Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It would be so easy for me to move to another place if I were not afflicted with the Paper Curse. Some old hag must have bent over whatever served as my cradle and muttered, "This child will always be at the mercy of stacks of paper," because I always have held on to reams of the stuff. Old letters, old photos, old manuscripts, bits of writing, newspaper clippings, cards...on and on the list goes, stuffed into drawers, into boxes, waiting for the day that I begin to pack up my life and have to go through every scrap, deciding what to keep and what to toss.

Every morning now, while I have coffee, I sort through the accumulation, shredding old paystubs, bank statements, utility bills, by hand of course because I am way too 20th century to have acquired a paper shredder. I am so good at not accumulating--except for old report cards (handed over to me by my mother, in case anyone wonders where this curse actually came from), old notebooks, and I promise not to enumerate the entire list again. Let it be enough to say that my hands are drying out from handling it all.

I tell myself that I've learned my lesson--I have a huge amount of writing on my laptop, and I now own a digital camera--but of course I'm deluding myself. We who suffer from the Paper Curse will never succumb to the joys of the Paperless Office. If we can't handle it, it's not real--and the undocumented life is not worth living.

It's truly painful to throw out the papers that I'm callously discarding. But I know there will be more to fill the gap the minute that I'm settled in my new home. There has to be. That's the only way I ever feel rooted to a place, to a time, to my life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Endless Summer

This morning's light is the pale, watery gleam of late summer and the air already has a chill to it--not quite enough for a sweater but close to it. The brief blaze of sun that we receive in the Pacific Northwest--and that gave us tropical heat long after dusk on a truly magical full moon night last Saturday--is on its way out, far too soon for many of us.

And yet this year summer will not end for me. Through an amazing twist, I will be on my way to Bangkok in a few weeks, to live and work and write and soak up the wonderful, steamy heat and light that characterize my favorite place in the world.

As this autumn approaches, I feel blessed, and as winter approaches, I won't be around to complain about it. Life is not only good--sometimes it offers small miracles that can only be accepted with gratitude and wonder.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This One's for Ernie

Breakfast with Nick--at Glo's on Capital Hill. Soon to come--Happy Hour with Matt (at Contour on First--aka Cheaper than MacDonald's--with cocktails!)