Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Open Heart

January 28, 2018

I have felt pretty fucking raw this past week.

I have gone through a lot and I have not walked it alone.

Today.

Ah.

Today.

I finally had a day without crying.

I got emotional, I had moments where I thought I would.

I had some strong longings, really fucking strong, to reach out and engage, but I remember that I don’t do this alone and that I have been given a lot of suggestions about how to navigate through my experience.

It doesn’t make it easier, in fact, it seems to make it harder.

But.

I suspect that the pain will be worth it.

That I will be left with something magic and special and worth it.

As I was told today, “the only way through is through.”

I am definitely going the fuck through it.

And.

Yes.

I did go and get myself some tattoos.

And yes.

They did ameliorate the pain a little bit, focused it in one location, shut my fucking brain off for a little while.

I got lost in the pain, floated around in it, distracted by the sound of the needle and the threading pain on my breast bone.

But it helped too.

And I love my new tattoos.

I got my lucky thirteen star.

For my thirteen years of sobriety.

I have a star for each year I have been sober.

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I had my artist, Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed Tattoo on Polk Street, make the placement.

I had thought of doing it a little lower, but when he put it underneath my ear I was quite taken with it.

Of course.

Holy shit.

That was distracting.

Having the needle so close to my ear, very distracting, it seemed to intensify the pain, the noise did, and I was very grateful that it wasn’t that big of a tattoo, he handled it pretty quick.

I had already gotten my other tattoo and was pretty pumped up on adrenaline by that, so the star didn’t hurt that much, it was just the sound of the needle and the vibration in my ear that was a little more intense than I had expected.

My first tattoo.

Well.

Fuck.

It hurt.

Yes.

It did.

I love when people ask if getting a tattoo hurt.

Duh, motherfucker.

Of course it hurts, come on.

Needles being driven into your skin, no really, it’s like getting a warm massage.

However.

I will say, my adrenalin kicked in super fast.

In fact.

I noticed it before I was in the chair, I was getting nervous and my body temperature went up, my fingers got cold and I got a little sweaty upper lip.

Fight or flight response.

Jittery stomach.

Despite making sure that I had a good lunch and I had it later in the day so that my stomach would be full while I got tattooed.

I can’t imagine anything worse than being hungry while being tattooed.

No thank you.

Anyway.

Yeah.

The adrenalin got up there right away.

The placement was on my breast-plate.

It’s beautiful.

I love the piece.

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I feel like it really tied all the pieces together and it just feels like I got the right placement and I really love the design.

It was based on a very special Tiffany pendant I was gifted.

One of my favorite things that I have been given this past year.

God.

When I think of the gifts I have been given.

I am amazed.

Even this pain that I have been walking through.

It’s a gift.

I get to feel it.

I get to feel the depth and breadth of my feeling.

I got to see how much I love.

I love a lot.

I love hard.

I love with reckless abandon and passion.

And.

Well, fuck, that makes me proud.

I’m alive and I wasn’t afraid to be sorry, I don’t have regrets.

Not a fucking one.

Rather.

I am grateful for all these experiences.

I have been given so much love.

The fact that I was hit so very hard with my circumstances shows to me the amount of love I have.

It is enormous.

It boggles my mind.

I used to pine for a love like this and then I got it.

And I was amazed.

I am amazed, at what I have gotten to experience.

And though I don’t believe that I am done grieving yet, I don’t feel like it’s a loss any longer.

Ok, that’s not true, it does still feel like a loss, but I know that it’s becoming more than that.

It is an opportunity to love more, to allow myself to step out into the light and shine forward and be strong and generous and kind and compassionate.

With myself.

With others.

I don’t know what my love path looks like, but I do not have any doubt that I won’t get to travel further along it.

Darling, reach out, and take my hand.

I will walk this path with my hand open, waiting for you to take it into yours.

I have faith.

Love.

I have so much faith.

And I know how strong I am.

For having walked as far as I have already.

I will be able to do this.

Grateful and alight for the experience of love that I have gotten.

In complete faith, utter and complete faith, that this love is not done.

It is infinite.

It is grand.

It is eternal.

All encompassing.

A shining beacon.

A brightly lit heart.

Just like the inspiration for my new tattoo.

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Be Flexible

June 4, 2016

And I’m not talking yoga.

I am talking to myself.

I am about to embark on the summer time schedule at work, aka, the boys full time.

However the family has a lot of traveling, summer camps, swimming time, and activities planned, it’s going to be busy and the mom has asked me to work 10 a.m. to 6p.m. Monday through Friday.

Except next week Tuesday when I’ll work 12-7p.m.

Or the next week when I’ll be on call for jury duty, so who knows if I’ll be working or not.

Oh!

And that Friday, the 17th, I’ll have it off completely!

They will be out of town visiting family in the Midwest.

And although they won’t be back until the following Tuesday, I will work that Monday for them, just to let the housekeeper in to clean the house and also for me to accept whatever Instacart order the mom has placed so I’ll be there cooking food for them.

Like this week: oatmeal for the boys breakfast, broccoli soup for the mom over the weekend, pitted 6 pints of cherries for snacks, hulled an entire flat of strawberries, roasted cauliflower twice, homemade baked macaroni with cheese, homemade beef stroganoff with bow tie noodles, cheese tortellini with pesto, plus lots of peeling of carrots and chopping of raw veggies.

Yeah.

Like that.

Then the next week.

Well.

Who the hell knows.

I did ask that I have a set schedule, but the mom has other ideas and I’m ok with it to a point, I do need some regularity in my schedule.

Or.

Do I?

Can I be flexible?

I want to be flexible, I want this job through the school year, through all my school years if I can, and that means trying to fit myself of maximum service to the situation.

I did ask that I have a weeks time to negotiate my own schedule.

Seeing as how I already went ahead and offered my time to one of my ladies for next Tuesday thinking I had the schedule all figured out.

Nope.

Ugh.

Fortunately she’s flexible too and all the women I work with are sweet about my school schedule and work schedule and I’m just going to do my best to stay in the moment.

Each moment.

To each moment.

To each moment.

It’s really the best I can do.

Like not trying to figure out my weekend plans.

Because.

Um.

I have none.

That would have once thrown me into paroxym of terror.

Unscheduled down time?

NO!!!

I’ll do yoga.

Or not.

I’ll sleep in.

Or not.

Probably not, although I did a little today and  that was lovely, my Fridays previous for the last year have been days when I got up early to do reading and school work, today I slept in long, did lots of reading, loads of writing and did some laundry, putting fresh sheets on the bed.

I’d like to get them rumpled up.

My possible date has not gotten back to me and I have eschewed chasing him down to nail down a time this weekend.

It will happen.

Or.

It will not.

I’m being flexible.

I’m doing my best to lighten up.

“I’m open to be available for what you need,” I told my boss, in sincerity, once I had a moment to breathe and realize that though it was not my ideal, the change in my schedule that she was out lining, “even if you want to have a date night in there, just let me know.”

Um.

Hey.

Lady.

Before you give it all away, remember, there is too flexible too.

I want to bend, but not break.

I will need fun time for me too.

Especially since the rest of my summer vacation time is not vacation time–it will be my second year school retreat.

Even if I’m not sure what I want to do on my weekends, aside from getting my hair colored the weekend of the 18th and being interviewed the weekend of the 25th.

Wait.

What?

Yeah.

I’m super excited about that, and a bit nervous too.

I actually have to confirm it and let her in on some of my creative process and see what she wants from me in regards to the filming.

It’s a podcast, so I’ll keep you posted as to when it airs.

Fuck.

I don’t even know what that means, podcast.

Bwahahaha.

I have to, scratch that, I get, to talk about my creative process and what that looks like, what I’m working on, what the fuck am I working on?

Inspirations, loads of those, but a definitive list, and so on.

Ooh.

I just realized, heh, I’ll have had my hair done pink from the previous weekend.

Nice.

I’ll be on film with pink hair.

Heh.

I have actually practiced reading the sonnet sequence that I wrote for the gentleman I met last year at Burning Man, I like how I sound in my head reading it, of course, I don’t like hearing myself so much, but I have been told many times I have a nice voice and I do believe that as well.

Plus there’s a couple of longer poems I have memorized that I could perform.

But.

I haven’t done an open mic in a while.

And I’m not sure what exactly I am working on.

I have had a thought about re-working a short story I wrote years ago and sending it to Glimmer Train, they have a “new writer” contest deadline coming up–they send me updates all the time since I have applied to the contest before.

That could be something I’m working on.

And of course.

This blog.

I am always working on this blog, or it is working on me.

The blog works me.

It is where I find solace.

It is where I find my truth.

It’s not always pretty.

But once in a while, I believe, it is searing in its honesty.

And once in a great while.

It is beautiful.

I have no idea which blogs those would be, I don’t go back and re-read them once they have posted unless I feel like I need to do some grammatical editing, or, ugh, I have written something that affects someone in a negative manner.

Really.

I can only write about myself.

I cannot judge another.

Fuck.

I’m not allowed to judge myself.

See.

There!

That!

I am searching for the things to show this artist who wants to film me about all the things I am doing and already I am not enough and I am judging myself.

Wrong.

This is not how it works.

I show up.

Every day.

Or damn near close.

And put my heart on my sleeve and let you in.

I show up.

And that may be the best artistry I am capable of at any moment.

It is not the awards or accolades.

It is the daily grind.

The words mount and flow and I can sit on them and bury my heart.

Or.

I can show up.

Let them out.

Have a little dance party.

And surrender to the art of what is happening.

Not to worry about what I have published, accomplished, or succeeded with.

The failure is just as important.

Every experience and opportunity.

For love.

Art.

Poetry.

More love.

All the time.

As long as I show up.

That’s it.

Oh yeah.

And let go of the results.

That too.

Always that.

Always.

Are You Just Coming

May 31, 2016

From the Warriors game?

He asked me, his head cocked and curious, “you look amazing, really, beautiful.”

And he gave me a big hug.

So surprised, sweetly so, to run into my yoga instructor as I was mailing off a letter at the corner mailbox on Judah and 44th.

“The what?” I asked, “no, um, ha, I was working on a poetry submission.”

“That’s even better!”  He smiled and lit up, I mean, really lit up, it was nice to see.

“It’s the blue,” he said, “that’s what got my attention.”

And.

Wouldn’t you know?

It is the exact shade of blue as the Warriors blue and gold, and though I was not technically wearing gold pants, um, ha, I am wearing leopard print leggings which in certain light do come across as gold.

Nice God.

Subconsciously supporting the sports ball.

I mean.

Seriously.

Same blue, some gold, blue eyeshadow and blue glitter, blue flower in my hair and yes, I’m not kidding, blue nail polish, blue star necklace, blue star earring, and I don’t often wear this color, nor in the amount that I did today.

It must have worked.

I hear they won.

Heh.

“Carmen you are the only person I would take a phone call from at this time and only because I know you have no idea what is happening right now,” my friend on East Coast time said to me years ago when I called to chatter excitedly to him how I was taking dj lessons and the guy that I was working with really thought I had some skills.

Note to self, cocaine addiction not great for keeping up with things like.

Although super grateful that I did not know how much I could get for my sweet Technic turn tables until after I had gotten sober, sold my entire (oh the tears on my face) vinyl collection to Amoeba on Haight Street and all my cds too.

I might have been out there running awhile longer.

As it stands the money I got from the sales of those things kept me in food and rent for a month of San Francisco living.

Well spent, frankly, well spent.

My friend who I was talking to on the phone was in the middle of a nail biter, seventh game of the World Series, his team, tied or some such thing, and only took the phone call from me because he realized I had no clue.

Still little to this day.

Cue parking on 15th and Valencia the time the Giants swept the series in 2013.

Oops.

Ha.

I left the car there.

I was literally on 16th and Valencia when the entire world erupted and people poured out into the streets with brooms and starting lighting shit on fire and drinking open containers and screaming and jumping up and down.

And fuck people.

Cue the same team winning the series two years ago and I’m coming from The Gratitude Center on 7th and Irving at the exact time the series is won and I’m on my fucking bicycle trying to get around police in riot gear and the entire block erupts.

So.

Yeah.

Um.

I knew the Warriors were playing and it was a big deal.

But.

What was really a big deal to me today.

This.

Thank you for your entering the Rattle Poetry Prize competition—your entry has been received. If there are any problems with it, we will let you know, but otherwise it is safe to assume everything is set. Winners will be announced on September 15th.

It’s a huge prize.

The odds of me winning it are slim.

But the odds of me winning if I had not submitted, well, that would be nil.

I took the effort.

I pulled together three sonnets and a longer free verse poem and I submitted to the journal.

I am not making any promises, but what with the time I have off over the summer, I thought it wise to submit some work again.

Plus.

I read a blog that someone wrote about me a few years ago and it inspired me to submit again, it’s been a hot second since I have sent any work anywhere.

I had forgotten about the blog–She Inspired Me To Write–by my friend.

I was googling searching something and it popped up.

I re-read the blog and got a little misty eyed, recalling how excited he was to talk with me, about my travels to Paris, about taking risks and not knowing it and doing it anyway.

I have had it in my head to unearth a short story I wrote years and years ago as well and perhaps submit that out as well.

And.

I would like to put together a small manuscript of my poems.

I have never published a chap book or a manuscript, well, I did a limited, and I do mean very limited, press of a zine called 7 Months, but that was super small and super rough.

I think that it’s time to do something with all the words.

I have felt this before and gotten out there and submitted and nothing happens.

And.

That is ok.

I have to remember that, it’s just how it works.

Loads of folks get loads of rejection.

It’s not to take it personally.

This is my art.

“What kind of art do you do?” He asked me, assuming what I’m not sure, but that from my attire, my tattoos, my star tights, the flower in my hair, that I was an artist.

There was a time that I would have said.

“I’m not an artist.”

There was a time when I was more comfortable with the lie than the truth.

That I have been an artist since I was young and picked up my pen and started scrawling poems in a notebook sometime in middle school.

Or when I started doing forensics and reciting Edna St. Vincent Millay poems at competitions.

Imagine if you will.

I took first place at state.

Not too shabby.

Although I won’t soon forget what it felt like to have the entire school wait on me, as no one else on the team had made it to the final round–the guilt I felt as I progressed was almost subsumed by the pride I felt when my name was announced during the awards ceremony and I got up and walked to get my first place trophy.

And then I thought about being at The Strand book store in New York recently and how I touched and caressed titles of books that I had read, and then, to see a class mate from Wisconsin and his series of books doing so well, displayed prominently at the front of the store.

And.

Then there.

Another woman I know in San Francisco.

Her memoir there.

I had a moment.

I’ll be here too.

When?

Who knows.

But I will.

I have been given a gift and for me it is enough that I get to write.

Not that I am acknowledged for my efforts.

But.

To hear once in a while that I have inspired someone else.

That means the world.

Or.

To have someone tell me they loved a blog I wrote or a poem they heard me recite.

Well.

Love.

That means so much to me.

It’s almost unbearable to express.

But.

Thank you.

I am so graced with these gifts.

I have to share them.

Whether or not they are received.

That’s not my business.

I just get to have the experience of giving the gift.

And.

That.

Well.

That is everything.


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