How can I mourn my loss when people across Colorado are mourning much bigger losses? This is the question that has been plaguing me for the past few days. How dare I feel sad? Why don’t I simply feel grateful for all I have? Doesn’t something like the Aurora shooting put everything else into perspective? Over the weekend, on lovely San Juan island, I had a moment where I thought I might get there. Maybe I could be done with mourning. I don’t spend every hour of every waking day mourning, certainly. But when it gets me, it gets me. My brief possibility of something else came to a halt yesterday. After traveling, a lovely weekend, the build up to my 2nd big performance on the stand-up comedy stage, and the actual performance (which was a blast and well attended by my lovelies), I woke up yesterday flat and flattened. I got to cry, then laugh with my women’s group yesterday, then continued to randomly shed tears off and on. Then today I awoke with the funk alive and well and camped out in my brain. Yes, I absolutely adore my new car and get quite happy every time I drive it. Yes, I love my dogs and take comfort when I smell their sweet heads. Yes, sleeping next to Tigger leaves me content even when he twitches for most the night. Yes, I love my husband and my friends. Yes, I am healthy. Yes, I need to mention that fabulous new car again! And, yes, we are a short time away from 2 plus weeks on our sailboat - thank God.
Bob at Lime Kiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island says he has never seen anyone reactionless the first time they see a whale. Some emotion bubbles up whether it’s a laugh, tears or a frequently a joyful scream. In his view, not a lot unites us humans as much as seeing these magnificent creatures. Today, I hope to find out for myself. The 3 pods that live off of San Juan island are usually somewhere to be found. All sorts of regulations are in place to protect these creatures but typically the courageous captains can find them during summer season. Today, we will head out with 30 other souls hoping for a peak. Bob shared a poem by a student of his as she beautifully described her first Orca siting and subsequent life-altering shift. Never the same again, she was. My ears perked up at this. An experience that changes you forever? Sign me up. Pronto.
What kind of world is this we're living in... Takes a lot love takes a lot love these days to keep your heart from freezing to keep your spirit free... oh my oh my David Grey “My oh my”
What in the world is going on with the world? What in the world is going on in Colorado? Last night, 12 people were killed as they enjoyed a movie. The account is brutal - people mistakenly thinking the arrival of a gunman was some strange stunt for the Batman premier. Chaos ensuing, people scrambling, terror breaking out. Suddenly forest fires are not the worst thing happening in our state. Still devastating to us. Still devastating to those that lost loved ones. What makes one tragedy any worse than another? Nothing really to those that lose loved ones. Nothing at all.
As I prepare for my talk tomorrow at Inside Edge in Orange County, I wonder what will come out of my mouth, much as I wonder what will come out of my hands as I sit in front of the computer on a regular basis. If this weak hotel coffee doesn’t kick in soon, I may never know. Instead of the impulse to write, I have an impulse to flee to the nearest Starbucks for a Venti Quad latte. The hotel is quiet. The room is comfortable. The setting is perfect for the day I have planned of a few client calls and the rest for writing. Suddenly, the perfect plan seems thwarted. I am fuzzy headed and wondering if I have anything to say at all. Deep down, I feel the reservoir. Sometimes it laps the surface, other times it is so far away I forget it’s there. Should I label it a reservoir of life or wisdom or truth or strength? Without enough caffeine in my system, I want it to remain label-less - for the moment. Or maybe forever.
We are faced with decisions daily. Some that will alter the course of our lives, others that will merely take us to the next moment. It’s easy to look back and second guess. But from any vantage point there is always the next crest where we can see even more. We evaluate how something is or looks in a moment, make a decision, then judge our decision a little further along the way. But on the next peak, everything may look differently. And, viewed from space, it just might make sense. We made the decision to buy a trailer and live on the land. Soon after, the “stank” appeared which instigated the exploration inward to uncover the odor. 3+ months later, after various patching attempts and septic pump-outs, we have learned that the problem is a much larger than hoped. Not only does the tank need to be replaced but the wood underneath the bathroom floor has rotted due to the leakage of sewage over time. Lovely, huh? And, yes, it seems absolutely impossible that the dear sweet couple who sold it to us were in the dark... As you know, we moved out a few weeks ago due to the excessive heat and lack of shade which was also a bump in the road we didn't anticipate. Did we make the wrong decision to buy the trailer and attempt that path?
Friendship. Kindness. Love. Connection. These are the things that get us through. Moments of contact with another human being; the willingness to stop for a moment and be with each other without agenda; snuggling on a couch; walking holding hands; a random phone from a busy concert just to check in. These make my world go round in the best way. The chaotic spin shifts to normal rotation. My head stays glued to my neck versus flying off into space. My soul is fed versus slinking away to die. Monday I went to Boulder to see Linda my dear friend from Florida whom I have known since 1990. Linda has been there thick and thin through many stages of life. And, even more importantly she loves my dogs as her own and made frequent trips to Colorado to house and dog sit when we traveled, sometimes not even seeing me. This is the first trip she had to stay elsewhere. We met in Boulder to do our usual routine of consignment store shopping, strolling and talking. I was particularly grumpy, sure at this point that a wicked case of PMS, that robs me of the ability to see or experience anything good, has become my new monthly visitor. Angsty, coming out of my skin and seriously not wanting to be around people and after a hellacious headache socked in at 10am, I began finding excuses not to make the trip to Boulder. Not only was it Linda’s last day, but I had suggested the dinner with my other Abundance circle sisters. Denise was driving from Denver and Shaya was making the vittles. Committed not to back out on my friends, I drove on. My funk took a while to lift but somewhere in the Whole Foods gourmet aisle after tasting a wafer cracker with mint jalapeño pesto, the clouds lifted. Yes, my blood sugar has been whacked - but this small sampling couldn’t have completely fixed this issue. Was it magic? Was it Boulder which is as they say “between reality and the mountains”? Suddenly, I could be with my friends. Still considered a “flight risk”, I buddied up until we arrived safely at Shaya’s where we spread out the food, sampled delicacies and I sprawled on the couch in my favorite position.
We were warned we would remember things that had fallen into the shadows of memory and that these things were emerge at the strangest of times. Seemingly shrouded in fog forever, abruptly they would materialize while we sat on the toilet far from any pen and paper or in the middle of the night where waking up doesn’t sound like a good idea. Early this morning, I remembered Mrs Vogler’s velvet stool that she made me in 1973. Blue velvet with a gold tassel and initial “K” for me - and one for my brother with an “R”. Somehow I ended up with both. Sorry Rob. Mrs Vogler fashioned this sturdy contraption using large steel dog food cans like they made in the olden days which were fastened together into a solid circle. The stool was strong enough to stand on even as an adult and I still used it regularly. It was good for reaching tall cabinets or taking a brief respite during a busy day. When I remembered the stool, the damn almost broke. David was getting ready to head out the door to Seattle and I chose not to add one more concern to his already furrowed brow. I felt the sob emerge and I swallowed it whole. Too early, not enough coffee, don’t want to feel it right now. Will that averted sob cause me problems later in my day? Should I stop and invite it back now? Mrs Vogler’s stool may not make the “Inventory list”. Couldn’t quite put a value on that other than “priceless”. It is irreplaceable, a memory lost in a fiery flame. Built to last, that stool would have been with me forever. I anticipate that items in this category will pop up for a long time. These are the things that really matter. The accumulated treasures of a lifetime.
A-funk-a-fied. That is a word. Don’t test me by telling me it isn’t. Two days of serious funk and no writing. Hmmmm. Help me do the math here. The plan was to work on my book when I am not blogging and that plan has been thwarted. Drats foiled yet again. This is a scientific experiment: how will I feel this afternoon after writing compared to my mood over the past 2 days with no writing... we shall see. I will not factor in the fact that we are seeing Face tonight in Boulder. No, I will determine my post-writing mood independent of that extraneous event. Should be a simple equation. As previously stated, this moodiness t feels like a bad case of PMS. And, it could be “that time” coupled with the fact that on the 50 side of my mid-40’s I may be entering peri-menopause which I have heard carries many many joys. Especially the “Urine leakage while coughing or sneezing.” Not. I have been agro to the max; short on patience, long on reactivity, thin-skinned and excessively tired. Overcast with only small glimpses of occasional sun to remind me it still exists. Although, these days in Colorado we no longer celebrate the sun. We now do rain dances across the state and pray for Seattle slop. And, the rain gods have been kind to us recently. The metro area is cooler than it’s been and our foothills have been getting somewhat regular baths. Of course, these baths bring lightening strikes which have started a few brush fires and caused panic among my neighbors but so far so good. No new fires in our backyard.
Good morning blank page that is staring me down threatening to stay blank and thwart my efforts. Good morning crazy mind that rambles away down the path of dissatisfaction and concern. Good morning cool basement that is an oasis from continuing heat in the Denver area. Good morning happy dogs who sprawl out on the floor after a somewhat satisfying w-a-l-k down the Highline Canal trail (still marveling at this trail system in suburbia! It’s amazing). The interesting thing about writing my blog has been that I don’t know where I am going. It’s like wandering in a car. Sometimes I head down peaceful country roads. Other times, I buzz down a highway at 90 miles an hour in a convertible eating bugs. Still others, I honk and swear as I am stuck in gridlock in sweltering city heat. I never quite know where I will go, how it will end up or how it will all come back together (or if it will). I have been willing to trust and to keep my fingers clicking away. 91,000+ words later, I have developed a small amount of faith that I will keep writing about this journey – for a while anyway. The new plan of one morning of blogging and the next dedicated to my re-write hasn’t quite launched as planned. Yesterday, I took the day off from all writing and celebrated the 4th with David by going to IKEA to plan our kitchen. I am so happy that he enjoys the design process as I do not. It is daunting and I don’t have strong opinions about the kitchen not being the gourmet chef and all. Does it have a coffee pot? Then we are good.
On the road again.  We have taken another generous friend up on the offer of a cool basement in which to unpack our bags and rest our weary heads.  We have officially (and temporarily) moved out of Flame.  Turns out the septic issue was bigger than we hoped and she must go to the shop.  Coupled with the extreme heat that sends the dogs into the wrong kind of tailspin, it was just too much.  So here we are at Jessie and Jairo’s where the dogs have been coming for years.  We met this lovely couple many moons ago when they were recommended as the perfect people to watch our house when we travelled – even more importantly, they would treat our dogs as their own and take care of them better than any 4-star doggy daycare ever would. 
Last night over dinner, we reminisced.  Jessie and Jairo have known all our animals, beginning with Jaxson, then Darby and now Roscoe and Tigger – and of course our cats too.  The dogs have stayed here many times and have their routine with the two canine residents.  Now, we have interrupted the routine a bit as they sleep in the basement with us – and we don’t rise quite as early as our hosts who wake before the dawn and are out and about taking dogs to the dog park or on strolls along one of the many fabulous trails that wind through these neighborhoods.  How is it that in the heart of the suburbs there are more trail options than we have in the boonies?  We took second shift dog walking and our two showed us around.  See that tree mama-papa?  We have peed there many times before.  See that squirrel?  He is my nemesis – I must eat him.  Now they lounge in this cool basement as we begin our workday.