Posts Tagged ‘cello’

Sunshine

July 19, 2017

I’m listening to an old Mike Doughty album of covers, The Flip Is Another Honey.

It just seemed appropriate.

I feel sunny.

I had a super yummy day.

Literally.

I cooked some good food today.

I had a first stab at recreating a dish I had yesterday at Samovar by Yerba Buena Gardens.

I had gone there for lunch with a darling friend who I don’t get to see very often anymore, we used to meet up on a weekly basis and now, well, between my schedule and hers, it’s more like once every couple of months.

However.

Thanks to the time off from my day job, I was able to go with her to the MOMA yesterday.

We saw the Edward Munch show.

It was good.

Dark as fuck.

But.

Um, that’s Munch.

There were also some super sexy, lush paintings that I hadn’t really known were in the artists oeuvre.

I was impressed and it was a good show.

My favorite artist?

Nope.

But nice to have some exposure to his work and I love going to the MOMA.

We had coffee in the cafe and got caught up on life.

Then we went to the 7th floor of the museum and wandered through the sound installation, which was super intriguing, but made me feel bad for any kid that might wander through, the desire to touch and tinker with the little wooden machines and instruments would have been too much temptation for my little paws when I was younger.

I was, however, able to restrain myself.

The part of the exhibit that really got me though was a room full of video screens with a synchronized song that was being played by six or seven different artists in different rooms of an old mansion in upstate New York.

It was so well done.

I was stunned and moved and completely captivated by it.

I got the chills and was dreamy and in reverence.

I love art.

I love it when I am surprised by beauty.

I love music.

And the two were just the most elegant conceptualization and moving amongst the screens and seeing how well synched the videos were and the sound was arranged so that there were speakers not just for each screen but also in the ceiling above.

It was like literally being inside the song.

I get a little shiver thinking about it.

Of course.

I stood the longest in front of the screen with the woman playing the cello.

I have such a soft spot for cello and again it went through me, time, soon, when, I don’t know, but it is there, that longing, get a cello again, practice when, fuck if I know, but do it, get lessons, start again, start again, start again.

I have enough on my plate.

But I do dream on it once in a while.

I also recognize that I was so lucky to have had the cello when I had the instrument in my life, that I was given an inordinate gift beyond any comprehension that I can now just barely muster.

I got to play the cello for four sweet, stirring, amazing years.

How many people can say that?

It was a gift and I love classical music and Bach’s preludes can make me inflamed, like I have to go buy a cello NOW, as can the passion of Chopin, although I feel his music is more piano than string, and Debussy, ack, be still my heart, Claire de Lune?  Please.

Exquisite.

So much music.

So much joy.

That’s what I felt like today.

Suffused with joy.

Sometimes soft.

Sometimes furious with passion.

I am so alive.

Even the little mundane things I did today, laundry, cooking, making check in phone calls, taking out the trash, they all were filled with this light and I just felt a glow.

I also felt full.

I ate well today.

And my tummy seems back to normal.

Yesterday, as I mentioned earlier, I had a dish at Samovar that I replicated this morning.

It was their Salmon Egg Bowl.

Brown rice, smoked salmon, poached eggs, sauerkraut, and ginger soy dipping sauce.

I took a few liberties and made one mistake.

I over poached the eggs.

One of my liberties was to poach my eggs in Miso broth, which did not give me a clear broth and I couldn’t see the egg white form on the egg, I don’t normally time things when I cook and I should have just timed the eggs.

They ended up being soft/medium boiled.

Not horrid.

But I missed getting that super creamy yolk that would have pulled the whole thing together.

The other liberty I took was to add pickled ginger and sliced pickling cucumber, the cucumbers weren’t pickled, but just the tiny little ones they use to make pickles, so fresh they added a nice clool brightness to the salt brine of the sauerkraut and the richness of the salmon.  I also used turmeric spiced brown rice, to give the rice color and I thought the plate was actually quite pretty.

It was not great.

But.

It was good.

It will be better the next time I make it.

I also roasted some asparagus, still going through the asparagus my employer gave me last week, wrapped in bacon.

Mmmm.

Bacon.

That was breakfast.

A slight departure from my normal oatmeal and fruit and hard-boiled egg, but a welcome one.

Once and a while I get to shake it up.

For lunch I roasted a chicken with a salt and pepper crust and made brown rice.

Nice and simple.

And that’s what I had for dinner.

With, ha, um, some more asparagus.

Heh.

I think I will pull the chicken and shred it up and make a cream of asparagus soup with brown rice and chicken.

That will “kill” the asparagus.

Otherwise I don’t think I will be able to finish it up before it goes bad and its a shame to waste asparagus.

And in between the cooking and the tasks I saw people I love.

I connected with fellows.

I sat in a cafe in Noe Valley and reconnected to my people, two back to back.

And I had a really good therapy session.

Also up in Noe Valley.

I was supposed to have a client after all my meetings and sessions in Noe, but it was cancelled by the client and I found myself able to quickly zip up and over the hill and hit the Inner Sunset and get right with God at Irving and 7th.

Such an unexpected gift.

Ran into some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and got my God on.

A damn fine day.

I really, really am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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The Ocean

July 15, 2017

On your lips after swimming.

The sky falling down at sunset into your eyes.

Muffled piano in the distance and the pull of a low cello string.

The salt of you on my mouth a harbinger of sweetness, this winning

Smile in my tender heart, so shy for you, say you love me it whispers.

Not with words, just with actions, and then with words.

I do not need to hear it.

(I do.)

But say it anyway.

Say it with your hands brushing the hair fallen in my face.

Say it with your eyes, the longing for me there, to not lose me, to keep me to stay.

Here.

In.

This.

Moment.

Where there is no future.

Where there is just now.

Where there is just love.

Say it with the salt of sweat on your brow, the cleft of your cupid bow mouth.

On my mouth.

Say it soft and low and slow and then just stop.

Stop and hold me against you.

Stop and let me be with you.

Let me in.

Stop moving me forward into a place where there is no you, nor is there I.

Stay here.

Stay with me.

Stay.

Where all is star light exploding inside of me.

Where all of you is all of me.

Where the love is fair and bright.

And the dark night is but soft in repose and gentle.

In your arms.

Circled around me.

Where I long to be.

Tasting again the ocean on your lips.

After a swim.

In that love.

And.

Brine.

And

Sea.

Please.

My darling.

Stay with me.

 

Iterations

July 7, 2017

Of my muse follow me throughout the day.

A murder of crows.

A swooping in the sky, twirling and diving.

Soaring on updrafts of wind.

Silent I watch from the other side of the window pane.

The wind in the avocado tree.

The palimpsest of leaves shifting, the russet where the sun has kissed

Blemished the succulent texture and left a burnish there

Like how you have burnished my heart.

Brushing it with the softest I love you whispered in my ear.

I recall the first time I heard you say it.

6 point font.

So small.

So soft.

A fingerprint of love I had to dust for.

Uncertain I had heard the words.

Were they spoken.

Or.

Thought loudly.

A shining soft brightness though.

A fortissimo of piano strings.

And then.

The softest Debussy notes.

Suite number 3.

Bergamasque.

Claire de Lune.

And I feel you there.

Under my skin.

Arousing me when I least expect it.

The call of the sky to me through the plate-glass.

The press of you inside and out, the slip of tongue,

A gliding soaring fragrance of jasmine cool in the night on my skin.

A whisper of wood smoke from beach bonfires.

The drift of a country ballad lament from a passing car.

My musing, my muse, chasing me through my day.

The last thought at night before I sleep.

The first thought in the morn upon awakening.

Always I awaken.

To this moment.

Fresh flowers in a Mason jar.

Love notes passed in lyrics.

Archipelagos of dreams scattered through my veins.

You on the doorstep.

Wry and amused with me.

I forgot to invite you in but like the second time you said I love you,

That time in 12 point font, I realized that there was never a need.

To extend.

That invitation.

As you belong with me and I with you.

Without question.

Without doubt.

Ferocious veracity.

I thrum for you.

Cello strings and vibrations.

Music of the spheres.

Muse of mine.

Kissing time.

Scattered across my chest like freckles.

Rose petals of song.

And the romance of seeing the world.

Tinged by the filter of you.

All things poetry.

All things love.

And.

Eros.

I drift.

Lost.

Upon this sea.

Until you anchor me.

Again.

 

Don’t Stop Writing

June 4, 2017

I was told recently.

“I like reading what you write.”

God.

I love that.

Validation.

Although it’s not why I write and I am struggling with that.

Let go, I whisper to myself.

But.

It’s hard to let go of something that I have been in relationship with for seven years.

I have to shut down my blog.

I haven’t written the last few days and I can feel it in my bones.

Actually, that’s not true.

I have been writing, a lot.

Just not my blog.

I have been busy.

And the not writing I can take with a great big grain of salt because I was busy doing wonderful things and having life altering experiences.

Life is happening.

My God, is it ever.

I started my internship.

I take my first client next week.

I have read my client file, contacted said client and set up our first session.

I am navigating all the paper work and all the insurance stuff, more stuff, all the stuff, the policy papers and the keys, oh my God, the keys, I have a lot of keys right now.

Which is fine.

I jangle when I walk, but whatever.

Today I had my first group supervision training.

It was great, I learned a lot, it’s rather like being in a small classroom and getting to ask the teacher all the things, and I took some notes and got the questions I needed answered.

Most of my questions had to do with administrative stuff as I haven’t met with a client yet.

All the others in the group have been seeing clients and thus they brought up what they needed to have addressed.

It was great learning for me to just sit and listen and I did have some input and that was nice, I was able to see a few things and offer some different perspective and I was thanked for my experience and my insight.

Which I appreciated as well.

I also asked about my blog.

This blog.

My baby.

My love child.

My little place in the universe to pour out my heart and talk about all the stuff on my heart and in my mind, or to get out all the stuff in my mind so that I can listen to my heart better.

I have known, probably since I started school, that one day the blog was going to end.

But.

The writing doesn’t have to end.

And that was what my supervision group gave me today.

I got very affirmative feedback from everyone to take down the blog off social media and make it completely anonymous.

I have already pulled it from my Instagram account and I privatized that account so random folks can’t join it, I have to approve the follow request.

I have also dropped a few folks off the friends list on Facecrack.

I could probably winnow that out a little more as well.

It was recommended that I change my name on Facecrack.

I’m not sure to what, but I know a few people in my cohort have already started doing that.

It’s a damn good idea.

The next suggestion was to not link my blog to Facecrack.

It would eliminate a lot of my readers.

I mean.

A lot.

But.

It would provide me with more anonymity and it would also give my client room to see me as a therapist, not as some poet girl, Burning Man aficionado, single lady in the Outer Sunset riding around the city on a scooter.

Then.

Sigh.

Ugh.

It was suggested and I knew the moment I heard it that it was the next action to take.

That I stop writing this blog.

Double ugh.

I knew it in my gut, but I teared up.

I am tearing up now.

Fuck.

I know that because I have such big feelings that I am going to be a great therapist because I can empathize, but shit, sometimes it’s just a bitch being sensitive.

Granted, I wouldn’t wear it any other way, that is, my heart on my sleeve.

 

Gerber daisies in a Mason jar.

Dark pink stars on slippery green stalks opening toward the light.

Petals kissing.

And blushing soft.

Mouths like hungry little beasts blossoming into the warm air.

My heart.

Threaded with light.

Opening and beating against the back of my ribcage.

Tender under the bruised spaces on my breastplate.

This then.

Each moment timeless and gone only to be longed for again.

And again.

And again.

 

I digress.

But you get the point?

I like to express.

I like poetry.

I lie.

I love poetry.

I am a whore for it, like cello music and Clair de Lune and Brahms and Mozart and Chopin, I prostrate myself to it and hope, really I do hope, to gracefully surrender to whatever beauty is taking me at that moment with a kind of asunder that only perhaps is heard inside my soul.

But hear it I do.

And to renounce this forum feels terrifying and sad.

So sad, the richness of sweet lipped tears on the tops of my cheeks and the sudden catch of my breath in my throat.

Oh.

All the feelings I don’t want to feel.

But.

OH.

All the feelings I get to feel, I am so grateful and graced and loved.

Beloved.

I am.

And I am aware of my great fortune.

But.

This then, begins the end of my blog.

I have to let you know I won’t stop writing.

Nope.

I just won’t be writing here any longer.

I will have an end date on Auntie Bubba.

She has been such a good girl to me and shown me my strengths, and oh yes, my defects, those in spades, all things intimate and good and intense and wounded and sad and well, just all the things.

Yes.

All the lovely things.

This bearing witness to my own journey.

I am forever grateful for it.

So.

As this chapter closes.

As the Book of Bubba comes to an end.

I will admit.

That I am not finished.

That I am not written out.

That there are more words and worlds of words and galaxies and yes, a universe to still discover and write about.

There is a theory about the Big Bang and how the universe was created and when the universe will end and that it all came from one spot and explodes out and then shrinks back in on itself.

This is called the Big Bounce.

This is all very general and not very theoretically informed, mind you.

However.

It speaks to me and what I endeavor now to share with you.

I will be starting a new blog.

I am not done.

This blog is, however, just about done.

I will only publish a few more blogs here.

I am not quite ready to say good-bye yet.

But it is only days away.

I will start a new blog and I will continue my writing, my growth, my learning, my pushing my edges and finding out more and more who I am through this medium that speaks so much to me.

Writing.

I will not be connecting it to my Twitter account, in fact I am damn close to doing a deactivation on my Twitter account, I don’t feel like I use it all the often any way.

I will not be posting my blog on Facecrack.

I will not be making it known who I am.

I will be writing anonymously.

I haven’t a name yet.

Just a taste on my lips, like the last kiss at the end of the night, the push of tongue into my mouth and the startled stillness in my heart that precursor to the shaking tremble that befalls me and  tells me, yes, here, go here.

I will consider sharing with some of my readers my new blog.

But you will have to message me privately.

Which you may do by posting a comment.

I approve all comments before they are linked to my blog.

I will message you my new blog when it goes live.

Otherwise, seven years later, I will bid this space adieu.

They say that after seven years all the cells in your body turn over.

I know not what will be next.

I just know that there is a next.

And I thank you.

My readers.

Who ever you are, where ever you are, for humoring me and my poetry and my words and my tears and my heart ever beating upon my bloody damn sleeve.

With so much gratitude.

I thank you.

 

Happy Dance

November 8, 2016

I just did my little soft shoe Converse shuffle of joy.

I mean I busted out some serious happy dance moves.

I jumped up.

I wiggled around.

I giggled like an insane person.

Then.

Just for the fuck of it all.

I did it again.

I’m happy.

I have been given so much.

It blows my mind.

It really does and I can’t express it and I can’t believe it sometimes and the joy of it makes me burst out dancing like, well, like no one’s watching.

Because.

Um.

No one was.

Heh.

If I could dance for you I would.

Happy and free and silly and overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

With the shape of the moon half full floating in the sky.

With the sand dunes curling down to the sea.

With the smell of pumpkin pie spice and the glow of candles.

I would dance and stomp and twirl.

I like to dance when I am happy.

I have on some good French house music.

The Kungs.

And the internet hasn’t dropped me, yet, sometimes it’s hard to get the wifi down here in my little hobbit hole and when I want to hook up my phone to my Ihome speaker, it can drop and I won’t have my Spotify.

But tonight.

The wifi knew I wanted to dance.

To make photographs in my heart of my feelings.

Channeled with love, hollowed out glories of memories yet to be made and wanders where I capture all the joyousness in my life.

I feel seen and loved and cherished.

I feel special.

And lit up.

It is a sublime feeling.

One that I capture and hold, in the burrows of my bones, in the skein of my soul, in the stretch and uplift of laughter on my mouth, in the way it curves in a smile, perpetual and open, lifted and lightened.

I am feeling good.

You may surmise.

Your summary would be correct.

I have so much.

I can hold it in my hand.

The weight of it.

The heft of it.

Hewn there.

The glory of images and moments, succulent, sweet, piled up like persimmons harvested from the bins at the farmer’s market.

Excuse me.

Dance break.

Damn that is some good music.

Ah, music, you fill me up.

I was sharing with someone earlier about a time in my life when I lost the cello.

It used to sadden me, make me rumpled with remorse, with loss, with sorrow, with regret.

Not that there really was much I could have done or changed about the circumstances.

My family moved from an urban school system to a rural school system, both were public, that did not have an orchestra.

I was bereft.

I had been playing cello for years.

It was my passion.

My solace.

My retreat from the world.

I really had believed I was going to grow up to be a cellist in an orchestra.

Mister Ziegler was adamantly against my parents decision, my conductor, he was aghast when my family decided to make the move and I was no longer going to be able to play.

We were too poor for me to continue private lessons.

The school I was in loaned me a school cello, a beautiful full-sized lion of a cello, golden and burnt orange, I actually had two.

One that I kept at home and one that I practiced with at school.

The one I kept at home was the beauty and I was loath to part with her.

The school had not only been supportive of my cello playing–it was unheard of for a student to have access to not one but two stringed instruments–they also, I have no clue who cleared it, again, probably Mister Ziegler, for me to have once a week private lessons with a cellist from the UW Madison orchestra.

He was beautiful.

And his fingers stunned me, so long and tapered and elegant, they way he held the neck of the cello and his bow hand.

Shut up.

Amazing.

I had a good bow hand, but his was impeccable.

He had dark hair and dark eyes and was pale as blue shadows on ice.

I remember the other girl who got lessons, her parents paid for them, Susie, she was the talented one, the one with the really expensive cello, the girl who would become first chair.

At least that’s what Mister Ziegler predicted.

“You Carmen, you’re not going to be first chair, or second, maybe third, but let me be honest, you’ll probably be fourth if you’re lucky,” he told me one day as the orchestra emptied out and the students headed off to classes other than the annoying one that their parents were pushing them into.

The girls who quit because they wanted to grow their fingernails and date boys.

The guys who dropped to play football or soccer or baseball.

And me.

I was hurt, at first when he said it, I was not expecting to hear that, I knew, oh how I knew, like you know when you love someone but they can’t or won’t love you back, I knew that I was not first chair material.

But.

Fuck.

Not even third?

That hurt.

Then.

He stopped.

He looked down at me as I straddled the chair with my cello laying against my leg, took off his horn rimmed glasses and polished them absent-mindedly with his shirt tail, “but you will always have a place in an orchestra Carmen, always, you have something that an orchestra desperately needs, you have heart.”

I had tears in my eyes when he told me that.

I have tears in my eyes now.

“You won’t be first chair, but Carmen, you will play, you will have a job, you can make a career out of this, you can, you have soul and passion and heart and no orchestra can survive without that.”

He tucked his shirt in, put his glasses on his nose and ran his hands through his hair, it was a wild nest of just beginning to fade red curls that on a lessor man or a slightly different face would have called to mind Bozo the clown, instead of this passionate, eccentric, oddball man full of handsome charm and charisma.

“I’m going to talk to your parents again, see if maybe we can’t figure something out,” he padded to the front of the room in his sock feet, he had a habit of conducting in his socks, and took the music off the podium, “scat kiddo, get to your next class.”

He did have a conference with my mom and step father.

It was for naught.

I lost the cello.

But I did not lose the joy.

I did not lose the love.

I did not lose my heart.

It broke open.

Got bigger.

It got some more love on.

Tonight it overflows with it.

And.

I am not sorrowful for that loss.

Rather.

I am grateful for the time I got to have with the cello.

It was a blessing.

Grateful for all the gifts in my life.

All of them.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I am.

I am.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Soothing Sounds

October 3, 2016

For this Sunday.

I have felt off kilter all weekend.

Could be that it was my first weekend “off” in some time and the need to get out there and do something was in fierce competition with the need to get the fuck caught up on my reading for class.

I did actually get out of the house today but it was not a success.

And.

It was a total success.

I met friends in Cole Valley and we went to Free Gold Watch and played Street Fighter and Addams Family pinball.

It was fantastic.

Then we walked to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Which I shall now proceed to call Hardly Strictly douchebag.

I just can’t handle the crowds.

I want to.

But.

I can’t deal with the jostling, the open containers, the copious pot smoking.

I didn’t even make it into one of the proper stages having started to get freaked out by the closeness of the people and the fact that we didn’t really go at the festival with a strategic entry point and I had left my scooter parked at 7th and Irving.

By the time we had crossed Crossover Drive and were still a way to go I thought I was going to start hyperventilating.

It didn’t help that I had not navigated my timing with meeting up with my friends and lunch and there was a tiny bit of miscommunication and the next thing I know I’m miles away from my scooter, in a big crowd of people, hungry and anxious.

Yuck.

I got my friends to the festival and turned around and started walking back to my scooter.

I tried.

I really did.

I also tried to now beat myself up too much as I got on the phone and called my person and sobbed a little about being overwhelmed.

I have just been tender and I know a lot of it has to do with further changes with my job and negotiating that and feeling unbalanced.

I like structure and my job has become, well, weird.

I’m now helping out the other family twice a week and interviewing this week with a referral from the mom of my original family and it feels a little enmeshed and strange and I am frankly over it.

I just want a clear-cut job.

I also know that my boundaries around job stuff are pretty rigid, I think it gives me some sense of self-control and control over the situation and lends to a false feeling of security.

The change that is happening.

Is.

Well.

Happening.

I can’t actually change that, I can roll with it or get rolled over by it.

I can also get out of it.

And I’m aware that I need to broaden my perspective and see that what is happening, this change-up, is not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s in fact.

A good thing.

But it is change and I’m not always, like never, comfortable with that.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this line of thought, just got lost in the cello music I’ve got on –Yo Yo Ma playing Bach sonatas.

Soothing Sunday sounds.

Other soothing things today.

I made chicken soup.

I made a fresh bed with clean sheets.

Two loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, put away.

And despite my consternation in regards to going to the park for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, I did get a nice walk in the park, the sky was blue-the brief rain fell early in the afternoon and passed quickly–the sun was out, I saw two red tail hawks and loads of flowers.

When I got home I took my Family Therapy reading and sat on the back porch in the late afternoon sunlight and read for an hour until my friend called to let me know they were at Java Beach.

I went down and sat outside in the last waning minutes of golden sunset and talked about Paris with them and going to Decompression next Sunday.

Decompression is a lot of people too, but not 100s of thousands, more like 10-15,000 and the venue is comfortable to me and I know people there and I know where I can go to chill out and the space is also smaller.

Anyway.

I shouldn’t get overwhelmed with the crowds and I will see folks that I haven’t seen since the event.

It will be a nice way to wrap up the summer for me.

This week will be lots of work, work interview for more work, and a meeting with my school advisor that I was supposed to have this past Friday but had to reschedule after I dropped my phone in the toilet and had to get a new one Friday before work.

I will, fingers crossed, do a lot of reading.

I have a paper to write on Saturday.

Then Decompression with my friends.

I think that’s how it’s going to be, show up, work my ass off, meet up with friends at least once a week and do something, even if it’s small.

I don’t have to go see a huge festival to feel a part of, if anything I usually feel more isolated in a crowd than I do out of one.

I have felt unaccountably sad in spots this weekend and I’m not sure what to attribute that too, but I’m grateful as well for those feelings, ah feelings.

The good news is I get to have them.

The bad news is I get to have them.

At least I’m alive to feel.

And there is so much goodness in the small, sweet, simple acts of self-care that I have done that I’m ok with the sads, they happen, then the happy will happen and all the others in between too.

The sound of the cello soothes me and I soften towards this place, this being, this quietness of self that is fine just exactly how it is.

I don’t need to fix me.

Just accept me.

That’s all.

That’s it.

Pretty fucking simple when I look at it like that.

And.

Easy.

If I let it be.

Easy like Sunday morning.

 

You’re Like A Female Version

June 7, 2016

Of Peewee Herman.

Um.

Thanks?

Hey, Carmen, Peewee Herman is hella cool.

I mean.

Hello.

I may get confused with a hipster at times, affinity for coffee with notes of butterscotch and stone fruit, the one speed whip in the garage, the numerous tattoos, the arty glasses with the wood frames.

But.

The fact is.

I like glitter way too much to ever be a hipster.

Unless they suddenly make glitter in aged wood paneling or something ironic like that.

I also have a pink riding jacket for my scooter and um, heh, my helmet has not only glitter but stars and yes, I did, I have appliqued star stickers on my scooter that I put on myself.

Shut up.

So.

Heh.

I could see what he meant.

And I was flattered.

I mean, really, I haven’t been compared to many famous people, although a legend in my own mind, I don’t have that much claim to fame.

I like to think that I am.

But really.

I am just crazy old me.

“Don’t forget me when you’re famous,” he said to me last week when I saw him and told him about the podcast.

I still don’t know what the hell that means.

I suppose that I will be recorded and to that extent I have been practicing a little.

I love the sound of my voice, except when I hear it recorded.

Ugh.

Then.

Seriously.

Ugh.

Although, I heard a friend’s little guitar riff on his facecrack page and found myself making up little lyrics to it.

I’m not a singer, but I can carry a little breathy tune.

I shared that with my friend who I went to the Paul Simon show with, my vocal abilities, or lack thereof and his response?

Fucking golden.

“That never stopped me,” he replied.

Dude.

That’s right.

But.

I don’t play an instrument, even though I did play cello once upon a time in a land far, far away.

Wisconsin.

And there are days when I think, I should pick that up again.

In what time, Martines, in what time?

But, I do.

I love the sonorous voice of the cello and the prickly velvet thrum in my heart when I have been with an instrument that I connect with.

I had a friend who once took me to the luthier that all the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra uses, he’s a cellist with the San Jose Symphony, and the smell.

Oh.

So delicious.

The wood and the rosin.

The sounds.

I remember, still, it’s been many, many years, picking up a cello and the feeling of it nestled between my thighs and the weight of the scroll against my neck.

I remembered the feeling of the strings under my finger pads.

I pulled the bow across the C string and hit an F# and just about cried with the pleasure of it.

Heh.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s been suggested to me a lot to pick it back up.

And I digress.

A lot.

The Peewee Herman thing had me pause though.

I look like an artist.

But often times feel like I’m not quite the potential I am supposed to be.

That I haven’t done enough, I’m not prolific enough.

Suffice to say, how many of these fucking blogs have I written?

Over 1800.

There’s something prolific happening here.

And maybe it’s just me being kooky and dressing funny.

But really.

It’s just me.

It’s just how I like to be.

The glitter, the heart on my sleeve, the poetry that falls out of my eyes.

I may not have the degree of fame or fortune or whatever it is that I think I’m supposed to have to be considered a successful artist.

But.

I create.

That’s the thing.

I was thinking of a shred of lyric from one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, and not one that most people would quote from either.

It’s from “Hurricane Eye,” from his album “You’re the One.”

You want to be a writer/but you don’t know how or when.

Find a quiet corner/use a humble pen.

And I tell myself that everyday.

I am a writer.

I have my quiet corner.

I use my humble pen.

Fuck.

Thank God I got to Walgreens today.

I was almost out of ink in my last couple of favorite pens.

The last couple of times I was in the store they were out of my favorite and man, it makes a difference, just like the quality of paper that I like when I am doing my morning pages.

I hate those decompostion notebooks with a fervor.

Yeah.

I know.

Ecologically friendly and all that.

But the quality of the paper is shit and it feels like crap when I write on them.

Nope.

No thanks.

I prefer Claire Fontaine notebooks from France.

Or.

When I can’t procure those.

The college ruled glitter notebooks in bright turquoise, silver, and hot pink from Safeway.

Heh.

Yeah.

I told you.

I can’t be a hipster.

I love glitter a little too much.

I don’t have to be anything, I don’t have to fit any category.

I can be the girl, or woman, should you so prefer, who wears flowers in her hair and cries a lot.

“Dude, that’s what you do,” my friend texted me back when I told him that I was in tears half the Paul Simon concert.

I do.

I do, do that.

I sort of leak with gratitude and happiness and joy.

Even when I experience shame over things I can’t control, at least I can forgive myself for that, or self-loathing or self-deprecation, I am learning, slowly, oh so fucking slow, that this is ok.

And after all.

These words are not my choice.

I am the conduit.

I am just dead light pushing crystal spun sugar into the veins of the universe.

I am just the channel through which the words move.

And I cannot tell you.

I cannot tell me.

Why this beleaguered life.

Why on my knees.

I still.

Love.

Love.

Love.

This tumult, this strife.

The promise of every day that breaks.

Across my face, the grey morning light.

The sun sequestered in fog.

The call of the day.

The fall of God.

Into my lap.

The kisses freckled on my skin.

The rapture of song.

The life within.

That small quiet voice.

Always there.

Even when I am hoarse with tears.

There are still flowers in my hair.

And my heart upon my sleeve.

It’s tattooed there.

Lined in the liminal.

Luminous.

Lustrous.

Love.

Of all that is.

Which.

Is.

In the end.

Just.

Love.

 

 

 

Next Ten Years

January 13, 2015

What is up the Universe’s sleeve I wonder.

Not that anything other than the next action in front of me is ever revealed, it’s entertaining nonetheless to let myself ponder it.

I suspect that there will be more travelling.

I want to go down soon to Chula Vista and see my grandmother, it’s been really too long.

I want to go to Atlanta in July.

Yeah, I know, that’s like, um going to Anchorage in December, but hey, when an international group of like-minded fellows decides to be in a certain place at a certain time, then, well, I’lll see you in Atlanta in July.

Outside of that, further down the line, another trip or three to Paris.

I just got the bug man, I don’t suppose I ever will get rid of it.

I’m currently listening to Edger Meyer playing a double bass cello to Bach Cello Suite #2 in D Minor and while I was in the shower I saw myself in front of the window of the luthier in Paris on the Left Bank near Shakespeare and Company.

I saw myself walk in and ask, “combien sa coute?”

How much does that cost?

Of course I would add s’il vous plait to that request and then I see myself touch the caramel color wood of the front breast of the cello and smell the rosin and I am handed a horse hair bow and invited to sit and see how I like her sound.

It’s a fantasy, yes, but stranger things have happened.

In the next decade I propose that I will be picking up the cello again, actually I see that happening sooner rather than later.

I was googling Roland Feller today at work while the littlest guy napped.

Member, Entente Internationald des Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d’Art.

Member of the American Federation of Violin and bow Makers.

Roland Feller is a luthier here in the city that a friend who works at the Burning Man offices took me to one fine day about 8 years ago.

He had been lending me his cello, he plays out and has more than one cello, I wasn’t using his orchestra cello, but it was still nice.

He wanted me to see what a real luthier looked like and took me to Feller’s atelier in the NOPA.

Unless you know what you are looking for you would miss it.

It is a second story shop in a grey nondescript house squeezed in between the Popeye’s on Divisadero and a mom and pop grocery/liquor mart.

There’s a heavy metal gate and a dirty ATM in the base door way of the stairs.

There’s a camera mounted to the top of the stairs and you buzz to get in.

The gate swings out and open and one climbs the rickety worn carpeted stairs and arises into stringed instrument heaven.

The smell.

Oh.

The cellos.

I noticed other instruments, sure, I did, but the cellos were so stupendous and bright, lustrous, enraptured with late afternoon light and gold glowing wood.

My soul felt soothed and I felt not enough all at the same time.

I also recall feeling wildly jealous of a family with a young daughter who was picking out her first full size cello.

She’d grown into the big girl size.

I think I am ready to do the same.

This is not like surfing to me, I’m not interested in finding a guy to teach me so that I can go on a date with him.

This is not like downloading all the Muddy Waters albums because you danced with me to Hoochie Coochie Man in the soft light of my room.

This is not like playing frisbee golf in the snow because your my man.

Nope.

This is a desire and passion all my own.

And since I am not being quiet about my passions and desires, I desire to get myself to the luthier’s.

“Doll, instead of putting more ink on that beautiful skin of yours, why don’t you invest in a cello?”  He said to me over the table at the cafe.

I looked him straight in his blue eyes and said, “I have $1800 in my savings account, I could go get one this weekend.”

Granted, I probably won’t.

I have plans.

And the tattoo is part of them.

Unless something ridiculous like a meteor of cocaine hits my house and smashes itself up my nose and somebody ties me down and pours a beer into my mouth, I’ll be ten in three hours and I am going to get that tattoo.

But, he was right, my cafe confidant, I do need to get a cello in my life.

Where I will squeeze it in?

Who knows.

But squeeze I will.

A minute here.

An hour there.

Oh.

To sit in the sea salt air in the sunshine on my back porch and practice the Bach preludes.

Oh.

Now that would be something else.

I had been planning on saving that money for a new laptop and I will still need to get one before graduate school starts.

Oh yeah, that’s going to happen.

Whether I get into this program or I do another, I see a Master’s degree in my next ten years.

Abso-fucking-lutely do.

It’s a few months off, fall of 2015, so I think I could look into getting a little cello action in my life for sure.

Besides, when you say yes to the Universe, it takes a 1,000 steps toward you.

I am saying yes to playing cello.

Yes to more travel.

Yes to graduate school.

Yes to staying sober.

Yes to service.

Yes to love.

All love.

There is so much life to live for me yet.

I am so young and so ready to keep moving forward.

I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and the deep and knowing knowledge that my life is really just starting to bloom.

All that work, all the shit, er fertilizer, has finally kicked in.

Life is miraculous.

I am stunning proof.

Silence of the Lamb

January 12, 2015

You have been silenced by your grandfather and the abuse he perpetuated, the silence from your father who was not there, and the silence enforced upon you by your stepfather.

I heard it like that.

In italics.

Bold.

Times New Roman.

It may as well have been underscored as well.

Point well made.

Point taken.

And one small point for me and my process and showing up to sit in another cafe on another Sunday in San Francisco and cry and let go and ask for suggestions and be given a set of amends to go about.

It is a never-ending process it appears.

This unfolding and unwrapping of self and all its manifestations.

So today I practice not being silent, I practice speaking up and saying who I am and what I do.

I also allow myself to be creative and to grow that way too.

“Oh, it’s the first thing that came to mind,” he said emphatically around a bite of salad.  “I totally agree.”

I had mentioned that when meeting another person I work with yesterday at another cafe in the city, today I was in the Castro, yesterday in the Inner Sunset, I had been given the exact same instructions.

This is what happens when even decades later, almost three, I cry in a booth at a table around an old resentment.

Those things which I think I should be or have done or am not allowed to do haunt me in ways that I just don’t even realize until the pain surfaces and the tears melt and slide down my face.

Ugh.

Here I go again.

I have been directed to make some amends, I have done them before and I am certain that I will continue to do so the rest of my life.

That’s just the way it goes.

I have a lot to amend.

I have learned a way of living that I have to unlearn.

The silence being one of them.

Silent scorn.

Dropping a wall of silence on a situation, not saying what I think or feel or need, disappearing, getting small.

“Girl, God does not make 6 foot Amazonian princesses to be silent,” he paused with drama, “please.”

I am not six-foot.

Although I walk around like I am.

Not the point.

Point is that I do try to get small, wrap up in myself, go unnoticed.

Although it may be hard to ignore me and my glitter dipped self.

“You get to express yourself creatively, that is your amends, and you know what to do.”

Yup.

I do.

One act of not being silent is to allow myself to move forward with graduate school adventures.

Yes.

I did it.

I finished and submitted, along with my $65 fee, my application to the California Institute of Integral Studies for their Intensive Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Whew.

I had to redo the application that I had saved online as I could not find the one I saved and just figured it would be more hassle than just starting over.

I reviewed, re-read, edited, and tightened up my six page, 1800 word, autobiographical statement, wrote a one page statement of intent, and did a CV.

I also sent out the forms for my letter of recommendations for the two women I have asked to recommend me to the program along with the above mentioned essays so that they could use them as reference material to write the letters.

My transcript order was received by the University of Wisconsin, Madison and sent out this past Friday to the institute.

While all that was cooking, so was I.

I made myself a nice pot of three bean chili with chicken and celery, black olives, and fire roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, and brown rice.

I have three mason jars full and two containers for the freezer.

I think I used the cooking as a way to keep myself calm while I was in the process of finishing up the application.

I knew, too, that I was going to do it today.

It was just time.

And in that spirit of its time.

I so too, shall start playing cello again.

“What defect comes up for you when you think of your stepfather?” He asked me.

The picture I get is always the same one, although, there were plenty of not so pretty ones in the mix, the first thing that always comes up is this:  walking in the snow at night down Windsor Road with my mother and stepfather.

We are not quite to the block the post office is on.

The snow is falling thick and heavy and my mother is wearing an ugly pair of boots that my stepfather got her–she hates them, but they are warm and she says nothing.

And I say nothing.

I am trapped between two adults choosing the path ahead for me with no say in the matter, my heart already broken by the move to Windsor and the loss of playing cello in the orchestra I had grown into and become so wildly fond of.

Mister Zeigler of Madison, Wisconsin, orchestra conductor for Gompers Middle School, where ever you are, however you are, I always have and always will owe you a great debt of gratitude for the gift of playing cello in your orchestra.

And for interceding on my behalf when my parents decided to pull me out.

My stepfather made that decision.

And so many others.

The one that was being made that cold snowy night was whether to allow me to take the advanced placement ACT test early as allowed certain students so that they could matriculate into upper level course in the highschool.

Nope.

Nada.

No.

No.

No.

Why had I bothered even asking?

My stepfather would not hear my mom’s arguments in favor of and I was to be taught a lesson, so quickly learned, so hard to let go, that I was not allowed to ask.

That I was to be silenced.

My words.

My art.

My creativity.

My music.

You are not allowed to make noise.

Perhaps that is why having had now almost ten years of self-reflection and constant daily growth I grow loud in my dress at times and my voice, in my passion for life, in my need to create and love and dance and sing, even though often off-key.

“Go get yourself a cello,” he said.

Ok.

I got my application out.

Now I can get my cello on.

The world.

It spins constant and continuous, and sometimes the orbit brings me back to an old standard and I get to listen to it anew and perhaps find a new way of introducing an old love to my life again.

I won’t silence myself.

Bring on the music.

Seek

July 8, 2013

“You never told me you played the cello,” John Ater said to me this afternoon, “and what’s with the hair twirling?  I have never seen you do that before.”

Nerves and comfort.

I used to do it so much when I was a child that I would twirl small bald patches on my head, according to reports from my mother.

I have noticed myself doing it more recently as well.

I take comfort in it and my hair is curly and it feels good.

It is sort of like self-soothing.

I do it when I am anxious.

It’s better than eating ice cream and donuts, but still indicative that my anxiety levels are a little higher than I would care to admit to.

I had not met with John in a little while and when I saw him last night and got a hug I immediately felt the tears welling up, despite not knowing where or why they were coming, they were just there.

“What else?” He said to me.

“Well, you got that phone call when I was having the panic attack,” I said “and my food went off the rails, I feel really stupid about that, and I…”

“Now stop it, you are not stupid, and when did you play the cello, C. asked me if you were still playing and I had absolutely no idea that you played.”

“So tell me about that,” he said and settled into the chair across the way from me.

I sipped my coffee, where to begin.

“I started to play when I was in third grade, a way to get out of Mrs. Morgensen’s class, I hated her (this was the teacher that assumed when I moved into the school district that I did not speak English because I did not talk, she called my mom on the phone one day to discuss putting me into remedial English, little did she know that I had begun reading by the age of three and at that point probably already had a higher reading ability than any other child in the school–I tested out of the high school charts when I was in 4th grade, the highest designation they had at the time) and when the orchestra teacher came in and said it was time to go to orchestra, despite not knowing what orchestra was, I got up and left the classroom.”

“And,” he paused.

John is good at the pause, good at letting me express, good at listening and good at letting me get it all out.  I trust him implicitly, more so than anyone I have ever worked with in my life, more so than any romantic partner or family member I have had.

“And I was good, good enough that by the time I was in middle school I was allowed to take home a cello despite my family not having enough money to pay the school’s rental fees, good enough that my orchestra teacher got me a private tutor, which he also had the school pay for,” I continued.

“Martines, you are never going to be first chair,” Mister Ziegler said to me as I was struggling along with a piece I was trying to memorize for the Spring String Fling (yes, that was what it was called).  “You are never going to be second chair either,” he continued breaking my heart one small piece at a time.

“However, you will be hired, you will play in an orchestra, you will be able to have a job professionally, you’ll be fourth chair, or if you are in a small city orchestra, third, but you will always play and you will do well.”

I nodded, I really had my heart set on being first chair, I knew that was never going to happen at Gompers Middle School, that honor went to Sue, she was wildly talented, and wildly bored with the instrument.

“Do you know why, Carmen,” he paused and looked through his glasses piercing my concentration on the sheet music, I looked away from the bedraggled notes eyes drawn to his face, his ginger beard rasped under his chin as he rubbed it brisk with long white fingers.

I just looked up at him, perhaps a small inquisitive look, probably nothing, I was already masking my emotions and feeling around my person and it was very hard to break through that shell.

“Because you have heart, Martines, you have heart, not one in a thousand has the heart that you do, Sue Bachman, yeah, she’ll get first chair, but she’s cold, there’s no passion there, you have passion and for that you will always be rewarded.”

Did not matter how much heart I had, when the family moved to Windsor and I was placed into the DeForest school system, there was no orchestra program there.

My heart, broken.

“So, what happened,” John said.

I told him about my friend at the Burning Man offices when they were over on 16th and 3rd and I told him how I started to play, then life got overwhelming for me and I stopped.

I do miss it.

I do think about it.

I do wonder if I should reach back out.

“What did I tell you about Paris when you were afraid to go?” John asked me.

“Go, you’ll always be fed,” I said.

“And….”

“I was always fed.” I replied.

Maybe it’s time to do another kind of nourishment, find another outlet.

“Honey what would you do if money were no matter, that’s where you dream, that’s what you do,” John told me.

I would write every day.

Same as I do now.

I would play cello again.

Ok, there’s a direction.

I would go camping, which Burning Man is like a big camping trip, but I would probably also go to Yosemite, never been, or the Grand Canyon, also never been.

I would drive up the coast and go to Oregon and Washington state, I would go further and go see Alaska.

“Honey, you have an assignment,” John said, almost with glee, I could see him mentally rubbing his big compassionate paws together.

“Write a list of everything you want and seal it in an envelope, one of two things is going to happen.”

“Ok,” I said, I have heard this before, but not quite the way he described it.

“You’ll open it in a year and either you will have gotten everything you wrote down, or you won’t want it anymore because something better has been put in its place.” He finished.

Oh.

I have not thought of it like that.

Ok.

I have an assignment.

“Honey, just go seek,” he finished, giving me the hug that always lights my way.

Seeking I shall go.


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