Dangerous Compassions


What the fuck, Oregon.  You are so wet.  You have no business being so wet!  How did this happen?  Do I deserve to receive all this sacred water with you?

I see rivers everywhere.  It’s so beautiful–it’s hard to take in.


Ming and I walked to the grocery store down the street.  I noticed this asphalt ledge covered in moss, with a fern growing out of the moss.

Holy crap.  A bit much, right?  How can a fern grow on the moss that grows on asphalt?


Where I come from, there’s frequent fog in the mornings.  There’s a wet aspect there.  But this Oregon wet is unreal / overly real.


Do you like moss?  What is moss?  Is moss ok?

By the food bank, there’s a this place of moss initials.


I’m thinking people put their initials in concrete, a standard person way of saying “I was here–I matter.”  Then water pools in the lower places, and moss likes to grow there.  Wow, amazing.  I never saw this before.

When Ming and I go for a walk, all the moss around makes me think of a poem I liked when I was young.  I guess I still like it–the Li Po poem “The River-Merchant’s Wife: a Letter” as translated by Ezra Pound.  It has “the monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.”  And the different mosses too deep to clear them away.

I think of water bears, when I see the moss–microorganisms that some scientists put into space.  I think water bears like to live in moss.  Water bears matter to me.

middle age

It’s funny to be middle aged.  I hope there are decades ahead to be a crone in.  As for now, I’m a non-mother mother with graying hair who nurtures a lot.  Lots of love I share with Ming and friends who value me.

It’s a winter time of change, turning inward, and saying some big no to what doesn’t further my goals, with some big yes to what’s really right and helpful and fair.  I shuffle my priorities and hunker down for darkness.

Grateful to have a home, figuring out what the water means to me when it’s so abundant, and who I am in this wet context.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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