Tuesday, July 29, 2014

flood waters and forest fires

each one
is a tearing

salt water wells
over flowing
in aqueous rivers

at times
the beating muscle in your chest
allows a breach in the dam

and they come

until they are done
no sooner

and like a forest fire
the evisceration of the path
clears away infertile things
allowing, in its almost perfect way
for propitious growth

beyond anything you dreamed
before the flood

circuitous journeys in confusing deep vastness

I try to be open hearted.  Open to love in its many forms.  But I don't always interpret it correctly.  I accept it without judgement.  But other people give with defining regulations, whether or not they admit it.  If I lived in my world, we would all have some weird version of a hippie commune.  We could touch and hold and comfort, kiss and cry and yell.  We would listen and work out to the best of our ability.  We'd learn when to push an issue and when to offer space.

All I have ever wanted, really, is to be loved in a comforting and safe place.  To FEEL the idea of not alone.  And I had that.  Perhaps people don't get that often.  Perhaps what happens is we all get it, but in sparing and strange dollops, like a cinnamon crumble topping on a blueberry dessert bread.  For a while, we have too much...perhaps we take it for granted.  And then all of a sudden there is none.

I don't think I ever took John for granted.  The depth and simplicity of his love amazed me.  I thought today, about something totally unrelated, what would John say about this?  And then I thought that it might help if I applied that to other parts of my life.  Specifically this big lonely that I carry.  But that didn't work, because he'd tell me to stop flirting with anyone I was flirting with and love on him. Which I would do gladly...

The Id doesn't learn.  It wants.  Regardless of social skills...we all fantasize and reach for whatever seems close, suggestive in its libidinousness, tender in its clarity, safe in the distance of it all...

Things don't work out how you plan, even when you don't plan.  I shunned planning.  John was the second best accident of my life, aside from our Neil.  And he was perfect in his imperfection, everything I needed not because he was everything, but because he knew that he wasn't, that I wasn't, and he wanted me anyway.

Because of my past I wonder more than I might...I know the power of being alone.  I know that only by loving yourself and being in a strong and confident place are you likely to find whole and healthy relationships.  I also know that, as a mother, if you duck your head and focus on your babies and getting through, you might look up and realize you missed most of your life and you are now almost dead.

I had an amazing chance.  I didn't blow it.  I took it and rode it till the end. Yet I am left with a responsibility that loves me back deeply, but that needs beyond my borders.  I am left with my smile, my community, my pets, my fear, my


I want to wear it the right way.  I want to respect it, my Lonely.  I want to acknowledge it so that I can honor John and his love.  And I want to move on in order to do the same.  And, really, I don't know how to do any of it.

I just want a safe, made up place, full of love and tenderness, free of judgment and definition...so I look for places where my mind can spin and my fingers go numb.  A place where I can wonder and think and hope.  A place that isn't anywhere.

Monday, July 28, 2014

there is no answer

Learning new corners of
loneliness.  Sometimes, random people call and ask for different things...today it was someone with a quote for car insurance: So, it's just you and John, right?  awkward pause... and I get to say "He...is dead.  He died last summer."

I don't have anything to say.  Other than the things I feel I have been saying, in a variety of ways, for the last what seems like an eternity.  I want to be a better person.  I want to drink less.  I want to do, um, fewer things that hurt me.  I want to stop wishing I wasn't alone.  I want to NOT be alone.  I know I have far more than soooooooooo many people.  I also know that each of us have our own journey.  What we deal with is what he have.  We make of our "gifts" what we are able to make...whether or not they feel like actual gifts.

I remember when John was ill, I used to watch Super Nanny with my oldest sometimes.  We'd laugh and be shocked at some of the things the kids would do... he would say "Mom, I would NEVER do that!"  There was an ad for one of the episodes in which this woman had three kids who were just out of control.  She was hysterical, talking to the Nanny about how her husband had died and left her with three kids and she wasn't supposed to be doing all this alone.  I switched the channel and never watched it again.

I know that comparing yourself to others is not really ever helpful, which is fine because I don't even know who to compare myself to...if I look at that Super Nanny lady, I am KICKING ASS.  If I look at parts of my life and think about how my mother went down the drain, I am terrified.  If I think of some of the choices my mother-in-law made, I think I'm doing okay-ish...then, there is all my online friends who run.  I want to be that person!  I don't want to drink and wallow.  I want to do things that are active and healthy.  But this is what I do...pain makes you more of who you were anyway.  I am loving.  I am a great mom.  I am a sporadically okay house keeper.  I have a high mess tolerance.  I over think things.  I have a dorky sense of humor.  I love dancing and reading and being outside.  I have learned to accept help, mostly because I know how deeply I want to help other people, and because I remember how much time and heart I have spent doing just that.  And I write.  I love to write.  I write to understand what I am, who I am, what I want to do and how I want to be.

And now, I am going to bed.  Every day, I wonder so many times a day how I will continue to find my way.  I never have a f*cking answer.  I do what I do.  I just keep swimming.  And I know I have found my tribe.  My beliefs about myself, the universe, the people that matter and the things that matter...they are solidifying.  So at least there is that.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

distant storms and almost butterflies- I want to sleep outside

love and sparks
and breezes

silent lightning
and small voices asking for help

a bed full
to the point of not moving
and empty to the tips
of cricket cries

breezes, again
the world sweeping
the past past you

air that smells like rain
(there is a word for that.  I almost learned it recently)

is there a word for
a heart that smells like love

that feels it in the lack of
atmospheric rumble

brushing immobile tendrils
of hair too used to being wrapped
in a ponytail

until the rumble comes
deep and distant

it doesn't even quiet the crickets
but it drives
the wind

and tells you
in no uncertain terms
that you
are not
all there is

the silent noise that was
the souls that did nothing but touch

will never be

so bask
in all of it.
the wind, the light, the chirp, the rumble
the empty and full and soft and hard

that is what
it all is

and all
we can ever


swim before me
after me
beneath me

so deeply desiring one
to swim with me

red lights
soft blinking lights

How do we get here
with thumping ceilings
and nights that are longer
non-poetic long things

I don't have poetry.  I have fear
I have this anger that I am alone
which has blended into a broken
heart.  A broken soul.  A broken being
and all I want is something not.

hands to hold me up
are everywhere
hands to help keep me moving

real hand
no shoulder

Nothing but my power

And that means
my fears
short comings

There's no time
to count to three
no counting at all

just try
or maybe
count fast

either way, for my love, I will
dive in
and never stop trying.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


sometimes, my hands go numb.  And when that happens, I realize my brain is numb.  My heart is numb.  It's been a little over a year.  I feel like I should be able to shout my way to being okay.  I have passed just wanting to be touched, in a physical sense...although I still want that.  I miss his hands.  I miss his touch.  I find I am here, missing a partner...someone to help.

I have been fighting to find strength to miss the MAN I love.  Now I realize I have to find a way to miss and get over (not over, but move beyond without letting go of) the man who was my best friend...

I think I am far more broken than I have been willing to admit.  My shoulders seem sewed to my ears.  And I still do nothing.  My house is a tornado!

It's tough enough to be yourself.  Even when things go more or less like you hope.  I have so many things to be thankful for.  Yet I am still so scared.  So lost.  so quietly connected to so many people, but still so alone.

If anyone is reading this and you have a significant other to sit beside you, let them hold you extra long...kiss them slow and soft.  Tell them something you would otherwise have been embarrassed about...put your head on their shoulder, sigh, and stay just a little longer than normal.

I need to find my way beyond here, where i am lonely to my toes, but not totally alone.

I thank John for our babies and I thank the universe for the amazing people out there who have never let me go, and for those sweet souls new to my world who hold me up.

If I prayed, which is still awkward for me, I'd pray for the strength to make all those people proud.  I am imperfect in my ineptitude and beautiful in my confusion.  I am swollen with the "bruty" of life (Glennon's brutality and beauty)...and I can do nothing to avoid any of it...I will keep stepping, keep swimming, keep dancing.  I will fall on my ass, read more than I clean, and hide more than I should.  But I will also love deeper than anyone ever would have believed.  Inside fear and loss and grief, I will love and try and make an ass of myself, over and over.  For John.  For my mother and grandmothers.  For my daughter.  For my sons.  Because I am good at loving and falling on my face.

step step, spin, twirl, fall, step again.  keep on dancing, keep on swimming.

even though I am scared beyond the understanding of terror.  I smile still.  It's who I am.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

noting beliefs and concerns...this sure is a marathon

such a confusing journey I am on right now.  I know that comparing myself to the "progress" of others has never been a helpful thing to do.  I have known for a long time, in my own small way, that each of us journeys on our own path and rules do not apply.  Now, in grief, I feel for the first time like I should be "keeping up" with certain ideals and people.  But I still acknowledge that I have my own past, my own path, my own journey full of ups and downs, strengths and mistakes.  And by accepting this, how can I assume my path through this particular hell will be like any one else's?

The community I found last week helps more in silent ways that I yet know.  I see my youngest sleeping.  I want, with tenderness and love, to beat the knowledge of his father into his brain.  This is not a thing that can happen

I don't feel right saying my old desperate shameful mantra "I am nothing, I have nothing".

I don't feel the deep and desperate, breathless connection I had to a past love.

I feel John deeper.

I sense there is strength beneath the surface

I still am encompassed by inaction

My house is a chaotic maelstrom of my desire to pack or clean and inability to decide which comes first...the confusion results in inaction.  which then exacerbates the conundrum.
in other words, it is a colossal mess.  Even for me

At least I am reading a lot.  I wish there was more to it than that.  My load of camp clothes have been washed and dry and remain in the drier because all the laundry baskets are full.  so the load of towels remains in the wash...festering.  I will have to wash them again soon.

Plus there is the summer budget crises, advanced course.  getting through this time has always been hard, even when we had John to run camps and diving stuff.  Last year the only reason we made it through was because of donations from random friends and a cancer support organization.  I tried so desperately to find a home to buy before the end of July so that I wouldn't have to pay rent or mortgage.  That failed.  At least I had been able to save the money to cover rent.  Although not bills.  Or really food.  I have $500 left in my savings.  And that is all we have until the first paycheck of the year in mid August.

We will find a way.  Not because I believe in god.  But because I believe in people.

And because I have no choice but TO believe.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I feel caught and tangled in a foolish, human conundrum.  I feel my grief.  I only hide from it in places where I am told I must.  And I do not hide from my desire to find a way forward.  I know, however, that "forward" is a relative term.  It doesn't necessarily mean "ahead".  It refers, more aptly, to movement.  Not for movement's sake, exactly.  But for what the motion brings you...when you remain stagnant, your limbs and joints lock up.  So even if motion is stumbling, awkward, incomplete...it keeps the moving parts nimble.

What do I want?  I want a different place to live.  I mean that on so many levels.  How foolish and self centered is my heart?  I believe, at my core, that if things worked the way I wished, so many of us would be better off.  If we could just leave off judgement, jealousy, fear, hatred, and nastiness.  If we could just, as a PEOPLE and not a culture, embrace caring and helping, loving, connection, touch, tenderness, hope, and comfort...how much better off we would all be.

Why do we need "power over" when we can have connection that means so much more...that gives one a depth of "power", both over self and others...one that is more of a power WITH instead of power "over".

We are one.  ONE.  One soul, one body, one hope, one desire and one need.  Each "one" has so many names and faces that we get confused.  If only we could strip all that, and close our collective eyes and TOUCH each other...with sound and hand and hope and heart.  We could create and do and be so much more.  If only patience were as prolific as pain.  If only hope stronger than hatred...

Instead, we are caught and tangled.  Confused and closed and trying to find a way to "win".  When really, no one can do that..."win".  We are finite.  We are imperfect.  If only we could embrace that, embrace each other...we would be so much more.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

only I can,,,a Journey without a grounded goal

I feel less empty
yet empty still

I feel more connected
yet when I look, there is
no more of a "presence" beside me

here we rest
here we reside
yet "here" is not the only moment of
transcendence, of corporeal connection

there are
a search for something
difficult to define

I have felt the power of people
caring beyond words
well up and spill into the reality of action
based on reaction

A story told
becomes a wish fulfilled

and I wonder how to tell the story
of my deepest need
to my deepest self
to find a way to


Friday, July 11, 2014

life and thoughts inspired by words of others

I don't like it.  What John left me with.  I don't like it.  It's too big and too confusing and too fucking hard.  I try to write poetry to understand it.  To hide it.  When I do not drink, the nights are quieter, longer.  When I do drink, I am forced to look at the loss.  I feel like an emotional scientist, carrying an accidental microscope through which I am forced to study this thing called "me".

I know many things about myself, about this life.  I do not know far more things.  Life is a riddle and a mystery.

Mother of god I look to words to save me, and they do not have the arms or laughs or help that I need.


What do I want?  Hell knows.  So I keep walking, a step at a time, on and on, hoping to get to some place I recognize, a foothold strong enough.

I hope beyond belief that I am more cool than I am fucked up.  But that is a relative comparison.

I've seen trees as dreams...ice sheathed, crackling.  I've seen sun dreams, cradling my crazy thoughts and shushing them to quiet

I spent my own time in the house of the dead.  I put needles in, gave pills so poisonous you could not touch them.  it was my own new beginning, but not one I can share.  It's like something that happened to someone far away, long ago, something I cannot pull up and something I cannot hide.

How can I face my life's rude slapstick?  The slapstick of the universe?  In some game my dreams made?  But dreams fade as the dark fades...and when the dark is gone, whose game do I play then?

I want to let smoke blur the edges of things...of pain, of love, of hope, and life, even.  With blurred edges, how can you ever find your way??

Worrying, hoping, trying, yearning...all side effects of dying.  But believing in true love...what is that?  Story books.  True love should last as long as your life does...yes.  I gave that to John.  I gave the greatest gift, because that is what he deserved.  But what do I deserve?  Apparently, not that.  Not much.  His love was true, and I cannot be done with my life.  I have too many responsibilities.  Do I have any more adventures?

I'm left on the shore with waves washing up around me, some crashing, some caressing, all passing over me...all leaving me unable to drown.

If it is true that grief does not change you, but reveals you, what does that leave me with?  A longing to be loved, to feel supported, to connect, to hope...to help and be helped.  A tiny little break, but on a regular basis.  Tired.  Scared.  Sad.  Lost.

I miss our future.

**inspired by favorite sections of The Fault In Our Stars, Slapstick, and American God: The Tenth Anniversary Edition.

Inconvenient strengths

I feel beautiful
and less than pretty

I feel strong
and needy beyond belief

I feel old
and so connected to youthful exuberance

I imagine I could not care less what others think
but I am on a search for people who see me

I see power in independence
and in accepting help

I want to suck and suck and suck
the marrow
of not just life but the world
I crumble at the smallest absence

I have everything
in the hearts of three small people
and worry each day
that I not only do not, but cannot
live up to any of it

I am mean
I am judgmental
I am sour-hearted

Yet I am tender
and patient
and willing to believe the best


How can I search for something forward
when the things behind
were crazy
and bigger, they were

How can I accept such a vast
when I am only about half way done?

Pass the carving knife
I need only half of what
I have

The question is, which side
and which goes
in the trash?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

odd mind meanderings

I keep looking for places to go...places to hide?
Clouds of smoke
for camouflage
and red cool liquid for comfort
don't do
the things you think they will

give me words
or better
give me touch

syllables and etymology
give me
some sort of
safe guard
a place to hide

But it's effort and, right now,
I don't want effort
Even effort that hides me

I just want comfort.
I don't want to prove myself
I wonder if I want
to find myself
Even though I am not lost

Years of entanglement
-in poorly chosen words
soaked in fire water
-in valleys of dependence searching
the oasis for something stronger
-of a tiny little picture-self
insignificant and too easily stomped

I have had many guides
often in the guise of significant individuals
I still have hands to hold
which is far beyond nothing
yet what I want
is some sort of rock
a stable sanctuary island

It seems this is a job
for me alone
which is an incongruous place to perch
since what I believe
is that "me alone" is
for lack of a better word

How can you be so deeply alone
surrounded by a loving community

it's the nights
they have this power
to bring together
to separate
to entangle, hide, and show only
soft secrets
deeply scarred

my words are inadequate
my strength seems even more so
and I am overtaken
by the details of which I find myself
in charge

there are no answers
no saving grace
there is just stepping
one foot
messing up
reaching out
moving- unhidden,
in a somewhat circular

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

just sometimes.

Yeah, so I know this wouldn't REALLY work for me, but sometimes I feel like it would be pretty cool if I had some ass-hat running behind me screaming shit at me, like "You can do this, Bitch! Get off your ass!  Stop being  so sorry for yourself!  You think YOU have it bad???!? Puh-leese!!!!  Move!  Move!  Move!"

Of course, then the likelihood of physical damage, to myself as well as to others would probably escalate in exponential proportion to things that got done.

So, for now, maybe it is good that I work at something like a snails pace.  Well, let's be fair.  Maybe it is a snail on meth.  (I had to look that up.  Just call me drug illiterate.  I'm okay with that.)  Alright, alright, let's be honest for real:  a snail who had a bit too much coffee.  And really didn't do much.

Never mind.  I'm going to bed.