Tuesday, April 28, 2009
An enlightened strategy for eating tells us that we should eat to live, not live to eat. This is a philosophy which I have employed then laid off in many cycles, throughout my life. Consider the food- what will it do for you? Will it nurture and fortify you or will it thrill your taste buds and become something that you’ll later regret and have to exorcise away, as with any uninvited demon?
I once read that the Dalai Lama said that we can live without religion or meditation, but we cannot live without human affection. The dolly Laura thinks that living without meditation might leave me with a bland and withered existence, but otherwise, I’m buying his thought. But what affection is the kind that would bring lasting satisfaction, health, joy… peace? Quite recently I had the good fortune of loving a man who was beautiful, kind, thoughtful, patient, and whose touch brought me ecstasy. He told me that I was so beautiful, that I made him feel things he’d never felt before, and that he couldn’t imagine ever not having me in his life. These are words that everyone wants to hear and believe. They’re the icing on the cake, the turkey’s gravy or the bonus piece of bubble gum.
We loved each other intensely as day after day brought us deeper yearning, affection and appreciation. He had told me that his best trait was his loyalty- this was what I had been waiting for- someone with the depth and strength to go the distance. I’d gone from bitter grapes to intoxicating wine. I did everything that I could to be with him and dreamt of being with him forever. I did whatever he asked me to- it was all so delicious. I would have driven anywhere, slept on anything, or given everything to be with HIM. He was not the perfect man, as I am not the perfect woman, but this bliss was MINE.
He wasn’t happy. He wasn’t getting everything that he needed. I guess our witty correspondence, mutual love for beauty, respect for compassion and kindness, all topped with emotionally physical ecstasy was not enough. Did he ever know how much I loved him? Would it have mattered? I tried to make whatever adjustments I could, to give him what he wanted- even being willing to forego my bread to live in his well. But he said that happiness with me just wasn’t meant to be. He needed more- not more of me.
Diving into a bucket of ice cream when you’re sad is that clichéd remedy that we all sympathize with whenever it behooves us to pity ourselves. I guess a man might be more inclined to wash down his pain with some beers or too many shots of tequila. A woman whom I admire intensely told me that the way to get over one guy is to get under another one. All of these are just not me. My love has a history of change- it’s burned eternally, been beaten into an unrecognizable ball of hatred, morphed into misery and most recently- been my strength. In spite of difficult situations, betrayal, confusion and hurt, I still love. I love the man who has quickly forgotten me. I love the memories that brought me so much joy. And I love the compassion which I have for him and more so, for me.
My lumpy oatmeal is getting cold but as I taste each spoon I relish the zesty cinnamon, the boisterous blueberries and the knowledge that this is so very good for me.
It’s good to be hungry.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Sunday morning, very bright
I read your book by colored light
That came in through the
Pretty window picture…
Lord, God Almighty... I probably should have hit the trails a little earlier today, as they fill up rather quickly after eight- especially on Sundays. The laziness that left me lingering in my pjs was like that shot of heroin that removes you from reality, relocating you into a state of fantastic denial. My mental list of things to do overwhelmed and paralyzed me. My lips felt fat and dry and my body was listless. Dragging myself out of the bed to recycle last night's margaritas, I caught a sideways glimpse of myself in the big bathroom mirror. Was that thinning, beautiful girl… me?
Stumbling through the room, throwing on some sweats, I couldn’t get down the stairs fast enough. We were on our way.
I spent a little bit of time wondering what had made me so unholy this morning as we crunched upward through the withering grass and weeds. It was disappointment- my fiercest foe. Re-visiting some of my toxicant life choices from time to time, I try to recondition my hole-peppered existence, to realize the intoxication of beauty. Why is it that even after I’ve learned a lesson I fall right back into the hole that swallowed me before? So we (disappointment and me) sparred for a quick minute before I found myself laughing in the dirt.
We crested the trail and my head filled with songs, verbs and colorful images, as my soul flooded with thoughts and emotions. It’s what we choose to breathe that shapes our whole. Breathing isn’t a temporary fix- it’s our life's source. Choosing our intoxication is what makes the difference. The more I choose beauty, the more beautiful I am, or you are, or we see in each other. It’s so simple… breathe in beauty and exhale the same.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
There has been so much to endure these last few months; heartache, heartbreak, sickness, disappointment, injury, annihilation, fear and defeat- all rolled up into one big burrito of disbelief. And yet it all happened. Sometimes it was hard to hold on so I felt myself suspended in a vacuum where everything seemed to be flying past me as I hovered safely within my coma. I guess I was waiting out the storm that had stalled directly over head.
One of the best things about being gone is coming back. I’m a firm believer in letting my feelings kick my own ass. Eventually I become the worthy adversary which I need to be, to become their equal. It’s my understanding and equalization to such ills, that become my stepping stones out of there. When you are not afforded closure to a heart ache, you’re on your own to do the circle dance. This is always the hardest because confusion about why throws you off balance. But eventually you get it and then the dance is more fluid and eventually brings you beauty and joy.
Almost every person I know loves bubbles. Remember how wonderful it was to blow that wand and watch hundreds of bubbles bursting into the air? Watching them take flight, racing through the air as if their very life depended on that move. We chased them, we held them, we blew them and we wished on them. The bubbles still thrill me, as do the clinking chimes hanging in my door. It’s the uninhibited bursting of life, sound, thought and feeling that stirs me.
This morning when I was out on the trails I found myself so pleased with how quick and strong I’ve become. We sat by a rock and admired the wind tickling the grass, tracked a hawk’s wide, continuous circle, and devoured the birds’ songs. With every sensation came a burst of life, like a thousand little bubbles, flowing from me. Thoughts, feelings, wishes, words, colors- all bursting like a sudden strike of lightning with simultaneous thunder, shedding a million crystal raindrops. I laughed at myself as I tried to catch some of them because really- some of them were clever and poignant. But like bubbles that were born to fly, and raindrops that were shed to quench- they just went back into the universe where they belonged.
So here I am. This time it’s as if I’m standing on a mountaintop watching my storm roll in. This time I know what’s coming. The doctor said that although this will be difficult, when it’s over I will be free of pain, and a whole better me. I’ve done difficult and painful before- so I am not afraid. I’ve survived (in my opinion) far too many things to waste my mind with worry. I’ve lived a very good life, so I am not afraid of dying. And before too long I’ll be dancing on the edge of a bright, new dawn (blowing bubbles).
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Watching a feather ride the draft
Oh how I miss the wind
Listening to the splatter outside the door
I do so miss the rain
Seeing the snow fall softly down
I miss the breathless view
Smelling the lilacs blooming sweet
fragrance sorely missed
Watching the hawk soar overhead
I do not care to follow
Singing a song of words so sweet
I cannot hear the tune
Feeling heartbeat thumping strong
Oh how I miss your love
When light is blown out, where does it go?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
While the days slipped by
from my window watching
And where were you when I was hurt and I was helpless
Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone else's words
Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun
Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the waiting had begun
And I headed straight into the shining sun
Coming Back to Life by David Gilmour
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Your question from last night tumbled so effortlessly from your lips. Now that I've had the time to compose my thoughts, here’s my attempt at an answer.
On the breath of every question and in the breeze of every motion lives a chance to be challenged. We must open our hearts and minds, allowing ourselves to wonder, feel and trust the unknown. You may get swept up in a cyclone of debris, violently ending your dream. Or maybe you will catch a stream to ride with unabashed delight –squealing- with hands in air, knowing only that this moment must not be denied. Either choice brings a glorious death.
Your question, if I understood your query, was whether or not I was an emotional daredevil. Perhaps that’s true, but it is only when I lay my heart out sans pride, worry or caution while divorcing my pre-conceived notions, that I chance finding a soul with the mettle to keep me. The “challenge” is not a competitive force, but one that edifies this spirit. It is not in being better than, but being secure and content in the vulnerability, resurrection, acceptance, appreciation and trust of another's soul.
In this journey we must first challenge ourselves and be willing to die inside each moment or feeling. But do so with the knowledge that every new morning will awaken us with a soft, deep, beautiful kiss.
but the unheard
is even sweeter
And so here you are, beautiful friend. Quiet your soul and listen. Would you tell me what you hear?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
It was one of those dreams that was completely engrossing, yet not particularly interesting. Riding in a train car that was decorated as it were a fortune teller’s parlor, complete with fringes and velvet, I waited. Although it conjured a mysterious atmosphere, there was a good light within that put me at ease.
There was a smiling man with a pony-tail who engaged me in small talk- none of which I remember now. I asked where we were going but that didn’t seem to matter. Maybe, I thought, this was just one of those journeys where I was to let go and just let it be. Pony-tail man soon explained that we were In the “Monkey Car.” He must have used that name several times over the course of the next minute as I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for my enlightened truth. (Please, God- bring me the peace I’ve been seeking, was the hope I clung to.) It became apparent that there was a monkey in the ceiling, as I spied a filmy glass trap door up there. I wasn’t sure if I had seen the monkey running across the ceiling, or if they were just shadows from the bumpy ride.
He pointed up and away so I turned to see a plain, petite, blonde woman walking toward us. Her blank smile and eyes void of soul turned toward me. I saw her lips moving but could not hear her tell me that “something is going to happen in the Monkey Car.” Pony-tail man cleaned the table which I was leaning on, while asking her to repeat herself. “Something is going to happen…”
My alarm went off. I HATE it when that happens. Like I said, it was a dumb dream, but it consumed and intrigued me. I told the story to a couple of co-workers when I got to work, who laughed along with me. The monkey car? At lunch my boss asked how my day was so I once again told the story of the monkey car and got the same reaction.
It was about 2:00 and my phone rang. It was Lorri, telling me that Caity was in an accident. I asked if she needed me to pick up the boys. She was yelling to someone and I couldn’t tell what was going on. Then I heard her yell, “Oh my god, she’s on the ground.” She came back to the phone and said, “It was your Kaity.” She told me which road the accident was on. I knew better than to ask too many questions because I didn’t want to panic during the drive out there.
Every car in front of me was moving so slowly. As I got closer to home all of the cars coming toward me were flashing lights and signaling the oncoming drivers to slow down. I didn’t think my throat could sustain such a lump. As I inched closer in the unmerciful cloud of traffic I could see lights flashing. There were so many of them. I’m not sure if I was even breathing. My sweet monkey mouse, as I’d always called her, please let her be okay. When I finally got there I saw her car on the wrong side of the road- but I didn’t see any other cars that would have been involved. I had stopped in the middle of the road to try to find her, but the officers were yelling at me to keep moving.
I put the car in park and ran to the crowd of medics, gawkers, and people trying to help. I saw her and she was whiter than a ghost, laying on the ground. A dark haired woman came up to me and told me that she had pulled her out of the car. That’s when Lorri saw her fall. I don’t know how long I stared, looking her up and down, trying to see if anything was wrong with her.
The medics said she seemed okay but had to go to the hospital to get checked out. They were going to release her to me. Just as they brought me the release paperwork to sign, she started to get dizzy. Then she slowly became disoriented as the paramedics sat patiently, observing her. She was saying ridiculous things and was extremely agitated, saying some bizarre things. She yelled at me saying that she needed to get home. On the side of me was the other car which had veered off the road with the old woman who was driving it. The medics had kept her in there for a while and I was worried that she was hurt. She was having chest pains so while some of the EMTs were observing Kate, the others were strapping the old woman to a board, and loading her into the ambulance.
Kate suddenly started to feel sick and was becoming increasingly belligerent. Remembering a story that one of my sheriff friends had once shared with me about a child who had sustained a brain injury, it first crossed my mind that something might be wrong here. The police came to me and asked for Kate’s registration and insurance. They stopped the slow-moving traffic for me, as I headed toward the car to get the papers from the glove box. Her music was playing, her backpack was on the floor and her fresh Starbuck’s was splattered all over everything. It was amazing how the bright light shone on the beautiful white of the airbag which was hanging limp from the steering wheel. It just looked so pristine against the thorough spray of coffee splatter.
As I returned with the paper work, the medics informed me that Kate would be going to the hospital via ambulance. They strapped her to a board and headed toward the ambulance. I stood frozen, looking around, finally noticing all of the people who were driving by. School had let out just a little while before so half of the town was driving by, watching. Then I saw Jake in the back of Andy’s Jeep, waving to me with a smile. They told him it was a fender bender.
The ride to the hospital was horrendous. Not quite 30 years ago when I rode in an ambulance, it was to the hospital to watch my friend die from a brain hemorrhage.
The old woman kept chattering away back there as I sat up front with the driver. He was so sweet and kind. I heard Kate moaning in the back, getting sick to her stomach.
Once we arrived she was evaluated by a doctor and removed from the board. She kept getting sick. I thought it was from the ride downhill, strapped to the board. She was in so much pain, and yelling about her head, her arm, her legs, her chest… It seemed like an eternity, but it was probably just half an hour before they were x-raying her whole body. No breaks anywhere. The pain caused from the impact and seatbelt alone, were enough to cause major discomfort. She started to get sick- violently sick once the x-rays were done. It was just a matter of minutes before they were wheeling her away for a CAT scan. That was my first melting point- when I realized that this might be serious.
After a couple of hours of intermittent violent vomiting and screaming from the pain, she seemed like she was okay. The CAT scan was negative for bleeding. She was so terribly sore, had a nasty headache and was pretty irritable, but it looked like she was fine.
The whole time we were in the ER she didn’t even have her own room. She was stationed in one of those wall spots, across the hall from the loudest, most obnoxious, complaining, whiney, fart-infested man I’d ever seen. He kept yelling at everyone and would not shut up. I was tempted, a couple of times, to ram his IV pole down his throat.
As she slept for about half an hour I checked the messages on my phone. Apparently many of the people driving by saw me there and wanted to know what had happened. Word spread so quickly. There were so many good wishes that followed me through the next few days. I never realized how much it would mean just to know that people cared, and that they’d do anything to help me. Just hearing their voices helped.
She woke up groggy from her nap and seemed to be doing better. The doctor was considering releasing her, and was going over what I needed to watch for, do, not do, etc. He went to write the orders and while he was gone she started to get sick again. This time it was much worse and she was slipping in and out of consciousness. The doctor came running when the nurse called. He told me that her condition was rapidly deteriorating and that they had to take action. They couldn’t get an iv into her. After seven stabs, they finally got one in. She was crying in between the sickness episodes and I just couldn’t take watching it. Nothing that she said or moaned made any sense. My heart was never so broken.
They pumped morphine for the pain, sedatives for the brain, and anti-emetics for the stomach into her, for hours. After the first hour, her body seemed to be calming down. I was so worried that she had lost consciousness. The doctor said that she needed to be this way, to impede the brain from swelling any further. She must have hit her head pretty hard. I was getting sick just thinking about it. Several hours later she was awake and stable. She looked awful and apologized to me for everything. Then she told me how sad she was that she had no father to care about her. How her father never cared, and how Andrew just turned his back on us. My heart broke a little more.
In the middle of the night they moved her to a private room where she was finally able to get some peaceful sleep. They gave me a sadistically hard chair with no back, to “sleep” in. I watched her color-drained, mascara-drippy face, framed by some pretty messy hair, and thought how sorry I was that she had no dad. I felt guilty that I was feeling sorry for myself that I was doing this alone, with no one to lean on. I was so scared. What did I ever do to deserve this loneliness? And what could possibly be the reason that my beautiful children deserved this ridiculous fate that was handed to them?
They kept an eye on her for a couple of days. The doc who came in to release her listened to her gripes about the pain in her arm, re-examined the film and determined that her elbow was broken. Not sure how they missed it the first time.
Every day has been difficult. She’s still in so much pain, bruised all over and her headaches aren’t getting any better. This is day 8 of a very long and bumpy ride. I am so grateful for the friends who showed up, stopped by, brought dinner, entertained Jake, or just asked me how I was doing. Life is hard. I haven’t had a chance to doubt that for as long as I can remember. Frankie told me, just after we got home from the hospital, that our family could use a little good luck. Of course, finding out that I had never actually purchased collision insurance on her car was not the kind of luck I was looking for, but hey, it’s just another thing to get through.
You know, something really did happen when the monkey car crashed.
Monday, April 6, 2009
It wasn't love that you wanted... you just needed a fix
Sunday, April 5, 2009
to the ones I've walked before
the pain soaked wind
blew the soft, furry weeds
who billowed, bowed to, and danced for me
my core grew numb
yet warm tears streamed
down my face and tickled me
the birds who feared my hunters
perched silent in their tree
but still they sang their song for me
this path unknown
I've walked before
I know the dance, I sing the score