It’s been quite awhile since I’ve put anything here. This isn’t an apology or a promise for more frequent writing in the future [though I do like the idea of writing regularly again. I miss it. It makes me happy.]. This is just a note because I like sharing my life with you.
You may or may not have heard…
I started a new job in November (fancy job title = District Representative, US House of Representatives) and it’s kept me very busy. I work for one of our members of Congress (Rep. Derek Kilmer, WA-06) handling community outreach in Grays Harbor County as well as working with veterans & active duty military on casework. I love the job. It just feels right; like this is where I belong. In just a few months I’ve grown to really like my coworkers and feel a kinship with them. They work so hard and I aspire to reach their level of awesomeness as I continue to acclimate. I’ve also begun to get to know and spend time with Derek. He’s the type of person that makes me want to work hard because he works hard. Like me, he seems to hate that politics gets in the way of governance and progress and would be much happier just focusing on helping communities in the district. He’s very sincere and genuine, and well liked by our constituents – even among the conservative rural Republicans who probably voted for the Tangerine.
I’ve spent the last few months, while drinking through the firehose that is congressional work, also figuring other stuff out. I turned my Facebook account off, which was followed by a flurry of messages (even from my mom} from people wanting to know why I unfriended them. I didn’t unfriend you. I unfriended Facebook. It boiled down to whether it was enhancing my life or not and after a period of observation I figured out that it wasn’t.
As this local campaign season gears up I can already tell I’m really going to miss the campaign trail. As much pressure as it is to run a campaign, I kind of revel in it and it makes me feel really alive. It always reminds me of my days in food service when I’d be slammed and get into the weeds a bit (maybe even let myself slip into the weeds a bit just to feel that feeling). That feeling when your mind and body are working together without much conscious thought, just autopilot, and you make it through without screwing anything up too bad and you can sit there and revel in your success… it’s the best feeling in the world. The day to day of campaigning and working with a candidate to help them craft message and delivery, to work with volunteers and teach them and guide them. It’s a thing that I really enjoy. Maybe I’ll find a way to get a taste of it this year as a volunteer, but it won’t be the same as being a campaign manager.
Well, friend… that’s all for today. I have a few intrusive thoughts bouncing around in my head that I hope to share with you… so maybe you’ll hear from me again this week. Or maybe not until May. Who knows. It is what it is. Whenever it happens is exactly when it’s supposed to.
I leave you with this:
This morning while drinking coffee and watching my cat play I grabbed the Pablo Neruda anthology off the shelf and started flipping through it. It stopped on the following poem, which inspired me to sit down and write and reminded me how much joy writing brings me. Enjoy, and see you around the bend.
And it was at that age . . . poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, not silence,
but from a street it called me,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among raging fires
or returning alone,
there it was, without a face,
and it touched me.
I didn’t know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind.
Something knocked in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first, faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing;
and suddenly I saw
the darkness perforated,
with arrows, fire, and flowers,
the overpowering night, the universe.
And I, tiny being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss.
I wheeled with the stars.
My heart broke loose with the wind.