What happened in Portland




“If we want to succeed in our dearest aims, and hopes as people we must understand that we cannot proceed any further without standards, and we must see that ultimately the standards are not set by us, but by nature.” Wendell Berry

I am of nature.

Today, I stand in the garden watching the day warm up around us-astonished that the weather has held up so long. I am grateful, it would be difficult to stand outside on this November day in the cold and dig into the soil. It makes our conversation feel more alive as the sun slowly warms us. We clear beds and overwinter them, plant garlic and onions. We talk about our winter projects that will allow us to be inside during the cold months.

This is the rhythm of the garden. It asks you to go in. You can witness it’s voice in the crops that still stand boldly: the firm, deep greens of kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and collards; the carrots and beets that hide their bountiful energy beneath the ground. The tender lettuce lay beneath a white cloak of remay. I enjoy seeing the golden patches form on the landscape as we spread out straw across the beds. A blanket for winter.

This is the law of the land.

This past weekend we celebrated Halloween and The Day of the Dead. Our ancestors understood that this was the time of year to honor those who had passed, and in our own blood filled ways we shall also go into a living rest. Our bodies slow down, and if one listens you may find yourself craving the cradling warmth of soup. Soups that echo the autumn leaves with carrots, beets, and winter squash. It is a golden age this coming into winter.

I think about other holidays that I personally celebrate during the winter: Thanksgiving and Christmas, and part of me is lifted as I think of this inward journey with winter. I suddenly realize that there is so much to be discovered in this gentle coming to rest-as these holidays inherently honor love and kindness.

Winter is the season of the heart, look inside my dear, and you shall find what you are made of.

Day 4 Love Letter 8

I started as 627, but now I’m 626.  Where have you gone my dear one?  There’s so many of you….I’m not likely to guess.  *hugs and cheeky smiles*

Day 4 Love Letter 7

I considered not sending this note. I wrote it yesterday. As soon as I thought about the dream; I knew I needed to write you. It seems like an odd thought to send at this moment, but as the same time strangely appropriate. It keeps me wondering about all the things at I do not know. I’m sending you so much love right now.

I had a dream last night with you. I’ve had a lot of dreams about you lately, which is interesting, because for years I didn’t have dreams that included people I knew in my personal life. I have begun to have more of them over the last couple of years, and they have been very beautiful and startling. Sometimes very sad-dealing with things that scare me.

In this dream, we were sitting in a hospital room-sectioned off by a curtain-there was a woman I did not know on the other side. In our dream, we were telling each other about how we were dying. We were very matter of fact about it. To me hospitals are places that you go to die-not to live, and so this makes sense to me. I looked at you very point blank and said: “I’m going to let all of my hair fall out.” I knew I was going to lose my hair, because I chose to die-not because I fought it. To release one of the things that makes me beautiful-my hair. To release something that allows me to hide. I didn’t care that I wasn’t going to be beautiful-I just wanted to be me.

I found it interesting that I was telling you this story, because I don’t like telling people about being unwell. I always try to pretend that I’m ok. I was happy to tell you, because I knew you would understand, and somehow it would be fine. Dying was not such a horrible thing-if I knew you were still my friend.

I don’t think I’m dying in my physical body. At least, not for a while. Yet, I think there are many deaths in life itself. I’m happy I could share this one with you. Lives have a way of transitioning, becoming something completely new and unexpected. I know that we have both been going through many transitions. These tiny deaths of life, and I see you stepping through with grace, and I love you for that. Although, I would love you even if you stumbled. We are all struggling together, and I think of you, even in my sleep.

Let’s be crazy, old ladies together-having lived long, wild lives, and jumping through the hoops of fire without fear for what the others might think.

I think you’ll still like me…..even if I’m bald. I love you my dear.


Day 3 Love Letter 6

Be forewarned, I’m about to make a fool of myself in this note.

You know those moments when you think: “I’m dumb, I should have never done this.” Perhaps you don’t have those moments, but let me tell you….I do, and I’m having one right now. Yesterday morning, I got this wonderful idea, or it seemed like a wonderful idea when I thought it up-all jacked up on green tea. I’m sensitive.

I am going to write a love letter to every person I know I facebook.

Simple, right? Until you realize that perhaps you don’t really know all the people you’ve friended on facebook. Maybe your facebook life has become some cheap thing that you spread around too much, and your daily rants are being sent out to perfect strangers! The horror.

I said I would pick people at random. So tonight, I scrolled to the bottom of my facebook list, and found you. I know that I’ve seen your name. I know that we have mutual friends, and I know that you like animals…..or you just like to post pictures of them. For some odd reason, I had it in my head that we went to school together, and now I’m questioning every thing. I do know where you work, but I’ve never been there. Was it the market?

Holy cow!

I don’t know!

Which gives me pause. You probably don’t even care that I’m sending this message. I just seem like some weirdo saying more than I ever needed to, and I’m gonna do it anyhow. You might have already stopped reading. How interesting that I could have such a realization, and finally take the time to say: “Hello, I’m sorry, but how do we know each other?”

It’s never to late to say that you don’t know someone. Perhaps, I’ll actually make a friend. I seriously hope this gives you a smile-even if we don’t know each other really well. Smiles from strangers are still worth it in my book.

From Sheepish Moona

Day 3 Love Letter 5

Here is your Love Letter, and it’s me in an angry mood. You are getting the rare Moona. Lucky you.

You read my mind.

Thank you for the note. Yes, please ask me in the future, and make sure I know. That is something very special to me, which you would not know, unless you spoke to me. There is a reason why I had it where I did. Truth is, I am not always kind, and I am not always willing to share.

Currently, I am stressed, and I want to be nice about this, but I had to rant a lot, before I even got to this note. I did like some of the funny suggestions I got for how to handle it. Let it be known, that none of these people know you, and will probably never meet you.

Now you can be angry with me for ranting to perfect flippin’ strangers!

Now before we exit with a yucky tastes in our mouths about a not fun love letter, cause you know, love is full of shit too. Let me just say: “I think you’re a wonderful person.” I could probably think of a few thousand times that I’ve done things that I later thought: “Hmmmmm…..I bet they are not going to like that.” So, who am I to say? We all do stuff that seems like a good idea at the time, and becomes a not so good one later.

I liked the spirit of your idea. I like the spirit of you, and really, if I can make my overly materialistic brain connect a bit more with my grinchy heart. I really like you more than I like that thing I’m upset about. You’re both really pretty, leave sparkles in my eyes, and make me want to smile. I have a weakness for things that do that to me.

Ask me next time, you never know what I might say, but I just want to feel like I have a say in it. It’s hard feeling like you don’t have control over your own life, and I think that’s really what this is about for me. My life has felt pretty wild as of late, and I just want to know that I can keep certain things in order.

Be well my dear, and know that I’m not really good at being angry for long. I just have a hot temper in the beginning, but I’m really just a big kitty with a loud roar, and itty bitty tiny claws. *joy*


Day 2 Love Letter 4

If I could go back in time, and write a letter to you at French Camp. I would. If I could crawl into your bed in your dorm again. I would. Even if your roommate thought something else happened. I would be so happy to sleep next to you. I miss talking to you. Sometimes, I see your name in my email account. The green light tempts me, and I imagine all the things I would love to tell you. I want to spill myself out to you in all the languages I will never know.

I lost something special. I’m sorry.

Day 2 Love Letter 3

When I thought about writing a note to you-it made me cry. Which I suppose that could mean many things. You are an unexpected friendship. You snuck up on me with your smart-ass jokes and off kilter comments. You’re the part of me-that doesn’t speak out loud too often. The naughty humor that never seems to fully come across, but lurks under the surface.

I love knowing you. I can’t help but smile when you send me links to random things, and I instantly shake my head, because I know it will be something that makes me laugh at the absurdity. You are not afraid to be who you are. What a wonderful trait, and how rare. Which this admiration may come across as me standing there with a look that says: “What the hell is he doing?” This should, of course, be taken as: “Dude, you’re awesome!”

You have also made me want to crack you in the head, but it never seems to last very long. I always end up thinking: “screw it….what does it really matter?”

As much as you make me laugh, and throw my hands up in frustration-you have been real with me, and I think in odd little moments we have both let down our barriers. That is what has really meant the most to me. A long hug in the night, because sometimes all you can do is hang on. The world seems large and scary to me-even at thirty-four. I still want to cry. I still feel uncertain. I struggle to find my voice.

I am grateful to have friends who laugh at me, and give me shit when I threaten to break plates. Sorry, about that plate incident. I still feel bad about it. Maybe you don’t even know what I’m talking about, but I do.

I also appreciate that you had a girl moment with me, and completely tried to save my honor, and tell me that I was too cool for certain people. It made me feel ten times better. But the truth was. I was probably being a jerk too.

I have a horrible track record. So don’t ever think of dating someone like me, but I hope that one day you find someone that understands the really awesome person you are, and can take the hilarious shit at the same time, and dish it back at you! I love you.


P.S. Don’t ever leave big, ass scary candles next to my head. I will kick your ass.

Day 1 Love Letter 2

It’s sort of strange to think that I haven’t seen you in person for….what? A decade? Which makes me wonder. Who are the people that we’ve become? What life paths have changed us from where we started as idealistic, and possibly very naive teenagers? You have a little boy, and so do I. So, in some ways our paths have been the same. Motherhood is a strange strange journey, and I think really different for many people. I appreciate that you have invited me to explore things in your life. Not everyone is willing to say hello. Thank you. I hope that you are enjoying this day. If not, give it a good kick in the ass for me. The truth is: I’m still idealistic and naive. *joy*


Day 1 Love Letter 1

I’ve thought of you a lot in the last couple of days. So I will send a message. Thank you for being concerned for me in the last few months. I was touched by your openness to asking me how I was doing. You are one of the people that really helped me to keep on track with making changes in my life, and not getting overly stuck in the overwhelming aspect of it. I suspect there is a lot of growth that needs to occur for me yet, but it seems like a positive move for us at this time. I thought I would send you this note-just so you know that someone is thinking of you, and hopes that the universe is lifting itself to you with bounty. *joy*