not until now

projects and writings of Tracy Burkholder

week 6: practice

It’s so easy to pretend to take someone’s advice, or even mean to take someone’s advice and then fail completely on the follow through.

October 31, 2016 · 2 Comments

week 5: take up space

Hold space. Sure. I hold all I can. I’ll hold it if you sidle up close, hip to hip, and whisper something true.

October 24, 2016 · 1 Comment

week 4: exposed

Making a reservation at Kah-Nee-Ta, a resort on the Warm Springs Reservation, might have been new, but it wasn’t a challenge.

October 16, 2016 · Leave a comment

week 3: nothing but air (and helmets) to keep us safe

I’ve had a driver’s license since I was 16, but I didn’t own a car or really drive on a regular basis until I was 40.

October 11, 2016 · Leave a comment

week 2: undulation

I’ve been a practicing full-time massage therapist for 20 years. While my skills have improved vastly over the years,

October 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

week 1: pushing out/wandering in

I finished writing a book this year. Unlike the novel I wrote (and almost immediately threw in a drawer to forget),

September 27, 2016 · Leave a comment


I choose Before the Rain. When I start to describe the movie as Macedonian and Albanian, my partner holds up a hand, “That’s all you need to say.” He is history-minded and … Continue reading

September 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Threat of Rain

This story was originally published in Vinyl, March 2016.   Threat of Rain   She couldn’t see or feel it yet, but it was there. All that wet wanting to … Continue reading

April 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

month twelve: giving up

It’s 2016, March already and for some reason I was compelled back here today after many months away. Part of it is my own completion complex, that thing in me … Continue reading

March 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

month eleven: thankyouthankyou

As a kid, my prayers all started with this: “Dear God, thankyouthankyouthankyou for…” I was pretty sure that the more times I said thank you, the more sincere my prayer … Continue reading

November 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

month ten: practice

Art month was fun, even though I didn’t actually make as much art as I thought I would.I made this really silly gif from pics of my bedhead every morning. … Continue reading

October 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

month nine: artsy and/or fartsy

My August challenge of completing one of Lynda Barry’s daily diary exercises was probably my mildest challenge yet. It was short and fast and easy: A list of Things I Did, … Continue reading

August 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

month eight: Lynda Barry’s daily diary

I admit it, turning the TV off for the month of July was not entirely successful. I cheated a bunch. I’d come home from work exhausted and sit and watch … Continue reading

August 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

month seven: turn off the idiot box

 First, let me say that June’s sweet-free challenge was, for the most part, a little easier than I anticipated. I got cravings now and then and occasionally drooled longingly at … Continue reading

June 30, 2015 · Leave a comment

month six: sweats and sweets

My month of mindfulness, in perfectly ironic fashion, lost most of its deliberateness about three-quarters of the way through. I stopped looking at my list of exercises because so many of … Continue reading

June 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

daily tabor 2012/2018

 In 2012 I gave myself the goal of daily walks to Mt. Tabor, a big, beautiful park near my house in Portland, OR. I actually started daily walks there in … Continue reading

May 21, 2015 · Leave a comment


This essay originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review vol. 9.1 in the summer of 2012. It was selected as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2013.   Proof … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

an unknown shape

This essay was first published on this blog in April 2014.   An Unknown Shape   I wanted. Again and then again. I wanted my body to make the shape … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · 1 Comment


This essay originally appeared in The Clackamas Literary Review 2012 vol. XVII   Jumpers   I’ve been obsessed with the jumpers for months. Every day, I sit in front of … Continue reading

May 20, 2015 · Leave a comment


Read my essay “Restraint” over at Nailed Magazine.

May 19, 2015 · Leave a comment


Read my essay Paws over at The Feminist Wire.  

May 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

month five: update – now, now

This month’s challenge of doing a different mindfulness exercise every day has, in many ways, been the easiest one I’ve done so far. It’s not that I’m so good at … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

month five: mind empty/ mind full

For some time now, I’ve been aware, mindful you might say, of how I drift. Instead of feeling the skin/muscle/bone beneath my hands while giving a massage, I am building … Continue reading

May 1, 2015 · Leave a comment

month four: summary

Procrastination elimination month has been a success. Not an overwhelming success. The trellis in the backyard is still broken and I may or may not get around to prepping my … Continue reading

April 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

month four: update – jumping ship

This anti-procrastination month is going really well so far. There’s a small moment of panic each day when I realize I have to face something on my list. But I … Continue reading

April 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

month four: eliminate the procrastinate

An incredibly unappealing list sits in my notebook right now. It’s a page and a half of things I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t. I wrote it out one … Continue reading

March 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

month three: summary

It’s good to be happy with small accomplishments. That’s the size they come in where my writing is concerned. With just a few days to go, I’m confident I can reach … Continue reading

March 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

month three: aim low and write

I’ve been writing and avoiding writing since I was a teenager. I used to read a lot about the writing life and all the myriad ways writers kept themselves on … Continue reading

March 2, 2015 · 1 Comment

month two: summary

I’m whipping this post out before I head over to the yoga studio for class. I love the woman teaching this morning. It’s amazing how someone just giving a simple … Continue reading

February 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

month two: update

I’m sixteen days in to my month of daily yoga and have run the gamut of emotions from elation to teeth-grinding frustration over what my body can and cannot do. Going … Continue reading

February 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

month two: 28 days of yoga. 28 days of sober.

I’m not the kind of person to read a self-help book and follow through on the suggested activities, reflections, etc. I don’t want to keep a gratitude journal. I don’t … Continue reading

February 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

month one: solo swim

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I am one for new projects. Or at least, continuing old projects that involve doing new things. So I’m back to it … Continue reading

January 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

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-nine: the first last

When I first moved to Portland, the art walk/street fair/Portlandia skit come to life known as Last Thursday didn’t exist. Alberta Street was not “The Alberta Arts District.” Back then, … Continue reading

September 3, 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