27 August 2012

Home Highlights

As is customary, I made my annual trek out west a couple of weeks ago.  Only this time I made the additional, every three years trek to Idaho.  My time is the Ho is extremely limited because I rarely have a reason to go there...and even if I have a reason, I can generally come up with an excuse to skip it.  Not so this time around.  So off I went.

Here are some of the highlights (of the Ho and SL,UT)

Playing with a halibut gun (because there are a lot of halibut in Idaho)
Wandering around the barnyard
Discovering treasures from my youth (that's a self portrait from 2nd grade...not much has changed)
Proof that I was cool in high school...well, at least as far as Youth Legislature went
Visiting the grandparents
And the haunted grave
I spent time taking in a few of my favorite sites


And we rode bikes...oh how I love riding old bikes!
Ok, we didn't ride this one, but I love it anyway
And we did it all along the
And some of my favorite things in the SL,UT were:

The twins!  Mer and the kids were in UT and I spent an entire day with them.  Oh how I love the babies and David, (and their mom Mer).  We're all buddies.
Baby girl thinks I'm hilarious
And considering her parents and brothers are a brown eyed bunch, she and I bonded over our baby blues
 And David and I have oodles of fun...oh how I love him!
I also went hiking...hiking makes me happy

I also got to meet Tyler and his family, such a sweetie!  Just a few more weeks and he'll be headed to California to have his first ear surgery.  It's so, so exciting.  And it's so much fun to know that many, many of my friends have contributed to this little boy's dream of getting an ear.
Lori, Sari, and I also played like hoodlums with a wiggle car and an electric wheelchair...who knew that combo could be so much fun!
Then there was THE NEW TWINS!!!!  Since I'm obviously not having kids my friends are having them two at a time...which works for me!  It means there are twice as many babies to love and snuggle.  Meet Ryen and Foster...sweet baby girl and boy. 
Their mom, my dear friend Sarah, let me come over for a couple of days to help out.  I brought maple bacon doughnuts and she let me hold all the babies I wanted.  It was a sweet, sweet deal.

Here Foster is just exhausted with life and Ryen is happy as a clam with her two middle fingers.  So, so cute.  I love them! 
They will definitely bring me back to SL,UT more often

And finally my friend took me boating...I love boating!
And last but NOT least, I also got to meet my newest BFF in person.
I mean, how cute is she AND her mini-me?  Equally as adorable.

We've been FB/texting/email friends for months, but this was the first time we actually had the opportunity to do lunch.  She's just as fantastic in person as she is in type.  And she wears gray as well as I do...seriously, we were meant to be...and we will be forever.  Once you find a friend like her you don't let her go...soul sisters are hard to find!

My vay-cay was fantastic.  Full of fantastic family, friends, fun, and food (way too much food).

Until next year!  (unless I sneak back for Christmas to see those babies again)

19 August 2012

Empty

Remember the art festival?  The one we went to in Lexington?  The one with hundreds of little pots precariously displayed in the middle of the street?  The artist told us to each pick one, the point of the installation was to give all of the pots away.

So we stood there, picking pots.

I picked mine first, then delicately tip-toed through the piles picking up pots you'd point out.

"What about that one, the little one, no, the one over there."

You said as I traversed through the clay orbs.

"No, I don't like it.  It's dented on one side."

You said. 

So I set it down and tip-toed back through the maze, picking up pots, handing them to you, only to have you hand them back.

Finally, you settled on one and we left, pots in possession.

Later that night you caught me starting at a painting, a small square.

It was snow.  I commented that it reminded me of home.  Reminded me of the empty, peaceful silence of winter.

You wanted to buy it for me.  I said no.  I couldn't let you spend your money on art, for me.  We were students.  Poor.  But your love had no limit, and you knew, you saw the way I was sucked in to the gray emptiness of that painting.  The way it was a part of me.

I had to drag you out of the store, protesting, and without the painting.

I think of that painting, every now and then, and then I think of you.

I think of how warm I felt when you said you wanted to give it to me.  Wanted me to have it.  How comforting it was to know you knew me, knew my heart, knew my love of art and snow and shadow. 

Then I think of how cold it made me feel.  The icy emptiness of an indecipherable sky and ground.  The same cold I felt when you put me back, like one of those little pots.

If only the cold could have stayed in the painting.

If only people weren't pots.  Flawed and fragile.

If only. 

16 August 2012

Letter to a Dread Pirate

I don't know why, but I feel concern for you today.  There is a rock in the pit of my stomach.  It's probably just me, and my imagination and you're probably doing great.  I wish I could call, or email, or check on you in person so you could tell me all is well, but I can't.  So I'll write here, a place you may or may not still visit. 

All I want you to know is that you are loved, beyond your comprehension, you are loved.  You are loved for all of the reasons I tried to tell you, and for all of the reasons I never had the opportunity to say.  You are loved. 

You are wanted.

You are needed.

You are awesome and amazing and I miss you more than you will ever know.

Loved.  Never, ever doubt that.

07 August 2012

Ebb and Flow

We are creatures of rhythm.  Our hearts and lungs keep tempo as we go about our lives.  Yet the majority of us fail to notice the cadence to which we live.  Until the beat stops and we cease to live at all.

Sometimes we get off beat and things start to fall apart.  Our hearts weaken and our breath grows shallow and frantic.  Our minds start spinning and we find ourselves grasping for the lost comfort of something we can not name, can not identify.  We become half crazed and panicked, slipping towards lunacy and utter madness.  We turn to temporary fixes and the paths of least resistance, solutions that lead us further from our truer, calmer selves.

I know.  I have been falling on and off beat for years.  My house of cards came tumbling down years ago and I've been trying to organize it into something else ever since.  I've mostly learned to live amongst the ruins and to just go with it (as much as Carrie can "just go with it"), but the uneven rhythm wears on me.  I'm a classically trained pianist trying to adjust to the misshapen world of progressive jazz.  It leaves me feeling uneasy and anxious.

But every now and then nature arrests and forces me back into the calming, easy rhythm life intended.  The moments are rare.  I had one a few months ago when I stood on the Atlantic shore and watched the tide move in, wave by crashing wave.  One can not help but become synchronized by the power of the ocean.  It's life giving.

Unfortunately I don't live by the ocean and the rise and fall of the sun fails to have the same effect as the ebb and flow of the tide.  So I fall out of sync and back into the card house where I try and get in tune with the beat of the life I'm living.  But the beats are so counter to my truth, and I clumsily stumble through each day, missing more steps than I hit. 

But thank goodness for nature, for her ability to pull me back and remind me that consistent easy rhythms still exist.  Sunday, while horseback riding, I was lulled back.  The spotless blue sky, the breeze coming off of the lake, the perfect beat as we cantered across the field.  As I settled in, my mind cleared, my lungs opened up, and I could breathe.  The way nature intended.
 
It won't take long until I'm off beat again, lost and stumbling.  But until then, I'll breathe in the memory of being in synch, even if only for a few days.  

01 August 2012

This Week's Music List

There is no music list this week.  I thought my life was busy before the quarter mil NIH grant that came into my life...I obviously didn't know what busy was...research will suck the life out of you.  But this will put it back.  Seriously, one of the best things I've ever seen: