I Love

Last Sunday I completed another ten-day Master Cleanse, and let me tell you: It’s not just a physical and cellular detox, it’s a deep emotional cleansing as well. I cried some of the sweetest tears of my life on the last night. Good stuff. I’m working hard on my book—the final push before I leave here—and wasn’t sure I’d write a blog post this week but I couldn’t help myself from writing a list of what I love right now.

I love my Taos writing group at SOMOS, who so graciously accepted me into their group and don’t judge me for just passing through. I love their stories, their writing, their insights; I love their honesty, compassion, and grace.

I love my neighbors. The one who offers me lettuce from the greenhouse, the one who meets me outside when I arrive home because it’s been a week since we’ve seen each other, the ones who have me for dinner, the ones who are never too busy to ask how my book is going, the one who sends Lucky home when he’s running amok.

I love that dog.

I love that although my nerves were ravaged after killing that elk they have righted themselves, and I love that I now see the fifteen-mile drive home from town as a thing of beauty and not a thing to fear.

I love that I got new really bright headlights out of that mess.

I love gratitude.

I love that I’m not nearly as judgmental as I used to be, and I love that means I’m also judging myself less harshly.

I love that the only constant is change.

I love the coyotes that won’t let me go to sleep and the rooster who won’t let me sleep in.

I love that we’re never farther than one sleep from a brand new day.

I love choices, options, and free will.

I love putting one word after another and creating a book that may or may not help others the way I hope it will, but which is helping me just be removing it from my insides. {cleansing.}

I love my friends and family.

I love hanging clothes on a clothesline, clothespins clipped to my hem and stuck in my mouth. I love how a simple action connects me, despite geography, to my grandmothers and their grandmothers. I love drying myself with stiff, line-dried towels and how that feeling takes me back to being a kid at the beach with my Mimi.

I love that the more things change the more they stay the same.

I love what I realized yesterday: That Missoula was a wonderful place for me to “grow up” because you can be whoever you want to be in that lovely valley, and you can grow into the person you’re meant to be. I love that I feel like Taos is the same—anything goes—and that in reality we can be whoever and whatever we want to be wherever we land. I love that geography is not the big limitation, ego is.

I love that I finally discovered a deodorant that smells like coconut.

I love that after years of being mostly on the giving end, I’ve been receiving weekly massages here in Taos and don’t feel that I need to apologize for it. I especially love that last part.

I love possibility.

I love that I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I can look at the people who’ve hurt me with compassion instead of anger, and wish for them health, healing and wellness.

I love floating in oceans and I love doing handstands in swimming pools. I love hot springs. I love water.

I love that I’m looking forward to taking my high-desert parched skin to the Gulf of Mexico for hydration and salt-water therapy.

I love that the next step isn’t as intimidating as it was a month ago.

I love hope.

I love that story I read last night about the doctor who cured criminally insane patients by improving himself. He did this by looking at the patients’ files and repeating, “I love you.” I’m sorry.” It worked.

I love life’s limitless possibilities.

I love the power of words.

I love the power of thoughts.

I love the power of love.

I love you.

Eventually All Things Merge Into One

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the movie A River Run Through It. The novella was published fourteen years earlier, and the story had that long to resound in our minds before the images and words came alive on the screen. And come alive they do; even the hardest hearts can’t help but get weepy. But there was more good done besides the softening of hearts, besides making people see themselves and their families differently.

According to the Missoulian, the fly-fishing industry saw 60% increases in business in 1992 and 1993. This was good news for guides, realtors, and the entire community of Missoula, where the story was hatched. It was also good for the Blackfoot River without which this story would not have existed.

The film was shot on other rivers in Montana—the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Boulder—because the historic Blackfoot River was not what it had been after decimating from logging, mining, and agriculture. Because of the movie, millions of dollars have going to restoring and protecting the Blackfoot.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

The Little Blackfoot drains into the Clark Fork near Deer Lodge, and five miles east of Missoula the same river receives the Blackfoot. There are lots of ways to help.

I’ve been enjoying this summer swimming, on average, five out of seven days. Sometimes it’s a quick dip and sometimes a longer soak. Sometimes I just sit alone or with a friend and listen to the water move rocks underwater. Wonderful swimming spots on the Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and Bitterroot Rivers (as well as the chilly but lovely Rattlesnake Creek) are all within minutes of downtown Missoula. We’re damn lucky.

On Sunday I chose Council Groves, a place I hadn’t been to in a few years. Council Groves has good swimming, and it also has good history. It is a sad story, really. It’s where the Flathead, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille Indians signed a treaty in 1855 to give up their ancestral hunting groups in exchange for a reservation in the Flathead Valley. The Clark Fork flows through the state park with such force that every year the topography is a little bit different. There are deep swimming holes, shallow pools to lounge in, channels to follow, and little waterfalls over what I consider to be the most beautiful river rock anywhere.

There’s no hunting there these days, but there’s fishing, tadpole catching, and rock collecting. There are cottonwoods and old ponderosas to sit under when the sun becomes too much, and wild mint to discover. Tell me, what more do we need?




Free Rock Massage.


Holding Beauty.


Fishing/Rock Hunting Dog.


Evidence that big water runs through it.Image



Despite it all this big tree stands.