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Saturday, September 13, 2014

the golden state...


   Tomorrow I will be in California (I'm going to visit my "special gentleman friend" as one lady friend says...). Each visit home is full of learning. My relationship with my home state is ever changing. There is such an intense duality in my nature that when it comes to most people, places, things... I seem to love furiously and in a bittersweet way-even if this loving only happens in my mind. It's the way my brain works, I strive to find balance through extremities.
   Growing up in Southern California was a love affair full of eternal sunshine, warmth and outdoor freedom. It's easy to be a kid there, no jackets or mittens to worry about. When I was little we were allowed, expected to roam our neighborhood, only needing to return before night fall. Yet there was an internal darkness always inside me. I wasn't able to fully enjoy being sunshine-y and free then. I was wrestling with the confusing problems of dealing with my drug addict mother and a number of other abusive adults.I couldn't wait to get away and moved to Oregon a month after I graduated high school.
  Over the next several years I moved around Oregon and Washington (and back to California) often. I made the mistake of thinking that the place was a large part of the problem and that my discontent would cease if I just found the right place to live in. After my son was born I couldn't just pick up and move on a whim so I began to examine my thoughts and feelings and shortly discovered that my issues were the real issue and started working on emotional health, healing, sorting through my feelings and eventually got to a place of contentment and became comfortable with who I am.
  I love the Northwest. It is a magical place. It's also the only home my children have ever known. But there is still a part of me that misses California. Like a long lost lover I want to reconnect with because at the time of our first romance I wasn't ready for that kind of love yet... (Oh... this post is ripe with simile and metaphor. What am I even going on about... home, love...) I feel like you all understand...

   Here in Washington, we have such damp, chilly mornings, we've collected so many first days of school, heavy blankets, the smell of fireplace and wood stove smoke in the air nightly. The comfort of home and the challenge I feel when entering Autumn-you know it's so wet and dark and seems endless and then you arrive at March and feel victorious as the first days of sunshine begin. I feel such a true pioneer spirit at times in The Northwest. I look into the eyes of strangers during a sudden downpour and we smile, shrug our shoulder and laugh as water runs into our eyes.
 I imagine what a life in California would look like. I imagine what community I might find there. Through July and August I would examine and fantasize (yes, obsess!) over every little idea and situation. I've mostly put those thoughts out of my mind and now am trying to concentrate on what is right now. To be, and that means: working a lot, collecting paper, school, finishing vamp book, getting ready for the winter, for now we are here and I am not sure what the future holds.
   Occasionally, on gloomy days I think of sunshine and am momentarily transported to the Golden State. I think a life there as an emotionally whole adult as opposed to that of a tormented child might be really wonderful.  But my love for Seattle is so strong. It's like my Heathcliff... Would I ever really love California like that?  See how my mind works? Over and over and around again. A true Libra. I used to get so annoyed when reading Linda Goodman astrology books because she seemed very biased in regards to Librans but , well, some of her observations may have had a ring of truth to them...

 Today there are so many errands and my son is performing with his Queens of the Stone Age cove band and then packing... x 3...
 Oh to laze in a field of borage watching the honey bees. Surrounded on all sides by evergreens.
  Tomorrow I will be on airplane heading to California. I'm excited to visit once more while it is still technically summertime! I'm waiting for fresh illuminations to be revealed. I'm excited to see what mysteries will be unveiled on this visit. Because, you know, we are still somewhat in love , the Golden State and I... xo m

Monday, August 25, 2014

weekending, summering on...

  Around here, school starts next week, next week, seriously. Of all the seasons, Summer always seems shortest. It is a season that is bittersweet. So full of travel (this year at least), visits from loved ones, weddings, way relaxed kid routines, outside time, lots of slacking (ahem, for reals...)  in the work dept... This summer sped by. I spend some time, daily, during every summer, imagining what life would look like it it was always summer. This year I found myself delving into imagining a possible life that could be even more summmmmer vibe, super vagabond, carefree, minimal, unschooled and just totally wild and free. What would that life look like?
  Long days spent building/making, immersed in the "real" work of planting seeds, planning & roaming hillsides, tending bees, milking goats, not constantly going into town, unplugged from the internet/iphone. It sounds good. I imagine my homesteading experience so vividly and it sounds right.  I crave the country life. I feel a bit of anxiety over the daily expectations and responsibilities city life brings. The cost of living, multiple social interactions, traffic/time spent in my car, consumerism overload, just crazy stimulation in general, it's all a bit much. I'm sounding like a broken record. A country Western one...

 My darling bud of so many years, Carlos,  was in town last week from Chicago and it was sweet to breakfast, gossip and just be together for the first time in a few years. So many of my dearest first Seattle friends have long since moved away to every different corner of the country.
  I've got the plum hookup again this summer. These came courtesy of my little ones summer play school. More on the way tomorrow. I've made plum jam, plum crisp and stored plenty in the freezer.
  I feel weird going into my old work to get treats cuz, I just hate doing that. It didn't really end badly I just feel strange being a customer after being an employee. My friend K.knows this about me and stopped by and got me macarons! Sooo sublime!




 My hair is pastel pink now. It's a good thing. The preteen and teen girls compliment me constantly and, surprisingly so do men over 70. Odd. but cute.
 Saturday night I was having an intense evening of over thinking just about everything and had to have a chill night. My Niece stayed over and we watched Far and Away (don't hate!) and I felt romantically intoxicated by the end of it. I'm a real sap when it comes to men (even pre-crazy Tom Cruise, professing big things in movies and books.
 Reading the cards has been a daily thing, a moment of clarity and meditation when I'm thinking weird things.
 Continuing to sell off and minimize things around here. Selling at sunday market nearly every weekend.
 My adorable niece is my pop up shop girl and selfie sister. We talk about Channing Tatum a lot...
 I have been reading  a gift from the sea this weekend after my friend sent it to me. I'm feeling it.  The ocean metaphor is really working here. I love it.
  Now I need to encourage my little one to eat so we can get back into the car and drive to the airport to pick up her older brother who has been away for 3 WEEKS! I am so excited!! xo m

Monday, August 18, 2014

country...

  In the last few years (and especially accelerated during the last year) I have embarked upon a journey of limiting possessions and setting my intentions towards a country life. I have too much stuff, too many things. I've thrifted most of my life and it's my job. Of course, far too many tings make it into the house. My once affordable (cheap even!) city is now home to seas of computer tech drones, corporate cannabis producers, net moguls, etc... There are no more deals in the Emerald city.
  In my 20s the mid sized frenzy of Seattle city/night life was just right to me-at times even too tame! I loved roaming the streets and bumping into friends and acquaintances at every corner. I've mentioned before, that I basically lived in bars and was a real prancing pony, girl about town. I thought it would never get old. I was a steadfast champion of the city.
  Slowly, my love affair with the night life soured. When I stopped drinking, etc. my disposition became more thoughtful and delicate. I now feel overwhelmed by all the noise and often brash or clashing personalities that I encounter. I feel like I am a sponge and absorb what I am immersed in and I don't really want to absorb everything that I finding here, in this city.
  I find myself dreaming of quietude and less of this and less of that. More space, more trees, dozens of hives full of bees, a vast garden to tend and goats to milk when I wake up. I daydream about the simple life, pick-up trucks, cabins and dirt roads. It's a kind of wallpaper in my brain. At one time, the daydreaming was enough to soothe my nerves. I had always planned that it would become reality but at a more distant future, 3-5 years off in the horizon. I feel more urgency today.
   Last weekend I was in the country, on a rural Island paradise, with the man of my dreams and it felt so perfectly quiet, calm and lovely. I've visited this Island before and I always leave feeling recharged and inspired and fiercely yearning for my own country heaven. I appreciate the limited choices of commerce and the lack of ugly shops, fast food joints and people people people everywhere.  You have so much more personal space in the country. Your own little bubble can grow bigger than the, what? 12 inches or so you try to maintain in the city... I love that my phone didn't work and I wasn't absent mindedly checking inane websites or my inbox for non-important emails.
   I have always felt most myself in nature-meadow, field, or forest. I can be psychically open and take off the spiritual armor I have to wear in the city. I enjoyed so many conversations about ideas, goals, experiences. Far too often the conversations I have with city friends lean toward consumption (new shops or restaurants visited or items bought) and extreme character criticisms (yep, gossip).
   I am tired of rushing all around town. I would not miss the sound of the buzz saw that my neighbor runs daily (everyday, for real, why!?). I am annoyed by the sound of the lawnmowers and leaf blowers everyone on my block is so fond of.  I want trees and dry grass and dirt and dandelions tufts and dragonflies and hillsides all around. I want to sit creek side and listen to the sounds birds and bugs make. I want to be sloooow and allowed to be still when I want to be. I want to be able to clearly hear my own thoughts.
  Last Sunday sweet Milla made us the best breakfast with vegetables from her garden. Her magical nest was hidden away in the unfamiliar hills and we drove around in circles a few times just trying to find our way off the rambling hillside.
 Nettles everywhere, overgrown and gone to seed.
 There were daytime mosquitoes and so many irritating flying ants-which now, don't seem so bad after all...
      A few days after we returned from the Island, my man went home. I made mixed berry jam and felt super sad that day. I don't think separation ever gets easier. Each time feels worse than the time before.  Having a very limited amount of time to spend with someone you are into is hard. I want to pretend my job is interesting and throw myself into work but my heart is not in it at all. I'm distracted. Though I am grateful to be distracted by thoughts that are intense and sweet in nature. I find it surprising that this man even exists because he is strikingly similar to me in all the best ways. This connection makes others dull by comparison. I don't want to dissect it (much...) or figure it out. I just want to feel it.

   Now I have a carload of total junk to drop off at the donation center up the street. Then I'm going to drink coffee, cut out patterns and go through all these books/downsize the shelves. I just want to move to my rural utopia right this minute. these things take time and all that... but still, I am moving forward and into a new phase of being. xo m

Saturday, August 16, 2014

summer of love

  I haven't been around much this last month. Not just here, on the interwebs but in my city. I spent a total of 10 days during July in Northern Ca. I grew up in Southern Ca and Northern Ca is just so different, pretty and magical, almost like a different state. I adore it. Of course, it doesn't hurt that there's a boy there that I like a lot A LOT... But here I am, now at home and having slacked a bit in the work dept, it's time for catching up in a big way.
 You can find me at the Fremont Sunday Market set up in the sweltering sun (or hiding out in the musty garage) selling dresses etc all summer long...
 On clear days, I stop and look around and feel instantly lightened by what I see. Seattle is so beautiful. I think that the contemplation of a move, somewhere off in the future, has me looking at my city fondly.




  In my nighttime dreams I am roaming dry grass covered hillsides of California, planning where to put beehives and multiple gardens. I'm transported, as I sleep to fantasy farmlands, imagined treehouses and cottages. I make mental lists as I sleep and during waking hours. I've decided that those lists are going to become a notebook of real lists, starting today.
  I've never really experienced a long distance relationship. Or a healthy relationship for that matter... I'm learning how to do this.  It feels otherworldly to be in love with someone who lives far away. I feel a little removed and in a daze at least part of the time. My heart and thoughts are elsewhere, with him.  I alternate between fearful, rational, over-analyzing (of facts and distant what-ifs) and just feeling happily lost in crazy, head over heels adoration. It is ever a struggle for me to remain in the present moment and appreciate and enjoy love as it unfolds. Mentally, I  try to run too far ahead, then I miss what is actually happening now because I'm involved in some future fixation. I have to pull myself back into this moment.  I want my reality to be made up of what is I am currently feeling right now.

Northern California twilight.
See that red hair? It is a really washed out pastel pink now, faded quick.
This Washington summer has been the hottest that I can remember. Days and days on end of heat in the 90s leave us feeling like wilting winter flowers. Summer wildcrafting and jam making projects have been less than productive. I am pretty much useless when it's humid and hot.
although in this heat we have such lovely Seattle summer sunsets.

  The clutter clearing and minimizing continues. I am still on my "get rid of it" trip big time. I like the feeling of lessening all this accumulated stuff. I need to spend some time on my little lady's room (covertly of course) today. The mountainous pile of stuffies is out of control! I'm thinking another yard sale is in order for next weekend or the weekend after. So many piles under the carport headed for the dump and a giant stack downstairs headed to value village...
  The attachment I once felt for so many precious items has really disappeared or at least lessened. I don't want to be that lady creature from Labyrinth with all her worldly treasures attached to her back! Not anymore! xo m

Saturday, July 12, 2014

home

  Now that I am home, it all seems a bit pale. I'm starting to get back into the routines of work/summer/life but it's as if a part of my heart stayed behind.  Many times a day, my mind drifts off to thoughts of strange trees, fog, wind... I wake up and it takes a minute to realize that I'm not sleeping in a crumbling Victorian with stained floors. No one is going to bring me coffee. Vacation is over and reality is here. I feel like I'm living life in two separate places.  I don't even know what a long distance relationship looks like. Guess I get to discover that now.
  It takes so much effort for me to stay in the present. I was always calculating (especially in regards to romances) too far ahead and people can feel that kind of pressure and dream scheming expectation, I swear... Having to focus on what is in this moment RIGHT NOW takes true discipline. I feel calmer and less anxious when I focus on today, this moment. It's a liberating feeling.
     Another wonderful moment from my Northern California journey was getting to meet, in real life, one of my favorite blog ladies, the lovely and magical Mary. I took a few pics but in every one she was mid chew. We sat in the park for an hour, sipped coffee and ate crazy claire's squares oh goodness, those treats are heaven! I have met a few friends from the blogging world and have yet to be disappointed. Mary is just the bees knees!

   At this exact moment I am focused on writing a query letter, or rather the first part of such a letter which is "the hook". Oh damn that annoying hook! I need to basically condense the idea of my book into one sentence...  It's maddening. I find George R.R. Martin's hook for Game of Thrones endlessly inspiring:
 In the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are mustering.”   
  see... good right? I just need to figure out a perfectly enticing way of drawing  readers into my own web.
 
    The sun is out and it's already in the mid 80s. We are deep in the midst of a sweltering global warming heat wave. The grass is all dead, all the outdoor plants are dried out and the chickens are unhappily pecking in the dusty dirt, no worms to be found. I didn't do, well anything, in the way of planting or weeding this year. I figured I would end up moving this summer. Now, I have no idea what next month or the month after will look like. A path will be illuminated. I will wait and see.
   Summertime is full of lazy, hot animals, sticky, slightly cranky children, dirty feet and ice cold lemonade mixed w yerba mate'. I have been drinking coffee again, but only first thing in the morning. The last few weeks, I have spent too many nights staying up till 2am talking on the phone teenage style, so coffee goes with the territory right now.

  July is so full of birthday's and bbqs. Then there's the whole work thing which really picks up in the summer. I'm devotedly working and query letter writing. Choosing to be fully focused on Seattle life (I'm giving myself a little pep talk here). I can have another little romance vacation soon, after certain goals are accomplished.  Now back to hook writing... xo m

Thursday, July 10, 2014

falling in love...

   The last few weeks have been crazy (nuts insane bonkers...)! I have spent the last couple years exploring what it feels like to fall in love with: my children, our city, friends, sobriety, future dreams/goals, my writing, independent lady life etc etc. Basically channeling all my intensely romantic love feelings (in the past, that stuff pretty much always ruled my every thought!!) into healthier options. I was on a romance break. For however long that needed to be. I figured that eventually, when the time was right, a dreamy partner would appear. I believe that like attracts like and I would find someone special when I was ready and wonderful, happy within myself. In the past, I had always tried to control and make relationships into what I envisioned they should be. I used people I was in love with to try and fill an emptiness. I thought others were responsible for my happiness. This didn't work out well for me. I was also guilty of finding men that resembled rough pieces of coal and trying with all my might to turn them into dazzling diamonds...
 3 moons ago, at the urging of an old friend, I did a new moon manifestation list. I wrote down all the traits in specific detail that I wanted in a new partner. My ideals were so specific that it seemed impossible one magical creature would ever possess them all. I folded up my list 3 times, wrapped it round with red thread, tied 3 knots and left it in my bedroom window where it would be bathed in moonlight. Almost instantly there were strange suitors on the horizon. None of them were quite right but still it was a start...
 I turn to my tarot cards for insight almost daily. My readings were beginning to deliver messages of, what I saw as, a more romantic tone.
   I realize that romances are like the stories I write. I have an idea in mind and I sit down to attempt pulling it from my brain onto the page. It the process of extraction, the story takes on it's own life, begins to breathe and changes the course of the initial idea I had. I never fight this in writing. I let the story tell itself, I am just a channel for the revelation, whatever it may be.
 A few weeks ago I began falling in love. The process began so innocently and it has been instantaneous and virtually effortless. I am working on placing no expectations or strategic ambitions (oh the games and tactics I used to obsessively employ!) on this romance. It is a new experience for me. Love as a coming together and sharing the same path, sort of journey. Not as a goal oriented conquest of spirit...
 Last week I was on a plane. Off to see this darling of my dreams who lives over 800 miles away. And yes, my hair is hot pink now...
 I began my trip, a belly full of butterflies. I was nervous, calm, excited, terrified, apprehensive, elated, totally freaking out... on my way there.
   Once I landed my nervousness intensified to be so heavy that I nearly hopped on a plane to return home... I calmed myself down, pushed through it and was rewarded with a long weekend of wonderfulness.
   There can be such a transformative power in romance. At times it was overwhelming but ultimately sweet and lovely.

  I returned home full of a buzzing, psychic connection. I feel comforted that the physical distance will bring careful decision making and wise perspectives. I have had a tendency to be impulsive and less than careful.  I feel aware now. Awake and alive and present in the now.
Love is all around me now. In the birds that fly overhead, even in the crow caws, sparkling in summer flowers, washing over me as waves from the sea, sliding by in shifting sands. I have fallen. I am falling. There is now the feeling of being so deep in the middle of love. xo m