Posts Tagged ‘heat’

A Time I Will Never Forget

September 1, 2018

I am appropriating your words again, my love.

You renamed something of ours.

It was appropriate.

The re-naming.

I approved.

I responded.

I know.

No contact.

I don’t know that you saw it.

But.

I hope that you did.

And I said.

“Nor will I, my love.”

Nor will I.

I can’t forget that time, our time.

The city we were in.

The heat.

The warmth of you next to me on the stoop in Brooklyn.

Our picnic that I put together.

The way the day’s sun had warmed the cement, the call of the birds settling in the trees.

The same birds that would awaken us in the morn.

They seemed to call to me.

Here.

Now.

Be with him.

And I gave myself to you.

I have no regrets.

In the giving I was given to.

The sacred radicalism of our love.

The driver the night before as we came over the bridge from one borough to the next.

She asked us if we were married.

We weren’t.

But you know.

We were.

We are.

Married and joined in some other way.

I felt betrothed to you.

I still do.

I write about that sometimes.

I haven’t told you that.

I still write your name, in its fullness, in my morning pages, and that I am married to the great love of my life.

Then.

Yes.

I list all the places we will travel to.

Places we have already been.

But will need to go back and reclaim.

And places that we will go to.

And make them ours.

Today I was in such a place.

Out by the sea.

Rockaway Beach.

It is not a particularly luxurious spot.

There is something rough and redneck about it.

And yet.

As I ate my three egg omelet at the table in the cafe while I watched the ocean come in and go out, I could not stop thinking of you.

I could see us in the hotel room where I am staying.

Alone.

My room-mate never showed for the intensive.

I could see you and I here.

Together.

Then in the cafe later, having a very late breakfast, drinking too much coffee, making plans to build bonfires at the beach.

Telling each other stories from our rebellious youth.

I could see your face across the way.

So real.

I teared up.

I cried over my three egg with cheese and bacon omelet.

Then.

Damn the music sometimes.

One of the songs that you put on my dance card came over the sound system.

REALLY?

I thought.

Really.

Now.

In this moment.

Right now as I am figuring out the tip for the waitress.

She wasn’t great but she’s my waitress and she’s going to get at least 20%.

Once a waitress.

Always a waitress.

And that song.

Not even a recognizable Elvis song, or an obvious heartbreak song.

Just something to dance to.

Remember.

When you made me that playlist.

And we went to the beach.

It wasn’t the best time at the beach.

I think we actually fought.

But we made up.

We always made up.

I wish we were making up now.

Instead of being nostalgic for another time.

A past time.

A memory that grows, though not distant, removed.

I miss you baby.

I wish I was making more memories with you instead of trying to reconcile not being with you.

I wish I was writing you poetry that you would actually read.

I wish you had been next to me, not just at the cafe.

But at the beach.

I saw the plume of a whale spout.

Then a humpbacked breached.

I gasped a loud and reached for your hand.

I almost fell off the damn rock I was sitting on.

Reaching for something that is not there.

Grief.

Yes.

Grief.

For a time I will never forget.

For a man I will always want.

For a love that is not mine to have.

But.

I had it anyway.

And no one can take that away from me.

Not anyone.

Now.

Or.

Ever.

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Where Do I Start?

July 25, 2018

First.

Bon soir!

I have not seen my computer for a few days.

My best French friend insisted that we were to travel very lightly to Marseilles and so, no computer.

Also.

No makeup.

What?

I know I felt naked, until I didn’t.

But apparently, ahem, I still look nice without it.

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I think vacation looks pretty good on me.

It didn’t hurt that I have a tan.

Boy.

Do I have a tan.

The above photo was taken early in the evening yesterday on the island of Frioul.  If you look closely in the background you can see the city of Marseilles.  My friend and I took an early evening ferry-boat to Frioul and strolled around it and took photos.

It was such a pretty place, and it would have been great for swimming had we known.

Next time.

But.

Swimming was had!

I had my first dip, then my second, yesterday in the Mediterranean!

Here I am a touch blissed out:

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My hair is all wet, I am sandy, I went for two swims in the Calanque and it was extraordinary.

First, a slight aside, must get back to swimming, being in the water and swimming felt so damn good.  Screw yoga, I think it’s long past time I get back into the pool.

Second.

Wow.

It was so, so, so beautiful.

A calanque is, well, fuck, I’m not sure I can quite describe it, a sort of wild hill area with dry rocky terrain along the coast that stretches from Marseilles to Cassis, there are all these inlets and beaches and coves, it’s a national park in France and frankly I can see why, they are true treasures.

The clanque that we went to was the Calanque of Sormiou.

It was exquisite.

I mean.

So gorgeous.

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This is the view from the top of an hour-long climb through the hills.

I will not mince words.

It was hot.

I was sweaty.

And I was not exactly happy to be climbing so much.

But.

Fuck.

Once I got to the top.

Wow.

I don’t know how high the climb was, and yes, what goes up must come down, we had to climb back out, gratefully the way is paved and if you have a tiny car and balls of steel you can drive in, but we walked, or climbed.

According to my little app on my phone that counts my steps we climbed.

We walked 26,450 steps yesterday.

Which is 12.4 miles.

And.

We climbed 51 floors!

51!

Ooh la la!

My legs.

But again.

It was extraordinarily beautiful and I’m so glad we did it, even if for a second there my friend made me wear a damp towel on my head for a while, she thought I might be getting close to heat stroke.

I guess I was pretty red in the face.

I certainly sweated a lot.

I think I may have actually lost weight this trip, despite the cheese and charcuterie I have eaten here.

I seriously have walked miles and miles and miles each day.

And swam.

Here.

Enough of my prattle.

More pictures of the beauty:

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I mean.

Come on.

It was like being on a movie set.

Except.

Well.

It was totally real.

Stunning beyond words, even now, looking at these photos, I’m like, really, I was just there yesterday?

Swimming in the sea.

It was truly one of the most beautiful moments, that first cool plunge into the ocean, the taste of the salt, so salty, and then popping up from the water and seeing the mountains arising around me.

I was blown away.

I swam far out until I got a little spooked, and then headed back in to let my friend take her turn.

We didn’t want to leave our stuff unattended on the beach, it has a reputation for thievery.

While my friend swam I unfolded the towel filched from the hotel onto the sand, put on more sunblock and lay back enjoying the hot sun, the sound of the water, the people speaking Italian to my right, the couple canoodling in Catalan on my left, and closed my eyes.

It was glorious.

My friend returned with tales of being nibbled on by a fish, which didn’t exactly compel me to get back in the water, but get back in I did.

Only to be flirted with by some gentleman who tried to tell me that I should be concerned about the sharks.

Thanks man, here’s a pointer on flirting with a woman, don’t tell her there might be sharks in the water, all it does is make a lady want to get the fuck out of the water.

I swam off laughing and telling him he was horrible for telling me such a tale.

Another stint of laying on the beach and then my friend and I packed up our things and began the long, arduous walk back.

I won’t lie.

It was hard.

And it was hot.

Very, very, very hot.

But.

I also would be lying if I didn’t say that there was a part of me that was very proud of myself for doing the climb and having a true adventure with my friend.

We made it back to Marseilles alive, had a late lunch, then went to the hotel and freshened up.

That shower, let me tell you, damn good.

After taking some time to rest we headed out to the ferry-boat and our trip to the island of Frioul.

The first photo I posted was from Frioul.

Here are a couple more, it was truly lovely.

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I have to say, the South of France was very special to see.

And I haven’t even told you about Aix-en-Provence or really about Marseille itself, but you know, I have one last day in Paris tomorrow and it’s time I got ready for it.

Bon soir mes amis!

Bon soir!

Speak To Me

November 12, 2017

Of the desire in my psyche.

As I try to move.

Closer to you.

Binding my heart.

Against the heart place in your body.

Interconnected.

Landed in heat.

Transcending my day to day human life.

You have given me access to energy.

Star energy.

Dream energy.

Love energy.

The chemistry of love ignites within me–

Binding me with bright prisms of light.

Blinding me to all else.

But.

Your souls depth calling me home.

Descending me into vulnerability.

And.

Embuing my life with purpose.

Through the feeling of love for you.

Sublime you.

My kissling.

My burnished butterfly wing.

My sacred crow calls and whisperings.

Leveling me with your divinity.

Archetype of my heart.

Reflected in your heart.

Transcending my needs.

And.

Glorifying me.

Connecting me to this blue

Incantation of you.

You.

My tether point.

 

 

Bless you my darling.

May the angels of dawn.

Kiss you.

While.

You lay dreaming.

Hot Bowl of Soup

November 8, 2017

Cookies baking in the oven.

I needed some comfort time when I got home.

Cookies are not for me to eat, but I had some left over dough from making cookies last week and I figured I might know a person who would like them.

I think I just wanted my oven on.

It’s cold outside kids.

I was going to call this blog, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, but I think I already have a blog, maybe even two with that exact title.

So, Hot Bowl of Soup it is.

Self-care.

I needed some.

I just got exhausted today.

I don’t know why exactly, I felt pretty damn good most of the day.

I did a lot of work in therapy, so there’s that, sometimes the sessions can be big or cover big stuff and I will have well, not exactly an emotional hang over, but a touch of tenderness about me the rest of the day.

I also, I swear it’s true, think that my boss was exhausted and it sort of rubbed off on me at the end of the day.

Plus the kids had really big energy and it felt like it took a lot for me to be present and accountable.

I made a nice dinner for the family, spaghetti carbonara, roasted chicken legs, spinach salad with roasted pears, bacon, Toma cheese, roasted almonds, and roasted garlic sweet potato coins.

The cooking helps me to connect with my charges and also, puts a sort of ending on the day before I head off to see my clients at my internship.

I suspect that the barrage of client e-mails at the end of my day did not help either.

I got a lot of incoming e-mails right at the end of the day and juggling making dinner, wrangling the baby and coordinating with the mom for a big play date tomorrow and an early start to my day on Thursday and I just got smacked with overwhelm.

I had a hard time shaking it off.

But I managed to scrape myself up and get to my internship and I felt much better after my first session.

Which was a phone session.

My first one.

Not my first choice, but rather that than nothing and I can count a phone session towards my hours, although only to a certain degree, it’s called Telemedicine and you can only accrue about 375 hours of it.

I don’t dislike it.

But I don’t like it as much as face to face therapy.

So much is missed over the phone, I can’t see my clients expression or body language, a lot gets lost.

Then again, I think that the phone allowed my client to open up about a few things that it might have taken a few more face to face sessions to get to.

Never the less.

I felt better after getting off the phone session.

I feel better after doing therapy sessions, I can tell I have been of service and spending an hour focused on someone other than myself is really helpful.

Then I got the sweetest damn message in a text and my whole night got turned around.

It’s pretty amazing and it was unexpected and I felt light and buoyant and loved and I knew I would make it through my last session and get home and have a hot meal and I would be ok.

And voila!

I am.

I even rallied some energy up to do a load of laundry and suss out a few more things for school.

Because.

Oh yeah.

I have school this weekend.

So there’s that too.

Trying to get all my reading done before classes.

I did manage to finish my Jungian Dream Work reading assignment, and I turned in the paper on Sunday, plus I got into my Transpersonal reading and I finished my Drug and Alcohol reading.  I’m a bit behind on my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality reading, but have at least dipped into so that I’m not completely at a loss when class rolls around on Friday.

I also had a client cancel on Friday so I can take that time and do a little bit of catch up there.

I will have the next couple of days and get done what I get done and not fret too hard about what I can’t finish.

I typically do manage to get it in or damn close to it.

I have been a lot less on my phone during the day, taking Facebook off it was one of the best decisions ever, and I’ve been assiduously reading when ever I can.

I got nearly an hour in at work today.

A half hour at lunch then another stretch on the train and in the school yard waiting for my charges to finish up with school.

If I keep that up I’ll be sitting pretty damn good come Friday.

And tomorrow will not be as draining, I’ll get some sleep, I’ll have a good day at work, the play date I’m managing happens to be with one of my previous charges and I just adore him to bits, it will be special to have some time with him.

And I’ll get out a little early to hit up group supervision and then go to the deal with my people.

See and be seen by those I need and love.

Grateful to have hot food in my tummy, warm bunny slippers on my feet, and the cookies, although not for me, smell delicious and it’s nice to be cozy in my home.

I am really grateful for what I have.

My life is good.

I love.

And.

I am loved.

My Loving Present

October 13, 2017

You are my holy ideal.

My passion.

My archetype cohered to my heart.

Differentiated.

And.

Separated.

Yet.

Connected to this fire of love.

How I am put together.

Ingrained to my flexible soul.

All that stuff.

All these things.

Opening into space.

Breathing my heart open.

Opening me to more to be more.

I see a table-cloth, red checked.

Flaring out.

A blanket of hope and a lens too.

Complex and beatific.

Oh the awe for you of you about you.

The depth of you.

My value increasing with every breath.

Virtuosity in the cello string.

The thrum of my song of love.

Adoration of crows.

Murder of my ideas of who I am.

Into who I am becoming.

Filtered through this

Harrowing of you.

Exacerbate me.

Explode me.

And.

Reconstitute me.

In your love.

The fall from being.

Into your arms savages me and saves me.

Activating me.

Another layer comes forth.

Another exploration.

Basic trust.

Support.

Strength.

Foundational love.

My own capacity,

Opens.

My heart in my chest.

Exposed to the air,

The fire and heat of you.

I stand strong and still in this knowledge,

In my being.

I let myself bathe in the bliss

Of you.

Your love, flying in the

Face of impossibility.

Which guides me to my expansive

Home.

Embodied and alive.

In the benevolent glory,

The astonishing glow,

Of you.

My Ass is Sore

September 18, 2017

No.

Not like that.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

My butt is sore from sitting at my table all day and working.

Writing.

And reading.

And more writing.

And taking tests.

Thank God I did get myself to yoga this morning.

Otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten much physical activity in at all today.

Super glad for the yoga, although it did kick my ass a little bit too.

Much ass kicking, however, was done.

I keep thinking of that line from the movie Heat, “she’s got a great ass!”

I digress.

I feel pretty damn happy that I got as much work done as I did.

I did all my CBT reading and took the tests that I had to take for the class and sent them in.  The professor got back to me right away and I was happy I did as well as I did.

Not that the class is even graded, it’s a pass/fail class that is online.

And as far as I’m concerned, thank God it’s pass/fail.

Because it’s too much work.

I was bitching with one of my friends in the cohort earlier who asked me how I had done on the tests, at that point I hadn’t even taken them, because the amount of work for a one credit online class seems way too much.

I mean.

Way too much.

I have a three credit class that I haven’t really even cracked the books on yet.

I will.

I will.

But let me bask a moment more in the fact that I got done what I got done today.

Suffice to say that even though I complained about the amount of work for the class, I did it, I took the two tests that I needed to take, I read the reading that I needed to read.

Then.

Well.

I did some more reading.

I finished all my Jungian Dreamwork reading.

That was dense.

Jesus H. Christ on a raft.

It was dense stuff.

Good.

But it took quite a while to get through the chapters I needed to read.

Fortunate for me I read them on the back porch of my house.

So.

I got some glorious sunshine on my face.

Heck.

I even got a tan line.

Heh.

I took a small “break” in between reading and tests for my CBT class and the Jungian class work I did.

I met with a lady and we read from a different book and talked about some stuff, inventory and how to do it and what it looks like and it was a great hour working with her.

Then.

I ran to Safeway did a little grocery shopping for the week and then over to Other Avenues, the food co-op in my neighborhood that I’m a member of and got the stuff that I like to have on hand that I can’t get at Safeway.

A late lunch and back to the reading.

I also read a huge chunk for my Alcohol and Chemical Dependency class.

Some of the material I have to read with a big grain of salt.

I, um, have some experience with alcohol and chemical dependency.

Ahem.

Anyway.

It was “interesting” reading but I tried to do it without judgement.

When I finished with that.

S T R E T C H.

And inside to toss a chicken in the oven to roast and some brown rice on the stove to cook.

While that was working I read all the articles and readings I needed to do for my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class.

Good readings.

I really like the professor, she who I happened to bump into yesterday at my internship (she has an office in the same building my internships is at), and the readings are really well curated and were quite well written.

I got a lot out of them.

My chicken was done roasting right about the same time I finished the readings for that class.

So.

Nice hot dinner and then back at it.

I wrote a reflection paper for Human Sexuality and Psychopharmacology and sent it in.

Then.

I opened up my dream journal.

Yes.

I have a dream journal.

Shut up.

I only have a dream journal because I am taking a dreamwork class.

I am not a hippy.

Ahem.

So.

I opened up my dream journal and wrote up one of the dreams I had at the beginning of the month.

I have to keep a journal for the class and every month the class meets I have to turn in a dream from my journal.

I had a magnificent dream.

It was at first overwhelming.

I was on the face of a gigantic tidal wave that was about to break over my head.

I was about to drown, I was overwhelmed, I was in a place I had been before and I knew what was about to happen.

Except.

Well.

It didn’t.

Just as I thought the wave was about to crumble and fall on top of me, I had a thought, “what if I swim through it?”

I have never had that thought before.

I have had a similar dream before, tidal waves, drowning, panic, sharks in the water.

Oh the nightmares I have had in my life.

Too many to tell them all hear and horrifying beyond words.

Suffice to say.

I had never had the experience of what unfolded in my dream next.

I started to swim into the wave, I spun around, and then I body surfed it all the way to the beach.

I flew.

I floated.

The water was warm and supple and held me.

I was not drown.

I stood up on my feet in the wake and white foam and laughed, I felt giddy and happy and full of joy.

I looked up and down the beach, white sand for miles, dunes with green grasses, calm, still, serene, the water of the ocean lapping gently on the shore.

It was astounding to me, this dream.

So I wrote about that.

And man.

Ouch.

My ass is sore again.

As I am sitting here, still writing, I’m about done, though, I have to tell you.

And.

I am done!

I just wrote the paper and printed it off, tucking it into my school folder for this weeks upcoming classes.

And yes.

I do have to do more reading for my Transpersonal Psychology class, but I will have the week days at work to do it since I won’t have any charges to juggle until school pick up.

So.

I have time.

And I did so much today.

I am really proud of myself.

So proud.

Even if my bum is a bit tender.

It was worth it.

Yes it was.

 

Smash Me

September 16, 2017

Baby.

Demolish my heart.

Blow me up.

Smithereens.

Kisses like the pause between lighting.

And.

Thunder.

I like your smash.

Baby.

I do.

Oh.

God.

I do.

You drive me crazy, baby.

You knock me out.

I go insane for you.

I hold my breath.

I see stars.

I lose all control.

You break me asunder.

I am all tied up in you.

Heart to heart.

Skin on skin.

Sinking into all that is you.

Becoming all that is us.

Blown apart and mashed back together.

The heat in my face.

The glow in your eyes.

The light playing over your skin.

The way I feel you in my body, an ache.

A knowing.

A fire stoked.

The nexus of you.

Pulsing in me.

Smashed right to my core.

Centralized.

Crystalized.

Captured.

You in my being.

You at my center.

You.

And

Flushed.

Now I sit.

Flashed out in memory of just moments ago.

Already aching to see you again.

I’m not dying.

Baby.

I’m just in love.

So.

Smash me.

I’m always gonna want your smash.

I can’t wait to see you again.

My mouth already anticipating.

The feel of you.

The touch of you.

The slick, soft, sexy.

I’m so damn in it.

I’m so all about you.

Smash.

Me.

Baby.

I’m absolutely.

Begging.

You.

Pretty.

Pretty.

Please.

 

Hello Again

September 4, 2017

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?

I have missed my little blog, I have.

I got back from Burning Man last night.

I am back a day early and I cannot be more grateful for it.

I needed to get back, I was missing my world.

I also wasn’t wanting to sit in any kind of exodus line, the last time I had tried to leave on Sunday morning I ended up being in line for almost four hours.

Four hours on playa.

Four hours to go three miles.

No fucking thank you.

And I had to be back by today to give myself enough time to recuperate and unpack and unwind.

And.

Um.

Shower.

Holy Mary, mother of God.

Fuck me.

That shower was something else.

A spiritual experience for sure.

I knew when I heard that the temperature was going to rise and peak out on Sunday that I wanted to come back Saturday.

I didn’t need to see the Man burn.

I have seen it burn ten times.

I wanted to get home without a shit ton of traffic.

I asked the woman who I had traveled with to the event if she would be amenable to leaving a day early and she was quite down for it.

And in given that there was a death last night at the burn I am extraordinarily grateful that one, I did not witness it.  And two, that I had left before the event turned morbid.

Death happens.

But I am relieved that I did not witness it.

I had a very different burn than I have in the past.

First, of course, because I was not working it.

I had to laugh, even when I tried to pick up a volunteer shift at Artica slinging ice, I got turned down, they had more volunteers than they needed.

Every time that I thought I might have worked, it was pushed down and away.

I spent a lot of time sitting in Center Camp Cafe writing.

I sent lots of cards and post cards off and I did a lot of journaling.

I hung out at my camp with the ladies of the Nest, a sweet group of women that I have known for years and witnessed their growth into extraordinary beings.

It was super sweet to have such a girl centric time.

I wasn’t on the prowl for the playa boyfriend.

I didn’t need to look for anything.

I have everything I want.

I went dancing twice.

Once in camp, an amazing dj came and played at our potluck dinner for the camp.

The music was the best I had experienced in years at the event.

I danced hard for two hours.

Happy in my body and light on my feet.

Although, the knees felt a little rough the next day.

I got to know a few folks in my San Francisco fellowship whom I have known for years but not really connected with.

I went on bike rides with the posse.

I got caught in dust storms unlike anything I have experienced before.

Prior years I was always working very close to my accommodations and they included access to trailers.

A dust storm would spring up and I would be hiding out in a trailer.

A huge dust storm came up and I was obliterated in it.fullsizeoutput_ed1

The “clean” spot on my face was where my dust mask was.

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I mean, you can’t even tell I have tattoos for god’s sake.

I had been caught off guard and though I saw the storm coming, it came up too fast for me to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent about an hour of it laying on a bench outside of the Temple.

Completely exposed.

I rested my head on the bench, curled up next to the fencing it was by and held on for what literally felt like dear life.

I kept my eyes closed.

I wasn’t wearing goggles.

My bad.

Stupid too, since I have a pair.

I was, thank god, wearing something, my big aviator sunglasses, but my eyes still got totally coated with dust.

It was an extraordinary experience.

Not exactly pleasant.

But I surrendered to it and rode it out saying prayers inside my head and breathing slow and steady.

There was a break in it and I thought go!

I got my bike, made it five feet and it whipped up again.

I was told later the wind was roaring along at 45 mph.

The dust battered me and I held still straddling my bike for about another hour.

There was a man standing next to me on a trike.

He might have been three feet away, probably less and he was invisible to me.

I could have reached out to him and touched his arm.

I didn’t.

But.

Knowing there was someone else there made it palatable.

The experience was mind-blowing.

No pun intended.

It also lead to an experience that I had never had before.

I got topless at Burning Man.

That has never, ever happened.

I stumbled into camp, with another of my campmates who had gotten blasted by the dust too and we let the women in camp strip us down and clean us up.

She got completely naked.

I couldn’t quite do it and in fact was walking away to wipe myself down solo when I realized what a monumental task it was going to be and I started crying.

I went back and said, “help me.”

And they did.

I dropped all my pretenses, and my clothes, well, I couldn’t step out of my under wear, there really is a limit for me, and just surrendered.

I got sprayed with a vinegar and water mixture and then a baby wipe down.

I got all the dust off my eyes and eyelashes.

I actually left my hair up in the puffs and antlers and let it be the way it was.

I was told it looked pretty spectacular and just let it be.

I had to have help getting dressed and it felt as though I was a priestess being made ready for a ceremony.

We all went out that night in a mutual friend’s, who is staff at the event, car.

I wore a long white dress and fresh makeup.

I had my hair up and added some goggles to the mix, I wasn’t without them the rest of the event.

We rode around the playa, the six of us, sitting regal in the back of the Jaguar convertible, the “Shaguar” which was painted hot pink with black spots on it.

I felt like some sort of playa princess.

And I was happy to be with the women around me.

All of whom I wouldn’t have met outside of recovery.

I am lucky and grateful to have them in my life.

I felt seen and loved.

Really loved and really included.

What more could I ask from Burning Man?

I’m so glad I’m home though.

I missed it more than I had expected.

And my heart is glad to be here.

Despite having a bad tummy today, which happens sometimes after coming back from the event, especially after being smacked so hard by the dust, I am happy to be home.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

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So very free.

New Orleans Lunch

July 3, 2016

I had it today.

Not lunch exactly, although I did eat quite well, but what is referred to as having a “New Orleans Lunch.”

My host at the luscious Air BnB I am staying at in the historic (what part of New Orleans is not historic, by the way) Treme district, explained to me as she was making late reservations for Friday lunch at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter, that a New Orleans lunch is a lunch that lasts all afternoon and is really an excuse for old friends to catch up with each other.

It lasts at least two hours, usually three, sometimes four.

Today lunch was three hours for me.

I have not had a more enjoyable lunch with better company in some time, not in recent memory, that is certain.

She was a new friend, so I suppose that the idea of old friends catching up did not apply, but she felt like an old friend, in fact, by the time we had finished our time together, me teary eyed with gratitude and love for the experience, she had become an old friend.

I did not start out the day knowing that this would happen.

I am so grateful.

Utterly and completely and sincerely grateful that I say yes to things, always say yes, say yes, even when you don’t want to, say yes when a stranger touches your arm and asks you out to lunch.

Say yes.

I had started out the day in a very leisurely manner.

Which was really needed after yesterday’s travel and hit the ground running start to my time in New Orleans.

I was not able to blog last night since there was a problem with the WiFi here at the Air BnB, which is just scrumptious as I said previously, with just enough Southern Gothic creepy, but not too much, I mean, yeah, I did have a moment of wariness when I knelt down to pray last night before the sleigh bed that is four feet off the ground, what is underneath this monstrous thing? But a divine space, even with the cobwebs in the corner, filled with enormous, stunning, astounding amounts of art.  The owners are collectors, artists, collaborators, and are also a part of the CANO-LA organization.

It’s basically an art home.

So chock full of art, it’s almost, but not quite, too much.

The hostess gave me the best suggestion as to how to spend my afternoon, I wanted to be to the conference to check in by 6p.m. last night, so I had the afternoon.

She drew a little map and told me to go to the New Orleans Museum of Art and then take the Canal St. Street Car down to the river and walk about.

I did exactly that.

It was divine.

I decided to walk from the mansion, to the museum yesterday, I wanted to see New Orleans from foot for a while, I find that the best place to discover and experience things.

I took a bath first in the amazing bathroom that is part of my room, which is really not a room, I really have a full suite, huge bedroom, huge ( I mean huge, the bathroom is literally the size of my studio) bathroom, and my own, again, rather large, front balcony with rocking chairs and lounge chairs and a gigantic table, and a view, of I kid not, a huge nest with six (!) baby grey crested herons.

Then I was off to the museum on foot, after a pit stop at the Pagoda cafe to get an iced coffee.

Google maps said 40 minute walk.

It took me two and a half hours.

But.

You know.

I wander.

I meander.

I stop and take photographs.

I had a beautiful, sweet, small lunch at the Degas Cafe, a gorgeous little plate of gulf prawns with okra and corn choux and chili oil.

I walked around the St. Louis Cemetery #3.

I stopped at a wig shop.

Come on!

I had to.

I browsed through a vintage store.

And I strolled around City Park for a little while before heading into the museum.

There was a great exhibition by Bob Dylan, yes the musician, of paintings he did in homage to New Orleans.

There was a spectacular Monet that I had never seen before, Snow at Giverny.

There was also a Warhol, Stilettos, that was amazing, never seen it before either, not in books or other Warhol shows.

I got my art on.

Then I took the street car down Canal Street, wandered around the edges of the French Quarter and after headed to the conference.

I came back to the Treme district and had an amazing dinner at Lola’s and then slept like a baby through the night.

As I said prior, I didn’t have much of an exact idea what I was going to do today.

I knew I would be heading to the conference in the evening.

But.

Other than that.

I was rather in a mood to let the day unfold and surprise me.

Which it did.

In spades.

I started again at Pagoda cafe and got my iced coffee.

I flipped through a little guide book my hosts had left me and decided to go the Marigny district to see the galleries there.

I took a car, it was too hot to spend an hour walking, besides, I walked so much yesterday my feet needed a break.

I went to the Front Gallery on St. Claude.

And.

Fuck.

It was closed for an installation.

However, there were some other galleries in the neighborhood, so I did an impromptu art walk and discovered a gorgeous installation at the Good Children Gallery by Lala Raščić.

It rather blew me away.

The artist was there and explained how she data mined the internet to get the images that she created that were sheets of glass painted with 24 karat gold leaf and mounted on blocks of wood, then she strategically placed lights in areas to create shadows and shapes and the results where shined upon the walls.

I was breathless with the beauty of it.

After that I rather drifted down the road.

I was uncertain about going further, it was hot, there was not much shade, and it was a long patch of road before I would get to anything else resembling a gallery.

I noticed a place that I had passed in the car on the way to the Front Gallery and decided I would just peak in.

So grateful I did.

This is where I met my new friend.

I did not meet her walking in, I met two other artists and chatted with them, told them I was visiting from San Francisco and wandered around.

I was not there all that long, twenty minutes perhaps, and I was feeling the call to move on.

I stepped outside to get a car.

And then I felt a hand on my arm.

“Excuse me, I just wanted to ask you a question,” a lilting female voice.

I turned and smiled at her, “ask away.”

“Well, this may sound a little odd, but are you doing anything for lunch?  I just, well, I like to meet interesting people and I overheard you’re from San Francisco, and you look interesting, and well, would you?”

I was struck with the flattery of it.

I am an interesting person!

Jesus.

Hello.

Carmen.

I have hot pink hair, a wild assortment of tattoos and I am wearing a vintage gingham black and white halter dress.

Of course I look interesting.

And of course.

I said yes.

What transpired next was so astounding I am still in awe hours later.

We went two doors down from the gallery to her house and she gave me a tour of her art collection.

Then.

We drove, yes, I got in a car with a complete stranger, (not that I don’t every time I call for an Uber, but) off to one of her favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

We talked and talked and talked.

And talked.

I told her my story.

She told me hers.

Suffice to say.

A fast friendship was formed.

She’s an amazing 72 year old woman living a rich, full, wonderful life.

I aspire to be that kind of woman.

She owns her home, has loads of art, goes out to jazz clubs, loves New Orleans, travels, does photography and has just started to become a writer.

There was so much more said and spoken of, matters of the heart, that I won’t divulge, somethings that are best left at the lunch table.

She footed the bill, “a little taste of Southern hospitality,” she said and laughed.

Then she gave me a ride clear across town to Magazine Street, through the French Quarter, sharing stories all the way.

We exchanged numbers, e-mails, and addresses.

We hugged.

I got teary.

Of course I did.

That’s what I do.

Heart on my sleeve and all that.

“Now you have a New Orleans connection, you’ll stay with me the next time you’re in town.”

And what do you think I said?

Yes.

Of course.

I said.

Yes.

I am honored, awed, and thrilled.

New Orleans.

I think I love you.

 

 


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