Posts Tagged ‘fellowship’

We Were Talking

August 10, 2017

About you tonight.

Oh you were?

“Yeah, we were saying that you’re doing too much,” my friend said and gave me a hug.

Well.

Of course I’m doing too fucking much.

And I’m ok with it.

I am a busy woman.

But pockets of time present themselves to me and I get stuff done.

I managed to sneak in making a pot of soup in between a phone call, work, and covering my Wednesday night commitment.

I am good like that.

I also, wait for it, dropped off my paperwork to the school practicum office!

Killed two birds with one stone.

I had the mom ask me to take the oldest boy out on a solo adventure with me.

We went to the Exploratorium today down on the Embarcadero at Pier 15.

On the way, we swung into my school campus, rode, “the slowest elevator in the world,” according to my 7-year-old companion, and dropped off my evaluation to the woman who runs the practicum office.

We chatted a bit and it was nice to down load a little about my experiences and how it feels to be running with clients.

I have seven now.

My charge was as patient as a 7-year-old could be and after three minutes of chat I corralled him and we made our merry way to the FMarket trolley.

We also stopped in at the Peets Coffee across the street from my campus and I got a large nonfat latte and he got a steamed milk with whipped cream.

He was so cute.

It was adorable hanging out with him all afternoon.

When it’s just he and we have the best times.

We played all over the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception and had marvelous experiments and adventure and looked at all the things and played with all sorts of miraculous contraptions.

It really was great.

We ate lunch there and he ate most of my lunch because it was tastier and I happily shared and he cuddled with me hard and fell into a bit of a food coma and collapsed on my lap and hugged me and said, “scratch my back,” and I did and it was fabulous.

There’s nothing like a seven-year old boy snuggling on my lap to make me happy, he just loves me so much and it makes my heart super full.

He can be a total handful when he’s around his siblings, but one on one, oh my god, melt my heart.

He literally sat in my lap the entire way back.

We took the FMarket all the way into the Castro then hopped on the 24 bus and rode it to Church and 30th.

He’s a big fan of the Beatles and walking up the hill we sang Beatles songs and held hands.

Mostly “I Say Hello and You Say Goodbye,” over and over again.

I’m not much of a vocalist, I mean, I can sing, everyone can sing, but my little guy can really sing.

I was happy to hold my own and actually harmonize a bit with him.

And when I couldn’t hit the high notes, well, he did.

I feel pretty in love with the little guy and it was so nice to have the day with him.

We got back to the house a tiny bit before mom and his siblings and I got dinner going while he played Legos.

Dinner was pretty simple, I made his favorite dish, organic ground beef pan sautéed in good olive oil with garlic and onion, sea salt, rosemary, black pepper, and a bechamel sauce that I make right as the beef has browned up and then I put it over brown rice fusilli or whatever non-gluten pasta I wrangle up out of the pantry.

The boy loves it.

It’s amazing to watch him inhale it.

I love cooking.

It’s a nice perk to my job.

I know some nannies who would be horrified to have to cook, but I do really like it.

I love my family and I love making them dinner.

In fact, the mom told me that they, the kids, were excited to come back from their big trip and eat my food.

That was nice to hear.

The mom let me go a few minutes early and since I had dropped off the paperwork to my school I was able to slip home, do some practical stuff, eat a quick dinner, make a pot of soup and take a phone call before heading back out the door to my next gig.

I know I am busy and it was sweet to hear my friend and I looked at him and said, I get it, I do, I am busy and it’s a lot and yeah, I’m probably doing too much, but I don’t feel like I have much of a choice.

Although, that’s not necessarily true.

I could quit school and have oodles of free time.

But.

I would just be a nanny.

And I want more.

I am too smart and too driven to just stop here.

I want this.

I have been groomed for it, or so it feels.

And yeah.

This last year of school is probably going to be full tilt boogie.

But.

I know.

I know without any doubt.

That I will get through it.

I haven’t felt anxious at all about my schedule and the things I need to do.

It feels like it’s all falling right into place.

I can’t fuck it up.

I can’t manipulate it into happening.

If it’s supposed to happen it will.

I just get to show up today in the best way I know how and do whatever work is in front of me.

And yes.

When I can.

Well, yes, a girl will like to play.

And I shall.

No worries.

It’s all happening.

All the things.

All the.

Wonderful.

Amazing.

Awesome.

Things.

Oh, yes, they are.

Thank God.

 

I Didn’t Do Much

August 3, 2017

But I did a lot.

I mean.

I really did.

I didn’t even go to yoga.

No.

I slept in, I lounged in bed, I was dreamy and soft and it felt so nice to lie there and let my body be and not spring forward and charge off into my day.

Oh.

I had thoughts of going to yoga.

But they were dispelled for better things.

I took the morning easy.

I ate a lovely breakfast and made myself a latte.

I made some phone calls.

I talked to people I loved.

I got right with God.

I wrote.

I wrote a lot.

I mean.

I can fill a page, the words they stream endlessly out of my finger tips, scrawled across the page, margin to margin, all the thoughts and dreams and feelings there on the paper, my pens in a mug on my table at the ready.

I do go through my pens.

My cheap little guys that I buy at Walgreens.

I am particular.

I only like the Wexford black ink pen.

That’s the generic gel ink pen that Walgreens markets.

I love it.

I begged a friend, who asked me what I wanted from San Francisco, when I lived in Paris, to bring me back pens.

The gel ink is the smoothest and the pen is just the right grip for my hand.

Ask me sometime.

I’ll show you the place it sits on my fingers and the writer’s callous there.

Yes.

I have a callous on my middle right finger from writing.

I rather adore that callous.

I also have a distinct muscle in my forearm, again, my right side, I am right-handed, that is pretty developed solely from doing the writing I do every day.

I love words.

Can you tell?

I did more than write today, although I did not go far from my house.

I made it to the back and sat in the sun for a brief moment in the afternoon around 2:30pm when there was fleeting sun that came through the fog.

Mostly I stayed home.

I did work on the house.

I cleaned out my closet and got a bag of clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes to sell to Crossroads.

I also moved everything in my kitchen, and pulled up the rug that I’ve had for the last three and three-quarters year, it was just a simple rag rug, but it had gotten pretty worn out and a bit ragged and I’ve been wanting to replace it for sometime.

I ordered a replacement on Amazon and it was delivered yesterday.

So.

Everything got moved, and I pulled up the old one, shook it out super hard, I did not toss it, it still has a use for me–I’ll be taking it to Burning Man and lining my tent with it.

I also had a long conversation with a woman who was referred to me by a friend in the fellowship who is going to Burning Man for the first time and she had a lot of questions and I just let her pick my brain for nearly an hour and told her where I was going to be camped and all the fellowship and community that is out there and it felt really nice to share my experience, strength and hope with her.

After I finished our conversation I got serious about re-organizing my space and cleaning, everything got dusted, even all my books.

And I winnowed through my books.

I’ve been wanting to sell a bunch of them for sometime.

I only have so much space in my in-law and though the idea of having a big library and loads of bookshelves is super serious appealing.

MY GOD how I want that.

Someday.

A house with a big library, books upon books upon books, paper, ones I can pull down from the shelf, hardcovers, and read, and inhale and love on.

But.

I repeat.

My space is small and I have only so much room and the stacks of books were starting to collect too much dust and really I haven’t had much time for pleasure reading since I started grad school.

So.

I dusted them all off, sorted through the ones I was absolutely not going to part with.

Like.

My copy of Bastille, Issue #2.

The small press that published my short story in Paris, “The Button Boy.”

Poorly edited, there’s a typo and a misprint.

But.

Fuck.

My short story.

In print.

In a publication.

I can say with no small amount of writer’s pride that my first publication was in Paris.

Not selling that guy.

Then a few books that were given to me as gifts and hold far too much sentimental value to ever let go.

Ever.

And the funny thing is, whatever doesn’t sell, I will happily take back and keep.

There will be some that don’t.

But for the most part I am such a sucker for the printed word, I tend to buy hard covers or first runs, so when I do sell I tend to be able to sell most of what I have brought with me.

There was a little sadness packing up the books.

But.

It’s stuff.

And when I came home tonight from doing the deal up the street.

Fuck was it good tonight!

I was so happy to come into my super clean, super tidy little home.

Fresh and clean and dust free, with a new carpet in the kitchen.

And.

Ha.

A “new” book on my table.

I discovered a book I bought two years ago, right before the first semester of my first year of grad school.

I had never gotten to read it.

Two years later.

I started and I’m 37 pages in.

I have my hopes that I will finish it before my text books start arriving in the mail, because as soon as they do, that’s the end of my pleasure reading.

I assure you.

Sneaking in one more day of leisure before I go back to work on Friday.

Yoga, this time for sure, in the morning.

Shower, morning prayer, writing, breakfast, go sell the clothes, go sell the books.

And then a mani/pedi.

I have a client consult in the early evening.

And that’s it.

The days of leisure and pleasure reading will soon be over.

It’s been a sweet little bite of time off from my day job.

My house is clean.

I did a lot of cooking today too, all my meals for Burning Man are in the freezer as well as covering my first weekend of my first semester, so I don’t have to cook or deal with that.

Yes.

It’s a few weeks out.

But it’s nice to have it done and there won’t be down time soon like I have had.

Sigh.

I have no complaints though.

It’s been a good run.

I feel rested.

I feel rejuvenated.

I feel ready for the next chapters.

And I feel happy having taken care of my home.

My sweet little sanctuary by the sea.

It may be small.

But.

It’s all mine.

And.

I do love it so.

Yes.

Yes, I do.

 

Preparations

July 21, 2017

I have started gathering the things.

All the things.

All the things that will get dusty.

Yes.

I was once again reminded by a friend yesterday that Burning Man is coming.

Holy shit Batman.

I have had a lot of other things on my mind.

None of them dusty.

My friend asked me over an iced coffee at Java Beach yesterday in the early evening whether I was done packing for Burning Man.

Um.

No.

I haven’t even started.

Then again.

It’s a no brainer at this point.

This being my 11th burn in a row.

11.

Where does the time go?

Seriously.

It goes though, it really does, and knowing that I realized I did sort of have to get on the stick and get some things ordered.

Love me a little Amazon for that.

I got a new camp shower.

I left mine on playa last year.

It was brand new and full of water and ready and waiting for me to use it in the camps communal shower.

But.

Um.

Fuck.

Major white out dust storm totally negated doing that.

And by the time it was over.

Well, it was nightfall and no fucking way do I ever want to take a shower in the desert at night.

Way too cold, I mean, no.

So.

I left the bag thinking, I’ll grab it tomorrow, and I didn’t, it just hung out by the showers, and I totally forgot it.  It was a short trip for me, my shortest to date at 4 days, and I actually, yes, for the first time in my history of going to the event, did not shower once the entire time I was there.

I made up for that a lot when I got home.

A LOT.

Anyway.

So I ordered a new camping solar shower bag.

I also got some more solar lights, I have some, but it’s always nice to have a few more and I feel like I was a little too dim at times last year.

I will be in a tent again.

Unless some fairy godmother has a trailer hiding up their sleeve.

I don’t mind the tent, it’s a big guy, four-man, and it’s one of the ones that you can completely set up yourself, it took me ten minutes to do it my first time opening it out of the package.

Super freaking easy.

It also fit, quite well, my queen size blow up mattress.

I’m a whore for a nice comfy sleep space.

I have sheets for the mattress, a quilt, pillows, fuzzy throw blankets.

Aside from the fact that sleep is super important out there, the temperature at night can drop drastically and I have been in some super serious cold sleeping conditions.  I prefer to be over prepared with a nice cozy bed than not.

I decided it was time to upgrade my bins and splurged and bought a new four box set.

My bins are ok, but they’re super old and they don’t seal as well as they used to.

I just said fuck it and added them into the Amazon cart.

I am sure I will be quite happy I did so.

I also ordered a new rug.

Yes.

I will be taking a rug to the event.

But not the one I ordered.

I’ll be taking the rug in my kitchen.

It’s gotten a bit thread bare and I wanted to replace it, so I ordered one-off Amazon and I will use the old one at the event.

It’s super nice to keep the dust down inside the tent if you have a little bit of flooring material.  So instead of throwing out the old rug, I’ll use it for my tent and be quite happy I have it.

I also ordered a new cooler.

I have one, but it only stores about four days worth of food.

I will be there this year for a full week.

A cooler never used to be a big deal since I was always working with some team or other or being a nanny, my food and water and ice were always taken care of.

Last year was the first year I had a cooler with me.

So.

I upgraded to a bigger one and one that has a long handle and wheels.

Fancy.

What else did I get?

My mind is drawing a blank.

Oh!

Yes.

A couple of 24oz Mason jar drinking mugs with handles and screw top lids.

Super nice for having my iced cold brew coffee.

I ordered so much cold brew coffee concentrate last year, yes, that’s how I roll, fuck the bullshit, just get the concentrate, I might as well have shot it up, a couple of times I wasn’t really thinking about it being concentrate and just poured it out like it was, well, not water, but regular coffee.

I was a little zipped up.

Ha!

Anyway.

I like the mugs, the screw lid keeps the dust out and they travel nice and I keep one for my coffee, iced, always, and the other for various forms of fizzy water.

I do love me some bubbly water.

I think that was about it.

I still have to source a bicycle, so I didn’t get bike lights, having lost my faithful steed last year, I also lost all the lights I had on it, wheel lights, basket lights, etc, etc.

But until I know the kind of bike I’m getting I will hold off on getting all the bright and blinky.

Although, not for too long.

The days they do fly by.

I still haven’t gotten a ride there and back yet, although I have updated my post on the ride share board, nothing so far, a couple of nibbles but nothing that was a good fit for my situation.

Keep your ears peeled.

This is when I wish my blog wasn’t dark, that I still was putting it up on social media, I usually get all sorts of offers in regards to Burning Man stuff when folks read my blog.

Ah well.

So it goes.

My clients don’t seem to know that I am out here blogging away.

I also took the time off officially from my internship just a little bit ago when I got home from seeing my clients.

It’s official.

Off from work.

Off from internship.

Supplies slowly coming together.

It will come together it always does.

Usually in some odd ball, goofy, yes, totally Burning Man way.

“Man I love Burning Man!” My friend said last night as we were wrapping up coffee and heading out to do the deal.

“You don’t even go!” I exclaimed.

“Nope, never been, don’t want to go, but fuck, I love it when the city empties out, it’s so nice to have parking in the Mission for a week!” He said with a chuckle.

Fingers crossed one of those cars will have me in it heading to the event.

Fingers crossed people.

Seriously.

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.

It’s Not Time

July 16, 2017

To write this blog yet.

But.

Well.

It wants to be written.

Even though I opened up my WordPress site and sat and stared at the blank screen and thought, I don’t have a thing to write about.

Denial.

I should fold my laundry and put it away.

I will wash my dinner dishes.

So instead of starting to write I got up and put my laundry away and I did the dishes.

I even pre-emptively filled the kettle for a cup of tea after I finish writing.

I know, hot tea, sounds excruciating to think about in July, but it’s July in San Francisco, I’m in bunny slippers and thought for a minute about turning on the heat.

It’s chilly here in July, unlike anywhere else.

Although there was some warmth in the city today after the fog lifted and I got out of the Outer Sunset, I even put on a little sunblock just in case.

Anyway.

I digress.

It was when I was filling my kettle that I realized that I was avoiding the elephant in the room.

Or the plum, as the case may be.

I bought a plum today.

A beautiful, gorgeous, fat black plum.

I’m not a big fan of plums.

I mean, they’re nice and all, but I wouldn’t typically choose to buy a plum, not really my thing.

A persimmon?

Get the fuck out of my way, I’m buying them all.

But a plum?

Nope.

But.

Ugh.

I usually buy one around this time of year.

And it’s not because it’s stone fruit time.

I want stone fruit I eat cherries.

I love cherries.

Or.

Yellow nectarines.

So good.

Not the white ones, only the yellow, and not peaches.

I know, what kind of monster am I?

I don’t like the texture of skin on a peach and the fruit is typically too soft for me, I know friends who would kill for a perfect peach.

Me?

Not so much.

But.

There I was at Gus’s Community Market on Harrison and 17th in front of the plums and I saw it and just reached for it.

My heart in my throat.

Tears prickling my eyes.

I picked out the biggest, prettiest plum in the pile.

I thought about him.

I wrote a story about it once upon a time, a children’s story, about sharing.

I called it “Shadrach and The Plum.”

It was about a little boy and how he shared his most precious treat, a big juicy sweet plum (insert some ee cummings here and an icebox please) with a little girl at school who had forgotten her lunch.

He sat down next to her with his brown paper bag and saw that she had nothing in front of her, her parents had sent her to school with no lunch, he thought to himself as he took the food out of his paper sack, “I’ll share my lunch but not the plum, plums are my favorite, she’s can’t have my plum.”

He asked her, “do you want some of my lunch?”

She nodded eagerly and pointed to what she wanted, “I want the plum.”

He didn’t say a word, he just handed it to her and ate his peanut butter sandwich and drank his milk.

I heard about her later when I read the story I had written to his family.

In hindsight I don’t know if it was the best idea, they were still grieving, it was their first Christmas without him and here I was some girl from San Francisco wearing flowers in her hair and her heart on her sleeve reading a story about lessons we learn from our friends.

Because.

Well.

Shadrach was like that.

He would give you what you needed without question.

I might get teased about it later, I might be razzed, but he always saw me so much clearer than I saw myself.

His death anniversary is coming up.

Sigh.

Ten years now.

And sometimes it still feels like I’m in that ICU at General holding his hand, or in my room on in that crazy old Victorian on Capp and 23rd, sobbing my heart out into a pillow as I prayed and prayed and prayed to God.

I knew better than to ask God to save Shadrach, I pretty much knew he was gone, I never said boo about it, I never tried to change anyone’s mind about their hopes and I certainly did not express any of my doubts about him waking up from the coma to his family, I just kept showing up and asking them what they needed, put I kept asking God to help me through it and the only way I knew how was to not focus on myself.

How can I be of service?

I was brought up that way, in my recovery community.

“How do I do this?”  I called a friend who had just lost a mentor, a man who had 43 years of recovery and who I also knew quite well, the past week.

“You show up and help his family and you ask ‘how may I be of service?’ and you help them that way, and that’s how you get through.  And through you will get.”

He told me how brave I was and how much he loved me and that I could hang in there.

I did.

And I do.

I still hang in there.

I still show up.

I saw that damn plum and almost cried, but as a reminder that I get to live today I bought it.

I did what I needed to do today and I went where I was supposed to go and when I saw someone in my community who was losing it over the recent loss of our young mutual friend tonight, well, I held her hand and I didn’t let her run out of the room.

I just held her and hugged her and hugged her more until she got all the sobs out.

“You don’t do this alone,” I told her, “don’t run out.”

“I can’t handle all this death, it’s too much,” she said and tried to break away again.

I hugged her some more and then I told her some stories.

I told her about losing my best friend to a scooter accident, my best friend who was sober, who was committed, who was about to run the SF Marathon.

The same marathon that is about to be run here on the 23rd of this month.

The signs just went up by the park and I thought of Shadrach, I thought of how beautiful he was when he was running and how strong and graceful.

I thought of the last thing that I said to him, the best gift the moment, that moment when you realize you have to say something or regret it for the rest of your life.

Although, of course, how could I know?

“Shadrach, I just have to tell you, if I never see you again you have to know how beautiful you are right now, you are just glowing,” I touched his arm.

He raised an eyebrow at me and was about to say something witty and cryptic and instead he smiled at me and hugged me to him.

That was the last thing I said to him.

Well.

It was the last thing that I said to him when he was still coherent and not brain-dead in a hospital bed for a week before his family pulled the plug.

I shared my story.

And.

I told her about another woman we both know and how she lost her best friend on the day of his one year sobriety birthday, how he was hit by a bus coming home from his anniversary party.

I mean.

Fuck.

I told her she didn’t have to do it alone and that she was strong enough to shoulder it and that she was lucky, lucky that she got to feel the depth of love she felt for this person who just died a few days ago, that she could be grateful for the time she got to know him.

I hugged her again.

I’m a hugger.

And.

Told her to call me and lean in.

It’s not easy grieving and sometimes I felt like the sadness of Shadrach’s passing would never leave me, but it did.

Well.

That’s also not true, but it lessened, or I got used to it I suppose.

Although seeing that big purple plum sitting on top of a Mason jar on my kitchen counter brought it all home.

I still miss my friend.

He taught me so much.

Not just how to love.

But.

More importantly, that I was lovable and worthy of love.

A lesson that took many years to sink in.

But in it did.

So.

Tonight.

I will raise my plum to my lips and taste the sweetness and let my fingers be sticky with gratitude and love and memory and honor my friend and all the gifts he gave me, so many years ago now.

All the love he planted in my heart that has grown and flourished and bloomed.

All the things.

All the love.

And.

Always.

The best.

The sweetest, coldest, juiciest plums for you.

Always.

 

 

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

Especially since I am a therapist in training, although, let me tell you, I felt like a therapist today, seeing clients, filing paperwork, checking all the boxes, circling all the things that needed to be circled and doing the work.

I can get super caught up in how much longer this road is and how the hell am I ever, I mean, ever, going to get 3,000 hours, but I can’t, I just can’t focus on that.

One hour at a time.

Fortunately I have some practice living a day at a time and when I reflect on how those days add up and all my accomplishments have come in small increments, but come they have, then I don’t have to get too caught up in the numbers.

It’s just a numbers game and I’m doing it the best I can as fast as I can without killing myself in the process.

I mean.

I still have to process all my own stuff, plus carrying around my clients in my head.

I do that now.

I have them in my head and sometimes I will think about them and once in a while I have a momentary flash, a connection, a thought or feeling and a little aha moment, that feels pretty special.

But.

Yes.

I do have to process my own stuff too, I have to look at my own emotional life sift through the chafe and dander and see what is needing to seen and what is needing to be let go.

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

On and off all day, with one really big cry in the evening when I was talking with my person on the phone and going over the shock of what had happened and how the death of my friend had not just hit me, but many others, the numbers of people who showed up to be present for each other and for the family of the deceased was extraordinary.

Not to mention all the people in so many other places he had affected, who’s lives he had touched–Portland, Seattle, Memphis, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Oakland.

Gah.

I can hear him saying “West Oakland” in my head and such joy at his goofiness suffuses me.

For he was joyful.

Oh sure, sad and fucked up and scared and young and insecure, who hasn’t been those things, but also bright and kind and funny and so there for you and warm and sweet and musically talented.

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

Seeing all the pictures, all the photographs, all the expressions of heartbreak, my social media feed was just awash in tears and sadness.

I really had to not look after a while.

And I knew when I woke up having felt puffy eyed and sluggish and a bit off kilter that I wasn’t going to allow myself to wallow in the emotionalism of social media.

I needed coffee, some ibuprofen, and a good breakfast.

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

And as I expressed to my therapist today after plopping down on her couch and telling her I was going to cry and then immediately doing so, I also realized that some, a lot of the emotion I had in my body, on my heart, in my head, was not mine.

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

So I talked it out, processed it, linked it to other things, made traverses, expressed emotions, cried a lot in the beginning, but by the middle of my session I was going other places.

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

I am a work in progress, people, don’t expect perfection, I am far, far, far from perfect.

But.

I am loving and kind and sweet, I would hazard.

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

Sometimes too much and I get overextended and I give too much, I have been trained well in that way of life, being my mom’s caretaker, taking care of my sister, my oldest niece, an ex-boyfriend of five years who might as well have been my mother for all the caretaking he required, but I have grown a lot.

Oh, so fucking much.

And I know when I need to caretake and when the other person needs to do the job their own damn self.

And there’s no irony that I am in the care taking profession.

A. I am a nanny, I care take all day long.

B. I am a psychotherapist.

But it’s not my job to care take as a therapist and that’s a really intriguing thing for me.

I am also not there to make my client feel better, to sugar coat, or to shoo away uncomfortable feelings.

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

I like to look at them as signposts, directions, “hey this thing you do, it doesn’t work for you.”

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

They are signs that the way things are going, the tools being used for living, well they might not be working so well.

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

I remember the first time I did a line of good blow.

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

And I was fine with the way those answers were conveyed and I rather scoffed at a friends warning that perhaps I like that drug a little more than was perhaps healthy.

Um.

Yeah.

But when those solutions failed I had to find a better way, a different way and there was depression there and there was anxiety and all sorts of other juicy psychological terms and conditions.

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

I won’t tell that to a client, they have to find their own way, I think that I am a mirror, an attachment figure, a person who can and will have to withstand the disappointments and anger and discomfort of others so that they can learn how to use that information and devise their own solution.

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

Just like alcohol, ultimately, and every other drug I took, weren’t for symptom relief.

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

And today when I walked out of my therapist office I felt a lightness and a joy.

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

I have so much joy and passion in my life, such happiness, I felt light and though there is still sadness for the loss of this beautiful person, I have also a deeper connection to how alive I want to be and how alive I am allowed to be.

To be alive, in this moment, sober, and free.

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

Moved beyond words for my experiences and this amazing place I have been lead to.

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Seasons Of Grief

July 11, 2017

“I know we’ve never been very close,” she said to me, touching my arm, “but how you are walking through this, I just wanted to let you know, it is brave and beautiful and there are a lot of people sending you love.”

I gasped.

I wasn’t expecting that sentiment.

She continued, “and I know it’s probably really hard to understand, but sometimes,” she paused, “sometimes God breaks our hearts so that they can hold more love.”

I burst into tears.

She hugged me and went her own way.

I see her now and again.

Here and there, in rooms of churches, on a folding chair, with a group of acquaintances, a smile, a wave, but not much else.

I saw her tonight.

I touched her arm.

She hugged me, we both cried.

Our community lost someone today.

Someone very dear.

Someone who shined very hard when he was with us.

He was taken far too young.

I have known him for eleven years, I met him early on in my days of recovery.

I kept seeing him in my mind’s eye tonight, when he was so new, so fresh, such a kid, such a little fucking punk, with this huge heart and pretty face, and dirty skinny black jeans and his punk rock attitude and dangling cigarette sneer on his mouth.

All hiding a very scared frightened kid.

All that bravado and machismo hiding vast reservoirs of tenderness.

I was thinking about a particular afternoon.

It was sunny, we were all in the courtyard of this church at 15th and Julien in the Mission.

He was in Giants regalia and so was Silas and so was another fellow and they all had their arms wrapped around each other, and the smiles, the grins, the love radiating off them was glorious to behold.

I kept seeing that in my mind today and the tears would just start and how I got through the day without telling my boss I don’t know, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and the kids wanted to play with me and I wasn’t the most present.  I kept getting texts and messages and phone calls and reaching out to people in the community.

I had to stay the fuck off social media after a while, it was just a constant stream of his face in photographs, so many of his goofy, stupid, grinning face.

The last time I saw him I smacked him.

“Stay, why don’t you,” followed by a hug, and a “knock it off our you’re going to die.”

He laughed.

I laughed.

We hugged again.

He died.

He died last night.

He over dosed.

I cried.

This morning, literally in my oatmeal.

I got the news and I was shocked.

Perhaps not surprised, I mean, I wish I could say that it was more of a surprise, but I knew what he did, I had heard his story so many times.

“Oh, yeah, gah, shooting up with a dirty rig and piss water from a public toilet down by the Civic Center, sticking the needle in my groin cuz I couldn’t find a vein.”

I countered with, “doing so much blow I throw up after snorting a line, all over my blow, so I let it dry out and I cut it, chopped it, and snorted it.”

High fives all around.

There is a kind a levity and humor, gallows humor, that comes with sobriety sometimes.

And joy.

So much joy.

His face when he smiled, when he played music.

So much fucking talent blown.

Ugh.

I remember loaning him some money, I can’t even remember when or for what and I just told him to not bother paying me back, “keep it and when you’re fucking famous and world touring you give me a backstage pass.”

“Deal!”  He said, “I love you, I would have given you a backstage pass anyway.”

I hope he’s got the best backstage pass right now.

I hope he’s playing up there with Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, with Lemmy from Motorhead, with all his favorites, just fucking jamming the fuck out.

Happy and smoking a cigarette and woo’ing the ladies.

He was a pretty boy, he was.

It hit home today.

And I was reminded of another thing that a friend said to me when my best friend died, almost ten years now, his anniversary fast approaches, at the end of this month, that “grief is not linear.”

It does not have a time frame.

It does not have a schedule.

It does not have an end or a beginning.

It will come in waves.

I saw a man tonight who used to work with my best friend and we both just sobbed on each other, it was too damn familiar, all the faces, all the people pressed together, all the tears.

I looked at him and said, “you better stick around, you just better.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he replied.  “I heard the news and I thought of _______________ and I heard your voice and I just couldn’t not be here, I’m so glad you’re here.”

So many hugs tonight.

So many tears.

So many friends from my early days in recovery and all the memories and joys of seeing them.

And.

A reunion.

An old friend who let me go a long time ago was there.

We’d had a falling out of sorts, I don’t even know exactly all the details anymore, but we’d been best friends after my best friend died, she walked me through so much of that process and grief and we were super tight for two or three years after that and then a misunderstanding, a communication that misfires, conflict that we tried to resolve and just couldn’t.

She saw me.

I almost didn’t recognize her.

She stood up, we hugged and we both burst into tears.

There were a lot of “I’m sorry’s” and a lot of “so good to see you.”

We exchanged numbers.

She just friend’ed me again on Facebook.

Desmond.

You little fucker.

I really did not need you to die to reunite with my old friend, but I’ll take it as a parting gift, my sweet boy, that your passing brought so many people together tonight.

There were moments today when the tears wouldn’t stop falling and then.

Then.

Oh.

There were moments, so very many, when I was exquisitely alive, so alive I almost felt guilty.

Almost.

This life is so precious.

I will not waste it.

I will cram as much as I can in.

I will live.

I promise you.

I will live.

And I will love.

With all my heart.

So fucking hard.

So.

Hard.

I promise you.

All the life you did not live.

I will live for you.

And then some.

Promise.

Not Quite So Dark

June 18, 2017

Oh.

For fuck sake.

So here I am trying to be all low-key and down low and not post anything via social media so I stay anonymous.

And.

Um.

hahahahahaha.

Oops.

Turns out I’m completely transparent and known on my own fucking blog.

My “About Me” page had, I say had since I just pulled it down, a photo of me and link, failed link, but still a link, with my gmail account linked to it.

My gmail account is my full name.

Rolls eyes at self.

Ugh.

Fortunately a friend caught it and gave me the heads up.

And the post has been updated to reflect that.

No more photographs of me, no more name on the page.

Just me and my thoughts listening to some Bill Withers.

When I wake up in the morning love and the sunlight hurts my eyes.

…..Just one look at you and I know it’s going to be a lovely day.

Up a little late.

Up a tiny bit wired.

I went to an anniversary party this evening after doing the deal over on Turk and Divisadero this evening and saw a swarm of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while, including one of my best friends who came into the city and my god, it was good.

I had my internship today and lots of errands that I wanted to do and some down time in the afternoon to do laundry and get myself caught up, and I realized that I hadn’t done a good bit of this kind of socializing in a while.

It took me a moment to catch my stride.

I can be charming and funny and outspoken and a character, but the truth is that sometimes I get a bit over my head with social stuff, which is hilarious and most folks have no idea.

I am not going to label myself an introvert or an extrovert, I’m not going to pigeonhole myself, but I will say I felt awkward and I realized it was going to pass and I had a minute to get settled and be in my skin and let it be ok that I was in a big social situation with a lot of people I am acquainted with but perhaps not that close to.

I also needed to be there and be seen and just let myself be not at work or at the internship.

I logged another two hours today at the internship, even went in a little early to do some paper work and get myself situated and eat a lunch quietly in the office before the other interns got there for our session.

I got some good info, gave some good feedback and was mightily pleased that I had clients to talk about.

I am just dipping my toe into the mix and it’s a lot to carry, but I’m starting to do it and I can see that I am doing the thing that I am supposed to do.

Granted when I logged into track my hours I realized that I had done five hours this week, two client hours and three training hours and that my supervisor at the internship wants me to carry a load of 15 hours.

Three times what I did this week.

Sigh.

Granted I may not get up to that speed for a while and there will be times when I’m able to do that and times when I won’t.

I can’t get too focused on it and I also told myself today that in the service of keeping a tiny semblance of sanity that maybe I don’t have to get as many hours as is possible for me to collect while I am in school.

I just need to get the hours required by my program to graduate.

Granted.

I say to myself.

Fuck that shit.

GET IT ALL.

But.

I don’t want to kill myself and I want to have some socializing.

I need face time with people.

I am thinking specifically of a few friends that are just too dear for me to let go of and I will squeeze them in where and when I can and I will be tired and I won’t give a fuck and you only live once and get it.

Get it girl.

Some things may feel overwhelming, but in the day-to-day of it, I’m doing it.

Slowly building up my client base, learning how to be a therapist, learning how to keep loving and taking care of myself and finding those odd hours and minutes in the hollowed spaces of golden sunned afternoon light when I can pause, catch my breath and get hella grateful.

I mean.

Hella.

Grateful.

That I have what I have.

“You look different,” my friend said to me tonight.

And she’s right.

Things in my life have altered in an amazing way and I am beyond myself with happiness and succumbing to all the feelings therein.

Without expectation or thought for future moments.

Ok.

Small white lie, I do have some plans for future travel, but I am trying to really keep it to this day, these scattering of moments, dipped in old school R&B, or Elvis ballads, old love songs and lyrical movements in time, the stars framed by the trees overhead, a snapshot of a moment.

Astounded with beauty.

Awake to every feeling in my body.

And that’s all I can wish for.

This moment.

Where I am alive.

Oh.

And I am so alive.

It is glorious.

Sure.

Might have something to do with the peer pressure cup of coffee I accepted gleefully at the party and perhaps I might have racing thoughts but I have had racing thoughts for weeks now and I am rather used to it and the heart beating in my chest going fast just lets me know how fully alive I am.

It is exquisite and I am unabashed by the feeling of it.

Love.

Love.

That’s where it’s at.

The word that flutters in my chest.

The ache and longing.

The aliveness.

The song on my lips.

The poem in my eyes seeking yours.

The smile that I cannot help but smile.

So fucking good.

This life.

My life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

The Man Burns

June 5, 2017

In 90 days!

Throwing up in my mouth.

SHUT UP.

Wait, I’ve been so super involved in my internship saga and supervision and training and ending my blog, and summer work schedule and shit, I just about peed my pants when I saw that posted on a facecrack group I belong to and really I was like, whatttttt?

Shit.

It’s time to get my stuff together.

Yeah, yeah.

I know.

It’s three months away, but that’s the burn, the event starts a week before that and considering that I am in school the weekend that I will need to leave for the playa, I’m going to have to get my ducks together faster as I won’t have much prep time for the event the weekend that I leave.

I am going to have to start stockpiling beverages, and start food prepping, well, ok, maybe not quite yet, but it’s a good idea to start getting a few things together.

Fortunately.

I have a tent, new last year, a nice 4-man that I did really well in.

I have a blow up mattress, a cooler, a chair, my bins.

Although I might invest in some new bins, the ones I have are easily seven or eight years old, I could stand a slight upgrade.

I may also pick up another cooler, not working event means not getting fed and means bringing all my food, I did pretty well last year, but the one cooler was only for four days of the event.

I’ll want basically double what I brought.

Fine.

That’s not too big a deal.

It’s small stuff really.

I have all the outfits I could possibly want, a decade of going to Burning Man has supplied me with plenty of playa clothes.

I may splurge on a pair of tights, but I don’t need socks, or bandanas, I don’t need goggles or a utility belt, I also have a thick cloth and lace back harness with a little saddle bag that was super handy last year when I didn’t want to wear my utility belt.

I have great boots.

I have my Mary Fucking Poppins umbrella.

I have almost all the things.

And I have Amazon.

For all the other things I need.

I went online this afternoon after having a really nice, slowed down, mellow day.

Slept until 8:15a.m. got up and stripped the bed down and washed all my linens, yes, I’ll be sliding into fresh crisp sheets, such a pleasure, tonight, plus a big load of laundry.  I went to yoga, even though it was an instructor who I don’t like, went anyway (you are going anyway, I told myself this morning when I saw there was an instructor change on the studio’s schedule), took a hot shower, washed the hair up good, ate a nice breakfast, drank a coconut milk latte, put my availability on the calendar for my internship and wrote.

And wrote.

Such a luxury to not have much to do today.

I had a mini panic attack, not really, sort of, yesterday when I realized that for the first time in weeks I didn’t have anything scheduled today.

I called my person and confessed my nerves, I like to be busy, makes it easier to not listen to the radio KFuck in my head,  on AM Station ‘Thinking All About Myself All The Time,’ and told on myself.

I got a cute text this morning telling me what I should do, I don’t think should was part of the message, it was more just a quick list of things to do today.

Rest.

Eat.

Yoga.

Mani/pedi.

Navel gaze.

SUCCESS!

I did all the things.

Yup.

After my writing this morning I headed up to the Inner Sunset and hit my nail spot, I had to wait a little, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and read a trashy magazine in the salon.

Mani/pedi, waxing.

Yes, the eyebrows needed some tending.

Then hopped back on my scooter and headed to the grocery store to pick up some stuff to cook and food prep for the week.

From here on out all my weeks are six days weeks.

And I need to stay on top of my food prep.

I got back from the grocery store, had a very late lunch, al fresco on the back porch.

It was intermittently amazing and horribly chilly, depending on whether or not the wind was blowing.

It was sunny though, so I really didn’t care, when it got too chilly I retreated back to my little studio and just sat in the sun coming in through the back glass door, I got my sunshine fill in for sure.

I made dinner.

Very simple.

Roasted chicken, pot of brown rice.

I got the stuff to make soup out of the chicken when I finish it up.

A chicken can go a long fucking way for me.

It was while I was cooking dinner that it hit me.

Oh yeah.

Fuck.

That thing in the desert.

I better get on taking care of the things I need or the damn thing is going to be here and I’ll be caught with my dusty pants down.

I made a list in my head of the things I needed and the things I wanted.

First.

The things I need: new air mattress battery operated pump, mine broke last year; batteries to run pump; a playa bike and a bike basket.

My bike died last year, it’s a long story, better told elsewhere, but suffice to say I wasn’t expecting to have to replace my faithful stead and I have had some resistance to doing it and I realized, just do it.

So.

Yup.

I got my playa bike too.

One speed beach cruiser.

Done.

I also got the other stuff too, the pump, batteries, and the bike basket.

I have photo evidence that some of the things that were on my old bike are still out there for me, my bike pennant, and the vanity plate that had my name on it, that I got at the LA airport when I did the AidsLifeCycle ride, as well as a pair of fuzzy velvet dice I got in Reno many years back.

Every one needs a pair of fuzzy dice.

I mean, really.

I’m super psyched to have it out-of-the-way.

The thing that I didn’t get, out of my budget right now, but I may still throw down for it, is a pop up car port for shade over my tent.

I am not sure if I will get it or not.

Regardless.

I got my stuff and I posted up to a group I belong to that I am also looking for a ride to and from the event.

So, it’s all out there in the Universe.

I’m pretty excited.

It will be here before you know it.

And.

Ha.

This is great.

To wrap up my day, after, catching some last sunshiny rays on the back porch for dinner, chilly, but so pretty, and the wind had died down a little, I scootered up to a place up on Quintara and 20th and did the deal.

Always a good way to wrap up a day.

I went up to a woman and thanked her for what she had to share and she paused and looked at me, “I know you,” she said.

I looked at her and I realized, yeah, I had seen here somewhere else before, “you do look super familiar,” I replied.

She smiled.

“I wasn’t sure until I saw you up close, you were at Burning Man in 2015.”

Ha!

Yes.

As a matter of fact I was.

Heh.

We caught up and it was funny, my God has such a sense of humor, you know, the afternoon that it hits me that Burning Man is just around the corner so I do my big playa order.

And.

Boom.

I run into someone I met at Burning Man.

I love my life.

And.

Though I am by far not ready for the event.

I am much further ahead then I was this morning.

Seriously.

The Man burns in 90 days!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

I am aware that tomorrow is June 1st and not November.

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

I love my life, I’m lucky, I’m graced, I’m blessed.

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

It will be my first time, unless something unusual pops up and I find myself in the islands, which I am not opposed to, but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t expected to hear the news today that I might be in the islands for the holiday.

My family I work for brought it up today.

I will have off that weekend from school and work, well, since it is work, will let me have the time.

It’s not a real vacation for me, I’ll be working, but, oh, the location does not suck.

Not at all.

And like I said, I’ve never been to Hawaii.

I really should go, I am part Polynesian after all.

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

I had someone tell me once that I was a Polynesian princess mixed with white trash.

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

I definitely have some princess in me, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

I love that the family really wants me to be included in their lives and I really love working for them.

Tomorrow marks five months of work and it’s been such a great job for me and the parents really appreciate me and the kids love me.

I love my charges.

LOVE.

Both of the older kids were under the weather today and one of them stayed home from school.

Work was huge amounts of snuggling, singing every song I know from my years of being a nanny, and an almost endless repetition of a lullaby that I usually sing to the baby, and all the babies I have ever worked with and a lot of my toddlers too, to the oldest boy while rubbing his back and petting him and just sitting and crooning to him.

He is the sweetest boy and super smart and vulnerable and the request to keep repeating the lullaby and stroking his soft blonde hair, oh, my heart, I just wanted to curl him up in my arms and kiss away the fever.

He got lots of love and I got to be the Queen of Snuggles.

I also got to do some cooking while he was watching a movie, sick days get movies, and I revelled in the cooking.

It feels good to cook, I miss it sometimes, cooking for a partner or my family.

I used to cook all the big holiday meals for my family and oh, the baking, and the stews, the jams and cheesecakes and pies, the cookies and pork chops.

Midwestern much.

Aside.

I said “bubbler” today and the woman looked at me like I was an alien.

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

I made up that last word, rhymes with cheese, bubbler is a total Wisconsin word, there are a few more, but that one slips once in a while into the conversation, or “pop” instead of “soda.”

Once and a while my roots show.

I am, however, not so connected to my Hawaiian and Puerto Rican roots.

My father wasn’t much around growing up and though I always kept in touch with my grandmother, I didn’t have much idea about Hawaii.

I had things from Hawaii that my grandmother would send and I remember boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts and once a grass skirt, coming in the mail from my grandmother.

I think we had placemats too and a few books about the islands and where the family was from.

It wasn’t until I moved back to California as an adult that I met my father’s side of the family in a more concrete way.

I remember meeting some cousins for the first time and being blown away by how much I looked like them, how they looked like my sister, and how I was actually lighter skinned than the majority of the family.

“They look like me!”

It was a relief and in a way an almost instantaneous connection that I had not always felt with my mothers Germanic roots and Scottish ancestry.

I was neither pale skin nor blue-eyed, or green-eyed as my mother.

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

Well, once in a while, after long ass days detassling corn in the fields around Waunakee during the summers when I was working the crews, I might get a shoulder burn or a heavy crop dusting of freckles.

My mom though, my God, she could burn so easily, such creamy white fair skin.

Yeah.

So coming to California and starting to get those connections to my father’s family was a revelation.

I’m still not as close as I suppose I can be, social media does most of the work for me and there’s still stuff with my father that I have reservations broaching my family about.

I ceded his care when I was in Alaska in the hospital to the head of the administrative at the hospital.

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

He wasn’t around and when he had the accident that lead to the coma that led me to Anchorage, I went almost more to settle my own heart, then for anything else.

I sat by that hospital bed in the ICU for four night and five days.

He was in a coma the entire time I was there.

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

I made friends in Anchorage and the fellowship there carried me when I wanted to collapse into the snowbanks and the cold air and just cry my heart out.

I managed to not get stuck in any snowbanks but I won’t ever forget the dark night sky outside the window of the room the hospital hospitality house put me up in, for families of critical care patients at the facility, and the roughness of the sheets on the bed and how alone I was.

No.

That’s not true.

I wasn’t alone, I had God, I was carried, but I was by myself.

I was grateful, beyond grateful, to be there for my family and to relay messages out to the world and to let my grandmother be in contact with me and my uncle and my cousins and the love seed that was planted there.

I have never talked to any of them about letting go of my father’s care, but I did visit my grandmother that next summer and it meant everything to me to say “I love you,” and in that moment, as I was leaving to get on a plane from San Diego, in my grandmothers arms, I could feel how much she loved me too.

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

Even if it’s not with my employers, which is sounds like it might actually be, I will go.

I have some more healing to do in that corner of my heart history.

I will swim in the ocean and walk on the beaches and turn my face to the sun.

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

Impressed as it is on the cheekbones in my face, the wide plush smile on my face, the curls in my hair, the freckles on the crest of my nose, the wilderness of my hips, the sway in my walk.

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.


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