Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

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Maybe I’ll Sleep In

July 27, 2017

Probably not.

My brain will wake me up.

Thoughts will come a cruising through my head and I’ll get up.

I was just thinking about sleeping in as the yoga class tomorrow that I was going to go to was cancelled.

Ugh.

I have plenty to do.

Don’t I always.

So.

I’m not super frustrated, and it’s not typical for me to be able to go to yoga class on a Thursday morning anyhow.

I am usually going to work.

But my family is still away and I’ve only got my internship to be accountable to tomorrow.

Ok.

Not true.

I was asked by the family to go to the house and open it up and collect the mail and water the plants and stuff of that nature.

So I’ll be making a little venture over to Glen Park in the late afternoon.

Prior to that I will be reconnecting with an old friend in Hayes Valley.

Do some catch up and see what’s going on in his life.

It’s been years.

Sometimes it amazes me.

That these years they pass.

They go so quick and I want to make sure that I impress upon myself as many experiences as I can.

The sun on my face.

For instance.

I made it out of the fog for a little while today and the sun on my face was exquisite.

The wind in my hair, my eyes closed, the smell of creosote and the sounds of hummingbirds flitting about.

Hummingbirds do make sound.

The whir of their wings close to my ears as they darted about in the flowers.

A high pressure thrum of air and the stirring of molecules by my face and off they go.

I had one of those days that felt like such a dream.

Sweet and sunny and soft.

I even napped.

I know.

I never nap.

I fell asleep listening to the Chopin station on Spotify.

Also something that I do not do.

Fall asleep listening to music.

I generally need it to be dark and quiet.

Music catches at my mind and I can find it distracting, but this today, soft, dreamy, sweet, warm, late afternoon nap, which was not in my plans, and was so good, to feel so held in my sleep.

The best.

Such a gift.

And all the little reveries I had drifting in and out between the piano notes floating through the air in my room.

Exquisite.

I wore a new dress today.

Maybe that was it.

I like getting dressed up and not having to wear my nanny clothes or shoes is a nice change of pace for me.

I have a closet full of dresses that I don’t often wear as they are not suited for nannying.

Shit.

I should wear one tomorrow that I have been itching to wear.

I totally forgot I had gotten it in the mail last week, but I was annoyed that they hadn’t sent both the dresses I had ordered and I didn’t pull it out as I wasn’t sure what or if the company was going to refund my order or deny that they hadn’t sent the dress.

I sent them an e-mail and I think there was a part of me that was all stubborn, like, I wanted the other dress more, damn it.

Turns out that they had sold out and they happily refunded the dress to my bank account.

So.

I took the other dress out of its packaging.

And oh.

It’s pretty.

Sort of old-fashioned retro styling with a sweetheart bodice and a bit of a flared skirt, white with small black polka dots and navy and royal blue roses.

It’s very fetching.

I could wear that tomorrow.

Although, it doesn’t strike me as a therapy dress and I have a client tomorrow night.

Ah.

I don’t need to figure it out right now.

It was just nice to be in my dress today, out in the sun, the wind fluttering the long hem around my ankles.

I felt ethereal at times.

The way the sky looked between the tree leaves.

I was in awe.

I have such a good life.

I am really happy.

Oh.

Sure.

My brain likes to sneak attack me when I’m least expecting it.

But it passes and usually I can take a moment in those places of vulnerability and say, hey, “thanks for sharing, but I got this,” or better, “God’s got this.”

Which is true.

I’m human.

I’m going to fall on my face no matter how hard I try.

The point is to try.

If I’m falling down that means that I am trying and I am living.

I want so to have a full rich experienced life.

I want to see things and experience things and feel.

I definitely have the feelings thing down.

Ha.

I have a friend who sent me a check in the mail today.

We share a MOMA membership and I just renewed it.

He used to say “you wear your heart on you sleeve,” to me all the time.

I didn’t quite understand what he meant, but I believe he was referring to me being emotionally transparent in my blogs.

Which, strange though this may seem, has changed a bit for me.

Not being emotionally transparent, per se.

I think that I am pretty damn transparent here in my writing.

But.

That my writing has changed since he made that comment.

I don’t share as much content as I used to.

Oh.

Sure.

There is stuff that happens and I will report back factually, with much acuity, I will paint a picture of rolling hills, the grass drying and cream yellow, the smell of sage in a garden, the look of tiny green tomatoes just beginning to bud on the vine, the surprise kiss of beauty planted on me in the garden, the roses, the old garden ones that proliferated in all gardens on the edges with the fallen soft pink petals crumpled on the ground, the sound of hawk flying over head screeching for its lunch to show itself in the grass.

I can show you these things.

But my content used to be a lot more focused on who and what and when.

I find that I am leaving out that more and more.

Then it’s just the feelings and the susuration of wind in my heart.

The way love feels in my body.

How I want to be and more and yes when I stumble, getting back up and trying again.

All the things.

All the lovely things.

All the beauty that I took photographs in my mind today.

The bluest blue.

The soaring in my heart.

The glad song on my lips.

The dreams and revery.

All of it.

Wonderous and magic.

So Many Things

July 24, 2017

This Sunday.

Although I did not set foot out of the Sunset.

I almost didn’t get out of the Outer Sunset, but I did manage to scooter up to a lovely little church shrouded in the heavy fog this evening.

Wow.

The fog tonight was no joke.

It was super spooky riding home and the visibility was little to none.

I went very slow.

Grateful to be in a neighborhood that was quiet and sleepy and muffled.

The few cars I did pass basically blinded me with their headlights refracting in the fog.

So careful.

So slow.

I don’t want to die.

I say that with and without tongue in cheek.

There has been a lot of death around lately.

I joked, in a rather morbid way, the other night, the God must like taking folks in July.

“What is under that fear,” I asked her today.

“Well…..” she said somethings and got closer and closer and then, “I’ll drink and then I’ll die.”

“So, you’re afraid to die,” I said softly.

I am too.

I remember the first time someone spelled that out to me.

I hadn’t made the correlation from the resentment I was holding onto to the point that I was ultimately afraid that I was going to die, that so many of my fears stem from that oh so basic fear of death.

Oh.

There’s littler fears, smaller fears, the classic ones that come to my mind are always the same, fear of being unlovable, fear of being abandoned and alone.

Always they come up.

But tonight.

Well.

It was just plain old fear of getting hit by a car on my scooter because the visibility was so bad.

I was very glad I had my scooter jacket on.

Aside from the fact that it’s a great windbreaker and it has padded elbows, shoulders, and a back piece, it is also pink and has reflective fabric sewn into it.

I’m pretty visible.

I mean, nothing is 100%, but I would say that I have more visibility than someone who is riding in a black jacket, that’s for sure.

I’m running around in loops.

Get to the point.

Today another person died.

Taken off life support.

I knew her a little while after I got into recovery, she’d been around, on and off, for at least ten years, maybe eleven of my time doing the deal.

Always a bright light, always a lovable woman.

She came in and out a lot, there were many times I saw her after a relapse and they were not pretty.

But.

She got out and she was doing well and had relocated back to the Midwest and was doing it, she had two years when she died, had gotten married, had a great job, she was a step mom and happy, and you could see it in her photographs and in her cute little quips and fuck, she just recently recommended to someone in our community who recently had a baby that they reach out to me as she knew I was a “great nanny.”

She’d been a nanny too.

We often times would commiserate about our families, and more often swap pictures of the babies we worked with, our charges, and we would share stories of endearment about them and our nanny adventures.

It takes a special kind of person to love unconditionally children that way that she did.

That’s what she was doing.

Swimming.

Teaching a child how to swim.

If I understand the story correctly.

And she drowned.

She was pulled out and they tried to resuscitate her and she spent some time in the ER, but she never came back.

She passed this morning and once again I find myself taking a big break from social media and trying to titrate how much I take in.

I did reach out to a dear friend of mine and offer some support.

He’d dated her and though the relationship hadn’t lasted, I know how very important she was to him and how much they still stayed in touch.

He was devastated.

He’s got a great support system though.

And I think of the community and support system I get to be involved with, all the gratitude I have for my fellowship.

And.

Yes.

Sigh.

I think about Shadrach.

He would have run the marathon today.

He was supposed to ten years ago today.

But that was not what happened.

Ten years ago he was hit on his scooter and though not outright killed, he was in the ICU on life support for a week, he was killed that night.

He just hung around long enough for us all to say goodbye.

And sometimes it feels like there was never enough time to say goodbye or never will be and I keep going on living and when I used to feel guilty I just feel graced now that I get to be so exuberantly alive.

I bitch about going to yoga.

But fuck.

I get to go to yoga.

I get to do so many things.

All the things that he didn’t get to do.

And I wonder about this woman too, what things did she not get to do.

I am grateful that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was at the best place she’d ever been in her life and that God took her at the peak of her experiences.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not sad.

God damn it’s sad.

She was so freaking young.

I’m forty-four.

I think she was about to turn 40 this year.

I just recall that we were close in age.

Sigh.

Shadrach would be 42.

I don’t feel the sads the way I did a week or so ago when I was walloped with emotion, but it is there, soft, and slow, and muffled, like the fog, creeping in and nestling down in my heart.

So.

I lit some candles and I will have a moment and I have looked at his handsome face today in the photographs I have on the wall.

And I will say thank you friend for showing me how important it is to live to my fucking fullest every damn day.

Sometimes it’s tiring.

But.

Fuck.

I get to be tired.

I am so lucky to be here.

If life was fair I would be dead.

I am not.

I am here and I promise.

YOU.

I will keep loving with all my heart.

Loving so damn hard.

Regardless of how much it can hurt to live.

The pain is worth it.

I get to live.

I get to love.

I get to.

I am so, so graced.

 

Nocturne

May 18, 2017

Just out of a super hot shower and swaddled in blankets tucked away in the prow of the sleeping quarters on the houseboat listening to Chopin.

It is sweet and dreamy and all things rainy night in Paris.

I am finally not wet and cold.

It rained.

It poured.

It was a deluge.

I had Mike Doughty’s “Sad Girl Walking in the Rain” stuck in my head for hours.

However.

I was not sad.

I was dreamy.

I was bemused.

I was looking at all the things.

I was seeing the poetry in the wet cobblestones.

In the unexpected flair of a red rain poncho covering an old man as he pedaled his bicycle along the Seine.

I saw the heavy-headed peonies, blushing pink and sweet underneath the floral shop awning, drowsed with rain and nodding on their pale green stems.

I smelled roses, drunk with rain and walked underneath flowering chestnut trees.

I got wet.

Oh.

I got so wet.

Drenched.

Doused.

Soaked.

And yet.

My heart felt light and I strode along the avenues, occasionally lost and adrift in the details of the weather and in the welter of my soul as it beat against my rib cage, sometimes it lives there, underneath my heart, just behind my rib cage, a plummeting bird singing a song, sad and melancholic, beautiful and lyric and like the timpani softly chiming it sings a song just to me.

I was not sad.

I was not melancholic.

I was steered toward that direction once or twice when the rain seemed to overtake me and my feet got wet, but the lightness in me kept me warm.

I was surprised to find, when I finally took shelter in a cafe bistro, that my hands were so cold from clasping the umbrella handle that I could not bend my fingers properly.

I had a quiet dinner in a small bistro on Rue de Bac.

Roast chicken and roasted vegetables, sweet and savory in their juices, a Comte cheese plate with a simple mixed green salad and a few drops of balsamic vinaigrette, a small bottle of Perrier, and a cafe creme.

I sat and almost became melancholic and I can feel a sad story trying to escape my heart and perhaps it is just the poesies of the art I saw earlier still nestled there, but I did not let myself drift there.

You are not alone in Paris having dinner you are with yourself and your company is lovely.

I sat and looked at the rain falling outside, the umbrella stand tilted over, heavy with parpluies, the round wooden bistro chairs tucked underneath tables, more peonies and pink roses on the bar, the old man who tumbled by underneath a large yellow and red and blue golf umbrella, chased by the rain towards home, I presume.

I tasted the cafe creme and once caught my own eye in the long mirror to my side and thought, who is that beauty?

Oh.

Ha.

It’s me.

And that made me, for a moment soften and sadden for all those times when my company was not enough for me, not knowing how rich and good it is, and I longed for another and there was no other and I was alone in Paris eating my steak tartar in a bistro years ago somewhere in the 9th arrondissement in the rain.

Oh.

Paris in the rain, you can be so sad and lonely.

Or.

You can shine with lustre like a rare pearl, polished in the fiery embers of the red lights reflected in the wet street pavement.

I am never alone when I am with Paris.

We are lovers.

Yes.

My own secret language of dreams, and do you really wonder why I have it tattooed on my chest, dream, in French, that is.

I saw you as I walked back to the house boat after my lovely well curated little meal, a single swan in the Seine, in the rain, long graceful neck slightly curved beneath the weight of the glory of being its own perfect self.

Perhaps I too am like that.

In moments here and there.

In the light that reflects from the raindrops, in the light that is cast from the bateaux mouche as they traverse the river up and down, constantly ferrying souls to and fro.

There are times I am lonely.

Yet.

I am never alone.

Unfettered and loved.

I am here.

I am there.

I am in the notes of revery between the keys on the piano, the soft hand strikes the ivory and music resonates, pearling into the air about me like staccato raindrops on the roof of the houseboat.

And so.

I go forward.

Warm now.

Sheltered from the rain.

But not quite a part from it.

As it, like the music, like the painting that blew my heart out in the Musee L’Orangerie today, blew it out, devoured it, rendered it changed and altered and smashed my face with soft tears that drifted shamelessly down my face, awestruck in the face of such grace, is now ground into me.

The rain.

The poetry.

The Chopin.

The art.

The city.

A swan of desire upon my fevered face.

I shall not forget soon.

No.

I shall not.

This blasphemous joy.

Sunshine & Rain

May 17, 2017

I got both today.

Loads of sun this morning and early afternoon.

Perfect for sitting on the deck of the houseboat and writing and drinking cafe au lait, watching the boats go by, flirting with the boat cats–there are three brown tabbies that nestle on the houseboat that is docked next to this one, soaking up the sun.

The rain was forecasted for tonight and the rain will last, according to the weather, but I am hoping there will be small reprieves when the sun comes out again, until I leave on Sunday morning.  There is a chance for sun again on Saturday and I do hope that happens as a friend and I are going to go hit the Clingancourt brocante and vintage market.

I expect that the rain will push me into the Louvre tomorrow to see the Vermeer show and drift about.

I don’t ever have a plan when I go to the Louvre, go in, get out, drop some postcards at La Bureau de Posts–nothing quite like getting the Louvre postal stamp on your postcard.

Slight aside.

I got an amazing congratulations baby card today in my travels about, one that says congrats on twins in French!  Super happy I found it, I will be dropping that off for sure from the Louvre.

Today I did the Pompidou as my museum.

And there was no need to do another.

It filled me up with art.

I saw a Vassily Kandinsky I had never seen before that I quite liked, I love his early works quite a bit, and this fell into that category.

I also saw some beautiful photographs and I took loads of photographs from the top deck of the Pompidou.

I got some great shots of Sacre Couer and also of the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ones I am quite enamored with as the storm clouds were coming in dark and fierce.

The down pour that followed was insane.

I had met a friend at the museum and we ran through the streets, well, ok, I didn’t run, not so much, the ankle is getting better, but it is not racing through the wet streets of Paris better, between awnings and eventually we ducked into a Japanese restaurant.

Some hot tea and a little sushi later, semi-dry, and walking back to the houseboat on the Seine in the rain.

Sometimes when it rains in Paris it is fucking desperate and awful.

I remember when I moved to Paris in the winter of 2012 how bad it was, so cold, so dreary, but tonight it was neither, after the deluge, the rains were misty and softer and the streets got that glow from slick water on pavement and the streetlights, green, gold, crimson reflected on the pavement.

So gorgeous.

I got back wet and I had to take a lot of pains to get on the house boat without breaking my ankle, but I did, and I’m dry now and all sorted out.

I took some time to go through my photographs and post those up to my social media and I also took the things I bought today out of their packaging so that I would have more room to smash them all in my carry on.

I am about shopped out.

I spent just about all the money on shopping that I have earmarked for myself.

Um.

Because.

Heh.

I finally let myself buy some French lingerie.

I had to.

I have always wanted to and so.

Well.

I did.

I got two of the prettiest bra and panty sets ever and a body suit.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was trop cher, ma cherie, but I had it in my budget and so I let myself do it.

It felt pretty glorious and truth be told it was really letting myself have a treat.

A treat that I continued to let myself have by also getting a few more Claire Fontaine notebooks and some makeup from Sephora.

Yes.

There is Sephora in San Francisco, but I wanted to buy some here, I try to get a thing or two from the Paris Sephora since it was in Paris in 2002 that I first discovered the makeup store.

I bought a lipstick and some Urban Decay eye shadows.

Sure.

I paid a few Euro more than what I might have at home, but every time I use it, I will think of Paris and that is well worth the cost.

And.

Yes.

I got my tattoo!

C’est très superb!

I got the French word for non-conformist on my left forearm.

“Anticonformiste.”

In script.

It is super pretty and fits well with my other tattoos.

I had fun talking to the artist, Manish, who is visiting from Nepal.

I also got to have some cute conversations with a few gentlemen who walked into the store to get tattoos, one older man who was quite excited by my dragons and then proceeded to show me the one on his arm, beautiful work, and we chit chatted in French about tattoos for a while and where I got mine and how much fun they are.

All the fun stuff.

I have had such a lovely time.

And I still have a few days left for some more.

The rain speaks to me of sleeping in and a slow serene day at the Louvre tomorrow.

A demain, mes amies.

Et.

A bientot!

Let’s Go Out in The Sunshine

May 15, 2017

But before I do.

Let me write my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat and eat a plum.

In my long black, sleeveless dress with my bare feet (well, one bare foot, my right ankle was still wrapped up in its Ace bandage) up on a wooden deck chair.

Still need to rest my ankle when and where I can.

It’s not nearly as bad, but I can tell when it starts to get cranky and then, it’s time to sit, rest, let it go, not push too hard.

I have sat far more this trip than I ever have any prior time here.

I have to say.

It’s damn nice.

I’m not so freaked out that I’m not going to get to have the experiences I want to have.

In fact.

I’m pretty ok with whatever experiences that I continue to have here as they have been simply marvelous.

I will never forget sitting on the deck and drinking coffee and watching the Batobus go by with their tops heavy with tourists.

Not ever.

Nor the way the tree dander floated on the wind along the Seine as I walked the river this afternoon perusing the book sellers.

I picked up a couple of really great postcards and had some nice chats with vendors.

I walked from the houseboat down past Notre Dame and had lunch on Ile St. Louis.

I finally got the crappy Paris service that folks complain about, but I also recognize that I perhaps went too long before having my lunch.

Sometimes the walking just pulls me along and I have to go another block, see another building, watch another couple entwined around one another.

Paris.

You are so enchanting.

I feel enchanted being here.

Like I am in a fairy tale.

I made up for the crap service at lunch by finding a fabulous cafe on the edge of the Marais with bright blue chairs and red tables and had the most fabulous lemonade I have ever had.

And.

A cafe creme.

When in Paris.

ALL THE CAFE CREME PLEASE!

It’s my splurge.

The lemonade was so tart it made my whole face pucker, it had no sugar, which is right up my alley, since I don’t do sugar, but the crushed ice and the big sprig of mint made it a savory, refreshing and delicious.

Sitting in the sunshine didn’t hurt either.

After some slow sipping and sitting I wandered the Marais.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I did.

I hit the fucking jackpot.

I found a papeterie that carried a ton of Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I bought six.

Heh.

I am a very, very, very happy girl.

I also swung into Abraxas Tattoo.

Yes.

I will be getting another tattoo.

You know.

That’s what I do.

I will be going in Wednesday at 3:30p.m.

I will probably do a big swing through the Pompidou prior to getting the tattoo.

I am getting Anticonformiste in script on my left forearm.

A visiting tattoo artist from Nepal, Manish, super kind and we had a great chat about when I was going to come in and what I wanted, will be doing the work for me.

I expect that the tattoo won’t take but an hour.

So I may do the Pompidou after.

But the Pompidou I will do.

Tomorrow I will start the museum circuit.

I have the four-day museum pass and Saturday I have plans to go with a friend to Clingancort on Saturday and well, Sunday, I fly home.

But let’s not talk about Sunday yet.

Today is just Monday.

So.

Back to the Marais, back to my strolls.

Oh.

The reminds me, since I’ll be in the Marais again on Wednesday I should pop into the Marche aux Rouge Enfants.

The Market by the Red Children.

It is located by a former orphanage where the children wore red coats.

Thus the name.

It is a gigantic food market.

Closed on Mondays, so no journeying though the stalls, but it will be open on Wednesday.

I am feeling that is where I will be getting my lunch and maybe taking it to Place Vosges to eat before getting inked up.

Not a plan, but a thought, I make no plans, they melt away, I am just letting myself really experience Paris.

Walking through the Marais I also swung into a couple of stores and yes, I found the perfect black sundress.

Superb!

I am very happy to have found it, not too pricey, 59 Euro, and my goal of finding a dress in Paris is complete.

It almost never happens that fast.

In one day I found my dress, all my postcards, put a deposit down on a new tattoo, and got Claire Fontaine notebooks!

I am set.

I want for nothing.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow I will start the round of museums and get the Paris Museum Pass activated by going to the D’Orsay.

The Orangerie is closed, so I might pop into the Louvre as well, there is a Vermeer exhibition happening that I would love to see.

No pressure to do the Louvre in entirety, not that I could, it is so enormous, I can’t even express it, over two city block long, two wings of art, each wing having four floors, there is no way I will ever see everything in the Louvre, ever.

Not that I need to either, I have seen the things that I want and even the infamous, and tiny, Mona Lisa, but the big draws are always too much for me to deal with, too many people, I like the smaller rooms and galleries.

But the Vermeer looks like a really good show, so definitely I will go to that.

Plus.

I know the “secret” entrance to the Louvre in the Tuilleries that helps to skip the massive lines that are the queue for the entrance under the I M Pei Pyramid.

So.

Just a quick zip in and out.

And no agenda.

Really.

I am so happy to be here and I am having a fabulous time.

Really relaxing and slowing down and enjoying the delicious sun and the walking and the houseboat and the cafe creme.

Heh.

Always that.

Bon soir mes amies.

A demain.

Trop grosse bixous!

Good Day

April 2, 2017

Long day.

Glad it’s done day.

Wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow day.

But.

Oh well.

That being said at least I had some time before and after work for myself.

I got up and went to yoga and had a really good class.

I cried.

It was good and sometimes when it’s really good, something lifts and moves and I get emotional relief not just a nice quiet relief from my thoughts but a shifting inside and something gets worked out.

I had some stuff get worked out that I wasn’t expecting and I floated back to the house after.

A hot shower and a text from the mom saying I wasn’t needed until 1p.m.

I had been scheduled to come in at noon.

So I had some extra time to do some writing, check in with a friend and do some homework as well as get my spending plan done for the month of April.

I was right, not that I’m keeping track, but by eliminating my clothing allowance and my savings allowance I’ll be able to afford doing the weekly therapy.

I may change that at some point and as I applied to get financial aid for my summer session of practicum, which is considered a class, I will probably use some of that money towards tuition, of course, and also towards the therapy.

It’s required by the school for my degree, might as well use student loan money to pay for it.

When that happens, depending on how much I get over the tuition bill, sometimes it’s only been a few hundred dollars, I’ll use that towards my therapy and allow myself money back into my clothes or savings allowance.

Suffice to say.

I have enough for April to get by without freaking out, taking money from my travel savings account, or having to sell my plasma.

I jest.

I haven’t sold my plasma in years.

Not that I could anyhow, I’ve had a recent tattoo and you cannot donate blood or plasma for a year after you’ve gotten a tattoo.

So.

Like.

I’ve not donated blood in the past decade pretty much.

Ha.

Money enough is coming in, is what I’m saying and I was able to figure that all out before I went into work.

It was a chill day and I had a nice time with the kids.

I was a little tired, not physically so much, but mentally.

It’s a long stretch to be with the kids that many days in a row.

I made it through though, and got off early enough to run and get a few groceries from the store and then over to 1100 Divisadero to do the deal and meet up with friends.

After which, dinner at Souvla, a Greek restaurant in the NOPA.

I had an amazing dinner and mostly on account of the company, but the food is really good too.

I am really grateful for this group of fellows and so happy that have committed to continue seeing them every week, it’s really been helping me stay balanced with my school and work stuff.

And although I am working tomorrow, it will be an interesting adventure.

The family is actually coming out to me.

The weather tomorrow is looking warm and sunny and the mom wants to bring all the kids to the beach.

She said that they will be coming out to Ocean Beach and will send me a little text when they get close and we’ll all go have a beach day.

I can handle that!

I’m going to get up and do a yoga class again and be ready by noon, although it may be more like 1 p.m. by the time they get out here.

I’m happy to be staying in my neighborhood and I won’t have to do any cooking or cleaning or laundry, I’m grateful for that and for not having to do a commute in either.

The traffic today was crazy.

Everybody was out and headed to the park or the beach and that’s basically where I live and it was a longer commute time that it is during the week.

I am very happy to stay put in the hood tomorrow and just hang out with the kiddos at the beach and build sand castles and walk the tide line and look for shells and be out in the sunshine all day.

I am down with that.

And get paid.

Yes.

Thank you.

I haven’t yet been down to the beach on the nice weather day in a while.

I’m looking forward to it.

I also did not get the sense that I would be working all the way until 6 p.m.

The mom assured me though, that I would be compensated for the hours we had discussed.

I find that really fair and reasonable, and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to say anything about it, she just said, you’ll be paid the full amount we discussed.

Thank you!

Not much else to report this news cycle.

At least not anything that I’m willing to write about.

I fear that my blogs have not been so scintillating that they will start losing readership, then I remember, I don’t write for an audience, I write for myself and I would be writing even if only ten people were reading.

Or if no one were reading.

It is my space.

I claim it.

I own it.

It helps me and the really juicy stuff, well, involves other people and their stories are theirs, not mine, to tell.

So I bid you adieu.

A good night.

And.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Dreams.

Carmen

March 5, 2017

That is an unusual name.

My driver said to me before dropping me off.

“Yes,” I replied, “I am lucky to have it.”

I am too.

I love my name and there are days I feel like I live up to it and there are days when it takes on its own persona, its own life and I’m a little like, hey, who the hell are you?

Sort of like my blog.

I am not all here, no, I’m not.

There are things I don’t write about and there are things I do write about.

Which is just how it is.

I have learned over the years of writing to keep the focus on me and I have a strong tendency to want to wrap up whatever I’m writing with something pithy, with some solution, with some sort of aha moment.

I had a sort of aha moment today where I just wanted to scoop my brain out of my head and throw it out into the rain.

I was struggling in yoga.

I just wasn’t feeling it, it was a substitute teacher and she had a different way of doing things, and different isn’t bad, though my head may try to tell me that it is, it’s just different, that’s all, and I can struggle getting someone else’s routine down.

I wasn’t doing a lot of compare and despair but I was a little and I felt sort of janky and jangly and out of my element and as I was lying in the final pose, corpse pose, yeah, that was definitely me after class today, dead, but alive, my brain hadn’t rested much, churning out the good time music and the chaos, I began to obsess about how I wasn’t doing enough yoga and that I had to figure out how to do more yoga.

All this while doing yoga.

BRAIN.

Please.

Can you stop.

Please.

You’re killing me smalls.

Seriously.

At least I was able to find the humor in it.

It was funny and so typical of what my head does, I had to laugh.

Especially when I shared it later today with my person.

We met at Tart to Tart, did some reading, I got a good check in, some suggestions and felt a lot better about my kookoo brain than I had before I walked in.

Then I met with another lady and felt better after that.

And I ended up skipping on getting my nails done and just headed home on the train.

Which was nice, facilitated having a phone call with a dear friend of mine that I have been out of touch with.

Which led to making plans to see said friend.

Super grateful for that.

And a slow day here at the house thereafter.

I did a tiny bit of grocery shopping at the co-op and did some preliminary scouting work on my mid-term paper that I have to write tomorrow for my Couples Therapy class.

But.

I was just not in a mood or place to do any homework.

I now what I have to do tomorrow and I’m going to get it done, but today, I just couldn’t muster the energy to do it.

My friend and I had talked about how lonely school can be and how hard it is to balance full-time work with full time school and full time recovery.

And it is.

It is a lot.

And I miss my friend.

And I miss socializing.

So when we talked I could see my calendar in my head and I double checked, and yes, there, a day where we can meet and hang out and catch up.

I also let myself off the hook to do anything super productive today, just to let myself have a chill day, especially after the trauma of going to the dentist last Saturday.

So.

I bought myself some flowers at the store and I did some art.

Just messed around with my colored pencils for a while, but it was nice, listening to jazz, John Coltrane, listening to the rain all outside, listening to the scratch of the pencil on the paper.

Soothing.

And when the time was time I ordered a car and headed out to 1100 Divisadero and hung out with an hour in a room with some fellows.

Then.

Yes.

I did it.

I fellowshipped.

I was uncomfortable, I always am at the beginning of it, then I got into it and I felt more connected and it was nice, I don’t always know how to act in social gatherings and I can still be really awkward, but I am working it out and better awkward with friends, burgeoning friends, than cozy and alone.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being alone.

But I can get alone too often.

And I need to be social, I am a social creature, I am a human with needs for connection.

I can just get in my way sometimes and get too caught up in trying to figure out when I can get to do more yoga.

Which is me trying to figure it out, trying to manipulate, trying to control and manage my life, which I have proven over and over and over to myself that I am not the best management team for myself.

Yet.

I still try.

My brain is a pushy little beast.

I have some great respect for that tenacity, but sometimes the tenaciousness of it is wearing.

And like I said, when I’m doing yoga while trying to figure out how to do more yoga I know that it is too meta for me and not in a good way.

I am in my will and when I’m there, well, I’m watching the horror show.

I got to practice changing the channel today and it was pretty damn good.

Reality.

It really is the best show in town.

Seriously.

 

Today Was A

February 19, 2017

Fuck yeah kind of day.

I was chilled most of the day, but I did look cute.

Although perhaps a little on the shivery side.

I wasn’t expecting to be out all day long and I just never made it back to the house once I was out and about.

I sort of know better, but oh well, that’s all I really have to complain about, I was a little cold today, and now that I am home, a hot mug of tea next to me, the heater turned on and my candles all lit up, oh yes, and some nice Saint Germaine de Pres on the radio cube, yes, I said radio cube, it’s like a trip toy for rave kids candy flipping, but I’ve had it for years and years and it really does work–an old IHome cube.

I have had it forever and it’s been to many a Burning Man.

Not this year though, nothing that I will have to hook up to electricity, I won’t be working the event so very doubtful I will have access to any sort of power hook up like I have in the past.

I digress.

Burning Man was not today, although it did come up in conversation a few times.

I am pretty dorked out that I get to go again.

Anyway.

I did go to things today.

I went to yoga.

I am glad I did, although, yes, I had a moment or two when I didn’t want to and it’s hard to get back on the horse, but I did.

I wasn’t able to go at all last weekend since I was in class all day and it’s hard, I see how fast I can lose the benefits of the practice, but hey, I went, and it was enough.

I am enough.

There it is again.

Hello.

Yes, I repeat, I am enough.

After yoga, a quick hot shower, a yummy hot breakfast and a tasty coconut/almond milk latte.

Living the high life.

Then.

I gratefully accepted the reprieve in the rain, it cleared today, but shall be back the next few days, and I uncovered my scooter and rode it up to 7th and Irving.

I met my person at Tart to Tart and embarked on some inventory.

We did some reading.

I did some writing.

I did some crying.

Damn it.

But.

Such good crying and also a lot of laughing, sometimes seeing how my foibles are impeding my journey just makes me laugh and how I think and how it does not serve.

Oh.

Does my thinking, NOT serve.

So.

I got some amazing perspective and some really good suggestions.

And.

Yes.

That’s right.

I took them.

I ran with them all day.

Guess what?

I had a fucking fabulous day.

FABULOUS.

I went and had a mani/pedi after and got my eyebrows wrangled.

Then I took myself out to lunch at Marnee Thai–duck breast curry with plantains.

Holy Mother of God.

So freaking good.

I did a little shopping after that at Ambiance.

I actually took a friend’s suggestion around self-care.

Well.

Close.

My friend had suggested I go get a massage.

I went to a hot tub instead.

It was bliss.

So good to get a soak and let all the kinks get worked out.

Then a scooter ride over to Turk and Divisadero to hang out with my fellows and do the deal.

I even fucking fellowshipped after and discovered a new place for food that I had not been to in the neighborhood.

Hung out.

Socialized.

Ate hella good food and let my hair down.

I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I was able to nip the isolation blues in the bud.

Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I could have bailed on the fellowship, I had food at the house, but I really craved some company tonight and I am so much the better for just hanging the fuck out with my people.

They are like no other.

Yeah.

I know.

I am biased.

But.

I do know a special and amazing group of people.

They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

I felt a lot more a part of and I want to continue making that effort.

I shared with a friend tonight that it really can be a challenge to navigate doing grad school work and work and recovery and socializing.

I isolate sometimes because I am scared.

But.

Also.

Because, um, yeah, I have hundreds of pages of reading to do and papers to write.

I may not get to the paper I was going to write today.

And I’m just fine with that.

I have time and my time was so much better spent letting myself be of and in the world.

I rather like my San Franciscan world.

Sure.

It’s not the same city it used to be, it’s changed, but then again, so have I.

Change happens.

Change is the only reliable thing that is consistent.

I can try to control things and I am a sucker for routine, but once in a while I need to break out of it, evolve and see what comes of that action.

I may go back to where I was, all up in my head, but i have a solution that works.

I mean.

Fuck.

It works.

I am so grateful for that.

So much so it’s sort of stupid.

Don’t care if I’m a dork about that too.

Something lovely about my gratitude.

Something lovely about not having it all be on my time, my schedule and my way.

God has perfect timing.

Perfect love.

And wants me to be happy.

I can stop trying so hard to make things happen and just let them happen.

I don’t have to watch the horror show in my head.

I’m pretty bored with the characters and the casting is awful, and really it’s over dramatic, fear filled, and unrealistic.

Reality is so much more sexy.

And I certainly had a sexy day today.

Yes.

Yes.

I did.

Yes! This Works

February 17, 2017

Best e-mail response ever.

I spoke with my boss yesterday about taking time off to go to Burning Man this year.

Yes.

I am aware that Burning Man isn’t until the last week of August.

I am one of those people who plan pretty far out in advance and it came down to needing to ask sooner rather than later as the family I nanny for is going to be in Europe for three weeks.

Without me.

In July.

So.

To take off a week of time in August was actually a great big request and I was shy to ask for it

I mean.

It’s Burning Man.

Folks have an idea of what that means.

Especially if they have never been.

And most folks might not be inclined to let go of their full time nanny so she could go romp around in the desert for a week when the kids are gearing up for their school semester and they have a baby and full-time work and um, yeah.

But.

She told me, the mom, that it could probably work, to e-mail her the dates and she would get back to me.

I did so last night.

And I actually sort of forgot that I had e-mailed her and then.

This morning.

Yes!

I got the best answer.

I got the “Yes! This works!” Response.

I just about fell out of my chair.

I haven’t gotten my ticket, I won’t know for eight weeks whether I have gotten the low-income ticket, but really, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

First.

That I don’t have any school conflict with going to the event.

Second.

That my job is willing to let me go.

Huge hurdles.

The ticket will come.

I know too many people and should I get denied the low-income ticket, I do feel like I will be able to negotiate getting one at the full price.

Fingers crossed that won’t happen, I could use the cash for other things, but I will if I have to.

Have to is should be re-phrased, get to, if I need to I can.

The gift of the time off is the big deal.

“You need to have fun,” my employer said, “it can’t just be work and school, we want you to be able to go and play.”

My god.

What a gift this job is.

I am so grateful to have it.

Today was super chill.

Almost too chill.

I could have fallen asleep.

In fact, had my charge dropped off, I would have.

She never quite did though.

I had one little monkey home sick from school today and the mom and the baby and the grandma, who is visiting, were out and about.

I stayed back.

Tidied up the kitchen.

Drew pictures and colored with my charge.

Lots and lots and lots of music, reading stories, and snuggling.

“Carmen, scratch my back more please,” she said and collapsed over a big throw pillow on the couch.

Happy to oblige, I sat and rubbed her back and snuggled with her.

We had picnic on the floor, played foxes, rescue fire fighters, cops and robbers, and veterinarian.

We ran away from scary robots and ghosts.

My little girl charge is a fierce lady and it’s really quite fun to be with her high-spirited energy, even when she’s sick, we had just a sweet day, no getting out to the park, no riding the train to grab my other charge, my first shift there since I started where I didn’t go outside at all.

I did feel a little sleepy from the lack of outside stimulation, but I got through it and it was really just nice to have a day playing with my charge.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh.

Glorious weekend.

How I do love thee.

Let me count the ways.

Yoga.

Doing the deal.

Meeting with my person.

Getting my tattoo touched up.

And?

Who knows what else.

Yes.

Most likely there will be homework and reading and stuff and things, meal prep and grocery and what have you.

But.

I do want to let myself have fun, to relax a little to not be too serious or overcommitment to making all the things happen.

The weather today, no rain when it had been forecasted, was a boon, I was able to ride my scooter to and from work and I got to do a little speaking engagement and get some grocery shopping done.

The rain comes back tomorrow.

Which always changes my plans a little.

The not riding my scooter sort of deal.

I suspect that whatever happens it will be fine.

I’m so happy to have a couple of days off.

One more day of work.

One more.

Oof.

Hella grateful for that.

And.

Yeah.

Burning Man.

I am so very thrilled.

I am.

I am.

I have time to do some bicycle research.

Sadly.

My playa steed did not make it back from the event last year.

I was upset when I found out, but then, grateful after I had time to do some work around it and yes, some grieving too, that bike meant a lot to me, but now I get to have a new experience out there.

A new bike.

A new camp.

Not working.

Just going to participate and have fun.

Fun.

EEK.

I hope I can handle not doing any work for a week.

Ha.

As if going isn’t a hell of a lot of work.

I always have work to do to get to go.

But.

It’s a labor of love.

Dusty love, but love nevertheless.

Ah.

It’s been a good week.

Grateful it’s almost done.

I need a break.

But.

You know that already.

And some fun.

I don’t have to wait for Burning Man before I have fun.

Hell no.

So.

Bring on the fun.

I am ready.

Primed, in fact.

Seriously.

Bring it.


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