Pearl Jam Days

After two shitty summers where my health was not cooperating, I finally have had a better one – not where I want to be, but better enough that I could participate in life.

The high point has been this last crazy beautiful week in Seattle, finally getting my chance to see Pearl Jam perform live in their and my hometown for The Home Shows!

It’s been a whirlwind of events this week, with the Wednesday night Home Show, the opera Thursday night, a day at Easy Street Friday, and the SubPop 30th Anniversary birthday party at Alki Beach featuring several of their rockstar label signees, including MUDHONEY — whom I never got a chance to see during the grunge heydays, just like Pearl Jam. I am making up for lost opportunity and time. I feel complete.

I also feel every aching bone and muscle in my body after being on my feet in crowds all week. I am not 14 years old anymore. My vestibular disorder has been challenged in this week of stimulation, so this next couple weeks is all about recovery, self care, and getting back on my vestibular rehab exercises which have been neglected in all the hoopla. I was determined not to let these special moments escape me, even if it meant paying for it.

I think come fall, I will have plenty of writing fuel, but for now I am living my summer like I should — in real life.

My favorite moment of the concert was when Eddie Vedder was gradually introducing band mates, he got to the story of how Randy Johnson’s favorite band was Soundgarden. The camera focused in on Matt Cameron’s face on the big screen and the crowd gave the most tender, passionate, and persistently lingering applause that wouldn’t end. He was visibly moved, and for the crowd, a very emotional moment. Longest applause of the night…we knew that moment was for Chris Cornell. Sometimes the most powerful tributes are the subtle ones.

It was all for a great cause as well, to help fight the homelessness crisis in Seattle. As the city’s boom continues to lead to greater prosperity, it has also created a greater divide between the haves and the have nots. Pearl Jam donated almost $12 MILLION to the cause through multiple efforts throughout the city. The whole city was abuzz with the marketing, and the tourists who traveled all over the world to experience PJ in the hometown.

In addition to the homelessness, we are also trying to fight the destruction of historic Seattle buildings that are its identity, and being torn down for more generic condo high rises to house the influx of Amazonian employees.

If you’ve been to Seattle, you know about the music venue The Showbox. It’s next on the chopping block. Seattle musicians are banding together to stop its demolition with a petition to the City Council to designate it as part of the Pike Place Historic District. The Showbox has been a part of Seattle’s music history for decades with the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and so many many more having played there over the years. You can visit HistoricSeattle.org for more information.

Enjoy looking through the photos! I hope all of your summers are going well.

~ Em 8.13.18

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Shade

i sit with this silence
alone with sleeping wind’s breath

the shade has grown long
slowly covering day’s nodding head

wrapped in vines’ creeping tendrils
i dreamed of night time

cradled by bees’ beating wings
nestled in blossoming thyme

sun-kissed melancholy
summer’s height reached

the savoring of a slipping moment
toes tickling tile as floor creaked

alone is not always lonely
sometimes it’s beautifully free

as a hummingbird dips and zips
sipping sugar water empty

my friends the crow, the woodpecker
the dragonfly — they know me

as humans come, promise, go
i prefer to be let be

here in the shade of night
alone with sunset’s last sigh

i sit with this silence
i close my eyes

~ Em C. 8.5.18

The Bringer

black sand sunset
shimmers with the glittering stars of eroded time
speckling in a terrarium on my kitchen table
its sun a distant searchlight peeking coyly
out from mid-summer clouds
parting just enough to light
a mini world infinitely big

when I spy it

all I can see are my feet feeling
tenderly through epochs
traveling to worlds not yet created

— not until this one implodes
melts down its constituent parts
into one roiling sphere
obliterated by its own helium god
whom we worshipped, believers or not

as the bringer
of all,
and end.

~ Em C. 8.3.18

Summer Sigh

through the open evening door,
a windy summer sigh
sent my mind
to places past

it wandered like a lost child
remembering forgotten facts
parked in places
unmarked

by time, only in the folds
of matter contained
by domed bone, unbroken
in truth and filed hope

visions in leaves tossed
in fading heat
once burning
pavement under feet

hopscotch diaries
road trip tomes
pockmarking memories
along highway zones

ditch-tossing breadcrumbs
just in case
we come back
someday

the pictures we took
remain like cacti, standing
frozen in the desert
blink and they fleet

like the fox
we watched jump
from hole to hole
only pausing long enough

to sense the next enemy
or prey
baking on ancient sandy land
that melted at sunset
into deceitful grey

uncolored by sinking sun
sucking red, orange
pink cotton down
out of sight

i sigh

~ Em C. 7.25.18

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

A Sun in a Sky That I Can’t Reach

crisp cotton clouds
capture my nighttime sigh
flirting with the dark
in my mind’s eye
that speaks of times
i let go by
wondering
as seeds on the wind
take to destinations
blindly
planting a new birth to be born
in the ground
only to be trod on
by boots in mindless march
trampling forward
pursuing elusive oases
in the desert of life
we so proudly frame
before we have even
printed

the picture

glossy on the surface
gritty in the mouth of memory

give me a shovel, my friend
and i will dig myself
a place

to plant my roots down
deep

away from feet

deep
from the heat and the beat

of a sun in a sky that i can’t reach
but i can reach the ground, can’t i?

crisp cotton clouds
over the end of now

while skinned nerves settle
and
restless legs prepare
to sleep tonight

for next day

we walk

~ Em C. 6.27.18

Dark Sails

your dead dark sails billow
in the storm you tried to escape;
the one you aimed away from,
only you aimed the wrong way.

the way was rigged before
you chartered your doomed trip —
the patched vessel’s hull…rusted,
even as it moored in its safe slip.

you followed a fool star’s direction,
your fantasy in sky she wrote,
above glass water she beckoned,
twinkling false signs of hope.

onward into vast unknown,
i watched from wandering shore,
waving my warning arms,
all the harbingers you ignore.

the storm you failed to escape
shred your canvas heart,
trailing dark sails, straight
into toxic seas,

you sailed yourself apart.

~ Em C. 6.21.18

*For Anthony Bourdain, and anyone else who’s ever been taken for a ride by a manipulative narcissistic sociopath.