to whom it may concern [letters]

february 7 [letter 99]

dear,

i see the moon & the moon sees me
i see the moon (& the moon is she).

to muse on the moon,
to ponder a howl.
to gaze upon her fullness
(and wish)…

i see the moon and the moon sees me.
i see the moon,
perhaps she will howl (for me).

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 6 [letter 98]

dear,

a question suddenly presented itself to me this afternoon. as the question settled and i began to ponder it i found myself smiling. smiling at the simplicity and complexity of the question itself as well as my answer.

for now i just leave you with the question to ponder for yourself:

do you prefer to woo or be wooed?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 5 [letter 97]

dear,

my most used phrase on the farm may be, “this is for your own good!”
it is whispered to kids (baby goats) i’ve snagged and tend to be holding up in the air as they scream–moving them from one place to another, grunted to full grown ewes after catching a back leg in the cook to drench them with dewormer or other potentially life-saving treatments, and cooed to mother goats and sheep whose little ones have died but who need to be milked.

i pondered this today as i listened to a sermon with undertones of predestination and explicit “everything happens for a reason” theology–this is not to say that theologically i agree with either of those lines of thought–and came to the conclusion that if i am to really love profoundly perhaps i need to be more cognizant of difficult or painful moments that are for my own good. as well as be more sensitive to others dealing with such things, too. in order to love more profoundly i’m going to work on my listening, whispering, be-ing and sensing.

this is homework i’m excited about.

“this is for your/my own good.”
may it be so.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 4 [letter 96]

dear,

saw new life today,
ewe learning to care for lamb.
beauty. made me cry.

i prayed many prayers
and i wished many wishes
hope for fulfillment.

saints jude and francis
some good chore-time companions
for talk but not for lifting.

isis follows me
today in form of chicken
she pecked my fingers

“attention!” she says.
i set back and try to hear
she looks at me…”cluck.”

uncomprehending
racing mind conjures a blank
i step on an egg.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 3 [letter 95]

dear,

i was dreaming when the flight attendant tapped me on the arm to see if i would like a drink. the touch was neither hard nor harsh but rather soft and kind.

in my dream-state i thought i had fallen asleep while waiting for a friend to arrive, they had, and this was who was attempting to rouse me from my accidental nap.

my heart sank as i opened my eyes to an unfamiliar [albeit kind] face. i requested a coffee, that i sipped as i sulked for the remainder of that flight.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 2 [letter 94]

dear,

today was spent in transit from one home to another. from texas back to the farm via other peoples homes (atlanta and chicago).

there were 2 airplanes and 2 trains involved, giving me an entire day to just ponder, wonder and wish.

living into my years name (the year of profound love) i–naturally–pondered love. its profundity and the complex equation of giving love and letting love in.

no profound conclusions were made, unless the decision to continue to do my best to love profoundly, regardless of any circumstance, is a profound conclusion. but i regard that conclusion (for me) to be a natural one.

let me meet you where you are, love.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

february 1 [letter 93]

dear,

this afternoon was one of indulgence for my inner seven-year-old-self: the afternoon was spent at the zoo cavorting with the animals.

the seven-year-old-t was as excited to see lemurs, lions, elephants and sea lions as any ole seven-year-old would be. however twenty-eight-t was sad to see small habitats and restless animals.

it was a fine balance between seven and twenty-eight. a fine balance between reveling in the wildness of these beautiful animals and longing for them to be free.

oh to strike a balance of wild and free.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 31 [letter 92]

dear,

oh, laughter.
in times of stress and in times of great celebration laughter is one of my favorite things.

“laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!”

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

 

january 30 [letter 91]

dear,

disembarking a train in houston last week a fellow passenger waiting for the doors to open turned to me and said, “hey.”

“hey.” i said.

train doors open, and we were walking to the end of the platform he said, “so, um, you headed to aa?”

“naw. lunch.”

“well, okay. god bless.”

anyway, i thought it was really kind of him to ask. i am not in need of attending aa, but he did make me wonder if there are things i should be more bold about.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 29 [letter 90]

dear,

“it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 28 [letter 89]

dear,

today i met/purchased ameila (whose photo will not upload to this page fml). she is a flying pig. as she is clearly proof that pigs do in fact fly, we no longer have any excuses for the so called “too hard” or “impossible” to not come to pass.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 27 [letter 88]

dear,

isn’t trust a beautiful expression of love? what a gift and joy it is to trust, and be trusted. i daresay its deeply profound.

it seems that to sound the depths of love, one must simultaneously explore how deep trust can and will reach, too.

how exquisitely delightful.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 26 [letter 87]

dear,

one of my favorite parts of today was talking about the holy spirit. i had the opportunity to share one of my favorite sayings [“the holy spirit is crazy!”] with three other people who smiled and nodded in agreement. we spoke fondly of her (the questioner gendered the spirit as “he”, and in this conversation i referenced no gender) of her movement, provision of comfort…of her beauty and the gift of her presence.

this conversation reminded me of the broad and complex nature of the spirit; how we, though many, experience her movement and comfort in many different ways. and what a gift we have in our constant companion in comfort, love, grace and quickening of the heart.

come, holy spirit and continue to dwell among us; comfort and guide us, help our Love to be more profound and guide us into the light of perfection.

i hope you dwell and walk with the spirit today. may comfort, peace and profound Love prevail for you today.

 

i hope that you are well, wherever you are
that today brings good things.

 

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 25 [letter 86]

dear,

smile. adapt. wish. be.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 24 [letter 85]

dear,

there are some days that the simple acts of living life suddenly become heavy. those days when it feels as if there weights suspended from every limb threatening to pull the body down…threatening to slow thoughts to a stand still that is more rotten than zen.

today was heavy.
i wonder about tomorrow.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 23 [letter 84]

dear,

“watch her body language, she’ll let you know.”

intern-m said this to me as she was leaving me to wait for the birth of a lamb.
it seemed like good life advice, too.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 22 [letter 83]

dear,

this morning i attended the church of extended yoga. this needs to happen more often.

how is your practice?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 21 [letter 82]

dear,

when i journey somewhere for an extended stay i have a habit of bringing the my favorite matisse print (icarus) with me. here on the farm it is posted at the head of my bed. this is typically the last thing i see at night.

the first thing i see in the morning? why, my favorite pollock, of course. (untitled)

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 20 [letter 81]

dear,

the trouble with feeling deeply is that sometimes one finds oneself crying on the bus. when this particular “one” tried to stop the tears telling them, “later, i will get to you later. promise.” they poured rather than trickled.

when it rains, it pours.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 19 [letter 80]

dear,

sometimes this introvert really loves meeting new people.
today was one of those days.

perhaps traveling on my own and not really speaking with anyone (train travel when not frequenting the dining car is good for that kind of solo time) primed me for an evening of making new acquaintances and enjoying their company and good food.

however, there also seems to always be that moment when i get that “gosh, i wish so-and-so was here.” that happened, too.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 18 [letter 79]

dear,

while there is something (a lot, actually) to be said for group pilgrimages, i do rather enjoy a solo pilgrimage every now and again.

today’s solo pilgrimage was to the st louis arch. the walk from the train station to the arch was crisp, cold but delightful.

winter weekdays are not terribly busy and provided space for this pilgrim to stand and stare in awe. what an amazing structure!

while making the zig-zag journey upwards, and while gazing out the little windows i pondered different kinds of fear, and the beauty of embracing ones fears and the deep beauty of moving through them to profound depths of experience, adventure and love.
keep moving.
be free.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 17 [letter 78]

dear,

i think that tomorrow i am going to be sore from todays work. body, mind and spirit. i’m rather looking forward to that.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 16 [letter 77]

dear,

no one is free until we are all free…we are all connected…we are not free. there is work yet to be done. i am glad that we work together for freedom.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 15 [letter 76]

dear,

laying in shavasna this evening trees kept coming to the fore of my minds eye. shorter, strong and fascinatingly beautiful trees one finds in arid spaces. those trees that take one pleasently by surprise.

those brilliant trees, who rather than grow straight up, strengthen their cores and then grow out offering comfort, shade, protection tothose who happen across them.

those trees filled my thoughts when there should have been no thoughts at all.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 14 [letter 75]

dear,

when we went to check on the larger group of chickens today we found tom the turkey had died sometime between thursday and today. tom and i enjoyed the full moon together the other night and i’d hoped for some more intern-t and tom the turkey bonding time. alas, poor tom, i but knew ye.

one of my tasks this afternoon was to add tom’s remains to the large compost pile. there were a few lambs that didn’t survive the night that i had to load up and take as well.

its dangerous to cry when its that cold outside.
so i somehow managed to wait until i was in my warm(ish) room at the house.
death is difficult.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 13 [letter 74]

dear,

today i was on dishes duty and was responsible for washing up after lunch and dinner for the household. this afternoon while doing the lunch dishes i pondered the snowy landscape out the window just to the left of the sink–periodically getting lost on the one small hill several miles away. my thoughts drifted with the blowing snow and i had to keep pulling myself back to the task at hand.

this evening while washing up post-dinner my eyes were again drawn to the window, my mind craving another wander through the snow. imagine my shock when all i could see was my own reflection.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 12 [letter 73]

dear,

when i was in elementary school i really wanted to be a marine biologist. i lived in an extremely land-locked state (i’m not sure a state gets more land-locked than missouri) and had seen the ocean maybe one or two times before i announced that i would be a marine biologist when i grew up.

funnily enough, in fifth grade when we were to write our very first “research papers” and could choose anything, i chose a very specific mouse. mice do not live in the ocean. as this was many years and many experiences ago i do not remember exactly which species of mouse but do recall a few interesting things from this research project.

my memories of the library are amazingly vivid–this was before the library was moved into the new open space and was in a cramped classroom area near the school nurse. the encyclopedias that i was using were around a bookshelf corner just to the left as you entered the door. i remember my gray index-card-holder and stubby pencil i took with on my neon pink, yellow and green index cards while perched on a chair (probably sitting on one foot) at the white table in that section of the little library. the smell of my pencil eraser and the smudge it made on my beautiful index card. my frustration at my non-unique and not pleasant handwriting. lamenting not choosing ameila earhart as my research subject.

some memories of this species of mouse remain: they are either a slate-gray or tawny in color, they are not the kangaroo mouse but look similar–their hind legs are somehowly built like them–and have long tails.

these memories came to me, unbidden, as i was filling up a grain bucket today–a little gray mouse jumped and squeeked when i stuck my hand in the huge grain bag. it was too busy feasting on some winter wheat to know i was coming toward it, i suppose. seeing this mouse was all my brain needed to bring these memories rushing forward.

after both my and the mouse’s heart-rates declined a bit i said, “i wanted to be a marine biologist, you know. but i guess sheep, goats, chickens, cows, and of course mice, are important too.”

what did you want to be in fifth grade?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 11 [letter 72]

dear,

this evening, fearing inclement weather tomorrow, we herded sheep [which is far different from moving sheep] from one enclosure towards the barn. while we were running along behind the sheep one of the mama’s had a baby. she just stopped where she was in the crowd and produced a sweet little black lamb. i had the pleasure of holding this new little love while continuing to run along behind the rest of the heard, pushing them towards their fresh hay and water.

after running along clapping, yelling “come on’ sheep, get on!” for about a mile, while toting this little one that is still covered from the birthing process, we left it under the water tank and waited for its mother to come find it. within minutes she found her lamb and we all watched as she nuzzled, cleaned and let the lamb nurse. even if these 8-10 inches of snow don’t come as early as we were thinking it was still worth the stress to get these sheep moved just to witness a beautiful bonding moment.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 10 [letter 71]

dear,

this evening’s sunset was enjoyed with a little lamb in my arms. we were making our way home to a nice warm bottle for the baby–her little teeth are too sharp and her mama won’t let her nurse–as we stood watching the sunset i sang a little sharon van etten and snuggled the little one, memorizing the sweet smell of a soft lamb.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 9 [letter 70]

dear,

i spent a good chunk of my afternoon walking around the new grazing area with a newborn baby lamb in my arms. during the move from one grazing pasture to another it was separated from its mama and it was my task to mediate the reunion.

as we walked around looking for mama i told this little one some secrets. it (i never looked to see the sex) listened well, and it was niceto share some things resting on my heart.

among these photos and letters and cards was a stack of journals. most of them were abandoned long before they were full–a trait i still embrace–to move on to a new journal. sometimes this shift is for no reason, sometimes for aesthetic reasons [scrawled in the middle of one journal is “i don’t really like writing on this paper. i’m moving on.”] and sometimes for life-reasons. [in another journal i deciphered my mostly illegible penwomanship and read “this part of my life is over. i’m moving on.”] i didn’t take the time/energy togo through most of the letters, photos or journals but packed them back in their box for review another day. at least now i know whereto find all those journals and surviving middle school black-mail-photos to burn them quickly. the photos i can deal with, but the journals? hum. i think they will merit a read through and a ritual cleansing [burn] in the not too distant future.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 3 [letter 64]

dear, every time in enter a bathroom that has a shower with a closed shower curtain i compulsively check to be sure that no one is hiding in there.  its not that i actually expect to find someone, and i have no experience where i discovered someone lurking in behind the curtain. this just seems to be on of those little compulsions that i can’t really explain.

its not that not checking makes me nervous (of course i have tried to not entertain this silly act) but gives me a feeling as if i haven’t done something i was supposed to do. like blowing out a candle or locking the door. its just something that needs to be done.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 2 [letter 63]

dear,

i don’t typically make resolutions at the beginning of a new year.

my intent this year was to continue in this manner of non-traditional tradition and not make any resolutions at the beginning of this year as well, especially as i have taking on the naming of my year. however i feel compelled to make some resolutions this year. i haven’t decided what they will be yet–i haven’t had an opportunity to sit, meditate and pray about this yet–and am looking forward tostarting to take time tomorrow to begin thinking about what i will resolve.

who knows when these resolutions will come to me? i’m not sure. maybe tomorrow, or the next day. maybe next week or month. we’ll see if i’m up for sharing them, but i suspect they will mostly be held in my heart and lived  to the best of my ability. however, it is probably a safe bet that they will have something to do with the name of the year. sort of like indicators of change in a logframe or gpf. only with less of a desire to sigh/groan/throw things…

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

january 1 [letter 62]

dear,

the name for my 2012 presented itself to me when I wasn’t thinking about it. not unlike when something is just on the tip of your tongue you can’t think of it until you are thinking about something totally different.

this year, for me, will be “a year of profound love.”

i am excited and nervous about what this year will bring, about what and who and how i will love and be loved profoundly by. a yearto grow in my relationship with the divine and all those who are brought into my life.

but the truth is two fold: 1) i procrastinated baking the bread so as to finish reading a book and 2) i’m a night owl (okay 3 fold) and 3)to have the kitchen to myself.

this was my first christmas with my given [rather than found] family in three years–i spent a lot of yesterday (christmas eve) and today (christmas day) hopping back and forth between “this is totally normal” to “wait. what?” and back again. the familiarity of family, of the cold weather and what it feels like to be in america would suddenly be turned on its head when my mind would wanderto think “when should i text my family? wait. i’m sitting with them!” or when my heart desperately tried to turn the church choir in tulsa into a familiar one in kampala.

part of the trouble with leaving pieces of my heart with people and places around the world is that the part of it i still carry with me aches for those bits i’ve left in others hands.

no matter where i am, it seems i’m longing for another place, too. even if i could collect these pieces of my heart back from the people who hold them i would not want to do so. for in giving a piece of my heart, i believe i have taken a bit of theirs as well–and continue in the life-long work of fashioning a new heart from pieces of yours with pieces of mine.

this means that holidays like christmas are always going to be a little painful. but this also means that holidays give me an opportunity to examine the patchwork of this new and ever growing heart, and take a moment for each heart and life that has touched mine in profound and life changing ways love may hurt, but it is certainly worth it.

merry christmas.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 24 [letter 54]

dear,

recently a friend of mine shared an idea of naming the coming year. i will readily admit that at first the idea seemed silly and i ignored the article rather than just reading and then making a choice. after a bit I found myself feeling like an fool for not even considering something that a person whom i trust and love greatly would suggest. so I went back and read the article and fell head over heels in love with this idea.

to name the coming year seems a bit of a daunting task when there is so much unknown, so much to go wrong or so much possibilityto go a different direction. but not naming the year, not giving a positive focus and drive, something to ground and come back too in the long dark winters of the soul (which for me actually come in the spring time) seemed even more crazy.

so on this christmas eve late night i am now beginning to seriously contemplate what this year shall be called. what will this year bring? it seems fitting to consider these things as the night rolls over into christmas morning.

will you name your upcoming year?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 23 [letter 53]

dear,

i’ve been dreaming lately but have been reticent to share this news for fear that they will stop.

this evening, however, i came to the conclusion that perhaps if i just do not reveal the contents of the dreams that they will not be scared away. dreams, for me, seem to be a bit like skittish [“inclined to shy”] birds–they will come close when unbidden and scatter at the slightest movement–not responsive to crumbs of invitation.

so, i am dreaming.  and hoping that those dreams somehow stick around. maybe we will come to know each other again, my dreams and i, and i will be able to share them with you.

what are you dreaming?
i hope its earth-shattering.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 22 [letter 52]

dear,

i’ve been thinking about the east african use of the word “somehow” a lot these past few days. it is a word that has many uses: from the expression of the liminal state to trusting that things will work themselves out. it can be used in response to the question, “how are you?” the response of: “somehow” can mean that you are feeling somewhat alright. you aren’t quite “well” and you aren’t quite “not well”, but are “somehow”…nestled in the gray area between “well” and “not well”.

when faced with a seemingly impossible situation one can trust that things will fall into place “somehow.” for example: you are stranded in the bush with a housemate and a driver, something has gone wrong with the vehicle and no one is quite sure what. the sun is setting and its not terribly safe to be out in this particular area in the dark. you begin to wonder what is going to happen with no mechanic, no spare whatever-it-is-you-need and no foreseeable way of getting said whatever-it-is-you-need. when the driver is questioned about if the car is going to work or not, or if you are going to make it to town or not he replies with, “we will get there. somehow.” and you do. “somehow.”

there is immense possibility in “somehow”.
there are unfathomable depths of maybe in “somehow”.

a word in this context does not mean “yes” or “no” and not really even “maybe” but is a brilliant combination of the three, expressing an exciting mystery of what could possibly be coming around the corner.

i hope, somehow.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 21 [letter 51]

dear,

stepping out onto a potentially unstable limb that could lead to the total shattering of the self seems a lot less scary when you know you have friends who will gather up the shattered bits and piece you back together if you tumble. knowing these friends are there, coaching and coaxing, waiting below to try and catch and at the same time up on that limb with you as much as they can be, make the seeking of earth-shattering possible.

and for that i am deeply and profoundly thankful.

lets go seek earth-shattering possibilities.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 20 [letter 50]

dear,

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 19 [letter 49]

dear,

i should probably sing more than i do.

what about you?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 18 [letter 48]

dear,

i was transported this evening to a place that i love. a place that i miss. to karamoja.

i shared a new documentary on the karamoja region with some friends–this was the second time i’ve watched and the first time with others.

this time around it was a bit less of an emotional endeavor…the first viewing was after being back in the states for about a month. i was running on the treadmill but had to pull the emergency-magnet-thingy to stop so i could sit down [and cry] when the toposa women were dancing and singing.

while this viewing wasn’t nearly as dramatic or painful there was certainly a twinge of pain–a longing.
a pulling.

for the warmth and wind, for the goats and cows, for the people, the language and accent.
and so much more.
oh. to love a place.
oh. to love.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 17 [letter 47]

dear,

it was an odd culture-shock kind of day. while my body and 1/2 of my mind occupying with the #ows movement in new york while the other 1/2 of my mind was in uganda. i would be reveling in the freedom and safety of exercising my right of protest and in the same moment wanted to cry for those in uganda who protest without the freedom or safety that we are afforded.

i wanted to cry remembering those who are afraid to protest, for those who have been injured or killed for expressing their beliefs.

it was a difficult day. it was a good day.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 16 [letter 46]

dear,

wish you were here, too.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 15 [letter 45]

dear,

one of the difficulties of “growing up” has been not knowing myself, or who i am, but of catching up others who “knew me when” toknow me now. while i have questioned who i am, and who i am becoming and how to express Me i have [generally] found this growing, learning and chancing to be an exciting and interesting process of development.

its an odd place to be–my change has been gradual and over time and suddenly here i am back in a place with people who have known me before moving away, before experiencing life in a new place far away, and some of whom expect me to be exactly as i was before. not all, but some. so i’m sitting at this intersection…waiting.

waiting to see who will ask, who will notice anything different waiting and weighing options. what an interesting place to be.

where are you today?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 14 [letter 44]

dear,

it was another pilgrimage kind of day–i made my first ever visit to the new york public library. she was all dressed up in her holiday attire–a beautiful tree decorated with cranberries, cardinals, blue birds and owls–making a heck of a first impression on this lover of books.

the most profound moment of this pilgrimage was sitting in the rose reading room and letting the beauty of so many books and all the potential for learning within each of those books surround me. the profundity of an encounter with a new thought, new idea, a new possibility…its almost enough to move me to prose.

almost.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 13 [letter 43]

dear,

this afternoon i sat on a bench in the middle of the brooklyn bridge, feeling the motion of all the cars passing below–a semi-constant shuttering of this beauty of a bridge. my feelings on this swaying vacillated between alarm and amusement–many thoughts in between and, my favorite, a combination of the two extremes.

i was alarmed that this structure would in fact sway. while i realize that this probably means that it is structurally secure and less likely to snap in half dumping a sea of humanity-with-cameras, metal, steel, bicycles and a metric ton of kitschy magnets plummeting into the water below it is still an odd sensation to have the ground beneath you noticeably moving.

that being said, this is where the amusement overlaps with the alarm: i almost wanted to laugh out loud at the sheer ingenuity of such a structure existing at all. isn’t it interesting that a strong and mighty structure would feel unstable at times?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 12 [letter 42]

dear, this afternoon i took my over-crowded mind for a walk. after a few hours of wandering and pondering i situated myself on a park bench, smart phone in hand, and produced the following thoughts:

-sitting on a park bench. in the sun, yet still cold. learning lessons in futility as i wait for someone who cannot possibly be on the way.

-“is it too much to ask”, she wonders, “to just be given a straight forward answer? even a straight forward ‘i have no idea…’ would be preferable to vague talking in circles or no answer at all.”

-after pondering all sides of the equation, she still finds herself coming out of this problem alone. the surprise is not the conclusion, but the quick and easy acceptance of this semi-scientific data.

-winter is the perfect season to be near tears in public, everyone is sniffing because of the cold. so most likely no one will notice as long as the tears never really fall.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 11 [letter 41]

dear,

in church this evening we sang a hymn that i haven’t sung in years–an advent hymn that never seemed to come up in my three advents living in uganda–one that i knew very well and was excited to have this familiar hymn be a part of this lessons and carols service. i was shocked when we began singing…i had a difficulty following the harmonization!

at first i wondered if the alto line was different in this particular hymnal, as this has been my experience before. but after making it through the first stanza i realized that, no, this was in fact the very same harmonization that i had sung and nearly memorized years ago… what was the problem? i was far more upset about this than perhaps i needed to be in the minute it took us to sing through that  first stanza. while singing the second i tried an alternative approach: i did not look at the music. lyrics, yes. musical notation: no. i relied on memory alone with nearly perfect results.

i wonder what else i could do better were i not to over think so much.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 10 [letter 40]

dear,

overheard in a brooklyn cafe:

“ruby…ruby…ruby…Ruby…RubY…RUBY!!”

ruby was probably seven years old, and her mother REALLY wanted her attention and for ruby to stop doing whatever it was she was doing up until that point.

ruby and her brother were enjoying hot chocolate and yelling as the rest of us in the coffee shop were not enjoying their presence…

“i used to be afraid of dog’s — but i realized that you just gotta let the love in.”

this line was delivered by one male barista to one female barista. a customer had brought in a large dog, which clearly made the female barista quite nervous. in his desire to help her overcome her anxiety the male barista knelt in front of her and pretended to be a dog–narrating how a dog feels when humans are nervous about it…

she seemed as nervous about his role-play as she did about the dog.
he didn’t have a clue, and the dog was long gone by then…

“you just gotta let the love in…”

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 9 [letter 39]

dear,

going through an airport security line this morning i spoke to a man who says he flies at least 80,000 miles a year.

i said the first thing that came to mind: “that’s a lot of taking off your shoes…”

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 8 [letter 38]

dear,

when i was a little girl i didn’t have imaginary friends, i had imaginary elephants. imaginary elephants who i had tied very long ribbons around, and who i would take with me wherever i walked (as i knew, imaginary or no, full grown elephants do not fit in the station wagon).

there was also the “little man that fell from the sky.” it was on a journey to the country when i was seated in the front seat of the car that i caught him. according to my father i watched this little man softly floating down from the heavens for at least twenty minutes before cupping my hands together and gently saying, “i’ve got you.” i caught the little man that fell from the sky, held onto him until we got the country, and then let him go again. (interestingly enough, i’d never heard of “the little prince” and didn’t read it until about 5 months ago…if only i’d known, i’d have had a conversation with him.)

who were/are your imaginary friends?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 7 [letter 37]

dear,

i spent a better part of the afternoon attempting to get acquainted with my great-grandmother’s sewing machine. i suppose technically it is mine as she has given it to me, but will always think of it as hers.

first i carefully rearranged the pincushion, sorted the bobbins and counted the extra needles. about twenty-minutes slipped quickly past as i marveled at the singer buttonholer–having no idea how to use it.

the actual machine could use a good wipe-down, but i can’t bring myself to do that yet–its sort of like she’s still touching it… eventually i will clean it up, but for now it is going to remain a little grimy as the nostalgia settles in. i plugged the pedal in, and hesitatingly plugged the machine into the wall, clicked on the little light and reveled in its vintage beauty.

perhaps tomorrow i will actually try to sew something…

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 6 [letter 36]

dear,

while driving home this afternoon i observed six geese struggling into the wind. normally there are far more than six geese traveling together–and i wondered if their small number was making their endeavor more difficult, if they were just flying into a strong wind, or a combination of the two.

this made me ponder the strength found in community–and ponder my own community of friends. and while sometimes we struggle into uncertain situations against the wind, if we go in community at least we have companionship. perhaps that is a little convoluted. or trite. but i don’t think so. there is a lot to be said for community, and good friendships. and those who struggle with you against the wind.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 5 [letter 35]

dear,

this afternoon i went for a long wander along a path, off the path, through the woods and tromped about in the creek. the most profound beauty is found in holding perfectly still, listening with all of my being, and hearing just the wind rustling the leaves…the snap of a twig and huff of a frightened deer…a far off train whistle…my own breath.

at first my breath sounded foreign and odd. so i sat on a stump until i centered and recognized myself again. this exercise took much longer than i anticipated. but the results will last far longer than i can probably suspect. there was space and time enough to breathe on my own, a gift. while i very much reveled in my aloneness i also, for maybe the first time in these farm-walks, wished someone was there being perfectly still and listening with me.

i wanted to share the quiet, the thin-space, the muted beauty of a midwest winter afternoon.

where did you walk today?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 4 [letter 34]

dear,

more genetic proof I came by my sass honestly:

“well ,i figure i know just about as much as anybody else, so i don’t like to be bossed!”

my great grandmother explaining her sassy-boots approach to life.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 3 [letter 33]

dear,

it rained throughout my entire journey today. one of those cool but threatening to get colder kind of rains that missouri is so good at making in early december. many would describe this weather as icky, or gross. i, however, find this sort of weather pleasurable.

the clouds are lower in the sky, almost as if making themselves more accessable. the earth turns colors as the ground drinks in the water, renewing herself. it is sort of magical. the beauty of the ambers and embers against the gray of the skay.

gray-sky-days are good days for pushing into the liminal. for seeking thin spaces. for sending questions heavenward, that kind of heaven accessed through the clouds, as they have come near to us, trading their tears for our questions.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 2 [letter 32]

dear,

in some ways the direction my life is headed is exactly where i thought it would be. but really only in a vague “go east” sort of direction. there are many ways to “go east” (or west, or south or north) and one can end up in many different places with that sort of vague direction. what i find, and am finding, even more exciting are the surprises along the way. the beautiful things i have been privilegedto encounter all over the world, and in my own back yard. for the unexpected friendships that i’m not sure what i would do without.

the hands i am honored to hold. the secretes i hear. those i long to see and hug.
surprised that so many would laugh at my jokes, would want to hug me, and surprised at those hands that wish to hold mine. gifts, all of them. gifts i’m not sure i deserve. have you felt this way?

and i’m surprised to be writing to you.
surprised to project my heart and wonderings in this way.
i am not surprised, however, at how much i’m loving journeying with you, dear.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

december 1 [letter 31]

dear,

this is one of these evenings that if you were to come over i would offer you a cup of tea, and we would sit in a comfortable silence for a while sipping. and when it was eventually time to go we would thank one another for that deep and beautiful conversation.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 30 [letter 30]

dear,

can you believe i’ve been writing to you for a month? in some ways i think i know who you are, and in others i think i am writing you into existence. or perhaps its that i am writing more of myself into existence. or both. lets continue this conversation for a while.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 29 [letter 29]

dear,

i dreamed a dream last night.

this morning i woke with a start to my alarm, barely remembering that i had just been elsewhere, far far away from my gray/blue and white stripped sheets and feather pillows. far away from the dark and chilly room over the garage on cardinal drive. in that flash of a second after awaking i could still feel the weight of the air on my skin, i could feel the heat radiating from below–off the sand–and from the blazing sun above. the familiar cow, off milk and dust combination of smells remained in my nose. and i could see the kind and smiling eyes of the one with whom i was walking.

it was my first dream in ages.
i wasn’t, and am still not, sure if i should weep or laugh at those fragments pieced together.
that is all i remember of the dream.

my dream speaks to me in a language i’m not sure i understand yet.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 28 [letter 28]

dear,

running the risk of repeating myself here, but the trouble with love is that sometimes is painful. isn’t that odd? i think it’s odd. i am still in the process of sounding the depths of love that i am capable of, and most of the time the unfathomable depth of the well of love within me terrifies me. perhaps if i show more love more often i would learn to not be so afraid of it. maybe.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love [a lot of it] until tomorrow,
t

november 27 [letter 27]

dear,

today is the first day of advent, one of my very favorite times of year. advent is a season of waiting and watching, leaning towards and listening into the darkness, and of remembering the depths of god’s love. throughout this season of waiting and watching the anticipation will grow–we lean into that growing darkness, and just when a north american winter couldn’t get more dreary  and dark we begin to see the shimmer of light and hope and promise.

something is coming.
will you listen with me for the voices crying out in the wilderness?

will you cry out with me when it’s our time?
something is coming.
wait with me?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 26 [letter 26]

dear,

at this moment i have at least 30 pages into 9 different books. at least one is in preparation for a bible study that i’m writing, but i am reading it much more at length than is probably necessary to prepare for this bible study…i just get sucked in! two of the other books were referred–one by a friend, one by my mother–one is a re-read, one was given [forced up me?] one was an impulse buy in nakumatt and one was discovered by a friend and i just had to have it.

thinking back, i do not recall reading books like this always. it is my supposition that this practice began in university when it was necessary to be in the middle of several books at once, which was only continued and the habit was only exacerbated in graduate school. or, i’m not very good at waiting and when i decide i want to read a book now i want to read it  now.

this is equally if not more likely than the previous explanation. it is probably a good thing that the books i left behind in various places, half read, are not also at my fingertips or i’d be in the middle of about 15 books at once. perhaps i should chance the count to10 as i still consider myself to be reading ‘the barn at the end of the world’ even though i haven’t physically been in the presence of this book for over a month now, however i actively think of this book at least a few times a week–so i’m going to go ahead and count it as if i were still reading it. so, i amend the opening sentence and say that “at this moment i have at least 30 pages into 10 different books.”

what are you reading?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 25 [letter 25]

dear,

this letter is coming from a very dark household. we were enjoying our newly put up christmas decorations when there were three booms that dad identified as the transformers blowing. as soon as the darkness settled in around us my brain started going through the checklist of what to do…then i remembered that this particular home won’t run out of water if the power is out for a few minutes, and we can rest assured that someone is already working on the problem. no one is to blame for overusing electronic devices or forgetting to turn off the fridge. so greetings and salutations from the dark…my uganda training says it is time for bed!

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 24 [letter 24]

dear,

post thanksgiving lunch i found myself standing on an overpass, listening for the sounds of a whistling train that never came. it gets dark fairly early these days as we have “fallen back” an hour, and the light was beginning to lean toward the pinks and orange of a fall-dusk–i watched these colors brighten and blur together through the  branches bereft of foliage–making me wonder why i felt colder if the sky was so warm.

on my afternoon solo-walk i wandered the streets of the tiny town (as of last census population 291) pondering its first and current inhabitants. there is a building “downtown” with the year 1882 on its cornerstone. i wonder about the people who came to settle in this little place, the train tracks the lifeblood through this now quiet town.

now while the train still runs through, it no longer stops–the town is a crumbling shadow of what it probably once was. yet people still remain, so i wondered about them as i wandered up and down streets, snapping photographs of old homes, churches and the school. i wanted to encounter some people so i could ask, “what keeps you here?” but the opportunity never came about.

my wander came to an end at the train tracks, and i heard the whistle of a locomotive somewhere down the line. thinking i only had a short amount of time, i hustled back up the hill to the bridge where i’d been waiting before–the whistling of the train at my back as i scrambled. i reached the bridge and stationed myself squarely in the middle, camera at the ready. the train never came. and i went away, perplexed.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 23 [letter 23]

dear,

i’m not sure i’ve ever been nervous about thanksgiving before. but this year i must confess that i’m at least a touch nervous. not because of the people, or pressure to make something spectacular (even though i did make some spectacular things this afternoon and evening). but because i haven’t done this whole thanksgiving-family-fun-times thing in a while now. there have been a few times that i have embarrassed myself with my confused etiquette and tomorrow will be just rife with possibilities to do so. but what better place tomake a fool of ones-self than with family, right? pondering thanksgivings past they are mainly a blur of family-homes, turkey, green bean casserole and watching “christmas vacation.” after a day’s worth of pondering i have not come up with one solid story of ‘remember in 1988 when this-thing happened?’ i’m working on that… i’m also working on reconciling the celebration of a holiday that i really don’t agree with. from its founding to the massive consumerism and encouraged gluttony… i’m just not really excited about any of those things.

yes, lets be thankful! but. well. anyway, i tend to keep that to myself this close to the holiday, so perhaps i shall continue to do so.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 22 [letter 22]

dear,

a little vignette to show that i came by a love of the color red, good cars and sass honestly:

my grandmother (grams) asked my great grandmother (101) what she wanted for christmas. my great grandmother (need i remind you she’s 101?) said that she wants a red cadillac, four door (she just isn’t too fond of two door vehicles).

“a V8!” she says.

grams then says something to the effect of, “uh. what are you going to do with that?”
great grandmother: “well, i guess i don’t even have a driving license anymore…”

grams then relays this story to my mother who then tells it to me this evening.
so now when you wonder about the sass, love of red and a nice fast car you can rest assured that there are at least four generations ago this was in my genes.

forget the pony*, we need a red v8 four door cadillac for christmas!

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

*don’t actually forget about the pony. if you wanted to get me a pony, dear, that’d be fine. maybe just bring it alongside the caddy? yes. good.

november 21 [letter 21]

dear,

a true marker of adulthood, for me at least, is looking forward to seeing people i haven’t seen in at least 6 years. looking forward towho they have become, and sharing who i have become with them. i will get a chance this evening to practice this  marker of adulthood and really am looking forward to it. these are people whose company i enjoyed then, but have not really kept up with (sorry, but facebook friendship does not cut it) over the years that i have been away from this place. i’m so glad to have these markers of adulthood to point towards, if to no one else than myself, to show that yes! i have grown up. (at least a little.)

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 20 [letter 20]

dear,

i wonder why.
i wonder, “why?”
i Wonder why.
I wonder why.
i wonder WHY?!

there isn’t a time that i don’t remember being a wonder-er. and wondering “why?” is is a question i ask myself and of my surroundings many times a day. i wonder why things are the way they are, and if they have to stay that way. i wonder why certain things work they way they do, and often mutter “there must be a better way…”

i wonder about the color of the sky, why the blue of a central missouri sky is lighter in hue than a north east uganda sky. i wonder where the birds are going as they fly over head, where the wind will carry those leaves or what it must feel like to soar on the wind. i wonder about people i love, and what they are doing and how they are. often those wonderings turn to prayers. prayers of thanksgiving, for well-being and continued growth and wisdom.

i wonder about “big” things like the state of the economy in this country and others, about injustice and poverty. i wonder about those who “fall between the cracks” and wonder how i can either be standing on the edge with a life-ring and at the same time below tocatch (or at least soften the blow) of those who fall through. also there are the little things like: if this is a japanese beetle or lady bug, what that leaf would sound like if i crunched it, what song that bird sings.

i wonder.
what do you wonder?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 19 [letter 19]

dear,

the topic of secrets keeps coming up in various conversations, and musings. so of course i have been pondering secrets. it strikes me as odd that secrets can be good things to keep, bad things to keep and anywhere betwixt and between those book-ends of a binary. and then i wonder about the secrets that we keep to protect someone else. and how many times in the process we ourselves or others are caught up in the secret or its keeping and are hurt when is it good to keep a secret?

when is it better to take the brunt of the pain upon ourselves?

life can be tricky, can’t it?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 18 [letter 18]

dear,

sometimes i have a hard time verbalizing (or writing) what i’m thinking or feeling. the latter part of today has been that way. lets try again tomorrow.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 17 [letter 17]

dear,

today was a “decompress” kind of day. which is to say: i slept in. and then did not attempt to get a whole lot accomplished. other than recuperating from being on the move. the effect was good, but i wish i’d rolled out of bed to meditate when the thought crossed my mind.

but i did bake a loaf of bread–and kneaded my prayers for understanding and insight into the dough. the loaf has not imparted any wisdom, but i did feel better. and the house smelled of fresh bread this evening. not to mention that there is now a fresh loaf of bread available. its not quite za zen, but its on the way.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 16 [letter 16]

dear,

airport security lines are such interesting places. not only are airports fascinating for the cross-section of humanity that pass through but the things that we endure in the name of travel–things that become normal, that in any other part of life would be out of the question, or embarrassing. i thought of this today while putting my shoes and belt back on post scan (what are those things called? the new things that are not metal detectors, but that invasive thingy that basically takes your clothes off in picture form? anyway, that thing) and glanced around at the 10 or so others who were doing the same.

ponder as i might i could think of no mix-gender place where one would feel this comfortable removing one’s shoes and belt with total strangers. (non mixed places would be like the locker room at the gym or pool or something, and even that is done with some nervousness. (also, that was not meant to be suggestive in the least.))

there is something about traveling that seems to open people up in ways that meeting in the grocery store line in church do not. perhaps its the recycled air and too-bright-lights, or the physical closeness we do intimate things in like sleep or eat in with strangers. and this happens even before boarding the plane, too!

i sat in one place on one stool for about an hour this afternoon and learned all about two 20somethings vacation they were just undertaking, a 40something’s trip home to his mother who is ill, another 40something headed “home” to louisiana–its “home” because her ‘real’ home is in wisconsin–and was defeated handily in jeopardy by the bartender (who gave an impassioned speech about the state of education in the united states…i also learned all about how he barley made it through hurricane rita).

the gentleman next to me on the plane confided that his business meetings didn’t really go as well as he wanted and was worried he wouldn’t close the deal. he showed me pictures of his adorable 6 year old daughter on his iphone. this all makes me wonder if airports need full-time chaplains. and if i could be employed to sit at the bar and chat with people. in short, it was a good day in ministry.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 15 [letter 15]

dear,

some days are more like Days than just days. and today was a Day. that is a bit of an overstatement i suppose, it was more like a Morning. but doesn’t that seem to be fairly typical of a Day? it really was just a Morning but the funk of the Morning remains and turns at least a good part of the day into an Day. while i don’t like having Mornings or Days there is certainly something positive that comes out of these less-than-positive things: leaning on friends. i guess comfort is something that i’ve been thinking about a lot recently, and thinking about relationships (this is not a new pondering topic, it is constant) and what a beautiful privilege it is to have these friendships and relationships that i know i can count on to lean on when i’ve had a Morning or a Day. so i suppose, in a small way, i’m thankful for Days.

and i hope that you know, dear, that i will be here when you have Days.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 14 [letter 14]

dear,

there really isn’t anything better than walking into a familiar embrace. walking into a familiar home and into a conversation that is new yet comfortable. there is something to be said for the familiar–the comfort and acceptance one finds there. its truly a beautiful thing.

i’ve been thinking about familiarity and kinship a lot recently. about what feels good about familiarity, and the beauty there. this is notto negate the beauty of the unknown or the questions, but i have just been ruminating on the comfort and joy there is in the familiar.

and am thankful for the moments of deep familiarity, with people and places i am remembering or revisiting and the mystery of the feeling of familiarity in the unknown. and i like that.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 13 [letter 13]

dear,

bidding farewell to the redwoods this morning was difficult. i’m currently people watching in an airport, which is one of my favorite sports.

its funny, these letters, i still have a lot of words and thoughts and feelings to convey, but am having a difficult time getting them down these last few days. thank you for waiting with me. i will have more to say as soon as i figure out how. i do wonder what the shift was, however…

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 12 [letter 12]

dear,

do you ever suddenly realize that it is time for a change, make the change and then struggle with sharing the realization and the actual change? its like suddenly my eyes are open to so much, and i’m not even sure how to express…myself… even to you.

don’t give up on me. i’m trying.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 11 [letter 11]

dear,

today was a beautiful, cold and rainy day. happily, i was able to get a run in this morning before the rain began. it was a bit cold out there, but running next to these beautiful trees and down along the creek is certainly a highlight of the day. while i do not necessarily want it to rain all the time, there is something special about rain.

perhaps it is my inner romantic coming towards the surface again, but a nice day’s long rain truly does seem cleansing, refreshing and renewing. the gray skies are an invitation to focus inward and reflect. and the sound of rain falling on all manner of objects–from human-created to natural–can be beautiful music. perhaps i’m just in a poetic mood these past few days. perhaps not.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 10 [letter 10]

dear,

today was a glorious day. today is the day i met a redwood, hugged her tight, and let my spirit soar towards her highest reaches, perhaps even unto heaven.

tomorrow i plan to do the same.
i shall send thoughts of you sky-ward, too.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 9 [letter 9]

dear,

waking up in a new place every day, i’m sure, would eventually get old. but maybe not. all i had to do was go to sleep and then wake up, again with the sun, and found myself in arizona looking out into scrub brush that was vaguely reminiscent of my most recent home. there were fewer “stretch your legs” stops today, and none involved older women selling things. however today did involve arriving in los angeles, california and two fascinating hours of people watching in union station.

general train-traffic is vaguely like airplane-traffic but then also entirely different. even those zooming through union station as commuters on their way to work in the morning struck me as a different breed than business/commuter travelers on short flights. it is also southern california, so, take that for what you will.

post people (and bird!) watching i was on train number two with a chatty but nice seat mate. she very much wanted to watch the ocean go by and asked the conductor for a western-side window-seat. sadly there were no more available so she spent a huge chunk of the day in the observation car watching the ocean.

another shared lunch with three lovely travelers, one couple and one single gentleman–all perhaps in their 60s–they all enjoy train travel, but the conversation on the subject was not quite as focused on the romantic aspects of train travel today. that was too bad. my feelings toward train travel, however, remain intact and full-speed-ahead.

that being said, this nights sleep will be in an actual bed that lays totally flat and is larger than a train seat. yes, i have arrived at my weekend destination and will be re-enter-retreating for the next few days

the two things i am most looking forward to: daylight so i can see these redwoods outside my window (!) and a very long run tomorrow along one of these rivers i see on my map. jonsi will be playing on the ipod, i suspect.  and now for well deserved sleep.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 8 [letter 8]

dear,

a most romantic train day. i woke with the sun and the first sight out my window were huge snowflakes dropping on fat black angus cows grazing in a harvested corn field. soon after there were 6 deer-youth in another field, frolicking about in the way that young deer do. magical. equally as magical is the fact that the train coffee is actually fairly good, albeit two dollars a cup. eep.

the majority of the day was full of taking photos out the window, stretching my legs at various train platforms from colorado to new mexico, and reading thomas merton. not a bad day. i built a tiny snowperson in trinidad, colorado, of all places. it was rather cute and very worth the frozen hands. in la junta, colorado, a purchase of a 1966 weekly reader book about a farmer and his pesky neighbor for fifty cents was necessary and a delightful interaction with the book seller, probably in her 70s.

met a lovely 60-something couple at lunch, we shared love of march madness and duke basketball, and romantic feelings about trains. it was lovely. it is now dark and there isn’t as much to see out the windows, but every once and a while a small town appears and i make up stories about the people in the houses. i may not dream at night, but have become a champion daydreamer. not quite the same, but at least its something.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 7 [letter 7]

dear,

as i write you this evening i am slowly being lulled to sleep by the gentle swish and sway of a west-bound train. pulling my red bag through union station in downtown kansas city, as silly as it may sound, is a bit of a dream come true.

my seat is in the very last car, is a window seat, and twice as spacious as any airplane seat I have ever had. it is amazingly quiet and nowhere full. the locomotive is far enough away that when the whistle sounds it wafts back as in a dream. this will probably not come as a surprise, but i am terribly romantic regarding trains…

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 6 [letter 6]

dear,

tonight i am sleeping in my childhood hometown for the first time in at least 7 years, and i can’t help but wonder if the dreams of my childhood will return. when i was younger i had very vivid dreams–some good some very bad–the kind that i think i long for when i say i wish i were a dreaming-mystic. perhaps “coming home” will reawaken my dreams (something i am truly longing for).

driving down the main street of my hometown felt very familiar and very foreign at the same time. thinking, “it looks exactly the same…oh, except that…” and wondering if i still know these people (it is a small town) and if they still know me. and how much we’ve all changed.

change. what a funny thing. and now i need to remember to change the clock…

“if you think about it, its like time travel…”

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorow
t

november 5 [letter 5]

dear,

at least twice a day i can hear the train passing. the whistle sounds. its far enough away that there is a muted quality to it. as though hearing it from underwater. my home town was a “train town” and i would listen for the whistles then, too. my thoughts and daydreams about the train haven’t changed much over the years. it almost never fails that i wish i was going somewhere on that train. wherever its going, i’m interested. because that somewhere isn’t wherever here is. [for now, anyway.]

i think i am anxious to be on the move again. traveling companion: optional. nice but not necessary. if only i didn’t have so many books…

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 4 [letter 4]

dear,

much to my dismay there was no snow on the ground when i peeked out the windows this morning. however, the sky was that brilliant shade of cobalt that it only seems to be a day after rain. it was a perfect day for taking photos of the few leaves left clinging tothe tops of nearly bare trees. there is what i think is an oak tree in the neighborhood, whose leaves are currently a stunning vivid yellow… a shock of maybe 30 remaining leaves at the tip-top of the tree. anyway, its beautiful.

hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 3 [letter 3]

dear,

a lot of today slid by without my taking much notice of it. the morning was quiet. no music. no news or television [not that i actually really watch either of these things very often anymore]. this was a conscious choice. i figured it was time to spend some quality time with my thoughts. this was not a disaster.

a friend came over in the afternoon.
we had tea and conversation, which was lovely the temperature dropped dramatically between 3 and 5 and currently we are enduring some very cold rain that is rumored to desire to turn to sleet if not snow. it was 76 yesterday!

i don’t mention the weather because there aren’t other things to speak about, but because today i actually find it interesting. when i was a little girl, in the wintertime, i would peek out my windows first thing in the morning hoping for my own personal “winter wonderland” in the back yard. we had this stand of tall evergreens lining our back fence and just outside the windows of my very pink bedroom. there is a fairly decent chance that in the morning i’ll peek out the windows of my slate/sage bedroom hoping for a “winter wonderland.” (sadly, out my bedroom windows these days is a cul-d-sac. but today i won’t linger on the negative.)

even at 28 the first snow is magical!

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 2 [letter 2]

dear,

it was a remarkably warm day today–all the way up to 76(f)–which made the weather for my afternoon walk delightful. less delightful, however, was the shortness of the green-way trail behind the house. the initial walking was quite nice with the large leaves crunching beneath my feet, the wind making little leaf-tornadoes and the like. a huge hedgeball almost knocked me on the head, but rather landed directly in front of me. i’ve never inspected one close up, so i took time to do so. however, after passing the little playground about a hundred meters away and pausing by the creek i found myself standing, perplexed, in the middle of a cul-d-sac. i must have looked rather amusing with a confused and surprised dear-in-the-headlights look on my face. my camera was in its rightful place (poised and ready to capture life) but kind of drooping out of surprise.

maybe on another day i shall challenge myself to search for the beauty of the subdivision. that day was not today. upon regaining my bearings i returned home and had some water and some chocolate, you know, so as to ponder better. when i awoke this morning i realized that i had a dream last night. however it was one of those dreams that i didn’t realize was a dream until a bit later in the morning so perhaps that first statement was misleading.

in my dream i had an email from a friend that said a few specific things. in reality i did have an email from that friend that said similar things but not quite exactly the same things. for a fleeting moment i thought that perhaps my prayers/pleadings to be a mystic were being heard and it was starting to happen–but realized that there was a decent chance that when i remember turning my phoneto silent in the wee hours of the morning i could very well have read her email and my half-asleep-brain just did not computer it properly. drat.

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

november 1 [letter 1]

dear,

while i have been rather enjoying the fall weather now that i am back in missouri, i fear that i’m letting it slip by without enjoying it more fully. partially this is because i have quite a bit to do but that is always my least favorite excuse for anything–when one believes in something or someone one finds the time for it or them. perhaps tomorrow i will take a break from filling out paperwork and tryingto figure out how i’m going to renew my drivers license to wander around outside and enjoy the light and air and smell of a missouri fall. there is a good chance i’ll take my camera.

i am happy to report, however, that i have been taking time to be reacquainted with my piano. today i played rachmaninoff until my fingers cramped up. don’t be too impressed though, this wasn’t very long as i’m terribly out of practice! you are allowed to be impressed that i wound and used the metronome faithfully. [perhaps i’m just crazy.] with my hands getting back into piano-shape i should also like to start getting my singing-voice back in shape, too. i’ve missed music.

something i have been wondering about a lot lately is why i don’t seem to dream anymore. daydream, sure. but the last time i had a Dream at night? there was one where john wesley yelled at me that week i was in kenya, and i attribute that dream to stress as i was writing commissioning papers. but before that? i’m not sure. i hope that i start to dream again. maybe awakening my musical side will open up my dreams, too.

i hope so. i love dreaming. at least 3 people said that i was in their dreams shortly after i left uganda. all three of these dreams other people were about uganda and me in some way. i certainly think its a sign. wouldn’t you agree?

i hope that you are well, wherever you are.
that today brings good things.

sending love until tomorrow,
t

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3 thoughts on “to whom it may concern [letters]

  1. i’m sorry i won’t get daily email nudges to read your letters, but when you post on your main blog, i’ll check the tab! and i’m looking forward to another card–one is coming your way as soon as you send me a postal address (and the card is from Europe!). LOVE YOU!

  2. Pingback: “soooo what’s next?” « kiss the joy as it flies

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