“Sometimes, the fastest way to get there is to go slow. And sometimes, if you wanna hold on, you’ve got to let go. I’m gonna close my eyes, and count to ten. I’m gonna close my eyes, and when I open them again, everything will make sense to me then.” ~ Tina Dico, “Count to Ten”

Every time I visit the property, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of us to create a home on the land where we’d laid our weary heads to rest just eleven months ago. The effort and infrastructure it takes to prepare for…


Stuff: Noun 1) matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied. “She lost all her stuff in a fire.” 2) the basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone. “Grandma was made of tougher stuff than I.” Verb 1) fill a receptacle or space tightly with something. “My house is stuffed with…stuff.” 2) used to express indifference toward or rejection of (something). “Stuff this Contents Collaboration crap, insurance sucks!”

When the boys were little they loved Legos and marble tracks. I swear they were building constantly and whenever I…


There are so many ideas I cling to in life. From one day to the next, I set expectations, measure myself by them, and then attack all the various feelings that accompany a life of plans, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life doesn’t ever go as planned. …


My youngest son stands in the ruins of his childhood home

You know the jingle, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

As a wildfire survivor who has suffered a total loss of property and pets, who has also been a customer of State Farm’s since I was sixteen, I’m not convinced that’s true.

Let’s play a game. Look around your room. Memorize what you can. Now close your eyes and recall every single thing in that room. Not just the furniture; every book, everything under the furniture, the details of every drawer, every closet, every storage bin. Now do that for every room. Next, imagine all of it, including…


(NOTE: this is the second of a two part series. I suggest you read PART ONE first)

“Inside the skull there is a place where the essences of creation play and mingle-

The ecstatic light of awareness and the awareness of that light.

The divine feminine and masculine sport with one another in that place.

The light of their love-play illumines all space.

Rest in that light ever present, and gradually awaken to the steady joy of that which is everywhere.”

~ The Radiance Sutras, a translation of the Vinjnana Bhairava Tantra by Lorin Roche, PhD

Life on Earth is…


You are trying to understand madness with logic. This is not unlike searching for darkness with a torch.” Image by from

“Inside the skull there is a place where the essences of creation play and mingle-

The ecstatic light of awareness and the awareness of that light.

The divine feminine and masculine sport with one another in that place.

The light of their love-play illumines all space.

Rest in that light ever present, and gradually awaken to the steady joy of that which is everywhere.”

~ The Radiance Sutras, a translation of the Vinjnana Bhairava Tantra by Lorin Roche…


There’s a place inside of me where words are born. Since the early hours of 8/19, this part of me has been silent. The last time I heard the words of my muse, it was to wake me from a fitful sleep at 1:30 am. It was hot, so hot, and all day the smoke had been building. When I’d gone to bed at 10 pm, the fires on the mountain were far away, but it was raining ash-small flakes, a dusting really, like the simple snows we sometimes get. It was 98 degrees in my house and the windows…


Image via Pixabay

A year ago today, I was in the hospital, recovering from a fall. It was a fall from many things; from grace, from old dreams, and from habits and thoughts that were holding me back. …


Even the gods die. Image by djedj from Pixabay

“There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief.”

“All Along the Watchtower,” by Bob Dylan

At the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, I was on the phone with my 78 yo mother. We were discussing the virus as it pertained to getting my sons home from college. I was worried domestic travel would be closed and they were both away at school. I needed them home, and as soon as possible, before they were left stranded on closed college campuses. During the conversation she…


Image via Pixabay

In my early thirties, I threw out my bathroom scale. I could no longer tolerate the daily measuring of my weight-up a few pounds and my mood turned dry and cracked, like an old desert father’s skin, for the rest of the day. Down a few pounds and I suddenly though I was Cindy Crawford. After twenty years of measuring my worth through the size of my body, this was a game I could no longer tolerate and gone it was. As long as I fit in my favorite pants, I’m good. …

Nicole Sallak Anderson

Novelist, California wildfire survivor, and essayist. Discover my novels, Origins, Blood and Chaos, and Civilization’s End @Amazon. www.nicolesallakanderson.com

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