Posted: February 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

Dear Ghost,

This past weekend I spent a shift observing in the ER and helping with things that are within my scope at the EMT-B level. One of the physician assistants there reminded me so strongly of you that I thought he might be a relative. I probably stared a bit. I actually even checked the last name on his uniform to see if it was the same as yours. It wasn’t.

I think I wanted it to be, to some extent. Wanted that feeling of recognition, of some connection, however small. In the flash of impressions/feelings/awareness that all came together in an instant, like a lightningcrack so close the thunder’s almost immediate, I missed you; I remembered you; I wondered where you are, if I’ll ever see you again; I hoped a little, though not so hard as I used to; I wished you well.

I’m doing well. I would have liked the chance to tell you of my adventures so far, maybe even for you to have seen the changes in me firsthand. “Changes” almost feels like a misnomer there; I am feeling so much like myself these days. Regardless, I would have liked to show you that ER through my eyes, confident that something similar about the way we see the world would have enabled you to see it and appreciate it even if I weren’t all that articulate.

Well, there’s no more to that story, really, and I have much more work to do, and this is enough talking to myself and pretending you’re listening for tonight. Wherever you happen to be, be well.


Reading: The Vagrants by Yiyun Li, The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts
Listening: all things Ben 

The scant flurries from this morning have morphed into a bona fide, diagonal snow that’s marbling the neighbors’ roofs with curling veins of white. I’m starting slow, crossed legs under a blanket, still sipping coffee gone cold long ago. The friends’ dog I’m here to watch sleeps curled in a tight spiral on his own blanket nearby. Plenty of windows in their new house let in a nice amount of natural light, even on this winter day when the sky is that kind of overcast that makes it appear almost white, as if our planet were surrounded by nothing but clear, still water, the way it looks in a full bathtub. I woke up this morning with the top of the dog’s head close to my own forehead, at that crackling distance where almost touching sometimes becomes its own tangible sensation.

I don’t wait for New Years to set my resolutions, and this year I’m letting the holiday pass without the inventory-taking I normally do on the events and accomplishments of the past year. That can provide insight, but at present I feel like being seated in the now, and so that’s what I’m doing. My thoughts float — to my friends, to the little glimpses into their lives I get when I watch their children or animals, to my parents and my love for my family, to how staying in someone else’s home on a holiday when they’re away gives me a feeling of transience and perspective, to the fact that I like this house, to a man out there who I find has gotten under my skin more than I expected — all this with a quiet-spirited warmth that demands nothing, not of them, not of me. I am grateful. Our existence is enough.

By this point in writing, the dog’s up and restless, pacing, fiddling with a rubber ball for a moment before looking for something else to do. I’ll take this as my cue.

Christmas with my family this year brought a walk with my siblings around our small hometown in central-southern Ohio.

Image  —  Posted: December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


Posted: November 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

My heart’s with those wounded or killed in today’s attacks in Paris, and with their loved ones. As I look through photos in the news reports, I find my eye consistently drawn to the emergency response workers — firefighters, police, EMS workers — and I’m reminded of how a friend of mine often quotes The Fugees: “You can’t stop the shining.” He’s right.

We will grieve those lost. We’ll remember them. And no matter what terrorists do, we’ll never stop rallying and helping each other. The truth shines all the brighter in contrast to their darkness. They can’t stop the shining.

“Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Muhammad Ali’s words have been on my mind a lot for a while now, because just over a week ago I passed the physical test I’d been training for. It’s a challenging test, one that women tend to struggle to pass. My goal was to pass it on my first try. “Just suffer for ten minutes,” I told myself as the test was approaching, “and change everything.” And I did.

I played sports in high school, and in the years since then, anytime I’ve been training for a race or working to accomplish something similarly challenging, I’ve thought various times that the most valuable lesson I got from sports was how to suffer. To suffer well, that is, and to get stronger by not quitting until the task is done. Coaches have a lot of names for it: discipline, facing adversity, not giving up, grit, digging deep, hustle, heart. I learned from having coaches push me past the point where my body started to complain that I could go farther and faster than I had thought was possible. I learned to work harder at the exact moment when I most felt like giving up. They pushed me, and so I learned how to push myself.

Passing this test doesn’t mean it’s over, though; the test was just a threshold level, a smaller goal on the way to the overall goal. As soon as I get over the cold I have now, I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal workout routine to get prepared for the next phase.

Posted: July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Not green, no—
Jealousy is red.
The sun withdrawing
Into cold night alone
Flushes dark,
Resents distant stars,
Forgets her own radiance.
Then in her mirror of moons,
Clouds, and oceans,
Reflection comes blinding:
“Honey, everywhere I go is day.”


Posted: June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

I realized (again) it’s been a while since I’ve journaled (or blogged, for that matter). I think it’s because there are some things I’ve given up trying to put into words. Like how much you mean to me. Or the dynamics of light that fascinate me so that I’ll stare for hours into a campfire, or at a lightning storm, or the objects around me at sunset. I can’t capture the way the light dazzles my eyes in real time in the same way that I can’t sum up you and me in a stop-motion series of interactions. It all presses in so fast when I try to bring it to mind that a language made of bits and pieces couldn’t contain it. It’s just a flood of images and emotions and memories, all lit up white-hot like an incandescent filament, or more like a bundle of filaments all at once. I can’t even process it fully — just stare or stammer.

That. Love is just shorthand for it.