Packin’-palooza

These past days I’ve been buried deep (again) in the sorting and purging and packing that’s all leading up to the big move at the end of this week. Ack.

(It is my belief that, when packing, things always have to get worse before they can get better….Don’t worry, my room’s come a LONG way since this photo!)

It’s good that I’ve been busy and distracted as of late, cos mostly I’ve been feeling a wee bit scared. And pretty sad. But this is to be expected, I know. (And I’m also feeling very, very grateful. I have so much support in this leap.)

It’s late, and I’ve said “see ya later” to two of my oldest, dearest lifetime friends today. I can’t let my mind wander there too much right now…I’ll save the waxing poetic for another day. (On a cross-country train ride perhaps! Any podcast or new music suggestions for the long journey, by the by?)

I found the quote below pasted in an old journal of mine. I find it reassuring. I am tired, but I am gradually gearing up for this adventure. I’ll find my courage again. (People try out these cross-country swaps ALL the time, after all.) In the meantime, I’m trying to embrace this question-asking year…:)

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”~Zora Neale Hurston

BYO Zen

“The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.”

~Robert M. Pirsig, ‘Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’

These words feel appropriate to me right now as I think about expectations relating to my upcoming change of locale. I can’t seem to find too many of my own words these days as I turn in, hunker down,  muster up and sort out, gradually building towards the next step in this adventure.

But something tells me I’ll be needing to write a lot very soon. For now I’m just working on finding my way and cherishing cozy time with my DC clan. It’s the 23rd which means it’s officially fall. Yeeha! I love this season, and this year I feel especially hopeful and excited.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Training it

I am on Amtrak, and I am digging this mode of travel…I’m cruising south after a mostly fantastic, spontaneous 48 hours in NYC. Xavier Rudd’s lyrics are perfectly speaking to me as we whiz over a Scottish-like, steel-hued lake. It often felt like I spent my entire junior year abroad staring out a train window watching the landscapes of Europe whirl by, so this is a familiar and welcome return.

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Do I have it in me to REALLY test my love of train rides and travel cross-country via Amtrak in the very near future?? I’ve been known to do crazier things:) Stay tuned….

Doc rec!

Documentary, that is. If you love docs as much as I do, I’ve got a great one for you.

“Exporting Raymond”…..check it out! Pretty funny and undoubtedly fascinating. Ah, the old familiar ‘lost in translation’ bit. Russia’s been up there on my travel list for awhile now, and this film only made me more antsy to book my next international ticket ASAP. But I’ve got some domestic stuff to figure out first…

Hope the weekends were good, y’all.

Fall-like Friday…enjoy it!

(Virginia wine country, taken last weekend)

I love this quote (thanks, A:)). Have a wonderful weekend, y’all.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”~Rainer Marie Rilke

Plodding down Memory Lane

I’ve been digging through memories over here–sorting through old notes, cards, ticket stubs, photos, school tests, you name it… relics of my past. Pieces of paper that, in a way, create the story of ME (thus far).

It has become a PROJECT, I tell you–beautiful, funny, embarrassing, nostalgic, fascinating and draining all at once.

I felt relieved when a friend wrote me last night, admitting how a similar memoriblia-sorting knocked the wind out of her awhile back. She asked if I’d “sufficiently prepared for the emotional strength required” for such a task. (The answer: apparently not!) I no longer felt so silly for finding this sifting such a tiring, sentimental process.

In these baskets: There is the computer-printed invitation announcing a 4th grade birthday party at Spinster’s t-shirt-making shop (every child’s dream); there are creased and doodled-on notes passed “sneakily” across junior high classrooms. There are letters upon letters from my dad systematically giving  kind words of wisdom and encouragement over the years (he expresses himself best in lists sometimes:)) plus oodles of chatty cards from my mom lovingly Air Mailed to me around the globe.

It all reminds me of who I was, where I’ve been, who I am and where I’m headed. In these pages I see the collective story of my life–the roots from which I come, notes from those who have long been my supporters, those from whom I’ve since drifted and, sadly, occasionally from those who have passed on.

I’m tossing a lot of stuff, but saving the gems. Some of it I happily throw away; some of it is just too good to part with. I want to carry it with me awhile longer. It’s exhausting. But it’s therapeutic and wonderful too. A lot of full, rich life has been squeezed into these flimsy, wee baskets.


The perfect summer night

(*written somewhere high above Washington state, Aug. 31)

Last night was magic. We ate at an alfresco cantina, dining on deliciously fresh dishes presented in cookbook-ready perfection.

After dinner the car veered left, away from their house. They wouldn’t tell me where we were going  (my brother, I’m learning, is a huge lover of surprises). We passed through Fremont, then Ballard, still trucking…drifting farther farther farther west. A quick mystery stop at Fred Meyer, then we approached our destination. The clues started to come together.

We rounded the bend–past a fish ‘n’ chips shack, past a surf shop or two. The water came into sight, a dark, shiny surface catching bits of evaporating evening light. Fluorescent pink shards split the fractured sky into a rapidly evolving kaleidoscope. We landed our toes on soft sand just in time to watch evening fade to night, that sentimental and dazzling hour when darkness drops the curtain on another day.

On the serene sands, groups huddled around pits from which pyramids of flame peeked out. Down the length of the beach, glowing orange balls danced (whipped around by limber fire throwers). Our neighbors’ laughter and guitar strums lazily drifted down the beach, mingling with our pit’s happy chatter. The gentle waves lapped nearby. Sheer magic. Summer, as it should be.

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”~Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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