Thursday, September 30, 2004

I was sitting at my gramma's kitchen table with a bowl of cheerios. I poured heated water over my cheerios and watched them rise up the rim of the bowl. I sat and persistently stirred them, trying to get them to soften but they remained rock hard. They wouldn't even crumble between the bowl and my spoon. In despair, I thought the water into milk and instantly, the cheerios disintegrated into a lump of grainy meal. While I was swirling the cheerio paste with my spoon, my gramma came home from church. Without even acknowledging me, she ran to the sink and looked out the window over the sink into the living room. The TV was on, Judge Lochner. I didn't turn it on. The living room was dark but the sound was so loud. My gramma frantically started to chop vegetables in the sink. The chopped pieces of vegetables clogged the drain and gramma panicked, desperately trying to chop and clear the drain at the same time. Suddenly, the dishwasher was in the middle of the kitchen and my gramma couldn't get past because my mom's shoes were in the way. Oh, the problems that life presents us. Mom, restless, sleeps and then goes to work.

I'm in a playground, dressed in a tattered prom dress. The kids scream and chase each other around me but the sound is distant. All I can see is a group of teenagers in front of me. The man doesn't have a date but he knows who he wants. So he wades through the kids to a dress sitting on the slide and declares that if he wears a dress he will get the date he wants. I follow as the group goes shopping at the mall. The decor has changed since I was there last and I felt in a daze. My head loomed above my body.

The man is swinging. I am pushing him from behind and his friends show up with a skirt and several tops. It was all they could find. The skirt is cute and he looks good in it but the tops are hideous. But I am on the swing, pulling on a purple sleepless tube top. It looks better on than off. I pull it off and put on a shirt with only a square of silver fabric on the front and plastic wires around my shoulders to hold it on. The shirt flaps in the breeze from the swing.

GS has a cigar and drinks. Another woman is trying to get the shirt off the man. I am suddenly ten years younger and get off the swings. Two girls from my past are swimming in a maze of a turtle wading pool. Beth peeks over the turtle and Jess swims in a circle. I say, "want to be friends?" We swim around the pool while the sun moves from North to South.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Where Heaven Should Be

If I could unfold the harvest sky,
and peel away the stippled black
weave, stretch my fingers between
the warped steely dimensions of dark,
I would cup a torn piece of its pulsing
tapestry in my sugar-high hands.

I would walk through the fraying fabric,
each foot heavy with green Venusian
dust, turn around and slowly stare.
My eye, a web, netting in the fire
flies and cramped solar winds, would
free the Taurusian bull to stampede in
full-moon fields, fenceless.

Behind me, outside, my side…
a stair of silken rock, marked by sifted
carnes, hugs mirages of stone and lace,
cascades between molting orange larches
and liquid blue falls. Small and thin,
a line of dust through a forest of gods,
the trail erodes with only paw prints
and fallen snags for company.

A constellation, safe in the sky, I would quit
the Twins and Crab and endless rings
of ice and moonstones, wrap up the harvest
sky again, creases gently ironed flat,
and spend my days with you, a torn piece
of September’s frost-embroidered tapestry.

Monday, September 27, 2004

What a roller coaster past two weeks!

I have spent the majority of my days searching the internet for volunteer information, airline fares and visa forms. My head is spinning and my butt has never been so sore. My stamina to hike far outweights my internet stamina, so it would seem.

This weekend's hike started brillantly with a gradual uphill climb along a gabbling creek and across talis slopes that skyrocketed into terrace after terrace of folded rock. I cooled my feet off about 6 miles in at a trecherous ford and bushwacked to the lake. Wow, the lake was surrounded by jutting rock wall laced with water falls and iced with orange larches. The contrast of orange against the brillant blue sky was almost too much.

Dinner was reconstituted dehydrated veggies with some mystery asian stirfry mix followed by instant butterscotch pudding and hot cocoa.

I woke up around 1 am and couldn't figure out why the sun was up. I became conscience enough to realize it was the brillantly bright moon, even though I couldn't find it in the sky.

I got a horrible sugar high and than a low from the processed instant oatmeal and peaches and apparantly my body chemistry couldn't handle it. I had tunnle vision, felt dizzy and my legs and hands wouldn't stop shaking. I felt like I was vibrating. I had to stop hiking and eat some asiago bagel. Eventually,this weird sensation passed and I was able to hike the rest of the way with only a few stumbles. I did get stuck on a log for a hilariously long time and was clothes lined by a low tree branch and my backpack. Hah!

Now, I am nursing a sore hip. I'm not sure how I hiked the whole summer without so much as a blister and now my hip joint aches so much I can hardly walk. I took a pain killer, sadly, and was able to run two miles with my dogs, ah to have dogs again.

I made curry tonight with my currant ward, her parents are in Moab. Tomorrow we are going to attempt to cook samosas. I am about to dive into the complex world of West African cooking with the help of a West African cook book I checked out a recipe book from the library along with about 10 other books on Africa and Ghana and African folk tales.

I'm beat...

Friday, September 24, 2004

No creative ramblings this time around. I’m getting straight to the point. I can’t even think of a song to describe my feelings.

I’M GOING TO GHANA, AFRICA for three months beginning in November. Three months! I am going to live with a Ghanaian family and volunteer at a local nursery outside of Accra-central. The planning of this adventure has been quite a roller coaster. My original plan was to go to Morocco and volunteer but that morphed its way into India, Nepal, Ecuador, Uganda, Thailand and finally Ghana. The point isn’t where I go; the point is that I am going. If any one has any tips for traveling or volunteering in a foreign country, I’d love to hear them. Right now, I really need advice about finding cheap airfare, travel insurance and mental preparation.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Like the pupil in the eyes
The lord resides inside
Ignorant do not know this fact
They search him outside

I recently had an in-depth discussion with Saralita on religion, faith, god(s) and love. Our feelings on these subjects are confused and different but I think we were both coming from the same fundamental idea, god is love. This quote, perhaps, pinpoints something which I have been trying to articulate to myself and I would like to pass on. What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I wrote this poem earlier in the year. I guess I'm glad I waited to post because now it carries a whole new meaning. Aren't words amazing? I could listen to songs all day and listen to poetry all night (with some exceptions, no country or incoherent rap).

Going West, Going East

The spasm of darkness, the core
of my heart, the lining of velvet
beneath my skin, yearning for the
East, the right, the opposite side,
counter the moon, sun, stars and you.
Skin crawls and throat burns with thirst
like addictions to gambling, cigarettes,
sleepless nights or Solitaire.

Like a storm cluttered with electricity,
like a balloon quivering with air,
like a kiss whose echo burns
in the flesh, the West calls you forth
to its cool salty sea, pillowy pine
forests where particles, paisleyed
and coarse, curve across the sky.

With a glance, a tear, a burden
of lust, toasting our minds with near
intimacy, we repel like a magnet,
separate like Italian dressing. Electricity
pulses in the East and positive
potential waits in the West while we pull
taunt the strings and softly sing solo
arias on the moonless path.

I just can't explain how weird this poem is for me. I wrote it for a different time and place and here it is, making sense on a different dimension.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

God, I wish I wasn't leaving but I know these feelings will soon pass as I endeavor towards foreign lands.

Leavin' Song Summer came
And days grew long
Lilacs bloomed 'round
Meulfront pond
First place I ever held his hand
timeless walks and breathless nights
Went rushing past like peace in flight
I was prayin' it was never gonna end
Then the autumn leaves were blazin'
Like the fireworks in July
For a fleeting moment
That flame was in his eyes
But as quickly as the colors came
They burned out of the sky Goodbye Adios
See you later I gotta go I've been holding on too long
This is my leaving song I'll take one last look around
Pull up roots that I put down
Drive across that Hastings County line
Trade a part of who I was
For a future I'm not certain of
But I'll keep the best of what
I leave behind
Oh I'll miss those Sunday mornings
And those Friday football games
A peace that comes from knowing
Some places never change
That's the reason that I'll miss it
And the reason
I can't stay Goodbye Adios
See you later I gotta go
I've been holding on too long
This is my leaving song
This is my leaving song

-The Wilkinsons

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I am hovering in limbo, at home in Seattle and planning to be home in Missoula. It is a weird feeling, like I am being slowly covered with cream cheese frosting. Just when Skykomish and rangering started to feel right and the routine was set and the wilderness was my oyster, the summer ended, the huckleberries fell of their branches, the leaves turned golden and snow dusted my campsite. Though the question of what next has been lingering over my head since I moved to Seattle in February, it is slamming my funny bone and knuckling my sternum now. What next? I promised myself that I would be in school in the Spring. I even pinky shook on it. But what now? What in between? I have six months to do something amazing. Once I start school again, I probably won't have six months of uncommitted time in a row for a very very long time. My intent to travel and volunteer abroad still stands ,though my summer isolation made it difficult to research or make any concrete plans. However, there is no time like the present and as soon as I go to a Mariners game with my Uncle, see the Van Gogh exhibit, dye my hair black, eat Naples food, sell my clothing and drink mango daiquiris, I will journey to Montana where I can focus soley on school applications (again, ugh) and travel plans (scary and oh so exciting). My Seattlites, I will miss you, my Missoulians, I can't wait to see you and anyone in between these two points, well, I have been missing you and will continue to do so.