you are loved.

note to self,
remember to remember:
pink lemonade
+ love
every day.


good samaritans.

 why not to cry over spilled milk... 
{photo found here}

Today after watching Brazil squash Chile in the mundial, we got home to find our brand new car with a big new dent. Someone rammed it while the poor bugger was parked. It was pretty obvious from the way it was hit, directly into the driver's side back door, that it was our neighbors across the street. When Serkan and his friend went to ask about it, she guiltily said that it was one of her friends, but wouldn't give any more information. I tried to talk to her with them about 10 minutes later, but nobody would answer the door. We called the police. They came quickly, and also tried to get someone to open the door. No cigar. They wrote up a report and said that when the car does come that we should take down the license plate number and call them again. To tell the truth, I wasn't feeling super hopeful.

A bit later, I was on my way to the market. In our poor car with its first dentful accident in 20 years! (Oh, what kind of parents will we ever be?) When... the police returned, just casing the hood I guess, to find all the lights on in the house. One of the cops talked to the woman and got a name out of her while I talked to the other officer. They gave me the fella's name, and said that they were going to try to find him at work... Can you believe the detective work going on here? It's a small town and they probably don't have much to do, but, boy, these guys went above the call of duty!

As I reslid into the driver's seat and restarted the engine, I get a tap tap tap on my window. Turn off the car, open the door, get out. So, you must be Bruno, I say. There was the culprit, apologizing and saying that he didn't mean to negate his responsibility. That he hit the car late last night and didn't want to wake us up and so on. Anyway, tomorrow we are going to get the car fixed and he agreed to pay for it. All as simple as that! Crumby luck for the car, but mostly, I just consider this a fairytale ending. Of course, maybe I should wait to say that till our poor Subaru is mended.


{all photos found here. picnic: La Vie Boston

Unforseen 1 degree C weather foiled our snowman plans, and chilly rains washed away all the snow. Thankfully. The forecast had called for -12 to -14 degrees C, and we were worried about our pipes refreezing! So, instead of building monos de nieve, snow monkeys, as they're called here, I spent the weekend daydreaming. Besides working on a translation project and giving English classes. 

Lately, I am a little bit obsessed with white. Especially all things interior design. I usually opt for bright colors, pieces that pop, or rustic wood settings. But lately: I daydream in white. Sunny, bright spaces. With some colorful picnics thrown in.

friday refract: cosmic.

Tomorrow a friend of mine is running the Double Dipsea. Next month she will run the San Francisco Marathon, which was my first (and currently only) marathon, back in 2006. It’s amazing to think how much time has passed. And the various life paths I’ve traveled since then. 

What follows may heavy, but it will find light; I promise.

Shortly after that marathon, I nearly stopped running completely. I wrangled an ill relationship that nearly run me into the ground. Such relationships had—secretly—defined me for… oh so ever. I mastered the art of keeping secrets to my own unraveling. Simultaneously I completed my thesis, a rather emotional book of poems, which never received appropriate guidance as my guiding professor ended up acting inappropriately, forcing me to look for another advisor last-minute. Meanwhile, I tried (probably unsuccessfully) to keep my happy face at my techie day job. Somewhere along the line, I escaped said relationship and tried to surround myself with healthful, loving people. I’ve always been horrible at asking for help, but at some point, I found the strength to do so. Thank you, healthful, loving people in my life. You know who you are, and I love you. 

On the up and up, I received my MFA in Poetry. This would be my third unattended graduation. People, even if it seems silly at the time, go to your own graduations! Celebrate yourselves! For me, I felt I could breathe again, even though I didn’t much feel like writing. Certainly, I laughed again, went to music shows in the City, reveled the company of wonderful people. Enjoyed long, talkative breakfasts with friends. Reunited with myself. I started running again. And, in a way, I kept running. 

I woke up one morning in Colonia, Uruguay, sandwiched between a hazy past and some mysterious future, somehow able to let go of both yet not completely sure if I wanted to. I’d just started traveling through South America: mountains, tango, lost cities, huge waterfalls, rainforests, popping colors, people. My closest friends say they knew I wouldn’t return, although I swore I would—in two months. 

It’s been more than three years. In that time I’ve found yoga; climbed mountains and volcanoes; conquered and been conquered by soroche; lived and volunteered among indigenous people; touched pink dolphins in the Amazon; walked on glaciers and slurped impossibly sweet clean water from their streams; cliff dove into deep pools of water; danced and danced; learned a new language; edited and designed a local travel newspaper; translated a self-help book, among other things; survived a 10-day vow of silence, meditating; trained for a canceled “end of the world” marathon; cried from joy and the purest love, met and married the most lovely, amazing person I’ve ever known; laughed myself voiceless; reconnected with “home”; discovered serendipity in the every day and, truly, all we need is love. 

I believe I could have accomplished most of these things without entirely fleeing my home in California. ...But then I wouldn’t have met my husband. Something drove me to leave, to explore. Call it fate, intuition, something cosmic. I had some growing to do, some new perspectives to view. And someday, sooner or later, I’ll be back training for a Big Sur Marathon with a beautiful friend. 
{photos 1 & 2, photos 3 & 4 yours truly, photo 5}

the good. the mended. you want the good news or the bad news first?

Well, fortunately, right now it's all good news. 

Good news #1:
we are now the proud owners of a brand new 
1990 subaru legacy! currently covered in snow.

We spent the last week car hunting. I was ambivalent about spending money on a car, since theoretically, we'll head to the States once we can complete Serkan's visa paperwork. But plans change. Life happens. The immigration process drags on. So we did it, a 4x4 station wagon! It feels great to drive, smooth and safe. Not only is it a great car, but the seller was such a nice person too! He tried to help us find tires, invited us in for tea after the purchase (we dropped him off) where we met his lovely family. They all invited us--numerous times--to stay with them that night, because I was a little skeptical about driving home on the super icy roads in the dark. Dusk falls before 5 p.m. these days.

We spent another night in Punta Arenas to purchase snow tires and to take showers. (We haven't had water since Saturday, as all the pipes froze.) They actually put nails in the tires here to add traction. I have never heard of this practice before... but it seems to work. Yesterday we drove the 260 km home yesterday in four hours. Normally it would take three hours, but I haven't driven in ages, and I've only driven in the snow about 10 hours in my entire life, so we made a granny viaje.

Good news #2: This starts on a stressful note. We returned to our house with high hopes of having water. The day sunny, snow melting everywhere. I flushed the toilet tank, full for the first time in days! Serkan checked the kitchen sink, success! And then I heard the stream of running water and we went out back to visit our little flood. Of course, the pipes exploded. 

When we went to the corredora, rental agency, the woman there basically said: Too bad. There are more than 200 houses without water and with exploded pipes here. There is no way for us to find a plumber to repair the situation any time soon. No, I cannot pass you the number of any of the plumbers we work with. She also said we should wait to do anything while she gets a hold of the house owner, whom she hadn't been able to reach in the past few days. (We asked them to reach the owner a few days ago, when all the water froze.) Then she just sat there and watched as Serkan called the owner on his cell phone. Ugh! 

So, we weren't dealing with the boss of the office, who is a lovely woman. Later that evening, she called Serkan and they talked for a while, and she smoothed everything over. Meanwhile, Serkan had fixed one of the pipes himself. But there were two other broken areas, which we didn't have the tools for. He called a friend, who came this morning, when he said he would... Oh, you have no idea what a big deal that is! People, working, getting paid, say they will come every day at a certain hour and won't show up for weeks. Within two hours this morning, they fixed everything! We have water, people! We can shower and wash dishes and we don't have to melt snow! 

snow lovers found here.

with a kiss.

It started with a kiss.

One day, after so many kisses, I am talking about celebrations, 
how I have a sad habit of missing my own. 
Serkan says even a kiss can be a celebration. 
He always says the right thing. 
My feet touch the ground again, my heart breathes in. 
I have never known anyone so kind, so honest, so patient or so loving. 

Sometimes I may forget to say: You are my light. 

...sealed with a kiss.

snow & ice & frozen pipes.

Yesterday morning a quiet awed Oh! escaped my lips when I looked out the window: A powdery tarp of snow.

Later that afternoon, it would take me twice as long as normal to walk to the coastal house, where I teach English classes to a bright and squirmy 8-year old. We practice what he learns in school from his slightly outdated (CD players), British-based (rubber for eraser) materials. But the sun shone beautifully after the pre-dawn dump of snow. Along the coast, flamingos fished against its bright light, their catch reflected in the ripply water of Última Esperanza Sound.

As I walked, rather penguin-like and careful not to slip on the now icy sidewalks, I wondered about the systems towns have for cleaning up post-snow. Snow plows, salt, sand. Here, no hay nada. Supposedly the municipality had bought loads of street salt, and then... poof! It disappeared. So it's slippery and walking at a gimpy snail's pace makes it chillier!

Essentially, what flashed its white smile at us in the morning is hardening into quite a nuisance. Today, pipes froze over and we have zero water. The hot water tap in our kitchen often freezes over, as we wash dishes at night, and hot water freezes fast. But this is the first time everything has frozen. It is nice to know that we are not alone in this however. Sounds like half the town is dealing with the freeze.
My dad asked if our pipes were insulated. He gathered from my answer: The houses aren't insulated! That, no, our poor pipes aren't insulated either. So, it's just like being in the mountains, melting the snow from the backyard to make water. In that sense, I guess it's kinda fun...

We send you well thoughts and warm wishes!

home sweet home with asian pears.

Yesterday I was loving Asian pears so much I started looking for new ways to eat them. Rather than just juicy sweet lovely plain or alongside some thinly sliced parmesan cheese.

Last night we arrived back from a couple of days running around Punta Arenas, running errands, and looking for economical and scrumptious items to stock our cupboards. Even though it's a few degrees below freezing outside, the three-hour bus ride between Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas is inevitably muggy, claustrophobic and, occasionally, nauseating. Add being hungry to this, and it's just not very fun. When we finally got home, we whipped up some lentil-tumeric soup using a leftover lentil concoction from the vegetarian shepherd's pie I made during the week.

Afterward, I sliced up our last Asian pear and savored every crunchy bite. So happy to be home and eating this fruit that has nothing to do with this faraway part of the Earth. I know this isn't very ecological of me. But nearly all of our food travels down here via boat from Chile's northern valleys. (I'm sure most of your Haas avocados come from those valleys too!) For now, all I can say is c'est la vie and viva la pera!

Currently there is only one place in Puerto Natales where we can buy these delicious pomes, though not so delicately wrapped as in the photo above. Instead they are shoddily separated by pieces of white tissue paper. And sometimes surprise visitors. Eeek! The other day, as I inspected the yellow globe, a tijereta fell from it. An earwig. Sigh. It's part of living in a town with a serious earwig plague. And it is a plague. Today I went to replenish our Asian pear supply for some upcoming cooking endeavors sans alien invaders.

It's winter here, people, so we are eating winter things. Tonight I made a roasted beet and Asian pear salad with toasted almonds and arugula for a friend's going away (or traveling north!) party. But for all my pear obsession, what did I forget to layer in the salad? The Asian pears, newly purchased and still tumbled one atop another in my backpack. I was so concerned about preparing the salad in a way that the beats wouldn't turn into a gooey pink mess that I completely forgot key ingredient #2. So I'm about to cut one up and adorn the top of the salad with it now.


I've been making postcards with what little material I have on hand. Trying not to buy anything, and so the magazine clipping possibilities steadily diminish. Still, I'll soldier on and the first batch will be mailed within the next few days. Let's see how they'll hold up crossing the continents. It's never too late to add more, so send me your address to receive something via post!

Send and receive correspondences by post. This kinda goes with the postcards, but it's bigger than they are. Like letters big. Someday I would love to make my own paper to go along with this.

Playing with old pictures on the computer and removing them from their contexts. The context of a picture is completely different for the photographer and viewer anyway, since the photog remembers where she took the picture, the day, the place, the emotion, the recent kiss, the breeze. Now to take more shots.

Breathing new life into this space and deciding what it should be. I'm hoping this evolves naturally, as does the human question: Why am I here? 

Inşallah! This is (one of my) sadly neglected, should-be first priorities.

My jeans that I dried too close to the Magellanic stove. Brittled the next time I wore them and bent down, the bottom tore (over a year ago). Reinforce the big teal buttons on one of my favorite coats, currently unwearable because it's too darn cold. But it's a nice change from my puffy jacket in the summer.

notice i didn't write write.
More sadly than my Turkish. I just don't want to jinx it.

old printing machine at the national center for handmade paper 
in ohrid, macedonia

homemade pizza.

It's winter in Puerto Natales, and just about everything is closed. Aside from a couple of new (for the winter!) cafés, most eateries around town are closed. We never go out for dinner very often, but sometimes it's a nice option when neither of us feel like cooking. There is one decent pizza joint in town, Mesita Grande. Thin, delicious crusts cooked in a clay oven. But they're closed. 

And we had a hankering for pizza, and started to make our own. Not for the first time, but I think this time was definitely the most delicious. It's difficult to cook anything with our oven, because the flame is so uneven and undirected. The heat comes from the left side, and the only way to change the "temperature" is to open or close the gas valve to change the size of the flame.

We should make our own pizza anyway, it's that much more economical! Serkan followed a Turkish recipe for the pizza dough, and we topped it with everything we had in the house, except for maybe the kitchen sink.
 sun-dried tomatoes, green olives, chives, fresh mushrooms, red bell pepper, grated fresh local cheese and romano

we made two pizzas, though we only ate one & a half!
one had fresh parsley and serrano ham.

here's serkan cutting the pizza; his hands make it look much smaller 
than it seemed at the time.

friday refract.

There are many ways we refract the light of our lives. Our views. I see light coming from several different directions and dimensions. Take the refraction of time, for instance. We create calendars and dates to lean it straight. But (in reality) time may note even exist. Maybe it's just a bunch of nows. And now. And now. And now. Now. Now. What we've done is carved a prism of nows. We witness our now through this prism. Some people are stuck projecting and experiencing current life through (mostly worries of) the future. Me, I'm more prone to witness my nows through the prism of my past.

Today, for instance, while Serkan and I ate porridge for breakfast, I remembered how his sister, Sevgi, and her family picked me up one early morning after an overnight bus trip from Samsun. Serkan was working in a remote place for a while, and I found a dirt cheap ticket to Amsterdam to visit a friend, and later go to a yoga farm for some intensive practice. Serkan's brother, Selim, and his family had taken me to the bus station in Samsun the night before. They waited for me to board the bus and waved me off. I felt so welcome and protected in that moment, I probably welled up a little.

I arrived to Istanbul, probably around 7 or so in the morning, with my flight to Amsterdam later that evening. I was just planning on finding my way to the airport somehow and waiting there, but, no. The whole fam came to get me, groggily, in the morning. They took me up some winding hills to see their old house with a crystalline view of the Bosphorus. Then we zipped our way back down to the coast and to a lively outdoor cafe in the Bebek barrio. Murat explained it was one of the oldest in the area, maybe more than 100 years old. The huge trees we breakfasted under backed his claim. I ordered fresh yogurt, fresh honey, and dried fruits. Maybe it doesn't sound like much. It's certainly more gringa than Turkish. But Turkish yogurt and honey are divine! I drank coffee and Turkish tea.

A kind of fairytale morning. Instead of wandering somehow to the airport by myself and likely a bit stressed, I was whisked up in this family environment full of love. Add beautiful crisp and then warm morning weather to this. (I can't imagine eating or sitting still anywhere outside these days!) We went back to their house for a few hours and later in the afternoon, they dropped me off at the bus service that would drop me off at the airport.

I've had other moments like this, moments where family has made a return or a journey so much easier. There are so many small ways people can rescue each other.
I remember one time in particular, my Uncle Jim and Aunt Vicki picking me up from the airport one dark evening, probably after a Christmas visit to see my dad, brother and Carol. Uncle Jim drove my car while Auntie Vicki drove theirs. Mine was freshly washed, shiny on the inside and vanilla scented. It was a quick hello/goodbye, a surreal moment, with Riders on the Storm playing as I slid into the driver's seat.

With Sevgi and Selim and fam, I probably felt a tinge uncomfortable at the time, because of difficulties in communicating. As in I don't speak Turkish. I certainly understood much less then, than I maybe do now. (Not to say that I understand much now...) But this morning. That random memory--which probably surfaced on account of the dollop of yogurt I plopped on my cereal--made me happy. A calm and content nostalgia. Not wrought with longing or anything close to lament. And it led to other happy memories.

So it was a happy prism. But so many times we live our lives--our presents--through frazzled prisms. Mine have typically been backward looking. But lately my prisms seem to be refracting some future line. Since I've been experiencing a wee flood of memories and moments, I thought it would be a good idea to purposely dive into them... on Fridays. Why Friday? Because, as I wrote yesterday, it's a day meant to honor love. Though every day is honor-love day.

on thursday.

A couple of days ago, I was showing one of my student's's cool word pronunciation feature. I chose Thursday. One path led to another, as paths always do. And I discovered that our beloved and often difficult-to-pronounce Thursday comes from Thor's day. As in the hammer-wielding Norse god of thunder, Thor. In fact, the days Tuesday-Friday (in English) all have their roots in Norse gods. Although the origins are different, both Monday and lunes (in Spanish) take after the moon. Friday and viernes (in Spanish) honor love: Freya or Frigg--the Norse goddess of married love and fertility--and Venus--the Roman goddess of love and beauty--respectively. This may not be anything new to many of you, but it's today's cool tidbit for me.

Now that it's past 9 p.m., and I'm barely starting to feel alive to the world. I have felt horribly under the weather all day, just exhausted more than anything else. I'm not sick, but I'm not chipper either. This morning my plan was to try out a new yoga class and then I had a running date. I woke up and ate a little breakfast early enough to have an hour without feeding myself before yoga. But I just couldn't even stay upright. The bed beckoned me back to it, this is after already sleeping nearly 9 hours. I read, got up and ate some yummy red lentil soup that Serkan made, and finally went back to sleep until nearly 5 p.m. At which point, Serkan asked if I still wanted to go for a run. We got ready fast, since the sun had just set, and went for a little run together. Afterward, I practiced my own abbreviated yoga routine. Without fail this makes me feel better. I can actually feel the physical space created within me. I can breathe better and live closer to grace. (Something I've been thinking a lot about lately.)

Serkan and I don't go together often, but I like when we do. This year I need motivation! Last year, I was training for the Ushuaia (fin del mundo) marathon with a friend. It was to be my second marathon. After my first, the desire to run another never picked up. But that's because of a sad streak in my life, battles, poems, and difficulties. Of course, that bump in the road, was also what got me traveling, picking up and moving, meeting my amazing life partner and best friend, so it's not all bad.

Anyway, last year we ran up to 20 miles before we discovered the race was canceled. I was the ra-ra part of the team, snow or rain or shine, vamos! At the end both Bill, my running partner, and I were suffering from minor running injuries, and ignoring them. I think I'd even (in an unrelated incident) broken a tiny bone in my foot. We tapered our training with the knowledge that the cancellation. Then Serkan and I traveled to Turkey and through Eastern Europe for a few months.

Upon my return to Patagonia, I'd had big hopes for training. But nothing ever really materialized. I still ran quite a bit, but short runs and not nearly as regularly. Bill still calls me Coach, which is sweet. But he's the one who keeps up his training. Go you!!! Me, who knows what I need: a kick in the arse from Thor.
12th century tapestry representing Thor
in between Odin (Wednesday) and Frigg (Friday).

Happy Thursday!

postcards fade to blue.

This afternoon I'm in a tall hot pink hostel, two stories of corrugated tin siding, typical of most buildings in Natales. I'm waiting for my students to show up. Well, not waiting, enjoying. Sitting in a plush velvety seat to take a wee rest while I scan, again, the huge postcard collection here.

Perhaps there are hundreds of postcards here, rows hanging from ceiling to floor, shoddily stapled together. They dangle against a backdrop of a blue and yellow painted wall, the colors split by a strip of wallpaper border. Giant full-lipped suns intersperse cherub-faced crescent moons looking down beatifically at the yellow stars and one audaciously ringed Saturn, patterned over and over.

Over and over the past few weeks, I've come to realize the blueness of postcards. Predominantly. I'm not sure if it's due to sun bleaching, time, an obsession with sky, the lasting nature of blue or something about the postcard industry's azure draw.

Sure, there's the odd red and white Canadian flag; an Ohio triptych within a red & white frame flaunting old barns; the mauve-blue of D.C. lit up at dusk; a rainbowed 1980s thank you!; one of the royal couples wearing red and black; citrus sunsets; a concrete Hamburg from above (framed again in red & white); Holland: red poppies, orange horizons, blue-green A frames, white & black windmills, yellow "traditional dress," and happy cows chewing their cud in green pastures; Vienese gothic cathedrals and brown bakery goods. Grenoble, San Francisco, Australian koalas, so many Patagonias and Antarcticas, Berlins, Brazils, Wales, La Paz & Hong Kong, the Blue Angels, Stockholm, the Taj Majal and Catalina Island--all doused in a prevailing blue.

It's been about 40 minutes, today's class a no-go. But I sense a postcard exchange on the horizon. Mail here is slow and has been unreliable in the past. But nothing's been lost for a while, and the idea of sending and receiving mail throughout this bitter cold (for me!) winter warms my heart. Funny, just today I also stumbled across The Benevolent Postcard Society, a little too late, but what a beautiful idea!

So, send me your address, even if you think I already have it! xoxo

oh, beautiful cello, beautiful morning.

This morning, in our heated and currently sunlit living room, I'm waiting for my students to arrive. I'm listening to Bach's Cello Suites (in case anybody does show), as classical music is supposed to aid in learning and info retention.

I've been teaching English classes to two groups of hostel and other small-business owners. My good friend Laura, who teaches ESL for a living has given me lots of tips. I've been able to use some of them, but because of the odd grouping of people and level of interest, it's hard to get a good routine going. The groups are small, and sometimes nobody shows up at all.

It's a pretty unnatural situation, because the students are only taking the classes to earn a grant from the government. The process requires that they receive training/take classes in the areas of their choosing. And although my students have chosen to learn English, they don't really want to. Well, at least not the majority of my first class. One has even told me on numerous occasions that she essentially has no desire to learn and is only participating in the courses in order to get plata (dinero) from the government.

Needless to say, these sessions can be disheartening and raucous. Often the students just don't show up. My morning class was in one of the hostel-owners hostels, but it has recently, for various reasons that don't have anything to do with me, moved to our house. I didn't make this decision, but I am definitely benefiting from it. I can be warm, teach without wearing my puffy jacket, and when nobody shows for the first hour of class (each class is a whopping three hours long), at least I can still work and be productive in some other capacity, instead of just shivering and waiting. Plus in the end, each student is only required to complete 50% of the coursework or hours attended. No es nada. So, after this week, only the people who have missed several classes already, will have to continue coming to class, and most of the morning group plans to complete the bare minimum as far as I can tell.

In nicer news, the second group of students have more ganas to learn. They attend classes more regularly, so I can actually do fun things with them. We've drawn self-portraits and baked chocolate chip cookies (in English) and had a blast doing it. When you have three hours to fill, something has to be creative about it.

kneaded, rolled, buttered, cut, snailed, blossomed & frosted.

Dawn's battering of wind has broken the typical weather pattern of the last week. The constant winter cold crisps the morning grass, but there is still no snow. Locals say it's not as cold as it usually is this time of year. Morning's have been sunny, calm, windless. By afternoon the wind picks up, a storm rolls in and the rain pours down throughout the night. This morning, when I walk to the corner market to buy eggs and powdered sugar, a fine icy snow blows against my puffy jacket.

I have had a cinnamon craving for a few days now. The cinnamon & sugar-filled baked banana we ate the other night didn't completely sate it. Because, what I really want are my dad's cinnamon rolls. So, today will be my first attempt at baking cinnabon-style rolls from scratch. Serkan has been taking some photos to  document my progress...

I even talked to my dad and brother on Skype conference call somewhere in between. We make a fine triangle across the earth, me at the end/bottom of it, Dad in Wisconsin, and crazy Earon in Iraq, plunging up the dough plumbing. No need to worry. Aside from overworking himself with 12+ hour days/ 8 days a week, he is safe and basically stuck (safely) in one place. He plans to be there a year, and I'm trying to get him to leave early and visit us in Chile! That is, if we're still down here.

Earon said that to make them like Dad, I would have to use a whole lotta butter. And a whole lotta sugar. I'm sure I used less butter than I "should" have, but I still tried not to skimp on it too much. In fact, here I am using extra butter. 
knifing the cinnamon worm.

snailing atop butter.

orange-zested cream cheese frosting goodness.

labyrinths & lupines & thanks

This morning, with sun and nothing pressing to do, I looked up information on creating labyrinths. While tracing or planting our own labyrinth is not the most practical of things for us to do, especially outdoors and in this pretty bad and typically cold weather, it is something I want to create one day.

Lately I’ve been reading, hearing, overhearing or witnessing people tell one another: That is so you! Sometimes this is addressed to me, other times it’s something general and in the air… I’ve been wondering what this means with more intensity recently, because I haven’t really been feeling like myself. I wonder what that even means? Who am I, really? And who are you? And are we really different?

Instead of identifying, and thus strongly attaching, ourselves to certain ephemera: interests, likes, personality traits, states of being, etc., aren’t we supposed to be trying to transcend all this stuff? I imagine a lot of people may disagree with such a view and decide it kind of airy. But what I mean is, the more names, designations and identity traits we tape to ourselves, the more bound we are to things that don’t really matter… not in the end. (Here I imagine someone completely wrapped up in duct tape of varying colors and snug beneath pieces of paper with lots of nouns and adjectives—no verbs, unable to move.)

The more we try to differentiate ourselves from and disown each other, the further we get from the truth. Which lies, I believe, somewhere more in the realm of union. We like bad news and gory details, mostly because we are capable of such things. We like to complain or talk smack, because we prefer to distance ourselves from certain people, behaviors and ways of living. But all that really does is sow negativity seeds into our hearts. The seeds, of course, work as magnets, so we end up attracting exactly what we claim to abhor (or at least dislike).

How we label ourselves happens consciously and subconsciously, and we tend to make the labels negative or positive, instead of accepting ourselves and the things around us as they are. In this way, even the “positive” carries an implied “negative” charge with it.

So what does this have to do with me not feeling myself. There’s something bluer these days and so much more earthbound. I’ve been feeling frustrated lately, and fighting against this frustration instead of… well, embracing it as the fleeting thing that it is. Everyone feels sad or far away or discombobulated or aggravated sometimes. But fighting with our emotions usually has the effect of honing them, knife-sharp. And since it’s hard not to succumb to knives, we spiral further into this place and begin to identify with our emotions, and so they grow.

Lucky for me, Serkan stays patient and is more of a problem-solver than a problem-maker. He tells me exactly what I would say to me if I could at said moment. And since I say similar things to other people , I am able to listen to him. He talks to the part of me that knows I’m being a fool, not to the part that is in the middle of being dramatically foolish.

This morning I was looking for labyrinths, some activity on a path inward and back out again. Breathing. Full of breath and thanks. Since the sun was shining, Serkan and I went for a bike ride on the muddy dirt roads. We visited our land and planted lupines in a line along one side of the property. Two chubby, super cute, but overwhelmingly urine-scented, puppies accompanied us. In a year or so, the lupines will start flowering and seeding, whether we’re here to see them or not.

interviews, fishing & life.

So, here we are. The first sun of the day finally shines into our living room. This morning, cold and rain battered the streets. Serkan and I were out in it, sipping coffee from his travel mug in the colectivo on the way to the center.

Today I had a job interview, no biggie. Except that I totally didn’t know that I was walking into an interview. Ha! I’m not actually looking for a job, you see. They kind drop into my view as baited hooks. I’ve been slow to bite. Why? Well, mostly because we are supposed to be moving to the States at some point in the (hopefully) new future. But if we can make that future more secure by staying here a little longer and helping to set ourselves up for later, then this also seems like a wise option. I wasn’t ready to take hold the bait, hook, line and sinker yet, but I did want to see what it tastes like. See if I could stomach it. This is when I unwittingly walked into an interview.

But being interviewed shouldn’t be surprising. We are all, essentially, interviewing one another throughout our lives. Dating is a type of interview for instance. We size each other up constantly. We meet a new face, are maybe drawn to such and such a person for some reason we can’t pinpoint. We ask further questions to see if we are compatible, in work, friendships, life, love. So, it’s not that strange to walk into a place and find yourself in an interview unbeknownst to you. The only difference is the person across from you is taking notes.


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