Posts Tagged ‘being seen’

You Are A Self Made

November 22, 2015

Intellectual.

That may be the best compliment I have gotten all week.

Especially as it came from a dear friend.

A French friend.

A Parisian friend, there are no better for telling one that, I felt so flattered and seen and a little in awe of what she said.

“If you had been brought up a different way, I think you would be a psychoanaylist, in fact, it soothes me that you somehow made it here, to this now” she continued as we were gathering up our books and papers, notebooks and pens, departing class to hurry home to get settled down and do it all over again in the morning.

I have already, like a good little school girl, packed my lunch for tomorrow.

And perhaps like an adult.

I made sure there was plenty of coffee in my back up Mason jar.

Last day of class for the second to last weekend of the semester.

By the time class reconvenes next month I will actually be registered for the next semester.

Crazy.

How is it happening so fast?

I don’t know, but I am glad it does.

The above compliment was not the only compliment I received today at school from a classmate, earlier in the day two of my cohort in our role play for Therapeutic Communication (we did triads as opposed to the dyads yesterday–consisting of therapist, client, and observer) told me I had a really great voice.  Something akin to late night smooth jazz or love station request lines.

The smooth sounds of night love with Carmen coming right into your ear this evening.  Call the hotline for any request, Freudian or otherwise.

It was a good day at school.

I felt really connected.

I was really present.

I was on top of the material, it was helpful that I read most of it, and I got so much from my Psych(e)analytics class I just about burst with it.

I have said before that it is my favorite class, despite the horror of talking with my professor on the phone for 45 minutes this past week to discuss the paper I wrote on Mourning and Melancholia using sonnets.

Heh.

That was bound to be uncomfortable anyway, but I did get a lot out of it and every time, every single time I am in the class I learn something I make a leap, I find a connection, or see something, my brain gets lit up.

“Don’t psychoanalyze me!” The professor shouted at me.

It was a fierce admonition, but also a compliment, she could see that I understood and I turned the theory right back on her (I have no idea what I said in hindsight, but I remember how it felt to say it)  and I was happily startled by her response.

I am getting the material and utilizing it in real time in the class room.

It just makes sense.

Who knew I was so Freudian.

“Are you thinking about going into psychoanalysis?” My friend leaned over and asked after I was out of the hot seat with professor, “you would be really good at it.”

I believe she is right.

And that makes me happy.

In fact, how my friend saw me makes me happy.

It was a new way to think of myself, a new way of seeing myself, and I was flattered to be called a “self-made intellectual.”

I find it similar to the idea of what Frederick Douglas said about the “self-made man.”

Self-made men […] are the men who owe little or nothing to birth, relationship, friendly surroundings; to wealth inherited or to early approved means of education; who are what they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results.

I do not know that I have ever resonated so purely with an idea.

I felt honored to be seen like this, acknowledged, and deeply respected for my abilities.

I stood comparing (but not despairing, no not at all) at the reflection of my chic Parisian friend and in the window glass of the classroom.

She tall, thin, elegant, Roman nose, royale profile, bright brow, dressed in the simplest clothes, but chic, and clean and savvy.

I next to her was a bright clown, my hair pulled back in a mass of curls beneath a hot pink bandana, my pink star tattoos peeping out of my sweater collar, my bright safety orange pants a sweep of color next to her dark plaid slacks and soft grey cashmere sweater, the ameythst ring on her finger the only flash of color and therefor more alluring for being there, just there, perched on her finger like a small flower of violet knowing.

I felt for a moment like a clown.

Then.

I really looked again and saw myself.

Colorful.

Bright.

Brilliant.

Both in my mind and in my dress in my heart and in how hard I love.

And that is why I get Freud.

He is all about the love.

Yes love.

Most folks think Freud and think sex, and yes, there is the sexually charged eroticism and the titiliating sexually categorized stages–oral, anal, phallic.  And lest anyone forget, Oedipal, but the argument of Freudian theory is that it’s all about the love.

Just like I am.

All about the love.

I got excited.

I get excited in this class.

Maybe it’s the professor.

She is a hoot.

And she is hella smart and funny and kooky.

Maybe I see a bit of myself in her.

Who knows.

I don’t have to analyze it.

Suffice to say I was over the moon to realize that my friend is right.

I should go into psychoanalysis.

This is thrilling and scary all at the same time.

I am not sure what the next step is, the not knowing is always a bit unnerving; however, I can see that there is a path here for me to follow.

And as my friend so astutely noted, had I had the benefits of growing up differently, I may have made it to this point a lot faster, but regardless, I made it to this point, the guiding force behind the intellect I have been gifted with, and it is a gift, has led me here, to this fork in the road.

I am nervous to see where it goes and also accepting of and approving of this turn in my path.

Not what I was expecting from a school focused on ‘warm and fuzzy.’

Nope.

I just happened to fall into the radical Freud camp.

Ha.

How the hell did that happen?

That is a rhetorical question.

One I am happy to leave unanswered and rather to rest happily in this new bit of self-knowledge.

Now might be the time to start talking to an advisor!

Well.

Maybe I’ll wait until I hand in my final paper for the class, I do have a few things to write before the end of the semester after all.

Ha.

 

 

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You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

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

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

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

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

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

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

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

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

The validation has been powerful.

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

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

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

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

He’s right.

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

In fact.

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

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

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

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

Plus.

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

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

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

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

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

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

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

Plus.

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

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

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

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

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

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

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

Thus.

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

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

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

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

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

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that’s been me hollering at you on the way to work,” she said with a laugh and patted me on the arm.

“I see you all the time and you wave, but I don’t think you know who is yelling at you,” her eyes twinkled and I laughed.

“That was you!”  I smiled, “I was wondering who’s been giving me the hello’s.”

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

“You have to know that whatever happens, you meet the love of your life at Burning Man,” I pushed my friend’s shoulder, “no, I mean it, that whatever happens, this is important.”

And it is.

And there was a lot more said, but I am not comfortable relaying all that here.

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

And as for meeting the love of my life at Burning Man.

I already did.

It’s me.

I stopped Calling in the One when I realized that I was the Beloved and that I was the love of my life and no one will love me as hard or as well as I love me.

That being said, it’s a constant practice, a constant, not struggle, it’s not a struggle any more, it used to be; rather a concerted and continuous work of being kind to myself, taking care of myself, loving myself.

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

I am many things and as I learn to be continually open to vulnerability and emotional connection in the very real and the very present time, I get to see how deep the damage has been in my life.

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

I have made amazing strides in my life and to not acknowledge that is a kind of affront to the work I have put in.

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

I do still have plans, I’m helping a friend with some stuff, but I have extra time on my hands to find a little fun for me.

Whatever that looks like.

Some fellowship, some cards, some pinball, a museum jaunt.

I would love to see the Turner exhibit at the DeYoung.

I keep hearing great things about it and I have not been to the DeYoung in a while.

I do have things I need to attend to, book gathering, loan deferment paperwork, cooking, et al, the stuff and routine of life.

A mani and pedi.

The small pleasures that I allow myself to have are important to the quality of my life.

Framing the Marilyn print from the MOCA and hanging the Diebenkorn up in my room.

I am negotiating a ride out to Cheap Pete’s in the Inner Richmond to get that together.

I’m navigating other rides too.

It does indeed look like I will get to have a little more summer vacation before the work, the study, the balancing act of what my life is going to look like come school start, begins.

I am currently in the planning stages of going to the Grand Canyon.

I have never been and I am over the moon excited.

My friend and I would leave on a Tuesday, July 28th and head to the North Rim and a secret special spot for camping that a friend of his knows about that is not heavily touristed.

There has been talk of Monumental Valley and Bryce Canyon as well.

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

I really have no conception of what is out there and what it looks like and what I exactly want to see.

Except.

I want a road trip.

I love the open road, I love seeing new things, I love the vista from the car seat, I love watching the sky scroll by, I love singing along to songs on the radio, I love putting my feet, bare feet, up on the console of the car and scrunching up in my seat and being just simply free, happy and content, and I love telling stories on the road.

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

Campfires underneath the stars, country, out of the city for a while, back roads, which I suppose we won’t actually do if we are going to get in what my friend has suggested, there’s also been talk of Death Valley and maybe squeaking in the top part of Yosemite, not going into the valley itself but driving along Tioga Road.

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

I suppose I could google some images, but open road, is well, open road.

And I love me a road trip.

Plus, more time with my friend before the onslaught of school.

More being seen.

More being myself.

More allowing abundance and joy and fun and flexibility into my life.

“Joy of living is my principle today,” I said into the phone and smiled at the imprint of flower blossoms, pink and fat and truculent against the sky blue sky.

It might have been because I got a ride to work and that’s a treat.

It could have been that the weather was kind and sunny and inviting and I do so much better in the sun than out of the sun.

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

Whatever it was I was going to enjoy it, to keep enjoying it and be as present as possible every inch of the way.

Even when it was hard.

“Hit Carmen! Hit Carmen!” The oldest brother instigated his brother in a game of, well, I can’t tell you what the game was, it was high energy though, and when I went to pick up the three-year old for our outing to the park I got hit, hard, in the face, brought to tears, this kid does not know his own strength.

“You,” I said to the five-year old, “to your room, five minutes, no talking.”

I pointed to the door and he fled.

I picked up the three-year old I had abruptly set down on the bed.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

“Please, please, please, don’t hit me,” I said to him.

Then I paused.

I could see he was about to get pretty upset and I wanted to be stern, but not too stern.

I wanted him to see me, to know that I was hurt.

I also knew that he would probably forget, as he did in about five minutes, and I would get smacked again (he’s in a phase, but I think it’s passing), but for the moment, in the moment we connected.

He saw me.

“I’m sorry Carmen, what can I do to make it better?”

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

He gave me a hug and burrowed into my arms, then off we went on our adventure.

The grandparents accompanied us to the park for one last outing before they left on the plane today.

There was much digging of sand and pouring of buckets and shovels flying and dump trucks dumping and when that became mundane, there was grandma to push the swing.

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

“Carmen,” he said plopping down next to me on the cement wall, “I just want to sit next to you and eat grapes.”

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

Being seen and allowing myself the freedom to be exactly who I am in the exact moment of whatever is happening.

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.


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