You Can’t Get There From Here

Getting off I-95 onto the smaller routes in Maine is to delve into the heart of the state. Often, as Highway 26 winds into Route 117 and then Route 118 and then Main Street, then back to itself again, you may find yourself a bit turned around.

An oft-joked about form of response, should you choose to veer off into one of the hamlets found in central Maine, is “You can’t get there from here.” It is to some extent a joke, but is often true.

When traversing this state, not only avoid the flocks of wild turkeys, the abundant deer, and somehow sneaky moose population, but plan for at least an hour added onto your travel time.

And throw that GPS out the window. Unless you like to go “muddin'” (no ‘g’) as the locals call it.

Assume Siri is wrong now and it will save you a lot of car repair bills in the future.

With this preparation, the bucolic sites of the interior of Maine await you.

That is, if you can find them.

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The Art of the Everyday – March 31: Homemade, Local flavor, Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

Cover It

The cover doesn’t make the book, but it doesn’t hurt.

As someone who truly does not have that one book they return to, again and again, my favorite books are ones that find me at the right time.

Sometimes that is through the power of its design, but regardless it’s some type of resonance I feel when I pick it up – either from a quip on the back cover, a leading sentence, or a recommendation.

I picked a few of my favorites above, and yea, I think they all meet the cover test.

Except Gibran – come on buddy, creepy almost police sketch? Not attractive.

(go find a hard copy, though, pro tip: the book itself is gorgeous)

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The Art of the Everyday – March 29: Judgment day, If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?

 

Glitch in the Matrix

I get déjà vu all the time.Matrix De ja vu

As a vivid dreamer, I often chalk it up to simply that – an event or vignette that holds a strong similarity to something I’ve experienced before, either in a dream or waking life.

Most often it happens during the strangest circumstances. Like when I first moved to our small town in Maine and was hanging out in a coffee shop, talking to a kid about his dinosaur robot.

A situation so oddly specific yet unimaginable and unmatchable in my previous real experience.

Yet, I felt that sense of premonition – of knowing that this would happen. Some scientists chalk this feeling up to a small hiccup in our brain processing experience – that as an event is happing your brain doesn’t construct your experience in it correctly, and this creates a ‘false familiarity.’

With a memory as wonky as mine – which remembers some things so clearly (random facts anyone? that one article in the paper that one time?) but most others very, very vaguely (remember childhood/big trip/studying abroad? …I remember that big rain storm!) I am sure that my conscious self is most likely just missing the real connection.

My brain and body then tries to viscerally remind me of where its been and what it has seen – but the full association just doesn’t come through.

Rather than freaking me out, I’ve always been somehow comforted by my frequent déjà vu.

These feelings are, somehow, a confirmation of being right where I’m supposed to be. That life is progressing as it should. For someone that does not believe in predestination, that feeling is pretty nice. Even if it’s just created by my biological quirks.

Or we’re all in the Matrix. Either/or.

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The Art of the Everyday – March 28: Déjà vu, Have you ever truly felt déjà vu, the sensation that you’ve already had the experience you’re currently having?

Furry Friends

I don’t think you have to have cats to be a crazy cat lady.

P says that I treat animals like most women treat babies: I can’t contain myself.

I mean, who wants a hairless blob of poopy diaper when you can have a furry, fuzzy, cuddly friend?!?! (who also may or may not keep a box of shit in your house, but still.)

Although raised with dogs and without cats, I’ve now come around to both of humankind’s chosen domesticated animals through great roommates who let me love on their pets.

P and I still don’t have any of our own, although a quick perusal of my browser history suggests I have an intimate relationship with Petfinder.

What keeps us from actually doing it, beyond money, is the commitment.

I love animals so much that I’d never want to leave it alone – and I assume that would be a problem for my employer. Also, being footloose and fancy free (somewhat), jetting off to Jamaica at a moment’s notice isn’t exactly a pet’s preference.

However, a cat might not care.

Maybe we’ll start there.

KITTY!

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The Art of the Everyday – March 18: Menagerie – Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

Impossible

– That this little family is going to make it.

– That we can heal.

– That I still hope.

– That unexpected, unpredictable, grand acts of kindness happen (sometimes, to me).

– That love is real and can keep growing. Always.

– That I am here.

IMG_0714And that spring WILL happen. From last year, McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

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The Art of the Everyday – March 16: Impossible – “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – the White Queen, Alice in Wonderland. What are the six impossible things you believe in? (If you can only manage one or two, that’s also okay.)


Ugly, Stinky Llama Face

All too often, we become things we don’t want to be.

Unwittingly, to some extent, we are drug into a job, a living situation, a path, that causes us to look around, bewildered, and ask: how the hell did I get here?

And while there’s power in reshaping your story – taking control – it’s often the acceptance of the odd, the crazy and the unexpected that makes a real difference in our lives.

As one of my favorite yoga teachers says – ‘it is a letting go.’

A letting go of what is so far beyond control, and an embrace of our true power.

Revolutionary, almost, to not expect everything from yourself, but ‘do what you can, where you are, with what you have.’

This freedom let’s us shape our lives slowly, gently, in ways that can actually be sustained. Building love, for ourselves or others, is not a one-off, quick fix deal.

It is a daily task, sometimes joyful and sometimes not.

Finding our love will involve big, massive, adventuresome days where we do things we never imagined. It will also involve slow nights drinking a beer, looking at the fire and listening to the radio.

Large or small days all go toward finding the understanding and acceptance of our lives. Letting joy in, finding new, amazing ways of being.

Even if we’re still llamas.

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The Art of the Everyday – March 12: Silver screen, Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

Ghostwriter

ghostwriterWho better to write the story of my life?

A runaway slave communicating to a rag-tag group of racially various pre/teens? Obviously.

Any story of this life has to have random dance breaks, enviable special effects, pens on neck-strings, and horrendous fashion choices.

Beyond that cultural touchstone, though, I’d have to say Alison Bechdel.

Fun Home is one of my favorite books – evocative, honest, raw, and intelligent.

And even better? It’s a graphic novel.

I absolutely can’t imagine a better way to imagine my story being told – in all its vivid words and images. At least that’s how it seems to me – what I remember most clearly of it are those visceral, sticky, real moments.

The moments that are snapshots of an entire story – reflective of a whole experience.

I’d love to see what she could do with that bus ride in Kosovo.

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The Art of the Everyday – March 11: Ghostwriter, If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

Sing Song

Last week in song:

Writing to this album,

Working at the cafe, and current events puns,

Sleeping to my brother’s album,

This concert, click here.

Ended with birthday lunch for a friend,

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The Art of the Everyday – March 9: Playlist of the week – Tell us how your week went by putting together a playlist of five songs that represent it.

Cabin or Cabana

The age old question: beach or forest? Cabin or Cabana?

Why not both/and? (Honestly, my favorite answer to most questions…)

Today, something a little different. I combed through my collection of photos from the past seven years (all I have on this computer) to pull out some of my absolute favorite places.

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The Art of the Everyday – March 7: Places, Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?