california unincorporated

up the hills
to the llama farms

fields of upturned soil
the black sheep tagging behind

unincorporated
california


into a clearing

in the darkness of a day
sunlight woven like cotton

round the swab
they ran


this one

don’t need no help in hurtin

do they? a gardener declared

hands on her hips


self-demolished

exhausted
dejected

they ran


finally

into arms


#katyamills

mansion

Today we went out for a walk and passed the governor’s mansion which is not far from the state capitol and midtown, where I live. We looked up and into the highest windows to rooms visible in daylight and I fantasized aloud oh wouldn’t it be lovely if we saw him there today? This routine I go through every time with you, I think, since I discovered last year that Jerry Brown would be reclaiming the mansion for a residence. No governor has lived there for decades, and Governor Brown is the only governor of California I have been fond of, since I moved here from Chicago fifteen years ago. He’s probably out of town, fighting Trump over the sanctuary laws somewhere, you reasoned. That’s when my wandering eyes caught movement down by the porch, and a figure was stepping down toward the drive, then concealed. I cried out there’s someone there! What if it’s…? We both followed the iron rail a few yards and saw the black SUV and the bodyguard and…and… by golly there he is! You said. I was spellbound and could not speak. You called out Mr. Brown! Hey Jerry! Down with Trump! A smile came over the bodyguards face, and the governor turned to greet us and waved an arm. Finally I found my tongue and hollered we love you Jerry Brown! There’s nothing much like a governor in his mansion.

the art of the state of the art

You want to slow down the ball so your eyes can ride the seams in and out of the station, otherwise life goes by so fast you die as soon as you’re born. There’s no contact. I learned it from the black cat. Which only means you have to wait for the next pitch; good adwords catch phrases. Then accept it like a child. Or a sentence. Already there are so many possible contexts to the story, you’re not sure which way to go and getting anxious. You might be locked up again. Walk your worries home to the heart of it, and we can hang up our coats and our hats and the art of the state of the art, sit down together and listen to it. I mean talk. In about five seconds time, everything… now pass the first tension and back to what we live for.

The magnus.
The opus.

journal entry

Journal # 09.02.2016

Tomorrow I will be driving with a friend 2 hours north past Lake Tahoe to Reno so we can hike Mount Rose. This mountain has the highest base in the Tahoe range, somewhere around 8,000 feet. The peak is 10,000. No big deal, just a fun trip and a way for me to cross train. Honestly my body feels like hell still from last week’s 41 total miles running so I am happy to take another day off this week. I have felt progressively worse since the 13:7mile B2B. That was my first ever half marathon, so maybe it was an overexertion? It’s all a big experiment. My nutrition and sleep needs are also part of the equation. I have been drinking a lot of water and V8 juices and eating PB&J on whole wheat and oatmeal, and salmon. But I lapsed for a few days into sourdough bread with cheese and tomato, and even had a 5-egg cheese omelet yesterday for lunch with sausage. I convinced myself that I oughta clear out the remnants of my old diet from the fridge – by eating! Bad idea. I am expecting to lose 15-20 pounds by december for the CIM, so I can be at ideal race weight (I have lost about 5 this past month). I can tell my legs are much stronger, and my lungs are doing more with the oxygen because I am rarely out of breath anymore. I’ve been keeping up with yoga and running in sun and heat lately, because I cannot get off work until 830am (would prefer to hit the road around 700am). The good news is that I have been feeling fantastic when I am on the road or river trail and running. I think if I continue to stretch well, tweak the nutrition and cross train when my body tells me I should, pushing the limits on the long runs, I should be just fine and ahead of the Hal Higden schedule I am following. I kinda wish I had chosen a trail run like the AR25 instead of the road marathon for my rookie race, cause I’m finding that the trail is so much softer on the body. Wait! I did sign up for the AR Parkway inaugural 20 miler in November. Though it’s registered as a road race, I can only hope it will be hybrid, if they leave room for running on the margins of the bike trail, where there is indeed earth.

vasodilating in the heart of an era

Having dressed the walls and my wounds with classical music tonight, my thoughts now alight upon the exclusivity principle rooted to our being. The marrow starts to gel in the bones then vaporizes and shrieks out – a veritable night train whistle, forewarning us of the onslaught of the millenial generations. It’s nobody’s fault. Life just steams and marches on, stepping carelessly over the carcasses of the formerly treasured, the loved. Some of the more rock-like formations hold out a little longer. Consider the St. Petersburg Conservatory, one of only thousands of imperial-strength monuments in the world which could sing you impossible tales of a century ago, hemmed in at the waist by a sea of concrete.

‘Highway#1. Bodega Bay by helicopter’ – KatYa, 2016

One cannot have a delicate stomach for change. We must all harden our arteries to the passage of life, for it will divert its path from us and our microcosmic runs, either way; tastes will change, schools will shift, culture will replace itself, rejecting, celebrating, denying, judging, appreciating, dismissing, cherishing, banning, engorging, ridiculing, savoring along. I think the best you can do is love it while you last, participate in the push and pulls, and when your very own consigns you to your residue, the dripping-to-seal wax of human history, you take your place and hold there, never giving up, whilst the populace cartwheels over your back and pushes you deeper down by soft and sure palms, to the world beyond the light-wind-water-fire, into a quiet and dark place inhospitable to your past, where you may again flourish with a nitroglycerin glow, vasodilating in the belly of the heart of an era.

the river. with family

The river came to us and met us at her banks, midday and summer hot, we had only to approach her like disciples with our faith in her and find our place (which seemed designed for us, divined for us) where she came flush with the land, a mossy patch of soil leveling there with the freshwaters. we laid a thin blanket down and had submarines for lunch with cuts of avocado and alfalfa and cream cheese on bread. we used the sub wrappings as plates and we talked. there was my older brother, m&m (my niece), Skipper the dog, and me. they were on their way to Tahoe from the Bay, and thought of me and stopped by for lunch. i decided on the river cause i had not seen my niece in so long, and i wanted us to have a peaceful place to reconnect. besides a few river rats around us (i mean locals who were mostly friendly albeit boisterous), we were all enfolded there into the pastoral scene as if we had been painted in by a master, in oils and acrylics on canvas. nothing here could or would speak to the frenetic city behind us or the insane politics of the world. we had shade from the heat and a chance to show one another the kindnesses of a decade ago. i cannot believe i lost her for so long, the greater part of which I can attribute to life’s path, problems and poor choices i made. while they were trying to raise a family in the twenty-first century, i was literally falling and climbing and slipping and reinventing myself and trying to manage in a world which i didn’t think really wanted me. i seemed to have marginalized myself, but it wasn’t all my fault. it was just my life. and nobody was really blaming anyone, but the river between us could not be forded back then.

now we found ourselves on the same banks, reunited, and i had my lucky break after several years of remedying the mischief of my life and lifestyle, involved in many decent and useful causes these days, full of purpose these days. i got the chance to speak my truth, and m&m got hers, and i had a wonderful listen while my brother her father sat between us and the dog at our feet, panting in the heat. my brother and sister (in-law) have done a fine job parenting as anyone could do. i am grateful to them, not having made that commitment myself. anyway i can be a part of the family, is good enough for me, anyway i can help. today it means not being demanding or complaining or selfish, just staying open to any opportunity may come along, for i love them and that’s all i know. i was not so attentive to my family in my twenties or even in my thirties, so overwhelmed was i by my own life. and unhappy or depressed some of the time. vices and habits and poor choices in company. you know the story. i may be at fault for many things, but not for becoming who i am today.

so here we are, the past behind us, making what we can of our moment together. i didn’t seem to think we had much in common anymore, me and my family. but i learned in truth, by my experience (such is truth) that when you have blood in common, that alone is the mark which oughta draw you together; blood alone oughta bring out the best in us. to be there for family no matter how incongruent your aims, how varied your pursuits, how rocky the terrain of your individual temperaments. you show yourself (when welcome) and give of yourself as only you can. i may not be any great success of any kind, yet i have survived a sometimes cold and callous world, city life, and the effects of an often misguided sense of my place in it all. so i am blessed to reach out and be received. we had a nice lunch. we had a nice talk. we saw a sea creature surfacing every half minute for air, as it plodded upriver. it was unusual and mysterious. My brother and niece were both worried that it needed salt water to survive. Skipper the dog met a friend. the river rats began splashing about just down from us. the sun reached the top of the sky and looked down. it could not quite find us. we packed up to go. i believe this is as good a new beginning as any. my niece she seemed unsure at first, and i was a bit anxious, but walking back to the car beside her i felt the good feeling with them, knowing we are blood, we have good history, and there’s hope – the sun has found us now – and nothing means more to me than this.