Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dandelion Village

My step-brother is doing something sort of amazing. He bought a house on some land and is in the early stages of building an EcoVillage, or sustainable community called Dandelion. The property is beautiful and for the first time in two years I got the slightest taste of fall, as the leaves are just starting to fall and crunch underfoot.  We walked through the gardens, stopping occasionally to pick raspberries, peppers and squash.  It's an awesome concept and I hope he gets the funding and support he needs to make it a reality. 

If you want to learn more/help out/live there/donate click here!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I am home.  Not the physical home I grew up in, but a guest room in my mom and step-dad’s home in the town I grew up in.  They are both professors and their house is near campus, where I ventured yesterday but quickly retreated from because there was a football game and undergrad coeds are the living worst humans in the universe. (I apologize if you’re one of these shit buckets. You’ll get it in like ten years when you grow up and realize how terrible you were. Or you won’t because you’ll still be fucking terrible.   I DON’T KNOW YOUR FUTURE.)

Anyway. I’m home.  I’m home because things in my grown-up life are slightly falling apart and I felt like I needed respite. I’m home because although I am technically an adult, that doesn’t mean I know what to do or where to go from here.  Maybe it was a chicken shit move, like when you’re a kid and you call time-out in a game you know you’re losing. I don’t know.  The thing I’m quickly finding is that home isn’t really home anymore. It’s an old shirt you love that doesn’t quite fit you right anymore, but you hold onto it anyway because it means something to you.

I came back for many reasons, but I think I secretly hoped for some sort of epiphany or at very least a little clarity.  Instead I'm overwhelmed by the frustrated restlessness that resides in the pit of my stomach and a chorus of voices in my head all asking variations of the same question.  
“What are you going to do now?” 
I pick up a framed picture of myself from maybe seven years ago and fight the urge to fling it across the room.  Instead I lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling, wishing someone would tell me what to do next.  The girl my mom says, “came out of the womb defiant” is now begging for guidance.  

So really,  what am I going to do now? I suppose what I've always done. Make mistakes. Get humbled. Listen to people who are smarter and wiser than I am. Hug my mom, hug my kids and take deep breaths.  Revel in the sacredness of broken things and then move on. I have never prescribed to the notion that if you're going through hell just keep on going. You do that and you learn nothing. You do that and you fail to gain the profound appreciation of peace that only comes after you've known chaos. Don't get me wrong, I have moments of angst and I occasionally eat my body weight in tear-soaked pie. Things aren't always exactly as I imagined or hoped they would be. That's life.  And this is home.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Old Babies

If you have small children, there will be many instances in which some well meaning older mama looks at you with knowing eyes, full of sadness and says something like, "Treasure these moments...they go by so fast."

Aidin at 6 or 7 months, crying because I would not let him eat a dead bee.

Here's the thing ... Older kids are awesome and fun and independent and frankly, much less work. I mean, puberty is weird and gross but overall not unbearable. So next time you start feeling a little sad that your precious babe is growing older, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does your baby help out around the house? No. You baby does nothing. He's a baby.  Some day, my friends, your kid will do such wondrous tasks as carrying the groceries in for you, doing the dishes and even cleaning the entire house when he's about to ask you for something big. You can say no. Your house will still be clean. 

2. Does your baby laugh at your jokes? No. Your baby is laughing because he's crapping his pants. Sharing humor with your kid is super fun. Watching movies with your kid and laughing at the same parts is awesome. Hearing your child deliver a biting comeback at precisely the right moment will fill you with more pride than you ever imagined.

3. When you tell your baby you're having a rough day, does he leave you alone and give you some space, or offer to split a Snickers with you to make it better? No. Your baby does not give a shit about your feelings. 

4. Does your baby let you sleep? LOL. That was mean. Sorry. 

5. Does your baby let you shop in peace? No. Your baby wants to sit in a cart or a stroller for exactly however long it takes you to find something you like. Need to try that something on? God help you. What's that? You want to eat out with your baby? Let me know how that goes.

6. Remember alone time? Shhhh...it's okay...

7. When was the last time you said no to your baby and he listened? Oh that's right...babies don't understand words or desperately whispered pleas. Babies do whatever the fuck babies want to do.

Babies are basically the worst.

 Okay, settle down, I'm kidding about that. I loved my guys when they were tiny little lumps of useless perfection. Babies are cute and wonderful and they smell like a heavenly cloud of goodness. So take a deep breath and enjoy this time, but don't be afraid of it ending. It only gets better.  Because your baby is going to take the best aspects of your personality and become the most amazing human.  Or the worst aspects, if you're a dick. So don't be.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Birthday Sunrise

August 10: My Birthday. 
My plan was to wake before the sun and take the boys to the Katsuren Castle ruins to watch the sun rise. (I'd heard it's the best view on the island.) I woke, I dressed, I sat on my bed, I fell asleep and didn't wake up for two hours. So...no sunrise, but we went to the ruins anyway. And it was still beautiful. We were the only ones there, so it was very quiet and peaceful and the views really were breathtaking. 

Cole took all the pictures and smiled when he caught me watching him, Aidin picked me flowers and showed me how far he can jump. They really are the coolest, kindest, most wonderful humans I know.

"Mom, when you stand right there you look like Christmas."

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Girl With the Butterfly Tattoo

We went to the opening of a new exhibit at the art museum yesterday. French impressionism.  Beautiful pieces which you'll have to imagine because the look the gallery workers gave me clearly conveyed the many ways they would humiliate me if I so much as thought about taking a picture. Many of the painting titles were in Japanese, so the boys and I started making up names for them. You may recognize such masterpieces as: 

Golden Girls Bathroom Wallpaper
Monkey General 
Creepy Girl In Chair (You're About to Die)
Eh. So-So
Not Sure But I Definitely See Boobs
Bathroom Tile and a Ghost
Naked Rat Man

The only thing I was able to document was a beautiful display of butterflies in the entrance of the gallery. This one was my favorite:

Butterflies are very meaningful to me. I even have a tattoo of one if you can believe that!! I think I feel a connection to these winged creatures because I too feel that I am in a period of transition, cocooned in my chrysalis, digesting myself into a soupy mixture of caterpillar cells soon to be divided to form an adult butterfly. 

*Excuse the crappy phone pics. I'm still getting back into the swing of things over here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bummer Summer 2014

Today the boys and I decided to call this, "Bummer Summer 2014." I see your pictures of fireworks, pool parties and barbecues and raise you a broken arm, typhoon, health problems, personal crises and overall suck. And the kicker?  I lost my Subway punch card. 


Trying to write when so much is going on is a little like trying to compose a postcard from a terrible vacation. I could lie, I could depress everyone or I could just not send one. OR I could tell the truth but do so in such a sarcastic way that no one can tell if I'm being serious. Yes, that feels right.  See, because if you've ever been through heavy shit then you probably possess the good humor that comes with knowing that it'll pass. You made it through that, you can make it through this and you'll make it through whatever else gets thrown at you.   So settle down, take a deep breath and trust in the fact that this isn't the end of the world. It might just be the beginning. 

*Also if you have an extra Subway punch card please hit me up. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Forgotten Spaces

I passed this hotel months ago and finally visited it this weekend. It's on the other side of the island and sits high on a cliff overlooking the sea, gaping black holes exposing its ruin. A few tattered curtains still hang in the windows, though there is no glass and most hardware is long gone.  It is eerily quiet and nature has begun the reclamation process, obscuring the entire first floor from view. I walked up crumbling stairs with no guardrails until I got dizzy and nauseous and had to retreat. I wandered in and out of empty rooms covered in garish graffiti and littered with broken beer bottles and debris. Birds nested in hot tubs and mice made homes in marble columns. It was very surreal, but hauntingly beautiful.   If you're in Okinawa you can find a list of abandoned (some rumored to be haunted) places here.