Monday, August 29, 2005


When I was little, I was filled with imagination and couldn't shake this feeling that something wonderful was about to happen to me. That feeling has sustained me through my life and into adulthood. Even on some really dark days, I can feel in some small, inner bright place, that something really great and wonderful is in my future. On days when I feel invisable and want to sit it out on the sidelines, I need to keep moving forward, putting one step in front of the other, because I know those feelings of quitting are only fleeting.

Some days I feel as though bubble gum gets stuck to the bottom of my shoe and I can't move as quickly or as freely as I wish toward that dream. Other times, it feels as though my shoes have wings mounted to them and I can't keep up with myself.

I wonder how empty and bottomless a life must feel when someone lives it without a dream. Or, worse, has lost their dream altogether.

You'll know when you have a dream, because it has a way of capturing your imagination until it is all-consuming. It'll grab hold of you by the soul and you'll feel like soaring. It's what you want to do when you should be doing something else. The best part about your dream, is that it can also become your life's work. And, if you dream it, and its original, remember this: no one will ever be able to do what you do, better than you.

Because it's your dream. And, you're original.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


In high school, I thought Debbie had the most beautiful smile. She had very long teeth that eclipsed her lower lip. Everyone called her Piranha. At the time, i didn't know that piranhas were ferocious fish with teeth who will eat their victims alive within minutes!

I thought her pretty nickname meant "princess" in spanish.

I used to copy her buck teeth smile, by curling and pushing my lower lip under and behind my front teeth. My teeth are not long, and in fact, somewhat little teeth, so I had to force it.

Whenever I flashed my new dazzling smile, I imagined me as beautiful as Debbie.

One day after feeling especially beautiful smiling my new piranha smile, I quickly flashed it in the mirror to see if my reflection matched what I saw in the mirror.


Several days ago, I overhead the most contagious laugh while grocery shopping. I wondered how she got such an adorable giggle. Was it one she was born with or did she practice it at a giggling school. When I got into my car, driving home alone with just my groceries, I tried to replicate it to see how it felt and sounded. It was disasterous. I thought of my forced smile many years ago and this time laughed quietly to myself.

I'm perfect just the way I am. The lesson was learned a long time ago.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Letting Go

I am in the process of going through old letters, photographs, drawings, books, old birthday cards from my teens and early 20s. My mom cleaned out her storage shed and dropped these boxes off in my garage while I wasn't there to protest.

Each time I open up a box, I am bombarded with sentlmental memories. I really did have letters in the hundreds to get rid of. That's such a lost art now. I still receive hundreds of letters, but now they are in the form of email, that seems more painless to trash, than the ones written in pen with a stamp on the envelope and little sayings on the envelope that say "Hurry Mr Postman and send-- 'cause I'm sending this letter to my very best friend!"

This "letting go" has been an experience comparable to throwing up. It's so miserable while it's happening, yet the relief that follows almost passes for joy. I feel more lighter. More free. I have always admired those who have the sense to know what is important to keep and what is not. They are not bogged down by the weight of (seemingly) unimportant matters.

So far, I've emptied eight boxes. The recyling bin was filled to the brim. But when the garbage men emptied it, a box trapped half of my treasures of being thrown away, so they are still in there. Of course, I worry it's a sign for me to look through them again. Perhaps I've been given a second chance to look through my treasures. My mom says, "If you haven't seen these in this many years, you're not going to miss it".

It's hard for me to let go.

Later today, I will tackle a few more boxes. I will continue to have a separate pile where I'm not ready to trash and will repack them in boxes to go through again at a later date. I found a birthday card from Nana who died in 1981. The corner of it was eaten by a rat and it smells like an old attic. She signed the card, "love, Nana". I'd have to be completely heartless to part with such a treasure.

I still have a long, long way to go. But now I'm committed to keeping only the essentials, only those very few things that I absolutely can't live without. Like my green 4-H hat from when I was 10. A box full of old Tigerbeat magazines where Tony Defranco, Donny Osmond and David Cassidy graced the covers. A few untitled audio cassettes that might be worth listening to again. A Get Well card where an entire unknown 4th grade class signed their names, a huge box full of my childhood artwork, a Willie McCovey autograph and old newspapers with history making headlines such as ELVIS PRESSLEY DEAD on the cover.

My garage is never going to look like one of those perfect, organized garages seen in Home & Garden magazine. But for now, the clean folded clothes that were on top of my dryer in the garage have been taken inside.

I have Happy Meal toys I collected in the 90s in several see-through plastic containers along with a few ebay purchases that I have no clue as to why I bought, except the knowing that "the chase and not the purchase was most important".

There is the scrapbook I made when I was in the 4th grade, complete with a piece of skin I taped with masking tape onto the page titled: "My skin from my finger that got ripped out from the car ashtray". And a half-chewed photo of me in my brown and cream uniform, standing in the backyard, holding onto a kitchen spachela, just before my parents drove me to my first job, a hopeful rewarding career at McDonalds that only lasted eight hours.

But, that's not clutter - that's the good life.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Interstate-5 theme is WISDOM

Wisdom is something I have sought after and have embraced for many years. So with that said, I feel small in that I am only focusing on my drive on I-5.

I am home now after a few days in Grants Pass, Oregon where temperatures soared into the triple digits. I loved the warm evenings up there.

But, the drive on I-5 was a feat in itself with so many 18-wheelers owning the road. They would just fill up my rear-view mirror behind me. It took a bit of wisdom to know when to pass and when to hold back along those curves.

It felt like each time I passed them, they were pulling me into their lane.


I went on this: along the Rogue River. It was so much fun! Sometimes I felt we were spinning out of control. Though we always landed upright and safe. Lately, my life has been feeling a bit of that. Keeping busy for busy's sake, but not getting much accomplished by the end of the day.

This too takes wisdom to discipline my time. Spending my minutes doing that which is most important.

I have been commissioned to design a logo. I will put my head down and work hard today. It is just drizzly, foggy skies overhead. I miss the sun and it's warmth. Winter is coming only too soon for me.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Waving Goodbye

Waving goodbye to over-night guests can be an empty feeling -- especially when the people I'm waving to, don't see me wave. (Which thankfully doesn't happen very often!).

I start off waving and smiling while they're getting situated in their car ... adjusting the mirror, turning on the heater, handing a map to someone in the back seat and answering their cell phone. My right arm gets tired from waving so quickly, so I switch to my left. Then back to my right. For a moment, I want to stop, but then worry if I do stop, that will be the moment they looked up and would have never known I was waving to them. So I must continue to wave. Wave with both hands. Jump up and down. Smile as animated as I can. Wave until they are out of site. Hope they saw me in their rear-view mirror still waving. (And feel a bit self-conscious, wondering if any of the neighbors were watching all this from their front windows).

And, as empty of a feeling that is. My house feels even more empty when they have left.

There's this roar of quietness that seems to permeate everything ... and is deafening to my ears ... and to my soul. I wander around in a fog. I see the empty breakfast dishes still on the table and I leave it there. I'm not ready to clean up. I want the memory to hang on just a bit more. I touch the seat of one of the chairs and it is still warm from their presence. I am lost for awhile. Just roam from room to room waiting for the fog to lift ... and it always does.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005


llustration Friday's Topic: Aging

I didn't have anything to draw, and then this morning I glanced out my window.

His car pulled up to the front of my curb. He moved slowly forward about five inches. Brakes abruptly. Backs up about two inches. Another hard brake and his car dips. He slowly moves forward another inch. Then back another inch. Then forward three more inches.

He pulls himself out of his car and the slowness of it all, makes me stop and watch. He walks s-l-o-w-l-y toward his trunk. At first, I thought he stopped and was was just looking down the street. But gradually, I could see he was making some sort of headway. He moved as if he was gliding on wheels. Just small, gentle tiny steps. One foot in front of the other. Just ever so slowly.

He gets to the trunk and opens it. He bends into it and I can only see his waist as he reaches in for something in the far back. Slowly, he pulls it out.

It's one of those dashboard sun protectors. He unfolds it and then turns to walk the same slow walk back to the front of his car. He glides into the front seat and with all the time in the world, he places the sun protector on his dashboard and moves it this way and that way, up and back an inch or two, until he has it placed exactly how he wants it.

He sits for a moment and then climbs back out. I watch him turn toward the back of his trunk and s-l-o-w-l-y meanders back to his trunk. When he gets there, he reaches in and pulls out a cap.

He places it on his head. Moves it around a bit. Takes it back off. Then back on. He moves it left and right until it has the perfect fit. Shuts the trunk and slowly wanders over to the passenger side. Puts his key in and locks the door. Then walks back to his drivers side and does the same.

I am still wondering why he is parked in front of my house. Is he coming to visit me? I am not sure I am in the mood for this man's visit.

I am relieved to watch him walk nextdoor to my neighbor's house.

They are not at home.

Three minutes later, I see the old man slowly walking back to his car. I can't bare to watch him slowly repeat the same process all over again. I peek with just one eye hidden behind my hands.

He has driven off.

Aging. The slowing down process. He has more than enough time to go where he is going.

I whispered: "be safe". I have this feeling ... he is.