– New Year’s Day on Gorgona, dancing and drinking with the workers.
– Corey moved in with me in March.
– Finished my thesis, learned a tremendous amount about writing and literature and what’s so amazing about really deep thoughts. Spent afternoons at my advisor’s house, going over word after word, page after page, while his daughters ran up and down the stairs and through the garden.
– Wandered through thesis parade in a daze, drunk off of three days of no sleep rather than alcohol, pulled Corey through library with me and Dionysian drumming.
– Did very well in my last year at Reed, made straight A’s.
– Walked across graduation stage and felt startled by how loud the applause and whistles were; the combined noise of all my family and friends.
– My advisor shouting out my name and waving enthusiastically with his enormous grin as I walked by in the line of professors applauding the lined-up graduats as we left the tent.
– Corey playing Eddie Vedder’s “Hard Sun” over and over again on my Mac.
– Worked as adult leader on Plunge; hung out with great kids and met amazing people from Portland community. Riding on buses and walking everywhere, I truly felt for the first time like I was a Portlander, and like Portland was my home, rather than Reed.
– Left with Corey to Ecuador to work on the mycorenewal tour.
– The day and night and aftermath of Bill’s death. Building the little altar in our living room for his ashes while his wife/partner finished the tour in the Galapagos with her daughter who flew in from Canada.
– Worked as guide and translator in Yasuni national park; dealt with rude Swiss, sweet French-Canadians and wonderful Brit tourists; saw amazing sights like a beautiful sunset with macaws squawking overhead, countless monkeys, turtles, pink river dolphins. No matter how many times I went down that river in that boat, with my butt all sore from sitting in the wooden seat, roasting hot during the day and freezing cold at night during the minimu 4-hour boat ride, I never, ever got tired of seeing the jungle.
– Reading “The Prophet.”
– Lying on my stomach on bed listening to Regina Spektor, putting my headphones in Corey’s ears and making him listen to “On the Radio”
– Staying at the coast. Corey fishing. Eating the fish cooked over the bonfire’s ashes on Playa Escondida, delicious fish meat melting in my mouth.
– Staying with Corey in the shaman Don Delio’s town. Playing with the kids on the beach. The night we arrived, “Titanic” was playing on the small TV screen. Swinging his baby in the green jungle hammock.
– Running into Don Delio on the streets of Quito and inviting him to stay with us in our Guapulo house; how good it felt to return hospitality.
– Every single giant crab or seafood boil we had at the house with all our friends, eating out of one giant pot in the middle of the table, licking my fingers clean of shrimp juice and wiping them off on my pants.
– Shopping at the Santa Clara market, walking up those slippery wet stairs to the stinking seafood section, carrying live crabs home in a shopping bag.
– Every single moment I got to spend playing and cuddling with Motor, the world’s cutest and toughest kitten.
– Saying goodbye to Cali and Colombia. Visiting CIAT and feeling touched by my father’s kindness. Spending a weekend hiking and going to hotsprings in Coconuco with Corey and my family. Watching “Into the Wild” again with my family.
– Curled up in bed with Corey watching episode after episode of Season One of “The Wire” on one of our housemate’s computers.
– Reading “The Savage Detectives.”
– Reading “Respiracion artificial” and “Portrait of the artist as a young man.”
– Laura and Cara picking us up at the airport; the astonishment and pleasure we felt pulling up the driveway when we saw the house for the first time, which quickly turned into exhaustion and weariness once we realized the keys didn’t work and we would have to go downtown to meet my brother and get his.
– Corey’s dad’s visit; going out to dinner and mushroom hunting on the coast with him.
– Mushroom hunting with Jay and Matt; water squishing between my toes in my sloshy wet hiking boots, looking up at Matt and realizing we were both as wet as though we’d jumped into a swimming pool, but it didn’t matter, because our arms were filled with matsutake.
– Corey and Jay selling mushrooms at the Milwaukie Farmer’s market. Me making their sign out of colored tape from the Dollar Store.
– The first week of yoga classes I took; the pleasure with which I adopted the extremely relaxing technique picturing my eyeballs dripping down from my sockets like water; how centered and peaceful I felt afterwards.
– Plucking chanterelles out of the soil, effortlessly gathering pounds of them in minutes, barely having to walk to look for them–they were everywhere!
– All the Saturday night dinners we had at the house with Laura and Cara, all the wine, the baths, the hot tub, the giggling, the stories and good food.
– Biking on the Springwater Corridor to get to one site of work and all the way down Powell to get home from another. Seeing all the homeless people raise their hands momentarily off their shopping carts or beer cans to greet me and whoop as I sped by. All those days I left late from home or downtown so I had to pedal absoloutely relentlessly fast to get there on time (I always did!).
– The last ESL classes I had with my students at one site where they brought me a card, playing scrabble with them.
– Every moment I got to spend with Jonathan at Homework Club: playing Uno, testing him on his times tables (get those 4’s, Jonathan!). Jonathan is my man!
– Talking with the other teachers in the photo copy room, making friends with my co-workers and boss, getting to really feel like a part of the school community.
– Clamming at the coast with Jay and friends, eating the most delicious food of my life, walking through the ocean waves in my hiking boots and getting absolutely soaked, the thrill with which I pulled my first clam out of the water.
– Thanksgiving with my grandparents’ at Morro Bay. Feeling really touched by their affection and love, really appreciating the time I have with them. Climbing Black Hill with Corey and Thomas, canoeing over to the sand dunes, Thomas digging to the point of exhaustion through the sand for clams (the otters had eaten them all), watching the sunset on the jetty and doing push-ups on the sand while Corey and Thomas plucked crab claws and mussells from the rocks to eat for dinner later that night.
– Not getting the jobs I really wanted; moving on from the disappointment.
– Dim Sum with Corey, Cara and Matt.
– Christmas with my family, Corey and Laura; my mom giving Laura those earrings from Nepal.
– Watching “Happy-Go-Lucky” with my sister; walking through the rain with her to get to yoga class, laughing at her comment “I feel like a Serbian refugee” as she wrapped her scarf over her face. Later in class we almost destroyed shavassana (sp?) by our uncontrolable giggles when she said to the teacher that she couldn’t find her–I forget what it’s called, that center place thing between the two dimples on your back.
– And what’s next? Echinacea tea with honey and finishing up the last 150 pages of “Team of Rivals” as my family watches “Cold Mountain” in the living room downstairs and I wait for Corey to come home from watering his plants in the laboratory.
– New Year’s Day on Gorgona, dancing and drinking with the workers.