busy…

lately, i haven’t had a moment to stop, slow down, catch up, or breathe easily. the last few weeks have been filled with new journeys. while still struggling to write about our second journey, buggs and i have completed journeys number four, five, six, and seven.

in comparison to our first three journeys, these have been rather boring and uneventful…perhaps that’s because they have been shorter trips and trips to places that i’ve already been and really don’t interest me.

for the first of these trips, we transported a rottweiler/pit puppy from norman, ok to tucson, az…from there we drove down to odessa, tx and picked up a terrier going to cookson, ok. next, we picked up a bulldog in moore, ok and took to hardy, tx. then we went right back and picked up a bengal kitten in edmond, ok and dropped off in kansas city, mo.

there was really no time to do much photography, except for a half an hour in hatch, new mexico. my driving team was in place as always…my co-pilot buggs and my co-co-pilot j**s…however, as i said these were all fast, long trips…the last one was seventeen hours round trip.

once buggs and i arrived back in oklahoma, we were extremely exhausted and crashed hard. we both woke up feeling worn out and sick. buggs with allergies from all of the pollen in the air and i have been laid flat by the flu. the only time in several days that i’ve been outside, is to take buggs potty.

i have been laying on top of my bed, under my blanket watching house hunters on hulu and going in and out of consciousness. i can’t seem to stay awake for very long. my head is full of snot…i have a fever…and i just basically feel like shit.

i have fallen behind on my blog and i feel bad about it. as i begin to feel better, i want to get back to posting daily and eventually back to posting several times daily. life never really seems to turn out how i plan it, so we’ll just take it as it comes.

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our second journey photos, part six…ritzville, wa to couer d’alene, id to saltese, mt to alberton, mt…

our second journey, part eleven…gig harbor, wa to bremerton, wa…

so, there buggs and i were…surrounded by the beauty of the harbor and the forests. i walked around and took photos.

i felt weird physically. i was having a shooting pain going down my lower spine and it hurt to walk.

i also felt weird psychically…like something was lost or gone and like things were beginning to shift.

i got into the car with buggs, sat down, and smelled the sea air…i was home and it was beautiful. i missed it so.

then, i just felt overwhelming sadness and a sense of loss. the tears came down my cheeks and i sat there sobbing.

when i was finally able to pull it halfway together…which was hard because i was sleep starved.

i made an online reservation at a hotel in bremerton and pointed the car in that general direction.

we drove by the naval yards and saw the big ships and aircraft carriers. we were listening to j**s’s playlist.

by the time we got to the hotel, i could barely walk and i was beginning to slur my words and not make any sense.

i stumbled into the lobby to get the key and nearly dropped to the floor from the excruciating pain that i felt.

i got buggs and i situated and i began writing about everything that i was feeling and thinking.

even though my body had no sleep, my mind was awake and writing and creating. i was wired and focused.

i put my hand in my pocket and pulled out the carefully folded hearts. i took photos and wrote about them.

i stayed up all night and went to asleep finally at about 0300. 0900 came around and i had to crawl to the bathroom.

i couldn’t walk and standing wasn’t much better, i took a hot bath in hopes that it would make things better. it did.

we decided that we weren’t ready to leave home yet and ended up recuperating there for a few days.

more tomorrow…

our second journey, part ten…gig harbor, wa…

brunch was over and my friend was gone and that was that. i reached into my pocket and felt something familiar. it was the art project that i so happily created for her the valentine’s day before last…so 2016.

the paper was very soft and delicate. the project was tie dyed hearts of different sizes and colors made from coffee filters. it was a throw back or homage to our texting valentine’s day “date.” we imagined the date and “talked” about it.

it all started because she was talking about how times used to be. she waxed nostalgic about handmade paper valentines and kids having boxes to receive them in. she had me imagine finding a very particular valentine.

it was a handmade paper heart…decorated with yarn and ribbon and sparkly glitter. i “opened” it and it said, “will you be my valentine?” it had three words with three boxes inside. the words were yes, no, or maybe so.

i imagined the card and how special and honored i would feel to have received it. i was instructed to check the appropriate box and give it back to her. i thought about it for a moment and then wholeheartedly checked “yes.”

so anyway, three of the nine hearts that i made had words on them “yes,” “no,” and “maybe so.” all of them traveled with me from montana to nevada to gig harbor…across the country to niagara falls (the site of jim and pam’s wedding).

i felt those hearts that were carefully folded up in my pocket. i brought them with me to give to her. i made them for her and thought that she should have them. not as anything other than a purely platonic gift.

however, i held back…something stopped me. i didn’t know what it was at the time or even for months later. a few days ago it occurred to me that those hearts are now a part of me. i didn’t give them away because they’re mine.

they are mine. i have carried them with me. they are a part of me. this journey has changed me profoundly. they belong to me and i will choose “yes” everytime now. i choose myself…my own lovely, kind, remarkable heart.

more tomorrow…

waiting…

the washer and the dryer.

in my mind,

i hear one say, “un-uh”

and the other one answer, “oh yeah,”

while sitting in a tiny kitchen,

in a familiar folding metal chair

waiting for the chili

that i prepared all day yesterday

to reheat, as no one including me ate it.

i am pondering the cornbread

reclining peacefully and untouched

in a simple, red dish made of crockery.

the cheddar is grated and in a bowl.

the sour cream and chopped onion

just waiting, like me.

uncertainty…

that tiny bit of doubt

it manages to work it’s way into my mind

it may lie there dormant for weeks

springing back to life when least expected

or, it enters and immediately grows roots and takes over

in either case, it’s generally something so innocuous

that no one else would ever even think twice about it

but, i do

it’s the way something may or may not be said

a look that may or may not have been dismissive

it’s a simple word or line of text or phrase with no punctuation at the end

that leaves my wheels spinning over and over…round and round

my gut tied up in knots as my stomach churns and burns

everything spins out of control with no context, no resolution, and no clarity

things of absolutely no consequence are assigned random, but specific meaning

it drains every ounce of joy from my spirit and i am spent

 

 

 

what if…the joke’s on me…

as two dragonflies

buzzed indiscriminate circles above my head

as if reading the thoughts churning in this cluttered mind

bouncing and pinging off of other objects and obstacles

like a pachinko pinball machine

sounding all manner of bells and whistles

alarms really… warnings… red alerts

wake up… open your eyes… wake up

you’ve been here before

it’s the image of you that repeats and retreats, repeats, and retreats

flat, one dimensional always slightly out of direct sight

but, i know it’s you or my idea of you, but nonetheless you

sure enough texts ensue…your words, your messages…no voice

dogs run past my feet

making chase, barking, stopping just long enough to look at me

as if wondering if I was going to be okay, if I was going to live through this

perhaps they know something that I’m not privy to