Posts Tagged ‘story telling’

Sick Day

February 22, 2018

Oh all the poor, sweet, sick little monkeys.

I had a long nanny day.

Both my little charges were sick.

It was a day of snuggles and naps and a lot of videos.

I had to constantly be holding the baby, he just wouldn’t have it any other way.

At one point I had him down for a nap in his stroller and he kept waking up, feverish and upset, I took him out, brought him to his favorite little play area and sat on the floor with him.

Floor time is super important, just getting on the same level as a child, being there, he’s so much happier, even if I’m not super interactive, with me just being there, down on the floor with him.

I had a bunch of his favorite little snacks and got out his favorite toys and just sat in the sun with him and he ate a tiny snack and played a little bit, then he just turned and crawled up into my lap and lay his warm little head on my chest and hugged me.

I cuddled him up and hummed a little tune and the next thing I knew, he was sound asleep on me.

It was super sweet.

I mean.

I was sort of trapped, but it was a good kind of trapped.

I probably sat on the floor in the corner of the room for about an hour.

Fortunately it was in a sunny patch and there was a cozy braided rug underneath me to sit on and a wall to lean against.

I was happy to be holding him and be in the sun.

Especially considering how cold it’s been.

I just got in from my Wednesday night commitment and the walk back was hella brisk.

It is cold out there baby.

I could use a warm snuggle.

Or a hundred.

Or a thousand.

I could use a lot of warm snuggles.

Just saying.

I snuggled a lot with my little lady charge too.

We watched lots of Curious George videos and I made her homemade chicken soup with alphabet pasta.

I roll like that.

I peeled her apples to nibble on and made cups of tea and made sure she stayed hydrated and when she was sleepy I rubbed her back and petted her hair, tucking the long strands behind her small, sweet shell of an ear.

She fell asleep underneath my hand and it was such a tender moment.

I am very grateful for it, for the job, even when I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day.

The little lady bug has been sick all week and the baby has gotten it and by the end of the day, even though I’m not sick, I was pretty tired out from it.

It takes a lot of a person to constantly nurture and in one way or another I do a lot of care taking.

That is what my job is and what my internship is.

My chiropractor told me after listening to me talk about what I do, that she really wanted to help me because people in the helping careers don’t get taken care of well enough and it was obvious that I helped a lot of people.

There was a woman tonight who asked me how I do it and honestly, I’m not sure.

I pray a lot.

I try to get eight hours of sleep.

Which like never happens.

I manage six to seven most nights.

I eat well, that helps.

I try to get some fun in my life now and again.

I turn up the heat when I get home from work to take the chill out of the air in m studio, I try to keep it clean and pretty, I like to surround myself with beautiful things.

Not necessarily expensive things, but things that reflect who I am and where I have been, my little travels and journeys.

Fuck.

I forgot to send myself a postcard from D.C.

I always send a postcard!

Oops

Oh well.

I have so many amazing memories, I am sure they will suffice.

Plus I have the ticket from the Phillips House Museum, a notebook I bought at Kramer Books and Cafe off Dupont Circle and a book that I got there as well.

I picked up The Princess Bride.

My friend had never read it or even seen the movie and I got so into telling the story of it one afternoon that when I was at the bookstore looking for a souvenir notebook, I had to pick it up.

I have not owned a copy of it in sometime.

I remember well the first time I had read the book.

It amazed me.

It was such a powerful love story for me to read.

I must have been seventeen when I read it.

I had seen the movie in the theater and didn’t even know that there was a book.

A friend’s mother mentioned it in passing and then when she heard I hadn’t read the book, she loaned it to me.

I ate that book.

I read it so fast.

I was so enthralled.

I remember being in a romantic relationship, my first and only long-term relationship, and our first Valentine’s Day I gave him a copy of the book.

I was so excited.

It meant so much to me, that book.

He never read it

I used to fantasize that one day I would read it out loud to the love of my life while stroking his hair while his head rested in my lap.

I made a lot of romantic gestures in that long-term relationship that were never returned and I suppose at some point though I realized that it was going nowhere I would still try.

Eternal optimist I suppose.

The story still means a lot to me.

Stories do.

I like to tell them.

I like to write them.

I like to believe that narrative has the power to heal.

That the love shines through the words and that whenever I am in doubt I can return to the thread of the story, know the truth of it, the strength of it and lean in there.

Old fashioned romantic.

That’s me.

Wishing you, now and always.

Happily ever after.

Always that.

Always.

 

Someone Loves You Very Much

December 6, 2017

She said to me and gave me a big hug, “such beautiful flowers!  I saw them backstage.”

I smiled.

I am loved.

I feel pretty astounded right now.

As I sit in the quiet of my home after a very nerve filled night, did that all really just happen?

Surrounded by love, engulfed in love, friends came out, unexpected classmates came out, hell, one of my professors came out.

I wonder if I can get extra credit for doing the lecture?

I jest.

Sort of.

I got there right at 4 p.m.

Literally found parking a quarter of a block away.

How the hell that happened I don’t know, but it was magic, just like the rest of the night.

Surreal.

Overwhelming.

Wonderful magic.

There were flowers waiting for me when I arrived.

I felt so special, so touched, so very loved.

I got a chance to connect and talk with all the performers, to get up on stage early, to feel what it was like to wear a wireless microphone and have something clipped to the back of my dress.

Very glad I wore a cardigan to hide the battery pack, that was serendipitous.

I got to get good and nervous.

I got to practice breathing.

And praying.

I did that a lot.

A couple of times in the bathroom in the green room and then again kneeling down by a couch when everyone was in the wings, just to get centered, just to ask that I carry the message, not my mess, that I be of service, that I let whatever was going to come out happen and not get in the way of it.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the community that came out.

The show, as predicted, sold out, and at one point there was a line of hopefuls sprawling out from the door.

I think everyone got in who wanted to get in, but I was far from that area, having had time to connect with friends I retired to the back stage to calm down and drink water.

I could not eat.

In fact.

I didn’t eat dinner until I got home a little while ago.

I just didn’t have it in me and I didn’t want to have food get my stomach upset.

I ate a banana before showing up and that really did tide me over quite well.

The nerves made it impossible to have any appetite.

I was told later that my nerves did not show at all.

And I know that to be the truth because when I got on stage they completely dissolved.

It really helped to be under the lights.

I couldn’t see a single face in the audience, I could barely see the balcony seating area, it was all just a melding of lights and laughter and voices.

I got to tell my story and it felt pretty damn good.

I added to the narrative I wrote.

I subtracted.

I got into it.

I haven’t really a good clue what I said.

But I apparently invited the entire audience to come to my graduation in May.

OMG.

I didn’t remember doing that until afterwards when a woman came up to me and asked to hug me and said, “I want to come to your graduation!”

I was like, oh snap, I did do that.

I met so many lovely people.

I was told so many lovely things.

It seems almost too much to even tell you what was told.

I wish you could have been there.

I really do.

I’m still pretty jazzed up from the experience and I’m not really sure how I am going to wind down.

Some hot tea I suppose.

Writing this always helps.

“You are such a writer!” One of my friends told me after, “you tell such a good story, it’s just so obvious that you write.”

That was a compliment.

I do like to tell a story.

I have told a few.

I am sure I will tell a few more.

I was asked, “what’s next?”

I don’t know.

I have to nanny in the morning?

I was asked to keep doing the storytelling, to do something else, to perform.

“We put you in this spot for a reason,” one of the producers told me as I was waiting in the wings, getting reading to descend the steps and go up on the stage.  “We wanted to build a crescendo, we really believe you are going to pull it all together, you got this.”

I think I did.

It was divine.

And it was more than me, as it usually is when I get out of my own way, I just got to become a vehicle for the words and the story flowed and I was happy telling it and excited and sad and oh so grateful.

So, so, so grateful.

I got asked about my blog.

I told folks the name, but I don’t think anyone will really find it.

Since I’ve gone off social media with it, it barely registers.

And that’s ok.

I thought about that a little tonight.

There were times when I wanted something big and important and fascinating from this blog–money, fame, applause, who knows, but something that would make me renown and also pay my rent.

Or buy me a house.

You know.

But that didn’t happen.

If anything, the reverse did.

It became a vehicle for something small and special and unique and sweet and mine.

Also, yours, really, it’s yours too.

Do you know how much you inspire me?

You do.

I love you.

I so do.

Perhaps I imagined you out beyond the footlights, a smile on your face, happy listening, to my little story.

Maybe you laughed a little.

And maybe in some small little way.

I got to be closer to you.

To another.

To this love and song and poetry that carries me forward.

An on ending stream of gratitude and grace.

Yes.

Grace.

And.

Happiness.

Joyfulness.

Freedom.

And love.

OH.

Yes.

That.

The love

So much love for you.

So much.

It’s Not Time

July 16, 2017

To write this blog yet.

But.

Well.

It wants to be written.

Even though I opened up my WordPress site and sat and stared at the blank screen and thought, I don’t have a thing to write about.

Denial.

I should fold my laundry and put it away.

I will wash my dinner dishes.

So instead of starting to write I got up and put my laundry away and I did the dishes.

I even pre-emptively filled the kettle for a cup of tea after I finish writing.

I know, hot tea, sounds excruciating to think about in July, but it’s July in San Francisco, I’m in bunny slippers and thought for a minute about turning on the heat.

It’s chilly here in July, unlike anywhere else.

Although there was some warmth in the city today after the fog lifted and I got out of the Outer Sunset, I even put on a little sunblock just in case.

Anyway.

I digress.

It was when I was filling my kettle that I realized that I was avoiding the elephant in the room.

Or the plum, as the case may be.

I bought a plum today.

A beautiful, gorgeous, fat black plum.

I’m not a big fan of plums.

I mean, they’re nice and all, but I wouldn’t typically choose to buy a plum, not really my thing.

A persimmon?

Get the fuck out of my way, I’m buying them all.

But a plum?

Nope.

But.

Ugh.

I usually buy one around this time of year.

And it’s not because it’s stone fruit time.

I want stone fruit I eat cherries.

I love cherries.

Or.

Yellow nectarines.

So good.

Not the white ones, only the yellow, and not peaches.

I know, what kind of monster am I?

I don’t like the texture of skin on a peach and the fruit is typically too soft for me, I know friends who would kill for a perfect peach.

Me?

Not so much.

But.

There I was at Gus’s Community Market on Harrison and 17th in front of the plums and I saw it and just reached for it.

My heart in my throat.

Tears prickling my eyes.

I picked out the biggest, prettiest plum in the pile.

I thought about him.

I wrote a story about it once upon a time, a children’s story, about sharing.

I called it “Shadrach and The Plum.”

It was about a little boy and how he shared his most precious treat, a big juicy sweet plum (insert some ee cummings here and an icebox please) with a little girl at school who had forgotten her lunch.

He sat down next to her with his brown paper bag and saw that she had nothing in front of her, her parents had sent her to school with no lunch, he thought to himself as he took the food out of his paper sack, “I’ll share my lunch but not the plum, plums are my favorite, she’s can’t have my plum.”

He asked her, “do you want some of my lunch?”

She nodded eagerly and pointed to what she wanted, “I want the plum.”

He didn’t say a word, he just handed it to her and ate his peanut butter sandwich and drank his milk.

I heard about her later when I read the story I had written to his family.

In hindsight I don’t know if it was the best idea, they were still grieving, it was their first Christmas without him and here I was some girl from San Francisco wearing flowers in her hair and her heart on her sleeve reading a story about lessons we learn from our friends.

Because.

Well.

Shadrach was like that.

He would give you what you needed without question.

I might get teased about it later, I might be razzed, but he always saw me so much clearer than I saw myself.

His death anniversary is coming up.

Sigh.

Ten years now.

And sometimes it still feels like I’m in that ICU at General holding his hand, or in my room on in that crazy old Victorian on Capp and 23rd, sobbing my heart out into a pillow as I prayed and prayed and prayed to God.

I knew better than to ask God to save Shadrach, I pretty much knew he was gone, I never said boo about it, I never tried to change anyone’s mind about their hopes and I certainly did not express any of my doubts about him waking up from the coma to his family, I just kept showing up and asking them what they needed, put I kept asking God to help me through it and the only way I knew how was to not focus on myself.

How can I be of service?

I was brought up that way, in my recovery community.

“How do I do this?”  I called a friend who had just lost a mentor, a man who had 43 years of recovery and who I also knew quite well, the past week.

“You show up and help his family and you ask ‘how may I be of service?’ and you help them that way, and that’s how you get through.  And through you will get.”

He told me how brave I was and how much he loved me and that I could hang in there.

I did.

And I do.

I still hang in there.

I still show up.

I saw that damn plum and almost cried, but as a reminder that I get to live today I bought it.

I did what I needed to do today and I went where I was supposed to go and when I saw someone in my community who was losing it over the recent loss of our young mutual friend tonight, well, I held her hand and I didn’t let her run out of the room.

I just held her and hugged her and hugged her more until she got all the sobs out.

“You don’t do this alone,” I told her, “don’t run out.”

“I can’t handle all this death, it’s too much,” she said and tried to break away again.

I hugged her some more and then I told her some stories.

I told her about losing my best friend to a scooter accident, my best friend who was sober, who was committed, who was about to run the SF Marathon.

The same marathon that is about to be run here on the 23rd of this month.

The signs just went up by the park and I thought of Shadrach, I thought of how beautiful he was when he was running and how strong and graceful.

I thought of the last thing that I said to him, the best gift the moment, that moment when you realize you have to say something or regret it for the rest of your life.

Although, of course, how could I know?

“Shadrach, I just have to tell you, if I never see you again you have to know how beautiful you are right now, you are just glowing,” I touched his arm.

He raised an eyebrow at me and was about to say something witty and cryptic and instead he smiled at me and hugged me to him.

That was the last thing I said to him.

Well.

It was the last thing that I said to him when he was still coherent and not brain-dead in a hospital bed for a week before his family pulled the plug.

I shared my story.

And.

I told her about another woman we both know and how she lost her best friend on the day of his one year sobriety birthday, how he was hit by a bus coming home from his anniversary party.

I mean.

Fuck.

I told her she didn’t have to do it alone and that she was strong enough to shoulder it and that she was lucky, lucky that she got to feel the depth of love she felt for this person who just died a few days ago, that she could be grateful for the time she got to know him.

I hugged her again.

I’m a hugger.

And.

Told her to call me and lean in.

It’s not easy grieving and sometimes I felt like the sadness of Shadrach’s passing would never leave me, but it did.

Well.

That’s also not true, but it lessened, or I got used to it I suppose.

Although seeing that big purple plum sitting on top of a Mason jar on my kitchen counter brought it all home.

I still miss my friend.

He taught me so much.

Not just how to love.

But.

More importantly, that I was lovable and worthy of love.

A lesson that took many years to sink in.

But in it did.

So.

Tonight.

I will raise my plum to my lips and taste the sweetness and let my fingers be sticky with gratitude and love and memory and honor my friend and all the gifts he gave me, so many years ago now.

All the love he planted in my heart that has grown and flourished and bloomed.

All the things.

All the love.

And.

Always.

The best.

The sweetest, coldest, juiciest plums for you.

Always.

 

 

So Much To Say

May 9, 2015

So little time to say it.

“You have so much happening,” my mom said to me this afternoon during our brief phone conversation.

I just don’t know what you are talking about mom.

I laughed.

I’m going to be busy until the day I die.

Busy all the time.

My ex, who recently contacted me, said, “congratulations!!!!” in regards to my getting into graduate school; we had few things to catch up on, how things can change, so fast, in a blink of an eye, they change, and then added, “how much less free time is that going to give you?”

I don’t know.

I don’t want to think about it.

I am still missing the rare pork chop that I was just offered as way of incentive to hang out with a dear friend who has come back into my life at NOPA.

Did I really just turn down food at NOPA?

Ugh.

Yes.

I already had dinner and I also needed to get my ass back to the house, said ass having left my house over fourteen hours ago, fifteen? To work, do the deal, cover a commitment, then go share some experience, strength, hope, and crazy up in a room at USF at 10 p.m.

It’s near midnight and here I sit, doing the writing, which is also part of my deal.

“I don’t know what its going to look like when I do graduate school,” I told my employers yesterday, who are hoping, as am I, to continue having me work for them while I go to school.  “I have some ideation, but having never been to graduate school, I just don’t know what it’s going to look like.”

Like I want to work as much as possible.

Like I have no clue how to pay for tuition.

Like I haven’t gotten my financial aid awards package so I don’t know how much money I’m going to need.

Like please give me as many hours as possible.

“Look at how much you worked at the Angelic when you were doing your undergraduate,” my mom said to me on the phone, as she too asked me what I was going to be doing work wise.

“And,” she added, “you weren’t even sober, and you did really well.”

Not to put too fine a point on it.

Thanks for the reminder mom.

She’s correct, though, I was not sober.

I was micro-managing the fuck out of my drinking, afraid to end up getting drunk, because when I did, man, all the wheels fell off.

I control drank my way through my undergrad degree and I did do really quite well.

I am not a unitelligent person.

“You are so smart,” he said to me with a hug, “you are going to do amazing!”

I hope so.

I also get caught up in the minutia, the small shit, the weird, how does this work deal, and though I have somewhat of an understanding of my intelligence, I also don’t, it’s ephemeral to me, I don’t have perspective on it and I often times think that I am not smart enough because I haven’t figured out how to date, or be in a sustaining relationship, or why hasn’t anyone asked me out since my ex broke up with me, or what I’m going to do when I grow up.

Well.

I think I may be a therapist.

We shall see.

“I’m concerned about what I will have to let go of,” I told the dad at work, “it may be my writing practice, I’m not sure,” and as I said that I thought, no, not this, I can’t give up this.

But perhaps I will, can I sustain 30 hours of work (the program is such that you “supposedly” can work full-time, but every single person I have spoken to about it suggest 20-25 or none at all, so I’m already swinging big by thinking 30 hours), going to graduate school, doing the deal, and writing 2,000-3,000 words every day.

And I wonder why I’m single.

Bitch take a break and sit still long enough to get asked out.

AHem.

And then start talking nicer to  yourself.

I do love myself and I do respect myself and I know myself.

That I can run and push and fight harder to fill up the hours, to always be busy, doing, shaking, moving, hustling.

“I missed months of the story, and just know that you did not put it all in the blog, you just disappeared,” my friend said tonight,  after offering me a pork chop.

I’m not fixated.

(maybe a tiny bit)

I just like a pork chop.

He’s right, he knows where to read in between the lines and there are stories to tell that I don’t write here, things that don’t land on the blog plate.

Posts that I could write, that I think about writing, that I don’t.

But, so much is here.

And I love my little forum.

I had someone ask for my blog site tonight and I rattled it off.

“Oh, I’ve heard of that,” he said.

No.

No you have not.

But thanks for saying that, it was sweet.

I have so much to say and the stories, the experiences, they just keep coming.

I don’t actually believe I will stop blogging or writing when I go to graduate school.

Y’all might get tired of me writing about it.

But there it is.

The writing is not going to be the spot that I cut back.

At least, that’s what I can see from here.

Not much else.

And maybe a night shift or two with the family, mom and dad can go out and I can study and do my homework after the boys are in bed.

Jesus.

I sound like I’m in school.

Which is what I’m about to be, but I feel suddenly young and foolish and am I ready for this?

Will have start having the naked in school dreams soon too?

I will state now, that I would like to take a pass on that.

It’s taken me awhile to get to where I’ve gotten, but that’s ok.

And it’s going to take a while to get to where ever graduate school is going to lead me.

“You’re so young!” My mom exclaimed, “you’ve only just begun.”

That’s nice to hear at the age of 42.

I don’t feel 42.

I suspect that will serve me well in school.

I do feel, though.

Grateful.

Lots and lots and lots of that.

That I have more.

That there are more stories to be told.

That I will be around awhile yet to tell them.

Maybe even a few in between the lines.

Although I may reserve those for conversations over tea.

Or.

Pork chops.

Sometimes People Die

December 14, 2014

I should rephrase that.

We all die.

Sometimes people die and then, well, they don’t.

I expected the worst when I got the phone call this week about my father, the surgery, the injury, the coma, the low quality of life he has had over the last few years (in and out of homeless shelters), rampant alcoholism.

Hell, the last few decades.

However, he’s tough.

Like me.

I get my toughness from him.

And my mouth and my hair and I hate to say it, my big old Hawaiian flat-footed feet, I mean, really, those are my feet.

And my nose.

And my hands.

And my hand in his.

It’s just a slightly smaller version.

Watching him struggle, watching the tubes tumbling out of every single limb on his body, was like watching a version of myself and what it could be like, well, if it weren’t like what it is, which is that–

I have recovered.

From a seemingly hopeless condition of mind and body.

My father has not.

Maybe.

Maybe he will.

Maybe he’s still digging that bottom of his.

Maybe he’ll die.

Maybe he won’t.

Well, he will, I will, you will, we all will, but maybe there might be some juice left, some special spark, some tremolo of love that sings out, come walk with me longer, look at the mountains, see the sunrise over the snow-covered trees and breathe the air–crisp, cold, bracing–let it fill your lungs and soul and heart.

Whenever it got to be too much I would walk the sky bridge between the ICU and the wing adjoining the Cancer Center.

It’s a skywalk with views of the mountains and it commands attention.

Nature.

God.

Great.

Out.

Doors.

What ever you want to call it; that which is a power greater than myself.

That tree, yes, that one, over there, its older than me, it was here before me and it will be here after me.

I am just a blink.

A particle of time and space and love.

But oh.

Such love.

How many times did I tell my father I loved him today?

A lot.

More than a few.

I told him, I told friends, I told my sister, and my mother, my grandmother, my uncle, my great-aunt in New York.

You know who I didn’t?

My boyfriend.

Not because I didn’t want to.

That’s another blog.

But out of fear.

And perhaps that lesson is the greatest one here.

Tell them all, tell them you love them, smother them with love, and tell yourself you love you.

“I have to go papa,” I said and squeezed his hand again.

It’s disconcerting, he’s so lively, so responsive, but it’s not cognitive response, it’s nerve response, it’s like watching a fish with electrodes moving it’s tail back and forth.  I don’t know how much is real, and I don’t want to give myself false hope or for that matter, anyone else.

He twitches and jerks and occasionally an eye opens and it rolls and I don’t see much there and I am afraid to not see it and afraid to see it all at the same time and then I think, he hears me, his head it turned, but then it turns back.

I squeeze his hand, my hand, that is my hand, there and stroke the pad of flesh with my thumb and rub it and touch it and warm the skin.

I lean in and find a place in between the maze of wires and find a spot I can kiss goodbye.

But not yet.

Not goodbye for good.

Just good-bye for a meal and a hot shower.

I stay as long as I can, then I go.

Twice today I went out, out into the world and then in and down into a church basement.

The great thing about where ever I go, there’s a church basement with a pot of coffee and some big styrofoam cups and some principles in red ink hanging from the wall and someone to offer me a suggestion.

“Pray and breathe,” she said to me.

Yes.

Pray and breathe.

It’s that simple.

And say I love you.

Again and again and again.

I love you for your brown eyes and your dark hair, and your big hands and strong legs, those legs, you gave me those, I recognize those knees and thighs–I use them every day on my bicycle or to walk or to kneel down and pray–for being so smart, “you got your intelligence from your dad” so my mom says (although I suspect I got my heart from my mom), and you gave me stories and you told me I was a writer.

“I always knew you’d grow up to be a writer,” my father said to me on the front porch of Patty’s house on Monroe Street in Madison.

We had just gotten a couple of cans of Barq’s (Famous Olde Tyme) root beer from the soda machine at the market–when it was still 35 cents a can and we’re drinking the cold pop on the steps smoking cigarettes and (watching Captain Kangaroo) watching the cars go by.

“You’re a story-teller, just like me,” he said and sipped on the pop and dragged off the cigarette.

The sun was warm, my feet were bare.

I was nineteen.

I was lost, pretty much a college drop out and my dad was basically couch surfing and dating the daughter (18 years old and therefore younger than me) of the woman who lived in the house whose porch we were sitting on (I ended up sleeping with her son, so I think we’re even on that score), living on food stamps and borrowed time.

But in that moment.

Exquisitely happy to be hanging with my pops on a porch, shooting the shit, telling stories, remembering when I was  little girl and he would ride me around on his motorcycle.

Not all my memories of my dad are so golden and shimmering and flecked with creamy root beer spiced carbonation.

I don’t know that I would cast the memories that I am creating here in this hospital as golden either.

But they are a gift.

It is a gift of immensity that I expect to be exploring with new and different eyes for some time to come.

And maybe my papa will come out of the coma while I am here.

And maybe he will not.

But I am here.

I showed up.

I grew up.

And in my heart, I’m still sitting on that porch listening to my father spin yarns and drink root beer in the dusk of a summer evening.

I love you Michael Martines.

I am your daughter.

You are my father.

And whatever happens.

Nothing will change that.

Love never dies.

Or grows older or fades.

It always stays.

So stay a little longer.

There are so many stories I haven’t told you yet.

 

 

 

Open The Door To Opportunity

January 23, 2014

“I mean,” she said, with a pause and a knowing look, “you could meet people in your studio, but the odds are pretty slim.”

Ugh.

She’s right, but sometimes it is hard to get out of a routine to find ways to open that door and walk through it, to try something different, to make space for a new interest, be it person or thing.

“Why don’t you try the Moth.” She added, then, paused, “you know about the Moth don’t you?”

I do now.

I have been looking at the format on and off for a few weeks since she made that suggestion.

It’s a storytelling affair.

Started in New York, and has meandered its way across the USA to San Francisco.

Oh, I simplify, honestly, I don’t know jack about it.

However, I just signed up to go to the one that is at Public Works this upcoming Tuesday, January 28th.

There was a slam recently, the 13th of this month, at The Rickshaw Stop, but apparently it is no longer being hosted there.

I was just on Public Works website to find out what the deal was.

I really should go back to the site and buy a ticket as well.

I just signed up to go, I didn’t actually purchase the ticket.

Suddenly shy.

Suddenly at a loss for stories.

I have a million stories.

Jesus.

When did I get nerves?

If I can do spoken word in Paris I can show the hell up and tell a five-minute story at Public Works.

Excuse me, what?

They are not selling tickets for it on Public Works website, so I am uncertain if I just show up and throw my hat in the ring or what.

But I will find out.

I am actually going to Public Works on Friday evening.

A dear friend had a birthday a little while back and was unable to celebrate as she was down for the count with the awful flu that made its vicious rounds recently throughout the city.

She is making up for it by going dancing on Friday.

Plus, it’s a Heart Deco event, and I love me some Heart Deco–Burning Man–dancing.  There will be loads of friendly faces there and good music and I will get my groove the fuck on.

I will also find out what the deal is with the Moth.

I booked it into my calendar and although it’s on a school night, I figure, come on, you have to do it.

I have to continue expanding my creative base.

Not because I expect to get anything from it either.

I just want to the experience of doing it.

I also feel like I am a good story-teller.

Not the greatest, but not too bad, and I think I can handle my own for five minutes.

What I like about the format, although it makes a girl nervous, is that you don’t get any props, no notes, no cues, just you and a microphone.

And it has to be a true story and it has to be about you.

The theme for this show is “Beginnings”.

I have no clue what I will tell a story about.

I searched my blog archives with that term and turned up a few, all about Paris, and I suppose I could come up with something to tell about that.

I have until Tuesday to figure it out and practice.

I suppose I may even write a new piece.

I certainly would have to re-draft a blog if I used one, the blogs are not really written from the standpoint of being told as a story, although the narrative is all my, and only mine, I don’t write with the idea of performing my blog.

I am a performance all on my fucking own.

“Marco!”  I hollered out to a friend I saw standing on the corner of La Playa and Judah.

“Polo!” Some wise ass called out, as my friend looked around bewildered.

“Marco!”  I yelled and waved.

“Polo!” Three more people chimed in.

Oh, I give up, as my friend turned confused on his phone trying to pinpoint where I was hailing from.

It reminded me of being outside a cafe in Noe Valley with my friend Shadrach on the phone and he kept asking my email, which is my full name and thus sometimes a bit of a nuisance getting it to folks over the phone who tend to misspell my last name, and shouting, I mean shouting at the top of my lungs, my name.

“What was that, say it slower,” he chuckled abruptly.

“You fucker!” I said, turning bright red.

I had been shouting my full name, middle and all, for over three minutes in front of Martha’s Coffee and had many a person turn and stare at me.

“Gotcha.”

Yeah.

I can make a scene without even meaning to.

I can tell a story.

I can stand up in front of a room full of people and tell my story.

I have done that quite a few times.

Although, only infrequently in five minutes.

Though, I have done that as well.

I could wing the whole god damn thing too.

I just got an idea.

Oh.

I don’t know if I want to do it, but I do have an idea of a beginning.

Shit, I should, I just celebrate the 9th year of that said beginning.

I wonder how I could craft that into something without blowing my.

Well.

I can’t say, now can I?

Ha.

Anyway.

There’s fodder there.

There’s fodder everywhere.

“I don’t usually enjoy stream of conscious writing,” an old acquaintance said to me today as we met for coffee (hey, look at me, doing something outside of my schedule!  See I can take suggestions, pardon me while I preen over here), “but there’s something about the way you write, it’s really unaffected.”

Yup.

It’s just me.

And a lot of the time I just open up the blank page and go for it.

There it is too.

Every time I blog.

A new beginning.

A new way of shaping myself and my story.

A new way of seeing.

I guess I just gave myself something to work on while I stand in line at 850 Bryant on Friday waiting to contest my “traffic” infraction.

Maybe I will practise on the judge.

Baha.

Get Messy

January 5, 2014

She told me today.

Stop trying to be perfect.

Work on acceptance, read this one story here.

Write about what I want other people to think of me.

What?

No.

I don’t want to write about that.

Then write about what I want to get from them, what I want them to do, how do I want to look and what is my idea of who I am.

I tell you what, none of these are my idea of fun.

Fuck me.

However, I am ever willing to do the work.

Even when it means re-applying the eye make up and getting vulnerable.

Even when it means showing up to get hurt.

I am going to fail, you are going to fail me, no one is perfect, which means I don’t have to be perfect and if I want to be in an intimate relationship there’s going to be pain.

“I am willing to get hurt,” I said, and something shifted.

Holy shit.

I am willing to get hurt.

I mean I get hurt all the time, I go through pain, things happen, life shows up, people are not who I think they should be, I get expectations, and then something completely weird happens.

I just don’t know that I have been in a place before in my life or my recovery where I was able to vocalize that, I am willing to get hurt.

Most of the time I am working pretty hard to not get hurt, to not connect, to stay safe by playing it safe.

I say I want intimacy, then I run the other way, I get a little, A LOT, scared, then I don’t want to deal with it.

Today, for whatever reason I was able to say it and mean it and it went from head to heart to gut.

Now to get messy.

Not quite certain how that looks, but I feel like it means living and trying and making mistakes and yup doing things differently.

Maybe it’s time to try a new direction with my writing.

For instance.

Get me out of my shell a little.

Writing on one hand connects me with myself, a creative force, and with others, especially when I blog.

Yet, I am completely by myself when I am doing it.

I am alone.

Aside–pet peeve–“Yeah, I know, I read your blog.”

I am not my blog.

It has my voice and there is loads of me here, but I am more than the sum of these words and there are some things I don’t write about, or can’t write about, or frankly don’t care to write about.

I am more than this summation of ideas and images.

Oh, it’s all me, but it’s not all of me.

Social media creates a false idea of connectedness wherein we are all in our rooms peering into the well crafted lives of others on facebook and okcupid and tumbler and twitter and linkedin and whatever else that we do tweeting and poking and posting and liking and commenting.

However, despite knowing what you posted last night on your facebook feed, nice pix of your cat, FYI, I haven’t actually seen you since before I left for Paris, which was over a year ago, and you don’t actually know what’s going on in my life.

Nor I in yours.

Oh, I get a little peek, but I don’t get you and you don’t get me.

What was suggested to me was to check out The Moth, a storytelling event that arose out of New York and is now happening here in San Francisco, where basically you tell true stories out of your life.

I like the idea.

The next event is going to be held at the Rickshaw Stop on January 13th.

Which has some special meaning to me as an important anniversary in my life.

However, I will be in Florida celebrating with family, not in San Francisco.

The events are slams.

I have done slams and I like them.

True, they are nerve-wracking, but I seemed to do well and I believe I am a decent performer and maybe that I could try a little something outside my comfort zone.

Ie my blog.

Which I am not about to give up.

It was also suggested a writers group and or a class on performing.

Had not thought of doing that last one, but why not?

Things that I can do and be a part of a creative community, not just where I am sitting by myself in my room writing.

I am pretty good at sitting by myself in my room writing.

Things to do to get me out there, rather than in here.

Here being my head, my ideas about where, who, what, when, the list of all my shortcomings and I am not enough.

Because I am enough and I am willing to do the work.

I am shocked sometimes at those who are not and devastated to watch what happens when people drift away.

I cannot afford to drift.

I know where I will drift to and it is not a pretty place.

Softening to this way of life, easing into it, allowing myself to be hurt, risking the mess to get to be beautiful, accepting that I am exactly where I am, that I don’t have a good idea of what’s best for me and that it really is ok to accept that people love me and care for me and respect me and what I do.

Who I am.

That I can acknowledge and accept that as well.

Let in the love, so to speak.

So much to keep learning.

And re-learning.

Not even judging that this blog is drifting into self-affirmation, Stuart Smalley land.

So what?

I can be alright with that as well.

Tomorrow I get messy.

I make mistakes.

And I allow the light in.

I will write a story to tell the Moth and go to the website and record my bit.

I will try to do something new and let myself not be good at it.

And be perfect and happy in my silly self willing to get hurt to get love.

The love is the better for the pain.

Richer, deeper, fuller, sweeter.

All things I wish for in my life.

So get ready for messy.

Hurry Up, Quick Now

December 22, 2013

Get this post posted.

Get writing, go, go, go.

The internet where I am house sitting seems quite unreliable.

It has just taken nearly twenty minutes to get online.

It could possibly be my computer, as the sounds of it dying are happening.

Yeah, I have Barnaby’s money, but man, oh man, did I just have a thought or three about spending it on a new laptop.

“I’m not dead yet!”

I hear you, little computer that could.

I don’t want you to go down yet girl, I need at least to get this blog done, pay back my friend and start a new savings goal on my online saving account.

New laptop.

Really, how did I ever live without one?

So, this post may be a little rambling and odd ball as who knows how long I will be able to keep the connection.  I am hoping long enough to spit out the 1,000 plus words that I need to do to feel like I have been presentable in bloglandia, then, oh fingers crossed, yes, then, hoping to have downloaded Elf for some holiday viewing enjoyment.

Yes.

I said Elf.

Hush yo mouth.

I also have queued up Bad Santa, which I have never seen, Scrooged, and The Bishops Wife.  I may, depending, also download Holiday Inn, my top favorite, I mean the costumes are awesome, the dancing fantastic, always reminds me of sitting wrapped up in the afghan my grandmother crochet for me (in the best colors–pink, white, rich burgundy red–a gift for the girl who lived in “Siberia” the coldest room in the house) on the couch in the house in Windsor watching Holiday Inn on PBS, and of course, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

I have also never, yeah, I know, how is it possible, seen It’s a Wonderful Life.

I mean I have seen outtakes of it, I have the gist of the storyline, but I have not seen it.

I must rebel somehow.

People look at me so askance when I say that.

I haven’t seen Survivor either folks, but that’s not Christmas themed.

Nor have I been to New York.

“You have never been to New York!” He reared back in his seat, “really, you strike me as so East Coast, but you’ve lived in Paris?”

Yes.

There’s that and the tickets somewhere being super cheap that have made me wonder, maybe it’s time to hunt up the odd friend or three who have offered me room and asylum should I decide to visit.

I would like to have it off my list of places I need to go see.

This next year could happen.

But first, the computer, the laptop, well, she is having a hard time, then again, she was having a hard time last year in Paris, but it seems worse, and the sound of the fan in my computer no longer sounds like a helicopter crashing and burning, but it sounds really faint and tired and wheezy.

Like its got pneumonia or bronchitis.

I should bring it in to the Genius bar and see what they can do.

Of course that makes me nervous as I assume, me the non-technical person, that they are going to take it and ship it off somewhere and fix it and I will be without a computer for two weeks, which happened once before, but I was not posting a daily blog at that point.

I was blogging, just not daily.

I could blog from my phone.

Man would that suck.

I suppose I am getting ahead of myself.

The internet still has me in its little paws and my computer is gamely chugging along trying its best to host me just another few minutes until I get this up and running.

I want to do some research as I had a little insight and want to do it before I head off to bed or to watch a snippet or two of a Christmas movie.

I was thinking about finding out about voice work.

I got  a really sweet message from a woman today, who I could not recall why I knew her or why we were friends on Facebook.

Sometimes you know, oh, look, we have these certain friends in common.

I met you at Burning Man.

But I couldn’t place her and then she sent a message saying she had met me about this time last year, probably a little earlier since I was in Paris this time last year, and that she was really impressed by my voice and my energy.

She had seen me perform with Sunshine Jones of Dubtribe.

And the message seemed to reinforce some little voice inside that has been peeping up at me about something I have always wanted to do–vocal work.

Now, truth be told I don’t know how it works and I am not sure how I would go about finding out, but I want to explore it.

I love the idea of reading out loud for a living.

Now maybe that’s facetious and I just like to hear myself talk, but really, I like telling stories and I believe I have a good voice, and I have good pronunciation, so that’s like a bonus, you wouldn’t really make it very far in vocal work if you didn’t.

I really enjoyed the time I worked as an intern at KQED, maybe I could do that at another radio station or maybe I can see if there are classes at City College or I don’t know.

But as I was reading out loud earlier, I do that a couple of times a week, it struck me again how nice it felt to do so, just reading out loud, sounding out the words, I used to read poetry to myself out loud in bed when I was wide awake a night and having some existential crisis about who I wasn’t dating when I lived in Madison.

I was not sober.

But I was dramatic.

I think I still have a bit of that flair, and what with the right guidance, maybe this could turn into something fun to explore.

Direct my attention to what you would have me be.

This could be a big pile of ego or it could be something else.

I am going to find out.

Quickly, tonight, if the interconnectivity thingamabob stays.

I like the idea a lot.

So with that I will bid you adieu.

I have surpassed my word count and wish to retire from the blogosphere for a few hours, besides, I don’t want to push my luck with not being able to connect to the internet and get this posted.

See you tomorrow!

Night friends.

 

 


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