Friday, November 18, 2016

Still Here

I am still here
Quietly sitting in my bed
Reviewing my life story.

I have done nothing noteworthy
I have created no fame
External power eludes me.

But I am still here.

I have been raped, beaten, shamed
Made fun of day in and out
I have been hurt most by those I dared to trust.

I have read my mother’s suicide note
over and over
wondering, “could I have done something?”.

But I am still here.

I have sat alone and wept
At the injustices of the world
Sick to my stomach wondering, “can I do something?”.

I have hoped, prayed, broken dishes,
Screamed, danced, loved, and hated…
All in one day.

But I am still here.

I have carried my wedding dress in my suitcase
While flying over the states and pregnant
Mere hours after receiving the call that my love was dead.

I have held his hand in the morgue
wondering, “why did this have to happen?”
I have kissed him for the last time.

But I am still here.

I have sat in a room with prisoners
Who have murdered, raped, stolen
And meditated by their side, without judgement.

I have cut my wrists
Started my car with the windows down and the garage door closed
I have written my letters over and over again.

But I am still here.

I have raised my son alone
Feeding him on a mountain top wondering, “how long would it take for anyone to realize it if I died?”
Not talking to another adult for days at a time.

I have reached my limit time and time and time again…

I have loved so deeply I thought my soul would burst from the rapture
I have lost my best friends forever
They are gone; never to return.

…But I am still here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

At Dusk

A drive through the New York countryside today turned into an alternate reality experience. I was transported into another world; another time. A simpler time.

There were no signs of modernity with the exception of an occasional passing car. No billboards, no gas stations, no hideous strip malls or manufactured landscaping. No fast food joints or liquor stores. Just farms and farm land for miles. Tractors dallying down the road, wild flowers as far back as the horizon, cows and sheep seemingly content, grazing upon the deep green grass. Silos surrounded by dreamlike clouds, and those picturesque giant weeping willows blowing, almost in slow motion, in the warm August breeze. It felt surreal and completely wonderful (full of wonder) at once to be driving by these scenes on a perfect summer day. Snap shots of a different way of living.

Suddenly, as if emerging out of the late-day sun, an old truck appeared in front of me. It drove lazily down the dusty road, past silos, corn fields, and barking dogs. I didn't mind the slower speed at all. I enjoyed the scenery at a more easy-going pace. I thought "this is how fast cars should drive" (Monet apparently felt the same). I noticed a hand and an arm resting out of the driver's side window. It was a slightly weathered and sun loving hand and an arm that appeared to have done many years of physical labor. I contemplated that limb for a moment. I wondered what it had been through in its years on this amazing Earth. Perhaps, I mused, it was a hand that had wiped many a tear off of saddened faces, a hand that had punched men in the face out of sheer necessity or loyalty to another, one that had held much smaller hands while crossing the street. Maybe the golden brown arm had sat through hours of little league baseball games, wrapped around the one person in the world who understood the man attached to it. A hand that dug, planted, and picked many a summer harvest. An arm who latched arms with an ailing old woman as she walked across her family's land for the final time. Definitely a hand and arm that had worked on an old truck into the late night hours.

While lost in these fantastical thoughts, an intense desire suddenly came over me. I wanted to know the man attached to this arm; this hand. I wanted to hop in his truck, go to his farm, and share some conversation over a cold brew. I longed to be held by those weathered hands and that strong arm. I wanted to feel safe and at home; to be known by this honorable person. I wanted a simpler life during a simpler time.

The hand waved for me to pass. A slow, meaningful wave. A wave filled with good intentions and chivalry. I, however, did not want to pass. I wanted to follow the man slowly driving an old truck through the countryside at dusk forever. Forever at this pace, at this exact moment. As I passed by I looked over hoping to catch a glimpse of a face, but it was blocked from my the setting sun.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Little House Blue

These walls have enveloped me. Kept me safe. Surrounded by trees and moon. Warmed by fire. Protected by some sort of other-worldly Magic.

The blue house she is called. My son named her that. Our car is blue heron. Blue is a fitting color for this place. I have grieved the loss of my beloved here while carrying out child within. Then grieved the loss of my second beloved. This home has been like a womb for me. Nurturing. Giving.

I have come here to heal and now it is time to say goodbye. Farewell to a great friend. And not only for me but for the many whose lives have been shaped and changed within these wooden walls. She is like the giving tree.

Narnia we all call it. There is something about being able to stroll to the Great Bay, come across a family of deer, and listen to the Owls throwing their masquerade...all in one evening.

I will love and miss her always. Goodbye little house blue. I hope you are treated with the same kindness you have shown us all over the years.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


It is time...

It is time to stop sitting in rooms of grey and grief.

It is time to dust myself off and walk out the door.

It is time to stop being restrained by memories of men who have passed my way and gripped my heart.

It is time to clear a new path through this ancient Forest. Where time is an illusion and the moss is waiting patiently on the rocks.

It is time to rise from the ashes of my ancestors and do better. Be more. Use their pain and struggle as fuel for my fire.

It is time to be mother. Lover of myself. Caretaker of this majestic Earth. Sister to those who have stayed by my side...through all.

It is time to dance as if my legs would perish tomorrow.

It is time to clean my house. My body. My temple.

It is time to finally ask for help.

It is not all in vain. It was never in vain. The pain that led me here...will set me free.

Let it rise. It is time.

Friday, January 15, 2016

An Open Letter to Young Women

I am tired of seeing smart, capable, independent women being sucked into the void of our patriarchal society. I am tired of rape statistics never going down and modern "liberated" women still afraid and ashamed to speak up. It is time for us, the older women, to speak up and teach the younger generations the really important life lessons. We can no longer wait around for society to change or for men to say "no, please stop catering to our every need." Yeah right! I don't have daughters but I do have nieces, younger family members, and younger girlfriends. I have definitely learned these lessons the hard way and I want my loved ones to learn from my mistakes...otherwise why the hell did I make them?

Lesson #1: Rape is rape, and it still happens, all the time, to strong women. There are extreme, violent forms of rape, and then there is date rape. Date rape is when someone you trust, sometimes even a friend, takes advantage of you. You may kiss them, flirt, or laugh at their jokes, but sex is not on the menu. This often happens when females are intoxicated and alone. Do not trust anyone when you are drunk! Make sure you have a good friend to call or, better yet, to lock arms with the whole night. Ideally, do not become intoxicated in the first place. If you are passed out and someone had sex with is rape! Report them immediately, even if they are your friend. Even if it feels shameful or embarrassing, even if you were drinking under age. They need to be held responsible for their actions and it is not your fault. No need to feel as shamed because you weren't stronger. Talk to someone about this. Get counseling.

Lesson #2: Stop searching for "the one". Spoiler alert: he doesn't exist!!! Sorry to be so unromantic. I do realize that people still find someone and marry them for life, but the percentage is very low. And of those who do marry for life, the percentage of those who are happy is even lower. So stop focusing on finding someone to complete you. You are complete within yourself! Instead, find a passion in life and do that as often as possible. Learn to know and enjoy yourself. Love your aloneness and freedom. Then, perhaps someone will come along that will be your equal and share your love of life. Don't make your main goal to get married. Most of the "falling in love" feeling is simply biology. Hormones. Period. Don't be fooled. Learn to love yourself and more love will naturally flow into your life. And as for having kids...don't rush it! You have until you are 40 if you absolutely want your own and until you are even older if you want to adopt children who need homes. Do you first.

Lesson #3: To quote another wise woman friend "Don't put all your eggs in one man basket"!! I love this quote because we have all done this at one point(or more) on our journey. We find a man, fall in love, move in, and give up our entire previous existence for him. Drop our friends, lose our hobbies, cater to his needs, get on his schedule, combine phone bills. Then what happens: we break up and our entire life is destroyed. There we are, desperate and alone, our friends are gone, and we are stuck with a massive phone bill. ( not talking from experience here at all) I am not saying don't fall in love. I am saying stay in love with your life, your hobbies, your friends. Keep your goals as number one priority. And make sure the relationship is equal. Compromises will be made on both ends, not just yours. Keeping separate places is best in my opinion. Do not depend on a man!

Lesson #4: If there is any display of abuse, LEAVE! It will happen again, and again. Trust me. You can come up with every excuse in the planet. "He is stressed. I am difficult to handle. He is an addict." Blah blah. If he hits you, pushes you, puts you down often with words, or manipulates as fast as you fucking can. Do whatever it takes to get out. Seek a shelter, call a family member or friend. This is a perfect reason to abide by lesson #3 because it will be much easier to go. Even men you think are sweet can become abusive. Even if you have known them for years. Do not expect him to change. Go! Now!

We, as American women, have more freedom than any of our ancestors. Let's be grateful for the hard work of the previous generations and use these freedoms!! We have to stand together and say "enough is enough". We are the only ones who can put boundaries in place and not fall victims. It's beyond time.

***disclaimer: I am not a man hater. I have many good male friends. I have the utmost respect for my father. I have dated men of integrity and honor. I love my son. I am just stating my own hard-learned lessons so women can learn from my mistakes.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Neurotic Parenting 101

I believe most Anerican parents in modern times have overly neurotic parenting styles. ( yes, I am including myself in that generalization) We are so concerned with NOT damaging our children...mentally, emotionally, or physically...that we have gone overboard with our worries.

If you are in a store and speak too loudly to your child or follow through with discipline, you get the judgemental stare-down. If you lose your temper with your child at home the guilt and worry kicks in.(what if I damaged him for life? What if he needs therapy now?) If he watches too much television you are not a good enough parent, if he eats a hotdog you are a bad parent, if he wears an outfit from Gap you're a bad parent (ok, maybe that last one is just me). We seem to believe, as a general rule these days, that we are completely and totally responsible for who our children become.

Do we ever pause to question this theory? Is it all our responsibility as parents to mold and create other human beings like we are gods in our own home?? Is it inherently horrible for our child to spend a day watching tv so we can get some chores done or (gasp) maybe read a book??

Think about humans throughout history. Hell, just think of our parent's generation. Most people had a lot more kids in one household and a great deal more work to get done around the house. Do you think they worried if Johnny eating a peanut butter sandwich for dinner would limit his culinary interests as a man, or if Susy being kept in her playpen for an hour would make her emotionally unavailable? Or if Tommy playing outside for hours, climbing trees, and shooting BB guns would surely wind up as a death call?? I'm guessing the answer is a big "fuck no". They were lucky to survive the day.

Of course I believe in evolution and in each generation doing better than the last. But have we gone too far?? Do we spend too much time worrying and doting over our children, making both them and ourselves out to be Gods?? Is this the latest form of narcissism or just a culture colored with tooo much information and fear?

My advice: give yourself a freaking break!! How many good, loving, non serial killers have you known in your life? And what was their childhood like? You can probably come up with as nuch variety in that answer as a Visit to a Niagara Falls cafe! No parent is perfect. No one is perfect. People are born with certain tempermants, all raised differently, and usually turn out fairly ok. There are obviously exceptions to this including real issues of abuse and manipulation. Most of us, however, love our children and want what is best for them. Otherwise why would we worry so much???

*** I apologize for any grammatical errors as I am typing this on my phone. 😉