You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From our there on the moon, international politics looks so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch. – Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut.
The earth is warming at an unprecedented pace. This is inarguable.
Sea levels are rising leading to an increase in coastal flooding.
Climate models project increased drought in the American Southwest
Weather is becoming more extreme.
The seasons are shifting.
Air pollution is increasing.
Animals are dying and some will go extinct.
We are on a path where these things will continue and intensify.
And while many mobilize to halt these realities – to develop machines that will suck CO2 from the air, save the polar bears, protect the Great Barrier Reef –I believe these efforts are only a part of the real task before us.
We do not need to save the planet.
I want it and I’m gonna have it!
A friend of mine proclaimed this casually in conversation a few months ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
I remember a feeling of awe.
She was so confident
With her statement, it felt like she was reaching up for the shiny red apple in the tree and plucking it without apology.
What would it feel like to be so bold?
It wasn’t that she was asking for anything particularly outlandish (in this case, a quiet space away from her husband so she could focus on her book) but that, in all my hoping and plotting for my own kinds of freedom, I’d never strung those words together – not even in the privacy of my own diary.
Rather than reaching for my own apples, somehow I’d learned to acquiesce into hoping someone else might pluck them for me. When I’d shown my worth, this person would hand one over to me approvingly and I would bask in a glow of acceptance and appreciation.
I have this dream of fully unraveling before my partner. In my mind, this man is unwavering and sturdy. When he says he’ll do something, it’s done. There’s a natural confidence about him that draws others in, and when you’re with him, the world becomes simple and magical. Together we explore and delight in the evening’s golden light, a perfect tomato and the warmth of each other’s presence as we walk side-by-side. We communicate deeply without the need for fickle words. Ours is a relationship built on trust and intuited feeling. This blend is the mortar that allows us to build a strong and light-filled home in which we can each place the things that scare us, make us feel ashamed, alone, unlovable and unforgiveable.
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.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in the eyes of the Divine. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. –Thomas Merton
Things are incredibly sad here.
When I look at the sky some days it is piercingly blue, which seems a mockery to the state of it all. Other days, like today, it is a shroud, milk tainted by one drop of squid ink. I imagine the sun trudging across its congested home, sweating and exhausted. I can commiserate. The simplest things, throwing off the duvet this morning, assembling the ingredients for matcha, take more time than they should. Why bother?
This soft, dull light of today lulls me to disinterest. I want nothing but to continue laying in my warm bed daydreaming of another world that is warm, inviting and viscous with honey’d love. I’m drunk on love, floating contentedly in its golden sea. There’s nowhere to be, no other person to invite in. It’s all exactly enough.
As I write this Nicki Minaj’s Feeling Myself is playing through my brainwaves.
I’ve been workin’ on my bounce friends.
It’s been the only way to be with all the ‘muchness’ this year has uncovered. My bounce is where I celebrate and where I lament. It is the place I come to drop out of my head and simply be in the moment, in the feeling.
The Isuzu Sidekick got married last weekend. In true form her nuptials took place not in a chapel or backyard, but on a cliff overlooking a dizzying expanse of red rock cut by a winding Green River. Guests off-roaded it in their Sunday’s finest to sit on boulders and a few scattered lawn chairs under blue sky and an all-too-present sun and witness a commitment of love. It was perfect.
Dead Horse Point in Moab, UT
A beautiful bride
A new partner in crime
We then headed to the reception where I offered a toast. I’ve never given a wedding speech so I didn’t realize the key is to make them laugh, offer the groom some pointers and maybe celebrate the new couple. I probably should have Googled something before reading this:
Sometimes I cry when I write.
When the truth landed, it hit me with piercing agony like a dart in the spine. It said, “this relationship will end, that is all.”
The funny thing about truth is that it has a presence. It is a simple standing structure immovable and unapologetic. Once recognized it is the measure upon which all else can be weighed. I imagine it like a giant concrete wall dropping from the sky, –BOOM! – into a pristine lake. The size of the waves it creates and the quantity of the sludge stirred depends entirely on the fabrications your lake holds. When truth lands you have two options: A) What wall? Everything is fine here! Or, B) Oh, fuck!
I’ve decided to go with Option B – for better or for worse.
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.