> jumping into life.


thick dark clouds bubbling at the southern horizon all day, but a desert winter light warmed us as we sat on the back porch with our breakfast: eggs and bacon, pancakes with mango-blackberry compote, cantalope and strawberries, coffee and kahlua. we were talking about how we could edit a local billboard featuring an annoying SUV ad, when one bird out of the chorus that had been chirping at us all morning decided to distinguish himself. the song rose above the others, all melody and early spring, and we fell silent to listen, smiling.

i am gathering my small, sweet moments. i think of them as kin to the local eggs i bought last week: softly rounded and dusted with pale color, peach and gold and the blue of veins under the skin. and inside, the deep sun of promise.


dishes done, house vacuumed, grocery shopping shopped. a break in the rain.

we went hiking, an impulsive, screeching left turn onto a shitty dirt road, then bouncing and dust-raising for a while until the road decided to end. trailhead littered with broken budweiser bottles and bb pellets, cigarette butts and oak leaves. we make it perhaps twenty feet before stopping for the first of unnumerable plant-checks: between the three of us, we figure we know nearly every plant in the county - at least the natives, and at least to genus - but sometimes it's hard to tell if you're looking at ceanothus fendleri or greggii, and we're dorks enough to want to be sure. (it's a matter of opposite versus alternate branch growth and presence or absence of thorns, mostly.) we stop for a bondpland willow/narrowleaf cottonwood argument, and to settle an argument from last time (holly-leaf buckthorn, not shrub live oak, and i won). we look at lots of new baby growth, lots of herbaceous stuff i don't know, we splash around in a river that doesn't usually exist, we watch the clouds. we talk about plants. a lot.

and intelligently. this is some supreme nerdiness i've launched myself into, with real vocabulary and all. suffretescent and scorpioid are my favorites at the moment, though allopatric is up there. we're talking about starting an herbarium at the school (we've also talked about starting a natural history club. or, to be more direct (and accurate) about it, a nature geek club). we pulled off the freeway at your usual freeway speed, skidding to a stop on the shoulder so that he could look at a flower. i find that i wish my professor last quarter had made us learn the latin names.

and what makes it really geeky is that i'm not taking any classes in botany, biology, or, in fact, science at all this quarter. this is a purely voluntary dorkdom, and one that has actually been impeding my schoolwork.

but, and silke i know you're laughing at me, but i'm having a blast. its been a pretty rare thing in my life that i meet someone dorkier than i am, but of the two boys i went hiking with today, one is spending his tax refund on a microscope, the other has cut himself trying to dissect plants in moving cars, and they both ran down a ridiculously steep hill in an even more ridiculous state of excitement to see if the flower at the bottom was a verbena. (apparently, it was.) so i actually end up feeling a little bit dumb sometimes, which is good because it makes me want to know more. which is always good.

(plus, i've got the art bug in me, plus i'm performing this weekend, plus i went dancing last night, plus it's almost spring. my dad sent me roses for valentines day, did i say that? they've been wilting and the petals feathering my floor for the past few days. i finally went to hang and dry them, but then all the petals fell down like velvet confetti and now they're strewn about my kitchen. it's the weekend. hail eris and let there be light. i'm going to bed.)


because my class got out six hours early today, i decided to clean my house and do the dishes that have been piling up for longer than i'd really like to say. it's gotten to the point that i groan and whine and whimper every time i come in the door: the place is trashed, and that makes me stressed, and that makes me not want to corral my energy enough to clean it. vicious cycle. so i was all psyched to do a number on those dishes, with modest mouse blasting and the window open (because it finally stopped raining), but apparently my water has been turned off. and the guy who finally knocked on my door to let me know told me he doesn't know when it'll be turned back on. yick.

however, i did manage to get the rest of the house under control, more or less. i need to buy some stuff for school, but i really don't have any money, really, at all. so that'll wait 'till next month (along with grocery shopping (except toilet paper, which really can't be put off)), until which point i'll try to keep myself organized as best i can.

i was a bawling mess about three days ago, for a variety of reasons, one of which i hadn't pinpointed at the time: i was pms-ing, and as much as i hate to admit it, the day or two before i start my cycle, i'm a crazy, weepy, melodramatic bitch. so apologies all around and i'm much better now, thanks.

a single rye plant can grow three miles of roothairs per day, and up to 5,000 miles in a season. so there's your awe for the day.


in other news, i found a pepsi bottle, a half-full pack of parliment lights, a copy of the heart of understanding, a map of vegas, and some underwear that isn't mine when i cleaned out my car today. y'all missing any of those?


i don't want to talk about it.


for my homework (due tomorrow) i am supposed to relive "a childhood experience of play."

i've talked with some of you about this already.

for the rest, let's just say that i'm beginning to suspect that i was the most neurotic child, perhaps, ever. based on my memories of "play" as a child, i've considered buying some barbies (to dismember), some abc blocks (to make into a series of rhyming words (or, alternately, number blocks to put into number lines)), or some play-doh (to eat). and i pretty much can't do anything that involves other people (which is good, since it's ten o'clock now, and also because i can't think of anyone who would respond positively to the phrase, "hey, d'ya wanna come over and play with little erasers with faces drawn on them?" because that's what i most remember playing with).

no wonder i'm still weird.


today is sleeping late, homework, and bread baking. rain, rain, rain, rehearsal, and more homework. (there is lots of homework, and that's ok. i'm getting used to it again.) tea, leo kottke, and the sound of passing cars, the temptation of my bed.

the rain makes me feel languid and makes me want to bake more. maybe a second loaf of bread, cookies, if it were summer i'd say pie. i find myself increasingly inclined to nest: last night, people i like spending time with asked me to go to The Bar with them, and i declined because i wanted to curl up with my pillows and my women's religion text. i've been very absorbed in making my little house just right, with new plants and new curtains and more pillows and candles and such. it's funny; i harbor this image of the nomad, the gypsy queen who throws everything she needs in a pack and sets off into the sunset, and i've always sort of assumed that that was something i aspired to. really, i don't think it's true. i like having a home, a place to return to, and i like it filled with photographs and knicknacks that remind me of people i love, i like details and pots and pans and flowers. i've passed the point when i can fit everything i want to keep in a single car, much less a backpack. i have the desire to point out that if i lost it all, i'd not be devastated; nonetheless, i do feel much more comfortable, psychologically and emotionally, knowing i have my nice little house to come home to, with all my books lined up. y'all should come see it. it's perfect.


you know you're eating organic when you find a spider, a caterpillar, two rocks, and a lot of grass in your bag of salad greens. it's like an ecosystem in my crisper drawer! and, potentially and less attractively, in my mouth.


see? it gets better already: i bought a sweet little ivy this morning, then breakfast at a friend's, where i met a ton of people i didn't know (but for once wasn't the only one who didn't know anybody), and that somehow stretched most of the afternoon. now i'm making soup, rearranging my plants, preparing to bake bread (whole wheat and nut brown this time), listening to peter and ani. classes start tomorrow, and my mom sent a quarter pound of peppermint tea in my last box from home. my boys'll be back from zion tonight, and it smells like snow. maybe not quite happy, but i'm moving a lot closer to content.


last night i wrote that loneliness had sat down hard beside me, but today she's got the mask of meloncholy solitude. i miss you anew each moment, and that's okay. soon it will be soon again. there is a promise of rain, and an invitation to a grilled salmon dinner tonight, an invitation to breakfast tomorrow. i am not alone here.

still, all i could muster myself to do today was keep the teapot whistling, and it took me until just now, five thirty in the evening, to take a shower. i put my pajamas back on. i miss you.