Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

All The Beautiful

June 26, 2017

Babies.

Well.

Two of the beautiful babies.

I got to spend time with a very dear friend today and her 6 week old twins.

Oof.

Such goodness.

Beauties.

There was hours of catching up, I haven’t seen her in seven weeks, eight maybe?

We saw each other right before I left for Paris and had the twins while I was there.

I have missed her and it was so good to reconnect.

We talked and talked and it was wondrous to see her with her babies.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

I got to hold them too, one of them for a super long time, hours, literally, of having a small warm baby on my chest, snuggled in and cozy.

I brought her some homemade frittata I had made this morning–prosciutto and asparagus with parmesan and some nice chocolate and some flowers and the twins some gifts.

My standards–Jellycat bunny rabbits and my favorite children’s book–“I Am A Bunny” by Richard Scarry.

It was a gorgeous day and I managed to avoid most of the traffic for Pride.

I’m so grateful there are events like Pride, but I have to tell you, I don’t have much band width for those kinds of crowds anymore.

I was more than happy to be ensconced with my friend in her apartment catching up on all things life and school and love.

We had such a nice time together.

I will be spending more time with her in July when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

I will be surrounded by babies.

Even though I won’t be nannying for the three weeks the family is away.

I will also be picking up consultations at the internship, so even though I won’t necessarily be adding in clients at that time, I will be able to do consults, which is basically an initial assessment and counts towards my hours.

Which I am more than happy to pick some of that up when and where I can.

My friend though was quite happy to hear that I’ll have some time in July and she’ll be ready to get out of the house a bit more at that point and we can stroll around North Beach and be together and have coffee and cafe time and baby time.

“You can still have one!” She said to me, “look at you!”

Yes.

Every time I hold a baby, especially a newborn I do have a flashing moment of what would it be like, but I’m 44 I don’t expect that’s coming down the pipeline.

I have plenty on my plate as it is.

And I have gotten to have so many babies in my life, I am grateful, so grateful, for all the little ones I have gotten to take care of.

I laughed and smelled the little one in my arm and told her I was happy exactly as I am.

I am happy.

“You look amazing, so beautiful,” she said, and her husband concurred.

I have been given some really nice compliments lately.

It’s been nice.

It’s nice to have people see me and my happiness.

I am very happy.

Astounded with it at times and beyond grateful.

I really like who I am.

I like the shoes I wear, literally and figuratively, I got a new pair of “I’m a therapist” shoes to throw into the repertoire, Fluevog had a big huge sale and I couldn’t help it, I picked up one more pair.

They are investment shoes though, seriously, I will have them for years and years and years.

And some of my basic therapy clothes and wardrobe is starting to trickle in.

I just did a little bit of online ordering from GAP to fill out my therapist wardrobe.

I feel pretty damn grown up.

And loved and seen and happy and yeah, I don’t have complaints.

Sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time, but I have been squeezing in the time to be social and do my recovery and make work and take on clients and I have full days.

Super full.

They go fast and here it is the end of the weekend and it starts all over again.

I was invited to stay for dinner at my friend’s house, but I knew I needed to get back home, again managing to avoid the Pride traffic and super grateful for my scooter to zip through the avenues, I needed to take care of some things here and get myself ready for tomorrow and my supervision meeting before work and work and then being prepped for a new client tomorrow night after work.

I needed to get myself sorted.

I only have Sundays off now and so far it’s working, I do manage to be ultra creative about getting stuff done.

Finding pockets of time here and there.

Sometimes they are not big enough but I manage to sneak things in, a little grocery shopping here, an errand there, some time researching for clients, sometime writing for myself, cooking, laundry, you know, all the things.

The only thing suffering is my manicure.

I could use another two and a half hour block of time somewhere in my week.

It’s not going to happen until next weekend though.

And I also am in need of picking up my framed prints from Cheap Pete’s.

I thought I would do that today, but the twins were so dreamy, I stayed later than I had thought and it was super nice to help out my friends.

I will miss them so much when they move back to France.

Good thing I like going to France.

I know there will be visits.

Anyway.

I get far, far ahead of myself.

Right now.

Well.

It’s been a really good weekend and I am happy to wrap up the writing, tie up the loose ends and get ready for the week.

It’s sure to be busy.

It always is.

Ha.

Going Dark

June 9, 2017

I have been scrubbing my Facebook page of all my blog posts.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

It was actually an interesting little trip down memory lane.

It was good to see the pictures and posts and the blogs and to see how steady I have been in my pursuit of this endeavor.

I suspect that as of this blog the readership will go down.

Down  a lot.

But so be it.

It’s the price I pay to get to continue doing this, my little love, my bunny, my pet project for the last seven years.

I will happily sacrifice readers to keep doing the writing.

I was talking with a friend and my words ran away with themselves.

I got so excited about writing and poetry and I just started gushing.

My heart raced.

Words get me all crazy.

I’m not a crazy cat lady.

I’m a crazy poetry lady.

You should have heard me reciting Shakespeare earlier.

I got all kinds of excited.

Ah, Old English you do me so well.

Heh.

Today I actually had time for poetic pursuits, not so much writing it, but perusing it, looking up some old favorites and wondering to myself if it weren’t time to go replace some books of poetry that I used to have in my small library.

When I moved to Paris back in 2012 I sold off all my books.

All of them.

It still hurts to think about a little, some tenderness there, but I wanted to throw myself at the Paris experience and I knew I wasn’t going to pack a bunch of books up with me and carry them across the pond.

No.

I sold them.

I stored a few personal belongings of my own, small framed art works and pictures, my notebooks, my own writing, in a friend’s garage, but aside from that I got rid of everything else.

Books.

Clothes.

Shoes.

Everything but my bicycle and some clothes in a roll on suitcase.

I came back with that same roll on luggage and my bicycle.

And.

Ten dollars.

I don’t regret it, but yeah, I did have a moment today when I realized I had sold my copy of Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets.

That I didn’t have my complete works for Shakespeare, leather-bound from my undergraduate days.

Or.

Sigh.

My collection of TS Eliot.

Also from undergrad.

And.

Oh.

My OED.

My Oxford English Dictionary.

I sold that too.

I think this may be the first time I have ever admitted that in writing in a public forum.

It was a graduation gift from a set of girlfriends in Madison who were my best friends for years before I moved to San Francisco and became a raging drug addict whose friends wanted nothing to fucking do with her whatsoever.

I managed to keep that damn dictionary through years of moves and geographics and even pretty damn far into sobriety.

But.

I decided to let it go.

It was for God to have.

It was always Gods.

I went into Alley Cat Books on 24th Street a few months ago to see if the OED was still there, I was on my way to an appointment and really did not have time to stop in and look, but the last time I had been in there, the dictionary was still there.

Granted that had been over a year and a half ago.

I didn’t see it, but they had re-arranged the store and I was too shy and pinched on time to ask the clerk if they still had it.

One day I’ll replace those words.

And one day these words will be replaced.

All words are infinite.

All moments meaningful, lustful, alive, here and present and a live and loved in my heart.

I don’t have much contact with any of those old girlfriends, but they live in my heart.

And I won’t ever forget what it felt like to get that gift at my graduation party.

I can still feel the weight of it in my hands and I knew the moment it was set in my arms what it was.

I was blown away.

To be seen for what I love is important.

Although not important enough for me to have to do it, the writing or the reading, all good writers have to read too, I love an audience, but I don’t need one to write.

God is my witness.

My heart is my muse.

I am a channel and I don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going to go.

Only that it will.

These words.

Into the ether.

Into the void.

From out my fingers, from out of my heart, with passion and providence, into the universe.

Perhaps the words will fill the voids between stars, the emptiness that needs be filled by poetry until all the worlds are seemless and held in beauty, together under the great bounty and soulshine, the light will cover the dark.

Or not.

I don’t know.

I can’t ever really know.

I will just keep writing and trying and falling and stumbling and getting up again.

I believe I will fly one day, if not this day, then the next.

And every word I put down an attempt at faith in something so much bigger than I, a tiny glimpse, a sliver of honey and lavender crystals, a shining cello note, a sting pulled, a plucking, a bewitching, an enamourement, a leap,  and love tossed I jump.

I don’t need to know where I land.

The leaping.

Well.

It is enough.

It always is.

 

Unexpected Days Off

June 8, 2017

I had today off and as of an hour and a half ago, I will have tomorrow off too.

My employers are all very sick.

Sad face.

But.

I am super grateful, wildly grateful, that they told me not to come in.

Flu with severe vomiting is not my gig.

Although I had a friend joke that it would be a great way to work on my abs.

Nah, I’ll pass.

I went to yoga instead.

In fact, holy shit, I can go tomorrow too, I am going to go see about signing up for a morning class.

Hang on I’ll be right back.

Nice!

I got into a 10a.m. class.

I went to a 9:30 a.m. this morning.

The instructor spoke about setting an intention.

Mine was loving self-care.

I did pretty well.

I went to yoga, did my laundry, had a super hot shower, had a fantastic breakfast and a big latte, did lots of writing and then made some phone calls to folks and did some check ins.

I talked with a friend for an hour on the phone.

God damn that was good.

When was the last time I had the time to take an hour-long phone call in the middle of the day?

I cannot remember.

It was delicious.

I went grocery shopping and really loaded up.

I came home and cooked.

I made homemade chicken soup with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, Andouille sausage and the remains of chicken I had made last weekend.  Mixed it up with some brown rice and froze the entire batch of it.

Meals for a week of work and then some.

I also roasted another chicken, because, well, it’s nice to have roast chicken on hand.

I made another pot of brown rice.

It’s the simplest meal to have and super tasty–brown rice with roasted salt and pepper encrusted chicken and tarragon butter.

Yummy.

Then I just stick everything in the fridge so when I get home from work or my internship or doing the deal I just take some olive oil, heat it up in the pan, add some garlic, slice up a few brown mushrooms, add a cup of brown rice and pull chicken off the roast chicken I made and literally in five minutes I have a hot, super tasty meal and I can kick back and write my blog.

I’m also starting to think about some meal prep for Burning Man, I have grabbed a couple of small things–green drink vitamin mix, a couple of containers of unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and I’m starting to stock pile my beverages.

There’s only so much I can get back on my scooter, so every time I go shopping I grab a bottle or two of sparkling beverages I like to have on playa and start sticking them away.

It’s fun to go grocery shopping.

I like food.

I like cooking.

I like making food for people I care about.

There is something so soothing about making a meal for someone you love.

I love cooking for my employers.

I miss cooking for friends like I used to back in Madison, I used to have some seriously ridiculous dinner parties.

Since I abstain from a lot of the foods I used to so gleefully cook, I don’t as often have dinner parties, but folks are often surprised by what I put together and that it tastes pretty damn good.

I don’t keep any sugar or flour in my house, so that may make having a dinner party a bit of a challenge, or that my space is so tiny, but there was once a friend who defaulted her birthday party to my house and I found myself serving up 6 ladies lunch.

Homemade soup, I think.

And cheese and fruit and I don’t recall a single person complaining, in fact, I ran out of food.

It was all eaten.

But.

When I do have access to other ingredients, like when I cook for my employers, I can have such fun.

Anyway.

There was cooking and shopping and I really enjoyed doing that.

Sometimes I can be very domestic.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

I also did some more work cleaning out my social media.

I deleted a bunch more folks off Facebook and I dropped a couple of groups and deleted a blog or two.

I started going over my Facebook page with a fine tooth comb and removed a few things here and there and I have made it through posts up until 2013.

I still have a bit to weed through and this will be my last publicly posted blog.

And I have a little trepidation about even posting this to social media.

I was assigned two more clients.

One of whom I will start with next week, already talked on the phone and set up our initial session.

Tomorrow is my first session with my first client.

I am going to pull all blogs off social media starting around lunch time I think.

I’m going to go to yoga in the morning and do my morning routine and write and check in with my people about a few things and keep my fingers crossed that the rain doesn’t last too long.

Stupid rain.

Oh well.

At least I won’t have to scooter to work in it.

And hopefully it will pass by the time I have to leave to meet with my client.

I will be giving myself loads of time to get there and get myself situated and feel settled in.

I’m excited.

I’m happy that my time has come that the work is going to be used that I get to do this.

I really do feel so honored and grateful.

I feel really happy that I got to do yoga today and that I get to go tomorrow, that I did so much grocery shopping and cooking and just loving on myself.

I need to take good care of myself so that I may in turn, do the same for others.

And.

Be a model for what that looks like.

Oh.

I know.

I won’t always succeed.

But today.

Well, today I did good.

Yes.

I fucking did.

 

Don’t Stop Writing

June 4, 2017

I was told recently.

“I like reading what you write.”

God.

I love that.

Validation.

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

Let go, I whisper to myself.

But.

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

I have to shut down my blog.

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

Actually, that’s not true.

I have been writing, a lot.

Just not my blog.

I have been busy.

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

Life is happening.

My God, is it ever.

I started my internship.

I take my first client next week.

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

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

Which is fine.

I jangle when I walk, but whatever.

Today I had my first group supervision training.

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

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

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

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

Which I appreciated as well.

I also asked about my blog.

This blog.

My baby.

My love child.

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

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

But.

The writing doesn’t have to end.

And that was what my supervision group gave me today.

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

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

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

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

It was recommended that I change my name on Facecrack.

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

It’s a damn good idea.

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

It would eliminate a lot of my readers.

I mean.

A lot.

But.

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

Then.

Sigh.

Ugh.

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

That I stop writing this blog.

Double ugh.

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

I am tearing up now.

Fuck.

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

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

 

Gerber daisies in a Mason jar.

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

Petals kissing.

And blushing soft.

Mouths like hungry little beasts blossoming into the warm air.

My heart.

Threaded with light.

Opening and beating against the back of my ribcage.

Tender under the bruised spaces on my breastplate.

This then.

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

And again.

And again.

 

I digress.

But you get the point?

I like to express.

I like poetry.

I lie.

I love poetry.

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

But hear it I do.

And to renounce this forum feels terrifying and sad.

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

Oh.

All the feelings I don’t want to feel.

But.

OH.

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

Beloved.

I am.

And I am aware of my great fortune.

But.

This then, begins the end of my blog.

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

Nope.

I just won’t be writing here any longer.

I will have an end date on Auntie Bubba.

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

Yes.

All the lovely things.

This bearing witness to my own journey.

I am forever grateful for it.

So.

As this chapter closes.

As the Book of Bubba comes to an end.

I will admit.

That I am not finished.

That I am not written out.

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

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

This is called the Big Bounce.

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

However.

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

I will be starting a new blog.

I am not done.

This blog is, however, just about done.

I will only publish a few more blogs here.

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

But it is only days away.

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

Writing.

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

I will not be posting my blog on Facecrack.

I will not be making it known who I am.

I will be writing anonymously.

I haven’t a name yet.

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

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

But you will have to message me privately.

Which you may do by posting a comment.

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

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

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

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

I know not what will be next.

I just know that there is a next.

And I thank you.

My readers.

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

With so much gratitude.

I thank you.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

June 1, 2017

Yes.

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

It has been one hell of a month.

So much happening.

Amazing things truly.

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

And.

I might just being going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Yup.

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

My family I work for brought it up today.

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

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

Not at all.

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

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

Puerto Rican and Polynesian on my father’s side.

German and Scot on my mom’s side.

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

Heh.

I might have a little trashy in me.

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

Nevertheless, I am thrilled at the idea.

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

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

I love my charges.

LOVE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Midwestern much.

Aside.

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

Bubbler is water fountain in Wisconsineese.

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

Once and a while my roots show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They look like me!”

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

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

I did not have blond hair.

Nope.

I got tan.

I didn’t really burn.

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

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

Yeah.

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

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

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

I love my father.

I have exquisite and amazing child hood memories of him.

I also have some pretty awful ones too.

But.

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

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

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

I held his hand and talked to him.

I forgave him.

And.

I asked for him to forgive me.

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

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

No.

That’s not true.

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

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

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

I will always have that moment.

And I look forward to getting to go to Hawaii.

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

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

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

I will go home again.

Although it has never left me.

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

I have not forgotten.

I always have had the islands in me.

Always.

Girl Date

May 30, 2017

I totally took myself out today.

I did it all.

First.

I let myself sleep the fuck in.

I mean, I didn’t get up until 9:15 a.m.

So sleeping in, especially considering that I am up three hours earlier tomorrow so that I can meet with my supervisor–whom I would have met with today but it was a holiday.

I totally treated it like a holiday as well.

I went to a yoga class that I used to be able to go before I started my current nanny gig.

I had lunch with my favorite, most loved person in the entire world.

Pause.

Let me just let that sink in.

I got to have lunch with the person I hold in the highest esteem, who loves me unconditionally, who sees me, who supports me without question, who witnesses everything I do, who helps me see when I am self-sabotaging, and how to change that and be better and stronger and sweeter and softer and live my life to the fullest full definition of happy, joyous and free.

I mean.

That is an extraordinary gift.

We met at Souvla on Divisadero and had great big salads and talked and got totally caught up and I revealed myself and there was no shying away from me or judging, only complete sunshine and love.

I am beyond grateful for this man in my life, I wouldn’t have the life I have without him.

He is a human, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting him on a pedestal, he shows me how to be more human myself, more vulnerable, more willing to show up and more present in the moment when I do.

He is the greatest gift and I do not know what I would do without him.

We are even talking about making travel plans together.

We have talked about it before.

We travel in a similar way, carry on only, get situated, go get connected with fellows and then walk and see and witness and art and churches and more art and museums and cafes and sitting still next to each other and also knowing that we both are self-sufficient travelers, that neither of us is afraid to say, give me space, I want to do a wander on my own or nap or whatever.

We have mutual friends in Barcelona as well as Paris.

We are talking about going to Barcelona together and maybe taking the TGV to Paris or Marseille, probably Paris as we have friends there too and I will need very much to see my Parisian girlfriend and her new family.

Next May.

When I graduate from my Masters of Psychology program, a grand European tour with my mentor, I couldn’t really think of a better gift, his company means so much to me.

So.

Yeah.

Lunch was fucking fabulous and we also dished and laughed and I talked about needing to set firm boundaries around any extra nanny work that may try to weasel its way in when my employers are away in July.

And then he went his way and I went mine.

Off to the MOMA.

I wanted to catch the last day of the Matisse/Diebenkorn show.

Of course.

It was sold out, even as a member of the MOMA I couldn’t get in to see it.

And truth be told, I don’t really care a fig for Matisse, and I’ve seen so much of his work in Paris that I didn’t feel that I was missing out.

I could have my girl date with myself just fine wandering around all the other galleries without having to stand in the huge, and I do mean HUGE, line that was queued up for the show.

I strolled through the second floor galleries and got acquainted again with one of my favorite artists in the museum–Clyfford Still–1906-1980.  I adore his work, there is one painting especially that always gets me and I did my stare in awe and wonder at it for a good fair amount of time before taking myself for a cafe au lait at the Sight Glass cafe on the 3rd floor of the museum.

I sat and dreamily dreamed and people watched while sipping my coffee–days off always included cafe breaks and nursing a coffee while people watching.

Then I hit the Larry Sultan photography exhibit, which was extraordinary.

And.

Since everyone was in line for the Matisse/Diebenkorn show, the gallery was practically empty.

Heaven.

I got my art girl dose in heavy-duty.

Then having some time and seeing that the sun had decided to cut through the fog and make an appearance, I strolled through Yerba Buena Gardens, and yes, got another coffee, this time iced, and planted myself on the sheltered terrace of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sipped ice coffee and watched the clouds scut through the sky.

I am always so overwhelmed and grateful for the gardens and the art and the fountains and though the skyline has changed dramatically in the fifteen years I have been in San Francisco, there is still all this familiarity for the place I was sitting in.

How many times had I gone through that park high or drunk?

Smoking cigarettes and slamming extra caffeine to keep up with the high-end dining restaurant that I worked at, Hawthorne Lane, how many times had I caught cabs in front of the Metreon to go to my dealers or to have myself carried to the End Up or 1015 or some underground party.

So many times.

And the dread and the terror that was just below the surface of my skin, beating my heart with fear as I walked the paths through the garden to work, short cutting on my way to the restaurant to work a double to make up for all the money I blew on blow.

And.

Instead.

Twelve and a half years later.

Coiffed, sweetly dressed, yellow silk flower in my hair, expensive shoes on my feet, Hobo purse in my lap, having just left an exquisite show at the MOMA, I sit happy and serene, joyous and free, in that same space, quietly and consistently showing up to make amends to the area and to assuage that damage I did to myself.

So grateful I don’t have the words.

Although.

I have to say I will always keep striving to find them.

Grateful for sunshine, clarity, serenity, communicating my needs, being emotionally transparent.

For all the good things in my life.

For my life.

God damn.

Life is more than fair, you know, if it were fair, I’d be dead.

And I am so not.

I am exquisitely alive.

So.

Fucking.

Alive.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

The Not A Date

May 29, 2017

Date.

I mean.

Fuck.

I thought it was a date.

But.

In the end it just seemed to be hanging out as friends.

Note to self.

Clarify.

44 fucking years old and still learning how to communicate.

Ah well.

I had a nice time going to the Summer of Love exhibit and my friend was a good friend, just not the experience I thought I was having.

I didn’t have expectations about it, in fact, when he’d asked me out I was surprised, but I had said yes, trying to keep my word, promising that I would date, I would try.

I am tired of trying.

I am tired of dating.

I don’t want to do it.

And yet.

Here I am trying.

Frustrated pacing the walls of my head, the walls of my room, and just trying each moment to be as honest and upfront as I can.

I can’t have what I want.

I get what I need.

Isn’t that the trope?

Learning, always this learning, this experiencing and I’m not mad or curious or, what resigned, resigned isn’t the right word either.

Acceptance tastes like it.

Humility, most likely that, a tasty snack, a tidbit of humility, mmmm, here, wait, have another helping.

I made my friend feel bad, well, take that back, I’m not that powerful, I can’t claim to be responsible for anyone’s feelings, but I was surprised at the laissez-faire approach to us hanging out together, which clued me into it not being a date.

I expected to be picked up at noon.

I was picked up at 1:45p.m.

UGH.

I have a life, I have things to do, I am important, don’t you know who I am, I don’t want to go on this date.

Oh.

Hahahahhaahahahahahaha.

Joke’s on you lady.

It’s not a date.

My brain.

Oh how it likes to tell me some stories.

I have another “date” tomorrow, but let me tell you, I bet it’s just to have coffee and go do the deal.

It’s not a date either.

Clarity.

I have to ask for clarity.

I have to know that I am beautiful and worthy, that my time is valuable, that I am worth making the attempt for.

I fucking deserve to be courted.

I mean.

That’s what I believe, but maybe that’s a fallacy too, an expectation that I am to be pursued in a certain way by a certain type of man, it just doesn’t seem, after many years of trying to figure this out, ahhaha, ugh, I have not done it any favors, my romantic state or lack there of.

I am still just bumble fucking along.

I get to change.

That’s the only thing I can do.

I can change.

Or not.

I mean.

What is wrong with my life?

Do I need to be in a romantic relationship?

Throat strangles with sadness writing last line, note to self, write about that tomorrow morning.

Fuck.

I wrote a lot this morning.

Eight pages?

Yes.

Eight.

Just wrote and wrote and wrote.

Had a nice breakfast, drank some good coffee, wrote, and waited for the date not date to show up.

And the thing that happened is that I got work done that I needed to do.

So.

A gift, the tardiness of another, my powerlessness over others and their actions held true.

What can I do, how can I use my time and not be mad, not be pissed at my friend who was just taking care of stuff that he had to do.

I set up my voicemail for my internship.

I activated my e-mail account.

I set up my phone line.

I read through the employee hand book.

I discovered I have to also pay to get liability insurance, another unknown out-of-pocket school cost, which makes sense, but was a cost I wasn’t expecting.

Anyway.

I’ll be getting a little bit of money back from the financial aid I applied for, most of it goes to paying for my practicum supervisor, but I’ll get a smidgen that will help with my out-of-pocket therapy costs and this insurance and whatever else comes up.

I still have secrets thoughts and desires about getting out-of-town sometime during the three weeks my family I nanny for will be traveling.

I have a $480 ticket voucher and if I hold steady with my expenditures I might be able to pull off a short vacation, four or five days, somewhere the airlines fly.

I had been thinking San Juan Puerto Rico as a friend does a lot of business there, but I’m not sure I can make Puerto Rico work, maybe.

I don’t know.

I do know I have to use the voucher by October.

I also don’t know when I will get the opportunity outside the three weeks in July.

I guess that’s what bothered me the most.

Having set time aside to go on a date, ok, not a date, I wanted it to go my way, on my schedule, so that I could do all the other things I was going to do, like I totally fucking skipped yoga to get ready.

Note to self.

Don’t do that.

Gratefully.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I’m not working and I will go to yoga in the morning and then to lunch with my person and dump my stupid emotional juju ass baggage about dating and being stupid and annoyed with myself and get it off my chest and then go on another date not date for coffee and laugh at myself.

LOUDLY.

Because I am funny and my little plans and designs get nowhere.

Show up, be of service, stop thinking about myself.

And life will be just fine.

It already is.

I have fucking luxury problems.

Dating is a total luxury problem, I am alive, sober, housed, clothed, fed.

In other words, totally fucking taken care of.

So what?

I have problems in areas I used to never have.

I am lucky.

I am graced.

I am happy, motherfucking free, and joyous.

Most of the time.

And when I am sad or in self-pity or whatever it is, I’m more important than you and your agenda and needs, I see that I am not in humility and gratitude and I can change.

I can awaken.

I can say.

How may I serve, how may I help.

And take the motherfucking focus off myself.

That usually does the trick.

So me and my luxury problems are going to have a nice fucking day tomorrow going to yoga, getting to go to lunch with one of my most loved humans in the entire world, coffee with a friend, a gathering of fellows, some get right with God, and that’s my day.

Or not.

I can’t make plans to save my life.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I certainly don’t.

Obviously.

 

It’s Awful Nice

May 24, 2017

To be missed.

It was obvious that I was missed.

I got so much love at my job today, it really was something else.

From the appreciations I got from the mom for the work I do, to the little ladybug running to meet me when I picked her up at school, to the oldest boy leaning his head against me and just hugging me, and letting me kiss him.

The little girl couldn’t stop kissing me and telling me how much she missed me and that she wasn’t ever going to be mean to me and that she loved me, very much, very, very, very much.

Nothing like having a warm, soft paw in your hand all day and soft sweet kisses–when we walked home from school she insisted on holding my hand the entire time and would kiss it constantly.

I was utterly charmed.

It was a long day, but I mustered through and probably drank a lot more coffee than I should, but I made it and actually don’t feel too jet lagged at this point.

I still woke up too early, and found myself so sacked out last night that I could barely check in with the folks I needed to check in with, but I did get a good night’s sleep.

And a good hot shower in the morning, lots of writing, big mug of coffee and getting myself organized before heading out to work helped a lot.

I also got a few errands run before I headed into work, including mailing my mom a package–I hadn’t been able to send out her Mother’s Day gift before I left for Paris.

I got to get lots of face to face time with the mom at work and we talked about summer schedule, the kids schedule, work, travel, and my internship, which starts on Thursday.

I will have a busy week, but I also will have Monday off next week, it’s a holiday, and I’m super happy for that.

I know that I am busy, that life will be busy, that life is full, but there are moments of reprieve, idyllic hours when the unexpected and sweet happens, the hand in mine, the press of lips against my skin, a kiss bestowed upon me, a sowing of love.

“Carmen, you need to sleep over soon!” She said to me, tugging my hand again and again, “and bring me more stickers.”

I laughed.

I also made them dinner and the kids got their favorites, alphabet pasta with cheese and butter for the oldest boy and alphabet pasta soup with carrots in chicken broth for the little lady, I bounced about while the mom ate–slightly fancier stuff for the parent dinner–sautéed asparagus in olive oil and garlic, bechamel sauce over grass-fed seared beef, quinoa pasta with butter and parmesan, mixed greens salad–with the baby, who’s bright happy smile met mine many times today, I felt he recognized me and it was wonderful to get his big smiles.

It’s nice to be appreciated and I felt that in spades today.

When I went to leave the little lady jumped up from her chair at the dinner table and hollered “NO!”

But I told her I would be back soon and that we would have more adventures tomorrow and she can’t wait, “cuz I have a dentist appointment tomorrow!”

Dentists are a lot more fun then they were in my day.

I have a dentist appointment on Saturday, I am not nearly as excited as my charge, not by far, of course I’ll be getting novocaine shot into my gum line instead of a big red balloon, so that may be why.

And while my little charge was chatting excitedly, her older brother said, soft and under his breath, but audible to me, “but I get you when she’s at the dentist, we get to be all by ourselves, I get you for me.”

Aw!

Love buttons.

I felt adored today.

Not just appreciated, but adored and that is a damn fine way to feel, especially at work.

I am grateful for the family and all that I get to do for them.

It’s so much easier to be present and available when I am appreciated and then I just want to do an even better job.

That’s how I am.

It makes having to work full-time while I am doing school and my internship and all the other things, so much easier.

It really does.

It’s work, don’t get me wrong, I do a lot for the family, but it is also a joy and I am beyond grateful for them.

And for my life.

It is rich and varied and so full of unexpected happiness I am constantly surprised and joyful in my person.

In my tired, still slightly jet lagged but yes, very happy, person.

I think I’ll have the jet lagged licked by tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

I have an appreciation for it though, everything seems dreamy and surreal, the fog, the soft coolness on my skin, the music I have been listening to, the hot showers and the warmth of my bed when I crawl into it at night.

Dreamy and swaddled in.

Softened and bending.

Surrendered to the woozy and the swoon.

The drowsed light and the refracted love notes of jazz.

Cocooning me in succor.

Baby, sweet baby.

Slumber drifting on the swell of moon rising in the night.

Ghostships of desire.

Latent and laden.

Tipsy in the cusp of dawn.

The cashmere softness of pre-sunrise and smoked grey of early morning.

Plush with promise.

And.

Smocked velvet kisses.

Who’s Life Is This?

May 13, 2017

I said to my friend as I sat on the deck of the houseboat we’re sharing on the Seine, eating my salad in the sun slanting golden through the clouds over Le Grand Palais.

My friend pithily replied, “it’s yours.”

Oh shit.

It is.

I felt my heart swell up with gratitude and tears well in my eyes.

The tears they always well easy, but sitting on top of a houseboat in the middle of the Seine, located at Place de la Concorde/Champs Elysees, I felt blown up with joy.

This is my life.

And I’m on a houseboat in Paris.

It’s a pretty fucking amazing life, this.

I say it all the time, luckiest girl in the world, but it really feels that way, I can also see challenging things as lucky too, I have perspective, part of the reason why it felt so shocking to me is how I left when I moved away from Paris.

Broke.

Or.

How I left it last Christmas.

Heartbroken.

To just be sitting on the top deck, under an awning, waving at the Bateaux Mouche going by with their decks heavy with tourists, eating my dinner, in Paris.

In Paris.

It astounds.

I am grateful to be here, ready to be settled in one spot for a while.

It’s felt like non-stop moving at certain points and I’m happy to be moored for the rest of my time here.

I got up super early this morning.

Which was not my intention.

NOT AT ALL.

But.

I woke up at 4 a.m. wide awake.

And as much as I tried I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I rolled around, drifting in and out of thoughts, half dreams, revery, but never sunk back into sleep.

So.

I got up at 5:30a.m. and took a super hot shower, god I love hotels for super hot showers, plus huge over head rainfall shower heads, and let the water wash away the travel and the weary and washed out my hair.

Oh my God.

People.

My hair.

It’s huge.

The humidity isn’t bad, but it’s greater than what I am used to in San Francisco.

I have a lot of hair.

But right now.

It feels like.

I have.

A LOT.

It’s pretty huge.

It, my hair, has led to some interesting conversations, mostly with men, actually, all with men.

I got propositioned this morning as I left the hotel to take a morning stroll around Pere LaChaise Cemetery.

I mean.

I was basically offered cunnilingus for breakfast.

I was like.

Wow.

Paris.

It’s 7 a.m.

I’m going to wait though, and grab a cafe creme before entertaining that thought.

Yeesh.

I also was told by a way too friendly taxi cab drive that I had an amazing smile.

Thanks.

Now stop looking at me in the rearview window and drive, you’re making me nervous.

I’m pretty friendly and gregarious and sometimes I forget that doesn’t always translate here.

Smile?

Sure.

You must be a hooker and want to blow me in my cab and pay an extra fare.

Douche bag.

I also forgot, and it took me longer than it has in the past to pick up on it, I don’t think about it at all living in San Francissco, that I have tattoos.

And.

It’s warmer than the last two times I was in Pairs, I was here over two different winters I was not showing any skin.

And though I am not showing a lot, one can see that I am sporting more tattoos than the average bear.

As I was standing in the lobby to check out of my super hip boutique hotel the woman at the front was telling the other clerk that his tattoos were too big and that she couldn’t get anymore if she ever wanted to have a job outside of working at Mama Shelter.

I wanted to intervene, in French, and say something, but I played restraint of pen and tongue, nobody asked for my fucking opinion.

But.

Folks here definitely have some ideas about what tattoos mean.

Whore.

Anyway.

Like I care.

Like I give a fat god damn.

I am sitting on a houseboat in the Seine writing my blog.

This life, my life, is so fucking amazing and you know, I’ll probably go get another tattoo while I’m here, because, well, that’s what I do.

Heh.

I get to do whatever I want, well, as long as I accept the consequences.

So, I smile, and I’m joyful and if that means I get some over reaching flirting once in a while I can deal or stares or comments.

It isn’t any of my business what people think of me.

Shit.

It’s none of my business what I think of me.

I don’t always think well of myself, so I try not to think too much of myself.

Just enough.

Just barely enough.

But.

The truth is, I am more than enough and I deserve to be here and I work really motherfucking hard.

I’m happy to be on a boat in the Seine rocking on the waves of the boats rolling by.

It’s an experience I quietly dreamed about my first time walking the Seine by myself in Paris in 2007.

Seeing all the houseboats, dreaming about owning one or renting one.

When the cab dropped me off I had gotten there early and I knew which one it was by the photos from the reservation, but no one was around, just the tabby cat sunning itself on the deck.

I stood for a while, then the cat got curious, as they do, and came over and gave me the once over and deigned to let me stroke him and then I just said, fuck it, and hopped on the boat.

Standing with a goofy too big smile on my face in the brilliant afternoon sun over Paris.

On a boat.

I’m just going to keep going with this.

It will fade off I am sure.

But for right now.

Well.

Basking.

Just glowing with it.

All the things.

For.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Me.

A Long Strange Day

May 12, 2017

But.

I’m here.

Whew.

It took a minute.

I have been in transit for a long time and it’s nice to finally be situated, although I won’t be here but the night.

I am at Mama Shelter, 109 Rue de Bagnolet, and happy to have finally figured out the internet, and gotten myself fed and sorted out.

I had an unexpected delay at Charles de Gaulle that threw me for about two hours.

My flight got in right on time, which is awesome, since my first flight had to stay aloft for 40 minutes to be cleared for landing and that meant a sprint, well, a fast hobble, to my connecting flight, which I made, but yes, heh, I broke a sweat to get to.

Yeesh.

I also got a bright orange card to wave at everyone I ran through to get to the gate, I don’t know how I did it, I just did, up and down a couple of escalators, on a train, through the crowds at Heathrow and I made it just as they closed the gate, I was allowed on and even got to bring on my carry one, which technically for the size of the plane was too big.

I got through customs quickly and I got a quirky smile from the French security when he saw my tattoo and got waved quickly in.

Then.

It happened.

On my way to purchase the Museum Pass–pro-tip to any one traveling to Paris, buy the Museum Pass at the airport.  You can buy it at the museum you go to, but you have to stand in line, which is a pain, and the whole point of getting the pass is to not stand in line.

So.

I see my trusted Banque de Postale, which is where I traditionally pulled money from when I lived here and inserted my card.

And it got denied.

I lost my breath.

I got faint of heart.

Hmm.

Maybe I asked for more than my limit.

I tried again.

Transaction denied.

Fuck me.

I started to panic.

I was hot and cold all at the same time.

I had set my travel alert, it should have been able to allow me access to my funds.

Fortunately I got myself together enough to sit down and pull out my laptop and log into the WiFi at Charles de Gaulle and I saw, yup, “suspicious activity” reported on my account and I had to call the bank.

Fuck my mother.

I had the hardest time dialing out.

I finally got some assistance from a very sweet woman at the information desk and together we figured out how to place the long distance, COLLECT, call to my bank.

I am scared to see what my phone bill is going to be, I was on and off hold for ever.

I was finally able to get through to a live person who rectified everything, assured me I would be able to use my card and sent me back to the Banque de Postale to use my card.

And.

Motherfucker.

It was denied again.

I was going to melt into the floor and dissolve into tears.

I did not.

I rallied.

I also noted I was getting marked by a pick pocket, so I gathered myself, looked him in the eye and made sure he was aware that I was aware that he was casing me.

He skulked off and not a minute later a cop strolled by.

I got back on the phone with my bank, more holding, more transfers, three different service people and finally, FINALLY, they over rode the system so that I could use my card.

I kept the woman on the phone with me until I had successfully made a withdrawal, thanked her profusely and then promptly went and bought myself an iced coffee.

Then I went to the Toursime desk and purchased a four-day museum pass.

It’s the first time I bought the four-day one.

I am going to get my museum on people.

I said, screw the train, I’m over it, I had planned on being settled at my hotel and out strolling the neighborhood for a few hours, not stuck at the airport, so I hopped a cab.

And.

Hahahaha.

Got stuck in rush hour traffic.

ARGH.

It’s funny now, but at the time I was just like really, REALLY?

Enough already.

Then.

I just breathed.

I am ok, I have money, I am in a taxi, I’ll get to the hotel, I will brush my teeth and wash and put on some perfume and go have a nice meal.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I ask the super sweet, super friendly front desk guy what his favorite place was in the neighborhood and he directed me to this sweet little bistro Blaise et Brasil.

I had a salmon tartar.

Veloute avec chou (silky smooth cauliflower soup with truffle oil and crisped kale).

Fromage, (cheese plate with greens) two kinds, a Gruyère and another I don’t know what it was, but I made a very happy face eating it.

A bottle of Perrier.

And a cafe creme.

Heaven.

Welcome back baby.

I probably won’t be able to sleep for having had a coffee at 10 p.m.

But fuck it.

I’m in Paris and it felt really good to sit and eat and watch the people walking by and the patrons in the cafe.

I spoke French in totality and in fact, was able to make a funny joke with the table next to me as the waitress brought them my bill and not theirs that I really appreciated the kindness of strangers.

It was sweet.

And I feel settled now.

Writing this certainly helped, it always does.

It is just a damn good way to process all the stuff that happened and help me see, with perspective and humor that I am fine and things happen and I get to roll with it and still be grateful.

Hell my cabbie dropped my fare by 7 Euro when he dropped me off.

Of course, he also gave me his phone number, so maybe he had an ulterior motive, but it was sweet, we were stuck in traffic for close to an hour, I was grateful.

And now.

Well.

I am going to try to get a little rest.

I know.

There’s not much for the wicked.

But.

I shall try.

Bon soiree mes amies!

Bisoux.

 

 


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