A Blogger’s Diary 5/6/21: On the Week, Writing and Reflecting, and Traveling to Portland and Los Angeles

On the Week

This past week, I’ve been writing quite a bit, yet, as you may have noticed, my blogging schedule has changed. Yep, it was intentional. A few weeks ago, I mentioned slowing down. Little did I know at that time, the writing would keep pouring out of me, yet, I am pleased with developing a new schedule.

My goal is to post about 5 or 6 times a week, with a couple days off mixed in. We will see how it goes.

Oh, and it’s time to travel. Wait, what? Yep, it’s time. I leave for Los Angeles tomorrow morning. Wow. I am very excited to see my mom, sisters, and nieces and nephews, and, of course, to be in LA. More on that in a moment.

First, let’s take a look at some writing that occurred this week.

Writing and Reflecting

The poem Night’s End was first inspired from a WDYS prompt, from Keep it Alive, by Sadje, yet, as I reflected on the poem’s beginning, I had another insight for the prompt, which ended up being the poem My Years. It happens like that sometimes.

Anyway, the poem Nights End then, was a reflection on the trials that we all face, and the knowledge that these tests are a part of the experience of being a human being on this planet. I firmly believe that they are given to us to help us learn. Learn more about all of our shared human beingness. Beautiful.

The poem The Moment’s Prose was a reflection upon how fleeting each moment we have with each other truly is. However, when we are present to this fact, we cherish and relish each of these moments. This was not always the case for me, thus, in this poem, I was reflecting upon the entirety of the concept of love lossed. 

I was also very honored and humbled at being placed in the top 8 of Soni’s Writing Contest this past week. I am so grateful to Soni for facilitating such a lovely writing contest, and am so honored to be selected alongside all of the talented writers. Congratulations to all of the writers that joined Soni’s contest. You are all inspirational and amazing. 


If you’ve not visited Soni’s blog, please do. Soni’s site is inspirational, motivational, and hyper-creative.

Traveling to Portland and Los Angeles

Well, as you may recall, I visited Justin in Portland last weekend, and it was a lovely trip. We enjoyed a lovely hike, visited and talked about a book we are reading together, had some wonderful food, and generally just enjoyed each other’s company.

Here are a couple pics from the trip.

And, yep, next week, tomorrow, in fact, I’ll be boarding an airplane for Los Angeles, for the first time in over 15 months. I am both anxious and very excited. As you may recall, my father passed away about 6 months prior to the pandemic, so seeing my mom will be wonderful.

I’ve no definite plans, will need to work a little while I am there, yet will get to the beach, for sure, and do some shopping, places I cannot access here, and then? Visit and love my family.

Alright, that’s all for this week, my dear friends.

Have a lovely, lovely week.


Image Credit

#poetry, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #blogs, #california, #life, #los-angeles, #love, #oregon, #poem, #poems, #portland, #reflecting, #travel, #writing

Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings: Silver Falls State Park

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Instead of a diary entry this week, I’ve chosen to write another entry in the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings Series. Ready? Good, here we go.

Wanderings

Last week, I hiked Silver Falls State Park, which is just outside of Salem, Oregon. The park is picturesque and beautiful. There are two main trails that take you from the South Falls to the North Falls and back again, for a total of 8.7 miles.

One trail takes you down into the gorge, and winds you in and out of different smaller trails. Along the way there are 10 different waterfalls you can experience. I managed to see 7 or 8; and, they were stunning.

I started at the South Falls, which is where the largest waterfall is located.

Gorgeous, yes? Yes.

From there it is about a 4 mile hike to the North Falls, and along the way there are some very pretty landscapes and riverscapes.

Here some of the other waterfalls along the way.

Once at the North Falls, I stopped to eat and drink a little. At this point, you can hike up to the Upper North Rim, which adds another .8 miles to the trip. I chose to forgo that portion of the hike, and head back along the rim trail.

About half-way back to the South Falls, I descended again into the gorge. It was such a fun trip. I began the hike at 7:30 am and finished at 11:15 am. When I started there were only a few cars in the parking lot, and when I finished there were only a few parking spaces left.

Wonderings

As I hiked I reflected upon my time growing up in Los Angeles, and the privilege I had as a child, youth, and young adult. Privilege in seeing and experiencing so much diversity. Diversity in landscapes, people, places, well, all of it was diverse. Lovely.

For the past 12 years, I’ve lived in much smaller areas, and I miss diverse people and places. Yet, as I hiked back to the South Falls last week, I was pleasantly surprised by the flood of diverse people coming into the park and on the trails. Yes, I did also get a little anxious. Mainly due to being away from people this past year during the pandemic.

Yet, most of what I felt was the deep connection I always get when I’m around people. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I have the ability to feel other people’s emotions deeply, and can get from people, without words, much. Yes, it can be overwhelming, and, yet, it is also deeply profound. A true gift.

Being around so many diverse people excites me even more for my trip to Los Angeles next week, and for the coming trips I’ll take in the next few years.

Beautiful experiences, beautiful people, beautiful planet.

Here are some more pics from the hike.

#culture, #diversity, #experiential, #geography, #highlysensitivepeople, #hiking, #life, #losangeles, #love, #oregon, #salem, #silverfalls, #travel, #waterfalls, #willamettevalleyhiking

Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings: Chip Ross Park

Corvallis, Oregon

There are so many places to hike in the Willamette Valley. It is a beautiful place, full of rivers, creeks, hills, lakes, and, yep, lots and lots of trails.

This past week, I stayed local again, and completed a short hike out at Chip Ross Park. Chip Ross Park is located in North Corvallis, and is, in part, connected to the McDonal Research Forest, which I wrote about in my last entry.

The hike I completed at Chip Ross Park this past week, is a moderate trail, fairly level, sans the trails beginning, which is somewhat steep. The hike winds you back through the dense forest, where you can catch glimpses of wildlife, flowers, and many, many varieties of plants.

Here are some pics from the hike.

Beautiful, yes? Yep, I think so too.

As I wandered through the forest last week, I was wondering about joining a gym again. I’ve been noticing that my body is tight, especially in my shoulders, arms, and back. Much of this is due to the extensive amount of computer facetime that is required, and has been for almost 15 months, in a remote work world. 

When you spend 12 hours a day on a computer, working and then, yep, blogging, and are focused, you sit, well, a lot. Thus, more movement is needed. Yet, I am unsure if I’m ready to go to the gym regularly. 

Pre Pandemic, I was at the gym every day. Really. I rarely missed. Yet, today? I’m not sure if that is necessary or needed. Hm. More reflection needed.

What have you done to stay mobile during the pandemic?

Alright, that’s all for this installment. Next time, I’ll have some waterfalls to show you, as I will be traveling up to Salem to hike Silver State Falls next week. Fun.

Here are a few more pics from the hike, just for fun.

#corvallis, #corvallishiking, #corvallistrails, #hiking, #nature, #oregon, #trailsinoregon, #willamettevalley, #willamettevalleyhiking

Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings: McDonald Research Forest

Photo by Porter Raab on Unsplash

I’ve now lived in Corvallis, Oregon for almost 9 years. We moved to Corvallis in 2012 for my graduate school education, which I am happy to report has been complete for many years.

Corvallis is a small town located in the Willamette Valley, about 90 miles South of Portland, and 50 miles North of Eugene. It is a quaint little city with approximately 56,000 residents, and home to Oregon State University.

Photo by Casey Olsen on Unsplash

I’ve been hiking around Corvallis for years, and yet never hiked the McDonald Research Forest until about 3 years ago. There are a plethora of trails, of all difficulty levels, within the research forest, with beautiful views.

Last week, I hiked the Vineyard Mountain Trail, which is of moderate difficulty, and is about 3.4 miles, if you do the whole loop. On the hike, you get to take in the forest in all of its beauty, which includes many different types of plants, trees, and flowers, and, if you are lucky and it is quiet, which it usually is, some birds. Beautiful.

Here are some pictures from my hike last week.

As I hiked the Vineyard Mountain Trail last week, I was present to the beauty of nature; and, the beauty in being present with nature. When we are fully present, all of life takes on richer and deeper colors; the vibrancy of which is stunning. Lovely.

Alright, as I mentioned in a previously published diary entry, this post is part of one of my new spring and summer series. In this series, I will take in a different hike every week or so, and then write about my reflections. 

Thus, we will get to wander and wonder throughout the Willamette Valley together. Fun.

#corvallis, #hiking, #oregon, #oregonstateuniversity, #reflections, #vineyardmountaintrail, #wandering, #willamettevalley, #wondering

A Blogger’s Diary 4/25/21: On Writing and Reflecting, Portland, Reading, and Breathing

I’ve been thinking more this week about how important it is to take time for ourselves. It is interesting, as I know this truth viscerally today, and have written about it several times in the past few months, and yet as life continues to move, I am continually present to the need to stop and breathe. Important.

Alright, more on that in a moment.

Writing and Reflecting

First, let’s take a look at a few reflections from the week.

Flush

The poem Flush occurred to me this week after I dropped off my guitar to be worked on at the local music store. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve loved learning to play the guitar until, all at once, it was removed from my presence for a couple of days. 

I actually went to the music store one day, while they were working on my guitar, just to play the guitars on display. I love the feeling that comes with playing the guitar. In fact, I’ve always loved music, which has been a large part of my life, for, well, always. Moving, deeply satisfying, and inspirational. Lovely.

Hug

The Hug poem was inspired by the WDYS #78 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. As I pondered the picture of a small table, set for two, it reminded me of times as a child and youth at my grandparents house. Being around all of my cousins, and feeling that deep sense of connection and love you get when you are near so much family.


Though I don’t get to see much of my extended family today, I relish these memories. Beautiful.

Next Week

I don’t have much to write about the writing that is coming. That’s fun.

I know there will be more poems, and I do have plans on a post about purpose, yet have not begun to write this piece. All of this unknown is part of the process and joy of creation, which I adore.

Portland

Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash

My oldest son has an internship with Intel in Portland this summer. Yes. Exciting. I went up to visit him yesterday, which was my first time in Portland in over 15 months. It was an amazing experience.

We went to a wonderful local grocery story called the India Supermarket, and ate at an equally lovely restaurant called Apna Chat Bhavan. Delicious. We then played guitars for the afternoon. It was so lovely to see him and spend time with him doing things we love to do, two of which, we’ve been unable to do, or have chosen not to do, for a long time. Lovely.

Reading

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The remote book club is still alive and well. We just finished The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende. An elegant and descriptively written book about war, violence, oppression, love, family, and life. I highly recommend this book. Just know that the book does contain many violent scenes, which may be disturbing to some readers. The book contained about as much violence as I can handle these days.

I am now reading the Mahabharata, by Kamala Subramaniam, which is part of my continual spiritual and devotional development. I am only about 100 pages into the text, and am already seeing parallels to all of life, which I know will continue.

Breathing

Have you ever had someone ask you if you are breathing, or, have you had someone say, don’t forget to breathe? Yep, me too. In fact, I am the one that often says to people, remember to breathe. Yet, more context is needed.

When I say to someone close to me, remember to breathe. These words come along with a historical conversational context about what remembering to breathe really means. 

It means creating time in all of our days to stop. Stop working, cooking, cleaning, erranding, working, etc., and just be. Creating time to focus on our breath and be with ourselves. As I’ve written before, you can accomplish this by taking 5-minutes away from everyone and everything, and just focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. 

And, as thoughts arise, such as I need to do this, and I need to do that, just let that be. And, return to the breath. If you choose to walk during this time, count your steps as you inhale and exhale, which will help keep the mind at bay.

The point?

We all need time to let ourselves be. Away from all of the “needs” that are arising within us.

When we begin to learn that, in fact, those “needs” never really cease, and that we can take actions to slow down the reactivity of the mind to stimuli; by, for example, taking a 5-minute break away from everyone and everything. Using this time to just breathe, we begin to deepen our understanding of how our minds work. Helpful.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a lovely week.

#apnachatbhavan, #bhagavadgita, #blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #breathing, #contemplation, #diary, #indiasupermarket, #introspection, #mahabharata, #mindfulness, #oregon, #poem, #poems, #portland, #reading, #resturants

Beauty

I look out over the sea,
as the wind blows
so steadily
,

salt mist
surrounds my being
and I lift a finger

in awe of the rapt beauty.

#poetry, #coast, #life, #love, #nature, #ocean, #oregon, #poem, #poems, #sea, #yachats

A Blogger’s Diary 2/14/21: 2 Writing Reflections and A Weekend in Yachats

Yachats, Oregon 2021

As some of you may know, over the December holidays, I had a trip scheduled to the Oregon coast, and, at that time, the trip just didn’t feel right, so I cancelled. Well, as I was writing one night after work, I think it was Wednesday, it occurred to me that a trip to the coast this weekend felt right, so I booked a small cottage about 100 yards from the Ocean, and set out late Friday afternoon.

Before I write more about my time in Yachats, let’s take a look at two of the posts from this past week.

2 Writing Reflections

The Reflection Series: Thinking About Time Differently

I always love what I write, even when the writing is difficult, or it doesn’t turn out exactly like I anticipated; and, the latter happens, well, not quite often, yet as a burgeoning writer it happens. It’s part of the process.

The reflection on time and energy was such a fun post to write, as considering how my (our) energy is spent daily is an important consideration. One that I think more about today, than in times past.

As I wrote about in the post, the idea came from a conversation with a colleague of mine, and since that time, I’ve written this post, made a very short video for LinkedIn, and mapped most of my work (and some of the departments). Here is the latter.

Albany, Oregon 2021

As you can see, what is helpful is knowing how much energy each project takes, and the timeframe the work will take place. On the vertical axis, you can see time labeled as work of the year, work of the quarter, work of the month, and work of the week; and, energy is on the horizontal axis.

I am currently reflecting on this graph, and will use the information contained within to construct my next year of work. Super helpful.

Guide

The poem guide was created as I sat and reflected upon my childhood and how I was taught well, very well, in fact, how to use, and develop, my intelligence, perseverance, and determination to “get things done.” The issue?

Well, I wasn’t taught, and it is totally okay that this was so, how to develop my intuition. Yet, it was always there, waiting, and, in fact, guiding me, even though I was unaware for a very long time.

I really enjoyed writing this poem as I believe it is a reflection of many young people’s lives, especially in the United States.

Yachats

Oh, how I love, love, love the coast. Or, maybe it is called the beach, shore, ocean, or sea, where you live. Either way, I adore being at the coast, and the trip this past weekend was no exception.

I spent my almost two days there, walking along the coast trail, taking photos, meditating, and writing. Oh, yes, I did get some nice sleep too.

Here are some pictures from my time in Yachats.

Lovely, yes?

Yes, it was great fun. I’ll be sharing some of the new poetry I created this weekend in the coming weeks. One is already scheduled for tomorrow night. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed getting to take in all of the scenery and beauty that inspired it.

Alright, that’s all for this week.

Have a splendid week.

#poetry, #blog, #blogger, #bloggersdiary, #blogging, #coast, #guide, #mindmap, #ocean, #oregon, #poem, #timeandenergy, #wom, #woq, #wow, #woy