Posts Tagged ‘community’

Almost Got It

June 10, 2017

I thought I was social media dark on my blog last night when I posted.

Except.

Ha.

I was still linked to Twitter.

Figured it out pretty quick, went and deleted off Twitter, and it didn’t link to Facecrack and now, well, I’ve disconnected any sharing on the blog.

It’s just you and me and a couple of friends.

Shhhh.

Part of me want to let out some big scary secret.

But there’s no big scary thing to let out of the bag.

I am a pretty happy lady.

I had today off.

What?

I know.

A Friday.

Off.

My family that I work for is still super sick and I got the message last night after I logged off my blog that they thought it better for me to take off today as well and they’d see me Monday.

I have to say I was sorry for them, but also so grateful, I really don’t know what I would have done had I gotten a severe flu bug.

I hate vomiting.

I mean really bad.

So I’ll happily take my pass and take the day off.

I didn’t sleep in, I got up and went to an early yoga class.

But after that I did take a really mellow day for myself.

I balanced the check book, paid the phone bill, did lots of writing, got in some laundry.

Then I scooted over to Nordstrom Rack and spent a lot of time trying on clothes that didn’t work for me.

I had some high hopes, but the retail therapy was not to be had.

Then again, it wasn’t a total loss, I got a bra, two tank tops, two pairs of panties, some body lotion and some mascara.

It was worth the trip, just to pick up a couple of staples.

Sure.

I had hoped for a new summery dress or maybe a pair of pretty shoes, but fact is, I have bought myself some nice things recently and I don’t really need to do more shopping.

I was looking for something to keep my brain occupied.

It turns out that a woman I have been working with for the past three and a half years is no longer available to work with me and we had a long talk on the phone as I stood by my scooter in the parking lot at Nordstrom Rack.

The blue sky coming through the sky light, the cars parking, the sound of a shopping cart going by and someone who loves me saying, I have loved working with you but it’s time for you to find someone else.

I have never been let go quite like this.

In fact.

I have never been let go.

I have always been the one to find another person to work with.

It was definitely an experience.

Now.

The funny thing is, not funny haha, but interesting, odd, is it odd?

Or God?

I think.

Well.

I believe.

It was God.

As I have prayed a lot over the last week about the relationship.

Something was said to me last week when we met that hurt my feelings deeply and though there was some repair in the moment when she realized how hurt I was, there was still an underlying wounding that I carried with me for days.

I just didn’t know what to make of it.

It came out in my therapy session Tuesday morning.

And.

Well.

Yes.

As a matter of fact.

I bawled my damn eyes out.

Then I worked through it.

Then.

Later that day when I was checking in with someone else.

I got mad.

I mean.

ANGRY.

I was yelling cunt in a church courtyard, so yeah, maybe livid might even be an emotional marker.

I did calm down.

I did write a lot of inventory.

Then I sat on it for a couple of days and really just let myself calm the fuck down.

Thank God for getting to yoga three times in a row this week.

Totally took the edge off.

That praying and writing and more writing and then I did it.

I called, left a message, said what I was feeling and let go of the results.

The results?

I was let go.

And I have no regrets.

Not a one.

I was honest and I know that there was no bitterness in the parting and I’m grateful for the time we got to work together and I’m grateful that I get to have a new experience with another person.

Before it was happening I had felt this dread and sadness and overwhelm, how the fuck am I going to find another person to work with?

I’m too busy.

But.

When it happened.

I knew that it was right.

And I knew that I wasn’t being dropped.

If anything it was God doing for me what I could not do for myself.

I get to have a new experience with a new person and I will get to grow and find out new things and have a new perspective and until that person comes into my life, I’m held by my community and I am not worried.

I am loved.

I am enough.

And I learned a lot.

Some of which I can’t share here as it’s just not my place.

But.

Suffice to say there was deep learning here.

And a deep gratitude for my community and for the people I talked to over the last few days and today and for feeling held and loved and having that love reflected back to me.

I know that I’m still going to have some feelings.

Abandonment.

Not lovable.

Not enough.

Yada, yada, yada.

Victim.

Martyr.

But.

They will pass.

And I will come out the other side stronger and better and more graceful.

Whenever God has “taken” something or someone from me I have been given the gift that he was waiting to put into my hands but I was too busy holding onto something that didn’t work out of some misplaced idea that I could fix it and make it better.

Not realizing God had the solution right in front of me.

My hands are empty.

I am now able to receive.

My heart is ready.

I will walk through this.

I have to.

There is not another choice.

There is only the present.

And all the gifts inherent.

I am loved.

And that is enough.

It always is.

I’m Done!

May 1, 2017

I’m done!

I’m done!

I am done.

I wrote my last paper for the semester today and I got it done faster than I thought I would, my friend in the cohort told me it was going to be a much easier paper to write than Trauma, that it would, in effect, write itself.

That was exactly my experience.

Almost spooky how it wrote itself.

Nine pages, 2,832 words.

It took about two hours to write, maybe two and a half.

I was shocked how quickly it happened and I had absolutely no problems or sticky spots, it just flowed out of my fingers and I was able to finish and have a really nice late lunch out on the back patio.

I did my typical Sunday gig and roasted a chicken and made a pot of brown rice while I was doing the writing.

I was rewarded with a yummy lunch eaten al fresco under the warm sun.

I was stunned, actually, I still am a little.

It all happened.

It all got done.

I even, shhh, read a little today after my meal and it was pleasure reading!

Holy shit.

I haven’t done that in a while.

I don’t have to read anything for school for the next weekend of classes, I’m done with the reading, I’m done with the papers.

I sent in my Couples Therapy paper last Sunday and did my Trauma paper yesterday and my Community Mental Health paper today, the Trauma and CMH paper I will be handing in hard copies of.

I will do a small presentation of my paper to my Trauma class but I don’t actually know that we are going to be doing a whole lot of work in my other classes.

I feel like I’ll just be floating through next weekend, just showing up and turning in the papers and making attendance for my classes.

I won’t have to be doing any catch up work or reading, I won’t have any papers or projects due after the final weekend.

All I have to do is show up and turn in the papers.

I can take it easy the rest of the weekend.

I won’t skip out on the classes, mostly because I want to see my friends and since I am paying for the experience, I’m going to go and have some experiences.

I am off to my second hour of supervision tomorrow morning before work and that’s really about my only school obligation for a few weeks until I start the internship.

I made it through!

God it feels good.

I did yoga today too, even though I am not a fan of the teacher that was the substitute, I showed up and got some stretching in and put in my time, it’s a practice I need to keep practicing.

I am breathing and being in my body and it helps to do that before I write my papers, takes the edge off, gets the anxiety out of my body and frees up my mind to do the work.

I am grateful for the little yoga studio in my hood.

I am grateful for my hood.

Seeing people I know, being seen.

Going to the coop, having dinner tonight at Thai Cottage.

I had a date as well.

We went to Thai Cottage.

There was kissing, but I did not invite him in.

I am actually quite proud of myself for that.

And I can’t actually tell if I want to pursue it or not.

I liked him, he’s attractive, smart, tattoos, sober.

But I went in and out of being interested.

The kissing was nice.

But it wasn’t the key to unlock the door to my studio.

I’ll have to go on another date.

I’m not usually this ambivalent.

It’s usually a yes or a no.

This guy is a maybe.

I’m not worried about it, no, not right now, I do have a lot happening this upcoming week, supervision tomorrow, therapy Tuesday, doing the deal, connecting with ladies to read books over tea, work, then school over the weekend.

Thursday one of my girl friends from the cohort will spend the night with me and we’ll head off to class together Friday.

And next week.

Paris.

Oh my God.

I can actually see getting on a plane now that I finished up all the final papers for class.

It’s not so surreal.

It’s happening.

I am so very excited.

It’s going to be so nice to have ten days off.

I ran into a friend in the fellowship yesterday and told him about my Paris trip, he’s a big Francophile and a photographer and his photos are on the walls of the cafe I was at, most of them alleyways in Paris, and it was with much excitement that I shared I was going.

He asked me to send Paris a kiss from him.

We talked about the museum pass and he said, “you got to get the three-day for sure.”

I’m actually thinking about getting the four-day, I’m going to be there for ten days, well eight when you take out the travel time, but still I can definitely do four full days of museums.

The other four days, Sacre Couer, The cemetary in the Montmartre, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, the markets, the broquantes, some clothes shopping, a tattoo from Abraxas, getting lost and then found in the Marais, walks along the Seine, the Luxembourg gardens, the Tuilleries, maybe a pop into Le Chat Noir and do the Paris open mic scene for old times sake.

There will be plenty for me to do.

And I get to do it without worry about school or internships or work, it’s all lined up.

I have a great job, a good internship, I’m wrapping up my second year of my Master’s degree, it’s all happening.

It feels so good to have these papers put to rest.

No stress for the rest of the week.

Just showing up for my responsibilities and recovery.

For friends.

And fun.

Definitely can squeeze a little more fun in there for sure.

I got my papers done!!

So.

Over the moon.

Seriously.

Home

February 12, 2017

Sweet home.

I’m not there yet.

Even though I am home.

That’s not the home I am talking about.

“Welcome home,” he shouted into the dusty air, “ring the bell.”

I rang the bell.

I skipped the rolling around in the dust though.

Fuck that shit.

It’s dusty enough up in this mess.

Yup.

I’m planning my return trip to the playa.

It’s a little early, I suppose, but I am going to get my little early ducks in a row.

I’ve decided that I am not working this year.

I am going to go and just have fun.

I am going to stay with a different camp than I have before, I’ve been a member of the camp since it’s inception and have spent time there, and have friends there, and one of them mentioned to me that it was time to come out and camp with them this year and not work and really enjoy the festival.

The art.

The joy.

The get about and the get around.

I found out my when my first weekend of classes will be for the fall semester.

Last year they fell on the same weekend of the event and I was not able to go for the full amount of time.

I went up early and left early.

I was only there four days.

It was lovely and I’m super glad I went, but it was not enough and I didn’t get to see any of the burns because I left Wednesday morning of the event.

By plane.

There is that.

It was one hell of an amazing experience to fly out of Burning Man.

I don’t know if that is necessarily happening, but I’m going to let it all fall together.

I decided in my heart to go last Sunday and then I did some research and discovered that the low-income ticket application will open in a few days.

I need to update my profile and the minute it opens, February 15th, I will be applying for it.

One of the big reasons that have always worked the event is to get into the event.

But.

I don’t want to work it this year.

I want to actually go and not be tied down and when I researched a little I discovered I could definitely afford the low-income ticket and I will apply to it.

Then yesterday I discovered that the first weekend of the fall semester for my cohort will be the weekend before the event.

Thank God.

I can go!

Well.

I won’t quite say that yet.

I still have to clear it with work.

I will ask on Monday if it’s a possibility.

I already have a lot of my vacation time tied up to my trip to Paris in May, but I do have some days that are not accounted for and I want to use them for the event.

I may have to do some negotiation with the family in regards to it, but I think that they will be amenable to me going.

I sure do hope so.

It was me doing a happy dance today when I told my friend before class that I found out the weekend dates for the fall and that there was not a conflict with school, it set my day, I was super pumped.

Granted that feeling dissipated, class work was challenging and showing up for it and being present for the material made me completely forget about the event, about travel times and dates and plans and things and stuff and more things.

But.

When I got home and said “hello house,” I smiled, my eyes drawn to the print on the wall, a photo shot from above, from an airplane above the event and I remembered quickly.

Home.

And it will be the ten-year anniversary of my best friends passing and me taking his ashes out to the Temple.

It will be my 11th burn in a row.

It is a part and parcel of me.

There are experiences that I have had there that I cannot rationalize or explain.

Love and light and dirt and dust and spiritual transmogrification.

So many times.

Not just once, but time and time and time again.

Dancing the tango with a beautiful 24-year-old man from Norway who was tall and blonde and yes, heh, Nordic, with a gorgeous sweet accent and the bliss of being kissed under the stars, bent backward and kissed as though every song of the stars above depended upon the breath in and out of our bodies as we melted into the dust.

Riding out to the trash fence at sunrise on the art car “A Horse With No Name” and seeing the shots of fire thrown out against the playa, piercing and bright and bathing the dust with golden smote, softening the blue smoke bathed mountains with flames of light.

Running into a friend unexpectedly in a church pew by an organ and telling him a fairy tale in the mid afternoon heat and swelter.

Reciting poetry underneath the upraised arms of the Man and the face of the man when I looked into his eyes.

“Do you know how easy it is to fall in love with you when you recite poetry,” he said.

Why do you think I recite poetry?

I want you to love me.

And somehow.

I don’t know how.

I don’t need to know how.

I find myself easier in my person, able to let that love in, to be scaffold with it, to allow myself to be exactly who I am, hair bedecked with flowers, standing tall in cowboy boots with polka dot socks and my crinoline blowing in the breeze, my umbrella of poesy flowers opened to shelter me from the sun, face bedecked with smiles.

I am somehow more me and entirely at peace with who I am and how I am and it’s not so weird, it’s just me, and I’m not that unique, I mean, did you see what she was wearing?

Or not wearing.

Of course I want to go home.

It’s home.

Anchored in between the Black Rock Mountains and the Calico’s, underneath the rising moon and the setting sun, the howl of love that whisper whips across the playa until we are all crying out of our aloneness a coming together, a community, an expression of magic, yes.

That.

Magic.

May I always be a part of that kind of love and mystery.

And.

Yeah.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve cleared the first hurdle, school conflict, now to ask off from work for event.

Then.

I’ll get a ticket after that.

And.

Soon.

I’ll see you in the dust.

I’ll be there to welcome you home.

I promise.

 

Write Your Own

February 1, 2017

Happy ending.

He told me yesterday after giving me a stupendous hug.

“You’re a writer, write your own story,” he added, then, “you’re going to help so many people, Carmen, you really are.”

I felt bowled over with his love and confidence in me.

It is so very nice to have friends.

It is amazing to have the fellowship and community I have.

“You’re going to be in Oakland Saturday night?” She asked on the phone today when I had a moment at the park while my charge was playing in the sand box. “Of course I’ll go, I’ll pick you up from the BART station, we can grab some food and catch up.”

Yes.

Oh yes please.

Community.

Love.

Friends.

All the things that I need to get me through the day and through the week.

And it’s been a good week.

I had a great day at work today.

I felt super helpful.

I got to run errands, pick up one of my charges from school while the mom was at the one month old check up for the baby at the doctors, my little ladybug charge went with mom and I got to pick up big brother at the school.

We had a wonderful chat, ended up running into a classmate on the way to the train, detoured and climbed the hill to Dolores Park.

My office with a spectacular view.

The boys ran around the park for an hour, then I got a text from the mom, and headed back to the house, stopping at the little organic market on the way back to the house.

I was greeted with much affection and hugs, I got loads of hugs today from my charges.

Such sweetness.

And.

Oh.

It happened.

It finally happened.

“Oh!  Can you take the burping machine,” the mom asked, handing me off the baby, to go help the little lady bug in the bathroom with a sudden need for mom.

It happened so fast and unexpectedly and it was just divine.

She passed me the sweet, warm, soft bundle of baby.

Oh.

Oh my.

The smell.

Oh, God.

My first thought, “I want one.”

So bad, God, I want a baby.

Tears welled up in my eyes and I breathed his scent in deeply.

All babies have that scent that milky, sweet, skin soft, bread baked with love and dusted with buttered pixie dust.

I can’t quite describe it, powdery, warm, human, I was lustful with the longing to have one of my own immediately, now, now, now and the tears, oh they held, hung up in the bottom lashes of my eyes, trembling just there, but never quite cresting to slide down the round tops of my cheeks.

I turned to the window, the huge, gigantic wall of glass with the entire skyline of the city spread out below, the sun spinning it’s last light a golden crust of fire illuminating the glass buildings and spraying red gold brilliance into the heavens, and shifted the baby up on my shoulder a little bit.

He sighed, gurgled, and settled.

I patted his back softly, I crooned my little song.

I have a lullaby that I always sing to my charges, it’s a version of Hush Little Baby Don’t Say A Word, that I have adapted for me, the nanny, not the mom, not the dad, to sing.

Hush little baby, don’t say a word/I’m going to buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing/I’m going to buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass/I’m going to buy you a looking class.

And if that looking glass should break/I’m going to bake you a chocolate cake.

So hush little baby, don’t say a world/I’m going to buy you a mockingbird.

Then.

I croon a hum.

Not a song, no words, just a soft repetetive hum, up and down, soft and low.

And I sway, foot to foot, a rocking motion that seems innate inside my body, so natural and comfortable I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

I remember once sitting next to someone while I was rocking a charge to sleep in my arms and sitting there, in a folding chair, listening to what I needed to hear and attending to the little boy child in my arms, an eighteen month old who was teething pretty hard, and just swaying in that chair, that warm lump of child draped across my breast, and the man sitting next to me whispered, “I think that little boy might be the luckiest male alive.”

“I wish someone would rock me in their arms until I fell asleep while singing me lullabies.”

It wasn’t until much later that I realized he was hitting on me, I was rather stupid at that point of my recovery.

Sometimes I have blinders on.

Anyway.

I stood there, swaying back and forth and crooning my little wordless tune and he sighed, and melted asleep.

Tears again, but not so heavy, just a misting on my face and the mom and daughter came out of the bathroom and mom said, “oh, he fell asleep!  Would you mind holding him while I finish up dinner?”

Would I mind?

“I obviously hate this,” I said and smiled, my heart so happy to be holding this little mite of a human being, this precious cargo entrusted to me, such simple delight.

Such a gift.

I held him for an hour, he slept high on my breast, held in the crook on my right arm, warm head nestled into the curve of my neck, tucked just there under my chin, soft and warm and perfumed with all things love.

And.

It got better.

I mean.

How it happened I could not have orchestrated.

I could not have directed, it just happened.

The family ate dinner, dad was late coming back from work, and they sat down.

They chatted and laughed and we shared the view.

The mom and the little girl ran off to a bedroom to hunt up a library book and the oldest brother approached me, “can you read me this story?”

We pulled out a big chair, I sat down gentle, with his baby brother still sleeping on my shoulder, then he crawled into my lap, I put my arm around him and he settled into my lap, curled up in a boy ball, his feet in stripe socks nestled on my knees.

I read him the story.

His brother slept on my right shoulder, he cuddled into my left.

Then his sister came by and leaned into the chair.

I reached up, stroked her corn silk hair and smiled.

I was completely surrounded with love and trust and sweetness and vulnerability.

It was amazing.

Then someone poked someone and someone else pulled someone else’s hair and I had to settle them down and point to the baby, but we settled back in and I read the story until it was time to go.

Magic.

It was extraordinary.

And I carried that magic with me, a bubble of gossamer love and light, the cusp of the new moon sailing off toward Venus, the midnight blue threads of clouds scudded  with white bottoms and grey satin shimmers.

I felt a sail, a sloop, a crooning slip of love sending me home on the rails of city lights.

Write your own happy ending.

Write your own fairy tale.

Tie it up with a black grosgrain ribbon and hang it from the star shining above the new moon.

Kiss it into being and tuck it under your pillow to dream upon.

Give it pumpkin colored tulips in a tall Mason jar.

Spin it colored pastel and light like a globe of hope and desire.

Overcome the old sad story you’ve told yourself all your life.

And write your own damn happy ending.

I mean it.

Just do it.

Right.

Fucking.

NOW.

 

 

 

Do You Go To

March 30, 2016

Burning Man?

I replied yes.

And for the first time ever I got such a super negative response that I was a little surprised.

Hey.

Um.

What happened to you have a great smile and you’re really smart.

Yikes.

Who pissed in your Cheerios dude?

FYI.

That kind of vitriol is pretty much a big red flag and I won’t pursue dating you.

Nope.

Yeah.

I’m out there, I’m trying.

I haven’t another date lined up and it’s not a race, I do have a lot of homework to do this weekend as well as a friends birthday party, so a date this weekend might be out of the question anyway.

Oh.

And when you look at my profile and see me in fishnets, boots, with hot pink hair smiling so big it might be hurting my face, you can probably assume that yes, I do do that thing in the desert and if you’re so vehemently opposed–you have a bad experience with Gate?

Get the fuck over yourself.

And don’t bother pursuing a connection.

Not that I said any of that.

No need to.

I just didn’t continue engaging.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why I do anything, I really love my life and I’m pretty fucking stupid happy, except when I’m not, most of the time.

Burning Man is relevant to my life now and for the foreseeable future.

And even if it weren’t I have too many friends that work for the organization, or who have worked there or who still go or who volunteer or want to go, anyway, you get my drift.

I many not have a Burning Man tattoo, I have plenty of Burning Man burned into my heart.

So, yeah, dude, move on.

Moving on can be nice.

Even.

When I am still connected enough with someone that I think about them and the next thing you know I’m getting a message from an ex boyfriend.

It was cute and it gave me pause for a minute.

How people move on, how they leave an imprint on you.

Some people I will always be connected to.

It’s just how it is.

Some people I have moved so far on from that I can’t imagine engaging with them ever again.

I’m not sure how that works, but I suspect that I stay connected to people that I am vulnerable with, that I show my true self to.

Which is how I have such an affinity with Burning Man.

I connect to people out there.

I am trying to connect with people here as well to.

In fact, I just sent out an e-mail asking for a ride to an event this Saturday.

I said yes to a birthday part in the effort to stay connected, to keep up with the friends when and how I can.

It’s not a school weekend for me and yes, despite three papers to write and a lot of doing the deal–started today met with a lady, got someone Thursday, another Saturday, and two folks on Sunday–I need to also have some semblance of a social life.

And these women are special.

Some of whom I may not have seen in months and if I don’t see them this weekend, God only knows, it might be back out at Burning Man when I do see them again.

So.

Working it out.

And working on letting myself stay in today as well.

I found myself getting a bit anxious about how all the things were going to play themselves out this weekend with school, life, recovery, etc, and how in the world was I going to do….

And I just knew.

Slow it the fuck down.

I finished my typical morning routine and added to it instead of detracting.

I did a coloring book meditation and really let myself let go of being anywhere but right where I was at, right here, at this little robin’s egg blue table, having just read the “Just for Today” card that I keep there as a gentle reminder that today is in fact the only day I really have.

I can choose to enjoy it, show up for it, or I can get all up in the future and fritter away the joy that is right here waiting for me to accept and embrace it.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

I opened up the back door and listened to birds and the ocean, the running of the N-Judah on the MUNI tracks, I heard my neighbor building something and thought about all the work that we do, humans, just in general to stay alive, the feeding, the grocery shopping the bill paying, and then I brought my focus gently to what I do for myself and how I can continue, no, that I get to continue, it’s not a can do sort of thing, it’s a “I get to do this” thing, to take good care of myself.

I smiled at the flowers in my glass Ball Mason jar on my table.

I have been buying myself a bouquet of flowers ever since the weekend before Valentines Day.

Buy your own damn flowers, I heard in my head, and laughed.

Yes.

I do.

And it’s really nice.

I have three different kinds of daisies: pale pink Gerber’s hot pink Gerber’s and pretty little Marguerite’s, plus a little filler of tuber rose and a couple of soft pink lilies.

So pretty.

I dress for myself and I am becoming.

I represent.

Not for anyone else, but just for me.

I eat tasty food and cook for myself and splurge on good coffee beans.

Oh.

I have written all the ways over and over again, but there is always still this deepening awareness and acceptance of where I am in my life, dating, work, school, yoga, friends, recovery, Burning Man, my scooter, the city I live in, the shifting heart in my chest growing bigger.

A meteorite of love launched against the black velvet sky over the ocean.

I am changing.

And I don’t have to force the change.

It will just happen on it’s own.

Buy your own damn flowers.

Took me years.

But now I do.

Pretty dresses for my love, pretty flowers for her hair, sweet perfumes to spray over my clavicles, music to soothe, and uplift, I am my best date.

And I go to Burning Man.

Ha.

No surprise there.

I know what makes me happy.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the God damn time.

This Is Actually Happening

February 25, 2016

Holy shit.

Sometimes things do really just fall the hell into place.

I got a job offer for playa nanny this morning.

Granted, there are things to work out, logistics, meeting the family, etc.

But.

After a half hour conversation we’re pretty much in agreement.

I’m going to Burning Man.

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!!

I’M….

Ok.

Well.

Ha.

You can tell I’m freaking excited.

Plus, despite always wanting a little more time for myself to go and play, I really do feel connected when I am being of service.

Nannying on playa is definitely being of service.

The negotiating that I really need to do is going to be with the family I am currently employed with.

I would be taking it as unpaid time off as when I head off to my school retreat for a week I will be using the last of my vacation time with them.

They were really amenable with me about it last year.

I think perhaps because the mom has gone a number of times and also, I do a damn good job with their boys and I didn’t have a single sick day last year, nor have I had one ever, since I have started working for them.

I did take sick time to go see my father when he was in a coma up in Anchorage.

Hell.

My family flew me there on their dime.

And I had only been working for them for a few months at that point.

I am not too worried that they will be able to be flexible with me.

I certainly am with them.

For instance.

Tomorrow I’m staying a half hour late so they can handle some neighborhood duties.

Then Friday, the boys don’t have school, so I agreed to come in 10a.m.-6p.m. versus the 1p.m.-8p.m. the rest of my week normally is.

Anyway.

I am over the moon.

I’ll get the ticket, the early arrival pass, looks like they want 8-9 days on playa, a great location–on the Esplanade! Where I have never camped before.  The camp is big and has it’s own set up–kitchen, shower trailer, I’d be put up in A/C and not have to worry about a trailer or RV or, god forbid, a tent aka a dust coffin, plus a ride there and back.

And compensation for my time.

I told them what I make as a nanny for my current family and I believe we are going to negotiate a flat rate, they need steady flexibility more than they need an eight hour straight shift, I said I can be their on call person, and I will have time off to go do the deal.

I was very upfront with that need.

I have to do some regular check ins either at Stella, Run Free, or Anonymous Village.

Because that’s how I roll.

And I’m a better nanny for it.

Believe me.

Pinch me.

It’s the last week in February and I’ve got my playa happening.

I’ve been writing about it now, as I mentioned previously, for a few weeks now.

I think I got a Jack Rabbit Speaks and there was something in it about a tax or thing that the BLM wanted to charge the event and I recalled thinking, damn, it’s time to get my ducks in a row regarding the event and figure out how I’m going.

I mean.

There was never really a question that I was going to go.

I knew I was.

Just not sure how.

I remember with great fondness one of my dear friends hugging me fiercely at the going away party I had in Dolores Park before I moved to Paris saying to me, “I’ll see you at Burning Man.”

I was like.

Of course you will!

I don’t know how, since I’m moving to France, but yes, of course, I’ll be there.

And.

Ha.

I was.

In fact, the person who referred me to the family that needs help this upcoming event, was the family I worked for when I got back.

Funny enough, I had already met the mom and dad and the oldest sibling and the grandmother at Lightening in a Bottle a few years ago and had gotten introduced to them in regards to hey, this is a person you should chat with about bringing kids to Burning Man.

And voila.

A few years later.

Here I am getting approached by them.

I love Burning Man.

You might have figured this out.

I am a Burner.

Yup.

One of those people.

And in my own small, rather sweet, if I may say so, way I am a contributor.

Nope.

I don’t built the art or make the music.

But once in a while you may see me dancing in camp to my own private song and feel for a moment that you too can dance.

Or maybe you’ll see me on the street and I’ll point the way forward.

Or best of all.

I will get to look after the littlest ones, the babies and toddlers, the young shining faces, brush away the dust, you will see the shine, so the mom’s and dad’s can go do their work.

I support the people that bring you the event.

And I am damn proud of that.

I’m not one of a kind, there are more playa nannies than one would imagine.

It takes a village, a huge village, to plan that thing out in the desert.

I get to go home again.

I am so thrilled.

Shameless with delight.

One day I will get married out there and my family, my friends, my children, all the soft, trusting hands in my hand, all the strolls through Center Camp Cafe, all the braids and flowers in the hair, all the joy, will accompany me out to the base of the Calico Mountains and sing me forward.

I know exactly how hokey that sounds.

And I don’t give a flying fuck.

It’s all about the love and the giving back.

I get to do both and get taken care of.

Glorious.

This life of mine.

LUcKIEST FUCKING GIRL IN THE WORLD.

Seriously.

 

Tender Is The Heart

November 16, 2015

I have to remind myself this.

Soft.

Go lightly.

Be gentle.

Be sweet.

Hold yourself like a little kitten.

Don’t swing yourself out over the high stairway by the scruff of the neck and threaten to drop you down the stairs.

That doesn’t work.

It’s ok.

There are feelings there.

The stuff.

Well, it will come.

And.

Yes.

It will go.

And then the tenderness, to be soft, to be kind, to be sweet, to be compassionate to myself and the perfectionist child who is so afraid to fuck up and god only knows what will happen, what catastrophe of destruction will be wrought if I don’t get it all right, if I don’t do it perfect, if I don’t, I mean.

It’s the end of the world.

I look at my stacks of books and all my little post it notes.

I am preparing to write another paper.

One that I thought I would be able to do today, but I realized I was too exhausted from the writing yesterday to make any head way on this new paper.

I did do all the reading for it, but I didn’t absorb as much as I felt needed to do the writing.

I took notes, and they are funny, these little post it notes with a scrawl and a page number.

The article i have to write on is on-line and though I could print it off, I don’t have a printer, and take notes on it, I just decided to read the 21 page article on-line and stick little notes on my laptop to point to pertinent pages I needed to reference to write the paper.

But.

I will need to go back and re-read the article.

I don’t often have to do that.

I can usually do one read through.

But the directions for the paper were not sticking in my head and I wasn’t sure what exactly I was supposed to be reading for and it wasn’t until about page 11 or so that I had an inkling what I might be writing about, which is half way through the article, so I need to go back and re-read.

I had done a lot of reading prior.

And it opened up a box.

Perhaps not a Pandora’s box.

But some links were made in my mind and I noticed a lot of myself in the reading.

It was on trauma.

Sometimes I am able to be a little flip about the things that happened.

Sometimes I normalize them to deal with them.

Sometimes.

Most times.

I run the fuck away.

I don’t duck and cover.

I bolt.

But there was no bolting.

Little rabbit.

There was no hole to escape down.

There was no closet to hide oneself in under a pile of clothes in a dirty laundry basket hoping that you wouldn’t be found out, in the middle of the night in the dark, in a closet, under the pile of clothes.

I used to have that night mare a lot.

Thank God I don’t any more.

But years.

It would just pop up out of nowhere.

Hiding in the closet in the dirty laundry basket waiting for the closet door to open and the nightmare would mimic exactly the acts that I would do.

Except.

For one small thing.

There was never enough clothes in the closet to hide underneath.

Some part of me was always showing.

Some corner of my leg or a foot or an elbow was poking out.

And the footsteps.

They were coming.

Down the hall.

And the door was opening.

The light from the crack between the door and the wood panel door frame.

The way the line of light fell on the floor and I could see that line of light and then the shadow coming in through the door.

And well.

Anyways.

Nightmares.

Trauma.

PTSD.

You know.

All the good stuff.

I read some powerful things today in one of my text books and the pot.

Well.

It got stirred.

And the thing is that’s going to happen.

So when the stirring stirs something up.

What do I do?

I do my best to take care of myself.

It may not always look like what other people think is what’s best for me, but it’s the best I have in the moment and I have to acknowledge how fucking far I have come and all the work.

Gah.

The work.

It never ends.

This work.

I think.

There’s the rub, that’s the problem, I think.

That by this time I would be clear of it.

But I also know that I have come to a softer resting place with a lot of the material.

And so much of it is still blocked out.

I have dissociated with the material.

Does it surprise anyone other than myself that I am pursuing a degree in psychology to become a therapist?

Ha.

Ah.

Life.

She is a funny cookie sometime.

Fortune cookie fortune brought to you by House of Pancake:

You love hard.

Take easy on self.

Let self be loved.

Lucky numbers 18, 7, 25, 48, 53.

If only.

I’m getting better though.

I can see the progress and when I was feeling disconnected and unable to concentrate more on the reading I was supposed to do for the paper, I cut myself some slack and I took a break.

Not a big one.

Just fifteen minutes.

And when I sat back down to continue reading.

I read something else for school.

I can come back to this material when I am not so tender.

It was a big weekend.

I did a lot of work.

Emotionally.

Outside of school.

Although school was the platform that provided the emotional entrée into the stuff going on behind the scenes for me.

I am glad to know more and I am grateful to be in school and I showed up in a really big way this weekend and wrote a gigantic paper and did hours and hours and hours of reading.

And.

Talked to Professor Dubitzky about a time to have a phone conversation with her about my Psych(e)analytic paper.

We have an appointment for Tuesday night at 8:30p.m.

Not sure how the hell it’s going to work since I’m getting off work at 8p.m.

I suppose I’ll hit a cafe with my laptop and sit on the phone and do the deal.

Note to self bring laptop to work on Tuesday.

And.

That’s the weekend.

Back to work tomorrow.

Not that I ever really left off working.

Although I did double dip tonight and get to see a lot of lovely people.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

All the lovely people.

All the love.

All the things.

All the god damn time.

Even when the pot is stirred.

It just makes for a sweeter stew.

Je t’aime Paris

November 14, 2015

It is with a very heavy heart that I am blogging.

The terrorist attacks in Paris threw me over the barrel.

It was a strange, sad, anxiety filled day at work, the family got some bad news and I did my best to be of service and help and I know I was, but it was stressful.

And.

Then suddenly.

The news.

The shock of hearing and seeing the photographs.

And the absolute inability to do anything other than reach out to a few people, let them know I was, I am, thinking of them.

Friends in Paris.

Fellows in Paris.

There’s nothing I can do and this is not about me.

I remind myself to focus on what I can do.

But there was still sadness in the air.

Melancholia that broke over me like waves.

Reminding me of when I was in Madison and the morning of 9/11 and all the streets so empty and still.

I had not turned on the radio and I didn’t own a television.

It was like the Martians had landed and wiped out the entire city.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong or why there were no cars on the road.

Or why, when I got to campus, there was no one on the streets.

I finally found out what was happening when I stepped into my coffee shop, Espresso Royale, on my way to my first morning class.

And even after being told, it was so surreal and so shocking that it didn’t set in.

I still went to class.

There were two other students there and a very distraught TA who sent us home.

I didn’t know where to go.

So I went to the bar.

Where I worked.

I walked through the empty restaurant and the bar, waved to the opening bartender who was transfixed to the television mindlessly polishing glasses.

“Are we going to close today?”  He asked.

I didn’t know.

It was my day off.

I wasn’t working.

I told him I didn’t know and would find out.

The bar didn’t close.

Bars don’t typically when disaster strikes, people, in my experience, like to come around together and nurse a beverage and huddle together.

I had a friend visiting from out-of-town.

Boston.

And she was at a mutual friends.

I knew she must be frantic.

Her mother flew for one of the airlines that was used in the attacks.

I got to our mutual friends house, astounded to see on the most delicious, the most perfect of autumn days, the ultimate Indian Summer day, temperatures in the high 70s and not a cloud in the sky, that James Madison park was empty.

EMPTY.

That shoved it home for me.

I had never seen James Madison empty.

Ever.

Let alone on the most beautiful day of the year.

I found my friends glued to the television.

My visiting friend had not managed to locate her mother who was on a scheduled flight to DC and was beyond frantic with panic.

We would find out that she was safe, but it took hours.

It took hours, days, to locate friends and family.

The efficacy of the internet amazes me.

Facebook in particular.

Hats off.

I am not always the biggest proponent of social media, but I am over the moon at the Facebook Safety Attack.

All my friends, 26, checked in safe and secure.

Just got the last check in a few minutes ago and just breathed.

Like really took a deep breath.

Paris terror attacks.

I still can’t quite fathom it.

It’s not my place to understand.

And I am not going to make political statements.

That’s not how I roll.

Horrified at the anger and strife and killing.

The pain and misery that we as humans can wrought upon each other.

But.

If I dwell in that.

If I don’t lift my head and go about my life.

If I wallow in that morass of pity and amelioration I will never get out of it.

And I am only effective in my community when I am present.

Accounted for.

Relied upon.

Committed.

I’m all in.

So.

I don’t know how to say.

I am sad.

I am grieved.

I am heartbroken for that beautiful city of lights.

And in the face of it.

I will march forward and do the best I can.

To be the best person I can.

“You work harder than anyone I know,” he said and patted me on the arm.

I was surprised to hear him say that.

I was taken a little aback, but I was also complimented too, when he told me that last night underneath the heating lamps on the outdoor patio at Cafe Flore on Market Street.

Maybe.

It’s just the way I know how to love and give back and I must.

I have been given so much.

I really have.

I try to give it back.

To play it forward.

To love as much as possible.

To be kind.

To be compassionate.

Tolerant.

Patient.

Mostly with myself.

I don’t often succeed.

These are lofty principles.

But.

I try.

And when I am struck dumb with sadness and horror.

I turn back to the simple principles I have been taught and look around me to see where I can best be of service.

How can I do the best in the moment.

Right now.

Right here.

Forgive myself for being an asshole.

Love myself.

Love my friends.

Stay in touch with people.

Let myself be sad.

From heartbreak comes strength and deeper reserves of love.

At least that is what I wish for myself in this moment of reflection.

Love.

Light.

Resolution.

For my friends.

For the families.

For all those sick and suffering.

Here and abroad.

My heart is open.

And though it may not have much of a mark in the overall scheme of things.

It’s the best I have.

I love you Paris.

My heart to you.

Bring Me The Money

November 11, 2015

Or at least the secret password and internal knowledge needed to figure out BMI.

My friend alerted me years ago that he had listed me as the lyricist and vocals for While You Were Sleeping, an album he put together using my poem as a framework and inspiration point for the album.

I never did anything with that knowledge.

Well.

I started a BMI account.

But I never registered anything with it.

I have no idea how to do it and I have sort of let it lapse.

However.

I keep getting e-mails from BMI and most of the time I just think, oh there’s that again, maybe I should do something about it.

Then.

I never do.

But as the days wind down and the nights get shorter and chillier, I am thinking, hmm, what if there’s a few dollars there, I could use that money to go to Paris.

I also recognized that I wasn’t investigating it because the likelihood is that there is no there there.

I mean.

It’s sometimes a nice little fantasy, that somewhere, unbeknownst to me, just when I really could use it, say in a few weeks when I fly to Paris, there’s a few grand just lying around.

Granted.

I got my grand.

And I used it.

Have you seen my scooter?

Damn she is cute.

Still parked in front of my house, haven’t gotten the permit paperwork forms from my boss yet, but they are in the works and I will get them and when I do.

Watch out!

Money comes in and money goes out.

I also paid my phone bill today.

And that’s nice.

Because that’s it.

The only thing I owed money on.

Well.

Aside from my student loans, but we won’t go there for a few years yet, ‘k?

I believe in happiness and abundance and prosperity and God will give me exactly the right amount of money to enjoy in Paris.

It would be nice to be properly registered on BMI, however, and to that end I did reach out to my friend who is the musician.

And.

Yeah.

I should get a hold of the gentleman because in a google search I just came across an Andreas Saag remix of the piece.

Nothing of my vocals, but those words.

Well.

Those are words are wrote and if there’s a remix being sold I should think that I should be getting a smidgen of the proceeds from the sales.

I was also thinking, in a less capitalistic, I better get mine sort of thing, that I would like to record again with Sunshine Jones, and perhaps record the sonnet sequence that I wrote.

Thoughts.

Random and parsed out while I type.

I am spending too much time trying to flip around websites and seeing what is out there.

I don’t know much about many things.

I am distracted with thoughts of Paris, thoughts of dating, hormones.

“You should go on a date,” my friend said to me tonight.

Um yeah.

In what time?

I will say, I am pleased with the amount of reading I succeeded in getting through this morning before work, though.

I have a big paper I have to write next weekend and all the reading is done.

Now to winnow and sort and figure out what is going to go where.

Plus.

Um, yeah.

The other three classes I’m in.

I have to do the reading for those classes too.

So up a little early, again tomorrow, and reading some more.

I just have to keep up the momentum.

And perhaps I can squeeze in a movie date on Saturday.

That would be nice.

Although the movie I wanted to see, Rock the Kasbah, doesn’t seem to be playing anywhere.

Which is a shame.

I do quite adore Bill Murray.

There’s nothing out there that seems appealing either, other than the double feature at the Castro, but it’s big time commitment: Apocalypse Now and The Thin Red Line.

I mean.

Brilliant.

But will I be completely burnt out after sitting in the Castro Theater for four hours?

Too bad it’s not the movie that was on the marquee tonight as I pushed my bicycle up Castro Street towards Market.

Dazed and Confused.

Dude.

That’s like the perfect date movie.

Seriously.

But.

Not to happen.

It’s only running tonight.

I love the Castro Theater.

I’m not going to worry about Saturday.

It will take care of itself.

And if I’m to see a movie, then it will happen.

There’s other things for me to do.

Like read and write papers.

Bwahahaha.

Ugh.

There’s work to keep me busy and doing the deal and meeting folks and just life.

Which when I woke this morning, letting myself get an extra half hour, but still getting up earlier than I needed to so that I could read, I rolled up out of bed to greet the beautiful clear blue skies, high and blustery with wind.

The sun was out.

The day was bright.

My scooter parked in front of the house.

My bicycle, my steady and faithful steed, taking me to work.

The gratitude filing me up as I pedaled up Lincoln Avenue.

The hawks circling over head, lifted my eyes to the sky and I smiled.

Deep in my body, happy in my soul.

“Happy is my principle today,” I said out loud to no one in particular.

Perhaps just to hear myself say “happy.”

And I rode.

Knowing that I had a good job to go to.

That I still can afford to live in San Francisco.

That I am sober.

That I am healthy.

That I have amazing friends.

I have community.

I have a beautiful home.

I have a scooter.

I have a Macbook Air and an Iphone.

I have so much.

I have a trip to Paris.

I have love and abundance beyond my wildest dreams.

So if I don’t get some royalties from BMI.

Whatever.

I’m still going to investigate though.

Seems the adult, next right thing to do.

And whatever happens.

I’m ok with it.

Because there is nothing at all wrong in my world.

Not one damn thing.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Find My Way Back To

November 9, 2015

You love.

I have no idea where I have been, but it was never far from this table.

I have spent the majority of today sitting in this chair.

Reading.

Reading

READING.

Some of the reading was with another person and that broke it up and the material was good and well-traveled and there was much experience, strength, and hope shared.

For that I am beyond grateful.

I get to have a full and happy life because I put that first, despite my brain saying, “cancel on everyone you have too much reading to do!”

I ran into a fellow from my school today, a fellow who is in the internship part of the process and happen to have just graduated this past May.  It is really good to see him, I run into him on occasion on Sunday’s in the neighborhood and it’s really a balm to my soul to do a quick check in with him, which is what I did this evening when I headed over to Ulloa and 46th.

I downloaded my experience of reading today and sought his suggestions and experience.

And.

I have to say.

It is so refreshing to hear a graduate of the program say he did not read all the material, in fact, finished very few of the books, did just enough to get by, and that for him the most important part was the experience and showing up.

I have to concur with a lot of that, although it does not completely ring true for me.

When I am doing just enough to get by I’m not always feeling so good about what the outcome is.

Sometimes it’s going to happen.

But.

I feel better and I engage more when I am in school when I have been prepared.

At least marginally.

I do often find myself catching up on the reading that was needed for the prior weekend the week following.

Especially with my Human Development class.

But I am getting better acquainted with my own system and what works for me with the reading and the paper writing .

I have a little system of post it notes and various ways of marking what I want to use in a paper.

I am reading for what resonates and when it resonates a lot or seems to fulfill an overarching need for a paper topic I underline it, star it, and post-it-note it.

Then when I sit down to do the paper I look at those post it notes.

Problem with today’s reading is that so much resonated.

I have a zillion little blue notes all over my Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy book.

I have a bigger writing project that is due on the 17th of this month.

That’s nine days away.

But for me.

It’s more like six to seven days away.

As I need to write the paper next weekend.

I won’t have the time or bandwidth to do it after work during the week.

The best I have been able to do in regards to homework during the work week is get up a little earlier than I want to and read a half hour to 45 minutes before i have to ride out to work.

Riding my bicycle out.

At least for the next week.

Unless the family allows me to park the scooter in their garage, which I may try to persuade them to.

I am in the process of getting a child care parking permit through the city and it may take a few days to get all the documentation together as the family has to provide information that proves I am their employee and that further, they have children.

Once I get the permit I will be riding the scooter to work.

As for tomorrow.

I am on my bicycle.

There’s also rain forecasted and although I abhor riding my bicycle in the rain, I have not been on the scooter enough to know how it handles when the streets are wet.

I had enough anxiety crossing a set of MUNI tracks when I rode it home on Saturday, nothing happened, but I imagine that navigating slippery train tracks on a scooter is a skill and since I have only been on two rides I haven’t developed that skill yet.

So.

Tomorrow a ride in the rain on my bicycle.

I rode my bicycle this evening as well since I wasn’t sure when the rain was coming and I figured, again, why use the scooter when it’s just a few blocks away and the exercise will do me good.

The two walks I took today also did me good.

I had to stop a few times in all the reading and just get outside.

I even, shhh, read a fashion magazine for fifteen minutes at lunch time.

Oh.

And I did cook my food for the week–tarragon chicken with mixed vegetables (edamame, corn, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, onion) and brown rice.  Delicious.

But the majority of the day really was at this table.

I did shake it up for a little while between the after lunch walk and the pre-dinner stroll.

I sat on the chaise lounge under my bright reading lamp and got into the book in a heavy way.

Only keeping a slight eye on the sky as I knew I wanted to give myself a break and walk down to the ocean to catch the sunset.

And I did just that.

Feeling rejuvenated and exhilarated by the sea and sand and the small bands of folks from the neighborhood out with their kids and dogs watching the sun go down.

Then back to the house to read more.

Then dinner and that quick bike ride up to Ulloa and 46th.

And.

Yes.

Back to the house where I put in another half hour of reading to feel like I really got myself in it and starting to suss out the paper project in my brain, I read four and a half chapters today and I probably put in four hours of reading time when it all is added up.

Plus meeting to ladies and doing the deal and cooking.

Not a bad Sunday.

Not bad at all.

And as I walked into my cozy, sweet, inviting, little home, after a chilly ride on my bicycle through the night-time hinterlands of the Outer Sunset, I was met with such a loving warmth and generosity of spirit.

My own.

My self-love and self-care apparent in the pretty things on my wall, in the over flowing bowl of apples and persimmons on the counter, to have established such a lovely little nest to return to at the end of the day blew sunshine spangles into the dark crystal corridors of my heart.

I am so grateful that I have this home and this life.

A scooter.

Friends.

Love.

Recovery.

San Francisco.

Christmas in Paris.

Graduate school.

Life.

Oh.

Life.

I am so very alive.

And so very.

Very.

Grateful.


%d bloggers like this: