Wednesday, September 30, 2015


#1 - Harvested the first of what looks like about 20 butternut squash that grew by itself out of the compost.  Today I made butternut squash soup.  On Friday I plan to make Butternut Squash and Black Bean Lasagna.  My sister-in-law took a couple and I have a few people in mind for a few more.  That still leaves me about a dozen.

#2 - My Dad was telling me about a book about two WWII pilots.  One of them was an ace German pilot.  He saw this American plane that was all torn up and the people inside struggling.  The German didn't think they'd make it back to England so he tried to motion for them to land in Sweden.  They didn't understand and thought he must be out of ammunition.  The German decided to escort them out to sea so that they didn't get attacked further and stayed above the American plane as their only gun that still worked was beneath.

Despite what appeared hopeless the plane made it back to England and the two men inside survived.  This kind of story was censored however as they didn't want good/kind news about Germans to come out.

Decades later, the German lived in Canada and there was some sort of WWII gathering.  He was hesitant to go as he expected to be the only German there.  He went however and all the Americans treated him like a brother.

The German and American also met at some point many years later.

"Shows the pointlessness of war," my Dad said, "They should have all high schoolers read this book."

Despite my Dad saying this, I haven't known him to take the time to read a whole book so I thought he was summarizing what he'd heard from the friend who gave the book to him.  But nope (#3) he did read the whole thing.

#4 - Having limited access to a car causes me to invent creative schemes that also have the by product of reduced emissions.  Today or tomorrow I plan to bike over my soccer stuff to my friend's parents, who will drop it off at my friend's (where they are going anyway), who will drop it off at my sweet man's house (where my friend and I are meeting) so that I can bus from there to soccer without having to carry too much stuff.  It's complex, but is also a skill, a muscle training me for some other complexities in life...

#5  - I love having a clothesline and during at least 6 months of the year, time my laundry with sunny weather.  Despite this fact I found myself, once again today, rushing to get my clothes hung up.  No matter that it was a beautiful day outside, no matter that the earth felt soft beneath my feet, nor the sun on my face, nor the cool air on my skin.  I am getting this done so I can get to my next task.  And yet, there is a space inside me that also knows, "You don't have to be like this.  You could hang your clothes in another way."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


"The original definition of sacrifice moves more inwardly. 
 It means to give up what no longer works
in order to stay close to what is sacred."

 Mark Nepo


"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world."  

Brene Brown


"The life of expression
is the tuning fork
by which we find our way
to the sacred
to what matters."

Mark Nepo


"I used to believe, before I did the research for the Gifts of Imperfection, I used the believe that there were creative people and there were non-creative people.  Umm, and now I absolutely understand, personally and professionally from the data, that there are no such thing as non-creative people.  There are just people who use their creativity and people who don't.
 And unused creativity is not benign."

 Brene Brown


"When you are taking on creativity, you are taking on soul work."

Brene Brown


"We can't bypass the human journey. 
 It's the cocoon that releases our spirit. 
 And a lot of times we want to get out of here. 
 It's painful.
  It's hard. 
 It's difficult. 
 Another reason we need each other."

Mark Nepo


"...How many other people have a similar story like that
where they just shut down
and were never allowed to be makers again. 
They were never allowed to be participants in creation again. 
They could only be consumers, you know, you are not allowed to
contribute to the evolving story of the universe that is in motion,
you just get to watch
 and buy
and purchase things
and that's all you get to do."

Elizabeth Gilbert


"Failure has a function
it asks you
if you really want
to go on making things."

Clive James


"You are
a born maker
and we need
what you can bring to us
because you are the only one
 who can bring it."

Brene Brown

Monday, September 14, 2015


I planned to go to yoga tonight, though I saw on the schedule someone was subbing for one of my favorite teachers...then the sun and the breeze and the temperature enticed me outside. I quickly shifted gears, packed up the leftovers from the food I made yesterday and headed to Medicine Lake.

The first time I walked around this lake was during a low point in my life - I think in a February. Snow covered the ground and though it was not a particularly cold winter day, it was probably in the 30's or 40's. I was taking a short walk to try and shake up something in myself, I guess it started to work because as I walked I asked, "I wonder if there is a path that goes all the way around the lake?" I kept walking. Then, "I wonder how far it is around the lake?" I kept walking. I only came across a person or two, "Maybe I should ask them how far it is?" I kept walking. It speaks to the sense of desperation I felt in my life that I didn't care, I just kept going. Or maybe it speaks to a lake called, "Medicine," that I have occasionally wondered about, but never taken the time to research until now.

Wikipedia says, "The name Medicine Lake is derived from the Dakota word Mdewakanton, meaning "Lake of the Spirit."


Not immediately, but soon enough I started walking around that lake one evening a week. I believe for at least a year or two I hardly missed a week - late winter to late fall. This year, on the other hand, I think it's my third walk around, and possibly my first alone.

It is a beautiful walk, but even beautiful things can turn ugly when they are done out of desperation or loneliness. Or maybe not turn ugly, but fail to live up to their potential. I often imagine the trees can hear my thoughts as I walk beneath them. A broken record of the endless cycles inhabiting my brain. I've enjoyed returning to that walk with fresh perspectives, new cycles weaving in my consciousness. I feel the trees take that in, or laugh at me, "Here she goes again."

Today I spoke to the trees about marriage. Years ago, I told a friend that if I got married I'd want a small/simple ceremony. Recently she asked me if I still felt that way, I kind of shrugged, I hadn't given it any thought. Today for whatever reason, as I began to walk, I did for the first time this year. I found my perspective hadn't changed. I also pondered the upcoming thanksgiving holiday with the trees - how that might look, what plans might be made. All of this was in the first hour of the walk.

The second hour, I think I quieted down, or at least whatever I thought about was quieter - maybe the flock of pelicans (do pelicans fly in V formation flocks?)overhead. Maybe the long hike my friend wants to take in 15 years (my hike today felt like plenty to me). Maybe the man who asked if he could list me as his emergency contact when he goes wilderness camping. Maybe being asked, "What did you mean?" to a line I wrote in a poem that no one has ever inquired about before.

Maybe - what in fact inspired someone besides me to call this lake, "Medicine". Maybe someone like the creators of this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Interrupting Regular Programming

Well, it's only fitting that these are the last two photos from Asheville I have to share. I'm listening to an audio book today while I work - A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink.

I don't find it riveting. I was already on board and didn't need the convincing for the left brain he does at the beginning, however I agreed with the premise and am encouraged by the perspective.

I'm about halfway through and I just got to this part

“Sydney Harman…the 80 something multi-millionaire CEO of a stereo components company, says he doesn’t find it all that valuable to hire MBA’s. ‘Instead I say get me some poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers, they contemplate the world in which we live, and feel obliged to interpret and give expression to it in a way that makes the reader understand how that world turns. Poets, those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst, that I believe we will draw tomorrow’s new business leaders.'”

I almost fell over.

A whole new mind or a whole new world?

Sunday, September 6, 2015


#1 - Hearing the thunder and rain at 4AM yet feeling calm/peaceful about how this would affect the market today.  It was still lightning when I got there for set-up, but within a half hour it ended and the light intermittent rain was nice.  I was filling in at a different market than usual.  The head of the board of directors at my market is affiliated with both and asked me if I was available to do so.  Since I don't really know what I'm doing there it's incredibly helpful to have two teenage boys that help with set-up and tear down there that know exactly what to do.

#2 - The former mayor of the city also is at the market every Sunday on an entirely voluntary basis which is also quite appreciated by me because she knows what is going on.  Like I didn't know the face painter should be paid $25, so when she asked for the money I looked at her a bit blankly.  The former mayor said, "They didn't tell you about that part huh?"

(Asheville, NC photo)

#3 - The woman who runs the market told me she'd email me the lay-out on Thursday night and asked if I could print it out, "Sure."  When I checked my email yesterday I still didn't have it.  I wasn't going to go off and on the computer looking for it all night.  I just got up a little early.

When I tried to print it at 6AM - of course - it wasn't working.  I actually kind of just shrugged, things don't work for me at the last minute, so I wasn't surprised.  Luckily I knew the market would be rather empty for the holiday weekend so having vendors in specific spaces wasn't going to be critcal.

Then I got the printing to work.

#4 - The morning musician played the keyboard for 3 hours.  His music was happy and lively and a woman I recognized as a nearby librarian started dancing the polka with someone.

#5 - I saw the woman who hit my friend when we were jogging last week.  She was stopped at a red light, turning right.  We started jogging through, she didn't see us.  It was low impact at a low speed in a small car, but  still a car vs. a person.  I imagined the woman feels pretty awful, but I didn't have her number to let her know how my friend is doing.  Anyway, there she was in front of me, so I spoke with her briefly.

(My friend, by the way, is handling the whole thing amazingly.)