So I went to yoga today for the first time in probably three years. Went straight for the advanced class, which means I spent an hour and a half making a fool of myself. My muscles may be wimpy, but no one can say I don't have moxie.
Yogi man said something worth sending out, though. He said, "Move through this pose slowly. When you find a weak place, stay there for a while. Try to make it stronger. Too often we turn to momentum to get us over weak spots. But if instead you go slowly and master all the weak spots, you'll get to know yourself quite well as you move. And when you get to the final pose, it will be real and earned, and not just momentum."
I think about relationships, of the friend kind and of the love kind, and how often I'm flung into them by all that moxie and momentum. Easy to propel myself right over the surface of weak spots in myself and weak spots in a relationship, just trying to hit the end-pose. Better maybe to stay in that uncomfortable shaky-muscle place for a minute longer, trying to make a weak spot become a little bit stronger.
I'd like to be the kind of woman who takes injury, insult, and hurt, absorbs it, heals it, and turns it back out on the world as kindness and love.
I'd like to be the kind of woman who decides to move to Maine and plants a blueberry farm--a woman with a blueberry farm and a bed and breakfast, or perhaps a tiny chocolate shop in southern France. A woman who tends sheep in Ireland. By a lake. I want to be brave enough to choose that kind of purposeful, centered life for myself. The kind of woman that maybe other people call "gutsy" but that down in her heart knows is just peace-seeking.
I'd like to be the kind of woman who forgives, and who never says anything out of turn.
I'd especially like to be the kind with smile lines, the kind who says only kind things.
I'd like to be the kind of woman that secretly knows all sorts of crazy stuff, like how to speak languages and how to make sfogliatelle and how to play Auld Lang Syne on the piano at New Years.
I'd like to be the one with a husband who I hold hands with and send secret smiles to.
I'd like to be the kind of woman with light and love and the honey of human kindness in her words, instead of venom, revenge, judgment, and self-pity. I'd like to be the kind of woman who is trying to heal others, not trying to ruin.
Well, it finally happened. I mean I knew the grapes tasted funny when I started eating them, but I hadn't thought that the lavender chemicals from the Mr Clean Car Wash potpourri sachet would actually permeate the grape skins. In any event, the Poison Control lady was very kind.
My coworker brought a box out to me and said, "Don't scream, don't scream." He then announced that our Norwegian nativity had come and it had been sitting behind us waiting to be opened all morning. I ran into the office and whisper-screamed.
I mean, that nativity is all I've talked about for the last month after all.
Saturday found me at the Home Depot. Well, me and all the rest of the town. I bought a lemon tree. A lemon tree and a strand of promises from the Garden Expert Lady that it would blossom and produce fruit all year round, so long as I was sufficiently tricking it into thinking it was living in a subtropical climate. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's tricking plants into thinking they're living in a subtropical climate.
I also spray painted a small shelf and hung it on my wall. Three cheers!
To say nothing of JRR Tolkien's Christmas Letters to his children arriving in a parcel tonight at my house. Come to think of it, it has been a day of magic, hasn't it.
I drove up the canyon tonight. The storm clouds were big and low and that makes for the best canyon driving. There was a man at the end of the road who needed a ride and I needed his story so we made friends and someday soon he's going to show me his house full of paintings.
This movie is everything--everything--you expect from the fourth of the Jurassic Parks. Totally predictable plot, half-baked character development of stock characters (macho man with an animal-loving side, overworked control-freak lady boss, girl-crazy older brother who is rude to his younger brother, younger brother who is going through a crisis but loves dinosaurs), plus lots and lots of running, guns, crouching beside/under/around vehicles followed by dinosaur-head poking around corner followed by vehicle getting crushed followed by more running, monologues about who-knows-what scientific moral "dilemmas" of our day. And all to the Jurassic Park theme music.
So in other words, I loved everything about it.
All the things you hope happen, happen. All the things you predict will happen, they happen too.
Bryce Dallas Howard runs around the entire island the entire movie in heels and a business skirt. Chris Pratt is handsome, confident, scruffy, and can talk to velociraptors (heart-throb). And Jake Johnson with his throwback tee-shirt, plastic dino display, and moment of misplaced bravado keeps the humor fresh.
Best of all, at the end of the movie I felt good about dinosaurs. Almost like we understand each other, dinosaurs and me (well, at least dinosaurs and Chris Pratt). But I also walked pretty fast from my car to the house. Which is exactly what Jurassic World should do.
John Denver once wrote a song called, "This Old Guitar" about his first guitar, the one that taught him to sing. I've been driving around in a truck for the last ten months. The Family Truck. These drives have taken me through a lot of fields and lakes that remind me of my foothilled home and my Idaho heritage heart. And I've got to thinking about how this old truck is my John Denver's guitar. The transmission's been having a hard time in this heat, so before it gives up the vehicular ghost, here is my sweetheart letter to it. (Just kidding Mom, the transmission's okay. I hope.) The truck:
On the back bumper, there is a cracked and faded purple sticker reading "My child is an Eagle Middle School Honor Student." (Congratulatory applause please.) I don't know if that Honors student was me or my brother, but I like the idea of the unintentional arrogance of driving around in a vehicle announcing your own middle school awesomeness.
The leather seats are cracked along the seams. The driver's seat is so badly torn up (I assume from back-pocket wallets and keys and bluejean rivets) that it is now hidden under a seat cover.
There is a sunroof that gets lost all the way back there sometimes.
A six CD changer and I thought "What technology!" back in 2000 or whenever dad bought it.
There's a hitch on the back that I always worry I'm going to smash into someone's hood when I'm backing into parking spaces.
Somewhere down the road it acquired a large dent in the driver's side door. I do not take credit or blame for this.
What I remember:
The first time I saw the truck, my family was painting a house. My dad pulled up in the truck to join us. *New truck alert.*
When I was in high school, one evening the truck was parked in our driveway in front of the alfalfa fields around our house and the sun was setting one of those good Idaho sunsets and the truck was like a manly human and it looked just like it belonged in a commercial and I thought, "I'm going to take a picture of this truck in this field with this sunset and my dad's gonna love it." The picture came back dark, except for the alien gleam off the taillights from the cameraflash. Story of every epic picture I took in high school. I wonder if I still have that picture.
I remember early evening drives to Black Canyon when the light is long and we listen to Eva Cassidy and stop at RoAnn's on the way back for shakes and fries. I remember dreaming about someday love looking up at the stars in my sun-crispy body and lake-tired muscles.
When my friend got sick, we got in my truck and I drove him to the hills and we let the back down and sat on the tailgate and watched the sunset.
Once we nearly slid off the road to our deaths driving home in a blizzard, and once we nearly crashed into a semi but instead spun a 360 because dad had warned us.
The heart people drove to Strawberry in that thing, listening to Of Monsters and Men the whole way.
It got us around chasmic road wash-outs and around boulders as we escaped a flashflood.
And I've started counting stars back there too.
Common occurrence when you're a girl who drives a truck:
Every boy: Hey Carolyn!
Me: Oh hey every boy.
Every boy: Wait...is that your truck?
Every boy: Wait, you drive a truck?
Every boy: [no words]
Every boy: So, is that... were you... You don't really strike me as the kind of girl who drives a truck.
Me: [evil laugh inside]
Things I do with my truck:
Carry things. Blankets. Fly fishing stuff. Shoes. Every CD I own. Puzzles. Umbrella.
Move people places. And barbecue grills.
Spend every penny I earn feeding it with gasoline.
Listen to CDs because there is not an iPod hookup and that's just the way uh-huh uh-huh I like it. Did I just say iPod? Oh hey 2004. What I meant was iPhone. Yikes.
Little sister gets her license in T-minus-seventeen days and she has made it quite clear that that truck has her name on it.
Once you go truck though, I don't think you go back. So I find myself in the market for a car that looks like a truck and acts like a truck but doesn't cost $200 to drive around the block.
On my way into the library today, two boys were walking out. Little boys. One of them had his hand cupped to his ear and was exclaiming, "I can hear the choo choo! I can hear it!" He mounted the steps and as his little head came up over the crest of the staircase, he cried, "I can see it too! I can see the train!"
His mom, bless her heart, said, "You can see the choo choo? No, I don't think you can."
Yesterday I sat on the sidewalk shoveling dirt into pots with my hands, replanting the strawberries Mom dug up from her garden to give to me. There were so many little buds of strawberry plants hanging on for dear life, I had to keep going to the backyard to find more empty pots.
This morning I woke up to birds singing--birds singing and a face full of lavender roses beside my bed. I ate strawberries and Nutella on crepes, with a big white mug of thick pulp orange juice. I opened the windows and ate in the morning light.
At lunchtime, my roommate asked if I ever go to the park by our house to read. "What park?!" I said. Turns out not five minutes walk from our house there is a massive park, with trees you can build forts inside and a pond and bridges and plenty of grass. And swings.
All anyone needs to be happy is swings.
This weekend is Maiden Voyage 2 of the flyrod. I don't name inanimate objects, but if I did, his name would be Henry. Or, come to think of it, Rod would be better heh heh. And by better I mean more apropos. Which is French for fitting.