journey

brownies selling cookies

in a strip mall

 

little girls with their moms all laughing

and chasing around

 

it doesn’t matter if they sell

a single box

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the new vanilla

vanilla got complicated and ran away with itself. so many flavors. too many choices. someone wrote a letter and did an intervention. petitioned the court for that old taste at the back of the throat.
when the verdict came in, all the grown children held their tongues. the gavel came down and the judge asked for order: within certain parameters, to be determined by the FDA and, as sanctioned by this court, only in so far as it is safe to the general public, by decree, meet the new vanilla!

strawberry milkshake disaster

twilight zone found us yesterday. a little boy in a burger joint in midtown early evening, chewing on his dad’s wallet, waiting for his strawberry shake. an older salesman peddling smiles and drinking from a flask on the other side of us. he guessed the city where I came from. We ordered our garlic fries and hammer#1 off the menu. daddy got his boy a piggy bank for quarters. this boy loves his daddy restlessly, and excited for a shake. it’s a timeless nameless place and I dunno why. in a moment everything changed when a six foot glass door to a show case, fell off and shattered all over the dad and his boy. how? why? the boy was crying and we rushed over to help get the glass out of his jacket and clothes. everyone was shocked by the sound and the waitresses all milling about with brooms and proprietary concern. the boy could not be consoled but he was okay. dad was quietly fuming and our orders all came up and the salesman got back to laughing and knowing things he had no business knowing. you and me we were wondering about it all, drawn up in the strangeness. then another shockwave through the air, rippling the nameless, timeless space. I turned in my seat and saw the cashier, she had a strawberry milkshake running down her hair and her dress. the boy had gone away with his daddy carrying him

killing.5

We are right to remember the lives with such promise that were lost. We are right to focus on the survivors and the families that must move on though no longer whole. We are right to care about our kids and our schools and how to protect them so they can feel safe and trustful and go and keep learning and growing. And if we care this much, we must also care enough to understand a culture that contributes to a violent disposition.

depression.ex

I won’t allow my depression a millimeter, a fraction of a second, an incomplete thought, a syllable, a single note, a lapse of judgment, a crumb of cake, a seed, a drop of water, a feather to float itself out on… all my depression can have is a one way ticket to a polar ice cap, where it may freely melt itself out of existence.

killing.4

Light comes out of darkness sometimes like flowers growing in the cracks of paved over places, like stars who rise up from impoverished neighborhoods, like strength and protest taking power back from the mighty and abusive, when fear can no longer stomach itself, when vulnerability transforms into courage and action. My very own niece all of 14 years old, in 8th grade, decided to start a petition against gun violence, because she and her friends are feeling powerless and scared to go to school anymore. People ask what difference can it make to get signatures for some local politician to see? I have to admit I feel powerless too, in a culture obsessed with guns and the right to bear arms. The more fearful folks become, the more inclined they are to arm themselves to the teeth to defend their families. It’s instinctive. And the NRA  loves to count the sales. But I say; if we can find a creative solution to our fear, methods to empower ourselves however personal they may be, non-violently, and put our own stamp of right action on our experiences of cultural traumas, then we may be conscious and free from the old and stale reactionary turns. And listen, not speak. Tonight I was lucky to listen to a kid tell me how she goes to school scared, and against hers my experience compared, and to know all I ever worried about in my younger years were rocks and fists, and even the meanest bullies gave in when kissed.

40.post.dated

I ran 40 miles in the past week. The winter olympians in South Korea inspired me. My longest run was a personal best (non-race) distance of 22 miles up river from Sacramento, north toward Auburn, where my next race will be held on March 3rd. I will rest my legs between now and then, and focus on my diet and yoga. The #WTC Ultra 50K looks to be a great challenge for me again this year, as I got poison oak while hiking in Winters and could not do much hill work. As in 2017, I am not prepared for the steep ascent midway through the trails. No matter! What I love about the ultra is how it tunes me mentally and spiritually, and to endure physical pain. This tuning benefits me in myriad facets of life.