Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Push Button Baby

August 1, 2017

I saw a couple on the side of the road as I zoomed down Lincoln Way frantically trying to kick over the starter on a vintage Vespa.

I chuckled to myself.

The old Vespas look so fucking cool.

I know.

I used to have one.

It was such a pretty girl.

But.

Man.

It was such a hassle to get it started or it would conk out on me out of the blue.

Like coming down Laguna Honda in the fog going 40 miles an hour.

I got tired of that really fast.

That.

And the freaking horrifying sprained ankle that I got when the kick starter jammed and I folded my ankle in half.

That was no fun.

Months, years really, of healing.

The doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken and then told me it was too bad it wasn’t since the sprain is slower to heal and how badly I had injured it I would be lucky if it was healed fully in a year and a half.

He was right.

It took that much time to heal.

Actually closer to two years, if I’m honest, I had to be really careful and there were times when I could feel it was still injured.

It put a bad taste in my mouth for every having something vintage like that again.

Truth too.

I wasn’t prepared for the amount of maintenance and well, it turned out it was a knock off Vespa, despite the registration issued from the DMV, it was a knock off Vietnam Vespa and no body in town would touch it to repair it.

So.

I got rid of it.

I had it recycled.

I got it off the road.

I wasn’t going to be responsible for someone else getting injured on it and when the mechanics at the shop told me all the issues with it I was shocked that I hadn’t hurt myself more on it, I could have easily crashed it out.

Granted.

There were some gleeful moments on it when someone would pull up to me on it at a light and chat with me about it, the scooter really was well done, no one had a clue it was fake.

Certainly not I.

I was a tiny bit bamboozled you could say.

Any way, that’s an old story and not the point.

The point is.

Thank fucking god for my scooter.

I live in the Outer Sunset.

I work in Glen Park.

My internship is in the Mission.

My school is in the SOMA.

I have supervision in Hayes Valley.

And.

Therapy in Noe Valley.

I have to get all over the city.

And the scooter is quick.

Of course, I do have some anxiety about what will happen when the fall comes and the rains that generally come with the fall.

I will either have to get used to wet weather riding or figure something else out.

I can ride in the rain.

I have done it.

I do not like it, but it’s doable.

I was talking to my friend yesterday as she was getting the last of her household packed up for travels back to France and she looked at me and said, “drive safe poulette (her term of endearment for me–sexy girl, although literal translation is chicken, I like to think of it as “chick” or chickadee), maybe it’s time you got a car.”

Yeah.

There’s that.

Aside from the fact that it would be handy to go to Burning Man.

Heh.

Still haven’t gotten a ride yet, still hedging my bets with a rental, but that too is beside the point.

I don’t know what exactly the point is.

I haven’t had a car for over a decade.

I got rid of mine two weeks after moving here in 2002.

Fuck.

Nearly fifteen years with no car.

Lots of bicycles.

And two scooters.

I do like my scooter and I do so appreciate getting around on it.

I just have time concerns now that I didn’t have before.

I mean.

My schedule has always been full, but then I added in graduate school and graduate school added in an internship and um, ha, since, I’m a therapist in training, I have to be on time for my clients.

I get done with work at 6p.m. and I have clients at 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and I have been assigned a new client to see on Fridays now at 6:30p.m.

My first child client!

Bring on the child and family hours!

Ahem.

I digress.

This whole blog is a digression.

Sometimes when I don’t want to write about what I want to write about, I can go off on tangents.

Shadrach.

Scooter accident.

Dead.

Today.

10 years.

I had a little contact with his mom today after she posted a photo of visiting his grave.

Add onto that saying goodbye yesterday to my darling French friend.

Great recipe for sadness.

I felt heavy with it this morning when I left my house to go meet with my supervisor.

I got to Hayes Valley early and had a fifteen minute window so I called my person and shared about it and he said, “you sound sad,” and there it was, the sad, the heaviness in me, it was sadness.

Tears welled up and spilled down my face.

Yup.

Sad.

So we made a plan to meet at a church in the Inner Sunset after I got out of supervision.

It was so good.

I got right with God.

Then we went for tea at Tart to Tart and had a good session.

We sent my friend from Paris a good-bye photo of the two of us having tea, my face a little wet with tears, and my person smiling to beat the band, ugh, not all selfies are sexy.

Ha.

Oh.

Sadness.

I had my cry though and things began to shift.

I came home, made a nice lunch and then did some school work.

Because.

It’s that time.

I have two syllabi posted up and I checked them out and ordered books for class.

I sighed and realized I was pretty burnt out with the emotions.

And I decided.

You know what?

Nap.

I need a nap.

And that’s what I did.

It was perfect.

I had a little rest then got up, prepped some food for dinner and I could feel the sad had moved out of my body.

I got my things together and hopped back on my scooter, went to my internship, dealt with progress notes and paperwork and then saw a client.

By the time my session ended I was feeling great.

So nice that.

Go.

Be of service.

Feel better.

I scooted home.

Zipped by the park, rode the curves of Lincoln Way, smelled the bonfires at Ocean Beach and though it was cold and a bit foggy, I felt lifted, carried, loved.

I miss you Shadrach.

But.

You would be pretty proud of me.

Ten years.

You think the grief would have gone out of my body, but sometimes it is still there and needs expressing.

I’m grateful I didn’t squash it.

I just had it.

And I’m grateful for the emotions.

I get to have them.

Feelings.

It means I am alive.

And after all the death I have been witness to.

Well.

That’s a fucking miracle.

So glad I still get to be around.

Happy.

Joyous.

Alive.

And.

Free.

It’s Not Time

July 16, 2017

To write this blog yet.

But.

Well.

It wants to be written.

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

Denial.

I should fold my laundry and put it away.

I will wash my dinner dishes.

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

I digress.

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

Or the plum, as the case may be.

I bought a plum today.

A beautiful, gorgeous, fat black plum.

I’m not a big fan of plums.

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

A persimmon?

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

But a plum?

Nope.

But.

Ugh.

I usually buy one around this time of year.

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

I want stone fruit I eat cherries.

I love cherries.

Or.

Yellow nectarines.

So good.

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

I know, what kind of monster am I?

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

Me?

Not so much.

But.

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

My heart in my throat.

Tears prickling my eyes.

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

I thought about him.

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

I called it “Shadrach and The Plum.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because.

Well.

Shadrach was like that.

He would give you what you needed without question.

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

His death anniversary is coming up.

Sigh.

Ten years now.

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

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

How can I be of service?

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

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

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

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

I did.

And I do.

I still hang in there.

I still show up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although, of course, how could I know?

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

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

That was the last thing I said to him.

Well.

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

I shared my story.

And.

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

I mean.

Fuck.

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

I hugged her again.

I’m a hugger.

And.

Told her to call me and lean in.

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

Well.

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

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

I still miss my friend.

He taught me so much.

Not just how to love.

But.

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

A lesson that took many years to sink in.

But in it did.

So.

Tonight.

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

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

All the things.

All the love.

And.

Always.

The best.

The sweetest, coldest, juiciest plums for you.

Always.

 

 

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

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

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

One hour at a time.

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

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

I mean.

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

I do that now.

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

But.

Yes.

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

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

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

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

Gah.

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

For he was joyful.

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

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

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

I really had to not look after a while.

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

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

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

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

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

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

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

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

But.

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

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

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

Oh, so fucking much.

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

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

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

B. I am a psychotherapist.

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

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

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

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

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

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

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

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

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

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

Um.

Yeah.

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

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

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

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

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

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

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

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

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

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

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

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

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Seasons Of Grief

July 11, 2017

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

I gasped.

I wasn’t expecting that sentiment.

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

I burst into tears.

She hugged me and went her own way.

I see her now and again.

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

I saw her tonight.

I touched her arm.

She hugged me, we both cried.

Our community lost someone today.

Someone very dear.

Someone who shined very hard when he was with us.

He was taken far too young.

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

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

All hiding a very scared frightened kid.

All that bravado and machismo hiding vast reservoirs of tenderness.

I was thinking about a particular afternoon.

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

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

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

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

The last time I saw him I smacked him.

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

He laughed.

I laughed.

We hugged again.

He died.

He died last night.

He over dosed.

I cried.

This morning, literally in my oatmeal.

I got the news and I was shocked.

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

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

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

High fives all around.

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

And joy.

So much joy.

His face when he smiled, when he played music.

So much fucking talent blown.

Ugh.

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

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

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

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

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

He was a pretty boy, he was.

It hit home today.

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

It does not have a time frame.

It does not have a schedule.

It does not have an end or a beginning.

It will come in waves.

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

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

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

So many hugs tonight.

So many tears.

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

And.

A reunion.

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

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

She saw me.

I almost didn’t recognize her.

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

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

We exchanged numbers.

She just friend’ed me again on Facebook.

Desmond.

You little fucker.

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

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

Then.

Oh.

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

Almost.

This life is so precious.

I will not waste it.

I will cram as much as I can in.

I will live.

I promise you.

I will live.

And I will love.

With all my heart.

So fucking hard.

So.

Hard.

I promise you.

All the life you did not live.

I will live for you.

And then some.

Promise.

Almost Got It

June 10, 2017

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

Except.

Ha.

I was still linked to Twitter.

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

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

Shhhh.

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

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

I am a pretty happy lady.

I had today off.

What?

I know.

A Friday.

Off.

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

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

I hate vomiting.

I mean really bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sure.

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

I was looking for something to keep my brain occupied.

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

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

I have never been let go quite like this.

In fact.

I have never been let go.

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

It was definitely an experience.

Now.

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

Or God?

I think.

Well.

I believe.

It was God.

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

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

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

It came out in my therapy session Tuesday morning.

And.

Well.

Yes.

As a matter of fact.

I bawled my damn eyes out.

Then I worked through it.

Then.

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

I got mad.

I mean.

ANGRY.

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

I did calm down.

I did write a lot of inventory.

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

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

Totally took the edge off.

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

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

The results?

I was let go.

And I have no regrets.

Not a one.

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

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

I’m too busy.

But.

When it happened.

I knew that it was right.

And I knew that I wasn’t being dropped.

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

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

I am loved.

I am enough.

And I learned a lot.

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

But.

Suffice to say there was deep learning here.

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

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

Abandonment.

Not lovable.

Not enough.

Yada, yada, yada.

Victim.

Martyr.

But.

They will pass.

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

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

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

My hands are empty.

I am now able to receive.

My heart is ready.

I will walk through this.

I have to.

There is not another choice.

There is only the present.

And all the gifts inherent.

I am loved.

And that is enough.

It always is.

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.

 

And A Razor Of Love

April 29, 2016

You have been unfriended.

I let you go.

“Let him go,” my person said to me tonight, eyes warm, soft, gentle, holding me every step of the way.

I have.

I have let so much go.

So much it is unreal.

I have walked through an unwieldy mess of emotions and feelings, grief, sorrow, joy, reprise, replete, repeat, let go, surrender.

And breathe.

There were many tears tonight when I met my person.

That happens.

Especially when I feel safe, I can be vulnerable and express my feelings and though there were many tears, they were great big tears of relief.

“This is a huge forgiveness piece for you around your mother,” my person said.

Yes.

Oh yes.

I could have easily called this blog, “If it’s not you, it’s my mother.”

I laughed out loud when I heard that.

But it’s the truth.

There has been a seismic shift in my relationship with my mother, my memory, my life, my childhood, all the things and place and sorrows whereof.

An easing.

A, yes, a deep forgiveness.

“You still need to bring up all this with a therapist,” my person said, “that’s going to be a part of your program, isn’t it?”

A yup.

The therapist in training, moi, will be doing therapy as a part of my Masters in Psychology program.

It doesn’t happen for a little while yet, but I have already experienced some of it in the work that I have done with my cohort and to be honest, it has been the school work that has helped lead me to this opening in my heart and this re-organizing of my emotions around my mom.

I used to joke, I guess used to is not exactly on point, since i said it on Sunday to an acquaintance at the cafe, “I was raised by wolves, well meaning wolves, but wolves nonetheless.”

Then.

Yesterday I had this very insightful conversation with my mom about some family origin stuff, I found out some things about my mom, about my dad, about my beginnings, and it was like so many puzzle pieces connecting.

I saw blue skies.

I saw joy.

I saw so much sorrow and grief and I saw a way out and through.

I have been on this way out and through for a very long time.

I have done so much work.

SO MUCH.

I suppose the gift is that I will continue to get to do this work, there are new places to delve, new revelations to be had, new angles, there will be more of this path to walk down.

I had this strange moment while I was out at the park with my charges and it just ran through me, call your mom.

And I did.

And we talked.

Suffice to say it was pretty private and personal and because so much of what was revealed was not actually about me, although it affected me greatly and a times very gravely, it is not my place to reveal what was revealed to me.

At least not in this forum.

I have already decided that I will be writing a paper on it, the experience and the exchange of information, it was very relevant to a final paper project that I have to work on for school.

I’ll be hitting that bad boy out of the park come Sunday.

I’m not ready for Sunday yet, let me stay here in today for a little while yet.

However.

I can say, quite unequivocally that I am no longer going to carry around grief that is not mine.

I am not a repository for my mother’s grief any longer.

I did not say that to her, that shift in perspective did not happen until today, this morning, when, yes, ugh, I was at yoga and I was in a bind.

LITERALLY!

I did a binding pose that I have not hit once since starting yoga two months ago, but today, I reached for it and my heart lifted and I felt this burst of joy, a great wave of it, a tidal pool of it, a tsunami of emotions.

I almost laughed out loud with the happy.

Then, yes.

Of course.

I cried.

I bawled.

Well.

Maybe not bawled, that sounds like it was loud, it was not loud, although it felt deafening at one point to be so sluiced in feelings.

I’m not going to carry her sorrow any more, I told myself.

It was washed away, my mother’s grief and pain and sorrow, her losses and misfortunes these are not my burdens, I don’t have to carry them.

I don’t know that I was ever properly asked and the tragedy of that is that I am only realizing this now.

And.

The amazing, awesome, hot damn news.

Is that I am realizing it at all.

I love my mom.

She did the best she could and if you had said that to me at certain points in my life I would have told you to go hit the crack pipe again and get back to me.

I always felt like that was an excuse, sorry it was so rough kiddo, I was just doing the best I could.

But in between the spaces, the lines of telephone wires looping through the history of our shared and divergent paths, there was a shift and I got it.

I got it.

I got it!

And it’s not mine to carry, never was, I don’t own it, I can let it go, I can be washed away, the names and places, the stories and traumas and dramas, all just crenellated peaks in the dunes at Ocean Beach, the stars wink back to me over the storm dark seas and I was washed clean.

Gasping for breath, yet, so in my body, so present, tears leaking down my face, but also a joy and gratitude.

A happiness that was solace to my soul.

A lifting up.

A, yes, heart opening.

And I walk through.

Flew through.

Drifted into the happy, joyous, free of the deep blue sky.

The sky of my childhood, bright blue, like his eyes when I was a young girl, face pressed to the window of the long yellow school bus as it rolled in between the cornfields on the way to school in Wisconsin.

The woman burgeoning with promise, escaping still, for many year yet to go, but she is there in my heart, and she is free to move on.

Let him go.

Let her go.

Let myself go.

Fly so high into the promise of those bright blue skies.

Above this world, the cusp of the soul of God calling to me.

The smile of heaven above me.

And all the world below me.

Love.

Love.

It’s all love.

That’s all the feeling I need now from my mother.

Just the love and letting go of anything other than that.

Awareness.

Acceptance.

Action.

I act on my own.

As my own woman.

Here.

Now.

Always.

I am free.

Free to move about my world carrying only those things and feelings that serve me in joy.

And.

That.

Well.

Not only is that all.

It is.

Everything.

Your Smile Could Melt Glass

April 12, 2016

He said, “you are so gentle and kind.”

And you, you my friend are high as a kite and married.

But hey.

Thanks, I do appreciate the compliment and I wished him a good night and I left Java Beach and came home and wrote a really big letter to my program director.

Because, you see, I had my heart a bit broken today and I am sure there are some of you that are going to roll your eyes, but fuck you and go read another blog.

I was at work today and granted, I was cranky, the reason I was there was to let in the housekeeper and she was an hour late.

Dudes.

I had to make some phone calls.

I got right with God.

And by the time she showed up I was happy and serene and getting myself settled in to do some homework, write that paper I have due for Madame Mildred Dubitzky.

Except it felt tremulous and awkward and my mind was too full from all the material we covered over the weekend.

So.

Some review reading and the process of knowing that often I sit down and don’t know what I am going to write and then I write the paper.

While in the midst of this I was poking around the academics page on my school site and then I saw it.

The dates for the fall semester.

Wait.

What?

Fuck.

NO!

No.

No.

Fuck me.

The first weekend of classes is Labor Day Weekend.

September, 4-6th.

What the fuck.

I’m at Burning Man.

I stared incredulous at the screen, Labor Day weekend, why would they do that?  The school didn’t last year and I made my plans last year knowing that.

I made the assumption, I know, I know, that it was going to be the same kind of schedule.

And yeah.

It was going to be tough and it was going to be wonky and I might lose some sleep, but I was going to go, I got a job, I got a ticket, I got a purpose.

And it’s my tenth year.

And though I don’t want to dwell on it because I will start crying again.

It’s the 10th year anniversary of Shadrach’s death and he was the reason I went in the first place.

I took his ashes, not all of them, but enough, a whisper, a soft remonstrance of a kiss on my forehead, prayers for happiness in the ether, the never ending spiral out of love that I know he swims in, that his joy and smile and love are still with me.

And.

Oh.

Fuck.

Ten years is a long time and a lot has happened and I have grown and it still hurts and I still miss him and I always, always, have a moment, just for him, just for me out in the deep playa and I will really miss it.

I was too upset to keep working on my paper.

I called my person.

I was told to contact the school.

I scoffed, I said I was going to accept it.

(Roll over)

I also said I was going to pray and just focus on today and doing the things I needed to do.

I called another one of my people and sobbed.

He told me to take a good, brisk walk, like big, and move.

I did that.

I told the housekeeper I was going out to run errands and I just strode like a woman on fire through the Mission.

I walked into a nail salon and got my nails done.

Black.

My mood was a little dark.

I took myself out to lunch afterwards and didn’t get on the phone, but I knew I was going to have to tell the family I had contracted to work for.

It was only going to be the right thing to do.

My heart hurt and I was still too tender to do that.

I got back to the house and made a cup of tea and the housekeeper was almost done.

She wrapped up, I took care of securing the house and I hopped on my scooter and headed to the Sunset.

First the Inner then, the Outer.

Pit stop at Dr. Kurtzbay to pick up my new progressives–re-lensed my green frames–and found a pair of sunglass frames I liked to get a prescription set.

Then from the 7th and Irving to 46th and Judah.

I dropped off my laptop and hopped back on the scooter.

I felt at a loss with what to do with myself.

I did some grocery shopping at SafeWay.

Then came home, put groceries away, looked at my homework and shelved it.

I just couldn’t do it.

I read for a while, non-school material, more of The Widow of One Year, by the fabulous John Irving.

Then I sat and meditated for awhile in the back yard, getting some sun on my face.

And after that.

Ha.

I took a nap.

I was so zapped.

I thought I slept a half hour.

I slept an hour and a half!

I made some dinner, and frankly, well, I couldn’t cook.

I knew I had to call the family I was supposed to work for.

I did.

Barely able to do it without breaking my voice.

Then I went and did the deal and I was of service and did my commitment and helped out a new lady and went to fellowship and after I shared with a woman who graduated from CIIS this past December.

“Oh CIIS empties out at Burning Man, you should see if they can change that, really contact someone,” she said while I listened.

A friend of mine in the cohort mentioned the same thing.

But aren’t I asking for the entire cohort to kowtow to my schedule?

Then I thought.

Fuck it.

Just take the action.

So.

I did.

Hey D_____-

I don’t believe we have ever met, but I am in the ICPW 2015 cohort, happy to be heading into my last month of my first year.  A little overwhelmed too!  But, over all super excited and grateful to be on the path.
That being said I was heartbroken to see that the first weekend of the ICPW 2016 fall semester is Labor Day weekend.  I work at Burning Man and was planning my travel there around school, and my assumption, my wrong, I know, that the dates would be similar for the first weekend of the second year–that is after Burning Man.
I know it’s an odd request, but it is a spiritual experience for me, part of my practice, my ten year anniversary of going as well as my best friends ten year anniversary of his death–I took his ashes to Temple my first year, and I have gone back every year since, holding many positions of service in the community.
I am sure that I am not the only student at CIIS that attends Burning Man and I am aware that there is a least one other in my cohort who was planning on going and has purchased tickets.
If there is any leeway, flexibility or other options for that weekend I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.  I am bereft.  I do understand if there is no recourse, I will forfeit my going to the event for my schooling, I have already notified my employers to look for another–however my position is extremely challenging to fill.  If, again, there is anything I can do, please let me know.
If not, I hope that for the future that the department may consider those of us who go to the event for their spiritual practice.  I have been sober 11 years and am also of service in the recovery community there.  In fact, if it hadn’t been for an experience at Burning Man two burns ago, I wouldn’t even be at CIIS–feel free to see my application essay, it’s all spelled out there.
Thank you again for your service as Program Coordinator, your efforts are noticed, if not always acknowledge directly.
Sincerely yours,
Carmen Martines
I have no idea what comes next.
But I tried.
I made an effort.
And for that I am grateful.
Fingers crossed.

The Days Just

March 29, 2016

Roll by.

It helps when I get up and get to yoga class.

And do my writing.

And do my reading.

And say my piece and ask for help and make phone calls and reach out and work and eat a good breakfast and drink my coffee.

Side bar.

Rau I love you.

Oh my God.

Finally a beverage I am willing and happy to pay $4 for.

Not that I really want to pay that much, but this shit is on point.

Especially for a lady like me.

It’s an organic cold pressed raw cocoa drink–NO SUGAR, nada, zip, zilch, zero and it tastes like chocolate, well, um because it really is just that.

It is amazing and it is a tantalizing incentive to get me to go grocery shopping when I don’t always feel like it.

I had a little wiggle room after yoga and my shower.

I decided to pop into Rainbow and get a few things that are nice for me to have around the house–nice candles, nice lotion, some apples, and a Rau.

Mmmm delicious.

I was wondering what to write about tonight as nothing is really happening in my life.

Bwahahahahaaha.

Ha.

Fuck me.

I have plenty to do: recovery, work, school, yoga.

Dating when I can squish it in there.

Making time to see friends.

I was on the phone today with a darling friend and we were trying to figure out when and how we were going to make seeing each other happen as the tentative plan to connect fell through for this upcoming weekend.

Mutual friend birthday party happening.

I did decide to go, despite the looming amount of writing that I need to do for the next weekend of school, because I need to connect with the ladies and my friends and I need to be flexible and I said I would, so I am.

That being said, I am sad to miss my friend.

So.

A date to the DeYoung is on the menu to see the Oscar de la Renta exhibition.

I saw it in Paris, but I will happily see it again, I love Oscar and I am guessing that there will be different things on display, I saw more than just de la Renta at Hotel de Ville (City Hall), there was a huge fashion archival being shown, so I expect that this focus will show me some things I haven’t had a chance to see.

Besides.

A museum date with my dear girl friend is definitely a necessary thing for me.

And I found out that I will have some wiggle room in my schedule next month.

The family is going to be going on a little trip and though I will be working while they are away, it will be much shorter hours.

One day I will be there from 9a.m. to 2 p.m. to let the house keeper come in and clean.

I will do errands and laundry and then have the day to myself to hang out and work on homework or maybe go grab a cup of coffee with a dear friend or two and catch up on stuff and things.

That’s the Monday.

The Tuesday I have off completely.

The Wednesday I will go in for a half day and cook food in preparation for the family coming home that next day and the boys being home on Thursday and Friday, both days where I will be working early and leaving early too.

It will be a wonky week, but it will have nice pockets of open time to do things and see folks.

April 11th, 12th, 13th.

Monday through Wednesday.

Working but not really working.

I’ll probably do some self care things, some yoga, maybe a trip to Kabuki.

But basically, hey you, friend, if you’re around Tuesday, April 12th, I’m free.

Let’s kick it.

Yeah.

I know.

That’s my life.

Making plans to hang with my people when and how I can.

Two more weekends of school though!

I’m making it through.

The yoga is definitely helping.

I had a good class today, the teacher today is my favorite, although I do quite like all the instructors I have had.

I cried again.

It always surprises me when that happens.

Still.

Parts of me just must hold onto grief longer than I even realize.

I had a moment of sadness and the tears they came and then I also had a sweet whisper of serenity, breeze right in behind it– big, big, wide open sky, high and bright, and a vision of a field of blue forget me not flowers.

True love and memory.

Sounds about right.

So grateful for letting myself show up on the mat and not have judgements about myself and my body and the process, just showing up and doing it.

I have been taught well.

Show up and do the work.

Let go of the results.

See.

I always looked to yoga as a sort of way to fantasize about a kind of body I wanted to have–a “yoga body.”  You probably have an idea of what I mean: cut arms, slim belly, tight ass, long legs, sculpted, like.

And that is just not me.

I am always going to be a little soft in places.

Doesn’t matter.

It does not matter one little bit.

Instead I have gotten to have the feeling of being lighter in my body because I am not weighed down by grief that I don’t have to carry.

I feel lifted and my heart more open and I see the corn flower blue sky and I don’t think about it pressing down on me, I see myself reaching up towards it.

I see the light.

I am the light.

The lightness in my step, in my heart.

There.

All the work and all the revelations and just sometimes the walking out the door and being humble enough to be a beginner and not know what I am doing and try it anyway.

“Carmen!” She whispered excited in my ear as she was helping me settle into pigeon pose, “this is amazing, you have gotten so much deeper into this pose since you started, you’re doing great.”  She adjusted my left shoulder and gave it a squeeze and left me happy, exhausted yes, but happy, on the mat, in my pose, pushed further than I had before, without it being a horrendous stretch.

Just finding my breath and sending it out into my body.

I thought, quite seriously, about going again tomorrow morning.

But tomorrow is not typically a day I go, it doesn’t quite sync with my schedule and I want to let myself sleep and rest.

I did push it in class today and yesterday and I am glad for it, my body feels it, but I can stand the rest and I don’t want to push too hard after this long cold has finally loosened it’s grip on me.

They day will be what it will be.

And  will show up for it just like I showed up for today.

In the rising sun.

With.

Sweet.

Kindness.

Cornflower blue light.

And

Forget me not.

Love.

Bronde Ambition

March 27, 2016

I went and got the roots touched up today.

Despite three people looking at me like, crazy lady, you’re hair is on point.

And.

Yes.

Especially with the trend for a big root shadow.

I had me some roots.

I got the dark hair.

However.

I am planning ahead.

Oh yes I am.

Each time the hair gets a little lighter, the current blonde, or bronde if you will, gets a little bit softer and lighter and blonde gold and caramel and it’s super pretty and it will all go towards finally getting the perfect dusty rose pink shade I have wanted to do for ever.

I’ll lighten it one more time, we’re being pretty cautious, my hair can only handle so much before it will just break off, but one more time after this and then a soft dusty washed out pastel pink for the Burning Man.

Yeah.

I know.

It’s March.

But.

I’m making my plans.

I ordered a new shoulder holster recently as well for the event.

I have one from last year, but I decided to upgrade a little bit, get something sturdier, I’ll be wearing a baby a lot of the time, one of my little charges will be 3 1/2 years old and the other will be about 9 months–which means having a baby carrier on.

Which means a holster for my essentials instead of my utility belt.

Which I will also have.

Oh all the things.

I guess it’s because it’s a special anniversary for me.

My 10th burn.

I am really lucky that I get to do this, it still astounds me that I have gone so many times and that I get to go again this year.

I was talking to a friend who made it a part of his contract with his new job that he gets two weeks off in August to do the event.

I have another friend in LA who does the same thing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than a few of us out there with that requirement.

I was trying to explain it a little to my colorist.

For me so much of it is about the art and the amazing heart and total commitment that the artists and their crews put into the work.

It is astounding to me how much work goes into making some of the pieces, into building the city, just the effort of preparing myself for the playa is a job, then I think about the creative process and the amount of effort expended and it blows my mind.

It is an extraordinary thing to get to be a part of.

So yeah.

I’m planning my hair for it already.

Because that’s how I roll and because I love to have fun and it’s a part of me having fun.

I have some work to do, of course, before the main event.

I need to get through the rest of the school semester.

Two more weekends of classes.

I was working with my person today and Tart to Tart, kicking out the last of the inventory and so glad to be done with that bad boy.

The only thing left is my sexual ideal.

Oh wouldn’t you like to know.

Heh.

But I got the rest of it out and one of the things that was listed under my fears list was the fear of not making it through my first year of graduate school.

I actually laughed.

I couldn’t believe that I had written that.

I am not afraid of that any longer.

In fact, a lot of the stuff that I am normally freaked out about just seem to fade out.

I didn’t feel a huge shift in my perspective, but I just felt grateful to be doing the work and I know often times that the effort put into doing this kind of writing and inventory is later revealed to me.

Just to be free of those things that impede me and my growth.

Freedom.

Free to be who I am, free to be light and flexible and open to new experiences.

Or hair colors.

Ha.

Free to love.

I was awed by my person’s perspective on my grief bubble bursting in yoga.

I told her what had happened, while I was in the heart opening pose and how I just wanted to send this man I had all these feelings about a bubble of light and love and how it burst open on me and I was flooded and the grief and sorrow melted away.

The catharsis that happened.

She smiled.

Then she said, “that is love, that is true love, you sent him love without expecting anything in return.”

Oh.

My heart.

That’s the thing.

So often I have love for someone and I want something in return.

Not realizing that there is nothing to be gotten from loving, but the act, the simple act of purely giving love and not expecting anything, finally, allowed me to move through it all and come out the other side.

I don’t know this foreign country.

It is wobbly and not steady in my eye sight.

Something akin to wearing the new glasses I have had for the last three days.

“Progressives.”

The nice way of saying “bi-focals.”

They have take me a bit to get used to and I am finding my perspective constantly being altered, sometimes it makes me feel like I am falling or dizzy or just a little bit off kilter.

I have found myself slowing down.

Looking at things differently.

This love.

Freely given, the amazing grace of it.

The things that I gain when I am not looking for some sort of pay off.

Extraordinary.

The life I get to live even more full of juicy goodness.

And tomorrow.

I sleep in.

No commitments.

Nothing.

No plans.

I am being completely flexible and not going to be planning a thing.

However it plays out.

I am available for it.

Complete and present.

And just a tiny bit.

Blonder.

Bronde is the new black.

At least for today.

Heh.


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