Posts Tagged ‘heart break’

All The Things

January 25, 2018

I want to do with you.

There’s so many.

The list, my dear, may become quite big.

But I can’t stop thinking about them.

The things I want to do with you.

An unexpected one that came up tonight.

I want to have a cat with you.

OH my God.

A sweet little kitten, I haven’t thought about having a cat in a while.

I miss having them.

There are cat people and there are not cat people.

And you are a cat person.

I knew this, some part of me knew this, but I didn’t know.

The thought of a baby kitten and you, oh holy mother of god, it makes me tremble.

Like what could possibly be better?

Being in bed with you and a tiny furry creature, I might weep with joy at the thought.

Which is so much better than the weeping I have been doing of late.

I am so, so, so tired of the crying.

It comes and goes now, on its own accord, of its own life, taking me when it wants to without my permission.

My employer was playing music today and some song came on that reminded me of you and I literally bent over double and started to cry.

It’s as close to crying in front of my boss as I have gotten.

It’s been a week of this, I have cried plenty at work, oh my god, so much, but usually when no one is around, when I have had private times, when the baby has fallen asleep on me and I’m in a room by myself whilst the rest of the world goes careening on.

The world does not stop despite my heart-broken heart.

I seem to have stopped sometimes, most times, a glazing around me, a soft focus phased out, fuzzed out, sensory turn down where I am muddled and disoriented.

Driving in the rain tonight, coming home, listening to Debussy and thinking of you and the streets slick shined with rain and light reflections, the traffic, and the black inky night, here and there moments of coming to almost, as though I had just driven the last mile without really seeing anything.

It’s probably not a good thing to disassociate while driving.

Some music I can’t listen to right now.

And while the classical can make me feel tremendously sad, oh man, there are some things I can’t listen to at all, just avoiding certain songs and playlists and when I do stumble into them getting out as fast as I can.

But I did not start this blog to be sad.


I wanted to list all the things I want to do with you.

All the things I think about, what would this be like, how would it feel?

And I know.

That’s fantasy.

But I think my poor heart just needs a reprieve, a momentary respite from the sad, so be gentle with me whilst I play out my fantasy.

Falling asleep in a hammock with you.


I just want to be somewhere warm with you, wrapped up around you, holding you, being held by you.

You and the sun, I so want to be out in the world, in the light, basking with you, warm and brown and golden and laughing.

And sleeping.

Sleeping in warm sunny places, sleeping on a boat whiling its way through the Loire Valley, cushioned on your chest, my eyes closing to the rise and fall of your chest, the sky floating by, resting on you.

I feel so adrift right now, unmoored and up anchored.

I just wish to be settled against you again, skin to skin, heart to heart.

I want to go to the movies with you, hold hands in the dark, lean my head on your shoulder.

I want to travel with you.

God damn it.

What a pair we would make, poking fun at incongruously dressed travelers, sitting next to you on a plane, head on your shoulder.

I’ll happily take the middle seat so you can sit on the aisle.

I want to read books to you, leisurely, one chapter at a time, fairy tales, novels, poetry.

I have read you a lot of my poetry, but there is so much out there, so much yet to be read.

I have so much more to write.

Don’t you want to hear my poems?

I want to linger over breakfast and drink coffee with you and make bad jokes and be silly and go right back to bed.

Not to sleep, no, although that may come in time.

I want to write you love notes and stick them in your jacket pocket when you are not looking, so that when you are at work, you find them and smile and think of me.

I want to walk through Paris with you, sit in the cafes, hold your hand, make out at a corner table and not care who goes by, it’s Paris, people make out in cafes.

I want to go to farmer’s markets with you and carrying a basket on my arm.

I want to go clothes shopping with you.

I want to try on dresses for you and I want you to try on clothes too and then I want to be scolded by the sales lady for smuggling you into the dressing room.

I want a life with you that goes places and does things and opens me up to wonder and awe and beauty and surprise.

I suppose these things are not fair to ask or to write about.

I hesitated to even write all these things down, but the words in my head wouldn’t leave me be and though I am now once again in tears, just the moment of thinking about you holding me in a hammock might be just enough to get me through the tears that are once again streaking my face.

Oh my poor tired heart.

Go to bed.

May sleep come, just so I can dream once more of you.

Honky Tonk Heart Break

November 25, 2017

I have nothing to complain about.

Especially when I listen to the music from this Spotify playlist.

Honky tonk heart-break is a for real thing.

Bottom of the whiskey bottle, bottom of the bear glass, the lonesome sound of the woman you love walking out the door.


I mean.

What do I have to complain about?

My massage was kind of weak.


It wasn’t bad, but I was surprised, in fact, at one point I thought to myself, deep tissue, my ass, this isn’t deep tissue at all.

It was pleasant, I suppose, but not what I was hoping for.

In fact, the spa really wasn’t as posh as I thought it would be.

It was still nice, I’m not bitching, but I was a bit surprised, it was smaller, and the back patio was covered with leaves and the reclining chairs didn’t have cushions.

So much for sitting outside on a lounge and getting some sun.

The fireplace wasn’t on either.

That bummed me out.

It, was, however, when I left, I thought that was funny.

The massage was nice though, and the sauna was good and it was nice to drive my car to a new spot in town and to find parking that wasn’t a meter in the area was pretty sweet.

I also made a little pilgrimage to Nest and got a sweet little Christmas ornament.

Last year I actually was pining pretty bad for Christmas.

I think it was mostly the fact that I was so fucking lonely last year, since I was under quarantine with the lice, I let myself get a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.

I saw social media post of people who have already got up their tree and I was like, whoa!

I’m not feeling it quite like that this year.

Although, granted I am very much looking forward to getting a Christmas tree.

It’s an expensive bit of self-care.

I get a live tree and they’re expensive, but the smell, oof, so good.

I just love having that smell and the magic of Christmas lights and the sweetness of having presents wrapped under the tree.

So, yeah, it was fun to get an ornament today on Fillmore Street.

And I thought about doing a little Black Friday shopping, but once I got back to my car, I would have to move it and re-park it and it just didn’t seem worthwhile.

I hit the road Jack instead.

I did actually, inadvertently do a little shopping anyhow.

I swung into Laurel Village on my way home to deposit a check into my bank and there was an Ace Hardware store there that I got a bunch of little things there.

A replacement light bulb for my salt lamp my friend gave me for Christmas last year.

A set of blue Christmas tree lights, I have some from last year, but I think I needed to replace a strand.

I always do blue lights, I like to have an Elvis Blue Christmas theme for the tree.

I got a pack of printer paper, I got a pack of papers I need to write-up before the semester wraps up.

I also got a phone charger for my car!

That was cool and I got a car mount kit so that I can mount my phone to the dashboard.

Quite happy with that as well.

And can I just say, Bluetooth is revolutionary.

So nice to have my Spotify go straight to my radio.

So nice to have phone calls I can answer via touching a little button on my steering wheel.


My mom was my first call I took in the car.


Also, lovely, really, to have navigation, I love plugging in the address and having the directions told to me.

Remember maps?

I fucking do.


I had a stash of them and somehow never quite used them all that well.

I mean.

I made it across country driving my little two door Honda Accord, but really I am still amazed I made it.

All the places I used to have to look up in an Atlas, remember having the AAA Atlas in your car?

Maps for every state.

I think that’s what I used to drive cross-country.

Now all I have to do is type in the address on my phone and my car literally syncs up with my phone and the directions come out of the speakers.

It’s fucking magic.

I know.

Maybe it’s not magic for you, you’re used to this, but remember, I haven’t owned a car in fifteen years.

It’s really nice.

I have to say, I really like it.

I’m so grateful to have gotten it.

I am so grateful for all the help I got getting it, meant the world, it really did.

There is such a comfort in driving.

It feels right.

It’s really interesting.

It feels right to be in a car.

I must be an American.

And one from the Midwest for sure.

It was out of the question for me to not have a car when I was in Wisconsin.

It wasn’t for over a decade here.

Plenty of transit options, shit, more so now then when I moved here if you count Lyft and Uber and Get Around and car share services and what all.



Having my own car is something special.

It feels really natural.

I am almost surprised by how natural it feels.

And occasionally, I will admit, a tiny bit smug that it’s a stick shift.

Not sure if smug is quite the right word.



There is something about being able to drive a stick shift that seems really cool and a bit anachronistic and well, just a tiny bit out of the ordinary.

All things I rather like about myself.

The manual feels right and of course, that makes sense to me since all I owned previously were manuals.

It’s rather like coming home.

And being surprised that it’s been patiently waiting for me all along.

It’s not honky-tonk at all.


Not one bit.

But I can play honky-tonk in my car if I want to.


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.


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.


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.







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.




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.


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.


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.


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.

Let The Un-Friending Begin

January 21, 2015

I jest.

Sort of.

I had to de-friend my ex today.

When we parted ways on Friday I asked him if we should un friend on Facebook.

He said no, but he would unfollow me and I said I would do the same.

He requested 90 days no contact.

I agreed.

Four days in I get a shared post from him on Face Book.




Not allowed.

90 days.

Not 4 days.

I believe, that’s really the only fair way to be, I haven’t contacted him in regards to it and it was innocuous, but it brought a pang to see his name on my phone alerts.

I spent the morning doing some extra writing and when the time was right I made some phone calls.


Un friend the man.

Not because we can’t be friends, I suspect that given time, yes, we will.

But that it is just too soon to see anything related to him.

Why hurt?

I have been withholding from scrolling through his Face Book feed and looking at the updates, but until I un friended him there was the temptation to do just that.

I deleted our message history, I took down the photographs, I went back to single, and I practiced restraint of pen and tongue.

I have written nothing in my blog to say it was this person and he did these things, said this, or acted in this way.

I don’t want to be that person.

I have integrity and I believe he deserves privacy just as much as I do.

To that affect I also un-friended two of his close friends who friended me when we first began dating.

There is nothing to our relationship except that I was dating their friend, outside of that, not really a connection and as such I purged them too.

It felt uncomfortable to do it.

Although I knew, oh, I did, that it was the correct thing to do.

It was the thing that was going to spare me a lot of unnecessary pain.

There are no victims.

Only volunteers.

I choose today to not cause myself more grief by social media stalking.

No thank you.

I have better things to do with my time.

In fact, I have a lot of things to do with my time.

I ran the list of things down to a friend I bumped into in the Mission while I was working with the boys.

She said, maybe you got enough on your plate.



There is that.

I do have a tendency to run away from my feelings by keeping myself busy.

Then tonight at dinner, Udupi Palace, in the Mission, I rattled off what I am up to this week and my companion said the same thing, basically, slow down, be sweet to yourself when you are in pain, or sad, let the feelings come.

I have to say I am more surprised to have had the depth of emotion over the relationship.

It was short.

But it was intense and a lot of stuff came up.


I didn’t blog about much of it, as it did not seem fair to process my emotions around the relationship on my blog while in the relationship.

I relegated that writing to my journaling and morning pages.

“Have you been writing a lot of long hand?” A friend intuitively asked.


I had let down the blog a little bit, not posted as often, posted trivial’ish posts, but man, I was writing.

“It shows, your blogs are really good,” he replied when I told him I was still putting pen to paper and doing more so with that since I was not blogging as much.

And let me be fair to myself, I was still blogging.

Just not every day.

The first couple of weeks we were together my writing was sporadic and I brought that slowly back in line.

My ex also asked about that a number of times “did you blog today?”

I am a better person when I write, I suspect that it helps me process something in a manner that is spiritual in nature, a kind of cleanse, an end of day summarazation, on retiring I review my day, I look over what I did, what I could have done better, how I felt.



Perpetually human.

Suspended and open.




I miss him.

There I said it.

But I am grateful that it is done.

It was done a few weeks ago and just the process of walking through the ending with proper closure.

I am ready, though, to not miss him.

To get on with my life.

I know that means that I have to allow the feelings to happen, anger, disappointment, sadness, a bit of grief, a bit of regret, a soupcon of maudlin misery.

It’s not too bad.

It’s just a feeling.

It will pass.

The good news?

You’re going to have feelings.

The bad news?

You’re going to have feelings.

I am a pink glittery heart of crystal, all refracted and shiny and sparkling.

My inner emotional weather is not flat grey.

The two shades are pretty together, sometimes a compliment, but ultimately I have to find someone who wants all my glitter pink tattooed froth.

There is a deadly seriousness under this all.

But at my heart, in my heart, my emotional interior.

It is pink.

Satin pink.

Shimmering pink.

A rainbow of happy warm light.

Sometimes it is white light, but mostly it is soft and rosy and serene.

I am finding my way back to that.

The pink is shining through the grey clouds and as the stars wink on the horizon above the indigo sea, I know, I know emphatically, with all my romantic self that there is abundance, so much abundance for me.

I left my heart un protected.

I once thought that was a stupid thing to do.

Now I know that my heart is a big girl with big girl pants (pinstriped in silver glitter, not everything needs to be pink) and that she can take it.

Because I am not heartbroken.

Yes my heart has been broke open.

But it is not broken.

It is just bigger.

More capable of holding whatever comes for me next.

I suspect it will be more, and more and more.

(And it breaks my heart).


Sometimes People Die

December 14, 2014

I should rephrase that.

We all die.

Sometimes people die and then, well, they don’t.

I expected the worst when I got the phone call this week about my father, the surgery, the injury, the coma, the low quality of life he has had over the last few years (in and out of homeless shelters), rampant alcoholism.

Hell, the last few decades.

However, he’s tough.

Like me.

I get my toughness from him.

And my mouth and my hair and I hate to say it, my big old Hawaiian flat-footed feet, I mean, really, those are my feet.

And my nose.

And my hands.

And my hand in his.

It’s just a slightly smaller version.

Watching him struggle, watching the tubes tumbling out of every single limb on his body, was like watching a version of myself and what it could be like, well, if it weren’t like what it is, which is that–

I have recovered.

From a seemingly hopeless condition of mind and body.

My father has not.


Maybe he will.

Maybe he’s still digging that bottom of his.

Maybe he’ll die.

Maybe he won’t.

Well, he will, I will, you will, we all will, but maybe there might be some juice left, some special spark, some tremolo of love that sings out, come walk with me longer, look at the mountains, see the sunrise over the snow-covered trees and breathe the air–crisp, cold, bracing–let it fill your lungs and soul and heart.

Whenever it got to be too much I would walk the sky bridge between the ICU and the wing adjoining the Cancer Center.

It’s a skywalk with views of the mountains and it commands attention.






What ever you want to call it; that which is a power greater than myself.

That tree, yes, that one, over there, its older than me, it was here before me and it will be here after me.

I am just a blink.

A particle of time and space and love.

But oh.

Such love.

How many times did I tell my father I loved him today?

A lot.

More than a few.

I told him, I told friends, I told my sister, and my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, my great-aunt in New York.

You know who I didn’t?

My boyfriend.

Not because I didn’t want to.

That’s another blog.

But out of fear.

And perhaps that lesson is the greatest one here.

Tell them all, tell them you love them, smother them with love, and tell yourself you love you.

“I have to go papa,” I said and squeezed his hand again.

It’s disconcerting, he’s so lively, so responsive, but it’s not cognitive response, it’s nerve response, it’s like watching a fish with electrodes moving it’s tail back and forth.  I don’t know how much is real, and I don’t want to give myself false hope or for that matter, anyone else.

He twitches and jerks and occasionally an eye opens and it rolls and I don’t see much there and I am afraid to not see it and afraid to see it all at the same time and then I think, he hears me, his head it turned, but then it turns back.

I squeeze his hand, my hand, that is my hand, there and stroke the pad of flesh with my thumb and rub it and touch it and warm the skin.

I lean in and find a place in between the maze of wires and find a spot I can kiss goodbye.

But not yet.

Not goodbye for good.

Just good-bye for a meal and a hot shower.

I stay as long as I can, then I go.

Twice today I went out, out into the world and then in and down into a church basement.

The great thing about where ever I go, there’s a church basement with a pot of coffee and some big styrofoam cups and some principles in red ink hanging from the wall and someone to offer me a suggestion.

“Pray and breathe,” she said to me.


Pray and breathe.

It’s that simple.

And say I love you.

Again and again and again.

I love you for your brown eyes and your dark hair, and your big hands and strong legs, those legs, you gave me those, I recognize those knees and thighs–I use them every day on my bicycle or to walk or to kneel down and pray–for being so smart, “you got your intelligence from your dad” so my mom says (although I suspect I got my heart from my mom), and you gave me stories and you told me I was a writer.

“I always knew you’d grow up to be a writer,” my father said to me on the front porch of Patty’s house on Monroe Street in Madison.

We had just gotten a couple of cans of Barq’s (Famous Olde Tyme) root beer from the soda machine at the market–when it was still 35 cents a can and we’re drinking the cold pop on the steps smoking cigarettes and (watching Captain Kangaroo) watching the cars go by.

“You’re a story-teller, just like me,” he said and sipped on the pop and dragged off the cigarette.

The sun was warm, my feet were bare.

I was nineteen.

I was lost, pretty much a college drop out and my dad was basically couch surfing and dating the daughter (18 years old and therefore younger than me) of the woman who lived in the house whose porch we were sitting on (I ended up sleeping with her son, so I think we’re even on that score), living on food stamps and borrowed time.

But in that moment.

Exquisitely happy to be hanging with my pops on a porch, shooting the shit, telling stories, remembering when I was  little girl and he would ride me around on his motorcycle.

Not all my memories of my dad are so golden and shimmering and flecked with creamy root beer spiced carbonation.

I don’t know that I would cast the memories that I am creating here in this hospital as golden either.

But they are a gift.

It is a gift of immensity that I expect to be exploring with new and different eyes for some time to come.

And maybe my papa will come out of the coma while I am here.

And maybe he will not.

But I am here.

I showed up.

I grew up.

And in my heart, I’m still sitting on that porch listening to my father spin yarns and drink root beer in the dusk of a summer evening.

I love you Michael Martines.

I am your daughter.

You are my father.

And whatever happens.

Nothing will change that.

Love never dies.

Or grows older or fades.

It always stays.

So stay a little longer.

There are so many stories I haven’t told you yet.




Just When I Thought I Had It All

July 31, 2014

Figured out.


Guess who gets to look for a new job?


That was not the conversation I thought we were going to have when the mom said, “we need to talk.”


“I’m fired.”

My first thought, followed quickly, by, “for what?”

Third thought was, “they are moving.”

Not one of those thoughts were true, which is a good thing to remember, my thoughts are often not true, so often are they not true I wonder why I even bother listening to them at all.

Note to self.

Stop listening to  your head.

The mom sat down and I sat down and we got down to the business of taking care of the sweet, sweet monkey, who got into pre-school.

And not just any school, but Katherine Michiel‘s, a fantastic pre-school that always, always, always has a waiting list.

The mom explained that they had put themselves on the list and had completely forgot about it, they weren’t expecting the phone call they got three days ago saying, come in for an interview.

It happened that fast.

They interviewed and of course my boy got the spot.

Of course they took it and of course they should have.

I so understood, in fact I was a proud, albeit sad, nanny, I know that I may have had a hand in some of that sweet, smart, out going personality.

Who knows how much, but perhaps just that bit that got him over the hump.

He’s an outgoing little boy and handsome and intuitive and smart and has great parents whose philosophy is very aligned with the school, plus it’s pretty much in their neighborhood, on the way to work for mom, and you know, if they hadn’t taken it, there were only 50 other children on the wait list happy to usurp his spot.


Then the bomb really dropped.

He starts on September 2nd.

The day I leave Burning Man.

Which means that I only, as of tomorrow, have two more weeks with him.

I didn’t burst into tears, I withheld that until the mom left and my charge had been fed lunch and I had put him down for a nap, then I called a friend and burst into tears, but I did get leaky.

Two weeks to say good-bye.

“This is not goodbye,” his mama insisted, “you are a part of our family.”

I know this, but it is still nice to hear and I know that the 14th of August is not going to be the last time I see him, or probably take care of him, I am sure there will be other days.

I am also saying good-bye to my little girl Thursday two weeks from tomorrow.

It felt like a double blow, losing them both.


My heart breaking.

I know that this is only God making it bigger so that I can hold more love.

I am not being abandoned.

The mom said the family wanted to cover my costs the week after I get back from the event, so the week of September 8th I will have financial coverage, and the mom of my little girl Thursday saw a social media message regarding my status and immediately sent me a message.

From Germany.

Where she is at a teaching conference.

She could use a little coverage for her daughter who will be transitioning half days into pre-school for that week, and perhaps some things here and there.


I have the next six weeks taken care of.

I have paid my rent for August.

I have food in my fridge.

I have clothes on my back.

I have socks in my drawer.

Go read last night’s blog if that made no sense.

I am done with my Burning Man prep.

I am alright.

Yeah, I suppose I could freak out, when is there going to be time to look for a job when I have a full-time job right now with extra hours every week until I leave for Burning Man, besides taking care of and covering all my other commitments, which are just as important as the work, as they enable me to do the work, and oh, yeah, get my stuff organized, and over to the house to take to the event.


Not so certain that right now is the best time to be looking for work.

But I opened up Craigslist to scroll for a few minutes and when I got nauseous looking at job listings, I just got off.

I have had so little success with Craigslist, I do better word of mouth and I have a huge network, and a lot of great references, I will be fine.

I did ask for a letter and she said, you write it and I will add in more superlative adjectives than you can shake a stick at.

I have great references, I have great skills, I have deep, abiding faith.

I have not been dropped on my ass.

I am not going to be now.

In fact, fuck this, I am excited.


God cleared the slate, there is something amazing coming down the pipeline.

I can’t see it, I am in the dark hallway again, but I don’t feel like I am stumbling around hitting my head on walls, I am just taking sure, quiet steps forward, toward the open door.

I don’t even know if it’s going to be a nanny job.

I got peeped about a teaching assistant position that a friend knew of, but the pay was too low.

I know what I am worth and I am not going to go backwards.

It could be anything.

“You’re going to be taken care of,” my friend said tonight as she drove me home into the fog and the chilly late July air, “it’s going to come to you at Burning Man, just wait and see, you’re going to be just fine.”

“And you can always sleep on my couch if you need it,” she smiled.

I thanked her.

“I mean it.”

Good to know.

But I don’t believe I will have to.

My future is unfolding and though it is totally unexpected, I am sure, certain, complete in my faith that I will be held and the next thing is better, brighter, and more me than this is.

And that must mean it is spectacular.

I am ready.

Please, remove the fear.

Direct my attention to what you would have me to be.

Now more than ever.

I await my directions.

With a full and thankful heart.

This is going to be amazing.

Just wait and see.


July 8, 2013

“You never told me you played the cello,” John Ater said to me this afternoon, “and what’s with the hair twirling?  I have never seen you do that before.”

Nerves and comfort.

I used to do it so much when I was a child that I would twirl small bald patches on my head, according to reports from my mother.

I have noticed myself doing it more recently as well.

I take comfort in it and my hair is curly and it feels good.

It is sort of like self-soothing.

I do it when I am anxious.

It’s better than eating ice cream and donuts, but still indicative that my anxiety levels are a little higher than I would care to admit to.

I had not met with John in a little while and when I saw him last night and got a hug I immediately felt the tears welling up, despite not knowing where or why they were coming, they were just there.

“What else?” He said to me.

“Well, you got that phone call when I was having the panic attack,” I said “and my food went off the rails, I feel really stupid about that, and I…”

“Now stop it, you are not stupid, and when did you play the cello, C. asked me if you were still playing and I had absolutely no idea that you played.”

“So tell me about that,” he said and settled into the chair across the way from me.

I sipped my coffee, where to begin.

“I started to play when I was in third grade, a way to get out of Mrs. Morgensen’s class, I hated her (this was the teacher that assumed when I moved into the school district that I did not speak English because I did not talk, she called my mom on the phone one day to discuss putting me into remedial English, little did she know that I had begun reading by the age of three and at that point probably already had a higher reading ability than any other child in the school–I tested out of the high school charts when I was in 4th grade, the highest designation they had at the time) and when the orchestra teacher came in and said it was time to go to orchestra, despite not knowing what orchestra was, I got up and left the classroom.”

“And,” he paused.

John is good at the pause, good at letting me express, good at listening and good at letting me get it all out.  I trust him implicitly, more so than anyone I have ever worked with in my life, more so than any romantic partner or family member I have had.

“And I was good, good enough that by the time I was in middle school I was allowed to take home a cello despite my family not having enough money to pay the school’s rental fees, good enough that my orchestra teacher got me a private tutor, which he also had the school pay for,” I continued.

“Martines, you are never going to be first chair,” Mister Ziegler said to me as I was struggling along with a piece I was trying to memorize for the Spring String Fling (yes, that was what it was called).  “You are never going to be second chair either,” he continued breaking my heart one small piece at a time.

“However, you will be hired, you will play in an orchestra, you will be able to have a job professionally, you’ll be fourth chair, or if you are in a small city orchestra, third, but you will always play and you will do well.”

I nodded, I really had my heart set on being first chair, I knew that was never going to happen at Gompers Middle School, that honor went to Sue, she was wildly talented, and wildly bored with the instrument.

“Do you know why, Carmen,” he paused and looked through his glasses piercing my concentration on the sheet music, I looked away from the bedraggled notes eyes drawn to his face, his ginger beard rasped under his chin as he rubbed it brisk with long white fingers.

I just looked up at him, perhaps a small inquisitive look, probably nothing, I was already masking my emotions and feeling around my person and it was very hard to break through that shell.

“Because you have heart, Martines, you have heart, not one in a thousand has the heart that you do, Sue Bachman, yeah, she’ll get first chair, but she’s cold, there’s no passion there, you have passion and for that you will always be rewarded.”

Did not matter how much heart I had, when the family moved to Windsor and I was placed into the DeForest school system, there was no orchestra program there.

My heart, broken.

“So, what happened,” John said.

I told him about my friend at the Burning Man offices when they were over on 16th and 3rd and I told him how I started to play, then life got overwhelming for me and I stopped.

I do miss it.

I do think about it.

I do wonder if I should reach back out.

“What did I tell you about Paris when you were afraid to go?” John asked me.

“Go, you’ll always be fed,” I said.


“I was always fed.” I replied.

Maybe it’s time to do another kind of nourishment, find another outlet.

“Honey what would you do if money were no matter, that’s where you dream, that’s what you do,” John told me.

I would write every day.

Same as I do now.

I would play cello again.

Ok, there’s a direction.

I would go camping, which Burning Man is like a big camping trip, but I would probably also go to Yosemite, never been, or the Grand Canyon, also never been.

I would drive up the coast and go to Oregon and Washington state, I would go further and go see Alaska.

“Honey, you have an assignment,” John said, almost with glee, I could see him mentally rubbing his big compassionate paws together.

“Write a list of everything you want and seal it in an envelope, one of two things is going to happen.”

“Ok,” I said, I have heard this before, but not quite the way he described it.

“You’ll open it in a year and either you will have gotten everything you wrote down, or you won’t want it anymore because something better has been put in its place.” He finished.


I have not thought of it like that.


I have an assignment.

“Honey, just go seek,” he finished, giving me the hug that always lights my way.

Seeking I shall go.

%d bloggers like this: