Reaching out beyond the dream of what you thought was real, spinning on this ball of life, head now under heel. Ready to die, to live this life so raw, alive on ledge- dancing, hurling, freeing your soul to finally stretch the edge.

Friday, July 23, 2010

her unholiness, the Dolose Lala

When my sweet young boy returns to me after days away it is not unusual for him to coax me into a position on a couch or bed, where I can stroke his hair and love him.  His father is good to him, but mom's love is a comforting food which he still craves (thank you!).  It's also pretty typical for him once he's had his fill, to start spilling his frustrations.  His father isn't always an easy person to digest.  His ways of living all revolve around what people think of him.  This is precisely why he couldn't love me anymore.  I wasn't thin enough.  So he got himself a woman who was easy.  Easy to control- she'll take anything, easy to direct- he's turned her into the boobonic woman, - and she doesn't seem to have too many expectations beyond what he can buy her.  And he's all about buying things- "owning" is about as intimate as he can be.
So, when this target, this woman who was not above sleeping with someone else's husband, who was comfortable with lying about the paternity of her one-night-stand bastard child, modifying her physical stature for someone else, made herself available, he bought it.  Now she... they live in my house.  A house that I own, with the husband that I cared for, for so many years.  It wouldn't be normal to not be angry- at either one of them.  Even after all of these years and with a completely different outlook, it makes me ill when I see either one of them.
For the past month or so I have been being a bit hard on myself.  I had bought a proverbial full-length mirror, to take a good, hard look at myself.  It's been difficult for me to understand why no one wants to love me.  Yes, I know that a big part of that is that I'm holding out for something truly terrific, but I thought I'd found people in that category a couple of times, but they just weren't interested.  So I have been coming to terms with my deficiences.  I try not to make too lengthy a list when I do this, or I'll wind up drowning in its depth.  No, just pick the things that must be addressed now. 
#1  Me.   After a lot of thought I have allowed myself to remember how wonderful it feels to be the best me that I can be.  And it isn't about pleasing someone else.  The hard truth for me, here, is that I got this way because of disappointment with myself.  That never should have happened.  So the thrust now is to be a healthier me.  I don't have to be a supermodel anymore, but I need to honor this temple that houses my beautiful spirit. 

#2  I need to be nice again.  A lot of people think I'm nice and for this I am grateful.  But I know, deep down, and inward- that anger and hurt have erupted into some pretty evil behavior (dolose means having malicious intent).  What's really sad about this is that I was actually, truly relieved when Andrew left.  I don't think I ever tried so hard to make anything work, but a big part of that was that I didn't want to give up because I had done it way too quickly the first time.  Guilt does some pretty incredible things to you.  Yes, I really loved Andrew, but once I realized what he was, I should have been out that door.  Hanging on for reasons of guilt is no less destructive than hanging on for any other shallow cause.  It simply wasn't love.  I did harbor a hope that he would grow as a person and that has left me with a whole new understanding which is simply- people only change if they want to.  Doesn't matter how right you are.

When I was in the 3rd grade I was much hated because I was the minority- both in color and intellect.  Resentment is a potent toxin.  One day one of the most awesomely feared, popular kids in the class was missing his hat.  The whole class was quickly put to task to find Ferrando's hat.  It was gone.  The day ended just a few minutes later and we were all instructed to get our backpacks.  Plopping mine on the desk I reached inside for my gloves and scarf and out came Ferrando's fake fur fedora.  I was baffled and the open mouth display of confusion should have proved that.  But Ferrando and his posse didn't see it that way.  He promptly informed me that he was going to beat me up after school.

I never ran so fast in all of my life.  I got home to find the house locked and no way in.  My heart was beating so wildly that I thought I was going to die right there.  As Ferrando turned the corner onto my block, I saw the mint green metallic Buick station wagon which I used to be embarrassed by, coming up the road.  My father, with his usual big smile, came toward me completely unaware of my plight.  Ferrando must have done a U-ey, because I raced upstairs and looked out the window to see him nowhere. 

My mom wrote a note to my teacher, to solve the problem... so I walked extra slowly to school the next morning.  I thought that the consequence of being late was a much wiser punishment than getting my skinny white ass kicked.  Once in the door the office clerk excused me because of my usually perfect promptness, so I slipped into the classroom and tossed the note onto my teacher's desk.  Ferrando watched with disdain as I slid into my chair, choking back the tears.  After Mrs. C read the note (ALOUD (frigging lunatic teacher)), she called the office and had F's older sister come in and listen to an encore reading.  She chastised him and told him that he'd be getting an awful spanking when he got home. 

Ferrando was absent the next day and his sister came in to inform the class that his absence was due to the fact that he couldn't walk.  When he returned the next day there was such a look of sorrow in his face.  I didn't even think that any of that was for what he did to me, and yet I felt so bad for him.  I wished that I could have done anything to take HIS pain away. 

That's what I used to be like.  Straight out of college I worked at a school where one of the women in accounting just hated me.  It was not unusual for her to go out of her way to make my life more difficult.  I never gave up being nice to her because I knew that there was an incredible fear in her heart.  It took almost the entire year that I was there to make her trust (and yes, even LIKE) me, but it was a well won war.  I used to be the kindest and most compassionate soul.  I realized not long ago that I needed to be that again.  My experience with Andrew makes this an incredible task, but what I do know is that recognizing our weaknesses is the biggest battle in the war.  I also know that I have a loving heart- it may have been dented and possibly even broken, but not beyond repair. 

#3  Learn to wait.  Sometimes, the weight of our hearts keeps us waiting a little bit longer.  But that's okay- the important thing is that we get there.  Wherever I go, there is that mirror.  I can't avoid it any longer.  And why would I want to?  There is MUCH to honor, in spite of the imperfections.  I am beautiful.  We all are. 

When J came home a few days ago I could tell that he really needed to talk.  It took a little while for him to spill, and he made me promise not to tell the secret.  Let's just say that one of my "enemies" is not well.  My first thought was that karma was delivering a flying roundkick to the side of her head, and that he deserved this punishment, but the better part of me took over and trembled a little, as I remembered that even THEY deserve the caring that I can afford them.  We are all, after all, ONE.

Om mani padme hum...  (and so it grows)

Mirror, mirror on the wall
save me from the haughty fall
remind me that all for one
is truly one for all

mirror, mirror show me my face
not the one who lost the race
remember me, the child so kind
who knew to love in spite of hate

mirror, mirror be my guide
reflecting bright, to open wide
these eyes to see not only flaws
but honor god's own beauty inside

and so it is

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You are here

And what if "hell" really is hot... perhaps it is the burning pain that molds us, that melts us, that breaks our shell, spewing forth a new seed.  Life is not to be endured, but to be revered in all of its seasons.  Happiness is a choice which, if made amidst diversity, yields wisdom's serenity.

So don't wait for your Jesus to save you from your pain, your enemy, or your self.  Go live the loving truth that he did and be your own savior.  He did.

If you picked yourself up and plopped yourself down again in a new spot, on a new map in a different geographical location, you would call your home a new name and summon your god with a different title.  You might even label love a little differently, seek a different passion, or speak a new language.  What is your constant? 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I ♥ ME

As our magnificent silver chariot raced the burning sun across the western sky, my mind and heart wobbled and rolled through turbulent memories of former journeys "home."  Clouded reflections were no longer murky questions of whether or not my choices were the correct ones.  High above the fluffed up cover where clarity's vision enabled my scanning eyes to see a luminous day turn to a sparkling night, I caught my smiling reflection in the window that was now my mirror. 

I am home.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I was tickled listening to a beautiful soul, yesterday, as she spoke about how we need to embrace the voids in our lives.  These are those spaces between the endings and the beginnings, the places where we grieve, grasp and then grow.  I have certainly survived my share of heartaches, lingering in the mad anger zone, crying, screaming, stomping my feet, or laying listlessly on the floor.  These are all reactions to the "negative" experiences that life deals us.  It's the heeding of the quiet whispers or universal chantings that make being there a beautiful thing.  So what if you get knocked down-it's not the end of the world.  Take advantage of this new position to take a nap, dream, refresh yourself and while you're down there- see something from a different viewpoint.  When you're ready, just get up.  Doesn't matter if you crawl to your knees and stay there a while.  At different times we're capable of different things.  At different places we'll see and hear different things.  There is no prescription to living a perfect life.  There is only the ability to do the best that we can with what we have.  And I have learned that no matter what comes, I should stop, look and listen.

The inevitable times when life seems to be unfair or even cruel- these are sometimes unbearable challenges.  When life seems to be going smoothly, we rarely, if ever, dare to think about the bad times.  The truth is that life is a mixture of good and bad, dark and light, hard and easy.  Seems that you can't have one without the other.  Being "stuck" in between the two affords us an opportunity to realize what we could not, while we were drowning in the thick of either. 

There was a time when I thought that I had learned and was ready to move on, but in order to truly be ready, I have had to learn to wait.  For me, waiting was always the hardest part.  I wanted answers and reasons for everything.  In my mind there had to be resolution to every feeling or disappointment.  But wait- there doesn't have to be.  I spent so many years, so many different times, blindly reaching for that shadow on the top shelf, thinking that I would soothe me.  I knew something was up there, and I wanted it.  Blindly reaching for anything might leave you with a grasp filled with a toxic antidote.  You need time, when walking into a dark room, for your sight to adjust.  Sometimes you need a little light to make your way and again, you can't just pluck any candle- lighting your own is the only safe bet.

My life has been in a limbo for years now. Getting past the anger and fear that defined the end of my marriage actually alluded to the beginning of a new and peaceful life. But had I lingered in that mire I never would have known this. Had I jumped into something new and immediate, I never would have had the chance to grow as I have. Yet, this game that is played under the radar is what is making me an authentic beacon to my own spirit- the one that sees my own beauty and thus, all the beauty that surrounds me in both the dark and the light.

Now I know that the only thing worth reaching for, is myself.  Honoring the good, the divine, the mixture of both the light and dark- these are the things worth having.  And yes, I wait.  But I don't sit here idly- I watch, I listen, and I dance (I DO know why the caged bird sings :) ).  When the trees start to rustle or the wind strikes a bustle- I stop and let them fill me.  As I dance through this void, my heart is always ready to hear whatever it is that's coming next, and maybe I have been fortunate to have suffered enough to get where I am, but this quiet is a glorious place to be.

Here's a little repeat of something I wrote a while ago which brings new meaning today, as most anything does- riding the wave whether it's coming or going, rushing or rolling... it just does.

Can I be still and still be me?

I would rather be g~d's breath
crawling across the earth
or the place of fruitful death
resigned to new day's birth
where fences are mended
and tatters un-torn
where wounds come unwrapped
as wisdom is born
where fear is unwelcome
and love is life's toy
where the feast is not crumbs
but a platter of joy

Be still and know that I am...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

maybe steps

As if I had never done this before, I stared blankly into the trailhead, not recognizing the familiarity of the billowing, yellowed grass, the squawking of the crows or the greeting of the welcoming tree.  This voyage was to be made in tears and heartache, if I could make it at all. 

Unaware of what I was doing until I called out "53" as Poochi stopped for his usual, furious sniffing.  I think that in an insurance-minded shelter of self-perseverance, I opted to count my steps instead of thinking about where I was going or rather, who I was going without.  It took us 53 long but quick strides to get to the spot where they always stopped to sniff.  53 steps come quickly when you're lost in thought. 

That particular spot has always touched me.  There's the piece of fallen tree which once having been blackened by fire, now laid ashy gray in a bed of soft, dried weeds.  There's the creek bed strewn with rocks whose travel had been motivated by the rushing storm waters or the quiet stream's gentle persuasion.  Now it was dry.  Within a lifted gaze's distance laid a tree's corpse.  I remember well, the day I drove across the short distance of the Gunn Stage extension, in a cyclone of awe and terror, and sat paralyzed watching these trees burn.  The flames engulfed them with a fury that was beautiful in spite of its horror. 

Last year when I adopted the Stone Loop as my favorite place to be I was smitten with this tree.  The fire-blackened monument had cracked and fallen just a mere, maybe, 6 feet from its base.  There was no apparent reason for the sparse branches that grew green and bright, when surveying its dead, hollow, and detached trunk.  The tree had not yet realized that it was dead.  There was no logic for the flickering of life that it held on to.

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my little trail-blazing friend.  She's been my faithful companion for 14 years.  The one who always saw me cry when the coast was clear, and it was safe to.  The faithful soul whose warm, brown eyes saw me through times of sickness, loneliness, fear and sorrow; and whose enthusiastic playfulness ran beside me when it was time to come back to life.  Her sweet little head on my bed, waiting for me to wake up and take her romping on some trails, is how I want to remember her. 

Her last couple of days were not pleasant.  It was clear that she was in a lot of pain, and she barely lifted her head when I laid on the floor next to her, to pet her.  Remembering just last weekend how she looked longingly up the bank of rocks which she could no longer climb, I knew that her life was a good one, but the end was near.  So as I stroked her sweet, soft fur, I made the heart wrenching decision to put her out of her pain.

The doctor and her assistant took her out of the room to insert an iv.  When she came back, she was prancing, happily like the puppy we remembered.  She wouldn't lay down- she just wanted to keep hugging us, so they sedated her as she stood there, proud to be loved by us.  She fought it off for what seemed like an eternity before she succumbed to the sleepiness and what I hope sounded like a lulla-bye- the sobs that came from my children and me.  I held on to her collar so tightly until someone reminded me to let go.  She fell softly down, looking into my eyes and she slipped away.

I hung her collar from a point in the bank of rocks that we loved together.  In spite of the pain and the torrents of tears that can't seem to stop right now I wonder if maybe even in the midst of life's cruelty, we can stop, listen and know things like how lucky we are to have had what we did.  Even if it was just for a while.

When I came back down the hill and stared one more time at the dead tree I realized that there was no sign of life there anymore.  No more green- no lively rallies.  It was a good tree and it lived a good life.

Coco 5/31/1996 - 7/2/2010