Tuesday, March 20, 2012

marzo mio

The gray, wet blanket of winter has finally settled, silent and airless, sealing the rim of this valley. Coldness felt in stiff fingers, through the bottom of socked feet, the frigid aura of the thin glass windows. A line of muddy, wet pants and sweaters hung above the wood stove, crispy and in the form of legs as I put them back on for another day subscribed to their service. February come and gone, reveling in its expected horror- snow moon, hunger moon, short, squat days with strong, lengthy night. The sly onset of March, holding hope for longer light, heat, the movement of worm and microbe, the stirring of life with in seed coat. The first sight of shooting star and fawn lily. The earth brims with water, red clay mud flowing over boot top and into sock, filling ditch and backing up culvert, a fist with middle finger extended crossing road to turn back school bus and mail man. Gophers make a run for higher ground, the souls of ducks come to stay. The soil too wet to work, plans incubate in the warm glow of the future, in dreams of sun browned skin and ripe tomato, bike rides and river swims. Interest fed through book and thought, the entire star trek movie sequence on VHS, days spent in sweat pants with unbrushed teeth...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

will I am s

My location is Williams, Oregon. A turn off on the old highway, a road that only leads to Williams and "over the mountain," but only in the summer. A rural area, a small river valley, surrounded by forested mountains, the mouth of valley facing north and east, backed by Sugar Loaf and Greyback peaks; the accumulation grounds for water shed into the Applegate, into the Rogue, out to the Pacific. A land inhabited by people for about 10,000 years, people living off the richness of the valley bottom, off fattened salmon, berries and nuts. War came with white man, who drove the natives east, who skinned beaver, who hit pay dirt, who found value in the substance of beautiful trees.  Ox and horse team lead to clear cut, the disapearance of Port Orfords, and Doug fir, to the rise and fall of economy, a major migration of hippies, right-wing survivalists, horsey people, environmentalists, pot growers.  There is no denying the abundance of this land. Summer breaks branches with the weight of apples, pears, plums, one dollar for 12 ears of corn at the Provolt farm stand. High quality cultivated herbs, organic vegtables, wild flowers, mushrooms, medicinal wild plants. Winter is gentle, frost never sinking too deep or staying too long.  A brief look around reveals amateur cabins and mobile homes rotting into the earth along side home scale junk yards, jimmy rigged privacy fences of black plastic and pine poles, a gathering of old men drinking coffee and complaining down at the general store, moms in long skirts and dreadlocks driving subarus. Look deeper and see hay pastures with strong old oaks, dark cold creeks lined with alder and rusting farm equipment, mossy, damp stands of old growth forest.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

space traveler

Has the journey ended? Has it just transformed...? To travel in ones own space, from house to yard to pasture, down to the mailbox, out to the chicken coop. Leaping from dirty coffee cup to dusty house plant, spanning the space from window ledge to table top to traverse between the crumbs of last nights dinner. Time, too, is relevant. The rythm of light and darkness, moon and star, sun crossing the sky (now so far to the south), seeds germinating, growing, setting seed, dying, the shift of birds clocking in to relieve the previous crew. A log burns, the eggnog goes sour, the frozen bowl of dog water thaws in the thin winter sun, its time to cut my bangs again.

Monday, January 16, 2012


A new year, a new post, a year since the last.... A shift of focus, the great eye regains clarity and sharpens its stare. The winged heart settles to the ground, pecks and scratches, turns three circles, makes its nest, allows roots to set. A natural progression, but one never considered. Easier to believe the world is coming to its end than to believe in transience finding a home. A home. Home.
So, as life transitions so does my blog. The need to practice writing for others to read, not just the usual secrets I scrawl in books I keep hidden from you, is apparent. A present wrapped lovingly in paper, tied with ribbon, taken to the ledge and drop kicked, left on the lawn to disintegrate in the rain, to bleach in the sun, to be pawed open by a curious animal. Whatever. Its out there now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Agradable agradecidos

Abajo de la luna llena en Xexecom, Quitche

Christmas gift giving in La Ventosa. Don Geronimo is in the red striped pants, mostly likely giving tiny speach.

Hugs hugs hugs. Feliz navidad niños queridos.

These photos are small windows of the moments I have passed here in Guatemala the past two months. They are the people and places that I hold close to my heart. Thank you so much to everyone that supported me in my journey here, once again. Stories soon to follow...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Este etraño poder

Aqui estoy. Aqui. Aqui. Aqui en Xela. Like returning to a memory. A memory in full, not selected for its sweet moments, its good times, its warm hearts. A memory so close to reality, one that doesn´t edit its self to my liking. Such a strange power to return to a place like this one. So far away in distance, in style, in way, in life. Just money, just a plane, just ten hours and I return to the dream. The dream has lived this past year as I have lived, one more freckle, one more heartbreak, one more crack in the cement, one more pair of adidas over the power line. Physically we travel through this time space side by side. Almost undecernably the same is this place I have loved and set free. The red tin roofs, the unfinished cinderblock buildings, the clothes on the lines, the dogs in the street, the bus culture, the flowers in the cemetery. I am recollected by the characters of this dream, Doña Lucy, the orange juice lady, Leonora and her old mother, who hug me and pinch my arms, by the children and teenagers I spent so much time with, the chubby girl at the food carts in Parque Central. My best relations here expected my arrival, awaited my magical return from the mysterious lands of the north. The place where money is cultivated, where wealth explodes, where poor volunteers go and return rich with Christmas presents for all. They swallow this impossible reality with little questioning, grace me with the their acceptance of the unknown.
The strange power overwhelms me, earases the past year of my life. So many times I´ve questioned the knowledge, the experiences of the time I´ve spent here. What are they worth? In what context are they applicable? What good is this understanding I´ve gained? And suddenly it all makes sense. As I get in a cab and bargain for the price, as I take the right chicken bus to the right destination, as I go where I want to go flawlessly, comfortably, making friends along the way, opening my heart to a place that so many fear and misunderstand. My education here was priceless. Every hard earned lesson blesses me with the wisdom that follows.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Of gifts and goodwill

Many of you have recieved this already, but I thought I would post it just in case.

My dearest friends and families,
As many of you know I spent the greater part of 2009 volunteering for a non-profit organization in Xela (Quetzaltenango), Guatemala known as EDELAC (Escuela de la Calle). Fifteen years ago EDELAC was founded to build and sustain a primary school in one of the poorest areas of the city where no other existed. Today it provides over 200 children, grades 1 through 6, with free education. A dormitory, El Hogar Abierto, was later created as a safe, abuse free environment for children without families or whose families live in an area with no available educational services. Almost all funding comes from the hard work of a group of volunteers known as the Quetzal Trekkers. The Quetzal Trekkers work as hiking guides, leading tourists on multi-day treks throughout the highlands of Guatemala, with 100% of their proceeds going to the children of EDELAC and El Hogar Abierto.In my time as a guide for Quetzal Trekkers I witnessed a fully functioning organization run on the goodwill, dedication and love of its past and present volunteers and associates. I was blessed to spend time living, learning and playing with the children and teenagers of EDELAC and El Hogar Abierto. I left not only with new friends, but with a family to whom I am connected and care about.
So in the spirit of this holiday season I am planning a journey to Guatemala. I would love nothing more than to share gifts, money, supplies, gear, joy and love with children who deserve every resource they can get to succeed. I am presenting you with the chance to give to those who desperately need the help, to a place where a little goes an incredible distance. Please help me to provide the faces, hearts and stories I know and love, with the basic opportunities most of us take for granted. I am accepting any and all donations. Please see the following information for the website my friend Jon set up for internet donations. Feel free to pass this letter on to whomever you think would be interested in donating. Please call (503-708-3564) or email (mlss.mrsn@gmail.com) if you have any questions or if you want to come with me (I’m serious, lets go!).
Many thanks,