Tag Archives: writing

Today is October 30, 2017. I am alive and well.

Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.   Gertrude Stein

I don’t throw caution to the wind. I am careful in my life. And I don’t think I’ve stumbled recently. I’m not certain what stumbling looks like unless it’s to fall or stutter. I do stumble over my words often in conversation. My brain takes a quick nap and I can’t think of what I’m trying to say. I don’t know if this is because of my schizophrenia or my medications. I know I’m not stupid. But I also certainly do know I prefer writing to speaking. I’m a rather quiet person.

Do you think Gertrude means physically taking a tumble? I don’t wear high heels. I believe high heels gives one the opportunity to stumble. It’s hard to fall off of flats or boots.

How else might one stumble in life if not physically or verbally? I looked stumble up. It means to fall into sin or waywardness, to make an error (blunder), or to come to an obstacle to belief.

Do I stumble in my faith? Do I have moments when I don’t believe everything will work out? Are there moments in which I believe that God doesn’t have my back? Yes, but rarely. I spend most of my time feeling blessed. This has been a long time coming.

The reason I am careful in my life is because of my mental illness. I will do anything to not become psychotic. Psychosis is a shadow in my mind. It is a parrot with a sharp beak. It is news announcing terror. By structuring my life, I avoid pitfalls. My roommate says I’m so predictable she could set a watch by me.

At times I regret rarely being able to be spontaneous. I am in bed by eight and still wake tired after eleven hours of sleep. One of the meds I take causes this. I’m not complaining, though. My meds have given me life.

My roommate says there is someone out there who will love me and not be bothered by all my quirks. I know my ex did and does. Maybe that’s how I will stumble. I will stumble upon someone who will lift me up, who I too could lift up. I would love to stumble over a duffel bag full of money. The most grievous thing I’ve done is not to have spent my money well.

Writing this has been like not being able to move over a lane to make a left hand turn because of traffic. Why I picked such a challenging quote to respond to I have no idea. I stumbled onto the quote and I have stumbled over the quote. So much for not stumbling!

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Today is October 27, 2017. I am alive and well.

My blog is delayed. I actually wrote a blog on Monday to post but decided it wasn’t appropriate. It was about my friend who lost her 93-year-old mom and my relative who attempted suicide by trying to slit an artery in her leg. Her attempt was fueled by alcohol.

I love these two people. It’s not always easy to know what to say. The best I can do is to say I love you. Which I’ve done.

We leave this world in all different ways. Death greets us fiercely. Except for near death experiences, death is blind; we don’t know what’s beyond it.

Some doctors feel like we’re not honoring death because we’re treating it like a disease. Doctors try to cure it no matter what. Keep the patient alive no matter what. Sometimes I believe we simply, or not so simply, need to let the person go so the suffering ends. As hard as that may be it can be the kind thing to do.

Sadly, my grandmother ended up feeling bad and responsible for my grandfather’s death. My grandfather broke his neck. He couldn’t swallow with the halo, so then they gave him a feeding tube. Then he got pneumonia. It was one thing after another. When they took off the halo, they discovered the bones had not fused together because of osteoporosis. By then he was too fragile for surgery. My grandmother decided to put him in hospice. The hospital had a floor for hospice patients. His room was nice. Warm. Even cozy. There was no medical equipment and he was in a regular bed, dressed in his own pajamas with a quilt as a cover.

My grandmother didn’t realize that they weren’t going to feed him. I do believe he died from starvation. He went peacefully. My grandmother was with him when he took his last breath.

My grandfather always raked the leaves that had fallen from the trees in the front yard. The morning after his death, I raked these leaves. Raking them allowed me to feel the presence of him.

Today I have a healthy fear of death. That was not always the case. I have many times sought death to no avail. It hasn’t been my time to go.

My last suicide attempt has been at least nineteen years ago. Since then, I have lived much life. My relationships with friends have deepened. I had a fourteen year relationship with one man who I loved with the whole of me. I completed an MFA and had a book published. A short memoir piece of mine is being published in the Delmarva Review out in November and currently on-line.

I have breathed life. My breath is steady like the clip clop of a horse in cantor. The raven soars with ease. I soar while having my boots keep me heavy to the earth.

Today is November 13, 2015. I am alive and mostly well.

My fingers have been silent for awhile. I imagine them covered in mud, unable to snap one musical note. There is no water to rinse with. There are no paper towels to dry with.

I am standing outside in a black cotton shirt and jeans, my boots lined with faux fur that peaks out the top. My boots are waterproof.

It begins to rain. I extend my fingers. They are without mud.

Not only have my fingers been silent, but I have been  quiet in my emotional life. I have not read e-mails. I have not lined up coffee and meals with friends. I have not wanted to go to meetings, but I go anyway. I’m behaving like a depressed person who still showers, eats meals, and makes it on time to work. Maybe I have simply needed to be still. Stillness grabs me in a tight embrace.

The cats have enjoyed me being home. They wrap themselves around each other on my bed, butted up against my legs. I pray not to have to go to the restroom anytime soon because I don’t want to disturb them. Yes, they have taken me hostage. They are black and cute, one chubby, one skinny. I don’t want to be a writer who is always writing about cats.

The stillness allows me to reflect on my current life. My brain has not been sick for a long time although schizophrenia is tethered softly to me. The other day, I had to Skype with a psychiatrist whom I didn’t know. The first thing I said was, “This is weird.” I asked if other people were tapping into the computer, listening to our conversation. She told me the computer was secure. I sat for ten minutes saying yes to some questions and making certain she didn’t change my medications. I have been hospital free on these meds for over seven years. I have not had to beg a psych tech on the unit for dental floss. I can retrieve dental floss from my bathroom drawer whenever I want, stretching it out to any length I want.

I wil blog more about my reflections in stillness another time. This blog has gotten long. Be well. me.

Today is September 26, 2015. I am alive and well.

I fall back on excerpts from the current book I’m writing when I can’t seem to think of anything to blog. The book is still untitled.

The trees have tipped south again. I am afraid of the foliage lying on barren ground. Water is dripping from the sky. The clouds are hidden behind a block of gray construction paper. Even the young girl know this is not right as she glues puffs of cotton to a makeshift sky. “When it rains,” she says, “you can always see clouds. That is what clouds are for. Rain,” her voice confident as a valet driver retrieving your car.

Clouds are for shade, also. I want to tell her and don’t. And what about hours spent lying on grass, watching clouds form different images. I once saw Macbeth in the sky; his hand large and telling as it appeared bloody after murdering King Duncan.

It is noon and time to meet Trish at the gym. We are training legs without the assistance of Guy; he has a client at that time. I haul my body out of the house. I don’t want to go. Working out is not at the top of my list, but cheesecake is. Every night. My belly is not going down and I insist that i’m looking pregnant (of course cheesecake has nothing to do with it). Guy says I’m making up stories. He says I am sexy. What he says does carry weight. I attempt to let go of the image I have of my body.

The leg press and squat machines are empty. We take up residence here. They are right next to each other. With the leg press, I lie on my back at a slight angle, resting against the  cushioned seat and put my legs in the air, onto the ramp. We load weights on the attached bar. And then push on the ramp. I wonder if this is what it feels like to push in pregnancy.

Trish is straight from her class, her criminology class. They are studying O.J. Simpson’s trial. It has Trish keyed up. She can’t believe how many errors the police officers made.

Today is August 17, 2015. I am alive and well.

I am stumped at how to proceed in the rewrite of my second book which remains untitled. When I get stumped, I walk from my study/bedroom into the kitchen to have a glass of water or make a cup of coffee. Then I pace back to my desk, sit quietly, and hope to start typing. Anything would do just to break the silence of the keyboard or the drag of my pen across lined paper. If nothing happens, I walk back to the kitchen and drink again. Thank God I no longer drink alcohol. I would get tanked and drool over the keyboard, my head eventually falling to rest, making “Q’s”across the screen.

I did my laundry today. My shirt smells like the Fabreeze that was in the detergent. Lavender. I would prefer the apple that is in the dish soap. Smell for me is odd. I mostly don’t like house smells–broccoli, beef, toilet bowl cleaner. But I do like outdoor smells. Hot Pavement. Bushes. The smell of sun like heated water. And I love the smell of gasoline; it reminds me of murder mysteries the way it smells like danger.

Annie has jumped in my lap and is licking her paws. Can you imagine licking the hair on someone’s head? I write about my cat with trepidation. Cats can become too cute. Grandmothers, too sentimental. And love, well. Truth be known I have written about all these things. Particularly love. Love connects me to life, keeps me showing up when I think I can’t anymore. When I can’t drag my body or mind forward. When I am used up. I am too thirsty. I am not a writer The magic is gone. Then I drop a “t” and add “a-s-t-e.” I am hungry again. I feed my new found passion with “rrrrr,s.”

Today is July 18, 2015. I am alive and well.

You know when you’re sitting on the toilet in a stall in the ladies room how you can see the feet of the person in the adjoining stall? Yesterday, I saw the feet and they were dangling. Adult size feet, in glittery sandals with frosted toes; an adult dangling.

I’ve been six feet tall ever since the age of thirteen. I don’t remember my feet ever dangling, although they must have when I was five. How does one feel grounded while using the restroom if their feet are swinging free? A restroom can be a very private place. Sacred even. The hand washing at the end seals the experience.

My daily life is filled with sacred moments. I simply need to pay attention. I need to have the desire to know the sacred. The air conditioning shuts off. It is silent in my home. This is sacred. My cats sleep butt up against me. Sacred. Water springs from the tap. Sacred. I have no wants today. Sacred.

Armed with a keyboard, I can say anything I want. There must be something sacred about this. Certainly, the keyboard can be used to abuse. I could be one to write hate. To write vile. To write evil. I am capable of presenting those things. I choose not too. My spirit trumps my shadow.

How do I go from dangling feet to spirit and shadow? I have no real idea. This is the magic of writing; seeing what pops up or doesn’t. And this fact has been stated over and over again. I am one of many. I like thinking of the company I keep. I appear isolated in my endeavor. This is false. Millions of people around the world are writing right now. I tap into that energy and soar. It has been good to sit in this chair of mine. I am kept from my chair because of procrastination and fear. What bad things can happen? I write something boring or over write my welcome. Small price to pay for effort.

Looking out the window, the bushes are still. No wind today. I am vulnerable because of no drapes. This I don’t mind. I am vulnerable in my writing. This I don’t mind either.

Today is July 9, 2015. I am alive and well.

One of my male friends said I give too much information about myself on my blog. I want to be the dog that growls before he bites. I want to be the dog, tail wagging, tongue out, asking to be petted. My blog is a place that I can totally create my honest self. My authentic self. I want to be translucent.

I use the word create not to mean I’m making things up, but instead to signal that I don’t know all about myself that there is to know. I am learning through writing, thus creating with one truth after another.

It fascinates me to sit down to write and not immediately know where I’m going. If I write about traveling in a car, I know I’m on the street, address in hand. If I dive into a pool, there are steps leading out. If I’m climbing a mountain, there’s always a peak. What if I start to walk in the desert, off trail, no destination in mind? First, I have to pay great attention to my surroundings so I know how I’ll get back. It’s like reaching for my unconscious mind in a blacked out room, nothing to focus on, hoping my conscious mind will let go, allowing for magic, allowing for truth, allowing for God.

Letting go of my conscious mind sends warmth through my body. I imagine my blood circulating. I imagine little people in my body working in sync to keep my six foot frame in good health. I have imagined these little people ever since I was six-years-old. It’s fun to think of these people taking up residence. Not only is my outward appearance alive–things move, hands, legs, eyes, etc.–but my inside glows with their little lantern.

I am awake. I move with grace. I try to make my connection with people meaningful. A smile carries a lot of pull. Being able to have real conversation amazes me. I was not always able to do this. Life continues and I with it. I will continue to put all of me out there. What is sacred in regard to personhood? I will learn this as I go.