Archives for the month of: April, 2013
A mossy wall; a tiny world all it's own.

A mossy wall; a tiny world all its own.

Here it is, already Tuesday. I feel vaguely annoyed with myself that life got my attention with such a firm grip that I simply haven’t taken time to write about it, too busy living it.  I’ve been immersed in experiences of a variety of sorts, some definitely share-worthy, some definitely too personal to make that attempt.  So…pictures and words, and a handful of observations…some without the context that would render them fully meaningful, but perhaps the words themselves have value.

I rode on the train with a young woman on Friday. She was headed somewhere unfamiliar and asked about the stop.  She was strikingly beautiful – always difficult for a woman her age (not older than 14).  Unexpectedly, she complimented my eyes, although rather shyly.  I stayed open to the possibility of connecting with this interesting young stranger, and we conversed as we traveled.  She shared her challenges with ‘the mean girls’, from whom she had heard how ugly she is.  I assured her that my experience was that ‘the mean girls’ are no more secure in themselves that she herself feels, and that the greater likelihood for many of them is that they will blossom at a young age, treat themselves poorly, settle for less than their dreams out of fear and insecurity, and slowly fade away into mediocrity. lol. She seemed reassured that she wasn’t alone, rather than pleased that any ill might befall even these who treat her so ill.  A very pleasant young woman, and I’m glad I met her. I hope she does well in life.

I ‘had a moment’ the other day, and really needed to connect with some very special women in my life. I took time to email them, reaching out as though we could just sit down for coffee – I miss that closeness with old friends; so many are so far away.  The first email I got back was rich and warm and long… and felt like we were ‘just hanging out’ talking. Wow. How is it that a few words between friends can have that power? I have so much to learn. I have hurt so many people who are dear to me.  50 seems a good age to be a better person than I have been.

A favorite rose is already blooming…still? Have I already shared?  I have, I see. Not that I think there is a real limit on the number of times a rose is lovely. 🙂

'Baby Love' in bloom

‘Baby Love’ in bloom

The sunny days in the garden over the weekend didn’t do enough to distract me from things on my mind.  I’m having a hard time ‘finding my way’ on a couple of things very dear to me…and one of them will require skillful confrontation to address, resolve, improve, or act on… so… rather than that big big bummer to deal with, I took lovely pictures of the sunny garden.

Even in real life, some flowers are 'magenta'.

Even in real life, some flowers are ‘magenta’.

Some of the pictures are quite mundane – I’m an artist, but I don’t consider myself so with a camera. lol

Some blue flowers.

Some blue flowers.

…it isn’t as if there’s some huge crisis happening around me (aside from the usual this-n-that we all struggle with)…still…lovely flowers, sunny days, wholesome young women, friendly strangers…any distraction is enough some days.

More purple than blue, still flowers.

More purple than blue, still flowers.

I have things on my mind that are important to me.  Hard to communicate the urgency or magnitude sometimes…at least to people who ‘matter’ to me.  Why is that?  I so want the easiest communication to be with those I love, those who are significant, those who ‘have a place’ in my life…it so isn’t.  I meditate…and sometimes find myself holding my breath, struggling to ‘figure it out’ instead of just taking a moment to be.  I’m already learning – and it seems solid and true like the surface of a rock or a table or the embrace of a trusted friend – it is being that makes the difference for me.  I can think anything.  When I take time to still my mind, breathe, just ‘take it all in’ and ‘let it all go’ – I find myself.

Future blueberries...very promising.

Future blueberries…very promising.


The first rose of spring has opened in my garden. It is just 48 days until my 50th birthday, and for some unclear reason 50 feels rather like ‘the middle of life’ – although I am hopeful about living well past the century mark. A beginning, a middle…and an end; I am wearing a long-favored, old black sweater, and I am considering today to be it’s ‘last day’…

'Baby Love' is the first rose to bloom in my garden this spring.

‘Baby Love’ is the first rose to bloom in my garden this spring.

My old black sweater is an ordinary enough black sweater, of mixed synthetic fibers, soft and worn and comfy, with rather mundane cable stitch down the front, and quite large.  I bought it some 15 years ago, during a career change, and a point in my life when I was heavier than I am now. A lot heavier. This is a size ‘3X’ sweater.  It’s huge on me now, mostly pretty shapeless, and not particularly flattering. I’ve never cared about that – it has also been reliably comfortable, effortless to care for, and predictably rather invisible, in the sense that wearing it allowed me to fade into the background at a point in my life where anxiety and unpredictable temperament so ruled my experience that I appreciated having a way to hide from the world in plain sight.  Now, though, life feels very different and I am less inclined to hide. I also feel…healthy, beautiful, and alive – and I’m ready to say good-bye to being so wounded and afraid of the world that only being wrapped in a comfy old black sweater feels safe and warm.  Hugs are better. lol.

A sweater is only a sweater, after all… it isn’t a time capsule of memories and events associated with the wearing of the sweater, it isn’t the embodiment of who I am, or who I was, and it isn’t a cherished object of sentimental value clasped relentlessly by possessive withered hands frightened to let go for fear of losing beloved memories to the passage of time. (I may have once thought it was…)  It’s just a sweater: too old, too worn, too big.  It doesn’t fit me anymore.

I still like sweaters. I still like black sweaters. I even still like this sweater… but it is time to move on. Time to let go of some things that are not helpful to hang on to. Time to let go of things that get in the way of better things.  Time to accept and encourage and nurture change.  It is time for a new black sweater; sexy, fun, soft…and perhaps in a ‘slightly darker black’?

…Or perhaps not black at all.  In 48 days I shall be 50, and I’m clearly not a little girl, anymore. Some of it has been rough, but I think it will be fine if I stop wearing black…beginnings, middles, ends…this is what 50 looks like through my eyes, reflected in my mirror, considered in the context of my experience.

...on the other hand... approaching 50: my right hand, my right mind.

…on the other hand… approaching 50: my right hand, my right mind.


...some metaphor about time...

…some metaphor about time…

There’s no time to waste…and no time like the present… It is, perhaps, time to consider the consequences of my actions, my choices, my words…because time marches on. Time weighs on my heart, sometimes, and at other moments time flies. Time is ‘flowing like a river’ and entirely arbitrary. Time passes, as do we all, as does ‘this too’…but when shall it pass? Do we have time to wait and see? Killing time sounds much worse than it often proves to be, once considered ‘in the fullness of time’…

I’m taking some time to have a bit of fun with you, at the expense of time itself…I don’t think any feelings will be hurt. 🙂

Speaking of hurt feelings…I think I’ll make some observations about hearts and emotions and love and… mean people.  If I could, I’d be tempted to take time out of my life to tell each person I could ‘don’t be mean’.  It’s something I wish were ‘obvious’ in some meaningful way;  I’m stunned by the number of people in the world that take refuge from their fears and insecurities, and who defend themselves from real or imagined personal attacks by being mean, by being derisive, or by using mockery or name calling.  It’s bad enough when it is an ‘us versus them’ scenario among relative strangers who feel entitled to make assumptions about one another…but I see it between people who ostensibly care for one another, even between friends, lovers, and family members.  It’s ugly. It’s hurtful. It’s quite extraordinarily poor communication being both underhanded, and passive-aggressive.  It ensures that the person making the attack will not be truly ‘heard’ – because whoever they are attacking is likely to be put on the defensive rather than being free to listen compassionately to something that matters.  It ensures the person being attacked, over time and without regard to how close or deep the relationship is at the start, will develop resentment and hostility toward the person making the attack – because people who find mockery, derision, name calling, and ‘general meanness’ acceptable once, are often prone to using it regularly.  It sucks, too. Mean is ugly. lol  The hottest, sexiest, funniest, most interesting, and sexually skilled, man or woman out there and as soon as I see or hear mean coming through, I lose interest in having anything more to do with them.  Mean always seems like a cheap shot to me – the tool of weakness and fear.  Maybe that’s just me? I don’t like mean, and I’m working on simply not doing it, at all.   I just don’t have time. 😀

To be clear… I think something like mockery, or derision, have a place in humor – in comedy – but I also think it is a ‘weapon best left in the hands of experts’, because mean is ugly.  It is the worst of who we are as people being given voice.   I’m not sure I was always in this place as a person… but I worked on giving up most sarcasm a while ago.  It is also an extension of mean, and certainly – it isn’t clear, frank communication.  I like genuine. Direct. Honest. OPEN. I like real. I like the woman I am, and I prefer to know the people I love in a real way.  Mean doesn’t feel good, and avoiding it seems like a nice idea.

It’s a Wednesday, a lovely one. It’s time to change.


Morning in the garden.

Morning in the garden.

I enjoy love songs. That wasn’t always true. There was a time – and it amounts to most of my adult life – when I thought love songs were at best saccharine nonsense, and at worst outright lies.  I dismissed them with cynical derision, frankly, often, and out loud.  I couldn’t connect with love songs – what did I know of love?  I really figured sex, and a basic mostly supportive sort of affection, were all that went into the matter of love, and all that one could get out of it.  I wasn’t lonely much, and because I enjoy solitude and can easily entertain myself for hours and days with the content of my own mind, I barely noticed how difficult it was to really ‘connect’.  I couldn’t feel the lack of what I didn’t know.

Lovers came and went (lol) and life did what life does. Time passed. I aged. I experienced events. I met people. I had relationships.  Eventually, long past the time I had given up on any notion of love as a profound connected emotional experience, I fell in love. I fell hard. I fell fast.  Initially, I struggled to understand – or even accept – my experience.  I treated it as lust – I was comfortable with that emotion.  At some point I began to understand it was truly new, and slowly let myself feel the raw power of it, to be open to it – all the way, heart and mind and soul.  ‘Powerful’ doesn’t describe it, really, and I have not yet experienced anything else quite like it.  I changed my lifestyle because love is too powerful to dismiss as a catalyst for change.  Again and again, I have revisited who I am; questions of values, of taste, of experience, of will, of intent became not only important, but seemingly truly urgent for the first time since I was a teenager… love is amazing stuff.   More than once since I fell into the warm embrace of love, I’ve found myself sitting with my lover and listening to love songs…laughing, crying, singing along, hearing precious heartfelt words being sung to me, souls connected.  It is simply the most precious and amazing feeling in all my experience… there really aren’t words to describe it, and no winning argument to convince someone who hasn’t experienced love that it is real.  In that regard, it is rather like mindfulness… and I’m finding that mindful love goes even beyond what I’ve already experienced, although I am so new to practicing mindfulness, I expect life will continue to unfold in amazing ways on a lot of levels. 🙂

Yeah…I’ve learned to appreciate love songs.

…But…love isn’t the every day experience in our lives, is it? Maybe for a rare or fortunate few, but for ‘everyone’? It doesn’t seem likely, although it does seem possible.  There’s just this one thing, though…what’s up with people treating each other so badly? Is it really necessary to bring emotional weaponry to every conversation, every moment of conflict resolution? Is the default assumption for most people that even their lovers, their families, their best friends are actually just waiting for an opportunity to fuck them over or hurt them? No? Then why do so many people behave as if that is their experience? What’s up with the defensiveness? What’s up with being mean to each other? What’s up with not taking a moment to hear that someone we love is hurting, and accepting that it is their experience, and offering our regret in a sincere way first, before leaping to our own defense to explain, deny, mitigate, deflect, or actually counter attack?  Seriously? How can any human being justify treating their loves less well than they treat the world?

We’ve all got baggage. Everyone has their turn hurting. Sooner or later even people we love may cause us pain or stress.  Does that mean we stop loving?  I don’t at all understand the lack of consideration and every day decency I see all around me.  What the hell, people? Is it that hard to treat one another truly well? Why do we lash out at the ones we love? I don’t have answers.  I am a simple student of life and love, and there is so much I do not know, or understand.

I’m very fortunate – I easily could have been someone who would never know love. I didn’t exactly make it easy for love to reach me through my walls, or find me midst my mountain of baggage.  I love, though, I love fiercely, and I love with my whole heart…and I want to master treating my loves well.  Turns out I will have to start with treating myself well, and as a result of that effort I am experiencing a love affair with a most amazing being with whom I have long been acquainted…myself.  I admit – that’s a love I never knew would also be profound.



Dawn came too early, and with it came the grosser side of womanhood, complete with spot cleaning floor, carpet, and mattress, and a shower before I really even had my eyes open yet.  Is that too gross for Sunday morning? I admit I lack sympathy…I had to deal with more than some words, and I am tired of the grosser moments of female experience being treated as unmentionable. lol. So, I mentioned it. 🙂

Coffee, meditation, some napping on the couch…later I will run the linens through the wash on the stain cycle; I feel a moment of appreciation for technological advances that result in me having a good washing machine with a stain cycle.  I find myself wondering idly how forensic scientists tell the difference between menstrual blood and ‘the regular sort’… And then wonder if sooner or later every woman wakes up unexpectedly covered in blood? My mind wanders as I doze on the couch, wishing I were in bed, asleep, and wishing being female were somehow less wrapped up in pain and blood. I bet by now someone, somewhere, is wishing I would stop talking about it. lol

I laugh grimly, silently, to myself and think ” this too shall pass”, but I don’t know why I feel so bitter, or angry, or amused.