Posts Tagged ‘fog’

Sneaky Work

August 15, 2017

It’s Monday.

The alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m.

I bounce out of bed, turn on the lights, run to the loo.

Brush teeth, wash face, wander naked to the kitchen, I sleep in the nude, yes, indeed the first ten minutes of my morning are bare ass, drink a glass of water, take three vitamin supplements–iron, glucosamine chondrotin, Flax seed oil, then I go make my bed.

After that I get dressed, put on my shoes, watch, and pull out the layers I plan on wearing.

Hello.

It’s August in San Francisco.

Best to have at least three layers.

Cardigan, sweatshirt, scooter riding jacket.

I lay them out on the bed and then go do my morning reading and say some prayers and ask for some direction and then.

Breakfast!

Today was oatmeal with banana and figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa and unsweetened coconut/almond milk; 1 hard-boiled egg and an unsweetened almond milk latte.

While said food items are busy boiling, cooking, and frothing, I pack my lunch for work and whatever homework and internship paperwork, texts, and syllabi I need for the day.

Today it was solo supervision, so definitely needed my pink glitter notebook.

Who says grad school has to be all seriousness.

Glitter makes it better.

Trust me.

I also packed my Jungian dream book, even though my brain said, what’s the point?

There’s not a spare minute to do reading today.

But, from experience, this is not true.

Times when I think I am going to have hours of reading, I don’t and days when I think, I couldn’t possibly spare thirty seconds to look at a paragraph, I suddenly have unexpected time.

Life happens.

All the time.

That’s what life does.

But.

I find these weird, sweet, odd pockets of time and that’s when I use Stephen King’s advice.

And if you don’t think reading Stephen King is a highly psychological endeavor you’re not reading his works very well.

Anyway.

He wrote this awesome little book a while back, non-fiction, called “On Writing” and it gives his basic formula for what he does and his routine.

First.

He reads.

A lot.

And not his stuff, but everyone else.

His biggest suggestion and one that I took very much to heart, especially after starting grad school, is, carry a book with you at all times.

You never know when you may get stuck in a line or your appointment gets pushed back, or you’re riding the train or the bus or the subway.

I notice most folks these days are looking at their phones.

I read my homework for school if I have down time.

And like I said, I often have a snatch of it when I least expect it.

Today it happened at supervision.

My supervisor lost his keys and had to run home to get the replacement set.

So, my session was cut a little short but, hey!

I have my Jungian Dream Work class text-book.

Whip it out!

I knocked out another couple of pages.

And very glad for it.

I got another text-book in the mail today and I have it already packed in my travel bag for tomorrow, along with the Jungian book, I doubt very much I’ll actually have time to read the two chapters for the class I still need to kick through and have time to get into the next text I have assigned myself.

But.

Well.

You never know.

I just don’t anyway.

Another thing King recommends is that you write everyday.

Yup.

I do that too.

Before I head out.

And when I get home in the evening.

Sometimes I am still not sure how that all happens.

I do the morning writing in one of my Claire Fontaine notebooks from Paris, or whatever notebook I have handy.  I of course have a preference, but I will write on anything.

Although I hate recycled notebooks, the quality of the paper is ass.

I write three pages long hand.

I write about what I’m doing, the things that happened the day before that I don’t write about in my blog

Oh.

Haha.

There’s a few things that I do not write about here.

That all gets covered and rehashed and processed in the morning writing.

The evening, this, my blog, I am also pretty damn consistent.

I used to be super anal about it and I couldn’t not write every day.

That’s eased up a little in recent years.

Years, I say, I have been writing this blog for so long.

Seven, eight years.

I have over 2,200 blogs posted.

And that’s after two different scrubbing sessions where I probably deleted a couple hundred blogs just to make sure I wasn’t leaving a thumbprint or, yes, I had said something unkind about someone in my life.

Typically a boss.

Occasionally a bad date.

Ooh, man I had some bad date blogs.

Which I stopped doing when a blind date stumbled on a blog I wrote, I’m thinking he probably stalked me a bit, let’s be real, and sent me a text which said, “I read your blog.”

Ack.

I had to delete it and make an amends.

I swallowed that pride, deleted the blog, called him, he answered, and apologized.

That was an uncomfortable conversation.

But.

Better than the alternative.

It still was an awful date, but I had said some pretty not so nice things.

I learned my lesson, words can cut deep and it’s not my business to malign.

I stopped writing anything about other people and really tried from that point forward to keep the focus on myself.

I have plenty of flaws I can poke fun at, I don’t need to point out anyone else’s.

So.

That’s the writing routine for the day.

The rest of today looked like work, cooking for the family, doing the baby’s laundry, lots of bouncing around with the baby–he’s teething horribly–playing race cars with the oldest boy and letting the little lady watch Frozen, since she wasn’t feeling well.

I was supposed to go to my internship today and see a client.

But.

She cancelled.

So.

After work I zoomed to the grocery store and picked up some staples and then zipped over the hill to 7th and Irving and hit up the spot, got right with God and got home.

Garbage, recycling, compost out to the curb as a favor to the landlady who is traveling, check the mail, another text-book from school!

I know, it’s exciting, right?

Reviewed my calendar, personal, work, and internship, printed off some forms–I have a new client consult at the internship tomorrow, and ate some dinner.

Checked e-mails, popped over to my “Track My Hours” my BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) approved MFT hours tracker, and added in my hour of supervision from the morning.

And um.

That’s the day.

Not exactly exciting.

But really full.

Hell I even snuck in a trip to the bank and the post office to return a package in between supervision and work, and a run to Walgreens for some more school supplies–two packs of my favorite pens and a new pink folder.

Because.

Pink.

It’s a lot.

But.

It’s a gift.

This life, my life, getting to be this person who is busy and of service, getting to learn how to be a better therapist, advocating for my self-care, taking time to do my own writing, eating well, being kind, just living.

Life is going to happen and I can choose to look at it as a grind.

Or.

Fuck.

I can say, look at my amazing life!

I live in San Francisco for fuck sake.

I have such a bounty of gratitude for what I have.

It awes me every day.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Really.

I am.

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Turn It Around

August 9, 2017

It took almost all day.

But.

My day was completely and totally turned around.

I didn’t have a bad day per se, just a tender and emotional one.

It started off with a phone call that I took this morning, one I almost let ring through to voicemail, but a soft little voice said pick up the phone and check in, get accountable.

Get recovery.

Do it.

So.

Of course, I picked up.

And I hashed out somethings that have been on my mind and in my heart and I got some really good suggestions about those things.

I also was read a mild riot act about not taking on more in my schedule.

Last Friday I said yes to working with a woman who deeply touched me with what she was going through and it resonated so much with me that I said I could work with her.

And.

Of course.

That is in direct opposition to what I had been told to do, no more working with others.

I have two women I work with and I have two people who work me and I have two commitments twice a week that get me involved and maintained in my recovery.

The rest is work and internship and so very soon.

School.

It was foolhardy to take her on, so after a mild dressing down I agreed completely and immediately felt some relief.

The rest of the check in had to do with setting boundaries, and dealing with my anxiety around school.

Which.

Oh therapeutic irony, as soon as I had decided to set that boundary I started to feel less anxious around school.

I got off the phone having already had a good cry and it wasn’t even 9 a.m.

I washed my breakfast dishes, brushed my teeth, put on some makeup and hopped on my scooter, heading over to Noe Valley in a thick, cold fog.

A fog that never lifted, not all day, not in the Mission, not in Glen Park, nowhere, it was cold, foggy, dreary, all day long.

I got to Noe, my helmet awash in moisture, I might as well have been riding in rain, and made the phone call to the woman I said I would work with.

I explained why I couldn’t, I apologized, and I wished her the very best and if she needed support she could reach out.

Then.

Phew.

I felt a lot better.

One more little bit of time for me.

One less thing to schedule.

Ha.

In fact, I just toggled over to my calendar and took her off.

That felt good as well.

And.

Therapy was great, I missed my therapist last week, she was out-of-town on vacation and it felt really good to see her and get into the work.

Of course.

It takes a minute to get there, but I leapt in with the anxiety, the recognition of how it relates to school.

And how it relates to my relationship with my mother and my desire to be above and beyond, to be perfect, to excel, and the level of pressure and stress I put on myself to be the good school girl and what will happen if I don’t and the annihilation of all things good should I not perform.

There are reasons for this, and I’ll let you read between the lines.

I have written about them before, I don’t need to rehash it all right now.

Suffice to say.

I got a lot of crying in today.

It was a relief too, let me be clear, to finally connect a few dots and to see where things were messy and still needed untangling.

And where I needed to set boundaries in my life and what those looked like and how to walk through the school anxiety, and it was just really good to hash it all out.

I had a fantastic session.

Granted I had to go to work right thereafter, so there was a bit of tenderness and sensitivity in my body all day long.

But no.

Wait for it.

No.

Anxiety.

Hallelujah.

Well.

Almost none.

I got tossed a client at the last-minute, a consult add-on and I teared up, I had thought I was going to get away with only seeing one client tonight and then zipping over to school, dropping off my paperwork and getting home “early.”

Nope.

I didn’t burst into tears.

I just sort of melted into them.

Then.

I had a little chat with myself, you normally see two clients on Tuesday, this is just how it is, you’re going to be ok.

I also called the practicum office and found out that I can drop my paperwork after hours to the head of the office and she gave me a very specific spot to put the paperwork and I can go do that tomorrow.

I’m fine.

Everything is fine.

And.

Holy Toledo!

My sessions!

My clients!

Wow.

Two whole fucking hours of actively listening to someone else, not a thought in my head of my own crap, just showing up in the room, in the field, being there, being empathetic, being of service.

Mind blowing.

I left my internship walking on air.

Or fog as the case may be.

But really.

Lifted, elevated, and completely turned around.

Ah.

Therapy you devilish thing.

So good to know you.

Grateful that my day ended on such a high note.

Relieved really.

And having some nice clarity around what I need for myself and how to get it.

That helps too.

Getting through the week.

And grateful so grateful that I am on the path I am on.

I feel graced with so many gifts, its astounding when I stop and enumerated them.

My life is full of this grace and joy and beauty.

Strength and resilience.

Hope.

And.

The most amazing.

Bountiful.

Infinite.

And

Ever expanding.

Love.

Hello My Old Friend

August 7, 2017

So nice to get re-acquainted.

Not.

Fuck me man.

I got anxious today.

Now.

That should go without saying, having been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and clinical depression about a decade ago, that I would have anxiety now and then in my life.

But.

Shit.

I’d sort of forgotten.

Good grief.

It snuck up on me today.

Perhaps because I had suddenly some unexpected down time and that can make me a little tight in my chest, a little thread of something is wrong running down my spine, unscheduled down time, what the fuck will I do?

And I had plenty to do, I always have something going on.

I did loads of writing.

I did loads of laundry.

So happy the landlady replaced the washing machine, the gift of not having to go to the laundry mat next to the 7-11 on the corner of Judah and 46th is no joke.

I did yoga.

I had lots of lovely phone conversations today.

I went grocery shopping.

I cooked food for dinner.

I had a scrumptious salad for lunch on the back porch during the half hour of sun that came out in the Outer Sunset.

Man.

It has been foggy.

I’m about ready for that to be over weather wise.

I went and got right with God.

I did some meditation.

Life is great!

And.

I ordered books for school and looked over another syllabus that got published for my fall semester.

That’s when I noticed it, the corroding of my nerves, the odd feeling in my body, the small shivers of panic.

Oh.

Hello.

I had forgotten you.

And.

Oh.

Hello.

Fuck off.

I don’t need you around.

I mean.

I really don’t.

Anxiety pulls me out of the moment, catapults me into the future, where there is not god, there is nothing, there is only fear and terror and pain.

And it’s always a bad future.

It’s not a sweet, kind, gentle, loving future.

Nope.

It’s a.

YOU’RE GOING TO FUCKING FAIL SO YOU BETTER MOVE YOUR ASS NOW.

Kind of future.

And I still might fail.

And that’s ok.

I mean.

It is at least familiar.

I know this feeling, I have had it before, and I can live through it.

And I didn’t have a panic attack.

I had the scattering of one at the beginning of the last semester when I was super uptight about practicum and getting my internship nailed down.

Fortunately I was having a work day where the mom and baby were at her office and I was going to pick up the monkeys from school.

I had some down time at work to do cleaning and fold laundry and prep stuff for dinner and I got an e-mail regarding some financial aid thing and then another about registering for practicum and something in me just popped.

I got super wound up and it felt like a cement bucket of fear was riding on my chest and creeping up my throat.

Yay!

Anxiety.

For two and a half years I took antidepressants to deal with the depression and anxiety.

I stopped right around my five years of sobriety.

I came off them real easy.

I had been on the lowest dosage anyway.

But.

I felt like I didn’t need them anymore and I was riding my bicycle a lot and nannying some pretty energetic kids and I was doing ok.

I was also began eating a diet abstinent from processed flour and all sugars (except those occurring naturally in fruit, bring on the apples!) and that was a big thing too.

My diet got really clean, I got daily biking exercise, and I was out in the sun a lot pushing a stroller to and from multiple playgrounds.

The anxiety dissipated.

And.

The depression fell away.

I lost lots of weight.

I got happy.

Sure.

Shit happened.

Life happened.

When it was a dark and rainy winter the depression would slide back in a little, but for the most part.

Nothing.

Until.

I started grad school.

Anxiety nightmares.

Stress dreams.

Mild depression each winter semester.

Nothing that I couldn’t titrate with a touch more sleep or with a little more exercise and then I added some flax oil into my diet and rode it out.

The anxiety was easily the worst my first semester of school.

Now.

Today.

Not so much.

But.

It was there.

And truth be told.

It annoyed me.

It pissed me off.

I was like.

No.

NO.

I am not doing this again.

I know what this looks like and I know how to handle it and.

AND.

It never has been that bad.

It never has been the nightmare of not having enough time to do all the things and read all the things and write all the papers that my over active imagination likes to tell me it’s going to be.

Not once.

Not.

Never.

I never stopped blogging, which I told myself I would drop if it got bad.

I never stopped doing morning pages, ditto, I’ll stop if I can’t handle the writing load.

Oh.

Sure.

There were days here and there when I didn’t.

But I was pretty steady through it all.

I also know from experience, this for me is the most basic form of faith, that I always get things done.

And that there really is no need to be anxious about things.

I sent out a few messages, got some sweet responses.

Made a phone call to my person.

Wrote out a gratitude list.

And went about my day.

There are things I am going to have to do and my fall semester this year will look different from my last two as I am in practicum and I am seeing clients and I’m basically a practicing psychotherapist.

Not a psycho.

Haha.

Sorry.

Gallows humor is probably not the most attractive thing in a therapist.

Or is it?

Anyway.

I reached out to my supervisor about my schedule and I saw some openings and some things that I may have to adjust to and change-up.

But.

Overall.

I got this.

I got my books ordered.

I am still waiting for the release of one more syllabus though, I may still have to purchase a few books, but that’s fine.

I got my first text-book in the mail and I started reading it yesterday and yes, it will start traveling with me as I go about my week.

I worked through the anxiety.

I had a nice quiet talk with myself, assuaged my worries, gave myself the you can do it pep talk and basically really breathed into it.

All in all.

I can handle this and I was told that this would be a challenging year.

Haven’t they all been?

But.

That I have seen others walk through it and I know if they can do it so can I.

Plus.

I have a pretty amazing support system, fellowship and community.

I’m going to be just fine.

Because.

I already am.

Today.

Right now.

In this beautiful moment.

There is nothing wrong, and my life.

Well.

Let me just say.

It’s fucking fabulous.

Amazing really.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

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.

 

So Many Things

July 24, 2017

This Sunday.

Although I did not set foot out of the Sunset.

I almost didn’t get out of the Outer Sunset, but I did manage to scooter up to a lovely little church shrouded in the heavy fog this evening.

Wow.

The fog tonight was no joke.

It was super spooky riding home and the visibility was little to none.

I went very slow.

Grateful to be in a neighborhood that was quiet and sleepy and muffled.

The few cars I did pass basically blinded me with their headlights refracting in the fog.

So careful.

So slow.

I don’t want to die.

I say that with and without tongue in cheek.

There has been a lot of death around lately.

I joked, in a rather morbid way, the other night, the God must like taking folks in July.

“What is under that fear,” I asked her today.

“Well…..” she said somethings and got closer and closer and then, “I’ll drink and then I’ll die.”

“So, you’re afraid to die,” I said softly.

I am too.

I remember the first time someone spelled that out to me.

I hadn’t made the correlation from the resentment I was holding onto to the point that I was ultimately afraid that I was going to die, that so many of my fears stem from that oh so basic fear of death.

Oh.

There’s littler fears, smaller fears, the classic ones that come to my mind are always the same, fear of being unlovable, fear of being abandoned and alone.

Always they come up.

But tonight.

Well.

It was just plain old fear of getting hit by a car on my scooter because the visibility was so bad.

I was very glad I had my scooter jacket on.

Aside from the fact that it’s a great windbreaker and it has padded elbows, shoulders, and a back piece, it is also pink and has reflective fabric sewn into it.

I’m pretty visible.

I mean, nothing is 100%, but I would say that I have more visibility than someone who is riding in a black jacket, that’s for sure.

I’m running around in loops.

Get to the point.

Today another person died.

Taken off life support.

I knew her a little while after I got into recovery, she’d been around, on and off, for at least ten years, maybe eleven of my time doing the deal.

Always a bright light, always a lovable woman.

She came in and out a lot, there were many times I saw her after a relapse and they were not pretty.

But.

She got out and she was doing well and had relocated back to the Midwest and was doing it, she had two years when she died, had gotten married, had a great job, she was a step mom and happy, and you could see it in her photographs and in her cute little quips and fuck, she just recently recommended to someone in our community who recently had a baby that they reach out to me as she knew I was a “great nanny.”

She’d been a nanny too.

We often times would commiserate about our families, and more often swap pictures of the babies we worked with, our charges, and we would share stories of endearment about them and our nanny adventures.

It takes a special kind of person to love unconditionally children that way that she did.

That’s what she was doing.

Swimming.

Teaching a child how to swim.

If I understand the story correctly.

And she drowned.

She was pulled out and they tried to resuscitate her and she spent some time in the ER, but she never came back.

She passed this morning and once again I find myself taking a big break from social media and trying to titrate how much I take in.

I did reach out to a dear friend of mine and offer some support.

He’d dated her and though the relationship hadn’t lasted, I know how very important she was to him and how much they still stayed in touch.

He was devastated.

He’s got a great support system though.

And I think of the community and support system I get to be involved with, all the gratitude I have for my fellowship.

And.

Yes.

Sigh.

I think about Shadrach.

He would have run the marathon today.

He was supposed to ten years ago today.

But that was not what happened.

Ten years ago he was hit on his scooter and though not outright killed, he was in the ICU on life support for a week, he was killed that night.

He just hung around long enough for us all to say goodbye.

And sometimes it feels like there was never enough time to say goodbye or never will be and I keep going on living and when I used to feel guilty I just feel graced now that I get to be so exuberantly alive.

I bitch about going to yoga.

But fuck.

I get to go to yoga.

I get to do so many things.

All the things that he didn’t get to do.

And I wonder about this woman too, what things did she not get to do.

I am grateful that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was at the best place she’d ever been in her life and that God took her at the peak of her experiences.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not sad.

God damn it’s sad.

She was so freaking young.

I’m forty-four.

I think she was about to turn 40 this year.

I just recall that we were close in age.

Sigh.

Shadrach would be 42.

I don’t feel the sads the way I did a week or so ago when I was walloped with emotion, but it is there, soft, and slow, and muffled, like the fog, creeping in and nestling down in my heart.

So.

I lit some candles and I will have a moment and I have looked at his handsome face today in the photographs I have on the wall.

And I will say thank you friend for showing me how important it is to live to my fucking fullest every damn day.

Sometimes it’s tiring.

But.

Fuck.

I get to be tired.

I am so lucky to be here.

If life was fair I would be dead.

I am not.

I am here and I promise.

YOU.

I will keep loving with all my heart.

Loving so damn hard.

Regardless of how much it can hurt to live.

The pain is worth it.

I get to live.

I get to love.

I get to.

I am so, so graced.

 

A Day Off

July 10, 2017

To remember.

Nothing striking or out of the ordinary.

But just a lovely day.

A sweet day.

A day when the fog actually lifted and I saw some sunshine, surprisingly late in the day too, it cleared off around 6:30p.m. and was clear all the way through to sunset.

Albeit chilly, it was such a welcome reprieve from the constant summer fog that I made up my mind right quick to get out into that sunshine and eat it up.

I deserved a sunshiny walk on the beach.

I did a lot today.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cooked two separate meals, both lunch and dinner so that I would have plenty of food prepped for the week and then some to toss in the freezer.

I made a sort of jambalaya, my own edited version, with shredded roast chicken, shrimp, Andouille sausage, pork, corn, black olives, onion, garlic, brown rice, crushed tomatoes.

Super yummy and I froze 3/4s of it.

I ate a big bowl for lunch, put a couple of containers in the fridge for meals and I also roasted a chicken for dinner–I happily ate salt and pepper roasted chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice that I seasoned with turmeric, Spike, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper–savory rice.

I love cooking and I love having a full fridge at the beginning of the week so I don’t have to squeeze in a shopping trip to the store when I am in the middle of a full tilt boogie schedule.

I also went to yoga and got my sweat on, super challenging class, I fell in one of the poses.

Splat!

On my belly and just laughed out loud.

So I feel, so what?

I tried the pose.

I am certain I will fall again, as long as I can laugh at myself, though, then I’m ok.

When I start taking myself to seriously then I know I am in trouble.

I met with a lady as well and did the deal and read and talked and fuck.

It was so good.

I called my person and had a good long check in.

I called a friend who’s going through a hard time and suffering a big loss.

I had a really nice and connected day.

I also took a car over to Cheap Pete’s and picked up my two prints that I brought back from Paris.

I am super happy with the way they turned out and I spent some time re-arranging the art on my walls to accommodate the new pieces.

I don’t have much space, but I think I arranged things well and I’m very pleased with the additions to my collection.

Very pleased.

I really do like my home.

It does feel like an extension of me, of my personality.

It is tiny, but it’s me and I am grateful for all the things I have and all the ways I get to express myself.

I also like that wherever I look there is something pretty to rest my eyes on.

This is my sanctuary and I adore it.

Sure.

I want more space.

But that will come when it comes.

I am experiencing this deepening of faith in places I never knew I needed to have deepened, seeing experiences and suddenly have the knowledge that though I did not know it at the time, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Seeing what I needed to see.

And being seen.

Regardless of my ignorance.

I was seen.

And all the things that have led me here were all the experiences I need to have.

So being in this little in-law at the edge of the city, by the edge of the sea, for whatever length of time I am supposed to be is quite fine by me.

I am happy.

I am warm.

My home is sweet and I have precious memories of every foot of it that make me smile when I least expect it.

I have been smiling a lot recently.

I repeat.

I am very happy.

And yes.

Life is full.

But I had such a restful day.

Yes, I did do a lot, but I found all sorts of down time too.

I read a little bit from a novel, novel that, reading something that is not psychology related, a John Updike novel I had gotten last year for my birthday.

My birthday is in December.

Ahem.

I don’t have much down time for pleasure reading, and sometimes I feel that I shouldn’t even, but in the end it was too delicious to not.

I also read a few more letters in the book of Chopin’s Letters that were sweet and nostalgia inducing.

I love the old language used, laced with bits of French.

Lines that caught my attention I underlined and starred, the turn of a phrase that I found enchanting or a sentiment that I echoed and felt stir me.

“I kiss you heartily.  Remember me as I remember you.”

And this.

“I wrote it only to arouse a pleasurable emotion, such as greetings usually produce.”

How often have I written something just for the pleasurable emotion of the writing?

So often.

And.

“I press you to my lips and say goodbye till we meet.”

And.

“Give me a kiss, My Life.”

I love how he capitalized “My Life,” how important the person to whom he is writing becomes as I read the letter.

I sat in the sun on my back porch and read these letters and glowed.

Then.

Yes.

I decided it was time for a walk on the beach and it was as I had hoped.

Deserted.

The all day long fog and chilly breezy had deterred most of the city from even bothering with going out to the beach.

I saw one tourist family picnicking.

A father and son in wetsuits with boogie boards.

A couple walking a dog.

A paddle boarder out in the surf.

And me.

There was no one there.

Me, the sand, the ocean, God.

It was beautiful.

I walked the surf, rolled my jeans up, they are still a little damp hours later where a high tide splashed me, stuck my flip-flops in my basket bag and collected seashells.

Yes.

I did.

I collected shells.

Shush.

That’s the kind of girl I am.

I write poetry and collect sea shells and I am just fine with that.

I get to be many, many, many things.

And now that my well is replenished.

I will go back to being a nanny and a therapist.

The week is full.

But full in a good way.

Thank you Sunday for your gifts.

I feel that Monday and I shall be great friends just from the beautiful reprieve I had today and all the things I got to do to take care of myself.

Luckiest damn girl in the world.

Seriously.

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

I Saw Your Car

September 6, 2016

In the parking lot at the 7-Eleven on the corner.

It sounds like the start to a really bad country western song, doesn’t it?

I kept right on right on, moving on.

I did stop.

I did pause.

I did have a wave of something come over me.

I suspect that you were thinking of me, I had you sudden and random in my head as I switched out my glasses and put on the frames you liked to see me in before leaving my house this evening to walk up and do the deal at the place up the road.

I am tan and my hair is in braids.

Like you like.

Like that.

I conjured you to the parking lot, heir to Slurpees and candy bars, to hot dogs on a rolling tray, glistening under the heat lamps, oily and delicious, the crisp coated chicken wings, baking under another set of lights, waiting to be scooped up into thin white paper bags, that spot with grease upon contact.

God only knows the years people have lost consuming such junk.

Devious in it’s siren song.

Though not so delicious as the memory of the first time we kissed.

And then.

I realized.

What the fuck am I doing standing on this sidewalk?

Do I really need to replay that mess?

No.

I have had these odd moments.

Moments when I feel like I’m being given a chance to go back and repeat old behaviors.

Or.

Move forward.

I fished in my purse for my phone, as though I suddenly had some momentous phone call coming in and I had to answer it.

Why was I there, on the sidewalk, stopped in my tracks?

Skin a glow.

Warm.

Soft, skirt billowing about my knees.

Then.

I put the phone resolutely back in my bag, there was no incoming message, there was no sign from God.

Although, there was.

There it was.

Make the decision.

Stay and talk and get wrapped up in a man who is not available for me to get wrapped up in, fantasize about a nothingness that is there, scuttling like a Kit Kat wrapper discarded in the parking lot.

Or.

Jump the other direction.

I was reminded that I was not to chase.

Not to pursue.

To know what I want.

And to sit and wait for that.

That the desire to chase was going to come up and I could let it pass through me and let it go out the other way, run down to the beach, sink into the sand, softly paddle down to the waves lapping at the moon.

And disappear underneath that yellow buttercream frosted moon, a dusted crescent sugar cookie, a soft bitten kind of love sailing over the black velvet waves.

Buh bye.

Bye, my baby, good bye.

I walked up the sidewalk.

I thought about all ways that I took care of myself today.

From sleeping in, to washing my bed sheets and making a fresh bed.

The good food I cooked for myself.

The writing I did.

The quiet time I took.

The phone calls I made and the conversations I had.

The gift I gave myself of not leaving the neighborhood, not seeking to have an agenda, to do something, to make something happen.

No need.

There was no need.

No.

The need was to go slow.

To languish in the sun.

Languid, liquid, warm, soft, sluiced with the sunshine.

It was not foggy today.

It’s Indian Summer in San Francisco.

And thank God.

It finally came.

Granted I spent much of “Fogust” out of town, but the few days that I was here in August, it was surprisingly grey and foggy and cold.

To come back, to be out of the first weekend of my second year of grad school and to have a day where it was sunny, warm, and without fog, was a huge gift.

One that my brain was eager to sabotage by running around and “getting stuff done.”

I have no real idea what this stuff was that needed to get done.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and I really didn’t need to do anything.

I was directed to get my “mind of me” and to go outside, go to coffee, go walk on the beach, get out of myself.

So.

I did.

I took a few phones calls in the back yard, checked in with my people, then walked up to Trouble Coffee And Coconut Club and had a very hot, very wet, very expensive latte.

I sat out in the front parklet and watched the ocean from the wooden top beam of the fenced in space.

I let the sun splash down on me.

I tasted the espresso and milk and let it envelop me.

I went to The General Store and actually found a dress I just adored and even though it was much more expensive than I wanted to spend, I liked it too much to not get it.

I spent the majority of my clothing allowance on it and smiled with sweet happiness that I allowed myself the gift of getting it.

I’ll wear it tomorrow.

I thought about relationships and myself and friendships and remembered the admonishment to spend time with either myself or with girlfriends.

Guy friends I can get too wrapped up in and the fantasy of maybe they’re the guy I should be dating gets in the way of it.

I remembered what my friend said, let it happen, sit still, allow the work to take and don’t push it.

I walked down to the ocean and walked along the beach.

I watched dogs jump in and out of the surf.

I watched surfers drift in and out of the waves.

The sun shone.

The sand stuck to my toes and then washed off as the water lapped over my feet, surprising, cold, crisp, alerting my whole body to how alive I am.

I found a large drift wood log and sat.

I watched a game of frisbee.

I checked some messages and saw a man I had dated a few months back commented on something I posted on social media, I texted him, answered the question, but did not pursue it further.  I didn’t ask, hey, what are you doing?  Want to hang out?

That’s the hard part.

The not pursuing.

Yet.

As I sit with myself, leaning more and more into the strength there.

I know that I am worthy of love.

Of pursuit.

And I’m not too concerned about it.

The feelings come and go.

But I don’t have to treat them as though they are real or permanent.

Just a fleeting kiss of ghosted memory.

And gone.

Like my footsteps past the parking lot.

The neon glow of the sign behind me casting a shadow ahead of me.

Glimmers come shining off the dance floor that I chose to exit from.

Asphalt sparkles in the night.

And the caress of wood smoke hovering in the saline air.

Love.

Love.

Here.

There.

Everywhere.

God, in the details.

The swish of my skirt around my ankles.

The curl of hair, tucked behind my ear.

And.

The soothing whisper.

Soon.

Here.

At the still point of this Universe.

Love.

Will find me.

On the corner of 46th and Judah.

A whimpering croon, oh baby girl.

Just.

Come.

And.

Hold my hand.

And together.

We will walk.

Towards that unknown land.

Love.

Just there, over the dunes.

Under the cusp of the moon.

I am here.

I await.

Still.

And.

Strong.

For.

You.

Psychodynamic Psychiatry

August 23, 2016

You soul sucking little fucker.

Geeze Louise.

I think a little bit of my brain tried to ooze its way out of my ear when I wasn’t looking.

That being said, I just killed a good portion of the reading I need to have done for my first weekend of school.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s confusing.

I have already had 8 days of school, but that was the intensive (two classes completed in one week), my semester officially begins the 2nd of September, which is why I shall be returning from the dusty dust quite a bit earlier than I want to.

Ah well.

At least I get to go.

I had another person tell me recently, thank you so much for your unsolicited advice, that I should just speak to my teacher and tell him (note him, note now I think you’re sexist, and white, and old (at least from the photo), and probably haven’t been laid in a while, oops, am I projecting?) and let him know that it was Burning Man and important to me and I would catch up on my classes soon.

A yeah.

Not so much.

My school program is an Intensive program, it’s a weekend program.

It meets five times a semester for three days and in that time I am expected to process, digest, and understand the same amount of information that the weekday students are getting in 16 weeks of class.

I can’t miss any of the first weekend.

It would be graduate school suicide.

I do have a person in my cohort who decided to take off this semester and part of that decision did indeed have to do with going to Burning Man.

I did not feel like that was any kind of option for me and I sort of wondered, partially in worry and partially in awe, that the fellow was going to do it that way.

But hey.

I can’t decide how others live their lives and I get to prioritize what works best for me.

And I get to go to both things.

Actually, there’s more than two things happening here as well.

I will also be going to the Mike Doughty Living Room show on September 1st.

I have a hankering to ask him out for a cup of coffee and shoot the shit for a little while.

I may do it just to say I did it.

I mean.

What if he said yes?

That would be fun.

But back to the school stuff.

I am proud of myself for kicking through that chunk of reading.

I did 135 pages of pretty wordy reading, it was some serious deep theoretical writing.

I also went through the beginnings of my DSM 5 Desktop reference book..

I am getting myself primed for my Psychopathology class.

Say that five time fast.

There’s two really big papers and the information is dense and I wanted to make sure that I attended to the reading before going to that thing in the desert.

Pretty much what I did last year.

Get as much reading done as possible and write all the papers that I need to before going, which will allow me to come home and de-dust and get my head on straight and have a day of rest before jumping into the fray of a three day school weekend.

The bad news was originally that the school weekend is Labor Day weekend and bah humbug, I’m supposed to be doing all the things in the desert.

Now.

My thought is.

Yay!

Labor Day weekend.

I’ll have a day off before I go back to work!

Typically I roll right from the school weekend right into the work week and there is no down time, there is only get down time, get it done time, get going time, make it happen time, don’t have enough time, what fucking time do I have to set my alarm for time, do I have enough time to do yoga time, and get my God on time, and let’s not forget blog time and sleep time and please, God, let there be some sexy time in there too.

Whew.

That’s a lot of time on my mind.

So.

Despite feeling like I am in a holding pattern this week at work in Glen Ellen.

I am grateful to have some “spare” time to throw at the reading for school.

Grateful to know that I have all my gear packed and my house neat and tidy and my bed is made with fresh sheets and the garbage went out this morning and the compost and I watered my plants, paid rent early, and all I have to do is keep showing up steady for work and being sweet and kind with the process.

And in a small aside.

I got my period!

Fuck yeah.

This makes ten in a row without my menses on playa.

Not something I want to deal with.

I swear I willed the little fucker into being just to have it over with before I hit the playa.

Even when I was cramping up a little and my back was sore, is sore, and I was like, thank you God for reminding me to pack the ibuprofen in my bag, I was also doing little mental cartwheels of joy that I don’t have to deal with it at all on playa.

One last thing to not have to pack.

The only thing I really want to get before I go is a toothbrush.

I like having a fresh guy when I get back.

I like having all the things clean and tidy and neat when I get back, a new pair of black Converse waiting in my closet and fresh set of sheets on the bed, fresh washed clothes in the closet, swept floors, and a new toothbrush.

It’s a nice way to restart the daily life of living.

I suspect that since I’m only going for four days, the shortest time I have ever gone, that a lot of those things won’t feel quite the same as they have in the past, but they will still be nice.

And that’s what I want to give myself when I get home.

Nice.

I’m sitting pretty right now.

Happy to have done so much work on my Monday.

Happy to have done all the work yesterday to be ready for the weekend.

Happy to have some sunshine too–that fog was serious this weekend in San Francisco.

Happy!

Happy!

Joy!

Joy!

T-minus four days and counting.

But who’s counting?

Heh.

And School Starts

August 7, 2016

Now.

Go!

Fuck.

I can’t believe I am heading off to my eight day school retreat for my second year of my grad program tomorrow.

Holy shit.

I’m a second year student.

How the hell did that happen so fast?

I’m packed and ready for it.

Although not quite as prepared as I would like to be.

One of my texts still hasn’t shown up.

There is really nothing I can do about it, surrender to the imperfect start and let myself off the hook.  At least the book is on order.  A classmate of mine admitted that she hadn’t ordered it yet, another classmate of mine said, yup, I got it, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

So I’m not alone.

Not that I ever am, but I can pull myself down pretty quick if I think I’m not doing it right or perfect, whatever the fuck that looks like, and ruin a day with my grievous mind.

I broke down a lot today.

It was not a perfect looking day.

But I got through it despite stupid thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and lots of tears.

I mean loads.

I have no idea why.

General anxiety.

Trying to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan and is certainly not a solution.

My best ideas usually end up in trouble, to tell you the truth.

To tell myself the truth.

Once in a while I do have some good judgement, a little modicum of calm, a notion to do something, to go opposite my critical head and reach for some solution, some outside myself answer.

I got up and went to yoga.

I did not want to.

I mean.

Really not want to, my least favorite teacher was subbing for my favorite teacher and he’s a tough cookie, he does some really hard core yoga, I have only taken his class one other time and it left me flustered, in tears, and frustrated.

Which is exactly where I got today.

In tears on the mat, trying to do what seem to be super easy poses, but just wrecked trying to get into them or hold them or move gracefully.

Everything felt old and cranky and crunchy.

Seriously.

The noises my knees make are sometimes ghastly.

I was miserable and when I have a hard time, I try harder, I cry more, I shout in my head, I fall over, I say fuck.

“Oh no, someone said fuck in the yoga studio,” my instructor laughed, “fuck that”

The class chuckled.

I’m glad to be here for comic relief.

After ward he chatted with me and I told him the truth.

“I hate your class,” I said, point blank, “it is by far the hardest class and I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel everything so much harder, it’s just impossible.”

“You hate my class,” he said, “really?”

“I just hate that I can’t seem to do any of it, it’s the hardest class of all the classes I have had and I just feel wrecked and always in pain and always on the verge of falling over.”

Fuck.

I’m in tears reliving it.

I was so whacked out.

But I realized in the doing that I hadn’t had a thought for pretty much the entire 75 minutes that was anxious or living in the future or dwelling anywhere than in the specific pose I was trying so hard to hit.

Nada.

Quiet head.

I know enough to be grateful for that.

A beautiful respite from me, my own worse enemy, I mean really, I wouldn’t even call myself a “frenemy” at this point, I am just plain mean to myself.

It’s all perfectionism and it’s about getting greater humility and letting go of the idea that what you think of me is important, or for that matter, any of my fucking business.

I mean.

I hope you like me, tilts head, smiles coyly.

NOPE.

Not my business how you feel about me, think about me, or on the other hand, it’s not even my business how I think about myself either.

It’s a lie.

I am good enough, sweet enough, kind enough, I am smart enough, I show up, I try.

“I have that voice too,” my teacher told me today, looking right in my eyes, “I am a perfectionist too and you have no idea how far you have come in such a short time and how much further you’re going to be able to take this.”

“You’re beating yourself up, you try harder than anyone we’ve seen at the studio in recent time, you’re doing great, you really are.”

He told me some stories and shared some experiences and I was humbled.

That’s some perspective.

And a good change for me to hear and take in and also almost, but not quite, sign up for his class tomorrow.

Except.

I have to go to school.

“You get to go to school,” my person reminded me as I was crying over my utter lack of control over my life, total and completely powerless.

“You get to go to school, you get to be of service, you get to go to grad school, this is amazing!” She said, bright and shiny and full of humor about my tears and how good it was to see me letting go of perfectionism and just showing up and being vulnerable.

This is amazing.

I am in graduate school.

I am getting my Masters in Psychology.

I get to be a student.

I get to get out of the city for a little while too.

The fog and the cold have been pretty overwhelming and the the grey and the no sun a little wearing.

I’ll be in Petaluma tomorrow by 3p.m. and that’s not in the fog belt at all.

I packed summer clothes in my suitcase.

I get to see some wonderful friends from my cohort and I get to eat really nice food and be outside in the sun.

And.

I packed my yoga mat and my yoga clothes and I’m going to keep practicing.

I’ll be showing up to the mat if not the studio.

I have come to realize that this practice is important for me to cultivate.

Being in my body is important.

I am too much in my head.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and I go there to frequently.

Ready to head out of that dark alley and into the sunlight of the spirit.

Or.

At least of Petaluma.

Ha.

I’ll be out of town for eight days, but not out of touch.

Call.

Text.

Send me a smoke signal.

I’ll respond in kind.

In between classes.

And reading.

And homework.

Oh.

And yoga.

Because.

Yoga.

 

 


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