Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Monuments, Revisited.

A dozen years ago, as a young, interested, wide-eyed student, I moved to Paris for a term.  I lived there the same way I would live as a student anywhere- with my head in the books.  Oh sure, I took the trips, I visited museums and family, I ate and drank with my friends and got into all manner of trouble.  But I was, essentially, a student.

This past weekend I made it back to Paris for the first time (layovers at Charles de Gaulle notwithstanding) and it was like being there for the first time, again. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

F*ing Grizzlies.

I am not a suicidal person.  One could make the argument that the eating disordered are, by nature, passively suicidal.  I would beg to differ- I starve myself for many reasons, death is not one of them.  But I digress.

I am not a suicidal person.  I don't have suicidal tendencies, I don't harbor death wishes.  I don't fear death, but I'm not actively seeking it out by my own hand.

That being said, there are some times (lately more times than not) that I don't want to live in this world.  There are times that I don't want to live in this world that we've so overwhelmed and so distressed and so degraded.  I don't want to live in this world that we are merrily destroying.

I'm no Pollyanna, folks, that much is obvious.  I'm not a sunny-side, always on the sunny side, keep on the right-side, etc., kind of gal.  Nope, I'm an eyes-open, brain churning (sometimes stomach churning) inquisitive, questioning, scathing kind of gal.*  I doubt a lot.  I read a lot more.  So it's nearly impossible for me to ignore the articles that I come across which state that the educational gene is failing in human beings; that bees have been put on the endangered species list; that primates are increasingly endangered.**  (It's impossible for me to ignore the man coming into the United States Presidency under a banner of hate, discrimination, and ignorance.)

It pains me.

There are days that I wake up and don't want to be a person who is living in/on and hurting this beautiful, miraculous planet.  I'm being serious here.  Look up the f*ing statistics about the distance from the sun, the atmosphere, the development of provocative, interesting, intelligent beings.   Look up evolution the way it happened.  The timeline.  The fact that humans have been on this planet for less than a split second in the grand scheme of things.  We are the miracle- or rather, we are privileged to have been born from the primordial past of this miraculous planet.  Some people believe in God-the Almighty, Yahweh, Allah, etc.  And that's cool.  But I believe in the Earth.  I believe in the planet that sustains and nurtures us.  And it terrifies me, shames me, that we have so irresponsibly beat her down.

That we have sown the seeds of our own demise so recklessly and with such abandon.  Because we are not the Number One here... she is.  And we've ripped this world apart like... like nothing short of a Hollywood analogy could describe.

It kills me.

Tonight I'm tired.  And I'm bummed.

And tomorrow it's no doubt going to be worse.

*Don't get me wrong.  I like my life.  I have a good life.  I count myself among the lucky few who love deeply, are greatly loved.... and who have dogs lol.  But seriously.  I am going to school, I am living abroad, I am adventuring as much as I can.  I like my life.

**The Iceland study/Education gene... welllllll..... I mean... I do have to pose the question- how many times have you (or I) been told that you are the kind of person who should have kids?  I have a queer feeling that there is an alarming number of incredible intellectual folks out there who are not having kids (see the article) because of.. whatever reason they are not having kids.  And those are the people who need to have progeny.  Those are the people who could stand to raise a kid.

Fo. Sho.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


If I've stated it once, I've stated it a hundred thousand times: I don't like the New Year's Celebration.  I don't like New Years Eve, I think it's a silly, arbitrary holiday with silly, arbitrary traditions (see Dick Clark, ball dropping, etc).  I don't like the idea of setting oneself up for failure with unrealistic (and silly and arbitrary) resolutions.

I have posted on the New Year, and New Years Resolutions before.. I've written about love and survival in these posts.  But this year is different for me.  This year I've spent time thinking about where I am, who I am, and most importantly how I came to be both where and who I am. 

And what I realized, after some time, is that I've strayed away from my roots.  Or rather, that I wanted to get back in touch with my roots - those things that make me me, those things that I have maybe lost touch with over the past couple of years.  So I set about discovering (rediscovering?), determining, identifying, and finally gathering close those aforementioned things.  

In the process of doing so, I slowly began to understand that this was/is supposed to be the year of reclamation.  I came to the understanding that what I have let slip away from me are the fundamentals- the core beliefs and meanings- of who I am.  And in order to get that back, it means boldly embracing everything I have loved over time:


Nature in all of it's Norwegian (read slightly sadistic) glory.

The wind.  The sea.  The sky.  The Earth. 

The music at which I now cringe...

(the grammatical errors which would have seen me end the previous with a dangling participle)

My belief in childlike adoration of wonder. 


Everything that can be good, graceful, and real



Blunt. Ness. 


The written word.  

The written word. On this last point a quick note.  Over this past year I have not given as much of myself or my time to what I consider the most important expression.  I could laugh it off and/or blame my new pursuit of a BS in Environmental Science (it's a time suck to which I have dedicated myself with a begrudging zeal).  To honor honesty, however, I've been stuck.  My words have been stuck somewhere outside of me.  Without access to them, I've been staring.  I stared at blank pages.  I stared at myself, I stared at my fingers, sitting still on a keyboard.  I stared at the blinking cursor, taunting me to reach.  

To reach. 

I have sat back on my writing this year- sat back on this blog.  There's been a lot going on in my life but there's also been an unexpected fear of judgment creeping into my mind, my thoughts, my fingers.  And, uncharacteristically, I let that fear still me.  

And for that I am sorry.  I am sorry to the words I cheated, the words I left, the words I hid.  I'm sorry to those I left behind.  

But this year, I put my root down.  I go back and touch base, embrace it all.  I kick it root down.  

A Spreading Stain.

That moment when something fluid and dark hits something light.  It begins to spread, and consume.  The inky creep of dark things against light. The middle is still thick, viscous, glistening.  But the edges are creeping- they are spreading out from the center, like little liquid soldiers on their little liquid missions. 

That is the progression of a bad mood- but not just any bad mood, the kind of bad mood that infects everything, and everyone around you.  It's the creep of toxic foul thoughts that begins in your (hopefully) irrational brain, overwhelms your rational brain, and then leeches into your entire being.  It is the spreading stain.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Ruminations on Generations

It's distressing to go back to being an adult* after you've been your parent's kid, again, for a few weeks.

I am pretty unabashed when it comes to my good relationship with my mom and dad.  They've put up with a lot from me and I've gotten a lot from them in terms of emotional, physical, and (yes) financial support.  A college friend of mine once told me that I was literally the most emotionally spoiled kid she had ever met- largely because my parents usually picked up the phone when I called.  Or emailed me back pretty quickly.  Or came to visit me relatively frequently.  You know... things that to me seem normal, things that to others seem... unusual.

But I digress.  My parents and two of three of my husbands parents just came to Norway for Christmas (mine stayed through New Years but you get the idea).  I got fifteen days with my mom and dad.  Fifteen days to be a kid again, to try and not make decisions, to reap the benefit of mom agreeing that I really do need that pink sequined skirt and absolutely taking my side in everything.  Fifteen days of biological partners in crime.

And dropping them off at the Passport Control Gate in Oslo Airport today was tough.  I tried my best to be a big kid and honestly did better than I thought I would.  I waited until after they were out of sight to start crying.  Because here's the thing- it really only takes a few days (and I had many more than that) to remember that you're always going to be somebody's little girl.  (Here I go fighting tears... again).  It takes just a minute to recall how nice it is to be part of a multi-generational family unit- especially one that spoils you with care and concern.  And it takes absolutely no effort whatsoever to bask in that knowledge.

Which is to say it's a bit of a bummer when the party's over.  It's easy to put it out of your head when you have to.  It's easy to not think about adoring your parents when you have to be present here, without them.  When you have to be a mom (to a dog, CALM DOWN), a student, a wife, a writer, a park ranger, a wanderer, a whatever-it-is-that-you-do.  They are always in the back of my mind and a constant present in my heart and my life... and when they are right next to me, playing cards or making chili or drinking far too much, it's like we've never really been apart.

So it's not an easy thing to let that go at the end of a holiday;  to live an ocean and a couple of continents away from many of the people you love most in the world.  It's an adventure for sure, and a whirlwind, and I would not give up the life that I'm still carving away.... still it's not an easy thing.

But it's nice to see my parents.  Especially at Christmas, and especially to bring 'home' a New Year.

And until next time, I've got my own plane to catch.

*Insofar, that is, that I have the cabability of acting like, or being, an adult.