Posts Tagged ‘present’

On The Path

December 2, 2015

And I keep on keeping on.

I just registered for my second semester of graduate school.

Hard to believe that I am rounding the bend into the home stretch of the first semester.

It felt odd to be registering for the next semester when it feels like there is still so much of this one left.

That being said.

There’s not really that much more.

I have one more weekend of classes and a final project presentation.

The presentation is the thing I need to focus on next, but I’m still finishing up some of the reading.

I am not going to fret about it.

It will get done.

It always does.

One moment at a time and the work will get done.

I was thinking about that as I deposited a check to my account and immediately pulled a bunch of money out to put into a Christmas card for my Parisian friend who bought my tickets to the ballet at the Garnier Palace Opera House in Paris for the show on the 23rd of this month.

Imagine.

In 22 days I will be in a box seat with people I love watching the ballet in Paris.

In 19 days I fly out of SFO to Paris.

In 17 days it’s my birthday.

December is a big month.

And of course, that final school weekend, that I mentioned already, is December 10th-12th.

I am almost there.

Yet it all seems so far away.

I suppose once the last paper is turned in and I have done the final project presentation I will feel it.

Until then.

It all feels rather surreal.

Like I’m treading water and swimming a million miles a minute all at the same time.

It reminds me of something I read this morning before work, in my Human Development reader about death and how having some knowledge of it makes life that much more rewarding and richer.

That awareness of the present moment being the moment to most focus on.

I can’t see much past what is happening, Paris, et al, as I am so focused on living right here, right now.

It is also an assurance to my mental sanity when I stay in the present.

So many things can go wrong in the future.

Or.

There’s just the fantasy of the future, if this than that, if I wear this will he like it more than that, if I do this will she like me, if I work harder I can do this….

Blah, blah, blah.

It’s just a way to be out of the magic of what is happening right now.

For instance.

Despite being alone tonight.

I am not lonely.

I have some Chet Baker on the stereo.

I have some tea in a mug.

It’s delicious tea.

I have tickets to Paris–my friend got hard paper tickets and they came in the mail today!

I’m going to Paris!

Ahem.

The candles are lit and the air is perfumed.

There are snow flakes hanging from the antlers in the corner and the heater is blowing warm air into the studio–it’s been cold!

There are pretty pictures on my walls, my bed is made, my house is clean, I am registered for classes, friends reached out today and texted me sweet messages.

I enrolled with a friend in my cohort and we managed to get three out of five classes together.

Excellent.

There are many more things that I can reflect on right in front of me.

The photo of my sister and I when we were five and three.

In fact, that’s a thought I keep having, blow it up and frame it and send to my mom for Christmas.

I don’t think she has any other copies of the photo.

I have Christmas cards ready to be written.

Oh!

And if you want a post card from Paris, do let me know, I’ll send one.

Sending postcards has to be one of my favorite things to do, the perfect souvenir, I have postcards that I have sent myself from all over the world.

Rome.

London.

Paris.

Burning Man.

New York.

San Francisco (yes, I do send myself postcards from San Francisco–if it’s somewhere I have never been and I am having an experience I like to document it–heck I send cards to folks that live just down the street).

It’s the thing to do.

Staying here.

Staying in the moment and being kind to myself.

As I was reading school work a bit before I started writing the blog and I realized that I wasn’t really retaining the information.

Sometimes that happens.

So.

I stop.

And refocused and got into the present.

Which is where all the gifts are.

That’s why it’s called the “present.”

Mwhahahaha.

Anyway.

The point being that it’s a night for a little extra self-care, a shower, a snuggle with a cozy blanket, the rest of a French movie my dear Parisian friend suggested–Blue Is The Warmest Color.

I like to watch French movies before I travel to Paris.

It helps with getting the language back into my ear.

French music too.

All the things French.

All the things.

I’m pretty happy right now.

Yes.

I am a touched stressed, there is work to do, but I see it all happening and I know how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing, where I am doing it, and getting to do all the things.

Because.

Ultimately.

I do all the really important things.

If you haven’t figured out what that is yet.

We can have a little talk one on one.

Heh.

Otherwise.

It is safe to say that my life is a miracle.

And I don’t have to be on my deathbed to see it.

I just have to stay.

Present.

 

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Cracked Open

August 12, 2015

I knew it would happen.

I have been on the verge for days now.

I’ve only been here in Petaluma for the graduate school retreat for 2.5 days.

Retreat.

Ha.

It is boot camp.

But at least it’s boot camp in a really pretty place.

Not that I have seen much of it, just a few glimpses walking between classes and going to the dining hall for meals, but you know, the view is pretty when I have gotten to take it in.

And.

This morning.

So sweet.

So special.

I was sitting out on a deck behind the building in which the first class of the day was to be held writing my morning pages and I heard a rustle in the grass and looked up.

Deer.

A doe and her fawn.

Just there.

Not even ten feet away, more like five or eight.

I don’t know that I have ever been that close to a deer.

The doe looked at me and the fawn regarded me, then I bent to my pages and they bent to their graze and it was a perfect communion of you do your thing and we’ll do ours.

They nibbled grass so close to me that I could actually hear them chewing it!

That was an awesome moment.

And there have been many awesome moments.

Bonding with my cohort.

Bonding in ways that I did not know was possible around issues I did not even know to think about in ways that I had no frame for contemplating previous to being here.

The defect of being the perfect little school girl, having to have my readers all read and my books all read and taking notes and listening attentively and sitting up front and raising my hand.

Here, I’m here, “present,” I said when my name was called for roll this morning.

Present.

The gift of getting to be here.

Not that many people get to go after their Masters degree.

Not that many people get to have this kind of experience.

I am hanging out with some pretty smart cookies and doing some deeply intensive, thoughtful, powerful work.

And I am working.

Let me not put too fine a point on it.

This is serious shit.

And I keep showing up for it even when I wanted to vomit in my mouth today and pee my pants at the same time when my professor handed out additional readings and said, oh there will be more posted to the syllabus on the web and here are the instructions for the five papers (FIVE!) you have to write for the course as well as a presentation that has to be done partnered up with another person in class, and the final project, which we’ll talk about tomorrow.

I was going to start hyperventilating.

I got full.

I got so full of information I stopped taking any in.

My partner looked at me, “are you ok?  Do you need to use the bathroom?”

“I’m not going to pee my pants, I’m just overwhelmed,” I said and laughed, but it wasn’t a laugh that went much further than my mouth, it wasn’t a body laugh or a joyful laugh, it was a forced exhalation of air, and a let’s move on to the next part of this exercise so we can break for dinner.

The entire cohort wandered to the dining hall in a haze of books and papers and comparing notes with the other half of the cohort and their reading schedule and who like which professor and interestingly enough, some folks switched and even though I was having a hard time navigating the amount of work that was just handed to me in my brain, I could see that I was in the right class for me.

“Have you felt this before,” the woman sitting next to me at dinner said when I told her how overwhelmed I was and the experience of being handed more work and just trying to organize it all in my brain.

And I realized I had.

We started talking about it and I shared about how no one else in my immediate family had gotten a college degree, though my mom did do some college courses, she never got her degree, which means of course that there is no one in my family who has gotten a Master’s degree and how I have had to rely on myself to go through this process.

Although that is not necessarily true, I have had my support networks, but they don’t look like traditional support.

Anyway.

I just realized how hard and for how long I have been trying to get out from underneath the pains and traumas, and dramas and neglect, the abuse and the historical ramifications of my family and it was hard work, constant struggle and effort and more to get where I am and then to get into and through college, and I don’t blame my family, they did the best they could with what they had, but I was always looking for a way out.

School was my way out.

“And you got out,” she said, and patted my hand, “you’re here.’

Ahhhhhh.

I felt tears prickle my eyes.

I did get out.

And I am here.

Present.

To be in this gift, to be a gift, to myself and to my community and to my family.

A full meal, a couple of cups of coffee and a refilled water bottle, back to class for another three hours.

Where I broke open and broke down.

We had the most powerful lecture and the significance of the work that was done is too great for me to write in great detail–I have to go to bed soon and get up and do it all over again tomorrow as well.

Suffice to say I was not the only person in tears or who had to excuse themselves to have a cry in the bathroom or blow their nose, many, almost all of us of the sixteen, were in tears, we all worked through some stuff, we all processed, we all really got aboard the therapy bus and the journey really is happening.

I saw things.

I resolved things.

I grieved.

Oh man did I grieve.

I also yelled at God a bit.

Then I listened to my fellow cohort and we all shared and it was stupendous.

This is such a gift and I know not what the bloom will look like on the flower.

But the shell of the seed has germinated.

The husk is cracked.

And I have adequately, sufficiently.

ABUNDANTLY.

Watered the seed with my tears.

I almost didn’t write tonight.

But I am glad I did.

Just to let the tears dry a little on my face and unload a little.

It’s good.

It’s all good.

And.

It’s so very, very, very.

All the things.

Let The Shopping Begin!

April 10, 2015

Or the obsessing.

Depends on how you care to phrase that.

I officially bought my first Burning Man thingamajig this past Monday.

VERY quietly.

I don’t want to draw too much attention to it, but it was fabulous and it’s from Community Thrift on Valencia Street and it was the first Monday of the month, so said item was 1/2 off.

I got a vintage 60s aquamarine sequined dress with a marabou off the shoulder collar for $4.62.

Not bad.

Pair that sucker with a pair of boots, some fishnets, and some electric blue eyeliner–the dress is entirely aquamarine sequins, I’m going to shimmer in the high desert air, yes I am, and stick a flower in my hair (or five, it’s Burning Man after all, I wear flowers in my hair almost every day, I should up the ante for the actual event) and I will be set to sashay my way across the playa.

Or ride my chopper.

I may wear the dress to a party I was invited to recently, but I am not sure.

I actually want to have it slightly altered, the fit is not the greatest, it has a bit of a sack feel to it, but the fabric was so fun and it was so cheap to buy, that I had to have it.

The other thing I got today, specifically for Burning Man.

Baby wipes.

Yeah.

I know.

Not exactly glamorous, like my sequined dress, but necessary, and the damn things are expensive, at least the ones I like to use, so when I saw them on sale at the store, I grabbed a pack.

I parse out my Burning Man buys so that it does not feel like I just exploded my entire life savings on going to that thing in the desert where they burn the man, hey.

I got home from work and shopping and doing the deal and unloaded my messenger bag with my groceries and toiletries and thought, I should stash these, and here it is, I now have a Burning Man shelf in my little utility cupboard in my kitchenette (I also have a list of supplies that I wrote out two weeks ago).

And as I was putting away the wipes I thought, here it is, was my official first Burning Man purchase for the upcoming event.

But, nope, I realized, when I looked in my closet, there was the dress.

“Oh, I didn’t think this would last long when I saw it come in the store, and I was right,” the clerk said at Community Thrift when he rang me up.  “I do hope you have a special place for it.”

I smiled.

“Burning Man.”

“Oh, are you going?  First time?” He asked, then continued, “I’ve never been, but I hear its fabulous.”

“This will make number nine,” I said, grinning, I couldn’t help it.

It really is rather amazing when I think about it, I can’t get my shit together to go camping at Yosemite–I’ve never been–nor to the Grand Canyon, but I have gotten out to Burning Man eight times now and am about to embark on my 9th.

Not that it’s around the corner.

“When is it?” The clerk asked, folding the dress up for me, “next month?”

“Oh no,” I replied, “not until the end of August, but when you see something that so obviously says Burning Man, one is compelled to buy it.”

With that said, I’m waffling on pulling the trigger on a pair of boots.

I always do this.

The boots thing for me is a constant negotiation in my brain, whether I splurge and buy something fancy, or I cheap out, as the dust is going to destroy them anyhow and I just get a pair to beat up and toss.

I wish there was a boot fairy.

I have this dilemma every year and I am about over it.

I also was thinking that if I got the right pair I could wear them over to the NIMBY event a week from Saturday.

I am definitely contemplating going, just got to get the logistics worked out and I suppose, buy a ticket.

I get paid tomorrow, so that should not be an issue.

Plus, I made sure to put some money in my spending plan for entertainment purposes, and I can afford the ticket.

By the time I purchase it I think the price will have gone up to $30.

Not horrible, but the last time I spent $30 on tickets, the Basement Jaxx at Public Works, I didn’t go.

I don’t want to do that again.

Decisions.

Decisions.

Luxury problems all.

I actually have a pair of boots that I am probably going to sacrifice to that great dust god in the sky anyway.

I bought them for when I took the motorcycle training course to get my license for my scooter.

I have worn them but a few times and they just sort of hang out in my closet taking up space.

I don’t really have to buy boots.

It’s just my brain looking to latch onto something, anything, to obsess about.

Ah, brain, I hear you, there’s no problems, so let’s manufacture some.

Work is good.

Life is good.

My hair is fabulous.

I just got out of the shower and have laundry in the wash.

I have a new laptop.

My rent is paid.

I’ll be paying my phone bill here in a minute.

I’m going to graduate school.

I’m going to Worlds in Atlanta in July.

I’m going to Chula Vista to see my grandmother in May.

I’m going to Burning Man.

Yeah.

Not really any problems in my life at all.

Bird song at twilight as I rode home, the dusk purple and gray, soft, the twitter of robins flying through the bracken, the cool rush of air over my body as I round the corner near the falls, the echo of the water crashing across the road and bouncing off the Eucalyptus trees, the smell of spring, the soft lushness of roses blooming wild in a small bowl of a valley across from Spreckels Lake, the last of the sunset blushing the sky as turn right and fly home the last few blocks from Chain of Lakes onto Lincoln Ave then to 46th Avenue.

Beauty everywhere.

All for free.

Nothing to obsess over.

Just to observe.

And absorb.

Into the wilds of my heart.

Who needs boots when there is such beauty?

Well.

Maybe, I can have both?

Ha.

Pretty, Soft, &

November 10, 2013

Bitter sweet.

“Call me when you want to hang out,” he said to me as I gathered my bag and my little canvas sack of groceries with the pink Gerber Daisies hanging their fat, cheery, pink heads out of the top of the bag.

“I will, Mister,” I said, opened the door and got out.

I caught him leaning in to kiss me out the corner of my eye as I exited the car and my heart softly beat a moment’s pause, then settled back down as I quietly shut the door on the fantasy.

No kiss was had.

I was not expecting to get a ride home from him, it rather just happened.

I was hoping to see someone else tonight.

And that did not happen.

Although I did get a text late in the day explaining why.

And that felt nice.

Nice to be acknowledged, told that they would be getting back to me, and when.

You see, Mister, that’s how it works.

I have tried to tell you when I would like to hang out.

I even bought a new dress for it, but you, well, you had to work.

I was going to tell it to you like it is last Saturday and you dropped me off at my house with a fellow passenger in the car, negating said conversation and you drove off not telling me when I would hear back or if I would hear back, just that we would hang out soon.

A week of no contact.

I forgot rather what I was going to say.

I don’t need to have conversations in my head with imaginary partners.

See I realize, that you, Mister, were an imaginary affair, safe and sound and intimate because you don’t have it to offer me right now.

Your intentions always so sweet and I would fall for them every time, every fucking time.

I was Charlie Brown and you were Lucy, and I was going to run up to that football and kick it good and hard and score the winning goal and then you would want me and we would all live happily ever after going to museums and travelling and eating at nice restaurants.

And the sex?

Why that would be the bomb, it would be amazing, it would put my vibrator to shame.

Which is hard to do when you own a Hitachi Magic Wand.

Why, I would be throwing it out because the satisfaction would be so amazing.

Would, could, should.

Words that don’t work so well in my vocabulary.

“We should hang out.”

“We should go there.”

“We should go for a walk on the beach.”

I could probably write a few more, but they all come down to the same things, some sweet words, some kind kisses, and lots of empty actions, cancellations, and lack of connection.

You can be willing to say it to me and I can be willing to hear it, spin it out as fantasy and I then can spend my time in a safe little bubble where I don’t get hurt and you and I hang out in imaginary perfection land.

I wasn’t able to say anything.

I don’t know if it was restraint of pen and tongue or what.

There were just no words to say.

How do you break up when there was never really a relationship?

How to say that I am not interested in pursuing it.

I have stopped texting.

I have stopped expecting.

I am in with people who want to spend time with me.

“Let’s meet up and have dinner,” my darling Beth texted me.

Yes.

Let’s.

I was on the way up to Noe Valley after a surprising interlude of hula hooping on the beach.

My housemate was headed out to the Ocean Beach with her daughter and her daughter’s friend from school, our new friend we met last week on the beach with her bright-colored hula hoops was also down the way and I happened to walk in at just the right moment to jump on the caravan.

“Come!” My house mate said with great enthusiasm.

Yes.

That is what I want in my life, enthusiasm, followed by action.

I ran into my studio and tossed up a kale salad and quickly heated up a veggie burger, a persimmon in my bag, my camera, some water, and off to the beach.

Beach Bum

Lunch on the beach

There was a great big sand castle building tournament going on and the beach was packed.

Outlying elementary schools competing in sand castle building.

They were so sweet, utterly delicious, totally amateur, and astoundingly perfect.

The castles were built with glee and joy and the whelps of laughter as the tide rose in to rush the moats was a balm on my soul.

Our new hooping friend had a nephew who was competing.

I am not sure what the outcome was, they were all so utterly sweet and endearing, how could there be just one winner?

The crowds were big, but we found a nice patch of beach and pulled out the hoops.

My house mate gifted me one this morning.

I had all sorts of ideas about what I was going to do today and how I was going to do it and it was completely thrown into a loop when I wasn’t able to address the laundry I thought I needed to do.

I wanted perfection.

Instead I got a day at the beach, a hula hoop, and spending time with wonderful girlfriends–new ones, with hula hoops, “old” ones who I have known for almost nine years of my time in San Francisco, dear ones who mean so much to me and I need to spend more time with, little ones who were amazed that I hooped as long as I did.

I got to be around a gaggle of girls and it was awesome.

When I got the call from the man I was already in Noe Valley and I did not answer.

I don’t have anything to say.

You are sweet.

You are endearing.

You are handsome.

You are a fantasy I am tired of having.

I am interested in being alive.

I am interested in not just saying I want to do something, I want to hang out with you, but I have to go do some other stuff first, no, I want to be available for the life and the wonderful surprises it throws me, hula hoops, surfing.

I bumped into a woman tonight I know scantily from friends of friends and I discovered she surfs.

We are going to go to Pacifica next Sunday.

That’s what I am talking about.

Let’s not just talk about it.

Let’s do it.

What ever it is.

Let’s do it.

I may fall back into the fantasy mode, it is easy, it is safe, but I know that I have to surrender to being vulnerable, intimate, present to be alive.

So, here I am.

Present and accounted for.


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