Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.
Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.

Dear Teen Daughter,

(I’m not posting your picture because I know you’d be angry that I shared it with every human, entity, and crumb that composes the Milky Way galaxy. (Especially because they all read my blog.) And just so you know, you DON’T look stupid.)

I’m writing you a list of the ten eleven most important things I want you to stow in the depths of your DNA, because in a matter of years you won’t be one amongst four who love you with all their hearts, but one amongst millions billions who don’t give a crap about your heart.

1. So why don’t we start with heartbreak? It will kill, crush, and pulverize you. You’ll cry yourself drier than the Sahara, road trips with Dad so we don’t have to stop and pee, and then some more. Give yourself time to weep, but then move on. Immerse yourself in something new (like pickle making) and get back into life. Give those pickles to a new, cuter, smarter guy.

2. You are smart. Remember that. Even when you stick your foot in your mouth, the whole world won’t think you’re stupid. They’ll think you’re human. But as I say, just because we’re smart, it doesn’t mean we don’t do stupid things.

3. Be human: care about everyone. I mean care about EVERYONE. From the Donald Trumps to the Donald Ducks, the homeless and the toothless, the hut dwellers and the tent aboders. They’re human and have the same emotional and physical needs that you do.

4. Don’t ask permission. Ex. Don’t ask, “Can I go to the mall?”, rather say those same words in a statement: “To the mall I can go.” If you give the world the option to say no, they will.

5.  Protect your assets. Yes, I meant to say that. This includes your body, your brain, your spirit, and your integrity. DO NOT allow criticism, including your own, to break down your guard.

6. Aim high. Not the weed kind of high, the expectations kind of high, with guys, school, work, friends, and happiness. You’re worth it.

7. Be creative. Creativity solves problems. Unless it’s me sewing. That actually creates problems. Whatever your version of my sewing is, just avoid it.

8. Love animals. A person’s capacity to care for humans can be determined by how they treat animals. Eating certain animals doesn’t count in this. Just look at poor toothless Gator. He loves you so much.

9. Be good at finding things. Females are generally the ones who have to find everything, including finding something good in a person everyone hates. Remember how you found your sister’s tooth for the tooth fairy in the garbage can with spaghetti all over? Keep doing that.

10. Travel the world. It’s a big, big place and you’re likely to get lost, especially when you need to use a bathroom really, really badly. The more you travel, the more you’ll know your place in the world. It just might be a place with a bidet.

11. Love nature. Trees are really great at helping people think, at least for me. Remember how you wore your skateboard helmet at the Bison Range because you were scared terrified mortified of mountain lions? Do what you have to do to enjoy nature. She is a curer of every ill.

(OK, I know I said I wouldn’t put up your picture, but this was years ago and you’re both so cute. Sophie looks devious with her deadly blade of grass.)

Love Mom

Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.
Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.

Challenge: Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve.

House of Dreams

We slept on the brown carpet in our sleeping bags. The living room, like the rest of the house, was devoid of furniture and obstructions and shouted its welcome through the empty spaces. My family celebrated by spending the night with basic necessities: sleeping bags, pillows, toothbrush, a loaf of bread, and a toaster.

We’d get the rest of our belongings in the morning, this night was ours to be free. The moon smiled on us and the reflection on the lake doubled its sentiment.

The little brown house was our box of liberty and success. It boasted no grandiose floor plans or trappings, but was equipped to house a family in comfort and pride. The interior walls were the color of a cool afternoon, which we absorbed through our pores until sleep arrived.

Sunlight shone on our faces in the early morning. Gazing at the view of our future, the lake would remain a calm backdrop amidst the trials and love of family life. New beginnings and old hardships melted into a family unit that were celebrated together for many years.

I’m lucky to be able to visit this space of memories and moons. The years have passed but the lake remains, and the house stands as a celebration of family. This little brown box built on love and dreams.

 

 

 

 

Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.
Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.

He is wild with truth. Stunningly, openly, vividly wild. His life has seen great torment and pain, and he talks about it candidly.

I cannot help to admire, adore, and respect a man who admits defeat. And this guy, he admits it over and over. He has turned me into an egg over-easy and scrambled with his sunny-side-up optimism.

I haven’t met him in person, yet I know him. Because I read and he writes. He’s Sherman Alexie. The world’s most-beloved teller of tales. (At least in my book.)

The_Absolutely_True_Diary_of_a_Part-Time_Indian

Challenge: Write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014.

Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.
Posts with this symbol are an experiment. Read with love.

The ground beneath my feet is quiet. Fallen pine needles diminish the weight of movement, nearly muting the sounds of the forest. A distant woodpecker hammers a rhythmic beat, to which I continue in silenced syncopation.

My face engages in a slow game of hide-and-seek with the dappled sunlight from the weave of branches overhead. My legs and arms wave through light, warm air. There is no urgency, no excess of activity.

IMG_3555

I’m protected here. The soft pillars of the sky embrace my presence, seeking nothing, providing solace. The stillness of their girth contradicting the slight movement that prevails in the surrounding forest: the brush of a leaf against my ankle, a quivering branch as birds take flight, tender flower stems succumbing to a delicate breeze.

Wild grasses caramelize in the sun, filling the air with the scent of approaching summer. Green stalks fade to a crisp beige, the tips piercing air like small spears. Their abundant positions remain poised, yet peaceful, filling the forest floor in heaps.

Sporadic colors of wildflowers dot the view. Changing every week, today the Indian Paintbrushes are drops of spilled red paint on the canvas. Next week will be the Monet colored lavender of the lupine.

And the trees remain certain. The collective foundation of their approval creating an escape that only I know. And I will return, for it is my space, this wild calm.