Monday, April 6, 2020

Full Swing

I think of this space on the internet as my virtual kitchen. The kitchen is the beating heart of a home in my mind, whether much food is prepared there or not. My kitchens in real life tend to be a bit topsy-turvy. There’s always a jug of some type of flower, or pretty grass, or branches I find interesting on the table, which means pollen and wilting leaves are generally floating around. Shoes that have been toed off under the table lay forgotten, and more often than not there’s a basket of laundry waiting to be folded. I can never get around to folding laundry. 

Come, pull yourself up here to my cluttered, albeit cheerful imaginary table and let us chat the way old friends do. Bodies relaxed into chairs, elbows on the table, leaning forward to catch quietly spoken words, snorts of laughter coloring the air.

I’ll start first. In the four years I’ve been absent I’ve worked at school. Quit school. Fallen in love. Built a life with someone. Got a cat. Moved twice. Got a puppy. Promised to marry him. Worked on a farm. Fell head over heels in love with the act of growing food. Had my body utterly fail me. Turned yet another year older feeling as if I was drowning in a shallow puddle. Wrote an article that was published in a magazine with glossy pages. Felt broken. Ate my feelings and gained enough weight that I felt like a stranger in my own body. Couldn’t keep going with what I knew wasn’t right for me and called it all off. Lost friends. Renewed old friendships. Felt my broken heart shatter into so many pieces I don’t know how it pumped blood to my limbs.

I suppose it is just one version of a very old story, but it’s mine so it feels very important.

The last four months though, have seen huge changes in my life. I’ve had my proverbial work sleeves rolled up and I’ve committed to doing the hard work that must be undertaken if you are to become a Whole Person. It is gut wrenching, heart twisting work. When you attempt to look with clear eyes at who you really are as a person and the reasons for the choices you make, it can leave you feeling a tad squirmy, because it’s much easier to think of oneself as an unfortunate hero in your life story, rather than the reason behind the situations you find yourself in.

Squaring up to the truth though, gives you a wonderful opportunity to bring about change. 
You just have to be tough enough to go for it.

I’ve overhauled my finances, my communication styles, my unhealthy coping mechanisms
(Lord, don’t I sound like I’ve been in therapy? HA, I have.), my eating habits, how I spend my time and with whom….and four months of hard work have granted me a lifestyle that I can honestly say, “Here. This is me and who I am. I am proud of it.”
It's granted me peace. 

So, I’ll keep doing the hard work. I won’t settle for anything less than what sets my soul on fire. I’ll keep having uncomfortable conversations in order to keep growing in my relationships. I’ll keep fishing. Writing. Promising to fold the laundry tomorrow. Planting seeds. Exploring wild places. I’ll keep trying to improve my ability to braid. To nourish my body with food I’ve harvested. To push the limits of how far I can run and hike and swim and climb. To live a vibrant, gloriously honest life.

Thank you for being a part of this life of mine. It feeds my soul!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Afternoon Sunshine

I wore my thick socks with the enforced toe and heel that I usually reserve for hunting or fishing or long hikes…anything really that is going to be a Long Day.

The day was blustery and chill though, so I pulled them up and over my jean legs; a prayer and an indulgence knitted together in thick wool.

The dogs don’t want to come inside and I don’t blame them. It’s cold but the sun is shining and sheltered here behind the house the wind is more friendly than it is sharp.
I pick my way around the overgrown jasmine bushes and as I step onto the back deck, Bill raises his head and stares at me hopefully. He wants to continue to lay there in that perfect spot, shivery thin skin that he is, cradled in an embrace of sun warmed rock wall and wood planks. He will be the first to heave to his feet and come in if I say so though.

I don’t.

Instead I lay down, gloriously spread eagle, and close my eyes. It reminds me of a day I lay down on the diamond flatbed in watery winter sunlight and fell asleep as my boss wrangled horses and yelled futilely for my assistance.  A furry body flings itself next to mine and I smile at the thought of these domesticated little wolves, armed with teeth strong enough to remove fingers from hands if they wished, but instead I can feel joy pumping from their heart through their tail into me.

Just by being here.
Present in this moment.
A simple moment in time that is nothing more than a woman breaking her own rule of walking outside in socks, and laying on the ground and napping with her dogs. In memory though, it will be tinged with the warm colored tones we bestow upon Good Moments in our mind’s archive.

Here is to welcoming more simple moments and declaring them glorious. And welcome back, friends, new and old. I’ve missed you.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stories in My Coat Pocket

This is Rick Davis.

I met him yesterday on board The Islander on our way to Santa Rosa.

His father served in WWII and Rick served in Vietnam.

He affectionately called me a little asshole for taking his picture and we cried about our friends who've been hurt in war and death and he told me his favorite secret fishing spot in the Sierras.
I'm going to go visit him and his wife Heidi and learn more about fishing and the backcountry and climbing.


This is what makes the pain we encounter in life tolerable...when we meet other humans who honor us by sharing their stories and we store a piece of that history in our dusty coat pockets until we can pass it along to someone else.

Till we meet again, Rick!!

xo xo Liz 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Flying With Your Feet On the Ground

Where do you feel the closest to “bliss?” 

That euphoric place between earth and sky where your heart might actually beat out of your chest from joy, just from being alive...
That spot your soul recognizes as if greeting an old friend…
What is that place to you?

My spot is anywhere outside, up high, that I’ve reached by the means of my own two feet, and the wind is whipping straight up and my hair is flying about and I realize how small I truly am. 
And it almost feels as if I’m flying.

That’s my favorite spot on earth...when I’m flying but my feet are rooted on the ground.

xo xo Liz 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

I Promise You

What feels like many years ago, I began writing this blog.

It took awhile, but eventually it found its' voice and the goal was to encourage women who broke the mold.

Women who wanted to be better cowboygirls, hands, horsemen....women who wanted to be masters of living a life out loud. 

And then I became jaded and discouraged and I quit writing because I felt for the most part, we as women weren't building each other up, and we had lost sight of the goal to become better at whatever capacity fate was leading that horseback or on high heels.

But then I stumbled upon this post on Instagram, and it breathed life back into me, and my heart, and my pen.

THIS is what Buckaroo Barbie is about and why I started writing in the first place. 
Thank you, Kari. Beautiful words and photograph due to Kari Gibbons

"We'll be looking back, maybe ten years from now, and maybe I'll have a little more figured out. 
Maybe I'll be a little less in your way, maybe a little less, "Kari, get behind me!" from your boss. 

I promise I'll keep doing my best, because this is the best thing that's ever happened to me." 
- Kari Gibbons

Thanks for the inspiration Kari! 

xo xo Liz 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's the Heart of the Matter

Everything will probably not go according to plan this Holiday season, and that’s ok. The kitchen floor might be sticky for the entirety of December, and that’s ok. You might not have made Martha Stewart worthy gifts for all the neighbors, and that’s ok. You and your family might not get along and discuss things of value while wearing matching sweaters, and that’s also ok.

When I was a little girl one Christmas I read a seasonal book targeted at Christian women and it made a huge impression on me. The first chapter included two variations of the same scenario. The first described an idyllic wife, gliding through her custom made farmhouse in a vintage apron, enjoying the smells and sights of her beautiful home and children. Her parents arrive through the front door, bringing with them a red flannel sack full of educational and tasteful toys. At some point towards the end of the scene the woman’s husband goes whizzing past the front door in a horse drawn sleigh.

The second scenario sketches a very different picture, with the same players. The absent minded wife rushes through her home, listening to the grating sounds of her children’s voices and the loathsome Uncle Freddie who is watching football. Whether Uncle Freddie is loathsome because he is watching football or simply because he is loathsome is left to our discretion. The dinner is not on time, food is burnt, and the kitchen floor is a sticky mess from the baking done earlier in the day. Her parents burst through the front door amid chaos and the presents distributed are plastic and cheap, and there are so many of them!

The comparison made a huge impression on me. Obviously. It’s almost 11 bloody years later and any time I hear my mums say something not being spot on,s or something she didn’t do this year, I think of that damn book and I want to burn it. Because you know what? The people who love you remember the spirit of an event, not the magazine-worthy perfection of it. I remember the old Christmas albums of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney playing in the background. I don’t remember whether the kitchen floor was sticky or clean, but I do remember having a full belly. I remember my mums smiling indulgently at my dad when he did something odd. I don’t remember if our toys were strictly educational, but I do remember that they catered to who we were as little people. I don’t remember my mums ever wearing an apron, but there was always room for unannounced visitors at our table.

The point of all this reminiscing is...I think we get so caught up with the way things are “supposed to be” or the way they’re supposed to appear via Instagram that we forget that the spirit of the matter takes place throughout the whole year, whether you set up a creche with a baby Jesus, use a menorah to keep track of Hanukkah, or gift to the poor during Milad un Nabi. It’s the heart of the matter the other 11 months that counts.

Happy Holidays everyone!

xo xo