Wednesday, June 29, 2011

your greatest competitor: self

This morning, I had a (though perhaps not not entirely original) profound realization:

Essentially and ultimately, the only person anyone is competing with is themselves.
And going along with that, the sooner you realize that truth, the more you will accomplish: whether the accomplishments are outwardly recognized or internally perceived.

I know there are some who would read that statement and have a hundred arguments with which to counter it. A few of those arguments might include the valid point that much in this world is driven by external competition: businesses, athletics, career advancement etc. But to counter an argument such as THAT, I would specify that I did not state you CAN'T compete with entities other than yourself, but rather I am implying that the competition you face with yourself is the only one in which you are inevitably and permanently invested. The longer you let your personal comparisons and competition with others dictate your actions, the more likely you will be to develop behaviors, habits and traits that do not accurately portray the best version of yourself.

Physical Fitness
Every person, body frame, external conditions and lifestyle are all incredibly unique. To aspire to make your body like like a body that is NOT yours is therefore illogical.
Not only is it illogical, but it will also prove to be more frustrating than anything else, since your body is designed to be a certain way, completely specific to you. It will never (easily or naturally) identically resemble someone else's body. The moment you truly accept this and provide for the individual needs of your individual body, the happier and healthier you will be. If you are giving your body sufficient vitamins, minerals and nutrients, feeding it  for the purpose of fuel rather than pleasure--- if you are exercising to strengthen your muscles in ways that broaden your physical capabilities and keep your vital organs in excellent working order ---if you are getting plenty of water, sleep and sunlight--- then you are at your best. If you are doing all of those things, look in the mirror and take note of what you see: because what you see is your body the way it looks when you are taking superb care of it. As is, it warrants no change. Do not neglect it more or care for it less. This is you.

There are few, if any, people in the world whose goals are 100% aligned with yours. Therefore, who can define success in a way that is entirely accurate for the next person? No-one can. In case you were unaware of this, you are operating on your own lifespan (aka timeline). On that timeline, you have your own unique benchmarks. Or perhaps you don't have any benchmarks at all, but rather things you just know you'd like to do before you can't do them anymore. Furthermore, no matter what your timeline or benchmarks are, there are two factors influencing your timeline and benchmarks that are completely variable from person to person: resources, and unexpected interruptions. This is because most resources from which you draw (physical ability, finances, time, permission, possibility) are fallible. They are neither constant nor infinite, and it is beyond your control in most cases to predict or discern if or when your resources will run out. And "unexpected interruptions" pretty much speaks for itself. These interruptions could be the direct result of a temporarily cut or permanently exhausted resource, or the byproduct of circumstance. So, because all of this is mostly beyond your direct realm of control, you must accept that the only way to truly define success is "satisfaction with the way the present is unfolding." Because when you really think about it, you can only influence how it will unfold to a certain extent. So wak up every day and live with intention. In other words, exercise behaviors that actively advance (rather than hinder) your current goals, and be happy each day with the gradual advancement...because in case the ultimate realization of a goal never occurs, you have succeeded, at least, in that you have gained/maintained happiness by having gratitude for consistent progress.

Your Relationship
I'm sure if you take a moment to consider moments in past relationships during which you've felt upset or inadequate, it is most likely a direct result of personally comparing yourself to someone else. Perhaps you compared yourself to a person your significant other used to date, or even love. Perhaps you compared yourself to a person they had a close friendship with, or a person they simply know or work with, or maybe even a complete stranger in a magazine or "unmentionable video" of sorts they maybe owned. The list could go on, but my point is that you likely felt that your own appearance, experience, or some other talent or trait could not possibly match that of whomever you were comparing yourself to. And as a result, you likely felt resentment toward yourself, the person in comparison, and (unfairly) your significant other, who in this case was the unsuspecting bystander to your jealousy. It's human instinct: it happens, and you can't always helping wishing you were better in one way or another. But jealousy is not, in any way, productive. In fact, it is detrimental in countless ways to your relationship. Moreover, it is wildly unattractive. When you begin to feel jealous, turn to your logic. Your significant other picked you. And unless they are an idiot, they probably picked you for a reason. And unless they are simple as a Neanderthal, they almost surely picked you for several reasons... good ones, at that. I mean, give them some credit. Personally, I know that there has to be something awesome about me if I can keep a handsome, successful young man from "sowing his wild oats" with whomever he pleases. And I think it's so great to have such a person, I'm not going to question why. Fact of life, kids: there will always ---always, always, always--- be someone out there better looking, more successful, funnier, smarter, richer, cooler, more cultured, more talented, more exciting, better in bed than you are. It's kind of crappy/funny to think about that, but it's true. So if someone picks you despite that, it means they have found something in you that will never be better in anyone else: rarity. Rarity, meaning a precise, unique combination of talents and traits that fits exactly what they are looking for. Your protrusions align with their gaps. Your strengths align with their weaknesses. Your quirks align with their curiosities. You are rare, and you were chosen. And if you are not only rare and chosen, but also deeply loved, you have much more than most people to be thrilled about.

I'll keep this one short and simple, because it is. You're either good, or you're not. You either believe in him, or you don't. You either live with conviction, or live with empty purpose. And whether you judge or are judged, sit in church or sleep in, volunteer or remain completely self-serving, pray or swear, neither you nor any other human is in competition with you. Whether or not you make it to eternal salvation doesn't usually mean that much to the next person. They can't make you be a good person or believe. And at heaven's gate, God's not standing there with a stopwatch or a score sheet. That "forever" thing? Yeah, that's up to you. And it's a tough competition against yourself and your own human weakness. So if there is anyone in your life trying to guide you in your faith, whether they do so by instruction or quiet example, get after it. Compete with your own lazy tendency to be apathetic towards a relationship with God, and just ask him into your heart already. And yes, it is that easy. It's a long, hard road sometimes, but gaining Christ as a companion is easy at least. And he's got every map, compass, emergency kit etc. you could possibly need for the trek you're making.

Now you've spent a lot of time reading this, so go out and compete with yourself.
Challenge yourself.
Be happy.
Life is really, really awesome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

oh ot

Riddle me this: why is is that the more spoiled food becomes, the more ways we have tried to use it? It goes against all biological programming that tells you how to identify food and drink that has gone bad, and then not to eat it.

Grapes, for example. Grapes were ruined/aka squished into juice. And someone said, "This is tolerable. Let's call it grape juice and drink it."
Then the grape juice went bad/aka fermented. And someone said, "This is tolerable. Let's call it wine and drink it too."
Then, the wine went bad. And someone said, "This is tolerable. Let's call it vinegar and put it on our salad."

It's just strange.

After asking my roommate last night how to tell if bleu cheese is moldy, she laughed and said, "Bleu cheese is mold."
I love the stuff. But that's sick. I've been eating rotten cheese and enjoying it, and I feel like something's a little bit wrong with that. How am I supposed to trust my other "this is spoiled and unsafe to eat" instincts, if I have been failing thus far??

I guess the correct answer would be to raise my glass of spoiled grape juice, say "here goes nothin" and salute the FDA that I'm alive another day to enjoy your moldy cheese...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


If you're anything like me, you HATE the small talk strangers feel inclined to make in an elevator. Granted, elevators by nature are awkward mechanisms, forcing two people (or more) who don't know each other to stand for an indefinite amount of time in the same 10 cubic feet of space. But still...

So I got to thinking....what if we just skipped the small talk? What if the elevator was a place to go to literally vent whatever to whoever you are standing with between floor 2 and 8? "Man, I didn't get any sleep last night, and I forgot my running shoes, and my co-worker tried to have a conversation with me about her personal life before I'd had my coffee, breakfast OR checked Groupon." Venting, and instantly better. "Dude, right now I just have to take a poop and there's always someone in the bathroom at the same time...I'm on my way down to the gym restroom as we speak. So frustrating." ...or... "You know what? I hate elevators. Don't you? They're just so awkward."

What if we could just cut the sh*t and get straight to what we're really thinking?

1) I think we'd all realize we're dealing with a lot of the same (or worse) sh*t, and feel a sense of camaraderie due to that.

2) We'd feel immensely better when stepping off the elevator.

A mood elevator, if you will.

Just sayin'...

Photo by Merlijn Hoek, via Flickr.

One penny - Grand and 12th - heads

Two pennies - heads/tails - Locust and 15th (block apart)

Friday, June 17, 2011

you have to have a sense of humor...

Miscellaneous Musings - Friday edition

1) In a battle between molar fillings and blackberry seeds, molar fillings ALWAYS lose. Always.

2) I am pretty sure the people surrounding me don't realize the extent to which talking is overrated. My boyfriend understands this profoundly, which is one reason why I keep him around. (And by "around," I mean 2,473 miles away)

3) If you think about it, the only time you really read warning labels is in a moment where you're blatantly disregarding them. (ie, "*this yogurt contains phenylalanine, which can be detrimental to your health" I lift spoon after toxic spoon of delicousness to my mouth...) or (WARNING: this air mattress is not to be used as a flotation device)...etc.

4) Taking a natural cleanse supplement is like saying you to spend the next 72 hours having miniature panic attacks. Because you just never know. You are careening down Detox Drive, and the rearview mirrors say, "Restrooms in mirror are farther than they appear." And it is scary.

5) As long as people keep "like"ing what I say on Facebook, I'm going to keep interjecting my comments and opinions on everything. So think before you click, or don't blame me when you get tired of seeing my name pop up in your newsfeed.

6) We spent centuries advancing to the point where we comfortable, efficient, high-tech living situations....just so we could "escape it all" by regressing back to a tent in the middle of the wilderness. Humans are strange creatures.

7) Sometimes I feel bad for water. Because it's so necessary, but so boring.

8) It's weird how a laugh can be bad, and a fight can be good. And also weird to realize that I would much prefer a good fight over a bad laugh.

9) Nine times out of ten, I will eat something I have dropped on the floor. Seven times out of ten, it has visible dirt on it. Guess what...I'm still alive.

10) I want to make paper cup and string phones for our office. They are cheap, simple, and allow the communicators just as much privacy as the phones we have now...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another penny - on Grand, between 21st and 22nd St.

$.10 - on 8th St., between Locust and Grand

Thursday for Haikus

[hai·ku/ˈhīˌko͞o/Noun - A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.]

Return Address
You fly far and wide
Barely held in by the sky
Your heart, an anchor.


I can't say thank you
to your taken time or tears
and have it suffice.


Standardized Test
To bear is to be
as to break is to break free
as you are to me.


Your absence pains me
greatly, though you are still here,
you won't always be.

Copyright 2011 by Sarah Bush

$.01 (penny, tails) - Locust and 14th

$.10 (dime) - Locust and 12th St.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

to the critics

You may silently criticize my long-distance relationship,

but I bet your love life doesn't have spellcheck and/or volume settings.

$.02 - One on heads, one on tails - outside my apartment

low tide

"The feelings we live through
in love and in loneliness
are simply, for us,
what high tide
and low tide are to the sea."
Khalil Gibran (Love Letters in the Sand: The Love Poems of Khalil Gibran)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shivassana Dream #2

We're in the woods again, but different woods this time, and a different season entirely. The grass is tall, with a dry golden sheen that tickles my legs and stabs at the cuffs of your pant-legs. Bugs zip from one blade to the next; swallows dart back and forth to eat them. There isn't a breeze to save our life from the unmoving sunset heat, the ground so warm that its damp, earthy scent fills every breath we take as we try to hold still for a photographer.

"Tilt your head a bit more to the right, to the left, okay there....Now, you --lean in towards the middle, eyes up here..." He gives instructions until we can't help but feel like the most awkwardly-posed marionettes, afraid to breathe, trying not to think of the single bead of sweat trickling down the middle of our backs that makes us want to squirm back and brush it away. His assistants move lighting equipment this way and that, others are supervising to make sure everything is done properly...and we're in front of them, the center of attention and enjoying it the least of anyone.

I feel a mosquito land on my elbow...and that's it for me.

I hike up the ridiculous dress I'm wearing, leave the high heels neatly posed where I'd just been stationed, and take off running. Lace snags on twigs and branches, dandelion seeds scatter in my warpath, dust sticks to my sweaty calves, and when I look back you're running right behind me with an amused, mirthful look on your face. In the distance behind us, I hear the photographer shouting, I hear my mother's voice in the same tone she used when she used to find clothes stuffed under my bed...but I pretend I don't. We abandon the clearing, the field, and emerge on the other side of the woods out of breath, having made our escape.

Then I see us in Ella's cafe, sipping lukewarm coffee and leafing through guestbooks to locate our signatures from various years. The air conditioning feels amazing, interrupted only now and then by the hot "whoosh" of summer heat when another patron enters to dine. I look up at you to see you have egg yolk all over your chin. Loopy from the heat, I start laughing so hard, I can't even catch my breath to tell you about the mess so I just point. "The yolk's on me," you say. I'm still laughing, but I shake my head, "Oh noooo..." I groan. "That was a 'me' joke..." And I chomp away at a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, letting the crumbs stick to my face and the crust dangle from my peanut-buttered lips. Then you start laughing too. Picture proofs lay on the table between us, several stacks at least. And there are only six or seven we actually plan to keep, a few of our backs as we high-tail it away from the camera, and one where we're looking back unapologetically.

Because those are the only ones that are actually of us.

I wake up, my hand lifting instinctively to my mouth, actually mildly surprised in my drowsiness to find the crumbs and peanut butter absent.

Photo by emmylou.virginia via Flickr.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

$.01 - 9:09 p.m. - Apt. building's laundry counter

$.25 - 4:53 p.m. - Grand and 26th

Found more :)

my two cents

So, it started with a dream that I found small change scattered all over the ground. I picked it up, though it was mostly pennies. I awoke, of course, to find the change was no longer under my pillow.

But that day, I found a penny on the ground. I had not found a penny on the ground in probably a few years. So I pocketed it, and went on my way.

A few days later, I found another penny. I thought that was funny...years without finding any change, then a penny two days in a row. But it got weirder. I started finding change on the ground every day, in different amounts. One day, I even found a small baggie lying in the grass that contained $1.35 worth of change. And one day, nearly 75 pennies were scattered all over the ground by the door of our apartment building. Another day, heaps of random, filthy change were in the laundry room lost-and-found. And when one day passed into the late hours a night and I had not found any money, I said to myself Okay, now the spontaneous money-finding has finally ended. Not true. While searching for the back of the remote moments later, I found three quarters in the couch cushions.

Some call it luck. I thought, at first, it was a funny, punny sign from God about all of the "change" that was happening in my life. And maybe, just maybe, they're "pennies from heaven."

After much prompting from my mom to start keeping track of the change, I'm finally going to start. I don't remember Monday's finding, but yesterday, I found a penny, a dime a few blocks later, and another penny.

Today: three pennies, a few blocks apart. The first on tails, the next two on heads.

I'll continue to keep an eye out, and keep you posted. I think it's God's way of saying I'm doing all right down here. But that's just my two cents.

(Photo by starlitmemories via Flickr)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

the truth?

When I ponder what I've done, and who I've been,
I see a multitude of deeds and faces.

I have never fit in where it was ideal to fit in,
but I have come to fit with the right people...there are
very few of them,
and that is okay.

For a significant portion of my time,
I have done less than my best...always
fully aware of it, and mildly bothered,
but not enough to find it important to do better.

To a few that loved me, I was not always faithful.
And though it's no error to tout proudly,
I never once offered an apology that was insincere,
not been more sincerely grateful to know with confidence
they were not meant for me
or my future.

There are truths I've never told,
faded into mere useless knowledge with time gone by.

There are even physical flaws I have
that I pretend no-one has ever noticed
in my discreet, effective efforts to mask them.
But one now, nearest and dearest to me,
has most likely seen all.
And he doesn't know that I love him more
because I know he sees
and he loves me anyway.

Among other things, sometimes I pretend
to care when I don't.
I invite company, when
I'd prefer to be alone.
I nod pleasantly to conversation I'd so much rather
plug my ears to.
I say "that's okay" so a few things here and there that really aren't okay,
to me.

But despite the changing facades and self-contradictory deeds,
despite the fact I have not always done my best
or cared to,
Despite my errors and kept secrets,
Flaws I pretend I don't have
and people I pretend I do enjoy,
there is one constant that pleases me:

I am aware.

To be flawed is only natural.
But to be aware of,
thoughtful about,
and sometimes proactive against these known flaws,
is a gift
I think.

Yeah, you're terribly flawed too.
And I'm crazy about you.

And there are few, if any, things I'd enjoy more
than to spend more time with you
seeing what we fall into or trip over...
just you and me,
and our intelligent recklessness,
laughing back and forth about it all.
because we can't possibly explain it.
And partially,
because if we could,
they'd all be wildly
(Photo by sokolokophoto via Flickr)

Monday, June 6, 2011


Tonight I am bothered that I miss you.
I think to myself,
You, mighty girl, are weak.
You, independent one, need another.
You, lover of solitude,
are lonely.

I wonder if I was better off before you.
Simply because,
when I was with the others I tried to love,
I always knew I was better off without them.
Better on my own.

But you brought my to a different level, a higher plane,
That was even better than the "better off" I was by myself.
And I knew I could never settle entirely for less than that
and I let myself rise and rise and rise anyways.

But you always leave,
and then I have to parachute down from that
and I am left dissatisfied.
Your eyes no longer compliment
Your lips no longer cherish
Your hands no longer explore,
or carry
or lead.

You give me your word.
And in case that isn't enough,
you give me your words.
Words and words and more words.

But today, I don't want that.
Keep your vowels and consonants,
which fail to pass as vows and constants.

I'm sorry, and it's no-one's fault

Today, words just aren't enough.

(Photos by sara*teresa, via Flickr)

Just a Moment (for my Grandpa Van)

At the assisted living home's gift shop where I volunteer my Saturday afternoons, a balmy June breeze was wafting in from the courtyard. It twinkled through the windchimes and ornaments, fluttered past the leaflets and napkins, and swept through hanging garments. And in walked an elderly man.

He was bent nearly halfway over, leaning heavily from one piece of stationary furniture or shelf to the next for balance. But unlike me (in my impatient youth), he didn't seem bothered one bit by the necessity of taking his time. He stopped finally in front of the greeting cards, and stood there for a long while. He'd pick one up, turn it in his hands, and read it with his eyes slanted downward through his thick bifocals, eyebrows knitted together. Occasionally, one would make him chuckle...or look perplexed...or shake his head at a poorly rhymed message. But finally, he held one in his hands that made him smile a deep, warm smile. And a few seconds later, he was slowly maneuvering himself over to the register where I stood.

"That'll be $1.50," said the pallid, red-headed Emily who works there too. She's been volunteering there for a long time, and it seems to the task to her has become more matter-of-fact: a business transaction: a social duty. For me, working here is magic...I learn something new about life every day simply by breathing the same linoleum-carpet air as these people.

And this difference may have played a part in her refusal, a moment later, to let the man take the card without paying.

"I left my money in my room," he said. And I could tell from the desperate look on his face that he was telling the truth, his eyes betraying the angst he felt toward making another long, lumbering trip back through long hallways and up trying staircases.

"I'm sorry," she said as gently as possible, yet still sounding too cool somehow. "We can't let anyone take items from the store without paying. But we'll hold it here for you while you get your money, and it'll be here when you get back."

The old man thought for a moment. "But I need to address it. And I'll have to make a trip to get my money, then a trip to address it, then a trip back down here to mail it," he said.

I stepped in with a meager excuse for a suggestion. "How about you write down the address when you're upstairs, and bring it with you and your money when you come back. That's just one trip and you can get it all done." I smiled, trying to sell the 'convenience' of the idea. Sure enough, he nodded, set the card on the counter, and ambled out the door and back down the hallway.

Two hours later, the old man had not come back to purchase his card. When I brought this to Emily's attention, she said, "Oh..yeah. He has Alzheimer's, so he probably forgot about it." And even though to most people that wouldn't be a heartbreaking statement...forgetting to buy a greeting card...I felt near tears. Because my Grandfather had had Alzheimer's and it's a mean disease that takes the nearest and dearest things to your heart away from you first...your memories, your efforts to reach out to your family, your nostalgia, your "moments." I was sad because I knew the old man hadn't just forgotten about the card for a couple of hours, but that he wouldn't remember to come back and get it, ever. Not the next day, or the next. He had had one fleeting moment to decide to get that card and get it before he forgot, and we had taken it from him.

Emily told me to put it back, so I made my way over to the rack, where I intended to put it right in front...just in case he came back the next day and part of him recognized wanting to get this card. But before I could tuck the card neatly back among the others, I read it.

"Thinking about you is natural.

Thinking about you is fun.

Thinking about you is wonderful...

I've been thinking about you a ton."

Maybe it was for his son or daughter. Maybe it was for a lady down the hall he'd taken on a walk through the garden, in whom he'd found friendship...or a friend who'd fallen ill.

But my heart ached. Because if he was anything like Grandpa, he had wanted to get it for his wife and his best friend. Perhaps he'd intended to prop it up next to her crocheting needles, or stick it next to the coffee pot, or lay it beneath a perfume she used everyday...a brush fuzzy with strands of her gray hair. And perhaps, even, those hiding places were all that remained of his companion in the empty apartment. Perhaps that card would have sat there for days, weeks, months...and he'd be ever-waiting for her to find it, read it, and come grinning around the corner into the room where he was reading the paper to give him a kiss.

"I've been thinking about you a ton."

And we'd taken his moment.

(Photo by FinnTasia, via Flickr)

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Mourning

Isn't it ironic that the most fresh,
beautiful part of the day
is called 'mourning.'
And this is my first thought
as I walk
and the lush, warm earth,
its green so damp and thick it's like
I'm laying face-down on the crabgrass,
fills my head, but not completely.
And sun, fogged into a butter yellow
by low mist,
turns the delicate hairs on my arm golden
against flesh tanned by recent
late-afternoon embraces.

Good mourning.

And that's just what this is...

A smile that aches,
sad eyes admiring a bright, present moment,
that in all of its joy still can only promise
to be what it is right now...
not tomorrow, not even the next minute.

I think fondly of you,
in the sun, the mourning, the quiet of my solitude
and steady steps.
You, who if you were a butterfly asked which colors
you'd like for your wings,
would say, "Silver"
Plain, and metallic gray,
so collectors would not pick you out
and paw your patterns
and pin your wings.
so you could fly unseen in dangerous weather,
a flicker in the air matching the
toppling raindrops,
A tired, stray leaf tossed amiss
in autumn breezes,
A brave speck, dismissed as debris,
batting and charging your way through the
mighty belly of a storm.
Wanting nothing more than to
and be lost in midair,
unnoticed, never causing a fuss
or calling attention,
but ever-elusively escaping to pursue
your own meandering ambitions.

The curve of my spine exposes its
dinosaur vertebrae, contouring against my skin in the light
as I bend low,
a slow descent to bury my face
in the open palm of a rose bloom.
I inhale as if attempting to leech its fuchsia sweetness
into the blue veins that web through my own peach petals...
Breathe, eyes closed,
as if by doing so I can create a sense
so powerful you will feel it from your miles away
and smile...
as if I could just stir up so potent a joy,
it will reach you
across the distance
and settle as thickly on your insides as
it is on mine.
As if I can close my eyes against the rest of the world
in such a way,
my thoughts will travel instantly to you,

My sleepy limbs outstretch, then,
to lift a seeded dandelion,
fuzzy silver and soft, a little old woman amidst
the vibrant, sturdy green standing rigidly around it.
She is weary, spine curved like mine
under the barely-perceptible weight of
her petals gone gray...
her bright yellow, turned silver.
The cool stem, clinging to my fingertips,
bleeding white.

Perhaps once, in her youthful, golden splendor,
she would have caught an eye or two,
or three,
even the hungry tongue of a vividly orange
monarch or boldy-striped bumblebee,
drawn to her splendid countenance that
reflected the wide-eyed laughter of the sun.

But now she is tired and withered,
having gently accepted her time of beauty
her time of purpose having arrived.
The silver of her seeds,
argued or weeds...
to become a new birth for others,
for something else,
for new purposes.
Attracting only, I imagine,
the eye of a tired silver butterfly that
wants not food, not sweetness,
no bright distraction...
Just a place to land
and rest his wings.

I draw my lips together,
as if in a subtle kiss to no-one,
take in a breath,
and release the heavy sigh I've built.
And when it lands,
it threads its fingers through her tiny silver seeds
and carries them
up, up, over
the loose strands of my hair,
sends them fluttering against my nose,
escaping my eyelashes
to catch the wind and fly away
to start over.

As I watch them disappear,
fading into the white of the mist
and the clouds,
I see your silver wings overhead.
They spread, and spread,
until they extend the full length
of the clouds and give them a
silver lining.

And I have had my moment.

The stem stays on the pavement,
and I continue on my way,
but somehow,
less so than I was a moment ago.

shivassana dream

I'm in the woods; it's winter. Thin branches, spindly and naked, thinly ink their lines against the deep blue of dusk like delicate calligraphy. They point to the full moon smiling wisely, broadly in the barren sky.

Down below, we are silhouettes, features precisely contoured...contrasted against the backdrop. Our shadows fall long, stretching over the untouched sparkle of fresh snow. I breathe in the frost, the scent of bark gone rigid with winter, leaves frozen like maple chips. The cold tightens the warm sponge of my lungs, and the familiarity hurts like Christmas lights through grandma's crocheted curtains and shag carpet between my toes. The quiet echoes like a cave without walls, trees shivering in the small passes of woodsy wind, making a sound like sitting deep into a wicker chair and hearing its woven strands creak under their burden.

You are there, just steps from me. And I don't know why, but you are smiling. The moonlight catches the messy tufts of your hair that pop out from beneath a cap: crocheted with bear ears. Your sister made it. You catch me staring, and something passes between us...a sudden discovery of something, though I don't know what. And as you take in the surprise on my face, your smile turns into a laugh. Your laugh erupts into a cacophony of laughter, toppling out into the darkness, shooting little clouds out from your lips and nostrils that expand and dissipate.

I ache for this winter moment, crave it: want it as badly as I want summer nights in January.

I make a sound then, which wakes me. This never fails.
My voice, drawing me out of it all before I get too comfortable...
before I get so lost in the "places-other-than-here"
that I can no longer come back.
This awakening, the subtlest and most vital efforts of the heart's survival.


Welcome to (now-here).
You've been here before: you were there a moment ago, and will be there again in a moment.

I chose this title for my blog because as many cliches would have it, all you have is 'now' and 'here.'  And Quite frankly, it took me a lot of life to finally trip and fall face-first over the true gravity of that realization. And everything about my person and my situation has changed as a direct result of finally understanding that the past is as good as gone and the future is a fruitless thing to rely on being there.

My life is on a verge.

I am satisfied with a good job, good home with wonderful friends, a good free/work-time ratio, and a good man in my life.
BUT, change is brewing. I'm turning 25 soon. New opportunities and talents are emerging.
And my best friend (that good man I mentioned) is moving to Alaska.

I'd hate to keep the creative juices that flow from this adventure to myself. Hey, what's this experience about anyways if you don't share it?

Looking forward to being (now-here) together. Hang on tight...