little sarah Big World

Recent Discoveries

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”

–Alan Alda

Flora, Washi, Sol

Yesterday I realized that I have had to earn my wisdom same as everyone else: slow and painful. Precocious as a child, I thought I would be spared this trauma of trial and error.

I was wrong.

Variations on Tea and Toast

And that’s okay. Because once I’ve learned something, however hard won the battle, I don’t forget. Mostly.

Really, what I’m learning, every time, is to trust myself. To listen to that blinding clear inner truth and follow it through my fears and to the other side, the side I have not yet discovered.



What I See / What I Say

Sunday in the Park, Hanamigawa

I say too much, and it’s not all that great.

Like saying, “more to come,” promising to catch up, write more regularly. Then I don’t. The last few months have been a string of good intentions that amount to…

Bright Things, Green Things

I’ve thought about not even addressing it, not wanting to reveal my true colors to potential new readers. Publicly admitting: I have a tendency to promise updates that grow heavy with a sense of obligation and then never bear fruit.

I will tell you: I have been writing, and studying. Trying to write not more, but better, while at the same time trying to carve out consistency. So pieces and posts come together more slowly, but with intention. With purpose, and meaning.

Words in Pictures

Let’s call it “trimming the fat,” and in the meantime I will satisfy your craving (that one I have, too) for beautiful pictures, simple words, something small. Something nice to hold on to.

Clover Again

Then you’ll know: when I do write, I have something to say. Otherwise, I’ll just show you. I’ll share parks and shrines and fascinating insects. Street signs and wet grass and skyscrapers and snacks.

Joro Gumo "Wood Spider"

For now, as needed, my lips are sealed.

But my lens is wide, wide open.






More to Come

“Do not burn yourself out. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there.

Rooted & Free

So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks.

Chaddo in the Wild

Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.

Irridescent Fun Guys

Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators.

Japan Anew

I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey



“I Am That”


“I Am That Which Repeleth”

I wanted to giggle, we were standing so close

On the train, I sit one seat over from an old man, though I suspect he will likely have that Japanese death-breath that’s become so inescapably familiar as I commute across the island via a series of confined spaces. All sallow skin loosely arranged around a skeletal stance, this one, and I purposefully choose to sit nearer.

I’m trying to expand my sense of self, while simultaneously dismantling my ego. Trying not to see others as separate and different from myself, something foreign. Entertaining the idea that we could be infinite reflections of the same connected consciousness, variations on a theme. So that “other” is not removed from me. It is me. And I am that.

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On the way to work, cutting through the park as always, I saw two of the 5th graders looking for something in the grass. One of them I recognized as my own–facebook-obsessed, very social, very silly. I figured they were looking for a lost earring or bracelet. Nevertheless, it seemed an idyllic little image, a nice snapshot of my workday. I snuck a photo and didn’t get caught.

In class, their teacher used Sharing Time to briefly acknowledge today, September 11th, asking what that means to them. I did a mental double take, then did the math to confirm, when he pointed out that it was 12 years ago, before any of them were born. It doesn’t seem that long ago, to me. They don’t seem young enough to not know.

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Visionary Blues


“Old Habits Die Hard, But Beautifully”

Vision Board

I made a vision board today, something I’ve been putting off for months. See, I brought with me all these personal paper trinkets from home–photos and poems and horoscopes (oh my!)–with the intention of creating something beautiful and inspiring, a third sweet sister to my Anti-Homesickness Mural in Spain and my Anti-Anxiety Mural in Salt Lake. I thought I would be productive, creative, prolific. That I would wake up and seize the day.

I had a lot of good intentions, Friends.

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Learning to Live With the Mess


There are times in my life when I am happy. Content. Okay with the natural ebb and flow of things and the inherent flotsam and jetsam. I find beauty in it, even, in apple cores and a sticky knife resting lazily on the kitchen counter…in laundry hanging to dry in the window, or draped over a chair…the mundane messiness of life glides by me, as I swim strongly towards bigger and bolder goals.

Other times…I am consumed by the details, enervated by the ephemera, unhinged by an unmade bed or pile of clothes on the floor or (let’s be honest) Chad’s side of the closet.

But, also, I’m bothered by the feeling that the loose ends won’t ever come together. That perfection will always be out of my reach, and I see the mess around me as a reflection of my inner failings and turmoil, my inability to get. it. together.

(“You’re 27 now,” I tell myself, as though there is any other timeline for figuring things out than as you’re able).

But I want to let go. I WANT TO LET GO!!! I want to shout it, and not care if I’m too loud, not care if I eat cereal for dinner, not worry about my long-suffering thighs, not avoid doing things (like writing, or blogging, or organizing my workspace) because I’m intimidated by my own standard of cold, hard perfection. To the point of paralysis.

No more, I say! Good day to you, sir! I’m off to eat sushi, having accomplished a fair amount of things, knowing that there’s more to do later, and tomorrow, and the next day, and that I’ll do it just like that. One step at a time.

As I’m able.

A Bird in the Hand

Little Lady Biddy Birds

Some days I think the world is an okay place. Humans are good. The universe is kind and giving (or forgiving).

Most days I don’t.

But some days I do.

Home is Where


I Once Was Lost But Now Am Loster


God Bless America

God Bless America

First meal stateside, PDX. Followed by a mocha, of which I drank maybe a third. Bought a book from Powell’s (Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird) and felt more myself than I had in a long time–reading about writing, thinking about reading and writing, writing about thinking and reading and writing. Also buzzed on northwest caffeine.

Portrait of Jet Lag

Jet. Lag. Stayed up til 2 the first night, slept til noon. All of the no-nos, all of the puffiness and confusion.


Sammy and Kendra’s wedding. Only as stressful as to be expected, and also: beautiful, intimate, simple, funny, light-hearted, warm and easy. I played viola and made a toast to the best of my abilities. Little brother is married, and a step-father. What a world.

Every Day

Weddings on the brain. Every time I go to the bathroom in my Moms’ house, I see this. I miss this guy. I miss this wedding.


Burritos on the brain, and in the tummy. All I wanted for the first week.

Pre-Sun Runners

Runners under the spotlight, 4:45am, waiting for our 6am start to the Deseret News Pioneer Day 1/2 Marathon. So many fit people, so little sleep, so much time to wait.


Pioneer Day / Pie and Beer day. Sparkling with close friends, not making a big deal, but having a great deal of fun.

Mornings at B&J's

Coffee and pie. To-do lists. Writing. Emails. Catching up. Mornings alone, at B&J’s, watering plants and easing into the day. Sometimes eager, sometimes anxious. Always slow and steady.

Sister Sleepover

Family time. Sister sleepover. Sharing a bed with Natalie, and all we did was read, then sleep. Sometimes, just being together is the thing. And afterwords you have lovely toenails.

B & D

Pool days with Espy, burgers at B & D’s. Getting tan, reading books. It’s a lot like last summer, only completely different.

*       *       *

The thing about being a sensie (one who is sensitive, in all respects), is that life tends to overwhelm me. It floods me with feelings, thoughts, ideas, emotions, worries, and wonder. It takes me a long time to understand what I feel, to “process.” I tend to dwell on the past, to try to understand. I tend to feel swamped by the present, and anxious about the future. I tend to take a while to get from one place to another, needing to swim through an ocean of tears as I adjust to even the smallest changes.

And, oh, it gets old.

Being home is great, and it is not great. Because it is home, and it is not home. If home is where the heart is, then my heart is split into dozens of pieces. My heart is in Salt Lake, and Ogden, and California, and Brooklyn. My heart is in Anchorage. A big chunk of it is in Tokyo, Japan. We were just getting settled there, just starting to feel at home in our apartment and our routine, starting to make friends and have regular hangouts, and explore Japan a bit. I was finally not homesick.

But now I am home again, except that home is no longer home, no longer even a fixed place, but an ever-moving target and I am slow to adjust. The most confusing to my head and heart.

The food, however, is amazing.

Right Here, Right Now


I love the sunlight coming through lush, mid-summer leaves, turning them from kelly green to luminescent. Shades of turqoise, green, leaves like soft fingers, sharing secrets in the breeze. The bright, candied red of my toenail polish. Sounds of windchimes, soft caress of the lazily swirling air. Birds chirping contentedly.

There is so much beauty in the world, so much left to see and do and experience. I don’t know how much of it I’ll get to see. I feel weighted by obligations and past mistakes. Heavy with emotion. Overwhelmed at the thought of catching up–so many experiences, so little blogging.

But I will do my best, and I will start right now. Right here.