Monday, April 14, 2014

K is for Mount Katahdin


Katahdin is my next big goal. It is the one thing that is calling my name, whispering to me to come hither and partake of the beauties of living.

I thrive on goals. I need something solid to set my sights on. Something I can look at and easily say, "I can do that. It will be hard and challenging, but I can do that." And once I step toward that goal all other things seem to fall into place. All the emotional and spiritual awakenings do their sorting out within as I move toward something my brain can imagine.

It's the same with writing novels. My brain likes having this idea and this goal of completing a story. And my heart and my soul do all the magical workings along the way as I show up with my pen and paper. Then the beauty, the pain, the laughter, the connections of human to word to human all come together and the story is made.

Existence is a beautiful, wonderful thing. It's not something my brain can put into words, but I feel like all aspects of myself work together. I need to satisfy my brain and my logical-thinking self by establishing concrete goals like getting myself from point A to point B, and no matter what those goals are, my soul finds the people I need or digs up the lessons I need to learn.

Everything always works out. Sometimes I call it luck. Maybe Karma is a better word. I think it has to do with how I send out my messages of need and want and I take steps in a direction that feels right and then everything falls into place.

I'm feeling like all this is vague. But, my point is, I'm embarking on a journey and I'm ready to grow along the way.

Write on!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

J is for Joni Mitchell

Because she is awesome.
Big Yellow Taxi. Seriously. The range of her voice!

Also, my all time favorite song of hers is Both Sides Now. More and more I am learning how true this song is.

"I've looked at life from both sides now. From win and lose and still somehow it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all."

Here are two versions, which make this song all the more beautiful because she sang them at different times in her life with such different sounds.







How amazing is it to have some music and some words that hold so much truth even after many years? Between 1970 and 2000 the words are still true, but the way you sing the song is different. Anyway, it's beautiful. Like all beautiful, truthful words--it can be applied on so many levels and to so many people.

"Something's lost, but something's gained in living everyday."

Write on!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I is for Into the Wild

Into the Wild by John Krakhauer is a beautiful book about a beautiful soul who set out in search of a magical connection with nature. He was a brave soul. A soul who not many can understand.

Alex Supertramp (or Chris McCandless) was a soul who followed his heart away from the world which we all know filled with money and responsibility and little boxes all made of ticky tacky into the beautiful wilderness of freedom. His journey, while being very focused on actual wilderness (mountains, plants, wildlife), was more about connections and love and people than anything else.

For a long time I have felt this sort of urge within me which I'm sure Emerson or Thoreau or Kerouac all would understand perfectly well. It's a sort of pull away from all the norms and established "successful" ways of living into a more organic, uncharted realm of the earth. I have often thought that this urge of mine was simply to "escape" into the mountains away from people and expectations. I think that Chris McCandless had this same idea--that he needed of fill this weird void or satisfy this pull by going into the wild and living off the land. Not to give away anything in the book if you haven't read it (but also to give it all away!), he discovered that as beautiful and wonderful as the great outdoors is, "Happiness is only real when shared." People are essential to our journey.

It has been a dream of mine to hike the Appalachian Trail from end to end--roughly 2,200 miles spanning from Georgia to Maine. I need to be outside. I need the trees and the dirt and the rocks and the sticks. I need the birds. The bugs. The sun. The rain. I need to be alone in nature. But I also need people, too. The AT will be perfect for both of these necessities. Hundreds of people hike the AT every year. It offers a fantastic little community all of its own while giving place for true nature experiences.

This year I will follow this feeling I've had for so long. I will step into the wild, into the realm of love, into a new life and finally scratch this itch on my heart.

Life is meant to be lived. To be loved. To be enjoyed. So I will do just that because "the freedom and simple beauty is just too good to pass up."

Write on!

Friday, April 11, 2014

H is for Hercules

And, yes, of course, Sara Bareilles--again.
Music is a very beautiful thing. Right now it is huge reminder to me that I am not alone despite how very alone I feel. Words and music together are perhaps the most beautiful thing in all creation--that's not true, but still it is such a phenomenon. Such a wonder.
Music holds so much emotion and energy it amazes me sometimes. Music and words do what most other things fail to do: connect souls.

The wild thing about music is that we can find connections to it on so many levels and in all different stages of life. Here is a beautiful song that I love to belt out in the car just because it's got a sound that really jives with my soul. The words have recently taken on a more significant meaning for me and I'm finding myself loving this song and feeling connected to it on a much deeper level than before.

Hercules by Sara Bareilles

I'm on a hunt for who I've not yet become.
But I'd settle for a little equilibrium.
There is a war inside my head gone silent.
Both sides dissatisfied and somewhat violent
The issue I have now begun to see: I am the only lonely casualty.
This is not the end, though.

This is my darkest hour.
One road has led me out here.
I only need turn around to face the light.
And decide flight or fight.

(sorry you have to go watch it on Youtube! but still be sure to listen to it).


Write on!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

G is for Good Grief

Except really it is for bad grief. Or maybe just grief.

Grieving is hard. I do not like it.
Everything sets me off.
A little leaf on the ground with a bunch of other little leaves on the ground.
Sticks.
Mud.
Trees.
Birds.
"I wish I were a bird, she said. So you could fly away? No. So we could be together with no thoughts of yesterday."
Songs.
All the songs.

The tiny click of a lock makes me feel as though I'm being stabbed in the chest.
The smell of peppermint makes me cry.
The smell of rain makes me cry.
The smell of some of my clothes that I wore last week makes me cry.
The sound of the neighbors enjoying each other next door makes me cry.
Frisbees make me cry.

Sometimes I think of something that I want to say to someone. And that makes me cry.
Or I think of how it would be nice to do this or that down the road. And then I cry.

There are days when I just can't do this. It hurts too much.
And I all I do is ask WHY?
Why?
Why?
Why?

But there is never an answer.
Only "I don't know."


Write on!



Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Friends

People are the most important thing we have in this world. They are always there (even if maybe sometimes not the same ones are always there). And they provide the deepest, most amazing connections we could ever have as humans.

Making friends isn't always the easiest thing to do. It was really easy for me when I was in school. There were all these people around me doing the same things that I did, stuck in the same classes I was, and that made it easy to find someone to talk to. Outside of school is not quite as easy for me. I make friends at work, but because of my line of work as a firefighter I have to say that my style of "hanging out" doesn't really jive with my co-workers too well most of the time.

Despite not having a set place where I can trap people into being my friends, it seems like people always find me. They talk to me randomly on the street at a festival and invite me to a vegetarian potluck. You know, or something like that.

I'm learning more and more that it's important to cultivate those friendships. To keep in touch with people even when life moves across the country.

I have some very awesome friends and I'm so grateful for them. So grateful that they have stuck around in my life and tried to keep in touch with me. So grateful that I have people to talk to, to laugh with, to learn from, and to enjoy.

Thank you friends for being in my life! Thanks for all the love.

Write on!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Everyday

Read everyday. It makes you smarter.
Write everyday. It makes you a writer.

Write on!

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Divorce, Divide, and Decide

di·vorce
diˈvôrs
Divorce is a touchy subject for most humans, but I don't think it should be. As I experience yet another great divorce in my life, I'm finding that it's important to talk about it. Every human has experienced divorce in some way or another. Maybe it's having parents who legally dissolve a marriage, or one's own legally dissolved marriage. Maybe it's the separation of oneself from a church or religion. More often it is leaving a job, selling a car, giving up meat.

Divorce is a very essential part of life. I have divorced myself from so many habits and perspectives that I am no longer the person I was ten years ago--and thank the universe for that! If we do not break away from certain aspects of our lives then we can never truly grow and expand and learn.

But divorce isn't always easy--in fact it hardly ever is. It's a heart-wrenching process most of the time. Right now, my current divorce is the hardest I have ever experienced--which says a lot. Divorcing my ideals of being a straight female destined to become a wife and mother was hard. Divorcing my church and consequently my beliefs, life goals, and knowingness was painful and heart-breaking. It seems that everything must go through an upheaval before a big beautiful change. I suppose this is mine now.

Following a divorce is the dividing of things. Sorting out which books to keep, what clothes to discard, who to keep in contact with, where to cross out on the map. But it's also a dividing of the heart, the mind, the emotions. No matter how different a person I am in this moment compared with who I was ten years ago, I have not lost that other part of me. I am the same while not being the same at all. My soul has divided into sections, the past me still there in my experiences and memory, the present me confused as hell, and the future me always a magical unknown.

Even in all the chaos and confusion of divorce and division, decisions still must be made. The world is infinite and there are infinite possibilities. The important thing, for me, when it comes to deciding is always ALWAYS follow your heart. Go with your gut. And once you've done that everything falls into place. Love prevails. Beauty abounds. Peace ensues.

Maybe it's true that as we get older life only gets harder; it seems to be that way now. But, I've also noticed that with more difficulty comes more beauty. Here's to a lifetime of divorce, love, and beauty.

Write on!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Control, Alt, Delete


Five years ago I felt as though I had zero control over my life. I kept feeling intense attractions towards some of my female friends, and they would not go away (the attractions, I mean). I wanted so badly to be straight and "normal" and to carry on with an average, happy life. No matter what I did, I couldn't change it.

In a panicked-turned-numb sort of state, I decided that if I couldn't control anything else, I could at least control a knife. After making calculated designs on my skin with a razor blade, a stranger caught a glance at my arm in a moment of my own carelessness. As a past self-abuser herself she knew exactly what my cuts were. I expected a lecture or some kind of "talk," but it didn't come. All she said was something like, "Wow. What control." And finally, I had my validation. Someone could see that I really did have control. I had power.

Right now, I'm finding myself in another place where I have no control. I feel powerless. I feel lost. There is nothing I can do to get back what I thought was mine to keep forever. I feel frantic and panicked and anxious.

This time, though, I don't feel the need to have control. I mean, I still have my humanness so I do still want control. But, I'm learning this time around that there are some things that I cannot change. Things that I cannot control or fix alone.

Without a control button, the next thing I can think to use is Alt. When life becomes uncontrollable it's time to find an alternative route. I had a lot of plans. A lot of ideas for what the future would hold for me. How I might proceed. Who I might proceed with. Where I might proceed to. According to a lot of people I live a fairly "alternative" lifestyle. Now I've got to find an alternative alternative.

As with all new books and new chapters, it's important to kill your darlings to make the best version possible. Sometimes you've got to delete a few of your favorite lines, throw out some of your favorite dresses, and pack away some of your favorite photos. For me right now, it's time for some Spring cleaning.

Who knows, maybe I'll even use all three buttons at once and completely re-boot the computer.

Write on!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014