May 31, 2010
May 30, 2010
May 27, 2010
Yesterday on my way home from art therapy I was at a busy intersection waiting for the light to change and I took the last drink of water from my water bottle. A woman in a minivan with a kid in the backseat rolled down her window and held up a bottle of water and asked me if I needed an extra drink. I smiled and thanked her and said I was ok- but thanks! And I could just hardly believe it. It was so... Nice. And she was such a MOM. And there I was- dripping in sweat, wearing shorts and tank top with all of my many tattoos exposed and still she offered me that water. It was so kind. I was surprised at first I guess- and now I realize- it is not every person or mom that hates the way I look. But my mom did. When I was growing up people used to always say that I looked just like my mom- ALL OF THE TIME. And my mom used to say ALL OF THE TIME how much she hated her face, her chin, her weight. It was painful. Painful to think I looked just like her and she hated the way she looked and so I guess the way I looked too. And both of my parents HATED when I started getting tattoos. Hm. Probably part of the reason I did it. Oh well. It is sad and painful- but on I go.
by Sharon Olds
After she’s gone to camp, in the early
evening I clear our girl’s breakfast dishes
from the rosewood table, and find a small
crystallized pool of maple syrup, the
grains standing there, round, in the night, I
rub it with my fingertip
as if I could read it, this raised dot of
amber sugar, and this time
when I think of my father, I wonder why
I think of my father, of the beautiful blood-red
glass in his hand, or his black hair gleaming like a
broken-open coal. I think I learned to
love the little things about him
because of all the big things
I could not love, no one could, it would be wrong to.
So when I fix on this tiny image of resin
or sweep together with the heel of my hand a
pile of my son’s sunburn peels like
insect wings, where I peeled his back the night before camp,
I am doing something I learned early to do, I am
paying attention to small beauties,
whatever I have—as if it were our duty to
find things to love, to bind ourselves to this world.
May 25, 2010
May 24, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 20, 2010
May 19, 2010
May 18, 2010
I have stuff to write about... mostly about healing... actually. But I am not quite ready. But I am working on it. So for today: CATS! Lloyd is obsessed with a chipmunk who is living right outside the front door and Winston... he naps a lot. More soon.......
May 14, 2010
May 13, 2010
May 12, 2010
May 11, 2010
May 10, 2010
My Husband Discovers Poetry
Because my husband would not read my poems,
I wrote one about how I did not love him.
In lines of strict iambic pentameter,
I detailed his coldness, his lack of humor.
It felt good to do this.
Stanza by stanza, I grew bolder and bolder.
Towards the end, struck by inspiration,
I wrote about my old boyfriend,
a boy I had not loved enough to marry
but who could make me laugh and laugh.
I wrote about a night years after we parted
when my husband’s coldness drove me from the house
and back to my old boyfriend.
I even included the name of a seedy motel
well-known for hosting quickies.
I have a talent for verisimilitude.
In sensuous images, I described
how my boyfriend and I stripped off our clothes,
got into bed, and kissed and kissed,
then spent half the night telling jokes,
many of them about my husband.
I left the ending deliberately ambiguous,
then hid the poem away
in an old trunk in the basement.
You know how this story ends,
how my husband one day loses something,
goes into the basement,
and rummages through the old trunk,
how he uncovers the hidden poem
and sits down to read it.
But do you hear the strange sounds
that floated up the stairs that day,
the sounds of an animal, its paw caught
in one of those traps with teeth of steel?
Do you see the wounded creature
at the bottom of the stairs,
his shoulders hunched over and shaking,
fist in his mouth and choking back sobs?
It was my husband paying tribute to my art.
May 7, 2010
May 6, 2010
This morning when I woke I felt starved and I ate a huge breakfast even though I realize now and with a little after thought that it was not food that I am 'hungering for'. I am wanting to talk. And draw and write and listen to music and be alive. I am hungry to be an artist and real and awake. But I am scared too- because the past was so scary, because I have to remind myself still that the past is over, that I will not be hurt anymore, that I am safe. And I have been having to remind myself of this for a while now. And there is a part of my thinking that keeps saying: "I have been doing this work for six and a half years! I do not want to suffer anymore!!" And there are parts of me that are thinking: "Ok. You do not have to suffer anymore.".
Last night I was laying in bed reading two books. I was continuing to read "The Courage to Heal" and when feeling massively overwhelmed or like my whole head/brain was going to stop working (I accidentally just typed the word "start" where I 'meant' to write STOP... lol... oh healing mind of mine...) anyway- I kept flipping open Pema Chodron's "Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion". And finally- after months of being stuck at the beginning of the chapter titled "Understanding that it was not your fault"... I was actually able to read through it. It was painful. I had to keep referring to the Pema Chodron book to calm myself down.
Why I have been hating (now I am elevating this from 'angry' to 'hating'...) my doctor: For most of the long time that we have been working together I have never really been able to imagine "getting better". When I met my doctor I was in a lot of pain, desperate to tell my story, desperate to be able to make my art, desperate to feel better and I believed him when he said that I could recover from all of this. I could not imagine getting better really- or at least not very well or very much- but it did not really matter. It did not matter that I could not see a vision of myself not in miserable pain- I just believed him. Because I needed to, because I hurt so much and because.... because I just wanted it to be true and I did not feel like at that point that I had a lot to lose. My doctor has been patient. I mean... PATIENT. He has been very patient and over the years I started to trust him more and more. I have begun to trust him so much that a week or two ago I told him that I thought he was not helping me and that I was seriously considering ending our work together. And it was a relief to feel like I could say that- that I could say anything and that I could trust that he would not get mad at me.
I am rambling on a little and I wish things were more clear... and I sort of at the same time do not.... But that is what I am moving towards- clarity and more healing and bigger leaps in recovering.
It is hard and sad and painful to think about my past. Yesterday when my art therapist said, "A crime was committed against you.".... I thought my head really might just fall off. But it didn't. And she is right. But I have just never really been able to hear or see or feel the truth of it in the way that I did yesterday.
One thing that seems to be helping me a little yesterday and today is to think how it is good that I no longer have any connection with my 'parents'. And how I am ok. And better than ok for that. I have been scared to take care of myself, scared to be successful at very many things- but this is changing now. And I am... scared but also very relieved.
So I step into the next moment knowing this is all there is and I have that thought in one hand and in the other I am thinking: It was not my fault. None of the abuse was ever my fault. NONE OF THE ABUSE WAS EVER MY FAULT. I think I always needed to believe it was- to keep myself feeling 'crazy', to keep myself from knowing the truth about my sick parents, to keep myself from knowing the truth about myself. It is scary to let go of so many ideas that I have held onto for all of my life- even though they have been hurting me so much. But I am doing it.
The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.
It's as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the baby's face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earth's bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.
And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.
And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.
And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.
May 5, 2010
May 4, 2010
for sure unless I look it up,
but sometimes I can figure
things out if I write them
down. So it's up and down
all day long. It's a good life.
Better than back and forth
or in and out which I find
constraining. I have up
and down in balance and
with my mother's death
have discovered the true
meaning of before and after.
May 3, 2010
God Says Yes To Me
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes