Better Late than Never, That’s How it Works around Here

We are already 10 days into 2013. A year ago I left for Australia on this date. How I ache when I recall the fantastic memories from that trip. This year I am fighting a cold in the freezing cold in inverted air that is more polluted than Beijing. Seriously, we are down right cold and dirty. I haven’t driven anywhere in three days, it hurts me to breathe outside. The frozen pollution particulates feel like sandpaper scrubbing my throat. Before Christmas, before the air got turned inside out, we took a family adventure to Cozumel. That is the fifth time in two years that I have been there. The first for the boys. And I’m not kidding that we had to beg to get them to go. What young adult turns their parents down for an all expense paid trip to the Mayan Riviera? Apparently my children. I tell you, the way I thought I was going to be as a mother and how my family is turning out is nothing like I imagined. But once we arrived they were incredibly grateful and enjoyed themselves. Chase passed his Nitrox course. Land found the skatepark. The diving together was great until one day Land took a stroll down the beach to take photos and was bit quite severely by a stray dog. In Mexico. Aribe. We had to trust the doctor that there is no incidence of rabies on the island. He had to load up on antibiotics and ibuprofen. He gathered major sympathy from the other young adults who were vacationing with the parents. And so he just rested and partied and whatever while the rest of us dove. It is always something. We made it back to Utah and drove to my dad’s on Christmas Eve. We stayed up quite late and slept in and prepared ourselves a delicious Christmas brunch. It was glorious and sunny. Overall a good holiday. We are trying to back away from extreme gift-giving… we’ve been extremely guilty of that in the past. This year I found Chase a rare book and a bargain down jacket. Land was gifted a bargain wool peacoat and I found film and a battery for his 1968 Polaroid Land Camera. Yeah I was a hit. Double digits was all I spent on their holiday outlay. (oops, that doesn’t include the beach week) Well, happy New Year. I’m still trying to understand all the features of this new blog format. Big ideas at the beginning of the year. Baby steps, baby steps.

It’s Not Always Black & White

2013 is finally here. Hooray. So many things I would like to accomplish in the fresh start months. I am beginning, yet again, a new blog. I wanted to set it up myself. Learn some basic coding or at least attempt to figure out the jargon. I kept waiting for it to be done before I went online. But alas, there is no there, there. And so it will evolve and change as I uncover new meanings and techniques. I call it do-ology. A play on my initials and the act of doing, and the connectedness of ecology. I’ve always thought is was clever. Years ago I constructed and sold these little paint tables for toddlers – the pseudo company was called do-ology and I guess it stuck… or is growing or evolving or at the least moving in some direction. I have been exploring computers and art. Experimenting with video-making (attempts are valiant, but not brilliant) and illustrating in Illustrator, and photographing in Photoshop. I wanted to create a colorful “logo” for the blog header. I put that bird on it, a magpie to be precise. Made me laugh and remember Portlandia “put a bird on it.” But the stubborn shadowy magpie kept insisting to stay. My sisters and dad and I usually are keenly aware of the presence of birds and how we feel my mother’s energy is expressed to us here in the physical world through those flying wonders. Throughout the spring and summer the magpies clung to my yard. I observed their haughty behavior. I relished the sun glimmers of navy and green. I discovered they are not just black and white. I began to look forward to seeing them. Their stark contrasting coloring reminded me of football teams and band suits, and mascots. The loudness and chaos of the game. I have one of my mother’s Super Bowl sweatshirts, bold and bright like that. Although, she was elegant and stylish she did have a casual uniform consisting of football jumpers. I think of my mother when I see magpies. Strange I know, but what are you going to do. She was persistent and beautiful and always there to pick up the scraps and pieces that I left in my growing up jet stream. I wrote about the magpies last summer:

Deep black and snow-washed white, definitive, not a touch of grey garnishes my hollow bones. I am contradiction. I’m indifferent to the black and white terms you define me. Light reflects iridescent green and blue, sky and tree, from my darkened secret-society feathers. My voice is a caw, caw, caustic song. Shudder inducing. Magpie is my name. I have no innate need to demonstrate my delicate, or not so, ways of wind walking. I’ll leave that for hummingbird or hawk as they navigate the swell skies gathering the approval of you earth bound dwellers. I’m content to hop and caw and peck and water-bath fluff my feathers while the show-offs dance the sky. And as they perform I’ll forage food, pick at ticks left groping on dead carcasses and chase away the beautiful posers. I’ll sort your greasy garbage and flit-fly the territory of your yard terrain unconcerned with timetables or acceptable definitions of bird flight. I am magpie. Definitive Contradiction.

Changes are plenty with the coming of 2013. What are you hopeful to implement in the New Year? I want to be more mindful and remember it is not all black and white.