Monday, September 30, 2013


late nights revising and rewriting
hoping and praying with my fingers
on the keypad
for something more stable
my ankle boring into the wood floor
the fridge humming
where is the dog?
i wonder if I will get anywhere
i wonder if i was a gypsy too long
if no one will believe me
when i say
i want to lay down roots
-but i do-
i'm tired of traveling
i'm tired of moving
i want the boring life
a house
a family
a stable job
tea in the morning
and broccoli at night
my piano in the living room
my best friend at my side
he'll be home soon
with a van full of stuff
ready to start a new life

Monday, September 23, 2013

Falling into darkness

Fall's snuck in the door. The days are still semi-warm, but dripping water from the sky periodically knocks on our roofs. It's calming and peaceful and invites us to stay inside, thinking and reading and writing.

I've been savoring a heart-wrenching and interesting book by Emily Rapp called "The Still Point of the Turning World". It's a biography and grief exploration. Her son, Ronan, was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs, which means he dies by age three. She also grew up with a genetic deformity herself and had a foot amputated as a child, followed by a series of prosthetic legs. I relate to a lot of the things she writes regarding people's reactions to your life situation and your loss. The way people see you as the other and themselves and the lucky ones. Those who didn't have their kid die. Or their dad die. Or whatever bad luck that happened to stumble into your life. But even if those people think they are in a protective bubble, life happens to everyone. It will happen to you and to me. And in the end we all die, which I guess is the whole thing that makes us alive.

The other day, I had a patient in his sixties, going on and on about how he was so lucky to have never had to wear glasses. And how his parents were so lucky as well. How his dad didn't wear any glasses ever, and died in his nineties, and his mom was so lucky until she was eighty-eight when she finally needed reading glasses and then she also died in her nineties. He repeated this story over and over again during his exam about how lucky his family was. I was starting to feel like it was an attack or act of aggression or slap in the face. I wanted to say, my dad was so lucky, he never had to wear glasses either. Until he died at thirty-four.

The patient actually had not great vision distance or near and probably arrogance was more of the reason for being so lucky that he didn't have to wear glasses rather than having perfect vision. The same man proceeded in his rudeness to my assistant out front, nearly making her cry. I try not to judge people and just tell myself, "Thank god, I'm not married to that man." But that guy was something else.

Maybe I'm more sensitive right now. It's nearing the thirty year anniversary of my dad's death. I keep thinking about him and the fall and thinking about his last year here and going into the hospital and not coming out. It's hard to believe it's been that long. And it's hard to believe he ever existed. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hiking Ecola State Park & Free Vibrators in Portland!

Last weekend, I took off for the Oregon Coast with Oatie and our friend Matt. Originally the plan had been solo camping but Matt was in town from Seattle and I was lucky enough to have his company for a day. We arrived at Ecola State Park where we did a five mile hike, then had dinner and headed up to Astoria for the evening. 

Oatie the Hiker, Ecola State Park


 These ladies were in the coffee shop, and so nice. 

He was scared to have his picture taken.

Eagle Sanctuary on the way home. 

Science-pub night at the Baghdad Theater on Hawthorne 

What is this? Why it's free vibrators! I would say, only in Portland, but since it's Trojan, I think it's probably everywhere. 

 I sat and people watched. The goodies were in the purple bags.
The man nearest was a creeper and asked if I had a boyfriend. The guy with the hat on was nice, recently moved to PDX from Alaska.  
 Biking home.
 My favorite bridge, the Steel Bridge.
Oatie guarding Justin's place

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oatie the Buddha

You can learn a lot about living by hanging out with animals. Dogs in particular are quite inspirational. A few weeks ago I took Oatie on a camping trip to the gorge. It was to get away and clear my mind, but I found myself watching him as he snorted in the fresh air, wandered along beside me, and snuggled up in the mummy bag. He was just happy to enjoy the trees and the day, whatever we happened to be doing. I thought about it a lot after getting back, just being happy where you, whatever you're doing, not thinking about getting to the next place or feeling nervous about what might be or what is... living in the moment - it's all we've got.

He watches the campfire.
He sleeps in mummy bags. 
 He likes camping and the woods.
He looks good in orange & blue.
At the historic hotel in Hood River. He goes along with whatever we do, nary a complaint except every once in a while. 
Wiped out after a day of hiking and traveling.

 He's too short but that doesn't stop him from seeing what he wants to see. 
 Every day, he stretches. This was on the beach while I was swimming.