View from atop Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most visited Buddhist temple.
I’ve just returned from vacation in Singapore and Thailand, and though I’m happy to be back, some part of me is still in a far off place.
Maybe it’s the jet lag or maybe it’s the balm of living without email, news and Trump for several glorious days, but my world is moving much slower.
I’m worrying less, strolling my neighborhood more and prioritizing time with friends.
This is a much different pace than where I was 10 days ago.
Sacred Waipio Valley. We hiked down to swim in the water and warm ourselves on the black sand.
I did not know when I booked a trip to Hawaii in December that it would fall in the middle of so many important projects – each like a precious jewel requiring constant attention and regular polishing.
How could I put one down for a frivolous vacation? Yet, I’m not one to go back on my word or undo plans already set into motion, and a part of me knew I was being called to the island for some reason.
I thought this trip was about reclaiming my power.
I thought it was about learning to live with a broken heart.
But things are never what you think they will be.
The darkness comes quickly.
These days the sand moves rapidly through the hourglass narrow. There’s a sense of being squeezed by time. There are emails to send, stories to edit, friends to check in with and gifts to purchase. With each tick of the clock, my hopes for getting it all done before the New Year take another step further from reach. And yet, though many items will likely slip through this arbitrary deadline, I’m not 100-precent frantic. Amid the whir of the season, my body refuses to be rushed.
A rendition of Prince’s “I wanna be your lover” to a very select audience of strangers.
This week, I’ve had an aha moment sparked in large part by this article. After I read it, I immediately wondered, what would it be like to experience a date like this? To be courted by a man whose intentions were so crystal clear? Is such a thing even possible in this “wanna-hang-out” dating age? Would I even know what to do with such an advance?
And yet, as evidenced by many posts on this blog, and going back well before that to the unrequited love poems of my bucktoothed, blossom-hat-wearing youth, it occurs to me that I’ve long been waiting for someone to make me feel special like this. I’m not afraid to admit it.
October danced a strange and exotic combination that moved quickly. I’m just now catching my breath.
My friend Sophie and I share a birthday. It was one big cheerful party with, naturally, two cakes.
Open to anything, waiting for nothing.
Our relationship lasted the length of my underarm hair
Cultivated at your request
A jungle of tangled velvet
Arms dancing proud and shy – A mark of belonging to
It felt so good to shave it yesterday
Clean, smooth, done
We traveled to Yosemite over Labor Day Weekend.
I was sure this trip would bring us one step closer to our shared dream: a home, a baby, Chinese takeout and a good movie on a Friday night.
I believed that our two unique strands of humanness would easily and naturally tie into a beautiful bow. And this bow would dangle in the sky over the city where we would begin together. A place where the rent is cheaper, the neighborhoods are more diverse and you could keep your job. It all made sense. I’d teach and write, you’d develop a side hustle, on the weekends we’d venture to new neighborhoods, check out the local markets – hands clasped, hearts synced, we’d feed each other new and exotic things: Gooseberries, spiced jerky, elderberry flower tincture. How perfect it would be.
I’ve been traveling
My mind and body wandering to near and far off places
It’s been, exciting, good and lonely
And now I am home and feel more of the same
During a week of dharma art I discovered sun-crisped brown palm leaves, feather dusters, spiky flower shoots and a pumpkin-colored potato masher. Some of these tools were swirled in black ink and freely applied to pristine butcher block. Their darkened bodies splattered, dripped and snaked leaving curious and unexpected trails. Myself and others stood back, appraised our efforts and rode feelings of appreciation, disdain and indifference.
Art was born, some great, some greater, some greatest.
I’ve never considered myself a perfectionist.
I didn’t think it was a gene my messy, fun-loving family possessed.
While growing up, B-average grades were regularly praised.
Our home answering machine message was a secondary rhyming “family rap” in which we all wrote a line and ended with an exuberant “oh yeah!” No one found this embarrassing.
Outfits for family pictures were coordinated with a request to wear any shade of “purple pastel.” Naturally, interpretations varied.
Just writing that word and I can feel a tightening in my chest, a constriction in my throat. There’s a desire to open another screen and let myself move on to some other necessary project: email, Facebook, Spotify, would somebody call me?
Unlike my best friend who follows an actual budget and adjusts accordingly when necessary (imagine!), I’ve taken a more ‘it will all work out approach,’ to financial planning.
With trepidation I’ve checked my account balance either to be relieved or completely panicked by what is revealed. An inability to “show myself the money” has allowed my imagination to generate all kinds of horrors. What if can’t make rent this month? Do I have enough money for food? When did I last pay my cell bill?
It hasn’t been pretty.
I spot him surveying his territory from a fence post
A misstep, a crunching leaf, and my location is compromised
Green eyes land squarely on mine
A roar, then a leap from his perch
Without pause he makes his way
Carrying, I hear, a weapon of disarmament
A contented hum intensifies as we assess each other
He, my firm legs, warm body ideal for an unabashed howdy-do
Me, his fine orange coat impressively decorated in autumn
An alliance forms with the discovery of the mole hole