frida & other earthly matters


I have loads of pictures to go through from hikes and other outings, but here's a few phone snaps from last weekend's trip to see the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism exhibit (and a few other collections) at Portland Art Museum.  My heart swelled with love for Portland as we drove through downtown, and going to the museum and seeing Frida's art and costumes in person made for a perfect day.   

I first went vegan 12 years ago with my sister and have been off and on with it in the years since.  I was raised vegetarian and have been *mostly* so my whole life, but I have had meat or fish on rare occasion in between.  However, with my cancer diagnosis, and as other earthly matters have been weighing more heavily, the idea of going vegan again has grown again in my heart until, after a few false starts, I finally recommitted.  I'm not going to be super strict if I'm visiting my family; I'm just going to do my best in the moment.  (I've also given up alcohol.  What can I say, I'm all or nothing.)  I'm not here to be pious, or judgmental, or to say that you should do it too.  I just really want to do this for my health, for the earth, and for the animals.  


I don't have much else to say right now.  I'm looking forward to seeing my mom, dad, twin sister, and brother this coming weekend.  Mom isn't doing well and we are going to surprise her with a visit at her new facility.  I hope it lifts her spirits.  She needs all the love we can give her right now. 

Until next time ~



Blue jacket, blue sweater, blue sleeping bag, blue eyes with thunder heads rolling over them.  I saw him folded on the sidewalk ahead as I crossed the street.  He said nothing, but those eyes silently pleaded as person after person walked past.  I got out a few dollars and then guiltily covered my expensive bag with my arms as I approached him.

I'll often stop (I don't care what the money is spent on, it's the moment of kindness and acknowledgment that matters), but I rarely exchange more than a couple of words. 

After I walked away, I heard him call out.  I went back and knelt down beside him this time.  Up close, I saw the child in his face.  I thought of his mother.  Does she know where he is?  Is she a safe haven for him?  He asked me why no one stops.  "Everyone just keeps walking, like I'm not even here."  Then, on the verge of tears, he asked, "Why is everyone so mean?  Why is everyone just so angry?"  A dozen reasons flashed through my mind, none of which I could bring myself to say.  

I touched his arm and said, "You're right, people are angry.  I'm sorry.  But I'm not angry."  A slight untruth, that last part.  I tried to smile.  

His voice was somehow both ragged and childlike, his back curved in defeat.  I didn't have the right words (I never do) or any soothing answers.  He was gone when I passed back that way, but his questions and those stormcloud eyes have been with me for weeks. 

I know there are reasons to be angry.  There are things that deserve outrage.  The world can be a very unkind, unjust place.  And no matter what we look like or how we manage to pass ourselves off, we all carry some kind of storm inside.  What if, instead of outrage toward our fellow human beings, especially those we don't like the looks of or don't understand, we offer a little tenderness and see what that world looks like?


slow notes:  

This, on compassion.

by mlekoshi