I feel that I need to apologize both to myself and to those of you who read this for being absent for so long. I have been very busy and it has been hard for me to find time to sit down and write. I have thought a lot about things to write about and then somehow time just slips away. Anyway this was going to be a place where I was going to reflect about my day but given the time that has lasped I am going take it to a larger scale and reflect about my summer so far.

Things that I love about this summer....

-Spending time with my partner, who has finally graduated after three years of grad school on top of a full time job and part-time internship. It is really nice to be able to share more of my days with her. Making and planning meals is a whole lot more enjoyable when I get to share it with her, not to mention the other time we get to spend together.

-Swimming. I love to swim, I always have and summer would never be the same without it. I grew up swimming in the lake that my mom grew up on and now has a house on, which means this lake holds a lot of history for me and my family and is a special place, especially in the summer. I particularly love some of the first swims I had this year when it was still cold, but it was the kind of cold that lets you know you are alive, it awakens every nerve in your body and though your initial reaction is to leap out of the water, I never get tired of the sensation of getting used to the temperature. I also got the opportunity to swim in Lake Michigan which I always love. Swimming in Lake Michigan usually involves me running from the beach into the water as fast as I can because it is usually the kind of cold that makes your body go numb, and this is the only way I know I will get in. What I love about Lake Michigan is the shear power and intensity of the waves, it feels as though she is constantly reminding me that she is a body of water that demands respect, and if I forget that for one minute she is sure to remind me by pummeling me with another wave. It reminds me of swimming in the ocean which I don't get to do very often but have fond memories of the times that I have. My most recent swimming experience was memorable not for the swimming but for another reason. My friends and I went camping at a state park in Indiana which included a lake. Now this was a fairly large lake with a teeny tiny spot allowed for swimming, a spot that was roped off and only swimming within it's boundaries was allowed. This was enforced by a woman (a DNR/ Conservation Officer) who on a occasion randomly would come out with a bull horn and from a distance reprimand any one who was violating the confinement of the rope. Oh but this was only one of her many duties, she was also responsible for the enforcement of the "buddie check". I can only ever remember doing a buddie check when I was at Girl Scout camp many moons ago, so when I was swimming within inches of total strangers in water up to my upper waist and was ordered to leave the water and find my buddie, at first I found this annoying, but later it was one of the highlights of my trip. Observing all of the people move as group out of the water, some looking around with the same puzzled look that I had "are we really supposed to get out", while others walked out with a air of familiarity. My absolute favorite were the children who briskly walk out like they were well aware of the consequences of not finding their buddy, and also well aware that the quicker they were the faster they could get back in the water. This was the best part and one I will remember for a long time, when she gave the signal to go back in the water the children all ran as fast as they could back into the water as if their life depended on it. This was a beautiful sight both because it reminded me of being a kid who never wanted to get out of the water, and because it is impossible not to smile when you are in the presence of such shear joy displayed by children.

-My cats. They have the wonderful ability of displaying exactly how I feel when it is hot. I mean so hot that all you want to do is lay down, where the act of breathing feels like too much movement, and so they lay there like flat fur pancakes so as to capitalize on the most surface area, and embody what I wish that I could doing on these hot summer days.

-My vegetable garden. This is my first garden and I love it. It is exactly what I wanted it to be and the best part about it is that I find that it is teaching me so much more than how to grow vegetables. So this doesn't become another piece like the above description of swimming I will hold off for another post soley dedicated to my garden.

-Friends. I have a wonderful group of friends and lots of good memories already this summer. Some highlights; sitting on my porch drinking beer and talking about our days, after making a wonderful dinner together that I know will for sure be followed up with a trip for ice cream later. Day and weekend trips where we created more memories and shared parts of our lives with each other that further binds our friendships.

-Play games. The kind of games where someone eventually has to establish a time limit or it feels like we will never stop. And having the opportunity to play Sequence, one of my favorite games, with the maximum of 12 people and naming myself "the closer" for having the luck of being able to win the game for my team on more then one occasion.

-My Family. Summer is always a time that we have the largest number of us together, and though because of my own doing I can sometimes feel like an outsider in my family, I appreciated the time we get to spend together. Especially the times that I spend with individual family members, or when it is a smaller group of us, it is these times that a cherish and love my family for.

And eventually the Sun. Summer and all things that it brings to my life would not be possible without the Sun. Mornings when the cool night air is still lingering and sitting in the Sun can feel so good. The amazing golden light that the Sun reflects on everything at the end of the day. The intensity in the middle of the day that reminds you how powerful the Sun is. The energy that the Sun brings to all living things that live to their fullest potential in the summer.

I thank the Sun and Water, my friends and family, and my cats for my Summer.


Place of Stillness

Right now it is my favorite time of day, dusk. I can remember loving dusk even when I was a child. One of my favorite feeling memories from childhood was taking a walk after dinner at my Grandma's house when it was dusk. There is something about it that shifts things for me, somehow it leads me to a place of stillness and I experience a sense of true calm. This night in particular is one of my favorite kinds of dusks, the sky is overcast like it could rain but it won't, and the air is cool, but soft and warm at the same time, and every once in while there is a slight breeze but mostly it is still. It is like everything around me the trees, the plants, the birds, the people, everything is taking a deep relaxing breath after one of those long and tiring days. Like one of those days when it feels so good just to sit down and be done with the day.

I feel as though I have reached one of many dusks in my life recently. I have finally come to a place of resolve regarding one my family relationships. Without going into a long description, it has been a long and painful journey from me to get to this place. A place where I can take a deep breath and be happy that I have found what I was looking for, and though my journey may not be over, I have reached my place of contentment and if feels really nice. I can tell you for sure that during my journey I could not imagine getting to this place, or for that matter that a place like this existed. Just like during one of those days when life just seems crazy and then you get to the end of the day and you sit down and realize it is over and you can breath, just like dusk. This reminds my of one of my favorite quotes...

I beg you...to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer ...
-rainer maria rilke


Performance Anxiety

So somehow I have managed to get stuck when it comes to blogging. I have been thinking about what to write about for many days now and nothings seem to be good enough for me. This somehow betrays the very reason I decided to write in the first place. This was going to be a space to reflect on my day, so how did I get to a place where I had nothing to say. I guess that when I have a story to tell I can write for hours but when it comes to writing about a day that was just normal I get lost.

This seems to be a theme in my life so far, at times when I am confronted with what's new in my life I freeze and have nothing to say "nothing new with me". Then I experience all this anxiety because I have to come up with something and of course I am stuck in some place void of any thing interesting, and then all of a sudden my life gets pasted by. Mostly this happens with people that I would like to be able to share more with, but somehow I end up getting scared and fall back on "nothing new". So somehow this space has become that person that I want to share with but can't. What if my life isn't interesting enough, what if I don't have anything to say, what if you think I am boring. So the fear bubbles up to the surface and hands over my two options 1) Stick to what you are good at, tell a story, people like your stories. 2) Go with the "nothing new here" that usually takes the attention off of you and you can move on. Well I would like a new option so here it is I am going to be present in the moment and say that I am scared and I have anxiety about what to write about. Sometimes it might not feel like it was good enough, it might not feel like I did my best, it might be scary to say somethings, but I am going to say them anyways. This is about me and sometimes all those things apply to who I am and all that I can do in this life is be honest with myself, so that is what I am going to do. I am going to accept my life for what it is and use this space to honor it.


Tales from the Lawn Part Deux

So I think that after this post I should have "had my say", one of my mother's favorite sayings, in regards to my lawn care. One of the strangely bizarre things that happens to me while I am doing yard work is I always manage to attract some of the weirdest people into my space. It is like my presence in my lawn becomes some sort of homing beacon, or powerful magnetic force that pulls people to me. Part of it at first I know had to do with the fact that for a long time I was using some unorthodox means of lawn care (i.e. using and old fashion push lawn mower or weed whacking my entire lawn). Most of the time people would comment that it has been a long time since they had seem one of those, referring to my pust mower. One time when I was still renting, a man had observed me using my push mower and simply "could not take it any more", and came over with his gas mower and mowed my lawn for me. At the time I was willing to let him because I was seconds away from what felt like death by heat stroke. However, as this became a common theme, I evetually got annoyed with the constant comments or offers to mow my lawn for me. My standard response became, "No thank you I like the exercise", as I gasped for air. The part that gets me is that I have seen other people in my own neighborhood with the exact same pust mower as me and I have often wondered if they experienced the same commentary that I did while mowing their lawn.

Since my partner and I bought our current house I have experienced something entirely new when it comes to mowing my lawn. I have acquired an audience. There is a young boy who lives down the street from me, whose name is Michael, and he is utterly fascinated with lawn care. When Michael hears my lawn mower he is like a moth to a flame, he comes quickly over to my house where he proceeds to literally follow me around up and down the yard as I mow the lawn. Now I believe that Michael is a really sweet boy who has been nothing but completely nice to me, but this kind of drives my crazy. And to top it off his tutor/babysitter has recently joined him, though she is obviously not as interested in watching me struggle to push my lawn mower all over the yard. This became evident today while I was mowing the lawn and she brought a plate of food over with her to keep her occupied while I proceeded to put on my show of "girl mowing lawn". Even though she does not share in Michael's fascination she still manages to keep her attetion on me and my every move. There is really no way that I can see out of this since I believe it would break Michael's heart not to be able to partake in this ritual. However, this does add to the drama surrounding mowing the lawn as I explained a few days ago because any time that something goes wrong, which is usually the case, Michael is right there asking why the mower stopped working, how was I going to fix it, and just about every other question possible regarding the situation. This is especially hard because at those moments I want to scream terrible obscenities at the lawn mower which is not really the thing I want a child audience for.

So as I read over this post I am realizing that by simply acknowleging the dramas that I encounter each time that I mow the lawn, it seems like they no longer have the same feel to them . Somehow through this process I have dissipated my anxiety about something going wrong everytime I mow the lawn. I have also come to the realization that even though Michael drives me crazy I am unwilling to take something away from him, like watching me mow my lawn, because I can see that somewhere it fulfills a much larger purpose for him than simply annoying me. So I guess the struggle of mowing my lawn is something I am learning to let go of, which I must say feels kind of nice.



Do you ever feel like you are destine for certain things in this world? I am not talking about the romantic version of destiny like you are destine for one person or that you hold the key to saving the human race. There are certain things in my life that I feel the universe has decided are going to be my personal responsibility/life challenge. For instance I have the unbelievable luck of always, and I am talking about a very high percentage of the time, having to change the toilet paper on the toilet paper roll. There is rarely a day that goes by where I don't have to change the toilet paper. Let me reassure you that a majority of this takes place at my place of employment where I share the restroom with several people, yet I feel that I share the brunt of the changing of the toilet paper. Well I've come to accept this destiny, even though at times, mostly at my house, I will out right refuse to change it leaving the roll to balance sideways in limbo on the holder while I tempt fate. What I have not come to accept is the destiny that I will forever be cursed when it comes to mowing the lawn.

There has been a struggle ensuing between myself and the care of my lawn ever since I was charged with the responsibility of maintaining the height of my grass. Let me enlighten you with a few of the details. It started when I was renting a house in which I was responsible for the lawn, of course I didn't have a lawnmower, and my jackass landlord did not provide me with one, so what was I to do. Well I didn't want to buy one, so I found a place where you could rent one by the hour. If you have never rented a lawnmower, and don't have a truck, it basically involves putting and gas smelling, filthy, heavy piece of machinery in your trunk and driving cautiously home every time you have to mow the lawn. As you can imagine this is not easy, so my diligence in lawn mowing did not live up to the expectations of my landlord or the city ordinace. Then the pressure was on so I decided that I would buy an old fashion push lawn mower for two reasons. 1)I would be doing my part not to pollute the air anymore than I had to. 2) I was unwilling to accept the idea that there was a possibility that I could own a lawn mower and the damn thing might not start. Now I will not trash the push mower because it is a beautiful thing for those two reasons, however the one thing is does not accommodate is someone who procrastinates until it is absolutely necessary, in which case it just rolls over the grass and forces it lay flat for a short period of time. I so wanted a good relationship with my push mower that I tried for a very long time to make it work. I even went so far as borrowing a weed whacker from a friend and weed whacked my entire yard, on more than one occasion, so that I could start fresh with the push mower. BUT destiny, which is probably more like my unwillingness to be diligent when it comes to lawn care, must be fulfilled.

Eventually I decided to let my brother buy me a traditional gas sputtering, polluting lawn mower. Of course it was used and the damn thing didn't start when I got it home sooo... I was back to alternating between weed whacking my entire yard and using the not so precise push mower. Then my mom had an extra lawn mower and she ask me if I wanted to use it and I tempted fate again and said ok. That work for a handful of times but after the winter season it wouldn't start. Now this whole endeavor has lasted 6 years and I am very testy when it comes to mowing the lawn and everytime I have to do it I am just waiting for something to go wrong. So when my wonderful mother made the offer to buy me a brand new lawn mower this year, with hesitation I accepted. I used it once and it worked beautifully, with the exception that I experience a lot of guilt for using a gas mower. So now what do I have to complain about. Ah tonight I struggled with myself "should I mow the lawn or take it easy--well it is getting long and the neighbor just cut his-- screw it just go do it." The mower starts great, I'm going a long and bang there is this horrific noise and it stops, I move it aside and see the small (like the size of and orange) rock. I think well it just stopped the mower so I try to start it and I discover that the rock has completely destroyed the blade on my new, supposed to work for the rest of my life, lawn mower. But I refuse to accept this as my destiny I will over come, I marched out to my mower tool box in hand and I removed that mangled blade. I will take fate into my own hands, I will fix my lawn mower, I will not let this defeat me.

Yet somehow I can't help but believe that I am still going to mow the lawn with a constant cloud of dread that something is going to go wrong, that it is somehow my destiny. Or maybe some how I am creating my own destiny through my continuous belief that things won't work out.


First Post

So this is my first post I have decided to start blogging because I am looking for a way to honor my everyday experiences and look at my days reflectively. I find myself lost in meaningless thoughts or mindless activities and I am tired of wasting my time in those places. I thought I would try blogging as a means to keep me on my toes and help me to reflect on my days. I feel the need to add the disclaimer that I am not a good speller and I have never learned to embrace grammar so please bear with me.

I chose to title my blog as Turning Tides because I am trying to embrace that fact the my life is constantly changing and I will forever be in transition. I chose to call myself driftwood because I want to be able to let go and float along with my ever changing life and not fight it or go against it but just be in it. Of course I am referring to the natural course of my life and not the state of our world. Because from my view the state of the world invokes nothing but going against the tide that is pulling us away from everything I feel is right. So on a personal level I am learning to go where the tide takes me, but on a social/political level I am struggling because all I want is for the tides to change. Then again it really isn't all that easy for me to separate my personal struggles from those of the world so I guess what I am trying to do is find a balance and trust that I will know when to let go and I will know when to fight.