Jul 26, 2008


The work on the cabin has slowed. I have time [and energy] on the weekends to go for a run [which I did this morning, and got chased by a dog...not fun], to stay up a little later and read, to knit. It is possible to linger over morning cups of coffee and the view of Mount Adams or the hummingbird feeder, depending on which porch I sit.

And yet there is now more work to be done. There is more work to be done Monday through Friday. There is work to be done at The Neighborhood Partnership Fund each day when I walk into their offices and into my very own office [no more sharing desk space, no more straining to hear the person on the other end of the phone, no more plugging my ears with music because now I can fill the whole room up with whatever I want to hear]. There is work to be done financially, bills to be paid, money for first and last months rent to be saved, apartments and houses to hunt for now that I, again, have an income. There is studying to be done. I have 300+ words to learn, test formats to become acustomed to, prefixes, roots and suffixes to familiarize myself with all in preparation for something I am trying to love and not dread: THE GRE.

But the programs at Portland State and The University of Oregon [which is not in Portland, but still on my list for its size and structure] both require it; therefore, I will overcome my awing [definition: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc. produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful. This is one of my words to study/learn] fear of THE GRE and remember how good it feels to walk into a test knowing I am about to kick its ass. And then I will kick THE GRE's ass.

But I digress...the respite from work at the cabin is synchronized with the need for more effort/work elsewhere. Most likely this is no accident. It is so good to be known by One who knows what I need exactly when I need it. Ideally I think I should be relieved of the need to continue living in a 33 foot Airstream with my parents at the age of 26. But I trust the One who sees beyond my immediate frustrations [coffee being ground feet from my head, no place for clothing, an ever growing pile of books read and letters received and no place to lovingly store them, ants that never seem to realize they are unwanted, a door that occasionaly locks me inside said 33 foot Airstream, etc.]. I trust that, "though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

And so now I will continue to enjoy my respite. I will leisurly shop for wild salmon for tonight's dinner. I will smile, sunglasses on, arm out the window so I can feel the breeze, singing at the top of my lungs as I enjoy the almost hour long drive back to the cabin.

Jul 16, 2008


I have a job.

Goal one of three accomplished.

Jul 14, 2008

i feel comfortable with my heart exhilarated

As a result of moving so far away from friends I have begun writing them letters. One might wonder why on earth I would choose letters when email is so much faster. True it is faster, but it is so much less romantic. It is fingers on a keyboard, not pen to paper. And in turn friends have been writing letters to me. The purpose of the letters I've sent is not the receipt of letters from them, although I welcome and treasure their postmarked responses. Even longer letters with more purpose than a simple hello, while typed first so my written words keep up with my thoughts, are eventually written down on paper before they are sent off.

And the anticipation...Oh! The anticipation! The stack of mail on the table beckons me as much as it taunts me. "Look through the letters! See who has written you!" And again, "Look through the letters. Only bills for you!" When there are letters from friends the joy is...incredible. Sometimes I even sing the mail song from "Blue's Clues." Without looking at the name or the return address I know who the letter is from. And everytime I am elated. The handwriting conjures memories of notes--which would arrive unexpectedly on my desk or car and were their own source of joy--written when we lived closer.

And then of course there is the excitement I feel as I place the stamp in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope, I cannot wait to hear they have received it. Images of friends opening mailboxes or sifting through stacks of bills and unwanted catologues only to find a hand addressed envelope nestled in the midst of it all never fails to bring a smile to my face.

All of this for a mere $0.42. A bargain price for friendship that lives on across miles.



Jul 8, 2008

buy a child

I was at the gym this morning going nowhere on one of the many elliptical machines. I had my headphones in, as I always do, and was enjoying the soundtrack from "Across the Universe." There are TVs all over the place, but most of them do not have subtitles which means that as I sweat, grit my teeth, try to go just a little harder, I generally do so without any regard to what is on each of these TVs.

This morning was different.

This morning I was in front of the TV showing reruns of ER. [I had completely forgotten that George Clooney used to be on that show!] Directly to the left of ER was Good Morning America [heretofore referred as GMA]. This TV was the only one I could see that had subtitles and the words "child slavery" happened to catch my eye as I was in the middle of mouthing the words to "She's So Heavy" and pondering the youthful good looks of George. Immediately all other thoughts were forgotten and I was glued to GMA.

They did a story on child slavery, and more specifically they looked at just how easy it is to BUY A CHILD.
Not adopt a child.
BUY a child.
Buy a CHILD.
The reporter started out for JFK at 7:10A and within 10 hours had made it to Haiti and back. During that time he met with two different people who were each willing to sell him a child of around 10 or 11. Although the first person he met with recommended a child of closer to age 15 because she would be "more developed." During the first meeting the reporter, undercover of course, and the man selling children bartered over the price of the child he hoped to purchase. The seller started out at the bargain price of $300. [THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A HUMAN LIFE.] But he was talked down to $150, including all the necessary forged paperwork. The second seller's price was a bit steeper, $10,000. Although he more than implied that in purchasing the child she became yours and would then have to do WHATEVER it was you required of her and was much more open about the sexual nature of the transaction they discussed.

And we all just kept on doing what we were doing. We kept running on our treadmills, going nowhere on our elliptical machines, climbing imaginary stairs. Maybe because we were too engrossed in whatever workout mix we'd chosen for that morning. Maybe because we were to enamored with George and his incredible medicinal skills. Maybe because learning something like that feels so overwhelming that all one can do is go into shock.

But what happens when the shock wears off? What then? Not knowing the answer to those questions I kept on sweating. I poured my anger and my broken heartedness into the rest of my work out. I listened to Delta Spirit's "Streetwalker" as I stretched out tired muscles. And then I crammed myself into one of the showers that, until this morning, seemed so spacious. And I cried. I cried big, hot, silent tears as I struggled to keep myself upright. I cried and I prayed for an end to injustice, or as much of one as we can hope to see here and now.

Let us not be silent. Let us not be content to simply sit and allow these things to happen. Let us not be more concerned about the rising cost of gas than we are about the bartered price of a human life. Let us respond in a way that honors the One who came before us, who came to seek and save the lost.

Jul 7, 2008

a change in the winds

I don't know the exact moment or the cause of it, but early Thursday afternoon things changed. I do not mean to say that all of a sudden the sky and the ground were inverted and everyone suddenly spoke Piglatin. What I do mean is that, as I was sitting at the table in the Airstream trailer enjoying a nice cold glass of water I looked up from the magazine I was reading and realized that things had changed. The change was not a result of profound insights gained from the July/August issue of Women's Health. It was not a result of being a little too full from the nachos I'd eaten for lunch, nor was it a result of imagining just how cute I would look in all the clothes in the most recent Anthropology catalogue. I cannot say what caused this shift. But I can say I am grateful for it. I have needed to feel it. I have needed to know that all this emotional tumult, this moving and uprooting myself was for more than just obedience's sake. [Though of course if I truly believe what I say I do then obedience's sake is enough.] And that realization that things are changing, though small and without apparent cause has lifted my spirits, has encouraged me to be more honest with myself and with those around me, has given me courage, has renewed my trust and the belief that, though difficult to see too far ahead, I am on my path.

Jul 2, 2008

santa cruz sightings

I am bombarded, in the best ways possible, by Santa Cruz. First there is the haze in the sky. It has been here since I got back from the cabin on Monday afternoon. It is the haze from all the fires in California. Now I know that Santa Cruz is not the only place that fires are ablaze, but in some weird way I am comforted that the smoke from the Santa Cruz mountains has followed me all this way.

Second there are all the people I see who look like people I know from Santa Cruz. There was a girl at the gym yesterday who looked just like Jenny Baker. I could've sworn I saw Jamie Moreno walking down the street the other day in Portland. And then there is this girl who works somewhere downtown, I forget where, and she could be sisters with the lovely lady who works at the FedEx/Kinko's where I shipped everything from when I moved. This guy just ordered a coffee and then said something about being totally stoked and I almost asked him if he was from Santa Cruz just for answering that way, not even because he looks like anyone I know there. And then this girl who looked exactly like Jody Mason showed up--oh wait that really was Jody!

Then there are the cars. I see cars that look like the cars of my friends everywhere. You would not believe how many beat up green Toyota Camrys there are out there. It has to be one of the most popular cars ever made. And the silver Pontiac Vibes. And the black Honda CRVs. And the faded purple minivans like Nancy Broxton drives. I know that there are tens of thousands of each of these cars in existence between here and Santa Cruz. But I keep hoping that one time, randomly, it will actually be Nancy or Jamie or Erica or whomever else I think I see.

And music. All the songs that remind me of people I miss so much. The coffee shop I'm in has been playing The Beatles all morning. Last week "Fergalicious" came on the radio and I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard. Then there was the Jack Johnson song Erica loves so much that we listened to it over and over and over. And that song by One Republic. And the new Coldplay album. And Rush in Rolling Stone. And the list just goes on.

So my friends, my Santa Cruz family, I miss you. I miss you so much that I think I see you everywhere.