Posts Tagged ‘pretty’

Foiled!

July 14, 2017

But not really.

I mean.

Yes, I am a bit disappointed that the Friday 8:30 a.m. yoga class I was going to hit up was cancelled.

Boo hiss.

But.

On the other hand.

I get to sleep in!

Yes!

Especially after a full week and a very, very, very full day today.

It was a good day, but it certainly had some big pockets of anxiety.

Not mine either.

The family I nanny for left today for three weeks.

THREE!

Oh my God am I so excited to have some down time.

I actually.

Wait for it.

I have the whole day off tomorrow!

The whole fucking day.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Like.

Over the god damn moon.

No clients.

No internship.

No paperwork.

Not as though they didn’t try.

Ugh.

I had an e-mail today that I wasn’t paying much attention to as I was busy helping the parents get ready for their trip.

I had to do a lot of monkey wrangling today and the monkeys did not want to be wrangled.

When I showed up the oldest boy was already in his travel clothes with his back pack on his back.

Oh dear.

They didn’t leave for the airport until 4p.m. today.

It was 9a.m. when I showed up for work.

Sigh.

I could tell it was going to be a challenge, but I was game for what was happening, although I thought I might lose it when the two oldest siblings just about killed each other at the playground.

They are really physical kids and sometimes I think they go at it a little too hard, somebody gets too aggressive, somebody pokes too hard, or pulls hair or bites and all hell breaks lose the the sister goes bananas.

I mean.

The lady can howl bloody murder.

I also know when she’s faking for attention, so there’s that, but like, the rest of the playground doesn’t know that, she sounds like she’s dying but it’s just dramatics.

I let it go as long as I can, hoping they will work it out and once in a while I do have to intervene.

And of course, though it was pulling teeth to get them to the playground, when it was actually time to rally and go back up the hill, we were at the Noe Valley Rec Center, they didn’t want to go home.

Haha.

Ah.

Nanny life.

They did get home though, and by the time I got them across the MUNI tracks at the end of Church Street and heading up the hill on Chenery, they started to get excited.

So too, did I.

I could see the end of my shift in sight and though I was going to have some down time in between my client that I saw tonight and the end of my shift, I was happy that my shift was about over.

It did seem like an extra long day.

Just the anticipation and the anxiety and the double and triple checking the passports and visas and id’s and snacks and last minute laundry, and cleaning out the fridge (I was given three pounds of asparagus as a parting gift and two avocados that hadn’t been eaten.  What the hell am I going to do with that much asparagus?  Soup maybe.) and getting the keys to the house and making sure I had an extra set of car keys if there was an emergency and also co-ordinating the cars and the all of it.

It was a lot.

So yeah.

Four o’clock and I was able to zoom out.

I got a check for the overtime I worked this week.

Yeah.

Overtime.

And I’m interning, but whatever I got to make it through and yes, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of yoga but the additional sleep in time will be nice.

The time I had in between work and my client this evening was spent running errands, post office, zip home, drop off package, collect mail, tidy house, clean bathroom, masturbate, ahem, I needed to de-stress after I sat down and checked my e-mails.

They booked me a client for tomorrow!

NO!!!

I said no clients.

I wanted to have this one fucking Friday free.

What the hell?

I was upset.

I have plans.

I thought about contacting the person I am seeing tomorrow and saying, well, shoot, sorry, I got a client, but then I saw it was a consult and I was like, no, this is bullshit, I marked the calendar clearly and I do not want to take a consult tomorrow.

NO.

I started an e-mail and then I was like, why the hell am I fucking around.

Call my assistant director.

I did.

We cleared it up.

I have tomorrow off.

Which is fucking good since I’m getting my hair done.

Cut and color and a blow out.

Please and thank you.

I laughed with the mom today when she asked if I was doing anything fun, besides working at my internship while they were on vacation.  And I told her I was going to a ritzy upscale salon downtown to get my hair did.

I always feel a bit out of place there, so many ashy blondes with razor cut layers, so much money, the atmosphere is very white, upscale, wealthy, which is fine, I just feel a little out of place, although I like to play like I have money and I hazard I tip better than the majority of the clients, much better.

The cut and color will still be a pretty fucking penny, but I don’t care, hello student loan summer disbursement.

Thanks overtime check from this week and last week.

I got the cash and I deserve to be a little spoiled.

Anyway.

I do like Harper Paige (good grief even the name sounds like ash highlights and toner), I get a sassy cup of coffee, fashion magazines, and the prettiest smock I’ve ever worn getting a hair cut.

And.

I know the colorist.

I have known her for over twelve years and she’s amazing and probably has as many tattoos as I do and we have a lot of mutual friends in common, I mean a lot.

So.

She’s the reason why I’m “slumming” at a fancy pants salon down town.

I’m even going to skip taking my scooter and splurge on a car.

Get all dressed up, wear some stockings, put on some heels and a pretty frock and really play the part, you know, tattoos be damned, I can look hella polished and femme when I want to.

I’m so excited.

It feels nice to take the time and let myself be properly pampered.

I may even book a massage over the next couple of weeks.

I have a tentative MOMA date with a girlfriend Monday after I meet with my supervisor and some lunch dates and coffee dates with friends lined up.

Nothing solid yet, but I’m going to enjoy my time “off” so much.

I’ll still be taking clients.

Just not tomorrow.

Heh.

Here’s to a very well deserved day off.

I mean.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

I was in the upstairs bathroom at work wrangling monkeys, brushing teeth.

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

I had to put down my phone, I could not finish reading the sweet e-mail I had received from my patron, my eyes kept tearing up reading it and I had to manage the two boys.

I’m just going to call him that, he’s my patron.

Anyone who sends me a check for $1,000 for some poems is my patron.

Anyway.

I had sent him an effusive e-mail thanking him for the check and how I was honored and seen and just over the moon.

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

Sometimes in the waning I feel there is more power, more poesie, more haunting and longing.

The wandering back into the self, the darkening lunar landscape, the eery rise in the night sky and the glow as it rose over the trees in Golden Gate Park, the nipping wind chill on my neck and my arms, reminder to up the sweatshirt ante here soon.

The Indian summer is passing and the autumn cold is coming.

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

He sent me back another sweet missive and the above quote amongst them.

To be the embodiment of the poet, that means so much.

The validation has been powerful.

It’s hard to acknowledge and yet, I know I absolutely have to, its false modesty to not acknowledge it and the sorrow for all the time I didn’t let myself create, the doubt, the fear, the negotiating my own way through the world, poetic voice or no poetic voice, being an artist, yet denying myself entrée into the club.

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

I know you say I have a reservation to be here, but there’s been a mistake.

The maitre d leads me to the table and seats me despite my own fuss.

“When I heard you reciting them,” my person said to me in front of the Church St. Cafe as we sat and drank tea and caught up, “I thought to myself, oh these are lovely, who’s are they?”

He continued, looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes, that matched exactly the corn flower blue cashmere sweater wrapped over his shoulders, “I didn’t know you wrote them, it took me a minute to catch on!”

We talked about the story behind the poems and I told him how I got there to the creative process and how I did a nonce and what that was like and it was me running away at the mouth.

“Girl, I knew you could write, but I had no idea about this part of you,” he said and smiled, with his eyes and mouth and heart, and squeezed my hands.

“You are an artist and you are curious and you let yourself go there and you have experiences, this other artist saw that in you and you connected and you let yourself do that,” he smiled more.

My heart squeezed itself in my chest and tears rose in my eyes.

“I feel like I may have cheated myself a little though,” I told him.

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

“Well, I cashed the check and immediately, like within minutes I had transferred the entire thing into my savings account, there was no celebration, there was just a straight transfer, I feel like I should be celebrating and doing something with it, although I am doing something with it, I’m going to get a Vespa, a new one, which is what I wanted to do all along before I got bamboozled last year with the knock off I bought.”

“Girl, you are celebrating, you are telling me the story of the poems,” he looked at me, “it’s good that you put that money right into your savings.”

He’s right.

I don’t have to go out and spend the money frivolously to prove some sort of point.

In fact.

I transferred the entire $1,000 and another $150 of my own into savings.

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

Just a little closer to my new ride then I was the day before yesterday.

The acknowledgement, the accolades, the poems themselves, the being a poet, letting myself be seen, that is the celebration.

Plus.

All the love from my friends who have always seen this side of me and applauded it when I did not or was not able to.

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

I also revel in the almost weekend of it all and my staid Halloween plans.

Which include going to 7th and Irving to get right with God, meet my person at Tart to Tart, maybe get the nails done, then lunch with a friend, and afterward, borrowing said friends couch to sit and read all day long on and maybe, just maybe, let myself take a nap.

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

That and sitting down tomorrow to write-up another sonnet.

I have an idea I want to submit to the Bastille and I need to get it out to them ASAP, the deadline is the 31st.

Plus.

I have decided that the compensation for the sonnet series being what it is I am not, cannot with any integrity, submit it for further publication or award.

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

I am going to send in a sonnet that was supposed to be part of the sequence, but I messed up the rhyme scheme and the principle was out-of-order, so I tossed it.

I tried to re-work it but, it just didn’t fit.

I let it go and wrote a fresh one that fit the schematic I had set up.

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

This means, I have an extra sonnet with all the flavor of the sequence, that I did not submit to my collaborator and patron.

Thus.

I will rework it and tighten it up and send that off instead.

I love that I have ideas falling out of my head.

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

And move forward into the generous flow of language that is out there just waiting for me to cast my net upon it’s worded sea of stars and images.

I’ll push out my boat into that ether and gather wide the nets into my arms aching and full.

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

Sucking Brain Power In One Fell Swoop

May 29, 2015

Gone.

What was I doing?

Sipping tea, looking at photographs on my grandmother’s mantles and walls, hearing stories, trying to not think about the weird e-mail in my in-box about my financial aid for school that puzzled me to the point that I could not read it more than twice without closing the message.

I looked at it again this morning.

They need what?

I already have my FAFSA in.

The school already has my information.

What more do you need?

Some more stuff, some more things.

Oh.

That’s it.

That little button.

That fucking little button there took me changing my password, updating my information, having over five windows open on my screen, toggling back and forth, figuring out new security questions, for almost an hour.

At one point I thought, next they will ask me to stand on my head and and with my right hand point to the true North.

Ugh.

That was obnoxious.

However.

Another thing done in the small but steady range of  actions I am certain I will have to continue to take to get into school, let alone, well, um, school itself.

Actually.

School.

I believe, will be ok.

It’s the minutiae, the small stuff, the obvious stuff, that I don’t always get.

“There, water level, right in front of you,” my cousin pointed out the fountain water-spout.

I was mesmerized by the soda options.

When was the last time I had stood in front of a soda fountain machine?

Coke?

Cherry Coke?

Rootbeer?

Sprite?

All of it please.

In a really big cup with hella crushed ice and a dessert pizza on the side.

Hahahaha.

I had a cup of water and a “pizza salad” without the pizza part–my cousin didn’t realize that I don’t eat flour, or sugar for that matter–and had taken us all to the new popular pizza place down the road.

It smelled divine.

And truthfully, I was too overwhelmed with the sudden abundance of family and how to act and be polite and be me and not melt into the background.

Not that I wouldn’t stand out a little anyway.

Even without the hot pink hair.

“I like your style,” my friend texted, “you got flavor.”

Flavor.

Yup.

I’ll take it.

And I do.

My ex called it “quirky” and I argue, I am not quirky.

Quirky is Zoe Deschanel and kitten sweaters and argyle socks and well, not me.

I rebut quirky with girl has flavor.

“Chicks with visible neck tattoos and pink hair aren’t anything nuts to me,” he replied, “maybe in Iowa.”

Yet.

When I travel outside of San Francisco I do seem to get a little extra attention.

Although not always in a bad way, the TSA agent at the airport was excited by my hair, “awesome hair!”  He enthused and waved me through.

Where I got to find out that I had to sit in SFO for a bit longer than I thought.

My flight was delayed.

Ugh.

Although, as I sat in the terminal linked up to the internet sipping organic, cold pressed iced coffee and having just finished an organic Niman Ranch hamburger (no bun, no onion, no fries, thank you) with a side of, yes organic, mixed greens, I thought, hmm.

SFO.

Worse places to be delayed.

For sure.

The flight was delayed for weather.

That’s right.

Fog.

Carl the Fog was wrapping up the airport tight.

I wasn’t happy to be delayed, but it gave me a moment to look over the e-mail from the FAFSA people.

I still didn’t get it and I decided, not going to boot up my laptop and try to figure it out.

Sit back.

Sip the coffee.

Watch a video.

Then the fog lifted and I was up in the air and before I knew it the plane was descending through the blue skies, clear of fog, lots of sunshine, and low 70 degree weather.

I took off my sweatshirt.

I needed it on the way to the airport and I needed it on the plane, they do always seem so cold, even a short flight.

Sidebar.

Almost one year later.

My ankle hurts when flying.

It swelled up and got tender and I had to stand in the aisle for a while rolling it around and getting the blood flow going.

I really couldn’t believe it.

The last time I flew was December and it was pretty tight after that flight, and still it’s not fully healed.

I really didn’t believe the doctor when he said it would be 6-8 months and possibly a year before it was fully healed.

End aside.

The sun was shining, the fake boobs were on display.

I mean.

Whoa.

I realized as I watched a woman in a low-cut shelf tank top proudly displaying her assets, I am not in San Francisco anymore.

Granted I have not spent a lot of time in Southern California, but I did immediately see things that I have not seen in San Francisco (and I’m sure I have seen fake boobs in SF, I’m sure they exist, they’re probably just hidden under thirteen layers of clothing and a black hoodie and infinity scarf-every woman could have fake tits and I would never know), enhanced cleavage, spray tan or fake tan, blow outs, high platform sandals, skin-tight jeans/jeggings, I still stood out.

I probably always will.

But I have stopped being so concerned with how I look.

As stated previously, I dress for myself and to make myself happy.

And I was happy I got my stuff packed and on my way with no delay this morning.

I also remembered to wear my clogs so that I didn’t have to struggle with going through security.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the lounge waiting for the flight to board that I began to sense some side looks and stares.

And I realized that I usually do get them when traveling.

I have a moment or two of feeling singled out, then I thought, whatever, I’m a good-looking woman and who cares if I have pink hair and tattoos, they look pretty and I have flavor and so there.

Ah.

My brain is coming back, the FAFSA website has not won.

Now I can bring my mind back to hanging out in San Diego.

I’m ready for some more sunshine.

PS

As I am editing this blog, my grandmother came over and said, “your hair looks so pretty up like that, it looks like a flower.”

#winning

All the Pretty

September 19, 2013

All the pretty, for you my sweet.

My heart just soared tonight as I crested the hill at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue in the Outer Sunset.

The light.

It was pure gold.

Literally standing bathed in the golden hour.

I felt like it was mine for the taking and I am so glad I slipped my camera in my bag before I headed out.

Sunset

Sunset, Ulloa Street at 41st Avenue

Especially as I had lunch with a new friend in Cole Valley today, let me stop and give a quick shout out to Zasie, didn’t know you had that cute little patio happening, I will be catching more action there.  So lovely, especially on a day with no fog and warm sun scattering the leaves along the sidewalk.

I love Indian Summer in San Francisco.

I felt pretty.

They sky felt pretty.

The sun felt pretty damn good on my skin.

Heck, I just realized that I ate outside twice today, dinner with my friend and her daughter on the patio behind the house, and lunch on the patio at Zasie, not bad for San Francisco.

In fact, I have dined al fresco more meals since I moved here than I have any where else I have lived in the city.

Maybe I will take my lunch down to the beach tomorrow.

I have the day off.

Anyone want to go to the beach?

I will be taking more photographs.

I did not have my laptop with me to share the photos I was approached about while I was at Burning Man, but we did sit at Zasie and then later at La Boulange, and talk about Burning Man, photography, art, artists, New York, LA, Paris, the art scene, photographers we both admired.

I got the gist for the project he would like me to tackle and we will be setting up another time to go over my photos and have him choose some for the site.

I am quite excited.

I am also feeling some nice validation.

The way he spoke, the way he spoke about how I witness my world and my art, I felt like I was being acknowledged as an artist.

Which I am.

Yeah, I know, y’all got that nanny thing at the forefront of your minds.

But I am a creative and I do create and I told myself a long, long time ago that I was not the one with talent in my family for art.

You betcha.

She’s a smart one, that Carmen, but her sister’s the artist.

And the pretty one.

Today, well, I felt pretty, how could I not, swaddled in the light from the sun, that golden orb swinging low over the sea draping the world in a blanket of flaxen light.

Sky Light

Gold

And I felt like an artist.

I spoke about what I do, how I work, where my inspirations come from, how I frame my shots.

I am an amateur and there is a long road ahead of me with the photography, with the writing as well, but how nice is that?

I have a long road to meander down, pointing my camera at the world.

My favorite French film is La Petite Voleuse.

There are things about it that captivated me when I first saw it.

It tasted like real popcorn hot and drizzled with real butter fat, and sweet Pepsi in a paper cup chock full of crushed ice, and a Lindt dark chocolate bar, they sold the Swiss chocolate at the Majestic on King Street in Madison, WI, where I saw the movie.

I was seventeen.

I wanted to be the little thief, not necessarily the life that she came from, it smacked a little too close to mine, but the escape, the romance, the taking of photographs.

The heroine rides off on her own into her own sunset, along the coast, with a camera from a shop with promises to never steal anything else again, but the images she takes with that camera.

I imagine myself as that girl.

Riding along, perhaps not in the sidecar or a vintage motorcycle with my debonair, skinny, French boyfriend (although I do find myself whistling the little snatch of song he whistles to her the first time he presents her with a pair of sunglasses he has swiped from a street vendor while she sits in an outdoor cafe sipping from her white bowl of cafe au lait), but on my bicycle, taking photographs of the world.

Just like I did not know where I was going with this blog when I started it, I don’t know where I am going with the camera, but it does something to me, something gets inwardly re-arranged when I frame up the shot and something comes over me when I look back at the image and I edit it down.

I cannot quite describe it, but it feels right.

So I feel pretty with possibility and light and the gold dusted sand dunes on Ocean Beach which beckon to me to walk them and take more pictures, take more images and see what comes of it all.

Nothing may.

If only for the pure enjoyment of it all.

Which is ultimately what artists do, right?

I don’t write this blog for you.

I write this blog for me.

I look everyday at the stats and who is reading what, but I don’t write for the audience, that you are along for the ride is a thrill and a pleasure, but the stories are mine, the images too.

I create for me.

I love for me.

I love me as an artist.

I love that I get to be an artist.

I still may wake up tomorrow and doubt the veracity of it, but as I hear it said more and more and I type away every night, and scribble away every morning, as I point what ever camera I have on me toward the image that captures where I am exactly at this moment, a kind of poetry, I confirm it with in.

I am just a channel.

A conduit.

Another way for the beauty to come out and across from somewhere and something unknown, a core of unrelenting power and love.

My truth.

My art.

My words.

My photographs.

My pretty.

Getting Crafty

July 7, 2013

I made another little foray to a store today to prepare for all things Burning Man.

Which meant I was buying accessories for my hair.

That’s how I get ready.

Yeah, fuck off.

I know you are all busy making sure that you have enough propane for your fire dinosaur, but I like the little things, the pretty things, all things girly.

“You can do that because you don’t have a dirty job,” my uncle said to me last night as we were having dinner.

I love my uncle so I was not about to contradict him and he was buying dinner, so…

But I have changed diapers at Burning Man that would make the most hardened DPW burly man shrink in horror.

Nothing says good times like a poop explosion in the front seat of a hot car in a dust storm and discovering that the diaper bag is out of diapers and baby wipes.

Ok.

But he is also right, I don’t work in the building of Burning Man, although I support the very infrastructure that does so, when you are a nanny for the Placement Manager’s son (ie the woman in charge of the team that places over 1,000 theme camps) you are an important part of the machine.

A small cog, but an important one.

Just doing my little part.

I don’t get as physically dirty is what my uncle was alluding too.

And again, he’s right.

Part of being a nanny and a good nanny, if I do say so myself, is making sure that your charge is well protected from the elements.  Which sometimes means not getting out and about in the elements.

No one expects a thirteen month old baby to weather the storm.

They do, however, if you work Gate.

You’re gonna get dusty working Gate or DPW or building Man base, that’s how it goes.

This will be my fifth year as a nanny at Burning Man and it may be my first year really allowing myself to embrace me, my authentic personality and who I am.  Although I have been slowly building up my box of goodies over the last few years.

Yes, I am that girl who wears glitter and flowers in her hair (and cries a lot).

I wear make up and bright colors and I tend to stand out.

Partially because I am cleaner than the average worker out there pre-event and during the event as well.

Despite the experience being about radical expressionism I have seen the community act like a highschool pecking order and if you are too this or too that, fluffy and pretty, you get snubbed.

I have been snubbed.

It bothered me a lot when I first went pre-event to nanny and I felt ostracized.

Then I got the fuck over it.

Folks who criticize someone for not being dirty are looking for self-esteem just like the person who won’t fraternize with the girl in school because her shirt is stained or her shoes are not the right brand of sneakers.

I work hard and I look good while doing it.

I also love prettifying everyone around me.

You want your make up done?

I will do it.

I will bedazzle and bejewel you right the hell up.

So, in this manner of speaking I have been doing my own bit of Burning Man prep by getting the things that I like, the stuff that makes me feel pretty–ribbons and bows and gingham and polka dots.

I went to the Discount Fabric store on Mission and 17th Street today and I got buttons and bows and fabric flowers, shimmering netting, gingham, barrettes, and swatches, and trinkets and geegaws.

I am making myself a bunch of fun little hair pieces and fascinators.

Why?

Because I like to play dress up and Burning Man is where I fully embrace that.

“I love your colors!” He said to me tonight. “So Summery and pastel and gorgeous.”

I am not a hipster, although I can ride a fixed gear like one, I like color in my wardrobe, and in a sea of black I stood out, in a pretty way, if I do say so myself.

I wear a lot of what I wear on playa in my daily life, same tights, same socks, same makeup, same big flowers in my hair, this is part of the reason why I love living in San Francisco.

I get to be me.

I also made a trip to the bike shop to chat and check in with the manager.

I wanted to know if I could order a few things for my playa bike–which is a big chopper cruiser with fat tires and a banana seat–and he said yes!

Which totally stoked me out as the not having to pay retail is a huge bonus.

I did not spend a great deal of money on all my little ribbons and bits and bobbins, $40 bucks total, and with the money I am going to save by not paying retail for the bike supplies, I feel completely justified in the small splurge.

I deserve to be pretty and I get to embrace that as a part of who I am.

There is something gratifying about that too.

My sister was the pretty one and I was the smart one.

But I believe that we get to be all things, pretty, smart, crafty, I am not pigeon holed into being one thing.

And just because I wear a crinoline and polka dot socks and glitter eye shadow does not mean I am not pulling my weight at the event.

I bust my ass.

I don’t know how not too.

It makes me happy as well.

Being creative, getting crafty.

I have seen these little hair pieces for a while now in stores and I most of the time I think, wow, forty bucks for that?  I can make that.

And now I have all the gear to do so.

Looking forward to getting out the scissors and the glue and the ribbons and flowers.

I am an artist.

I get to look like one.

I get to embrace my inner girliness.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with wearing flowers in your hair.

I mean, this is San Francisco.

 

I Am Lost Already

April 15, 2013

Well, Rome and navigation will start off with a bang.

Not excited to find out tonight that my host will be unable to meet me at the airport.  I will be left to my own devices to make my way into the city.

I already feel lost.

I had to get off the chat and take a deep breath and go put the kettle on the stove.

I dislike being lost.

And being lost in a country that I do not speak the language.

Fuck my mother.

Sounds horrid.

She is busy typing instructions and I will go back and read them in a moment when my brain settles down.  Yeah, I will probably get lost.

What else is new?

I feel like I am finally getting my bearings here, only to be leaving and having to figure out another city.  Despite having been in Oakland before I left for Paris, I only went so far, mainly on my bike back and forth to BART.

I learned quickly that there were only a couple of routes that made sense to me and I stuck to them.  I did no real exploring of the neighborhood, it did not feel safe to do so, however, I am sure I will have to do more when I get there.

I really do not want to navigate around a new city and meet someone at a hotel somewhere in Rome.

Argh.

I am getting way ahead of myself.

The directions will be clear and easy and I will do the opposite of what my brain tells me, turning left when I feel that I really should turn right.

I always turn the wrong direction.

Do not tell me to go East either, where the hell is that?

Left, right, up, down.

If it could all only be in just a straight line, then the world would be such an easier place to navigate.  As it stands it never is a straight line.

But the path can be pretty when I let it be.

I felt pretty today.

It did not hurt to be told by two different people who I adore that I looked pretty as well.

I was so complimented earlier that I carried it with me the entire day.

I was easy in my body, light in my skin, I felt aglow and a loft and scattered before myself with my own external lamp of good being and wellness.

There are times when I struggle with this body I have been given and it feels unwieldy and unforgiving and just not graced at all.

I remember when I was filling out the application to the martial arts studio that I trained with for four and a half years, leaving right before I moved to San Francisco with a black belt amongst the few possessions I had decided to take with me, there was one question that stuck out to me.

It had something to do with my desires to study, what was I looking for.

I answered with a much higher degree of honesty than I suspected I was capable of.

First, I wanted to lose weight.

Second, and more importantly, I wanted to be graceful.

One can be graceful and heavy and I was just that.

In fact, despite becoming quite good at martial arts, I mean I did earn that black belt, that was not something that came all together that easy.  I will never forget Mister Kessel spending a good solid hour showing me blocks one and two.

An hour.

I was so frustrated, left and right, left and right, left and right, that I was in tears.

I eventually got it.

But man, it took a long while.

I never lost all that much weight.

Oh I did, I dropped about thirty, maybe thirty-five pounds over the course of the four and a half years, but I am easily 60 lbs lighter than when I got my black belt.

Sometimes I wonder about that, what it would have been like, how fast I would have been without the weight holding me down.

I mean, you go do a five-hour black belt test with an additional 60 lbs on you, that’s like having a third grader strapped to your body, do anything with extra weight after being lighter, and see how it feels.

Of course, I never knew what being lighter was until fairly recently.

I did put on some Paris pounds when I first arrived, trying to juggle the change in food styles and eating eighteen times as many french fries as I did in the states–really I cannot remember eating french fries at all when I was in the Bay area, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes with Earth Balance and fresh tomatoes from the garden at Graceland, but not french fries.

I have since dropped the Paris pounds, sort of like the freshman 20, although I am doubtful I put on that much, enough that there was a week or two when I wanted to wear tights all the time instead of my jeans which felt a little too tight, but not enough that I need to go up a dress size.

And since the house sitting gig in Chambourcy I have been vegan.

Whether or not it sticks I am not going to promise, but I will say once the dairy detox was done (head aches, mucus–where the hell did that all come from–I mean I know they say not to drink milk when you have a cold, but I had no idea, mild body aches, and some irritability), it took about a week and a half, I am at day fifteen today,  I have been feeling good.

Really good.

Sassy.

Could be that it is Spring.

Could be that I am wearing pink.

Who knows.

But I do know this, I am pretty, even when I am lost, and I am graced.

Despite what size I am.

Despite what pants size I am.

I am graced.

The kung fu training was not what did it, although it did not hurt, I still tend to carry myself a bit like a stalking lion, but it was the acceptance of my body being what it is, how it is, beautiful despite the sagging arms and loose belly skin.

That, hate to break it too you, is what happens when you lose a lot of weight and don’t do the cosmetic surgery bit.

Which I may somewhere down the line, but probably won’t, as I have more important things to spend my money on.

Self-love, self-acceptance, forgiveness.

Time and patience.

Fortunately, they came before I got too many grey hairs.

“You are NOT 40,” she said to me Saturday.

Yes, I am, just talk to the varicose veins on my thighs, but they lay over some strong muscles and some graceful moves, and once in while the day conspires to tell me I am pretty and I actually believe to my core I am totally one with myself.

That is damn fine.

Lost or not lost.

Utterly graced.

Here in Paris.

Or.

Lost in Rome.

Graced.


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