Sanctuary 2.0: Gratitude

Ok, yes, it’s cliché to write about what you are thankful for on Thanksgiving. Several-years-ago-me would have rolled my eyes at the thought, just as I rolled my eyes at all things holiday related because of the commercialism and forced nature of it. I still despise the commercial side and don’t decorate or celebrate in any big way (because by the time Christmas rolls around we’ve been subject to decorations and holiday music for two goddamn months already in every store and on every street corner!), but I have adapted slightly and brought a little holiday spirit into my life in my own way.

Adult life goes by fast. I mean, remarkably fast. I look back on events that happened five years ago with certainty that they only happened a few months ago. Sometimes it takes literally months of planning and trial and error to finally get together with a friend for lunch because our schedules are so hectic and rapidly changing. And I still am unconvinced that 40 is just around the corner. So, the way I see it now, it’s nice to have a day on the calendar dedicated to giving your beloved some extra attention, to appreciating your parents, or to reveling in the fact that you are alive on this amazing planet for another year. It doesn’t have to be commercial at all. There doesn’t have to be a big sit-down dinner or a parade or a massive family picnic. It’s about taking a moment. And so, especially because my life satisfaction level is currently around 96%, today I’m taking a moment to write about what I am thankful for in my life. Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: Princess to Pioneer

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Once upon a time, I lived in a land far, far away. A land of fairy tales populated by peasants and kings, bears and wolves, composers and poets. A land filled with beautiful things: lacquer boxes with miniature paintings, Orenburg shawls, intricate samovars, khokhloma kitchenwarematryoshkas, faberge eggs, and gzhel. In this magical land, I had a magical romance. Or maybe it wasn’t so magical but only felt like it was because I was in my early twenties and still believed love was the most important force in the world and still believed in its power to strike down all adversity and sorrow. But then I became too old for fairy tales and my Russian prince and I and our 12 gzhel statues moved to America where we were commoners with common lives and common problems that love could not vanquish. And then we didn’t have love anymore and so we parted ways. The gzhel cow, the gzhel pig, and all their fragile blue and white friends were relegated to a storage bin, packed away with the other memories of a life gone by, or perhaps a life that never was, to be pulled out and examined once or twice a year when nostalgia for the emotional intensity and naivete of young adulthood grew unbearable. But as time marched on, those ancient images and emotions were no longer strong enough to push through the haze of present day concerns, and the value in toting physical representations of memories from place to place was lost. It was then that the gzhel barnyard animals met their tragic end in a dumpster in a grimy alley in Denver, Colorado, far from their snowy origins. Except one. A rooster. The rooster refused to be tossed aside. He scratched and clung on, crowing for attention, urging my former self to allow one piece of who she was to remain, no matter how far down in the bin he had to be and no matter how much other detritus hid his existence. Just don’t let go. There’s more to come.

Continue reading →

Haiku October 24-26, 2014

Spin me round again

Liquor-addled brains delight

Let’s be this, always

From a series of haiku I wrote from April 2014 – April 2015 to celebrate the ways that my partner and I were able to enjoy our time together each weekend. I’m publishing only the ones that I believe can be appreciated by someone who wasn’t there with us. I did my damnedest to adhere to the traditional rules of haiku, but always including a subtle reference to the season sure is tricky at times! 

Haiku September 5-7, 2014

Seaside with lovers

Yet your heart is embittered.

We fly. Separately.

From a series of haiku I wrote from April 2014 – April 2015 to celebrate the ways that my partner and I were able to enjoy our time together each weekend. I’m publishing only the ones that I believe can be appreciated by someone who wasn’t there with us. I did my damnedest to adhere to the traditional rules of haiku, but always including a subtle reference to the season sure is tricky at times! 

Word Soup Free Verse 1

Love doesn’t dissolve into harbor fog.

It doesn’t carry the lovers into a sunset.

It is devoured by a swarm of locusts,

leaving merely husks

of the once passionate

now embittered.

Cut a bunch of interesting words from magazines, junk mail, paint samples, church hymnals, stolen restaurant menus…wherever you can find words that resonate in you. Put them in a bowl, draw a few, and see what comes out!