Monday, March 29, 2010

it never rains in southern california

here i go! i'm leaving on a little road trip early in the morning to visit mikie in los angeles. also known as fleeing the approaching storm.

Friday, March 26, 2010

wildflower walk

 i took a ramble through the rolling hills, venturing out upon a little nature-jaunt nearby in coloma where gold was discovered in 1848. hydraulic gold mining may have once marred the landscape of dutch creek that flows into the south fork of the american river, but it is all overgrown with wild beauty now.
this is the tiny bumpy road that goes up the mountainside.
i was on a quest for wildflowers and i really want to learn more about them.
let me know if you know the truth about any of these that i photographed.

blue mountain lupine
this has my favorite name: pussypaw
i walked out on this pretty little trail through the hillsides of pocorn flower and aster.
heading up the little trail. that's mt. murphy in the background, exploded yellow with poppies.
in real life the slope is golden especially when the sun shines down.
california poppies!
i think this is some kind of brodiaea?
amidst the oaks and willows i felt like i was in an enchanted elfin land.

the trail hadn't been cleared since our big snowfall that felled oak trees and branches all over our county.
foxlike, i had to scramble over obstacles like this:
it felt kind of like no one ever comes out here, and i was completely and utterly alone with the ghosts of the indians and the gold miners.

then i remembered that i had read that this area is inundated with poison oak. is this it?
i used a big stick to push this out of my way to go check out the falls. well, as darin likes to say, i'm no ballerina. the damn stick snapped and i went DOWN. my camera was in my right hand and cracked against the rocks. can you believe it survived?! only injury was a little pinky flesh wound which i quickly ran to wash off in the running water.

in all its glory, the american river flows. this is the spot they call troublemaker.

hmmmm, maybe i'll build my cabin RIGHT HERE.
oh and later i found a new thrift store in the cute river town of lotus and got some GOODS. my day was complete.

wishing you all a weekend of nature and adventure!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

something i think is beautiful

it dawned on me that by looking at my blog one might start to think that all i'm interested in is dancing, drinking, hanging out with friends, taking little trips and having my head in the clouds. hmmmm, okay not so far from the truth. just kidding. the truth is, i have a real passion that is very different from all the above. it is reading.

or should i say READING!
despite appearances, much of my life i've spent in complete solitude with my nose buried in a book. (above you see me bringing together two of my faves, i'm reading a book about cats. in a flannel nightie) this is obviously why i chose to go to grad school for literary studies, certainly not because i wanted to find a good job or make money or build a career. ha ha, no no no. i am sadly not a very ambitious person in the ways of the world. nope, i devoted all the time and energy it took simply because i love to read. and to think and talk about reading and books.

so i thought i would honor the joy and intensity reading has brought into my life by occassionally writing about authors or books that i love.

i am currently reading Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog which is a fascinating account of native american resistance in the 1970s. reading it is making me think of another native writer that i love: Leslie Marmon Silko. her books shape my world; she is one of my favorite writers and her novel Ceremony got into my skin and left me open to the sun.  i have an extra copy if anyone wants it; i'll send it to you right away if you give me your address.

so today i looked through Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko. it is a different kind of book than her novels, and very beautiful. it is wide and soft and it looks like this:

i love it because it is full of the stories of her people and it crosses typical euro-american genre boundaries. words fly and leap across the page like animals in the southwestern land she knows and loves so well. poetry, short story, memoir, song, photograph together create a new kind of narrative landscape where all life is possible, time is a spiderweb, and all voices are heard.

the images upon these pages also sharpen my recent desire for the desert:

there she is, the one and only.

and my favorite of course.

this following poem once inspired darin to write a song of the same title.
i think it is incredibly haunting and gives me the kind of feeling i had when i first read Ceremony.

I climb the black rock mountain
   stepping from day to day
I smell the wind for my ancestors
   pale blue leaves
   crushed wild mountain smell.
   up the gray stone cliff
   where I descended
                     a thousand years ago
Returning to faded black stone
where mountain lion lay down with deer.
It is better to stay up here
                     watching wind's reflection
                      in tall yellow flowers.
The old ones who remember me are gone
              the old songs are all forgotten
and the story of my birth.

How I danced in the snow-frost moonlight
              distant stars to the end of the Earth.
How I swam away
                        in freezing mountain water
                        narrow mossy canyon tumbling down
                                        out of the mountain
                                         out of the deep canyon stone
                                           the memory
                                                              spilling out
                                                              into the world.

who are your favorite authors you love dearly forever?
also don't forget to tell me if you want a copy of Ceremony!

Monday, March 22, 2010

first comes loves, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage

here's what i wore to the loveliest spring wedding this weekend... my new dress from the cutest etsy shop ever.
the lovely livia came here from germany, met her future husband anthony on summer solstice last year at the river, and now they are married and about to have a baby! it's basically a true life love-at-first-sight story and they are the sweetest, kindest, most mellow and poetically beautiful couple.

and how gorgeous and perfect was their spring equinox wedding day!?
i loved that livia finished her vows with the words, "i have always loved you, and i always will."
so simple, pure and perfect.

everyone was feeling the love.
even us.
and goddess mamas. mary on the right is one of my oldest friends and has a farm i wrote about here.
look how big her handsome boy is now!

the reception was a potluck of the most delicious vegetarian dishes and local music at good old cozmic cafe where anthony and livia are quite the familiar faces.

the scene was cozy and lovey.
jocelyn here has been livia's local preggers buddy. they're both about set to pop.
girls! pretty girls!
glam addie.

and thus the afternoon turned into an all night fiesta of live music by none other than Dark River, darin and joey's band and everyone went crazy dancing and singing and stomping along.

it was quite a festive night and a promising beginning to a fresh season!

days like this i really dig my community.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

green beer is gross

or maybe i'm just bitter cause i'm not feeling so great today.
cause i partied like a leprachaun last night.

saint patrick's day is kind of a weird holiday. i like what sasha wrote about it, calling it a "national holiday that focuses on beer, whiskey, and tin whistles" but noting that it is probably actually a cloaked pagan celebration of the vernal equinox. nice! 
i also like what michael scott says: "it is the closest that the irish will ever get to christmas."

we rang it in with green beer at home just as the boys were just finishing up band practice.
i was sportin a shamrock tattoo from my friend at work earlier in the morn. and yes i did try out the whole "top o the morning" thing at work but my irish brogue is embarrassingly lacking and also i spilled a whole glass of water on a dude, so.

green beer was flowing everywhere, it turns out. and for cheap.

some tried to be good. someone's got to look out for the hooligans.

turned into a wild ruckus. there was a show, local rockbands Soft Devil and Breast Milk exploded the greenest night of the year.

but best of all for me was a tidbit of a treat: the opening act was a duo called Friendship and the Fawn from vancouver. two girls with their banjos, accordion, tambourine and xylophone singing the softest sweetest fairy songs. i was completely enamored.

and by the way, when i went to look them up online, check out this sweet story i found.
a baby bobcat and fawn befriend each other after a wildfire. ummmm, i'm dying.

luck o the irish from my friend rob.
hope you all had fun. and i hope you all didn't waste the next day away like me.