Saturday, July 30, 2011

For Mary Ann*

Wednesdays are the pivot point to my week
the day around which the others turn.
All the other days twirl around it like the sun.

Wednesday night is the night when magic happens.
I drop every mask I wear and just become me.
All the hidden pieces are seen and
fitted back together into something beautiful.
Everything good and bad is accepted free of judgment.  
The picking at owie places ceases.  
Instead they are tended and allowed to heal.  
Words are coaxed from this fertile Wednesday
ground into the sun and air.

Without Wednesday's influence my week has no center
one day spills uncontained into another
until they are all the same.  
Wordless things that lie on the sofa and
channel flip eating peanut butter-filled pretzels.

I am tethered to Wednesday night
the rope alternately pulling me in tight
then letting me graze off in new directions.  
Pulling me in week after week.  
Returning me home.  
Feeding me.  
Amazing me.  
Re-igniting fires long cold in my eyes.  
In my belly.  
Then chivvying me off into the world again
a different person than upon my arrival.

*This is for Mary Ann Jansen who is the very heart of the magic that is Wednesday night.  You will be missed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stuffing My Face.....

Last night at writing circle a woman read a piece about her eating habits. was beautifully written, but the subject matter - TEDIOUS!  Worst of all it included the line 'Stuffing my face like a fat person."  I was deeply offended by that line.  Deeply offended by the subsequent characterization of the problems she is having to maintain a steady weight with being a loser or less than.  Stereotypes abounding.

Did it hit too close to home?  Abso-freakin-lutely!  So my response was in part related to my own issues around this subject.  The ones I am trying so hard to get OK with.  I am round.  I will always be round.  I love my curves.  FUCK someone who wants to convince me otherwise.  I will pass on that round of Kool-Aid forever.  Our culture is dead wrong about its view of weight.  And sometimes just dying to get there - literally.

I'm only gonna say this once people so LISTEN UP.  Size does not always equal health.  Why is that so hard to understand?  There is an initiative that has my wholehearted support called Health At Every Size of HAES.  Read about it.  Live it.  The thing is, alot of the round people I know do NOT stuff their faces.  They watch every morsel that goes in their mouth like a trained athlete.  They know about good carbs and bad, about glycemic index, about nutrition.  I am sometimes frankly amazed when I see some thin woman shoveling it in like a linebacker on steroids as I munch my way thru some crudite (no dip) and I wonder what her body knows that mine has forgotten?

Scientifically I know that I come from ancestors with the supersaver gene.  The one that allowed them to survive during times when food was scarce while others died from starvation.  The problem is that those genes now live in an age and in a culture where every and any food I want is available 24/7.  Available in Mother Earth groaning quantities of such waste.  Policing them constantly takes a lot of self control which I have.  Most of the time.  You will rarely see me "stuffing my face" and if you do it won't last more than a minute or two.

Mostly I was just saddened that this beautiful woman with a good body felt such anger and loathing toward the food she put into it.  Annoyed that slamming a fat person is still OK.  I mean would a white person in class read an entire piece about black people in a derogatory fashion using the N-word?  It's ludicrous right!?!  But somehow it's still OK in our society to laugh, embarrass and harass people of size.  Our fear around body size is a phenomenal power.  Becoming that which we fear most - intolerable.

All I have to say is - WATCH OUT!  Or I will be forced to kick your ass.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

WTH, What the Hawk?

Immature Red-tailed Hawk
Was out scrounging in local cemeteries with my friend Sno' this morning.  She is filling me in on her trip to the Serengeti earlier this month.  I am trying not to drool too much on the leather seats of her Beemer - bad form that.  Africa is number one on my destinations to visit and has been since I was about seven when I started to dream of being Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall.  Add to it that her trip was organized and led by Thane Maynard, Director of the Cincinnati Zoo and host of the 90-Second Naturalist and the drooling is absolutely justified.  Gargglesluuurp!


Wiping away the slobber with the back of one hand, I use the other to point to a large bird about five feet from us sitting on a headstone and glaring at us.  The bird opens its mouth and screeches at us, but doesn't flinch or get fussed by our presence in any way.  Eventually it flies off, but swoops back by us not 2 minutes later and scolds us again.

The bird in question had yellowish eyes and a faintly barred tail on the underside.  The upper side faintly rust-orange colored.  Red tailed hawk.  Immature variety.

And that my friends is the fifth close encounter of the hawk variety this week.   So maybe keep your eyes open.  The little hawks are learning to fly and haven't learned yet to fear us.  Maybe you can see one up close and personal too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tar Baby Thoughts

WARNING:  If you don't like self-pity and whining then please move along to another blog post. 

Is that big enough?  Yeah, I think it is.  Consider yourself disclaimed.

Today is Friday, a day when most people are elated at the end of their work day.  Not me.  I have been lingering at work even after I was done.  WTF?!!  Right??

This week has found me in tears at the time I leave.  Shades of working in my former lab toward the end.  Then, I chalked it up to the stress of my impending departure from the only job I have ever had as an adult.  So, I have been kinda surprised to have it crop back up this week out of the blue.  Maybe it's the heat.  Maybe it's another dude back burner-ing me.  Sigh.  Maybe it's something else.

Today was the WORST for it.  BAW-LING the entire way home.

Really?  But Mary you seem so put together.

Yes.  I do.  Most of the time.  But just like most people, that can change on a dime.  I turn around and get caught up in a moment like today.  Moaning about my solo life - AGAIN.  I am so fucking tired of living alone, I could just spit.  I don't want a pet or a roommate or a fish or any other fucking thing.  I want a partner, a man, someone who loves me, who looks forward to coming home to me at the end of the week as much as I do him.  Someone I can have real dinner with and not just a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels (Yes, I am.  What's it to you?)  I am more than ready for this miracle to happen.  So far just a lot of empty air and circus clowns.

More whining ensues.  Then beating myself up for being a complete whiner.  Flailing myself with the cat-o-nine tails of how whining and self pity don't match my world view, about what kinda crap I'm creating when I think like that, about being weak and giving in to the crud, about not being strong every damn minute of every damn day, about being such a loser that no man can stand to spend time with me (OUCH), about how my childhood permanently fucked me up, about the size of my ass, about how men are hopeless turds, about being so smart that it scares people, about my geekazoid likes and dislikes.  (Yes, I know that's 10, but my cat-o-nine tails is that of an overachiever)  Mostly, kinda dreading coming home to an empty apartment even as I imagine all my friends going home to spouses, kids, pets that love them.  That vision serving to take me over the top into OHMYGAWDMYLIFESUCKSLAND.  That thought is so sticky to me like Brer Rabbit's tar baby.  Yes I know that's construed as a racist story, but get over it.  It's a fucking story!!!!

Where was I?.........Oh yeah, how that sticky thought traps me sure as the tar baby sticks to Brer Rabbit.  The more I fight with it, the worse it gets.

My solution???

I don't have one.  Am sitting here at my computer dripping tar on the keyboard while I munch peanut butter filled pretzels in lieu of dinner.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mitakuye Oyasin*

Grandmothers in my bones
Long gone
Whispering stories
Telling tales

Are you listening child?

Grandfathers in my heart
Nodding slowly
Deliberating choices
Pointing home

Do you see child?

Mothers in my eyes
Filled with cradleboards
And decorated hides
Celebrating life

You are one of us child

Fathers in my back
Standing tall
Proud faces

Be proud child

Brothers in my spleen
Bouncing anger free
To fly off
On the fringe of a dance

Release your pain child

Sisters in my hands
Stroking backs
Singing fistfuls of righteous joy

Feel the rhythm child

Sons in my feet
Moving me forward
Toward the place of self

Go there child

Daughter in my belly
Tickling laughter
Out to roll along the prairie

Let it go child

Ancestors on my tongue
Speaking story truth
Speaking my truth

Remember us child.


* A Lakota phrase generally translated to "All my relations".   Commonly published as the title to a Lakota ceremonial song.  

** Lakota - used as an agreement much like Christians would use Amen

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Flight

I have been feeling a little disconnected these past few weeks.  Disconnected from friends, family, even the peeps seem very distant.  I have been trying to reach out, but I feel like I fall short every day of being able to touch anyone real.  Not sure what's going on, but there is a sense of forgetting.

I used to set my intentions on my drive to work every morning.  At first it was to see if it worked, but as it proved itself to me I began working more and bigger magicks.  When I got let go from work, I stopped commuting.  I stopped intending.  Oh I would remember infrequently and bust out a few, but did not hold a daily vision for my day.  I found a new rhythm of going with whatever flowed toward me.  I loved that.  What's flowing toward me these days seems a little less righteous so it seemed a good day to start the intending over.  Nothing too big.

So this morning I asked to be reconnected, to "see" and appreciate the world around me that I was zombie-ing my way through.  Then, as per usual, I forgot it and went on with the day.  On the way home, I stopped at one of my favorite undiscovered Cincinnati gems to photograph the hot biscuits aka the hibiscus.  I noticed them a couple weeks ago in their alizarin glory with the evening light slanting thru the petals.  It was enough so that I reminded myself every day when I drove by to bring the camera which I remembered this morning.  By the time I got there today, camera in hand finally, the light was shot.  I did what any dedicated letterboxer would do instead, I scoped it out for place to plant.

This one is a Cooper's Hawk
As I arrived at the back of this small urban jewel, I heard these odd bird calls that I couldn't immediately identify.  I may not be able to identify birds by their song, but I can at least identify ones I have never heard before.  I started down the path and found an inconspicuous place to lurk.  The sounds were incredibly close and coming from more than one source as best I could tell.  Suddenly a flurry of wings and four hawks drop out of the tree not five feet from me.  Startled, I did my best to get some field ID going, but it was just too glorious in that moment of wings and excitement to be all nerdy.  I sat down and watched as the parents worked the two fledglings through the trees by calling to them.  The two little hawks responding by calling loudly (that was the sound I had heard) and then awkwardly flapping over to the tree their parents were in.  Coolest thing I have seen in a while.
This one is a sharp-shinned hawk


I asked to feel connected to the world around me.   I did not end up in this park or in this place by accident.  I was led here by a sense of need so that I could witness this first flight and be part of it.  I asked to "see" the world more clearly.  And who sees better than a hawk?

Now on to the nerdy part (you had to know I was going there).  All four hawks were strongly barred (striped) on both the underside of the tail and the wing.  As best I could tell they were a family of either sharp-shinned hawks or Cooper's hawks.  From the photos you can see how closely they resemble each other.  I may stop back by tomorrow and see if they are still about.  I somehow doubt they will be.  I mean, if I were able to fly, I don't think I would hang around here for any longer than I had to.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I am struggling today.  
Trying to hold on to the thread that threatens to snap.  
The thread that wove us together.  
That made itself seem so important.  
Wondering what would happen if I let it go.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Ever do something so bonehead stupid that you can't even feel horrible about it?  Enter Saturday 16 July 2011.  

I have been a dedicated Mac girl for 30 years.  I have only ever owned mac computers.  I have never had a single virus or ever lost one byte of data due to computer malfunction.  Oh, I have heard my friends talk about all their many PC woes and I have laughed to myself for being wise and being Mac.  Until today.  

I have been using a Powerbook laptop for the last 6-7 years.  I invested in one when I began at WWfaC as incentive to write more.  I guess it worked because I certainly became more productive.  I started to think about replacing it right as I lost my job so I postponed getting a new one.  

Lately I have taken to writing sitting on the couch and just plugging into the wall instead of into the surge protector.  Even knowing that the Wonderbread powergrid is about as faithful as your average street walker and prone to surges and outages.  I have been doing this for months....probably since the new couch arrived.  Or since I started coming home from work too wiped out to move.  

I came home yesterday to find my laptop locked up.  When I tried to restart it nothing but white screen and a file folder with a question mark on it.  I had certainly never seen that before.  Ruh-roh Raggy.  Re-booting.  Same thing.  My little Mac was toast.  

Fast forward one day.  New computer.  Repaired laptop.  The new computer is beautiful and it offsets the kinda angsty feeling I have about what it seems I lost in the meltdown.  I feel a little queasy when I think about it.  But I'm not angry or mopey.  I made my choice to never back it up.  I made the choice to bypass the surge protector.  

6-7 years worth of photos of England, my nieces and nephews, letterboxing trips, and who knows what else.  Lots of writing.  Too much to even think about.  Most painfully about 10 chapters of a book I was working on while I was unemployed.  Yes, there are some hard copies of about half of that, but not enough to capture the rest.  Sigh.....the Universe is a harsh critic indeed. every other part of my life when something like this happens, I tell myself that I am making room for something waaaaay better.  Better writing.  New and different family photos.  

Course only a fool would leave that to chance now I have back up.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Skeleton Key

Old keys that open old rooms
Old rooms where secrets are stashed
Stashed happiness.  
Old memories
Memories of other lifetimes
Lifetimes spent in feckless thought
Thoughts yielding to action
The action of a key turning in the lock
A breath held
Held against the sheets
by a lover's hand
Hands that moments ago
slid down my thighs
Thighs now windmilling 
to displace this man.  
This lover
Against the intrusion of 
the key turning in the lock.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


She pauses her feet
Hand resting against the cool glass

The sign says
'Antique Hand-carved cradle'

Her hand slips to her flat belly
Her body has chosen otherwise

She moves on
more slowly
Somehow older

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the Morning of My 50th Birthday

We are summoned to wakefulness
thru layers of sleep debris
in this place that is not

We rise laughing
we adults
born of those wounded children

Capturing innocence
with flying pillows
that was not ours
as children
but that comes to us now
like a tame deer beckoned

He knows the places where I
have been broken
without my having to tell him.
Having stood witness
to their creation
his sighs in synchrony with mine
for what we lost.

Yet we laugh now like
the children we never were then
and shared joy is the best gift of the day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

8 July, 2011

Marilyn is one of my personal heroes
I could be sad today if I let that feeling swamp me.  Part of me wants to.  Wants to order the jumbo margarita as big as my head and crawl into it for the day.  I have a strong intuitive hit that the newest bf is pulling away.  Not because there is nothing between us, quite the contrary, but because his life is a hot mess.  I think I am only amplifying the angst.  As much as I would like him to stay, I will probably just let him go.  If there is something in there worthwhile, maybe he will circle around and catch up with me when he is free of the drama.  The ending won't be quick, but it is looming out there trying to darken my skies. 

Well....I'm not gonna let it. 

And who knows - maybe I'm just flat wrong about this one...

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I will be 50.  Many of you know this is the time of the year that I set my intentions for what is to come.  It's hard to imagine that my 50's are going to be better than my 40's, but I am excited to see them try to make me giggle more and float in a bigger sea of happy waves. 

I'm not interested in the big grandiose things anymore (excpet the BF thing - that I AM still waiting on).  For this inaugural year of my 5th decade I intend to try something I have never done every month.  No excuses.  Why in July I have already accomplished this goal by indulging in my first ever pedicure.  Heaven on a stick that.  Stay tuned to see what August brings.  Anyone know where I can hit some bellydance classes for cheap?

Monday, July 4, 2011

A friend of mine posted on my FB wall

"Pix or it didn't happen"

and it set me to pondering
about our over-documented lives


When did simply being become insufficient?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aros #3

i am connected to you
by a whisper-thin line.
you are connected to them
by an another.
thru the web we are
connected to all.

Aros #2

Better late than never......

Lights dim to cave dark
faint coughing and rustling
strings sigh out beneath the chandelier
I am transported.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Aros #1

Alarm unsprung
Sun not yet slatted thru the window
I lie watching you sleep.

We're off again kiddies.  July is A River of Stones month.  That means every day there will be a post about a moment of conscious presence.  To read more about it, go down there to the right and click on the blue box.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

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