Coastal meditations.

September 28th, 2012

How’s that for a hippie title?

We’ve wanted to go the beach all summer, but I was too sick.

Now that I’m not quite as sick anymore, Eric decided to surprise me last weekend with a quick getaway to Pacific City, Oregon. We stayed at an awesome bed and breakfast that was right up our alley — as the website says, “No lace, no doilies!”

It happened to be the weekend a big surf competition was in town, and a parasailing contest of sorts was also going on. We decided to steer clear of the madness for dinner time and, at the recommendation of our gracious host, holed up in a dive bar for some fresh-caught fish and chips and razor clams. Afterward, me made the mile-long trek over to the Pelican Brewery. This mile should have taken fifteen minutes to walk on sand, but instead it took forever. Why? Well…

Don’t mind the grainy iPhone-at-night shots, the all-portrait orientation and the fact that three of these photos have almost exactly the same composition.

I sure don’t.

ALL I could think was —

… Who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

Thank you, Jesus, for this Oregon part of the incredibly amazing ocean you thought up. It was a great idea.


A change of pace.

September 17th, 2012

This summer has been, for better or for worse, not at all what I expected.

I did my best with the preliminary “I’m sick, give me a break” posts — but then I stayed sick. And I stayed sick some more. And sleeping was more important than other stuff, and this thing happens in my head where if I think for too long I get stuck, and can’t write and go a little bit crazy.

Thus, I have several half-finished post drafts waiting for some love. I have a house that is just barely staying presentable (but don’t go in the bedroom). I have lungs that refuse to function properly even after nine weeks.

And a brain that’s having trouble keeping up, too:

Last week, I took the recycling out without realizing one of the brown bags was actually a bag from the grocery store that still had a newly purchased bag of razors and box of tampons in it.

Today, I went to the store solely because we ran out of toilet paper. I bought a ton of peaches and some red peppers on a great sale, ice cream, razors to replace the ones I threw away, some cereal and granola bars… and no toilet paper. And I did the exact same thing last week with laundry quarters. Yes, I brought lists.

I’m not writing this to complain. I actually think it’s a little funny. But it’s absolutely apparent to me, and maybe to everyone, that I don’t feel like myself. And summer is just not a fun time to not feel like oneself.

Yet, my God is good. In this time I also interviewed at the Portland Pregnancy Resource Center, where I’ll be volunteering once a week. I had a phone interview for a new writing client. I told Eric and my mom both multiple times that I wasn’t going to get the job — but I did. Him turning favor on me like I don’t deserve is humbling.

Still, I cough when I drink too much water. I cough when I don’t drink enough water. I cough when I lay down. My inhaler keeps me up at night.

It’s just a funny, throw-things-to-the-wind kind of time. I’m trying to see people; trying to go places. And thank the dear Lord, I can finally hold those babies I love.

Weirdly, I got way better last week, and then worse again on Friday. My lungs, throat, swallowing muscles all feel swollen and hypersensitive. I have a followup appointment with Marc Jacobs the lung specialist tomorrow, so here’s hoping we get to the bottom of this nonsense!

And as my self returns, or I make an effort to keep it in the present, I’ll be around.



August 9th, 2012

I guess the plus side of being sick for more than three weeks in the middle of summer…

… is that I truly have no idea how bad my green smoothies taste.

So today, I went all out and added chocolate protein powder.

Small triumphs.

I have had either whooping cough or something similar but viral since three Tuesdays ago. I’ve been to the doctor twice, not including seeing Dr. Papa, and have six prescriptions. If you saw me during the first week or two, I hope you have your pertussis boosters! As for me, I discovered that mine expired last year.

Get your shots, kids.

Thankfully, other than the cough, the inability to breathe afterwards, the major bodily soreness from coughing and the overall inability to do anything that makes me cough, I’m feeling pretty normal. I do mean that. Also thankfully, I can do my job perfectly well while laying in my bed.

But, I still can’t WAIT to go camping, bike riding, actually be able to see the babies in my life, have the energy to clean my house, have people over, and all those other fun summery things I wait for 3/4 of the year to be able to do.

I’m praying that summer will stretch all the way through September!


p.s. That wedding? It was perfect.

Praise the good Lord for…

July 30th, 2012

Codeine cough syrup.
Working from home.
A less-than-frantic schedule this week (so far).
Fans. (The blowy kind.)

And the wedding of the year coming up next weekend…of these beautiful people, also known as my little brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law. (That was a lot of hyphens.)

Here’s hoping I can taste the delicious food, get through my reading without hacking, and play my piano song without dripping snot on the keys.

It’s the little things, ya know?


What wonderful minds.

July 19th, 2012

[photo credit]

I have always said 20th century American literature is my favorite.

Something — the disillusionment, the concurrent hope — spoke to me as true. The protagonists’ pursuits of true freedom in this “free” country resonated. Further freedom from government, from confines, from boundaries, and — as they got freer and freer and recognized the thing that still trapped them — from themselves.

Tim Parks, essayist for The New York Review of Books, published “The Chattering Mind” in June to reveal what he says is the true protagonist of 20th century literature — “the mind that can’t make up its mind, the mind postponing action in indecision and, if we’re lucky, poetry.”

Here are a few notable quotes from the essay:

Seeing the pros and cons of every possible move, this modern man is paralysed, half-envying those less intelligent than himself who throw themselves instinctively into the fray…

It’s all quite reassuring, even self-congratulatory. What wonderful minds we have, even though they don’t seem to get us anywhere, or make us happy.

…at least I’ve understood and brilliantly dramatized the futility of my brilliant exploration of my utter impotence.

It is hard not to congratulate oneself on the quality of one’s unhappiness.

Is this true? Can it sum up an entire century of writing?

Whether or not this is overly simple — and I’d argue that mostly it isn’t — I see myself so much in these observations. Postponing action, occasionally with something as worthwhile as poetry but usually with somethings much less meaningful and much more tedious and maddening.

And the love, too. The love of brilliant dramatization, of wonderful, dissatisfying minds.

And here I am again, the mind that can’t make up its mind.

More on this to come. Thoughts?