October 23, 2012

Monday night I pulled garlic from the garden. Moist dirt clung to my bare feet. I stopped thinking about the time, the other things I could or "should" be doing, stopped listening to the tension in my head that is always disputing and questioning the choices I've made that have brought me to this point. I washed hand-fulls of garlic in blue buckets of rainwater and then sat on a brick cutting the roots from the cloves, trimming the greens while E pointed out flowers from the brick beside me. We waited for something quietly. Calm. It is this peace that I've always been waiting for, always been looking for, always been drawn to. How strange that it should be the very thing which I disturb daily.

October 22, 2012

And I bake cookies for the warm, aromatic kitchen, and to lick the spatula

The leaves turned orange while I was sleeping. I haven't quite woken up yet, but when I do they'll surely be on the ground in thick, cold, sheets, wet with thick air, wreaking of snow. I pull myself into a ripped porch rocking chair too small for my body, open the bean trees and read for the first time in months. I am driving through Kentucky with a Cherokee child clutching my spare hand. I am driving illegal aliens to safety.. Life has slowed down. But what is more interesting is that I have slowed down. My insides are calm other than to burst with an emotion I cannot put words to. It happens when I crunch through the leaves, feel sun mix with October air, spot a dog smiling as he sniffs his way through the streets. It happens when I think about my Jenya, smiling goofily, happy just to see me. I've been "good" for a longer spell than I remember in the last years, maybe ever. I am aware of problems and darkness, both personal and worldy. But finally I am in a position where I am able to observe, realize, take steps toward change, and carry on. I say "omm" with the masses and Namaste.

July 6, 2012


We ate truly excellent sushi in a quiet restaurant with a cheap-sounding name. I was hot but happy and maybe cranky because my eyes were sinking into my face and my brain felt the tingle of a thing well beyond fatigue settling in. We held hands strolling into the glen. I took off my shoes and walked quietly into the water. There was nothing shocking, nothing dangerous. Quiet. Down one step of a waterfall. A doe in the greens beside the path, peering at us- fearless with dark dancing eyes. We were here a year ago, remember? When you met me in front of 7-11 in your car I was disappointed. I had pictured you walking through this part of the city you deemed sketchy in your sharp shoes and button-up, that goofy smile on your face as you saw me. But then there you were, cutting me off in your car just as I had begun to flow. Of course you wanted me to get in, which I did. But did you know I was upset? I felt wild for a moment, and I liked it. I folded fresh spinach into a slice of homemade pizza- sauce made in my food processor, basil plant now growing on my table- poured soy milk into my new tiny tall thin impractical free-at-a-garage-sale "mug", changed into as little clothing as I could rationalize, and floated onto the side walk, down the street, up that street, over this street. Through my city I walked, 94degrees and sunny. Happy as a hippo.. yes, a hippo! She sent me a letter talking about the big trees, finding her hiking legs, reading born to run and wanting to move. to move. to move. she's a mover too, you see. Some of us just are. It's in there and it does this thing- this swirling dancing jiving raging prancing laughing fantastic thing. My body became its own self and did something without my permission- it stopped. Stopped running, stopped moving, stopped minding. I know it will not last, but right now I rest with my babies beside me when typically my legs and mind would dash out the door in hopes of a few more strides, a few more gulps of outdoors before the day ended. I see my vibrant painting on the wall above the sink and I am reminded of something that passed through my mind a week ago while running in the grass beside the river- there is still nothing that can replace the presence of God in my life. None can argue that spiritually I am much different than I was just a couple years ago, but I'm realizing that there remains a place in me reserved for the presence of God. I find I thank him deeply and profusely, usually in my car at one particular traffic light on my way to work. Not by duty or by any conscious means, but by instinct. When I run into the ocean or the river I am enveloped in liquid and I morph into a being separate from the man-made world. I am a part of something so complex that my mind stops wondering and becomes. One. I love your eyes. I love when they dance- because the food is so good or the atmosphere is just right or the sun and the air are too perfect a pair to comment on. I love how you love me, how you've shown me what it is to give yourself so completely and honestly to just a few people whom you know are worth your time. I added a splash of tonic, an ice cube, and a hint of Cabernet to the rose we were sipping when you left, and now I'm sleepy and well beyond tired. And life is so, so great.

February 10, 2012

Wish you were here

It's not so hard to believe.

That I would sleep in Walmart parking lots wear the gray "A" every day for a year live successfully
out of my suburu was difficult to believe. This, this semi-normal life, is much easier on the mind
the numbers
that F word- (shh)
Pit cherries with my tongue while creating event codes in my cubical. Cover coffee stains with file folders and toss the dented scratched painted Sigg
in the trash. Pull a man whom I love very much into my neck, close my eyes,
breathe. Don't leave.
My first pair of minimalist running shoes lost their tread. I've turned the television on three times since October.
The coffee is very black. Parsley is in my lap.

There's a silence on this blog I am wanting to break. I've been afraid to share for fear of criticism.

But did you know-
My insides leap and still when I am with him. Not much else matters.
(so this is what it's like...)

[but then]

I sit in my window, drink raspberry vodka, watch the few late night wanderers on the sidewalk, and write wreckless e-mails to my traveling companion-

i cannot sleep. you're the only person in the world i would want to be with right now.

I rarely eat peanut butter and haven't made a batch of granola in months. It's still in me, and I'm still moving, but I've moved on.

In an attempt to play "catch up", allow me to say something as I said it in an email to a friend recently-

The thing you are seeking in 2012 is to find out who you are and really become that person.. fully alive. I've been on that journey for years now. I've been true to myself- not a set of rules, not a book, not an image of what the people around me would want me to be. I know what makes me come alive. I know when I'm doing something because it is something that is rising up from a place of raw truth within me and when I'm stepping into a motion simply because it's what I think I should do or what I think is expected of me and acceptable to those around me. I know that right now you don't approve of certain aspects of my life. But I can honestly tell you that right now I am being true.

We're all given different lives, different upbringings, different families, different gifts, different desires, wants.. how can we compare lives that are destined to be so different from the very beginning? And how can one life look at another and say "you're doing it wrong". My soul is different than yours. We've been exposed to different things. Maybe I've allowed my mind to wander too far, to question too much, to explore too fully.. or maybe I'm taking what I've been given, totaling every single conversation, voyage, experience of my short 24 years into something absolutely genuine and true to who I've become, not who I was. I can't be the girl I wanted to be when I was 13. Thirteen year old Kendra never expected to watch people shoot drugs openly on the streets of Camden day after day and to put those same needles in the trash when they were finished, to pioneer a movement of college kids to seek only the very heartbeat of Christ, to realize what fullness of LIFE really looked like in a third world nation of red dirt, bloated bellies, and rice. Thirteen year old Kendra didn't know she could live out of a backpack or in a trailer with 8 people, didn't know she loved mountains, didn't know she could sing. Thirteen year old Kendra didn't know what it was like to be in love.

Finding out who you are isn't a one time thing. I think that's the mistake some people make. They decide who they're going to be and then they become that person, only to realize once they're there that it's not at all what they want. If we're engaged with life, we're going to change. Life is going to change us. People are going to change us. At least they have me.

These days my life outwardly looks very different than it did just a few months ago. My thoughts are different, my mindsets are different, my conversations take different routes but my soul, oh my soul is the same. I feel it. It wiggles and turns and moans and stirs and dances and laughs within me, always, and it is the same. hah! How does this work.. that one can change so much but feel so much the same. It is this that tells me that I'm doing something right. When I no longer recognize myself, that's when I'll be afraid.


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