Rook and Tangle

Last time I was here I was lying down on my back in our lawn. It was midsummer evening, my favorite hours of the year, and in strong contrast to my rural childhood  I was lying down with my head three feet from concrete, four feet from where the street’s druggie had passed out, 30 feet from a brewery, and 50 yards from a notorious dive bar. I lay down on the grass and looked into the sky and talked with Eric, the air shaded from yellow to red to dusk, like swimming in a lake we floated on the light and standing up was like diving into its depths. 

Then I blinked and was here, sitting on the couch three months later with graduate school graduation, a new job, volunteer trip, birthday parties, dinners, early mornings, late nights, deadlines and responsibilities fulfilled tieing together the yawning chasm of the the last three months.

I’ve heard that the mind is like a house, with rooms and closets and cupboards, locked and unlocked - and I’m sitting in the middle of the house at an old chest full of keys, and I’m pretty sure I just dropped the last handful of reeses pieces in the chest.

Sep 18
Sugar Space

Working downtown I encounter a lot of homeless people. Today I walked down first ave and saw what seemed to be a couple teasing a blind man with a severe developmental disability. I slowed down to check out the situation and the man of the couple started saying quazi-agressive things to me so I crossed the street. I stayed and peeked around the parked car to see if the situation was alright or if I should call the police-at second watch the blind man seemed to be on good terms with the couple, he followed them down the street-had I misread the quazi head lock? I still feel haunted that the couple was abusing the blind man; that he followed them because he got attention or love from them even in their abuse, or didn’t know any better - I don’t know if I did the right thing by continuing on my walk.

10 minutes later I passed by a woman sitting on the ground rocking herself in fetal position. She talked to herself and rocked-I couldn’t understand words, but there were sounds of rage and sorrow mixed together. A few minutes later I walked back down the street. There was vomit by where she had been sitting, two piles of it, and she was now pacing back and forth in front of an empty storefront, completely engaged in her own mind, vomit smeared on the back of her jacket.

After I passed the woman I went into Bartell drugs to buy some mascara, passing by a man with some sort of disability selling Real Change. He spoke like his tongue was cut off or numb, his clothes piecemealed together. As I wandered through Bartell’s his muddled voice range out every time the automatic doors opened: rea change, rea change, rea change, rea change, rea change.

How long, O Lord? Have mercy on us.

Mar 1
Makings

It’s a new year and a sunny day outside. I feel rested, inspired, and given the New Year’s blessing to self-actualize a little more-if only I can stop checking the craigslist free listings. 2011 was a really happy year in the Borgh residence. It was my 5th year in Seattle (Eric’s 4th) and we’ve finally settled in, evidenced by the fact that I only get lost about once a month, know exactly where to find the ketchup in the grocery store, and have a “gang” of friends (think Archie comics: “Call up the gang, JugHead’s metabolism has reversed and he’s the size of a house!”). We’ve lived in the farmhouse for 2.5 years and now enjoy the presence of the woman’s roller derby and a brewery on our street. We got new housemates who delight us with their fun and thoughtfulness-I was recently handed a homemade pumpkin spice late in my to-go mug on my way out the door.  I’m also learning a lot about being a real adult from them, ie, that standing up in the kitchen eating couscous out of the pot with a mixing spoon doesn’t count as dinner.

We are deeply involved with our church’s youth group as volunteers. For proof I can show you a hair curling technique that I learned from one of the girls during a five hour long hang out session or give you the definition of the word noob. But I really love those kids and being with them adds a lot of spice and joy to my live.

Eric added beekeeping and cheese making to his list of creative projects. I’ve added “learned to have fun” and “am reading again” to mine. I’ve also started playing the piano and writing a little bit more. None of that writing will ever become public, but it’s very reassuring to sit down with paper and pen and find that I haven’t gone crazy or lost my identity: Becca’s still home and has gotten a little bossy lately. Also, after the purchase of a pair of hot pink running shoes early last year I’m up and running again-which is one of my favorite arduous pastimes.

Life since high school felt like a whirlwind, 5 moves in two years, marriage, graduating undergrad, finding a job, supporting a husband through an emotionally rigorous graduate program. The last year has been a culmination of all the work we’ve done trying to make Seattle home and the huge relief we feel at experiencing stability; It’s freeing and joyful.

So from this last happy year we’re turning another chapter. Eric completes school in April and will be looking for a job as a mental health provider (nervously holding our breath until he finds that job) and I just applied for graduate school (to be a therapist-yes, we will screw our kids up), We are anticipating many fun and scary changes. Here’s to a wonderful 2011 and many hopes for a challenging and life-giving 2012!

Jan 9
New Year

My closeted perfectionist needs some perspective this morning (she’s still mad that I didn’t go on a run yesterday) and so I thought I’d help her out by showing some appreciation for the life I do have.

 

Thankful for:

Backpacking trips with beautiful weather, hard physical challenge, and people that are different than me.

The sun outside today.

A job at a good company with great coworkers.

My health.

Wendell Berry.

The bookmarks tab on Firefox.

Dreaming and imaging beautiful spaces.

The gift of writing.

Our country’s infrastructure-in awe of its complexity.

Grad school in a year.

Routine.

My grandmas sand dollar necklace.

Sisters moving closer.

Getting to support a living wage for migrant workers through a CSA box.

Recycling.

Three years of hard work in my marriage that makes it what it is today.

Allison Krauss’ music.

Family, friends, loved ones.

Aug 24
Thankful
Jul 25

I recently did the decorations for my dear friends Dan and Erin’s wedding. I wasn’t able to take many day-of photos (too busy scurrying around), but I do have a few pre-wedding photos of a few different elements at my house.

Their colors were yellow and green, and core to Dan and Erin is a commitment to living simply and giving away what they have to others, along with an organic, happy, whimsical touch. We worked together to honor their commitments and put something together that would create a happy, festive environment with touches of simplistic, homeade decor. This meant a lot of fabric (1/2 off at JoAnne’s fabrics), yarn, burlap, butcher paper, tissue paper, ball jars, and inexpensive potted plants. A group of 10-20 of Dan and Erin’s committed and amazing friends came early to the wedding and in about two hours we got the majority of the decor set up. It was a fabulous experience and one where I learned a lot about what I enjoy and where I want to continue learning as I create for these types of events. I L-O-V-E doing this. love. The best part is that I got to do what I love for people I love!

Jul 18

I think that I might not be shy anymore…

When I was seven I was too humiliated to ask my teacher if I could go to the classroom. Instead, I peed my pants and when little Ricky sitting next to me noticed a “drip, drip” from my chair I told him very innocently that it must be the Capri-sun leaking from my backpack. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had a bossy streak and a quick answer. This weekend I organized 15 people into doing the decoration for a wedding in two hours; I’ve vacillated between bossypants and pee-your-pants.

But this weekend I went from working hard-hard at the wedding to my friend’s 30th birthday party, where I partied until 1:00pm. The next morning I joined MHGS student leadership to dance…in public….in a silly/amazingly fun team building exercise. I’ve had more challenging conversations in the last two days than I’ve had in months, and the culmination of all of these things mark a wonderful change that’s happened in me. I find myself somewhere in the middle of the two extremes: in charge, but less intense; quiet, but less afraid, and much, much happier and more eager to continue embracing and experiencing life.

I’m thinking of freshening my room up, inspired by some of these items. However, I need to
1. Keep it under $1002. Keep the yellow wall color
My to-do list:
Make above yellow carpetAdd black trim to curtainsPaint blue pillow coversSew black trim onto white pillow coversSew orange and white striped pillow caseMake two nights stand shelves next to bedReinstall lamps above night stand shelvesMake reclaimed wood headboard…or see if Eric wants to do it
Whew!!! It still needs some collaborative conversation between Eric  and I, but hopefully we’re on track to creating a really fun and great  bedroom.
Jun 8

I’m thinking of freshening my room up, inspired by some of these items. However, I need to

1. Keep it under $100
2. Keep the yellow wall color

My to-do list:

Make above yellow carpet
Add black trim to curtains
Paint blue pillow covers
Sew black trim onto white pillow covers
Sew orange and white striped pillow case
Make two nights stand shelves next to bed
Reinstall lamps above night stand shelves
Make reclaimed wood headboard…or see if Eric wants to do it

Whew!!! It still needs some collaborative conversation between Eric and I, but hopefully we’re on track to creating a really fun and great bedroom.

I’ve always loved flowers in the house, but never thought I could afford them.  However, I’m discovering that for an average of $10 a week, I can keep 1-2 vases of fresh flowers in the house. For all the pleasure and sense of ease $10 a week can give me, I’ve totally decided it’s an investment worth making.

Apr 9
Flowers
Mar 3

Seed Planting Time at the Borgh’s

I’m not that great at giving presents.  For Christmas this year I gave Eric his present a week after Christmas,  hastily wrapped and shoved under his nose. So Valentine’s  day was my opportunity to redeem myself. Radiolab tickets for the 5th avenue theatre came up for sale and I pounced on them. But then Eric  heard about the show and called me, his mouse hovering over the “buy  tickets” button. The tickets hadn’t  come in the mail yet so I had to improvise. I grabbed some red, white,  and pink paper, scissors, and double sided tape and made an envelope and  tickets. It’s pretty simple, but I think all you crafty people out  there will agree that these little impromptu   projects can be so much fun.
Mar 1

I’m not that great at giving presents. For Christmas this year I gave Eric his present a week after Christmas, hastily wrapped and shoved under his nose. So Valentine’s day was my opportunity to redeem myself. Radiolab tickets for the 5th avenue theatre came up for sale and I pounced on them. But then Eric heard about the show and called me, his mouse hovering over the “buy tickets” button. The tickets hadn’t come in the mail yet so I had to improvise. I grabbed some red, white, and pink paper, scissors, and double sided tape and made an envelope and tickets. It’s pretty simple, but I think all you crafty people out there will agree that these little impromptu  projects can be so much fun.