being and longing

the word 'belonging' holds together the two fundamental aspects of life: 

Being and Longing; the longing of our Being and the being of our Longing...

-john o'donohue
belonging...embracing... sternum-wide-open-wrapping ribs-hearts-touching-we are one, embrace.

we sit there longing to be. just ourselves. we sit there, being, hoping someone else is longing for us. it's the most treasured feeling. the  most sought after, the one people wait years for, cry tears for, pray their hearts out for. 

and here we have it. right here, the four of us. we cuddle up in the bed, darkness all around, squishing nose to cheek, whispering i love you's, and knowing--yes, these are our people.

not everyone has it--the closeness, the touch, the warm embrace, family.


i believe belonging extends further. past kin, family, lovers.

to long to belong is to be human.

and how could--how can--we turn a blind eye to that. 

we all came from the womb. snuggled tight, woven together, deep in the nest of our mother. we were created in that. we were made to yearn for that. 

a few weeks past i was out with a friend. we left the liquor bar and walked out into the chill of the night, just two women out late downtown. we had every reason to fear as the man dressed in ragged outerwear, carrying an overstuffed pack approached us.... 

or did we?

my friend dug around for a dollar and handed it to him, i--as i don't carry cash--had nothing to give. and i have to admit, i was relieved--relieved not to assist him...because of my own assumptions. my assumptions that he would use that money for something he shouldn't, something i deemed he shouldn't. 

so i felt relief.

and as i stood there in that feeling and he began to hobble off, my friend turned to me saying, 

he's just like us.

which made me think--

what if we dug down deep enough to find what it means to be human...and acknowledged and empathized that within the people all around--

the one that frustrates you, the one who posts their political views in a way that makes you cringe, the ones on the side of the road with a sign reading 'anything helps,' the ones seeking asylum, the ones whose lifestyle somehow 'offends' you, the children waiting to be adopted, the women walking into planned parenthood, the kid sitting alone at the lunch table, the parent you haven't talked to in years...

h u m a n .

longing and being. seeking to belong.

all of us. 

so what if today we dug down and saw that side of our fellow humans?

what if we sought to welcome, to include, despite what may happen...

to lay down our life in order for the other to belong.

sound familiar?


beautiful, cherished photos by the amazing and wonderful kat sky photography


lavender lately

i mull over a multitude of emotions, while driving under a blanket of stars at 3:45 am toward a  memorial service in oregon. there's a lump in my throat and tears well up in my eyes as the sun rises, a foray of pink and golden orange fire filling the otherwise clear sky. new mercies.

hesitation, shame, guilt, confusion, grief, devastation jumble around my being.

i recently shared on instagram that david lost his job earlier this summer. as per his letter of termination, insurance would continue to cover us through the end of that month...well it just so happens they aply chose to fire him the last day of july. how very thoughtful.

a few weeks later, he was still unemployed (however, rumors of job offers floated around without anything being officially offered) and we were still uninsured. i began to feel...off.

my time of the month drew near and i had an inkling everything was, in fact, not normal, just as i have twice before in the last four years. two days passed after my missed period. then three...and five. on the sixth day, the faintest of plus signs formed. i blinked, stared, questioned whether i was seeing things.

three more positives followed over the next week.

giddily, i confided in a few friends, possibly--no definitely--more than i have ought to. we weren't even trying, i told them.

despite the fact that, quite frankly, we were trying to avoid this until the next year, we readily grasped onto this new reality...envisioning life outnumbered by children. chaotic, overflowing joy. names were exchanged. talks of mini vans, shared birthday parties and cloth diapering abounded.

i downloaded the pregnancy app that i have always used and began entering all my information.

your baby is the size of a lavender bud, it read one morning.

lavender--delicate, precious, fragrant even dried, symbolizing grace.

being that i am an avid pee-on-a-stick-addict, of course, i kept testing...


then negative again.

what in the world? i thought as my symptoms simultaneously began to die down as well.

frantic, i googled.

ovarian cancer?!

calm down, david told me later that night. quit testing so much! you're fine.

but i knew something was not right.

being that we still were without insurance, i made an appointment at a free clinic for the next evening.

after giving them more than enough information, i peed in the cup and passed it through the hole in the wall.

i'm so sorry, the nurse came back, it's negative.

how was this possible? after four positive pregnancy tests?

you may be about to miscarriage. 

a punch. in. the. freaking. gut.

the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. i wouldn't let it. after two healthy pregnancies and births, no way.

i was determined to forget about it all and test again in two weeks, maybe it was just too early, anyway.

two days later, sharp shooting pains crossed my lower abdomen and lower back.

more blood than i have ever experienced in a period before.

clots and tissue followed.

then, it was finished.

i was empty.

i was lightheaded, shaking.

i was numb.

why god?

somewhere along the way, while this baby was but a bud of lavender, it decided to stop growing, the cells quit splitting, my body wasn't ready, it wasn't our time----the list could go on.

just a few weeks ago i went on about how everything happens for a reason.  do i believe it?

in the throes of it, in the sadness, in the confusion of emotions, can i believe it?

can i believe something better will come even amidst grief?

i try to answer the questions. but maybe this isn't the point. maybe it is to ask the unanswerable questions...

until i am empty.

until i have nothing left to ask.

until all that is left is surrender.


today's treasures

a few simple things that brightened my day, and then some...

1. a nature bundle
{and the little girl who handed it to me, on our adventure walk}

2. this stack of piano books, yet to be sorted
{and the years of memories, to boot}

3. my new calendar

{hung two months later, naturally}

4. tiny potted succulents
{from good ol' trader joes}

5. a little girl, cleaning
{her eagerness to help}

other things:

the karmacycle.

clothing, hung.

you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.