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This is the red road.

15 May

I am frightened to my core that this is the beginning. Like a journal, I am blank pages that stretch for the rest of my life, the ones that come before unintelligible, unreadable, dark.

I was born in a river town in the middle of this nation that made and continues to make me. My parents were school teachers and while I sometimes feel that I just survived my childhood, I know there was love and plenty where there was also, also, also. Things could have turned out differently, but we can all say that. Tell me we can all say that.

My first memories are of helping to name my sister, who was coming, coming closer, coming home. I have no past that doesn’t include her. We grew up simply, and then. And then. And then.

***

I have lived so long with illness that it has become my whole story. I know myself only by my scars. I cry when I realize this, and that this brokenness, this body is my identity.

I am on the other side, but where do I go from here?

After this second time – so broken, so bloody, such a slim chance that we’d see today, today, and today – my husband told me that we’re just going to do whatever. we. want. That we’d say yes to everything.

He is my secret keeper, my brave new world, my autumn afternoon, and my red hot flower. He is the strongest. He moves the day.

When asked, all I can say is that we’re a good fit. And then I hope it to be so.

***

I am the howl. I am not sorry.

***

He who has known.
who has seen me when I was nothing.
who has been with me when I had nothing.
who has led me beside still waters.
who has called from below my balcony.
who has shone the light in the forest.
who has carried me to the stone and back again.
who has known, has known, has known.

***

I went to Utah and it changed my life.
I was seen for who I was and it changed my life.
I was sick and I was sick and I was well and it changed my life.
I forgot how to talk to strangers and remembered again and it changed my life.
I talked to a new mother and it changed my life.
I came home.

It changed my life.

It’s time to start living with the changes, to begin that life I promised myself.

***

I taste these words with a soldier’s mouth and drive on.

***

(Words written after visiting here. I don’t know what direction I’m heading with this blog, but I think today changes things. So here we go.)

Current Obsessions #4

25 Apr

01) SmashBooking

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I’ve embarked on a SmashBook project that is a little more involved that the average throw-it-all-in-so-it-sticks sort of thing. I’m making an old-timey (read: Middle Ages) Book of Hours, which traditionally would be a book of prayers recited at different times of the day. For example, my book has a section called “Lamplight”, which is a throwback to vespers, a time when the lamps were lit and prayers were recited among monks in Medieval times. I’ve got fun stuff, though, like songs and recipes and journal entries and lots of summery pictures all smashed up in my trusty travel-ish themed journal. It’s been great fun so far, and I recommend Smashing, whether you decide to do it name brand or just on your own. (There are some great homemade SmashBook inspirations if you do a search on Google.)

02) Joe Pug‘s The Great Despiser

Came out this week and is incredible!

03) Justin Townes Earle‘s Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now

Came out… last week? Maybe? And is also incredible!

04) This Etsy shop makes the best quality handmade garments I’ve ever seen.

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05) the sermons of Webster Kitchell

I’ve been reading God’s Dog, which is the first in a collection of sermons that Reverend Kitchell wrote about his conversations with Coyote, the demi-god that rules the mythology of the American Southwest. The sermons are entertaining and thought provoking and I highly recommend them for everyone, but especially for Unitarians and people who kind of… blend their religions to help them make sense of the world. (To give you a feeling for what I’m into right now, I’m also reading Monday Night Class, Transcendental Meditation and the Jefferson Bible. It’s an odd, heavy, lovely load I’m self-imposing.)

06) Chocolate Frosting Shots

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I can’t wait to make these!

Tell me about your favorite sunset.

20 Dec

Doing a little dreaming tonight of my favorite road trip. Good night, New Mexico (et al). I’ll see you again soon.

photo credits: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Current obsessions #2: Best songs ever.

16 Dec

Okay, this one is a toughy, but this song came on my iTunes today:

And I thought of all the times I had hit repeat on this particular track. One of the best songs ever. So I thought I would make a list of what I’m currently considering my favorite tunes. (Note: if you asked me tomorrow, these would probably be different. Also note: these are not necessarily desert island artists. Neil Young will always top out the charts there. And everyone knows not to get me talking about Joe Pug, correct? Okay, here we go.)

1) American Pie by Don McLean.

This has been my favorite song for as long as I can remember. I clearly recall sitting in the backseat of the family sedan as a child, devising lyrics to make this an “opposite song”. You know. Hi, hi, Mr. Russian Cake. We were weird kids with hippie parents. This album by McLean remains one of my favorites to spin to this day.

2) Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.

No justification required on this one.

3) Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show

I know this one is played out, but I don’t care. Everything about it is perfect which proves one thing: Bob Dylan is universal and I love him. (Don’t believe me? See Exhibits B: Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower and C: The Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine Man.)

4) The Spy by The Doors

Not only is it a fabulous song that never appears on “Best of” albums (because the very best never do, do they?), this is the song that inspired an ENORMOUS creative pursuit for me. It’s the song that launched one play, one patron saint, three novels, five talismans and countless nights of dreams. It also rekindled my childhood love of the Doors, and for that I am eternally grateful.

5) Black Coffee by Peggy Lee

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sung this in my car acapella. (The other song I tend to break into just to hear myself is, oddly enough, the national anthem. But I’ve always been a weird chick.)

6) Dance Me to the End of Love by Madeleine Peyroux

“Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.” Sigh. I have a thing for jazzy tunes like this. Nick and I had our very first dance to In the Mood (big Glenn Miller people), our “song” is Strangers in the Night by Sinatra and the first dance at our wedding was to I Could Write a Book by Harry Connick Jr. But this song… this song makes me think of dances we haven’t had yet. Geesh. Romantic much?

7) Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells

Wow. My family has a deep, profound love of Tommy James and the Shondells. In the sixties my grandfather owned a music hall with his best friend and they got some really great acts. The Zombies. Strawberry Alarm Clock. The freaking Box Tops. (THE BOX TOPS.) And then Al (grandpa’s partner) procured Tommy James and my mom lost her mind. Her very favorite artist played the hall and she got to meet him. (She’s still oddly mortified that all she could think to say to him was “I like your music”. Um… that’s not embarrassing, Mom.)

So now I’m set to groove for the day. What’s on your list?

Ultimate Wishlist: Sugarhigh + Lovestoned

8 Dec

One of my recent discoveries is a little company called Sugarhigh + Lovestoned. Every article of their clothing (including a pair of studded underwear) is on my ultimate wishlist and it should be on yours too, you wild child.

The ladies of SH+LS (Tami and Chloe along with help from others, including a chick named Liana, so you know she has to be cool) screen print, cut, die, stud and generally impart their awesomeness into some super sweet clothing. I personally own a less adorned t-shirt (one of their unisex looks) that divulges the secret that I have, indeed, sold my soul for rock and roll.

Seriously the softest article of clothing I’ve ever worn right out of the package. (The only other item I can think of that comes close is the Joe Pug concert tee that I’ve worn a BILLION times… so you know where I’m coming from. Awesome, awesome t-shirt that will only get better.)

Not only is their gear spectacular, their photo shoots and wordage (I don’t know what to call it. Item descriptions? Interpretation?) that goes along with each article on their website is super stimulating. I think it’s doubly awesome when you love a company AND they boost your own creativity. And, if nothing else, you’ll want to go for a jaunt barely-clothed through the desert, which is always a plus in my book.

So check them out and save your pennies to buy their goods. You won’t be sorry.

Sugarhigh + Lovestoned: twitter // facebook // blog // shop

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