Jan 28, 2009

her morning elegance

I was made aware of this beautiful piece of creativity after reading Reb's most recent blog post. I have been listening to it over and over all day. I have been sneaking glances at it in between projects.

It makes me dream of love, makes me long for love.

It makes me wish I was surrounded by yarn instead of files, makes me wish I had paintbrushes in my hands instead of a keyboard under my fingers.

It makes me want to nest, makes me want to create.

It makes me want to surround myself with sweet music, beautiful people, and lovely things.

It makes me want to have you over for tea and scones while the rain drops fall and time passes by, deliciously sweet, as it can only pass for those who understand the precious dreams written in each others hearts.

Jan 24, 2009

they say it's your birthday





I am beyond thankful for you. There are no words that come close to describing just how very much I love you and how much you mean to me. But, of course, I am going to try. You are such an incredible human being. It is a privilege to be your sister, your friend, and to accompany you on your journey. I cannot believe you are TWENTY-THREE. I'm not quite sure how that happened.

I love you. By some miracle I go not just what I wanted, but what I needed. Thank you so much for who you are.

Jan 23, 2009

thomas kinkade

I cannot stand the paintings of Thomas Kinkade*. Painter of light my ass. They always seem so phoney. Like really bad photoshopping, but with paint. Really, have you ever seen a Tudor cottage with a working waterwheel in a meadow with the sun shining just so? Neither have I. Also, he looks creepy.

But. This morning, on my way to work. I saw it. I saw what good old Tom has been trying to paint for years. But it was beautiful because it was real. There was no Tudor style cottage. No ridiculous meadow or century old street with glowing gas lamps. Just pinks and oranges peeking through gray clouds and fog that hovered above the small sail, house, and motorboats docked on a small tributary of the Columbia River. The sunlight was splayed out in front of these various boats as it was reflected on the water.

Just real sunlight. Real clouds. Real fog. Real boats. And real beauty.

*If Thomas Kinkade is your favorite painter then I have two things to say to you:
1. No offense.
2. Let's go to a real art museum sometime and get you educated.

Jan 21, 2009

no ducks

I heard back from the University of Oregon last week. By email.

"Dear Haley Cloyd,
We regret to inform you that your application for admission to the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Oregon was not accepted."

Et cetera.

Eight spots. One hundred sixty applicants. Statistically speaking it makes sense.

I am still a little pissed. My ego is [definitely] still a little bruised. But people get rejected from graduate programs all the time.

I was just hoping I would be one of the few who was spared from that particular form of rejection.

It is far too easy to wallow when I think about that email. [Yes, email.] But the fact of the matter is that I DO NOT WANT TO WALLOW.

I want to continue looking forward, squinting at the sun that is slowly rising above my horizon, shedding light onto my future that has been waiting in shadow.

Jan 18, 2009

Jan 17, 2009

what i read...

Why does it take so long for those blogs to update?

Because I KNOW that Erica has new pictures up. But it says that her site was updated three days ago. Lies.


oh my gosh! it's eight o'clock!

I was never much for sleeping in. Even when I was a teenager. Sure, I had my days where I managed to sleep till 10:00 or even 11:00. There may have even been a day or two where I actually woke up when the post meridian hours, but those few instances were usually due to my staying up until 3:00 or 4:00.

After a week full of falling asleep after 23:00 [11:00PM] and mornings of my alarm waking me before 5:30, it was delightful to know there would be no semi-melodic-bad-90s-synth music coming from my phone at hours too early for pretty faces to be awake. Instead I fell asleep to "Arrested Development" next to my wonderful sister Clare.

Really, she is delightful and one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, and also one of my favorite bed buddies. When we [both] still lived at home we had separate rooms, but frequently ended up having mid-week sleep overs. It was something our parents would not have allowed with any other friend because it was a school night, but we were sisters, so it was like a loophole.

Last night after a long work week I huffed it over to the train station dragging my too-full suitcase, laptop and purse. One on time [for once], three and a half hour train ride later my lovely sister met me at the King Street Train Station in Seattle, Washington. There were hugs, love, Arrested Development, and we even managed to sleep in until the beautiful hour of 8:00.

Jan 15, 2009


I am very particular, when given the option, about the mug from which I drink my coffee [and maybe about a few...okay more than a few other things]. There was a time when Genesis had a large bin full of old mugs. The Genesis family members could drink their Sunday morning coffee from those mugs instead of using styrofoam, and later paper, cups. I had a favorite mug in those days. I used to keep it at my desk during the week because I enjoyed drinking from it so much.

Then one day it disappeared. I was sad, but in the chaos of packing to leave I didn't think too much about it. And it saved me the guilt I would have felt if I'd taken the mug as a souvenir. I discovered later that one of those near and dear to me had a similar thought and kept if for herself in memory of me and my love for it:

That would be Mrs. Erica Sue Stubblefield, folks. I remember discovering her thievery after leaving California and being so touched.

This last weekend while staying at her house I went to the cupboard to find the perfect mug for tea [throat coat in particular because I did so much talking with friends my throat was sore]. I had completely forgotten that she had the mug at her house and was so excited to revisit it. I used it for all my beverages that weekend. I even took a commemorative picture:

Yes. It is [almost] exactly like Erica's. Yes. That is on purpose.

I love you friend, in all your thievery. And even though Santa Cruz was lonely without you, this mug helped keep my metaphorical cup very full.

santa cruz, l + c, and sunshine

I had the chance to go to Santa Cruz this last weekend to celebrate two of my friends getting married. It was wonderful, and amazing, and sunny, and full of time with places I love and have missed. Most importantly though it was filled with PEOPLE I love and miss.

I spent Friday mostly by myself enjoying [too much] coffee from Verve, tacos from the Palomar taco bar, and the sights and sounds of downtown Santa Cruz. I'd forgotten about all the drum circles and impromptu jam sessions that take place on all available street corners and benches, and what a willing audience they find in the folks that stroll along Pacific. I also ran into [a.k.a. total divine appointment] to Kim Brunenger at Verve. I was starting my third cup of coffee and just on my way out when I saw her. It was...a gift really. Our conversation was an incredible introduction to my weekend in Santa Cruz.

Lacy and Christian's wedding was the impetus for my trip, and it was such a beautiful celebration of their love and commitment to each other. Highlights from the wedding:
Chance [Lacy's nephew, the ring bearer] walking dejectedly down the aisle pulling faces at every camera trying to get a decent picture of him in a six year old sized tux.
The look on Christian and Lacy's faces when they saw each other at opposite ends of the church as she walked down the aisle to him.
The vows they wrote for each other.
Communion AND footwashing.
Lacy's beautiful song/toast for Christian. Over half of the words were "I love you" and she belted them out beautifully, unashamed to proclaim her love for him to any and everyone who would listen.
The look on Christian's face as Lacy sang to him, you could tell there was no one else in the room.

Saturday was a whirlwind. Coffee and breakfast with Rebs. Lunch with Hannah and a nap on their couch that saved my life. A walk in 70 degree weather along West Cliff with Smarsh. Dinner at Malabar with Jody. It was a day full of hugs, laughter, and love. I could not have asked for a more perfect Saturday.

Sunday was coffee with Amy, Genesis, and old friends I've missed so much. [Nancy Broxton, I am talking about YOU my dear!] It was such a gift to hear Charlie teach in person rather than with earbuds shoved in my ears on the bus as I do with the Genesis podcasts. Then Charlie Hong Kong's with Jamie and Adrian...LOVE them!

The entire weekend was made wonderfully bittersweet by the physical absence/emotional presence of the Stubblefields. They were down south for a different wedding and were so generous with their home [where I stayed] and their car [which I drove]. They provided me with a place to be quiet and to process all the emotions that went along with visiting my old home.

Jan 7, 2009


When I was in fourth grade Maggie Ross's dad [not Bob Ross, sorry] would come and teach us about art, artists, and art history. One of the many things we learned, and one of the few things I can remember along with the fact that Van Gogh cut his ear off because of a woman, was that it was common for artists to be sponsored by popes, monarchs and the aristocracy. During long days at the office while attempting to encourage brain function through stimulation of the creative juices, I wander to various fashion blogs, knitting sites, and flickr pages. In one such wandering this morning I started thinking about patronage of the arts and what a shame it is that such practices have, aside from politics, gone by the wayside. I would love it if someone would pay me to knit, pay me to be creatively inspired. I know it is possible to do these things without some exorbitantly wealthy benefactor, but then it lacks a certain romanticism. And, along with spending my days engrossed in creative pursuits, it is the romanticism that attracts me.

Jan 1, 2009


At the dawn of 2008 I looked at the new year in front of me and saw 366 days [it was a leap year] playing out differently than they actually did. I thought I would be engaged. I thought I would be living in my own miraculously affordable studio somewhere in Santa Cruz. I thought I would be enrolled part-time in Western Seminary's MFT program. I thought a thousand other things I no longer recall because as 2008 progressed I felt upside down, inside out, and backward--every direction but right side up and forward facing.

Here are the highlights of 2008, and by highlights I do not necessarily mean bright, shiny, and happy. I mean significant, transformative, and necessary.
PRESIDENTS' DAY WEEKEND: I brought my significant other with me to Portland to meet and spend more time with people I believed he would one day soon call his family. Instead of ending the weekend together, excited about what lay ahead of US, I ended the weekend by separating myself from him and and returning to Santa Cruz as a ME instead of a WE. Erica met me at the airport and before we'd spent even an hour together she asked me when I'd be moving away from Santa Cruz. The blunt honesty, love, and truth present in that evening helped me make sense of what lay ahead and assured me that I had at least one person who understood me and what were my inevitable next steps.

ANNE LAMOTT, LIZ GILBERT, AND THE HAIRCUT: My mom, her best friend, my cousin Lizzy, my aunt Margie, Erica, and I were all able to meet up and listen to Anne Lamott and Liz Gilbert speak one night in April. Prior to listening to the wonderful Anne and Liz, Margie, Lizzy, Erica and I met up and had lunch and I chopped off a large portion of my golden locks. The importance of each of those relationships, and the outward symbol of change that new haircut conveyed helped me survive my last month in Santa Cruz. My heart wasn't ready to let go, but the time with each of them and the constant visual reminder that my life had changed course helped in the healing.

FROM SJC TO PDX: Just recalling the experience of standing in the security line, looking over my shoulder at Erica and Craig as they watched me leave makes me cry. Willingly leaving friends who became, who still are, family, is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Leaving not because I necessarily wanted to, but because it was what life required if I wanted to move forward, was terrifying.

LETTERS: The written correspondence between people in Santa Cruz and me has been wonderful, hard, and healing. Their letters always seemed to arrive at just the right [though sometimes it seemed wrong] time. Their letters remind[ed] me that the people I left behind in Santa Cruz are here to stay.

GRES AND GRAD SCHOOL APPLICATIONS: I have written more than a few words on the process of studying for, worrying about, and taking the GREs. I have spent more than a few hours writing and editing my applications for Portland State and the University of Oregon. Both processes terrified me, and the completion of each was encouraging and still more terrifying. With applications complete and in the hands of the appropriate committees, I await acceptance and rejection, unsure of which I will receive and hoping and praying only for the former.

The year 2008 has been more than I ever imagined. It has been a hard year. But it has also been a good year. It has been a year of trust, faith, and perseverance. I could not have made it through 2008 alone. Even if by some miracle I had been able to, I would not have wanted to do it without the friends and family who have walked alongside me, pushed me forward, and guided me when my eyes were squeezed shut out of fear or blinded by tears.

I don't know what I did to deserve any of you, and I cannot imagine my life without you. In alphabetical order, because it would be impossible to organize you all any other way [except perhaps by date of acquaintance]
CLARE: Thank you for reminding me to trust myself. Thank you for reminding me that I shine.

ERICA: Thank you for picking me up from the airport. Thank you for letters, phone calls, and long distance love that makes it feel like you're sitting right next to me. Thank you for being unafraid of walking down the paths of "what if." Thank you for creatively and spiritually inspiring me each and every day.

HEATHER: Thank you for our VCOCs. Thank you for your intellectual inspiration and encouragement. Thank you for wanting to wait to visit me until I have my own place. Thank you for getting me.

KITZ: Thank you for the phone calls and the phone tag. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for our conversation as we walked along the beach this summer. Thank you for calling last night.

LIZZY: Thank you for every single text message, phone call, and kick in the ass. Thank you for tough love and gentle honesty. Thank you for pointing out my excessive use of passive voice and reminding me to confidently communicate who I am.

REBS: Thank you for your friendship. I did not expect that moving away would bring us closer. Thank you for sitting through the whole wonderfully rainy Avett Brothers show and for loving every minute of it. Thank you for asking the hard questions and actually wanting to know the answers.

SARE: Thank you for moving back to Portland at just the right time. Thank you for always wanting me to spend the night. Thank you for almost 27 years of friendship. Thank you for holding my hand, picking out my haircuts, and setting the bar high by marrying someone so wonderful.

SISTER: Thank you for holding my hand at the funeral. Thank you for coming to the beach. Thank you for being honest. There is no way I could ever be disappointed with you.

YONERS: Thank you for all the walks. They got me through those last months at TLC, seriously. Thank you for pig talk, heehars, kicking my butt at Cribiage, and being brave enough to move away from the familiar. You inspire me.

Thank you 2008 for kicking my ass and forcing me forward even when I was scared shitless.