Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just Love Me

Don’t question, don’t wonder, don’t ask.
Just hold me.
Don’t listen, don’t comment, don’t
turn away.
Just build me a castle, a title, a moment of praise.
Singing to the morning, I come upon my reflection in the window. It is dark. It is bent. It is bound to silence. The birch tree waves. The cardinal, the highway, the cool fall air -
become a part of the particles I will carry. Yet this stopping, this gaze, this morning symphony, will not take me away from myself – even as it calls me more fully to this world, even as it asks me, “Why are you here?”

#1 - I've been immersed in poetry recently.  This morning I wrote a poem before getting out bed.  The first line is from my friend Chris.  The ending is clearly influenced by Mary Oliver.

#2 - I'm going to see a genetic counselor soon.  It was suggested at a physical a couple years ago.  It took time and learning that genetic counseling does not equal genetic testing before I finally made an appointment.  I was proud of myself, but then it started weighing on me again.  First bugging my regular clinic for a referral, then filling out all the health history and today finally calling/figuring out how to get my health records released from some biopsies I've had in the past.  I've dragged my feet on all three of these steps.  I finally did the last one today (as soon as I put the envelope in the mail).  I do not have a fax machine which is how it says to be sent.  I find navigating our health system to be exhausting.

#3 -Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin - the recipes I've made actually have been both simple and pleasurable.  I can't renew it anymore.  But I'll probably check it out again.

#4 - A while back someone came to the market in search of green tomatoes.  She couldn't find any (we just had red).  I think that planted the seed for the recipe of Lemlin's I tried today - a fried green tomato sandwich with basil, smoked cheese, mayonnaise and bread.

#5 - I did burpees in an exercise class today.  I detest burpees.  However for once I managed, at some point to shift out of inner refusal to acceptance.

I've fallen in love with SE Minnesota the past few years.  I'm going to post pictures from my camping trip at White Water State Park last weekend. 

Both NE MN (the Boundary Waters area) and SE MN (the bluffs) are threatened with mining.  NE for copper nickel and the SE for fracking sand.  So it goes -

not enough
not enough
not enough

Monday, September 22, 2014

Extending the Airport Runway

(From a painting/writing class I did one evening last week.)

#1 - I memorized a poem by Mary Oliver - Extending the Airport Runway - while doing door knocking for my state legislator tonight.

#2 - I recited the poem to his wife and the couple whose house we were based out of when I returned. I've had/been taking advantage of inserting poetry into the world frequently recently and I am really enjoying it.

#3 - The woman who came to her door happy. She really stood out. When I left her house I thought, "I should have thanked her for being the happiest woman in her neighborhood." I spoke to her 10 seconds and walked away feeling better than when I knocked simply from her smile.

I wrote down her address - thinking maybe I'll send her a card saying something simple like, "Happiness is contagious. Whatever you are doing keep it up. Thank you."

#4 - I got home from door knocking much earlier than I expected so I am going to make a smoothie and curl up with Walden. I am in love with Walden! It's so funny how even though I trusted it would be on my wavelength I never felt any desire to read it previously. Actually I still didn't now. But I went to a walking outdoor play yesterday about the friendship between Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson - names I've known but not much else - and so I requested a book of each of theirs' beforehand. The Emerson book is poems so I've been reading one daily. Walden I was really not expecting to read at all, and in fact I have the new book by a favorite author (Paulo Coelho) from the library which I should read first because I can't renew it, it has a waiting list. However, I read the first page of Walden and I am hooked! It is both insightful and poetic! I am in love with a man born 200 years ago at the moment.

“I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and I threw them out the window in disgust (27)” Walden Henry David Thoreau

#5 - One house on my route had just a little milkweed out front, I thanked them (for the monarchs).

Sunday, September 14, 2014


If I were to do a self-evaluation one area that I would mark “greatly needs improvement” is my appreciation of/savoring of food. Unfortunately, I’m often eating to get on to the next thing, or paying attention to thoughts in my mind and hardly notice my food.

#1 - On the other hand, I would mark on this evaluation, “improvement noted” in the category of “appreciating my food wealth”. Tonight I ate a leftover piece of tilapia. That wasn’t enough – so I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I actually wanted to eat this as I hadn’t had one in a while. The raspberry jam was from the farmer’s market, as were the purple carrots (on the outside). Then I had some pretzels, local strawberries, a couple pieces of cheese and a few crackers. As I was putting my dish away I felt, “I am so wealthy.”

It’s a start in the right direction and it’s not the first time I’ve felt that this summer.

#2 – My soccer team was passing really well today. Specifically Matt to me to Matt to Rachel to goal.

#3 – I found out a guy on my team is a family practice doctor. He had to leave our game at 5pm on a Sunday to go to work. “What do you do?” someone asked.
“I’m a family practice doctor. I’m admitting (or referring?) at the emergency room 6:30pm-2:30am.”

I’m grateful because

A. He’s been on my team for at least a year and no one has asked what his job was before. He hasn’t been “the doctor” on our team. He has just been “Ben.”
B. He is the kindest man. It is a bit difficult for me to imagine him going through the intensity of medical school, but I’m so glad there are people like him who do.

#4 – Climbing around one of the best playgrounds in the area with my friend's kids. The last time I took them was about a year ago and I could see how much they had developed in that time. (They are 2&5 now).

#5 – I’m not impressed with most toys, but one we played with “Wedges” (or something) was for building. It was fun and I got absorbed by it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Market

I knew eventually I'd be posting a day I was working at the market. Today is the day.

There are 3 staff at the market, and 2 of the 3 of us are there every Saturday. This week however, the other 2 weren't able to be there so the woman who managed the market two years ago filled in. I met her a couple times in the meetings leading up to the market as she is still involved. We didn't personally talk at all, however, I had a good feeling about her and genuinely looked forward to working with her today.

#1 - I was completely right. We had some great conversations on things we had in common, often having to interrupt ourselves to talk to shoppers and tend to other things.

#2 - For example - community living. She has been trying to ease her husband into sharing her interest in living in a Camphill Community (which I am at least vaguely familiar with). I asked her if she'd visited a nearby co-housing community. I said in the past they had info nights. She looked it up right away and saw that they still do and thanked me for reminding her it.

#3 - A woman who is a vendor at the market has long looked familiar. Today I asked if she went to my high school - nope. Then she said her college and, "That's it!" The fun part of it though was mentioning the music festival I go to over Labor Day weekend, as it was a band that did our college circuit. She was really interested and asked me to send her more info. I just did saying the info was for last weekend. She immediately replied.

"That still helps for the future. What a cool event!


#4 - This is a bit funny since, I spent 4 years asking friends if they'd go to the festival and the first person I recruited ending up being a musician who played at the market earlier in the summer. He played for the second time today and I mentioned another music show coming up on Monday with a couple of the musicians that were at Storyhillfest, he thanked me and seemed genuinely interested, so maybe I'll see him there too!

A woman came to the info booth today and requested that we buy more tables and chairs by the musicians. She said they were all full. That would have been a better time to snap this photo, oh well.

There were complaints at the market too. The most common today because our hours shifted from 8AM to 9AM opening. It is because the vendors arrive up to 2 hours early to set up and this time of year it is dark at 6AM. We try to notify people, but it's impossible to catch everyone. Anyway, I mention this because if I wrote a "complaint" blog, I'd have those too, but the intention of this blog forces me to place my attention where I want it.

#5 - I picked my first cantaloupe yesterday. I was so excited. I started cutting it and thought, "Uh oh." It was NOT ready. Today I asked the organic farmer for advice on determining when it should be picked. Hopefully I'll make a better decision with the next one.