Tuesday, July 31, 2007

warpaints and duds

i'm having this conversation with myself as i'm painting on the warpaints for an interview i'm preparing for. it's been a full two years since i've put a lick of makeup (other than lipgloss) on, and i'm asking myself,
why don't you do this more often?

it's a fact people treat you better when you wear make up and dress to the nines.

i've never wanted people to treat me better because of that. i do look damn good with makeup on (c'mon, who doesn't?), and in a suit, i clean up real well. but i used to dress up sometimes at church to see who would talk to me and who wouldn't. i noticed on weeks i wore the suit look, the suited folk would fraternize. when i would show up in my bohemian fare, or platform sandals and no makeup, just the average folk would talk to me.

curious. and this isn't all suited folk. some suited folk will talk to you regardless of how you look (i just haven't run into many of those people).

when i am all duded up, i tend to be a bit snobbish myself, so i understand it from both sides. i don't like that suzanne, so i don't dress up and paint my face very often.

when i go to poetry intensives, i dress like i want to dress, usually bohemian, flipflops and not a lick of makeup, because i don't want to be hiding from those people. i want them to see the real me.

i'm interviewing for a management position in the third level of hell, and i realized as i was painting my face, i could sell more if i wore makeup. but that feels disingenuous to me. that feels like taking advantage of people.

as an associate, style expert, i didn't care what you bought or how much. i will help you find one thing or fifty. no matter.

as a manager, there are numbers i need to be aware of, sales goals and such. also, i'll have to deal with the customer satisfaction issues directly. no more punting those bitches when they bite. i'll be the one who needs the armour plaiting.

so, as my best friend told me. the uniform of a manager is a suit, makeup, and sensible black shoes.

if i get the job, i will wear the uniform FOR the job. maybe i'll make some kind of peace with it and find it suits my life.

maybe, i'll just be my unmakeuped bohemian self every other moment of the day when i'm not working.

we'll see. but i forgot this.
i like to be purposely unmakeuped because i want people to treat me as they will treat me, regardless of what i am wearing or look like. i want to know who they are, as i know who i am. it's sort of a psychological test of sorts.

but now, i must leave off this experiment and take on another aspect. maybe.
if i don't get the job, the makeup goes back into haitus. and i continue to be au natural.


Monday, July 30, 2007

the lemonade stand

i really need to write a poem about this, but sometimes, it comes first in prose. sometimes conversation. one never knows, so one moves forward with the moment and lets it come as it will.

my daughter has been pestering me about a lemonade stand. of course, i am hearing her request as,
will you do all the work so i can have a lemonade stand?

to which i wholeheartedly and emphatically say,

forgive me child, but i'm tired. and the last thing i want to do is make lemonade. there are no june cleavers in this house, last i checked. i don't think a roseanne even lives here. i'm a different kind of mother, which hasn't been typed.

i'm sure, i'm squashing her entreprenureal dreams, but if those dreams are hinged upon my bearing the load, then they aren't realistic dreams to begin with. i feel this way about poetry too. if you've got something to write or say, say it or write it. don't wait upon others to make it happen because it simply won't. when it comes down to it, writing, like being an entreprenuer is all about self starting.

this is how i will justify it later, i'm sure (though it could be argued i'm justifying it now, which of course, i am).

so i disengage from the whole process and not without much effort on my part. i'm wasted tired the past week and the girls want me to go to town for cups.

first of all, you can't have a lemonade stand without cups. so if you've got no cups, you've got no stand. part of planning any entrepreneurial enterprise is to have on hand needed items for said endeavor. not pestering mom to make it happen.

when i said no originally, i was done. amen. nothing more to be said or done on my part.

my girl does not let go of an idea so easily.

so she spends the weekend gathering supplies, and today she made signs which are apparently around the block.

she made tea and lemonade and is now down at the curb with a little friend. their table set in the roasting sun (how i wish the city hadn't leveled the shade tree that would have covered the area they chose, but again, it is out of my hands entirely).

i did offer her a tablecloth and some hygiene instructions. i can't imagine the intestinal woes that can come from such a venture. but the whole point of buying a cup of lemonade from some kids parked on the street is not for the lemonade i'm sure. but to support the entreprenureal streak resident in those children.

i'm proud of her for not letting me thwart her plans entirely.
i'm proud of her for letting up and not pestering me to get cups when i was tired. some battles are not worth fighting, she knows this.
i'm proud of her for sitting out there in the sun, while i'm parked in the air conditioning boasting about her.

i guess i better go buy a cup. but that means i better get out of my pjs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

taking over me

a song that says everything.

Taking Over Me
by Evanescence © 2003 Wind-Up Records

you don't remember me but i remember you
i lie awake and try so hard not to think of you
but who can decide what they dream?
and dream i do...

i believe in you
i'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you to live to breathe
you're taking over me

have you forgotten all i know
and all we had?
you saw me mourning my love for you
and touched my hand
i knew you loved me then

i believe in you
i'll give up everything just to find you
i have to be with you to live to breathe
you're taking over me

i look in the mirror and see your face
if i look deep enough
so many things inside that are just like you
are taking over

Thursday, July 26, 2007

what courage is

i know longer know what courage is anymore. i'm not particularly sure i ever knew. but i imagine it has something to do with a tenacity. a willingness to stand when one wants only to collapse into a heap of weakness and fear.

the single mother, bone weary without even the hope of relief who faces one more day, soldiering on, the best she can for her children. this is courage.

the cancer patient, riddled through with radiation, whose fingers ache at the touch of coolness and whose parched mouth knows not how to be sated. this is courage.

the little child whose parents no longer speak, yet she rises and tries with every fibre of her being to fashion a way of peace in her warzone of a home, this is courage.

the little blue jay who stands looking up at towering humans, unknowing, unafraid. this is courage.

where has it all gone in my life? drained away like so much bathwater after a soak. and i am wet and tired. wanting only to rest. always to rest. not be strong.

the great battle of my life at this moment is to remain engaged. to feel the pain of being. to hold the shank of pain as one dear poet i love once wrote.

to not lose the sound of birds singing and leaves rustling in the breeze through the screams of agony.

to fight on, one more day. just one more moment, knowing, there must be some reason for this. there must be some answer hidden somewhere, perhaps the next moment will reveal it.

sometimes even kindness feels like pain, and leaves me wondering again, where does courage come from. to face the kindness of those i love. to face the dark reality of my life. to face this moment.

i no longer know what courage is or where it comes from, but i know it when i see it. i recognize it like a dearly loved face in a crowd.

though it is very far from me now, it will come again. i hope.

Monday, July 23, 2007

the limits of peace

i can take a lot. having said that, let me say there are limits to what i can take. today, all my buttons are pushed and i'm ready to flip out. because i've had it.

it didn't start out this way, my day. it started out quite lovely actually.

a nice deluge, i walked to the post office from dropping my truck off at the shop. and i don't mind a walk in the rain. i enjoy it, actually. what i do mind is forgetting my house keys in the truck and locking the truck at the shop. then i have to walk back to shop in downpour and retrieve keys, walk back to post office, retrieve child (yes, i left her there. the post office lady kept an eye on her for me). i was soaked like a rat when we got home. but i love a good rainfall.

look at the lovely lily,
i said as we rounded the corner on the way home.

my girl replied.

so, i get contacted by my school that my digits aren't lining up. so i have to haul my cookies over to the social security office to "fix" the problem.

i retrieve my truck in a lighter rain and fresh duds, only to find there is no discrepancy from what i provided and their records. where these glitches happen, i do not know. so i obtain some stamped papers which i will have to mail in, and go on to the next bureacratic flogging of the day.

though the first lady was kind and genuinely helpful. i was glad.

the next lady. holy hell, she and i had a failure to communicate from the get go.

i haven't lived in a state where you had to produce the registration documentation for over twelve years. well, under, since i've lived here and didn't realize what paperworks i needed.

i'll spare you the details and just say, i wanted to reach across the counter and choke her before i left. i was grateful to get out of there.

i'm home and laundry, clean, fortuantely, is piled around me, i need to sort it all out and fold it and iron it and make the beds. but i just need some time to decompress. so here i am.

something about wanting to write. wanting to feel the keys under my fingers, i don't know if only writers feel this way, but it is incredibly therapeutic for me. caressing keys, banging out poems. it does me good. but to not be able to access that place (i didn't take my journal with me because it was pouring rain and i didn't want to sacrifice it for my comfort). i never go out penless, but i did today. and that was just not right.

so i'm rambling, yes.

but i'm home now. documents in order. peace restored. sort of. and child at play with a neighbor child.

now, i just need to relax a bit and try to regain my composure.
that peaceful easy feeling. i know it won't let me down.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

tired tonight

i've finally cleared a space of my own in our apartment. i've spent the past year plus, with nowhere to go close a door that is my own. and that is crazymaking. not good for anyone.

my daughter would have sleepovers and i'd be stuck in the middle of them, it felt like.

when we moved in here, i used to write from this little writing turret, until my hubby comandeered the space. now we've rearranged and i've rightfully claimed what i wanted in the first place. a room of all windows where i can see the trees sway in the breeze.

nothing is easier, nothing has really changed, yet everything has changed. everything is different. i'm grateful for every breath, yet i'm fighting for every breath still. i've begun saying,
i am having some good days now.
i had forgotten what a simple pleasure a good day is.

my coworkers have seen me trudging around for the better part of six months all longfaced about some rosaline, and now, i'm beginning to remember who i was. who i am.

but how i miss, how i miss my dear friend.

at open mics, a lot of times i just put my head down and cry or pass the torch so i can cry silently, because my pain is just too present.

but at tai chi, the focus is the moment. i try not to let anything distupt that. not even my pressing emotions, or the state of affairs in my life. it all goes away for the few moments i am in tai chi.

aside from my one friend here, that is the only thing that helps hold me together. but i don't want to have anything external keeping me afloat. so i purposed to do what i needed to do this week and set aside tai chi. first time in months. and i didn't freak out. i didn't lose it completely. which is progress.

how the small things matter.
the subtle changes.

and now the fledgies come alone.
their parents off doing whatever they please i imagine.

Monday, July 16, 2007

don't say goodbye

it was a curious, beautiful moment. a poet exiting my car, hanging on to the door, looking back at me saying,
i wish you the best. i wish the best for both of us, but i don't want you to go.

i know.
i said.

it is always tough leaving. i don't let everyone in, but those who get in, are treading the tender soil of my heart. sowing and tilling with their footsteps. sometimes i forget it takes a season of death to bring about life. sometimes i forget.

my entire life feels like it's been about leaving. i've said it before. but now, i just want to stay. to be allowed to live and thrive. my child safely tucked under my wing. but we must all fly away, we must all stand and rise and walk forward to fulfill our destiny, mustn't we?

we must.

the familiar must yield to unfamiliarity. the comfortable to the unknown. the feeling of knowing a place to the mystery of discovery once again. though i grow tired of it all. it calls to me. it stirs in my blood. new places, new faces, new friends.

how i love my old friends. the ones worn in like comfortable shoes. the ones who have been with me going on twenty years now. some whom i have just met, but feel like we've been friends forever.

there simply is not enough love to go around. or perhaps in these moments, when we hang on the door of a friend leaving for the unknown, these moments when we don't want to say goodbye. perhaps there is enough love. and we stand and drink our fill. swaggering away, wishing it didn't take a goodbye to remind us.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

what a relief!

i needed a boost today. it promised to be an utterly unmemorable day (in some ways, that is). just another hot sweaty day in the third level of hell (though i'm getting along with all my coworkers now and that is always a good thing). and i get home to check my email though there isn't much there these days, and lo and behold i'm getting published again.


relief journal is the victim this time around.


does everyone else who's getting published feel like they just pulled a coup?

perhaps not, but it feels that way for me.

and it feels good.

wonder what they're publishing (which one that is). it will be fun to find out though.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

very little everything

what is there to say, very little has changed, yet everything has changed. it's hard to wrap words around it, so i don't try. i'm just trying to sit with it and look at it. with a show me what i fear kind of attitude.

i don't really know what else to do except be present in this moment while it lasts. i have emerged on the brighter side of a very dark week. with more of an ability to strengthen myself, self soothe.

it grows quiet and the days are muggy and heavy. the only lightness i find is in nature. so i try to be true and heed the call. the a/c is such a temptation though. we don't seem prone to sweat anymore. sometimes i wonder if the next antipersperant they market will be a white laytex paint. sweating releases toxins. and how many toxins i have to release.

the a/c is broken at work, or was over the weekend. and it was in the 80s over the weekend. so it was really a tough haul. at one point i thought my manager was going to pass out. as you entered the store from the a/c of the walkways, the store got progressively hotter in waves.

the first wave was bad, but three or four waves into it, it was nearly insufferable. so many of the customers turned on their heels and left. but we couldn't. we had to work. so the customers who stayed, God bless 'em, would comment,
i don't know how you do it.

i began telling them the truth,
all the mean customers leave, so we're left with the kind customers like yourself. hard to argue a/c is better.

though i was burning up too, don't get me wrong. i don't like working in a sauna. but i got to dress the mannequins in the windows, my first time doing that. and cashier all day. i enjoy that task too, makes the time pass quicker. but i did have to walk the length of the store all day, and working in the front windows under the halogen lights wasn't much fun.

but we survived.

that's the thing i always tell my girl,
you'll survive.

and she replies,
you always say that.

and i respond,
and you always do.

she does not like that dialogue. but it is the truth. i am prone to melodrama myself. but i am also aware of the fact that if i can just stay in the moment and breathe, i will make it to the next one, by sheer force of will, if nothing else.

i will survive.

in fact, there will come a day quite soon when i will thrive.

Monday, July 09, 2007

crazy kids

my nephews and their friends made this video. it's pretty good.


the adventures of larry and steve

Sunday, July 08, 2007

undoing the undone

so i give my notice at work.

but the whole time i'm thinking, what am i going to do if i stay home?

so they ask me,
do you really have to leave?

and i say,
no. not really.

such a pushover.

the a/c is out and i'm standing all day. lifesucking job.

why do i stay there?

the people. it's always about the people for me. i swear i'd kill for those women. i adore them. (just not the one i have issues with. though i'm open to loving her regardless. i must!)

so i'm very tired. my brain is fried.

but i'm feeling good about things to come.

i tried so hard to unravel some of my involvements this week, but in the end, none of them are going.

time is winding down and the clock will toll, something must die. but what?


go away all ready.

i know i said i would, but i'm still here. banging out the letters.

i thought i'd share some pictures of my geese friends before i go (if i do go) don't hold me to it. i don't like to be held to it. a woman's perogative they say.

here i am, scantily clad. in california, mind you, this would be fully clothed.

this is the little inlet island that is there only when the tide goes out. there were about forty geese with us that day.

i'm not sure if you can make out how lovely their eyes are. but they are!

i was trying to capture how close they come to me, that would be my foot and my cute belly dancing jingle anklet i wear everywhere.

and my girl wants to feed only certain geese, which poses a problem. this one that captured her fancy happened to be a gosling, a little banged up. she called him fluffy or something because his facial feathers were all jacked up. the others were picking on him too, so she'd chase them away and only feed fluffy. she's a good soul.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

campaign of recklessness

seems this is how i live my life. extremes. driving people away.

it might seem to lookers on that i have nothing better to do with my time than isolate myself. sometimes it feels that way. i just can't fight with those i love most. i can't defend myself from those in my inner circle. so if they cannot abide me, they or i must leave.

usually, it's me.

i'm a habitual leaver. perhaps it comes of being raised in a broken home. maybe because i had lucky charms for lunch. who knows.

i gave notice at my work. i'm prepared to push the kablooie button on my poetry groups because i'm just not going to defend myself from my inner circle.

i have been walking away from certain labels for a good while now. i have done the best i can to be honest. i cannot abandon my judgment because people who are not in my skin do not know where i'm coming from. it is not for them to decide.

i started my cyber poetry groups for want of poets in my life. i've never had more poets in my life than now. what is the purpose of keeping something that has become wounding? there doesn't seem to be any.

do i dismiss people so easily? absolutely not.

it is my hope and prayer that people will continue on in relationship. though the context may change.

if not, i will grieve them, but i'm always moving forward.

and fate lends a hand in that it provides me constantly with new diversions.

though i miss the old. i will rejoice in the new.

though i miss the familiar. i will find comfort in who i am now. no longer shackled to who i used to be. unfettered, and able to fly. too close to the flame, perhaps. but fly nonetheless.

i had this thought the other day while in my garden,

people must be allowed to self destruct.

even me.

and it was such a lucid, compassionate moment.

perhaps one of the only moments of late when i haven't felt on the verge of self-destruction. perhaps because i sat with it and said, yes, you are valid.

this blog will go the way of the buffalo after i honor a commitment i made. my poetry groups may follow. i'm going to be moving in the near future. and all these changes will offer up something new and wonderful, if only i can receive it.

yes i mourn the old. the past.
but i move forward enriched.

Monday, July 02, 2007

only this...

what would i say to you now if you could hear me. if the miles weren't permanent and we were across the table from each other, an arm's length away. though i imagine that distance would not remain long, and beside me, right up close, you'd be, in my space. looking into my eyes, and i, yours.

i wouldn't mind this. though i mind space encroachers in general. you are free to come as close or stay as far as need be.

our fingers interlocking, our breath mingling, we linger in unfinished phrases and breakout in laughter. it is too good to imagine. too good not to imagine. not to think about and remember.

now as i try to sort it all out, make sense of it, and find there is no sense to be made, i must either choose to trust or build giant walls (of which i am not willing or able to erect). i find trust my only option.

how many times i've come to this place with you. where i stepped out, feeling certain i would fall and yet, was caught upon currents that would carry me closer to you. but you're so far away now, this is hardly reality and i'm certain i'll spend my days alone, which i am making peace with now.

the idea of being alone is some comfort to me really. better to be alone than with those who don't want you around, i always say. so alone seems the better part of wisdom for me. though i'm told this is not the case, it feels so. it certainly feels so. and i cannot let anyone get as close to me now as you did.

that place is locked. the key gone. i do not seek it out.

if you were here with me now, and i could say only a few words, they would be these:

come my long awaited guest. you are most welcome here.

the rest i leave to the future.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


i'm ready to keel over in my chair, i'm so tired from work. but this is always a good time to write because my brain is entirely disengaged and something might happen. a glimpse of the divine (or madness, one or the other).

i remember a time when i was told,
you can do it suz.

and by whom.

sometimes, people breathe life into me when i need it most. and i'm not feeling lost so much now as just worn thin, like a bit of butter scraped across too much bread. i've not yet begun pursuing my dreams, that is the thing.

how does one maintain the stamina for the uphill battle?

it's hard for me to even think about those battles now. it's daunting. so i'll just think about the goodness of today.

i've likened my part-time job to the third level of hell. and though the air conditioner is now fixed (it was rough the past couple months), it is still a long day and a crap shoot of customers.

some people are genuinely kind. agreeable. willing to wait. not demanding.

others, want it all and want it now.

i had this lady's husband knock something out of her hand today and she said to him,
you're making me drop things.
he said,
she'll pick it up.
without a glance my way.

i did pick it up, because i would have picked it up without the slam.

later when i was finding her some pants, he was standing beside me and i told her,
i'll just give them to your man.

which pleased me. he said nothing.

i asked her if she didn't want something of the great number of clothes she had in the fitting room and she swept her hand and said
and steps back to let me in to retrieve them.

whatever. people are people. a mixed bag. sometimes a blessing. sometimes needing to be served. i'm willing to serve people or i wouldn't be in retail. i won't stay up thinking of this person, but i do hope with all my heart that somehow they learn to give credit to the people they deal with. give grace and not just orders or commands.

i'm not how i am percieved. i must remember this. though when i am percieved well, i sure fancy that i am that fabulous. but this is not true either. we're just a bunch of imperfect people trying to get through the day. if i can not aggrandize myself, i don't mind the slams of customers who have no one else to slam (or slam everyone equally). if i don't fancy myself all that, i can trust i will recieve kindness if i offer it, even if it is not immediately at hand.

an interesting little tidbit about this came to me when i struggled one weekend with a manager i work with. she was a TOTAL slacker. i am not. i did find myself doddling a bit when i worked with her, because it is one thing to be appreicated for your good work and another thing to be saddled up and ridden.

so, i was all by myself in the front of the store, our store is huge. one of the biggest sores of this chain around. i had tons of clothes to put back and no help. i couldn't leave the front so i kept sending them back with the slacker manager.

i had just finished reading the four agreements. do your best is one of those agreements. i was struggling all that weekend with doing my best and feeling like i was getting the shaft.

because of all those clothes i sent back, none of them got put away. i had to do it when i came in the next morning (though i was seeiing red and someone else put most of them away while i fumed).

long story short, that manager got fired. lots of reasons.

but i had come to the conclusion, my best has to be based on my best. nothing else.

so many times in tai chi, i tell myself,
life is not a competition.
we are not running a race here, we need to help each other out. because if i get some of that haughtiness about me if i think i'm too great.

so i try to remind myself, i may be good in this, not so good in that. we all excel in something. i can learn from others if i humble myself and take instruction. i can teach if they are willing to listen.

and it is all well. even if there is no one to believe in me just now. (or at least not the someone i want to be there), it is still well with my soul.