Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May Day: To the Sand

May Day: To the Sand

I am up on the ridge again. I come here to let things go I guess. When life feels too complex or heavy or confusing, watching the sunset literally gives me perspective. The vultures are out riding the evening thermals. I don’t think there is purpose to it, just play. They circle up until some unknown height and then turn to go up canyon in fighter jet formation. It feels like there is purpose to it, and that is the difficult part, not knowing it.

The cliff swallows chirp and dart in and out of the cliff cracks. It is May Day, a day of rebirth, ritual, growth, and fertility--and me too. After a year of shadowing and mentoring, and 6 months of being an interim director, the university decided not to hire me as the full director. And like that, identity is ripped from you, you fall into liminality, I feel like I am fledgling again. It hurts to try so hard for something and to feel like you fail. Nature reminds me that failure isn’t an end place, perhaps nothing fails in nature. I have worked hard to let my ego go--to see all these moments as opportunities.

The sun is about to set now. The wind grows as the high mountain cold, Lassen still covered in snow, sweep down the canyon to a valley sparked with life and wildflowers. Shadows creep east across the valley floor. I came here to let it go, to you, to this journal, to these relationships that hold me up and carry me. I see in this land the metaphor I seek. I see the way the river cut the rock to create this canyon, each failure in the rock surely must feel that way for the rock, for that moment, to feel the water cutting into you, to feel the cracks widen, to feel that relenting to forces beyond you, but as the sand of the rock washes to the sea, it never sees the beauty of the river which carried it away.

I want so badly to be part of a solution, so badly to make a mark in the world for doing something good, and as you wash to the sea, the moment of letting go is your art.

The sun dips behind the last clouds of the day. This was a dream too. The sun ignites from below the clouds, framed by the mountain below; it seems to hold me there. I stand to take in this breath, the last breath of another sun, another day, another hope for another better day. I found such reward in the work I was doing. Is there something more and better to be done? Isn’t that perhaps the beautiful question at the end of each day--what will come? What is below this rapid, around this bend, down the river, out to sea, pushed on currents that travel the world? The end of each day comes with such hopes for what beauty you will find as the next day rises. What will come?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines Day

Tonight I came home this evening to this on my porch: a small note, a candy bar, and a budding flower. I sat next to this note and played guitar to love in a setting sun after a long week. I watched as the golden light of the sun faded across the heart-shaped note.
Every day, I sit on my porch and watch homelessness, watch bits of despair; today the couple in a broken down blue Ford Explorer, who have been working night and day to repair, have moved their car about 20-feet, and just around the corner. I play music on my porch and sometimes I’ll notice a person moving to my rhythm. I will see them sitting up against the warehouse, their feet tapping along to my guitar, or a head bobbing to my time. Some have clapped, many have just looked at me oddly.
Every night, as I walk Chico around the block, I can hear the soft mumbles of people in the shadows trying to sleep in such biting cold. I don’t really have any solution, and I often beat myself up about my own selfishness and all that I do have to give, more that I could do. Leonard always says hi to me and Chico...usually he says hi to Chico first. He often tells me he loves me, and I do back to him. This is every single day at my house.
At work, I am now the interim director of a program, it is a program I feel deeply for, one that I know is making a difference for a lot of people. It is only week three of my first semester running this program, it wasn’t an easy week. But each day I work with these students, these lives that will just pass through my life, and I see how amazing they are.
And then there are you, all of you out there I write to, my friends and family. You who take the phone calls when I am uncertain. You who text me about your garden and the trees about to bloom. You who play music with me. You who argue with me and open my eyes. You who help me find a car and find a bike. You who encourage me to be better each and every day. You who leave me notes of love. I have written about love for most of my life. Poetry, and songs, and stories, tried to make metaphors that matter.
Sometimes life feels lonely. In a morning of mass murder, I hate my own numbness, but you, all of you, help me feel so deeply. I want you to know, as I do, that you are loved too.