Jake Bids the Ghost Farewell August 22nd, 2013
“I’m not a monster. I only thought I was a monster because you were afraid of me. Well, that’s dumb. I’m not sorry that I’m not the monster you expected me to be. I’m not a creep either, but that’s another story. And you’re not unreal. And there never was any fantasy. That’s absurd. And so I’ll let it be, the prophecy, set it free, let it flee, go be happy in your misery, now I see, the mystery was me, and we were never a possibility.”
Nevermind July 14th, 2013
(the Passive Aggressive Raven)
Once upon an evening clear,
I invited over the Raven, my latest dear,
for dinner and a wine or beer.
But things ended up a little bit queer,
for food was late, so my anxiety went in high gear.
Feeling so wearied, to my Raven I queried:
“Darling, if you would be so inclined
to put these orange peels to the grind
and shrimp now brined in this pan with foil lined
and then you can unwind?”
and the Raven said simply, “no”.
To which I whined, “how could you be so unkind?”
the Raven just smiled and reclined with hands intertwined.
On heels I turned and sighed, “uhhh, nevermind.”
“Oh, don’t get your panties in a bind,” he said,
“it’s only half past nine. Instead, if you’re so inclined
to be wined, dined and – well – let’s just say
come on over here and we’ll find something else to grind.”
I just looked at him in disgust and said, “nevermind”.
“For months over you I pined”, I said,
“only to find you’re just another dirty mind.
Oh, how could I have been so blind?!
If only now in sight hind, I could press rewind.”
Puffed the magic Raven,
“sugar, there’s always room to redefine
so open a new door, seek out what you want to find”,
and called me to his side.
Now time passed, I felt I went blind,
having finished off the wine and like
I’d marinated in my own kind of brine,
our legs entwined, the Raven asked, “dinner?”
I reclined and signed, “oh, nevermind.”
Zonal Flow March 24th, 2013
A couple weeks ago I kidnapped myself and took me to Southern California. The initial reason for my trip was to do trail work on Santa Cruz Island, but as it happened I also got to spend a bit of time in Newport Beach with a couple of close friends.
When I lived in California I did hundreds of hours of trail maintenance with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council (SMMTC), mostly in the Santa Monica Mountains, but our group also developed a relationship with the National Park Service on the Channel Islands and have been going out there for about a decade. I’ve probably been out about 6 times, usually for a 4-day, 3-night excursion.
It was foggy this trip, the weatherman said something about “zonal flow”… I don’t know, but it reminded me a little of “June gloom”, only it was cooler and March. I don’t recall it ever being foggy on one of my trips to this part of the island, so it got another chance to make a first impression for me.
The trails didn’t have a whole lot of growth compared with some years, aside from Scorpion Canyon trail. Wednesday’s weed whipping began at the top of the trail. This kind of work is what I come out here for: sweat dripping, covered in plant debris and smelling of gasoline while enjoying sweeping views of the island, ocean and Ventura County. The second best I-like-to-be-useful experience was on Friday: we moved dirt around until we’d fashioned a 120 foot new trail diversion to “keep people away from the bat cave.” There was no sign of Bruce Wayne or Alfred, but we (hopefully) saved the bats and it was rewarding to see the end result.
In addition to the work there were a few other memorable island moments: A hike up to Montanon Ridge, a view of Potato Harbor like I’d never seen it before with the spectacular ever-changing fog, and on the boat ride back we happened upon some gray whale sex. None of my photos came out really, but I can confirm that it did look a lot like this. An interesting bit of trivia is they normally perform this activity in threes.
After the island trip I spent quality time with some friends who were RVing it in Newport Beach for the weekend. I always wanted to sleep in one of those granny’s attic parts of an RV and I got my wish. I also enjoyed some really fun kayaking in the bay past really expensive yachts and waterfront homes.
More photos on my Flickr.
California Dreamin’ March 12th, 2013
I flew to LAX yesterday for a week.
I’m expecting fresh air on my trip, yet I’m afraid I won’t be able to breathe.
A magnitude 4.6 earthquake southwest of LA shook things up 1 minute after my flight landed. I didn’t feel it.
Tuesday through Friday will be a working vacation. As it turns out, it is to be my 243rd week of my 244-week vacation. It will be on a tiny island in the Pacific without a big volcano, where the rule is that big things get smaller and little things get bigger. The crew list includes my dear old friends Barry and Jerry, me listed as “Liz Badman”, and someone I’ve never met before whose name means “good wind”. How poetic.
I planned this trip in January, at the same time I had a strange burning desire of unknown origin to move to Boston. The coast was calling, and I picked the other one.
I’m bookending (and beginning) the ocean voyage spending time with a couple of dear friends, one of whom seems like my publicly personal psychic at times. I’ve never been to see a ‘real’ psychic. I’m not the only one for my friend.
Yesterday afternoon I just wanted to lie on the hard ground and nap in the sun in front of a beautiful mountain. So I did.
It’s strange being back in a place I lived for 8 years. I’m a mix of who I used to be and someone new.
Invaluable February 28th, 2013
The theme for February was UNPREDICTABLE… according to a website I sometimes visit which gives monthly spiritually-directed forecasts. This intrigued me on a couple of levels, one, a forecast that is defined as unpredictable just makes me giggle. Two, the idea of a lot of unpredictable things happening just makes me feel hopeful and the opposite of bored. While I remain rather agnostic as to whether the forecast really is a forecast and applies to everyone, I find what is said there to be helpful and encouraging in general terms.
Here’s what my February was really like.
At the outset February seemed to be Circus Month:
Feb 2: Visindi Circus,
Feb 8: Moth Poetic Circus. Both of these events were spectacular and unique.
Feb 13: A friend and I invented a new holiday: Imperfectivus, in the spirit of Festivus, it’s “Valentine’s Day for the rest of us”.
Feb 14, Valentine’s Day: As a friend put it, in the news, “The Blade Runner was arrested for retiring a basic pleasure model.” That’s worse than imperfect.
Feb 15: That morning, it rained a sun in Russia. That evening, at the F#@&ing Unicorns “Taste the Rainbow” party, my last trade at the end of the night was for a gold coin necklace. I was also offered some marijuana. I turned down the pot but took the gold.
Feb 19: The toilet overflowed at the Hackerspace. I recalled the February “unpredictable” theme had, in fact, predicted “water issues”.
Feb 20: We found out someone wants to sign a 3 year lease on our space and we have to decide whether to move or not. My gut feel told me this was a good thing, however the Boulder market is tight and expensive so we’ll see.
Feb 23: Let’s just say that what happened today was tough and still is but hopefully something good can come out of it, or at least that it gets better than it feels now.
Feb 26: The flooding toilet was not a water issue after all, it was due to roots grown into the drain, i.e., a tree issue.
Feb 28: The fire marshall finally visited us too. Luckily we don’t have many issues there.
Also this month: I became VP of Education for my Toastmasters group and became (I think officially) Treasurer for the Boulder Hackerspace. I was also told I could expect a job offer; March finds me hopeful for that.
What of that prediction of “Unpredictable”? I would agree that there were a bunch of surprises… although some of these things were already set in motion, some felt like prophecy in hindsight, but then a lot of other things that could have happened didn’t. Glancing over the rest of what was said about February, it did ring eerily true.. but maybe it would feel that way if I substituted January as well.
As a side note, a friend saying “it’s just funny how things keep happening right after we talk about them” makes me lean toward saying that February was not all that unpredictable.
For me personally, in the end I would describe February as “invaluable”. A mix of hurting and healing, obscuring and revealing, rooting and reeling. I’ve learned a lot about myself this month, what is important to me, why, how it is different from what is important to other people, some things I will not change about myself, and that things are often not quite as they seem.
I wonder what March’s forecast will be… something to contrast upredictable? serenity? tranquility?
Wonderlost February 2nd, 2013
I wrote this last summer. It isn’t finished.
I remembered it the other day during a conversation with a friend and I decided to share these half-assembled fragments anyway, not so much because of the content, but rather as a statement about the symbolism and beauty of the unfinished. I could add a few paragraphs explaining what I mean by that, only I suppose I would never finish them… so I’ll leave it for you to ponder.
* * * * *
at the asylum we conspired
polishing twigs with sand
for the impossible fire
unburned upon the land
wood pieces of me
let what wasn’t be?
bury my treasure in the sand
happy by my own hand
be the gorgeous tease
if you please
I break the rule unwritten
shy but smitten
stuck in the middle
with a catch 42
there’s recursion for you
another dimension makes it simpler
the Wind carries echoes of the Sun
broken glass, broken clouds
The Observer chases its tale
like a Fairy Tale Fail
while we ponder the closure
clocks locked inside
buy another ticket
to not ride the Red Tide
. . .
like Sophie’s choice
when time isn’t
wild wild things
not to control
not to analyze
The Skye so bright
why spoil the connection
with one-sided affection
add another dimension
to belief’s suspension
Improbably Maybe December 31st, 2012
I remember passing myself the other day, going the other direction on my own path.
Waving frantically, my savvy Socratic self heartily held my hand and said: “Finally, what took you so long? Didn’t you get all those cryptic messages we sent you? You’re pretty dense sometimes.”
“I-I was busy, and my soul was caged, what do you expect”, stammered my insufferably stubborn insensibly sensible self.
“Yes, it was for a while – but you saw the mystical message from the Moon that we sent you earlier this month, surely you heard that.”
“I remember it well, indeed it spoke to me. But I get insecure and wallow in self-pity sometimes and miss stuff like this.”
Socratic self agreed, “Tell me about it… We saw you coming around though. We wondered if it was the words from the Sage that shook you out of your cage.”
“Hehe, yes that was … that became… oh, that’s the best part. I only realized I was set free by finding I’d fallen into the trap I’d fashioned for myself. Since then, I keep recalling all those other things I’ve been saying… when I really had no idea… I’m kind of embarrassed, so slow I am…”
“Surprise is best for you, we know you like to discover these things for yourself. At least you figured out that you are mysterious too, a product of your environment perhaps. That actually impressed me a little, renewed our hope in you.”
“I’d been giving up for some time,” my tirelessly timid and sometimes insecure self admitted. “I keep thinking, this is so like what happened last year. I called it ‘premembering‘ then… when it felt like I’d sensed the signs, but only really saw them after I passed them. Foresight in hindsight, I guess that’s called hindsight bias… But, this time I noticed it before anything happened… or, will anything happen? It does seem so highly unlikely.”
“That may be up to you. What do you mean by ‘anything’, and what makes you think it hasn’t? Time will have told.”
“Truly. And yes, the purpose may not be primarily personal, perhaps it points to peripherals along my path. Like they were saying in that meeting. May be more about ‘what’ than ‘who’. What has been revealed to me is only half – or maybe less – of it.”
“Oh, so you do listen to us once in a while, maybe you are learning after all,” sly Socratic self said.
“Of course I am. I just don’t always believe it. Reminds me of something I heard a machine say yesterday: ‘I need to remember the data points I predict wrong, otherwise, how am I going to learn?’”
“Definitely. It is discerning to disbelieve by default. And we can learn a lot from those we teach.”
Another LED turned on in insufferably sensible self’s head. “Jeez, I just remembered something else I said that matches up as I was writing this.”
“There’s a lot. You’ve barely scratched the surface.”
“What – what IS this? This… delightfully dizzying disentropy? Did I manifest this? Did you? Did someone else? Is there really such a thing? You’ve been saying ‘we’; who are you? I mean, are you just me, or multiple versions of me?”
Socratic self returned: “We are all one. We have always been here. We are primordial.”
“Huh? Oh never mind, I can’t look. It paints such a pretty picture, but I’ll destroy it by looking, I know I will. I better not dare say anything either, and no short-cutting. Focus on presence, not prescience. Practice patience to prevent pernicious peril.”
“So where are you off to?” sensible-sounding self asked.
“I thought I would prance around a bit in the slightly-more-predictable past for a while.”
“Nice. Maybe I’ll see you here again sometime soon.”
“It’s impossibly probable. Or improbably possible. Maybe…”
“We keep being preminded of Björk. Let’s listen to another one of her songs.”