Kayaking on Lake Tahoe, CA
My boss introduced me to a group of people as the “Intrepid Lori Evans.” He meant it in the most complimentary fashion, but I reacted inside to the word intrepid. It spoke to me of stubbornness, a bulldog that bites and doesn’t let go, and had whiffs of the USS Battleship Intrepid in it somehow. Does anyone want to be referred to as a battleship!? Not this girl. I don’t want to be some huge aircraft carrier that plows through water and breaks down the icebergs in its path.
I want to be a sleek sailboat that has a rudder in the water and can be maneuvered with a light touch, that bends with the wind, works with the tide to find direction, not a battleship that just bursts down people’s throats. I like the kind, loving, sensitive, sweet parts of my personality. I think I do have bull-dog tendencies at times and it is good to be aware of when Battleship Lori comes out. But most of the time I’m a rowboat paddling for my life trying to keep up.
That’s where I am right now. I’m in the little dinghy swishing the oars like mad being moved whatever way without any rudder at all. We owned a sailboat at one time and I was in charge of raising and lowering the rudder as we neared the shore so it didn’t scrape on the rocks and break off. Without that steering oar in the hull we were at the mercy of the wind and tide.
It is time to put in the rudder, a simple little wooden plank to stick in the water that doesn’t say I have to go this direction but gives some control over this crazy river of life. Looking up intrepid in the dictionary I was surprised to find it defined as resolutely fearless; dauntless, brave, courageous, bold. Now those words I appreciate! So maybe I just need to redefine my assumptions.
Rather than striving and churning the water with my oars flailing I want the steady, simple drop of the rudder in the water to await the wind, the pull of the oar, to float over the turbulent waves and glide along the current. The next time I get introduced to a group of folks I hope it goes like this. “This is Lori Evans an adventurous sloop.”
I cannot wait to see where this sloop goes next. Out of dry dock and off on the open seas. It’s time to feel that wind on my face again.
I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory, I can’t live on promises winter to spring.
Today is my moment, now is my story, I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing.
(John Denver’s Today)
Benedict Pond, MA
Strapping on my yaktrax I hopped out of the car to meet my old friend Benedict Pond (see my post On Benedict Pond). Always in pulling into the parking lot and seeing the pond, there is a familiarity of bonding, of shared experience, of connection. Yep, the pond is rather human to me, a living, pulsing ecological beauty, with life throbbing around her thick frozen top. Interesting I see her as feminine when her name is Benedict. Continue reading
My boots fitted with yaktrax worked wonders!
As most of you know, we have been having quite the chilly, snowy winter in the Northeast and March came in like a white lion. I am not complaining, I am fortunate that I can “work” at home. Right now I am off contract and keeping busy with writing, reading, hiking, art, auditions, and classes, nothing where I have to be at work at 8am every day. So when it snows, I can stay home and bake, or sing and play ukulele. I am fortunate. But I miss hiking so I recently pulled out the yaktrax that I got for Christmas and hit the trails. Yes, it’s cold, and yes, it’s worth it. I even found a message written in the snow just for me…. Continue reading
The beach down our street
I am back to Lenox, MA after spending a month on Long Island directing Shakespeare with young people. It was such wonderful, happy month, learning new skills as a director, establishing old ones with confidence, and being with 2 co-teacher gals that are fun and talented. The school we taught in put us up in a wonderful cottage a half-mile from the ocean and I was in heaven getting to walk on the beach 3-5 times a week. Continue reading
“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.” (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
I am in love with this photo. I took it last week on the beach down the street. I have it on my computer desktop, I stare at it, get lost in it and feel so pleased with it. Rarely does that happen with photos that I take. I am not a photographer, I snap pictures with my iPhone to document my life, to please myself. I do not labor over taking a shot, but I just point, shoot and move on. Continue reading
(Independence Pass, Colorado)
This world is far from small
And her heart is the center of it all
And there’s a river that runs through hills, and it’s never still
Listen closely to the sky
And it’ll show you how to dot life’s I’s.
And don’t be afraid if the girl decides to run
It’s half of the fun
This song by the Josh Abbot Band hit me right between the heart-strings.
In a hotel parking lot in Aspen, Colorado I met a man who made me feel beautiful and ugly. We had exchanged a few sentences two days earlier in the hotel jacuzzi and now as I was leaving the hotel and loading up my car, out he strolled rolling his suitcase. He asked where I had been, we chatted about our Aspen experiences, he told me I am beautiful and asked for my phone number in case we should ever cross paths again. Continue reading
In 2013…I danced with a 75-year-old Norwegian prince in Sun Valley, Idaho; drank beer with a track-hoe driver in Wyoming; exposed a friend to the ridiculous joys of miniature golf in Wisconsin; rode a cowboy’s horse down Main Street one evening in Colorado; watched the waves of the Pacific coast with the ghost of my ancestors; hugged 700 year old redwoods in California; made pancakes over an open fire with my mom and sister; fell in love with, and in, small towns across the states; mourned the loss of John Denver in Aspen; spent a weekend at a most special niece’s wedding in Oregon; hiked deliciously beautiful mountainsides; was treated to meals, drinks, couches, pillows, and connected conversations with so many friends old and new; taught/directed Shakespeare and opened metaphorical doors for kids from 11-18 yrs old in Massachusetts. Life is wonderful and the song playing over and over on my iPod is Jason Mraz’ Life is Wonderful…
The highlights start with time with my girls…
With daughter, Alicia, at Swingside Cafe, Seatte
Susanna being crowned at Hammond Castle, MA
Exploring Chicago with Audrey
Bundled up against the cold in Rockport, MA
Hood River, Oregon
Dinner at Dreamaway Lodge, MA
The smell of fresh rubber is pungent in my nostrils. I’m writing this post from the lobby of a tire store while I wait for new tires to be installed on my travel weary car.
Chihuly Museum, Seattle
I’m recording another magical night and shaking my head in disbelief. When I am in Seattle, it is home, it is returning, it is my daughters. I spend as much time with them as possible, both together, each separately, whatever I can get of their busy lives, I grab and treasure. Continue reading
Looking up the skirts of ancient redwoods
In August I made the acquaintance of trees older than Shakespeare’s words. I went to Redwood National Park in northern California. After a LONG, curvy drive, the experience of standing, looking up at trees 15 feet in diameter and not being able to see to their tops, was unforgettable. The reverence I wanted to give these living creatures consumed my thought. The forest felt sacred, holy, church-like. There was an awe and hush and even the leather-clad, boisterous biker clan that was on the trail couldn’t dispel the magic. There was a family with kids that made me angry though. Continue reading
It’s nice to be back. I am finished with the Fall Festival residency where I co-directed Romeo & Juliet at a high school with a student body of 2200. It was completely frustrating, completely exhausting and completely fulfilling. It is the kind of work I want to do, it makes a difference, it changes people for the good, it creates dreams and possibilities for youth, it gives me a chance to use my creativity and impulses to change the world I am in. It was one of the most difficult and exhausting experiences as well. But I influenced some of the most entrancing, diverse teens I have had the pleasure to come across.
Our three Romeos and Juliets…