Amalgam

Good evening Travellers,

I thought I’d do something different on this Sunday eve. Not so much with all the splendid little things of my past week, but more a curious train of thoughts that has been running through my head over the past ten days that I just want to leave in this space for your contemplation…

I love the word amalgam. Don’t you? Have you ever considered how many amazing fantastic words are largely ignored in everyday conversation? Truly, most of us pick our words like that favorite pair of jeans you wear at least 5 times before you launder them while ignoring all of you other jeans. Know what I mean? I think we should all endeavor to learn a new word every day. I believe there might be more enchanting words than there are days in a human life, don’t you?

This morning I taught my outdoor yoga class in 42 degrees. IT WAS EXHILARATING!! And the sky was so clear, so blue. The air was crisp and unmoving. So still. The summer cicada choir has been silenced. I often feel cold weather has a greater sense of peace. It’s like the world is finding clarity, while Spring and Summer feel like a riot. Everything flourishing at once in everyway: weather, sounds, floral and animal. Spring is the explosion, summer it’s full revelation, Fall is the slow dance into slumber and winter is the quietude that brings us back. I use to imagine winter was death, but I believe it’s something entirely different now.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The secret to working out/yoga in the cold is a hoodie. You need a good hoodie, hood up, tie it up and you are good to go. Most of your body heat escapes through the crown of your head, so get a hoodie. Also, hoodies are happy clothes. Hoodies feel like warm hugs. I could live in hoodies. Just my opinion.

Also, remember to wiggle your fingers AND toes continually. Just good life advice there. A good toe wiggle helps your remember where you are at all times.

Last week on the 12th, it was the one year mark from Dave’s suicide. Somewhere in the past two months, something finally shifted in me and I have found a sense of something inside that I don’t have name for yet. Maybe it’s acceptance. I have fully come to understand that I couldn’t have saved him. We are not here to save each other, Read that again, because it’s true. In fact, in life guarding they will warn you that a drowning person can you take you down with them. And I think that’s true of life as well. You have to put on your oxygen mask first as the plane is going down in order to help anyone else.

I took vacation time. If you knew me in the real world, you could fully grasp the magnitude of what that means. (I’m laughing as I type that…) I’m not good at breaking away from my regularly scheduled life. I blame my childhood. Those of us who were raised in chaos tend to create something in our adulthood that resembles a schedule, but can easily double duty as a cage. So I broke out for 6 days. 6 glorious days where I stopped making my bed, stopped cleaning up every single animal hair every morning, stayed up late, went out late, went on 4 dates with 4 different guys, went out of town, had a few drinks, ate new foods. It was bliss. Uncontrolled bliss. (And I smile as I type that..) So if you are reading this in your comfort cage, do let yourself out some time, won’t you?

That got me thinking about life. I think life is really about a series of experiences versus destinations. I think collecting great moments in tastes, sounds, sights, deeply inhaling all the outdoor air, kissing boys, dancing in parking lots, having virtual sexual encounters, talking till 4am with a good friend, buying new hoodies. Meeting new people, you should always meet new people. In the real world. Talking while looking into someone else’s eyes is everything. It’s a sort of ordinary euphoria. Right there, ORDINARY EUPHORIA. Seek that…

We learn who we are in relationships with others. We find ourselves in how we relate to others. I think when we leave this world, what we will all miss the most are the ones we loved.

So in my week of abandon, I met a guy. I really like this one, but there seems to be a hiccup or a speed bump or a sudden off ramp. I’m not sure which yet, but here is what I know. We had the best first date of my life. Like I walked right into it and it was easy. So genuinely easy. Zero hesitation. Do you know how hard it is to find someone you genuinely like in the single world? WORST ODDS EVER. And he kissed me on that date, like I’ve been waiting to be kissed in forever. BUT and I won’t delve into details, just it’s this: He said he was broken. And I don’t know what to do with that, here’s why…

This morning I was making the bed and I started crying. Dave and I met around this time of year, many years ago. I just felt sad. Momentarily. I’ve learned if you just cry when you feel like crying, it goes so much easier. Emotions only take us hostage when we are unwilling to listen to them. I will miss him forever. I will love him forever. He will forever have committed suicide. And I will forever not know why or if there was anything that would have changed that horrible event. Forever. This is what my life looks like in it’s acceptance. I hadn’t cried in two months and it left as easy as it slid in.

And when I meet someone who has anxiety or depression, there is this little fear in me. And it says in a tiny whisper, will they do that too? Because almost every guy I’ve met has anxiety or depression. The real pandemic of our world is mental health issues. And the other pandemic is making THAT pandemic even worse. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we need to figure something out people. There are too many good men, I can count five off the top of my head, who I know are under the weight of something. And I don’t know what to do. Because again, we can’t save each other.

What I also know is that most people can’t be bothered lately. Have you noticed how many people seem to no longer care about life? Our current global circumstances feel heavier to some of us than others. And here is where it gets sticky for me, I feel buoyant still. I’m not crazy about the pandemic, but it will pass. Everything that has a beginning has an end, and all of our lives are still raging on. I can tell you to make it matter still, make your life count, even in the little ways, but instead lemme just show you. I’m working on how to do that, because there is sweetness here still. I can’t save anyone, but damn, if I could somehow just lift your eyes up that would be worth it. In case no one has told you lately, THIS LIFE IS STILL WORTH IT. No matter how it looks. You gotta make this life worth the dying for it someday.

I’ve come to believe our lives and more than that, our hearts are like puzzles. A puzzle of unlimited pieces with an ever changing image. Because we are always changing whether by our own design or just idling along. Every person we care for be it friend, family, or lover, we give them a piece of ourselves and they give us one in return and voila, we subtly shift. When we lose someone, maybe it’s never that something is getting left behind or lost, it’s just change. The truth is we will say goodbye one way or another to every person we say hello to. There will be no exceptions, but I do believe that we somehow stay with each other. Through break ups, divorce, death, those pieces are an energy we share. I don’t think anyone gets their piece back. Being able to reconcile that is huge.

Lastly, I wish someone told me as a child how hard this life would be, don’t you? In truth, there is no way for us to explain to another human how pain feels, or when it will leave or when happiness will arrive again. But my Grandma Max always said it will work out in the end. She also said to always make things right. She’s never been wrong yet.

the Show after the Tell

Hello again,

As promised, here are some of the images to go with last night’s words…

My strawberry photos are intentionally absent. As I was watering them this morning, I realized they should have their own little virtual installation. Because they are a sight right now, life sprouting and blossoming while Fall is underway slowly slipping nature towards it’s winter slumber.

For tonight, let me show you the rest…

Starting with a few yums…this is the aforementioned cherry, mango apple eat it with your fingers, they’ll be stained and you’ll love every second of it combination I discovered this summer…
Look at what my blueberry bush made!! They tasted so good, nothing like their store bought cousins…and yes, I only got one handful, but it was enough…
Peaches with milk and a teaspoon of raw sugar…with their skins on, I’ve recently acquired that particular taste, have you tried that as well?
Look how beautiful these are, this is the inside of a yellow zucchini and I mixed them with other veggies and have learned this next photo is something that fills me up and makes me feel good, maybe give it a try…
Dos huevos and summer veg…sure to brighten any night or day…anything that looks this beautiful can’t be bad for you, that’s all I’m saying

How about these fine gentlemen…

Dave Grohl survived Nirvana to become a rock legend. And his daughter is singing on stage with him…which made me wonder, when did we all became grown ups?
Hoards of hitchhiking sunflowers…photo taken as I was driving about 78 mph…
Just look at that peach of a sunset, one of many…yes, still driving and taking photos…

And of course there was yoga and movement and sweatiness all summer long…I love this frame, it makes me feel like the witch I’d be with my familiar Faline…

AND cat tails..which just randomly grew on our walking trail this year…side note, those things split open just like dandelions and release some kind of fluffiness…nature is weird and always surprising, isn’t it?

That’s 10 ordinary extraordinarily good things. And so many more stored in my memories of this summer. I hope you find similar things that bring a smile to your face if for only a moment. Just genuine lovely things that are still here with us.

Be on the look out for the strawberry gallery and more words.

I’ll be seeing you soon!!

One last pineapple before we go…

Buenos Noches Travellers,

I would offer an apology for my extended absence, but it would be more of an apology to myself than to you.

I say instead, let’s call it research, otherwise known as living a human life.

I had been doing this little thing here on Sundays in attempt to illustrate that despite all of our worst efforts, little splendid moments are still budding in our lives…

Did you read those?

Here’s the first one, give it a read, so we can all be on the same page…

But instead of one week, this one is a summer’s worth of good small things…

Tonight I will give you the words and tomorrow night will be the images.

It’s like I’m going to first present you with the tell and tomorrow night give you the show…get it? Tell show, show and tell…

What did you think I would be less clever when I returned?

Come now, I would never disappoint you like that…

In no particular order of importance or any sense of chronology, here we go…

Strawberries. Strawberries. Strawberries…they are my favorite thing to grow. And photograph. And just marvel at…Hands down. The way their viney little selves twist and sprout and re-root. Their lovely little pink and white flowered faces peering up through their giant green leaves towards the sun.

And I’ve fallen in love with the life cycle of the berries themselves as well. I love to watch as they turn from a sort of albino white, to a barely blushed flesh to full luscious red. Their red is one of the lovliest shades. It’s so alive.

There should be a crayon called “Strawberry Red”. Someone call the Crayola committee.

I remembered the garden we had when I was a kid in New Mexico. My parents were still married and the ground was mostly cracked and dried, but there was a smallish garden patch situation. And there were strawberries I’d eat straight off the vine with my tiny fingers. One summer or fall, I remember that whole area of the yard was covered in Monarch butterflies and I wondered if they came for the berries. Because we think that stuff when we are young…

Side note, I have savored very few of my strawberries due to the squirrel. Don’t even ask me about that mother-effing squirrel…There will be a reckoning next Spring I assure you all.

Morning walks continue in all their glory. Mo is 13 now and I can see the age in her hips. We walk all the walks because I want to squeeze as much joy out of this life for her to take with her wherever she goes next. I want her to know how it has been my privilege to know her and call her mine.

I’ve seen cat tails for the first time this year, and these two little paths that call to us in an adjacent wooded area. I’ve also become very aware of these strange drifty swaths of cool air in the morning. The way it feels on my skin. I wonder if the ladies can feel it under their fur coats. It’s a distinct and unusual sensation.

My favorite thing about our walks this year has not been the sunrises, but the shadow of the three of us walking together around this one particular corner of our neighborhood. I feel like I’m going to remember that turn and our shadows together when I’m old and gray.

The sunflowers are out hitchhiking on the sides of the highway again. Every Fall they show up in droves and I just love seeing them. It’s very Kansas.

AND there is this field, half on a hill, half in a valley kind of arrangement…right now there are hay bails spaced out across the plowed landscape and I can’t explain what it is, but I look for this area each time I take the drive. I find it comforting and reassuring in the weirdest good way. And I don’t have a photo of it, because I just like to see it. I like to know it’s there still.

I’ve eaten TOO MANY good fresh cantaloupes, pineapples, peaches and mangoes to count. Best combo ever goes to Bing cherries, champagne mangoes, and pink lady apples all diced up together in a bowl that I stirred with my hand.

I love to eat with my fingers instead of forks, don’t you? Food tastes better when you use your hands. Touch your food people. Obviously, wash your hands first, but touch that food. Especially the ones that can stain your skin. There’s something really marvelous about that…it’s sexy.

I saw a hummingbird in my own garden. First time ever. It was rather serendipitous. I had just taught my yoga class and we were discussing how I had never had one in my yard. Never. EVER. Within an hour later, I was on the phone and glanced out my kitchen window and there he/she was. Just like that suckling the flowers on my cactus. Just suddenly there. It makes me smile still… it’s so good just remembering.

One of my clients had this fantastic t-shirt on one day at work. It was a play on the old Jaws poster, but with Cookie Monster. It’s 100% fabulous. A week or so later, he knocked on my office door and presented the shirt to me in a bag. He had bought it at a Thirft Store and he said it was meant to be mine, he had just gotten it into my hands.

See that, Kindness is still here with us.

AND he’s a tall guy, so this is a t-shirt that could be a dress on me. Or a night shirt. And THAT jarred loose a memory that had been long lost about how as a kid I liked to wear my uncle Mike’s t-shirts to sleep in. Proportionally speaking, this shirt fits me about the same. And when I put it on, it made me feel something like however we feel when we are kids, and don’t know what the world really is. Like a kind of safety. A kind of safety I hope children can still find in this world. Even now.

I have been to two concerts this summer…the Foo Fighters, with 18,000 people. YES, 18,000. Accompanied by a guy who does not know how good of a guy he is…like when you know someone and wished that they could see themselves. He’s one of those and he’s hot. He doesn’t see that either, which is part of his charm. We are seeing his favorite band in October the day after the one year anniversary of Dave’s suicide, so kind of a big deal.

The best past was not just the show, the Foos are worth at least twice the price of admission. It was just being there, outdoors, with all the people…it was the closest to 2019 that I have been…it was like visiting the memory of our shared humanity. Where there were no variants of any kind, human or virus.

It was SO good. And SO bittersweet. Like we had taken a ride in that infamous DeLorean.

Concert #2 was Dermot Kennedy. I bought the ticket the morning of the show and I went on my own. First concert by myself. Hold your applause. Here’s the thing that makes this extraordinary, this day was the last time I felt Dave’s presence and something changed after this day.

I had this feeling that day, like the most reassuring feeling deep down inside myself, that I will be okay if I have to go it alone for the rest of my life. I have been loved, had all the sex, in all the places (Sorry Dad) and I have loved more than one boy. And it’s been more than most get.

When I went to the show, the opening was Bishop Briggs, whom is the last person Dave and I saw together in concert. I didn’t know she was the opening act AND she changed her emblem to an angel. And when Dermot Kennedy sang this song completely accapella, I could feel Dave. Just there next to me.

I know how this sounds, like someone call a doctor, she’s obviously misplaced her senses, but truly, I had the strangest car ride home. I encountered a shooting, a car accident, an accident involving a flipped semi and then a downpour of a storm with a sky full of lightening.

And when I woke up, I felt different and I’ve felt different ever since in a way I can’t explain. I’ve almost made an entire trip around the sun without him. Whatever is left of my life, it will be without him. And I will miss him, as I have missed him. And when I think of him, my eyes well up and I cry, as I am now. He’s on my short list of the souls I hope to meet again someday. Here on Earth or somewhere else.

My dear friend celebrated his 86th birthday for which I made another Hummingbird Cake. Rest assured no actual hummingbirds were harmed in the making of said cake…no idea why it’s called that…if you figure it out let me know. The real point is that friendships taste particularly sweet in this world, don’t they? They have become a fortune even greater than they were in the prior incarnation of human life on Earth, AKA pre-Covid.

I tried out dating apps…I know, Boo, Hiss, Gasp…I did a week-ish on Bumble, Hinge, and Tinder each. Safe to say, it’s not for me. Let’s just call it a smattering of boys or men…dates, conversations, had some drinks, some kissing, hugged a couple, one put his hands on my legs while we talked at a bar and on my low back as we wandered downtown Lawrence in such a way that made me feel like life was reminding me of what it’s like to be with someone. In the best way.

When I was in the process of getting divorced, I heard this song and I felt so very strongly inside that there was someone out in this world for me. There was a happier ending for me, another chance for me, another soul I hadn’t crossed yet and just something good was going to happen. I had a dream not long ago that I was getting married in Centennial Park and while I didn’t see the guy, my brother was walking me down the aisle and my friends were waiting for me and I was so happy. Everyone was so happy. And it didn’t feel too far away, somewhere in the nearby few years, so who knows…

That’s really what I want to drive home to everyone here. The world appears to be an enormous dumpster fire of legendary proportions, but I still believe we can make something good happen. In our own lives, in the lives of the people we care for, in the lives of people we don’t know…but it starts inside us.

Look for the goodness. The remnants of our human-ness. Kindness. Delish-ness. Softness. Ember in the darkness. A kiss on the nape of your neck sexiness. The stains on your fingers from fresh cherries beautifulness.

You have my word, it can still be found.

Heart

Good evening Travellers,

It’s Sunday eve, but this week I’m going to deviate from my usual offering of something splendid to just say a few things, I hope you won’t mind…let’s assume for arguments sake, that you won’t…

I’d like to take a few moments of appreciation here… just a few…

For the miraculous machine that dwells within us all

The thing that started to beat long before your lungs knew what air was

Long before your tongue found words or tastes or teeth

Or your eyes and ears were filled with the innumerable sensations that we take for granted each day

Or your tiny fingers and toes touched this Earth.

Your heart.

It’s a great word, right? Heart…I mean just say it out loud, your heart, my heart…

It’s a word that sounds like it’s loved, it’s got a gentle smile on it and a deeply resonating warmth.

It sounds tender. Like it wants to be deeply held.

I’m talking about the literal thing right now. That sinewy, blood filled muscle of an organ.

At one time, it was so tiny, you might even say miniscule. Beating inside your mom’s belly.

Smaller than the tip of your thumb. And now it’s the size of your fist.

Your heart that beats without fail every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade of your mortal life.

Have you ever taken a moment in absolute stillness and placed your hands on that pulsing and just felt it.

When you lie in bed tonight or perhaps when you awake in the morning, just take a moment and place your palms on your chest till you locate it and feel it.

The rhythm that is all yours, just yours.

That’s your life, right there, under your hands. Nestled in your chest.

It’s an odd looking organ, isn’t it? Hard to believe that thing, a thing that looks like it does is driving you forward.

Obviously in symphony with your brain and lungs and blood, but it’s the thing that is pumping life through your body

And when it ceases to do that, we are pronounced dead.

When I think about reasons to live well, I often think of my heart. And wanting to care for it.

Because I think about it’s location in the human body. It’s surrounded and protected by skin, muscle and bone.

Cradled in the center of our chest, in a place it can be defended and protected.

It’s as if it’s anatomical location shows us that it is precious.

It is worthy of your utmost care…

We often talk about heart break. We deeply hurt and say we are heart broken.

Of course this is figurative right?

A metaphor perhaps.

I have often said that Dave broke my heart and then his suicide smashed it into a million pieces, but that’s not entirely true, as my heart continues to beat ever so faithfully in my chest. Right now, as I type…there is no hesitation.

Someone hurt my heart recently from disappointment, but my organ itself feels fine, it’s somewhere else in my body…

Can you really die from heart break? Do our emotions break the muscles or the valves or the stymie the blood flow?

Why did we decide to call it heart break?

Who was the first person that used that phrase?

Doesn’t emotion come from the brain and nervous system? Or perhaps the soul if you are into that sort of thing.

Why don’t we call it brain break? Or say our nerves are deeply uncomfortable? Or say we are emotionally sick.

Just think if there was no such phrase as heart break.

There would be no Shakespeare, or songs, or movies or hell, just all kinds of things would require an entirely different vernacular.

Perhaps the heart is the great hall monitor of our human body. Slowing the blood down, or speeding it up. Trying to keep us in line where we belong.

It doesn’t seem to be breakable, but yet we believe it is…

And we all take it for granted too, don’t we? This life, our heart.

Because it is in fact your one ever present diligent companion.

Someone close to me has heart problems. He’s 85 and has both a defibrillator and a pace maker. He’s now taking medicine to help strengthen the muscles because they are beginning to get tired. As one expects to happen eventually.

I was thinking at their house the other night, or rather marveling how far that heart has travelled. How many beats it has drummed out in his lifetime, how many times his wife more than likely listened to it with her ear on his chest in their youth, and the fact that he made four other hearts in his children that will beat after he is gone.

It’s the kind of thing to marvel at and just think about for a few minutes…

This life is a marvel, just in case you have forgotten…it’s right there in your chest.

Resplendent is splendid’s cousin, right?

Welcome to another wind down Travellers,

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week in between a lot of working, cleaning, talking, moving, writing, driving, cooking, walking dogs, listening to music, listening to strange stories from various people and (deep sigh) here we are.

At the last sunset of the week. Or the first sunset, however you wanna see it.

Since it’s Sunday, you know why I’m here, or let’s assume you do, just for arguments sake…before I show you the simple splendid moments of my life, I hope you have been noticing your own. I’m gonna keep hoping you do, don’t think I’m not!! Whether you write it down, or take a snap with your phone or just mentally memorize it.

Just be with it. Witness it. Witness, as in stand there and observe and feel with all your self.

Something that makes you think, “THIS is GOOD” when it’s happening.

Give yourself time with things…

I would also like to add a little commentary here. I often see people meme-ing on apps about happiness being a state of mind, or how much I love myself or just this general idea that feels like we are being sold something that says happiness and self-love are like butterflies you can catch and be able to keep somehow. Like a constancy we can attain. Like you should want those above all the other emotions or feelings.

Did these people forget that butterflies will die in captivity? Nothing is constant in this life. Nothing can be white knuckled into existence.

Holding on too tight is called strangulation.

I just want to make sure that we understand each other here, and let’s assume we do. I’m not here to tell you life is meant to be happy all the time or to chase happiness all the time or that you should make yourself happy in order to love yourself. (Everyone nod your head.)

I come here every Sunday to say, Look at this, there is something good and it’s not perfect or forever, but it’s enough.

It’s enough.

When was the last time you thought “This small thing is enough.”?

Good and happy and love are all not forever, but the point is to learn that they are enough in their transcendental nature. Our lives are not cages to lock away things, our lives are doorways that are meant to be inhabited and ultimately passed through.

Now lemme show you some magic…

I really liked this sunrise, don’t remember what day it was. It wasn’t the skies or some magnificent display of colors. What caught me was the way the sunlight was passing through the trees in my front yard. They were luminous. Translucent like stained glass. You could the veins in the leaves. It was like they were glowing from within. I feel like we all forget that around us, at all the times, are these giant living creatures called trees. And sometimes they really look alive…or ethereal.
Yep. Another tree. No, I’m not about to launch into some environmental lecture. Don’t worry…I’ve learned that people either have reverence for this planet or they don’t…but… THIS is my tree that my hammock is under. THIS is my view from lying on my back, swaying gently in the early evening. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating, a hundred times. Every time I lay here, I marvel at it all. Hammock time could change the course of the human race. Less tv, less cell phones, less filler, more awe. If you get two people in a hammock, great conversation or silence can be found. Just looking at this photo feels like a massive decompression in my body and soul.
My crack garden produced it’s first crack strawberry. I know he’s a little rough looking, but don’t be fooled. For those that are new here, I’m not talking about narcotics, but rather these few rather determined little plants that are growing in the crack between two concrete slabs on my patio. They just spontaneously erupted from nothing, but seem to be thriving with serious vigor. Growing out of nothing, feels like an anthem for human life right now, doesn’t it? And that sad little worn out looking berry was not even a half inch around, BUT damn, he was packed with flavor! All the flavors of the summer to come.
Decided to try something other than a pineapple this week and got a cantaloupe. The smell this melon gives off is so distinct, isn’t it? It’s like summer sugar. And there is something really interesting about the way it feels when your teeth penetrate the flesh. Like a specific kind of resistance that melons have, don’t they?

I was balling this in the early evening, sunlight flooding in the kitchen window and I thought the carved rind seemed artful. Like a meloncomb? And I remember my Grandma Biv always had balled fruits in her refrigerator for me as a kid. And I loved that stupid melon baller so much I bought one as an adult. Don’t use it often, but when I do, I remember her kitchens. And melon balls. The Tupperware dishes they were stored in. And her.

This is a lot of good right here. The kind of good that wells up in your eyes when you remember, know what I mean? And what a beautiful color the flesh is…
I know, more food right? Wait, lemme explain…I was coming home from work Monday night, wondering what am I gonna eat, like what do I even have to eat at home? Which is silly, I just went to grocer two days before, do you know that silly notion? Yea, so I used some canned tomato soup, tiny mozzarella balls and grilled chicken I had on hand and voila!! But really the reason this was good was that bread in the background. Dave used to make that for me, but I’ve found I can make it own my now.

And in that moment I thought, “I can make it on my own now.” Not to dismiss him, but we are nearing 8 months since he ended his life and I think something has begun to shift. I think a part of me, maybe a small part will always be mad at him, but I feel like he is with me, rooting for me. I feel that all the way through me.

Someday I will fully forgive him. For smashing my heart. Twice.

I will.

See that, good isn’t all happiness. But it’s still good.

Other worth mentioning moments…

I’m going to two concerts. I LOVE concerts as much as traveling. It’s a whole story that I won’t go into. I don’t like to jinx things, so let’s just dog ear that page and we’ll come back to it. One of them is a band he loves and the other is the Foo Fighters. I have to say I’ve always had immense love for Dave Grohl as an artist, but having now survived the suicide of someone integral to my own life, I have a whole new level of respect for him. Getting back up from Curt Cobain’s death was a feat, wasn’t it?

I’ve noticed this scent wafting through my backyard in the mornings and the evenings. And it took me a moment to figure it out. It’s my honeysuckle that some random bee gifted me on my fence line years ago. Actually, it’s a small honeysuckle jungle now, AND in the warm air, lying in a hammock, it’s heaven. I catch Lou smelling them sometimes. There are few things in life more delightful than watching your dog smell flowers!

Speaking of flowers, when we were walking home this morning there is this tree. (I know, a tree, AGAIN, I didn’t mean to do this, it’s not a theme! I can’t choose the goodness, for goodness sakes! Maybe I’m channeling the Lorax?) I have no idea what this tree is, but it’s funny looking and HUGE. It looks like lily pads on a tree. In groups. And the flowers look like tiny iris relatives, maybe? But the thing that really caught me was the way the flowers were falling from it’s branches this morning. It was like a soft rain of fauna and I stood in the street and watched as they floated to the ground. There was a blanket of white frothy flowers all around. Actually the three of us stood in the middle of the street and just watched for minutes. It was like something in a movie. Only real. And then we came home.

As I said early on, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and writing this week, so you might want to prepare yourself for possibly multiple blog posts from me? We’ll see what happens….BUT meanwhile, keep your eyes, ears, noses, fingers and mouths open for good things.

Okay, maybe don’t walk around with your mouth hanging agape, or getting handsy, but you know what I meant, let’s assume you did, for arguments sake..

And now, I’d like to leave you with a quote, since I mentioned happiness earlier…this one always makes me giggle when I hear it…it goes a little something like this:

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.”

Now tell me, what does happiness look like when you read those words?

What do you see in your mind?

What is looking for you?

Think about it…

I’ll be seeing you!

Sumptuous aka Splendiferous

Good evening Travellers,

It’s a holiday weekend here in America. Memorial Day is for remembering those who died in service to our country. All of my family members survived their service, at least in body. I had a great uncle who was in Pearl Harbor and lost friends aboard the Arizona. He was forever changed from that event.

I always feel like no matter how well films are made about wars, we cannot imagine what it is like in reality. Humans, at least in America, are not often hunted by each other. And I’m pretty sure that’s what war is, us hunting each other down and doing our worst.

If you are reading this and you or a member of your family has or is in our military service, allow me to extend my deepest gratitude. Perhaps we should take a breath here for those who can no longer do the same.

I think we forget each day that life is built on life. Nothing is free here. There is a price. By here, I mean this entire world.

Oooooh, that was an unintentionally serious start for something sumptuous or splendid, wasn’t it?

It’s funny how that happens in conversations, sometimes they just sort of veer off the road. I pretend I saw a metaphorical deer and had to swerve and then I get right back on it..

Like this…

Are you ready for something good? Like the little things that quietly assure that life is indeed still filled with little pockets of goodness.

Let’s talk about it…Ready?

I painted my toe nails the color of the sun!! Because there is no sun here.

Actually I was looking at my feet thinking about how far they have carried me in this life. They are in pretty damn good shape considering the mileage I put on them in the gym and everywhere else.

I think about mobility everyday. And when I go into a studio to move, I think about how grateful I am to be able to do as such. Just gratitude for being able to work out. Just moving and sweating and persevering and doing the hard stuff. And I encourage anyone out there who is struggling to work out, try reframing it as the privilege you have, the privilege to move in a body, even if your body isn’t perfect!!

My grandfather, whom I have mentioned before, had MS and he was in a wheel chair in his 40s. I think of him almost everyday in my gym. And I think about how fortunate I am and I’m not gonna waste it. He wouldn’t want me to.
While I’m ranting about feet and mobility, let’s have some more, because why not? Am I right? Seriously both of my cats perch on the corners of tables like this ALL THE TIME…RIGHT ON THE EDGE. It fascinates me. What is this about? Just tables. Only tables. I have no idea why, does anyone know why? These are the things that happen and make me smile at how oddly weird life is in the littlest of ways…and look at her little paws, so delicate and agile. And dangerous, she has serious claws…
THE RAIN THE RAIN THE RAIN…will it ever stop? We do not know, we do not know… however one early evening last week, the sun came out while it was raining and I love that…the way the sunlight breaks through the rain drops, there is something about the combination of those elements that feel like warmth in my soul. This is the rain you want to remember in your next life. It’s the rain you wanna walk in, dance in and if you are lucky kiss some other fabulous human in…
Two good things happens when it’s unseasonably cooler and raining, bubble baths and unexpected cravings for soup. And when I have chicken noodle soup, I must have saltine crackers with butter. REAL BUTTER, not the plastic crap. It’s something I learned in childhood and have loved my whole life. So simple. I think the memory is a little anchor that reminds me of a time when I had far fewer worries in life. Like I said, simpler. Food can carry so much meaning for us without even trying, can’t it?

I watched a movie again last night that I hadn’t seen in years, Elizabethtown. It’s a Cameron Crow movie and I’m not sure if it’s a great movie, but there is something great about it. And there is something great about watching a movie like that when it’s been awhile. And the soundtrack is to die for, so let’s just all take a moment and listen to these two tracks: Ryan Adams and The Temptations. Because it’ll be good for you…trust me.

I had dinner with one of dearest friends which is always a wonderful thing. I believe we have been friends for over 15 years, maybe? Good grief we are old! She is one of my favorite accomplices that I have had in this life and sometimes she reads this, so thank you!! I’m so glad we still have each other and would never have guessed when we first met that either of us would be here in our lives, would you? And isn’t that kind of wonderful?

And after our dinner, a friend of mine, we are gonna call him a friend, it’s too much to explain right now…to discuss that would be one of those metaphorical deer that we veered off the road to avoid…anyways I stood in the parking lot talking to him in the rain for 45 minutes, so that was good too. He’s one of those rare people I always enjoy talking to for hours on end. He’s the guy in the hammock I mentioned before

Ramona and Faline were sitting together on the couch watching the aforementioned movie with me…by together, I mean touching each other in the most uncomfortable way. Like they were trying so hard to not acknowledge their discomfort, I could see them each thinking, “It’s fine. This is fine. I’m fine. She’s touching me, but I’m fine. It’s fine.” I laughed so hard because they continued doing it even though neither could looked remotely alright with it. For an entire hour! It felt like a very human behavior, know what I mean?

I hope that you have had some good sprinkled into your past week and if not, open yourself.

That’s one of my best pieces of advice in this world: Be open. Stay open.

I say it to myself with some frequency, which means all the time.

Because I am difficult and don’t always listen to myself.

You cannot receive or give if you are not open. Open is scary, but it’s where awareness lives. It’s where hope lives.

Know what I mean?

I said something similar the past two Sundays, so this makes it the third time, which they say is a charm. Why is that? I don’t know. Baseball has three strikes, is that a coincidence?? I do not know….

I’m assuming it’s that same committee that decides all the other things…right?

Seriously, I need to get on that committee…

See, DEER!!

But YOU, I know YOU need to keep yourself open. Front and center. Gaze and mind. Watch for the good. Think ant sized, not rhino.

I’ll be seeing you…

A Seed

Bonne Soiree Travellers,

Last weekend I had the oddest feeling inside my body and in the air outdoors…it felt like summer had already been here and gone, when in fact it really hasn’t even arrived yet. I had that feeling of disappointment one has when summer is on it’s way out…Isn’t that peculiar?

I’m going to blame the numerous days of cloudy hungover skies for that sensation. It feels like the weather has created a blank canvas of sorts, or maybe it’s a too much gray canvas.

I feel like many of the dynamic moments of Spring have be drowned out or muted in a way I can’t fully describe….

But on Tuesday night, as I was walking across the terrace, I spied this luscious little fellow…

The first strawberry.

Summer is indeed still coming…

Lemme tell you, in case you don’t know, strawberries that are grown on their own taste so much more wonderful than their store bought counter parts. I think it’s because when you grow them on your own, they get to take their time.

There’s something to be said for letting things grow in their own time.

Especially people.

Don’t you agree?

I think one of the most difficult aspects of being human is the way we struggle with our own pacing. It’s something that defies explanation really as to how we arrive, where we arrive, when we arrive there.

If you are someone who has battled any kind of mental health struggle or familial trauma or addiction or divorce or survived an extraordinary ordeal of any kind, there’s this moment when you think this thought. I arrived at it and I’ve heard many many others express the same sentiment:

Why couldn’t I have figured this out sooner?

I have an idea, would you like to hear it? Here we go…

Do you know who William Shakespeare is? Let’s go with yes for arguments sake… Will once said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances…” ok, actually Jaques, a character in “As You Like It” recites this whole spiel, but for our purposes, we just need that one little bit to build on…

If you know anything about plays and theatre, let’s say yes again, for arguments sake…then you know that there is a rhyme and reason to scenes and staging and lighting and most importantly, TIMING. The actors don’t just run out on stage all hands in the air like they don’t care, squealing their lines at random intervals. And that is because…

No one gets to say their lines before it’s time.

Read that again.

I’m pretty sure you can’t arrive to your greatest moments of growth any sooner. No one can.

Isn’t that bittersweet?

There are so many moving parts inside us and those who surround us that have to fall into place, just like timing on a stage.

But the questions remain, how does that kind of time work? How does time become right for each of us? Why can’t we force that time forward, faster? Why can’t we arrive at being the person we want to be faster? Why can’t we learn and grow and heal faster?

I know when it’s a strawberry, those that are rushed into fruition are never as delicious…yea, I know, I just punned, sorry not sorry…

And I can’t help but think about how it all begins…A seed.

Ok, in our case, it’s an egg and a squiggly little sperm, but we are going to call it a seed, just for arguments sake.

Because we were a seed. In our parent’s minds, before we were a literal seed in a womb. We were an idea they thought was worth growing. Ideas are a most powerful kind of seed, are they not?

Consider the human existence we currently enjoy…architecture, transportation, medicine, science, fashion, agriculture, and even theatrical plays, these were all ideas that one or more humans felt needed to be planted and nourished.

We are all seeds that grow at different cadences, in different ways and into different humans. But we each need an unspecified amount of time to accomplish this. And we each deserve the opportunity to do that.

I’ve been trying to think about language for teaching this summer and on Instagram. In movement, if you are a consciousness human, and for arguments sake, let’s say you are, you want to use language that embraces everyone. That means every size, age, shape, color, stage of learning, flexibility and strength. The last thing I ever want to do is intimidate someone or make anyone ever feel less than.

Because I believe that the greatest strength of movement is that it has the power to make you feel more than. And it has the power to help you grow.

SO I’ve been thinking about using the analogy of a seed. And the way we all grow differently yet equally beautiful. I can break down any movement to it’s simplest pieces and then grow it from there. I like the idea of growing at your own pace in movement, because we all do. And I like that this idea feels harmonious with the yogic limbs as well.

In summary, strawberries, Shakespeare, theatrical timing, growth, ideas, you and me. All start from a seed.

So, What are you growing?

.

Monday Musings

Greetings Travellers,

How was your Monday?

I was off work today. Truth be told, unless I have travel plans, I’m not good at taking time off work.

I’m extraordinarily bad at it in fact. I have to have an itinerary of things to do or I feel bad… I get listless and sad.

And I end up always feeling like my life isn’t going to turn out well after all.

Seriously, it’s bananas.

I think I’ve always been this way and I’m not fully sure why…something I ponder…in case you may have missed it, I’m a fan of a good pondering.

This evening, I thought I would share a little list of thoughts that might be worth tumbling around in your brain, should you feel like pondering…these are things that have popped into my brain over the past few days.

BUT FIRST, I found Faline lounging like a boss on the front couch this afternoon…it’s the look on her face that always makes me laugh…

And EQUALLY awesome, since I was home today when the tornado test sirens went off, I got to witness Lou howling. There is something about the way she throws her head back, purses her lips and howls that makes my heart swell. I LOVE IT, so then I howled too and she howled with me. And the siren. This went on for let’s say just long enough for me to not appear crazy. I have no idea why I find that so wonderful, but I do…

Now here’s the list, in no particular order…

~Small Ordinary Moments…do you seek them? do you create them? how many of us are watching for them? They mean so much to our health. The ability to satiate your senses in the moment you are in is of utmost importance to our well being. Humans are not meant for all this mental time travel. Ordinary has a power of it’s own making.

~Which led me to this thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot as I’m inching my way into the Gram: Our strength and our stories lie in our imperfections and our scars, if you edit it all out, what’s left of you?

~I appear to have two plantar warts…one is on the ball of my foot, and I think it’s going to kill me from pain. And it’s little. First it was the divorce, then a pandemic, then two injuries, a feisty squirrel, Dave’s suicide, and now I’ve met an adversary that truly scares me…has anyone else made an internal list of all your pain since COVID arrived? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like all of humanity is getting it’s ass kicked in very personalized ways, am I wrong? NOT a poor me list, but just a shit list of things you’ve had to deal with…am I right?

~Who first said, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? And what were the circumstances in which that person came up with that phrase? Was it an act of heroism or a paper cut from hell? I’d like to know…and why do we repeat certain phrases and not others? Is there a committee? How do I get on that committee? Show of hands, who would like to be on that committee???

~How holding onto our emotions can breed resistance. As in, just changing your words from “I am” to “I feel” with consistency and daily practice helps us separate our identity from our emotions. And that’s sort of powerful, isn’t it?

~Working off of that, let’s ponder the peace we can create in of the practice of self-observation, don’t just feel your feels and think your thoughts, but give yourself some space inside to hold them away from you. It’s taken me over two years in therapy to really get ahold of this and I still have to work at it. I’ll work at it my whole life. I have visualization techniques. We are such busy easily distracted creatures and if you can insert several seconds to stop, step back, observe, it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself. And that in turn will help you learn about others. Funny how that works…

~GOING FIRST, someone is always first in line aren’t they? Are you that person, or are you the middle man or last man standing kind of human? What do we learn by going first in conversations, or into the coldness or into the unknown? What is the value in being first and by going first, doesn’t it put other people at ease? I should go first more often, shouldn’t we all?

~Knowledge is knowing lots of stuff and wisdom is understanding how your mind uses it. Mark Manson said this in his last newsletter that I read and am I the only one who wants to really understand how my body works versus believing it’s just like everyone else’s?

~Resilience, which is a word I just love to say and it’s really interesting how some souls seem to be more resilient than others. I would put it to the nature/nurture conversation, but what if it’s something more than that? I had brunch with a good friend yesterday who works with people who have had truly terrifying lives and we were talking about why are some people able to get back up and others can’t?

~Part 2 of that is something that has always intrigued me and that is our dysfunctional coping mechanisms that we pick up from trauma in youth. Where does alcoholism really begin for example, someone in the bloodline starts it, where does that come from, why is that their vice versus all the other choices? Why did I become an anorexic and not a drug addict? Why have I always been repelled by drugs and drinking for the most part? Why was I able to craft this life, why did I seek therapy, why has EMDR worked for me but not for others?

~What are we really? Fully serious, what are we made of beyond the obvious, because not to sound woo woo, but in my deepest movements or silent moments with my dog or gardening, there is some kind of something, isn’t there? Like THE FORCE. And in the above mentioned thoughts, there is more here, in us, I think…and I don’t feel like it’s a God thing, it’s something about our very nature.

~ The fifth limb of yoga is called Aparigraha, and for me, it’s about expectations and our attachment to the end goal versus embracing the journey AND not attaching to thoughts and emotions that constantly swell within our being. Let’s be honest, we can’t attach to anything in this life really, every single thing is temporary. Most of this world lives in a constant state of change, and attaching to things, wanting same same, just causes us to suffer.

~Lastly, I’ve been thinking about how art works and this includes writing. Isn’t all writing an art form? I fully believe each sets of eyes that find my words will understand them differently. Because we each take everything in through our filter. Our filter is our education, our experiences, our beliefs, our sex, our age, our race, our everything, so I can’t help but hope that all other writers and creators feel this way on some level. How could they not, and don’t all our interpretations make it richer and fuller?? Isn’t that how all art works? I know that’s always my hope, that my words speak to you, in your world, in some way as I write their meaning in mine. Art lets us know that we have never been alone.

~Last thought, We can remain extraordinary, even in our darkness. If I get onto that aforementioned committee, you’re gonna be saying those words again, trust me!!

Good night!!

Squirrel!!

Happy what’s-left-of-Friday Travellers,

How about a little humorous anecdote from my current life…

For the past couple of weeks, I have been engaged in a sort of battle of wills between myself and the squirrel(s). Each morning or afternoon, I go out to my garden only to find that the squirrel has been here doing very bad squirrel things….

Specifically digging, destroying and chewing. Almost like a tiny little dog.

Only not.

It’s almost like nature is offending me. It is discouraging me. The universe is discouraging me. On a very personal level.

And if I’m honest, somehow my feelings are hurt.

Do you know what I mean? Of course you do. All humans think these silly things from time to time. Everyone thinks the universe is somehow targeting them for good or bad reasons.

Allow me to assure us, it is not.

The universe does not have time to single us out one by one.

For the record, my neighborhood is full of giant oak trees. I have four them around my home. It’s one of things I truly love about living here. And I mean LOVE. I remember as a kid always feeling like neighborhoods with lots of trees were somewhere where normal families lived. They represented a life I didn’t have, which admittedly is a strange correlation to make, but that’s what kids do.

And now I live there. In the place with all the giant trees. And with these trees comes squirrels. To me they are my tiny little neighbors that race through the canopies with a sort of finesse and speed that I envy as an athlete. They talk to each other, sometimes quarrel and build huge nests. The trees are their homes and I’ve always found their company sort of delightful in a weird way.

UNTIL NOW…

Let it be said, I’ve not experienced the darker side of squirrels. My fellow home owning friends tend to not like them because they can be destructive. That’s what they have said.

I think it’s been about five years that I’ve been growing a garden and maybe there have been some isolated incidents that I foolishly blamed on birds, but now there is a little fucker in my midst…and I want to kill it.

Okay, see that right there, I’m not a killer and in truth, that is not what I want. That is not who I am as a human.

I mean IT IS, but it’s also not…do you know what I mean??

I wouldn’t in truth want to kill some other squirrel’s parent/spouse/child. The image of a sad squirrel just makes me sad. VERY SAD.

Here’s the real problem, the total honesty of it. My little garden is my joy. I cannot express to you how grounding it is to work in it each day. And joy-filled. I don’t know if all humans feel this way, but I do. I very much do, which is why I write about it with some frequency.

Also, this little patch of green makes me feel like I’m a nurturing person. Which in lieu of the events of the past two years of my life is reassuring. Since I always blame myself for things going wrong, whether it’s my fault or not, I also have learned it’s good to find things to blame yourself for that are positive.

Blame yourself for the positive things in your life. There’s a skill to learn.

This stupid little squirrel is literally chewing and digging up my joy. He is destroying my strawberries that are trying so hard to grow and eating their flowers which means NO BERRIES. And don’t even get me started on what happened to my young spinach. TWICE! Somehow THIS was the morning where I yelled out to the backyard, I HAVE HAD IT!!

(Because I know the squirrels are listening..)

(And I want the rain to stop!)

(Did I mention the never ending rain? The flooding? The rain that has caused my blueberry bush to look fully intoxicated. Like it had a really rough night out.)

I know the digging is their attempt at excavating nuts, which are not actually there. The only good thing about the rain is that it has slowed down their search and rescue efforts. As smart as squirrels are, you would think they would have a map. Or whatever the equivalent is to a squirrel. Or an engineer amongst their colony that sorts out that kind of thing.

I once watched a squirrel bury a nut near these flowers we had elsewhere in the backyard. And then he took a step back, sat up on his hind quarters and arranged the fauna like he was a florist or something. He moved his little hands with such precision and delicacy you would have thought someone was getting married back there.

WHERE IS THAT SQUIRREL? Because he wouldn’t be doing this…

Why is the universe doing this to me??? That was my actual thought. I thought that thought as I stood there in front of my massacred garden. I thought that thought last night as my basement began to flood.

And let’s be clear, I’m very well aware that parts of America are flooding right now, so I’m extremely fortunate. I am, so allow me to acknowledge that before I continue this rant.

Why must things like this happen? I know it’s really miniscule, but for me, it represents my greater struggle. The struggle to find my life in the rubble of my divorce, Dave’s suicide, my arm that’s moving at the speed of maple syrup to fully heal and all my fears about attempting to try to build a business for myself.

It is the struggle to grow something new, to care for it, to cultivate joy and resilience. The garden, my home, my life. And to protect it.

The squirrel is just doing what squirrels do being a little destructive menace. Ok, not all squirrels obviously, just this one or two, I haven’t figured out if it’s a tag team or one little fucker doing this on it’s own. I assume he/she is new to my neighborhood. I know it’s not personal because it rarely is. What happens to us in life is RARELY PERSONAL. And I also acknowledge the squirrel is not a messenger from the greater universe saying, “Just give up Amy” but damn it sometimes feels that way.

In truth, I like to think the universe is rooting for all of us, against all odds. I like to think humans are the greatest wager eve made in all of creation.

But there are still squirrels.

(These are LAST summer’s berries…)

An evening with Herbert

Buenas Noches Travellers,

This is a very late edition coming to you from the rain drenched plains of Kansas. It’s been raining here everyday for at least five days with no end in sight. By no end, I do mean the forecast for the next two weeks includes rain almost every damn day.

And truly I’m not living on the plains, but rather in the center of a city, which makes what about to say all the more wonderous.

Tonight I arrived home from work to find a most unusual guest on my back terrace.

One little lone duckling waddling along.

As I approached he began feverishly running around. Trying to climb the back step which was twice his height, then trying to run up the siding on the house, then falling down. Then getting up and doing it all over again.

A duckling alone in the city.

Looking like so…

I named him Herbert. Because when I looked at that little face, that’s the name that came to mind.

And obviously I had to catch him because HELLO, dog and cats everywhere here!

I have NO IDEA how he came to be in my backyard as it gated and fenced all around. Did his mother bring him here with his siblings? Had he gotten separated somehow on his own?

We searched the yard, no other ducks in sight. There have never been any ducks in my sight in this neighborhood. Until now.

I’m not gonna lie, part of me gave serious thought to the idea of keeping him. I mean here he was plucked down in my yard in between cloud bursts, don’t we call that fate?

Do I know how to take care of a duck? No, no I do not…

So we called the Wildlife rescue hotline instead and left a message instead. I didn’t expect to receive a call back tonight, so I moved him into the bathtub and set up some kind of livable space for his evening…

He actually seemed to be alright all things considered. Doesn’t he look alright?

I always imagine what life looks like from a smaller animal’s perspective. I must have seemed like a giant that scooped him up into a box with some strange fuzzy thing. And this tub would seem a vast basin of white slickness like he’d never seen before.

I noticed he was shaking, I’m certain he was scared.

I would be scared too, wouldn’t you?

I sat and talked to him and ever so gently touched his back to attempt some kind of reassurance that he was alright.

I’m not sure there is a fear greater for any of us than being completely lost and separated from what you knew to be truly yours.

And since I live almost 14 city blocks away from the nearest body of water or about 7 blocks from the nearby creek, he was far from home, wherever that home may have been.

A nice lady called within an hour of my message asking about him and said she would consult the other lady who worked with her that did more bird rescues and get back to me shortly with instructions to keep him for the night. While I waited I did some online searching and discovered that ducks are not solitary creatures and can easily become depressed or lonely which can make it difficult for them to thrive or survive as ducklings.

It said that they feel loneliness, isolation and grief much like humans do.

The other interesting thing I learned this evening is that ducks, like most other animals, will gladly take in offspring that is not theirs at birth. The nice lady called me back and said she needed to come get him tonight to get him rehomed because he would have a better chance at survival. She planned to take him to that pond I mentioned earlier because other ducks would be there, hopefully a female with ducklings and she would leave him with them.

I have to admit, I’m the skeptic here. Trusting strangers with a super cute duckling that the universe brought to my door isn’t my strong suit, but sometimes you have to do what’s right because it’s right. No guaranteed outcome.

Not a single life here has any guaranteed outcome, does it?

So I packed up my very temporary little duck and said good bye and sent him off into the rainy night with that friendly lady who promised she would find him a new home.

Now let me tell you the weird thing.

This whole event made me think of Dave…There’s a store here called Orscheln Farm & Home that sells farming supplies and each Spring they have Chick & Duck Days. We went several times during our relationship because I loved seeing the chicks and ducklings and holding them. We hadn’t done that in years, but in March he sent me a text with a photo of me holding one of those chicks and asked if I remembered that day. To be honest, he did that half a dozen times before I ever talked to him which angered me and also made me wonder if his life wasn’t as amazing as he thought it was going to be. Otherwise why would you be reminiscing about the woman who you said would be replaced by a better one? I’m going to always wonder if I had said something different, would he be alive still? Was that him reaching out and I failed to see that?

But when I saw this duckling, I realized that strange random wonderous things are still gonna happen in my life.

Because I wasn’t left behind to die, I was left behind to live.

Now if you would all do me this kindness: Pray for Herbert’s safety and long life. Ducks can live up to 20 years and perhaps he and I will meet again someday.

Or send positive energy or whatever you do, just do that…