I just finished a book called The Ways of My Grandmothers by Beverly Hungry Wolf, and ever since have been carrying its stories in the heart with zest.

The portrait above was crafted by Winold Reiss, of a Blackfoot tribal member. I thought the colors of it all really best represent the amount of respect this tribe has had towards their gift of life. It’s something I admire and can relate to.

Routines have spoke and I find myself turning to printed songs, looking for answers in the script that others have bled before me. If anything, it is an escape that my imagination can curl up in. Like a lone wolf, I’ve let my surroundings provide a place of refuge. The mountains stand tall and I am in awe of the beauty that I was born into. It is then that I fill up with questions though. Why has humanity forgotten that wealth? Why have they clung more to dirty scraps of paper with silly numbers that work as a disillusioned agreement that requires slavery and competition and greed? Why is it so hard to speak to our fellow man and offer them food from our own gardens?

I struggle with these things, and lick up further the light I’ve been handed, by showering my thanks in the river close to home. Each day after toiling away in deep thought, providing society with smiles — I come home to my little cabin and walk to the water with a journal in tote. I sing, I talk, I cry, and share my secrets with the birds. And they listen just as well as anyone.

They provide me with warmth.

And it is then that I have these visions. These visions of a better world. Ones that lift me and get me wild, and have me circle the truth with great honesty.

Tom who lives on the ranch I do, had me come over and borrow a great heap of things to read from his library at home. He’s a fascinating man, with a musical smile. He’s older and has lived a long life and because of that, has a lot to teach me. He lives in a farmhouse that dates back to the 1800s, with his wife Tammy that quilts and is always making sure me and Zach are well provided for. Yesterday she stopped by to ask if we needed fresh eggs and offered to pay half for a vegetable basket of locally grown food that we could share. Her acts of kindness also show in the way her eyes spark tranquil.

Their friendship is the wholesome kind that stands the test of time, and they give without ever thinking of anything in return. Likewise, I feel compelled to do the same. There is a community being created between us, and it fills me with immeasurable happiness. Home is had here, because there is love and the ability to be free. I’m learning daily, good things that make my heart swell.

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Yesterday, I woke up early and fed the animals their breakfast. After that I went with Zach and Umphrey on a car adventure. Pictures were taken at home and on the small ride, while we stopped a bunch to say hi to hawks and pronghorns. The sky was a wonderful blue and had me at peace.

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The bird-feeder near the northern window of our cabin has gotten a lot of traffic the last few days, and there’s a ninja-squirrel that does his best to try to get near it. Our log wood pile serves as his launching pad, and when he jumps he flails his arms and makes funny faces at us on the way down.

A couple days back too, a compost pile was started out front. We’ve cleared out room for an eventual hoop-house, and our ranch neighbors have expressed interest in a community greenhouse as well. It feels great to be outside and get physical. While on the porch one morning, I cracked open a book by McCullers and took in the view. It reminded me of everything I worked towards, and all my dreams felt super close. Life has been damn good.DSC_0340

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Over the weekend, we got to feed the horses Lizzy and Maria. Lizzy was definitely more guarded, but showed love in the way her eyes flared toward us. I’ve got a feeling that we’ll be good friends. They’re both great.

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Umphrey is indeed still progressing. He’s started standing with little support and has the best spirit. I’m so glad for him! Thanks for sending him love. :]

Two Wednesdays ago, I left Sturgeon Bay to visit my grandparent’s. Initially, I was gonna knit and crochet with grams, maybe watch some basketball with gramps, and have dinner with my aunt Kathy and her two sweet kids. That morning though, me and Zach noticed that our dog Umphrey was limping. It was a mild limp, but definitely apparent. We thought the cause might have been excessive exercise the two days before. On one trip we went on a doggy hike with my parent’s dog Buddy, and another we had walked through Potawatomi State Park, stopping to take pictures and walk and play games. By the time we reached Green Bay though, his two back legs were giving out, and he was pretty much paralyzed from the waist down.

It was horrific in a lot of ways. Alarmed, me and Zach tried to keep him comfortable and talked quickly over what we should do. Zach ended up calling Dr. Prata that had saved our cat Van Zandt’s life, just a couple months before. He instructed us to hurry on to Madison, and see an animal neurologist at the University’s Veterinary Hospital. Following his orders, we did just that.

The long drive to the city, melts in my memory. I sat with my furry pal in the backseat of our car, and cried as he looked up at me, weak and panting. In his eyes, I couldn’t help but see magic, and that’s really what provided me with the strength to carry on. I had to be strong for HIM, someone I love.

Arriving at the hospital finally, we checked in and had our pal looked over. It was discovered that he had ruptured a disc in his spinal cord — he had an inborn degenerative disc disease, that had been sitting there like a ticking time bomb. As upset as we were, we knew we had to help in whatever way we could. So we said yes to surgery. It was a chance at him walking again.

That first night, me and Zee slept in the ER and the cold seats of our car. One of the receptionists at the hospital (her name was Lori), bonded with us sure and quick, and was openly compassionate and kind. We told her about our plans to move to Wyoming, and she revealed that she had once worked and lived in the Tetons. She provided us with smiles and great company. 

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Tuesday morning, was the start of a new adventure though. As a family, we all made the final trek to our new home. Wyoming is a beautiful place, and I look forward to each day now. Our cabin looks over the Wind River, and we have lots of horse neighbors. Deer and other critters roam freely — and there’s mountains all around. The local people are incredibly friendly too. I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories to share soon……

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At the present, Umphrey is improving daily and his tail is wagging fierce and normal. He’s in good spirits and has proved to be a good teacher. :]

Travel Notes // 

—Crows are all in groups, their sharp beaks reminding me of scissors. I watch as they cut across sky and admire the patterns they paint. They are intelligent and much more than what I write them off as. I’m empathetic towards them.

—License plates exist from all over. A pretend Hawaii one, reminds me briefly of fields of pineapple. Nostalgia swims near and I smile. Zach points out that a lot of semi-trucks bare Tennessee ones. “Is car insurance cheaper there?”, he asks. I nod off a shrug and think about the way money rules. It leaves a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach and I try to forget about it, by reading my copy of Liars Club. It’s tattered and I’m currently at the part where Lecia and her sister just move to Antelope. Their mother leaves me in awe, and I imagine her with frail, red hair. The stringy kind with curls lapping over. A sort of Medusa.

—Lack of water gets me down, and I get mad dizzy. Then I think of the skeleton, the way bones shape and form you. It’s a dance through science, before I resurface and feel my thumping forehead. There is sweat and there is release.

—We stop for the night in South Bend, Indiana. In the hotel room, our dog sits up regal and handsome. Meanwhile, our cat explores. The adventure we’ve embarked on, seems fuzzy and out of focus. Sometimes I’m always surprised by where life takes me. I’m a fan of the road and a fan of the static that is dreaming, but like to remember the work behind every good achievement. Love is a strong force, that bites through the worst. I keep this in mind always.

—Coffee is had each morning and sipped at like it’s magic. Nothing about it resembles ‘what’s mature’, but there’s a special amount of ‘zing’ that relocates somewhere deep within. At about noon, the bad dash and crash comes. This is when food is craved after, and I nibble timidly at handfuls of a savory trail mix. Me and my boy hum to Langhorne Slim and make up our own music names. He’s Skinny Lyons and I’m Alora Fiscus. Being the quiet writer that I am, I’ve sometimes felt just as fictional as the stories I think of. Maybe there’s something to this, that I just haven’t decoded yet. It’s an abstract day-dream I have to sort through. I keep it all in my journals, and paint pictures of flowers and laugh.

Just two days ago, we were at Mother Pat’s. She handed off one of her old sewing machines — as a birthday gift to both me and Zach. In the weeks previous, she had taught us to both knit and crochet, and it has sparked something innate within. That ability to do and create, has always gotten me lusty. It is with those magic skills, that I’m able to shine as I see fit. And it’s beautiful. Something of great power. In fact, I’ve already planned a bunch of art projects. In Wyoming, I want to be in charge of my life more. I want to live simply and do what I love. Fly like a little bird and chirp, chirp, chirp! Admirably, yes.

Friends are made with old farm cats and stories come to me in deep sleep, haunting me well into the early morning. I feel as if I’m getting closer to something extremely great, and my insides are almost always near to bursting. Times are good, times are daunting. I fight hard and enjoy the countryside and notice small changes in my attitude. My writing has switched to the philanthropic, and I can’t help but battle with the big things that ruin humanity.

This has brought on an ever-evolving good heart though. I savor moments more and am able to shine light on darkness. I wish the same for everyone!

Joseph emailed and used the word ‘cute’ as if he was casting a spell, bringing good heart and love. Angela wrote too and I’m finding a marvelous bit of passion there between the three of us. We have collectively formed magic that I can find home in. It’s not something that I had to try hard for either, and I’ve only lately noticed its uprising. These bonds grown with friends and mother nature though, are what keep me healthy and joyous on the hard days.

Yesterday afternoon, I cuddled with my cat Squeaks. I told her she was a good sister, and her eyes grew large and bold. A brief moment of connection sparked hard, and there was something exchanged that I can’t quite explain at all. Ever since, she’s been a clingy little darling, and has provided lush kisses.

At Zach’s sister’s house, Rae gave me a girlish sticker to put on my hand and whisperingly told me that it was full of incredible powers. She trusted her words and gave me a hug. She’s five years old, but a teacher of great warmth.

Ice fishing was observed and explored on Saturday. We went out on Lake Conesus and I snapped lots of pictures of the geese and crows. Small holes were seen across the surface of the lake, with tiny tribes of people huddled up around them. Occasionally you’d see someone pull out a find. Pretty little buggers. Yellow and red and grey. Their eyes popping dark gems of mush.

Creativity seeps through, with Zach’s niece and nephew. One afternoon we let Rae dress us up and play princess. Our sore legs from the big Brooklyn move, seemed to heal up quickly. There in the make believe, we were able to soar and be kids again. After leaving Park Slope, we settled in a small town on a lake upstate. Hawks fly overhead, and we’ve seen baby deer dance around with their mothers. The cold winter weather serves as a nice kick in the butt too. It makes us bold and fiesty and we dance on fire, while we drink cup after cup of coffee. Zach’s dad has been so helpful through everything, and I find myself befriending him more than ever. There in the shadows of leaving the city, I’ve been blessed with kisses from those that are family. In fact, it has eliminated stress greatly. Although I’ll be living out of a suitcase for the next couple months, it feels good. An adventure is there for the taking, and for once in my life — I can’t see an end to this ongoing light-beam of love and laughter.

Small luxuries exist in what seems rural to us. We went to Wegman’s grocery store, and felt like we were in a food museum. The produce was so fresh and brilliant, and I couldn’t help but feel up all the carrots and bananas! Manhattan has its perks, but there are a lot of quiet moments that I’m glad to get my fill on now. I feel free like a bird and have really liked the education of leaving. 

Skipping hard under the radar and playing drifter, has been terrific. Zach understands this and we spend hours researching DIY projects, prepping to build a life we can be proud of. My writing wails and screams and nature serves as an excellent friend. I’m more willing to break society norms and it feels good. I want to fight back hard this year. I want be strong and face the future with courage. I want to create a body of work — that serves as a healing force. There’s no more waiting. Just the outburst of smiles.

1. Our Brooklyn apartment is currently cluttered with boxes. On the top of each one, there is a label of approval that says ‘Upstate NY’ or ‘Wyoming’. Each one tells what it contains as well. I hobble to and fro’ with drunk smiles and keep having to sweep the floors. Dust accumulates fast, and I stand laughing, wondering if there’s magic creatures that keep spitting out hair balls and nasty mold that comes in shades of green and orange. The bathroom has been gutted and looks lifeless and blank. I look in the mirror and see a tired body, a faceless ghoul. I shrink back and can’t seem to process much. 

2. A boy named Erik emails and asks about my music capabilities. Like many, he asks if I have songs recorded. It reminds me of when I first moved to New York, and used my guitar as a shield. At mid-day, I think back over everything I’ve learned here. I sing and write something for my brothers, that are growing up and wanting to fly on their own. I remember the importance of family. 

3. “We should get celebratory beers”, Zach says. I nod my head and agree and he gets in bed to take a nap. Changes come quick, and tomorrow we’ll be loading a Uhaul, along with all our memories. I’m so excited for what’s next!

Well, it’s official. 

I’ll be moving west to Wyoming, after making stops in upstate New York and Wisconsin. The past couple weeks have been spent prepping. Zach’s dad drove down to Brooklyn on Friday, to offer up his handy-man skills and help us move out boxes. We spent a couple nights talking over things with him, and as always, it proved to be incredibly rewarding. Discussions stemmed from the geography of the place we’d soon live, to the transformative effects of religion, and the way the soul talks when met with kindness and love. It was an offering of magic and light. Something that warmed me and healed me deep down.

Newest concerns include: finding a new tenant for our Brooklyn apartment, purchasing an automobile that’s safe and gets good mileage, and making sure we have everything we need when relocating across the country. The future has me excited and seems to outweigh the stress of everything right now though. There are just brief moments when my whole body slows down, and needs a few seconds to recalibrate. If anything, I guess that’s pretty normal.

Van Zandt is looking healthier after his surgery and has returned to his silly old self again. For a cat that was found suffering in a Brooklyn alley, he’s come a long way. He’s got a lot of strength and good wit. He makes me smile daily.

Creative projects have circled around the escape of technology, and I’ve been researching for characters that feel so very distant from all that. In the next couple months, I’m thinking about getting rid of my cell phone, and have tried to spend most evenings away from a computer screen. I enjoy this audience here on my blog that I’ve somehow seemed to accumulate, but I also think there’s something magical in exploring what’s outside of your typical comfort zone. Getting past certain fears, helps eliminate mistakes of judgement. You’re able to act due to experience, rather than assumptions, and you’re able to communicate better face to face. I guess what I’m getting at here, is that it’s okay to get out of your house once and while and get scared and shake things up. It’s okay, if you’re willing to hand over your all. There’s a lot of evil that needs to be fought against. There’s a lot of fixing up to do in this world.

Anyways, I love you guys. Go give someone a kiss and a hug for me!

After watching an hour of Fluppy Dogs, generating the proper amount of childhood nostalgia for Zach to break off into tiny stories, he quickly remembered an old science show that used to play on PBS. It was called ‘3-2-1 Contact' and brought him many smiles. Eventually we watched this youtube video with a young Suzanne Ciani. Digging further, I found an interview of hers with David Letterman. It all brought to mind the most recent Grimes phenomenon, and I immediately was soothed by her electric designs.

In a dream a little later, Ciani met me on a beach in Hawaii.  We chanted at the sky, reaching some sort of transcendent light. Music is silly like that, and reaches you in ways that surpass merely perceiving it. It infiltrates you spiritually, and your body relaxes and absorbs everything like a beautiful starfish. The world is an ocean, and the enormity is something we’ll always fight to understand and know. No matter what, stories will fill us bold.