Tag Archives: nature

Crazy Lady On The Beach

30 Oct

First week of bookwork is done, made all the boxes so could check all the things off…cuz that is the best part. 

…One of the things: my weekly “Artist’s Date,” I paired with my “Imaginary Lives” list, and went to be an Archaeologist for the afternoon, on Saturday. Not for real, of course, mostly as a gesture of representation. But when you’re hunched over with a plastic tub, and a gardening spade, sitting on your haunches at the seaside…picking at (and through) insignificant shit while curious dog walkers pass by, and kids stop to stare at you, cuz, “what the hell, lady?” It kinda steals a little of your thunder.

…Until you eventually start getting into it, and make a staging of your findings on some leaves for picture-taking purposes, and feel terribly importantly artistic as you try to flick those tiny crab claws open –because that’s just more aesthetically pleasing, and also: “Oh Fuck off! I’m trying to ART here, dude! You just picked your dog’s shit up in a hand baggie, and put it in your pocket. I totally saw you! Who’s the REAL wierdo here, really?!?”

(…I’m also dealing with anger issues. And being more positive…)

I am a work in progress.

Anyway…I picked at things buried under rocks and twigs, I took some arty pics, I sat on an “Alice” log, contemplating its navel. I breathed. I watched pokey sticks gouge at the shore. I wrote a little thing. 

…I Be’d.

…And then I went home, popped my findings in a baggy, and clipped em to my Wall of Wonder…to look back on. 

…Whenever. 

…To that one time I was a marine archaeologist. 

…Which is way better than being a poop-scooping, pocket warmer. So there.

“Only Alice Knows”“Breathe.”“Messy Bow”“Those metaphorical shards of life shit that just keep coming at you, wave after wave.”“Things Found”“The Random Details”

…I also managed my morning pages after a full night’s sleep, every night…found about four or five really good brain-dig findings, and that I am still PTSDing from that last show so hard, that just being on stage is upending me. 

I’m fighting the battle onward, in front of a live audience, nightly…which is my only option. An interestingly (when it’s not you, probably) terrifying, and often very hopeless feeling, which I get to share intimately, not only with my castmates…but the several hundred other people at a time who are (unbeknownst to them) paying to see it.

I can only do what I can.

A break after this show, (for quite a bit of time)…while I try and figure this shit all out, and learn to trust the stage again…is necessary. 

…Meanwhile, not unlike that dude with the dog: when shit happens, I palm it best as I can and pretend, as I fight on, that this is a totally normal part of life. 

…While super wishing I had a trashbin somewhere, to throw it the fuck away.

~D

Stuck Inside, Walking Yosemite 

2 Sep

I started that new Fitbit explore badge thingy today. Their version of Pokémon Go, minus location requirements, means that I can indeed be sequestered in the office as a managerial-bitch, yet still wrack up achievement points based on steps, alone… as I treadmill during booking calls. 

This should make being a caged animal less awful, one would think. 
… Jury is still out on that. 

… It is strange, this fake trek through this famous National Park, for a couple of reasons. One is that I have always loathed Yosemite for the unfortunate stigma it bought itself in my childhood, in that every single time I had visited it, I spent most or all of the trip horribly ill. 

… I don’t know why, but clearly my body just didn’t want me to be there. And it would vomit and fever and curl up in a ball to remind me of that fact, every time I dared to travel there. Despising the out-of-doors as much as I already did as a kid, I assumed Yosemite’s grandeur was like the epicenter of natural evil,  and I was literally rebelling against it, beyond all doubt. 

… But those days of hatred are gone now. A trip to Ireland cured all that, and a part of me thinks this Fitbit fake version of a visit to the park can finally help me slay this biggest monster of nature, in my past. 

… But it is also strange because Yosemite was my home. Well,  closest thing I’d use to pinpoint where “home”  was to people who didn’t know where my tiny town was…because there is no reason whatsoever that anyone ever should. 

… Because everyone knows “Yosemite.” Well, everyone knows OF “Yosemite.” Even if they call it “Yos-eh-mite” (which,  unbelievably, people actually do.) And if you’re from a tiny old gold-rush town,  where getting a new Safeway makes the front page for a solid week, Yosemite is the only way you could relate to the area I come from. 

…But even that is a lie. Because you have to go an hour away from “home”  to get there. To this place where Mother Nature just puked all over everything in kinda the best hangover scenario ever. 

… My home town is more scrub brush, and foothill. But it does have lakes. And trees. Gets snowfall. Has nature in variety of aspect, just not juiced up on all the beauty steroids. 

… So, this whole fake trek thing is weird to me because it reminds me of home in a lot of ways, both good and bad…and my kiddom, and the summers we’d spend by the lakes for endless hours, and the horrible camping trips I despised,  and all the times I chose to sit inside reading a book (all damn day)  instead of exploring things outside my room, (or the tent.) And how ironic that I am now “stuck”  inside all day, looking  out,  taking fake nature walks on a handheld computer. 

… I’m saying: life is strange. I wouldn’t give up the books. (And I still loath camping.) But, much like the forced naps in childhood that I despised, (which I would often give.. I dunno… back teeth,  for the extravagance of having today) , I kinda wish I’d have known some of this shit ahead of time. 

… But then,  don’t we all… 

~D

Insanity, Death & Other Trails

2 Jun

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The Pacific NW is packed full with ridiculous amounts of rambling trails cutting in and out of it’s natural habitats. 

…The feel is very rainforest meets old south, on account of the humidity factor, being always right on the ocean or near to a lake, and the obvious rainfall factor. 

Unlike the California trails we wandered when I was a kid, one can’t just pick a spot in the forest and “go,” unless one had a machete, knee-high boots, and a pair of welder gloves on, to help battle the sick mess of berry bushes, wild thorns, giant ferns, and vine-eaten, moss-dripping, decaying old trees, so cramming the forest under-canopy that you can’t get a foot hold in edgewise.

…And the people here like it that way. 

At some point, some brave bastard will pick a spot, forge a trail, and get the word out enough times that the footpath will be partially upkept by other hikers. And so our forests on any mountain drive, can be seen to have trail heads poking out in any number of random locations, which you take in good faith, and often interlink at some point with other forged paths, like a network of snail trails in a garden.

The Pac NW-ers are very big on these.

It’s pretty here, always green, and the canopies help umbrella the rain…because of course we don’t stop for that, otherwise we’d never see daylight, again.

We also have cultivated gardens as well. Quite a lot of them.  Because (again), it’s pretty here and always green.  So why not?

…Funny thing is that even the cultivated gardens seem like something out of a gothic novel, as even the old large estates keep to the el naturale effect.

Wild natural gardens with indigenous ground covers, mosses and vines are meticulously manicured so that even the larger pay-to-play mansion and state-park run formal gardens, look like they grew the houses out of their root structures as part of the budding of their plants. Which is eerie and awesome and reminds me of so many of the Irish ruin walks and Manor estate gardens we wandered through back in 2007. 

…Which is all to say: “I like it here.”

There is a history sense of reclaiming of nature pretty much everywhere you go. We haven’t become so built up that you can’t get away from it all within a ten minute drive in any direction, and there are places you can go and feel off the grid, and your phone doesn’t bing with text and phone alerts, and the music doesn’t thump from out of car windows, and the smell of “green” (you’d know it if you smelled it) is so strong, you just wanna wrap up and take a nap in it.

…So, naturally, I take a lot of walks.

…And yesterday was National Trail Day.

…So Ma and I took several.

The first: one of those Mansions that seems to be grown out of the ground along with everything else sprouting up. Lakewold Gardens, sporting both the boxed-hedge chic of patio gardens, as well as the wild trail-networking rock garden further toward the lake.  They were setting up for a wedding while we were there…and I’d have to say, it’s a hell of a backdrop for one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…And from there, we motored to Fort Steilacoom where the old Asylum and Cemetery are surrounded by giant dog and people parks, and trails cutting back into the hill.  Phone juice had died, so no pics, which is a shame because the trails remind you of corn mazes, so buried you become by solid walls of knotted berry bushes and undergrowth, that you can often only see the next turn.  The entire hill is networked with trails branching off of and into others, so that by the time you make the top-most clearing you can see dozens of them directing in every which way, leading downward to the lake.

The lake, now named for Dr. Waughop, had the most amazing mass-cluster of water lilies I’ve ever seen (live or otherwise) and it’s walk eventually leads back to the old barns and cemetery.  The graves, mostly dating from the mid 1800’s to 1950’s, are each number-plated on a mass-grave map posted by the parks department, and only when walking on the land itself, can you see the sunken headstones of new marble, which are part of the restoration and archiving of the people who once resided just up the hill, in the now ruins of the old Insane Asylum. 

Like all old cemeteries, it was totally fascinating to walk…not only for the history and sheer mass number of those buried there, but the fact that it is the only plot of land, in all of that acreage, almost entirely grown over with a blanket of old moss in lieu of actual grass, and even where the stone markers have not yet been replaced, you can tell where each body is interred because of the distinct sink of ground, and the shoots of wildflowers and grass blades rising from them, fed, like living memorials, from those buried just beneath.

…Was a good day, friends.

And now I’m off to see what I can make of this one 🙂

~D

A Day On The Island

4 May

Nature Retreat Day, in the form of Bloedel Reserve

150 acres of walking trails, on a sunny day.  Good for the brains and body!  Tomorrow, rehearsals begin, so took the opportunity for fresh air and exercise and ran with it!

A brief tour:

…First the Gate House, and entrance walk.

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…The wide meadow hills leading to the barn.

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…Gate House from the meadow.

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…Play with light and shadows.

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…I like to call it: “Medusa Moss.”

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…Nurse Trees totally amaze me.  To see hundred year-old fossil-like logs, with fifty year old full grown trees growing out of ’em boggles my mind.  Here we have but a new beginning.

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…Approaching the Manor House from the trails.

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…Love me some wheeping willow.

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…A taste of refinement married with nature.

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…Manor House from the rear…

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…And it’s view of The Sound, and lower lawns.

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…The lower landing walk.

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…Manor House from the lower lawns.

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…The Japanese Guest House.

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…With Zen Garden.

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…And I got mine.

Back home to rest, rehydrate and ready for tomorrow 🙂

~D

Censored

30 Mar

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In lieu of the blog I want to write right now, I’m going out into the sunshine.

…I’ll take in all the different colors…count them, name them…whatever occurs to me at the time…so I can collect them up and bring them with me across the day and keep them with me tonight when I have trouble sleeping.

…Deep breathes of clean sea air.

…Crunch of footsteps on rock and sand.

…Maybe I’ll sit at a picnic table and watch a single solitary ant, weaving back and forth across the wood grains…with whatever busy ant-like thoughts and projects it seems to be compelled to do today.

…I’ll pick some wildflowers and bring them home with me.

…Watch some kids play…

…Take my shoes and socks off to feel green grass between my toes.

…Consume the day with all my senses like a poet…with every taste, texture, touch, and sound, expressed in specific, heightened detail.

I’m taking a day to be grateful for all the things that I have…none of which can be bought or sold in a store, achieved with hard work and determination, or negotiated with a contract.

Today is about all the things that have just been gifted to me.

(and you too, by the way.)

…For free.

It’s free.

…And I can’t, with good conscience, ignore that today.

~D

Ongoing Jewish MILFism

3 Mar

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Great day! 

…Finished my book in PJ’s, made a breakfast salad, jumped in shower by 10:30, and went for 5 mile walk on Owen’s Beach at Pt. Defiance.  The weather is ridiculously amazing today, and it felt so good to get out of a building and breathe fresh sea air!!

…Then back for a lunch of a veggie burrito, and some rest time with the BBC on stream. 

…And then: Lines.

Lines, lines, lines.

Am off book for Act I now, but still need the script for blocking purposes. 

Never having run the scenes after blocking, (but before moving onto the next one, as is the fashion)…in order to get it finished within the crammed scheduled time…I have zero sense memory to go off of. The movements are frequently not based around our own lines but other people’s…so, recalling every shift and counter (even though they are all written down) is going to take a bit longer. 

…Sorta like a less manic version of the time I did “Noises Off”, and had to get 300% off book for lines, so I could spend all my time reading my intricate blocking, and prop usage like a book, at speed.

Tonight, we begin actual scene work, with two of them slotted…which still seems a large bite to take for 2.5 hours in review, with first crack at the blocking. But then I never thought we’d seriously block over 30 pages per day, either.  So who the hell knows what will happen.

…We have 8 more rehearsals before our first Act run…which is 20 hours of rehearsal.  2.5 hours after that, we run Act 2…and our first full run is 12.5 hours after that.  This is totally doable. I just tend to panic with large chunks being eaten, right off the back.  You tend to choke  a bit when that happens.  But, this is a new process, a new Director, a new house.  As a campaigner in a new theatre of War, I just gotta relax, keep my kit in order and up to date, and trust in the Captain. 

So I will.

…Meanwhile, am embracing my inner Jew, and lines, while sashaying around the house like a harlot.  It’s been a while since I’ve been called on for this kinda part. The one where you are overwhelmingly self-secure in the fact that matron 42 is the new sexually ripe 20. 

…The gams and flirt gets rusty, when you’ve let the body default into frowsy old maid for as long as I have. Time to bust out the “high maintenance,” pop on those heels, and dust off some man-eating MILF.

…Albeit, a slightly ridiculously over-shooting one.

Oh, I can do that.  

…I can do that hard.

I have a fur coat, bitches.

(snap.)

…Mmmm hmmm…

(enter cat purr, sly grin, and overtly obvious wink: here.)

~D

Word Fairies, On A Walk

17 Sep

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A walk.  To battle the  Monday-after-Vacation, gross obeseness of crud.

…There’s this walk I take, that we call “the loop.”  It’s the long circle that takes you down the full length of the north-end neighborhood, and round to the point, looking down on Old Town, rising up from the sea. I usually take it when my brain is too full to negotiate actual directions and choices. It’s easy because it never wanders too far from itself and always comes back home again…like a good dog. Which is really convenient when you’re clearly too busy talking to yourself like a schizo, about all the things you didn’t get around to today, but need to, and how the associated reporting materials will be filled out, and in which order.

…Also, the ocean is good to focus on after a rough day. (If you let yourself.)  It’s calming, somehow.  Maybe because it’s bigger than anything that could possibly be bothering you at the time.  Maybe because it’s so “in your face,”  that you can’t help but get sidetracked by it.

…Sorta like how you can trick a kid outta crying if you give ’em something new to focus on, instead of whatever it is they first wanted, or was taken away, that they can’t have now.

I totally know how that kid feels, today.

Those bastards stole my vacation goodness away…and I was pretty ticked about it. 

…So clearly, after work was done, (and my car payment was made), “the loop” was in order. 

…Anyway…the point I was getting at is: mid-between casa de mi, and the beginning of “the loop,” is this house:

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About once a week, they print out a poem, short story or anecdote in bulk, and plop it in that little plastic holder bolted on the post and driven into the ground, just on the corner, there. I dunno what the owner’s story is…I frankly don’t think anyone does.  And not too many people take the souvenirs, but I know I’m not the only one who stops to at least read ’em.

The rule is: it can only take up one page. 

…So far, that’s the only quantifying identifier in content or theme. And it has become an addictive reader board, like a fortune cookie’s guts, housing who even knows what words of wonder, day-to day. The top black flip-up cover says, “take one”…like those realtor get-ups you might use to sell a house.  Only this one is used to sell you “thoughts” instead.  Sometimes they’re goodish ones.  Sometimes not. Sometimes I wanna write a note back, and pop it in the box, for the Word Fairies.  Things like:

” I liked the one about the dog.”

…or…

” Sylvia Plath isn’t always totally depressing like I thought

…or…

” This one hurt my inside parts.  But that’s okay sometimes.  So, thanks.”

…Also, I wonder if they take requests?

” Maybe less Politics please…”

” Can you find something about sunshine for the next one?  It’s been raining for six solid weeks…”

” Have you ever considered limericks?  I’d suggest a good Dottie Parker…”

Regardless…its always nice to have some clean, warm air…to hear the sound of sprinklers and dog pantings and runner’s tread…and watch the sun set out over the water.  Its nice to have words like these in my head, other than the chanting of “to do” lists for tomorrow, and the balancing of my checkbook.  Those things can wait.  But a hard-earned piece of goodness and mental rest after a long day, cannot.

…So: “Thank you, Word Fairies.  Keep up the good work!”

(Here are a couple, most recent…)

***

Poem: “The Clearing,” by Gregory Djanikian
from “The Man in the Middle” (Carnegie-Mellon University Press)

**”Poetry is an act of generosity.” ~ Don Skiles**

And something will happen:
You will stand at the edge of a field

hearing the wind-skirted
leaves of the trees, and you

will try to remember
the woman you almost married,

though her life will spiral
like a hawk away from you,

and you will want her,
as deeply as you’ll want

the hawk to settle on your fist,
or the wind to empty

your eyes of grief for all
you’ve renounced to become

what you now are, but
nothing this day will claim you,

neither hawk, nor wind, nor lover,
and you’ll sense how your past

has seduced you through the years
to this field, this reckoning,

to, finally, this poem
which you will write by learning

what matters is not the words
but the unlabored

breath through which
they’re spoken and given up,

like hawks, or lovers
or this life you keep on revising.

***

Poem: “You should at times go out, ” by Elizabeth Daryush

You should at times go out
        from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
        and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
        away from your friends’ ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
        pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
        (ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
        even, in wrong’s dark room

or ever, suddenly
        by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
        unloved, alone, afraid.

***

~D

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