Tired natures sweet restorer

Tried to sleep - am exhausted - can't sleep.

Can't type very well - my eyes are scratchy from my contacts

and I find I am enjoying the sounds of life off the porch tonight.

It is very cold and quite.

The cold numbs and stings my hands, the quite makes me want to listen.

I can hear late night traffic, and the roommate's movie.

I want to talk, and be still - I want to be lost again in a maze of cul-de-sac's

I need to sleep - I can't sleep - I lie in bed - I get up

I laugh and shiver

and know that I'm going to be worthless at work tomorrow.

I get back in and shut my eyes and try to force sleep by will

The sound of gunshots on board Air Force One ring out - and Harrison Ford tells me to get off his plane.

I should go back to bed


These are not my Pineapples

Yesterday I awoke at 6, which typically happens to me when sleeping somewhere away from home. This time sleep was stolen from me thru the machinations of my parents refrigerator. Seeing me from the kitchen, this vile beast kept up an incessant stream of violent and aggressive humming all through the night. So when I awoke and found that the rest of the household had escaped this plague, this modern scourge - and was still deep in slumber, blissfully unaware of their rouge household appliance, I went for a walk. I grew up in this house, delivered papers on these streets, delivered papers early in the morning and when the paper became an evening paper, late at night. I know all the houses, all the plants and trees, and all the abandoned cars. I grew up walking past them all every day, lost in the daydreams that all paperboys must escape to. Odd what changes and what stays the same after 13 years. Some house are still as ugly, some are gone. Lawns eaten by driveways, or decks. Houses bought and sold. I was heading to the bog behind my house. Every kid needs a bog, or wood, or some large place behind their house growing up. This bog was part of a huge wooded network that went from behind my house back and back and back. The freeway a couple of miles off marked its outer boundary. There were paintball gun forts and bunkers, a bike track, streams, hidden little pockets in the woods that you would have to crawl under 45 feet of black berry bushes to find. There was rusty old cars, a barn that was rotting away, and there was the bog. The bog was - no is - a quagmire, a body of water that no sane person has swan, or fished or boated in, and I've tried to canoe in it before - but that is a whole different story - but the bog could be crossed - it could be crossed if you tried the remains of the train tracks that once spanned it. The train tracks were built on top of the locks that controlled the flooding of the bog and ran small cars filled with cranberries. all that remained when I started exploring - was the footing of the foundation. Often these were under water so crossing the bog - while possible was a risky business at times.

Not so any more.

There is a bridge there now, and groomed paths, and benches. A large sign and baggies for dog poo. Stairs and fences, wood chips, graffiti. The streams have silted up and left their beds. Developments have built in the land near the freeway and the woods have shrunk. The bike paths and the paint ball forts are gone. The woods I know, I knew rather are gone.

But by making paths and installing benches, in some respects my woods were preserved. The trails were used and stuck to - as soon as I remembered that there was a time when muddy pants and cold wet shoes did not bother me, as soon as I remembered washing machines and hot coffee, as soon as I remembered the smell of skunk cabbage and sight of banana slugs I was off the trail and exploring. It is still a bog so it is muddy, and moist. Moss and ferns everywhere. Muck pored into my shoes and around my toes. Cold - smelly - slurping gurgling goop. Sticker bushes, fallen logs, streams were all crawled over, and under, and into. It was still early morning light, that grey, golden hour, where the long slanting rays of the sun do special things to the world. Time and time again I wished I had brought my tripod. Mushrooms and slugs and wet.

Sylvancreature - Creature of the woods. In years past I have forgotten how much I love the woods. There was a time growing up (3rd thru 5th grade) when I all I wanted to do, wanted to be was a game warden, to be out deep in the woods. Funny how an hour and a half romp in a smelly mud puddle, wiping the sleep out of your eyes, can be so reviving. And it was not really the mud, the ferns, or the moss that was uplifting - and uplifting is not even the right word. What really made that morning was - what really made that morning the morning that it was, was a book - that started a train of thought that is still running, even now, a day and a half later.

I woke up being bored - I started pulling books off the shelf in the living room. I pulled out an old copy of the Pineapple Story. Funny how the Lord works - telling you things right when you need to hear them. I read the story at first just looking at the pictures - kind of smiling at it's simple message - then in the way His truth always does, in His the simple truth, I was reminded that there where things in my life that I was hanging onto, hanging onto in the wrong ways.

My life is His. His to direct, I trust Him.

This is why I went and took pictures, this is why I had to get out of house and get away, get away and talk, and think, and listen. This is why the morning was so good. Not the woods, not the light, not the quite. But the talk.

Vantage and the Third Pass Crossing

I drove over the pass three times yesterday - its a long story - so don't ask. I passed thru Vantage around 12:30 and the place was deserted. Filled up the tank - had Moby playing rather loudly and after spending 10 minutes waking up - holding my own little rave at the gas station - in my youthful exuberance I almost drove off with the gas line! Of course I always stick the gas cap on top of the hose when filling the tank so when I drove off and then braked hard it went flying. It took several minutes to find that blasted cap - laughing hysterically does not aid in the searching for black caps in the dark on asphalt. But in the end I found it and was able to get back on the road - too much fun!


I am richly blessed

Beers and Pipe Tobacco

Late night bagels

Early morning drives

Long talks where we both hurt

Long silence

Driving you to the emergency room

Learning how to listen to you

Crying together

Praying for you

Self-appointed food critics

Camping on the porch

Looking for you in rooms

Listening to you play the piano

Laughing as your hamburger burns

Getting mad with you

Tripping over your stuff

Watching movies with you

Long walks

Musing together

Being worried together

Getting lost together

Maillard Browing

Comparing notes

Copying notes

Pulling your slack

Me dropping the ball

Me being a jerk

Missing you - and not knowing why

Ice Cream and Baily's

Saturday Morning Market

Riding 25 miles to your house

Bebop-a-Rebop Rhubarb Pie

Rescuing you when you lock your keys out

Stealing your car

Your enormous salads

The funny way you fold clothes (or the way you don't at all)

Attending to your conversation

Reading the books you like

Grilling steaks on the shore

Sleeping in the basement

Push starting your car

Watching you grow

Fitting 7 people into a 4 person tent

Finding that Baileys can go into everything

Having you inspire me to try things I would not try on my own

Being corrected by you

2.5 pancakes at Tam's Place




Being adopted by all 14 of you

Verbally puking on you

Praying together

Seeing that indeed you are wise and I have much to learn


Rusty Tractors

Drinking Prune Juice

Roasted Woodpecker

Watching the cooing version with you

Listening to your stories

Spinning donuts with you in the snow

Telling me that I look like a convict

Looking for my glasses on the beach

Believing me when I said Subway was on fire

Taking me fishing

Eating dinner at your folks and beating you at all your games

Your honesty

Talks at the water tower

Walks on the Chipman Trail

Wanting to beat that guy into pulp for you

Seeing your heart for the people around you

Burning Christmas Trees for my birthday

Random Unplanned Epicness

Letting me brag about my teapot

Hearing about the physics of champagne bubbles

Learning about P waves and T waves

Not understanding your homework at all

Helping you stay up and finish that paper

Staying up with you and figuring out life

Councils of War

Exploring the Palouse

Breaking up inside when you cry


French Toast made out of a whole loaf of French Bread

Laughing at your attempts to brew beer

Land of Goshen, child

Swing dancing in camo shorts

Night Games

Your white socks, dress shoes, and sweats pants

You waking me up at 2 because you have not slept thru the night for two weeks and you need someone to talk to, and me talking your ear off for an hour at least

Eggs and Grits

Singing in stairwells

Climbing on rooftops

Cliff diving - and my backfloping

White water rafting in a canoe

Hitch hiking

Picking up hitch hikers and finding that they just were released from prison

and the list goes on -

Many of you will see yourselves in this list - thank you - thank you for your friendship. Not mere acquaintanceship, but friendship, people that I care for - people that I laugh with and cry for. You are such a blessing - you don't even know.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights...


Seeing the music in my head. . . .

I can't show you - I can't tell you - you'd have to enter my imagination and see it. It's frustrating - having parts of yourself that you don't know how to share. I don't feel like being introspective today - somedays are exhausting - somedays you feel as if you let someone down. Somedays you look at yourself and just laugh. Laugh at the spectacle which you are - not hating it, but geunily enjoying where you are at. I went out last night taking shots in the full moonlight. Learned alot about light and about my camera. Started down Davis Way waiting for something to catch my eye. Most trips start out like this - no set goal - only the desire to get away and think.

The camera sometimes is more an excuse and an outlet than a hobby. Maybe that is what hobbys really are. Ways of dealing with life on your own terms. I used to doodle for the same reasons. And as I walked all over town - processing life - ignoreing life - as I walked I found myself heading out of town. I was not dressed for the weather, no gloves, a thin jacket, carrying a camera bag and a heavy (albiet awesome) tripod. I found myself walking on the Chipman Trail in a mood - not a bad or fowl mood - just a strong mood - ok maybe it was a bit of a fowl mood. The sort of mood in which you find yourself in when you have just stubbed your toe on the same edge of the table for the 11th time this week and its not the tables fault, its not anybodys falt, but you hate the table and the forest it grew up in, and the man that cut it down, and the delivery company which shipped it, and the store that sold it to you, and the man who designed you house so that you would have to walk past this stupid huge table. That sort of mood - the sort that only grips you in the first throbs of that big toe. Two miniutes in you find yourself laughing at your own clusmyness and decide that you really do like the table after all. Well it took more than two minutes - it took about four miles in the cold and the wind. Four miles of the tripod slapping the back of my knees - four miles of talking and thinking. Four miles of angst - then after those four miles after my back hurt, my hips hurt, my sholders hurt. After all that my attiude broke and I saw what I was - a very cold, fat man walking to Moscow, in the dark, with no gloves. The humor of the situation, that and the cold, and having not eating anything all day got to me. I started to laugh - telling myself what a cold, dumb, silly guy I am. Sometimes I think I am far to comfortable with my own company.

Miles left to go, miles and miles and miles (six and a half to be exact). Did I figure anything out? I don't know. Did I learn anything? Do I ever learn anything? I learned that I can walk to Moscow in a short time. I learned not to order a lotto when the bagel shop is really busy. You want to order the lotto when the bagel artist is bored and looking for an excuse to be creative. I learned that if your little sisters are going to pick you up in Moscow, they will lock the keys in the car - and park the car as far away from the bagel shop as possible. I learned that I need to look out for other people. I learned that camera batteries die in the cold. I learned that walking with your eyes shut can lead to falling in ditches. I leaned that Crocs are great walking shoes. I leaned where I stand. I learned that fleece is not as warm as I thought. I learned that stretching is important. I learned that people from Boise State eat lots of large pickels but don't order bagels. I learned all that.

Chipman Trail somewhere near mile 5 - Moonlight only - if you look you can see Orion's Belt

I am still learning


Crowd Surfing

I don’t know why, but I love walking thru crowds. Walking thru crowds with music playing in my ears. Just observing people, watching them for that half a second, trying to form an impression of someone that I may never see again – I have half a second – who are they – what can I learn from their clothes, their walk, their hair, their presence, that scent they leave on the wind.
Eye contact is so much of crowd surfing – looking at faces, cheeks bright in the cold morning air. Some eyes are vacant, some preoccupied, and some I never see. Joyous eyes, weary eyes, flashing eyes, proud eyes, smoldering eyes, damp eyes, innocent eyes, guilty eyes - one sees them all in the space of seven minutes in the crowd. People don’t hide as much in crowds – we don’t expect to be seen there. It’s all so fast – so quick – the stories that these faces weave in my mind, are like a vapor that is here and then gone.
I see the close walkers, the plowers, the stand-and-talkers. I watch the weavers, the couples, the large groups. The awkward hand holders, the comfortable hand holders, the umbrella sharers, the wet, the cold – the "Oh how they must be cold with all that showing".

They all pass by, moving on with life. Moving on towards something better than the wet concrete, slick with rotting leaves, better than the puddles, and the wind, and the crowds. I see the crowd part unconsciously as I approach, no eye contact, no obvious movement, just slight and subtle changes in direction, and the crowd opens up. And I dive in. Swallowed up in a sea of humanity, making for the opposite shore.

Get to class - get to work - get home.
Get to class – get to work – get home.
Get to class – get to work – get home.

Then something happens - I see a friend – a face I know – all the other faces and noise fall away – we stop - the crowd moves on – past us – around us – as aware of us as the river is of the rock.

All the faces go, only one matters, only one.


So much for sleep. . .

Long story - I was walking in the feild behind my house - a few miles out and I found a rather large herd of deer, of which he was the slowest

I went out on the porch - I sleep on the porch - not because I have to - but because I love it out there, and by sleep I mean sleep, my bed is out there, reading lamp, Ipod dock, books. I sleep out there. I enjoy the wind, the rain, the moonlight, and sunrises. Tonight was rain. I grew up in Seattle, I grew up in the rain. I love rain, the mist, shiny asphalt, the sound of tires on wet pavement. Drops on windows, getting feet out of wet socks, and pulling on nice dry ones. Soup and grilled cheese, and rain. How the trees are green and wet. Walking on the pier down in Des Moines, feeling the wind, hearing the waves crash on a stern and rockbound coast (not really - I just like the sound of "stern and rockbound") It's raining now, gentle and constant - like a low hum in the back of my mind. Sleeping outside has it's advantages, and its unforeseen side effects. Indoors is always to hot now, and to quite, the noise is all wrong, I can hear the walls. I can hear how close they are. Sound bounces around the room - outside it is swallowed up by the openness of it all. When it rains I can hear the buzzing of the transformer high above and away from me. I can hear the deer snorting in the overgrown orchard, and the rustle of unseen creatures on the night. The wind winds around the trees, I find leaves in my bed. I smile and love life here, and yet the rain brings me back to something far off and close, far off and near. I miss it. It is familiar, I know it from a time deeper and farther back then the rolling hills of the Palouse. I grew up hearing it in the morning, hearing it at night, feeling it on my face and arms. Breathing it in.

It's just weather.

But it's home.