Posts Tagged ‘story’

You Can Take It Easy

December 14, 2018

Holy crap.

That was not the gist of the conversation I was thinking was going to happen today with my professor.

I had been having some trouble registering for a certain elective for my spring semester and had reached out to my professor, who also happens to be my advisor to ask for assistance.

We had a scheduled phone call for today.

Of course.

I figured out what the issue was before the phone call, but only just barely  before, so I decided to call my professor anyway and just check in about the final project I have to do for the class.

“You have gone above and beyond, just great work this semester, I was just talking to Jen (my TA in the class) about your writing, and she agrees, really great work,” he said.

I was so touched and moved.

I thanked him and we chatted a little about the school and the semester and about the registration process and if I had any questions to be sure and reach out over the holiday.

It was such a nice conversation to have with him.

Then he asked if I had any other questions and I did say, yes, about the final project…

“Oh, you can do anything you want, literally anything, do whatever you want, you’ve done so much work this semester, take it easy, relax, turn in whatever makes you happy,” he finished.

I was silently jumping up and down with glee.

I hadn’t gotten as much time the last few days at work to focus on my homework.

I have gotten some done, posted my last big discussion post, but the work I had really wanted to do wasn’t able to get done.  The baby’s been a little under the weather at my nanny gig and his nap schedule’s been way off.

Today, for instance, he was sleeping when I showed up, which is highly unusual and meant basically that he wasn’t going to be taking his regular afternoon nap.

The regular afternoon nap I rely on to do homework in.

In fact, he only slept a bare thirty minutes into my shift, so the little time I did have before he woke up was devoted to household odds and ends and I didn’t crack the paper I had been hoping to address.

So when this professor told me to take it easy and that I could literally turn in anything for the final project, I was so overwhelmingly happy, yeah, I did feel like dancing a jig on the sidewalk pushing the stroller up to the Noe Valley Rec Center.

Interestingly enough.

I have had some inspirations as to what to do for the final project for this class, it doesn’t have to be a paper, although it could be, and I floated my idea past my professor.

“Would it be ok to record myself reciting a poem I wrote during the semester and send that to you?”

“Yes!  I love that, fantastic, and take as much time as you need,” he said.

I let him know I’d have it in by the deadline.

I have turned in all my papers so far on time and I have no desire to start turning in anything late at this point.

I feel like I pretty much got the A for the class, so might as well send it out with a little fanfare and a poem.

A Year of Tears

You pointed out to me

Every time I see you I cry.

I thought about that for a moment.

Then I cried.

Tears slipped down my face.

Do they carve soft channels in my skin?

Do they leave a trace mineral history writ upon my cheeks?

The certainly, the tears, they do, affect my eyes.

Oh.

I could well argue that it is my new phone with its very good camera that shows all those lines around my eyes.

But it shows, those tears, in my eyes.

I have cried over you for over a year.

Yes.

You were right.

I have cried every time I have seen you for a long while now.

Perhaps even a little more than a year.

Though, not that much longer since we have been together.

Apart.

Together.

Apart.

Together for only so much time.

SO MUCH TIME.

A year and  a half.

Oh!

The moon.

I raise my bruised eyes to the sky.

I sing your praises to the moon.

Like a child, I cry for that which I (think) I cannot have.

Longing for you, the moon in my sky.

You say the same to me, that I am your moon.

Your stars.

You talk to me when you are afar.

We talk to each other through the music of the spheres.

The crows carry our conversations to us.

The wind in the trees, a susseration of our words of love.

Each to each.

The avocado tree at work sends my love.

The oak trees where you are pick up the vibrations.

I see you in the beauty of the sunset, in the rise of the moon, in the wind blowing the leaves.

The moon waxes.

Wanes.

We talk to each other from new moon to full moon.

Underneath the Harvest moon.

Through on to the Strawberry moon.

There are many moons, but to me they are all the same, no matter the month.

They are all the Lovers Moon.

And oh.

I love you.

I do.

A secret.

Shhhh.

You may already suspect.

But I will tell you now in all truth, from the bottoms of my feet on up through all the bones of my body, I don’t mind the tears.

Not really.

No.

For they mean I have lived and loved you fierce.

Passionate.

Unrestrained.

With my whole being.

I have loved you.

I love you.

I will love you.

The tears tell me how important you are to me.

So important.

And.

Last night.

Oh.

You held me in your arms.

Such arms, may I always have the fortune to recline in them.

You shining eyes on mine, your kisses showering me.

I knew then.

As I know now.

Every damn day of tears was worth it.

To be, once again, in your embrace

Acceptance this.

Powerful knowing.

The love that matters between the black and white lines of our story.

That is all.

That love.

Surrendered I am to the situation.

For just the being with you my sweet moon brought it all home.

The sea salt tsunami of my love for you shall be the waters I sail my boat upon.

So dear, dear, dear, Dread Pirate Roberts.

I do expect that you will always come back to me.

For true love never dies.

Not ever.

Not now.

Not then.

Not really.

Not until the moon fails to rise and set, to wax and wane.

That moon which blushes with secret admiration for the words we float up to it.

The conduit for our missives to each other.

Telling all our stories of love and adoration, awe and tribulation.

The moon sees us my love.

The moon approves.

 

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.

 

Just A Tiny Bit

January 13, 2018

Surreal.

I turn 13 in an hour and a half.

I have already received a few congratulations and warm sweet gifts, my god, the thoughtfulness of some people astounds me, though my anniversary is not until tomorrow.

I am grateful that I have this time to reflect and think and be in a place of gratitude and warmth and all wrapped up for the week.

It’s been a week.

I’ve plenty to do tomorrow, but I suspect that it will be done with much joy and laughter and hopefully, no little grace.

My morning will be a typical Saturday morning, yoga and shower and breakfast and coffee and writing.

Then I’m hoping to squeeze in a manicure before I have to go to group supervision at 2 p.m.

Something snazzy and flashy and definitely glittery.

Giggle.

I treated myself to a dress from Modcloth that’s super fun,

It’s also super simple and a bit basic, which is good, I wanted a comfy dress to dance in.

It’s pretty much a little black dress with a scoop neck and a skater skirt.

And.

Glitter.

Heh.

I also allowed myself to pick up some glitter fishnets, because, sparkle.

And thirteen years, thirteen years of working it out and doing the deal and showing up and being of service, well, that deserves some fucking glitter, at least so I think.

I had wanted to wear some fabulous shoes but I also want to dance, so my pink velvet Tretorns will have to do, I think they will go perfectly with a glittery dress and fishnets.

Sexy, but hella comfy.

I’ll wear some heels when I go meet my person in the Castro for dinner on Sunday.

Fancy shoes are great for sit down meals, maybe not the best for hours of dancing.

I mean.

I used to do that, a long, long time ago, when my knees were younger and I had a lot of extra chemicals coursing through my veins to keep me going and ignore the painful, numbed out feet I was mashing into the floor as I stomped along to the music long into the night.

Or.

The next morning.

It’s funny.

I’ll be up much past my bedtime, the party goes until 1 a.m. and as one of the hosts I know I will feel responsible to make sure it all goes off well.

I’m not super excited about coming back from Oakland at bar time, but it looks like that will be happening.

At least I got my FasTrak in the mail and I won’t have to pay cash at the toll bridge.

It should be a pretty quick commute back.

Sunday I do have plans, but they’re all spaced out and I should be able to take naps intermittently throughout the day if so needed.

I don’t care in the end.

A girl only turns thirteen once.

Knock on wood.

I don’t have any reservations made for future drinking or using, but I am quite humbly aware that I have been given a gift and that I need to keep passing it along.

I have seen people drift away and they usually don’t drift into wonderful waters.

I have never had a relapse in my recovery and I certainly don’t want one.

I feel really fortunate to have what I have, the community I am in, the resiliency I have been gifted with, the fellowship, my friends, the love that surrounds me.

So.

Yeah.

I’ll be up a little late tomorrow night, but it’s so well worth it.

It’s been an amazing year when I look back.

New relationships.

Vast amounts of love.

Entering my third and final year of my Master’s program.

Starting at my practicum site and seeing clients.

A new job.

A new car.

Travel to Burning Man and Paris.

Therapy.

Internal growth.

So much of that.

Holy mother of God.

So much spiritual work.

All gifts.

I could never have suspected thirteen years ago when I reached out for help the life I would get to have.

It doesn’t even make sense.

I couldn’t imagine the places I would go or the adventures I would have.

So many adventures.

So much travel.

More travel please.

Friends, art, writing.

Oh. My. God.

The amount of writing, I mean I talked about writing before I got sober and I wrote some poetry and I tried my hand a few things, but I never had a real writing practice, I just talked about it a lot.

A LOT.

The book I was going to write, the poetry, the essays, la, la, la, la, la.

All vacuous words spouted from the vapid drunk girl at the end of the bar.

Now.

Well, I can surely tell a story, and I might hold you hostage to it, but I don’t talk about things I’m going to do for hours on end.

I actually do them.

I show up.

I suit up.

And I’m thrilled beyond words that I have a baker’s dozen of years to substantiate that.

Luckiest girl in the world?

Fuck yeah I am.

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.

Nailed It

November 14, 2017

So, so, so happy.

I went into the third meeting of “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture” in between meeting with my supervisor this morning and going to work.

Yesterday I completely rewrote the piece I had given them last week.

I didn’t even use the old narrative.

I wrote a completely new piece.

And.

They  loved it.

Loved.

Thank God.

I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do another rewrite or edit, I was feeling pretty damn done with it, but I am so glad I took the time yesterday and wrote a new piece instead of trying to make the other work, I took their suggestions and wrote the piece from the perspective they were looking for.

And.

Well.

Shit.

Taking suggestions, it works.

The piece drew tears.

There was emotional resonance, there was power, I spoke with clarity, humor, strength, and though I didn’t mention the word resilience once, I think it was clear throughout the piece that it was there.

And although I did bring in the word gratitude, it really wasn’t until the end and it tied the piece up.

I read it straight off the computer once.

Then.

I was asked to read it off script.

I was not expecting that and it took me a minute to get into it.

They left the computer screen up for me so that I could go to the piece if I got lost, but haha, the screen went blank and into screen saver mode after the first minute and I just rolled with it.

“That was amazing, you actually verbatim recited a number of sentences!”

Yeah.

I have a pretty good memory.

Granted.

It’s also my story and I have told it a few times, hundreds, in different rooms and spaces, so I know it pretty well, but this was this first iteration of the story and it was told from a very different perspective than I typically tell it.

I’m grateful that it landed so well, that it resonated emotionally, that it was exactly what they were looking for and then some.

Especially since I have another rehearsal to go to this week, on Saturday in the morning.

I’ll be meeting all the folks who are lecturing, there are 7 of us.

It’s from 10a.m.-?

I just need to be out by 1:30p.m. so I can make it to my group supervision.

I also need to get them a photo for the promotions.

They will begin promoting it next week.

Eek.

The tickets will be $25 and they expect to sell out.

Wow.

The venue space holds 180 people.

That’s a few folks.

Mark your calendar, Tuesday, December 5th, at 7p.m. at The Chapel on Valencia Street at 19th.

Woot.

They will also be video recording it and it will be edited and posted to YouTube.

EEK.

My first time on that forum.

What the hell am I going to wear?

Holy shit Batman, fashion crisis.

I hadn’t even thought of that until now.

Not going to worry about it now, I’m sure something fabulous will fall out of my closet, and I have great shoes, I’ll be fine.

It will be interesting though, I’ll be working that day, in fact, I’ll need to get out of work an hour early, they want the lecturers there at 5:30p.m.

Doors at 7p.m.

I usually work until 6p.m.

I’ll be coming straight from nanny land.

Hmmm.

I should bring a second outfit to work, back up clothes, or I can just wear beater clothes and get dressed up before I leave for the gig.

My goodness.

So much to think about and not to mention all the other things on my plate.

The producer actually thanked me for taking the time to do this project with them.

I am so flattered.

Really I am.

It feels like such a privilege to get to share my story.

And I realized today that though I’m a bit immune to my story, its my story, I know it pretty damn well, it’s still a good story.

As well as, I’m a good speaker.

“You have it, you’re a star,” my dear French friend told me once, after I had gotten up in front of a bunch of folks at our second year school retreat and recited some of my poetry, “you command attention, you have it, that je ne s’ais quoi, you have it, you’r a star.”

I’ll never forget that she said that and she’s not wrong, it wasn’t just my friend being nice, I know that I do have a way of being able to command and step up and present.

I haven’t a clue where it came from, but I know that I can recognize that it began to be crafted when I was in 6th grade.

We had public speaking for part of the class and everyone had to do presentations and get dressed up and we were video taped and it was a big, big, big deal.

I remember how well I was nervous, but when I talked, it didn’t come out, in fact, no one knew, I also didn’t know what the hell to do until the last-minute and I ended up pulling something completely out of my ass and did a speech on pencils.

I got an “A.”

I watched that video later, my teacher used it in a demo to show what I did well, and I was amazed to see how calmly I stood there and talked, and I knew how I felt, and what it felt like to get up there and do it and it was intense, but there was no telling that when I spoke.

It’s been like that ever since and, well, practice, lots of practice, and something, something else, I don’t know how to say it, but when I’m in the right space, I just channel it, I’m not really in control, it’s more like I’m a mouthpiece and what needs to be said is just coming through.

It’s an amazing feeling to experience.

If I try to analyze it or control it, it goes, but if I step into it, take a big deep breath, focus and let go, well, fuck, it’s marvelous.

I’ve got to practice some this week, but I have to say, I feel really good about it and now that I have the narrative where it needs to be I’m just going to print it off and read it once a night until the performance.

I won’t have it memorized, but it will be known in my brain and I will be comfortable being off script.

Hell.

I pulled it off twice today.

I think I got this.

Yeah.

I do.

I got this!

 

Big Day

November 7, 2017

I got to work and walked in and sighed.

I already had a super busy day and I was tired before I even walked into the door at work.

Not in a bad way, just in a sort of thrown into unexpected places way and reflecting on what had transpired in the time before I got to work.

Super intense meeting with my supervisor and a lot of deep work around a specific client, who I saw this evening and got to apply all the things that I had worked on with my supervisor.

Which was really fulfilling and also a little exhausting.

And exhilarating too.

I felt like I was really being a good therapist and that my client was making some amazing headway.

I feel better and better the more I get to see my clients and learn about them and those that show up consistently and let me bear witnesses to their growth is really an amazing thing to witness.

At times exhausting, the work is challenging, but as I expressed to my boss today I am so grateful for it.

I didn’t even see my boss until after 4p.m. today, I was at work at the house, picking up my charge from school, and she was off and running her Monday as well.

I think we were both pretty tired from the day, but it was good to connect with her.

She’s great to work for and super flexible with my schedule.

Which is good since I’ll be going in late one more time next Monday.

I’ve been asked to come in again next week to work further on the lecture series, “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

The women that are running the project have a certain vision and they have produced so many of this lecture series they really have a clarity about what needs to come across and what resonates with the audience.

So.

Although all the work I did on the narrative was not for naught, ugh, I still am going to have to re-write it.

I could heavily edit what I wrote, but I think a fresh rewrite with the direction they want from me will make it a far stronger piece.

I have a very clear idea what they want and I know how to write it and I have the opening line in my head so I know where it will go.

Sometimes, most times, all I need is that opening line or thought, the idea opens the door, I walk in and then I start describing what I see, it’s like walking into a warm room with a rag hook rug on the wood floor, a fire burning in a stove, a rocking chair with a soft throw on the arm and a pillow against the back.

I just need to settle into that chair and write what I see on the walls, tell the story in the pictures I see.

There I am running away from home to San Francisco at the ripe age of 29.

What happens.

Here’s a snap shot of DNA Lounge.

Here’s a picture of me in the back patio of The End Up after having been up all weekend.

All the things and crazy dark adventures, a Polaroid on a push pin board.

That time I made out with my best friends boss at The Elbow Room in the photo booth.

And forgot that I had a strip of photos of us kissing.

It fell out of my wallet when I was looking for something, and my friend picked it up.

“Oh my God!  You made out with STEVE!  YOU MADE OUT WITH MY BOSS?!  He’s gay!”

He wasn’t that gay that night.

Here’s another one of a night at Bruno’s on Mission Street, all dressed up for Halloween and getting ready for a night out on the town when my dealer calls and hey, he just got out of 850 Bryant (the jail here in San Francisco) and how much do I want?

Well.

Fuck.

I’ll start with three grams and go from there.

Hung over.

Cracked out.

Dancing at strange parties with strange people and all the misadventures there of.

The producers wanted a little more of the nitty-gritty of my using and then what happened.

I had put too much of an ellipses in the narrative and it made it seem like I did a line of blow and then suddenly got sober.

They wanted to hear more about the despair.

Because.

Well.

Drama.

It gets your attention, and it provides the vehicle to show how far I’ve come, the things I went through, and who I am.

They also wanted me to talk a little bit more about my nannying.

And what it means to work with children.

“Oh, I think I know what you mean,” I said to the woman speaking to me, “that I get to give the kind of love to a child that I never had for myself growing up.”

She teared up.

Yes.

That.

Let me pull your heartstrings.

Let me show you how resilient I am.

It’s not necessarily a drama play, it’s what really happened, but I have ten minutes to cover all the things and they wanted to sharpen certain points for power, so that it lands with the audience and connects them to me and my story.

Whew.

That’s just going to have to sit on the back burner for a little while and percolate.

I have a full client load this week, therapy tomorrow morning before work, group supervision mid-week, when I normally don’t have it until Saturday–but I’ll be in class Saturday so I have to do it this Wednesday, and yeah, that, school, it’s a school weekend.

No wonder I walked into work and already felt exhausted.

Sigh.

It won’t be that bad.

It’s not that bad.

And I am grateful I get to do this project, it is nice to be wanted, it’s nice to know that I have been chosen because I have something powerful to share and that I am someone who knows how deliver a story.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

But the re-write has got to wait until Sunday after I get out of class, I just don’t see getting to it before then.

I still have reading for class I need to attend to, and well, the week full of stuff.

Grateful that I have pockets of respite and some lovely things planned too, that have nothing to do with work and school and clients.

A girl needs a little fun too.

Especially when there’s so much else to attend to.

I need to let myself let loose a little too.

All work and no play makes me a very dull girl.

And I’m so not dull.

Seriously.

Burnt Out On Writing

November 6, 2017

But not really.

This is my fourth bit of writing today.

I just finished and sent off a paper for my Jungian Dream Work class.

I did a bit of reading for that class yesterday and I did more reading for my Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality class as well tonight–it was my “break” in between writing the two papers I did today.

The first was not really a paper in the sense of the word, in how I write for classes or how I write my blog.

It was my lecture piece for “People Who Usually Don’t Lecture.”

They asked me to write a sort of narrative of the story I told them when I interviewed last Monday.  I am to go in again tomorrow and see them.  They wanted a written piece to look over before I met with them again.

The first piece was 8 pages long and clocked in around 2,500 words.

Too long.

So I edited and parsed it down.

A lot.

Cut it down by 800 words and got it timed to 9 minutes rather than the 13 minutes I timed myself reading it.

But it still feels a bit too long and though focused, to unfocused, too much and not enough, I felt like I didn’t really get into the juice of it.

Maybe I have just heard my own story too often and I’m a bit jaded it about it, it was hard to write without making it pretty and full of images, I don’t have a problem producing a grand amount of words, I always argue that it is harder to write a short paper rather than a long one.

I feel a little frustrated with it, I worked a long time on it, much longer than I wanted to spend on it, I don’t know if that just means I have a lot at stake in the project and I want to be a fucking perfectionist, which is not what the narrative is supposed to about.

I can easily, however, speak extemporaneously and I think that is what will happen, I will get up on the stage, I will take some general directions as to what I am supposed to talk about and I will talk.

I am sure the producers will have suggestions and desires, I got a message just a moment ago from the main contact that they have received it and are looking forward to seeing me tomorrow and they will have edits and suggestions then.

I’m not sure if this means they read it and already have things to change or what.

I am a bit done with sitting in front of my computer, although, that’s exactly what I am doing now, a bit tired of sitting at my little table.

Although the view is nice, I have a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m listening to some great music, some slow dancing music, and feeling a little tender and soft and sweet looking at roses and lilies and thinking about dancing with someone.

Dreamy.

I did do other things than write today, thank God, I had a fantastic morning, really did, and I was awful grateful for the falling back of the hours for Day Light Savings, despite not really liking that it got dark at 5:30p.m. tonight, as I went to sleep late last night.

I got lots of house hold stuff done, laundry and fresh bed sheets, compost and recycling and trash out.

I got in a great stretching session on my foam roller and did some PT for my shoulder that I have been neglecting to do, and then went to a fantastic, albeit difficult as fuck, yoga class, and sweated my ass off.

Serious sweat.

Sweat all over my mat.

Euphoric sweat.

I came home and felt amazing.

I took a smoking hot shower and then had a great late breakfast and a lovely unsweetened vanilla almond milk latte and wrote four pages free hand.

Then met with a lady and helped her do some inventory.

A successful hour of that and then some food prep for the week–roasted a turkey breast and went and did a little shopping at the co-op up the street from me.

I did a phone check in with my person and confirmed that we are meeting tomorrow morning at the Martha Brothers Coffee shop on Church Street.

I have solo supervision at 9a.m. in Hayes Valley and then the follow-up with the People Who Usually Don’t Lecture producers at noon.

My boss is letting me come in tomorrow at 1 p.m.

In between supervision and meeting with the producers I have some time, so I will be meeting my person at Martha’s and getting a good face to face check in.

I am super glad to get to squeeze that in.

It’s going to be a full day, a full week, school’s in session next weekend, which is why the push to do the schoolwork on top of the writing that I did today.

I feel like I’m doing ok, doing the best I can, getting to what needs to be done.  I’m 1/2 way through the Jungian Dream Work reading and I turned in the paper tonight that’s due for the weekend.  I finished all my Drug and Alcohol reading, and I got into the reading for Psychopharmacology and Human Sexuality.  I had to take a break though and be ok with it all at a certain point, there was just not much more attention I could give it.

I just wanted to write my blog and not worry about it, I just wanted to dump my head and shake out the contents and then go have a snack and a cup of tea and watch a video and not really worry about school or this narrative for the project, I keep telling myself that just because I don’t like the writing as much as I like, say my blog, or writing a poem, that it wasn’t bad and that I have a few weeks to work on the story and do what they want, they want to hear the story I told them last week, just as shorter version.

I can do it.

It will be fun and it’s nice, actually, to have something creative to work on that’s not school or regular work or client centered work.

And that’s it.

That’s all she wrote.

That’s all I got.

Oh.

I could probably squeeze something else out of my brain.

But let’s give it a rest.

Shall we?

It is Sunday after all.

A day for rest.

hahahahaha.

Sigh.

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.

 

 

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

I’m Not Tech Savvy

July 24, 2016

But.

I am listening to music that my dearest friend put together as a playlist for me.

French music.

From a Parisian.

I feel so special.

Seriously.

I love me some French music.

Perhaps because it is an easier way for me to understand the language, lyrics tend to be repetitive, simpler than every day conversation and lyrical, which makes it easier for me to access.

And there is just something to it.

I want to couples dance with someone in a cafe with ceramic black and white tiles.

The smell of tobacco smoke drifting in as the door opens.

The smell of coffee in the air.

The low light, the ambiance, maybe I need a French cafe in my home, whenever I get it.

Either that or just frequent trips back to Paris and this time to also experience the night life a bit more, the cafe music life, I got into the spoken word a tiny bit with my excursions to Le Chat Noir for Paris Spoken Word events and had a tiny taste.

But to be there with a Parisian and be let into that exclusive view.

Delicious.

It’s sexy and sensual and worldly.

All things I aspire to.

I got to record with Adriana Marchione today for a podcast she’ll be posting along side  her ongoing project “The Creative High” .

I was really honored to be thought of and it was a great experience, and I have to say, I felt my voice, I was in my voice and it felt really powerful.

And.

There’s something to be said to having an artist, an auteur, and a teacher, interested in my work.

Also.

How she described me.

Well.

I’ll leave you in a little suspense, but it was quite flattering.

The podcast will go up in about a week and will be on her website.

I got to share a part of my story, a bit about my process, my experience with writing, blogging, poetry, the little bit of spoken word I have done, my best friend passing nine years ago and how that prompted me to Burning Man, my other best friend and how she was the person to whom I went to for help when things all came crashing down.

It was a great experience and I didn’t prep for it other than run through a small set list of poetry pieces of my own that are memorized.

Three.

That’s it.

I have three of my works memorized.

But they please me and it’s nice to share them once in a while with someone.

I shared about the patron last year from Burning Man and doing the collaboration with him.

I talked about my memoir(s) and how I still don’t know what to do with them, or how to go about getting them together, but also, how much that striving has pushed me towards places and experiences that I was just not expecting.

At all.

It also gave me another taste of recording.

And I have to say, I liked it.

“Are you going to do something for the talent show,” I was asked by the amazing MC last night before it was about to start, “you sing right?”

I told her I didn’t.

“You look like a singer,” she said.

Now there’s a compliment.

I admitted that I do some spoken word.

But frankly, it didn’t feel appropriate to recite one of my pieces to the fabulous birthday girl, they weren’t quite in the spirit of what was happening, and they also weren’t pieces that would have been celebratory of her and her experience.

And that was important to acknowledge.

There was a moment, I thought, well, there’s that one piece that might be fun, but really, it would have been to garner my own attention and I wanted to just sit back a little and be a wall flower and watch the main act and really enjoy that I got to have the privilege of being asked and then showing up to celebrate someone’s life and the gifts that she brings into her circle of friends.

It was a great honor.

And fun.

Although I had to bail “early.”

Heh.

Though I was slightly shorted on my sleep, I came home and unwound and blogged and watched part of Stranger Things.

Which.

Side fucking bar.

FUCKING AMAZING.

So good.

I mean, I really can’t recommend it enough, except.

Well.

Ha.

I’m susceptible to the scary.

And I did have a moment last night when I was curled up in my bed with my hands literally over my ears, because I did not want to hear the soundtrack and I was preparing myself for the scary, that I thought.

Hmm.

Maybe I should’t watch this right before I go to bed.

Oof.

It’s good.

Seriously.

Check it out.

End side bar.

I can’t just get right into bed, even on a late night, so, not so much sleep was gotten.

But.

Oh.

I took a nap today.

I am so proud of myself.

I never nap.

And it was just begging to happen.

I mean, only getting five hours of sleep will catch up with me, sometimes it’s not so bad and I can have an extra cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to blow my vocal cords out and be dehydrated from drinking coffee today, so I skipped my usual Saturday morning large coffee with my person today at Tart to Tart.

Then went straight to the podcast, after that to Scooter Centre, then to Scuderia, since Scooter Centre was unexpectedly closed, aired up the tires, scooted home, ate a late lunch, caught up with a girl friend on the phone, and then I looked at the time.

I can nap for one hour before going to my new Saturday night commitment.

I folded up my laundry, nothing says sexy like knowing I’ll get to slip into fresh washed sheets tonight, and grabbed a pillow.

I lay down at an angle on the bed, on my back, head propped up on a small throw pillow and closed my eyes.

It was just a touch chilly.

Afghan, the one I got in the mail from my grandmother.

I reached for it.

It had been sitting folded on the end of my chaise lounge in the sun.

Extraordinary.

It was like being wrapped up in warm soft sunshine.

Best nap ever.

Covered in the love of my grandmother.

Warmed by the sun.

After getting to do some art and be available to my friend.

It was glorious.

I almost didn’t get up.

In fact.

Had I not had that commitment, I would have gone back to sleep.

Grateful I didn’t, I don’t need to muck with my sleep schedule.

But.

Boy howdy.

That might have been one of the best naps I have ever had.

Plus.

It was good to connect with my people.

To see and be seen.

To not let myself be isolated.

A sweet, simple, glorious little day.

Full of light and warmth and art.

Poetry.

Narrative.

Recovery.

I mean.

Really?

My life is fucking awesome.

Seriously.

It is.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 


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