Little Pieces


I've been listening to the Leon Redbone radio on Spotify constantly. I can't stop. It's perfect. Guy Clark, John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Leon Russell, and so on. 

I began pulling a stick of incense from the box on the counter and lighting it, making myself wait even longer to take a morning piss. I wouldn't call myself a person of routine, yet I do open the curtains to let in the light, and punch in the alarm code so I can let the dog out. I light a fire under the kettle first. I hold my pee while I do all of this, heart set on getting things just so to start my day. Call that what it is. 

I'm finding the strangest things in our house in the oddest of places. Today I found an electrical cap, a red one, in the drawer where we keep pens and Post-Its and coupons and dog shit bags. It fell on the kitchen floor and I left it there. There's a drill bit on our bedroom dresser. I think it's safe to say our work, not always the pretty finished photos seen on Instagram, has fully infused itself into our lives. 

I just wrapped up watching Stranger Things and American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, I pull up Netflix as a way to unwind when I finally collapse into bed at midnight, adrenaline still pulsing. I couldn't stop the latter, I watched it while scarfing down lunch in our truck the other day, even though we all already know the verdict. I remember watching that Bronco chase, I was nine. I took a break from Stranger Things, but just wrapped it up last night and was thoroughly disgusted by The Upside Down and that wiggling thing they pulled out of Will's throat. I guess that's the point. 

I'm reading Waking Up White by Debby Irving, and reflecting on my privilege as a white person and my heart has been broken wide open and I certainly feel it changing in a very real and concrete way, though I've a long way to go. 

I'm writing most daily, before I begin diving into my work day. Sometimes it's here, for this blog, which I'm making a real attempt at keeping up, for it makes me happy to do so, but I'm also writing just to write and it has become a practice. I've been expanding my typical prose and a few weeks ago wrote my first song, amongst other variations of experimentation. 

I'm feeling sad lately, at the state of human relationships in our age of technology. I watched Aziz Ansari's latest stand-up routine on Netflix, and found myself not laughing, instead nodding along with his description of the flakiness we all exhibit now, and how we're all pretty god damn self-absorbed. I have a post I've been writing about this, and of course, I'm afraid to share it. Someone I know will certainly take offense, but god damn. Why do I feel so alone these days? Why do I reach out to be ignored? Why do I share my heart to be met with silence? 

I'm enjoying curating my little shop for you all, it's been a lovely bit of respite for self, an excuse to take an afternoon and head to the local antique shops I love on my own and select pretty objects that I have no room for, but want to give life to. 

I'm working harder than I ever have in my entire life, including the years I was a single mother in school full-time and working two jobs. Our business is seriously taking off, but not without a shitload of work. It doesn't come easily, even if it's naturally unfolding, much to the dismay of the asshats who are rooting for our failure or want to assume it's simple to start a dream that generates real income. 

I am finding myself torn in so many directions lately, most certainly feeling like a failure no matter which way I turn, not good enough, or simply not enough. My focus on work is necessary right now, and I know this, but I'm not enough for our online community, not giving enough information and advice on the regular. If I do that, I am looking at my phone instead of my daughter, if I'm mothering, I'm not looking at my wife. If I go for a run, I'm neglecting emails. If I answer emails, I'm not running wiring. Yet I press on, and I'm doing my very best, or at least, some semblance of my best. I can feel my heart angering at this, can hear it in the words I write or say. I can't figure out how to deal with this outside of not stuffing it down and just at least admitting it. Certainly that is a start. 

Mostly, I just have a shit load of gratitude and excitement and joy because we're living out some serious dreams and though it's crazy and my house is a wreck and I am sad and feeling a bit broken, that doesn't stop me from keeping on or feeling sincere thanks for it all or getting up and tackling the day. It's all I know to do - because it's always just a season, and things will always shift, and it could always be far worse, and it has been, and though my honesty about how I feel might sound crazy and contradicting, I'm pretty certain that it's just being human to feel so much at once. 

Bold, Beating Hearts

Only the biggest hearts are open like this. They have to be. They're too big for your bodies. 

Keep free, you beautiful, brave, bold, beating hearts! 

Keep pumping love into everything you create. 

From an online friend, someone I've never met in person. I wrote it down on a yellow Post-It note and stuck it to my computer screen. It keeps falling and the sticky stuff is covered in dog fur and wool fibers and dust, and I keep sticking it back up. A daily reminder, as I sit down to work, that I can do this, that we can do this, that we together are stronger and better than we are alone, that these risks we're taking and these dreams we're pursuing and the things we are creating mean something. 


I woke at five-forty-five this morning, for no particular reason. It must be nerves, was the first thought, yet my stomach felt calm and my mind clear. I'm just...ready. 

The last three months of meetings, emails, website and brand development, marketing, and what seems like endless sprints to catch up with our business, which took off, seemingly without us, really begins. The first client of four so far, and today marks the day the next year and a half of renovations begins. I suppose it's difficult to sleep until seven-thirty, the time my alarm goes off daily, on a day like today. While it may be another day to so many, today is the day that I'm no longer saying I am starting a business. I'm now able to say I run a business. 

There hasn't been much time for pause, but as I ran the polisher over the aluminum skin of our Airstream this past week, there was finally, even though I was still working, time to think. It's fairly mindless work, and the minutes and hours fly by as the disc cuts the coarse grit into the metal and as it works away, the shine appears. Most of my thoughts were, as they are, directed towards the business, and our first clients, and design work for other clients, and how to structure our services even better as we're moving forward. Yet finally, in this moment of clarity, just before the sky began to cloud and later opened up, sending us in a rush to pull power tools under shelter, I felt a gentle reminder that this entire business is so much more than just another business: for me, and for Ellen, it's the culmination of so much in our adult lives, things we'd had no idea were leading us to this niche interest and market.

We've not just been working toward this idea for the last three months, we've been working toward this for the last three years, from that moment we decided to travel. I've tried and failed and tried again and failed and tried again...for the last seven years in various creative and artistic endeavors. Ellen has spent the last decade teaching others to love art, just waiting for the day when she could work with her own hands, creating and making her art, even though she wasn't yet sure what that was. 

Now we know. Now we are up before the sun, on this day. She joined me, our hands wrapped around our thick mugs of steaming coffee, the sounds of the masses heading to work out our window, tires sloshing through the puddles from the overnight rain. We aren't saying much, I am here and writing and she's designing electrical systems, and the babies are all still asleep.