Monday, April 17, 2006

Point of origin

Kernels of tension and uneasiness sputter uncomfortably in the pit of my stomach. Shifting and frothing, they explode into a popcorn of anxiety. Despite an overriding sense of calm and knowing, a mental battle ensues until they grab hold, burning into my tender peace.

If I close my eyes against these feelings, a deep breath is drawn and once again I know. Knowing without knowing. Interesting. The temptation to sit back and relax is overwhelming, but entirely against my nature. I'd much rather hold a stamped ticket firmly in hand.

Turning blind corners isn't as exciting as some might think.

Friday, April 14, 2006



Sun filters down onto bare feet over pale pink toes not yet chipped.
Concrete infinity. As much as anything changes it remains the same.
Uncertain steps follow a hand rail of faith towards a subtle shift over time.
Profoundly simple. Decidedly difficult.
There are few answers to questions that cease to matter.
I am compelled.



Motioned towards

Knowing and recognition collide and peace takes up residence.

I am



A breeze was pushing the hair back from my face. I squinted against the sun, but didn't have the luxury of feeling warm because of the damn wind. There hadn't been snow on the ground for some time now, but I started to shiver as I looked down at my pale feet. I hoped the sun would color them even slightly, but they looked as white as ever. At least the pale pink nail polish hadn't yet chipped.

I was sitting on the steps of my brother's house down near the curb, and could hear the sounds of the party going on inside. It was our Easter celebration. Emma's voice carried out to me, "Where's Aunty Lou?" I smiled, but was reluctant to draw attention to myself, not yet ready to give up my moment of peace.

There are many moments like this. I feel strangely at peace and quietly unsettled simultaneously. Like many, I'm sure on some level I think I'm an incredibly complex person as a result, but the truth is my life is much more luxurious than I give credit for, and I probably need to just get a few more passionate hobbies. I believe the problem is I'm looking for something external to fill the void, but that simply doesn't work, and if I'm to draw on some sort of inner inspiration or peace, where the hell do I get that from?

Where the hell indeed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What what what...

I want to write something incredibly profound. Yet, here I am with nothing to say. The words sit in my mind floating on little clouds waiting to fall like rain, but nothing comes. This draught has gone on long enough.

Writers block. I've been told the only way to get through it is to write. Is that a joke? Well, here goes.

"Breaking free from the past" was listed in bold on the agenda for that morning. It should have been my clue as to what would follow, but I just thought, I could stand to break free from the past--I hope it's that simple. Tiny sheets of paper were already on our tables and we were told to write down something we'd like to let go of today. Anything at all. Were we mad at God? Did we blame God for anything in our past? Whatever we'd like.

I looked down at my blank piece of paper and toyed with my orange pen as I thought of my past. Did I blame God for my childhood? I thought about that carefully. No, I really didn't. Was I angry over my divorce? Not at the moment, and I'd already processed that to death. There was nothing left to do regarding my marriage except let it die, and the divorce was almost final.

Everyone around me was frantically writing. Some were already crying, but I felt calm. Did I even need to do this? I didn't want the pressure of participating to back me into a cheesy psycho babble exercise, but if I truly had anything left to let go of, now was yet another time to try.

Everyone was instructed to crumple their papers into a ball and squeeze them tightly. "You see," said the Pastor, his fist in the air, "when you're holding onto something like this, you obviously can't pick anything else up and you're not open to receive." Good point. People around me already had their clenched fists in the air. Many of the faces were red and tear streaked as they looked at the pastor intently, waiting for his next instruction.

My paper was still blank. I knew the exercise would be over quickly. Was there anything I was refusing to let go of? It's always my childhood, I thought. My face got warm and my vision began to blur. Everything always came back to my childhood. A few tears slipped out, but I didn't have time to wipe them away as I quickly wrote. The sound of me balling up my paper felt loud, but I had little time to waste.

"Whenever you're ready, let the paper go."

Once woman said quietly, "it's not going to work."

The pastor looked over to her and said, "This doesn't have to be a big transformative moment, but it can be the start of letting it go over time."

I held my fist tight until small shoots of pain started pulsing along my forearm. If I was going to do this, it had to be as symbolic as possible. I felt nothing when I finally let the paper drop to the table, but the tears kept coming. I'd dealt with this so many times, I was surprised with my reaction, but I couldn't seem to stop the tears.

The facilitator's hand was comforting on my shoulder, but I felt ashamed of my open display of emotion. The idea of me drawing this kind of attention to myself made me shift uncomfortably in my chair. Where was this shit coming from? How many times did I need to process this?

I finally had to excuse myself from the room and the women from my group followed me outside into the fresh air. Still the tears would not stop. Two of them had their hands on my shoulders and Rianne asked, "What is upsetting you the most?" I shook my head, willing the tears away to no avail. I exhaled deeply and tried to still my emotions. My voice was raw and broken when I finally spoke. "Children should never be hurt." I could barely continue on. "When I think of my niece Emma...there's nothing I can do to protect her. How can anyone have children when they can't protect them?"

"Are the tears not for yourself then?" Rianne asked softly.

"Well, they must be." I answered, "When you're hurt as a alters everything. I was ripped off of so many things..." I closed my eyes tightly against the brightness of the snow around me, and breathed in and out deeply--desperately trying to calm myself down. None of this was new and my reaction was frustrating. I also felt guilty, as though I was stealing time and healing away from someone else.

"Do you see that snow melting there?" Rianne asked, pointing to a tiny patch of water dripping onto the concrete sidewalk. "It's melting, slowly, but over time the new growth will appear from underneath."

"Yes," I almost shrieked, "but do you see all the friggin snow everywhere else?"

Rianne sighed and smiled at me, always patient. "All that growth underneath is raw and tender. If you were to come along with a blow torch and melt all the snow away at once, you'd torch the growth underneath."

I guess. But as I looked more closely, I could see tiny green sprigs of grass here and there, contrasting brightly against the mud and backdrop of the snow.

It had already begun.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

On a day like today

Okay, so today's a good dating day. Talk to me on the days when some dumbass guy has stood me up, or been a jackass, and of course I'm jaded and want to tell them all to go to hell, but men are good.

It began with a simple smile. When I saw his picture, I felt something immediately. I couldn't say what for sure, but there was something different right from the start. Of course, you're not supposed to read into anything this early on, but there is something to be said for instinct.

After I smiled back at him, he sent me an email. He was articulate as hell, which is extremely sexy to me, being a writer and all. When we talked on the phone for the first time, I was attracted to his voice and how he expressed himself, and the night we met, afterwards in my car I felt a little odd. I didn't go into my house right away, but let the music play on while I stared out the car window.

When you look back on things, it's easy to see how each moment adds up, but as these moments actually occur I wonder--"is this significant, or simply random?"

Where is the off switch on my thinking anyway?