I felt hesitant to go to the park yesterday because I’ve gone so many times before and I didn’t know if I’d find anything I hadn’t shot before. I was wrong. Beauty is everywhere—in the trees, on the ground, in people—and a consistent habit helps reinforce that truism.

I daydreamed I was learning French again, saying the basics like, je suis and je m’appelle and remembering how intoxicating it is to say je pense que tu es belle. I dream of one day walking the streets of Paris as a pedestrian with new friends and new memories. One day.

One of the benefits of wearing a mask outside is the fact that it hides my face. I’m so scared of vulnerability that I hide so much of myself from the world just to feel safe. But it’s not until I take my mask off that I truly feel like myself. Vulnerability is power.

When I was a wildland firefighter, I loved spending weeks sleeping in my tent with nothing but the essentials. Since retiring, I’ve grown used to superfluity. My dilemma is figuring out if I have the strength to get rid of what I don’t need for a life spent on the road.

Last night I made more adjustments to my website. I’m reminded of my time in high school when I first learned HTML and Photoshop. I remember staying up all night creating a custom header image so I could post it on my old Xanga blog. Glad to see not much has changed.

There’s a lovely young girl in first grade that loves to call me “Mar Mar.” Every time she sees me, she yells, “Mar Mar!” and runs up to me and gives me a hug. It is one of the absolute best parts of my job. I love it so much.

When I first moved to Montana, all the provisions I needed fit in two bags. Now, when I look around and see all the new stuff I’ve gathered over the years, I feel a need to declutter and simplify. But I also a feel proud of how far I’ve come. Hmm.

Toward the end of June, I drove down to the river and made this recording of the sounds around me. It was my attempt to expand my walls and embrace a moment where I succeeded in this goal. The summer feels so far away now, but I love that I captured a memory of it.

Other than living within the borders of my country, state, and town, I’ve been living within my own mental borders, too. By living within my comfort zone, I’ve missed opportunities and let life flow by. One day I’ll travel again, but I can expand these other borders now.

Our first winter snowfall came last month, but it’s been nothing but rain since. More members of our staff are in quarantine after a possible positive case among the administrative staff, and I just hope we can get through winter safely.

I had a really good time talking to a friend yesterday about my dreams. I told her that when I first moved to Montana, the first few years were fun. The memories of that time had completely faded away, and my lust for travel increased even more. I want to have fun again.

My goal for the next few months is to lose at least five pounds. I know it’s possible because I’ve done it before. But I was younger then, and my body takes longer to recover now. Health is the foundation for everything else, so let’s do it.

Is iPhone dependence similar to alcohol dependence? Because I think I’m suffering through that. I wake up eager to check my notifications and I get sad when they’re not the right ones. My mind feels like mush, and I need to simplify, simplify, simplify.

I’ve been re-training my body the last few weeks, and I’ve never felt better. I gained some weight ever since I hurt my back, and I’m on the journey to burn that off. I’m meditating again with the goal of reducing my anxiety as much as I can. Slow and steady wins.

I feel like the art I love creating the most is the art of capturing a memory. I journal to remember my day. I photograph to remember a place or a person or a thing. I draw (sometimes) to remember how the world is designed and how it works (I need to draw more).

Before COVID, I had dreams of traveling the world and living life to the fullest. Today, I don’t want those dreams to be dreams anymore. After COVID, I’m going to travel far away and actually live my life to the fullest because that’s all I got, isn’t it?

Following Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th doesn’t sound very spooky at all. It sounds anodyne in comparison.

If I had to guess the ratio of caffeine to blood coursing through my body, I’d say it’s about 50/50.

Coming from California, I never had to worry about not wearing enough warm clothes. Living in Montana, I’ve learned the value of a warm jacket and some tough boots.

Instead of trying to figure out what to say next, I need to learn patience and the beauty of silence.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve wondered what it would be like to be elderly, to be lying on my death bed and looking back on my life. Would I be proud of the life I’ve lived? How can I live life now to make that last day special?

The best times of my life are when I let go and go with the flow rather than forcing things to go a certain way. This year has taught me that more than any other. Just let go and ride the wave.

I felt like the whole world bounded together in unity yesterday, and I felt so good joy-scrolling instead of doomscrolling for the first time in four years.

I wonder how many balloons get inflated every election season and how many bring more sorrow than joy.

There are many things I find puzzling but nothing more so than rural Americans. What’s up with their championship belt-sized belt buckles?