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Written August 1, 2023

When wildfires burn the surface of the Earth, they are easily seen. Blame is cast, though all signs point to climate change. Fathomable rage.  But, what’s unfathomable to imagine is the blaze held within such a celestial body, and she still somehow holds it all together though her cracks are showing for us all to see.

This is no comparison. My spirit is difficult to contain when confronted with adversity. I had been spiritually attacked and mentally triggered throughout July. That eager Leo fire came with a swelling of unfamiliar strength that scared me. But I have validated that I can fight for myself, those before me, those without a voice, and those I love. 

I may have burned some bridges and scorched aspects of myself. It hurt. Badly. These wounds need to heal without me picking at them. Coming to terms with the truths about myself and taking accountability for my reactions during those moments when I lost control sucked, but what other way is there to prove to my kids that I am growing alongside them. To show them there are no power plays between us. That it’s ok not to be ok. 

I’m still not ok. At the moment, I am nurturing my wounds instead of smoothing them over with fantasies or expectations or hoping that all the Halloween things will be a balm. My discomfort is why I was able to assert myself. As a former people-pleaser, this is no easy feat. I feel lost in an immense playground surrounded by wildfires, boiling seawater, and even more suburbs. Sometimes, I feel like I have to keep myself safe from becoming unbalanced, or I’ll fall over and go all out batshit and wild, reminding me that I can and will reduce everything to ashes. I am not afraid to evolve, and I am not scared to die. I fear the pain of letting go of what Matte Black conveys perfectly, “It’s not fate to lose what’s obvious.” In their song Pure.

Then I battled with myself instead of blaming others for provoking my reactions. I was reminded that I have an imagination that I can sometimes confuse with reality. Instead of impulsively screaming Fuck Reality I took in what was conveyed without taking it personally. It only hurt because I broke a promise to myself that I would remain responsible for my feelings and emotions. Though it felt like the severance of my favored connection, even though it’s taken weeks to embrace, It’s better this way for me to be free of expectations. And it’s because any expectations I may have had are often exceeded.

Just like how wandering around all of July has been proving to me over and over. 

In intense patches of my major depression, sometimes I become debilitated and forget how to release and ground the wildfire within me. This rough patch has come with uncontrollable crying and a feeling of extreme loss. The volumes of tears I’ve shed are incomparable to any other moment on my path thus far. A physical release that I can’t put into words and am helpless to describe any other way.

I am altered by this bout. And I’ve been re-reading my journals and blogs to find a pattern for a new therapist to analyze.

Though that doesn’t feel right, I don’t want to be guided in this pain. I need to feel it. 

My HubBub couldn’t stand seeing me in so much pain, however. The lack of my typical whimsical quirkiness puts him into action mode, and he’ll do all he can to soothe my soul instead of allowing me to self-loathe or fall off balance. Instead of a typical walk in the woods, he took control of one of our collective visions of wandering the PNW aimlessly to see what wonder we could find in places we have wanted to see.

I was already feeling drained and almost sick from crying most of the week and had just pulled out of doing my podcast at the Ghosts of Summer convention when he packed up the truck with camping gear and told me we would spend the weekend exploring Northern Washington. A journey I assumed would take at least a week to enjoy, and thus why I had put it off for so long. There was no reason not to, as he loves to captain road trips while I stare out the windows listening to music and eating snacks. I didn’t care how long it took or how much I stank. I just wanted to not feel so alone in my thoughts. Take a break from the mental warfare. To find relief from the grief left behind by recent ghosts.

We found our way to the coast of Washington. The only destination at the moment was to find a place to cook dinner and possibly an open campsite. We stopped at a beach that offered overnight lodging and day-use activities. The lodge and cabins were booked for the weekend, and no tent camping was provided. 

I went to pin the location for future use when google maps showed that we were minutes away from The Tree of Life. A landmark I have envisioned myself visiting to mark a new direction in my path. 

So be it.

I was astounded and a little shy when I approached the tree—then saddened because humans dangle from her roots for photos and play. She’s this living thing holding herself up; she bleeds and remains beautiful as she endures storms, the sun, and people. 

When I backed up and turned to listen to the ocean, I noticed the moon once again rising above the cliffs and waxing towards this Full Moon. Very much like it did during my Midnight Mermaid Shoot. I wish you could have felt them all, seen them all. The Tree of Life. The Moon. The Ocean and me. 

Eager to lay under the stars, we continued North and checked out Forks, WA, but no campsite or lodging was available. So we continued with the moon playing hide and seek with me and the mountains. At one point, HubBub adjusted the headlights and turned them off completely when I shouted that I couldn’t endure a Large Marge moment. Then, a bunch of bats came out of nowhere, avoiding the light of the truck when the lights came back on. 

We ended up at a decent rest stop in a place I didn’t think I’d visit again anytime soon; Port Angeles. With the moon cascading elsewhere, the Big Dipper was all up in my face as I smiled at our adventure. I told you the sky is closer here.

We slept well for being in the truck. At least five hours. It was fun to wake up and take off for coffee. Not to mention the morning was full of more deer than people. HubBub wanted to see what the body of water we passed on the way into Port Angeles was about, so we went back south on the 101 to take in Cresent Lake and followed the signs to La Push Beach. Another place I feared would be too North. Too hard to reach. Too hard to get home. Another place I fell in unlikely love with. There I found symbols of affection and reassurance.

The sun was encroaching on the morning, and we didn’t want to induce more BO than we could endure being so close in proximity while driving. Keeping North we found ourselves on the road toward the Sol Duc Hot Springs within the Olympic National Forest. Never have I ever experienced such clarity within a water source, and I spend much time near clear rivers. It’s a calm place to ground. To connect to what matters at this very moment. One. Breath. At. A. Time.

I know we traversed the same route as a family in 2018 as we left Port Angeles and was surprised to discover that if we continued to circle the Olympic Peninsula, we would make it home in less time than it would take if we had traveled to Seattle instead. That fucking baffled me! Sure, we could have extended the trip and taken either the Whidbey or Kingston Ferries to hang out in Seattle and then go home from there, but the crying let some cooties in. I wasn’t feeling the greatest. Fucking summer cold. I just wanted to nap and see what else the Olympic Peninsula had for us to see. 

It didn’t disappoint.

Writing this; it’s been two days since getting home. This cold is relentless (not covid) and is furthering my instinct to let more go. Now with the Full Moon, I feel what’s been released. I can feel summer waning and notes of Autumn arriving, and I’ll be ok.

I am open. I am ready for what’s next.

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