Friday, August 14, 2015

the one about the girl, and the wedding, and the dress, and the love.

photo creds: Nigel Fubara
i went to NOLA to my girl's wedding.
it was better than your wedding.
it was better than my wedding.
it was better than everyone's wedding put together.
the end.

i admit i've gotten a little cagey about spilling my life out here in the open. it's because i'm savoring each moment too much and i don't want to give any of it away. i don't want to share. so the following isn't a share, it s a public service announcement that no one should bother getting married ever again because my girl just crushed your wedding.

here's why:

1. Take 25 years worth of devoted friendships,
2. Add two huge, loving, laughing families
3. Stir in horse drawn carriages, fireworks, jazz bands, dancing, and delicious food
...annnnd, you still only managed to cover Friday.

i believe the mark of a person's character is who they draw to them, who becomes loyal to them, and the amount of love and devotion with which they cultivate those relationships. when you find those magnetic, truly loyal people, you can't help but fall in love with them as individuals and as a couple when they finally get around to getting married.

the wedding was so spectacularly beautiful because each of them possesses such a radiant soul that they draw the most wonderful people around them--people who embraced each other from the get go like lifelong friends even if it had been 3.5 minutes. people who laugh loud and celebrate each moment.

such joy. seriously such joy surrounded these two.

and then you add NOLA into the mix, with its heady feel of jazz, history, mystique and strength, warmth, humidity, and architecture. its cemeteries call to you, its balconies beckon and its beat carries you until you are sure that the city has claimed your very being and won't give it up.

anyways, her wedding killed all other weddings. everyone else's weddings were already crying their final tears in a corner gasping for air when she put on that red Vera Wang and buried them all with no remorse.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


and when we moved past the fear, expectations, and insecurity
i saw your heart open, your eyes unguarded
felt the rush of loyalty, love, trust and faith.
i knew that a little of you would never be enough
to fill the portion of my life you claimed.
because when all this fades,
when the tangible no longer matters,
when the hereafter comes,
my only demand from you is this:
that your soul knows mine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

a confession.

i used to write prolifically.  here, in the poetry journal, in my head in the car, in the shower--no matter. there was this constant stream of inner dialogue that seemed to have its own built in subwoofer--loud and heavy.  the beat of the words drove the way i structured my days, the way i thought about people and places.

then, a while back, i got a little lost, a little tempest in a tea-pot-ee and more than a little out of sorts with myself and generally with everyone who loved me and who i loved. and either out of spite or out of fear of what that inner thumping would say, i stopped writing. the reality is that i had this epic and glorious picture in my head of what 35 would look like. it involved big cities, jet setting to pristine beaches, warm open air cafes, the swirl of foreign tongues, and additional pages in my passport filled with work visas and travel adventures.

while i have some of that still, i begrudged the rest of it. so much so that i left my precious words alone for four whole years.  enter my own personal denial of all things.

until a while back, when someone jarred me loose out off my high horse.  when i metaphorically picked myself up again, i got a little indignant, then repentant, then humble, because here's the thing:  i travel a lot. i get to sit with my best friends on pristine beaches. i spent a week this past fall posted up on a cafe porch in latin america, falling in love again with spanish. i make deliberate, real, quality time for the people i love without hesitation or concern.  this weekend, i will be in san francisco smothering my girl's baby with kisses. end of next month in portland at my goddaughter's christening.  my passport--it's full of stamps and visas.  so what the fuck have i been i so out of sorts about?

and now four years later i finally understand.  this feeling, this emptiness, this dull constant ache in the back of my chest, i suspect it's homesickness. unfortunately, i am not quite sure WHERE home is (if that needs clarifying you probably shouldn't be reading my blog) so much as I know WHO home is and it is missing you that makes being so far away up here hard.

home isn't a single person to me. it never has been and as much as i love my husband, that is not what i ask of him.  home is the feeling of my soul reconnecting with those who see me for who i am without condition or expectation of anything other than truth.  home is the purity of those moments, the purity of my love for those people. and home with them happens regardless of physical location, temperature or language.

Monday, January 5, 2015

on resolving no more resolutions

For Christmas we got a new thermostat, you know, one of the ones that has the receiver you place outside and then you can see what the temperature is from the climate controlled enclave of your kitchen.

every time i look at the little screen i feel this nostalgia for places i have traveled and lived where instead of looking at a screen i walked onto a veranda, breathed in the air with my whole being, opened my arms wide and felt the weather the way some people say a morning prayer.

at any rate, i looked at the screen today and it said 3F and i felt myself deflate.  it's no secret my soul lies in warmer climes. i made this new years resolution to be more positive about being in a cold climate (and go to the gym, but let's not kid ourselves about that one).  yes, i hear you tropical peanut gallery, quit your snickering and buy me a plane ticket already.

snark and sarcasm aside, clearly the weather gods were attempting to make the resolution work because the drive from the house to work was beautiful--a rainbow sky in pastels against the crystalline white of the horfrost covering each tree branch and leaf. from work the fog was rolling back across the ice filled inlet. it was so peaceful, so gentle and serene.

so not like the last three hours when the fog came back and it is has been gloomy and doomy outside.

i can see no other lesson from this dreary turn of events than that making resolutions is as futile as my use of the word "never" (which invariably comes back to haunt me).

Monday, October 27, 2014

flashes of red and green

nope. not christmas, yet.

first, some background: i am a lucid dreamer and have been since i was a child. i'm sure there's plenty of psychoanalysis to be had there, but not today.  9 out of 10 times i know i am dreaming and make more-or-less aware choices that change the course of my dreams. almost never do i awake from a dream not knowing what is real.  i'm sure that would terrify me.

this weekend i dreamt of a tornado. i was living with vin diesel and paul walker in the third story of an uber modern condo dwelling all wood, concrete and glass on the edge of a small city, nestled in a cloud forest.  our days were filled with riding around in old cars on back mountain roads and laughter.

one stormy evening i had gone to the adjacent building, curled up in a window with drink in hand feeling pensive.  it was eerie outside and i felt anxious--the deep foreboding dread form of anxious, a constant low hum of warning.  i was transfixed on the horizon, the clouds moved strangely over the tree tops and there was a flash of red light.  the lucid part of my brain started mumbling about where this dream was going with its flashing red lights, perhaps aliens?

the tree tops swirled and i, waiting as though sitting on nails, drained the glass unable to shift my gaze. The sky flashed red again, then took on a greenish hue and within seconds the rain came--striking the window sideways. lucid-brain screamed out that it knew what this was and i yelled at people to take cover as i sprinted ruing the glass building with each slow-motion step.

No sooner had i crossed the bridge into our building and yelled the word tornado than the house imploded.  crystals of glass like snow reflecting the green hue swirled around me as the world darkened. i awoke in rubble to the silence that always follows a catastrophe, too late to have saved either of them and perhaps unwittingly, too late to save myself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

time flies.

it's been too long. i know. i wish there was some justifiable excuse for never posting the pictures from quito, or not telling you about all the wonderful visitors we had or depriving you of stories of neah's adventures.  if i weren't nearly so grump-tastic about the sun disappearing faster by the day, i might tell you about epic and ongoing conversations with our wonderful friends about the zombie-apocalypse, intimacy, the nature of prayer and meditation and which gun is best to not get eaten by a bear.

instead, as we near four years here, i'll tell you that some days i actually want it to snow...because there is something soft and calming about the way the snow falls, dampening sound.  i'll tell you that in the dead of winter, when it's bone dry out, i love the squeaking Styrofoam sound that fresh snow makes crushed beneath shoes. i'll tell you that i like to stand in the window at night and watch it fall--silent, unaffected. i'll tell you that i do actually like the warm orange glow the lights cast upon it in the dark.

i'll also tell you that i think i forgot to bring my soul back from this beach two weeks ago.  it has been whispering long distance poetry ever since, communing with muses who apparently don't like the cold since they'd been silent for so long.

my soul got stuck in haifa for a while once too..years in fact. i don't want you to think that i mind--it's like instant travel without the hassle--to feel so completely somewhere else.  so for now, when i close my eyes to seek serenity, this is where i end up.

and i'll tell you that it is the relentless pursuit of betterment rather than perfection that should drive us, fuel our minds and warm our hearts as the winter draws nearer.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New Year Adventures

I promise you things and then i don't provide. It's a fatal flaw. For example, i promised you this blog about new year antics in ecuador last week and it just didn't happen. sorry.

But, here it is, as the snow falls and a lone raven surfs the winds outside my completely bleary, basically dark window at 430pm. sorry, nora, needed a brain break...going back to work soon!

Last year for NYE we were in Patong of the coast of Thailand watching thousands of chinese lanterns sail into the Thai sky full of wishes and dreams.  This year, we were in transit from the thermal pools through the weaver-ville of Peguche to Hacienda Pinsaqui for the feast and party thrown by the Freile family. 

Here a list of things we learned:
1. The old year has widows. Not just any widows, cross dressing men widows who you have to pay (because they run a rope across the highway) as a toll to celebrate the passing of their husbands.  They talk shit, get a head start on the drinking and sing songs.

The slightly tamer version are the little extortionist children who set theirs up every ten feet. you go through A LOT of small change that way.

2. The Vaca Loca (crazy cow) is not in fact a real cow, but your host under a tent covered with fireworks who runs around trying not to catch on fire. I stress this because i was confused for quite a while (read: over an hour, serious lost in translation moment) about if this cow was real, what the implications for animal rights were in ecuador, and finally how the hell no one got hurt.  obviously, this makes WAY more sense, dude, tent enough explosives to kill himself:


on fire.
3. Ecuadorians like to burn things.  namely people. people they really don't like, people they do like, effigies. the effigies ride around on cars to prevent the widows from extracting their tolls. still haven't figured out why they cremate people they like, but makes for a great bonfire (which one's husband will then jump over to cleanse his new year and in the process nearly burn his shoes off):


4. Finally, they like to run things up greased poles. 
I imagine this is akin to our throwin a greased watermelon in the deep end of the pool during fourth of July pig-pickins.  minus the live chicken in the wooden box.  the disaster that was raising this thing went on for longer than we were there and finally resulted in the long wooden stick being shortened as it could not be raised with the two ladders and 50 bosses all providing instructions on how to get it up. insert your own joke here.

Truly though, it was wonderful. An absolute adventure and probably one of our favorite days of the trip.

So here's to the widows, the chickens, the vacas, and our new friends....

Happy New Year Y'all.