Texas Sky in May

Texas Sky in May

Lighting splits the sky

Nearly blinding me for a second

Thunder clapped so loud and close

I jumped

Rain falls and splashes my legs

As I sit near the edge of the overhang

So I can see as much lightning as possible

Without getting struck

Mother Gaia

Doing a belly dance In the sky

It doesn’t seem so angry

Just powerful

Showing how big nature is

And how small we are

And how time passes slow and quick

And how these thunderstorms are nothing new

Not new, but still exhilarating

To someone watching

From under an overhang

From California

Where such things only happen at the start

Of a pandemic

And wild fires

And a new normal

Which never quite becomes so



In the not-so-distant past, I had this idea in my head that changing my beliefs about something was negative and wishy washy. I remember thinking about this at the time. I’d read a book and gain some new perspective on something, and it would open my mind to new ideas and there would be a mental shift. This happened often. I remember judging myself for this, as though it would be better to have more solid convictions about everything and not keep changing.A path in the woods

Now, I see this shifting as growth. Of course it is. And of course that is as it should be. I should always be learning, and with each new insight, I shift into something hopefully more aware. It’s astounding to me that the belief system I grew up in caused me to think of this as a negative and that certainty in a set of rigid ideals was the right way to go. This causes a person to stay stuck, unthoughtful, immature, and ultimately unloving, as it’s impossible to consider other people’s lived experiences and perspectives without that soft front. 

We’re continually building a picture of reality. As we perceive through our senses, we’re updating our picture of the world. As Maya Angelo said, when we know better, we do better. I hope to always be growing to know better and in turn do better.


Vietnam 2000

Originally posted October 2015

We spent Thanksgiving in Ho Chi Minh City with Megan who was spending four months teaching English there. Kia and I flew in to Seoul, South Korea and spent the night in a Korean style room with mattresses on the heated floor before boarding a plane to Vietnam where we would spend the next couple weeks. We shopped in Korean markets which had cell phones with color displays, as yet unheard of in the states at the time.

Taxi ride
Taxi ride

Megan met us at the airport with rice hats. We took a cab to her house which would be the only time we rode in an actual car for the rest of the trip. The city runs on scooters and motorcycles.

We had clothes custom made for us, including some silk qipao dresses. There were plenty of pre-made dresses to buy, but none of these fit my 5’10” self. We bought material at a fabric shop while playing patty cake with the local kids.

Custom Qipao
Custom Qipao

Then we went to a seamstress. She took our measurements, looked at some of the pictures we brought from home, them made us awesome outfits.

We toured the Mekong Delta. But before that, we got food poisoning from an upscale Chinese food restaurant serving drunken prawns. I’ve never been so sick in my life. That night president Clinton made the first visit to Vietnam from an American president since the war. The streets were going crazy in celebration and I didn’t have the strength to stand at the window and watch. Still, it was cool to hear and witness that.

My new friend
My new friend

The museums in Vietnam show history from a different side than we Americans are used to. We lost that war. The museums showed atrocities committed by American soldiers and the damage done to that country rather than celebrating any freedom we had hoped to bring. It was a different story in Korea where the war memorial celebrated the various countries that helped South Korea escape communism. The Vietnamese museum was the first place I’ve experienced the sobering feeling of being on the losing side of history. Helicopters from 30 years before still littered the airfield.

Head massage in Saigon
Head massage in Saigon

Kia, Megan and I got head massages. They lasted for one hour and felt amazing. I looked like a Qtip after with my short platinum hair sticking straight up and frizzing all over the place afterward.