Allergic to Cement

Nov 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM
My life is always about transition. Some people hate change, I can't stand to be without it. I've moved into a bigger house now, right on a park that is in a highly prized neighborhood, and no longer near the water.

I lucked out. It's a great house for the money, and it's on the park, which lets me breathe. But still, I miss the woods. I miss living where I can feel expanding circles of life in all directions. Every day I miss it.

I went to New York with Willow, and she felt immediately at home. I enjoyed the day but wanted to go find some wilderness and take a deep breath. City girl I am not. Maybe it's just that I am allergic to cement. Grass feels good, cement feels choppy and wrong. New York felt instantly like the best city in America and also like the last place in the world I'd want to live. I don't mind visiting them, but I need green surrounding me.

Anyway, here I am, next door to the park, which at least lets me look out at a lake, walk on grass, and feel a little less tiny-fied.


Nov 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Thirty six.

Already today, a comment about how age is something women are scared of and lie about. Women aren't all the same person. Placing labels on anyone is your way of ignoring obnosed reality. I don't have this fear, but I can understand it.

I will never and have never been the kind of person to lie about my age or pretend I'm still in my twenties. I've had this blog since my twenties, but I'm thirty-six.

Today, I'm thirty six.

My tongue wraps happily around that number. I like it better than 35, and I think because 6 is a multiple of 3... but perhaps not. Perhaps I simply like this age better because I spent all of last year 36. I forgot my age in the Spring and have been thinking I was 36 since March,  instead of 35.

I enjoy my age, I've earned it. I'm glad I'm out of the rat race of the late-twenties, the popularity contest of the early twenties, the self-delusion of my teens. I'm comfortably more than a third of the way through a whole century.

I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin now. Very much so, my life is an odd fit. It's not at all what I thought it would be, but I do like it.

I have a life that provides challenge, and contains pretty much only the people who love me. They challenge me at times, but they all love me.

I've removed from my life everyone who didn't improve it, and I've flourished as a result.

I think the future ahead looks busy but bright, and that I might even be getting stable enough now to truly start building my own life, instead of just the life that I was having while I waited.

So, that's my birthday wish for myself. Starting with 36 years old, my real 36, not last year's 36, this is my real life, not just the placeholder. 36 is time to make my visible, actual life more mine.

I bought two, then broke one, and then Isaac bought me three replacements for the very first coffee cups I've ever owned that really feel perfect in my hand. It's a start. Next perhaps I'll paint something red.

Writing exercises refined

Oct 5, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The drill here is to use all three words chosen for the drill, with only five minutes to write in. no warning.

Chrysanthemum Motorbike Purple

She looked at the road, whipping past in pale shades of mottled egg grey. Like a faded memory of a highway, bleached by disinterest and time, sun and the endless run of tires that ran the Pacific coastal highway. Bold painted lines slashed past her feet, without anything between her and the world - no carpet, no floor. Just a bike and a girl and a vendetta. And a stupid helmet that made her feel like a bobble head doll. The guy who had sold her the bike said she’d get used to it soon enough, but still. The leather suit was certainly fun.

The sea stretched out to her right like a lover’s limb, as she peeled along the PCH. Anywhere south, anywhere. More coast, more lovers. More more.

She had never done this trip without John, without his warmth in the driver’s seat, and without his arm straddling the back of her chair, both comforting and trapping her safely in the front bench of their sedan. But thanks to their divorce settlement, she finally had the money to head south. Drag her sorry ass away from the cubicle again, back to the shores and jungles she loved.

Now, without his warm smothering arms, without the calm safety of cruise control and easy listening, she just enjoyed the road viscerally within reach. If she touched it, it would rip her fingers. Wonderful, dangerous.

The sunset to her right flared out in pale purple lines like a chrysanthemum. She felt the sun and the colors reaching for her and pulled over to rest at a vista point.

The sun poured in under the helmet before it was even all the way off. The wind felt rich and sultry as it pulled her hair away from her face, a soft south wind foretelling the weather she was driving into.



He had a choice.

Attend the prom with Jen, and keep his status as unquestioned School Stud, King of everything. Jen would probably spend the night looking good for the school’s paparazzi and her underlings, all those damn drones buzzing around her, adoring hangers on of the queen bee of the school. Or he could do what he wanted to.

Lenore. Crap. What kind of parent had named a black haired, black eyed, poetic crucified genius after an Edgar Allen Poe icon.

Never would have ever friended her in real life. She’d been a grade ahead, and they shared a love of painting  -  which he tried to hide -  because he only ever did anything about it at the community center. He thought he was the only kid in CHS who ever went there, but no. Lenore.

They talked sometimes at the centre, about stuff that never interests anyone but artists, convergence and shading and the many choices presented by a color wheel.

But then she friended him on Facebook. And he saw her portfolio, her witty wordplay, and her unique and oddball way of looking at the world.  He followed her life, shared her love of coffee and bluejays, and felt a real connection to something for the first time. He finally got the gumption to start messaging. And it was really talking. A lot. Almost all night.

Now, he spent all his time in Football practice thinking of the way her hair swishes.  And waiting for her facebook messages.

Jen would wear a swishy glittering slutfest dress. Lenore would wear a beautiful black slinky thing with no cleavage, just dark against pale, soft skin.

What to do. Expectation, or desire? Proms were supposed to be for girls.


Changing Everything

Apr 19, 2012 at 8:24 PM
My darling man is on his way here from UpNawth, Somewhere. I'm hoping he loves the south and decides he wants to stay living south of the Mason Dixon line, because I HATE the North.

When he gets here, everything changes.

Salad Days

Jan 26, 2012 at 5:23 AM
When I was a young girl, I asked my father what salad days meant. He said they were the foolhardy innocent days when you were new to adulthood, and still youthful about it. When you were in those budding years when you felt the most exuberance, were most interested in making your own way in the world.  When, fresh-faced and bright-eyed, everything seemed hopeful. I asked why "salad"? My recollection is that he said "because you're green like a sapling. Or maybe because you eat a lot of salad when you're just starting out, because it's all you can afford!" He laughed. I didn't know if he was serious.

I asked him when these days started and he said, uhm... after school or about twenty. It doesn't mean days literally, but a time period, he said. I realize in retrospect that he was winging his answers, but I took them all as gospel at the time.

I asked when salad days ended. He said they're done by the time you're thirty five or so, about the time debts and taxes start to take their toll. Or when you had kids. And he laughed. I got the joke but suddenly felt I'd cheated my dad somehow out of being a sapling, by being born. Then I looked up, saw the humor in his eyes. I smiled, not worried, not slighted. Besides, everything gets better when your dad tousles your hair and has happy shiny eyes. We both knew he wasn't missing anything. Then we got back to installing an intercom system.

How odd to think that when my father said that to me, he was much younger than I am now.

I'm 35 years old now. My hair is still the same, and my dad still is the person whose word is gospel, even when he's making it up.

I didn't know it, but my salad days would be over when I was fourteen. The same year my father turned the age I am now, I had to choose between trying to be a grown up, and watching my family explode. I chose adulthood.

Apparently you never really get to unchoose that. I didn't realize that embracing adulthood without time to prepare and plan its success would mean the end of my youth. I didn't think it through that hard. I am glad that I foisted the world of adult responsibility on myself, and I don't think I did the wrong thing by forfeiting my "halcyon days of youth..." to the toil that is the ridiculous attempts to keep up with work and bills when you aren't even legally allowed to own a bank account or sign a lease.

Right about when my salad days were planned for, at twenty, I was already married, and I bore children.

Now I am 35 and my daughters are 14. And they still live at home, for which I am glad on a daily basis.

I have had a most unexpectedly wonderful life, none of which matched my plans for the future any, all of which surprised me. Life has a way of throwing punches that somehow turn into blessings, a rich plethora of deeply ironic and glorious truths, taught through thousands of tiny lessons, daily and plentifully.

Instead of salad days, I had laundry days, baby-group days, 3-jobs-a-day days, commuting every which way days, and days that would have tried Mother Teresa. But never any salad days. Never youthful innocence and exuberance.

For these last dozen plus plus years of my life, my daughters have marked time for me, pushed me into my future so much faster than I ever intended to arrive there. But then these amazon children of mine also made so many otherwise mundane parts of daily trivium and tedium into intensely beautiful and meaningful vignettes of memory treasure. Regardless of how hard it is to reach them, I treasure each of those kinds of days. The pieces of my life that are uniquely related to my daughters have a deeper personal meaning to me. My girls  are the brightest beacon in a sometimes difficult, sometimes rewarding  life.

Now there is a man deeply and truly in love with me, and I with him. I am ever surprised that I am. I don't have to push it or try, it just keeps happening. As though without consulting my will, I fall deeper in love because his actions are good and noble and pure-hearted. It continues to surprise me how thoroughly I love him. And how well he deserves it. It's been longer than I'd care to admit since I truly loved someone without it being a terribly foolhardy gesture. Without being completely misguided about how that man felt for me, or the damage being done to my life.

According to the ticker that society keeps, the strand that the fates cut for me, and how kismet planned my life, how the world views when the phases of life ought to happen, and when things should unravel, my life has never happened in the right order.

And I don't care.

So, since I chose first the striving harshness of premature adulthood and then the wisdom-imparting path of parenthood, and I chose them willingly instead of the bliss of a selfishly wholesome and innocent personal journey toward a blustery future, AKA a 'salad days',  I've been pondering the idea that once my sweetheart and I are all in order, perhaps it will be time for a few long-deserved years full of salad days. Perhaps not quite the same definition as above, but something a bit newer feeling.

Youthful optimism about the future is a choice you make, right? At any age?

I don't know if perhaps it's reckless to want to calm things down when they're at a fever pitch, or if it's even possible to go back to the fresh faced, youthful naivete that I have not had since 14. But I'd like to try to turn the clock back a bit, calm things down, find my passion and drive it.

Even if nothing changes in my career or my life aside from feeling fresh faced about it. Even if all that happens is that my leaf turns and I feel renewed. That alone would make any such effort worth it.

Blah blah blah

Jan 18, 2012 at 9:05 PM
Nobody commented on my post.

I wondered why, then I saw. I was the only person allowed to comment.


(smacks head).

I've turned on the ability to comment. Except anonymously. So please, feel free to comment again.

Time Again

at 3:22 AM
I'm blocked on my writing. Haven't written a thing in months. Since this blog is what stirred me to start writing it, I'm going to start blogging again.

It's time again to bare my soul to the text entry area of the blog posting screen, to tell the impersonal empty white space my deepest thoughts and allow it to respond with whatever it chooses.

Usually nothing.

Sometimes you guys, the readers of my blog, have responded intensely to a post that I sloughed off as no big whoop.  Sometimes I've had no comments, no reaction at all to something that was like giving birth to release, to press publish after sweating over it for a full night.

On occasion, I've stuffed my foot deep into my mouth, offending one of you so deeply with a post that I shut down my blog for a while. After the last time this blog brought offense, I shut it down, for what has turned out to be over a year but was intended to be forever.

I won't be doing that this time. If you don't like a post, fine. It's only going out to a few close friends.

But I'm coming back to blogging, because I haven't written a thing in my books in a while and the blog needs to serve it's purpose again, opening that wound up so that the blood can flow again, so I can purge whatever is keeping my book from flowing freely again.