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Kate Carroll de Gutes

The Authenticity Experiment: the Trust Edition

Here's an infomercial before the post. The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From the Best & Worst Year of My Life is available for pre-sale.  It helps me if you order early and order often.  The book launches September 12th.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. ∞ The Authenticity Experiment, the trust edition.  I am in a straw bale house on the edge of a canyon at the end...

The Authenticity Experiment: the Western Weekend edition

The Authenticity Experiment, the Western Weekend Edition.  As a kid, I went to Western Weekend in rural Marin County, in a town without a stoplight or a sit-down McDonald’s.  I didn’t ride the Ferris Wheel because the swinging cars gave me crawl up and a fear that I’d flip out—literally and figuratively—and plummet to my death. Strangely, though, I did ride the Zipper, me alone in...

The Authenticity Experiment: the coal shovel edition

The Authenticity Experiment: the coal shovel edition. A giant United Moving van took my mother’s furniture, clothes, dishes, and memorabilia to Portland.  Part of the load was destined for California for my sisters, too.  Still, we barely filled a third of the truck, but because the bid was based on estimated weight, we weren’t allowed to add anything extra to the manifest.  And by we, I mean me.  My mom was sitting on the dove grey leather couch in her family room alternating between catatonic and Napoleonic, sleeping in a delirium of denial that this day had finally come or ordering the movers, Stef, or me to add more items to the load.

The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From The Best & Worst Year Of My Life

In 2012, Kate Carroll de Gutes found herself at a rest stop “ruined with anxiety. And when I say ruined, I mean in a car, in hundred-degree weather, with all the windows rolled up, sobbing and crouched in the passenger’s seat rocking and waiting for the Ativan to take effect. I posted on Facebook, ‘Hello, Redding. Dear gods yer hot.’ A funny post that let...

The Authenticity Experiment: the City edition

The Authenticity Experiment, the City edition.  Last week, I spent the night San Francisco—“the City,” as everyone in the Bay Area calls it.  The City—as if there is no other city in the world.  But I’ll tell you, on a morning when the tide is out and the fog is burning off, and you step onto O’Farrell Street and cut up and over to Union Square, the impatient honk of cars startling your small town self (and don’t kid yourself, Portland is a small town compared to any other city on the West Coast), the smell of Chinese restaurant grease and garbage assaulting your nose, the clang and grind of the cable cars lifting your

The Authenticity Experiment: the lifetime grieving process

The Authenticity Experiment, the lifetime grieving edition.  The Alaskan Poet said to me, “I’m beginning to think that grieving is a lifetime process. AND I also think that it’s possible to be at peace with that and just realize that you can grieve and move forward.”  And, I think she’s right.

It’s no surprise to find grief here—thoughts about it, stories about it, rants and rages about it.  But there’s a particular grief I’ve been thinking about.  Last week, two of my oldest, dearest friends—sisters—lost their child and nephew.

Yeah, a 25 year-old kid. 

The Authenticity Experiment: the unexpected angels edition

The Authenticity Experiment, the unexpected angels edition.  I hate the idea of angels.  Really.  Those damn cherubs painted by Raphael that hung in every 1980s house, regardless of whether the owner had been to Dresden (where the angels were relocated in 1754) to see them in person.  But the thing is, I think that angels—or, rather, guides, as I like to think of them—exist.  I’ve seen evidence time and again in my life—turn here, talk to this person, hand this woman your book, call this person now, tell that girl you love her.  So, well.  Judge me.  It’s new age-y or whatever.  But I believe unseen forces are out there helping us.  Helping me.  Just like at the beginning of this month, on the second night I was in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico.

The Authenticity Experiment: the ornament edition

The Authenticity Experiment, the ornament edition.  It’s funny what hurts you, what makes you start to cry like a little kid.  Tonight, it was that I couldn’t remember—actually never asked how—my mom made this chandelier decoration of velvet ribbon and red, green, and gold ball ornaments.  It hung every year in our dining room in the house I grew up in.  I decided it would look good in my house, over the table that belonged to my parents.

I’m decorating this year—for solstice—getting out all the boxes.  The lights, the yule log, the decorative hand towels.  You know, because what’s the darkest night of the year without some decorative red and green hand towels that you aren’t really allowed to use because they are decorative?

The Authenticity Experiment: the anniversary and anxiety edition

The Authenticity Experiment, the mostly anxiety anniversary edition.  My friend Lesbiana Profundis, aka my secret weapon, laughs at my Rainman-like ability with dates.  Take  July 20th, for instance.  A year and two days ago, I began the Authenticity Experiment.  AE was a writing challenge for myself—to see if I could be authentic and tell the truth on social media.  Here’s the lead from that very first post: “I’m posting this to kick off my own personal FB Balance Month. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we use the FB to post our good news (book), our fun times (Cycle Oregon), our amusing insights (photos of grammar errors at the DMV), and cute cat videos. But we don’t really talk about the dark. And a culture that consistently ignores its dark winds up like…well, like us, where we are hap, hap, HAPPY all the time and we get our dark out by watching reality TV (or violent movies) and snarking on grammar signs at the DMV (not that good grammar isn’t important).