Friday, July 30, 2010


"How did you get like this," she asked me.
As if I followed a faulty map or a poorly written recipe
But I paused before answering
How *did* I get to be this person, this me?
Blame Alice Paul
And Sesame Street
L.M. Montgomery
And my grandma

Genetics for the sense I have to disregard dogma

Jane Eyre for voicing thoughts I hadn't the words to speak

Life for the scars
the strength to refuse to repeat history

Point the finger at Shakespeare's Portia, Celie, Elizabeth Bennet and
My fifth grade teacher

Or my rebellious discovery of Sylvia Plath

Maybe it was knitting

Or the first woman I realized I 'loved' loved

Or the position of the moon at the hour I was born.

Day 214

I was all set to write about the new plan I've got so that I can get out of this job and actually do something I like. (Most likely adjuncting at a community college around here but teaching in some capacity) I have a fairly reasonable plan for that, paying off a student loan in the process. But, I made a couple calls today about that and got some information that may completely change what I have to do to make those things happen. I will know more after the weekend, hopefully, and will have something good to share then. In the meantime, I'll try not to blubber from potential relief and get my hopes too high.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 213

Okay, so, I actually got some sleep last night, sort of breaking that streak that was developing. And, yesterday's counseling session went really well. Feeling *much* better about the progress I've made when I sit down and weigh everything out. Brief meltdowns of late aside, that is. The fact that they were extremely brief, though, is something I'm awarding myself kudos for. Also had another enjoyable evening walking and hanging out with Ella. The laughs and puns and double entendres continue on Facebook from those evenings. We do need to find a park with more swings so we can invite some others to join us, though.

Despite all that, I'm not cherishing this neck pain and sinus headache and, as a result am being crabby with those who wander in my office and dole out dumbassery.

Still thinking about getting some folks together for dinner and possibly a movie Saturday or some other equally fun activity. Could be just what the weekend needs.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 212

Stress dreams, I haz them...

Despite telling myself before bed last night that I was going to only have nice, peaceful dreams, I had one hell of nightmare. And, I say this with the preface that I'm really *not* a violent person. But, somehow, in this dream, I accidentally killed my mom and then had to figure out what to do with the body. While I panicked over that, she came back to life and wouldn't shut up. So, I then had to find someone to help me keep her quiet about what I'd done. Not sure how I had resolved that question, thankfully, because that's when I woke up. Thankfully, Ella was awake to talk about the dream a bit and get me to laugh it off.

We've been talking a lot lately and it's been a really good feeling to see that I'm not the only one out there questioning some of the same things that nag at me.

Worried about what's going on with another friend. There's been a lot of (understandable) silence from him, and I can't imagine how much pain he's in at the moment. It's so hard to sit back and feel unable to even offer comfort to someone I care about.

#1 of my last three counseling sessions is tonight. Not sure how I feel about that. Rachel gave me a lot to work on over the last two weeks and I've spent a lot of time thinking about behavior patterns and how to break out of these 'lifetraps' that hold me back. *sighs* I just feel like this is both good and bad. I've felt better since I've been looking at the ways I've already worked through some of these things and have an awareness of what trips me up. I'm still just plain not looking at how this could go badly for me. Maybe that will keep it from happening? Who knows...

More later, I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 211

Two things happened over the last weekend that have left me feeling much lighter than usual or, at least than I have been recently. One of them, being honest with someone about my feelings toward them was very difficult for me. I just worried right up until the moment I made myself start talking about what the response would be, whether I'd just be laughed at or ridiculed or worse. Okay, I worried about it up until the conversation was just about over. Clearly, I survived and, it was the right thing to do. I have always struggled with and feared rejection and I know that some of my current relationships bear the tension of that since it's kept me from being completely honest with people. It occurred to me, afterward, whether my fear had contributed to the demise of other relationships in the past. I suppose that's not something I need spend much energy on but, it's sort of there, still. But, having been able to step past that fear and open myself up this way-that's got to make being honest in future somewhat easier. After all, none of the truly terrifying things I thought might happen did...

Second thing, much more fun than the first and just as positive in its own way, was going to hang out with Ella Berg and play on the swings. Aside from the fact that we both got lots of fun double entendre stati on FB out of it, we had a really good conversation and it definitely brought that little kid part of me to the surface. She so rarely gets to go play. I know I've spent a lot of time shutting that part of me away out of yet other fears but, just recently, I've been catching more opportunities to let her run around and I think it's probably one of the better things I'm working on lately. It was good. Hopefully, I can find time to do that again soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 210

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with the Munchkins, Angie, Amy, the BIL's and, of course, my parents. Pretty good afternoon, played dress up with Emma and crawled around in the airducts with Alex, held Parker and rocked him to sleep and got what I think will be some good pictures. Unfortunately, I'm broke until payday so I had to use some black and white film again and can't get the pics developed until Friday. Also, and this really aggravated the hell out of me, my mother has decided that the way to deal with our 'disagreement' is to be in my face and be uber-artificially cheery with me. She kept patting me and asking me how I was until I finally snapped at her after about the fourth time she repeated this little performance. I was proud that I didn't lose it earlier, when she (after inserting herself in almost every picture I took) actually stuck her face right in front of the camera lens while I was trying to get a picture of Bobby holding Parker. *grumbles frustratedly* What is so difficult for her about the concept of owing me an apology and treating me like an adult escapes me but, this saccharine act for the benefit of extended family and in public just pisses me off more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 209

It's a random list o' thoughts kind of day.

1) Great party at Janessa's house last night. Got to see some people that don't usually make it to my potlucks. Hope they can make others in future.

2) Tired of this fucking heat lately. Can't we have just one day with below 95 degree temps?

3) I'm all for people using the word 'fuck' more. It's an underused adjective. Throw it into random fucking sentences, I say!

4) So not happy with the poems I've been able to come up with lately. The one from Friday's blog is disappointing and it's the best I've gotten together.

5) Someone should invent a cat hair resistant fabric.

6) It is disturbing how much I love jeerleading and the accompanying practices.

7)I love this. I may have to think of a present for Jimmy for sharing it.

8) I want cookies without having to turn on the oven. Correction: Homemade cookies. Screw storebought ones.

9) I realized that I gotta quit bitching about work on facebook so much but the fact that work is akin to HELL makes that tough. On the list of things I want, that's #1.

10) That makes me think of a better list. I want: a pizza and board game and movie night with friends (nothing fancy, no cooking, just Papa John's and hanging out and watching something), to get something published, more time with the munchkins (way more than an afternoon), more furniture that is actually mine, a few *good* dates (although good sex would be a very very close second), inspiration, guitar lessons, book recommendations, a massage, somewhere to garden AND either an Xbox or a Nintendo Wii (not *one* word about that one.)

11) My dreams have been disconcertingly vivid lately. I blame BP.

That's all at the moment. Oh, except that I'd like to go see Inception and The Kids are Alright when I get paid. Anyone interested?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 207


Today I set out to make myself do things I've never done.
The resultant fear pooled nicely in my stomach
while my palms beaded over with sweat. I still sat down
and opened my mouth and let fly with the truth.
The nicely awkward pauses just hung there
until I filled them and kept forcing out the words
I needed someone to hear...even if they just fell to the floor and sat there, ungathered up and waited
for the cats to mistake them for catnip toys.
All the while I contemplated just how fucking wrong
saying these words,
discarding the comfortable mask,
asking for what I want,
could actually go.
While debate over the risk/benefit continued, I wondered whether
I could just run from the outcome
as the familiar voice of fear chanted, 'Don't' again and again.

Today, just when I thought I couldn't,
just to see what would happen,
I went ahead and jumped.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 203

In which I drift back again to Camp Zoe and Pagan Spirit Gathering.

In thinking about PSG, moments from that week come back to me in small flashes at times. To start with, the drive down was punctuated with questions. I had never camped for such an extended period of time and had doubts about my own ability to handle the weather, keep myself fed and other physical concerns of that sort. I also wasn't sure what to expect from the people attending, the rituals, the workshops, etc. My biggest concern, that my tendency toward introversion at times would keep me from truly connecting with the other people attending, was looming larger as I got closer to the campground. Making that turn into Camp Zoe, inching along behind other cars from all over the country, I turned off my radio and just listened to the sounds of the forest, hearing the murmur of voices and an occasional bell in the distance as I drove up the steep hill into camp. As I wound around into viewing distance of the gate, a few people's voices stood out. "Welcome home," they called as they waved people through. I'd been following the PSG list on Yahoo and knew this was their greeting but I hadn't thought about how it'd feel to be the recipient of it. When my turn came, after having presented my paperwork and gotten my map and asked a couple questions, I kind of basked in it. I liked the idea that this community wanted most to start the people joining it with a gift, with the feeling that they'd arrived somewhere that contained all the comfort and acceptance that one's true home should have. I felt a huge bundle of my concerns shift away as I slowly drove further into the camp, accepting at least the potential for true connection with this part of the Pagan community being proffered so freely.

That feeling sort of ebbed and flowed over the next few days. The diversity presented in PSG was almost overwhelming at times. I had people camped near me that went beyond me in terms of their seriousness and introversion while others camped near the main path and offered food to all who walked by at times. One of my neighbors, displaying great restraint, witnessed me fall out of my tent the first morning we all woke up at Camp Zoe and managed not to mock me. Another had a nice kitchen set up at her campsite that she was kind enough to share with us all. We made a nice little community and, when Jimmy's daughter (they camped a short distance away) stepped on a bee on her way to my tent one afternoon and was panicking from the pain, people came running from all directions to help us out, bearing ice and helping hands to get her to the med tent (one of many, many visits there for me).

That first day, putting up my tent, cutting open my foot in the process (visit number one to the med tent), I discovered really quickly just how unnecessary half the clothing I brought was. The heat was breathtaking and I ended up giving up a lot of my usual ideas about what to wear and not wear. I still went barefoot for most of the week, especially after my flip flops wore identical cuts in both my heels (multiple visits to the med tent for those). I also noticed early on that time just seemed to run at a different pace at PSG. Time seemed to just flow, sometimes speeding up, sometimes allowing me to savor the moments that I knew I'd want to remember forever. I've never been someone who tries to do everything and I've never managed to fully defeat my tendency to need to turn in early. There were nights, however, I pushed past that to attend drum circle and dance into the night (although that was mostly later in the week as I felt more comfortable).

Being a morning person, though, had the benefit of connecting me with people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. A festival of around 900 people means that you'll almost continually see people for the first time. The people that I met on more than one occasion were people that, as the universe would have it, I really felt connected to. But, I digress. One morning, a notably quiet one, I ventured down to the creek to sit on the bank and just be. After about ten minutes there, I was joined by Sarah, who had come to that spot to capture on film some of the beauty the creek offered. Immediately, I was struck by just how beautiful she was, typifying an ethereal, Piscean artist in many ways. As she snapped some photographs, we introduced ourselves and talked about our common interests (photography, animals, nature, our experiences of PSG) and found that we had similar outlooks on several topics. For a while, it was just quiet and we were just watching the still-misty water flowing around the bluffs and rocks. That creek was such a welcome respite over the week, not just for the relief from the heat it offered but for the peace I always feel around water. That, among other things, seemed something I shared with this new friend.

After we both realized that morning meeting was getting close to starting, we walked up there, continuing our conversation on the way, comparing impressions of the campsite and spots we'd found to swim and escape the heat. I found myself, as we kept talking, discussing books and music that we loved and sharing recommendations, lamenting a bit that she was straight but being glad as always at making a new friend. During morning meeting, they came around with some necklaces to gift everyone with. Choosing colors that spoke to each of us, mine purple, hers blue to remind her of the water, we discussed meeting up later to visit other spots in the winding creek and cool off. We met up a couple more times as the week went on, swimming and talking and exchanging contact information and agreeing that next year would find us both back at Camp Zoe.

Other days, other events: I participated in the most meaningful ritual I've had the chance to be involved with. I got clear, straightforward insights into the direction I need to take in my life as we walked a midnight, candlelit labyrinth under the full moon and I felt so strongly the connection to the earth we're blessed with. I laughed, I sang, I danced, I played, I thought and wrote and grew immensely.

It was that kind of week, all in all. Peppered with moments that stand out and stretches of time with which to contemplate and consider all that noise the outside world brings to 'real life.' One of the reasons it took so long for me to write about this is that the experience touched me on so many different levels. I had plenty of the kind of fun people normally associate with vacation and, yes, it was hot and, yes, I got time to relax. But it was so much more than that at the same time. The people I met there, the feeling of connecting and re-connecting with the deepest parts of myself-those are the memories I continue to carry with me and return to as I keep in mind the idea that the next 11 months represent preparation time to return home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 192

Back to thoughts of honesty and how much to share again. I like honesty-almost as much as I like knowing that I haven't shared too much.

Wednesday, as I wrote last, I was contemplating the potential in moving beyond the counseling I have relied on for the past few years. The idea of stepping out into the sun without feeling the need to turn to someone for the kind of support and encouragement (not to mention the ability to see things far more clearly than I can some days coupled with skill and knowledge that a professional has) has its positive aspects. I've been focusing on those. And, I still see all of that as true. In the light of day, I *know* that I'm going to be fine.

Yet, as I sat down and we began to work on wrapping things up and Rachel pressed me to discuss my feelings about this abrupt change, I just found myself weeping. Not sobbing or attempting to reason away the transition, just quietly weeping over this loss. Because, that's the only way I can describe it-it's a subtraction from my life, a loss of someone that has figured importantly in my support system. Even now, I find myself tearing up slightly over these thoughts. And, those who know me well know that tears are rare for me. Simply put, this is difficult. I've dealt with greater losses (if we're assigning a valuation to the place someone holds in one's life, I guess) with the same strength I'll be bringing to this and, to risk redundancy, I truly will be fine. But, to be wholly honest, I'm sad over this and am aware of the hole this will leave in my life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 190

Okay, I think I've made this decision. I'm troubled by it but I think it's the only way to go. I suppose I can be more specific, lol, now that I've made up my mind. I've been seeing my counselor, Rachel, for more than two years now. That'll be moving to the past category within the next few weeks. It's not a decision I made all on my own nor do I feel completely comfortable with the idea but, well, there are lots of factors in the decision. It is what it is, as some would say. I'm choosing to view this as an opportunity to move forward and, hopefully, I can make it become that.

Life has improved enormously over the last few years. I struggle often and, yes, if you're someone I'm close to, you've undoubtedly heard a great deal of bitching and moaning. View at as a sign that I'm honest with you and trust you, lol. (If that doesn't help, I'll throw some cookies your way) Trying to adjust my expectations and ideas about what life holds for me is an ongoing lesson in patience and strength. Step by step I see myself getting further along the path I can't see all of yet. I take comfort in recognizing that progress.

Last night, I dreamed about planting trees with some people I really adore and, in the process, uncovering small things from the past that made them happy. It was really visceral and I relished the feeling of the cool earth in my hands. Nope, I don't know what it means. It just felt good in some ways. (Other parts and implications of the dream, not so much but, that's another lesson: not getting everything I want.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 189

So, I have to make this decision by tomorrow night and I still don't know what I'm doing. It represents a big change, either way I go and I'm not enjoying the idea. And, yet, somehow, it feels less drama-laden than it did when it was thrown in my lap last week. I'm confused. And, I hate that feeling. I want things to be clearer-cut.

Still processing the shift from PSG and its magick to reality and the mundane. I'd love to be able to craft a synopsis of it, to encapsulate all that it is here for you guys but it's still too big an experience for that. In my usual quiet way, I feel like I absorbed a *lot* from those eight days not to mention picking up some more wonderful friends.

I'm feeling less fearful/anxious/worried since returning, though. (Less doesn't equal without, sadly) I'm looking around for some fun these days and finding bits of it here and there. Going out and getting my first tattoo (quite spontaneously for me) counts in that direction. Trying to find time for a visit to KY and camping again AND going on a derby float trip soon amid all the other stuff I've got going weekends is a challenging bit of that 'fun' thing, too. Stina: I swear I'm visiting soon so get the spare bedroom ready. I'm recovering my love for St. Louis but still need my escapes.