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February 22, 2008

rules. . . . .

pretty sweet girl, canon 20 d

this is a photo i posted from a few years back, but i love it so,
and so im going to break "blog rules" and do a repeat. . .

speaking of breaking the rules,
im sure it is not a surprise to most,
that it is something i get a big charge out of doing.

in fact, the best way to get me to misbehave is
to give me a set of demands as to how i should behave.

"do not enter"
"no trespassing"
"wrong way"
"off limits"
"no _____ allowed"

...those just feel like a super sonic magnet pull to me.

i believe my rebellion comes from my undying
effort as a child, to be the "good little girl."
that combined with the misguided belief
that i would go to hell if i sinned,
had me conforming to all sorts of rules and regulations.

but if you were a kid like me, you know that
kind of restriction can only last for so long before
rebellion explodes and you find your self smoking, drinking,
swearing, trespassing, and kissing boys in the church parking lot.

decades later i am still managing my need to rowdy
up and take the road no one else would even consider.

i encourage you today to break a rule
that allows you to be who you really are.
i dare you to not be so perfect.

love your inner bad ass.

Posted by jen at 09:28 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 17, 2008

dropping keys.

amargosa, nevada ~ canon 20d

The small man
Builds cages for everyone

While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
~ hafiz ~

Posted by jen at 08:12 PM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 15, 2008


ghost town jail ~ death valley, canon 20d

today my prayers are for the students and community in DeKalb, for the families and friends of those killed and injured in the N.I.U shootings. . .

so hard to process. so hard to make sense of. such a rip off to have lives snuffed away by a hand held piece of metal, and a mind that has gone ill.

a special prayer for the amazing niece and nephew of my friend, who are far too young to have had to witness such horror. im sending my stock pile of angels over your way to bring peace to your confusion and comfort to your hearts.

Posted by jen at 11:37 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 14, 2008

valentine's day 2008

the boy in death valley, canon 20 d

i think for the most part, i am pretty cool.
but i suppose i achieve full dork status when i
admit that i really love valentine's day.

so when i got to spend yesterday with my favorite
little friend, i was in such girly bliss as we "decorated the
shoe box" and worked on her valentine's cards for her party
today at school.

and last night while he was sleeping i carefully placed
all his valentines around so he would wake up and be surprised
with cheesy goodness. and i picked out my favorite outfit
for our special date this evening. (the pink and red vintage
skirt of course.)

i cannot help but remember a couple years ago when i
was sick with heartache on this very day. how i felt like puking when
i would see happy couples strolling down the street, and how
i would start to cry when i would hear a sap song on
the radio, and how much i wanted to throw big rocks at the tv
whenever those damn commercials for Sandal vacations
came on.

so i want to acknowledge those who are in a place which
makes days like this just suck, and i want to say to you, i totally understand.
i have been there and you are not alone. and valentine's day doesn't
require a lover, it just requires love. so love what love is around you.
your cat, your family, a good friend, the view out your window,
barry manilow, and dark chocolate.

and to all the loves in my life,
especially the boy who rocks my world,
i love you with my somewhat cool,
definitely dorky, partially scarred,
always hopeful,
big fat heart.

*****comments are busted but the email is working just fine...
contact me here: jen@jengray.com

Posted by jen at 10:29 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 10, 2008

slide show....

***my comments have been attacked by 35,000 sicko spam stuff, but i still love hearing from you via email ~ jen@jengray.com***

Posted by jen at 01:53 PM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 07, 2008

sigh. . . . . .

flavored mountains, death valley ~ canon 20 d

i didnt want to leave las vegas without having had some sort of magic happen ....and it did. the last night we were given two second row tickets to the
cirque du soleil LOVE show.

this show is an explosion of color, movement, song, and light,....
it's a sensory-blissed,
acid pie
of creative amazement.

( i wanted to run away with the cirque. )

i am home now, surrounded by a foot of snow and bleak skies ~
but so warm from my time with Swirly, Andrea, Boho,
Marta Becket, the desert, and the flying cast of cirque du soleil...

***its not you, or your computer, my comments are broken, but i love hearing from you still, via email ~ jen@jengray.com.***

Posted by jen at 08:25 PM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 06, 2008

oh my . . . . . .

yellow pops, death valley ~ canon 20 d

before this trip i was experiencing extreme exhaustion
and fighting the feeling of a lingering heaviness.

having spent days in the bright sun,
absent of all worldly influences,
with nothing but the sound of the winds and passing ravens ~

i left feeling fully and totally at peace.

i wandered the mountains touching ancient rocks with my hands
and gathering dust on my cowboy boots.
i crept around ghost towns, and was fooled by the salt flats into thinking
i had seen an oasis. ( i SO get that mirage thing now)

i saw the earth and the horizon change colors in a light i had never seen before.

i collected stories from strangers who didnt feel so strange, because after all,
i was doing the same thing they were ~ finding refuge in a desert. and
this place only attracts a certain kind of folk.

it was truly a mystical trip for me.

i am now back in vegas ~ and am unable to manage the energy of the casinos, the titty bars, the miles of shops, and the yucky feel i have when i see the lonely old woman playing for hours at the nickel slots ~ waiting for a machine to save her from her dread.

so i grab my ipod and shut out the chatter.
and close my eyes and shut out the flashing bling.
and i smell my jasmine lotion and shut out the smoke.
and i pretend i am back in death valley,
fearing if i dont hold tightly enough, i will forget it.

and yet deep down i know,
i never will. the crazy wild secrets of the desert will
always be inside of me,
like a raven tattooed on skin of my heart.

***its not you, or your computer, my comments are broken, but i love hearing from you still, via email ~ jen@jengray.com.***

Posted by jen at 11:11 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 04, 2008

Marta Becket......

marta, after the show ~ canon 20 d

i have had an amazing past few days on my latest
adventure, but the most profound part of my journey was finally
getting to meet Marta Becket.

she has officially moved to the number one spot of
people who inspire me.

if you met her, your life would be changed too....

**meet marta.***

Posted by jen at 07:59 PM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 02, 2008


tribe tracks.jpg
stand, canon 20d

please have a little visit with my girlies....
boho girl....

because they are the kind who never fail to remind me of what is possible, and
what really matters...

i am off to spend some serious time in solitude...


May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. ~
Edward Abbey

Posted by jen at 10:57 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)

February 01, 2008

soulstice. . .

yours, mine, ours...canon 20 d

so i just spent an amazing past few days with
my girlies out in l.a....

im still coming down from that incredible ride,
and will wait to see if adequate words will come forth
to describe how sacred our time together was.

my flight back to chicago was cancelled due to the snowstorm
so i instead, flew to vegas where i will be meeting the boy in a couple days.

ive never been here before and i must say ~ its the most unusual place
i have ever been. let it be said, i would totally take a trip to the woods over this place any day, but there is a strange comedic feel about this scene,
and im hoping my camera and i will find some interesting moments.

soon enough i will be out in the desert away from metal sounds,
loud talkers, and smoke.

i feel like a seed the size of a coconut was planted into my heart this week ~
something big and beautiful and hopeful. . .

and wouldnt you know, i slept like a million year old rock last night.
at peace, calm, and so very still....

friends are the best kind of medicine.

Posted by jen at 09:20 AM   |   link   |   Comments (0)