Monday, October 27, 2008


This past weekend I flew to El Paso to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding. Today I've done a lot of reflecting...

As I took her aside, pre-ceremony, into a storage closet to offer up a blessing prayer I couldn't help but cry. I barely choked out words of blessing to her, of protection for her new union, and strength as the two of them move ahead into their new lives together. My best friend means so much to me. In college we sat in the back of her truck and looked out over the tiny city of Ellensburg and talked about life and love and mostly God. We were in the same place. We loved the same things, like playing Narnia in the park, and drinking tea, and working with youth. She has found an amazing man who supports and challenges her, and the love is written on their faces. I can feel God at work in their lives, and so I cried out of joy for the two of them. Even now, thinking about it, I get teary (which is due in part to the walls that are truly being broken down by my new medication. I never knew how good and hard it would be to genuinely feel all these feelings in life.)

But today I got sad. Transitions are always hard for me, and I have tried so hard to avoid the nostalgic longing for days gone by. But I'm sitting here, an engaged woman, waiting patiently for the nuptials that will happen in 54 days, and all around me life is changing and moving in such dynamic ways that it is overwhelming to keep up. My best friend is married, moving to New Mexico, and starting her new family (even if it is just mothering a very active Boxer dog). My other close friend is going on 2 years with her man and marriage (or at least engagement) is surely in the near future. My brown friend has upgraded from an old red tempo to a shiny pearl of a yaris, and we just keep moving forward. People no longer live in The Burg. There are no more after salt talks, or monday night bible studies, or thursday night girls nights.

And I'm heading into my own transition. There was single to girlfriend to fiancee to Wife. What does it mean? And where does it leave my friendships? I'm not talking about abandoning my wonderful friends, but as I commiserated with carlita tonight I explained...
-it's like concentric circles. there's the individual level, then spouse level, then friendship or family (whichever is more important or maybe they're the same level) and then there's co-workers or aquaintence, stranger, etc. But for so long my friendships were with people who had themselves at the individual level and the next closest was at the friendship/family level. Now we're all getting those who are closest to us are no longer our friends, because no matter how close and how much I love and cherish my friendships...they aren't my spouse. This transition is hard to explain, but tonight I'm feeling it.

I long for things to stay the same, and while I know that it's not reality, the thing I'm really looking forward to in marriage is having that person in my life forever. We'll change and our roles will evolve (wife, mother, grandmother, etc.), and there will be transitions that we'll experience...but the prospect of having someone to go through those transitions with...that's what I'm looking forward to. And I can't imagine a more compatible companion than Kyle.

But I still miss Ellensburg...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On Being a Boy Scout

So in the facebook connection to friends from years gone by I ended up tagging myself in an old photo from Boy Scout Camp 2000. Ah yes, for those of you who don't know, I was a Boy Scout.

And if you haven't heard me say it yet, I think it got me into college. You know, I was able to check the box that I was both a BOY scout AND a GIRL scout (which might qualify me for some extra services or something). Well, getting into Central wasn't so hard to begin with, but being a Boy Scout put me over the top...I think.

But this not isn't about camp, or about college, it's about the Boy Scout motto of "Be prepared." (which similarly enough the Girl Scouts ripped off I'm sure, but anywho, I'll attribute it to my time at good ol' Camp Fife).

Be prepared.

It's a motto I took to heart. My mom was the kind that sent me away on basketball trips with enough groceries to feed a small army. When we hiked we always had "The Ten Essentials" in our backpacks and for me...a change of clothes, because I would get hot while hiking and refused to wear pants, so for good measure my mom would make me pack pants in case we got lost wandering in the woods (you know, since I don't know how to skin a deer or tan hide, it was probably a good choice, though we never got lost and I never wore that extra weight...). In college they (meaning my friends) made fun of me for carrying goldfish crackers, a jug of water, a tent, hatchet, and sleeping bag in my trunk, but I said "well, if snoqualmie closes and I'm stranded I could at least chop down a tree, start a fire, and not STARVE." Maybe I was a little melodramatic, but you do hear stories of people living off m&m's and drinking urine, so I thought...hey...why not "be prepared?"

Also, I have this karmic notion that if I am prepared then nothing bad will happen. Silly, yes, but has anything stranded or bad happened to me, no...(except for the time I wasn't prepared, but that's a story for another day and time...)

So with 3 grad classes this quarter, and an ever-growing hump on my back from carrying too much weight in a frilly purse (and REFUSING to become THAT girl who wheels her books around in a milk carton or even worse...luggage) I have reverted to my good ol' Old Navy light blue day-hike backpack. It's sort of embarassing and brings me back to undergrad (or worse, 8th grade), but I have enough tension in my life that I don't need lopsided shoulders and aching scalene muscles, so I've resisted the urge to be ultra feminine and am now a back-pack wearing gal (and truthfully, NOBODY notices, I am on a college campus after all, it's my PRIDE that kep me from giving in sooner...)

And today, that preparation was useful.

No I didn't get stranded on in a snow-bank or fight off a bear, but while I was jaunting down the steep hill toward my class my ankle rolled and there I went...falling...down the hill (with a 50lb backpack on).


Not only was it embarassing as hell (only 1 girl saw and was super sweet about it), but the backpack was heavy and so rolling to get up on the hill was sorta like a turtle trying to right himself after being knocked over. It wasn't graceful or pretty, and mostly it hurt.

But, in the spirit of being positive, I thought I'd share that I now own a super cool pair of jeans with a knee rip that looks Abercrombie expensive but cost me nothing more than a little pride and a giant war wound on my left knee.

The other good news is that being the good ex-Boy Scout, I had a first aid kit in my backpack (hey! it was a hiking back-pack, cut me some slack okay?!). So off I went to the ladies room feeling mighty proud of myself that being prepared ACTUALLY paid off. There is nothing like rubbing alcohol pads, guaze, waterproof tape, and anti-sting ointment to bandage up some pride.

Oh, and just in case I needed extra help, I also had a bright orange whistle...

Do you think I could get a merit badge for today's activities?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tibetan Prayer Flags

Tibetan Prayer Flags

blue, white red, green, yellow-
each tattered and
the flags flap furiously
in the breeze, as if to say
Hear our prayers.
Prayers for peace and
Not just for Tibet-
for all nations,
for all people.
I wonder if the owners,
of the blue house,
ever get the urge to take them
to give up in the face of so much
or do they cling to hpe,
tattered and fading
but still flapping in the breeze?

-Jenna Powers

Sunday, October 12, 2008

what's at the end of the tunnel?

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.

I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language
- even the phrase "each other" -
do not make any sense.


Rumi's poem is this week's art prompt for Inspire Me Thursday. I sat down to my art table tonight (which happens to double as a kitchen table and present-wrapping station), but my mind is still wandering around aimlessly in the fog and all I was able to do was move scraps of paper around, shifting them from side to side without any real progress. So instead I am sitting with the poem, letting it get inside and live and hopefully begin to inspire, like sunlight to seeds.

And in the meantime I took day 7 of my anti-depressants. After 4 quarter in a mental health counseling program and 10 years of struggling with depression I finally gave in to medication. What tipped me over the edge was that it came out of the blue without any prompting. One moment I'm living my life and the next I'm flat on my back without any reason. Every other time before that I've slipped into these spells there's been a reason to pin it on (be it valid or not) like hating my job or having conflicts with family or friends. Nope, one day I'm good and the next day I'm not. It's how biological depression works. A chemical imbalance.

But I was skeptical about medication, because it hardly ever works on me. In fact, the placebo effect is less likely to work on me than others I'm sure. So I've been pleasantly surprised that after only 7 days I can tell a difference (though it takes 3 weeks to take full effect). I'm still sleeping for hours and hours, and losing hair like nobody's business, but as long as I'm not bald for my wedding I'll be okay...

And the idea of there being a field where my sould could lie down, now that is beautiful and fills me with hope :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I'm not sure if it's winter weariness that is already set in, or if it's a reaction to stressful life circumstances, but it's taking a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. The words "my soul is weary, even unto death," keeps rolling around through my mind, though take not that this is not remotely suicidal ideations (of the physical, more like my soul is simply longing for something joyful once again).

My monthly yoga magazine showed up in my mailbox this week and I read a story about "Winter's Warmth," which highlighted people who are "darkness lovers," people who "cherish the radually increasing darkness of November," and I longed to have that outlook on life. I'm a light and warmth lover, though I do love the festive feeling of Christmas-time with sweaters and fires and hot-cocoa.

Looking at the calendar I'm aware that it's early in the season and the months of darkness ahead seem insurmountable.

So how do I reframe the season of darkness and weariness? Or, rather than fighting it, should I recognize it as natural (for even the animals this time of year become sluggish and tired), and go easy on myself?