“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

– Anaïs Nin

She comes to the window from a dream, pale and beaded with the night’s sweat like dew upon her brow. Here everything is still for a moment, the pale morning, the sun not yet peeking over the hills outside, the hum of the air and the business of moving about all pause for a breath, a heartbeat. Any small event will do, because in this moment, she took her first breath, and looked out to her first morning and everything familiar became new. Fear and excitement rose as she savored it all, the still, the muted gold of the hills, a new home perhaps, the pale morning, the dewy sweat of night’s fevered dream.

She had come at last.

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The Great Big Hill

There is a journey that is being undergone here. I hesitate to say destination because are there really ever any endings, just accomplishments and mileposts and then on to the next challenge, the next batch of change that one embraces. I’ve chosen the theme of travel, of moving, of journey for these last few posts, but really what I have meant is change, and the truth of the last few years has been this: I am going through some incredibly large life changes.

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Years In and Out

While the temptation is strong to ruminate on the strange effect of time and our divisions thereof, considering how we’ve treated 2020, it’s not the individual year that I’ve wanted to write about here. I know, it’s likely a joke now – I write “Let’s go” or “Let’s begin” and then some measured amount of time passes before I write again – but this entry has been hard to put words to not due to the subject matter but rather due to the nature of our divisions of time and how we relate to them. I don’t need to wax on for how horrible 2020 was, many others have, and that’s not what this is about. This is about years, plural, an unending stretch of time, not divided in packages of days or minutes or moments, but rather long stretches for which the only measure that can be applied is ‘years’.

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She, Reprise

She comes to me in haunting half dreams of another life, a mirror image of a fallacy in the dreading hours of the night. She comes as both winged angel and slithering snake, something terrible and beguiling. She is neither biblical nor demonic, but I have built her so in the dark recesses in my own ignorance. Forgive this of me and think not ill of my mistakes, because I have not known any other way. These are the meters of my measure, the only graphs and rulers I have to lay her across to understand her, the tools I have been given, or, the only lessons I had bothered to learn.

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Points South

Well, it’s not as far south as New Zealand. But something that I got to do during this pandemic was visit the city of my alma mater, San Luis Obispo. I wanted to write about this sooner — this trip happened in mid-October — but this pandemic, lemme tell you, friend, it has done a number on my writing. It’s been hard to sit at the trusty ol’ laptop and bang these out. It’s not like in Singapore where I had my Monday morning ritual. Walk the dog, chat with the helpers walking my neighbors’ dogs, shower up only to start sweating the second I walk out the door, hike down to Baker & Cook, order my eggs benedict or tartine and then wax travellouge at you all.

Yeah, it’s not like that now, is it?

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The Third Lap

Note: This is a re-post/re-written entry based on a post I wrote in September of 2015. Some of what I had written nearly five years prior has not only become more pertinent, but down right prophetic. So I’ve decided to make my first update in a month by re-writing an entry from the past. Go on and laugh. I do this for your entertainment, dear reader.

It was September 2015 and our arms were burning, metaphorically speaking, from rowing around the resort island in the midst of the Andaman Sea for nearly two hours. My ex and I had made the next-to-last turn on our trip and had just begun to notice that our arms, along with legs, faces and anything else so exposed to the South East Asian sun, were also quite literally burning as we had not adequately applied enough sunblock to defeat the beautiful Thai daylight. And at the time, unbeknownst to us, our home state of California also burned, with flames and smoke enough to dark the evening sun of a day to which we had already said our good nights.

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She comes to me in dreams, half-remembered hazy images of green and gold, the colors of forest, the cool breeze of morning rain. She walks in shaded boughs, her face a mystery. Of course it is. Of course she does. This is how she has lived, how she has survived, through stealth and guile, deception and misdirection. She is craft come alive, wisdom applied to reality, the sharp spear and steady shield.

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The Twice Portlander

I thought of that title driving home from the bar. Oh, that’s bad. It’s bad, right? Well you can’t prove anything so we’re just going to ignore that first sentence. Pretend it’s fiction.

It’s so bad.

No, I mean to say that I thought of the title coming home from my friend’s birthday party over in Montavilla, a part of town I’ve only recently begun to explore.

That’s not right either.

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Spring Forward

The dust begun to clog up my bandana as I surged down the arroyo. I was seated-slash-clinging for dear life on an ATV, my thumb sore from trying to keep the throttle button pressed at a steady position. I was in the rear of an ATV caravan, keeping up the vanguard as I ate everyone else’s dust. My clothes were no longer white and blue but a golden brown, the same as my forearms, my only exposed skin. The display had long since been covered over, wiped off and covered over again in the sand and dust of the dry creek bed. A pair of cheap sunglasses, purchased from the supermercado in Cabo San Jose were already lost, having been flung from my shirt pocket with the rapid up-down-upupup undulations of the uneven creek bed. In short, I was having the time of my life.

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Ancient Northernmost

“My father told me the story once.
To hear my dad’s people tell it, it’s our creation myth;
all people used to be Acians and all Acians were slaves.”
– Jest Rovanna

Hear then the tale of our people, of all people. For all people were once Acians, and all Acians were once slaves. Long was our enslavement, measured not in generations, but epochs, before there was such a thing as history or words. Our masters were of no tribe, no people. They were the masters of monsters and things for which we have no names. They tamed the universe and its secrets and for a time, our masters bowed to nothing.

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