Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Everything that can be done is meaningless. Nothing matters, so the best we can do is enjoy our days - eat, drink, and find joy in our daily work. I'm sure many people would disagree. In fact, I think I disagree! What a hopeless statement - perhaps from someone who has lost everything - who has nothing left to lean on.

In fact, these potent statements come from Ecclesiastes - yep, the Bible. And the assumed author is Solomon - a man of wisdom and stature - a king with everything he needs at his disposal.

I grew up believing that the entire Bible was the word of God, breathed into man. Yet, these don't seem like something God would say. How do I know that God intended these human musings to be a part of the collection of ideas that became known as the Holy Bible? Frankly, it sounds like the thoughts I've written in journals... the thoughts I've reflected on throughout my lifetime.

What about this? "A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything." Oh really? 1 Timothy says money plunges men into ruin and destruction. So who is right? Solomon or Paul? If the ENTIRE Bible is the inspired word of God, then wouldn't they match up? And why isn't this verse included in the concordance? Because someone knew it didn't match up and they didn't want to make it very easy to find, right?

I don't doubt that God is God. I don't doubt that He has a tremendous and unshakable love for us. And I don't doubt his plan to deliver us from our own terrible choices and gripping vices. I believe that He has spoken and continues to speak into the lives of people who will listen. But is every word... each word that was dictated and translated and pondered and modified... the actual intent of God?

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I am no fantastic climber... but I do love it. What is it about climbing that is so attractive?

Maybe it's the serenity - ascending a rock... feeling the breeze on your back and the sun on your shoulders... friends laughing down below... the joy of sliding your fingers into the perfect pocket or positioning your fingers just right in a crack... finding a beautiful jug at just the right moment... hearing your own breath...

Most definitely it is the challenge - being just at the brink of tumbling towards the earth... getting pumped and pushing through it... learning to position your body... to place your feet and to trust that it's going to hold.... to utilize balance... learning to be creative and to not limit yourself... legs and arms beginning to shake... looking just a little bit further to find possibility. Where else can you put your life on the line in such an almost assuredly safe way?

And obviously, it's the beauty - the texture of limestone... the colors of the rock against the sky... the profile of a climber... the reflection of the sun from a quickdraw... the cloud of chalk as it's blown from a climber's hands... the smooth style of a master climber...

And at the end of the day, as I walk away from the routes with dusty feet and chalky... maybe even bloody hands, I know that I've spent my day in a beautiful way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How To Not Get Tickled

I am a teacher. I get to hear kidstuff all day long. I get to see kids pick their boogers. I get to see them eat it. I get to hear them cry about being cut in line. I get to see them waddle off to the office to get a clean pair of pants. It really is a very thrilling life.

So this week, in the middle of a guitar lesson, one of my kids stops in the middle of a song, looks up at me, and says, "Hey... if someone says - 'Are you ticklish?' - you know they are going to tickle you no matter what you say. You say yes - you get tickled. You say no - you get tickled. The only way you don't get tickled is if you say, 'NO! I HAVE DIARRHEA!'. Right?"

Pure Genius.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Pursuit

How does God not get sick of us? Well, I guess He does. The whole, "Hey, Noah, build an ark" thing and then there was that Ninevah situation. I'm wondering if God would let me know if He was sick of me. Maybe if I was listening a little better.

For my whole life, I've been the person who has known God and pursued Him wholeheartedly... then something happens and I back off. Am I a back-and-forther? Maybe I don't feel like it's worth it. I know it's worth it. But do I feel like it's worth it? And does it really matter how I feel? How I feel changes. So how much weight should I put in THAT? I've gone through periods of my life where much of the time, I'm thinking about and talking with God. And it's beautiful. He blasts His truth straight to the heart of me and it brings me to tears. Sometimes it has been something simple. I remember feeling one time that He painted the skies new each day for us. What a sign of love! I know many times in my life God has spoken to me - reassuring my heart, prompting me to pray, gently correcting me.

And then bit by bit, I begin to slack off and I forget how beautiful it was to be in contact with the One who knows me best. Will I ever be someone who pursues Him regardless of her situation in life? If I choose to. And if I don't, will I be convinced that I've spent my life well?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Birthday Beautiful

Birthdays... getting old for many people has come to mean very little. We shuffle by our birthdays forgetting the significance of a life lived in the midst of challenges and of utter beauty.

A birthday should really be a compilation of everything beautiful that makes your soul sing. And this is really the first birthday that has been a celebration of the things that fill my heart. There is almost nothing better than a beautifully planned surprise on your birthday and it rang true for me this year.

I was surprised with tickets to the Lyons Folk Festival. I was super stoked to see my favorite artist, Ray LaMontagne, but I didn't really have any idea what the day had in store. When we arrived, the beauty of this location was outstanding. There was an incredible rocky cliff with meandering cracks and brilliant green ivy creeping towards the sky. A shallow river lay at the base... warm water making it's way over large riverstones. Adults floated by on innertubes and children were busy building cairns with the polished rocks.

We filled our cups with Colorado beer and found a place to enjoy the music. Simplicity... it's underrated. A guitarist and his bass player. Gentle harmonies and lines of music crafted in such a way to pull at my heart. And as I looked around I saw life happening... young families playing in the sand, a grandmother with a friend - maybe a neighbor or a sister, young and carefree couples, and everyone filled their hearts with this music. Simple.

Then a raindrop. And a few more. The rain came quickly pouring a fresh layer of water over us. It's not worth hiding or covering up. So we laid back and we let our skin feel each solitary drop. It ran down our faces and dripped off our noses and as we laughed it trickled over our teeth. We were soaked and loving it. But just as welcome as the rain was the feel of the sunshine. Beautiful heat across my shoulders. And warm arms wrapped all around me.

Later on, the sun set and the music continued. Lights cast gentle light across the cliff and across the branches of the trees behind the stage. I leaned back against the chest of my fellow music adventurist. And he rested his chin on my shoulder. As the rain began again, I felt wonderfully sheltered... not just from the oncoming storm. Thunder rolled across the sky and lightning abolished the darkness for seconds at a time. I wouldn't have picked anywhere else to be.

The river, the storm, the rain, the sun, the music. Beauty, danger, warmth, peace, beer, and the possibility of a beautiful story to come... THAT was a birthday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Faker Bachelorette

Bachelorette parties are the best excuse to be totally nuts. It's the best. We walked around downtown Denver this weekend with my girl, Abby. We made her wear ridiculous clothes and inappropriate jewelry. And the best of all... she had to carry a giant 3-foot inflatable friend. It really is the best way to start conversation with strangers. "Could you sign my friends'... uhh... large thing?"

Anyone been to Rise in Denver? Sort of creepy but maybe it was just that kind of night. What's up with creepy dudes in that place? Get yo' nasty hands up the air! Sick dudes.

So I am offically hosting my own faker bachelorette party featuring minor debauchery and major fun. I will be the best fake bride the state has seen. Let's go to Vinyl... : )

Monday, July 16, 2007

Downhill Suicide

So, I've discovered that I am really into downhill mountain biking. In college, we always would do super long single track, which is fun too, but there is nothing like downhill - hauling ass down a ridiculous slope- jumping off of roots and dodging rocks in the trail. I'm not that great at it, but I love it. And it is really nice to be able to ride the lift to the top... lazy me.

Last week I was in Snowmass and it was my first experience at downhill so of course, I only have front suspension. I would love to see how a full suspension feels but until I can afford a new bike, there is no way I am going to ride one.

The first time down the trail, I sucked big time. I would go too fast for turns and would lock up my arms so I couldn't ride correctly. It sucked. But after a few times down, I was riding perfectly. It was so great to get through the whole trail without stopping or overshooting my turns. As I rode the lift back to the top, I was feeling pretty confident. So when the guys at the top gave me a little ego boost ("Wow. That was fast! Are you gonna race next weekend?"), I - the idiot, decide to go faster. I rode the whole trail perfectly but halfway through the whooptiewoos at the bottom, I thought I should pedal faster. I launched into the air and landed on my hip. I could feel the shock go through my bones and I felt like someone just hit me with a sandbag.

I hobbled up and rode to the bottom of the hill to get some alcohol to clean my leg. Damn it. I guess I need full gear.

But afterwards, I realized that I don't feel like I've pushed myself unless I crash. For me, crashing is just a part of riding. My buddy John never crashes, yet he still pushes himself. I don't get it. A little crashing doesn't bother me as long as I don't end up gushing blood or trying to put bone shards back inside my skin. But one day I'm going to be really good and I'm going to kick all your asses. : )

Monday, July 2, 2007

Prelude In D Flat

We've all got 'our' songs - the ones that resonate with us. The ones that remind us of who we are or perhaps what we want or where we've been. The ones that remind us of someone we knew or of a place we stood. I've certainly made my collection of songs - some joyful, some heart-wrenching, some laughable. But all of them explain me.

I sat down at the piano today and began to play one of my favorite pieces - Prelude in D flat by Chopin. His music is some of the most passionate, emotive music there is. And as I played I realized that this song explains me better than anything. The beginning is a gentle, soothing treble melody. It speaks of an incredible love. And beneath the melody there is a constant pulse that drives the melody forward. And when I play this, beautiful scenes cross through my mind. I remember sunrises and promises, smiles and devotion. The melody is complemented by beautiful rising chromatic passages and gentle chord modulations below.

And then comes the second section - minor and ominous and building and still with the constant pulse that drives the bass melody forward. It builds and builds and then comes four bars of fortissimo... strong octaves that move in fifths in the lowest registers of the piano. And suddenly it recedes back to piano. And all I can think of is compromises and tears, mistakes and wounds.

And then comes my favorite section, where my hands seem to take over the whole piano. Consonance and dissonance placed carefully together as the chords morph from one sound into the next. In my mind, I see an unfinished story and I think about chances and possibilities. The last time I played this piece, I had to stop at the end of this section. And I had a few tears (pseudo-non-emotional me... crying). Because I didn't feel like I could play the last section. It returns to the beautiful treble melody - the one that speaks of love. But as I sat down to play today, I played through the whole thing. And it was beautifully complete.

I've only played this piece for a few people. And it's those people who know me best. I don't think they realize as I've played it that I was sharing a huge piece of myself.

Of course, on another day, I might share with you a huge list of other songs...
Green Eyes - Coldplay,
Steady As We Go - Dave Matthews Band,
Tidal Wave - David Gray,
Breakin' Up - G. Love,
See The World - Gomez,
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson,
Photograph - Jamie Cullum,
The Heart of Life - John Mayer,
Dreaming with a Broken Heart - John Mayer,
Faint - Linkin Park,
I Hear the Bells - Mike Doughty,
Forever My Friend - Ray LaMontagne,
Crystal Village - Pete Yorn,
Simplify - Ryan Shupe...

And if you've actually gotten this far in this endless blog, I'd love to know what your songs are...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Love Life?

So I've made a few decisions. I've decided that I won't be held down to time restraints unless it's an issue of my respect for someone else. I've decided that even though it's great to go places with friends, that if friends can't go, I will go alone. I've decided to learn and to keep on learning.
Why all this? I think I was losing my love for life. This summer has been such a refreshing breeze to me. It's been very, very sad too, of course. But I can't really go on with my life being a wreck of a person. And I can't go to sleep anymore knowing that my day was misspent. So I don't go to sleep until I've enjoyed a portion of my day.

And because of this, I witnessed a magnificent summer lightning storm just as the sun painted the sky in purple and orange. I rode a Harley. I learned how to samba. I sat by a mountain stream with my dog and let the water run through my fingers. I learned to make a mojito. I let myself take time looking at the beauty of a brillant purple thistle. I sipped on a Creamsicle martini. I let myself think. I listened... really listened to a local musician. I doused a plate of pulled pork with spicy barbeque sauce. I sat in the park and got to know some friends. I spoke Spanish. I let myself breathe a little bit.

Ice Cream in the Beer Garden

So, I just attended this motorcycle fest in downtown Colorado Springs this weekend. Motorcycles aren't really my thing. By that I mean that I do not swoon over them. I do not dream of them and I do not manufacture fantasies based around them. However, I do enjoy riding them. When you hit like 85 and you have to suck in your cheeks so they don't flap around you know it's a good time. The wind always blows the water out of my eyes even with a giganto pair of sunglasses. But I love being able to see every cloud, every mountain peak and I love hearing the rumble of the motor.

So I headed down to this grand event. There was an old guy band there. You know the type. All these guys in their early fifties with too-long hair, too-tight jeans, and a pair of rockin' 80's sunglasses. The sight wasn't so hot, but the music was great. They did all the beloved biker tunes... I guess I wouldn't really know what a biker tune is, but I assume it's things like Born to Be Wild and Livin' In America. It was ridiculously hot, so I grabbed an ice cream cone and stood watching the band. Little did I know, I was standing in the infamous BEER GARDEN - a fenced-off portion of downtown Springs where it was legal to purchase and drink beer outside. I stood for a while enjoying the day when I was approached by two gentlemen. "Well, I'd have to say that's the first ice cream cone I've seen in the Beer Garden." I looked around. Yep. I was the only one within sight that was not holding a trendy plastic cup of Coors. "True," I said, "So are you making fun of me?" "Absolutely," they replied.

I guess it must have looked pretty weird. But what we need in America is a little bit of icecream tolerance. Why must we be so disgusted with a little twist cone? You got your vanilla and your chocolate. There is no better combination. And yet, the world just isn't ready for it. It breaks my heart to think about what would have happened if I had been consuming Rocky Road.

I won't even mention Butter Pecan.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ahhhh... Mr. Mayer

so, i would have to say without a doubt that i am an idiot for not going to more concerts. how embarrassing is this - i am a music teacher and the last concert i was at was amy grant, house of love tour in 1996. lame.

i sat like twenty rows back for john mayer this weekend and it was for sure one of the highlights of my year. i got there and everything was nice. people were milling about finding seats and bitching at the ushers. lovers were laying out their blankets and cracking open thier picnics. the vendors were trying to make sure their money didn't blow away in the wind and i was flirting with the margarita man. and then John got onstage and perhaps it was the ambience or perhaps it was the delicious quart of margarita in my belly but i felt like i was a twelve-year-old with a crush on Corey Haim or something. i was so excited to see him up there and to watch his band. it was almost surreal.

i know that sounds lame. he's just a man-person just like every other man-person i know. but this beautiful man-person was singing me into this weird place between reality and a dream and it was flippin' cool. Stop This Train... In Repair... oh, not to mention The Heart of Life. such a beautiful picture of real life - not all-shined-up-and-ready-to-impress life, but real-in-the-gutters and just-trying-to-make-each-day-beautiful life.

and when i read all his rants on zombies and cool inventions like a clip to hold a fajita together, i know that he and i would laugh non-stop. so john mayer, you should think about calling me and we can fill our bellies with chili dogs and then try not to puke at Elitches. it would really be a good time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Take Me Away

I am completely addicted to other places. I don't know what it is but I fall in love with the cuisine, the music, the people, the hustlebustle or the laid back atmosphere. I had always thought I was much too scared to leave my home and to just take off and start up a new life in a new place all alone. I sat in a little open-air restaurant consuming the most delicious fish tacos and drinking jamaica and it struck me that I could do it.

Of course, it would be nice to go with someone. But if it came down to it and I had to go alone, I would pack a couple bags of clothes, box up my bike and my guitar, and I'd make sure my dog had someone to look after him while I was gone. And I would just go. Scary at first, I think... but I could do it.

So my plan is to spend this year learning Spanish. Maybe get my Masters underway. I'll try a teacher exchange program somewhere in coastal Mexico or maybe New Zealand. And then I'll go get lost somewhere marvelous.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I first fell in love with storms while I was flying in an airplane. We were flying above the clouds and just a little way off in the distance, I watched a storm. I never saw the lightning bolts, but the way the light illuminated the clouds was breathtaking. And even now, I can't take my eyes away from a good storm. There is something about the awesome power... the incredible noise and the stunning vision. I love the not-knowing, too. The air is on edge but you have no idea where it is going to strike. It is the most poetic and beautiful picture I think I've ever seen. I could sit outside for hours in the rain, just watching the storm surround me.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Losing Out

Today I lost my best friend. Not in the way that many people have lost their best friend... but I'm not sure it was any easier.

I remember when I first fell in love with my husband. He and I were relaxing one day. And he spent a long while looking at my armpits. He traced his finger across my skin and just looked for a while. I know. Sounds kind of nasty. But I realized then that if he loved the nastiest part of me, then he was a keeper. We had a wonderful relationship. My best friend. My partner in crime. My confidant. And it is a beautiful thing to be so comfortable with someone.

And now I look at where this beautiful thing has gone. I realize I created most of the damage. I can't begin to express my sorrow over this. I lost the most valuable thing in this world. So today, my heart is heavy. And I suppose I'm terrified knowing that I may have lost the last chance I had at being truly loved. Maybe I will never be comfortable with anyone again. I suppose that's the price I paid for not taking care of what I had to begin with.

A new day begins tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why Vegas Is Crazy

So, my first trip to Vegas... how exciting. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I came away with some of the most hilarious stories. Why have I not travelled more? That has got to change.

So, our last night in Vegas we were living it up. I had not seen Elvis anywhere. And when a girl goes to Vegas, you know she can't leave until she sees the King. I was super excited to see a middle aged totally stylin' Elvis coming down the Strip. He stopped so I could get a picture on my phone. I will have you know - the smile on my face is totally fake. That dude was groping me big time all up the side of my body. I couldn't get away from him fast enough. What a nasty freak.

Of course, right as I'm stepping away, one of the girls with us comes around the corner and she's like, "OH, ELVIS! We have to get more pictures!!!" I offered to be the one to take the photo but she wasn't having it. So, of course, all the girls in our group hand their cameras to strangers who have no idea how to work the damn cameras. And there I am standing next to NASTY Elvis being finger groped by what I can only guess is an ex-convict with Hepatitis B, crabs, and gonorrhea while some slow-ass tourists figure out how to push a button.

And so what we have is a photo of six beautiful, smiling women, one freak-nasty Elvis.... and me. With a look of pure disgust and an old man's hand about 2 centimeters away from getting a handful of booby.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sappy, But True

Women are different. We all know that. We cry when someone else cries. We need a little reassurance every now and then of how someone feels about us. We pick up on social cues better than men. We dump guys for reasons like, "He was rude to the waiter." Some of us are neurotic. Some of us are chill. But I imagine most of us are a healthy blend of the two.

Men probably have no idea what it is about them that makes us want to be around them. Their strength. Their initiative. Those are all good. But the one thing that has absolutely taken me is how a man looks at a woman. It's in all the guy-is-crazy-for-the-girl movies. There's that one moment where the guy says everything with just a look. And normally, I wouldn't believe that it was real. But I've seen it. I've been the girl. And that moment is totally intoxicating. For that moment, as ridiculous as it sounds, the girl knows she captivates him. She knows that she means the world to him and that he would do anything for her. And that, above anything else, is the reason a girl falls in love.