I’ve been in a creative cocoon lately–and by that I mean a cramped-ready-to-crack-open cocoon. Not the earlier more restful stage.

Whenever I take a break from writing, I fret over what my next post will be–will it live up to the anticipation and suspense of such a long silence? I mentally sort through my various ideas and toss each one down like a mediocre photograph. None good enough. None quite the right re-entry stance I want to take. It seems silly. Sit down and start typing. Do not over analyze who might be reading or what they’ll think or what the words you write will say about you. Remove the you and just GO.


Here I am in this moment now. Feeling fresh wings unfurl. Feeling newness as energy moves through channels stretched to their fullest. Coursing strength reaching from wing tip to wing tip, the head-spinning exhilaration of a new balance point.


One of the ripple effects of social media is that we have the sense that we’re seeing into people’s lives, but don’t often stop to think about what we aren’t sharing with each other. We’re quick to share our triumphs, the great food we cooked or ate, and once in a while our “FML” moments. But we rarely share our own shortcomings. We leave out the painful moments we cause for ourselves or others. We edit out the words we wish we hadn’t said to our housemate, the looks we give and receive that can cut to the core, the dropped ball at work, feelings of emptiness and confusion. The desolate & dejected moments in life.

The literature I appreciate most, isn’t afraid to go there. To take the reader to the darkest moments of humanity, admitting to a lover that the love is gone (or wasn’t ever there), the loss of innocence and leaving of home, the slow disintegration that drug abuse can be.

I don’t know how to keep moving the pen in my times of darkness. How to take the muddled feelings and transform them into something that’s comprehensible and worth reading. Of what value is one’s experience in the dark? Is it worth writing in these moments or should one wait until their out and then looking back describe what it felt like to grope around in the dark, hoping that others’ experience will be improved for having read it. I know there are times when writing should be for oneself. I get into this confused state where all I can do is stuff sweets or savories into my mouth and make excuses not to go to yoga—-it’s not pretty, but it does taste good. The net result is that I feel totally dazed. It’s hard to imagine going on in that mind state and never shaking my head and clearing the haze. Luckily, I do.

There is a lot of beauty on the burgeoning horizon. The last year, plus a few months, have brought the most change to my life that I’ve experienced yet. Looking over my shoulder I see a difficult path, rocky with lots of ups and downs. During this time, I’ve learned the map of a new home city. I’ve made new friends and explored new circles.  I’ve said goodbye to a first love, and swallowed the softness in my heart. I’ve stretched my wings in a job that I feel more comfortable calling an apprenticeship because it’s so multifaceted. I’ve travelled across the country with my family to attend my Grandpa in his final travels hopefully to an eternal home where Grandma awaited him with raviolis cooking on the stove.

Now I sit in my new apartment. It feels  spacious and sunny and full of fresh air and it has a BIG kitchen. I live with one of my best friends who I’ve known for the last 10 years. I start at SF State in two weeks in creative writing.  I’m excited about school. Still excited to live in this city. Still excited about my job–the practice it affords me the opportunity to experience and grow in, the wonderful people I get to meet and know, the skills it is teaching me, the opportunity to learn even more, the boss I respect so deeply.

I’m filled with gratitude for this moment. I acknowledge that it’s the dark muck, the lack of clarity that makes these moments feel so crystalline. I pray that in this next year I’m able to find the space to focus. To further cultivate skills. To throw myself into the opportunities before me with  success and to find stillness within the busyness.

As I emerge from the cocoon I’ve been cramped up in, I feel the urge to test these new wings. To go on an energy spending spree and start relearning French, play my flute, bake and cook up a storm, tend to my pile of mending, and read at an open mic.

But instead I think I’ll sit on my hands and retain this energy for a time. Focus where I need to most and in the evenings when I find the quiet spaciousness just sit back and enjoy. Let the list making and to-do-checking stop for a bit. Enjoy the new place. The new people. Enjoy the feeling of fingers on keys or of turning the page in a book. The little mini retreat that allows us to repeat our rebirth each day. We rise and are reborn we live our day. We go into our cocoon, we sleep and emerge again.

I pray that I can honor the cycle.

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Mountains, New Place, & Garlic

The last few weeks I’ve been busy with moving (!!!) and most recently, a quick trip up to the mountains. Where I was lucky enough to go on a snowy, creek-crossing, blast of a quad ride followed by a bushwhacking hike to the gorgeous vista below.

Joe, Hayley & me, rocking wild helmet hair.

I still have a long way to go as far as being settled in my new place, but Clover and I both really like it. I’m excited to live here. I chose the smallest of the available rooms which will save me enough extra money to justify a climbing gym membership (!!!), so it’s definitely worth figuring out how to puzzle in my belongings. I actually really enjoy the experience having to put everything in just the right way for it all to fit. I like that this room feels like a cozy little den.

Mmmmmm! Garlic BO is the BEST.

Finally, Garlic. I would like to personally thank Garlic for helping my body to defeat streptococcus. I got exposed to strep this weekend with my niece and started feeling a mad itchiness in my throat last night. At 4:00am I got out of bed, went downstairs and ate a small clove of raw garlic without washing it down so that that it would really soak into my mouth and throat. It burns burns a good bit, but today–no strep! So thank you to garlic, and to my body, for agreeing with my brain, that I didn’t need to get sick. It works because garlic is a powerful antibiotic. It doesn’t feel very good to let it sit on your throat like that, but it’s a lot better than getting sick! Here’s an article on how to make garlic tea.



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The Quietly Spiritual

My Father has never taken a yoga class and yet, at 65 years old in downward facing dog his heels come straight to the ground. My Father is grounded and, at least in my life time it seems, always has been.

Growing up I didn’t I know how lucky I was. There were times where we were stressed but we always had good food,  our home, and I usually got the latest “in” pair of shoes or gadget.

The other day a friend of mine was talking about her dad guilting her mother over a poorly cooked meal and it really clicked with me–how absolutely wonderful my Father is. There are lots of wonderful fathers out there in the world, and I am so lucky to have been born to and raised by one of them. Thanks Dad!

My Dad is the kind of man who will drop what he’s doing to help a friend move or to help his daughter change a flat tire. He might gripe to me a bit but he is always, always there. Growing up, even when I was my most difficult teenaged self, my father never once called me a mean name. He never once looked me in the eye and said an unkind word to me. He maybe cursed under his breath as he was leaving to take a drive and cool off, or did the dishes in an angry way, but he never, ever turned his anger on me, and this was not because I was an easy kid to raise.  I lived my last high school years how most kids live their first college years. That’s some strong medecine. 

I spend a lot of time discussing and studying Buddhist thought and analyzing myself to try to be a better me. Most of my friends are in the same boat. When you spend so much time thinking about all this, it’s easy to overlook those more quiet practitioners of metta, loving-kindness. Those folks who seldom pick up a spiritual book, but who just seem to get it.

So here’s to my Dad, and all the other folks out there like him, who just seem to get something others have to work at. May you be blessed with the love and appreciation you deserve!

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I find my creativity in the quiet unwinding, the luscious lull between thoughts. The turning of focus to breath. Not to steady myself in a challenging asana sequence but breathing just to breathe.

I like this video. It makes me want to write.

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Recharge in Ojai

As I drove down highway 33, I realized that one of the main things I wanted to do once at my cousin’s was PLAY. The last couple of days I’ve woken up to chicken sounds and fallen asleep to silence. Days move simple and slowly with playtime activities, outdoor hiking, a women’s clothing swap. So, very, nice. This Ojai valley sure is magical and I love, love, love spending time with Brian, Cheryl, Phoenix, Aubrey & Sol. Love, love, love.

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Picking up Pennies

Someone once told me that if you walk past a penny without picking it up, it’s like telling the universe you don’t care about money. Lately, I’ve been finding and picking up a lot of pennies.

Fortuitous, non?

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Photo Essay of my (current) Hood

I am fascinated by street art. How it appears and disappears. The grey boxes of blank paint where the establishment has erased the “defacement” of public or private property. Some pieces seem like part of the surroundings, some pieces make a statement, some are complex, others striking in their simplicity. No matter how often the walls are painted over, the conversation continues, the canvas prepared anew.

I’ll be moving soon and will have a new urban environment to study. Before I move, I wanted to capture some of the artwork that has been a part of my landscape this past year.

 A few weeks ago there were some mattresses stacked on the ledge pictured here. Someone wrote, “Free bed bugs!” with an arrow. Days later, as the mattresses remained unmoved, the word “still” was added. Then on the wall to the right, a medicine bottle cartoon was added, then a wheat-paste poster was added to the left. Then the whole corner was cleaned and returned to sterility.




Every time I walk by this stenciled piece, I find myself checking to make sure it’s still there. It has become a familiar part of my walk.




This piece references the court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, in which the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott, a slave, could not file suit in the US in the first place, because he was not, in fact, a citizen. If you’d like you can read the overview here.


This tag (photo at right) has shown up several places on Telegraph in the last couple of weeks.

I could do a whole post on just this style (at left). This is either a sticker or wheat-paste poster. These guys are all over the place.

Corporate marketing is sort of street art too right? Street art that’s paid for by businesses and protected by police. Note the over-sized coke bottle and her whittled-down arm. Note the ॐ symbol on her tank top, as if to speak to me directly, “Hey! I do yoga too! and I’m in your neighborhood! and I drink Coca Cola! Don’t you want a Coca-Cola?”




This one speaks for itself.






This is my favorite.




Last but not least
, this little guy.
A sidewalk heart. D’aw.

All of these photos were taken between 43rd & 36th near Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, CA using my cheap Samsung cell phone.😉

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