Monday, April 27, 2009

undone and undefined

have you ever read heidegger's thing about van gogh? items disappearing into their function?

i've been thinking a lot about that in terms of relationships. it's so easy to disappear into our function - security, sex, service ... and i wonder, how do we reclaim the space where we can be seen again? how do we come into focus once more?

and by 'we,' i mean 'me' ... well, 'i.' how do i come into focus?

i feel fuzzy lately. undefined.

i am not the wife, not the mother, not the boss, not the best friend, not the girlfriend, not the one. i'm neither here nor there, neither coming or going ... standing somewhere in the middle, highlighting some, holding up the others ...

... and crushed under their weight ... crushed under the wait for that kinder, gentler, easier sort of life - the kind others seem to pass through with ease and without knowledge that it could ever be any different.

i know, i know! nobody made me do this ... i chose this life ... i lifted myself right out of the old one ... dorothy's house falling out of the sky ... and landing with a giant thud. i am the cyclone and the witch and the little girl waiting for her eyes to adjust from black and white to technicolor and wondering when the dust will finally settle, wondering where i'm headed, wondering what happens next.

and on this day where i've taken everything personally... i wonder what's mine.

it's no one else's fault that i feel angry or hurt or a million different things tonight. it has nothing to do with anyone in particular and the events themselves are not important. when viewed independently, they are comical almost - their depth and breadth not nearly as heavy as their collective weight. they won't even make great stories one day, the kind i love to tell, laughing so hard in their midst i have to pause for breath to continue.

so i'll just say that the day was long and tiresome and ... heartbreaking; not the heartbreak of losing a lover, but that of losing faith in myself - the sudden knowledge that maybe the world isn't in love with me or against me, just indifferent.

and i may have designed my life so that i'll find myself alone, just as i've come to the middle of it.

and i hope i'm wrong.

Friday, April 24, 2009

the prince has a frog in his throat

'i love you,' he whispered softly.

he took a small halting breath and then he said her name.

'don't think i forgot your name,' he added sweetly, 'i didn't; i just had a hard time getting it out. i was busy choking on the first part.'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

at her service

he was shuffling around the kitchen, mopping up the beer he'd spilled and preparing to prepare dinner. she was lying sideways across the bed. 'i don't suppose you'd like to wait on me hand and foot and bring me a glass of water with a straw?'

'don't you know that's what i live for,' he said, as he made his way toward the bed.

she laughed. 'i'm going to remind you that you said that. over and over again.'

'darlin'' he said, as he sat next to her and leaned in for a kiss, 'you won't have to.'

the eye of the beholder

standing in front of the mirror, she surveyed the landscape before her, closed one eye and then the other, hoping to improve the appearance. it was no use.

'how drunk are you?' she said, walking into the kitchen from the bathroom. 'i just looked at myself in the mirror, and i am not cute at all, i do not know WHAT you are talking about.'

he put out a hand to stop her, but she moved past him toward the bed in the middle of the room. 'my hair is all wonky and i have these giant bags under my eyes and ...' he stopped her with a kiss.

'the trouble is ... when you look in the mirror, you're only looking at you. but when i see you, what i see is you ... looking at me. and you're beautiful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

i should stop inserting myself into the places i don't belong.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

99 things

:::99 things:::

saw this here, and thought i'd play along ...

here are the rules: bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars
3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more than you can afford to charity
7. been to disneyland
8. climbed a mountain
9. held a praying mantis
10. sang a solo
11. bungee jumped
12. visited paris
13. watched a lightning storm at sea
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the mona lisa in france
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort
25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden in a gondola in venice
29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset
31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise
33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person
39. gone rock climbing
40. seen michelangelo’s david
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful geyser erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. visited africa
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing
49. seen the sistine chapel in person
50. been to the top of the eiffel tower in paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theater
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited Russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. got flowers for no reason
64.donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. gone sky diving
66. visited a nazi concentration camp
67. bounced a check
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in times square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guards in london
77. broken a bone
78. been on a speeding motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in Jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. kissed a stranger at midnight on new year’s eve
86. visited the white house
87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club
93. lost a loved one
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person
96. swam in the great salt lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

wow. looking at the list, i see i need to get out more.

i hope desperately for numbers 63, 94 (or 15), 12, 28, 19, 50, 4, 52 and 37. but until those days come, i will work toward numbers 71, 62, 60, 2, 6 and 43.

what about you?


i cannot sleep. even though i am tired ...

... i am tired of feeling guilty for choosing to make a different life. so go ahead, feel abandoned or betrayed or whatever else you want to feel. i am no longer accepting responsibility for that.

... i am tired of worrying about money.

... i am tired of looking for a place to park.

... i am tired of the phrase, 'in this economy.' also: 'in times like these,' 'in these troubled times,' and 'we know it's hard out there.' everyone knows it's hard out here. stop talking about it and DO SOMETHING, damn it!

... i am tired of my grey hairs spiraling out of control. even if grace did pronounce them, 'cool.'

... i am tired of having to ask people to do their jobs.

... i am tired of apologizing for how i feel.

... i am tired of being without an ipod. life is so much better when it's set to music.

... i am tired of being guarded and cynical and old, old, old. i want to be young and stupid and love openly and earnestly. well ... not stupid. i do not want to be stupid. (doesn't stop me, though, does it?)

... i am tired of keeping my hopes hidden just because you're scared of getting wrecked again. i am, too. who isn't?

... i am tired of schedules and questions and ex husbands and junk mail and fruit flies and how loudly my neighbor walks up and down the stairs and telemarketers and ...

... and i am tired of this mood. wasn't i fabulously happy just 24 hours ago? hormones are ridiculous.

Monday, April 6, 2009

of coconuts, difficult truths and soft, safe places to land

you know that old saying, 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade'? i don't think life has ever given me a lemon.

a lemon would be too easy. too yellow. too cheerful. a lemon isn't difficult; it's something i can squeeze the juice out of with one hand and then use to lighten my hair and garnish my cocktail.

nope. life has never given me a lemon. it's given me ... well ... coconuts. something hard and lopsided and ... well ... hard. while other folks are drinking lemonade, life (wearing what i imagine is a lopsided grin) hands me a coconut and says, 'here. crack this.'


these should be, by all accounts, the most beautiful of days. spring has sprung in california - cool. bright. blue as far as the eye can see - and i'm delighted to make its acquaintance again. everything seems greener and fresher and more alive somehow.

except me.

i've been in the strangest places lately. stuck between here and there but never landing for long. no longer one thing, not yet another ... belonging to all and none and waiting for my body to register what my mind has just begun to recognize ... everything is changing.

it's got me thinking a lot about the people and places, near and far, i once loved most. it's both difficult and lovely to know that lives, relationships, even shows go on without me.

there are things i miss so much, i ache. and there are things i ache to have missed. babies and weddings and plays i would have been perfect for. a cap knitted just for me. happy hours. donna summer sing alongs. stray cats. a dog in the window.

whether separated by inches or miles, the distance is not to scale. and the question that begs (the question no one ever asks) is 'why?' and i wish there was a short and simple answer, but the truth is, the end of a relationship is rarely short or simple.

we search for reasons; work through the betrayal we feel, and still find it difficult to believe that situations, relationships, people we love could evolve past us ... we move along, caught up in the day-to-dayness until it becomes clear that something more is required. and it feels sudden and heart-stopping. i know.

it's never a sudden realization, of course. and that's what's so hard to face. even for me. especially for me.

the truth must be told among friends and so i must admit that there was nothing really wrong with the way things used to be. i've had men who loved me, jobs i've enjoyed and good, fun friends. my life has moved along on its own. simple. occasionally eventful. sweet, even.

and i wasn't unhappy. which is important to know. but 'not unhappy' is no way to go through life. and if the truth is told, simple and sweet are not enough for me. i want my life to be the way it never was. different - whatever that means, and - hopefully - better. by my own design.

which is a difficult admission for a girl people see as patient and kind, with the perfect demeanor to calm all the fuss. but i am also a girl who bruises easily ... who will go along, get along, let someone hurt her again and again and again because its not so hard to take and doesn't make anyone else feel bad.

or at least, i used to be that girl.

not that anyone would have known it. i hide things well. or maybe i don't. maybe people just didn't look closely enough. they couldn't see that the thing that seemed 'so sudden' was bubbling underneath all along.

i've been silently screaming that for 40 years. it's only now that i can hear myself. it's only now, that i'm listening.

and here i am ... creating the life i've always wanted. and no part of it is easy. for any of us. and the resulting chorus in my head is loud and painful and sometimes sends me back into my shell. i have to force myself back out into the open.

it's painful as hell, and scary, too ... nurturing this life i want to live into being ... opening up the space to find the things that better suit me, to find people i can love without feeling like i'm hurting them by loving them the way i want to. and in the midst, i make mistakes and say the wrong things and ache with the constant newness of it all.

no matter how silly and positive and carefree i may seem.

and more and more ... i find safe places to land ... the tiny cs office ... the theatre ... the steps to the beach ... disneyland ... meg and jennie and lynda and michael and brian and laurie and bj and jk ... lullabies ... pancakes ... and just about anywhere with c and the girls ... and it becomes clear to me that i can do this and i am going to be just fine.

life is too short to keep everything so well protected and unsaid. no one person is the ultimate person and no one is the smallest and weakest person. we're all the same size. some of us just choose to live our lives on our own terms and not care what anyone else thinks.

(there are times, i must admit, when i want to rush ahead and see how everything unfolds. i want to know that all the pain and uncertainty is leading to something meaningful. but then again, i don't really want that, do i? do i?)

there will still be small days and smaller minds to deal with, but they will be fewer and further between, now. i am done listening to the the voices who say, 'cruel,' and 'selfish.' the truth is, no one is harder on me than i am and i have been punishing myself more than i should have. more than i deserve. i can see that now. and i'm just about done with that.

the truth should be told among friends and so i should tell you that i am impulsive and sentimental; i am willful and sometimes, i don't listen. my responses will sometimes be hasty, the arguments poorly formed. but i am a very smart girl. and sometimes, a very sorry girl.

and if i come to you seeking comfort and instead find you repeating back to me the ugliest, most secret thing i believe about myself ... if i open up and you make fun, calling forth the most hurtful ideas of me tucked into the way-backest part of my head ... if you put me in a position where i have to choose between what's right and good and what you want ... it will not end well.

i'll have to fight hard ... against the instinct to disappear ... against the desire not to deal with you again (because if i've learned anything about choices, it's that avoidance is a bad one - possibly the worst of all) ... against my willful anaesthesia ... and i'll continue to move forward with a sense of responsibility for my own happiness.

(and i'd like you to be a part of it. really, i would.)

events of the last few years ... the last few months ... the last few days ... will leave their mark - nothing permanent, like the freckle on my hip or the tattoo on my ankle, but a mark nonetheless. and i am working my way through it.

it would be nice to know that tomorrow will be better. and easier. and happier. and brighter. but i don't know that. what i do know is that tomorrow will be.

and still, i choose to believe that everything i experience is exactly what i need for my strength in the future. i choose to believe the jolts of the last few weeks will soon subside, with no lasting effects, save for the reminder that things are not stable, linear or predictable - i am always in flux.

life, after all, is about balancing, not about being balanced. the sense is exhilarating and reminds me of the fragility of life; nudges me to appreciate each imperfect, teetering moment i am alive ... giving me a sense of my own place in this swirling universe.

and tomorrow, i'll wake up and there i'll be - one day closer to cracking open the coconut and finding that the meat is rich and the milk ... oh, so sweet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

april fool

i am a fool for april. the sun heating the pavement, the breeze, the green arriving in little bits after a sudden thunderstorm...i adore the unpredictability of it all. everything shaking off winter in its own way.

as you were hustling about - packing lunches and holding hands, i spent the day in the details of the store and then joined michael and maria for dinner at disneyland. i have two new freckles as souvenirs.

today, i have been warmed by you in many different ways. and as the moon rises outside my window, for once, i hope you're not thinking of me. i hope you are belly up to the bar, your pal by your side, losing at pool and laughing loud and long ... or walking home, looking up at the stars and enjoing the crisp april air.

simple. peaceful. present. and perfect.

there will be plenty of time to think of me tomorrow.

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