i write tonight with a lot of love and gratitude for this blog and what it has given me over the years.

i started it back in 2008 the day my grandfather, a quintessential storyteller, passed away. in his death, i had to face the fact that his were stories i would never forget nor ever be in the power to reproduce. loosing him and all the content of his nearly century-long life drove me to this effort of cultivating my own stories. the writing and purpose evolved over the years, feeding a joy i had in sculpting and framing words, preserving vivid moments of my life in both poems and prose.

some of the early pieces are rough, some are just rubbish, but each and every one were necessary explorations, stepping stones i skipped along to get to the pieces i discovered later. and all the while i was unconsciously developing a deep wealth of knowledge about the correlation between the textures of my life and my words.

i write tonight after struggling a lot these past several years to find where all my words have gone. sure, i wrote a piece or two, a few of my favorites even, but the words were pulled out of me with an effort i never needed before. and a few projects elsewhere in my life have been waiting patiently to be given words for just as long.

since the fall, i have been slowly coming to terms with the fact that this blog was done, and so this will be my last post here – a small moment of pause to say thank you to all the stories i collected, all those hours i labored, and all the readers who stopped by for however long to join me. the words you shared with me along the way meant as much to me as the ones i found for myself. thank you.

i am making a fresh start here.

tabula rasa.




the solo dance party in my living room, my office desk chair, my car, and kitchen, gosh blasting on repeat, is just a bassy distraction; i have to be quiet.

silence and space have always been hard for me – i like to hold all the hard things of the world loud and close until they soften and can be spread out before me. i want to see through them. i want them to see through me.

but today i am quiet, watching the minutes slip closer to that imperceptible moment in which the sun returns to a spot it only finds once a year. four years ago i marked it out from the rest of time –charging down the path toward today – with one simple question. and it's amazing to think that it was just one question that the years and i enthusiastically hog piled ourselves upon.

the years, they are both my friends and enemies who just don't know how to settle down. and tonight we are a rowdy and unapologetic bunch, with nothing much to do except hang the first thing on the walls of my new home. all the while, the word four, said too many times throughout the day, begins to sound like it's from another language.


no title

it's taken me two and a half years to do something i thought would take two months.

i am here though–still–moving through life, resonating in connections, moving toward beauty, and most importantly raging an ongoing war with the utter paralysis only perfectionism can inflict. the only reason i'm here today, finishing the all important task i came home from alabama with is because i have not been able to give up. even in my silence. even in my inaction.

i have a film to make and a minute step to take toward a dream i've had for decades. and i have a voice and drive to answer to in myself: a clear and unwavering directive to channel this power and i have of bringing people toward openness and vulnerability, toward a clarity of emotions and purpose and hope, and somehow make that into some Thing. i still am unsure of what exactly. i am definitely unsure of how this will support me or satisfy my ambitions, but i know it's somewhere ahead. and i know giving voice here, breathing intent into sentences for others to witness, i am one small step closer.

and on this road i have a friend, one who i crossed paths with many times during the course of last year's film festival. we first intersected at the beginning of the festival, twins in tears at the end of the same film, a mere row or two between us though unaware several weeks later i'd walk up to her at closing night, and within minutes ask her to help me on my short film. following my nose we are both at the beginning of some big journey and will share the same road for a while. we meet up each week and review the work we've done, mulch ideas in possibilities for the future, and wait for the day soon when we will work on the same project together.

i've got this. i think i've finally got this.


arcade fire

i returned to the gorge this friday for the first time since seeing radiohead there in june of 2001. that was a show that was so perfect i've been trying to reproduce the experience ever since and never quite hit the mark, even when it's my musical hero, thom yorke {almost always when it's thom}. and i've seen a lot of good shows: u2, sigur rós, portishead, zoe keating, beirut, andrew bird, the list goes on. even when i am moved, even when it's an immersive experience, there is almost always a feeling of disappointment that it it didn't live up to that one magical show that first blew me away. i've begun to think i just have gotten too old to feel that strongly, or perhaps the show i remember didn't actually happen as i'd preserved it and over the years i've quietly questioned my memory of its beauty.

and a decade goes by. and a few more years, and then arcade fire made their announcement and though i've never followed them closely, i knew i needed to be there. i knew it would be a solid show, epic even, but they surprised me with one of the best shows i've seen. only one or two have ever come close to the emotional notch that the first radiohead show set for me and this unquestionably did. i can give the gorge its credit for being the best venue i've experienced, but there was something about the surprise of the night that was part of the magic. 

i ddn't know the name of the lead singer, each and every one of the song names, or even a good portion of the lyrics. i just took it as it came, slipping under the pressure of my usual expectations and instead i found myself arrested in ecstatic time – a state of being that suspended me in each moment as it arrived, then up and against and into each of the subsequent moments as they rushed toward me. note after note. song after song. i was gently locked in a state of grace. there was nothing spared for distraction beyond the present: the hands on my back drumming a shared passion, moving to the sway and pulse around the two of us. enthusiastic hugs. shared smiles. dancing together. this is joy.

and the music kept coming, these songs that stretched beyond the setting sun in the distance, filling the canyons of the columbia river, and passing beyond sight and feeling into the realm of anthems. yes, anthems. nothing short will give them credit for the expansiveness of their music played live, something i have only felt from a few of their recorded songs. 

between the click of the light and the start of the dream...they took up the all the space between the crowd. and it was there something shifted. held firmly in the present and on all sides by the music, i felt immobilized amid the flotsam of my self, feeling everything as a reflection of my fear, my joy, my hope and grief. and i have never cried so much in all the other shows i've seen combined. can we work it out? scream and shout till we work it out. and the mirrors kept coming. song after song. confetti shooting everywhere, catching in my dress, my hair, filling my eyes, drying the last of my tears. not even sure anymore why they ever were falling. children wake up/hold your mistake up/before they turn the summer into dust. we are here at the end. the crowd singing along. the chorus. the finale. they conducted us in those final notes, asking us to sing them off stage. my gratitude in each note of wake up. too full to even wish for more.

and only then did i realize i didn't take a single photo. my phone had been in a pocket behind me, but i needed something from the night. something more than a handful of confetti. something to hold on to later if i ever asked myself if the mirrors were really that good. a set list felt right but we were a little ways from the front. we waded through some listless fans and a few enthusiasts keeping up the melody long after the band left and we made it to the rail as the first few set lists were given away. 13 band members. i always get one when i set out to get it.

but i always seemed to be on the wrong side of the stage. the lists and crowds were diminishing. i almost walked away twice. kept returning. my vision was clear. i walked up to center stage in the middle of a conversation about one of the first set lists accidentally dropped between the rail and the platform. i could see it there, about a foot beyond reach, the security guard warning us not to climb over the fence. i couldn't leave it while i was so close and a few minutes later after i almost left a third time, one of the crew walked past handing out one of the last lists off to my right and i took the moment he paused to say excuse me, sir, do you mind getting the one that fell, please? surprisingly, and he wasn't too busy to kneel down, reach into the space, stretch that little bit farther. he picked out my hands from the others that suddenly appeared, a wad of gaffer tape and song names, mine.

we walked out, a little quiet, a little raw, more than a little grateful for the dark stretch of the columbia river gorge that was no longer visible even in the nearly full moon, and already this is one of those moments i plot on a map of my life: august 9th, 2014 -- george, wa, the gorge, 15 feet from the font of the stage -- this two hour span of lights and musicians and sound held me down and made me listen to everything all at the same time reminding me i feel strongly, love deeply, remember clearly, and i'm not chasing rainbows. 

with my lightning bolts a glowing/i can see where i am going/better look out below!


love more

love more - sharon van etten

chained to the wall of our room
yeah you chained me like a dog in our room
i thought that's how it was
i thought that we were fine
then the day was night
you were high you were high when i was doomed
and dying for with no light with no light

tied to my bed
i was younger then
i had nothing to spend but time on you
but it made me love it made me love it made me love more
it made me love it made me love it made me love more

do what you said the words she said left out
over unto the sky where i'll soon fly
and she took the time
to believe in to believe in what she said
and she made me love she made me love she made me love more
she made me love she made me love she made me love more



my creative self has lived in a black hole for about a year and a half now. from a running injury taking me off the road and out of my body, to a twist in a relationship taking me into dark woods, nothing has escaped the consequences. from my painting, to my the living sculpture of my home space, to my words i used to write here, everything has come silently and almost imperceptibly to a stand still. inertia you sneaky thing, you, slipping in the backdoor while i was listening to the many other things in my life that make a lot of noise: finish this, accomplish this, edit this, photograph this, pay this, work this, work this, work this.

my life has become an endless horizon of to-do lists running before me, taunting me with a speed my injured body cannot manage, succeeding in distracting me from the things i want most above everything: to feel whole and sound while i stand still, connecting to something greater than myself, listening to it passing through me, hearing each throbbing beat leave an echo that my every pulse will answer, my every breath expanding in an attempt to consume it. that bursting stillness. that quivering silence. that moment before creation and the sweet rush as it begins, followed eventually by the quiet satisfaction of completion. that is the thing i have been missing. 

and perhaps it is now inertia that has become my friend, pulling me down just far enough past unbearable that suddenly everything absolutely must change. of course it could just be the weather,  external circumstances, or my expanding waistline {gratis of a car accident preventing me from working out entirely}, but life is converging once again and suddenly i'm alive to its many tolerably painful places and it's beyond me how i'm waking up again so far from anything that looks even remotely like my art.

a fresh red dress has been purchased, new photos of it are on the horizon, and i am held accountable, in weekly increments, for pulling myself into motion again. my body is finally healing nearly 6 months after a car accident, and my mind and spirit are keeping track with the changes {which is only fair since they were the ones to push their soft machine sister forward in the first place}.

warm sunny skies are lighting the way though my words are slow and clunky. but i'm here. i'm here. i'm here.

i can almost see the colors again.

red, you always were my friend.



2013 was a year that asked me, too many times to count, to fight for what i believed in. a year to prove to myself that i will never back down when i believe in something. a year to hold my hand while i faced some of the harder spaces of my adult life.

and 2013 was a year of victories. a year of promise. a year of patience. it was a fitting year to follow all the aching beauty of its own new year's day, 365 days ago.

but 2013 was also a fallow year. my writing dwindled. my posts here scattered in their regularity. i painted less, avoided the looming project of my short film a lot. found a million other things to do or distract and kept them as my constant companions all year long. not that i accomplished nothing, merely that my capacity for creativity and facing scary, vulnerable places was spent elsewhere in my life.

all too soon, 2014 is here and i welcomed it forward today with an adventure out to new spaces – a hike set both above the water {way above} as well as trailing along side the quietly lapping waves. it was a quiet day with a slow start and a meandering path. and it was a sweet day, too. peppered bacon bits in the eggs, gluten free raisin bread, bubbly water, and homemade guacamole. the ferry ride was a last minute decision made literally at the exit. the choice of parks on a whim from the road.

as i invest in my creativity this year, as i turn my capacity for fear and vulnerability back into my expressive life, expect to see some changes. more presence, more commitment to a vision. a revamp of the banner images {i already have a new dress picked out}. details, small and large.

i look forward to living and creating in 2014. and i look forward to sharing this year with you, in whatever direction in takes.

i was in love with the kexp programming tonight including the introduction to this song: