26 April 2013

Everything is new under the sun

Two days off...recently that has been a doom for me, especially with Megan traveling so much and my having the house to myself.  Well myself and Miss Kitten, who isn't much for emotional support.  

Thursday: I was feeling quite sad on Thursday, it was the night of the full moon, and I didn't have plans until the late afternoon.  I woke up and insisted to myself that I do some yoga.  Megan and Claire and I have been doing these podcast yoga sessions that you can download for free and there are not a joke.  This is some serious yoga, ladies.  Claire and I did two sessions back to back last week and I think both of us has muscles quivering for days after.  Strength and Balance for sure!  

After yoga I needed another distraction, and since these past few days have been in the 60's and 70's - I sat in my lovely shared backyard - one of the huge perks to not living in an apartment is having access to Megan's peaceful and private back patio and lawn.  I've been letting Napoleon join me outside because at this point she thinks the fences are too tall to jump up and over and most things outside still scare her enough to stay close to me.  So she wandered and I read some poetry and a beautiful book called The Conference of the Birds, illustrated with watercolor paintings and pen drawings.  Later I realized that my two hours in the sun had in fact led to my first sunburn of the season (duh! this is Colorado!), but I was happy to see the evidence of my Vitamin D intake.  

Later that afternoon Claire and I broke ground on our shared and glorious garden plot in her backyard.  We planted last summer and had a fantastic learning experience growing all sorts of things, planned or otherwise (cantaloupe?!?!).  This year we are going diagonal!  I was impressed with the sturdy herbs that made it though the winter, oregano, sage, thyme, chives, such hearty fellows!  We shoveled dirt, found 100's of worms and a few creepy centipedes.  Her dirt is soft and supple and is not hard work to move around, which means it is rich in nutrients and luscious!  Claire has also been a dedicated composter this past year and we got to sift through her more advanced pile of compost, ending up with a wheelbarrow full of gorgeous brown soil!  We turned that compost into the garden soil and began out first plant - 2 months ahead of last year's schedule, woohoo!

We began the pre-post-frost items - radishes, greens including spinach, lettuce mix, and kale, carrots, beets and arugula.  I cannot wait for the sprouts to reveal themselves and for our first harvest to be in May, June!?  She and I are both excited and thrilled to be back outside, hands in the dirt, dirt under our fingernails, commiserating with worms and loving it.  

Friday: Today was a busy day - the best kind of day off for me these days.  A distracted mind cannot be bother to dwell in sadness.  It started with brunch with an old friend, we shared breakfast hash and 1/2 price bloody marys, a tradition for us!  Then we walked along the Highlands shops and I found some sweet treasures for friends and my soon to be nephew!  

After arriving home I had just enough time to sit outside again, with the kitten, and read The Sun, a magazine that I subscribe to that has been piling up for months.  It's a colloboration of interviews, short stories, poetry, and little reader excerpts about a specific topic, oh and photography.  It's wonderful and it was the perfect patio reading material.

My friend Leslie came over briefly to change after work before we went and met a few of our friends downtown for sushi happy hour.  It's events like this, with more than 2 or 3 people that can make me shy or resistant to socializing, but today I am so glad I joined.  The company was great, we drank gin and tonics (oh sweet summer, I love you!), and ate loads of delicious and cheap sushi.  These friends love to laugh and I know these days I need laughter everywhere I can get it.  It saves me.  It builds me back up.  It is a required fuel for my soul and my inner peace. 

After leaving happy hour, I ran home just in time to meet my friend Connor for a poetry reading.  There is a tiny little bookstore in Five Points, right next to Los Paisanos - the bus stop to Mexico that is always so crowded! - called Counterpath.  A professor from CU Boulder and her husband own it and often host readings in its small open space.  Tonight there were two readers - one read from his upcoming novel, the other from a few of his 20+ published and soon to be published books.  These writers were witty and realistic, and I am always so enamored with the way that every human describes existence differently and how writers are so especially gifted at making that existence so fascinating.  These men definitely succeeded at that.  The novelist description of his protagonist was it's own chapter, and the intricacies described of this fictional man made me feel like he was someone I've known for years. 

I also recently read
WisÅ‚awa Szymborska's Nobel prize acceptance speech where she talks briefly about the author of Ecclesiastes and his famous statement "There is nothing new under the sun."  Her speech is quite impressive because in a matter of pages she denies his entire statement and reclaims original thought for all men, all writers, all poets.  After graduating college and being out of the academic mind-stimulating environment, I felt like I had nothing new to say.  Of all the people in the world, why would anyone want to hear or read what I have to say?  That is such a dangerous well for a writer to fall into and climb out of it can be daunting.  But Szymborska, wise lady that she was, was right.  Every thought I have, every breath I take, every sight I see, is new, albeit under the same sun as Ecclesiastes man.  So my new task in poet-hood is to find my voice, and not to be ashamed what path I take to find it.  There are so many tricks and tips and ways to jumpstart a poem or a novel or just being creative that sometimes writing a good poem from a formula or from an exercise can seem cheap or like cheating.  But I no longer think that's true.  What happens on the page is no was lessened because it had a catalyst or a formula.  

So I've been scratching down thoughts, one liners, random visions, knowing that sometimes just getting something on paper is enough.  Getting it out of my head is a start.  

Even sitting down to write this blog is helpful, as a history of my life and thoughts, as an excercise in writing, and as a practice of being an artist.  

19 April 2013


My heart and my mind are wandering in a paradox. 

I cannot figure out how to end the desires of my heart when they become hurt and failure.  My mind worms it's way out of reason and falls back into the trap of loving, endlessly loving.  

I honestly believe that love has the power to change anything, anyone.  I believe in its power to heal, to save, to persevere.  

Last year I learned what it means to love unconditionally.

I've lived a life fortunate enough to have been loved well and loved by many.  I was comfortable in the love of the family I have been given, the love of many friends, the love of sisters and the love of cousins who are like sisters to me.  But it wasn't until last year and part of the year before that I learned what it means for me to give that love back to someone.

Being with J opened my heart to a million reasons to love.  It came so naturally with him I hardly realized what was happening.  He discovered within me the well of pure.love.  The love that is described in Corinthians, the love that is patient and kind and does not weary and does not grow angry.  This is the love that J brought out of me.  This is the love that I had been collecting my whole life and had never been convinced to give back, at least not to anyone I was romantically interested in.

But my irrational emotional self of course got in the way.  I have been wanting to leave Denver and Colorado for years now, ever since graduating college, and really perhaps before then.  So last summer I finally decided to follow through and move to Minnesota - for a different kind of love - the love of my sister, to be near her again.  

J and I hardly broached the subject of my moving - we wrote it off as something in the future that wouldn't change much and we did not know what would happen with us, so better just to enjoy each other's company presently.  And then came the day - the day I packed everything I owned in a 4' by 6' metal box, got in the driver's seat with J at my side, Napoleon in the back, and began driving across country.

I hate hindsight most of the time. 

The trip to Minnesota was one of the most draining and difficult experiences of my life.  Not only was packing up and moving my life hard, but the journey across Nebraska and South Dakota proved to be almost impossible.  We got a flat that took 3 hours to fix, so we waited in the dirt in 103 degree weather.  I thought Napoleon was going to keel over.  We got sunburns on a road trip.  While waiting for the spare tire, my car's battery died and we had to get a jump start from another stranger.  Then the road to the Badlands was closed - the whole reason for our detoured route, the longer route to Minnesota.  Then we stayed in a hotel due to the delays - the hotel was expensive and awful.  There was only a thin blanket that wasn't warm enough, Napoleon was scratching the carpet so I locked her in the bathroom, where she continued to keep us up all night.  Then in the morning, my credit card calls asking if someone has stolen my card.  S.T.R.E.S.S.F.U.L. 

But being with J was beautiful and wonderful.  He has such a brilliant mind and such a sensitive heart.  We listened to Radiolab and cried at the power of memory and the heart's innate ability to remember when the brain has lost its memory functionality.  We laughed at ourselves and at the ridiculousness of every obstacle.  We ate at Burger King because I never had before.  We took turns driving, J taking the most turns because it was how he could gain some control over losing me and yet still wanting to take care of me.  We cried over the fear we had that I was actually leaving, yes, this was real.  Every state line we passed verified that horrible reality.  

The arrival in Minneapolis was bittersweet.  I was so excited to see my sister and be able to spend everyday with her, living life together after 9 years of separation.  But that last weekend with J was filled with strife.  He was stressed and anxious.  I was still naive enough to think we would be fine, that I wasn't breaking our hearts, that I wasn't wrenching us apart.  We spent time with Danica's friends, we went to a zombie bar and a tiki lounge.  J talked with everyone he met to figure out how life was lived in the North - could he do it? Could he find a job and sustain a life with me?  Could he come back and join me?

We realized this hard decision should have been made months ago.  We were drastically late on talking about it, on figuring out the details, on realizing how much we meant to the other, how much they meant to us.

How could we have been so blind, so oblivious to our love?

Regardless - now many months later, J and I are separated.  My returning to Denver did not in fact heal or bridge the crevasse that had begun cracking in August, with the preparation for my move.  And regardless of how much I have tried to make amends, to fix the wounds I have created, to assist J with the difficulties of his life - sometimes we have to fight our battles alone.

So now, the paradox.  I love someone more than I have ever loved before.  He opened the best part of me and allowed me the pleasure of being loved in return. But it isn't working.  We are not helping each other these days.  We both get lost when we try to journey together.  I stumble down the dark path he is walking when he needs me to pull him up to the path I am on.  I am the light in his life and since returning I have only tried dimming my flame so that it wouldn't blind him.  Then both of us have found ourselves in the dark.

Paradox: When do I give up and let him go? or.  How long do I follow my heart and keep fighting for what I love?

For now I am waiting - a self-established purgatory.

I trust that I will know when to sever. I do not believe that is now.

Everything will be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, then it's not the end.

17 April 2013

...Cold and Planetary.

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God,
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility.
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky——
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection.
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness——
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars.
Inside the church, the saints will be all blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness—blackness and silence.
S. Plath
Back in the early days of psychology, before psychology was a word or a science, shamans and healers would drill holes into the skulls of maniacal people in an effort to release the demons trapped inside the mind.  Some days I wish someone would drill a hole in my head and let all the frenzied thoughts I carry around go free.  
I have had an upheaval.  I took my life by the reins and then directly threw myself off my horse.  I am in recovery.  I do not understand my injuries, nor can I comprehend the injuries my actions have had on others.  But from where I stand it seems like everyone is hurting.  
2012 was the year of the Dragon - here are some attributes of last year that coincide with Chinese astrology and my personal experience:
 - Enthusiastic to a fault
 - Pride before acceptance of help
 - Generous yet solitary
 - Self-sufficient
 - Take thrilling but irresponsible risks
 - Suffer from emotional outbursts
 - Have a true and sincere love that comes from the depths of their hearts
 - Imaginative, see new paths, take radical approaches 
 - They have true and sincere love, which comes from the depths of their hearts.
 - Innate explorative spirit and  try to succeed at one stroke.  
2013 is the year of the Snake - Snake characteristics are: 
 - Attractive but cunning
 - Charming and passionate but mysterious and dark
 - Plotting and strategic
 - Overly suspicious
 - Poor communicators
 - Possessive
This year has humbled and frightened me.  I am taking caution with every step now.  I need to mourn.  I need to heal.  I need to rediscover love, for myself, for others.  I need to write. And read. And rest. I need more sunshine.
I look forward every day to 2 tangible things:  Greece and gardening.  
This will be the year of birth and rebirth.  The birth of my nephew (in June)!!!  And the rebirth of myself, the prodigal daughter, home and yet still out of place.