Thursday, November 29, 2012

ohhh, blech.

Another stretch between posts, and now I've chosen an extremely limited amount of time and space to write in. but at least I'm doing it. In between bursts of productivity and mind numbing overwhelmed-ness, there is this post.
 The Queen City Market is the 8th of December. Which is entirely Awesome. I've done enough shows to have a really clear idea of what I need to do to prepare. Yet, I've been awash in anxiety tempered with ambivalence. Wanting to get lots of merch made, but feeling less than passionate about what I'm making. Needing to do a few practice set ups, but being unclear about what I'm bringing, what I have, what what what.
Tired. I'm tired. Though I sleep deep, deep, long nights of sleep. I wake happy to be waking, to get up, to share the morning with Nik'l and kitten and Boris. Then I waft through focus into uncertainty, driven by a pointless determination to appear competent and the cats, since they're the only ones who've witnessed the last few days. I make things, and make lists, and never stop doing, but somehow manage to feel like I haven't done much. Which reminds me that I meant to vacuum today.
I feel off kilter, and un-centered and uncertain what it is, exactly, that I need. I am working on being compassionate, and open and present. I think that tomorrow I will walk. Breathe and move and let my mind clear. Settle into myself and listen so I can know what it is that I need in order to feel more myself again.
Struggly, achy, sludgy. At least I know that at the other end will be clarity, movement, and growth.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


There was nothing that she couldn't do. Learning and practice composed the bulk of her days. Yet task after task, lesson after lesson, she had mastered them all. She was giddy with the power, the control, the possibilities. Her own brilliance amazed her. She had momentarily feared that the task at hand would be insurmountable when it was initially presented to her. But with only four attempts..Four..she had conquered her most difficult skill to date. Shoe tying. Incredible. She was Nearly Five years old, and the world was hers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I keep finding myself pressed up against the issue of housing. Where I live, where I want to live, and the chasm between them. This issue goes hand in hand with a mother ton of negativity, frustration, and a feeling of helplessness. I'm angry at the owner of my building. I want to have a roof that isn't (literally) full of holes. I want windows that keep the cold out. I want walls that don't grow mold, and that aren't crumbling (again, literally). I am angry because I cannot believe that it is a lack of money that prevents these things being done, but a lack of care. And I deserve care, respect, a safe place to live. And so I have cycled through and around all of this for over a year now. I packed most of our belongings. We gave notice. We stopped paying rent. We started work on other dilapidated apartments in exchange for it. I visualized and worked on manifesting my homestead. I accepted that this is where I am and unpacked. I re painted and re decorated. Recently we considered a temporary move of 6 months to a transitional space. Then we considered making peace with where we are (really this time) as we hope for the sale and subsequent salvation of our building.

What do I do? I create my peace, I create my life, I create my space, I choose how I react. I choose to stay, or to go.

Last night I spent a frenzied 20 minutes re organizing and randomly scrubbing at things with a magic eraser. Whipped up into a little tornado of anxiety. Thinking of the next day, the upcoming week, the things I want to do/need to do. In desperate need of some centering, I laid in bed and breathed. I let go of the next day. I felt warm, safe, quiet. I felt Nik'l reading beside me. I felt how perfect and complete the moment was, and slept.

Today is here. I'm trying to manage things further by staying present not just in this day, but in whatever I'm doing in any given moment. trying not to get ahead of myself. Some days this all feels so manageable, and some days I struggle. Patience. Patience on the days that I stumble. all is well here and now. All is well.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

nature ushers in...

We went hiking yesterday at Hunter's Creek Park. After having hiked at peak foliage season a few times this year, all I could see at first was the absence of leaves.
The woods seemed barren and bleak. Then we came to the creek, and I saw a heron, perched mid stream and almost perfectly camouflaged there. Seeing it was a thrill, and I spent a few moments wondering at how graceful it was, and how large. As we walked on I began to notice the pines leaning out over the water as their roots clung to the eroding bank.
And I breathed in the sweet smell of decay as I looked at all of the brilliance of fall foliage turned to one color beneath my feet. And I saw fallen trees turned a deep, rich red in their decomposition. I saw milkweed pods, burst open and spilling perfect individual parachutes of hope and life out onto the breezes.
And it was so beautiful! It wasn't the lush and supple that is summer. It wasn't the brilliant and vivid that is early autumn. It was the letting go and simplifying, the preparation for, the life cycle of late fall. And I looked at all of those empty branches again,and saw how they were perfect. And I knew that they were waiting to hold the thinnest edges of snow, which would turn them into magical, sparkling, delicate reminders of how perfect it all is.

And I felt humbled and grateful and bursting with joy at it all.
This is why we go into the woods. To feel connected to the earth beneath our feet, safely held by the trees around us, pulled out of ourselves and into something bigger.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Happy Birthday

Nik turns 39 today! I get to celebrate all of the things about her that I find so remarkable and amazing every single day. But today, I get to do it louder!
A few things about Nik'l that make me proud...
 Her loyalty, which is deep. Her absolute sweetness, which is so apparent in her actions. Her authenticity and frank honesty. Her integrity, and willingness to stand up and speak out. Her brilliance, and ideas for helping people create more connection and joy. Her optimism and hope. Her big open playful spirit ,sense of adventure, her smile, and laugh. Her wonder and curiosity about the world...
I am so blessed to love her, and to fall in love more as time passes, and time passes sweetly and easily. Even when we argue, when life feels like rough waters, there is a deep calm place that is love. friendship. commitment. wonder. joy. gratitude.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On aging

Once a month, I get the pms, and I believe that the issues which arise during this time are the issues I most need to look at, honor, heal, and release. But there is life to live, and there are distractions, and denial, and the fact that changing old beliefs is a gradual process. So, I get repeats, like accepting my own aging process. I briefly touched on this subject in the June 16 post My Naked Face. This month, I have decided to really focus on reassessing my beliefs about aging and beauty. Let's start with the old stuff...

   I don't have vivid memories of how I viewed my physicality as a kid. I was active, and loved to do 'gymnastics' in the yard, and run and ride my bike and swim. I got my period for the first time when I was twelve, and it ushered in a world of changes. I went from super skinny to all filled out and it felt strange and uncomfortable. My first remembered compliments on my appearance came hand in hand with fear, shame, and a numbing sense of isolation.
   In High School I remember liking my hands. I read a lot (also known as constantly) and wore great big Cure and Smiths tee shirts. I remember Amy (I think her name was Amy) Hutton, who shaved her head but not her armpits, and loving that about her.
   When I was in my early 20's I was super skinny. Every day I smoked a pack of cigarettes, drank a few pots of coffee and ate popcorn for at least two meals, so that isn't much of a surprise. I had 20-ish year old skin, and it was lovely. I had some serious dislike for my face, and ignored, abused, and generally hated my body. I shaved my head, and wore enormous overalls with men's tee shirts.
   By my early 30's a few things had happened, helped along by lots of excellent talk therapy in my 20's and a driving desire to know myself, and to be happy. I quit smoking, gained weight, and freaked out. Having a soft pillowy body felt unsafe to me, and I missed feeling like I was a 'safe' assemblage of edges and lines. I started reading about and practicing self acceptance, and I eventually developed a connection with my body as something to honor and care for. I started to like my face, a bit more anyway. I learned to look into my own eyes and say I love you. When my mother died (which I wrote about in my July 26 entry Grief Takes Time), and I found peace and forgiveness and enormous reserves of love for her, I learned to love my face, in theory.
   So here I am. 39 years old. I still struggle with the body I am living in, and the face I wear. And I am tired of that struggle. I have wasted too much of my precious time in harsh judgement of my physical body. Wasted time. I will never be this young again. The little wrinkles? They'll grow up to be the predominant feature on my face to most people. The wee soft chin? It will likely (given genetics) one day rest itself upon my chest. I will get very soft, and cats and chickens will think they've found heaven in my lap and arms. I will get shorter. I will grow invisible to young people. I intend to stay active, and to garden and tend my chickens, and work my property, though I will likely do it all rather slowly. And in orthopedic shoes. One day I will look at pictures of me at this age and think, 'damn, what a looker'. So I may as well start doing that right now. Allowing myself to say I am beautiful, allowing myself to believe it. To feel gratitude that my body is beautiful, and strong, and capable, and miraculous. I carry my parents around in the shape of my face and the color of my eyes. And I love my parents, and I'm so lucky to see them when I look in the mirror. To see my face, not as a flawed thing but as a perfect one.
   I think this has helped. When I am tempted to be harsh with myself, I will imagine I am 60, 70, 80 years old and looking at my 39 year old face. And I'll look deeply into my own eyes in the mirror and say, 'honey, you're a looker'.
My face today.