Video Blog, StarDate 28 September.

September 28, 2010 Candace Morris 8 Comments


weekend report

September 27, 2010 Candace Morris 8 Comments

Every Once in a While...

A girl needs an excuse to wear more eyeliner than god
and put together an outfit based entirely upon borrowing her husband's shirt.

After a hilariously over-the-top burlesque show on Friday night, 
the rest of my weekend consisted of packing boxes.

My back feels it.
Off to punish it some more!

p.s. the next week will be crazy busy with starting my new job at Microsoft and packing to move on Friday.  Keep us in your thoughts and supplications...for energy, motivation, and good moving mojo!


ease in the moment

September 24, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Evening's Balm

This week has been a whirlwind.  I've found that I am a bit less capable of handling stress than I thought.  My heart still races, my breath eludes me, my mind obsesses.  Fear at being stressed is so much worse than the actual tasks at hand. 

It's very early.  I am unable to sleep, so I open my journal and read last night's entry.  I sat at my kitchen table and took in a rare moment of pure silence.

"How to describe this beautifully heavy silence.  I sit and the only thing I hear is a steady, faint drip of occasional whoosh of trucks driving by.  Stress and fear have returned this week in drastic measure and I am left to doubt myself, questioning if the peace of the last year was due only to the fact that I had leisure time.  God I hope not.  I am so afraid of losing myself again...but if I examine it without the fear, if I can imagine it all being sucked up by an existential, infinite vacuum (I just watched "I Heart Huckabees") then there is nothing stress.  Truly, I fear the fear more than the actuality.  In the moment, I am quite capable, and all I need is strength for that particular moment, not for the rest of my foreseeable future.  Back again to the ease of the moment."

In the next few weeks, I am transitioning back into fulltime work.  I've been racked with personal questions...Am I capable of going back to work and still being a writer?  I do think so, but God...I am scared.  Can I figure out a work/life balance that still allows me to write, take pictures, meet friends?  I do think so, but God...I am scared.

But that's today.  Yesterday, I found a moment of ease.  I close my eyes and cling to the mental picture of me sitting at the kitchen table, reading a letter from her, grabbing my journal, scribbling peace, and realizing that I am still quite capable of taking care of myself.

Self, there is really nothing to fear.


tunnel vision

September 20, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments


There is nothing like quite like riding the rollercoaster of life...your own life...with its sinewy turns and twisty, windy bits. 

Have you ever been to Mendocino County, California?  Well, there is this RIDICULOUSLY windy road that separates I-5 from Mendocino.  Though totally worth the trip, I do not remember ever having been more sick to my stomach from those curves.  Well, 2010 in the life of CRM has felt exactly like that drive.  I cannot seem to hold on tight enough, and just when I adjust to the centripetal force slamming me into my other passengers, another one comes along to throw my stomach in the opposite direction.   Some of these turns are deceptively easy, others quite surprisingly exhilarating.  But all of them are giving my rather precarious stomach a big case of the butterflys.

Therefore.  I must breath deeply, often.  I must concentrate on shutting off my mind to sleep.  I must look at very simple things.  The way a red onion, white garlic, and verdant jalapeño speak to me from their white-canvas of a cutting board....meditating on the steady beat of the September rain...nuzzling into the sweetest smelling skin for a long snuggle.


Perhaps it will be like doing the tree pose in yoga.  If I can fixate on a spot on the floor, I can find my balance.

Here's to staring down simplicity,


let them eat cake

September 18, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

One Of Those Days

Today has just been one of those days.  Everything (though quite the opposite) has just felt weighted.  Sad.  I am sad. Tired.  In pain.  I watched "Steel Magnolias" and cried like a foolish sucka.  I am currently waiting for my saint.  He's bringing me cake.  My sister made me an ice pack.  I'll go to sleep soon and it will be so very sweet.



September 17, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

I guess I am just keenly aware that it's Friday night and it's freaking about time to relax.
Stress*, you can wait until tomorrow.

Happy MotherFlippin' Weekend, Cats.

*Stress these days = lots of packing, arranging, cleaning, selling of items, trashing of items, and more packing.  In case you didn't see my facebook explosions, we FINALLY found a place to move.  It's so gorgeous that I must weep.


for no reason at all

September 15, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

Yesterday, I sat down to my morning quiet, this time with Rilke.  For absolutely no discernable reason other than my increased melancholy of late, I fixated on this poem for 30 minutes.  I don't mean that I performed my usual poetic analysis, which may include saying the poem aloud a few times, looking up various words, familiarizing myself with the cadence, and grappeling with the tone as I scribble notes in the margin.  No, not this at all.

Instead, I stared at it.
I re-read it.
Then I stared some more.

Sometimes there are things in life that speak very clearly to me of their own distance.  I am not supposed to delve into them, they are meant for me in that moment to be nothing other than a skimming of my soul-surface.  I know this particular poem spoke to my depths, but it was almost as if my mind wasn't aware of it.  Perhaps it was a meditative kind of trance in which to absorb poetry...whatever it was, I loved it.

Then at 9:00am, I went straight back to bed until 10:30am.  My soul told me to do it.


hope is a thing with feathers

September 14, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

Some Wishes

I have been disappointed all day.  The saint and I are feeling the crunch of time as it threatens to smoooosh us.  We have to move by October 1, but as yet, we have not solidified a residence for ourselves.  On Sunday, he and I went into Seattle and found the most perfect home.  Location was stellar, the place was gorgeous and spacious, the backyard brimming with tomatoes, and the aesthetic was just completely suited to our taste.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to it fast enough.  If we had only arrived 1 hour earlier, we would currently be toasting to our fortuitous find.

But I've learned something about how I it's changed in the last few years (along with everything else in my head).  Before, I would have completely guarded myself with cynicism towards "getting my hopes up."  I think the general idea behind this theory is that if you don't want it too much, then when it doesn't work out, the disappointment is less.  Only it never worked.  I was always disappointed whether or not I pinned my hopes on the outcome.

So these last few years, I've decided to hope.  Hope against all ration and reason (withing reality, of course.  I am still ME after all...analytical, rational etc)...hope despite the hidden pain it might bring to do so.  

Am I so very disappointed today because I hoped so much?  I don't think so.  I am so very sad because I didn't get what I wanted.  I will grieve it (banana splits help.  limoncello cocktails help.)  I will allow myself to be very blue; I will refuse to kick myself in the backside for hoping too much.  What's so great about guarding oneself from disappointment anyway?  It can, like every other emotion (shadowy or brilliant) bring incredible depth of soul, richness of thought, awareness of self.

Some Discovery

In the end, I hope.
For discovery.
For fascination.
For myself.
For you.
For kindness.
For change.
For stillness.
For a flipping wondiferous house.

 [ title taken from this poem ]


moral imperatives

September 11, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

There are a few items you simply must be privy to this Saturday morning.

How I am taking my coffee lately:
Morning Coffee

It's quite convoluted, how this process came to be.  My grinder finally quit on me, so no more French Press.  I accidentally got a bag of coffee that was ground for a drip machine, but I also don't have one of those.  So, I found my trusty old camping single-cup drip maker, and have been using that ever since.  It's been kind of gross, but in a good greasy-spoon diner kind of way.  A bit of foam a'top makes it a grand cuppa joe.

My addiction to cardigans, here's my recent addition.  This also marks my very first vintage clothing purchase from Etsy.  Not sure what took me so long:

So cute!

The snapdragons decided to give me another bloom:
Bloom Again

These are Kelly's favorite flowers, and since I am already entrenched in thoughts and prayers for her as she starts round 2 of chemo on Monday, it seems fitting that the universe would animate these flowers once more in her honor.

I've got new hairs...but no decent picture of it just yet:

Here was my inspiration...though it looks nothing like this because I don't have Agyness Deyn's hair. TRAGIC! 

And as always, I've been keeping writing like a mad woman.
Coffee, Blueberrys, Write Back Soon
Off we go.

Letters save me on a weekly basis, both the writing and the receiving.  

You may now go about your weekend having been well-informed of my own goings-on.  Sis and I are off to treat ourselves to a massage and enjoy the sun popping out in Seattle.

You are my favorite,


a peek into happy

September 08, 2010 Candace Morris 1 Comments

 [ From my journal ]
[ 1 September 2010 ]

"I suppose it just occurred to me that despite the tribulations (significant as they were) of the past year, I am happy.  Happy to me means finding stillness.  Despite a constantly changing whirlwind around me, I stand content in the hurricane of instability.  I was just preparing a cup of peppermint tea.  It's only 8:30am and I've already made zucchini bread, showered and dressed, and have sat down to write.  It was during the heating of my water and opening the yogi tea packet that happiness dawned on me.  "May your inner self be secure and happy."  I agreed with the wish and then realized I was already there. Shocked at the idea, I quickly scanned my life to grab all the reasons why this preposterous notion could not possibly be true.  Many circumstances, significant sadness, transitions, finances, relational complications - but alas, I look out my kitchen window and felt remarkably good inside.  It might be the calming fog of Fall, the cool weather making me crave classical music and challenging literature, but more so I believe it is because I've managed to take care of myself.  

I've done a lot of work in the last four years.  When I failed so miserably at self-care while teaching, I had to spend so much time sifting through a flea market of tools...picking up many to find they were not intended for me.  Now, I have a carefully planned shelf (a self-care cabinet, if you will) all for me.  I can now easily find and reach the things I need to do to love my time alone and get the most soul out of a sporadic and scare amount.

The hope.

Another significant symptom of my depression.  When depressed, the only banal question plaguing my thoughts is to ask "What's the point?"  Often with a bleak answer.  Some answer MUST be found in order for me to find relief from the weighted sadness.  Now, although I have no answer, the very question plagues me less.  It seems really far away in a forbidden forest...or if I can access the question, I feel it is somehow not intended for me right now.  I hope to god this does not make me naive.  But the hope is back."

In an ethereal, existential, transcendent way,
I think I'm finally getting better.


weekend report: the laze.

September 06, 2010 Candace Morris 1 Comments

After a very busy August - one with every single weekend full - I'm ever so happy to report that this weekend was filled with a whole-latta-nothin'.  That nothing took the form of watching movies with my saint and sister, a few cocktails, and a general laze.  In fact, it's noon and I'm sitting here in my pjs, still nursing a cup of coffee, and thinking I might go take a nap.

I did want to mention the movies we watched because I've been quite pleased with them all.

Aurthur's Father-in-law: "I don't drink, drinking affects your decision making."
Aurthur:  "You may be right.  I can't decide."

On Friday night, after a few whiskeys, Teresa suggested we watch  "Arthur."  Apparently it's even funnier with a bit of libations.  She was right, it completely made us laugh all over our faces.  He just plays a drunk so darn well.   I highly recommend it.

Come Saturday night, I made some Raviolis and we turned on the documentary called "Babies" that I've been really eager to see. Have you heard of it? It chronicles the first year of life in four different babies, each of them located in various parts of the world.  It was so perfectly filmed; the footage from the Mongolian boy is breathtaking.  We loved it.

And on this lazy Labor Day morning, we watched "Mary and Max."  It was one of the best Claymation films I've ever seen.  Endearing, funny, and dark.  It tells the story of two unexpected pen pals and their personal struggles towards self-acceptance and friendship.  Perfect for a holiday morning while trying to recover from a bit too much fun I had at my cousin's wedding last night.

So there you go.  My weekend report: movie edition.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a nap calling my name.
Rest well my darlings,


an old discovery

September 03, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

This morning's quiet brought me to poetry. 
 It was simply the only thing that would do for a melancholy, pensive Friday morn.

You can imagine my delight to open this old book and find the most endearing of inscriptions...
written by my beloved sister in January of 2001.

The back of the book is worn, watered, and quite used. 
 I may have dropped it in the bath a few times since receiving it.

I went through a few poems, annotating and scribbling my thoughts...seeing the notes I made in 2001...
which are incidentally not much different than my initial responses nine years older.

At one point, I stumbled upon a word I didn't know. I felt quite conflicted about this because I've committed to unplugging for this quiet time and I use the internet to look up words.  Then I remembered that before technology existed, there were BOOKS.  I really quite ashamedly forgot that one can find the meaning of words without the use of technology.  I happened to be sitting in my library and my eyes landed directly upon the dic-tion-ary.  How serendipitous!

How easily we forget that which we once soley relied upon.


a writer

September 02, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

Making My Way

"There is within my own definition an incredulity about being a 'writer.'  But truly, here I am with pen, paper, and thoughts communicated upon the page.  I am a writer.  That it was always this simple gives me glee.  I know for some it remains paramount, but I feel that public recognition of this fact does not really matter at all.  The catch?  I really must write to be thusly defined - not 'have written' for then I WAS a writer - not 'will write' for then I am only ever always BECOMING a writer, one elusive day. Today I write, I am a writer. Today is all that matters."

The above is an excerpt from my journal...written this morning while Clara banged her cheerio bowl on her high-chair tray.  Ever since writing the blog post last week wherein I committed to myself to actually WORK on my writing projects (aside from correspondence, journaling, and blogging), I have really never felt so good about writing.

I've had only a few rules.
- Be gentle with myself.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes.

It's been fascinating to discover that the particular subject I'm writing about is a torrential downpour of thoughts and words.  I hope to be finished with it in November.

It just feels good to be working.

In the meantime, I've been reading.  Annie Dillard's "The Writing Life" may very well be the best book I've read all year.  It is so inspiring.  Since I also committed to a "quite time" every morning (while Clara naps of course), I am reminded yet again of something I always told my students.  When looking for inspiration to write, READ.

Although she does not outright claim this, I've deduced Dillard's formula for a writer, which is by no means complete, for I have yet to finish the book.  Thus far a writer must have the following:

: solitude :
: physical exertion :
: a schedule :

I am good with the first and the last, now for a nightly Salsa class.
Maybe the saint can build me a dance studio.

Here's to work.
Here's to the writer.
Here's to homemade chicken pot pie for dinner,