Walking the Sea

Walking the Sea: September 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Words of Wisdom

I loved these words of wisdom when I read them. I think you will too...

"It’s not your job that makes a difference in the world, it is the parts of YOU that you take to work everyday that makes the difference."

Deviant Sexual Arousal

"Deviant sexual arousal..." As if on cue, Emily walked in just as I was saying those words to Megan and without thinking, as an explanation, I looked up and told her, "I was just telling Megan about my day." Without missing a beat, Emily replied, "It sounds like you had a lot better day than I did."

To many, deviant sexual arousal would not be a part of your day. It is a part of mine. I spent my afternoon in a rules committee for the Sex Offender Treatment Board of Oregon. Yours truly was overseeing the proceedings. I actually enjoyed hearing about their clients and seeing a bit into their world. I swear, God has a sense of humor. For someone who was never very interested in hair, makeup, or explored her sexuality much, putting her in charge of the Cosmetology and Sex Offender Treatment Boards was a stroke of genius. I bet he is still laughing his head off, bent in half, tears streaming down his face. It's that funny. I can now tell you what a Prince Albert piercing is (you may not want to ask), all about fish eating skin, and burning a candle in your ear to get the wax out. Yessiree. I am well educated. And I am enjoying it. That's the ironic thing.

Becoming familiar with all these practices has certainly changed me in ways I could not have forseen. Things I thought were wrong are right and things I thought were right are now wrong. Or maybe it's just that I hold my rights and wrongs far looser than I've ever done before. I still hold to classic morality but the little stuff, for that stuff I have no fear. For example, I came home with blond hair tonight. I NEVER EVER EVER thought I would do that. But I did. Well, actually Melanie did. I sat down and told her I was putty in her hands, a blank canvas, she could do WHATEVER she wanted. So she did. Blond hair. Apparently, a glass of good red wine at a salon can go a long way to "letting your hair down". She said she wanted to do something to match my nose ring. Yes, it is an actual ring and I love it. I wonder what Emily would pierce if I told her I was putty in her hands? She might know this already, but it wouldn't take much of a nudge for me at this point to be talked into getting something else pierced.

After my hair was finished, Melanie made me promise to go show Emily at Addictions which I was only too happy to do. (We both know her and I had something to drop off anyway.) I'm always more than happy to go down to Addictions for a while. It's one of my favorite places to go to be myself and have good conversation full of laughter. One of those unexpected gifts God gives us when we're not even looking. Like blond hair.

(For those of you freaking out at this point about the blond hair, it's actually mostly red with blond streaks in the front. I know... I know... You want a picture but you'll have to wait two or three days. I just wanted to scare you for a bit.)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Checking In

I don't have a lot to say tonight but thought I would post a hi and how are you all doing? Life has been full in this corner of the blogosphere. On October 11th, I am dancing with my tap dancing troupe at the Elsinore Theater so we are rehearsing 3-4 times a week. This would tire me out a lot more if I was just a student but I am team-teaching with Sheri so it has become a fun challenge to encourage and teach others the steps. I think it will turn out really well. As for costumes, I have three words for you: hot pink wigs. Yah baby!

I have also made a decision to lay my spiritual direction practice aside for awhile. I am now finished with my certification hours and should be getting officially certified this fall. An ironic time to step back, but I have some other things I want to put energy toward and I'm ready to be able to focus on things I need to talk about. It's time to shift some things around in my life and I want the time to do it. Take care!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Healing Waters

Tonight I took my journal down to the pool to write for a while. It felt so good, just to write about things from my heart. Why don't I write in my journal more often when I know how much it helps? Dusk was falling gently around me as darkness was slowly flowing over the landscape. The only person around was a woman who often sits in a chair on her parch just yards away from the pool fence. Her distant presence was comforting. The water around my feet was like warm bath water as my heart settled into the space created by the silence. After a few pages and quite some time, I put my journal down beside me and slipped into the pool. I was wearing the tan overall shorts my older sister handed down. I only wear them when I just want to be me, when I really don't care what anyone thinks but I just want to be a bit playful or thoughtful on my own. They were very appropriate for tonight.

Floating around the pool under a golden orange moon, I felt God assuring me that everything that is confusing in my life, the things I am struggling to understand or let myself be though I don't understand that person, is okay. To just live it, to let it carry me and that someday, it will make sense, it will be a part of the picture. I think sometimes you just have to let the water carry you.

That time tonight was almost as good as getting a massage from Lisa. Almost. And that's saying a lot.

By the way, tip of the week: Before going into a car wash, make sure you roll the window up all the way. This is important.

Thoughts on a Hazy Night

Tonight I have been spending the evening out on my porch. If you can count on the weather in Oregon to do anything, you can count on it to be wackily weird. It's mid September and in the mid 90's. I think that is kind of like seeing snow falling, and sticking, in April. It is one of those rare nights home, haven't had many of those lately, much less Katie being home at the same time, I'm enjoying it. It's very hazy outside but warm. I am considering going swimming or at least sticking my feet in. For now, I'm quite happy with my chocolate cake made in a mug in the microwave and a glass of milk. Yes, you read that right folks. Cake in a mug made in the microwave, it was something Katie tried out tonight and I like it. With no editing to do, YAHOOO!!!, I have been cuddling up to my laptop and reading my friend's blog. She wonders where I find the time to read the whole thing and I told her, sometimes, I just need her blog. She has taught me so much through her rants. Of course, she sees this as weakness, I see it as strength. Strength does not always belong to the strong. Sometimes strength is found where the words go, not necessarily where they came from.

I thought about going to get my nose stud changed to a ring tonight at my favorite tattoo and body piercing parlor, but decided to stick with my plan for Wednesday. I will go get it then. I went by there to hang out for a while on Saturday night, I'm addicted now, and Emily told me I heal extraordinarily well. I may have to test this theory with another piercing sometime but for now, I am looking forward to the ring. That was the night I wrote an article for FGConnections, a task I was given on behalf of the Editorial Board. Though it took me nearly the whole night, I think it came out well. I am waiting to hear what suggestions Lucy has. Most of the corrections to my writing thus far have come from my editors or professors. Writing for a publication is a new and fun experience.

What I really need to write though, is my next book. People have been mentioning it so I know it's time. You will be glad to know my staff have agreed to do the next one. ClaraLee has the first couple of illustration assignments and my editors are waiting for the first batch of poetry to be mailed off. A good staff behind an author is invaluable, my books wouldn't be half as good without them, I wonder what this one will feel like? Each of the books has a different feel to it. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how my books are like my kids. Yes, there is me, but I also have this responsibility to them. Like a single parent, my life is not my own. I made a choice, a commitment when I "gave birth" to them, that I would carry each one and help them stand on their own. Whatever my life holds, they will be a part of it. I'm glad for that, I love living my life as an author. It's not an easy one, but very rewarding. Some of you are going to think this is all weird but this metaphor is common in the author circles and whenever one of us says something like it, we all nod our heads in knowing agreement. I am very protective of their life, of my life that goes into them. It's a commitment I made and I will keep it.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Morning at the Children's Museum

Chris is three and a half years old and my adopted nephew. I met his mom when we sang the ABC's together over a CB radio on a trip to Tijuana when we were both in college. With a meeting like that, we've been friends ever since. Jennifer and her husband live in Portland so we trade back and forth who makes the drive when we get together. Today it was her turn so she and Chris met me at my apartment and we went to the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village Children's Museum. I have always wanted to go but never had a kid to take. Jennifer, who is pregnant with her second child, said I could have hers. Chris was very excited, we even rode the carousel in the neighboring park. I always love having one of my nieces or newphew around. No matter what is going on in my life, they always give me light and perspective. They are so much fun, even when they are being stubborn and say no. (The girls are 2 1/2.) And all three of them have their Aunt Sarah wrapped around their little fingers since the day they were born. They give me so much joy. Some of our favorite things at the museum were freezing our shadows, the balance board, the room that videod you for a cool picture, the Chinese room, loooong slide, and Chris really liked the grocery store and the sand pit. We had so much fun! Thanks for the visit Jennifer and Chris!

Here are some pictures of our day. The one of just me is a publicity shot Jennifer took as I need an author photo to submit with an article I'm writing. The publicity shots I have are now over two years old since they were taken for the second book. Soon I am going to need to go out with a photographer for a new batch. For a while though, I think this one will work great. Have an awesome day!

The King and Queen on their thrones.

I grew up seeing this rocking chair out on Lancaster.

I had fun practicing my numbers which I actually already knew from studying Japanese. Maybe they are Chinese too...

I call this "Dancing with Hoop"
Simply titled, "Chris".

See you soon!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Death in a Dream

Saturday night I dreamed I was an American woman soldier during World War II> Soemthing was wrong where I needed help and I came across some German women soldiers who thought I was also German. When they were trying to help me, I attempted, to hide the Star of David hanging around my neck in one of my hands so they wouldn’t find out who I was and kill me.
Sunday night I dreamed I was in a house, also during World War II, and I saw through the window, planes flying overhead. I knew they were there to bomb my area because I was Jewish. Sure enough, there was a bright yellow/white light and I was dead. It didn’t hurt, I was alive and then I wasn’t. Like being picked up and taken away. We wre then placed back in the house to see what had happened in slow motion. Right before the light came, I saw our friend duck down a trap door. She knew the planes were coming and what they were going to do, she had betrayed us. I tried to comfort my grandmother (not mine in real life) on the couch, she was in emotional pain.

The dream didn’t leave me upset when I woke up, it was deeper than that, more real in some way. Though I am Jewish and have studied the Holocaust a great deal, I haven’t been thinking about it much lately except that our New Year is coming up. I talked abou it tonight with two friends, one of whom is also Jewish, and we talked about what it is like to die. It’s kind of like slipping away, where staying present is harder than letting go. We didn’t think it actually hurt to die, my friend had actually been a step away from death before and she described it as floating away. Hmm… Whatever the dream means, if anything, I am less afraid of dying. In a strange way, I feel like I’ve done it before, in my dreams.

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Statesman Journal Photo Contest

This is a shameless ploy to get you to vote for my picture in my local paper's photography contest! I was one of the daily winners for the Oregon State Fair photography contest, as I told you about in a previous post, and all the finalists are now being voted on for the final winner! Please go vote for me, it's a great photo. It's the top one on the right, the picture of the Ferris wheel and games all lit up at night. The voting is open until this Friday at 6 p.m, the 12th.
Thank you so much!

Labels: ,

The Third Shoe Drop

You've probably heard the idea that things come in threes. This afternoon, the third shoe dropped in the form of a phone call from my friend Stacey who asked me if I wanted to participate in a show at the Elsinore Theatre here in Salem. Truth be told, I have been looking forward to having nearly a month off of tap before our fall classes begin but a show at the Elsinore is hard to turn down. I love dancing on that stage. So, on October 11, you'll be able to find me in the wings of the Elsinore Theatre silently practicing my steps before going on stage. I think it will be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it! As I know more details about what the show is and any tickets involved, I'll be sure to pass that along.

Meanwhile, the interview for Western Friend went well. (The second shoe.) I'm looking forward to seeing the finished article. The Quaker Youth Book Project has been a lot of fun to be a part of and I am grateful to Kathy, the editor, for helping me get the word out. I also got to meet Jane, who will be moderating the panel I'm on at the Willamette Quarterly meeting. (First shoe.) That is in early October.

This week I probably won't be posting much if at all. My schedule is jam packed from when I wake up until I get to go to bed. Three trips up to Portland in the span of four days while working a full time job and house sitting if that tells you anything. :)

The picture below is of the gorgous dress I wore to The Phantom of the Opera. Gil asked for a picture in his comment. Have a great week everyone!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Music Game

I thought this was funny, I saw it done on another blog so my roommate and I each tried it out. Here are my answers.

Put your music player on shuffle. Press forward for each question. Use the song title as the answer to the question. Post on your blog. Comment back if you post it on your site.

~Will I get far in life?
Wheels of a Dream
~How do my friends see me?
Antique Desires
~Where will I get married?
What a Friend we have in Jesus
~What is my best friend’s theme song?
Castle on a Cloud
~What is the story of my life?
~What was high school like?
You're the Top
~How can I get ahead in life?
Tango Maureen
~What is the best thing about me?
Goodbye Love
~How is today going to be?
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
~What is in store for this weekend?
An Irish Blessing
~What song describes my parents?
Endless Nights
~My grandparents?
We will Dance
~How is my life going?
Love Enough
~What song will they play at my funeral?
On My Knees
~How does the world see me?
Happy Days are Here Again
~Will I have a happy life?
Till the End of the World
~What do my friends really think of me?
Midnight Cry
~Do people secretly lust after me?
The Hardest Part of Love
~How can I make myself happy?
The Molecatcher
~What should I do with my life?
Gather at the River
~Will I ever have children?
On My Own
~What is some good advice?
Come Just as You Are
~What is my signature dancing song?
Child of Forgiveness
~What do I think my current theme song is?
The Song is Alive
~What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Reviewing the Situation
~What type of men/women do you like?
Seasons of Love

A Roommate's Revenge

My roommate decided to take revenge on her very innocent roommate who never mentions her in her blog by creating a blog of her own. SO, the battle is on. Well, two can play at this game. She says in her posting she started it because I didn't want to hear all her ranting. NOT TRUE!!! I love her ranting! It's free entertainment. Don't stop! Don't stop! But now, you too can hear her rants (which are actually pretty good but don't tell her I said that), by going to her blog at:


(Katie says, "The roommates who blog together, stay together.)


A Diplomat is Born

This last week I was asked by the Willamette Chapter of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, a Quaker group, to be on a panel at their Quarterly meeting discussing the future of Friends and to hold an interest group on the discussion. I am asked to go as a diplomat, at first from Multwood, a cross yearly-meeting group of radical women I am a part of, and also, when they heard I am a member of Freedom Friends Church, from that group as well. I am also throwing in my status as an Editorial Board member for the Quaker Youth Book Project - there are only nine of us around the world so it's a great opportunity to bring that to them as well.

The panel is to be a type of discussion you would watch on a TV talk show, hopefully without the throwing of chairs, a kind of threshing session with a possible open question period afterward. I am really looking forward to it. It's the first weekend in October and it's at a camp in Mt. Hood so you know I will be bringing my camera along as well.

One of the other panelists also asked me a question this week (unrelated to the panel). She is the editor of Western Friend and also in Multwood. She was wondering if she could interview me after our meeting this Sunday about the Quaker Youth Book Project. Of course I said yes.

It's kind of strange and funny at the same time. This is the kind of stuff I have always wanted to be involved with, to be doing. It's funny to find myself really living it, to live the life I've wanted. So thank you to all those who have helped me do it.

These are my answers to the questions I've been asked as a kind of "get to know you" beforehand. I thought you might enjoy reading them as well.

What meeting or meetings are you in contact with?
I discovered the Quaker world through Reedwood Friends in Portland with Carole Spencer. I loved the church but it was an hour away, too far to go every Sunday. When I decided to leave the Foursquare church I had been attending, not my style, and find a Quaker church a while later, I went to Silverton Friends for several months. They were a great church and very kind but it wasn't what I was looking for and frankly, I was tired of "church" by that point. I couldn't sit through the services anymore, any Christian services. So I had a talk with God on the beach one day and we agreed I would just stop going. I was very happy with this and wasn't even thinking about finding a church or meeting when God dropped Freedom Friends Church onto my path. There was no way around it, so I decided to just check it out one Sunday. (I made God wake me up on time, I refused to set my alarm.) I liked their style, a little framework but pretty much open to whatever you are looking for. It was also a place I could contribute to so I have been there for over a year now. At Freedom Friends, I am the Assistant Recording Clerk, and am a member of the Ministry and Oversight Committee and the Faith and Practice Task Force. I still go up to visit Reedwood Friends.

How long have you been connected to Friends?
I made the choice to start attending the Quaker meetings in October of 2006. I was at a retreat led by Carole Spencer at Twins Rocks and sitting at the tables with all these Quakers, I felt like I had found the place where my spirituality was recognized, encouraged, and shared. As I had grown extremely frustrated with where I was attending, it was an easy decision to make. Before this though, I had studied Quaker theology and spirituality at seminary for different projects and throughout those studies, I had realized Quakers believed some of the same conclusions I had already come to on my own. The retreat was more a push over the edge I was already hovering around. Though now I have a more realistic view of Quakers, I still hold to these first images.

Do you have any aspects of Friends' faith and practice which are particularly near and dear?
The thing I love the most about Quaker theology is there is that of God in everyone. Everyone has God within them, everyone holds that light We are not worms as the revivalists put it, and we are not the saved and the heathens, we are each an image of God, we each know the Divine. I also like the Quaker belief that the Bible is not the highest authority. It's important, but listening to God, and knowing God will speak to you directly, is better still. I've also always appreciated simplicity. We don't need to have the fanciest new technology, the big screen HD TV, or the best car. I would rather invest my life in my writing, my friends and family, the things that will never go out of style. I want to invest in things that make my soul sing, not the cash register clang.

What is your outlook on the future of Friends?
I think my outlook, or hope, for the future of Friends would be what I would tell every person, no matter their beliefs. I hope we become more open to each other, to having relationships with people who are very different from us, who don't agree with us, but that we could love them. Not love them as in the mushy, political correct way, but to walk beside them, encourage, uplift, get down in the dirt with them if you need to, that kind of love them. Knowing that Quakers are as different from one another as could possibly be, that sometimes the only thing we share in common is our name, I think it's important to think about relationships between ourselves as well as the wider world. We also can't go around thinking we have the only real "truth", but that there are lots of ways to experience the truth in all kinds of faith walks. I think if I could push the Quakers in one direction in the future, this would be it - seeing ourselves a piece in the larger picture.
At the same time, I think it's important to remember the unique gifts we have to offer. Perhaps not as unique as we think, or as new, but always important. We need to remember what makes us Quakers and uphold that flavor. The world needs to hear some of things we have to say. Quakerism is an important flavor to have, to know it is one worth having, as long as we know it's not the only one worth tasting.
But the simple fact you are looking to have this discussion, to have people like me come as ambassadors to discuss it, shows that Quakers are giving an honest look at themselves and are thinking about how they will look in times to come. That is encouraging in itself.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We're All a Box of Crayons

I promised myself not to cheat on my newsletter this month meaning I didn't take it off of here and repost it there. I actually wrote a new one just for the website! :o) To see it, you can go to www.SpiritWaterPublications.com. Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Gift of Family

This is the face I got to see walking toward me for a hug at the end of my day. After all that time at work, she put a huge smile on my face. I openly admit, Gabreella has a bit more of her Aunt Sarah's heart every time I see her. After the hug, I picked her up into my arms and kept turning her upside down which I was richly rewarded for with grins and giggles.
Having dinner together, parents, siblings, and Gabee was so much fun. Family stuff used to leave me upset for days but now I have come to really enjoy it. It's nice to know people are there who love me and who will be there for me no matter what. And believe me, we have been through the no matter what part and have come out stronger and better for it. Tonight as I thought about it, I realized it's not so much them who's changed, it's me. I'm no longer trying to prove myself, I'm much more confident, and I have a place in the group. We also have enough history behind us now, that we can just be a family. It's a gift I am very grateful for tonight.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

I write you as my roommate is sitting in our living room squealing over the nine boxes of books I brought home yesterday. They are left over from our meeting's rummage sale and I am giving these away to different people who want them. (Reply to this post if you want to come by and check them out.) I may also bring some to a used bookseller or two. I figure if I give her books, she can't be too mad at me for the Five Crowns posting. (I'll have to keep you updated on our next Five Crown Tournament even though WE all know who is going to win.)

I had a really nice Labor Day today. It was relaxing and fun. This morning I worked on some freelance editing work I have as well as reveling in my friend's blog which I am continuing to read. A good blog for me is like a good fiction book. It's so hard for me to put it down. SARAH, PUT THE LAPTOP DOWN!!! STEP AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP! Just five more minutes, come on...

In the afternoon I hung out for a while at my favorite tattoo and body piercing shop. (Really!) I wasn't getting any tattoos, it's just a nice place to go. (Katie is now pulling out a hymn book as she knows SOMEONE who can play the piano, that would be me, and tossed it over by my keyboard. She is not a very good hinter.) The people there were very interesting to talk to. I love talking with people I don't know and discussing piercings and tattoos can be a lot of fun. It was also nice to get out from the apartment for a while. (Katie is now singing the hymns remarking how she could play them on her guitar so we could do a duet. We are a very musical household with a lot of books. Katie says this is true. I told her I am taking pity on her because she keeps rereading her books.) The afternoon was filled with swimming under the blue sky and running down to Albany to deliver a thumb drive. Floppy disks just aren't very reliable.

I hope you all had a great day too! It's a four day work week! Yay! And I get to see Phantom of the Opera on Thursday! I'm very excited. I found a gorgeous gown for $6.50 at Goodwill. (I'm a bargain hunter) and I'm looking forward to wearing it. I'll leave you with a quote I'm shamelessly stealing from my friend's blog. It's a good one to ponder.

"There is nothing unique about my story other than I believe one can overcome any obstacle just by having the desire to do so. I believe in happy endings. I believe that IF a story does not have a happy ending, you are only reading a chapter… the story is not over yet. Yes… a new chapter is coming."

Dream Interpretation

This was written off a dream I had last night that has stayed in my head with questions surrounding it. It feels good to be writing poetry again.

Dream Interpretation

Images of terror,
Times since long past,
Hearts that were broken,
Chains that were cast
Left me with dreams in the night,
Asking what have I done,
Torn apart the innocent,
Accusing the one.
Can a right be a wrong,
Can a wrong be ignored?
Should I go through the fire,
Should I sever the cord?
Of the lies that surround us,
The lies told too long,
Should the snake be left sleeping?
Is the lion ever gone?
Is there hope is this darkness,
A light shining through?
Is he just pretending
Or is she trusting in you?
God I don’t know
Where this life will now lead.
Do I pick up the pieces
Or internally bleed?
Can these wounds be healed
From the damage that’s done?
Is it right what I’m doing,
Is it hurting the one
I’d want to protect,
The one that I love.
Would it be better for her
If we rose above
The pain of the past,
Started anew?
Is this what the dream means
For me, and for you?