Friday, December 29, 2017

In Honor Of My Puddled Body


white-knuckled under the snow moon
the ebb tide took your tautness.


melted in that midnight forge
you became a softer nest for laughter.


the universe broke you open
all exhale and spillage.


a spent and undone pilgrim, you pause,
ever a vessel awaiting transformation.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Husband, My Hero

Everyone said I would fall head over heels in love with our child the moment I met him. Instead, my love for Ben is a slow burn that has grown to consume me. 

Initially, the deeper fall was into the sense of wonder and privilege I feel as Evan's co-parent. 

This guy is reshaping my notions of partnership. You can see it in every photo or video of our kiddo: Evan is front and center, inspiring and actualizing the moment.

He is Atlas holding my world up. An unsustainable act of love for which I will be forever grateful.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Giving Birth Is Batshit Crazy

Transitioning from this...

to this...

is commonplace. It happens all the time. That's nuts. 

Here are some true things:

Evan sat with me in a 103 degree poop soup for around five and a half hours. 

As I flopped around like a seal, I left nearly ever surface in our house covered in bodily fluids.

At one point it felt like I vomited out of my vagina. Mucous plug? My water breaking? No idea. 

It felt better when Evan compressed my upper pelvis with his knees, so he basically did Thigh Master exercises for ten and a half hours straight.

I lost my voice bellowing in an attempt to drown out the pain.

My butthole turned inside out from the pressure and resembled a sea anemone-- a sight that I, unfortunately, can never unsee thanks to photo documentation. 

We got a gravity assist from an uber full moon called the Snow Moon, one of only three supermoons in 2017.

I thought I would feel relief after the baby was born, but instead I was completely unaware that he had been delivered.

My first words upon seeing our child were, "Is he dead?" because he was so blue, limp, and quiet. This was purely information gathering on my part as exhaustion had drowned out other feelings at that point. Spoiler: he wasn't.

Our child was born at home with a doula (Anna Hulme) and two midwives (his aunt, Heather, and Heidi Stearns). Heather coached me, Evan held me, Heidi took medical lead, Anna held down the fort, and the baby under-excelled in all the right places (99th percentile in height; 90th percentile in weight; 7th percentile in head diameter). Throw in a whole lotta luck and the end result was no tearing, no hemorrhoids, minimal bleeding, a healthy baby, and two exhausted parents. 
Teamwork makes the dream work. 

Many of the meals kind friends have brought us in the wake of our child's birth have included game meat, proving that this is after all a Wyoming birth story. 

So all that happened. And we have an amazing little human to show for it.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Precious Child

And this tender photo essay where the photographer edited himself into his own childhood photos to keep his younger self company. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Systemic Misogyny

Allegations of sexual predation against men in positions of power across America has given rise to a hashtag and some cutting pieces that vent pent-up rage against our cultural machine.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 37

Hands-on parenting? An inbound reality at 273 Amoretti Street any day now for the next five weeks. Such a bizarre concept for us to wrap our heads around.

I can't breath much, eat much, or move much, but it seems like the baby and I are right on schedule in that regard.

Thank heavens for all the support and guidance we've received. I have a whole new level of appreciation for the concept "it takes a village"-- so many books, so much gear, so many words of wisdom.

Here are some go-to parenting phrases that came across my radar recently (parenthood being a world that, let us remember, is wholly theoretical for me at this point):

"I am sorry you're upset. At the same time, I can't let you hurt your cousin." rather than "I am sorry, but I can't let you do that pitifully misguided thing."

"I need you to get dressed, please." rather than "Let's get you dressed before hell freezes over."

"I see two children who want the same toy." rather than "If you stole that toy, you are your father's child."

"Tell me about your drawing." rather than "What an incomprehensible, yet oddly compelling picture."

"I love listening to you play piano." rather than "Nice job on that abstract piano piece."

"What do you think you could do to make your friend feel better?" rather than "Go apologize, punk."

"How can I help you understand this homework?" rather than "I can explain that to you, my poor lamb."

"What I know is there were three cookies on this plate before I went to the bathroom." rather than "Not true, you guilty little monkey."

"Help me understand what happened." rather than "How in god's name did poop get all the way up there?"

"I'm sorry I lost my temper." rather than "Let's agree that the last five minutes never happened."

"Thank you for cooking dinner." rather than "The chicken is a little dry."

"I love you, kiddo." rather than "I rue the day I met you, sweet child o' mine."

Seems pretty straightforward.

Friday, October 6, 2017

I Don't Even Know

This fucking administration.

I just... [words fail].

Monday, September 25, 2017

Respecting Boundaries

(click on pic for music)

I really appreciate these thoughts on how to teach a child about consent.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Llama Llama

God love Ludacris. Father of three on a tear. May his next album be pure board book lyrics.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Shower gel, conditioner, and shampoo are to a spa as bread and bathroom are to a restaurant: the real test. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Game On

Winter is coming.

After this Sunday, it's roughly another million years before we get our next fix of Game of Thrones. 

So many feelings... 

All the feelings...

Et tu, Night King? 

At least we're in this together, GoT fans.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Path Of Totality

I was wary of the solar eclipse. The human spectacle was far outweighing the natural phenomenon for me as the event approached. 

Then I heard Dr. Jill Tarter speak and she put the eclipse in cosmic perspective. Then totality itself blew my mind.

As the moon's shadow barreled towards us at nearly 2,000 miles per hour, the temperature dropped around 22°F. Darkness fell and we saw solar flares reflected on the surface of the water. Moments later, "dawn" broke and fog formed over the rushes as swallows came out in force to hunt insects.

Not nearly as impressive, but worthy of note nonetheless were the sheet cakes available at Mr. D's to honor the occasion...

and the coloring contest to win a shrink-wrapped gift basket full of eclipse beer, tootsie rolls, markers, and a coloring book.

Just as quickly as the eclipse came and went, the predicted apocalypse passed us by.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Mother's Prayer

May our child be curious, kind and courageous. 


May our child have a gift for connection and a cellular knowledge of love.


May our child be resilient and creative.


May our child have a deep capacity for joy and wonder. 


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Our Rat-Bastard President

Wow. Just wow.

As Brené Brown commented, "Our collective story in the United States is a story of white supremacy. We have not owned it, so it owns and defines us. Because we have not had the courage to say this is true and this is where we come from, we are trapped in the pain and discomfort of living out that story without the power to rewrite its ending. If we don't acknowledge our privilege, our unearned access and authority, we don't acknowledge the pain of others. We all see the world through a lens that is soldered to our faces, but if we are white we are told repeatedly that our view is the accurate view of the world. Empathy is believing someone when they tell you the story of their experience, even if it is different from your own. Power is the ability to affect change. It is infinite. Power over, however, is finite. It disempowers others and is always threatened with extinction. We cannot afford to opt out of this conversation about white supremacy in the United States and continue dehumanizing one another. It is terribly dangerous to let our shame, discomfort, and imperfection keep us from engaging in braver conversations. We must hold ourselves and others accountable. We need to listen to each other and stop being so hurtful when people are trying. And as we fight for ownership of our nation's story, we must fortify ourselves with care by tending to needs such as belonging, sleep and joy." 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Lives shaped by trauma and the poetry of language...

Both raw in their truth.

Both raw in their power.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A Literal Bow Drop

Sunday, July 30, 2017


This meditative piece on the value of sleep and silence struck a spiritual chord for me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Obituaries For The Ladies

I laughed out loud at these imagined obituaries for a daughter living on the Left Coast and teenaged girls in general.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


In approaching parenting, Evan and I are trying for a light touch: aiming to honor the maxim "rules are for fools" while developing some reference points for ourselves as we navigate this new terrain. 

Here is what we've come up with so far...

no fetal alcohol syndrome

The idea is to listen to my body and side step our culture's should/should not stress around pregnancy while using common sense to avoid big consequences. Eat healthy more often than not. Exercise more often than not. Those two seem reasonable. The hardest part for me thus far has been staying hydrated.

no parent left behind

Neither of us want to make a go of this adventure alone. So I will try not to die in childbirth and pay more attention behind the wheel while Evan applies newly conservative risk management in the wilds, walking rapids he might otherwise have run. 

parent like it's 40,000 BC

What were the basics back then? Raise kids outside and in community. Be active and rest. Give children a functional role in the tribe. Over the span of human history, most parents got by without Baby Bjorn and Sophie the Giraffe so we probably can too.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Pick Me Ups

Thank you, Lander, for pulling me out of my self-absorbed, stressed-out funk and reminding me of the magic afoot in this world...

This photo, taken by a friend, captures the beauty of the 4th here. So much to be grateful for. 

The Indian relay at the rodeo was a neck-and-neck race with no injuries. Pink tassels flew as my favorite rider vaulted off his horse. Manes and tails streamed down the straight aways. 

Biking through the acrid haze of explosives into the Deep North. Arriving to a giddy recital of the evening's highlight reel: a bottle rocket-powered skateboard ride, hitting a cop car with a screamer by accident. A nimbus of spent firecracker debris around the wooden stump serving as launch pad.

Teresa decked out in red, as she always is, selling raffle tickets. Others in jorts and face paint. Water arching high overhead on Main Street.   

The youth panel at the fourth annual Pride Picnic awed me with their courage, eloquence, and candor. The unprompted shout-outs to our local librarians for creating safe space? These beautiful leaders make my heart glad.

I have never been able to capture Lander's Yard Sale Tree properly in a photo. Throughout the dog days of summer these cardboard boxes guide dedicated trawlers on their rounds. A simple and effective system whereby nothing lasts long on the curb. The robust network of hand-me-downs for kiddos and resources for parents is a marvel as well. Reuse at its finest, giving and supporting new life.

It's all about the universal power of creative endeavor and connection to lift the human spirit

Outlander episodes in the Rumpus Room.  

How lucky are we? 

Monday, June 26, 2017

So This Is Awesome

This new show on Netflix looks like my first round draft pick for summer binging. Eighties lady wrestling? Yes please.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week 21

Baby Boom

Drum tight
Base beat
Kick repeat

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Week 20

Having cleared genetic testing and the big ultrasound check for physical deformities with a healthy baby, it seems time to change our child's name from Maybe to For Reals. 

Two kidneys? Got 'em. Four chambered heart? Check. Spinal Bifida? Nope. Y Chromosome? Yup. Bones galore? Definitely (a small skeleton in motion). 

We were braced for tough decisions and loss, so being able to say this is both a surprise and a relief. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


A new word for me and one I enjoy. Gleaned from this wonderful trilogy:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lessons From Wadi Do'an

Yemen has been disintegrating in the past decades due in large part to water shortages. Bin Laden was born in Yemen, in Wadi Do'an, and that seems relevant to me given the country's water story. 

This desert nation was likely the first to build skyscrapers, back in the 1400s, and famously exported coffee from the port town of Mocha. 

Now it may be the harbinger of what's to come for the rest of the world if we don't start acting on our knowledge that life begins and ends with water (and air and food and love, yes).

The podcast, Reveal, did an excellent piece earlier this year looking at current forecasts regarding humanity's relationship with water. 

I am reminded of the difference water makes as I enjoy landscapes made possible by deep wells and pumps in Taroudant-- gardens that host the handsomest of peacocks, pools for refreshing dips, and orchards heavy with fruit. 

My grandmother will always be linked in my mind with luxuries such as these. I marvel at how quickly we pass from one age to another. Between us lies the dawning consciousness of the Anthropocene. Poolside in Morocco, it looks doubtful that these findings and their warnings will dictate a change in our behavior. We can certainly hope, but more relevant is whether or not we can apply lessons learned.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Boss

True musicians at work (and play)...

Goes to show it pays to risk failure. 

Even when you suck. Maybe even especially when you suck (sometimes painful for the audience).

Incidentally, Springsteen and his band do not suck. 

They rock.

Always have. Always will. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017


I arrived on a Dutch plane full of children, including four sets of twins-- improbable, but true. I sat between an elderly Berber couple who offered to share every bit of food they brought with me. They paid in coins for milky coffee, smelling of dust and sweat. As the plane landed, a herd of camels veered off into an argan grove. Bedraggled cypress stood at attention in rows, acting as wind screens for crops of oranges along the highway.

I arrived at the garden outside of Taroudant under a sliver of moon. Bread was baking in the heat of a clay oven's fire. Candlelight flickered over the faces of the French team on assignment from Cosmopolitan as we dined on poached pears and samosas. The Atlas Mountains stood in profile above the garden walls.

I awoke to the sounds of birds chirping, donkeys braying, and roosters crowing-- stray dogs barking a notable absence in the cacophony. The air smelled of pollen, smoke and sunlight. A tortoise stood in the shelter of a fig tree surrounded by purple jacaranda blossoms. Green toads leapt away from my shadow and dove under lily pads. Bees buzzed in the canopy of yellow flowers over my hammock. I swam lazily back and forth beside a profusion of cacti.

Soft music and a nearby call to prayer (which sounds more like a declared state of emergency or the blowing of a shofar to my unaccustomed ears) mix in the courtyard, buried deep in the heart of town. The dar is well insulated-- far from the concrete houses dotting the desert beyond the adobe walls of the fortress, empty structures that testify to supply outstripping demand. The riad's nondescript exterior yields to an interior world of climbing vines, lanterns, and the textures of wood, clay, wool and stone. Outside is a slurry of Arabic, Berber and French spoken by men on bicycles. Women glide by swathed in loose folds of cloth. Carts drawn by emaciated horses, motorcycles, and donkeys race to market piled high with red onions and herbs.

My plan while here is simple: Study, Eat, Walk, Swim, Walk, Study, Eat, Repeat.

As I walk, I wonder about the economics of latitude. There is a familiar dissonance between the wealthy and the rest here that reminds me of other deserts I have visited north of the equator. Encounters with material privilege and deprivation in Taroudant are giving me déjà vu.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

On Retreat

Soothing The Child

Sweetness, Sweetness.
You know nothing
and yet you know.
So it is. So it is.

Passthrough Moment

Now is no podunk station.  

Surrender --yes-- 
to this precious present.

It is everything, our all. 

Fear Falls Away

This is the time of day 
when the spider is still.

This is the time of day 
when the lizards compete.

This is the time of day 
when the caterpillars are on the move. 

This is the time of day 
when the flies show off.

Neither Separate Nor Equal

Funny how one thing
can sound like another.

You mistake whitewater
for wind brushing over the landscape.

A frog makes you think for a moment
that a bird has taken flight.

Funny how one thing
can look like another.

You take a patch of grass
for a desert watering hole.

Oxidized rock resembles scrap metal
a desiccated carcass.


Tethered by gravity
to the core of the earth.

Relaxed. In repose.

Yet --all the while--
spinning, whirling, revolving.

Born In San Francisco During The Age Of Foghorns

If I lived in a lush, pastoral place,
I would be the type to walk byways
stealing blooms that reached out 
over fences and through gates.

If I lived on a battered coastline,
I would be the type to close my eyes
and inhale the salt air until 
it clung to the roof of my mouth.

If I lived in an urban jungle,
I would be the type to read graffiti
in the bathroom stall and lay my forehead 
against the cool glass of a bus window.

Yet I live on a high desert flanked by peaks,
so I am the type to feel a sense of abandon
crossing vast spaces, dwarfed 
by expanses of subtle light and color.


The plane's unanticipated 
swoops and dives elicit
exclamations and inhalations.
An "Oh!" escapes unbidden.
Fever plays like a breeze 
over my forehead. 
A startled stewardess 
careens down the aisle.

Memo pad narration seems 
called for, chicken scratch for later. 
It occurs to me that I opted out 
of choosing an emergency contact.

We jutter to a landing. 
Contrails of fear and anticipation
stretch out behind me. And
already they begin to evaporate.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 9

Our first glimpse of Maybe came via ultrasound in a room filled with laughter:

Having weathered many an ultrasound search for Blammo, Evan and I were completely shocked and unprepared for how large and obvious Maybe was on the big screen. We were like, "That's what they were looking for?! Yeah. Blammo was definitely M.I.A." 

Because there was Maybe, replete with arms and legs, literally bouncing off the walls. The kid wouldn't hold still long enough for the technician to get a heart rate. The three of us watched, delighted by the show, until she eventually had me hold my breath to slow him down. Stillness didn't come, however, until Evan made moves to capture all the action on film. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Chiaroscuro II

We are gods, all of us, for someone
[at best, ourselves].

The wonder when love propels us
beyond the margins of explanation.

What alchemy did you perform
to make possibilities so expansive?

For whom have you been unshackled
in your splendor?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fat And Happy

A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Just out of hibernation in Yellowstone, Wyoming.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Chiaroscuro I

We are monsters, all of us, for someone
[at worst, ourselves].

The horror when we track the beast 
back to our own feet.

Whom have you breathed smoke upon
to pilfer their honey?

In whose imagination have you stalked,
drooling, down inroads of fear? 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Speech Worth Listening To

Van Jones just spoke beautifully as part of the 2017 African American Speaking Series.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just Sayin'

Give the woman the mic.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The First Stage Of Grief

Yale just released some interesting data on public opinion as it relates to climate change in the United States...

So that's good news (although: Wyoming, really?). But then there's this...

And the coup de grâce...

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. 

Meanwhile, in India...

Villagers are knitting jumpers for elephants to protect them from the unusually cold conditions forecasted for the region.