Monday, December 28, 2009

Year In Review

2008 was spent in Oregon,

2009 was spent in prison

I made an attempt to keep up with the Joneses

But y’all know how hard that is

I learned a great deal about discipline

And discovered new ways of listenin’

I fell in love

And was blessed from above

I let go of some old ways

And had a year filled with better days

I have a job that pays the bills

Offering some rather unique thrills

I experienced some ups and some downs

Not sure if I was surrounding myself with clowns

Some days were rather dark

Feelin’ nothing like a walk in the park

Other days were filled with light

And neither of us gave up the fight

There were times when all felt very wrong

But through it all, I stood proud and strong

There were some days that were perfectly right

Not dulled by the darkness of night

We spent the year unearthing me

In order to set us both free

As we end this year

I can see the future from here

Moving into 2010

2009 is at the end

I know I’ll be facing a move

Trying to keep up the new groove

I’m tired and I want to cry

‘cause I know things is bouts to fly

With new found determination

I continue to build a nation

I am a woman and from my womb

My seeds continue to generate room

Room to grow and learn

Knowing here we will never return

I ain’t gonna look over my shoulder

Please, hear me when I say just hold her

I don’t want you to go

But this ain’t no side show

There’s only room for one

Sharing ain’t no fun

What’s been created is a masterpiece

No one can penetrate these boundaries

As I look on a year in review

I’m glad I spent it with you

As I look into 2010

What I want is to do it

Again and again and again

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I ache....

...because I want the phone to ring, but know that it's not going to. I made this decision, which is, I suppose, what I wanted at the moment. But I wanna take it back. You know that, right? You know that I didn't really mean it? But I did mean it. Because I want to think my own thoughts, be who I am, but I don't know who that is without you. You became my guide, my foundation, my leader...and now I'm directionless, sad to the center of my soul. So deeply that the tears won't come. In fact, thoughts won't come. My brain is stuck, my heart is open and bleeding, my arms ache from stress. I want to pull it all together. Look strong. Be strong. I'm not tricking me. And I know I'm not tricking you. Can you, really, turn it off that fast? Can you, really, choose to not have feelings that quickly? I can't run. There's no where to go. I thought you'd call, hoped you'd call, but knew you wouldn't. In fact, I know you won't ever again. And so, I have to ask myself - now what?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Don't Feel Good

Do you ever have the feeling in the pit of your stomach? That ache in your arms that says "things just aren't right"? Like I want to throw up, but there's nothing there. Something's off...I just don't know what to turn on. I'm beating myself up for choices made decades ago...why can't the demons just stop running around in my head? Why can't I forgive myself and move on?

Monday, August 31, 2009


He entered my life without pretense or fabrication. But it was easy, requiring no lubrication.

He began slowly, probing softly – looking for truth and authenticity. When he knew it was there but wasn’t quite ready to be released, he went deeper, harder, faster demanding the response. Increasing the rhythm until, breathlessly, I surrendered.

His intellect gets my creative juices flowing. He spurs thoughts that get words tumbling out like water falls and he drinks my juices as if they are life sustaining.

He is beside me, in front of me, behind me, on top of me, under me - sometimes going so deep I can feel him in the back of my throat and the pit of my stomach. Other times, he leads from a distance expecting me to keep up, pay attention, come get what my body, mind and soul crave.

When I get there, it’s sweeter, stronger, more powerful than the last time. My soul laid bare in front of him, everything opened wide ready for him to enter where he pleases. His eyes penetrate me finding sweet spots in my soul that leave me fully exposed, satisfied and begging for more.

He finds those holes that are most vulnerable. First, telling me he’s going there. Pushing past my resistance until I succumb to his demands and then he pierces them. Slowly at first, knowing this is difficult for me. Then more demanding, with force, meeting my eyes while he creates desire for more and then fulfills it. Getting to all those places I’ve hidden behind walls of toughness, casualness and that have kept me disconnected from my Self.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Amazing Family

We are going through a new experience. My youngest daughter is living through a major loss. The first death of her young life. And, being the brilliant girl that she is, she's reaching out to those she needs. Those she knows love her. Her older brother came over, we ate together. She called her sisters...they talked to her. And then she asked for exactly what she needed. Jakobi, her 3-year-old nephew. She just wants him to come sleep with her. So right now they're out in the living room eating 'nilla wafers and milk. She has tears that just can't quite stop. It's somber here tonight...but at the same peaceful. I just heard Jakobi's voice "what you doing?" "Snapping my fingers." "Oh, good." And they continue reading the book, her voice quavering as she loves hard. As she seeks to hold on to life.

A man I love very much told me earlier "What this has me considering if I've loved you as hard as I can. If today was the last day we ever talked, would I have said enough? Would you know how much I love you? I'm disappointed in myself. I haven't been all I could be." Life is crazy. But the love of this family is astounding. Her dad is coming tomorrow. We will be parents loving our child together.

As a mom, it's painful to know that there is simply nothing more I can do than to be here. I've called off work for the weekend. We'll be a family, holding on to life together. Supporting my youngest child through something none of the rest of us have been through.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Love Is A Challenge

It challenges me to be better than I ever thought I could be. It challenges me to look at myself with honesty and clarity. It seeks out those spots that lead to disruptive and self-destructive habits in order to remove them. It has power to connect me to my humanity so that I can connect to your humanity.

I'm in love like this. It's not like I thought it would be. But, damn, it is powerful and amazing. Reaching far beyond the normal limits of time and space. Reaching more than just my skin. It reaches my intellect, my spirit, the very soul of my being.

This love is more real, more tangible, more challenging and more comforting than anything I've ever experienced. The passion ignites fire that cannot easily be quelled. My brain responds in ways never before opened. I'm finding god in small things, signs making the lessons real and permanent. My intellect and my spirit no longer at war with one another.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life Is A Game

And we're all playing it. The trick is finding out what the game is. We seek out people who want to play the game "our way" by our rules. When we meet people who are playing a different game, we hang out for a while to see if can adjust our game plan and become part of their team. We begin to decipher their moves. Are we playing offense or defense? Are we on the same team or the opposite team? Are we rivals or we're on separate teams but headed towards the same prize - which at some point means we have to compete with one another.

We assess one another to see what uniform to wear - casual, dressy, pressed, professional, sweats, labels - all these symbols mean something and we strive to convey meaning of what team we're on, who we're playing for, what our game plan is, how we fit with your team (or not) and how we're going to get in your locker room in an effort to gain your secrets.

I'ma watch you, watch your body language, study your moves, pay attention to what your focus is, what your priorities are, how I can get from you what I need to be successful at my game plan. Cold you say? No, just honest. Because we all do it. My language changes, my posture changes, my clothing changes depending on who I'm going to meet today. Whether they're on my team, the opposing team or just trying to get a little game of their own going.

I'm tired of the politically correct, shrouded in defense, unable to speak truth, lying, game playing mofos. Let's strip to our skins - no shirts vs. skins game. Just skin on skin telling it like it is. Just my nakedness and raw truth telling you how I see things and listening to you tell me how you see things.

I know, it's difficult. But because I share this with at least one person in my life, I know it's possible for more. I know it's possible for me to be that raw, that open to critique and that able to tell the truth. I don't want to play games anymore. I didn't get a rule book and I don't want to play.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How I Treat Myself....

...shows you how to treat me. I know I'm quirky, loud, opinionated, intelligent, articulate, sexually open, funny, gainfully employed, a devoted mom, a crazy ass friend and I know that I'm worth having around. Tonight I took a long walk after work, worked out when I got home, took a bath in some lavender scented epsom salts, shaved everything and got out feeling like a female. I'm going to give myself a mid week treat of clean sheets sprinkled with a dusting of baby powder. If you've never done it, try it. I may be sleeping alone tonight, but I promise you, it's going to be good!

Monday, July 27, 2009


According to Webster, this word means 1. to be overcome or die from lack of air; 2. to kill by depriving of air; 3. a confused multitude of things.

A strange word. What does it mean when someone says "Don't be smothering?" Does it mean he's confused by a multitude of things? No, I don't think that one's it. Does it mean I'm killing him because he can't breathe is own air? Think his own thoughts? Yes, that one must be it. I like the word "stifling" better. Means the same thing, but not to the point of death.

Smother, as in biscuits with gravy, is a matter of degrees. Your amount of gravy might be twice as much as I want. You might want your biscuits so smothered in gravy that you can't see the biscuit at all. Maybe I only want my biscuits smothered a little bit so that the flavor of the biscuits isn't stifled. And what if I change my mind? What if today I want so damn much smothering that you wonder how I'm going to handle it all and then tomorrow I want just a plain ol' biscuit with no smother or cover at all?

There are numbers between 1 and 100, there's attention and there's smothering. There's affection and there's clinging. There's love and there's obsession.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This feeling....

I want to say something, but don't have words. I want to describe what it's like, for me, to wake up next to you. But don't have the words.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


How come when you're a little kid and you're lonely it's perfectly okay to crawl in bed with someone nearby and say "I just don't want to sleep alone" but at some age, that becomes not okay? I suppose the child in me is hurt tonight, feeling a great deal of rejection and fear. Something some adult did to the adult me is being responded to by the child me. That little girl who just wants to be liked and slept with in the middle of the night, when the night is taking much too long to get over.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Can Love You....

and not lose me. I can be in love with you, and not out of touch with myself. I can feed you, nurture you, sex you, support you, clean for you and challenge your intelligence - without losing sight of my goals, my needs and my dreams. Or forgetting that my first priority is my children. Oh, you don't want to come second after five kids, a grandkid and some nieces? Oh well, then you're not the one for me. Because, you will always come after them. Will you be neglected? No. Will you be included? If you want to be.

Love is a choice. A choice to to be kind. To be considerate. To feed you when you're hungry. It's a choice for you to come sleep with me because you know I sleep better when you're here.

Don't ever be mistaken into thinking I need you. Don't think that I won't still require a ton of alone time, time alone with me, time alone with my kids and time alone with friends. Hear me when I say "I want to be alone". It means that - it doesn't mean "I don't want to be with you".

I am so ready for this...but it's nowhere to be found. There's not a man - or woman - strong enough to love like this. They want it to be like the movies, all sunshine and roses. They don't want me to be tired after hearing crazy stories at work. They want me to grow my hair, cut my hair, stay thick, lose weight, dress up, be modest, conform to some sort of agenda.

Here's what - I'd rather be alone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You Signed Up For It

Tonight at work there was a physical altercation between two men. Each of them easily a foot taller than me, yet it was my job to "redirect" as they like to call it in the social worker realm. What this means is, do my damnedest to get two grown men who are wielding chairs and fists to stop. When my friend Jeff heard of it, his response was "You signed up for it". What I signed up for was to advocate, organize and agitate around social justice issues. What I signed up for was to make change in the lives of people who are disenfranchised, marginaliezed, warehoused, and kicked to the curb - literally, sleeping in the curb.

The people I work with are mentally ill, chemically addicted, developmentally delayed, previously incarcerated, and resilient. I work with people who have been abused, beat up and neglected. I work with women who sell their vaginas because they've been molested so damn many times that they'd rather sell what they have of value than continuously have it taken from them. In order to get through this dehumanizing event repeatedly, they stay high. Yes, I call them women - you probably call them crack whores. I work with men who have been taught at age 10 that they have to "take care of their momma" because the man she's getting high with is beating her up. How does a 10-year-old make money to cover the electric bill? Not legally. Nor does he have time to attend school. His "choices" were taken away from him a long time ago. Yes, I call him a man, you call him a dope dealer or a pimp. So, yes, I signed up for this.

What is the responsibility of the rest of you who didn't sign up for this? Sable Verity has been writing about NIMBY. "Not In My Back Yard" You know, don't put that shelter, public housing, work release, recovery center, jail or half-way house in my backyard. So, if you're so good that it shouldn't be in your neighborhood, who - in your estimation - is unworthy enough to have it in THEIR backyard? Because it's going somewhere. There are people who through no fault of their own have diminished their chances of ever working, supporting themselves or leading a "normal" life. Yes, there are others who are assholes, that's not the topic of this....diatribe.

Yes, I signed up for this fight. But you're responsible as well. You may choose to watch TV, or drink, or shop your ills away. You may choose to ignore the homeless person, the mentally ill person, you may go to hire someone and see find out they're a felon and turn them away, you may see that prostitute and disparage her, but all these folks are still your responsibility. You live with them. "They" are part of our community just like "we" are part of the community.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What Have I Become?

Someone just said to me "I've learned something about you. You have the ability to fall in love." What the hell have I become that this would be a surprise, or not just normal human capacity? Have I become so hardened by the life I've chosen, the walls I choose to live behind, have I so adopted this tarnished armor as my defense that it's become natural and not just a facade? Of course I can love, of course I want to love and be loved...don't we all? What I don't in conjunction is to be controlled, limited, put in a box, denied intelligence or hindered in growth. Does that mean I'll never find the romance love of the movies? I don't know. What I do know is that I want to sleep with someone, wake up in the morning and have coffee with someone, have a conversation that doesn't include fighting about my job, my chosen volunteer work or accusing me of something based on your insecure little mind.

So yes, I'm very capable of love...I'm unwilling to do is give up myself to have it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I need...

...a glass of wine, human touch, someone to breathe next to while I sleep, someone to talk to about something besides homelessness, incarceration and drug addiction. Tell me about music, play me a song, pour me another glass of wine, walk with me in the rain, sit with me in the garden, hold me until I feel human once again. How is it that this week I heard stories of crack, covered for incompetent co-workers, listened as a young, incarcerated man told of his relationship demise, held a man who's heart was breaking over his son being slit ear to ear in a drug deal gone bad, swabbed a greasy deck, cooked for my family, prepared a sociology lesson for a group of incarcerated men...listened to YOU, held YOU, helped YOU, cooked for YOU and didn't do one damn thing to take care of ME. Really, just look at me and actually see ME. Not what I can do for you, not what you need from me, don't ask me to listen - help - fix - mend - clean - cook - or buy. Just sit with me and play me a song while I drink wine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Thoughts....

Today someone called me a "cold, white supremacist". I'm not. I am white, I have unearned privilege and I've been conditioned in this society. Does that make me racist? No, what it does make me is privileged. I don't get stopped by the police regularly, I don't have to quell my strong opinions in order to make other people feel safe, I don't get demonized based on the color of my skin, if I talk loudly - I'm simply talking loudly, I don't have to shop in a special section for hair products, people don't cross the street when I'm walking towards them and I'm not overly represented in the criminal justice system.

I am aware of my white privilege but that does not negate the instances where my moving among new cultures or new environments doesn't create awkwardness. Is this simply because I'm white or is it because I am uninformed of the social norms and values of this new environment? Am I so entrenched in my own experience that I don't pay attention to the clues being given? The latter is true, sometimes I'm so into MY experience of sights and sounds and stimulus that I may miss social clues. Is this a direct result of my whiteness or is it human? I don't know. Perhaps it is my whiteness and the ease with which I move through the world that allows this to happen? Is this a manifestation of white supremacy? I don't know that either. For sure it's not intentional but if that's the perception, what is my role in dismantling that perception?

This is a constant process, a constant analysis of my place in this world. Tim Wise tells a moving story about his mom at the end of her life and how her conditioning in this society manifested itself. Is this conditioning more prevalent in my life than I wish to acknowledge?

I'm working on it...

My Hear Hurts

Yesterday was awful, today is a new day. I was miserable but I talked to Dennis on the phone for a couple hours and thought I was over the hump. Hung up the phone and heard "creatures" in my ceiling. This was a first and scared me. I couldn't sleep for fear they'd chew right through the sheetrock, which is of course and unfounded fear. The tiredness and fear began the crying all over again. Have you ever just wished like crazy you could be little and say I'm scared, somebody come sleep with me? You know how it's okay for a kid to crawl in bed with her parents, I want it to be okay for a grown up to make the same call without it being awful.

I toss and turn all night. I get up this morning and my arms ache as if I've lifted weights, which I haven't. I decide to put away all the books and what not from yesterday, spill a half drunk bottle of diet coke all over students writing and books. The tears start again.

I decide I need to "clean house" and throw out months worth of writing. Months worth of making plans. Months worth of dialog. I know it's a good to cleanse. I want to build a fire -- I love fire and water. I want to dance naked next to the ocean. I want to feel the joy of freedom and I enjoy. And oddly, I wish I could spend the day in the prison today. Where I'm reminded constantly of the blessings in life.

How come a hurt heart results in clumsiness and body aches and confusion?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Will's and Wont's

What will be:
more disposable income; more freedom; peacefulness; humor; focus on my own goals and priorities; free time; openness to new relationships; guilt free; attuned to new learning; higher level of awareness; openmindedness.

What won't be:
accusations that aren't true; high phone bills; derogatory language; misguided priorities; instutionalization; shackles; challenging conversations; exposure to new ideas.

I'm free, free to pursue in whatever direction the wind blows.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Love Isn't....

rude, unkind, or demanding. I know I'm selfish. A friend said today, "a bit of selfishness is a good thing." I stroke men's egos all day long at work, I don't want to have to do it in my off time. If I show up, cook for you, crease your pants, cook you a meal, or buy you a book, I'm there. Stop asking. If I introduce you to my kids, it means something. It means a lot in fact. I wouldn't introduce you if you weren't significant. I don't know if I'll ever be ready for a relationship. I like my life. I like my work. I love this weather and today after work I'm going to buy a cookie sheet and eat chocolate.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today Was A Beautiful Day

I had an amazing is a powerful drug that keeps one high, even from a distance. The sound of a voice, the power of the timbre, the laughter that comes from connection. Have you ever had love like this in your life? I used to think I knew what love was...I've even been in love a time or two. But this, this is crazy I can't stand it, makes me want more, call me, hold me, touch me, laugh with me crazy. The first time every time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I wish....

....someone was here tonight. It was one of those days at work...suicidal guy, guy withdrawing from morphine, inept staff, guy who is out smoking crack and needs assistance...I love my job. What I would love in addition is to have someone to fill back up what I give out at work. But, that doesn't happen because when I get home, there's nothing left to give. And it's only sometimes that I want someone here...and I guess relationships require more commitment than that. But right now, some company, some good dinner and just someone to hold would be fantastic. I love my hair being rubbed, and my a good strong hug. I love silently sitting on the couch close to each other. I love wine in the garden...I love walks on the ocean. I want to do the work I do in Seattle and live with the Taylors in Gearhart. I guess I can't have it all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just Like That

Just like that, it began. Just like that, it ends. Anything ignited that quickly, by it's very nature, must burn out just as quickly. Consumed until there is nothing left but ashes. Back to reality, my imagination stifled, my feet held in place by gravity, my mind wanting escape, my heart unable to break because it was never whole. I removed the armor for moment, let it be shined up a bit and now have to decide: do I want to put it back on or do I want to remain vulnerable and exposed? Vulnerable and exposed leaves me open to pain. The armor prevents love from penetrating.

Everyone possesses an armor. Yours may be drugs, alcohol, your kids, your mate, your work. That thing we use in order to protect us from being exposed, to not reveal too much, say too much. Mine: work...if I just keep busy you won't be able to catch up to me and I won't slow down enough to let you get too close. I want to though. Just like that. Just that simple. I want you to SEE me - your eyes are like light exposing my picture that is as yet undeveloped. My fear: you'll see a blurry picture and toss it into the pile of negatives. I need the chemicals...I need the light...I need the exposure. Without it I will not develop. That requires too much work, too much time, too much effort. So there you go moving on to the next project. Because someone, or some things, or some time has done the hard work before you and that project is already art. You're not committed enough, strong enough, sure enough of yourself to keep working the project. It's more complicated than you thought. It makes you have to do some work on your own exposure. It makes you have to tweak a bit of your own life's project. And you can't...because you think you don't need to.

I just keep picking the wrong exposure. I'm committed to the process, to the alchemy of my life.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My writing....

has all been focused elsewhere. All my thoughts, unedited, poured out on paper and mailed away. I can't revisit it, re-read, edit or change it. It's out there, in His hands being studied. He is making a study of my dichotomous life, calling out my bullshit, polishing my armor. The process is loving, kind and painful. No one has ever cared like this before. I've never loved like this before. It's new, raw, committed, honest. I miss this venue of writing, but I've got nothing left to say.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mwogozi Wangu....

means "my savior" in Swahili. (Thanks Sundi) I have found mine. When asked how one was saved, I said through enlightenment. Because He helps me be a better version of me. Because He challenges me, supports me, protects me, guides me through new territory and tells me when I'm getting off course. He saved me from living a life without fullness. He recognizes the divinity in himself and in me -- and frankly even in you. Webster says a savior is "one that saves from danger or destruction". He saves me daily. This blog may have to remove its tarnished armor as the polish of Him removes the tarnish from years of regrets, wrong paths, hidden agendas and a life without enlightenment. And yes, that's a capital Him.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I'm not waiting...I'm living. I'm building a relationship, a lifetime of love. A commitment that goes far beyond barriers, far beyond reason, far beyond narrow concepts of what love is. I'm not saving (1: preservation from danger or destruction) myself...I'm surrendering (1: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another)myself. I favor another. I favor connection. I favor real talk. I favor laughter. I favor intelligence. I favor excitment, growth, challenges, opportunities, work and love. I'm not waiting.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I Want...

You, cooking me dinner at night. Us, walking on the beach. Me, putting the crease in your pants.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hope This Link Works.

I've been struggling with anger lately. Not getting enough sleep, not performing to my normal high standards, being much too hard on myself and intolerant of others. I'm longing for intimacy in my life, it seems completely lacking. A slow cup of coffee in the morning exchanging stimulating conversation with someone. A glass of wine in the garden with good girlfriends after a long work day. The touch of skin on skin. All those things that make me feel extraordinarily and wonderfully female. Then someone sent me the above video. Hopefully the link works and you can see it. It made me smile and also realize I have many blessings in my life. And I do. Right now, intimate sharing isn't one of them. Maybe soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Is A Wife?

The bible says a virtuous wife is worth more than rubies and that the heart of her husband trusts her. Because he can trust her, his gain increases. Her husband and her children praise her, the work she does praises her as well. A friend of mine tonight asked me to help him revamp his resume so that he could begin applying for a pastoral position. When I sat down at the computer, I thought it would be a typical research project to see what goes in a pastoral resume followed by a cut and paste job with his. Instead, it became a spiritual awakening. Revisiting childhood verses with adult eyes. Remembering my thoughts of growing up and being someone's wife, someone's mother...the dreams I was allowed to have, quelling the others of teacher, writer, adventurer. So now what? It's all these years later and my dreams have come full circle. I have been someone's wife, I am many someone's mother, I have written, I have some ways have adventured. I crushed my spirit behind religion. I closed out the wife part of me because I found it wrapped in a strange cloak of religous expectations and yet I've spent my life's work being someone's wife.
A wife nurtures, she toils with her hands, she is trustworthy, her husband sings her praises. I have been a wife to the homeless women I love so much who lost not only thier own childhood but their children's. I have been a wife to men coming out of prison who needed someone to look at them with respect for the men they are. I have been a wife to my friends who needed rides, their laundry done, a home cooked meal. I have put on an air of bravado and said "I shall never be someone's wife" when I've lived as everyone's wife.
I want to be a wife to many and THE wife of one. I want that one to know that even though I wive many, I am the wife of only one. I want the respect, the honor, the trust in knowing that forever my one will be supported, nurtured and revered.
I am the wife to many and yet and I am no one's wife.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Did It Again

I learn, or at least, hear great lessons and then don't actually incorporate them into my life. I know, for sure, that I need to slow down, gather more information, see bigger pictures. Instead, I take a small piece of information and extrapolate what I think I know and respond to what I think I know instead of what I actually know. And, then someone, in this case Khalil, has to put back in my place and point out that I behaved ways that don't lead me to the outcomes I desire. I learned a valuable lesson today, about love...even our enemies. "Our struggle is defined by what we are for, not what we are against." I am humbled and honored to be confronted in such a gentle manner even when I'm acting on presumptions and going where I don't want to go.
I don't have much to offer the world...except for me. I want that me to be the most authentic version of me possible. I want who I am, what I stand for, to come through each encounter. When I act like I did today, that doesn't happen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's On My Mind Tonight

I'm attending a conference that has to do with my graduate studies and is focused on adult learning, experential learning. These are the highlights that are rummaging around in my head: We need to provide adults with experiences that allow human beings to become more human. To expose those parts of us that have been ridiculed, dismissed and not honored. Someone said today "corrective emotional experience." Those times when it's okay to screw up, it's okay to expose your naked underbelly and have someone there who is not daunted by your crimes, your past, your present neurosis and allows you to hold all of your humanity.
I got this definition of mindfulness today: paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgement of the experience. I pray, with sincerity, that I can practice more mindfulness in every moment of my life. To create moments where I can become more human and allow others the space and safety to be more human with me.
I questiion, how do I end this war with myself? How do I end the chaos of choosing to be intellectual and neglecting the spiritual? Last night I listened to Khalil Osiris (Google him) speak. His words, his thoughts, his presence have been with me all day today. This intellectual, educated human balancing that with a spirit that exudes relationship. And today I was continually put in the path of people who practice spirituality in their lives. I understand the universe is leading me to balance, I hope I'm courageous enough to begin exploring those parts of myself that need unearthing. I hope that I can provide myself the same level of compassion and forgiveness that I provide others. In doing so, as I become more comfortable with me, it is my passion and purpose to share that with you so that together we can create a community of people at home with our human-ness.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


1 a: capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch : palpable b: substantially real : material
2: capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind

That's the Webster definition of tangible and exactly what I meant by my use of the word. I rarely use words I don't mean to use. Yesterday when I wrote about love being tangible, I got some feedback about tangible meaning monetary...which isn't what I meant. Of course, I'm not above being a kept woman and would entertain the idea....
Seriously, love is touch, feel, appeals to your senses. It's not some intangible, inactive "feeling." It's telling me the truth even when I don't want to hear it (Myles and Cooper are great at this). It's my kids and I pooling together groceries out of everyone's fridge and making an awesome Mexcian dinner. It's me and the Taylors sitting in the garden drinking wine (can't say enough how much I love that). Love is not some floaty feeling, it's a commitment and it's action.
Back to the kept woman thing, really. If I was kept, I would spend my time volunteering. I would read amazing books. Clean house like I want to clean house. I'd bake cookies. I'd drink wine in the garden. I'd take photos. I wouldn't have anymore kids, but I'd have Jakobi over more.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What I'm Learning

This has been a tough year...well, actually the time I was in Oregon was great and I learned a lot about myself. I came back to Seattle because I felt that it was "home" because I wanted to be able to do work that was meaningful. That's not working out so well. I've made a new friend, Myles, who I will love forever. I've not been able to find stable housing or a stable job. I get to see my kids more, have Jakobi sleep over - those are good things. What I'm learning during this time is this: the people who love me do so all the time and in tangible ways. I was "chatting" with Nancy, stressing about how does one get a job if one's phone is turned off and she and Nora paid the bill! Even though I said I didn't know when I'd have the money to pay back...still they love me all the time. I'm learning to live each day making a list that leads to the end goals. I made a list of goals for the next three years, put them on a 3x5 card and each day write a to do list that includes something that will lead me closer to accomplishing those goals.
Did I make the right decision in coming back to Seattle? I wouldn't know Myles if I hadn't, I wouldn't be learning the things I'm learning. I guess there's no reason to second guess. I'm here. I have to live with what is and not worry about what comes next or what came before.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Best Sentence I've Read In A Long Time

"not sure what'll happen- i'm just taking baby steps along the lines of my passions.." - Paul Kelly

My friend and I were chatting via Facebook and when talking about his future, this was his response. I got so excited...I love people who express my thoughts with amazing words. I have no idea where life is leading me right now. I'm a woman without a plan, which is how I usually operate. It's like body surfing. Riding the waves with nothing underneath you, at the mercy of where the wave take you. I learned to body surf from my older sister's boyfriend when I was about 12 years old. We were at Huntington Beach, way out in the water and Allen said, "Just ride. Don't panic and you'll have a blast." I'm treading water, becoming exhausted and then all of a sudden a wave comes, Allen yells "Paddle" and I do. I think I weighed about 80 pounds then and the wave was awesome. I rode the top for a while but when it crashed, so did I. Deep, dark and no air whatsoever. I started to panic then remembered, "Just ride. Don't panic." Once I loosened up, I came back to the surface, gulped air, staggered to the beach where Allen picked me up and threw me around like a rag doll. After catching my breath, Allen and I swam back out to unknown depths waiting for the next wave to carry us back in.
I remember the terror, the thrill, the adrenaline. It seems that body surfing defines my life. No plan, no idea where the wave the will carry me or how dark and deep I'll go prior to gulping air and re-gaining my footing.
I don't have a plan, but I have passion. I'm dedicated to social justice, equality for all humanity and fully dedicated to education and relationship as the tools for transformation. "Baby steps along the lines my passion" not knowing where the line ends.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Relate: to have a connection. This is the root of relationship: to have some sort of connection. Maybe our relationship is through work - the connection being a common goal. Perhaps our relationship is through activism - the connection being outrage and/or passion regarding a certain circumstance. Maybe we're friends - friends share many different levels of intimacy. Some of my friends would never crawl into bed to console me, but Myles would/has. Last night I heard a therapist talk about healing people who live in war zones and experience trauma on an ongoing basis. Music to my ears was when he said two extremely profound things: healing happens through relationship; and secondly, the best possible thing we can do for people in crisis is to live among them normally. To live normally when all about is chaos. What a gift!!! To share a cup of tea with the homeless ladies as if we're not surrounded by crack and needles and predators. My life includes relationships of many different kinds including friends, kids, my parents, my co-workers, homeless folks, mentally ill folks, activists of every nature, academics who love the sound of their own voices. Each of these relationships contribute to my wholeness. I share parts of me with each of them, all of me with none of them.
My life is changed because I relate to you. I am enhanced by you even if our encounter was brief.
Relationships that go beyond the casual require time and commitment. I cannot get to know you through a phone. I cannot share intimacy through e-mail. Maybe others can, I cannot. I am tactile, I require all my senses to be involved. When I'm funny I want to see you laugh. When I cry I want to see the compassion reflected. When you share new knowledge with me, I want you to see the lights in my eyes. Relationship that goes beyond the mundane takes sacrifice. It means adjusting the flow of your life and my life in order to make time and space for one another. When it really matters, we do that.
There are people who say they want a relationship and yet no sacrfice is made. No space opened up to allow for more. One of my favorite sayings, "What you do speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying." My translation: stop talking and start doing. We need one another as humans. Perhaps there is no god, no supreme being out there when we cry for help. What there is for sure is human energy mixing with nature energy and when we have passion, compassion, and love mixing with the powers of the earth, there must be nothing we can't accomplish.
Let's relate to one another in ways that matter and make sense.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Know Who I Am

Some of you who read this may think you know me, others for sure don't know me but have some sort of internet curiosity. Those who do know me, think they know me so well - others just want to know parts of me. Here's what I'm willing to share about what I know about me:
I'm super funny because I'm super smart. Wit implies the ability to think fast and respond in ways people don't expect.
I care WAY too much about other people. I worry about things that I have no control over.
Sex is a great stress reliever. Sex is about my body, love is about my mind and heart making a commitment to somebody. I love my kids, I love my friends, I love the homeless, mentally ill people I work with. I don't have sex with any of those people - sex and love have little or nothing to do with each other. Sex comes and goes, love lasts even when the times are hard. (No pun intended but that is funny.)
Lines are for crossing. They are put there by society in order to let you know when you've gone too far by their standards. My standards are mine. You can't see my lines because I change them all the time. They're adjustable.
I am not patient. If you want to see me, that means see me - don't say you're going to and then make me wait. I bore easily and if you can't keep me interested, I'll move on to the next item/person/topic that captures my interest.
I come off as a bad ass, but in reality I'm the softest, kindest, most nurturing person you'll meet. I am a strong feminist who believes my strength as a female can be found in the gentleness of my touch, the meal I cook for you and the crease in your slacks as well as my ability to advocate for those who can't advocate for themselves, break up a fight or fight like a man when necessary.

Some things I'd like to do:
Become fluent in Spanish.
Teach college (which is becoming a reality very soon!)
Hike the Grand Canyon
Spend lots of time on the back seat of a motorcycle.
Write work that gets published.

Think you know me now? This is just the parts I'm willing to share.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sweetest Distraction

My arms ache, my thighs are tight, my bed's in disarray,
my thoughts continually getting carried away.

Leaving me fully satisfied and insatiably curious.
Is this real? Are you serious?

Your strong control
singing to my soul.

I want to blow up your phone
begging you to come home.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Possesses My Mind When I'm Alone

1. Being Alone
2. The Dark
3. Failing - or maybe that's my comfort zone and what I fear is success.
4. That my mom was right.
5. That I'll never get it right.
6. Never being able to make the changes I want to make.
7. That I won't/don't have the courage to keep going.
8. I'm scared to death of the light that love shines on my life.
9. Or maybe I'm afraid that I don't have a clue what love is.
10. That I seperated from the one person who actually knows me.
11. That I'd rather die than keep living this life.
12. I want a do over.
13. Buying a greyhound ticket to nowhere and becoming someone else.
14. I wonder what happened to my mom when she died.
15. Am I really doing my best or is there something more?
16. I'm not nearly as harsh as I let the world perceive me to be.
17. Is there some spiritual being out there that if I just connected with I wouldn't feel so lost?
18. Mexcian food.
19. What would I be right now if I had never married Lyle? Or if I had stayed married to Lyle?
20. Why do I waste so fucking much time pondering, repeatedly, things I cannot change?

Monday, February 2, 2009


"Boundaries don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made. So, you can waste your life drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The morning after...always provides better perspective. Let's face it, as a white woman with access to good education and parents with money, it's not like I've experienced oppression first hand. I have friends who experience it on a daily basis so I hear stories of shit happening all the time. My strong reaction is because of that...I've not built up a resistance or an expectation. Jeff was recently harassed in a bar and called a faggot by some ignorant young men. DQ was bowling with co-workers when some white guy started throwing around the "n" word. A young butch woman I know was discounted by her femmy friends saying she'd never understand the fear of being attacked by a man. My perspective on life is through a lens as a white, feminine, socially typical female. I need and want people in my life who see through different lenses so that my perspective can broaden. What remains upsetting to me is that our society continues to judge people based on outward appearances. Just because I present as "typical" female, doesn't mean that's what I am. Yes, I cook and clean, sew and nurture. But I also have tattoos, strategically placed piercings, am totally queer, radical and leftist. You don't know all this just by looking at me. My son has dreds down to the middle of his back, wears all black clothes and plays metal music. His appearance would portray bad ass, but in reality he's the nicest, gentlest young man you'll meet. He's kind and funny but you'd never know that if you can't get past the hair and bull ring in his nose.

All this is teaching me that we have so much more work to do in becoming humane in our treatment of one another. I have to work harder on calling out bull shit - my own and others - each time I see it. I have to work harder in setting aside the prejudices that I bring to my day.

And, keep looking for a job. I got two calls for interviews today. Life goes on even when I don't feel like doing so.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm White...

I had a job interview today for a job that I really wanted. The final outcome: I'm white. According to the interviewer: I rocked the interview, I have mad skills, everyone loved me. But I was up against a bi-racial woman and that was the key factor. I am both angry and sad. If no people of color had applied, would I have gotten the job? Have we liberal white folks gone so far to the left that we're using the same tactics as the right wingers? Basing decisions on a person's race? What if I was all the way Black up against a biracial person? Would that have trumped?

When the call came I was having a beer with a couple of my kids. As a parent, I have taught my kids to never judge based on outward appearances. People are people and their outside rarely says anything about the inside. During the interview, I commented on how everyone has pockets of bigotry that come up. It's when we recognize them and work towards changing them that we grow and society as a whole benefits.

When, when, will we ever get over using race as a qualifier or a denier of people? When, please, will we judge people on their individual qualities rather than what they look like? Until we do, every decision is a marred. If you're an ass, you're an ass and the color of your skin doesn't mitigate that.

In the midst of my anger and sad tears (it's never pretty crying in a bar), another call came with a job proposition from a much more conservative organization. My kid quips "the liberals don't want you but the Catholics embrace you." Too funny. A queer, tatted, pierced, loudmouth radical like me....

Saturday, January 17, 2009


A freind, or perhaps a stranger, last night said I was "giddy." The feeling is carrying over to today. I don't know if I've ever been in this place before...extremely the work I do, love where I live, have some amazing friends...seeing the accomplishment of goals...expanding myself...losing pieces of me that are no longer necessary...happy. It's hard to explain how I can be this happy and content with life when horrible things are happening around me. Someone I love with extreme passion and commitment is on self-destruct path, the people I work with are suffering intensely as budgets for vital services get cut and programs close, my closest friend is struggling with definition and direction and yet even with that going on, I am standing on solid ground and so incredibly peaceful. I'm learning to live with the dichotomy of good and bad mixing together. There's a Russian word that describes this:

Ecstasy and Injury. Feelings the mind think are incompatible, but the heart knows belong together. A state of being in which you have been taken down, brought to you knees humbled – when kaleidoscopic emotions of tenderness, humility, sadness and rapture all wash through you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Words of Wisdom

This morning I'm working at a place where everyone is mentally ill, hear voices that no one else hears, sees things that no one sees and each has created a reality that may have little to do with reality. And I love it. One woman, when discussing kids, says that kids step on your toes when they're little and when they grow up, they step on your heart. I couldn't agree more. Kids are the epitome of dichotomy - they bring the greatest joy and cause the greatest pain. No one has the ability to hurt like a child hurts their parents. Even when it's unintentional. When it's intentional, it can be unbearable. Finding the strength to love through the hurt, the ability to love all the time no matter what, that's what makes someone a parent. Society has thrown away the people I work with, but they know more than we could ever imagine. Perhaps our reality is just too black and white, perhaps we need to get more comfortable in the grey reality that the people I work with live in.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Conflict as a creator of beauty

In all aspects of nature, conflict creates beauty. In order to get wood smooth and to a useful state, it is sanded - repeatedly peeling layers off to get to it's soft inner core. A diamond is the center of coal which must be destroyed to uncover the inner beauty. Rocks become shiny by being tossed by water and tumbling over other rocks until their smooth, shiny surface is exposed. In each instance, it is the conflict which exposes the inner core that creates the beauty. Humans are the same way, although we do all we can to avoid conflict and not have our inner parts exposed. It is making ourselves vulnerable, by walking into conflict, by showing strength to be tossed around a bit, that our vulnerablity exposed and thus our beauty. Our beauty is not found in our outer layers of tanned skin, dyed hair and painted nails. Our beauty is found at our core. At those vulnerable layers that require exposure in order to be seen. Stepping into conflict, living in ambiguity, moving about in the grey areas allows us to expose ourselves and allows others to expose those parts of ourselves that hold the most beauty.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year...but returning to the old

It's a new year and most people are thinking about their future, doing some reflecting, making plans. I'm no different than most people. Instead of making up some new dream, some new goal, I'm returning to the dreams of my past. To those things that as a child I thought I would be, I knew I was intended to be. I love being a mom - it is both the greatest joy and greatest heartache I've ever experienced. Being a person who likes dichotomy and inconsistency, this seems to fit. For years, too many years, I defined myself as a mother. I forgot my individuality. I lost myself in the lives of others, burdened them with defining me. I'm through that and am returning to the definition of self that was created within me. I'm re-discovering old thoughts, old dreams and marrying them with new found passions and interests. I'm becoming wholly who I am. Mother, individual, female, activist, passionate, inconsistent, easily bored, unable to commit, funny, intelligent, articulate...random. I'm on a path now that will allow me to be fully this. To combine my insatiable curiosity about people with the love of teaching as well as immerse myself in people's lives for short periods of time. I've not been this excited and this "right" feeling before. For the first time in months, I feel like writing.