Posts Tagged ‘Valentines Day’

That Was Fast

February 13, 2018

Today just flew by.

For which I am grateful.

I am so ready to get out-of-town and hit the East Coast on my mini-vacation that it was a pleasure how fast today went by.

Hopefully tomorrow and the next few days will go by as fleet.

I had a good supervision session, so grateful, constantly, for the supervisor I have, he just really hits things out of the ballpark for me and he is brutal honest with me about what I need to do and how to work with my clients.

It’s good stuff.

Fucking intense, but really good stuff.

I had a lot to bring him this Monday, last week was a big week for me and I was very happy to be able to process some of the work with him.

I will miss him as a supervisor when I wrap up this semester, I can already tell.

I like the group I’m in for group supervision, but I do not get the kind of guidance from the group supervisor that I do from my solo supervisor.

I don’t really respect my group supervisor, if I have to tell on myself, although I do like her.

She’s ineffectual at holding a frame and a bit vague and nebulous in her approach.

Which always baffles me a bit.

How the hell do you hold a frame for a client if you can’t hold the frame for a group of therapist in training?

I have hopes to switching out to a different group when I get done with my Master’s program.

I’m in the group that works the best for my work schedule and my current solo supervision and therapy work.

Man.

I do a fucking lot.

And I’m still doing my own personal writing.

I am very proud of myself for that.

I stay grounded when I do my morning and evening writing.

I didn’t do a few days of my blog over the weekend, but I did do my morning pages every morning.

I don’t really recall all that many days when I didn’t do either of them.

Probably being at Burning Man last year and not taking my laptop for the first time in a long time, although I still did do plenty of writing out there, I ended up doing it during the heat of the afternoon at the cafe with a big iced coffee and a shady spot under the Center Camp Cafe’s gigantic circus tent.

The fact is.

I am a writer.

I believe that it’s a huge contributor to my therapy work with my clients.

That I am constantly self-reflexive, and continually processing my stuff and finding my way through things.

I don’t know that I would be where I am without the practice.

I like where I am.

Even walking through some really challenging personal times, I still like who I am and that I am trying to grow more, change more, become more myself.

Advocate for myself, for my own change.

The only person I can change is myself.

And I’m not talking about self-improvement, I feel that’s a slippery slope, self-improvement implies that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not good enough.

It also has connotations of always having to strive to change myself to be better and that when I’m finally better I’ll be perfect and everyone will want to be with the perfect version of me.

There is no perfection.

I am perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Humility much?

I can be a perfectionist, so the way through that for me is self-acceptance over self-improvement.

That still means change, it just may not mean change in the way that I used to think it did.

Some miracle wave of a wand and poof!

Happily ever after fairy princess unicorn castle in the cloud magic glitter balloons of joy.

Not so much.

It just means that when I focus on what someone else needs to do so that I can feel comfortable I have to look at myself, what do I need?

How can I change?

Where can I be in acceptance?

There’s loads of room for that kind of introspection.

How can I care for myself when I want to focus on helping others, which is wonderful, but also recognizing that I can’t help anyone if my own needs are met.

Which means that I have to know what my needs are.

Tricky thing that.

I get better at it the more I practice.

The more I get used to paying attention to what makes me happy.

What brings me joy.

And trying to cultivate that.

My writing brings me joy, being a good therapist does, being with people I love, accepting love, travel, eating well, flowers.

My God.

I have a gorgeous bouquet that keeps getting prettier and prettier.

The lilies in the bunch of flowers have been opening over the last few days and it is like looking at a tender heart opening to the sunshine, shy and pink and exquisite.

I feel such sweetness when I look at my flowers.

A girls like her flowers.

And hearts.

I made Valentines Day cards today with one of my charges that came home sick from school and we had such a sweet time with it, drinking tea and taping the Valentines up on the windows at the back of the house.

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It was a happy afternoon.

I felt a lot of happiness today.

Some sadness at the beginning, some tenderness, some tears, I probably should skip the sorrowful music I had been listening to for a little while, but this morning, for some reason I just indulged.

A sort of get it out-of-the-way at the beginning of the day and get on with the day.

It seemed to help.

That and it just being a great big full day.

Grateful for navigating through, being of service at my job, showing up for my clients tonight.

And.

Showing up for myself with my writing.

Day and night.

Day.

And.

Night.

All the damn time.

 

 

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A Sweet Day

February 15, 2017

Despite it being Valentines Day.

Otherwise known as, achingly-painful-reminder-that-you-are-single day.

But really.

It was a sweet day and I did not find myself maudlin about the holiday, I haven’t really felt maudlin about Valentines Day in some time.

I have accepted where I am, who I am, and my relationship status is not a reflection of who I am or what I am.

It’s just a characteristic amongst many, many, many characteristics.

And.

I have been told by a fair number of people over time that I have something that they want.

They’re own space.

They’re own room.

They’re own bed to roll around in.

No one hogging the blankets or snoring into their ear.

Or wet sweaty body lying clammy against them.

I just had a flash of an ex-boyfriend who was a profuse night sweater and how it grossed me out how wet the sheets got, I mean, soaked.

I was like what the fuck is detoxing out of your body?

And the man was sober.

Night terrors=night sweats.

I think he was still working out some stuff.

The relationship did not last long and I welcomed back my bed with wide open arms when he was no longer sleeping in it.

I also welcomed not changing my sheets every other day.

I actually find Valentines Day rather sweet.

I like sending cards and I loved seeing all the guys out there carrying bundles of flowers.

I liked imagining the faces of the women or men they were giving those flowers to.

It was like little pieces of tangible love adrift in the world and I did not need a piece of it, nor did I find myself lacking for it, rather I just felt in my soul, a comfortable witnessing and great appreciation for all those folks out there doing for one another.

There really is nothing like getting flowers from someone.

It is special.

And as per usual.

I eschew buying them for myself on this day.

They prices get rather jacked up and I’ll buy some tomorrow.

I did some nice self-care today, took a hot shower, did some writing before work, drank a nice hot cafe au lait, got out into the sunshine and did a big grocery shopping run after work, doing the deal and meeting with a lady this evening to do some work and reflection.

I feel like it was a pretty successful day.

It did not hurt that I was not much on social media.

Sometimes I need a break from that.

What was wonderful today too was running into people unexpectedly from school and my previous nanny gig.

I ran into a TA from my Gestalt class last summer and we had a great catch up and a warm sweet hug.

“You smell good as always!” She exclaimed.

We chit chatted for a few minutes then I ran to catch the train to do some errands for the family in Noe Valley.

Super grateful for that.

Running errands outside when the day was a nice as it was today.

67 degrees.

Crazy.

I actually put on sunblock today before leaving the house.

The utter sublimest luxury of sitting in the sun while waiting for the train with my eyes closed at the cafe on Church and 30th was so good.

I felt so lucky and blessed.

I was getting paid to wait for the train at a cafe in the sunshine.

That’s pretty damn good.

Then up in Noe Valley after I had dropped off dry cleaning and picked up dry cleaning, I ducked in Whole Foods and picked up a few things for the house and ran into a woman who I knew from the corner market at 21st and Valencia–the market that I frequented when I was nannying in the Mission.

She works there as the check out lady and she was all smiles when she saw me and she gave me a great big hug.

It was super sweet to see her and it made me realize how just small kindnesses can go so far.

I don’t think I did much besides always say hello and smile and ask after her, just basic humanness, and her response to seeing me was so nice, it just was a great reminder to take that extra moment, smile, be kind, be sweet, be generous.

I don’t need heart-shaped boxes of candy to remind me to do that, but it’s a pleasant thing to see people with them tucked underneath their arms.

I loved seeing the kids let out from Mission High School.

The balloon bouquets were pretty impressive.

Granted when I was in high school, Valentines Day was hell on wheels for me emotionally, but it’s not now, and I can look back with a great deal of love and humor for the girl I was hoping for the same acknowledgement, love, and passion as I saw happening for other girls and guys at school.

There can be a show-off-ness about Valentines Day.

But today.

I chose not to see it for that.

Rather I just let it be another day.

A day I got to show up and work and cherish my charge.

A day in the sunshine with the flowers fragrant and lush where ever I went.

Who doesn’t want to see bouquets of flowers all day long?

So much beauty.

And the warmth of the little girl hand in my hand as I walked from the train and up the hill to her house was all the Valentines Day love I needed.

I am lucky.

I have so much love in my life.

I need not pine for more.

Why would anyone want more if they are not happy with what they have?

Today.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Exactly as it should be.

Seriously.

Happy Monday Y’all

February 14, 2017

It’s been a damn good day.

Not that I am surprised or anything, but really, the difference between my last job and my current job continues to strike me with such amazement.

It’s been a long time since I have had the autonomy which comes from not having stay at home parents.

It feels amazing.

It’s not much different from how it used to be when I nannied, and yet, wildly different.

I have a lot of autonomy.

I do a lot.

But.

l also have a lot of down time, alone time, by myself time.

I’m super efficient and today I was done with everything that needed to be done at the house in an hour and a half.

I was able to sit, eat a nice mellow lunch, by myself, listening to music with a hot cup of tea and a bunch of my books for school.

Yeah.

I know.

I said I was going to give myself the day off from homework, but I had a feeling that I might get to have some time today to read and so, I just brought my books, just in case.

Grateful as all get out that I did.

I got in a good solid 45 minutes of work.

That may not sound like much.

But.

It’s 45 minutes more than I ever had at my old job and it’s 45 minutes less that I will have to do on my own time on my days off or before work or after work.

I’ll be getting a little bit more of that tomorrow as well.

And.

I’ll be running a bunch of errands on my own.

It’s been fabulous being out in the air, riding the trains, walking, taking the kids to the park.

Really so much more engaged and active.

It’s been blowing my mind and I’m super grateful for the time to have my own space and also that I am appreciated, really appreciated and constantly told how much.

I don’t need validation to do a good job.

But.

Man, it is nice to get it.

I’ve been complimented by everyone in the family for my cooking, I have had the mom tell me a number of times that I was a “treasure” and that I am a special person.

I feel warm and appreciated and if anything, it just makes me want to continue doing a good job for them.

We are a good match and I am grateful.

“See, your luck is changing,” my dear friend told me this weekend while we were catching up and having lunch in between classes.

Yes.

Life does seem to be evolving in a rather sweet way.

I feel like things are opening.

Like the plum blossoms on the trees, pressing their star-shaped petals into the Delphinium sky.

Spring has sprung and I feel really good and that I am moving into some very positive change.

Change happens all the time, but I often forget that it can be good even when it is uncomfortable.

I was reflecting on the fact that I’m in my second year of graduate school and all that change that has come with that.

I am in a new job and all that change that comes with that.

I have opened up myself to new experiences, new learning, new challenges.

I am traveling this year.

As is now my habit.

Man.

I do love to travel.

I still have not had a chance to sit down with the family and talk to them about going to Burning Man, I didn’t see the mom or dad today in a moment that would have worked.

I will and it will be fine and I realized that although, yes, I want to go, I will act in faith that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen.

I feel excited too.

Like there are more and more wonderful things happening.

I don’t feel as isolated as I have in the past and I feel grounded in my work and in myself.

I believe that I am also slowly getting into a routine with the new job and that certainly helps quite a bit.

Routines can help me navigate new situations.

Oh.

I want to be flexible enough to help out when I can.

And I do.

I got asked to stay a little late tonight as the mom and dad were juggling some big work stuff and I helped the dad make dinner while mom took care of business and the feeling of being in a warm space, in an environment that is beckoning, welcoming, and appreciative really made it no big deal to stay a little longer and help.

I still was able to get to where I needed to go tonight and connect with friends and fellows and do the deal.

Even though my head said, “nah, you could just go home and have dinner,” I found that it was an almost automatic response when I hit 7th and Irving to turn on my scooter’s turn signal and go where I needed to be.

To claim my seat, see my people, and get right with God.

Such a gift.

That.

Contrary action in the face of my thoughts, which always think they are right, don’t you, thoughts?

My thoughts are so often wrong I know at this point not to pay them too much attention.

Oh.

They nag at me once in a while.

What?

Single again on Valentines Day?

But.

For the most part.

I can softly turn down the channel on KFUCK and put on my preferred music station and get to the matters that help me clear the space to let in the light, to let in the real love, the real music.

The music of the spheres.

The spinning stars.

The full moon dropping into the ocean, it’s warm soft light piercing through the breaks in my bamboo shade over the back window.

A luminous reminder to look.

To see.

To appreciate all that is here.

This gift.

The present.

That continues to unfold.

Enwrap me and present to me on a continuous basis.

All that is.

Love.

Yes.

Love.

Bliss and blessings to you this Valentines Eve.

May it bring you untold joy.

Beauty.

And.

Grace.

 

Happy Valentines Day!

February 9, 2017

I know.

It’s nowhere near Valentines Day.

But.

I finished up writing all my cards today.

I gave everyone in my cohort at school a Valentine last year and it felt so nice to do that and so good for my own heart, that, yes, I decided to do it again.

I am a bit of a dork.

But I think.

Perhaps.

A sweet dork.

I do want people to love me and I’m not past slipping someone a card to get a little bit of love shone back to me.

But.

There is also that little kid in me who wanted desperately to get a paper bag full of cards at school.

I very much remember third and fourth grade and how the decorating the bag was almost as much fun as getting the little cards and the heart-shaped candies and then.

Well.

It changed.

Boys came on the scene.

Paul Ripp.

Fourth grade.

Mad crush.

Maybe my first crush.

A very sweet boy, tall, blushy cheeks, you know, that Nordic white skin that blushes easily, I always remember his ruddy cheeks and soft wavy brown hair.

I had a few other boys I liked, but he made me feel.

Well.

Special.

And so.

I made him a special card in 4th grade but at the last-minute I got super shy and I didn’t sign it, I sent it anonymously.

Then Tammy tattled on me and told him that it was probably me since she had seen me by his desk right before recess.

I never liked Tammy.

Drama queen.

I mean.

I think she just needed some extra attention and she probably had a crush on Paul too, you might have had you seen him, he was lovely.

Many crushes followed.

Some that lasted a few months.

A few that lasted a few years.

One that lasted decades.

I still love him, but I’m not in love with him and we are still friends.

I haven’t seen him in years but we still stay in touch.

It’s funny how things change, but there is still this soft entwining of memories and I am not sad for that girl and her girl crushes.

Or that young woman and her young woman crushes.

I learned something from them all.

I learned about unrequited love and I learned about romance and I learned how to seduce myself into thinking those things were the best things because I was feeling so deeply.

I may not have dressed up like a Goth, but I had my Goth girl feelings.

Yes.

I did.

Today.

Well.

I find the holiday sweet and I like that I can spread a little extra cheer, really any excuse to give some one a card and to play with stickers and stamps and stick some love in an envelope and mail it across country or just across town.

I don’t know what I would do if I actually had a date or a boyfriend on Valentines Day, it’s been years.

Seven years.

I just counted.

I mean.

I have dated in those seven years, but it’s been seven years since I was with someone on Valentines Day.

I hope he’s well.

He had a good heart.

But.

He was an active addict and I had myself convinced, momentarily, that we could date.

I couldn’t, in the end, I couldn’t.

I do find myself thinking about, why, I don’t know, habit, maybe, that this year it might be different, maybe I’ll have a boyfriend or a partner or.

But it’s rather like Lucy and the football.

My heart is Charlie Brown and runs forward to swing and kick.

And this time.

Oh!

This time I’ll kick that damn ball through the goal posts of love.

And.

Nope.

I kick.

Valentines Day pulls the ball away and I’m flat on my back, breath knocked out of me, staring at the wide blue sky above me.

Blue like the watery eyes of rheumatic old man.

Blue like the inner lining of intestines in the bright air of death.

Peridot.

Periwinkle.

The death knell blue of hyacinth dying in the sun on the windowsill and how they smell so, so, so sweet, then, one day, dead.

Rotting blue-veined meat.

Staring into the robin’s egg blue bowl of sky turned over my head.

And instead of crying.

Today.

Well.

I laugh.

There’s nothing wrong with trying.

I can hold my heart’s hand and pull her back up and say, hey, it’s ok, look, you broke yourself wide open.

Let’s cross the river and not drown in the undertow.

The sheltering sky a broad band of periwinkle and seer sucker and the scudding of flat bottom clouds with billowing tops sailing right on by.

I can gather up an apron full of blue cornflowers and wipe clean my blue slate.

I can salt it with love and eat my heart.

Blue black.

Just the way I like it.

Rare.

Buttery.

Seared on the outside.

Tender and juicy and melting on the inside.

And the bluest eye might shed one crystal blue persuasion tear and let loose with a flood of love.

A tsunami of blue capped water.

Aquamarine.

Indigo.

Turquoise.

Love the color of bluing skin above a tourniquet.

Dusted with blue velvet eyeshadow.

And the somnolent smile of sleep at the grey blue crack of dawn when the moon is still pushing through the muddled grey clouds permeating the sky.

My face buried in a Diebenkorn Ocean #5 blue pillow case.

I sigh.

And hold my hand to my heart.

Love.

Right there.

My hand on my own heart.

My country tis of thee.

I pledge allegiance to me.

Be my blue jean blue Valentine.

Be my love so true.

Be my tight blue star skinned tattoo.

Not quite healed.

But stretched tight and taut and smoothed in blue skeined lapis lazuli love.

Tenderfooted.

Dancing shoes blue suede.

A soft shoe shuffle.

Underneath that blue fairy ringed moon.

Love.

Love.

Always here.

Always there.

My paint by number blues.

In the shadows and the hues.

My.

Luminescent.

Blue light district.

My heart.

My love.

My blue valentine.

Always.

And.

Forever.

So.

Very.

Very.

True.

Blue.

 

 

 

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.

But.

I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.

Well.

Ok.

There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.

Yet.

But.

I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.

Yeah.

I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.

Plus.

Heh.

My hair will be pink.

Which.

Whatever.

The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?

Yup.

Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?

Nope.

I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.

And.

Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?

Never.

Has failed to take care of me.

Ever.

I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.

Held.

Perfect.

Serene.

A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.

Subsumed.

Taken.

Ravished.

Overtaken.

God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.

Cold.

Wet.

Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.

Montparnasse.

The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.

Caught.

There.

High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.

God.

Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.

Love.

Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.

Love.

My love.

Just.

Love.

 

Hello Daisy

February 22, 2016

I had this profound experience in yoga class today.

Yeah.

I know.

I’m gonna be that bitch.

Don’t even ask me how much money I dropped on yoga clothes today.

But damn, I was not wearing the right stuff and nothing says distracting like needing to breathe through a ridiculous hard pose, for me, and inhaling my shirt.

Yuck.

I figure I made an investment, I’m going to have the clothes for a while, I will be using them, and hey, I haven’t invested in sports or athletic gear in years.

Not since I did the Aids LifeCylcle and suddenly every other day I felt like I was dropping bills on kits, shoes, socks, saddles, not to mention saddle sores, but that’s another kind of expense, protein powder, water bottles, lights, portable air pump, tires, levers, inner tubes.

I could increase that list if I thought a little harder.

You get the gist.

I just bought three pairs of leggings, three sports bras, and three tops.

I’m committing to three days of yoga a week.

I secretly may do more if I can squeeze it in.

Tomorrow will be day four in a row.

After that I won’t have the opportunity for a class until Thursday.

I debated a moment before signing up for the class, but pretty much knew, as I floated, I mean FLOATED out of the studio, that I would be going tomorrow.

Partially as Mondays will be a day that I have time to get to a class before I head into work.

I want to set the intention of going on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

I will probably also do Sundays.

That, of course, will not happen on weeks that I have school, and that’s ok.

School is a priority.

Work is a priority.

My recovery the biggest priority of it all.

And yoga is going to be a priority.

First, because it was heavily, I mean heavily suggested by my person that I start exercising three times a week, a safety valve to let off the steam of stress caused by full time work and full time school.

I can see now how right she was.

Not that I ever doubted she was right, I knew she was the entire time, I was raging over being right versus being happy, I was the person balking.

My disease, the nature of the malady, is such that anything that it thinks may bring me some sort of joy or love or lightness.

Well.

Fuck that.

No.

So I often take opposite indicated actions.

And even knowing that, I still balked at doing the yoga.

However.

I can report that I am really feeling better.

Yes.

I am sore.

But.

Not as bad as yesterday and I let myself get unattached to how I looked or held or not held a pose, I let myself topple, I let myself fall out of certain poses, I sunk into child’s pose a bit more, but I also tried.

I tried every pose.

I found I was more flexible in regards to a couple of poses that flummoxed me the first time they were introduced to me.

I found myself able to do a few things that I wasn’t able to do yesterday.

And.

My hips feel loose.

Oh my God.

They get so tight from riding my bike.

My knees haven’t hurt, my hips are loosened up, I can feel in my body a general lengthening and releasing of old energy, old thoughts, old ideas.

I love it.

I am so happy that I am letting myself do this.

I am so grateful for tax returns!

And student loans.

I can afford to do this and in all actuality, this is going to save my life, I can feel it.

I have been much more relaxed, more in my body, more present, more accountable.

And happy.

Not always.

I’m not saying I’m all high on yoga, but I am a little.

I caught that delicious feeling more than once of realizing that I had forgotten completely the outside world, the clock on the mantle, the life on the other side of the wood floor, school, work, chores, it was all gone.

I was just there.

In the moment.

So divine.

So needed.

The instructor was the same teacher as yesterday and it was a deepening of the dharma talk she gave yesterday.

It syncs well with my own, personal, Carmen based, spiritual practice.

Meaning I could get behind what she was saying even if I didn’t understand the names or words that she was saying, I got the point.

Non-attachment.

Intention setting.

Yesterday I meditated about love.

Today I set the intention for joy.

I felt light and full of love and joy and I held a person in my heart and sent that person that light and then.

Ha.

I had the vision in my mind of a daisy sprouting from the top of my head.

It was divine.

And silly.

And so apropos.

My favorite flowers are daisies.

In fact, after I went shopping for yoga clothes, thank you Sports Basement for the 10% discount! I went to the grocery store and picked up supplies for cooking and meals for the week at work, and I promised myself I would get myself some flowers.

I got a sweet little mix of pink Gerber daisies, tuber rose, lilies, and purple poms.

I felt happy.

Very happy.

It’s a small thing.

Flowers.

But so much too.

I love getting flowers and I don’t have to wait to be given them.

Buy your own damn flowers.

It’s been a good six days off.

A lot of heart work, thank you Valentines Day for your lessons in service and love.

Which were extrapolated out into my world all week long.

I saw dear friends, I had tea dates and walks on the beach, I saw a movie, I started doing yoga, I rode my scooter a lot, I did lots of doing the deal, I even, yes, I know, did homework–finished my reading for Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family and got started on my reading for The Therapeutic Relationship–I sat outside in the sun, I went to ModCloth and got fitted (and I got the clothes on Friday!) and dressed up in my crinoline three times this week.

I had me a lovely, sweet, darling, “staycation.”

It was awesome.

I am ready to dive back into the fray.

Knowing.

Especially that I have a new tool in my box to help me be a stronger, healthier, more connected person.

Amazing.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Let me tell ya.

I am.

I am.

Bring It

February 15, 2016

It was brought.

Of course, I don’t remember what I brought.

But it was brought.

It’s best when I don’t recall what I said, then I know that I was speaking from love, from my heart, that I have become a conduit for the message and not the mess.

Because, frankly.

I am often the mess.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Life.

Well.

It’s messy.

My heart, it’s a messy place, but at least I get in it, I try, I stumble, I get hot and flushed and flustered and say something and cry.

And that’s in school.

But hey, I’m going to school to be a therapist, processing the pain is a part of it.

Being in the pain, meeting you in the pain, holding your hand and walking through to the other side.

Or just through the Castro.

I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with a girlfriend who’s husband is out of town for the weekend she came with me to the Castro.

We had Philz.

Which might have been a mistake, I am not sure how I am going to fall asleep tonight.

I am a bit keyed up.

A wonderful early evening with a dear friend, a meal with my fellows, and meeting new friends and having old friends surprise me and so many hugs

So many.

My day was filled with hugs.

That is such a gift.

I gave a Valentines Day card to each person in my cohort and it was just the best feeling.

Plus.

Well, when you’re told to bring it, I do and I was all gussied up, my new teal dress with the big flare skirt and the sweet heart neckline, loads of flowers in my hair my black and cream cardigan with the hearts on it (I literally wore my heart (s) on my sleeve all day long) and it was so much fun to deliver Valentines to my cohort.

I felt like the Valentines Day Fairy.

I got such wonderful response and it felt really good to give and not have asked for anything in return.

The return was the feeling I had when I was writing the card and thinking of the person and wishing them light and love and joy.

It was more for me, I think, in the end so much of it is, but I also know that the gesture touched a lot of my classmates and that felt special and joyous and I am grateful I took the time to write them all out.

31 Valentines.

Whew.

I also got a surprise text from an old friend back in Wisconsin wishing me a happy Valentines Day.

There was a time when getting a Valentines Day wish from this man would have been a loaded gun to point and shoot at my unrequited love trigger.

Today.

It was just a sweet message.

Not an offer to fall into fantasy land.

Not an invitation to get miserable for the love I did not “think” I had.

I have so much love.

I mean.

I was inundated with it today.

These are your friends.

Plus.

I gave myself lots of love.

I took some actions and really let myself feel the love that was there for me, I was available to take it in, to touch, to hold a hand, to pat a shoulder, to be present, to be of service.

It was an amazing day.

I practiced good self-love too.

I treated myself to lunch out during my school break and ended up having the most amazing lunch with two of my girlfriends from the cohort and a professor and a TA and it was just out of this world fun to hang out and eat lunch and connect with these incredible, smart, talented, creative women.

I felt like I held my own and added to the conversation.

I want to bring my best forward and I really felt like I was able to do that.

On the day that celebrates love I choose to do just that.

I will choose to do just that again tomorrow.

I choose it for this moment.

For all moments.

I may falter.

I may forget.

But I have faith that I will always get back up and dust off and do it again.

I may get heart broken.

But the heart grows bigger.

And that’s good.

I had a basket full of love to give out today and it felt extraordinary.

The noise of love.

The thrush in my heart.

The swallows swooping in the skin of sunset.

My face lifted to the smattering of stars riding into the indigo night.

I run rampart through the cacophony.

I am a part of this world, I don’t feel separated, I feel joined and loved and blessed and lucky.

Oh, so god damned lucky.

I have a vase, a Mason jar, but who’s counting, full of flowers on my table that I let myself buy for myself on Friday, I participated in class, I showed up, I was my best self, I tried.

I dressed pretty for myself.

And to say.

Hey, this is me and I’m done apologizing.

And I let the day happen the way the way the day was supposed to happen.

I got a pinky promise from a drag queen sitting in the window of a restaurant to continue to be so fabulous, “Girl you got it in that dress,” she said.

Snap.

That’s something coming from someone as fabulous as she was.

I mean, I was flattered.

And best of all?

I am almost there.

One half day to go.

I’m going into work at 9 a.m. and I plan on being done by 2p.m.

Then.

Six days off.

Six.

Oh glorious time off.

Time off that I have promised to let myself enjoy and have fun and continue in the vein of self-love and self-care.

Valentines Day is once a year.

But my love.

The kind that sustains me.

Is always.

Forever.

Valentines Day.

Every day.

Times infinity.

To the moon and back a thousand times.

Like that.

The Music In My Heart

February 14, 2016

Keeps me company in the ghettos of my soul.

Those dark places and spaces that I dare not always go, but how I long to illuminate them.

So, I tip toe, with a candle, can you see it, brass plate, a curled cup handle, the flicker of the flame, the shadows so much bigger than the fear and in I go.

I am listening to Mike Doughty’s Stellar Motel.

LOUD.

God damn.

How music can re-make me, burn me, find its way into the crevices of me and fill me with a new kind of lightness and joy.

I am full of joy.

I am in my joy bubble.

I can float, rather than wander lost, through these chambers, grateful and buoyant.

And yes.

There may be puddles of pain I drift across.

Skeins of shadows, slicks of sorrow, I will feel the pull and the longing to let it in and delve in it, or press past without looking too close.

Forgetting.

Tears.

Are just pain leaving the body.

Toxins that need to be released.

I let go of a lot today at school and it was just an amazing experience.

Extraordinary and cathartic.

I was overwhelmed and yet, I found a place, a boat made from the cup of my heart and the billowing sails of the psyche, the gossamer stronger, so much stronger than I am willing to consciously admit.

Yet.

I know.

I know so deep within me that I am capable of steering this small ship out into the grand and grandiose ocean.

I am taken care of while I do this exploration.

I got a spiritual solution for your desperate aim.

How amazing that?

I saw a way through.

A way to keep pushing and keeping on keeping on.

With flowers always in my hair.

With my heart always on my sleeve.

It needs the room to breathe.

There’s no need to go home when you are always at home in your heart.

I am always there, deep within the chasms, the spirals, a nautilus, a whispering echo of a kiss, sentimental and tinged with the dusky dried rose petals from bouquets of imaginary flowers.

I walk under canopies of plum blossoms, drifting like snow through the air, kisses from God scattered before like all the promises I made myself as a child not knowing how far flung those wishes would carry me.

Look.

Love.

How far we have come.

Buttercup.

My pink, baby bunny, my sweet serenade as I kneel, bowed head, naked at the foot of the bed, curls cascading down, vulnerable and tender and known and carried.

I will rise, cross the threshold, and then crawl, exhausted those last few inches, into the warm hand, the cup of love, the bowery of teal heart and pink ribboned adoration.

Change like the shifting night.

And this is change.

A change is coming.

I can wallow there or I can rise, rested, rise a reflection of lost light pooled and gathered in the heat of sleep, arisen, burn in the new sun, the ashes as soft as the flower petals.

Death of self.

Death of expectations.

Surrender.

Forgiveness.

Behold the heart of the beauty.

Behold the flowers crowning her hair.

The star light, the dead light, taken in, and re-ignited in the alchemy of love and yearn, to be turned back out into the world.

Hair up, head high.

Dancing skirts twirling out and the spotlight of God on me no longer a frightening thing.

Rather a place to rest.

To bask in the warmth rather than recoil from the field.

I grow forward.

I need not know what into.

Just that I do.

The desert dreams that haunt me collapse in this light, the urges and whims, the lies that brusk themselves against my lips as though to convince myself more than you that it will all be alright.

It will.

It will.

I press the poetry back agains the roof of my mouth.

Sometimes when you’re dreaming I’ll see a light.

The dark Marilyn.

The light jumping feet, bare foot against a screen of blue.

Joy, leap with me, toes curled underneath, tender and vulnerable to my gaze.

Am I there?

Am I here?

Do I need to orient myself to the pulling stars circling round another light, do I need to be raised up into this brightness, do I need to know why my heart carries me so?

No.

Not when my heart is my home.

Not when I am cavorted with, playful and joyous, shouting out in the song of myself, in the knowing that I go forth no ones woman but my own.

No ones woman.

Rather all Gods.

And therefor.

Mine.

All mine.

Sweetest heart, dearest one, longing and soft, I call to you and we will go in a field of daisies, marguerite, and dashed with the toppled heavy heads of sunflowers, their velvet leaves kissing our elbows, a soft remonstrance, your mouth on my skin, a remembering soaked in the blooded lost love from the press of my mothers chapped lips on my forehead in the light falling from the doorway.

I rise up.

This time.

I go toward the light.

I take the hand.

I let the nightgown fall down my legs and I stop shaving off pieces of me.

I build them back in.

I shine them back on.

I bedeck myself from the shift of vulnerability and innocence to the strength of better days and the promises, wishes catapulted from the billowy heads of dandelions and the soft sun soaked joy of warm grass under my bare feet.

I choose now.

I mix the memory.

I re-write the script and whisper softly.

Go, girl, go.

Fly away on the backs of geese at sunset drifting through the fog burning off from the rising sun.

Scatter the pain below you into the lake and let it all go.

Love.

Lovely.

Love.

Blessed with the crenellated masonry.

I choose to climb down the battlements.

I will live in the fray.

When the night is long.

The moon’s in the blue trees.

I will still choose to sing my song.

Love.

I love.

No matter what.

On fire, fraught and full, fallen on my own sword to die the many deaths and to let go again and again until the flowers fall behind and I stand.

And I will.

I will.

Stand.

Home Again

February 3, 2016

Home again.

Jiggedy jig.

Damn.

That was a fast, full day.

I don’t quite know how it is already 10:15 p.m. and I just got in a little while ago.

Feels like I just started.

Some days are like that, full, busy, no time to stop and think and ponder.

I just got up and did the day.

Which was fueled by 9 1/2 hours of sleep.

I do not usually sleep that much, but last night I had a whopper of a head ache.

Not a migraine, no, but a serious headache.

Actually, I can’t remember the last time I had a migraine, used to get them all the damn time, stress induced, primarily.

Horrid things.

I may have had one some time in this past year, but I don’t recall.

Anyway.

I was surprised to have the head ache last night, especially after I took some ibuprofen when I got home and it was still around.

I went to bed an hour earlier than I would have on the normal and slept the entire time.

Well.

I got up once to use the bathroom, when Nature calls, I have to answer that phone.

I slept all the way until my alarm went off.

I gave myself permission to stay put and to ease up on myself.

“Well, that’s what happens when we are processing a lot of emotional stuff,” she said to me on Saturday when I expressed that I had been sleeping more than usual.

Not a ton more.

But anywhere from a half hour to a full hour more some nights.

I’m not questioning it, it’s just what it is, and if I need to be sleeping more and can, since I am pretty caught up with my homework, then I am more than ok with it.

I haven’t heard back from my Applied Spirituality class as to whether or not my proposal is going to fly with the professor.

If I am a go for the proposal I am planning on hitting Flax before work either Thursday or Friday.

Get in an artist date before work, get some coloring books, pick up some more colored pencils, get some stickers.

I am also contemplating making Valentines Day cards for my cohort at school.

I think that would be a fun and sweet project to do.

Who doesn’t like getting a Valentine’s Day card?

The oldest boy has been working on his for days now with his folks.

He gets so excited about the wording and the exact message that must be expressed, I have seen him take a half hour to do one card.

They are pretty labor intensive.

I remember the first time I made Valentine’s Day cards for school mates.

4th grade.

Mrs. Begen’s class.

To this day, she might be my favorite teacher.

She was the woman who taught me the difference between they’re, their, and there.

She also helped me figure out desert versus dessert.

She had a reading program and that was where I realized I was such a good reader.

I read more books than anyone else in the class and every time I hit a certain mark or number for having read a book I got to pick up a free book from the library.

That’s how I discovered Anne of Green Gables.

Pivotal literature for me as a girl.

Mrs. Begen had us take a whole day and we decorated a paper sack with cut out shapes and hearts.

I remember how impressed she was with my little paper bag.

I had made a caterpillar from a bunch of little hearts all cut out and stuck to each other, antennae with little hearts on the ends and little, tiny, heart feet at the bottom.

I loved art class in school until I discovered I wasn’t as good as I thought.

I wish I had allowed myself the joy of art class a little longer.

I did actually go back to it as a senior in high school and I took an art class in undergraduate when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to pursue photography as a medium and possible career.

That didn’t happen.

And that art class was one of the hardest classes I ever took as an undergraduate.

I also remember that my first assignment I got a C- and I was infuriated.

I don’t know how I did it, although I remember spending a lot of time on all the projects thereafter, but I managed to get an A in the class.

It was an experience.

I digress.

Paul Ripp!

That’s where I was going.

My first little classroom boy crush.

Paul Ripp.

Tall, white, hazel/gold eyes, brown shaggy hair, big smile.

I was pretty crushed out and he was the recipient of my first secret admirer Valentines Day card.

I suspect that Tammy told him it was me.

He was always sweet to me but not available.

It wasn’t until high school, sophomore year, that I did another secret admirer Valentines Day.

This time it was carnations.

Red ones.

To Henry Hall.

Later I found out Henry knew it was me.

Of course he did.

We actually became good friends, still are, although I don’t have a lot of contact with him and there’s good reasons for that, unrequited love fantasies die hard, but they do die.

Thank God.

Henry kept a letter I had snuck into his locker the next year, junior year, of school, in the fall, wherein I declared I was in love with him.

I saw it once in his wallet, he pulled it out and showed it to me.

Years later, drunk, at The Angelic Brewing Company.

He told me he was in love with me too.

Although that wording was never bantered back about, having been said in an apparent black out.

We were toasted that night, I do remember that.

I also remember that it was the beginning of the end for the five year relationship I was in.

I knew that I never felt the kinds of feelings for my partner that I felt for Henry and it was wrong to deny it and despite believing, knowing, really, that we would never get together, I also knew I had to leave my ex.

I did a few weeks later and that is another story for another blog another time.

Valentines Day.

Hearts and love and candy and wildly inappropriate expectations about needing other people to fulfill my love needs.

I saw a card the other day and I laughed out loud when I read it.

“Buy your own damn flowers.”

I had just done that.

A good reminder.

Be my own damn Valentine.

I got the dress!

That’s for sure.

Anyway.

It was a day.

And now.

The day is done.

I am grateful for it all.

All the experiences, heart aches, adventures, Valentines, the kisses, the missed opportunities, the ill timed, star crossed love, it all smacks of God and when I move through I move closer to what I am supposed to be and whom I am supposed to be with.

I don’t need to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan.

I just need to take care of myself.

Do my recovery.

And the rest will follow.

Valentine or no Valentine.

God’s got me covered.


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