Shouting from a passing car

[A morning moment today; posted to IG @amythesitter and my FB, just in case you also follow/are friends and like all of us, don’t have the spare time to read the same thing twice] I’m all the way down near West High School walking Kora, and passing by in a car driving quickly in the opposite direction—with a row of parked cars in between she and I; the fairly-wide street separating us to where I had to look fast in order to see her—was a backseat passenger who had rolled down her window in order that she could reach me in time—voice raised for clarity of message; head partially out the window: “I love your dog!” And my kid does this kind of stuff so I get the heart it comes from because, no, Kora isn’t “my” dog but that didn’t detract from her message, for separate from the ego boost of someone liking our dog is a generosity of

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Isn’t it good

[Above pic from Christmas Day 2017; I was heading back out to work so we snapped a pic] And somehow in the ins and outs of synchronicity and happenstance, that day before her birthday on November 30th, 2017, I began melding with The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”, again returning to that one refrain which bows me down until I remember that day of holding my baby, knowing (like not in my head but in my body; like a knowing stretching outside of “knowing”) that pooling around my experience was now the potential for every single bit of love and agony possible to have within one life. For I had worried I wouldn’t love her as I did Julia; that was a real thing for me. I worried I’d never be able to rise to that level; Julia was my early baby, born 7 weeks before she was ready then hooked to IVs—“she might die; be blind, deaf; have disabilities”—and even before

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The end of the growing darkness

Pic of Kora (a dog I sit for) a few months ago, as she watched the night descend on her Autumn yard. I’m a “seasonal affective disorder” kind of gal so Autumn is always hard for me. The days get noticeably shorter and, here in Utah, things visibly prepare for a harsher reality. It’s all about to get very real. So on Winter Solstice, even in the middle of cold and snow, I celebrate, for the end of the growing darkness giving way to more light each day is like being wakened to a mesmerizingly-slow dawn, where you know the sun will be coming and that the things that you thought were dead will again rise up from the ground to meet you. And my moroseness during Autumn is an appropriate sacrifice in order to honor our beautiful planet. Because there is darkness and death but there will also be cleansing and Spring, for “the darkest day of the year”

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(You’re a) Beautiful Day

I listened to a choir performance my cousin shared of my Aunt Cathy—who apologized because she’d only intended to share it with choir members—and there was something there for me because I got this little tickle (of heart and brain flirting like courtship) that made me follow his lead and also offer reverent music. And my first impulse was to share something I’ve shared before–Part 1 of Chichester Psalms–because the specific Psalms the music references (108 v2 and 100) do this eruption of joy within me.   Not sure why.  I assume most likely because I don’t have any religion “radar blips” in my past so have been spared the disappointment of seeing that sometimes what looks like deep and lovely faith is just a nervous little man behind a curtain pulling switches.  In my world, Jesus hasn’t been tainted and misused—nobody utilized him to abuse my much more sacred Source-appointed free will—so I have emotional freedom to look upon him

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Her baby

December 17, 2016 As I was driving to a pet sit this morning–in the frigid air–I passed a bus stop on 5th East and saw a woman of smaller stature all bundled up with backpack holding a plastic doll the size of a real baby. While waiting for my light, I stared at her–at first, just trying to figure out if it was a real baby, then after realizing it wasn’t, wanting to join her experience for a moment, to see if she was okay; if she was hopeful or despairing; what the story was; just to be with her for a minute before I had to drive off–and as I did, I saw her look at the baby adoringly, and snuggle it to her, then watched as she gave it quick little playful kisses under its purple, fleece, hooded onesie, as if she was trying to distract it from how cold and boring it was to be waiting out

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The journey to “Amy Brook”

According to the birth certificate tucked inside my baby book, I was born October 1, 1968 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View California and my name was “Amy Brook Palleson”. I don’t remember any of the other fluff on it—height, weight, etc.—just that the paper was black with white printing and hard to read—which even seeing it at a young age had seemed odd—and that the book itself was a mess of white out and scratch outs and corrections. We can fast forward now, through memory lane, through years, through the solidification of who I was—via Rose and Martin Palleson (grandma and grandpa), Leeroyce and Deck Hogin (gammie and gampie); through aunts and uncles and cousins; through my brother Jeff born in early ‘71, my sister Alex in ‘75, and Clancy and Cindy, my father and mother—all the way to the couch in gammies living room where I lay quietly crying at 13 (or 12? I can’t even remember)

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“Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning for grief is just Love squaring up to its oldest enemy.”

http://themoth.org/stories/the-house-of-mourning Press the link to watch Chaplain Kate Braestrup’s video from The Moth “House of Mourning”. I really got this video, and understood it from a deep place.  For there was a time–after my soiree in college studying Native American and world religions and post-my first daughters birth–when I couldn’t see another path in front of me that didn’t lead to me becoming a non-denominational pastor.   So to engage as Ms. Braestrup does with her world from the caring of a larger sphere of knowing is the most comfortable place of experience for me.  And often I feel like a foreign visitor to a new planet when people talk of vacations and cars and hedonistic-esque material things for those to me are

The story of ratty shoes

Saturday 11/25, 9:53 a.m., Salt Lake City. It’s hard to know what to do with the grief of this world. I look at this man and his dog and feel the pressure of disappointment on both his heart and my own; I can feel the loss of the dream he had for his own life and experience that loss with him. For I don’t move about my world so as to push it away from me; I welcome it to settle within me and become part of my experience; I let it teach me and humble me so that I can grow more each day in understanding and perhaps one day maybe we humans can be a collective, empathic, love-filled whole again.

Equal to the love you make

[FB post from yesterday, 8/27] This morning at 5:04 AM I got an email via my yelp account from a recently-homeless woman who wanted to get a quote on how much it would be for me to board her two “beautiful” adult cats in my home. It was already a weird morning because my friend Graham sent me a link to my old Garfield house which is now for sale again and seeing the interior sterility and the back yard–which the summer after James moved in 2007 was the site of a “healing through manual labor and sunburn”–with its huge tree gone and most everything I planted looking dead really put the punctuation on the end of that chapter in my life. It was the punctuation you typically see after “you stupid fucking idiots; what the actual fuck.” And so it was that I started my day. Sunday. An easy work day before the madness starts up tomorrow and moves

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Kora and the porch

[I’m a pet sitter in Salt Lake City, and Kora is a malamute/chow/samoyed I’m tending].   The pic is of Kora and I the other night, taking our moment to just “be” because Kora is new to pet sitting, was slightly anxious at first and in the week I’ve sat her, i’ve learned that after our walks, she likes to just vibe with her neighborhood. And the effort means I go over the time I’m being paid for and even though these people have told me to charge them for this, I never would, for to my mind, I never want to live a life wherein an act of kindness was somehow required to be compensated externally and when my heart says that something is the right thing to do, I want to listen to that, and make space for Kora, enjoying her company for the sake of no other reason except that I want her to know that she’s

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