Wednesday, July 20, 2011

and when you need a place to run, for better or worse i got you. -leona lewis

i sped home on my bike tonight. frantically escaping the crowded bars. trading in the noise and bustle of people around me for dark and empty streets. cool breezes and star filled skies. i had a conversation today. another version of one i seem to have every so often. when i feel i need to figure out my life. and i beat myself up for not knowing what the hell i am doing. or where i have spent the last thirty-two years of my life. when i run around like a complete spazz, trying to find some concrete evidence that i have not been here in vain. but all i can do is stand, trembling, shaking my head, staring at my empty hands.

in all my inarticulate ramblings today, becca, this is what i meant to say:

“I got to thinking about how much time I spend in my life crashing around like a great gasping fish, either squirming away from some uncomfortable distress or flopping hungrily toward ever more pleasure. And I wondered whether it might serve me (and those who are burdened with the task of loving me) if I could learn to stay still and endure a bit more without always getting dragged along on the potholed road of circumstance.” (Eat Pray Love, p. 173).

time is slipping away. accept it and you'll get it some day. -deer tick

i went to lunch yesterday with a boy i have had a crush on since i moved to town. he's not my type. if i even have such a thing. polo shirt. buzz cut. northern roots. but the blue eyes are enticing.

we made plans on saturday night. cemented them on monday. and as i was getting ready to walk out the door yesterday he calls me in a confused state. seems he's made plans for a work interview/meeting and got me confused with some nathan kid. i should have just left it alone and wished him good luck with his new hire, but instead I gave in to his apology and oversight and went to lunch with him anyway. his ambivalence cancelled out my excitement. pleasant conversation was lost on me because i couldn't stop thinking of how i had been forgotten. confused with some obligatory work detail. is it too much to ask to meet someone who is genuinely excited about the opportunity to spend time with me?

may your days be rich and full of wealth. and your nights be long when you need rest. -delta spirit

::this is what today sounds like::

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

and every summer is a hot token to the cold, cold take of lust. and every autumn singes with the business of sadness.

::this is what today sounds like::

he said i was heady. and i took that as an insult. but he traced my wrist with his fingertips. kissed me. and held me. all night. so maybe he meant intoxicating. instead of overwhelming and reckless.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If Telluride aint Heaven, then Heaven can wait. -Dizzy Gillespie

::This is what today sounds like::
"We weren't put on this earth to be perfect, but we were made to pursue happiness. If you don't pursue happiness, then you sold yourself out, you sold your soul." -Jeremy Evans
"It's a sunny [May] day. I can see a bunch of water birds on the small bay out my window. The beach is only a half a block away, and any reasonable person might call where I am paradise. At home right now it's most likely snowing sideways, delaying the start of mud season for another two weeks, and the [May] wind is howling the way it likes to do until neither man nor animal can hear himself think. And none of this information is keeping me from being so homesick that I can tell you without even getting out the calculator that I have [3 weeks or 21 days or 504 hours or 30,240 minutes] until I get to go home to the high San Juans. The people in my valley call it the Creede Curse, that once you live in that country it'll never let go of you. But if Harriet Fish Backus were alive, I think she'd call it a blessing." -Pam Houston

::Blue Lake "bum hike" with Katie, Rae, and Lucy::

"Nothing interests many of us like the mountains which will always draw men from the ends of the earth that they may climb as near to Heaven as may be, by their rocky stairs. It is the wildest and most inaccessible region in Colorado, if not in North America. It is as if the great spinal column of the continent had bent upon itself in some spasm of earth, until the vertebrae overlapped each other, the effect being unparalleled ruggedness and sublimity, more awful than beautiful." -H.H. Bancroft
::Via Ferrata & Bridal Veil Falls::

::Bluegrass Festival with Amanda::

::Soaking up the music and alpine glow with Jane::

::Camping with The Marley Dog::

::Ajax Peak with Jimmy and Dylan::

::God Bless America: Fourth of July parade on Main Street::

"The splendor of azure skies kissing mountain peaks, the vista of winding roads clinging to precipices, far away valleys disappearing into the distance, all mingled in nature's harmony, lulled me into daytime reveries." -Harriet Fish Backus

::Mt. Elbert (highest Peak in Colorado) with Julia and Rae::

::Wilson Peak with Ben and Paul::

::Phish - Birthday festivities with Kelsey, Lucy, and Kendra::

::Brown Dog birthday extravaganza: thirty-one is the new twenty-one (or the time I made out with both my best friend and Jenny Lewis' guitar player in one night)::

::Foraging for mushrooms. Magical::

::Get ready summer 2011...I'm coming for you::

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What's amazing is when you feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like that second. -Angela Chase

Not only is today Mother's Day, but it also marks two months since my surgery. And in celebration of my birth, my momula, and my healing I decided to take a little walk. Nothing big. Just a lil' stroll (read: hobble) around the garden where my mom has been hard at work repairing the hobbit fence we built a couple years ago when I was visiting one summer.

One of the perks of being crutch free is I find my hands suddenly freed up to do all sorts or handy things like carry plates and glasses and move things from one side of the room to the other. Like sheets of fresh baked cookies to the cooling rack. So it makes cooking a much simpler process. And a lot less exhausting. I was able to sit down and enjoy a yummy meal instead of collapsing, right leg shaking from bearing all the weight. I am still favoring my left, but it's out of habit not pain. My knee is feeling good. The sole of my foot has probably had an equal amount of adjusting. After two and a half months of free floating it feels so strange to be in contact with a flat, hard surface. But I'll manage. And I definitely wont say no to the offer for a foot massage. Thanks mom!

In honor of momula's day I challenged her to a Scrabble game. She kicked my ass, but it wasn't for lack of effort. To bad proper nouns are not permitted. I could have spelled my own name. (And in one turn I had the option to spell "spoon" or "fork". And I went with the latter to gain the extra six points a double letter score allowed me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

yesterday i had a dream that i met you.

Give me lust, baby. Flash. Give me malice. Flash. Give me detached existentialist ennui. Flash. Give me rampant intellectualism as a coping mechanism. Flash. -Chuck Palahniuk

"And the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for awhile. And the piano is this melancholy sound check to her smile." -The Airborne Toxic Event

you don't need magic to disappear. all you need is a destination.

What makes you interesting isn’t just what you’ve experienced, but also what you haven’t experienced. Embrace your limitations and keep moving.

"Here’s what artists understand. It’s a three-word sentence that fills me with hope every time I read it: Nothing is original." -Austin Kleon
How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)
1. Steal like an artist.
2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things.
3. Write the book you want to read.
4. Use your hands.
5. Side projects and hobbies are important.
6. The secret: do good work and put it where people can see it.
7. Geography is no longer our master.
8. Be nice. The world is a small town.
9. Be boring. It’s the only way to get work done.
10. Creativity is subtraction.

Shortly after I wrote my little diatribe on commitment in my professional life I stumbled upon this ten step process to claiming and mastering your creative flow. (Thanks Rebecca for posting this delightfully insightful/inspiring article).

"If I waited to know “who I was” or “what I was about” before I started “being creative”, well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things that we figure out who we are. You’re ready. Start making stuff. You might be scared. That’s natural. There’s this very real thing that runs rampant in educated people. It’s called imposter syndrome. The clinical definition is a “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” It means that you feel like a phony, like you’re just winging it, that you really don’t have any idea what you’re doing. Guess what? None of us do. I had no idea what I was doing when I started blacking out newspaper columns. All I knew was that it felt good. It didn’t feel like work. It felt like play. Ask any real artist, and they’ll tell you the truth: they don’t know where the good stuff comes from. They just show up to do their thing. Every day." -Austin Kleon

It's nice to know I'm not alone in this confusion. I'm just a small part of a phenomenon. And I love that my natural instinct is to make things. Be it a photograph, a mix tape, a pie, or an installation, my heart is always comforted by my busy hands. I hope that this is the reason my pictures speak to people. And why my cookies taste so dang good. Because there's a piece of me in everything I create. There's love, and time, and attention to detail. I am not sure what "my thing" is quite yet, but I know it involves creating things. And hopefully one of my hobbies will turn out to be something more.

a moment. a love. a dream aloud. a kiss. a cry. our rights. our wrongs.

"I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in. And all your dreams. The way you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art."

find out what you're afraid of and go live there. -chuck palahniuk


::april (snow) showers bring may flowers?::

::the snow gives way to cloudy days and rain::

::marley dog has no difficulty making himself at home::

::the best easter basket ever::

::in addition to her jewelry, my mom's contribution to the silent auction::

::auctioning my photos to help pay my medical bills. fingers crossed::

::i got a job sitting a gallery on the island. this is my favorite piece::

::private collection of Carolyn Hecker::

::the gallery fridge. the "coolest" appliance ever::

::saving my pennies (literally) to get me back to telluride::

It's such a collection of great people doing amazing things -Tom Shadyac

::Celebrating indomitable spirit::
adj \in-ˈdä-mə-tə-bəl\
: incapable of being subdued : unconquerable

The snow is melted and sunny days of slacklines in the park and coffee on The Steaming Bean "patio" have finally arrived. While town is anxiously awaiting Bluegrass Festival and frustrated with the ticket situation, I would like to take this time to direct your attention to the real festival season kickoff: MountainFilm. Since 1979, Telluride has held this epic meeting of minds, talent, courage, and athletic ability. Coming to your very own box canyon this Memorial Day weekend, prepared to have your life rocked. I have been involved with MountainFilm for the past two years. Sarah, Jenny and David have all been heavily involved and peaked my interest during film selection process. Last year I had the great privilege of volunteering in exchange for a pass. It's an experience I definitely recommend. People travel from all over the world to participate and volunteer. The number of incredible minds under one azure, Telluride sky is worth the ticket price alone. Instead of trying to scalp a ticket to Bluegrass consider putting your cash towards a weekend guaranteed to make you think a little differently. Split a 6 punch with your better half or roomie. I have never walked away from an event more encouraged, uplifted, and emotionally exhausted. I went thinking, at the very least, I would get to see an interesting documentary. I found myself two days later ready for a nap due to all the stimulating commentary and discussions over free breakfast talks (Get up early and go to these if nothing else!) artwalks, symposiums, picnics, parties, dinners, and conversations with new friends I met waiting in queue for the films to commence. MountainFilm's access and direct interaction with activists and artists alike is unparalleled. You'll find yourself standing patiently in line for a coffee one moment chatting with the gentleman next to you, then next thing you know that same man is answering questions from the audience you find yourself in.

What is Mountainfilm? from Mountainfilm in Telluride on Vimeo.

I have been lucky enough to meet the following gentlemen and their work and contribution to MountainFilm extends far beyond the presentations they have this year. If you have any interest in photography please take the time to check out the works of Drew Ludwig ::Walking 120 Miles in the Gulf of Mexico:: and Aaron Huey ::Broken Treaties::. And if you share any love for the desert of Utah (you know you all just got back from your snow-relief climbing trip to Moab and your camping respite in Arches and Canyonlands) you will not want to miss your chance to learn more about Bidder 70's Tim Decristopher.

It breaks my heart that I will most likely be on the road during this years festival. But while my physical self will not be present for the screenings and discussions, my spirit will be relishing the fact that Telluride embraces such life altering events. And I challenge you all to take advantage of this opportunity. Test your spirit. Celebrate.

Check out some of the festival's previous entries. These are available on Netflix:

I Am
180 degrees South
The Cove
Big River Man
The Yes Men Fix the World
The Garden
These are NOT available on Netflix but should definitely be viewed if you can find them.
First Ascent Series
Eastern Rises

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Do they collide?" I ask. And you smile. With my feet on the dash the world doesn't matter.

Word on the street is that I'll be reunited with the box canyon in three wee lil' weeks. (That seems like a long time when tacked onto the six weeks I've already put in, but I'm giving myself a million little pep talks to make it through.) I saw the doctor today, in the mix of running errands with my mom and her friend. Food Pantry. Grocery store. Post office. Library. Walmart. Getting goodies for the silent auction we are holding on the 15th. I'm hoping to be able to walk a bit better by then. I can't hold a glass of wine in my hand on crutches. Trust me, I've strategized. But the good news is I have a little time between now and then to perfect this ol' balance thing again. My knee is holding up well. The x-rays today showed no sign of my fracture line. And the donor bone has been 95% incorporated into my own. Phil and I are literally becoming one. But while the films say my bones are ready for the big test, my muscle didn't quite get the memo. My "walk" is more of a one crutch hobble across the room at the present time. When I'm feeling really daring I might try the two steps from the toilet to the bathroom sink. It's slow going. But I'm farther along than I was yesterday. So I just need to keep up the pace. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. And I'll be at the finish line in no time.

Sitting here, after a day on my feet and some time standing at the stove, (I made my spicy mushroom soup) I am trying to prepare myself for the next few weeks. I stocked up on Advil today. I have a feeling I am going to need it. This next phase is going to be a bit more painful but I have a huge reward waiting on the other side and I am confident I can push through a little discomfort in order to claim my prize. H.O.M.E. All I have to do is get my leg strong enough to engage my clutch. (Dang straight drive.) And then I'm on the road. I have one final appointment with Dr. White on the 24th to make sure everything is holding up and to wrap up any lose ends and file a final report to send back to Dr. Bynum in Colorado. The two have been keeping tabs on one another's evaluation of my progress. It feels so nice to be cared for from both sides of the country. And I am going to take advantage of the physical therapy I have available to me here. Maine has been the perfect place for me to recover in one major aspect. It has been free. My mom has provided me with a place to stay and food to eat and rides to my many medical appointments. And thanks to the wonderful health care in her town, all of my treatments have been taken care of through a program I applied to through their hospital. Sometimes being poor means you wait in line to get cereal and rice and other times it means you get to have fancy x-rays and not give yourself an ulcer trying to figure out how you'll pay for them. (I am finding the latter to be a rare occurrence and therefore all the more amazing). But sometimes it pays to be (net)worth-less. In my case, roughly $4,300. Or the Bluebook value of my car. According to the government that is my total value. Sounds kinda pathetic in the grand scheme of things but I'll take it since it seems to be working to my advantage at this point. There's plenty of time in the future for me to find my niche and strike it rich. For now I will just revel in the fact that I have found doctors who don't shame me for not having health insurance and who treat me like an actually person. (My sincerest thanks and praise go to the fine staff at Blue Hill Medical Center, Western Slope Orthopedics, and Montrose Memorial Hospital. All of you have been so supportive, informative, and friendly during what has been a very difficult and upsetting event.) Would it be weird if I baked you all cookies? You definitely deserve it!

So, in the mean time I will be practicing my dance steps. Packing up my things. Getting my car in working order. Not to mention all the million little details to arrange before I can get back on the road. Being in my car will feel like the ultimate freedom. I am so excited to be back behind the wheel. It almost makes up for the three-four days I will be spending in my car to get from A to B. But with my trusty sidekick Marley Dog, an ipod full of play lists, coffee in my cup holder, and wind in my hair, nothing can stop me. Not even the $4 gas prices. Ugh.

We've got a date, Telluride. I know it's been a while. Don't worry, I wont stand you up. See you at the end of the month! I'll be the one bent down in the middle of Colorado Avenue kissing the black top.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's a long way back. -Grey's Anatomy

"After a trauma your body is at its most vulnerable. Response time is critical. So you're suddenly surrounded by people; doctors, nurses, specialists. Surgery is a team sport. Everyone pushing for the finish line. Putting you back together again. Surgery is a trauma in and of itself. And once it's over the real healing begins. We call it recovery. Recovery is not a team sport. It's a solitary distance run. It's long. It's exhausting. And it's lonely as hell." -Dr. Grey

I have my orthopaedic appointment tomorrow morning. Getting another round of x-rays and and exam. I should know more about my recovery time line by the afternoon. I am nervous. I think I can handle three more weeks. If the doctor says I just need a few more weeks to get strong. The sound of that doesn't suck my insides out. But I need to see the light at the end of this tunnel. My life is on pause. And I'm desperate to push play on this soundtrack.

It's hard to imagine getting up and walking around when my knee throbs all day because of the rainy weather. And it swells when I stand at the sink for too long. Sometimes it feels lose and I am encouraged and other times it is stiff and tender and seems so far from ever carrying me across any expanse. But I am trying to stay positive. Sending love and light. And I have done all that the doctors have asked of me. Please let there be good news on the horizon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Play should remain your life, your center of life. Work should be just a means towards play. -Osho

::Katie and Dylan getting down and dirty for our 2011 Calendar "Spills" ::

Work to Live. Live to Play. I think that's the general motto of any good ski bum. I might think differently when I'm sixty-five and staring at my bank account. I most likely will never have a 401K or a penchant plan, but I sure will have a lot of great memories to look back on. And while a collection of friends and photos will not pay the bills their wealth is immeasurable.

I'm on what we'll call, extended holiday. I broke my leg in a ski accident. I wasn't rippin' 360's or huckin' 15 foot cliffs. As best I can tell I lost my balance. Got dehydrated. Got tired. Lost focus. Just for a moment. That's usually all it takes. And so I find myself in Maine, mending my wounds. Slightly lonely for my friends and homesick for my mountains. But if I had it to do all over again I would still spend the day on the slopes with Molly and Baines. I wish I didn't have to sit still all these months. But my lifestyle is worth that risk to me. And next time I'll be more careful.

I know once I go back to work I am going to miss all this free time. So I've been trying to use it wisely. Craftily. I read and write. I've finished four books. Filled a journal. Made 114 origami cranes. Brainstormed photo shoot ideas. Good friends and dress-ups...gotta love it. Planned group projects. (Katie, we need to get on our monthly photo/theme contest). Filed recipes. Baked bread. Baked cookies. Watched documentaries. Caught up on Weeds, Friday Night Lights, Numb3rs, and Pushing Daisies. Designed mock posters. Made bracelets. Made mixes. Played scrabble. Went on "walks". And healed broken bones :)

Money's been pretty tight. And the weather has been less than marvelous. Doing most things on one leg presents a pretty exhausting challenge, so I haven't gotten to bake or sew or knit like I had originally envisioned before I left. The sewing machine is on the fritz, and I am apparently really bad at knitting. And when it comes down to paying for a physical therapy appointment or buying gluten free flour, sucanat, and traffic-free chocolate, I'm going to have to go with the former. For now. But I am keeping lists of all my ideas. And I should have a pretty full summer of art projects, should I find myself needing a break from hiking the wilderness of Colorado. My physical therapist told me I should be all set to hike by the time I get back to Telluride. (Goal: Memorial Day weekend). I'll have to start out easy of course but there's a chance I could check off some 14ers by the end of the season. And who know's...Imogen may even be in my future. It's good to have goals.

I am meeting with my Orthopaedic surgeon a week from tomorrow. If everything looks good with my next round of x-rays, the PT says I will be at weight bearing status. be able to walk again!!! I had my first walking dream last week. It was incredible. Sometimes I lurch off the couch and catch myself in mid-rise before I realize I can't just sachet across the room. I love my bear-killers, but I'll be so happy to be done with these crutches. Wish me luck.