Soul-fire Birches

Long tall birches line the forest

Floors and skies with plain white

Shades of blacks and grays. Shores

Reflected in the dwindling sun


That stretches itself long like

Glowing shadow before sinking

Down at rivers edge–waters flowing

Shallow and deep. Fragrant poppies


Blow their sweet scent toward

Now muted birches mixing grace with

Sorrow and beauty with pain. They

Tell a story of a fleet of long lost


Souls who moved through dust

And storm to find relief and rest–

But not one of them can do a thing

To unburden the packs of their heavy


Laden eyes and dust covered ankles.

They rest their tired heads on trunks

Of paper before they realize the

Harm has already been done–


Will never be undone.



I miss fall leaves and brisk wind. I miss hot drinks held in gloved hands. I miss scarves and boots and warm wool coats.

I miss driving in my car with the radio playing my favorite song. I miss smiling cashiers and happy Starbucks baristas.

I miss walking by the Cameo. I miss browsing the shops in Newberg with a cup of Chapters chai in my hand. I miss the quiet simplicity of The Coffee Cottage interrupted only by the sound of children laughing. I miss Jem 100’s milkshakes. I miss the MET, Powell’s, and the Saturday Markets.

I miss looking at Mt. Rainer on a clear day. I miss Pike’s Place Market. I miss the hustle and bustle of people, the smell of flowers, and the cries of the fishmongers. I miss sitting by the water on a park bench eating a sandwich and salad from one of my favorite deli’s.

I miss shopping without a sales person tailing me like a hawk. I miss courteous shoppers and good customer service.

I miss libraries with whispered silence instead of lulled mayhem from children and parents. I miss independent book stores tucked away on quiet streets; their charm and peace and smell take me to places and lands of wonder and excitement.

I miss late night Diary Queen runs, movie nights when we know we should be sleeping, Smash Bros and Legend of Zelda with roommates, and watching TV shows week by week with roommates freaking out and agonizing over what will happen next.

I miss In-N-Out, a good old-fashioned doughnut, Jamba Juice, Cheescake Factory, and Olive Garden. I miss watching doughnuts fry on conveyor belts at Krispy Kreme, seeing real potatoes be chopped for fries at In-N-Out, and lemonade at fountain drink machines.

But most of all I miss the people who will always be in my heart but might always be in different time zones.

The Hunger Games and Thailand

The us21thailand-master675e of The Hunger Game’s three fingered salute by Thai protesters can be viewed in a number of ways. To me, it’s an amazing instance of where art is inspiring society not necessarily because of the film’s success but because the themes of The Hunger Games are relevant to today’s socio-political culture.

Protesters began using the salute  a few weeks after a military coup “clamped down on all forms of protest, censored the country’s news media, limited the right to public assembly and arrested critics and opponents”. At the opening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, five individuals were arrested for using the salute.*

In an article for The Wire, Danielle Wiener-Bronner wrote the following: “In the Hunger Games series, the three-fingered salute is used to show solidarity against an dystopian government which forces children to compete to the death in televised events. In Thailand, the salute — along with the phrase”liberty, brotherhood and equality,” taken from the real French Revolution — seems to have been adopted to show solidarity against an unlawful, military-led government.”**

I am not writing this post just because I am a fan of The Hunger Games. I think that would be an incredibly naive perspective from which to comment on.

I am supporting these people–and others like them–because I have seen first hand the affect of government (military or otherwise) policies and socio-cultural atmospheres negatively affect the daily lives of people. Minority groups in China treated as lower class; the under privileged being oppressed; blue collar workers being underpaid for long, demanding hours.

I am not suggesting every person who lives under these circumstances are intentionally displaying signs of what can be called learned helplessness. What I am saying is they should not even have to feel inferior, underprivileged, or out of place.

I realize any discussions about equality are idealistic. Unfortunately, we live in a world that tends to crush ideals. War, terrorism, disease–the list goes on and on. I think people want the world to change but we are overwhelmed by the size and scope and immensity of the problems that are in front of us.

As a king in Middle Earth said, “So much death. What can man do against such reckless hate?”

I believe we make a choice. We choose to believe there is still good in the world. And we fight for it even when–or maybe especially–when the entire world is standing in our way.

So if standing with Thai citizens and raising three fingers inspires and encourages them I do it gladly even if it is only through this one post among millions.





Drop the coin tomorrow

Before the water stops–

Watch it fall like fabric

And whisk away the spots.


Tell me time is holding

Not slipping through the hands–

Of solid, stately banners

From wintered, shaded lands.


Drink the cup of sorrow

To practice for a time–

The joys of hope forgotten

The pain of life gone by.


Weep the tears of sunset

That sweep the ground for day–

But do not let me follow

That ground into the gray.

Setting Sunrise

Swiftly rising sunset stays

Draws the breath of wind and wave,

Echoes mind of tool and soil—

Speak the whispers of the ‘morrow.


Scare crow covers light of morn—

Plant that withers never drawn.

Blackbird forests rise to sorrow,

Something evil to be done.


Watch the man with lantern lighting,

Flee the birds to narrows far.

Move the scarecrow back to folly—

Morning’s light is drawing near.


Watch the swiftly setting sunrise—

Hear the speech of morning gone.

Weave a prayer with light unchanged

Speak before the moment—


One heart beats soft and quiet—

Two hearts wait for the spark.

Three times I asked these questions—

Four times they answer naught.


Six days with one more waiting—

Eight nights until we’re done.

Ten moments—did I fail you—

Twelve seconds did we stop?


Five minutes more I promise

And then to sleep I’ll go—

But only when you promise

Tomorrow you won’t go.


Our heart beats soft and lonely—

Two hearts wait for a spark.

Three days—will it be over?

Four minutes—watch the clock.


Five days before the sunset,

Chases airplane’s tail.

Six minutes—weeks or hours?

Two more—I cannot bear.


Please stay with me and slowly

Tomorrow we will find

That yesterday began for us

Before our minds or time.

22 November 2014

I feel like there has been one long recurring theme in my post college/young adult life: balance.

I just got back from seeing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. I have been anticipating this film literally since Catching Fire ended. I’ve spent a year following the filming process and latest updates about the film.

And in the space of two hours, all of whatever that was is gone.

All that energy, anticipation, full on “fan girl crazy” seems meaningless.

I’m not saying I don’t like who I am. I actually love who I am. I am saying that maybe my likes and obsessions are just that–things in my life that I focus on too much.

I’m not sure I know what the balance is between “OH MY GOSH IT’S THE HUNGER GAMES!!!!” or “The Avenger’s: Age of Ultron trailer was amazing!” and “Yeah, I like that stuff”. I don’t think I’ve had some big revelation about how I should view my life differently.

I think I just wanted to write something that makes me believe I understand the importance of balance in life.

Life is not lived in the highs and lows–the epicly amazing nights we never forget or the dark corners of the mistakes we would rather forget. Life is about waking up in the morning, looking at your day, and saying, “I’m going to take this one step at a time.”

There are beautiful epiphanies, rationale defying revelations, and unexplainable mysteries in life. But the moments that mean the most to me are talks in the evening with my mom, hour long Skype conversations with my best friend, and new pictures of my nephew.

It is the small moments, the little victories, which remind me that this life is worth living.