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Archive for the ‘Fire’

Ode To A Woodstove

January 07, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Faith, Fire, Food, Happiness, Health, House, iPhone, Living, Meditation, Unemployment, Valet Battleship Parking, Yoga

This coming March I will have been unemployed for one full year, the longest I’ve ever been unemployed. And so, I straighten the books on my coffee table.

There are “prospects” of jobs on the horizon, but there have been for almost all of the last nine months, and so I vacuum, and vow that when I come into my house from outside from now until Spring, I will change from sandy/snowy hiking boots to slippers so I don’t track mud everywhere.

Every day I troll the interwebs for a job suitable for someone who wants to stay in the town where she lives and not have a commute longer than two hours, and so I jump rope, do yoga, and meditate to keep from going insane. The thinking is that taking this time to “improve” myself in other ways will somehow show the universe that I’m worthy of employment. “See? I just lost three pounds, and I don’t as angry as I used to! Hire me!”


The one thing I can actually pride myself on is that I haven’t actually gone crazy in this time, but yesterday nearly brought me to it… I went to the Apple Store to participate in a “hiring seminar.” The exercise was fun, for the most part, but the overall feeling from the group of applicants was buzzing desperation. We were all ages and all freaking out. This was, for most of us, it felt like, The Last Resort. Retail. Yes, I am applying for a job as a “Creative”–someone who teaches customers how to use Macs and their associated programs–but I think in order to ascend to that lofty position you have to “work the floor” for a few weeks, or maybe even months. I did retail. The Hard Rock Cafe. In my early 20s. The honeymoon wore off quick then and I don’t think I can resurrect the love for it today. That said, if they call, what choice do I have…?

This time of economic depression, like the famous one before it decades ago, will be marked by the bodies and souls it leaves behind. If it’s assumed that most of us will come through this one alive, it’s also possible that many will be letting go of pieces of ourselves that, whether sentimental or destructive, good or bad, given our new weaknesses will simply be too heavy to carry into the next phase of our lives, a phase that will begin with us nervously rebuilding our senses of self. I can already feel that creeping in to me. Yesterday, during the seminar, I was in my element–I understand Macs and their software, own an iPhone and iPod, a Cinema display–but despite this couldn’t help but feel that the woman who was co-running the seminar along with a male counterpart had a thing against me. Every time I spoke up or answered a question when they asked for responses from the group she glared at me disapprovingly or dismissively, I couldn’t decide which. Now, was all this in my head? The damage left by nearly twelve months of self-esteem-crushing unemployment? Or did this chick really just hate me without knowing me? These days every little reaction from a stranger in a position to alter the course of my life sends me into a stock car race of abusive self-analysis. And so I chop up wood in my workroom and reposition the hand-me-down leather sofas in the hope that soon I’ll feel relaxed enough to sit by the fire…

Civic Duty, Fire Watching and the Malignment of “Possessions”

October 23, 2007 By: admin Category: Faith, Fire, Health, Mom

For those of you who were living under a rock for the past couple of days, Southern California has been engulfed from several angles by brush fires. Most were accidents, but one was arson. One of the really bad ones was arson.


All day I was in jury duty, waiting to be called and watching the news like a hawk hoping the winds wouldn’t blow my way – toward my house. I’ve never lost precious possessions in a disaster and don’t imagine I would take it well, especially if it was any of Mom’s stuff. I can even see losing all my cameras and not getting as weepy as I would over M’s piano–the 7-foot concert grand that we can’t lift.

Possessions often get a bad wrap. Several religions say we shouldn’t be tied to any THING. But what if that thing represents all you have of a part of yourself. There’s no crime in attaching joy to something. That’s the way I see it, and so today I glory a little bit in some of the things I own. I’ve taken great pains to acquire some of the things I have. I don’t have much, but some of the things I have are special and I don’t want to part with them yet.

When Mom died I immediately went through her jewelry and beautiful skirts to see how I could divvy it all up. I looked down at the treasure-trove of gorgeous, valuable, powerfully-sentimental jewelry and was hit with a cold sweat. I couldn’t conceive of not giving some of it away. Most of it. There was so much power and meaning… and love in these things of my mother’s, so, like she had done in life, I thought it would be best to share them. I selected a few things especially for my aunts and sister-in-law. Things I thought they’d like, and things Mom would have liked to see them wear. It felt good. But then, after a bit of giving, I suddenly stopped and held the rest for myself. All of a sudden I felt a panic that I’d given too much away. Too much of her, and too much of me. I let myself cry for, like, one second, and then I let go. I still have a lot of her jewelry, and Dad has a few of the clothes neither of us is yet ready to release. We have enough. But just enough to make us feel her still a little bit. Is that awful? Of course not.

5:46pm, PST
“Update: MAGIC INCIDENT (LA County near Magic Mountain)- 5:20 pm, October 23. The fire that started near Magic Mountain in Los Angeles County has been stopped near the Ventura County line. 60 personnel are currently assigned to the incident to improve the fire-lines and mop-up hot spots. The fire is being contained at approximately 1,750 acres. It is 93% contained with full containment expected by 8:00 am on the 24th, with full control by 8 pm. Smoke from this fire is blowing into the Simi Valley and Westlake Village areas but should be diminishing.” –Ventura County Fire Dept. aka The Fat Lady…