ISO a Stronger Connection

{*Published after the fact, back in the big city. I miss the quiet; my brain feels rattled already on a particularly noisy night in my ‘hood.}

I say all the time that I need to unplug more. All. The. Time. What does it take for me take to actually do this at this point in the frightfully embarrassing addiction/dependency game? Sad as it is, the physical absence of a strong WiFi signal, allowing me to power down and attention up. Tune in. Reconnect. Reboot. Re-root.

To listen. Really listen.

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The wind is the loudest thing I hear—and, now, also the glug glug glugging of paddles powering by on the nearby lake. I tune in more, and I notice that’s not all…more instruments contribute to this background playlist; there is a bird’s stuttering whistle, a neighbor’s faint sneeze, a cloth cabin strap’s boomeranging zinnngggg, a dog’s high-pitched yelp. I kick off my flops, cos I want to feel the pine needles under my toes, the Earth under the soles of my city feet.

The breeze blows, and I am cold, but I am happy. I am alone under this verdant canopy—just me and the trees and the slowly-lowering afternoon sun. (Oh, and that robin over there popping, hopping through a pine cone obstacle course of sorts.)

I try to read or journal or write or anything, but I get stuck watching the light dapples dance on the cabin “roof” next door. There is everything to see, everything to do—but nothing all at once.

This attentiveness, it is rare. It is needed. I vow (yet again) to get it back.

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Happy to Report, WANDERLUST Alive & Well Around These Parts!

I loved our Memphis-Oxford, Miss.-Nashville road trip so, so much.

I have oodles more to say—and a million jumbled words drafted—but, for now….photos!

Feeling emotionally grateful for these experiences, these adventures, these friends, this life I get to lead. Sometimes things feel like they’re moving a million miles an hour as of late, and I’m trying to take moments to pause, process and savor it all. I feel in the midst of big things, and I want to remember to be here—truly here—for every step of this unfolding journey.

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Thanks, South, for your warm hospitality! “Y’all come back now” shouldn’t be a problem for this traveler:)

Cyclical

Sometimes the ‘circle of life’ concept seems especially evident, strikingly in-the-face. During high-frequency weeks like last week—when there seemed to be so much movement—the duality seems particularly ironic. A week during which I learned that four beautiful babies were born (nearly all of them healthy) almost in the same breath that I heard that one well-loved dog had to be put down, a lifetime friend’s aunt is terminally sick and my grandfather is “ready to die” (expressed in his own tired language, some of the toughest words to ever hear from a loved one). How does this happen? How can all this goodness and sadness—these beginnings and ends—coexist, bundled up into one package?

Last week it was raining, and at times it got me down; but today I already forget that fleeting melancholy that hovered and then passed. Today the sun shines through the cafe window so powerfully and radiantly that it seems to penetrate my body, warming me (filling me) to the very core. I dream of springtime adventures, summer celebrations; I see promise and kindness. At least in this moment, I remember it’s all rooted in love.
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It comes, it goes, we fight it, we surf.  Keep on paddlin’, my friends. What a confusing but beautiful ride.

Weekend Pep

On a sunny Friday afternoon (of a really good week, after a kinda crap week), when my morning was filled with laughs, my mom sending pics from a joyous family celebration taking place back east, the weekend ripe with possibility & fun and my hood happily buzzing with gentle mondo-dogs, cyclists, joggers and lunchers with those unmistakable “weekend” smiles on their faces and pep in their steps, I feel really present. And really content. I’m where I should be. And grateful for it all. Happy weekend, friends.

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“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”~Thornton Wilder

Spring Day Musings

I am forever saying I need to break my addiction to/reliance on my phone, and I am feeling renewed inspiration to curb this bad habit after reading Rachel’s recent post. It’s not rocket science; I just highly suspect that my attachment to that lil machine, as well as to social media and my computer in general, doesn’t serve me well. It makes me more anxious, and it takes me out of the present. Big-time.

For example, on a day like today, a BEAUTIFUL, blue-skied Seattle day (welcome, Spring!), I was out on a wander (I took the longgggg route to the post office to mail some packages). But instead of enjoying it, I realized I was constantly checking my phone and feeling annoyed at the empty inbox and feeling guilty for this freedom, for all this time on my hands. But what am I doing with my life? kept rolling around up in that noggin. Stories. Ahh, the stories!

I am in a bit of a holding pattern at present (yep, again), one of those pesky, recurring freelance freeze-frames that test my patience and my ability to trust. But then today I started thinking: why am I not allowing myself to just relish this downtime and this beautiful place and all the simple pleasures that surround me? I would if I were on vacation or off on a global walkabout (like several of my friends are doing right now….). So why not now? What’s the difference?

So I forced myself to shut off my phone for a couple hours (okay, maybe only an hour-and-a-half…baby steps, people:)). I made myself really take it all in, to really SEE, to really listen. So much beauty!

The wind chimes, the dancing prayer flags, the seaplane engines, the gardening neighbors, the sunbathing black cat, the bike bells, the splash of ducks’ feet skating across the surface of the canal to secure safe landing. (And, I kid you not, a disintegrating tag (label?) floating in the water that read “CHILL.”)

Here are a few captures of the gorgeous day, taken before my phone went into glorious, peaceful OFF mode. This needs to be my new habit.

Happy Spring, y’all!

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Silence + Chatter

There are days when I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing—how I landed here, why exactly I am here, how long I should stay here, whyyy the heck I’m self-employed, whether I’m living enough/traveling enough/helping enough/trying enough. At times I frustratingly feel like I’m forever seeking, always on a hunt, perpetually off-schedule—while some people seem to so contently glide through the routine without so much emotion, without so many stinking questions.

Some days I lose perspective, and these queries and concerns play tag in my head, and I feel exhausted. The chatter: it is tiring.

Other days, I see so clearly that these questions don’t so much matter. That whatever the heck it is I’m doing, it’s okay; I’m onto something. I’m aligning myself, bit by bit, that much more with those things and those people and that music and those experiences that resonate with my soul. Some days, I am just so beautifully tuned in.

I am getting better at listening. To the chatter and to the silence.

My life is so full, and during certain, packed weeks, there is too much to even record. When I pause and push aside those nagging lacks, those voids that occasionally rise to the surface and ‘ping!’…. I am blinded by the light of all that is already there, of all that is already GOOD.

Here’s just a mere sample of the past couple weeks (great waterside brother time, awesome press events with AFAR Media, birthday celebrations that keep on giving, a VERY impromptu Lake City Dive concert—her voice!!, kitschy tea time, stress-releasing sun runs, St. Patrick’s whimsy, and through it all….some really fantastic company).

p.s. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What’s making you feel *lucky* these days?

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Duly Noted!

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Putting this one in my back pocket as I begin my 2014 wish list…:)

 

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