Savoring Love

Gate C22 image medium


I came across this poem a couple of months ago, and the raw authenticity and gorgeous simplicity of the words really touched my heart.

I love the idea of throwing all cares away, not worrying about who may be watching, or what they may be thinking, and just savoring a moment with someone you love.

The words hold so much romance in them yet they are not flowery nor elaborate. For me this is what gives the poem such beauty and soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day All.  Enjoy a little love from Gate C22!

Gate C22 – By Ellen Bass

At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching–
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after–if she beat you or left you or
you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.

Lessons From The Car Wash

For a long, long time I have had a serious phobia about the drive-through car wash.

You are probably rolling your eyes and asking yourself, “She’s afraid of the car wash?  Seriously??!”  Yup, seriously!

I used to love going through the car wash as a kid.  I loved the sound of the water raining down on the roof…the thump, thump, thump of the long cloth “fingers” as they moved up and over the car…the “WHOOSH” of the dryers sending water droplets scurrying away.

5 Lessons on Overcomign FearAll that changed one cold, winter night about 14 years ago.  I was living up in the mountains of Colorado running Verbatim Booksellers, the independent bookstore I owned in Vail, CO. My mum was flying in from the East Coast, and I was to pick her up after work.  Since I have a tendency to try to cram too much into a short amount of time I was running late by the time I left work.  I took one look at my car, however, and although I was behind schedule I decided I couldn’t pick my mum up in a dirty, winter-grime streaked car.

I pulled off the highway and raced to the local gas station and car wash, figuring I could get a quick wash and be on my way again.  It was dark that night, really, really dark, and the car wash was set up so that you had to make a super awkward left turn to get the wheels inside the guide rails and onto the conveyor belt.

I tried and missed.  I reversed and tried again, still not managing to get the wheels aligned between the rails.  I tried once more, over-correcting, and ended up getting my left wheels wedged between the outer rail and the payment kiosk.  Please note, I am a good driver, really I am!

No ifs, ands or buts, I was stuck, seriously stuck….and fairly panicky!  I tried to pull forward, I tried to reverse out but nothing worked.  Finally, I just had to gun it.  I can still hear the sound of metal on metal, scraping, crunching, grinding.  To add insult to injury my now mangled car was splattered with soap as I drove through the wash in an attempt to get out.

I finally made it to the airport, picked up my mum and explained what happened.  When we walked out to my car she just started to laugh…there at the curb sat my car covered in a splotchy, foamy mess of frozen soap with a crushed back left side.

With my tail between my legs I went back that evening to determine what damage I had done to the car wash. Amazingly enough there was not even a scratch on the kiosk against which my car had been wedged.  I seriously thought I had broken the car wash and was going to end up on the front page of the Vail Daily newspaper as the dumbass who had had an accident in the car wash.

Grateful that I wouldn’t be the laughing stock of my community I was still traumatized by the event, and since that night I had NEVER again driven through a car wash, preferring to pay the extra few bucks and hand over my keys to the attendant to drive it through.

 Fast forward to yesterday.  I had just driven down to Denver from the mountains, and my car was grubby and dirty. Once again I was picking someone up at the airport, and I didn’t want to show up with a filthy car.  Perhaps that’s the Virgo in me??!

It was a gorgeous day, and it looked like the whole city had turned out to get their cars washed.  The line was ridiculous.  I pulled up and told the guy I just wanted an exterior wash.  He told me to get into the relatively empty self serve drive-through lane rather than the full service lane I usually go through.  I looked at him with wide eyes, and with panic in my voice said, “But I don’t want to drive through!!”  He gave me a “hey crazy lady do whatever you want” look and just shrugged his shoulders!

Rationally I knew this fear was silly but it was still very real for me.  But, with the alternative being having to wait behind a boatload of cars for more time than I had, I decided to feed my fear a “suck it sandwich” and just go through the damn self-serve lane.   (credit for the term “suck it sandwich” goes to Jen Sincero, author of the fab book You Are a Badass)

 Taking a deep breath, I pulled forward following the directions of the attendant.  Managing to get my wheels easily into the track, I shifted my car into neutral and waited.  The conveyor belt started to move, the soft pitter patter of the water began and all of a sudden the little kid in me who had loved going through the car wash was behind the wheel.  I started to laugh!  This is what I have avoided for all these years?

While I may never, ever, go back to the scene of “incident” I know now that if I need to I can drive myself through the car wash without fear…a liberating thought indeed!  I also know that I still love the soothing feeling of being cocooned in the car as it is nudged along through the wash.  A simple pleasure that is now available to me again 😉

5 Things I Learned from the Car Wash:

  • Fears and phobias will be my loyal companions until I am ready to let them go.
  • The tighter my hold on my fears the more inhibiting they become.
  • Sometimes having to face my fear unexpectedly makes it easier to let it go.
  • Remember that it is up to me whether I allow my fears to hold me back or face them head on and let them pull me forward.
  • Things that I didn’t even know I was missing are available to me again when I let my fears go.

Nourishment in different forms and flavors

IIN CertificateI am a newly minted graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and one of the most compelling concepts I took from the program was the idea of Primary and Secondary Foods. Secondary Foods are the actual foods that we consume. Primary Foods are all the other things in our life that nourish us mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It doesn’t matter how clean my food plan might be, if I am out of alignment with the things that bring me joy, fulfillment and connection then I will not experience the richness and fullness of the life that I crave.

I have felt this misalignment time and again when I have tried to compartmentalize aspects of my life. My life (body, mind, spirit) rebels and reminds me that it cannot be compartmentalized and separated. Each component impacts the other, and imbalance in one area of my life has ramifications for the other areas of my life.

People need dreams, there's as much nourishment in 'em as foodEmbracing this idea of interdependency reminds me of the importance not only of how I am nourishing myself through what I put into my body but how I am nourishing myself through my activities, my thoughts, and my relationships.



Moving through life

Similar to how I feel when I am in my creative process, moving my body produces an experience that is both freeing and centering. Bringing movement into my life makes me feel rooted, grounded, connected as well as expansive, empowered and liberated.Take care of your body it's the only place you have to live in

Movement has always played a large role in my life. My mum, who ran around London in the 70’s and early 80’s in her leotard, tights and Indian skirts teaching yoga, exercise and dance, has been an amazing role model for me on the importance of movement in our lives. She showed me how moving impacts us on so many levels beyond just the physical.

For me, the idea of movement encompasses my physical practice, as well as how I choose to interact in this world, how I carry myself, and how I feel “in” my body on any given day.

Movement has been an amazing teacher in my life. It has shown me how to shift my mood. It has revealed both my strengths and my vulnerabilities. It has made me feel alive and connected to myself and to something bigger. Movement has, in many ways, taught me about gratitude and acceptance.