Sunday, December 28, 2008

starting over

it's official, i told my kid. we cried together. we talked. we laughed, ultimately. because that's what we do. we laugh. i'll miss her. but i must go. being part of this fiction is no longer viable, so i must go. i know when ends have come, that is one thing i understand. and when it's time to go, i leave.

so be it.

i try not to think of the list scrolling through my head of all the things one needs in a new life. what does one really "need" anyway?

clothes and books, for sure. but aside from that, the rest is negotiable.

i'll take the dishes and silverware my grams gave me, and let the rest go.

i have my laptop, but no printer. i'll leave my desk, because it's too heavy to move by myself and i feel the need to be portable at the moment. besides, it's currently in use. no need to upset everything and be selfish.

no chair, no table, no bookshelf.

i have decided to start over. completely. everything that comes into my space will come by invitation only. not some dire need or groveling. but because it moves me. because i cannot live without it.

and until i cannot live without it, i will.

my space, rank of patchouli, will be just that, mine.

i tell my girl,
i will have my own bed. and room.


and she says,
yes.


that will be my first indulgence. a sleigh bed. a big comfy one. (or as big as i can fit in wherever i'll land). and until i can get the one i want, i'll make due. i've made due till now, why not wait for what i really want. it's not like i'm in any hurry.

i'm probably going to need a pot and pan, but that will come in time too. i'm not a big eater. so, those things will filter in as needed. poquito por poquito, as my grams would say.

i miss her. she would soothe me now. she would understand. she would cry with me and then we'd laugh. that's probably where i got it from. how i miss her.

and i remember when my mom and dad divorced and i tell my girl these stories. how we'd visit my mom, long after we were young, teenagers, and still invade her space. she had no boundaries with us, we would sit on a couch and lean into mom who would just be there, holding us. or we'd stack up all three on the floor, spoonlike, and watch movies together. we slept a lot at moms. and we'd veg.

i hope to help my girl meet some of the goals i want her to meet, rather than throwing my hands up and saying, oh well. i'm going to push her toward some goals when she's with me. (then she'll gladly go home).

but she earned her bronze award this past year, it was tough, hard work. but i'm sure with planning we can figure out how she can earn her silver award in two years. that's plenty of time.

then, her gold.

these are not insignificant accomplishments, and none i would have fall by the wayside. i believe in the things i've involved her in, and we are involved in together. so hopefully they will not fall away. hopefully it will mean, less idle time, and more meaninful time together. loving each other.

which is why i told her now, i'm moving in just under a month. and i wanted our last month together to be meaningful.

at the moment, we're holed up in our separate lives. and she is struggling. but i can't change any of it. so i must keep moving forward and encouraging her to that end as well.

i'm looking forward to it.

and the silent war rages on. even as i print out my final draft of my bachelor's paper. and say,
i'm moving out in january.


oh.
is all i get.

bah.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

neverleave

we come together just for work, but then we visit each other when we're off. and it's a wonderful dysfunctional little family we've got. i wish it could stay this way always. but it is not meant to be. so i enjoy what is, knowing it won't be what will be tomorrow. as the saying goes, someone's always leaving.

and it's okay. really. we must grow, we must change, we must leave our place of comfort.

it's just hard when you stumble into someplace that is perfectly suited for you, for your peculiarities, and then you stumble out and have to function with "normal" people again. i don't know. it's just tough.

i try to enjoy fully, every moment i can, because it won't last. it can't last. nothing good ever does. but that's the cynic in me.

one quick story, then i'll go.

i didn't ever christmas shop. i know, i know. i'm lame. life has beaten the crap out of me lately, and i just don't have it high on my priority list. i did finally clean the kitchen and that was my way of saying, i love you.

sue me.

so, word got out, mostly because these are the kinds of bullshit questions we ask customers,
shopping done?


and invariably, someone asks me,
shopping done?


nope, never got started.
(seriously, i had nothing to give the kid at all. it had crossed my mind, but i've been sick and tired lately).

and one of the kids i work with, who happens to be a master at all things crafty (truly, he's amazing), had already brought me a matching set of tye died shirts for me and my girl--this unwittingly became "the gift" i was to give her.

when he heard (i think he asked me), that i had nothing else, he drove home and back to the store with a bracelet he had made and asked me if he'd like me to finish it for my girl. it is gorgeous. truly. he put it on my wrist, which is notoriously small (i have hips, and thighs, but no wrists, go figure), and finished it up for my girl and brought it all the way back to the store (trip number three that night).

then he offers to make her a second tye die shirt (or is it, tie dye?) because it's still 24 hrs before christmas eve, and i'm working the next day, so he can bring it in for me though he's not working and i am. (i gave up on him showing at around 5pm c.e., and i should have known, he'd keep his word, he's a gentleman).

anyway, the shirts were a big hit. the bracelet is gorgeous and my girl loved it.

i saw him tonight and gave him a big hug.

he did it all for me because he knew i didn't have time to go shopping. and when he was charging me for the stuff, he kept saying,
no, no. not so much.
and giving me deals. i know what he charges for the shirts and what i expected to pay, and let me just tell you, i've fallen into a crowd of people who care for each other.

which has always been my wonderful mishap. if karma is out to get me, it pays me back in people. and i'm grateful for it. because i would take people and hard times, rather than no people and good times anyday.

i've had it rough, it's been strange. but it's life. and i'm grateful, always so grateful for the people in my life who make the rough waters manageable with their kindness.

it is their kindness that keeps me afloat many times.

and i never want to leave them, or have them leave me.
but they will, and i will hold their memory in my heart.

it is why i stay where i work. why i love these kids, this crew.

they do my soul good. and we are strange, and fight, and do all the things a family does, but in the end, i think it's just that we're the right team together at this moment. and i'm grateful.

so grateful for them. to be a part of them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

cynicism of the season

saw a hawk today, almost didn't even look up. i realized, how i don't really believe in anything anymore. belief has always plagued me, and now like some polyester clad salesman it beckons me to believe something else, and i can't. i don't. i ain't got it anymore. i'm done.

been sick for a few days, slept all of yesterday, got up only to remedicate myself, and watched casablanca late last night, but that was my christmas. my family came and went while i was abed. i only got up today because my boss called and wanted me to work a bit. i felt okay, so i went in. i feel about as bad now as i did yesterday, so i'm kind of back to square one. he wanted me to hang out, but then realized he needs me well, so sent me a packin'. i'm just wiped.

and all this with the thoughts of having to forge my own way, which i'm so okay with. i just hate the in between time. i'm looking forward to just getting on with it already. i'm tired, tired of waiting, tired of hoping, tired of believing. so i'm done with all of it.

my head is pounding so i must go, but i try not to lose myself to the cynicism of the season. what can i say. i'm glad it's over. we rocked as a store, still not the best we could be, but better than we thought and that is good enough for now.

i'm getting hours, and even if i have to drag my half dead body into work, i will, because i'm all i've got now. what a concept.

what a concept.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

remember

do you even remember who i am?

some would tell me this is a selfish question. but i wonder. as i walk through the days without you, where you are. who you're with. how i can be there, too.

and i try to find my way, navigate the darkness

and sometimes, i see glimpses of light. i remember and wonder if i must force myself to forget. to let go. to move on.

it hasn't been long, yet it's been a lifetime. the weary world drags on, and i try to make a place in it. for myself, soon, by myself.

and i ask myself this, do you even remember who i am?

will all these questions be answered in an instant, or am i just to let them go, so many bottles full of notes cast to sea?

i want to remember.

i want you to remember me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

a woman's choices

i'm thinking a lot about influence. the kind of influence we have on each other. i am in the midst of hosting a culminating forum at my school. it's nearly over, and today i got the greatest reflection on my work from the mom of a 15 year old who hates her curvy body. she read her parts of my presentation and called it an
empowering feminine journey.
which makes me smile. because that is what it is.

i am, essentially, rallying women to be women.

this has nothing to do with men. it has everything to do with being the woman you are. the woman you imagine yourself to be. the woman you want to be in your heart.

too long my life has been about men. and i'm tired of it. i still enjoy them immensely. too much so, perhaps. but, it has not served me well. it has been more of a hindrance. a distraction.

at the poetry intensive i sat with one older gentleman who reminded me,
men are just desserts.
and i said,
yes, i should probably read that book again, but i also have a sweet tooth.


which made me think that i do deny myself sweets many times. but there are sometimes there is nothing like a good chunk of chocolate. see, i'm off on a tangent.

i have to spend more time exploring the feminine. perhaps i'll find that time when i'm not under the foot of any man. when i'm on my own, i'll maybe understand a bit more.

the gentlemand i was speaking with mentioned how men have essentially one choice in life unless they find some way out of it,
work. work hard.
he said.

and i said to him,
do you think women's choices are any easier?


i guess not.
he replied.

because i think while we may not get the social status rewards of a career (some women do, but do they miss the familial rewards? depends), we have --still to this day-- a diminished value. i understand this profoundly as i'm about to be turned out with no career, no six digit salary, nothing but hope and a prayer. neither of which have served me lately.

i'm trying to remember what it was i was supposed to do, how am i supposed to make it now. how do i not fall into patterns of dependence?

i'm not sure. i'm just going to have to give it my best shot. come what may.

look down the road and plan,
some people tell me. but again, i say,
how do you plan for what you cannot conceive?

there are things i don't know coming down the road, and i have to trust it will work out well without a man to save me. my ex is trying to jerk me around and give me nothing, so that will have to be dealt with, but for now, i'm going to set out and do my best to live by my own hand. to be the woman i know i am, and, when i hit a rough patch, i'll just pick myself up and dust myself off. i've not fallen by the wayside yet, and i never will. i figure, there is always work for those who are willing to work. and it will be rough, absolutely, but i will make it. somehow, i'll make it.

and all these experiences will serve me well.

yes, even the pain.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the bar ninja

well, i've officially found a place to land. i'm grateful. it is truly a load off. i still have moments when i fear--when i'm gripped with, i can't do this. but the reality is, i can't not do this. things have become insufferable for everyone and it's time to change contexts.

there is a world of unknowns ahead, and i'm grateful for them, and i'm excited about them. i dig an adventure, and this is one i've wanted to take for quite some time.

i'll have to button up and get serious about what i want. i'll have to spend time figuring out exactly what it is i want and how to go about getting it.

i'll likely have to find a second job, i wish the editing gig would pan out. but wishing don't make it rain. or sun. or anything. it is just wishing. so i'll have to put my shingle up and try to dust off my resume, which i've not kept up to date.

fortunately, i meet writers all the time. poets even moreso. i do need to find some kind of editing gig. that is where it's at for me.

i woke up yesterday and the room was spinning. i spent the day that way because i get so focused on tasks, i don't take time to take care of myself. and, yesterday was an example of that. so i got to go in to work (which i have to do, because i need the money), and i was still slightly dizzy. it turns out i probably just needed to eat, which i finally did at 6pm. i don't know, i just don't have that high on my priority list. and my clothes are sagging off. my boss keeps saying,
you've lost so much weight!
and i smile and say,
i know.
it's not deliberate, but it's welcome. a perk of all this grief and stress. i've never had flat hips, and i wouldn't mind those really flat hips you need to cinch up a belt around to keep your pants up. but then, i'm not going there directly or specifically, it would be nice to end up there though.

but my boss said i was the bomb on the bar. first time he's given me props. always before now he's complained that i'm too slow. that i'm building drinks one by one instead of many at a time (four hot and two cold at one time, for example). i do all that shit when he's not there. usually when he's at the register scowling at me (or disapproving, feels the same to me), i get vibed out. but with my head as whirlygig going on, i couldn't worry about what was going on. so i was just doing my thing. making coffee, making drinks, working clean.

that he was impressed is huge. he's not been impressed until now with my bar skills. i can make a perfectly delicious beverage, he'd just never seen me do it as fast as he wants me to do it. he said,
you're a ninja on the bar now.
and smiled.

i was glad to have made it over that hurdle unwittingly.

then i had to construct these metal shelves for the backroom. okay, first, if you've read this for any stretch of time, you know mechanical things ain't my forte. i constructed the shelf lying down, thinking this is the best route, and when my boss saw it, he laughed and stood it up, it was wobbly and the shelves were some seussian configuration. he couldn't believe it. and i told him,
i'm not mechanical.


so he had to start the thing, get the base foundation together so i could build the rest (took me an hour!) from a stable base. it was crazy but a nice diversion, and how i need a diversion.

so, the shelves are finally up, we needed the space. and while work isn't perfect with massive restrictions, we have hope that it will improve. there are rumors it will improve. i don't know i'll be in the asst program, as i'm not sure what the state of the asst program will be in january, if there will even be one. but they can't just not have assts. i don't think. who knows.

i must away. much to do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

averse versus not an issue

i got the go ahead from my prof to send in my final paper. which is HUGE. it is the last giant step before graduation. i've decided i'm going to go to my graduation and walk. i've worked hard for it, and, well, so i will. i'll likely go alone. it will be more memorable that way. or maybe not. i don't know. but i'm always alone, and i've wanted to go to vermont for a very long time, so i'll finally get up there.

the one thing the second reader said about my work is that she wanted to know why i was averse to the revision process. i'm not averse, i just don't go there. does one have to be averse to not revise? can't one just not revise? it seems to work for me, truth be told. all the shit i've read and written has been first drafts. they work for me. why fix what ain't broke. i don't know. but i know aversion has nothing to do with it. it's just not my bag baby.

i'm trying to be understanding about not getting to work on christmas. i know this is probably viewed as a gift to some people, but not to me. i hate the holidays. and i'd been hearing how i was going to work it for months now. grrr.

i'm trying to process what i'm feeling but i'm just plain angry. spitting angry.

because this is what it comes down to, my husband is turning me out, i need the hours, i need the pay. no two ways about it.

i guess i need to go find some other place to work. i don't know what else to do. it would be nice if i could find a profession that paid me actual money, not just peanuts.

but then, i've been too forgiving. too accepting. too accomodating. now i need to be steely bitch and bank some coin.

yeah, right.

or, i need to find a farm and go hole up there for a long time. until i can't remember a day when i didn't wear boots and jeans, and i didn't have mudcaked fingernails.

that is what i'd love to do. get lost on a ranch somewhere.

i need a diversion. that's the worst part of it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

me in the sunshine


seems people had their cameras this weekend, and this is the first not group shot to turn up. it's just how i look, i have to reckon with that ;)

peace.

touching the earth

i awoke slowly, reluctant to stir from the warmth of my sheets into the bright. let me linger here, where i can walk with you again. let me linger here, where i have touched the gods. let me linger here, where i am safe at last. safe at last.

because for me, it is all about safety. and walking this weekend through the terrors of poetry, through the rages and tears (many of us cried this time, not just me, and i'm pleased to report, i only cried once! huzzah!).

there is enough anger to go around. enough fear.

but i found something else, i found laughter. joy. triumph. strength.

that's excellent,
the matriarch called out after one particularly celebratory poem. and i laughed and said,
it's about time.


no more tears. though more will come.

and these jagged rocks will tear at my feet, but i will continue on.

home again, earth bound, it took me a while to get back in the groove at work. such mundane tasks, but necessary. such trivial dramas, but i remember my moments in the parthenon, where i walked among the gods.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

home at last



this is a picture of the poets at the intensive this weekend, some pretty heavy hitters, i won't mention any names. but i'm in there too. it was the bomb! as usual.

just in from work, so grateful i could go to the entire intensive, and needing to sleep.

i am just crashing down from being on such a high this weekend. it truly is nice to be around people who love and respect you, and whom you love and respect.

i'm tired of living in stife. time to move on.

peace.
out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

sometimes a window opens

i've been asking people who have expressed genuine concern for me if they know of a room or apt. seems i may have found one. the gig with the writer didn't work out, she wanted more than that little studio apt would have cost me. but now, i'm hoping this one will.

it is a place that will keep me grounded most likely. someplace i will be welcome. we'll see how it goes.

if it works out, i may stay a great while. a great, great while. and maybe, i'll find some peace.

off to pack then i must away,
peace.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

so many indecisions

the options are all before me,
the road not only forks but splits like a spike of lightning shooting down from the sky. they bend just beyond sight and i know, whatever path i take, it will be blind curves and i must trust my decision.

for i believe even when we make wrong decisions, there are no wrong decisions.

we do what we do and learn from the consequence.

my brother in law takes issue with me on this point, he says,
think about what could happen.

but i always say,
but what if you don't know what could happen? how do you think about it.
probably faulty logic there, sure theres some name for that fallacy. maybe i'm just making excuses for not looking down the road, but i've never possessed the gift of foresight and i've not been too bright with connecting every dot (especially those i can't see).

so, i trust. i ride it out. i walk the fog banked road and hope that kindness will be met along the way. and usually it is, it does come to me in many forms, in many ways and i'm astounded by it.

sitting outside of work, late the other night when i was most broken, my boss encouraged me to keep moving forward.

and i quiver and shake, trembling again, and i'm so tired of it. i want to be strong, but i'm not sure that doesn't include some frailty. some fissure. some tears.

i had a champion once, so long ago it felt i was another woman.
and now i've found myself again, reconnected, beyond grief. (that kind of grief, i got a whole new demeter thing goin' on).

and i want certain things to happen, but times are gravely uncertain and i try not to give myself over to the potential for failure. while at the same time, not rob myself with naivete. but it is not easy. i am inclined to believe. and that can be problematic.

so, this weekend i go away to rest, and to write. to weep, and to be amongst friends who know more about me than most. and i will be safe.

it is a peculiar thing, feeling safe. i keep weighing my options and asking myself if the choices i will make will be safe. i don't know, but i'm trying to think about it.

that's one thing the ex drummed into my head, though his is more fear based. and mine, more trust based. not sure which makes more sense.

and somewhere a hero is beyond reach and reason
but there are still moments when i remember. as if a crowd draws me away and i want to stay, to keep my eye set on the focal point which grows smaller and smaller, to the point i cannot recognize it anymore. and then i try to remember, but there are so many confusions and doubts. so many indecisions. how do i remember the good? what is good? and why would i believe it?

this i will say once more for the sake of believing,
that which is mine will come to me.

and i will gladly receive it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

dead lines

i've jumped through every hoop they've put before me. now i prepare myself to go to a poetry intensive this weekend. whew. timing couldn't be better.

with a soon to be ex telling me to get out now, it's hard to find a reason to come home. i'm tired, and i need a break.

we've locked ourselves behind doors and share only tears and heartache now. there is no remedy. no resolution. we must part ways, we must.

but i am to go alone, or so i'm told. to walk away by myself. i spent the better part of the past week in tears, and, well, they don't look to be ending any time soon.

considering that residency program, at least applying. with the way things are going in the economy, it may be my only hope. the job front is precarious.

so i hesitate to sign a dotted line committing myself beyond my vastly limited means for a year. no. i need to find some place safe. so today at the equivalent of the watering hole, i mentioned i needed to find a room or a place. and one woman, one writer, may fit the bill.

it's not the solution i wanted, but it may be the solution i need.

i looked at an apartment yesterday that i want so bad. i want little more than that, but it is not the time for wants, it's the time for doing what must be done. and, perhaps that safest route, is the one which will put me in the home of another writer.

fortuitous.

we'll see. so i look to the future, and seen nothing but endings. and somewhere, there has to be a new something beginning. there just has to be.

peace. out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

well, i did it.

i danced today for a friend, and it was okay. it wasn't earth shattering, but then it didn't have to be. i just had to do it. mostly, it was a hoop that i needed to get through and, i did. amen.

we've been so incredibly busy at work. headspinningly busy. which is good. great, in fact. except when it comes to the ordering side of things. yeup, i'm missing shit. all over the place.

but i'm tired now, and must to bed.

peace. out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

show and tell

i'm not used to lugging a camera around, besides, when i do, i break them. but here are a few shots from tuesday night. my belly dance instructor took them. this is her, she's amazing.


and i'm looking up, because this is the proper carriage for a belly dancer, head up, shoulders back, etc. plus, we were in a small hall (long story), and it is what it is.


here i'm doing hip lifts and drops.



here, i'm doing hip circles in a circle, and these are probably too blurry to use for anything, but they're all i've got so far. so they'll have to do.







here's my belly. :D


more shots later, perhaps.

i just saw twilight. what a movie.
makes me want to believe the impossible is possible.

must away

i'm not sure anyone has had the desire to be away as much as i do at the moment. i'm heading out asap just to be gone. not sure where i'm headed or what we'll do, but i'm hanging out with a girl from work whom i get on famously with. she doesn't work in my store, which is even better. we're not supposed to fraternize as they say, but since she's of a different store, so much the better.

the place was hopping last night. massively busy. the most busy i've ever experienced. and it was wonderful. meanwhile, we were setting up the new holiday set, which was awful planning on the part of the higher ups (do we really need to be rearranging our stores on a day which is the most busy of the season so far? come now).

but my boss and i tag teamed it, and it came together.

mingled with an endless rush of customers. and my boss had predicted when it got really busy, we'd lose it.

but we didn't. he prepared us well, and as we left for the night he said,
i expected to see you guys go nuts, but you didn't.

nope.
i laughed.
we are ready.


and so we are.

now i must away, to go somewhere i want with someone who wants to actually spend time with me. i don't get that vibe at home. ever.

the feeling is probably mutual at this point. i don't want to be here anymore than they want me here, essentially. so i drag in after midnight and stay up until 2, then wake up very late, and most times, have to go back to bed because i'm so wasted tired.

but not today. today we play.

i need to find some red shoes. i was thinking converse, but they don't have any support and i need to be supported, i think i have high arches.

peace. out.

enjoy the true american holiday eat fest that thanksgiving is. i know, i suck the joy out of everything, but it's my nature. the holidays, for me, are to merely be endured.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

diversions

in need of a diversion, i try to find a door that will open to me. i've felt this kind of discontent before and it is not good. i need to go where i can be safe, and that is, perhaps, only to my dear friend's house.

so much in my mind, on my mind. i've spoken to my prof this morning and gotten permission, essentially, to dump the critical essay component of my final packet. i have written critically all along, and i was doing too much. i had to ask for a reprieve. and so i have one.

the trick now is, to compile it all into one flowing document. she thinks i can do it. she is smitten by my writing, and i am grateful for her support. i hope the faculty agrees. they evaluate the works and determine if you actually pass the semester and get your degree. :D fun times kids.

but i'm worn thin in ways i've not imagined possible. and this morning, lay in the sheltered dark of my forest green pendleton, and saw myself performing my belly dance. this has been a tricky issue for me, where to do it, how to do it, when to do it.

it was supposed to be more than it is. but, now i just have to get it done. i have a couple options, one of them more appropriate than the other. i will try for the appropriate option, but as i said, i'm looking for a diversion and the inappropriate may suit me. but it's dangerous, and i don't need any complications at this point.

i must away. this is not how i imagined life would be right now. and while i wish it were different, it is still, in fact, my so-called-life. and i'm riding it out. we'll see where i end up. hopefully washed up on some white sandy beach.

that would be ideal.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

this day many lifetimes ago

i keep wondering where i lost it, the joy. the feeling that life was a celebration. tonight i needed help, and asked for it from those closest to me, and they did not oblige. what am i to do? keep asking? hardly. my inclination is to be done with it, the asking, the vulnerability of it all, the need of them. to shut down that area of my life and heart and close them out. for good.

is this too harsh? perhaps.

but how many times does a woman get beaten down and get back up and say, hit me again? how many i ask is too many? and i'm so far away from family, they can only hold me in words and answer when i call but not rush to me, never rush to me. and this is when i need them most. these blood ties that i find so few anymore.

i would wander away if i could, off the map never to be seen again. and who would notice, my co-workers, certainly. my sister, undoubtedly. but i don't know that the life i'm living now is sustainable in the context in which i'm living it.

contexts must change.

and so they shall.

diplomas and ceremonies

so the end begins. it's been such a long road i can't believe it's over next month. i can't wait for it to be over, yet, i will be relieved and perhaps sad that i've made it through. i don't know.

it looks like i'll get to go to the whole poetry intensive, i was going to have to take one (another of many) for the team at my store and miss the saturday evening festivities (more poetry writing and reading), but my boss is going to cover me, so i can get away for the whole intensive. it keeps me sane. it helps me write. and since i've produced nothing compared to my usual output of late, this is a nice coming attraction. a mental download of sorts.

i imagine i'll sleep alot. that is what i did last time. i got there way early and went to bed, until dinner. then slept as much as possible the next day. i'm like a cat that way, turning up for meals. but i just need to rejuvenate. i have to cut out early on sunday to make it to work, but i'm grateful i get to go for the whole event. it is a huge deal for me to participate.

i'm going for the low-residency program after all because i can't swing a residency program with all the uncertainties of my life, this i know. i need to just keep doing what apparently works for me. and i'm looking forward to the twelve day residency when i will be immersed in my master's program in massachussets. so looking forward to that. i wonder which poets will be on staff then, i've heard some of the previous and they are excellent.

but now, i have a gigantic paper to write, a belly dance to perform, and a final project to collate. we'll see how it goes.

i'm looking forward. leaning in. and letting momentum carry me.

the letter from the school asking how my name should appear on my diploma and where it should be sent was a much needed boost. i hope to make it to graduation ceremonies in june up in vermont. we'll see.

peace.

Friday, November 21, 2008

don't let me forget

it's been so long, so very long since i've had a whisper of hope. and now, life calls to me again, do i turn away? do i release myself from the bondage of grief? it has been so long since i've felt like me. and i'm me again.

the good, the bad, the inbetween.

but there are moments still, i stop and look back, turning my head over my shoulder wondering if i'll see the strider coming over the fields of grain, if i'll hear his voice call out to me. i pause for a moment and listen. all is silent, so i move on. i go forward, i make myself live.

my friend whom i'd entrusted my book to said,
next time you write a poetry book, don't make it so sad.


and i smiled, and said,
i'd try.


someone said to me today,
i haven't seen you this happy.


and it was true, i'd been so locked up in my head, a tower of impenetrable grief. but then, the time passed, and i found that there are those who want my company, who want my presence, who want me to be active and alive.

somehow, this encourages me to want to be active and alive.

no more the looker on, but the active participant. making mistakes, making choices, making each moment what it needs to be.

and now as i consider the road ahead, the journey it will take me, and wonder if i can do it, if i can in fact swing it. i believe i can hear you whipser to me, just try.

i won't know if i can do it if i don't try. and there are lots of people who do much, much more than i'm doing and are successful. i simply have to find out what makes me successful. and do that.

mostly, i think it's committing myself to something. to giving my word that i will do my best at it. and i can't let that slide. i have to try.

holidays are here again, and i'm uninterested. i'm captivated by work and the people there, they are so good to me. and it is hard work but we care for each other, and that helps.

i feel a part of something. is it something transient? i don't know, i cannot say. all i can say now is, it's something healing. even when it's tough. even when it's difficult. even when i cry. it's where i'm supposed to be.

and for now, that is enough.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

home again.

i get home after everyone has fallen asleep, i rumble around trying to do schoolwork until i just can't keep my eyes open any longer, then wake up and do the same thing.

i got recognition at work today, during the district holiday meeting, for doing my thing. and then, i didn't do so well tonight. i sold a lot of stuff, i can make great sales, but i have a million things to do at the store. and my manager keeps saying,
you've only got a few things. i've got a million things.


and i believe it. there's no end to the details.

i need a rum and coke, and to go to bed. my deadlines loom, but sleep cannot hurt. and the other day driving to the farm, there was a large bird circling over the freeway, it dove and turned, first i saw the bright white tail, then the white head. it was an eagle, just like in my dream of late. first time i've seen a dream image so clearly in waking so soon after dreaming it.

then as we left the barn, a hawk rose and circled over us. over us. and i stopped and pressed my face and hand against the glass to see him, and see him seeing me. he winked, i'm sure of it.

but i'm tired now and must to bed.

peace.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sooner than later

my deadline is upon me, and i'm trying to make up for lost time, while at the same time, do what i have to do at work. today at the farm, i ended up filling buckets for ten horses instead of five, but since i have no time, no time to spare, it felt like something i probably shouldn't be doing. but i can't not do it. that's my problem.

belly dancing tonight was amazing, as usual. we really felt the groove, and i have stopped stalling out between moves. i keep doing whatever it is i want to do during the time my instructor changes the songs, or whatever. it helps me keep flowing if don't stop and just stand around every time she stops. it may be distracting, but time is short, and i have to do what i have to do now.

speaking of which, i have to go work on my final paper. i have to turn it in a week earlier than i thought. gotta love that.

peace.
out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

rapport

i've fallen into a comfortable place with customers and co-workers, and it's a good feeling. i still have moments when i'm less than kind, but for the most part, it's working out. the staff seem to be asking me questions (which kind of makes me laugh because some of these same people fought my arrival, which i guess is human nature, to buck new authority, or anyone who says to do something different).

but it's working out. we laugh, we work, we are a team. it's a great feeling.

we finally broke through a psychological barrier last night that our store couldn't manage to get around. i'm grateful it's done. we kept trying, my boss has been trying, i've been trying, the team, trying. but nothing. until last night. i was grateful to be the one on watch when it occurred. and, i didn't have to stay late.

it had been a bad habit i'd developed, working past time, just trying to tie up loose ends. my boss says i keep missing stuff, but it's more about follow-up than anything. these kids will say they've done something but they haven't done it to the nth degree, if you know what i mean. they've just bowed in the general direction.

i want things done and done well. so does my boss. but we're coming around, the team as a whole.

there has to be a willingness to be taught and a gentle hand guiding the reins, or the whole thing becomes about fighting each other for power and that simply is not fun. it sucks.

reminds me of bitty, she ran to me when i went to get her. i love that pony. from across the field she bolted right toward me, for a scratch, certainly, but i think she knew i was there to retrieve her.

so i lead her out of the field, and george has been lingering about the gate, hoping to get out with me, i think, but it wasn't his time. so i moved him away and didn't realize he'd sidled around bitty's backside, and how quickly this could go downhill. but i'm working the tricky closure on the gate (some crazy toggle bolt, why they don't make a quick release for these applications, i don't know). and george is pestering bitty. so i turn around, and flick the lead at him, to drive him away from her before he gets kicked or bites her.

i've finally figured out how to get the crowding horse off point so i can exit with the horse i want. it's all about forethought, which isn't my strong suit. but if i approach the gate from the opening angle, and shave off the horse crowding the exit, essentially pushing them (not physically, metaphorically) to the hinged part of the gate rather than letting them have the angle and trying to get an untethered horse to stay in the enclosure, i can extract my pony without incident.

so, anyway, bitty and i are in the field grazing, (well, she is grazing, not me. i'm just enjoying her chestnut coat, her strong neck, and will. the dappled sky, and remnants of fall), and the kid who is to ride bitty approaches. bitty lifts her head and jerks away, so i follow her.

she's tiny, but incredibly strong, and strong willed. i know the method to get a horse to do what you want is to jerk the halter and lead, but i don't find that kind and it is not the way i want to treat my friends. i am probably not helping by not manhandling her, now that i think of it, but when she is with me, i don't want her to feel i'm trying to push her around. i can't. i understand this. and i don't have any desire to, i hope she understands this.

so she starts trotting away, and i jog along side, like we're in a dogshow, and we cross through the field and go down a small hill to the other side of the road, me running the entire time. we make it on to the small dirt road where i regain some semblance of the lead, and i keep the pace, jogging along down the road with her. she pulls me a bit to a lush patch of clover, and i let her take a nibble, then jog her into her stall, where i take her blanket off.

this was not how i would have preferred to do it. but bitty is strong. if she is going where i need her to go, albeit at a trot, rather than a walk, what is the downside of that? though everyone was watching me and some were saying,
do you need help?
i just smiled and trotted by saying,
no, we're fine.


because we were. we'd figured it out. she got where she needed to be, she just didn't want to be around the kid who was retrieving her from me. and i understand that too.

i have the day off, and tomorrow too. but i'll be going in both days. weds we have a big district meeting where i'll get to meet some of the higher ups. i'm told there will be some kind of recognition for me there, but who knows. we'll see.

peace. out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

my baby

so, apparently, my book is circulating at some office in the city. sigh.

my boss said,
it's good.


strange how these things happen. i had no idea. remains to be seen what will happen. but i know a few people have my back.

i haven't been doing so well in the time management department, staying late and trying to get everything done, knowing i am not able to do it all. there is always more.

it's very late, i'm very tired, must to bed.

where is my romeo?

the sequel

these tiny acts of courage are sometimes rewarded. i gave my poetry book to three people (four, actually) at work i trust. those who could someday be considered friends. a comment i got was,
i cried.
the next comment i got was,
is there a sequel.


it made me smile.

i'm lost in the topsy turvy demands of my job, and trying to find some balance there. don't answer the phone, don't go the extra mile. but that really isn't my style, so what to do? hmm.

frustrated is not the word for what i am right now, because it's too mild. i'm trying to believe our entire team wants us to succeed, but at times it doesn't feel that way. is it people's indifference? inattention? intention? who can tell and how do we change it?

we have to recertify the entire store, which is wonderful and should have been done weeks ago, but there was some question as to whether or not i was right about what was going on. sadly, i was. it's times like these i want to be proven wrong.

as i spoke with someone i know i said it again,
i want to be wrong.


trouble is, i can evaluate a situation pretty accurately. even when i don't like what i see, i know what the major issues are. so how to incorporate this knowledge with some action. to take the lead in positive change. though at the moment, i'm feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

how do you change ingrained patterns and carelessness? how do you make people care? why should they, it's "just" a job. the thing is, it is our job. it is my job, and your job, and our jobs we're talking about. so if you're going to slack, get the hell out, there is no room for that.

there are a couple different kinds of bosses, the ones who are all business and get the hell out if you're not on board, and the ones who accomodate. i'm not sure i'm either, but i can see how appealing being all business would be. it's tough to not treat people disrespectfully while requiring they actually do their job, but it is something that i have to master.

i need to go workout, i'm confused about how to handle these challenges and, well, i need to think. working out frees my mind to roam a bit, and there, perhaps it will encounter some insight. perhaps not, but at least i'll have worked out.

peace. out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the little shit

is what i keep missing. it's not little in the scheme of my life, but little in the larger picture. my boss snickers away, because i seem to miss one thing every day or so. which isn't a lot, except that it means i spend most of my time driving around picking up the little shit from other stores. i walk in and say,
it's me, i'm the one who does the orders.

and the other night, late, i walked into a store and this sweet little hispanic woman whom i've met only one other time, she reminds me very much of my grams, put her broom down, took off her gloves and walked directly at me. she stopped short, and i said,
were you going to hug me?

yes,
she said.

go ahead,
i said.
and she did. she was so sweet. people like that make me love my job. she doesn't know me, but she treated me like family. that is what i appreciate.

and i walked into another store where a dear girl i adore works, and she leans over the counter and puts her cheek out to me, so i kissed it.

it's such a wonderful group, these kids, these strangers who are rapidly becoming family to me. and i'm told there are some wonderful things planned soon, and i should hold on.

some higher up said i should go to other stores, and my boss said,
she's mine.
which made me smile. it's nice to be wanted, for people to value the work of your hands. i think because my boss can leave the store in my hands and not sweat it too much (until i have a question, that is).

but we're pulling it all together and we're going to work through the tough patches. it's all good.

i'm tired, but i have schoolwork, and my prof said,
you'll be a famous published poet someday, and you must tell me when you're in my neck of the woods so i can hear you read.

i haven't written anything of substance yet this semester, according to my standards, but yet, this is the word i get from my last attempt at a packet. i have to turn another in this next week or so, because i'm horribly behind. but she's supportive and i'm grateful.

then, it will be time to focus on work for awhile. perhaps then, when i'm not divided, i'll be able to catch the little shit that's slipping through my fingers right now.

peace. out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

legend

i cannot speak of what i came to understand today, it is too fresh, too raw, too deep. it was something that happened at belly dancing, and just before. i got a call of concern and it made a difference. i'm not saying i'll be a nice christian lady now, those days are over. i'm saying, i will be me. that is all i promise. come what may, i can't hide behind labels anymore. i can't depend on anything to save me. which means, pretty much, it is what it is. no excuses.

my bundle of contradictions is endless. i've just begun to unwind it, and it leads somewhere, i'm certain. but where, i have no idea. don't pretend to know. and i'm okay with that.

i had to go into the store tonight, and there were wonderful surprises awaiting my arrival (hear, work). so i did my bit o' good, and now i have to spend some time early tomorrow fixing things. it's not fun being the order frau, but it's my gig right now. and i have to do it.

i should try to turn in, but i'm still, also a student, so i have to use these wee hours when there is actual silence (or some semblance of it), in my home, to make some headway. there is no end to the stuff demanding my time and attention these days.

my boss said,
you're an intelligent woman, this should be easy for you.


yes, but i've got a lot going on.
that is all i can say. the details of a store are endless. i can't imagine how to keep all these balls aloft, except to try and ask for help when i need it.

so, early tomorrow before work, i've got some work to do. what else is new. it's my gig and i've got to handle it.

time to read.

peace. out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

just go to bed

i must get up early to drive my girl to the farm tomorrow, but i finally finished one book, a new addition, it was nice that i could power through it. it was the story of a woman's midlife journey, and i guess it applies. ripe with arthurian legend, it is the kind of book that speaks to me. i picked up another she mentioned in the pages, and it's a hefty five hundred or so, i'll put that off until later. i can't do that right now, but maybe i have to. since this 300 plus book was no burden, perhaps that one won't be either.

i dumped a couple belly dance books because i thought i'd die if i had to read about hip shimmys anymore. and the dance of the seven veils, yeah, i get it. tell me something i don't know. they all seem to be the same book regurgitated, save the first one i read, granmother's secrets. that one had many gems. it was not written in a linear fashion either, it wove through the subject, very feminine.

i took the leap of entrusting my book, stalking the dead, to a few of my co-workers. my boss, a couple of people at another store i trust, and, well, who knows. it's out of my hands at this point. it is the greatest gift, the greatest trust i can give a person, some part of me that this book, that book, represents.

i reread it tonight to see if it still held my heart. and tears came. my heart ached, but i was not devastated as i once was. i was not lost, as i have felt for so many years now.

strangely, i know where i am (though i really don't). i know who i am (though, admittedly, i really don't). and all this brave talk is just a farce, but that's okay. i understand my limitations more now than ever, and i will learn to laugh again.

i will learn to live.

i choose to live.

and that's something right there.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

now

when i tell you now, how far i've fallen
from the star you once thought me, will you be able to bear it
we are only given one life, one strand of breath, one chance
to make something of it. whatever it is. i'm still figuring that out.

in the meantime, i find laughter coming to me again, life wooing me
and i try to remember who you said i was, who i am, where i'm headed
it all gets turned around, upside down and i don't know what is what anymore.

i just keep moving forward, that seemed to work in the fog
i keep putting one foot in front of the other and sometimes these stumbling steps
lead somewhere, sometimes not. but i know that there is a time coming

when i won't be afraid, when i won't be alone. when i won't berate myself so cruelly. i will have to find mercy for myself, for i can dole it out to any stranger in need, but it is sore lacking when i need it for myself.

then, mercy is lacking. then it is like sleep on a tight schedule, nowhere to be found, until, of course, it's too late.

and the voices i hear tell me to be nice to myself, and i try. i do try. but the bad stuff is always, has always been easier to believe.

the confusions and doubts i fall victim to, the distrust and uncertainty i try to navigate the only way i know how. with eyes open, heart wide and soft, hands feeling for the peace that i once was promised. that i miss. that i long for. that i know is coming to me.

and i navigate this haze, this lifting fog, this clearing
with the gentlest step, for i don't want to startle the mule deer and flicker. the partridge or red fox. i just want to be near them, and have them near me. even if only for an instant, before their wiring demands they flee, and i am again standing alone in a cloud of mist.

a gentleman in my corner

it has been a long, long time since i've felt i've had a gentleman in my corner. there is a psychic comfort in the deal. and i'm grateful. in my goings on at my job, i've been meeting a lot of the larger family, and, well, it's been nice. my boss got a lecture from someone who wants me to succeed (though, perhaps he doesn't realize my boss wants me to succeed too). i tried to clarify any misperceptions there, because my boss is a great guy.

a woman came in last night and in the course of the conversation, i just said,
a lady should have a gentleman in her corner.


and she agreed. it has nothing to do with feminism, or sexism. it just is what it is. and now, i realize, i have a few in my corner, whom i'd overlooked.

but after having a few moments alone with this gentleman, my boss came in and said,
you have a gentleman in your corner.


and i smiled.

he said it with a sigh of resignation. there is some history there, which i don't want to know, and perhaps they'll work it out. perhaps they won't.

i hope they do, because i don't like battles in my corner and while i don't expect them to feign nice, like to know there is peace between those i care about. there isn't much i can do to ensure that, but i can try in whatever ways present themselves.

my boss is a stickler for a lot of things, has very high expectations, and we try to rise to those. he's tired, frustrated, and, perhaps, bored, but still trying to make our team into something special, and i give him props for that.

it's nearly time to go to work.

i have a lot of schoolwork to do. and the store nearly demands all my attention. it's something i have to think about endlessly, the minutia is mindnumbing. and my boss said last night,
when you finally get it, you'll be surprised at how easy it was.

i can't wait for that. i'm still missing things, still forgetting to order certain things. and the gentleman from the other store has saved me many times over.

how many times has he saved your ass?
my boss asked.

lots.
i reply.

and i'm grateful. it's good to know there are gentlemen, still.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

paper due

paper done.

did i do a good enough job, that is not for me to decide. but i did decide i can't read anymore belly dancing books or i'll die of boredom. so i've picked up three additions to my biblio, dumping one partially read (two, actually, bd books that bored me to tears).

time to move on.

and my dance needs to be performed very soon. i forget this deadline approaches. what to do. what to do. it is not how i would expect it, but i trust it will be what it needs to be. i am not ready yet, but i will be.

worst case scenario, i dance at my poetry intensive, and get it filmed there. that is my last resort. i will select the audience very carefully, and it will be well.

it's been a crazy day. hubby had a major wreck and, well, we're going to be dealing with that for a while. not fun.

my car ended up needing work, so i'm hoping it will be back before i have to work tomorrow. not sure what to do if it's not.

what else to say, i am tired, but grateful my paper is turned in. i wish i could have done more, but i will finish up three books here soon, and knock off the other three in the next couple weeks. my semester ends in no time. no time at all, and i'm grateful to be done with it. it is time.

and i need to go to bed. i'm tired.

btw, try the eggnog chai. (or chai eggnog), wowza. that's quite something. my boss turned me on to it. and, well, it will be my indulgence, shall we say. i have to go workout tomorrow, speaking of indulgences, i sure hope my car is working. think the hubster is taking the day off to find a doctor. what a mess.

peace. out.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

time to visit charon

in my dream the other night, i was reaching the crest of a hill, and i could see a bird circling, circling high, and i kept staring at it, trying to make it out. when it finally came to me, it was an eagle. i remember an old eagle dream i had once, why it never left me, i do not know. the people in the dream really mattered to me.

and this time, no different.

the eagle is a harbinger of good. a helper. a guardian.

how i've needed those. lost in the wood i've been for a couple years now. perhaps the thicket ends at a clearing with a crystal pool and a waterfall. yes, there must be a waterfall.

and my swans.

i do believe in dreams still.

papers and deadlines

i keep trying to get my boss to understand that i'm finishing up my degree this semester (haven't mentioned the one coming down the pike), and it's essential that i finish well. crucial.

i'm multi-tasking, i say, as this is something i've been working toward for fifteen years. i'm five weeks away. five weeks. i have a deadline friday and i'm not even close to being ready for it. i have to write all day thursday for it. there is no other way.

when my boss came back to work, i essentially gave him back everything he'd entrusted to me, dumped it on him, he said. and i had to agree. it's a lot. i don't know that i'm prepared to work so hard, yet. in that sense, though i'm working very hard in all areas, though it sometimes doesn't feel that way.

there's a lot going on. i am doing what i can, and after struggling through my night the other night, i didn't dot my i in the back room, and the district manager visited the next day. (:)i missed it, what can i say. i did the best i could and had to get on with my life.

i've got much to do, must away. paper due and work today.

peace.
out.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

don't sweat it

i was standing in a field with bitty, the little chestnut, and just kept breathing in the silence. enjoying being there wasting time. time i did not necessarily have to waste, but could not help but waste. i want them to be happy. how does one know a horse is happy. i'm not sure. but sometimes when i scratch her in just the right place, she wraps her neck around me and nuzzles me. today, she followed me through the paddock and stood at the gate until i returned, as i wasn't there to catch her. i stayed in with her for a bit, but she wanted out, that was clear.

so finally, i got her out and grazed her on a grassy hill. she loved it. the leaves almost bare of trees (ha!). all the while, george stood at the gate and watched bitty feasting. i could tell he wanted out, too. (we call bandit george, because he looks like a george--the new farm owner started calling him that and we've all picked up the name, so i think his unofficial name now is george. funny name for a horse, but it works). anyway, i had george out in the field and i could see my girl in the arena signaling she wanted water. so i had to go to the car and get it, george in tow. but he didn't mind. he came right along with me, and i ran my fingers over his dapple skin and broke the mud clots off his coat. it was nice, having my hands on his large body. i hadn't had a chance to handle him since just after we got to this farm because the big young thoroughbred hurt herself and he and her are like peas and carrots. though today, you'd never know he doesn't abide separation well. he was fine today though, oddly enough. i guess hunger changes the stakes. not that he's starved, but the paddock is eaten down, and the hill where i took them is lush and it won't be that way for long. winter fast approaches.

then to catch the old girl.

today was the toughest time i had with her. though she didn't run from me, she walked slowly. i clicked my tongue a bit, and she eventually turned toward me. i held out a little treat i had for her to see, and then she was hooked. she's a sucker for a sweet. so i was grazing her on the grassy knoll, when my girl's lesson ended. the idea was that when i was done with her, i'd put her in her stall to rest before her lesson. but i kind of lost track of time, and ultimately, my girl retrieved her from me as we were just standing in the silence, in the field, she eating, me just there beside her keeping silent vigil.

and it was back to work after that. so i'm glad for the time to be with them. i'm grateful for the moments in the field when time and sound stand still.

and the hawk's white belly greeted me from the trees today.

and it seemed everything would be all right.

my nightmare keeps unfolding

that was my lament last night. it just seemed to get better and better. and the kids i work with know how to laugh about these kinds of blunders. perhaps it's easier when you're not the one making the blunders to laugh about them. but i was pretty bummed last night. all i could feel was my failure.

called my boss as he arrived at the store this am with another angle, i keep trying to help him not take a hit from this. and he just said,
go back to bed, i'll fix it.


so i get another couple calls and not only am i not the worst case in the district, i'm not the highest ranking worst case. let's leave it at that. all this to make me feel better, but it doesn't make me feel much better that others have to struggle with this now too. it reveals a serious flaw in the system if such major errors, loopholes, blackholes, if you will, are built into the system.

i missed it. competely. and it was so obvious, but i remember a lot of things that happened, and i can't beat myself up about it. i'm going to the farm, away from my life and let the horses put me back together again. that is the kindness they provide. draw me back to now. to this moment, when i want to run away.

sometimes it feels like it all gets away from me. that's how i feel now. my boss came back and i just let it all go. that was not the right thing to do either, there are some responsibilities i need to maintain whether he's in town or not. but he must help me through this learning part, because i have so much to do at the store, i can hardly manage it all with our current staffing situation.

i wish i had more days off, but i'm grateful for the kindness of my boss who is helping dig the store out of a hole. sigh.

learning is very tough.

Monday, November 03, 2008

no tonic for this

i didn't think the falls would come so quickly, and in such rapid succession.

it's great to have people who support you, even relative newcomers to your life. without their reframing of the current madness, i'd truly have flipped out. i'm trying not to run myself off the road mentally, and just let it go. somethings are beyond me. this is beyond me.

it is broken and cannot be fixed, not by me, not tonight.

it sucks that my boss is going to take a hit from this. in many respects. and, well, i just hate making mistakes.

and i didn't even wear waterproof mascara, just adding to the wonder of the evening.

i think i need to complete this cry and just wallow in it a bit.
but i'm working in a "happy" place, trying to shake off my latest failure.

and it just hurts.

i put such pressure on myself to perform, and when it just doesn't happen, it just doesn't go down easy.

i really screwed this up. massively.

ah well, my bad.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

what's next?

i resolve, then i unresolve. i resolve, then i unresolve. that's not resolve then, i guess. that's called wavering. or weighing options. i'm approaching huge crossroads in my life and i'm trying to navigate to where i need to be. only trouble is, i don't have a clue where that is or what it looks like.

and i'm beginning to love where i'm at. strange as that sounds.

i cried driving home tonight because i felt that kind of joy inside that has eluded me for so many years, my whole life, perhaps.

but it's coming closer and i'm welcoming it.

very tired, must rest. too much to do to waste time anymore. that's the fact of the matter.

peace.

restraint

has never been my strong suit. damn, i don't think it's been any suit i've ever owned, stong or weak. it just isn't in my repertoire, shall we say. but i need to get it. to find it. to buy it, borrow it, or steal it. i must make it mine.

i'm learning a great, great deal at the moment. and having just processed a few things i had on a shelf labeled, hold for contemplation, i have a bit of a better angle on things.

i won't do everything perfectly, but i will begin to learn the art of restraint.

will i blow it, certainly.

will i get up, dust myself off and try again, of course.

at least i know that much. it won't elude me forever. i just have to seek it out.

sometimes i wonder if these things are not just like the herd of horses i have befriended. at first they were not trusting of me, as i had not made myself known. but now, even with our mutual alliance, i must pay them respect, they are simply bigger than me. they could hurt me. but, i also know, they respect me in their own way now. and i have to trust that.

i imagine restraint will come much the same way. i'll make myself known to it. court it, shall we say. and then, perhaps, it will get its scent all over me, and i will find i like the smell of restraint. that i crave the smell of it. that i drive very far every week just to spend time alone with it.

where to begin.

i'm not sure. admitting that i have no idea is a good place, the first place, usually. i just hadn't realized one could be so clueless about so many things. i don't want to be clueless, i don't want to be this brand of naive.

i want to be perfect. but that is not possible, nor is it wise.

what is there to learn, what is there to challenge yourself on or with if you're perfect? and who could abide your company then?

surely not me.

so, partner to restraint i must court grace. and give myself heavy doses of it daily. to swallow it down, murky tablespoon full after murky tablespoon full, until i crave it, my daily medicine.

being kind to myself is hard. it is hard for a lot of ladies i know. but, one cannot find any of these solitary creatures, for, i think it has just occurred to me that they are herd animals. kindness, restraint, grace, they all travel together and not in the crowds i run in. but therein the problem lies.

i have to do the work of receiving these foreigners the way i worked for my friends, and while some would say, they're a gift. they're free. yeah? then why don't i have them? why are they never in my life when i need them? i'm not proposing some workhorse theology (snicker, snicker, that was not intentional diction, it just happened), i am only saying, for this girl, i need to invest in these things to reap the reward. because if it worked any other way, it would have worked by now. and it hasn't.

grace. restraint. kindness.

holy hell, that's a tough

or is it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

my favorite goodbye is hello

my boss returns sometime this week, we're not quite sure when, he mentioned it, but i can't quite pin him down.

he's this giant presence. he walks in and the store pulsates.

right now, it's kind of lagging. we're trying, but you can't fake that kind of presence. and it makes me want to manage large. to be that kind of a motivating factor in a place. he has really brought us together as a team, and, well, i'm glad he's back.

i look forward to more reunions, more hellos. more unfamiliar faces fading into familiarity. i keep trying to imagine that day, that hour. sometimes i leave the gym and think, what a horrible moment this would be, drenched with sweat as i am.

but, perhaps that pales in the face of hello. i don't know.

the kid i most enjoy closing with is hotnatured like i am. so we crank down the a/c to 68, and work in a modestly heated store. we're still hot, but any cooler than that would be unreasonable.

i'm told, when the morning crew gets there, they are the ones who crank it up to 80 degrees (insane!) and i can't work like that.

tonight, it's mid twenties outside, and i'm in capris because my work is so hot.

what can i say?

all winter when i worked in the mall, i wore flipflops for work and summer clothes, and just piled on the layers as i left. i'll have to take the same approach, because it's insanely warm in there, to me (and the kid).

i'm grateful we're so similar and work so much together.

he was really tired tonight, so i gave him my break. i don't really take one anymore because i have so much to do. but i could tell he needed it. just a moment to catch his breath. and so he did.

he's just a joy to work with. a true gentleman. i can't say i've experienced many of those in my lifetime. when i holler, or hurt myself, he rushes to help. not that i accept the help, but he does try and i give him kudos for that.

it's certainly something to see, a real gentleman. i had thought the last one passed away, slipped off with my dreams.

but i was wrong.

and i'm glad.

the shape of things

i can hardly add words to this passage from a book i'm reading, so i'll just paste the quote:

"it did not help in the least to make out finally that the creature who had assigned himself to me was an absurdly spotted dog of dubious affinities nor did it help that his coat had the curious properties generally attributed to a magician. for how, after all, could i assert with surety what shape this dog had originally possessed a half mile down the road? there was no way of securing his word for it. the dog was, in actuality, an illusory succession of forms finally, but momentarily, frozen into the shape 'dog' by me. a word, no more. but as it turned away into the night how was i to know it would remain 'dog'? by experience? no, it had been picked by me out of a running weave of colors and faces into which it would lapse once more as it bounded silently into the inhuman, unpopulated wood. we deceive ourselves if we think our self-drawn categories exist there. the dog would simply become once more an endless running series of forms, which would not, the instant i might vanish, any longer know themselves as 'dog.' by a mental effort peculiar to man, i had wrenched a leaping phantom into the flesh 'dog,' but the shape could not be held, neither his nor my own. we were contradictions and unreal. a nerve net and the lens of an eye had created us. like the dog, i was destined to leap away at last into the unknown wood. my flesh , my own seeming unique individuality was already slipping like flying mist, like the colors of the dog, away from the little parcel of my bones. if there was order in us, it was the order of change." (59)

loren eiseley, the star thrower

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

fall awake

sometimes i fall into morning, the way i fall into sleep and i'm a bit discombobulated. not really wanting to engage, just here. dreams still fresh in my mind and i wonder what to do with them. they aren't really of the destiny variety, but they are my dreams. some would say, it's just the mind letting off some steam. i don't know. deadlines are buzzing in my head, work colliding with school, and school must be a priority. i say this not because you need to hear it, but because i need to remind myself. focus! don't lose the ends to the means.

i am reading about four wonderful books right now, and school is interesting because you can't really linger over them. my favorite books have to be run through like a sprinter, when i would rather spend the equivalent of a marathon between the pages.

today we go see our friends, and i miss them. i'm too busy and tired to muck their stalls just now, but i do get a bit of school work done while i opt out of the work of the farm. that is after i provide the requisite scratches.

i've been reading about leading on a loose rein, and i tried it with the old black mare last week. it worked wonderfully. she followed me, no problem. that i caught her before it started pouring, nicole was grateful, because she's old, she doesn't need to be standing out in a cold rain. and bringing her and bitty in meant the two horses could have the run in shelter which is really only built for two and no one must stand out in the rain.

i'm not opposed to them standing out in the rain, it was just very cold last week and i didn't know nicole's preference, so i brought the ponies in.

bitty was ready to go. waiting for me at the gate. she's been doing that a lot lately. just hollering for reasons i don't really understand. but after i brought her in, i attempted the loose rein, and she yanked me into the field to graze. she's tiny but incredibly strong. i let her nibble, then to her stall because i had the old girl to get still, and bitty curled up and went to sleep in her toasty, unkempt stall. normally i'd try to get that done before returning them to their quarters, but it just couldn't happen. nicole took care of it when she was done with my girl's lesson.

and i curled up in a ball in my car and slept. even missed turning the ponies and horses out in the paddocks. i just needed to shut my eyes before the drive home.

the old girl stood and watched me approach her in the field, and she began to turn away. so i clicked my tongue a few times, maybe three, and she turned toward me again and stood in her spot. i was able to clip the lead on and walk her out, no problem. nicole was impressed because velvey always runs when she's brought in. but not from me. the only time she ran from me was when i was trying to put her halter back on and i'd just turned her out. lost a few layers of skin from my middle finger that day unhaltering her and should have just let it go at that. but i'm nothing if not persistent.

it wasn't her fault i got hurt, it was mine. i understand. horses do what horses do. and i'm grateful when they don't kick me and they could. last week everyone was all feisty, which is nice to see. guess they'd been couped up a bit. but we went into the field to retrieve my daughter's favorite pony, barnaby, the one she rode in competition, and rides most now for her lessons (he challenges her, she said to me,
i try to challenge him, too).


and, well, she's standing beside calm as a pool of water barney, and the big spirited thoroughbred comes racing over nearly running into us. we were beside a large pine tree, and that severely limited our options. bitty, the little welsh pony, whinnied, and wanted out of the situation, but she was hemmed in by me, the tree, and barney at her front. just then, bandit ambles over, rather quickly, and he's all fired up, so bitty's feeling blocked in and i told my girl, turn barney loose and move. so she goes toward the pine she's nearest, and releases barney, while i try to get bitty to move forward, but bandit has come and is spinning around ready to kick.

he almost kicked you,
my daughter said.

no, he didn't.


i saw horseshoes to be sure, which is close enough, and the pony bucked a bit as she was departing, but i was perfectly calm. this is what amazes me. it could have been a very bad situation, but i was calm and aware of everyone and everything. a perfect moment.

and i watched it all in slow motion.

when the horses cleared the way, my girl grabbed barney, who kept vigil beside her, he's a good pony, and we walked to the gate. i'm trying to remember, obstacles and horses don't really leave many options. staying in the open is perhaps the better choice. though, when they are all clamboring around, they become the obstacles. and it requires one to focus.

this is how we spend our tuesdays. i would have it no other way. and, beside stepping on my boot once, bandit has never hurt me. he has no reason to. i have to remember they respond to stimuli by instinct, and to attend to stimuli better.

i'm just so focused on what is going on at the moment, i forget about the moving pieces. somedays, T (the big thoroughbred), is calm and peaceful. gentle and wanting to be in the middle of everything. but on those days when she is wild, it's probably best to keep our distance from her. the trick is, deciding what kind of mood she's in.

barney seems to be consistent no matter what is going on, which is why nicole loves using him for beginners. she was telling us about the last show she went to, one of the instructor's students took a pretty bad fall. the horse darted off in the walk, trot class and was cantering wildly around the arena.

nicole said she could see barney start as if he wanted to run, but he knew better, and just stood still. they seem to know what to do, how to take care of the kids, who do their best to take care of them.

and i'm just glad to get muddied and learn from them. i never expected it to be easy. i just hadn't expected to enjoy it so much. even when it's difficult and all work, it's joyous work. and i don't get giddy about much these days. but take me to the farm, and leave me there to die.

this is my wish.

Monday, October 27, 2008

to the deep

i keep trying to convince my child that swimming in the deep is no different than swimming in the shallows. though, given very deep deeps, when everything implodes, perhaps it's not true after all, but we're talking an eleven foot pool.

so tonight she abandoned herself to the deep, and i was grateful.

i buoyed by noodles because i'm too tired to swim for forty-five minutes straight without aid, but i make her swim thirty minutes, and she ended up swimming an additional fifteen of her own free will. it was lovely.

she enjoyed diving down deep and swimming about.

i'm just glad to finally be home, as much as i love the water, i'm tired. but i said that all ready.

i have to ask the kid at work who is in graduate school for phys ed if i'm still getting a decent workout aided as i am by floatation devices. i couldn't do it any other way.

anyway, i'm tired. enough said. breakfast early, then the farm. bellydancing then i have to go in to work to do the order for this week and put away stock.

peace.

you're in charge

the thing about people leaving town, or changes being made when i'm in the line of succession (metaphorically speaking), i tend to be left in charge without adequate mention of the fact that i am in charge. though i think my boss did the best job of making the case than anyone before him, but i saw a now asst. mgr who got promoted out of my store and she said,
you're in charge this week.


i said,
really?


that's how he made it sound.


oh.
and i smiled.
as much as anyone can be in charge at that place, i guess.

we have a lot of ideas, strong people, and the flux of workers which makes for a sometimes volatile mix of pro-activeness and outright rebellion. when does one become the other?

i said to my boss,
i know what to do, i just need to do it.


he'd been telling me for some time to stop asking for approval before i do stuff. and, well, it took some getting comfortable, and we overlapped slightly (amazingly, not too much) in our efforts, but all ends well.

i have decided it is keeping my finger on the pulse of a store that is most complex. if a customer wants this or that we have to make it happen, within reason. i would probably sell my mother to make this store successful, which is, perhaps more a reflection of the ailing relations between my mother and i than anything else.

we get deliveries from this company who often short our order just when we need the product. forcing us to scramble around from store to store taking alms of the product shorted.

the other night, just that happened. they had been delivering while we were there, but they didn't. so i made sure to see them as soon as they walked in the next night.

we didn't get this.
and since it was pouring rain, i offered,
i'll walk out to the truck, get it myself and bring it back in. do you mind?


they couldn't shake me off, i was relentless (in a most charming way, of course).

and so, i walked out in the rain, and hopped in the back of this 18 wheeler, and extracted the product we were shorted the previous night.

shorting another store, yes, but they had two of the item, so it was a necessary act.

these commando techniques are met by laughing kids who can't believe i'm lugging boxes in the rain and forcing my will on the delivery guys. i'm just glad they changed their route so we're the second stop.

peace.

btw, i am told by my sweet eleven year old informant that bucky is for sale. or will be soon. i miss him.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

same ol' same ol'

nearly midnight, bullriding is on, i have schoolwork to do. but tonight my back slightly aches, and i'm not exactly sure why.

so i'll try to take it easy tomorrow, as i have the day off. but still, much, too much to do.

i want to be in the dusty worn leather world of cowboys, that is where i want to be. not here. but here is the reality.

there's this line from a dave matthews song that goes:

what i want, i ain't got.
what i need, is all around me.

so maybe that's it. which has essentially been the story of my life. not that i'm looking to undo what i done, by no --NO-- means, never. i'm ready for freedom and what cometh with it.

mostly, i just want peace. that's all i keep requesting.

it won't be long before i'm moved up, or at least put on that track. it will happen. and i have to decide to go with it or no.

my business saavy friend and counsellor would say, do it. do it now.

and i will still hem and haw. there is much, too much going on at the moment and it's a lot more responsibility. like i need any more of that.

i think if maybe i had a few body doubles, i could accomplish everything i'm wanting to do. for now, i am accomplishing only what i'm able. one thing at a time. but many taken together.

i always have one eye to the sky, saw five hawks on my way to work today. it has been a great while since that has happened.

and one ear to the ground, listening for the footfalls that will finally come. someday come.

in the meantime, i try to keep from the darkness and focus on tasks at hand.

it is well. it is all well and good.

peace.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

operation prank the boss

my boss was heading out for a week away from the store. he has put a great deal of effort into prepping us for his absence, i've learned a lot. and i'm basically on deck to see if i can handle what will come (we all are, but i've got the ordering and supplies angle of the show, which is a lot).

so last night i get this idea to prank him. we can't just let him leave, i told the other kid working with me. we have to send him off with something.

yeah!
he replied.

the plan began as a simple swiping of the keys and moving the car, changing the music. burning some embarassing cd and cranking the radio.

but then, we told the two girls who were there and they wanted in on the action, so they came up with another plan. a decidedly higher stakes plan, that was quite intricate.

we're laughing and it sounds like a great idea. but i'm the one holding the ball. it fell to me to enact this plan. and so i did.

let's just say, it went very well, and was fraught with peril.

i know my boss well enough to know, he's a good guy. he can appreciate a well executed joke. but i also know payback is a bitch, and i'd better beware. i drew first blood.

i wasn't sure how it would end. it all seemed so serious, and i had to play the part. i had to be all grave. but then, he showed up at work and i hid for a bit, forgetting, i should probably distract him, and in the time i was dodging his view, he went and checked the computer and found it was all untrue.

suzanne,
he said, smiling.

and i grinned.
you found out?


yes.


he was stunned that we pulled it off, for one. he felt like a goofball for another, and it was just a good joke. though, as i said, i'm nervous about the payback.

but i told him,
it was a team building exercise
(though not one i'm sure he'd have apporved of before hand).

and i reminded him we only did it because we're going to miss him when he's gone. now he'll have a story to tell.

and i've got to try to help this store get better in the space of a week. we'll see how it goes.

and i'm ready for bed. this prankster gave up lots of time to this, and, while i don't regret any of it, i do need a good rest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

foul mood

tonight was just bad. anyway you slice it, except i worked with the sweetest kid, whom i feel entirely comfortable with and he eases some of the rough patches for me. he tells me i do the same for him, so it's nice to have that kind of companionship at work. especially when people are splitting hairs over fucking coffee.

though we didn't have too many difficult customers, this one guy, whom i really like as far as customers go, wanted the kid to just give him one dollar instead of 99 cents change.

when the kid hesitated, the guy said, you're
not going to just give me the dollar?

the kid said,
no, i'm sorry.


and the guy turns to me.
are you going to give me the penny?


i have to go get it out of my wallet,
i said (do these people not realize how very little we are paid?) like we can just pull shit out of our till and it not reflect in the deposit. yeah, that's smart.

so the guy says,
just pull it out of here.
meaning TIPS.

no fucking way! i said,
just look on the floor, there are always pennies on the floor.
and i walked around the counter, and true enough, he was standing amidst three shiney coppers.

so i pick one up, and say,
there they were right there.


and he said,
that's beside the point.


i said,
well, if people only tip 2 cents (and some do), a penny is a lot from the tip jar,
and we just don't take anything out of tips because it is the team's money. so i see the quandry this kid was in. and i wasn't about to give this customer shit for all the hassle he was causing.

see, i don't think people realize, we have shit to do. tasks to accomplish. when you tie up the employees, two of them over a fucking penny, we are losing time.

it could be argued, i should have just pulled the penny out of the till, but i don't want this kid to start that habit on my watch.

so i said to the guy,
it's just a penny.


exactly,
he says.

whatever, keep your fucking money. i say. and he finally left. that whole ordeal took about five minutes of my time and i was pretty baffled by it.

another guy, i guess he thought he was being cute says,
here,
and tosses his trash at me. wadded up and expected me to catch it and deposit it in the trash can.

i watched the ball of trash hit the ground and i said,
you want me to throw that away for you?

and he said,
i thought you'd catch it.


why would i?

if some stranger says here, and proceeds to toss something, i'm not inclined to catch it.

call me crazy. but there it is.

he apologized. i threw his trash away, but what a prick.

so, all the while, i've got the voice of the oppressor in my head. and i wanted to just cry the night away, but i couldn't.

i needed the voice of kindness tonight. and that came in the person of the kid i worked with. and so i had to let him and his postive energy reach me.

but it was hard.

it is hard.

and when all the distractions have died down, and i lie down in the dark cold i must fight my own battles. ride out my own storm. it is all i can do. there is no hero, there is no knight where i live, in my home.

it's all cold and dark and i am alone.

my bad

so, i was hurling through my summer trying to rest and didn't attend to the forms i completed for this semester. i checked a yes box when i shoulda checked a no box. so now, many phone calls later, and after freaking out (not horribly), it has all become clear as mud. i wrote yes when it shoulda been no.

meanwhile, other tidbits are being tied up and things are progressing. i can rest easier now that i know i'm not three thousand pages in the whole for my semester, probably only about a thousand or fifteen hundred.

i'm still wearing capris and flipflops, but tonight might change that. windchills are supposed to be in the twenties. i better bring extra layers for leaving the store near eleven pm.

peace.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

mine own

heard this song at belly dancing tonight, it is the song for me at the moment. but i can't find it. so there you have it. i'll have to ask my instructor for the title. (this is all i remember of the song: i'm learning to live without you).

it occurred to me on the way home tonight, that i have approached the dance wrong. it has always been, in my mind, a dance to gift to someone. a dance for someone else. never for me. it occurred to me tonight, that i must dance for me alone.

what does this mean?

i do not know.

but as i arrived at class tonight, and prepared myself for the dance, i left myself open to the women there. they spoke to me. i was encouraged by their kindness. and i hope that the opening we peeked inside tonight, will remain open.

it's hard for women to come together. we're so tangled up on our lives. and rightly so. women live lives of endless details. who needs what, when. juggling all these mindnumbing details requires effort.

who will acknowledge the transitions in our lives if not we ourselves? if we cannot look over our own fences and see our neighbor, actually engage them, how can we hope they will engage us? i am as guilty of this as the next guy.

and we have love, it comes to us in snatches. we must accept it when it arrives, however it comes. for me it has never settled in, save in the person of my child. it has been transient, and left me many more times than arrived.

i do not grieve this fact, merely accept it. and promise to make my arrival profound. to be truly present.

how i can hold my own in a paddock with five horses and not behind a counter with three twenty year olds, i do not know.

but i must find a way.

and my professor is wrong, i am no required to read twenty seven books. now i must work it out with my school. i'm glad. i didn't need to cram that much.

i must away.

amend the list

i have to figure out a battle plan for this new amount of books i need to read. i also need to find a few new books. the prof recommended one i'd opted out of reading, but now i'll pick it up and speed read it so it will count. we are going to have a week long discussion about it monday, and, well, i'd better read pretty quickly.

that's 20 books. but i still need to find 7. and then, find the time to read about them. i'd rather they weren't just lobbed into my study, but it seems that is going to have to be the case. i'd really like to find another tao of equus type book, but perhaps no. maybe the tao te ching or something. i know it's tangental to my study, but oh well.

prehaps the books themselves will reveal the answers i seek. i don't know.

i sleep very little now, but i don't feel tired. i just have a million balls flying through the air at any moment, i wake up around 7:30 without trying. i used to be an up at 5:30 kind of gal, since i work so late, i guess this is the equivalent. i would say i'm probably more healthy in terms of sleep than i was. i can sleep a lot if i have the time. but it's not necessary, it was just habit.

school has really helped me to change the way i do things.

and the master's program calls. i still have not finished the final paperwork for my second application, but it all needs to be in one envelope. so i will have to get a transcript snail mailed to me, then snail mail it to them. very archaic. whatever, i'm fine with it.

must go, much planning to do. first we go to breakfast, then the farm. belly dancing tonight, and last class was so amazing, i hope this one is no less challenging.

peace.

Monday, October 20, 2008

do better, or just different

one thing about the company i'm in now is, it's a giant family. i am traveling to more stores and meeting more people, which is really nice. my trainer (the sweet, oh boy trainer), said to me tonight,
it's all about relationship building.


which is what this corp really feels like. everyone is so unique, and, well, you just have to find your style and do your best.

pick your battles,
she reminds me.

and tonight when my boss delivered some critique, i could have gotten lost in the negative self talk, but instead i tried to cut myself some slack. there are areas of opportunity to be sure. i have so much to learn, and, well, today i did much better than the day before. it just takes time.

so, i told my boss, i am getting there. it is better than it was, but i hope to connect with at least the vocal member of the team who felt most put out, and mend some fences. i never want to stop being teachable. i must learn and grow. i must. especially when it's hard.

i get to set up the holiday promotion for the store and i can't wait. i have, just tonight, finished all the clearing that i needed to do before the new stock arrived, which will happen tomorrow when i'm away. there is plenty of room for it to be crammed until i can get to it on weds and reconfigure the madness. the incoming shipments have only just begun.

i understand that i have so much to learn. and, i guess, i'm being stretched. my life is kind of like a taffy puller.

i just heard from my current program that i need to read 27 books for this culminating semester instead of 20. (GREAT)

i'm glad i found out now, and not in a month or two. now i'm really behind again. i have to push through much that i've been doddling over.

but it will be fine. i work well under pressure.

i pulled my back a bit taking out the trash tonight, i reached really far into the trash can, and, well, it just hurt. so, i stretched it a bit, i should probably do it again (stretching, that is, not pulling), and take some meds.

then to sleep. our friends await our arrival early, and we can't get to them soon enough. i can never spend enough time there. i just wish i could do more for them, spend more time with them. but i'm grateful for the patch of time we get. it is sufficient for now. it has to be.

there is nothing like walking down that dirt road to their field and having them rush the gate in greeting. i find it a profound honor that they have accepted me and receive my touch, my presence, my whatever i show up with.

i go to the farm to heal. for there i am whole again. whole as i have never been before. nothing is amiss when i am in the paddock amongst my friends.

have a good day my friends.