Like a River


Life has so many turns, like the bends of a river. You may be cooking along good and smooth and then the jagged rocks from the bottom are suddenly boulders and you can’t get through without getting cut. Then perhaps you’re paddling and then it starts winding sharply and you have to hold on really tight as well as paddle for fear of tipping. Maybe there is white water ahead and you’re doing lamaze breathing so you can make it through, unscathed. In any case, life is the river. You’re in it through thick or thin, so tighten that life preserver.

It’s been an emotional and lovely last five days. I was exposed to more love and kindness from the people that have known me forever, and some only a little time passed to make us fast friends. I have done enough work on myself to start breathing through the sometimes excruciating discomfort of being loved by other “grown ups.” I know that sounds like madness, but it is hard for me to understand. People kept complimenting me and I was like “who are they talking about? Oh. Me. Ok.”

I know how to let children love me, because we are the same. But I have to work every day at letting adults love me, and tell me they love me, and just accept it. I had a little gathering in the park down the street from the school, for whomever could attend, and it was full of grace and laughter. I went to the saloon after to get tacos, and there was laughter and communion over food and beer and shared life experiences.

This time, being alone and finally on my last stretch of moving my entire existence to another state, I naturally cried about 1/2 the way. I made myself a playlist of about 200 songs and I just let them do what I wanted them to do. The music helped me release all kinds of pent up pain and tension that I haven’t been able to let go of over the last 6 weeks due to tasks, and well, avoidance.

Music can be the antidote to so many things. I listened and smiled, yelled, cried, rolled the windows down, talked to myself, prayed. I did all the things I could do in my head and in my heart, driving home.

This is one of my favorite songs lately. And the video is amazing. But I do happen to have my own car as I’m heading out changing my life. I think she is amazing. <3
Her song Last Hurrah is intense.
I get you, lady.
This is one of my favorite songs from college. And it was an anthem today.

Whatever happens to me in my new life, is what is meant to be. I am just listening to signs and watching for the best next step.

I tell myself: “I am strong. I am capable. I have a heart full of love.”

Even if I don’t know how to accept acceptance and love without getting twitchy, I do want it. I want all the connections and friendships and relationships that are waiting for me.

When I was in my old classroom yesterday, a place that was my home away from home for four of my last five years at Central Linn. It was my home during a divorce and ending of an intense love affair. It was always there for me, and the people that were part of that place. They all always showed up for me. And all I could do was show up for work sometimes. Sometimes all I had in me was reading a lesson straight out of the teacher’s guide and handing out a lot of fuzzies (token economy in Kindergarten) so behaviors wouldn’t rise when my sadness did.

They forgave me every time. And let me be her, the me I needed to be. I don’t know how to ever repay that, but the thing is, I don’t have to repay it. That’s because real love is offered with no strings.

It would be so much easier for me to give a few bucks, or food, or rake someone’s yard. To have a tangible exchange for love and support. Somehow, no matter how loving and beautiful my parents were, I still grew up thinking that I was just tolerable as a person and I’m still unlearning that.

I promise I’m not running away to Montana because people love me in Oregon. But initially, when I was planning my next steps, I genuinely wanted to get far away. I now am seeing this as the opportunity to live in high altitude and breathe the air of the mountains, which is connected to me like my blood. And to reboot myself. Get back to my real self.

My music mix was called “REBOOT.” And that is it. I’m past the complete system shut down I had earlier up this year. Now I’ve rebooted and am following one step of code at a time.

It will all become clear as it needs to.


  1. So, the Tracy Chapman made me instantly start crying, too.
    Be brave. Carry on. Cry whenever tears come. It’s a long road toward becoming.

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