Posts Tagged ‘TS Eliot’

Going Dark

June 9, 2017

I have been scrubbing my Facebook page of all my blog posts.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

It was actually an interesting little trip down memory lane.

It was good to see the pictures and posts and the blogs and to see how steady I have been in my pursuit of this endeavor.

I suspect that as of this blog the readership will go down.

Down  a lot.

But so be it.

It’s the price I pay to get to continue doing this, my little love, my bunny, my pet project for the last seven years.

I will happily sacrifice readers to keep doing the writing.

I was talking with a friend and my words ran away with themselves.

I got so excited about writing and poetry and I just started gushing.

My heart raced.

Words get me all crazy.

I’m not a crazy cat lady.

I’m a crazy poetry lady.

You should have heard me reciting Shakespeare earlier.

I got all kinds of excited.

Ah, Old English you do me so well.

Heh.

Today I actually had time for poetic pursuits, not so much writing it, but perusing it, looking up some old favorites and wondering to myself if it weren’t time to go replace some books of poetry that I used to have in my small library.

When I moved to Paris back in 2012 I sold off all my books.

All of them.

It still hurts to think about a little, some tenderness there, but I wanted to throw myself at the Paris experience and I knew I wasn’t going to pack a bunch of books up with me and carry them across the pond.

No.

I sold them.

I stored a few personal belongings of my own, small framed art works and pictures, my notebooks, my own writing, in a friend’s garage, but aside from that I got rid of everything else.

Books.

Clothes.

Shoes.

Everything but my bicycle and some clothes in a roll on suitcase.

I came back with that same roll on luggage and my bicycle.

And.

Ten dollars.

I don’t regret it, but yeah, I did have a moment today when I realized I had sold my copy of Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets.

That I didn’t have my complete works for Shakespeare, leather-bound from my undergraduate days.

Or.

Sigh.

My collection of TS Eliot.

Also from undergrad.

And.

Oh.

My OED.

My Oxford English Dictionary.

I sold that too.

I think this may be the first time I have ever admitted that in writing in a public forum.

It was a graduation gift from a set of girlfriends in Madison who were my best friends for years before I moved to San Francisco and became a raging drug addict whose friends wanted nothing to fucking do with her whatsoever.

I managed to keep that damn dictionary through years of moves and geographics and even pretty damn far into sobriety.

But.

I decided to let it go.

It was for God to have.

It was always Gods.

I went into Alley Cat Books on 24th Street a few months ago to see if the OED was still there, I was on my way to an appointment and really did not have time to stop in and look, but the last time I had been in there, the dictionary was still there.

Granted that had been over a year and a half ago.

I didn’t see it, but they had re-arranged the store and I was too shy and pinched on time to ask the clerk if they still had it.

One day I’ll replace those words.

And one day these words will be replaced.

All words are infinite.

All moments meaningful, lustful, alive, here and present and a live and loved in my heart.

I don’t have much contact with any of those old girlfriends, but they live in my heart.

And I won’t ever forget what it felt like to get that gift at my graduation party.

I can still feel the weight of it in my hands and I knew the moment it was set in my arms what it was.

I was blown away.

To be seen for what I love is important.

Although not important enough for me to have to do it, the writing or the reading, all good writers have to read too, I love an audience, but I don’t need one to write.

God is my witness.

My heart is my muse.

I am a channel and I don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going to go.

Only that it will.

These words.

Into the ether.

Into the void.

From out my fingers, from out of my heart, with passion and providence, into the universe.

Perhaps the words will fill the voids between stars, the emptiness that needs be filled by poetry until all the worlds are seemless and held in beauty, together under the great bounty and soulshine, the light will cover the dark.

Or not.

I don’t know.

I can’t ever really know.

I will just keep writing and trying and falling and stumbling and getting up again.

I believe I will fly one day, if not this day, then the next.

And every word I put down an attempt at faith in something so much bigger than I, a tiny glimpse, a sliver of honey and lavender crystals, a shining cello note, a sting pulled, a plucking, a bewitching, an enamourement, a leap,  and love tossed I jump.

I don’t need to know where I land.

The leaping.

Well.

It is enough.

It always is.

 

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And Then Some

October 2, 2016

Today was exactly how I thought it would be and also.

Easier.

Lighter.

Less fraught with anxiety than some Saturdays can be as I recognized early the need to make all the things happen.

RIGHT NOW!

I text a friend.

First day off in two weeks and must make it all happen.

This is my best thinking.

And I know, deeply, that it is skewed thinking.

Flawed thinking.

Thinking with nothing more to it than make miserable happen when there is no need to be miserable.

I slept in.

Not long.

But just a little.

Just enough.

I skipped yoga.

Yeah that.

I also got honest with my person about skipping yoga in a phone call check in this afternoon.

I won’t be skipping tomorrow, especially now that I have made myself accountable to someone else, someone who sees me with a much greater kind of perspective than I see myself.

I made myself a nice breakfast.

Thank you Jesus for persimmons, my sweet little fall indulgence, how I do love thee.

Homemade oatmeal with apple and persimmon, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla almond milk; a hard boiled organic egg with salt and pepper, two big mugs of coffee–Four Barrel pour over.

And.

I am ready for the day.

Plus a little quiet time.

A lot of writing.

I wrote five pages this morning with out batting an eye.

I didn’t realize I had all that much to say, but there it was, it just came tumbling out.

All the words.

The words that spell out anxiety and I’m not enough and there is definitely not enough time.

But.

There is.

There was time to go grocery shopping.

I was shocked actually at how not busy the SafeWay by Ocean Beach was.

I had suspected it would be a mob scene with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

But it was not.

I got in and out and I have to say, I felt really happy with myself when I was standing in line and putting the food on the conveyor belt.

Man.

I take damn good care of myself, my food looks awesome.

I continued that trend by coming home and trussing a chicken and then doing a salt and pepper rub and roasting it in the oven while I did a run up to Other Avenues.

My preferred place to shop, but quite pricey so mostly the little organic things I can’t get at Safeway and the bulk food stuff and some hippy candles I really like.

Then back to the house, brown rice in a pot, groceries put away and onto the spending plan tally for September and doing my plan for October.

October is going to be a chill month.

No buying tickets to Paris.

No more scooter issues please.

I spent two grand more than I normally do this past month.

I don’t have a whole hell of a lot in savings.

Upside.

I do have something in savings.

And I have employment and I’m ok.

Just nothing extravagant for October.

Meeting my basics and sticking some cash in savings.

By two p.m. I was sitting on my back porch eating salt and pepper roast chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice with a brussels sprouts, white corn, and brown mushroom hash.

The sun was warm.

The breeze was cool.

Banjo rifts and guitar licks drifted to me from the park and I relaxed enough to know I had done pretty much everything that I needed to do and now it was time to do the deal and sit down and get square with my text books.

I did hours of reading.

I’m not done.

There are hours and hours to go.

“You are going to get through this,” my friend who I hadn’t seen in months said to me last night outside Our Lady of Safeway as the recovery house boys smoked their cigarettes and crumpled their court cards into their pockets.

I leaned into his warm hug.

“And you are going to be good, and you are going to help so many people, you will get through this, it is not for always, one foot in front of the other kiddo,” he finished, gave me a warm hug and shambled off with one of his guys toward the Lower Haight.

Sometimes the dread of the day lays heavy on me.

The responsibility to get it all done and be good and be on the up and up and get it done and go, go, go, well, it can be tremendous.

Overwhelming.

And.

Self-defeating.

I stopped making judgements around 45 minutes into my reading.

I started to feel good for picking up the books and just making the effort to read.

I don’t have to comprehend it all right now.

But I do have to start somewhere.

And.

I need to get caught up on all my reading.

Not necessarily to fulfill paper requirements or to please anyone, but because this is what I’m doing, I’m getting my Masters in Psychology and this is part of the work.

I have to do it to get the degree and I need the degree to facilitate moving into the next phase of my development.

Development that takes time, slow time, golden time, drowsy with afternoon light and the hours that breach between two and four p.m. when the promise of the day begins to wane towards dusk.

I read.

I read a lot.

Is it enough?

No, my head whispers.

Yes.

My heart confirms.

Today you did enough.

You are enough.

It was enough.

And tomorrow.

Well.

That’s not here yet.

Let’s just stay here.

You and I.

Or.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky

As long as it is with your hand in mine and the colors that bleed are not bleeding from my heart, but from the underpinnings of love that color the clouds and light my way forward.

This moment.

This now.

This everlasting love.

Yes.

That.

Always that.

Love.

Let us go there.

Together.

I Saw Your Car

September 6, 2016

In the parking lot at the 7-Eleven on the corner.

It sounds like the start to a really bad country western song, doesn’t it?

I kept right on right on, moving on.

I did stop.

I did pause.

I did have a wave of something come over me.

I suspect that you were thinking of me, I had you sudden and random in my head as I switched out my glasses and put on the frames you liked to see me in before leaving my house this evening to walk up and do the deal at the place up the road.

I am tan and my hair is in braids.

Like you like.

Like that.

I conjured you to the parking lot, heir to Slurpees and candy bars, to hot dogs on a rolling tray, glistening under the heat lamps, oily and delicious, the crisp coated chicken wings, baking under another set of lights, waiting to be scooped up into thin white paper bags, that spot with grease upon contact.

God only knows the years people have lost consuming such junk.

Devious in it’s siren song.

Though not so delicious as the memory of the first time we kissed.

And then.

I realized.

What the fuck am I doing standing on this sidewalk?

Do I really need to replay that mess?

No.

I have had these odd moments.

Moments when I feel like I’m being given a chance to go back and repeat old behaviors.

Or.

Move forward.

I fished in my purse for my phone, as though I suddenly had some momentous phone call coming in and I had to answer it.

Why was I there, on the sidewalk, stopped in my tracks?

Skin a glow.

Warm.

Soft, skirt billowing about my knees.

Then.

I put the phone resolutely back in my bag, there was no incoming message, there was no sign from God.

Although, there was.

There it was.

Make the decision.

Stay and talk and get wrapped up in a man who is not available for me to get wrapped up in, fantasize about a nothingness that is there, scuttling like a Kit Kat wrapper discarded in the parking lot.

Or.

Jump the other direction.

I was reminded that I was not to chase.

Not to pursue.

To know what I want.

And to sit and wait for that.

That the desire to chase was going to come up and I could let it pass through me and let it go out the other way, run down to the beach, sink into the sand, softly paddle down to the waves lapping at the moon.

And disappear underneath that yellow buttercream frosted moon, a dusted crescent sugar cookie, a soft bitten kind of love sailing over the black velvet waves.

Buh bye.

Bye, my baby, good bye.

I walked up the sidewalk.

I thought about all ways that I took care of myself today.

From sleeping in, to washing my bed sheets and making a fresh bed.

The good food I cooked for myself.

The writing I did.

The quiet time I took.

The phone calls I made and the conversations I had.

The gift I gave myself of not leaving the neighborhood, not seeking to have an agenda, to do something, to make something happen.

No need.

There was no need.

No.

The need was to go slow.

To languish in the sun.

Languid, liquid, warm, soft, sluiced with the sunshine.

It was not foggy today.

It’s Indian Summer in San Francisco.

And thank God.

It finally came.

Granted I spent much of “Fogust” out of town, but the few days that I was here in August, it was surprisingly grey and foggy and cold.

To come back, to be out of the first weekend of my second year of grad school and to have a day where it was sunny, warm, and without fog, was a huge gift.

One that my brain was eager to sabotage by running around and “getting stuff done.”

I have no real idea what this stuff was that needed to get done.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and I really didn’t need to do anything.

I was directed to get my “mind of me” and to go outside, go to coffee, go walk on the beach, get out of myself.

So.

I did.

I took a few phones calls in the back yard, checked in with my people, then walked up to Trouble Coffee And Coconut Club and had a very hot, very wet, very expensive latte.

I sat out in the front parklet and watched the ocean from the wooden top beam of the fenced in space.

I let the sun splash down on me.

I tasted the espresso and milk and let it envelop me.

I went to The General Store and actually found a dress I just adored and even though it was much more expensive than I wanted to spend, I liked it too much to not get it.

I spent the majority of my clothing allowance on it and smiled with sweet happiness that I allowed myself the gift of getting it.

I’ll wear it tomorrow.

I thought about relationships and myself and friendships and remembered the admonishment to spend time with either myself or with girlfriends.

Guy friends I can get too wrapped up in and the fantasy of maybe they’re the guy I should be dating gets in the way of it.

I remembered what my friend said, let it happen, sit still, allow the work to take and don’t push it.

I walked down to the ocean and walked along the beach.

I watched dogs jump in and out of the surf.

I watched surfers drift in and out of the waves.

The sun shone.

The sand stuck to my toes and then washed off as the water lapped over my feet, surprising, cold, crisp, alerting my whole body to how alive I am.

I found a large drift wood log and sat.

I watched a game of frisbee.

I checked some messages and saw a man I had dated a few months back commented on something I posted on social media, I texted him, answered the question, but did not pursue it further.  I didn’t ask, hey, what are you doing?  Want to hang out?

That’s the hard part.

The not pursuing.

Yet.

As I sit with myself, leaning more and more into the strength there.

I know that I am worthy of love.

Of pursuit.

And I’m not too concerned about it.

The feelings come and go.

But I don’t have to treat them as though they are real or permanent.

Just a fleeting kiss of ghosted memory.

And gone.

Like my footsteps past the parking lot.

The neon glow of the sign behind me casting a shadow ahead of me.

Glimmers come shining off the dance floor that I chose to exit from.

Asphalt sparkles in the night.

And the caress of wood smoke hovering in the saline air.

Love.

Love.

Here.

There.

Everywhere.

God, in the details.

The swish of my skirt around my ankles.

The curl of hair, tucked behind my ear.

And.

The soothing whisper.

Soon.

Here.

At the still point of this Universe.

Love.

Will find me.

On the corner of 46th and Judah.

A whimpering croon, oh baby girl.

Just.

Come.

And.

Hold my hand.

And together.

We will walk.

Towards that unknown land.

Love.

Just there, over the dunes.

Under the cusp of the moon.

I am here.

I await.

Still.

And.

Strong.

For.

You.

You Are Brave

April 4, 2016

She said to  me tonight as I straddled my scooter and got myself adjusted.

“Get home safe,” she added, smiled, patted my arm and got into her car.

Yes.

Get home safe so I can do more home work.

Oof.

I got a lot done.

Did I get it all done?

No.

Will I?

Of course.

Will I get it done tonight.

No fucking way.

But.

I did do so much that I haven’t really a leg to stand on as far as complaining goes.

I did not sleep in, that is the one thing that I sort of wanted to do, but it didn’t happen.

I got up at my normal hour but I did not do yoga.

Today is a day when I typically do go to the yoga studio, but I deferred instead to doing all the chores and maintenance and household stuff that I needed to do so that I won’t have to do any of them while in my weekend of classes.

I did a big grocery shopping trip, I did laundry, I swept and vacuumed and swiffered and did the scrubbing in the bathroom.

“Your place is so clean,” my friend said today as he was using the bathroom.

Yeah and it smells hella good.

Broken bottle of $100 Chanel Egoiste Pour Homme makes one hell of a disinfectant and smells just lovely.

I joke that my house is clean because I have papers to write.

And there is some sort of correlation there, I don’t doubt it (can you imagine how clean my house would be if I were getting a PhD?  Don’t mind me, I’m just scrubbing the grout with a toothbrush), some manner of procrastination, but also, I just like having a clean space.

It feels nice to come home to.

I met with a lady, did the deal, cooked meals for the week, and wrote one paper.

I actually wrote the one I was going to save for the last minute since I figured it would be the easiest to write and decided to just get it out of the way since it was the shortest to write.

And granted, yeah, I didn’t get all the writing done I wanted, but I did all the reading, ALL of it.

Which means the time that I would be reading before work this week I can devote to doing the paper writing.

I’m going to do yoga in the morning before work and there’s always a little time for me on Monday’s to do about a half hour of reading before I head to work after I have done a yoga class and showered.

Which is enough time for me to go over my notes and the readings that I have done over the last two weeks and compile the things I need to do the papers.

I will work on one of them Monday and Tuesday and the other one Wednesday and Thursday.

Had I gotten the papers done today I still would have been reading.

I just basically switched up the order in which I am procrastinating.

I’m not even going to call it procrastinating, I know what I can do in the time I have and I am being efficient.

I have a practice that I like to keep outside of school work and work work, and that is for me where the real work is done and that needed to be addressed today.

It needs to be addressed every day.

And there is time.

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
Oh what do I write about, how do I write about it, how will I cite my sources, do I have any idea what the professor wants, all the various indecisive shit that my brain can cook up.
The thing is though, the thing I learned the most, is that it almost, a tiny bit maybe, doesn’t matter if I don’t know exactly what I am going to write about when I sit down to write the paper.  It’s just making the decision to do so, then taking action.
If I don’t take action.
Well.
Nothing happens.
And that’s just sad.
I don’t want to live a sad life.
Granted I could use a little down time, but I am happy that I didn’t stress myself out over trying to figure out how to get all the things into all the day.
I got what I needed to do done and I took good care of myself and my needs.
I took plenty of actions.
It’s not that I rest on my laurels, ever.
In fact, sometimes I feel like it could be a good thing to do just that, for maybe, just a tiny second, before I am off and running onto the next thing, experience, opportunity.
To take a minute.
I noticed that the clerk at Other Avenues had double charged me for the dozen eggs and nobody, at least not I, wants to pay $10.44 for a dozen eggs.
I walked back to the store.
I got my money back.
I walked out.
I sat down on a bench and lay back and let the sun splay out on my body, warm my face, warm my hands, warm my heart, I closed my eyes and reclined, right there, in the public parklet in front of the store without a care in the world and not a thought of papers, books, articles, writing, not for long, mind you, but just for a moment.
Slow down.
Rest.
I had already done so much that I could know in my heart, without reservation or regret that I had done enough.
I will continue to do more work, that is true, but tonight, I can look about my clean, well lit, sweet space and know I am enough.
The efforts made were enough.
And I am allowed rest.
Good sleep.
And a quiet, self-congratulatory pat on the back for a day well done.
And a video.
Heh.

 

Get Used To It

October 4, 2015

Yeah.

I know.

Get used to the busy.

Get used to the overwhelmed.

Get used to it, kid.

You’re in graduate school.

And.

You have seven hours of T-Group tomorrow.

Ugh.

But.

Yippee!

I mean.

REALLY?

T-group is great, it’s just a lot of work, constant emotional work, I am working, let me tell you.

Working.

And hella grateful that this morning I reminded myself to not wear eyeliner and to make sure I was wearing waterproof mascara.

Done and done.

Because, this lady cried a lot today–T-Group brings it out.

The tears.

They flowed.

And.

The catharsis happened and I got insight and I felt better.

Had the catharsis happened without the insight, I think I might not have felt the way I did by the end of the group, but I got a load of insight and a lot of self-awareness around how I put up walls and where I need to work on being vulnerable.

And also how to process emotions that clients are going to bring up in me that are not pertinent to the client experience.

In other words, I am learning to deal with conflict in a calm manner.

I still am emotional and I cry easily, but I am coming to terms with that and also seeing that I consistently show up for the work and I do a lot of it.

I carry my weight in the group.

Perhaps a little more.

But then I am a greedy girl, I want to get every last drop out of it, I want to wring out the learning, I am paying an arm and a leg, yes I am, for the experience–I want to get every dollar out of it that I can, I am after all borrowing a lot of money to be there.

In that spirit I am grateful too for my Psychodynamic course and how the professor is teaching it and how she wants us to learn.

I was expressing to a fellow in my cohort at lunch what it was like, the experience of learning Freudian analytics, with this professor and how she reminded me of a professor I had in undergrad who taught graduate level TS Eliot.

I learned more than I could ever have believed.

Whenever I wrote a paper or took an exam I found that I had absorbed and rearranged the material in my head in a way that was new and interesting and I did not even know it until I was challenged to react to the work and respond.

This professor is like that, I like how she teaches, she uses everything, she is dramatic and smart and amiable, and quick-witted and a character and she makes learning exciting.

I find myself answering her rhetorical questions out loud in the class and interacting with her and the lecture and having a dialogue about the material.

It’s fucking fascinating.

That doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting.

My brain could use a little break from Freud.

I mean I spent three hours tonight, 5p.m.-8p.m., going over theories on hysteria, mourning, and melancholia.

It was a lot to take on after having a really raucous start to the day with some poorly handled treatment of a touchy subject in my Human Development class and then three hours previous in an emotionally charged T-Group.

By the time I was in the Freud class I was pretty kaput.

Then.

We wrap up the case of the infamous Dora and her notorious relationship with Freud and hysteria and move into Melancholia and Mourning.

Grief and depression.

Two things I have had plenty of experience in.

And yet.

I learned more.

The learning.

It just keeps happening.

I’m not caught up on all the reading either, but I am so much further ahead with it that I am able to keep up with my classes, and in the Freud class I am entirely caught up (in fact, I got into one of the vignettes in the reader and realized that I was actually reading ahead of the assigned class work.  It was so fascinating that I contemplated continuing to read it, but realized that I needed to focus on my T-Group reading and get my butt going on the Therapeutics of Group Dynamics–say that ten times fast).

The class I am least caught up with is my Human Development class and I just don’t care.

The professor is not a bad person, but she is a poor teacher and in the over reliance upon the work assignments and regurgitation of ideas, really with little to compel me towards further learning, I am loath to spend any extra time or resources on her class.

Of course.

Her class is the one with the highest work load and amount of reading.

Five response and reaction papers, one group project, on solo final project, a reader–a gigantic reader (bigger than any of my other classes, additional videos online, extra handouts (outside of the enormous reader) and the biggest text-book I have ever carted around in my entire academic career.

It’s not that I can’t do the work or won’t do the work, it’s just that when the work is so uninspiring and there is so much material to parrot back that I feel lost in the muck of it.  Overwhelmed by the sheer volume and what feels like frankly, the most boring of my classes.

C’est la vie.

There will be classes like this.

There have always been classes like this.

I am going to show up and do the work and let go of the results and not care too much about the content, that feels the worst somehow, as a writer, to be writing so much volume but to not have an emotional or even intellectual resonance with the work.

That is the work.

That is the exhaustion.

That is the rub.

But.

I know it and though it is a slog, it is a slog I can do.

And tomorrow I won’t have to slog through her class.

I will have to work on her paper over next weekend, there is no getting around it.

I have done one response paper and my chapter outline project, the group project, for the class.

Which leaves four more papers to write and one final project–I’m going to write about using sign language with babies and toddlers and language development and emotional response to communication thereof.

Scintillating.

I promise.

Ah.

It’s been a day.

I am in school.

I had no clue it was Saturday or where the day went.

It just went.

I am grateful to keep showing up and that I feel better and more prepared for the work then I did the last weekend of classes.

Here’s to showing up one more day, amongst many, tomorrow.

And.

Getting used to it.

Just Sitting Here

October 2, 2015

Waiting by the phone.

And.

Not for that boy to call me.

Er.

Man.

There is a man around you know.

Oh, you didn’t?

Well.

That’s cause for another blog another day.

Yeah.

I know, I’m cheeky like that, but don’t worry you’ll hear about him one day.

Or.

Not.

Tonight.

I am waiting by the phone for my partner in my Human Development class to get home from her job and call me so that we can confer about tomorrow’s assigned chapter outline on Toddlerhood.

I really don’t want to be waiting by the phone and I really do wish this assignment was a thing of the past, I dislike group projects.

I don’t dislike groups per se, but I find that I work better on my own when I can squeeze in what I need to squeeze in where I need to squeeze it in.

I mean, time wise.

I like doing things on my own time.

But who the hell doesn’t?

Everybody’s got their own agenda.

Right not my agenda wants me to crawl into my new bed and really get a nice full nights sleep on it.

That’s not about to happen though.

I figure if i’m in bed by midnight and up by 6:30 a.m. I’m doing alright.

I have a friend who is going to pick me up and drive me to class tomorrow.

Thank you friend.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

The time that I don’t have to be on my bicycle is a big deal, I budget 45 minutes in for my commute and my friend is going to do the same for me in case there is any morning traffic and so that I can get to campus a touch early and stash my meals for the day in the kitchen.

So very grateful that there is a kitchen facility for the students to use.

I made food up for the weekend and I’m all ready in regards to that and I will be taking much better care of my feeding then I did last weekend I was in school.

I will also cut myself a little slack, I was just getting back from Burning Man and previous to that two weeks of work outside of the city and a week of school at the retreat, so I was pretty damn wonky that first week of classes.

But I don’t want to have that experience again.

I suspect I’ll be tired.

There’s that.

There’s always that.

But.

I will also be bringing in cold brewed, at home, thank you very much, coffee with me and stashing that in the kitchen as well, so that should I need it I can just dash off and grab myself a cup of joe, I left a mug in the kitchen for myself to utilize as well.

So the food tip is taken care of.

The transportation to and from school tomorrow and Saturday is taken care of.

My friend is helping me both days and being a pumpkin about doing it.

“Listen,” he said, “let me help you.”

And I acquiesced.

I am learning.

I am learning to ask for help where I never would have before.

I am learning too to find ways to say what I need and to express what I need and to be alright in the expression thereof.

What is really amazing about doing the deal for as long as I have is that I have a basic understanding of certain psychological and spiritual modalities, and I have applied them to my graduate school program.

But what is also astounding to me is that in the brief amount of time that I have been in school I have also learned huge amounts about myself, how I communicate, the assumptions I make and the fact that I take myself just a little too damn serious.

Seriously.

“I was just kidding,” he told me.

I did not realize that.

I mean.

I get the joke now, but last night, ugh, I really thought I was failing somehow, doing all the work and not having the pay off and don’t you see, oh God, how much work there is to do and can’t you see how much I want to be with you?

Oh woe is fucking me.

I am such an anxiety monster sometimes.

He was joking.

I made an assumption, had a conversation in my head, and then felt ashamed at how busy I am, how I’m not available enough for social interactions, and what the fuck is wrong with me?

Nothing it turns out.

Just a slight soul sickness that creeps in when I least expect it, right where it is vulnerable, right where the love is and says, see that, that wonderful person who you care about so much, they are going to run away screaming when they see the real you, you’re a shit.

Thanks head.

Thanks for sharing.

Now.

Fuck off.

But the wonderful thing about inventory and working with someone who can show me some perspective, linked to the studying of all the therapeutic models and the group therapy theories and Freud, yes even him, and non-violent communication, and human development, and learning how to be empathetic (like I could be even more), is that I am learning not only how to help another–I am getting a masters in Psychology to be a therapist–but also how to help myself too.

Especially when it comes to communicating.

It really is amazing.

“I know I’m only going to get slivers of your time,” he said to me tonight when he dropped me off from work, “for like the next three years.”

You’re getting more than most my dear friend.

And not nearly as much as I liked to give.

But there will be vacations and there will be summer breaks and there will be time.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

I do dare.

I do dare to say that I will find the time.

To love.

To dance.

To sleep on the chest of a man I adore.

To find the ways in between the pattern of the days.

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
All these minutes that pile up one against the other.
The pressing love hands of time.
The pushing head of a daisy in my hand.
The kiss on the side of a neck.
Warm.
Breathless.
There.
Next to the pulse of my heart.
And there.
While I sit and wait.
For the phone to ring.
Excuse me.
Human Development is calling.

You’re The Girl With Flowers In Her Hair

July 12, 2015

That cries all the time.

Yup.

That would be me.

Crying on the back of the bus.

Damn you MUNI.

It’s bad enough to be that woman, but to be that woman on the back of the bus?

Even worse.

There’s a certain kind of anonymity that the N-Judah train permits, not so much when they are running buses to and from the beach as the work continues on the tunnel between the Cole and Duboce stops.

The girl with flowers in her hair who cries a lot, I think, is actually what she said.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time.

I have not seen my disease so up close and personal and in my face, and on my face, and smearing down my face.

I really shouldn’t have even attempted the make up today, but I tried to put on a brave face, even though I went to bed crying, I woke up crying, my face was leaky and runny and disastrous.

I would get it together to fall back apart.

I can say with all conviction and truth the amends to be made from mistakes in my sobriety have to be some of the most painful I have ever attempted.

And I haven’t made this one yet.

I did something last night that I am ashamed of, horrified by and bereft with my behavior.

I was manipulative and dishonest and I didn’t even realize what was coming out of my mouth but there it was and my friend got hurt.

It was like being in a black out.

I said something cruel and dishonest because my fucking instincts got bruised and I thought I was better than that, I don’t know, that I got this, I know how to live I do, I….

Fuck me.

I don’t have a clue.

Until the look on my friends face woke me up.

What did I just do?

I can’t breathe writing about it.

I have been putting off writing about it for hours, hoping that I would be able to make the amends tonight.

It does not look like that will happen.

I can’t force solution, it’s not on my schedule, it’s not my time frame.

It’s my fucking monkey though.

Or monkeys.

Shame.

Manipulation.

Perfectionism.

DIshonesty.

When I wrote, just because it’s taken me this long to get to my blog does not mean I haven’t written today.

I have.

So much, my heart hurts for it, my heart hurts for my friend, for myself, for being in this disease, for being human, and for knowing that the only way through this is though it.

And I may very well lose a friend who means so much to me that I cannot fathom not having him in my life.

Oh.

And there’s another one.

Self-sabotage.

I think I have let go, I think I have surrendered, then I go down that path, unconsciously, it seems, but I can see in hindsight that I got upset, I felt threatened and I said unkind things.

Things I did not mean, things I don’t even remember saying, except for the gist of them, for the flavor–which is all sea salt and rot on my heart, that what it tastes like and so I took it to the beach.

I took it first to 7th and Irving and was a mild wreck in my folding chair, my ass falling off, I stuck it in a bag and got it where it needed to be.

I shared and I shared sadness and sorrow, but I also shared solution and when I finished and the time was up I read about a vision for you and my voice cracked.

I cannot remember the last time I started to cry reading something.

The wreckage of the past caught my attention and twisted in me and I thought, the wreckage of last night, and then I read the rest of the words and felt something move and shift and a teeny step forward through the miasma of grief.

Then down the stairs out into the sunlight, buoyed up by the froth of crinoline under my dress.

If I’m going to be sad I might as well wear something that will bring some lightness to me as I drift tear stained around the Inner Sunset.

I went to Tart to Tart.

I got an iced coffee.

I sat down across the table and I spilled my guts.

“Well, aren’t you just a garden variety drunk,” she almost laughed, but then told me what she saw, her perception, and her generosity of spirit and point blankness, “you owe him an amends.  Do you have a piece of paper?”

I took out my notebook.

I wrote down what she said.

I cried with horror over my inability to have seen how hurtful I was to my friend last night and I admonished myself.

I didn’t cast about ashes and I didn’t beat my self with a hair whip, but man, I came close.

“Hey, don’t talk about my friend like that,” my best girlfriend said to me this morning when I shared what an asshole I had been.

I love you and I forgive you.

I kept saying it all day.

I kept seeing how deep this goes, how much work I still have to do.

“Oh!  Get grateful for that, it means you’re human, and you get to work on letting go of these defects.”

Back at Tart to Tart the almost perky tone of my person bolstered me, I knew she was right and I knew I have to go to my friend in a position of service and kindness.

And face to face.

That was the directive.

I reached out.

I got a response.

It was no thank you.

Once again I break my own heart.

No wonder I wore my heart sweater today.

Cream hearts on a field of black.

I did more praying.

I did more writing.

I did, oh come on, more crying.

Hell.

I haven’t really stopped all day.

There will be a moment of reprieve then it starts again.

“This is worse than with ____________,” I sobbed on the phone later in the day, having walked down to the sea and asked for it all to be taken away, wash it away, take my sins, every one, help me have kindness and compassion, for myself, and be of service to my friend.

However he needs it.

Not however I want it.

“You self-sabotaged and now you know what that feels like, you can recognize it and you can stop it the next time you have that feeling arise,” he told me.  “Then you talk to me first before you say anything.”

“And we hurt the ones we care for the most, we don’t mean to, but that’s what we do” he finished, “now you are aware, now forgive yourself, and let him have his process.”

The hardest part.

I wore that fucking flower in my hair all day long.

I thought there was a chance to see my friend and make the amends.

He reached back to me later and we set a time, but it came and went and he cannot meet me.

So I sit here in the grief that I have wrought.

My own self-made misery.

I can’t hate myself for it, I can only forgive and move forward with the knowledge that my disease runs hard and deep and I have to lean in on my God and I have to pray more.

Kneeling by my bed, walking in the ocean, walking through the fear, praying for forgiveness again and again and again.

I can’t regret the past, nor shut the door on it, but I can learn from this and I can hope for a new beginning and for a new freedom from the bondage of self.

The price feels so high.

“You will get through this,” his voice so calm over the phone, the waves splashed on my feet, the sun embroiled my head and lit me through with far-flung light, “you will come out stronger and better and you will love more for it, I don’t know what it will look like, but you will come through and you will have learned a deep lesson about yourself.”

There is a gift here.

I cannot see it.

But it is there.

Wrapped on the beach.

Dusted with the tears of the mermaids as they

Sing each to each

I will walk through this grief.

I will assuage this sorrow.

I will open that box.

And be bedazzled with glory.

I will keep doing this work.

It’s the only way I know how.

I will find my way back to love.

It has not left me, I just cannot see it through the blur of sea-salt in my eyes.

But it is there.

Love.

It is there.

It’s My Anniversary!

January 24, 2015

One week single.

I’m ready to date again.

Let’s get it on.

Baha.

Oof.

Really, that’s it, it’s been a week, let me be done and done.

I feel like it’s really been three weeks, the pre-break up break up was more intense than the actual break up.

I was wondering to myself today at the park when is the appropriate time to get back into dating?

Is there one?

Like I care.

I wasn’t really thinking about it, it was just that I realized I was being flirted with and it took me a minute to process that I was being hit on.

What does this guy want?  I thought to myself as I was hanging with the boys, my boys, my charges, at the park.

I think what he wanted was my phone number.

Ha.

I was so obtuse.

Then I realized, oh yeah, I am single, I could say yes if I was asked out on a date, I could go out with someone not my boyfriend, I mean my ex boyfriend.

“I was pulling for you guys,” a friend said tonight.

I think a lot of folks were.

He’s a good guy.

I’m a good gal.

But sometimes it takes more than good intentions to get a relationship to run and as I checked in later with someone on the phone I got to see that I was not getting some things that are important to me and that I will need to get those things in my future relationships.

Like poetry, words, books, literature.

You know, those things really a big deal in my life since I am a writer.

Oh, yeah, I’m a nanny, a lover, a tattooed dragon girl, a bicyclist, a burner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, yada, yada, yada.

I’m a fucking writer.

Let’s not pay any attention to the fact that I applied to a Master’s Degree program that is not literature focused, shall we.

I can have a career and a job and a persona outside of the writing, but at my heart, in my core, that’s what I do.

I am not great.

I am good at best.

When I am at my best.

But  can’t stop, don’t want to stop, got to do it, so here’s me doing it, person who writes.

Along with that important tidbit is that I am a reader.

Someone who I didn’t even know was following my blog posted a quote from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, the specific line was from the poem “Little Gidding.”

I read his comment, thought, why is that familiar, what is that?

Googled it and was abashed to realize it was Eliot, one of, if not my favorite poets, and it was from the Quartets, which are my favorite of his pieces.

I have a deep fondness for J. Alfred Prufrock, The Love Song of, as well, but there is something in the Quartets that pulverized me when I first read them in Professor Serena Pondrom’s TS Eliot class.

I went from being an atheist to being an agnostic, to actually, like Eliot having a sort of come to God moment and now relying so much on that faith that I can’t live without it, can’t do anything without it.

I use love as a short hand for God.

In case you were wondering.

I don’t belong to a religious group, though baptized Lutheran and brought up lapsed Catholic, I don’t belong to any denomination, just that I know I have a God and I’m not it.

That worked for me for a long time, then it had to get bigger and love seemed the best way to get at it.  To experience love more fully was and is to experience God more fully.

The quotation was about moving through desire to a fuller understanding of love.

Not less of love but an expansion of love beyond desire…

The line prickled at my heart, piercing my skin, I looked up the quote, and sat and read, out loud, every line, and cried.

It was so perfect.

Sappy.

You betcha.

But all me.

It made me realize on a very deep level that one thing I need in any future romantic relationship is this love of words and the written word, for books, and essays, and poems, and art.

I can’t live without it.

And I realized that I think, let’s put that into quotations, “think” I am not good enough to attract a like-minded individual.

REALLY?

I’m still not enough.

Fuck you brain.

I am too smart.

Jesus in a gravy boat.

Where does my brain come up with this crap?

I have a vocabulary that even I am impressed with, I read, I write, I use the things that make the words that tell the story.

I am intuitively intelligent and observant and have a really good memory and I like to learn and I like to talk to people about books and movies and songs and art, oh but, I’m not quite good enough to inspire a creative or an academic or what?

Nice try negative self-esteem.

Get off my ass.

Oh and by the way, didn’t you read that blog a few days ago where I finished and turned in my application for graduate school.

Yeah, because I’m dumb and nobody smart wants to date me.

Not to say my ex wasn’t smart, I’m not saying that, but he was smart about things that didn’t interest me like I am smart about things that don’t interest him and when you have two people who can’t communicate, one is smart about getting the fuck out.

Rejection is God’s protection.

Part of me being quiet around the man was that we didn’t have a common language, outside of one very obvious one, wherein we could build the relationship.

I tried some of the things he was interested in and he bugged me to make sure I was blogging, but we couldn’t find common ground and that led to the dissolution of the relationship.

Or at least was a part of it.

After reading the Eliot poem and crying I asked that I have that removed too, that idea that I am smart, but not smart enough.

That I am enough.

I always have been.

I always will be.

With or without a Master’s degree.

 

 

 

Well

September 14, 2014

And done.

It went well.

And I am done.

Zombified by the adrenalin of it all.

I do not know how entertainers can do it.

I got so sick with stage fright today I thought I was going to throw up.

I apparently did ok.

I messed up a few lines, transposing a couple of verses, but since the pieces were my own poems, no one knew the difference.

In fact, all were kind and sweet.

It was worth it, though to get up there and be present and perform, not that I think I am going to be doing it again any time soon.

I felt rather upstaged and outclassed by the musicians.

I am not playing any instruments, just reciting some poems.

It’s intimacy though, intense intimacy, just me, just a microphone, just my own words, my own lines of verse.

I mean.

It’s hard to hold an audience for seven minutes, especially with poetry, but I feel that they were with me.  And as more than one friend mentioned, really the best audience a person could ever hope for.

I have to say, the MC, Bucky Sinister, made the night for me.

He was hilarious.

I know his books and I have known through the grapevine that he does stand up comedy, and I can totally see it, he was a freaking hoot.

And Tom Sway.

Wow.

Blown away by his performance, it made me feel.

I mean really feel.

I laughed in appreciation at the talent the first piece displayed.

Part of it was tragic, comic, melodramatic, high emotionalism, high-octane, epic storytelling, and it was smart.

Very smart.

And the second.

Well.

Damn.

I cannot remember being brought to tears that quickly before by an artist.

The last time I recall having that kind of visceral response, that kind of quick lighting grief and sadness and elemental joy, was listening to Jeff Buckley encore with Hallelujah at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, when I saw him on tour for Grace.

I reasoned the tears away immediately.

I was feeling emotional.

The adrenalin was finally wearing off.

I was having after effects from my performance.

But the pure fact of it was I could identify with the artists’ deep sadness and insurmountable joy all at the same time.

The man is a talent.

I don’t believe I was the only one in the audience with tears in their eyes.

That’s a good place to be.

Surprised.

Open to others artistry and love of performance.

There were some performers tonight I could have done without, but to have had the willingness to get up on the stage and do their bit, I respected, perhaps with a greater appreciation than ever before, the work involved and the passion for it that comes out.

That being said.

I am done with it and glad for it.

I’m not so certain I am built to be a performer.

I like to think I am, that I have a talent for it.

But after seeing Sway and Sinister do there things, I was content to recognize that I may have a tiny touch of sweet melodic muse in me, I don’t have comic genius or the ability to bring people to tears.

I am a mediocre talent at best.

But grateful to have had a small chance here and there to do my little thing and know that experience, the getting up in front of a group of people and showing a part of myself.

There’s certain places I speak well and they can remain anonymous for now.

I don’t need accolades.

I don’t need applause.

My ego doesn’t need it.

I think I am just a tiny bit too introverted.

Despite my extroverted exterior.

I am on the shy’er side of town.

But not debilitatingly so.

Another thing to be grateful for.

I did think a moment or two of completely bowing out, what I had to offer was vastly different from what was happening on stage with most of the performers, but it was still something, another thing, I got to do by walking through the fear.

And now the weekend can really start.

And the week too, I suppose.

I have the next four days off, technically five, I do have off on Thursday as well, but I have a lot of errands I have to run, including going to the Healthy San Francisco offices and getting my care extended for another year, on that day to feel like a real day off.

I was instructed to enjoy it.

Especially as I will be starting a new job on September 22nd (plus a gig this Friday and this Saturday) and I will be busy, it will be full-time and I will just leap right into it.

It was expressed to me that this may be my only time off for a while so I best take advantage of it.

That doesn’t mean that I have any idea what I am going to do.

Well, aside from not be in any more talent shows, that’s enough stress for me for a while, thank you very much.

I am supposing I shall play more tourist in my town sort of things.

Go to the beach.

Maybe do some yoga.

Aside from the “exciting” and overwhelming cold sweaty high of the adrenalin, I did get one other thing from the talent show–a $200 gift certificate for a yoga session.

The benefit had a raffle and that’s what I won.

Thank you.

That’s at least one thing to do.

Sleeping in may be another.

I’m still a little hobbled with the ankle, so nothing too strenuous.

A movie.

A matinée?

All the things.

There are so many.

A swim.

A session at Kabuki Springs and Spa.

A nap.

Really.

A date with a new paramour.

Not that I have one, but a girl can dream can’t she?

Should you have thoughts, throw them my way.

Or time.

Let’s hang out and watch the leaves turn silvery in the sun and cool outlined with the sharp air off the ocean.

There is time.

And there is time.

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

 

 

Three More Weeks of This?

June 17, 2014

How the hell am I going to get through it?

That thought came unbidden again as I settled myself down for a quick rest before tackling the daily drudgery or daily living.

Which really is not drudgery until you get so slowed down that you, or I should say I, I get tired after walking, WALKING! the laundry to the garage.

Little did I know that by the time it was ready to be folded I would have to take a nap to recover from it.

Seriously?

I had to take a nap to recharge myself.

Then again, I did a lot of “walking” today.

First time in the house using the crutches about half time.

This is pretty much what the doctor had told me would happen, 7-10 days on the crutches, then I would be able to start walking in the boot, and with some time and patience, now, damn it, now, I would be able to walk with one crutch, then none at all.

When I am inside I can do the none at all about half time.

I go real slow, however, there is no going fast.

“Wow, you’re getting fast on those,” my friend said, referring to my bright bling bling gold crutches, when he picked me up today to take me to the Inner Sunset and then to do some grocery shopping after.

I am, but I get tired faster than I want to.

Although, last Monday all I could do was sit and softly cry and be misty eyed watching the frog scroll in through the park as my friend shopped for me, this time I was able to go in and lend a hand.

Well, maybe not even a hand.

For by that time the novelty of walking on the boot had more than wore off and my ankle was letting me know quite clearly that it was not having much more of it.

I used the crutches throughout the store and I don’t know if it was that, the lack of my list, which I realized later was in my purse, the getting out-of-the-way of other shoppers, (wow is everyone so self-involved?  I have never seen so many folks standing in the aisles looking off into nowhere or having blithe conversations with friends, totally blocking the way) I caught a larger path with the crutches, or the need to get in and out as fast as possible, to less inconvenience my friend, but.

Wow.

Sticker shock at the register.

I did get myself a few treats, nice avocados, a bag of cherries, a bag of Four Barrel coffee, a pre-made roasted chicken, but damn Gina.

Of course, I normally don’t buy that much pre-pared food, but I was getting winded and tired and wanted to be done with it.

I had been a hero.

I did my laundry.

I grocery shopped.

And now, I’m done.

Who the hell needs to worry about the weeks ahead?

I can barely make it through the store.

I have a lot of healing to do yet.

Despite my head saying, hey, look, you’re doing great, let’s go back to work.

Um.

Yeah.

No.

I cannot imagine what it would take out of me to climb the stairs to change a diaper, let alone two boys who are active and engaging and bright and, uh, active, I can’t go back yet.

Silly head.

I do miss the boys though and I was thinking I should ask for a visit, that might be nice,  meet them somewhere, maybe close by, I don’t know, yet, that’s a little outside my bailiwick at the moment.

Wrangling boys or wrangling my schedule.

“Now’s a great time to look at that list,” she reminded me this weekend.

That list is my list of creative projects and things I want to be working towards, things I want to do, not things I like to do, but things that I want to do, and so many of them are creative things.

I have my book to edit, a book proposal to write, hats to make, songs to write, poems, I had an idea for a vocal album that  I want to flesh out, there’s really so much that I can be doing.

Once I recuperate from laundry and grocery shopping, I’ll get right on it.

There is time.

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create.

Murder those old ideas about what I can and cannot do, to unlearn the lessons that have caused me untold nightmares of self-flagellation for so damn long.

“He said, ‘shit or get off the pot’ so I did,” he told me last night recounting how he started making music and singing three years ago after “whining” about it for the previous ten.

I don’t want to be ten years in and still bewailing the book not being published, the song not being written, the poem in my heart still lingering, like yellow fog smudged and dirty corralling through the channels and chapels of my arteries, I do not want to corrode myself and my creativity out of fear, because it just won’t be good enough.

I do deserve better than that.

And as I sit, frozen peas at hand, ankle up on three fluffed up pillows I can allow myself to start the walking there too.

Not the walking on my ankle, it needs a damn rest, but those small, tiny steps that lead somewhere, not seen as much, but they add up, they do, those tiny actions that suddenly lead to a work, an oeuvre, a body of my own creating.

I have it in me, it just gets drown out in the clamour of getting ahead and getting my way and getting from point A to point B as fast as my bicycling legs can go.

Which right now, is nowhere.

I have some folks I need to chat with, some avenues to explore, but I will be getting out that list tomorrow and I will start small and take an action, any action will do, towards a creative goal.

And in between ruminations I will rest, ice, compress, and elevate that ankle.

This may be the last rest I get for a while.

Take advantage of it while it’s here.

Things are a shifting.

I want to be prepared for them.

Rested and ready for the next long walk on the path.

It’s only up from here.

 

 


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