warming feet in front of a wood stove ©2019 Tuula Rebhahn

Gazing into the Fire: Why even dead-end ideas are great

I love new projects. An idea can fire me up so well I have a hard time sleeping. It’s like a new lover I just want to visit again and again, gazing deeply into its eyes to let it reveal to me all the promises of my own potential. I see the idea unfolding into all the things I’ve ever wanted to achieve, making me into the person I always knew I would become. Seductive, seemingly perfect, the idea — whether for a book, a business, a project or adventure — will seduce me with its promises of wealth, power and/or fame even while I see its flaws as perfectly as one can see cellulite and fatally bad breath.

Seven Encounters With Rainbow

(R) She sees it for the first time arching across the canyon before a grand departure. Viewed through a misted car window, it radiates goodwill.
(O) The rainbow follows the hiker down the canyon, bouncing off the walls, descending over breakfast. It threatens to turn the oatmeal into a pot of gold. She is glad when it doesn’t.

Notes on Restoration

I don’t have a whole story about all this, not yet. Sure, I could make some gummy conclusion about how when we heal the land, we heal ourselves. I could encourage you to go plant a tree, pull an invasive weed, or somehow rearrange the mud somewhere in a way that allows life to flourish. But I think what I needed to do most today was to see a thread through the various work parties and events I’ve shown up to over the past year. Being a writer, I’ve taken some notes, and I’m sharing a version of them here.

Excerpt: The Hated Place

Fresh fiction! Cut-out of a short story I recently dusted off for possible submission to a “Bikesexuality” collection from Elly Blue’s Taking the Lane. Then I realized that this is a non-fiction venue. Blurg! Well, it was fun to work in fiction-land for an afternoon anyway. Enjoy! ***   Jamal throws his bookbag into the…

Oh, hi.

Nice of you to drop in. Oh, not a casual visit? You were checking up on me. What’s happening, you want to know? Where’s the writing? Girl (or boy), don’t get me started. I’ve been creating enough to make your head spin. The winter has been rich in collaborations, experimentations, and inspired but un-bloggable labors…

A Blue Streak

Write. Write like a skateboarder, turning tight lines in the near dark. Write like sediment. Settle words down to lake bottom and leave your record. Forgive your own sloth. Write. Write like a bee swipes pollen, thinking it’s just there for food. The miracle of life unfolds because of you. Write like tree rings. Write…

Vesper Walk

There’s just enough snow on the ground for it to tip over the brim of my hiking boots. As we walk single-file through the clumps of fir and pine, the swish-squeak of polyestered thighs masquerades as birdsong, much to the frustration of my companions. Every so often our leader stops. His ears, red in the…

Anatomy of a Fall

0° I park the car and trade my shoes for roller skates. It’s the after-work hour and the gym rats are streaming toward the building. I go the other direction, find the sidewalk leading down into a mobile home park. As my speed increases exponentially, my body defaults to ski mode: toes turning toward each…

Don’t Touch

Ears back means, I don’t like you. I’ve learned this because Penny is a magnet. Even while sleeping in his preferred position on the sidewalk — something I call “dead-dogging-it”: lying on his side, four legs stuck out, head resting on one incredibly soft ear — he’s irresistible. Serious businessmen pass and can’t hold back…

Elk River, Oregon © Tuula Rebhahn

River Time

The film was gorgeous but Tim’s short presentation afterward was electrifying, careening through fifty years of conservation history as his beautiful photographs flashed across the projector screen. As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder where river awareness has been my entire life.