Restoring Radical Empathy

This morning I read this letter that John Steinbeck wrote to his son about love. His son, a youngster away at boarding school, confessed to being in love and Steinbeck responded with words heartfelt and true. ” There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. […]

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Art Lost

I love projects.  I love the feeling of a completed objective or a goal reached.  I was a force to be reckoned with when it came time to get our house ready to sell. In a matter of weeks I cleaned out the crawl space (which was a feat unto itself), ripped out 6 juniper […]

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Travels with Emmett

When we announced that we were about to embark on this not-so-little journey, most people asked what we were going to do with Emmett, our other partner in crime. It was a surprising question to both Brian and I because I can’t imagine the answer being anything other than “he’s coming with us.” There is […]

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Good-bye Orcas, Hello World

While I was in Port Townsend, WA for my second MFA residency, Brian was wrapping up all things house related. Most of my time was spent dog-paddling through a sea of words and books and writers and writerly tools, but when I had a moment to spare, I worried about this guy. I wasn’t worried about how much he had to do–after all, Brian is nothing if not a workhorse. He’d get it done, I had no doubt.

No, I was worried because the idea of saying good bye to your home is emotional. I was trying to pin down what the emotion is, though and I struggle. 4XXX Orcas was a great house with a great yard, and a great community, but there are million of those out there. It is not, despite the real estate market, a unicorn. We’ve had several great homes, we’ll find another. So I guess it’s the memories, the nostalgia, that is emotional.

Brian says the Orcas years were our first really awesome years. They were the first years that we weren’t paycheck to paycheck. The Orcas years led us to begin the process of unearthing what it was that we were the most passionate about. Brian’s art changed substantially. I started writing, like for real, not just in the stolen minute in the early morning or on a random Sunday.

We aren’t losing those memories, we’re taking them with us. So, why is it so emotional?

I think it’s a funny mix of overwhelming gratitude, breathtaking apprehension and solid, grounding knowledge that you’ve taken a risk and that it was a brilliant decision.

Brian made this video, because how else do you really show what it’s like other than to see it?

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