Saturday, January 16, 2010


There's a way of being that I accomplish sometimes, I want to accomplish it more. A way of sitting with exactly what is happening, of gently pushing away the impetus to be doing something, or about to be doing something. It's all in the trying. I notice it most when I'm with my cats, though sometimes I have to narrate it to myself.
"I am sitting here. I am sitting here with Odista. I am petting the kitty." It sounds silly, but it works. Odista has this way of walking me around the yard, pausing for a moment and requiring some communication from me. Most often it takes the form of a small pet, just a stroke. We are experiencing this together. We are both here. Her head arches up to meet my hand in a way that is quietly affecting. We pause and look around for a second or two more, then she steps off in a new direction. I follow. Sometimes we sit, she first and me following. Sometimes we sit or lie for minutes, hours, sometimes only for a few seconds. There is some kind of communication going on, but I am innocent of its import. I must attend fiercely yet gently to receive even a moment of its grace.
This is different from the moments to hours when I simply sit with the cats, going about my own business, patting or ignoring them by turns. Reading, drinking coffee, talking, staring into space, watching television; I am involved but not participatory in our connection. When I am aware and mindful of our shared experience, I am simply existing in the moment, waiting to have it show me what it will. I haven't decided what the moment is about or what it will lead to, I am waiting, participating but not directing. It happens in seconds, some running into each other to create larger chunks of time, some insulated on each side by seconds or minutes of self-absorption or simple non-awareness. Sometimes paying attention to the mindfulness of it extends itself, sometimes it disrupts.
The other example of when it happens is when I'm working hard at something, manual labor or mental. I paradoxically may be unaware that my awareness has shifted and I am living in the moment, for the moment. Sometimes I awaken to it with joy, sometimes I notice it only by its ending. I'm experiencing a kind of practice and discipline to it that I am unaccustomed to. It is disturbing and pleasant, alternately and then simultaneously. I am intrigued. I want more, but am unsure how to proceed. Calling it doesn't always work, nor does holding on to it. I will practice. I will listen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I don't know how not to be alone.

I have faith that I'm learning. I have faith that someday I'll be both worthy of and capable of trust. I believe in my ability to forge truly emotionally intimate relationships with disappointing, hurtful and careless human beings just like myself. I believe in my ability to make peace with human nature and to allow myself to love people who are not perfect. Even me. Me first. I also believe it's going to get worse before it gets better, and it's going to hurt. Maybe no more or no less than being alone, but differently. I'm scared. I'm terrified. I'm usually only seconds away from breaking and running, but I'm getting the hang of standing my ground. I'm no good at confrontation, and I don't think I want to get much better at it, but I'm getting better at not complying if I don't agree. At not just turning my back to avoid seeing what I don't want to happen. At being able to resist with neither rage nor revulsion.

What I want next is to be able to ask for clarification, for communication. I'm so well practiced at walking away from what I can't understand on my own. If needing help to understand things, even very complicated things, is something you've been taught to be ashamed of because the people who should have taught you were ashamed to admit they couldn't teach you, you shrink from asking questions. Anything that needs clarification makes you feel dirty, like the worst little girl in the world, like a traitor, like an idiot who doesn't understand because she won't even try to think for herself. You just walk away, you smile and pretend you get it and you leave. You close one more of the tiny doors to your heart and you try not to feel it. One more miniscule window that intimacy could have climbed into gets boarded up, because you can't bear to be vulnerable to something so dangerous as asking for clarification, as admitting you don't know something you should have already taught yourself.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Five Months!

Yesterday I started going to meetings again after six weeks of spotty-to-non-existent attendance.  I managed to remain sober the whole time, continuously and contiguously, one day at a time.  But it was hard.  Harder than going to meetings and trying to make genuine connections with people even though I feel like a fake and an asshole the whole time.  Harder than trying to scrape along on my own.  Harder than dealing with the foibles and incongruities of real, flawed people who are also trying to figure out this life thing and do it without mind-altering chemicals.  Harder than it had to be, which we all know is my favorite flavor.  Oh, how very much I love and live making things harder than they have to be.  How I love how much it complicates my life and makes me tired and keeps me from facing the things I need to know and do.  I wish I knew how to quit you, making things harder than they have to be.  I have a sick, excited feeling in my stomach that means it probably involves working on steps and letting it be simple.  I'm going to give it a try.

So, I'm five months.  AA doesn't give out 5 months chips, you get nothing between 3 months and 6 months.  I made my own 4 month chip out of shrinky-dinks, because apparently the theme of my fourth month was, "an' I can DO IT ALL BY MYSELF!"  Yesterday night, in the middle of tornado warnings and massive thunderstorm, I watched a lady in my group get her 11-year chip.  Part of what she said when she went up to get it was, "and don't do it by yourself, you don't have to do it by yourself.  Make some friends.  Make some memories.  Make some connections."  After the meeting she gave me a 'five-month chip'--a two month and a three month glued together back to back.  I love my group and all the wonderful, batshit, amazing, bug-fucking-crazy, inspiring, annoying, loving, messed-up assholes in it.  Welcome me home, because I'm back, possibly for the first time, if that makes any sense.  And everybody get a helmet on, because I'm going to attempt to be myself.  I haven't done it in a long time, because I thought it was really unsafe.  It turns out it isn't any more unsafe than anything else, and it may hurt me just a little bit less than being whoever it is I think I'm supposed to be.  Relax and breathe into it, this may hurt you more than it hurts me.   

Saturday, June 06, 2009

fun thing about AA

Found a version of this on the AA Loners' site:

A man dies and goes to Heaven.  St. Peter says, "What denomination are you so we can guide you to the right area?" and the man says, "I guess I don't belong here, I never went to church."  St. Peter says, "We don't make mistakes, if you're here you belong.  Why don't you take a few days and explore, come back and let me know where you want to be, okay?"  And the man goes off to explore.

He hangs out with different denominations of Christians for a while, and likes them okay, but he just doesn't feel at home.  Then he tries out Islam for a while, and it's nice, but not for him.  Judaism draws him in for a bit, and again he likes the people and doesn't have any specific objections, but it's just not his cup of tea, so he moves on.  Eastern religions are great, and make him feel good like the others, but he's about to give up when he stumbles on this little backroom, kind of out of the way.  There's bunches of smokers crowded around the door, and everybody is laughing.  When he goes inside he smells fresh coffee and sees a room full of people talking, laughing, crying, hugging, praying and commiserating.  It feels just right after he mingles for a while, so he hurries back to St. Peter.

"I found them," he says, "I want to be with the people in that little backroom over by the gates.  What are they called?" he asks.  "We don't know," says St. Peter, "they won't tell us."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Four Months Have Come and Gone!

Yay!  I almost forgot, but it happened anyway--as of May 11, I am four months sober and counting.  And still going to therapy.  And I found out yesterday I've made A's in both my classes this semester.  And I'm gainfully employed!  Yay for me! 

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I like liminality; thresholds, ambiguity, transition, even a little disorientation.  Of course, I prefer my familiar states of liminality and reject ones that aren't as well-worn and beloved, because I'm human.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So here's what happened...Vol. 1

I'm sure it's going to take me more than one waaay-too long blog post for me to tell the whole damn story, so I'm just going to give in to breaking it up into chewable chunks.  I just think in long, windy paragraphs, dammit, and that's how it is.  I have the hardest time in the world sharing, and I can rarely say more than a few words strung together, but I can't shut up at the keyboard.  Actually, that's part of why I'm sharing this here, both to try to organize my thoughts, and so that anybody who's worried about me can get a peek inside my head, help me check what's going on there. 

So back in January of this year I went to visit my family in Roswell, New Mexico.  It was great.  I took the train, and that was really fun, I met a lot of nice people.  I got to stay with my brother and Clint in their big-ass gorgeous house in Roswell and use their Mercedes to get around and take lots of pictures and only see the rest of my family as I could stand it.  I had been keeping my drinking more under control than normal at that time, and was thinking about quitting smoking cigarettes (again) while I was there.

My brother wanted to have a party on Saturday and invite a few of his friends so they and I could get to know each other.  I was totally against it, so I told him it sounded like a great idea and helped him shop and cook.  I was so nervous, I ended up almost cutting my right middle finger off with a cheese knife (whole other story).  I should have told him I couldn't do it.  I should have been honest and protective of myself and admitted that I hated the whole idea and asked to be excused, and maybe spent the night at my parents' apartment.  So I drank 23 Coronas and probably 4 or 5 shots of liquor, that people saw.  I horrified my brothers friends with a lot of wild talk (Sample line:  "Ohhhh, girl, they got this new dildo without straps--it gotz this handle that you grip with your pussy muscles so it's good for you and you get off, and you know that would be hella fun with a girl but I can think of half a dozen boys I'd rather use it on!")  Then I got weepy and paranoid and angry and started a fight with my brother.

A physical fight that eventually got so intense he got scared for both of us and called my dad to help calm me down.  I broke my phone trying to hit him with it, and I fell and (he thought) broke off my front teeth on the sidewalk, and gashed my bottom eyelid on a lawn-sprinkler-head.  I bit him so hard he saw stars.  I ran away from him barefooted and got my feet full of really gnarly desert thorns that it took me more than a month to get all out.  Somehow he and my dad got me in a car and dad drove me to his apartment.  

Where I started it all again.  I ran into a barbed-wire fence in the dark and cut up my legs, and got more stickers in my feet, hands and knees.  I physically fought my dad and verbally abused him as much as I had my brother.  Eventually a neighbor called the cops, and the cops came.  My mom was scared and sad, and tried to talk the cops out of taking me, but they had to take somebody, so I convinced her they had to take me.

I was fully in a blackout.  I remember little flashes, but I had to be told most of it.  But as soon as the cops turned up, I was the best little girl in the world.  I patiently explained the particulars of domestic violence laws to my parents, and even argued with them that the law was fair and they had to let it go down the way it had to go down.  I thanked the officers for not arresting my father, and told them that I started it and that it was my fault because I was drunk.  I thanked the officers for being kind to us all, and I asked them if I could collect my things and say goodbye before they took me.  I asked them to explain what was going to happen next to my parents.

My mom called my brother, and he and my cousin, who is in law enforcement, came over to help my folks understand what was going on.  I went to jail.  I remember that one officer kept saying, "You're 32 years old.  You're 32 years old.  What are you doing?  You're 32 years old."  I kept asking him his name, desperate to remember it, but I have no recollection of it.  Every single person that dealt with me in the jail was incredibly kind and respectful.  They booked me and took me to the nurse, and put me in a single cell in the medical wing until they could be sure I didn't have a serious head/brain injury or DT's or something else really bad wrong with me.  I stayed there for 20 hours, totally alone except for a few moments when someone brought me a meal or took away my tray, or when the nurse came to check me.

It was freezing cold, and I was drunk for a long, long time.  I felt really sorry for myself, and angry at everyone for letting/making this happen to me.  I blamed everybody.  I blamed people I didn't even know.  At the same time, I was trying to be the best prisoner EVER so they would keep being nice to me and let me out soon.  I was being respectful and trying to demonstrate that I would obey the rules and follow orders.  I was eager to please, but also very, very confused and not sure what was going on.  It was hard to sleep, and I felt scared and deprived and disoriented.  I wanted very badly to be away from there, sleeping in a real bed with real covers on it, wearing real clothes.  At some point I realized somewhere deep inside my brain that I had performed actions, of my own volition, that had deprived me of the RIGHT to do those things.

That no one had just done this to me.  Or let it happen to me.  That I had knowingly and willfully violated the common social contract so badly that I was going to have to face the consequences that I knew, in advance of the violating actions, would be possible afterwards.  I was stunned.  It hurt so much I could barely breathe.  I did it to myself, and I had known that it could happen.  I just thought I would get away with it.  I thought somebody would let it slip by, like so many somebodies had done before.  I wished, and I wished, and I finally even prayed.  I wondered why they hated me so much that they couldn't let it slip by one more time, just this one last time.  

What clinched it was that everyone in that jail was as kind and as gentle and respectful as a really good parent disciplining a beloved child.  They weren't doing it to be mean.  They felt sorry that they had to lock me up, and they wished me well.  They went out of their way to help me and make me feel more comfortable.  Some time after breakfast, they came to get me.  I didn't know what was happening, and they took me to a visiting room.  I thought maybe a lawyer was coming to see me.  I had pretty much resigned myself to losing my family at that point.  I had tried to accept, for a little while, that I had finally violated their trust so much that I couldn't get it back.  I put my head down on the table to wait for the lawyer to be brought to the other side of the glass.

When I picked up my head, my mother, father, brother, Clint and my grandma Dot were standing there, holding the horrible little phone receiver and taking turns to talk to me.  I cried and cried.  They cried and told me that the shame in my eyes was terrible to see and they wanted to fill me up with love to make it go away.  They told me to start over, to not dwell on it, to know that they loved me and would never give up on me, no matter how hard I tried to make them.  They told me that they would always be there for me, even if they had to do it through bulletproof glass.  They told me I might be in jail for 18 months, and that I wouldn't find out for sure until my hearing, about a week away.  I went back to my cell weeping, joyous, terrified and aghast.  

And I'm going to stop there.  I got out in time to not even miss any school or my return ticket on the train, and I'm three months sober now, so don't get your panties in a bunch.  I'll tell the rest tomorrow or the next day.   

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

recent triumphs

On the bus, on my way home from vermont, a man sat down not far from me and asked if he could sit with me. The bus was fairly empty--every person had a two-seat row to themselves and several rows were vacant. The bus had been packed all night and several very uninhibited strangers had wedged their rumps and shoulders right into me and slept like lambs. Snoring, teeth-grinding, squirming, murmuring lambs. And I had been good. I strangled no one. I poked no one furtively with my knitting needles, only to pretend to be asleep when they woke, outraged and dimpled. One woman, in a bad wig, lovely scarf, and chemo-bloat, inspired my sympathy and I let her make me as uncomfortable as she needed to to get some sleep. Another was so obnoxiously free with taking up half of my seat that it became silly and fun to try to fall asleep between her grunting re-positionings. I had been looking forward to hours of small-town Virginia and empty seats through it all, and now this man (this slavering lady-killer, this depraved groper, my tired brain informed me) was very politely asking to sit next to me. I didn't know if he wanted a hand job or to talk about Jesus, or anything in between. All I knew was that he could. Not. Sit next to. Me. So I told him so. I told him I was exhausted and had been looking forward to sitting alone and sleeping. I told him that I'd be glad to sit next to him and talk later, when I didn't have a seat to myself anyway. I told him I was sorry and I hoped he found someone to talk to. Then I laid down in the seat and slept for several hours.

I hit a slump between my two- and three-month milestones in A.A. I was chugging right along, doing okay and even going up to strangers and acquaintances in meetings and just talking to them and telling them the truth about things they asked me about.  I even went out for dinner or coffee with a few people.  Then my birthday, then various things, and I started living too much in my head, living for daydreams and fantasies, ignoring the reality I needed to be paying attention to, letting the crazy lady in my brain talk to me, and things got so so so hard.  Grace of G-d, I didn't drink, or even really want to.  Someday I'll tell you how Tweeker Jeezus took care of me in jail and taught me to pray and took that away from me.  But I was tempted to go back to that wretched old way of thinking, and hole up in my head and be that sad, lonely girl again forever and ever and not let anybody help.  Just for a few days, or maybe a week and a half, but it was discouraging.  It's crazy to think I could have forgotten in such a short time how boring and miserable being that person is, but it really did surprise me to find myself back in it.  It was so dreary and ridiculous, and real and scary, and I couldn't think how to stop it.  So I told somebody how it felt, and when they acted concerned and tried to help, I responded as best I could and tried not to push them away.  Then I told somebody else, and tried to respond to them.  I tried to think what I was doing before that I had forgotten to do, and found some things, so I started doing them again.  Like reading my A.A. literature and going to meetings even if I don't want to, even if I'm scared and awkward.  Like telling the truth and asking for help, even if I have to literally choke the words out, or tell on myself, or make myself vulnerable to people I don't know very well.  Like not trying to protect the people that love me so much from the negative aspects of my life.  And it worked.  I feel better.  Not fixed, and not healed, but safer and more loved, and much less dreary and discouraged.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

what's so special about three months?

I am!  I got my three-month chip this morning.  I've been thinking about a lot of stuff, and have a post sitting waiting to publish about it all once it stews a bit more.  It's really the first big thinks I've done seriously since jail, and I think I'm getting ready to start really being serious about sobriety.  I'm starting to accept that it might just take me longer to do everything, and that it won't be a problem unless I get impatient.  Anyway, a big cosmic thank you to everyone at LL&LL and to Hope for going with me and Steve for driving us and Jasper and Leslie for pep talks and everyone who cares and my whole family for just being there.  As someone in my group says, "This chip belongs to you; all of you, because I couldn't have done it without you.  But I'm taking it home with me."

saving my life

Photo by C. of A Passion for Jaywalking.  Click photo for link-thanks so much for permission!
It's become increasingly obvious to me that the past ten years, and my escalating drinking/self-destruction had exactly one point:  to cause me enough pain to make it alright for me to die.  There were lots of peripheral reasons, and I had no idea at the time that that was the point.  I thought I was having fun.  Or maybe I thought that it looked like I was having fun.

That's a complicated thing to say, though.  I hear people share about "when drinking stopped working" but for me it was always about pretending:  that I was like the other people in the room, that I didn't hate what was going on and where we were, that I could be whatever it was I thought I had to be 

Right here I could point my finger at a couple of people and say it was all their fault for making me think I was having fun, or for pressuring me to be something I'm not, but that's a lot of bullshit.  

I was the only one in control of my actions, and I chose to do what I thought other people wanted from me.  I knew.  It might have been subconscious a lot of the time, but it was there.  I knew it really wasn't fun, and that it led to bad places that I had a sick desire to be in.  I knew I was hurting myself and other people.  It was my place to refuse to do that, to stick to my guns and protect myself and to BE the person I knew I was.  

I just didn't want to.  I wanted to wander a little way down the primrose path and see.  I wanted to see if I could let it all go.  To literally let it all go--to inch far enough toward the end of my rope that it was permissible to let go.  To die.  To hurt bad enough, and to throw away enough of myself that I could make it okay to throw away the rest, to make a job of it.  To stop hurting forever.  I thought that was the way to be safe.

And it didn't work.  I was totally shocked about three weeks ago by the fact that part of me is really pissed off about that.  I had left class (a nearly 3-hour ASL class) for a little break, and went into the bathroom.  As I was sitting down on the toilet (I know, TMI, but that's where it happened) I just had this flood of emotion; regret, wistfulness, longing, and I heard my voice say (out loud) "I can't believe I don't get to drink myself to death and I have to do all this."  I felt a little betrayed, even.  It beggars the imagination, even mine, but I think if I had the balls to bring it up in a meeting I'd see a lot of nodding heads, a lot of people who know exactly what I'm talking about and lived through it.

Here's the thing, though.  A big part of the power of A.A. is in the fellowship, the letting people get close to you.  "G-D works through people," and all that.  There is so much help and care I can pick up just by being there, and just by listening, and living on the fringe of it all.  It helps so much.  But there's no way of getting around the fact that to really get weller I have to jump in, make friends, socialize and get into service.  Or at least get brave enough to get a damn sponsor.  And I can't.  I just can't.

It's bullshit, and a stupid reason, and I just can't.  I'm too scared.  People just aren't safe enough to trust my heart to.  I'm just too damn scared.  And that scares me.  Part of the reason I started drinking is because drunks are shallow, and you don't have to let them in.  They're happy with acquaintance-ship and, "Oh...I'm fine..." and not having any responsibility to each other.  I know that these people at my meeting are wonderful, loving people who are helping each other and supporting each other, I know that.  I WANT that, deep in the core of me, to be with them and be like them.  I also know that they're flawed human beings just like me, and they'll screw up, they'll hurt me and they'll let me down, just like I sometimes do.  Like everyone does.  I even know that for me to be happy, joyous, free, fearless, thorough and honest I have to learn to be okay with all that.  

And it's not so bad...I've made it three months now.  I got my chip this morning, and despite being so scared I almost passed out on my way to the front of the room to take it, I made it.  And the attention was awful, and wonderful, and I felt the love through the tears.  I want this, and I want it badly enough to keep doing something that every fiber of my being says is wrong, bad, scary and dangerous.  It's the best, safest and most productive place I've ever been this scared.  So that's my dilemma--I'm too alive to die, and too scared to live.  That's all.  I'm working on it.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

Thanks so much to C. of A Passion for Jaywalking for graciously letting me use the three-month chip picture above.  I was frantically searching the entire internets for a picture of one that I could use and found this one, which is so beautiful.  I consider it a triumph that I wrote and asked a total stranger for permission at all, and the fact that C. was willing to let me use it for just a credit and a link was gravy.  Incidentally, it's also a great blog about sobriety, poetry, life, etc.  Definitely worth reading.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

my age

I've been thinking about this for years, since working at Celebration! when I asked a lady her baby's age and got, "Oh, she's 27 months."  At first it hacked me off, because really, why can't she just say, "About a year," what's so special about three months?  I think a co-worker had to point out that, at that age, everything is special about every month. 

So why not continue this into our later lives?  I know, I know, we're not learning to sit up or speak or walk (unless we've been subject to Unfortunate Incidents, in which case we do often revert to the months accounting), but why shouldn't every month be just that special?  We're learning something new every day, from mending a broken heart to how to really love someone, to how to get our shit together.  How to live more fully, how to cut our losses, and practical things, too.  How to train a dog, or become an accountant, or make a real friend.

Or maybe we're not.  Maybe we stop learning, and start congratulating ourselves for having gotten to the end of all that.  Maybe we decide we're finished, and ignore all the learning opportunities that present themselves to us, and we become Grown Up.  Maybe that's why time seems to go so much faster as we age, we stop counting the days and weeks and months, and move to years or even decades.  We count by the last thing we learned, and so instead of treasuring this week, this month, this year, we gloss over big chunks of years, chunks of our lives that we weren't really paying attention to because we, we've got this shit down cold.

Let's nip that in the bud, let's treasure the smaller increments of time we grow through.  Look, listen to me now, I'm going to talk about something I know.  Give up your hang-ups about age, and aging, and death.  When you are 98 years old, if you are lucky to live to be so old and decrepit, you will wish for your strong, youthful, lusty body, full of life.  You will not care how your skin was or whether you felt attractive.  You will think that you were stupid and vain and foolish and selfish, back then, to be so picky about yourself, so nailed to others' opinions.  You will say, "Oh, God, to be 65 again!" and you will be deadly serious.  You will yearn for the days when you had your teeth, your hair (you too, ladies, and you lose it all over your body), your spouse still alive, the days when you could remember, at bedtime, what you had eaten for breakfast.  Or dinner.  You will mournfully cry, "So young!  So young!" when a friend dies at 77, because he didn't know how good he had it, he without a walker, a hearing aid, a 30-year-old Guatemalan helper with better things to do brusquely helping him toilet;  he who had so much life before him.  

I was 250 months the first time I got my heart broken, but I've learned since then to do it more often.  I was 300 months when I moved back in with my parents.  I was 370 months when I went back to school.  I periodically calculate my age in months because it throws off my brain.  Does that make any sense?  I can't really get any perspective on being 32, but 384.4 months kicks in a new gear in my head that understands something I can't when I'm in the "years" gear.  Being in AA has got me thinking about days, too.  Just so you know, I'm now 11,700 days on  this Earth.  That's 1671.4 weeks, if you were wondering.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's like a four-year-old in here.

"Why won't things be good?" She wails in despair.  
What things, and how are they not good?
"I don't know, you know...things.  They're bad, not good.
And I thought they would be GOOOOOOOOOOOD!"
She is very sad. Saaaad.  SAD.  Just look at that lip jut out.
Are you disappointed?  Frustrated?  Hungry?  Angry?  
"No.  I don't know.  And my teacher is mean.  And my classmates are stupid.  
I want things to be excellent and they are only good.  And I don't have my cupcake anymore."
Things won't always be like you want them to be and sometimes people are mean, or stupid.
Er-herm.  And you ATE your cupcake.  Excellence is an ideal, a journey, not something 
you can just have when you want it.  I know this is sad news, and you're disappointed.
I wish I could tell you something else, but this is life.  The sooner you accept it the 
sooner you can get on with it.
"NooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Make things BE GOOOD!"
Things are go...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nobody said it would be easy.

It's cripplingly simple, but not always easy.  Easier than I ever thought it would be, or even thought it had a right to be.  I thought it had to be hard.  But it doesn't.  Mostly it's just getting out of the way of it.  Who'da thunk it?  Not me, that's fur shure.  It feels like my brain is learning a whole new way to think, and at the same time that I'm recovering something I thought I threw away and shit on and put down the drain years ago.  Something I forgot that I forgot I had.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy.  It sounds crazy to me sometimes.  It's like I have deja vu and jamais vu and presque vu at the same time.  The best part, for me anyway, is not having to react anymore.  I mean, I'm not miraculously healed, I still react sometimes, but I don't have to, and I know it.  I really do feel miraculously healed, sometimes.  Other times I feel like nothing, or not much has changed, but really so much has.  I'm not making any sense.  And that's okay.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ok, maybe it IS a little bit a poetry blog...

I'm going to see the world's best baby!  My nearly-brother and his wonderful wife (my almost-sister-in-law) have this wonderful kid.  In Vermont, pray for my tiny cold tootsies.  I can't wait to see Les and meet his lady and cuddle my practically-nephew!

Lookit that baby, she thinks.
His open face is both solemn and happy.
The light in his eyes says his spirit
lives down in there full time and 
finds it safe and good.  He's heavy 
and solid with it, and she envies
him and longs to protect him in 
equal measure.  Her brain sings
of all the sorrow he'll see if he's 
lucky to have long life, but she 
brushes it away and thinks of the
joys.  It's the same story, really;
told with the heart in the throat 
or on the sleeve.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

More poemage:

Faced with an afternoon all to myself, when several things I might have done fell through and I was left to my own devices, I actually decided to treat myself to my favorite things.  So amazing to me, that I even knew what they were anymore.  Clear head is wonderful.  So I went to the State Cemetery where I had a nice conversation with a stranger, and to Natural Treasures rock shop, where I bought myself a rock or three, and rode my bike around until I was tired enough to get on a bus for home.  I shared my orange with a bum waiting for the bus, and once boarded sat calmly through the meth-head next to me getting bitch-slapped (twice!) by his nutso cohort, though I wanted to feel as though I should have intervened.  While I was sitting in the cemetery I sat down to write and this came out:

Cemeteries soothe her, the comfort of the 
promise of death less morbid than centering.
Long impatient, ever perfectionist, she loves
a goal toward which she need not strive.
Reclining on a stranger's grave, unsure of any
afterlife, she communes more with the life lived
than the liver.  At these times it is easy to 
imagine the day that this shading tree, the
soft grass beneath her back, will have covered her
for longer than she will live.  She arises content, 
prepared to make of it what it will have been.
Isolated graveyards have their purpose, she
supposes, but prefers those that are overrun with life.
Traffic noise should counterpoint the creek beside
the willow, bustling homes be visible from every
lonely plot.  Her favorite boneyard sits beside a 
school--an orange never more delicious than one
eaten crouched among the solemn influenza 
victims to the lively strains of recess.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Uh, oh! She's been writing poetry!

Yep.  I must be feeling better.  I've been sleeping really well for a while now but last night I had a hard time drifting off and gave a big think to all those long, sleepless nights.  Then I dashed off a non-rhyming version of this and slept immediately.  When I woke up, my brain had neatly arranged it to rhyme while I slept.  Enjoy. 

Night has always been her enemy, 
When constant, soothing motion is forbid.
Her head mines the breadth of her pillow
As if that's where her precious sleep were hid.
She tosses so regular, and
Turns with such state!
So pendulously tolls, "It's 
Late, it's late, it's late!"
She calls it restfullness and prays
To God in imperious tones, "Thou wilt
Give me peace and respite."  Meanwhile
Her thoughts sift deep around her, fretful silt.
In the end, she sleeps, or doesn't.  Either way
The sun and she both rise and greet the day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sounds like something I would do...

Watch this man's truck "steal" itself! The way it parks right out of sight makes me think of TankGirl...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I am writing this in the future.

I don't even know, yet, that my life has changed profoundly.  Much later, more than three months from now, I will post-date this entry to mark the day, to have an easily recognizable break between before and after.  I will only cry a little, and it will be grateful and easy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I feel misunderstood.

I take things personally a lot.  I feel misunderstood a lot.  I'd like to post on this topic about once a week with little reasons why I think that happens, and why it's okay.  Something just came to me on the subject.

I was thinking about getting my new tattoo.  It's a laborious process that involves me actually drawing the image for it and getting used to it hanging next to my bathroom mirror for a few weeks, then revising it and looking at it for another month, forgetting about it, drawing it on myself in various areas, lots of stuff. It takes years.  All so that when the image is committed to my flesh for the duration of my natural life, if I find fault with it, I can only blame myself.  I can't explain why this is an important component.  If I should look down in the shower one day when I am sixty and suddenly hate my tatoo, if I should be able to trace my discontent to the oversight of some anonymous tattoo artist I should never have trusted with my future in the first place; this is the moment that I will despair.  However, if I can follow the train of events that led me to imprint myself with this regrettable stamp, step by torturous step through every fail-safe of concept and design and execution, I will accept my decision and live with it in happiness.  

Yes, I actually live that far in the future sometimes.  No, I don't understand how I cope with it either.  Yes, I think it is why I'm so anxious and nervy.  I'm working on it.  It's hard.  I'm doing the best I can, each moment.  Some moments I can be a total cunt about it.  Write me a postcard from tomorrow and we'll figure out the answer.

Anyway, I was thinking about all that (yes, that was just the setup, now I'm going to tell the actual story.  This is how I've always been, and yet you're so surprised every time.  And I'm so surprised that you're surprised.  What a world).  There's a conversation you have with "the non-tattooed" if you have one, even a tiny one.  The, "but what does it FEEL like?" conversation.  Because they ask if it hurts, and you can't answer properly, because it does, but it does so much more than hurt that hurting is kind of irrelevant.  Your skin is suddenly and repeatedly invaded by irritant-clogged needles, much too quickly for your brain to mount any kind of response.  It's a shock response, and the pain isn't so much dulled or killed as put in a waiting area.  It's fully visible, and you can experience everything that it's doing, but it doesn't matter as much as what is actually going on right in you.  Which is weirdly unexplainable.  Like in "Pattern Recognition" by William Gibson, when he talks about the sensation of, "It's almost just like...but it's not."

The two analogies that pop most readily to mind for me are, "it's like when you're on fire, or being electrocuted."  The first problem is, it doesn't exactly feel like either of those things, it feels more like what those two things have in common.  Also, it feels kind of like when you're really cold, like you've been out in freezing weather for longer than you should have been, and you come inside and lean up against a hot surface and don't realize that it's burning your skin through your clothes until it is too late.  But not exactly like that.  More like what that has in common with what the first two have in common.

Which leads us to the second problem.  "Have you BEEN on fire?" the person I'm talking to asks with alarm?  "Have you BEEN electrocuted and frozen and then burned upon defrost?"  I am nonplussed.  "Yes," I mildly answer.  "Which time?"   

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Too much iTunes?

I'm going to start a band.  We're going to be pretty good, and really popular, and we will put out a single about every other week with some amazing guest star you won't even believe, and the songs will be so good and new and cheap you and everyone else will be buying every one.  You'll feel like a champ when you turn people on to us because it will change their lives and you'll feel a little responsible for the fact that they're a slightly better person than they were before.  However, I've been looking at a little too much iTunes today, so I'll be naming the band "feat." just to fuck with everybody, just a little.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Please, for the love of god, buy and wear one of these, everyone!  I'm begging you, down on my knees.  You have to do it!  I am!  You might have to click on "view larger" to understand my agitation, but once you do, I swear you'll be stealing someone's identity and buying a gross of them to give to your friends and family.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

oh, p.s.

my Red Bike came back!  about a week and a half, maybe two weeks after it was taken, I rode past it (on Blue Bike, my new love) on the way back from the beer store, about a block and a half (if that) from my house.  I rode into the driveway (after taking two turns past it to make sure the huge red-white-and-black beach cruiser with red panniers and lots of red-and-white reflective tape that could only be my bike was ACTUALLY my bike) and tearfully asked for it back.  

The man in the driveway was a little non-plussed so I asked him if he was the one who took it, and explained that I had another bike, and that I would give Red Bike to him if he had taken it because he needed it, because I had tried so hard to give it up after it was taken.  I'm still crying, you understand, while I'm explaining this.  

He quickly explained that this was his mother's house, and he and his wife were spiffing up the yard before she came back from a long trip, and had found the bike in the yard.  The neighbors had shortly come over to explain that they found the bike, the morning after it was stolen or roundabout, and were afraid someone had knocked the old lady off of it and done something terrible to her.  Somebody is watching too much Law and Order.  But they called the cops (too bad I didn't, I might have gotten it back sooner, since I can identify it; que sera.)  

The cops somehow determined that no foul play had occurred and pushed the bike up against the house.  The nice couple (the wife of whom used to own Cycles 360) thought it looked like a cherished bike, since it had lights and panniers on it, and stuff in the panniers, put it back against the house and hoped for the best.  They've both had cycles stolen, so they knew what it felt like.  The husband even rode it back to the house with me and met Hope, and saw the house.  They were sooooooo amazing, and I just love that even after I gave it up completely to whoever had needed it badly enough to take it from my porch, it found me again.

I guess I should admit it wasn't locked up.  It was just sitting on my porch.  With the porch light on, and the bike sitting about a foot from the front door.  A bike I ride every day.  A bike that obviously, someone cares about enough to cover with personal touches.  It is NOT yellow.  I assumed a drunk had taken it, because Hope and I had been up watching cable about a foot from it until about midnight the night before it was taken.  I seriously wondered if I should call the police and report it missing, just in case someone got killed on it or committed a crime on it.  It can be easily traced back to me, you know.  Not if someone wanted to keep it, but if it was involved in a criminal investigation (Pung! Pung!  Where's Jerry Orbach?  Who's watching too much Law and Order, now?)

I was initially concerned that the drunk who had taken it would discover several blocks away that it was too much bike for them.  It's almost too much bike for me, and I've been riding it for ten years.  TEN.  YEARS.  No wonder I was crying when I found it.  I was afraid they would get really hurt trying to ride it.  Not that I would be held liable (which I'm sure I would have been--"If you'd only locked it up, I could still walk!") but that I would feel terrible for the person who got hurt, not that it was my fault.  Stealing is nasty, especially stealing bikes.  If you don't want anyone to take anything of yours (even if it's not under lock and key) you just shouldn't take anything that doesn't belong to you.  I try to live by that, kind of like I try not to rape anyone or murder anyone or commit vehicular manslaughter.  Because I wouldn't want anyone to do it to me.  Not that I'm perfect, my commitment to trying not to do these things is contingent on my humanity. 

How funny, then, to find it semi-crashed (there was no obvious damage, but if you know me you know how I ride it--it wouldn't be obvious amongst all the daily wear) not two blocks from my house.  Hope will even tell you, when she woke up and looked out the window and yelled, "Where the hell is your bike!" I ran out in my nightgown, barefoot, and walked a lot of the streets in our neighborhood.  I was totally convinced I would find it nearby.  I could feel it calling me to come get it.  I just didn't walk down the right street.  Then we had a car to use for two weeks, and I was trying SO HARD to let that bike go.  I thought it was some bad karma I was burning off for being a bitch, or for stealing things  when I was younger.  I was trying so hard to pray that the person who took it would have a rich, happy, blessed life with it or without it, from here on out.

I'm still trying, you know?  No matter who took it, I still wish that for them.  Even more since they fell off the damn bike, or decided it was too much trouble to ride home.  Whenever I want to damn someone to hell or send them bad karma or wish that they would get what they deserve or die of some horrible, wasting disease, I try to turn it around and wish for god to bless them so much that their lives become a vehicle for joyful change for everyone around them.  That they receive the blessings of life so strongly that they can't help but change and become a catalyst to spread it to everyone around them.  That their problems melt before them with divine grace and allow them to be the person they deserve to be, spreading love and happiness everywhere they go.  How can I do anything else?  It's what I want for myself and the people I love.  

Not a pushy, evil kind of change, but a joyous, blessed, beautiful change that works by showing what life can be if you have love, and know that the universe needs and loves you because you are you.  Not effortless, but full of the best kind of effort.  The kind that helps form you into who you were truly meant to be, the kind that rewards itself.  The kind that changes the world, and lets you meet Oprah.

Not that I didn't initially wish for the seat (My brand new, $20 seat!) to fall off while they were riding and the asshole get what they so richly deserved.  I'm not by a long shot anywhere near perfect.  It probably took me a week or two of practicing (and a lot of love from my friends and family) to really commit to the "I hope you use it in good health, and that it transforms your life into a cornucopia of delight" camp.  Probably more like two.  

I was so astonished to find it, that I kept trying to give it back to the couple who found it.  I told you I offered it to the man, thinking maybe he had taken it and needed it.  Shit, I can't tell, just by looking at people, who is well-off and who might need my help and forbearance.  No more than anyone else can tell, just by looking at you or me.  And it might have been time for me to give it up, I told them that.  I said, "I worked so hard to forgive the person who had taken it, and to wish it a good next life!  I had really given it up!"  That was when the husband offered to ride it home with me, so I wouldn't have to come back (a little over a block) to get it back!

I don't know what the conclusion of this post is.  Life is beautiful and wonderful things happen.  Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.  Don't take bikes that don't belong to you.  But if someone takes yours, try to think about the terrible life circumstances that would have to occur before you would take one.  I know people who don't have a hard time in life take bikes, too.  I know that people make a living, sometimes, stealing bikes.  I'm not stupid.  But for god's sake, let's be kind to one another.  For my sake, let's.  

I can't handle a world where we don't, because, you know, I'm sensitive.  I can't live in a "devil take the hindmost" world, because that would leave out the people who are not only the most annoying and time-consuming, but who need the most help to get along in our world.  Let's give people the benefit of the doubt.  Let's assume that no one thinks that he or she is being evil, or would take the actions they are taking if they had the wide view.  People who do antisocial things like stealing usually can justify it, some way, just like everyone else tries to justify what they do.  They have a reason, most of the time.  It doesn't excuse them, but it is a reason, and if you think you wouldn't do the same thing in that person's circumstances, I want to be on the drugs they have you on.