> jumping into life.


well, when the doctor told me that the medicine would turn my urine orange, i wasn't impressed. i'd been pissing blood for two days - my urine was pretty orange already. but good god, what an orange it is. he should have said "flourescent."

in other news, antarctic ice cores also show that carbon-dioxide levels today are significantly higher than they have been at any other point in the last four hundred and twenty thousand years. [from rabi]


perhaps it was the hail that woke me and kept me awake most of the night; perhaps it was the impossible rain that fell in sheets and mists and big fat dollops througout the day. no matter. i woke up in the wrong skin yesterday, with my bones too long for my flesh and my joints creaking. all day i tried to play it off, blame it on hunger, on coffee, on too little sleep, but it was no use. all my laughter was brittle and sharp, all my silences guarded. he joked when he came over for dinner that i was finally comfortable enough to let my crazy out in front of him. i was pacing the kitchen, pacing the house, caged in my body as my mind crackled and spat like wet wood burning, smoke filling my eyes. he left without doing the dishes, and they sit there still, rotting. i'm better this morning, just an itching at the base of my neck and an ache that tells me to run. but i don't run. it's no use, and the sun is back today anyway.


a storm is brewing: impossible. it does not rain here between march and july, and most certainly not at the end of april. but the hairs along the back of my neck and the ache in my lungs tell me it will. nevermind the deep clouds and the wind: my body knows.


wind swims out of the west and knocks my bike down, where it was leaning against the fence; it flutters the pages of my book and turns the day from hot to warm, eventually blowing it all the way down to cool. i am immersed in myself today, with no phone or threat of phone to interrupt me. i realize how much of my time and energy is habitually focused on that little device: on the supposition that at any moment, something better might come along. yes, i am on my porch, in the sun, with a book and a pint of haagen-daz, but someone could call me any time, with gossip or an invitation or bad news. somehow, being without is like being in the backcountry. there is a sense that, of course, the world is going on without me, but i may as well not worry myself about it now. so instead i enjoy the book and the sun on my toes, ride my bike to paint some butterfly wings for the earth day parade, make a sandwich with rye bread and savor the glory of living alone. i would like to spend a few days more in this haze of semi-isolation, while the last edges of winter slip away and the wind throws around the newly budded branches like rice at a wedding.

last night i felt sick and part of me hoped it would last through to monday, give me some excuse to be alone a while longer. perhaps it is a phase, or a side effect of some other change, but i find myself needing quiet, and space, and solitude much more than i had previously suspected i might.


i don't know how many times i wrote it, when i was doing all that writing last year, but today for some reason it hit me viscerally like it hadn't before: i'm not perfect. i am the opposite of perfect. i am flawed, and struggling, and falling, and failing. i hurt people. i am selfish. i don't mean this to be a self-deprecating monologue, just a raising of my hands - not to avoid responsibility, but to say, look, really, i'm doing the best i can. right now i can't see any way to live my life that doesn't hurt people sometimes; right now i don't know how to say no to love when i taste its promise. right now, i can't always unwind my desires enough to make the right decision. i can't always make the right decision. so i'm sorry. i'm not perfect, but i am trying.


hey folks:
i lost my cellphone, which is the only phone i have. if you need to get in touch with me before i figure out what i'm going to do about that, you can email me, leave a comment here, or leave me a voicemail, which i'll check when i have someone else's phone handy to borrow.

in other news, i just had a most brief but lovely visit from my bestest friend and her friend she's gonna be living with when they get to texas; it is sunny, soft and beautiful out; i am sunburned and happy; i got a fabulous book at my early birthday party last night; and the quarter is almost over.

(nika-bobika! i was going to call you but now i have no phone. i'll call you when i get a phone again.)


i've been spending my sundays out hiking: easter, we went out to the burn and watched life struggling up through the ashes, and saturday night, after spending a disappointing day in phoenix, we camped out at the agua fria, and spent all day yesterday following the river. well, let's be honest here: spent all day yesterday looking at plants. we found about two dozen species of wildflowers, several of which none of us had seen before, and although it took us a few hours to make the ususally-fifteen-minute hike from the trailhead to the river, after a while we gave up on trying to key everything out or look it up in one of our guides, and just marveled at the immense amount of life surrounding us. we had no particularly amazing experience, like the herd of deer that stampeded us last week, or the bobcat we watched catch a rabbit down by the desert museum, but we did have one long, beautiful day of perfect sunny weather, perfect cold, running river, and a riot of flowers that may bloom once every ten years.

last night, in my dream, for reasons i don't remember, i listed everything i am grateful for. it started with my family: loving parents, safe home, close siblings; and my friends: trustworthy, gentle, kind. all the loves i have had and will have, all the people indelibly made part of myself. and then, for a childhood that raised me to believe in who i am, with good habits that help keep me healthy. ah, and then health. thankful that i am able to climb the hill to argue over smoketree or canotia, thankful that my lungs work, and my eyes. and eventually, i found myself, dreaming, naming (in latin, no less) every plant i could think of: thankful for galea spinosa, cercocarpus montanus, arctostaphylos pringlei and pungens, salix goddingii, populus fremontii and tremuloides, and it went on and on, names i can't remember and maybe don't know, all the plants i've ever seen, the pines and oaks and flowers, the plants that make food, the plants that make air, the plants that make life.

i'm taking a cue from this quarter, and the depth of frustration i've felt when i want to be geeking out in the woods, but instead i have to write a paper about the role of women in traditional shaker culture (which is awesome, by the way, but simply not where my interest lies right now). in the fall (after my summer of farmwork), i'll be taking plant bio, soil science, and geology, and helping build the herbarium. most of what i say at that point will probably be unintelligable to most people - one of my good geeky friends is graduating this may, and i can only hope that he sticks around for a while so i'll have someone to talk to when i need to clarify whether a given plant is glaucinus or ochroleucus. or when i need to make sure i'm still a real person, because sometimes its hard to tell.

(and sometimes i think i'm just fading away.)