Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Brain Break

December 4, 2018

My head just needs a serious break.

Today at work I was cussing out my classes, my computer, my head, the stack of books next to me and my notebook.

Fuck it all.

I was tired.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.

It’s the god damn beginning of the week.

And I’m already tired.

oh well.

At least I got some discussion posts up, after much profanity, and I did some follow-up work on a discussion post I’d put up the day before yesterday and I checked in on the responses to my work and responded to a few people in my cohort.

But my brain just hurts.

My tooth is also a little tender tonight, not sure why, so I had oatmeal for dinner and I’m just taking it easy.

I’m not really behind on any of the work for school and my head really does feel like it’s been blown open.

Of course it doesn’t help that a TA and a professor from my most demanding class are demanding some more work in the discussion thread I have done the most work in.

I’m like motherfuckers, I have posted over 5,000 words in the damn thread in the past five or six days, I’m tired of the topics and the demands of the class and where the hell is everybody anyway?  I’m seeing a fuck load of people not even posting or discussing, so why ask me to do more?

Of course.

I will do some more, I just need to grouse a little bit about it.

And that is why I love my little blog and being back here again, I can’t exactly say “go fuck yourself” to my professor on my discussion threads.

I mean.

I did send him an e-mail near the beginning of the semester saying he was asking for an unreasonable amount of work and I still think he is.

And I also see that I am one of the few people keeping up with what he’s throwing at us.

I have to also see it from the standpoint, this is his program, he’s the person who started this PhD program at my school, he created it, he loves it, I know, I’ve read one of his books and enough of his articles to choke a horse.

Sigh.

But when I give it some space I also see that I am learning and learning at sometimes a terrifying pace.

Is there enough room up there in my head?

I don’t know if there is, maybe I’ll forget the things that aren’t so important like math.

Bwhahahaahha.

Anyway.

I’m also roasting a chicken, in hopes that tomorrow I will be able to eat some pretty close to solid food.  I mean, I love some good oatmeal, I know, crazy right, (with juicy, tart, sweet apples, persimmon, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie space, plus vanilla almond milk, come on, that’s some good shit), but a nice bit of roast chicken will be good for me.

I also know that though I am not burnt out, I am juggling a lot of stuff right now.

I almost screeched in joy when I found out that the trauma training I was mandated to go to this Sunday for my internship was cancelled as the trainer had a family emergency and won’t be available.

Holy fuck.

Thank God.

Not going to that training will save me five hours of time this weekend.

I can do a lot with five hours.

I am glad I didn’t know this information yesterday as I pushed myself to write my book review for my Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century paper.  I still have some editing to do for it, but I wanted to get it out-of-the-way because it’s due this upcoming Sunday and what with the trauma training it was going to be a tight push to do it.

Now I have a nice big chunk of time on Sunday to go get my Christmas tree!

I was planning on doing it on Sunday anyway, after the training and whatever work that there was to do for the book review.  But with the training cancelled and the book review pretty much done I can, oh my God.

I can sleep in!

I wasn’t able to yesterday, I had to get up early and run a bunch of errands that were on time constraints.

Sunday is my only day to sleep in and next Sunday if I was going to the trauma training I would be getting up really early to drive over to Berkeley for the three-hour training.

I get to sleep in!

My God that makes me happy.

Sleep.

It is such a nice thing.

I’m going to tell you a little secret.

That’s how I’m doing this PhD.

As much work as I can do during the day, thank God the baby took a big nap and the mom was out of the house at a meeting all day, then I come home and do a bit more and then.

Well.

I fucking stop.

I make sure that I am getting as close to eight hours of sleep as I can.

I don’t always succeed, Wednesday nights are notoriously hard for me to get more than five or six–I have group supervision for my private practice therapy internship in the morning before work and I have to be up by six am on Thursdays and since I have clients until 8:30p.m. I’m not home Wednesday night until a little after 9p.m.  By the time I get things sorted and have a bite of dinner it’s already time for bed and I find it pretty hard to wind it down fast enough to actually get the solid sleep I could use.

But that’s it, once a week I’m shy on sleep, the rest of the time I let myself rest.

My brain can’t hold all the information otherwise, there is just too much, I have to sleep.

Speaking of.

Time to wrap this up, make some tea and get ready for bed.

I have a lot to do tomorrow, therapy before work, work, and then seeing two clients in the evening after work.

Tuesday is a twelve-hour day for me.

So, yeah.

I’m going to let myself off the hook for the rest of tonight, call it a day.

And.

Sleep.

All the good, dreamy, yummy, sleep I can get.

 

Advertisements

Speak To Me

September 26, 2018

In the language of trees.

Specifically.

In the whisperings of God dropping through the boughs of the giant avocado tree.

Said tree that I stand next to at times, times of the day when I am alone at work, out on the balcony to the world staring down at the bowl of San Francisco from my perch.

A  perch just on the cusp of Glen Park.

Borderlands to Noe Valley.

A perch of privilege, a deck of wonders.

Who knew there was such a view?

Or that God would choose the avocado tree to teach me of my love for you.

For a moment I could not even remember if you liked avocados.

Then.

The memory of the first time I cooked you breakfast.

(You requested, something simple, like avocado toast, which you got, as well as prosciutto and asparagus fritatta with pecorino and grueyere and fruit, all organic and curated, and granola parfait, said toast dusted with sea salt collected by the soft milk white hands of virgins under the new moon–at least that is what I told you,  as it cost $58 a lb)

How I wanted to please you.

How I wanted to make you happy.

How I wanted to impress you.

And yes.

How I wanted to show you how much I loved you.

Although the words had not been uttered out loud.

They were there.

Lingering in the cast iron skillet I sautéed the asparagus in.

Late spring asparagus I had culled with much discernment at the market.

Everything needed to be just so for you.

You may see how mad I was to impress you.

See.

Here.

Here are my list of skills.

Cooking, obviously.

Did I tell you that I know how to make pie crust from scratch?

I know I must have enraptured you at some point with tales of apple pie and vanilla custard ice cream in the house in Windsor, in Wisconsin, with apples that I picked myself from the Cortland tree.

Apples that to this day I can taste faint, sweet, crisp, with a wicked whisper of tartness that reminds me of you.

You flavor my ways and days and the memory of you wicks through me some times with terrifying speed.

I digress.

Apples.

Apple pie.

Apple tart kisses, my bonny boy, my blue-eyed one, my love, my love, my ardent heart.

I digress.

Where was I?

Oh.

Yes.

Skills.

Cooking, cleaning, pie crust making, massage, poetry, recitations, love-making.

We were oh so good at that last, weren’t we lover?

Digressing again.

I shivered, it felt like withdrawal, in the car tonight, on my long drive home, waiting in line on Lincoln Avenue for the light to finally turn green so that I could turn on to 19th and head to Crossover Drive, to float down the hills, rolling and soft, like a asphalt veld, to the sea.

To 48th and Balboa, my new digs.

You were the first person to see it.

Just the bones, you know.

Just the bare walls and the wood floors and the oh so, oh my God, is it really all mine, deck.

I almost kissed you there, in the shadow of the house, I wanted you to kiss me there, in the corner of my heart, in my new home and cement yourself even further into my heart, is that possible?

It is I think.

You managed somehow.

And though I did not kiss you, I stopped, startled, stunned that I wasn’t allowed to kiss you anymore, momentarily forgetful of this whole grown up thing we are doing, the no contact thing that we keep breaking, like my heart, trying to find our way through the morass and the mire to that high road of love, I wanted to.

I wanted to kiss you.

And I did.

Later.

But I am not at later yet.

For.

I digress.

The digression too becomes a part and parcel to the piece.

Does it not?

Where was I?

Oh yes.

I was shivering.

Shaking with need, a good addict response, what had triggered me?

Aside, not digression, I hate that word, trigger, so banal, so trite, so overused and misunderstood, excuses to act out on desires, I was triggered, I could not help myself, what was it that pulled my focus, that made me shiver.

The damn car wash.

Remember that one?

You know the one, when we were on holiday, what a horrid way to misuse that word, from our sexual appetites, trying yet again to figure out how to be and not be with each other.

We’re just “friends” now.

I knew then, but did not say it, there is no going backwards.

So when we were just supposed to be going for a ride, just supposed to be talking, how we ended up at the gas station with the discount gas if you should happen to buy a car wash.

No overheated teenager ever made out more furious with passion than did we.

I do not know how long the water pelted down but it was not long enough.

It was never long enough with you and I.

And then I’m turning, the light is green, it is time to go, and I let the yellow and orange and white lights of the gas station melt away in the rear view mirror, but the song is still there and I still feel you in the air inside my car, some sort of ghost in the machine.

Deux ex machina.

And I feel you seeping under that layer of skin between muscle and sinew and I cry, out loud, your name in the darkened shell of my car, the dashboard lights the only witness to my pain.

I half expected you to text me immediately.

You do always know when I am almost there on the ledge of love waiting to leap and always wanting you to catch me when I fall.

But you didn’t.

Text me, that is.

No matter how much I may want you to.

You’re not allowed.

I am not allowed.

We are not in that place.

Yet.

And.

I do not know the place exactly that we are in now.

So.

I talk to the avocado tree at work.

I pace the back balcony, the view of the city spilled out before me like a sumptuous private banquet that only I shall eat at.

The clouds, high, and tight in the sky, flick past, but are not big enough to blot out all that wide open blue.

That sky that does me in.

You had to have eyes the color of the sky, didn’t you?

Eyes so blue, so deep, flecked with green and gold and burnished with love.

Like the leaves of the avocado tree.

Leaves that when ruffled against the blue of the sky remind me of when I fell, headlong, heedless, and in absolute knowing, that I was irreconcilable in my love, into the blue of your blue eyes, straight through to the sea of your soul.

I launched out upon that sea and I have never looked back.

And though I am so far from shore.

I know, I really do believe.

That if I can just decipher the secrets that the avocado tree is whispering to me I will unlock the key and bring you back.

Back.

Back.

Down to the sea.

Where the driftwood bonfires burn brightly on the edge of the ocean and the mermaids sing each to each.

Do not make me wait to be old, a Prufrock figure, with trousers rolled, feet bare to the sea-foam, pushed about by incoming waves of salt sadness and sea bream.

Come back to me my love.

Come back.

At least please see me in my dreams.

Where once again I will fall for you with nary a regret.

Never a regret.

Over.

And over.

And.

Over.

Again.

Always.

Will.

I fall.

For.

You.

 

And Then Some

October 2, 2016

Today was exactly how I thought it would be and also.

Easier.

Lighter.

Less fraught with anxiety than some Saturdays can be as I recognized early the need to make all the things happen.

RIGHT NOW!

I text a friend.

First day off in two weeks and must make it all happen.

This is my best thinking.

And I know, deeply, that it is skewed thinking.

Flawed thinking.

Thinking with nothing more to it than make miserable happen when there is no need to be miserable.

I slept in.

Not long.

But just a little.

Just enough.

I skipped yoga.

Yeah that.

I also got honest with my person about skipping yoga in a phone call check in this afternoon.

I won’t be skipping tomorrow, especially now that I have made myself accountable to someone else, someone who sees me with a much greater kind of perspective than I see myself.

I made myself a nice breakfast.

Thank you Jesus for persimmons, my sweet little fall indulgence, how I do love thee.

Homemade oatmeal with apple and persimmon, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla almond milk; a hard boiled organic egg with salt and pepper, two big mugs of coffee–Four Barrel pour over.

And.

I am ready for the day.

Plus a little quiet time.

A lot of writing.

I wrote five pages this morning with out batting an eye.

I didn’t realize I had all that much to say, but there it was, it just came tumbling out.

All the words.

The words that spell out anxiety and I’m not enough and there is definitely not enough time.

But.

There is.

There was time to go grocery shopping.

I was shocked actually at how not busy the SafeWay by Ocean Beach was.

I had suspected it would be a mob scene with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

But it was not.

I got in and out and I have to say, I felt really happy with myself when I was standing in line and putting the food on the conveyor belt.

Man.

I take damn good care of myself, my food looks awesome.

I continued that trend by coming home and trussing a chicken and then doing a salt and pepper rub and roasting it in the oven while I did a run up to Other Avenues.

My preferred place to shop, but quite pricey so mostly the little organic things I can’t get at Safeway and the bulk food stuff and some hippy candles I really like.

Then back to the house, brown rice in a pot, groceries put away and onto the spending plan tally for September and doing my plan for October.

October is going to be a chill month.

No buying tickets to Paris.

No more scooter issues please.

I spent two grand more than I normally do this past month.

I don’t have a whole hell of a lot in savings.

Upside.

I do have something in savings.

And I have employment and I’m ok.

Just nothing extravagant for October.

Meeting my basics and sticking some cash in savings.

By two p.m. I was sitting on my back porch eating salt and pepper roast chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice with a brussels sprouts, white corn, and brown mushroom hash.

The sun was warm.

The breeze was cool.

Banjo rifts and guitar licks drifted to me from the park and I relaxed enough to know I had done pretty much everything that I needed to do and now it was time to do the deal and sit down and get square with my text books.

I did hours of reading.

I’m not done.

There are hours and hours to go.

“You are going to get through this,” my friend who I hadn’t seen in months said to me last night outside Our Lady of Safeway as the recovery house boys smoked their cigarettes and crumpled their court cards into their pockets.

I leaned into his warm hug.

“And you are going to be good, and you are going to help so many people, you will get through this, it is not for always, one foot in front of the other kiddo,” he finished, gave me a warm hug and shambled off with one of his guys toward the Lower Haight.

Sometimes the dread of the day lays heavy on me.

The responsibility to get it all done and be good and be on the up and up and get it done and go, go, go, well, it can be tremendous.

Overwhelming.

And.

Self-defeating.

I stopped making judgements around 45 minutes into my reading.

I started to feel good for picking up the books and just making the effort to read.

I don’t have to comprehend it all right now.

But I do have to start somewhere.

And.

I need to get caught up on all my reading.

Not necessarily to fulfill paper requirements or to please anyone, but because this is what I’m doing, I’m getting my Masters in Psychology and this is part of the work.

I have to do it to get the degree and I need the degree to facilitate moving into the next phase of my development.

Development that takes time, slow time, golden time, drowsy with afternoon light and the hours that breach between two and four p.m. when the promise of the day begins to wane towards dusk.

I read.

I read a lot.

Is it enough?

No, my head whispers.

Yes.

My heart confirms.

Today you did enough.

You are enough.

It was enough.

And tomorrow.

Well.

That’s not here yet.

Let’s just stay here.

You and I.

Or.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky

As long as it is with your hand in mine and the colors that bleed are not bleeding from my heart, but from the underpinnings of love that color the clouds and light my way forward.

This moment.

This now.

This everlasting love.

Yes.

That.

Always that.

Love.

Let us go there.

Together.

There Is Only

September 23, 2016

So much I can do.

I told myself as I felt completely blown out of the water by an e-mail I got from one of my professor’s today right before I left for work.

It was a cheery, chatty little hello death bomb.

You want me to what?

Why are you telling me this now?

It’s the fucking day before class and I’m working you twat.

Fuck me.

You can’t spring an assignment on me that last-minute.

I was spaced out the entire time I was on my scooter heading into work.

I kept having to pull my attention right back to the road, to the moment, to the feel of the wind on my body, to the blue sky over me, to the cars in front of me, the lights and the intersections.

By the time I got to work I felt overwhelmed and anxious as fuck.

I called a few people.

I felt the fear like a strangle hold on my neck.

I couldn’t breathe.

I started diagnosing myself with affective disorders from the DSM 5.

Just a little light reading before heading into work, no  worries.

I joke with one of my cohort that there should be a diagnosis in the DSM 5 for anxiety caused from being in graduate school.

I broke it down to myself today.

I can only do so much.

Listen.

The fact that I got out of bed, made it, and prayed was a big deal.

The fact that my rent is paid, my phone is paid, I have a clean home, my fridge is stocked with food I have cooked for the weekend of classes, that I have a job to go to, it’s enough.

I told myself these things.

I looked up at the trees, green, gold, red tinged with yellow against the cerulean blue sky, the cooing of mourning doves on the telephone wire, the warm sun, the cool wind.

I breathed.

In and out.

All I need to do is this.

Breathe and do the next action in front of me.

Panic is not going to help.

I look at all the things I do right.

I am not drinking, smoking, or blowing lines of cocaine.

I don’t eat sugar or flour.

I have a prayer practice for fuck sake.

I’m doing ok.

If grad school imploded.

I’ll be ok.

“Carmen, even at your worst, you are a rock star student,” she just assured me over the phone.

Thank God for my people and their perspectives.

Plus.

I had a major curve ball thrown my way with work this week.

Not like that hasn’t affected me a bit.

Please.

Be nice to yourself.

I caught my breath.

I got my bearings.

I knew I was ok.

I knew it was enough.

It just has to be good enough.

I just show up and that’s the majority of the battle anyway.

The nice thing for me too is knowing that I have to do a certain amount of self-care, this blog is one of the things I do for myself.

And you thought it was all about you, didn’t you, you sexy thing.

No.

I don’t much write with the audience in mind.

If I do I might freak out.

MY MOTHER COULD BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW.

Jesus fuck.

That’s enough to make a person edit themselves.

Heh.

But no.

I digress.

I know there’s only so much that can be done in a day and I do so much.

Really I do.

Even when I lose focus, even when I get complicated in my head, even when I want to shout, don’t you see how hard I’m trying?

There is no one to shout these things to.

Just me.

Whistling in the dark.

As the case may be.

But I think of the owl, the heart shape of his face, the cold dark eyes, the white fluttering wings, and I feel that I am just exactly where I am supposed to be, learning all the things I need to learn.

“People tell you who they are in the first moments you meet them,” he told me gently.

Yes.

What do I tell people in those first moments?

Can I treat myself kind so that others may give themselves permission to do so as well.

Can I smile.

Offer the kindness of a gracious demeanor, can I say thank you and please and you are welcome and it’s nice to see you too.

Can I remember a person’s name.

I can.

And I got through the day.

Granted I had to talk myself out of a hole a few times.

I fell in it.

But.

I also got to smile at the cashier at the market and wish her a happy day, I got to say thank you to Dave Hale who always has the best apples at the Bartlett Farmer’s Market, I got to get hugs from the boys and kisses from the dog.

I got to raise my head to the sunshine and lift my face in the wind.

I get to show up tomorrow and I get to be in graduate school.

If life were fair I’d be in the gutter.

Or.

Dead.

I mean.

Let me be honest.

I should not be here.

Too many things colluded against me for my life not to be viewed as a miraculous, magical, amazing gift.

I get to do all these things.

And I’m grateful I got this thing called perspective in my back pocket.

All I have to do is look around my beautiful little home to know that.

I have so much.

And when my head tells me I’m not enough I know that I don’t have to listen to that lie, that’s just an old tape that needs to get thrown in the garbage, not put on the negative feed back loop.

The highlights of my life are still to come.

It is only getting better.

Seriously.

 

I See You

November 13, 2015

I whispered to him as he sped across the road and disappeared down the walk way adjacent to Chain of Lakes.

I saw my first coyote this evening on my way home from doing the deal at Cafe Flore.

I was just turning onto Chain of Lakes on my bicycle, a smooth, no stop turn, the whistle of the cold wind in my ears.

It’s cold out baby.

I could use a warm snuggle right about now.

I was thinking of warm snuggles in fact, it helps to keep the cold at bay to think about the warm.

I was thinking about all sorts of things.

I was thinking about Paris.

I was thinking about the press of the stars in the sky and how low they swung this evening, perhaps as I was coming home through the park at a slightly later time then I normally do on a Thursday.

I was thinking about kisses.

I was thinking about poetry.

I was trying to not think about school.

I woke up this morning a little anxious and I recognized it quite quickly as school anxiety.

So.

I did my deal, I knelt, I prayed, I read some things, I said some things, I had some breakfast and then I wrote.

I wrote it all out and by the time I was done, starting with the smallest thing, the only thing, the one thing that is important and true, my sobriety, from which all else stems, I recognized and wrote down all the good things I have going on.

If nothing else that above fact, makes my life manageable and contained and there really is nothing wrong.

Add to that the gift of being in school, it is a gift to be there.

The job.

The little in-law I live in.

My dear and darling friends.

My bicycle.

My scooter.

My scooter for which I am 3/4s of the way towards having all the paperwork done so that I can apply for a child care parking permit and park in the neighborhood where I work.  I have only to wait on my insurance paperwork, that should be here any day now, to finish up the application.  That and a check sent in to SFMTA and I’m set.

Of course.

The small print–it will take up to 21 days to process.

But that is fine.

I can continue to ride my bicycle to work and it’s just a little delay.

Yes.

Grateful for the scooter, for a home to park it in front of, for having taken the motorcycle safety course, for the entire thing being paid in full.

Grateful.

I rationally wrote all these things down.

Acknowledged my fear of there not being enough time and said, so what if there’s not enough time?

The time is that there is time.

Time and more time.

I could measure it in teaspoons.

Hang it from the cusp of a moon.

I could wander down halls lit with lanterns of time.

There is time.

And more time.

To fill the hours.

The days.

The moments.

Infinity in a parsec.

I have all the time in the world.

I am of time.

I am in time.

The slower I go.

The more time I have.

Time.

Always this time.

The watching hands on my wrist.

The call of the hours at noon on Tuesday.

The wind in the high trees.

The sloughing sounds of leaves telling the time of autumn.

The fall of time.

Marching down the long avenues.

Getting stuck in the church pews.

Swinging in an incense pot.

Red light candles and the decrepit

Crumbling of stone in St. Augustin.

I have more time than I could ever use.

There is no lack of time there.

There is only more and more.

An infinity.

A chorus of seconds and milliseconds.

Of minutes stretched between the high pillars

Hiding under the doom of night.

There is only this.

And.

In this this.

I exist.

At one.

Apart.

Final.

Complete.

In this time.

I am time.

Wounded.

Solaced.

Loved.

Graced with the singing.

The music of the spheres.

The metronome of God.

Art installation Centre de Pompidou

Clock at the Musee D’Orsay

DSCF5270

Ahem.

I have no idea where that all came from.

Ha.

But I rather like it.

A little inspiration from the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by my favorite poet, TS Eliot.

I like how Eliot writes about time.

There is a succulence there and a tenderness that is also hard and can at first seem as though the poet is battered on these shores of  millenium and the magnitude of time.

And.

There is a bubble of love.

That in which the eternal is always here.

In this moment.

Where.

Yes.

Mathilde.

Everything.

EVERYTHING.

Is perfect.

There are no problems in this moment–there is tea in the cup, sweet candles burning, Coleman Hawkins on my stereo, there are flowers in a vase, a tidy home, a warmth and glow to it, there is love.

“Are you poisonous tonight?”  I asked the five-year old who was cuddling with me on my lap, decked out in aqua blue and sea-foam green striped pajamas.  He will tell me that he is poisonous when I make the attempt to eat him.

“Maybe,” he said, “you’re not really going to eat me though, are you?”

“Nope,” I replied and touched the tip of my nose to his and wiggled it softly.

He scrunched his face in delight.

“Then how come you always say that?” He asked, all seriousness.

“Because you are delicious and I want to eat you!” I replied and squeezed him.

“No, that’s not it,” he folded his arms and looked at me with big deep brown eyes.

“Hmm, well, ok, it’s because you feed my heart,” I said.

“How?”

“You know how all living things need air to breathe and water to drink and sunlight to grow?”  I asked him.

“Yes.”

“All living things need love too, I need it to grow and thrive, and when ever I am with you, you feed my heart with love and it gets bigger,” I took a deep breath, I hadn’t known those words were coming out of my mouth, and tears swam in my eyes.

“Carmen, I love you.”

“I love you too,” I said and hugged him tight.

“I am going to marry you!”

“Well, you’re a little young for me, but you will always have my heart, I promise.”

And in the dark of the moon, the coyote turned his sharp nose and trotted across the street in front of me.

Trickster.

Clown.

Totem.

Creative energy.

Magic.

Sex.

Rutting.

Moon and star.

Time magic.

I felt kissed with love and my heart grew bigger and I thanked God for my life and all the things I get to see and feel and do and be.

Even anxious.

Even scared.

Even uncertain and uncomfortable.

Because that too, is where the growth is.

And the love.

I must have them both to grown.

Sprinkle a little coyote mysticism on it.

Bake it in the oven.

And I will shall have it with tea and toast.

Or apples.

Yes.

Apples.

Belle pomme de Boskop.

S’il vous plait.

You’re A Natural

July 24, 2015

“That’s great mothering!” The woman exclaimed as I ushered the two boys out of the bathroom stall at Mission Playground.

I smiled, reached for the soap dispenser and looked at her in the mirror, “thanks!  But I’m not the mom.”

“Oh, well, you are a natural at nurturing, you should really now that,” she smiled, waved at the boys and left the bathroom.

“What did she say to you?” The oldest boy asked washing his hands and then playing the favorite, which also happens to be one of the most annoying games he plays, hand dryer roulette, in and out of the automatic hand dryer, which makes the three-year old clap his hands over his years and squinch his eyes shut until the noise has stopped racketing about the ceramic tiles in the bathroom.

“She said I was doing a good job,” I told the five-year old and then we headed back out into the world.

I don’t think about it much, maybe after 8 1/2 years of doing it, it really just does come naturally.

But.

I suspect that I am a natural at care taking.

I can take it too far and not take care of myself, but over the years I have developed better and better self-care.

I still have to practice a lot.

I had to do so this afternoon.

I was invited over to a sleep over snuggle fest at my friend’s house.

Oh.

How.

I.

Wanted.

To.

Damn it man.

He’s got one of those California King beds that you could just sink into and float away.

Except.

Well, I know that I would drift off and never come back.

There are things to do.

Places to be.

Dance parties to go to.

Yes.

I am going dancing tomorrow night and I am looking forward to it, I got a sweet little thumbs up from a friend I haven’t seen in a few weeks about seeing her there and my lady, the luscious Bon Bon will be hitting the floor sans walking boot from when she hurt her ankle.

Ah walking boots, love to hate you.

But yes, dancing, and I even know what I’m going to wear and that was part of it, the turning down the request for the sleep over, I need to be here, in my space, in my home, using my shower and doing my deal.

It’s a part of my self-care that I can and have neglected over the past weeks and days, I get carried away in the experience and then I’m not present or tired at work and that is no good.

I get frustrated and often when I am telling the littlest guy to use his words and take a deep breath, I am really talking to myself.

I am often at the emotional level of a three-year old.

I just have to take myself in hand and say, hey little girl, you’re going to be alright.

It’s all going to be just alright.

I’m not always a natural at self-soothing, but at least I don’t obsessively wring my hands any longer or rub my feet back and forth–classic self-soothing actions.

I will still catch myself twirling my hair, which I used to do as a child and would give myself bald spots on my head.

I’m not sure how or when I stopped.

I suspect there was a shard of violence behind the lesson and today I strive, really strive to be the best nanny I can, and to explain and express and take time and be tender and love the boys.

I really do love them.

Awful hard.

Even when I get tired and don’t think I can do it another day.

I do it.

I show up.

That’s natural too.

I show up for a lot of people and though I know I need to create that space that allows me to be there for another, I can only do it if I’m taking care of numero uno.

I used to think that was the ultimate selfishness.

Of course.

I was taught that.

How dare I take care of myself or my needs when others are reliant upon me, my money, my skills, my abilities to provide comfort.

I like those characteristics about me, I love them in fact, but as it’s been said before, I do have to make sure that oxygen mask is on me before I go assist another.

I can spend the night tomorrow or Saturday at my friends.

Or not.

Time will tell.

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

I hardly know what’s going to happen the rest of today.

I am going to finish my blog.

I will fold my laundry.

Maybe I will have a bowl of cherries.

Life is all about the sitting in the space and seeing the beauty inherent in the right now and the right here.

“You’re always going to taste like cherries to me and cinnamon spice tea, you’re going to smell like wood fires burning in my back yard, no matter what happens, I have this sense memory and association,” I told my friend and laughed, looking up at the stars.

Paris was painful, hard, egregious at times and so raw and beautiful it scoured my soul and set me on a different path.

But no matter how much it hurt, it was always smothering me with gorgeous sense memory.

Paris will always taste like apples to me.

Specifically the apples from the market around Square D’Anvers on Friday afternoons.

I wish I could remember the name of the apple, it is just there on the tip of my tongue.

I remember the flesh though, crisp and tart and sweet, white snowy flesh with marbles of red through out and a sort of yellow cream mottled skin that was also burnished with red.

I was not always happy to engage with the woman who ran that stall at the market, but as the weeks came and went and I always went back with my cloth canvas bag from Le Merle Moquer bookstore in the 20th, she grew if not friendly, at least not curt and once even threw in a pretty extra apple for me.

I have a tendency to always dwell on the positive.

Paris tastes like apples.

My friend like cherries, wood smoke, and cinnamon.

My heart is a deep well of many flavored things and smells and love.

Love.

All the things.

And I am.

Indeed.

A natural at that.

I Choose Happy

October 22, 2014

It’s such a nicer choice than entitled.

I reflected as I listened to someone rant about not being in a relationship and how God, the Universe, the powers that be, etc, owes the person a fucking partner.

Not I, said the fly, on the wall, my head pressed back into the chair, clam and serene as fuck.

I was happy.

Happy that my day went well, long, tiring, but really fulfilling.

I got up and did my deal this morning and had a great breakfast and even had time for a second cup of coffee while I was doing my writing and then off into the great wide world that is the glory of San Francisco in October.

I think October in San Francisco might just be my favorite time of year.

Fall is always a favorite–the air, the coolness, the sun still shines bright, but that lick of chill that makes one pause and stuff a sweatshirt in the messenger bag for the ride home–the smell of burning fires on my ride home, the smell of clover that has just been cut in Kezar Triangle as I rode my bike to work, the stacks of pumpkins, the orange lights making the Conservatory of Flowers look like the Giant Pumpkin from Charlie Brown.

Granted the orange lights on the Conservatory of Flowers may have something to go with the Giants being in the Worlds Series.

Go Giants!

Ahem.

I love fall and this city does know how to do it so deliciously well.

Persimmons are in season.

Halloween is just around the corner.

I’m thinking about going as a jackalope.

Ha.

Or a bunny if I can’t wrangle up some horns.

The season is bright and clean and I have to say it is the one time of year that also reminds me of Wisconsin at certain moments.

Winter in San Francisco certainly does not remind me of Wisconsin, but there are certain nooks in the city when I turn the corner on my bicycle and suddenly, the light, the clear air, the flaming sugar maple on the corner, and I could be in Madison, a patch of grass, bright, shimmering, green and lush and I could be heading out to the East side or Vilas Park or Monroe Street.

It’s not always like this for me, but this is the one time of year that does make me a touch nostalgic for Wisconsin.

Apples.

Oh, the apples are in season now too and so divine.

Actually, that may be something to investigate, a field trip, and adventure, a sojourn to an apple orchard would be lovely.

I’m not sure there are any around this neck of the woods, but perhaps some research would bear fruit.

Literally.

It would make a good date for me.

And I go on dates with me too, a suggestion I made to the friend who was pitching a fit about being single.

Of course, I could feel a little bristle when I made the suggestion, but honey, I have been down that bitter road and there’s nothing at the end of the entitlement journey.

Certainly not a boyfriend.

I like taking myself on dates.

In fact, I just thought of one, something akin to the apple orchard thing, I think maybe a cruise down to Pacifica or nearby environs on my scooter might be in order.

I think there are a few farm stands along the way.

Or even a little further down the One.

I have been as North as I could go on my scooter–any further and I would have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and I’m not certain about doing the bridge on my scooter.

I was also happy when I told my date for this Friday that I would not mind grabbing a bite before the show and that the principle I was practicing was just that, happiness.

So what ever restaurant that looks like.

Although there may not be enough time between getting done with work and the show starting.

I’m not too concerned.

I’ll happily eat at work as well.

The happy started hitting me when I hopped on my bicycle this morning, the high clear blue skies, the scuttle of clouds, the sun-bright, the traffic light, the friend waiting at a bus stop that I waved to as I pedaled my way up Lincoln toward the Pan Handle.

The aforementioned smell of fresh-cut clover in Kezar Triangle the rush of cool air, exhilarating and refreshing, delicious with bright eucalyptus scent as I rolled toward the park, and the traffic, past rush hour, light on Oak Street, so I skipped the Pan Handle and hit the lights all the way to the Wiggle, then up and over to 17th street and then as I was stopped at 17th and Church a dear one of mine rolled by driving a MUNI train.

I waved to her and blew her kisses and grinned like a fool.

Happy.

Then on down 17th, hitting all the lights and a pitch perfect right turn onto Valencia, getting into the stride and rolling through all the intersections with the 13 mph wave for bicycles making my transit smooth as silk.

I wound up at work fifteen minutes early and stretched, drank some water, mellowed out a little from the ride.

Then I put some Pharrel Williams in my headphones and I did a little dance underneath the tree in front of my job while the sun dappled through the Japanese Maples on the block.

I was so happy, I replayed the song and danced my bike across the street, into the garage, and pranced my way right up the stairs to work.

I’m sure I amused the hell out of at least one of the neighbors if not a few of the construction workers on the house next door, but I did not care.

I was happy.

I still am.

It was a great principle to practice today and I am ever so grateful for these suggestions on how to better live my life.

Just the getting to live life can be enough, but I will often forget that it’s not a grind, it’s a gift.

And I like getting present(s).

Gifts make me, well, you may have already figured that out.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

 

 

And Then it was Fall

October 4, 2012

I could feel it in the breath of air as I rode my bicycle to BART this morning.

Fog.

Chill.

There was a cold wind blowing.

And I felt it all the way in Oakland, all the way down International Avenue, all the way across the Bay, I could feel that slight change heralding the end of summer and the fall soon to come.

I knew it was going to be a short-lived hot spell, but my it was grand the whole three days it lasted.

I suppose there will be a few more warm days before we head into the dark and the drear.  October in San Francisco really is spectacular.  And as I rode my bike from the shop tonight on a mad dash to Rainbow before it closed, I was at work late for a staff meeting, I was glad for the chilling off.

It is not cold, yet, but the chill was on the air.

I love fall.

It is my favorite season.

First, it is apple season and they are coming in spectacularly.  I just ate the most delectable Honey Crisp–fine crisp, juicy white flesh, with a sweetness almost bordering on vulgarity.  It was so pungent and ripe in my nose it was blasphemous.

I must say I vacillate between the ripe dark sweet fall apple and the high summer yellow nectarine as my two favorite fruits.

The apple may win by default as I consistently buy them.  I eat a lot of apples.  They are my go to snack.  But I am picky to the point of being pissy about them.

They have to be organic.

They cannot be Red Delicious.  Red Delicious are the Kool Aid of the apple kingdom.

I will eat a Red Delicious if it is the only piece of fruit I am able to source, ie at Burning Man or on the road.  But even then, I do not deign to eat them.  Too mealy, too plain, to blah.

I am also a size queen.

I like the big ones.

But not the mushy, soft flesh ones.

Big, strong, firm.

I am talking about apples here, ahem, get your mind out of the gutter, er the apple barrel.

I also like a little snap to them, a little bite, a touch of wildness, a tang, a tartness.

I do not like them too sweet, robust, yes, fleshy yes, but not syrupy, and some apples have been bred to that.

I will pass on your Golden Delicious, or any other yellow apple, unless again, that is all there is around.  I do not care for the Galas, the Golden’s, or the Delicious, not big on the Braeburns either, little too mealy.

Pacific Rose.

Pink Ladies

Jonathans.

Jonagolds.

Courtlands.

Arkansas Blacks.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Secondly, fall brings that aforementioned chill, the crisp edge to the air, the spiciness of summer fading into winter, and the divinity of the good layering.

It is the season of snuggling.

I like a good snuggle.

A good apple, a good snuggle.

A good fuck.

Oops.

How did that get in there?

Where was I?

Oh yes, chill.  But not a damp chill, it is a bright coldness that autumn brings, and then there are the pumpkins starting to pile up in the stores and the small gourds, and the sudden prevalence of nutmeg and clove, ginger and cinnamon, all spice, and wood  burning.

The dry edge of a large maple leaf crumbling in my hand as bent to catch the leaf escaping as I swept the floor of the shop today.

Fall

And then it was fall.

It reminds me of Wisconsin.

Just briefly, momentarily, and the sing of the apple press at my grandparents house as we pushed in the windfall apples from the orchard, the wasps that would gather from the sweetness plunging into the air.

Nothing, absolutely nothing tastes as good as cold cider frozen topped from a deep freeze in the basement of the house in Windsor.

The orchard on a bad year put out about 60 bushels of apples–we had fourteen tree, four Red Delicious, one Golden Delicious (so wild and so sweet the skin was translucent with juice and the birds almost always ate the fruit before it could ripen), six Courtland, three pear trees (Red Bartlett’s)–and in a good year over 85 bushels.

The Red Delicious always ended up in the cider press, and almost never in my mouth, the jams, the jellies, or the countless pies I baked over the years.

I learned how to bake a true hand scratch pie at the age of twelve.  Roll out crusts, hand done, all of it.  I still to this day make an awful good pie, despite not having made one in some time.

I can still see my mom’s pie crust recipe written out on a notecard that she kept in the junk drawer next to the silver ware drawer along the long yellow formica counter top under the back kitchen window.  It was a white card.  It was a simple recipe.  I could tell it to you now.

But then I would have to kill you.

My mom forgot the recipe and once called me from Wisconsin after I had moved to San Francisco asking for it.

I almost did not give it to her.

But, then again, the woman did birth me, after all.

We also made apple sauce and apple butter.

Anything apple, I knew how, still know how, to make.

Apple treacle?

Apple coffee cake?

Apple jam, jelly, butter, cider, sauce, pie, cake, brown betty, cobbler, pancakes, pan dowdy, and then there was just the best thing going–a fresh picked apple with a sprinkle of salt.

Might take the prize for my favorite fruit of all time.

A nectarine does not blossom under a pinch of salt, whereas an apple becomes something wanton and gregarious and slightly sinful in your mouth.

I see why Eve ate it.

The snake sprinkled it with salt.

Adam was not aware of the spice cabinet yet.

Mores the pity.

Fall, a season briefer, perhaps than summer in San Francisco, and therefor to be relished and revelled in as I am here in the prettiest month of the year before I go.

I should head up to the Redwoods and get in a hike before I go.

And maybe a bag of apples from a road side stand.

 


%d bloggers like this: