Sunday, November 29, 2009

Namaste yay yay

This morning as I begin my yoga practice mindfully I will create an intention, bring awareness inward to breath and focus my energy on a person, an aspiration, a dream, a hope, a purpose or something I wish to change in the world or in my life (yoga isn’t just patchouli, kumbaya and hocus-pocus, bitches). Today my intent is restraint.


Having spent much of the past couple-to-few years railing wildly against it (figuratively, like a device or means of restraining, a harness for the body or spirit) I call out to my quiet self to bring the needle to center. To fill the sometimes empty holes with more joy and self-love (dirty) instead of food or drink or casual people and casual situations. It is a good, wise and difficult thing to know your foibles, to be fully aware of triggers and behaviors that ring the alarm bell to a fire in the hole. To know you’re not really at peace, not really being truthful or loving enough, not really being accepting of what and who you are in the moment.

So this morning I forgive the eating to the point of sickness. I forgive how effortless the bottom of the wine bottle appears when it’s just me looking into it. I forgive being torn between something that feels real and like I’ve always heard it should be and someone who can still bring me to the edge of temptation since that’s how it always was.

The love of self is real, regardless of sometimes sliding. I trust myself.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good food, good meat...

There’s a huge Tupperware bowl on my kitchen counter. Not comically massive but one round, large and deep enough to soak ones feet in should they be so inclined. It's filled with fresh fruit.

Three turkey trots scheduled tomorrow and the first suggested (when asked) that I bring a fruit salad. Not entirely off the cuff given my host (and myself) are fans and regular crunchers of all things raw. That and I have the touch with salade de fruits, fresh and never canned ingredients in interesting combos, seasoned with a sprinkle of cassia cinnamon and dusting of brown sugar (never white...gosh, I hope I have brown sugar). Trip to the organic market left me a bit uninspired, however. Wanted to go with fruits known to help with digestion and remedy belly bloat (melons, pineapple, papayas), but I couldn’t find my ju ju, the vibe. Instead I loaded everything that smelled sweet into the cart, thinking whatever didn’t make it chopped rustic in a serving bowl I’d devour in my daily diet.

In no particular order I’m working with:

one smallish and rather hard pineapple
two samsuta tangerines
one cantaloupe
one honeydew
four kiwis
one asian pear
one package of blackberries

The final product will be inventive and awe-inspiring or a head scratcher.

After afternoon dinner down south I'm heading north for dessert (word on the street is both cranberry cake and pumpkin cheesecake) with the holiday hostess with the mostest. Her home will be fully decorated for Christmas, including trees on several floors, themed like those you find at Macy’s. There will be wine and loads of good company.

Final stop (fingers crossed) a drop-in on my adoptive Mormon clan, an interesting and eclectic mix who always extend a holiday invitation (no matter what they read in the blog). Plus I come home absolutely sober.

Last year I cooked a small meal for one, turkey breast, maybe boiled red potatoes and fresh green beans. I don’t recall being overly sad, but missing the company. The tradition. I may have taken myself to a movie but I don’t think so. Grateful to find myself this Thanksgiving healthy and happy and well looked after. Makes the missing less so.

Actually, it redefines what family really is.

...good God, let's eat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving thanks

Received an incredible Thanksgiving gift this week. Not that we give gifts at Thanksgiving, turkey legs wrapped in foil (other than Reynolds aluminum) or tulle tied around steaming mounds of apple and onion stuffing.

Feeling a bit bleak and adrift in the boy-girl-relationship-duck-duck-goose pond and wondering what the hell kind woman I really am, I turned to a friend whom I met for the first time in leg warmers and parachute pants. Fate and serendipity (plus Internet sleuthing) brought us back into a space separated only by miles.

She gave me a song.

Oh why you look so sad
The tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now

It wasn't about a boy. Not really. In the scars sewn up but where you can still see the tear, folded neatly into my emotional baggage is the feeling of simply. not. mattering. Believing regardless of words or actions the affection is fleeting or could dissolve with little effort.

Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
Cause I’ve seen the dark side too

I woefully dislike the word “deserve.” No one deserves or has a lock on happiness or love or fidelity or family or friends or self-worth. These things are earned. I tried, really tried for so long to carry the load up heavy steps of acceptance. But I was too fat. Always too cheeky. Too smart. Too dumb. Too threatening. Too closed off. Too scared.

When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

Genuine female-to-female relationships are often impossible. We expect so much, we hide so little. We mistakenly forgo the permanent women in our lives for the momentary men. We fall in love with the wrong people and return to our women as they feed us, “He doesn’t deserve you.” Deserve.

So if you're mad get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now

I’ve been judged, have you? Anyone living out loud, off script has been. Those who can't accept your falling down insist you stay there and suffer. Take one more kick to the ribs then forgive. The cost of redemption just a small piece of your heart.

I’ll stand by you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Hey, what you got to hide
I get angry too
Well I’m a lot like you

I’ve been hurt by those whose blood I share. Have you? Those who wanted, demanded, plugged into a vein drawing more, more, more. I didn’t stay for the cutting, not theirs . I blood let in private because you can't hurt me like I can hurt me.

When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
Cause even if you're wrong
I’ll stand by you

Blind love isn’t real. Unconditional love is. Unconditional, not limited by conditions. Simple and complex as that. No matter the outcome, no matter the secrets revealed, I’ll be here, running the other way when you flee out of fear. I’ll catch you.

And when, when the night falls on you, baby
You feeling all alone
You won't be on your own
I’ll stand by you

I leave the door unlocked, and some choose to walk through it in the dark. I have much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Watching the clothes, like Chrissie Hynde

Sitting in the overstuffed chair-ottoman combo, I'd just finished my second and last glass of red (told myself I had to ration). Tonight, home alone and left to my own devices (dirty), clicking through Facebook and gossip blogs waiting on a load of towels to dry. Yes, Virginia, even a fun and frolicking pepper pot spends an odd Friday night doing nothing more than her laundry. I do, however, sit atop the washer during the unbalanced and banging spin cycle. I am, after all, me.

Told myself I should blog. Haven't in a while, sometimes tired or written out, often unsure of what and how to share some personal tales and torrid thoughts. Toyed with the idea of exploring more under the veil of fiction, blur the line between me and me.

I do love to write, express the noise from the buzz in my head.

"Fine," I ration, "If you blogged exactly one year ago tonight, you will not break the self-imposed-two-cocktail rule and drink until sleep is dizzy or you find old trouble. You will write."

And one year ago tonight I blogged.

So I poured a Hansen Vanilla Cola over loads of ice (chances are I’ll crunch through it on my right back molar despite the new sealant over old) and tuned to an 80’s station over Internet radio on the Squeezebox™ (dirtier), a gift from the manfriend. He’s a gem, knows and keeps on hand the kind of wine I drink and brand of soy milk I prefer. We shared a cozy late Sunday afternoon, him splayed on the couch reading the paper, me in the kitchen rustling up an herb-roasted chicken and sweet potato oven fries supper. I think we’re segueing into relationship territory, but I’d still introduce him as “My friend, 'Manfriend'” in social circles if we had any; he’s yet to meet my friends or spattering of family and vice versa. Whether that’s on track or something else I can't say. He strikes me as a one-woman-guy. I don't entirely know what kind of girl I am, but he is the cheese to my macaroni.

Funny I wrote a year ago about my unhappy-hypothyroid. This morning I went for the annual “well woman” exam, the yearly lube and tube, feet firmly planted in heated metal stirrups covered with fuzzy mittens-cum-pot-holders printed with the Valtrex logo (which doesn’t instill much confidence in expected cooch cleanliness.) Today marked the end of a nearly years natural approach to treatment; a few months into the traditional daily pill meant to trick my throat gland into performing, after much reading and research I approached my doctor and suggested a holistic plan - more soy and iron fueled spinach in the daily diet, yoga and coconut oil and selenium and Vitamin D3. She agreed. Three tubes of deeply burgundy blood now await spinning and lab analysis. I've been more tired than usual, get the blues on occasion and my finger and toenails are brittle regardless of the biotin supplements that make my hair grow even faster and thicker - all signs of an endocrine system off kilter.

They inspected my still gray-black big toenail; her assistant called fungus, the doctor bruising from traumatic injury. We all agreed I should simply paint over it. Did I mention the diaphragm fitting? Something slightly porno, off-putting and oddly hilarious about reaching deep into oneself to fish for a hard edge while in a gown that ties front and another set of eyes at stool level. Talk about comfort with one's body and health (the secret to swift removal, ladies, a good hard push or two - Kegel it out.)

Funny I wrote a year ago about a live performance at the art center in Boulder. This past Saturday returned for a theatrical dance program, “40 Women Over age 40.” Each year (although this was my first) choreographer Nancy Cranbourne puts together a dance company of ladies over the age of 40, some former pros, some not. The show was titled “Feels like Falling” and many of the avant garde pieces dealt with loss and the process of healing after. Although I couldn’t really groove on interpretations of sour relationships, marriage and motherhood, the idea of figuratively and literally falling to the ground and laying alone for a bit before other arms pull you back to feet - with help from your own legs - was moving. And I saw something else. The soft bellies, the frontal pooch, the near FUPA. The small, converse slope of stomach found in even the most fit, sinewy bodies of older ladies. Jutting out just below the breasts, it looks happy and made from whole milk and sweet sugar cookies, like the tummy on a toddler girl.

Most ladies get them. It is our destiny. And a nice soft spot to allow ones head to rest on, lips to brush and hands to explore.

And it smells like sweet sugar cookies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Voices inside my head

Day starts on my back, digging up from the rabbit hole of slumber, huddled into down and high thread count. Into new light, an awakening of bones and spirit. Body pulls itself in opposite directions, feeling for strains. Breathe deep, six counts in and six counts out. Focus on the day ahead and where my head will sit in it. Sadie knocks from the outside side of the bedroom window, pulling natural claws into a screen that pops back into its frame with a soft clunk. I don’t want to go to school. Just five more minutes. Is the back tight or tighter? Daily dose of two aspirin will soothe that out. Hips feel open. Carry a good deal of stress and anxiety in our backs and hips, women especially. Six counts in, six counts out. Can I make 9 a.m. kick boxing or stick to a solo hour on the incline treadmill? Little scared of sweaty pounding with a self-diagnosed runners toe. Fungus sounds gross, runner toe strong. Bought a new OPI shade, something in a gray, that will cover the muted purple nail bed nicely. Want to go for a wax, quick check says it’s time. $55 for a clean work area. Maybe just go old school, power to the muff. Old fling texted. Really haven’t the desire or need, his 32 years, stomach and wavy Kennedyesque hair aside. I like the perfect spoon and arm across my hip the next morning more. Ladies days approaching, if tender nipples have anything to say about it. Dentist tomorrow, one last day to chew ice on the right side. One old friends birthday Thursday, one old friends test results, for the one breast. I love that girl.

And all this before coffee.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gems and germinations

As do most writers, tinkers or creative types I leave a trail of scribbles. Papers and notes, a jot here and there, ideas and concepts and quips. Some sit in this laptop, some in scraps and bits tucked into books, on old tablets and in the digital voice recorder bought for such a purpose; I leave the tiny metal wonder next to my bed to record fleeting thoughts and funny shenanigans as they occur. Grand idea, but I can’t figure out how to retrieve hours of sound bites from the myriad of folders I’ve created. Like dead artists before me, perhaps the musings will become my lost tapes.

Funny to come across tiny archives and trifles of thought, to revisit the space my head was in or realize how distance has changed circumstance, what a moment became or didn’t. Some seem outdated, some precursory and others fortune telling.

Some unfinished, some still in the making, some simply tidbits.

Are you ready to meet the love of your life?

Probably not. Or more to the point, nope. There's a buffet and it's okay to snack, at 20 or 40. Yet eHarmony® constantly asks from the glow of the 24 inch tube if I’m ready for the real thing. It’s worse than the constant stream of questions at family picnics past:

Dearinee, when ya gonna settle down? Find that special guy?

Last (and only) time my Dad asked I said I’d give him a thousand dollars if he found him for me.

Note: I failed to put words around the topic, but bookmarked this link. Months ago. Oh the stories I could tell, but won’t. Not now. And mine wouldn’t have been so sappy, easy and ill conceived. Those who can’t do write about it, and badly.

My birthday with Ben Wa
I thought they were Ben Wa balls. The initial thought, “Hmm, I’ve never given a sex toy to another woman…or man for that matter. How novel! Hmmmmm, maybe too novel?” Even the cheeky explorer in me found it an odd birthday gift, ancient Chinese secret metal spheres designed to be worn by a woman in a most curious of places. And jussoyaknow I’ve sat with Kegel balls, meant to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, create gentle stimulation and improve one’s…ummm...grip. Mostly they slid out slowly as I typed a piece of marketing collateral. Not a huge turn on but sure, I’d give Ben a whirl.

I soon discovered, however, the lovely inky blues spheres that tinkled like soft chimes from within are used to massage ones digits. Palming both balls in one hand, you roll them clockwise than counter to improve dexterity and strength. My best girl gave them to me to preserve my tools, my implements. My hands so I can write. Aside from a red ink ballpoint pen my Mom coated in acrylic, oily gold model car paint and gave me at college graduation, a symbol of the solid 14K pen she wished she had the money to buy, those balls were the only gift I’ve ever received that called upon my desire to write. I still have that faux gold pen, most of the paint since flaked off in tiny gleaming shards.

Scarlet H and a first date
Surprising life lessons to be learned in the form of a facial rash, a mark on the puss. I have a rash on my chin and am somewhat vainer and less comfortable with it than a strong woman should be. I bring it up first, just so you know that I know I have a pink blossom budding. And no, it's not the herpes, but a simple rash. I have a doctors note. Vanity aside, I bought Bette Page worthy red lip gloss, daring the bumpy mound to shine like a light on a Broadway marquee. I can’t hide it so I’ll tie a bow on it.

I wore it (the lip gloss and the rash) the night I first met him after weeks of talking by phone and chaste discovery. Dinner, wine and holding hands. Just a kiss goodnight at the car. The next night, music and amazing food and sitting close, stealing kisses and a little more under the table. Herbed flatbread, warm and salty with a chewy bite, dunked in hummus. I could eat it every night. Martinis $2 off and a band more enjoyable than some I’ve spent hundreds to dance along live to. He had all the pieces I’d been longing for...the hand on my lower back guiding gently from behind, pressing knuckles between fingers. I can’t recall a more perfect evening in recent memory.

He was here when I woke up this morning and told me I snore, at least right before REM steals me away. That he knows that is monumental in itself. I rarely sleep, or sleep well, in bed with another body. A lounging, lovely Saturday morning laughing at the cat and slowly emerging into the day and scheduled to do’s. His razor stubble left even redder patches on my chin. I didn’t mind.

Hair, there and everywhere
For women there are three types of hair - short, long and Mom. Of the three I prefer (and sport) long, longer yet when seen from behind and in an arched position. It tangles and goes a bit Rasta after a night sleep and sticks to fresh body butter slathered on skin yet I never wear it back. I feel like an onion with ears, a bald girl when slicked close to my scalp.

The aversion to short hair may come from childhood. My Mom insisted on the classic bowl cut, the mushroom cap, the bangs-all-the-around style of the 70’s sported by Toni Tennille of Captain n’ Tennille and Tootie from “The Fact of Life.” I kept only the bangs. Bangs are the new botox.

Search me