I miss you all so very much. I miss the random interactions. I miss being able to choose to or not to come out some where in the world to see you, to choose whether or not I accept a hug. I miss your faces, beautiful and blurry across a back yard fire pit, across a giant art fire, across a field as one of us speeds by. Until such a time as we can be together again, should we ever be so fortunate, know I love you.

Porch-sitting: a Tale of Two Times

This is some kind of time travel, not at all what I imagined.

I sit on the porch  watching passers-by. They are mostly oblivious or feigning obliviousness, none of my business which.

Time-slammed, date minus 30 years, not the same porch but close, 20-ish blocks south, on the same east-west line, sharing cheap jug wine with some friends, (it didn’t yet come in sealed bags, in sealed boxes, tapped for our convenience). Mike is up a tree, quite literally, shouting out, inviting people to join us. A few do.

Today, I sit alone, with a mostly cold beer.  We still need outdoors. Hell, we still need each other, a glimpse of each other’s faces (or at least each others’ eyes above a mask), the occasional friendly hello. There are no shouted invitations: no one wants one and I wouldn’t offer anyway. We are in crisis mode. This is a pandemic.  If we are close enough, we could kill each other.

We won’t share wine or sit on the porch until 3 a.m., beyond all reason. We aren’t together long enough to even share a laugh, much less a story.  Instead, we make do, grateful for a moment’s pleasantry and a moment of shared space, a (front) yard (several ruler yards) apart.


altar by the sea

How will we build an altar by the sea, with the tides ever receding, returning?
Build your altar to the moment, each moment, again and again.

NLong 4/1/2020 ©

Life in Isolation-Day 2

Izzi raising a toast and wishing you a good hour or two

This midday, I attended a zoom meeting for work, and this evening I went to a zoom party. It definitely improved my mood. I’ve hung out social media at various points, behind a wall of text, and it hasn’t. Live interaction is crucial if we want/need to rely on technological communications and still maintain a sense of connection. It’s better with voices, and better still if we can see each other. A wall if text is pretty depersonalizing, even while we take it all the more personally.

Also, even as an uncomfortable hugger, I miss hugs.

My New Year

Starting my year of being 54, and while my suit is notably crankier, my mind is as creative and curious as always and notably calmer than ever. My honey is out of town with his stepfather.  I am spending the day with my grand babe. This is the age of caring for our young ones and our older ones. Dinner with the family last night and art with a friend tomorrow night are my celebration. I haven’t planned for this evening. I’ll see what comes up. Happy my birthday to you all. I love you.

So Long So’bruary. Hello Marching Forth!

So’bruary has brought unexpected revelations, and increased attention, and as such, I am going to call it a success.  Though I did have a few alcoholic drinks through the month, I did so with intention, and attention. This intention and attention had me examine and dismiss cravings, and enjoy a handful of well-considered, well-spaced beverages.

I also discovered that, while I do enjoy a good beer, glass of wine, or cocktail, I had been in recent months bored-/stress-/escape-drinking. Not tons, and not daily, but more than I should and more frequently.  I did not lose weight during So’bruary, as I thought I might; perhaps because at the start, I replaced bored/stress/escape-drinking with eating. I can nosh on low-calorie snacks, drink non-alcoholic beverages, meditate, write; all good ways to escape stress/boredom/over-thinking, or at least direct those thoughts more productively.

I may also be allergic to beer; a single pint one night left me feeling inflamed, puffy the next day.  Perhaps it was coincidence, but it didn’t feel like it. I will pay attention next time I indulge in one, and note the results accordingly.

I discovered that I became more open to the creative thoughts that run through the ether and sometimes land in our heads. It’s been a month rich in ideas. 

I also found I slept more and better, by and large.

As So’bruary comes to a close, I look forward to what’s next. I intend to retain my mindfulness about alcohol.  and I look forward to the next experiment. If I can become more mindful from taking a  break from drinking,  I can work  on becoming more mindful about movement and my current lack of enough of it. 

March starts with changes at work that will involve me having to go up and down two floors to the copier. Our offices are closing, and we are relocating in the building. I will, in my reception role, be on the ground floor; however, much of our work room, which I tend to use in my administrator assistant role, will be on the third floor. I am going to take the stairs whenever possible. I need to figure out what other movement/exercise I will add to the mix, but for now, it’s stairs. 

I like this direction. I’m looking forward to A(rt)pril.

Love is Cheap

I have heard through much of my life not to love lightly. Not to express love lightly. Not to say “I love you” “unless you mean it,” with the implication that we can’t possibly mean it when casually expressed; that to do so isn’t placing enough value on the precious commodity that love, as argued, is supposed to be. We’re not to squander it, but rather to hoard it. There was a way to further impress this upon us when we were young and tender: “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” You can hear the jokey, sneery voice saying it, can’t you?
The lesson is that you should should be stingy with your love, as though there isn’t enough of it, and you may run out of it if you give to much of it away. That you need to save it for special occasions.

I am going to argue, possibly unpopularly, at least in playground terms, the opposite. That we should feel (and express!) love often, and at any level of depth (or shallowness) that we feel it; that loving someone you just met for their jokes, or your boss for their sense of style, or, I don’t know, trees, or the color red, doesn’t devalue love at all. Rather, each instance of felt and expressed love is an opportunity to dwell a moment in that feeling, and to, should we want to, examine the very nature of love. It is a chance to celebrate our connection to who or what brings us that feeling, and to explore ways to give that feeling, even in fleeting ways to others, to the very world.

So go out, be cheap with your love. Love red. Love that video of an otter. Love chocolate cake. And love each other.

Happy valentine’s day. May it be full of love.

Welcome to Sob’ruary

I am giving up alcohol for the month. I want to see what effect it has on awareness, mood, on my pocketbook. On health and weight, perhaps, but those aren’t the reason. I am not hard-core, and will likely consume kombucha, will bake with vanilla, etc.

I thought of adding additional goals, but instead, I think I’ll see what some mindfulness and sobriety make space for. Creativity? Punctuality? Timeliness? Cleanliness? (Never a strong suit of mine). Attention! Memory, exercise, relationships, etc? Sure. These are all on the table. I’ll see what naturally arises.

Given much of what I like about wine, I may take up tea outings. I may go in search of the Best Mocktail in Austin. I may explore juice bars.

Why We Burn

Burn culture (all of that messy, glorious, big-C Community of people who attend, organize, create art and otherwise pour their energy into Burning Man and Regional Burns [official or otherwise]), has been defined by many people before, more eloquently than I could hope to. I am not interested in the singular, overarching definition. What interests me is the fabric of all of those stories woven together to make that which is greater than the single piece of cloth. This is my thread.

What draws me to this culture, why I give my time, thought, and creative output, is the very thing that will define Izzi Burns (the person, the idea, the website): creativity, collaboration, and community, each influencing the other, interlocked, inseparable.

Events and communities built around Burn culture provide environments where we are more together than our mere sum. Our art is more and there is more of it because we do it together, and because we are surrounded by a community of people doing the same.

For some, the community is what spurs the creativity; for some the creativity, collaboratively produced, is what creates community. For me, it is a beautiful loop, and it doesn’t matter where it begins.