Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Small Steps

July 28, 2017

Add up.

I keep telling myself that as I slowly start tracking my hours for my MFT license.

I also reiterated that to myself and an old friend that I had the pleasure of catching up with today over coffee and lunch in Hayes Valley.

We hadn’t seen each other in years and it was like old times.

And yes.

We’ve gotten older.

And older is all I’m going to get.

I don’t mind.

I like myself more and more.

I feel like I am entering my prime, not exiting it.

I have so very much to live for and I am so grateful that I have carved out this life here in San Francisco.

I don’t have to think about how long it will take to get my hours, I will get my hours, it will happen, the time will pass and one day it will be a story that I tell someone else who is beginning the process.

Things take time.

Sometimes things happen quickly, they fall into place, and there is a beauty and grace to it.

I am often reminded of what a very wise woman said to me years ago, “if it’s meant to be you can’t fuck it up and if it’s not meant to be, you can’t manipulate it into happening.”

My career path is like that.

For the longest time I tried this and that and the other to make it as a creative.

A writer.

A poet.

Maybe a screen writer, I certainly had and do have some interesting ideas for movies, but nothing panned out.

Oh.

Sure.

I have this, my blog, and it’s panned out fantastically, I throw my stuff at the screen in front of me, I process my day, I get things out, I figure it out mostly by not figuring it out, but by taking the creative action of just showing the fuck up here consistently.

But.

I have never really made it as a writer.

Not that I’m not a writer.

I’m fucking writing right now.

I’m good.

I’m not great.

But I would hazard that I am better than plenty of folks that do get published.

Perhaps it’s that I don’t understand how to submit, or that I don’t submit the right stuff or that I am not as good as I believe, it’s beyond me is what I’m saying.

One day it may not be.

Today it is and suffice to say.

I don’t give a flying fuck.

I love writing.

I love poetry.

I love expressing myself.

And this is my medium.

I don’t write for an audience.

Oh.

Sure.

Sometimes I may be addressing you, sometimes things sneak in and there’s a message between the lines, I won’t say that there’s not.

But I do really do the writing for myself.

But it’s not a career.

The dividends that have paid off are vast and varied, the people who I have met because of my blog, the things I have done, the experiences I have had, especially when my blog was a little more public, were and have been astounding.

Too many to list here.

However.

Most of the time the pay off has not been cash money.

In some round about ways, though, it has paid off more than handsomely.

I expressed to my friend today that I am often a bit ridiculed, or teased, ridiculed seems a harsher word than the poking fun I get from my cohort, for how fast I can write papers for class.

It really hasn’t been too much to sit down and knock out a big paper in one sitting, in a few hours.

If I have an idea of what I am writing, if I have done my research, taken good notes and done my reading for the class, I can crank it out.

I can do that because I do this, consistently, my rate of typing is fast.

I haven’t timed it in a long time, but it does seem that my thoughts fly from my brain and to my fingers quite quickly.

I will publish, I know that.

I will publish poems.

I will publish essays.

I will publish my memoir, although it needs severe re-writing.

It may not be the book I originally wrote.

But it will have the skeleton of the manuscript, I am sure of that.

My writing goals have not been met, but they will be, I am sure of that.

When isn’t important.

And I will publish psychology papers.

In some odd sort of twist that may be where I find my first publications, I don’t know exactly, but I do think that I will find that as an avenue for my work.

I have had great reviews of my school papers and I think with some tweaking I could probably submit some of those papers to psychology publications.

Who knows.

I just know that it will happen.

And I’m fine with the process being what it is.

I don’t have to manipulate it into happening and I can’t fuck it up.

Unless I stop.

Which right now seems impossible.

I have stories and stories and stories.

All the words.

There are so many.

So beautiful, like birds on a wire, like the scattershot of sunshine sparkling from the froth of waves, like the way love endears itself further into my heart when I am least expecting it.

My friend and I parted ways and I reflected as I got on my scooter and headed over to my job, my day job, that I have it pretty motherfucking good.

I do.

I have discovered many things about myself in the dozen or so years my friend and I have known each other and they all seem to have played beautiful and rich into the hand that I have been dealt.

I am on the path and in the place I am meant to be.

“You look amazing,” he said.

And you know what?

I feel amazing.

I think that shows.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

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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.

I Had A Brilliant

October 31, 2016

Blog ready to go.

I mean I really did.

And usually all I need to get to that blog is a line, sometimes just a word, or an image.

I was messaging with a friend, cooking my Sunday afternoon roast chicken, and I commented on something and it triggered a thought and I was like!

Yes!

That!

That’s what I’m going to write about.

Then.

Well.

Fuck.

It doesn’t usually happen, I mean, it really does not, I completely forgot.

It was a “b” word, I remember that.

It was something that sounded like or reminded me of the word bear, but it’s not that and even if it was that, what the fuck am I doing writing a blog about a bear?

“Listen if you bring in the bear and you give it that much weight, that much suspense, you have to do something with the bear, otherwise, kill that chapter,” Alan Kaufman said.

Yeah, Alan.

I worked with him in a class for about nine months or so.

I was on a hot streak, I was writing like gang busters, I had put out a first draft manuscript for one book and was in the middle of writing the follow-up piece.

And there was a chapter in the book about a “camping trip.”

I put it in parenthesis as I was told when I got sober that was a cute way for me to label being homeless.

Which is basically what it was.

It’s not camping if you don’t have a home to return to after your trip is up.

But there had been a bear scare near where we were located and I wrote about that for the chapter I was presenting in class that week and Alan was not having it.

In fact.

Nobody was.

“I mean, Carmen, it’s really well written, you had me, I was right there, but then you didn’t do anything with it and why bother putting that much emphasis on something and then leaving your reader hang,” he concluded.

And although I liked the chapter.

Yes.

I did indeed scrap it.

I wrote another piece after that as well.

As well you know if you’ve been following my blogs, I have written manuscripts, but not done much with them and at this point, in life, in school, where I am.

I am just not going to make that much of a deal out of it.

If I wasn’t blogging.

Maybe it would be different.

But the blog provides me with something that is ineffable and I love to do it.

So why would I change?

It’s all really ego, after all, I want to say that I am a published author with a large body of works and a following, of course I would like to also make money from what I write, but I obviously haven’t pursued doing that.

And that’s like a total line of omission.

Yeesh.

What the fuck was Paris but a six month daily write-a-thon where I did finish another draft of the book and I did submit it to over 50 agencies and editors, where I did actually get published, with one short story in one magazine and a poem in another.

I have tried.

I tried really fucking hard.

But not much lately.

So.

This is just my little blog and I like it the way it is and I’m not seeking representation when I’m writing it, I’m not seeking fame, I’m not even seeking your attention, though, yes, granted, it is dreamy when I get it.

No.

This really is all for me.

And.

Sure.

I do get curious, I do want to have an affect, I do want to be seen as a good writer, but am I trying to get published right now?

No.

I will, most likely, I do believe, get published at some point.

There are just too many words in my head, too many stories, too many images to write about to not keep writing and with the constant practice I do hope to become a better writer, it’s not just about doing the writing though, it’s about doing the reading as well.

Not that I did much reading at all this weekend.

I ended up being really gentle to myself and slept a lot and hung out with friends.

Today I had an amazing lunch at PPQ Vietnamese over on Clement Street at 25th.

It had rained a bunch earlier and though it had cleared out by the time I went to meet my friend for lunch, it was still one of those dreary days when a good bowl of hot and sour soup is really in order.

We shared a pot of tea.

A large bowl, and it was large, of Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp and some shrimp fried rice.

We sat for hours and talked and caught up.

I was so grateful to spend time with him and talk about life, work, school, dating.

I’ve known him for over ten years.

It’s good to have friends that I can open up to, tell all to, not have to worry about judgements, confide in.

I have more of those than most I suspect.

And for that I am inexhaustibly grateful.

I do spend a lot of time on my own, I’m a tiny bit, a lot, of a lone wolf, but I have learned that doing it my way or on my own doesn’t always work out.

Heh.

Usually the results, well, let’s just say, not so good.

So.

I can’t remember what I was going to blog about, but there they are, all those lovely, delicious words.

I can tell you that I did good self-care today.

Roasted a chicken.

Made a perfect pot of rice.

Did my laundry.

Took a hot shower and washed my hair.

I even decided to let it air dry.

Hopefully it will be by the time I go to work tomorrow.

Heh.

It takes a while.

Oh.

But when I do.

How soft it is.

And tomorrow is Halloween and I don’t have a care in the world about it.

I do know my charges will be excited and that will be sweet to witness.

I do know that it has been a hoot seeing people out and about in their costumes all weekend.

I have always, will always, love San Francisco for embracing Halloween and all things dress up.

I do like a good costume.

The holidays are sneaking up and I have much reading to do, papers to write, and work to juggle, but just for today I let myself just be.

I read but a little.

I got tech help with a computer issue.

My tech guy was AMAZING.

And now I’m going to slowly wind it down as tomorrow is an early work day for me.

It was a slow, soft, sweet Sunday.

Thank you universe.

I needed that.

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

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

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

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

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

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

And it is.

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

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

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

I already did.

It’s me.

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

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

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

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

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

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

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

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

Whatever that looks like.

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

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

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

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

A mani and pedi.

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

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

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

I’m navigating other rides too.

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

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

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

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

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

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

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

Except.

I want a road trip.

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

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

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

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

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

And I love me a road trip.

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

More being seen.

More being myself.

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

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

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

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

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

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

Even when it was hard.

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

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

I pointed to the door and he fled.

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

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

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

Then I paused.

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

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

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

He saw me.

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

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

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

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

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

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

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

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

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

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.

Snuggle Britches

July 16, 2015

“I need a snuggle,” I told my friend tonight.

“Are you coming over?”

That’s right.

I have a friend with benefits.

Cuddles that is.

I used to have “friends with benefits” and they were not of the snuggling sort.

I cannot tell you how good it is for me to be having this kind of intimacy.

The simple, sweet, intense, personal connection with a friend who holds your hand and listens to your stories.

Someone who likes listening to your stories.

Everyone has a story to tell.

But.

Sometimes I am just not interested in hearing it or vice versa.

The gift of having someone who is actually interested in what you are saying and wants to listen and you can talk to and happens to live in the neighborhood.

Well.

That is a gift.

A huge gift.

And it’s a new way of interacting for me.

The one who is always ready to jump into a romantic, fantasy, or otherwise, relationship with someone, its new behaivor,  a new way of acting and reacting, a new way of being.

I’m into it.

I am almost obscenely grateful for it.

Especially after the way I stuck my foot in my mouth with my friend last Friday.

We were able to amend the relationship and move forward and we’re still friends, if anything, it seems to have deepened and the relationship moves apace.

I may have even convinced him to go to Burning Man.

In fact, I hit up the list of campers that I am going with and asked if anyone had a spare ticket.

I have never, ever, ever asked for someone before.

And I have had a lot of folks ask me over the years.

Sometimes folks I don’t even know.

Last year I was getting hit up on my Instagram feed for tickets.

I was at the event a week and a half before it started and was posting photographs and complete random strangers were messaging me asking for tickets.

Please.

It was annoying.

And now I am that person.

But.

This person means a lot to me and there’s just something to showing a person who has never been what the event is all about.

Because it’s not about the party for either one of us.

It’s about the art, the experience, the people, the community.

It’s about love.

And I want my friend to see that.

Plus, as much as I don’t always care to admit it.

Burning Man, is for me, an indelible part of my being and person.

I really found a voice for myself and my authenticity within the community that I have only found in one other place and the two fellowships have become rather inseparable for me.

I am who I am because of Burning Man.

And I wouldn’t have been able to go to Burning Man without first being a part of my fellowship.

It all goes round and the two intertwine and overlap and I am grateful for the permeable membrane of love which allows the overlap.

I have my people in both camps and I want my person in this experience too.

So.

Yeah.

You got a spare ticket.

You hit me up.

I got a friend.

I got a lot of busy too.

I have not had the space at work to do some of my regular phone calls and check ins, because well, grandparent visit.

Which on one hand is great.

Who doesn’t want their lunch paid for, and their dinner for that matter?

I have eaten out frequently this week with the grandparents and that is fun.

On the other, at times, I feel alternately too superfluous, there’s so many adults to so many little people, and also busier than usual as I help prep and clean up and do household maintenance along with my nanny duties.

They’ve been here since last Thursday, tomorrow they leave and I will go back to my “normal” amount of work, which is still quite a lot.

The day does just fly by.

But any romanticized idea about being able to do work and school work, like I have had quite a few people suggest–oh you’ll just read while they nap.

No.

I won’t.

I take a break and they aren’t napping.

They have quiet time, but there’s no real quiet time for me.

Yes.

I have a chance to sit down and eat.

But.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!” The youngest hollered down at me.

“I have to potty!”

He’s three.

Run up the stairs, hustle him into the bathroom, re-settle him, dash back downstairs, get a little more of my cup of tea in me, check an e-mail, think, but not actually do anything about what I am thinking because.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

Jesus kid.

Ugh.

Run up the stairs, retrieve a pillow, re-settle him, dash around, find the stuffed husky dog, retrieve it, give back to older brother, go back downstairs, clean up the kitchen, organize snacks for afternoon adventure, with grandparents, to The Randall Museum’s little outpost in the Mission.

Side bar.

The Park and Recreations Department in the Mission on Treat Street between 20th and 21st is a jewel!

I had no clue it was there and not only is the building housing the Randall Museum’s Live Animal Exhibit until the renovations on the Cornona Heights facility are finished, it also has a large out-door play area/playground with a beautiful open air roof and trellised vines and flowers.

It is stunning.

Well loved, I think is the nice way to say it, and slightly run down, but stunning.

And a delight to find another resource for the boys in the Mission, that’s a little off the beaten track, quiet, and yes, has clean and very accessible bathrooms.

End sidebar.

I sit back down.

I watch the monitor.

The oldest boy is simultaneously practicing head stands on his bed and pulling down every single book on his shelves while the youngest has navigated all the laundry out of his hamper and placed it in a few choice spots that I will have to retrieve later, as well as pulling out the giant excavator from his closet, moving all the blankets from his bed to the top bunk on the bunk bed, to finally, yes, I kid you not, putting his pillow in front of the closed-door and taking his favorite stuffed cat, Meow Meow, and his blanket and falling asleep blocking the door to his room.

God.

I love these boys.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

Yes.

“I need a snuggle.”

Me too, darling.

Now excuse me while I go take care of that.

Hello Sunshine

June 21, 2015

Good bye fog.

I am actually going to where the sun is, where the clear skies are, where the weather is what most of the rest of the country thinks about when they ponder travel to California.

Not this cold, chilly, overcast, grey, did I mention cold?

Fog.

I tried to go swim suit shopping today.

Epic fail.

I bought a scarf.

Yeah.

I know, its June 20th and all I could do is buy a scarf.

And a bag, and a cute bag at that, I’m looking forward to using it for some travel time adventures.

But I could not muster it to get a swim suit.

I did manage to get my nails done and that was nice and relaxing and a treat, especially as there was no one else in the salon and I was getting all the pampering and attention.

I’m a good tipper and I usually get some solicitous treatment when I come in, and I engage with the woman, we like each other and talk about my hair color, which is rapidly becoming blonde and will likely be blonde for the next two weeks.

I am just not going to go pink again until after I know I won’t be in the pool for a while.

The last time I went swimming at UCSF with the family, the chlorine stripped just about all the Manic Panic Hot, Hot Pink, and Cleo Rose from my hair.

Although there are a few spots underneath the bed of hair that is on my head, that have licks of bright pink in them, I am assuming that a week of working in Glen Ellen and swimming with the boys will leach the rest of the color out.

Yup, that’s right, tomorrow I will head out to Sonoma, land of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 80s to low 90s, and there will be pool time.

I am going to head out to the airport tomorrow, late afternoon, and pick up the rental car from SFO then head back towards the city, I’ll have to go back through San Francisco and cross town to get to the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Sonoma.

I figure I will hit the Sports Basement in the Presidio.

I’ll take a quick detour and grab a real swim suit.

The one I have is more of a lounge by the pool and rub sunblock on yourself will sipping iced tea, swim suit.

Not a “I’m going to be nannying two rambunctious boys and their playmates (another family will be there for three days with their two boys and baby girl) in the pool for hours” swimsuit.

I figure I’ll get a competitive suit like I used to wear on swim team in high school.

I was relating some of my adventures in high school to my new friend last night in front of the fire in the back yard.

Yes.

That’s right, there’s a fire pit in the back yard and the old white-painted Adirondack chairs were pulled up and he started the fire on one wooden match and it burned merry and bright for hours as we talked.

And talked.

And talked.

And decided.

Wait for it.

To be friends.

Sigh.

I knew it was coming at some point.

It was too good to be true.

But.

And this is such a big pause, such huge rearrangement of my inner landscape, I am grateful and feel great joy at having gotten to a place where I can hold a man’s hand and be completely vulnerable, completely myself, and listen to what the other person is saying.

Really be present.

So present that you don’t realize how late it’s getting and it’s 3:30 in the morning and my feet are cold, but my heart, oh it is on fire.

I felt so tender today when I woke up, tender, smitten, sad, full of love, full of the feels.

I didn’t want to get out of bed, the weather was not helping, it may be summer everywhere else, but Ocean Beach, San Francisco?

No.

This is winter time and it’s grey and it reminds me of how I can slide into depression if I’m not cautious and aware.

My disease wanted to harangue me and poke me and for a moment, it might have gotten under my skin.

I picked up my phone and called a girl friend while still in bed, burrowed under the blankets and head snug down in the pillows.

I said my piece to her voicemail.

I sniffled.

I cried.

I felt sorry for myself.

I put on the self-pity party hat and asked to be passed a very small violin, or in my case a junior size cello.

I mean really, I’m not a violin type of girl.

Then I called my person and said some more stuff on the voicemail.

Then I looked at my room.

All the colors, the blues and corals and the postcards and the laughter and stories that I told about them last night, last week, the last few days as I have spun through a metamorphosis of becoming, yet again, a little more my authentic self.

I got up and drank some water and tossed myself in the shower.

What had happened?

We moved too fast.

And the best thing that happened?

We talked about it like grown ups with spiritual words and kindness and compassion and utter vulnerability.

I have not had all that many relationships in my life and I am full well aware as to the whys and whereof’s; however, I will say without much thought, as it is clear and true, that I shared more with this man about myself, how I feel, what I believe, what my dreams have been and where I am going, than I have with any other man (well, any other man other than one other man, who remains anonymous here and will only be alluded to) in my life.

And I dare say, he shared at the same level.

There are no mistakes in Gods world.

I read.

I prayed.

I got on my knees in front of my fresh made bed and felt grateful, felt joy, felt such an overwhelming field of love engulf me that I knew that nothing that happened last night or the days and nights previous had been wrong or hurtful or malicious.

Just warm, bright, as honest in each moment as a person can be with the other.

There is more to come.

It’s just going to be pulled back a bit.

“I can’t be your boyfriend right now,” he said.

I deign to say how it was said or with what emotion, the words suffice, the feeling is mine to have and to cherish inside my wide open heart.

But we can be friends.

So we move forward by backing up and seeing what a friendship looks like and as I look at the void left in my life by the changing of my friendships over the last few years, the loss of some, some to marriage and babies, new careers, new cities, new states, some to relapse into the horrors of drugs and alcohol, I see quite clearly how desperate I am for such a friend.

A companion.

Someone to stand in front of a Rothko and hold hands with while the luminous colors wash over our faces.

We’re still planning on going to LA.

Sonoma is not the only place where I will be getting my fill of sunshine.

The museum adventure is still a plan.

Just with a friend.

Rather than a boyfriend.

And that.

Surprise.

Is just right by me.

My heart grows ever bigger and I know that I am becoming ever more me.

Just one more step towards God’s, not mine, perfect image of me.

Unadulterated Auntie Bubba on tap at a foggy beach near you.

At least for the next 24 hours.

I Didn’t Call That Many People

June 26, 2014

From Paris.

I told my friend with an arched eyebrow.

He was one of the few I did call.

There was the fantasy land man.

Who lived in my fantasy land world, saying goodbye to that fantasy was probably more difficult than saying good bye to the actual man himself.

But saying good bye to my friend then, as in tonight, was much harder.

I don’t know that I ever told him that.

He asked what was hardest about leaving for Paris, as he is about to embark on a five month long journey across the Universe.

Not perhaps the universe as it pertains to leaving a country to live in another country, but the unfolding multi-layered, land of the unknown, and that is a universe.

Vast in scope.

The last time I saw my friend, I will not lie, he was my lover, and so too there was another layer of experience to entertwine with it all.

And fantasy too of course.

He told me once after I had just gotten back from Paris that he had hoped I would never return.

Not in a mean way.

Not in that way of, I didn’t ever want to see you again, but in that, I was really rooting for you to make it there.

I left with all intentions of leaving.

He will be returning, he’s got a job to return to, a rent controlled pad in the Mission (which means he will never truly leave San Francisco), and a plethora of love for the city by the Bay.

Besides somebody who like food as much as he does just ain’t gonna be able to stay away.

That difference in our experience didn’t allow me to exactly be able to pin down for him the depth of feeling that  I was having as I said good bye to people and places San Francisco (like, why did I wait this long to do this thing, go to that place, and now it’s too late).

“You were pretty wrecked by the time I showed up for your going away party,” he mentioned to me.

I was.

It was abysmal.

I remember talking to another dear friend that morning and telling her how much I was struggling with just showing up for it.

I would have prefered to have slunk off in the night.

Sometimes, though, certain things stay with you.

I took an actual photograph on my friend as he lazed on my chaise in the corner sipping tea and ponitificating on the experience of the experience, because I wanted to remember.

I am sure I will, but sometimes memory fades and a good photo remains to remind me.

The last time I saw him before I left for Paris was not when he kissed me good bye on the corner of Valencia and 14th Street.

About to roar off in another man’s car after having my tryst with my lover the night before.

No.

It was watching him walk into the gas station on Mission and 14th.

Maybe he was getting a soda.

Maybe a pack of cigarettes, though I don’t recall him smoking at the time.

I do recall driving the Audi convertible down 14th to hit the freeway heading back over to East Oakland where I had another night or two of getting what little I left to do done, and seeing him.

I wanted to holler.

I wanted to wave.

I wanted to freeze the moment in time.

And that is what I did instead of calling attention to him.

I was driving off, soon to be flying off, leaving on a jet plane, as the story goes.

He was turning the corner, shoulders hunched up just a bit, hands in the pockets of his sweatshirt, glasses on his face catching a splinter of sunlight, cabbie hat cocked sideways, brim pulled low.

I saw him as he reached for the door to the gas station across the street from the Armory, and then he as he stepped inside.

The light turned green.

“Goodbye lover,” I said out loud, not loud enough to be heard anywhere but inside my heart.

And then I drove off.

I remember hitting the on ramp and accelerating through the turn and whooping.

I felt so light.

So.

Aloft.

I had leapt.

I had not yet landed, but I had leapt and there was no going home now.

No home to go home to.

Only the future to move forward into.

Paris.

France.

Go baby go.

Of course that fantasy was squelched, but I did go and I will keep doing things like that, perhaps not so uprooting, I don’t know that I am supposed to do that again, but more letting go, baby go, of those fantasies.

There was one in which, many years, maybe seven, ten, I would hear from him and we would reunite and things would get wild and wooly and right.

But that fantasy.

Well is just that.

Fantasy.

What did happen is that I came back, the world moved on, he moved on, love happened then.

In the cusp between friendship and being lovers, something else grew, a knowing of the person and of myself.

I don’t expect anything else now from the relationship.

Well.

A postcard from the edge would be nice.

He’s got my address.

A story.

That’s what I would like, but that’s not a fantasy either, that’s getting to bear witness to someone elses experience and laugh or cry or commiserate with it and be tied to them in yet another way.

How fortunate I am to see my friend tonight before he embarks on his own life changing journey.

To say, “I love you,” and know it full in my heart and let it all go.

Not the love, not the friend, but the fantasy, the idea of the story that I tell myself.

My home.

Now.

Here.

In San Francisco at the edge of the city, the edge of the world, on the brink of the sea, is exactly where I am supposed to be.

The only geographic I will be pulling anytime soon is one with my hair.

I am here to stay.

If only to be here so I can say hello to my friend when he returns.

Bon Voyage my darling.

May your travels be safe.

But not too safe.

Go eat the world.

 

Night & Day

November 30, 2013

I was down at the beach not once today, but twice.

Both times a surprise.

Both times smitten with the air, the waves, the sky, the sun, or the last streaks of it heading into the night.

During the day I went down with my housemate and her boyfriend after a quick trip to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club for an Americano.

They went running on the beach.

I stayed behind with my hula hoop.

Hoop

Hoop

I hooped.

I watched the waves.

Grand beasts they were.

Few surfers out, but there were some very experienced riders making it out past the break point.

I saw amazing technique and not a few times a surfer go flying over a trough of water, the board flipping up into the air with the force of the wave moving through.

Despite the sun and the lack of fog, it is winter weather and the waves are already so big I don’t foresee doing much more surfing at Ocean Beach.

Fingers crossed I will get in another few sessions, but I think I will be heading to Pacifica or possibly Santa Cruz for a better break point.

It looked like a gigantic washing machine of froth.

I would have been overwhelmed in minutes.

But it made for great watching as I set myself up on the beach.

The hooping was lovely, worked off the turkey pretty quick, not that I over indulged, but you know, and when the hooping had gotten my body warmed up I did some stance work–kung fu–mainly horse stance and some basic front position.

Ah, kung fu, it was nice to meet with you again.

I was really happy to go over my blocking sequence, it actually happened from holding my arms up in front position while I was hooping as my arms started to get tired from how I was holding them.

I naturally just fell into it, the muscle memory coming to me unbidden and strong.

Eight hard block, eight soft blocks, and the corresponding throws and elbows.

Then I added in some kicks–front ball kick, back kick, side thrust kick–left and right sides alternating with a few combinations worked in.

I was happy to see that my form with some of the strikes was still really on.

And as would be obvious, I was quite rusty as well.

But once I warmed up I was doing some nice side thrust kicks, getting myself in stance and really going through the blocks and the strikes until I moved an elbow just a little too aggressively and oh, yeah, take it easy lady.

You are not 29 anymore.

The age when I got my black belt.

You are 40.

41 next month.

Which reminds me I am supposed to make plans to do something.

I tossed about a few things with my friend as we walked upon the shore this early evening as the last bits of the sunset were melting into the ocean.

Repeating almost exactly the routine I had this morning.

Go to Trouble.

Get Americano.

Go down to the beach.

However, I did not do any kung fu or hula hooping.

Just some walking and talking.

And some photographs.

Sunset

Sunset

Dusk

Dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was nice to go out for a stroll under the stars and chat about this and that and holidays and birthdays and my friend suggested I definitely make plans and he book marked my birthday and that was sweet.

I don’t always care for making birthday plans.

My birthday is so close to Christmas that it feels an imposition to do so, everyone has their holiday plans tied up so quickly.

However, I know that I will want to do something and I thought about what I really want to do.

I want to go horseback riding on the beach and I want to do a bonfire.

Now, I realize the horseback riding is a little on the pricey side, it runs $40 to go out to the stables that are by Fort Funston.

So it may not be the event to invite a bunch of my friends too, but I will probably put it out there that it’s what I am thinking about doing.

I am not 100% sure, but I like the idea of doing it and then a little dinner close to home or thereabouts.

The bonfire would be awesome, except, well, I just realized after getting excited about it that I will be house sitting that night in the Mission and do I want to haul between the two places.

Something to think about.

I may just see about getting a table at Samovar and having friends drop by for evening tea and do something simple and easy.

Things to ponder.

Not going to worry too much about it right now.

My thoughts drift toward the conversation that occurred after the walk.

“I am really attracted to you as a person,” he started.

“But not romantically, and I want you to know that so you can be free to pursue other options,” he finished.

And then there was that.

Small pang.

But not bad.

Thank God we are friends, and honest, and it was sweetly said.

I was startled to feel a little welling up of tears, but breathed turned my face and it drifted off.  No need to cry here, there was not a relationship happening, just some recent history being cleared up and a deepening understanding of our friendship veering solidly into friendship land and out of romance land.

Good to know.

Thanks.

Free to whore about the city.

Haha.

Just kidding.

What I am grateful for is that stuff like this comes up and goes away so fast.

Clarity is lovely.

Oh, there is a little sadness there, I think it could have been fun, but you know, that’s my fantasy.

Reality stepped in and said, nope, just friends, but thanks for playing.

Heading into the holidays with no solid plans, birthday, romance, travel, or otherwise.

No anxiety either.

What I have discovered with this time off is that the things that need to happen, happen, the insights occur, the work coalesces, and I see where further work has to be delved into.

I see that I am capable of further intimacy and I was given some great information tonight.

I choose to take it, be grateful for it, accept it, forgive myself for being single, take care of myself in the meantime and when the morning comes I will be still with me.

In my cozy studio by the sea.

Building big castles way on high.

Or at least hula hooping in the sand.

At the edge of the ocean where everything is possible and I am complete.

 

 

 


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