February 4, 2014

-: Understanding :-

Hey everyone,

So, I’ve been quiet a long time.  To be honest I think I was waiting to see if I could just drift quietly away from this space.  I wasn’t sure if it mattered to me, and I honestly didn’t think it mattered to anyone else.  Y’all are a quiet bunch, but I get that.  I’m quiet too.  I forget that you’re out there, though.  I really do.  And I’m sorry to everyone whose emails went unanswered this year.  I thought that my answer would come to me.  I thought I would figure out what to say and get back to you a little late, but that I would get there.  So, that didn’t work. 

I’m really sorry to the ones who pushed past language barriers to reach out and I dropped the ball.  I’m really sorry to those who poured out their hearts, apologizing all the way because they didn’t 'know me' - which made me laugh every time, because, of course you do, in a way, ‘know me’, because I do the same thing here.  For years.  Some of the people I have met in person, because of this space, know me better than my own family.  My very best friendship is a result of this space - a friendship that I have relied heavily on this year.  As I write this I realize that I am sorry that I’ve neglected this space.  I’m sorry that I forgot you were out there.  I’m sorry that  I so misunderstood the value of this space for me that I thought it had none.  I’m sorry for what that said to me about me.  I’m sorry about what that said to me about my art, my value, my needs.   

The thing is that I have wanted to fill this space again.  I have gone through periods where it is all that I thought about.  It became painful.  The more I thought about it the more I couldn’t touch it, the more paralyzed I felt.  I was deeply fearful that it had no value at all. No meaning. No purpose.  I was deeply fearful that the thing which brought me joy, and was immensely important to me, was pointless and without value.   So I waited to figure out if there was a reason to do it before I would allow myself to do it.  Everything I wanted to write was scrutinized.  What is the great purpose of this??? I would ask myself, and of course it never measured up to a ‘great purpose’ (what IS that?) - looking flat and lifeless instead.  So when people started asking, I started saying, “I don’t know.  I just don’t have anything to say.”  Then I started telling myself that.  “I just don’t have anything to say.”  Which is nuts of course.  My family went through a huge, scary transition this year, and back again.  Many aspects of our life could have changed, but we went through the process of combing. through. it. all. and making conscious choices about what kind of life to lead – again.  I’ve been brutalized by my health for years and haven’t spoken of it once.  Babies have become little girls.  Little boys have become tweens.  Marriages have threatened to implode under the weight, only to solidify more than ever.  Friends have been made, lessons learned, exciting things have happened.  What does it say to me when none of this has meaning?  It says that I, as a person, have no purpose.  No value.  No point.  Yes, many nights of sobbing to this effect were had.   I’m probably not done with that.  I almost wrote that I was, but then the statement made me recoil inside, so yeah, not done with that, yet.  I’d like to promise that I’ll show up more often.  That I’ll keep writing, but I can’t.  I don’t know.  I have files filled with things I’ve written.  Notebooks strewn, and lost, about the house with things that absolutely had to be committed to paper amongst the scribbled kid drawings.  I’d like to share them.  I would.  It would feel so much better than this, but there is still a part of me that is writhing in uncertainty and tells me to find something useful to spend my time on. 

My domain is set to expire this month, and I was going to let it.  I had decided that the uncertainty was actually certainty.  I got a letter just now asking for a ‘the end’ post, and I came here to write one.  Halfway through I panicked and asked Jeff if CFF expired already.  It didn’t.  It’s not going to yet.  I don’t know if I’ll use it, but I still want to.  I’m really sorry to everyone who went without a reply.  Your messages meant a lot to me.  Often they came at a time when I really needed them, and I should have told you that instead of waiting to figure out how to answer you. 

I’m still here.  I’m okay.  Life is actually really sweet.  Somewhere along the way, after Simone was born, I stopped taking care of myself.  I let slip every thing I ever did to live pain and sickness free, and bit by bit those things consumed my attention, while I battled my worth, and thus, my right to be cared for.     Messed up stuff y’all.     Messed up stuff I didn’t realize I was doing because I wasn’t allowing myself my number one outlet for conscious examination – writing.  It’s amazing what kind of garbage you can make yourself believe, but for some reason I can’t lie on paper, so yeah… double edged sword there. No outlet, no truth. Deny writing and I have no idea what’s really going on.  Avoid my friends and I don’t have to hear it out loud either.  Do both together and confirm your own pointlessness.      Messed up stuff y’all.       If anyone ever needed to get their ass to the page, it was me.  Is me.  When I don’t read and write I have no idea who I am.  When I don’t read and write I can’t even breathe deeply. I stop moving.  I think I fall a little bit asleep.  Or maybe a lot.  A lot asleep.   I have enough sense to hold my life in proper limbo – looks great from the outside! – but I take myself out of it.  Maybe I don’t need you guys.  Maybe it doesn’t matter at all, but  -   I think I do, and it does.  To me anyway.  It matters to me, and I think that maybe I’m getting that that is enough.    I’ve been really, really lost you guys.  Unable to comprehend what happened to me.  Thinking that the person I remembered… seemingly so recently… must have been exaggerated in my mind.  But I think I used to shine, and I think now, that it was not so complicated to let that happen.  So here’s hoping that maybe I can shake the stink off, heal the neglect all up, and breathe again.  Maybe I’ll find that the shining happens on it’s own then. 

I’ve had a few truly hermetic years in my life.  This is definitely one of them.  They’ve always been about integration and transmutation.  Right now I’m deeply drawn to a space that I was in when I was  15-17.  A deep certainty of self, and deep respect and connection to my art, a deep, deep self love and fearlessness of experienced emotion.

Did you know that Pearl Jam has their own XM station?  All Pearl Jam, all the time, my friends.  LOL  This is beautiful to me.  I love it.

Right now I’m really loving this song again.  It's hooked something and is pulling hard. What can I say?  I was a teenager in the early 90s.  Pearl Jam will always live amongst Zeppelin, Floyd, and The Who for me.  Townshend and Waters agree, so that's good enough for me ;)  It's a breakup song, of course, but it feels like a message to a former self that I feel abandoned by, whilst knowing full well that I was the one who bailed. 

Do you understand?  Have you been to this place?  Did you find the exit?

June 13, 2013

Oh Sweet Water!


In the world of the desert, rain is reality changing.  When you live in the desert long enough your nose becomes like a scent hound for the notes of water.  When it rains the air is filled with the scent of water and earth and the dusty, sagey pastels of hte desert are transformed into vibrand gold, red, chocolate brown and the all surrounding evergreen. Teh sagebrush shows it's silver and I swear that you can feel the Earth's appreciation.

In the destruction of a three year drought, this kind of fat, heavy, day-long rain makes me giddy.  It may as well be Christmas for all the bubbly joy coursing through my blood today.  The fire is lit. The spice of incense is in the air. Warm lamps contrast the gray-blue sky of clouds.  Somehow weather is more glorious in the  mountains. 

Quinn 2011


June 11, 2013

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

Our home has been chemical free for nearly a decade.  There was a time when I was addicted to bleach and anti-bacterial cleaners for the kitchen and bathroom.  My soap dispensers were filled with anti-everything soaps, and I kept hand cleaner in my purse and on my counters.  A little bit of reading about what that kind of behavior does to our environment and our bodies was enough to change my ways and never ever look back.

Our home is now filled with completely natural, essential oil scented soaps, the bleach is long gone, and I've been making our household cleaners for nearly eight years.  I run out sometimes, and get lazy, yes, but there's nothing like a soapy sponge to clean up the dirty surfaces when you're not up to mixing, or like me, constantly run out of one of your ingredients. 

Essential oils are amazing for all manner of things, from healing the body to cleaning the sink.  Just be sure you're using them for the right application! 

My favorite household cleaner is to simply scrub the sinks and tubs with plain old (aluminum free) baking soda.  It works just as well as the caustic chemicals and harsh powders, but it doesn't poison our water or bodies.  A wet rag, a heavy dash of soda on the surface, and rub.  That's it.  Even with our extremely hard well water I have no need to use anything else to keep things sparkling.  It even works to soak your shower head when it starts to slow down and spray funny.  If you like everything to smell pretty, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda.  I really like sweet orange and lavender for this.

Everyone else's favorite is my All Purpose Cleaner.  My midwife, who operates a Lavender farm, once gave me some of her cleaners, so I switched for a while, but got requests from the family to go back to my cleaner.  To make it you'll need:

A spray bottle
A funnel to make things easier
1 cup of white vinegar
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon of aluminum free baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of dish or castille soap
20 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil (cuts grease and disinfects)
10 drop Vetiver, Lavender, Bitter Orange, Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil (each of these has a different action, choose your favorite)

**I order all of my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs at the same time that I order all my herbs, spices, salts, cooking oils, and body oils**

The right order of mixing is important here to avoid an explosive mess.  In you spray bottle add about a cup of hot water, and pour in the baking soda.  Swirl it around to dissolve before adding a tiny bit of dish liquid.  Now, very slowly, so as not to cause an overflow, begin adding in the vinegar.  When the vinegar mixes with the baking soda it is going to fizz.  Remember those science experiment  valcanoes of your youth?  Let's avoid that.  Add the vinegar in as slowly as necessary, swirling gently to mix it in before adding more.  Once all of the vinegar is in you can add in your essential oils, and fill the bottle up the rest of the way with warm water.

You will see that the oils will rise to the top of the bottle.  You will need to swirl it around before you use it.  If you used castille soap instead of dish liquid you may have some solid white particles in your mix.  This is fine and won't affect your counters.

I use this for everything from washing the doors and light switches to the counters and kitchen tiles.  It works well in your mop bucket too.  Just don't try it on mirrors or window.  It'll work on your kitchen table too, but I'd stick with an oil based cleaner for wood if you like it to stay shiny and clear.