Sunday, January 5

Horse Ridge

treaded towards the very center of the sun
up and up 
because when we reached the sun
a sermon sung on winter
the hot on cold, it hurt my eyes
when suddenly in haste, it ran, ran fast
and we rolled to catch it, and you faster than I
miles ahead, I watched you chase the edge of the sun.
while around me, the cold, it spread
all around me, the fast cold
I was alone 
for a pretty while, you and the sun, faster than I
I was nearing the sun, but could never quite catch it.
in the cold, I hid from the wheelers
in the cold, I kicked the cans
until I reached you and the very bottom of the sun.

Saturday, October 26


It's supposed to rain on our wedding day.
Not just any type of raining.  A howling, freezing rain.  Just warm enough not to snow, but cold enough to chill you to the tailbone. Cold enough where you look at each other and mouth, "Oh my g-g-god."

It is literally sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, all through November.  And then the day before our day, the storm will roll in.  It will roll across the desert, or perhaps it will puddle, my friends and loved ones a bowl of soup.  And two days after the wedding, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, all of the rest of the month.  

I once heard the quote, "Neither you or your disappointment is caused by the rain."

With that said, I can't help but feel the well in my chest after viewing the little sunshine cliparts turn to silver daggers across my screen.  This is disappointment in the raw, my clever details on wet paper.  I knew this idea would be abstract, but that was the way it had to be.  It's the only thing that really made sense to me.  Laying in my bed, my angst a heavy blanket, I try to call Duncan.  He is asleep, fast asleep.  I sent a little woe-is-me text to my maid of honor, and she is quick to call me at 11:47pm.  As my sister just put it, "This day called out to you guys. It had to be this day."  But this day was supposed to be the idea that defeated all odds, a warmer cold, a cool clear sky.  We have just put in so much work, especially our parents, and it's been so warm.  The last 30 days at least, have been indian summer.

Oh and how it's about to turn.  And all I can do is stand my ground, rise to it and blow it down.

I have gone into lots of little trinkety shops in the last couple weeks.  Searching for a cake topper that I can picture pulling out of a box up high someday.  I'm always thinking long term, thinking of the reaction, not so much the happening itself.  I don't picture it on the cake, I picture my future grandchildren pulling it out of a box.  May sound like an enduring trait, but it's actually a habit in my head I've come to loathe entirely.  I wish I could switch the gears in my soul to rotate the opposite direction, so I can pick out a cake topper that would just look nicely with the cake, simply and beautifully, and it would be done.  

I have averaged this repeating conversation about 2-3 times a day, and it is becoming pretty regular:

Shopmaker: "Where are you getting married?"
Me: "In the desert."
Shopmaker: Face of complete shock.  Pause.  For five seconds.  Then, "That is so, risky.  That is so amazing though."

And that's what I thought.  There is a fire in my heart that wants to marry him in the desert, and all the people I love packed around us in the desolate.  Stuffed with warm food, dancing drunk in the middle of nowhere, and seeing everyone's faces rosy from laughter.  And everyone knows it might snow, or maybe perhaps soaked with rain.  But they will be warmed by the bonfire, pocket whiskey, and awful dance moves.  But man, it will be cold.  At least I really hope they know.  And even though I have faith in most everyone's traveling competence, I hope not a single person will make the journey to Central Oregon if it is too dangerous.  Our hearts will miss you wholey, but will thaw.  I hope everyone's okay that the tent might blow across the plain.

Between reading a less than what I dreamt weather forecast and a fiance with a freshly broken ankle, I have found myself looking out the window into the dark and questioning why, me?  Why us?  Why now?  But then I think, of course.  And thank God.  Because these things, they are just okay, okay?  Think of all the things that really could be wrong.  But don't think of those, because who could want to?  Even though there are nicks and forthcoming storms, we are harbored.  

I wonder why I search for a caketopper when there may be 10 people there thanks to closed highways (and with that, about 150 steaks in abundance).  10 whole, freezing people may see our cake topper.  I just keep going about things like we are having an early summer wedding in a warm safe shelter. I keep believing that the best memories I have were ones that involved the crazy weather, a hint of fear, slight unpreparedness, and love in my heart.  I am literally delirious, but I'm not allowed to completely know yet.

Wednesday, July 31


I wonder why some of our greatest, creative ideas come to us when we are jittery on very little sleep, or when we are incredibly sunk in dreamland.  I don't understand why I think with the most color, right on the cusp of fatigue.  As the clock ticks, layers of my brain are shaved away like clay, exposing some sort of secret rare inventiveness.  But then I wake in the morning to encounter what I've written, painted, created (even if just in my mind while I stared into the dark) the night before, I will without a doubt justify my 1AM intentions to be illogical or too weird.   I wake up, and I'm a refreshed as a culminated adult, viewing the world through sterile, filtered judgement.  How many of my ideas or dreams have escaped through the cracks of consciousness and sleep, I wonder.    

Wednesday, July 17


Behind the scenes in the studio of Joni Kabana - PDX. 

Monday, July 8

Duncan and I headed up to Wasco Lake on July 2nd to beat the heat.  Going on about a week of solid 100+ degree days, our goal was to find some cool water to anchor in for awhile.  We packed up tons of junk food, one blow-up innertube, a fishing pole, sunscreen, and bug spray and drove through the trees for a couple hours until we made it to the trailhead.  We took a little detour to check out Camp Sherman, a neat little woodsy village near the head of the Metolius.  At the lot, while filling out one of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness's hot new scantron permits, I ran into my friend Sam from college.  He's the head of the backcountry crews for the area, and we talked for 10 minutes or so about his upcoming wedding in Bend, fires, the upcoming season.  As I said farewell to him and about a dozen crew members as they headed down the trail with their crosscuts, surrounded by a conflicting aura of angst and excitement, I felt my heart beat to be a wilderness ranger again.  After Duncan and I reflected for a few more minutes on trails crew memories like it was the good old days, we hit the dusty trail.

u can click the photos to make em bigger.

It took us a little over an hour to reach the lake, running into the crew once more as they practiced misery-whip safety over one of the hundreds of fallen trees on the trail.  It added some extra adventure hopping and playing limbo every few minutes.   The trail meandered through burn, which is pretty typical for this area, and there were tons of these awesome, huge white flowers.  Probably weeds, but thought they were beautiful.  For some reason this song came to my head as we were hiking through them.  The flowers were like loyal white knights guarding the forest. All the kings horses, all the kings men. 

After an instant layer of bug spray, coated with a layer of sunscreen, we blew up the floatie and took turns letting the wind take us to the center of the lake.  I kinda hogged the innertube most of the day, it was so nice, I kept blaming the wind and the current for being too strong for me to paddle back to shore.

I would holler, "Hey, Dunk!  You wanna try for awhile?" and he would say "Naaaw!" as he swatted mosquitos.  When I finally floated closer to our picnic spot, I noticed the real reason he had lost interest in swimming.  He's been nerding, I mean NERDING out on birds ever since he took this birding class at COCC, it makes me laugh so much.  He was trying to identify the swallow he saw fly over earlier.  I kept thinking how much I love that mega-dork while he hunched over on a log, reading about birds when he could be swimming with me and my blue bikini.  Finally, we found a way to share the innertube, which was frightening, each kinda half-cocooning on this one measly donut.  We made it about 100 ft out in the lake while I paddled and he kicked, until we saw "dark shadows" aka lake monsters lurking below which led to a story from Duncan about a snake he saw ON the water earlier.  We got our cold water fix, we were done.

Then we packed up and headed down the trail, because we wanted to be back in time to help our new friends Kyle and Emily make 50 pounds of home-made sausage.  This was important to us, as this was alot of sausage to make for an order they received and we wanted to help.  We had two options on the way home, to take the trail we came, or to take a separate trail that was only one extra mile.  The new trail was called Canyon Creek Meadows trail and looped back around to the trailhead, and we guessed would give us a mountain view of Three Fingered Jack, and we decided to take it.  We figured we'd make it back with plenty of time.

This trail, oh my sweet baby cheez'its.  It was soooo beautiful!  It gradually climbed up and up alongside the clearest, bluest creek I've seen in some time.

As we trekked along, we landed in the most spectacular field of wildflowers at the junction.  We were high on the mountain air and scenery, and TF Jack was starting to show-off more and more.

We were nearly to the base of it, and we were intrigued by the continuing trail that would clearly take us closer.  The mountain was so majestic, I just wanted to touch it with my bare hands.

After some funny wipe-outs as we crossed snow drifts in tennis shoes, we made it up as far we could go to the edge of the snow line.  We sat on a rocky outcrop and I closed my eyes and filled my lungs with the shivery air, the wind cooling my sunburn and skeeter bites.  We were out of water, but just kinda sat their and invited the minor discomfort to make us feel more rugged, dangerous.  There was snow all around and we were 5 miles in, and we followed a creek up, but whatever we were bad-ass.  Water, pssh.

But then on the way down we got really thirsty, so Duncan suggested to run ahead and filter some water.  His filter is slower than playing tag on the moon, so I told him I would catch up.  I've got a bum knee with my old age, and I had blisters. Plus I wrassled with a tree branch and it won, whipper-snapped me right in the thigh!  Plus I was thirsty.  I had multiple justified reasons to take my time.  This was a video I took before he headed down the hill, and I love thinking that maybe he was thinking about what was going to happen soon and I had no idea!

As I made it to the junction, there Duncan was sitting by the creek.  He had already filled our water bottles, and was sitting there sweetly.  The sun was just going down, creating little heavenly rays on all the wildflowers, glistening the stream.  "Wooooow!"  I said, as I happily sandwiched my complaint of blisters between expressions of awe.  This was seriously the most beautiful trail I've been on in sometime, and I was just flying high off of it.  So happy and distracted by the waves of colorful flowers, green grass, hobbly trees, I snapped a quick photo of him, and the flowers.

And then he snapped a photo of me, snapping a photo of him.  What a happy special seashell I am.

Then Duncan stood up, walked over to me, held my face in his hands, and said, "Talia, will you marry me?"
And I could see me in this eyes.  I had never seen them so bright and so blue.  They were so bright, I said yes,  and I melted.  Duncan had to scoop me up, and then I melted again. And then we hugged, for a really long time.  And then we stood there in the field of wildflowers, prayed together for awhile in the golden evening sun.

We didn't make it back in time to make sausage, and our friends understood.  I kept looking at him ahead of me as we walked out of the wilderness and followed him home.  That's the guy I'm going to marry, and he wants to care for me.  We are going to laugh so much!  Maybe we'll travel places and get lost in all the best ways ever!  Thank you Lord for this beautiful friend o' mine and this little memory for my heart.

Sunday, July 7

A shape produced by a curve that bends around and crosses on itself.

So this is the beginning.  To many things.  Moreover, the end to others.  Things loop high and low, loop-de-loo, back around, twist, and come back around, loop again.  But for the first time in a very long time, I feel I'm able to grip the handlebars and hold on, and my body is weightless as I fly on this ride.  The kinda feeling when you are on a swing ride at the carnival.  You fly in circles, viewing the same things over and over again, but every time you fly over a section, you see things new, or differently.   The world is sharp, vivid, and exciting and no one even has to know I'm watching.  

The day after I finally left a gray, principle-eating job, life presented me with some pretty colorful doors to open.  I am involved in an internship with a magazine that I have loved for a very long time, with content that rings home.  All about Oregon, it's amazing people, their tiny beautiful talents, and where they wanderlust.  The people I work with are so nice, so cool, I don't know how to be.  I've had to remember how to be, after working under individuals who wouldn't ever let me be me.  I find myself in a place where I'm obnoxiously grateful for even being listened to, my ideas valued, and the biggest challenge has been to tone it down a bit.  My previous work environment was so toxic, and the people at the magazine remind me of who I was before I got all weathered.  So far, the experience has been journey into coming into my brightness again.  I remember this girl hiding deep inside, who is comfortable, smart, and confident.  I am remembering the feeling of worthiness, and learning to be patient as I come back into myself.   

I start writing again, today.  Wish I was hip enough to actually write, but I type a heck of alot faster!  I contributed to my naturalist blog for the last year, but it is no longer mine, and I need somewhere to foster my thoughts.  The reason I began to write again is because a few days ago, my best friend asked me to marry him, and I never ever want to forget the story.  Never, ever, nope.  

Tuesday, April 16

Don't Drift Too Far

We are the blood inside the man, rivers flowing to and from
The mouth of the mighty ghost, to the eyes of the setting sun.
Its heart to beat for the land the sky, and things that go unseen
Due time may we come to know, to see these things we do not see.

My love, she walks a tight rope.
If she falls, she’ll fly, I know this to be true.
But if she reaches the other side, she’ll climb even higher
Than the crescent moon.