Timing is everything

Damn, I needed that. With a few interesting exceptions, my vacation was simply magical. Lots of driving gorgeous winding roads, time to stare off into space and think, time to write, and lots of time to walk, hike, and bike in the woods. Perfect. I rolled back into town all blissed out, giggling about how fascinating timing worked out for the whole trip – an available beach cabin last minute, camping spots, catching the ferry just right. Even though the sailing on the Lady Washington was cancelled, I drove down the coast with the windows down and the music turned up and singing along.

Biking and hiking are excellent, immediate treatment for panic attacks and hyperactivity. Sometimes I just have to run that energy out. This was like a therapeutic, mobile spa and holistic treatment vacation, but fun as hell. I fasted a little, ate mostly super healthy, and drank lot of water – until I was too scared to leave my tent in the middle of the night so I had to violate my nalgene water bottle. Why yes, I did also have a night light in my tent – don’t judge.

One of the places I camped borders on 20+ miles of hiking and biking trails – I love those biking trails so much that I sometimes dream about them. The prehistoric looking forest of tall trees, and intense green ferns and undergrowth. Plus this time of year there’s giant pink azaleas (or rhodies? Always get them confused) popping out of the forest in bursts of color. So gorgeous. After rolling onto the island I couldn’t even make it to morning coffee without feeling the pull – I flipped a u-turn and went for a quick ride just to take the edge off. I quickly felt new, pretty intense love for my tank of a new bike. The bigger rims and fresh shocks rolled right over everything. It was orgasmic to bounce over bigger roots and rocks no problem. I didn’t push too hard since I was out in the woods by myself with no one knowing where I was, but I did try some new trails and went a little faster – because why not try to rock at it even a teeny tiny bit?

It wasn’t until hours later that I had a what I will call a history-related panic attack – it woke me up, hit hard. I wasn’t able to sleep much all night, couldn’t eat much the next day, battling the flood of feeling like a failure that should just die, and why was I there in a place with so many bad memories – wtf? I fought it off, but still felt too vulnerable to go off the island via the suicide bridge. I wasn’t expecting the intensity of the feelings, it made me super sad all over again. What made it worse was realizing that the pilots would probably mock knowing that I was bolting off the island in tears yet again – that crazy bitch. Yeah. Then when I smoked a joint on my favorite beach – just on principle – airplanes flew over me and I called it a win, like the universe was rebalancing the energy. Sometimes the tiny moments are all we get. I will focus on how amazing it was to have so many of those moments in one week. #gratitude

SOTD
Airplanes – Gary Allen
Back On Holiday – Robbie Nevil
Hurricane – Luke Combs

 

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Whitewater dreams

Despite being completely trashed and stained with toxic smoke from the fire, I haven’t been able to give up my kayaks. I bond with equipment that’s seen me through near death experiences. Especially on such a regular basis. I paddled that IK through, around, under, and over shit that it was absolutely not rated for, and my hard shell – oh the messy stories.

It got to be so much fun paddling the IK that I got intensely addicted- the low profile, the not having to dodge rocks with my head when I got flipped over, unlike a hard shell boat. My other boat hasn’t seen any whitewater in longer than I can remember, and that’s not going to change. It’s just a cool boat; an old but playful and pretty little river runner with a tendency to stern squirt if you aren’t paying attention.  Maybe I’ll take a few pictures, cry a little, and release them into the universe.

I still dream of whitewater and I know I’ll find a way to get out there again someday. Being out on the water in any way is heavenly – whitewater, flat water, whatever.

SOTD

High – Sir Sly
Don’t Worry – Appleton

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Running

SOTD

Let Your Love Flow – Bellamy Brothers
Can’t Let Go – Mariah Carey
Shotgun Rider – Delbert McClinton
Stuttering – Ben’s Brother

The urge to run is nearly overwhelming, and I’m sure I could talk about it for hours with a good therapist, but I’m just going to go with it. Sometimes action can do more than anything. I’ve been battling the wolves long enough to know what intensity of a brain reboot that I need. Just a moment to step away and I can manage.

Life would be so much easier if I was smarter and knew the right things to say at the right time. How messy and brutal life can be. Can’t wait for a few more of the magical perfect timing moments.

 

 

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Waiting on the deck

Puddletown has burst into an explosion of colors, plants in blooms of all shades. Walking or biking in the park becomes intense art and color therapy. Form and color in such saturated hues and green everywhere. I feel incredibly lucky to live in such a spectacular part of the world.

It’s so close, so I run around in the woods whenever I have a spare moment. The forest is like a warm and welcoming wonderland, and I never get tired of it. The city does have advantages though, even if it is getting super crowded. We can fit more, and lord knows there’s plenty who need a safe and beautiful place to live. It sucks that there’s so much for humans to be running from. Such awful things we do to each other. And here I am – stuck on the quote “Don’t build a wall, build a deck and invite everyone.” (seen on a billboard)

SOTD
Big Green Tractor – Jason Aldean
Colors – April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Green – Dandy Warhols
Oh What A Thrill – The Mavericks

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That song

The last week before vacation and I can barely concentrate. Just for variety and to relieve the springtime blues, today I signed up for an archery lesson, a river sailing, a float tank session which sounds super interesting, and finally bought a smarter phone. My coworker nearly fell over in shock. I know, I’m way behind the technology curve. It’s not by choice, it’s because I’ve been busy trying to survive amidst always worrying that my illness will flare up again to the point of debilitation. The fun cool gear has always seemed out of reach, no matter how many jobs I juggle at once.

Now I have a little extra money, free weekends, and what the hell. Life is short and I refuse to wait to do all the things I can manage. It’s a bummer that so few people are up for regular adventures. I do them on my own which is fun, but dear lord I would love some good company. I’m stuck inside my head too much, I need to hear new stories, and I’m seriously in hug/touch deprivation.

SOTD
Wanna Be That Song – Brett Eldridge
I Threw The Rest Away – Tracy Lawrence
Treat Me Like Your Money – Macy Gray

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Off the line

I could surrender more to the beautiful glory of electric engines if they only had the growl of a turbocharged internal combustion asphalt tearing muscle car. It’s that low rumble that gets right to my soul – and a few other parts. There’s a reason I get all excited on road trips, and only part of it is the destination. The journey can be sexy as hell.

My baby just rolled over to 230,000 miles. I’m so proud of her. There have been both zip ties and duct tape holding bits of her together at various times. I wish I could find a dependable and cheap mechanic to put a new engine in her, preferably with a turbo. Sleeper cars are the best – she looks well weathered but that would be amazeballs if she could beat something shiny and expensive off the line. Hilarious. The rumble would be even better under that modest hood, and God/Goddess/FSM/BSOC knows I would love sitting on a bunch of wild horsepower.

SOTD
Tremble – Animotion
Shameless – Garth Brooks
Head On – Jesus and Mary Chain
Ladylike – Storm Large

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The sweaty chemicals of happiness

SOTD
Love Will Turn You Around – Kenny Rogers
What I Wouldn’t Do – Serena Ryder
Inside and Out – Feist
The Girl Gets Around – Sammy Hagar
Ain’t No Cure For Love – Leonard Cohen

I had to start with some music today, since I am creatively constipated. Nothing is coming out; I sit down to write and can barely remember what language I know. Part of the problem is that I’m trying to express things that I have never been able to find words for. It takes me a very long time to communicate exactly what I mean, and it’s even worse when I’m talking. Usually art helps, because I can express things in form and color instead. That’s why I created hundreds of paintings when I was experiencing emotional trauma – super therapeutic. Even better when people started buying them, but that’s another story. Now I can’t even paint anymore- and I can’t stand the paintings I finished recently, they’re terrible.

The words are dancing around and eluding me, and I’m trying to figure out how to confront the real issue that’s preventing me from actually sitting down to seriously write or paint. It’s stupid and brutal and I know exactly what it is, but calling it by name still doesn’t make it go away. Procrastination hasn’t worked either; now I have art and writing stuck in my head and when I do have time, I just sit and stare at my studio space, completely overwhelmed.

Clearly I need more exercise; working it out physically helps immensely. The sweaty chemicals of happiness, and toxins releasing from the body. I can think of a fun adult way to get sweaty and stimulate the muse; I guess we’ll see what potential there is to release that this weekend. That always helps me just let go. I do want to go slow with this amazing guy though; perhaps I’ve finally learned caution and patience. Somewhat. Then again, impetuous “great ideas” have had some interesting results in the past.

#messy

SOTD, Part II
Oh What A Thrill – The Mavericks
Goodbye Is Forever – Arcadia

 

 

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The need for art

One of my favorite parts of the creative process is when you can’t wait to get up in the morning to see it. I love to examine how the now-dried paint has changed the feel of the paintings. The texture and color of  the design seen with a rested pair of eyes

I’m working on a series of three tiny paintings; it works best when I have multiple projects going at once, and I can bounce back and forth. The variety is like cross training for my creative brain. Art projects are wildly therapeutic- they extra help me with the messy and painful parts of life. At those times I especially love to read about other artists and what expressions they used to reflect the human experience.

It’s so valuable for society to have art;  what miraculous things humans can create… and everything that’s ever been created by humans was once just an idea floating around in someone’s brain. I just wish more of the creations were for humans doing fantastic things, and less destruction.

Politics are not my favorite thing to talk about; but as a single, childless, female writer/artist, I’m revolted by our current administration. How awful to have more creepy old white guys pretending to lead us, while they dismantle and destroy the very fabric of our society. They have gone mad with power and greed.  What’s the point of fighting, if we don’t have the beautiful natural world, and the beautiful creations that humans come up with? Is there really that much money and satisfaction in war and divisiveness? We can do so much better.

Quote of the year: “Don’t build a wall, build a deck and invite everybody.”

SOTD
Waiting for a Light That Never Comes – Linkin Park
Beethoven’s 9th
Collide – Howie Day
Baby Likes to Rock It – The Tractors

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A pathway of letters shooting out into space and finding their way to you

One post in particular that I wrote keeps getting read over and over. It’s not one that I expected, but I like it. I doubt it’s getting read by who it was meant for, but really – what ever works out like we hope? As a writer, it’s pretty glorious to have a wide open forum to talk about anything I can imagine, and I’m delighted and grateful that I have readers at all. There’s not much I can do about who reads it, or when, or how often. Holy crap I am wildly curious though. And oh yes, I do wish. Blame it on the dreamy romantic idealism of a writer.

Yeah, I know reality will constantly give me hard lessons in what is more likely to happen. I got all kinds of stories about that. But it’s the happy ending fun adventure kind of stories that the world needs more of.

SOTD
Seven Year Ache – Rosanne Cash
Hard Lesson – The Burned
Light You Up – Shawn Mullins
The Way To Your Heart – Soul Sister

 

 

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Steam whistles in the night

 

My weekend was pretty quiet, so I headed down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. I thought a few pictures of cool trains would perk me up. My favorite is the photo of a black and white photo of a train pulled into the railroad station. I’ve had dreams that look exactly like that, it was like seeing a memory.

The smells of the center, the beautiful curves and sleek design of the rail cars made me think of steam engines and that long, haunting steam whistle that pierces the night. Couples parted forever, or the wild elation and bitter sorrows that can be found at any train station in the world.

SOTD

Fast Movin’ Train – Restless Heart
Du Hast – Rammstein
All Is Forgiven – Siren

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