Sunday, March 30, 2014


from one voice
from two voices
from three voices
into one soul
the sound touches
builds brothers
reaches for a more compassionate

Acres littered
with spent husks
of empty eyed humans
overtaken by entropy
in the end.
For now,
the harmony
of three voices
and vibrating strings on wood
like a hurricane wind
swirls and
bestows motion
on our stillness
so that we all awaken

Friday, March 28, 2014

burning ember roses

It's funny.  The way that things swing.  They way that people camouflage their judgement of you in a cloak of "concern"...the choices you make define you, but you define every single choice you make.  And you make new ones every moment of every day.  The crazy thing is how unprepared we all are for the depth of everything we are handed.  If we are guided by fear instead of love, we do so much more damage than necessary.  But everyone is so afraid that if they open to love, then they are weak, vulnerable.  I guess I feel that, too.  I don't know.

My littlest one won't go to sleep because every twenty minutes or so, he comes down and asks for a hug.  I can't say no.  I try to.  I do, for periods.  I doesn't matter.  I need the touch and so does he...and I think about how it will hurt him and I can't come up with anything.  So I hug him.

Does being in a dark place for a while, after the loss of your best friend, your partner, the love of your life, define you?  I know that I was told that being in the classroom could be a good thing for me...I never denied that.  My problem has always been that I hate having that feeling that I should leave EVERYTHING at the door.  I feel afraid too often.  I updated our team blog.  I put on my into page that I am a widow with three lovely children of my own...I spent a good, solid 5 minutes or so looking at that word: "widow".  I don't dislike the word...I liken it to the word window...when we lose so much of our heart, when we feel so much pain, it is like sand heated to glass, so we can see our soul, our deepest parts, the depths of our heart and soul...but others...I don't know what they see or feel or think.  I have a lovely necklace charm, glass blown with the ashes of my love.  Telling my students, if they ask, that it contains his ashes is considered unsafe, unwise.  I think it is lovely, is quite close to my religious beliefs...his body was burned to ash so that he could become part of our world, be spread in the breeze and make the land where we spend time more lovely, more fertile.  That is seen more as a nightmare for the system:  if you tell them his ashes are in that, they might become afraid, worry about his body being I could not tell the students what the charm was.  Is it odd that this hurt?  This started, or continued, what seemed to be the secrets of who I am, what I believe, what I love...I'm not the majority, so I may not share.  I don't know what to do with that.  I'm not going to change because the things I love and believe make them afraid.

I will still enter dark places on this journey.  It is a long one.  But their lack of belief in me shows me that I must enter these places with my head held high.  I am PROUD  to feel this pain. I am PROUD that I loved so deep and strong and real that my heart breaks over and over.  That does not make me a thing to fear.  I'm sorry if you think it does.  It makes me a thing real.  I am like a glowing ember.  Perhaps you do not have the gloves to hold me.  I am fire without a flame.  I burn things around me to make the world a more rich and fertile place.  I destroy, but not with impunity...I feel the pain, I embrace it, I burn with it, I am made more whole because of it.  And I am feared because of all of this.

Go ahead.  Fear me.  Judge me.  I will be strong and I will NOT let go of love, or my belief that love is for the best, that love is the thing to cling to...perhaps, though, I will learn that sometimes, love does not mean trust.  Maybe that is the heart of the mantra I will need to form.  I will love without boundaries, and I will remember that just because I love, does not necessarily mean I trust.  You do not need to earn my love.  You are alive, and so I love you.  You do, however, need to earn my trust.  And that, my dear, is not an easy thing.  It gets even harder as I grow older.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

tragic magic

the magic?
it is that we all hurt.
it is that we are all broken
in pain
experience grief
and sometimes
across caverns
we touch

the tragedy?
we do not all admit
any of this
and so instead of touching
we slap

deep fried veggies

empty halls
empty words
empty heart
so full with children's faces
so full of questions and confusion
the early evening smells of almost spring
damp soil
and things you thought of
wished for
and cannot be reached

There's not enough
and too much
all at the same time

Years ago, I chose to not even get my degree in teaching
I wanted to keep my personal conundrums
out of the classroom

I chose to get my degree
when life showed me
how kids learn from HOW you are
not what you say
and only barely
from what you try
to teach
They watch you
they see you.

I have always known
how to heal
be real and reach for
But that involves so much mess
so many real moments
rolled in a love of learning and curiosity
questions rolled in quests and chaos

Because I know these things
does NOT mean others do
I will show my imperfect side
to allow them to see the strength inside each
glimpse of the real universe

So now?  Now my task
is to embrace it all with cool anonymity
How do I allow my pain
my loss
my fear
my confusion
my intelligence
my hope
my belief
my tenacity
to break through?

I have to
into pieces and fragment
my faith and pain and hope and despair
allow them all to filter through

Burdens and blessings
rolled up like some bizarre
deep fried egg roll

Thursday, March 13, 2014

wind dancing

sweet symphonic sections of me
stop trying to TELL what is going on
when it is there
in feeling

with waves of music
moving in veins of moments long past
when it is nothing
but now
and here
and here and now there is a large beat
as if the drummer stopped
mid stroke

and what is it rattles
the hollows now?

There is a beat that walks
much faster
than I can run
I feel it
when I squeeze my hands
over my ears
beating through the rivers
that make me

How can I keep time?
how can I keep up?
when the path is peppered with vines
of poison,
swerving in curves
and arrows pointing
in both directions?


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

anonymity, a little anyway

I know I have a few readers around the world who are not connected to me on facebook.  I posted the below out there and I am posting it here.  I will open my blog for a little while in order for you to comment to me if you want to continue to read about my journey.  I hope that my words have helped others feel like they are not alone.  I don't want to stop doing that.  But I need to be more, well, careful.  So....

I want to keep blogging, but I feel it is in the best interest of my status as a teacher to not allow my heart to be public.  I don't think that I say anything unprofessional, but it has been brought to my attention that when you are honest about the pain you feel at home, people worry that this darkness leaks into your classroom.  Even if that is not the case.  So....if you want to keep reading me, please comment with your email so that I can add it to the approved list.  Thanks for your understanding.  Maybe when things are really on the upswing and I feel more positive, I can make it public again?

Light and love...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

bloggety bloggety bloggety blah....I want to write, I want to look at house, I want to find a way to stop hashing over things that can't be changed.  I want to have friends to hang out with I want to know what I want.

Different friends have mentioned publishing this...but I can't do that.  It isn't done.  And how will it be?  It's a screwed up amalgamation of poetry and journal entries, worrying about grief and money and work and beauty and finding my place.  How is that ever done? 

I'm wearing John's ProAction fleece and drinking...that is not right.  my babies want me to watch the Lorax with them.  I should.  But it's nice out, so I am sitting on my swing out in my mess of a backyard.  I want my own place.  I want to live in a place that does not have a home owners association. 

 A friend and his kids came over last night.  He asked what other friends I had locally besides him and his wife...what other girl friends I had locally.  I laughed.  There's a bunch of ladies I wish were my friends, that I like and who seem to like me...but with three kids and no babysitter, how can I build friendships??  Without friendships, how do I find ways to make time for me without kids?? 

When you are married, your lack of life still exists in this realm of companionship.  When  you don't have anywhere to go, you still have someone to talk with, someone to hold hands with, to watch shows with. 

I'm so tired of being sad.  I'm tired of hearing the wishes my heart projects for company and connection.  If I'm tired of hearing it, what the hell must others around me feel?? 

I know that I can be happy on my own.  But I'm not on my own...I am a mother of three and I am never on my own.  I am needed all day every day, even when we are not together.  I need to find a way to fill my own cup, my own bucket.  But I just don't know how.

I have to go sit with my sweet babies.  I didn't show up.  She tells me so.  No fixes, but what I have to give.  I can do it.  Even if I can't, I have to.  so, yeah.  here we go.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

love and hate

When they are gone, some say, they are not truly away from us.  I don't feel you so much.  I feel an incredible amount of weight, stress, responsibility, loneliness.  I now know what the phrase "administrative leave" means.  I know what it means to break down and reach for help, take ten minutes to be a mess, get yourself together and do a good job...only to be told, with all due respect, you are still in question.  You are still under surveillance.  Stop telling me you are worried about me...that I am screwing up.  Tell me the things I do well and that you know I can do more.  Tell me that I have done an amazing job and that a moment here and there when I lose it does not define me.  See the strength I put out every damn day, from morning till night, to the middle of the night.  Overlook the momentary breakdowns.

But that isn't how the world works.  In 9 months, you have seen my pain three times.  And you think I am not worthy.  I am not capable.  I must never show my true colors. I must be stronger than strong and never show fear or pain or anything real.  Hide.  Cover.  Act.  Pretend.  And work your ass off.  That is all you are.  You are not a person.  You have only the strength you profess, divided by the moments you are fine, subtract your breakdowns to the tenth power.  So move on.  Keep going...we will see you.  You will fail.

No one stands beside me.  I want to tell the world to fuck off.  I miss the days when I knew you stood beside me, John.  When I could tell you my problems and you would tighten your fists ready to beat down anyone who would disrespect me.

Today, for the first time, I had to wonder what would happen if someone said I was not doing my job.  Any of them.  And I felt in my gut what it might be like to, only for a brief moment, lose my kids.  Why is life making me think these things??  I am not perfect but I am doing okay!! I swear I am!!!!!!  And I am fighting to get why is it that the people in charge are only seeing the things that are breaking??

It's quiet.  The dogs are sleeping at my feet.  I stare at the pink plastic wheels of the baby doll toy stroller and I feel my heart breaking all over.  I wasn't supposed to be a single mom.  I thought about doing that a long time ago.  I decided it was a bad idea.  I don't want to do this alone.  I would love to know what it was like to have someone like John beside me, forever, believing in me and my abilities.  Good lord that man loved me.  He sometimes sucked at telling me, but all he ever did was try to support and encourage me.  I cannot express in words how much I hate the fact that he is not here to influence our kids.  How much I hate that his family is not really a part of mine.  How much I hate that his friends are so far away, so distant, so disconnected.  How much I hate that I have no one there to let me have a night out now and then, to let off steam.  I can't even find time for my therapist, for any therapist.  I can't talk about what I can't do.  I am afraid someone will decide I'm not good enough.

I will screw up more than you ever imagined.  But I will love my babies.  I will fight to find a way to love myself, god help me, science help me.  I want to scream with every voice I never had.  I want to claw at mountain tops and dive deeper than I can hold my breath.  I hate my life.  I hate much of what I am right now.  I hate the journey I have to go on.  I hate the weakness that others see in me.  I hate the feeling of pity surrounding me.  I hate when my strength and trust are seen as intertwining disabilities.  I hate that my babies see this broken, sorrowful version of me...I hate how much I need others and how rarely they are there.

I know, I know...focus on what you love and what you are grateful for.  But if I hide my hate and stuff it away, I feel like pretending it isn't there is like spilling water on, I will do both.  I will not pretend I do not hate.  That helps no one.  But I am grateful.  I am grateful for a job where I can show love to little ones.  I am grateful for my amazing babies.  I am grateful for the traveling I have been able to do.  I am grateful, so deeply grateful, for having had John's love to surround me for 12 years.  I hate that he is gone, but I am grateful I have pieces of him in many parts of my life.  I look forward to the days when I can examine and embrace those pieces more fully.

There is more I hate, and more I love.  But I need to think of other things, because I need to rest.  My sink is full of dirty dishes.  I have laundry in the washer that will need to be run through a third time this weekend.  For now, I do not care.  I need to let go of the fact that I just got paid five days ago and am already in the red, that no matter what I do I worry it won't be good enough for my boss, that we need cough drops and diapers and juice boxes...I will shower and lay down with my arms around my two youngest, holding in my heart the hug and snuggle I got from my oldest before he went to bed...holding close the back rub he always wants to give me...holding close the love they bring me direct from their hearts and the memory of their father.  And every one else can go screw off because if John loved me, I can do ANYTHING.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


9 months and counting.  And our first born baby had his 8th birthday this last week.  This last week, I also decided I didn't like the cigarettes I was smoking.  I also decided I needed to not drink so much.  Didn't want to.  Today, it became apparent that money is even more messed up then I realized, not tight, just mismanaged and screwed up.  And I am in the hole four days after getting paid.  And I didn't even let that get me.  I was scared about bringing my plans to my boss.  And then my youngest lost his lovey, his "bee" the blanket.  I looked everywhere.  Up and down the stairs three times, already late for work and my knee screaming in pain with each stair.  And I started asking John for help- he used to be great at this stuff...of course, he is dead so unable to help.  So I started screaming.  Like a flat out maniac.  Screaming and screaming and blood curdling screams.  One thing I did NOT do was punch anything, break anything, or hurt myself.  These are strides forward!  But then I started crying.  And I couldn't stop.  And the yelling kept trying to break through.

It was an anxiety attack of wide proportions, my morning.  But I got through and taught.  And the day was good, with the students.

I don't know what any of this means.  I don't know how to handle the disaster scene that is my heart.  I have equipment because I have been here before, but it isn't the same.  Before, I went in and then out again.  I traipsed along the craggy edges.  I parachuted in and was helicoptered out. my plane crashed.  I'm here for the long haul, me and Wilson, the bloody handprint upon my heart.  I have no single phone call, no life raft, no life line.  I have random packages of kindness and irrelevancy, friendship and judgment and advice.  And I, well, I am in a bubble:  an impermeable bubble that allows me to see and hear and almost interact.  But nothing touches me.

And it sure would be be touched.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

running, meditating, sleeping, and back flips

So my secret saving graces
have worn out their welcome
a shadow from the past
that shouldn't have been seen
has faded
I put down the lighter
put the cork back in the bottle

sorry to hear you are having such a hard time
but stop it
make a goal
have a plan
choose a strategy
I think school can be a good place for you
leave your life and your worries at the door
be a star shining a bit brighter because the world around you is so dark

I'd like to run.  Can't leave the kids for extended times
and my right knee really hurts
Meditation, perhaps.  But I fall asleep
and the Monk has said if you fall asleep when you try to meditate
well, you were tired
and needed sleep

like learning a back flip
it takes determination
hard work
falling on your face over and over
but I imagine, like learning a back flip
just because you land once
doesn't mean you will do it the next time
you have to keep flipping
landing and falling and over shooting scraping skin and launching off
till you finally stick it
I'm trying
with every load of laundry
every birthday party
every cooked meal set at a table with candles
every book read at bedtime

how can surviving and getting through
not be enough
of a goal?  Is it like the quote
telling you to shoot for the moon
because even if you miss
you will end up among the stars?

What if you started
underground?  buried alive?
It takes a long time to tear away
at the coffin surrounding you
with only teeth and nails
then burrow up to the sky again
and that is just surviving
yet it is a miracle battle beyond belief

Goals are a good idea.  Focusing beyond
where you are likely to land
But patience is also powerful
and if it takes a while
to claw my way out, well, then
so be it.