Posts Tagged ‘promises’

Tattoos and Tears

August 27, 2018

I just want to write you poetry tonight.

I just want to talk to crows and croon love songs to the full moon.

I keep thinking about adding to my Coup de Foudre tattoo.

Hearts and lightning bolts.

More hearts.

An explosion of hearts.

I think about you.

I cry.

Sometimes I yell at you in the car.

“Don’t give up on me, don’t stop chasing me, this is it, this is the push, don’t stop.”

I want you to come for me.

I want to be the one.

I think about not having you for years.

I still dream about being with you for all my years.

I think about my impending PhD.

I ponder the thinking and reading and writing I will have to do.

And maybe you won’t be a distraction.

And maybe you will.

And maybe you will be the carrot I use to get through the program.

He’ll come back to me when I am a doctor.

He’ll come for me.

As though you’re the reward for doing the work.

I want to grow old with you and be stupid and silly and mad.

I want to have dumb arguments with you and then have make up sex.

God.

I haven’t really thought too much about the sex.

I think I am afraid to.

I will get lost in the glory of the memories and beat my heart harder on the wall around you.

I long for you.

I dream about you.

The moon full in the sky beckons me to you.

I think about you walking outside.

I think about you sleeping.

I wish to be wrapped up in your arms.

I long to not be heartbroken.

Heart broke open.

Heart in the mouth of crow flying across the miles to you.

That’s the tattoo I keep thinking about.

A crow on my back flying with a heart in its mouth.

An anatomical heart.

With wild daisies growing out from it.

I feel hollowed out.

I miss you baby.

I miss you much.

This isn’t even a poem.

This isn’t even a blog.

This is just a list, a litany, a compilations of thoughts about you.

I can’t stop thinking about you.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

I can’t go on without you.

And yet I keep going on.

I have changed and I can’t tell where it is leading me.

I just fervently hope.

Pray.

Wish.

That it leads me back to you.

I just want to be your Buttercup.

I just want to be your baby.

Baby.

I just want to be yours.

Always.

Forever.

Your.

Baby Girl.

Seasons Of Grief

July 11, 2017

“I know we’ve never been very close,” she said to me, touching my arm, “but how you are walking through this, I just wanted to let you know, it is brave and beautiful and there are a lot of people sending you love.”

I gasped.

I wasn’t expecting that sentiment.

She continued, “and I know it’s probably really hard to understand, but sometimes,” she paused, “sometimes God breaks our hearts so that they can hold more love.”

I burst into tears.

She hugged me and went her own way.

I see her now and again.

Here and there, in rooms of churches, on a folding chair, with a group of acquaintances, a smile, a wave, but not much else.

I saw her tonight.

I touched her arm.

She hugged me, we both cried.

Our community lost someone today.

Someone very dear.

Someone who shined very hard when he was with us.

He was taken far too young.

I have known him for eleven years, I met him early on in my days of recovery.

I kept seeing him in my mind’s eye tonight, when he was so new, so fresh, such a kid, such a little fucking punk, with this huge heart and pretty face, and dirty skinny black jeans and his punk rock attitude and dangling cigarette sneer on his mouth.

All hiding a very scared frightened kid.

All that bravado and machismo hiding vast reservoirs of tenderness.

I was thinking about a particular afternoon.

It was sunny, we were all in the courtyard of this church at 15th and Julien in the Mission.

He was in Giants regalia and so was Silas and so was another fellow and they all had their arms wrapped around each other, and the smiles, the grins, the love radiating off them was glorious to behold.

I kept seeing that in my mind today and the tears would just start and how I got through the day without telling my boss I don’t know, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and the kids wanted to play with me and I wasn’t the most present.  I kept getting texts and messages and phone calls and reaching out to people in the community.

I had to stay the fuck off social media after a while, it was just a constant stream of his face in photographs, so many of his goofy, stupid, grinning face.

The last time I saw him I smacked him.

“Stay, why don’t you,” followed by a hug, and a “knock it off our you’re going to die.”

He laughed.

I laughed.

We hugged again.

He died.

He died last night.

He over dosed.

I cried.

This morning, literally in my oatmeal.

I got the news and I was shocked.

Perhaps not surprised, I mean, I wish I could say that it was more of a surprise, but I knew what he did, I had heard his story so many times.

“Oh, yeah, gah, shooting up with a dirty rig and piss water from a public toilet down by the Civic Center, sticking the needle in my groin cuz I couldn’t find a vein.”

I countered with, “doing so much blow I throw up after snorting a line, all over my blow, so I let it dry out and I cut it, chopped it, and snorted it.”

High fives all around.

There is a kind a levity and humor, gallows humor, that comes with sobriety sometimes.

And joy.

So much joy.

His face when he smiled, when he played music.

So much fucking talent blown.

Ugh.

I remember loaning him some money, I can’t even remember when or for what and I just told him to not bother paying me back, “keep it and when you’re fucking famous and world touring you give me a backstage pass.”

“Deal!”  He said, “I love you, I would have given you a backstage pass anyway.”

I hope he’s got the best backstage pass right now.

I hope he’s playing up there with Hendrix and Jeff Buckley, with Lemmy from Motorhead, with all his favorites, just fucking jamming the fuck out.

Happy and smoking a cigarette and woo’ing the ladies.

He was a pretty boy, he was.

It hit home today.

And I was reminded of another thing that a friend said to me when my best friend died, almost ten years now, his anniversary fast approaches, at the end of this month, that “grief is not linear.”

It does not have a time frame.

It does not have a schedule.

It does not have an end or a beginning.

It will come in waves.

I saw a man tonight who used to work with my best friend and we both just sobbed on each other, it was too damn familiar, all the faces, all the people pressed together, all the tears.

I looked at him and said, “you better stick around, you just better.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he replied.  “I heard the news and I thought of _______________ and I heard your voice and I just couldn’t not be here, I’m so glad you’re here.”

So many hugs tonight.

So many tears.

So many friends from my early days in recovery and all the memories and joys of seeing them.

And.

A reunion.

An old friend who let me go a long time ago was there.

We’d had a falling out of sorts, I don’t even know exactly all the details anymore, but we’d been best friends after my best friend died, she walked me through so much of that process and grief and we were super tight for two or three years after that and then a misunderstanding, a communication that misfires, conflict that we tried to resolve and just couldn’t.

She saw me.

I almost didn’t recognize her.

She stood up, we hugged and we both burst into tears.

There were a lot of “I’m sorry’s” and a lot of “so good to see you.”

We exchanged numbers.

She just friend’ed me again on Facebook.

Desmond.

You little fucker.

I really did not need you to die to reunite with my old friend, but I’ll take it as a parting gift, my sweet boy, that your passing brought so many people together tonight.

There were moments today when the tears wouldn’t stop falling and then.

Then.

Oh.

There were moments, so very many, when I was exquisitely alive, so alive I almost felt guilty.

Almost.

This life is so precious.

I will not waste it.

I will cram as much as I can in.

I will live.

I promise you.

I will live.

And I will love.

With all my heart.

So fucking hard.

So.

Hard.

I promise you.

All the life you did not live.

I will live for you.

And then some.

Promise.

Promise You Will

December 18, 2015

She said as we parted ways, I to hop on my trusty stead–that one speed whip that has been getting me around so well for the past few years, and she the other direction down Church Street.

I had just met with my person and she was giving me some parting suggestions.

“Promise me you will do it before you leave,” she repeated, and gave me a great big hug.

“I promise,” I said.

I made a lot of promises tonight.

Actually, I committed to a few things tonight.

Things that will help me to travel.

Things like committing what I am and am not going to eat while I am in Paris.

I have other issues beyond the alcoholism and drug addiction in my life.

Food.

My number one, my first, my always.

And since it’s not necessarily something I can do without.

No one ever says, “Oh, I definitely need more cocaine in my diet,” at least not with a straight face.

Or.

“I could certainly be healthier if I had some more whiskey in my meal plan,” I mean, everybody knows that alcohol is empty calories anyhow.

But no one.

No one that I associate with anyhow.

Has said, I sure could stand to just not ever eat again.

See.

I can say I’m not going to use or drink today, one day at a time for a really fucking long time, like, fingers crossed, the rest of my life, which is going to be long and amazing, but I can’t say I’m never going to eat again.

I have to do that.

So.

I commit what I am going to eat and what I am not going to eat and that is super helpful.

It’s also super helpful that I have lived in Paris before and know how to shop, even in the winter season when the foods are not as fresh, and I know how to order in restaurants.

But.

I also was on a slippery slope in Paris and I had a major relapse in my eating behaviors about three weeks after I got back from Paris.

I am committed to that not happening and I laid out a plan of eating to help me through.

It will look very similar to what I already do here for breakfast–oatmeal with fruit (that’s my sweetener, fruit) and a hard boiled egg and coffee.

I will go to the market, buy breakfast stuffs and cook at the studio every morning.

I will have snacks, which will be fruit.

I will have lunch out or dinner out and that is cool.

I will have steak, oysters, roast chicken, vegetables, and lots of salad.

I will NOT have bread, crepes, sugar, chocolate, croissant, baguette.

Or.

Le sigh.

Les pommes frites.

French fries.

They are my slippery slope.

They were last time I was in Paris and I don’t eat them here, so I’m not going to there.

Bring on the fucking steak tartar though.

Oh yeah.

I will eat cheese.

But in moderation.

I rarely eat it here but I do once in a while.

I committed and made a plan and talked about self-care and it was suggested to me that I focus on what I need.

Not anyone else.

Just me.

To take a good look and talk to my God and make sure that I was taking care of myself and having a good time for me and not worrying about taking care of anyone else.

I am a care taker.

It is what I do.

But.

I know.

I know deeply.

That I can better take care of others when I am taking care of myself.

So.

Yes.

Some thoughtfulness around my food.

Which, truth be told, will be when I am in the airport.

That is always the challenge.

I have go to’s, but I have learned, the hard, hard, hard way, to bring food with me.

Because when you say no sugar and no flour and no potatoes they look at you like, “you crazy.”

Especially if you wave off the free cookie.

And.

Ain’t nothing free anymore on air travel, it seems, anyway.

I’ll have some apples and raw carrots, I always buy a packet of almonds, I let myself eat bananas and Naked Juice smoothies, probably the only time I do, when I travel, I prefer to eat my fruit not drink it, but sometimes it’s all I can gather.

Anyway.

I still have a couple of days here and really what my person most wanted was to hear me say that I would write my last paper before I left.

“Oh, that totally does not work for you!” She said with great emphasis.

I told her that I had two papers left.

One of which I am almost done with.

In fact, for all intents and purposes, I am done with it, I finished it today before work–I’ve been working on it everyday before work since the Monday–but I have to proof it, which I will do in the morning and send out before I head into work.

Then, one last paper.

But it’s not due until December 28th.

“You have to do it before you go,” she said, “otherwise you’re going to be thinking about it the entire time you’re there.”

Don’t I know it.

I thought about even just writing it on the plane, but frankly, that sounds fucking awful.

I am going to write it Saturday.

Tomorrow.

I am not doing school work.

I am going to let myself off the hook on my birthday.

Yes.

That’s correct.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I will be 43.

I have one hour and 27 minutes left of being 42 years old.

It’s been a good year.

Ups and downs, that’s for sure.

But overall, a year of much growth.

Oh.

Jesus god, so much growth.

Sometimes it astounds even me that I have space for all this growth, that it just keeps coming, that I have yet another growth opportunity in front of me.

Again and again and again.

Anyway.

I digress.

Tomorrow.

No homework.

Work, yes, can’t get out of that, but it will be a fun day, my last day with the boys for a while and they have a half day at school, so we’ll do a big park adventure.

And then dinner with friends.

Easy.

Sweet.

Light.

I am grateful for it.

My present to me is that I won’t worry about papers or schoolwork and I’ll do it all on Saturday.

I promise.

 

Don’t Give Up On Men

April 15, 2015

Who says I have?

“Don’t give up,” another friend said to me in person last night after seeing my post about being done with Ok Cupid and online dating.

I haven’t given up on anything.

Well.

I have given up on shame.

Shame–a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

I have believed for so long that the longing to be in a relationship was wrong and foolish.

That I have to be somehow above this basic human craving, that I don’t deserve it, that I am mistaken or stupid or that, I like how Wikipedia puts it: to have shame, means to maintain a sense of restraint against offending others.

That’s it in a nutshell.

I have to restrain myself from offending others.

I can’t tell you what I want, I don’t want to offend.

Well fuck you and fuck off and I’m fucking done with that.

I haven’t given up on the capital “M” men in my life.

I love men.

Men are awesome.

So are women, fyi, I don’t want to become a man, I just want to hang out with one and have a relationship.

I love the way men smell and look and swagger, and talk and guffaw, and they way they open doors or give preference, I like having my bags carried and having the man walk on the outside, the one closest to the road, I know that’s old-fashioned, but I like that when  man does it.

I like ginger men and blond men and dark-haired men, brown-eyed, blue-eyed, green-eyed, hazel eyed, I like how a man sometimes cannot mask when he is struck by my beauty.

THere’s a man I know, a friend who is happily married and I know and adore his wife, they are really an amazing package and I admire the relationship they have.

At one point I was attracted to him (years before he met his wife) and wondered about pursuing something, but there was never really a spark or indication of attraction from him.

Then one night I was up in Noe Valley heading into the basement at St. Phillips and he turned and saw me walk in and did a double take, it was like he was seeing me for the first time, or as it were, seeing a different side of me.

Instead of jeans and a baseball jersey, which I think I lived in for the first year I was sober, I mean I wore that baseball jersey the fuck out, I was in a long A-line vintage swing coat in forest green with a silver fox fur collar and my hair was up and I was in makeup, I don’t know where I was heading, but I will always remember his reaction.

I could hear him intake his breath and I saw his eyes widen before he could drop the neutrality mask back into place.

I have an affect.

It was one of the nicest unspoken compliments I have ever received.

I’m not looking for adulation, adoration, or admiration from the male of the species either.

It almost has nothing to do with men, even though ostentatiously I am looking to date a man.

It has more to do with the act of desire, the want, the eros of something.

The Greek word eros denotes “want,” “lack,” “desire for that which is missing.”

I recall when I learned that in my Comparative Literature class in college.

I remember thinking, Jesus, that’s it, I don’t have it and I want and want and want and am in shame for the wanting.

I want to cover myself from this most basic of human needs, because to want like this must be wrong.

And of course, patterning, predilection, the art of taking on without realizing it, those desires of those that I was closet to and repeating their acts and actions as my own.

I kept chasing after those who were unavailable, completely beholden to the man who wouldn’t have me and aloof from the men who were available.

I don’t give up on men.

I give up on the idea of needing to be ashamed.

I cannot even express the freedom.

I have felt lighter, happier, more settled in my person.

I have felt more love.

For myself, for my circumstances, for the relationships that I am in, with family, friends, my fellowship, my employers, the little guys I take care of, for community, for San Francisco, for the world.

An easing of lightness in my limbs and a firmer ground underneath me.

It reminds me of the promises I have heard so much over these past ten years and often don’t pay attention to anymore, they’ve come true, then I forget, then I have to do some more work, and then, lo, they come true again.

….and economic insecurity will leave us.

It does not say that I won’t be economically insecure, I have been,  may be again, but the fear of being economically insecure has left me.

With the shame leaving me, flying off into the wind on the backs of wild geese, I can feel that same sense of promise and change in perspective.

I don’t expect that because I have a new-found attitude and awareness that my situation, being single, is going to change.

I just feel so much more comfortable for it.

“We’re experiential learners, and we can be told how it feels or feel it for ourselves,” he said to me tonight over a cup of tea at the Church Street Cafe, “I wish sometimes it were different, but that’s just how it is.”

I get it.

I want the experience of being in a couple or yes, being married (I don’t necessarily need the experience of having children, I have gotten to work with some amazing children, and I suspect that will continue), although I don’t expect either experience to fulfill me or make me a better person.

They will just make me a person with that experience.

That’s all.

And I am an experience junkie.

I want to feel all the feels.

I want to see all the sights.

I want to go to Paris with my boyfriend and hold hands in the Tuileries and go for a ride on the ferris wheel and kiss on the top of the orbit, the gondola swaying the Paris dusk in summer.

Yup.

I wrote that.

I want that.

And I am not fucking ashamed of it anymore.

It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or has to happen.

I just get to let go of my own idea that I have to please you by denying myself this human experience.

I’m done denying myself for you.

I am my own woman.

Who needs a man?

hahaha.

Ah.

I kill myself.

You Look Like The Promises

March 15, 2015

He said to me tonight and handed me a pink piece of laminated paper.

That might be the best compliment I have gotten.

It made me reflect on how amazing my life is.

I can encapsulate it in just today and the simplest of pleasures.

Eating a wonderful breakfast, I cooked myself, with all organic ingredients, drinking a coffee pour over with Four Barrel espresso, writing in my pink glitter notebook, doing laundry with lavender soap, my sheets always smell so good, speaking of, having fresh sheets on the bed.

There was a time when I didn’t even own sheets.

Wearing a sundress in March.

Putting on sunblock, since it was sunny and warm, almost humid, and I was traveling to the East Bay, North Berkeley to be exact, and it’s usually sunnier there then here.

Spending time with dear friends, baby shower, celebrating life, discussing family, goals, dreams, Burning Man, graduate school.

The smell of jasmine, wild and prolific on the fence.

My feet bare, fresh pedicure sparkling in the sun, the grass warm.

Getting an unexpected lift back to the city with a friend and catching up on life, dating, recovery, more talk of Burning Man.

Lots of thoughts about that thing in the desert.

In fact!

I just checked the curriculum page on CIIS for the Integral Counseling Psychology Masters Weekend intensive, and yes, drum roll please, I can go!

I may not have it paid off from work, but I don’t care.

My biggest concern was that I not miss my first weekend of classes.

The retreat for the graduate program is August 9th-16th.

The first weekend of classes is September 11th-13th.

I can go to Burning Man!

Oh my god.

I just got teary eyes.

Ha.

I am a sap.

It would be my 9th year going and it would me an awful lot to me to go and see the gentleman who said to me, “you’re a child psychologist getting paid baby sitter’s wages.  What are you going to do about it?  Do you have an undergraduate degree?  Go to graduate school.”

That conversation changed my life.

Changed it in a big way.

I was ready for the change and didn’t even know it until I was sitting with tears rolling down my face in a little dome on the playa at Camp Run Free talking with Daddy Don from L.A.

It would be something else to go up to him and say, I did it.  I applied, I got in, I’m going to graduate school.

Thank you for holding my hand during such a challenging time and thank you for not coddling me either, telling me like it is and helping me see a way out.

That would be such a gift, to give him a HUGE hug.

Burning Man dates?

August 30th through September 7th (Labor Day).

I can go!

The event falls perfectly between the retreat and the first weekend of classes.

What else?

My class schedule in August also happens to coincide beautifully with the week that the family I am employed with wants me to come up to Sonoma with them–August 17th-21st–and stay with them in Glen Ellen.

I mean.

How perfect is that?

And the best part is that I didn’t have to manipulate a single thing.

Once I realized that I could go I got on the horn, the e-mail horn, and shot off a message to someone in the organization at Burning Man whose team I volunteered on the one year I didn’t nanny on playa.

I have gone 8 times.

My first year I volunteered with Cafe.

My second, third, fourth, and fifth years I was a nanny for Junebug.

My sixth year I was a fluffer (get your mind out of the gutter) for Media Mecca.

My seventh and eighth burns I was a nanny again for a different family, also with the organization.

I would love to fluff again.

Basically, in Burning Man parlance, a fluffer is support staff to the people building the city or running the infrastructure thereof.  Fluffers get ice and water and bring them back to camp for the team they are supporting, or they go out to art camps and bring them water and ice, or the crew that does the fence before there is any city out there to service.

It’s basically hauling ice and water, but I got into it when I was there and really felt a part of by doing the small tasks that help the camp run.

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest things.

Why folding a chair up at the end of the night and stacking it in the corner helps me to not pick up or drink, I have no idea, it’s the paradox I never want to figure out.

Figure it out is not a slogan after all.

I am just feeling such joy right now.

I get to go to Burning Man.

Even if I can’t help out on the team, and there’s a good chance I might not, I know how they must be inundated with offers to help since the event has become a sell out event, but I know I will go.

It’s just in my stars.

My screen saver on my laptop is actively cycling through Burning Man photos as I write.

From the same year that I was a fluffer at Media Mecca.

I will take that as an auspicious sign.

I have friends that want me to go to Burning Man and not work.

I am not certain I can, I really feel that I have to put something back for all that I am given.

However, I can certainly work less than I have the last two years.

I am so grateful right now.

Yes!

Yes!

I don’t have a ticket.

I don’t have a place to camp.

I don’t have a tent.

But I do have a dream and it is where my heart lives.

At Burning Man.

When I am out on the playa, by myself, beneath that domed sky, so high, so cerulean blue, the light filtered through a haze of dust, the sunset blending into the indigo sky, and I am home.

My heart soars.

I have my chat with God, one of many, many, many I usually have, and I get overwhelmed with the gratitude I have for my family and friends, that little dusty reunion of my Burning Man family that I get to make a pilgrimage to every year for the last eight.

I’m going to Burning Man.

I just know it.

Why?

This is my year.

For all the things.

All The Things

All The Things

 


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