The view (while she was chewing gum)

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

paris. paris paris paris. i am going to paris. it has been some time. saving for this trip. and dreaming of it. now that it is upon me, i feel not ready. i have learned not nearly enough of the french i thought i would. but i have learn how to say “sorry,” and “where is . . .?”  desolay and oo ay?  i figure i’ll be bumping into people and finding things, so these are the essentials . . .

the thing about france is it seems sexy to me. i am ready to get lost in it.

last night i dyed my hair with hair-dye from a box. first time. the box indicated the hue would be the lightest blonde ever. instead, it turned my hair a cheap-looking color of faint blonde/orange. i was hoping i could trick everyone and have it come out looking uh-mazing. like there would be something magical about my hair and my  technique and the fact that it was normally $8.69 and i got it on sale for $5.99 and the gods would be like, ooooooh, here is an atheist who used to be a christian who is taking a chance on life, who has always paid up the wha-zoo for hair coloring jobs—lets show her she can get one just as good out of a box, hahahahaha.

but i got a shitty one out of a box.

and guess what? i am going to ROCK it in france. because that’s what you do with anything in france. you just put a baguette in your backpack and walk around and ROCK it.

i plan to accent my cheap hair with a bright pink lipstick.

and furthermore, the anonymity i’ll experience in france takes the sting factor out of it–no one will know who has shitty hair.  and if i dress right and wear enough mascara, maybe they’ll actually be jealous.

but what i really wanna share is how my perspective shifted up in the air, last week.

it happened in the sky on a plane. the lady next to me was chewing chum. i was on the way back to redmond oregon, after a small trip to LA.  i had gone, hoping to meet with a producer for a TV show i’m trying to write and he just wasn’t available this time, so i jumped in the ocean three times and met with my friend kerri three times and walked down Abott Kinney and went the to the library at the writer’s guild and ate at cool places and had boring and hard moments, mixed with lighter ones, and returned restored.  i was grateful to be coming back home and to the arms of kyle.

on the plane, this lady next to me is chewing gum like it’s her soul mate, and i want to smack her, but instead, i ask her if she can stop snapping her gum, because that is what she is doing with it, and she says she’ll do her best, and i’m like, i am sure you will (in my head, i would never say this out loud i’m just not the type). i go to sleep for 8 minutes, and when i wake up–although i have earplugs in (which i did before, and i could still hear her SNAPPING her gum)– i can see her jaw moving a mile a minute like it’s a jack hammer doing some serious damage at a construction site, and this is just as bad as the snapping of gum. i simply cannot find my peace with this view in my periphery, so i look directly out the window and start studying the contour of the earth.

and that’s when i see it.

mother nature. all inhabited with mounds and folds of earth, pushing up from below, as if there is this mighty, age-old forcing that has been doing the pushing for years, and i forgot about it, while searching for apps and thinking about how my life is not turning out, or how there might be a little bit of time left for it to turn out.

earth mounds look like huge limbs of thighs or bellies of beasts (or you or me), with sags in-between. They look like the wrinkles on the beasts in Steven Kellog’s childrens books. These clumps of earth are laid splayed out–bearing witness to the ages; not needing or noticing me or other children of men and women, in vehicles and on computers, thinking whatever thoughts. from up here, the shrubs, the foliage, the dirt blurs into a gorgeous thick pelt of brown that i want to reach my arm down, out of the plane, and pet, as if i am petting a furry bear.

my eyes roam and soak in the distance, watching new forms enter the scene. a lake appears. lakes. small ones. my brain is forming sentences like, “hey, i see you! someone else might not, but i do!” one lake is larger, and it has a sandy shore with clumps of bushes, and i wonder if it’s a friendly scene or if a serpent would appear if a spread a beach towel. i see no road leading to it. i doubt anyone ever goes there.

forests crowd in now. snow appears, laced between the trees. 20 minutes have passed. the chewing gum lady is a minion. a saint, maybe, having forced me on this journey. one river in particular takes my breath away. it looks like a cross-section of lung, with small tributaries that branch out, ending in chubby, alveoli-like balloons. recognizing this pattern of nature repeating itself, i begin to look for other patterns. i find ribs, proboscis, worry-lines— things that could be a plant or me, caused by the patterns of physics n’ energy, repeated over the course of time. i see that we are spawned in a grid of nature that marches out, and i am a particle in it. i am lucky to see my place in things.

i want to become less important to myself.

–more a bearer-of witness to who she really is—this mother earth who birthed me. find my place in it.

paris became right-sized. i realized i don’t have to try ALL the cheeses and ALL the chocolates and view ALL the sites. this is something i knew before, but with my trip approaching, as with anything in my life, i was getting over-eager and worried about it, like, how would i enjoy it “all?”

guess what, anita, you don’t need to enjoy it all.

just, enjoy some of it. and the rest of it, look at the sky. and see if you can get off the beaten path, a bit. find a forest, even? get lost in it?

see voo play?

another thing i saw was this huge little mountain, kind of a mini-solitary cliff. it was sloped and soft on one side, with a stark, steep drop-off on the other side. it reminded me of being at todd lake, and how i always want to climb over the hills and see the other side. up in the air, i could see what the puny little human would see, if she/he climbed over to the other side. not much different. because there was a lot more of the same thing on the other side. i realized, sometimes in life, it’s okay to stay on the side you are on. you can be curious. but you don’t always have to do it all. we get curious. we get provoked. it’s a balance. of pushing ourselves, or enjoying the moment where we are at.

i don’t think Saint Gum Minion Lady will ever be my friend, again, if given the chance. i don’t blame her. it was kind of a mean thing i said to her—if she could please not snap her gum. at the same time, i was doing the best that i could, in that moment, to take care of myself, without killing someone on the plane. we are all works in progress. maybe when i come back from france, i will be less neurotic.



  1. Ruthie
    September 1, 2016

    Vous allumez mon imagination et de renforcer mon cœur. Que Paris se préparer pour vous! ❤️

    • dranita
      September 1, 2016

      Awwwww, Thank you, Auntie Ruthie! i so appreciare! 🙂 xoxo a


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