let's play house: an ode to the surprise of saturday contentment

February 28, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

while the saint sautees some chard to accompany our stuffed peppers, i thought i would jump on the computer and wish you a happy saturday - and even better, a happy saturday night. hopefully you have found your groove for the day, forgiven your spouse for buying an xbox, sipped a spot of vodka, pet your sweet kitty, and eased into your evening.

new growth
before i relay the goodness of the day, i would like to show off the newest addition to le chateau du bookling! this bright spurt of color and growth is so beautiful. i do love new growth...

my day has been quite lovely. the mister and i slept way too late, made a tasty eggy-pesto breakfast, headed out for our chiropractor appt and a quick bit of household shopping (including our first ever catnip purchase). after that, i did some chores and made the saint follow me around with the camera so i could document my productivity for you all.


grandmother's lamp
grandmother's lamp (which the saint put up for me today)

after i finish this, i will resume my online grocery shopping, do my nails, and play house with the saint as he tries to coerce me into video gaming with him. (did you know i feel about videogames as i feel about harry potter? and this is a bad time to admit that i played (and sang) rockband last night at my cousin's house. it was fun. i admit.)

but i am bored with talking about productivity.
i just want to feel good at the end of the day, and arriving at that is every person's battle.

toot-a-looo in all my quiet cheer,


today: the reason for yesterday. also: chard lasagne.

February 25, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

you may have noticed my late-evening posts of late. i am sure you well know that my most honest inspiration comes to me when the house is still and i am finally in a good mood.

usually because i am alone.

my misanthropic antics aside, i wanted to report that despite (or perhaps because of) a rather discouraging go at it yesterday, i have had what i must recognize today as a good day.

"what did you do today?" my inquisitive brother asks over a pint.


OH! "I made a casserole!"

Mind you, I did a lot more than that, but it really was a good casserole! It was soo good that it was all I could think of in answer to that question. If you find yourself with a surplus of Swiss or Rainbow Chard, please note recipe below.

I had a delightful morning. Thought I am still struggling with getting out of bed before 10am, today I was able to at least jump up and shower right away. I thought the maintenance man was coming today to take care of our mice problem, so I wanted to be prepared (a few months back, he caught me in my pjs! How indecorous).

But then this preparation gave me impetus for a quiet, beautiful morning. I had some lovely conversation, some haunting classical piano, some morning candles, a spot of hot tea, and a general feeling of calm usefulness. I was able to complete today's list and even rework the mother-load list into more usable categories. This productivity leaves me to ask, could it really be that the key to being at home is simply a morning shower and/or getting dressed?! Sometimes I feel simplicity's slap so acutely. Girls who work at home? Any advice?

This also sends me to thinking about the way cause and effect ripples throughout our moods. Since mood is something often so organic, I seriously baffle at how one bad mood can make a day so upsetting...and then how that upset effect can precipitate a change the next day - even if only out of determination to have a better day.

I suppose it all comes back to just letting myself alone.
Feel what you feel.
You will not be lost to it...

And the day ends with a successful tutoring session, a pint with my brothers, a card that warms my irascible soul, and a spot of chocolate cake and port.

i wish i could hoot to you from across the forested floor and hear your call, the call from your soul.
the slow and wide-eyed owl known as candace.


Chard Lasagna:

This was SO easy! There are no real measurements, and I FREAK out with recipes that lack structure...but this one turned out great.

Wash 1 bunch swiss chard in cool water and drain. Trim the leaves from the stems, then roughly chop the leaves and pat them dry. (Don't worry about the exact size of the bunch. These recipes will work no matter what size your grocery store or farmers' market sells.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan.
  • Peel and thinly slice 2 potatoes (with a mandoline, if you have one). Layer a quarter of the slices in the pan.
  • Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little chopped butter.
  • Top with a third of the prepped chard.
  • Layer with grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese, a pinch of dried thyme leaves, and more salt, pepper, and butter.
  • Repeat twice with the remaining potato slices and chard, then end with potatoes.
  • Pour 1/2 cup milk over the top. (The pan will seem very full-don't worry, it will cook down.)
  • Cover with foil and bake until tender, a little over an hour.
  • Top with a last layer of Gruyère or Swiss and, if desired, Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden.

*Note: I only had cheddar and I also added zucchini and the result was delish. I would show you a picture, but it's totally gone.


en images: from the rising to the going down

February 24, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments

ante meridiem

when words over-analyze the pressure of open time,


repetition makes the heart grow poignant

February 23, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

i broke a fatal rule today.
i am trying to forgive myself.
my head cowers in shame.
my fingers tisk with censure.

i left the house without my camera.

it was last minute, for which i give myself immense credit.
it was even a sans makeup trip, for which i also give myself credit.
but i do not forgive myself for leaving the house without my soul (there is never an excuse for such debauchery).

this afternoon, in a panic of thinking i might not leave the house today, i spontaneously decided (inasmuch as i am capable of spontaneity; this movie-date may/may not have been on a list i wrote last night and edited again today), i took myself to see "rachel getting married" and after i stepped out of the theater, already wrapped in my own pensive, post-cinematic cloud, i was seduced by the smell of salt and rain.

so i drove to the sea.
in the drizzle of gorgeous seattle rain, accompanied only by Rachmaninoff and Lolita,
i drove to my sea.

and of course. bein sur. por supuesto....
i want my camera.

i had even mentioned going out this week on a photographic sojourn, but i should know better than to force my hand than to just let my photos happen to me (which is why i established the practice of always keeping a fully-charged camera in my satchel).

but not today.
not today.

also today, (despite the editing of aformentioned mother-load of all lists) i forgot an appointment! i suppose it's the price to pay for not sitting and staring at my calendar for hours on end, and despite pangs of irresponsiblity and disorientation from the surprise at my own forgetfulness - i guess the trade off is that i stared at the sea instead of at my calendar.

i saw the sea instead of my calendar.
i saw the sea instead of my calendar.
i saw the sea instead of my calendar.

the scalded

because repetition indeed makes the heart grow poignant,

my cat is catching mice! for three mornings in a row, i awaken to her innocently batting around house mice in an attempt to make them play again. one on hand, i am happy that the mice is no longer in my house, but it also means there are mice in my house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i suppose being a pet owner is not for the squeamish.

cat bath

my cat likes the water. for the last couple of nights, when i take my hot bath, she sits on the side and tries to bat the water with her paw, or at least get as close to the water as possible (including standing on my torso or exposed knee). last night, she was playing with the water so much that she made the side slippery and her backside totally fell in! she scatted to the far corners of the house and wouldn't allow me close to towel her. i assume she will be no longer involved in bathtime.


the new sunday night sickness

February 22, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Sundays are spent at Joel's parents in Maple Valley, a beautiful 45-min drive from downtown Seattle. We lounge, nap, play xbox (not me), watch movies, eat mom's food, read books, play with the puppies, and do laundry. In general, it's my familial form of sabbath. However, once 9pm roles around, someone usually whines about having "SNS: Sunday Night Sickness."

SNS is the ultimate feeling of dread as the conclusion of the weekend falls upon your relaxed soul and tightens up the knots in your stomach. Its symptoms are general nausea associated selling your soul to the devil in order to make money in America. It can also present in feelings of disgust, irritation, malaise, and fatigue. In fact, quite often, SNS has been known to keep a girl in bed on Monday morning.

As I am now currently aimlessly unemployed, I thought I would no longer be chronically tormented by SNS.

i was wrong.

But this time, SNS is different. I do feel the posthumous poison of that old job leaking out of my system, but now it seems replaced by a new kind of sickness.

I would like to call this sickness
perhaps OMGWAIGTOT for short?

In an attempt to assuage this gnawing question, and since a lot of people are asking, the floodgates of answers open wide and my "to-do" list becomes a mathematical phenomenon of exponential growth. I have morphed SNS into a new chain of diseased DNA.

OMGWAIGTOT is somewhat unfamiliar to me (though I can now remember its presence on summer breaks, christmas breaks, and vacations) but so far, its presence may look something like me taking out my iphone or small booklet while in the car and start making lists, then making lists of those lists, and then lists on how to incorporate those lists. Typically, I do this until joel lovingly reminds, "hon. you're gonna get car sick...so, what you doin' tomorrow!?"


SNS presented in various questions: I concerned myself with my weekly wardrobe, nightly meals to cook, balance of social schedule vs work schedule, anxiety of going to a job for which i was underpaid and overqualified, general irritation at the condescension of working in support, and a nagging existential loneliness that I was doing the opposite of what I was made for...etc.

OMGWAIGTOT seems to present simpler questions:
  • What movies will I see this week?
  • What book will I read this week?
  • When will I repaint my nails?
  • When will I schedule 5 long-distance phone calls I need to return?
  • Will I wear anything but jeans?
  • Should I sell all my slacks in order to buy more jeans?
  • Will I even get dressed?
  • What time will I get up?
  • Will I get up?
  • Will I wash my hair?
But the real question:
can i really afford these simplicities?
isn't life supposed to be busy and complicated and overwhelming?
and if i cannot be busy and complicated and overwhelming,
will i busy myself trying to be complicated and overwhelming?

For me,
The unknown has always been worse than the predictability of a day.
Since I am no longer experiencing predictable days,
I am more and more planning ahead so as to provide such things for myself.

Living in the future is not something I need to encourage in myself, dears.

Let's turn out the lights.
Slip into the scalding clean of hot baths.
Plan our outfits for tomorrow.
Pack our lunches and preset our coffeemakers.
and remember that
no one

(even the employed).

And isn't that kind of beautiful in a:
crying at the oscars,
throw-caution-to-the-wind Tice,
baby's cheeks
kind of way?

ending Sunday night before it ends me,


friday night at dusk

February 20, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

here i am, sitting in the dusk, picking through the small dregs of the tortilla chips to dip in my hummus, occasionally turning my head to see Octavia jump up on a sleeping joel...

here i am, recovering an ailing head with water, reminiscing about the late night talks in the dark with some ladies, wondering why i cried so much, remembering why i love them, noting to drink less next time...

here i am, book open on bed ("How to Think like a Cat"), pondering the existence of a small feisty animal and how she will be in relationship with me for a long time, hoping i can read her signals, praying she will stop eating my curtains, relinquishing to an ugly scratch post...

here i am, irritated that i filled up my weekend so much, aching to spend it alone with joel, having just picked him up from the airport today, propositioning him with a night of girl movies (300 and The Notebook**), knowing how much i needed that week apart, warming to his electric touch, knowing i would die without him...

here i am, in quiet peace at dusk on a friday, amazed that a few months ago, i would be walking home in heels, exhausted from boredom, hungry for vodka and cheeseburgers, and expectant of some friday night life.

here i am.
i have begun to freefall.
i have begun to release my white-knuckled grip,
i have begun to think that...

i could get used to this.

and i'm lickin' my fingers with the goodness of it.

~the no-more-corporate-whore,



en images: mexico style

February 18, 2009 Candace Morris 8 Comments

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

From Mia Mexican Mama

Mia Mexican Mama

~can i go back?


my love/hate relationship with destiny

February 18, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

the way is already chosen.

to this i am still clinging:
"I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer..."
Rainer Maria Rilke

my dears,
i am friggen scared.

but while on our third margarita, a wise young friend told me that perhaps facing my fear isn't something I can do now...but something I may be only able to do retroactively. Despite timelines and "shoulds," isn't the important thing simply to face your fear, even if you only have the strength once the fear is gone?


(still working on mexico pics)


los ultimos dias con la playa

February 13, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

we just returned from the four hour trip back from Manzanillo. we stayed in an all-inclusive resort for one night and dears, i left my heart on that coast. combine free booze, tons of food, perfect weather, swim up bars, the sounds of waves out my window, and parents footing the bill and you have a very contento candace.

tomorrow, i return to the states.
it will be hard to de-spanish my brain once again, as i have been thinking and dreaming in spanish this week.

my writing feels like my skin.
warm, but weathered.

tomorrow holds:
  • a two hour drive to airport
  • two 3 hour flights
  • arrival at 9pm to my lovers' arms, only to drive back to the airport and drop him off the next morning for a work trip.
i am looking forward to a new chapter of my life, but i am still so anxious and scared. i kind of thought being away physically from the fear would keep me emotionally distanced as well. i should have known better; Emerson warned me of that not three weeks ago. he said that despite all the beauty and benefit of travel, one thing prevails. YOU. you can never leave yourself behind...and so you will find that staring at the Sistine chapel, the Mediterranean, or hagia sophia - that your fears are still there.

and so i know i should turn around and address the fear.
it has always been my strong-suit - to run into the fire...

but this time i seem to lack the faith.
and instead of a path i know is marked for me,
i see a turned back, another abandonment, and again,
here i am.
forced to make my own destiny.
and tonight,

i resent it.

in a moment of weakness,
(mexico pictures to come this week).


el tercer dia

February 11, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

the exhaustion hit me today...you know, the middle-of-vacation exhaustion combined with coming off a regimented work schedule. i could barely keep my eyes open all day.

we took her easy today.

big ol breakfast of eggs, refried beans, rice, and tortillas; lots of coffee.
made pineapple-upside-down cake with momma.
big ol lunch of chile rellano, rice, and beans.
a bit of shopping at a hat factory.
longer nap.
mangos. (this may have been the best part of my day).
parent's bible study.
nachos and tequila.
episode of CSI.
episode of psyche.


tomorrow we are off to the coast! we will drive four hours to a resort in manzanillo where, upon arrival at noon, we plan to swim, eat, read, sleep, sunbathe, swim, eat, sleep, sunbathe, swim, eat...

in veritable vocational detox & lazy off the fat of the land,


el segundo dia

February 10, 2009 Candace Morris 6 Comments

well, i was right. i slept long and hard last night on a very comfortable mattress with some of my childhood bedding. i cannot get over how i used to dislike all the knick knacks around my mom's place and how they now bring immense nostalgic joy...

how nearsighted we can be in youth; how wise we can be in pain.

i awoke around 10am (8am my time) and wandered downstairs in my pjs, glasses, and hoodie. my mom took me outside to meet the three-year-old girl across the street and that led into a conversation with her mother and her next door neighbor as well. i am not sure how much you know about mexican culture, but you meet, talk to, and say goodbye to everyone you make eye contact with. i then went inside and met my parents housekeeper and then sat to a quick breakfast (almuerzo: the small breakfast of coffee and sweetbread). my stepdad got a call that a lady was coming visiting, so we received her very shortly thereafter. i met a total of seven people in my pajamas! hahah. it felt very normal and my pajamas are just yoga pants, so i was fine. still, it was a "meet cute" story of reawakening to mexican culture. my spanish is rusty, but i was able to follow the conversations and exchange all the appropriate pleasantries. we then had some cereal for desayuno (another light breakfast around 10am).

after a shower, and an accidental run in with some mexican water while i brushed my teeth (i forgot!), i threw on a breezy dress and sandals (my legs are sooo white), and sat with my mom to learn more about crocheting. i am self-taught and canNOT follow a pattern to save my life, so my mom decided to remedy that. two hours later, we had the beginnings of a decent square and i was exhausted from the concentration.

From Two Mexico

we then left for comida (lunch around 2pm) the biggest meal of the day. cliff and mom were on the hunt for mariscos (seafood), namely, their favorite shrimp cocktail place. it was closed so we headed to a different and lovely place. we sat to a lunch of shrimp cocktail like i have never had (think HUGE margarita glass, filled with shrimp, cilantro, pico de gallo all immersed into a cold broth that was so tasty!), topped with refreshing lemonada con mineral water (lemonade made with safe water). we sat and talked for an hour or so, and enjoyed the lazy part of the mexican day (2-4pm).

From Two Mexico

on the way home, we stopped at this beautiful nursery where i helped my mom pick some arrangements for the pots on her balcony. after a stop for an ice cream, we headed home.

From Two Mexico

a few minutes later, cliff took me out on his harley! i hadn´t been on a bike in probably 20 years, so it was something i said i wanted to do and certainly couldn´t back out of now!! it was fine in the village at 15 mph, but once we got on the open road and hit a cool 70 mph, i had to remember to breathe. cliff said later that he didn't show me half of what that harley could do, to which i said "praise god." despite my initial visions of seeing my skinned corpse on the side of the mexican road, i was able to relax and the endorphins of doing something that required overcoming an anxiety kicked in and suddenly i saw the valley in all its splendor, felt the wind with all its unforgiving forté, and felt my life force surge back into my blood stream.

jobs. no jobs.
this is what life was.
grabbing the wind, sucking in it, and being affected by your world.

later that afternoon, mom and sat around talking, put on a movie, and we sat to the lightest meal of the day, which is cena, usually eaten around 8pm.

i am now sitting in their office, listening to the dulled sound of my mother's voice as she reads to cliff their nightly book. they get a yearly list of recommended reading from me, then purchase the books. they have been through titles such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, East of Eden, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Road, (just to name a few) and are now on The Poisonwood Bible (which i recommended but haven't yet read!). i love that they do that.

i am tired from the fun of it all.
i am tired from the awareness of life.
i am tired from being spoiled.

its the best tired a daughter should know.


p.s. leif, at your recommenation, dillard's maytrees are here with me.
p.s.s. joel, whatcha doin?


la primera dia

February 09, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

omg. they have internet in mexico!
this country has come a long way since i visited last (9 yrs ago).
he he.

well, i am here. despite some scary last minute running through airports to catch flights, i had smooth travel (including emergency exit rows.....mmmm). i was greeted by a balmy 81 degrees and some happy parents. we drove immediately to ¨their¨taco stand and then headed the two hours home from the airport.

it is really better to be here than i imagined. yes, it´s my mother, but despite that obvious comfort, i am surrounding by all the little knick knacks and decor i grew up with. since my parents moved to mexico four years ago, i have really mourned the loss of a home and it was never so good as to see a tattered old familiar towel , some silly frame, or my mom´s infamous ¨heart wall.¨

i sit here alone at my stepdad´s big desk, the house silent save for the tick of an old familiar clock and the sound of crickets through the open window. today i had a thought i swear i never had before...and it felt something like gratitude for my upbringing. i realized that a lot of americans come to mexico, but very few come to the mexico i know so well; the exposure of real people and real food and real culture. this place is really nothing like you have ever seen and i grabbed my camera several times in an attempt to bring you with me, but i was out of battery. sigh. all of that to say that i wouldn´t give up traveling this intimately for anything.

after a dinner of carne asada and horchata (with special guacamole they don't usually bring to the table, but did because they had a cute little blonde at the table with them), a spot of tequila & lime, a DVD episode of CSI (mis padres own all seasons in lieu of tv), i am off to bed.

tomorrow´s plans include sleeping and eating. oh, and perhaps i will sit on my mother´s deck as she waters her garden.

and in the embrace of my mothers aura, trinkets, and scent
i shall slumber
as i have not slumbered in much too long.

pensando en ti,
candi (dolce to the mexicanas).


how i survived the end of my paycheck and other such stories

February 08, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

Thursday, my last day as an executive assistant and office manager, was perhaps one of the worst days i have ever had in that office. i was laid off on monday, one full week before my termination date, so i had plenty of time to prepare. throughout the week, leading up to my last day, i was scared and shocked, but never once did i feel paralyzed by rejection.

until thursday.
for some reason, i was cross, sore, wounded by the preposterous notion that this office would run successfully without me. to make matters worse, i was required [last minute] to train another in several of my duties which was humiliating and frustrating...knowing they would have to be retrained anyway at a later date...why was i being subjected to this?

adding insult to injury... earlier in the week, i had crafted a 35 point list of duties that would be expected to be completed at any given time. when i first completed that list, i was so empowered, realizing all i do, how important i was. however, on thursday, i went over those duties with a few people and the overwhelmingly cavalier treatment of my work ("oh! no problem...so-and-so can do that...") injured me to the point of tears.

at several points in the day, i had to slip into a shadowed empty office and let my tears roll incautiously down my exhausted face. my mother sent a particularly touching email, detailing how she was going to (unexpectedly, to me) spoil me on my upcoming trip to Mexico. To be so important to her that day hit just the right unimportance i had felt all morning. I wept almost every time I was alone that day.

I wanted to run home and hide. Introverts despise exposure of any kind, and I especially struggle with it in relation to being new at a job or leaving a job.

But come 4pm, and the best part of my day ensued. The small office I work for (which had nothing to do with my layoff and which also will be the most inconvenienced by it) took me out for beers. They presented me with a card and bottle of Glennfiddich 12. I was touched and buzzed just enough to be able to loose my fear of exposure, and just enjoy their company. I tell you, people are never so beautiful as when you never have to see them again. :) (Nah, I really liked these guys).

Joel and I then went off to taste some port at our favorite local wine shop and enjoyed a quiet evening. Despite tears lulling me to sleep (at this point it was the fear of falling into another depression due to loss of structure/routine), I new/know that this change is good. Unfortunately, knowing something is good for you doesn't make it any easier to swallow (think bitter brussel sprouts).
Vino Verite - regulars

shelved in patience

Since then, I have known great affection in those who care for me. Tonight, I am especially moved by one long-lost friend from high school that i recently reconnected with. She sent me such a humbling card with not only Rilke's words (i will cling to), but hers. I am touched that something as minute as this can illicit such compassion from my dears.

So now begins the countdown.
I am off to Mexico at 4am on Monday morning, and I couldn't imagine a better Monday.

Here's to feeling that way about {monday} mornings from now on,
candace ruth

i'll see you south of the border...

p.s. joel and i rode the slut!


more of same.

February 05, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments

last night i felt free and magically alive.

today i just feel pissed and scared as hell.



perched at the end of my rope.

February 04, 2009 Candace Morris 5 Comments

ready and waiting.

i cannot even begin to list all that was last week that is no longer. but for your benefit, and so you get some sense of the whirlwind lifting my hair in tangles of gusts, let me count the ways:
  • a broken heart and soul searching conversations
  • two new pets
  • a sister moving out of washington
  • a grandpa having a stroke and learning how to talk again in a matter of days
  • i get laid off (last monday)
  • i leave for mexico (coming monday)

well, i guess that sums it up.

so i figured it's probably a good time to pick up the book sitting on my self, checked out from my local library taken on a good faith recommendation from my psychologist AND psychiatrist. it's called transitions. it's been really interesting so far; his main supposition being that Americans are bred and addicted to change; our country was founded on the principal that there is always something bigger and better out there, thus breading a country of those unable, unwilling, and unpracticed in rest and stability. he argues that we are therefore always in transition and a country tortured by discontent.

but what i have found most satisfying to chew on - of all the morsels (sweet and sour) of news and thoughts in my clamoring brain is the truth that i am not hungry, i am not cold, and i am not without love.

support has flooded my inbox and it makes me somewhat regret that i didn't send out an email to all my friends and family before i was laid off with the words, "i am miserable, i need your support." so many words (which is how i most often receive love) would have come flooding my way, but here i was lost in my own self-inflicted autumn of isolation.

it also made me miss my mother.
we don't often talk (maybe once a year).

but when we corresponded about my job and how we were both relieved and shocked, i realized that i would probably die if i didn't get down to mexico (where she lives and where i have never visited her) soon. i am not sure why. i don't care to know why; what i know is that i needed something as familiar as the day i was born and she is the only one who can give it to me. i needed to get out of dodge. i needed to let this sink in before i jumped into something else. i needed to breathe a different culture. so i scrapped together some emergency funds and she helped me find a way to her. i plan to do nothing but rest, write, eat authentic mexican food, and drink tequila.

oh, and did i mention that it's 80 degrees there?
i can already feel myself relaxing.

so tomorrow is my last day...
didn't i just pray that i could quit?

i feel like a fledgling, bounding on narrow-tipped branches...
i have been waiting for the right weather conditions but mother nature makes me have to learn now.
my little body shudders with excitement and fear.

(or like my octavia, new to a world that already loves her, daily growing in confidence and curiosity.
oh to greet the morning so...)

and my wings are spreading to catch this hot gust...

i asked for this.
i asked for this.

a lady bird from chicago once sent me words by victor hugo that now hang above my nightstand...

"Be like the bird that,
passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her,
and yet sings,
knowing that she hath wings."

and ladies and gents...
i know.
i have wings.

~turns out we are all living right before our very eyes,


February Me Date

February 02, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

i did mention that one of my goals this year was to make me dates more frequent, yes? well today all but begged me for some soul time, and i have learned to listen to its needs.

for my monday lunch break, i wandered the two blocks over to westlake center for a polish sausage and some sunshine. i slowed down my walking pace, i took a quantity of concentrated breaths, i made eye contact and smiled, i giggled at the charm of the turkish hot dog vendor, "my dear, your lunch is ready...". i sat and enjoyed my lunch while people-watching - which mainly consisted of ambitious black coats whirling by in a hurry and a group of raucous street kids flipping each other off.

dog in the daylight
dog in the daylight

i then wandered across the street to borders - mainly in quest of a book for someone's upcoming birthday, but to no avail. they did not have said book, and even though it's a corporate bookstore, i meandered in and out of aisles and breathed deep the aroma of friends. i finally perched on a low stool in the literature section and grabbed a copy of Les Mis, opened it at random, and read a few pages. i need to finish that book - i started it in college but never finished. i happened upon the scene where the bishop tells Jean Valjean that he has bought his life and that he is no longer a slave to evil, but belongs to good.

my soul churned inside me.
and the morning spent under florescents and staring at taupe-colored cubicle walls was suddenly not so bad.


as i headed back to work, i had the savory lingering of good food in my mouth, the moving themes of redemption in my soul, and a much needed wind at my back.

i will do this again soon.
once a month?

when will you take yourself out?

~ever comfortable in solo form,


wounded by want

February 01, 2009 Candace Morris 3 Comments

joel and i rode home in silence sunday night, both heavy with want. i can taste the thick precipitation of change in the air these days and though i find it an exhilarating part of life, it's still a bit unsettling, sad, and often too big to swallow.

and then there are things that cannot change fast enough. i want so many things out of this life and perhaps it's my tenancy towards indulgence in self-pity, but i feel like they are being dangled in front of me like a carrot and are always just out of reach. i grew up believing that my heart's desires were placed divinely and with great purpose, and yet it seems that i lack resource and opportunity to make those seemingly god-given desires actualize. i stand before my dreams with hope, ambition, capability - but it seems each direction is cyclical and brings me back to right here.

our lives are on the cusp.
i feel the breeze at our backs; our sails poised to catch it.

and yet we remain.

what i wouldn't give to see joel teaching and fulfilled again.
what i wouldn't give to be out of debt.
what i wouldn't give to go back to school.
what i wouldn't give to have a baby and be able to support her.
what i wouldn't give to keep my family together.
what i wouldn't give to bring grandma back and have grandpa healed.
what i wouldn't give to be better at saving.
what i wouldn't give to quit both our jobs tomorrow.
what i wouldn't give for a room of my own.
what i wouldn't give for booklings.

and all of this sacrifice of desire, all of this want - it hurts in the best way. it wounds my spirit and encourages me to fight harder, to see with more perspective, to hope audaciously.

winds of change,
breath your benevolent sirocco breeze into our ready banner.
lift it from its dejected despondency


though it hurts, this wanting, i relish in the tangible good: cashmere pj pants and whiskey, a bowl of rocky road in a scalding bath, a quiet nap by dad's fireplace, an endearing touch by an animal (parents got a new puppy this week), a long voicemail from a friend, a beautiful text from a sister, the solitude of the night sky, a random old chair in my laundry room, a long talk with another sister, the simple pleasure of housework, a decadent brunch with a dear friend. these all amalgamate to bring me solace.

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and for you, for this, for the pain and wounds,
i am in awe.

"But your solitude will be a support and a home for you,
even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances,
and from it you will find all your paths."