Wednesday, December 30, 2009

century ride/part I

** this post was intended for october...ooops!

you just have to throw yourself a curve ball. we all know how life often does and usually those situations make you feel helpless or unprepared. and though it was not written in the agenda of the day or lifetime for that matter, it all usually works out in the end.
the same happens when you throw yourself your own, only it at least feels a little more intended.
when my brother said i should do the century ride with him i smiled and went about my day. when he mentioned it again, i smiled and tried to go about my day...only i heard myself say, there is no way i could ride that far.
i don't ride a bike, let alone a road bike, for 100 miles. i'd like to introduce you to my curve ball...it's appropriately named challenge. i'd also like to introduce you to my little brother...who calls me his little sister...and you would think that we would be little people given all the little, but he stands about 6' tall...so he's the little brother that i look up to...i'll call him mr. foot in the door.
see, he started talking about how there was a 45 miler. this sounded tremendously---dare i say it...easier? wait wait wait, i take that back...it sounded more...doable. what a sneaky cheeky fella!
something about being a brent added to being competitive, plus the desire to be an active and healthy being...made me think about it...and usually that means i'll do it. don't get me wrong, my brain doesn't stop so it's a double edged sword. the thoughts are as encouraging as they are disabling.
in wyoming this summer we had ridden about 30 miles into town; it felt a lot like trying to ride into a wild west movie, pulling a gun on tumbleweed, ok not really, but the wind had a presence. i likened it to standng next to a mob leader, not that i ever have, but it sounds intense. i also imagine not wanting to make any wrong moves or you'd be toast. the tumble weeds seemed more like refugees of the land, fleeing for a chance at a better life.
while on the road bike you are fully exposed. pebbles--which feel more like boulders, are kicked up by passing cars. cows along the fence escort you as though body guards to a star... i didn't need to roll down my window...i was in the wide open. many parts were enjoyable. the hills turned different shades with the shifting sun. feeling the earth rise and fall beneath my tire; scary speeds on the way down made me feel out of control like a raging river-yet incredibly calm. a perfect thrill filled zen moment.
blend that with the challenge of the climb. quads burning, pedals barely turning. while your body is busy cycling...your mind goes in different cycles. the good mixed with the bad...who invited the ugly...that's what i want to know.
i'm sure you've all had those moments where you hear a voice and it sounds eerily familiar...your 10th grade algebra teacher, an uncle, pesky neighbor,or that alien who stopped by for nachos and beer...no really, you know the voices. i will call them ying and yang...it's a cocktail that can be potent--good or bad-- and i will definitely have more posts about the ongoing battle with my negative mojo self talk.
anyway...my brother was full of encouragement at The Stop Sign...the stop sign was a monumental point...it was where i kept going. all kibbles and bits and bits of my being were saying, just sit down, reveal your peeled thumb to the intermittent and almost non existent traffic and unveil your wimp-ness. but that would be quitting. so, i made small goals from there on out: always have little brother in site, remember this is not a race. no joke, i wrote a novel and part of another all in 30 miles...i've heard it can take people a lifetime to do so...
what does this all mean? well, it means that as the last hill was being climbed it occurred to me that this was 30 more miles than i had ever ridden on a road bike. which assured me that i could do it again...perhaps try to go faster, less mental writing, more actual pictures being taken; but the ultimate priority is to do it again; while there were many what ifs that crossed my mind-crashing, crashing, and more crashing, nothing would compare to the what if i don't do that again...what if i don't provide myself a curve ball--that's the biggest concern of all.

quick!!

I know that very few people read my blog but in case anyone stumbles across this post...I need your help. 2010 is about to be born and I need a PROJECT or something that requires a daily if not, weekly project--that can be blogged about... I want it to span over the year.
Imagine the movie Julie & Julia...you know, Julie decides to make each of Julia's recipes in 365 days? I want to do something like that...it doesn't have to revolve around food...but if you have any thoughts PLEASE send them my way. I will be announcing what I will be doing tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

blind pilot


i went to an awesome show last night. this band randomly appeared during one of my i-tune safaris this summer. during the slow, hot days they were like air conditioning to my ears. when the paper announced they would be playing at one of my favorite venues, i vowed not to miss it.
taking a seat on the long pew like bench it became apparent that this band from portland had a local fan club. the opener, low anthem, out of rhode island really caught my attention and the mixed energy of song composition and instruments, plus the general spirit of the group was comforting. music like that is both uplifting and tragic…all based on reality. this damn house had such a nice story.
they left the stage and it seemed odd that they weren’t the main act…admittedly there have been times when the opener was annoying…like static noise… and i wondered how on planet earth they got signed up to tour with the band?
at any rate, this group was definitely not a 2nd class act.
during low anthem’s performance, the headliner mingled amongst the crowd. they stood in front of me. i could have gone up to said band members, maybe they would have taken a picture with me…or thought i was a dork.
eventually it was their time to own the stage. their presence was big. energy calm. talent-blessed. honestly, the lead singer’s voice is just pure honey…slowly trickles out of his mouth and crystalizes as it hits the microphone. like sound wave nectar. delectable.
sometimes lyrics are words jumbled together to fit with a top 40 style beat…and then there are lyrics that seem to be ripped from my journal. only they seem to make more sense when put to music.
did i mention there was a trumpet? i heart trumpets. how the bow crosses its strings made the bass seem more like the wing of a giant bird. at times fleeting, the bow would then return.
musical migration… tempos would bend and realign.
there was laughter as Lead Singer told a story and thanked everyone for coming…even on a monday.
i have come to the conclusion that generally speaking…a sign of a good show (for me) is when i can move my body to the beat, sing along for those chorus like parts…and when i can go inward; music is beautiful in that although you feel it...it's really touching you. the perfect shift of back and forth.

thank you blind pilot, for your reciprocation.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

baby girls and pirate diapers


the day was here. Baby V would finally arrive. 9.19.09
the plan was to induce labor and so they did. contractions were felt but the monitors reflected that Bean’s heart rate was dropping drastically during them. the delivery room became more like a board room, nurses busy talking to Baby V with encouraging words (there were hints of concern), the dr’s conversed back and forth, what would be the next step…and the parents to be became their own advocates. they wanted what was best for baby V and ultimately mommy b.
the next text read “c-section in 30 minutes”
i stood in eugene, listening to the rain, feeling overcome with emotion; my little brother was going to be a dad.
when we were finally able to meet V she was nestled next to her mommy. swaddled and sporting a hat with stripes of cotton candy pink and blue. all the sudden the fruit of 9 plus months blossomed into this being…all the time spent wondering what she would look like, would she have hair? no hair? dark hair? would it eventually turn curly? Skinny fingers and a dimpled chin? she had been real before but now i was able to stare at her and discover the answers myself…i swear she changed every millisecond…
she had dainty ears, a round head covered with dark hair, and lips that looked like a miniature pink sofa. when we went to change her diaper little wrinkles were exposed on her hands and feet…like love notes she scribbled while in the womb. and her legs…just kept going. she was 22” of pure sweetness.
not sure if baby v realized that her birthday happened to be pirate’s day but when i held her hours after being born she would slowly open only one eye…taking sneak peeks at this big and crazy world…not to mention the crazy grandma/grandpa, aunt/uncle paparazzi…but it was hilarious…if i didn’t know better i would have thought she was pretending to be a pirate. she definitely has some of her daddy’s sense of humor…aunt Emilee loves it!
and to boot, the proud parents had purchased reusable diapers (to use in the future) one of which has a pirate print on it…baby girls and pirate diapers! melt my heart!
as i held Verbena, it felt like i had been plugged into an outlet and was being recharged with love! love! love! getting to hold my baby niece was nothing short of a gift...it was so great being there on her "birth" day...and i feel blessed to be her aunt.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

subar(yo)u

it has been said not to judge a book by it's cover, so when he said he drove a subaru, i tried not to place importance on it. yet, secretly i was happy. trendy yet understated. reliable. multi purposed....were all words that came to mind. on paper he seemed pretty ideal as well. creative. active. intelligent. seemed genuinely interested. did i mention he's a gemini? so, when date#1 led to date #2 he picked me up and it was then that i first rode in the subaru. we rode comfortably together. sometimes hand in hand, other times, my hand would float thru the air as we climbed mountain passes or followed the river-winding and happy. there was one thing however that was less than ideal. the floor mats. they smelled toxic like hazardous rubber duckies. Naturally, I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’ who makes a big deal out of little things so i opted for a passive approach-saying things like “gee, I wonder if those fumes will make me live longer”…or “would it be weird to wear a gas mask while riding shotgun?”
This worked for awhile, but boy can I be persistent. And with my persistence came his anxiety. One day the mats were no longer there so it seemed strange when the odor still was. I took this gesture and made it a symbol of concern, for the both of us. But my gut which is wired to my brain was signaling that something wasn’t right. Don’t build immunity to the smell; it’s there for a reason. My heart on the other hand sat in my chest pumping true ignorance is bliss throughout my body. In the past I’ve sabotaged things when I misinterpreted self fulfilling prophecy for intuition. So…in an attempt to ride this wave out, my intuition was put into hibernation. But it snuck out from time to time, like an unruly teenager, pushing the odor issue. His appeasing nature would show signs of fissures-moodiness highlighted by my questions.
And as hindsight is usually 20/20 I see now that the mats were analogous to relationship issues. Both personal and in couple hood. The mats were like those parts of us that we don’t want anyone to see or know because they are foreign with similar DNA. And getting to know these parts is about as comfortable as having a picnic with a long lost relative who just got out of prison. Awkward. And who wants to be scrutinized…furthermore, who wants to scrutinize? But without open communication there is a misalignment in perception and the person looks differently to you. They seem to be out to get you like all the others who disapproved. And I wish we could have drove around in the Subaru, with the windows down…allowing the initial awkwardness to air out. Maybe we could have made peace with the mats and treated them more like Labradors, who sit quietly and loyally, happy to be close to you. To be acknowledged. But that didn’t happen. Instead he left and I hope he knows that we never gave us a true chance…that chapter is done….but I do hope he gives his ‘Mats’ another chance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a.s.f.


the second time around can be deceiving...you always hear people say "oh, my 2nd pregnancy was much easier, buying my first house was stressful...but the 2nd time went much smoother. 2nd cars, pets, marriages (i heard someone at the park the other day reference their first marriage as "the practice one") but in my experience, the "2nd time is easier" sentiment doesn't always fit.
some 2nd times seem a little more emotionally involved than a first plant dying and going to the nursery to buy a new one.
my heart was broken the first time. my heart was broken the 2nd time. although it may hurt for 2 different reasons there is nothing painless about it.
perhaps it just appears easier. like the 2nd time has an edit function. you get to copy what you know from the first time, changing small details to paste into the 2nd round. familiar, right? only sometimes the details don't feel small....they feel big like "take care" which is awkward, cold, and void of intimacy. what is comfortable about having to go through that all again?
there was no preparation, just reaction; an intuitive survival mechanism took over to cover my eroded composure.
his tone was different. a sense of urgency filled my chest. tears of confusion, adrift on my face. it was almost inaudible when he said he would not be rsvp'ing for forever with me; in fact, he didn't even want to try.
the lights went out and a curtain of grace/strength/humility/ fell down over my face. the veil of truth, the mask of pain.
i reached for my belongings as though it was a free for all, fend for yourself, break-up warehouse sale. items that had otherwise been trivial, like shampoo, seemed sentimental and important. things that i remember giving him somehow found themselves in my "heart shopping cart"
there was no rhyme, reason, or logic in my process.
i was grabbing and gasping for air.
when the moment was thru, i fumbled everything to my car and told the plants they were "coming home"
i felt oddly calm upon my departure...as i looked back at someone who at just 8 am was someone i thought i knew.
the calm didn't last long...as i sorted thru my new belongings...nothing seemed to fit; it felt all wrong and looked awful on me. i searched for something comfortable to make sense of the time i invested, the vulnerability i exposed, and the love i offered---nothing fit. not even the 2nd time.
when telling my friend the self destructive thoughts i was having, she said, emilee, it doesn't matter why he left....what matters is that he did...
and i realize, that although nothing seems to fit right now and as much as it hurts to heal, some things don't get a second chance-and most definitely not a third...sometimes, all sales are final.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

put it back how you found it

a week and a day...plus a few hours. it has been a flash flood, while still in my pajamas. at times my attempt to breathe is met with a lack of oxygen...perhaps due to the fumes of confusion. his initial display of an unbalanced thought process now appears cold and calculated in the aftermath. take care to you too!
it is not the loss so much...after all, aren't we just physical beings awaiting our non physical experience. some argue that we choose how we go. my eyes question this...have you ever seen someone in such pain as Cancer causes or the small hands of a newborn close with its last breath? they chose that?
is a break up similar? do we choose how it will go by attracting it or manifesting it somehow...perhaps-but for me the loss of the 'known' is what initiates most pain. it clouds my perception and any apparent dis-ease is over looked; in my mind the potential of the blossom is already engraved in a bouquet. the loss of US over shadows the broken-ness. it is after all a "break" up. though there were doubts that slept deep within me, i still chose to tuck myself into his tactile blankets. covered by the glow of the moon, i had hope.
now twice removed, the chill has found its way into my bones. i feel lonely and disposed of yet i will continue to walk towards the sun and trust in the journey...
p.s. the truth is...you can't put a heart back as you found it.
p.s.s. MY truth is....if it was ever love, would i want it put back the way it was found?...or can i ever find comfort in knowing that although it hurts, something is always gained. and if nothing more, i know i am alive.