MEMORY DREAM

Stress can lead the mind down both new and old paths. I tend to be dragged back down an old path to a memory from the time of my sophmore year in high school. It is one of those memory dreams where there is only a very slight exaggeration in the way people look. No one seems to be the correct age for the era of the memory. But, for the most part the dream is accurate to the way I remember this time and the feelings.

I had scored a low grade on a math test and felt I had no chance of passing my second attempt at Algebra. I had to leave. I had to get out and this had only been the first class of the day. To leave school you needed to secure a pass from “the office” or the principal. Fuck that. I was just going to ditch the day. As I walked down the hall, I decided I would quit school once and for all. I would just find a dumb job and then jump on a bus to NYC as soon as I was 17.

I hated school.

So, I pulled out my pack of Salem cigarettes and headed to the parking lot. I chatted with the ‘Rent-A-Cop’ who sat on his ass all day to stop us from leaving school. I gave him two cigs and he looked the other way while I drove off the campus. I decided I would return later to pick up my friends who depended upon me for rides home before I had to pick up my brother from Day Care. Then, I would head to work.

I stopped by the do-nut shop to talk to “Joe” about my plan. He thought it was cool and had some ideas about what I might be able to do to earn money. I drove to The Marble Slab and got an M&M ice cream. I could not wait to get home where I could chill listening to some Patti Smith Group. I can clearly remember wanting for that feeling of safety that only getting stoned seemed to be able to provide. At that time, the angry sounds of Patti Smith seemed an ideal cushion.

As I got out of my car, I walked into the orthodontist who had tortured me with braces during my 6th and 7th years of junior high school. Whenever I ran into him he would ask about my “lovely mom” and I remember him asking me what I was doing out of school. I asked him what a dentist was doing at an ice cream joint when he should be applying braces to unsuspecting children. I don’t remember how he responded but I do remember having a slight panic because of his “thing” for my mother and I really didn’t want her finding out I had skipped out on school. This “meeting” could be the perfect excuse for him to contact her.

Now, that’s one of the problems with memory (or perhaps the logic of a teenager) — If I was worried about skipping school what was I thinking I would tell my mom about quitting it all together? Who knows?!!?!

I can remember racing to get inside the house and to my bedroom. I must have been so much in my own head space that I had not noticed my mother’s car in the driveway. I remember this horrible feeling of dread and shock when I opened the door and found my mother in tears and my Mean Grandma (her mother) standing over her. Seemed like Grandma was bitching or ranting at her. Funny thing is I never bothered to find out what was going on between them that day.

My mother become flushed in the face when she saw me. She didn’t say anything. She just began to wipe away her tears. Her mascara was smeared badly. I remember she did not make eye contact with me. My Grandma barked at me and wanted to know why I was home when I should be at school. I told her that I had gotten sick and came home to rest up as I could not miss work that night. I remember worrying that I sounded lame as I have never been able to lie with any degree of believability. I remember my Grandma wanting to know if I would be picking up my brother as planned or if she needed to do that. I told her that I was not going to forget my baby brother.

I walked down the hall toward the safety I knew I could find in my room. I remember hearing my Grandma resume her rant at my mother starting with a gruff, “See what I told you?”

At this point, in the dream, I can feel me wanting to wake up. Wanting to get out of this route from the past. The plan I never took. The desperation for an escape. The anger at my mother’s mother. The combination of contempt and pity aimed at my mother. And, I wake up.

You know, I never listen to Patti Smith anymore. Her words may be a bit magical, but they seemed to be forever stained by my memories. More of a net than a comfortable cushion.

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January 31, 2007. Uncategorized. 12 comments.

JUMP IN, SWIM, SOAK AND SIMPLY FLOAT IN SOUND…

One of the few positive symptoms of being unemployed is that you have “free” time. Employment starts on Thursday! So, my mind has been free-ing about a lot since yesterday. Scribbling thoughts and ideas into my journal has become a habit learned from my pal, Ing. There has been a good deal of scribbling.

Last night B and I watched TOUCH THE SOUND, the haunting documentary from Thomas Riedelsheimer. It follows Evelyn Glennie around the globe as she pursues sounds for her music. Evelyn Glennie is a musician of note. She is also deaf. Her accomplishments are amazing. Riedelsheimer’s work strikes me as that of an artistic dreamer. While he is an exceptional documentary maker – he often strays into the world of art so deep that one wonders if he isn’t in a sort of competition with the artist he films. It makes for great viewing. I saw this film in the cinema when it first came out. As with many movies, I did not enjoy it as much on the TV screen as I did in the darkness of a theatre where I could get lost in what was being presented.

As I watched this DVD format of the film, my mind began to drift. I was thinking about what sound means to me as I listened to the percussion sounds Glennie creates with several other artists. I do not care too much for her work. Too jarring to be ambient and too rhythmic to be aimless. It is experimental and challenging.

If I had to stick a label on her sound I would have to say it makes me think of Japanese drumming. In fact, she makes me think of Kodo. The work of Kodo is intense and whenever they happen to pop up on my iPod I end up thinking it wants for dancing. There is a re-mixed version of one LP they did that has pop merit, but this is not “easy” listening. This is music with an attitude of force. Those of us who grew up with the sounds of Siouxsie & The Banshees might remember The Creatures experiment into Japanese drumming with “Hai!” This is the closest to this type of sound I’ve been able to fully enjoy. Though flawed, S&B do manage to capture a certain sound and make it their own. They managed to make it accessible for me. And, they also created a way-cool CD cover photo of Ms. S.

When I am at home or walking alone I have my iPod.

I filter out the sounds of things around me. Some times I will take off the headset and listen to what is going on around me.

I do not usually like what I hear. Discordant and ugly noise most times. I prefer the sounds offered by my iPod.

I love the idea of Riedelsheimer’s film — that sound goes far deeper than what we hear with our ears. I also like the side-running idea that sound is life. …that, as Glennie states, the opposite of sound just might be death. I see truth in that statement.
Riedelsheimer fills the screen with all sorts of images, but the ones that stick with me are the shots of water.

This idea — that sound is like water is fully realized for me. I will hear a song or piece of music that touches me and I long to swim in it. I think this is how I hear music.

It is a means of escape. A way to swim to something better. Something to float in. Something in which to soak. I try to absorb it. To be a sponge of music. But, instead, I emerge drenched and prune wrinkled from the powers of the sounds. Swimming in the sound(s) – I am lost in a way I very much like.

Last night I updated a few of my playlists. I often update “My Top 40” which, of course, changes depending upon how often I’ve been swimming in certain sonic waters or songs. For the most part it stays the same. Goldfrapp and Barbra fill most of my aural soundscapes. Not all, but large portions of the places I swim are created by the flow of their music. I love the lush. I love the romantic and the deep waters of darkness.

Today, as I walked toward an errand, I found myself in a meditative flow of sound.

My mind was wondering what really matters most: where one ends up at the end of a life or how one lived that life?

Perhaps that seems a trick question to many, but not to me. I don’t even see any “black” or “white” to it. For me, life is all about how one lives it. Where one ends up doesn’t seem to matter. Especially since very few have the gift to know where they end up. All the money, security and stability in the world may not prevent a person from ending up under a bus or hooked up to some hoses in a sterile environment waiting for the next step in a journey. While it does seem a bit foolish to not attempt to plan a bit for the future — I think it is a waste of energy to “goal” toward it.

Live fully. Embrace. Search for truth and happiness inside yourself. Share it with others without fear. It isn’t easy.

But, isn’t that the point?

Jump into the sound.

Even if you’re deaf.

Don’t just touch it

— swim through it with joy.

This is your adventure. Make if fucking matter.

“Do you wake up very slowly?
Does it take a while before you smile?
Are your dreams like premonitions?
Have you lived them through?
Some people do.
I hope you’ll answer me with patient eyes.
No hurried words, foolish or wise.
Answer me.
answer me with soft silent touches.
They’ll tell me as much as I need to know.
Answer me with deep and restful sleeping.
And, if you dream in sleep they are yours to keep.
No.
You need not answer me.
If we should part and someone asks, ‘Who’s touched your heart?’
Perhaps you’ll answer me.”
Streisand/Williams, 1977

…I wish I had strung those words together. I could float in the sound of that musical flowthought forever. …this painting is by Alyssa Monks.

January 30, 2007. Uncategorized. 9 comments.

I GOT THE JOB!!!

Cheers!
I got the job! I start this Thursday!!! I can’t wait and am all excited!
I didn’t get to celebrate this past weekend. There is so much going on! But, maybe I will be able to do late celebratin’ next weekend! And, I promise to put up a much better posting soon! The weekend just got so busy and, now I’ve got some errands and chores screaming for attention but I’ve been dying to let anyone know who is interested that I got the job!!! And, Kids, I wanted to thank you for all the sweet emails and comments!!! Encouraging words and positive thoughts being sent your way always means so much! Why, you guys make me happier than if I were holding a monkey puppet! …and monkey sock puppets make me very happy. Don’t know why, but they do! All is working out! And, as I had such a horrible time at the free clinic my awesome hubby has found a way for me to just pick up my prescriptions from the regular pharmacy! So, I didn’t even have to return to the scary clinic this weekend and I don’t think I’ll have to return at all. At least I hope not! You know, I like to joke about things. It gets me through, but it was pretty horrible. Someone close to me thought I saw it all as an adventure and was exaggerating. But, everything is an adventure. And, sometimes, one must opt to laugh instead of cry. It is all good and it WILL all work out, but it is true. And, if it can be avoided, I think it best. I am so very blessed! …actually, I feel a bit like Hazel gone all deluxe colour! On a big wooden TV set!!! I’m employed again!!!! And, with an organization that really matters to me!!! Whoo-hoo!!! And, The Happy Dance starts right about now!

January 29, 2007. Uncategorized. 26 comments.

HEY, IT’S ALL GOOD!

As I was walking home feeling more than a little frustrated the rain started. I ran into convenience store and had to just laugh when I realized I did not have enough cash to pick up an umbrella. And, that is what I did. I laughed. As annoyed as I was feeling, I allowed myself to absorb the words of a lady who, when told by the clerk that they were out of Marlboro Lights, replied – “Oh well. It’s all good!” ….and, with that she bought a pack of gum, smiled at me and left the store. Of course, she is right. I stepped back into the cold rain and walked to MUNI and began thinking about this odd day.

The insurance I had for the past eight months was horrible, but it allowed me to secure the medication I’ve been taking since I was a teenager. Medication which I could quit if I had the insurance to see a psychiatrist who could monitor as I came off them. You see, at this point, these meds do not do anything other than provide my body’s physiology with what it has become used to having for the past 21 years. The dosage would need to be increased for me to actually feel any benefit. However, to not take it at this point would likely mean seizures and a whole lot of danger. So, I have to take it till I can find a way to assistance to guide me off them. However, the lousy insurance ended with the dawn of 2007.

Today, I arrived back at the free clinic at 8:30am. I was the third person to sign in. I did not bother to point out to the scary man who pushed me aside to sign the register before me that he was cutting. I felt that could result in my being cut. …Literally. So, I sat and waited. …for five hours. At the ping of the 5th hour a counselor explained to me that I would need to come back tomorrow at 8:30am as the doctor did not have time to see me. This was frustrating as during my five hour wait I had a man try to spit on me, another scream at me until the guard called the cops and enjoyed a delightful exchange between a very angry bi-polar man and a poor underpaid receptionist. Because this man failed to arrive at 8:30am like so many of us he would probably not be able to see the doctor. It got seriously ugly. He was sent to the city hospital. …which, I have heard, from several of the other folks who must utilize the free clinic is a chamber of horrors.

I am so very blessed to live in a city that offers assistance to someone who is in a bind like myself. I would have had no choice in Boston but to go to the emergency room at the Boston City Hospital daily to get my meds which would have actually prevented me from ever looking for and securing employment. And, that hospital is not much fun. However, I hear that only the NYC Hospital can rival the SF City Hospital in terms of horror. So, I’m lucky. Anyone who finds themselves in my situation in the US is lucky to live in San Francisco.

However, I was inwardly upset when I was also told that they may end up not being able to actually see me tomorrow. It could be a 6 to 7 hour wait with no result. If this should happen I will need to go to the city hospital. …and, then return to the clinic on Tuesday of next week. This would be a worse case scenario but it could happen. And, as they felt the need to tell me it sends shivers up and down my spine. However, there is still a solution for me to secure these stupid meds. But this now means I have to let a friend down with whom B and I had plans to assist with a very important project. Sadly, I’ve no choice. I can’t risk running out of the meds.

As I listened in accepted that tomorrow would be a repeat of today with the possibility of it being even worse I began to curse insurance. Had my insurance been better I would not have had to use my credit card to pay the $850 portion of my general physical that the insurance would not cover. They covered $185 of that visit. And, the fact that I had to pay about $200 in co-pays using that same card which is pretty much maxed out now. — Had it not been such a dramatic lack of coverage I could just go to the pharmacy and pick up the two pending scripts still left for me. But, this is not an option.

As I walked out of the clinic a rather scary-looking man walked up to me and demanded my bag. “Give me that bag and your wallet! Now!”

Not again.

I ignored him and kept walking.

He attempted this once more in the same way, to which I said, “Fuck off!” in my most mean voice.

And, he ran away?!?!?

I know. I know. I should have handed him my bag. But, no. Not today. My new phone, my iPod, my empty med bottles (which are crucial) and my journal?!?!? No. He and I would have had to fight that one out. Bottom line? Damn the torpedoes, that bag is not leaving me without a very passionate fight.

And, that was when the rain hit and I ran to the store in hopes of getting an umbrella so that I don’t get a cold. Well, the best laid plans. I called B and vented a bit. I called my best friend to let that friend know I could not be there to help tomorrow. I got that friend’s voice mail but I marked it urgent. I bought a Diet Coke and a cookie for $5.25. Somehow this purchase made more sense than an umbrella.

But, you know what? It is all good.

1. I’m alive and well.
2. I love and am loved
3. While there is a great deal of turmoil going on for the four most important people in my world, they themselves are alive and well.
4. Pending one more reference, I have been told I will have a job! The very job I want so badly (and I can’t think of a time I felt so positive about a potential job!) …but that final reference must be secured. However, if it be a good one — the job is mine. And, I am fairly sure it will be a good one.
5. What I don’t have in life means relatively little in the long run. What matters in life, I have!
6. I have a warm place called home in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
7. I will go through some adventure and frustration, but I will get these meds.
8. In time I will get off them.
9. There is music to warm the soul and there are images/ideas to warm the mind.
10. And, we are all connected in magic ways to remind each other that it’s not so bad.

…All one has to do is stop for a moment, take a deep breath and look around. It’s not all great and perfect. But, it can be all good. Actually, as I pop a piece of sugar-free gum in my mouth I know this to be so — “Hey, It’s all good!”

January 26, 2007. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

SIZE MUST MATTER…

I’ve never considered myself much of a size queen. However, my boyfriend has been a bit consumed with the need to purchase the biggest he could find. By that, I mean he has been determined to find “the perfect” big screen TV.

Before he met me he watched A LOT of TV, but he has sort of fallen into my groove of not watching much TV. When we watch it is to watch DVD’s of movies or fab British comedies I love to collect. But, as I sit here waiting for the first part of his order to arrive I worry that this might be changing. I fear he will suddenly become addicted to watching TV all the time. I mean, for the most part, our living room is about to be half TV.

He settled for a 50 inch plasma screen, a scaler which will assist with cleaning up images as most DVD’s and cable channels have yet to come up to par with the technology.

Anyway, I was thinking of how cool it will be to watch TOMMY, MANHATTAN and NASHVILLE on a big screen while lounging about naked or ultra-relaxed. Will it feel like being at the movies? Will I need popcorn?

Mostly, I think I look forward to watching this on a big screen TV. I don’t know why, but it seems like a good idea. …Or, maybe not.

January 25, 2007. Uncategorized. 22 comments.

THE ONE I WANT…

I just finished up an interview. I think it went really well. I feel like it went really well. However, it is between me and another candidate whom I gather is quite skilled and talented. A manager position for a non-profit that is making a significant contribution to society. A position that would not be caught up in job titles or job profiles or stuck in an office isolated away from the individuals and environment, which is supported. This would be an active position on a team dedicated to brining “voice” to artists, children and other communities who do not easily get their chance at the mic. An organization dedicated to the promotion of media as a tool for empowerment and art. I would so love this job. I don’t know if I will get it, but I actually loved the experience of interviewing for it and meeting the people who operate and make it happen. Man, I hope I get this job. But, if I don’t I discovered a great place doing great things. And, I had fun. So, no matter — it was a great day! …Some ONE — be it me or the other person is in for an adventure! My fingers are crossed!

January 24, 2007. Uncategorized. 15 comments.

CLOSER TO YOU or INTERVIEWS

interview.gif

 

Here’s the thing: I don’t get nervous about interviewing. I spent over 8 years of my career interviewing people. That rather helps one in the interview process. Also, I’ve never really minded auditioning. I am not shy. I don’t take it all that personally. It is a business and so much of the end decision is subjective. And, from my own point of view, the person who interviews me probably knows if they want to hire me within the first few minutes of me. So, what’s the point of getting stressed?

However, last night “B” asked me what I was planning to wear. As this is a very casual setting I had opted for a pair of nice jeans, a v-neck sweater over a white t-shirt and my black velvet Calvin Klein sports coat. He asked me if he could see me in it.

Now, the only area of The Interview that ever bothers me is what to wear. I’ve learned it best to stick with my initial instinct after I have that first conversation with HR and determine the dress code of the employer. But, if I put too much thought in the area of “what to wear” I get worried. This is my insecurity.

“B” didn’t like this look. So, he asked me to try several options. All of which, I felt, highlighted the fact that I need to drop about 7 pounds. “B” disagreed and even pulled out the scale. …He thinks my weight is fine. I love “B” and appreciate his ever sweetness but I know I need to drop a bit of weight. Anyway, I get on the scale.

I’m shocked. Totally humilated. But, before I can say anything “B” says, “See! You’re fine!”

I couldn’t hold back and began to lecture him that the weight as indicated on the scale was HORRIBLE and that I had to get a grip! And, then when I looked at “B” he was giving me a look much like the one I suspect Mr and Mrs Carpenter gave to Karen.

Sigh.

Whatever. In the end, I opted to go with a button down grey/blue dress shirt untucked, the jeans and my cool sport coat. …and my Diesel dress shoes that I got for $20 at this cool thrift shop! But, I fear I looked “more slim” in my sweater look.

karen_carpenter_lp.jpgSo, for me an interview is not the problem. The problem is feeling comfortable about what I’m wearing and not looking an odd shape. Sleek, thin lines. This is what I’m after. But, I am projecting that image in my head and out to anyone who looks at me! I’m not ill. I just need to lay off food. No more food.I mean, who needs food when one has Diet Coke and water?

 

January 24, 2007. Uncategorized. 16 comments.

PIXIE STIX AND OTHER CANDY WITH SOME STRANGERS

11678470_l1.jpgWhen I was very young some crazy man murdered his son. He poisoned the kid’s Halloween candy. The motive? To collect the insurance he and his wife had taken out on the family. His son was fond of that candy that I always called “Pixie Stix” — and, it was his son’s “Pixie Stix” that was poisoned.

“Pixie Stix” were large plastic straws tab’d off at both ends which contained flavor’d surgar powder. I believe they came in several different flavors. I loved “Pixie Stix” Actually, I was a bit obsessed with them. I adored the rush of sugar and flush of super sweet flavor. This was probably some sort of signal that I would end up loving drugs. But, who knows?

You could enjoy “Pixie Stix” in several ways or methods.

Sometimes, after my Grandmother snapped one of the end tabs open, I would pour the contents into a glass of water and drink it all down in one gulp. Now, that was a pretty cool rush. Other times, Grandmother would pour it into a glass of Tab. The problem with mixing the powder with my Grandmother’s Tab was that it was so sweet I would have to sip it slowly to avoid getting sick. The rush wasn’t as cool but I loved the sweet flavor.

But my favorite way to eat the contents of a “Pixie Stix” was to simply pour large quantities of it on my tongue and let is sort of fizz with my saliva. My tongue would be the color of the candy until I brushed my teeth.

I don’t know how old I was. I suspect I was about six years old. Anyway, when this man killed his son by poisoning a “Pixie Stix” it caused my mother to panic. Which was unusal. However, this seemed to terrify her. And, as I remember it — for a while anyway — they removed all “Pixie Stix” from the stores in that part of Texas. This all came down near the time of Halloween. And, it was this incident that made my mother institute an annoying policy regarding Halloween candy and my beloved “Pixie Stix”

I didn’t enjoy dressing up for Halloween. I never have. However, I did enjoy the candy. The problem was that under my mother’s new rule that joy was stolen. My mother would select my costume. I can remember she would ask me what I would want to be. I would tell her. And, no matter what — I ended up “being” something different than what I had requested. I should note that this didn’t much matter to me. I really only wanted the candy. She would have a bag for me. I remember that year it was a bag from some store like a Casual Corner where she liked to shop.

I was made to dress up in this pre-determined costume and go ’round several blocks to trick or treat. It always seemed that I was the only one who was only accompanied by his mother. I didn’t mind that. We would get in her blue bug and drive to the “better” neighborhood where people had money. She would be dressed in a cute outfit. Her hair would be perfect and she smelled so nice. My mother always looked hot and she was always younger than the other mothers. I enjoyed the fact that the other kids all thought my mom was cool. I also enjoyed watching all the attention she would get from their fathers. At some point I remember thinking that my mom enjoyed this, too. But, I’m not altogether sure. Memory can be a tricky thing.

As we walked from door to door and I would say “Trick or Treat” with my mother urging me to put more “spirit” into it.

“Honey, say it like you mean it! Be happy! How are you going to get any candy?”

The people on the other side of the door would do those usual things. You know, ask me who or what I was. It seems like I was always the same thing for years.

“Clown.”

“Oh! And you’re such a cute clown! What is your name, sweetheart?”

“Matt.”

Silence. “I’m sorry. He’s just shy!” (I was not and have never been shy. I was annoyed, bored, itchy and just wanted my candy!)

Finally, we would be done. We got back in her little car and we drove to the package store which was back in our neighborhood and close to our house. We’d get out and the large lady behind the counter would act like I was a “big” man dressed in something that made her afraid.

“Oh, my goodness! I’m so scared! What are you?”

Silence.

“Tell the lady what you are! Honey? Tell her!”

“Why, I can’t even imagine! Is this your wife, honey?” …I can remember her winking at my mother.

“I am! I am out with my man! Now, sweetie, tell her what you are!”

“Clown.”

“Oh! Clowns always scare me! You know what?”

Silence.

“Matthew Stanfield! You answer this lovely lady right this instant!”

“What?”

And, I can remember this large woman leaning over the counter smelling of Slim Jim’s, “My husband is a clown!” …and, with that she burst out laughing. I remember my mother joining in with a forced chuckle.

“Cool.”

“I’m sorry. He is just a little shy!”

I was then instructed to pick out one big piece of candy.

“Where’s the Pixie Stix?”

“No more Pixie Stix. I already told you what that horrible man did to his little boy and I don’t want you eating that candy anymore.”

I remember some hushed discussion of this horror as I examined the candy boxes. I selected a Chunky Chunk. No good. I was given a Hershey’s chocolate bar. My mother then got us both a bottle of Coke.

“Can I have Tab?”

“No. I am not your Grandmother and you will drink Coke.”

“Would Mr. Clown like a tiny carton of milk?”

“No. He’ll have a Coke.”

I was made to say goodbye.

We left the store.

We got in the car.

And, it was at that moment that my mother began her strange Halloween ritual which would carry on until I was about nine and simply refused to go Trick or Treating. A choice which my mother would blame on all the horrible movies my father took me to see and my endless listening to too much of “that loud Barbra Streisand and Roger Daltrey!” …But, this was the night the ritual began.

“Let me have the bag of candy, baby.”

“Why?”

Sipping her Coke, she reached over and took it. “Now, open up your candy bar and enjoy it! Happy Halloween, sugar!”

And then, she tossed the bag out her window. I could hear all the night’s candy splatter on the pavement.

We drove home. I was upset and made it clear that I didn’t understand.

“It is for your own good, baby! That horrible man has probably given a lot of sick people sick ideas. So, we’ll just have fun dressin’ up and collectin’ the candy! But Matthew, you are never — I repeat — NEVER to eat it! Do you understand Mommy?”

“No.”

“Well, that doesn’t matter. Eat your candy and drink your Coke.”

Her thin arm reached over and turned up the 8-track.

…b-b-b-bennie and the jets

January 23, 2007. Uncategorized. 22 comments.

DECONSTRUCTING MATTY

I was reading Ginabeab’s Blog this morning. As per usual, is was a beautiful piece of writing filled with ideas and feelings that can touch to the core. I begin to think how interesting it is the way we, as readers, often think we are fully grasping the originating thought of the writer. Sure, we do understand what is written, but I think it is interesting how we humans absorb ideas through personal filters which can completely alter or re-shape the meaning of what was given. Understanding, relating and connection to an idea or feeling. And, of course this is one of the many joys of both writing and reading — the fact that it is somehow cosmically collaborative.

I guess this is the true magic of poetry. The words may mean one thing to the poet but something very different to each reader. And, of course this can be a problem. But, mostly, I think it is gift to be able to write or create something that makes another think. …that makes another feel to the core and stirs a reaction. …And, touches.

“Poet. A priest of nothing” …Stevie Nicks

It made me think about how people view or “read” me. I do not pretend to be a writer. Gina and Ing are writers. I am a blogger.

Lately, I’ve been in pain. Feeling at once a bit lost and also rather found. Finding myself in a new place which is filled with love, friendship and possibilities — a new “home” which brings me joy but also carries a level of danger. Challenges I fear I haven’t the strength to beat. Challenges that seem to be bigger than the ones I’ve managed to beat before. How many obstacles do we have to overcome before “Life” gives us a respite? …A break? …Is this my respite?

Is “home” where the heart is when my heart seems to often be in the hand of my lover or my friends? Are those loving hands my place to call home? Is that another shoe I hear falling from the sky? If I step too far to the left or if I slip on the next stair — do I lose my way forever? I lean to my sense of humor and count on my comic timing to get me through the hardness of these moments which fill me with dread and doubt. I joke. I laugh. I smile. I hug freely. I run to life and jump in feet first. I make decisions and try to never look back. I have closed doors to my past that I sometimes wonder I should have maybe left half-open. But, the pain, hurt and fear prevented me from doing that. I act tough. And, on most levels — I am.

“Fuck with me and I will fuck you up!”

And, when forced to say this I do mean it. I am not weak. I will fight to the bitter end for something I believe in and for those I love. I will not back down or turn away. But, at times it come down to me I simply adapt to survive. I deal my way through till I reach the safe side of the street. And, I’ve been down some scary blocks.

I’ve survived a great deal in life. I’ve had my share of fights both internal and external. Sometimes, I wonder if this is what a soldier feels after fighting for years. Beat. Beaten. Exhausted. Ready to wave a white flag? Ready to surrender? When I joke about things such as being mistaken for a hustler do people understand that there is more there than amusement or joking about? Or have I learned to hide things so well that they lose their meaning when translated through my filters to those of another? By writing that do I make another feel like they should not laugh at my miss-adventures? I hope not. I find it all funny, amusing, pseudo-flattering, disturbing, insulting and odd all at once. One must laugh. Better that than to become angry or cry over things of which we have no control.

Do moments of being serious make other uncomfortable? Do these moments make those who care about me worry? How does it all filter? How does it process? Well, there is no need to worry for me. I’m fine and will remain fine. But, I might falter from time to time. I might be a little lost. I might be a bit tender. I might seem a bit like hold a bit tighter to the rails of the stairs. I might take a bit more pause prior to giving you an answer. But, my feet are securely on the ground. I am grounded.

…It’s just that the ground upon which I stand shakes and moves. These earthquakes make it a bit difficult. But, I guess, if I lean and step with the movements I might not fall. And, if I should fall. I will just get back up. And, if you should be near — maybe you can lend me hand?

Filter as you need. Understand as you will. But, know this — I don’t give up. And, I never turn away a the lending of a smile.

We will survive. We have all survived a lot worse. I write “we” because I know that there are at least “a few” of you reading my spun words who are also fighting some seemingly impossible challenges. …And, now is the time for us to be stronger than ever. These challenges only seem impossible.

And, never forget that when you hold the heart of another in your hand — and, at some point, you will. Hold it with care. Hearts keep us living. Hearts are filled with love. …And, life. When you hand it back, keep that in mind. And, smile.

January 21, 2007. Uncategorized. 12 comments.

SOMETIMES THE PICTURE SAY IT ALL…

…I wonder what they talked about before and after this picture was taken. Hmmmm…

January 19, 2007. Uncategorized. 21 comments.

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