letters and thoughts and ramblings

we are constantly invited to be what we are ~ henry david thoreau

i have many notebooks around my house.  things with pretty covers, inspirational sayings, funny pictures, plain black or even simple cardboard.  some go back ten, fifteen years.  unfinished.  i see another pretty journal or spiral notebook and i am irresistibly drawn to paying ten dollars for blank sheets of paper.  spirals are my favorite to write in, as you can open them all the way and back without ruining it, and not have to hold it open when writing.

and yes, this is in addition to the ridiculous amount of blogging i do.  

my writing on these journals range from lists of what i want to plant in my garden to what restaurants i’m dying to try out (half of which open and close in the years since i write them, of course), to deeply heartfelt teenager-istic thoughts that i am not quite ready to publish out loud.

we all fall to the floor at one point.  it’s how you pick yourself up that matters. ~ unknown

as many of you know, i am a sucker for quotes.  i find them in places and write them down in – you guessed it – a special notebook.  this one has not only quotes but little pictures of things i dream of, from a little cottage by the sea to an old porch lamp i’d love to find for my own back yard.  one notebook is comprised of magazine fashion photos cut out to remind me of the many sides of my exterior (and interior) – put together back in college, it ranges from a cute young girl in her early 20’s with big messy overalls and bare feet to the chanel girls (evangelista and turlington, of course) in their getups to the black vinyl skirt and fishnet, combined with the tailored sweater – and of course, those boots.  something in these notebooks keep me going.  there are always pages to be written.

when i was in scotland, taking the train south with the man i fancied so much i was often blind to his cruelties, i wrote in two separate journals.  funny, bringing two on one journey, i know.  one was bought for the trip, with animated deer and trees and a reminder of home.  this is the one i wrote in the most.  the other one was brought to me by a friend when i was living in seattle in the late 1990’s, he brought it back from nepal for me and the pages are from handmade paper and flower petals, wrapped in a silk jacket with a string to tie around it and keep it shut.  this journey to scotland was a momentous one, and i felt this paper deserved beautiful words.

no matter where i run, i meet myself there. ~ dorothy fields

it is the middle of the night and finally, i have very very little on my plate for the weekend.  as some know, i’m not a fan of going out on friday nights – i prefer to exhale from the week, writing or watching a dvd or cooking.  or all three.  my pup is at the end of the couch, kicking her legs in a dream.  i like to imagine she is back up on the ellwood mesa north of santa barbara, just after we emerge from the butterfly preserve.  the ocean is broad and unbelievable and she is dashing around the tall grass, the first time she ever played with another dog off leash.

it was about six months after my divorce, and i’d finally breathed – and so did she.  i never had to worry about her after that – eighteen months after adopting her in highly aggressive, unsocialized mode, my dog was starting over.  and that place was one of the most beautiful for she and i.  we occasionally took the long hike to the beach where people rode horseback – and yes, as far as she was concerned it was just a giant dog to sniff.  my three years in santa barbara were good for my soul.  i’ve only been back once since leaving five years ago, and that was with my ex-husband.  i still think of him and curse that he couldn’t grow up and clean up and be more than twenty percent of a partner.  long ago i forgave him, but i have sentimentality for the things that to this day, only he and i shared.

we owe it to ourselves to look all of our decisions dead in the eye, no matter how humbling they turn out to be. ~ unknown

isn’t that the truth? today i allowed myself exactly ten tears.  okay, i didn’t count, but i’m probably close.  it was in admitting this one truth – i knew deep down, halfway through my trip, when he was exploding in anger and being so opposite of everything i’d known him to be, that this couldn’t possibly be where i was destined to go.  but you know what?  i was in love with him – i’d fallen in love with a friend, and i thought the strength of that would carry us through his storms.  that would be me, thinking i had enough to take care of both of us.

and i looked back, thinking of the various forms of the same man since the XY chromosome blended with the XX thirty seven plus years ago.  extraordinary minds, beautiful hearts, but as men, weak and limited and addictive in personality, generous at some moments but for the most part, stingy with their hearts and stagnant in their growth, seemingly independent in spirit, but, on closer inspection, still clinging to apron strings.  i went to england because i thought this time things were different.  but here i am, two months after the visit, wondering how i fell down the rabbit hole again.  no, i’m not sitting around dwelling, just came to mind as i write.

i will live a daring and remarkable life! ~ sark

today i happened to have an interesting conversation at work with someone who had gone to school in edinburgh.  she grew up in tehran, went to school in edinburgh, was an artist in tucson, and now in a different field here in stumptown.  she said “i love portland as, to me, it’s the edinburgh of america”.  and it instantly took me back.  i was sitting next to my boy and we were conversing with two fellas just returning to london from that fair city.  they shared their chocolate malt balls and i looked out the window at the snow and the buildings and knew i’d be back.  at one point things were quiet and someone pointed out the ocean just beyond the fields of snow, and everything inside me was taken.  i was exactly where i should be.

now i look over and see a bunny puppet on the hand of craig ferguson cursing right and left and i giggle uncontrollably.  it’s been another great week of a job that i still don’t know if it will turn into something stable.  i arrive, happy to walk in and leave, happy at what i’ve accomplished, the conversations i’ve had, the people i’ve interacted with.  not a dreamy perfection, just doing what i should be doing.  and even got to bring home some freebies for my neighbor.  i’ve got nothing on my plate with exception of a friend coming by to pick up chocolates for his girl (yes that ridiculous holiday is a few days away), leaving me with – hallelujah – only two boxes of saigon cinnamon truffles and my inventory is gone…

other than that?  nothin’.  it’s supposed to be cloudy and rainy.

i am powerful enough to give what i have without losing anything.

trust yourself enough to know that you can feel anything and recover from it. do what you love!  do it with passion!  you have survived!  you will survive!

we attract into our lives that which we focus upon with the strongest intent.

DO NOT SETTLE FOR SOMETHING THAT IS A REASONABLE FACSIMILE OF WHAT YOU WANT.  HOLD OUT FOR THE REAL THING TO SHOW UP. confession is another important step toward the elimination of confusion. the confusion will not subside until you honestly believe that you deserve what you want and that you will eventually have exactly what you want.

~ iyanla vanzant


Recent Posts

See All