Fortunate

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I come from a long line of strong-willed, able bodied women. Only recently have I been fortunate enough to see this as an advantage. There are so very many sayings that negatively paint our general tendency to become our own Mothers. I’m guilty of citing my worrisome behavior, my (sometimes) overly talkative nature, and my  general restlessness/busybody approach to weekends as evidence that I’m becoming my own mother and reasons to attempt personal change. 

When I took a step back, I realized that all of these things are traits she nourished within me and I credit them (and her) for the person I have become. 

I don’t have slender ladylike arms, or prominent slender hip bones. I have a body that is capable of all the work I demand. It has been an arduous journey discovering the reason for this body, but I am here and I am glad to have it in place of all others. 

I am thankful for my mother, who will always push further, ask more, subtly hint, quietly mull over, and work herself to the bone for the things she wants in this life. I am proud to be her daughter. 

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Brave New World

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Almost three months ago, hard as it is to believe, I started a new job. And with it, a new life, you might say. One that is keenly aware of subtleties and shifts.

Sometimes, I have to pinch myself. This is really your job?, I say, It’s a dream come true!. But then others, particularly the long nights spent not sleeping and instead working, or the short nights spent tossing, turning, and working in my sleep as my dreams become entirely populated with tasks, I realize that I miss typography, and layout, complex systems thinking that ultimately exists as a means for the reader to navigate concepts and comprehend ideas.

There is great joy, but also some sadness. Most importantly, this is a new adventure and for now I’m willing to see where it takes me.

Landscape

That reminds me; It’s about time I reconnected with nature.

Snowshoeing, this weekend.

[barbara & michael leisgen: mimesis]

HEYDAY

I have a longstanding theory that we all become fixated during our personal heydays. The evidence is usually in what music  makes the biggest impression and sticks with us the longest. Even after years upon years, these songs, these images, these feelings and smells- they puncture our consciousness at with their every appearance.

The first record I ever purchased cost ninety-nine cents at Goodwill. It has no lyrics, and doesn’t even boast that lovely blue-note sound I’ve come to adore and linger in on long, lonely nights. No, it came at time for me where there was nowhere to go but up and no one to fuss over but myself.

I listened to it once and tucked it away deep in my collection. I can’t bear to part with it and I’ll defend it tooth and nail.  I can vividly remember my joy, my feelings of accomplishment the day I bought that record player. Half off. Giant speakers in tow. No idea if it worked, not even a clue how to set it up or use it. Not a single record of my own.

I spent hours toiling away, finding the right set up, scouring the bins at goodwill for something worthy of a listen, and ultimately found myself soothed and relaxed, whiling away my evening discovering every intricate detail of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

For the first time in my life, those songs had meaning. They had an order. Each one belonged on either side A or side B, and they would forever be remembered as the first track of side A, the second scratchy almost unplayable track on side B that my Aunt used to play time and time again in my grandparents basement when I was young., and so on.

Playing records gave my music collection meaning. It gave me the chance to wander aimlessly through bins of well-worn jackets, loose LP’s, and musty books of a single composer’s entire catalogue. To judge an album by its cover and be delightfully surprised, or horribly disappointed (as the first case may be…) And ultimately, it gave me a profound love for an even wider range of artists and movements.

Above all else, it gave me a way to imagine my music. Each album now had a case, a look, a feel, a smell, a typeface, a specific incongruence between the cover and the contents, a poignant harmony between the insert and the storyteller recorded within. They had an order in an ever-expanding row on my floor.

I still remember the five CDs I carried in my first car and listened to incessantly. I still know every single exposure on the first roll of black and white film I ever shot. I can feel the heat from the early Spring day I walked home with the first bicycle I ever bought and fixed up on my own.

Life ebbs and flows. You have times where you feel so supremely connected to your dreams that you can’t imagine life any other way. And then, before you know it, that entire vision is lost, fogged over, distant, and so separate you might question whether you really experienced it. Maybe it was a movie you fell asleep to on a cold winter night in a ramshackle apartment, with a distant heart and a wall between you and the world.

For whatever reason, these influences remain the milestones that you can judge time and relate events to. Such is the power of heyday. That vigor and enthusiasm. You don’t know it’s upon you, until it’s passed.

Don’t mourn a heyday. There will be others. You won’t recognize them, because they don’t dress the part and they certainly don’t announce their presence. Just bask, and feel good when you feel good.

If life is such that my feet may not travel for their own sake, I’ll let my mind do the walking, these photos do the talking.

I think it is also important to note that this trip is not geographically exclusive. We can travel through time, too, if the place is worth it.

Even more intriguing, perhaps, a voyage to an entirely different way of seeing…

How can you bridge that gap? When the destination is known, but the path is obscured…

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Travelin’ Shoes

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“Suddenly I was exhilarated to realize I was completely alone and safe and nobody was going to wake me up all night long. What an amazing revelation! And I had everything I needed right on my back; I’d put fresh bus-station water in mypolybdenum bottle before leaving. I climbed up the arroyo, so finally when I turned and looked back I could see all of Mexico, all of Chihuahua, the entire sand-glittering desert of it, un-der a late sinking moon that was huge and bright just over the Chihuahua mountains. The Southern Pacific rails run right along parallel to the Rio Grande River outside of El Paso, so from where I was, on the American side, I could see right down to the river itself separating the two borders. The sand in the arroyo was soft as silk. I spread my sleeping bag on it and took off my shoes and had a slug of water and lit my pipe and crossed my legs and felt glad. Not a sound; it was still winter in the desert. Far off, just the sound of the yards where they were kicking cuts of cars with a great splowm waking up all El Paso, but not me. All I had for companionship was that moon of Chihuahua sinking lower and lower as I looked, losing its white light and getting more and more yellow butter, yet when I turned in to sleep it was bright as a lamp in my face and I had to turn my face away to sleep. In keeping with my nam-ing of little spots with personal names, I called this spot ‘Apache Gulch.’ I slept well indeed.”

-Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

I think it’s time to travel again.

 

[image: Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Harnandez New Mexico]

Falling in to place

A month and a half has passed. Boxes were unpacked so fervently at first, those first weeks spent unpacking and shuffling things room to room. Progress came to a grinding halt as we exhausted our enthusiasm. We both know that it takes years to establish a home, to truly feel at ease in your own space, and to ultimately make it your own. For now, simple arrangements on an as-whim basis will have to do.

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