An ancient man feeding frenzied ducks and geese at the pond. Bullying seagulls wrestling hens and drakes. Bobbing pigeon heads and choreographed flight patterns. And I stand still, a pair of eyes.

So many words, so many attempts at stories, at naming what's real. So many words have been pulled from this mouth, drawn out by magic characters and scenes. So many words.

And I want to eat the scroll. I want these words to become meaning and truth.


two decades old am i, 1.23

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around G-d, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling around for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?


may the dream live on

"No; no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

"I must have justice, or I will destroy myself. And not justice in some remote and infinite time and space, but here on Earth... I want to see with my own eyes the lamb lie down with the lion and the victim rise up and embrace his murderer. I want to be there when everyone suddenly understands what it has all been about. All the religions of the world are built on this longing, and I am a believer."
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamozov

"The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the yearling together. And the little child shall lead them."
-Isaiah 11:6


Today a few of us went to church in the Tenderloin, at Glide. Definitely the most ethnically and socio-economically diverse worship service I've ever attended. It was absolutely beautiful.

Mostly we celebrated Dr. King's birthday, with the Gospel/Jazz/Rock band and choir playing, a few people getting up to talk. A powerpoint of Civil-Rights related photographs and quotes and news clips played during all of the worship... It was so interesting to celebrate Reverend King's birthday in a church, to find myself wondering why none of the other churches I've ever attended even mention it, to find myself amazed at the vigor of these people still walking the freedom march (in a movement most of us grow up learning is shelved in between the start of the Cold War and disco. Oi).

I think I grew up very much in an environment that silently explained oppression and privilege have little to do with me. Except in learning to give money to the poor and vote for the marginalized in ballot measures (kind of 'limousine liberal' style, as Shane Claiborne might call it), issues of racism, classism, ableism, and heterosexism really never came up. Sexism is something I've gotten much more interested in with the past couple years, and I see how my upbringing kind of weakly tried to deal with that--you know, "date as many people as you can, Cari, and don't get married for a long time!" or "You have such opportunities in going to school, so just keep going, and then you can get a job that pays the bills and puts food on the table!" pieces of advice. But really, and probably unintentionally, these issues of privilege and oppression have been so largely ignored. And in the past few years, I've decided to learn more about them, but it's all been so scholarly, so theoretical and distant...

So now here I am in San Francisco, and suddenly theory meets action or I'm just a faker, and that's all there is to it. And suddenly I see how racial and class stereotypes have ground and bred themselves into me, in ways I never would have realized living in my northern wilderness or in rich Santa Barbara.

And I want to acknowledge the enormity of these problems, so that I can help contribute to solving them.

And I want to know why we crucify people while they're around and canonize them when they're gone, when they're safe. Jesus, Ghandi, MLK, hell, even Shane Claiborne. I mean, even take CS Lewis. Evangelicals eat him up, and he was damn controversial! And MLK kept saying, we're all extremists, so will it be for Love or for Hate? And he was killed at only 39. But I want to take that over mediocrity, over complacent participation in an endless cycle of oppression and violence and hate.

And I'm struck by the polarity of the places I have lived, only 4 places, in only 2 states... and yet they're each so incredibly different, and each has contributed so much to these things we must care about, I must care about.

In true San Francisco form, I find myself once again overwhelmed. But overwhelmed beats fine, any day.


San Francisco Farmers' Market. Huge, colorful, communal, and not to be outdone by its beloved City's way--which is to say, as overwhelming and stimulating as its mother.

I want to have church in Farmer's Markets, I've decided. The fruit, the seagulls, the smell of cooking and salt water, the vegetables, breads, and cheese, the rhythms of djembes, dancing percussionists, sitar and guitar players of every stripe and shade. There are 50 mushroom varieties, little kids sucking honey sticks, old men sitting on benches, protesters and activists, beautiful sunlit people. All this sunlight makes my normally invisible freckles shout out greetings and well-wishes to the world.

I talked with a painter named Elden, a man from Peru, in Spanish for a while. He was very patient with my struggling skills, but we chatted for about 20 minutes, and I bought a couple of his small paintings. And I want to communicate. I want to communicate. I want to communicate.

All this community, and G-d, if she's around, dwells here, must.

Community, communicate. Saw Juno tonight. Can we all tell each other stories like that, please? Stories that are funny and awkward and painful and true?


"When it's over, I want to say: All my life
I was a bride, married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms."
-Mary Oliver


taken from Rilke's "The Man Watching"

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister...

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names...

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded her as if to change her shape.
Winning does not tempt that woman.
This is how she grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.


remember the mountain bed

Hello: San Francisco.
Goodbye: winter solstice, snowshoeing, skiing, snowflake walks, icy roads, & hot beverages shared with friends.

Hello again, World Wide Web. Your So-Cal surfer, Canadian hippie, and newly anointed urban gypsy is back, crossing her fingers and clenching her fists in preparation to "suffocate, boil, and bloom" in a most beloved city.

"I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears,
I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here:
My history and future blaze bright in me and all my joy and pain
Go through my head on our mountain bed where I smell your hair again."

Woody Guthrie (Billy Bragg & Wilco)