Fog-lined coast

one of my favorite places in the world to be is sitting along our sleepy fog-lined coast, listening to the continuous roar of the ocean and the thundering crashing against the shore with my legs hanging over the edge of the seawall where i like to sit. i smell that ocean spray, which breaks into a mist as it floats and splashes across my cheeks and rises into my nostrils. my eyelashes are dusted with water and salt…my face is wet and i dab my eyes so i can see. not one will venture into the ocean today, but i hear a few lone people strolling behind me along the oceanside walk every five or so minutes. it’s really quiet today. i feel wonderful.
today, i wish i could place my fingers above my keyboard and simply watch my thoughts flow out, fitting themselves and arranging all that is complex and confusing into something plain. that the beauty and safety of my outsides would mirror my insides and with an easy flick of my index finger and tap of my thumb, the skies would open up and the sun would burst through. i’d realize simplistic answers to my tragically dramatic life questions.

but words do not come. they rush and flow and tumble, all crashing about my mind like a surge, pulling back and becoming quiet again. it seems. my thoughts are like a swell: the spray of an idea and a surge of inspiration rolling and rumbling together, trying to grasp something or the other, but clutching nothing in particular.

– – –

i never knew how much understanding i lacked until this week—okay, well i was pretty aware, but it’s like a constant wake up call with cold water to the face…special hmm. but it seems that i know my weaknesses more all the time! when i was eighteen, twenty, twenty-two: i felt like life was so conquerable..i knew what was what. and at twenty-five, i see more and more how all of my plans have been so teensy-tiny in comparison to god’s major plan. my big picture view is/was/will be so askew.

so here i am, constantly finding myself clutching for my own understanding and always coming up null. i know it’s not cruel that god doesn’t let me conquer things on my own. i know that he knows that i know that i just don’t need to know. i don’t! i don’t need to know what’s at every corner and have life so figured out. yet time after time, i smack my head against the wall trying to figure it anyways, relying on myself and getting stuck to the point of desperation.

hello today. that’s exactly where i was. so consumed with all the things i have to figure out + do on my own. all by myself, woman on an island, the whole shebang! so much so that one of my coworkers is leaving cookies on my stinkin desk because i’m so distracted (thanks by the way).

– – –

sometimes in the summer the fog is so bad here in santa cruz. you just wait and wait and wait for the marine layer to peel away and for the sun to come gushing through with all it’s warmth and wonderfulness. but when it comes back in the evening as you’re cozying up to a bonfire, it’s just perfect, some relief from that heat. it’s lovely.

i can’t handle all the heat (all that life would have me take on + charge at on my own)..i’m not strong enough to do it all. i need a covering. i need a great big loving, merciful, gift-giving, forgiving god to spread out his great big arms and surround me, help me, give me strength and give me joy. and to remind me that i don’t have to do it on my own. it’s just not as sweet to do it all alone, and it’s not even possible.
how long will i butt up against my own inabilities to do it all?! who the heck knows. but i don’t want to. i don’t want to consistently shun god’s great covering for the measley covering i can provide myself with—which is absolutely so super duper wimpy in comparison. really wimpy my friends. so i want to embrace again his wonderful care, no matter how many times i have to turn around from relying on myself. i want to step under his covering and stand boldly in plain ol relief that it’s not all on me.
so i say bring on that great misty fog hovering bank baby.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you. Psalm 84:11-12
 
**image taken in santa cruz

A poem on Wednesday evening

sometimes i get away from writing. writing about things i love, impressions i have or just simply reasoning something out. lately, i’ve felt motivated again to draw things out again through writing. i think in life i go through seasons of how i express things. at the moment, it has been a time of practicing to draw things out verbally (hello getting married!). it’s been so good to continually become excellent at communicating with james (and obviously others), but it truly takes practice! but like i said, i feel like writing again.

the best advice as an english major i ever received from a professor (or anyone in fact) was so simple, it’s stupid. she said, sit down..and write. don’t outline it. don’t think too hard. write! put your fingers to the keyboard, pen to your pad and write away. at first, i felt so silly just writing away, scribbling away my sometimes disconnected ideas and passions. but over time, i realized that it was the only way for me to begin. everything else came out too calculated.

 

when i came across this poem, i felt a similar encouragement.
so you want to be a writer
by Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.

October


artwork by etsy artist nidhi chanani
october is absolutely flying by over here. some of these autumn days, i’ve found that there is just not one free hour in the day to just pause a little.
but then came along today.
days like today that mark the first rainfall of the season. when i think of the first autumn rain, i imagine how the streets and sidewalks take on that subdued, gloomy hue, creating a perfect contrasting backdrop to the vibrant red, auburn, mustard yellow autumn leaves to pop. to crunch. to fall.
and there they rest. they rest for feet to stomp. they rest and float and become a pile for our children to jump in. to hang on our classroom walls and be painted at our harvest parties. garlands and glue and decoupage. orange, gold, burgundy and brown, they are a festival of color.
i, being fully unprepared for such an autumn storm, found myself caught between the building and my car in the downpour on my way back to work after my lunch break. as i hurried across the parking lot in my sandals no less, i shielded my laptop, belongings and self from the heavy showers.
wanting to catch a little glimpse of the thundering rainfall, i pulled my thick red sweater off my head and for a quick moment, I looked up. i felt my face and hair absorb a few of the droplets.. i pulled back my sweater a little more, and let them soak me, one drop at a time. my hair and face became decidedly wet.
as a sun ray began to peek from behind the clouds and warm my cheeks, my run to the car had morphed into a walk. and my walk became a saunter. i stopped.
it’s days like this where i think say thank you to god. for this day. a day where a little rain can say a whole lot more than a reminder to grab my raincoat. but a day where those tiny little droplets fall all around, all over you, shouting, celebrating and showering reminders all over and around you, soaking you through and through. here it comes. here it comes.
i stopped and gazed into the forming rainbow and the aroma of jasmine filled my nostrils. i was certain my mascara had begun to drip drop drip onto my cheeks and i didn’t mind a bit. i took a deep breath of the crisp autumn air. and i thought- yeah. october. finally. i’m glad you’re here.