Brave Wandering Practice

10 23 15

I’m winding my way through the Quest2016 Questions…Here’s some pondering on last week’s prompt from Todd Henry, “foremost voice and authority on how teams and individuals can execute brilliant ideas every day.” He’s also author of a lot of good sounding books*. Here’s the question at hand:

It takes bravery to know your strengths and operate diligently within them. Are you running your race, or someone else’s? 

Races imply finish lines.

That would imply that I have been training and signed up for something and I stood with bated breath at the starting line when the gun went off for some sort of competition. That I am running among some crew of people that are vying to cross some sort of finish line first. Argh. All of that competition makes it so easy to get off course. I know that is not what this question is getting at, but why do I have to be running a race? The competition, the anxiety, the stress, the singular focus?

I know – it’s a metaphor. I get it. It’s probably mean and snarky that I’m saying it doesn’t work for me.

But that helps me hone in on what this question does mean.

If I were to re-write the question, it would ask: It takes bravery to know your strengths and operate diligently within them. Are you charting your own back-country trek, or someone else’s? 

You see, I don’t know exactly what I am doing here. So ‘race’ just doesn’t seem like the right metaphor**. I’m not on a course. It’s not a 5K or a marathon. And it’s not that I’m just not in a race, I don’t particularly want to be racing. That just implies some sort of short term over-exertion followed by a finish line.

I want practice.

Regular. Daily. Practice.

Training.

Practice. To get quiet. To tune in to the voice inside. To play. To uncover my strengths, and through repetition, repetition, repetition – hone them to become as easy as breathing deep. So that when there is a race to run (an article due, a house to design, a poem to write, a prompt to respond to, a book to write) it’s second nature to line up at the starting line and stay focused and sprint in a totally-perfect-to-me-way on that one jaunt – and then recover and keep training and be ready for the next race.

Because this isn’t just one race. And if I face whatever this one creative life is as a race – and not a wonder-filled and wandering journey – if I pretend that I already know the route and the destination – I think I’ll be selling myself short. Just think of all of the trees and skylines and vistas and sunrises and sunsets that I won’t see if I am just focused on one thing ahead.

So, instead of #BraveRace, maybe it’s just #BraveWanderingPractice

*Todd Henry’s books:

**Okay, so I am on a little bit of a race. Today is Day #352 of the #365Quote Project, which is really just a year of very specific, yet not-very-specific practice. If this were a race (which is isn’t, because I just can’t quite see it ending on January 10th) that day would be my finish line. And, what have I learned in this race? I’ve learned that I need practice. That it take a lot of wearing-my-blinders kind of practice to stay honed and centered on what my voice is. What it feels like it coming from me, and not what I think others want to hear. And, to stay tied to that feeling of authentic curiosity and creativity that is sparked from within, and from DIT – not just from following some LEGO kit***.

***Building with LEGO kit instructions makes kids less creatives (Psychology Today)
+ Why You Should Care About LEGO and Creativity (Note to Self)
+ Are Legos Stifling Creativity? (UW Business School)

I Don’t Want to Care About The Answer

4 22 15

Dear Seth Godin,

I hate this question. I hated it last year. I hate it again this year.

It’s tricky. It’s shape-shifting. It’s hard work. It feels like coming up against a tall, stone wall – and I think I can predict what’s on the other side, but I can’t tell exactly – and I am pretty sure my prediction is shallow and wrong and so I have to actually do the work instead of dial it in. And I can’t figure out exactly how to get over the wall. And it all just makes me angry and frustrated and stuck feeling. Because sometimes a girl just wants easy answers, not the very long route over or around the wall. A journey that takes a couple of days.

I call this question a shapeshifter because I don’t see the question the same way you do. (And because it continues to change as I probe at it.) Maybe, I don’t see this¬†missing as part of building my tribe or an audience as you do. For me, it’s about personal relationships and the baggage we heft and carry with us that keeps us unnecessarily holding still because sometimes it’s just too hard to think about hurting people. You see, I don’t fit into that description you assign to people. That we all want to be missed. I don’t want to be missed. Maybe it’s because you’re a man. Maybe it’s because you’ve never suffered from being too nice. Maybe you’ve never been faced with the social norm that says: put other people’s feelings over yours. I don’t want people to miss me, or at the very least I don’t want to think about it – because that holds me back from action.

[Plus – quite frankly – shouldn’t we avoid assuming we know what other people are feeling? I’m not going to assume that I can put words in anyone’s head, nonetheless feelings. So last year, when I answered this question, I started naming the easy stuff. The handful of individuals about whom it did not feel egotistical to assume that they would miss me. The dog. My parents. My brother. I digress…]

Because, to me the thought of being missed is in the same category of being nice. It’s a dangerous thought. It’s one of those things that’s based in other people. What I mean is: you are asking a question that has to do with not just how I act – but how other people respond to how I act. And that maybe there is a certain way I want them to respond, which in turn requires me to act in a specific way to garner that response. And it implies that I may somehow change my actions, my self, because of how people react toward me, and how I want them to act toward me. To me, that makes me feel weaker, not stronger. That stretches me thinner, not growing my roots deeper. It’s a slippery slope. It’s a rubber band that holds me in tight, not the slingshot that catapults me forward at a tumultuous, joyful, chaotic pace into the unknown.

Let me rephrase. Maybe, at my core – I don’t want to care so much about what other people think about me.

Here’s the thing. Here’s why this question stung so bad last year. And why it still makes me curl my lip at you now. Last year, right before this Quest, I stepped out of a long, committed relationship. I left. And my world was full of missing. (Not my missing, but feeling the weight of other people’s missing.) And the kind of missing I couldn’t handle was the thought that there was someone missing me. And that missing caused her suffering. And that I was the cause of that missing, and in turn, suffering. And that, to end her suffering required me to reduce the missing, which meant to go back to something that I didn’t want to go back to. I didn’t want to do it anymore. And if we really want to put it into as few words as possible, in the middle of all of the goop of it – it came down to two sides of the scale. My happiness, or hers? Which is a dangerous place for nice girls who are so good at putting other people first. Who actually wants others to think badly of them? To rock the boat intentionally? I stayed, for a long time. I stayed out of nice and out of fear of another’s painful missing. And it meant that I put someone else in front of me. That missing was a disservice. I stayed based on what other people said they wanted. It was precisely because someone was going to miss me that I stayed – when I didn’t want to. When I shouldn’t have.¬†Missing is inertia. It’s revering something that isn’t present. And if it isn’t present – just let it go.

So, last year, when you asked us Who would miss you? it wasn’t a hypothetical. I had just left. There was this one person who was telling me that she missed me, or any variety of things that could fall under that label. Or, at least that she wanted things to be different. And I had to do everything to talk around this one single fact when answering this question. To ignore that missing. To talk around it. To talk about everything except that. Because, I couldn’t admit that there was someone who did actually miss me. I had to ignore it. To pretend that it didn’t exist. In order to leave, and to stay gone – that last thing I needed to think about what if, and who was going to miss me. Because that question didn’t serve me. That question made me think about others. It took me out of being the center of my world, precisely when I needed to be the only thing at the center of my world. And, sometimes, you need to be the center of your own world. And you know what? Sometimes, sometimes – you just have to put blinders on and totally walk forward and be completely selfish and not care one tiny bit about who misses you and ignore anything except your self and the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other path you are trying to walk.

And quite frankly, I’m not sure this question will be helpful, ever. Looking back, had I stopped to think, or place too much weight upon the answer, of who would miss me – I never would have traveled across the country for the best four-year college experience a girl could have. I wouldn’t have quit my job and packed up my flat and biked cross country. I wouldn’t have felt brave enough to say¬†nope-Mom-and-Dad-I-love-you-but-I-don’t-want-to-live-in-North-Carolina and instead settle down in Wisconsin. I wouldn’t have been strong enough to leave each and every time I needed to. I wouldn’t have the clarity to recognize, each time the need arises, when a relationship, a practice, a job, a pursuit, a person – is past its prime. When it’s not serving me. When it’s just time to move on. Because us nice folks, we place too much weight on what others think. And we don’t want to hurt their feelings. And we don’t want them to suffer in the missing, so we stay. And we miss a lot of really great scenery.

I don’t want to care if they would miss me if I were gone. That fear and discomfort can hold me back. This isn’t about building a bigger audience. Not about building a tribe. It’s about cultivating the willingness to ignore the question, to be brave, to move forward.

So, to make it official, after this long and winding rant. Here’s what I have to say to Seth Godin’s¬†#MissMe questions for the latest Quest2016 prompt:

Would they miss you if you were gone?
I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to ask this question. I don’t want to be bound by the answer. This question doesn’t serve my growth and freedom, it only keeps me locked in with fear. Plus, how could I ever know anyway?

What would have to change for that question to lead to a better answer?
To not care at all what the answer is. To not be a person who acts in a way to avoid hurting the feelings of others. To know the truth and not care so much.

Here’s my response from last year: Nothing to Miss. It ended with one idea, and giant questions. Mostly, that I missed myself when I had lost myself, and this question “Are we to give the world what we think it wants, or are we to give the world our purest, most intimate, most real selves? Perhaps if we give the first of the two, there is nothing for the world to miss?”

I am deeply grateful to Mr. Godin for asking such a shapeshifting question that dragged my responses all over the page, ending up in so many states and counties of importance – while somehow still avoiding the one, very easy answer. I still hate the question, but I am grateful to be asked it again – to dive straight into that pinpoint of centered truth that I wasn’t brave enough to touch last year.

I Will Not See This Coming

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.20.17 PM

Welcome to Day 1 of Quest2016! Today’s prompt is from Susan Piver – “What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is‚Ķ”. Thanks so much to Jeffrey Davis and the team at Tracking Wonder for hosting this second year of the quest. If you want to learn more, or participate (You should! It’s free and awesome!) visit this link. I’ll be sharing my responses to the Quest2016 each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday of December. I wrote a bit more about what the Quest is, and what it means to me, here too.

From this morning…
It’s December 1, and I just did chores without gloves on. It’s that warm out, it’s just that unseasonably warm out. I didn’t see that coming.

And that’s how most if this year has been.

And this is exactly what I most need to tell myself about 2016…that I will not see any of this coming.

If 2015 has taught me anything, it’s that there is a great mystery in exactly what will churn itself up minute to minute, day to day, and week to week to make up this thing we call a year. Looking back one year, to all the hesitation and nervousness and unsure-ness as to the precise contents of my life’s suitcase, I could never have predicted I would be so BIG and full and alive as I write this now.

One year ago I hoped that things would get better. I worked hard to make a plan, a map, that would sail my ship back to the island of brightness I know my best self can inhabit. I had an amorphous vision, lots of feelings (many of which were totally contradictory), a shit ton of uncertainty and a fierce determination. But, frankly, that was it. I didn’t know what life was going to look like. I didn’t know if I would still be farming, where I would be living, how I would spend my days, if spring was going to come again. I didn’t have any answers. I just had a suitcase piled high with ginormous questions.

And I learned to live with those questions. I learned to be comfortable living without answers, but still grounded. I practiced saying I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. I’m not sure. I let answers surface slowly, at their own (very, very slow) pace. I listened deep, and trusted that the answers were somewhere buried inside of me. And that I could find them and trust them if I held still and quiet and poke a flashlight into all of those dark and mysterious places. I learned to trust myself. I grew to listen to the tiny voice inside myself. I kept moving forward, even though I didn’t know where the path was headed. It was hard work. But good work.

But that’s enough about the past. The past is full of really good lessons, but I’m pretty determined to keep moving forward. And what I need to keep telling myself most about this year ahead is that it is chock-full of big questions and big goals and amorphous-big visions – and, ultimately, the content of the days will be full of mystery. And that the meaning of those days will only shine through as they are slowly stacked one on top of the other on top of the other like bricks as the calendar pages flip by and things happen.

And things will happen. Wonder-full things. Mysterious things. Things that don’t make sense. Things that break my heart and feel like unbearable loss. Things that break my heart into a million pieces that get reconstructed to be even bigger and better than before. Things that make me smilecry in the car or the kitchen or while walking in snowfall. Things that feel like they are throwing my boat off course. Things that guide me to a new and totally, joyfully unexpected path. Things like fireflies and fireworks and snowstorms and peonies and cake and sweet kisses and writing so much I run the ink right out of my pen. And all I can do is stay soft and open and take all these things into my heart and build them a little nest. Because, let me tell you, we hardly know the meaning of things as they happen.

What I need to remind myself most about the year ahead is that every day, every second, will be there to meet me – I just have to show up to be present in it. To Be Here Now. That practicing patience will keep me grounded. That farms and creative practices and big ideas are not birthed over night. No, everything BIG and GOOD grows slowly when we show up to glean the absolute most from every day. Like boiling the turkey carcass not once, but twice, into two batches of clear – and then cloudy – stock to store in the freezer as sustenance for the year ahead. I just have to show up, observe, notice, learn, hold still, breathe, smile (and sleep more) and dig deep. I don’t have to have the answers now, I just have to show up to catch them when they fall as bright stars out of this big Southern Wisconsin sky.

Because this year ahead is a giant, unknown mysterious ball of sparkly gold thread that will only unravel itself with the slow turn of time. I want to hold that unwinding thread softly, gently – and knit it lovingly into the arteries of my big, soft, wandering heart.

Happy Questing!
This was originally published, with a whole bunch more words, at the #365Quote Project daily TinyLetter. More on that here.
 

Secrets in My Pocket

My Nana tucked a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of her winter coat at the end of the winter season, the beginning of spring, before sliding the coat into the closet for its hibernation through the bare-armed seasons. Knowing her, each coat was properly dry-cleaned, buttons mended, before slipped on a hanger and housed in the closet.

That way, you’ll have a surprise¬†when it’s time to wear¬†your coat again.

She never hid money in my coat pockets, but she gave me the bills so I could do it for myself. This both pleased me and mystified me twice over: I grew up in Southern California and did not own a true coat. She lived there too, even further south than me, but she had coats. Second, I am not the kind of person who forgets where she puts a twenty, even as a kid.

I am not sure I ever did squirrel those bills¬†away. But this time of year, as the sun stays with us well past five in the afternoon and we’re all starting to feel alive again – buzzing in our hives with anticipation – I allow myself to dream of¬†retiring my winter coat to the closet. Then I reminisce¬†on her¬†tradition of sneaking a treat¬†in¬†the pocket. And I think of her with fondness, standing in the sewing room, with the mirrored, sliding closet door, telling me about stashing¬†away money for future joy.

It seems to me, sneaking a treat into the pocket of a loved one at this time of year is more appropriate. When the snow-cover feels interminable, the single and negative digits become heavy, not joyful. When we need a nudge to stick through just a few more weeks, until mud season, then the verdant.

I’ve never been one to mourn the end of summer, not needing a nudge from a twenty dollar bill to avoid a dread of winter. I love the long, heat-packed days, but I start to yearn¬†for¬†the first cool, crisp, jacket-deserving nights of fall before they arrive. Looking forward to the true still¬†of winter.¬†The first nights I¬†notice the crickets aren’t chirping, and neither are the frogs, but there is frost on the windows in the early morning. A mandate to hold still and take notice. Knowing the joy of a full moon reflecting off fresh snow¬†on a clear, star-sparkled midnight. Making darkness¬†as light as day. Those are some of the best days of the year.

I love the transition, the shift, the impermanence, the cycle, the inevitable change of the seasons. There is a joyfulness in casting off the season of the past calendar months and welcoming in some thing fresh. Warm, cool, different. There is no way to hold back the shift that is to come, only roll with it and let it guide you, without clinging. And I need to be guided to stillness. Do you?

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. -Anne Bradstreet

Unlike the seasons, I hold onto people with a desperate sentimentality. Maybe never in the right ways, but in the same way she lovingly tucked those twenties into coat pockets. Trying to hide them from myself, but hoping I stumble across them on a rainy day when my heart is in desperate need. Stashed polaroids, notes, letters from camp, pebbles, shells, bottle caps, memories as etherial as downy feathers and full moon light. The last letters I wrote her, from faraway Taiwan, weeks before I knew she was in to and out of the hospital. How she scratched the bottoms of my feet with her long, pearlescent fingernails, the striped gymnastics leotards gifted for birthdays, the way she always treated me like an adult Рlong before I was one. Monte Cristo sandwiches at the fancy restaurant while back-to-school shopping. Packing my heart full of the goodness, and pure presence. Life as is.

#365quote

A post shared by ¬ę vanessa jean ¬Ľ ‚§Ķ (@maketimefarm) on

I mend the holes in my pockets, over and over, to prevent the mass of the tiny world of her, the one I have sculpted of her ephemera, from falling through, onto the sidewalk or car floor or hardwood below me. Gone forever. I worry about the memories that float out of my mind before I register them, before I know they are even disappeared.

Today I stop to think about all I carry in my pockets. The¬†pockets of my pants and coat¬†and heart and life. The things we all tote with us.¬†Memories stitched into the ventricles of our hearts. Words tattooed to the folds of our minds. The way I¬†hold onto people, and don’t let them leave me. The tiny bits of memories and hopes and sparks and tissue and old-receipts and joy.¬†The ability, after years, for the weight of the bad to sift through, leaving me with the lightness of remembrance and reflection. Sweetness and fondness.

– – –

I started¬†this post weeks ago. As the days were just cresting back to fuller length. At the first hope of retiring my coat to the closet for a stretch of months. The first time spring felt just around the corner, before it felt distant again. Today is my Nana’s birthday. She’s long since passed into a new and different place, but she’ll always be tucked in my pocket, and I’ll always carry her with me.

Time Ambulance, Sparkle Practice

Sometimes I am a terrible reader. Sometimes it’s auspicious.

Time Ambulance. Sparkle Practice.

These are my “creative” readings from this evening. AKA, things I did not read correctly. Well, maybe I read them in the way I needed to, correctly for me. The first I jotted down on my folder as a note for later. [I write lots of notes for later, do you? Things that catch my eye that I may want to write about or noodle or plant later? They are ALL OVER.]¬†The second sent me straight to my computer. One inspiring mis-read in a night is one thing. But two? Two back-to-back that make me want to sing? Let the flow begin.

Time Ambulance.

The¬†actual words on the page were “time abundance”, but I like my version a lot better. My time ambulance wee-ooo-wee-oo-wheee-ooos down the roadway all the time, pushing all of us huddled in cars and huffing on bikes to the gutters of the roadway, stopping us in our tracks. The time ambulance careens me to a halt, as it whisks away another idea, project or dream that will not be seeing the light of day today, or tomorrow, or maybe anytime.

At first I imagined this metaphor with time itself in the back of the ambulance, oxygen mask strapped to its wispy face, and a nice paramedic saying “hang in there Mr.¬†Time, we’ll make it.” As if¬†time is somehow on life support, in critical condition! Fragile and emergency-like.¬†Time is not the ambulance’s patient, it’s the driver.

It can feel that way, when time races by and jolts lightening strikes of panic in my tummy. And in my panic, what do I do?

I yield and watch it fly by.

In reality, I don’t actually yield¬†and watch time pass. Yielding implies some sort of soft and subtle understanding and flexibility in the situation. That is not what I do. I pull over and flail and hold my breath when passed by the time ambulance.

Time is the one thing, along with gravity, that isn’t fragile. It’s not abundant. It’s not scarce. It’s not fragile, it’s not strong. It just is.¬†And it’s our job to just figure out how to be in relationship with it. (Seeing a relationship theme around here lately?)

My relationship is futile. I make lists and try to be overly organized and plan, a lot. Not because this is an effective strategy, but because it’s just my coping strategy, and it always has been.¬†I know the core of the problem. I know the route and the schedule of the time ambulance – but I feel utterly powerless (or frankly, unwilling) to change it.

Here’s the problem (or to be more kind, the root). I’m 34, and I have still not learned how to appropriately estimate what I can fit into one single day. I can not, realistically, estimate how long it will take me to accomplish one small task. Shouldn’t this be a skill to have learned by this point in life?¬†I can not be realistic about this. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I bite off more than I can chew, at least in the planning stages in my head.

So, at the end of each day, or sometimes even by 10 in the morning, the time ambulance is whisking away the wheezing corpse of a project that will not be accomplished today. Not because it can’t be done, but because I have not given it a realistic shot at a breath of life with the way I pack ideas into a day like sardines into an oily tin can. I can burn the midnight oil, I can set the alarm extra early, but the proportion of hours gained is paltry compared to what dreams of achievement I weave into them.

Sigh.

There is plenty of time. There is always plenty of time. As long as I can wrestle my expectations about what I can responsibly and reasonably¬†fit into that time. Time isn’t the problem, I am.¬†As a “type-A oldest child perfectionist kind of being”, to steal dead-on, smarty-pants words¬†typed by¬†Brenna Layne¬†earlier today, I still hold on to this notion that I can do anything, and I can do it well, and I can make it fit. (Ha!)

When younger, there was a certain pride in over-accomplishing. I was fresh enough to handle all-nighters and over-loaded schedules. I thrived on a calendar that treated time as a full-blown, panic-filled, emergency crisis every minute. Full of hustle, arriving late, and all the anxiety that brings forth. (And, I happen to be a procrastinator, and a lingerer, and a hard-to-get-started-er, which eats time like chickens peck leftover salad greens.) But I would like to change all this now, as time begins to show her hand to me, and because eight hours of sleep is a dreamy, functional sort of thing.

So then the question becomes, how to pare down? What serves me well, and what does not? What adds value, and what skims savings off the top of the pot? What engenders my heart leaps, and what dredges the deep bottom with the weight of a lead anchor? What still keeps me up late, but refreshes my soul like a long rest on a soft mattress? What is useful action throughout the day, and what is valuable inaction?**

The thing about a real ambulance is, when you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror, time does momentarily stop. The only thing that becomes important is to pull over and stop your vehicle and let that darn red truck with its important passengers get to where it needs to go, so that some real work can be done. And say a tiny prayer. You just pull over. Yield. Abide. For real.

[Thanks to Jeffrey Davis and Tracking Wonder for the #LiveTheQuest nudge to consider our relationship to time.]

Sparkle Practice

Thanks to my dear friend Miss P, I was navigating Sage Cohen’s Radical Divorce blog over dinner. In reality, the words along the banner read¬†Spiritual Practice,¬†but I saw Sparkle Practice,¬†and nearly jumped out of my seat. A sparkle practice? A sparkle practice! I don’t know what that is, but I want a piece of that practice pie.

I imagined myself throwing glitter confetti in spurts of joy at strangers in surprise moments. I envisioned a special sparkle in my eye as I cast the world brave smiles while walking down the street every day. I imagine the perfect way it feels when my thoughts and emotions conspire and produce crisp, mirrorball reflections on paper.

And since a sparkle practice is just a brand-new kind of spiritual practice – I guess I can make it whatever I want it to be. Heart to head to hand to glitter.

Happy Sparkling.

– – – – –

**I am grateful to¬†now call myself owner of the¬†“Murphy Brown desk”. This is the desk in my parents’ bedroom as I grew up. Where my mother would pay bills and re-organizer her piles. The telephone books in the bottom left hand drawer, and the scissors in the upper right. (That’s how I was taught the word abscond. “Vanessa, did you abscond with the scissors again?” I usually had. They were the best scissors in the house, and even back then I was remiss to put anything back where I sourced it from. Old habits die hard.) Back to the desk. When my parents moved out of that growing-up house ten years ago, they were kind enough to hold on to furniture that I might one day want in my grown-up life. I wanted that desk. And now it sits in my office, well used. The wide, flat drawer above the chair space has three¬†yellowed pieces of paper taped to its lip.

Murphy Brown Desk

It’s the middle one that interests me most. I don’t think of my mom as a time waster. But this is calm, comforting and sage advice.

What If

what if
i let myself to,
right now,
fall asleep
right here
on the white-plank floor,
dusted with dog fur,
next to the radiance of the wood burning stove?

a slow and lazy decline
into closed eyes and hard wood against my shoulder
and all the joy of falling
in a place you don’t belong
for sleep.

flanked by the snoring dog,
eggs drying and unpacked in the sink.
cider vinegar apples in the pot on the stove,
next to the cast iron with still-warm olive, canola, butter, pork renderings.
one last time out for the dog, skipped,
as is clearing my dinner plate,
or the bottle of spanish red wine.

the lights stay on,
the fire goes out.

it may be the end of the world
or
just this day.

Prompt Inspiration

So, I do this thing. I hear a snippet, a tiny trail toward inspiration, in a conversation, a phone call, a lecture, an eavesdropped moment, an erroneously¬†addressed e-mail. It sparks the something almost nostalgic, like I know there is a story already inside of me, and the seed I just heard just needed to be planted to bring it forth. A kind of knowing. And so what do I do? I e-mail it to myself, and then never do anything with it. So, in part to pull these threads out of me, and to offer them up to the world…I am taking a new oath to share these shiny spindles of inspiration here. Use them, remind me to use them, share them. How fun if we shared our stories, undoubtedly vastly different, spun from these same fibers.

xo! – vanessa

  • “We were neither fish nor fowl.”
  • I am a hayseed
  • “It works great, my father coffees at the local Amaco.”
  • “I had to go to Home Depot. When something like this happens, I have to put my hands in the soil.”
  • I talked with him, and he was like “I believe in abortion, so I’m OK with eating eggs.”
  • Vintage Pyequik ad.
  • Must Do!¬†I must wash my hair NOW. I needed to do it last night but I was tired. I walked an hour on the dusty arroyo trails and I feel like I need to shower and wash my hair. I’m at home. Call me if you need me.
  • Decision fatigue is a serious problem.
  • chickens v chickens
  • What we talk about when we talk about love
  • I tried to go to church, but it was closed