Tag Archives: writing

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.

Today is July 4, 2015. I am alive and well.

I look out the window and see wind. The green bushes shake with it. I believe it sounds like a young boy trying to whistle.

My twin bed, upon which I recline, is settled across from my bedroom window. The foot of my bed is three feet away from this window. The window blind retired months ago when it broke loose from its socket. It rests unused on the floor. The cats occasionally jump on it causing it to emit a crinkling sound.

My room is no longer private. Anyone can look in and see me or my furniture. Outside my window are many windows of many residents–six stories of windows. I am on the first floor. There is a sidewalk twenty feet away. At night is when I’m most vulnerable. Light on, my bedroom glows like the sunset radiating in the split y of two branches. People can see in and I can barely see out.

I can’t change in my bedroom into anything but socks and shoes. I carry a T-shirt, jeans with sparkles on the back pockets, indigo blue underwear, and a padded bra into the bathroom. My breasts are tiny as those of a sixth grader. The padded bra is deceitful. I like it anyway.

Eventually, I want to get plantation shutters. I am waiting to collect money like my grandfather did pennies dated before 1920.

It is peaceful this morning. My hair is tied in a pony tail on top of my head. Grams climbs my pillow, then bats at my pony tail with her paw. I wonder if cats know when a person smiles. I smile.

Writing from bed is better than trying on new blouses, better then buying caramel apples. My bed is no longer my prison. I’m no longer driven by depression and psychosis, unable to put my feet on the floor, wishing for death.

I have a lunch date. My friend likes to talk about books, writing, and recovery. I am able to have conversations on all these subjects. I dine with grace. The red velvet cheesecake is amazing.

Today is May 2, 2015. I am alive and well.

I had a schizophrenic moment today. Yesterday, I put in new air filters. Today, I wondered if I put them in the right airflow direction, thinking that I didn’t and that I was breathing polluted air. Today, I thought because I had to jam them in that they are set to high and will catch on fire. I called Scottie for reassurance that all was well. I am somewhat reassured.

Paranoid, obsessive thinking is like gravel against the eardrum with a cockroach tucked in making a bed for himself. It is like a scratch on a CD of Green Day replaying the same “Fuck” while my car is stuck in the middle of a car wash, the thick ropey things surrounding all four sides so I can’t see out. It is thinking over and over again that one of my cats is going to get stuck outside in a hailstorm. My cats are indoor cats and I live in Arizona.

Most of the time I am free from obsessive thinking, so when it is happening it is five times as worse as it could be because it is so unfamiliar. Thank God when it slides out the side of my mouth and disappears in the  ether.

Paranoia is paralyzing. To date, I have been able to leave my house and enter the world for sometime. I don’t take entering the world for granted. I feel I am blessed every time I do. There are so-so days. And there are the glorious days. So-so when I swim through the tasks I have, leaving a tray of bubbles to pop behind me. Glorious are the days when the love I have for people and the love they have for me consistently causes small, silent eruptions; a Gerber Daisy pushed form the earth, tulips pushed from the earth.

Maybe you have noticed in some of my blogs I throw a word in that doesn’t quite make sense but the word sounds right. I think sound drives writing 25% of the time. With that, I’ll spring up, comforted by the fact that my bed is unmade and I can roll right in, covers up to my chin.

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

The poems that follow I wrote with Guy in mind when he was still in my life. Now that I have no lover, I wonder if I will  make one up and continue to write love poems. An imaginary lover would certainly cause me no  grief, unless of course I imagined he did. Ha. My intention is to have no lover in my life for a long time. I need time to just chill, as my niece would say. I toast to “chill in.” I can do this.

Love

She doesn’t know how the drapes came to be zippered shut. But they did. And locked. His light got tied behind his ears. The ball cap helped keep it in place. So when she met him that day for lunch, she was blind to the beauty he offered. No light pushed the sounds of love forward onto her plate of food. The meat was tough and the barbarian within signaled to her to take it into her own hands. Bite hard and pull ferociously at what remains outside the mouth. Just yesterday she accused him with small words of cheating. He assured her with bigger words that was not the truth. At lunch it became all too much and he cried tears onto wilted lettuce. They left for home without eating, her hand in his. She doesn’t know how the drapes came to be open.In tender light she lifted her skirt and invited him to come home.

Pre-Dawn

The sun has not dreamt itself awake, yet. Nor do I hear through the open window the excited nature of birds announcing dawn.

The microwave has quit its pulse. I hear you pull your bowl of oatmeal from its stomach the other side of the bedroom door. As with most mornings, I stretch my body the length of the horizon across the bed. Somewhere in the dark are the little dogs. I imagine their eyes open to the soft dark as mine are, wonder which God they embrace instinctively upon awakening. Breeze flutters through the window, stories my shin.

You crack the door, whisper “I love you” knowing I hear, knowing I pretend sleep, knowing you won’t resist that first impulse to tickle the arch of my foot…..you don’t . I laugh. Time pauses. And then there are birds, always birds.

Today is April 9, 2015. I am alive and fairly well.

My writing has been as bad as a bat without night vision, his echolocation** not working. He doesn’t leave the roost in his cave dwelling for fear of running into a city building downtown. He’s afraid he won’t be able to make his way back before dawn, dawn the time all bats fear; the time the predators are out.

I would like to take flight as bats do. They’re the only mammals that fly. They leave in colonies and have harems. There is no war with bats, no jealousy, no fight to find the best roost or the prettiest female. In some places, people consider these fuzzy creatures a sign of bad things to come. In other areas, bats are thought to be good luck.

Night shades me. I like to walk out into it, leaving the light at home on for the cats, Grams and Annie. NIght allows the moon to wake and the sun to sleep. Eventually, I return to my bed and sleep, dreaming of gold coins.

Then comes dawn. I awake paranoid, afraid to begin the day before me. Like the bat, I oftentimes feel unsafe in light. The light is strong. If I turn it on myself, I recognize that I radiate like a gold coin, still, on the light gray concrete. I walk out and reach for the coin. Viola! I am past the threshold of my home, out the heavy door, the door heavy like stone, to heavy to break down. I am safe in my home. But I radiate outside. I mustn’t forget this. I mustn’t forget that I live.

**Echolocation is the process of using sound waves to locate surrounding objects. Among other things, it is how bats find insects.

Today is March 16, 2015. I am alive and well.

They know she enters. Their cat eyes focus as snap dragons, their ears perk, the shape of the end of a butter knife. I take a breath in. Hold it as if I’ll be able to hear her. She is thinner than air, lighter than the flame at the end of a paper match. Death has left her to dust my desk.

I need more than cat knowledge. I need the miraculous–her framed photo to fall, my desk chair to quiver, her hands on my keyboard. I let breath out. Nothing changes in front of me. There is no mist.

But I feel her. She is warmth around my wrist. Pictures as memory–her teaching me to make a Greek salad, her on the toboggan with me, the snow not biting because she leans forward, wrapping her arms around me …I feel her coat as I do skin.

She is here as I feel the love for her. This love reaches out and comes to rest on a spindle. The love is invisible but strong. The spike of the spindle I imagine rotates like the bowl of a blender turning powered cocoa to chocolate syrup.

Mom, you make me bold. I am able to ride in an inner tube down the stream, opening into the river. I can jump off a cliff to the water below. I can write anything I damn well please. Ketchup mixing with mustard. A bare ass flashing me outside my window. President Obama not being given a warm welcome by all the vets at the Veteran’s Hospital.

Your mail came to me for a while. I don’t know how they found my address. I didn’t open it knowing you don’t need a bank account any longer. You don’t need coupons. You have no need to buy a car. Your mail made me sad. It was not you sending me letters. I miss you like I do leaves in autumn. Be at peace. Walk in the grass. Hold my love as you do fog.

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

Today, I will leave for work at noon. I want to stop and get a sandwich from Subway. I like the egg, ham, and cheese on flat bread with two scoops of avocado. Egg whites, please. It is four dollars and eighty three cents. I know this like I know I have two sisters, one of whom I don’t talk with and have no idea if she is even in Arizona. Hunter. She is a paper bag who has been ripped open from the weight of all her own misgivings. Being a drug addict is easy. Being a drug addict is hard. I really don’t know which is true. I have never been a drug addict. I am simply an alcoholic in recovery. A drunk who has a great shot at living a happy, joyous, and free life as long as I stay sober and maintain some sort of spiritual life. God is good to me; I know there will be a next loaf of bread.

It has been good to write today. I miss Guy and the two little dogs. Writing pulls me away from missing and plops me into a dream of letters. The letters are lovely, forming words such as chocolate. Laurie, my friend and supervisor, keeps chocolates in her desk for me. Laurie is like a motorized cat, always moving quickly from one task to the next, never batting the ball entirely out of the room, but tracking it so it stays in play and ultimately gets where it needs to go even if it lodges itself beneath a shelf of books. Laurie will know what to do when this happens