Saturday, December 12, 2015

On Writer's Block, Generosity, Karma, and other bullshit.

While I sat eating in a burger joint last night in, I overheard a customer asking the woman working the counter if she "still writes". A mildly interesting conversation ensued, but that part is not my story, and so I'll leave it to her to write. However those words jumped out at me, and cut straight to my heart in a flash. They still echoed in my ear when I lay restless and eluded by sleep last night... they rang loudly this morning when I woke before the sun. I lay there sorting through strange and disturbing remnants of last nights dreams, musing to myself about the complexities of the world, and wondering... "Do I still write?" the short answer, just by looking back at my last journal entries and my last blog post, is "NO". I have barely written the past six or seven months... Actually, I don't think I've picked up a pen for anything other than menial list making or doodling since I found out that I'm expecting another child this past July... One would think that the realization of new life, the excitement, anticipation, planning, etc, would leave a writer overflowing with things to say.  But more than gushing outward, I'm finding myself pulling inward, to reassess and renew myself mentally, emotionally, and physically in preparation for the arrival of my unseen love. Wonderful for creating and growing a life and steadying myself for birthing perhaps, but not necessarily the best internal writing environment...

In addition to the new baby, I have also been navigating the waters of a new relationship these past seven months... In the past, that would have offered up lots and lots of inspiration... But with this wonderful man, for the first time in my dating life, I've found myself finally harnessing the ability to just come out and say what is on my mind in the moment, rather than bottling it up, telling it to a page later and slowly watching a fragile new connection deteriorate. I decided early on in this new journey into partnership that I didn't want drama and dysfunction, as great of fodder as it is for a writer, and I didn't want to have a deeper relationship on paper than I do in reality. And so, when those moments arrive ( as they will even in the best of relationships) when I lay awake upset by misunderstandings, insensitivities, hormonal surges, or differences in how we approach life, I summon every bit of courage I have in those moments, and I talk to the real flesh and blood human being beside of me instead of tearfully retreating to my journal or laptop. But what about the good times you ask? Ahhhh, but I've rarely been a writer in those perfect days, hours, or moments of joy that happen all throughout the day... Those moments seem so self explanatory that there seems little else to do but simply soak them in and enjoy them for whatever they are. And so I have been. I've been embracing and reveling in loving with my whole heart and being loved right back. So... Am I still a writer though I have not written in months? Yes. I know this because when those deeper existential questions arise, I still wake with sentences composing themselves in my head and an uncontrollable urge to leave my comfy bed way before any earthly force is going to make me be upright... Today was one of those mornings.

I dreamt I was sitting in meetings... I dreamt I was waiting outside an occupied bathroom for an eternity... until there was nothing left to do but shit in my own hand, and then go wash well. I dreamt of telling persons who were once considered very good friends, that I could no longer care for or about them. "If your house was on fire, I'd still grab a hose," I said. "If I passed you walking in the rain, I'd still pick you up and give you a ride home. But aside from that, I have nothing left to give. And I don't want to know you or your family anymore." I dreamt of breaking down empty boxes, venting my hurts with a friend also shaken by the same past events,  punching and flattening cardboard that had once contained dreams... I dreamt of an overwhelming need to vomit. To purge myself of the anger and frustration... humiliation of being taken as naive, and used terribly for it. The disgust at being squeezed for every last drop. I woke up thinking about generosity... about the seeds we sow, and perhaps thus, what we reap. Lay there following my breath and my thoughts in circles... about karma, and energy in the universe, and manifestation and how it's probably a bunch of bullshit we tell ourselves to feel better about our lot in life. I wondered if the kinds of people who use and use and USE other people to try and further their own lives always trip over their own feet in the process. I wondered if some people find themselves caught in cycles of being poor in profits because they have no generosity in their hearts... I wondered if I should tell my former friends that they constantly keep falling and will continue to fall because they take and take, and when those opportunities (even small ones) arise to give... to do something kind or generous, they still continue to take.

They say you shouldn't mix business and friendship... or family and money. I have done both... and I have seen and felt first hand how these things can poison and leave our relationships reeling. I still can not tell you without a doubt wether those two age old adages are true though... I've also seen small bits of generosity received in gratitude, and lives made better by breadcrumbs. I have see gifts accepted and radiated out.. onward and upward. I have always believed that if you can't shake hands with another human being, look them in the eye and let THAT be all the contract you need, that if you can't trust in another red blooded person standing before you, then you should not be doing business with them. I have found this proven to be foolish at least half of the time as of yet... I have found myself stabbed in the back and kicking myself for not taking more steps to protect my own interests repeatedly. But then I look at those who do take those steps to great lengths... at how miserable most of them are despite their prudent financial dealings and states... and I wonder still, which is the wiser route.  Should I be more shrewd. Should I give in to fear and mistrust? Am I a fool for believing the best about people, and giving them way more than just enough rope to hang themselves? I tried to map out what I would say to my old business partners, the friends who happily took bags and bags (and bags) heaping full of my generosity... Who fed their children on the meat (and beans, and peanut butter, and crackers, and...) of that generosity... and then turned around and sold my family PIG FOOD at a premium price, from the back of a truck filled by yet another's generosity. Should I have expected such? Perhaps my faith in mankind is far greater than it should be. Perhaps ANYONE, given free rein with another's resources would behave just as poorly. I'd still like to believe that this is NOT the case. I will hold out hope until my dying breath that true friendships and relationships will be equal parts give and take. I'd still like to believe that I can have trust in my own instincts and intuition. I'd still like to believe that big dreams can be manifested in cooperation with others. That not everyone is going to use the collective result of an entire community effort's as a stepping stone to further their own agendas.

Which brings me around to karma... reaping what we sow... manifestation of our own troubles in life... however you want to spin it. There was a time when I was absolutely certain that this was the way the world worked. These days many many more things are "shades of grey" (like the Billy Joel song) for me. I'd like to be sure of the ways of the world... but so much of what I thought I knew has been challenged that I'd have to be really dense to continue through life being sure that I've found the whole truth and all the answers. The yoga training, spiritual teachings, and reading that I have done... the assorted gurus, holy books, and guides that I have consulted at one time or another would all have me believe that our lives are the direct result of what we have sown. I have found this theory of manifestation very easy to swallow as a middle class white woman in America. I have the luxury of vision boards and chakra beads, $15.00 Yoga Classes, and sound healing therapy... Reiki certifications, expensive chocolate ceremonies, stacks and stacks of self help manuals, and decent paychecks to blow at whole foods. But when I apply this theory to so much of the rest of the world? It gets a little trickier. I once sat watching a film set in impoverished, rural South America, while intermittently browsing the internet at the same time. In one particularly striking scene showing Native workers nearly collapsing in exhaustion from mining, I stumbled simultaneously upon a video posted from a dear friend (a bubbly, beautiful, very well meaning white woman) touting the wonders of manifestation and painting hearts and flowers and pretty things as art therapy. Though I understand all too well her intent and position (it being nearly identical to my own many times), the contrast struck me as particularly ironic. In my real life, I have found the similar reasons to question manifestation and karma... Does that mean that the Rockefellers, Zuckerbergs, and Donald Trumps of the world have somehow sent some magical amazing energy out into the universe that has manifested as those magnificent resources and lavish lifestyles? Does that mean that the wonderful kind hearted and infinitely generous spirited people that surrounded me everywhere I went in the Philippines somehow deserve to have tin roofs over their heads and sewage flowing through their homes? Does that mean that the beautiful daughter that I've begun raising as one of my own somehow brought her life shortening genetic illness upon herself, or that her parents deserved it from some past life misdeeds? Does that mean that the beautiful hearted lady locked inside her own body at that nursing home that hugged me for a half hour somehow deserved to be trapped within herself (I can't think of many things terrible enough to earn such a fate)... Does that mean that the children born to homes devoid of any resources, or worse, devoid of love, deserve what they have been given? That they aren't "manifesting beauty" or bringing about their own abundance in life? The sales pitches of gurus and multilevel marketing strategies would have us believe that they just don't "want it" bad enough... Much of what I can come up with when I start asking these questions is that manifestation, karma, reaping what you sow, etc is a load of horse shit. Well meaning at times.... A defense mechanism at times... A subconscious wish for revenge at times... overall a means of coping with the difficulties of life... When planning out what I would want to say to former friends regarding the state of semi-crisis and struggles that they continually find themselves in, I am tempted to say that they bring it upon themselves... and yet.... perhaps they do.

Perhaps there is some other ways of explaining the interactions of energy in the world that I have not yet heard, and thus, do not understand that would explain karma, manifestation, etc, better. Perhaps all of those folks struck by various misfortune and states of material poverty that I mentioned have something else more wonderful than a body in perfect health or a roof over the heads of their family. Perhaps they have a strength of spirit and an abundance of love that Mr. Trump is sorely lacking, and THAT is what they have sown. While he has only sown greed and will choke to death on his mountains of cash. Perhaps there is something to be said for the principles of manifestation, but that because we so worship our money, we often misunderstand what abundance truly means. This is where my thoughts currently end their infinite circling through my consciousness and so this is what I'll conclude with.

If this version of reaping what we sow is indeed the case, then I am left with one final thought to leave my friends (both those that are, and those that were) with. Be careful my friends, that you do not become so relentless in your pursuit of the "good life", that you miss, misuse, or even destroy, the real bits of and bearers of goodness that do pass through your life. Beyond simply meeting our basic needs there is an abyss of unhappiness. Do not mistake wealth for a rich life, full of abundance. And be blessed.

I, on the other hand, am learning my own lessons, in particular this past year... about casting pearls before swine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Big Words

I use many big words in my art and in my world. My vocabulary is not without it's limits, but my grasp of the English language is fairly extensive by most standards. Yet... for so few letters, there is no word I use, that is quite so large... as "Love".

Those four small letters carry such a massive weight... so many meanings in the subtleties and subtext. In most languages, there are dozens of different words to describe what, in English, all are lumped under the single term: Love.

I love my dog.
I love bacon.
I love this new iPhone!
I loooove lazy summer days lounging in a hammock in my garden.
I love Italian food, and Italian words rolling off the tongue.
I love the child that i carried in my womb.
I love my brothers and sisters....

I don't know how any of this applies to you.

Lustful blindness is sometimes called love.
Chocolates, and flowers and heart shaped jacuzzis is called love.
Wrinkled old bodies that no longer even share the same bedroom much less press their lips together, after 50 years spent together is called love...

I haven't used this word yet with you... maybe that is because it is too early... too soon... too something. But then again, I don't now who holds the standard that I must use to measure the language of my heart. Maybe it's too much... too soon... or too little? Or; Maybe I haven't because I am not sure that it means, what it is that I mean to say. I am not sure that it means the same thing as I have used it to mean in other lifetimes with other people. I use it freely and abundantly with friends and family... sometimes even with acquaintances that I feel a soulful connection with. But it feels strange and awkward to apply it to you when I think of the times I've said it to those I shared a bed with, and how I felt about them, and how it was similar, and yet somehow so much different... I don't want to devalue that which I feel growing stronger in me with each passing day. Its such a small word to contain so very many thoughts and feelings that your presence in my life, has been inspiring in me...

If I said "I love you" would it speak the whole of what I truly feel? Or would it speak, to you, of all those that came before me? Would it stir your fears? Poke and prod your insecurities? Would it conjure images of those who went before; the unique ways that they showed you care and connection as well as their mistakes, betrayals, and miscommunications? Would that enter into your brain, and unconsciously peg me as the same?

Love does not stick in my throat because I am afraid of the enormity of it (well maybe just a little afraid...).  nor am I afraid of its current (growing) state, it's boundless potential, or it's many forms. Speaking it out loud does nothing more than acknowledge that which exists.

It is there already...

It floats in your consciousness as well as mine, and I can see that clearly. It is what guides my lips and my hands when I am as close to you as skin will allow. It is what caresses my shoulders and whispers projects and plans to span across changing seasons in your ear. It is the patience that rises in you when my son's panicked expression tells you that he has no idea how to respond to the gruffness of your masculine voice and you soften just a bit when you repeat yourself. It is the patience that flows forth in me when I sooth your daughters foreign tears over breakfast sandwiches... where my son's familiar eyes would be dry. When I adjust my words to convey kindness and concern for her heart, even when I am firm in ways she finds unfamiliar. It is spread across the awesome sandwich I slipped in your lunchbag, and in the thankful message you sent me as you ate it. Love is in those vulnerable spaces I am opening to you, even though it is unnerving after so many years of holding them back from every other human on earth. It is in the gentle intention you enter those spaces with. It is in your eyes when they flirt across the room, as much as it is when they are six inches from mine and begging me to let you in...

It is the possibility of what we could create together in wood, in steel, or in flesh. It is nurture on mountain top trails. It is meeting halfway across the water with a life vest... Matching the rhythm of your row to help carry the weight. It is remembering and recognizing the importance of small details... listening to what my mouth is saying, and sometimes listening to what my eyes are saying despite my mouth saying not much of anything at all...

When I say "I love you",  I will mean all of these things. When I say "I love you" I will mean that I want to explore so many more mountains, plant more garden beds, bandage more small knees, and build and sculpt with you, amazement of all shapes and kinds. I will mean, that I see a light in your heart that is slowly but surely washing away my fears of whatever darkness each of us carry in these bags and suitcases we haul along on this road. I see a light that can not only withstand mine, but that is willing and able to merge flames to create something greater and brighter than either of us could alone. I see already, ample evidence of humility, integrity, hope, kindness, and honesty more abundant in you than in many (most) other men who have passed my way. When I say "I love you" what I will mean, is that I strongly suspect that we might have what it takes, between the two of us, to not only weather life's storms, but to THRIVE and enjoy the ride. When I say it... I will mean that I want to do things with you that I've never yet wanted to (or thought it was reasonable or possible to) do with any other. That I want to hold you and kiss you and care for you so unbelievably good... and that I want to trust and allow you do the same for me. So that all the years of  each of us struggling to be seen and appreciated will fade into a dusty monochromatic photo, in an album, on a shelf, in our warm, colorful, cozy, bursting with LIFE home. When I say I love you it will mean far (far) more than ANY four little letters could say. More than all the letters I've strung together here and now could say. Probably even more than bandaids, and bedroom eyes, and back rubs, and sandwiches can say (though they come closer than words could ever dream of). When I say "I love you" it won't do any justice at all to what I really want to say about what grows bigger every day within my heart and soul... but those words will have to do.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Coming Clean.

There is sadness between my legs...
shame lurking in the bottom of my ocean
stirring up as sediment in those deep places you touch 
when you look into my eyes and offer deeper thrusts...
Do you ask for deeper trust?
those tears
dripping and running down my face, 
I didn't even know were locked down 
in those tight, wet spaces

There is pain.

Now, I can feel it.

Its been rubbed.
Raw and real.
resentment
rage surfacing... 
all those moments 
when I let myself be treated as worthless.
filthy.
stained.
dirty. 
and am I? 

Soiled in my sensitive soul...
Is there no shower in the world that will make me clean? 
I have tried for years to tidy this mess with my own hands.
but maybe with a steady stream
washing your life over my walls

a little more guilt rinses away... 

While your eyes gently hold mine 
I wonder 
could I release 
impressions of ghosts hovering 
eyes that looked through me...
Arms that held me only as an option 
or an orifice.
can you hold me?
both tender and tight enough to tell my fear
over and again, until it's undeniably clear... 
that those you've wrapped me in are not the same?
he saw.
he came.

There is sorrow there where you place your lips.
your soft tongue massages so sweet... 
ripples of pleasure,
sacred treasure, 
mingled with years of tension. 
hips that have not slow danced against an-other's in far too long... 

When you dive deep
touching bottom 
there is stone...
shock. 
a child, 
not coaxed slowly from the deep warmth of my womb. 
but ripped and torn from my screaming belly.
tenderness sits sobbing...
in these breasts you lay your cheek on?
Heaving cries.
nourishment unfinished yet
then the river of life ran dry.... 

There is stinging and aching hanging in the curves
the luscious, lovely, soft spaces I live within...
I can see.
taste and smell.
can hear them polluting my home
despite my diligence. 

I send compassion to myself
and to those who poisoned 
my waters.
and I
open...
and open.
and open...
and wait. 

There is lust
there is a childlike playfulness...
and there will be light there again
bursting with life
when Love arrives.
Joy flooding those juicy spaces
enveloping...
eagerly drinking you in.
someday 
only desire will flow 
where skin meets skin. 
a flower fragrantly in bloom
will offer only sweet nectar.
my heart won't hold you back
the fear that sticks tight in my belly will shake loose... 
and I will finally. Just. let. go... 
will you lay beside me until after all my ancient tears have gone?
or will you have long since flown?
Your taste so far is pungent...
Bittersweet.
Intriguing...
Inspiring.
Gently provoking heat.
But are you made of something real?
Does fear outweigh your longing to feel?

Time will reveal.

and if I trust that you'll stand fast 
and hold dear whatever wounds you find,
will you show me what you are holding 
within this flesh that touches mine?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

She wears no disguise.


Shaking in my skin.
ping pong game
of comfortable connection
and anxious awkwardness.
all those goblins lurking under my bed
come crawling out
clawing at my eyes
whispering...
I'm not worthy of those kisses...
hissing...
beware that gentle tenderness,
that kindness, friendship, and respect...

and all the tears I've spilt on 20 years of men
flood the room around me.
lifeboat filling
with fear.
its filling up!
it's filling up!
I can't swim!
I can't breathe!
I might die if I don't bail out.
overthinkingit
overthinking it
over thinking it
o ver thin king it
ov er th ink in git
o v e r t h i n k i n g i t

toughen up!
I am too strong to feel so weak in the knees.
damnit...
I am independent.
get a grip.
I don't need to need someone...
and anyway,
It's much too quick to let myself go...
isn't it?

I tell her to be still.
but there my foolish, foolish heart goes racing up ahead.
I scream at her to stop her mad skipping.
stop acting like a silly child!
Come back!

and my breath
catches in my throat.

and I'm scared
that I want your arms to stay
while I lose myself in sweet dreams.

and I'm unnerved that I've thought a dozen (or fifty) times today
about your hand strong and steady beneath my back,
and your hungry lips
on my melting neck.

My voice comes out shy... soft...
and more needy than I am used to hearing it.
and my shell cracks
a little more
each time
you caress my tension
and kiss my scars.
what if it breaks open
and you bolt.
leave me on my back
a tender, foolish, fragile pink creature
alone in this wilderness.
and what if?
and what if?
and what if?
and what if.

OVERTHINKINGIT.

too hard.
too risky.
its easier to be alone!
without this
whirlpool in my chest
of feelings I dread
fear to tread.
oh to be semisoft inside
not hard, but street-smart enough
to keep my hands firmly wedged between us.
no chance of ever mistaking
where I end and you begin.

If I throw a boatload of torrential crazy your way
will you run or hide?
my words and moods can fill an ocean.
my friend...
sweet man.
Are you mountain enough to stand?

Escape now may be easier than drowning in rip tides...
you oughta know that: she wears no disguise.
Is it alright that I really like swimming in your eyes?


I hug myself tonight
and remind me that
none can see
what will be.
and I breathe
gently
inhale
through thunder and
lightening
exhale
goblins groaning
and boats capsizing.
The shaking subsides...
I Breathe.
and
soften my belly.
I trust.
one
moment
at
a
time.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The unquenchable thirst


Last night while I slept, I dreamt of water...
Crystal clear,
beautiful water
everywhere...
Bottles of water big and bigger.
And me, drinking them down with an insatiable thirst...
Waterfalls... Shedding my clothes...
swimming in the coolness...
Cupping handful after handful of that cold sweet liquid and swallowing...I could feel it running down my throat, filling me up.
Standing in the pouring rain with my mouth to the sky,
Hungrily seeking drops with my tongue..
Bottles and more bottles
My face under a faucet swallowing greedily.
Everywhere I went, there was water.... And from every source of water I drank as deeply as if I had just crawled through a desert on my knees...
But my thirst would not be quenched, no matter how deeply, how often, or how much I drank.

And then I heard the whisper...
"It's a dream..... It's only a dream...."
I sat bolt upright suddenly in the darkness of my bedroom.
Blindly groping toward my nightstand, I prayed that I would find a REAL bottle of water there.
Choirs of angels may as well have sang out as my fingers closed around the bottle. I gulped the entire thing down as eagerly as I would have in my dream, only this time my thirst was finally, fully satisfied.
The thirst, that I had been too busy, engrossed in my day, in taking care of everything but myself, had been there all night. I had probably gone to bed with it, completely unaware in my exhaustion.
It was only when my subconscious spoke up that I discovered the intensity of my thirst. But while my subconscious could reveal my hidden need, it could do nothing to actually take care of those needs. I could swallow down Niagara Falls and still be as thirsty as ever so long as I stayed stuck only dreaming of fulfilling my needs. It was only in hearing the whisper of my inner wisdom and waking. Heeding the call, and bringing those dreams forward into my actions, that my need was satiated.

We can dream amazing dreams.. Imagine beautiful things big and small. We can dream of the lover we wish for. Of all that we would build in our lives. A career we'd like to have.... Places we would love to go and see... But unless we heed that inner call... The desires of our subconscious... Where our wisest self speaks the loudest. Until we listen to that wisdom, wake ourselves from our sleep or a sleepy existence and take action. Finally take steps towards bringing those dreams to reality. We will never taste the fruits of the life we "could" have... And we will never quench our thirst.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The wisdom of rainbow hair.

I had long gorgeous locks once upon a time... Wavy, luscious chocolate brown with hints of red and sun kissed flecks of gold. The wispy ends of it grazed the back pockets on my blue jeans... It caught eyes and turned heads. But underneath the head of hair... The pretty face. The compliments that followed me around.... I was broken in a million pieces from the neck down... Filled with fear and self loathing.... ugliness from the inside out.

After the years of self-perpetuating abusive relationships... After I gave birth to a beautiful fatherless boy. I hit rock bottom. I couldn't conceive of ever again inviting a man into my heart or bed... I could see no value that I had to offer at all. I could see nothing at all in my mirror to smile about. Except my gorgeous wavy hair.

I stopped brushing it for two years in an attempt to shun my vanity. To hide from the gazes of men. My Nanu loved me dearly, but despised my dreadlocks. Everytime I went to visit he would ask when I was going to cut the pile of poop off my head. When my Nanu died, to honor him I spent the day before I was to give his eulogy sitting in a chair, while my mother and sister and a large bottle of conditioner tried to salvage a precious few inches of my dignity. The short inches left curled in perfect, adorable spirals around my features. Each and every hug to comfort me the day I sent my Nanu off to the heavens was accompanied by a ten minute conversation about how much better my hair looked now... Ny head felt lighter... But my heart was as heavy and tangled as the masses of twisted and gnarled hair I had cut from it.

When my son was three I handed him a pair of scissors and let him hack off most of those few ringleted inches. I wore his ragged, punky handy-work for three days before I borrowed a pair of animal clippers from a farmer friend and, with the help of an Orange BIC, I freed myself of the last bits of that auburn beauty I could not own. In the two years my head was simple and clean I learned what it feels like to have the rain tickle my scalp and that sunburn on my shiny dome is not fun. I learned that my head could be an amazingly sensual place and that forehead massages can result in something that could almost be described as an orgasm. I learned that without the distraction of hair, completely independent of what had once been my greatest beauty, I was still radiant and sexy. That while I had expected to repulse them, now these amazing men saw just as much beauty and now noticed and noted the kindness in my eyes, the feistiness in my walk, and the full sensual shape of my lips. I discovered, more importantly, that my desirability was not only found in my physical features.

I found that when I had no curtains to hide my face behind that I had to stand and be seen. In the face of jeers and stares, snap judgements about my values and my sexual preferences, I had to be stronger than I knew I could be. I climbed over walls and jumped through fire without fear of being caught by nails or sparks. Pushed through briar bushes and crawled under barbed wire without snags or snarls. Some of the most inspiring (and unexpected) moments were finding connections to women who had lost their hair to the ravages of things beyond their control. Though for many of them, their lesson came with a medical cancer diagnosis, mine had come from a cancer of the soul... I realized that my hairless scalp was as much a part of my cure as theirs was. I found a kinship with these amazing survivors that I may have never noticed, were it not for the beacons of each of our bald heads, glowing in the sunlight. A silent testimony to our trials and triumphs.



It's been nearly four years since I last felt a razorblade glide across my scalp... When I stand naked my hair tickles the bottom of my rib cage... It is still mostly a chocolate brown but now my glowing heart is painted into it. My artist hands smudge and smear streaks of purples and turquoise... Blues and green dye... Bits of pink stand out in the sunshine. It's as if every strand on my head is radiantly skipping and cartwheeling... My multicolored hair is, not an act of rebellion, but of shouting for joy, that I am alive to wear this glorious crown! I won't always wear a rainbow on my head... Nature will take my head back from the bottles of blue... The brown I was born with will hopefully someday give way to grey and I will wear each stage as gracefully as my soul allows. But for the first time in my life, at thirty-four years old I know that the waves of beauty cascading around my face are owned. When I walk by a mirror I SEE an accurate reflection of the beautiful woman I finally know that I am on the inside. When a strand blows across my face I greet it lovingly as a part of me. I feel delight (delicious even!) as I brush silky strands out of my eyes.... I could take it off again tomorrow... I have no need of it, I am me and I am beautiful from the inside out with or without these locks, and painted colors or not. It's a silly and frivolous thing, really... But I am grateful that I have been given such a gift to wear for my years on this earth. To decorate and wrap the treasure of my heart with. A loved one recently noted how much my hair has grown out... The irony makes me smile... It is not my hair that has grown, it is I who have finally grown into my hair.






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Inspired by reflections in a pond

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bedroom Eyes

Aren't you tired?

my love...

of peering down from those turrets of stone?

safe.

But alone...



Aren't you weary?

peasants and lambs...

strutting peacocks brilliantly boastful.

boiling oil at the ready...

arrows that could split hair.

aren't you tired of quiet discontent

but not defiance or dissent?



aren't you tired of fear?

of not touching, but gazing at your beloved.

at all the would-be beloveds

from holes chipped in six inches of plaster

vision impaired by the fibers of poorly woven bandages?



aren't you drained by always being right?

held tight in the center of that globe

watching the rest of us

merely particles swirling about,

decorating your space?



aren't you wasted from pouring your feelings in a bottle

cabinets overflowing with cold, sealed glass.

of telling those same stories

over and over? the same film replaying in every matinée in your mind...

the taste of only those words on your tongue

the sounds familiar (too familiar?) on your lips?



aren't you bored of projects? Projection instead of connection?

text instead of touch

art as only an expression of loss...

buried sorrow.

wrapped in humiliation.

instead of joy mixed with those tears.

celebration and adoration!



aren't you exhausted from running

throwing caution into the wind without a care for the hearts in your hands?

the chaos you return to when that pack grows too heavy?



aren't you spent from the same blank checks... the judgmental eyes

overtaxed by the unnecessary tears?

whispered voices of reason hoarse

stuck on repeat all these years?



aren't you distressed by those ropes loosely holding you?

and can't you see there is no knot?



who would you be

were there no need

for feeling the rails on your back

screeches perpetually lodged in your throat

is it a charming rescue you endlessly await?

or release under the wheel of Casey Jones?



aren't you worn from clinging?

to that pacifier

...soiled stuffed toy

faded and torn blanket

so safe and secure?



aren't you weary of being fed by a newsfeed

facing a wall instead of faces?

voices lost in endless space?

speaking and preaching into an abyss

caught in a web

connected, but stuck...

lethargically awaiting death.



aren't you fed up with stuffing your face and padding your heart with fast foods

a disposable man in a disposable world?

wrapped in rejection,

smothered in self depreciation,

lathered in bacon fat?

resigning to dull moods.

sex as pornographic crude.

the world done me wrong

the blues tuning in every song...



getting off and merely taking.

no chance of being crushed...

or breaking..

half heartedly faking...

a poor match for opening up... letting in.

for love making...



aren't you fatigued from channel surfing instead of riding waves of ecstasy?

gazing out across beverly hills instead of breathing in mountain tops?



substituting ritual and routine for exploration of the spaces in between?

applying only rigid method to seeking evidence of the unseen

dismissing the magic of all this wondrous universe.

self-righteous disbelief in mystery... how time flies....

don't you miss the awe and tiny miracles of your childhood eyes?



aren't you tired of clean hairless sofas instead of warm purring laps?

dry faces instead of loving kisses?



aren't you sick of the cure?

done swallowing mouthfuls of bullshit?

capsules to rid you of all these pesky emotions?



aren't you tired of settling for less than

pulse racing, heart soaring, soul growing, mind expanding, sweat dripping, body merging...melting, blissful touching...

reaching for SOMETHING?



aren't you run down from always being the chaser... never chased?

or was it vice versa...



movie screens? same old scenes...

heartless machines...

missing dreams.

steady monochrome stream...

aren't you tired of lies?

head in a fog?

sleep in your eyes?

a life lived painless? effortless...... stainless.

but loveless?



we are more than our patterns... more than our slumbers



in a world so uninspired.

my love... aren't you tired?



Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Wondering Wanderer.

1:30 A.M.
another sleepless night.
I wonder many things about who I am...
always.
tonight I wonder who I am to you.
I need no labels, no names, nothing really...
friendship is a blessings in and of itself
but I wonder all the same
if my confusion is mine alone or if you bear the same burden?
I wonder what you think when I cross your mind.
I wonder what you thought when first your eyes touched mine many moons ago...
I wonder if the same warmness, kindness, and unbelievable strength radiated from my eyes.
I wonder if your poetic heart sang one quick but beautiful note as it did when you met that girl who loved you and cut you so many worlds away from today... perhaps not, as I fear...
Or perhaps you'd forgotten how to hear?
I wonder if the same hint of unsureness that comes from hurts buried deep and wounds left unhealed by another's kisses also whispered quietly in my shy sweet smile.
I wonder if you noticed my quiet confidence waver for just a moment?
I saw yours... even from across the road.
I wonder if you look forward to those momentary glimpses of my face, my world, as I do yours.
If you smile and flutter at those dozens of little bells that chime most days with my name on them as you go about your life, and I mine.
I wonder if you also think I am more lovely and wonderful each passing day... even with the imperfect spots... the blotches, the bricks and stones, sticks and bones,
the cracks and tears, the misplaced fears...
I wonder if you were available... if I would have botched things terribly already, as I'm convinced I have so many times before when I let lurking insecurities beat me over the head and drag me back to their dark caves...
I wonder if you ever will allow yourself... or me... that possibility?
or if its more than just a security blanket you sleep beneath...a functional facade.
is it socially obligated arms length... are there stronger chains?
is this glass between us the window of your home?
your bedroom mirror?
a bell jar around your heart?
or my rose-colored glasses?
I don't want to own you OR owe you...
but I'd really like to KNOW you.
and I wonder if I'm brave enough to even show you...
to let you see...
all these fragile and twisty turvy parts of me
I wonder if I know how to be anything but alone
I have had only me to walk beside for so long...
and yet HERE it is... despite my pain, my fear, my shame .... I am open.
Here are my veins... do we bleed just the same?
Am I worthy of your heart... your art or flow charts?
I am here.... in the dark... staring at a screen. Where are you?
I laugh out loud to sooth my nerves, because maybe I shouldn't.... but sometimes I can't help myself... I wonder what your arms would feel like around me... if your hands are strong from caressing those strings... what your skin would feel like under my fingertips... and what it would be like to whisper "goodnight" in your ear with my lips... instead of my tired thumbs.
I wonder how long I will let myself wonder before I wander on my way...
and I wonder if you would even care if I did...

Monday, March 23, 2015

An open letter to the Rapist who claimed my virginity.

Dear Brian
I typed your name into the Facebook search box tonight on a whim. I had done it before one other time, years ago. I vaguely remember seeing your blurred smiling face in a baseball cap, and the feeling of disgust that suddenly welled up in the pit of my stomach, I had to click away. This time was different though, perhaps I have grown softer over the years since then and now… and I have surely grown softer in the years since you stole my innocence in the house that “Merch” built. This time instead of just your smiling face that made me want to punch the SCREEN until it shattered into a million pieces, there was two small, beautiful, golden haired, smiles in pink dresses on each side of your dimples... And your smile… was so happy… so radiant with joy sitting there between those two tiny angels, that instead of disgust… instead of rage… the only thing that welled up in me was an overwhelming feeling of joy in my throat for you… and in that instant... just like that, forgiveness happened.
 

Fifteen years ago you wanted to pretend that next morning that nothing had happened, and I went right along with you out of shame. I made believe while working and selling right along side of you for weeks afterward that nothing had happened. To the few I told, I made believe that we had made love. That I had finally been “made love” to. You pretended nothing had happened to everyone, after all, you were my team-leader and dating each other was inappropriate, as you had been telling me after every time we had kissed up until that point. Of course the same was true after we… well, after YOU had sex with me… but then you moved on very quickly from encouraging my puppy-love crush in the moments we stole off alone together, to dating another girl who was part of your sales “team”. I’m sure I could write pages on what that did to my self esteem, but I won’t… I want to focus on the rape itself. Because YES, Brian, what you did was rape, though it took me years to call it by name.
I adored you. You knew it, our friends/coworkers knew it, our manager knew it… everyone who had eyes to see knew it. I hung on your every word… Your stories about growing up without a strong family tore at my heartstrings. Your proclamations about your beautiful home state of Wyoming being the most breathtaking place on earth… “God’s country” you’d sigh… and I believed every word. I believed in you when you said you were going to succeed, you always were a terrific salesman, and I bought your dream. You were going to work hard enough to make your wishes come true, undoubtedly, and when you said that and looked into my eyes with those beautiful brown puppy-dog eyes and kissed me... I was pretty sure (in my naivety) that you wanted me to come along with you in that dream. You see Brian, I was a young nineteen. I had only dated three guys up until that point and none for longer than a few weeks… none had gotten even as far as third base, and when it came to the male psyche, I had no clue whatsoever. I had no idea that, while I was kissing you because I was picturing wedding bells, you as a man could have shared the same deep conversations, the same passionate kiss, and still be picturing only a soft wet hole. Or maybe that isn’t that at all, maybe it’s not the male psyche ( and it’s not, But It took me years of spiraling downward in my relations with men to realize “not all men”). Maybe it was you, not that into me, but immature and unable to tell me straight up, instead of making excuses that left me still believing that our feelings were mutual. Maybe it was you, unsure of your feelings for me, and drowning the pain of your shitty childhood in one too many beers that particular night that relieved you of your self control… I say this, not to make excuses for what you did, or the pain it caused, but to find a place in my mind and my heart where I can make peace with what happened that night.
I wonder Brian, if you even remember my name. I wonder if you remember what you did, or realize the lasting effects that sort of thing can have on a person? I looked at your smiling face on my computer screen last night and I wondered if you ever look at those two beauties on either side of you and hope that they never meet a man who treats them as you treated me. I think, if I was in your shoes instead of my own all these years, that I would probably have pushed away those memories. That I probably would have come up with reasons to justify it… after all I was in your bedroom. I was cuddled up alongside of you. I did receive your kisses willingly. I dry humped you right back happily. And in all honesty, I felt so much admiration and love for you, that I did want to make love to you.  I wanted to… IF we were an actual couple, if you put had put your arm around me in the company of our friends and not just in the dark on our walks around on those city streets, if you had called me your girlfriend instead of your (one person) sales team, if you didn’t smell of beer, and caress me just a little too rough that night… Even though I was afraid of losing my virginity. Even though I was anxious that it might hurt and that a man might think less of me if I slept with him too soon in our relationship… Brian, I adored you. I’m almost sure that I would have happily and willingly given you the prize you claimed, if not that night, surely on another. The regret, the sadness, the self loathing, fear, anger, frustration, self-destructing, mistrust and hatred that your penis inside of me caused wasn’t because it was YOU I gave myself to. I wanted to give myself to you. The problem was that I DIDN’T GIVE it to you. I said “no” Brian. When you started to remove my underwear, I said “no”. When you pressed yourself against me harder, I pushed back with my hands and said “no”. When you pushed painfully into me despite the tension in my unaccustomed and unwilling vagina, I said “NO!”... And then I gave up. It was already done, you were already inside me. So I tried my best to “relax”. I tried to tell myself that since I loved you, this was "making love". I even kissed you back as you jammed your mouth just as hard and rough against my face as your pelvis was grinding into my spasming, pain-wracked hips. After you finished like a porn star, and threw me a dirty towel off the floor for my belly, I think I may have even gently stroked your back as you passed out next to me. I lay there awake most of the night replaying and getting started on rewriting our sex into something other than rape.  In the morning before you woke up, I stole quietly out of the house to go get cigarettes with one of our friends. I was ashamed and I was bruised. Our friend Tiffany was wise-cracking, indestructible, and the life of the party, I idolized the hell out of her. I wanted to cry and tell her everything, but I was embarrassed. She had had lots of sex, and she knew the extent of my crush on you. I had finally gotten to have sex with you, wasn’t that what I wanted? No… No, it wasn’t.
Brian, I could write a novel about the past fifteen years since that night when my innocence died. About all the chain reaction of pain and trauma that came from losing my virginity to rape in the hands of someone I loved and trusted. Maybe I will someday.  Today though, I write with a different purpose…. I see your smiling daughters, Brian. I see the innocence on their faces… They are so young, so eager, so absolutely enamored with their dad. And they should be, they have a wonderful father who I’m sure dotes on his princesses and adores them beyond measure. Over here, I have my sweet, gentle-hearted eight year old son sleeping next to me as the sun rises while I write this letter to you. I see these wonderful children we have each brought into the world, and I know that I must forgive you… and more than that, I must tell you out loud that I forgive you, so that maybe, just maybe, you can forgive yourself.
Perhaps you haven’t spent fifteen years playing that night out in your head from time to time, or maybe you have. Perhaps you don’t remember me or if you do, perhaps you don’t have enough of a conscience to care. Perhaps if you do think of me, you like to pretend to yourself even now that what we did was have consensual sex, I know you pretended that back then the few times we spoke of it.  Perhaps my forgiveness is not needed, and your life was not effected in any way, shape, or form by the event that so strongly shifted my own. Or maybe it did, and is effecting you. Maybe in the back of your mind you still think of yourself as a rapist when you kiss your lovely wife and tuck your smiling daughters into bed. Maybe your life has been just as tough, maybe you have caused yourself just as much (or more?) suffering. I am not a religious woman, but I believe that life is about the exchange and interplay of energies. I believe that in one way or another, you get back what you put into the world. Call it karma, or whatever you’d like, but I can’t believe that the energy that you put out that night into my life hasn’t come back to you in some way… In which case, I want to tell you this Brian: 

I forgive you, and thank you. Truly… I have no frame of reference for what my life would have been if you hadn’t laid on top of me that night, maybe it would have been grand, with less struggles, and more beauty. But I love my life exactly as it is right now. For all it’s ups and downs, I wouldn’t be who I am, where I am, and probably wouldn’t have the beautiful child sleeping next to me if it weren’t for you. I was messed up for a long time, its true. But not now… Now, I am okay… in fact, way better than okay! So, as fucked up as it is: Thank you. Tonight I released you of your debt. I smiled at your Facebook pictures ( the one of you playing guitar for your oldest hit me right in the heart)… I sobbed big heaving sobs for the naive little girl who loved you… and for a simple, sweet, sad boy from God’s country who made a big mistake. May we both raise our daughters and sons to be stronger, wiser, kinder, and with more self control than either of us had. May your children have the steady as a rock, overflowing with love childhood that you were deprived of. May we someday live in a world where rape is seen by both men and women for the horror that it is, so that my son and your daughters will never question that "NO" means "NO. May our children never know the depths of the struggles and despair we have known. I release you from my heart, from my body, and from my debt Brian. Go in peace and may you be blessed.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Death Becomes Her...




I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately… more than usual, though death has been a pretty consistent visitor to my thoughts my whole life… just as I suspect it is for most of us. Perhaps some of us choose to indulge those thoughts and some of us choose to push them away, but the thought is there regardless. I’ve done both, dwelled on, and denied those thoughts at different times throughout the years. There have been times when life was so vivid, so amazing and fruitful that I couldn’t possibly entertain any thoughts of it all coming to an end some day. There have been times where, emotionally, my situation seemed so desperate that I spent most of my waking hours contemplating wether death might be a nicer alternative to life… And I have involuntarily stared death in the eye, went a few rounds, and came out still on top (for now).



… In 2008 I contracted E. Coli 0:157: H7 from a tainted
batch of Local, Grass-Fed, Organic Raw Milk. The E.coli infection turned into a serious complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. My kidneys completely shut down and were it not for a physician’s assistant in a walk-in clinic who was fortunately paying attention…. well, lets just say: I was less than 24 hours from certain death. I spent the next month in intensive care receiving plasmapheresis, a form of dialysis where all blood is removed from your body, the plasma separated out, and then donor plasma and my blood cells were put back in. Most of the month Doctors continually told my family that there was not a very good chance that I would survive. I suffered a heart attack and a Grand Mal Seizure. I required twice as many plasma treatments as those suffering from my illness typically would need to recover. When my kidneys finally regained most of their function, and I was released, I was a bloated, scarred shell of my former self… I could barely walk, and I was taking 15-20 different medications for everything from blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, to steroids and diuretics, to anti-psychotics (for PTSD), anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety pills…

Before my illness I wouldn't even take tylenol because I didn't want to expose my body to potentially toxic laboratory chemicals... I ate all organic and natural. I was in excellent physical shape and rode my bicycle miles every day with my toddler son strapped into his child seat. After my illness, I spent the next two+ years recovering as much as I could of my physical health… I spent a few more years after that recovering my mental and emotional well-being, and I’ve spent mostly every day since then remembering (and trying to forget) what it felt like to be standing on that shaking, quivering bridge between life and death. I remember the day I had the seizure and heart attack, and the panic and helplessness of knowing that my body was (possibly fatally) malfunctioning and that I could do nothing to change that… I remember the anger and frustration... the RAGE that overcame me at times because I did everything "right" for the sake of having a healthy body and it still could not save me from illness and near death. I remember the feeling of spinning and falling into blackness… I remember lights... the colorful halos and energetic impressions of love and compassion from the doctors and nurses doing everything in their power to pull me back from death’s grasp. I remember vividly, though I can’t recall when it happened in earthly terms, that there was a moment when it was my choice. MY CHOICE, wether to let go and find release from my suffering… or hold onto my body despite the pain and suffering that came along with holding on. I remember being saved by being a single mother. I know without a doubt that my 18 month old son, who was waiting at home for his one and only parent to come back, was the ONLYreason that was worth holding on for… That I chose to live rather than embrace death seven years ago, and I have been running from her ever since.

I have thought a lot about death… I’ve also spent a lot of time distracting myself from all of the unknown that death holds… I’ve spent years pushing away the fear that, for several years after my illness, consumed nearly every moment, waking or sleeping. That even now, years later, sometimes sneaks up on me in the dark or stillness and catches me off guard. It's the panic that wraps around your throat.. sits on your chest until you beg, eyes stinging, ears ringing… gasping for your breath... drowning on dry land…. The feeling that the whole room is spinning… the world is whirling so fast that the sky above is an empty hole that I could fall into, lost forever… The helpless realization that not my beloved parents, not my home, my dog, my martial arts training, shotguns, or even the solidity of the earth itself offer even the slightest protection from death. That I am being chased by my doom… and that there is no escape. Not for me, not for you, not for the kindest person I know, or for the richest famous jerk we all envy and despise, and not for the poorest folks I’ve seen sleeping on the streets… it is truly the great equalizer. I don’t know about the rest of you… but I know that this realization has scared the SHIT out of me for over three decades… I’ve alternated between being paralyzed by my fear and living in denial of my mortality since I was old enough to remember… and I am TIRED of this routine. I am tired of choosing safety over freedom out of desperation to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible. I am tired of existing in a state of semi consciousness and finding distraction after distraction to keep me from facing reality and all that goes along with it. 

This February was my Thirty-Fourth birthday… I was incredibly fortunate to be able to spend it in Italy with some of my loved ones. The trip there was supposed to be a relaxing, sightseeing vacation… but for me, it turned into a pilgrimage… Everywhere I looked I saw my mortality. I saw MY death.. our collective death… tombs, and great arenas where thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children had lost their lives violently. Entire cities lost in fire and ash. Churches filled with statues of humans that once walked the same earth as I now walk… beautiful paintings almost all with images of suffering… of the horrors of religious wars….  Buildings built by unknown, nameless masons, still standing thought their names are long since forgotten. Marble busts of important (or self important) wealthy rulers, intelligent thinkers, godly men, and gifted artists… none made anymore immortal by their gold or gifts or by the noseless, soulless stone ghosts they’ve left behind than the ones whose faces and flesh have long since decayed and returned to the earth. All just as dead…. no one was spared.

The climax of my journey came at the crypt of the Capuchin Friars. The crypt is build from thousands of human bones… the ceilings, walls, and doorways built from and decorated with the bones of believers. I stood looking… almost in a state of disbelief at the piles of skulls… of leg bones just like mine… vertebrae of spines that once help up a living conscious human being.

 “What you are, we once were. What we are, you will be” 

said the sign underneath the bone archway… and it finally hit me! Standing there breathing in the dust of lives long since ended… I will NOT live forever. It is so obvious, and yet so earth shattering in that moment that I finally really understood it. I will not live forever.......… and no amount of running… no amount of denial… or fear… or hope… or being good… or being bad. Or distracting myself with glowing screens full of useful information…. is going to change that. All the books I buy… all the yoga mats and Buddha statues… the alter with Jesus and Mary and all my other religious figures… my cabinets full of the healthiest foods money can buy…. my bottles of pills.... my love for my son.... NOTHING. NOTHING is going to stop my life from ending one day or another, just as so many other lives have ended before mine, are ending at this very moment, and will continue to begin and end for long after I have breathed my last. I cannot run. I cannot hide… I cannot make bargains to prolong it… and I have no idea when it will arrive. and despite the various scenarios I can hope and pray for in an “afterlife”, the fact is that I HAVE NO IDEA what happens after we die, and I don’t believe that any of us DO know without a doubt… So it seems that what I am left with, is the need for peace. And if I cannot find peace in any of the human answers about what comes after death, than I must make peace with DEATH itself, with my own soul, and with the life that leads me to that death. 

As I carried that crypt with me through the rest of Italy, I came to a few further realizations. In particular, I was thinking about terminal illnesses… and how I have heard stories about people who find out they have a year to live, and how they spend that year making peace with death… living fully every moment they have left, for in that year they realize the preciousness of every breath. I realized that when I hear those stories I feel a twinge of envy. Yes, ENVY. For those who are in the final days of their lives… I want to know what it is to live with such intent, intensity, gratitude, purpose, as is inspired by a death sentence…. But what folly! I HAVE a death sentence same as they do, same as you. Why can’t I choose to live as if I am dying without a cancer diagnosis?

I have returned from my unintentional pilgrimage a changed woman… I have decided to live this next year as if it is my last, and for all I know it could be! In fact, I am consciously choosing to believe, and behave as if this might indeed be my final year. Perhaps I truly will not live to see thirty five. I have begun the process of facing and letting go of my fears of dying. I have begun treating all those who I love as if these interactions may be among our final ones. I am finding myself quicker to smile. Quicker to admit when I am at fault… to say I am sorry, or “I love you”. I am already noticing I am less inhibited and cautious in socializing with friends, family, and acquaintances alike… If there is no “tomorrow” how can I go wrong in speaking the truth through my eyes? If my intention is to leave this world with slightly more love in it than when I came into it than why do I need to fear being real in expressing my love? 

… I have spent many moments already the past few weeks crying… letting myself feel my fear… my pain at the thought of leaving this beautiful world. Of saying goodbye to those I love the most. I have spent much time sitting by myself or snuggling with my son, and asking myself: If this is my last year on this earth, what do I want to do with it? Who am I when all the non-essential is stripped away, and what is it that is truly important to me? What is it that I want to leave behind when I am gone? I can’t say this has been an easy process… or that I haven’t slipped at times into old habits of momentary denial…or complacency. But I can say that I keep faithfully coming back to this process… breathing through this meditation that is steering my life now in ways I’ve never experienced before. Maybe it is morbid to consciously focus on my own demise… but I have never felt so alive, haven’t felt so conscious in going through my days since I was a child. I have no idea where it is leading me in life, but if nothing else I believe that in facing the end head on, I may go more peacefully to my grave some day, whether sooner or later time will tell. One way or another, I hope that when she arrives on my doorstep, Death will be like an old friend that I know well… And just maybe, instead of grasping and gasping in terror at my last breath, I will find that I am able to greet her lovingly, and graciously make my final exit.







Friday, February 27, 2015

from private pages of journey journals...

Italy.


Angels in mustaches with breasts
gazing at each other from frescoed walls
for times untold, in ancient halls
Riding on unicorns
scaling castles tall.
reading maps of pleasure
unuburied treasures
heart without measure
unblinded eyes relearning to see
be patient with me
for what is a sea?
and what is it to see...
tagging through a door
playing hide and seek
a piano or a floor?
and when and what to say
we shall see another day...

sing sweet nightingale
from the waters or the shore
sing sweet nightingale
a piano or a floor?
and what are words anyway?
judgments made of that which we feel
but cannot hear.
stone that cannot speak?
proclamations for time to carry
V's misplaced by ancient races
wounds erased and mirrors faced...

I still remember your eyes
when you said: I love me.
you meant it.
more meaningful than any other words in the world
for only a man who truly loves he
could ever STAND and love this she.
and its okay if not you...
the lesson was your truth.
there is not desperation now
only scars of fears
of years of deflation
tears of re-creation
years of patience
searching... seeking self.
my heart on a shelf
refusing who could not walk
refusing using
and manipulative talk.
damages repaired with gold
kintsugi woman: a treasure to hold.
a tearful mess
a tender breast
a carried stress
a strong lioness
Imperfectly divine
this paradoxical heart of mine.
strength in fragility
but delicate to whom petals are open
easily broken
taking care with whom I share....
cracks can be shattered
torn or tattered
if crushed spirits can be mended
mended parts can surely break.

I've been found
on a pilgrimage of love
standing naked on mountains above
swimming in the sea... looking overboard for me.
crawling on my belly in the cold dark places of the world
feet torn and bruised.
lost and used
lifting and leaping
gifting and keeping
roses sleeping
beauty reaping
mother weeping... tears still seeping
heart still beating
love still seeking.

only open hearts are spoken.

only.
broken.

hearts.
are open.


2/25/15



throwing fits

I throw tantrums.

I throw tantrums when I don't get my way.
Spitting venom like fire
emotions balanced on tight wire
I am 8
In my play and these other ways
tears run fast and furious
for this heart so curious
anger like an explosion
quick and painful
left to deal with the aftermath
the disaster in my path
always ready to be right
steeled and armored for a fight
red blurring my eyes
clouding usually clear sight
don't know how to let go
the years where punching back
with words and ways
was all I could do
when i was green and new.
closing down or throwing up
throwing stuff
used to punch walls and steering wheels
overwhelmed by the pain of helplessness I feel
helplessness.
a helpless mess
without a voice
without a choice
and now its my way always
all days, my way or you'll pay.
tears or jeers or throwing spears.
daggers for eyes
angry spiteful cries...
hypnotizing, mouth is lying
kindness crushing, soul is dying
with years some fears are multiplying.
breaking in pieces
shattered peace
why am I so weak?
can I be whom I seek
who I long to be, ache to see?
pretend is she....
If you see my flames would you feel the same
if its you I blame?
venting frustrations
verbal shits
not with fists but my mouth hits.
hissing throwing fits.
this helplessness
this heavy mess.
inherited stress
does it make me less if I'm never my best?
failing tests...
abandoned quests...
If I'm never she who my heart knows I could be... should be?
can I still be love, be loved
If I'm not a perfect me?


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reflections on a mother's heart... (bathed in the waters of venice)

I am that which I love with or without the object of my love
and yet I am not and can never be.
For I am an observer of the most exquisite beauty
momentary clarity
glimpses of joy.
infinity impartially
Witnessing and guiding him
but try though I might, I can not swim.
only rarely reflected in the waves...
I see:
the man I'd love my son to be.


The choices made?
I've been mistaken.
Love I've given:
more was taken.
true love was given
heart still breaking...
so many burdens
trying to juggle gracefully
holding tight so gratefully.
I nurture this seed
gifted amidst dangers
instinct never heeded.
The life I prayed for
saved my own.
but oh so poorly... poorly sown.
I carry now this heavy load...
what i can not give him
the ways I can not show...
how to be solid... strength...
how to stand steady... bending but not breaking.
emotions flow through me like waves
rippling river tides
breathless rides.
random like rhymes
tears at times
worry that my tides might carry him away
in future days
leave him flighty and fearful
tearful in all the wrong places.
I've seen so many faces
miserable man after man
none able to stand.
not fit by far to hold his hand.
its not me the desperate cries come for...
Though my longing is deep in its own right.
it's not for me I weep softly at night..
So much of my heart walks free of my body
The need in our lives is in my dearest's eyes...
my tearful heart, he laughs and lies...
a unfinished poem from days gone by...
so many moments failing
at what he needs for me to be
Loving always loving...
but I haven't tools to offer
all the things he needs to see.
though he grows with what I give
these regrets are what I live...

I wish that I had known
how the choices I made in time
would shape a life that isn't mine.
I wish I'd known what would be
and that foolish little girls
with fantasies
could create lasting ripples in a massive sea
I wish I'd understood
what's been shown with passing years.
I wish that I had known my son...
and could mend hearts with my tears...


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

That awkward moment.

These are the moments
when I stare into the darkness
blindly trying to see right
what it is that hangs over me in this night.
and these are the moments
when I am not sure if i have nothing to say
or so much of everything to give away that its hard
to choose even one gift... a word out of the infinite
sounds, stories and songs tap dancing on my brain
pouring down like rain disappearing down the drain
plucking away at my heart strings
heart sings... heart stings.
when I realize that for all practical purposes and in spite of intent.
the gift of words too often fails me when my lips address those who matter most.
that despite my desire and my despair
despite my depths i so badly want to issue invitations into
as I am better with frozen than I am with fresh,
so am I better with keys than I am with flesh.
but maybe (I tell myself to banish those lonely banshee cries)
that its okay because ultimately wether you are laying beside me,
or a hundred miles away
we are each alone, always, every moment for all time...
the paradox that we are always only ever together...
(skin being the most irrelevant thing on earth.)
followed closely by space and time as boxes and desks and paychecks
death and taxes and insurance cards.
safety only comes in sleep... in counting wolves instead of sheep?
unconsciousness existence is easy as pie... silently numbly, struggle free. we die.
an easy path from breath to death, all boxed up from crib to cubicle to coffin...
ipad ipod iphone isee
nothing but H D T V
these are the moments when i ramble... like a child mumbling in her sleep
and even unconsciousness is not what it seems
only half of what i say makes any sense to anyone
but to me what is sensible is senseless and nonsense is common sense...
trapped in here... daring to see the way through fear...
this is the mirror writing on the asylum windows.
feeling like i could burst out of my seams
burst forth with dreams
untamed and untethered you could spread out all those feathers... no more terror. No more rage...
an entire universe all locked up like a peacock in a songbird's cage...
beautiful tail... pride and joy
fluffy and blue.... beautiful boy
sticking out awkward and odd from between the bars of these cells..
ridiculous and foolish and still a majestic site to behold
for those that can see through walls and bars and ties that bind... to seek, to find.
These are those moments when I wish so hard that I was better at saying what I feel, instead of what I think.
that i could flow and roll smooth off my tongue... could dance words into in our shared space. could speak my heart into your face.
moments when i know that i care so fucking much that i can't breathe, and yet I don't care at all... all at once, and somehow that makes perfect sense.
these are the moments when I hold you in my heart. an image in my mind, a snapshop of frozen time. Smiling into the dark... so beautifully for no one to see, just to feel... just to be.
These are the moments when I know without a doubt that god and love are one and the same and that those words mean everything....and absolutely nothing,
for you cannot own it if you haven't FELT it. and you cannot own it just the same.
Ownership is a lie... fatally flawed....
possession is illusion. and so are your laws.
These.
are the moments when i know with out a doubt
that the whole world is coming down upon on my head and yours...
watching collapsing towers and great walls falling...
laughing and despairing at the sheer wonder... the madness of it all.
Explosions shocking the world...
watching the fireworks with the awe of my seven year old self bouncing on my knee.
because who else can I be?
these are the moments looking through walls and watching through glass ceilings.
when i stare into the darkness until I can see right through it to the stars
clear and bright above.
only through the night comes the dawn's first light
and every, everything.
is gonna be alright.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The truth about truth.

In your finest moment
and in your final hour
There is no one watching you.
there never was...
no parading,
no one grading,
rating your final performance
there is no extra credit
there is only here and now
no one is a star
despite how many there are
no one is an extra,
seven. billion. people.
here
and
now.
so many more who came before
and those still yet to be.
seven. billion. humans.
enough to make my head, my heart
ache at the insignificance of my everything.
no one is a star,
even names you know by heart
someday forgotten
sooner or later
we are all lost
in space and time
we are each the star only of our own lives
and most of the time I barely even want to watch mine.
and yet...
and yet?
our lives are an illusion,
our journeys, the same.
woven together
tied to each other
from mothers breast
to our final rest
because
we are ONE soul
born and born again
incalculable times
in this infinite universe
walking in different shoes
no shoes...
assorted faces, races, and places
each you is me
and each me is you
though we tell ourselves otherwise
though we spend most days
identifying ourselves with our disguise
our age, name, size
most moments of each day
time passed away
trying to set ourselves apart
to stand out from the crowd
to cry out loud that WE are here
distinguish ourselves as special
uniquely divinely us.
The truth is that you ARE special
and so am I
and so is he
and so is she
because you
and I
and he
and she
are we
The truth is
everything and everyone
is ONE
holy in wholeness
the definition of divine
what I choose to do
to you
is done to me because
I am You
there is no divide
there is no outside

The truth is:
we are here
in this crowded aloneness
feigning uniqueness
wandering in beauties aimless
lost in an ocean of the nameless
drifting and drowning in loneliness
convinced of our only-ness
only to realize
our
oneness.
plot twist.
because
the irony is
that in writing this very truth
I know, my onlyness
is seeking acknowledgement
of my uniqueness
from all of you nameless
to lessen my loneliness...

truth is always harder to digest
than it is to regurgitate.
ain't that the truth?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Namas-fucking-te you walking contradictions.

Oh Ego, you are a tricky motherfucker.

Everywhere I look lately, I am seeing signs that tell me to shed my need to cultivate an image of perfection. I went to post something less than spiritual and blissful yesterday on my facebook status, and just before I posted it, I hit "cancel". Then I sat and thought for a minute about why I felt I couldn't share something that spoke to me in that moment... IMAGE. Plain and simple. Over the past few months in particular, things have been going really well in my life. Interesting people and situations are pouring into my world in abundance. I've been feeling really good most of the time energetically. I'm finding my roots and growing in ways that have been a long time coming... During this time I have written and published several poems and articles that have explored some deep recesses of my heart and soul. I have spent time in places that have broken the cracks in my being wide open. Have connected with many beautiful humans, and have experienced a few particularly intimate encounters that have been massive sources of growth and joy in my life. For all of this, and for my life in general, for my family, my health, my friends, and my connection to the divine, I have enormous gratitude. Most of my posts these days on social media consist of expressing this gratitude, exposing bits of vulnerability, allowing myself to unabashedly share my inner strength, spoken out loud to the world through my keyboard and onto your screen.

Its been an amazing ride. I have received so much support and acknowledgement from men and women from all over the earth, those I have know for years, and those I have never met, but that my words have connected with. For these connections and responses... for this incredible support, I have never felt more blessed in my life. But this grateful, wise, strong me is NOT the sum of who I am. My ego tries to tell me that this holier, shinier version of me is the only one I should embrace, should be only moving in ways that encourage her growth. That my less than holy thoughts should not be expressed. That I might alienate all these people who have recently been such a source of uplifting support. Perhaps a wise and strong woman should not talk about the days that nothing was accomplished because of my lack of motivation... my laziness. Or that a secure and self loving woman should not in moments of weakness and desperation share with the public eye that though I am self loving, and self respecting, sometimes I feel so lonely and in need of a lover, of a partner, that my sadness consumes me for a time. Does a strong woman wallow in self pity sometimes? Does a great mother have moments when she'd give damn near anything for an hour of child-free bliss... peace and quiet. Does a grateful and spiritually strong person have days when reading or hearing other people constantly, consistently, and ONLY expressing gratitude and spiritual notions is actually infuriating.

I find myself wondering if some people really are truly able to stay in that place of loving gratitude and white light ALL THE TIME, or if its an act to manipulate public opinion of them. To maintain a pedestal or cultivate a guru image... I am tempted, myself, to do the same, and I wonder if perhaps these beings who appear on social media and in social gatherings to fart white light and radiate loving kindness 24/7 actually do experience the same moments of self doubt, frustration, anger at injustices in life and the larger world... do they just not express them? Is expressing our less than desirable traits and weak moments in time somehow failing? Does it make us less worthy of the admiration or appreciation of others?

I'm not sure how the rest of the world sees it, but I am realizing that the people I feel the most genuine respect for are the ones who don't have a polished image. Those who occasionally slip up with an expression of ignorance, or an insanely awkward statement. People who's actions and interests are seemingly in conflict at times. The ones who have an occasional angry rant where they acknowledge that we live in a world that is not only beautiful and full of abundance, but is also simultaneously full of selfish assholes, greedy douchebags, hypocrites, starvation, mayhem, political corruption, murder, and so very many reasons to despair. To watch people who come across my newsfeed with only puppies and unicorns, Gandhi quotes, beautiful images of home-cooked gourmet meals, and "Namaste"s is almost as depressing and soul crushing as watching those who only ever have something angry, morbid, or bitter to say. Why can't we be both our light and our dark? Why can't I have days, moments, sometimes even weeks where I am on top of the world, where it seems that there is magic around every corner and that blessings are abundant and that I can't help but let that spill out into my virtual avatar and onto your wall. On the flip side why can't I have days where I've heard one too many lies out of the mouths of old white men with blood stained hands to keep my fucks and shits to myself. Why can't I write a rant about how annoying it is to be told over and over by so many well-meaning but IMHO sorely misguided folks that voting is THE solution to the fucked up world we live in...

Can I love being with people but also tell you that my social awkwardness feels crippling sometimes? Can I go to a heart opening Kirtan ceremony one night to be filled with loving gratitude, and don a Guy Fawks mask at a rally the following night, filled with righteous indignation and anger at the intrusions and violence of the police state?  Can I be a feminist and still express that I think that many of the ideals and statements of the women on my feminist Facebook groups are incredibly misplaced, even though the rest of the ladies all seem to be in agreement. Can I believe in equal rights for women and still want a man to be the head of my household? Can I be strong and independent and still melt when men tell me I'm beautiful and bring me flowers? Can I be a yoga practitioner who is not currently keeping a regular Asana practice. A holistic lifestyle embracing, natural food eater who took a Tylenol last week and eats wheat bread and bacon, and who even (gasp) ate a hot dog and macaroni and cheese for dinner last night. Can I believe in freely giving love, in not owning our romantic partners, and still not want to share my lover with any other? Can I offer blessings with one breath and spout a "fuck that" in the next? Can I be a non-armpit-shaving hippie girl who likes blue eyeliner? A barefoot gardener who smiles at seeing red toenails against my compost stained toes. A homesteader who sometimes lets the veggies I busted my ass to grow, rot away on the counter because I can't find the motivation to make myself fire up the pressure-canner? Can I be an environmentalist who sometimes grabs a Poland Springs bottle at the gas station. Can I be a peace activist, humanist, and prefer-to-be-pacifist who loudly defends my right to keep my guns and would put a hole through someone who was threatening the lives of my family? Why do we have to fit ourselves into these neat and tidy stereotypes? Can't I be a walking, breathing, living, loving, fighting, lonely, self loving, securely insecure, beautiful contradiction. Can you be too? Can't we drop our images... our need to be only seen at our best?

Maybe it's the power of the full moon in Taurus bringing this rebellious inner child out in me, or maybe astrology is superstitious bullshit (I don't know if I'll ever make up my mind one way or another and I'm okay with that), but I am dropping my image polishing act. I invite you to do the same. The fart jokes and the uplifting quotes. The amazing homemade kale salads and the leftover Dunkin Donut's bagels. The good, the bad, and the ugly, I love you all the more for your realness my friends. Let it all hang out! Namaste and have an abso-fucking-lutely amazing day...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vulnerability in the Face of Fear

 I couldn't sleep tonight... Faces of old flames and flings flashing through my mind... I thought about calling one I still talk with from time to time, asking him where ( I went ) we went wrong... maybe that would help me understand this question I've been asking myself lately.... Where do I keep stumbling in my (over before they've hardly even begun) relationships? What is my pattern?

I thought about my first boyfriend... the first time I ever "made out" at sixteen. How awkward and unsure I felt. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, and I was afraid of it going further than I was ready for if I responded too much. Afterward he told some of our coworkers that he cheated on me because I just laid there. I thought about boys I had crushes on as a teenager.. especially about the boy who drunkenly took my innocence at nineteen.. The one I adored, even though he wouldn't be my boyfriend. I only wanted him to kiss me and hold me and tell me he loved me. I didn't want it from him that way. I told him NO. Many times in those moments before... When he forcefully entered anyway, I pretended to enjoy it... told myself that this was love-making like in those romantic movies. What else could I do? I had kissed him... curled up next to him on his bed... I practically gave him permission by being in his bed. Anyway, I was probably just a chicken, and it was good I got THAT
over with... now, I wouldn't have to worry about my "first time" anymore. That house was full of friends and colleagues. I supposed I could have stopped it, faced the embarrassment, anything would have woken the dozens of bodies sleeping under that roof, but I had no idea that making love wasn't supposed to hurt.

I thought about the guys I barely knew, but clung to in my desperation for validation that I was loveable. I though about the  couple close guy friends that I really had loved but was unable to keep... I thought a lot about the paranoid eyes of the man I had stayed with the longest, and about how my body felt slamming into that indented wall. I thought about the women whose gentle, safe arms I fell into for a moment or three to escape the threat of men... I thought about all the men whose hearts were an abyss of unavailability. Those who lived too far away or had no time and space for me... the ones who were somewhere else, or with someone else. The men too old or too young or simply walking very different paths then my own but that for some reason I STILL poured so much of my energy into... Tossing and turning in my bed, I thought and thought about why? What is the pattern...  What is the lesson? Where is the mistake I keep making time after time? Faces and kisses passing before my minds eye... faster and faster... Why? They had nothing in common except..... except ME.

Then like a ton of bricks in the dead of night, it hit me.... I am the same girl as I was when I laid there, paralyzed by fear, at sixteen... I am TERRIFIED at truly connecting with men. Terrified of intimacy, real multi-dimensional, lasting emotional intimacy. And I am terrified to even admit that out loud... to expose that vulnerability. The truth is, I have no idea how to relate in a healthy way to men...

I have struggled so much with trying to find what is a healthy expression of my femininity...  From the time I was very young, and realized that me being a girl meant mostly that I was supposed to be something other than what the boys I was friends with could be. My baseball cap and holy blue jeans didn't fool anyone.. As I grew our differences became more obvious. I wasn't welcome on the baseball team, I had to use the bigger more awkward ball, throw softer, and run less aggressive... Being a "girl" was apparently an insult that meant you were weak. I was supposed to put on a shirt now, though my brothers still didn't have to on those hot summer days. Girls weren't supposed to get dirty and scratched up and climb trees with the neighborhood boys..  I was supposed to want to be kissed by them... and in time, I did. One neighbor boy with particularly nice eyes and cute freckles definitely did not like or want to kiss me after being shoved backward down a grassy hill for picking on my little brother... Eventually I gave up on trying to prove I was not weaker, but just as good as the guys, and accepted my lower status. Sweet Valley Twins books and Saved by the Bell on TV said I was supposed to talk silly, use the word "like" a whole lot, and twist my hair with my fingers while I giggled... I was supposed to wear a bra so my breasts wouldn't bounce too much, and definitely not run when boys might be watching. My best friend and I decided we should swing our hips more. So I wiggled when I walked, but it only made me feel more awkward and stiff.  Maybe I was supposed to color my lips with that oily, bad tasting, salmon colored avon crap if I wanted someone to kiss me like Jack kissed Rose in Titanic.... And then there were the magazines I found under my older brother's bed, and in the tree house out in the woods that belonged to those neighborhood boys... Was I supposed to make faces like those?! Yikes! Was my body supposed to do THAT with a guy if they kissed me?! I knew I wanted someone to kiss me... and I knew that because I didn't have a penis I wasn't supposed to play hardball... And that being a girl was nowhere near as good as being a boy. Beyond that I wasn't sure how I was supposed to relate with boys once our differences became apparent and friendships became complicated. I tried giggling when a crude coworker at my first job at the McDonalds asked me to go out with him because I had big boobs. Soon after, I tried drinking more than I knew I should because it would make me feel less awkward around the guys, made it easier to accept their domination. In my naivety I tried being flirty back at their dirty, as if I had just tons of experience. I tried being cute and sweet... or smart and sassy... As time went on, I tried just submitting to the one I loved even though he hadn't respected my "NO". I tried being a best friend to one and still was left in the dust. I tried being EVERYTHING to someone and anything I thought they wanted me to
be. I even tried giving my soul up to one, out of my twisted idea of love, intimacy, and what it meant to be a supportive woman. Then after ending up completely broken and tangled in a heap of pain, I wrapped myself with layers of undesirability by eating my fear. Finally, I picked myself up by the boot straps, hit the road running, shaved off my long beautiful hair, and tried being so tough and so strong, so quick on the draw, so fiercely independent, determined to see even the slightest hint of deviousness in everything masculine, that NO ONE could penetrate that barbed wire and chastity belt. And then... I grew SO sick, and so very tired of trying to be anything. Except. ME.

A little at a time I have been learning who ME is... most of the time I think I have an pretty good idea of that now. She (me) and I have become rather good friends. I am growing more solid in myself and my wholeness every day.   I still struggle, though, with allowing the feminine in me to find her true expression. To let her be strong and secure, yet soft and receptive... firm but yielding... I fumble at times with being a healthy "her" as a lone woman standing on my own two feet... I have difficulties as a single mother trying to embrace my feminine while also strongly embodying the masculine in playing both roles trying to raise up my young son to be a good man...
So when life throw the threat of intimacy with a sturdy, red blooded, passionate, intelligent, emotionally and physically available man into the mix... Holy Shit. Life suddenly resembles a panic attack. My heart is pounding, thoughts racing. I can't breathe. I can't think clearly. My emotions shift into overdrive. My words are scattered. I am that same sixteen year old laying in that dirty bedroom that smelled like old stinky socks with my twenty one year old manager on top of me. I am that nineteen year old with a gigantic crush on her rapist. I am that twenty five year old being a martyr for her abuser.  Terrified that I have no idea what to do, how to do this "right". Terrified to take power... terrified to give it all away... Terrified to trust in someone that might use any vulnerability to crush me or control me.... To let someone in who might wreck everything I've worked so hard to build for myself. In my panic and terror, it seems the only thing to do is to flee as fast as my
legs can carry me, or to take up arms and fire a warning shot to send him packing.

I thought about all of this tonight, and though I am not sure what tomorrow will bring... somehow just realizing it... Admitting to myself that I am scared shit-less by intimacy with men, gives me hope that I can begin to find my way past it. Maybe understanding and speaking this out loud to the world might be the next step I needed to take toward healing this fearful heart of mine. A crucial breakthrough in finally finding true intimacy... with someone who is not insecure, violent and controlling or devious and manipulative predators as so many of my early tastes of men were, but is also not safely emasculated or unavailable as have been so many that I have spent my devotions on in recent years...

So, this goes out to the men out there who are maybe just as terrified of approaching me as I have been of opening to you... Or maybe it'll speak to just one of you, 'cause really all I need is just one right man today to sweep away all of yesterday's wrong ones. If you are striving to be whole.. if you are so close to wholeness that you can taste it, mostly steady in what it means to be a healthy man, but maybe still struggling with relating to women. Lets do this together. Lean into each other's edges and learn as we go. I won't bite if you don't... If you are a man who knows what it is to be comfortable and grounded in your masculinity, may I make a request from the bottom of my opening, loving, lady heart? I will try my best to resist the urge to shoot or run. Please be patient with me as I drop my guard a little at a time. Comfort my fears, embrace me in my tears, invite me to get close, gently disarm me in your presence, and encourage me to stand strong in my femininity. I
will let you share much of the lead and open doors for me, but will walk on my own and carry most of my own baggage. I will soften these arms that keep you at a distance and lean on you just a little, if you'll promise to treat me as your beloved, and not like your pet, your property, or your prey. I will receive you into my heart and passionately welcome you into my body if you can show me that you genuinely care more about lovingly penetrating into my soul than my vagina (thought I don't fault you for desiring both). If you give it to me, I will gently hold your heart as my most precious treasure. Show me you are secure, and I will melt for you. I am tired of being a wide eyed doe, with wolves around every tree.  I don't want to have to stand sentry to my home and heart 24 hours a day, and I don't want to be afraid of you anymore. Will you help me?