dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, January 31, 2019


Guest Blogger here. So our hero is in the hospital.

Our trip travel back from Why, AZ, was great. S and I hiked north of Ajo, seeing many cholla and saguaro cactus. It was so beautiful, the craggy volcanic hills and valleys. Our hero and C stayed at the trailer in the huge trailer park.

While we were hiking, our hero, back at the trailer campground got diaphoretic and dizzy with intense urgency of needing to pee, poop, and barf all at the same time. We enjoyed our stay wondering what had happened then we left for the day, intending to return the next day. Then we got back to the motel in Gila Bend, AZ, and decided our best course of action was to instead travel home. We left at 6am and traveled


The desolation was beautiful.

We arrived at the Emergency Department and got admitted for tachycardia. One of our first encounters was with an acquaintance I have seen serving food Fridays at the soupline. She was in training to be a doctor. I guess in her workadayworld she is a medical student. I saw another person who is a Respiratory Therapist who also volunteers with the soupline.

By 3:30am we finally made it to the inpatient hospital room.

Two units of blood and our hero is feeling heroic again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

favorite Ajo murals

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

route 66

"What does it mean, to get your kicks, anyway?  Is that a sexual thing?"
"I don't know."
"If you're kicking someone, when you're having sex with them...you're probably doing it wrong."

Monday, January 28, 2019

dream nightclub dayclub

I dreamt of a goddess place, like a nightclub but for the day or night, where people went to dance. 

It was confusing because it was big and dark, and I lost the people I went in with.  Cell phones didn't work right.

I held a rattle, an orange plastic egg with beads in it, and a strange man gave me tips for how to use it better, for better rhythm.  There was drumming.  The strange man demonstrated, dancing.  I asked him if the rattles loved each other.  He thought I should use two.

The goddesses, reservations, magazines.  Meeting new people, confusion about objects, who the objects belonged to.

I woke up trying to plan how to improve the place, then realized it was a dream and I didn't need to do anything but wake up.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

thank you

I got a wonderful missive in the mail, someone looking for a penpal and friend.  She sent me a letter, a list of facts about herself, a bath recipe, some art she made.  Very nice, just the kind of thing I like to receive.  She's quite a bit younger than I am, but that's okay.  She's in Colorado.  We're both INFJs.

By the way, if you were wondering, I'm a 4 on the enneagram.

So much to do!  Ming bought me postcards at the souvenir shop.  I asked for colorful and moons.  He made one glittery mistake.  Otherwise great.

Garlic pizza, zines to bind.  I finally met my friend's baby.  He was even sweeter than I imagined, two months old, making baby noises and baby motions.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

ordinary morning

Last night Ming was half-asleep and I was crying on him about death, feeling scared, touching his shoulder.

Then this morning we were late to the Catholic Worker to serve.  I was crying again, couldn't stop.  It would have been Dad's 62nd birthday today.

Do I remember how he really looked?  Yes.  How it felt to hold his hand?  Yes.  The sound of his voice?  Yes.  His hug?  I think so.

When I was a little girl and he would drop me off at school, he'd kiss the top of my head and say, "Have fun, be good, learn a lot."  I always liked that.

We have too many cookies.  I will bring them to the meeting tonight.  My neck is sore and my right shoulder again.

A long-time volunteer this morning at the soup line was walking weird and bumped into a table, asking me where his mom was.  His eyes were wide open, but I realized he couldn't see.  "She's over there!" I said, and next I looked he was down on the ground.

I yelled for Ming, who helped.  Ming thinks it was a seizure.  The paramedics came and a fire truck.  I was waiting in the van.

This morning I woke up from a dream.  I was visiting a fancy house full of antiques.  Moving from room to room, looking at things.

A scientist said the wood making a certain railing was rabbit wood or squirrel wood, not deer wood, and animals had wood in their bodies instead of bones.  It was beautiful brown, and I wanted to touch it.

A black sweater was on a couch, and it looked like mine, but I checked and it was the wrong size.  Then I woke up and saw Ming had hung that sweater on the back of our bedroom door, and I laughed.  It had been in storage.

There's a special awards banquet breakfast this morning, and NDE is getting a trophy for the float we had in the MLK parade.  The breakfast costs five dollars.  NDE is paying for all the NDEers who go.

Cookies cookies cookies cookies.

I'm charmed by my friend's four year old, when he waved from by the wall and showed me his dinosaur toy that I had pretended was my baby when he and his mom were over at my house.

We were eating strange soup that was beans and falling-apart pasta in a thick, slippery broth.

I would pet the dino, and the kid would pause then make the dino roar at me.  I would pretend to be afraid.  We did this like 25 times.  The kid laughed and laughed.

Then I cuddled the dino and said, "My baby!" and after a while the kid pushed his way into my arms and wanted to be cuddled too.

When the kid was under the table picking up dropped things, I was afraid he'd stand up and hit his head on the table, so I put my hand on his head, and I remember the way his hair felt, soft.

Life is too much.

But the show must go on.  Ming will come home soon from the breakfast with a trophy and show it to me.  I will react appropriately, and we'll do the big shop and have our day.  Ordinary unordinary morning.

Friday, January 25, 2019



Guest Blogger here again.

We are having changes. We are resolute. Strength is what we want.

In other areas of life ...

Yesterday we helped a friend move stuff out of storage.

The coffee made for the day of the Dr. MLK Jr. Parade that was left over, is drunk. The bags of Japanese snacks and trail mix that were packaged up for giving out at the Parade are gone.

I gave over as a gift one of the blessed icons that were made by my hand last week to the Las Vegas Catholic Worker Community yesterday.

Those are the highlights.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


The things to do multiply like bunnies.  I'm proud of myself for making an agenda for the meeting.  Then there are five more things to do because of the meeting.  They are fuzzy and hop away before I can write them all down. 

My mouth feels salty from dinner, my neck hurts, and I can't stay awake.  So farewell and goodnight.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Today I drank leftover parade coffee so I feel kind of weird--need to relax.  Then Ming gave me some Japanese snacks. 

We went to our friend's house and met his puppy Falcor.  She's sweet.  Talked in the living room.  I might try to sneak in a tiny thing for the tiny thing cabinet.

I got 50 unused vintage postcards I bought on ebay.  There was a five dollars off coupon and free shipping so I got them for three bucks.  Nice. 

We're helping a friend move early Thursday morning. 

Lots going on but it's mostly good.  I think I'll retire, singing.

Monday, January 21, 2019

magnificent Ming and his icons

The icons were blessed yesterday.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


1.  I feel deep gratitude for the healing of my right shoulder--feels great to be able to sleep on my right side again.
2.  I feel deep gratitude for friends and that I'm appreciated and understood by kind people.
3.  I feel deep gratitude for vegan pozole.
4.  I feel deep gratitude that I'm learning more about enjoying alonetime and for taking a breather to take care of only myself when Ming's away.
5.  I feel deep gratitude for the way things are always in motion and life is never boring.

party people

Here's a picture from the party yesterday, before I picked up my chair and carried it away.  I was eating raw cauliflower--that's what's in my hand.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

vegan pozole

I ordered some vegan pozole from the vegan Mexican place we like kind of by our house.  All my life I've heard about it but could never try it because it had meat in it. 

So now finally I'm eating it.  I like it.  I can see how it could be comfort food.

Yesterday I made vegan split pea soup, and it took a long time for the split peas to really break down.  Once they did, wow, it was so good.  I also made sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with kalamata olives.

My friend came for a visit.  We ate the foods and had good conversation.  How long we'll live in Vegas.  His main project.  His wife's PhDs.  Why bisexuality threatens people who want things to be easily categorized.

Then we sat on the bench for sun, and I looked up into the eucalyptus tree.  The leaves were glowy.  I felt my friend would leave soon.

I'd thought he was hot-and-cold, but then I opened signal and saw 24 unread messages from him accumulated over the last six months.  I laughed and laughed.  All those txts I thought he ignored were replied to, and he probably thought I was the random one.

Sometimes life is funny.  But this morning I got into an unwanted argument, and I found out my friend has prostate cancer.  He's the one who takes care of the cats. 

Then at the party I carried my chair away from everyone and couldn't engage.  We left while they were playing games in the living room.  We never got to try the cake.

It was all too much: 12 kids running around, dramatic costumes, Disney music playing.  I felt like no one wanted to talk to me, but then I didn't really want to talk to them, so how could they be blamed?

I didn't have kids, don't have a job, and never watched Frozen.

"Do you like the pozole?" I asked Ming who is finishing it.

"I love it," he says, standing in the kitchen, eating from the glass bowl he holds with a stripey potholder.

Friday, January 18, 2019

me happy

M:  I need to get my bearings.
LM:  Why, are you going to the sea?

He's working on his icons.  I'll show you a bunch of pictures soon.  Today he applies the gold.

I asked him if he could make more--could he do it on his own.  He said yes.  I asked, "Where would you get the gold?  Take a pan down to the river?"

When I told him he could use fool's gold, he seemed offended.  "How do you get the gold to stick?" I asked.  We talked about gold glue.  Old horses, glue factories, sacred touching profane.

Yesterday three women and two kids showed up for the lounge cleaning party.  We moved a lot of clutter.

I just wanted to hang out with the kids.  They were both four years old, lively and full of questions.  They liked how I listened to them.  They drew me pictures.

"This is you happy," one said.

"It doesn't look like me," I said.  He'd drawn it very faintly--I was a head with arms and weird eyes.  "It looks like a ghost."  He told me something about ghosts I didn't understand.

"Your house has a lot of spiders," one said.

"Yeah, it does," I said.  "Black widows, brown ones--all kinds of spiders."

"Your house is ugly," he said. 

"But it's purple!"  I said.  "You're going to hurt its feelings!"

"It's ugly!"

"What about the blue house?" I asked, pointing.

"Not ugly."

"What about the green house?" I asked.

"Not ugly."  They were laughing as I pretended to be sad.

"You must be cats--you're on the cat tree," I said.  I was afraid someone would fall into the cactus, but everyone was fine.

band name idea: Natural Consequences
other band name idea:  Poor Choice

Thursday, January 17, 2019


LM:  Can I complain about something for a minute?
M:  Yes.

We were driving home from the store, looking at a beautiful sunrise after rain.

LM:  I see all kinds of stuff like, adopt a shelter dog, don't breed your dog.  But then when it comes to people, I don't see anything saying to adopt.
M:  Yeah.
LM:  It's like they care more about animals than about people!
M:  They do.
LM:  I guess animals are easier to love?  People can be hard to love.
M:  They put down the difficult animals.
LM:  It's like no one cares!  Everyone knows the foster kids are fucked up.  So just let them go to jail?
M:  Yeah...
LM:  It's like they're not even worth anything!  My friend did it.  Tons of people do it.
M:  They do.

We had pulled into our driveway. 

We spend a lot of time supporting the Catholic Worker which feeds the hungry.  The works of mercy are about everyone having worth.  The world is weird, with everyone wanting fresh babies.  I can barely take care of myself.

Yesterday my new friend K came over with her youngest child.  I heard him first, outside. 

We sat in the courtyard at the picnic table.  K had brought us juice boxes, cookies her mom baked.  She had a lunchable and a bag of Doritos for the kid.

I made the kid guess what kind of tree that was.  He didn't seem to like it.  "Just start listing fruits," K said.  We thought about what grows here and what doesn't.  I don't know if the child had ever eaten a fig.

We talked about the huge orange cat, fluffy and fat.  "Her name is Catastophe," I said. 

The kid wanted to know how the cats got so chubby.  I told him the story of how a long time ago, the courtyard cats were all skinny.  But something changed, and I think it's ok.  "They seem happy," I said.

The kid ate the whole bag of Doritos, and I called him a chip champion.  I asked him if he went to school.  We talked about the YMCA, my friend's new shoes.  It was her birthday.

My bestie txted me yesterday--her baby is six months old now and had his first solid food: sweet potato.  He looked cute in the picture.

I'm wearing my new dress.  Unfortunately, Ming hung it on the back of the bedroom door with the nightgowns.  "Did you think it was a robe?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.

"Is that because of the tie?"

"Yes," he said.

"Should I take the tie off?"

"No," he said.  "I like you in a tie."

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

beautiful concert

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


I'm making old rice and enjoying a rainy day. 

Yesterday I got a letter that shocked me with its welcomeness.  I think I said, "Holy shit!" when I saw it tucked in with the junk.

My correspondent used two stamps because they're 37 cent disney stamps.  I never knew her handwriting.  I read it twice.  I'm doing a thing I didn't do for a long time: not wanting to throw away the envelope.  As if one scrap of her handwriting was too precious for the trash.

Well, you better believe I'm replying today, choosing my words, listening to Joanna Newsom and drinking the now-cold chai Ming made me this morning before he left for his icon painting job.  I mean class.

Back to the icon salt mines.  They thin the paint with holy water, Ming said.  "No way," I said.

Monday, January 14, 2019

excitement Laura-Marie style

Today Ming made hardboiled eggs and tea, and the propane ran out.  So he nicely switched out the tanks for me so I could cook today.

He's going to his icon painting class, which is strange because he's not Catholic and doesn't paint.  He will be there full time for a week, once in a lifetime chance, $175.

Ho ho, it's the bachelor's life for me.  I have some plans: A movie streamed through the library website.  Going to make some lasagna with mushrooms.  Going out with a friend, staying in with another.  Lounge cleaning party.  Lotsa letter writing.  Maybe I'll clean out the spice cabinet, clean off the shelf by the door, make split pea soup.  You never know what kind of excitement I'll find.

I have some poems in random places.  Once I collect them all and type them I might have a zine's worth, which would be good, something new.

The grackles in the trees outside are singing, if you call that song.  Queso fresco and grapefruit juice is a nice breakfast for me.  I think it'll be a good week.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

time to take down the skulls

Friday, January 11, 2019


me:  He's basically cobbling together a livelihood.
M:  Then we can give him shoes.
me:  Because...
M:  Because he's a cobbler!
me:  Wrong kinda cobbler.
M:  He could give us apples.
me:  We already have apples.
M:  Yay!!
me:  But not cobbler.
M:  Boo!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

the joke that never gets old

Will you give me some juice?
Shake it!
He shakes his butt, not the juice.
The joke that never gets old.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Japanese art

Digging through stuff from Japan, we found these beautiful postcard paintings.  I like the spinach and pepper best.

bird art

Someone left this art in the back house.  I suspect it was the monk who visited.  I find it very pretty and it reminds me of this other art.  I like the birds.

tasty lunch

Hmm, the lunch I made yesterday was so tasty.  I wish there was leftovers.

Roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, cayenne, and cumin.  Baby spinach and kale salad with cucumber.  Veg breakfast sausage.  Sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with kalamata olives.  Yippee!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019


We found a stash of special bookmarks from Japan.  They are about bombs.  They have pressed flowers in them.

Woke up with "I Am Bird Gurl" in my head.  Emotional!  I've been avoiding music because I'm overstimulated and need to put less in my head.  But music is magic.

How I know Ming loves me: he washed my dirty flip flops in the shower.  He drives me everywhere.  When I woke up in the night asking feverishly, "Is everything okay?  Is everything okay?" he said yes again and again.

Last night's bad dream was about wild dogs outside the car, jumping up on the sides of the car.  The sound of the dogs' claws on the metal.

Tomorrow we were planning to go soak in the hot springs at Tecopa, but I can't handle it.  "Let's just stay home," I begged Ming.  "Let's put a sign on the door that says CLOSED and not open it for anyone!"

We brainstormed a list of fun things to do.  Sometimes I feel like I'm working all day, on one thing or another.

We got a postcard in the mail from Earth First saying their new address, and I was confused trying to remember what business we'd had with them.  Maybe they want to be friends.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Dear Diary Zine Fest 2019

Sunday, January 06, 2019


I promised to bring a song and a flower to our prayer meeting.  Then it got dark. 

I was by our front door with a pair of scissors and my cellphone flashlight trying to pick a marigold, leaning over to reach where the marigolds are growing from seeds Ming planted a couple years ago. 

I think she liked it.  I sang pretty good too, my favorite Durga song.

This morning I went through a shoebox of mail from someone who was my best friend for a few years, best friend #2.  She's an artist so the mail is amazing.  I saw some beautiful things, and it felt bittersweet, but I'm more happy it happened than sad it's over.

Also strangely there was a thin wool shawl in there my friend V brought me from Nepal.  It's tan with brown embroidery and very pretty.  But I'm not good at shawls.  What should I do with it?

I need to do my homework for theology, but I'm suffering, having been over-social yesterday.  Maybe I'll go unprepared.

"If I hide under the bed, can they find me?" I asked Ming.  He said no.  But the dust bunnies would find me.

A victory: someone I helped screen is coming to visit our Catholic Worker, auditioning for community.  It would be nice if he found a home here.  He's coming in two days.

I woke up yelling "No! no! no!" from a nightmare this morning, as Dad's shoes were on a dish drainer and someone angry with me was chucking framed photos across the room into a box, breaking glass on the kitchen floor.  Ming comforted me.

"Laura-Marie," he said.  "Laura-Marie," as I whimpered.

Death is a problem.  It's full of pain, or someone needed you not to go and you went.  It's too soon, or too lonely if no one cared that you went.  It's trauma--it's scary.  "Things don't end well for anyone," I told Ming.

I was thinking: At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.

Well, a monk just stopped by for a key to the back house.  He thanked us for a card we sent when his dad died.  He's off to church wearing his brown robe and rope belt.  His white beard is looking good.

chaos on chaos

Ming took everything out of the glovebox, and I sorted it, so now my desk has extra weird stuff on it that needs to be put away.  Cds, a mixtape, a kids book, candy, envelopes for guitar strings, hotel soap, a gift ungiven, hair ties in a ziplock, a corn doll, a clippie, pens, my old wallet with its busted zipper, a business card, letters from last year that I still need to reply to.

After this afternoon's radical mental health meeting, Ming was elated, saying, "That went great!"  I recognized the feeling but was instead just tired, myself.

Then we went to Veganos with new friends for vegan Mexican food.  Mine was delicious.  I love their chorizo.

Ming is coughing in the bedroom.  I was oversocial and messed up my mind.  Tomorrow I have theology class and haven't done the homework.

Here's a picture of the thing I helped make happen.  Sometimes life is a miracle.  Photo by Ming.

Friday, January 04, 2019


Today I got some mangled mail returned in one of those passive aggressive "sorry we fucked up but we handle so much mail you should be thankful we don't fuck up more" envelopes.

The weird thing is that the "sorry" outer envelope is mangled too!  Lightning struck twice, or this particular missive is cursed.

Also, where's it been for two months?  Crisscrossing the country, flying around the world in a mail jet?  At the bottom of a bin?  In some sad limbo?

I'm cold and tired but kind of frustrated I didn't get done all the things I wanted to get done today.  Everything took three times longer than I thought it would.  We got stuck in a huge traffic jam on Sahara.  I ran out of spoons and stayed in the minivan while M did important stuff.

I have a coupon for a free frozen vegan pizza I'm supposed to review, and the website says Walmart is supposed to have it, but they don't.  Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Smiths don't have it either.  The coupon is turning into more trouble than the four dollars it's worth.

But I found out my friend's favorite cheese is swiss cheese, Tillamook.  Now I know what to give him for his birthday.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

old markers

These decades-old markers we found in the office closet had a weird smell.  Half of them were dry, and some had ink color that didn't really match the tube color. 

They drove me crazy.  I hated them, the plastic case, its single snap. 

So today I threw them away.  I bought some new Crayola markers for five dollars. 

Walmart was depressing.  They didn't have curtains the right size for our bathrooms.  Ming was returning the terrible photo album and trying to get some pills.  I looked around, pushing a gray plastic shopping cart.

I had all these weird feelings, looking at Valentine's stuff.  When I was a little girl, I had an aunt who would buy me and my brother Valentine's candy.  She and my uncle divorced.  I don't know if she's my aunt anymore. 

Cousins I never really knew, drug addiction, babies with absent dads, a cousin who lived in her car, not knowing anyone well enough to know whose side I was on.   A scared feeling like I was supposed to be helping but had no idea what to do.

Love isn't about buying things.  A heart-shaped cardboard box with chocolates inside wouldn't prove anything, or flowers from a florist, or an entire aisle stuffed with stuffed animals.

I looked at some unicorn stickers and Hello Kitty valentines.  Would my penpals like those? 

Who cares.  It's Walmart--yuck.  I called Ming to say, "I gotta get outta here!" but there he was walking toward me, real.  We paid and escaped.

how we make decisions around here

It's so cold that yesterday morning at the soupline, when they put water on the serving tables to wash them, it froze.

me:  I think we should close the bathroom window and open it in spring.
M:  But won't it get stinky in there?  I go in there to fart, when I can.
me:  (laughter)  Maybe.  You phrased that sentence so weird.  If it doesn't work out, we just open it again.
M:  But our hands will get dirty from touching the window.
me:  Well, we can wash them.  For the hundred and first time that day.  (ocd judgement look)
M:  I'm afraid the window will break if we try to move it.
me:  Oh.  Well, things are kind of janky around here.
M:  Yeah, curtains that don't close...
me  No heat.  Normal people have heat.
M:  Normal people remove the air conditioner at night.  I mean, in the winter.
me:  You can't see in here, can you?
M:  No, I don't think so.
me:  In the bathroom, there's a curtain--well, we pretend it's a curtain!  It's really a sheet someone hung over the curtain, and it slips down...
M:  We should go to Walmart and buy some blackout curtains for the bathroom.
me:  Do people really do that?
M:  We have some curtains.  But I think they're the wrong size.  They're this canvasy material and have loops on the top.
me:  Where are they?
M:  In there and in there.  Probably someone washed them in the '80s and they never got put back up.
me:  Could we cut them down to the right size?  Or just use them too big?
M:  They have a whole curtain section at Walmart.  We could just take measurements of the windows and buy curtains.

imagining over and over again the person who hung the sheet over the curtain
because it was too sheer and she didn't want people to see her naked in the bathroom, 
remembering the lady who promised to sew a curtain for the other bathroom then disappeared, 
where someone used duct tape to repair multiple tears in that curtain and put a sign in the window,
ways to get curtains, do we deserve curtains, can NDE afford curtains,
the least we could do is take down the sheet and wash it, desert dust everywhere

Wednesday, January 02, 2019


I was supposed to do a bucket list, in this guided journal my friend gave me for my birthday, but I could only think of two things.  I was supposed to think of ten!

So I got stuck.  Lost the book for a couple months.  Found it.

Today I decided to look up example bucket lists on the internet, to see what other people want to do.  Ming said it was genius.  I said it was cheating.

The vast majority of things don't interest me at all.  But I did come up with some ideas.

Some things I have already done but would like to do again.  Anyway, here's a list.

pick fruit at an orchard, cave tour, sleep in a treehouse, boat trip (another island?), photoshoot of me and Ming, high tea with Ming, Wah concert, record myself singing more holy songs, somatic therapy, hypnotism, palm reading, tarot card reading, mushroom hunt, new business cards, something with bees, 24 hour eat raw, 24 hour silence, buy myself flowers, all-bodies yoga retreat, device-free day, touch the Atlantic Ocean, ride a camel, visit a pyramid, see a swamp, watch grunion run, visit a lavender labyrinth near Mt Shasta, visit a castle, float in the Red Sea, watch Whirling Dervishes

I said, "Some of the things, they would be expensive.  You know, nobody would take me mushroom hunting--I'd just slow them down.  Or else it'd be a tourist thing, like--pay $200 and they take you on a tourist's mushroom hunt adventure."

Ming told me he would take me mushroom hunting.  They're just ideas.  But it's fun to think of things to try.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

welcome to 2019

We went to the Goddess Temple for New Year's Eve.  Like always, it was so peaceful there. 

I enjoyed tea with the priestess, wrote about six letters, ate some nice foods, journaled, sang a Durga song, got some sleep.

Our friend S came to visit us.  We showed her around.  She had never been there and brought an offering for Sekhmet.  She took a scone for her spouse.  She took a mini-polaroid of me and Ming at the goddess tree.

I took a picture of my favorite person with my favorite pasta sauce.

I have a lot of emotions, am overly sensitive, too reactive--I'm deeply positive and hopeful about the new year at the exact same time.