Beckons from above: airplane prayers

Yes sweety, push your face into that double-paned plastic glass and see the world out there!

Watch your body fly by the planet at 350 miles per hour and watch the bodies below rest and wait for something to change that never will change.

Let yourself marvel, and wonder, because that’s you baby girl.

Your heart wants to see — always has and always will — so let your eyes feast in the now and never regret a moment of being “that girl” who is almost 30 and laughs like a toddler and wonders like a mystic and dances like a harlot.

Do you — ALWAYS — because the you YOU are is the YOU the universe meant for YOU to be, and the YOU you are has a specific and perfect role to play.

So be you, please, I pray, no matter if you’re met with wide sideways snears and upturned noses, what-the-fucks from friends near or far, or complete disregard from professionals or peers in your field.

I beg you, go to bed with a head upon a heavenly pillow that beckons your rest in a state of ease and contentment, settling in the inner knowing you’ve lived and loved another day for you.


The buzz the buzz the buzz of life at Midway… [Airport Flowetry Poetry]

I love airports, but more so I love watching people and the whole human experience play out in these buildings built for movement and transition.

I love watching a full-grown man make FaceTime or snapchat faces into his phone to a child or wife or mistress on the side…

I love watching new friends become new friends over a burger and a brew without ever exchanging names.

I love watching the business travels unwind, a woman hanging a stiletto from her toe while the heel bounces and her heart races in the presence of a well-dressed man with two hours to kill in flirtation.

I love watching the littles trail behind their parents who carry pillow pets and mini pink plastic backpacks and creased lines on their foreheads.

I love watching the international first-timers, often paralyzed with fear, as their first experience of Americans startle and shock their more simple knowings, and I wonder if they regret the leap of faith they must have taken to cross the waters and land in this land.

I love watching myself open, gaze, settle, surrender into the flow of movement and momentum and only chances as I ask for what I want and put it all on the line with a one-time encounter with a woman I admire or a man I’m instantly infatuated with.

I love watching life unfold within the glass and steel and marble and plastic and invisible technology waves beaming through the air…

I love watching.

Because I love being watched.

I love being a part of the whole.

As I, so very much, am a necessary part of the whole of this crazy beautiful life on earth right now.

So are you.

Come fly with me?


What the fuck… Is this what it feels like?

I’m at work. And I should be working. It’s a deadline day and I’m full of angst and anxiety as I try and imagine how the hell I’ll ever get everything done.

But, I’m feeling something in me that I haven’t felt in a really really long time.

And I’m terrified.

And I feel like I could vomit. And cry. And scream. And run.

And turn to mush.

Tears are coming as I type, and I’ll sacrifice sleep later to finish my work… Because right now, this is my work.

To feel. This.

At the risk of being too open, too vulnerable, and utterly ridiculous in the eyes of anyone who knows me (or doesn’t), here I go.

I don’t want to fall in love.

I don’t want to risk saying goodbye to the fire in my heart, to the dancing queen in my soul, to the get-up-and-go that makes me who I am. I don’t want to leave behind all the things that make me the me I love the most. Free spirit. Artist. Unconventional bohemian babe who teaches yoga and heals with her hands, and also swears like a badass sailor bitch with a shot of Jameson, another of Patrón, and a sweating Busch light on the bar before me. I want to climb those trees in the furry-filled fuzzy Northwest, and those mountain peaks in the sacred Himalayas.

I don’t want to make decisions using my left brain.

I don’t want to say I’m sorry, and really mean it, when I realize I was less than considerate of the man waiting in the truck.

I don’t want to cry when we’re an hour away from our departure point.

I don’t want to have nausea, those fucking butterflies that come, or the weight gain or weight loss that accompanies an emotional experience us humans aren’t blessed to have enough to make sense of within our minds.

I don’t want to fall. Fuck. I don’t want to fall.

I’ve been running and running and running, with fear of falling, and I don’t want to stop.

Because stopping hurts.

Really. Really bad.

Because stopping means staying.

And that’s not my style. Or hasn’t been, on a heart-level, for 6 years since my heart last broke, which broke bigger and bolder than I’d hope any heart could break.

I want to cling to my path, one that has no rules, that believes everything is gray — never black and white, ever — but is a foggy gray filled with regular doses of tye-dye and psychedelic hippies and EDM. A path that sings to Bieber and Johnny Cash. That is full of naked swims at sunrise in the Sawtooth mountains, and naked golden-hour dips amongst canoers and fallen birch trees in the Upper Peninsula. It’s a path that lights my life up bigger and bolder than any path I’ve tried ever could…

But damn it. DAMN IT. Damn it.

“What’s the worse thing that could happen?” he asks.

I roll my eyes, and laugh at how silly it sounds, but I tell the truth…

“For me, honestly… fuck… The worst thing that could happen is he could be my forever person and I could change course and get married and have some babies and live in the woods amongst the fawns and fairies…” I laugh. I cry. So does he.

So while I sit here, typing away, and the texts and messages from the other fellas greet my morning, I cringe… Oh but, them… I like them too, don’t I?

But they don’t make me slow my roll and cool my jets.

I’ve feelings to feel, that I’m feeling, that I haven’t felt in a very very long time.

This hurts, so I know it’s not a crush.

This hurts, which tells me if I want to see what this life thing is all about, in a way that may satisfy the dreamer in me, maybe it’s worth looking at a bit longer…

This hurts, because it’s so not me.

I’m not vulnerable. I’m strong. I’m willful. I’m free.

And, if I’m being honest, I know the reason I’m most terrified is because this is truly uncharted territory. So much so, I’ve no clue how to put one foot in front of the other.

How does one do this, really do this? How do you just be, without a heady head spinning and swirling with option and adventure? How do you just let go of any agenda, any roles, and not keep one foot out the door?…

You just be, I suppose.

And let life happen, I suppose.

And feel the feelings, I suppose.

And cry and vomit and let yourself be sick.

In love.


“To know Godliness one has to be defenseless…, one has to drop all armor; one has to be vulnerable. And it is not only the condition to know Godliness; it is the condition to know all that is beautiful, all that is poetic, all that is musical, all that is  contained in the word “love”. ” -Osho

Opening, Closing Gifts [.streamingpoem.]

his eyes
amber green orange-yellow
soft brown

a mouth
that shimmered as he spoke
a grill
behind El Salvadorian teeth

a nose
german, hooked like mine
mole on the right side

along the canyon creek
we spoke, the sun
blazing bright hot dry
on neon leaves above
my head

a stone
rope-tied to a cowboy hat
above his crown, home

gifted with knowing
thoughts, pain
made bewildered by the
unconsciousness of others
this man sought refuge
advice from a sage, how might he
close his heart
of feeling

under a cascade
a waterfall, he said
for 30 days, he said
opened his mind
letting the cool mist build towers
walls of protection
to shield from the blows
the noise

for 30 days he begged
gods for release
remove the unknown
the fire flames burning, bring
peace silence stillness
from the power of knowing

16 earth-cycles
passed, powers gone

yet in his sleep
he opens a door to the purple blue
universe, light sky

each eve elders circle the table
of energy, not form
three hundred of them
welcome my friend
at the fire

each day
back in a bed, sunshine, alarms
he opens awakened eyes
to an unknowing world
and walks, moves, with
golden heart oxen hands

I beg him
to explore, more, without fear
stand up in your power
bravery, risk, original wildness
ask to know, I said
once more, I said
and know

I will be back
connected, connecting
and the cerulean sky encouraging

We step back
into spaces
of growth, of darkness lightness growing

One final glisten
his eyes
and mine

I soften, gasp, knowing
this man
this gift
this truth in me
a softness
a mission


Titus Lake, Idaho [poem]

Moments spent in the waking world, alone with nature, are some of my very favorite moments of all. 😊🌀🌎🌿🌞❤️


Because it’s 8 am and
you’re at a Rocky Mountain lake you’ve
never been to before
with only your golden dog and
a few chipmunks and
deer and dozens of birdsongs
as company
you shrug off your clothes and
bare all to the damp and chilly wind
and tip toe into the crystal turquoise
reflecting before you

and breathe in….

Then you dive and
open your eyes to taste
the smooth blue and green around you

Then you flip
and float
and your skin tightens from the icy cold and
your breath is high in
your chest and your dog
whines along the shore, afraid
to let you lose yourself
below the surface.


Titus Lake

My practice [poem]

❤ new poetry❤
I read this quote [Our spiritual practice should ” … feel as natural to slip into as our favorite jeans or T-shirt, at ease both with being worn and being worn out.” — Robert Augustus Masters] and I reflected on my favorite spiritual practice.❤ Yes sir, I’m down with my practice these days.
To me, I think my favorite spiritua practice is my dance at sunset in a dusty dirty Dog Bowl, two blocks from my house, swallowed in a sandy ravine where pups and people and pot gather and sunlight descends over the hills… [ I scribbled this:]
My practice
I kick off my kicks
dawdle and hesitate for a moment, then
launch, toe-tips and curlicues into this
spinning purging delicate fierce
dance upon the earth.
Sometimes there are people
high atop the rails
looking down on me as the
golden-hour sun lights my face and forearms
I’m completely alone.
Entangled in blackberries
and dill weeds
and air that smells like cardamom
I’m watched by a yellow dog
panting in dune grass
and fennel pollen
begging to be picked
Made present by
a broken-bottle cut bleeding
on my heel
I dance
Because I breathe
I dance
Because I believe
in celebration of
this life
my life reflects a practice
for once
for always
there is only one thing there could
ever be
always intertwining always
Wrist flicks toward a setting sun
As the man-bunned boy
With fuzzy scorched blonde frizz
on his calves
approaches. Says hi.
And I continue to dance.
Ear buds in, do I acknowledge this man?
‘Is this the man?’ I think. I wonder.
‘The man’
from the Mayan foretelling
‘Dance and sunrise and change and movement,’ she-shaman said three years ago in Guatemala
as the fire blazed and
the smoke sang upon my beckoning mouth
It wasn’t the man.
Ring-wearer, he was.
They always are.
And I keep dancing twirling stomping swirling
at daybreak
at moonrise
When souls descend into my space,
when I’m blessed to be alone.
I slip into the movement
Of my body
This body
Your body
Our body
And I sweat
I sing
I smile
I scream
I cry
I am
And it happens
around me and within me
and I open my eyes
to you my eyes
My my
The dance
Of my
Of you
Man bun
And curlicue
IMG_2089 (2)

Art by Arna Baartz —

My Story… in sentences…

…written about my life through age 26. Here I am, 3 years later, with chapters more to tell… wishing I would have shared more then, and determined to share more now…

I’ll warn you that the story I’m about to tell often isn’t pretty. It’s not a fairy-tale or romance novel. It’s complicated, confusing, racy, and raw. This story isn’t pretty but it’s the only story I could ever tell, and it’s the only story I could ever live. This story isn’t pretty, but it’s my own.

This is my story.

I traveled the country in a teal, 7-person minivan that could never be large enough for two fighting parents and four competing siblings headed south for family vacations to Civil War sites, presidential palaces, and the occasional amusement park that offered a 2-for-1 deal.

I smoked Marlboro cigarettes with my adolescent friends inside sewer tunnels, behind abandoned buildings, and outside Wednesday night church services.

I dyed my hair white and pink and black and blue in an attempt to rebel and break my farming community’s expectations for well-behaved youth.

I proudly and arrogantly wore the title of Class President, Cheer Captain, and Homecoming Queen candidate.

I was raped in a walk-in closet by a large, terrifying man with skin a color very different from my own. I made futile attempts to push his weight off my weak teenage body, quivering with pain and crying with frustration. I didn’t tell my friends because I felt ashamed and guilty and gross. He told his friends to call him Cane.

I stood in a stainless steel-laden emergency room and gazed at a twinkling diamond adorning the ear of my dead friend who passed away at 17 in a naive yet heroic attempt to save her drug-dealing boyfriend from a life behind bars, only to then inhale a white line up my nose, without remorse, just days later.

I encouraged a young Chinese child to block out the bustling city around us and offer me a sign of peace and comfort in a smog- and construction crane-filled Beijing already prepping for the Olympic games.

I sped through the streets of Switzerland, singing and laughing in a car filled with as many nationalities as there were seats. I then had one-night stands with a Portuguese 20-something named Casper and a teenage Canadian hockey player still holding his v-card until I took it.

I helped run a bakery in the lush hills of Puerto Rico during a hurricane, just moments after a friend and I did shots of Dynamite and danced in a bar packed with a few-too-many dangerous men.

I was robbed by a gangster who caught me catch him dealing drugs in a ghetto, only for his lips to insist I smoke a joint with his friends inside a stone gazebo just minutes later.

I dined with dignitaries and soccer players and European models while caring for a young Senator’s son who was blessed or maybe cursed to be born with an Italian silver spoon in his mouth and a too-busy-and-pretty socialite as a mom.

I befriended a burka-wearing woman in a hotel hot tub on a quaint island coast just east of Madagascar. We discussed religion and the roles of women in our polar opposite worlds and then she used perfect penmanship to craft the script still adorning my wrists. Freedom and life are two things we both longed for, two things we both loved.

I spent a week in Amsterdam cleaning for an exiled-IRA member in exchange for supplies of brushes and speed so I could paint a psychedelic mural on the stone street-facing wall of our shared squat which got running water from a garden hose hooked to the apartment above.

I felt the strange sensation of being dreadfully alone in an endless sea of people as I prayed at the pantheon and listened to Pope Benedict preach to thousands in the Citta del Vaticano.

I waited for a war to subside in an Israeli bomb shelter for a week, wondering if the dozens of young people I shared my summer with would ever make it home to their countries thousands of miles away, to friends and families anxiously watching CNN, in fear another bomb may have fallen in our area.

Fueled at first by my lack of funds and sustained by my insatiable curiosity for Christ, I mingled with the monks and brothers of Taize in a small monastery in the south of France. I cleaned toilets with teens from Lithuania as a tradeoff for living there, and then I unsuccessfully attempted to silence my speech with a Swedish girl adopted from Sri Lanka.

I hurt a kind man very cruelly while he fought for my heart and battled heat and utter brutality while also fighting for my country, thousands of miles away in a Mideast desert city doing damage to its people and to the mind of my very own soldier.

Clothed in a plastic Ghostbusters suit and armed with a toxic chemical concoction and a cheap plastic spatula, I picked and peeled the bloody brains and splattered remains of a man who took his own life in a knotty pine, northern Michigan bedroom.

I flirted and toyed with a pair of cops while I clutched an underage-drinking ticket in my hand, drunk and desperate, upset not that I’d broken the law but that I’d have to ask my parents yet again for rides to work and money for fees and lawyers.

I witnessed the violent suicide attempt of a lover, horrified and helpless as I watched the pulsing blood spray from his neck and splatter on mid-February snow. I felt the weighty power of guilt and regret, somehow managing to carry around a big bag of what-ifs for years afterward.

I lived in a sorority-style party house just blocks from the coolest campus in our state. In two years, I drank and danced more than any human body is designed to handle in a lifetime. I made friends with snobs and junkies and artists paying for their college from trust-funds, drug deals, or, like me, an endless supply of unforgivable debt from our nation’s biggest bank.

Using an anvil of felt-covered speakers, I regretfully broke the nose and spirit of a girl who defended a guy who pompously attempted to display his dominance over me in a crowded, techno-filled basement bar. My friends rushed me into hiding and handed me a shot as I watched her get whisked away by bouncers.

I devoted my nights and weekends to a chaotic newsroom, learning the process and payoff of passionate work with a few dozen underpaid but dedicated journalism students, some of who would publish in the New York Times and Washington Post just a few years later.

I felt piercing pain and awe-struck disbelief as the man I planned to spend my life with cheated and lied, and then created human life with another while the two of us fruitlessly clung to our crumbling life together. I continued to work the reel of my romantic film, frame by frame, before it unraveled, tragically, as some blonde bimbo with little teeth squeezed me from my starring role.

I embellished my body with glitter and gold as I made a weekly appearance at the gay bar next door and the blackout ballroom in my mind, stopping at the eyepatch-wearing neighbor’s house on more than one occasion, who would hit on me then pass me blunts with a black, pistol-holding hand.

I ingested the poison and madness of monotony as I pushed open heavy metal doors and walked past security guards at a safe, secure, government job for five soul-sucking years. I befriended the Indian data geeks, using them as my sole method for cross-cultural immersion in a building strategically set for mice in a cage.

I twirled barefooted to the sounds of squealing guitars and dynamic drum beats in summer’s sweltering Tennessee heat, high on life and hallucinogens with my very best friends. I let go of my corporate composure after re-finding freedom and center in a field of hula-hoops and fire dancers.

I helped take away the only positive things remaining in my best friend’s life, two young, beautiful children, after hearing her reveal that she’d given her life to heroin and meth. What I perceived as a call for help may very well have been her last attempt to open up.

I defensively explained to judgmental ears why I felt called and compelled to sell half my belongings and pack away my life and relationships in an attempt to finally find purpose and peace in the jungle, and then relocate without prospect to the best west coast city there is, Portland.

I learned the connection of mind, body, and spirit as I woke at 5 a.m. each morning, committed to letting the sun drive my days that were filled with communal cob building, rainy afternoon yoga, and waterfall revelations.

I felt the gnawing teeth of a parasitic worm living in my leg, feeding on my muscles for nourishment and strength, somehow convincing my psyche to let him stay a bit longer… Others told me that if this child of mine were to die while still inside my body, I very well may die, too. I spent a week drinking, developing the courage required to bear the pain of his death…

I made love to a bohemian gypsy musician whose birth name I didn’t know, on a beach lit by a bright white Nicaraguan full-moon. He led me to a spiral in the sand where we handed me hash and asked to join me on my adventures northward. I kissed him goodbye, telling him I’d see him someday, a day that has yet to come.

I sat in lotus beside a stone totem for wisdom as I listened to my future unfold from a Mayan shaman. She told me I’m destined for partnered creation but that I must keep dance and change in my life… We looked across the magical, mystical lake at a plume of smoke rising from the Vulcan de Fuego.

I forced myself to move back home, still my steps, and intentionally create space, making my mind endure the pains of my past and reflect on the lessons learned through years of avoidance and attempts to escape whatever uneasy situation I found myself in at 15, 20, or 25.

I submerged my soul into ice-cold uncomfort, day after day, week after week, willing a release that would finally free my mind from the torturous, unfulfilling cycle of my own social butterfly life… of the butterfly who never grew wings but instead chose to fight nature and continually rebuild a warm cocoon of relationships or substance-filled anonymity, time and time again, and never truly fly toward her fate.

Then somehow, for some reason, I stopped…

I let go. Of plans. Of will. Of regret.

I shattered my walls of control already cracking with the pressure of freedom’s roots, fighting to grow through crevices created by flashes of vulnerability and softness.

I surrendered my life to the artist in the sky who’s been prepping the paints and palette for my life’s work, who has been giving my hands necessary practice with each pitfall and each triumph, giving my heart inspiration from each traveler I encountered who was either adventuring in the physical world or in the endless Universe of the mind…

I took a breath… Then another… And another…

And suddenly, I saw my life as it truly was.

I saw my dreams coming to fruition in my mind’s all-knowing eye and I saw my talents propelling me forward toward beauty and grace and wisdom…

I knew then all I needed to know.

I realized I’ve always had all the tools I’ll ever need inside my head and inside my heart.

I understood truth, and what it means to be free.

I decided to cocoon for one final time, but instead of creating a chrysalis for protection, I created a chrysalis for lasting, genuine change that would create the butterfly I was always meant to be.

I rested inside the cocoon for a while, just enough to catch my breath and let wings form beautifully around my body…

Then, I emerged. Materialized. Manifested.

I became willing and ready to work toward wisdom, impassioned to find and share truths, and inspired to paint my life in such a way that my canvas may inspire others to do the same.

Now I am here, grateful and honest and always open…