Saturday, April 17, 2010

A 3 Loop Day

OK if you read yesterday's post, you know I'm struggling a bit. Today I got the 2 of the 1-2 sucker punch via FB. Boo. And Boo-hoo. I hate that this friendship has reduced me to a weeping weak-feeling woman since I am neither of those things. So after I got up off the floor where I was laying after the sucker punch and boohoofest, I decided it was just time to make some changes. Past time really.

I wrote what I wanted to happen around this situation and folded it into a medicine bag that I have had, but that never felt like it was mine. Added a few things to the note and set off for my favorite trail knowing that I would be able to leave the bag so that the ancestors could deal with what remained. I hike this trail alot, when I am stressed or in a crappy mood. The loop is maybe 1 mile. And I hike it until I feel better. There have been more than a few 4 loop days. When I got there I sat in my car for a long time trying to convince myself to do/not to do this thing. That little voice trying to convince me that to not do this thing would make me feel better. That I should instead go home and eat a donut. Finally I got fed up with that little naysaying voice, told it to shut the fuck up and jumped out of the car before my resolve weakened. It has been 4 long weeks since I have been able to hike and part of me was excited at the prospect of loping the woods on this cool spring morning. As I walked I spoke my intentions of compassion and separation to be woven into a bit of intentional magic to go with the bag. It was a good way to vent out those things that existed under the weeping and boohing. Yunno the ones that exist that create the weeping and drama, but that are really no ones "fault".

The trail is a loop that starts on a hill and goes about halfway down to the Ohio river. As I hiked, I noticed the bag got heavier and heavier. Part of me couldn't wait to get rid of it. Yet every time I stopped at a likely place there was a visceral NO that accompanied the thought of letting go, of finishing the ritual I had started. So on I walked until there were no more words that came. About 3/4 of the way around on my 2nd trip around the loop I stopped to stretch in the sun just before the uphill section to come. This little spot felt so good to me. I knew it could hold what I had to shed. About half-way up the hill on the right off the trail, there was a beautiful little tree who graciously accepted the care of my bundle. I kissed it once, gave it over to her and let it go. OK, truth be told, there was another boohoofest altho it was a minor one.

I hiked back down to the trail and started the sloping uphill climb. 2 things hit me as I climbed. I felt lighter. And I felt stronger. My legs now easily eating up the trail in long strides so that the last 1/4 of the trail was finished in no time. I paused at the bench and sat for a moment. Not because I was winded, but because the moment called for sitting. In that quiet I hear a familiar voice say Make the loop again. I have gobs of energy still and my legs feel fresh. So off I go.

This time the trail feels fresh, green and alive. The trees, the birds and the lone doe I startle all greet me as I pass. The wind rustles the leaves of the towering oaks and their words are wafted to me on the breeze - a hundred year old song delights my ears and wipes away the residual heaviness of a morning spent in tears. It is their gift to any who listen. And I had been so caught up that I had heard none of it on the previous two laps. For the first time of the day a smile tugs the corners of my mouth as I close my eyes and just listen. I don't know how long I stood there and don't care either. It was the best music I have heard in ages. I turn away from the river to make the climb for the 3rd time. My legs still feel bouncy and fresh. As I walk up the hill, I do not acknowledge the bundle where it hangs in the tree. It is no longer mine. A few steps further down the trail I am joined by a presence I have never met - an elderly woman. One of the Grandmothers.

She keeps apace with me as I continue climbing. Her presence is the soul of comfort. Before we part ways she says one thing to me - The kind woman follows the path of her heart. The smart woman follows the path of her mind. A wise woman follows both. This it seems is my first lesson of crone wisdom.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I went to dinner with a friend of mine last night. In the middle of much laughter, truly thought-provoking conversation and some interesting food, a woman sat down at the table a couple down from us. My heart skipped a beat, my stomach tried to take a powder via my mouth and suddenly the food that had been so tasty only moments before, now tasted like ash in my mouth. The conversation tapered as my friend noticed my reaction. She didn't ask, but she watched me watching this young woman in her late 20's or early 30's and could tell something was up. It's not like I am good at hiding it. She waited for me to spill it.

I try not to stare. Try not to let my eyes fill with either hate or tears - both of which I am feeling in spades. Try to stay in my place instead of going to the bathroom where I can melt down in peaceful privacy. This young woman hasn't done or said anything to warrant that reaction. As far as I know I do not even know her. The thing is that she looks rather like the young woman an ex-lover is now dating (thank you FB for sucking up my life in new and stupid ways like that). I know she isn't her, but the resemblance is enough that I hate her - even though I try to make myself reel that shit back in. Even if she were that young woman, that hate would be unwarranted. But I cannot stop myself. THAT is what I feel in the moment. Oh it's fucked up and I know it. And I will spend many hours making up for this bit of bad juju I have let loose in the world.

I try to understand why I feel this way still sometimes. Jealousy - absolutely! Jealous of any woman who shares his bed or his heart or his time even if I know it won't last. Not that crazy-ass tire slashing kinda COPS jealous. But envious of what I no longer have. Sad that that is so. It's human nature to want to be the one who is chosen and not the one left standing alone like the cheese. I definitely do not like the Cheese position! HURT - OMFG yeah. Hurt that I was desirable as a friend, but as a lover I guess I was inadequate. I don't really know because he never told me why. He just moved on. Leaving me to play out every conversation and try to pinpoint what the hell happened instead of offering me the courtesy of an explanation for his choices. I am tired of trying to solve the riddle. Tired of the harshness of it all. Tired of being the cheese. Tired of being reminded by this woman's presence that I was somehow just not enough.

Note: Please don't read this and get angry for me or be sad or anything else. It's my junk to figure out. I don't feel this way all the time, but it does hit me from time to time. I process my junk by writing about it and I guess I hope if I do that I will understand why this one hurts more than any of the others.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blog-y Bits

My friend Fabeku refers to his blog as blog-y bits, which made me laugh because it reminded me of naughty bits - a decidedly British euphemism for genitalia. Yes, I have the innate sense of humor of a 5th year British schoolboy. Blog pre-cursors are partially formed blog ideas, sparks of blog worthy thoughts and generally naughty behaving little shits to me, so blog-y bits seems a good name for them.

Seems while I was off in the remote reaches of Oxy-land where time passes differently, where thoughts go on forever and where writing is something one plans to do in the far off land of Tomorrow, unrest has been growing among my blog-y bits. In fact, they seem close to open blog-y bit rebellion because I have ignored them in favor of my navel lint for the last 4 weeks. To the blog-y bits this is apparently just unacceptable.

Most of you may not know this, but actual blogs start as these blog-y bits that live in your brain like a parasite. They are nothing at all like the finished blogs you see posted here all sensically behaved and gramatically correct - but they can, if attended to properly, become one of those. The blog-y bits are rather more self-absorbed and need to be petted and groomed and told regularly how awesome they are. And if left on their own for too long, they get kinda pissy. Some will become hairy little nomads that wander off to the far reaches of the cranium and will require the grooming process to begin all over. That is IF they can be roped and tied again at all. The little princess blog-y bits just stamp their slippers, get huffy and stalk off demanding that your head be removed for ignoring them, trailing pink sparkles as they go. That trail makes them easy to find, although coaxing them back can be quite challenging and may require the use of a magic apple or a unicorn.

Some will begin to meet in secret dark cranial places with other blog-y bits and THAT is when the trouble starts. Others cannot stand to be too overcrowded such that another blog-y bit interloper invades their space. If that happens they have the evil habit of disapparating at will. Generally just as I sit down to write them. It's some kind of passive-aggressive blog-y bit head game. Sometimes they will resurface. Always on their own timetable. More often they are gone forever

I always feel the most spectacular ones are also the ones that have little patience when it comes to hanging around unitl I get to them? And I wonder which Pulitzer-potential blog-y bits went AWOL in the last 4 weeks?

Oh shit! Did I just hear one over there scream 'You'll never take our freedom'!?! Gotta go.


In the 70's I discovered the mobiles of Alexander Calder and became fascinated with the idea of art that moves. Art so delicate that a small breath will set the pieces in motion. Blowing on one of these made me feel like a God. In some strange twist though I only knew about the mobiles. It took 10 years for me to discover the work that he created in counterpoint to the mobiles known as stabiles - large megalithic pieces of sheet metal painted in primary colors that seemingly bent and swayed, but were deeply rooted in place. That made me love Calder even more. The idea that one artist could create pieces celebrating both movement and non-movement held my thoughts.

Today I got up and did something I never do. I flicked on the TV while I ate breakfast. Images of the earthquake in rural China and Tibet half a world away from me pouring out of that box until all I could do is sit with my cereal bowl in my lap and cry. Maybe that is why I don't watch so much television anymore. The images are so real. So powerful. So gut wrenching that they take my heart and make it for that moment a mobile. The gust of air set in motion by a seemingly heartless Creator who would allow such suffering is enough to make it spin crazily and threaten to come flying apart. (Anyone with mobile building experience knows they are devilishly hard to get balanced and they tend to come apart easily). But it never does. The balance of heart pieces fly about and then come back to rest set slightly askew from where they started. Perhaps with slightly different points of view than where they started as well.

Calder's works are all about balance. So, today I breathe in the fear of shifting Earth and exhale the balance of Calder's stabile Terre des Hommes to a world that seems to need it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sighing Space

There is a little swath of undeveloped land behind my house. I think of it as sighing space for nature against the constant pressure for more concrete and more landscaping and more people that is the creed here in Wonderbreadtown. A sighing space for me against the encroachment of work, family, and being stuck in my own head. There is a little creek that runs through it and sometimes in summer it gets a little funky. But the inhabitants don't mind the funk, so who am I to complain. After a couple years, I don't even notice it anymore.

Lots of things live back there - deer, shy woodchucks, raccoons, coyotes (altho I admit I only hear them and have never seen them), squirrels aplenty including a sweet black one, field mice and the usual assortment of bugs. What amazes me is the diversity held in just this tiny little speck of land. Was it always like that? Or were these species forced into closer and closer proximity as Wonderbreadtown tried to squeeze them out of existence?

It is the birds who call it home that I am watching today. Oh there are the usual cardinals, jays, sparrows, finches, titmice (plural? singular? not even goin there), and nuthatches who seem to live there year round. A couple of owls call it home. I haven't met them yet, so I don't know what kind they are. This morning though I noticed a different kind of bird hanging out there in the sighing space. Kind of a slatey blue. Some rusty coloration. Strongly barred. When he turned his head toward me, I noticed the small hooked beak that marked him as a raptor, a bird of prey, and knew I was looking at a kestrel. His small body belying his predatory nature. He owned his fierce beauty like only a raptor can. Kestrel are found pretty much everywhere, but I will admit this is only the second or third time I have seen one. He is stunning. He owns the woods for those moments he is perched there. I certainly can only look at him. Only see him. Nor do I really want to look away. I recognize that he probably won't stay and want to indulge my spirit in this morning I get to share with him.

It seems even a fierce predator needs the sighing space.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Out

So I am 3 weeks out from surgery and I will write more about that as the pieces resolve. Today's topic is the place of spiritual time out. No, it isn't a naughty spot I got sat on for misbehaving. But it is a very quiet cocoon-y place compared to where I usually live.

Let me back up and explain. Generally I live in a world full of contact with the here and now and all heres and all nows (oooooo-sounds all mystical weird doesn't it). Those folks working with me on the other side aka the Peeps or the other side Peeps (not to be confused with marshmallow peeps cuz these Peeps are anything but squishy and sweet) are a constant presence for me. So are some of you in a very good way. People I am close to, people I have worked with, people I love - when something happens to you, I often get a sense of that. Sometimes it's as gentle as wanting to reach out to someone and sometimes its more like a sucker punch to the solar plexus.

A couple weeks before surgery, I reached out to my friends for help because...well....I was a hot mess of nerves questioning who I was at the core of my being and what makes me who I am. I really didn't think I was gonna make it to my surgical date without canceling. With your help, I immediately began to feel calmer so that by the time surgery rolled around I had no nerves. Just more of a sense of can we get on with this. (I am a ponderer of all things. May take months to mull and weigh options. But once I make a decision I am all action like an OCD Aries). So although the decision appeared to have been made months before, I did not really decide until about a week out.

That sense of calm came as my world got quieter and quieter. I stopped actively holding space for those around me and allowed them to hold it for me instead. I could feel them envelope me, cocoon me, love me - but I could no longer "feel" them in the same way. Even my Peeps became very quiet in the run up to surgery and the weeks after (altho I am pretty sure that oxycontin, that magic bullet of numbness, interferes with that sort of dialogue. Subsequent experiments would seem to bear that out).

So here I am 3 weeks out and the Peeps are still being quite quiet. No demands. No funny, decidedly pointed, stories from Mama. So quiet, they were starting to scare me a bit. But then I remembered a time not too long ago when something similar happened. A period of intense personal work and healing. Then it was up to me to choose to leave the cocoon - to eclose my bigger badder more beautiful butterfly self. Up to me to reach out and make clearer contact with them rather than vice versa. I am not sure how long they would let me linger in there all safe and happy. I just know it's time to go. And it's a time to clean house and get rid of bonds that no longer serve me (or more rightfully just not pick them back up out of habit). It always surprises me how many of those there are. Now I have space for new things to excite me, new people to wander in and maybe stay, new places to meander.

Sighs......and time to learn how to fly on these bitchin' new wings. And yunno how things always work out for me. Yesterday I saw the first swallowtail. So it seems my teacher is ready and waiting.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...