Mother River

 Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

She let’s off some steam 
She’s moving all of the time I’m surprised she doesn’t do it more often 
She can navigate just about any terrain 
Making it hers
Sculpting it to shape each one of her moods 
She can be a wild bitch 
But she always holds space 
For those seeking refuge 
A surrogate to many 
She’d never snuff out a chance at life 
He tries to control her 
Building walls 
To make her stay 
Depriving her of her own right to fulfill her purpose
Wiping out those she had welcomed in
Stretching her so thin
She takes the shape of something she wasn’t meant to be
Despite not being able to recognize her anymore 
He holds to his barriers 
But what he doesn’t realize is her freedom 
Is what gave him life all along.

The HeartBeat


The pulse from this wild community 
Courses through my veins 
I know the excitement from towering sky scrapers 
The glare of the sun reflecting off the windows 
And feeding what some would consider the heartbeat of this world
A place built by human hands and machinery 
But not for me  
The heartbeat exists 
Where the road ends 
And the adventure begins
The heartbeat exists deep in the canyons 
And high on the mountain tops 
The heartbeat exists 
Amongst giants built by thousands of years of wind and water
The heartbeat exists
In a bar where everyone is dressed in puffys and fleece 
Where conversations are driven by nature and the gear you used to experience it 
There are slowly burning embers that live
In the most important parts of me 
If I stay away from that heart beat for too long
That heat
That fire vanishes 
I can only exist if
I’m in earshot of that heartbeat
Until my heart thumps 
In unison to the same beat

Lose Balance, It's Okay

 Photographer:  Heather Jackson  

Photographer: Heather Jackson 

Subconsciously I would run
Pushing away anything and anyone
That resembled a threat to my independence
I would run
Driven by fear of a codependency
that nauseates me
When I see it in others
Surrendering would be anti-feminist
Giving in would devalue all that is ME
Falling would mean a loss of freedom
Love means losing balance
Intersecting life stories
Fusing together
Why did nobody tell me this was okay?
That a woman can still find her strength
When she’s wrapped up in the arms of another
That she can still be the creator of her own story
Stories of which are always moving forward
Change is our constant
This is what I love about life
The movement
So here I am Losing balance
Not losing myself
But finding myself

Why Run?

 Photographer:  Zach Mahone

Photographer: Zach Mahone

In allowing myself to feel my heart is splayed open
You can poke and prode it
I will feel everything
There will be no numbing this time
Why numb when you can feel? 
Why run when you can move slowly through this world
and see everything?
Like the snow blanketing the Earth gently, 
wrapping her in a soft embrace. 
Like the dew dripping from the leafs of a forest exploding with life. 
Why run? 
There is a beauty in the pain and suffering
When we finally allow ourselves to see ourselves
to confront all that has hurt us
you find a power
A power that could only live in something true
LIke the sun
Like the moon
Like a fire clearing a forest making way for something new. 
A rebirth
Why run? 
We can not know what the future holds
nor should we try  
But we can learn what keeps us bond and tied
Like a secret built around fear
Or one too many whiskys
We can seek solace in the arms of a stranger
Taking comfort in Knowing you’ll never have to see them again
You’ll never have to answer questions like
“What was your childhood like?” or
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The pain of my past has been holding my future hostage
When we finally allow ourselves to feel
The past becomes our foundation and the future remains unknown
but the present becomes our everything
And your presence is your light
So, why run?

I Will Never Close my Eyes Again

 Photographer:  Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

I've had this fever for years
This insatiable hunger
A thirst that I couldn't quench
I could barely stand on my own two legs.
Weighted down
And robbed of life
From guilt
From shame
There's a pressure to be
To want it
To fake it
And you were on top of me
But I could no longer see you
I closed my eyes and saw her
I was haunted by a woman
With a spirit that stretched far and wide
She shook her head as I cowered from her truth
Sinking deeper into this bed
She walked tall
She danced like no one was watching even when they were. 
She loved many
Surrounded by kindered spirits
Belonging to no one
She swayed in the wind
and flowed with the river
I opened my eyes
As you rolled over to sleep
I walked to the river she flowed from
Immersed myself
and emerged
Cleansed from every lie I ever told
I laid back down beside you
Kissed you on the cheek
And knew I would never have to close my eyes again. 

Time to Collect


I'll give you time, he says
But this time is borrowed
You'll have to give it back someday
and when that is
You have no choice
But for how you use it, you do
Use it wisely, he says
I can't tell you how
But I've been in this business for quite some time
I've seen a thing or two
Let me give you a little tip
Society will try to tell you how to use it
Don't let it
When you have the choice to stay up late drinking whisky into a campfire lit night or go to sleep; 
Stay up!
You'll sleep when I come to collect.
When you have the choice to dance naked on the beach
When you must choose between buying the house or seeing the world
See the world
When you have the choice to settle for a "safe" mediocre life vacant of fire and passion.
This life is a gamble
And many people around you will double down on retirement
But you don't have to
Many will forget that I lent them this time. 
Many forget that I will always come to take what is mine.
- Father Time


 Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I’m wrecked and I’m wrung
I’m high and I’m strung
out on the unknown
Where forward doesn’t look anything like the backward
I’m alone most days, even when I’m not
Here I am
A young woman feeling like the world is her oyster
a little fish in a big sea
I want to take you with me
and I want stay with you
but the unknown always wins
Even when saying goodbye is hard
the unknown always wins
Even while planning on ways to get back to you
I move in the opposite direction
It feels like a sort of madness
but here I am
A mad woman looking for connection
with someone as mad as her. 



 Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

If I walk around without a bra
I’m not doing it to entertain your testosterone driven fantasies
This isn’t for you
It’s for me
We’ve come a long way from the corsets
the clothing meant to hold everything in
We’re in a time where the woman
and all of her parts can be free
Where we can ask the guy out
or get down on one knee. 
Where we can find power in our sexuality instead of shame
I remember how cruel the boys were in Highschool
While they were glorified we were shunned
 Tossing us aside as used goods
Some of us don’t know the power we hold
Some of us still hide the most beautiful parts of ourselves
The sting of their judgments pushing into our ribs
like the underwire in our bras
Their arms there to "catch us" 
After passing out from the tightened strings around our waist
Cinched by their own ideals of what a WOMAN is suppose to look like.
But I AM what a woman is suppose to look like
I AM 100% in my power
Are you?


For Peter


Here's the poem I wrote and read for Peter at his memorial. I'm very excited to be heading to New Jersey to spend time with one of his best friends, drink tequila, and hear all of her crazy stories of a man who was so damn incredible! 

I remember the whites and blues 

The yellow lawn chairs with wooden arm rests

the sandy asphalt crackling beneath my bicycle tires

Your house was small 

gray with green shutters 

a rectangle full of a spirit that breathed light into it’s otherwise dim space 

you were a man of intrigue 

Your intensity scared me sometimes 

but I liked that you didn’t talk to me like a child

You chose your words carefully and talked in a way that was slow and with intention

I remember riding my bike home to the other side of the island 

the blue jays off in the distance 

thinking you were special to me 

admiring your intelligence 

I promised myself then that I would never float through this life 

that I would question things 

that I would live with my heart on my sleeve

and that I would make you proud 

I don’t know why I wanted so badly to make you proud 

but I did and I still do.

There are parts of you I never got to know 

I know there was darkness, sadness, maybe loneliness

but I also know, mostly, there was light, joy, love, and passion. 

I know there was music, games of croquet, snowmen, two ducks and a goose

I’ll remember you listening to music in your kitchen 

while I floated in your hammock dreaming of the life ahead of me

not imagining I would be standing here talking about you in the past tense 

not imagining I would never get to ask all of the questions I was too young to ask then

not imagining that I could miss someone so much 

and certainly not imagining a world without you 

The only way I know how to honor you 

is to shoot from the hip 

to be unapologetically who I am 

to always seek the truth.

And when I am really missing you

I’ll turn up your music 

and dance around the kitchen 

because I know it’s just what you would do. 

Home Exists...

 Photographer: Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

A suitcase filled with a place that I no longer connect with 

or exist within

It’s strange to me how a place can absorb me 

and as soon as I leave it continues unflinching 

The clerk at the grocery store down the street from my jungle home 

will continue to stack shelves and work the register. 

As I write this, I imagine the parrots are squawking and the people are moving to the soundtrack of the lively jungle that surrounds them. 

Nothing stops just because I’m not there to witness it anymore.

Life continues on with or without me 

I’m ready to trade out these clothes for something more appropriate

I sift through boxes, exchanging the shorts and bikinis 

for wool socks and beanies.

I once believed home could be anywhere

but I’m beginning to understand that belief to be flawed

and that home, to me

can only exist if I have

the mountains to greet me 

the river to cleanse me

and you to kiss me.


The air is thick with the sounds of the jungle 

howler monkeys sing into the sun dusted morning 

I feel like I’ve been transplanted into a different time 

tiny dinosaurs watch me drink my mandarin lime & beer on ice 

I’ve given up caring about the sweat dripping down my body 

the tico server wipes the water rings from the bar.

I wish he would do the same for my legs; slippery against this wooden bench

Closing my eyes, I imagine home 

with mountains so tall and silent 

Pines blanketed in snow

A solitude that this lively jungle doesn’t know

My trance interrupted as I swat and kick the no-see-ums from my ankles

My legs are swollen with bites from those blood-sucking-bastards

Closing my eyes, I think about crisp cool air, 

micro-brewies, wool socks, and thick blankets

But I’ve got a soft spot for those two rocking chairs 

Sipping rum to the classics Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong 

filling the tropical night with conversations about our pursuit for greatness;

This life away from life is good and all 

but it doesn’t hold a candle to a life held between four-wheels, the asphalt, 

and pouring all this sweat into something bigger than we could have ever dreamed.

Just One More...

It’s easy for you to tell yourself you aren’t worthy

To disappear behind your expensive wardrobe 

and make yourself  believe that a night out is enough to curb your craving to be anything and anywhere else. 

Just one more drink and this will be the best night ever 

Just one more drink and I’ll be happy

You wake up foggy, surrounded by your same four-walls or those of a stranger.

He doesn’t make you coffee 

you trip up awkwardly looking for your lace black panties

and decide their not worth another second of the shame 

Those are replaceable

unlike your dignity

Walking home puffy eyed you think about your number

and begin to count on one and then two hands;

losing count

This wasn’t the first time you left a piece of you behind in unfamiliar calloused hands.

But for a night he was that vacation you’ve always talked about taking

He was the roar of the river and the smell of the pine

He was the fire that warmed you while you sipped whisky

Talking into the night about the lives you use to live

and will never go back to.

Give Me Your F*%k Yeahs

 Photographer: Paul Clark 

Photographer: Paul Clark 

I don’t want to see your before and after photos

I want to see the stretch marks

The beautiful craters that dip into your skin like blemishes on a surfboard

The dirt under your fingernails tells me you're the kind of girl that has a thirst for life and a wild spirit. 

I want the waves in your hair to be the product of salt and sun

Not curling irons and hairspray

You can keep your diets, your expensive clothes and hair, your pretty cars, and your decked out Ikea homes.

I'm thirsty for substance

To lay next to you and hear about that time you really fucked up

To hear about your dreams and your plans to make them real

I'm not interested in your can'ts and shants

I'm here to support your "fuck yeahs!" and your "let's fucking do this!"

I'll cry with you and hold you if that's what you need 

But I won't let you disappear 

Because you're meant to be up here with me 

Laughing with your whole body 

Singing loudly 

and watching the sunset. 




Wildly Free

I’m learning how to be alone

To look at that couple wildly in love

and know I don’t have that because I’m too busy being wildly free

so when he devours me with that ‘I’m going to tame you’ stare.

I’ll disarm him with my ‘I’m striving for greatness’ eyes 

You, with your olive skin and sandy blonde hair, 

aren’t ready to walk down that road with me

My sheets are for me to get tangled and dream in

I exist in a world where the road is my front yard

where howling at the moon, naked, with a bottle of whisky

is not only accepted but strongly encouraged. 

Where vulnerability and bravery are synonyms 

and laughing deeply, loudly, and uncontrollably is a prescribed medication

I don’t have time to worry about you leaving 

or what happens when the road calls

I’m sure your skin tastes like the caramel color it is 

and those calloused hands could make my back arch 

but I’m learning to fuel my own fire 

and raising my glass to those who are deliciously in love. 

Find Your Brave

 Photographer: Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I've been told I'm brave 

A 25 year-old blonde woman traveling and moving to a foreign country alone. 

But I didn't feel brave when I said yes

It felt like the right answer, the obvious choice.

Yes, I was nervous but I wasn't scared

Those reoccurring words,

"You're brave."

made me realize this isn't something people often do. 

There are many excuses people use to not "be brave"

Every excuse is just another cover an illusion to disguise the fact that they're scared.

Be scared! 

It's OKAY!

But trust me when I say "you're going to be alright."

I've thought about going home at least once a day

I'm learning to recognize the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of reason. 

Fear is always the loudest

Interrupting and talking over reason

I don't exude self-confidence when I walk through the streets of a foreign country

I'm awkward 90% of the time

That's the fear talking 

telling me everyone is looking at me waiting for me to do something stupid

That everyone thinks I'm just another ignorant American

Best to keep my mouth shut

But the moment you find your brave

The moment BRAVERY is the loudest voice in your head and your heart

That's when the world opens up to you

It'll embrace you 

As soon as you do.



Just Another Gringa

Sometimes all it takes is a solo run 

The rush of endorphins and pushing through the pain 

Brings me out the other side levelheaded 

I don’t think very much when I run

My headphones are in; playing the current mood 

and my head is down

Every feeling of doubt, sadness, or stress is released into the Earth with every step

I needed that today 

I needed to say fuck this heat and run through the streets of Quepos

and show this place I belong here

I needed this to feel real, like my home

And so I ran

drenched in sweat

Pushed through the pain 

and forgot all about “home”

all about dreams 

and existed as just another Gringa living in Costa Rica

Lets Make Some Magic

 Photographer: Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I'm a complicated human

A woman who feels too much

And when stirred I'll move and dance with hands outstretched waiting for you to grab hold.

I don't care what's in my path and what I've left behind.

I want to be reckless 

My heart is rooted in the belief that the only way to live is to follow my happiness.

Even if that means calls from collections

An unsteady paycheck 

And a regular state of unpredictability and discomfort

In between the long drives and flights

The new adventures 

Between the walks alone 

And the fresh faces  

I still want to feel the safety of strong arms wrapped around my salty skin. 

I want to make magic

Sipping beer in the rain 

Loving intensely 

and living playfully

I’m not the settling type 

But it feels like anything other than you would be just that. 

My Addictions

Daily I'm scared of how much I love and need this way of life. I'll fall behind on bills and blow off family for it. I can't sit still. My rest days are ridden with guilt, very few and far between, and my body hurts for it. 

I have moments where I wonder if this is it? Have I just been fucking around this whole time and now it's time to suck it up and work for a paycheck.

All of this feels too good to give up. 

I have an addictive personality. It's why I never tried drugs. 

When I love something I really fucking love it. It'll consume me and I'll forget all about you, all about the anxiety and exist only for this moment that I love so much. 

I'm so far from the ideal partner. Not many people can accept that they may sometimes come second to the water and the waves.

I've done that. 

I've dropped everything for a man. 

Altered my course and my personality to be that piece of the puzzle we are both looking for. 

It's a sad thing when you lose yourself because you want it, so desperately, to be love. 

I'm addicted to only a few things, love being one of them. I can listen to love songs with such intensity that I want to push fate and make you the "one". 

I'm consumed with passion and if I don't have someone to share it with I feel like I'll explode. I want love and I want intimacy but yet I make myself undateable. It's a very confusing place to be. 

Surfing possesses many qualities I seek in a partner. 

Someone who can adapt. Comfortable being in a state of perpetual motion. 

Someone who can make me 100% present. 

Who can lift me up. 

Who can cleanse me. 

Someone who can prove to me that sex is better than surfing.  

Someone who I'll blow off work and miss a family reunion for.

If you can challenge me.

If you can lull me to sleep with the sound of your breath like the crashing of waves on a beach. 

If you can take me for what I am.

Then I promise I will never let you go. Otherwise I will only know love for something incapable of loving me back. And if I can't have you the water will always have me and hold me until I want it to let me go.  

"You've got a lot to Learn"

Trying to make it in a society where dreams get printed onto posters and exist only in the classroom. 

Avoiding social situations just so I can avoid the question,

“so, what do you do?”

Because answering that question would mean giving up my life story

What do I do? 

I wake up every morning with a head buzzing full of ideas, dreams, and desires. 

I go out and I fulfill them. That’s what I do. 

I’ve got a friend who was just offered a promotion for a job that pays her in only one way, money. 

She sat on it for a bit. A life working for a paycheck; is that something I could do?

She told said boss, “I want to create, I want to work for passion not for pay.” 

Her boss, from his/her world of spreadsheets, emails, and paperclips, says “you’ve got a lot to learn.”

She felt like a child. It took her back to grade-school when you tell your parents or teacher you want to be an astronaut and they say with empty words “you can do anything you set your mind to.” 

I could always feel the doubt in those words. It felt robotic.

What you want to say is this life is going to throw so many punches you won’t be able to tell which way is up.

You want to say “Yeah, I wanted to be a dancer when I was your age. Look at me now; I sit in traffic, push paper, answer to a boss that I despise, and live for the weekends.”

“You’ve got a lot to learn.” 

Fuck that! We are all learning, nobodies got this thing down. There’s no perfect formula.

Age and experience is not an automatic ticket to a “I don’t have shit to learn” club. 

Learn from everyone, no matter their age or background.  

It's going to be messy. 

It's going to be uncomfortable. 

People are going to laugh at you, roll their eyes, and not take you seriously.

When you tell people what you do you'll sometimes get the response...

"Must be nice.."

Like what you're doing was somehow fatefully dropped into your lap and required minimal work.

Yes, it is nice. We're doing what we love, living in the moment, and working our asses off to get paid to do what we love. 

How it should be.