents the people, who works with them (us) rather than in defiance of them. but i’m skeptical. that said, as other have pointed out, it’s really fucking cool to see everyone getting all excited and worked-up and groupthink-y about something so positive and optimistic, instead of something violent or vengeful or hateful.

i’ve been thinking about “change,” actually. mostly in my own small personal life, really, but everything stands in for everything else, in some way, doesn’t it? i just mean, trying to figure out what kind of life i want to live. super to cheesy to repeat the quotation everyone’s heard a million times, but, you know, “be the change you wish to see” blah blah blah. that’s a tangential part of what i mean, though. mostly, i have been thinking about traveling, and i have been thinking about buying a house. “what?” you say. “i thought you were a broke theatre bum!” yes, yes i am. but i am counting my chickens before they’re all the way hatched (there’s little cracks beginning to form, though, and maybe some tiny beaks sticking out) and thinking about my insurance settlement.

i got hit by a car and it sucked a whole lot, but because i was lucky enough to be hit by a decent person who didn’t drive off, acknowledged that she was at fault, and had current auto insurance, it’ll end up being the most lucrative thing i’ve done since graduation. ever, really. (even so, ask me sometime to tell you exactly how fucked up the system is, and one of the many many reasons we badly need universal health care now. it is only because of even more luck that the events of june 12th have not totally destroyed my credit rating for life!) no, of course the money doesn’t make it “worth it.” my point is–getting hit by a car changed my life in ways i still haven’t figured out. and i feel this weird pressure within myself to use the money i’m gonna get out of it to, well, change my life. to do something big. like go everywhere i have ever wanted to go (hopefully with some kind of positive intention–i don’t want to travel aimlessly). or buy a home (with my parents’ help) and plant a garden and paint murals on the walls.

obviously neither of those choices are really permanent. if there’s anything i have learned, it’s that You Can Always Change Your Life. at least, i can, because i am extremely lucky and was born with a certain amount of privilege. but i think a lot of people can who would rather not admit it, because it’s hard to change your life, and it’s easy and even fun to complain about your life instead. (i am very much talking to myself here.)

in any case, i have been having a fine time entertaining these possibilities. daydreaming about walking across england, or trekking in the himalayas, or biking through the southwest, etc etc. imagining my lush garden full of lavender and rosemary, and my walls painted with beautiful designs. while i sit in my room and look out my window at my neglected backyard, look at my boring unfinished wood dresser (for example); while i bike along the same routes between the same familiar places i know and love in portland instead of seeking out the new and different blah blah blah. i mean, i am wanting to Change My Life but i am trying to do it the easy way, by making some big decision and letting everything come from that, instead of being the change. if i were to travel right now, i would probably be lonely and aimless. if i were to buy a home right now, it would probably be as cluttered and neglected as the one i live in already. unless i’ve got the change in me, behind my actions, already.

whoa, guys. i didn’t really know that when i started writing this entry.

what i actually meant to wind up with, in some way i hadn’t quite figured out yet, had more to do with that first paragraph up there. what i wanted to say was, i think that in my ideal world, the world’s population is much, much smaller and arranged into little happy mutualist anarchic communities. but, what we’ve got is what we’ve got. but, i think there is something to be said for living as though the ideal world is possible. i want to take what i need and give what i need to give. i want to contribute to a loving and supportive community by nourishing my friendships and relationships as best i know how. i want to know how. i want to learn how. i want to be the change. and i want to acknowledge what i already am and what i already have, too.

so there you go. writing about politics and ideals makes me feel really nervous and ignorant, which is part of why i am trying to do it anyway (albeit hiding in the midst of entries like this about my personal life). conversation fights ignorance, right? even if it’s mostly just conversation with myself.

16 Jan 2009, 7:19pm
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lightness

the light was beautiful this morning. the sun was beautiful today! the weather lately has been full of these days, sunny and clear and cold–our dear northwest sneaks ‘em into the middle of our otherwise dreary winters to keep us on our joyous toes.

mostly i’ve been feeling really great this winter. hardly a hint of the winter blues. hawaii’s lingering influence? the little vitamin d supplement pills i’ve been taking every day (good for bones)? whatever, i’m not complaining. that said, i have been in a little funk recently. mostly i feel calm, content, peaceful–but sometimes i am so lonely, and it feels like the loneliness will never end, no matter what.

human condition stuff probably. but hanging around my house by myself in these last (beautiful!) days before my next gig starts is not helpful. so today i went for a bike ride in the long afternoon shadows.

this spot along the springwater corridor overlooking the willamette is one of my favorite places to sit by myself. i wasn’t the only person with the idea this afternoon:

home as the sun set.