Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Oh, I Remember Your Paper

January 17, 2016


Thank god.

As it wasn’t in the heap of papers on her desk.

Nor, from what I can tell, any where co-mingled with my fellow cohorts or classmates.

I didn’t mind to tell you the truth.

I was just relieved to hear that my professor remembered my paper.

I had an abject moment of horror thinking that perhaps all that work I did right up before leaving for Paris was at a loss, that she never got the paper, that I would, in effect, have to do it again.

Which was just pure silliness.

If she hadn’t have gotten the paper I would have just pulled up the e-mail on my phone and sent it to her right in front of her.


She did get the paper.



She really liked it.

“Oh, I remember that paper, I gave it a strong A, if not an A+”

Damn Gina.


That was just such awesome news to hear and really nice too, considering that I got an A-on my first paper.

An A- and a strong A, if not an A+ in addition to the amount of interaction I have with the professor feels like an A for the course.

Of course.

I still need to make it through Psychodynamics II.

But it feels like a really positive way to start the semester and the class.

I felt really engaged with material today.

In fact.

I felt really good in all my classes today, I felt like I showed up, I was of service, to my class, to the discussion, to myself.

I had fantastic self-care, homemade food, lots of tea, quiet time, a moment to make a quick phone call and check back with a lady bug I just started working with, and adequate sleep.

Not the best sleep.

Not the most sleep in the world, but good enough sleep.

Just like the idea, the theory of the good enough mother, wherein I got what I needed to do basic survival.

I don’t think I want to subsist on “good enough” sleep, but it will do for now and I’m getting through the weekend.

And in such a lovely manner, I am more at home, more comfortable, more able to be present.

I am prepared.

I am grateful to be a good student.

I am also grateful for good professors and material that makes me think on my feet, that engages my mind, that I see myself making intuitive leaps and jumps, making connections between subjects, finding gold in the dross.

I am using my brain and motherfucker.

It’s sexy.

I felt really alive today.

The anxiety about what I am doing and why I am doing it has faded.

I’m doing this because I am a natural at it, I can be of great service doing psycho-therapy, or at least I believe so, I am doing this because I’m supposed to.

When things feel like this, when the poetry and the dream come together and there is a moment of recognition, a moment of realizing the integration of literature, my lush love and verdant yearnings for the poetic can be intermeshed with the helping arts, because this is what I am, then I am acknowledging at my basic most base level of being.

I am an artist.

And this is my art.

The art of empathetic listening.

The art of being there with the person.

The art and nuances of love of creating a holding space for that love, the letting go of my misconceptions about the value of my experiences and what it means to be a poet or a writer or an artist.

The co-mingling of dreams and words and love.


I get to do this?

I get to navigate this ocean of emotion and feeling and sail the high seas of dream work and intersectionality and explore the liminal space between.

The space where there is God.

I get to do this?

Rock the fuck on.


I acknowledge.

I am good at it.

I am going to get really good at it.

Most important, though, is not the ego massage, but the message, the medium, that is what I am, I am just a medium for the light and the love, a mirror reflecting back to you the love of God.


I doubt.

Very, very, very much.

That I will begin my modality dancing around in my office high on some sort of love light and E.T. phone home mentality about universal love and Godliness.

That’s just not my schtick.


I am sensitive and I am insightful and I have developed a strong intuition that I am relying on more and more.

In my life, in my studies, in my person.

That open connection to my God, to my higher power, of my (mis)understanding.

Do not ask me to explicate what it is I believe, suffice to say it is a holding space that I can rest in, a place of being carried, a warm place, soft, held, loved, lit, a glowing internal compass of love.

I cannot do it justice and my capacity for words and language will never touch that inexplicable “lightness of being,” only that there is a deep knowing, a charge, a reflection in the mirror of my soul that I cannot see, but I can navigate towards, always, my face towards the bright light of that sun.

I am a honing device.

A machination for love.

I am the vessel.

I am full of (shit) love.

But you know.

I have to have some balance here, some recognition of the hard work that it has taken to get here and also some fun, some acknowledgement, some small sign that I am on the right track, doing the right thing, being as helpful as I can be.

I guess an A+ on a paper is a good indicator!

“My only concern is,” my professor said, looking at me with bright eyes that lanced out beyond the smudgy murky fingerprints smeared over the lenses of her glasses, “is the application of this in a clinical manner, that you don’t forget these things.”

And she listed them off, the things to be aware of, the pitfalls of applying the theory, what had to be looked for to be of service to the client.

It was not my paper she was concerned with, I got an A+ on that, it was for my further work, for what she aptly identified for me without meaning to, my clinical work.

She wanted to warn me about proper use of the theory in clinical work, for what she assumed I will be pursuing.

That felt like high flattery.

My professor sees something, she mirrored me, and I saw myself there, despite those dirty spectacles, bright and shining, a beacon of art and learning.

This is what graduate school should feel like.

Of course I’m just high on the interaction.

It’s good to be validated, to be seen.


I’m not going to down play it too much.

Because it feels really god damn good.

I just got my second A+ of my graduate school career.

And I’m still in my first year!

Thank you very much.


PS. One of my fellow students found my paper in with hers.  The A+ has been confirmed and is now leaving the building.


Where Does The Time Go

April 17, 2014

Wednesday’s Child?

I was talking to my employer today about how her little boy was dressed, very French, blue short pants, brown boots, a white shirt and a little red checked ascot/bib.

Tres chic.

Then I realized that I am just shy of two weeks of my return home from my Paris experiment.

I got two messages today from friends in Paris asking me when I was coming back.

Not yet.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

But, I will be back.

Sometimes the ache that is in my heart is a hard one to describe, it is a mix of nostalgia, soft regret, and the dull lash of the discordant whip I thrash myself with on the occasion, because, I did not make it happen.  I the all powerful, all knowing, all important, I.

But as I was remembering, it was also with a kind of realization that the Paris I go back to will be the Paris of reality, should I choose to return.  Rather than the fantasy that I went in search of.

It will be one in which I make a much harder resolve to go legally, to go to school for real, if that’s how I am going to go, really do it.

I certainly have the connections now and the know how.

Much better than I did last time.

I will go also knowing that I take myself with me.

In my roll-on luggage, in my bike box, I come with.

My employer has had a house guest all week, a sweet woman on her own for the first time in San Francisco.  I have gotten to give her all sorts of suggestions and it was nice to be the go to person when she had a question about where to meander to next.

Yesterday she took the ferry across the bay, first stopping at the Ferry Building for the Farmer’s Market.  Today it was a trip to the DeYoung with a pit stop at a cafe, FlyWheel on Stanyan, that I had recommended.

I like that I get out and see things and pay attention and go places.

I like that I went to Paris.

Scratch that.

I love that I went.

I don’t like the pride, vanity, and lack of humility that I have beaten myself up with over the last year for not having done it perfectly.

The constant seeking for perfection, in this country and that country, so that I can prove to you, who?  Not really certain who this mythical “you” is, how wonderful and perfect and amazing I am, and now please love me unconditionally.

You know the only person who is capable of loving me unconditionally is myself.

So, I choose that today.

To let my process be what it is and be really ok with that.

I told my employer’s house guest about how the Parisian children don’t have school on Wednesday’s and so Wednesdays were always a day I could find work, in fact, they were the most sought after day and the day I made the most money.

It was the day I would take the train in from the 9th out to Corbevoie, which was just out past La Defense.  It was a long commute and sometimes, often times, in the beginning of the job, it was dark when I left and just becoming light when I got there.

But I always got there.

The little girl I took care of in Corbevoie was named Nenna and she was six.

I tutored her in English.

Mostly, though, we just played and watched videos and sang silly songs, we went to the park a year ago today, it was our last day together.

The next week I was going to be leaving for Rome and the week following I would be leaving for the U.S. again.

Our last day together was really pretty and warmer than it had been, last year the winter was long and dreary, cold, wet, it snowed a lot, and the Spring was so long in coming, but that day, it was sunny, and we went to that park near her house and she ran around while I watched the other children run about and kept to myself on a bench off to the side of the park.

I am a bit of an anomaly here in San Francisco as a nanny.

I was even more so over in Paris.

But I was good and Nenna loved me and I her.

I also had some sweet charges that I still recall fondly in the 7th–Adele and her brother Cole–who were both precocious and smart and fun.  I loved Adele, Cole was a handful and I got to be fond of him, but his sister had my heart the first time we met and it was difficult saying goodbye to her.

My last night with Adele she stayed cuddled in my lap the entire night I was there, until bed time when I tucked her and Cole into their bed–a bunk bed–and they both sat in my lap and we all read books together.

Their’s was the home that I made my forlorn phone calls home to, the parents had a carrier that allowed them free phone calls anywhere in the world, so whenever I was there at some point I made a phone call.

It made me realize, quite quickly the people who I was close to, the ones that I called more than once, the ones I reached out to.

I do long for a Spring in Paris, a summer too, although I know that’s just crazy talk, summer’s in Paris can be really unbearable, but so too are summer’s in Wisconsin, and the first time I ever did go to Paris it was August.

I won’t ever forget that trip either.

It started something.

I don’t know when I will be back, but as the days lengthen here and I look around my home I don’t know that I can imagine leaving.


It may be that I have some things to accomplish here first.

It may be that I will get to be a traveller again.

On a different pay scale, I should hope.

I don’t want to experience the Paris of a starving artist again.

Once was more than enough.

“When did you get back?” An old acquaintance I had not seen in, well, almost a year, asked me this past Sunday at an anniversary party of a mutual friend.

“Oh, I’ve been back for a bit, lived in East Oakland, then landed out in the Sunset, out on 46th between Irving and Judah.” I replied.

“You look amazing, and I am sure it was a challenge, but you know, you are so loved here, you belong here.” He smiled and hugged me and said, “welcome back.”

It was a sweet reminder that I am wanted and accepted.



And everywhere in between.

Knowing in my heart that I don’t have to commit to being anyone other than my flawed self is a relief, knowing that my community loves me is a gift.

Allowing that love in is the work of a lifetime.

Whether I am in Paris.

Or San Francisco.

Or anywhere else for that matter.

Wednesday’s child, though, I miss you, little one.

I hope your day out at the park was as lovely as mine.

Top 40

December 18, 2013

Reasons why my life is awesome.

In no particular order and to celebrate the last few hours left in my day before I turn 41 years old.

1. Getting sober.

My sobriety is the best thing in my life, without it I have absolutely nothing.  I got sober nearly nine years ago and though there have been some true challenging times, I have never looked back, never thought what I had is better than what I have.

My only wish, every birthday wish, every eyelash plucked off my cheek, every new moon rise I see over my left shoulder, every pinch of salt I toss, every time the clock strikes 11:11, every time I soar through a yellow light, the wish is the same.

Not please Santa/God/Universe bring me a boyfriend.

Please keep me sober today.

I could end the blog right there, but what fun would that be.

Besides I want to see what my top 40 are, I haven’t a clue!

2. Living in Paris

I leapt, I dreamed, I went after it.

It was terrifying and wonderful and surreal and I still don’t know what it all meant, but I did it and I am stupefied that I lived through it and am still getting to connect with people there.

3. Getting a bicycle.

“You really need to get a bike,” my friend Calvin said.


He was totally correct.

And once I got a bike, I never went back.

It all started with a hybrid from Pedal Revolution that I got about seven years ago.  Then a boyfriend gave me a Pogliaghi one speed Italian Steel whip.  God that was glorious.  After I was hit by a car and the frame got bent I went to a friends bike for a while that was too big and shifted on the down tube, don’t even remember what kind of touring cycle it was.  Then the Felt 35, which I rode doing the…

4. AidsLifeCycle 2010

The training rides, the butt butter, the saddle sores, the sag car (which I only rode in once and not ever during the actual event–I rode every 569 miles of that bitch), the drag queens on Red Dress Day.  Meeting my friend Shannon and her, not then, but soon to be, husband Alex, the man who came up to me while I was dancing in my clipless SiDi shoes at a rest stop on day 6 and said, “I know you’re doing this for Shadrach, and we all love you for it.”

5. Shadrach

Whom I still remember like yesterday.  An unexpected friendship that keeps on giving, even six years after his death.

6. The Essen Haus.

God you were a bitch to work at, but man, did I make some amazing friends there–Shannon, Stephanie, Beth, and I have horrifying, funny, and tortuous stories to tell of the place.

7. The Angelic Brewing Company

Oh, man, six years of my life running that place, the list is too long to thank all the people who affect me and infected my heart, I still get love and messages from one of the bar backs and bouncers there on every birthday, she remembers and finds me and sends me an e-mail or text or phone call.

All the mischief and all the growth.

8. Getting my black belt in Shaolin Kemp Karate.


9. Growing up in Wisconsin.

Yeah, and aside from  a “healthy” love of fried cheese dipped in ranch sauce, I won’t ever forget the winters, the summers, the snow, the fall colors, the apple orchards, Devil’s Lake, Rock of Gibraltar berry picking, the Lake Wisconsin Ferry boat crossing with bags of popcorn from the roadside stands.

10. My family

Whom I love beyond words.

11. Travel

London, Paris, Rome, Reno, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, LA, Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saint Germaine-en-Laye, Toulouse, France, and so many other places in between.

12. Being asked for my autograph after a performance of “In Our Own Words.”

13. Burning Man

Just go read the gazillion blogs I have written, you’ll get the picture.

14. Being a nanny

a. Reno

b. Juniper

c. Ellaven

d. Milo

e. Rylan

f. Jones

g. Alice

h. Eve

i. Colette

j. Storm

k. Max

l. Sonya

m. Kareena

All the bunnies, monkeys, and pumpkins I could possible squeeze, squish, and love on.

15. Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002

16. Certificate of Achievement in Independent Studies for the University Book Store Award for manuscript of poems, Translucent, 2002.

17. Getting published in the Bastille Spoken Word Journal of Paris, Summer Issue 2013 for my short story “The Button Boy”.

18. Recording and performing with Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe–music and lyrics–While You Were Sleeping, on his album Belle Ame Electronique.

19. Blogging every day for the last four years, this post will be #1,086

20.  My photography blog and really embracing the camera, and all the 1,000s of photographs I have taken since I got it.

21. My friends

I am nowhere without you.

No fucking where.

22. Trying surfing, trampolining, yoga, and learning how to ride a fixed gear.

23. My fantastic, amazing, incredible Mission Bicycle, my brilliant Navy Blue, RAL 5011, with a topcoat of Rock Star Sparkle and a big Classic Purple B52 rear rim.

24. Working a year in a bike shop

25. Moving to San Francisco

26. My tattoos

27. Seeing music live–Jeff Buckley, Underworld, Soul Coughing, M. Doughty, Beck, Pete Yorn, Goldfrapp, and so many other amazing musicians and shows.

28. Getting pulled onstage at the Spear Head concert by Michael Franti and dancing with him to an entire song.

29. Doing spoken word in Paris, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Madison

30. Having a spoken word album–Milk–which I don’t know that but five people have listened to.

31. Writing morning pages, three pages, long hand, every day for the last five years.

32. Moving to San Francisco in 2002

33. Riding my bicycle to the top of Mt. Tam

34. Getting pulled into the dj booth New Years Eve 2003 to dance with Donald Glaude at 1015.

35. Quitting smoking.

Eight years now.  Holy shit.  Almost forgot about that one.

36. All the museums I have gotten to visit.

The Louvre, SF MOMA, the Palace of Fine Arts, The DeYoung, Musee D’Orsay, the Orangerie, the Dali Museum, The Rodin Museum, Musee Branly, Musee Monet Momarttan, the Legion, the Pompidou, Musee Carnvalet, the National Gallery in London, the Tate Modern, also in London.

37. All the astounding, amazing, incredible, and wonderful women I have gotten to work with over the last eight and a half years.

38. Going abstinent from sugar and flour.

Losing 100 lbs.

39. Writing the rough drafts to three books.

40. Being alive to see and touch and taste and dance and sing and love.

Oh love.

How I low thee, let me count the ways.

I love so god damn much.

My heart so full.

Happy to be here another day, getting to be here another day, living another day.

Graced with my amazing life.



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