Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moving Furniture

He didn't like the way I had arranged the furniture
when he met me.
He told me the couch belonged in opposition
to the TV where it would make for
better viewing.

I didnt consider the careful positioning that had taken me
2 years of testing to acquire
I didnt consider that what he meant was it would make for better
TV viewing for him.
I didnt consider that I had not asked for
his opinion.
I didnt consider that I had already tried the arrangement he suggested
and discarded it.

It was just furniture and where it sat in the space meant nothing to me.

I dutifully and without assistance shuffled around the furniture
to suit him.
and when he moved on,
I quietly

Turns out, it did mean something
to me.

This one resoundly kisses me and my feet skim
the floor.
Then he asks about the blinds.
He seems annoyed by their absence.
He doesnt ask me why or
about the beauty of the light and
how it moves me
to leave the windows
Or how I cannot abide the winter shadows.
Or how cutoff those curtain make me feel
how alone.

He asks instead about the neighbors seeing in.
I laugh and say let them look.
He seems upset by that.

My feet slam back into
the floor.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cardinal Message

I was leaving work last night about 7:30PM. Glad to finally be leaving. When I got off the elevator on the fifth floor of the parking garage and started toward my car I heard a cardinal singing closeby. His rousing CHEER CHEER CHEER CHEER followed by purtypurtypurtypurty is unmistakeable. I walked over to the half wall and found him singing in a nearby tree that was nearly eye level. I stopped and listened. Maybe even smiled. I stood there quite a while leaning with my arms on the brick wall just listening and being happily present to this moment. As if he sang just for us. Him for the joy of the song. Me for the joy of hearing it.

This cardinal then did something that surprised and kinda startled me. He swooped from his treetop perch 20 yards away and flew directly toward me, lighting on the wall not even three feet from where I stood. He looked at me and started to sing again. I stood rooted. Was this really happening? Was he really singing to me like this? How lucky was I to be the one he had chosen to gift his song? It was a perfect moment in an otherwise quite ordinary day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finding God

They say the devil's in the details. I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that's where I found god (deliberate little g).

At a monthly meeting of my Reiki friends, one of them asked if she could pick my brain about a class she was preparing. We sat down to talk and she told me how she was trying to figure out how to teach Reiki to people without the Christian framework in which she practiced it. (NB - Reiki has no inherent religious beliefs associated with it and I prefer it that way, so her decision seemed both wise and in the keeping of the original spirit of the teachings). She then went on to explain that she was asking me because I was a scientist and an atheist. Really? Wouldn't I know if I were an atheist? I was shocked. I have known this woman for 5 years or longer. Surely she has heard me talk of the Creator, or Spirit, or perhaps even the Goddess? What are those if not faces of god? To her way of thinking perhaps those do not constitute "god" because they are not HER god.

I will admit that many of my science colleagues are devoutly non-religious - a few even atheist. But there are also devout Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews among them. Science is one thing that crosses barriers of ethnicity, religious beliefs and cultural identity. I have been a scientist by occupation for 26 years and by brain patterning since birth. I can't imagine doing anything else.

In those 26 years of study, I have come to realize that our world is so richly textured and delicately patterned that it could not be simply random acts of evolutionary pressure that resulted in what we experience. Most of the last 24 years I have spent studying a single gene and the hundreds/thousands of proteins that are needed to make sure that is gets expressed in the right tissue, in the right time frame and at the right levels. I still know almost nothing about how it really all works. That is just one gene. What of the other 29.999 genes that are regulated differently and yet must still flow together like a symphony to create life as we know it. Yeah - it's a lot to consider the complexity. Then to imagine it evolving accidentally? I'm not sure I can believe that. And all of science which draws me like a lodestone whether it be particle or astrophysics, nerochemistry, developmental biology all of it seems too perfectly constructed, too unified and way too incomprehensible to have come into being without a little help somewhere.

So like I said - I found god in the most unexpected place. I found god elegantly occupying the strands of DNA. I have never questioned or doubted his/her existence. Not for a single moment. Do I have the hubris to give a face to that god and then insist that everyone see him/her the same way - NO! I am pretty sure my description and understanding of god falls way short of his/her essence and is merely a construct to enable my feeble human brain access to something beyond my ken. Do I think that my path is the only one to god - certainly not! In fact, I have many friends who have arrived very close to where I am by very different paths. I think that is so cool.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is Sexy?

Sexy goes beyond the curve of a hip or the size of someone’s pecs.

It's not measured in inches or cup sizes but in the span of a thousand heartbeats.

Sexy is waking up and finding your lover has been watching you while you sleep.

Sexy is the way his lip curls up in the corner just before he starts to smile.

Sexy is coming home and finding him in your kitchen cooking dinner. In an apron no less.

Sexy is having someone rub your back or your feet even when there is no promise of sex to follow.

Sexy is the way the reading glasses he so hates slip down his nose and the way he pushes them back up.

Sexy is a man who scrubs the toilet. Even sexier if he never misses the bowl.

Sweat is sexy – especially when it is a mixture of his and mine.

Sexy is being entertained thru a boring workday with a flurry of text messages.

Sleepy morning kisses are sexy.

Sexy is a warm place to snuggle when you are tired.

Sexy is looking up from dinner and watching a smile spread slowly across his face because you know what he's thinking.

Sexy is discovering that place on his body where you feel HOME, the one where your spirit can curl up and live.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dream 5/6/10 - The Forgotten Space

I have been waking up before my alarm. I love the natural way that feels not to be jarred out of sleep, instead to gradually surface at a tempo that feels good to me. One thing I noticed is that I am much more likely to remember my dreams doing this, much more likely to float in the in-between space where they are lucid and interactive.

This morning I woke up, stretched (cat's definitely get this right), and tumbled out of bed. Breakfast in the making I began to recall the dream I was in when I woke up.

I am driving in an area I know it seems like it might be 3L Highway in Ft. Wright? For some reason I pull over. There are a jumble of buildings here - some convenience stores, a old car salvage yard and a sprawling ranch house that looks like its been added on to over and over again. The house, unlike the buildings around it is in generally good shape. I am drawn to a part of the house that looks like it is an apartment. When I get there I open it with a key I didn't know I had. As I walk in I see that it is an apartment. It's a furnished apartment and it looks like someone lives in it. It has the usual clutter of living, but is clean. No cobwebs or dust. I wander thru it and things begin to look familiar. I am seeing things I had. Many of them things that I have misplaced or lost track of. The space feels vaguely familiar and this is my stuff. So how can I have no memory of living here? In the closet are boxes of things that have gone MIA that I have searched for and been unable to find. Things I can remember wanting and missing desperately in some past part of my life, but that now are simply nostalgic feeling. How can all my stuff be here? I don't remember living here. Or moving out. And if I did, how did all this stuff get left behind? Why is it so clean? Did I forget to move this stuff out?

Moments later the owners of the house come home, see that I am in the apartment and present me with a bill for unpaid rent? The sum is staggering. I know I can't pay it, but that doesn't seem to bother me. They dont seem upset that it has gone unpaid for who knows how long either. None of this gets resolved. I am curious about what is in the house, but don't really want to go to the effort to move it out. I get in my car and drive away.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I have had the pleasure of sitting in small group at WWfaC with an amazing woman named Eve (her nom de plume). Like most people good for me, we just clicked right from the start. Each of us requesting the other every semester. Each of us smiling when we got that wish semester after semeseter. I have learned alot about music, about Judaism and about writing just by being her friend. One of the things I learned is the practice of yahrtzeit - a ritual remembrance of a departed loved one performed on the anniversary of their death. Lots of rules around how and when that is done and yunno how I hate rules. But there is a compactness to the word that suits what I want to say today. It is a remembrance of the first man to hold my heart and the first one to break it.

Today is my dad's birthday. If he were alive he would be 89. A chain-smoking alcoholic, he would never have made it this long. He died when this daddy's girl was just 23. I have now lived more of my life without him than I did with him. He was a very imperfect man whose flaws were visible even as the demons that rode him were not. I never really cared about those imperfections as long as I could look up and see myself in eyes that looked like mine, rather than be forced to look at my reflection in my mom's eyes which are hard and uninviting pools of her pain. His were loamy peat to warm my heart hearth by comparison.

I know him so much better now than I did then. He is everything now that he could not be while he was here. He visits me often and I him. We spend companionable evenings in quiet conversation. His presence is a clear bell in my life that rings just for me - leading me to be who he has always seen me to be.

I light a candle in remembrance of your life with me and in celebration of our reunion.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


It's been a rough year for me. All centered and revolving around one person. I had gotten to the point where I thought we were not gonna even be able to cut it as friends and that made me sad. I believed that my only solution was to cut ties to end the pain. But I am blessed with great friends on this side and peeps on the other. One of my this-side-friends, Sherry, made me take a hard look at how the situation really was and how the pain that I was feeling was because I refused to let go. I hated her for telling me the hard truth. I loved her for exactly the same reason (everyone should have a friend like Sherry who loves you so well they kick your ass for your own good). And today I just love her period.

I resisted hearing her. But truth is she has had to do this more than once and I have at least learned to resist what she says less. I finally accepted that I could not untangle this Gordian Knot by myself. I brought in my peeps and handed the mess to them. They created this relationship. If there was something yet to be gotten from it, they would find a way to undo that knot and bring the friendship back on track. I let go of my need to know and to control the outcome and just went on with my life. My mood lightened every day so I knew something was at work. Once I felt less heavy and obsessed with finding a solution, I was able to see what Sherry meant. I had held onto something that was not there. Held onto it desperately even to the point of injuring myself. All under the guise of love. I had been hurt. Had been lied to. I was entitled to feel those things when that happened. But I was the one who was creating the hurt now, in some sick way, maybe to keep the guise of a relationship alive where there was none. I hate failing. I especially hate failing in relationships. And this certainly felt like a big FUBAR failure. I didn't want to admit I had failed. I did it anyway. Just opened my hands and let it go not worrying about the outcome. Knowing the pain of this short term would be less than if I continued down my current path.

The funny thing is that there was almost no pain. There was a kind of euphoria in letting go of what I had used to hurt myself. In letting go of the anger and blame that I had mistakenly pushed outward or re-directed inwardly. Began to see how I didn't even really want the thing I was hanging onto so fiercely. I had wanted it once. Why did I hang onto it? A kind of poverty consciousness perhaps that if I did not have that, then I had nothing. BULLSHIT! Suddenly I was happier than I had been in months. In the next week I understood how my thoughts/feelings had been the very thing interfering with our being friends. Now, I suspect that we are going to do just that. Probably better than I ever hoped. Definitely with more truth. With a clearer understanding of the love we do have for each other - which is really quite amazing. And with lots of joy and laughter.

Ironically as this situation resolved, new relationship opportunities began to flood in. Had these always been there? Had I pushed them away by holding on like that? I find I am excited to shake the sadness off like drops of rain and to turn my eyes softly toward a new and different future. How great is my life?

Extreme gratitude to Sherry, to the peeps, to Homer whose patience is sometimes incomprehensible to me, and to the woman who learned that to get what you want you have to let go of what you have.....or what you think you have.

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...