Written in the Sand

Last year I committed to spending more time at the beach. AND I DID.

My priorities and my visions of normalcy and success shifted with every minute I spent at the shoreline.

My intention was to continue regular beach visits in 2019 — multiple times every week — but so far this year … I haven’t gone much.

Today I didn’t even want to leave the house. Like most days this month. February is the worst month of winter in Washington (even without the snow that piled up last week); even though the days are getting longer, it’s not nearly enough sunlight after months of reduced daylight hours. It feels like darkness falls way too soon every day.

But I had to get one of Delia’s checks in the bank. It seemed like a waste of gas and putting-on-clothes to turn right back around and go home, so I made myself go to the beach, telling myself that I could just sit in the car and read. Just GO. Just GET there.

And there it was … proof that THE BEACH IS FOR ME, written like a personalized welcome mat:

Without planning it, the tide is often low when I get there. Especially on days like today when I had to ease myself into just the idea of being upright.

Funny coincidence: last night I read a story featuring sandwriting that was also like a personal bridge, but between where I picture the author Emma Donoghue and here in the Pacific Northwest. Starting out reading Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter, she has always seemed SO across-the-pond and decades and centuries ago from where I be, but in Touchy Subjects there she is writing about JESUS and TACOMA and the word COCKSUCKERS in the sand.

So far this book is full of stories I would never have imagined her writing, but I was totally surprised by Room coming from her, too. But maybe she was just making fun of us for that big JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU sign you can see from the freeway that you can imagine was an inspiration for it. It makes me miss Tacoma, actually. Lots of things make me miss Tacoma. But then I go to the beach here and don’t give Tacoma another thought.

Anyhoo … I had very tender feelings for “The Man Who Wrote on Beaches” when I read it last night.

“…he had a home with a view of Puget Sound and a good job and a great collection of German steins and a lot of laughs. Above all, he had Margaret, who was twice what he deserved.”

The older I get and resign myself to being My Authentic Self, I have to accept that even though I’m capitalizing those words like I’m in on the ridiculous joke of myself, I’m honestly NOT joking. I’m earnest and can say with my whole heart that I love The Man Who Wrote on Beaches. With recognition, relief that I haven’t taken it QUITE that far (but only because I got the idea of asking Jesus into my heart out of my system as a teenager), forgiveness … and no measurable amount of irony.

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is wrapping up on an insanely jolly, cozy note … and that it smells as good as my hair after I laid it on these boughs of fir.

 

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Woods Walk: Week 6

Fulfilled: promise to myself to walk in the woods weekly (at least).
Even though I haven’t been blogging these walks right away, I’ve been doing them … and feel happier because of it. Super happy to have gotten this one promise to my body fulfilled early this week / today. It’s been a long time since I visited this favorite local park for woods-walking.

These paths — especially where they are narrower with lots of roots, hairpins and other obstacles to navigate (not pictured here) — make me want to run run run run RUN.

I ran a little bit. Even though I felt clunky and ran out of steam fast, my body still remembered how to do it and reminded me how fast rhythm and euphoria can be mine. All mine at my own varying, self-pleasing, self-pushing pace.

It doesn’t feel like winter. It feels like spring with a very depressed sun that wants to stay under the covers and sleep a lot.

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Woods and Water: Week 4

I squeezed in a combo woods-and-saltwater walk before this week ended!

Yup – that deer was only a few feet away from me when I lumbered down the trail. I should’ve done more to scare it instead of taking a picture, but they’re so habituated to humans here it’s a lost cause.

Bluff and beach erosion are problems here (especially for people with houses built on them). I definitely worry more about rocks and earth and trees sliding down on me when I’m walking the beach than I do about tsunamis. We had a Tsunami warning in the middle of the night a few bedtimes back, but we kind of laughed it off. This time.

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Happy New Year!

full moon happy new year

I’m stoked about the new year!

Normally the New Year holidays depress me and make me feel (even more) weird & alienated from “normal” people, but the longer Delia and I are together and the more I get comfortable with my introversion, the happier this holiday is for me. This is the second year I’ve used the Dragontree Dreambook & Planner (I get the PDF version and print it out myself at home). I love the new year invitation to spend time planning, focusing on my own values and visions and wants.

While I don’t feel like I’m where I “should” be at this age, I’m happy that I keep making (crooked, jaggedy, sometimes backsliding) progress. The gift of this past crazy-ass year in the states has been confirmation beyond any doubt that people — ALL people, just about — are fucking crazy.

naked new year reflection

We can comfort ourselves into abandoning our best selves or make ourselves MORE crazy by measuring ourselves against each other: our sanity, our normalcy, our financial success and accomplishments, our appearances, our ways of expressing ourselves, our guilt and complicity, our contributions and our ability to fit in and obtain approval from each other. 2017 insisted it’s best to set that yardstick of “normal” on FIRE and live by our own values, guided by something higher and brighter and rooted deeper and stronger into the earth and the best purest efforts of humankind since we arrived here. And if that is too much, it may be just as wise to dance and fuck and scream and give up everything BUT embracing the insanity. And reading all the books with all the answers and timeless questions frustrated wise folk have been trying to give and ask one another and the rest of us since the beginning of time.

It’s absurd how much we care and how much we kid ourselves. But fuck it: I’m here, I’m alive and I want to be fully human: that’s what I’ve been given. So I took off my clothes and stood outside at midnight, laughing at my reflection in light and shadows both natural and unnatural. Believing in my sanity and rightness more than all the fireworks bombing the neighborhood. More than all the flying champagne corks in the whole wide world.

Maybe my plan for 2018 is to step up naked in the outside-air to every door and mirror on my path, day or night, winter spring summer fall. Confident in the knowledge — not a guess or suspicion, but the CERTAINTY — I am behaving as best a sensible rational fleshy LIVING human can. I hope you have the freedom and resources to do the same (or whatever is best for YOU in your life) this year!

We’re currently offering HALF-OFF site memberships to help you beat the winter blues my members-only area is included with Delia’s

Solstice

It’s that dark time of year … and the shortest day of the year. I’m super happy to report that the long nights and lack of daylight hours feel cozy to me this year … but I’m glad it’s solstice so we can start shaving some gloom off of the super-long nights.

Where we live in Washington state we do have more daylight hours than in, say, Alaska, but things are not as balanced as they are in Southern California.

Semi & rusty mermaid beater: quintessential Western Washington paint jobs and colors as the sun goes down sooooo early.

Here’s how our daylight hours compare on the West Coast:

  • San Diego (south of us, close to Mexico) has TEN HOURS of daylight on winter solstice. Four hours and 19 minutes less than they have in June.
  • We have less than EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS of daylight in Seattle-ish today. Seven and a half hours less than in June.
  • In Anchorage they have LESS THAN FIVE AND A HALF HOURS of daylight. Almost fourteen hours less than on summer solstice.

Having relatively mild weather with noticeable differences between the seasons is part of why we love living in Western Washington. Every season is distinct without the differences being extreme or unmanageable. They’re enjoyable. But taking Vitamin D — and anti-depressants during these dark months is advised.

west coast daylight hours comparison

So today we basically have only HALF of the day we have on the 21st of June … especially when you consider the tyranny of daylight savings time wasting the sunrise on groggy wage slaves and those with super long commutes; the only time I’ve been up to see the sun rise this year has been when I’ve stayed up all night, which I love doing.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is it’s also when Delia and I got married. Before all of the Christmas craziness sets in we get to have our special holiday together, just the two of us.

One of my favorite anniversaries we took a long long long long long walk — without even planning to take such a long long long long long walk — through the woods, on the beach, and through the woods some more while the damp gray light got denser and thicker and darker and then we were running and laughing through dark thick wet static trying to beat the night back to our car. For hours we just walked and walked, barely talking. And when we did communicate with our voice boxes half the time they were animal sounds or exclamations. Not so much words.

Maybe that is why winter is getting easier for me.

 

We’re currently offering HALF-OFF site memberships to help you beat the winter blues my members-only area is included with Delia’s

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