Archive for October, 2015

You Look Great

October 31, 2015

But you look tired.

My friend said to me just a few minutes ago in parting.

We haven’t seen each other in about three months, maybe a tiny bit more.

He’s in full-time school and working full-time.

I’m in full-time graduate school and working full time.

Add to that, doing the deal, and well, it feels like 80 hours a week.

And very little time for anything else.

Maybe some panic.

Maybe some anxiety.

I had that in spades today on my way into work on my bicycle.

I kept praying and breathing.

Deep, slow breathes in and out.

There were a lot of near misses today.

A woman ran, I mean, ran, a red light.

I narrowly avoided getting hit, seeing her just out of the corner of my eye, on her cell phone, oblivious to the oncoming traffic or the fact that there was a red light and she was zooming right along, on her way, on her Friday, got her own agenda, don’t mind me.

“Nice!” I hollered, and kept rolling.

I just had a cab almost pull out on me at 46th and Lincoln as I was turning.

She didn’t see me and I think I scared the crap out of her when I rolled up and turned aside so that she missed me, “hello, I’m right here.”

“Oh my God!”  She said and almost stalled out in the middle of the intersection.

I waved and kept going.

“Always, always, always, please look before you open your door,” I said to the woman at the intersection of Church and Market who flung open her door and nearly knocked me over.

“I am so sorry.” She said and blanched, “It’s been one of those days.”

“I feel you,” I said, “I hope it gets better.”

And I do.

I hope everybody out there has a safe and sane one.

Although I don’t think that’s actually going to happen.

It’s Halloween and the weather is nice.

There is no rain in the forecast and I foresee a lot of mischief and mayhem going on out there.

I was happy to get home alive.

I was happy to get to work alive.

As I said, the anxiety was with me the entire time I was riding into work.

I didn’t wake up anxious.

It just sort of over took me when I least expected it.

I had gotten up early to get in some reading before work.

Doing my normal routine, a little reading, a little writing, some breakfast, some coffee, check the e-mails, dress, etc, get my gear packed for work, and then sit and read.

I read and got in more reading than I expected and was grateful.

I’m still catching up from last weekend’s round of classes and I need to write a paper by Sunday.

So, imperative that I get the reading done.

I finished the chapters in the text-book and got onto the ones in the reader.

I took some notes for things I will probably write on for the paper and got a handle of what I need to do to finish the reading before I write the paper.

Then I looked at my calendar and saw that I had two more big projects that I have to do before the next weekend of classes and I have a big inventory I have booked into hear next Saturday and suddenly the feeling of quiet joy I had at getting in the hour of reading went right out the back door and was replaced by the fear of fuck, I don’t have enough time.

I know this is fear.

So I did the fear prayer and that helped.

And.

I know that creating drama in my head or catastrophizing–I just don’t have enough time to get it all done–is not helpful, that having something to fret about is a way for me to feel like I have some control.

I’m doing something, damn it, worrying, therefore, I have control over the situation.

The fact is.

I don’t have control.

And the worry is not helping me be in the present.

I asked to be brought into the present.

I did not mean that to mean that I wanted a bunch of crazy driving to keep me on my toes.

But that is exactly what happened.

I am grateful that I got my attention on the road and off my school papers and projects and reading.

Being in the moment is a challenge.

But it’s the only place I can get anything done.

“What are you doing for Christmas?” My friend asked me as I was unlocking my bike outside of Church Street Cafe.

“Nothing, I have no plans, I’ll be here,” I told him.

“My parents are coming into town, I want you to meet them,” he said.

“I would love to meet them!” I said, “they must be amazing to put up with you, especially your mother,” I teased my friend.

“She is amazing,” he said and we hugged goodnight.

It was one brief hour of catching up and I wont’ see him again until the holiday break with school.

And that is just how it is.

Hell.

At this point I am really happy when I get the opportunity to call anyone on my phone.

The best it seems that I am capable of doing is shooting out a terse, brief text most of the time.

I rarely, if ever, can make phone calls out at work, and today was like that.

I managed two short tiny calls then had to hop off the phone mid sentence.

The connecting is a desire that I have and I need to stay close to my people, but it is exhausting trying to juggle it all.

I’m doing alright.

I remind myself.

I don’t have to do it perfect.

I just have to show up.

I’m getting up earlier tomorrow than I do on my days working, but I need to meet a couple of ladies in the Inner Sunset and do the deal, then off to do some cooking, and hopefully by mid-afternoon or early evening, I will be settling in with my reader and getting it on.

So I can write my paper on Sunday.

So I can go back to work on Monday and do it all over again.

I feel a sense of deja vu as I realize this is very much like how all my weekends are.

Work.

“I don’t have any time off,” I said to my friend, in response to his, you look great but tired comment.

“I feel you,” he said looking just as harried as I.

We hugged again and we both bounced in our opposite directions.

And here it is Friday, again, with the dance music on my stereo being the only party I will be having this weekend.

Aside from the reading party of one I have reservations for.

I may even decide to not nap tomorrow.

I had plans for one, but you know what God does when I make plans?

Laugh.

A lot.

At least I know the joke is not on me.

And I can laugh along with it.

Or at least chuckle as I sip my tea.

Good night my fellows.

May your dreams be sweet.

And your sleep restful.

Oh sleep.

My darling.

I shall see you soon.

Although I shan’t be in your embrace for long.

I know I shall be soothed.

Good night.

God bless.

God speed.

God damn it.

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You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

I was in the upstairs bathroom at work wrangling monkeys, brushing teeth.

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

I had to put down my phone, I could not finish reading the sweet e-mail I had received from my patron, my eyes kept tearing up reading it and I had to manage the two boys.

I’m just going to call him that, he’s my patron.

Anyone who sends me a check for $1,000 for some poems is my patron.

Anyway.

I had sent him an effusive e-mail thanking him for the check and how I was honored and seen and just over the moon.

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

Sometimes in the waning I feel there is more power, more poesie, more haunting and longing.

The wandering back into the self, the darkening lunar landscape, the eery rise in the night sky and the glow as it rose over the trees in Golden Gate Park, the nipping wind chill on my neck and my arms, reminder to up the sweatshirt ante here soon.

The Indian summer is passing and the autumn cold is coming.

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

He sent me back another sweet missive and the above quote amongst them.

To be the embodiment of the poet, that means so much.

The validation has been powerful.

It’s hard to acknowledge and yet, I know I absolutely have to, its false modesty to not acknowledge it and the sorrow for all the time I didn’t let myself create, the doubt, the fear, the negotiating my own way through the world, poetic voice or no poetic voice, being an artist, yet denying myself entrée into the club.

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

I know you say I have a reservation to be here, but there’s been a mistake.

The maitre d leads me to the table and seats me despite my own fuss.

“When I heard you reciting them,” my person said to me in front of the Church St. Cafe as we sat and drank tea and caught up, “I thought to myself, oh these are lovely, who’s are they?”

He continued, looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes, that matched exactly the corn flower blue cashmere sweater wrapped over his shoulders, “I didn’t know you wrote them, it took me a minute to catch on!”

We talked about the story behind the poems and I told him how I got there to the creative process and how I did a nonce and what that was like and it was me running away at the mouth.

“Girl, I knew you could write, but I had no idea about this part of you,” he said and smiled, with his eyes and mouth and heart, and squeezed my hands.

“You are an artist and you are curious and you let yourself go there and you have experiences, this other artist saw that in you and you connected and you let yourself do that,” he smiled more.

My heart squeezed itself in my chest and tears rose in my eyes.

“I feel like I may have cheated myself a little though,” I told him.

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

“Well, I cashed the check and immediately, like within minutes I had transferred the entire thing into my savings account, there was no celebration, there was just a straight transfer, I feel like I should be celebrating and doing something with it, although I am doing something with it, I’m going to get a Vespa, a new one, which is what I wanted to do all along before I got bamboozled last year with the knock off I bought.”

“Girl, you are celebrating, you are telling me the story of the poems,” he looked at me, “it’s good that you put that money right into your savings.”

He’s right.

I don’t have to go out and spend the money frivolously to prove some sort of point.

In fact.

I transferred the entire $1,000 and another $150 of my own into savings.

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

Just a little closer to my new ride then I was the day before yesterday.

The acknowledgement, the accolades, the poems themselves, the being a poet, letting myself be seen, that is the celebration.

Plus.

All the love from my friends who have always seen this side of me and applauded it when I did not or was not able to.

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

I also revel in the almost weekend of it all and my staid Halloween plans.

Which include going to 7th and Irving to get right with God, meet my person at Tart to Tart, maybe get the nails done, then lunch with a friend, and afterward, borrowing said friends couch to sit and read all day long on and maybe, just maybe, let myself take a nap.

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

That and sitting down tomorrow to write-up another sonnet.

I have an idea I want to submit to the Bastille and I need to get it out to them ASAP, the deadline is the 31st.

Plus.

I have decided that the compensation for the sonnet series being what it is I am not, cannot with any integrity, submit it for further publication or award.

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

I am going to send in a sonnet that was supposed to be part of the sequence, but I messed up the rhyme scheme and the principle was out-of-order, so I tossed it.

I tried to re-work it but, it just didn’t fit.

I let it go and wrote a fresh one that fit the schematic I had set up.

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

This means, I have an extra sonnet with all the flavor of the sequence, that I did not submit to my collaborator and patron.

Thus.

I will rework it and tighten it up and send that off instead.

I love that I have ideas falling out of my head.

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

And move forward into the generous flow of language that is out there just waiting for me to cast my net upon it’s worded sea of stars and images.

I’ll push out my boat into that ether and gather wide the nets into my arms aching and full.

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

For Poetry

October 29, 2015

That’s what the memo on the check said.

“For Poetry.”

Indeed.

I just got paid.

I mean.

Holy crow.

I GOT PAID.

I was not expecting the amount that I received.

I am beyond words.

I am literally, speechless.

I yelped in surprise when I opened the card.

Then I teared up.

Then I laughed.

I think.

Then I thought.

Oh fuck, I can get that scooter sooner than I thought.

I have never been paid this amount for my work.

I am, as my friend said when he dropped me off in front of my house, “a professional.”

I don’t know about that.

I don’t know if poet can ever been considered a full-fledged profession.

But writer can.

And today I was paid to write.

My first real professional gig.

My first real paycheck.

I have been published before but not compensated.

The compensation was receiving the book with my work in it (no it was not a pay to be published anthology of America’s Best Poems by 6-10 year olds either, it was and is a legitimate publication, though small press, in Paris). The compensation was being published.

That in and of itself is worth noting.

But this.

This makes my heart so full.

First there was the fact of being asked, to be considered, to have had an affect on someone, that my words have affect, means something to me, as an artist.

Validation.

I am doing what I am here to do.

Amongst other things.

I am a poet.

I am a blogger.

A nanny.

A fellow amongst fellows.

A woman.

A graduate school student.

An artist.

A paid artist.

A commissioned artist.

A woman with a $1,000 check in her wallet.

$1,000.

My god that feels crazy to write that.

Astounding.

This morning I wrote, in my affirmations, the things I always write, the first one on the list being: “I am a brilliant, prolific, highly paid, published author.”

Any one who knows how hard it is to get paid to write will appreciate what it means to be paid a thousand dollars for ten sonnets.

That’s one hundred dollars per poem.

That is something else.

I am over the moon.

I am listening to the Orb, to help hammer that home.

Also because I was listening to it when the writing was stirring in my head, that and Freud and dream analysis, and of course, Burning Man.

Playa magic.

Who knew?

I mean, come on, who could have guessed that standing in line to see Mike Garlington’s photo chapel piece I would have struck up a conversation with a complete stranger, someone who as it turns out was at his first burn, someone who is an artist, someone I felt compelled to share a little piece of myself with and recite a poem.

Just one more poem under those starry dust clouds simmering under the moon, just one little connection.

Human connection.

Art.

Love.

The crucible of that place and the magic that it draws out and gathers in then blows back out into the world, all the little ripples.

I have decided, I was pretty much decided after I got back the response that was so positive, that I would go to the ARTumnal, even if it is a school weekend.

I may need to see my work next to the photographs that he is putting together.

I need to see him in person and not just thank him, but also hug him.

And.

Also, recite the damn things to him in person.

I mean, that would appear appropriate.

Hell.

I would get up on a table and recite them to the whole damn affair if that’s what he wanted.

I am so happy.

Not just for the money.

There is that, don’t get me wrong, it feels so good to get paid for my art.

My art.

I am an artist.

That fills me with such joy to say that.

I am an artist.

I say it again.

That’s also on my list of affirmations.

But.

There is also the gratitude I have for the collaboration.

That I was asked, that someone saw something in me that would be a compliment to his own art and work, that would mean so much to another person, that my art has affect.

That it lands.

That is the gift.

Acknowledgement.

Validation.

Approval.

These things are amazing.

And the money doesn’t hurt.

I am just filled with gratitude.

I was reflecting as I thought about my evolution as a poet, as a writer, as a woman, about how I used to do open mic poetry readings and I would drink to get my courage up.

Or I would use and hold you hostage on the edge of the patio at the End Up reciting something to you, some word magic that would hold me enthralled perched on the railing, cigarette falling out of my hands, cocaine coursing through my blood and dusting my face, the sun pushing up over the edge of the building and all the dancers on the dance floor losing themselves to oblivion in the music.

Feeling oh so alive.

And ashamed.

And abashed.

Again.

My words would fly out of my mouth, directionless like pigeons hurling themselves against the sky.

Like the numerations of swallows on a summer twilight evening over the corn fields, knee high by July, and float over the milling city cosmos, hung up on the corners of the Defenestration building on 6th and Howard, the Inner City Home graffiti, the shifting, slanting love light, bursting out of my heart to push at the boundaries of the SOMA when I first danced and my love, it knew no bounds.

Because I had no boundaries.

No limits.

And I burnt myself down.

The skeleton of that love, the wrought embers, the hot coals, the trial by fire, the rendering of fat off my soul and the loosening sleeves of dawn bright on my face.

I am no longer a woman sitting on a piece of cardboard behind a car parked in an alley off of Minna Street and 6th smoking crack with a stranger who I met in the streets after a night of too much wine tasting at work.

No.

I am coined anew.

The poetry in my heart never leaving, the muse, always there, the words settling down to roost until they needed to be sprung forward into the Universe.

And then.

The practice.

The constant showing up to the page.

Here, now, always.

I almost want to frame the check.

Almost.

I will stick it in my savings account.

And maybe I will wait just a little longer.

And get a Vespa.

The abundance of the Universe is apparent.

I might as well ask for what I really want.

Which has always been a Vespa.

I’ll just make sure it’s not made in Vietnam this time.

And though it may be fueled by gas.

In my heart.

I will know that it really runs on poetry.

In other words.

Love.

One Take

October 28, 2015

Damn it.

I had the whole thing, ten whole sonnets, in one smooth, seamless, gorgeous take.

Except.

Fuck me.

I thought I had my voice recording rolling on my phone.

As it turns out.

I did not.

Damn it.

Ugh.

I recited ten freaking sonnets, all my vigor, all heart, my voice nicely warmed up and lush, ready to go.

I had already read them once through, catching the places that didn’t roll off the tongue, practicing the words that are a little tricky to pronounce, getting it down.

Then.

I read them.

God damn, I was pleased.

Until I looked at the time on the recording and it said seven seconds.

Fuck.

I don’t have the energy to do that again.

The gentleman that asked me to do the collaboration with him wants me to read them to him, but his schedule and my schedule have not synced up yet.

And he’s leaving for Japan on November 1st.

So, not like there’s a lot of time.

Maybe a snippet tomorrow, a slice of minutes where we might be able to connect.

I had never used the voice recorder app on my phone, had no clue it was there, frankly, I’m not into recording myself, although I do like the sound of my voice, but we had to record for our role play on Sunday in Therapeutic Communications class, so I learned how to use the app.

It is super easy.

I should have been able to record the reading, but I did not.

I will try again.

I would love to perform the poems for the gentleman, I like the idea of that, the poems do take on a different feeling when I am reading them, I know that well.

There is still time.

And I could probably also just read them to him over the phone.

Perhaps I will try one more time tonight to record them.

I suppose I could also ask for help.

Ahhahaha.

God.

I amuse myself.

My first thought, literally, the one that just leapt into my brain, “who the hell is going to want to listen to me recite poetry?”

Ugh.

Martines.

Stop being your own worst critic.

I have been told many times that I have a nice voice, I am sure that there are people who would like to hear me recite them and if not, at least have the patience to sit and record them for me while I recite them.

Maybe I will ask the dj I collaborated with, Sunshine Jones, to do a recording of them with me.

I would like that.

It was fun to record “While You Were Sleeping” with him.

That reminds me too.

I need to figure out BMI.

I have a song writing credit on the track as well as vocal attribution for that album.

I could have money sitting there and I don’t even know it.

Time to reach out to a friend who said they could assist with that.

I put a little pinch of money in savings today and I am close to having what I need for the scooter, what if there was some money lying about that I could put claim to, I could get the scooter sooner!

I need to address that.

I need to address many things.

Reading for class.

Writing papers for class.

Time management.

Transcribing my therapy session for Therapeutic Communications.

All the stuff.

All the things.

There’s a full moon tonight and what I would rather do than read or write or work on papers or record myself again, damn it, is go down to the beach and watch the moon set, but it’s cloudy and overcast and a drop of rain fell on my face as I turned onto 46th Avenue from Lincoln on my bicycle.

There is not moon to be seen in the sky.

Anything to distract me from the work.

Although, I found, wonderfully, that I was able to reel myself in a little bit today when I was having anxiety about getting enough reading done this weekend, that I recognized I was living in the future, afraid that I wasn’t going to have enough time and it was distracting, and unnecessary.

I called a girl friend.

I got some perspective.

I called my person and got more.

I can catastrophize to make myself feel like I am being pro-active.

I am used to responding to emergency and feeling hectic about getting things done creates an unreal drama in my head, an urgency when there is no urgency.

That if somehow I manage it all better, control it all better, I will feel better.

Instead of knowing that what I am doing, steady, slow, sure, progress, reading a little everyday before work and as much as I can on weekends, is getting me by.

Not quite as on par as the syllabus, but I haven’t yet turned in a paper late and I know quite a few of my cohort are struggling with getting all the work in and done.

I am ok.

And my voice is warm.

I can feel it in my chest.

The hot tea I am drinking is not hurting.

I may try to give the recording another go here in a minute and see if I can actually do it.

It also doesn’t have to be perfect.

I am performing for a one man audience.

A person I don’t even really know.

Although I feel a connection to.

And a deep appreciation for.

I feel like I have a patron.

Jesus.

That just gave me goosebumps.

It is something special to be asked to collaborate and to be sought after for my words, it is a huge compliment and although I know I will write for myself no matter what, I am not unaffected by having an audience.

It is an honor to be seen.

And.

Heard.

So with that thought in my heart, I go forth again to record the sonnets.

Fingers crossed!

Back To The Grind

October 27, 2015

It wasn’t too bad a grind.

I like my job.

I like the family I work for.

I like that I get to cook for them.

Cooking is a joyful experience for me.

There is something extraordinarily satisfying about making food for people you care about.

Love is the best seasoning.

Or.

Salt.

Or probably.

Hunger.

Yes.

Hunger is definitely the best seasoning.

But spice is a big part of what makes me a happy cook, a good cook, and a sense of what the family needs and wants and the balance of cooking the way I want is fun to navigate.

“Broccoli soup!” The oldest boy danced up and down and hugged me, “you made broccoli soup!?”

Yup.

His mom likes it as much, no, more than the five-year old.

But, really when I can get a kid to eat something green, it is a lovely thing.

I learned to cook pretty early in life.

I’m not exactly sure when, but I do remember looking at recipes in cook books when I was five or six.

I could read, but I didn’t understand abbreviations and I knew, I just knew, that once I figured out what the fuck a tsp was I would be on my way to magnificence.

The first thing I remember really making, not just monkeying around, but really making, was for my mom’s birthday.

I do not know who let me do this.

I do not know where the parents were.

My mom and sister and myself were living with my aunt and her first daughter in a duplex on the far North East side of Madison.

Who the hell let the six-year-old bake in the kitchen without supervision?

Someone did.

And someone must have given me permission or bought the ingredients?

Those memories are a little fuzzy.

Suffice to say, I baked that day for the first time.

And if we were living in the duplex I wasn’t more than in 1st or second grade.

I suspect I might have been at the beginning of second grade, my mom’s birthday is in November, and I was making her a birthday cake.

I really think my aunt must have been around somewhere, but I can’t recall there being an adult.

I have a familiar feeling of being sly, but for a “good reason,” that I was sneaking around the kitchen, I recall wanting to surprise my mom.

I knew that I probably shouldn’t be making it by myself, but I was going to do it and do it I did.

But really?

I made baked Alaska?

It’s like ice cream pie/cake with meringue that is whipped and what?

I recall making the cake batter and I recall, lowering the electric egg beaters into the egg and cake and milk and oil, I think I must have just been using a box cake mix that said “baked Alaska” on it, there is no way I could have been making real baked Alaska, no way.

Any how.

I lowered the egg beaters in already on and whirring at high speed, which means I splattered chocolate cake batter everywhere.

I mean.

EVERYWHERE.

Like the ceiling.

Oops.

What do you get when you let a six-year-old cook?

A mess.

I don’t remember taking the cake out of the oven, but I must have baked it, as I remember frosting it too hot and the icing melting off the sides.

Ok.

That means it can’t be baked Alaska that I made, it’s done with meringue, all these years I have been telling myself I made my mom baked Alaska for her birthday and I didn’t, no way, I made her some sad ass chocolate cake out of a box with canned white icing.

I remember the way the icing tasted.

So sweet my teeth ached from it.

I think my mom actually did eat the cake.

I can remember it on a plate, slightly lopsided and doused in white frosting.

I was very proud of myself.

And.

I didn’t get in trouble.

Not, anyways, until a few days later when the cake batter on the ceiling was discovered.

Double oops.

My next foray into cooking was for Mothers Day that following spring.

My poor mom.

I made her an omelet with delicious chopped celery and carrots.

Blech.

And tepid instant coffee.

I am not certain what my logic was, or if i had any, but I somehow had no problems with beating the eggs and chopping the carrots and celery (I’m pretty sure I didn’t peel the carrots either, mmmm, earthy) and cooking the eggs in a sauce pan on the stove. But I was afraid to boil water for the coffee, so my mom got some lukewarm water from the tap and an undercooked omelet, really a scramble, let’s be real, that was not an omelet, with cold chopped carrots and celery.

Mmmm mmmm good.

Oh.

Yeah.

And burnt toast.

Hahahahaha.

I got better at cooking.

I picked it up along the way.

Ramen noodles first.

I was great at boiling water, let me tell ya.

Then more complicated things.

Hot dogs.

And then one day, when my mom had remarried and we had moved from Madison to live in the house in Windsor, I learned how to make a pie crust and peel and season apples for apple pie.

To this day I can see my mom’s handwriting on a pink recipe card.

I could replicate it now without thinking.

I learned how to peel an entire apple without breaking a peel and I was very proud of myself when I accomplished said task.

For whatever reason I never used a timer, I learned to tell when something was done by how it smelled.

I still do it that way, although I do follow recipes a lot closer than I used to.

I always find myself modifying the recipe I am cooking and so much of what I make now is not found in a recipe book or online, it just comes to my head and I make it.

I borrow from what the family likes me to cook and I make it my own.

Sometimes I bring in my own food that may have been inspired by one of the recipes the mom hands to me from her little sheaf of pages and the boys will want what i have in my bowl rather than what I have made for them.

“This is delicious!” The dad exclaimed.

Thanks, man.

I appreciate the appreciation.

I am glad I get to do this as a part of my job.

To be paid to do something that makes me happy to do is pretty awesome.

Maybe I’ll be the therapist that treats my clients with homemade chicken soup and dumplings.

Maybe I’ll invite you into my office and feed you a piece of warm apple pie with vanilla custard and let you drop all your woes.

Doubtful.

But it’s fun to imagine.

And with that.

It’s time for me to go.

I need to take a little me time and unwind before I hit the hay and get up and do it all over again.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Luminous

October 26, 2015

Don’t put your light under a bushel!

I wanted to grab the woman across from me and give her a hug.

I did later.

But.

In that moment.

I nodded my head, I used a small furthering word, I repeated back what she said.

I used her words.

I heard her.

I really heard her.

I used feeling words and listened.

And.

It was amazing.

“You’re doing it kid!”

I was so excited and present and there.

The classroom fell away, I didn’t hear what was happening with the other dyads that were spread around the room, I didn’t notice anything but the woman across from me, the feelings registering on her face, the words she was saying, the situation she was describing.

The vulnerability.

I could swoon with the honor of bearing witness.

I had my first taped, as in recorded, role-playing session where I was a therapist and my client was herself, ie, not a made up character taken from one of our texts, which is what we have been doing until today.

I will have to transcribe it and I am eager to hear it and loath to as well.

Hearing my own voice recorded is not my favorite thing in the world, although I like my voice, I like reading out loud, I like reciting my poems, I like reading stories to the boys at work.

Speaking of reading.

The artist I collaborated with from Burning Man got back to me and he is very happy with the sonnets.

I reiterate.

I am very happy with the sonnets.

In fact, I think I may rework them a tiny bit and submit them to the Howard Nemerov Sonnet award.

The Formalist is accepting applications to the award until November 15th.

I am going to submit the entire ten as a sequence.

Only one sonnet will win the award, but as a poet I can submit up to twelve sonnets.

I have never submitted more than one that I can think of, at a time.

I have submitted I believe four times.

There were times when I thought, I will just keep submitting until they give me the damn award.

Now.

Well.

Sure.

I want the award, but I think, just as much, I want them to be published.

Even one of them.

They just do make me happy.

Of course, technically, I have published them, here on my blog.

Quick” is the title of the blog.

Anyway, I digress a touch.

Where I was going with this is that the collaborator wants me to meet with him and read him the works.

I am excited to do that, to read them, just as much as to have them printed off.

There is something really visceral about reading them to someone.

They become more than the words on the page.

Oh.

I want you to see the words on the page too, they are some clever words, and some tidy word play and some great rhymes, but really, I want to perform them for you, read them for you, have my heart in my mouth and my soul bare before you, so that you receive the full song of the sonnets.

The epic.

Well.

Ten sonnets in a row, is not necessarily an epic, but all linked together by the words of another poem, using formal verse, my, my, my, Carmen, I think you made up another nonce.

I’ll take it, thank you very much.

I love poetry.

Not that you can tell.

Ha.

And I love the sound of my own voice and I am not humble at all.

But I have some modicum, every, once in a while, of humility.

That humbles me, that leveling of my ego, the evening out of my pride, that being teachable.

I am teachable.

I am learning.

I feel like I am an ever emerging young adult in the world, open eyes, dancing over the sewer grates of the down town rough and tumble asphalt, innocent, perhaps not, but open, fresh, awakened, alive, a light, a lit, in love with my life.

“You are my light.”

And you mine.

I smile and sink into my heart space and feel surrounded and held and the words float out like holograms.

She used the word again!

Luminous, luminosity.

The depth of seeing that she has for herself that she is not even aware of having, and how she does not want to hide her light and yet feels compelled to dim it down.

Shine brighter love!

Be brighter.

Be your own light.

Be the beacon, the unsheathed light of love.

Let is shine.

Shine darling.

Light up the sky.

I kept my mouth shut.

I let her do the work, which in of itself is a lot of work, a lot of knowing to just listen, to sit back, or forward a little, leaning into the words and cadences of her phrases, seeing how her body would get small, then big, then open and the emotions chasing themselves fleet foot and dancing over the planes of her face, the rich brown eyes deep and doe like, soft with tears.

I’m learning!

I wanted to shout.

I wanted to dance in my chair.

I don’t know that I was exactly articulating that in my head, it was just a nice buzz of knowing of connecting, of being in the moment and being there for that person and knowing, in my heart, deep and true that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, my gratitude.

It knows no bounds.

It leaps about the room.

It rolls across my bed and giggles.

It kisses my neck and drops me dizzy and divine, my hair fanned out behind me.

Lush.

Luminous.

Light.

Lit up.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Liminal, dancing there, on the threshold.

Lined in love.

Lightened like feathers, swan down, cushions of softness and swathed in light.

All the light.

I wanted to reach across the way, to touch the back of her hand with mine, so I reached with my heart.

I believe it was felt.

I looked with my eyes.

I did not touch with my hands.

Sometimes when I look at you, I am touching you with my hands.

Stroking the soft crown of your head, tracing the bones of your face, holding it dear, sweet, delirious in its humanity in between my cool fingertips, scrolling down the tender nape of your neck, holding you, darling, close to me.

Sometimes I see you so bright and lit and full of love.

It astounds me and I fall aghast with love, adorned with love.

A glow.

And I know.

I know.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Spot lit by love.

Be Gentle

October 25, 2015

To yourself.

He said to me on phone as I sobbed into the receiver.

The receiver.

Please.

As though my little phone has a mouth piece and an ear piece.

As though I am in a corner of the house in Windsor, the kitchen nook, on the old yellow rotary, oh yeah, that’s right, I had a rotary phone, out dated even for then, but completely functional, with a long curled cord that would get tangled up in itself.

“Have you eaten yet?” He asked, discerning the most important thing, “girl, you’re totally in HALT.”

Hungry.

Angry.

Lonely.

Tired.

I might add sad to that.

Halts.

But it doesn’t sound as good and crisp as HALT.

“Of course I have,” I said into the phone, “I know better than to call you without having first put some sustenance in myself.”

I had eaten the bowl of soup, Tom Kha from Thai House (Vietnamese coconut milk soup with thinly sliced onions, lemon grass, carrots, and chicken) with some brown rice, standing up in my kitchen trying to catch my breath and focus on what was in front of me.

Damn it man.

This is the second time I have done this to myself.

I am acutely aware of my part.

My feelings, though, they were hurt.

Hurt.

And so it goes.

I had my feelings hurt.

Things happen.

How do I recover?

How do I take care of myself?

Shakily spooning soup into my mouth like an idiot who had waited too long to eat, tears snaking down my face co-mingled with eye liner and snot.

Sexy.

I tell ya, I got sexy all locked up, don’t try to get anything by me.

I fell down this hole and I should have known better, in fact, I had an intuition to eat my dinner, call, text, and say you can’t wait until after school to eat.  But I got caught up in a conversation with a professor.

And.

Then I thought, no, just soldier through.

Gird your loins and get it.

It’s not so bad.

And.

The thing is.

It’s not too bad, my feelings, my tender heart, tender, but was I going to die?

No.

Did it feel like it?

Yes.

That is the nature of a panic attack.

Welcome to graduate school, land of panic attacks.

Someone in my cohort admitted to having had one yesterday, maybe they are in the air, catching, like a cough, a soul sickness, a salty sadness, bereft in the elevator shaft of my soul, the cars rumbling up and down, but only stopping mid-floor, caught up in the sinews and entanglements of my heart.

Second panic attack since I have been in graduate school.

Good times.

At least I know what to do, but it was hard to facilitate that where I was.

I closed my eyes and prayed.

I asked to have it lifted.

I slowed my breathing.

I got into my body.

It was hard.

My body was a bit depleted.

I am going to take a moment here, now, and breathe.

“Don’t tell someone who is in a panic to breath,” my professor said today during lecture, “why?”

“The client will feel judged,” I said.

I felt judged.

Scared.

Vulnerable.

Then abandoned.

On the doorstep.

The front gate.

The wrought iron rails dipped in safety orange paint.

I held a crumpled brown paper bag of take out soup in my hand.

My ride pulled away after declining to come in.

I was a mess.

I felt like I showed my most vulnerable self and was dropped like a sack of kittens outside of the car and as I sobbed inside, I shut the door to the car and walked away.

My feelings were hurt.

Yup.

Give it time, give it time, give it time.

“You have every right to feel like that,” he said to me sweet as pie in my ear, “girl, maybe what you have to do is just submerge yourself in your school weekends, nothing but that, stop trying to fit other things in when you are in school, a dinner date after class all day is too much.”

He paused, “and pack some more snacks.”

He was soft, but firm.

Then he told me about falling in a hole.

And climbing out.

And walking down the same street and saying, “oh, there’s that hole again, better skirt it,” but walking right into it again.

Pulling myself out again.

Then.

Going down the same street and saying, “oops, there’s that hole again, maybe I should give it more room, but still skirting too close to the edge, which crumbles and I fall in.”

I laughed, yes, I have done this.

Then.

“Then, one day you walk down the street and cross over to the other side,” he continued.

And.

“Finally, you just don’t turn down that street anymore.”

“Be gentle to yourself,” he admonished me again, “maybe go for a walk, get some fresh air, or do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.”

“Now, I got to go and eat some food myself,” he said.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

We hung up.

I drank some tea.

I put Coleman Hawkins on the stereo.

I decided to pause on writing my blog and sent off some poems to a friend in my cohort who asked for a copy of the sonnets I recently wrote.

Then.

I realized I wanted a really, really, really hot shower.

So.

I did that too.

Washed the hair, shaved the legs, dried the hair, lotion, put on some yoga pants and a cozy sleep shirt.

I looked at my phone.

I couldn’t help it.

Then.

I knew it was all ok.

Because it always is.

When I focus on all the abundance I have.

When I know that emotions they come and go and I can write it out and let it go and pray and ask for direction, love, guidance.

So leave your things by the sea.

And when the thieves come in.

Just let them take what they need.

And wash it out.

Wash it out.

Wash it out.

Just wash it out.

I put on The Mynabirds and sang and breathed soft in my heart.

I am taken care of.

I am alright.

I am taken care of.

I am loved.

I love myself.

I forgive myself.

Regret doesn’t undo a single thing.

I hope you’re happy today.

If we could go back to the beginning.

We might not have had any wall between us.

I hope you’re happy at the end of the day.

I hope you’re happy today.

So very happy.

I hope you’re happy today.

From Garbage Bags

October 24, 2015

To graduate school.

I was sitting in my Therapeutic Communications class and something was said about the video we had just watched, a really intense video of Nancy McWilliams demonstrating psychoanalysis with a woman who was trying to negotiate a domestic abuse situation.

It was a surreal story.

It was just an hour of therapy and so much ground got covered and the therapist was amazing, directing subtly, strengthening the client, reflecting back to her, empathizing with the client.

I got a lot out of it.

A LOT.

I also got annoyed with a fellow in my cohort who kept asking questions.

Pushing questions that, as I saw it, were serving the person asking them but then, the professor used the questions to illustrate some key points in the reading we had to do for class and also to help teach the class some really salient information about being a therapist.

We, as a class, were then invited to see how our own need for resolution may be at odds with the clients.

I remember flaring up inside when the questions were being asked and feeling that there was this well of antipathy inside me.

I got annoyed.

Then I realized that I was annoyed because if I had been that woman, if I had been that client, and the solution was to get me to see a solution immediately, I wouldn’t have been able to get there, in fact, I would have said, fuck you, fuck the therapy, and I will deal with this on my own.

In effect.

What I did do.

On my own.

With a lot of help from some close friends, I got out of an abusive relationship.

It was not physically abusive until the end.

He hit me when I broke up with him.

I ran out into the street.

In the middle of January with no socks on, a pair of jeans underneath a flannel nightgown.

Now.

For those of you that know me, this is highly unusual.

Even in the dead of winter.

Even in Wisconsin.

Even in January with below freezing temperatures.

I always, since I was about 17 and the step father moved out of the house, I always, slept in the nude.

That night.

I wore a nightgown.

Intuition.

Premonition.

I don’t know.

I can’t say.

But I did.

And when I ran shivering, scared, uncertain where to go and which direction to take.

I knew I couldn’t go running down East Johnson Street, he would find me too fast.

I ran to the Sentry Shopping Centre that was on East Washington.

I ducked along the cement walls and found my way to a pay telephone, remember those?

I called 911.

I got a response and they said they would be sending a car out to me.

That was when I heard my ex-boyfriends car.

In all actuality, our car, it was just as much mine as his, we had both bought it, an older Jetta.

I could hear it turning and I hoped it was heading toward East Johnson.

But.

It wasn’t.

And I got frantic with the operator on the phone and tried to cram myself down into that very small phone booth and make myself invisible in my flannel nightgown with corn flowers on white cotton, with a ruffled that was piped with blue ribbon, with cuffs that reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie.  I watched the car, the little blue Jetta grinding up the street, hoping against hope that he could not see me flattened against the wall of the phone booth.

I believe.

Looking back.

That was the last time I ever wore a flannel night-gown.

It’s been thirteen years since that night.

Almost fourteen.

Will be fourteen in January.

That’s when I left him.

The operator on the 911 call held me together until the police arrived to take me to a friend’s house.

I will never forget the way the lights looked wicking past the back seat window, the calls coming in over the radio, the destination never seeming further away as the sodium street lights glowed sullen in the snow, the hush of the streets, the lack of traffic, the drive around the lake on John Nolan Drive.

Then my friend’s house.

I refused to talk to the police.

I did not give up the ex-boyfriend.

I was too co-dependent.

I did not want him to get in trouble.

He got in trouble anyway, it just took a little longer.

I suppose I could have navigated it differently, but I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know how to do it.

I do now.

But I look back at that girl, that young woman with such love and compassion, what I went through to get from there to here.

And.

How long I told myself that it was normal, that it was something that happened, that I could somehow normalize the trauma of fleeing my own home in my nightgown in January in Wisconsin.

I was isolated.

My friend, my best friend and her husband were in town visiting and they noticed it.

Another friend and her partner were in town.

They all had tried to get me to see the light at some point.

My ex-boyfriend pretty much blamed them for the timing of the break up.

He was probably right, but I did not understand how much until later.

My best friend navigated me going into work the next day to tell them I had an emergency and was leaving town for the weekend.

The plan was to get my stuff and take me up North to Hudson where I could chill out and figure out what I had to do next.

I was in shock.

My ex saw us leave my place of employment, he had been driving around Madison all night looking for me and who knows how many times he was circling the block where I worked.

He whipped into the parking lot and flew out of his car, our car.

He tried to get to me.

He tried to talk to me.

My friends were all in shock.

Then.

He spit on me.

Full on in the face.

Suddenly the guys stepped forward and corralled him.

My friends got me into the back of their car.

We pulled out burning rubber.

Two seconds later my ex got in his car and pursued.

My friend’s husband lost him after a few intersections.

We flew to my house.

I unlocked the door and having no idea what to do, I grabbed a large black garbage bag and threw random clothes into it.

I ran around my house.

My sweet little home that I had lived in, nested in, hosted Christmas dinners and Thanksgivings in, had made our home, was now an unfamiliar territory or terror and fear and I just had to get out of it.

My ex didn’t get back to the house before I left.

I was that fast.

I huddled in the back seat of my friend’s Saturn and numbly watched the landscape go by.

I remember passing a refinery and thinking how spooky and eery and utterly beautiful it was in the night with the flashing lights and the mists shimmering into the black void of sky.

I reflected on this in class.

All the memories that came up.

Then the tears.

The joy of knowing, that despite myself, for it would be another long year and a half before there was closure and ultimately, really not until I moved to San Francisco in 2002 did I get finality on the relationship (he stalked me for a year and a half and I got a restraining order that he violated once then he got to go jail and do work release through the Huber program the city had in place for inmates with work release options, two full years of restraining order and yet I saw him twice more before things were all said and done.  Ah alcoholism, how I love thee, not), I had made it out.

I made it out.

I had tears of utter gratitude and awe on my cheeks at how far I have come.

From being a woman fleeing her own home with a garbage bag full of random grabbed things.

To a fully self-supporting, radically self-reliant, strong, resilient, loving, kind, compassionate, tender-hearted woman.

From garbage to graduate school.

A small transformation.

A flowering woman in bloom.

A wide open heart.

Vulnerable and strong.

“We both were tempered by fire,” my friend told me, leaning into me in sweet confidence, “but the heat of your fire was hotter than mine, and I want you to know I acknowledge that.”

Tempered.

Strong.

Flexible.

And full of empathy and compassion.

For the client on the video screen who couldn’t get out.

And.

For myself.

The woman who did.

My life continues to unfold.

And amaze.

I am graced.

I.

Really.

Truly.

Am.

Hipster’s Don’t Wear Glitter

October 23, 2015

I protested over some of the best sushi I have had in recent memory.

My friend looked at the waitress and asked her, “does she look like a hipster to you?”

The Japanese waitress looked at me, smiled, looked at my friend smiled, “she looks like a hipster.”

Damn it man.

My friend was joking, poking fun at me, but I do have some tell-tale signs of hipsterdom.

I work for tech.

Although I do not work in tech.

My family is a tech family, no getting around it, just none.

I work in the Mission District of San Francisco.

San Francisco is already up there on the hipster list, but the Mission?

Please.

It is über hipster.

And that’s not because there are so many Uber drivers in the bicycle lane waiting to pick up their fares from Tacolicious or Mosto or Dosa or Bar Tartine or dropping them off in front of Rhea’s Deli to get that one sandwich that goes so god damn good with that tall boy of Pabst Blue Ribbon that was drank at Mission Dolores Park that one day last week when the weather was so good.

“Come on!” My friend exclaimed, “you ride a fixie!”

Granted.

Yes.

I do.

“You worked at a bicycle company in the Mission!”

Yes.

I did that too.

I remember when I posted a photograph on Instagram, before everyone fucking knew what Instagram was (my Paris friend was shocked that I had been on Instagram so long, nearly four years, she hadn’t realized that the app has been around that long, but yeah, I got on the bandwagon awhile ago–the app just celebrated five years or publishing the selfie, remember what that used to be?  Literally, a self-portrait, I did a few of those before Instagram, in pencil) of my bicycle and one of the dad’s I used to nanny for commented:

“The hipster just got more hip, is that possible?”

The mom of the play date at work asked me on Tuesday night if I knew so and so, “you know, she’s really cool, and hip, like you.”

I don’t know the person she was referring to, but I can infer the compliment.

“Oh, we are going to be the envy of the neighborhood,” a mom who I ended up leaving after a really uncomfortable week of being overly micro managed, said as I agreed to be her nanny.

“We got our own hipster nanny!” She exclaimed and gave me a hug.

Note to self, if they hug you that much before the job is yours they might be neurotic.

I didn’t even know there was a candidate for nanny that was hipster, must be a subculture.

Speaking of.

Here’s a great definition for hipster courtesy of Wikipedia:

The hipster subculture is one of affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods,[1][2] broadly associated with indie and alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organicand artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles.[3][4][5] The subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas.[6][7] It has been described as a “mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior”.[8]

Hmm.

Let’s see.

I like subculture.

Ok, I can see that, ok, fine, a little hipstery there.

Affluent or middle class?

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

But then again, better off than I have ever been and were I living in the mid west I would be considered middle class.

Of course, I wouldn’t be making half of what I make here in the San Francisco as a nanny.

No way.

No how.

And in San Francisco I am not middle class and certainly not affluent.

Bohemian?

Sure.

I will go with that, although I think I am more of a sparkle pony than a Bohemian, but I have some of the trappings, I like art, I like music that doesn’t play on the top 40 radio stations.

When, in fact, was the last time I listened to the radio?

Oh.

Ha.

Yesterday, in the car with the mom on the way to the boys appointment to get their annual flu shot.

I got mine too.

I remember listening to the lyrics of the song that was playing and wondering, who the fuck writes this?

Awfulness.

But I love art and that is very Bohemian.

So ok, a couple of points on the hipster scale and I have tattoos and yes, I do have a one speed custom bicycle, but not because I am affluent, but because I worked in a bicycle shop and not because I had some rabid interest in bicycles, it sort of fell in my lap, my friend was the General Manager and really wanted me to come and work for him.

So I did.

And I built a bike.

But my bike, despite having hipster tendencies–one speed, custom paint job, Italian drop bars, steel frame–is so not a hipster ride.

The aesthetics are totally skewed.

Hello.

I have a deep midnight blue paint job with Rock Star Sparkle top coat.

Not one coat.

But two.

No hipster in their right mind has a whip with glitter.

Or a leather seat with embossed roses from Italy.

Just me.

What else?

Oh yeah, gentrifying neighborhoods.

Yeah.

I used to live in the Mission, but no longer.

I lived at 20th and York, paid $650 for my room with its own bath in a five bedroom house with four other girls.

I bet now that rent for my room would be $3,000.

I lived at 22nd and Alabama with a woman from Northern Italy who had rent control from having lived in the top of this Victorian forever and paid $500 for a huge room with everything included.

I also lived in an enormous Victorian on 23rd and Capp before it was gentrified, thank you very much, for $450 a month plus utilities.

God.

I have people question why the hell I moved out, but if you knew who my room-mate was you probably wouldn’t have moved in.

The last place I lived in the Mission was a tiny in-law at 22nd and Folsom and I paid $750 including all utilities.

That was about two and a half, three years ago, right as it was getting crazy.

Now.

Well.

Fuck.

Whatever.

Everybody know how expensive it is to rent in San Francisco, and now I live in the Outer Sunset, where I am very happy and content to live.

Although it too is getting a little on the hipster side.

I’m definitely progressive, I definitely eat a lot of organic food, ok, sigh, I am looking more like a hipster every word I type.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much.

I wear glasses with oversized wood frames.

I listen to alternative music.

Ever hear of jazz?

Yeah, like that.

But there’s a lot of music that I listen to that is definitely not mainstream, is underground, and is alternative.

Fuck.

I guess I am a hipster.

Wait.

Millennials.

Nope.

Fuck that.

I am so not a Millennial.

Not by a long shot.

I’m way too old.

Gen X thank you very much.

There.

See.

Not a hipster.

Well.

I guess I have some characteristics.

(Wrecking Ball coffee in my cupboard from Washington State)

Converse on my feet.

Fixie in the garage.

Yes I did own a vintage Vespa, well, I thought it was a Vespa.

But.

I protest.

I am still to glittery to be hip.

And I eschew cigarettes, tall boys, tech talk, Tinder, festival clothes, floppy hats, jean shorts (unless I’m rocking some funky tights), happy hour in the Mission, and snobbery.

See.

I’m too nice to be a hipster.

So there.

“I’m just joking!” My friend laughed at me, “you know I’m just joking.”

I do.

I do, I know.

I am willing to admit that I am often mistaken for a hipster but as soon as I wave my hand and give you a hug the truth comes out.

Oh!

Your’s so nice.

You must be from the Midwest!

Yup.

I’m not hipster.

I’m a Sconnie.

At 51:55 You’re Giving Me A Hand

October 22, 2015

Massage.

Jesus, people, what do you think I was doing?

Ha.

I got the cutest message today from a friend I made at Burning Man, on top of all things–the Mayan Warrior.

An enormous art car with the most furious sound system ever.

It really is mind-blowing how much this art car rocks.

The stacks of speakers defy description.

I remember the first year it came out, must have been 2013, and it turned on its sound system while still in the city proper and the little boy I was nannying woke up from sleep screaming.

The power of the bass rattled the entire trailer, I am uncertain if it was the bass shaking me that woke me up or the screaming child or a combo of the two.

The Mayan was wrangled quickly, it was fortunately also pre-event, so the city wasn’t too built up yet, and they were told firmly to lower the volume while they were in the city proper.

And they did.

But.

When the car goes deep playa, it goes deep playa loud.

It also faces its stacks of speakers out toward the deeper desert, out past the trash fence where there is nothing but emptiness and black skies full of the swaths of starlight that you can only get that far out.

Swirls of brilliance on black velvet.

Not that I was looking at the stars that night.

I was deep into the music.

I wish I knew who was the dj prior that had been spinning, I loved Jennifer Cardini’s set, it was amazing, but the set before had absolutely blown my mind.

And.

The circumstances too, now that I think about it, I recall Wednesday night the reason why I was on the Mayan Warrior in the first place–I had just come from a wedding at Dream Land.

A wedding that I randomly got caught in the ceremony and helped to literally sing the service to the bride and groom.

And yes.

I caught the bridal bouquet.

I wonder if that means I will get married at Burning Man next year.

It would be year number 10.

That would be something fun to do.

So many fun things to do.

So much life to live.

So much soup to make.

My God.

The soup I made today.

I have to say it.

I am a pro.

I made a soup I have never made before, pureed cream of broccoli soup, and I slayed it.

I am so grateful I can cook.

And I am grateful that I get to for the family, it’s fun, I feel a sense of accomplishment with it and there is nothing like having a five-year old ask for more broccoli, now please!

Fuck yeah kid, let me feed you some more broccoli.

I am grateful for the gifts and abilities I have.

“She cooks for you too?” The mom from yesterday’s play date said in a hushed voice while I was putting together another plate for her daughter.

Yup.

I do.

Yesterday I made my home-made chili, ground chicken with black beans and red and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, mild chilis, I am cooking for kids, mind you.

I had a moment today when I was plating the boys dinner and I thought, I should take photos and do a nanny cook book.

All the ideas.

All the stuff.

All the things.

Poetry.

Cooking.

Writing.

I could say I am a Renaissance woman.

If anyone knew what that meant any longer.

“I didn’t know that!” The mom exclaimed yesterday when I was being questioned by the playdates mom about my back ground and how I came to be a nanny.

I had been working as a legal secretary in a small criminal law firm.

All the jobs that I have done in this city.

Waitress–Hawthorne Lane

Waitress–Absinthe

I also almost waited tables at Zuni, but the owner, the day I had my first day of training, put a hiring freeze on the restaurant and I was “let go” before I had really started.

Mortgage Broker associate.

Yeah.

Me.

I did that too.

Hahahahaha.

I was not good at it.

But I sold myself so well in the interview that I got the job and yup, hit my rock bottom there.

“Where did you come from!?” My boss asked with surprise, literally jumping back startled as I slipped out of the conference room.

I had been taking a nap.

Underneath the conference table.

On the carpet.

In the dark.

All day.

I quick before I got fired.

But that was a few weeks later.

I left the office that day with carpet imprint on my face and I probably left a small pool of drool underneath the table.

AH.

The good old days.

I have also house sat, dog sat, baby sat.

I did event managing for the first, and the only Mission Bicycle Festival, there would have been more, but the residents on Lapidge really balked at having a street festival there.  I also helped manage an investor party for a restaurant that was trying to open in the Mission.

I did costumer service in the Bayview produce markets.

I was a customer service representative for a specialty veterinary hospital here in the city, in the Mission–SFVS–for two years.

I almost worked at the SPCA for a while, but after a few months of volunteering doing kitten socializing I realized that the majority of the staff needed to do some human socializing and didn’t take a job there.

I worked as an assistant to a sex educator film director.

I got him coffee and ran errands while he directed the actress who taught people how to properly do BDSM bondage.

That was an interesting shoot.

I never knew there was so much involved with making the sheets look good for the shot.

I have been an English tutor in Paris.

I have been a nanny in Paris.

I have been a nanny here in San Francisco.

And of course.

“She nannied at Burning Man too!” My boss told her friend over dinner conversation while I watched bemused by the three-year old shoveling roasted cauliflower in his mouth.

Yes.

That’s right.

The three-year old likes roasted cauliflower.

I am that good.

I also think it’s like cauliflower chips, really, roasted cauliflower is stupid good, all crispy and crunchy and garlic salty.

“You nanny at Burning Man,” the second mom said incredulous.

Yup.

I have.

And I danced a little to.

A LOT.

Just check me out here.

21:53 and yes again at 51:55.

I’m the girl with the giant smile.

And.

The polka dot dress.

And.

Yes.

Of course.

The goggles on my head, it was a dusty year out there.

And.

Always.

The flower in my hair.

Hello.

It’s Burning Man people.

You can take the girl out of Burning Man.

But.

You can’t take the Burning Man out of her hair.

Or the love.

I definitely got my love on that night.

Grateful that I don’t mind looking silly on video.

Because I do.

And grateful that I have such a big full life.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am.


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