rules for blogging

December 13, 2012

Kinda. Rules. It’s more that I am having a public conversation with myself, which is really what my blog is all about. But anyway I have been “talking” with some friends and my family about the kinds of things I reveal about myself on my blog. Talking may not be the right term; it is probably more accurate to say I have been getting feedback. I think there is some concern that I reveal too much personal information. So I’ve been checking in with myself.

I do have some loose rules I follow about what I post on my blog: 1) don’t talk about work, 2) don’t post things I wouldn’t be willing to share out loud, and 3) respect people’s privacy. I say “loose” rules because every now and then, I mention work in a post. Also, I do occasionally write about other people, but I check in with them if I think I might pushing against the privacy comfort zone.

Mostly, I write about my interior process of figuring myself out, of becoming self-aware, of not taking my neuroses too seriously and working with my fears and anxieties and feeling more alive on some days and less alive on others and wondering why that happens. The personal stuff I write about is about the practice of opening up and potentially connecting with people who read my blog about stuff I’d like to connect about. And trying to say that what’s going on inside of all of us, most times, is not nearly as scary or as crazy as we’ve made it out to be. We’re all beautiful and nuts inside and flawed and amazing too. I’m hoping to capture some of that humanity.

The other thing, specific to right now, is that I am editing out an epic mountain of personal stuff from my blog. Like, for instance, even if I blog right now about my 50.5 birthday, which is not something I ever thought of celebrating (but MTB got on the band wagon, insisting that 50 is a big deal and she missed getting to celebrating it with me) I am going to edit the crap out of the how that went down. I will just say the whole thing blew me a way, a knock out in the first round but I stood back up. A week later I’m still trying to take it all in because there was – so. much.

1 Comment »

a heart lesson: the contradiction of trying to keep quiet about feeling blow away

December 3, 2012

I felt viscerally blown away in my heart one day last week and I came home from work early. I hunkered down in my bedroom. I closed my blinds. I cried. I put on sweatpants. I worked while laying in bed. I took a long nap. When I turned off the my bedside light, I imagined it was snowing outside. Which seemed easy to do, given the quality of the late afternoon light and that whiteness was the only thing I could see around the edge of my blinds. I wanted to feel like there was no reason to leave the house or even get out of bed. Maybe, also I wanted a little to feel like I was back in Indiana. Not that its snowing there right now, but I definitely associate snow with home way more than I do with Portland. While I slept, I had funny dreams; I had strange dreams. I woke up and it was dark. I didn’t feel any less blown away. I wanted to cry some more. I closed my bedroom door because I couldn’t figure out what to say to Remy, who in her kindness and concern would have asked me if I was alright, and in my head it sounded so ridiculous to try and say out loud “I’m literally blown away in my heart and I’m staying in bed until I can figure out how to make that blown away feeling less terrifying.” I read, even though the book I’m reading is heart breaking. I heard Remy come home. I heard her stop for a second and stand outside my door. I imagined she stood there and waited to see if I would say something and went back and forth in her mind about whether or not she should say something. We both stayed quiet. I kept reading. I cried some more. Over the book. Over feeling scared. I texted some with MTB. I didn’t say anything about my day or how I was feeling or that I was hunkered down, riding out a wave of visceral blown awayness. I figured it would pass. I would see her the next day and I would be my normal self. Open. Smiling my ass off. Ecstatic to see her. Laughing about how sometimes when I walk in her house I have to remember to breathe. And sometimes she does too. I didn’t see the big ass contradiction in my approach, i.e. in feeling so very fucking open with MTB, but then deciding to not be open with her about how feeling so very fucking open was making me feel.

Ultimately, I couldn’t make that contradiction work, which was weird for everyone, at least at first, because I had thought I could, but then it just spilled out, all unrehearsed and maybe messy. (Also, I think I am somewhat embarrassed that I am not more skilled at being open hearted and close and trusting.) In reflecting back, it was all a good thing. For me to manage contradictions like that and the dissonance that inevitably results from them, I have to get a little shut down. I have to check out. I have to do some small version of numb me. This can be a valuable set of skills when I have to detach from a messed up situation or not take on someone else’s shit or deal with inherent inequalities and crap we all have to deal with to live in this culture, but its the exact opposite of valuable when I’m wanting to be connected and nurturing and close with someone.


seminal years

November 28, 2012

Lately,  I’ve been looking back a little and thinking of those times in my life when everything changed, like in my mid 30s when I quit my job at the Shelter. I was 34 then. HDG and I went on a big road trip out west right away. Our 2nd one in 6 months. I can still remember driving Kings Canyon and missing a turn off and the nerve wracking climb back up the road that edged the mountain. We both tried so hard not be distracted (aka terrified) by the sheer drop off. I think we smoked a butt load of cigarettes to manage. I went back to school and started dating HL when I was 35, and then graduated from college (finally) and moved to Portland when I was 36.  Somewhere in there I also became friends with Bec and David, Jim and Ned and the whole Carmel crew. I started playing electric guitar and recording with whoever would play with me and reading Foucault and Chomsky and Zinn and listening to Pavement and the Pixies and Liz Phair, Stereolab, the Beach Boys and Johnny Cash. I started riding my bike again. And playing racquetball. I started running. I started having a relationship with my Dad.  I became a vegetarian for  a while. I became friends with a born again Christian dude. I started becoming a programmer, even though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. Much of it was unplanned. Much of the rest of it was not planned very far in advance. Maybe the only real plans were: quit the Shelter, go back to school and move to Portland. All big stuff which I let open me up in a way that I had not been open for a long time. Which is why I think that so much from that time, friends, music, riding, reading, has stuck with me, become part of who I am now.

This year has a seminal feeling about it. For totally different reasons than 16 years ago and definitely with less exterior shit going on, at least for now (the future is tough to predict, though). But I am open again in my heart and head and there’s some big and grand stuff going on the inside.

Last night I was walking back to the house after walking MTB out to her car; it was kinda late the sky was bright but you couldn’t see the moon. There was a thin layer of clouds covering the sky, but you knew the moon was right there. You could feel it every where around you.


how i spent part of sunday

November 27, 2012

I rode my bike on Sunday after 3 days out of the saddle. Legs were a little heavy and tired, but in a pleasing way. And there was no need to go balls out, anyway. Just  pedal, I told myself. Just do the thing. Ended up at Lardo for lunch. My go to place for a fried egg sandwich.  It was kinda crowded, which is kinda my thing — being by myself in a group of strangers. I was waiting for my sandwich and texting with MTB and running through a snap shot reel of the weekend. At some point I had to turn away from the people standing in line by my table and lean my head up against the window because I was tearing up because everything had been so amazing the last several days. Plus, I felt like, potentially, I could  fall off the stool. I thought about the Tom Spanbauer book I am reading and this line that he keeps repeating: “You’re going this way and then shit happens and then you’re going that way.” I am so going that way.

Riding around a little before riding home, the sun came out. And 1000s of golden leaves were everywhere, making everything on the outside so bright. I rode under them and through them and made them fly up around my wheels a little.  I pedaled up my regular hill to feel my lungs tingle and make myself sweat, even though my feet were colder than I expected. But that was beside the point, because it seemed so fucking lucky out.

No Comments »

its not like i can keep this to myself

November 16, 2012

Has anyone else noticed? That’s what I wonder. Have I mentioned chakras to other people? Its possible. At the very least, I would guess that one of my work colleagues must have seen me doing a quick Google search on just where exactly the heart chakra is located. I wonder if any of them have noticed me texting more? Or how loudly I sometimes seem to sigh.

I certainly been giving out a lot  more big hugs and arm squeezes to people I have affection for. I would think some friend must have noted that, in addition to how much more attentive I am when and if they talk astrology stuff. Also, that I am using more exclamation points in texts and chats and emails. How could that not jump out at anyone who texts, chats or emails with me? The things that really first got my attention were this new chuckle I’ve picked up and how the easily the phrase “shit storm” comes to mind to say out loud and that when something goes right, I seem inclined to pump my fists in the air.

No Comments »

things like feet and and low action

November 12, 2012

Rainy walk in the dark tonight. I had to get some kind of exercise and that was all I could manage. No complaints, though; my day slipped away from me in the nicest way: hanging out with AG, then listening to music and reading. I had planned to ride my bike this morning to meet AG for breakfast, but my plans got derailed last night by the drawing of 12 point buck, talking about guitars, the story of Selena and two pair of feet that look remarkably similar. The feet were a surprise, a sweet one, and unexpected, except that everything that’s happened since September 6th has been just like that. Wonderful and unexpected. And sometimes it seems that the big lesson of these last several months has just been to go on instinct and say “yes.”  Tuck my tie in boots and leave my car parked down the street. This is definitely not a thinking thing.


election night and other things, like a bike ride and feeling lucky

November 7, 2012

I rode my bike home late last night after an election party. MTB offered me a ride, but the rain had let up  and my gear was mostly dry and it was clear out. Even if it was a little chilly and I didn’t realize that I’d lost my gloves in the bar until after they’d locked the door behind us, I still wanted to be on my bike. I could tell that I needed to be moving and to feel my legs and my lungs working. And my heart too. The literal one and the metaphorical. Also, I was a kind of buzzed, to be honest.

It was the first late night bike ride I’ve had this fall. Hardly anyone was on the street and and there were stars to look at in the sky and thin stripes of clouds and a beautiful half moon sitting low. That is one of the best parts of riding. The being out in it. I didn’t see the moon until I was maybe 7 blocks from my house and once I saw it I had to stop and pull over and stand there for a little bit to take it in. I even started crying. Which seemed kind of like a joyful thing that was about a lot of things, like being in a roomful of queers and watching Obama get re-elected and Claire McCaskill too. And Elizabeth Scott Warren winning in Mass. And texting with my sis and knowing my mom has my back. And how everybody at the bar was eating lots of waffle fries and being sweet and giddy with each other. And I got to do my loud dude whistle a bunch of times and exchange lots of hi-ives and talk to whole bunch of people I really like. It’s so nice to like people and hug them and have a kind and funny but sincere exchange, even a short one. I saw my friend S and she looked super hot and happy with her new date who was mega hot and seemed nice when I met her. And then being there with J and MTB.

And J.

And MTB.

1 Comment »

opening up to other people’s favorite books

November 4, 2012

From the prologue of In the City of Shy Hunters:

Life is absolutely, mysteriously beautiful. Life has always been all around me, in me, of me, has always been this fascinating mystery, but it wasn’t until now I have been present, been aware enough, to witness.

No Comments »

so many things

October 26, 2012

Feeling “thought out” today. Well . . . maybe not for the whole day but for right now.  So I am going to excerpt on of my own poems and hope no one steals it (which maybe wishful thinking anyway).

Still, there had already been a hand on the heart, which was soon followed by another one on the throat and then the two bonfires in the two different places.

Almost everyone at the second fire had on a tie. So many handsome Windsor knots, almost everywhere I looked, and all of them I imagined had been carefully tightened by someone, lovingly in some instances, but at the very least with deep appreciation for a fine square jaw and a strong chin.

Except for me, I kept my collar open and my
skin underneath bare, leaving
my pharynx and my
thorax and my
windpipe so
very exposed.

No Comments »