Defining Moments

noun: an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again.

Not entirely sure how important exactly… Nor due to lack of developments – meaningful and mundane – there has been a considerable gap between last post and this. 

Indeed, one might argue the last 3 years have been downright action packed! In said time I have:

  1. Finally been correctly diagnosed – not with Crohn’s – but with Endometriosis of the small bowel. What’s that you say? You didn’t think a condition typically associated with the uterus could OCCUR in the small bowel? You and me both. This also led to my having an Ileostomy for three months. Doo doo bags are a drag. I’ll just leave it at that.
  2. Undergone a complete hysterectomy – who needs estrogen when all it’s gonna do is poison you anyway?
  3. Moved away to Vancouver and discovered it is no further afield than any other suburb of Portland. 
  4. Discovered the joys of sales tax wherein the price isn’t really the price.
  5. Reconnected with my best friend from my first job whom I’d lost some 18 years earlier. 
  6. Built a house. Well, not myself, but I was definitely in charge of picking the paint colors.
  7. Witnessed the successful launch of my offspring into adulthood.
  8. Gotten engaged! This list is chronological, not in order of importance, okay?
  9. Orchestrated the transition of the employees in my job function to working remotely. This was a considerable personal triumph, and my reward is working in my jam jams.
  10. Gotten a puppy! 

More than 10 things have happened between now and then, but these are the highlights, anyway. A lot of these things are sagas in themselves; maybe if I run out of material, I’ll hit the bullet list…

In the meantime, I expect this to be yet another venue for puppy photos and updates. 

Could be worse…

[uhbeyuh ns] 



  1. temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let’s hold that problem in abeyance for a while.
  2. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance.

In the quiet silent seconds

I am not, by nature, a person that enjoys inactivity. Though I have learned to cultivate stillness for its multitude benefits, I am generally too restless to enj0y the experience without considerable preparation. I coax myself toward quiescence by degrees and find it particularly difficult in the face of ambiguity. Unsuited to wait and see, I prefer to get up and look.

Yet sometimes, there is simply naught to be done. I mean this not in the sense of merely staying busy; chores, tasks, and distractions abound. Rather, I suggest that in the face of a looked-for outcome, it is at times impossible to take any action to hasten or influence the desired result.

Irresistible as it feels, thumb-twiddling generally serves only to divert. My chosen distractions of late principally stray toward the benign; writing, running, and friends consume most of my attention; yet they have their own merit, these. Still there linger on the periphery old habits and tendencies that do not necessarily earn with concomitant value the worth of time I spend upon them. Absorbing as they may be, I wonder at the foolish persistence I demonstrate by indulging myself in these ways. That I relinquish precious sleep and scarce energy to the pursuit of such diversion seems almost indecent. And so in reflecting upon it, then it is my love for the obscene that keeps me amused.

What instead, during this interval?If an object at rest and all that; maybe I must merely yield to physics, do what suits me so ill and embrace inertia. I’ll have to get right on that…

[kuh n-sahys]
  1. Expressing or covering much in few words; brief in form but comprehensive in scope; succinct; terse.


I’ve Sprung A Leak

It is a potent theme in my life, the effort to be understood. It is lately occurring how I undermine myself with a penchant for elaboration.

Nuance of language is deeply important to me, and I am much in favor of a flood of ultra-specific details. This turns out not to be true for everyone. It is a frequent occurrence, the glazing over of eyes as I expound into a stretching silence.

No matter how important I believe these gradations of truth to be, if the essential message is lost in superfluity of particulars, I’ve failed my audience and my own purpose.

Practice then, paring down to the bones of meaning, the better to ensure it is conveyed.


  1. Having patches of black and white or of other colors; parti-colored.
  2. Composed of incongruous parts


  1. A piebald animal, especially a horse.


We are none of us promised consistency. In many ways, this is probably for the best. 

The human knack for adaptation being what it is, we pivot at some point between experiencing a comforting reassurance in the face of predictability to a stifling sense of ennui which is the ultimate suffocation and demise of the soul.

So, you know, vive la difference!

I’ve been playing with this notion visually for a while. In the two places I spend the most time I have been creating a graphic representation of outcomes I want to manifest in my life. There is less distinction in the messages, admonitions, and tender reminders I am putting under my notice than I would have predicted.

All The Livelong Day

All The Livelong Day

I see both instances declare happiness is a choice, work is requisite, and compassionate attention most desirable. How they are stitched together, and in what proportion each theme appears differs based on the setting and focus of my visioning, but I find the consistency – with crucial differences – augments my understanding and encourages their integration more thoroughly.

Where The Heart Is

Where The Heart Is

The colors are similar but they ramble and riot each in their own particular way.



  1. A variety of magnetite that possesses magnetic polarity and attracts iron.
  2. A piece of this serving as a magnet.
  3. Something that attracts strongly.

The landscape – both within and without – is now so different from any ever before seen it is almost as though I have been transported to a new and unknown place whilst asleep.

A friend of mine once said to me, “Falling in love is like reaching into a bag of mixed candy. Everything you pull out is sweet in its own way, but no two pieces are ever the same.” This time it feels like I reached into the bag and pulled out a confection as-yet-unnamable but lovelier and more delightful than I had even imagined possible.

In the last week I have been confronted with the limits of my own beliefs, sighted the horizons of what I thought possible, and swept past both in a manner so compelling I know I will be forever changed by the experience. Outcomes being as unknowable as ever still take on the character of foregone conclusions.

Through it all, drawn irresistibly forward and on, when it is so tempting to submit to the gravity working on my heart, I admonish myself to breathe, to pause, and to dream that when I wake to this reality again, it is all the sweeter thereby.  

[uh-ban-duh n]

verb (used with object)
1. To leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert: to abandon one’s farm; to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
2. To give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to abandon a research project; to abandon hopes for a stage career.
3. To give up the control of: to abandon a city to an enemy army.
4. To yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control:
to abandon oneself to grief.

It’s rare I get to combine a Defining Moment with Explodingdog, but so apt considering the weight of the subject and timbre of the moment under consideration


What caution might prevail in the face of persistent evident truth? Is there any litany of reason sufficient to overcome the tide of plunging heedlessness? None, in my experience; and though there have been any number of voices – my own included – ringing on occasion to warn against surrendering to such headlong reckless tenderness, it neither pleases nor serves to do so.

I have always been a Love At First Sight kind of girl. The unwisdom of this is of course totally evident to any rational person. Yet, like mystery, there are some things to which reason may not be meaningfully applied. And though I can, should, and will exercise caution in my actions, it both impossible and arguably misguided to attempt such restraint upon my heart.

To defy the draw of the fall is a feat I have never once managed, and I know I shall not now. Unprecedented though, is the accompanying confidence about what awaits on the other side of that tumble.  Foolish, perhaps this surety, but it is as irresistible after all, as the cause of all this consideration.


noun, plural topographies.

  1. The detailed mapping or charting of the features of a relatively small area, district, or locality.
  2. The detailed description, especially by means of surveying, of particular localities, as cities, towns, or estates.
  3. The relief features or surface configuration of an area.
  4. The features, relations, or configuration of a structural entity.
  5. A schema of a structural entity, as of the mind, a field of study, or society, reflecting a division into distinct areas having a specific relation or a specific position relative to one another.

“Document the world inside your skin.” The Decemberists


Accompanying my evident penchant for documenting the world upon my skin, I have decided it is the work of my life to explore and record my own interstices. I’ve been accused of being self-absorbed, and maybe it’s true, but as much as anything I see my existence as a longitudinal study geared toward reproducible results. The most desirable of these being happiness – or at least contentment – but ultimately a simple range of predictable outcomes given known stimuli would be a corollary most gratifying. If nothing else, a simple map to aid in navigation would be a great comfort, betimes.

Of course, the human experience-as-laboratory leaves much to be desired for precise interpretation of data or control of variables. It does not necessarily follow that more thorough review of evidence produces more accurate reckoning. The exhaustive and repeated tours of my internal landscape may only serve to inure me to the process of self-discovery; assuring myself the work is underway, rather than weighing outcomes to ensure progress has occurred. Would that I could line myself up using compass and key, and say;

“Now I am this close to self-awareness! What headway I have made! “

Those that claim hindsight is 20/20 are kidding themselves. Nostalgia, wishful thinking, and revisionist tendencies all conspire to blur that past. Recollection and memory cast time into binary relief; everything was harder, dimmer, and less clear or conversely left limned in light and perfected it in ways utterly infeasible. That we can view historical articles with such varying results given our own current locus speaks eloquently to its unsuitability as reliable data.

It is not then science that I do. I do not have instruments of such precision as the plumb bob, tape, or scope. Yet it is nevertheless a process which acknowledges a changing landscape, and replies to tectonic shifts. The atlas of my essence is still being drawn; the cartography of my soul still under survey…


verb (used with object), habituated, habituating.

  1. To accustom (a person, the mind, etc.), as to a particular situation: Wealth habituated him to luxury.
  2. to frequent.

verb (used without object), habituated, habituating.

  1. To cause habituation, physiologically or psychologically.


One of the most fundamental principles of happiness is staying present; to keep attention focused on the moment, in the body, and consciously awake. That we are not particularly good at this as humans is one of those ironies that convinces, if there is a god, he has a twisted sense of humor.

 Because, the gulf between knowing something intellectually and realizing it meaningfully can be vast. Even this detail – that recognizing and enacting  truths are markedly different things – can send one into a spiral of metacognition from which it is not always easy to recover.

In this vein, and in an effort to support my best chances as happiness while simultaneously outsmarting myself, I’ve taken to plastering my surroundings with little reminders about what contentment is built out of. The admonition to sleep, to laugh is situated under prompt to find joy in the ordinary, adjacent to the suggestion to leap an build wings on the way down. A visual map of the future I am building myself every moment is charted over a wall entire and is the first thing I see when I awaken each day.

And when I actually note these things, my breathing slows, I quieten into my body, and I am instantly happier. Yet like anything to which one is constantly exposed, these objects meant to catch my attention and focus my intentions have become a kind of visual background noise. Though part of the practice is to add something new each week that it doesn’t become so familiar as to slip from my conscious consideration, it is still all too easy to look without seeing; to notice without perceiving.

Yet how delightful the project has been; to surround myself with gorgeous possibility and relentless encouragement. Never before had I considered that happiness was a practical act undertaken each day with deliberate intent. Only recently have I been able to disengage the idea that feelings inform our state of being, but do not dictate it entire. I may feel sad but it does not have to mean I am sad. That being vulnerable and emotionally animated means I am moved easily and imbued with concomitant flexibility and resilience thereby.

Much like the pleasure of warm air on my skin is heightened by pausing to notice it, so too is the value of any experience where I can dwell long enough to attend to my responses. While this process can be uncomfortable at times, it is always enlightening, and usually results in revelations I might never have encountered otherwise. I am empowered and fortified by this practice in every case. The trick then is to make a habit of noticing when I do not notice.

Seems perfectly simple…



  1. Not relenting; not yielding or swerving in determination or resolution, as of or from opinions, convictions, ambitions, ideals, etc.; inflexible: an unrelenting opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment.
  2. Not easing or slackening in severity: an unrelenting rain.
  3. Maintaining speed, effort, vigor, intensity, rate of advance, etc.: an unrelenting attack.


As much as I wish it wasn’t so, I am kind of a crybaby. While I can bear up under considerable opposition, I never do so with any discernible measure of stoicism. I’m tough in my way, but I figure if I have to suffer, I want credit, if not for bravery, than at least for endurance. Much like people who endure pain more readily when they curse aloud, my fortitude has volubility. I realize this approach doesn’t always evoke sympathy, but I doubt if I’m functionally capable of holding it all in, so I simply consider it the cost of doing business.

In case it was in any way unclear where this prelude was headed…

I’ve been some kind of sick since mid-January and I am motherfucking tired of it.

Partly to blame, I’m sure, is the transition from a small office environment into a cube landscape of considerable scope. In this setting there are dozens of people touching doorknobs, fingering keypads, and generally fouling the environment with their germiness.

In addition, Hodie has in her turn taken charge of a munchling as babysitter extraordinare several days a week. Since, as everyone knows, children are the bringers of pestilence and disease, mine has brought the sickness she’s contracted from the miniature microbe factory down on me at least twice since she started.

I am weary beyond expression of feeling like shit. Between the onset of gut-gripe that happens every four weeks and lasts for two, and the hideous cold/bronchitis/sinus blech I’ve had interspersed, I would give my bad right eye for a month or two where I just felt fine; where my running and gym schedule wasn’t interrupted by ailments of unpredictable severity; where I could work a week entire uninterrupted.

Such lofty prayers I voice, these days.

[ri-vel-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, rev-uh-luh-]


  1. of, relating to, or having the characteristics of revelation.
  2. showing or disclosing an emotion, belief, quality, or the like (usually followed by of): a poem revelatory of the author’s deep, personal sorrow.


“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” Khalil Gibran


It’s never possible to predict with complete surety the result of introducing a new variable into a system. The scientific method attempts to solve for this by isolating components, observing interactions between elements, and carefully controlling for potential adulteration. Even still, it isn’t a perfect process and it still happens rather often that even with such planning and clear intent, outcomes occur that surprise everyone.

I think of myself as a candid person; open and forthcoming in all aspects of my life. I keep things to myself, certainly, but I also disclose a considerable number of very intimate details with regularity. Secrets do not agree with me, so I essentially have none. While no one person knows everything I haven’t kept anything entirely to myself.

Having identified the desire to make myself understood as one of the primary motivating impulses of my life,  I am willing – in the service of this inclination – to be laid bare to an extent most people find uncomfortable at least, and intolerable at worst. In a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum, I recognize my shamelessness but do not know if it is a function of my tendency toward TMI or the means by which such divulgence feels customary. It is, whatever the case, a matter of fact I am completely at ease with.

This presents a strong contrast to what much social convention says about communication. It is both polite and self-protective to curate the dossier of identity. On no account let the unflattering mundane truths be seen; if it is unavoidable, let these been seen only through the filter of bonded love and fortified context.

If instead I feel moved to reveal myself in all practical ways and to almost any interested audience, I do so to inform others about me, and to provide a framework wherein I can observe my own nature from a different perspective. Inherent to this method is the risk of misinterpretation; once these truths are out there, they take on a life of their own in the mind of anyone who encounters them. Moreover, it is a process that somewhat frequently provokes antipathy; after all, just because something is understandable doesn’t make it persuasive.

I still feel the benefits of an open approach to life far outweigh the disadvantages, and I have certainly been privy to both. I comfort myself, in times when I feel vaguely disappointed at the response I have incited, by reminding myself I am simply being who and how I am. That doing so distills certain traits people find objectionable or off-putting is inevitable; that this also serves to reveal something about them is merely a delightful lagniappe.

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