Monday, August 31, 2009


The Barbarian? No. My grandmother.

Nan, aka Conan, is one tough English broad. The woman built her own house. And dug out a basement underneath it. She gave birth to 6 children. And has lived to see two of them die - along with her husband. She kept up with 6 acres... in a wheelchair. She could shut up any crying kid with crunched up saltines from the bottom of her purse. She learned to write with her left hand after she had a stroke which paralyzed the dominant side of her body. She didn't take anything from anybody. I've only seen her cry a handful of times.

Now, apparently, she is dying. She is on hospice. We have been waiting for her to die since 2006. I think this is it. I think that because Ian is dead. I think that because I need to believe God isn't cruel enough to leave her here any longer. I think that because my heart isn't strong enough for the wishy-washy ways of this universe anymore.

I want her to die gracefully. I am tired of messy death. I want that strength in death. That strength that doesn't fight, because it already has, but goes boldly, and certainly. I want that for her. I want bagpipes and glory. Because that's how I remember her.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Preparing for goodbye

The post I started before I left Alaska...

I thought that I would figure things out. I haven't. I thought he would say something. He hasn't.

He has possibly tried to tell me how he feels. It is possible that I am misreading everything. I found out that we are very very very bad at communication.

...What happened after:

He loves me. He doesn't want me. I cried. We are friends. I left. I came home. I am just fine. Really. I promise.

The sad part: I still really love Juneau. And I still want to live there. But now I feel like I can't. Darn.

The other sad part: He can't get over it, so now he is all aloofish thinking I need more space. I want him to know that 900+ miles is quite enough space for everything to settle into its space.

The saddest part: It was the worst and best of Andrew relived in 10 days. But I took better care of myself this time. But I know that I would have gone for it if he would have. And then I would have been miserable for who knows how long until I figured out I was walking that way again. It's not that they are terrible men. They are just not what I want. I need to learn how to figure that out before I invest myself.

The reality: I wanted a new adventure. I wanted love to be that adventure. I just wanted to fall in love. I didn't care with whom. He was just a convenient great story. But I even told the fam when I spoke with them from Alaska that he was moody and not for me. but I still wanted it. Now I know that I can have adventure. and I told my boss today that I am ready to start looking at transfers so I can find that adventure.

Like Boston. What do you think of Boston?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Last Frontier

I landed and nearly cried it was so beautiful. Unfortunately you can't have pictures until later. But just imagine a sea of mysterious fog hanging over a forest of dense wood surrounded by glistening waters of the Pacific. It was amazing.

I entered the airport to the "hallooos" of several lumberjack types. Interesting way to start the day. I didn't expect him to meet me inside the airport, but only a few minutes off the plane and there I was in one of the most beautiful embraces of my life. The man hugs well.

It hasn't been awkward. But it has been confusing. I still don't know what he is thinking. And communication is still hard even though I can see his face.

I am getting to know my way around. I am losing my bashfulness around new people. I adore Mike and Audrey, the couple with whom I am staying. I am really digging the morning walks in the rain, the afternoon coffees, the nights a movie and a boy. This place is really something else.

The team arrived today and I was happy to see some familiar faces. We start the work tomorrow and I am happy to know that I will be putting in some hard work.

May I just tell you that all of the emotion has me eating less and I've lost 4 lbs in the three days I've been here.

Some other things you should know:
1. I've seen so many bald eagles that I no longer believe you when you say they are endangered.
2. I've seen a glacier and learned that it has major melted in the last 10 years, and I don't care if you don't believe in Global warming. I do.
3. I've been to St. Terese's shrine and found the chapel in which I would like to be married. You may want to buy your tickets now. Just don't set a date... it may be 30 years before I meet the man I want to marry.
4. I've learned that I don't know everything. and that I am one snarky mcsnarkerson when I get tired.
5. I've been shown that I am still in love with little children. and that I want to teach them. and that I super love the church.

That's all for now.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

La Vie en Rose

Aside from being one my favorite movies, it is life in this moment. When ever "La Vie" is "en Rose" blogging seems inadequate. That whatever I have to say will not be entertaining or moving or important because it's not tragic. And my happiness is so small, so petty, so uninteresting. but today my loves, it is the whole of me.

My city is covered in a blanket of glistening jewels. My counselor was perfect in her grey wrap sweater, wise words, and ability to decipher my incoherent nonstop fluttering about how anxious I am about the next week. She assured me that some measure of anxiety is indeed okay. My heart feels a healthy glow of wonder about this magical world I am travelling to, and the magical friend I will see while I am there. In less that 36 hours I will be with him. and that makes me smile.

At the moment I cannot understand how tomorrow will ever come, or even worse how it will ever pass and make way for the next day. It seems impossible. It seems that I have been waiting for so long that there is a wall insurmountable between me and this getaway. And yet the wall is only 36 hours high, and the climbing will come naturally and by no work of my own. In fact working to make it come faster is ludicrous. Like trying to make Christmas happen as a child. Better to go to bed early and wake up to the love of the morning, than to wait and wait and wait. So tonight I will pack, and go to the gym, and go to bed. Tomorrow I will work all day, hard and steady, then try my very hardest to sleep. That 6 AM flight will come quickly enough... almost as quickly as my 3:30 AM alarm. The two hour flight will indeed pass with much journaling (my favorite flight pastime) and much Vanity Fair (have you seen the latest issue?! Oh the style issue is my favorite... and with Farrah and Michael to boot!) and then my plane will land (my least favorite part, second only to taking off) and I will be there. and he will be there. and that intensely awkward moment of seeing someone after five years will come and sit and then it will pass. and we will be friends.

Where are the words in this language? Why have I not studied my GRE vocab more so that I could more fabulously express to you the magnitude of my excitement?! okay I have to be done, only because I have to pack. and call my cousin.
This week I am going to read John 15 every day. Here is why:

The word used there for Remain is the same word stem used in James for Persevere. I want to remember to remain. to stay. to be. not to actively persevere, but to actively be. My challenge for myself in Alaska.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alaska in earnest

So I leave in three days. If I don't count today, or the day I leave. More accurately I leave in 92 hours which is actually 3.8 days.

I hope to blog while I am there. I will have access to the Internet. I don't know what my time constraints will look like.

I have some trepidation. Mostly because Alaskabenji is not a planner. I am a planner.

Some things that are not planned:
1. How he will pick me up from the airport. He was supposed to get a new car this week, but it might not happen.
2. Where I will stay. I was supposed to stay with his sister but won't anymore.
3. How we will do anything other than sit and stare at each other.. no car = less freedom.
4. What we will talk about. I know it is silly to plan for these things, but I am a planner.
5. How I will hook up with my team for the mission portion of the trip after my three.five days of alaskabenji are over.

Some things that are tentative:
1. Benji wants to go to Mass with me.
2. Kayaking!
3. Driving all 40 miles of the Juneau Hwy.

Some things are are more definite.
1. Coffee.
2. Pool... apparently pool is free in the bars there. Christmas freaking Miracle!
3. Yurt building. Gotta love me some Yurt building baby.

I am excited. I am nervous. I am going to have to wait and see.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lies, Lies, Lies!

A List of Lies I have told myself (or bought into recently):
1. I am a horrible person
2. I will never succeed at love
3. I am needy
4. I eat people alive
5. I ruin men
6. I don't know who I am
7. I don't know how to change myself
8. I need to change myself
9. I am afraid

A List of truths to counteract those lies:
1. I can behave horribly. And I do. And I will again. but I love you. and I'm learning.
2. I have already succeeded at love. and I will again. and I love you. and I'm learning.
3. I am needy. but I have taken care of myself. and I will again. and I love you. and I'm learning.
4. I am not responsible for people. If they allow themselves to be eaten, that is not my fault. and I will eat people again. and it will continue to suck. but I love you. and I am learning.
5. I do not ruin men. This doesn't mean I am always as humane as I should be. but I love you. and I am learning.
6. I am learning who I am. There are parts of me I know very well. I am very good at self perception. I am still a mystery. That makes me interesting. I know me now. and I will again. and I love you. but I am learning.
7. Change is crap. Acceptance is truth.
8. Change is crap. Acceptance is truth.
9. Fear holds no power unless it rules you. I am afraid. and I will be again. but I love me. and I am learning.

Friday, August 7, 2009

On being better, catholicism, and a new blog...

It is really amazing what one little phone call, a couple of text messages and an "I love you" can do for a girl's stability. I don't need to be talked to everyday, but I found out that I need to know why I'm not being talked to everyday. I am surprised how depressed I was. Not eating is my favorite thing about depression. I know that sounds horrifying, but there is something so right in the way I can delve into my sadness with a good fast, some coffee, and a cloudy day. Thanks Jesus for creating legal addictive stimulants that also suppress hunger. You're my fav.

Here is a one liner that I would like all of you to take in, digest, and believe heartily (and frankly I don't care if you disagree, believe it anyway...): Catholics are Christians too. And more importantly first.

Some days I have patience. Lots and lots of patience with denominational differences. I'm not just talking Baptist vs. Methodist here. I mean the Catholic, Orthodox, Mormon, Evangelical, High liturgy Protestants (Espic's, Presb's, Luth's... etc etc). But then there are other days. Days like this one, where I just don't get it. I understand that your theological uniqueness is important to you. You want to be different than everyone else, so you are going to believe in a different doctrine, a different understanding, a different scripture. But come on! Can we stop with the "you're not going to heaven unless..." stuff. This is God we are talking about people! Let me just say this "Do you have an arm like God's? Can your voice thunder like His?" - Let's face the cold hard fact that we just don't know what's going to happen, or who is going to be the heretic, or if our translation of the text is correct and more importantly relevant. So let's just embrace each other. Embrace our own misgivings. Embrace our doubt. Embrace our stubborn bullheadedness about truth. Embrace modernity, postmodernity, postpostmodernity. Embrace Luther the Jew Hater, and Augustine the thief, and Joseph Smith the treasure hunter, and John Wesley the wife leaver, and Rob Bell the Universalist. I could go on. Embrace humanity. So saying Embrace this new blog I found via Ace again.

Have as much fun reading and I did writing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A ridiculous little soul

Hello my ridiculous little soul. May I just say that there are times when you should just walk away, should just put down the phone, should just let it be, but you don’t. You ridiculous little soul.
“But you should get close to everything you care about. Things come and go. People come and go and maybe some of us learn to stop caring about it. But I keep reaching out, even though my hand keeps getting slapped away. When I was little I used to close my eyes every time I wanted to hide. Maybe I thought that made me disappear. When you get older you learn that closing your eyes just makes it darker. You have to face everything, even death, if you want to grow up.”
And I want to grow up. World, I am so in control – maybe not of all that uncontrollable stuff, but at least of my heart. So don’t mess with me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Curse words

I could fill this entire page with the curse words streaming out of my soul right now. If you want to hear a tiny bit of what that feels like, watch the first ten minutes of Love Actually, when Bill Nighy is attempting to sing his new Christmas song. And that would only be my opening line. (I would just like to point out that I am not going to curse in this blog, I promise.)

I am in Angry girl mode. You know, the Alanis Morrisette, flowy skirt, tight tank, long hair, hate the world, hate myself angry girl mode. Ironically, I am listening to Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America. Because its rough and I feel rough.

MY BOSS SLAPPED MY HAND TODAY. She does this a lot. She does this when I pick at my nails or itch my leg or say something she doesn't approve of. May I just say that I am 25 and although that is not so near her 31, I am not a child. MY BOSS ALSO TOLD ME THAT THE WAY I GREETED ONE OF MY COWORKERS SOUNDED DIRTY. I said "Hi! James!" I know that I am an enthusiastic person but I am not a whore! And gosh darn it she had best get herself under control before I lose all of my control. I understand that I have dated other employees, even my own employees. But that was a long time ago. I don't do that anymore. And even if I did, it is not against company policy and it hasn't ever turned out badly for her, or for me for that matter. And I don't do that anymore. Mostly because Seattle men are REALLY disappointing, but she needs to realize that I am not some teenage little girl that runs after everything in sight. I DO NOT have a crush on EVERY boy. Anger.

I am typing so hard right now that I am not sure my keyboard will work tomorrow. I am an ANGRY ELF. I am also angry because I hate text message relationships. I want to BE in Alaska. I am sick of this back and forth crap. I am sick of not knowing what face he is wearing. I am sick of not knowing what is going on. I am sick of having a friend that knows me better in this moment that most of the other people in my life, but whom I have not seen in five years. I am sick of it all. I am sick that I have invested so much in something that has 10 days, just 10 to become something lasting and worthwhile. All of this is like a big huge lead up and it could be one big huge flop. I could get there and the whole friendship falls apart. I could get there and die of anxiety because I still don't know what the mumbler (for he is one heck of a mumbler my friends) is saying to me. I think I am going crazy. I don't act like this. I don't get overwhelmed by stupid little boys. I don't think that I am not good enough for people. I don't DO THIS. I don't lose sleep over petty crap. I don't! I don't! I don't! I am so throwing a fit right now.

The sad part is I do do those things. The sad part is that I have never met someone that I really liked that I thought was this much better than I am. The sad part is that I feel like I am losing myself and the last couple of nights when I try to go invest in me, I fall asleep because I am so emotionally wrung out. I need a vacation to prepare for my vacation. I don't like having to deal with not feeling good enough for someone I would have turned down five years ago. for someone who doesn't have a degree. for someone who doesn't have a job. for someone who is insecure and shy. for someone who needs encouragement. for someone who needs to be told to pray. for someone who has had more girlfriends than Jesus had disciples. and yet still I shake because somewhere I know his heart is closer to God's than mine. and that my friends startles me. that takes all of the curse words out of my heart and moves me to tears. that leaves me only a wreckless hope. and I hate wreckless hope.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aloha Nui Loa

We had the Lu'au. Ace posted pictures. It was a miracle that anything happened at all. All of the work and all of the play turned out beautifully, but so many things could have gone wrong (or I should say so many MORE things...) My family is lovely. They come together in so many ways. We all look to our leadership to guide us. Auntie Jeanette said the most wonderful things and had us all in tears. Auntie Peggy danced hula and had us all mesmerized. Heather and I were the sunshine twins on uppers. Peter and the boys roasted some mean pig (or so I am told). Grandpa oversaw it all casting orders left and right as though his hand alone would direct the ways of men. We all found our roles and played them well. Aloha nui loa.

The week was so busy I don't really know how to talk about it. There was so so so much that happened. Virgil came again and made himself known. I thought that was all over, but apparently I was wrong. I have never heard a man talk like that before. I didn't understand that he was so in love. I did understand that nothing has changed for me. I still don't want that life. I still don't want him. It still hurts. Aloha nui loa

I have been talking to Alaska-Benji more than maybe I should. I think it is entirely possible that I have worn out my welcome before I am even there. Part of me says, "yeah but he calls you". The other part says, "only because he is trying to be nice..." It doesn't really matter. I am going to Alaska, awkward or not. I am going to build a yurt, hard work or not. I am going to see the beauty, rainy or not. At the end of the day, I have absolutely no concrete conjectures about what this trip will bring to my life, or what it won't. So I might as well stop trying to figure it all out and just let it be. Only 11 days left. Aloha au ia oe.

In the end that's the difference. Aloha Nui Loa or Aloha au ia oe.