Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Turn On The Heat

November 3, 2017

It’s cold out there.

The rains are coming.

It’s November.


The chill in the air, with the almost full moon rising, was spooky and intense, bright and crisp, fall is here, winter is coming.

I hopefully will be getting a car soon, as I noted that there is rain in the near forecast.

I don’t have the time to do it before the rains start and I have some homework yet to do, but I’m pretty decided and as soon as I have the down time I will be getting my butt to a dealership in the East Bay.


Not soon enough to save me from some more cold scooter rides home, or wet rides home.

I am still debating riding in to work tomorrow on my scooter, even though there is some rain in the forecast–it’s off and on and not 100% rain all day.

There are windows of time when it’s not raining and they both fall around when I would be going into work and when I’d be coming home.

I get to come home early tomorrow, both of my clients cancelled and instead of trying to squeeze in a consult, like I did tonight when my client cancelled, I decided to take the night off and just come home.

Take a hot shower.

Wash the week off of me.

Cook myself a nice dinner.

Be cozy.

Reflect on my life and the last six months.

My God.

The last six months.

So much love.

So much change.

Some quiet and private.

Some big and public.

Lots of internal change.


And just extraordinary amounts of gratitude for where I am in my life and the people I get to spend time with.

I am so lucky.

If the rain stays away and the cloud cover is not to bad, it might be a great night to go down to the beach for the full moon.

It will be full at midnight tomorrow, but I suspect that it will look full when it rises, I thought it was full tonight as it was coming up.

I had to check online to see when it was complete.



The witching hour.



The ocean.

Dancing on the beach.

Wrapping myself up in love.

The full moon reminding me of you.

Of promise.

Of joy.

Of laughter that falls from my mouth.

How sustained I am and how loved.

My life is extraordinary, even when I am tired, like I was today and a little bit in H.A.L.T.





I was hungry since I didn’t have the best lunch, not a bad lunch, no not at all, just not the lunch I’d planned, as the container that my chicken soup was in broke in my scooter basket and I had chicken soup all over my school books, shoes, and paperwork.



As I went to bed late.

Not horribly late, just later than normal and up a little earlier to help the mom out at work by coming in a half hour early.



Sometimes a girl gets lonely.

I was listening to Coleman Hawkins today, late afternoon, at work, the mom had all the kids and I was at the house waiting for an important delivery and doing food prep and cleaning and household stuff.

The music moved me.

The view moved me.

I danced by myself.

Dreamy and slow, folding the laundry, looking out the window towards downtown San Francisco, dreaming of being in another’s arms.



It passed.

But it was there for a little bit.

I got boonswoggled into a playdate/babysitting gig, without compensation.

I felt manipulated, annoyed, angry, pissed off, victimized and aware that, in the passive aggressive text, I had been played.

Or so it felt.

And I knew that I was tired and I knew that I was lonely and I knew that I was hungry, so I prayed and asked for it to be removed and I asked myself what my fear was, and I asked if I needed to manipulate through withholding my honest response, and I asked myself to see the situation with perspective and wait for clarification before getting more pissed off.

Which I’m very happy for.

I also had a snack.

Which fucking helped.

And I took some ibuprofen, too much carrying the baby this week in the carrier, which is how I started out my day, so I was a bit sore and tender all day too, which helped.

Then I had a talk with the mom and we divided and conquered and, yes, I will, in a way be baby sitting–I’m just going to call it an extended play date, but it is for a charge I have already had, who I love so dearly that I am more than happy to help and that the mom is taking two of her three kids, so that I will just have two to take care of, instead of the four I thought I was going to be saddled with, and it doesn’t happen til next Wednesday and fuck if I’m going to be upset about it and carry it forward.

Thank God for spot check inventory.


Thank God for getting home and making myself a nice hot meal, pan-fried Japanese sweet potato with garlic and pulled meat from a roasted chicken with melted butter.

That along with turning up the heat in my studio and realizing it’s Friday tomorrow and I have wonderful plans for it and I’ll get a paycheck and my health insurance stipend and really, there are no problems.


Just love.




And the nearly, almost, not quite, but soon to be.

Full moon.

You Are Seasonal

September 22, 2017

Not just one season.

Not just the brightness of summer.

The thunderstorms.

The heat.

The lushness.


You are all these things.


You are also in the whisperings of fall.

The coolness of your cheekbones

How the falling light glances off

Their planes and there.

A light flares inside me.

A bonfire of longing.

I smell you in this season too.

I sense you in the softening sweetness

Of things ripe and full.

I ripen thinking about that.

Your euphoric smell.

The plushness of your mouth.

An apple cider song.

I suspect I shall see you in all seasons.

All hours.

All days.

How I wish to see what winter light looks like

Upon you.

A snowflake soft explosion such as one cannot imagine.

Bonny boy.



Burgeoning spring.

I see you there too.

But it is right now.


This moment.

This cooling of air,

That calls to me.

I wish to hold your hand and kick through

Fallen leaves with you.

To tussle to the ground.

To see your smile, your eyes alight.

I imagine your face framed in golds,

Burnished reds.

Burnt oranges.

Flaming yellows.

Richest browns.

No beauty that surpasses

The handsomeness of your face.

Only a frame to outline its glory.

Another picture I shall hang.

In the gallery.




Grad School Death Bed

December 9, 2016

A friend asked me how I was doing today and I rattled off all the things school and all the books and all the papers and all the presentations.


Fuck me.

I’m so done.


I’m not done yet.

Nope the death rattle on this semester has yet to start shaking.

I have papers galore to turn in tomorrow and yes, my Child Therapy presentation to do, but the big puppy, the big paper, the Moby fucking Dick final for Psychopathology is not done.

Nor shall it be for a while.

I won’t be able to touch it over the weekend.

I’ll have my three days of classes to attend.



A wedding in the middle of it.

At least I’ll look cute for it, I am hella stoked for my dress and pretty new blue shoes.

I’ll take some pictures, don’t worry.

I don’t believe I will actually be able to write the paper until next Saturday.


I’ll, fingers crossed, work on it while the baby naps, please God, on Monday, but I don’t see having it done on Monday.

And that’s ok.

Or Tuesday.

And that’s ok too.

It will get done.

And it will get done by the end of day Saturday.

I refuse to have that thing hanging over my head on my birthday.

I can’t believe it’s next Sunday.

I still have a few days left of 43.

I’m so not really focused on it, it’s dim and hard to see, these next few days are really all I have on my mind.

I am ready for them.

All I have to do is show up.

My books are packed, my notebooks too, my files and folders and pens.

My lunch and dinner.

My coffee and tea.


I roll like that.

I bring all the things.

All of them.

And I’m happier for it.

The day after tomorrow, Saturday, when I will be leaving early to head to a dear friends wedding, I won’t roll with anything.

Not even my school books.


I’m just going to come to class, check into Family Therapy, have lunch with a friend, sit through the first half of Psychopathology and then bounce at the break.

I will be taking the gift for the wedding and me.

That’s all.

I don’t feel like hauling shit all over the city.

Especially since it calls for rain for the next few days.

And yes.

I did ride my scooter today.

The rain was not as bad and the weather report showed that there would be no rain at all, so I chanced it.

Of course.

There was rain.

But it was not as bad as last night and it wasn’t as cold.

I took it slow and gentle and got home safe and sound.

Granted, a bit damp, but home safe.

I won’t bother taking it in tomorrow, I don’t want to worry about morning rush commute.

I always have to deal with it on Friday mornings when I go to class, the rest of the time I manage to avoid rush hour, and I just can’t fathom lane splitting to get to class.

I’m just going to take the train, N-Judah style, all the way in.

It picks up one block from my house and I’ll get off one and a half blocks from school.

I already have my fare set aside on the table.

Like I said.

I’m ready.

I’m totally ready.

I even snuck in one last yoga class today.

And holy fuck.

It was just what I needed.

It might have been one of the best classes I have ever taken.

It felt so good and I felt the anxiety of school melt off the back of my shoulders and I was actually bummed when I realized that I won’t be able to get to another class until Tuesday morning since I have an early start Monday and a long day.

And a date after work.


Like that.

I make some wiggle room for fun when it comes knocking.

I have to.

Just like I need to do the yoga.

I need to do the fun too.

It’s no fun when I don’t make an effort to have some injected into my life.

No matter how busy with the work and the school.

It’s important.



Lunch with a friend from school Saturday, the wedding–there will be dancing, and a date on Monday after work and doing the deal.

Then yoga Tuesday morning.

The yoga, though, damn it was good, and I am hella grateful that I let myself go.

I had momentarily thought about not going and doing some prep and running some errands before work today, but I realized that I’d rather be a little sore and get that last day in at the studio.

Very grateful.

Funny how sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month or three, to do those things that are so good for me.

The yoga is fantastic for me and yet I had those three months I just balked at doing it.

And no regrets, it was the experience I needed to have and I am pretty sure that with all the things I was processing emotionally I just needed a break and I took it and I got the emotional and mental rest I needed.

I didn’t drop into a depression.

But it was damn close and I’m super grateful that I got back into the yoga before it could develop.

I tend towards it, having had major clinical depression diagnosed back in 2007 and clinical anxiety and PTSD, it can be easy for me to fall into the hole.

Exercise helps a lot.

And what with the not so much on my bicycle and the lapse in the yoga and the emotional pot that was stirred early in the semester, I was certainly flirting with it.

Thank God I glided through.

Although, I am contemplating get myself a sun lamp since I do have seasonal depression as well, that was the first depression that I was diagnosed with in Wisconsin.


Who doesn’t have seasonal depression in Wisconsin?



It’s looking like a wet winter and darker than it’s been, so maybe some pre-emptive sunshine is on order.


I get a head of myself.

Just here.

Just now.

Just going to wrap it up and get ready for bed and have a little more tea and get ready for school.

Last weekend of the semester.

Let’s do this!

From Garbage Bags

October 24, 2015

To graduate school.

I was sitting in my Therapeutic Communications class and something was said about the video we had just watched, a really intense video of Nancy McWilliams demonstrating psychoanalysis with a woman who was trying to negotiate a domestic abuse situation.

It was a surreal story.

It was just an hour of therapy and so much ground got covered and the therapist was amazing, directing subtly, strengthening the client, reflecting back to her, empathizing with the client.

I got a lot out of it.


I also got annoyed with a fellow in my cohort who kept asking questions.

Pushing questions that, as I saw it, were serving the person asking them but then, the professor used the questions to illustrate some key points in the reading we had to do for class and also to help teach the class some really salient information about being a therapist.

We, as a class, were then invited to see how our own need for resolution may be at odds with the clients.

I remember flaring up inside when the questions were being asked and feeling that there was this well of antipathy inside me.

I got annoyed.

Then I realized that I was annoyed because if I had been that woman, if I had been that client, and the solution was to get me to see a solution immediately, I wouldn’t have been able to get there, in fact, I would have said, fuck you, fuck the therapy, and I will deal with this on my own.

In effect.

What I did do.

On my own.

With a lot of help from some close friends, I got out of an abusive relationship.

It was not physically abusive until the end.

He hit me when I broke up with him.

I ran out into the street.

In the middle of January with no socks on, a pair of jeans underneath a flannel nightgown.


For those of you that know me, this is highly unusual.

Even in the dead of winter.

Even in Wisconsin.

Even in January with below freezing temperatures.

I always, since I was about 17 and the step father moved out of the house, I always, slept in the nude.

That night.

I wore a nightgown.



I don’t know.

I can’t say.

But I did.

And when I ran shivering, scared, uncertain where to go and which direction to take.

I knew I couldn’t go running down East Johnson Street, he would find me too fast.

I ran to the Sentry Shopping Centre that was on East Washington.

I ducked along the cement walls and found my way to a pay telephone, remember those?

I called 911.

I got a response and they said they would be sending a car out to me.

That was when I heard my ex-boyfriends car.

In all actuality, our car, it was just as much mine as his, we had both bought it, an older Jetta.

I could hear it turning and I hoped it was heading toward East Johnson.


It wasn’t.

And I got frantic with the operator on the phone and tried to cram myself down into that very small phone booth and make myself invisible in my flannel nightgown with corn flowers on white cotton, with a ruffled that was piped with blue ribbon, with cuffs that reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie.  I watched the car, the little blue Jetta grinding up the street, hoping against hope that he could not see me flattened against the wall of the phone booth.

I believe.

Looking back.

That was the last time I ever wore a flannel night-gown.

It’s been thirteen years since that night.

Almost fourteen.

Will be fourteen in January.

That’s when I left him.

The operator on the 911 call held me together until the police arrived to take me to a friend’s house.

I will never forget the way the lights looked wicking past the back seat window, the calls coming in over the radio, the destination never seeming further away as the sodium street lights glowed sullen in the snow, the hush of the streets, the lack of traffic, the drive around the lake on John Nolan Drive.

Then my friend’s house.

I refused to talk to the police.

I did not give up the ex-boyfriend.

I was too co-dependent.

I did not want him to get in trouble.

He got in trouble anyway, it just took a little longer.

I suppose I could have navigated it differently, but I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know how to do it.

I do now.

But I look back at that girl, that young woman with such love and compassion, what I went through to get from there to here.


How long I told myself that it was normal, that it was something that happened, that I could somehow normalize the trauma of fleeing my own home in my nightgown in January in Wisconsin.

I was isolated.

My friend, my best friend and her husband were in town visiting and they noticed it.

Another friend and her partner were in town.

They all had tried to get me to see the light at some point.

My ex-boyfriend pretty much blamed them for the timing of the break up.

He was probably right, but I did not understand how much until later.

My best friend navigated me going into work the next day to tell them I had an emergency and was leaving town for the weekend.

The plan was to get my stuff and take me up North to Hudson where I could chill out and figure out what I had to do next.

I was in shock.

My ex saw us leave my place of employment, he had been driving around Madison all night looking for me and who knows how many times he was circling the block where I worked.

He whipped into the parking lot and flew out of his car, our car.

He tried to get to me.

He tried to talk to me.

My friends were all in shock.


He spit on me.

Full on in the face.

Suddenly the guys stepped forward and corralled him.

My friends got me into the back of their car.

We pulled out burning rubber.

Two seconds later my ex got in his car and pursued.

My friend’s husband lost him after a few intersections.

We flew to my house.

I unlocked the door and having no idea what to do, I grabbed a large black garbage bag and threw random clothes into it.

I ran around my house.

My sweet little home that I had lived in, nested in, hosted Christmas dinners and Thanksgivings in, had made our home, was now an unfamiliar territory or terror and fear and I just had to get out of it.

My ex didn’t get back to the house before I left.

I was that fast.

I huddled in the back seat of my friend’s Saturn and numbly watched the landscape go by.

I remember passing a refinery and thinking how spooky and eery and utterly beautiful it was in the night with the flashing lights and the mists shimmering into the black void of sky.

I reflected on this in class.

All the memories that came up.

Then the tears.

The joy of knowing, that despite myself, for it would be another long year and a half before there was closure and ultimately, really not until I moved to San Francisco in 2002 did I get finality on the relationship (he stalked me for a year and a half and I got a restraining order that he violated once then he got to go jail and do work release through the Huber program the city had in place for inmates with work release options, two full years of restraining order and yet I saw him twice more before things were all said and done.  Ah alcoholism, how I love thee, not), I had made it out.

I made it out.

I had tears of utter gratitude and awe on my cheeks at how far I have come.

From being a woman fleeing her own home with a garbage bag full of random grabbed things.

To a fully self-supporting, radically self-reliant, strong, resilient, loving, kind, compassionate, tender-hearted woman.

From garbage to graduate school.

A small transformation.

A flowering woman in bloom.

A wide open heart.

Vulnerable and strong.

“We both were tempered by fire,” my friend told me, leaning into me in sweet confidence, “but the heat of your fire was hotter than mine, and I want you to know I acknowledge that.”




And full of empathy and compassion.

For the client on the video screen who couldn’t get out.


For myself.

The woman who did.

My life continues to unfold.

And amaze.

I am graced.





Did That Just Happen?

February 21, 2013

I walked into Bert’s cafe today, on Avenue Marceau, and was waiting in line, when a friend bounded over.

“No way,” she said, “you have to come here, I have to show you something, I was just about to message you.”

In fact, later, I pulled out my phone and there was indeed a message sent from her, confirming our tentative plans to meet tomorrow at Shakespeare and Company and talk writing.

I got my cafe americain and went to her table.

She was tucked away in the back waiting for her husband to bring her a brownie.

Good husband.

I looked down at her table and did a double take.

My entire body broke out in goose-flesh.

There it was.

My book.


“Oh, my gosh, that is so weird for me to see,” I said trying to unsuccessfully not look down, not alert the entire cafe, not say anything too loud, too obnoxious, too American.

Which it was probably too late for that anyhow.

Especially as I was decked out today in my hot pink sweater.

There it was, my book.  My brain was still taking in the information.

Just a stack of pages.

I have seen it printed off before, in fact, I have a few copies of it in 4th and 5th draft printed off.  As well as the third draft and there are at least three copies of the second draft out there too.

Yet, here, to see my book, granted not bound, but the book I wrote, sitting on a cafe table in Paris.  I think a little part of my soul jumped up and down on the trampoline of my heart and shouted,

“I have arrived, motherfuckers!”

It was like Samuel L. Jackson all “Royale with Cheese,” Pulp Fiction style.

That was inside.

Outside, I played it cool.

Or I thought I was until I caught my big grin in the mirror and how my feet danced me out the door after we had discussed what time we were going to meet up at the book store tomorrow.  I wanted to stay and chat but another friend from San Francisco had arrived and I was back out to the cafe tables under the awnings to catch up and drink coffee before heading out to the Eiffel Tower.

I ended up doing a small dance of joy around the table, plopped myself down, and drank the coffee while it was still hot.  We made decisions on where to go and soon thereafter headed to the tower.

It was blazing cold.

It got right into my bones.

Worse, it got right into my feet, which are still, still not warmed up yet, and that was around 3p.m.  This is what it means to be old.  Not the number, not the attitude, not the way I feel, or the emotions I show, or the glee, it’s this.  My feet got cold and like a little old lady I needed a scarf and a hot water bottle stat.

It does not happen that often, but when my extremities get cold, I am seriously screwed.

I just made another hot cup of tea and thought for a moment of putting my feet in the cup.

Not that they would fit.

But yes, that’s the gist of it, old lady cold feet.

That’s how you can tell my age.

A friend was telling me last week that women who wear socks while having sex actually experience a higher rate of orgasms.

Totally makes sense to me.

First of all, I don’t want to have sex if my fee are cold, I’m tense.

If I am tense, my body is not relaxed, of course I won’t reach climax.

Thus the ladies wearing the socks will get off.

Perhaps this is why so many women fake orgasm.

Their feet are cold.

Who wants to have sex with socks on?

You don’t take off your socks to fuck me, you’re not getting any.

Just in case you were wondering.

My desire to do anything today petered out right quick when my feet got cold, the rest of me got cold, and it did not matter that my friends were here, I just wanted to get home, warm up, eat hot food.  In fact, I went to the store and bought “comfort” food.

Like making pan-fried garlic potatoes and pan roasted chicken will heat up my feet.

Maybe if I stick them in the pan.

They would probably fit in the pan, at least better than my tea-cup.

It would be close though.

The food almost worked.

I am still a little chilled, the downstairs part of the apartment is drafty too, so, once this blog is finished, the not so secret secret?

I’m going to get into my bed and hope my feet warm up under the covers.

The weird thing, once they are warm, they are super hot and it’s like I have had my body charged up.  I’ll need to take off layers to get my body temp back to a sort of equilibrium.  But until that happens, socks, slippers, and yes, soon, a throw blanket draped over my lap, old lady style.

Thank you very much.

This old lady can still dance a jig though, and cold feet or no cold feet, I will be walking my ass over to Shakespeare and Company tomorrow to find out what my friend thought of my memoir.

I almost don’t want to know.

I can see the manuscript with a bunch of red lines and comments and question marks.

That’s the way the fear goes.

It’s an honor to have some one read it.  An honor too, as she has been published, her book is out there.  She is a writer.  I can use her suggestions.  So, go I will, cold feet and all.

Appropriate metaphors amply supplied by Paris weather, not by author.

Sans Arret

January 25, 2013

What, motherfucker, really?

No stopping?

I don’t want no stopping unless it is non-stop sex.

I stood on the train platform in the suburbs after a ten minute “brisk” walk, that would be the fast, don’t fuck with me walk, in the cold, in the dark, in the strange new land, I call France, in the cold, did I already say that?

In the cold.


It is cold out there.

I am inside now, thank God.

I don’t know if I read the train schedule wrong, there is that, I could just have read the train schedule wrong, but I thought I had it pinned down.

I had taken the same train just a few nights back from the suburbs and the baby and not had any problem.

The platform, when I arrived, at 10:44pm was empty.



A scattering of salt on the iced over steps and nothing else to see, except the trains that blew past ruffling my hair off my face and chilling the tops of my ears even more.

One train.

Two train.

Three train.

Four motherfucking trains latter.

No, five, it was five trains before one stopped.

They would whistle past, warm, lit, stuffed with passengers cozy and warm, I imagined ensconced in soft seats with warm heat vents blowing on them and mugs of hot chocolate in their hands, complimentary of the train, and the was probably even a wood burning stove on one, I imagine.

With wee elves roasting marshmallows.

For s’mores.

Thanks, brain, love that scenario.

I finally understood that the next train was not coming until 11:22 pm

Enough time for me to make the transfer at Gare de L’Austerlitz to the Metro Line 10 to the Metro Line 7, before the Metro closed for the night.

If all went well I would be sitting here at the computer with a cup of tea, thawing out quickly and I would be writing about the bite of cold and the double muffler option and my room-mate was not kidding when he said get a winter coat.

“Aren’t you cold,” she said to me from her nest of furs.

“Yes,” I answered simply, “I am.”

I won’t always be cold, maybe I will actually listen to what others say and get better prepared.  Of course, it will be warming up by Sunday, easily, according to the weather, a good thirty degrees warmer than right now.

I could stand that.

Maybe, just a little.

The days are growing longer, I did notice that today, and there, for just a brief moment was a peek of sun that lingered for a minute, lighting the planes of my cheeks before I ducked around the corner on George V and headed for the American Cathedral.

Cold in its own way.

Try sitting in a room for an hour and a half while there is open air construction going on outside the door and one of the windows has a broken pane of glass and the tattered plastic that was put over it flaps in the wind.

Actually, let us not to try to imagine that, I just got cold again.

I am almost warmed up.

I am on my second cup of tea.

I am in yoga pants and a long jersey shirt, a sweat shirt, and a scarf.  I also have on knee-high socks and slippers.

I will warm up soon.

Usually by about 4 a.m. I am actually too warm and have to throw off the covers for a moment or two.  The comforter on my bed is quite cozy.  I could crawl under it now, but I would then not perhaps finish doing the writing for the blog.

I will nail down the train travel for next time.

Tuesday I will be going back out to help with the baby.

Baby is doing good, mama got to get a little sleep, I got to do a feeding and lots of snuggling.  Auntie Bubba at home and abroad. Where ever I go I get to be of service around the miniature set.

Tomorrow a baby sitting gig in the 7th.

Sunday an interview to do a Wednesday gig with a six-year-old girl to teach her English.

Monday baby sitting in Asniers Sur Seine.

Tuesday back to the suburbs to do another shift with mama and baby.

Which is not paid in anything but love, but it is some good time there, and well worth the travel, even when it is cold.

I am getting to help out.

I am getting to get out of my head.

When is that agent going to get back to me?

Probably not until next week Martines, so chill.

And keep up the cold queries.

I sent out another one yesterday and I shall send out another tomorrow and another the day after that and, well, I believe the point is made.

I actually do not expect that I will get picked up by this agency, but I will get picked up.

I do believe that.

I will pay off my student loans.

I will travel more.

I will write more.

I am writing more.

I will get published.

I will.

And if I get to help out with a few kids in the mean time, then I am lucky to be where I am, the demand for child care here is high.  And my experience with the under twelve set is getting extensive.

Here to be of service.

I just keep telling myself that.

Even when it’s cold out there, I am not out in it long.

I have a warm place to come back to and hot tea and an apple to munch on here in a moment.

I get to make phone calls to the states tomorrow too, I have already booked on with John Ater.  Another perk of doing the gig in the 7th, love getting that phone time in.

I too can go without stop, some times, but now seems an appropriate place to at least pause for the evening and fall into the warm of my comforter.

And sleep.

Sans arret.



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