Pains in the Neck

So this is what I’ve been dealing with this week…

On Friday night we had a freak windstorm that hit after dark, something the local news did not warn enough about (and others they over warn, right?).

The 85 foot Western Hemlock in the backyard decided to uproot itself and land on the neighbor’s garage. It was an outwardly healthy tree and there is not fault on this side, but insurance would not cover the tree removal because it did not touch the house. At least the affected neighbor has a reasonable deductible.

Thank God it went that way, because I may not be here if it had a different angle.

Just bought this house from the landlord two months ago (in a surprise purchase when she decided she wanted to sell – whole other level of stress and chaos that kept me from be active on WP). Lost my dear kitty one week before signing final papers. Talk about wildly swinging emotions. It’s been a helluva year. I’m ready for January.

On top of this endless chaos, I snapped something in my cervical spine on Sunday. My back had been mad about overdoing yard work for the last month and it finally told me just how bad. I have been in incapacitating pain all week. It’s trying to heal, but I inevitably move the wrong way or sleep on it wrong and everything is back on fire. It will get there, but it will take time.

Meanwhile, there’s another severe windstorm happening right now as I type, and I am trying to hide in the house in places where other threatening trees can’t get me.

The positives: still alive. Have lots of firewood, had them cut stools, platters, and swags for me, still alive, more sun in my garden, and still alive.

It was a beautiful graceful tree with lovely shade and I will miss her. I will not miss the pains in my neck.

Merry Christmas! 🎄🙄🥴

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Deep Breath

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 11.54.45 PMIt’s been a crazy month.

Seattle is now just pulling out of about two weeks of suffocating wildfire smoke storms. It’s déjà vu from last August. Last year it was a first. Having been born and raised here, we have never had days on end of toxic air that kept people trapped at home with doors and windows closed — and during a heat wave, no less. Misery. Keep in mind, the majority of Seattleites do not have air conditioning in their homes. Normally we don’t need it.

Well, it happened again. Can’t help but bring up climate change. This is not normal. We are surrounded by wildfires in British Columbia and central/eastern Washington, and some in Cali. If we don’t get onshore air flow, we get submerged under clouds that aren’t clouds, red suns and moons, disappearing ocean and mountains, and air you can see. One should not be able to see air that looks like fog, but is not fog.

It’s been rough.

But, finally, the winds changed and we have relief today. It is much cooler and we have real water clouds coming in with actual rain which we’ve only had a day or two this summer. Seattle…the place where everyone thinks it’s always raining. Our summers are usually 75-90 degrees, mostly sunny, with an occasional bout of rain. Not the last couple summers.

It’s been days of miserably sticky hot smokey days, forced inside, having to wear masks to go anywhere, running the air filter, but can’t open doors. So at night after a 90 degree day, sleep is uncomfortable, air feels like syrup, and skin feels like vaseline.

It sucks that in a place like the PNW where rain is persistent for 9-10 months of the year, we cherish and hold our 2-3 months of glorious summer, and now, if this is the new trend, we are losing 1 month to smoke. Yeah, I’ll say it, it’s not fair. Especially to those in the direct line of fire, and the brave firefighters on the front line.

Bigger than that, it’s a small glimpse of how our earth is changing and how the policies torn down to protect it by the current administration are accelerating its disease and demise.

Vote wisely this November.

I have been absent from WP due to all of this, and just hanging on by the skin of my teeth this summer, mostly for good reasons. It’s been a non-stop whirlwind.  It has definitely pushed my vestibular disorder boundaries. I will need to return to my own self-care and rehab as fall sets in.

I have also been paying close attention to the whirlwind political climate and bombshells that seem to be a daily occurrence. I am catching up on reading, watching, and balancing all the craziness with rest and recovery.

I miss writing, but will not force it when it’s not coming. Silence means paying attention and participating in the world — good things for providing more inspiration for when I do want to crank out with more frequency.

Meanwhile, I send my loyal poetry friends my best and wishes for a good end of summer.

Do turn off the computer, get out there and take advantage of it.

Hopefully, in smoke-free air.

~ Em C.

8..23.18

My photography, minus the obvious ones.


There is supposed to be an ocean and a huge mountain range there. And those are not water clouds, they are smoke clouds.


Ash on my car.


They even had to close the airport due to poor visibility.

Country of Immigrants

Happy 4th of July, friends!

I have been laid up with a migraine for the last 8 days after tweaking a neck muscle. Life just has a way of continually throwing new challenges at you, doesn’t it. Just when you think you’ve made progress in one thing, another comes along. C’est la vie, I suppose. Toss that on top of many other demands occupying my energy, I have been unable to devote myself here as I would like. Hopefully, eventual respite will allow me to periodically this summer.

It’s a holiday today — a holiday celebrating waves of immigrants’ making a new home in a new land, one where they could determine their own constitution, laws, leaders, goals, away from tyrants imposing taxes without representation.

It was a tumultuous, bloody, uncertain period of time from 1776-1783, the period of the Revolutionary War. I took time today to watch documentaries and listen to podcasts detailing the battles, heroism, setbacks, lives lost and victories gained in the formation of our country. Of course, I love this stuff, being a Political Science and History major.

I will also spend time this week learning more about the part that slavery played, and the part that displacement of Native Americans played in our becoming The United States of America. I think it is natural to be proud of your country while simultaneously being dismayed at the atrocities that were imparted on those in our path. Ignoring ugly history is merely willful blindness to the truth that there can be no new country without the usurping of someone else’s life and habitat.

This 4th of July is bittersweet. This country of immigrants is being mauled by an administration of tyrants and their sycophants willing to forgo admonition of abominable acts by a lone madman for the sake of passing their ultra-right agenda bent on restricting human and civil rights and dismantling democracy while admiring the dictators around the world as mentors and “friends.”

What the people in power have done in a mere year and a half is utterly shameful. The  stench of hypocrisy runs through the capitol. The sheer lack of compassion, maturity, bipartisanship, the evil underhanded tactics to get their way, all smacks of a new kind of party — certainly not Republican. I do hope they find their way back, but it will take a new name, this one it ruined.

The soul of the country is ill, divided, and for all intents and purposes, has gone missing.  The Resistance is strong, vocal and will never relent, even if we do feel powerless in ways. The truth will come out, the investigation will be sure of that. Justice will prevail, even as darkness reigns more than not.

And when the truth comes out, as it has been — if anyone is paying attention, we can get ourselves into triage, bandage up the wounds and start to figure out how to recover from the trauma, and prevent this kind of atrocious attack on our Constitution from ever happening again.

That first July 4th after being free of this psychopathic band of fools will be a day to celebrate, for the United States, and the world.

In the meantime, I celebrate the framers who set up failsafes for exactly this situation. Now, if only the people elected to protect the citizens from tyranny would put country over party.

It seems simple, and it should be; the fact that it is obvious to so many and nothing gets done to halt the inside job means we have a LOT of work to do.

I think the framers would have hoped that 242 years into a future they could barely dream of, the current populace would be smart and evolved enough to handle attacks on the freedom and democracy that they literally spilled their blood for.

Let’s prove them correct.

~ Em C. 7.4.18

Art Therapy

I heard it was selfie day yesterday. I’m late but here you go.

I was at the zoo today and decided in the moment to splurge on a caricature, because why the hell not. Had a lovey chat with the artist. She was quite talented. She even got my nose ring.

Oh, okay. Here’s a real one for comparison.

Happy Summer, friends! I’m slowly dusting off my writing chops. Hopefully, I can produce more soon. Be patient with me. 😊

Cherry Pie ~ Haiku (& an update)


(All photography by Emily C.)

Red orbs shimmering,

Whipped cream art swirling beauty…

Sorry! Just one piece.

~ Emily C. 9.2.17

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Hey guys!

I’ve not been around much as life has been busy on many levels. I haven’t been writing a lot, and I haven’t been reading on WP. I’ve been trying to squeeze the last few drops out of summer, while still managing my vestibular therapy needs.  I’m probably overdoing myself some, but soon will be back in a rhythm, I hope. Having to keep moving for my brain to compensate, and spending 1.5 hours a day on my therapy exercises, means I have little time to sit, and reading and screen time are not comfortable on my brain.

At least a few times a day, I get a first line for a poem popping into my head. I haven’t been listening much, nor writing them down.  My attention has been on friends and family, summer, and my health.

I do hope that I still have the words and that when I listen, I will be producing more like I used to.  Right now, I’m filling my real life with memories and moments out in the real world to sustain me through the upcoming year.

For example…spent time in North Bend recently, an hour from Seattle where they film Twin Peaks, both the original (which is on Netflix) and the new season (which I can’t watch since I don’t have Showtime).

The Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls is always beautiful. It’s long been a staple day trip for me growing up, and just happens to be where they film for Twin Peaks but in the show it’s known as “The Great Northern Hotel”.  They have luxury world class accommodations and dining, and while I’ve never been able to afford staying there, I’ve eaten there and it’s amazing.

Then there’s Twede’s Cafe, or in the show it’s known as the double R, or RR2Go.  Been coming here my whole life, too, for some diner fare and a slice of cherry pie. If you know the main character, Agent Cooper, his tagline is that he loves the cafe for it’s “slice of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.”  Well, it’s true.

It’s a beautiful area and I’ve spent many a summer visiting. Snoqualmie is a neighboring town with quaint shops, the oldest operating train station in the country with a charming museum, and a backdrop of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Picturesque and charming.

Many a time I have run up Mt. Si in North Bend, the foreboding and dominant peak that is so prominently looming over the town. It’s a beast, but provides an amazing view.  I like the way down better. Takes a couple hours to run up, practically 45 degrees, while other hikers look at you like you’re crazy (you are), but the way down is like 40 minutes. Just don’t slip and fall in the snow like I did once. That hurt.

Thank you for your support as always, and I will check in with your writing when life returns to more of a normal pattern.

I hope YOU are all out and away from the computer for a bit and taking in your summer sustenance with nature and people as well.

Much love, always!


Wonderwork

A new old bench I’ve never sat on before
Hugged the creek in bare wood and lore
Worn plaque engraved in memory of Jared
Overlooking the meandering water

He must have loved this spot, like me
His family loved him, clear to see:
“We love your spirit, with wings and winds
Of wonderwork — June 26th, 1971”

The water ripples in dancing silver streamers
Lit under the same sun that has always shone here
The same rocks cradle its flow
To an ocean open to catching below

Rushing — in no hurry — takes its time
Always and never the same
Constantly replaced by new molecules
Mistaken as static and standing still

I am Jared now,
or is he me

Pausing a moment,
we two breathed

I am the river,
or is it me

In tracing trails
forever is revealed

I am the bee
I am the sun
I am the fallen leaf
I am the ocean

~ Emily C.
8.26.17

Free Me ~ Haiku


 

Choking hazy smoke

Another red sun looming

Free me on sailed sea

 

~ Emily C.

7.6.17

 

***

Day 6:  Smoke is still here. I can smell it in the house when I opened the bedroom door this morning to the hall where it’s an obvious contrast. But, then sitting in the house, one acclimates to it.

I have been running HEPA air purifiers with brand new filters round the clock, and have only opened the doors briefly in morning or night to let the cool air in for a bit. And even THAT has been enough to make it smell smokey in here. Check out my filter picture, the one on the left was new on Thursday. The one on the right is unused. Look at all that dirt caught in only 3 days. Crazy! Glad its in there and not my lungs, but I do feel it a bit anyway.

The first two pics are from Sigma Shreedharan again. Yucky air makes for great art!

The third pic is mine off my back deck at sunset. We are still dealing with heat, but it’s only in the high 80s instead of high 90s now. After the 4 feet of rain we had this winter, I didn’t think I’d be desperate for a raincloud, but here we are. 🙂

Side note: my Mac’s trackpad has been causing issues and making my cursor go berserk in a scary way. So, I haven’t been able to use it and all my poetry bookmarks are on that one. I will be delayed even more in catching up on your awesome words. But, in time will be trying my best to catch up.

Also back to my vestibular therapist tomorrow. Still working my way through that, but definitely not as acute as I was. The new exercises have been a challenge for my brain on top of the environmental triggers lately with the heat and smoke. Looking forward to clean air and improved health.

Miss you all and thank you for your steadfast support.