not until now

projects and writings of T.A. Burkholder

addendum b: lookout

For the week of my birthday, which was otherwise celebrated in subdued fashion, I snagged a night in one of the cabins at Cape Lookout State Park. The price was … Continue reading

October 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

addendum a: the wax bone apprentice

As I neared the end of this blog project, I thought I might continue it in a more casual fashion, posting only when something worthy happened. I didn’t imagine that … Continue reading

September 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

week fifty-two: fuck yeah

I feel the need to swear more than usual. Fifty-two fucking new things! That’s right, motherfucker! Okay, many of them were silly and small. One week, I climbed a bunch … Continue reading

September 23, 2014 · 3 Comments

week fifty-one: sing, dance, share

This week I was reminded of why I need to get my ass in gear and make some more goddamn money. Oh sure, it would be good for all sorts … Continue reading

September 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

week fifty: pitch and yaw

The only time I’d been in a really small plane was on a sightseeing trip over the Grand Canyon when I was a girl. All ten or so passengers threw … Continue reading

September 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Week forty-eight: stand up and read, sit down and float

I kind of can’t believe I have 48 of these things. At the same time, it really feels like this is the 48th.  All I want to do is list … Continue reading

August 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-seven: silly summer adventure

The Enchanted Forest theme park sits on an oddly tantalizing perch visible from I-5 just south of Salem. Every time I was on that stretch of highway, I’d see the … Continue reading

August 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-six: soaking it up, sweating it out

My new thing this week was going to be floating down the Deschutes in Bend. But the weather was against us. Cool temps and thunderstorms meant I decided to stay … Continue reading

August 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-five: the anticlimactic volcano

The 198o explosion of Mt. St. Helen’s has been a point of fascination for me ever since I moved here. What must it have been like to be witness to … Continue reading

August 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-four: the big float

My neighborhood in southeast Portland provides all the essentials within easy walking distance. It’s easy to exist in a little bubble over here, rolling back and forth over the same … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-three: under the bridge

I’ve never been in the loop. As far as new and local music goes, even in my twenties I was pretty clueless. I had friends that were regulars at Satyricon … Continue reading

July 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-two: lake!

The last time I was in a good, swimmable lake was so long ago, the only photos I have of it are printed out and pasted into a photo album. … Continue reading

July 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty-one: care a little less

I struggle with what I want my writing life to be. Struggle isn’t the right word, though. It’s too active. Too involved. Me and my writing and my caring about … Continue reading

July 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

week forty: dead lazy

My father’s nickname for me as a kid was DL, or Dead Lazy. Of course, I hated this, even if from an objective point of view, it might have been … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-nine: minor achievements, minor rewards

I’ve had the great privilege of sculpting my life into a shape of my choosing. It’s comfortable here. All the curves and angles fit together really well. One reason it’s … Continue reading

June 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-eight: the first last goodbye

In a few weeks, my parents will be moving from the Boston suburbs to Portland so that they can be close by in their old age. This event has been … Continue reading

June 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-seven: botanical dreams

Many, many years ago I drove to a house that sat along Johnson Creek and the Leach Botanical Garden to do a trade with an acquaintance. I remember being surprised … Continue reading

June 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-six: the strange and untidy

This week I found out that the food cart pod near my office is being dismantled at the end of the summer to make way for a condo development.  This … Continue reading

June 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-five: new art, new artist

This week I got a new tattoo surrounding an old tattoo, both done by the same artist, Joanne Martian. I hadn’t been to the shop she and her husband own, … Continue reading

May 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-four: unchaste

Work your way past the brightly lit pool tables and sports-filled TVs of The Rialto and go down into the basement, into The Jack London Bar.  It’s better down there. … Continue reading

May 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-three: sportsball redux, beach redux

This week’s two new things sit on opposite ends of the socializing spectrum. On one side was a stadium of chanting, scarf waving, bird-flipping soccer fans. On the other was … Continue reading

May 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-two: a (mostly) funny thing

This week was kinda the pits. Almost everyone I know seemed to be feeling a little wonky at best or completely miserable at worst. I’d spent my day off feeling … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty-one: the new inside the old and the old disappeared

Sometimes the new thing is barely visible inside the old thing. It wasn’t new that I got a massage this week, but it was an Ashiatsu massage, a technique I’d … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

week thirty: go it alone

I take walks by myself on a nearly daily basis. Sometimes it’s just up the street to Mt. Tabor Park. Sometimes it’s an urban stroll through a new neighborhood or … Continue reading

April 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-nine: a trip slightly south

It feels funny to swing wildly from the leap I made last week to the beautiful mundane pleasures of this week. One of the lessons of this year-long project has … Continue reading

April 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-eight: an unknown shape

This week’s new thing is an adventure in self-publishing and vulnerability (stupidity?). I’ve been thinking for some time about publishing one of my personal essays here. It would have to … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

week twenty-seven: winning (kind of)

I never win anything. Mostly because I never try to win anything. I don’t play powerball, enter contests or buy raffle tickets. I don’t play sports or board games. When … Continue reading

April 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-six: on the up and up

I love the butter-light glow of houses at twilight when the lives of strangers are on display. I love the unkempt, backyard views from trains and trams. Seeing a bit … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-five: rose city rollers

The last time I went roller skating was about 20 years ago when a group of us went to live organ music night at Oaks Park. We didn’t fit in … Continue reading

March 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-four: elevator speech

Maybe you’ll laugh. I know I did. On a beautiful mid-week morning, I got in my car and headed south down 99E to Oregon City just to ride our country’s … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-three: kicking myself out of the house

I’m the first one to admit that I’ve lost perspective. The parameters of  “normal” adult human behavior are kind of fuzzy.  And while I usually feel somewhat adult-like or adultish, … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-two: a brief exhibition

The Associated Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference took place in Seattle this past week. I went to the conference years ago in Chicago and decided the chaotic shmooze-fest was something … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

week twenty-one: go sports!

I’ve never been a fan of team sports. Not one lick. I appreciate the athleticism and skill required to play on a professional team and can usually find some pleasure … Continue reading

February 20, 2014 · 2 Comments

week twenty: never not a novice

Forget super speed, or super strength. Forget invisibility, agility or telepathy. There was a time in my life (let’s call that time yesterday) when, if given a choice of superpowers, … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

week nineteen: meditations

All the usual resistances were there. I’d never done it so I didn’t want to do it. I’d never been so I didn’t want to go. I didn’t know what … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

week eighteen: seaskysand

It’s hard to write about the ocean. It’s not just waves, black beach rocks, seafoam and sand. It’s not just windbent trees, the long horizon, the scent, the swell, the … Continue reading

January 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

week seventeen: history lessons

I’ve lived in Portland for over twenty years and feel deeply rooted here.  My sense of history about this place, however, is also only twenty years old and looks mostly … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

week sixteen: tin chef

Sometimes I imagine standing up in front of an AA style meeting and announcing My name is Tracy. I’m Italian and I can’t cook. As a teenager, I’d sit at … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

week fifteen: the extremely mild, vaguely new adventures of 2014

For a vast majority of the last 20 years I’ve spent New Year’s eve watching my partner play music with one band or another in one bar or another with … Continue reading

January 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

week fourteen: distraction holiday

This year was my holiday from holidays. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas were whittled down to nothing but having a quiet day off and eating pie. This week, my work schedule … Continue reading

December 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

week thirteen: am I feeling it yet?

It’s 1991. Let’s say early October.  My friend Amy and I meet in the hallway of our dorm.  We look at each other and try to convince ourselves that we … Continue reading

December 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

week twelve: getting out of the groove

It’s easy to poke fun at or be embarrassed by Americans abroad who will only eat at McDonald’s and the like. We call them immature or provincial or ugly. They’re … Continue reading

December 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

week eleven: an accumulation

The weak sun starts to set around 3 these days. By 4:30 it’s dark. Until the light comes back, I’ll follow up my afternoon naps with nine hours of sleep. … Continue reading

December 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

week ten: noir at the bar

Portland could have found a seedier bar for their inaugural Noir at the Bar, a literary event that’s been happening in cities all over the country since 2008.  I was … Continue reading

December 4, 2013 · 4 Comments

week nine: maintenance care

I’m not a fancy woman. I get uncomfortable in really nice restaurants and don’t even dare set foot in higher end stores. I long ago gave up on the idea … Continue reading

November 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

week eight: 100 guitars, 1000 miles

Almost no one has heard 100 guitars play together, all at once.  And I’m pretty sure no one has taken a bus to Seattle, a cab to SeaTac, a plane … Continue reading

November 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

week seven: dance fever

I used to leave notes in my mother’s purse asking her questions I was too shy to ask out loud. The last one I left, around age 11, read, I … Continue reading

November 12, 2013 · 2 Comments

week six: 3-minutes to nowhere

From where I live, I see Oregon Health Sciences University rising high in the west hills like a second downtown. To get to Pill Hill you have to wind your … Continue reading

November 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

week five: our humble bodies, our glorious breath

Before this week, I’d only been in a hospital room once, about 15 years ago. All I remember is the dimness of the room at night and how bad I … Continue reading

October 29, 2013 · 3 Comments

week four: breathing

I could say that, this week, there was the newness of sleeping in my roommate’s bed, under his deliciously thick covers, tucked in by two cats, while my partner’s father … Continue reading

October 22, 2013 · 3 Comments