Tuesday, May 29, 2012

hello out there

I have not disappeared. I am just regrouping after a very tiring family "vacation."

Once I've recovered, I will post more. Hopefully something funny. It's getting debbie-downer up in here...

Also, here's a great poem:

Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.
Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot always tell by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.
Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.
Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting, after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest

-Marge Piercy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My garden is on my brain lately.

That I have been finding traces of last year's garden in books throughout my house, is only half of the "problem."

I spend pretty much all waking hours thinking about my garden in some form.

I think about the new buds appearing everywhere.

I think about the tender young vegetables I am putting in the ground.

And how I can get rid of the critters that threaten to destroy them.

I think about sections of the yard that have annoyed me forever. And then I take my shovel and attack them.

I think about the ways I can make it better. And so, for instance, I add an herb garden.

I think about irises passed down to me by my mother, which were passed down to her by my father's mother.

I think about the little places of beauty I am creating.

I hope it brings as much joy to those passing by as it does to me. I was digging quietly in the yard the other day, when I saw a young man kneel down outside my fence and spend about five minutes crouching there strangely. When I realized he was photographing my columbine, my heart swelled with pride. I garden primarily for myself, and the peace it brings me, but I would be lying if I didn't admit it makes me happy to know others are noticing as well.

I garden for the connection with something bigger than myself. 

Sure, it probably appeals to me on some very basic level because of the great many number of cheesy metaphors that can be made out of the activity. I garden to plant the seed of the future...I garden to grow closer to myself and others....I garden to nourish something bigger...I garden...yada yada yada...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mid-May Inspirations

Two things this week have moved me to tears.  The first on the bus (awkward), the second at my desk (ridiculous).

It's important to hear stories like these, and to be reminded of our shared humanity.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ugly robe revisited

The sun is spilling through the windows as I type this, beckoning me outside. My garden awaits, but I just need to get a few thoughts out before I join it...

Perhaps the storm has passed, perhaps it's just hiding behind some mountain I don't know about yet. I couldn't say; this is one week that words really don't seem to get close to capturing what's going on inside. If anything has been consistent it's been the feeling of walking through a haze. 

What I do know is that I've now entered uncharted waters. The last year, in fact, has been a lot of learnings and lessons - some welcome, many not - and so for a lot of it I've had to make it up as I go.

This past week really tested me. I've been saying to those in my life that we can't move through difficulties unless we face them honestly, but damn is that a hard thing to do when it's your own pain and loss you are facing. Still, I know that looking "it" straight in the (metaphorical) eye is all I've got, so that's what I am going to try to do.

In the meantime, I remembered something crucial:

I started this project to try new things, take bold risks, clear away clutter & baggage, and welcome the good into my life. I think I have been doing a decent job at it, but this past week made me realize it's really time for me to get serious.

It's time for me to buy that robe. Otherwise, what sort of hypocrite am I?

Did you think it was going to be something more monumental than that? Sorry to disappoint...

I said goodbye to my ugly robe months ago, but it's time for me to get serious about saying hello to the nice things that are possible in my life too...including a new, not ugly, robe.

my door awaits a robe

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

goodbye: old love

It's funny, this blog thing. Who do we write it for? It's different than a journal because instead of turning inward, privately, for just ourselves, we open outward, publicly, for a perceived audience, an assumed audience - even if it's never confirmed. Are we writing for ourselves here, or for the other selves we imagine peering into our world? Do we write with the idea of how someone might see us? Does that somehow then make us who we are?

I rushed home from the corner bar just now - literally a block away from my home, but oh rush did I - and I immediately went to the sink and frantically washed dishes and I frantically put on the song that says to me "with every broken heart I become more adventurous" and I scrub away and I hum and then I realize my eyes are filling with tears, and I'm not numb, I am feeling something, I do hurt. So then I came here. Hello computer, hello possible audience, might you want to hear today's goodbye?

Goodbye love. Long-overdue goodbye.

(Disclaimer to the assumed audience of 1+: there might be lots of run-on sentences occurring here. My brain is scrambling to understand itself and I'm trying my hardest to be authentic and real, which sometimes translates to the written version of babble.)

I'm not sure if in my young life I've yet to have good love, love that sustains and nourishes and brings out the part of me that I truly want out, but I have had my run-ins with some types of love. Ranging from the spectrum of really bad and unhealthy to fairly interesting and good at inspiring personal growth.  And recently, I've had a most confused love, a love that tore me in two and that I wasn't brave enough to admit did so.

So, it's held on. For a good year, almost to the date, I've tried to understand my brokenness while simultaneously moving on and forgetting. Those things are hard to do at the same time. I should have just stared my hurt in the eye as long as I needed to and then dealt with the moving on and healing. Ack, live and learn.

Tonight, something brought us together. My own longing for closure? My psychic abilities or sixth sense that something was up? Or my desire to sit together, like we used to do, when it meant nothing, when it was simple?

We sat side-by-side at the bar (because face-to-face was just too much for me) and he told me, after the world's longest pause during which I suddenly knew what was coming next, he told me he and his new love are engaged. (Which I understand seems to imply I am his old love, which is not the case. He is my old love, and I am his....his thing which he has no words for, which he cannot articulate or place in the story of his life.)

The thing that I have been asking myself is: what did I feel in that moment?

I felt something that was enough to shortly afterwards draw tears while washing dishes and listening to cheesy pop music, but that in the moment nailed me to my seat, numbed me to my core. I don't know what I felt because I shut down almost instantly! And that bothers me tremendously.

He rambled on a bit, and in that ramble he brought up "us" (and used the words "us" while also struggling with words a bit, avoiding words like "relationship" and "love" and "intimacy.") And he talked about how this next step with her made him think about a lot of his old relationships, and a lot of the lessons he'd learned. And he tried to talk about our thing, but I was so gone at that point, so shut down. He wanted me to chime in, but I was scared. Scared of opening up that place again and finding that what I thought was dead and done with is actually alive. I was scared of him seeing how much he got to me. How deeply he wounded my most vulnerable core.

And as I sat there longer, I realized that even if the animal is alive in me, it's dead in him. It's so over for one of us, so it has to be so over for both of us. That that is then, and this is now.

Then was laughter and fun and closeness and vulnerability that quickly morphed into ugliness and yelling and distrust and betrayal.

Now is two strangers sitting at a bar, talking around the fact that they inflicted real hurt on each other. Now is one stranger who  still can't "go there" without being deeply inside the hurt, without it feeling present and full-bodied, even if not fully present-tense. Now is the other stranger who can talk about it as a lesson learned, as the past, as over.

Then was learning and hurting and steps forward, steps back, steps forward, steps back, steps back and back and back for what felt like infinity.

Now is two people who can barely look each other in the eyes, and one who is trying so hard to say something he's wanted to say and the other embarrassed by the fact that she's still wishing she had the last word, still wishing she had the perfect thing to say to make him understand, and instead resigns herself to saying nothing - or saying just enough that still amounts to nothing. Now is his release and her sink deeper into the quicksand of her hurt.

Now is seeing the future is never sitting side-by-side at a bar, catching up like old friends do, because now is the real truth that that friendship died the minute one heart broke, and no matter what wounds heal and what apologies are uttered over a 12-year-aged scotch, there is no future for "us." There is only goodbye.

And why write? Why speak in circles about the matters of the heart? Why do this when writing can only uncover a theory and confusion still reigns supreme?

In an attempt to say hello to real love one day. One day. One day...

I'll write until it's real. I'll write until it feels like it could be real.

Friday, May 4, 2012

life mimics blog

Just mere moments after posting my morning meditation, I went out to my back driveway and saw a message from the universe that indeed, every moment is important:

First allium bloom of the year. It happened behind my back, almost unseen. Even when you feel still, you are in transformation.

beyond the bloom

(Writer's Note: This past Sunday my computer had a "fatal error" smack dab in the middle of an instant viewing of a terrible RomCom. My computer was definitely sending a message.  Regardless, this is the first time I've turned it on since. A miracle! It's alive. I have updates, but those will have to occur when I have more time. In the meantime....)

 I read a book of daily meditations called Journey to the Heart.  Today's was just perfect:

Cherish each Moment

Stop waiting for the one moment in time that will change your life. Instead, cherish all the moments.  A desert cactus that blooms briefly only once a year does not consider all the moments it is not in bloom wasted. It considers them necessary and important. It knows the rest of the year, the rest of its life, it is beautiful too.

All the moments count. The quiet moments. The moments of boredom and solitude.  The moments of sharing. The exciting moments of discovery. The moments of grandeur. The agonizing moments when we feel sad, angry, and upset. Each moment in time is equally important.  Don't wait and hope for the one thing, the one person, the one event, that will change your life, plummet you into the future and the life you desire. Instead remember that each moment in time brings change, evolution, and transformation.

Most of us relish the magnificent spiritual experiences, those tremendous discoveries, those important times of change. But those moments don't happen that often. The truth is, each moment in time is a spiritual experience, an important time of change. Cherish all your moments. Soon you will see the beauty and power of each.

Let each moment have value. Let each day of your life be the spiritual experience you seek. The power to change and evolve lies within you. The life you desire is happening right now. Your destiny is here.