Sunday, July 30, 2006

my one word composite

the way this works is if you leave a comment on this post, i will email you one word that i think sums you up (realizing of course that no one person is merely one word). but it's a fun little exercise. then you could email your friends/family and get their read and post the one words to your blog. so far these are the words i have received from friends and family, descriptors from their vantage point, of me:

-- caring
-- conundrum
-- chic
-- spiritual
-- courageous
-- engaging
-- smiley
-- "innobrave" (a combination of innovative and brave)
-- joyful
-- intentional
-- pensive
-- voyager
-- mischevous
-- spunky

Saturday, July 29, 2006

a final word

as i walked through the marina this morning on my way to meet a friend for coffee in north beach, derek webb sang through the ear buds of my ipod. in the distance piercing through the music in my ears, i could hear what amounted to a tambourine-like sound, and i was instantly transported to last saturday night, as tears sprang to my eyes.

there was a woman driving around our route the evening of the 20 mile walk. her windows rolled down, her car would roll to a pause and a tambourine beat would emanate from her car whenever she came upon out of the darkness walkers, walking to raise funds and awareness for depression and suicide prevention. inspirational music blared from her stereo. she drove around all night like that...

you could hear her coming from a little ways off. something about her tambourine-playing made me want to giggle and cry at the same time. but the joyful banging of metal hitting wood caused a bounce in my step, as if an invisible hand pushed me a little, compelling me forward.

this morning, what stirred emotions in me is thinking that we each need someone like that in our lives- especially those suffering from depression. a someone who infuses shots of courage, stemming from encouragement into spaces where we perceive we can't go on much further. how God used this woman that night and today! may you and i both be the kind of person to speak blessing and not cursing into other peoples' lives, not knowing the inner workings of their hearts.

and just as i came out of the reverie and small path covered by wood chips, a shower of sparrows flew overhead...

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (~matt. 10:30-31)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

OTD pictoral journey- 5 a.m.ish

a luminaria bag
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
a luminaria bag- my luminaria bag and commissioning to todd.

OTD pictoral journey- just before midnight

Stretching at Palace of Fine Arts
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Stretching at Palace of Fine Arts

OTD pictoral journey- midnightish

Keoke at main pitstop break
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Keoke at main pitstop break, catching a few zz's before changing his socks.

OTD pictoral journey- midnightish

Darren at main pitstop break
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Darren at main pitstop break. yum, sun chips!

OTD pictoral journey- midnightish

pam and walking friend at the nine mile mark. yummy hummus!

OTD- pictoral journey- midnightish

Todd's Olan Mills Mug
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Todd's Olan Mills photo- we each carried the photo part of the way during our journey of remembrance.

OTD pictoral journey- 10:30ish p.m.

Funny faces along the route
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Funny faces along the route

OTD pictoral journey- 11ish p.m.

Make way for quail chicks
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Make way for quail chicks

OTD pictoral journey- 8:55ish p.m.

Feet in motion
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Feet in motion

OTD pictoral journey- 8:40ish p.m.

Starting the walk
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
Starting the walk, through the presidio.

OTD- pictoral journey- 8:20ish p.m.

stretching before starting the big walk. golden gate bridge in the background.

OTD Pictoral Journey- 7:50ish p.m.

Team Todd Kennemer Hootenanny
Originally uploaded by anzifog.
our team: "todd kennemer hootenanny"
(keoke, me, pam, darren)

Monday, July 24, 2006

shout outs

we walked 20 miles saturday evening/sunday early morning. it took about 8 hours and boy were my feet pooped, one with a bit of a blister that slowed me down but didn't stop me. the crew that walked consisted of pam, darren and keoke, all friends of todd's. we each carried an olan mills photo of todd for part of the walk. i liked to think of it as if we were carrying todd. even in death, we carry him physically in our hearts and at this juncture got involved in carrying the bit of him we still had.
it was a meaningful evening, full of intense and challenging discourse along the route. we walked through the presidio-the richmond-pacific heights-north beach-chinatown-financial district-the embarcadero-fisherman's wharf-crissy field.

the evening was cool and clear. we walked among 1200 other people who had lost a friend / mom / dad / son / daughter to suicide. we all looked so different and yet that one thing was the same for each of us. i loved that we walked what was close to a marathon and not everyone was skinny- it shows that strength takes on different forms. we finished our walk by writing a thought on a paper bag to the person for whom we made the night-long expedition and then lined them up along a path- a luminaria of well wishes, regrets and remembrance. i walked silently, paying homage and reading messages on the way, my eyes damp and my heart again heavy. but my tired feet walked on, in a strength that could be descibed as my own.


if you want to find out more about the road to the "out of the darkness" walk preparation and summary, click on the link to darren's page. i will also post a pictoral journey of the walk momentarily.

thanks go out to the following people:

MAI-MAI & TIFFANY-- thanks for your time and patience in walking with me as i trained.

JULIA-- thanks for letting me borrow your camelbak during the walk!

KATY-- all around support

FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS-- thanks for helping me raise $1770 for depression and suicide prevention. it was exciting to be able to do something about and contribute to such a needed cause.

PRAYER SUPPORTERS-- i know there were people praying. i could feel it as we walked and in the conversations we had with people during the walk.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

if you feel like sending a shout-out

text messages with encouraging words or prayers would be great! 415.724.8989 we'll check it at our various pit-stops along the way.

moments before

the time is drawing nigh. and thoughts of todd rush on me like a torrent. i'm so glad for this walk- we needed to do something and i know none of the preparation of weeks previous will bring him back. i still grieve him. even now.

even in the deepest and darkest moments of life i think the most profoundly sad ones are when i perceive i am all alone in my circumstance or situation. there are definitely some dark ones i can point to- my parent's demise of their marriage, the subsequent divorce, watching my grandmother die, then my 19 year old cousin david as his life force ebbed away, leaving a shell in its stead. i mourn all these things. and yet there is power in knowing none of these moments was traversed through alone. my faith in God really did sustain and carry me through them- i had such a physical sense of His presence in the hospital room in corpus christi, hunched down on the floor of the "guest room" they had set up for us, as we waited, as the decision was made to turn off david's machine. to have to walk through each of those things without God would have been crippling.

i understand so much that for people who are not christian, they perceive we christians wanting to talk about our relationship with God as being too intrusive, and i know people who have abused that right to talk about God as power to be lorded over others. for me, i just want the people i love to know the hope that comes from God. where He tells us "Never will I leave you nor forsake you..." the hardest moments in life become endurable. we become able to heal and help others heal. and i want to be a conduit of healing in this broken and hurting world that in spite of all the technology, money and knowledge still inflicts and perpetuates pain.

tonight is going to be powerful. the past few weeks i've gone on training walks, i have met amazing, incredible people who have lost husbands, friends, sons and daughters to suicide as well as survivors of suicide. there might be brief introductions of small talk but it always comes back to why we are walking. i feel released to talk about todd and extend the same freedom to my walking companion. one woman i met last week lost her husband to suicide by hanging himself four years ago. she has borne the secret of his death these four long years, protecting her children from the truth. her eyes gave away the depth of her fatigue. i am encouraged by new friends who though attempting to take their own lives, lived and because of this walk have felt released to tell their closest family members and friends of that moment years ago. i look forward to the freedom to mourn and celebrate with these new friends tonight as we humble, non-super-athletes take on a huge challenge. if you pray, please pray for us, that we might be a beacon of God's light shining in the darkness.

there is strength in a chain link fence where each of the individual pieces has a gigantic hole in the middle of them but when attached to multiple other pieces makes a tenaciously firm wall.

Friday, July 21, 2006

when a front page headline hits your personal life

my friend "S" walked over to my desk today and said in spanish, "ya me voy." (I am leaving.) i know he has been struggling with his boss and workplace, so i figure he finally had had enough. the tone in his voice gave off a different sensibility than all the other previous times, he had talked about quitting, about leaving.

he was released from employment today because it had just been discovered that he is in the country illegally. i have worked with him for a long time, and this was new news to me. i understand logically why they had to let him go. i understand he is breaking the law by being in this country. they can't get work visas because of the stipulation that they have to have a special skillset and couldn't be hired for a job that any american could qualify for. here's my beef is that many of these latin americans work their tails off for lower wages that most americans would balk over and perform the tasks half-assed. my brain gets it, but my heart is agonizing over this loss. over his now being unemployed and having to go look for another job. he has expressed to me all along that he would move back to his home country and start his own business when the time was right. i guess the law forced his hand. he's one of the hardest working, most jovial men i've had the pleasure to work with. he's lived a simple life and sent the money home to his heavily impoverished country to a wife and three kids he hasn't seen in two years. the situation sucks right now for him. there is joy in my knowing and hoping he will now go back to his home country and make his vision a reality, even as he gets to see his boys grow in stature and maturity.

for this short term, i felt compelled to do something, but i didn't know what my parameters are. as my dad comically stated, "well, if he wasn't married, you could have married him. and that my dear is really the only thing you can do." the tears fell as i embraced "M" who was crying as she and "V" caught an early bus home.

or cook. so late next week, i am going to cook something for him because it's not illegal to feed someone who's hungry. as my dad said here, "it's feeding Christ when He's hungry." and that appeals to a higher authority than the physical law in my book. so reader, if you are in the bay area and would like to contribute some food (canned or the like) please contact me because "S" is not alone in his boat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

a fiend for projects

as i've gotten older my love of projects has become more pointed. i can see clearly that this would be an attribute from my dad's genes- he always has several irons in the fire. so it comes as no surprise that i am always cruising for the what's next in my life (even while i'm enjoying the right now). some people really enjoy the results, but i enjoy the journey. to the extent that i get mopey when said project is at completion.

my mom liked to tell this story about my grandmother, tita. when tita lived at our house, she complained one day of a terrible storm the night before. my mom laughed and said, "there was no storm, just annelies rearranging her room."

when i get an idea in my head about moving or switching around my room, i tend to become so focused on the idea that it becomes urgent to take action. my mom and i joke that it's my dutch blood coming through- very thorough and methodical.

training for the 20 mile walk on saturday has been a great challenge and fun feat to prepare for. i have met countless people who have shared their plights of a boyfriend, husband, child committing suicide. i think i may be also making a few new friends and i love that. as we walk i feel stronger and try to reverberate that strength on those with whom i walk. i am healing and grateful for it. but i wonder once the walk is over what i will do with the extra time on my hands. i consider the following:

a.) photoshop class
b.) illustrator class
c.) language class

there was an opportunity to host/plan a derek webb concert, but i came to what felt a very grown-up conclusion that i REALLY didn't have the time, as much as i would love to personally help bring him to the city and raise money for a good cause. i have an inkling that my next phase or project will involve a minor exercising of the mind and i open my arms wide to the opportunity. that and an ever growing desire for a chocolate colored wall... but that's a different topic for another day.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

dumpster diving for brie

i spent the weekend working a food show in new york. across from our booth sat a smorgasbord of cheeses- 1000 to be exact. we sampled their pt. reyes blue and various others whose names have been long forgotten. the last day of the show during tear down most of the cheeses were tossed around like fish in pike's market, but into the dumpster. there were grown italian men discussing in their native tongue the injustice of throwing out such good cheeses- you could tell they were contemplating going in for a look-see, but changed their minds and kept walking.

new york has an undescribable verve. i love the sensation that there is something new to be discovered just around the corner. this trip, i walked a lot to try to keep pace with my 20 mile walk training so far. upon leaving an AMAZING vegan food restaurant in the upper east side, i continued down madison ave. and stumbled upon a pet store. meandering inside, along one wall a row of plastic boxes encased puppies. i passed a forlorn pug with a cute mole that did its best doe eyes toward me and as i got to the end of the row, it shouldn't have been surprising that the dog in the last box was a french bulldog. she was a brindle and "on sale" for $1200... souvenirs consist of t-shirts and shot glasses, not dogs.

i wandered back to my hotel room looking down over times square, so lit up that upon entry, i need not turn on any lights to find my way.

Monday, July 10, 2006

la coupe du monde- un perspectif

SUNDAY- around 2 p.m. i became like a mad feverish woman in my booth, forced to sell and talk about our products when i could hear the beautiful words "allez" wafting over from the d'artagnan booth a few aisles over. i finally was released and felt right at home, perched on the edge of their booth, as they sat in rustic straw chairs, glass of white wine in hand, all eyes focused on the screen. valrhona representatives sat among the d'artagnan reps. basking in pride of patris. while the commentary flew out of their mouths in french, i found that similar commentary flew out of my mouth in english. we all whooped and hollered when france made its goal. but then moaned and groaned as numerous passes toward the italian goal were unfruitful. futbol is a language in its own right.

with my break over i found myself sauntering back to my booth, dragging my feet, hoping there might be some way for me to get back over to their booth and catch more of the game or at least the final moments. but in the midst of things, there was a whole troupe of ladies in our booth, ready and willing to place an order for holiday, and as i wrote down their details, cheering erupted from the d'artagnan booth making my whole body tense and my face twitch with agitation- my boss said she had never seen me like this. it was difficult at times to figure out if the eruptions of noise were peals of joy or disappointment. i missed the infamous headbutt of zidane (and was glad to hear that at least the reason for the blow was honorable or understandable in the least).

i struggled taking the order, finding myself pulled, wanting to be shouting in french with the french but instead working. finally my colleague took over and i ran to the booth only to discover that the italians had won by a precise bop of the head during penalty kicks. mournfully i walked back to the booth and completed the order.

walking the streets of new york that afternoon, so many italian flags were wrapped with pride around the shoulders of men who i could swear had gained some sort of new swagger in their step.

Friday, July 07, 2006

the scene to and in indianapolis

i sat next to a guy who trains first responders on how to deal with nuclear situations. you can imagine how i swallowed all of this on three hours of sleep- part-wanting-to-engage-and-ask-burning questions and the other part-tiiired.

he had this beautiful face which showed off his heritage proudly- the strong nose and cheekbones of the choctaw indian, the tight white curls of the african-american. he was full of mirth and conversation so i nodded in his direction, eye mask perched on my crown. did you know that the exit signs are radioactive? he explained that they needed to be able to stay on if all the power went out. also the soil around the land in which nicotine is grown is also radioactive. we talked about disaster relief training and how most people don't want to think about disaster and thus don't train themselves to be prepared(i think this goes back to the not wanting to deal with their own mortality.)he suggested taking the FREE courses on the homeland security website. a very good suggestion.

the indianapolis airport is a bore. it's got four gates in the northwest section and like four restaurants- but they do have kolaches and a piping hot ham and cheese kolache scores pretty high in my book.

i sat next to this man jim twice- mainly because he always seemed to sit right next to the plug. we talked about venture capitalism and the stock market destined to plunge later this year- and even how the ebb and flow of the stock market is a model for life- rarely stagnant with ebbs and flows.

he said something i appreciated- "fade out the crowd," which means that when everyone is doing/clamoring for one thing to do what feels right inside and go with the opposite if that's it. a contrarian after my own heart.

and soon, will be on my way to laguardia with four hours sleep under my belt.

the scene at sfo

yes, i am waiting to board a plane in san francisco that departs at 1 a.m. only to arrive at my final destination tomorrow at 4 p.m. am i traveling internationally you might ask- and the answer is no. though some might say new york has its own international flare.

the scene tonight: a man lays asleep with hula hoops as his carry-on item. children bellow and scream in the i'm so naughty because i'm still awake at this ungodly hour, while the parents groan...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

now that's futbol

today's brazil/france game was the kind of game that gets the blood circulating, even by sitting on a poufy red couch. two teams of comparable skill face off and watch the ball zing down the field- deflected and attempted shots into the goal.

i really thought brazil would win the cup this year- what i have always appreciated about them is their ability to keep and control the ball giving an impression from the bird's eye view that you are watching a clean game of pinball. this year all the brazilian games have been during hours when i'm at work so this was my first match of theirs to watch during this cup.

my experience with the world cup began in 1998 when i spent the summer abroad in france, practicing and studying french. the enthusiasm and passion there engulfed the streets like a flood- you couldn't help but get into it. at the time, zidane was starting to make a name for himself in the world cup and was the main footballer we rooted for. during the 98 games france shut out brazil and won the cup on home turf. it was an exciting time.

and today was some sort of new rematch (as if the 2002 games were an aberration). up until today i couldn't have cited who could really take on brazil but then even within a few minutes of watching the game from the second half it was really enjoyable to see how tight the french were playing- all of their fancy footwork and head boppings of the ball in mid-flight were a sight to behold. zidane's grace on the field made him appear to be this cool, calm leader while henry's fiery aggressiveness and beautiful kick into the goal box got me cheering.

so when they won, i must admit i was as shocked as the brazilians, but glad zidane might not be retiring and pleased to have watched a solid game of good futbol.