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,

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.

is all i get.


Saturday, December 27, 2008


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


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 ;)


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.


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,

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.


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.