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Entries in winter (35)


Ten on Ten: Gear Day

I missed fall in the mountains this year because I've been traveling for most of the past six weeks.  I was lucky that one of those trips was both fun and soul food (more on that soon).  The group of lovely ladies I gathered with by the sea suggested we start a new Ten on Ten project, a perfect way to bring me back into this space that I've missed so much.

Winter has made its first overtures in the high country since I was last here. 

Winterizing our family apparently involves a frenzy of gear acquisition, starting with post-season mountain bike shopping to replace Will's bike that was stolen earlier this year.  (The gambit here is that if you're willing to buy a new bike and let it collect dust for six months before you can use it, you deserve 30 percent off.)

We're all itching to hit the slopes, and the snow has already started falling.  With Ezra growing like a weed, season ski rentals are the only rational approach to gear.  The minute we walked into the ski shop Ezra and I headed for the rental racks.

Ezra was so happy he refused to take his ski boots off for the rest of the day.

On the way home Will couldn't resist riding his new bike for the last five miles, even though it's straight uphill.

And ever his father's son, Ezra insisted on a short hike in his ski boots.

Welcome winter.  We're ready to play.

For more 10 on 10 goodness, head to see what Tara Romasanta has in store.


An Antidote to Silence

In response to the most severe writer's block I've personally experienced, Will suggested I just post some pictures.  And I thought, hmmmmmm.  That's right.  After all, this was supposed to be a photoblog.

So I'll try silence with pictures and see what happens.


An Open Letter to the Moment

Dear Moment,

Here is the bitch of a thing I'm noticing about you.  I go around diligently trying to live in you, and you calcify around me - or at least my imagination.  I get into the habit of thinking that my circumstance is the Truth.

If I'm in discomfort, in pain, in love, in bliss, whatever, I could be forgiven for misinterpreting that as reality, right?  If you're potty training a toddler it would be easy to mistake the utter lack of evidence that the process will ever end as proof that it will not.  And then one day it does.  Or so they tell me.

The thing of it is, even when I'm consciously, actively courting change, when I'm putting on perfume and lip gloss and trying to get it to notice me, I still get caught in the trap of thinking that nothing is moving at all. Everything is as it is, and as it shall be.

Everything is as it is, and as it shall be.

Everything is as it is, and as it shall be.

Even I know that those words, strung together on a page in that order, don't begin to make any sort of logical sense.  But Moment, you slipped a pair of blinders over my eyes and eased the bit into my mouth and then I was trotting along in a rhythm and I forgot there was anything else out there.  You are the enemy of Perspective.  You are the trees and I can't even tell I'm standing in the middle of a fucking forest and now I'm getting so agitated that I'm mixing metaphors, dammit.

And then a lightning bolt comes across a phone line and illuminates the truth - that everything can change in an instant.  That infinite possibilities are gestating just below the surface all the time.  And suddenly that which I have been wondering about, or dreading, or avoiding, or praying for, or that which I never saw coming even for an instant, is here.  Suddenly what was not real is real.  What seemed true is no longer true.

Moment, I can't decide if I'm noticing this for the first time (and should therefore beat myself up for taking 38 years to catch on) or if I just have to remember to warn myself about you every now and then.  Either way, you should know that I'm on to you.  You're not the Truth.  You're just the moment.  There are a million more where you came from, and your time is almost up.



P.S.  You know I hate conflict, so I hope we can still be friends.


Western Romance

I grew up with fantasies of urbane and glamorous city life.  I knew I would live in a place full of bustling energy and worldly social milieu, far removed from the rural, provincial world where I came of age.

Those fantasies changed, clearly, but I never imagined that the mingled smell of diesel oil, sawdust, and sweat would be comforting and nostalgic until Will walked in from cutting firewood the other day and set the chainsaw down.  You smell like my dad, I blurted out, and I meant it in the best possible way.

I don't know what happened, or when, but suddenly I want to wear cowboy boots and go to the rodeo.  A herd of cattle huddling in the snow is the most romantic thing I've seen in recent memory.  The West is Out There, and though I've called it home for more than 15 years, it calls me deeper. 

But I wonder if someone who is not and can never be from here can understand it.  I wonder if, even if I tried, I could ever put my finger on the real thing, or if The West is just a set of stock images we all have as part of a collective nostalgia for something that never really existed. 

Something's different out here.  Something's intoxicating.  For some reason, these days, even the cows make me swoon.


Note to Self: Play

The Word
By Tony Hoagland

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between “green thread”
and “broccoli” you find
that you have penciled “sunlight.”

Resting on the page, the word
is as beautiful, it touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent you from some place distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing,

that also needs accomplishing
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue

but today you get a telegram,
from the heart in exile
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time,
to sit out in the sun and listen.

Substitute "snow" for "sunlight."  And "ski" for "sit out in the sun and listen."  Then you'll have a sense for the little love telegram that arrived yesterday.  Eight hours of play, practically unheard of.  A pleasure that was (very) successfully accomplished and for which I am profoundly grateful.