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Monday, November 17, 2014

fall apart

  Last week, the black clouds descended and I was left hopeless, limp and quiet for days. Tears fell frequently and I was overly emotional. A moon cycle, mourning a love lost, financial stress, school uncertainty, struggling with accepting the changes in rhythm-when my car broke (yet again), endless cold in the drafty house, kids that argue over wearing coats and then the light bulb in the fridge went out and I burnt the toast (the little things are always the last straw when I am frustrated) and it seemed the world was ending...  Saturday morning I went to a meeting of women I love and trust and cried and laughed and felt their openness, love and support. I was lifted, enfolded in kindness. I could see out of the greyness that had, moments before, seemed all around me.

 Depression is a strange creature. It feeds on lonliness, sleep deprivation, stress... When I feel dark now, I instantly seek out the wisdom and company of my dearest friends, I call my therapist, I watch a fluffy episode of Gilmore girls, I eat chocolate and know that the feeling will pass. I just have to busy myself and keep moving forward. I used to enjoy really wallowing in my bummer trips but that only made me sadder. I choose happiness.
  Lessening stress is something I am working on. Even fun, exciting things (like all the planning involved in going back to school) are stressful to me. I'm delicate. I can be tough and a warrior but basically I'm a soft, tender hearted lady who is easily shaken cuz I am so hyper aware and want to avoid big problems so I'm always evaluating things like "wait is this ok??" just to be cautious. I think as time goes on I will be less easily jarred by the little challenges of life but right now I'm learning and discovering what works for me as a healthy adult.
 I did get to see Death in June last week. I nearly bailed on going because I was having this really nervous day with awful "prom night butterflies" in my stomach all day. The minute I got there, all my anxiety dissolved. The show was euphoric, haunting and transporting. It felt so intimate-certainly less than 100 people there. The energy field onstage was as dark as my blackest dreams. Douglas P played my most favorite DIJ song, "Fall Apart". I had this wonderful moment of intoxicating pure perfection while he played it. Consumed with the feeling that everything is alright and exactly as it should be. Shadows followed me home. The words echoing in my mind...


And shall I wake from Dreams
For the Glory of Nothing
For the cracking of the Sun
For the crawling down of Lies?
And if We fall from Dreams
Shall we push them into Darkness
And stare into the Howling
And clamber into Night?
And if I fall from Dreams
All my Prayers are Silenced
To Love is to lose
And to lose is to Die...
And why did you say
That things shall fall
And fall and fall and fall
And fall apart?

  It was heavy. I was pondering it for days...

...and these two are buddies. Nothing heavy there. My cat, Thomas, is kind of a jerk. He doesn't care for anyone. He tolerates me, when he's in the mood but really he's a super sensitive, prone to flip on a dime, sort of guy. My tiny dog, Viggo has wormed his way into Thomas' heart. They lay together! They cuddle. This cat is not a cuddler. It's beautiful and hopeful. I love these guys.
  Tomorrow I'll be back with some project talk. I haven't been writing cuz I was feeling sad and binging on Peaky Blinders (ladies... Cillian...) but I'm feeling oh so much better. When I was bummin we spent days in the back yard weeding and prepping the garlic bed and that also helped me feel a million times better! Now off to bed for me. xo m

Sunday, November 9, 2014

autumn apples and leaves and nesting in...

   There has been such a cozy, nesting spirit happening in our home this week. I am getting all the plans in place to begin school Jan. 5th and then with the crisp change in weather and arrival of so many apples, there is just so much to do. My gals Papa got 2 huge boxes of apples from friends who have a farm and he gave us most of them. Apple butter, applesauce, peeling/chopping/freezing and every kind of apple baking project has been going on in the kitchen. Then there's the 8 pounds of organic blueberries we were gifted... I cleaned out the freezer a few weeks back and it's so nice to have these fruits in there, waiting to be eaten up during the winter.
   All summer long our leisurely pace allowed for slower mornings. I had time to do a tarot reading nearly every day. Now with Fall in full swing, it seems we are always rushing off (to school!) in the mornings and my morning tarot time has been sadly lacking. Still, answers from the universe appear. Did you know that playing cards correspond directly with the minor arcana of the tarot?  I find these playing cards on occasion, on the street or face up on the ground at the thrift store. On Monday and Tuesday I found the 9 of hearts (9 of cups). Completion.
 Happiness and success, wildest dreams realized, a wish fulfilled. There are many wishes and wildest dreams afoot in my mind these days... I am working towards them, using the powers of softness and good, seeking the light and being of service to others... In the past my path to dream fulfillment was a messy and not entirely wholesome one. Now I am trying things differently and I believe that if I continue upon an honest and kind journey all my wishes will be granted.



 My dog is so tiny! 6 pounds. Rarely do we encounter smaller dogs. He gets cold too so I've been cutting the arms off sweaters to make him little sweaters.

 Dress of dreams! On a pretty gloomy, dirty day at  the thrift I found this magical raspberry pink dress hiding out at the bottom of a pile of trash. It made my week. I haven't worn it yet but maybe tomorrow night.
 Kitchen projects happening all the time. Using the oven makes this drafty little house extra warm. Granola and we had this amazing apple pancake TWICE for dinner last week. ohhhh so good. With potatoes and kale (and sauerkraut of course).
 
  I have been taking my lil dog on long walks. Pretty much anytime I am feeling a little upset or frustrated (which has been a few times this week) I go on a real long walk. It's good to clear my head and work thoughts out. Although I wish it wasn't streets and cars and construction I was passing by. I visualize a Seattle of long ago when I am strolling. One wish I have is of a rural setting for us, in the very near future. It's hard to be content in the now, which for us means city. I want country, as soon as possible. Patiently awaiting the country life and figuring out what exactly that means for us. 
  Now to put a sweater on Viggo and go meet my little lady at the farmers market. Happy weekend sweet friends! xo m

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

there is a light that never goes out...

  Learning how to let go (of love, with love...) is something I have taken so many years to begin cultivating. I am just now discovering what this unfamiliar process looks like to me. Unconditional love is something I am only able to practice with my children, my sister, my best friend (honestly, just my children). I have never experienced a romantic love that has remained, was steadfast and unchanged. My loves have always diminished or shattered. Sometimes the love morphed into something, at times, that was unbearable to sit in even for a moment. I know now that hostility, questioning, lack of support, are things I cannot abide in a relationship. The moment I feel my stomach painfully tighten, even a little (and that voice screams in my mind "Run!"), I can no longer ignore. Yes, everyone has off days or gets cranky, but when I feel a pattern of negativity is being established, and thoughts of my beloved no longer invite joy into my heart-but usher in the beginnings of a bitter dreadfulness... I am unable to be open, warm and in love. I retreat, out of self protection, and remove myself from the situation.

  I honestly don't know how to grieve a love lost. It's easier if the person was a real creep (as most of them were). But if it just wasn't working (maybe there were personality clashes/lifestyle differences) and it couldn't go on but no one was an insufferable monster... It's a little harder to stop the relationship. And how do you ever completely close the door? I am terribly fond of unrequited romance, this is not necessarily a good thing. I tend to mis-remember or mythologize my memories. Like it's never ever really truly over.
  My last romance broke (continues to break..) my heart. It was, for many years an unrequited teenage memory/fantasy and when we reconnected it was fireworks, electricity, wild abandon, instant intuitive everything. It seemed so meant to be and nearly flawless until, only a few months later the flaws appeared and everything began to dissolve and fall apart. I feel so heartsick. It keeps coming and unfolds daily. And thank you all for being so patient (friends and readers), I know I've been harping on and on about my romantic experience quite a lot lately... Some days it is so hard to stay away from this romance. In the past, in much darker, completely damned relationships, I always stayed and stayed and stayed, much to my detriment. Now I have to believe that my ability to walk away is a strength. I won't ignore the warning signs and wait until it's nearly impossible to disengage.
   It's Autumn and raining, endless cups of tea and chores and things demanding of my attention. I just want to crawl into bed watch sappy movies, eat chocolate covered shortbread and cry. Wait! I was excited about school yesterday. Yes, I am going back to school. I'm happy to realized I'm just a handful of classes away from my AA (and how I even accumulated any credits is a real feat cuz I was not functioning on a healthy plane 1995-2002) and then I can pursue my Psychology BA (at what school?) and figure out what kinda MA (yeah, where?) and get all sorts of diplomas etc... etc... and move to Berlin/Maine/Dublin/Nola/Magic Island and do cool things and help people figure their heads and hearts out... Today I crashed into lovesick sadness a little. It happens (to me a lot), I'm stressed. There are still many questions with school (waiting to hear about financial aid) and bills long over due and I am sad, not over things and really bummed by the way things turned out with my loved one... I keep thinking it over and over again and flirting with the sweet memories but I do remember what caused me to take a step back and I do think I am where I'm meant to be, right now. I do think I made the right decision. As painful as it is, I made the right choice for me.
   I am creating my life, everyday, with every action and I want it to be a kind, happy, beautiful and wondrous reality. xo m

Saturday, November 1, 2014

the rain came in...

  The Autumn rain has finally started. I was really starting to wonder. It felt as if Summer had set in for good. Flowers and leaves, awake and unfolding at the wrong time. Everything in nature seemed out of sync and slightly confused. A couple weeks ago I journey to the little island of Vashon with one of my oldest friends (I have been friends with the lovely Carey for 25 years! It boggles my mind because it seems like just yesterday we were dancing to Bauhaus at the all ages dance club... Time is such a silly thing!). The weather that day was unseasonably warm and so bright.
 We fell a little in love with this magical coffee house that had hundreds of kinds of tea and was housed in an old dance hall. The building also contained a vintage book store and a health food grocery. Locals came in doing their daily shopping or coffee getting and it was every bit the picture of idyllic small town life. Nearly everyone was wearing some sort of groovy pnw vibe sweater and most people seemed to know one another.
   I was struggling with envy and judgement today. My daughter goes (on scholarship) to a private school. I love the school. We have had our struggles there (Not long ago, I posted about a bullying situation. In the conference with the teachers I agreed to trust them to facilitate healing and resolution. And things are, thankfully, improving in that area). I am very active and involved at the school. Still, it is hard for me, at times, to reserve judgement about the other parents.It's difficult to be surrounded by so many apparently blissfully happy, excessively moneyed folks and not feel a little bitter, jealous... I try to park my old volvo a block away so that when it invariably won't start (fuse terminal, wiring, short? I have problems about daily, every other day if I'm lucky) and I have to open the fuse box and fuss around in it for several minutes to get it to start, I don't have an audience of lookers on.. I get very wrapped up in my own day to day and imagine that these people have it easy, have no idea of struggle. But, for the most part, I don't know their stories. I can only control my own. Still the envy is there. I suggested, to the pta-which I am a part of, that we have our own funds for the group becasue not everyone (Hi, Me! I can't afford it!) should be expected to buy needed materials or coffee and snacks for large group meetings out of their own pocket. They were kinda like, Huh? But then understood and agreed it was a great idea... meh. Oct is a difficult transition month for work and I'm always feeling extra overwhelmed by the bills while less money is coming in.
  All that said, I have decided to go back to school. I'm actually only a handful of credits away from my AA and want to close in on a BA and then go to grad school. Big dreams. I had always envisioned going back to school in my 50s or 60s (when I had the time, haha) But I have a few friends (some of them single mamas) who have done it or are doing it and I think now is the time for me to try. This last week was a whirlwind of meetings at the school and testing and paperwork and online clicking and sending... I start on Jan 5th for winter. I'm pretty excited!!

We are immersed back in the land of OZ. I love these books and their old timey wording and delicacy. The art is so pretty and there are so many OZ books, although some of pretty boring and lack to pizzazz of the ones we love.
I took a couple pictures of books so I wouldn't forget to try and find them for my gal. The art in Marigold Garden is so pretty!


 Now it is Saturday. The day after Halloween. It rained heavily the entire evening. Wet feet, soggy candy, cranky kids. Super sugar hangovers and sniffly noses today. I let my little one watch the magic schoolbus which I will surely regret. Every time I use cartoons as a babysitter it turns out badly. But she woke up at 6am today (on school days I have to drag her out of bed at 7:15! But weekends she always wakes up by 6) and I just couldn't... I wanted to sleep more, I only got about 15 mins of sleep before the puppy started fussing around naughtily. xo m

Saturday, October 25, 2014

mysterious elusive magical

  The nature of love is something I muse on constantly. The mysteries of life, luck, timing, I reflect on often. I go over conversations, gestures, glances, with analytical dissection. I do character studies of strangers, loved ones or internet "research" (ie obsessive bookmarking and youtube-ing, image,text searching) trying to put together or take apart what feelings make up who. In my head, there is always a story being written, sometimes fictional, often autobiography. occasionally, the story I'm writing isn't a story at all, but my actual life. My mental landscape leans towards the fantastical. It's always been so but lately even more intensely.
  I've been spending hours everyday writing. Now I skip my usual, exhausted end of day netflix streaming fest in favor or writing, attempting to translate my mental pictures, feelings into print. I'm writing a book (working title-vamp book) about Vampires. There are Vikings, humans, and now Witches and Cult members have appeared, there's a (still un-named) God-like Rock Icon.  The time period of vamp book spans 930 through 2014. Oh wait, there are actually things that happen before 930AD but the time isn't named... It's set mostly in Seattle but also in so many other places. Portland, Ireland, Africa, Iceland... The world and the mythology it contains has become complex, maybe too complex. I have a giant piece of paper over my writing desk that has a timeline and family trees on it. It's getting a little nuts. I sleep, eat, breathe that world. I exist in it whenever I possibly can. I'm not so sure why it's so important and demanding of my attention I just know that it is and I want to experience it, watch it unfold. It's like an ocean and the waves keep coming and I don't see the shore yet. I know there's land somewhere, it has to appear sooner or later.. If I'm patient and watchful.

 I still enjoy spending time in graveyards. I am so quintessentially gothic to the core. I love to sit there among the headstones and scribble away words, sentences, ideas, take pictures...
   There is something in being slightly miserable, or struggling or wading through a transition that makes me feel so hopelessly free and creative. I am wide awake to the inspiration of the universe. I open my arms and say yes. Inviting in creatures great and small. Dreaming and exploring and imagining a life that is full of beauty and a world of wonders untold.
  I believe that the hidden secrets of the heart and mind contain the most potent magic. It's that magic I seek and want to feel.

    The days grow colder and the black days, persistent rain and our drafty house reminds me that Winter is really coming. There's always water boiling, endless cups of tea being made. I get into bed at night, cuz it's warm there, and from beneath my covers, I write.  Samhain is approaching swiftly, bringing deep introspection, reflection. Stark changes ask for my attention and I comply. I'm discovering the new world, inside and out. xo m

Monday, October 20, 2014

tigress...

  I was born in 1974. Year of the Tiger. I have always felt such an affinity for cats of all kinds but the tiger is my cat of dreams. My fiery spirit animal. I channel Tiger energy in moments when I require strength. Lately my inner Tigress has been wide awake and roaring all day long.
   Last year my daughter entered kindergarten at a private school. The admissions process was long, exhausting and we were lucky enough to receive a scholarship. I don't want to get into too many details (out of respect for the families involved) but my daughter is being bullied by another little girl in her class. This began from the start of school last year and has only gotten worse. I feel like the teacher (who is new to the school) is, somewhat, minimizing my concerns. I'm meeting with the teachers tomorrow, then going to the head of school to talk about the situation. We are already evaluating other options and considering homeschooling until next year if need be. I am in full Tigress mode: awake, active, fierce, commanding... My concerns are valid and I won't be pacified until a positive resolution is reached.
    There were a few instances of bullying when my son was younger but at bigger (public) schools, it was easier for my son to avoid kids that were being less than kind. Luckily, I felt that the teachers and administration took things very seriously and had defined protocols in place. In a intimate private school setting it seems harder to deal with. Classes are smaller and there is only one class per grade.
If my daughter stays at this school, she will be in the same class with this girl every single year...

   I watch over my children carefully, gathering details, observing moments. My childhood was not a comforting, safe place. I know what misery looks like and it's a place I never want my children to live in. I seek to support, protect, encourage joy and find the best possible environment for my young ones.It's not an option to settle for anything less than ideal.
  I hardly slept this weekend, have knots in my stomach and feel so distracted form all my other life demands. I just want my little girl to feel happy, safe. And she does not.  I will be going into the meeting tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully there is a positive outcome. Trying to do my best to feeeeel optimistic but my gut is telling me to pull her out of there and then figure out the next step... xo m

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

creative life & daily practices...

  Autumn always finds me busy as a bee. There's back to school for my children, a swift succession of holidays, many close friend and family birthdays to celebrate and, I have realized that, Autumn is my most intensive creative period. As the days turn darker, cooler, we are forced more often indoors, I am swept away by mental adventures, stories, ideas...


  As a teen and young adult I was steadfast in my belief that my writing was something than need not be cultivated or regimented in any way. I guess when I had a surplus of time and minimal responsibilities, that worked for me. I could write and create whenever the mood hit, able to drop whatever I was doing and get lost chasing my muses. Writers and artists I admired (Sylvia Plath, Rimbaud, Byron, Anne Sexton, the Brontes...) were generally of the self-destructive or tortured variety. I thought that's how all artists lived/worked. I was naive, hadn't thoroughly researched how many of my beloved artists and writers approached their work. I knew F. Scott Fitzgerald had a mentally ill wife (who was an amazing artist herself, to whom he wrote beautiful love letters) a deep affinity for gin, partied all night and grew up in the South... That was enough for me, I idealized what I saw as the romantic aspects of his character. Had I delved deeper into his process I would've know that he spent most of his daytime hours in front of his typewriter. Writing was approached as a full time job. Although not always wholeheartedly... When I was 24 I had a quote from an F. Scott biography tattooed on my right arm:

"I've found my line
 from now on this comes first
This is my immediate duty
Without this I am nothing"
  F. Scott said he wished he'd said that to himself about his writing after he'd finished Gatsby. I idealistically got my tattoo and then kinda forgot about it as life got busy, I cultivated my own fondness for loud parties and staying up all night, left my husband, became a single parent... I let my writing diminish in size and frequency. I still wrote in a journal, though not dutifully, I blogged on occasion but was not giving life to fiction (which I enjoy most of all) or memoir.

  Now, with not enough time and a towering mountain of work & mama responsibilities, I have began implementing a rhythm of daily practices to support and encourage my creative life and well, damn, finish all these projects. I have been known to not always complete a great many of my passionate stories. I am not content to just let this thing, this energy slip away and hide. My creative routine is pretty basic and wonderful in it's simplicity!
   I sit and write. It's really that simple. I make myself sit at certain times in certain places and eventually I write things. Every morning, first thing after dropping my kids at school, I go to a coffee shop, get coffee and sit and write. I have a notebook in my purse. Sometimes, I bring my laptop but usually just actually writing with pen on paper works best for me. I write again or edit in the afternoon, just after lunch. I write again when the kids go to bed. These aren't the only times I write but these are the times I do make sure to always write. It's working well. Pages are filling up, Short stories are being finished. The neglected novel is growing, getting edited and transforming into something completely new.


  I also need time outside, rain or shine, every day. I get so much inspiration from life/nature. My imaginary world is born of Black clouds, mist & rain, rolling waves, leaves underfoot, counting fairy rings of mushrooms, a murder or crows circling evergreens and cawing... So much beauty everywhere about me if I can make my internal loop silent and demand my mind whine a little quieter. I remain open and wait for images to appear. And they always come.

  I listened to Nick Cave talk about his creative process on npr a few weeks back and was (no duh...) immensely inspired.  Now I need to get inspired to make soup. It's chilly, kids will be home soon and everyone will be talking, all at once around the dinner table, of the day. xo m