Here’s to longevity

I made myself a Birthday Cake. The next day I had a splitting headache and wanted to knock myself out with a spatula. Sad life lesson is I can no longer eat birthday cake. I used to eat cake for dinner, remember those days? I’d write to you about it and continue to eat it again for breakfast the next day following a 6 mile run. Yeah. . . I’m 28 now and those days are over. I’m choosing substitutes like brown rice syrup treats and long walks in the woods. Image

30 things I LOVE at this moment..

1.Green grapes. 2. New pajamas.  3. The mention of spring. 4. Creative endeavors big ones,small ones, leaps of faith into the unknown. 5. Confidence in these endeavors. 6. His smile. 7. Feeling lovable  . 8. Looking back at my life 1 yr/2yrs/3/yrs. ago and seeing I was exactly where I was supposed to be then which must mean that’s the case now. 9. Now. 10. My trip to Hawaii in a few weeks. 11. Having regulars- feeling regular- loving regularity for the first time ever. 12. Ilana and her babies. 13. Chekhov and his plays. 14. My hurum juicer and the delicious mornings we spend together. 15. My mother and our hikes. 16. Ordering only popcorn at upscale fancy restaurants. 17. This house and how it feels like my grandmother grayed haired, calm, quiet who has helped nurse me back to myself. 18.  Mondays with Jonathan. 19. Dreams that tell me what I need to see. 20. Flesh. 21. My brother and his newfound love for yoga. 22. My father and his pony tail. 23. Afternoons spent coming up with ideas for what you can put on a salad. 24. Standing on both feet instead of just one- the feeling of not looking- instead trusting in eventually finding. 25. Sitting in the sun on the porch. 26. Women who do the impossible. 27. The woods and how they are always there. 28. Pineapples. 29. Meeting people who want to work on projects with me. 30. Purpose. Patience. .

mvtanz2

tiramisu

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I am living in this old country house for the winter. I love everything about it- the creak in the floorboards, the blankets I have to pile on myself at night to keep warm. The open space and time for cooking and baking and listening for what quiet sounds like.

There are these ducks that come and circle the house in rounds they talk to each other and argue or flirt doing whatever it is that ducks do. I know ducks should have flown south by now but not these guys they stay here year round. The neighbors have built a house for them to live with insulated walls and heat lamps. They are some lucky ducks.

Some recent learning lessons;

I need lots of rest otherwise I suck to be around.

Before reacting to anything- drink some water, eat a sandwich and breath real, real deep.

You cannot force readiness- especially someone elses.

Sadness is all around and there is no avoidance/explanation for it- it is heartbreaking and yet still here we are the human spirit is so powerful.

I can’t fully accept that sugar is not the best thing for this body of mine.

I appreciate solitude.

I believe in the stillness being okay more than ever.

I actually prefer the quiet country to the cities these back roads that have never known traffic, the shorter lines, and smaller yoga classes.

Hiking is magical.

Tattoos can be regrets I’m grateful mine is not- it reminds me daily of what I am doing here.

I like this living in southern Berkshire County and getting to know farther south of here.

As for baking I am learning to bake with healthier sugars like maple syrup, agave, and honey. I notice this theme in my life where I have an idea that becomes a need and then a time lapse in which I think about it, pray about it, wait for it- and then what I am asking for comes along to help me in form. So in this case I was given a chef. This chef is a tiny Japanese man who wrote a book called- Chef Satos all Natural Desserts. He has begun teaching me how to bake without using sugars (dairy or eggs.) I’ve taken his lessons home and attempted my very first tiramisu. It came out good- good enough to admit I have eaten for my last two meals. You may not believe what interesting ingredients are in this cake but they are delicious.

Happy Boxing Day.

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pecans

Sometimes there is nothing to do to make a situation better sometimes you just have to feel how horribly sad it is until it’s ready to go. Sometimes that can take days, months, years and meanwhile there is life and the moments we have in between this time it takes.

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Sometimes you have to bake a cake and maybe just for a moment forget your troubles and forget how much it can hurt to be an active member of this thing we call life.

When I was in my first year of acting school I fell in love with this guy named Max he was in my class and we would hang out together after class and drink or eat while wandering the Upper East Side. We were misfits so we hit it off quick. He smelled like sweat and he wore these big hats even when it wasn’t cold outside. His face was so beautiful and he was so tall. After our first year of school he went back to Canada and I stayed in New York. We were in class one day and Max was working on this scene in front of the rest of the class. He was struggling really badly. The teacher asked him to pick the person in the room he trusted more than anyone else and he said Sam right away he didn’t even think about it, it just came out my name. I was shocked that anyone felt that way about me. I didn’t consider myself to be this safe or trustworthy person at least not towards myself. But despite it- I went up and held him there. We never spoke of it again.

Today I honestly do not know if there is anything better in the world than being the person who can be there to love another person when they need it. I spent the weekend in North Carolina with Katie and Eric all I can is how ridiculously proud I am to love you both. We baked ourselves a Pecan Cake because life demanded it.

check please

Lately I sort of feel stunted. I have always felt a bit different. I have often wondered why I don’t seem to float easily along with the rest of the pack instead beating to the sound of my own drum, while dancing out of tune.

You see I don’t know and I struggle with those who think they do. Those who seem to have their ducks in line and have made it.

Since I have back here (the land of my birth) I see lots of diamonds of hands and babies in bellies. I see people I have known for most of my life. I see movement and I wonder if I am moving in that direction too? I wonder how much we perceive each other’s growth by what we see on one another’s outsides. If we do perceive this growth by our outsides then ut-oh…

I had two interactions simultaneously yesterday I’d like to share.

I will start by saying I am waitressing- not the most fulfilling of jobs but I am grateful for the money and I get to feed people healthy food. Yesterday I had these two separate tables both people I know and have met numerous times- both did not remember ever meeting me. Both of these people are involved in the performing arts. I served these people their sushi and tea and the woman didn’t even look at me. She was in a conversation and engaged in her own thing. The man was pretentious and made stereotypical snide comments. My point; both of these people are successful and creative in ways I would like to someday be- but they suck at being nice.

Why is that? That we are successful and have this drive but lose sight of what is around us? We lose sight of the people waiting on us & cooking our food that is helping us sustain this growth. Can we simply take one moment to lift up our chins and say thank you?

Lesson that these lovely folks taught me; smile more and say thank you more. I never want to be so busy being important that I don’t see all this around me working in union to keeping me alive.

At this moment..

Inspired by: partlyitstheboots.wordpress.com

What I’m lovin …. Fall, colors yellow/orange, eating squash, the flavor; pumpkin, the woods, tofu shoga, bola granola with greek yogurt, feeling home, feeling strong.

What I’m reading…. Be Here Now By: Ram Das, Courage By: Debbie Ford plus some menus, bills, food blogs, e-mails.

What I’m thinking about…. The past, forearm stands, the future, how cold it’s about to get, friends who are far away, the life that I want to have, sushi, solitude, change, here vs. there, New York, going back to school, escape routes, diamonds over rubies.

What I’m stressing about….taxes, car payments, trusting myself, this job, again more sushi, Japanese, my knees, my butt, my feet, if I made the wrong choice.

What I’m looking forward to…. it getting easier, being 27, my Saturn return, having a home of my own, theatre, clarity, working with kids, enough money plus some extra, snow, fires, new relationships.

What is making me happy…. this dog at my feet, a full belly, a morning of yoga, having plans, 5-dollar movies.

practice is sweet

Mmmm…. yoga.

I am missing my yoga studio in Portland. I am missing it big time my studio became my other home. Now back in the Berkshires I find myself bouncing around trying on new spots looking for my new home and some days simply enjoying the living room floor.

I am looking for my home here and it will take some time to find my niche but it will happen. Meanwhile truth is all I need is 1. myself 2. my mat  3. the willingness to show up on it.

The thing is yoga used to be for me something I could do like going for a hike or a run or a swim. But this has changed it is now something I have to do- to stay sane, to stay open and (this may seem dramatic)  but I do it to stay alive. You see yoga tells me what’s going on in my life- without the distraction of the world around me without the voices, it simply speaks the truth. So whatever it is that is going on- I can put the world on mute and tune into me.

I am going through a big transition and up against some changes in myself so I am taking it to the mat even more. I feel that it’s all I can do- when I don’t know what to do. So when I have a crying meltdown in the auto parts store (that has nothing to do with auto parts) or when I can’t sleep at night or when I talk to Verizon for two hours and they still don’t know what the problem is or when the people I love don’t act the way I want them to- I can let it go and not become a slave to each and every circumstance.

We all have these things we have to do and sometimes we forget they are not chores or obligations but they are there to provide a refuge amongst this storm we call life and in doing them life gets a little better.

In Memory of Douglas Brady

Douglas Brady was a kind friend  that I knew for a very short time and will remember forever. He died on August 11th 2012. Thank you Douglas. 

I met Douglas a year ago when my best friend and I were traveling across the country. I was searching for a new home now I see I was also searching for a new me. I was hoping that if I got far enough away from the old me she could disappear and the new me would be able to bounce into a life she was meant to be living.

Our list of stops included Boulder, Denver, LA, Portland and Seattle. We felt our freedom on the open road and this summer’s only mission was picking where we wanted to land. We arrived at Douglas’s house one hot afternoon in July. A mutual friend had connected us and Douglas agreed to put us up for two nights. Douglas was on his way to go swimming in a nearby creek so we followed him. As we rode up the canyons, my friend and I talked about travel and cities we had visited and loved. Douglas talked about the way a place can speak to you. He was speaking our language, and we were thrilled. At the creek I touched the water with my toes and it was colder than anything I’d ever touched so I opted out. Douglas, on the other hand, basked in the water–sat right down in that cold clear water, a smile lighting up his entire face.

After just our first meal with Douglas, I was changed. He spoke with such wisdom and seemed so comfortable in his own skin. I made a wish in my own heart that I could catch even the tiniest bit of what he had. I was unaware of how severe my chronic restlessness was at that time. My heart was longing to be anywhere besides where I was. Douglas sat with us at dinner and he asked my friend about her upbringing. She’d had heart surgery as a child, something I had never heard her talk about in detail. Douglas acknowledged her story and the pain that it must have caused. It became clear the story had been told many times but the pain part hadn’t ever been acknowledged, ever. He said this must have been traumatizing as a child. He told her it was possible to heal this and it would take work but she could do it, we all could. I listened to him, not seeing that I too could take the healing route that would in fact force me to change. I could talk the talk, but when it came to the walking part I was clueless.

These conversations with Douglas sparked more conversations between me and my friend as we continued back on the road together. We spoke about our childhoods and began to see that it’s not just the unlucky ones who have had this pain but we all have and as adults it has forced us to build walls, form habits, and have scars that we didn’t think anyone could see. Douglas helped us see deeper–and lovingly but with a truth that we couldn’t turn our backs on.

I continued to write to him as we traveled, letting him know where we were and what was calling us. We landed in Portland and began to set up our lives; it was challenging, and our friendship began to break down– until it didn’t seem repairable and we decided to let it go completely. I would write to Douglas about my challenges in relationship and how a part of me thought I was broken and I didn’t know how to be close to anyone. I’ll never forget the e-mail response from him–so simple and so clear: “These people are your teachers, Sam, that’s why they trigger you. You are here to learn.”

Life gives you gifts in all sizes and packages. Last summer meeting Douglas was the greatest gift two lost girls (with no idea they were lost) could have received. I am still a bit lost and maybe will always be in a sense–but souls like Douglas show me the right path, the one that gets me closer to finding my way again, closer and closer each day.