Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the rub

as the holidaze descend my family, like so many others, makes plans to visit far-off family members.  we have to figure out the means to get 4 bodies and all our stuff from here to there.  this is no easy or cheap task because there are several hundreds of miles between here and there, so walking- as an option- is out.

driving, during the summer months, is possible; although my back and bottom hurt just to think about all of those hours sitting.  when it comes to long road trips i strongly support the development of a mechanism that makes your vehicle stall after 6 hours of driving and will not allow you hit the road again until at least 12 hours have passed.  of course, you could adjust these settings- these are just my preferences.

the last time we drove from here to there was when seren was 3 and his nephew was 6.  (yes, i know the math is confusing- just trust me on this one).  i was well-stocked with snacks, music, essential oil and a penguin puppet.  the puppet saved my sanity.  he waved to truckers, stuck his head out of the window like a dog and talked in a bad italian accent.  i am sure that if we had not had the puppet i would have had more than one episode of screaming "get me the fuck out of this van NOW!"  not my proudest moment.  in any case, driving in the winter is not a good idea.  i don't want to wind up in a cave in idaho and then months later be toeless.

the train- while romantic- is expensive and time consuming.  i once rode the train from seattle to LA and i woke up in a car full of sleeping strangers- the smell of their stale breath hanging in the air right above their snores.  ugh.  definitely will need a cabin the next time.  even if you take a train from here to there- you will wind up on a bus at some point.  and a bus is just like a van except you cannot stop when the child starts to scream and claw at their carseat like it is burning into their soft flesh.

the only option left- until teleporting has the glitches worked out- is flying...on an airplane.  for the 4 of us to travel it's about $1k.  that blows my mind first off.  i try not to think about that too much.  next topic.

then there's all the packing stress which falls into two categories: what to bring on the plane and what to pack into the suitcase knowing that strangers will paw through it.  guess the lace panties will stay home.  at least the on-flight packing has been simplified.  no liquids.  which includes bubbles in case you were hoping to entertain your child in the airport by blowing bubbles.  if you do somehow manage to forget you have the bubbles and wind up blowing bubbles all over and giggling as they land on the heads of sleeping people in LAX waiting for their flight to PDX, well, don't be surprised if a surly man comes over with his square hand extended and says...without a hint of a smile..."ma'am, you can't have those in here."  bubbles are dangerous people.  just know that.

this time around i have just recently learned that body scans are all the rage!  someday, mark my words, these will wind up being a cool toys at all-night raves.  i give kudos to the geek-genius who is getting rich off of this invention and somehow doing the jedi mind trick on the TSA guru to get him/her to sign up for these bad boys.  basically it's an xray of your entire skin surface.  which means it cannot detect if you have a stash of explosives up your wazoo but it can give a good indication if you are D cup.  which are as dangerous as bubbles.

it wasn't until i was stocking sandalwood oil at the coop while NPR was broadcasting about body scans that i even knew this was a reality.  i had heard about the possibility and foolishly disregarded it as too george orwellian to become truth.  that man knew something we are still afraid to admit.

fortunately i have an option.  i can present my body to be groped instead.  here is my butt, my boobs, my crotch- go at it!  i have been in enough mosh pits to have that desensitizing ability to strangers' hands on my privates.  the only challenge for me will be resisting the strong urge to elbow and scream "fuck off asshole!" in response.

then there's my kids too.  turns out kids cannot be scanned.  why?  well, because dr.frankinstein doesn't really know the long term effects of body scans.  maybe that rash you can't explain is from your trip to florida to see aunt may.  or maybe it isn't.  we won't know because we are the experiments.  call me "horsey" and put me in a change with timothy hay and pellets- guinea pigs- the whole lot of us.  TSA knows this on some level- and so they don't want to scan the delicate children or the delicate pregnant women or the delicate women who may want to be pregnant some day or the delicate man who may want to impregnate a delicate woman so they can have a delicate child.

so if we are picked from the lots of travelers- and let's face it my husband is a long-haired brown and big native american who looks like a member of AIM with a last name that no one can pronounce correctly so we will be singled out- the pat down extends to my children too.

here's the rub (pun intended) i have always taught my boys this: we make the rules of our bodies.  which means if i don't want to get hit in the face with ice cold water from your squirt gun you need to listen to me.   why?  because "i make the rules of my body."  if you don't want to wear a hat even though it is raining out, ok.  why?  because "you make the rules of your body."  of course, i tell them there are a very few times when your mom or dad or a doctor might need to do something to your body to help keep you safe and healthy.  like when i make you spit out that plastic doll head you are chewing on.  or if the doctor has to inadvertently gag you with a tongue depressor to look at your swollen tonsils.  other than that- say it with me-  "you make the rules of your body."

except when you travel via airplane in 2010.  then you either get scanned by sci fi rays which hopefully don't do more than show off your naked body but you probably won't ever be able to link any health problem to your air travel- or you get pat down and felt up and completely embarrassed and confused by someone wearing a uniform who is endorsed by the government to do this thing to your body.

again i find myself in that place of mamaness that i abhor.  that place where either option sucks.  where my child will see my powerlessness.  and if mama doesn't have power- than what does her 8 year old boy have?  a crack in his fragile optimistic view of the world forms and splinters.  a place where there are all these questions that i cannot answer.  the "whys" are overwhelming at times.

so i will tell him this:

yes, this sucks. 

it is completely wrong that our basic human rights- to make the rules of our bodies- is being ignored in the name of "national security" when many other countries have found ways to make air travel safe without the use of this type of invasion.  (ok, that might be over his head- i need to rework this part).

i'm sorry that you have to go through this. 

i'm sorry this is the world we live in right now.

son, you are strong and caring and clever.  one day you will be an adult with all that and more.  you'll have more influence than you have now.  hold onto those skills.  don't let your heart get too muddled or your brain too fuzzy. 

we need you to be the change you wish to see in the world. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


lately we've been in a sort of fix-it mode in our home.  i love this.  i love project completion.  i love that feeling of getting out tools and tearing into something before you even really realize what you are getting into and then working it through.  sometimes this means leaving a mess of fabric and thread on the floor for three days, as is the case when i try to sew.  or maybe this leads to heated debates infront of the plumbing pipes at lowes hardware store.  sometimes it ends with a frustrated call to a professional like when the washer machine stopped working and i found a similar model at the restore but after taking it apart and swapping out parts, i still hadn't solved the problem- so i called a fix it guy with a van, a toolbelt, and an ability to read those maps that come glued to the underbelly of large appliances.

we go through long stretches of not getting to some small projects though.  like the back porch light which burnt out over a year ago- i'm ashamed to admit- and didn't get replaced because it needs this special bulb that looks like a large mock-up of an alien nasal probe and never quite made it on any "to buy" list around here.  during a recent trip to the hardware store i was strolling about when i found myself in lightbulb land- the options are literally blinding.  there are all shades and shapes of bulbs these days- and then- there it was.  the back porch light bulb.  2 for $6.

i promptly handed it off to ben mostly because our back porch involves two long boards laid down from the platform of the stairs to our door.  these boards span only a small distance- 3 feet?- but they aren't installed in any fashion.  another unfinished project.  this makes me nervous.  as seren would say "it makes my feet ache."  within minutes i was able to blind ben as i switched on the high powered security light while he stared into it to see if the bulb worked.  yes.  yes it does work.  then there's that rush of "i did it!" feeling that is so good we start to look for other little projects to do. 

i like completion.  i like before and after mental shots of my space.  like living room wall with large gaping hole to....several months later albeit....plastered and painting, somewhat reminiscent of guacamole.  every time i look at that wall i think "damn, that looks so much better than that gaping hole."  i don't remember where my kids were as i slopped plaster on that wall. i was in my project mind- that dangerous place on complete concentration where nothing else exists except me and my beloved project.  i love that place.  i miss it. 
because here's the thing:  we have two boys that want nothing more than to be intimately involved, most of the time, with whatever project we are attempting.  the more dangerous it looks, the more tools involved, the more focus it requires- the more they need to be a part of it.  i understand this desire- it's in our DNA.  we are programmed to imitate those that are surviving.  their little brains are little absorbent sponges and adults the fountain of knowledge.

except that often having them part of the plan makes it incredibly difficult to get things done.  i try to multitasks...keeping track of cyrus and the drill and the box cutter while also attempting to engage my fix-it brain.  sometimes this works.  if i've had enough sleep, not too much coffee or sugar, all the required tools can be found and have been found, and the planets are aligned- i actually can get the boys involved in a project and we all strut about like turkeys when we successfully complete it.

then there's the normal sequence of things.  i'm not proud to admit this but let's be honest here- if you are a parent you have done this too.  and if you are not a parent- well, you need to know these things before you become one.  some projects go like this:

i see something that needs to be done.
i look for tools to do it.
i cannot find them.  the tool bag now only contains a dried out sharpie marker, a handful of rusty screws and some kind of screwdriver whose tip looking like a square.
i start to ask where the _____ is.
i get blank stares.
i go into a mumbling rant which is something like "why can't people just put things back in the tool bag?" but in reality is far more judgmental and callous.
i try to use several other macguyver inspired handmade tools before i hurt myself and swear loudly.
i give up.  the frustration boils over to a point where i cannot cope- so i go check facebook or fold laundry.

i have tried to remedy this in several ways.  i have bought my own tool kits and hidden them from all.  slowly they are dismemberd and discarded somewhere beyond my reach.  i bought a little battery powered drill with four bits and two drills and this handy little case.  i have the case now- in the tool bag- and now and then i hear the hum of the drill somewhere in the house.  i run to it- to find cyrus poking holes in the window's plastic insulation covering.  and then as i search for the packing tape ("has anyone seen the packing tape?") he is off again with MY drill.  never to be seen again.

recently while talking to my dad he said there are three kinds of people in the world.
1. people that want something to happen.
2. people that makes things happen.
3. people that stand around and say "what the hell happened?!"

i'm all three and then some.  i'm the person who wants to make something happen without yelling "what the hell happened to my drill?!"  i'm also the person who wants things to happen, makes them happen, and then asks in a bewildered afterglow "wow!  how did that finally happen?"

on being good

This article was first published in the Skagit Valley Food Coop's newsletter "The Natural Enquirer." 

At some point during my stint as the HR manager at the Co-op I began to write a parody of “Hotel California” based on my work experience here.  Only on my days off. It’s There were some rough spots because although colitas smell good rising up through the air, well, tulips don’t really have a fragrance, do they?  I had some catchy phrase about “the river bend” instead of “mercedes benz” that was inspired, but the last line was pure genius: “you can clock-out any time you like, but you can never leave.”  If you have ever worked here you get this.  You are most likely nodding right now.

So I am again working at the Co-op.  Every so often I get to put on a green apron and help out in the Health and Beauty Aid department, known to co-op’ers as HABA.  This job is very different than Human Resources.  In HABA people ask questions that often are solved very quickly and concisely.  The short interaction usually ending with me placing the product they want in their hands, smiles all around.  In HR...well, things sometimes got more involved than that.

What they both have in common is that I get to be around interesting and engaging people, coworkers and customers alike.  In HR, my coworkers were my customers, and most of the time, I really liked that part of the job.  In HABA, the customers give me the chance to share a bit of knowledge about the co-op and our products- and quite often it turns out- I learn something interesting through our conversations too. 

Here’s my top ten to date of things I have learned.

1. Soaking your feet in hot black tea for three nights in a row can reduce smell and itchiness.   An elder with a charming accent- maybe British?- told me of this simple remedy as we checked out the tea tree foot powder options.  Use a separate batch of tea for sipping.

2. Bees have to make their wax honey comb before they can produce honey.  Well, where else would they store it?  Since the wax takes up a bit of energy to make, many bee keepers have their bees reuse their wax.  Trouble is with folks spraying flowers with all sorts of chemicals the wax hexagons to house the baby bees can be toxic!  WSU recently published a study with these findings and now recommends that bees rebuilt their wax rooms every five years.  Another reason to use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap to kill pests on plants. (For more info on the study go to and search for “beeswax”).

3. Green lipped mussels, the ones that live in shells and come from New Zealand, may help reduce arthritic inflammation in people and dogs.  I found this out while helping a customer research treatment options on the touch-screen computer in the HABA department.  This free resource is available for everyone to use and you can print out the articles to take home.  Plus it notes scientific studies and is available in Spanish!

4. Citric acid, which we sell in the bulk herb department, can be run through your empty dishwasher to help deoxidize and disinfect.  I learned this when answering the store phone.  I also learned citric acid is an essential ingredient when making cheese. 

5.  Digestive bitters, available in tinctures, help to curb acid reflux by stimulating our natural digestive powers.  They are to our gut what the phone booth was to superman.

6.  DGL, Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract, which is most often used to aid digestion may also help to treat pain related to inflammation.  It is a chewable tablet that also comes in german chocolate flavor!

7. Foot soaks are a popular present for moms.  The bulk sea salt is ideal for this.  I hope these are followed by foot rubs.  I am a mom.   I have two feet and two boys.  This could work out well for me. 

8.  Fighting oral thrush can be as simple as popping open a probiotic pill into water and swishing that about in your mouth for a few minutes.  If a nursing babe has oral thrush the powder can be dusted on the mama’s breast before feeding the little love bundle.

9.  A mint allergy makes finding a mouth wash very, very difficult.

10.  When we come to the co-op we are doing more than just buying.  We sometimes are looking for something that doesn’t come in a bottle, tube or jar.

This point is the most important to me. What I have realized is that people shop at the Co-op for many of the same reasons that I work here.  It’s the eye-contact, the smiles, the attention of another person inside of a store that has intentionality outside of making money.  We meet up here under the canopy of ivy plants with tendrils as long as Main Street because we are part of this community and we want to build onto that community through connection.

Case in point:  Recently a woman with gray owl eyes and a shy, polite smile walked up to the counter where I stood squinting at an invoice. She wore a plaid flannel shirt and jeans in soft tones, like stones. I noticed something else about her right away: she was present.  She was genuine.  She needed something from me, but that didn’t mean that she was treating me only as a means to an end.  I felt noticed as a person by her which sometimes doesn’t happen when you work in service jobs.
She asked me, somewhat hesitantly if we carried a product called “L-Theanine.”  Since we have thousands of products and I don’t work very often I used my Nancy Drew skills to figure out where the product would be if we did have it.  I asked her some questions  and located a bottle of it in our de-stress section.  She was hoping to find something to help her get to sleep.  I showed her the many options we have from kava to melatonin.  I pointed out the supplements, the tinctures and mentioned the teas I found relaxing. 
Folks ask for all sorts of things in HABA and sometimes they tell you what they want it for and sometimes they don’t.  In my own life, obstacles to sleep come in so many shades and hues- laundry, a good movie, a bad book, sounds of critters on the roof.  I honestly didn’t even ponder what was keeping her from restful slumber, but I got the sense that she felt vaguely embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking for a sleep aid.  She calmly and quietly said, “I’m having trouble sleeping.  My daughter is missing.” 
Did the world stop for a second then?   Did the ground dip down an inch or a mile?  Did this lurching in my chest take away breath from my lungs? Yes.  All of that and more.  We see Amber alerts and forward along emails, but have you ever before thought about the mother needing to go and purchase a sleep aid because at night the thoughts and fears have no where to hide in the darkness?  I hadn’t.  But here she was next to me, her shoulders both strong and curved toward, tipped toward her heart maybe a bit more than before like a shield. 
My respond, “I am so sorry” was, of course, not enough to express any of what I was feeling or wanting to give her: a hug, my tears, her daughter- safe at home.  My simple words did seem to offer her some small comfort.  She tilted her head downward in a slight nod.  The secret pain she carried was maybe lightened just for that moment by sharing it.  Maybe my thoughts and prayers for her and her family will help.  Maybe yours will too. 
Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”   This is what I relearn each time I clock-in.  The battle might be rough elbows or it might be cancer.  It could be an inflamed knee or a sore heart.  Whatever the battle- kindness will help both the giver and the receiver. It might just look like I’m dusting shelves and stocking soap; maybe it seems like you are only smelling shampoo.  But as we do this and that, underneath the pictures of those gnomes with signs that read “Be nice, it works!” we are also taking a respite from our own battles to hope for more neighbors, fewer strangers.   We are searching for allies in the fringes of our lives, in the aisles of our Co-op.  A place to put down a little bit of a burden or pick up a small piece of hope along with that toothpaste.
The Co-op is a community- has been for almost forty years- and while you can push your cart to your car and drive home or clock-out and breath a sigh of relief that you’ve got a three-day weekend ahead of you, you can’t ever really leave the co-op.  Because part of you stays here and part of you will always come back.  I’m glad for it and that’s the one line of my Eagles’ redo  I never did change: “such a lovely place.”

Monday, November 15, 2010


every now and then i make it to presence studio in bellingham where on sunday mornings this event called "sweat your prayers" happens.  it's a small miracle that happens every week in studios around the world. (find one near you.)

on a recent sunday i was dropped off early- the class starts at about 10:15 and when i climbed the stairs the candles were just being lit.  they creaked under me- masks on the walls whispering as i slipped by.  behind me cornwall avenue was swirling with large maple leaves burnt by winter's coming breath.  the white mini-van took away my family and i started to loom larger.

confession: i have to shrink myself to fit my life sometimes.   do you do this? 

bite your tongue. 
hold your breath.
clench your teeth. 
curl your toes. 
suck in your gut. 
hunch your shoulders. 
soften your glare. 
quiet your laugh.

the small ways we hold back because...well, we all have our reasons, i'm sure.   maybe we can't even actually speak the reasons.  this shrinking is important stuff.  so important we even do it in our sleep- curled on our side, knees to chest, hands to chin.  we are so small as we dream.  or should i say "I?"  perhaps you do none of this. 

i do this.  so when my family pulled away i grew a bit bigger.  they don't shrink me- i do it- i know that.  and when they left for their afternoon playing baseball in the park i breathed out and in.  there was no whining or hitting or crying or clutching.  no snacks.  no empty water jugs.  no crusty noses.  no requests.  no complaints.

it was just me- however me needed or wanted to be.  then it was just me and this glowing wooden dance floor.  i sat facing west, looking at six tall windows facing the alley.  this room is old.  this building of brick and beams from trees of the forest hold so many stories, so many moments of dance.  the morning sun slanting in through the sheer curtains and laid warm blankets on the wood floor.  i felt a cat's urge to curl up there.  i looked at the deep red walls- the richness of them could almost be tasted.  the ceiling was suspended somewhere up there far above me with dusty boot prints from carpenters. 

i imagined being out there in all that alluring space.   i could run from corner to corner without worry of flopping into someone.  i could crawl in tight circles without tripping anyone.  i could jump like a crackerjack or roll like a ball or prowl like a hungry dog or bounce like a rubberband off of a chalkboard right as the bell rang for recess.  the floor was completely open and huge and golden waiting there for me without any expectation.

i was terrified.

there was this feeling like- wow, here IT is.  now what are you going to do with it?  it was like the universe was wrapped up as a gift for me to open and i was stunned, scared by the possibilities.  i saw all this potential bliss fanned out at my toes and still there was a hesitation.  a fear of suddenly having the freedom to do whatever i wanted- and then realizing that i was not entirely sure what i wanted.

it's the blank canvas.
the new journal.
a box of crayons
still sharp.

that moment when all is new and we are desperate to create something that speaks from the core of us to the core of everyone else.  and that's big.

about as big as that dance floor.

and the moment is fleeting.  in the next beat the floor was being smudged by amanda.  she walked the perimeter of the floor with a large shell that spun out streams of sage smoke.  she walked slowly along the east walk.  the smoke pulsed and curled after her then drifted until there was a hazy wall all around me.  her features burnt out by the morning sun behind her- she began everywoman.  everywoman who has ever pushed through dark, everywoman who created light, everywoman who danced, everywoman who didn't.  she was all parts of me- her silhouette floating by- a smiling spirit. 

it was the invitation.

i accepted. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010


here's the story of my rock.  yes, i have one.  only one.  like a lot of things in life- when you find the one you stop looking for any others.  i still look at rocks.  i pick them up and observe them before tossing them back.

i found mine at rosario beach near the maiden pole.  if you don't live around here- this makes no sense.  if you do and you haven't been there yet- go as soon as you can.

see i live in this strange area of muddled coastline.  it's not like the coast where i grew up- where beaches are mostly straight and sandy.  the bay here is not open ocean water but a sound.  the coves are like bubbles in rock, with forests on the cusp.  islands are stringed along like oil beads in water.  sometimes it feels like you could hop from one to the next.  with the tide is low the slurpy mud lays flat and glistens brown- sometimes you can really walk to islands.

rosario beach is off of the highway 20 spur en route to deception pass.  i know it is called this because explorers thought it was the opening of a large river- or maybe even the northwest passage, that mythical body of water that would have provided a short cut through north america.  deception pass- is not a pass at all.  it's another bay.  i bet the natives knew that already.  i call it deception pass because the peaceful scenes often erupt into skull shaking explosions as the jets fly low overhead on their way to and fro whidbey island air force base.  i bet even deaf people can feel the vibrations of those engines up above.

rosario beach is a spit of land that juts out and ends in a large dot of a rock with a looping trailing circling around it.  you can tromp out there at feel like you are standing on the explaination point of the puget sound.  at the mouth of this trail is the looming maiden pole- carved by a local artist, to pay homage to the waters and her bounty.  the story is from the coastal salish people about the maiden who goes to live in the sea.  it is a good story and not my story to tell.

here's my story.  one day, years back, i started to walk out on the rocky dot with my mother-in-law.  the trail heads up slightly and for a bit you are walking through madrona trees that jut out from the cliff.  i happened to look down to see an orange rock quite different than the others.  it was embedded in the trail and i squatted down to dig it out.  as i scrapped away the mud and rock with my fingernails the swirls of color grew more intriguing.  this was not like any rock i had ever discovered.  it was soft- for a rock.  it was small enough to close my fist around and when i looked at it in my open palm it had the vague heart-shape of a rounded triangle.  as i pulled it up out of the ground and turned it over i saw that there was a deep cave in the rock and i could see smallest white crystals inside.

"oh, it looks like a vagina!" mary laughed next to me.  it did too.  the ripples of the color were like flames of red and oranges.  there were parts of it that seemed to glow- wanting to be translucent.  on one end was the cave and the other a point where you could see the pattern tighten.  i felt so blessed to have found it and  i wondered how it had gotten there- buried in the trail, surrounded by average stones that were all once underwater.

months, years went by.  i showed the rock to some folks and while everyone agreed it was beautiful no one knew much about it.  i hesitated taking it someplace like a store or a museum because i liked the mystery of it.  i didn't need to know it's name.

there was a span of time in my life where i traveled to olympia one weekend each month to dance in workshops put on by a 5Rhythms studio.  words often fail to explain what this dance practice means to me- it is church for my entire being.  not just church for my mind or heart or soul or spirit.  church for all that is inside of my physical body and all that could never be contained in any form.

these weekends were transforming and deeply healing- and thus- often extremely difficult.  fortunately the community of people involved were right there in it also,  we supported each other with hugs and talks and warm drinks and lots of laughter.  during spare moments i enjoyed strolling around olympia- finding treasures, looking at people, humming to myself, stunned by beauty, lulled by life.

i happened into a store that sold natural health care products, jewelry, books, note cards, scarves...the kind of store i could spend an entire paycheck in.  as i peered into the class jewelry case i noticed they had displays of several semi-precious stones and crystals.  and there nestled along side other beauties was my rock: carnelian.

i was shocked and thrilled to find its relations there- even more so to learn that these stones had been found locally and not imported from a far off land.  then i became stunned as i read about the stone.  you may know that stones are often associated with many different aspects of life.  i have no idea who decided all of this or how they did it- but stones are related to birth signs, elements, parts of the body, and the like.

carnelian is most often associated with leo which is what i am- july 24.  it is often associated with fire- probably due to the color of the stone- and which i often enjoy staring into while camping.  ok, maybe everyone likes that.  but as i read more i got chills.  this little hand-written sign said that carnelian was good for creativity and for opening the heart.  now i have since read other things about carnelian- some which repeats this message and some which says other things about it.  like how royalty was buried with it.  how it cures kidney stones.  it can all start to sound a bit woo-woo.

however, at that moment when i read the sign i really was struggling with my closed heart.  damn, if my body can't hold a lot of anger.  maybe you have this part in your body too?  like a swelling black bag that you can just keep stuffing regrets and misunderstandings and disappointments into. and our hearts, they clamp down, they shut down to keep it all in because it hurt.  until you can't keep it all in anymore because you have a heart attack.  or until you can't anymore because you run screaming into the woods one day stripping off your clothes. 

or until you can't anymore because you dance and find a way to open up your heart and wrestle it out of yourself so you can see it all again and look at its ugliness in order to see its beauty.

look at it just once more before you let it go.

i wonder where it all goes sometimes,
these ideas and memories that solidify inside of us-
where do they go
when we scream
or sweat
or paint
or write them out of bodies?
do they float up into those welcoming clouds? 
is that what makes the sunset so red and glowing-
the heat of our rage dying.

maybe they wait for the rain to push them back
down to the earth 
they gather in the depths of the ocean
until the tide pushes them
slowly, slowly, slowly to the shore
where we walk barefoot and mindless
to find them again

red, swirling rocks
to carry in our pockets
so that our hearts
can be light, 

so that our hearts
can be