Posts Tagged ‘insights’

One Dozen

January 14, 2017

Long stem blushing pink roses.

One for each year I’ve been doing the deal.

That was what greeted me this morning.

Actually.

The full moon setting this morning from my back door is what greeted me, all pearly and low hanging, incandescent in the first blush of morning.

I took out my camera and shot a few photographs.

I don’t believe that I did it any justice, that moon, that opal jewel in the dark indigo wash of sky over the ocean, but I gratefully pulled out my camera to give it a go.

That camera a gift.

Something that I can frame my world with, a poetic extension of my world view, a way to take the moment and hold it, like a poem in my mouth, a moment luxurious with depth and meaning and love.

I awoke to love.

Great love.

Outpourings of love.

Messages of gratitude and sweetness, kindness, reflection and beauty.

I felt blessed.

I felt more and more blessed as the day went on.

I had school today, my first day back in classes, first day, second semester, second year.

I had some trepidation after I was ensconced in all the readings prior to class, but by the time I was a quarter of the way into my first class I knew, this was going to be a different semester and yes, loads of work, every fucking semester has been so, it would be good, soul enriching, spirit broadening work.

I am looking forward to the semester and the learning in a way that I had felt disconnected from and dissatisfied with in my experience last semester.

Those cobwebs got blown away and I feel refreshed and re-invigorated by the work and reconnected with my cohort and really alive with the school.

Oh.

There’s still wonky crap, but what academic institution doesn’t have it’s foibles?

I had a surprising and wonderful discussion with my advisor and I have an appointment to talk to one of my professor’s about a letter of recommendation for practicum tomorrow after my morning class.

Things move a pace.

I made some executive decisions regarding where I am going to apply to practicum and I feel hopeful that those will suss out.

I had to face the fact that unless money suddenly falls the fuck out of the sky I’m probably not going to be able to do the UCSF practicum.

The program is looking for a 25-40 hour a week commitment.

And it’s not a paid internship.

Most aren’t.

But to work 25-40 hours a week on top of a full-time job and full time graduate school feels.

Well.

Fucked.

And impossible.

I had a chat with a third year student who is also in the weekend program and works full-time and he told me about where he was doing practicum.

The Liberation Institute.

Which is in the Mission and would be handy to my work and school commute.

Plus I found out after attending the workshop and practicum fair that the institute has weekend and evening hours available to interns.

Yes and yes please.

If I’m going to accrue hours and not get paid at least let them be during times that will facilitate me working full-time.

I live in San Francisco and I need to keep paying the bills.

And well, that would allow me to do it.

My current job is flexible with me having one Friday off a month to go to classes, but I can’t imagine that I would be able to work a job with benefits for less than full-time hours and the family needs me 35-40 hours a week.

There is a way forward and this may be the way.

Sure.

I’d love the acclaim of working for UCSF, but maybe this is better for me, not trying to cram so damn much into my schedule and still letting me do the deal.

Because doing the deal for the last twelve years is what has gotten me to where I am.

I would not be in graduate school if I was still out there using and drinking.

I’d be homeless.

You bet.

I’d be dirty and broken and soul less.

I might be dead.

If I were lucky I’d be dead.

But I’d probably drag along the bottom of the gutter terrorized and blank and shattered.

No thank you.

So a balance needs to be made.

I have always believed that it was of utmost importance to not put the life that I was given before the way of life that I had learned by taking the simple suggestions made to me in the very beginning of my recovery.

Simple, daily practices that keep me going one day at a time.

One hour at a time.

One fucking minute at a time sometimes.

And here.

Twelve years later.

Fierce and free and strong.

Joyful and happy.

Content and blessed.

So many gifts I have been given, so much life to live that I have been graced with.

It boggles my fucking mind.

Yes.

Yes it does.

Boggles I say.

And I know that as long as I put my recovery first.

Well.

Everything else will follow.

That’s been my experience.

When I didn’t know what to do or where to go.

I always knew where to go.

Church basements and funny rooms in the backs of odd buildings.

Holding hands with strangers that became family.

Sitting in cafes reading from blue bound books and sharing my experience, strength and hope.

How this works?

I can not tell you.

I don’t know.

I just do my best to take the suggestions given to me and to turn around and give it all away.

You can’t keep it without giving it away.

A crazy paradox of love and altruism that isn’t really so altruistic.

I mean.

I don’t want to fucking die in the gutter with a crack pipe in my hand sitting in between cars on Minna Alley on a piece of scavenged cardboard.

Been there.

Done that.

God’s got better plans.

Yes.

Thank God.

And thank you.

You know who you are and I love you more than I can possibly express here.

But when I see you on campus you know I will give you a hug and perhaps in the circle of my arms you feel just a small expression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.

I have so very much.

Yes, love.

Love.

For you.

Always.

Forever.

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Just Me, Myself, And I

May 20, 2016

Although.

Baby.

Wish you were here.

We might have some stupid fun.

My place in New York is so freaking sweet.

Seriously.

I told my host if he ever thought about leaving he’d better let me know.

It is cavernous and gorgeous and art, oh all the art he has.

Oh.

Look.

My art date, artist date with myself, is already happening.

The space is a big old warehouse in Clinton Park.

Super high ceilings, big windows, I can tell there’s going to be some ridiculous light in here come morning.

He’s a photographer and traveler and bicycle guy.

My kind of fellow.

There’s an awesome dog that has already become my new best friend, a three legged cat, yes, that’s right, he’s got a tripod cat, and an organic market around the corner.

Plus.

The promise of the best coffee in New York come morning.

I am not exactly at home, but I feel right at home.

And I am super stoked for my new adventure.

This new, New York experience for me.

I caught an Uber from JFK.

Although, dude, you were hella sweet, but you got to lay off the cologne, whoa man, and I got the very broad, huge hint that I should definitely be going clubbing this weekend, preferably Saturday, hint, hint, nudge, nudge.

Yeah.

It was a lot cheaper than I thought and I will probably do the same back to the airport come Monday morning since my flight out is at 7:30 a.m.

The travel here was good.

I woke up retarded early though.

An hour before I needed to.

And I had the hardest time falling asleep.

I was a bit anxious.

Travel sometimes does that to me, I can get worked up with the organizing of the stuff and things and forget that I am going to have fun.

I am definitely having fun.

I have already had a really awesome conversation with a new friend in Brooklyn and gotten some great tips for my time here and I’m stoked that I get to stay in this big, open, well lit, art filled space with animals and coffee and photographs and old fixed gear bikes.

“My dad, that’s his fixie, he’s 86, and he still rides,” my host explained pointing out the various bikes he has.

We talked some shop, some travel, some New York, lots of art talk, just exactly what I need.

Super happy.

Well taken care of and excited for the rest of the adventure.

Plus!

I ran into a girl friend at SFO.

We were on the same flight, one aisle apart and caught up on all things school and travel and it was super sweet to get to reconnect with someone I hadn’t had a chance to catch up with probably years.

The flight was great.

I feel all jacked up and excited to be here.

Which really is the only problem, the only fly in the ointment, I’m on West Coast time and I want to get up early and get out there and have my New York experience.

I’m super proud of myself.

I know how that sounds.

But I am.

It means a lot to me that I am doing this.

Shall I let you in on a secret?

It wasn’t my idea.

It was my travel partner to Paris who came up with the idea.

“We should do New York, do the museums there too,” he told me, my heart already so broken down and sad.

Sometimes God gives you exactly what you ask for.

“Hey God,” I remember saying one day, probably the last week that I was in Paris before I moved back, “the next time I am here I want it to be with someone I am in love with.”

Haha.

Fuck you God.

Maybe I should have said, someone who can reciprocate love back to me.

Do you have any idea how hard it was to be in Paris with a man that you’re in love with and not kiss in every side street possible, to sleep in the same bed and not touch?

Heart breaking.

Hello Tinder.

Hello fuck the pain away.

Hello do another inventory.

Hello there, pulling into the parking lot at the 7-11 at the corner last Wednesday.

Yeah.

Didn’t see that one coming did you?

I don’t always write about things that happen in my life, you’d be surprised, I am transparent as all fuck on this blog, but not always.

No.

Not always do I put it all out there.

Sometimes things never come out, sometimes it things just get pushed aside because other things are happening.

I was still feeling the after affects, the glow, the good feelings of a date I had recently had with someone I’m rather working a little crush on.

Wouldn’t you like to know.

Suffice to say I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I like a guy.

That’s all.

And then.

This other guy, my inventory guy, my leave him alone amends guy, my no more friends on facecrack guy, my he stopped subscribing to my blog guy and we don’t do the deal in the same places guy, in the parking lot.

Just there.

It wasn’t the first time I’d seen him.

He’s been popping up in the rear view mirror here and there recently.

Which doesn’t surprise me, we live blocks away from each other, I’m surprised more that we hadn’t run into each other sooner.

The first time was a few weeks ago and I was scootering to the Inner Sunset to do the deal with my person and go over said inventory and I was wearing a dress, ha!  I packed that same dress for tomorrow’s date with me, myself, and I in Brooklyn, and I was also dressed up for a first date, with the aforementioned I might be working a crush guy, and I was light.

So light.

My skirt fluttering out behind me, the sun warm, the air kissing my face and I was lane splitting and then I noticed, white SUV with the alma mater sticker and hey that’s the same as, oh, shit, that’s him.

I lane split.

He turned his wheel.

I blew by.

And that’s what it was like.

No animosity or upset.

I had moved on.

I felt so light and free and removed from it all.

All the drama and story and emotional upheaval.

Gone.

I raised my hand, waived, and scootered on my way.

So when I crossed in front of his car pulling into the 7-11 parking lot and there was nothing there to dramatize, it was just a hey how are you.

“Your hair looks great,” he said.

“Thanks,” I think I said, but really, I don’t think I acknowledged the compliment.

Rather I kept going.

“I won’t keep you, good night,” I said and walked away.

No drama.

No story.

Nothing.

Freedom.

Gratitude.

Thanks God.

I’m free.

Free to be me in New York.

Free to say, to acknowledge, this wasn’t my idea, but damn I am so glad I ran with it.

Free to be happy.

Free to pursue and be pursued.

Free to go get my art the fuck on.

I’m in New York.

Fuck yeah baby.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

It’s My Anniversary!

January 24, 2015

One week single.

I’m ready to date again.

Let’s get it on.

Baha.

Oof.

Really, that’s it, it’s been a week, let me be done and done.

I feel like it’s really been three weeks, the pre-break up break up was more intense than the actual break up.

I was wondering to myself today at the park when is the appropriate time to get back into dating?

Is there one?

Like I care.

I wasn’t really thinking about it, it was just that I realized I was being flirted with and it took me a minute to process that I was being hit on.

What does this guy want?  I thought to myself as I was hanging with the boys, my boys, my charges, at the park.

I think what he wanted was my phone number.

Ha.

I was so obtuse.

Then I realized, oh yeah, I am single, I could say yes if I was asked out on a date, I could go out with someone not my boyfriend, I mean my ex boyfriend.

“I was pulling for you guys,” a friend said tonight.

I think a lot of folks were.

He’s a good guy.

I’m a good gal.

But sometimes it takes more than good intentions to get a relationship to run and as I checked in later with someone on the phone I got to see that I was not getting some things that are important to me and that I will need to get those things in my future relationships.

Like poetry, words, books, literature.

You know, those things really a big deal in my life since I am a writer.

Oh, yeah, I’m a nanny, a lover, a tattooed dragon girl, a bicyclist, a burner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, yada, yada, yada.

I’m a fucking writer.

Let’s not pay any attention to the fact that I applied to a Master’s Degree program that is not literature focused, shall we.

I can have a career and a job and a persona outside of the writing, but at my heart, in my core, that’s what I do.

I am not great.

I am good at best.

When I am at my best.

But  can’t stop, don’t want to stop, got to do it, so here’s me doing it, person who writes.

Along with that important tidbit is that I am a reader.

Someone who I didn’t even know was following my blog posted a quote from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, the specific line was from the poem “Little Gidding.”

I read his comment, thought, why is that familiar, what is that?

Googled it and was abashed to realize it was Eliot, one of, if not my favorite poets, and it was from the Quartets, which are my favorite of his pieces.

I have a deep fondness for J. Alfred Prufrock, The Love Song of, as well, but there is something in the Quartets that pulverized me when I first read them in Professor Serena Pondrom’s TS Eliot class.

I went from being an atheist to being an agnostic, to actually, like Eliot having a sort of come to God moment and now relying so much on that faith that I can’t live without it, can’t do anything without it.

I use love as a short hand for God.

In case you were wondering.

I don’t belong to a religious group, though baptized Lutheran and brought up lapsed Catholic, I don’t belong to any denomination, just that I know I have a God and I’m not it.

That worked for me for a long time, then it had to get bigger and love seemed the best way to get at it.  To experience love more fully was and is to experience God more fully.

The quotation was about moving through desire to a fuller understanding of love.

Not less of love but an expansion of love beyond desire…

The line prickled at my heart, piercing my skin, I looked up the quote, and sat and read, out loud, every line, and cried.

It was so perfect.

Sappy.

You betcha.

But all me.

It made me realize on a very deep level that one thing I need in any future romantic relationship is this love of words and the written word, for books, and essays, and poems, and art.

I can’t live without it.

And I realized that I think, let’s put that into quotations, “think” I am not good enough to attract a like-minded individual.

REALLY?

I’m still not enough.

Fuck you brain.

I am too smart.

Jesus in a gravy boat.

Where does my brain come up with this crap?

I have a vocabulary that even I am impressed with, I read, I write, I use the things that make the words that tell the story.

I am intuitively intelligent and observant and have a really good memory and I like to learn and I like to talk to people about books and movies and songs and art, oh but, I’m not quite good enough to inspire a creative or an academic or what?

Nice try negative self-esteem.

Get off my ass.

Oh and by the way, didn’t you read that blog a few days ago where I finished and turned in my application for graduate school.

Yeah, because I’m dumb and nobody smart wants to date me.

Not to say my ex wasn’t smart, I’m not saying that, but he was smart about things that didn’t interest me like I am smart about things that don’t interest him and when you have two people who can’t communicate, one is smart about getting the fuck out.

Rejection is God’s protection.

Part of me being quiet around the man was that we didn’t have a common language, outside of one very obvious one, wherein we could build the relationship.

I tried some of the things he was interested in and he bugged me to make sure I was blogging, but we couldn’t find common ground and that led to the dissolution of the relationship.

Or at least was a part of it.

After reading the Eliot poem and crying I asked that I have that removed too, that idea that I am smart, but not smart enough.

That I am enough.

I always have been.

I always will be.

With or without a Master’s degree.

 

 

 

Act Like You Are Single

January 8, 2015

What would you do?

I asked myself this question when trying to decide on a course of action involving planning for an upcoming anniversary.

I am throwing myself a little sobriety party.

Yeah baby.

Dancing.

I will be here.

Disco party at Public Works on Saturday, January 17th, around 10 p.m. or so, it would be lovely to see you and I will be shaking my geriatric ass.

Well, I’m not that old and I have been told a lot recently that I look younger than my age.

Thank you.

“You had a natal birthday recently, didn’t you,” she said to me in her lilting British accent.

“I mean, I had no idea.” She paused.

Had no idea about what, I thought.

“Oh!”

I laughed, you mean that I am 42?

Yes.

That.

See, it’s called good clean living.

Almost a decade of not drinking or using, not imbibing extra dirty vodka martini’s on the rocks with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale PINTS as my beer back (that was my regular at the end, that and a couple of grams, oh who am I lying to, double the couple of grams, of cocaine and a pack and a half of cigarettes), plus five, mostly, with a three-week relapse into the insanity of consuming sugar (for me, not many folks have an issue with the cookies, but just keep ’em away from me, ‘k?), of not eating sugar or flour, on top of riding my bicycle all over the city, and yeah, I look pretty good.

I also have good genetics, let me not belabor that.

But I chalk it up to the not ingesting the naughty stuff as the primary reason for my general attractive looks.

I am a lucky girl.

I am also having a little tea party for those folks not able to make a late night on the dance floor, at the Samovar Tea Lounge in the Castro.

I am quite excited for both events.

I really had to ask myself, though, what it is that I wanted.

Not what my friends wanted or what my boyfriend might want, but what I wanted.

I kept getting the run around from the staff at Samovar about booking a private event for ten people

That was the original invite, ten folks, some ladies that mean a lot to me, and my boyfriend, and one gay “uncle”.

But the lounge wouldn’t break me off the room for under a certain amount of money and I figured, man, I just want to have some tea and a nice salad after getting my new tattoo.

Oh yeah.

I like to celebrate significant anniversaries by getting inked.

I will be adding a piece to compliment the 9 stars I have on the left side of my neck.

I will be getting one larger star on the right side of my neck, 10 stars, ten years, but since it feels a bit more significant, double digits and all that, I am getting a larger star on the right side.

Plus it will be a slightly different design than the ones on the left.

I am going to keep the colors, baby blues and soft pinks, and I am going to keep the style of the star the same, but the interior will be a replication or interpretation of Van Gough’s Starry Night.

I want a star with swirls of stars within it.

I will also be celebrating my ten years by making sure that  I have me application to CIIS completed and turned in.

I have two folks lined up to write letters of recommendation and I have my transcripts ordered.

I wrote a six page, 1800 word autobiographical essay as the writing requirement.

I have a one page statement of intent to write and then the $65 processing fee.

I want to have that all tied up before or on my anniversary.

Which is not next Saturday, but Tuesday of this upcoming week.

Tuesday, January 13th.

It still boggles my mind when I think about it.

So, here’s to not thinking.

Here’s to just being.

And continuing to learn that I have to take care of myself.

I mean, I have some practice and all that, but I have noticed a pattern of waiting to see what the boyfriend is up to before making plans and that was not on the menu today.

When I realized that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I had to do it.

I also realized that I would be imminently more desirable and datable to my boyfriend if I am doing the things that make me happy.

Like writing my blog or my morning pages.

Or making a tea party reservation.

I did laugh when I realized that he would be the only straight man there, but I figured he’s going to be able to hang just fine.

Or that I wanted to go dancing.

That I sort of need to go dancing, and then I saw that Public Works was having a Fleetwood Mac Disco dance and that was it.

I bought a couple of tickets and set up the event.

I invited 175 people.

I have thousands of “friends” on Facebook.

I suspect about ten people will show.

I don’t care if no ones comes.

Well, maybe a little, but I am over the moon that I advocated a little dance party for me.

It’s important for me to be available to my guy to do things, but it is also important for me to be available to myself and my friends too.

I was asked out by a girlfriend this Saturday for a little lady time dinner action and catch up and I said yes, it’s been too long.  I need to continue to cultivate my friendships with the women in my life.

I am happier for it.

And I suspect that the happier I allow myself to be, the better I will be in this relationship, heck, in all my relationships.

So, just for today, “pretending” to be single is the way for me.

It’s a good thing I have had a little practice with it.

Ha!

 

Where Did All My Money Go?

December 8, 2014

When the clerk rang me up at Rainbow I blanched.

Err.

“Are you sure,” I wanted to say.

However, I held my tongue.

I knew I had overspent, not but much, but by a lot.

Yeah, I meant to write it that way.

I berated myself a little bit, I had been having shopping fantasies and they did not play out the way I had envisioned them.

Then again.

Fantasy rarely does for me.

I had use of my boyfriends car this afternoon and I had grand delusions of getting some holiday shopping done, buying new blue jeans, maybe getting some fancy lingerie, grocery shopping, household shopping, and maybe a small side trip here then there.

I lost it on the second floor of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

And that was my first stop.

Does not bode well for my shopping day.

Fact is, I am just not a great shopper, I get overwhelmed with stuff and I usually end up doing the opposite of what I came to do, I leave with my head on fire and have to ditch stuff in the aisles or on the way out the door.

I was about to do just that as I was not finding what I had headed up to the second floor to find—pillow case shams—they have them, I just couldn’t locate them and instead of asking, there was no one to ask, really mostly another confused woman wandering around with a fabric swatch she was trying to match to bathroom carpeting, I fled the top floor.

I ran to the escalator and as the moving stairs unfurled before me I looked into my basket—one large bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap, a packet of makeup remover and nothing else.

I just about threw my hands up in defeat, what had I come here for?

Not this.

The items in my basket I could get anywhere.

Oh, yeah!

A new saucepan.

Which I finally discovered, grabbed, and ran to the line.

I don’t do well in big box stores and the lie I tell myself is that I do.

Or that there is one big imaginary store, with no one else in it and I have all the time in the world and I will have buckets of money to spend in said store.

I paid and got out of the store, I walked past Trader Joes.

Do I dare go inside?

I looked and shuddered.

No.

No fucking way was I going in.

I went to Nordstrom’s Off the Rack.

I used the bathroom and tried to settle myself down.

I did feel calmer, but I was not in the space to shop and I knew it.

I need jeans and I went to the rack and was trapped between a woman with a large stroller, empty, mind you, her progeny was not in the stroller, but rather flying about the store on his scooter–I got rolled over twice by the boy—and tiny Asian woman and her boyfriend who were so assiduously combing the racks I couldn’t insert myself to do the same.

I sighed.

What in the world had I wanted from here?

Oh yeah.

A soft throw blanket.

Success.

I found one, its soft and furry and beachy sky blue.

I have wanted a soft faux fur throw forever and now with delicious naps beckoning to me on the weekends with my man, more so than ever.

Score.

Another thing down.

After my small victory I thought I might be able to do a roll through the lingerie department, but no dice.

I did grab a bunch of bras and panties, but once I was heading to the check out my feet took over my brain and refused to detour to the dressing rooms.

I did not have it in me to try on the bras.

I dumped them on a table and ran to the check out, narrowly avoiding getting hit by small boy on scooter a third time.

Somebody corral his or her child please.

I was so over it that I almost skipped going to Rainbow and in hindsight, I should have, there’s nothing there that I can’t get where I live, I just had this thought that I would get a few things in bulk that I normally don’t have around and also to pick over a few of their household department things.

But the damn store foiled me.

Damn you Rainbow.

They had re-organized the bulk bin and spices and the coffee and teas and I was lost and turned around and wanted out so bad.

I had to just go for it.

I was there.

And somehow I spent one hundred dollars.

What the fuck did I buy?

That was my question when I got home and unloaded my groceries and household supplies.

I also realized that I had lost two of my items in my boyfriends car and that was annoying.

I mean I could go walk over to his place and grab them out, he lives four blocks away (geographically ideal thank you very much) but once I got dinner cooking, I was loathed to leave and retrieve the items.

Ah well.

Lesson learned.

I don’t need to cross town in traffic just because I can.

I did get what I needed, but what I really got was that I have everything here.

The pasture is not greener and there is no better than right here.

Applies to just about everything in my life, that lesson.

This time of year I also am a little more spend thrifty than usual.

That being said, I am happy to report that I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping—my sister and her family, my mom, and my boyfriend—done.

I have one small thing left to get the man, but that will fall into place in my regular out and about daily life, I don’t have to travel for it.

And I nearly am finished with writing my Christmas cards.

All total 25 of those bad boys dropped in the mail.

I have to buy more stamps tomorrow, and write up a few more, but just about done.

As too, this weekend, just about done.

I saw my guy.

Went to a holiday party.

Wore a cute frock.

Canoodled with my man.

Cooked some beans and rice.

Wrote some cards.

Made some calls.

Saw some ladies.

Did the deal.

Wrote.

No complaints here.

Even if I overspent.

I have the money to do so.

My life, well.

Yes, Virginia, it does.

Rocks.

 

 

I’m Gonna Make It!

July 11, 2014

I might be saying this a tiny bit premature, as I rest with my foot elevated and the perennial sack of frozen peas adorning my ankle, but I think I am.

I am going to make it through my first week back to work.

Today was a pretty damn good day too.

I got to be reunited with my little girl Thursday and she was such a pumpkin and it was so awesome to see her, so many new words and stories and hugs and she immediately demanded to have the lip gloss in my bag.

“What flavor?” I asked her, with an indulgent smile.

“Pink!” she said, then “more, I ate it.”

Ah, yeah, and that’s not what we’re supposed to do, sugar britches, but ok, a tiny bit more.

Today was also my first day doing a nanny share with her and one of my other boys, the youngest, the one who is teething like a poor sick beaver.

I tried it all.

Teething sticks, toothbrushes, ice cubes, frozen mango, frozen grapes, crackers.

He is partial to chewing on shoe laces and the ends of my sweatshirt lace caps from my hoodie.

Anything to alleviate the pain.

Poor guy.

The good news, kid, you won’t remember the pain.

He got super feverish with it this afternoon and couldn’t get settled down and finally I just held him and rubbed his little shoulders and blew on his face and cuddled him until he fell asleep.

Then I just let him sleep there until my other monkey woke up from her nap and miracle of miracles, I mean, how the hell did this magic happen, I swapped them out.

“Carmen!”

She called from out her room.

“Carmen! I pooped!”

No ignoring that.

Sometimes if she wakes up a little and squeaks, I give it a minute, she might just roll back asleep, in fact, often does, but a poop, nope, no going back to sleep with a load in her pants.

I got up off the couch, with the little boy on me, hot face tucked into my bosom, arms bunched underneath his chest, little legs swinging out and walked to my girls bedroom.

I opened it slow.

“Shhhh, A.  shhhh, R. is sleeping.”

Her eyes got big.

“I pooped.” She whispered.

“I know, I got ya, can you help me like a big girl?”

She nodded.

I walked in, closed the door behind me to keep the room dark.

“Ok, lady pants, stand in the corner of your bed by Massimo (her stuffed bear–dad has a thing for Mexican masked wrestlers, and Massimo often sports one, although today he was in a pair of outgrown red and white polka dot footie pajamas that the little miss had outgrown), and hang tight two seconds.”

She moved over to the corner of the crib by her bear, eyes tracking me, quiet as a little mouse and I leaned over the crib on my tip toes, keeping the small bunny on my chest until the last possible second, then plopped him down soft as soft can be on the warm nest of blankets just vacated.

He rolled over, opened one eye, saw me, I smiled and said, sleep bunny, and he closed his eyes and did just that.

I scooped up my little girl, got her out of her sleep sack, changed the poop diaper, put her in her training pants, she’s almost potty trained, and pulled on her tights, I scooped up her hair elastics and some barrettes, and hugged her tight to me and tiptoed out the door, pulling it shut behind me.

Success!

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but my god, it did.

And I was grateful, upon reflection that it had worked out that way, I was now unable to leave the house to do a second outing to the park.

The up and down the stairs–my Thursday family lives in a three-story walk up on the top floor–combined with the outing to the park in the morning, had done me in pretty well.

My little lady and I read books and she had snacks and we whiled away the afternoon reading the entire collection of Lyle, Lyle Crocodile.

It was a great way to get through the afternoon and my little teething monkey slept an hour and a half, his fever broke and he was up just ten minutes before mom came for pick up.

Perfection.

I gave mom the down low on the day and expressed how the massage had work and she said, “he loves back rubs!”

And the words of my friend came into my ear.

“You really should do body work.”

The words of my best friends eleven year old son came into my mind, “oh my god, mom, you’re right, she’s good.”

The words of a lover.

“Why aren’t you doing this for a living?”

While I had sat on the couch waiting for him to settle down, humming my little tuneless song, rubbing his back, with my eyes closed, matching his breath in and out with my own, and then feeling without thought, just touching his muscles in his small little body, I thought, maybe this is what I should do.

Pediatric massage therapy.

It would be lovely service.

I am good with children.

And I could perhaps even help kids with body issues, god only knows I have some experience with physical and sexual trauma from child hood, I can relate to that.

And I love kids.

And I know how to hold them.

So, hmm.

Perhaps something to explore.

I know I give good massage and one of the reasons why I have always said no, I don’t want to do this, is because I feel like there can be an ickiness factor.

An unwanted sexual nature to it and also that there are just some folks I don’t want to touch or be paid to touch.

I don’t think I would get that if I was working with kids.

I feel like this is something to explore and something I could explore while continuing to nanny.

I have some research to do.

And my bag of frozen peas is almost unfrozen.

One more day and I will have made it through.

So grateful for this experience.

For the help, for the love, for all the unexpected gifts and insights.

Looking forward to the full recovery and the playing it forward.

And now off to elevate more and drink some tea.

 

Working My Way Back In

July 7, 2014

Slow like.

I got up earlier than I wanted to.

I am practising for the upcoming week, my impending, doom, dum, dum, doom, drum beating in my head, of resuming work.

I have been out of my job now for a month.

It has felt like some odd dream that was lasting forever and then suddenly, today, I woke up.

Tomorrow life resumes its previous shape, though slightly altered.

“Look at those pink shoes!” She exclaimed, “I have never seen you out of your Converse,” slight pause, “unless you are wearing sky high platform heels.”

I am a creature of extremes.

I am out of my shoe comfort zone, but more comfortable for that, my ankle needs more support than the Converse can give and so, enter my Saucony Jazz sneaks in pink with lime green and pink shoe laces.

My feet look like candy colored slippers.

Excuse me while I gnaw on a green and pink taffy pull of lace.

I wrote a lot this morning, ate a nice breakfast, made my bed without the boot on or use of the crutches–both have been regulated to the back of the closet, where I wish them to stay forever and ever amen–with my foot wrapped up in an ace bandage to provide some extra support.

I made small plans today.

Went up to St. Annes and hung out there for an hour and was told I “lit up the room.”

Which made me smile.

Truth be told, I am a touch maudlin and a bit at a loss to express how this past month has took hold of me.

Perhaps it is just the waking up in my own bed this morning, rather than the one in the bedroom at the cabin on Lake 26, Town of Swiss, outside of Danbury Wisconsin, where the loons woke me up and the light through the pines needled itself into my heart.

I was sitting on my back porch having an early’ish dinner and the sun had finally plowed its way through the fog and clouds and I noticed a red splotch on my wrist, then another and another.

Fuck.

Poison ivy?

My best friend had pointed it out to me and described it quite well and I knew to avoid it, but I had gotten swept up into the blueberry picking madness, that at one point had me sitting in a patch like a little brown bear stuffing berries atlernately in my mouth and then into the bucket–a Cedar Crest ice cream pail–hazily waving away the flies and gnats that were descending upon me.

I had my snack and then, man, oh man, was the insect world having its meal.

The rash was not a rash, I realized, no itching, couldn’t be poison ivy, nope.

Rather.

Mosquito bites.

“Moquito” the littlest one said, dropping the s off the world in his soft lisp voice.

The first time I heard it I thought he was saying “mojito” and did wonder for a brief moment is his mom and dad had suddenly taken up with the ubiquitous drink rather than the craft beers which are more their style.

Though they both drank more Klarbunn fizzy water than anything else during the time I was there.

Speaking of which, I had forgotten how tasty that little beverage is–black cherry Karbunn sparkling water, I’ll take a case of that to Burning Man, yes please.

The nice thing about “moquito” bites is that if you can muster the will to not scratch at them, they will stop being itchy after a few moments.

But once I start the itching, it won’t stop until I have a scab and miracle of miracles, I was so distracted by the wild blue berry bushes I was pillaging to have not taken the time to do anything other than swat them away when I noticed them.

I shall return to work tomorrow with some red spots, a weak ankle, and a mind somewhat turned inward, perhaps more than I would like.

It feels as though today I got a bit introspective and a little sad too.

Is it enough to sit and listen to the hush of the ocean as it stirs through the air, the whistle rustle of thick black oily raven wings beating the sky, the bright purple wild geraniums in the yard dancing in the light breeze, is it enough to just notice these things?

I have an old fallacious idea that down time needs to be planning and doing time.

I am experiencing some chargrin that I have not done more with my time.

The alternative thought is that I allowed myself to heal as best I could without putting pressure upon myself to magically will it better.

The push to self-improve has not been as self destructive as it has in the past.

That is not to say that it isn’t there, it is, and it too, a dull roar smash of sounds that whirl in dust devil dervishes in the back of my head, with a occasional voice breaking through the jumble to admonish me for the lack of being further ahead with this aspect of my life or that.

I know my purpose though and I met it today and I let myself just be slow and have a simple day.

After St. Anne’s I went to the farmers market at 9th and Judah and bought four perfect, heavy, just ripened to perfection, yellow organic nectarines.

I had one today after lunch and cannot remember a better one in my life.

It was so good I put down the book I was reading to sit and savor it with complete and total concentration.

Yellow nectarines are my favorite fruit.

When they are just so.

And they are not often just so.

Not too ripe.

Not too under ripe.

Have to be yellow.

White ones are gross.

Cannot be a peach.

I dislike the fuzz and the textural difference is such that it really does drive me bats.

Peaches and nectarines are not the same.

One golden moment of bliss.

I also got organic broccoli and cauliflower, a deep purple burgundy red cabbage, a bunch of sweet organic carrots, and a pound of organic brussels sprouts, then I caught the train back home.

I made beans and rice to take to work for the week and also a large chopped red cabbage salad with carrots and broccoli, a small apple, cauliflower, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

I wasn’t too fancy.

I don’t have fancy in me today.

Some slight sadness still lingering.

But I know it is enough.

This life by the sea, the sound of love cradling me deep.

I don’t have to know where this is going, just that I am well enough to put myself back up on the path.

The sadness will pass and before long this will be jus that time when.

I sat for a long time and was still.

And love came to me when I was least looking for it.

 

You just can’t pass it away, it’s love.

And love comes eager to stay, 

It just works out that way.

Sleepy Time Girl

February 12, 2014

I have no idea why so tired.

Just is.

The herbal tea is not helping, but at 8:45 p.m. at night I am not about to go snorgle up some caffeine, as much as it appeals, I don’t want to have monkey mind as I try to fall asleep.

Which might be why I am tired tonight.

That or possibly that my littlest guy today only napped 40 minutes and was so active and engaged and boy that I am just wore out.

Not got a thing that is insightful to say or think or be.

I just want to blog and go watch True Detective.

I downloaded it from Sunday, but haven’t finished watching the latest episode.

It is damn skippy good.

I may possibly have a cold as well, but I fail to acknowledge you cold, you are dead to me, there is no spoon, I tell you.

Just got off a chat with a friend back in Wisconsin who was wondering when I was going to be coming for a visit and I was editing his short story for him while getting some messages and was just smacked by the tired.

I think I was pretty nice about it.

He’s a great writer, and it’s a privilege to be asked to help someone out.

I have had a lot of people help me out with my writing.

Even when I have not got clue one how to do it or where to go with it, or why I am still doing.

Oh, habit, I suppose.

But there is more to it than that.

I do generally find my way to some sort of insight or idea, sometimes I will be able to work out something that may be in the back of my mind and I have to write it out before it will reveal itself.

Sometimes, like tonight, I have not a clue one what I am going to write about.

I could write about waking up last night, smiling (I wake up more and more smiling, that suggestion really is an interesting one, often it feels like there is an alien skin mask over my face, it doesn’t feel like a smile, it feels like a grimace, but hey, I will try just about anything once), and looking out the window of the door, which though screened with a bamboo roll up curtain, at night without lights on, the light comes in.

I saw the moon, swathed with clouds, just dropping over the edge of the houses behind the yard and I could envision, in that moment, the path of moon light on the ocean and I felt compelled to get up and walk down to the beach.

I didn’t.

I went pee and crawled back into bed.

But some day, I think I may, just wake up, see that moon as it descends its final bow for the evening into the black inky water.

Who’s that girl?

And why is she up at this hour of the night?

I see myself slipping out of the house, shrouded in late evening mist, walking barefoot to the sea.

That is total romantic fantasy.

Nothing is getting me up out of bed at some wee hour of the morning to walk barefoot down to the ocean.

I mean no guy is that cute.

I drifted back off to sleep, though, thinking about that moon and the sea and being adrift in the white light prickling over the landscape.

I could write about sitting in a chair and drifting in and out while waiting for the hour to go by and being nearly asleep, nodding close, when I heard, “there is a solution” so loud and clear and ringing that I snapped awake.

I mean, I heard nothing else, nothing to preface it, nothing to follow it.

It was like red neon light in my brain, the way the words sounded, like a marquee billboard on an old movie theater in a small town square at night, see I’m back to wandering the streets at night by myself.

I look up to see red letters saying that out loud in all caps on a white marquee board.

The movie theater would smell like stale popcorn and the tile mosaic of the floor would shimmer in the light of the moon and I would drift by.

Or I could write about how I felt absolutely nothing.

NOTHING.

When riding my bicycle home tonight.

I did not feel uncomfortable, I did not feel hurried, I felt no pricking of my thumbs to slow my roll or to watch out for feral parking crazies looking for a spot to swoop across the lanes of traffic.

It was the mellowest ride home I have had in weeks.

It was so silent in my brain, I contemplated the movement of my legs propelling the crank forward, the muscles in my legs expanding and contracting, the perfect circle of spinning and the slide of my body through the cool air.

I realized about the time that I had gotten to 17th or so that I had not had one weird feeling or awkward moment.

I laughed in my head and thought, this, then is when it happens.

But it doesn’t.

There is no spoon.

I could write about how I don’t care if I have a boyfriend or not after the exhausting overheard conversation I heard between a man and woman arguing as they walked down the street.

Jesus.

I am tired from the snippet I heard.

Too tired to even remember what they were saying, except that it was inane and full of contrary logic.

I could write about so many things, shoes and ships, sealing wax, cabbages, and kings.

I won’t though.

I am just about wrote out.

Still tired and ready to finish my episode of True Detective.

Check back with me tomorrow for a more scintillating episode of “Carmen”.

I will be well rested.

Promise.

Happy Anniversary!

January 3, 2014

I just got a little love from WordPress.

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

Thanks guys!

I am pretty stoked that it’s been four years.

That’s a great big chunk of commitment to suit up and show up for.

Though, let me be honest, I started this blog four years ago, but it wasn’t until three years ago that I started posting once a day.

That post a day challenge that the site invited me to partake of really took off for me, changed who I am, how I think, what I do, and really, where I go.

I have been all over the map, East Oakland, Paris, San Francisco, Hudson and Madison, Wisconsin, Reno, Florida, LA for the first time, Burning Man, due in no small way to this blog and the work I have done here.

Some of those places I would have gotten to eventually, some of those places came about because I was writing things out, or working them out, letting myself see things I had not seen before.

I started the blog with a push from a friend who said, “you should start a blog.”

And I wanted to impress her, I thought she was cool, and I respected her opinion, so I started the blog.

I also started the blog with the intention that I was going to publish my book on it and then somehow or other get picked up or self publish elsewhere.

Obviously, if you follow this blog at all, which there are 232 of you who subscribe (thank you, by the by, I don’t know many of you, but I am thrilled that you find the writing worth sustaining, worth having sent to your inbox, worth the read) and a handful of you who read via Facebook or who follow via Twitter or Linkedin, you know, that I have not published that book.

I am not aggrieved by that.

When that book is supposed to be it will be and I forgive myself for it not happening yet.

It’s not on my time frame.

What is on my time frame, what I do have some “control” over is the showing up, the sitting down, opening up my laptop and going forth into the world with my words.

Words that I don’t think about much, except once in a while, something will strike me or I will hear something, see something, or be catapulted back into a memory.

I stopped worrying about what I was going to write about somewhere in between the second and third year of doing the blog.

I realized that I just had to sit down and the words would come.

I don’t get to be judgemental of those words either, they are not of me, they come from me, but they are not of me.

They have led me to relationships, sexual, intimate, relationships, they, these words, have led me to friendships unsuspecting, they have given me money when I did not even know I had friends who were reading and they sent me ducats when they were most needed.

The blog has allowed me to let out a voice I wasn’t even sure how to vocalize.

It has led me to see what I like and don’t like, it has allowed a forum for me to express all my idiocies and idiosyncracies.

I have explored sex, money, death, love, travel, friendships, jobs, emotions, bicycles, sleep, dreams, family.

So many things.

I have over and over again gotten to write about something that has bothered me to find a way out of it, whether it was through the constant repetition of a thematic or the things that just kept popping up finally be allowed the recognition of being let out.

I have been able to explore myself, to find out what lays beneath the layers of skin and tattoos, what thrums beneath the sinews and muscles, lies vibrant and live in the corpuscles of my heart.

I have been told things about myself that I did not even know I was doing.

“You wear your heart on your sleeve,” my friend said to me.

I do?

Hmm.

Yes, I do.

I wear it proudly now rather than shamefully.

I am a brave woman and I acknowledge that fact.

I have gotten to explore growing older, wiser, sexier for sure.

I have lost weight, gained weight, lost it again.

I have lost my mind, temporarily, and been honest about it.

I have tried Calling in the One.

Man, thanks for putting up with me while I was exploring that topic!

I have gotten to hear my words spoken back to me from the unlikeliest of mouths, received texts from people in other cities thanking me for what I wrote the night before.

I have had people text me late at night and ask me why my blog wasn’t up yet, they couldn’t go to bed without reading it.

Do you have any idea how amazing that is?

Thrilling to be read.

Stunning really.

I probably have a greater readership than writers years ago just simply from the gift of sitting here and pouring my heart out on the computer.

Sometimes it is a messy heart, a confused heart, a heart sloppy with emotion, often a stubborn heart.

Man, is it stubborn.

Sometimes a sad heart, a lonely heart, a laughing heart.

I laugh a lot.

Sometimes the heart sings and I throb with the meaning of my life and the unknowing that happens and the magic, the pure fucking magic of putting down, in and with as much honesty as I can, what I am feeling, and you tell me what I need to hear.

Even when there weren’t that many reading.

I somehow was given what I needed when I first put it out here, in this forum.

I have been gifted with so many things–physical gifts–tea and euros, lube, yes, lube (hahahaha, I still love that, my complaining blog about the crappy smell of the lube I found in a sex shop in the Marais when I was living in Paris led to someone sending me my favorite kind from Good Vibes), I have been told how I have been able to connect with people and literally to connect with them, in this physical plane; gifted too with the gifts of insight, so valuable, no price tag can I attach.

This blog has brought me tears.

I have cried.

I have cried.

I have fucking sobbed writing this blog sometimes, the pain it just burned.

But I got it out, here.

Here.

In this little square, this little white brick of space, that I then sent out into space.

Happy anniversary, Auntie Bubba’s blog, I have never had a relationship quite like this and I cannot imagine my life without you.

Here’s to four years.

Here’s to just the beginning.

Here’s to showing up for it.

Here’s to it just getting better and better.

And better.

 

Is It Time to Start

September 21, 2013

Dressing my age?

I thought tonight as I looked in the mirror.

No wonder he was flirting.

I look like a teenager.

Ok, let me take that back, no teenagers I know have grey hairs sprouting at their temples.

I was dressed like a teenager.

Bright electric blue eyeliner, hair down, long, curly, grey’s are not so noticeable when I wear my hair down (and they are not that abundant, I am just not used to seeing them on my head.  They started sprouting when I was in Paris right around the New Year), with two big flower clips in it, both purple, one that I covered in glitter glue and the other an iridescent blue/indigo/violet that shimmers underneath the light.

Add to that my striped blue teal, indigo, chocolate, and purple socks (which you can see as I had my blue jeans rolled up, biking you know) and my black Converse low tops and I look like a kid.

Toss in the purple messenger bag and the big hoop earrings with disco balls on them and well, I guess if I was a 27-year-old boy from Ukiah, I would be dazzled too.

I kept poking myself, he’s 27!

Leave him be.

But I could not help it.

Damn cuteness.

Flirting harmless.

I walked away and hopped on my bicycle and thought about dating men my age and what that means and wondered do I need to dress like someone my age?

Then I thought.

FUCK NO.

I am just going to dress like me.

Although I would like a pretty dress.

I am going to see the Mister tomorrow night and the thought of a pretty dress really did something for me.

I might scrape off the glitter nail polish too.

He’s a pretty sharp dresser, has to be for work, and I feel a little like a big kid around him, in my black Converse and blue jeans, messenger bag, and tattoos.

But, I don’t hear him complaining.

Never had.

This is just all conversation up in my head.

And I look what I look like and yes, I will probably be that crazy old lady with pink flourescent hair and a crinoline learning how to ride a skateboard at the age of 65.

I mean, why not?

I am having a good time.

Now, give me a whopping big clothing allowance and I am sure I would dress differently, not less colorfully, but differently.

There is a little longing to grow up, to be pursuing “adult” tastes, but I think that is just a way to cause myself unnecessary grief, a way to beat myself up and try to be happy by being conformist.

I am not a conformist.

Never have been.

Never will be.

“You look exactly how I thought people in San Francisco would look like,” my friend said to me after she had been living in the city for a while.

I was flattered.

I knew what she meant.

Because San Francisco is just not as whack-a-do as people think it is.

Oh, there are some colorful folks out there, a few leather daddies wearing it proudly in the Castro, maybe an art student or five getting creative with their clothes, but I see a lot of uniform in the city.

Mostly yoga pants and running shoes, Northface and Lululemon and Gap and clever tight-fitting leggings that make your ass look great, if you’ve been doing lunges all day long, not my type of thing though.

There’s a framed piece of art that I took out of the box yesterday with my things.

My sister made it and gave it to me many, many years ago.

The first time I saw it I was put off, that’s not me.

But the more I see it, the more I see that her estimation of me was correct.

It is a calligraphy that she did saying “Eccentricity is not just for rich old men.”

I thought, “I am not eccentric!”

I am though.

I belive that eccentricity has more to do with wearing your heart on your sleeve and not giving so much of a damn that I am a forty year old woman that wears irridescent flowers in her hair that she bought at a casino in Reno on the way to Burning Man.

Fuck, the world could use a little more of that if you ask me.

Here is an interesting list of eccentric characteristics (thanks Wikipedia):

According to one study, there are eighteen distinctive characteristics that differentiate a healthy eccentric person from a regular person or someone who has a mental illness (although some may not always apply). The first five are in most people regarded as eccentric:[6]

  • Nonconforming attitude
  • Idealistic
  • Intense curiosity
  • Happy obsession with a hobby or hobbies
  • Knew very early in their childhood that they were different from others
  • Highly intelligent
  • Opinionated and outspoken
  • Unusual living or eating habits
  • Sometimes not interested in the opinions or company of others
  • Strong moral obligations (against infidelity, strong family values, ultrareligious)
  • Mischievous sense of humor

Um, yeah, I could check a few of these off.

I don’t mind being different, I rather like it.

I have always felt a little different, sometimes to my deteriment and sometimes, most times and more often now than ever before, I like the differences.

I like that I have tattoos and glitter in my outfits.

I like that I wear bright colors and I like it that I sing out loud while walking the kids to the park, that I will happily dance down an avenue in Paris twirling my umbrella and signing a song from the Parapluies of Cherbourg (I mean, come on, when in Paris, right?).

I like that I am happy and let myself be silly.

I don’t need to dress my age, who cares a fig about age, aside from wanting knees that don’t feel like they’re arthirtic, which I don’t want to admit to, but man, the knees have been grinding on me, I dress in what makes me happiest.

And I believe that I need to do more of that, if anything.

Dress for happy.

Not for 40.

Dress for love.

Not for conformity.

Society.

Or to get a man.

Just for me, just because.

I want to.

Now, where’s that cute boy?


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