Monday, March 13, 2017

Desert Jewels

I stood and looked to the east and took that picture as the sun rose on Sunday morning near the Salton Sea. I shouted hallelujah in my mind and looked to the west where the moon was going down.

The birds were truly like a chorus, and I whispered hallelujah in my mind. My troubled mind so heavy along with my heart over Sophie's struggles. The photographer of birds who holds my heavy heart with such light hands.

Day after day I think of you as soon as I wake up. Someone has put cries of birds on the air like jewels.
Ann Carson, from Short Talks

I hope you can play that video because it's sublime. I also posted it on Instagram where you can find me at elizabettaa.

I went with C to see the desert bloom, supposedly over-the-top-once-in-a-decade because of the unusual amount of rain we had this winter. The desert didn't disappoint, even though about a million people were doing the same thing. The ground was covered in a carpet of yellows and purples and whites. I took pictures with the fancy lens, but I haven't uploaded them, yet, so here are some from my iPhone.

We met dear Yolie and Tearful in the desert where they're living the boondocking life. It's like a dream both to meet them and see what they're doing. They are a couple with whom I connected many many years ago on the world wide webs. Now we've met in person, and it was an intense collision. We already knew one another. I held onto both of them for a good long time, absorbed their goodness and strength.

These internet friendships are the real thing, people.

This morning I read about the trauma that Syrian children have suffered, have absorbed, will suffer. I read about the people of the Sudan, of Yemen and other countries -- the starving bloated face of a child, the warning that displacement, famine, warfare will bring on the greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945. I looked at the smug faces and read the words of those who rule the plutocracy that is the Disunited States of Amerikkkaa. I felt the dread of what is to come even as I heard my own daughter's sigh into seizure over the baby monitor. I rushed into her again and again and again and all the years of agains. Suffering. The world is so vast, the suffering so enormous, I texted a friend, our efforts to stem it so paltry. If I am charged to care for Sophie and suffer in doing it, I will try to do it with strength and love.

I repeated that over and over and over today.

Perspective as Higher Power, my friend Chris said. Yes. The ongoingness of it all.


  1. The video said error so I could not play it. Darn. What a beautiful location you were at with such beautiful people. This inquiring mind wants to know if C is your love and the man who is not anyone I know is C and the man you love because he is hot and so kind looking and I am nosy! My heart breaks for Sophie and you every time I hear she has a seizure even tho I would bet there are tons you don't talk about. I am so sorry and wish I had the power to stop them completely cause I sooo would. Sending love.

    1. Joanne, I think I fixed the video so that you can view it! As for the rest, I answered you via private email. :)

  2. I will re-try your video. Your photos are beautiful. Such sights would be a balm to me. I'm glad you have loves in your life. They are all important. Best to you and your family.

  3. You desert folks look pretty mellow!

  4. Such intense beauty, such intense connection, alongside such intense suffering. Aren't Scott and Yolie wonderful souls? My heart aches for Sophie. I hope the benzo wean symptoms ease, that a stretch of relative peace and comfort is around the corner. I am glad you have C and such beauty in the midst of the desert.

  5. So glad there is someone to hold your heavy heart. How glorious the desert is in bloom, and how glorious when souls across the webs meet. Sending love to you all and wishing for some relief for Sophie,and you.

  6. "Intense collision..."
    I played your video and the birds here answered back.
    Oh, sweet woman.

  7. Over and over, I am reminded of how well, how gracefully and fiercely, you hold both the light and the heavy in your hands, in your heart, in your very skin, and I am grateful for your presence in the world. Thank you for showing the beauty and the struggle in everything, for acknowledging it all. Love.

  8. Beautiful, beautiful. Glad you got out to see the world, going on in all its wonders, even though.

  9. Dearest Elizabeth-Sending you an ocean of metta from the rain forest of Seattle. My younger child lives in Echo Park and visits the desert often. Rare and wonderful, our Earth.

    I wish you and I could meet. I'll be in LA in April for a Refuge Recovery training. 12th-16th. Hmmmmm.

    XXXX Beth

  10. I saw your Love
    I heard your birds
    I stand so close to you in your sorrow and your joy
    that I can feel the warmth of your body

    I clasp my arms around you and C and Sophie
    and give you back my warmth

    Love, Liv

  11. Beautiful photos, and so glad you got to meet Tearful and Yolie! I have never seen the blooming desert -- never been there at the right time. It seems so alien from the landscapes I know. (Especially that huge scorpion!) I'm glad you could have a bit of respite.

  12. Beautiful photos and wonderful video!! It turns out the best part of this lifestyle is that we have gotten to meet up with you and Mary and Rosemary. What a gift it's been to get big hugs and sit and talk and hear your voices. You all have such sweet soulful voices. Thank you and C for coming out to meet us.

  13. wonderful video, complete with bird calls. How wonderful to get away to this place, and to finally meet these friends. yes, internet friendships ARE real, I have experienced that myself.

    Watching PBS Newshour the other night, with story on the Sudan crisis. So heartbreaking to see a TODDLER sitting all alone in a hallway, on the floor, barely clinging to life. This existence can be so cruel. And IS cruel to so many. I weep. How to take it all in, to not get carried down to the pits of hell from it?

    Just keep loving my friends, my family, my own life, which is so blessed. I do, however, want to runaway to the Salton Sea (or some such place), unplug, and let the sun soak into my skin until I am the color of a walnut.

  14. Glad to see Yolie and Tearful are still alive! T's last blog entry was quite a while ago and they were both quite ill. -Kate



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