Garden & Gathering

Nature is Party to All

Month: August, 2012

Moving to Denver

Why move to Denver?

Why move back to Seattle?

Why (try) to write 31 stories in 31 days?

Why quit your job?

Why get a new job?

Why wake up?

Why go to sleep?


I cried on the drive to Denver. I will cry on the flight to Seattle.


Why open your heart?

Why burn bridges?

Why move on?

Why try again?


I tried something, not only once, but many times. I tried.


I tried and I became tired, I tried again. I became depressed. I yanked at my hair and screamed in my bed. I fell in love over and over and over and over again.


I was happy once. I am happy now. I will be happy again.


Content. Not why, but how.

Open Windows

I started looking for a job the day after we arrived in Denver. I met with a friend at Pablo’s and she told me all the cafes in the area. I turned a resume in at Pablo’s, St Mark’s, Happy Coffee, Yellow Feather, and Novo. I had been emailing the owner of Novo before I left Seattle. I heard they were the best roaster in Denver. I went to the cafe and met the owner over an espresso. He, unfortunately, did not need anyone at the time. He did point me to a couple other shops: Aviano’s and Metropolis. I went straight over to Metropolis, and to my luck Brock the owner was working. Miraculously he was looking for new baristas because he was opening a new shop in the Highlands. I wouldn’t have a lot of shifts, but it was something. I started training immediately. Days later I received an unexpected call from Whole Foods and got a job there as well. In the next couple of days we were signing a lease in Capitol Hill. I went from a jobless month, to working six days a week and filling in my extra time at Red Light Management. This was the busiest year, I have never worked so hard in my life. The funny thing is when I worked 30 hours a week at Fiore, I complained about never having time. I was now working over twice as many hours a week and found time to do most of the things I wanted to do.

I wanted to note that the one thing I learned from Metropolis is how great Fiore was to work for. As much as we complained, Fiore was a family. It is my family. (Also, that is me in the hat)

White Noise

We would leave Franktown at 4:30 in the morning to get to Denver by 5:30. I still hadn’t found a job. Laura and I would sit in the car in front of her coffee shop off of Hampden. Listening to country songs while smoking cigarettes. After she would get out to start her shift I would drive down to South Broadway. Bardo’s coffee shop would open at 6, it was the earliest I knew of in town. Being completely broke and new in town, I would usually get breakfast from the McDonald’s drive through and find a place to park the car. In the dark streets I would kill the engine and turn the radio to AM. I would set the dial somewhere in between talk radio and mariachi. The stars would still glimmer in the dawn, little flecks of ice shining between autumn branches. Reclining the driver’s seat, the white noise drifted over me as I slipped in and out of sleep.

At the Mountains of Madness

I like to joke that this has been a year of Tall Boys. In truth, it was. It was a year of depression. Of fear. Of worry. Of death and disappointment. Of madness. It was also a year of joy. Of laughter. Of adventure. Of health and happiness. I find as I write these stories that the memories of Denver are dear in a golden year. On the other hand, I stood quite literally at the foot of the mountains of madness. My choice was to turn around.

Turn around and go home.


At the start of this month, I really wanted to write these stories. My problem was I didn’t know where to post them. Now I have had this blog Garden & Gathering (named after a radio show I have been writing, which I eventually hope to post here) to host various topics along a theme that is emerging in my life. A theme of self-sufficiency, but also of the network of people and resources needed for a true Neighborhood. I was concerned that these stories don’t belong on this blog.

They do. These are stories of how I connected with people and places in Denver. How they helped me and maybe how I helped them. I will miss, terribly, the connection I have made. Especially the deep ones created with a few.


Pears in the park

Ripe with blue-black

Bruises, guiding the golden

Hand of sun clock stretch

Across aluminum can

Littered lawns of Cheesman.


Pictures of Plato

Painted by companions


Begging words from an acorn.

Dried apricots & fermented hops

Spilt on leaves of grass.

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