Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Zealand

(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song, "Other Side of the World," #33 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
We were driving on a steep winding road through thick redwood trees. The road was rain slick, but the trees looked beautiful. Everything was green and lush and you expected an Ewok to jump out of the trees and land on your lap; to close your eyes and open them again and discover that you really were in New Zealand.
From where I sat on the passenger's side, the road was broken at certain curves, and there was no fence, and I was very close to the edge. This kind of thing can make you wonder when you're going to drop off into the nothingness below, and will a tree catch your fall, and force freshly created oxygen back into your lungs, or will you tumble forever, not really experiencing the sensation of falling? The sign had warned us that it was going to be this bad, this risky, for the next 5 miles. But 5 miles when everything is so close and real can feel like 500, and when you are in the middle of the climb, you really have no choice but to continue.
You wonder how often beauty and danger ride hand in hand.
You wonder why you dared to risk it, but you do dare to risk it, every time.
And every time, you never actually know if you will make it to the end of the climb until you have actually made it to the end of the climb, or if you will instead crash over the side.
You are surprised to realize that you can't necessarily tell which would be worse.
You wonder how often the whole world seems to flip on it's head, so you could find that you are walking on an opposite continent in an opposite hemisphere and not even blink an eye at the realization.


Monday, February 27, 2012


(Pre-Script: This poem best read as the song, "Shadowfeet," #12 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
I don't know how to be a person in this situation so I will
change myself into a fish
and swim beneath
through the viscous liquid form of what has dripped under my feet,
(tears and beers and blood from the breaking)
then when I am braver I will change again
into a bird and expand my wings above myself,
then look down from the blue sky and see
the big picture in which I am the middle:
"look, there I am walking forward and there beside me is a tree and up
beyond that bend is where I will rest on that bench by the river of which I
I am not yet aware."
then when I am bravest I
will morph back into the human
who created the tears, spilled the beers,
felt the depth of the cut from which the blood dripped,
the person in the middle of a situation she cannot see around
to control it's outcome,
but walks forward wide eyed anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Talking To Myself

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, " Cornflake Girl," #7 on the playlist, OR IF YOU PREFER, "Grace Kelly," #47 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist and click on either of those songs, then come back up and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I like knowing that technology has advanced to a point where people who* (*those of us who) talk to them*(*our) selves no longer look crazy. We can just pretend we're talking into any nearby cord or wire or if we're in our cars, some device that is below the view of any passer-byers.


I don't always talk to myself, I'm more of a self interrupter. In my mind, I am always talking to myself, and sometimes some of those thoughts are so loud that it's like my brain does not want to have to bear it alone, and out pops a sentence that I had been doing such a good job of containing inside. This would not be such a big deal except that the sentence that pops out is not necessarily the one at the beginning of the train of thought; it's often one of the middle freight thoughts on the train, carrying a random link that would make sense if you could have heard the beginning and the caboose thoughts, but by itself, it just sounds out of place and crazy.

But if I say it into a cord/phone/something below the radar, it no longer looks crazy. See how I did that? "Crazy" now looks like that lady I saw walking past who was wearing what looked like two Chou Chou dogs on her feet. She walked past me and I thought "Do you understand what is happening on your feet?" and then I remembered that at that exact moment, I had a sock in my hair. And it was blue. And I was a public place. In fact, I was at work. That place where it matters what I wear, where I tell other people what to wear. I never told anyone to wear a Chou Chou dog; I also never told them to wear blue socks in their hair. In my own defense, when I learned to do the sock bun the day before, it didn't occur to me to wear a sock the color of my hair. (You would think it would have been obvious that I should have chosen a brown sock to wear in brown hair. What can I say, my mind often eschews "obvious" for more complicated random thoughts.) Also in my defense, the sock was not visible. Just a messy but oh so deliberately messy bun was visible. So there is also a difference between wearing your crazy on the outside vs hiding your crazy beneath your hair. At least I surely hope there is.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song, "Good Gone Girl," #46 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

The sign at the counter of the coffee shop says "Please conserve napkins." They obviously don't know me. I take 5 napkins and hope that everyone is paying too much attention to their own chlorophyll and chia seed induced iced teas to notice.
I'm not insensitive, just messy.
It's not a "Cheers" moment, where everybody knows my name, (does anyone do that anymore?) though I would like to think it will become one the more I frequent this locale; I like it here. It's a cute darling coffee shop in a forward thinking ecologically minded green town. I bet if the barista were to remove his baseball cap you would find wheat grass sprouting out of his head. It's that kind of place.
I'm not sure they like me here, though. I'm not the type of girl to plug my car into the wall at night; I'm all about guzzling up gasoline. I have probably used enough hairspray in my lifetime to double the size of the hole in the ozone layer. The world would all die of skin cancer, and my hair would not be moved. It's not that I'm totally insensitive, I'm all about preserving nature and keeping the species alive, the cute fuzzy ones, anyway. I'm not sure I would mind a world less of sharp fanged things that bite, sometimes in mass. Sometimes in the dark of night when you thought you were finally safe.

I am not only speaking of animals here. Obviously.

They are probably also disapproving of the heavy technology I bought in with me. All of it sucking up energy by plugging into their wall outlet strip. Other people here have laptops on which they are typing and looking important, also, but they seem to have smaller, sleaker, less energy consuming versions. it seems that every time I get close to cool enough, the next wave of cool washes over the land and sweeps all of those happy green people up in it's swell of coolness getting cooler by the moment. And I...just get knocked under. All the smiley people on the shore waving at me, drenched as I drag myself out from under. So you can see why I needed the excess of napkins.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Freeway For Young Women

(Pre-Script: This post best read as the song, " Any Other World," #50 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Remember that one time when you* (*and by "you," I really mean "me," or "I," as the grammatically correct case may be.) were driving and singing in the car, and you sounded so great singing in your car like that, you sounded just like a professional singer, in fact, and especially when you drove over a bumpy part of the road and it gave your voice instant vibrato that only opera singers and Celine Dion are usually capable of making their voices achieve? Move over, Adam Levine, because you are doing his song one better? Remember that? Yeah, and you were so so happy because it was your day off so you thought, heck, I should go back to the beach, I have several hours of no one counting on me to be responsible to them in any way? Just I am accountable for me, and I am totally okay in this moment? This blissed out moment that you earned yourself after a hard, arduous, mentally taxing workout that you did it, you did it anyway, and now you were rejoicing that you did because for the rest of the day you can proclaim to anyone who does or does not want to know, "I DID it?" Yeah, And then what happened? You looked up and saw that a police officer was aiming his radar gun at you. And everything inside of you pulled tightly into itself, a snail receding into it's shell, a turtle phoning home, if you will, only you had to keep your head up, "keep your chin up, son," because you were still driving after all, and driving requires paying attention. Never mind that you suddenly are no longer feeling free, light and easy. Yes, your voice still sounds just like a rock star, or at least it would, if you hadn't been shocked into no longer singing, but you now feel unsure of your driving. You now feel a strange unusual kinship with Bambi's mother right when her ears perked up, before she started running running running no matter because she could not run fast enough to prevent her own slaughter. That's exactly what it feels like when the police officer aims his gun at your face as you drive by, isn't it? Doesn't it make you wonder what the heck are all of these police officers doing, trying to scare a safe driver into unsafe driving practices, instead of leaving well enough alone on the freeway here, the FREE-way, how ironic, it hits you, how ironic, you think, and you realise that there is no freeway, no freeway for you. Same on edge feeling you get when you see a wasp or a hive of wasps or worse yet hor-nets whenever you are frolicking about in a garden or a wilderness or nature or even just outside of the local Safeway; Anywhere a wasp or hor-net can haunt. You don't exactly know the difference between wasps and hornets, You only know that they are not honeybees, they are not sleepy nectar drunken bumble bees, they are vicious harbingers with stingers who do not die if they sting you once, they continue to sting and sting and sting, and hornets are worse because their name is two syllables of torture, not just one. So this is the association running through your mind when you are accosted by that silly radar gun aimed at your once shining face from whence melodious sounds have been emerging. It occurs to you to wonder, don't the police officers have some hardened criminal to dig up out of a basement somewhere? Instead of not leaving well enough alone? Nothing to see here, officer, we are all obeying the law here, we are all above ground here and not avoiding the sunlight. A criminal would be hiding his crime in the dark underground. Go there instead, Mr Policeman. There is nothing to see here, you think, but your spirit is now slightly dampened.

You know, I have never tasted venison stew, but it has always sounded delicious to me. Venison stew is one of those things people eat in novels which take place in some out in the wild location when the main character/s is/are starving and out of hope, but then low and behold, they stumble upon a lone warm cabin in the middle of the wilderness, which contains an old man and woman both with rough hands who happen to have a large cauldron of venison stew brewing over their lit fire, and they offer the stew to the starving main character, who proceeds to eat the stew with some sort of freshly baked bread, the character proceeds to sop it up with this still warm bread. "Venison Stew," doesn't that just sound delicious? I now wonder if it tastes like the sudden awareness of bitter betrayal, in the middle of a naive run for freedom.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't Mind Me

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "We Found Love," #45 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Whenever I see someone talking on his or her cell phone in public, I try to listen in. I am always amazed at the very intimate details a person will share from her end of the cell phone in a very public place. It's as if the phone pressed up against the ear makes a person forget that not only the person on the other end of the phone can hear her, but anyone else actually in sight of her physical mouth and spitting distance can, as well. Is this rude? And if so, who was rude first, she, for talking in my air space, or me, for gleaning all the dirt from it that I can? Aren't we each just doing out own thing?

Go to any coffee shop and observe: People everywhere, it is busy busy busy, but no one makes eye contact or talks to the people in our actual presence. Everyone is hidden behind his own cell phone, laptop, or ipod. I try to break the fro-zone by looking at you. I want to see if you react or look up. Usually you don't, so enrapt are you in this or that hilarious text that is causing you to smile shyly at the cell phone even though the person at the other end can't see it. But I can, and I think you're just trying to make me jealous.

Sometimes I say something as arbitrary as, for instance, "hi," and it startles you. Sometimes I say, for instance, "I like your jacket." and you'd think I just scooped dairy free calorie free whipped cream into your coffee. I watch you melt in a puddle right in front of me, to be spoken to by a living one, and not only spoken to, but complimented. By a stranger. A stranger in the flesh.

(Just so you know, I would never tell you that I like your jacket unless I actually like your jacket.)