Archive for January, 2016

Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.

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I Love It When You Hold Me

January 30, 2016

He whispered and held my arm tight, kissing my hand.

My heart just broke wide open.

Careful kid.

I’m hormonal.

“Carmen, you’re going to put me to bed tonight?” The three year old asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “mommy and daddy are at a school function.”

“I love it when you put me to bed,” he said and hugged me.

I love it too.

Despite it being Friday.

Despite it being the end of the week and the end of the day.

I love it too.

The boys were very sweet today and we had a lot of time together, it rained, so mostly indoors and mostly coloring and building train tracks.

I would have happily gone out for a walk with them, but neither of them were inclined to put on rain boots and rain coats and stomp outside in puddles.

I always loved a good puddle stomp when I was a kid.

Warm summer rainstorms in the Midwest might be one of the best things ever.

Perhaps only second to snuggling down with a sweet boy.

“Sing me a song,” he whispered.

I obliged.

“Hold me,” he tugged my arm, “snuggle down with me.”

Ah kid.

You really are a wonder and I really felt my heart grow fifteen sizes too big for my chest.

Human contact is so important, being held, being touched.

I do it pretty unconsciously with the boys, rubbing their backs, holding their hands, letting them clamber up in my lap, rest their warm bodies against mine, little pack animals.

I feel a little sad with it sometimes.

Sometimes I want to be the one being held.

But there is a comfort to know that I am being taken care of.

I know that pretty intrinsically.

And being maudlin is not a help.

Just the sound of the rain, the sound of the beating child’s heart, feeling it bloom and fade under the palm of my hand, the soft rise and fall of the chest, the warm breath, and the slow fall into sleep.

So close your eyes close as I fall asleep.

There is something so delicious about being held when falling asleep.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I haven’t had the experience recently, my memories sustain me.

My own sense of love and purpose lifts me.

Even when I catch myself falling into sadness I know that I am held and that is good enough, the knowing is good enough.

And the ability, the capacity to love and love another, no matter what the reciprocation, is a tremendous gift.

I used to think that there was not enough love, not enough, anyway for me.

Now I know that there is an ever widening, continuously deepening, ocean, with swells of love that I will get to cast my small little seed pod of a boat upon.

I imagine a curled leaf.

A dandelion lion fluff of seeds as my sail.

An acorn cup.

A tiny wisp of love floating like eiderdown over the tides.

Excuse me while I wipe the speck from my eye.

No that is not a tear.

Ha.

Ah.

So it goes.

Another Friday night and I ain’t got nobody/I got some money ‘cuz I just got paid.

There is that.

Pay day.

Pay the rent day.

Little low on funds, but not bad.

Rent and utilities all covered for February and I should be getting a disbursement from my student loans by February 10th.

I also should have my tax return pretty quick.

I got a new pair of shoes in my sights.

Everything else is pretty on point, no need to shell out any money.

I may get some clothes when the tax return hits and the rest of it I think I shall sock away for my trip to New York in May.

And potentially another small trip, again, depending on what the family’s needs are and whether or not I am taking vacation pay for the time they are away or I am doing household stuff for them while they are away.

I’ve juggled a couple of ideas in my head, but nothing so far as stuck.

I will probably end up staying here and doing the infamous “staycation.”

Which means, I’ll probably do homework.

Ha.

Speaking of.

I do have a confirmed lunch date and study session with a friend from school for this Sunday.

Tomorrow I meet with my person and hang out in the Inner Sunset for a bit.

Grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, doing the deal.

Pretty mellow day.

Pretty mellow weekend.

I’m thinking about making gumbo tomorrow night.

Other than that I don’t have anything going on.

This, I am told, is not a bad thing.

I know this.

But sometimes the brain gets going and the judgement machine gets turned on and I wonder what the fuck I am doing working on a Friday night and cooking on a Saturday and doing homework on a Sunday.

What fucking fun am I?

Or.

I think, hmm, look, all this lovely time, an expanse to lavish myself with self-care and love and good food, with rest, and nurturing.

I get to see a friend on Sunday and I get to see my person tomorrow.

I’m getting a manicure.

I’m getting on my scooter, the weather is supposed to lift, and I am excited to ride her around a bit.

I’m keeping up with my homework so I won’t be overwhelmed for my next weekend of classes.

I’m doing just fine.

The house is quiet.

The boys are asleep.

The rain falls in the back yard dropping down on the palmetto leaves and splashing on the flagstones.

The moon rises behind the clouds.

I sit in the throne room in my heart and wait.

 

I do not have to know for what.

Or whom.

I await.

I do not have to know.

I just know.

 

 

Slow Slide

January 29, 2016

Into the weekend.

I’m working a long day tomorrow.

Dinner benefit for the boys school, mom and dad out late.

Not horribly late, but late.

Then the weekend.

Where there’s not much planned.

Meet with my person and get my eyebrows waxed.

And of course.

The homework, the reading, the wearing my big girl pants and keeping on top of what is happening for my masters program.

I got a text from one of my cohort asking if I wanted to do a study group this weekend.

Uh.

No.

I said yes anyway.

I said yes to take a counter intuitive action.

I said yes, because I wanted to say no.

And I wanted to say no after I had just written about feeling a little isolated again and how I am just going to have to walk through this experience–graduate school–and that it’s not forever and I can be flexible and it will be ok.

Then my friend texts and I’m all like.

Ugh.

Not interested.

What is that?

I basically complain I don’t have anyone to spend time with this weekend, someone says, hey lets hang, and despite having a really open schedule, two of my ladybugs aren’t meeting with me either, I balk.

That is the nature of my disease.

Let’s get her out of the middle of the pack, isolate her a little, make her feel completely alone and see what she does.

Maybe she’ll start up her Okstupid profile.

Nope.

Maybe she’ll eat some ice cream.

Nope.

Might as well just stick a gun in my mouth.

Maybe, instead, I’ll take the opposite action and do something where I am engaged with my community, my friends, my graduate school program.

I don’t actually think we’ll study all that much.

In fact.

I would probably get more done on my own, and not have to haul all my books around town, but.

I’ll get to see my friend outside of class time and hang out.

She also sent me a link for a show to go to in March.

I don’t know the artist, but my friend has great taste in music and it sounds really good.

Some sort of Latin/Jazz/Fusion/Brazilian music.

Sounds super sexy.

It’s not on a school weekend.

It could be a possible date.

I want to make sure that I am still getting out and doing things.

Not that working full time and going to graduate school full time are not doing things.

But.

You know.

Life outside of those things.

Dancing, movies, shows, meals with friends.

I don’t want to spend my life saying, I’ll be happy when…

I graduate from graduate school.

Or.

I get all 3,000 hours needed to get licensed.

Or.

When I am in a romantic relationship.

Or.

When I have the right pair of shoes.

Anything.

I can get wrapped up in it not being good enough exactly the way that it is.

And then I get isolated.

So, I’m grateful I said yes to my friend; however, I think I may ask her to come towards me.

She lives close to Super Bowl city idiocy.

I don’t want to be anywhere near that part of town until it’s dismantled.

Thank God my next school weekend is the following weekend.

I won’t have to be anywhere near the chaos.

I’m sure I’ll still feel the effects of the strange village of idiots being in my town, but hopefully it won’t ripple all the way out here in the Outer Sunset.

In other words.

(Thoughts)

I have been wondering about the week following my next week at school.

I’ll have Monday the 15th off for the holiday.

Which is nice since I have an engagement the evening before, yup, this lady will indeed be on a date with about 100 gay men in the Castro, and five lipstick lesbian, two straight guys who could pass as gay and seven homeless people.

Such shall be my Valentines Day.

It’s probably a good thing I got asked to be somewhere that night and do a little service.

I hope my new dress, finally the right size, from ModCloth will have arrived.

Nothing says sharing my experience, strength and hope like sashaying around in a sweet heart neck line, A-line flair skirt, and crinoline.

I mean.

Come on.

It’s Valentine’s Day.

I got to dress up.

Maybe I’ll even wear heels.

Frankly, I like to think my recovery looks hella hot.

Excuse me.

My ego took over that last line.

I’m not upset about being a single lady on Valentines Day.

(There’s still time! You got two and half weeks!)

I’m happy with myself and my life and I have a feeling that the less I focus on dating the more magic will happen.

In fact, I am considering not even writing about it as a topic any longer.

Not that I have a date on the horizon, but maybe all the focus I have put on it over the years has actually taken me out of being in the present, where the fun is, where the magic is, where I am exactly who I am supposed to be at any given moment.

I mean.

I don’t know that I would have wanted to date me five, six years ago when I started writing this blog, there was still a lot of messy going on.

Not to say that I don’t get messy or have things to clean up or work on.

I do.

It’s just not about self-improvement anymore.

It’s not about having the right clothes or the perfect shade of blond hair.

Although I might.

It’s not about having a better body or brain or job.

It’s about being happy in my skin, with the person I am.

I am lovely.

I really am.

And I deserve to acknowledge that, I think I reflect a lot of love to other people, but not always enough to myself.

Which reminds me.

I will probably have most of the week off after Valentines Day.

The family is going to be on vacation in Hawaii.

I may have a few projects at the house, but I may also have a lot of spare time.

Day trip?

Spa day?

Train ride somewhere?

Over night camping trip?

I don’t know.

But I will think of something.

I will have gotten my student loan disbursement and since I filed my taxes early, I could possibly have that as well.

A little trip to LA?

I don’t know.

I’ll find out soon what the family expects from me, I may just end up staying here, but getting a lot of stuff done, doctors visit, optometrist, dentist, some clothes shopping, maybe an appointment with my advisor at school.

And definitely time with friends.

If you’re around that week, February 15th-21st, let me know.

I feel an adventure, or six, brewing.

And I am saying yes to it.

Right.

Now.

Let’s get together!

 

Balance

January 28, 2016

I didn’t have it this morning.

I recognized that pretty much after telling God to fuck off in my morning prayers.

God can take it.

God’s a good bitch like that.

I was mad.

I have been annoyed and I didn’t even realize it until I was kneeling next to my freshly made bed, with my freshly shaved and showered self, my wild mane of curly “bronde” hair and my attitude, which, was yes, bigger than my hair.

I was hearing my Applied Spirituality professor’s voice in my head.

And it just popped out.

“Fuck you.”

Then.

I felt the fear and it was a surprise, I mean, I didn’t honestly realize that I was this afraid of this class, that I am holding on this tightly to my routine.

I wrote some inventory after I finished my breakfast.

God.

It really works.

Amazing.

How it works.

Once again it boils down to a fear of not having enough time and also that if I monkey with something that has worked so well for me for the last 11 years that I may not have the next 11 years.

Which is just bullshit and distracting and I can’t tell what’s going to happen in the next 11 days, let alone years.

Fuck.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 11 minutes.

Things.

They could switch on a dime.

The thing is I am able to roll with it.

But mess with my morning routine and I get a bit fractious.

Suggest that you want me to implement on a daily basis something that requires a half hour more of my day and I am all up in arms.

All up in that shit.

So I wrote it down and got it off my chest and made a phone call and told on myself and then got to focus on being of service where I was off to next.

Work.

And I did.

I did a good job at work, I had fun with the boys, I got to go outside and be in the sun.

Oh, delicious sunshine, how I have missed you.

I took the boys out to the grand re-opening of Dolores Park.

It was something else.

And I’m not talking about the flood of Millenials with their sacks of burritos and sandwiches from Rhea and the hipsters with their micro-brewed six packs, the bike messengers with their Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Or the floods of pot smoke.

Jesus.

I suppose the park was officially christened with weed when it gets right down to it.

No, what I’m talking about is the park.

The glorious, full tilt boogie that is Dolores Park at its delirious best.

The grass was green, the sun shone benevolently, it’s a week day and the opening of the park, but it wasn’t obscenely packed.

It will be.

It looks so nice.

I am so grateful I got to be around to see it re-open.

The renovation has been a long one, and it reminded me of the first time I saw the park and dreams I would have of it, flying, I remember a flying dream I had about Dolores Park back in 2001 before I moved here to the city I had visited–the park made an impression.

I got to review the last 13 1/2 years that I have lived in San Francisco.

“Where are you from?” The driver asked me yesterday.

I internally sighed, not interested in having this conversation, but I’ll play along.

To a point.

“Here,” I said bluntly.

“Oh, well, you know, your name,” the driver tried.

I decided I would help a little, but I wasn’t going to go into the whole saga, the moving from here to there, the growing up in Wisconsin, the no I don’t speak Spanish conversation.

“I was born in San Jose,” I said.

I had a sudden realization of not having to be wrapped up in my own story.

It’s just a story after all.

The only reason it’s special is because it’s mine.

All stories ares special, I just know the details to mine rather well, it’s familiar you could say.

What is not familiar is this feeling of balance and serenity that has come from doing so much work and also from being able to acknowledge and recognize my feelings a lot faster.

The faster I notice that I am out of whack.

The faster I can get back on the beam.

I am a sensitive lady.

I used to think that I had a really high threshold for pain and that this was something to be proud of.

Not so much.

I don’t need to suffer.

The more I allow my feelings, the less I suffer, and that less I actually attach true meaning to them.

Feelings are valid, but feelings aren’t facts.

Plus feelings are super transient.

They come and go.

And I can hold more than one at a time.

That was a revelation when I realized it was ok to be happy when I was sad.

That it wasn’t all so black and white.

Lovely little shades of grey, nuances of emotions.

I have a palette.

I also have a memory and I realized that I was probably also a little extra sensitive when I got teary reading some inspirational quote on my Facecrack feed.

I went back and re-read it to get the full gist and a tear actually did fall.

Oh.

Fuck.

I’m getting my period.

I haven’t ovulated yet, but it’s getting ready.

Which would also explain the super sensitive nose I had yesterday.

My sense of smell goes through the roof when I am close to my period.

I think my body is busy sniffing out a male with some juice to get busy with, that’s the instinctual thing I think, pheromones and what have you.

I may be 43, but the body is still not done with that part.

Yet.

I figure I am almost close to that chapter ending too, but who knows.

Not here to think about that.

Grateful for self-awareness and self-acceptance.

And.

Spiritual solutions.

To my.

Applied Spirituality class.

I get to remind myself.

God’s plan is better than mine.

Just get out the way, Martines.

God wants better for you than you want for yourself.

Drop the rock.

And open your arms to the flowers being held out to you instead.

I like flowers.

 

You Needed A New

January 27, 2016

Cog.

Huh.

I never would have guessed that.

And in my own perverse little way.

I am a little proud of that.

I have ridden my bicycle so often and for so long that I basically had worn down the teeth of the rear cog and that was why my chain was slipping and my crank wasn’t turning.

Brava!

I mean.

I have had the bicycle for three and a half years.

But the last two years, living in the Outer Sunset, bicycle commuting to the Mission five days a week, putting in over thirteen miles a day, usually 14, sometimes 15, why, of course I had worn out my cog.

Damn Gina.

The shop also fixed the flat and actually replaced the tube for free considering that there was no evidence on my tire that I had punctured it, fault lay with the shop and they took care of it promptly.

It was nice to have my wheels back under me.

Especially after the shared Uber ride into work.

My God.

I don’t mind the sharing the resource, I don’t mind going out of my way a little bit to get from here to there–I like to think of it as taking the scenic route.

However.

I am scent sensitive.

No shut up.

I’m not being a fucking pussy about this.

There are two smells that really make me feel like I am going to vomit and I got both of them today.

The first was from an middle age woman with a bad bed head do and an obvious hangover.

The smell of alcohol was not so bad, yeah, I gagged a bit from it when she turned and asked if she could recline the front seat, um, ok?

But it was the smell of cigarettes.

Deep, dirty, skin yellow, brown in the wrinkles of the fingers, nicotine stained.

It was like driving with a sack of formaldehyde.

She reclined her seat, put in ear buds, popped on her sunglasses and fell asleep in the front seat.

The second passenger, though much more dapper and clean, was not a bouquet or roses either.

Nope.

He was a big smelly sack of raw onions.

I mean.

Fuck.

It was like he’d just eaten a raw onion sandwich and then shoved a few shallots under his arm pits.

I was like.

Dude.

The window went down and I got some fresh air, but it was a tasty ride.

So different to be on my bicycle, in the dark night, whistling through the Pan Handle, the rich smell of just turned dirt and the bark of eucalyptus trees.

The smell of evergreens in Golden Gate Park.

And the spot, the one spot, close to the De Young Museum, where Fenugreek must grow–the delicious smell of maple syrup always wafts out at me from the bushes, I invariably think about bacon, the skillet breakfast at a O’Malley’s in Waunakee where the family would go every once in a while for a Sunday breakfast, and waffles.

I could ride back and forth that little bridge a 100 times just to get to smell that again.

But I am too concerned with getting home, the whisk of my pedals beating the air and the sound of the waterfall splashing over Storybrook Crossing keeps me company.

A few critters, who though did not smell as bad as my companions from this afternoons ride, nonetheless, were not to be messed with.

A big rambling raccoon, that startled me in the grass as I turned onto Chain of Lakes and my front light hit his masked face.

And the dog, wait, what the hell, that dog is going to get schmucked crossing Lincoln, I should stop and scoop it up and.

Oh no.

That’s not a dog.

That’s a skunk.

I whipped past and watched the little critter scurry into the underbrush.

Lots of critters out and about.

I thought, as I rode, about how long I’ve been riding my bicycle, riding bicycles in general, in San Francisco.

I have bicycle commuted from the Mission to jobs in the Mission.

I remember, with much fondness the five minute commute I had for a year and a half when I worked at Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia and 18th.

I lived at Folsom and 23rd.

It was such a sweet commute.

I have commuted from the Bayview to the Mission–Palou and Third to 18th and Alabama.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to China Basin and Noe Valley.

I have commuted from Nob Hill to the Mission.

You may see a pattern here.

I do a lot of work in the Mission.

I have commuted from the Outer Sunset to Cole Valley, NOPA, and the Castro.

But the commute I have now, is the longest.

I also, briefly, for a few months when I was in transition and staying out in East Oakland (EAST not West, thank you very much) commuted from 51st and International to North Berkeley.

Yeah.

Like that.

I had some interesting rides.

The prominent scent was not Fenugreek however.

Although it did have a sweet, sickly smell to it, it was not a natural smell.

Nothing says good times like rolling through the valley of crack and prostitution on your way to nanny.

I have ridden a bike up to Twin Peaks.

I have ridden more than one century–that’s a 100 miles–though not for a while now.

I have ridden through parts of the Bay View that I don’t even think people now exist.

I have seen things.

I have been seen as well.

I whistled at a pedestrian about to walk into the street against the light as I was crossing Divisadero on Fell Street.

“Whoa!” He said, “thanks!”

Then, without much thought, he said rather loudly, “holy shit! You’re beautiful!”

Thanks man.

That’s always nice to hear.

Can’t say my ego minds.

Most of the time, though, it’s just me and the bicycle and my thoughts, which fortunately are usually not too loud, I’m in my body when I am on my bicycle, even when the knees hurt and the hips are a little tight and my bag was heavy with stuff tonight, I am in my body and alive.

It really is a gift.

I love my bicycle.

I really do.

Maybe I’m Not Supposed

January 26, 2016

To be on my bike tonight.

The thought went through my head as I tried to turn on the head lamp on my handle bars.

That’s funny, I thought, I just charged this up completely last night and it’s dead.

Huh.

No front light to get home with in the dark.

And it’s one of the few things I know I will get stopped for on my ride, no front light is an automatic ticket.

I thought well, if I get stopped, I’ll just say I have it, but it burnt out and I’ll be replacing it when I get home, sorry officer.

Things go through my head quickly.

I also thought.

Huh.

That’s a weird bounce to my front tire.

It feels flat.

Or, I should say, it landed flat when I pulled it off the hanger in the garage at work, there is a kind of thud to it.

But I had just gotten the tire repaired last week, and had put air into the tubes this morning.

It should be fine.

I didn’t even bother to check it.

I just assumed it was fine.

It was not.

Then.

Oh shit.

I wonder if I’m going to have the same issue riding home tonight that I did coming in this afternoon.

I had my crank slip.

Not once, but four or five times.

The first time it happened I thought my chain had broken, but, no, I looked down and my chain was still on and I back pedaled and the crank caught and there was pressure on my pedals and away we go.

Sort of.

It happened a bunch more and I thought, hmm, maybe I should pop into the bike shop and drop the bike off.

But then it didn’t happen anymore and I just sort of forgot.

Then I was working and it was busy with the being Monday and cooking–triple batch of pureed broccoli soup–and being with the boys and a field trip to Flora Grubb for a new plant for the house and dinner and baths and stories, and next thing you know.

It’s time to bust on out and I have some place I got to be and get me out of Dodge.

Except.

The light.

The crank.

The flat tire.

I put my foot down slowly and sure enough, the pedal slipped through without any traction, basically just spinning the crank, but not turning the hub and moving the wheel.

Then.

It caught and I rode off.

No light.

Flat tire, which I wasn’t yet aware of, slipping crank.

I got to the end of the block and knew I was not riding home, now my brakes feel funny.

Well.

Duh.

The front brake felt funny because it was squeezing onto a tire that was fast deflating.

I hopped off, squeezed the brake, felt the tire and realized, Houston, we have a problem.

Fuck.

I texted a friend.

Then turned around and walked back to work with the bicycle.

Messaged the mom and said I got a flat, opened the garage, hung the bike and called for a car.

I had no profanity involved.

I was pretty calm.

I wasn’t happy about the state of bicycle.

However.

I wasn’t stupid either.

It was really obvious I was not supposed to ride my bicycle home and for that I am grateful.

Maybe that sounds funny to you, but it’s just such a nicer perspective to take, it’s God’s way of saying, “you’re grounded.”

Grateful I didn’t try to force the issue by riding my bicycle further out.

Grateful I can take a car back to work tomorrow before work and deal with the bicycle.

I’ll roll it to the shop.

Which, gratefully, is only two blocks away from where I work, drop it off and not worry about losing pedal traction, or having a busted light, or a flat tire.

And so it’s a little money out of my pocket.

Better that than having had an accident tonight.

No thank you.

In other news.

My hair is hella big.

I took a shower this morning before work and that basically undid the blow out.

I have big, huge, blonde, curly hair.

It’s rather fun.

And it’s very me.

Not pin up sexy, as I was compared to yesterday by an old high school classmate.

Nope.

But sexy, nonetheless.

It’s fun to be sexy and it’s fun to have so much hair, even after a good clean up cut.

It definitely acts differently and is a bit tender, breaks pretty quick, but, it’s soft and curly and big and blonde.

Sexy.

So there’s that.

And.

I got the Applied Spirituality class down.

I received an e-mail with a video from the professor who is teaching it remotely from Mexico.

I have changed my mind about doing the sonnet a day.

Well.

I may still try my hand at writing a sonnet a day, but perhaps not for the purposes of this class, rather, just for me and perhaps one or two of you.

The professor talked about deepening my spiritual practice and the fact is, I write a lot, that’s a huge part of my practice.

This blog and then my morning pages.

I write twice a day, anywhere from 2-3,000 words.

Sometimes more.

I also write gratitude lists and I have a prayer practice morning and night (and often times noon, you may think I have a small bladder, but I may just be taking a moment to catch my breath at work and have a word with the powers that be to get me through the day).

I also read spiritual readers, practice, never perfectly, spiritual principles, and do sitting meditation two to three times a week.

One of the things that caught my attention was the professors acknowledgement of the spiritual realm often being one where there are not words that adequately describe the experience.

I have tried.

I know what he means.

I feel that there are times when I am with the spirit of the Universe, when God is writing through me, speaking through me, I am the conduit, the words are not mine, they are God’s, the ultimate artist.

And then there are times when I just can’t seem to get the “i” before the “e” in that one word and why won’t spell check autocorrect this, and what rhymes with cantaloupe and I’m not in commune with God anymore, I’m just putting words on the page.

Something not word dependent, even though I am going to have to write papers to express the experience and post them up to the class for review.

I came up with a different idea.

And I am thrilled.

It feels easier and quiet and I won’t have to worry about producing, although, I guarnatee I will do the work.

I am going to color.

In a coloring book.

Yeah.

Whatever.

Coloring is considered a form of meditation and I have some great coloring books and some awesome colored pencils and it’s a way to turn of my busy brain.

To let God in through a non-verbal, non-written medium.

Oh.

There will still be writing.

Don’t you fret.

There will just be something else as well.

More will be revealed.

It always is.

And tomorrow.

I fix the bike.

Again.

Gratefully so.

Stalling

January 25, 2016

But not stalled out.

Although, I admitted to a person of mine that I did indeed feel like I wanted to bail, that I have had enough, I’m done, I’m not doing my homework, stamping foot.

Stamp.

Stamp.

Stamp.

But I did do a lot of homework anyway.

As I sometimes explain to the five year old when he doesn’t want to do something, “you can not want to do it and do it anyway, you get to do it.”

Most of the time not wanting to do something for him is not the horrendous nightmare of being fed kale or broccoli, rather it’s not wanting to stir off the floor to go out to the park.

“Come on, you love the park,” I cajole him.

“No.  I want to stay inside,” he will reply petulant.

I don’t know what’s up with that, I always wanted to be outside, out of the house, on my own, doing my bit, playing how I wanted to play, exploring, adventuring, sallying forth with no regard to time of day and when or how I would get back home.

I however, was escaping what were often intolerable home situations and experiences.

Being outside was my great escape, my first experience with God, or as I like to think of it, the G.reat O.ut D.oors.

I was talking with my person on the phone about a conversation I had with my mom recently, school stuff, and the ramifications of realizing how vulnerable I feel when I am reading about a psychoanalytical theory and how the manifestations of so many issues arise from my childhood.

It seems that I ache with every theory and postulate, I see myself, my experience, the things that happened, the way I choose to disassociate, or check out, if you will, the self-medicating I used to do.

Basic stuff that I realize I almost never do now.

Except when I do them.

And it will be a shock, a surprise, a moment of realization, oh, I’m doing that, what need do I have that I am not fulfilling?

How can I better take care of myself?

What do I need to do to bolster my own self-esteem?

Or self-worth?

I did not get the kind of primary nurturing and attending to that children need to grow up with a strong stable sense of self.

I am not blaming my mom.

I am not blaming society.

I am not blaming my grandparents.

I am not blaming the nature of alcoholism, sexual abuse, trauma, neglect, addiction.

I am not looking even for an answer.

If I had the answers would I feel any differently?

I am just accepting that things happened and that there is still work to be done and attention to be paid and actions to be taken.

I get to have this experience.

School reading, psychology theory, brings it up.

What’s wrong with client x?

He was abandoned, neglected, beaten as a child.

What’s wrong with patient z?

She was neglected, ignored, improperly nourished, as a child.

What’s wrong with patient, ad infinitum.

So much seems to stem from these early basic child hood patterns and seeing them, reading about them, recognizing characteristics and traits in myself, I am sometimes saddened.

Often times grateful.

I somehow made it out and through and beyond.

(My own creation of friends, family, fellowship which has nurtured me, raised me, really)

I will be literally struck by how challenging these things are to a young, budding psyche and be amazed that I am not curled up in a fucking ball somewhere, hiding under my bed.

Or.

In my closet under a pile of clothes.

Or anywhere I can have a wall at my back.

In other words.

I am resilient.

And I love that about myself and that I get to forgive all those things, that I don’t have to continue holding onto them, that I can let go, but down the boulder of shame and the burdens of other people’s guilt, they are not mine to carry and I am not interested in doing their heavy labor any longer.

I am, rather, interested in doing what makes me happy.

Going blonde.

What satisfies me.

Having dinner with a dear friend.

Oh my God, that sushi was awesome.

What fulfills me.

Working with a ladybug today and talking about defects of character.

Doing good self care, which included pulling out the chaise and sweeping up the dust bunnies in the corner and cleaning my rugs and sweeping and doing laundry.

Grocery shopping and buying food I like.

Cooking for myself.

And.

Yes.

Doing my taxes.

I laughed out loud though, when I realized I was doing my taxes to avoid doing my psychology homework.

So.

I made some calls and outed myself and when it was done and I had lunch in my belly, I sat and I read.

And I read.

And I read some more.

I got a lot done.

I finished up the reading for one of my classes completely and got a good start in on the next.  I also ascertained a due date on a paper and started doing a little preliminary tabbing and marking in my text to make notes for the paper.

And when the reading got hard, it did, partially from the standpoint of this is new material and partially from the stand point, of ouch, damn it, I relate a little too much to this, can’t wait til I’m in therapy again, ouch, stop it.

I stopped.

I took a breath.

I went outside on the back porch and caught some sun.

It’s pretty sheltered so if the wind isn’t too blowy and the day is not overcast, there’s a nice little spot to get some sunshine on my face.

Or.

I made some tea.

Actually.

I made a lot of tea.

I was a tea drinking fiend today.

It’s a kind of self-soothing for me.

It warms me up, I feel safe, somehow, taken care of, it’s nurturing.

Granted I may go to the bathroom a bunch, but it does the trick.

And it’s much healthier than some other things I have tried to make me feel better.

Cigarettes.

Vodka.

Cocaine.

Donuts.

And it was literally something suggested to me as a way to self-soothe.

“If it gets bad, take a hot bath, and bring a cup of hot tea in the bath with you,” my therapist said.

Sometimes it was too hard to even get myself into the bath.

I am not at that place any longer, I have done the work to move forward and I shall continue doing the work that arises, but once in a while, it will sting, and it will reveal things about me and my life and I will be tender.

And that is ok.

I got to my place of being ok with it.

I got my small procrastination on and did my taxes.

Heh.

But mostly.

I just let myself be a student and I let myself be seen by myself with unconditional love and positive regard.

“You’re doing a good job, kid,” I said to myself this afternoon.

And you know what?

I am.

Blonde Ambition

January 24, 2016

Or.

As my fabulous colorist told me today.

“Bronde.”

I can’t really go as blonde as I want.

No platinum for me.

Not if I actually want to have hair that won’t fall off my head.

“If I took it platinum it wouldn’t look right with your skin tone,” she added, “and all the elastic in your hair would be gone, it won’t be curly, it would break and be frizzy.”

I trust the woman.

She’s been coloring hair since she was 18.

She’s currently 37.

So something like 19 years of doing this kind of work.

She probably knows better than I do.

Although I wanted it more blonde, it’s pretty damn blonde.

IMG_8435

It feels pretty fabulous.

And rather glamourous.

I’m not sure what it will look like or do once the blow out fades.

Which will happen as soon as I take a shower, it will go curly, so one day of fabulous straight hair.

I have never taken the time to learn how to blow out my own hair, I just don’t have it in me to devote that much time to it.

However.

Once in a while, it is nice to let a professional do your hair for you.

And I was really happy about it.

Best color I believe I have ever gotten and a great cut, stylist recommended by my colorist, who specializes in curly hair.

She gave me a great cut.

For those who are curious I went to Harper Paige.

Lizbeth Jones did my color.

“I put some ash in it and a little caramel, and gave you bigger chunks around your face,” she told me as she was rinsing.

I have no clue what she did.

But it did immediately prompt a desire to go lipstick shopping.

Of course the one I found at Sephora was out of stock.

IMG_8354

Damn it.

I almost pocketed the sample.

But I know better.

I also did not spend a lot of time in Sephora.

One lipgloss, one of the their brand, and out the door for $12.

I spent more on my cut and color than I have ever spent on my hair before.

I have it.

I just won’t be buying anything else this month.

I used my clothing allowance and my book allowance with a little borrowed from my cafe allowance to cover all my bases.

It’s nice to know exactly how much money I have and can allocate.

Nothing goes on a credit card.

All cash or my debit card.

I left a nice fat tip too.

Because that’s what you do.

I mean.

20%

It’s my hair for fucks sake.

And she did a great job on it.

I’m hella happy.

IMG_8453

Can’t you tell?

I just had a friend drop over for tea and he was pretty stoked for it, although he expressed, 1. Go more blonde!

And 2. Holy shit! You went blonde.

He also said I looked great and had lost weight.

I love my friends.

I don’t get to see them very often.

I am busy.

Although I did find myself with odd pockets of down time today and that always throws me for a bit of a loop.

“What are you doing tonight?” My cutter asked me as she finished blowing out my hair.

“I mean, you have to go out with this hair!”

Ceci Coon was the woman who cut my hair.

FYI.

She fluffed my hair, “really, the color is amazing.”

I have to agree.

But.

I did not have going out plans.

I had going to the Inner Sunset and doing the deal plans.

That was about it.

I did do some walking about Union Square, but no shopping, as I said, the wad has been blown.

That being said, however, Lizbeth did assure me that it wouldn’t grow out funky and that I actually wouldn’t need to come back for about three months.

Which is twice the time I thought I would be coming in.

Actually, the way the receptionist who booked me told me, I thought I was going to be coming in sooner to do another layer of the color.

But, Lizbeth was firm about not destroying my hair.

I am actually happily surprised by the amount of length that Ceci was able to keep.

So.

I’m “bronde.”

And I like it.

It’s fun to do something a little out there.

Though, truth be told, I felt like a rich bitch in the salon, all blonde highlights and blow outs.

I felt fancy.

It’s fun to be fancy once in a while.

I didn’t have to tell anyone that the boy most likely to be seeing my hair and going gaga over it will be the five year old I nanny who’s favorite color is gold.

I get to be fancy for me.

I am pleased by the compliments I have received, however.

I ran into an acquaintance crossing the street as I was headed for a late lunch after the appointment.

“OMG! I didn’t recognize you as a blonde!”

She gave me a huge hug, “you look amazing, how’s school?”

We chatted and caught up then parted and went our ways.

I had an appointment to check in with my person and I took care of that, ate some lunch, made my way to the Inner Sunset, killed a little time, bought a pot of lip balm, got a manicure and went and met with my fellows at 7th and Irving.

I was not expecting a “late” (it’s not even 11p.m. right now) drive by tea session with my friend.

I realize how important it is to have friends that do that.

Text me and check in and commiserate.

He’s in school too.

And also.

Congratulate.

It’s a big deal for both of us to be in academia land again.

And while I have moments when I feel rather overwhelmed by it all, the papers, the reading, the processing, the learning, the work, the work, the work.

I have mostly a vast amount of gratitude that I get to do the work.

“I never knew you wanted to go blonde,” my friend said, a little incredulously.

Yup.

I never knew I wanted to be a therapist when I grew up.

But there it is.

Things change.

And today.

They changed too.

Color me.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Oh.

And.

Bronde.

 

 

That Was No Fun

January 23, 2016

No fucking fun at all.

In fact.

That may officially be the worst weather I have ridden my bicycle home in ever.

Not my worst bicycle ride.

I have had a few accidents, though knock on wood, nothing in some time.

I have definitely had colder rides and thank God it was not cold tonight or I might have gotten off my bicycle crying.

Not that it didn’t look like I was crying anyway.

Hello El Nino.

Damn Gina.

That was intense.

I kept thinking of this exact moment.

This one, right here, right now.

Where I am dry, writing my blog, and have a very hot cup of tea in my hand.

Or as close to my hand as my keyboard will allow.

I don’t know how I got home.

I was hoping I would hit the window and not get the dousing.

I managed to this morning, well, it did rain on me, but I got up to 20th before it started and it was light.

The rain did fall and the traffic slowly but surely got worse and yes, I had a wobble on a train track, heart stopping, but no falls, just slick as shit.

But tonight the rain dumped and the wind was high.

It was painful riding home.

That was the worst of it.

Getting blasted in the face by the rain.

Especially when I hit the down hill portion of my ride.

Three miles or so, total of 6.5, half is up and half is down, that was just torrential and driving.

I literally said “ow” out loud at one point.

I fantasized about getting off and waiting for a MUNI, but I was riding through the park by that point and really, what’s the point.

I made it home though.

And I am dry now.

Everything came off in the garage, my shoes so wet they squished, I threw away the socks I was wearing there was so much road dirt in them they were dark grey.

Yuck.

Everything in the wash and my rain coat hanging over the handle bars of my bicycle.

At least I had a rain coat on and my fender, though the fender didn’t do much good, it was just coming down.

My bicycle is grounded for the weekend.

I need a break.

I will call a car tomorrow for the appointment and then MUNI my way back across town.

Sunday I am hoping for some decent weather, anything that is not rain, so I can run errands and go grocery shopping.

The bike can stay nice and parked and dry itself out.

I’m super grateful it’s the weekend.

It was nice to get a few extra bucks for the extra work I put in this week, but after coming off a school weekend it was tough.

I’ll be working a little extra next week too–Friday night for the parents, an extra two hours, but that’s next week.

No thinking about that now.

Get present.

Be here.

Where it is dry and lovely and Coleman Hawkins is playing on my computer.

Jazz always feels appropriate when there is rain and I am cozy inside.

I am cozy and dreaming of blonde hair.

Yup.

Tomorrow is the day.

I finally pull the trigger.

It will take two sittings, so it may not be full on blonde but, it will be heavily highlighted, it’s called a full head highlight, and I am getting a cut, which I haven’t done in a while.

I am looking forward to having my scalp rubbed and my hair washed.

I do love a good hair washing.

It’s one of those experiences that just defy explanation, I just really like having someone wash my hair, rub my scalp, some nice scratching, the lifting of the hair off the back of my neck, so divine.

Mmmmhmmm.

Ah.

I am all relaxed just thinking about it.

The process takes three hours.

I’m not sure what the second round will look like and how far she’ll be able to take down the color of my hair.

I am also wondering, curious really, how short it’s going to go, I expect that I’ll lose some length.

Then.

I am going to try to maintain it for four to six months, depending on how expensive the process is.

I plan on a range of Manic Panic self-home hair excursions after that.

Magenta, lilac, dusty rose.

Then.

I will either go and get it colored back my original color.

Or.

I will just chop it off and start from scratch.

I am looking forward to the fun.

It’s nice to let myself have a little fun, be a little frivolous, be girly.

I love that.

Ooh.

Heh.

I’ll be close to Sephora.

Mwahahahaha.

Mama needs a new lipstick too.

It may just shape up to be a girly kind of day tomorrow.

Fact is I could use it.

I deserve some pampering and it’s going to be fun to check out a new salon and a new hair stylist.

I haven’t been with anyone new in years.

I may even go with a new perfume too.

I’m getting low on my Egoiste by Chanel.

It’s time to pick up a bottle or perhaps a new scent.

I have been wearing it for so long that I realized the other day, one of two things had happened–I am either some immune to the smell of it or the bottle might be turning.

It’s not unusual for a perfume to go bad, but I have only had this particular bottle for about a year and that doesn’t seem the case.

It doesn’t smell the same though, I’ve noticed, recently, and I am tempted to get a new perfume.

New hair.

New year.

New tattoo.

New scent.

Same me.

But I’ll just be turned out a tad different.

I promise, though.

You will still get to see my heart on my sleeve.

There are just some things that never change.

 

She Keeps Us Civilized

January 22, 2016

The mom said to her guests as they thanked me at the end of my shift this evening.

Well.

I try.

Sometimes though, the five year old is just going to stand on his head and fart on his friend and giggle wildly.

Fortunately the parents were outside in the back yard enjoying daiquiris.

I was inside with four boys: 5 3/4; 51/2; 4; and 3 1/2.

I add the halves and the quarters.

They are very fierce about their age and the hierarchy of who sits where in accordance to what age.

They were lined up left to right, oldest to youngest, along with two stuffed huskies, one stuffed cat, and one very, very loved teddy bear.

Four cups of milk in sippy cups and four graham crackers.

And.

Pengu.

Man.

There is nothing funnier to this age group than Pengu.

Nothing.

There is just something about the claymation little penguin that tickles the funny bone.

I find it endearing and cute and about the only video I can stand watching with the boys.

It’s a special night when the boys get videos, when I’m there we don’t watch videos.

I have been told by the boys that they do watch a lot of videos 0n the weekend.

I know they do and that’s not my business.

I am in no position to criticize or judge any one and their parental style.

I have in the past and it did not serve me well.

Glass houses and stones and what all.

The boys had a play date and I made pizzas.

I had to laugh at one point.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and here I am rolling out pizza dough–spinach and mushroom, pepperoni, plain cheese, and cheese and mushroom–and navigating around open containers of sugar and booze.

Not my normal.

Even at work.

But no matter.

I did my deal and took care of the boys and was grateful for my own lovely little abstinent meal and my extra time to get done laundry and pick up all the different sets of train tracks that had gotten pulled out to entertain the boys.

Three separate sets.

I pondered my psychology reading and was happy to use some theory on the boys.

I mean.

Come on.

I’m in the heart of family.

And I’m going to be a therapist.

Gold mine.

It’s like doing field work all the time.

I mean I got an A+ in Psychodynamics using a scene at the dentist office where one of the boys had a temper tantrum and I was able to apply Freud and Melanie Klein theory to what was happening.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am also a very lucky girl to have done some work today before work.

That’s the funny thing about work.

I work before it and I work after it.

Sometimes the work I do outside of work is more work.

But I digress.

I did some reading.

I checked over a couple of my syllabi.

Specifically I read the entire seven pages for Applied Spirituality.

,

I was resentful, wildly so, the first time I read it.

Hey, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know what I do?

I am special.

I already apply spirituality to my life.

Don’t tell me what to do.

Which.

When I took some time to reflect.

Was a rather unspiritual stance to take.

After doing some inventory on it and discussing it with another person at length I realized that I was, once again, being inflexible about my schedule.

I have a certain way of doing things and a certain time and don’t bother me while I am.

And.

Don’t even try to get me to do anything else.

It’s a matter of life and death.

Motherfucker.

Ah.

Yeah.

So, you can see, not so spiritual at that.

I recognize the fear behind the thoughts, I’ve been doing it this way for years, and I’m doing just fine, and I’m going to hold onto this way of doing things and you can pry my practice from my cold, dead, but still fucking spiritual, hands.

I laugh at myself.

I had a small epiphany–the poetry epiphany–and decided to not change up my practice so much, as deepen it.

I’ll grab some new spiritual readers, I will change out my daily readers, I’m still going to use conference approved literature, there is a really good reason I stick close to the original message of recovery.

It works.

But there’s more than one daily reader, so I will try another.

And I went for it this morning.

I wrote a full sonnet after writing my regular morning pages and doing my gratitude list.

I’m using a notebook that I bought at the museum store at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

I’m calling the series.

“Love Letters To God.”

I debated posting the first sonnet here, but I am not sure how I am going to incorporate them yet for the class, and since that is the reason, the impetus to do the writing, I’m going to wait until after my professor gets back to me regarding my proposal.

That may not be for at least a week.

I got word today that my professor was under the impression that classes started this upcoming weekend, he has not officially posted the syllabus and sent out an apologetic e-mail this afternoon giving some suggestions and saying basically, just wait for a week and I’ll be ready for you.

I find this extraordinarily unprofessional considering this is a graduate school program and I am paying graduate school tuition out the fucking ass.

But this is not the first time that something wonky has occurred–readers not ready, etc.

And frankly, I don’t bear a grudge.

It’s just humanity happening in front of my eyes.

I can get fussy about it or I can be grateful for an extra week reprieve from the start of another round of grad school work.

It will all work out.

And.

I have no complaints.

I mean.

I wrote a delicious sonnet.

It made me happy to write.

Happier to read.

The next thing to explore is to see if I can link a sound byte to my blog or if I should do some sort of podcast on Youtube.

Which I know nothing about, but I do feel quite compelled to have some voice recordings out there.

It feels like the next thing to do in this evolution of being an artist.

Yup.

Me the artist.

How lovely that is to claim.

I am a poet.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

Hell yeah.

Bring on the spirituality.

Bitches.


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