Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meeting Dawn

Standing in that moment

between light and dark

between night and morning

that precipice between

yesterday and today…



I stand naked

on the edge of the world

head thrown back

arms flung wide

heart beating and open

waiting for light


And in that moment

feeling yesterday

slip away

I throw myself

on the wings


a new


and I soar

made new again

meeting the sun…



Monday, November 16, 2009

Weary of the dance

I put on my prettiest smile

my very best shoes

my loveliest dress

smooth it down with my hands

and I move








hands in the air

feet off the ground



a pirouette or two

faster and slower

forward and back



flying in circles

only to find

in my very best moment

no one is watching…

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The story of the purple purse…


There is a story behind this purple purse. It’s probably a bit silly and will not make sense to some of you. It does, however, represent another step on the path in my journey.

For years, I have had trouble treating myself to things I like. I only buy practical things for myself that I need. It was (and is) easy for me to buy things on a whim for the people that I love but very difficult for me to do the same for myself. I think it comes from being “last on the list”.

What is “last on the list’? Last on the list means just what it says. Other peoples needs are met first and if there is any left over (which there rarely is), it’s your turn. I am not blaming anyone but myself for this, I willingly put myself there. I enabled and even encouraged other people to put me there too.

When I got divorced about 5 years ago, everyone kept asking me “What do you want?”. I was dumbfounded because I couldn’t answer that question. I truly didn’t know.

I had spent my life wanting what other people wanted me to want. Wanting to make sure my family had what it needed, that my child was healthy and happy and the same for my husband. This women’s libber turned out to be a 1950’s housewife.

Is that a bad thing? No, it wasn’t. But what happened in the process is that I lost myself. I put who I was and what I wanted on the shelf and turned my attention to doing for others. I loved being a wife and mother, it felt like it was what I was born to be. But when the marriage failed, I was left with having to find that shelf where I put myself and my dreams.

I still haven’t found all of me and all of my dreams. I still can’t completely answer that question although I am making progress.

So where does the purple purse come in? I really needed to get myself a new purse. I went to the mall and was looking for a plain, black, nondescript purse, the kind I usually get.

I couldn’t find one. They all had big metal decorations or were made of some weird material. I just couldn’t find the right purse. I spotted this purple one and really liked it. It wasn’t black and it wasn’t practical so I didn’t even pick it up.

I must have spent an hour trying to pick out a good old black purse. I kept walking by the purple one but not seriously considering that I could buy that one.

I finally walked over to it and decided to see if they had that style in black. They didn’t. While I was looking I picked up that purple one and it dawned on me. Why can’t I buy the purple one? Who says it has to be boring and practical. This one had tons of room, had some nice of pockets and was comfortable to wear and it was 40% off. The very best thing about it was it was purple.

Before I could talk myself out of it I marched to the check out counter with my 40% off purple purse, $10 off card in hand. I waited in line, fighting the urge to go put it back. It was my turn and the gal rang up my purchase, took the discount off and put my purchase in a bag.

As I walked out of the store I felt such a sense of freedom stepping out from the back of the line and putting myself in first place. I realized that my life doesn’t have to be filled with practical black purses but can be filled with purple, red or green purses.

When I was first thinking about this, I felt sad that I had spent so much of my life living like this. Then I realized what a gift it was to be able to take that first step towards a better life, a freer life and one filled with purple purses…


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I have been collecting these kinds of inspirational sayings and quotes for a while now and thought I’d put them together to share. These are just a few that moved me today…

“The heart that gives, gathers” ~Marianne Moore

“Burn brightly without burning out.” ~Richard Briggs

“Sometimes in the winds of change, we find our true direction” ~Unknown

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying... I will try again tomorrow.” ~Mary Ann Radmacher

“The best sermons are lived, not preached~ Cowboy Wisdom

“The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try and the fait to believe it's possible.” ~Rich Devos

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault

“To love and to be loved is to see the sun from both sides.” ~ David Viscott

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.” ~Norman Vincent Peale


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silver lining my ass…

When did I become the person that is obligated to find the silver lining in everything? The one who has to always end on a happy note? The one who bolsters others and shows them the positive hidden in the negative? Just when the hell did that happen?

I am always the one to say how grateful I am for things, how everything will be OK and to just keep plugging along because things will turn around soon.  How many times I have I started a sentence with “At least I have…”?


The reality is that sometimes life just sucks. Loneliness and depression win out. There isn’t enough money, energy or time to do the things you need to do let alone what you want to do. Every time a step forward is taken, someone or something shoves you back two until you grow weary of trying and just stand in the same place for awhile.

The ones you love are too far away, too busy or just not available. Family scatters and grows distant as their lives grow and change which I suppose, is how it always is. Growth and change are what life is about…

Being alone is a catch –22. It’s peaceful after a busy and highly populated work week but isolating when you need some support or even just a hug.

Times like this I am tempted to unplug. To turn off the computer, the phone, the lights and just climb into bed and pull up the covers with a box of Kleenex and just let go.

But, I don’t. Why? Because life is basically good. Things aren’t perfect, far from it. Sure, I’m lonely, insecure and wishing someone would walk through the door and hug me and take care of me but that’s only today. Tomorrow might bring something different and I’m too curious not to see what that might be.

I guess I just needed to express this. My mother used to call it stomping my foot. Yeah, I feel like I’m six  years old and screaming “but that’s not fair!”. I guess that is a lesson I’ll never stop learning.

And look! The sun is coming out!


Monday, July 06, 2009

An “a-ha” moment…

I have been under a lot of stress lately what with the possibility of losing my job hanging over my head these last couple of months. This last week the dreaded layoff notice arrived via certified mail and it all hit home. I think that tipped the scales for me.

I hadn’t been able to sleep for at least a week and hadn’t been able to eat in days. By this weekend I was running on fumes. So I was in this state when I treated my very best friend in a terrible manner. I didn’t realize how stressed out and unable to cope I was. I was out of control and didn’t realize it.

I finally collapsed Saturday night and got the first good night’s sleep I'd had in weeks. When I woke up Sunday morning and realized how I’d behaved, I was so embarrassed. I immediately wrote to my friend and apologized. My friend said no apologies were necessary but of course, they were.

That afternoon I realized that I’d stopped doing the things that helped me to relieve stress. I’d be so tired when I’d get home I’d just collapse in front of the computer or the TV and do nothing. I realized l hadn’t picked up my knitting needles in a couple of weeks.

So I got the new yarn I had bought a couple of weeks ago and cast on a hat. It’s just a very simple pattern that requires little thought. Within about 20 minutes I realized that I had started to relax. My body wasn’t so tense anymore and my mind was wandering to pleasant places. I began to notice the feel of my needles in my hands and the way the way the yarn slid through my fingers. I began to relax into the rhythm of the needles as I worked the stitches, knit two, purl two. I found myself breathing more deeply, and enjoying myself. I was finally relaxed. I was actually smiling!

It was then in that moment that I realized how much I needed to do this. How much I needed to take care of myself. I had forgotten how important it is to do something to feed your soul, to replenish that which is leached away from us during everyday living.

So despite things not being settled, I woke up feeling good this morning and found myself smiling easily at people once again. I was able to see the value of what I am doing even if it may end soon. I can still make other people’s lives easier and be encouraging to them even if my own situation is precarious right now. I laughed a lot today and it felt really good.

So the lesson here, the “a-ha” moment is feed your soul. Find something that you can do to refill what the world takes from you. Read, write, play music, garden, walk, play with your dog, kiss your sweetie or knit. What you do isn’t important, it’s just important that you do something. Your world will be a better, easier place and your journey through it will be smoother.

all I need

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where did my girly girl go?

I have come to realize that I have been hiding my “girly” side for most of my life. What do I mean by girly side? Well, my feminine side, the side that likes nail polish, make up, wearing dresses, wearing perfume and loving flowers and stuffed animals.

So what’s the big deal? Why is this not something that comes naturally to me, a female?

I began thinking about it this morning as I was doing my nails, something that I’ve just started to do again. I was thinking, is this really worth all the trouble? It’s just clear nail polish, no one will even notice it. This is a big waste of time.

And I thought, why? Why is this a big waste of time? Why can’t I just do this for fun, because I like it?

From the time I can remember, I had a boy’s name, a boy’s haircut and despite my wearing dresses to school, I was made fun of and called a boy. It became a pattern in my life that I have never known how to break out of.

I was about 8 years old and being raised in the Catholic church, I went through the classes to have my first communion. The final ceremony was a big deal. The girls had to wear these very frilly white dresses, white patent leather shoes and a veil, sort of like a mini bridal outfit. At the end of the ceremony, we were to stand in lines according to gender. I waited with all the other girls for my certificate. They read all the names and mine was not there. They told me I must have been put in the boy’s group and had to go wait in the boy’s line for my certificate. There I was in this fluffy, frilly white dress, my white patent leather Mary-Janes and my veil waiting in the boys line for my certificate.

I was 13. I had just put on my very first make-up and was coming down the stairs when my dad very innocently says “what’s that all over your face, you look like a raccoon”. My dad loves me. He is a loving father that took care of me and has been on my side since the day I was born, and always will be. The reality is that the words we say to our children do matter and can sting.

Thinking about these stories, I realized that was the exact moment that I put away my feminine side.

After that, I stopped wearing dresses, make up and became a tomboy. I went from dresses to Levi’s , and tee-shirts. I began to hide my body which was betraying me by developing too early.

I put away my girly side because I didn’t understand it. It was so much easier to be a tomboy that I embraced it completely. Now, I wasn’t the tree climbing tomboy but just dressed in men’s levis and tee-shirts and overalls. I chopped my hair off short and became a tough cookie. I didn’t fight physically but boy could I skewer a person with words.

I became one of the guys. I could out swear, out joke and eventually out drink most of the boys I knew. I didn’t see my self as a girl so why should anyone else? It was a defense mechanism and a way to fit in. The guys all liked me because I could handle the potty humor and could keep up with the sarcastic patter they tossed around. They didn’t need to impress me because I wasn’t really a girl, but just another guy.

This has continued throughout most of my life. Even today I think I come across as not very feminine. It’s become just the way I am.

My femininity has taken a couple of serious hits as an adult and I found myself diving back into that tomboy thing.

A couple of years ago a friend and I were talking about how his son would sometimes get bored when he would have to tag along with the girlfriend to the mall to get her nails done. I said “Well, he won’t have to worry about that with me, I don’t do all that girly stuff”. That friend stopped and questioned me about my statement. He called me on how negative I was about feminine things. I had never really thought about it but he was right. Girly things were for other girls not for me. I had failed at that and so didn’t feel it was an option for me.

Slowly over the last few years I’ve tried to open up that side of myself. I have done some very deliberate things like let my hair grow long, and dragging out my stuffed animals again. I’ve come to realize with the help of that friend, being feminine, a woman is a very powerful thing and something I want to embrace. It has changed the way I see myself and how I see the world. I’m not perfect at it yet, after all there are 48 years of tapes to erase from my head. I still don’t wear very feminine clothes and I still fall into that “one of the guys” mode more often than I’d like it’s what I know. I don’t feel like I have to compete with other women because I’m one of the guys instead. I’m safe, harmless like a little sister not an honest-to-god woman.

There is one person who gets to see the woman side of me, one person I feel safe with, that won’t belittle me if I don’t do it perfectly. Instead with this person I am encouraged to grab it, embrace it and immerse myself in it.

So will I ever find that lost girly girl? I don’t know if I ever will but I’m trying to open myself to the possibility that she isn’t gone, she’s just hiding out. That some day, I’ll feel safe enough to let her out so she can have her turn. For now, we do the dance and compromise. I let her put on nail polish and she lets me be a tomboy once in awhile.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Observations of human behavior

  • Whenever I hear someone cough or sneeze at work or on the bus, I want to yell "SWINE FLU".

  • Sarcasm is lost on some people.

  • Why do women think it's OK to yell at and publicly ridicule their men? And why do those men put up with it? And vice versa.

  • Why is it that some women think the only way they can get help is to speak in a whiny, baby voice and act helpless? Don't they know how annoying that is?

  • What part of "print your name" don't you understand?

  • Why is it that after you tell someone you don't have what they want, they keep asking for it?

  • Why do people feel compelled to keep asking the same question in different ways? Do they really expect me not to know what they are doing?

  • Or do they expect me to be worn down and give them what they want?

  • Why do people feel it's OK to yell across the room when they have a question?

  • Why do they ask for your opinion when they are just going to say, I don't think that's right?

  • Do I have a target on my forehead? Why in the last week have I been accosted three times at the bus stop by people whose gender is indefinable?

  • Why do people who don't know you feel it's OK to touch you in public? Or call you sweetheart?

  • Does the fact that I am wearing headphones and reading a book not make it clear I don't want to talk to you?

  • Do you really expect to get good service after you are the customer from hell?

  • Why is it ok for you to be a jerk but if I tell you that's not something we can do here, you go and complain and try to get me fired?

  • Do you realize you are talking on your cell phone while sitting under the sign that says please step outside to answer your cell phone?

  • When you smell like a pot plant, it will be harder to get a job.

  • You said what?!? And you're surprised she told you off?

  • No, that tattoo that says" fuck you" across your forehead won't keep you from getting a public service job.

  • Yeah, no one has used cocksucker as their password and then forgotten it and had have someone your mother's age look it up for you.

  • is not a professional email address.

  • Wouldn't you rather put "customer service" than "service customers" on your list of job skills?

  • Sometimes the only thing that works is being a broken record.

  • Excellent communication skills does not include using profanity every third word.

  • No, Internet and email are not the same thing.

  • Isn't it Friday yet?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They say you can't go home again...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend a little time in the town where I went to college. It is just the next town up, about 7 miles from where I live.

This college town is home to Humboldt State University, is "green" and is smack dab in the middle of the "Emerald Triangle".  They have an All Species Day parade, hippie festivals and farmer's markets in the summer. In other words, it's groovy.

I had to ride the bus to get to my destination. This is not something new for me as mass transit is my current mode of transportation. But riding the bus in this little town is unlike any bus ride I have ever taken.

This bus has classical music playing in it. They are broadcasting the University radio station, the unmistakable groovy D.J. breaking in to give us the local happenings.

At the University stop hordes of kids, yes, to me they are kids, get on. Most look to be in their very early twenties, toting backpacks, cell phones and iPods. They chatter on as the bus takes off, sharing seats and some standing on the over-full bus.

I was struck by their energy. I'm not talking about bouncing off the walls energy but their quiet energy. The energy that comes from youth. Bright, unlined faces smiling and talking, sharing ideas and laughs, philosophy lessons and making plans for the evening ahead.

I was particularly taken by a young man and young woman who were making some kind of connection on that crowded, noisy bus. They sat across from each other, apparently continuing a conversation started at the bus stop.  He was probably in his early twenties, blonde with a full beard and a great smile. He had intelligent blue eyes that shone when he smiled, which he did often.

She was petite with short blonde hair pulled back into a cute pony tail, beautiful skin and nice blue-gray eyes. She leaned into his words and spoke animatedly with her hands and had a quick smile that flashed in her eyes.

Pretty soon it was time for her stop and they said good bye and she got off the bus. He waved to her as we drove by her.

I was fascinated by the interaction of these two people. It reminded me of how vital we were at that age, with the whole world open to us, our whole lives in front of us. How open we are before we are beaten down and scarred by our lives. By the disappointments, tragedies and monotony that can become everyday life. Before we become tired by the routines and challenges we face every day that wear us down and make us lose that spark.

Watching those two people connect on that level that existed before you learn to hide your heart and be suspicious of every new connection, reminded me that life is full. Life is full of chances and choices. Chances for new opportunities, relationships, and connections. Choices to be made that will open us up or close us down to these new experiences that will perhaps set us on a new, exciting path. A path we are meant to fulfil and perhaps exceed.

So, maybe you can't go home again but it sure is nice to be able to visit for awhile.