*the road in texas that showed me freedom is more than an ideal*

Monday, April 25, 2011

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow*

17 miles solo yesterday. the farthest i've ever run alone, the farthest i've run at all since that unforgettable run to the far side of Lake Drummond at the Great Dismal Swamp (Suffolk, VA) last October. it was a run for exploration, the run to drummond; a run because we knew there was a lake, and we knew we could find it, and we knew we would find it.

currently reading as much Capote as I can get my hands on (i cannot get enough of this man), "walking" by thoreau (read it once, reading it again, will be reading it again and again..): "In wildness is the preservation of the world", "Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.."
and some of emerson's essays:

"The fallible index of true progress is found in the tone the man takes. Neither his age, nor his breeding, nor company, nor books, nor actions, nor talents, nor all together can hinder him from being deferential to a higher spirit than his own. If he have found his home in God, his manners, his forms of speech, the turn of his sentences, the build, shall I say, of all opinions, will involuntarily confess it, let him brave it out how he will. If he have found his center, the Deity will shine through him, through all the disguises of ignorance, of ungenial temperament, of unfavorable circumstance. The tone of seeking is one, the tone of having is another."
-Emerson, "The Over-Soul"

As I look at my dusty, cluttered book shelves, I realize I am rich, so much so that I cannot absorb such wealth all at once.

For today I must find my umbrella. It is time to walk.

(p.s. my face is full of freckles)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


When the sun is out and the birds are out so too must I be out. Last night marked the first fire of the season, s'more of the season, outdoor use of the alpaca blanket of the season. The sky was clear! The air was fine. There were friends and stories, flames and whispers. My insides say that for the summer I rid the apartment of television. The cable will be gone as my roommate is moving home for the summer and I don't use it. I'll roll the television into another room. I'll open the blinds, that this place might always be known by the sun, and the windows, that I might learn the language of the birds. I want hiking poles for my 24th birthday and sunscreen. In two days I'll be 4K away from being debt free. And on this Sunday morning, waking with an aching body that knows a mid-length relaxation run is in order, drinking coffee and eating a banana taken from the jewish home, these are the things that remind me I am still very, very alive. It doesn't hurt that a week from today I'll awake in the mountains. With the birds, with the sun.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I pitched my tent in the backyard last weekend. Like an 8 year old boy I dragged my prized possessions haphazardly to my blue castle and tossed them in, rolling clumsily after them. I sat there rapped in my ripped-ripping patchwork quilt, exhausted. Gosh, I was so tired on Friday. After walking to the bank I could hardly keep my head up. Logical fix: pitch the tent.
With crisp sun-splashed air and not a trace of snow, it was the perfect day to introduce Raspberry to 2011. In the backyard.
Throughout the next couple days I read a few pages of capote, a few pages of works of love, wrote a little about the child of this new Spring, drank out of my clouding mason jar, listened to music from home, and to the birds mingle with traffic I could not see. For hours I did this.
Sunday morning I ran across frosted wet grass barefoot, pulled up the stakes, rolled the tent and the tarp into a heap and ran back inside, throwing them in the corner of the foyer. What had been my haven now sits in a puddle in a corner inside. It's not where it wants to be forever, but right now it's okay there, for as soon as the sun shines again and the sugar snow melts away, it's going back outside where it belongs.
Just like me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


[this is me not beating myself up for not updating this blog regularly, as I said I would]

My knee finally crumbled.
A week ago I felt the need to go, so I threw my running shoes in my car and started driving. I ended up at home. Home as in, hometown, home. Of course I knew this would happen, I just couldn't admit it to myself until I was pulling down the road to a beach on the opposite side of Lake Ontario, an hour from my parents house.
I fell asleep that night in the bed I'd slept in for years, fell asleep thinking why the heck did I just drive home?? The next morning I layed in bed thinking the same thing.

But I know why I drove home.
I drove home because just knowing there are heaps of mountains just a little over an hour away sets my soul at ease. I drove home because for some reason I can access Jesus there in a way I haven't been able to anywhere else. I drove home because something about running on those particular country roads lets me breathe easy, lets me relax.
I drove home because I needed the river, the woods, the big green couch, the perfectly brewed coffee, the cabinets and cabinets full of whole foods.

I ran 33 miles in 3 days, 58 for the week, and now my knee is crumbling.
Perhaps it's because when I added up my miles from the past six months I realized I ran 1256 miles in these shoes (that's a little more than the suggested 300). Maybe I gained a few pounds and my knee doesn't know how to handle it (its a joke). Or maybe just maybe my body wants a break. I don't want to give it one, but I think our bodies know more than we give them credit for.

Part of what I've been doing the last year or so is really listening to my body. Sometimes I'll jump up with a sudden need to eat something green. Strange? Maybe. Or maybe my body knows there's something in the green stuff that it wants. Sometimes I know I need to be in the sun, need to do yoga, need a glass of soy milk.
So when my knee aches, my body doesn't want to run anymore. If I'm going to honor it by letting it run when it aches to run, then I also must honor it by letting it rest when it wants to rest.

Dear Knee,
I'll let you rest. But please, please feel better soon. There are miles and miles we have not covered, millions of thoughts that still need to be sorted out. Don't fail me now.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Yesterday I sat on my couch after running 7 miles in the 23degree weather. I ran because the sun and the birds were out and I wanted to be with them. I thought nothing of the run, only of tapping into that place inside of me that knows peace very well.
I sat on the couch because when I opened the blinds there was one section of sunlight, and that's where it rested. I lit some incense, brewed a pot of coffee, collected the four books I'm currently reading/wanting to read, and sat down in my most comfortable mens sweatpants.
It was the healthiest thing I did all week. For two hours I sat in silence, soaking up the intermingling and lingering smells of coffee and incense, the sun, the moment of being very still, very quiet, very alone, and very very warm. It was beautiful and it was right. Had I not had those hours my coming week would not have been the same. I really feel that way.

I need to do that more.

These are a few of my favorite things

I have a really messed up stomach. After being told I had extreme acid reflux by a doctor and put on some pills a few years back I decided not to go to get anymore consultations about my stomach issues. I don't like the idea of taking a pill for something that could be solved by small changes in my diet. Okay so maybe the changes have been kinda big, but I feel so much better it's absolutely worth it.

I also happen to be living off $10/week for groceries. Not nearly as rough as it sounds.

I've found some things I truly love. If dairy makes you all sorts of sick, acidic foods make your stomach tighten, high doses of sugar give you heartburn, and meat stops you up for days, and/or if you don't have tons of money but like to enjoy good, clean, healthy food, you might like some of thissss:

*Hot soy or almond milk with cocoa powder and local honey
The splurge here is the local honey. Soy and almond milk are more expensive than regular milk (about $2.75/1/2 gallon) but they're rich and I've found that adding a little water to thin them out doesn't hurt one bit. Store-bought honey doesn't come close to natural local honey. Honey local to where you live has been proven to prevent plant allergies, as the bees will be pollinating on the plants that would typically be causing the allergies. All in all, totally worth the money. And the market experience (where you'll probably have to go to find it) makes it that much better.

*Oat Groats
Use 1 1/2 cups groats to 6 1/2 cups water. Cook overnight in a slowcooker on LOW with blueberries, bananas, apples, cinnamon... a little brown sugar if you feel it's necessary (yeah, I ate 6 servings in two days)

Check a healthfood or bulk store. I get mine for $1.50 for a big bag in a bulk food store. They expand almost 4X when cooked so you're really getting a ton of food!

I laughed when my mom got me a rice cooker for Christmas. The truth? It's rocking my world. A ten pound bag of rice sure can last a long time. A little butter and garlic salt, maybe some PEANUT SAUCE (peanut butter, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic simmered on low heat for about 10 minutes..ooo boyyy), perhaps a can of beans and you have yourself a nice little meal- easy on the stomach and MAD cheap!

I actually prefer to combine a can of canellini or kidney beans with a can of garbonzos. The can/kidneys give it a much smoother texture. In a food processor: process two large cloves of garlic, then add two cans of beans (rinsed and drained), a little olive oil, a little lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and process away!

3 cups whole wheat flour, 4 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp sugar (not necessary, but good), 1 12 oz can of beer. Mix it all together, pop in the oven at 350degrees for an hour. AMAZING.

And I have a granola recipe.. kinda.. it's kind of a secret. And deserving of its own post.
I'll think about it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Big Five

I've broken "Health" into five major categories, none of which is more or less important or significant than any of the others (despite what the magazines say):

1. Mental Health
2. Emotional Health
3. Physical Health
4. Spiritual Health
5. Relational Health

They mix and mingle and play with and off one another. Every so often I sit down with my notebook and assess my life, breaking it down into these 5 categories. It's the best indicator I've found for how I'm really doing. Every time I realize that I've elevated one area above the rest, neglecting parts of my self that deserve to be taken care of.

To the stars that fade but don't die:

It seems the majority of my life I've spent ultimately pursuing one thing. Every time I lace up my running shoes, fill my backpack, mix a batch of granola, open a notebook, move my fingers across a piano, meet a friend at a coffee shop, read a new author, what I'm really doing is trying to hone in on the center of who I am by letting my self be released into the things that I've found to bring me life. I've spent years trying to figure out what these "things" are, continually adding to my personal COMING ALIVE vault as I have more experiences, meet more people, see more places.

Three years ago I hit a low point in my life, a point which made me realize how unhealthy I had become. It made me wonder, what does it even mean to be healthy? Magazines and messages scream about gym memberships, power foods, and taking time for yourself, but I couldn't think of a single person in my life who seemed to have mastered the art of overall health. Weeks went by and I couldn't get the idea of what it might look like to be truly healthy out of my mind. It became a bit of an obsession and to be honest, made me a bit frantic at times. If it was possible, I wanted to find out what it meant and what it both felt and looked like.

I've decided to start this blog as a record of what I've found for myself to be true health. The term "health" actually makes me cringe a bit, so maybe I'll try to come up with a better word to use, but basically what I'm going to do is chronicle my journey (hopefully daily) toward this thing called health.

I feel no need to explain any further. I'd rather you just come along!