welcome to the next chapter...

once a long time ago, i read on a blog, "i am a lesbian but thats not all i am". i was then just teetering on the edge coming out as a lesbian. back then, although i understood what she was saying, i was completely drowning in that one dimension of my identity. i knew then i was more than also but such turmoil tends to shrink your field of vision. it is scary and exciting and anticipatory and it is exhausting.

i am almost 5 years out now. some things look differently in my life. some things are the same. but i revel in the knowledge that i am a lesbian and in the knowledge that i really am more than just... my field of vision has grown to include the wide open spaces of life's endless possibilies.

for those of you who know me, you will be able to find the familiar places of my old writings which i will have on the sidebar. for those who stumble upon me and find yourself confused by fragmented references or are struggling to come out later in life, you will find the Closer to Fine link most helpful. I recommend reading it from the beginning, it makes more sense.

one more thing, blame my lack of capital letters on e.e. cummings...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

sending out love to the universe

i miss singing this lullaby to my babies on the weekends they are here.   so even though, my lovelies, i have not tucked you in tightly tonight and stroked your hair,  i am going to send it out to the universe and pray that you hear it in your hearts.   if i could i would fix everything and soothe you and heal you, but until that day comes, close your eyes little ones and listen...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

retribution on the other hand sally....

The law of restitution is the law of gains-based recovery. It is to be contrasted with the law of compensation, which is the law of loss-based recovery. Obligations to make restitution and obligations to pay compensation are each a type of legal response to events in the real world. When a court orders restitution it orders the defendant to give up his gains to the claimant. When a court orders compensation it orders the defendant to compensate the claimant for his or her loss.

no matter how much i sympathize with Sally, i don't think the law supports her cry for restitution.

however, its  not the first time a boy has tried to over compensate with a sincere pumpkin patch just to try to catch a girl.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


it is the one emotion/action i do not understand.   i do not know where to place it in the closet of hanging emotions i have waiting for me to pull out and wear for the day.  it has no hanger, drawer and i haven't been able to figure out how to fold it (sorta like fitted sheets)  i look at it in my hands wringing it and rolling it into a ball and throwing it in a lump in the far top shelf in the corner. its real and i see it everyday but it is not worth display.

i have no label for it.  no compassion for it.  no justification for it. no intellectual understanding of it.  it just makes me shake my head.  i saw a man walk passed a man standing outside the grocery store the other day as i was driving into the driveway.  the man standing was asking for a job, money or a prayer.  the other man  clipped him with his shoulder and called him "a piece of shit".    i don't understand it.  i didn't have a job or money for that man but i always have a prayer.  but in my opinion the cruel jerk needed the prayer more than the soul holding the sign.   i prayed separate and sincerely compassionate prayers for both of them.  

unprovoked cruelty,  cruelty meant to provoke...  i have resolved on a personal level, with the personal cruelty i deal with that retaliation of any kind is just cruelty dressed in justification clothes.  still cruelty but with an excuse.  its still cruelty even if you dress it up.    some feel provocation is all they need, in fact, they wait in hope for it  but it really isn't a "get out of jail free card".  cruelty stands alone and we decide what we will do with it once it is fired at us.   i have chosen what i want to do with it.  it takes practice, perhaps indefinitely, perhaps forever.   i cannot give my energy to cruelty in my life.   i choose to recognize it and to let it go.

what will happen when/if i am presented with it on a grander scale that has nothing to do my interpersonal relationships?  i don't know.   i put my faith in God that he will guide me to the best outcome.

Cruelty is, perhaps, the worst kid of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable.
Jodie Foster

Cruelty towards others is always also cruelty towards ourselves. Paul Tillich

Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt. George Bernard Shaw

My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt. Anna Sewell

Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it. Anna Sewell

The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love - almost as violent and much more mischievous. Aldous Huxley

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell. Bertrand Russell

The truth doesn't have to do with cruelty, the truth has to do with mercy. Ken Kesey

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult. Isaac Asimov

Where does discipline end? Where does cruelty begin? Somewhere between these, thousands of children inhabit a voiceless hell. Francois Mauriac

Thursday, October 20, 2011

first, i want the edited words back into the song. then....

then i want to get off my ass and out of my fears and start up my photography business.   not to make millions but to do it because it brings me joy.   i want to become the eclectic old woman who you are not sure is 40 or 60 years old.   i want my fair share of my body back.   no one took it from me mind you,  i just let it walk out the door and blamed it on everyone and everything else but me.  i don't need rib removal or liposuction.  i don't want a partner less than 10 years younger than me.  so there is no need to go all "Cher" on the single ladies.   Besides that i don't think i have the energy.

when i was younger i dreamed of being 40.   of how powerful and successful i would be.  it passed me by in a blink of an eye.  but there is no reason why 50 can't be the new 40.  so now i just need to get off my ass and out of my fears....  

ps.  does it count if you join the mile high club by yourself?  (i'm just askin')

Monday, October 17, 2011

the problem with thinking you know everything...

we rage against the machines in the beginning of our age
we writhe in pain, we take the stage or put our pen to the page
new ideals, new beliefs in our inevitable naivite'
we strike out on our journey as if our footsteps lead the way.

surprised now as we sit here looking back
we ponder all our seeking and how much more now we lack
we speak of "when", we pour the wine and raise our aging cups
but i wonder friends, the wisdom we sought will let us soon grow up.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

authentic self

 the authentic self is really our only path we have to find salvation... so many of us are desperately trying to find ourselves... without being whole we can never be a part of a half...

each time i hear this song it brings me another "gift".  thoughts of how singular our lives are.  how connected we all can be.   how important that odd connection is.   

 singular, we want to be complete. we want to be good company to ourselves.  we want to amuse ourselves in our own heads and experiences.  we want memories to be like a warm dip into the hot springs.   acceptance and happiness instead of regrets or loneliness for what is gone or greediness because it didn't last as long as we wanted it to.  or sadness because in the singularity we find ourselves, we feel an empty instead of a blessing.

we get so tied up in day to day "have to's" that we lose pieces of ourselves.  or we forget them, thinking that we can find them again when and if we have the time.  every now and then we think back and wonder where did i go?   i really liked me then.  now i don't even know me. sometimes it takes so long to remember, that we are not even sure it is really us we are remembering.  perhaps it was a dream of what we needed to be exactly how we wanted to be but knew we couldn't really be.

family and friends.  i grew up in the LDS church and had the "families are forever" mantra drilled into my head from the moment i walked through the threshold of  the 5th ward.  i never learned to think of forever.   life changes too much, too fast. how could anything last forever? i never could wrap my head around that belief.   friends disappear, die,  lovers dissolve, seasons betray me.  i am 50 next year,  do you know i still naively believe  in the endless summer?   i am  so stunned as i look out the window and see the trees changing colors and settling down for the winter to come.  i am doing that as i speak, beautiful yellow with a back drop of still green trees.  I sip my wine in disbelief. and ponder things i can't express.

children.  they are the most wonderful experiences i have or will ever have in my life.  yet with every day you teach them to learn to live without you, away from you, singular and hopefully whole in their singularity.  when i think about them, i miss every single day of their lives.  every laugh, every tear and i pray.  i pray that they are on their own journey of self.  i pray that there will be more times that i share with them to add to my book of memories.  but forever just doesn't fit inside the cover of the book of my life.   even the bible has a back cover.

Monday, October 10, 2011

i think i have a dress designer on my hands...

she disappeared into the craft room and came out with a styled dress with back buttons down the back and just needing a few extra things to finish it.   she made her own party dress.   tell me what can i expect next?

Bannock Long House ala Emma

We gathered sticks from around the pond and spent 2 hours building the long house in the craft room.  we also took two pretend flickering candles and glued kindling around them so you can see the flickering when the lights are down....    tonight we do the poster board and a Bannock Indian legend.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

bits and pieces...

when i first moved out of my parents home my mother put a radio in my old room and cranked it all day and closed the door.   she told me one day when i came to visit,  "i have missed the music blaring  from your room for 15 years that made it  impossible for your father and i to watch tv".    i laughed and thought her just a silly woman.... cute but weird.

i walked passed the girls room tonight and they had turned on the radio and promptly left the room to do something else.  i usually call after them and make them come back and turn it off but i had a flash of my cute but weird mother and suddenly understood the "empty" that suddenly wasn't there after a long 2 week stretch from my time with my babies.  i get it.  i think i might just leave that radio on next tuesday morning... 

what a cute and weird mother they have...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

reach with all your might... your hand hold will be there....

Jesus told his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake as he dismissed the crowd.   then afterward he went to the hills to pray.   during this time his disciples became  embroiled by a high sea and it frightened them as they were tossed about by the wind in the waves.  they cried out in fear "Jesus! Save Us!"      in the distance they saw a figure walking toward them above the waves.  They cried out "its a ghost!"    Jesus voice rang out above the wind wailing and the sound of the waves pounding against the boat.   "it is I, Jesus... do not be afraid"    Peter speaks, my Lord if you are there walking above the water and are safe,  lord if its you, tell me to meet you in the water and Jesus said come.... peter walked upon the water until he was overcome by the fear of the weather. and the wind buffting him and he broke his gaze with Jesus and  began to sink.    Peter cried out!   Save me my Lord!   and Jesus reached out to Peter  and he was saved.   "Yea of little faith. why did you doubt me?    they climbed into the boat the winds died down and all the disciples praised him as the true Messiah


anchors are not always heavy iron weights that one uses to stop movement.

sometimes they are like branches waiting in the distance. you leap from one branch and with faith you reach out and believe that the next hand hold will be there when you close your hand to grab it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

evening constitutional...

every night i spend at least 10 minutes standing on my balcony looking out over the water, grass below me and the sky above me.   i never step outside with a purpose or a train of thought, its like i am stepping into a blank slate and i breathe deeply and let out whatever i have been holding inside.

tonight the sky was speckled with dense clouds.  stars peeked through but were quickly hidden again.  i wondered if any of my prayers or worries and thoughts could ever filter up through the maze and make it into the universe where i really needed them to be.   

i listened to the life quieting down around me.  students coming home, people taking out the trash as their last chore of the night.  a baby giggling and then crying as it's mother finally pulled him/her away from splashing in the water.

a night like any other night, yet unique it is own way and never to be exactly the same again.   i wonder if my prayers are lost in the clouds to be silenced tonight, or will they break free for the messages to blanket the world around me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

God is there...

Dedicated to our loving God
Boise United Church of Christ
Copyright ninamichelle , 2011

god is in the minutes
in the seconds
in the hours

god is in the afternoon sun or perhaps
a fleeting ray on a cloudy day…
god is in an aging garden as much as
in the bud of the flowers…
god does not always break your silence

perhaps its good to keep in mind
He might be inside it
waiting for you to find

 god is in the words we speak and
in those we choose to hold back,
maybe there is a second when we think perhaps
this will hurt more than fill in the empty,
if the conversation lacks...

 god is in our achievements
no matter how small...
or large there is no difference between the minutes after
we realize we did it
 He's there you’ll see it
if you need it
you'll feel it....

 god is in the hours
calendar days, tick tock of the clock He is there to encourage,
to comfort, to bridge the gap of whatever
you're missing...

 god is in the minutes
in the seconds
in the hours...

He is there to be heard
if you are listening...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


chalk nazis have taken away one of our artistic outlets.   neighbors and friends will be bummed as well.  it was fun to see grown ups knocking on the door to borrow the 3-D glasses to inspect their own spontaneous art.  i am pleased to have been part of bringing people together and giving them an outlet for a little while.  there are other sidewalks to be found.  spontaneous art certainly won't die but it is sad to see the project come to an end.  thanks to everyone who stopped by and put a little of your personality outside of our door.  it was good for you and it was certainly good for us.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

no more words...

every  year since 9/11 i have written or shared something.  i have done the "where were you's?"

  i have posted a song by Melissa Etheridge,

  i have shared the letter from david, a young man affected by the events of losing his father on 9/11 and a second letter back from david's mother.

 i have shared the feelings of having a young family and their reactions.  my reactions.  my husband's reaction which i will never forget.   he was thrown in between being the father/husband of the household to 3 1/2 children and a wife and a store full of  associates who, in an instant,when the reality sank in, turned into his children as well. looking for guidance and compassion and listening ear as they spilled out all their fears and anger.  he was more that day than just the store manager.  he was a spiritual leader, a calming voice, a compass.  i was so proud of him and yet so worried about the heavy load he was carrying.    he had to go to work, be all those things,  comfort 400 people and keep a store running smoothly.  i can't imagine the weight he held as he drove to work

 but before he did all that,  i remember clearly, we sent off the two older ones to school with brave faces.  ( we didnt know what else to do without causing both of them hysteria)    i sat down at the kitchen chair and he leaned against the wall in front of me.   i looked to him and said, "what do we do?"  and he slowly slid down the wall until he was sitting on the hardwood floor.  he looked at me and said,  "i don't know".   and he meant it.  i saw a man who perhaps for the first time in his life really didn't know what to do.  i am sure he was reeling with overwhelming responsibility and not a clue how to begin. he, with millions of others in the world felt the same, i am sure.  there were no more words to say between us.   our eyes locked on each other and they stayed there.    our 3 year old came and jumped up in her "daddens" lap and began to play and we watched her.  we were jealous of her innocence and scared to death of her future.   i wrapped my arms around my 7 month gestating belly and could feel a little person reacting to my obvious raise blood pressure.  i looked down at my stomach and then back at my husband and child again.   we said nothing more except than that he may be late and we would keep in touch by phone all day.   i wished him well and told him to send my love to his associates.

ten years later.  i still have  no more words.  i can't watch video from that day all day long.  i am not turning on the television unless i see Sponge Bob.   i am not posting my rotating 9/11 posts.  in the 10 years since, i have only learned one thing.  i know nothing new.  i have no new angle.  i have very limited tears to shed.  i hung up my grandfathers flag today.  recognized what the day was ten years ago and what today is now.  i spent the day in the park and the river and eating BLT sandwiches.  i felt and feel blessed it was today and not ten years ago.  i was happy to see my baby who was safe in my stomach 10 years ago, safe now goofing off in the river.  i have compassion, i remember, i spent time in refection and reverence but i have no more words.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the rule of life


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

quinn's pond...

i often sit on the steps of the pond next to my house.   warm summer nights and my feet in the water seem to calm my fears and  staring up at the heavens allows my imagination to run wild.
for weeks i had seen her, walking briskly in her plaid shorts and white wife beater, obviously getting a little bit of exercise once the temperature was more agreeable.  i would meet her eyes, smile and say hello as she walked passed.  she kept walking and i went back to splashing and dreaming.  i assumed that because she didn't pass by again that she was taking a different way home.  perhaps under the bridge or all the way around the pond.
after a week or so i began to think longer and longer about that smile she would flash me.   a small blush would creep over my face as i returned my eyes to the sky.   one night, i heard her footsteps coming up from the gravel.  i noticed her gait was slower and my heart jumped when i did my well rehearsed turn of the head and the smile at her.   she was strolling that night.  she smiled in kind and waited to see if my body language changed in reaction to her own.   i found myself with a grin and a nervous pull of the one side of my hair to tuck it behind my ear so that i might see her better.   that's all it took for her,  it was obvious that although she was tentative about me, she was sure of herself.
"Hi, mind if i sit?"  she said, as she was already sitting, politely,  respecting my personal space.  i giggled and said of course.  as usual i lowered my head in a submissive and shy way that i just can't seem to overcome.  she sat with her elbows on her knees and her hands grasped together.  shoulders square and assured.  i thought i might vacillate and fall face first into the water and giggled a bit at the thought..   before she could ask why i was laughing i said, "i'm nina, and you are the walker of the green belt."  with that goofy smile i wish i could tame, i turned to her to meet her eyes for a minute.  "I'm Mel."  "hi Mel, walker of the Green Belt"  i smiled and said,  " you are not walking tonight."    "No,"  she said, "i was beginning to wonder if maybe i was missing something.  every night i see you sitting here as i walk by,  i decided you might know something more about relaxing than i do.  so i decided to try it your way tonight.   what are we doing here on the stairs with your feet in the water?"
"it depends, it changes every night" i said.  "sometimes i pray or meditate, let my imagination float out on the water."   " what are you most comfortable with?" she said,   i smiled.... "its all the same thing to me really."  "okay, so that explains why you are sitting here.... but why are your feet wet?"    i laughed with my head back and loud enough that in the distance a dog started barking.   "i dunno,  because it feels good.  its still incredibly warm and in a few months it will no longer be here.  i guess."   "besides,  my best feature are my feet and i like admiring the red polish sparkling in the light that bounces off the water."   and again i assumed that submissive position and blushed.   She moved just an inch toward me.  Close enough to reach for my face slowly so i could tell she came to me in sincerity.   "your feet are beautiful but its not your best feature."   she  raised my face to hers and our eyes met for a second and then i felt as if i had been electrocuted.  my eyes looked down but she asked me softly to look back up at her.   "do you want to kiss me nina?".   i couldn't control the tears that immediately filled my eyes,  all that could come out of my mouth was, "yes, please...."  i remember moaning and leaning into her slightly so she knew i wasn't ready to pull away.
once she pulled away, she asked,  "are you single?"  i smiled,  and sighed as i said that i was.   "lucky me."  she whispered and grinned.   I took a big breath and said,  "I am much older than you are, you know that right?"   she looked confused for a moment as her eyes scanned my face and saw the fear in my eyes.  "you're beautiful" she said.  i laughed appreciatively and told her with my exquisitely rehearsed self deprecating humor that its a well known fact that the the dark takes away 30 years.   she shook her head.    "I am not that young."  she said.   I held my breath while i waited for her to reveal the magic number.  teasing me she didn't continue the topic and cradled my face in her hands instead.  "can i kiss you again?"   but i didn't spend anytime answering her.  i dove into her beautiful lips.  licking them,  giggling as i bit down on her bottom lip and ran my hands into her short dark hair and pulled...just softly enough to see if she would allow me to bare her neck and let me smell her and kiss her and ramble about how incredible she looked.   at first she was worried that i would bite too hard but i promised.... " hickeys are soooo yesterday".   she smelled so good.  soap and water and the salt from the warm day still lingering on her skin.   i released my grip in her hair but did not let go.  god, it was so soft and slick
i tilted my neck backward and she moved closer so that she could bite my chin, and  move to my jaw and then down to the curve between my ear and my shoulder.   she drew in all my soft tissue and bit down until she hit tendon and  i let out a guttural moan that might have sounded to some as if i were dying... and in truth, i was so close to a delicious, desperately wanted, little death. and i know she knew it.
she pulled back softly.  "i really am not that young and you really are that beautiful".  she said again. she kissed me softly, lips, chin, shoulder and then she stood up and kissed my hand like gentlemen used to do to show respect and passion.  i said,  "instead of sandals,  next time i will wear walking shoes and you can show me what your evening looks like."    "its a date."  she said and she disappeared in the direction she always went each time i saw her.  i splashed a bit more in the moonlight and went home to find my walking shoes.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

still beautiful.....

sorry JD,  i would be glad to hand out fliers with your full name, work history, address, phone number and a brief history to everyone here at the condo if you feel you need more info about the lousy living conditions here....  they would be glad to write, email or call you and let you know just what they think... of you.   i would hate to think i was the only one enjoying myself.....  actually looking at all my neighbors,  i think they would  get a kick out of letting you know what you think of them.     they all seem to have an opinion that might surprise you if i decided to just go with the plan.... it would be fun....  gina helped a lot with all the info..... keep checking your mailbox and oddly enough we have a few Mainiacks here that would love to have a conversation with you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

an address...

i had to leave where i lived. it was like living in the middle of Love Canal and refusing to leave "because it of the intention of the whole thing". so what if she had got there first. once we were separated we pined for each other so much that we would actually have her come stay during the week that i had my girls so we could at least touch paradise even if the minute we waved goodbye to them we were scratching each others eyes out and i was helping her pack her over night bag.

yet the minute the house came up for rent next to her she called me all excited! she ran over to talk to carl and give him the best reference i have never had to pay for. she wanted me there. i wanted me there. we hoped that we could mend the fences and keep our "family" together.

we tried for a year and depending on which version and which person you ask, it didn't work for more than 3 days at a time. (personal joke that i hope one day we will both be able to embrace).

it wasn't about being the one that gave up first or the one with the least amount of pride or stubbornness. it came down to feeling as if i didn't leave i was going to quit existing. i gained almost 100lbs. i isolated myself and gave up ever believing i had a place in the community. i put down my camera and quit dancing. if any of you know me you know that is not me. i had to leave.

i didn't go far. but i wake up to a lake in the morning pretending that next year i will swim all the way across. i have a pool and a video red box in the lobby with a basketball court and a weight room. the green belt runs right by the lake and i watch beautiful sunsets every night.

i also have something that i didn't really have before. neighbors. not down the street neighbors but next door neighbors. i have met some of the most kind and diverse people here. i had neighbors manage to get my couch into my apartment without getting out the chain saw. they help me up the stairs if i over buy food. and always say hello.

last night, sitting here late (as usual) i heard loud voices and two female screams. i grabbed my cell and walked over to the door. i stood there, still hearing loud voices but i couldn't tell what they were saying. then one more loud scream followed but out male yelling. and i knocked. the entire floor went quiet. i am sure they were staring out their keyhole to see a 50 year old woman covering her face praying that she wasn't about to get drug into violence. i waited and knocked again. i said, if everyone in there okay? please tell me.

they opened the door with sheepish grins and embarrassment. i was in tears given i had just had a struggle with a person a day earlier to keep them out of my apartment. they were so apologetic as i broke out in tears. they all took turns hugging me and saying sorry. i just telling them that it is so important that we all take care of each other. that its not the world i grew up in and the world they only heard about. now we have to be vigilant and reactionary. i told them i was glad that everyone was okay and to please go back to having fun.

tonight, a knock on the door found me staring at everyone that had been in that apartment last night. young people are so beautiful. they came bearing cookies and a sweet note with their numbers so that we can all make sure that if we ever needed each other we would know how to get to each other. i smiled. the young man of the household stopped us all from our giggling and said, "seriously, if only A (girlfriend) had been home alone and you had heard her, you would have been the only one who might have kept her safe. thank you, really" and he hugged the stuffing out of me. and i praised God for young people who understand how precious our relationships with each other are.

Thank you A and J. (and the motley crew with them)   I've got your numbers... and have eaten half your cookies!

Monday, August 29, 2011

the bigger picture....

FYI for all newbies and drunken smart people, if you email a copy of a communication you have had with someone else that, if in part, would make you look good but you forget to delete the email that came before that, you look like a psycho.... and then everyone who you forwarded  it to will know you or who thought they wanted to know you will CERTAINLY know you and wish they didn't after that.  you would think this happening coming from a self proclaimed techie would be intentional self reputational suicide..... or an a accidental histrionic embarrassment.... no wonder you don't show your face around here anymore..... evil, lies, gossip and deception never wins in the end..... HUN.    

i guess we dont get to choose...

i tried so quietly to let go of the ghosts from P and A's past.    it stands now 40 years,  it thought it long enough to keep from disturbing the dirt. but i do not believe i will be sleeping tonight.   i am haunted by a story that had all but disappeared into my psyche and i am haunted just  as deeply by those 3 straight lines which also do not belong to me, but i will never forget them either.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

three straight lines

death, it comes in many forms.

some wander off their path and forget the bread crumbs to help them find their way back. so once they are tired of the new way, they can't find their way back.   they are stuck with their decision.  that one decision, that one footstep in a different direction that really didn't seem so big and important at the time.  it seemed alluring, exciting and new.  but now they are left with the realization that they will never go back to that old path.  they mourn or they become angry or apathetic and return to the place they never really wanted to be but was just curious about.  they never knew once a line was crossed that the door closed forever.

it brings to mind the original version of Willy Wonka when he yells half heartedly,  "wait, stop, don't do it".  with an odd smile on his face.   i have wondered about that face all my life until i finally grew up and realized that that small little clip says more about human nature than perhaps most people see.   it tricks you,  you think he is bad or sadistic or nuts.   (i still think he is nuts but it has nothing to do with his ability to recognize true human nature).   he knew no matter how loud his voice was it wouldn't matter because human nature is stronger than a loud voice,  a pleading woman on her knees or an ambulance to take away the person before they do something so bad that they can't find their way back to their own footstep on their original path.

i had a boyfriend in high school named P.  he had anger issues.  (funny that i keep picking those types).  the first time i went to his apartment there were pictures of him and another girl on his walls.  i asked, of course, who this was.  he told me it was A.   i asked, are you still in love with her, are you dating her as well as me?  he got quiet,  "she's dead."  he said.  "we were in a fight driving down the freeway and i lost control of the car and hit the light pole going about 80mph".  it was my turn to be quiet. finally,  "i'm sorry."  i said, as her eyes stared back at me and his stared at the ground.

we dated for a while until i couldn't take the anger and the bruises anymore.  one night before it ended, he looked at me and said,  "we were supposed to go together, me and A, you know?"   his voice began to quiver,  she screamed at me while we were driving and said that she loved me but she couldn't take it anymore.   so i cranked the wheel...  i started to turn to walk away.  he said, sobbing.  nobody knows. they all think it was an accident.   i looked back over my shoulder and said, "it was."

i never spoke with him again, nor did i dig up already settled grief.  it had already been 2 years since that happened.  ghosts sometimes do not want to be bothered.   a few months later i was sitting with a mutual friend of our and in the middle of a bite of my Wendy's burger, R says, "oh did you hear?  P killed himself a few weeks ago."  

later that night i was thinking again about Willy Wonka.  "wait, stop, don't do it".  and i swear that odd look came over my face, just like his.  was it bad, sadistic or nuts?  or was i just recognizing human nature.  i don't know, it was in the '70s.  i did go to his grave site a few years later.  i just stood there.  i did notice that he had forgotten to leave any bread crumbs leading outside the cemetery gate. 

it really takes just one footstep off the path.

Friday, August 26, 2011

consider this, the hint of the century...




Thursday, August 25, 2011


i look at the sky and trees, the birds, especially the powerful hawk who just spotted breakfast and swooped down on Quinn's Pond and flew away victoriously.   its quiet.   summer isn't used to the quiet.  it sits and wonders,  "where is everyone?"   i'm here doing my best at all the things you were pining for in the dead of winter.  but you're gone.   soon i will have no choice but to give in to cool air that will steal my leaves and my vitality.  i will be gone.   you will pass by and remark how short is seemed, my visit, i mean.  yet i gave my all for you and you left me to go to do other activities. 

i will color myself in brilliant hues to say goodbye and to tell you how much i enjoyed watching you play with joy and great abandon.  i will color myself in hues of  both acquiescence and also in a promise that next year,  i know you know i will be back.  i know i will be back.  taller, fuller and filled with joy of all i bring to your lives.  please know that your joy is shared by every fiber of my being.   we had a wonderful summer.  we will have another. to everything, turn, turn, turn....

Thursday, August 18, 2011


each thursday a small gathering of my church family come together to check in with ourselves and we try different types of meditation.  15 minutes of absolute quite with a certain tactic to guide our minds into a place of peace. 
today we tried,  "i am very blessed because...."   and for the 15 we counted our blessings.  it was delightful because the funniest things kept coming into my mind.  so many blessings!  afterward we shared some of the things that we were thinking and i had to confess that i spent most of my time thinking about the circus that i watched outside my door today, well everyday actually.   i have two squirrels who like to visit my deck and eat the bird food.  there is one with a big fluffy tail who politely walks across the balcony and gentle picks out his favorite morsels.  then there is the skinny tailed squirrel who propels himself out of nowhere from the tree outside and  lands directly into the bowl of bird seed.  seed goes flying everywhere and he sits there like his is all that.   it must be an insecurity about that sad looking tail.

the birds come and clean up after him but he eventually comes back in the same fashion and then turns his attention to my rugs... he pulls them up and around looking for whatever the birds left and pays no attention to me when i go out and tell him to stop.  he just looks at me as if i am bothering his groove. 

its a lovely sight to see.  i am very blessed to have it happen every day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

this has GOT to be a good life...

we really do have to make this a good life.  its the only one we have.  we have no do-overs in grown up times.  this is it folks.   whats it gonna be?   i , personally can live with my tidal melancholia because it feeds a part of the good life inside and outside of me.  i am a writer and photographer i need that POV but i can't be at war.  not that i wont fight one but i will not continue on and over lap my good part.  i will not give anyone that power to ruin the good life. they can be like a fly, it will be brushed away after i am done with the irritation.

laugh as loud as you can.  find art everywhere or find places art can materialize and plot the emergence of your vision,  remember to take copious pictures and then run like hell if you hear sirens.   think of funny things to say, do silly things that make other people laugh and always encourage those with the yearning in their eyes to join ....  you can do it... i have done it.  i have brought shy people to the dance floor where they have found that dancing isnt a spectator sport.  i have, by example got mothers to jump into the  pool after i have done it in the biggest way possible and letting them see that you dont die from embarrassment  or silliness and no one is sitting on the side lines holding up numbers rating you and your abilities.  instead you laugh at how easy it was just to let go.

this has GOT to be a good life people.  WORK at life, WORK at love.   dont give up and walk away feeling defeated.  this has GOT to be good.  not mediocre, not shitty.... not just okay.  its got to be GOOD!

so what are you going to do tomorrow?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

are you talkin' to me?

things i have learned since 2006.

those who cannot write, edit. they are reduced to commentary in red pen on the margins of other people who can write. nobody in their right mind gives a shit about it unless they are bored and need a good laugh. or for some unfortunate twist of fate their job is held hostage to the moron that can't decipher the big picture but can pick apart every piece of their work.

that description fits you jen to a tee. you have never told the truth as to why we broke up. after all we had both been through i really thought that it was a done deal. then one night out of the blue before christmas, you gave me a long rambling speech over the phone about how we really couldn't continue to be together. you were slurring which wasn't unusual for you. with your history of chewing your oxy and drinking and your purposeful manipulation of your lithium because you claimed "you could perform better and faster in your life if you skipped it". but you didn't get what you expected, did you? a needy "oh please don't leave me". the little "baby gay" who was afraid to step out and be on her own. i said a tearful okay and i said goodbye and hung up the phone. much to my surprise you called me the next day and acted as if nothing had happened. i questioned you about the conversation we had the night before. "you broke up with me last night" i said, and you said, "i might have, i don't really remember". then you went on to try to strike up a conversation like nothing ever happened. had you been in front of me i would have looked at you like you were a lunatic but seems you were 3000 miles away i finally let my common sense over ride my insecurity and realized that you were damaging me in ways i could no longer accept.

instead of mourning the loss of a relationship and getting passed it, you have continually stalked me since that night. (i dont even remember when it was... 07?) i wonder how your girlfriend feels about you spending so much mental energy on someone you so obviously hate. i wonder if you picked someone who instead of seeing the disease that is obviously at work in your life, she is "a little bit broken" as you used to say. you always loved them "a little bit broken" easy to manipulate, innocent, on the edge of crisis or someone who has the same personality disorders you have.

i dont love you jen, i dont want you back. i have nothing to work out with you. your clandestine conversations with my ex-girl friend.and my ex husband's wife,. delighting in how good you are at manipulation, double crossing them all and making them look like fools, has been your MO since i've known you. if you know of a word that is lower than fool you can use that to describe yourself... after all you are the editor. this is just a bite of what you were sending me while you playing comrades with the others.

quote: To be perfectly honest, I want you back. I have always wanted you back. I think you know that.
you, jen are a narcissist. you want everyone to be your friend or confidant but you also want all those who you are speaking untruths about to be on your side and trust you as well. you know you have the advantage because as i noted in my blog a few posts back, "everyone loves a good story" especially once you have located their weak points.

you are not the love of my life. you were just my first. i pray like hell that you always stay 3000 miles away from me. and away from my ex-girlfriend, who happens to hold that title (even if we are not together anymore, even if she doen't feel the same) she is the one i think about when i ponder love, and away from my ex-husband's wife, who with all the bad blood that has run between us, i wouldn't wish you on her even at my angriest moment.

i would suggest therapy except that we both know that you dump them the minute you hear something you don't like. i would suggest AA but i have seen how well that works with you. your (ahem) woman problem was so bad that you were bleeding from the yeast infection you had from drinking too much beer. you had bruises all over your body when i came to see you and all you would tell me is that you were meeting with some business partners downtown and didn't really remember getting home. you also refused to take the pills the doctor gave you to help you stop drinking. and then there is your lithium that you choose not to take so you can live in a continual manic state because you think you do your best at life without it.

all of this is directed at YOU. if i speak of "we" i speak from the Old World Dictionary meanings 1 or 2:

World English Dictionary
we (wi?)

— pron
1. refers to the speaker or writer and another person or other people: we should go now
2. refers to all people or people in general: the planet on which we live

NOT number 3: 3. when used by editors, a formal word for i

i can see how you can get confused, being an editor and all. but as you see, if i have something to say to someone i will damn well make sure everyone knows to whom i am speaking. if i say we, i am speaking of the human condition. one thing is true, what you said in your email about my experiences not being the norm. you hit that one right on the head. rarely do whackos terrorize their ex's for as long as you have. rarely do whackos spend so much making sure they are not forgotten whether its in a good light or a bad light. they just want to be recognized and consider themselves a player. in your quest you will hurt anyone, betray everyone that gets in the way just to get to me so that you can feel important, dominant and revired or vindicated.


some of us know better.
some of us just don't give a shit.

here is a good rule of thumb, if the topic is speaking in generalities and it doesn't apply to you then it isn't about you. if by chance you feel like you are looking in a mirror then perhaps you may want to look closer. or you could just shoot your mouth off like you always have.


a change of scenery

a change of scenery is always good for the soul.  most of us get tired of doing the same things over and over seeing the same things over and over.  but the one thing that doesn't seem to change along with the scenery is the simple fact that memories don't behave themselves.  feelings don't behave themselves.  the only thing we are left with is what we choose to do with the pesky things that will always be with us.

we write songs and poetry.  we spend hours at night not sleeping, thinking up "do overs" and "if onlys".  until we are out of our minds with frustration.  resignation is always the last thing we want to entertain.  sometimes it takes years to get there.  sometimes we get there and hate it so much that we step back into the "what if" stage.   we tell ourselves that we have found a new way to fix the problem.  but life always seems to remind us that its time to resign and let go.   we aren't meant to suffer loss perpetually.  life wants us to feel the pain of our mistakes but it urges us on to face the rest of our lives and hopefully we will have spent enough time in the pain that we will try a different path.
as human beings we can always try to do better. To be better. To right a wrong. Even when it feels irreversible. Of course, I'm sorry doesn't always cut it. Maybe because we use it so many different ways. As a weapon. As an excuse. But, when we are really sorry, when we use it right. When we mean it. When our actions say what words never can. When we get it right "I'm sorry" is perfect. When we get it right, "I'm sorry" is redemption ~GA~
its true we can all do better as human beings.  most of us are haunted by a wrong we have done and it will not leave us until we try to right it.   but what happens when we do our best,  we dip down into the place we keep our sincerity and it is still not right.  its not what the apology was expected it to be.   we stand confused, not understanding why we have given our deep down regrets and apologies and it still isn't enough.  we are confronted with critique and rejection.   what do we do?   perhaps we try to find different words or we fall to our knees submitting to the one we desperately  want forgiveness from.   what happens when we humble ourselves  in front of the person who we love so desperately and  want to break the cycle of anger and they keep pummeling you with more of their disgruntlement.   you have to decide to stay on your knees or get up and resign to the fact that there is something more that you don't have that they desperately need, and we walk away unforgiven.
then we have to forgive ourselves.   not an easy thing to do.  we live inside our selves and see the imperfections and we have to comfort ourselves, remind ourselves that we deserve forgiveness and that when it all comes down to it.  if we dont forgive our selves, regardless of whether or not others have, we will never be  the same.   we will hold back the best of ourselves and we will stop taking chances on new situations.  we seem to look at redemption as a gift we beg for others to give us but we need to learn that often it is us who need to forgive outselves if we ever want to have another good night's sleep and the courage to wake up in the morning and carry on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

a beautiful day...

the weather was perfect today.  i woke to a group of boy scouts having rowing races and swimming races.  cheers would ring out from an obvisously proud group of parents.   i love waking to splashing and laughter with birds perched in trees right outside my window.

the moon is full tonight and its going to spectacular when it finally gets over the pond.   i am going to do my best to be awake then.  my camera is beginning to yell at me from lack of attention.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

just human nature?

who is it?  who was Carly Simon singing about?  the song was released sometime in "72 and there has been speculation about it ever since.   if the perfect song about human nature exists, this is it. it is an "in your face" kind of song, yet it is shrouded in ambiguity.  perfect!  everyone who knew her was yearning and stretching to fit themselves or people they may know as the subject of the song.  those who decided it was about them were plunged into self denial (I'M NOT VAIN!) , anger or oddly, a sense of importance in her life.  "at least she is talking about me so she must be thinking about me.  she must still feel a connection to me".  yet, in that moment, that very thought  shows the vanity that exists. 

all songs are born of some emotion felt by life experiences,  most are clever or subtle or humor is used to buffer the message.  one of my personal funny favorite words are  "let me hold your crown, babe".  it makes me grin every time i hear it.   why do i smile?  because it rings true for me in some place in my life both about people i have known and myself in moments of over self importance.   many of us, if not all of us, find ourselves in lyrics or poetry or some other outside form.  perhaps we are seeking a connection or vindication.  we want to think we are important somewhere and if our feelings are echoed somewhere from someone else we feel less alone.  its like looking at the first footprint on the moon.  it is irrefutable proof that Armstrong was the one (unless you are into conspiracy theories).  

we try to find our footprint everywhere we go.  in our relationships, in our work, in others words or actions.  we lean into conversations or strike them up in order to mine out bits of ourselves.   some of us are willing to stretch the truth or the meaning in order to make it fit.   (mental imagine of square peg, round hole syndrome) or an overblown sense of importance, or expectation that you must be important enough for you to keep popping up in other's daily thoughts and doings.

if you read any comprehsive  book on mental illness, you will find that characteristic listed in several different diagnosis'.  but i think, putting aside mental illness, it is human nature to try to find outselves outside of ourselves.  we want to think we left a footprint, an impression, an emotion even if it is a negative one.  we all want to be remembered in one way or another and sometimes we will settle for a bad impression over no impression.   stepping back from that statement we cringe in horror to think we would do that to ourselves but we are all yearning for the footprint and we are all yearning to be remembered.

even as i post this,  i am an example of vanity.