on the hook

I don’t expect to get profound life advice from How I Met Your Mother reruns, but life advice can come from anywhere I suppose.

56829757

Me. Totally On The Hook.

The Urban Dictionary has the following listed under “On The Hook”

A person who is “on the hook” will be overly infatuated with another person. The person who is the desired generally takes little notice (and often complete advantage) of the person who is on the hook.

Often times the person who is on the hook is a back-up.

Signs that you are on the hook:
1) giving foot rubs
2) making mixed tapes/cds/play lists
3) making chocolate cake
4) dropping everything at a moments notice to be with the other person.

Ted: “Lisa came over last night and I gave her a foot rub as we watched a move.”
Marshall: “Are you guys dating now?”
Ted: “No, she is still with her boyfriend, she is just looking for the right time to break the news.”
Marshall: “Dude, you are so on the hook.”
My own signs:
1) being overly infatuated with him
2) he took little notice (and often complete advantage)
3) was his backup / strung along /rebound person
4) giving foot rubs
2) trying to learn Spanish
3) obsessive checking of WhatsApp
4) dropping everything at a moment’s notice to accommodate his whims
20151025_133354-01.jpeg
Well damn.
Dammit.
Dammit.
And Dammit All.
Advertisements

275 days

wp-1468187743004.jpg275 days of saying goodbye. 275 days so far.

We’ve made it through the first month, first Christmas, first Easter, first birthday, the first 9 months.

275 days since they found you lying on your floor. 275 days of imagining you lying there alone.

It started with a phone call, an email and a long drive home to police tape and a stain on your carpet. Days of cleaning and loading parts of you I wanted into my trunk, an obituary and another long drive back. Later a eulogy, a service with your family, your daughters, my daughters, poems, songs, readings, prayers, food, friends family and a goodbye. Another drive.

20160130_122314-01.jpegThen a flight, a Sedona hike with your nephew, a candle and a prayer in The Chapel of the Holy Cross. Another hike, an offering with the same prayer, “I love you Johnny”. I left part of you in Arizona in one of the most sacred places I know. I left your ring, our father’s ring in The 20160130_143710-01.jpegAmitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a place full of love and peace. I left it there wearing your shirt, the sleeves rolled up in the heat.

And this week a drive, a sacred fire, prayers and songs, an offering to the creator in the tradition of the Lakȟóta people. And last night a bamboo leaf, the same prayer, and a candle floating away into the sunset.

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I love you Johnny

dear me

wpid-20150911_164055.jpg

Dear me,

Get up.
Place your feet on the floor,
one after the other.
Breath.
Stand. Walk. Wash your face.
Get up.
Rise and Shine.

Get up.
This is not over.
You are not over,
you are only just beginning.
There are no fat ladies singing,
the credits have not rolled
your movie has only just started.
You have words to write.
There are breezes lifting kites, blowing leaves
that need to be noticed;
there are songs
that need to be heard.

Get up.
Drag your pen across paper.
Write (dammit). Write despite of your broken hand,
in spite of the lifeless fingers.
Write (dammit)
with your teeth if you have to.
Get the words out.
Write about fire, stars, water,
Just write (dammit).

Stand.
Defy gravity.
Do not give them your power.
Do not give
One. More. Moment to those
who called your hopes and fears drama that they didn’t have time for.
Do not.
Do not make yourself small for other’s comfort.
Stand. Defy gravity, even as it pulls you to the earth.
Stand. Inhale. Exhale. Shine.
Be yourself,
your messy, dramatic, beautifully flawed, your lovable self.
Just be.

Stand.
You are who you love,
You are not who loves you.
Define yourself.
On a cool night walk to the beach and make a fire
burn the letters. Take
the card you have clung to and
burn it.
Give them to the fire.
Burn them all
Get up. Look up. Walk away.
Look at the stars, borrow as much light as you need.
Listen to the waves.
Walk into the arms of your friends.
Let go. Let go.
Let the rest go.

Shine.
Walk into your garden and
plant a new seed.
Stand. Shine. Watch it grow,
watch it defy gravity.
Pull the weeds.
Burn them. Burn every last weed
(like the card, like the words, let go, let go, let go)
every weed
that would choke your seed, steal its light,
hinder its growth.
The world will tell you to stop,
to dim your light.
Do not.
There are people that need more light.
Make extra.

Shine.
Feast
on chocolate, on love, on every moment of your life.
Breath.
Deeper than you’ve ever dared.
Stand.
Place your feet on the floor,
one after the other.
Walk.
Walk into darkness, into nothing and
trust each step you take.
Save your own life. One breath,
one step, one word, one seed
at a time.

Dear me,
There is no other moment.
There is only right now.
Live.
Right now.
Get up. Stand. Walk. Shine.
Be that which is you, and only you.
You are enough.
You are what you love.
You are.
Start there.
Breath.

be fucking brave

So this. I’m10592840_10206139425545919_5843121347137963057_n riding my own personal crazy train right now. One of my own making, from the full steam ahead steam engine that burns red hot, fiery coal 24/7, through car after car full of personal baggage of all shapes, sizes, weights and colours, to the caboose that can only look back and wonder what, the fuck, was I thinking?

Aside: I did quit that job, and I LOVE the job I have now, the rest, it’s a work in progress.

This quote, and a few dear friends are  currently what is holding me together. Also, quite a bit of chocolate, and singing to very loud music in the car, off key, every single time I drive. I’m not kidding, tonight is was Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. This guy does it better. Yesterday it was Eurythmics, Smiths, and R.E.M. all day. 

I used to think that when I turned 20 two major things would happen. 1. I’d be given the ‘adult handbook’,  and 2. my skin would clear up. You know the handbook that  ALL the grown ups had. The one that gave you the answers to life. No more teenage and young adult angst for me, I would finally have the ansewers, and then BOOM, I would figure life out and become a happy, well adjusted financially secure adult. Apparently there is no such book. You can imagine my disappointment at having to figure things out for myself, and don’t even talk to me about my skin. Honestly, how does anybody figure anything out? I am a hot mess with passable hair on a good day, and on a bad, I shove it into a pony tail.

My ego took a hit last week. It was not pretty. I wasn’t so pretty, except for my hair, I had a good hair week, so it wasn’t all bad. I was just mostly bad. I may have got a little crazy, or as I like to say, super sized extra crispy crazy with side of hysterical hot sauce. Yep, I’m a grown up, and I still cannot figure this stuff out. My brain has this section I call the the hamster wheel section where all my crazy ideas spin faster and faster. I’m not allowed to go there without a friend.

wpid-20150320_225027_1.jpg

how do they know?

Fortunately, I have great friends. I spent tonight drinking pop, diet pop even… from a Wonder Woman glass, eating chocolates and watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding with a friend, and then confessed all my crazy thoughts and actions and, she still loves me and sent me home with cupcakes and a fortune cookie that said “Be willing to admit you may be wrong, you’re only human”. That’s love for ya.

inspiration

and sometimes
when I would be doing other things,
I write words inside my head.

I write words for you as I inhale,
words for you as I exhale.

I write because of your warm hand, the way it felt on my shoulder
I write so I do not close my eyes, and lean back into that comfort
I write so I can leave without reassurances.

I write the words so they brush lightly across the page, touching sightly; I write til I can lean into their comfort.
till the rasping of my pen on this page calms me
till the blank space is filled with words
and within words, I can relax.

you, as I inhale
you, as I exhale

and if
I write for long enough, I will not want to
lean back and rest against your body,
place my head by your neck, close my eyes and breathe.

instead
I lean into words, into the rasping of pen on paper, into the large letters curving across my page
here, in these words, I rest and close my eyes.

 

But then begins a journey in my head

me with quote

The Irreconcilable Differences between Mind and Body had become so profound
they were heard in the Court of Judicium. The usual reserved Attendants
were appalled at the excess of emotion and were given to making small ‘tsk
tsk’ sounds behind handkerchiefs and fans whilst disapproving eyes squinted
down at the proceedings.

Mens Mentis represented Mind, Corpus represented Body.

Mens Mentis presented an extensive past history of failures to illustrate
the likelihood of the present endeavor ending in heartbreak and
humiliation. An impressive parade of witnesses came forward to give
evidence to support the case. One spoke of stretch marks, belly fat, and
sagging breasts, another of age and foolishness, and yet another spoke with
passion about the need for caution and restraint in all affairs..

klimt danaeCorpus, not to be out done presented extensive physical evidence, stomach
sitting too high in chest, heart becoming larger, beating more quickly and
thus increasing blood flow, of the increased occurrence of deep breaths
with extended exhales, the memory of skin on skin, and the presence of a
hopeful smile. All these events occurred despite the extensive evidence
presented by Mens Mentis, argued Corpus, and therefore must be given more
weight.

Mens Mentis moved to strike from the record any memories because they
occurred within the Mind and not the Body.

Corpus then moved to strike all memories of past failures because they did
not occur in the Body.

Both motions were overruled by the Most Honourable Judge Iudex, stating
that both motions included events that could not be solely related to
either Mind or Body, and thus where considered Joint Property.

The proceedings have been going on for weeks, at times it appeared the Mind
would prevail, but then events would occur and body of Body’s evidence
became increasingly stronger. Each time this happened, Mens Mentis would
argue that Body was incompetent to stand trail and should be removed and
placed in protective custody. The Most Honourable Judge Iudex has, so far,
overruled each of these objections, but the talk among the Attendants is
that with the passage of time and without fresh physical evidence
(memories, everyone knows, after a time become increasingly unreliable)
that the Judge will rule in favour of the Mind.

Meanwhile the jury continues to absorb the proceedings with passionless
expressions.

cataclysmic cosmic approaching catatonic

1186330_10201885990572703_1488416210_nThe best laid plans

careful what you wish for
things couldn’t get any worse
you can’t please all of the people all of the time
or even some of the time
sometimes none of the time
sometimes not even yourself
so what’s up with this stupid pleasing thing?

and this you must always remember
never forget
no good deed will ever (ever) go unpunished

friends don’t let friends … what?
and what is it that friends let friends do?
should do?
let do, don’t do, should do, will do – with who?
will this be on the final exam?

planning.
planning is over rated
spontaneity, on the other hand
(there will always be another hand to keep you on your toes)
spontaneity can bite you so hard on your ass it bleeds
(ass biting on the other hand can be under rated)

and as a rule try to express yourself
clearly.
succinctly.
distinctly. vividly. quickly. blissfully. skillfully.
but not sillily. lyrically. and never timidly or fitfully.

and another thing
scratch that last thought
and skip the conversation – its over rated
and can lead to planning
and we all know where that can get you

and sometimes even well placed
“humorous loving support”
can mean fuck all
yes, yes heartbreakingly sad, but true
these times may call for biting sarcasm
and excessive speed

and when you plan
(plan – a four letter word)
to run away
when that escape opportunity opens up
you should Get the Fuck Out of Dodge
do not pause.
do not think.
do not pass go. just
LEAVE

and when you miss that chance
or the chance misses you
or the fates intervene
or whatthefuckever
what do you do?
rant-wallowinwords-tantrum
try-to-find-the-message-in-all?

What if there is no fuckin message?
What if you’re really stuck in dodge?

so what?

So WHAT?

so what if you’ve simply fallen into a
Cataclysmic Cosmic approaching Catatonic
Cluster Fuck
and THAT’S where you were always
meant to be?

So what…

hate

Image I think it’s safe to say that Hate was there all along. Hate lurked just under the surface of his skin, in the line of his jaw when he pressed his lips together in that certain way, and also lightly resided in his dry cracked fingertips when they were clenched. I’d lived with Hate before and should have noticed sooner that he was back. I should have been cognizant to the pauses in speech those pressed lips caused. But I was in love.

When you first meet Hate it can be difficult to recognize him. He’ll put on his best clothes when you are introduced. He can be very charming, and is quite skilled at impersonating his twin brother Love. He’ll tell you everything you want to hear. He’ll tell you his love for you is boundless – this part is true, the feelings are boundless, but not in the way you think. His feelings dwell in darkness underground where he keeps Rage and Jealousy sitting quietly, and impatiently in small cages until he needs to let them out. He’ll draw you in so very sweetly. He’ll make you feel special and when you do open up and tell him your secrets he will tuck each of them in little pockets and then stay up all night sharpening them into weapons to use later.

Like I said, small things, like the line of his jaw, will give him away, but you have to know to look for it, and often by the time you see them it’s often too late. Occasionally when he’s feeling lazy, Hate will let slip his beautiful mask. I should have know better, I had seen that line in his jaw, and twice, when his mask slipped I saw the darkness flicker past his eyes. I know how this goes, I still occasionally run my fingers over the scars he left last time we met. I have the souvenirs he gave me in a scrapbook I keep in my bedside table. Still, we only see what we want to see, and even if Hate had ripped off his mask in those early, enchanting times I would have looked away, pretended I didn’t notice, the way you don’t notice a stain on someone’s shirt, or some spinach between their teeth. I would have been far too polite to question any glimpses in those early days. Hate seemed to know all the right things to whisper in my ears, he knew just how to hold the back of my head when he kissed me, and when he told me how beautiful I was, I believed him. Part of me knew all along of course, my lizard brain could see through masks and knew it was Hate right away. I ignored the scratches deep inside me, at least when they were still faint. I went along purposely not hearing them to be honest, and I listened to Hate’s soliloquies instead.

The very first time I met Hate he was on a motorcycle and took me for rides to gain my trust. I was a child and didn’t know any better. This time Hate played guitar for me. How I wish I’d never listened to him play.

Eventually, and when he has enough sharpened secrets in his pockets, Hate will grow tired of pretense, and will – sometimes quite suddenly – rip off his mask. Then you can see the black metal teeth in his wide grinning jaw, the cold black eyes that twinkle when his mouth hinges open in a wide and shiny grin. Now the lizard brain is screaming in that high pitched way a rabbit screams when it is being torn apart by an eagle talons. The screams and the sight of those teeth make your flesh flush red on the outside and freeze on the inside. This is where you realize it had been Hate all along, that he had been sharpening your secrets and fattening you up for months, and that now it was time for Hate to sink his metal teeth into the soft parts of your flesh and tear strips of it away. To rip and tear into your flesh even as you frantically try to get away, as you try to assuage him with calm kind words. Again, and again and again he will sink his teeth in and rip apart the most secret and precious parts of you. He has let Rage and Jealousy out of their little cages and they run gleefully in circles around you poking you with your secrets, laughing as they use your own fears to pierce your skin.

When you manage to finally get some distance you try to push the jagged edges of your flesh together in hopes that no one will see your deep shame, your ugliness, your utter stupidity. So, you wear baggy clothes and pack the wounds with the bits and pieces of you that still work. It’s messy, and it’s painful and you feel ashamed that you didn’t heed the scratching, the line of his jaw, the press of his lips when you still had a chance to escape. Slowly flesh heals and only a very practiced eye will see the scars. The pain will fade to numbness and one day you will be able to listen to the Moonlight Sonata without tears running silently down your face. One day.

there and back again

Image

image

(thanks Bilbo)

I just got home from a 3,368mile (5,420kms) drive (there and back again) from my home in Naperville, IL to Wolfville, NS. Two days driving there, one day stop-over, Two days driving back. About 54 hours driving time. It was the longest drive to and from school I have ever taken one of my kids on.

I spent the days leading up to the drive randomly being gripped in terror. I would suddenly feel the ground drop from under my feet and my stomach would leap into my throat, my heart would pound and I would want to cry. I felt certain that I was making a huge mistake, or at the very least doing absolutely everything wrong.

I get angry at myself for remaining in situations that do not serve me, my marriage, my job, my home, okay, my life in general, but then I’ve always had that terror and painful certainty that pin me down. With any major, and most minor decisions I am generally quite certain I have, or I will make the worst possible choice, and that sitting and doing nothing is my safest option. I assume that everyone else on the planet, or at least my peers, or my betters (which is where I put most people), would be handling this, or have handled this so much better, or have, at the very least, been better organized about it (my disorganizational skills are legendary). Other people, I dangerously assume, have the support of a partner, of parent or if they’re insanely fortunate, parents,  or at least some close friends to reassure them they are making good choices. I have none of these and as a result am left with the really not nurturing voices in my own mixed up head. It’s a motley crew, the voices in my head. Part my mother (appearances are everything), my father (appearances are bullshit), my step-father (you’re utterly worthless, stupid and will make utterly worthless and stupid decisions unless you think and act as I do), ex-partners (I didn’t love you and I will leave you shortly so you better get that wall up to protect yourself), the occasional friend (hey, you’re awesome!  *but if they really  knew me they would get over that notion pretty quickly), and finally, in the back ground, usually jumping up and down like a far away but hyperactive 3 year old, is a  small fierce voice that is the part of me who hopes and tries for something better. That small voice is the one who talked me into the 50+ hour road trip, it’s the voice that took me scared shitless to surfing lessons, the one that had me running around London and later the Dominican Republic on my own while presenting this brave adventurous face to anyone looking. Inside I thought I was an idiot, and doing everything wrong.

So, my monster drive, that I still can’t decide was brave and meaningful or crazy and stupid, or maybe it was all of these. I can present a very believable case either way. It did allow me meaningful time with my daughter, to process her going onto this next important stage in her life, to honour what she has done, and to be present for part of the transition which was painful for us both. That was important and I’m very glad we had that time (not sure if we needed so many hours of that time, but that’s done now).  I brought several books to listen to, and was lost in stories for much of the drive. I drove past and through many landmarks of my life, in places I’ve lived and by people I have loved.  So many places, so many people, so many memories.

In the end, truth be told, it wasn’t really that brave a decision. I could not afford a plane ticket, my husband, who could afford one,  would not discuss it, so I did what I thought I had to to get my daughter to school. I could have pushed the issue, but decades of experience have taught me that I am on my own with this sort of thing and I rarely bother anymore. Now, of course, he is organizing for her to fly home for breaks and is the hero, where I am the one that took her on the never ending car ride. Part of the reason he is adored by both our families and I am not, that and he is a much better schmoozer than I am (to be honest I suck at schmoozing, alas…).

I try not to listen to the less than caring voices in my head. To focus on the little fierce one. I don’ t know if this is wise, or how much wisdom that voice has. In many ways it is a toddler with very basic and primordial needs, so I’m not sure if this is my Id jumping up at down, or at least my ego, but has kept me going when there was nothing else that would, and for that I’m grateful. It has kept me moving forward even when I am certain I will fail, it kept me driving all those hours, it help hold my my head up (even when I’m looking like a complete idiot), and it, usually, keeps me from curling up into a ball and giving up.

I think I need to be kinder to myself, maybe even forgive myself for not having this whole life thing figured out. Maybe even let the kind voice be heard among the rabble-rousers carrying on in my head. I think this is a rather poor ending to this blog, that I could have done better, but maybe this one will do.

out of Dodge

Quote

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John Green, Paper Towns

Today I dumped my world’s biggest asshole. No, that’s not accurate enough. Today I exorcised the man who abused, terrified, mocked, belittled, beat, and diminished me. Today I said the words “fuck you old man, FUCK you” to my step-father. I have been afraid to say that for almost 40 years. I’ve been afraid of walking away from the abusive man who took away my mother and made her as ugly, cruel and vile as he is. Now that I’ve done it I feel GREAT. I’ve burned my bridges, I’m out of The Will and don’t plan on EVER seeing him or my mother again.

My mom was nice, once. The years she was with my dad, and the years it was just my brother, my mother and me, she was great, loving, cool, and generally brilliant. I got from her my love of books and of gardening. She left my dad, an alcoholic, who, it turned out, was a much more compassionate person than my mother eventually became. She once said that he beat her, but she has said so many outrageous and untrue things that I don’t believe this. I lived with him for three years, and he was stubborn, opinionated, forceful and proud, but he was never violent.

So yeah, I’m gone, I’ve got the Fuck out of Dodge, I deleted all of their nasty emails, blocked their email so I won’t receive any more, and blocked their phone number on my phone. Tomorrow is my birthday; this is my birthday present to myself. This, and also I’m having a big party with stupid amounts of food and friends. Life is good, and even when it’s not, it will be my life.

and because I can’t write anything without a little bit of poetry…..

“Well, now
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land”

– Pablo Neruda