Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

Just Keep Writing

June 19, 2017

Very, very, very few hits on the blog yesterday and today.

Of course.

It is Father’s Day.

Folks have things to do, people to see, loved ones to celebrate.

I sent my dad warm thoughts, it’s how I can show up today, loving from a distance.

I did try last week on his birthday to call the cell phone number I have for him, but the call did not go through and I took that as the time is not now.

I may never have the time for my dad.

I have acceptance for that, some sorrow, but mostly acceptance and a kind of peace around it.

There are times that I have wished for more from my father, but I have always known, despite not having much contact with him through the years, that I was loved by him.

Who am I to say that how he expressed his love was not the right thing for me?

I cannot choose how people express their love.

I have a certain idea how it should look, but my ideas are often wrong.

So often wrong.

It’s rather ridiculous.

But hey, I’m trying.

I may fall, but at least I know that I am trying.

And I love.

So, so, so hard.

My God, I love hard.

And it may not be what someone wants either.

I have tried being softer and kinder and easier with my love, for myself, for others, to not squeeze too hard, to be gentle, to be flexible and have deeper perspective and appreciation for all forms of love.

I’m not sure where I am going with this ramble, just that I am glad for my father and I hope he is well and I love him.

I do.

So many kinds of love, so much vastness of feeling.

So many memories.

Some easier to recall than others.

Grateful for them all.

Grateful for today.

It was a good day.

I woke up earlier than I was planning, but then again, I hadn’t planned on staying up late last night, but the cup of coffee I gleefully, rebelliously drank with my friend at the anniversary party last night had its way with me.

I was going to let myself have eight hours of sleep.

But the light in my room woke me up and I knew I would feel better if I got up and got myself going.

So I hopped up, put on the yoga clothes and went to the studio down the block.

It was a great class and I was very happy with the teacher.

Then a nice mellow, slow morning.

Met with a lady, did the deal, did some laundry, did some shopping, did some cooking.

And.

Holy cats.

I read some fiction.

I read a book.

In the sun.

On the back porch.

It was sunny in San Francisco and the beach was packed and the parks were packed and it was Father’s Day all over the place.

I did go down to the beach for a little bit, but when it’s nice out, and it was, it was over 80 degrees, the beach gets really bombarded and add a national celebrate a parent holiday and the traffic and people were off the hook.

I sat in a dune for a while and enjoyed the sea and the sun, but after maybe twenty minutes I just decided to go back home and read on the back porch.

I knew it would be quiet.

And it was lovely.

I definitely got a few freckles today and I got warm in my bones.

It felt nice to put up my feet and relax a little.

The next week is a busy one.

Aren’t they all?

But.

It does make the time go faster and I’m excited to be seeing clients now at the internship.

I also peeped the weather for the next week and it looks gorgeous and sunny and the June gloom that is so often the weather in the city for the summer seems to have abated and I am grateful.

There is so much in my life to be grateful for.

So much learning.

As I navigate through my days I see where I have stumbled and where I have been selfish and when I am not being of good service to a situation.

I can make things about myself really fast.

I catch it more often than I have in the past, but I am always a bit chagrined when I do it.

I get to recall the feeling in my body when I hurt someone or make something about me when it really has nothing to do with me, out of fear, that’s usually where I am acting from, fear.

Fear that I won’t get what I want or I will lose what I have.

And the fear is baseless.

Groundless.

Silly.

I have been given so much and I have so much, that to live in any kind of fear is a kind of waste, a superfluous worry of time, when I could be enjoying the sunshine, the daydream, the revery of sitting still in the back yard and feeling the warmth on my skin where I am caught and held in perfection.

I am human, but that is an excuse.

I have to also change when I see things in myself that I don’t care for, I can’t wish them away.

I can, however, pray about it and hope to be of better service in the future.

Remembering how it feels when I have done something that doesn’t serve another because I am in fear of not getting what I want.

Ah growth.

Painful growth.

I heard it said once or twice, though, that pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I definitely grew a little today.

And the pain is not as tender as it has been in the past, but it is there so I chose now, in this moment, to remember what I felt and what I was feeling and to not let those fears get in the way of enjoying my day.

The sun.

The soft warmth.

The dreamy.

I do like the dreamy.

Please God.

Don’t let me fuck up the dreamy.

 

Nocturne

May 18, 2017

Just out of a super hot shower and swaddled in blankets tucked away in the prow of the sleeping quarters on the houseboat listening to Chopin.

It is sweet and dreamy and all things rainy night in Paris.

I am finally not wet and cold.

It rained.

It poured.

It was a deluge.

I had Mike Doughty’s “Sad Girl Walking in the Rain” stuck in my head for hours.

However.

I was not sad.

I was dreamy.

I was bemused.

I was looking at all the things.

I was seeing the poetry in the wet cobblestones.

In the unexpected flair of a red rain poncho covering an old man as he pedaled his bicycle along the Seine.

I saw the heavy-headed peonies, blushing pink and sweet underneath the floral shop awning, drowsed with rain and nodding on their pale green stems.

I smelled roses, drunk with rain and walked underneath flowering chestnut trees.

I got wet.

Oh.

I got so wet.

Drenched.

Doused.

Soaked.

And yet.

My heart felt light and I strode along the avenues, occasionally lost and adrift in the details of the weather and in the welter of my soul as it beat against my rib cage, sometimes it lives there, underneath my heart, just behind my rib cage, a plummeting bird singing a song, sad and melancholic, beautiful and lyric and like the timpani softly chiming it sings a song just to me.

I was not sad.

I was not melancholic.

I was steered toward that direction once or twice when the rain seemed to overtake me and my feet got wet, but the lightness in me kept me warm.

I was surprised to find, when I finally took shelter in a cafe bistro, that my hands were so cold from clasping the umbrella handle that I could not bend my fingers properly.

I had a quiet dinner in a small bistro on Rue de Bac.

Roast chicken and roasted vegetables, sweet and savory in their juices, a Comte cheese plate with a simple mixed green salad and a few drops of balsamic vinaigrette, a small bottle of Perrier, and a cafe creme.

I sat and almost became melancholic and I can feel a sad story trying to escape my heart and perhaps it is just the poesies of the art I saw earlier still nestled there, but I did not let myself drift there.

You are not alone in Paris having dinner you are with yourself and your company is lovely.

I sat and looked at the rain falling outside, the umbrella stand tilted over, heavy with parpluies, the round wooden bistro chairs tucked underneath tables, more peonies and pink roses on the bar, the old man who tumbled by underneath a large yellow and red and blue golf umbrella, chased by the rain towards home, I presume.

I tasted the cafe creme and once caught my own eye in the long mirror to my side and thought, who is that beauty?

Oh.

Ha.

It’s me.

And that made me, for a moment soften and sadden for all those times when my company was not enough for me, not knowing how rich and good it is, and I longed for another and there was no other and I was alone in Paris eating my steak tartar in a bistro years ago somewhere in the 9th arrondissement in the rain.

Oh.

Paris in the rain, you can be so sad and lonely.

Or.

You can shine with lustre like a rare pearl, polished in the fiery embers of the red lights reflected in the wet street pavement.

I am never alone when I am with Paris.

We are lovers.

Yes.

My own secret language of dreams, and do you really wonder why I have it tattooed on my chest, dream, in French, that is.

I saw you as I walked back to the house boat after my lovely well curated little meal, a single swan in the Seine, in the rain, long graceful neck slightly curved beneath the weight of the glory of being its own perfect self.

Perhaps I too am like that.

In moments here and there.

In the light that reflects from the raindrops, in the light that is cast from the bateaux mouche as they traverse the river up and down, constantly ferrying souls to and fro.

There are times I am lonely.

Yet.

I am never alone.

Unfettered and loved.

I am here.

I am there.

I am in the notes of revery between the keys on the piano, the soft hand strikes the ivory and music resonates, pearling into the air about me like staccato raindrops on the roof of the houseboat.

And so.

I go forward.

Warm now.

Sheltered from the rain.

But not quite a part from it.

As it, like the music, like the painting that blew my heart out in the Musee L’Orangerie today, blew it out, devoured it, rendered it changed and altered and smashed my face with soft tears that drifted shamelessly down my face, awestruck in the face of such grace, is now ground into me.

The rain.

The poetry.

The Chopin.

The art.

The city.

A swan of desire upon my fevered face.

I shall not forget soon.

No.

I shall not.

This blasphemous joy.

Date Night

April 24, 2017

Date Night* Written 4/20/17 WordPress site down

 

And Debussy.

I am listening to Clare de Lune and my heart feels full.

It is a good thing.

I just got back from a date and it was really quite lovely.

Lovely is not quite the right word, I am sure I will find the correct words, they elude in this moment.

But.

There is poetry here.

Sitting by the fire.

In a space full of recognition.

The doorway after the threshold.

The moment.

The moment when.

The moment, a monument of time, a granite faced creature to scale.

In that moment when.

I looked into the eyes of those across the table and did not feel shy about my history or my lineage or my drama, trauma and crazy, when I realized I had so many words, so much to say.

I could embarrass myself with a wealth of things to say, so many words.

All the words.

Piled on the table like small crudities, rare and delicate and delicious.

A smorgasboard of words.

They tumbled from my mouth and I could tell stories.

Oh.

The stories.

There are so very many.

I don’t often have the luxury of expressing myself the way that I expressed myself tonight, and all the words lined up in my mouth, a minuet of dancing syllables and vowels that bowed and courtesy and waltzed out across the table, into the air, fragmenting into poetics and poesies.

Chains of daisies, a small girl, yellow sun dress, the kind with the little elastic ribbing and the shoulder ties in string bows, sitting cross-legged in a field.

Clover.

There.

That smell.

The one field on the drive into work.

The rich, verdant, lush, overbearing sweetness of it.

Almost, but not quite a velvet purple crocus of sweetness, but deeper, with an edge, just a tiny peppery edge, that alleviates the sweetness to make the smell palatable.

All those things.

In the cross hatch of the tablecloth.

The tea bag, white Moroccan mint.

I don’t even like mint tea.

But there I am ordering it, as my mind is not concerned with the tea.

No.

Just the company.

The stories.

The tall tales.

The tall man across the way.

A waiter takes our order.

He has blood trickling from his right nostril.

I point it out to him, he walks to the bar, wipes his nose on a napkin, returns, takes our order and brings me mint tea.

The shimmering line between strings, either ecstatic in the exuberance of the violin-cello.

Or.

Discordant, the chop of a credit card breaking piles of cut cocaine in the employee bathroom.

The whisper in the hallway of the deeds done and remembered, recalled, and integrated now, the fire in the hearth.

The echo down the history.

The pub.

Harold Pinter plays.

Shakespearean sonnets with turns in the quatrain and the final couplet sings to me of the music of the spheres and the lifting of eyes toward heavens as yet only alluded to.

“Do you ever get up early in the morning and go down to the beach and drink coffee and watch the sunrise?”

No.

I never have.

The sunrise on the beach.

The mermaids they sing each to each.

The shells in a paper sack, mussels, indigo violet, malevolent blues studded with dried seaweed, the remnants of drift wood fire.

The sunrise.

The drive up the coast.

The view of the ocean from the red checked table-cloth booth, a vinyl booth my little girl legs stick to as I wait for pancakes and syrup to be set in front of me.

The sun.

The sun in my mother’s hair, reddish fired tinge, a halo of gold in the brown, mirroring the flecks of gold in her green eyes.

Undone by the beauty of my mother I dragged my fork through the buttery stickiness and surreptitiously lick the tines to catch-all the maple sugar in my mouth.

I think kissing you would be.

So sweet.

Yes.

Down to the ocean.

To the beach.

Let us go then you and I.

I shall wear my trousers rolled.

Or at least my bib overalls, and watch the foam-flecked waves throw themselves at my feet as the sun comes up again over the promises of urchins, spiny, but broke open, buttery cream orange uni, the soul, just there.

Just there.

You will kiss me in the dunes.

And all the words will come undone.

Tossed into the sand.

Where they will stay.

Like.

Scattered dropped magnetic poetry.

On the old fridge down the hall in the artist loft.

Rearranged once in a while by the hand of a passerby.

Blue scar pretty jealous skin.

 

 

I Blame It On

March 21, 2017

The hormones.

It has been an up and down day.

I re-started my day only an hour and a half after it started, I was already annoyed and yelling fuck in my kitchen while I was stirring oatmeal on the stove.

My boss wanted me to come in early.

The kids had an unexpected day off from school.

Dude.

Ugh.

Of course, I said yes, I was able to do it, it just threw a little loop in my day and I had to adjust, get flexible, and just suck it up.

Besides I would be getting out of work an hour early and all the things that I didn’t do this morning, writing and reading for school, I could do after work.

Except the mom got stuck in bad, rainy coming home from work traffic.

In the end it didn’t matter, as I ended up being late to work.

Worst driver I have ever had on a shared ride.

I actually complained for the first time ever.

I am not one to kick up a fuss, but the guy ran stop a sign-passing on the left to go around a car that was stopped at a stop sign on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the park, scared the crap out of me as there was oncoming traffic, missed turns, then cut across traffic to make the turns, had an argument with one of the other passengers about directions and was horribly inconsistent with his driving.  I actually thought are you high?

Then right before he drops me off, asks with a really big, forced smile, how my day was going?  Dude.

A little too late.

I’m late for work and overwhelmed with annoyance by the three near death experiences I had while in the car.

I looked up at him, startled, and said, “fine, thanks,” in a flat tone of voice.

God damn.

It was creepy.

But yes, I did actually complain.

Of course, no response, but I’m not going to freak out, I know it’s one of the things that you just have to account for, once in a while getting a bad driver, I actually found myself laughing a little at my obvious desire to have control and my realization, that shit, there was nothing to do, but get through the ride, be grateful and get out of the car and go to work.

I was resigned to not being able to do any homework at work either, so I brought one of my meditation coloring books to color in with my charges and that was a hit.

Lots of coloring on this rainy, rainy, rainy day.

Clay, stickers, paper dolls, and drawing as well.

Robots, jet engines, race cars, stuffed animals.

Pancakes for lunch.

They were so cute about it, and insisted it was a special day and I was happy to indulge them.

I made them homemade pancakes, from scratch, not a box, with raspberries, butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup.

They were in heaven.

I had some of the raspberries later with my own lunch and got knocked over by a wave of nostalgia.

If I haven’t had raspberries in a while, and I don’t often have them, they are expensive little beasts ad I prefer to spend my money on blueberries, inevitably the first bite will always remind me of my Grandma Munz.

My grandparents had an amazing garden in Lodi, Wisconsin.

My grandfather cultivated and cared for most of it, but the raspberry vines were grandma’s territory, or so it seemed to me as a child, and I have a memory of picking raspberries with her–perhaps my favorite memory of my grandmother.

I don’t recall how old I was, but elementary school seems about right, 4th or 5th grade, and it was summer and my mom had taken my sister and I out to Lodi to visit our grandparents.

Grandma wanted to pick raspberries and she and I went out to the brambles to pick carrying 5 gallon vanilla ice cream buckets.

I remember my sister mostly ate the raspberries.

I ate quite a few too, but I liked to see how they gathered and grew in heaps and piles, the luxurious spill of berries a kind of abundance I didn’t often see in my life.

We picked for a while, quiet and serious and when my grandmother deemed we had enough for whatever project she was working on, we brought the berries back to the kitchen to be washed in the sink.

She scooped up a big bowl of them for my sister and I, one bowl for each of us, poured milk over the top of them and then sprinkled them with sugar.

I don’t think I have every eaten anything so glorious and simple and intoxicating in all the rest of my life.

I can taste them still.

Perhaps that’s why I haven’t much bothered with them since.

When one has had the pen ultimate tasting experience of an object most other things pale in comparison.

Sort of like my grandfather’s sweet corn, nary a corn on the cob since has done his justice.

I am lucky to have this appreciation for simple things.

The pure joy of a small bowl of warm just off the vine raspberries, cool, creamy milk, and a heaping teaspoon of fine granulated sugar, C&H Cane sugar, in the white paper bag with the pink label and blue ribbon badge with white writing.

Somethings, small things, are utter simple and glorious in their perfection.

I think that bowl of raspberries is what heaven tastes like.

I had tears prick at my eyes when I ate that first raspberry.

I felt the grass of my grandparents back yard underneath my bare feet, I could see my grandmother’s kitchen, I could taste the cold water from the tap, they had their own well and the water there, the best in the world, seriously, I could feel the breeze coming in through the big screened in windows in the dining room.

I could almost hear the laughter of my mom and aunts smoking cigarettes on the front porch in the big aluminum lawn chairs, waving at passing cars and gossiping about the rest of the family that wasn’t there.

I could feel  the moment pass as I sat at the table drawing with my charges, I did not try to hold onto it, it will come back when I need it, this beautiful thing, my sweet memory that colored the rest of my day.

It reminded me of my roots and also of that there were many, quite a few, moments of bliss in my childhood, simple, exquisite, and etched into my heart despite, or perhaps because of how hard things were at times, I appreciate so much when I got to experience beauty.

I still do.

Ah.

Perspective.

You got me again.

 

 

Sweet Heart

March 8, 2017

That’s what I was called today.

Not by a lover.

Nor a friend.

Not a cat call.

Not someone trying to get something from me.

Nope.

MY BOSS.

That was in response to a message I had sent.

For offereing to make dinner and sending the mom and dad fun pictures of the charges at the park on the slide.

“You’re such a sweetheart!”

I’ll take that.

It feels really quite nice to be in my job right now, it’s been just a touch over two months and I really feel a part of.

Sometimes that can be challenging as I am navigating waters I haven’t had much experience with, English as a second language for the kids, but I’m figuring it out and it’s been an adventure.

Most times I don’t have a problem when my family speaks in their mother tongue.

In fact, it’s kind of nice to not know what someone is saying.

Their language is not a romance language.

I know I’m being vague, but I have a signed confidentiality agreement and I feel like if I go into too many details it would not be cool.

I’ll leave it at I’m happy to be with them and I feel very appreciated.

Which just makes me want to do a better job.

I am grateful for them.

I have been grateful for every job that I have had, regardless of conflict or challenge, because they have led here and here is pretty fucking awesome.

I feel good.

I feel serene.

I feel easy in my skin.

I have my school work ready for this upcoming weekend of classes.

I was able to run some personal errands today at work, while running errands for the family, and I was able to grab some toiletries and household things I’ll need for over the weekend.

I was able to run to the grocery store after work before doing the deal and get some fruit and veggies and almond milk to have in the house to supplement the food I made over the weekend for class.

I even got to sneak in a visit with a friend who I have not seen in a little while who I have been trying to hang out with.

Totally serendipitous and partially because I had a cancellation tonight.

My person and I were supposed to meet, but he got the flu and I ended up having a tiny chunk of time that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I connected with my friend, got to get my “I’m going to Paris in May,” dork on, and then when the clock was getting late, scoot on out the door, hop on my scooter and zoom zip across town.

And now I’m home.

Cozy.

Sipping hot tea and blogging.

Listening to St. Germaine and dreaming about my trip.

I am so excited to get to go again.

I am remiss that my friend, with whom I had planned the trip won’t be able to go, but hey, she’s got a great reason, she’s close to term with twins and can’t fly.

So.

Yeah.

She’ll be staying here.

I’m sad that I won’t get to experience Paris with her, but I’m cool on my own in Paris, I get along just fine.

And I will have friends there.

Because I have friends that live there and folks I know in the fellowship.

And a friend of mine will be visiting there with his mom.

He was supposed to come and visit me when I was living there but we missed each other.

I’ll get to be his tour guide for him and his mom for a few days, I think they overlap and are either going to London or Rome part of the time I’m in Paris.

I will be there ten days.

Ten days.

Dreamy sigh.

In May.

Another big dreamy sigh.

I’m so happy I’ll be going in spring, especially since the last two times I was there was during winter and it was cold.

And dark.

And grey.

I remember a dear friend of mine saying to me when I moved back how happy she was that I was back in San Francisco, in California, in the sun, that all the pictures I had taken in Paris when I lived there were lovely, but so grey and dark and depressing.

Paris is dark, grey, cold and depressing in the winter.

It is true.

Romantic, gothic, gorgeous.

But.

Cold, dark, and depressing for sure.

So to get to go in May, when the nights are shorter, the days are longer, and the weather is warmer.

Yes.

And more yes please.

Walks along the Seine.

Trips to the Jeu de Paume–the modern art photography museum.

Walks through the Tuilleries.

Walks in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Walks in Bois de Bologne.

Walks in the Marais.

Walks, and walks, and more walks.

And then.

Sitting in cafes.

Drinking cafe creme and people watching.

Then.

More walking.

The marches, the markets, the brocantes, the flea markets, the book stalls, the vintage clothes and jewelry.

Oh yes, that too.

And.

I have friends who are musicians.

I need to go to some nightclubs.

I didn’t do that too much when I lived there, although I did go to one big underground show that blew my lid off.

I knew the dj who was spinning and had no clue the venue was going to be so big and so packed.

It was amazing.

I also know a jazz saxophonist, a blues singer and a jazz singer.

I could get some late night jazz on in Paris.

Yes.

Oh, yes, I could.

I will also get myself a couple of things that I didn’t get to when I was there last.

I need another hat.

I want a market basket purse from either Marche des Rouge Enfants in the Marais or another canvas sack from Le Merle Moquer, my favorite bookstore in Paris.

And something small and whimsical from Fleux, a store in the Marais that has amazing household items, reminds me a tiny bit of Ikea, but super cool, chic, fun, unusual things.

I got my hot pink bunny Pylon bank there when I was living in Paris.

And.

When I was last there I scored a pickle jar lamp that has a miniature Eiffel Tower on the bottom of it.

It is just so quaint and sweet and I adore it.

I turn it on and it always makes me smile.

Ah.

So much to smile about.

Life.

Well.

Life is fucking good.

That’s what.

Seriously.

Life.

Is.

So.

Damn.

Good.

Oh The Things People

March 7, 2017

Google

Cocaine and vodka enema.

Still going strong.

What?

It’s an old blog post, one I wrote six, maybe seven years ago.

And yet.

It still gets hits, every day.

EVERY DAY.

I haven’t read it since I wrote it, I almost never re-read the blogs after I have published them.

Oh.

Once and a while I do, or I might go back and do a fast edit on a piece.

Occasionally I will go back and re-read one if someone comments on it in a particular way, but for the most part, I write them, I send them out to the Universe, then I move the fuck on.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

This is probably a good thing.

Although.

I can figure out once in a while that someone has a thing for one of the pieces I have written.

Perhaps it is about them.

I suspect an ex boyfriend of reading a certain blog I posted after our break up.

I have no recollection what I wrote.

But I do know that it resonated with a lot of people, I had folks coming out of the wood work to share about how they had gotten through a painful break up or that what I had written helped them through a break up.

Or when I was in Anchorage while my father was in a coma.

Tons of response to those blogs.

And often someone reads a blog and suddenly I’m getting something sent in the mail or someone is helping me out when I’ve been in a pinch.

All those kind, sweet, generous, anonymous folks who helped when I had the horrible ankle incident.

Or when I was the starving, literally at times, artist in Paris and I got some support from unexpected places.

I have been given a lot from this blog.

Sometimes it bites me in the ass.

Words that make me cringe, sometimes with gratitude, sometimes with a hand thwack to my forehead, when I am told the following, “I read you blog.”

Well.

Fuck me.

That can be great.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

Not so great.

Doesn’t seem to matter how many times I write it here, I am more than my blog, you are not getting the full Carmen Show, but.

You do get a great bit of it and despite my protestations, people will read what they want to read and see what they want to see.

I have had people tell me they read my blog then tell me a completely different narrative than the one I wrote.

It makes me laugh.

We all see what we need to see, what we want to see, not necessarily what is reality.

Not my place to teach or direct or give a damn, I suppose, I’m trying here just like I’m trying elsewhere, just to tell my story in this moment.

The moment changes.

I change.

Things change.

But folks keep reading certain things and though I jest about that blog, it’s about recovery and I find it sort of funny that it gets so many hits, but maybe someone gets what they need from it.

No directions though.

No “how to” there.

Just a sad story about a sick woman, and not me, it wasn’t about me, (but I bet you a dime that most folks think it is me writing about me) it was about a woman my friend was dating and the things that they would do when they were fucked up.

Oh the things we do when we are fucked up.

The stories I have heard.

Funny, hilarious.

Fucking tragic.

I’ve been criticized for putting too much out there, cautioned too.

I have had moments when I absolutely agreed and other times where I felt like, fuck off, I’m not interested in editing myself more than I already do.

I do edit myself.

I don’t write about it all.

I think about it sometimes, but I have made amends twice about things that I have written here and both times it was painful enough to make it very clear to me that the only person I can ever write about here is me.

My experiences.

My pain.

My joy.

My life.

No one else’s.

Oh.

Sure.

I do live in relation to other humans, so there are interactions, but I don’t presume to write about people, I can observe, but I can not hurt another person.

Because.

I could.

Oh.

I could be a scathing fucking bitch about some of the things that I have heard or witnessed or had done to me.

But.

Well.

I would end up getting hurt then and this is a place where I come to heal and to learn.

If I wasn’t still learning seven years of blogging later I wouldn’t still be doing this, if it didn’t fulfill some need in me I would have stopped.

There is still so much to write about though.

Which is just fucking lovely.

I’ll keep writing until there’s not, and maybe, I will still keep writing then, because things change, even the past changes, more will be revealed and when it is, well, I want to be there to bear witness and to write about that too.

How many times can I write about the House in Windsor and all the things that happened to me there, and all the things that happened that I don’t know that happen.

How many times?

I could write every year about the seasons and the changes in the weather, how the house was never really hot, even in the depths of summer, because of all the old growth oak trees surrounding it.

Or.

The lilac trees the soft rot of the blooms in high July heat and the intangible biting sweetness in cool water when they first bloom in May.

The reminder, always, of how that grass in summer time grew so high in the back yard and how it felt on my bare feet.

Playing catch with a softball with my aunt Marybeth.

Damn.

She had an arm.

Dreaming about the boys I had crushes on at school.

Sitting in my room listening to music on my boom box.

Joining the Columbia House Record club and the utter joy of opening that first cardboard box full of tape cassettes.

Feeling alive and feeling the magic that could happen, feeling like I was just on the other side of a plate of glass and how to get to the other side were everyone else was and how they seemed to know what to do.

I did a lot of pretending.

I did a lot of walking tall and faking it until I made it.

I remember once running into someone I had gone to school with when I was working as the floor manager at the Angelic Brewing Company; he told me how much he had admired me in school, he was a grade or two below me, about how he’d observed the way I walked and how I carried myself, that he had emulated me.

That I had been cool.

I have had many a compliment, but that one haunts me.

I walk tall now, but I am not always so confident.

I love myself more and have less fear of fear.

Although not perhaps less fear.

Just a better way of getting through it.

I love that young girl in that house, she was brave and strong and so much more courageous than I ever gave her credit for.

And beautiful.

I wish she knew how beautiful she was.

Singing to herself in her room, late at night, dreaming of intangible things while cutting out photographs from fashion magazines to collage onto the wall.

And knowing, although not knowing how, exactly.

That one day.

She was going to get the fuck out.

And you know what?

I did.

 

Happy Dance

November 8, 2016

I just did my little soft shoe Converse shuffle of joy.

I mean I busted out some serious happy dance moves.

I jumped up.

I wiggled around.

I giggled like an insane person.

Then.

Just for the fuck of it all.

I did it again.

I’m happy.

I have been given so much.

It blows my mind.

It really does and I can’t express it and I can’t believe it sometimes and the joy of it makes me burst out dancing like, well, like no one’s watching.

Because.

Um.

No one was.

Heh.

If I could dance for you I would.

Happy and free and silly and overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

With the shape of the moon half full floating in the sky.

With the sand dunes curling down to the sea.

With the smell of pumpkin pie spice and the glow of candles.

I would dance and stomp and twirl.

I like to dance when I am happy.

I have on some good French house music.

The Kungs.

And the internet hasn’t dropped me, yet, sometimes it’s hard to get the wifi down here in my little hobbit hole and when I want to hook up my phone to my Ihome speaker, it can drop and I won’t have my Spotify.

But tonight.

The wifi knew I wanted to dance.

To make photographs in my heart of my feelings.

Channeled with love, hollowed out glories of memories yet to be made and wanders where I capture all the joyousness in my life.

I feel seen and loved and cherished.

I feel special.

And lit up.

It is a sublime feeling.

One that I capture and hold, in the burrows of my bones, in the skein of my soul, in the stretch and uplift of laughter on my mouth, in the way it curves in a smile, perpetual and open, lifted and lightened.

I am feeling good.

You may surmise.

Your summary would be correct.

I have so much.

I can hold it in my hand.

The weight of it.

The heft of it.

Hewn there.

The glory of images and moments, succulent, sweet, piled up like persimmons harvested from the bins at the farmer’s market.

Excuse me.

Dance break.

Damn that is some good music.

Ah, music, you fill me up.

I was sharing with someone earlier about a time in my life when I lost the cello.

It used to sadden me, make me rumpled with remorse, with loss, with sorrow, with regret.

Not that there really was much I could have done or changed about the circumstances.

My family moved from an urban school system to a rural school system, both were public, that did not have an orchestra.

I was bereft.

I had been playing cello for years.

It was my passion.

My solace.

My retreat from the world.

I really had believed I was going to grow up to be a cellist in an orchestra.

Mister Ziegler was adamantly against my parents decision, my conductor, he was aghast when my family decided to make the move and I was no longer going to be able to play.

We were too poor for me to continue private lessons.

The school I was in loaned me a school cello, a beautiful full-sized lion of a cello, golden and burnt orange, I actually had two.

One that I kept at home and one that I practiced with at school.

The one I kept at home was the beauty and I was loath to part with her.

The school had not only been supportive of my cello playing–it was unheard of for a student to have access to not one but two stringed instruments–they also, I have no clue who cleared it, again, probably Mister Ziegler, for me to have once a week private lessons with a cellist from the UW Madison orchestra.

He was beautiful.

And his fingers stunned me, so long and tapered and elegant, they way he held the neck of the cello and his bow hand.

Shut up.

Amazing.

I had a good bow hand, but his was impeccable.

He had dark hair and dark eyes and was pale as blue shadows on ice.

I remember the other girl who got lessons, her parents paid for them, Susie, she was the talented one, the one with the really expensive cello, the girl who would become first chair.

At least that’s what Mister Ziegler predicted.

“You Carmen, you’re not going to be first chair, or second, maybe third, but let me be honest, you’ll probably be fourth if you’re lucky,” he told me one day as the orchestra emptied out and the students headed off to classes other than the annoying one that their parents were pushing them into.

The girls who quit because they wanted to grow their fingernails and date boys.

The guys who dropped to play football or soccer or baseball.

And me.

I was hurt, at first when he said it, I was not expecting to hear that, I knew, oh how I knew, like you know when you love someone but they can’t or won’t love you back, I knew that I was not first chair material.

But.

Fuck.

Not even third?

That hurt.

Then.

He stopped.

He looked down at me as I straddled the chair with my cello laying against my leg, took off his horn rimmed glasses and polished them absent-mindedly with his shirt tail, “but you will always have a place in an orchestra Carmen, always, you have something that an orchestra desperately needs, you have heart.”

I had tears in my eyes when he told me that.

I have tears in my eyes now.

“You won’t be first chair, but Carmen, you will play, you will have a job, you can make a career out of this, you can, you have soul and passion and heart and no orchestra can survive without that.”

He tucked his shirt in, put his glasses on his nose and ran his hands through his hair, it was a wild nest of just beginning to fade red curls that on a lessor man or a slightly different face would have called to mind Bozo the clown, instead of this passionate, eccentric, oddball man full of handsome charm and charisma.

“I’m going to talk to your parents again, see if maybe we can’t figure something out,” he padded to the front of the room in his sock feet, he had a habit of conducting in his socks, and took the music off the podium, “scat kiddo, get to your next class.”

He did have a conference with my mom and step father.

It was for naught.

I lost the cello.

But I did not lose the joy.

I did not lose the love.

I did not lose my heart.

It broke open.

Got bigger.

It got some more love on.

Tonight it overflows with it.

And.

I am not sorrowful for that loss.

Rather.

I am grateful for the time I got to have with the cello.

It was a blessing.

Grateful for all the gifts in my life.

All of them.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I am.

I am.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

Day By Day

October 27, 2016

I just get by.

Or.

So the thinking goes.

I was a little off today, a little not quite myself, a little quiet, a little introspective.

This is not a problem.

Granted.

It’s also not something that I care for very much, thinking about myself usually just breeds misery.

The day was just a day, I tell myself, sure, it didn’t exactly go my way, but I have no control over that.

Frankly I was just grateful it didn’t rain so that I could ride my scooter to work.

Mondays and Wednesday’s I’m up at the top of Eureka Street in Noe Valley and it’s no small climb, it’s not a good place to get to via public transportation, nor would it be an easy ride on my bicycle.

Nope.

So not having rain today, grateful.

Tomorrow is another story.

Rain, rain, rain.

All week.

All weekend.

Ugh.

I’ll probably take MUNI into work on Thursday and Friday and to see my person in the Inner Sunset on Saturday.

I don’t have plans.

I don’t have Halloween plans.

I don’t have a date.

I don’t have anything.

Well.

Ha.

I guess I have homework, there is always that.

What with the rain I suppose I could get a lot of reading done.

I had hopes to do some reading today at work, but that definitely did not happen.

Kiddo out sick from school.

So, although I had a fat baby nap, I didn’t have time away from my charges to actually sit and do any homework.

Despite having brought it in with me.

I never touched it.

I did play a lot of Go Fish.

I did hang out and read him Harry Potter.

I did dance party with the little girl and her middle brother when he got home from school.

I made homemade pizza for dinner.

I did, actually, have a really nice day with them, it just wasn’t the day I had planned.

Story of my life.

And I can’t gripe too much, I actually did some of the reading before I went into work today.

I got up and did a lot of writing.

I read a bit too and that felt good to be doing it, though it wasn’t as much as I wanted, anything is better than nothing and it’s a kind of steady progress which will get me there.

I felt a little lonely today.

There is that.

Loneliness happens.

But.

I know that I am not alone and that helps.

Even when I am by myself, I am not alone.

I also had a moment of free-floating dread that happens about this time of year and I always forget about it until it’s happening and then it hits me and I’m like, oh yeah, this time of year was the time when I started my slide to the bottom, to my bottom.

It’s a kind of body memory.

I had an excruciating bottom and it began at Halloween and lasted until the first weekend of January.

It was devastating and all the holidays have their special marker of horror for me.

Halloween because I had thought I’d escaped my disease, or it had escaped me, my dealer had gotten arrested and for a month was MIA and I thought to myself when it happened, good, this is exactly what I need.

The goose hung high.

I was literally the proverbial boy whistling in the dark.

I had plans that Halloween to hang out with friends and have a late dinner at Bruno’s Super Club on Mission Street.

I was a flapper.

I had a pretty awesome outfit.

A beautiful grey cloche hat with a black ribbon, I had very short hair at the time, slicked back with one kiss curl on my forehead, buckle shoe Mary Jane’s, fish net stockings, a short sassy black chiffon dress, a strand of baubles, a fake beauty mark high on my right cheek, and a long cigarette holder for my cigarettes.

I got a lot of compliments on my outfit.

I was pleased.

I remember I was just having my first or second cocktail of the night and we had just finished ordering dinner.

I was going to get the sliders.

I got a phone call instead.

I hopped up to take it and headed outside for a cigarette.

It was my dealer.

He was out and how much did I want?

I hemmed and hawed and said two.

Two grams of cocaine that is.

I didn’t think about it, I didn’t think, wait, what, you weren’t going to do this anymore, I just spit out a number and then said were I was.

I went back inside, ordered another cocktail, sat down and waited for my dinner to come, which I never touched, as my dealer called just as my plate was being set down in front of me.

I hopped back up, said I’d be right back and dashed outside.

He was idling at the corner in a nondescript grey Saturn sedan.

I hopped in, handed him $100 and he handed me two grams of blow and said, I haven’t had time to cut it.

Fuck.

It was in brick.

I managed.

And I managed to fall right back down the fucking rabbit hole.

I went straight to the bathroom and chopped up a couple of lines.

They were too rocky, too big, but I was too excited and couldn’t wait to break it down proper.

Dinner sat and got cold.

I drank another cocktail.

Our friend got done with his shift and a crew of us headed out to a Halloween party.

Where?

I have no clue.

I do remember being the center of attention at one point on the back stairway having a game of dozens with the host and smoking cigarettes.

I remember a lot of trips to the bathroom to break up the cocaine so that I could actually snort it.

I remember calling my dealer the next day.

And the next.

And well.

You get the idea.

So.

Hello late October, hello Halloween with all your scary and tricks and treats.

I’m not much into it anymore, though a girl does like to dress up.

I don’t like the feeling of expectation and the need to party that seems to overtake even most normal folks.

The dread, once it was named, eased off my body and I went up to see some fellows and get right with God and I left feeling reconnected and grateful for the gentle reminder of how fucking bad it was.

I never want to go there again.

I mean.

Never.

Happy.

Joyful.

Free.

Thank God for this life.

I am.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.


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