Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Last.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The First.

Happy Hanukkah

Sunday, December 14, 2014


The tourists were nowhere to be seen on the beach today. The icy wind greeted the locals who were drawn to the beach by the clear, sunny weather.

I was fascinated with the winter surf. The waves were glorious with the bitter wind pulling their very surface into itself. I'm sure I heard the wind laughing with its effort.

I cannot seem to ever watch the waves crashing with any lack of interest. Each one is unique in formation and termination. And as the cycle of waves builds and eddies from smaller to robust, I am thrilled again at the power and drive with which the water is flung upon the shore. The sound makes my heart swell. The light revealing the water's character as each wave is helplessly drawn skyward will repeatedly draw my close attention.

I am compelled to try, once again, to capture its essence - the essence of a moment that will never be exactly repeated, only enacted time and time again.

The sneaker waves were mighty sneaky on Damon Point this weekend. The mean winter tide has again taken what it felt it was owed from the land. Sand had washed up on what was left of a paved entrance used years ago and long since given up as a sacrifice. There was once a Snowy Plover nesting ground in this area, too, but no more. One more winter and the bordering campground will have to admit defeat of a portion what it thought was safe.

It makes me wonder why the city, or even state, doesn't find priority with saving property by building seawalls, similar to other threatened shoreline (like Seaside, Oregon). The cost surely could be justified, especially when resorts are facing great loss and a public highway will have to, once again, be rerouted to higher ground. It would seem that there are fixes that actually work; however, simply dumping large rocks and debris in the tides way only seems to be a challenge instead of a hindrance to the destructive tide.

But, I suppose those issues are not for me to concern myself - I will leave it to those far smarter than myself.

the snow-covered Olympics in the distance

For now, I need to concentrate on finishing my research final for religion class...

...as the birds play in the wind and dodge the spray.
Lucky them.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Chilly December Stroll at the Jetty


Cormorants off in the distance


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Sweet Re-acquaintance (aka So Glad to be Home)

“To be or not to be that is the question. 
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, 
or take arms against a sea of troubles, 
and by opposing, end them.”
 ~William Shakespeare

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. 
So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's 
and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” 
 ~Dave Barry

Even a fool knows you can't touch the stars, 
but it doesn't stop the wise from trying.

"Endurance is nobler than strength and patience than beauty.” 
 ~John Ruskin

“How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? 
Yet the river flows on” 
 ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.” 
 ~Helen Keller

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” 
~Rabindranath Tagore

“If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone.” 
~John Maxwell

“The destroyer of weeds, thistles, and thorns 
is a benefactor whether he soweth grain or not” 
~Robert Green Ingersoll

The sea is as near as we come to another world. 
 ~Anne Stevenson

He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. 
 ~George Herbert

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So Thankful

So thankful for wide open spaces, 

and fresh air, 

for indescribable beauty, 

for raw power and majesty, 

and colors that take your breath away. 

So very thankful for love, 

and peace, 

and hope, always.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A good place to reflect.

Reflection allows one to look at things in a different way. Somehow stepping outside yourself to view the reflection from another perspective. When we look at ourselves in a mirror, we get to see what others see of us. Well, mostly, anyway.

In cinematography, to see a reflection in a scene alerts the viewer of the reality of the matter, despite the script and actions of the players (an interesting technique used in mystery films, most notably by famous mystery director Alfred Hitchcock). One could go so far as to say that reflections are useful and necessary to get outside our limited perspective.

I feel the distinct need to reflect my current circumstance, as it stands. From inside my head, it seems extremely overwhelming - almost unbearable, at times. However, I'm sure it will seem diminished in intensity when it is over.
Fall semester is just about complete. In fact, there are 12 more actual class days for the Greek class, and far less for my religious class. A brief presentation and a culminating paper are all that are left for what has been an highly interesting and enjoyable upper-division  religion class. When I signed up for Church History with a focus on Women Reformers, it was really my second choice behind a course on the Eastern Orthodox Church. But, I have been so very pleased with this professor and the readings assigned in this course. I looked forward to the lectures, and the personality of the prof made it so worthwhile and memorable.

As for Greek class...to say its intense would be a pretty extreme understatement. It was billed as an "intensive Greek course," but was still supposed to be suitable for beginners. And, it was the only way to take Greek (as well as Latin), as the Classics Department was not offering these languages in a two-semester style, but rather this two-semester's worth of study crammed into one semester. I can tell you that this has not been a productive first-exposure to ancient Greek for me. It is most unfortunate that, in the rush of studying a chapter a day (it is a 5-day a week class for 8 credits), I have missed some foundational pieces of the Greek language puzzle. Most of the others in the class have had previous foreign language training, and even though I had 'studied' Hebrew for close to a decade, I was in no way prepared for this type of language study. It would have been a bit better if the textbook was more user-friendly (especially for beginners), but it is not...in fact, it is a respected text known as being the toughest but most comprehensive in the field of ancient Greek language study. It is most unfortunate for me (and my fellow students) that this expensive text would only be helpful if we already had a working ability within the language. In addition to all that, there are close-to-daily quizzes to encourage memorization. For me, all it encouraged was test-anxiety and destructive stress making it difficult to get to class every day. Even the prof is showing signs of the strain as we near the end of the term (in my view). In the final analysis, I will come out with a year of Greek on my transcript, a somewhat-ability to translate ancient Greek text as long as I have all my 'helps' at my side, including several Greek dictionaries, both English-Greek and Greek-English, as well as my many, many lists of supposed-to-be memorized word endings, prefixes, noun declinations and verb conjugations. Oh G-d, will I be glad when this class is completed!

As if that wasn't enough, we are moving. Yes, right in the middle of all this mandated study, the whole house is turned upside-down in the preparation for moving to another rental. The move will enable us to get away from a toxic landlord situation. But, I fear I will need those Zanax pills that are floatin' around in our medicine stash before it is done! I don't have to tell anyone how moving is a giant upheaval, right? I do like the rental we are moving into, and it is not owned by an individual landlord, but a profession property management company. This is a benefit because if there is any problems, we are protected as tenants by the landlord-tenant laws of the state. What we didn't know was that we were not covered with our current rental situation because the landlord did not own more than 8 properties. *shaking head* Can I just say that we will NEVER again find ourselves at the mercy of a landlord without legal recourse? Most people don't know about this small detail of the law, but tenant beware! If you are renting from a landlord with less than 8 rental properties, you as the tenant have no recourse in the case of dishonesty, slander, or fraud, except to take them to small claims court. And, I have heard (from a reliable source - the Tenants Union) that judges just don't have much time nor respect for these types of cases. Sheesh. But, I am so thankful that a management firm was willing to take us on as tenants despite the slanderous report of our former landlord. So very thankful. Onward and upward.

Awareness is a good thing. And, I gain more awareness every day. Awareness of how much I can take at school. Awareness of the difference between what I expected when contemplating university and the reality of attending. Awareness of how to stay out of bad landlord situations. Awareness of my own sensitivities and introverted tendencies, and how it is perceived (or not even noticed) by others. Awareness of the needs that I put aside for the comfort and benefit of others. Awareness of time passing and of my drive for perfection. And although all this awareness is good, I am searching for a way to deal with it all...a place to put it where it won't overtake me.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
whom shall I fear? 
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; 
of whom shall I be afraid? 
When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— 
my adversaries and foes— 
they shall stumble and fall. 
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; 
though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. 

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: 
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, 
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. 

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; 
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. 
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, 
and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; 
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! 
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” 
Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. 
Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. 
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O G-d of my salvation! 
If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. 
Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, 
for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence. 
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
~Psalm 27

I am well aware that I give all of my time away to others. I don't get much time to write for pleasure these days - all my writing is done at the will of someone else and for critique. I do miss writing for pleasure. Spending time in reflection is necessary, indeed...and a vital part of writing for me. Through writing, sanity is regained - perspective is centered. A little time stolen to reflect, write and to be alone to recharge is not nearly enough, but it will have to suffice for now.
And, I am so very thankful for it.