Tag: #DarkAndLight

The Authenticity Experiment, the Snakes Edition.  I don’t write much about my dad.  But a story in the news made me think about the best of him, the part of him that could laugh at himself and his own foibles, and taught me how to do the same thing for myself.  Right now, CES—or the Consumer Electronics Show—is going on in Las Vegas.  It’s the biggest tech show of the year, the time when all my clients are announcing the latest and greatest technology. I’ve never been because my dad went for 11 years in a row and brought home…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the power edition.  It used to be like an electric shock that hit me all at once.  Let me explain. When I still lived at home with my parents, my mother went on an ironing strike.  I mean, I don’t really know if she deliberately struck, I just know that one day I noticed that she refused to iron my father’s shirts and handkerchiefs, the linen table clothes, and the embroidered and lace napkins. Maybe my father bitched one too many times about the ironing job on his white or blue oxford cloth button down shirts (in…

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Let me just say, I know it’s been silent here, or rather, I’ve been silent.  In my electronic filing cabinet sit about 15 half-started posts and several finished ones that will never see the light of day.  Because as much as I try to live authentically, not all stories receive an audience.  I write some stories simply to get them out of my body.  Stories of heartache and heart break.  Stories of anger and agony.  Stories about events so raw and unmetabolized, that they must wait in the dark for digestion.  And, to answer a question so many folks asked…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the Western Weekend Edition.  As a kid, I went to Western Weekend in rural Marin County, in a town without a stoplight or a sit-down McDonald’s.  I didn’t ride the Ferris Wheel because the swinging cars gave me crawl up and a fear that I’d flip out—literally and figuratively—and plummet to my death. Strangely, though, I did ride the Zipper, me alone in a car.  A blue one, I think, but that could just be an artifact of my imagination because now blue is my favorite color.  Two of my other friends rode along, each of us…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the City edition.  Last week, I spent the night San Francisco—“the City,” as everyone in the Bay Area calls it.  The City—as if there is no other city in the world.  But I’ll tell you, on a morning when the tide is out and the fog is burning off, and you step onto O’Farrell Street and cut up and over to Union Square, the impatient honk of cars startling your small town self (and don’t kid yourself, Portland is a small town compared to any other city on the West Coast), the smell of Chinese restaurant grease…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the lifetime grieving edition.  The Alaskan Poet said to me, “I’m beginning to think that grieving is a lifetime process. AND I also think that it’s possible to be at peace with that and just realize that you can grieve and move forward.”  And, I think she’s right. It’s no surprise to find grief here—thoughts about it, stories about it, rants and rages about it.  But there’s a particular grief I’ve been thinking about.  Last week, two of my oldest, dearest friends—sisters—lost their child and nephew. Yeah, a 25 year-old kid. The Opera Singer used to say,…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the unexpected angels edition.  I hate the idea of angels.  Really.  Those damn cherubs painted by Raphael that hung in every 1980s house, regardless of whether the owner had been to Dresden (where the angels were relocated in 1754) to see them in person.  But the thing is, I think that angels—or, rather, guides, as I like to think of them—exist.  I’ve seen evidence time and again in my life—turn here, talk to this person, hand this woman your book, call this person now, tell that girl you love her.  So, well.  Judge me.  It’s new age-y…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the ornament edition.  It’s funny what hurts you, what makes you start to cry like a little kid.  Tonight, it was that I couldn’t remember—actually never asked how—my mom made this chandelier decoration of velvet ribbon and red, green, and gold ball ornaments.  It hung every year in our dining room in the house I grew up in.  I decided it would look good in my house, over the table that belonged to my parents. I’m decorating this year—for solstice—getting out all the boxes.  The lights, the yule log, the decorative hand towels.  You know, because what’s…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the guitar edition. She said it off-handedly.  She didn’t mean it that way, but that’s how it hit my tender heart with its secret shame when I told my friend that I’d spent my teenage years in my room playing my guitar to every album popular during high school: Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, Phoebe Snow, Janis Ian.  “Why would you do that?  Why wouldn’t you just write your own music?” she said.  Flat, the nasal vowels of her native Michigan coming through. Because you’re a lonely kid, I said, surprised that I’d spoken the naked truth, no spin. Because…

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The Authenticity Experiment, the mostly anxiety anniversary edition.  My friend Lesbiana Profundis, aka my secret weapon, laughs at my Rainman-like ability with dates.  Take  July 20th, for instance.  A year and two days ago, I began the Authenticity Experiment.  AE was a writing challenge for myself—to see if I could be authentic and tell the truth on social media.  Here’s the lead from that very first post: “I’m posting this to kick off my own personal FB Balance Month. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we use the FB to post our good news (book), our fun times (Cycle…

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