Archive | May, 2014

a story i’ve not often told

30 May

I didn’t know who she was until she introduced herself, but  I knew that she knew who she was – she resided within herself in a powerful way, it was clear, enough to stop conversation in the whole space when she entered; she moved with a cloud of presence that extended many feet beyond her actual body.  She was tall and her voice was deep and layered (as you know); every word took on weight.

She ordered a shot of whiskey at the bar and joined us at our table, explaining that she was giving a speech on the campus and that her ritual was to have a single shot for her nerves before she gave a talk.

I felt quiet and humbled in her presence, and when she took the time to talk to me, I felt shame that I couldn’t remember all of the details of her memoir, which I had read in high school.  My friend was all over the knowledge that day,  knew just what to ask and say. Yet she didn’t care about what we knew.  She asked  us personal questions about who we were.  She created intimacy with immediacy, because moments pass and we can command them, it seemed to me that day.

She poured liquid fire down my throat;  she made me want to feel awake, to be a present human being.  I felt a big contrast from who I was at that time compared to my own potential for being.  She embodied that growth wasn’t about knowledge or accomplishment, but something else, something powerful and mysterious – yet open and loving, too.

How many people like this show up in our lives?  I’m beginning to think that the answer to this question is this:  as many as we need.  I must have needed a famous, intense, sparkly one, at that point. 🙂

She toasted us goodbye like old friends, as she walked out in her sequined floor-length gown.  We watched from the window as her driver ushered her inside a limo, our eyes unwilling to let go of  her enormous, smiling face.

fern lure

28 May

The same force that makes

and takes my breath away

drives the wind that lifts bright seeds

to find

the dirt and water

for the laying down of roots.


Fibonacci fists


to unwind

at the tip of my gaze.

I hope to never miss a blossoming

of being

eye to eye with a fern,

on a downtown street,

on a hot afternoon,

next to a puddle of horse piss.


Land of contrast,

will you call to me

when I am lost

in my pumpkin coach,

in meaningless motion –

i need for you to.

I’ll slip out this trap door

built into the floor,

and slip into fresh seeing



24 May

Most people I meet and interact with are lovely.  My clarity keeps leading me to clearer interactions.  My days are  full of openness and the seeing of the goodness in myself and in others.

However, I do sometimes have reminders that not everyone has the same flowing goodness from which they are operating; some have their truth buried deep within beneath layers of deception.  Some people are acting out of perverse self-interest; they will lie, cheat, sugar-coat, and self-delude to meet imaginary, short-term aims.  Self-preservation can be desperate preservation of the false self, the mask, at all costs.

My internal radar for these sort of pitiful, but at times dangerous, souls has gotten more and more accurate.

My responses are becoming more organically in-tune with what these interactions require from me.

I’ve been learning about narcissism and about what patterns within me  made me vulnerable to this dynamic in the past, to help me gain clarity when dealing with one driven mainly by self-interest and deception.  I have made growth.  I now trust my ability to stay open to the inner urgings for setting clear boundaries, decisively.

I was a fly in the web of  a spider, once – not able to see the well-constructed web, listening to the charming words, allowing myself to be the sacrificial meal, but I cut the threads;  I got away from the web.  Instead of flying away, I  perched nearby – observing and learning.

Kimberly Harding has written much on the dynamics of dealing with a narcissist in one’s life.  Her explorations into this topic helped me to recognize that I had been in this pattern for years, placating, catering to, blind to the motivations of my husband.    He showered me with compliments constantly, but left me holding the bag most all of the time.  He was good at turning the tables and I was  good at taking on more than my responsibility.  It took extreme circumstance for me to wake to the magic show shuffling going on, but once I woke to it – I could not be fooled so easily again.

This week, Hannah has reappeared from the Spring semester to protest her grade.    Her smoke screen creations in lieu of truth failed to confuse me.   My inner-guidance told me the truth of the situation and provided me with clear communication.  My gut instincts were validated by my department head, who knew of her past patterns.  He had my back.

She used technology as an excuse for lost emails that supposedly contained missing essays – and then tapped danced around for sympathy and time.  She  brought her grandmother to the department head to vouch for her last semester.  Her sob story could work only once.  This semester – her number was up.

Hannah has drawn to herself an enormous comeuppance.  She will not graduate from high school on time.  She will be forced to retake this class until she has passed in order to receive her diploma.

She gave me the gift of clarity needed for listening to my inner guidance without remorse.

She is learning, I hope, by such high stakes in her immediate life.

In the zoomed out view, no biggie.  High school!  What evs.




(Not much into this genre of music, but this song is a mirror today!)



20 May

Only one friend  has ever told me her IQ;  she had a high one, and she much identified with her quick comprehension and multiple, impressive degrees.  I enjoyed her edgy sarcasm that felt refreshing amongst all the proper moms on the playground.

But her cleverness, after a few glasses of wine, became a cruel streak which she used to debilitate others and build herself up.  She came into my life with a gift; she helped me to demystify the mind.  She helped me see that being intelligent and well-educated did not lead one to happiness and heart opening.  Obvious, I know, but up to that point, I had some faulty thoughts in this area.

She also helped me to detach from the importance of my own words.  I remember the feeling of being hurt whenever I was cut off in conversation.  This friend, in her verbal cruelty, showed me that  a cut off  in conversation might be a blessing, a break to take a breath, switch gears, a chance to be more mindful in our words.     What this friend began in me has been furthered by my kids:  they get so tired of my words and explanations.

They are always cutting me off.

They say to me all the time, “just tell me what you want me to do; don’t say because.”      They want me to just say what I want, but not to say why.

Often, when I use an explanation for whatever I am asking, or doing, or thinking, there is no explanation necessary.

I am grateful for the reason to stop and just trust what they are telling me.   For a while when they said to me, “Don’t say because,” I was confused…what does that mean?    They were showing me that mostly the WHY is self-evident and over-explanation is tedious to listen to.  Let me give an example:

“You really need to clean up your room because you have been losing things lately and your dirty clothes are not making it into the hamper to get clean.”  Ugh.  I don’t like even typing that.

They know all of this already.  I can say:  “Clean up your room.  Put your dirty clothes in the laundry.”

Or better yet,  “What do you think needs to be done in your room today?”

This over-explaning does not only apply to parenting.  I am beginning to suspect it is more universal.

When Eden was sitting beside me while I was grading essays, she told me to stop explaining so much.  I  feel compelled to write out explanations to students telling them not only what is incorrect, but also explaining why it is incorrect and explaining how to correct.  Goodness, overkill!  “They don’t read all of that, mom.  If they really want to understand, they will look it up or they will ask you.”

Something clicks inside of me.

Ah, explanations are a lack of trust!

I feel like I need to explain my actions or requests “because”  I don’t trust you to get it; or I don’t trust myself in asking for it.  I am not trusting my students to learn on their own when I offer all of this explanation.  And the truth, they don’t read all of my statements; most just look for the number grade and move on.  All that work, dust in the wind.  🙂

I am going to work on eliminating the word “because” in my home and at school and see if I can.

I think I will speak more clearly, more powerfully.


Well, the answer isn’t because…



17 May


There was a jumble

of letters and spaces,

flashes and warnings.

Reboot, you say?

Easier than it


I forget about that little

black button.

We can get a rapidly duplicating

virus in our thoughts

that sends out

emails of desperation

to all our lists.

Can you read the bubble over my head?

My cartoon avatar

gets full of ideas about

who I was then,

who I might be tomorrow,

in both a large font

and an overlooked

small print,

which can be tricky.

The tiny script

is almost invisible.


Sometimes it seems

we have to give the floor to

the telling of a shadow

of self –

or it forms into a sticky goo,

messing with the hard drive.

Let it have its say

sdo giaeo ;dfja eot wpty q2 p398a[

a;sd lfj eowpijr3jr coj[3R V[TV [J

There is no limit

on the refresh button

who who who who who who who

let it talk and soon you will see –

so boring.


clear screen,

much better –

nothing is the

something something.


Oh, and when blank(ity)

blank meets

blank(ity) blank

kaboom –

where once were words

explodes into

whole new worlds

beyond this old and dying


We are erupting something new –

step through here —–> 0

and disappear






remembering time as a female mantis

14 May

We are not in constant prayer because we are good.

Can you imagine how far you must feel

from goodness to believe you must

hold your arms in constant supplication?

We are always praying

while the urge to eat is constant;

the temperate air stirs

the belly something awful.

The ache to grow fresh life  – a constant hum.

I know what noise longing –

the racket  yes yes yes and want want want  –

makes within

my long green limbs.

How he must tremble,

for once he has

filled me,

then he must fill me again,

hunger not telling

the difference

between sex and food.

Every day, the book of life is open –

and we must make our case.

We pray,

for we know to survive on such savagery,

such blatant indulgence for the making and the taking of life,

is disdainful; it’s dreadful, is it not?

We pray

to god

who likes our mantis features,

who remembers our agreement,

who judges us not for being what we are.

We pray so we can remember that

we are doing our time,

our part of the


sex death dance

while the sun consumes the moon,

the ocean overtakes the land;

we are refining the hunger

for every last level.

holy banana peel

9 May



The new cast list is up and

I got the role I wanted,

the fool.

Those who know better often shake their heads at me,

but really,  if they had more facts, figures,

a made-for-tv version of my story,

they would really call me out.

I haven’t the right to walk on air!

This world might deem me dim,

but I remain oblivious –

walking off buildings,

onto steel beams,

lifted by cranes.

When the beams end,

I’m landing on clouds.

The radio plays songs

I didn’t appreciate

when I knew them when,

so I grin,

and dance in my seat on my way to detention.

What a joy to know

my mistakes bring us closer

to laughter –

and that is always the best place to meet

if there’s no longer anyone to embarrass.



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