Celebrating Life this Holiday Season

Permalink

“Everything changes in third grade, Bud.” My wise eight year old is schooling her five year old brother. “You don’t get a Big Buddy anymore at school. YOU ARE the Big Buddy.”

These words hit something in my memory. I flash to a month after my Grandmother’s death (something I’ve talked about before) and I remember my mom saying to me, “It’s so weird to not have a mom. Now I *am* the mom.” Continue...

10/10/2011

On living other’s dogma

Permalink

The alarm went off at 7AM for the first day of fifth grade. My dad was in his suit walking out the door as he heard me grumble and get up. “Life sucks and then you die,” he greeted me.

This is the first of a thousand similar morning greetings he would say as he suited up and walked out the door to work. Continue...

8/12/2011

On darkness.. and light

Permalink

One of my favorite episodes of my favorite TV show ever is “Northern Lights” of Northern Exposure Episode 4:3. It’s an analogy of light within the depths of darkness.

Goethe’s final words: “More Light”. Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime,  that’s been our unifying cry. More light. Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon, incandescent… Lights to banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the nigthgames at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlight for the books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep.
Light is more than watts and foot candles. Light is metaphor. Thy word is a lamp under my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead Thou [You] me on. The night is dark and I am far from home. Lead Thou me on. Arise, shine for thy light has come. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light.

We’re entering the darkest time here in the Pacific Northwest. The time where the sunlight dips to unseen beds at 4pm and doesn’t rise again until 8AM. The hibernation of man becomes a reality and people in coffee shops talk about the endless darkness. Continue...

5/2/2011

On being S.A.D.

Permalink

rain

The heat kicks back on and I know it won’t warm me. The walk to the car will be wet and cold. I wear a layer of my body like an extra coat of energy, just waiting, hoping to be used. I drink another cup of coffee and turn the heat as high as I can while I drive.  I will struggle with children, putting coats and hoods and boots on and splashing back to the car again. The effort nearly crushes me. Continue...

4/6/2011

If I look 19, you’re a purple horse

Permalink

Saturday we had a small going away party for some friends of ours. They’re moving back to LA after two years of this [shitty weather] northwest experience. I thought I’d help out since it was a last minute party and offered to bring some beer. I mean, comon, you need beer at a party for bloggers. Or anyone, for that matter.

I stopped at the brewery to pick up a growler of local fare. Continue...

3/2/2011

It’s like starting all over again. You can be whomever you want to be. And other lies.

Permalink

It’s funny the things people will say when you enter a difficult situation. My family was uprooted from the upper-middle-class subburbs of a major metropolitan city with 300 days of sun at the end of Jr. High.  We settled in a mill town in a small rural area of a state that sees 30 days of sun a year. The entire time my parents sang chorusses of “But you can remake yourself! You can be anything you want! You get to start fresh!”

Dude, I was 13. I was fresh. I had no idea who I was in the first place. Also, these people don’t peg their pants like we do and why aren’t they wearing neon? Continue...

11/7/2010

It’s funny, the things you regret

Permalink

We got married on the top of a small mountain on a tiny island off the north-western corner of the “lower forty-eight” states. My dress was twenty dollars from Ross and I wore my favorite combat boots I purchased at a consignment store for six dollars. It was November and a tiny group of our closest friends stood outside in the freezing cold with us.

I have never, once, ever regretted not having a big fancy white-dress wedding. Continue...

7/5/2010

Turn around and take a step forward

Permalink

As the closing song fills the screen of “180 Degrees South,” several quotes come to mind. I grab my old book, “Buddhism Plain and Simple.” As most of my other inspiring books, it too, has passages underlined with notes in the margins. I find the few I am looking for.

From the film, Yvon says, “The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life, it’s so easy to make it complex. But what’s important is leading an examined life…” I smile slightly. I know this quote. It’s the quote of so many wise people. Of Thoreau. Of Emmerson. Of Buddah. Continue...