Friday, July 29, 2011

The same boat.

So, I've been hanging out at Karma Cafe this week (as evidenced here) working on job-hunting, resume-updating and the like.

I also bought a domain name for my own website, which has no content yet. If you want to see the digital nakedness, it's here. Want to help me with the website? Get in touch with me. I'll welcome the input.

In my attempts to finish the resume today, I hit a formatting hiccup that had me frustrated. I emailed several friends, and one of them was able to help, thank goodness.

Another of my friends wasn't able to solve the issue, but she provided me with the following email exchange, which I found encouraging and enjoyable. Names and some details have been changed or omitted--sometimes anonymity helps.

I feel like I am in the same spot with what you said about goals and passions for my life. So you are truly not alone if that helps at all. 

Someone told me the other day they thought that my life went off course when I went to Seminary.

Now I answer phones.

So trust me, you are not alone and this may be terrible of me but it makes me feel a bit better that although most people cannot really empathize with what I'm feeling; you can.

I think that you need to either write humorist essays (which I have recently decided is my dream career) or host your own radio show. Perhaps both.  I would be a sponsor.

I replied: 

Write me a check, sister. I'll go on the air tomorrow. 

This will be my opening song (on the radio at this very moment, and I feel like the very sound of it--not even the words--is my life right now. A little hopeful, a little urgent, a little desperate, a little driven, a little aimless. 

I included a link to my favorite song of the moment--it's Young the Giant's "Cough Syrup". Pretty much encapsulates things. Enjoy:


 In the meantime, I'm accepting donations for my new radio show/first essay collection.

Just because.

Friday, July 22, 2011

To everything there is a season...

I remarked to a friend several months back that I felt like big changes were on the way in my life, but I didn't know what they would look like. And now I have a slightly better idea.

It's time for me to look for some new opportunities to serve. and for chances to bring my skills into a new position. I'm officially placing myself back on the market, so to speak.

Am I excited? Extremely.
 I don't know what's next, but I believe it will be good.

Am I scared? Absolutely.
Change is scary, period. But I've been reminded lately of something I wrote when I was at the coast--it was in the previous post:

Why settle for a river when the ocean is right next door? 

So this is me, stretching for the ocean. I am ready and open to accept any tips, help, suggestions. I'm happy to share my resume, glad to sit and chat over coffee about what motivates me, or what motivates you.

Expect more updates from this space, but please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or updates. I'll be here, and I'll be ready.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beach, Day Two (part two) AND...

So, a big change came down for me yesterday. There will be another blog coming soon, but I wanted to go ahead and finish up my time at the beach. It might be time for another vacation, though I doubt it. :P So...

Day two, part two:

I am sitting at Kyllo's and the older woman at the table nearest me just said, "You don't think they'd send grungy girls, with a story like that."
  There's a younger man with her, and her husband. "Girls with sturdy ankles and bad teeth," the younger man said.
Probably because I looked at them, the woman looked at me.
My ankles are weak, madam, I rhought, The weakest. 

The ocean spills into a little inlet right here, a shallow river. The ocean--the full, magestic, huge ocean is 20 feet away. People are still playing in the river, lying by it. Why settle for a river when the ocean is right next door?

...I'm back at the hotel now, and thinking that I am jealous of people whose attentions, whose affections seem wonderfully undivided. I don't know how they do it. Maybe, in all actuality they do nothing of the sort, but they can certainly put a good face on things. Me, I sing a hymn with one breath and have decidedly unholy thoughts in the next. Is this normal? I don't know. Let's say yes, I'll feel better. Thank God for His grace.

My pastor told me the night before I came out here, "You're not going to look at the ocean and suddenly understand God more." It's a paraphrase, so don't hold him to it, but it's a good thought and an important one. I said I was putting no expectations on this little jaunt to the sea, but part of me deeply, deeply wants an epiphany; to come back a changed woman who is more: more grounded, more passionate, more awake.

Be ye warned: My head is foggy with wine. And yes, I already hate that I wrote that sentence. From up here, the beach looks like pockmarked skin. Rivets and pockets are set.
  I finally got the crashing waves I wanted. Not huge and stormy, but enough to truly slam the shore and send up white bursts of Ocean, capital O.
  I know the ocean, as a whole, is constant, rhythmic and continuous. The half-mile I can see (or quarter-mile, who knows, really) is wildly unpredictable. The tide comes in, recedes, and comes back again, pummeling the sand sometimes and kissing it others.
There is someone running toward the waves, now running away. He is braver than I would be, especially in the dark. He has left his friend on a piece of driftwood and is now running away, it seems very fast. Hard to tell from this many stories up. Fast enough that if it were me on the piece of driftwood, I would say, "You are so far away. Where are you going?"
But I am on the balcony.

I am coming back here in storm season. How wonderful it would be to sit on this balcony or behind the glass and watch mayhem that is not mayhem at all. Men make mayhem. Nature exerts power. We call it mayhem when it doesn't do what we want.

I am both sad and relieved I only brought one bottle of wine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beach, Day Two (part one)

More than a month after my trip to the coast, here is day two's thoughts and scribblings:

There are a lot of people on this stretch of beach, all hotel guests, I'm assuming. But it's nice, since nobody else is out on the balcony, that there are some people out.

I ordered room service this morning. Room service always sounds so luxurious, and it ended up feeling kind of lonely. I flipped through the tv--left it on some tv judge where two ex-meth addicts were suing each other. Everyone kept clapping because they were clean. I turned it off.

The tide has gone out and there are little waves, slips of water, coming up sideways. It's like they're saying, "We're building a new ocean... shhh. Don't tell anyone."

I think about voices a lot.I hear different voices for things all the time. This book I'm reading, about a bunch of international dignitaries taken hostage in a South American vice-president's home, is like that. Tons of characters, all from different countries, and I can hear all their voices as I read. Testament to the author, I guess.

The little sideways waves have children's voices. The larger, further-out mother waves sound like Kathleen Turner when she's relaxed. A little worn out, all the time.

I started reading "Even In Quiet Places" for maybe the fourth time, and I marked it like a Bible. But I don't read the Bible this way.

The people next door must be staying here a while. They have pulled plants out to the balcony, hung a dreamcatcher on the rail. Dreamcatchers are such bullshit, really.
Wait. Maybe it's not a dreamcatcher. It has a bunch of dangling strings with shells and stuff. Still. Ew.

I was just  getting up to leave the balcony when the old man next door stepped out.
"How do you like the view?" he said.
"Oh, it's beautiful," I said, "Really nice."
And he asked if I had ever been before, asked if I liked it.
"You know, we almost bought this one--thought about connecting it to our own--we were friendly with the neighbor and I told him we'd be interested if he ever sold. So he called, said he had to move to Texas where his company's headquarters was, and his wife needed a drier climate, and we thought about it. They had the place handicapped accessible--"

(NOTE: This is why my room was upgraded. Normally things like that--Oh, let's give her a shower with a bunch of contraptions--makes my blood boil, but this room is way nicer so I'm good with it)

"--but we already had that in our place for my sister-in-law, see. She was handicapped too, and then she died about six years ago--" (People do this all the time in conversations with me--they say 'handicapped' when they mean 'ill', and the story always end in death. As if I know anything about what it's like to have cancer.)

The man had settled in, draping his arms over the wall between our balconies. "She had a bunch of wishes, my wife's sister, and one of them was  to live on the coast for a while. So I lent her the $100,000 for this place--she paid me back when I sold her house--and when she passed away, all her family was here on this balcony, holding her hands and singing songs."

"It's a lovely spot," I said. What do you say?

We talked some more about family--they live full time in Oregon City and will often come here Thursday through Sunday. I mentioned Linfield and Ireland when he said his wife had traveled the world--I had just been thinking of the Irish coast when I stood to leave. So many rocks. One of my favorite memories of Ireland was sitting on a bench staring at the ocean again. I sat there for an hour after a seaweed bath, and didn't feel lonely or confused (I don't think, but memory does weird things to truth.)

The man and his wife both had family who gone to Linfield, and they encouraged me to come back before the summer was over. They're nice people. They came here with a cat in a pet carrier.