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, 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!