Tag Archives: love

on scars and the transience of memory

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I’m reading PAX this morning. I was laying on our adopted brown couch, on its chaise lounge protrusion, reading with my feet tucked into the cat’s underbelly for warmth. When she got up I stayed, until the rain started pelting so hard that it broke my concentration. I got up to look through the window, at the dense streams of rain coming down so hard they bounced back from the pavement in white flashes, like nails. When it rains this hard, our sloped street looks like a rushing creek, the bands of water so deep that they reach to mid-sole level of a pair of regular sneakers. That’s as high as the Santa Ana river runs some days.

My writing mentor from the TWSO program says that she senses that there is a lot of great material to mine from my childhood experiences. I think she must mean the parts about growing up in an immigrant family. When I peer back through the telescope of memory, everything is tangled. The timeline is scarred together like layers of puckered muscle adhered into place onto organ, bone, where it was cross-sectioned, stuck together where it doesn’t belong.

The news since last week has been ripping away at one of these. The Jian Ghomeshi trial has brought up many things I wanted to let rest in the darkness where I’d buried them. I realize now that this exhumation initially began when women started coming out of the woodwork of his past, infiltrating the news with their experiences.

How muddled things become with the passage of time. A lived experience that some of us have denied even ourselves the whole truth about, the details so humiliating that we want to disown them. The ones that made us fear for our lives – the too tight grip, the punches that left no marks, the switchblade that was unsheathed with the push of a thumb on a button – those are embedded with crystal clarity. The rest – how we got into the predicament, how we became compliant, before or after, just so that we can retain some sense of a normal that over the course of our lives has become skewed – those things we push away into forgetfulness. A normal that we have come to accept but that is far from what the definition of it actually means. We want to disown this dissonance.

I stood trial for the “event” – I say this only mildly facetiously, because though I was a witness, I was treated like a defendant, attempting to defend an honour that was up to the most vicious scrutiny – that culminated in what would be a forced sexual act. I feared for my life. I complied. I walked away with only my winter coat and boots (because I grasped onto them as I locked myself into the tiny bathroom of the motel room to which he had brought me for what I thought was a transaction to obtain a gram of blow). I did what I did to stay alive. He took the little that was left of my self-esteem and every other material possession that I had walked into that room with, and left me with a threat to keep my silence.

I was already a bad girl, by societal norms. I smoked pot or hash daily, worked as a nude dancer in a club in a part of town that was considered less than savoury. I was nineteen and excruciatingly naive but thought I was the opposite. I was sheltered against most everything growing up, except for discipline. That was meted out with brutal regularity. It had softened the lines between love, pain, hate, respect. I wanted out from beneath the thumb that pushed down on me, that didn’t care to listen to who I was, didn’t want to understand me or find the best way to reach me across the chasm of culture and generation gap.

I left home on my eighteenth birthday to join an ashram, convinced that in Vedic philosophy I would find explanations. At this juncture, I just wanted to find a way to understand a world that made no sense to me – I was convinced I would find it there. I would leave half a year later to briefly return home and resume college in the fall. There I met the young man with whom I’d leave home a final time, just before my nineteenth birthday. With neither of us working and having a rent to pay, I took the only job I could find – I supported us both. This “career” lasted just short of a year, until that fateful day in early November when I made a poor choice and misjudged someone’s intentions.

This man who violated me, he had violated others before me and would do the same again, over and over, for decades to come. In and out of jail he’d go, for petty crimes and preying on women, always skillful enough to evade the worst penalties, copping lesser sentences for being an informant and a snitch. In a news article I read a few years back, I found out that he was deceased. In some small way, the invisible scar with his name on it finally felt clipped from its source. I read other articles about the havoc he wreaked over the years, one of them a trial that created a legal precedent in Canada. For the many times I’d wished him dead, I was glad that the universe had finally complied with my request.

As for me – no sense can be made of all of this. We can claim it is karma until the cows come home, but I don’t understand (even now) the vagaries of the universe, within the context of our small lives. We are insignificant, when we look at how vast the universe is, and yet each of our experiences is important in their own right. We are each important. We deserve respect, love and to not confuse those things with the pain some feel determined to inflict upon us in their guise.

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a-lookin’ fer love in all the wrong places

So…. I’m making yet another foray into the online dating thing again.

I hadn’t checked in on my profile in a while but the other day I got a “so-and-so wants to meet you – click on this button to view his profile” alert email.

So I clicked and got sucked down the profile rabbit hole, because if you know what these sites are like, you will know that unless you pay for a subscription (which I refuse to do) you can’t figure out who liked you by merely clicking on a tab.

Instead they make you click through each photo and force you to like/dislike a person based on their photo before you can check out their profile, but the app only lets you view their profiles once you have both “liked” each other). It’s a colossal waste of time, in my opinion, and one that I don’t particularly feel like spending a whole lot of my potential X-Files rerun Netflix viewing time on… but…

it was hot, and I couldn’t sleep…

and I had my phone in my hand while I was lying in bed one night recently and I did…

and then the chat messages started.

I get them from twenty-somethings…. which I ignore… (I used to reply to them politely but no longer do)…

I get them from the scammers…. which I block… (I actually paid for a subscription at one point thinking that I’d get better prospects and ended up being targeted by a scammer before having the chance to interact with anyone else – I figured it out quickly enough, but still… it soured me immensely on the whole thing)…

I get them from people who are looking to score (which if they would have looked at my profile would have known that I have no interest in whatsoever)…

And then I get them from another type of guy… they SEEM nice at first but then, as the texting conversation continues, you realize that they are mostly sexually frustrated misogynists who are so embittered by their previous relationships with the female gender, and have such a skewed perception of what a relationship entails, that they leave you wondering whether there is any hope of meeting a decent, kind, man.

Now let’s be clear… I’m not what a large percentage of the men are looking for on these sites, exactly.

I don’t look like Sandra Bullock – I’m more of a Kathy Bates or Camryn Manheim or Queen Latifah, none of whom really fit the profile that many of the guys on these sites are looking for (i.e., “fit”, “slender” – actually they want middle aged equivalents of someone at least one, possibly two, decades younger). Most men on there have an idealized version of what they want; whatever they had before, even though they failed to thrive in it, they are now aiming to surpass because they get a do-over and figure they deserve better… they want a “package deal” – a flawless woman.

Oddly enough, many of these same guys are the ones who can’t see how far they have to go in regard to being able to cultivate a healthy relationship (or even how flawed they themselves are). Some of the things they share make my hair stand on end. And they are the first ones to be rude and belligerent to me.

I realize I’m no raving beauty…
nor am I wildly successful career-wise…
nor do I have all of my financial ducks in a row…
nor am I on par spiritually with the likes of the ascended masters…
nor do I look anything like Jane Fonda in a lycra leotard…
nor do I have rocket science or nobel prize caliber smarts.

I guess the only way one can appreciate me is by getting to know me and finding out which of these qualities I have and in which quantity they each manifest.

But I’m definitely not some puppet woman who is just this|far from being a Stepford Wife.

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t have “issues with sexuality” just because I think it’s weird that I should offer up an answer within hours of meeting someone as to whether I think they would be a potential bedmate candidate (because, they admit, they don’t want to waste their time on getting to know me if there isn’t a rather immediate sexual payoff).

I mean…. whatever happened to courtship, wooing and the art of seduction? I think men are slipping on the whole courtship, wooing, seduction thing, if that’s what they think they are up to.

Also, I think they need to stop watching porn and thinking that it is illustrative of what good sex is. I liked porn better when it was campy because it wasn’t used as a how-to reference.

Statistics show that a whopping 75% of women don’t achieve orgasm through intercourse. If men want women to have sex with them, maybe they have to offer more of an incentive when the results are compared to those women are guaranteed to achieve through use of an electronic device (or, if that isn’t available, self-stimulus).

One of my friends (after reading this rant, because I initially posted it to my Facebook page) said that many men consider their chatting ministrations TO BE courtship, and that (in her humble opinion, on average) men are emotionally all twelve year olds. Well maybe that is so, if taking into account their fixation on the perfect female form being the equivalent of the underwear models from the Sears catalog of yore. (This section of the catalog was a huge hit with the boys of my fifth grade class.)

I’ve learned to be alone. I’ve learned to love to be alone. I like my own company. I don’t feel the need to absolutely have someone else in my life, especially if they don’t really care to partake of my company in a holistic sense. Life is too short to spend it in mediocre company.

I sometimes think dating sites are akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.

I’m sure people meet and that some matches are successful and have longevity. It seems like it becomes harder as we get older. Many men (as my friend alluded to) are in dire need of further emotional (and personal) development, even if they are not necessarily stuck at the twelve year mark.

While there are no doubt some fabulously wonderful women out there, I’ll bet perfection is still in short number. Women also demographically out-number the men, at least here in the Vancouver area.

Fabulous feels like a myth. No one is perfect… just “close enough” – going from good to possibly great, maybe occasionally at times even stellar… but not in all things, all the time. That would be too much to expect, but I think that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect good to great to stellar in the things that make the biggest impact on our personal happiness. And only we know what those are, if we really allow for a little honest self-inquiry.

For me, it would be nice to truly be in a partnership, if I decided to become half of a couple. I’d like someone to really give a shit about the things that are important to me. Not just to nod and say “sure” but to really get why I feel so passionate about the things I feel passionate about. I’d also still like to be with someone who wants to dream a mutual future with me. If I’m going to pair up.

My expectations aren’t that I’ll be dating some guy off the pages of GQ. They can’t all be as fabulously literate as, say, the Neil Gaimans of the world but it sure would be nice if the typos could truly be blamed on autocorrect fail and that there was a certain (higher rather than lower) level of emotional maturity and optimism regarding relationships.

You have the guys who profess in their profiles to want to worship a woman – that she is all that is missing in his life (sort of like the accent furniture piece for the living room). Seriously though – who could live up to that pedestal expectation, no matter how hot they looked or how smart they were?! How easy would it be to come crashing down from that heady height and go from hero to zero with one (very human but possibly very big) mistake?

Then there are the guys who want a Bo Derek equivalent only taller and smarter and nicer – a total female clone of what I am sure they most deludedly must imagine their inner-self counterparts to be – and no one ever measures up, not perfectly, because once again this idealized person can’t possibly exist outside of their imagination.

I hate to break it to the world, but there is no Soul Mate. Truly. Not the way in which we have been taught to believe a soul mate is. By that same token, everyone could be considered to BE a soul mate, because everyone is equally flawed, only in different ways. The sooner we recognize our own flaws, the better chance we have of having a successful partnering with another person. A relationship in which there are two people with similar weaknesses along with similar coping mechanisms and the inability to communicate appropriately – in a way that can lead to resolution of conflict – will always end up failing.

I’ve had coffee dates with men who have spent our whole time together bitching about their past ex, summarizing in horrible detail all of the mean things they were victims of – because they (clearly, isn’t it obvious?) had NO hand whatsoever in the culmination of the spectacular and tragic end result.

There are so many lonely people in this world. Eleanor Rigbys abound. Not because we don’t all deserve to rejoice in each other’s company, but rather because we are incapable of perceiving ourselves as we really are, incapable of exposing ourselves to others authentically and lose hope of ever finding those who really see us and like us anyway, reciprocally.

/rant

thoughts on white picket fences

new amor mio

I read a post in this morning’s The Elephant Journal newsletter and felt moved to write. (This post actually started as a message to Waylon, but I’ve now rewritten it as a blog post.)

I was approaching 30 and felt much the same way about time shrinking. Back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s I think maybe a woman’s time clock ticked a little faster than it does now (although in my case my mother was my example of what was possible – she had been an anomaly as she birthed me, in 1964, at the age of 45). I was intent on finding someone to share my life with because I felt that my real life – the one we’d build together – wouldn’t / couldn’t start until that moment that co-creative union occurred.

Well I’d finally met someone who I thought would make a good husband and a father some day – I’d scrutinized his family and how they related to each other (because much can be learned from family dynamics) and marvelled at how few vices he had (because I’d dated far too many pot smokers and party animals in my time). The fireworks weren’t going off gangbusters but I always figured that sex was something that improved with knowledge and intimacy (and I was right).

We married in April of 1993. I moved from Montreal to California, not to L.A. as I had initially expected, because my new husband had taken a job up in the south South Bay and he’d found us a place to live in Gilroy, garlic capital of the world. The truth was, I wasn’t prepared for the shock of marriage, for the trauma of moving away from the place I’d lived in for 29 years (which was so familiar that I could almost navigate it with my eyes closed), where my family (though dysfunctional) lived and for the loss of the friendships that I had, which had begun long ago and still thrived (the distance would make it much more difficult to maintain).

I think I knew almost immediately that we’d made a mistake. Although he was a good man, my husband and I couldn’t seem to communicate in a way that we both heard each other, in a way that we both felt held and safe to speak and listen, and we both lacked the ability to come up with mutually beneficial solutions. We were both intrinsically selfish. I had a long ways to go with growing into myself, and I really can’t speak for him. We plodded along; marriage was a life long commitment, to my mind, and I was determined to figure out how to make it work even if I had no idea what I was doing or how to achieve success.

My husband became a workaholic. Perhaps he was always one, but the initial distraction of having a regular sex life had come to wane and with other issues encroaching (financial ones, because money is one of the greatest sources of marital discord, probably right up there with sex) he threw himself into work even when he didn’t have to. I felt abandoned, mostly, and he became more emotionally distant.

Despite that, we decided after a couple of years that it was time to have a child. I’d turned thirty-one and by the time I got pregnant (it didn’t take long) I would be delivering right around my 32nd birthday. My son was born in 1996 by c-section, one week earlier than his due date because the doctor felt he would grow too large. We’d bought a home even farther away from my place of work; the house was in Hollister while my job was in Sunnyvale. Back in those days family leave was perhaps three months, from start to finish. My heart broke every day that I drove away and left my son with my very reliable neighbour, who had also recently become a new mom and my $100 a week for having her watch my son was helping to supplement their income. In many ways I felt envious of her, that she was able to be with her child (and mine) and have a husband who would step up to the task of supporting the family.

The gruelling commuting, heavy and demanding workload, nursing/pumping, care-taking eventually undid me. I held in until another move elapsed (this time back down to Southern California, where I had merely traded one long commute for another one and 500 more square feet of house to clean), and our financial stress (because I’d taken on being single earner so that my husband could try getting a freelance photo business off the ground without having any savings to supplement the lack of a regular second income) shattered what little composure I had left.

I had a ginormous meltdown. I was contemplating suicide, and admitting this to my husband was tantamount to saying “I don’t care about you or our son” and he thought I was the most selfish human being alive for even considering it in my thoughts. And there was the matter of dropping the financial ball and pushing our house into potential foreclosure (we sold before it got there, for a profit, but it marked our credit with a big black X and it was something that he never forgave me for). Things weren’t looking good. We split up shortly after and were apart on a trial basis. I think if I had not lost my job nine months in, and teetered on possible homelessness (because I couldn’t afford a decent place to live on unemployment), we may never have gotten back together, but we did.

My mother died shortly after we had moved back in together and I felt truly orphaned (my dad had passed away in 1991). I did a lot of self-exploration. Spirituality had always been of huge importance for me, but when death comes knocking, especially with the loss of significant people in our lives, we are compelled to re-examine our own.

I grew… the situation made it so. For several more years our relationship ground along, like metal to metal. I held out the hope that perhaps he would come to see me as an asset rather than a liability, but I felt intuitively that his feelings toward me had changed and he had lost interest in rekindling them. Our relationship finally ended seven years later when I finally had the nerve to ask him whether he still loved me, to which he said “I care about you, but I don’t love you.” I think maybe that was the crux of our relationship – we had become friends with benefits – and had created a child together.

After a 16 year hiatus, I returned to Canada with my son. I tried dating for the first couple of years. It was never a simple thing to do, but at this age I find it even more complicated. I’ve learned more about myself. The learning process is endless, but relationships are interesting beasts.

We want different things at different times of our lives but at their core, when all the other things are stripped away, we want only to be heard, understood and loved, despite our flaws, despite the angers and disappointments that come and wash over us when the expectations we have set for ourselves and each other fail to reach acceptable levels, when the kids are tucked in or are growing hair on their face and looking to launch themselves into their own lives and we find ourselves alone with each other or ourselves… that is all we want.

It is the most difficult thing to find, even if you are looking. For the most part, I think, the only way to find it is by selectively looking – or not looking – because looking too closely will surely show the things that you don’t want to see. The inevitable failings of every human being that is so much less than perfect.

I wish all you brave ones who soldier on luck, though…. from the heart. I hope you find that impossible love. I’ve yet to see it… I’ve yet to see others find it. Relationships take work, no matter how we cut it. They gain an aged patina and must be polished every once in a while to keep them shiny. Love is sustainable only if two people lean in to each other’s wholeness and pull each other through failings and triumphs with appreciation, kindness and compassion.

The picket fence vision was a far different experience from what I thought it would be. I had to factor in myself – who I am, at any given time – and the Other… who for so many reasons is unquantifiable… the “unknown” in a math equation.

I have learnt a lot about myself though. I’m at once humbler and more full of myself than I’ve ever been.

I know that gentle persuasion works better (with me and others) than does passive aggression or outright aggression. I can learn and lean in and feel safe even when exposed to someone intimately (not only in a physical sense).

I’ve learned that many people have a similar reluctance to allowing that breach to occur. And it’s probably the cause of most of what ails humanity – breaking down of a sense of community, and of having differing visions of what that entails. A distinct need for autonomy and self-actualization.

I entreaty you to enjoy your walk in this world… I know you do… but anxiety for something other than what you have is inevitable… we humans are always desiring things, even if what we have is awesome and once one desire is met another emerges. It is our duty to ourselves to visit these desires and determine whether they serve us well, whether they fit into the core of what we want from our lives, holistically.

I am fifty now and I still don’t know shit. After several attempts at dating I’ve given up on it – for now. I think I have more figuring out to do in relation to how I fit into the world before I want to explore that some more. It gets lonely, sometimes. And even peri-menopause doesn’t alleviate the longing for intimacy. But that will have to wait a little while longer until I grow up a little more.

Happiness to your heart and blessing on your feet…
Adriane xo

on the nature of reality… and love

daffodils
The sun is out today, and it makes me feel good. I wonder why I feel so much better (other than the obvious injection of vitamin d) when it shines.

I struggle daily with the dichotomous concept of being and nothingness (this term – a title of one of Sartre’s works – was pulled from a recent Facebook comment I made regarding a poem I posted). If we are merely “nothing” then why bother engaging with the world… if we are “nothing” then why is engaging with the world in more than a perfunctory manner equally so enriching and so disappointing?

I’ve done both. In fact, I have run the gamut of emotions and cycling through the senses and the heart. Love – the idea of love – is such a construct of our imagination; the feeling it evokes internally a machination of our mind that filters through into our body and makes us experience it as something real. It’s not to say that it isn’t real in a very (pardon the pun) real sense. So what is the purpose of feeling, or our purpose of being made to feel (via our sensory processes)? Why is the discovery of our world of such great import? And how, through the unfolding of time and the culmination of our experiences of it, does it change us and, effectively, how we see it?

The idea that “there is a season for everything” rings true when considered in this way. We learn to touch and smell and see and taste and walk and finally think and reason (well, sometimes, anyway *smile*). Our experience of the world is largely based on what we think it is and is so subjective that there is no way to determine what is “true” and what is embellishment or delusion. Even through rigorous self-analysis, attempting to remain objective within the parameters of an experience, our belief of an experience underscores how our experience of it will be **and effectively shapes our reality**.

If this is the case – that no matter what we experience, it will always be skewed and be an “inaccurate” representation – then it would serve us well to figure out how we want our experience to unfold if there truly is no “default” setting which determines what that ought to be.

And you wonder, dear friends, why I exhaust myself with my own thinking processes?

Adriane xo

small(ish) art 2.14.14

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An old journal page finally being worked on. Years ago I’d drawn the sketch in Stabilo blue pencil and today finally decided to add colour and more detail to it (while watching Legion). More still to do but I’m liking what’s happening on the page.

I guess it being Valentine’s Day and what with the previous several posts, I finally had an epiphany of sorts (cue: jaw drop). I was laying in bed this morning (very early) and felt an overwheming sense of love in my heart for none other than me. That’s the best thing to happen in a long time. Perhaps ever.

xo

on love

Every Tuesday I share Rob Brezsny’s weekly horoscopes with a friend – a “yours and mine” bird’s-eye-view of what the stars according to Rob have in store for us – more out of habit anymore than out of ritual or belief, but they always touch on something (how could anything from Rob NOT do so?) poignant and deeply neural.

This week’s goes as follows:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Do you feel oppressed by Valentine’s Day? Maybe you’re single and reject the cultural bias that says being in an intimate relationship is the healthy norm. Or maybe you’re part of a couple but are allergic to the cartoonish caricatures of romance that bombard you during the Valentine marketing assault. If you’d rather consecrate love and intimacy in your own unique way, untainted by the stereotypes flying around, I invite you to rebel. Make this the year you overthrow the old ways and start a new tradition: Valentine’s Day 2.0. Mock sappy, sentimental expressions of romance even as you carry out futuristic experiments in radically slaphappy love.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I have come to be fascinated with the messiness of desire,” writes novelist Ashley Warlick, “with the ways people fit themselves together, take themselves apart for each other, for want of each other, for want of some parts of each other.” Your assignment, Pisces, is to celebrate the messiness of desire; to not just grudgingly accept it as an inconvenience you’ve got to tolerate, but rather to marvel at it, be amused by it, and appreciate it for all the lessons it provides. Your motto this Valentine season could be, “I bless the messy largesse of my longing.”

I don’t reject cultural bias, or sappy romance, or caricatures of it – not at all. I’m a romantic if there ever was one – I would like nothing more than to crawl into the mystery of romance and love; remaining intact through its messiness but revelling in it deeply nonetheless. I think it truly is the lifeblood of the species – what keeps us coming back for more and multiplying. I think of Persephone’s walk through and with Hades – both the God and the place – how she must return, cyclically, before she can walk out into the light again.

But somehow Rob’s shout out to Pisces fascinates me more at the moment, because desire has been on the forefront of my mind (you already know this, if you’ve been keeping up with any of my more recent posts) and I marvel at its messiness at once deriving from and being the product of its expression.

There was a call put out for love poems from the city of Cobourg, and as I sifted through the stuff I’d written in the past none really resonated with how I felt about love on that day. I can’t claim to understand love, or its’ mechanics, why it exists or how it works. I just know what it feels like, in its myriad forms, and that like air, it is crucial, at least in some measure, to my well-being and survival.

So, here is the poem, because it’s Valentine’s day, soon, and I’m all out of chocolate bars and certainly there is no romantic love to speak of on the horizon, though love flows through everything in deep undercurrents when I sit still enough to feel it move.

What love is
I remember Forrest insisting he knew what love was; it seemed simple to me then,
as I considered his words, his conviction. What of love, then? I’m not so sure now.
The older I get, the slipperier it becomes, this definition of a word filled with connotation,
an expectation, a meaning just as loaded for each of us as our opinion of beauty.
If love is all we need then I would like to be able to breathe it in like air, and hold
it inside my lungs until I am so filled with it that it can do nothing more than escape,
and again breathe it in because nature abhors a vacuum and breathing is involuntary.
Perhaps love is too – involuntary – a reflex that circumvents our attempts at logic
and calculation, simply spreading like a wet spot, hot and sticky, our passions spent.
There is that kind of love. There are others, too – the kind reserved for our children,
stoic and joyful and filled with the resolve to love them despite their differences, their
flaws smoothed over like sheets pulled taut, covered with the warmth of patience
and gentle like a well worn quilt; if only all love could be like that, where the edges of
things are smoothed over by a soft focus lens, and grudging respect grows as we
really listen, present to each other because we want to care – to know more than
merely ourselves – we want to be greater than the sum of our parts, co-creators.
Sometimes I think I’d like to know what that is, really, but mostly I think I’m just madly
in love with the world, mad with its beauty and its flaws and all of our collective
humanness; my heart grows so full that I’m certain it might burst, but it doesn’t.
It’s gentle like that, this love I now know, and it requires no reciprocation since it
feeds upon itself and is exponential. I’m sure that would change if I had a lover.
Then perhaps I would want chocolates and kisses and the garbage taken out without
having to ask, or to sit in silence holding hands, wanting nothing more than the witnessing.

So a Valentine wish for you: may you find love, always. May it be the kind that you want it to be.

Soft or fierce, or the kind that pierces your heart and makes you come alive, or reduces your centre into a flowing molten eruption of desire and simultaneously blinds you with its brightness and sears you with enlightenment.

I can’t say that I am ever the same after being touched by it, in whichever form that it manifests. I’ve learned to be grateful for it when it does come, and to say “yes, I see you, I recognize you, I know how fleeting you are, but I rejoice in you now”.

Peace,
Adriane xo

Not-so-MORNING PAGES

Less than a half hour away from my final creativity group coaching session with Jill – at least for the time being.

I haven’t written since Friday. I guess I took the weekend off, and now it’s Tuesday and I’m lagging. The story gnaws at me, pulling at my edges while I continue to fumble my way through it. It is never far from my thoughts, but no words have come through yet.

I’ve been great with distracting myself. I spent the morning listening to Eminem and Pink on my iTunes, sifting through emails and multiple cups of coffee… I suppose I will graduate to a cup of tea – to be made before the call begins. That, and void my bladder.  (Yes, TMI.)

I’m still dispirited. I don’t really know what ails me. It’s back to gray and rainy again, though the last week has been quite bright and sunny and I haven’t gone outside since my birthday (or maybe it was the day after… but it’s been at least a week since I’ve presented myself to the world, fully dressed).

This morning I am doing the no-pants dance (literally… you should have seen me grooving in the kitchen while I was waiting for water to boil and my toast to brown), sitting in my t-shirt and striped underwear as I type this out. Eventually I’ll shower and dress – Rob Brezsny said that I should make my hair and face as shiny as can be… my best self. I’m sure he doesn’t mean the kind of shiny my hair is, in its current state (which is just greasy from skipping a day or two of shampooing). Damn overactive sebum glands. It keeps me young looking but more slick than I’d like.

I have been thinking that I really miss having a relationship. I miss the complicity. I miss the bodily contact, the comfortable familiarity of colliding atoms with another person, in good (at times pleasurable) ways. I miss another’s touch on my body – the tentative exploration, seeking visceral knowledge of pleasure and connection. The tangible feel of affection and love as it flows out of a hand.

I miss it but not enough to do anything about it.

So by virtue of these distracting thoughts, I’ve been struggling with writing on the story this morning (what else is new?). You’d think that desire fades with time, but it’s not true; not yet, anyway. I suppose fifty is still too young for it not to still be alive and well.

I “found” an old boyfriend on Facebook the other day. The mind is always curious about what has become of people we have known but not seen in a long while. He was my first mad love. We were crazy about each other, and also just plain crazy.

We didn’t know who we were, or how to be, and certainly we weren’t in a healthy relationship (because we didn’t even know what that looked like), but man, were we ever in love. At least I was. I think he was too. It seems so long ago… thirty years. We’ve both been married and divorced. He has been in another long term relationship with someone and is afraid to accept my friend request because it may make her jealous. So still, perhaps, not so healthy, relationship-wise.

Jealousy. What an interesting emotion it is; so detrimental, and yet so prevalent – and consuming. Thinking that permanent possession of something or someone is possible, and fearing its loss – the lesson of impermanence not yet gleaned. Nor the understanding that even when people stay together, things change and evolve – and different doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

Jealousy rears itself on its hind quarters like a spooked horse when one feels insecure in oneself or a relationship (or a situation). It takes gentle self-compassion (and for the other person likewise to show compassionate awareness) to move past it. Of being truthful, kind and transparent… and that level of exposure is fearsome and hard.

Life is too short to be spending it on not wearing yourself on your sleeve, though. Not doing so robs everyone of your best self, including you.

Transparency is important, I think. I learned that the hard way, over many relationships and many years of trial and error.

My last one was the hardest. It stretched me further than I had ever stretched before; it made me grow in ways I didn’t think I had to grow or didn’t know that I wanted to. It was at once one of the most intense and most terrifying relationships that I’d ever had.

It still saddens me that the experience wasn’t a reciprocal one – that the power of it was diminished because we weren’t equally open and present to each other. It taught me a lot about releasing expectation and what the meaning of responsibility was in the context of a relationship. It also taught me to be mindful of my instincts – my body knew what was happening even before things became known – the body knows; trust the body. It also taught me to trust my worth. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy.

I think that the only way to evolve in this world is through relationship – to enjoy the process while growing in awareness. It is like walking in two worlds, really, one foot in the sacred, and one foot in the profane.

I miss it but not enough to do anything about it.

wishes like fishes…

WishUponAStar
(after seeing THIS site, I thought I’d put a prayer of sorts out there…)

that great thoughts, like butterflies, imaginally take flight
that hopes, like balloons, float up to great heights
that I shape the best year yet, one little step by one little step
that love will prevail, when all else fails
that discomfort be replaced by action, ache by joy
that prosperity be in numbers, abundant fruits from toil
to find my north star and follow it true
that good things come to all, and especially you

Happy New Year
Love, Me xo

truth or consequences

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The school year is only a month or so in, but already the emails start coming, from the teachers, from the counsellor. My son will early next year officially be of voting age, and yet, and yet…

A friend asked about consequences for his not showing up and going to school. The onus is on him. The consequences for him not following through are his failure to thrive. So no punishment, which to my mind, as far as he is concerned, has not worked since elementary school (and I question it’s effectiveness, even then, in retrospect).

We did, however, have a talk. I talked, mostly, and he listened, mostly, but when asked he did reply as best he could, and that’s all I can expect. I told him to reach out – that he is never in anything alone – and if he needs assistance or just a sounding board, people who love and care about him are around him and always available.

I did not get preachy (much) but I told him that some people are lucky and some people struggle and some work really hard and we all attempt to wring out of life what we need and want, and what that means to each person is an individual thing, but we each need to spend some time with ourselves to figure out what that is.

I told him that I struggle, that I struggle to provide us a good life because I didn’t think much about these same things when I was young and life made choices for me. I told him I struggle as a human being and at almost 50 I am still only now figuring some important things out about myself and life.

I told him I struggle as a parent, excruciatingly making choices for the both of us that will permanently, in some way, affect both our lives. Tears were shed, by both of us. I think I got through. Maybe.

love & foundations

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I’ve been reading through Kelly Rae Roberts’ “Small Steps” blog posting list, and this one really resonated with me.

I am one of those people who seems to need love in order to find stability… courage… daring… in their life, and yet it has been so sparse in measure. I wonder, sometimes, how much more I could have accomplished if I had felt the way she does, about the knowingness of the foundation underlying the everything upon which all else is built. To feel solid in the binding together of two souls. To realize that nothing else really matters but that.

This is when I feel nostalgic and filled with a soft sadness. Like I’ve missed out on something epic, having tasted it but never truly experienced it fully. True, I have my son, who continues to amaze me simply because he exists, but in many ways I feel lost in my own self, as though I never could figure out what to pull out of myself, and each time I reach in, I miss catching the big fish, coming out with wet hands holding a whole lot of nothing as I watch the fish swim away into my depths again.

So. This is me, on a Tuesday before the last day of my vacation, feeling slightly sad. But grateful nevertheless.