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Entries in friends (61)


Things I Learned (Or Remembered) In Vancouver

1. My husband is my friend.  Obviously I know this to be theoretically true in my daily life.  But daily life is full of it's-your-turn-to-do-the-dishes and can-we-switch-school-dropoff-and-pickup and I-have-no-idea-where-your-car-registration-form-is.  Will and I had not been away from home and Ezra together in nearly two years and the minute we hit the airport an easy camaraderie fell over us that fit like a glove.  We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on this trip.  I think I'll keep him.
2. New friends are so fun.  I met Cherish at Camp Shutter Sisters last fall.  Tamar and I have been following each other online for a year.  They arranged babysitters so we could have a triple date that involved copious amounts of BC wine and the best mussels I've ever eaten and also photowalks so that I could see the east and west sides of their fair city.  Seeing a new place through the eyes of insiders, especially insiders who would also wander aimlessly with their cameras, is one of my favorite things to do.  (Followed, immediately, by seeing a new place through the eyes of a stranger.)
3. The Pacific Northwest is to die for.  Or is it the southwest if you're Canadian?  Either way, the combination of soaring mountains, ocean, towering forests, rain, boats, bikes... Really, I could live there.  I could get adorable rain gear and eat fish every day and never need to buy another bottle of moisturizer.  Also, coffee, Asian food of all varieties, Stanley Park, yes yes yes.
4. Colorado's pretty great too.  I remembered this when I got home and Ezra didn't give me the cold shoulder and the sun dried me out in the mountains, and old friends gathered 'round.  
5. Life is sweet.

A Love Letter

Dear Dylan,

I can't believe next week marks three years since you've been gone. When you called me a few years earlier to confess that you'd fallen off the wagon I didn't realize it was the beginning of the end.  I had always known you as a sober person and I assumed this was an unfortunate bump in the road, but that you'd be back on track, say, the next day.  I didn't know that the wheels were starting to come off.  I didn't understand that all those years when you seemed okay, your demons were still there, under the surface, gaining strength.  I didn't understand anything.

When I think about how absent I was from your life at the end, so wound up in pregnancy and having a new baby, I feel so sad.  I know I couldn't have changed anything for you, but I wonder if I could have just gotten a little bit more of you.  Jackie told me things got pretty bad, that you were in the grip of self destruction and despair, so maybe it's a gift that I don't remember you that way.

I usually think of you when I'm in the car listening to music, but that might be because it's the only place I tend to be alone with my thoughts.  You also always come to mind when I'm chasing a tele-skier down a slope that's a little beyond me (this has become a theme in my life, but you were the first and the most demanding), or when I get on the old mountain bike you sold me when you became a partner in the bike shop. When I go hear shows at Red Rocks you are with me and I can't listen to David Byrne any more without thinking about the time that you got me backstage at the Fillmore to meet him. 

I feel so lucky to have shared the years of friendship with you and Jackie that I did.  I was such a kid when I started working with Jackie that it's a wonder she didn't roll her eyes and mock me mercilessly for my endless follies.  But she didn't.  She laughed with me, and she invited me into your lives and made me the approved girlfriend, an appropriate companion for the things you loved that she didn't, like skiing and listening to jam bands play live shows.  I hope I was good company for the things we all loved to do together too, like four straight seasons of Sunday night potlucks at your house watching every episode of Six Feet Under that ever aired.

I found myself wondering recently, during one of my Dylan reveries in the car, if you're here at all anymore.  The grief we all shared immediately after you died made you feel so present to me.  But coming up on three years without you, you were starting to feel distant and faint.  When Jackie e-mailed me to ask if I wanted the cruiser you gave her it was like a jolt.  When I saw the bike for the first time I laughed out loud for the joy of it.

Dylan, this bike is the most perfect gift I could imagine.  It just feels so you, from the outrageous color to the skull-and-crossbones valve stem caps.  Riding it makes me feel close to you and to Jackie and to all the times we shared together.  It also makes me hopeful for the colorful and inspired future I am calling forth every day.  This bike is the vehicle I'm taking to that place, so thanks for that.

I made this little film for Jackie, but also for you, to show you just how much I love your bike.  Since you loved good design and the coolest people, I'm imagining you and Jerry Garcia and Steve Jobs huddled up in a corner around an iPad watching this.  (You would have LOVED the high-def iPad, Dyllie.  Wish you could have stuck around to see it.)

Miss you so.




Signs and Surrender

Ezra has adopted a charming little 3-year-old-ism lately, when he doesn't get what he wants.  It goes something like, I never EVER get (fill in the blank) even if that is patently and demonstrably false.  Even if he just got exactly what he wanted five minutes ago or if exactly what he wants is promised to him five minutes from now.  But it's not RIGHT NOW, and therefore feels like Never Ever. 

I have been in quite a huff this week, feeling petulant and impatient for the life I want to finally start.  My internal iPod has been running the I never EVER get script on repeat and I have been moping around in a fashion totally unbecoming of an adult who already has more blessings that she deserves.

Then my friend Kelly called and said an intuitive told her to "Trust The Process," which made me sit up a little straighter because it is the precise mantra that arose at last fall's photography camp.  Kelly said she is excited to introduce me to a director she is working with and full of ideas and hope about artful collaborations.

Then I got an out-of-the-blue e-mail from an editor I love saying "when are you going to move to LA so you can work with me?  I have so many ideas I can't sleep at night."

Another friend pinged me to say that we have to catch up and she has ideas to share about work to do together.

Then a colleague cornered me and told me that it's time for me to be the change I want to see and make my work.

All this came in a handful of days this week when I was hell-bent on wallowing in stuckness, but even I was starting to brattily concede that the Universe might be trying to tell me something.


I opened Facebook and there was a message from my old friend Jackie, who is moving to San Francisco in a few weeks, asking me if I have a cruiser bike.

Let me preface this by saying that only a few days before, as a girl on a cruiser passed in front of my car, I said out loud to my mom I really want to get a cruiser bike like that, and I want it to have a basket and I want to be able to ride it to the studio that will house my new work life.

So I responded to Jackie that I don't have a cruiser but I'm dying to get one and if she has one she needs to offload before she moves I'm very interested. 

She wrote back that this is a bike her former husband (and my friend) Dylan gave her before he died and she's been wondering for a year what to do with it.  Yesterday morning she woke up with the answer that she needs to give it to me because I loved Dylan and he loved me and it might give me some joy to have something of his.

All of this is to say that I was resisting all that positive feedback that I have been getting from people all week, but then the cruiser bike landed in my lap.  So now I have to concede that, yes, Universe, I know you are listening.  Thanks for the sign.  I surrender.  I will trust your process.

a literal sign, from Camp Shutter Sisters last Fall


Small Gifts

Spring burst forth along Colorado's front range in a riot of prematurely hot days and a sudden profusion of flowers: trees heavy with blossoms, bulbs dripping in color, phlox unfolding a month ahead of schedule.  It is intoxicating and glorious, but I can't experience that without a sliver of underlying anxiety.  I feel unprepared for the headlong plunge into the fecundity of summer, like the whole earth is moving at a pace I can't match.

I am like a gear in an old-fashioned pocketwatch, tiny and fragile, being moved by my proximity and connection to all those around me.  Small gifts are the lubrication that keep our machine from locking up.  Kindness keeps me from overheating as the seconds tick faster.

Will has been overseas for work and a friend I met in my gypsy days but have not seen for years opened her home and welcomed him as she would have me, like an old friend. 

My mother was my date to a friend's 65th birthday party this weekend.  She greeted us and said to my mom, Your daughter is one of my favorite people on the planet.

The new babysitter goes above and beyond and I come home to a clean kitchen.

A gorgeous slab of lemon-fennel salmon arrived in my kitchen just before the afternoon party preparation got the best of me.

Hugs.  Scalp massages.  Cupcakes.

Small things that, in the words of Robert Brault, become the big things.  These are the things that give me room to breathe, the things that make it safe to unfold the tender parts, the things that make it possible to embrace the noisy, crowded abundance of summer.


Visitors of the Heart

I was trying to sweet talk an Indian ferry-wallah into letting me onto his oversold boat the first time I laid eyes on Lorraine.  She and an Irish girl named Evelyn sashayed up with a bag full of samosas and trumped Will and me utterly.

Will and I had both eeked out every moment of leave we could manage from our jobs (about three weeks, as it turned out) and set off on the least practical honeymoon ever.  It took us about four days of planes and transfers to move from the blizzard-bound winter of Colorado through a bitingly wet day in London into the dim and humid tungsten-lit wee hours of Calcutta.  And now finally, we were on a speck of archipelago one ferry ride away from our destination only to be stymied by the only Indian public employee I had ever encountered who was impervious to baksheesh.

And that is how Will and I found ourselves stuck in port with Lorraine and Evelyn and some rich German who, in an effort to vie for their attentions, bought us all dinner and too many drinks.  It was a good start. The next day we managed to get on the boat and get to our final stop where we discovered we were all staying at the same guest house.  I fell in love with several of the travelers I met during the next two weeks of tropical indolence, but none more than Lorraine. 

I have traveled enough to know that the little tribe assembled on that island was not a foregone conclusion.  It was a rare and magical convergence and I was lucky to take part in it.  I'm also lucky that Lorraine still has a gypsy soul, even as she and her girlfriend settle down in Scotland.  That is how they landed on my Colorado doorstep last week and burrowed their way even further into my heart. 

It's also how I know, even when the routine of daily life obscures the proof, that magic still exists.