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Crow Find

I found the patchwork quilt last week at a yard sale. I thought I’d leave it in the jeep for picnics. Hm…today I found this wicker chair–still pretty sturdy sitting on a corner. In the jeep it went!

wicker chair

Drab lawn chair + yard sale quilt = insta-summer yard chair.

wicker chair2

And quit cozy I might add.

wicker chair3

I Ran Away

I read my horoscope last week & it said I needed to run away. I couldn’t agree more.

Tonight, after slowly walking the dogs around the block for the umpteenth million time, while Zephyr wandered away from me, because he’s figured out I can’t grab him if I have Trooper, I’d had it. I took the dogs home, threw their leashed in the basket, grabbed my purse & nearly ran out the door.

My car is gone. It died today again–died is becoming a word my jeep does more often than not now. Everything in my life is dying & breaking–my dogs, my jeep, my apartment. AND I’M TIRED!

So tired, and losing my patience with this slowness, this tedious, every day, slowness and breaking down, so I ran away.

You wouldn’t know it. You would call it “going out for the evening”, but for me, it was running away.

I rode my bike all the way downtown–me, on my bike! I rode all the way to Hot Italian, my new favorite bar/pizza spot–all white, black, marble, very modern. It shines & glitters. It’s clean. It’s  everything my life isn’t right now.

I ordered something with vodka, limoncella & ice. It was splendidly tall & fizzy. I flipped through Italian Elle & ordered fresh basil pizza with a thin, thin crust. And I didn’t think about the dogs once. Not once. No worry, no fretting, no nothing. I was free.

This has got to be what parents feel like when they have just given and given, and one day, that’s just it. There’s nothing left to give, if they don’t give to themselves, and fast.

There are so many things I don’t do anymore– leave town, for one, kayaking, tango. I need more time, out there, or just more time with me, sans dogs.

And the funny thing was, tonight? I wasn’t scared–not sitting alone at the bar, not riding my bike home at dusk without a light, not taking alleys, nothing. I felt free. And free is something I haven’t felt for a very long time.

Sunday’s are nice walking around our park. The grass was deep in dandelions so we walked on the outskirts where the dogs were sure to sniff every single shrub & leaf.

Dogs in the park2

Super pissy squirrel overhead.

Squirrel

Everything is so green! Except for Zephyr in his crossing guard jacket.

Dogs in the park3

Trooper in the azaleas.

Dogs in the park6

Photo op deep in the dandelions.

Sunday walk in the park.

Zephyr is more amiable to a photo op moment. Trooper was too busy hacking up pollen. Poor, low-sweeping dude.

Dogs in the park5

Tulip trees are in full bloom.

Dogs in the park4

Back home just as the wind whipped up & the sky got dark. Could it be we are in for more rain?! Crazy Sacramento weather.

d, xo

Shuffle

I took myself out today, all by myself, no dogs–I know, shock. They were sad when I left, without their walk, but I really needed to just be alone and breathe.

I went downtown and walked through Capitol Park to Ambrosia cafe on K Street–great people watching, which is all I wanted to do.  Ho-hum on the coffee, but I ate a delicious apple galette. There may also have been the best pesto focaccia I have EVER eaten, sold to me outdoors at their catering set-up by the sweetest girl, but that’s a lot of food, and oh, how I will pay for it. Comfort food really can be comforting, for a while.

I walked back through the park just taking in all the sensations of a day: the political “suits” on their phones, looking so very handsome & verboden. The state workers in their dresses, nylons and sneakers. The evangelist with a speaker on the corner–annoying. The smell of spring blowing through the trees. It was  mostly all good.

And then I came home and got stuck again. Nothing has sold in the shop. I blame myself–not enough product? Prices too high? Bio not splashy enough? The allure is. not. WHAT?!? WHAT is the allure NOT doing?! I am tired of battling this question. My answer always feels like something I have done wrong, ergo I am wrong.

Spiral, spiral, spiral.

It can be really hard not to go there, especially living and working alone. There is no cheering squad, or kind soul, to really help me out of these emotional ruts.

So, I write–write, write, write it all out–and try to breath, make more coffee (simple tasks), shoot some photos, take a step forward, even a baby step, even a shuffle.

It will pass–and it will come back with a vengeance!–but then it will pass again. this is just how it goes.

d, xo

An Empty Well

I am caught in a moment–one moment of a tangled thread of moments–of deep angst. There is SO MUCH THAT NEEDS DOING! The lists and lists, and lists written on the back of lists:

POST MORE ITEMS! Clean the house, MY DESK, redesign the blog, my Etsy banner, my bio page–it all looks so crusty! Get a model, someone younger, get up on the trends, buy wrinkle cream, whiten my teeth, learn Excel–for god’s sake! Would you just learn it already?! Wash the dogs, buy flea meds, my taxes? My rent? Did I pay rent? Can I pay rent?

To attack the piles, the papers, the stacks, looks like weeding a vast field of daisies, one. pinch. at a time.

So, I turn around, spin around and around, then open my eyes, like Alice in a Wondrous new land, and walk away. Over there is pretty. Over there is clean. Over there I can see and breathe and take in a rich new field of color, textures, scents and  life that has no weeds, needs nothing from me, only a view to be seen, drunk in, replenishing.

 

Trooper, descends

We were at the park, & just as I let the dogs off leash to sniff about a redwood while I sipped my coffee, Trooper took off in a mad dash across the green–luckily no golfers were in play–& directly into an enormous Mexican Easter picnic, complete with soccer game and BBQ.

And here comes me, nearly dropping my coffee, hat flapping on my back, waving, as I run, in a “he’s friendly” gesture, which really, depends.

A large flowery mama threw up her hands to stop him but, a swarm of little girls in fanciful party dresses descended upon him, the token Easter bunny, with wide-eyed wonder.

I swooped in and grabbed him, just as a dozen hands reached out to pet him–& perhaps pinch a finger. Trooper–so inviting–will lay against you in the grass forever if you scratch his belly, nuzzle his ears, but strange hands coming at him, all at once, bad plan.

Once rescued–Trooper? The girls?–Mama looked up and smiled. “Whew!” we both agreed, and away we went, back to the redwood, the quiet, while Trooper whined over my shoulder for the bbq. It did smell good.

d, xo

Back from the memorial. The church was filled, FILLED & I was amazed as I don’t even know that many people, yet imagine that I could fill even half a church.

 It was a full Catholic service, non of which I knew the secret words & signs, and I unconsciously swore, out loud, yet quietly when the priest called the congregation for the eucharist.

I was under-dressed, as I apparently own nothing appropriate for a funeral, though this was a memorial of life, and there were others amongst the black attire with splashes of color, including a bright bow-tie by a gentleman speaker who said J. would have approved. He was a lover of life, after all. Relief. At the calling hour this morning, I decided it was more important to show up than not, even forgoing the dress code.

Many wonderful things were said of this man and I teared up when his granddaughters stoically gave remembrances. (I am my mother’s daughter; we are real weepers). I barely knew this man–an engineer, a pilot, a husband, an adventurer, a softball coach–whose house I have walked by & shared small salutations for 13 years. I am truly awed by his life, his family, his happy marriage of 53 YEARS. How does a mate go on after such a life? What do you do in a big empty house where once was constant chatter?

I must remember to not only wave, but perhaps, stop in now and then, bring more bread, be bold enough to ask how she is doing, when there is no good answer.

You know how I always find dogs–& a cat once, Josephine, & even a few birds–a crow, some chicks, an owl? Yea, well, today I kind of found a kid, or I nearly tripped over him, I guess. He was parked outside a Chipotle in a black leather jacket & a sign that said “need money for food & blankets”.

I stopped & stared at him. “What are you doing out here?” I asked, as if his answer couldn’t possibly be true. Answers, answers, the wrong answers. “Hm…”, I was thinking, thinking, thinking. “I’ll give you food, but not money,” I said, thinking that’s the trump that blows the kids story for booze money every time.

“What I really need is blankets,” he said. And that was a surprise. This was NOT a kid bumming for a habit. “I can buy you food. What would you like?” A burrito. I gave him money, he went in to Chipotle & I walked on. I strolled around Davis, in need of a day, away. I got coffee, a bagel, went to the thrift, but I kept thinking about this kid. Had I given him enough? Did it cover tax too? Would he be short, get stuck or freak out–all the thing’s I’d do if I were short money–have been short money–so I walked back to look for him, but he was gone.

“Let it go, let it go, let it go,” I told myself. “This is my day–let it go!” I walked. I enjoyed the sun, the spring weather, the students cruising around town, the Davis scene. I heard dogs bark a few times & looked up, like Pavlov’s obedient servant: Zephyr!? Trooper!? No, no, no. They’re home. Breathe, breathe, walk, walk, walk.

I went in a circle because there was the kid, leaning against a garbage can with his sign. “Hey! Did you get your burrito?” I asked. “Yea,” he said, kindly. “Good…so…” Was he alone? Did he know a shelter–yes and no. No to the shelter, “not my place,” he said. I nodded, I got it. I’ve heard that before. “Ok…well…you had dinner, so that’s good. I nodded. I stood there. He looked away. “So, take care,” I said  & walked away.

Suddenly, I wanted to be home with the dogs. The dogs I could do. I had done. I am doing; we are doing ok. But I started rummaging through the jeep–I treat it like I’m still on the road–tent, sleeping bag, boots, gear. I only recently took out the stove, and it’s been 14 YEARS since I’ve been out there, sleeping on plateaus, in the woods, under outcrops, outside of towns, behind buildings, in parking lots, and I still don’t unpack, all the way, like I need to be ready, just in case.

I found a couple fleece pullovers–a bit furry, but warm. I drove back, found the kid again. He seemed happy. “Stay warm,” I said, and left for good.

Driving home, stuck on the freeway, I thought I could have brought him home, perhaps. I mean why not? But I thought and thought–then thought rationally–and all this negative stuff overrode my good intentions–grown woman takes in lost minor, etc, etc…nothing good could come of that. And that’s true, and really sad. 

I only ever wanted kids for about 5 minutes in my whole life, and those 5 minutes were prompted by being terribly in love with a man who I thought I would love forever–who would love me forever. So, when he didn’t, I let it go, forever. Forever.

BUT, as far back as I can remember, further back the man I was in love with, I have imagined that one day I would find a kid, the same way I find dogs, cats, birds, lost sweaters. It’s just been a given, and a matter of time. I hadn’t thought about that in a while, but I remembered today.

It may not happen–I can barely take care of myself & the dogs, but it could. It might. I would, I think, maybe. Everything, everyone, needs to be found. I believe that. In the right time, I will find, I am finding, I have found you.

 

Here I was working away when Eddie Vedder began singing Hard Sun on Pandora. You know those weird moments, where you see something, or smell a bygone scent, or hear that one song, that propels you back in time? This is that song for me.

Suddenly, I am here: Mission:Wolf, Colorado, elevation 8,000 feet. No electricity, no phones, water from a stream. Closest town: 20 miles, mostly rough dirt roads. See that little one person tent on the left? That’s mine. There are 8 of us humans, & 20-something rescued wolves. The hybrids live down low, but the wolf pack lives on their own territory. Today I hear it has expanded greatly, but this was back in the beginning.

MissionWolf

Below: This is Hota Hill. I named it and as far as I know, it’s still the same. I hiked up there a lot. It’s nearly 9,000 feet. I could see forever and never see another man made anything.  If Hota Bear and I howl, the wolves will howl back from across the valley.

Hota hill2

This is Hota Bear. Hota is dog, not wolf, but he’s a rescue at M:W. This is our prayer pole.

Hota hill3

Below, I shot this balancing the camera on a rock. Me & Hota.

Hota hill

And that’s 1989. The year I ran away from home on a moment’s notice & found myself across the country, by myself at this wild grass-roots wolf rescue. Best spontaneous decision ever. xo

If you are interested in wolf rescue, Mission: Wolf still exists, MUCH larger now and more powerful, I hear, than ever.

Cheer Up

I looked straight at my doctor today and said, “Oh, you know…I’ve been a little sad lately….” And then my mouth opened up and poured a heavy list of life happenings into his hands, before I said, “but you know, I’ll cheer up….”

He nodded, wanted to add more medication on top of what I’m already taking to “cheer myself up” but seriously, it’s just more upon more. I remind him that depression is not sadness, but he’s too busy talking. I let it go. This  journey has been longer than my short time knowing the doc.

“Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.”Barbara Kingsolver

I often blame myself–I am NOT working nearly hard enough as I should be, so of course, I’m not successful! Then I blame my circumstance: teaching killed my spirit and created a fear in me I never knew I would endure. Public anxiety, much? For god sakes, get over it, already! But then…

I flip, I flop, I am up, I am down. I work, I work, I work, then I stare at the computer like it’s a slot machine that will DO something wonderful, cheerful, miraculous, uplifting. I wish, I pray, I get up, I take a shower, I walk the dogs, I measure success in tiny, tiny teaspoons, and then I pour then on the floor.

Depression runs in my maternal family. There, I said it! (Please don’t tell my mother. She would be horrified.) Family maters stay in the family, which is to say, we do not speak of them, ever.

This is how my mother was raised, but my own stubborn determination to shove back at depression, and later–after 4 super fun years of inner-city subbing — acute social anxiety, rage internally.

It’s an all-or-nothing battle of beliefs: I have good sales, I am up! I don’t have a sale, I am bad–also, I have failed, I don’t work hard enough, I am not focused enough, young enough, determined enough, I am down. There is no practical inference of how bad bad is.  It’s just ALL bad.

The doc has been trying to get me to go to this group thing: meditation, yoga, group hugs, bio feedback…I want to chew my arm off rather than go, but I promised–though I’ve promised before–that I will go. I will go. I will go….and all I want to do is walk, sip coffee, stare at the sky, breathe. That I can do.

I tell myself it is a journey–what a cliché. What I really believe is that happiness may not truly be for me. It may not–and I say this after many, many years–be attainable. This is not to say I am never happy! I am.  I have known some great joys, but they fall upon me like leaves from a tree. I hold them for a moment and then they float on.