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Archive for the ‘Body’

Open Water

June 27, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Blogging Dinner, Body, Coal, Faith, Filmmaking, Food, Going Home, Happiness, Living, Love, Meditation, Molly, Running

Tonight I went to the gallery opening of a famous island painter, Allen Whiting. His work doesn’t jump out at you, but if you spend a little time seeing where he’s going with his choices, it certainly grows on you. Revealed. The intention is revealed. In other cases you can see the intention immediately.

Such was the case with the above painting, “April-Tisbury Great Pond-Chilmark, MA,” which I bought in postcard form for a friend. The moment I saw the postcard I knew it was for her. “The intrepid fisherman in waders in the early morning, out alone in his little skiff, too young to be so in love with a practice that takes him away from people.” But there’s a love in the image too. Pure love, that’s simple and universal. Everyone will look at this painting and feel the same thing.

Things are opening up. My mind, specifically. Letting go is more a lesson learned and less a teaching, and I am, for what it’s worth, the better for it. But I still wonder about love. In all the meditation I’ve done, classes taken, and books read there is no mention of how we are to maintain an attitude of impermanence while accepting love into our lives. One teacher said: “Oh, it makes love bigger and better!” But I don’t see how. “As soon as you love,” the teachings seem to go, “you have to remind yourself that everything is impermanent.” They lost me at “Hello.” How can you love and maintain an attitude of… alright, you know the rest. But you get where I’m coming from right?

I’m thinking about these things because I realized that I’m still in love and that I won’t be able to have another relationship until these feelings fade. But they’re pretty strong feelings, so my hope for success is… kinda low. So I turn to the teachings which say, in essence “Live with it. Sucka.” Okay, no, the teachings don’t add the “Sucka” part, but that’s what it feels like sometimes. The good news is that I’ve finally moved out of Bitter. I am now firmly ensconced in “Oh well,” which I usually follow with a shrug. I am Learning To Let Go, and, frankly, it sucks. Truly, though, I won’t know if it’s good that I’ve learned to let go until I have a new, real relationship, and as we know that won’t be for some time… blah, blah, blah… You get the idea.

And so I spend a lot of time alone. I sit and look all around at this gorgeous island’s landscapes, I read, I edit, and I watch a little TV now and again. I no longer eat dessert, run probably more than I should, sleep without a comforter, allow the cats to drink out of my water glass, and avoid–as much as possible–looking at pictures of myself from the back.

In short, things are changing–evolving before my eyes–and although I’m happy that I’ve finally found some of the grace to just observe it, the price sucks.

Happy Monday

January 18, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Blogging Dinner, Body, Cooking, Faith, Family, Fatblogging, Food, Happiness, Health, Humane Food, Living, Love, Molly, Valet Battleship Parking

This morning it’s hard to tell why I feel so good. Was it the reasonable and delicious “all food groups represented” dinner; the fact that we went to bed fairly early; the sex; the exceptional comfort and relief that comes from the feeling of our skins together in sleep; homemade French toast for breakfast? Or is it the combination of all of these things as well as the talking honestly in the middle of the night when she got scared that’s making such a difference?

holding hands

I used to be able to tell so much about my emotional state from the reactions of my body. Time was if I was bloated or constipated I was likely overwhelmed and needing some time to relax and center so I could eat properly again. That would also have been a sign of unaddressed depression or fear because when I get ahead of myself I tend to reach for any old meal instead of what I know is good for me. The phrase “we are what we eat” is sooooo true for me, but now that in concert with the settling of this honest, raw and beautiful new thing results in a greater ease than I’ve ever felt before, and so I feel somewhat compelled to identify it’s details lest I lose the ability to repeat it. That said, I also appreciate the mystery of “letting it happen,” so don’t you all flip out that I’m being overly analytical. 😉

The simple fact that she and I can be confident about living our own lives without the classic dyke drama of needing to micromanage each other brings a relief I can’t describe. But sometimes I think it’s her big, brown eyes that make me so happy. Her eyes can’t hide anything and so when I look at them I know exactly where I stand and that’s new and wonderful for me. It’s been this way with her since the beginning: me learning all the ways in which my last relationship was deficient, the ways I was hurtfully neglected. This new squeeze is so open and attentive and loving and respectful that she is showing me to myself–HOW BITCHIN’ IS THAT????? I get to see the very good and very bad of me and, moreover, have a chance to correct the bad before it gets worse.

When it comes to just about any kind of relationship, it’s amazing the kind of shit we’ll let happen to us, the red flags we’ll ignore. If we’re lucky we get out of those situations before too much damage has been done, and if we’re really, really lucky we’ll have friends and family around to help us rebuild and tell us the truth so we don’t ignore any warnings the next time around. And if we’re really, really, really lucky we are sent someone like my new squeeze who shows us that our instincts are intact and that we deserve all the love we’ve been wanting for so long… :)

Happy Monday, everyone. :)

“…and wrap my arms around a pillow i’ll convince myself is you.”

January 13, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Food, Happiness, Health, Living, Love, Molly, Mom, PMS, Unemployment, Valet Battleship Parking

Indigestion. It’s astonishing the things I can’t understand until I finally experience them for the first time. Is everyone like that, or is it really just me who lacks an imagination? Go ahead and say if it is, I can take it. I just find it exhausting, at 42, to still be learning more from looking back than looking forward…

500-Broken-glass(1)

For the last couple of days I’ve walked hand-in-hand with Tums, Prevacid, and something generic from Walgreen’s. The Walgreen’s version tastes the best and has the most flavors, but so far Tums wins the “killing the symptoms quickly” battle. The heartburn came on suddenly and became severe on Monday when I was in too much pain to get out of bed. I did some reading online via iPhone while doubled-over and am a bit worried that I might have an ulcer. Most of the recent literature disdains the possibility that stress can cause ulcers–as was once thought–but doesn’t rule it out. Whatever the cause, the result is that I am now afraid to eat, or drink coffee. Anything that might cause a heartburn flare-up is a no-no and so I’m stuck at the moment with apples, water, and caffeine-withdrawal. Anyone want to come over??? :) Those of you living on the brightside who are saying to yourselves: “Gosh, at least you have apples” are correct: at least I have apples. 😉

It’s been my history that nothing ever happens with my body that isn’t a sign of something else. When I started declaring my independence from Mom I developed chronic bad menstrual cramps after years of mild periods; when Molly was breaking up with me I developed a urinary tract infection (my first!); now that I have indigestion after several years of eating well and exercising I have to wonder what the fuck is going on this time. Is it really the stress of prolonged unemployment? Seems like a good fit to me. There’s only so much rationalizing/mental hoop-jumping a girl can do before she just sputters and falls to the ground. Ah… time will tell, eh? I can’t wait for the future, so I can look back and find out what the hell happened…

Ode To A Woodstove

January 07, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Faith, Fire, Food, Happiness, Health, House, iPhone, Living, Meditation, Unemployment, Valet Battleship Parking, Yoga

This coming March I will have been unemployed for one full year, the longest I’ve ever been unemployed. And so, I straighten the books on my coffee table.

There are “prospects” of jobs on the horizon, but there have been for almost all of the last nine months, and so I vacuum, and vow that when I come into my house from outside from now until Spring, I will change from sandy/snowy hiking boots to slippers so I don’t track mud everywhere.

Every day I troll the interwebs for a job suitable for someone who wants to stay in the town where she lives and not have a commute longer than two hours, and so I jump rope, do yoga, and meditate to keep from going insane. The thinking is that taking this time to “improve” myself in other ways will somehow show the universe that I’m worthy of employment. “See? I just lost three pounds, and I don’t as angry as I used to! Hire me!”

woodstove

The one thing I can actually pride myself on is that I haven’t actually gone crazy in this time, but yesterday nearly brought me to it… I went to the Apple Store to participate in a “hiring seminar.” The exercise was fun, for the most part, but the overall feeling from the group of applicants was buzzing desperation. We were all ages and all freaking out. This was, for most of us, it felt like, The Last Resort. Retail. Yes, I am applying for a job as a “Creative”–someone who teaches customers how to use Macs and their associated programs–but I think in order to ascend to that lofty position you have to “work the floor” for a few weeks, or maybe even months. I did retail. The Hard Rock Cafe. In my early 20s. The honeymoon wore off quick then and I don’t think I can resurrect the love for it today. That said, if they call, what choice do I have…?

This time of economic depression, like the famous one before it decades ago, will be marked by the bodies and souls it leaves behind. If it’s assumed that most of us will come through this one alive, it’s also possible that many will be letting go of pieces of ourselves that, whether sentimental or destructive, good or bad, given our new weaknesses will simply be too heavy to carry into the next phase of our lives, a phase that will begin with us nervously rebuilding our senses of self. I can already feel that creeping in to me. Yesterday, during the seminar, I was in my element–I understand Macs and their software, own an iPhone and iPod, a Cinema display–but despite this couldn’t help but feel that the woman who was co-running the seminar along with a male counterpart had a thing against me. Every time I spoke up or answered a question when they asked for responses from the group she glared at me disapprovingly or dismissively, I couldn’t decide which. Now, was all this in my head? The damage left by nearly twelve months of self-esteem-crushing unemployment? Or did this chick really just hate me without knowing me? These days every little reaction from a stranger in a position to alter the course of my life sends me into a stock car race of abusive self-analysis. And so I chop up wood in my workroom and reposition the hand-me-down leather sofas in the hope that soon I’ll feel relaxed enough to sit by the fire…

Intimacy

December 11, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Happiness, Love, Meditation, Uncategorized

“I live a hundred lifetimes in day, but I die just a little with every breath I take.” –Ben Harper

I’ve had a rough week. Lost my meditation practice and been flailing a bit. Tonight, in class, it all came back to me. I knew it would, but was waiting kind of anxiously for something to happen. I’ve been so solid with the practice and it’s effect that it’s been shocking and scary that the “old mind” ways were going on for a while. It wasn’t until tonight’s teacher, Jim, said that if something is going wrong “you can change it” that I finally come back to myself.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings for Molly–what they were and how they’ve evolved, if they have at all. I’ve been conflicted because I didn’t want to give my new squeeze cause to worry about my where my desires were drawn to (they are drawn to her), so I’ve been doing the one thing I vowed I would never do in my life: I bottled up my feelings. TOTAL DISASTER ENSUED. :) Not too many people recognized that anything was up, but I sure did. Felt all knotted up and like I was chasing a ghost. I felt very out of control, and as the week went on it just got worse.

What I’ve been struggling with was the questions of whether Molly and I really loved each other, or if there was something else holding us together. I know for each of us there were ideas about the other that were at the heart of initial attraction, but then what was it that kept us together after so many incompatibilities were discovered? Well, tonight I figured the out answer for myself: I did love Molly. Very, very much. And I know she loved me. I think she may have even loved me as long as I loved her, but I won’t ever be sure unless she tells me, and she may never do that.

What we had, and what is the reason it’s been so hard for me to let go of her, was a certain intimacy. We were very, very close physically. Trusted each other in that way. For instance, I used to press on her stomach to help her fart when she had bad gas. Seriously. Some of you are cringing and some of you are falling off your chair laughing because you’ve done the same thing with your partner. :) But that was something so body intimate that we did. The sex, of course, was intimate, but not as much as you’d think. There were pockets, moments of genuinness that made the experience full, but it was almost never constant. By contrast, sex with my new squeeze is pregnant with intimacy and love and trust in the slightest touch, from beginning to end. I’ve never had longer love-making sessions than with this new person. We go on and on and on because we go so slowly. We are each amazed at how the other feels to the simplest touch and take a loooooooooong time to explore one little part. It’s one of the most liberating experiences of my life. I let go completely and am free to do that because I trust her 100%. I’ve never felt that before–100% trust–so this is awesome and amazing and humbling and beautiful.

Molly and I had moments of deep tenderness a fair amount, but as the years wore on, the moments became less frequent. I don’t know if it was trust leaving or what, but it hurt like a bitch. I never ever lose that feeling of intimacy-borne connection once it’s made, and so breaking up seems harder for me than it does for others I’ve seen. The hardest part is letting go in my MIND, not in my heart. My heart, oddly enough, is smarter than my mind. It saw this new girl the moment she appeared and jumped right for her. :) Thank god.

Anyway, so what I remembered tonight in class was the intimacy Molly and I shared. The quiet, quiet moments before we really knew each other, and before all the obstacles that would eventually break us apart became the norm. Those quiet moments were beautiful because they were the only times in 5 years that I had Molly all to myself, and as those of us who have felt that can tell you, having Molly all to yourself for even a split second is a wonderful thing. :) I enjoyed taking care of her. Enjoyed it very much, actually. And I’m sad that I can’t do any of it anymore, but it will be the intimacy, and the trust that came with it, that I’ll miss the most. Maybe that’s what I’m mourning…

Day 1

September 06, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Faith, Family, Food, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Meditation, Mom, Photoshop, Running, Valet Battleship Parking, Yoga

I don’t know if this is Alanis Morrisette’s response to the breakup of her engagement to actor Ryan Reynolds, but she’s always been an artist I admire for her emotional candor, and with this new song she certainly speaks word-for-word for me. It’s been a struggle, but the clouds are starting to part. Discipline and faith, family and friends are getting me through what will likely be the toughest breakup of my life. I doubt even Mom’s death will have had as much impact as this last relationship and it’s subsequent demise.  There’s so much still to look at. I’m going over it all, step by step, from the beginning, and just “facing” it. There’s no value in hanging on to the desire for revenge even though I want to. The knee-jerk reaction is slipping away. Sometimes it tries to make an appearance… I’ll be reading and it’ll pop up, but I won’t notice it for a few moments. After a bit it’ll bounce up and down: “Look at me! Look at me!” it’ll yell. “What…?” I’ll ask, annoyed be pulled away from my book. “You’re upset. You want to do something,” it’ll continue. “I am upset, but all I want to do is read my book. Now go away.”

See, Depression & Revenge like it a lot better when you drink or perform other acts self-sabotage. They hate it when you evolve…

So, like Alanis, I’m putting my experience into my work and every day life. Making practical use of all the pain. Every day I meditate, do yoga, run, eat well, make something in Photoshop and/or edit something, read at least 2 chapters of my book, and spend some time conceptualizing a part of the house design. I don’t ignore what’s going on at all, I use it against itself. After all, it’s energy, right? :)

The Stripped-Down, Common Sense Genius of Michael Pollan

October 23, 2008 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Body, Cooking, Food, Health, Humane Food

“Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot.” This is Michael Pollan’s best advice so far. It comes on the heels of “Stay on the perimeter of the grocery store,” which was preceded by the subtitle of his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Eat Food. Not to much. Mostly plants.”

I watched a 1-hour talk on YouTube (below) Pollan gave at a symposium for authors sponsored by Google. He was pimping his latest book, In Defense of Food, but spoke at length about food as a whole and why he chose to write this last book. Mostly, he said, it was because people kept approaching me saying they couldn’t finish The Omnivore’s Dilemma because they were afraid that they’d starve after reading about all the foods they couldn’t eat anymore.

I encourage everyone to carve out an hour to watch this. You’ll feel very glad that you did. Reawakening our perspectives is healthy, and, with built-in “information overload” systems  we can’t really get too much of it…

A Truck Full Of Memories. Literally.

August 12, 2008 By: admin Category: Body, Faith, Family, Fatblogging, General, Happiness, Health, House, Mom

The Russian boys from Barnes arrived yesterday around 4pm. Inside the truck headed from me to VT, Maine, and then NY, was my childhood–items full of time.

The butcher block table was our kitchen table in New Haven. I remember sitting down to dinner regularly right after the news–6:30, sharp! And then, in later years, not having to worry about waiting cuz Mom and Dad bought a new, small TV which they put on top of the fridge or something just as tall, and we all watched the news together at the beginning of dinner. We didn’t leave the TV on, if memory serves, and so after the news came some discussion. I don’t remember the table ever being quiet, and I don’t ever remember there being any stress. Mom cooked fabulous meals, Dad came home from the hospital or lab and told us some stuff about that (I heard about some of the first cases of HIV at that table…), we watched the news, we sat down together and ate.

I remember asking if I could be excused before I left the table but I remember that ritual not having been a big deal. I remember it just sort of being there, like we were all trying to adhere to the rules of what Normal Americans did, thinking in the backs of our minds that it was a cute, but slightly silly practice. We didn’t need any permission to leave the table, Michael and I, because unless we had lots of homework or something else productive to do, we never wanted to leave the table. That table was the center of our lives. It was great!

And now it’s in this house I just bought that I am clearly trying my very best to make into… something I can relate to. But no matter how many of Mom’s and Dad’s things I fill this beautiful place with, they won’t fill the hole in my heart. It’s not about Mom anymore. There are other sadnesses. Ones that, if you can believe it, feel more final–feel like bigger changes.

I almost ran away once. I was young. 10, 12, something like that. I’d packed this little suitcase years ago, when I was even younger, and had kept it in the back of my closet in our house in New Haven. It was melodrama, but real enough that one night I tried, and actually got pretty far. Too far. You see, I was raised with enough of a head on my shoulders that even though I was hurting I could recognize when I was in the presence of real danger. And being on Whitney Avenue alone in the middle of the night – a kid – with a tiny light blue suitcase means you have just walked into the middle of real danger.

I can’t remember what the angst was all about… abandonment… something like Mom and Dad loving Michael more. It wasn’t an argument my heart was in, though. He WAS “better” — whatever that means. He was luminescent. A more beautiful person had just never been put on this earth and who was I to think I could compete.

I still feel that in a lot of ways, but I don’t idolize him the way I used to. I just love him and respect him, and one of the greatest joys in my life is to see him with Laura. I am so happy he’s happy. I wanted that, but it might not be in the cards. Molly and I will, I think, be “taking a break.” At some point in the next few days we’re supposed to talk about what that is, exactly. I’m blogging about it because, like I did when Mom died, I need to express myself. I need to talk this thing out with myself so I don’t go crazy from it eating me alive.

Su gave me some AMAZING advice last night. She said a lot of great stuff but at one point said: “Aren’t you a filmmaker?” And then I remembered that in the last couple of days I’ve rekindled my love for the writing of Amy Hempel. I’ve been think a lot about filming fiction shorts and this is definitely the time to do it. “You need to put all that love energy into something,” Su said. She knows me. After so little time she sees so clearly. This is an email I wrote to her this morning in response to the “hang in there” email she wrote after we’d gotten off the phone last night (the sign of a true friend — someone who keeps talking to you even when you’re not there… :).

“Beautiful Su,

Your words still ring in my ears this morning. I woke up, sadly, crying, but am sitting now on my new couch ready to take the first steps. That’s GOT to be a good sign.

Daniel said some good things too, especially about exercise. My friend Caren who is coming to live with me has been exercising so I hope to come up with some kind of fun routine with her. She’s also a writer — thank god — so I expect us to write a few scripts and then film a few projects. I will include you and Daniel in any way you want to be included. Maybe you can do the design work? I mean the thinking about the designs. I’ll do the implementation, but I suck at design and I have a feeling you rock. :) Also, maybe costumes? Anyway, you see how I can get ahead of myself in grief?

There’s this image I have of Molly… We were in the hospital as my mother was dying. We had just had a family meeting or something equally dramatic and I noticed Molly wasn’t in the room. I poked my head out into the hallway and didn’t see her. I went down the hall to the waiting room where she usually was and she wasn’t there. So, finally, I knew there was only one other place to look — in a tiny hallway off the main hallway where the nurses kept a small fridge full of things terminal patients can consume: milk, ice.

I rounded the corner and there she was, bawling her eyes out. Her face was stained red and her skin was sore with tears. She tried to turn away from me but I wouldn’t allow it. I gathered her up into my arms and held her. You’ve just never lived until you’ve held Molly in your arms.

I don’t know about the future. The last time this kind of pain happened to me I almost didn’t make it, and I vowed I would never be brought down by it’s like again. And so I shan’t. And I do have you to thank. I can see the future I can make — all these projects: “Aren’t you a documentary filmmaker?” ;). I don’t know how I’ll ever not feel this way, especially as there will be stages to it (hearing she’s with someone else, hearing she’s doing so well without me, etc…), but at least I know how to try, how to begin.”

“As the smoke fades from view… I want to not… I want to not feel her…” My only legacy from four years of trying my best to love is a sad, sad line in a sad, sad song.

2000 Miles (Christmas Time) – The Pretenders

The End of A Short-Assed Era OR Please Don’t Call Me A Vegetarian

July 21, 2008 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Body, Fatblogging, Food, Humane Food

bacon.jpg

So… it happened. I broke down for bacon. But here’s the thing… I didn’t need it, I just wanted it. It wasn’t a craving thing as much it was a “oh holy god I haven’t eaten bacon for months” thing. Also, bacon isn’t like other meats. it’s BACON. It has special powers. And so I’ll eat it as much as I can while I’m dancing through this landscape called “pescatarian.”

Seriously, though, this whole “fish only” thing isn’t by choice. It’s just happening. I LOVE beef. I LOVE chicken. I LOVE pork… and, ohmygod, LAMB???? I live for lamb; except for recently I can’t help thinking about living lambs. Itty-bitty baby sheep being slaughtered for my enjoyment. I get the whole “survival of the fittest” thing, I really do — I’m the fuckin’ poster child for survival of the fittest! — but lambs are SO CUTE! So, consequently, those have been off my plate as well.

Let me reiterate…. let me, as Aaron Sorkin would say, “spread it out for you in a nutshell”: I. AM. NOT. A VEGETARIAN. And, unlike a bisexual, am not confused about my gastric identity, for I am also not a pescatarian. I identify as a bloodthirsty, grease-loving, CARNIVORE and am completely at peace with that!!!! Except, notsomuch when it comes to the teeny-tiny lambies…

I’ve Just Been Mizrahi-d

May 01, 2008 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Body, Cooking, Family, Fatblogging, Food, General, Health, Randomosity

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If you’ve never seen it, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s website is a MUST VISIT. This is a link to his videoblog which I think is absolute genius. I’ve always said that you can’t have a video blog if you are a) forced to hold things back and/or, b) you’re not famous. But even though he’s famous, Mizrahi has a way of being Everygay–his vlog feels like how I would do a vlog if I ever got the guts. I’d just talk about all the things I hate about myself in a funny manner so everyone could empathize and we could all feel better together.

Universality, baby. It’s what it’s all about…

Blogging dinner: Molly’s dad, John made the famous family stew/roast. DELICIOUS. I’m never disappointed by anything this man cooks, but the stew is a real wow-er. The meat melts away and the potatoes and carrots swim lovingly in a broth made of wine and beer and whatever-the-hell-else he cares to throw in there. He just has the touch, this man.  Anyway, I managed to avoid wine and an extra helping and was rewarded with a compliment from our guests: “You’re looking skinny.” I’m not, but it’s still fun to hear it. 😉