Thursday, December 12, 2013

write me well

it's that time again, when i retreat to the forests of morris county and write with twenty nine other poets for an entire weekend. these six month intervals are one way to mete out time. so much changes, but having touchstones along the way is a blessing.
i often go there and lose myself in being there. i arrive exhausted and sleep a lot. though, i am managing that exhaustion better now, and the constraints on my energy are much reduced since taking up teaching.
i would like to go there and just be there, but i have a paper to write, which includes reading a book and three journal articles. perhaps this is what i need, some time away to write and think outside my daily domain.
i have seen glimpses of poems cutting through the sky like jetliners intent on arriving somewhere unreachable to me, at that moment.
i have felt the familiar brush of words so close that i could feel their warm breath, but they eluded me.
but not for long.
i have been backloading for quite some time. have written one poem since mid-april when i started my second master's program, and the mental chaos that goes with dividing your time thus. my mind feels a lot like pinterest at the moment, a whole lot of potential, but no organization so to speak. unless you are willing to rifle through endless streams of information, without any guarantee of finding what you might be looking for, then you ought not to bide your time trying to get any meaning in any timely fashion.
last night i sat in the audience, front row while my daughter performed with her chorus. i could see her eyes drop down to see if i was looking at her, and she would sing all the more pronounced when i would be there watching her. i'm no fan of school performances, but this one was truly delightful.
i sat there, smiling at all the kids. enjoying the roundness, squareness, pointy chinnedness of their faces, their hair cuts, their manner with song, and just enjoyed the whole ordeal.
but of course, as soon as i could, i lit on outta there, and went to sleep. days start early here, and i was tired. not as tired as the man who snored between songs (and the choir mistress was halted in midair, like coughing in some golfer's backswing), but had to press on, face forcing a smile. i was that close, i could see it all.
and it was divine.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

thyme flies

just yesterday it was a year ago and now two have passed. where has the time gone.
i am certain i do not know, but trust everything, every last little thing happens for a reason.
some things, it seems, just take longer to understand.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

play it cool man, real cool

i had not planned on this semester being a rocket ride into the future, but it has. i've been enjoying it, i'd rather be busy than not, but sometimes, i remember back to the days when i was tired and bored waiting for this semester to begin and think--enjoy wherever you're at in life because time comes when you're too busy or not busy at all. it's all a cycle. i try to be present when there is nothing pressing but sometimes i get a little impatient for the times of movement. now, momentum carries me and, as if in a rip tide, i have to remember to conserve my strength and not fight the current. it's all about flow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

kick your butt

did my first kickboxing class today, 75 minutes of what is akin to modern day torture. it was tough, i was exhausted, and all i could think about was milkshakes, onion rings, and a cobb salad. en route to the diner after, the milkshake gave way to a sensible cup of hot tea, but the onion rings were ordered as an appetizer, and while they taste good with zesty sauce, thousand island is really good on them too. and blue cheese. the table was covered with little dishes running over with different dressings and fatty foods. it was sheer heaven.
ah, the boxing, well, i didn't blow out my fists or my knees, so that is good. i went for the two pound weights, since i knew i'd be gasping, especially since there is a jogging component to this class, as if plank push ups and X pushups weren't torture enough. at a certain point, i just put my head on the mat and laughed. it was too much. i didn't want to blow out my shoulder either.
i will definitely go back, i figure, it can't hurt to practice punching and kicking, although my punches toward the end were more like a kitten batting a cloud, but hey, i didn't keel over and i made it the whole way. holding boat pose, or a big V with your torso slightly reclined and your legs up in the air for a whole minute is just cruel. i dropped out after about twenty seconds i'm sure. it was brutal. but definitely fun.
and the feast afterward, mmmmmmmm.

Friday, September 20, 2013

burning ayes

i made it through the week, at least i have that in my favor. i did not honor my silent time and that was not good. i'm due to take my cold meds now, but have to drive, so i must delay it for a while. it would be nice to be allowed to rest. but i guess, i have to first, allow myself to rest. if i don't do that, it will never get done.
maybe tomorrow. will try again.

Friday, September 13, 2013

exercises in silence

it started back in 2003, i'm not exactly sure when, but i had read the artist's way, and i was reading a lot of merton then. i did my deprivation, per julia cameron, but it wasn't enough, not reading, so i took it a step further. i stopped talking, i stopped listening to music, watching tv, all of it. a total technology and sound blackout.
i remember that first night like it just happened yesterday. sitting awake all night in a glider, rocking back and forth while my mind was lit up and buzzing like times square. that was probably the longest night of my life. i wasn't prepared for detoxing from technology.
when that week ended, i spoke with another artist, a poet whom i knew from the dallas poetry circuit and told him,
i couldn't believe the fear. it was unprecedented.
he had recently completed the way with a group and he said he went directly to the movie theatre after the group meeting and the deprivation ended. it's hard, being deprived of comfort thus.
though now, i employ eis to another end.
the impending stuff that is filling up my calendar, mind you all of it worthwhile, and stuff i want to be doing. nothing i would not willingly do, am not willingly doing. but it's a lot. a psychic drain, if you will.
so i am allowing my life to fall into a cadence, and i realized, if i don't protect my headspace, who will. i need to carve out some space for me to ground. i know what to do, i know how to do it. it is just making it and myself a priority enough to honor the need in me for some quiet time.
mind you, i am very zen in that i believe anything can serve as meditation. so, i left yoga last week knowing i would do an eis from 9-12 today, and if i cleaned the house, so be it. if i sat there and stared at a wall, fine. whatever i needed to do, i would do.
i got up earlier than i wanted to, started the laundry, and made breakfast for my baby.
when nine am rolled around, i shut off everything. at one point i even shut off the fan since it was making a whirring sound. i did everything on my list, and then some.
in silence.
it wasn't that i was doing that much different. it was just a clear space for me to hear myself think. or not to think, as the case may be.
i thought a lot. but i don't stop myself, i try to focus on the positive, but i let the negative come and go, like the waves on the shore, and when they roll out, i marvel at all that has been uncovered. there is so much, so very much in the recesses of the mind, and when given time and space to be, nothing but good can happen.
and so, nearing the end of my three hours, my cat met me on the porch. i served him a meal. i had a meal and mindfully ate. rejoicing in every bite, the hot enchiladas and the cold pico de gallo. it was all so good.
and at three pm, as i reached for the familiar remote, to block out the silence, i set it back down. content.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

ah yes

i remember now. and begin to understand why artists let their art go in favor of teaching. though my hope is that i can maintain both. at the moment i am more scholar than poet, but i hope that will right itself anon. teaching is it's own peculiar joy, and i am most joyous at the moments when i can see the clap of enlightenment. hear the true utterance.
i make myself too available, perhaps, but i cannot teach in any other way. i don't know how. but i am finding that my style is evolving, solidifying in the classroom. that i am finding my footing. my aim is clear, and i trust it will be well.
and so it shall.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

my toes ache

went to a hatha yoga class, impromptu on sunday. the instructor had a sub and we got a woman who was very, immensely comfortable in her role. we moved through the hour and a half class with minimal moaning and groaning, as the class seemed to really flow. when instructors move you through class to a certain rhythm, somehow, it makes things easier. at least it does for me.
when we left class, after ten zillion down dogs and cobras, my friend commented on her derrier aching, and as i stepped up to the indian buffet door (yum!), i could feel my arse start to chime in. but we felt strong and hungry. so we proceeded.
when i woke up monday morning, everything down to my toes ached. i lumbered around like a geriatric gone to alaska, and t'wern't pretty. i muddled through some yoga to help stretch out the aching bits, but the bits continued to ache. every bit of me. even as i prepared to sleep monday night, i still felt sore.
the thing about it is, i didn't even feel like i had pushed beyond my limits on sunday. i just moved with the instructor, felt strong in my body and confident in the poses. i even did some standing balance moves where the leg is outstretched and the arm has the big toe in a yoga lock. it felt good, i felt strong. but boy, did i pay.
while my arse no longer aches, i know i need to get back into a regular yoga routine. as i lay on the mat, not my own, mind you, that's how impromptu this venture was, i remembered a vision i had which wants to become a poem. that vision is fresh in my mind even now but the poem has not yet come. i trust it will. perhaps in december after the rush and hurry of this fall semester is grinding to a halt, and my master's semester is well underway, perhaps then, this poem will emerge, fully formed like venus herself.
that is my hope.

Monday, August 26, 2013

what the

things are shifting around. that's not entirely a bad thing. provided i'm willing to let go of what i hope, expect, desire to happen.
i'm gearing up for a busy fall to come and realizing i don't really enjoy down time. or perhaps, i'm just not used to it any more.
the first draft of my paper was a great success, but i've got a long way to go. my coming courses will deepen my research but i have to be sure it is in the right areas. it's hard to chart a course when there is no land on the horizon. one must simply trust the inner compass.
and so i shall.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

my baby and me

she's finally coming home. i'm glad she gets out and about in the world, that she's unafraid. that she's the kind of kid that will just explore. but i'm always glad when she comes home.
there's something about those first few minutes when you glimpse your loved one freshly emerged from the plane. that swell of relief when you hold them again for the first time. the gratitude as you take their bag and lead them to your car. these are the simple things. the things for which i am most grateful.
i finally attended yoga in my area. i do not think i met my sophie, the regular teacher was not there. but i didn't know my sophie was my sophie until some time had passed. so i will give it time and keep going back, as often as i am able.
my body took to the poses easily, it was familiar and welcome. when i came home after it felt like my thighs would pop out of the hip sockets. i had forgotten what it felt like to be stretched out.
side plank, which had been a particular pain in my ass before i'd left for this respite, was solid today, my body felt strong in the familiar pose. but, i knew i hadn't been and it would take some time to get the ease back. just to finally be required to stand up straight again, to point my chest to the heavens, and lay my head back in silent meditation was wonderful.
i had hoped the meditation would be a lengthy sit, but it was not. i have at least come to the place where i desire that to be a part of my life again. so i will try. i'm not sure how it will look, or work out, but i will try to find a place for it.
and for now, i wait. and trust. that my baby will make it home to me safely.

Friday, July 26, 2013

one more to go

just turned in my fifteen page semester paper in my discipline foundations class. i am pretty damn impressed with the paper. i've finally mastered apa formatting. but it took me ages to format it. i spend, literally hours tweaking spaces and line breaks. somehow overriding formatting got imbedded in the paper and i didn't have the time or patience to fix it, so i worked around it. manually centering things, etc. not perfect by any means, but what ever is.
a celebratory toilet scrubbing is in order. true to form, i will reward myself with a good bathroom scrubbing. la vida loca, i'm telling you.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

buh buh buh buh buh

i always think of this scene from overboard when i'm overwhelmed today, i got up at five, i made it to work by seven twenty, i did not stop thinking (or using my brain) until almost four. and i just want to veg. but i'm so tired, i can hardly think.
the good news is, my perfect streak (save that one 90%) continues. i am so grateful for this experience, but i still have one more paper to write and one project to finish.
let it end, merciful heaven, let it end. and let me rest. though this weekend i will finally attend yoga followed by a meditation class and hopefully will find my sophie. i miss yoga and i've got my shoulders up by my ears more and more. not good.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

track this

this week, i have been attending a training at work, and we discussed technology. just finished my first audio recording. i decided, as a way to enrich the material for my students, i would record myself reading the stories we are discussing/writing about.
i used the garage band software that came standard on my mac, and it was a fairly intuitive process. i even spliced in corrections and edited out moments where i stammered or you could hear my page flapping in the wind. all in all, i think it's a fine product, now to see if my students can access it. i'm waiting for it to convert to itunes, and feeling a bit impatient about it, but it is my first go.
out of the gate, until now, it's just over an hour. so, it's not a quick process by any means, but, very worthwhile, i think.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

dun dun dun dun DUN

the twelve page paper came together like a dream, as i knew it would. mind you, it is not always easy to push the fear and dread, which are ever lurking by nature of the world in which we live, aside. but if you can keep your mind clear and trust that you have done your work, and you have in fact, done your work, then you can trust the process.
trust the process is the mantra for my school, and it is probably more ingrained in me than i realize, as i had initially obtained my bachelor's from this school when i first started down this road of trying to write this book, so very many years ago.
flashback to today. i'm done. i didn't go hiking, opted instead to stay in and finish the paper. i wanted a day off, a day away, but i wanted the monkey off my back more than anything.
now i get to go check on my own students, as i try to achieve balance and not put myself last.
turning things in, is such a relief. and i still have one day left in my weekend. huzzah!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


and i have to remember not to turn a smouldering eye on my loved ones. or my students.
i got up waaay too early today, and have waaay too much to do of late, plus my girl is hopping on the next train outta dodge (in the form of an airplane), and that is always mucho dificil on me. i will try to be okay with it, but something just ain't right when my baby gone. you know what i'm saying. she'll be away for just over two weeks and i will try to muddle through. though i still do it all for her, the little ingrate (i have all kinds of pet names for her :)
but regardless of who they is and what they do (or don't do, as the case may be) we love them more than it would seem possible. that is why we have parents.
and i still call my momma all the time. the breaks between semesters are hard because i don't commute in to work and so don't call anyone. for the past month i've been tending to minutia, and mom has been busily doing her life. well, i'm working again, so the past two days we've jawed on about everything. there is something comforting about speaking with your momma, and if you haven't done it lately, i recommend it.
i wish i could say the same about others i don't speak to, but sometimes it's easier not to talk, and we'll leave it at that. then there are the cases where busyness prohibits talking or being talked to and that is another issue entirely. life just happens and gratefully, mercifully, we are along for the ride.
i'm going to veg a bit now. i've finally begun writing my twelve page paper, i have much work to do, but since i've been up since 3:30, my brain is saying,
game over.
time to veg.
this is one of my favorite shots of me and my girl, taken at beltane this year, where i was able to teach on poetic alchemy. ah, life is so very good.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

a good night's sleep

with my learning semester ending, and a new teaching semester beginning, i'm trying to finish and begin strong. it's all clumped together like that of late, my life. the end of this, the beginning of that. before i can catch my breath, it seems something else is underway. and i'm all right with that. but sometimes, sinking into my bed for a sweet stretch of oblivion is what gets me through.
today i have to draft a paper, twelve to fifteen pages. i am getting a slow start, but will make quick progress when i begin. how do i know. because that is how it works for me. i seem to delay my start until i can't anymore, then blam. i'm gone. the words tumble out of me like a waterfall after a heavy spring rain.
yesterday i came across some research that will help my paper, but i'm walking a fine line. as mystical as i am and love to be, this is not a mysticism paper. i am not in school for that. so while i will nod in that direction, i do not want to buy a lot and plop myself down in the center of it. i am seeking to articulate a scientific angle to my process, and that is what is new for me. the best i can do is try.
mercifully, my professors are agreeable and i am still 100, save one 90, across the board in all three of my classes. i am waiting for a paper back from the prof who gave me a 90, hopefully that will come through today. and when i see that 100, it will encourage me. not that i'm flagging, but a writer can always use a boost. i know what i'm doing with character on page, the trick is, am i communicating effectively in this new forum. there are a lot of things to consider. objectivity has never been my strong suit, but i'm trying, really trying to step back from being wed to my process and evaluate it from a different perspective. i know i can do this. now it is just a matter of getting it done. but isn't that always the case.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

burned in the shade

the heat was so oppressive today, that even though i spent all my hours at the beach today parked under an umbrella, i still burned. i could feel the heat encroaching on my arm as the sun shifted in the sky, i would shimmy into the shade, until it got so windy that i had to take up residence in the sunchair to anchor the umbrella. at least my pumbercella didn't go backward on me, or fly away and nearly impale someone like i saw other people's umbrellas doing. it was interesting to watch latecomers trying to set up their umbrellas in the wind.
on the way home, it started raining again.
the only thing that helps with this heat is the rain, but we have had so much rain i'm not entirely sure it's doing any good at this point. i've never lived in such a wet climate and i hadn't realized moving just a few miles south east would alter the climate so much. not that it didn't rain where i lived before, but i'm in the thick of the brush now, it's an entirely different situation. i love it, don't get me wrong, but it's a learning curve for sure.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


i've cleared away the clutter, in a few cases, tucked it out of sight, out of mind, so i can focus on my papers once again. the way humid nature of where i've moved, and coupled with the endless rains of late, have conspired against my pony, and yesterday it wouldn't start. i could tell it wanted to. so thankfully, i had roadside service. the guy showed up and cranked her hard, he had the hood open and told me straight away what was wrong.
your engine is soaked
true, i had been parking on the grass, and true, i hadn't started her in a week, as i'm in that curious between semester lull, in which i tend to all the details of my personal life. but i had never seen this.
she was sopping wet. like someone had taken a hose to her. it took some time, and an air compressor to blow the water off her plugs and wires, but she started up. coughing (not literally, but not sounding smooth as she always does).
and in my anxiousness to dry her out by opening her up, i pulled out of the driveway and proceed to stall out, right there halfway in and halfway out of my driveway. fortunately i live on an unbusy road, so i just slipped her into neutral and pushed her back into the drive. it's a bit of an incline so before i got back in to pull the parking break, she was nose to the white line in the road. i started her up again and sat there for about five minutes. she coughed and sputtered like i do when water goes down my windpipe.
and finally, i heard her begin to purrr again.
what a relief. i pull out onto the road, wondering what will happen, and she dries herself out with the heat of her engine and we are off.
the mechanic who came to assess the situation said,
she'll be fine. just give her a half hour to dry out, then start her up. let her run for ten minutes and she'll be fine. i do recommend a tune-up as soon as possible though.
so i drove her around town yesterday, glad to have her back. i made an appointment for her for friday, and parked her in a new spot, on an incline which will help her stay dry.
with all this rain we've been having, who would have ever thought it would affect an engine like that. i'm just grateful that i started her up this week and not next when i'm setting off for school in the wee hours. everything happens for a reason my friends, and everything happens when it must. i believe that.

Monday, July 01, 2013

come together

if i have learned anything about writing, it is this, the muse comes to me when needed. mind you, when i say muse, i am not objectifying my creativity into some deity, i am simply acknowledging the sometimes seeming transient nature of that which i have come to love and breathe and draw my life from.
i go back and forth about diminishing the artist by virtue of calling creativity a muse, but sometimes, i just don't care. i do not feel, in the least bit diminished. and when she does, in fact, light upon me, it is as if she has returned and i welcome her. i always welcome her.
i cannot explain the curious events of these past weeks or even how my writing has evolved to a sort of mathematical complex which i am certain i can figure at any given time, provided the circumstances are right and the lighting is just so. that's not to say it is all so dependent on externals, it is to say, that sometimes i just know it will work, and sometimes i know it won't.
i trust. regardless of where it comes from or why. i trust.
i have made the distinction oft, that it is not in whom i trust, but that i trust. i am not, again, giving away my power, nor am i hoarding it, but i am willingly trusting. does it have to be in something. does it have to be objectified thus. i do not think so, at least, as far as i can, i try not to objectify it.
so what was it then, that i learned, the initial purpose of my writing, aside from killing time until dinner and keep my mind off my tumbling stomach.
my purpose was to state that it is coming together. and so many times, i am amazed. mind you, i am always amazed that i am amazed. my surprise is eminently surprising. so when i put off this paper or that paper, when i trust it to come together as it will, and when it does, i am humbly, and gratefully, amazed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

ok dork

so. as sometimes happens, go to open my paper for a final read before i turn it in. i always, always, always reread the submission guidelines to be sure i did the assignment. an early faux pas in this regard when working on my aa mentally scarred me, so i double, triple, and quadruple check.
have i mentioned i have ten thousand balls in the air. there are endless details every single day. and this paper has been shoved to the back of my mind for weeks now.
i knew when i wrote it that i was doing something i wanted. but something i want, as pertains to the assignment, and something i want, being just my own road without permission, so to speak, are entirely different things.
since this is the one professor who gave me my only 90 percent this entire semester of three classes, i'm not willing to risk going down my own road. so, at 9am, i sat down and wrote an entirely new paper, this time, within the specified roads to choose from.
mind you, i'm not looking for more work to do. i wanted nothing more than to hit, turn in paper at 9am. but when i reread the instructions for the umpteenth time, they were not what i had thought they were before. firstly, my paper focused on aspects of three creatives. it required one. there were some other variations, but none of them gave the menage a troi option. so i reconfigured my thinking accordingly.
fortunately, i can write for days and it doesn't do much harm. the first step was to find the book i wanted, and an article to contrast (it was a comparison sort of paper he requested). fair enough. i found that. check. then, i flipped through and figured out which article to focus on. interestingly, this was something that has honed my thinking all along in this class, it came from the first book we read, a tome of words and ideas enough to make you want to drown yourself, or as i'm fond of saying, back the car over my head. check.
i laid out the paper, and filled in the associative blanks. paper done. it is over length by one page, but i figure, the article's theory was rather extensive, and that gives me a little leeway. this is my gamble. at least, if i'm going over it is on topic, rather than going over off topic, thank you very much go directly to jail and do not pass go.
i read my paper aloud and my audience was doubled back in their chair wallowing in freakish misery. but, i knew the paper would do. if it was that boring, it has to be good. or something like that. at least it's on topic.
of course i didn't hit submit yet. i have until 11pm to tweak it. maybe i'll find some way to lose an entire page. maybe not. i am thinking, i have done the best i can and it will suffice. if i hadn't felt that way yesterday, it would be a more comforting thought. but a few hours respite, a final editorial pass through and she'll be off.
to garner a hundred percent, i hope.

Friday, June 28, 2013

there's something swimming over there!

and there it was, an otter, diving and munching away contentedly when it rose to the surface just long enough to stuff more greens in its mouth.
we were floating amongst lily pads and trying not to be creeped out by all the bubbles rising to the surface from unknown origins.
that is the cost of setting out to float on a lake, i guess, but it was so worth it.
the two swans basked in the shelter of a small wooded island not far from where we floated.
today, the hum of the washing machine is counterpointed by the squawk of the parakeets who find stimuli exciting, and was enough to get me sqwuaking at them to
be quiet!
i am compiling quotes for a paper and writing it today, punctuated by laundry, and children, domestic bliss, basically.
it is all good, so very good.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

it's that time again

a paper coming due. i have to write it tomorrow. the thing about my writing process is this, i cannot worry about tomorrow. and no, i didn't steal that quote. today, i have to run an errand, but i have been, throughout the course of the week, ingesting. this errand involves driving, and that driving is a mental break from the studies. i have it all in there, the bits and pieces. now i have to weave them together to say something meaningful.
we are in the home stretch for school, so simultaneously i have two other projects due in my other two classes, and a second paper in the class i'm focused on this week. all told, i have to write three papers (one is doing double duty), and for that, i'm grateful.
the process of research and theory, methods and design are all swimming around in my noodle. and if i can keep from getting intimidated, i will be fine. i have only three more weeks of school left, and i begin teaching in about two weeks. time flies.
i am glad my breaks are staggered, so i'm starting one, finishing another, finishing the first, starting a second. it's quite nice how things have worked out, because the hard focused work demands my attention, whereas the beginnings and ends of courses i teach tend to give me a little breathing room. though all these things complement each other and do not draw on the same brain resources. i use the material jointly, but it is nice to switch gears come midday when i enter the classroom or take up my computer and begin writing a paper.
that i am also a student makes me painfully aware of how difficult the writing process can be, sometimes generating an idea is the most difficult part. but if students listen to me, and do what i ask, when i ask it, then i can help them be successful. it is the student that has a different, hear better, way they do not benefit from what i offer. i have honed my methods over years of schooling, i am honing my teaching over years as well. i am grateful for all the students that come to me, whether they be for my editing, in class, or privately, i am grateful that i get to share what i have learned as an artist with other dear souls.
i must away to tend to my life for a bit. hopefully finishing up a chapter, then off to run my errand.
it is all good. come friday, i will have a paper to turn in.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

i have snacks

the older woman said, clutching her plastic grocery bag and purse in hand. she wandered over to the not meager seating area, and i wondered if she would park beside me and jaw. mercifully, she did not. but the damage had been done.
my mind previously occupied with studying turned to snacks. what did she have in the bag. not curious enough to peek, i just kept plugging on through my reading, going over the shelves in my kitchen mentally. i had this snack, and that snack, and a favorite tucked away that i could have brought with me. however, i opted for the non-insulin impacting agave sweetened ice coffee to get me through my morning wheel alignment appointment with the guy from zztop.
what a cruel mistress indeed, to speak so openly about snackage.
after nibbling away like a contented mouse in the corner chair, she wandered through the lobby into the bathroom. a not untidy bathroom for a mechanics shop. it was not small and greasy either, it was adequately stocked of paper and soap, these are the luxuries of life at times like these. the obliging lock on the door was carefully installed, so one must needs use it, or it wouldn't be there. i had hoped others who had to wrestle with the lock had also taken advantage of the ample supply of soap and papertowels.
but my mind wandered with the woman through the door which she did not latch, and let the precious ac leak out. the owner walked up behind her and quietly shut the door. i turned to see another door, corner pocket, which was also ajar, not from the mousey brown mistress, but just from who knows when. and i wondered how much ac was filtering out there. such things matter when it's nearly july and one finds ac in an auto shop.
enter stage left, the mousey woman reappears without clicking the door shut, this time, it goes unnoticed, and now there are two doors leaking precious air conditioning. not to mention my focus leaked by this woman's brazen mentioning of snacks.
now i never did see what was in her bag, she quietly tucked the morsels away. and back at home now, bowls of fruit runneth over, and not a snack to be found that interests me (beyond the slice of malibu rum cake i finished off, as a courtesy so others would not be tempted. i'm good that way).
i have a paper due sunday, and i wonder if i will dream about those snacks.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


of course i always like to break apart words and play with them. today's word, abundance, has a dance in it, always a good sign. i thought abounding would be better than abunding, so there you have it.
a new mechanic has entered my life. when i first saw him, i thought, zztop. the dude has a chest length beard, but he is honest. that is all that matters. his crew of greasy wrenchers came and went like clockwork. he spoke with the same kind, considerate voice to everyone who came in the store in the span of the three hours i was there. this impressed me. i like consistency.
i will go see him again tomorrow, tuck myself between the image of the micheline man and the grimy chairs, breathing in the rubber fumes and sitting in the cool of the ac. though, i will be there early and might take in the breeze beside the ashtray outside, which also functions as a potpourri of sorts. i had not realized how pungent the aging cigarette butt could be. but today, i did not mind it.
farmers came in with their overalls and jeans, i got the image of someone back in the day who labored long in the fields and was so fit, they had to swing their pants off these over the shoulder placeholders, not like the farmers i saw today. one was fit, but the other quite rotund. perhaps it's the air conditioned hay thingy, i don't know what those are called. who knows. but working a farm ain't no joke.
i did get to see and feed some horses on saturday, my lovely daughter was also thusly blessed.
life is truly abundant.

Monday, June 24, 2013


it was so hot today, i powered my ac from the garage into a perch in the kitchen window. there are still stacks of boxes, but i'm making progress. today was mudroom and kitchen. floors included. i had forgotten how nice it is to walk on a freshly mopped floor.
the transition to my new home has been seamless. i am still grateful for the help i've received in this move. i am also grateful for a peaceful place to rest my head and tuck my children in at night. it is all good. all of it. even the not good parts.
if i can will myself to remember how great a gift this life is, if i can remember that i have a voice which makes a unique sound, then i am not so hesitant to speak up. the dear souls in my masters courses are speaking suzannese, which includes overly honest assessments of productivity, or not, and the general nature of who they are. i am grateful to contribute this to my fellows. i do not need to be thought of any particular way, i am just grateful to be a part of all the groups and kinships in which i currently find myself.
still haven't found a yoga class, or a sophie. but all in good time. when the student is ready, the master appears.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

glistening kernels

i will not describe that image further, suffice it to say, when life gives you crap, find something good in it. i have been repeating this mantra to myself all day. it's not so much that anything has gone horribly wrong, no one lost limbs or died. i just have a million details in my head and can't seem to remember every single one of them. try as i might. this creates problems. or are they ways the universe is saying,
wake up!
i'm tired. my feet have never throbbed so much for so long, except when i started working behind the coffee counter. thankfully, mercifully, those days are long gone.
it is now about being in the moment and refusing, outright refusing, to let go of it. even when it's difficult, painful and uncomfortable. funny thing is, i look back on yesterday's optimism, and i wonder, is this a test. is this the universe saying,
are you really gonna choose joy and abundance, in spite of your circumstance. if so, here's your opportunity.
the universe is benevolent with growth opportunities, let's just say that.
and today, even as tears slipped out the corners of my eyes, i held fast to the yes of the moment. i refuse to let myself go down to grief because i've gotten lost on some mental backroad which i thought had been at last abandoned.
as much as i want to will myself to wonder, i have to remember, i can only remain open and trust. and without reservation, without hesitation, the kindest people are rising up to meet me along my journey, as if to say,
here, a lifeline. use it.
i am just tired. it is not the end of the world. but i do believe, joy is a choice i must make daily, even when the details of life seemingly interfere. there is always, always, always, some blessing just around the bend if i don't give up.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

wonder full now here

that is how i read the title of my last post. it occurred to me after i posted it.
life truly is what you make of it. and i aim to make my life abundant. joyous. carefree. happy.
i never quite understood that we make up the story we sell ourselves. as i stood in the dmv, not a favorite place, for reasons so buried in my psyche i no longer know why. as i stood there yesterday, i began telling myself a new story.
it is all going to be okay.
mind you, not to fool myself into believing some lie, but to embrace the truth. a truth i firmly believe. it is going to be all right. it must. there is no other way for it to work itself out.
at least i finally understand, that i hold the pen that scores the paper, that creates the music, that the musicians play. i am the composer of my own reality, and as such, i want it to be magnificent.
and so it is.

wonderful nowhere

this looks like a deserted town, i love it!
my mornings involve winding down country roads and seeing deer and bear, foxes, and assorted other creatures darting in and out of the woods.
my last cat, greggy, looks like a safari cat, as he crouches in the tall grasses. he has survived five nights in his new environ, and it looks to be a successful transition. as our lives fall into some sort of rhythm here, i am grateful.
i have much schoolwork today, this is my morning mind dump. i want the best for everyone. i sometimes don't know what that means or how that works out, but today, just for today, i will rest in the peace of simply being.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

take a moment

today i looked up from my journal articles and just said,
oh my brain!
how many consecutive hours can one study. throw into the mix all the details of managing a life in flux and you've got a lot of minutia. i am trying not to get bogged down in it all, and trusting it will be well, but at some point, and my point was about 10:30 this morning, I had to stop, step away from the reading, and take moment. that was an hour before i delved into a three hour intensive i'm teaching. at least the intensive requires other parts of my brain and attention than what the studying does.
it is easy to get overwhelmed when there are so many things happening at once. i am choosing to take care of myself the best i can and trust that it will all work out. if i can move a three bedroom home and family from the southwest to new england in ten days, then i got this. i have to remember, i have resources i have not yet tapped.
so, when my presentation is due next week, it will be ready. when my paper is due this weekend, it will be ready. when my two additional posts are due thursday, i will have something to write. it is all coming together. it is all good. and i'm nearly done with the semester. just five more weeks to go.
what a relief.

Friday, May 31, 2013

i'm new enough not to know who you are

before attending my first ever commencement as a member of the faculty, i read up on academic regalia. how the hell do you wear those caps and gowns and hoods and why. okay, not so much the why part, as the how. i wanted to look the part. even contemplated buying my own set, but opted for the cost effective rental courtesy of my school.
i had steamed the robe, so i didn't look like i just rolled out of the dirty clothes hamper, or just unfolded the robe from the packaging, oy! and i was ready to go. i read up on the dos and don'ts of regalia and opted not for the long formal dress i had first put on, since it had synthetic fibres, i opted for a cool cotton summer dress, and i'll tell you, in the hour we were parked in line in the library waiting for the rain to let up, i was grateful for the cotton.
being the social recluse that i am, i had a book in hand and parked myself in the library but had such a delightful time watching everyone arrive and the graduates posing for pictures, and the janitors taking breaks, and the administrators administrating, that i got hardly anything read. the first man to roll into the library unpackaged his robe and put on the crinkled up thing with the square fold imprints running up and down the length of his body. if this weren't bad enough, his hood was tweaked and no one seemed to know how to help. so i step up.
can i please help you.
he let me. and faculty member after faculty member arrived with hoods askew. i followed the worst ones and asked,
can i please untwist you.
one such soul said,
yes, please do.
and said,
i wonder why didn't any of the others offer to help.
so as i'm buzzing around this finely dressed man whose doctoral hood was tweaked, i said,
probably because they know who you are, but i'm new, so i don't know who you are.
to which he replied,
then i will wait till you're finished to tell you who i am.
dun dun dun.
so, without skipping a beat, i introduce myself,
i'm so and so in such and such department.
and he goes,
as i say my department, which i make mental note of. then wind my way around this gentleman's hood to the front and ask permission to fasten his hood to his collar so it doesn't ride up on his neck. he says,
yes please.
and i fasten the loop around his shirt button and zip up his robe and smile at him.
we are standing face to face and he tells me who he is. i extend my hand and say,
pleased to meet you.
and excuse myself to follow the next poor soul with hopelessly tangled regalia who happened to be another dean. yes, dear children, you see, i had just introduced myself, meddling paws and all, to the dean of my department.
what else is there to do but smile. thinking back on it now, i grin. because i don't network. yet the universe has ways of getting it done, you know what i'm saying.
so as we processed into the gymnasium for commencement and the throng of students, 771 truth be told, took their seats, i met eyes with my dean. he smiled gratefully and knowingly at me.
and i, back at him.

touch me babe

in the past nine months i've only attended maria's yoga class once. i had forgotten how hands on she is. so i'm in a triangle and she comes over and puts her knee behind me and starts doing other adjustments, but i had become unaccustomed to this, so i'm just trying not to giggle, when she says,
now, come up from core.
mind you, her head is under my left arm which is sticking up in the air and she's still got her leg supporting me, and hands on either side of my torso. i've got my legs splayed and my body cocked to the right with my right hand touching my right foot.
i begin to giggle and close up like a pillbug on the sidewalk.
she steps back and says,
can you come up from core
as i'd basically folded over forward out of her clasping adjustment. and i said,
not with your head in my armpit.
which, as anyone who knows me knows, is just the kind of smartass answer i always produce. and she said,
oh, i'm sorry.
and moved on to adjust another soul.
but i just smiled. i told her after class,
i had forgotten how hands on you are.
and it's not like sophie never adjusts. i guess i just really resonated with maria when i was touch deprived. so it felt very good to me. i'm all touched up. no lack there, so i like the fine finger tip delicate adjustments of sophie. she gets you into position without grappling your bits. you know what i'm saying :)
anyway. i'm agonna miss maria, too. there are a lot of things i loved about this place, but it's just time.
and i am ready.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

commence with the commencement :)

so what if i look like a dork, this was probably the most beautiful experience i've had in a long time. the faculty lined the walkway and the students processed through the applauding faculty standing to either side of the walkway.
just sitting in the ceremony was moving, as i remembered being on the student side of the equation, not so very long ago.
life is good and dreams, my dear children, do come true.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

goodbye sophie

tonight was my last yoga class with sophie. she is off to france for two months and in that time my life will radically change. i will miss her. she helped me find peace. she helped me connect with my breath. she was a safe place for me to drag myself to each week, often many times a week. and i will miss her.
there have been many significant women in my life, she is among them. i teared up when i thought i would not see her again. but when one door closes, another opens. there are wonderful things ahead, and i look forward to those.
i will miss her, and when she covered me for savasana, she said,
who will get my blocks and mat.
and i smiled at her. i know someone will. i would if i still could.
one thing is for sure, i will miss her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

another d--HEY!

so many wheels turning at the moment, it's hard to settle on just one idea. the undercurrent of it all is gratitude. i'm grateful to finally be at this place in my life, now moving forward, i just want to bless those around me and find peace. that is really all i've ever wanted, peace with a capital P.
so much to do today, but i will knock off my list one thing at a time, and try to be gentle with myself. i'm feeling a bit tired, and the aids walk is on sunday, so i have to rest up for that. my girl will be volunteering this year, and i'll be walking with my dearest love. how time flies.
yesterday in yoga, sophie kept getting her lefts and rights mixed up. she does this on occasion because she's french and is getting ready to spend her summer in france. i will miss her when she leaves as it might be the last time i see her. such is the way things go, but that is good news. it is time to fly this peaceful coop in favor of much happier and familyer places.
soon, i will be interviewing for another position at my place of employ, and i can only trust that it will be well. it is time for me to step up to this work wholeheartedly, i have grown and changed so much since this journey began.
yesterday, i had a realization, i will begin my doctorate work when this current master's work concludes. i will likely do my doctorate in poetry. why, because it is who i am. i am a poet. regardless of what i do or where i go, that is who i am.
i will walk in commencement for the first time as an instructor, i just picked up loaner regalia, and while it's not the bomb, it is sufficient, and i am grateful for it. i will consider buying new regalia as soon as i land this position, as i intend to walk every year from here on out, as my students are graduating. this first group who came in when i was green, will walk and i will be so pleased to see them move forward in their lives.
it is all good, it is all so very good. and i am grateful. that is my mantra. i am grateful.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

perpendicular mats

it seems when i most need a mental check someone in yoga puts their mat down perpendicular to mine and waves their big arms in my face.
i know that sounds mean, but it is so much easier when everyone is facing the same direction and we stagger our mats so our arms wave in the same directions. because i swear, the biggest women in creation with the longest arms i've ever seen, get right in front of me and they don't stand at the top of their mat, they center themselves, so when they swing out their arms, they have to miss me, or i have to stand in the center of my mat, which isn't conducive to the endless saluting of the sun we do.
have to be the taxi, let's hope i can find my thought when i return.
speaking of large women, i think gordon ramsay is a saint. he is not only a chef, but a therapist to those he helps. i admire that. it's hard to watch him deal with people in such denial. all this mess from last week which i've been trying to wipe the remainders of, off my shoes, has me wondering if i live in denial much. perhaps we all do.
i've even been watching dr. drew and the way he deals so rationally, calmly, and professionally with the loonies who come through his door, makes me want to hug him. i love to see a job done well. i've read some arguments about dr. drew being an opportunist for filming his recovery sessions, but i believe the show sheds a great deal of light on the lives and trials of addicts. and when some lame character doesn't commandeer the show, it's actually quite good. i'm amazed shelly doesn't just flat out deck some of those patients, but that's why she's in that job and not me. and bob, well, he seems to have more freedom, and i like how nicely he balances shelly's discharge 'em mantra with even more patience.
these are the people i try to remember when i've got women's arm waddles waving in my face. my trials are slight. if i just breathe, and try to remember there is a reason for everything, usually, it all works out. and if i can lend a hand in kindness, perhaps not to the extent of ramsay or dr. drew, if i can just keep my mouth shut and focus on my form in yoga, then maybe, maybe the world is a little bit of a better place for me not spewing nastiness.
that is, until i come home and blog about it...
two steps forward baby

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

and so it begins

the hard work of being happy. and i pursue my dreams with no less vigor than before. when dreams begin to take shape and are so close you can reach out and feel them, it is hard to wait for them to actually become yours. this is what i'm coming to understand.
so much of fulfillment is patience. enjoying the moments just before the dawn, as well as the sunrise. then, at the end of day, learning to savor the shifting of lights, when the bats take to wing in their erratic flight and smoke wafts to the heavens. the fire crackles at your feet, and a good, peaceful day has passed.
i expect nothing but joy, nothing but goodness, nothing but love triumphant.
it surprises me still, when my triggers get triggered, and i can only feel my way through. but i am still human. so today, as i collect myself and move forward, i bring with me, my trust, my openness, my love for life. i believe goodness is waiting for me today, just like it has every other day. blessing is bursting forth today, just like every other day.
i trust it will be well.
and so it shall.

Friday, May 03, 2013

be happy, just not around me.

almost to the midpoint of the year, and i find my quest for happiness continues. even when i hit bumps, or have major wrecks, as the case may be.
so far, it is going well in my master's program and i expect no less. i am teaching on saturday, the only "extra" i did not remove from my schedule to focus on school. i am not entirely sure why things happen when they do, or how they do, but i trust that we have not come here for naught.
even the seeming inexplicable has purpose, i believe this. it is not that i cannot abide meaninglessness, i am the first one to say,
let something be, we don't have to understand it.
but, when i am truly baffled by events unfolding, it is better to just trust.
so i unplug now, i move beyond reach. i shut my doors and windows to those who would intrude. and open them to those beautiful summer's days ahead. the water waiting to carry me.
i am ready for more joy, more peace, more happiness, and those willing to partake in that with me.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


there is no assurance, none. we do the best we can and believe in the abundance of the universe. the trick is, not to give yourself over to fear. i have understood trust is the key for a great while. i get many opportunities to confirm this belief.
i am beginning to write happy and this is a great cause for celebration. though i realized, while my approach may have changed, i have to allow myself to back out of uncomfortable situations and be true to myself. whatever that means.
there are so many opportunities to misfire. i have to let the few that get away from me, go. just go. once i clear my weapon and center myself, then i can begin again. it is not realistic to expect that i will not fire. perhaps someday, i will lay my weapons down entirely, but i am not yet at that point in my life.
i am no longer bracing myself in defensive posture, but i do have reactionary moments.
it's kind of like the dog whisperer, the more i blow it, the more opportunities i have to fix it. whatever it happens to be.
mercifully, the blowing it is decreasing. and i am grateful.
as the gerber daisies in my window simply are, emanating beauty by their very presence. so too, by owning my life, my needs, my dreams, i can learn to simply be present in each and every moment.

Friday, March 01, 2013

crazy busy

early january i found myself lazing about, i had intentionally taken leave of all my commitments and set to enjoying my time, because i knew, when it got started up again, it would be--and it is--madness.
i had a conversation with my mom about it,
how doing nothing gets boring.
and she said,
it's a real challenge to be retired.
i surmised, quite appropriately, that i do better when i am busy. but busy and crazy busy are two different things.
it seems, i commit myself to a task and throw myself into it so completely that it can easily consume me. but now i've applied for another master's program in which i will study psychology. this excites me to no end. but i am taking stock. currently, i am finishing up a graduate independent study which was graciously offered to me in lieu of a bachelor's in psych. all this because i couldn't write my contemplative writing process book. i tried to get the words out last summer but i got bogged down in the research. i am hoping the fires of a critical thesis will help me birth something that has long been simmering away in my crock pot. talk about a mixed metaphor. anyway, i needed some help. and i've gotten a lot, but i need to expand my horizons in ways that make sense to me. even if they are confusing to others. i do not fear the difficult road.
come april first, i begin again. i start taking research methods, educational standards and disciplinary foundations. this excites me. i like a challenge. i do not know that i will ever stop seeking knowledge, formally or informally. the quest has always intrigued me.
i sat down yesterday and evaluated my life, where i'm at, and had a long talk with my mom about it. she has the finest business sense of anyone i know. she is retired and waits by the phone for my calls, which are frequent in recent years. i am grateful that she can help me sort out my many plans and ideas. sometimes, just the act of her listening to me ramble on, helps me get clear on my decision.
so, i attempt some balance, but i seem to veer quite distinctly between sloth and hyper-activity. yet my inside, my core, my being feels calm. a placid place at last. i am grateful for this journey, for all the twists and turns. and my hope is that i will soon be able to articulate all the ideas that have been brewing inside me for so long.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

bottom lines.

been up since 2am contemplating. or trying to make some sense out of the contents of my mind, is more like it. i'm tired. physically, but mentally the wheels on the bus go round and round.
so i decided to do some reading, at 3:30, rather than watch the freakshow helplessly, i cracked open a textbook and read twenty pages. that brings us to now, you're completely caught up.
i think i want to do right by everyone and ultimately that means doing right by no one. the tension of the opposites. i've never been one of those personalities that could just do something and not do it well. when i don't do something well, it bothers me. if it bothers me, i tweak it or realize it's not my forte and move on.
i'm thinking, moving on, with this particular mindfuck.
bottom line is, i have too much to do. the last time i was in a master's program i had half the commitments i do now. common sense says, lose some of the commitments. what would go first, the things i don't do well and that keep me up all hours of the night.
it makes sense to me.
possibly the worst part about this is, that was my big moment of rest. i had an incredibly productive day, i got it all done. every last thing on my list. then, why am i still awake. what is the deal.
i have to be obligated first to myself, to honoring myself. then, if i've still got it to give, i will give it. right now, i'm thinking, i don't have it to give.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

dealing with the reeling

i try not to get sideswiped by ill news, who does. i am trying not to go down grim and dark roads in light of this latest urp in my napkin, shall we say.
on the bright side, i made a fine bean soup from scratch, and it is comforting me. a few handfulls each of black, kidney, chickpea, pinto, lentils, and an assortment of fresh vegetables, spinach, zuccini, bell peppers--yellow and orange, broccoli, and stewed tomatoes. i've finished it off with feta cheese, and it is a surprisingly light, hearty soup that makes my heart happy.
again, i repeat, i don't know how it all plays out. i have only these starry eyes and a desire to see what looks so substantial in my mind, come to fruition in this, my lifetime.
i can tell myself the stories that have assuaged me in the past, about van gogh. i can claim to be out of time, but i no longer think that is the case. i think it is time. this is my time.
so what will i make of it.
again, not entirely sure. i have some dreams, some ideas, some inklings, if you will. i know whom i want to spend the rest of my years with, but we do not know where. it is all to be played out.
i trust, whatever comes, it will be as it must be. that joy will find me waiting with open arms and bring with it a whole host of guests i had never dreamed of entertaining. back in the day i lamented the guests at my door, now, i swing it back on its hinges and say,
welcome. one and all. i embrace you.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

the flow

i know there are a lot of ways to feel it, to be with it. i experience it differently depending on the day, the hour, the week. something about my movement through life, i am finding it is not linear, absolutely not linear.
i do not know if time travel is possible, but i have spent so much time in my memories, my dreams, my present, that i often lean more toward yes, it is possible, than no.
what is time anyway.
i don't mean clock time. i'm not necessarily talking about the movement of the sun, the ticking off of days according to some calendar. think about it for a moment. the now. it is expansive and retractive, depending on the moment itself.
remember that song, the one playing the first time you kissed her, or the band that you went to see on your first date. how is it, that when you hear or encounter those things, a wash of memory, of emotion, of something akin to time comes into the now. into the present moment.
what is that, exactly.
remember how her hair stuck straight up when she woke up that first morning you slept together. how she looked when you were curled up beside her watching her sleep. the line of her eyes intersecting the pillow, the way it smooshed her face up and she was so relaxed, at peace. and you tiptoed away to start the coffee and fry some potatoes. when you lay that extra blanket over her, she nuzzled into it, as you returned to your preparations for morning. now, when you reach for that pan, slice up those potatoes, set the coffee to brew, it all comes back in a flash, an instant so brief, yet so ripe with memory it feels timeless, that the flash of it, like lightning, is all you need to remind you.
i have these moments when it is all so then, yet entirely now. these are the moments that convince me of the fluidity of time. we cannot travel down a road and not be changed. we cannot step into the same river twice, yet we are forever stepping into that river for the first time.
does this make sense. are you following.
i have always had these glimpses of tomorrow. flashes of the future, and when some come to pass, i have understood it to be
though i have heard prophetic types describe that instance as
a certainty that you are on track. where you should be. mind you, the flashes are ever in flux, times and people, decisions change. there is no set path. there is always freedom to change direction, and for that i am grateful. for we cannot know, we can never know what the moment will bring. we can only trust that all that needs to happen does. the moment is complete in and of itself. there is nothing to add to it, and nothing to take away.
do you look through the same eyes in every situation then.
true, you are still the same person, the same spirit, the same being. but are you truly the same, unaltered person each moment of your life. i do not think so. some would call it decay, that the body is degenerating.
but i like to think of it as a ripening process. we are blossoming. we are finding ourselves. we are becoming who we are more with each moment, each acceptance, each lesson learned. the actual physical body, or the eyes, may indeed be the same in the technical sense, i am not looking out of your eye sockets. but the eyes themselves, not the function of them, but the essence of them, the spirit, that is, is evolving. that's a loaded word. that is why i like the concept of blossoming.
perhaps it is possible to be in perpetual bloom. i would like to think it is. and every morning, the flower opens her petals again. so, with those fresh eyes, those freshly peeled eyes, you get a chance to glimpse your day. your moment, anew.
that, to me, coupled with the intersection of memory and foresight, is what comprises what i will call time travel. we are fluid. we are being. we are energy.
static is the exception, not the rule.