At the beginning of the retreat, women were reserved and sheepish about their abilities as writers and yogis. They said things such as, “I am not a writer” or “I am really out of shape,” or “I wasn’t sure if I could do this because I haven’t written in years.”
I still had muscle memory for the same self-doubt about both writing and yoga. The day of the retreat, I felt a parallel self-doubt about co-facilitating. I felt like I had been hit by a kick ball searching for my breath as my face flushed and jaw clenched. But my anxiety melted with the warmth from all of the brave women at the retreat and familiar loving faces of my cousin and aunt, best friend and her sister.
That’s the thing about doubt- we all have it. But at some point we just decide to show up and do the work, whatever that work may be. And yes, it can feel like work to sit with your own thoughts, to dig deeper, to be truly still in...
I have a new article about homelessness in Downtown Fargo published in Fargo's alternative weekly newspaper, The High Plains Reader. This issue is very close to my heart.
Here's an excerpt:
A woman spends another restless night shivering on a concrete floor, the only source of comfort a rubber mat, thin scratchy blanket and a lumpy pillow. It offers temporary refuge from the bitter Fargo winter.
A man found passed out in an alley Downtown is whisked away in an ambulance to the ER, then the hospital, to be treated for alcohol poisoning and dehydration. A day later, he is discharged into the street where he drinks more alcohol to quiet the voices he hears because of schizophrenia. As he stumbles down Broadway, a passerby calls police. He is taken to detox, then transported to jail for public intoxication and unpaid fines for petty offenses.
This is the typical vicious cycle of someone struggling with...
‘Your desultory twenties,’ my mother calls my lost time, trying to make it sound reasonable and fun, but it started before I was twenty and lasted much longer.”
Jennifer Egan, The Goon Squad
I stumbled into my twenties. I wanted to extract all the syrupy sweetness that youth and the twenties has to offer. I did so hungrily and eagerly, as though I was tapping a maple tree for syrup. I made reckless, impulsive choices. In other words, I found out you can’t try to taste all that sweetness without tasting the bitter too, growing wary. You can’t become full if you’re always making yourself hollow.
A few weeks ago I finally marched into my thirties standing tall, albeit a bit bruised and weathered.
I am 30. Three-zero. The words rolling off my tongue feel unnatural. Strange. What does it mean to be a woman in the upper-Midwest without a husband, a family, a mortgage, a dog? What is it about people in thei...
Many autumns ago when I was old enough to drink but young enough to still laugh about it, the world felt fuzzy and soft. I was sure on the outside, frozen on the inside. I showed a male acquaintance some of my favorite female-fronted bands like The Breeders and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He grimaced as the front woman Karen O's signature howl seared through the sound waves over the arctic prairie wind and replied, "I just don't like any female-fronted bands or vocalists. It's not that there aren't talented female musicians, I just don't like their voices. Women's voices just weren't meant for a rock or metal vocal range either. It's just not their place ya know, no offense."
Clearly the issue was much broader than the tonal quality of a specific female vocalist. It was deeply embedded in sexism and antiquated notions of where women do and do not belong. I felt gobsmack...
I was aching to feel harmony with nature. I wanted to feel the exhilaration of jumping off a cliff into crisp,frigid water that could wash away my aches. I wanted to know how it felt again to let the caged parts of me free in the wild, untamed like the jagged trails I climbed to know what it meant to be at the top of something.
Admittedly, I was skeptical about ND parks tourist attractions after living in The “Pacific Northwest Wonderland" for two years. ND is certainly not known for its scenic beauty or tourism, but there are sparkling gems glistening with understated beauty nestled beyond the flat topography and swaths of Prairie grass and smiling sunflower fields.
I decided to seek the healing powers of nature right in ND, at Lake Metigoshe State Park in the Turtle Mountain region nestled in central ND on the border of Manitoba, Canada. It was surprisingly my first time camping alone, which wa...
Below I have linked two of my articles for the High Plains Reader, an alternative weekly newspaper in the Fargo-Moorhead area, in case you missed it or are not in the Fargo area. Did you know the FIRST mosque in the entire United States was hidden away in the oil patch in ND? Neither did I, until recently. Below are some photos I took of that magical sunset when I discovered this little gem.