Sunday, November 18, 2012

Here we are it's fall

Here we are it's fall and I've been reading Anne Lamott and wishing I was a real writer. You know, the kind that writes all the time and every single day and doesn't get caught doing mundane things like sorting darks from lights or negotiating sibling truces. Real writers wake up with the sun beaming through the window, or, better yet, the dismal gray of cloudy skies, rain flooding the gutter, and smells of cedar smoke and spongy redwood bark emanating through the walls. Whatever the weather, they wake up like it's their last chance to reach the summit, ready to ford the streams, to leap across crevasses. They wake up feeling. But for the rest of us, us non-writing types, those feelings are scary. So we drink a cup of coffee and avoid them for the first little bit. We might stretch our legs while reading the morning news online. We dink around on facebook for awhile, stalking old friends and flames, getting distracted by cowboy boot advertisements or scrabble games. We see what our parents are doing and find they have a life and aren't online much these days. Then, us non-writers, that is, make a delicious omelet of spinach and mushroom and flecks of blue cheese. We think about marbled mold and what it might be like to make something so stinky and beautiful. We are intrigued by the spelling of bleu and research the etymology of cheese until the coffee is cold in the mug and it's time to pour some more. Overall, our days are spent in the thick fog of avoiding feelings, avoiding the vulnerability of creativity because...who knows what might come out of us! We just might spew something grotesque and not nearly so fun and cool as what comes out of real writers. So, us non-writers, we unload the dishwasher. We think about the shape of the ice cream spill beneath the dining room chair, pondering its place in our lives, a mysterious rorschach test of motherhood. We look up ratios of vinegar to water for mopping the linoleum. We stop to watch the white waves of steam rising from the saturated ground as they meet the cedar smoke above the mossy rooftops. For a moment, everything around us seems on fire.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

good times and unexpected finds

Our dear friends from Martha's Vineyard visited us a few weeks ago. It was reunion and reconnection for us, a set of wandering souls that always manage to laugh together, to taste wine, eat crepes every morning, prune shrubs, fish, get yelled at by the neighbor for orations in the night (Hamlet at 10 PM is way too rowdy for this neighborhood), ride the Logjammer in Santa Cruz and other things. Lots of other random things.

We all went to Big Sur and camped in Andrew Molera State Park. As expected, the beaches were amazing, the scenery more so. The weather held and the sun shone. Unexpected...a little tavern off of Highway 1 with plaster walls and alcoves for reading Henry Miller quotes, games and good beer on tap, and piles of yarn curiously waiting next to the bathroom doors. We assumed it was the work of an artist, an installation, a way of mysteriously charming the tourists. We grabbed and ran. But we'll happily give it back...please, come forward you enigmatic yarn-giver!  

Photo credit: Elizabeth Greene

Friday, June 8, 2012

the gift...451

Ray Bradbury passed this week. I sat by the river this afternoon and read his extra short story called "The Gift", a story about nostalgia and the impending future of space travel. He really had a knack for things both present and past, the vintage sensibility meeting mod in an interesting way. Bradbury said college is the last place a writer should go to learn to write. I'm hoping that means summer break will be a fruitful time for me creatively. Here is a lovely interview from an issue of last year's Paris Review.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

regresamos we are. We came home. I'll admit I've been avoiding this first post-Costa-Rica-post for awhile. After such a big adventure it feels a bit like I have nothing as interesting to write about...and maybe that's true in a way. But the small moments/laughs/photos/experiences mattered there and they certainly matter here, so I forge ahead and thank you for bearing with me. One of my blog followers said "it sucks learning to wear shoes again" and she's soooo right!

These are pics from our decidedly non-tropical beach day this weekend where it was cold and windy and the ocean was roiling. It was, however, a great way to freeze our bones and go in search of the remedy at Half Moon Bay burger and IPA? Okay, sure. Not so bad being home...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winding down

We had a truly lovely action-packed visit with our friends from California last weekend. We found Parque Nacional Diria with the help of a nice Tico man and his son on a motorcycle. They led the way through the unmarked dirt roads around Santa Cruz and we were rewarded with hiking along a remote riverbed where howler monkeys scared the crap out of our friends (we tried to warn them of the eerie noise but the real thing is sooo scary). Then the monkeys literally crapped on us! Rio said, "Hey, it's raining under this tree!" Ewww. We also finally got to see the famed basilisk lizards darting over the water. The guys got to surf and us gals got to chat. They were barely here before they were off to San Jose to fly home.

We then had a bonfire on the beach with the friendly Avellanas crowd. Now the fridge is empty, the floor hasn't been swept in awhile, and we're sooo tired. But all of the good times with friends have been a perfect ending to our trip. We leave Casa Maicol here in Costa Rica in less than a week and the days are flying by. There's only time for a few more walks to the beach, a few more evenings in the hammock, and a few more photos of this little country that has challenged and mystified us for the past nine weeks.

Around our cabina. We can walk to the beach for sunset.

A crack in the reef at low tide.

A forgotten turtle shell.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Message in a bottle

My friend once threw a message in a bottle into the sea off of the coast of Massachusetts and received a letter from the finder somewhere down in the southern states. I've always wanted to try it so Rio and I did a little project. He wrote the letter, drew some pictures, and enclosed a little cash for postage should the finder need it. I drank the scotch..hehe...and devised a sealing system involving playdough and wax drippings. Maybe nothing will happen. Maybe something will. It's such a wonderful and mysterious idea no matter what happens. In 1784, a Japanese sailor sent a distress message in a bottle when he and his crew faced shipwreck. The bottle was found by a seaweed collector some 150 years later on the coast of the sailor's hometown. Maybe my parents will be sailing through Central America three years from now and find our bottle with a message from their now ten year old grandson. It could happen.


Now we are ready to send Brent off past the breakers on his surfboard to toss it into the ocean. It's a story without an ending.


Here are a couple of videos of the ubiquitous howler monkeys. They especially enjoy making that noise at five o'clock in the morning!