Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

A Good Cry

July 12, 2017

And then back to living.

I saw my therapist today.

Yes.

A psychotherapist has a therapist.

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

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

One hour at a time.

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

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

I mean.

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

I do that now.

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

But.

Yes.

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

I knew.

For instance.

I needed to titrate my social media intake today.

I woke up a bit emotionally hung over.

I cried a lot yesterday.

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

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

Gah.

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

For he was joyful.

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

Oh the music the world has lost.

So.

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

I really had to not look after a while.

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

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

Sounds like a hangover, right?

Except instead of booze or blow it was emotion.

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

It was the communities.

And I’m grateful.

Really grateful.

I got to feel it and touch into it.

But.

I could not continue swimming in it any longer.

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

Oh.

It was all interconnected.

I am good at making connections.

And it was honest and insightful.

I am pretty good at those things too.

Not always.

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

But.

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

I am compassionate and more importantly, I am empathetic.

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

Oh, so fucking much.

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

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

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

B. I am a psychotherapist.

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

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

Uncomfortable feelings need to happen.

There’s nothing wrong with them.

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

For instance.

There’s nothing wrong with anxiety or depression.

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

I mean.

Booze was one hell of an amazing solution for me.

Until.

It was not.

So was cocaine.

My God.

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

It was like I had all the answers.

ALL of them.

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

Um.

Yeah.

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

And slowly.

One step at a time.

I got to change what I did.

What I ingested.

What I thought and felt.

For something else.

I was given a significant solution to my problem.

Of course.

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

Therapy is not for symptom relief.

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

I had to find a different way.

And I did.

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

I am alive.

I am not guilty for being alive

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

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

It is amazing.

Happy.

Joyous.

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

Grateful.

So very grateful.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

May it bless you too.

Kidnapped

July 5, 2017

In the best possible way.

My friend met me for yoga, it being a holiday we both had the day off from work.

It was fabulous to see him and I was very much looking forward to having a coffee with him afterward and catching up with him at Trouble Coffee, which is just down the block from my house.

“Let’s get out of the fog,” my friend said as we left the yoga studio, “let’s get coffee somewhere other than Trouble.”

I balked.

Wait.

What?

NO.

I have plans and schemes and designs and I’m in my yoga clothes, I need a shower and um, like, I have no fucking makeup on and am I going to be one of those people who goes and hangs out somewhere in their yoga gear?

NO!

Except, well, my friend had this twinkle in his eye.

“What do you mean?” I asked, skeptical, “it’s foggy everywhere in the city.”

“We leave the city,” he said simply, “my car’s right here.”

“I have to do some writing,” I said feebly, “I don’t have my wallet, I um, shit.”

He looked at me, “you can’t write in the sun?”

Well, fuck.

He had me there.

“Oh screw it, fine, let’s go get some sun,” I resigned, surrendered, went over to the winning side.

My friend didn’t clap with glee, but it was damn close.

I got a great big smile, the door unlocked, I threw my yoga mat in the car and climbed in.

“I don’t have a wallet with me, I don’t have makeup on,” I continued to protest, weakly, as I buckled my seat belt.

“Do you need to go put makeup on,” my friend said with a complete straight face.

“Oh fuck you,” I said, “let’s go, drive.”

“I got you covered, hello, that’s what credit cards are for,” he hopped in and we cruised out of the city and down the Great Highway and onto the 1.

“We’re going to Woodside,” he said and programmed the route.

I have no idea where Woodside is but having been kidnapped that made good sense, you’re not supposed to know where you’re being taken.

And it didn’t matter, I was in a car, the music was playing, my friend was grinning ear to ear and I was happy to see, that yes, indeed, the fog was lifting.

And then.

There was sun.

And it was good.

I mean.

REALLY fucking good.

So happy to get out of the fog for a little while.

We caught up and chatted and talked about his experience doing the Aids LifeCycle.

This past ride was his 9th ride.

He’s going to do one more and then probably move onto something else.

He’s doing a big ride in Toronto this year as well and that may be the next thing for him.

We reminisced about when I did the ride and how ill prepared I was.

First, I was on a borrowed bicycle, one that was way, way, way too big for me.

“Do you remember your first ride,” he laughed loudly, “you show up in cut off jeans and tights, with a huge messenger bag slung over your shoulder, I just shook my head.”

I joined him laughing, “and Converse, don’t forget, I was in Converse.”

God.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to do the ride.

I do remember very distinctly, however, crying at the end of that first training ride, I had barely made it the five-mile ride and I was overwhelmed with it.

How the fuck was I going to ever ride 545 miles?

“You will,” he said, “you will, just one step at a time, one pedal at a time, you’ll do fine, you need better gear though,” and he steered me around the Sports Basement racks showing me what I was going to need.

I had no money.

But.

I had a fuck load of heart.

I scraped up money everywhere, I wore old shoes, SiDi clipless bicycle shoes that someone gave me, I got donated a kit from a friend, I bought goofy looking outfits because they were on sale.

I had sponsors from all over the city and the country.

I do not know how the hell I raised the money to ride, but I did.

I don’t know how the hell I did it, but one pedal revolution at a time I did it.

My friend was my mentor.

He got me out, he helped me, he cheered me on, he made up silly songs to get me up hills.

One day, not too soon after I had started doing the training rides he pointed up to this gigantic hill and said, “one day, and not too far from now, you’re going to ride up that hill.”

“What fucking hill?” I asked perplexed, I didn’t see any hills, I mean, I saw a mountain, but not a hill.

“That one there,” he said pointing at the big peak in the distance.

“What the fuck is that,” I asked, followed closely by, “no fucking way.”

“Mount Tam,” he said, “and yes you fucking will.”

He was right.

A few weeks later, maybe a month and a half, I was riding up that fucking hill.

It was a long ride, but I tell you what, my God, the view.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

So much of it, so much beauty, so much joy, so much fucking swearing.

Damn I swore a lot.

I did it though and I laughed with my friend as we talked about all my adventures and misadventures.

And I could feel it, I could feel it fucking stirring, in fact, the thoughts had been stirring for a while.

“I want to do it one more time,” I said over an amazing omelet at Buck’s of Woodside.

My friend just smiled and nodded.

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I was going to.

“Fuck!  I’m going to do it again!” I laughed and pushed aside my omelet and hugged my friend.

We both laughed like hyenas.

And I am sure as fuck that there is going to be a moment or fifteen when I wonder, what the fuck was I thinking.

But then.

I’ll remember all the beautiful people in my life who I ride for, those alive and those who have passed from Aids and HIV complicated illness.

Later today, after my friend had dropped me back at home, after stuffing me full of joy and omelet and sunshine and promises to help me get a good road bike, I met with my person up in Noe Valley at the Martha Brothers Coffee house on Church Street and Duncan.

I sat on a bench with this man whom I love so much, who I hold with such deep respect and without whom I would not be the woman I am today.

He told me about taking a recent tour through the Aids Grove in Golden Gate Park and how it was to be there and the people in his life and the memories and I took a big deep breath.

“Give me your hand,” I said, “I want to hold it while I tell you something, you’re probably going to be mad at me, but I think that after that passes, you’ll be pretty proud of me.”

He turned and looked at me and took my hand.

“I’m not going to be able to go to Barcelona with you in May because after I graduate from my Master’s program in Psychology I’ll be riding to LA, I’m going to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again,” I squeezed his hand.

I could tell he wanted to give me a lecture, and that did happen a little and we agreed I’d have to let something else go from my life, probably not going to Burning Man next year, but I’ll get to that later, I’m still going this year, but I could tell by the way he held my hand it was going to be ok.

“You are a miracle,” he said.

And I am.

I am also someone who wears my heart on my sleeve, who does things to experience things as much as possible, who dreams big, who goes for it, who loves so, so, so hard.

Because why else live if I’m not going to live it passionately?

Fuck life without passion.

I get to live.

My best friend died this month ten years ago and he’s much on my mind, I did the ride originally for him.

And this time.

Well.

I will do it for him and my person and all the people who I know in my community who still struggle.

But.

I will also be doing it for me.

Because I can.

Because I want to ride my bicycle.

I miss it.

And.

Um.

Ha.

My bicycle bum.

I miss that a lot too.

Heh.

Oh yeah.

It’s official too.

While I was typing this blog I also took a minute, pulled out my credit card and registered to ride.

That’s right bitches.

I am now officially registered for the Aids LifeCycle ride 2018.

Shit.

I better go buy a bike.

What the fuck have I done?

Ha.

Hello Again

May 8, 2017

I have been remiss my friends.

I have not been keeping up with the blogging.

I did post last night.

A poem.

But I had no energy after the emotionally exhausting day of classes.

It was a big school weekend.

A lot of deep work.

So much.

And it’s all great stuff.

But.

Fuck.

A girl could stand a break once in a while.

I did get to see my friends a bit more than I have in the past school weekends.

I had a girlfriend dinner with two of my favorite ladies in the cohort on Thursday.

We met at Mazzat, a Lebanese restaurant in Hayes Valley after I got out of work and had scootered home to let in my friend who was hanging in the Outer Sunset waiting for me to get back from work.

She needed to drop off her overnight stuff.

We were having a slumber party.

Hence no blog Thursday night.

It is just not a nice thing to do, I have a small place and I wanted to be a good host and although my friend did encourage me to write, I didn’t feel that it was necessary.

All my delicious catching up and being with her and our other French friend in the cohort at dinner had filled me up, made me happy, completed my experience for that day and it was more important to crawl into bed with my friend and whisper and chat and talk girl stuff.

God.

It’s nice to have girlfriends.

She is like a sister to me and we have pretty much connected to each other since the first week of retreat our first year.

God damn.

I am done.

DONE!

With my last weekend of classes.

I am officially now a third year student.

Holy shit.

And.

Oh, thank you sweet Jesus.

I went to the financial aid office this weekend and sorted out my aid and my package and the lady in the office was super kind and accommodating and it was all done in five minutes.

Such a help.

And I am so grateful to have that settled.

I should be getting enough that I can pay for the tuition for my summer school practicum and for the supervisor and have a bit left over, about $1400, which should cover my costs for out-of-pocket therapy for the summer.

That’s the plan.

It felt so good to get that taken care of.

In other housekeeping stuff.

I e-mailed the bookstore when I got home from class today and listed the books I’d like to sell back, some of which the awesome manager at the bookstore had told me when I was selling back in the fall, to hold off until spring, that I would get a better price.

So.

Fingers crossed.

A few bucks in my pocket this week.

Always handy when a lady is getting ready to travel.

OH.

MY.

GOD.

I leave for Paris in four days.

Four!

I am so excited.

It is finally here.

I have three days at work.

I have to go tomorrow and meet with my supervisor before work and I am hoping that I will be able to run a few quick errands before heading to work.

I need to pick up a few travel toiletries.

I went grocery shopping today after class to pick up some essentials to have in the house for the next few days, as well as to have some things for myself in the freezer when I get back from France.

I bought a new neck pillow for the flight as well at the co-op in my neighborhood.

It felt super fun to tuck it on top of my roll on suitcase.

This trip to Paris will make it number three for this particular suitcase.

It has also taken me to London once, Rome once, New Orleans, Anchorage, Minneapolis, Madison, New York twice, Orlando, and Los Angeles.

It’s a damn good piece of luggage.

It may need to get replaced soon, one of the wheels is getting a little wonky, but having had it for seven years, I think, that’s not bad, and I’m sure I’m forgetting a trip or three that it has taken that I didn’t list above.

No.

I have not taken it to Burning Man.

Ha.

That is the one place it does not go.

Soon it shall come out of the closet and get filled with clothes and shoes and stuff and things and I will be heading out the door to SFO to London to Paris.

The only small fly in the ointment is that I got a slightly changed flight out of London to Paris, and now I have a bit of a layover in London, so I won’t get into Paris until 5p.m. on Friday, May 12th.

I was supposed to get in around 10:30am’ish.

Oh well.

I will probably save myself some travel hassle from Charles de Gaulle and just take a cab to my hotel.

Mama Shelter.

There is a music venue across the street that my Parisian friend told me about today, Fleche d’Or.

I may go check it out after I get checked in and settled.

Could be a fun, spontaneous first night in Paris sort of deal.

I was thinking I would get myself to the hotel, check in, unpack a few things, hit the shower and go out into the city.

I will grab dinner, somewhere in the neighborhood,  Les Desnoyez or perhaps Le Baratin.

I mean.

I sort of want my first night in Paris to be special.

A lovely hotel with a rooftop terrace.

Music at the club.

Dinner in a French bistro.

A walk past Pere LaChaise in the evening.

Oh.

The things I am going to do.

I am excited.

And as the weekend is wrapping up and I just turn around and head into the work week I know it will go fast and before one can say “croissant” I will be leaving on a jet plane.

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

 

 

Fuck It’s Cold

July 26, 2016

Put some clothes on your children!

I wanted to holler across the street at the parent of the two tiny shivering denizens of the Outer Sunset fog belt who were scampering down the street in tank tops and shorts with their arms covered in goosebumps.

It’s July in San Francisco.

Break out your scarves.

Fuck.

It just dropped like a thick, spooky shroud.

Of course.

I may be just too far into Stranger Things.

Fuck it’s good.

But it’s not the prettiest out here, right now.

Yesterday I never saw the sun.

Today, I did, but only because I went into work.

The nice thing about yoga, I realized today when I was in the studio, is that it’s always a nice warm 80 degrees and my body needs that warmth.

I don’t like super hot, I can stand it, but sometimes the fog wears on a girl.

Never the less.

I did have a good day.

I got up early and did the writing and the coffee and a nice little breakfast.

Then off to yoga.

A good class, my favorite instructor, who, woe is me, is leaving in two weeks!

Damn it.

Oh well.

The studio has other teachers I like, but I shall miss her classes.

I can see how I have gotten better whenever I go to her class.

And.

They are sneaky classes, I’m doing well, think I got it all under control, then hours later I’m like, why the fuck am I sore?

Oh.

I had Martina’s class today.

Tomorrow I will be sore as well.

That being said, I do plan on going to class in the morning before work.

I’ve got a 1p.m. start all week as the boys are in summer camp.

1-8p.m. means that I can get in a yoga class before work as well as my writing and a shower.

I always need a shower after yoga.

It usually is a lovely thing too, that shower.

So very grateful that there is a yoga studio in my neighborhood, on my freaking block, for Pete’s sake, it couldn’t be more convenient, and it’s super helpful for me time wise, I can get in a shower and sometimes a few other things too.

Like.

I scootered over to Rainbow before work and got a couple of “luxury” items for my Burning Man efforts.

A nice hand salve.

I gift hand massage on playa.

It’s what I do.

It’s a nice way to connect with someone and most folks have such dried, beat up hands from the playa and doing all the work that needs to be done to set up their camp or their art piece or whatever it is they’re doing.

I also picked up some boxes of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a pair of heart shaped sunglasses, and some of my favorite body lotion.

What with what I got yesterday on Amazon, all I need is to get the rebar for my tent and some work gloves.

I’ll hit up a hardware store this weekend and get it wrapped up.

This weekend so far looks like some “homework” for the American Red Cross CPR child/infant/adult class I’m taking on Sunday.

It used to be that you would have to devote nearly a half day to the cause, the class was four and a half hours long, now you take part of it online then go in for an hour and a half.

The class portion is Sunday.

I hope to have the online stuff taken care of on Saturday, I haven’t really looked at it yet.

And Saturday, aside from doing the deal with my person at Tart to Tart at noon, I’ve got another friend’s 40th birthday party extravaganza to go to in the afternoon and my commitment that night at 7pm.

Sunday, after the class I’ll be heading over to Oakland for another housewarming party.

I wish my friends would all stop moving over to Oakland/Berkley/et al.

I miss you guys.

I totally get it though.

I do.

I just, well, I’m holding tight here as long as I can.

I really feel like I’m more San Franciscan than anything, and I try to represent best I can, that San Francisco weirdo.

I don’t always succeed, but I certainly don’t fade into the background.

Even here.

I do, however, miss the sunshine, and I am constantly grateful that I work in the Mission, at least I get to experience sun there.

Not that I made it much outside today.

Today was all things cooking.

Pot of sushi rice.

Beef stew with vegetables.

Fish for the boys.

A vat of broccoli soup.

Roasted cauliflower.

There will be a bit of cooking for me this week as the boys are at camp for a part of the day that I’m at the house.

Laundry, cooking, errands, marketing, running to Walgreens for prescriptions, going to the dry cleaners.

All sorts of things.

Especially as the family prepares to go on a little trip next week.

FYI.

My people.

I have to work that Monday at the house, let in the housekeeper, this is August 1st, but I’ll be off early, and, and, and.

I will get Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off from work.

I’ll go back to the house on Friday to cook and prepare for the family to return and make sure the house and everything is in order.

But yo.

I got some free time next week.

Coffee?

MOMA?

I just got my new membership, I can take up to two people with me.

I should definitely go next week, even if no one goes with me, I’m a good solitary museum goer, shit, so many museums have I gotten to visit, such a gift, that.

The Louvre (Paris), The Metropolitan (New York), The MOMA SF, The MOMA New York, The Whitney (New York), the new Whitney, the Brooklyn Museum, The Palace of Fine Art (San Francisco), Le Petite Palais, L’Orangerie (Paris) The Rodin Museum (Paris) The Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, the Asian Museum of Art (Paris), the LACMA, The Chicago Museum of Art, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Dali Museum(Paris), the DaVinci Museum (in Rome), The DeYoung (San Francisco), The Tate (London), Galleria  Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome), The National Gallery in London, The Jeu de Paume (Paris).

I’m sure I’m forgetting some, in fact, I know I am.

But man.

I am lucky to get to have had so many of those experiences, and most, truth be told, on my own.

Although once in a while with a friend, or a lover, although never a boyfriend.

It’s been twenty years since I have been to a museum with a boyfriend.

My ex-boyfriend back in Madison was way into art and we hit up the ones in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

I remember when I introduced him to Dali.

And to Klimt.

And Kandinsky.

Twenty years.

That’s a long time.

Grateful I haven’t sat around waiting for a boyfriend to go out and live my life.

Not to say I wouldn’t eschew one.

Just that I don’t need a man to complete me.

A compliment, that I could handle, some one to walk by my side.

Until then.

Well.

Friends.

Masturbation and Stranger Things.

Heh.

Almost Home

July 4, 2016

But not quite.

Sitting on the floor charging the laptop, downloading an episode of OITNB and waiting for the next plane to land at LAX.

I’m so close I can taste San Francisco.

But not close enough.

I understand now why the fares were cheaper by hundreds of dollars and I get it, I accept the consequences of saving a few bucks, and really, considering the fabulous loot, for me, I’m bringing back from New Orleans, I’m ok with the delay.

That being said.

I won’t be doing it again.

Next time I travel, direct flight please.

No more trying to figure out what terminal and no worry about making connecting flights or waiting at a gate for the next flight.

I feel like I have lifted and loaded my carry on many more times than I typically do and I am a little weary of it.

I have 52 minutes until the next boarding.

I’m almost there.

I have patience.

And I am grateful for the experience, the people watching in airports is extraordinary.

First.

I hate to say it.

But, folks are heavy.

I mean, having been a heavier person all my life, although not so much now, I was stunned by the heft of folks.

Also.

I love me some fashion.

But money does not necessarily supply style.

Next.

Please, attend your children, especially when they are under two years old, my God, I have seen some wandering children.

Perhaps I am just hyper sensitive being a nanny, I always seem to have my nanny goggles on, but seriously folks, corral those kids.

And nobody seems to care about anybody else.

I have seen some utterly strange and rude things, cutting lines, loud voices, demands for things and privileges that shocked me.

All in all, however, I am grateful, again, and again, that I get the opportunity to travel.

I want to live in a big house one day.

And have a large map and pin cushion the fuck out of it, I want to trace all the flights from city to city in red and blue thread and I want to put little pushpins in all the cities I have gotten to visit.

I have not traveled as much as some, I am not a touring musician, I don’t have bags of money, but I get about pretty well, and much more than I ever believed I would.

It is an extraordinary gift.

I remember dreaming about it and thinking it would never happen.

And really, I have traveled a great deal just in the last year–Paris, New York, New Orleans, LA–in fact I was reflecting on the last time I was at LAX.

It was last August, before my school retreat, my friend who flew me down, first class from SFO to LAX for a weekend of museums and walk about.

I don’t see that friend anymore.

Strange how fast things change, even when you can’t imagine that they will, they do.

I am also extraordinarily grateful to him as well, despite not talking to him or engaging with him, no facecrack, no texts, no doing the deal in the same church basement.

There is a softness there in the memory, in the heart, in the touch of nostalgia for the intense experience of the relationship and also a  vast amount of perspective in the reviewing of how the relationship coalesced and then collapsed.

I cannot change what happened and I wouldn’t if I could.

I got what God wanted me to have and I don’t look gifts in the mouth.

The experience the heart opening and the love I learned I am capable of.

So much.

Or thinking about being a solo traveler.

I travel well on my own, I have my system down, I get it done.

But yes, sometimes I do wonder, what would it be like.

“You can have anything you want,” a lover told me.

Why, just now, that made me tear up, I am not sure, so tired of trying to figure it all out.

“Oh honey, you are so smart and so strong, and you need a match, there aren’t going to be a lot of men that can match you, you’re bigger than life,” my new friend in New Orleans said as we wound our way through the French Quarter on the way to Magazine Street.

Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear that all the time.

But the thing is, I’m not so sure I believe that.

Anyway.

I’m tired, I’m sure that’s the gist of this and where I am going with this blog, oh tender hormonal heart, I don’t know.

Yeah.

Got the period a week early.

A week!

Fuck.

I had sex on the mind, happy 4th let me celebrate with the day off to sleep in and get down.

Nope.

Grr.

Oh well, so it goes, everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.

And perhaps the travel anxiety brought it on, happens sometimes, a little anxiety, making the connecting flights, getting through security, etc, happens, I tend to ignore it mentally, but I suspect my body has its own way of working, with or without my brains permission or acknowledgement.

Or perhaps it was the heat and humidity in New Orleans.

Who knows.

I just looked up around the terminal and thought to myself, “my people!”

I recognize San Francisco people.

Not necessarily anyone I know, but the look, well, there’s a look, and I see it.

I may have been temporarily seduced by the warm sultry nights in New Orleans and the lush flora and fauna, the lilting Southern twang and the gentility, but San Francisco still has my heart.

I’m going to get in close to midnight and I don’t think I’ll be BARTing or taking MUNI.

One more car ride and then home.

Home to my sweet little studio by the sea.

It is not filled with magnolia scent and orange spray water in a mister or paddle fans or twelve foot ceilings.

There are not clawfoot tubs and verandas.

But there is my bed, heavenly and warm, and heaped with pillows and my duvet, a duvet I shall burrow into, I’m sure I’m going to have a moment of shock at the cold and the fog, but that will pass

And besides.

I brought my sweatshirt.

I’m not inexperienced with the prodigal daughter return home with out enough layers.

I’m ready.

Yes.

I am.

Boarding in 32 minutes.

See you soon San Francisco.

I have missed you.

Even the fog.

Shh.

Don’t tell.

xoxoxo

 

Today’s Stats

June 28, 2016

Sometimes I just don’t know what to make of my stats.

Not the body ones.

Or the emotional ones.

Even the mental ones.

Nope.

I literally mean the ones on my blog.

How come so many people are searching that one particular thing?

Why would someone in Mexico want to read my blog?

Who is creeping on my page?

Cuz.

That shit happens yo.

Sometimes I get a great big spike in reads and it’s typically, from my experience, one reader going deep into the blog.

It always leaves me curious.

Who is that person?

Or what are they looking for?

Do they just want to get to know me better, but just a little too shy to ask?

Are they just keeping up with the life and times of Auntie Bubba?

I mean.

Today was not super exciting, but it was special, as is any day I get through without picking up or using and as I was surprise popped to speak at the place tonight, it astounded me, once again, how much my life has changed and how very much I have to be grateful for.

Even when I don’t want to lighten up or have fun.

My life is light and fun.

That does not mean frothy or insubstantial.

If anything.

I believe that it is ever more expansive and open and wonderful.

Deep and complex.

Yet.

Utterly simple.

Easy?

No.

My life is not easy, but by following some simple suggestions.

Well.

Life is manageable and I can let go of the results and just see what happens.

So much can happen.

Least of all when I expect it.

I mean.

Shit.

I’m going to New Orleans on Thursday and three weeks ago that wasn’t even on my plate, let alone an idea in my head, let alone an actual reality, a plane ticket, a room to stay in, a place to meet my fellows, a French Quarter to explore.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine last night on the phone and she mentioned that she has always wanted to move there.

Me too.

It’s been one of those places always on my radar, even though I haven’t been back in so very long.

I made her a promise that I would report back and let her know how it was.

I suspect it will be fabulous.

I suspect I have no idea what will happen.

But it will be good.

I know this.

Having done enough traveling in my life at this point I know how to do a couple of things, pack, and navigate around and get in and out of an airport.

Those things used to cause me an unbearable amount of anxiety.

Just getting to the airport was excruciating and exciting and flavored with fraught anxiety and a curious longing for the uplift of the wings, the expanse of land below me, the clouds and sky alongside my face.

How often have I pressed my face against a window portal, dreaming dreams and aching with some unnamable feeling, some longing for shift in perspective and the glorious wonder of new things to be seen and experienced.

New faces.

New foods.

New streets to wander.

New art to see and be exposed to.

So much wonder in the travel.

The escape from the mundane, well, I don’t think my daily routine is mundane, I should re-word that, the exodus from the routine, to the new and the glad return, the gratitude I have when I land back at SFO and the chill fog coolness swirls about me and the doors open from the baggage claim gates to the outside world.

I am reminded of every time I have flown in and out of the airport.

Of the first trip here when I returned to the land of my birth.

To my last trip from New York.

All the Paris’s and Chicago’s and Minneapolis’s in between.

The Orlando trips, the Madison, Wisconsin trips, those times to Maine and back, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Austin, London, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Boston.

There are still so many places to go and visit.

But there is always home to return to.

And I normally do with a renewed vigor and love for where I am and what I am doing.

I do a lot.

Even when I am loathe to admit that.

I do a lot.

Just writing this blog.

I mean.

I forget that.

The work here.

The graduate school program.

The nannying.

The doing the deal and going to yoga and cooking all my own food (for the most part).

The showing up and be willing to take suggestions even when I want to blow a big raspberry at the person making it.

The willingness to be wrong.

The ability to make mistakes and not beat myself up for not being perfect.

The trying.

The dating.

The sex.

The life.

The love.

The music.

The words.

All the things.

I mean.

I am many, many things.

I am certainly not perfect and I am a pretty open book, although sometimes I can retire into silence and not know what to say to someone or I will lose my voice when I need to self-assert, I will second guess, and not trust my gut.

Or.

Worse.

I will hear that still small voice and ignore it.

There’s a big difference in not trusting your gut versus hearing something, knowing it’s not good for you, or that there’s a lot of information to look at and choosing to ignore it.

Hope for a different outcome.

And even these mistakes.

They are not really mistakes at all.

Just another foot fall on the path to where ever I am going.

To what ever destination God has in mind for me.

This week it happens to be New Orleans.

Who knows where I will go next?

I certainly don’t.

But.

I’m game and excited and over joyed with it.

The ability to do these things that were once such fantasies.

Sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night rattling off tales of where I was going to go and things I was going to try and places I wanted to see and things I was going to accomplish.

Most of the time it was no further than the floor underneath the stool I toppled from.

Or.

Some strangers bed.

Most often, a miserable repeat of what had happened the night before and the night before that and so on ad nauseam.

There are things that repeat for me today.

Routines, roads I travel, steps I take.

But instead of them being a horrid Ground Hog’s day of terror.

The repetition breeds awareness and it deepens more and more with perspective and experience.

Revealing a steadfast love that takes care of me no matter what.

Always.

Always here.

Always there.

Everywhere I go.

This extraordinary gift.

This.

Overwhelming.

Overarching.

Expansive.

And.

Genuine.

Love.

 

Hey Good Lookin’

June 30, 2015

What you got cookin’?

Yeah.

Back to work.

Back to doing the deal.

Back to my routine.

But joyfully so.

Heart full of love and sunshine and spice and all things nice.

I got up and took a nice hot shower and washed the travel out of my hair, though, truly, my hair longs for more travel, it does, you know; ate a lovely breakfast, drank some good coffee, and did some writing before hitting the road and heading into work.

My legs were not as sore as I feared they would be what with not riding my bicycle in over a week and I got to work quite quickly, falling back into the pattern of the traffic as though I had never left.

But I did.

And there would be flurries of memories that would whirl about my head like swallows at dusk swooping through my heart and I would find myself smiling.

“Hey, hey pretty girl!” A homeless man hollered at me.

Thanks sugar.

It’s nice to be acknowledged.

I learned a long time ago to accept a compliment when given one.

I have been complemented so much recently that I feel seen, really seen and that helps me to continue to be myself and well, maybe help some one else be seen, held, touched, heard.

We all want to be heard.

I was happy and the day was off to a good start.

I arrived at work early and stretched and posted up my photographs from this past weekend, not all of them, mind you, but quite a few, and I was pleased to see them.

I wish I had some to put here, I really did get some great shots of art at the MOCA and some fun shots of the ferris wheel out on the Santa Monica Pier, but for whatever reason, my computer is not upgrading properly with my iPhoto and I haven’t been able to download the pictures.

I will have to address this soon.

I actually have a back log of photos on my phone and I would like to have them on my computer, which also backs up to my Crash Plan support and if I should have something happen to my phone I won’t lose them.

The house at work was empty and I set about getting it ready for the return of the family who came into town about an hour and a half before I left for my Monday night commitment in the Inner Sunset.

Even without the boys I had plenty to do.

Striped both beds and washed all the linen and the boys laundry that wasn’t taken care of, cleaned out the humidifiers in both boys rooms and put them away in storage.

I cleaned out the refrigerator and washed it down.

I made a list of market stuff that needed to be bought.

I co-ordinated with the mom and went off to the corner market and then made a really big trip to BiRite.

I washed, prepped, and cleaned all the goodies I brought back and proceeded to make food for the families eminent arrival: pan roasted organic chicken breasts with garlic, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, thyme, and parsley; oven roasted garlic and olive oil brushed cauliflower; sushi rice; and then I prepped all the vegetables that needed to be cut up so the mom can make her favorite beef stew in the morning in the slow cooker.

I put it all together in a couple of containers and all she has to do is dump it in the slow cooker, and voila!

Another meal for the week done.

I ran down to Anthony’s Cookies on Valencia and 25th and bought four chocolate chip cookies for dessert and to celebrate the boys placement in school for the fall.

I re-made the beds, did the compost, tidied up, tallied up my travel expenses from the Sonoma trip and had enough time to sit for a moment and drink some tea before they pulled in.

It was good to see the boys.

Really good.

They are such sweet pies.

I got hugs and the down low on all the things I missed, not that I feel like I missed anything this weekend, I feel like I did just fine, and I showed the boys all my photos from the trip.

Just like I promised them I would.

Dinner got ate.

The dog got more than her fair share.

Cookies got gobbled with milk.

I built the boys a fort using the two high chairs, a blanket, and a bunch of pillows, then happily took my leave with a message about, what are you doing later on my phone.

Why.

I’m hanging out with you, friend.

Which is why I am getting the blog done now.

We do have a tendency to get caught up in conversation and despite having talked and talked and talked over the weekend, I suspect that there might still be more to talk about.

Let the conversation begin.

I am all ears.

And blonde hair.

“Oh!  What happened to the pink?” She asked this evening.

The daily swimming in the pool in Sonoma sucked it right out of my hair, it’s very blonde right now, and to tell the truth, I think I like it better than the pink, in its own way, it’s prettier and beachy and feels sun-kissed.

Which is what my whole day felt like whenever I stopped to contemplate my life and the experiences happening around me.

Sun kissed.

I told the boys they brought the sunshine with them from Sonoma.

But.

I suspect I may have brought a few rays of it from Los Angeles.

Just a teeny tiny bit.

Even though, haha, it rained off and on the first day I was there.

Despite the tears that fell from the sky, the sun shone through again and again.

Just like my life.

The tears may fall, happy and sad, but overall.

It’s a sunshine day.

It’s a sunshine life.

Jesus I feel like the Partridge Family here.

But it is true.

It also made me think that perhaps one day, not until after graduate school of course, I may need to go where the sun shines a little more than it does here, the fog and the grey get me down a little more than I am loathe to let on.

But.

That’s a ways away.

And I don’t want to live in the future.

Especially when I can make it sunny at any time.

In my heart.

What A Ride

June 29, 2015

In so many iterations I cannot fathom all of the ramifications right now.

I just got home from Los Angeles.

Although technically I just got home from a late night sushi dinner at Raw on 19th and Taraval.

Which was awesome, great company, fresh sushi, fast, good price, and hello, open at 10p.m. on a Sunday, and busy at that.

I know, you’re not supposed to eat sushi on a Sunday, or so the wives’ tale goes, but we were desperate, mostly me, despite not feeling all that hungry, I had a lot of iced coffee today, for food.

I knew better than to come home and not have some dinner in my body and the only other option would have been a late night run on Safeway and then cooking at my house.

I am not in the mood to cook.

I have so much on my mind, in my heart, in my soul, smeared across the windshield with golden light and thoughts and dreams and words, the touch of a hand, the constant conversation, the incessant pressing of love against my face as the sun set in the West as we drove up from the South, watching the roiling clouds of grey teeming over the San Francisco hills.

I have not had my cell phone off for so much time in years, nor, as you, my dear reader, may have notice, my computer.

There was no wifi at the Air BnB we were staying at.

I could catch some service on my iPhone, but sorry folks, there is no way in hell I’m going to write a blog on my phone.

Nope.

So.

Days without a blog.

Although not days without writing.

I did bring my notebook and I did do writing and as I was unpacking my go bag–I am damn skippy proud of how well I packed–I pulled out my new Claire Fontaine notebook, in deep sage green, with creamy lined paper, and taped the effects of the trip in the front page of my journal.

The first class ticket on American Airlines.

Man.

First class.

Thank you friend.

It was so nice.

Even for such a short trip, to have priority at the gate, to have faster check in, to scoot right through security, I felt spoiled and princess like.

So much so and so quickly did I get through that I actually had time to grab a manicure before I boarded.

I have never paid so much for a manicure in my life, but I thought, when someone you dearly adore says, let’s celebrate, I’m flying you down first class to LA, let’s go look at the Rothkos,

(OH MY GOD THE ROTHKO’S)

And I’ll put you up with me at my Air BnB in Santa Monica, it’s ok to splurge on a six-dollar cold pressed organic iced coffee from Equator Coffee and then go sit down and have your nails done.

You are officially on a celebration weekend.

The celebrating.

It was celebratory.

I danced up and down the steps of the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Gehry.

I lifted my face to the sky and marveled at the scoops and swoops and the neon lights bouncing off the building.

We walked around it and marveled at the symmetry of the building and talked and talked and talked.

There was much talking.

My friend and I had so much to talk about.

We could be talking right now.

Except.

Well, mama has to get up and go to work tomorrow and he’s got work to do too and the celebration will continue in my heart as I look at the other small pieces of paper taped next to that first class place ticket.

(OH MY GOD THE ROTHKO’S)

Should I ever have a child, a little boy, I would name him Rothko.

I was that overwhelmed, awed, blown away and just enamored with the pieces I saw.

I am speaking of the first day of my two-day party to celebrate (said celebration for the receiving the graduate school scholarships that I have been awarded over the past two weeks) and the trip to the MOCA.

The Museum of Contemporary Art.

It was just intense and overwhelming and amazing.

As before mentioned the Rothko’s were astounding, the humanness of the art, the luminosity of the paint, the spectrum of emotion I felt being in that gallery surrounded by the presence of such love and glory and art.

Art, love, God.

It’s all the same isn’t it?

I got to experience so much of that this weekend, I am still reeling with the love and kindness, the compassion of my friend, the utmost generosity.

I didn’t pay for anything.

I was spoiled and treated like a princess and ate lovely food and got driven all over the city and well, I even got to do that little girl thing that I most wanted to do but was also perhaps most resistant to ask for.

I got to go to the Santa Monica Boardwalk and go for a ride on the roller coaster and the Scrambler.

And.

The ferris wheel.

To be on the top of the circle, with some one so dear to me, to be swung high into the velvet of God’s deep indigo sky with the waves rolling in under the boardwalk and the smell of funnel cake and popcorn, or the happy screams of little kids on the roller coaster and the joy, the joy of being alive, present in the moment, so amazing.

I cannot quite even begin to comprehend all the ramifications of what this weekend has wrought for me.

Next to the MOCA ticket and the first class ticket and the postcard is my Zoltar fortune.

None your business.

Some things too sacred and special to share.

Some love you want to hold against your heart.

For fear that the bottom will drop out like it did that time you were kissed on the couch and you will never be the same again.

I will never be the same again.

And that is just alright with me.

I may have stepped off the ferris wheel, giddy and giggly and wobbly with my heart bouncy and bright and my smile so large it must have lit the sky a small bright star of love on the cusp of the ocean, the edge of the sea, the beginning of a new world view shimmers into sight.

But I am still riding high.

Still celebratory in my joy and the love I was able to bear witness to and receive, in the capacity for honest communication and appreciation of life, art, the heart, opening and breaking and making more space for more feelings and more.

Yes.

More.

And more.

Love.

I’ll buy that ticket any day of the week.

It’s a ride I never want to stop and regardless of what happens next.

I know that ferris wheel in my heart will continue to revolve.

And.

Evolve.

It will go the distance.

Five Ibuprofen

June 26, 2015

And broken blood vessels in my left eye.

“It was a long day,” I sobbed into the phone earlier to my friend.

I hadn’t realized I was hemorrhaging in my eye until after I had taken a shower and was drying my hair.

First time since I have been in Sonoma that I have dried my hair, I have been in and out of the pool so much that I just resigned to chlorinated pool hair and have kept braiding and re-braiding it.

But in hopes of not actually getting into the pool tomorrow, which I don’t think is going to happen, I feel an uneasy premonition that I will be flying to LA with wet hair, I took a long shower this evening and deep conditioned the hair and dried it off.

I was putting lotion on my face and reconciling how I was going to pack so that when I was ready to go I can just go, but if I should need anything I can also easily access it, when I noticed the blood in my left eye.

Damn it.

I haven’t had that ever.

I have been diagnosed with stress migraines before, but the broken blood vessels showed up on the backs of my eye, this is a first for me.

It doesn’t feel like a migraine, though at one point I could tell something might be coming on, I suspect it was from the sudden outburst of tears on the phone with my friend.

A friend I had to call up earlier and say, um, guess what?

We don’t have reservations to the Self Discovery Center Bed and Breakfast Inn any longer, they’ve been cancelled.

I received an e-mail this morning letting me know that the center had unexpected plumbing problems that were going to take weeks to resolve and they were shutting down the center until said plumbing issues were fixed, my room reservation was cancelled, so very sorry, best of luck finding new accommodations.

Fuck my mother.

Damn it.

I mean, I’m more annoyed now than I was at the time I received the message.

Probably because it was at the beginning of the day, I had just had lovely breakfast poolside–oatmeal with banana and chopped raw almonds, sprouted pumpkin seeds, and blueberries and the perfect hard-boiled egg, along with a couple of cups of coffee before it got too hot to enjoy drinking coffee.

Plus, I was riding high from the lovely time I had in Sonoma yesterday and a nice phone call at the end of the night outlining all the fun that was to be had in LA this upcoming weekend.

I can’t even fathom that right now.

It’s been a long day and I’m struggling to not cry, partially because I am a vain monster and don’t want my eyes to be all blood-shot and partially I don’t really want to be seen as emotionally so off-balance.

But I am off kilter.

The heat and the length of the day today, the visiting family leaving, the high emotions of the boys as they said goodbye and cried because their friends were leaving.

It all took a toll.

But.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Not that the tunnel as been all that long or deep or dreary.

It’s just been what it’s been and yes, Virginia, I have had feelings.

And I have one day left and then a first class flight down to LA to see my friend and do the museums and play.

I mean play.

I also have the biggest hugest most gigantic hug to give him.

He’s been my lighthouse in the fog.

An absolute beacon.

A steady thread of sunshine through this week and a cause, in and of himself, for me to celebrate.

Not to mention all the other things that have happened, like you know, getting a full, well almost full, ride go to graduate school.

I sort of keep forgetting that.

My friend has called every night or I have called him and we have talked and down loaded our days and each of us has been there for the other doing what friends do, being vulnerable and saying the words that need to be spoken.

And hearing what the other person is saying.

I don’t feel as though I am speaking to a stone wall, I feel like I am connecting with another human being and that is such a gift that when I stop and see the fog is burning off in the sun I am amazed that I was ever afraid of the fog at all.

It seems that sometimes it will go on forever, the lonely wandering through the mists, but the light was there, is there, and I am not alone and I can do this and hey.

Look.

Tomorrow is Friday.

And it’s going to be a sunny day.

A little perspective.

Kind words and the encouragement to speak my heart and say what is really happening.

More perspective.

Jesus.

Am I ever glad for someone else’s perspective.

I do not see myself very well, through a glass darkly you could say, so when someone, in a matter of seconds can tell me what he sees, what is the truth of the matter comes out and I am made aware that I was again have been looking at smoke and mirrors.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

I am enough.

I do a really good job.

And I work really hard.

I am seeing the fruits of my labor and they frighten me a bit, it is so easy to shy away from the accolades and the abundance and say, “no, no, really, I’m not worthy.”

But I am.

And in my heart.

I know it.

It just gets foggy in there sometimes.

My friend pulled me through and my heart feels so much better and well, thank god for friends.

Thank God.

“Keep it light and bright,” my best girl friend said to me.

Yes ma’am.

Light and bright indeed.

 Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.

-Charles Simic


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