Friday, April 30, 2010

The Doctor is in.

Several weeks back the latest series of Doctor Who with the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, began. My doctor is, and always will be, the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. I sang Tennant’s praises early on in my blog. He is, quite frankly, my dream guy – crazy-smart, tall & thin, sassy, great sense of style, loves adventure, travels through space and time… and yes, I know he’s an alien. And fictional. I can’t set myself up for disappointment much more completely than that… but I digress.

I was inclined at the outset to dislike Matt Smith as The Doctor. I mean, how can I appreciate anyone who follows up my favorite? Beyond that, he’s just so young, and that’s bothersome because it’s hard to then see him as the 900-and-something-year-old that he is. He doesn’t have any experience in his eyes. To me that is an important quality to have in The Doctor.

However, while so far I feel a bit like Doctor the 11th is a watered down version of #10, I am enjoying the show. His companion Amelia “Amy” Pond, for one, is clever and funny. And Scottish. I adore how they met. The scene early on where she feeds him – one of the funniest things I’ve watched in years. And as a whole, the show is still as fun as ever.

The sass is, I think, what I miss the most. The Tenth Doctor was full of piss and vinegar, and several of his companions were as well – especially Donna Noble. The verbal banter was mouthwateringly good. Also, I think so far I haven’t felt The Doctor’s intensity and strength; that fierceness that, coupled with his sense of adventure, drives him. His vulnerability has been present, but so far not his venom.

Perhaps that’s who this Doctor is, though. I’m okay with that, but it will take some getting used to. Perhaps when I can finally quit comparing, I will be able to more fully enjoy this new Doctor. One thing’s certain, though… I’m still watching!

(Love the new logo!)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Puck me.

I’m a hockey fan. A rabid one. If you’ve been reading this blog long, particularly around the Olympics, you know this. So with the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting a few weeks ago, you might have noticed that a blog entry on the subject was conspicuously absent. Let me explain…

I love me my San Jose Sharks. Last season they ended the regular season with the best record in the league, setting all sorts of records along the way, which gave them the President’s Cup. But then in the very first round of the playoffs, when playing the last to qualify in the Western Conference, they were knocked out. That was it for their post season. The best in the league was knocked out by one of the worst that qualified (and an archenemy, no less). Joy.

This season they finished at the top of said Western Conference. As a fan this time around, I was too wary to hope too much. After last season, and the several seasons before with desperately disappointing post season endings and people talking about “curses” and other such nonsense, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t talk about my team and profess a hope and excitement. I didn’t exactly think it would jinx them, more I didn’t want to be that much more disappointed. It was me trying to temper my desire and hope.

In fact, I didn’t even go to a playoff game. I always do, but this time I just couldn’t handle that thrill if it was to end in heartbreak early on again.

However, they made it past the first round. The Sharks are into the quarter finals! I am now moderately hopeful.

Beyond my trepidation for my beloved team, this year’s playoffs have been some of the most exciting I’ve ever seen. Two matchups played all seven of a best of seven series. Five series ended after six games, and only one finished after five games. No one ran away with a series. THAT’S exciting hockey!

I hope that round two can deliver as much back-and-forth, evenly matched action… except when the Sharks play, of course! Say it with me, now…

Go Sharks!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where I am.

I’m a little out of rhythm. Out of rhythm of writing, yes, but out of rhythm of living, too. I guess that’s what being sick is.

Last week I finally took the initiative and dove into The Great Purge. I was fierce and fast and exceedingly effective. I was on my way to having it all taken care of likely within the week. But then.

I hate that so often it is when you are burning bright and really accomplishing something that you are struck down physically. Why must that be? After years of not getting The Great Purge done, I’m finally motivated and wholly committed to it’s completion in short order. Instead I’m weak and in bed with a chesty cough.

I don’t mind being reminded to slow down and relax now and then, but this time it’s more like I’m being mocked. You’re getting something monumental done? Mu-ah-hahaha, now I have you! *Bang!* Struck down and doing nothing.

The process of The Great Purge is a difficult one in places. It’s fantastic to finally have access to all my things after all these years, and to ruthlessly sort and mostly purge. However, when I get to the items that bring up memories lost, of a self that is no more, it can become emotional. There is no better way to realize how we modify our memories than to go through this process. It’s strange, it’s difficult, and sometimes it’s wonderful.

As I lay here in bed recovering, pining to be working again, I most of all cannot wait to have less, and to have that little bit completely organized. To me that is freedom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The place of pondering.

I sit here on a lovely rainy day pondering. I think that’s one reason I love rain so much – the sound is restful and somehow rejuvenating and in that it gives my mind time and space to consider without the usual stresses. Well, that can happen so long as I don’t run headlong into my day, at least.

What came to mind as I listened to the trickling of the water in the drainpipes, the drops touching down on various surfaces, the swish of the distant cars as the fresh puddles shoot out from below their tires, was the Way of the Tao.

Isn’t it interesting how sometimes you pick up books at random, in a moment you want something different than what you’re in the middle of for instance, and in the end they all seem to relate? One night recently, on a whim, I picked up the tiny tome call What Is Tao? by Alan Watts. Concise as it is, it manages to effectively convey the essentials of the Tao. Having finished that, I grabbed The Tao of Pooh and now and then delved into this easy read.

The thing that most effects me about the Way of the Tao is that it is in the rhythms of nature. It isn’t the worship of nature, but is a kind of respect for nature that we whom have grown up in Western cultures can’t truly understand immediately. This is because in the Eastern cultures they don’t see human beings as standing apart or dominating over nature, but as an integral part of it, fitting right in to it. From a Western perspective, this is revolutionary.

When I started reading these two books, I was already making my way through John Muir’s My First Summer in the Sierra and No Impact Man by Colin Beavan. John Muir was a devout Christian, yet he saw the hand of the divine in nature. When speaking of poison oak and poison ivy he said, “Like most other things not apparently useful to man, it has few friends, and the blind question, ‘Why was it made?’ goes on and on with never a guess that first of all it might have been made for itself.” John Muir may never have know about the Tao, but he understood it.

In No Impact Man, Mr. Beavan talks about the day that he and his family had planned on walking across the bridge from Manhattan to go to a birthday party, but when the day came it wasn’t just raining, it was a torrential downpour. So instead, they stayed home and relaxed and just spent time together. No rushing off in a cab to do the 101 things that we all pack into our “time off” because they were on the journey of a year without making a negative impact on the environment. That day more than any other he felt how the rhythms of nature, even in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world, is within each of us. He noticed how when we pay attention to these things, when we move within them, we are happier and more connected to the people around us, not just nature.

One of my favorite stories so far from No Impact Man was how on another day when it was raining, he was walking somewhere or other with his daughter on his shoulders. Feeling guilty that because of his choice to do this no impact challenge his daughter was having to be out in this weather. He was trying to hold the umbrella so that she would not get wet, but she was crying. Then a gust of wind blew the umbrella over and rain poured on both of them, and his daughter stopped crying. After he righted the umbrella she started crying again. After a couple of times of this he realized that she’s not crying because she was getting wet, rather she was crying because the umbrella is stopping her from getting wet. In his words, here’s his realization in that moment:

“And on this rainy day, here is what happens when I treat my body as something more than a means to transport my head, when I finally learn to treat the landscape as something more than the space that stands between where I am now and where I want to be later:

I take Isabella down from my shoulders and let her jump in a puddle, soaking her shoes and her pants. For fun, I jump in the puddle, too. Isabella laughs. She stretches out her arms with her palms facing up to catch the rain. She opens her mouth, sticks her tongue out and leans her head back. I try it, too.

When did the child in me disappear?

People are running past. They look desperate, miserable, trying to get out of the rain. What has happened to us?”

I think I’ve always kept the child in me, splashing in puddles and loving playing in the rain, for instance. But also, I am a person of the journey, appreciating the path often more than the destination. Also, I have often felt that there is no place better to find the divine than in nature. To connect with the Way of the Tao has for me been more of an understanding of how I relate naturally as well as how I move through the journey.

Reading the Tao Te Ching, the main source of understanding the Tao, is an interesting process this time around. It is causing me to question my ambition. But it is also giving me permission to find rest and contentment in this time of intense struggle with my situation and my lack.

In sharing this, I’m not saying I’ve converted to some new faith, but rather that I feel knowing about the Tao enhances and deepens the faith I have. It gives me a mind for the whole rather than a part. I see creation, not simply man, when exercising my faith. I have always had an affinity for this way, but until it was explained to me I accepted the idea of man’s domination, if uncomfortably.

I think when I started to see the world in this ancient way, I also understood how much less I need in order to feel the fullness of joy. If you know me or have been reading here for a bit, you know that I’m a purger, trying to keep myself free of so much stuff that weighs us down. But isn’t it so much a better idea to simply not collect these things so that there is no need to purge? I’m not saying strive to be an ascetic and live in deprivation, but more to be thoughtful in what you buy. To have less stuff is to have more time because you needn’t work so much to get it and you have less to clean and sort and put away. Not a bad trade.

I look forward to exploring the Way of the Tao more. I look forward to feeling the rain on my tongue and appreciating the wind on my face. I look forward to being fully present and having the time to connect wholly with those around me. I look forward, but only in that I am completely engaged now so I know whatever comes I will be the same then – engaged and ready.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten on Tuesday.

I thought I'd join in on this week's Ten on Tuesday. I tend to prefer when the questions are interrelated as well as on a topic that interests me, but this week's questions do touch on travel and the outdoors, so I figured I'd give it a go...

1. What two cities should be moved closer together?
Gosh. I’m not sure. I think I like the journey too much. But I think it’d be wherever I am to wherever I want to be next. Yet, that’s not right either because I’d not like Edinburgh, Scotland to be down the road from Los Gatos, California. That’d be creepy and ruin the point.

2. What was the first plane ride you took?
No idea – was way too young. I remember the first plane ride I took alone. I was seven and went on a plane from Northern to Southern California to visit my grandma and grandpa. It was so exciting to be doing this on my own that I can even tell you what the sundress I was wearing looked like (this was in the days when one dressed nicely to travel).

3. What continent would you most like to visit?
All of them. And I will.

4. What’s your favorite place to window-shop?
I don’t like shopping, really, so mostly I hunt online (and still don't much like it). Although I did a browse through REI on Saturday and enjoyed it a lot. Got me excited for hiking in nature and traveling the world – two of my favorite things. Back when I had a place to do my art, my answer would have been Home Depot.

5. What’s the least fun you’ve ever had at a place specifically tailored for fun?
Well, because I read someone else’s answer to this question, what comes to mind was when I went to this really cool event, a Mayfest, at the Tourist Club on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County last year. We had to hike down this really steep grade to get to it, and once I got down there I got an insane migraine. It was quite hot and heat makes my migraines explode. I’m miles and miles from anything resembling a place to rest, I rode with a group in a beat up SUV with no working air and no apparent shocks, and all there is available to drink is, of course, beer... which will only dehydrate me and make the pain worse. There was traditional German polka-like music replete with screeching (so it seemed to me) horns blaring, bodies everywhere in a relatively small space, barbecues heating it up more and sending smells wafting everywhere that made me feel like puking even more, and a blazing bright sun shining in my eyes to sharpen the pain up to the nth degree. I didn’t want to spoil the event for the rest of the group, but I thought I might just curl up and die somewhere. The worst was all those hours and hours later when we left, I still had to walk those several miles up that incredibly steep grade in the heat. Hell of a day. Funny thing was it was such a cool event that even in that state I wanted to become a member of the club.

6. You’re stuck on an island with plenty of food, a companion, and a relatively stress-free lifestyle. What do you say when the rescue ship comes?
It took me a long time to come up with a real answer for this. But then I remembered. Island fever. When on Maui, one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, I realized that I’d not be able to live there very long because I would get serious island fever... mostly because I love to explore, it’s my nature to my core, and once it’d all been explored (including the water around the island), no matter how wonderful and simple my life was (which is ideal in my book), I’d go stir crazy pretty quickly. Though, I could ask the rescue ship to send us a helicopter so that when we want to we could take jaunts off the island. Then I’d not feel trapped. The other thing is, where is this island? In the middle of the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles from anything, or just off a coast somewhere so that if we built a canoe we could paddle off now and then? Also, if the island is New Zealand, I’M STAYING.

7. Which day of the week do you look forward to most?
This is going to sound so stupid, but I love Thursdays. Always have. I can’t explain it. I don’t know that it’s the one I most look forward to, but I do love me my Thursdays. I think I look forward to the days I know I will be doing something I love doing or will be with someone I love, or be doing something I’ve never tried before... and that’s never on a specific day of the week.

8. What’s your favorite place to enjoy the great outdoors?
Anywhere in nature, I guess. I love the forest, but I also love the ocean. I’m not big on deserts, but that’s mostly because of my issues with heat ever since I got heat strokes 15 years ago. Well, that and I DON'T love dry, dusty, barren places. I love lush, green, moist... with creeks flowing through the dense trees and secrets to discover, as well as the wildlife that comes with that environment. Then, too, the sound of the crashing waves of the ocean... especially in the rain. Or if in someplace lovely (like the afore mentioned Maui), then snorkeling all day long and seeing the wonders of that sort of wildlife! I feel like nature is my temple, so entering it in any form is a way for my soul to be refreshed. (Perhaps that is why I prefer the moist, lush places... though even in the deserts I can experience this.)

9. What’s on your “to do” list this summer?
Hmm. Well, number one would be moving to Scotland. But before and after, going on as many hikes and jaunts into nature as possible. Potentially getting back to cycling. Mostly remembering to find restful moments to just partake and enjoy... whatever is around me. And continuing in my quest of purging the detritus of life – both internally and externally. Less stuff, less clutter, getting to the bare minimum externally. No more mass amounts of storage. Just my books, some quality kitchen things, and some lovely bits that bring me joy. Internally getting rid of the junk that weighs me down, that detracts from living my best life, from being as open as possible to those around me MUST GO. Freeing myself of those annoying thought processes that cause me to think “I can’t” is another big part of this detritus I’m purging. Also, to continue to find more ecologically sound ways of living, wherever I may be, and reducing my waste as much as possible. Mustn't forget, watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

10. Which natural disaster freaks you out the most?
I don’t really get freaked out by such things. I’ve been in intense blizzards without power, some of the worst earthquakes in recent history, and even a hurricane or two. I don’t think I’d like to have my home (such as it may be) taken out by any of them, but why dread what we have no control over? I will say that as a kid I’d have nightmares about Tsunamis. But they were cartoon-like dreams where the giant tidal wave would suddenly be overcoming the towering downtown of a big city. And there I'd be running, knowing it was useless. Interestingly, I neither lived next to the ocean nor in a big city with high rises... so go figure. But, because I love water so much I think I’d be really sad to experience its devastating powers, whether through floods or hurricanes or tsunamis. Also, I have this weird sort of feeling that if my stuff was all taken from me in this way, it’d sort of be freeing. It’d be hard because I have things from family whom have passed on, yet it’d be so releasing – I’d be able to be the nomad a really am without worry over stuff. Even if it’s stuff I LOVE. I’m a weirdo, aren’t I?

Okay, I just wrote all that, and then realized I would totally be freaked out by potential avalanche if I ever was somewhere where that was a possibility. Being buried alive is a horrific enough thought, but to do it while freezing is worse somehow. Yikes.

So there you go. A little more about me you mightn't have known.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What was discovered there.

This weekend I did another event with the same meetup group. This time it was a docent lead tour of the town I grew up next to, followed by a hike in the hills behind it and a picnic supper under the Redwood trees.

The tour about town was fun and informative, but a little odd since I’ve basically lived there since age seven. Still, it was a kick. The docent was new (I have a sneaking suspicion this was her first time) but she was quite good. The most fun thing I learned was that Lillian Fontaine brought up her daughters Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine here! As an classic film lover, this was astoundingly cool to discover.

But I must say I came alive on the hike. This area of California… well, we are incredibly blessed. It’s unbelievable how stunningly beautiful it is. With the forests that have survived their giant ancestors being cut out 100 years ago, it still thrives. From the most elegant, almost lacy, little plants along the path like the Maiden Hair, to the great Redwoods, it’s lush and vibrant, and quite frankly life-giving.

I nearly didn’t go on the hike, fearing I mightn’t keep up and hold up the group. But the group was four of us, all completely enamored of the nature surrounding us. I gamboled all over the mountains, becoming the kid I am. The others laughed at me as I chattered like a five year old, completely in my element and happier than I’ve been in quite a while. They expressed their shock at discovering I wasn’t 15 years younger than I am (probably would have thought younger had this been their first experience of me). But most of all they found it too funny that I thought I’d not be keeping up with them. I mean, I probably walked twice as much as them in my excitement and contented joy.

But the very best part was when the sent me ahead to see if the path continued on or not, and I discovered something… interesting. There was a bit of a clearing, and in the center of it was an eight foot stick standing upright in the ground with a colorful ribbon tied to the top of it. Beyond it was a small circle of trees, as happens with Redwoods, that had long branches placed in such a way that all sides of the circle had about a four foot high wall, save where the entrance was coming from the clearing. On the two larger trees that formed the door there were imitation flower leis about seven feet up.

As I approached it, I took in the four foot high stump with three candles, broken pieces of celestial stone work, and another flower on it. To the right of the entrance I noticed a broken stone disk of the sun, but it was what was posted below the lei on the right hand tree forming the entrance that caught my attention. The others hadn’t caught up, so I had time to read the wooden plaque. It read:


There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem…

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook;
how muddled the tangle;
how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world . . .
Emmet Fox

Wow. As the others approached, I surveyed where we were exactly. It turns out that it was at a meeting of five paths, none of these paths were man made, but extended out from this clearing. It was fascinating. And beautiful.

This was, in our communal opinion, a place to receive a (pagan*) blessing for love – whether with your partner or in hope for the future of an individual. It wasn’t until we’d explored several of these paths and returned that I finally decided that I wanted some of that, so I entered. I took it all in, looking up at the sky through the tall branches that met in the center of the circle far, far above me, to the hand-dyed celestial tarp that was lightly buried beneath the debris of the forest, to the lovely scarf wound around a fallen branch that slanted from the back in (and was perfectly placed to hang a lantern from) and the necklace also attached with a charm reading “I ♥ Ashton.” I felt as if love was brought there, sought there, and found there.

I felt more than thought my prayer, and with the joy of an explorer who has made a delicious discovery, I scampered on to again overtake my group so that I can come back with more to show them.

*When I say pagan I refer to the original meaning of “belonging to the country,” or those who believe in honoring and respecting nature, not the blanket term adopted much later by those of the Christian faith to mean “ungodly.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A dark day.

I’ve been feeling pretty down lately. I mean, not overtly, being an optimist at heart. But I just feel like whatever I accomplish, my setbacks are multitudinous in comparison.

People talk about being tested. But, I mean to say, can’t I just take the traumatic events as they come? Must I be handed days and weeks and months adding up to years straight of daily, even hourly, setbacks to “prepare” me? Give a girl a break, already.

I’m not a whiner, really. Sometimes I vent to friends – we all need that (and thank you friends). But I try not to make excuses. Sometimes I fail at this, but I do try. And usually I downplay just how bad things are. Mustn’t show the chink in the armor. Mustn’t overburden friends.

I was hit by a truck – yes, you read that right – a couple years back. I was cycling, training for a half-iron triathlon. It was a hit-and-run. It was miraculous things weren’t worse than they were, though it wasn't fun. But as the days and month of trials continued and compounded, I remember wondering if I was really meant to die there... but there was a mix up.

I’m not saying I want or wanted to die, just that I haven’t figured out why seemingly every step I attempt to take to better myself, to make my way back, I instead get a beat-down.

Like I said, I keep the good in my heart as much as I can. I keep the joy effusing, hoping not only pour out, but that it will make it’s way back in to the deeper, dry regions of my soul and refresh them. But, no matter what, head up… keep moving forward. Hopefully spread blessings even when broken.

But I’d really like to be whole. And most of all, I crave an actual hug from someone who truly cares.

That said, I want to make it clear that I believe there is more goodness than evil in the world. I believe that we choose every moment what we give, what we accept, and most of all how we respond. I want to keep choosing to love, to be kind, to embrace, to accept. No matter what comes in return, I want this to be what I give. This is MY choice.

Lastly, I’m sorry for complaining. Being heard, feeling connected, these are needs, not wants, and I guess I am in great need tonight. Thank you for hearing me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The gathering.

Today I attended the Tartan Day Scottish Fair about 45 minutes from my home. I was meant to go with a Meetup group, but they canceled for fear of rain. A little rain never scared me away, and indeed it never did rain anyway. I was too excited for this event not to go.

I’ve never attended one of these things, though I’d wanted to for some time. This was a small gathering, but I must say, SO MUCH FUN. I had no idea about all the things that go on. What I did expect was shopping booths, the clan booths, and Scottish music, but I did not expect all the different reenactments and interactive displays. Nor did I expect how outstanding and diverse the music would be. I learned a lot and laughed and danced and met lovely people and spent WAY too much money. I don’t regret a bit of it, though.

On the historical side of the event, there was a family that set up camp and dressed up as if they were Scots from first century BC. Just down the way was a Viking tent with all sorts of interesting weaponry and protection. This group not only put on a display, but explained what kind of person would be wearing each costume and why. There were those dressed as if they were from more of the upper echelons of historical Scottish society, including royalty. (“Excuse me, your Majesty.”) And of course, there were all different aspects of what everyday life would have been for the Scots of the day. The traditional kilts, the sword fighting with actual steel blades, and the feasts were all spectacular.

I confess, I met a gentleman that turned my eye. I actually blushed in his presence. I don’t do blushing. The funny thing is, he was big and burly with long hair, a great scruffy beard, and a belly, but his genuine character and kind nature shone the moment I met him and all that other stuff I mentioned that I’d normally avoid was suddenly quite attractive. QUITE. And yes, the kilt and kit made him that much hotter!

There was a birds of prey display that was outstanding. They had hawks and falcons, but they also had a huge eagle that was stupendous and gorgeous. They would walk around with them in and amongst the rest of us. It was amazing to be so close to an animal that regularly hunts for live food.

As for shopping, I was doing just fine - a CD here, a necklace there – until I found a kilt. It’s just a simple black cotton one, but it looks so good on me. I was avoiding, avoiding, but I couldn’t resist. Basically, I’ll wear it as skirt and love it. I'm sure I will feel ridiculous doing so when I actually move to Scotland, but I will enjoy it nonetheless. I’d love to have one exactly like this:

because this is actually my clan tartan, but as this is a designer gown (Alexander McQueen) that’s not very likely. It’s crazy how expensive it is to even get the fabric in your clan tartan in order to have a kilt, or anything else, made. So for now it’s crazy tights and a “fun” skirt (a.k.a. the new kilt).

Anyway, if you ever have the chance and like to learn as well as hang out with really down-to-earth folks, I highly recommend attending a Scottish Fair. For me, the music alone makes this kind of event worth it. The rest made it... a perfect day.

*If you didn't get the pun in the title, you REALLY need to watch more movies. "There can be only one."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finding their place.

I have been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks as read by Stephen Fry. But in doing so, I find that when I’m not working on some project, I’m staring at my closet full of books. Of course my mind muses on even better and cleaner organizing within, but it also has caused me to want to pair down even more.

This time it’s not so much to get rid of more, as these are the books I’ve yet to read. Rather, I'd like to remove the ones that just aren’t screaming out to my psyche to be read at the moment. I mean, there are so many I really want to read – likely over a hundred I’m pining to dive into and devour – that storing the others elsewhere for a while might be a wise idea. The idea being to clean out the clutter and feel less overwhelmed with the amount of upcoming reads.

I use the term clutter loosely, because if anything in my life is organized, it’s my books. There’s just too many of them in a small space, but they are ordered – OH, are they ordered! When I feel that my life is getting out of control, I go and reorganize my books. I must feel in that moment that at least in that action, with my books, I have control. It’s a bit like John Cusack’s character with his albums in High Fidelity, only my ordering curricula are quite different.

I mentioned that these are just the books I’ve yet to read, my already read books being in storage. See, because I was in a crisis mode for several years, I went about collecting all the books from the Official Rory Gilmore Book List. That alone is about 120 books. But along the way, there were books that I heard about, read about, or randomly picked up that I discovered I wanted. So getting those, receiving other books as gifts, and then starting yet another book list, BBC’s The Big Read Top 100, I have several hundred books in my closet that are to be read.

Yes, I said in my closet. My clothes have been relegated to a tiny armoire so that my books have space to breathe. The doors are off, and the closet is completely shelved. Yet still, somehow, I have them stacked on top of the neatly shelved books. Neat piles on neat rows. What am I to do?

What’s most frustrating is that lusting I mentioned earlier – that desire to simply devour a title I see right there on my shelf. I think this is why I’ve undertaken so many at once – I just want to read them all NOW so I end up entrenched is eight titles at the same time. I want to pick it up, read it right there in a short time, and then grab the next one. I know it’s illogical, and frankly impossible, but it’s the longing to know and understand each one that grips me.

Every day I consider how I’m going to get these volumes, even the ones I most want to consume, with me when I move to Europe. I finally got the opportunity for the first time this weekend to try a Kindle by Amazon. It was indeed convenient, and compact when you think that you can have a library right there… but the problem is that I already have these hundreds of books I want to read. Why would I re-buy them for that gadget? It just doesn’t work for me. So I keep pondering.

I think it comes down to the fact that it was really unwise for me to do all that collecting in those years of trauma recovery. But it can’t be changed, so I need… a bag that’s bigger on the inside and really strong muscles. Since I haven’t yet read the books on physics to figure out how to do the first bit of that (nor have I met The Doctor, as I’ve long hoped for, who could do that for me), I welcome any and all suggestions…