Sunday, August 20, 2017

Her

She's my little curmudgeon all cute, fat and furry,

and if she's startled she'll leave in a hurry.

She likes to sit and stare at me from the bedroom floor,

it's her spot of choice, the patch right near the door.

She'll hunker down also on the bed,

and when I sleep can be found at times right near my head.

She has this funny habit of drinking with her paw,

and tips the water over after studying it with awe.

I could watch her endlessly as she moves her chub around,

because she's always different with new habits that abound...

Currently, she's nesting in my nook of purses,

so I expect a ton of fur when I use 'em and rhyme these verses.

She surprises me quite often as she comes into her own,

much bolder and courageous her personality has grown.

She'll walk along the rooftops and peer over the edge,

not long ago she'd barely jump on any type of ledge.

Once upon a time she slept far away from me,

but now that she feels safe, I'm spooned and filled with glee.

She has eyes like spotlights - big and wild and yellow,

that when I come in the house greet me with a hello.

This darling little fluff ball who took a while to tame,

has now settled quite nicely in my kitten's book of fame.








Monday, February 6, 2017

Family

Most of us who hear the word family typically think of blood relatives far and near.  I think of friends.  Of course my mother, brother and close kin are included in the mix, that goes without saying, but I have acquired such a tight knit band of chums, both old and new that I can honestly call them family.

I've always made friends easily, but after I came to California and sewed my wild oats subsequently falling apart, making friends took on a whole new meaning as I chose not to return home.  As I crumbled post rebellion, it became harder and harder to move forward in life without true human connection.  All the pals that I had made were just that - pals.  People to hang out with at a party, folks my own age that were too absorbed in the drama of their own lives to be able to make much of a difference in mine.

Enter John, my acquired uncle.  We met at Walgreens whilst standing in line one afternoon; I was in a tough place in my life, he had a soft heart and a friendship was born that continues to this day.  Then came a few other amigos that have stood the test of time, with whom I have walked through some pretty rough and tricky places.

I am always making new acquaintances.  The flux at turns widens and thins, but has always been a steady stream from whence I can choose who I'll confide in and who I won't.  Thankfully, I've never wanted for security within those acquaintances because my sacred inner circle has always been there - the meat and potatoes of my existence, so to speak.  This constant has given me the confidence to stick out my neck and meet new people, knowing that a web of love and support will always be there to carry me.

I am grateful to have a plethora of folks in my life that qualify as kin, people that despite my flaws and shortcomings love me for who I am.  So the next time you're feeling  lonely, remember that family comes in all shapes and sizes so pick up the phone and cultivate yours today :)




Thursday, February 2, 2017

Here Comes the Bride... Some thoughts on marriage

I've dreamed of getting married for as long as I can remember.  A hopeless romantic, I idealized love throughout middle and high school (who didn't?) and when I found it at 16 during a trip to Italy, I was floored.  I had found the man of my dreams, in the country of my dreams and wasn't I lucky?  After finishing high school, I moved to the boot to be with him and complete my schooling.  Things didn't go as planned, and I ended up leaving 5 years into the relationship.

For the next 15+ years, I met and dated many men (not all of whom I'm proud of) in different situations and for various reasons, that all shared one common denominator:  in my mind, each was potentially "The One".  Blinded as I was by my own longing to be with a man, yet so naive and immature at the same time, I didn't realize that true love is not a fruit one just casually picks off a tree and eats.  Fueled by fantasy, the Hollywood ideal and familial dysfunction, I was on a quest to marry and isn't it ironic I never did?

I know of no one who wanted to tie the proverbial knot more than I - it's what I was consumed with day and night - yet it has eluded me my entire life thus far.  To be fair, I've had a lot of ups and downs, many twists and some hideous turns that have hurled my journey and my headspace in an entirely unusual direction, that haven't exactly made it easy for me in the betrothing department - but that hasn't stopped me from trying...  We don't always do what's best for us.

So where am I now?  Having just recently broken off an engagement, I find myself, strangely, in a good place.  Despite the pain and nausea of heartache, I've realized what love really is and what it's not.  I can't say it any better than 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

May you love. 




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tonto Strikes Again

So I haven't written in a very long time, anything worthwhile anyway, and it's strange to pick up again.  The keyboard feels like an entirely foreign machine beneath my fingertips, and the art of crafting thoughts daunts me because I feel I have nothing to say.  I never thought it would come to this:  me desperately clutching a pad of paper (metaphorically, of course) and running after a truckload of verbiage anxious to rummage through its assortment because I feel I haven't any of my own, but it has.

When I scroll down the Facebook feed (guilty as charged), read people's posts and find someone that composes good sentences, I always start a little.  This tiny jarring of emotion, the one that used to delight me "Hark, another writer!", now pricks at my soul.  I admit, I've become a tad bit jealous.  Frankly, I don't know if I can write anymore, crafting my world with the same depth and passion that I used to...

Day after day the pen sits on my desk and the computer lies untouched.  I usually forget about them even existing, caught up with life as I am, but sometimes my eyes travel to those lonely, dusty objects and I pine for what used to be.  I remember lazy afternoons spent with my journal in cozy cafe's writing about everything and nothing.  Paper, pen and the computer were familiar friends that I relied heavily on everyday to air out my universe and bring me pleasure.  Seems I was always spritzing up my sentences with new vocabulary and pathways of thought.  Moving my hand across the page was akin to eating chocolate those days; stimulating, orgasmic and very, very rewarding.

Nowadays it's different.  I feel dismembered from the very tools that used to feel like extensions of my soul.  Whereas before my writing took precedence over everything in my life, now everything in my life seems to take precedence over it.  To be fair, I have a boyfriend now, my father passed away and a plethora of other happenings have filled my plate and my emotions, but rather than taking pen to paper and airing them out, I have chosen a silent path and slowly but surely the distance has grown between us...

So where am I today?  Well, seeing as how I still can still piece sentences together (whew!) I'm not as far away as I believed from the shores of self-expression, but the joy and anticipation of crafting material still eludes me.  I once read that writing changes as one evolves and it makes sense.  Maybe that's what happened to me.  For a good while, I was smitten by the entire creative process that allowed me to make my inside world a reality.

Now, I view writing as a more mechanical act, perfunctory in nature and practical in essence.  I'm not as infatuated by the craft, though I have enormous respect for it (hey, it's hard to write well) and the urgency to self-express is not as all-consuming as it once was.  But to be honest, I can still hear writings' siren call.  It beckons and teases my soul more often than I'd like, promising riches if I will only come and I can't escape it, try as I might.  I find myself filling journals, scribbling in notebooks, writing on my hand...on everything I can!  It's like Jesus; it never leaves me, though I leave it.

I can't shake it off, writing is a part of me and I guess even though I've changed, I've stayed the same.  I am and always will be, a writer.




  



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Older

I never thought it would happen to me, growing older.  It did.  I look in the mirror and suddenly the smooth contours of my face, the ones I've ALWAYS relied on, my chums, my comrades, now have the audacity to entertain small etchings for all to see.  My skin is losing its elasticity and the fountain of youth from whence I thirstily drank with nary a second thought, the one I believed would never dry up, is now starting to tighten its belt.

My body is changing, too - no way around it.  At first, the differences were subtle:  not being as fast on my feet when I danced, a little bit of extra weight around my middle and other small nuances.  I blew them off as nothing worth ruffling my feathers about and continued on my merry way.  Then a few years later, it hit me:  I wouldn't be going back, not now not ever to the glory days of youth.  No, that part of my life was over.  The spry little gadabout that once graced the streets of San Francisco has gone home and closed the door behind her.

 All is not lost, however.  That same girl has now emerged a woman carrying a different kind of grace.  Not just of the physical sort, but rather one that comes from the inside and cannot fade with the passage of time - a charitable, kind, loving grace that flows from the soul, and not just the body.  Good thing.

Don't get me wrong, I still consider myself to be attractive - I like the way my face hangs together and I haven't put myself out to pasture yet (I've a long way to go, truth be told), but looking good now requires props that it once didn't and the ghost of my hard lived life taps it's long, skinny finger on my shoulder every day as I stiffly get out of bed, a reminder that I am not 24 anymore.  But even with all these considerations, it is well with my soul.  I find that I am working more in harmony with and not as viciously against the changes that the passage of time has inevitably brought and for this I am glad.

I would not be able to do this without the help of The Almighty.  It is He who lifts my head and tells me I am beautiful, worthy, loved.  He who has made it bearable to continue even when the vestiges of my youth have begun to wane and maturity settle in.  I have also found a good man who loves me, who is attracted to my inner qualities (and not just my outward self) the softer, gentler ones that have, almost imperceptibly, appeared in the interim between seasons.

So what to say?  It's not so bad reaching a new vista, a higher ground.  Sure, you have to shed skin to get there and that sometimes hurts, but the end is a glorious new beginning.  And that's all good.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Time

Tick tock tick tock - it goes by mercilessly, relentlessly.  This metered flow of life cannot be stopped or altered.  Magnanimous, it encompasses all of the human emotions, yet is none of them.  Time, a vacuum, a space to hold life, and bury death.  A force to be reckoned with.  Seemingly imperceptible, apparently insignificant, absolutely consequential.

With the cold indifference of a serial killer, and the intuitive wisdom of a forest, this progression of moments allows for anything and then sets about in the work of healing it.  That this entity sadistically and graciously containing our lives is a neutral beast is, perhaps, the hardest pill to swallow.  There is no kind hand that buffers our existence when tragedies hit, or gives  us a pat on the back when triumphs prevail (except maybe our mother's) no, it's all grist for the mill.  Whichever way the cookie crumbles is the way the cookie crumbles; you don't get brownie points for effort or extra suffering.  Funny, isn't it?

Time is a great leveler.  It favors no one, tethering us all to the same boat and it's of no use trying to speed it up or slow it down.  Ruthless, it grinds and sifts but also, blessedly, elevates and cheers all the while meandering serenely through its set course, bringing everyone to the same destination.  And if we are patient and wait with grace, we will see the fruit of our labors.  After all, aren't oysters rewarded for their effort?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dad


You lie there helpless and still -a baby with teeth,
a perma scowl etched on your face as sure and as deep as a woodcarving.

It’s hard to reconcile the helpless bit with the image of the man you used to be:
formidable, strong, larger than life, really.  You filled your shoes and then some.

When did it happen, where, how;
the steady progression into dementia,
and where was I?

In California, I guess-
marking time by the pull of gravity
with each visit I made.
The changes, like stills in a cartoon frame, added up over time.

You always were an ornery man,
and now, as you yell obscenities into the nursing home where you sit,
puny and grey - you have begun your dance with death.

Tomorrow they will give you morphine for the pain,
and I wonder if you will fight them off with the last of your strength.

So, what remains to be said here?
How about, I love you, how about I care.
How about your death will leave a hole in my heart the size of the moon?

I will always remember how you ate the pies we made in the kitchen when I was little,
the ones that didn’t turn out and were still goopy inside.  You eat them with a laugh while I watched in awe.  My big, tall daddy spending time with me...  I was so proud, so tickled.

Or how about that easter you gave me the pink bunny?  I held it tightly to my chest later, when we took a drive in the green impala and you turned and looked at me and smiled, squealing with delight.

And then there’s eating snow in candy dishes, yep, that was fun.  You’d go outside and collect a snowball in the blizzard bringing it home for us to eat.  You had a sense of humor alright...

You will be remembered your colorful language, generosity and the levity you added to heavy situations.  You weren’t perfect, but I loved you anyway.  How could I not?  You were the first man of my life.

Dad, with this last sentence or so, I want to wish you peace, what you never had in this life.  I firmly believe you’re going to heaven, because you said the prayer that one blessed day - so until we meet again, so long, farewell, and pet a cow or two for me up there.

We love you.