ready for the next arrow.

As sad as I am that I haven’t been blahgging, it’s way more tragic that I haven’t been journaling. I read a quote about journaling that really hit me. I can’t remember what it said [because apparently i write nothing down these days], but paraphrasing, it said, “People who say they keep a journal but don’t, suck.” [very loose translation from memory.]

Last night, falling asleep with no hope of savoring another minute of eyes open, I wished I would’ve written down everything. There are days you want to remember everything. everything.

the light.

the laughs.

the brisk air.

the conversations. [the words. the words.]

the feeling.

the song.

that song.

the colors.

that taste.

So here goes nothing. Instead of journaling for myself, I’ve chosen this computer. I’ve chosen you. Why? Unclear. The convenience. The procrastination happening on this here computer.

Nothing even spectacular happened, but it was all so beautiful.

It’s fall here in Missoula now. Yesterday was our first cold day of the season. Off on my bike, there was snow in the hills, a freshness. Blue skies that we haven’t had in so long. Blue colliding with orange colliding with white.

Sometimes at work, you feel like it’s not worth it. You feel like as much as you create and as much as you find victories in your work, in yourself, in collaborations; you’re still at the bottom, fighting to breathe and get out from under heavy, wet blankets. And then two co-workers leave you a sweet bomber beer in your mailbox with a note of encouragement and joy smiles as it kicks up within. It’s the feeling of familiar friendship. In a place that still feels foreign sometimes, you have friends. I have friends. !! [be cool, be cool, be cool.] [this is me on the inside.]

Sitting at my beautiful workspace with a window that’s a frame for orange leaves and snow in the hilly distance, I can’t help but want to hold on to the feeling of looking out at Missoula, listening to The Lumineers…

After work, having some make-shift cocktails on the steps of the building whilst laughing hard at each other’s stories and waiting for a friend.

Watching the presidential debate at a completely packed bar. Everyone watching. Evan and me sitting with a dear friend from out of town. A dear friend who usually votes and represents the party opposing the party I support. [if you didn’t know, i am a huge fan of obama.]

We talked about how we have so much in common, believe in so many of the same things, want so many of the same things… It was so refreshing. Hope.

Exhausted, it was time to go home. I could not wait to collapse. As I rested my things on the kitchen/dining table, I was so touched to see the scene of our living room.

Recently, I bought two chairs that I could not stop thinking about. [i know, chairs.] But, alas, we couldn’t figure out where they would go in our home. [small spaces, adequate seating.] I kept telling Evan, I didn’t know where I wanted them to go, but they would be great “nook chairs.” Saying that as though everyone knows what a good nook looks like.

Last night, this scene…

western oak chair nook

He made me a nook! He made us a nook.

I love this home we’re building. Knowing that this is not our forever home, but this is the place we come to celebrate and toast this life. This is not a forever moment, but this is a bright time. These are not things we’ve known, what lays ahead? no clue, but this is our nook. This is our place. This place.

And then I just had to get rid of my pants [settle down, i wasn’t that thankful for the nook], because I had a bandaged knee and it was driving me crazy. I injured my knee a few days ago from sliding in kickball [totally worth it, i got to second]. Okay, I’m going to show you my knee now, but be forewarned, it’s nasty…

gross knee, blame kickball

So nasty.

I couldn’t go from taking a bandage to getting into our bed, because, well, it was all oozey and I had to let it dry out before getting into our sheets. [so gross, i know.]

So I had to lay on the couch and let my knee dry.

– Evan, will you read me a story?

He sat in one of our new chairs, next to me laying on the couch, and read Billy Collins. I was so happy. It was so perfect. I tried to stay awake a bit and soak it all in. I couldn’t.

Today, I try to remember every poem he read. Can’t remember a single one. Think this was in the mix…

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.


In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.


This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.


The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.


No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.


No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then


for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.


But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.


After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,


so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

— Aimless Love by Billy Collins

 

As I faded into sleep, the words melded into my thoughts. With my right hand, my fingers, on my left hip. Thinking about the shape of my hip, the feel of my own hip. How it’s been here, been there, changed, stayed the same. How many readings of Billy Collins this hip has rested through.

 

As if I were drunk, delirious, my thoughts drifted to how beautiful this hip is. So many things I could find wrong with this hip; but the feel, the shape, it’s so comfortable, so wild, so beautiful. Why would I ever hold on to anything else but this hip.

 

This love. This life. This time. This place. This boy. The feel. The shape. So comfortable. So wild. So beautiful.

 

[why would I hold on to anything else?]

thankfulness in celebrating.

A great night of friends and laughs and cheese conies and then the news of Osama Bin Laden.  Talking, eating, discussing, laughing, eating more.

Then, driving home, a message from a friend who had left earlier.

– Hey, I was just listening to the news about Bin Laden.  It’s just crazy to remember sitting in Geometry class hearing about the World Trade Center on September 11th… and now it’s kind of a full circle thing.  Just reflecting… thought I’d give you a call.

And then I started reflecting.

Reflecting back to when I was 16.  Hearing about the attack on America.  Sitting in shock.  Asking our teachers questions they couldn’t answer.  Going to the bathroom to call my mom and just make sure she was okay, had heard, was in shock.

Reflecting on the night.  Sitting, eating amazingly delicious [yet horribly bad for you] food with some of the most wonderful people in my life.  Talking about our country.  Proud that we weren’t partying, wearing American flags, chanting and praising death.

Thankful that we feel safe in our world of mountain town life.  Proud of our country and it’s leader and all of those surrounding us that fight for peace and rights and safety.  And “pour me another glass of wine” or “pour me another bourbon” thankfulness in celebrating being and full circles and forward trajectory.

[and this just has nothing to do with bin laden, but much to do with great tunes.]

be hope.

Hey American Friends…

How’s it going?  I hope you’re paying attention… because there’s a lot going on…

Tomorrow, President Obama is giving his State of the Union Address.  I’m sure you’ve heard about this and I hope you intend on watching.

A lot of talk about our economy.  Where are the jobs?  And then Health Care Clusterf*ck 2009/10 and National Debt Ridiculousness, etc… etc.

Over a year ago, I gathered with the Teton County Democrats and other Obama supporters to watch the election at a local coffee shop.  The excitement of Obama winning was overwhelming.  People crying tears of joy, friends hugging, hope… HOPE.  True hope is something amazing… a form of love, I believe… and we all had it.  It inspired us.

Tomorrow I join the Teton Democrats again to talk about a year with President Obama and watch his address.  There’s a different feeling in the air, for sure, but is our hope gone?  I hope not.

There are things that are not good in our world, our country, our county, ourselves… but I challenge us to [get ready for the cliché] be the change we want to see.

Get involved.  Be hope.

I’ve thought a lot about this lately.  What is important?  What are the good things I want to be hope for?

1.  People.  Loved ones and my loved ones’ loved ones and others’ loved ones.   People.

2.  Our Earth.  The beauty of it.  The abundance of it.

3.  The things that enhance our world and make community.  Love.

I don’t know where that should go, what that should mean… but it’s time to get involved.

•  Help people.  Help Haiti.  Holy Hell.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s a disaster.  Families gone.  Homes gone.  The things that are too precious to think about ever leaving us… Gone.  And we need to continue giving when the cameras turn off, the reporters are gone.  Give. Help.

•  Pay attention to the world you love.  Help it.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  Be proactive.  Love what we’ve been given.  A stranger commented this on my last post: http://veganvideo.org/ Awakening.  Changing.  [i mean… don’t get me wrong… i love cheese as much as (okay, more than) the next guy… so, this is a whole different topic of discussion…]  But pay attention to what you eat.  Maybe you don’t change anything… but pay attention.

•  And then there’s this gorgeous world of love and dancing and smiling and crying from beauty.  [my favorite.]  Get passionate about it.  Volunteer love.  Anywhere.  What you have a heart for, help it.  Get together with others and glorify what is good.  Whether that’s art, music, climbing, skiing, faith, yoga, food, laughter, building, learning, giving, political optimism… it matters not… it just matters that the heart, the beauty, the hope remains in this wonderful, wonderful place.

I know those things aren’t really political… I digressed… I am Distracto… but you should watch the State of the Union Address.  Pay attention.

[sorry if this was lecturey… did not mean to be too lecturey.  i just got real excited about things… about the good that could be… in the world, in the states, in myself.  you know i’m not good at things… things like following through, staying focused, doing more than saying… so, i’m saying to myself as much as to all three of you who read my blahg.  so so so much love.  tons and tons.]

presidential crowd pleasers.

Talking to clients about American Presidents might be my new favorite thing.

[must remind that i work with adults with mental disabilities.]

Sometimes clients will catch staff talking about politics and want to give their two cents.  A conversation recently turned to the subject of “Favorite President of All Time” and Sandy, a client, wanted to discuss.

– Who’s your favorite president, Sandy?

– Ummm… I think mine would have to be Hammerhead Lincoln.

Oh man.

YES.

Who’s favorite president ISN’T Hammerhead Lincoln?

President Hammerhead Lincoln.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…

– I like the one we have now.

– Oh yeah, Lou Ann?  Who’s that?

– La Bamba… the black one.

Oh my goodness…

President Barack La Bamba.

I don’t even know what to say.  Too Awesome.

…and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

My first wander into the proper city of Sydney was because of Barack Obama.  I took a 40 minute train ride to get to Sydney University where I found that there would be a get together to watch a screening of the Inauguration around lunch time.  I found out about it from Facebook… big shock.  All of three people had RSVPed as “attending” when I found the page.  And since it’s summer here and school’s not in session, I really didn’t expect much to come from this venture.  I just wanted to watch some history with some people that care.

When I walked into the Manning Bar, I could hardly even get in the door.  There were hundreds upon hundreds of people there!  People from all over the city came to watch!

look at all those people!

this is the only picture i took... because i was embarrassed... because i was by myself.

It was incredible.  Seriously.  There was an hour of student projects [summer school] that were played before the speech aired.  It was hilarious to see how Aussies make fun of Americans.  I started to get scared that this would be just a bashing of Americans and then I’d have to order another drink with my best Australian accent before sneaking out, but it didn’t turn out that way.  A lot of videos were about admiring America for being a country where ANYONE can be the leader of the country… no matter their bloodline.  It was very inspiring.

Then the President of US Relations gave a very interesting speech about Obama’s facial expressions and his change of tone.

Then they played the video and I cried.

Then, during the national anthem, all the Americans stood up and sang and I cried again.

The whole thing was a lot more emotional than I had planned on.  Hearing a true recognition of a brokenness in our country was refreshing and devastating and the same time.  Obama displayed a vulnerability that can only come from honest strength.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to anyone else, but to me, it was something that struck hard inside my chest.

And then I sat down for an Obama burger and another drink [much deserved after the last two weeks, trust me] and I got to talk to some great people.  Okay, two great people… okay, I actually talked to two people and they were great simply because they were around my age, in Sydney and talking to me.

It was a breath of fresh air… the whole day.

Then I finished my Obama burger, my 20-minute-friend, Micheal, directed me to a really cool bookstore near campus, then I headed home.

sitin', waitin', wishin'.

sittin', waitin', wishin'.

And then I couldn’t find the bookstore because I’m horrible with directions which made me relatively bored waiting for the train.

great day.