Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Winter Solstice Ritual

The Grandfather Tree on No Worries Farm

GL, 12/21/2013. Prevail.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Final Full Moon of 20-Lucky-13

The Mini Full Moon of December, 2013

GL,12/17/2013. Prevail.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Eagle

Plus the Great Blue Heron flying East as I was driving West on the highway.

(I speak bird.)

GL, 11/26/2013. Prevail.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Full Beaver Moon

GL, 11/17/2013. Prevail.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Full Harvest Moon

The full Harvest Moon somewhere in the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse process

GL, 10/18/2013. Prevail.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Compassion Fatigue

Journal entry, October 5, 2013

My run, one hour-ish.

I am wrestling with compassion fatigue.

So far, in the past year (including 20-f#@*ing-12), wins are one and one for the big doozies. And this weekend, I want to make it two to one, with me on top. So this weekend is all about self care.


An example, one of many encounters…

I interpret a deposition, opposing counsel constantly saying, “Ask her…tell her…” despite the court reporter’s constant reminder of speaking directly to the Deaf person. After his statement that this is his first time working with interpreters, the Deaf person, through her attorney said heatedly, “And this is her 1000 or more times of hearing this, of feeling like she is not in the room.”

I agree. And work at reigning in my emotions.

Over and over and over again. Oppression.


Steve Hamerdinger, our MHIT fearless leader and resident curmudgeon, therapist Deaf, says that caring people, especially those in practice professions, WILL experience grief when working with oppressed peoples.

“Sympathy: I know what you are feeling.

“Empathy: I feel what you are feeling.

“Compassion: I have got to do something about this!”


Neutrality is a myth, he continues. Our Mind, Body, and Spirit WILL be affected.

-Our Mind…and sense of being, looking through the eyes of others, stepping into the shoes of another like the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird (btw, my own thoughts on the best book ever written.).

-Our Body…energy levels lowering in fatigue.

-Our Spirit…questioning…do I continue in this field…(of course I will!)


I know I am overworked when I don’t take time to go to the bathroom and wait for the green light at four way stops.

I know I am experiencing compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma when I, in exasperation, want to shake my fists in air and declare, “Hearing people…UGH!”

Which I have found myself doing lately.

So as I run, I realize that I have kicked up my speed, fueled by my frustration. I am not ready to finish so I add a block here and there, definitely no heaving today.


Steve also goes on to say that we are not an island. We must connect with other people.

So I do.


Last night, I celebrate with a Goddess and her art exhibits in the yearly Spokane Terrain show, her pieces skeleton themed, where science and art meet, memories stored, lodged within the marrow of our bones.

I enjoy a glass of wine as I listen to Alex play upright bass in his jazz band on First Friday’s art tour after visiting another friend’s exhibit, “What Would You Fight For?”

I spend extra time this chilly Autumn morning at Farmers’ Market and notice and photograph (much to the shocking surprise of vendors) each of their beauty.

And today, as I talk with Tolstoy’s Farms Diane, the Goddess who manages Market (isn’t she gorgeous with all her tattoos), sharing my compassion fatigue, Rianna, Julia Goddess’ youngest, runs to me, grabs my attention with her “that’s Goddess Lynne’s runner ponytail!”

Our tri-meeting, Diane, Goddess Julia and her kiddos and me, at Market was meant to be. And we all embrace.


What’s worth fighting for…



What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~MHIT…and Steve Hamerdinger, our fearless leader and self proclaimed resident curmudgeon…and his wisdom

~running. I know that I have said this over and over, but…, oh, I mean AND…as I contemplate my year anniversary of my brain bleed, I am GRATITUDE.

~that I can interpret and live life with minimal consequences of my brain bleed (some things, beyond nightmares, linger, but my fabulous doctor who doctorly doctors awesomely says that it takes time.)

~the Farmers’ Market

~the Goddesses.




My list is short this week. It is short but…oh, yeah, again I mean AND…each one is filled with intensity. So while it is short vertically, it is broad, long in its horizon.


My friends have encouraged me to write about my brain bleed. In the midst, I couldn’t, but on Anniversary, when my brain began to bleed, the floodgates opened and bled. I can’t stop writing…or feeling gratitude.


As a sign language interpreter, I will never level the playing field, even when I am at the top of my game. No matter. In every encounter and gig, whether it is legal, mental health, or vocational, I remember that each person I meet and serve is worthy of love, honor, trust, dignity, and respect.

Definitely worth fighting for.

GL, 10/5/2013. Prevail.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Journal entry, September 28, 2013

45-ish minutes.

Saturday morning. Autumn clouds are magnificent in their variegated darkness. Yet I have awakened from a serious nightmare, the kind that shakes me, an earthquake rattling my core. In my dream, my brain bleeds, my head is hit, like granite rock thrown against and cracking a windshield. My left arm numbs as I fall to the floor, unable to stand or even climb to my knees before trying again and sliding right back down. I drop everything, and my words slur. Then I awaken, certain my left side is once again numbed, immobilized.

So I had three mini nightmares Thursday into Friday morning, but I opened all the windows and doors in my house to let all the Autumn cool air chill me, counteracting my panic attacks’ heated sweats. And the result…a Xanax-like calming effect for the rest of the day, clean cold air entering me.

But still Friday night into Saturday, I have a massive nightmare.

I plan to go to Goddess Gathering…yet all I want is to sleep. But I stubbornly set myself to have a good…no, GREAT day. So off to Manito Park I drive so I could start my Saturday ritual run through the park and Market. I am gonna prevail, I tell myself.

I slowly jog through the park but I can’t seem to warm up. I notice that the red oaks bronze and maples change to a gentle yellow, their leaves on the ground, a discolored linoleum floor curling up in corners. Yet, as I head south, up Manito Boulevard, its center lined with maple trees, I suddenly can’t run further as I start to heave. I haven’t heaved in weeks but I heave and heave, throwing up liquidy coffee and thinned water, unable to catch my breath.

Several people walking by become quite concerned, and to their questions of if I will be okay, I respond weakly and greenly and not so brightly, “I think I will be…I’m just dealing with a little bit of PTSD…I’ll get through this…”


I manage to finish my run, passing by the Manito’s Park Bench Bistro lemonade stand, closed for the season, and collect broken branches of oak trees and maples, snapped apart like crisp carrots by winds for the collective bouquet that the Goddesses will bind in honor of Autumn’s abundance, and walk towards my purple Goddess-mobile. I insist to myself that I must hit Market as I want to buy honeycrisp apples from Danny and serve them with goat cheese and lavender spice at our Gathering.

And I am ever so glad I did. I bought those apples, and while chatting with Market folks, I pass by another vendor, my attention caught by the littlest feather EVER in a sunflower bouquet…and suddenly, once again, I am Gratitude on feet. And super glad that I got up this morning and prevailed.


Our Gathering tonight was the biggest yet. We ate from the garden and Market, goat cheese, the absolute last from Heron Pond’s batch. We shared gifts and gifted forward with one another.


My brain earrings, precious to me, remind me of the abundance of life, what I could have lost, and what I can now understand with those who have stood on the edge of the cliff of what is unknown. I realize I’m getting closer and closer to being grateful to that teacher of my brain bleed…not quite…but I am seriously getting there. I am more and more mindful of each moment.

No matter the moment or minute, I am irrevocably changed…in a wonderful way, at least that's what I’d like to think. And I think this is true.


What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~my Saturday morning ritual of a Manito Park run and Market

~and that little feather…it’s gone…somewhere on my desk…but I love my picture

~as I happily drive from Market, an ambulance screams by. I soberly pause my purple car and my thoughts…and offer blessings. I’ve been in that ambulance…and it is scary scary scary. I remember begging the techs to please save me…I am afraid I’m gonna die.

~the fallen nest that I found at the foot of a tree

~Harvest’s Abundance we celebrate

~Goddess Priscilla’s Skull painting that she gives me at Gathering

~my eight pound Sunflower head from Julia Goddess

Her Sunflower Forest…one of my favorite places on the planet. So many heights and heads in a variety of postures. Stooping, bent to the left, turning to the right, different curves of scoliosis, yet all supporting that gorgeous bloom without anyone criticizing the perfect imperfections, much like one of my main joys of running Bloomsday, accepting and appreciating the range of runner bodies.

So Julia sends us home each with one, seeds ready to dry. I weigh mine and it is almost eight pounds, more than my babies when born.

~Artist Priscilla’s Skull painting she made and gave me at Gathering

~and skulls, skulls, skulls! The original helmet…



I exhale. Deep inhales and exhales with each of my strides, and each filled with abundant gratitude.

I am gratitude on feet

GL, 9/28/2013. Prevail.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Littlest Feather Ever

On a Farmers' Market Gerbera Daisy Bouquet

GL, 9/28/2013. Prevail.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Journal entry, September 21, 2013, the Autumnal Equinox

Five miles.

As I start my pre-run walk around half of Manito Park’s Mirror Pond, this time to the right, I listen to the ducks conversing, their feathers turning neutral beige from the glossy forest green of Summer. My legs feel stiff, the stiffness typical after a great race. My quads and hamstrings are sore, their tightness beyond what I should have felt after my jog yesterday where I runningly climbed the hill on 29th from Cherry Street to Freya, ¾ of a mile, straight up.

I think the reason I am sore is that I spent 2 ½ hours straight dancing with the Goddesses last night. We didn’t talk much, but we did boogy the night away under the Full Moon with all of our groovy moves as Goddess Tara DJ’ed reggae.


We gather monthly, carving time in our schedules. My fab nurse Shari asked me recently how it is that 15ish women, busy with children, work, and school, are able to meet on such a regular basis. It’s that we love and cherish this time together. We have deep moments of light (making mud mustaches in rain) and light moments of depth (sharing stark stories in a light step).


I think of one of my favorite trees, the aspen, with its green to gold leaves that glitter in wind, reminiscent of a vintage crystal chandelier in a thrift store and prevalent in cattailed Mabel’s Creek, where I frequently run.

Aspens actually are not individual trees. In fact, each “tree” can live for years and years, but its one root system…what connects them all…is long-lived, an ancient woodland. Because their roots are grounded so deeply, aspens can survive fires and send new Pheonix-like shoots (love you, Mindi the Magnificent) growing upwards and afterwards.


This is how we are, we Goddesses, holding each other as fiery aches unfurl, whether the fire is a brain bleed, cancer, leg surgery on a runner, assault, divorce, or just simply a bad day…or a good or even a great day, too. It’s the roots that can’t be seen or understood that knit us together as women in a colony, a cat’s cradle.


So how can we not make sure this time is carved in stone as it heals us. We eat all kinds of wonderful vegetably things, drink water and wine, dance, cry and laugh, get a little raunchy, and circle. The Gathering is like Communion that propels us through the month with some serious momentum…until barely two weeks later which finds us emailing and planning for our next gathering and deciding what we will celebrate and honor.

We may not know all of the specific details about each of our lives, but we are getting there as scraps of memory hurtle across our minds and words bump against experiences in life which we weave into sentences and stories shared with each other. And as we continue to look into each other’s eyes, bowing at waist and not the head, we say to each other, “I see YOU. And you see ME”.


What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~our monthly Goddess Gatherings

~Julia and her No Worries Farm. There is no other place that is so perfect, so safe. When there, time suspends...

~all the kiddos who keep it all real!

~the gifts of art that each of us bring

~Julia …writing and sewing (girl, you make a sewing machine cosmopolitan chic!)

~Krysta …henna tattoos and music

~Sheridan…EVERYTHING! Er, I mean, painting, writing, henna, collage, etc., etc, etc.

~Tara…your dancing…you winner of dance competitions with your worm move! Oh, yeah! And your guidance

~Maggie…your painting leaves me breathless

~Same to you, Priscilla!

~Mindi the Magnificent…your writing blows me away, especially your piece "PTSD, not Just the Military"

~AnneMarie…your glitter girl jewelry

~Kelly…your gardening and cheese

~Heidi…the art of how you model body image to Maeve

~Carol…your collages and jewelry making (I can’t wait to see your acorn pendants!)

~Jeannie…your ever evolving crown

~Shelly…your enduring grace and encouragement

~Angela…your wild red hair side that has us all in love with you

~Sagi…your prevailing through leg surgery and your philosophic discussions. You are BRILLIANT (said in a sing-song voice)

~Garden…well, your Garden and concoctions!

~and who else am I missing! Please add their names and their magic!



So how can we not meet? Saturday is our next gathering. We will be honoring the birthdays of Sagi, Krysta, and Sheridan. And brain bleed anniversaries. When Mindi shaved her head anniversary for St. Baldricks two years ago. Sheridan and her own anniversary and how she is serving others. And more.

I love these women. They are my Goddesses.

GL, 9/21/lucky-13. Prevail.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Journal entry, September 14, 2013.

One hour.

This past week has been National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week. And an acquaintance (and friend of a Goddess) and a dear friend of another Goddess took their lives. Too much of this happening lately and really, at any time.

I do not think they are cowards. I cringe each time I hear or read someone saying this as I have some serious empathy. How awful things must have felt for them that they would commit the ultimate act, for they are leaving confusion, grief, guilt, and “why did they leave me/us…was I not worth their life?” to their loved ones.

At sixteen, after a traumatic event, I did not want to live. I had suicidal ideation. All I wanted was to go to sleep and never awaken again. That next year was horrid and I felt no support whatsoever. (I now know that family did the best with what they had at the time.) Yet having said that, by the time I was seventeen, it was either die or do something because I couldn’t stand.

Then I met Lou Fant. And started interpreting. And my interpreting practice started off with a bang, but still…my twenties were despair driven.

And then came my thirties, all about the exploration of who I am with my Sherpa therapist. And my forties? I have loved my forties. I have found I stand taller, making no apologies for who I am. Even with my brain bleed, it has irrevocably changed how I see things. I am not yet totally grateful for the experience but I’m getting there. And still lovin’ my brain earrings.

Please do not misunderstand. I vividly remember the terror, that unwanted companion of my brain bleed…and how I realized that I DID NOT WANT TO DIE. I do not want to die. Suddenly, I remembered how I desperately wanted to exit this planet earlier in my life. And now definitively I do not want to die. The lesson I learned from those hard and cold teachers and classrooms of the hospital, ambulances, CT and MRI machines, and the neurosurgeons’ office.

And I am so glad I am here.

As I reflected on all of this with my Sherpa yesterday, I said something, which he pointed out to me as something incredibly remarkable about me that I overlooked. Something that has taken decades for me to say.

“I really love me today. And though I wonder what might be had I had counseling years ago, the truth is that my me-ness, I truly me love today, and that includes the past that is still within me.”



What makes me wickedly wicked happy

~I begin my run through Manito Park’s Duck Pond once again. I deeply feel each step of my stride, as I connect with Earth and collect beautifully shaped acorns…the seed for the mighty Oak Tree and for Goddess Carol and her art and jewelry.

~my run today is PERFECT.

~the jig Ingrid had me dancing with her yellow blossoms of zucchini, pumpkins, and winter squash. I practically gasped when I spotted them as I loped, in my pink running skirt, to their table.

Are you selling these?” I felt like I was begging.

She said yes. To which I exclaimed, “On my runs through my neighborhoods, how tempted I have been to surreptitiously grab a few blooms…cuz, well, zucchinis and gourds are so prolific that I am sure that their garden tenders would not notice! You have saved me!” (I love filling the flowers with either goat or cream cheese and some herbs and then sauté them. Yummolicious!)

And get this, Eden Urban Farms is tended by Goddess Sagi’s Aunt! How cool is that!

~remembering Lou Fant. My very first mentor in life and interpreting.

~brains and skulls. I am on a mission on behalf of skulls as I believe they are misunderstood. For me, they do not represent death but protection of my brain. I carry a small bag of colorful skull beads in my purse, my bag of fairy magic as mini-Goddess Aria says, from which I spontaneously invite friends to select one.

Next Goddess Gathering, skulls for everyone!

~Goddess Mindi-the-Magnificent’s laugh. OMGoddess…it is a total smiley laugh on feet!


So suicide.

It’s a difficult subject to talk about, but let us talk about it. In mental health (I’m a mental health interpreter), the more we talk about it, the better we all are.

The organization To Write Love on Her Arms has a campaign going this month…”I cannot be replaced because…”


“I am their only mother.”

“Only I can sparkle and send brain glittery light to everyone, from the Goddesses to the checkers in markets in the Goddess Lynne flair (my MHIT cohorts call me Miss Sparkle Sprinkles).”

“The intense empathy and love I have as an intuit for all I come in contact with. I work with a lot of people in trouble, and yet I still see potential in each individual. I see that each person is worthy of love, honor, trust, dignity, and respect.”

Please share with me yours.


I am so f*#%ing grateful I am here. Cuz at 16 and 17, I came so close to prematurely exiting.

And to my beloved Goddesses as you process your own losses, as Goddess Julia said, “In this moment, I feel very quiet. My head isn't eyes aren't closed but I'm staring out into space filled with wonder...filled with this sense that we must live truer....we must devote ourselves to our fullest becoming for the sake and well-being of others...”

…and I send nothing but understanding, tenderness, gentleness, and holding all in love and light.


When Death Comes
Mary Oliver

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

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.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.


GL, 9/14/2013. Prevail.