Archive for the ‘Ocean Beach’ Category

A Day Off

July 10, 2017

To remember.

Nothing striking or out of the ordinary.

But just a lovely day.

A sweet day.

A day when the fog actually lifted and I saw some sunshine, surprisingly late in the day too, it cleared off around 6:30p.m. and was clear all the way through to sunset.

Albeit chilly, it was such a welcome reprieve from the constant summer fog that I made up my mind right quick to get out into that sunshine and eat it up.

I deserved a sunshiny walk on the beach.

I did a lot today.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooked two separate meals, both lunch and dinner so that I would have plenty of food prepped for the week and then some to toss in the freezer.

I made a sort of jambalaya, my own edited version, with shredded roast chicken, shrimp, Andouille sausage, pork, corn, black olives, onion, garlic, brown rice, crushed tomatoes.

Super yummy and I froze 3/4s of it.

I ate a big bowl for lunch, put a couple of containers in the fridge for meals and I also roasted a chicken for dinner–I happily ate salt and pepper roasted chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice that I seasoned with turmeric, Spike, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper–savory rice.

I love cooking and I love having a full fridge at the beginning of the week so I don’t have to squeeze in a shopping trip to the store when I am in the middle of a full tilt boogie schedule.

I also went to yoga and got my sweat on, super challenging class, I fell in one of the poses.

Splat!

On my belly and just laughed out loud.

So I feel, so what?

I tried the pose.

I am certain I will fall again, as long as I can laugh at myself, though, then I’m ok.

When I start taking myself to seriously then I know I am in trouble.

I met with a lady as well and did the deal and read and talked and fuck.

It was so good.

I called my person and had a good long check in.

I called a friend who’s going through a hard time and suffering a big loss.

I had a really nice and connected day.

I also took a car over to Cheap Pete’s and picked up my two prints that I brought back from Paris.

I am super happy with the way they turned out and I spent some time re-arranging the art on my walls to accommodate the new pieces.

I don’t have much space, but I think I arranged things well and I’m very pleased with the additions to my collection.

Very pleased.

I really do like my home.

It does feel like an extension of me, of my personality.

It is tiny, but it’s me and I am grateful for all the things I have and all the ways I get to express myself.

I also like that wherever I look there is something pretty to rest my eyes on.

This is my sanctuary and I adore it.

Sure.

I want more space.

But that will come when it comes.

I am experiencing this deepening of faith in places I never knew I needed to have deepened, seeing experiences and suddenly have the knowledge that though I did not know it at the time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Seeing what I needed to see.

And being seen.

Regardless of my ignorance.

I was seen.

And all the things that have led me here were all the experiences I need to have.

So being in this little in-law at the edge of the city, by the edge of the sea, for whatever length of time I am supposed to be is quite fine by me.

I am happy.

I am warm.

My home is sweet and I have precious memories of every foot of it that make me smile when I least expect it.

I have been smiling a lot recently.

I repeat.

I am very happy.

And yes.

Life is full.

But I had such a restful day.

Yes, I did do a lot, but I found all sorts of down time too.

I read a little bit from a novel, novel that, reading something that is not psychology related, a John Updike novel I had gotten last year for my birthday.

My birthday is in December.

Ahem.

I don’t have much down time for pleasure reading, and sometimes I feel that I shouldn’t even, but in the end it was too delicious to not.

I also read a few more letters in the book of Chopin’s Letters that were sweet and nostalgia inducing.

I love the old language used, laced with bits of French.

Lines that caught my attention I underlined and starred, the turn of a phrase that I found enchanting or a sentiment that I echoed and felt stir me.

“I kiss you heartily.  Remember me as I remember you.”

And this.

“I wrote it only to arouse a pleasurable emotion, such as greetings usually produce.”

How often have I written something just for the pleasurable emotion of the writing?

So often.

And.

“I press you to my lips and say goodbye till we meet.”

And.

“Give me a kiss, My Life.”

I love how he capitalized “My Life,” how important the person to whom he is writing becomes as I read the letter.

I sat in the sun on my back porch and read these letters and glowed.

Then.

Yes.

I decided it was time for a walk on the beach and it was as I had hoped.

Deserted.

The all day long fog and chilly breezy had deterred most of the city from even bothering with going out to the beach.

I saw one tourist family picnicking.

A father and son in wetsuits with boogie boards.

A couple walking a dog.

A paddle boarder out in the surf.

And me.

There was no one there.

Me, the sand, the ocean, God.

It was beautiful.

I walked the surf, rolled my jeans up, they are still a little damp hours later where a high tide splashed me, stuck my flip-flops in my basket bag and collected seashells.

Yes.

I did.

I collected shells.

Shush.

That’s the kind of girl I am.

I write poetry and collect sea shells and I am just fine with that.

I get to be many, many, many things.

And now that my well is replenished.

I will go back to being a nanny and a therapist.

The week is full.

But full in a good way.

Thank you Sunday for your gifts.

I feel that Monday and I shall be great friends just from the beautiful reprieve I had today and all the things I got to do to take care of myself.

Luckiest damn girl in the world.

Seriously.

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Two Down

April 30, 2017

One to go.

I finished my Trauma paper today.

It was a big deal.

I am super happy and grateful it’s done and I’m also glad to let the material rest, it was challenging material, traumatic stuff you might say, and I am happy to let it be for a while.

I will still have to go back and dip back into the material as I will give a presentation of my paper in the class next weekend.

I can handle that, oh, I’m sure I will cry, it was a day for tears.

But also a day for laughter and much joy.

I just got back from a big dinner get together and fellowshipping and I am so awful glad I went, it was just the perfect break from homework and I got to be connected to people and see people and talk to people.

Like.

Real live people, not just social media interactions.

I also got asked out on a date!

I was not expecting that.

And yes.

I have a date for tomorrow.

That will definitely give me incentive to write my last paper.

I am also speaking at a spot at 6p.m.

I will have my paper done by 5:30 p.m.

That was the promise I made to myself.

So when I was asked I was actually able to say that I could go to dinner tomorrow night after my service commitment, because I already knew that I would have my last paper written by the time I went to cover the commitment at 6p.m.

And now I damn well better.

I don’t want to have a paper dangling over my head.

It’s interesting.

I could tell immediately that he was attracted to me and I was intrigued, and also a tiny bit cautious.

I don’t date guys in early recovery, sort of rule of thumb and sometimes when I meet a guy whom I haven’t seen around before I get cautious.

Turns out he’s from out-of-town.

But not so far from out-of-town that he’s untenable to date.

San Rafael.

That’s not too bad and actually it’s an easier bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, for someone to navigate from to me as I’m so far in the Outer Sunset.

Just blocks from the beach.

The beach that I didn’t think I was going to get to go to and was feeling a little sad about that today when I walked out the door to yoga this morning.

It was glorious today.

When it’s warm in the Outer Sunset at 8:45 a.m. it’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

I was happy to get to yoga, so I had no thoughts about also trying to squeeze in beach time, I had the paper to write and I also had to meet a couple of ladies at Tart to Tart from noon until 2p.m.

I was glad to be out in the sun but had no beach expectations.

I got back to the house at 2:30 made some lunch, sat outside on the back patio and soaked up some rays and then sat down and cranked out my paper.

I was done by five p.m.

I started the writing at 3p.m.

Thank God for the time that I had this week at work, I had all the material ready and it was just a matter of following the guidelines for the paper and writing it.

I wrote an eight page, 2,300 word paper.

I was done by 5p.m.

It was still sunny and I didn’t have to be to the spot until 7p.m.

I decided to walk down to the beach and get some sand under my toes.

I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed a bottle of water and had a glorious 45 minutes of chill time, then walked up to Trouble Coffee and grabbed a treat cafe au lait.

I sat outside in the parklet and enjoyed the feeling of being done with my paper and knowing I was going to go see some friends tonight and hang out and go out to dinner.

I got the paper done, I got to go to the beach, and I got asked on a date.

Fucking not bad for a Saturday.

“Have fun, be flexible,” she admonished me.

This happens a lot recently when I meet with my person and she’s right, I can get buried in the doing and the going and the moving and the shaking and I can and do get isolated.

It felt so good to be with my people tonight.

And.

Yes.

Flirting with someone certainly did not hurt.

He actually asked for my number before going out to fellowship, so that made fellowship even more titillating.

I felt very alive.

I still do.

I am grateful that I get to do the work that is going to help me be a good therapist, but also have a full, well-rounded, happy life, is also a huge part of being a good therapist.

I get to model a good life, a life that I would advocate for my clients, I get to lead my own happy life, and being connected to others is a huge deal for me.

Grateful to get to balance it all out and rather awed that it worked out so well today.

Oh sure.

I had some anxiety.

I had some push back on sitting down and doing the work.

But.

I have my routine.

I said my prayers.

I did it anyway.

And two hours and eight pages later I was gleefully printing off my final paper for Trauma class.

It was an accomplishment.

I also couldn’t have done the work that fast if I hadn’t already done so much of the background work on the paper.

The same kind of work that I did for the paper that I will write tomorrow.

I have hella incentive now.

I’m up to yoga in the morning, back here, shower, breakfast, morning pages, then I’ll plunge in.

I hope to have four to five pages done by lunch time.

I’ll take a lunch break and then kick the rest of it out by 5p.m.

Just like today.

And I’ll celebrate by doing some service.

Going out to dinner.

And.

Making out after.

I can’t eat sugar, but that doesn’t mean a girl doesn’t like something sweet once in a while.

Heh.

God Damn

April 28, 2017

I got a lot of shit done today.

I am, in fact, still getting shit done.

I am cooking a pot of chicken soup as I blog.

I am trying to do some peremptory food preparation for the next weekend of school so that this Saturday and Sunday I can give my full attention to the papers that I have to write.

Speaking of writing papers.

I got a lot of my Trauma paper mapped out.

I have four pages of notes and references from four different sources all set up and notated.

In fact.

I laughed at myself when I was finished listening to the podcast for the second time (in full, a couple of the segments I listened to three or four times) and I had all my paper notes and references complied.

Fuck.

I have a 10 page paper with all the work I complied today.

The paper is 5-7 pages.

I will have more than enough material to cut a fine suit from.

I am actually excited about writing the paper, I have such a clear idea of what needs to be done, I thought about writing it tonight, however, I wanted to wait until I had a clear swath of time.

And I like to have my down time when I get home.

Of course that down time tonight includes a couple of loads of laundry and making homemade chicken soup with veggies and brown rice, but it’s not writing and focusing in a scholarly way.

I am awful proud of taking the time to do the work that needed to get done though for the paper, I spent a great deal of my breaks this week working on the Trauma material.

I will be ready to pop out that paper Saturday and then turn my full attention to the Community Mental Health project that I need to do on Sunday.

I will work on that all day Sunday, nothing else planned, on the books or off, for that matter.

Tomorrow at work during my break I will go over my Community Mental Health notes and the half hour interview I did with the program that I am writing on.

I will basically do the same thing that I did for my Trauma paper, map it out, make notes, post-it note my notes, and go back over the reading material that I am going to utilize for my paper.

I’ll provide my frame-work for the paper and then be able to sit down on Sunday and write it.

That one is 8-10 pages.

I feel like it should be the other way around, my Trauma paper has so much richness to it and so much to explore, it should be the bigger paper, but I don’t make the rules, things might be different if I did.

Ha.

I’m super grateful that it’s coming together.

As I get closer and closer to my Paris trip.

Today to incentivize myself I wore my Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick that my dear French friend gave me as a birthday present.

Nothing like getting a gift bag of Chanel makeup for a birthday.

It was such a lovely gift.

Part of me, a very large part of me, is so thrilled that I will be wearing Chanel makeup on my trip, I know it’s silly, but Chanel products are above my paygrade, so when I got them, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.

The first time I went to Paris I discovered Sephora.

Oh my god.

I wasn’t able to get myself much, I was there on the slimmest of budgets.

I remember I actually got my sister a lipstick, as they had a brand that was the same as her name, although slightly different spelling, and I got myself a set of red barrettes.

I loved those barrettes so much.

Today, when I put on the red lipstick it reminded me of those hair clips and I realized, yes, that’s definitely a souvenir I will let myself get when I am in Paris, hair clips.

Maybe some red ones like the ones I got my first time there.

It seems surreal that I will be going back.

I remember when the woman I was working with in Paris told me that it was going to be ok that I moved back home to San Francisco, that Paris would always be there, that I could come back and make another go of it.

I’m so grateful that I had my time living there and I can contrast it with the life that I built and then re-built here.

I have it really good.

Oh.

Sure.

I make half the median income that the city recommends to get by and I am taking out student loans for therapy, hahaha, but ultimately, my life is really rich.

REALLY.

Abundant.

It’s gorgeous.

I have so much.

I have an amazing job.

I have a great therapist.

I have an internship.

I get to go to graduate school in San Francisco.

I get to live in San Francisco.

I get to write every day.

What writer doesn’t long for that?

Every day.

I get to live a recovered, full, useful life.

I get to travel.

I get to go to Burning Man.

I get to ride a scooter to work.

I get free parking when I’m there.

I have laundry in the garage, I get to wash my clothes for free.

I have chicken soup cooking on the stove and hot sheets in the dryer.

I am listening to amazing music on my Macbook Air.

I have a lot.

I have happiness.

I have self-esteem.

I do estimable acts, that helps.

I have red lipstick.

I have pretty perfume.

I have love.

I have friends, family, chosen and of origin, I have my cohort.

I have Ocean Beach a hop, skip, and jump away.

I have beautiful tattoos.

I have poetry.

I have abundance, joy, happiness, freedom.

I have.

All the things.

All the things.

 

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Swim Suits

April 3, 2017

And sun hats.

I pretty much lived in those two things all day.

And my sundress.

And some flip-flops.

Pretty nice weather.

Beach weather.

Building sand castle weather.

Wading in the waves with bright yellow plastic buckets to scoop cold salty water for building more sand castles.

I worked today and it did feel a little strange, but I rolled with it, to have my family come out to me.

The mom wanted a day at the beach and was super kind to suggest that we just meet in my neighborhood instead of having me commute in and then we could all head to Ocean Beach together.

Again my start today was later than the noon start we had talked about.

And that was fine.

I got some more homework done.

I couldn’t go to yoga.

I tried.

I signed up online.

I set my alarm.

But.

When it went off there was just no way, I was exhausted.

Exhausted.

I gave myself another hour of sleep on my alarm and rolled back over, I was out, there was no brain activity, no rumbling early morning ruminating, I was dead to the world.

Even an hour later I could have slept more.

I figured I was just tired from the long week, even though my days weren’t full days this weekend, it’s still work on the weekend and not much rest for the wicked.

Not that I’ve been wicked.

Maybe a tiny bit naughty.

In my thoughts, people, not in my actions.

I wouldn’t mind being a little naughty in my actions it just wasn’t on the menu today.

Fortunately I had enough time this morning to wake up slow, to enjoy my breakfast, to have a big creamy unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and take some time to write my morning pages and sort out my day.

I did some homework, some grocery shopping, and a little food organization and prep before the family got to me.

We met at my house and I suggested where they could park, down on La Playa and Judah, and I walked down to Java Beach Cafe to meet with them and help them carry all the goodies to the beach.

It was very sweet to be with them.

We had a picnic in the dunes.

We dug holes, collected shells and sticks, and dashed in and out of the water.

I was super grateful for the straw fedora I had grabbed at Other Avenues when I had grabbed some groceries earlier in the day.

And the sunblock.

It was a sunblock kind of day at the beach.

It isn’t often that the weather at the beach cooperates.

There was a moment when a bit of fog and mist rolled in, but it didn’t stick and it was really a nice day for being at the beach, sunny, but not too hot.

I was with the family until about 5 p.m.

Then I came back here, roasted a chicken, made some soup, and decided I needed to get right with God.

Hopped on my scooter and took a ride up to Quintara and 20th and got some recovery on.

Back home, hot tea, my fedora hung up in the closet, grateful for the day and the service and yes, grateful that tomorrow is Monday, I made it through the work weekend.

My schedule will go back to its regular hours tomorrow and I’m good with that, I want to get back into my routine before school gets going next weekend.

Four days of work, three days of school.

Then two days off.

I’m going to hang out with a friend on Monday and I have a therapy session on Tuesday, but other than that, nothing.

I’ll get to yoga, make up for this weekend.

I just couldn’t do it, my body was really sore from yesterday’s class and I have a stress injury in my left shoulder that flared up, I’m going to not beat myself up for not getting in today, the fact that I went and did the deal is enough.

Fuck.

The fact that I worked is enough.

I did enough today.

The days are a bit of a blur, I will admit that, they keep rolling along into each other.

The sunrise.

The sunset.

The routine of my days measured out in cups of tea, words scrawled into notebooks with black ink pens, the shift of my heart as I hear the birds sing in the morning and the spill of golden sunlight through the back door of my studio.

I felt like I was moving through honey soften time this afternoon when I got back.

Just to sit outside, shaded up under my fedora, the sun freckling through the straw brim when I tilted my head back, still in sun warmed air, ravens perched on chimney tops, silhouetted against the bluer than blue California sky, my feet up on the wrought iron chair, to be still, I got my break, I got my refresh and though I worked today I was able to have a measure of quiet in my own skin time too.

I need these breaks.

I need to sit still and watch the sky.

To feel the big heavy imprint of azure press itself into my heart, to be glossed in sun, it is glorious beyond my reckoning.

I’ll change out of my swim suit and sundress soon.

My fedora has been hung up for another day.

But.

I may give myself a few more moments in my garb to appreciate the beautiful place that I live, Outer Sunset, Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California.

My home sweet home.

Luckiest girl in the world.

So.

Damn.

Lucky.

Growing Up

February 8, 2017

Moving on.

Letting go of the things that don’t serve me.

Letting go of ways and means of being that I have been.

Shedding.

Fuck.

It feels really good.

I had to have a little hand holding tonight as I took some suggestions regarding my personal life and relationships.

“No body treats you like that,” he said to me, “and I will not stand here and let you be treated like that, now unfriend.”

BAM.

I sent a message and let go of the results.

I changed.

Like that.

It has taken years to get to this point and to let go, of this old idea that I somehow need to give you more than me, that I am not enough, that I have to buy your love, respect, or that I need to give you something for you to be my friend, lover, partner.

Nope.

I am enough and I deserve to be treated well.

I stood up for myself.

Not by myself, though, I had to have some hand holding.

I had gotten the suggestion this evening and it matched up with how I was feeling, even though I was afraid to take the action required, I knew, deep within me, that it was the thing to do.

And.

I realized that I can’t do it alone.

I needed his help.

“Wait, can I just do this now, with you here, I don’t know if I can do it when I get home,” I said.  I mean.  I knew I would, but I knew it would be easier for me to do it with my person there sitting across the table, warm, supporting, holding me through the process of letting go and moving on.

There is no there there.

“I expect to get blow back from this,” I said as I sent out the message and then took the next suggestion and cleaned some house.

“Doesn’t matter, you did your part, you cleaned your side of the street, how the other person responds doesn’t matter,” he said.

He took my hands and held them as I shed a few tears, took a deep breath and did the next action in front of me.

The relief of standing up for myself, asking for what I want, and really I do not have any expectations that the want will be met at all, none, nada, in fact, and that somehow made it easier and harder at the same time.

But let go I did.

And I realized I just made a huge amount of room for what will work in my life, for friendships, relationships, jobs, school, for letting in the love and going where the love is and being happier in my person and with myself.

Such stunning relief.

Let go.

Move on.

With love.

With unconditional regard for others and what they need to do to grow and be.

It’s not my business.

 

My business.

Is.

Me.

 

What works best, how will I grow, how may I serve, what does that look like.

I left my person with such deep gratitude and love.

I have grown so much since working with him and I have such respect for the work.

It awes me.

And I change.

It is good.

It is so good.

I am so excited for what this year is going to bring.

The travel I get to do.

I’m planning a trip to Puerto Rico.

Another to Anchorage.

One to Portland.

And.

Of course.

Burning Man.

Yes.

I know.

I am working full-time and going to school full time and I will be interning.

How the hell am I going to pull it off?

I don’t know.

But get pulled off it will.

I am thinking that I may camp somewhere new this year, my dear friend from my first camp that split off and started his own invited me to camp with them this year.

Go where the love is.

Go where I am wanted and appreciated.

And.

Don’t go to work.

I have worked every year.

I have paid my dues.

Maybe.

Just maybe go this year and don’t work, oh, I know, I’ll help out, wherever I am camped, that is what I do, but on my terms and not tied to anyone, not tied to a scheduled, not leashed to a job.

Just a camp.

Just a spot to put up my tent and be.

Just me.

Just the playa.

Just Burning Man.

That’s such a lovely thought.

A goal.

My year is already so littered with love and goodness, travel, art, school, friends, getting to be in San Francisco, getting my practicum placement, getting to be an intern, getting to start helping clients and accruing the hours toward my license.

And it’s just the beginning of February.

And.

It is just the beginning.

This thirteenth year of being in recovery is going to blow the top off.

I can feel it.

I am expanding.

My heart growing.

I am shedding old skin and stepping out new.

It feels extraordinary and freeing and magical.

Alive.

And let me not forget.

I am also going to Paris in May.

I mean.

My life is extraordinary.

I am so grateful I keep showing up, suiting up, doing the damn deal, living by spiritual principles.

I’m not a saint.

I’m going to fuck up.

But that too is a gift and an opportunity to grow more.

All this growth.

I am graced to get to do it.

It can be a struggle.

Or it can be a surrender.

Today.

It was melting surrender, a washing away, a saying goodbye, a letting go, with the rain sluicing down the gutters and the fog prowling on soft cat feet, as I listened to Bon Entendeur streaming from my headphones as the N-Judah barreled its way down towards Ocean Beach, I looked at my reflection across the way in the mirrored window of the train.

I smiled.

So much joy.

Such simple shifts.

And boom.

A giant leap forward in my life and in my recovery.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Seriously.

It’s going to be fucking amazing.

AMAZING.

Happiness

February 4, 2017

Is  a fucking rare ass steak.

Holy moly.

That was good.

I had a little celebratory dinner out and yes, I got my steak and ate it too.

So divine.

Then I get home and there are flowers.

Seriously feeling special.

So nice to celebrate and take a moment to appreciate the hard work that I have put into being where I am at.

I still have so much more to go, to do, to learn, to be, but how exciting is that?

That I can create and do and be more, that there is more room to grow, that there is more to come, in fact, the best is yet to come.

I firmly believe that.

And.

I can still have today, this moment, this nice time to reflect and let it sink in.

Really let it sink in.

I feel like I took a giant leap forward, but really, it was just doing the same things I have been taught to do for such a long time now.

Show up.

Be kind.

Be yourself.

Be honest.

Be open.

Be humble.

And listen.

And be.

It’s just not nearly as complicated as my brain wants to make it out to be.

It is not.

It is lovely and simple and sweet and that how I feel right now, loved and full of sweetness.

Daisies and roses.

Steak in my belly.

Hot tea in a mug.

Candles lit in my studio in-law.

Music in my heart.

A little Regina Spektor.

And it’s Friday.

And the school sent me my tax documents so I can finish my taxes this weekend.

I am busy, but busy in a manageable way.

Although when I spell it out, it does sound a little crazy.

Yoga in the morning, then a lady will be coming over and we’ll do some work, then I’ll have lunch, I’ll cook up a bunch of food for the week, I’m in class next weekend, a necessary evil to make an extra big batch of food, then write my paper for Trauma class.

After that a ride on the train to the BART.

BART to Oakland 19th street station.

A friend is picking me up from BART around 8 p.m. and we’re going to have dinner and catch up, I haven’t seen him since Burning Man.

Then off to a late night speaking engagement at 10p.m.

Back home via BART and the MUNI.

Sunday, more yoga, then I will be heading to see my tattoo artist at 1:30p.m. to get my star tattoo touched up.

After that I’ll have some opening in my schedule, I’ll probably do some reading for school, take my laptop with me and hit Maxfield’s in the Mission and hang out there until 6p.m.

Do the deal.

And then a double anniversary dinner with friends at Pakwan in the Mission.

There it is.

My weekend.

I’ll get my taxes done in there as well.

That actually won’t take too long as I already did  the majority of them, I just was waiting on one form and since that came in the mail I will be able to finish them within twenty minutes, half hour tops.

I could do that between yoga and meeting with my lady.

Yeah.

I know.

Busy town.

But.

Good busy.

Fulfilled busy.

Happy busy.

Useful busy.

I wont’ be taking my scooter anywhere though, rain all weekend long.

The rain boots will be out and I’ll be doing public transit.

And there will be down time.

Time to watch the rain fall from the streets and the wind ripple through the palm trees on Dolores street while I watch from the big plate-glass windows of Maxfield’s House of Caffeine.

Time to sit with friends and catch up.

Time.

There is more of it then I think or know.

The streets wet and slick, the foyer of a pretty building in the West Portal district.

The soft laughter of shared knowing and the openness of my heart tonight as I spoke out into the dark room, a string of Christmas lights glowing in front of me as I faced the people and shared my self, my story, my strength and the fact that I don’t do it alone.

I can’t do it alone.

I have you.

I have us.

I have fellowship and friends and family and loads of laughter.

So much laughter.

Today at work.

The six-year-old, soon to be seven, so soon, like the day after tomorrow, laughing and chasing me around the four-year old hugging me and dancing around in her tights and balancing on the toes of my nanny clogs as we pirouetted around the living room.

The rainbow sprinkles.

OH.

The rainbow sprinkles.

BiRite Ice Creamery on a Friday afternoon after school has let out.

Strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone with rainbow sprinkles.

How lovely to be a child, hazed out in the glory of ice cream and candied sprinkles.

We sat smooshed next to tables full of people blissed out on sugar and the reprieve from a sudden downpour of rain showers.

The train ride back to the house, the fat bottom clouds scudding across the sky threatening rain, but never quite delivering again.

There will be plenty tomorrow.

And the next day and the next and the next.

Lots of rain in the next week.

But that’s ok.

That’s life.

Stomping puddles in rain boots.

Joyfully popping open my umbrella tonight as we stepped from the restaurant, giddy and full, to walk the slippery shined streets and head home to the Outer Sunset.

Hugs and words to hang again soon.

Such a good life I have.

And I walk in and I can smell the flowers in my house.

So wonderful.

So loved.

So grateful.

Thank you all.

May I mirror back even a glimpse of the happiness I have for you.

The joy, happiness and freedom that I wish for you.

All the things.

All the things.

I wish them for you.

Fleece Lined Tights

September 22, 2016

And falling into Fall.

It’s autumn.

Hello my favorite season.

Though it’s not the same as where I grew up in Wisconsin, the changing light does signal to me the season is upon us.

The crisp cutting of the wind, the smell of the few deciduous trees in the neighborhood turning their green to gold, red, yellow.

The smell of beach bonfires.

A shift, a tilt of the earth.

An owl overhead.

A barn owl.

A white barn owl hovering above me, my heart beat against my chest.

Was I really seeing this?

Its wings a blur of silent fluttering as it shifted in the blanket of air moving over the dune then it dropped.

So fast.

A blur.

I ducked my head.

I literally thought the bird was diving at my head.

I have had birds swoop me for my hair.

It is not the most pleasant experience, just let me tell you, although my best friend in Wisconsin thought it hilarious when we were walking in Olbrich Gardens and swallows kept swooping into pluck at my head.

The owl was coming for me, I know that, I can see it, it was a sign.

Yeah.

Like that.

I believe in signs.

Is it odd?

Or is it God?

I sent a message to a friend of mine that I had gotten to reconnect with out at Burning Man and I told him the story of what was happening in my life and the owl in the dunes last night.

He’s a shaman and his animal is, yes, an owl.

Although not a barn owl.

Here is a decent link to some of the spiritual significance of a barn owl.

And I mention that it was a barn owl, as I have seen a Great Horned once riding my bicycle through Golden Gate park, but never a barn owl, never so freaking close, never silent and there and hovering over me.

Whew.

It was intense.

I felt like a ghost had walked on my grave.

I instantly thought of death.

And death not of myself, but of another, then I realized, no, not death, change, extraordinary change, wild change, a deep knowing that the world is about to become something else, a gigantic shift in my perspective.

I came home and cried a lot last night.

I was cold in my feet.

My hands were cold.

I wrapped myself deeply in my blankets, my heart sore.

Tender.

Vulnerable.

In these moments.

A small knowing opening.

A change creeping in the open back door with the cold wind of fall.

What is working?

What is not working?

I wrote a lot of inventory last night, stashed the blog I had been working on, posted a part of it earlier today, it was incomplete, but complete at that.

I got up early, then went back to bed.

I fell asleep, as the cool morning grey light was sliding in the cracks between the bamboo blinds on the back door, silvery and shined with the coming of day.

I did not get up and go to yoga.

I got up, instead, and read some of my readers and knelt by my bed, I prayed.

Earnest and with longing and with a much lighter heart than when I went to bed.

I washed my sheets and made my bed a new.

I started fresh.

I showered.

I made breakfast, persimmons, another sign of fall, and apple in my oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.

Hot fresh coffee.

Writing, my morning pages.

Then.

A message to my friend, the one who has an owl on his business card.

I told him the situation.

I told him what was on my heart.

He told me the owl had come for me.

Yes.

I felt that.

That it was a deep knowing, to look inside.

He suggested some inventory and that I share it with the clearest person I knew in recovery.

I did that last night.

Guess who I talked to shortly thereafter on the phone?

Yeah.

Like that.

I got some great guidance and a wonderful suggestion.

And I took it.

Strong signatures of barn owl symbolism are abundant creativity as well as fantastic capacity to produce well beyond what others may do. This productivity will not always be visible either since the barn owl hunts primarily at night when others are sleeping. The barn owl is monogamous which speaks of a steady commitment to what you are producing in the world.

Oh yes, that too.

I am here to produce for the world.

Through my writing, through my connections to my community, through school, through love and how I just move through this life.

I feel really blessed to have the experience.

And I don’t have judgement or scepticism about what happened, there was so much happening, that it was what I needed to see.

I needed to see it, then look inside, see what was right with the experience and what was not.

Then to get some outside perspective and to really listen to my heart.

You know what happened today.

Nothing.

And.

Everything.

Clarity.

I wrote on a pink piece of paper and folded it into a small square.

I stood by my hot pink bunny bank from Paris.

I stroked his nose and whispered a prayer.

I looked up and saw the photograph of my mother and father one Christmas long, long ago, 1973? And saw in that dark hair and in those dark eyes a kind of sweet soft mystery and a deep love.

Good bye father.

Good bye to all those old fantasies held onto like a stubborn child.

I Shepard that small girl, daddy’s girl, along with a warm hand.

Not any more my dear.

Time to grow up.

Time to sit and let the sun branch out its warm fingers on your back, a strong hand, a warm guide, and let the wind lift the curls off the back of your neck.

And when you see that last leaf fall from the beech tree.

You will know.

The kiss on the back of your neck.

And the knowledge that all along.

You just had to come back home.

Sitting on this bench.

In the slanting autumnal sunlight.

Of the spirit.

Rich.

Golden.

Blessed.

Graced.

The beat of silent wings above your  heart.

Love.

Love.

It always comes.

Right.

Back.

Here.

To you.

To me.

Always.

This.

Profound.

Love.

 

I Saw Your Car

September 6, 2016

In the parking lot at the 7-Eleven on the corner.

It sounds like the start to a really bad country western song, doesn’t it?

I kept right on right on, moving on.

I did stop.

I did pause.

I did have a wave of something come over me.

I suspect that you were thinking of me, I had you sudden and random in my head as I switched out my glasses and put on the frames you liked to see me in before leaving my house this evening to walk up and do the deal at the place up the road.

I am tan and my hair is in braids.

Like you like.

Like that.

I conjured you to the parking lot, heir to Slurpees and candy bars, to hot dogs on a rolling tray, glistening under the heat lamps, oily and delicious, the crisp coated chicken wings, baking under another set of lights, waiting to be scooped up into thin white paper bags, that spot with grease upon contact.

God only knows the years people have lost consuming such junk.

Devious in it’s siren song.

Though not so delicious as the memory of the first time we kissed.

And then.

I realized.

What the fuck am I doing standing on this sidewalk?

Do I really need to replay that mess?

No.

I have had these odd moments.

Moments when I feel like I’m being given a chance to go back and repeat old behaviors.

Or.

Move forward.

I fished in my purse for my phone, as though I suddenly had some momentous phone call coming in and I had to answer it.

Why was I there, on the sidewalk, stopped in my tracks?

Skin a glow.

Warm.

Soft, skirt billowing about my knees.

Then.

I put the phone resolutely back in my bag, there was no incoming message, there was no sign from God.

Although, there was.

There it was.

Make the decision.

Stay and talk and get wrapped up in a man who is not available for me to get wrapped up in, fantasize about a nothingness that is there, scuttling like a Kit Kat wrapper discarded in the parking lot.

Or.

Jump the other direction.

I was reminded that I was not to chase.

Not to pursue.

To know what I want.

And to sit and wait for that.

That the desire to chase was going to come up and I could let it pass through me and let it go out the other way, run down to the beach, sink into the sand, softly paddle down to the waves lapping at the moon.

And disappear underneath that yellow buttercream frosted moon, a dusted crescent sugar cookie, a soft bitten kind of love sailing over the black velvet waves.

Buh bye.

Bye, my baby, good bye.

I walked up the sidewalk.

I thought about all ways that I took care of myself today.

From sleeping in, to washing my bed sheets and making a fresh bed.

The good food I cooked for myself.

The writing I did.

The quiet time I took.

The phone calls I made and the conversations I had.

The gift I gave myself of not leaving the neighborhood, not seeking to have an agenda, to do something, to make something happen.

No need.

There was no need.

No.

The need was to go slow.

To languish in the sun.

Languid, liquid, warm, soft, sluiced with the sunshine.

It was not foggy today.

It’s Indian Summer in San Francisco.

And thank God.

It finally came.

Granted I spent much of “Fogust” out of town, but the few days that I was here in August, it was surprisingly grey and foggy and cold.

To come back, to be out of the first weekend of my second year of grad school and to have a day where it was sunny, warm, and without fog, was a huge gift.

One that my brain was eager to sabotage by running around and “getting stuff done.”

I have no real idea what this stuff was that needed to get done.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and I really didn’t need to do anything.

I was directed to get my “mind of me” and to go outside, go to coffee, go walk on the beach, get out of myself.

So.

I did.

I took a few phones calls in the back yard, checked in with my people, then walked up to Trouble Coffee And Coconut Club and had a very hot, very wet, very expensive latte.

I sat out in the front parklet and watched the ocean from the wooden top beam of the fenced in space.

I let the sun splash down on me.

I tasted the espresso and milk and let it envelop me.

I went to The General Store and actually found a dress I just adored and even though it was much more expensive than I wanted to spend, I liked it too much to not get it.

I spent the majority of my clothing allowance on it and smiled with sweet happiness that I allowed myself the gift of getting it.

I’ll wear it tomorrow.

I thought about relationships and myself and friendships and remembered the admonishment to spend time with either myself or with girlfriends.

Guy friends I can get too wrapped up in and the fantasy of maybe they’re the guy I should be dating gets in the way of it.

I remembered what my friend said, let it happen, sit still, allow the work to take and don’t push it.

I walked down to the ocean and walked along the beach.

I watched dogs jump in and out of the surf.

I watched surfers drift in and out of the waves.

The sun shone.

The sand stuck to my toes and then washed off as the water lapped over my feet, surprising, cold, crisp, alerting my whole body to how alive I am.

I found a large drift wood log and sat.

I watched a game of frisbee.

I checked some messages and saw a man I had dated a few months back commented on something I posted on social media, I texted him, answered the question, but did not pursue it further.  I didn’t ask, hey, what are you doing?  Want to hang out?

That’s the hard part.

The not pursuing.

Yet.

As I sit with myself, leaning more and more into the strength there.

I know that I am worthy of love.

Of pursuit.

And I’m not too concerned about it.

The feelings come and go.

But I don’t have to treat them as though they are real or permanent.

Just a fleeting kiss of ghosted memory.

And gone.

Like my footsteps past the parking lot.

The neon glow of the sign behind me casting a shadow ahead of me.

Glimmers come shining off the dance floor that I chose to exit from.

Asphalt sparkles in the night.

And the caress of wood smoke hovering in the saline air.

Love.

Love.

Here.

There.

Everywhere.

God, in the details.

The swish of my skirt around my ankles.

The curl of hair, tucked behind my ear.

And.

The soothing whisper.

Soon.

Here.

At the still point of this Universe.

Love.

Will find me.

On the corner of 46th and Judah.

A whimpering croon, oh baby girl.

Just.

Come.

And.

Hold my hand.

And together.

We will walk.

Towards that unknown land.

Love.

Just there, over the dunes.

Under the cusp of the moon.

I am here.

I await.

Still.

And.

Strong.

For.

You.

I’m Willing To Do The Work

June 27, 2016

God.

God damn it.

I laughed at myself.

In the bathroom, peeing out the iced coffee from Java Beach and all my out and about in the neighborhood today.

I never left the three block radius of my house.

Wait.

Not true.

I did go grocery shopping at SafeWay down on Balboa and Great Highway.

But really.

I stayed put.

I had some ladies to meet today.

One who flaked.

One who didn’t.

I had a coffee date with an old friend.

I cooked for myself.

I got some groceries for a friend who is housebound with a foot surgery and can’t walk out the house yet.

I did the things that make me feel good.

Even when my friend brushed sand off my face and I thought for a minute, fuck, he’s going to kiss me.

But he didn’t.

I can’t date him and we talked it out in the dunes out at the beach and had a nice time just getting all the story out there and watching the waves roll in and out.

It was brisk but sunny.

And the Pride was still happening and the Parliament happening at Stern Grove, it was sort of perfect, no one was down at the beach.

Not that many folks in the neighborhood.

It was a soft, cottony, cold, foggy, swathed in morning and it took me a minute to get the yawns out of my head before I headed off to yoga.

It was warm in the studio and I drifted through the work out and it was great.

I got to the final resting pose and I think I actually experienced that illusive condition that the teacher is always alluding to.

My mind free and quiet.

My body at complete rest, totally supported by the mat and the earth beneath me.

I felt grounded and rooted and also, completely free and free floating.

It was utter bliss.

It didn’t hut that I was able to do some poses and sequences that I have not been successful with and I tried with one pose that is super challenging for me, Crow pose, and though I didn’t come anywhere near nailing it, I got to get closer to it and committed to trying to do it, and yeah, I fell.

But.

I also laughed.

Grateful that I can laugh at myself.

“That’s the great thing about you!” My friend exclaimed as I was talking about some dating disasters I have been through over the last six months or so.  “You can totally laugh at yourself, that is so refreshing, you have no idea.”

Perhaps I don’t.

Perhaps I don’t have an inkling at all.

I mean.

I am fucking grateful that I can take my shit with a grain of salt and also that I have experience and perspective and information to move forward with.

I was yelling, or talking loudly with God, praying from the toilet seat as I peed, “really, I’m willing to do the work, I am.”

My friend who I had dropped groceries off to had suggested, in regards to a disaster of a relationship that I was super quiet about going through, he was stunned that I hadn’t said anything before today, that he hadn’t known anything.

“Dude, you mean _____________?! You were hanging out with him?”

Yup.

“I had no fucking clue.”

Yeah.

Well.

Nobody did.

Then I ran down the story, sans the drama that I felt going through the experience, but I got the bones of the narrative out.

“Ok, so here’s the deal,” my friend broke it down, “you either think that you’re not enough, so you settled, or which is worse, that you knew you were better than this but you weren’t willing to do the work.”

Ouch.

Ouch.

Ouchity, ouch, ouch.

And yet.

There is truth here.

I wanted to deny it.

I wanted to say it was neither.

But the truth is that it was both, I felt both not enough and also that I was enough and more than enough, and I knew I wasn’t being treated well, but I sort of blinded myself to the information that I was being given and went tripping merrily down the rabbit hole.

I realize that I need sustenance more than flash.

Although.

Flash can be exciting.

It doesn’t last more than a week or two.

I like sexy, who doesn’t?

But.

Yes.

I want sustenance, I want substance, and yes, ha, I am wiling to do the work.

Which means what?

Fuck if I know.

And.

I am ok with that too.

I am ok with having fun.

But, yeah, I do want the more permanent thing, not just the glittery and the sparkle.

I suspect that there can be both substance and glitter.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, but there should be sparkle, truly what doesn’t do well with a little bit of lacquer?

Painted heart.

Painted hussy.

Painted face.

Masked behind the sexy and the glitter and the ribbons and gewgaws, the flowers sequined and spattered with light shine, the musicality of stars, the glitter box full of hearts sprayed metallic shimmer, is the plain of my soul.

Lighted and a fire.

“You are so beautiful,” he said looking into my eyes, “the more I look, the further into your heart I can see and you are so beautiful.”

I don’t believe it was a line.

But it was our last goodbye.

Beneath the sheets our limbs entangled, his hands in my hair, on my face, holding it just there, it was a goodbye, in hindsight, although in the basement of my heart I knew, I still let the moment spin out, basking in the moment and the reverence.

The sacred.

And.

The profane.

Floating gossamer like, a small spider web of hopeful desire sticky on my hands that brushed it away to go forward into the routine of my days and weeks.

Those days and weeks tumble into months now and though I can share the story with one friend on the beach and take the tale to another over coffee and catch up, I know now that they are just that, stories, narratives, tall tales from the neck of my life.

Floating out and above the skyline.

Like.

Heart shaped balloons.

Loosed at sunset.

Beautiful to look at.

But.

Illusory and fragile.

Shot through.

And.

Glowing in the sorbet sunset to melt into the sky, buttery indigo flamingo pink and puce punk back lit.

The change is this.

Instead of running across the dunes, stumbling, in fear, trying to catch something I can never touch or capturing something that cannot be caught, I stopped chasing.

I just sat back and watched them float away.

Still and silent.

Glowing inside and outside with the sunset.

And the few small grains of sand I just brushed from my face.

A soft smile.

The warm embrace of an arm around my waist.

The pause.

The goodbye.

And the hello again to knowledge.

It’s all just information.

How I use it.

That’s my choice.

I’m powerless over the rest.

Alone.

But.

Not.

Lonely.

And.

Most.

Certainly.

Not unloved.

Oh no.

So.

Loved.

Seriously.

All the time.

This vast.

Vast.

Ocean.

Of.

Love.

 


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