One Month Anniversary!


I’m tired and sort of just want to go to bed, but I needed to at least publicly acknowledge the fact that today is my one month anniversary on the road. I left Sturbridge, Massachusetts on April 30th, and today is May 30th… so that makes a month. Math was never my strong suit, but I’m confident in these calculations, and I just wanted to make it known that I am still alive, and have yet to completely lose my mind.

A statement which could certainly be put into question once one is aware of how I spent my day. First of all, I smuggled Panda into the Atlanta Zoo… so she could meet her family. Then I proceeded to try and keep from hyperventilating as I saw my first real pandas in over 16 years… ::sigh::

It was a good day.

It was a damn good day.

And yay me for one month on the road!

heart full of holes

” It’s a wonder to me –
I still don’t understand
why I ever survived to be old
with a heart full of holes
A heart full of holes
A heart full of holes”

– Mark Knopfler

Is Mark Knopfler a genius? Basically. And his music makes my heart go thump-thump, so slow and peaceful I could cry.

There’s another one of his songs, “Baloney Again”, that slays me every time I hear it:

“Go under the willow
Park her up beside the stream
Shoulders for pillows
Lay down your head and dream”

And it’s not just the lyrics – it’s the way he plays, the way he sings- as though there are cobwebs laced with dreams on his fingertips, and cotton-honey melodies in his mouth.

Random, yes, but it’s two in the morning and I can’t help myself.

Heart full of holes, eh? Like a sieve, slowly leaking love. Constantly being filled back up, by the self, by others, by the world… but constantly losing love by the second. I suppose if one carefully and honestly walks the earth, though, the love will merely sink into the soil and be redistributed to the world.

So a heart full of holes may not be that dreadful a case, after all.

Perhaps it would simply make us part of the process.


” All my yesterdays broken
a watch with no face
all battered and old
Bits of the movement
all over the place
and a heart full of holes
A heart full of holes
A heart full of holes”

River Majesty, Ellijay, GA

I really can’t complain about my present situation. I’m on my private deck, panda cheerfully (as cheerful as she can be) by my side, about a hundred-fifty feet above the river’s edge. I’m listening to doo-wop, with the background music of rippling water, and slowly consuming strawberry mentos.

Not bad for a Wednesday afternoon.

It’s also pretty cool when you can look out the kitchen window and see a deer, looking back at you. I was able to grab a rotting apple, cut it up in front of her, and throw her pieces. It’s crazy to have her little doe eyes watching me, much like a puppy, waiting for her treats. Beside her was a chubby little squirrel, happily munching on the kernels of corn I had thrown out there earlier this morning. We were a happy little family, and I understood how Lisa can stand out there for hours, feeding her animals.

Yesterday afternoon, there was a light rain, and afterwards, around 5:30, I decided to take a walk around the area. I was in absolute heaven, for the rain had inspired everything to glisten, and the light was respledently laying upon every little leaf and stone. My camera got a workout, as did I, and I fell asleep last evening, content that I had captured pieces of beauty in a box.

I found out today that there are pandas at the Atlanta Zoo… so… um… HOLY FREAKIN’ YES! 🙂 I plan on making a day of driving down there, sitting with Panda beside her family’s exhibit, and leaving when they force us out (panda kicking and screaming, I’m sure).

Beyond that, not too much to divulge. I’ve been finally able to relax a little more (relaxation is an art form) and I’m sure by the time I get it mastered, it will be time to move on. But alas, this time in Georgia is definitely a beautiful way to rejuvenate and prepare for the next leg of my journey.

I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamed that I was back home, no longer on the road. It was the strangest feeling; I didn’t understand why I was home, in my bed, and I started to panic. I couldn’t move, I was too tired, but all I could think was “No! I have to get on the road! I had already gone so far; why am I back here?” The dream brought up a lot of different emotions for me, but it gave me the ability to perceive my current travels as one would a memory, rather than a present experience. I guess it is crucial to see the bigger picture sometimes; and in this case, I was able to realize that forty years from now, when I look back on my life, this roadtrip will have been the turning point. I will be able to say “so then I packed my car, and drove away.”

And that was when my life began.

the sound of water


I fell in love with the sound of water. As a little girl, with my bright blue summer dress and pigtails in my hair, tripping over myself, collapsing into the homemade sandbox by the garden. I was in Vermont, at our summer camp, with its tin roof that made hollow melodies when it rained, its brown paint, and its innate ability to blend into the woods and become part of the forest. I was no more than five, no less than ancient, and my grandma would take my hand and lead me down the dirt road away from the camp. There, a little stream trickled through the trees. I could stand there for hours, tossing pebbles into the water, watching them ripple, hearing them ker-plunk.

There is a steep path of steps leading from our camp down to the water’s edge. When I was very young, the steps were made from pieces of logs and trees, cracked and housing hordes of tiny bug families. It would take my little five-year-old feet what seemed an eternity to reach all the way down to that water, but I would insistently take this journey at least a few times a day. One step at a time, little feet reaching down to the next ledge, sometimes slipping, sometimes falling, always terrified. And it was always worth the effort. Our handmade dock would be swaying and pitching in the water, and it would take me a good minute to become brave enough to step from solid earth to swaying pieces of wood. Then I would lay myself down upon that dock and touch my fingers to the water, fingertips dancing beneath the surface, feelings its coolness, its promise. After a while, I would search deeper, overturning rocks and unearthing crayfish. Every now and then I would be brave enough to touch one, and then squeal with fear and delight.

The water held secrets, and it held pieces of my soul. I still listen to the way it caresses the shoreline, gently lapping against the earth’s edge. On stormier days, the water’s embrace is harsher, more insistent. Yet always it holds pieces of grace, and something close to forgiveness.

The water is rhythmic and reminds me of all the things my soul has been trying to tell me for years. I am far from my five-year-old self, and yet I sense her still here, drawn to the water’s edge. I still descend those steps to the water; I am no longer afraid of the journey, and yet the distance to the dock seems just as far. For even when I reach it, I am still so far away. There is no end to the descent, as there was when I was little Karabelle. For when the little girl arrived, she breathed a sigh, flopped down onto her belly, and giggled with her fingers in the lake.

Now I stare at my feet and see how far away they are from my head, and my fingers tingle, but never touch the water.

I am slowly relearning the strength it takes to bend my knees and reach the ground; to allow myself that surrender to the land around me. The sound of the water is no less palpable, less strong, than it has ever been. From a hundred feet above shore, I can still feel its pull upon my heart, as though tugging upon the cobwebs and releasing forgotten dreams. The river is ancient, and therefore stirs up ancient awareness in me.

Aware of my infinite possibilities, I search for that place where the air meets the water, and hope bubbles up in the form of joy. Eventually, fingertips will once again break the boundary, and I will know what it means to be immersed within the world

Years later, I would walk that dirt road and realize the stream had dried up. To this day, I stand in the same spot I stood as a child, and imagine the water still flowing, wondering how something so alive could fade so easily away. There are other streams nearby, larger streams, prettier streams – but this stream had been mine while Grandma held my hand and passed me pebbles.

Cherokee, NC & Ellijay, GA

Panda is extremely happy about our new location. She is currently reclining like a queen in our king size bed, listening to the sounds of the Cartecay River outside our third story cabin window, occasionally mumbling to herself about how she wants to feed the deer in the morning.

This evening we are in Ellijay, nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.

We were welcomed here a few hours ago by my cousin, Lisa. She is actually a second cousin of my mother’s, and they grew up together. Mommy is very happy to know I am safely ensconced here with family, not gallivanting about couchsurfing. It is absolutely gorgeous here, so I can’t deny that I’m content to be here, as well. First of all, the drive alone was majestic, traveling through the mountain ranges. My straight and wide recollection of highways could barely handle the curvy turns and twists of the narrow roads here; nevertheless they are termed as highways, and are the only way to get from point A to B. As I drove, I couldn’t help but to think how even a hundred years ago, a mile was a mountain, both figuratively and literally. No wonder people settled into the curves of the hills and never left; there were little options beyond that existence. There is something both tranquil and terribly isolating in that thought.

Before the Blue Ridge Mountains welcomed us, Panda and I briefly visited the Great Smoky Mountain Range, as well. I was thrilled to attend my very first Native American Powwow, right on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina. I woke up, relatively early (for me), said goodbye to Chris as he left for work, then headed over to Cherokee for the Memorial Day Weekend Powwow. As I drove deeper into the mountains, I could barely contain my joy – I could smell the husky smell of wood smoke, and almost drove off cliffs a couple times due to my absolute awe of all that was around me. I was tempted to pull off to the side of the road, and simply refuse to leave. For the rest of my life.

Nevertheless, I made it to the powwow, and gratefully so, for it was a wonderful experience. I sat next to a nice woman named Pat, who was also traveling alone, and we both enjoyed taking lots of pictures of the singers and dancers. As soon as the singers began drumming, I felt that burgeoning feeling in my chest again. I have felt so much energy, deep within my chest – first with yoga, then the mountains, now the music. It’s as though the air is pressing down upon my heart, and it is a perfect mixture of yin and yang, pleasure and pain. As the drumbeats started, and the players mixed their voices into the beat, tears formed in my eyes, and I could barely swallow. Again I was overwhelmed with profound emotions, spilling up from my soul. It is not only an awareness of joy and of life, but also of a deep soul pain, probably in a war between feeling and healing.

I’ve only been with Lisa for a few hours, and already we have had incredible conversations. She is a great representation of the kind of person I hope to be, and has accomplished many of the things for which I strive. At the very least, she owns this cabin, which is a perfect symbol for me of everything I dream of – the earth, a sense of peace, security, and authenticity. She might have to pry me off the porch to get me to leave.

Charlotte St, Asheville, NC

My time in Asheville has been time well spent – nothing too involved or busy, simply good conversation and good people.

I’m glad I reached out through the couchsurfing site again, since Chris is a great guy, and it’s been wonderful to get to know him a little. I was ridiculously grateful to spend hours talking with him last night, about everything and nothing, until 3 in the morning. It was everything I needed, and more. I had been about at the point where I would have paid someone to have an intellectually stimulating conversation with me.

I spent today tagging along, eating Chris’ delicious veggie burgers and brewing beer. You know, the usual Friday afternoon. 😛


Asheville, NC

After leaving Savannah at 10:30 AM, I drove five and a half hours back to Raleigh, North Carolina, to be comforted by my friend, Corey. As I told Rick this on the phone, he laughed and said “I’ve never heard of anyone going to such lengths to nurse a hangover.” Which, once I thought about it, was half-hilarious, half-pathetic, and completely necessary. I was a mess. After all that crying and all that feeling displaced, I needed to be somewhere where I felt safe, and could regroup and start again.

That drive was THE most painful experience of my life. It was never-ending, and excruciating. Everything hurt. I assumed it was a hangover, but then Kara Simpson reminded me that I was working off of about 5 hours of sleep in a 48-hour period, so that helped to explain the distinct feeling of slow death.

Finally, I reached Corey, and spent the next day recovering and trying to figure out what was next. I slept like a baby, in a bed by myself (not random Swiss guys and hot chicks), and consumed absolutely no alcohol. Thank goodness for straight-edge friends. And thank goodness for Corey. 🙂

As the title of this post infers, I am currently in Asheville, North Carolina. I drove here yesterday, and spent the night in my first hotel – not only the first hotel of my trip, but the first hotel I’ve ever experienced by myself. I felt stupid spending money to sleep somewhere, but it was nice to not feel obligated to anyone, and be completely alone.

Of course, being completely alone eventually led to me talking to myself, a lot… but it’s all good. These things happen.

Woke up this morning, not hung-over and completely alone, which was divine, and walked downtown Asheville. Lots of artsy people and stores, and it was relaxing and enjoyable. I had been communicating online with this guy, Chris, from couchsurfing.com, and he had told me where he was working, so I stopped by to say hi and make sure he wasn’t a psychopath. He was, indeed, a non-psychopath, and we ended up having a great conversation, and making plans to meet up later. And that’s where I am now – at his apartment, with the beautiful view of the mountains and the sunset, feeling comfortable and completely non-violated. 🙂

Savannah, GA – Part 2

Before I continue, I want all my dear readers to know that my idea of drunken debauchery is not nearly enough to make you swoon. And when I discuss my orgiastic, drunken times in Savannah, they are in fact, on the whole, innocent. For me, however, they were overwhelming and far, far out of my league.

I woke up in bed with Angelo the Swiss and Tess. Miraculously, I had no hangover, and other than feeling a bit misplaced, I felt great. Tess, Angelo, Felicia, and I all eventually woke our groggy asses up and headed over to “the island” – a long discussion ensued about what “the island” really was. It is in fact, a number of islands off of Savannah, but the one they mean is the one to which they refer… if that makes any sense. Anyhow, we headed over there to Tess’ mother’s studio, where she teaches yoga. I had never experienced yoga before, although handfuls of people had told me it would be perfect for me, so I was looking forward to a new experience (yes, another).

The hilarity of the moment hit us all as we were sitting outside her mother’s studio, waiting to go in for the yoga class. Tess was sitting on the curb, and the rest of us three were squished on a bench outside the studio. Angelo was in the middle of us two girls. In fact, Angelo was in the middle of us two girls – smoking a cigarette and drinking a Red Bull! Preparing for yoga, apparently, hahaha. Him and his quiet confidence made me smile a lot during our time together.

Tess’ mother was delightful – she was French, and the exotic sound of her voice mixed with the ting-ting music and the smell of lavender was enough to slay anyone. As soon as she started speaking softly about the tenets of yoga- the re-connection with the body, the releasing of pain, etc. – well, I started to cry. It was ridiculous – I almost had to get up and leave so I could sob for a while. We hadn’t even started the yoga part! So that was a sign for me that I was feeling some turmoil in my soul, but I kept myself together and completed the hour. And I really enjoyed it – hope to do more yoga in the future. It is very empowering.

Fast-forward. I don’t have time to relive too much of this.

Tess went to a fashion show with Fletcher, to watch his boyfriend Xavier. Tess looked hot, Fletcher was delightful, I didn’t meet Xavier until later. Meanwhile, Felicia, Angelo, and I went downtown to meet up with three bicyclists who were traveling from Florida to Virginia, on bike – which is totally rad. Yes, totally rad. And they turned out to be exactly that way, as well. Jason was basically incredible, John was yummy and delicious (and no, I don’t know from actual taste), and then there was Andrew.

As soon as I heard his name was Andrew, I was like ‘ugh.’ And if you know me, you know why.

It always happens that way though. And after we all went to a sushi restaurant, had a quick meal in our bright yellow spandex (okay that was just Jason), we returned to Tess’ to get ready to go out for the night. As I’m doing my thing, my phone rings. Everyone’s laughing and having a great time, so I don’t think twice about the random number, or try to analyze the voice on the phone. I ask who it is. “Someone you don’t want to talk to,” he replies, so I say “Why are you calling me if I don’t want to talk to you?” to which he responds that he’s graduating on to the next step in the army, and I go “Holy shit! Why are you calling me!?”

At least I was a bitch (and me being a bitch is like the average person trying to be nice) BUT I tried. Anyways, it was Andrew, which shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me, because he always shows up when I’m either delicate or growing stronger – either way, it’s never good.

Enough of that. A blip in the radar.

Shakespeare in the Park; Forsyth Park, to be exact. Shakespeare on Love, to be precise. Terrible acting, some pretty music, hilarious companions, couple glasses of wine.

River Street, Savannah. Known for it’s bars. Let’s just say I got to know that street well. And I didn’t even drink that much (swear to Jesus) but I ended up on a bench sobbing my eyes out (pent-up from yoga, perhaps?) and eventually with my head in a trash can.

First, and hopefully the last, time that happens.

6:00 AM finally welcomed us back to Tess’ place, where I was numb and definitely sensing the “fight or flight” instinct. All I wanted to do was leave, and I shared this with Jason.

In fact, that was one of my favorite moments from that night. Everyone else had left my car (I drove half of us home) except for Jason and I. Jason, who is about 7 feet, haha, was curled up with my pillow and panda in the passenger seat, almost falling asleep, but being all doe-eyed and trying to talk to me at the same time. It was adorable, and when he asked me if I had a good night, I sort of said no- that it wasn’t my thing. But when I shared that I might be leaving, he assured me that he wasn’t going to let me, that it wasn’t safe, and that he would be very upset if I did.

Looking back, that was incredibly sweet.

Between Jason and Tess luring me into the house and away from the steering wheel, I eventually came inside and got ready for bed (yes, at 6 in the morning). However, not before I quietly returned to my car, put some Patsy Cline on the stereo, curled up myself with panda and my pillow, and sobbed my eyes out. It was one of those rare bouts of sadness, where your soul expands, contracts, and empties out of you into the air around.

It was something I apparently needed.

That night I fell asleep to Tess and Angelo giving each other full-body massages. Oil and all.

I left at 10:30 AM, after a couple hours of sleep.

Savannah, GA – Part 1

There really is no concrete way for me to explain the past few days. They were filled with drunkenness, debauchery, and pieces of disillusionment.

I’m currently in North Carolina, not completely sure how I ended up here. All I know is that it was a desperate attempt to get out of Dodge (in this case, Savannah).

So I suppose I owe my avid readers some sort of explanation.

… And it is at this point that I sincerely wish I hadn’t given the link to my blog out to every person I know. Haha. But honesty doesn’t hurt (too much) now, does it?

I moved on from Hilton Head, feeling a bit displaced, aware that the Island lifestyle was definitely not for me. So I tossed the proverbial coin in the air, and let it fall where it may. What I really wanted to do was drive back to North Carolina, see Corey, and start over. But I knew that would only be taking a step backwards, so the other half of me wanted to move on to the next leg of my journey. The coin I tossed was in the form of a phone call to a 22-year-old girl named Tess. Tess had recently moved back from Louisiana to Savannah, and was hosting couchsurfers. She picked up the phone, was extremely laid back and cool, and was basically like “get in your car. you can be here in an hour.” So that’s what I did.

And that is how I ended up in Savannah, Georgia for the next couple nights.

I pulled up to a cute little green house, with a cat that looked like my Spaz chilling on the porch railing. When Tess answered the door, I was stunned to find her even more lovely than in her pictures. She was slight in stature, but with a woman’s curves. She looked at the world with her large, puppy-dog eyes that held layers of hazel, green, brown… I couldn’t figure them out, but they represented her well – a layered young woman, with spirit, passion, and playfulness. A woman with a zest for life, and yet a profound spirit beneath her cheerful smiles.

Of course, I didn’t figure all this out right when she opened the door, but I was relieved to feel comfortable in her presence. Such comfort was a necessity, for as soon as I arrived, we hopped in her car and drove to the Golden Corral, where we were meeting basically her entire family for dinner. The trick was – she didn’t want them all to know about her couchsurfing forays, so we had to pretend that we were long-lost friends, which of course I got a kick out of. Her family was, overall, an entertaining bunch. Her father was an oddball, but I was warned of this prior, her uncle was delightful (and I always have a basement in Chicago to live in now, if need be, haha) and luckily the “kids” and the adults split up, so I was sitting with Tess, her sister Amber, and her brother, Scott (I believe).

And I got a free meal out of the deal.

That night involved picking up Tess’ friend, Felicia, and then picking up Angelo, a 21-year-old from Switzerland, who was traveling down from Canada to Florida, where he would be flying back home. He was also couchsurfing at Tess’ that evening. From there, we went to the liquor store, since Felicia was feeling a bit down, and picked up a very large, very (as in, extremely) phallic, bottle of tequila. We proceeded to return to Tess’ apartment with her two dogs, her four cats, two birds, and something in a tank with a heat lamp, and drank ourselves silly. I have certainly never ingested that much alcohol in my life… or that much lemon and/or salt.

Fell asleep in Tess’ bed, with her and Angelo. I could have slept in one of the two twin beds in the guest room, but Tess wanted to cuddle… so there it was.

Already I was so far out of my element, I wondered who I was and what I was doing.

To Be Continued…

Still in Hilton Head, SC

The last two days have involved gorgeous walks around Shipyard, thanks to the suggestion of Hollar, who has been trying to help me see my first alligator. Needless to say, it took me a WEEK to finally find one, but it was well worth the wait. You’ll have to see the video to really understand what I’m saying (yes there’s a video and no it’s not a dirty video)

video.php?v=507753995369

However, the walks (even sans the alligator) have been simply amazing. Today I realized that more than anything else, I’ve been walking. Not doing anything really special, anything too touristy, anything even very exciting. Yet almost every day since I drove away from Massachusetts has involved a long, long walk through woods and on trails. I have taken more gorgeous pictures in the last two weeks than I have in my lifetime, and there really isn’t a way for me to describe to you how satisfying that is for me.

It happened these past two days – I’ve wanted to cry from the beauty of the earth. I know that sounds ridiculously holistic, but it’s true. I felt this incredible swelling in my heart, much like love. But it was for the moment, for the light and the birds and the trees and the earth.

Last night I met two sets of interesting people. The first incident was at the Tiki Hut, where I walked to sit, have a cold soda, listen to some acoustic music, and read my book. Right when I walked in, this woman gave me the kindest smile, which although is very unique for me, is not an odd thing to have happen in South Carolina. So I smiled in return, sat at one of the back tables on the sand, and read for a while. However, one time that I looked up, she caught my eye, and beckoned me over to sit with her and her husband. I obliged, and before I knew it I was engaged with intelligent, spiritual, and slightly slurred conversation with Bonnie, while her husband, Donny (yes, Bonnie and Donnie) sardonically ignored as much as he could.

I figure that the fateful alignment of this meeting mostly involved the fact that Bonnie was an independent, almost 60-year-old woman. However, she was vibrant and lovely and very intelligent. She had her PhD., was accomplished in every area of her life, and I could BE her in 40 years. What she told me during that conversation was to “do it now” – to live my life, go after my dreams, and do it all now before it’s too late. She insisted that I was intelligent, I was beautiful, and I was responsible – and therefore I could not go wrong. But I had to keep doing exactly what I had started, and that she regretted not doing that herself.

It definitely inspired me, and was exactly the conversation I needed.

The second pair involved a 40-something truck driving/construction working guy named Frankie, and a younger, gregarious black guy named… fine, i forgot his name. The beautiful part of this story is the humor involving the fact that these were the guys I happened to attract at the bar, haha. Which was fine with me – I would much rather have a jovial conversation lacking in sexual awkwardness, than I would an intimate conversation lacking in intellectual stimulation. So Frankie and I talked, and it was wonderful, his friend there joined and started telling me who he’d “never been with a white woman” and shared with me how sexy I looked when a piece of my hair fell just like that over my eye…

And although i appreciated the participle of poetry located within that sentiment, I was still annoyed that he was corrupting my innocent moment with crudity.

The funny part was that I started writing this story here earlier today, and then this evening I walked over to the Tiki Hut, on my way to find something to eat for dinner, and randomly this guy beckons me over to smell his “jasmine.” Yes, that was a new one for me, but while I was telling him my name, Frankie overheard and made a joke. I was shocked to see him sitting there, outside at the bar, sipping a beer. But I was very happy to see him, especially since it gave me an excuse to gracefully run way from the jasmine guy. Funny how people come into our lives – Frankie is the nicest guy, very pleasant, intelligent, down-to-earth, and reminds me of a teddy bear. 🙂 My favorite kind of guy. Anybody that reminds me of my grandpa gets an A+ in my book… not that he was old enough to be my grandpa, but he held that air to him… that presence that makes me smile. And I hate how interactions are instantly labeled as either being picked up or not interested. I don’t understand why people can’t interact and learn about each other, care about each other… be with each other, in a moment, and have no expectations beyond that. Perhaps that’s too much to ask, but I’m going to keep valiantly trying for it.

Tomorrow I need to start planning the next leg of my journey. I definitely want to head back down to Savannah, and I’m waiting to hear back from Chas about whether or not I can annoy him and his wife for a bit, haha. 🙂 Stupidest birthday present he could have asked for! 😛



Reflections, Day 13

“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Then people are going to treat you better. You’re going to find, yes you will, that you’re as beautiful as you feel.”

– Carole King

Last night involved karaoke. I want everyone to take careful note of the spelling of the word “karaoke”.

AND… that’s all I have to say about that.

But really, I sang karaoke last night – “Real Live Woman” by Trisha Yearwood and “Forget About It” by Alison Krauss. First one was fun, second one kinda sucked, but ya live and ya learn.

My favorite lines from “Real Live Woman”:

“And I no longer justify
Reasons for the way that I behave
I offer no apologies
For the things that I believe and say
(And I like it that way)”

The best part was when I was in the grocery store today, and these two guys walk by the aisle I’m in, but then suddenly one stops and goes “karaoke!” So I turn to him and he says “You sang karaoke last night!” I said yes, agreeing, a little freaked out, but then he goes “You were amazing!”

Yeah, that sorta made my day. 🙂

So I’ve finally figured it out: this place is a plastic factory. There is a warehouse on the far eastern side of the island, tucked away behind lots of palm trees and a couple great white egrets, where there is a high output of Barbie doll-like creatures in the shape and form (and relative size) of human beings. They come out tanned and svelte and potentially wearing thongs.

Once I figured this convoluted conspiracy out, I started to feel immensely better about myself. At least I’m real, right? I’m sure there’s someone out there who can appreciate that.

Hm… perhaps? Haha.

I think it’s getting to be time to move on; I’m getting far too comfortable here. Or perhaps I’m uncomfortable? I can’t tell. All I know is that I’m definitely dealing with some serious self-confidence issues (but I suppose now is the time to get that over with) and my heart is being weird and defiant and basically annoying.

Panda is also in the car, and she’s pretty pissed about that. Maybe all these weird feelings I’m having are merely feelings of guilt about leaving her in the passenger seat this entire time in South Carolina.

* * *

Just got off the phone with Joshua. I probably shouldn’t write this because he’s most likely going to read it and he’s already SO full of himself, but he truly is amazing. I can’t recall a single time that I’ve walked away from an interaction with him and not been grinning from ear to ear.

Except for that time I poured my heart out to him (delicately, into little Saki cups) and he looked at the beating remnants of my heart, all poured for him, and he said “you call that poetry? you call that Love? you make me sick” and proceeded to throw the Saki cups to the floor, which was made of porcelain and lined with crystal, and my heart-pieces shattered across the ground and were left there bleeding.

Other than that one time, he always makes me smile, and I’m ridiculously grateful to have him in my life.

I still have a text I sent him a little while ago which said “You had me pegged from that first moment in the coffeehouse,” which, naturally, was in reference to what a bitch I am, but the beautiful thing is I still remember that moment so well. He had a guitar and long hair and a heartfelt smile and a joy that radiated from his fingertips. I adored him from the moment that I met him. 🙂

For someone so soulful and connected to God, he is also very open-minded, and hilarious as hell (yes I said hell deal with it Joshua). He grows on me the more I get to know him, and at the same time I feel like I could never know him enough. He inspires me to want to be a better person – and that is a rare feeling for me. Not too many people inspire such things from me, for I look around and find very little to be inspired by in others. Yet Joshua is layered and he is lovely, and I love him to pieces.

And that’s all I’m saying about that. I’m obviously drunk.

Fine I’m not drunk I haven’t had a drink in days but I need something to excuse this random bout of kindness and sincerity towards Joshua. Lord knows he doesn’t deserve it. 😛

I suppose it’s time for bed. I doubt that I will follow through with that idea, but seeing as it’s before midnight (for once) it might be a swell idea. However, having written the word ‘midnight,’ now I’m thinking I’ll read another chapter or two of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, since I need to truck on through it before I head back to Savannah.

Wild Wing Cafe, Savannah

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– The Velveteen Rabbit

Wasn’t going to write tonight, but figured that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be remaining honest to myself. Or to you.

The truth is, I’m relatively blue tonight (at least at the moment), which is probably a mix of drinking more than I usually drink (which doesn’t take much), being overwhelmed by slightly crazy people, and having my predominant insecurities careened back to the forefront of my heart.

Of course, it would be ridiculous to believe that I could just get in my car and drive, and magically leave all those things behind.

So I’m being honest here and writing a not-so- happy blog post. I don’t think I’m going to get in to much depth here; in fact, this could potentially be the last paragraph of the entry. I’m just trying to keep the whole thing real.

And the honest truth is that I had a wonderful night. It was amazing to spend time with Sarah – she really is a beautiful person and I felt closer to her than I have in my life. We went to Savannah, with all it’s squares and it’s history, and we hung out with and watched an amazing band, and I danced and laughed, and overall it was quite enjoyable.

I’m honestly not going to get into the things that are bumming me out right now – mostly because I’m so tired of talking about them. Furthermore, it seems that whenever I talk about them, I invariably find myself defending and rationalizing myself and my feelings, and I’m far too tired of doing such things.

So I will sit here with my feelings, nurturing them gently, because I’m tired of voicing them only to be momentarily placated by people’s kind words. Honestly – until I can hold myself as delicately as I hold others, and treat myself with that same respect, then this journey is only mine to take.

Good people, though. Man oh man. The band’s percussionist was this big teddy bear of a black guy, all cuddly and chocolate. He made me happy just to look at him. Whenever I got the opportunity to speak and joke with him, it was as though my heart was all happy. I keep thinking back on him, and his amazing talents on the bongo drums, and reminding myself that beautiful people and beautiful moments are definitely still ahead of me. I will persevere.

Oh yeah, and it’s currently 4:44 A.M.

Hilton Head, 3:30 AM

“We’re running around in circles; I’m chasing you.”

– Chris Bruno

The highlight of my day today was going for a walk (no, the walk itself was not the highlight, keep reading), in an attempt to take pictures, and instead getting my foot sucked into a boggy-ish swampy thing and losing my shoe. I was on the phone at the time, so freaked a little, hung up, and wondered what to do next.

I really like that shoe. It’s a sandal but a sneaker and it’s a skecher but more than that, it’s a…

Well, regardless, the next thing I knew I was on the ground, in my pretty blue dress, reaching my arm all the way down into a puddle of suction cup-like swampland. Perhaps not my most graceful moment, but it eventually got the job done.

I was glad to have my shoe back, but correspondingly covered in mud.

I decided to walk towards the beach, where I had been heading anyhow, figuring I could use one of the beach showers to clean up. Little did I realize it was happy hour, and the entire island population could apparently be found at The Tiki Hut, which was located directly in front of the showers.

Again, not my proudest moment.

It was all made worth it, however, by the two adorable children who looked at me and stepped aside from the showers, saying “oh, you need this more than us!” and continued to hold down the button so I could clean myself off. Then while I was washing my foot, the little boy said “I like your necklace,” which was a bit surprising coming from a young boy, but a compliment nonetheless. Then he started talking to me about this hermit crab he found, and I assured him that I could manage the button-pressing while he ran off to retrieve the little guy. At that moment, I knew a bunch of people from the beach bar were looking at the mess I had made of myself, but I didn’t care, since two beautiful children were sharing a moment with me.

Afterwards, I finally took a few beach pictures, then walked out towards the water a bit and received a phone call. It was from my mother’s cousin, Lisa, who lives in Georgia and wanted to talk about the possibility of me visiting her. I’ve only met her a couple times in my life, but we talked for over 30 minutes, and now I’m all giddy about spending time with her in the Georgia mountains, where they have property.

I decided to confront The Tiki Bar head on, and returned to purchase a drink. Yes, a drink. I figured I was on the beach, at Hilton Head, on an island, with sand and music and seagulls – I should order a drink. Of course, I knew no one, until the waitress recognized me from Sarah’s introduction the other day, and she made me feel more comfortable and put in a drink order. As she walked away, I noticed… okay, I noticed a delicious guy. At first I figured he was just the typical beach bod asshole, but then I noticed the group of friends he was sitting with – a silly, slightly awkward group, who definitely had plenty of signs hinting towards dorkiness and perhaps even intelligence. I tried being surreptitious, probably failing miserably, and eventually decided to simply sit somewhere near his table and look at my pictures.

As I turned on my camera, however, the only girl at the table made a comment about what a nice camera I had, then hit her boyfriend as he proceeded to stare, which is apparently rude if you’re from Indiana – which they were! Haha, that last line sounds even more ridiculous if you could hear the way I said it in my head. Thank goodness this isn’t a video blog.

Anyhow… before I know it, I’m invited to join their table. I was especially convinced when yummy boy smiled and patted the chair beside him.

Overall, I was proud of myself for putting myself out there, and encouraged by the actions of others to start believing in humanity once more.

And really sad that somehow in the shuffle of saying goodbye, I lost yummy boy. Alas, life goes on.

Ob-la-di. Ob-la-da.

I recovered from the loss of yumminess and quirky smiles and adorable sunglasses and rumply hair, and made it over to Wild Wings, where Sarah was working all day and night. It ended up being an enjoyable evening. The band that was playing, the Lloyd Dobler Effect (lloyddoblereffect.com), was a*m*a*z*i*n*g, and I was fine with admiring them from afar, but in the end we all ended up laughing and hugging, and I’m going down to Savannah tomorrow with Sarah to watch them play again.

I don’t know… I’ve listened to a lot of mediocre bands in my time (haha, i’m such a grandma), but very few of them actually connect strongly with me. This band – their lyrics, from the very start, were just beautiful (they worked ‘innocence’ and ‘decadence’ – I mean really now). The lyrics were poignant, and they were poetry, and I couldn’t help but admire their ability, through both words and vocal effect, to take the soul someplace else, even if only for a moment.

I’m a dork. And I’m thinking there isn’t a single person in that bar tonight who would be like “dude, exactly man” to what I just said, but I’m still standing behind it. 😛

Plus, on top of their delicious music, they were GOOD people. As in – GENUINE, and authentic, and humorous, and cuddly. Okay, I don’t know if they were actually cuddly, but it’s a good supposition to make.

It’s 3:30 in the A.M.

Enough of this madness.


“She walked into my life last night
Then she walked out just about half past three.
Though it was innocent and decadent, I must confess
Sometimes these things are never meant to be.

There ain’t nothing like a stranger looking out for you
To make you feel like you’re at home.
And ain’t it something when she’s someone sweet and beautiful
And you don’t spend the night alone.”

– Phil Kominski

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Consider the strange feelings gone, thank goodness. Of course, my mind still feels a little fuzzy (am I still tipsy from those two drinks 40 hours ago? haha) and my heart is still a bit achy, but it’s all good. I’m alive and willing to keep on living.

Always a good sign.

Another smoothie by my side, I’m recovering from an arduous day of shopping and laying on the beach. I have more of a tan (or is it just a burn line?) than I’ve had in my life, and it’s only been two days. I sort of don’t want to leave – the atmosphere here is so relaxed and warm. I definitely feel “on vacation” here. Sarah works a lot, and I sort of tinker about on my own, which is fine with me, since I’m comfortable by myself. I also don’t feel (too) weird or awkward being myself with her, which is a relief. Sarah has always been one of those people who can get along with anybody, and I honestly believe she barely ever has a truly negative thought about anyone; she’s so loving and accepting.

Started reading “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” today, as preparation for my trip to Savannah. I was concerned about how I was going to experience Savannah in a way that would be inspiring and transporting, but then I remembered couchsurfing, and sent out a couple emails. Hopefully I’ll get a response, and someone to help me see the city. Perhaps even a couch to crash on.

I think I burned the top of my head. I always burn the top of my head.



Disconnection, Day 9

Feeling disconnected today. That feeling where I’m here but my heart is elsewhere and my mind is hithertoforth and my breath is wherewithal…

If you know what I mean.

Just drank a delicious smoothie, which made everything a little bit better. Even though the tip of my tongue hurts. I think I burned it. No, not with the smoothie. Silly.

I have that listless, slightly befuddled, slightly hopeless feeling. I just get this way sometimes, most likely due to my over-analysis of every little thing, and my ability (or is it a curse?) to feel everything perhaps just a tad too acutely.

I’m just going to keep myself on the road, and eventually I’ll find my way. A door will open and I’ll peak inside, and suddenly be giddy with what lays ahead. I simply need to accustom myself to not always knowing what I’m doing, or where I’m going, or how I’m going to get there.

I miss love; I do. I miss the giddy feelings, I miss the grabbing and the kissing and the feeling that the sky is closer than the earth and the earth is closer than my dreams and my dreams are living, breathing entities I can touch and kiss and pull close to my body.

I have so much love to give. And I realize that one day I will have the opportunity to give it, honorably and completely, and (hopefully) to someone worthy of such love.

I’m hoping that Chas doesn’t mind my quoting of a message he sent me on Writer’s Cafe, but I feel the need to post it here, perhaps simply to remind myself of his words.

“I think what I’m hinting at is the same thing I always say when I review your works: Your essence is beautiful. It’s not just that you **have** a gift; you **are** a gift. We’re so lucky to have someone as genuine and artistic and thoughtful as you; I can’t say all the things that you’ve shown me in the two years since I’ve joined Writer’s Cafe (today’s my 2 year “anniversary”, actually). You just capture things with a different essence altogether than I could even think about enjoying.

So thank you. For everything. :)”

The sweetest thing ever. It made my morning to read it. I’ve received messages and had conversations with people lately that have been really inspiring and encouraging. Which is so important right now; if I was doing this all on my own, I would definitely have many more moments of weakness.

What’s next? Not sure. Georgia, then perhaps Florida, perhaps Tennessee. Maybe I’ll stay here for a few more days. I honestly have no idea. I guess partly because I need to allow this feeling to pass. And I wouldn’t mind a nice tan before I went anywhere else, haha. Replace the pasty white ghost look I’m currently sportin’. 😛



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