Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again in the expectation of a different result.

Doctor told me today I've caught a head case. I'm certifiable. Meds and all. I've taken to chain smoking a pack of marlboro.

It's official. In search of working brain.

I have to leave you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's Christmas and I am home sick. Not deadly sick, or even major sick--just sick enough to avoid the customary pomp and circumstance of Christmas. I suppose this sickness was manifested, sort of like "The Secret." I love the Christmas spirit, but I can not tolerate estranged family members buzzing around over-cooked turkey and stuffing. I don't like random people in my space.

I have managed to continue my Christmas traditions. I watched "The Little Drummer Boy" on Christmas eve and exchanged gifts at the stroke of midnight. That's all I require.

R is off visiting her family and undoubtedly preparing to bring me home a number of warm treats.  I have time to reflect. Time to think through this crazy year.  Space to produce an artificial cataloguing of time.

1. Work

I've moved on from my teaching job. Now I am a special education administrator. More money, less stress. More flexibility, less crap. Quick, what's the most undervalued profession in the U.S.? Teaching, duh. Thank you Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan, and the legion of plutocrats determined to run schools like corporations. Hooray for corporatism and wall street. Recession? What recession?

I like my job, so far. But... as always, I see myself growing bored with it by the end of the year. My ambition always gets the best of me. I am thinking of returning to school to pursue a PH.D in educational psychology--it's fascinating, and there are not enough psychologists of color in our community.  Yes, I'll be one of those indecisive suckers with twenty titles etched behind my name.  The thought of putting my life on hold and relying on savings, once again, is frightening. I do want to have a family some day.

If I don't go back to school, I am going to start searching for a leadership position at a non-profit organization. I've always dreamed of managing my own organization. Please, universe, align. Put me on the path.

2.  Happiness

I read somewhere that "happiness," however subjective it may be,  is mostly genetic. Behaviorists opine that we are all born with a pre-determined, innate  level of  happiness.  So I've decided to stop chasing happiness. This is who I am.  And for the most part, I am content.  I know I think way too deeply and often. And I drive myself to mad and sullen moods. I am prone to moroseness. But I am also subject to incredible moment of clarity and peace.

3.  Love

Things seemed so easy. Get up and leave. Now I am drawn back to her soft spaces. The glitter and sparkles have fallen off and the new toy smell is gone, but like the velveteen rabbit, it is real. I haven't fully committed to her again, but I haven't left. I've had several opportunities to--many offers of fresh starts, but I can't. My heart, I thought, was my own--I realize that it is desperately intertwined with hers. I remain still for now.  The waves will come to chart my course.

4. Miscellaneous 

At the end of 2010 at least one thing hasn't changed. I still prefer soft, supple fruit over hard candy. Merry Christmas to gays, straights, and lezzies everywhere!

Monday, December 13, 2010

D in D

is it ok for me to ask you to rescue me? i’ve never asked this of any one before. An abdication of any semblance of independent thought, need, and desire. here. grab my hand. take me with you. i won’t resist. 
sweep me up in you. imbibe me. bones so tired of moving. i am woman. let me lean.  

strength will return. but for now. please. come. rescue me--a feminist burning bushes to light the way home. 

Thursday, December 09, 2010

American Wars

I am all geared up for a protest. I am ready to burn down buildings. Turn over cars. Spray paint dirty little words like "sanctimonious," and "fascist, " on white walls. I hear that in London the Brits have taken to the street over tuition hikes. The PEOPLE are bloody screaming, rock-throwing, finger-flipping, flame throwing.

I'm certain our revolt is on its way. The thugs are holding us hostage. Penalizing the workers. Misappropriating public funds. It's going down! I've filled my bucket with hot water, torn bricks out of the wall, and duck-taped phone books to my chest. I am waiting...I am waiting...pacing back and forth, peering out the window. Somebody give me the signal. Show me the sign.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Great Escape

“Being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.” --For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf 

But I have a plan...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

I NEED AN INTERVENTION!! They, meaning the savvy, conniving, retailers of America, lured me in to the stores with lights, shiny stars, cheap tricks and promises of holiday bliss. Oh...blessed black friday. I vowed to never go back to sterile arms again, but alas, I failed.  I am terribly human. 

"Hello, my name is $%$*&$ and I am binge shopper."  There, I said it. I am the American consumer.  The ultimate economy stimulator.  In my closet I have two unworn bras from Victorias Secret, one pair of fresh, shiny boots from Nine West,  and drawer of sweaters with H&M tags still hanging on them.

Please, someone, intervention me! Email the lovable Suze Orman so she can deny me the new Macbook I am typing on, with a racially tinged "Girlfriend." Call Sandy or the bald guy from A&E;  trick me in to coming to a personal interview;  have all my estranged family and friends gather around and read notes on napkins about how my binge shopping has affected them. I'll tantrum wildly and say "No, I won't go." Then grandma will come rolling in with her oxygen tank to deliver the final blow. And I'll say "Yes" and we will all cry and hug as they push me in to the van. I'll be off on the plane to some no-name facility, which I'll probably break out of in a week. But hey,  I deserve the experience. 

Damn Oprah and her favorite things!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

small pox and pilgrims

I started my first and only gratitude journal three years ago. A week after I began listing my gratitudes, my mother died. I haven't allowed myself to be grateful for anything since then.

There is no overwhelming joy. I was the saddest to see it go. I take no comfort in stability. No solace in consistency. Everything must change. This I know.

Perhaps my response is not logical, but I. Am. So. Afraid.

Three years later, there are glimpses of healing. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for teeth, a nose, ears and feet. God wouldn't take those away from me. I think.

My mind randomly drifts the indigenous peoples--so grateful for the little trinkets and stones the pilgrims provided. Little did they know that the pilgrims also carried small pox in their sleeping bags.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

one request

Don't feed me no tepid love
like stale bath water and food warmed over again

I don't want my love auto-tuned
looped and pulled for primitive ears
Leave me be my sour notes
sloppy highs
and sobering lows

Don't put my love on cruise control
smooth middle of the road
rock me through the bends and curves
press down hard on me

I want my love unwashed
Feed it to me unruly and matted
Like red fire, let smoke rise up to choke me

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

years for questions

Am I crazy to live with such ferocious intensity--to love and to dance with reckless abandon?

I've come to believe that living life to the fullest is like running down the road full speed with a purple blindfold tied tightly around your eyes. You know very well that somewhere along the way stands a brick wall.

The question for me is will I smash in to the wall
or will I break through?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And so it goes...

Something gives way when you realize you can no longer return. A general malaise. Like the burning of leaves.

I feel this for you when I catch you alone. I remember, still, love for you. And perhaps I always will.

How do I measure what is lost? It burgeons wide and vast--pulsing, expanding, filling my lungs until I can barely breathe.

The chrysalis must first die before the butterfly can begin. But no one ever remembers the sacrifice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Calling

I thought I had time to organize my effects, clean out my closet, transfer title, and wash my body of dead skin.

She lit the spark. Fetched the twigs one by one.

I did not wish to know her. Not yet. But she has wandered along my way, famished from the journey. Broken bones and all. Mary full of grace.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Never again

I remember crossing the George Washington Bridge to start my life at Barnard. Me, my two uncles, mom, and all my worldly possessions piled in to a white mini van and headed down 95 toward the city of dreams. I was full of hope and laughter. The sun shined so brightly on my head that day.

And then there was a boy who recently headed down 95, walked across the George Washington Bridge, and leapt to his death. With cars speeding by in the mid-morning rush, strangers scurrying across the path toward big city opportunities, he inched closer and closer to the edge, and jumped. Did his mother know that she had touched him for the last time?

He could not be gay in this world and be free. Only some of us are brave. Today, under the same sun and same net of sky, I will be brave for him. Never again.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010

Snow to Fall on the Sahara

 Each hour, each minute, each second, I am never the same.

Monday, September 27, 2010


For you I
leave the front porch light on
stash the key under the rubber mat
scribble the password on the door seal
part my folds for your fingerprints

Sunday, September 26, 2010

dark matter

Sit watch thunder roll over the harvest moon. Catch 22. Autumn equinox is here. And i, caught between seasons of change.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

just enough

i have 20 ng/dl of testosterone bruising through my veins. not enough, i guess, to slam your face in to the wall. not enough to bleed you for your evil deeds.

they made me of the most delicate of female parts. two mounds, a warm clit, and two ovaries of equal size. you think me weak for them.

i have approximately 65 pg/ml of estrogen wasting through me. just enough, i guess, to make you claw the retina from your eyes at the very thought of my scent
from your bed.

i win.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I've been thirty for four whole days now. I am checking myself, looking down at my legs, wiggling my arms, arching my spine. I have to say, I still feel exactly the same. I suppose I never really felt like I was in my twenties, ever. Call it the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I swear to you I did the thirties a long time ago. I got married twice, divorced once (waiting for the courts to recognize the second marriage and then the divorce). I had a significant career change. I buried a parent. Yes, my life is trending in reverse.

When I was about eight or nine years old, I loved to watch the television show "thirtysomethings." I guess the turbulence of the program mirrored the turbulence of my childhood. Even at a young age, I connected to adult feelings and failings. On Saturday nights I would sit patiently in front of the television and wait for the show to come on--I'd imagine that one day I would at least be the director of my own confusion. Oh, how I longed for control.

It all makes sense now--why I am vehemently opposed to anything or any person attempting to manipulate my space. In relationships, when I sense any semblance of constriction, I flee. It's been a source of contention, especially when it comes to my interactions with women. Women are the possessive kind. Call me selfish. Selfish I will be. But I ain't letting no one possess me.

I am not particularly confined to any one thing--not any job, any person, any thought, any emotion. I can engage and disengage with similar ease.

They call me a woman now. They say I'm all grown up. But innocence and delightful ignorance were never my playmates. I've always felt the profound and sobering weight of adulthood. I've always witnessed people in their wonder, and their shame. I am still waiting. Still waiting for my twenties to begin.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Only the lonely go there...

I am not fond of physical limitations. Those pesky little things called barriers--sudden closings and the narrowing of opportunity. I am trapped in a cage with an angry lover. It's bloody battle royale. I am no victim. I did the crime. The punishment is deserved. But that does not stop the horror when faces turn inside out--when laughter disintegrates in to bitter chiding--when touch once so pure and sweet, now reaches out to inflict pain. The consequences have been far too much for me to contemplate. I am shocked and awed. Badly bruised this time. My heart scars a physical manifestation of her blind and uncontrollable rage. This is how she keeps me here, my dear. This is how she keeps me here, I fear.

Monday, September 06, 2010

lips, eyes, hair, mouth, lick, suck

She said sign your name on the dotted line, the lights went out, and nikki, started to grind...

Friday, August 27, 2010

on being single

dating is such a chore. do you want to love me or fuck me? speak wisely.
i have a penchant for pain; i love the company of women. i have never looked, but have always found. connections are firing everywhere i turn. i am not afraid to love. again. and again.

perhaps i wrote this for you. cause i can feel that you have surfaced and are waiting for me to come to you. hold fast. i'm on my way.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Life has its way with you. I am living, surprised at how so quickly my love has slowed to friendship. As if my heart has undergone a hard reset--emotional stirrings reorganized. I look at you sometimes and wonder how I kept you for so long.

I don't believe in marriage any more. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word. How can I promise what is not yet mine to give? How can I commit the me of two or 20 years from now, the woman who has not yet arrived? Things change. All the time.  It is the way of the world. I can't ask you or her to remain tethered to me and my slippery ways. I am completely content walking next to you, but please remember, this skin is not your home.

At times I feel like I've been sold a bill of goods. For years, I choked down the fantasy of marriage like shards of broken glass until it ripped open my throat.  Warm salty liquid is pooling in my mouth. And now, there is blood on my hands.  Blood on my hands.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 the wind blows

It was placed in your hands. Not when or how you wanted it. But it was there. We coded meanings with our tongues. Carried laughter in our bellies. I kissed the ink scars of your shoulder blade. Call like the moon resting so lovely over you. We readied ourselves for private communion on that holy day.  With sacred wash and nectar I produced an offering –-my flesh.

It was there and all for your taking.  Feeble hearts but fumble and throw pearls mistaken for trash to the ground.  Trash blows in the wind.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Saturn has left the building

Goodbye, Saturn!!! I am free. Finally free. I walk closer to the shore with sand packed between my toes. The wind on my back. The sun against my breasts. Water runs around and through me--a cleansing for my next transition. Deliverance.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The opening

yes, you
reach inside of me
pull tendons from muscle
suck marrow from bone
chasten my flesh
arrest my mind

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The breaking

I am outgrowing her. Fast and furious. Trying to slow down. She is in the distance.

I grew tired of holding her up to the light. My arms gave way. She is tumbling down to earth. My heart blown open again.

I imagine her lying there bruised and bloodied. Everything in me begs to go to her. Pick her up from the floor of the earth and stroke her scalp.

But descent to earth means forfeiture of flight. The slow and bitter atrophy of full grown wings.

I risk capture. Engulfed by the trickery of the ordinary. The veil of comfort. The curse of the unfulfilled.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Objects in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are

I live on the water. For two straight days, helicopters have circled outside my window searching for the bodies of two tourists who disappeared in the tragic ride the ducks boat accident. The noise from the propellers is deafening. It is a constant reminder of life lost. A reminder that there are two sets of parents on planes to America to retrieve remains. They found the girl this morning.

My sensitivity is heightened by the fact that I just returned from a trip abroad. To think, to imagine, that something so tragic could of happened. What do I do I with this feeling?

I’ve let fear creep back into my life. It has stolen my sense of wonder and my ability to live without hesitation. We always think we have so much time to get things right. But you and I both know there is no such thing as time.

Monday, July 05, 2010

I'm back

How do I describe the sounds, the sights, of such a far off land? My trip, literally to the other end of the world, was magical and intoxicating. It was an epiphany, a culture shock, a fascination--a twisted cultural musing.

I stayed in a villa in a small town called Ubud. Ubud is known as the cultural oasis of Bali; the ride from the airport, or a quick stroll through the center of town reveals a mass of batik paintings and hand made woodcarvings. Ubud and its surrounding areas are also home of the beautiful rice paddies.  I lived among them. Every morning I woke up to see workers tilling the land, bending to the morning sun.

Entering the grounds of the main villa was like entering the Garden of Eden. The villa complex sat perched on the Ayung River. Some days I sat by the riverbank, listening to the sound of rushing water as I read. In the evening, I watched children playing in the river and women washing clothes of the day.

I spent my days outside of the villa at various temples and attractions. On my third day, I took an arranged 2-hour bike ride through several villages.  As our group rode from one village to another, little children dashed outside to catch the foreigners going by.

On our bike ride we saw workers in the field.  At one stop were shown how they painstakingly separate rice from the shaft. The process is incredibly backbreaking in the scorching sun. And the work is not done not for mass production, but the rice is used to feed families and give to the gods as offerings. After workers (mothers and fathers) finish cultivating the rice, they lay it out in front of their houses to dry--an honest day’s work.

I visited the bustling Ubud market and bargained for Balinese wares.  For a novice, the system of bargaining can be somewhat irritating. I forced myself to remember that sellers were bargaining for a days work, and I, for petty goods I would have likely paid three times as much for at home.

And how to describe the randomness of experiences. On the way to attractions, I often tripped into a procession, a ceremony, or everyday people preparing for mass cremation. And there were offerings everywhere I looked—in cars, on the ground, and at store entrances.

Not surprisingly, the unsettling part of my trip involved my interactions with the expat community and other tourists. One morning, the owner of the villa came to my table during breakfast and offered small talk. He was obnoxious—everything I hate about the expat community. He introduced the woman at his table as “his Indonesian girlfriend,” and proceeded to regal me with stories of his experiences with Mike Jagger, Donna Summers and Julia Roberts--utter rubbish.  He then, rather casually, explained his practice of buying goods in his native Australia, and selling them for ridiculous prices.

I have to admit that I’ve never felt more American, more other, than in Indonesia. I was aware that others were always at my service. I couldn’t help but feeling like I was somehow being tricked. So much of what I saw, I am quite sure, was deception. An act. You show me the Asia I’ve imagined—the dances, the masks, and stone carvings, and I, the tourist, the foreigner, will readily consume. 

And there was a slight undercurrent of resentment bubbling beneath the surface. I sensed it in the tone of the bemo driver and the bike tour director. We, the tourists, took their land.  Yes, it is a whole complicated mess of things. The appreciation of a beautiful land, yet the eerie understanding between you, and the people of that place, that your presence will one day destroy that land.

Will I ever go back? Maybe. But with eyes wide open. I know for sure I did not experience Elizabeth Gilbert’s Bali.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



I know...I haven't been in this space in awhile. School is officially over, at least for me, and I am off to Bali in a few hours. I will write more when I am there. I just wanted to leave you will this picture--my high school students, yes high school students, wrote notes on my board one day while I was gone.  I am reminded of the goodness of my life every day. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Will you be ready?

Instead of adding interesting places to my travel list, I am slowly taking places away. Arizona and the reaches of the Grand Canyon were once a dream excursion. I am boycotting the dusty hills, now marred by a clumsily orchestrated piece of anti-immigration legislation. The idea of “reasonable suspicion” is farcical. It is an artful legal contraption—semantics, a simple proxy for racial profiling. They find “reasonable suspicion” the same way they find “reasonable suspicion” the stop, beat and humiliate black and Latino men in NY (see recent Times report). They, those foreigners, those brown people crossing over the border, are us.

I’ve also crossed out a visit to Israel on my list “100 things to do before I die.” I once longed to walk the cobble-stoned streets of the holy land and trace the steps of Jesus. But not any longer. What has been happening there for years, in the West Bank, is unholy. Every day I hear of a new settlement built or a new restriction placed on the people of Palestine, I am overwhelmed with sorrow. It is apartheid and American South Jim Crow all over again. They, the brown people of Palestine, trying to hold on to their home, are us.

I fear my contact with this life, this world, has been so precarious that I am closing unto myself like the mimosa. I once believed, somewhere, that people could be changed. I believed that if you greeted people with honesty and respect you would be treated accordingly. History has taught me otherwise.

It is utterly unnerving to know that I am invisible and horribly visible simultaneously. It is tiring trying to explain, assuage irrational fears-- to arrive, everyday, as whole and unstirred. I am giving up the act of normalcy. I am what I am. When they come for me, they won’t have to look far. I'll be ready.


Tia (not her real name) smashes her face against the glass panel of my door about three to four times a day. I think she enjoys frightening me. What other pleasures do teenage girls have these days? She calls me her adoptive mom and begs to come to my house for dinner. I entertain her. She is funky—I probably would have been friends with her when I was in high school.

Yesterday she was in my room wearing her fedora hat and purple Converse sneakers. She is on a search for a job and got the bright idea to print her resume on pink, sparkly paper.

“Isn’t that a great idea, Ms. E.,” she said. “ I had to do something so they would remember me."

“Tia, one could never forget you, ” I replied.

“You know you love me.” She tilted her head forward in search of a response.

I looked up from my computer and gave her a smirk. “How could I not?”

“So when am I coming over to dinner?” she asked.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had this conversation with Tia, and how many times I’ve told her that she can come over in the summer. I shot her a look of exasperation.

“So what is your husband’s name?” she asked casually.

The sweat gathered down my spine. This was certainly not the conversation I was prepared to have.

“My wife,” I quickly blurted out. “Her name is R.“

Without skipping a beat, Tia reached up and gave me a high five.

“So, I’m coming over your house this summer, right? ” she asked again.

“Yes Tia, of course…”

Teaching 101

School will be over in one month. Time has gone by so quickly. I can’t believe I am almost one year into my new life. I’ve never regretted, not for one second, my decision not to practice law. What would have become of me?

Everyday I am more intrigued by my students. They sit with me during my free periods, sharing stories and seeking advice. I am so humbled by their trust in me. They feed my creative spirit. They give me permission to be young and free.

I have my summer to travel to Indonesia and take classes in psychology and art appreciation. And finally, I will have the space to start investing in my writing. I plan to finish the novel that woke me up at 5 am in the morning to begin.

Six whole weeks--touching and tasting every inch of this life.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The art of war

We often mask true commitment in archaic notions of sex and sexuality.
We sit in judgment of those who rest outside of the confines of societal constructions of monogamy, all the while ignoring the husbands, wives, and lovers starved of attention in traditional pairings—those who play house like dolls with vapid interactions.

They give their bodies but hide their souls. Rationing joy, withholding common courtesies—warm smiles, small compliments, a listening ear.
Herein lies the deceit...

The measure of my love is not in the span of my hips. My folds do not confer fidelity. And you, you my love, are not a commodity to be manipulated in an effort to garner attention, love, and affection. I do not wish to control you. I do not want to own you or your safe spaces. I do not need to possess you to love you.

Just spare me your warmth, your kindness—the stroke of your hand for a while. And allow me this—the freedom to travel the far away places of your mind, of your heart. I promise to do the same in return.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

You Make Me Feel Mighty Real...

I am in love with the feminine--drawn to feminine energy in all its subtle variations. My first experience in the feminine was at the age of seven—the year Sylvester died. Tasha and I held hands in alleyways after school. On weekends I begged my mom to let Tasha stay the night— precious moments created as we stole furtive kisses under strawberry shortcake sheets. She was soft like towels fresh from the dryer; her skin smelt of apple butter. In the middle of a gang of mangy boys, Tasha was the one I gravitated to—if I knew I could, I would have grown up to marry her, and she would have had our child.

As a woman, I find myself intrigued by the likeness of transgendered women and drag queens. The sweet vulnerability—the suppleness of unfulfilled wants and dreams. I understand the need to feel and experience WO-MAN, very much like my own need to reach out and touch Tasha’s skin.

Today, I’ve built myself a world of feminine. You can catch a glimpse of it when I walk by. It lingers at the nape of my neck and the flesh behind my knees. And every night, the feminine is wrapped around these thighs. Thank you, Tasha.

If he were alive, I would have invited Sylvester in to my fairy Sapphic world. I saw a documentary about this gentle man, gender bender of a singer I never knew. I think I would have loved him. He was so perfect and graceful—fighting the monstrosity of the world. He just wanted to pay homage to the womb. He just wanted to be beautiful.

They hated him because they hate the feminine.

Sadly, I am left to commune with Sylvester through his music. We dine together before dawn. We talk about the times, and how they have changed. And I tell Slyvester, he can find rest now--in all that is woman.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

and I am off...

Bought my ticket to Bali and booked a villa for ten days in June. Scraping away the dead skin, dusting off my feet. Wanted: syrupy-sweet adventure.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Six Words

I’ve caught glimpses of the “Six Word Memoir Bug” on Huff Post and other blogs. It is an invitation to tell your life story in six simple words. Since coming across the challenge, I’ve carried around six word sentences in the back of my mind. And then I came across a writer who wrote her life as a short story using 6 word sentences. It was simple—yet so profound. So skeleton thin, yet meaty and complete. In a stream of consciousness I crafted this...

Stumbled out of college, into life

Standing at the edge of uncertainty

Man with warm hands touches me

His love disarticulates—moves me completely

Climbing out of me, into him

I rest violently in the space

I cannot see where I begin

Loving with coils of trepidation

I have a secret hiding here

I cannot control what I am

Months and years pass by slowly

Lady in the sea surfaces again

Lift her body from the ocean

Step back, I realize she is me

I am unhinged—open and exposed

He bleeds, pricks me in bed

I pay penance with my tears

I leave in the dark of night

No arms, no guide for protection

I return to the journey alone

Cloudy, with some rain, intermittent sun

Falling in and out of experiences

Caressing the fleshy side of life

See her? She is my nature

She fits nicely, rest beside me

Fear. I look head on smiling

There is nothing you can take

I will leave earth fully human

In darkness, move forward—touch light

Monday, February 22, 2010


I’ve been haunted by dreams of children in my arms—the sensation of connection and overwhelming love stays with me, even as I wake. I assume it has something to do with the approaching anniversary of my mother’s death. She wanted so badly for me to have children. It was often the topic of our weekly conversations. She offered to come live me for the first year—I told her I wasn’t ready. I thought I had so much time.

I’ve oscillated over having a baby since she died. Sometimes the urge to reproduce rises up to suffocate me—and other times I am acutely averse to the thought of giving up my freedom. I love crawling out of bed at 12:00 in the afternoon on lazy weekends. I love traveling to any given country at any given time. I love partying with fabulous boy queens until 4 in the morning.

I’m sure that there are innumerable joys that come from parenting. But there is also an intense amount of fear. The fuller and purer the love--the deeper the sorrow. Many mothers have suffocated from heartache. Loving, doting parents, carrying little newborns home from the hospital never dreamed of raising junkies, prostitutes, or republicans.

I don’t think there is a word to tell you of the loneliness and melancholy that swallows me up this time of the year. I want to sleep for 30 days. The calendar stares back at me—another year gone. My body tells me when the day arrives. The day when light turned to dark.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Say Yes

I cried. If you can hear the sound of her voice, know this, we are not alone.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dreaming of you...

I can’t seem to shake my predilection for traveling. For weeks upon weeks I’ve been dreaming of Indonesia. I’ve fallen madly in love with the Bali--it's ornate temples and magenta (the one in the Crayola crayon box) flowers. My desire to travel to Bali did not come from reading Eat, Drink, and Pray. Although I found Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on creativity to be rather fascinating, I threw her book to the floor after the first chapter. Her exaggerated literary voice was so abrading—I almost broke out in hives.

I may not fancy Gilbert, but alas, I am following in her steps. I guess I see myself in Gilbert--it is somewhat disturbing. Like me, she is a woman who does not know what she wants (despite her recent sequel). She, I, am a vagabond, a pseudo nomad—wandering around from job to job, degree program to degree program, marriage to marriage, country to country, bed to bed.

I am the complicated for absolutely no good reason kind of woman—unsatisfied with life presented. I’ve messed up so many good things and messed over so many good people. I feed for a while--but let’s admit it, I am insatiable.

So, I am off to Bali, for hopefully, a mini revolution. I’ve scoured the web—Expedia, Tripadvisor, Baliblogs to find the best places to stay, eat, and explore. I’ve checked and rechecked my bank account, balanced pros/cons, and opportunity costs—now I just have to purchase the tickets and go. But there are a few issues.

First, I want to see and do Bali with someone who is dedicated to adventure, not just a casual vacationer. I want shared smells and visual maps—I want to jump off the cliff with someone just with as tragically free as I am.

Second, the recession is causing a bit of impotence. I have all the goods, but I keep fearing that the world is going to collapse under my feet again (I’ll write about that later.). So like the depression/post-depression generations, I store money just for the sake of storing it, as there is nothing particularly interesting I want to buy. I’ve lost all desire to purchase a home after the housing bust. I like money, but I’m partial to life experiences and shared happiness.

To put an end to my longing, I am thinking of just booking a flight, before I can look back, and going it alone. Who knows, maybe this will be a break-open experience. I may even get my own book deal out of it ;-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

These two things...

I’ve come to realize that there are only two important things in life--faith and freedom. When I speak of faith, I dare not speak of the faith of the blind—the weak who cling to vapid traditions and poorly crafted interpretations as excuses for tyranny. This is not the faith of those who cut themselves and others with Bible verses. This faith cannot be coerced. It is not some secret gift for greedy hands to seize while others perish in the dark.

This faith, I’ve carried with me since I was a child. It is the first breath of life. The last breath before passing over. It is everything—you and me, standing in all our painful brilliance, in all our glory. It is light.

But faith, my friends, cannot materialize in the absence of freedom—for freedom makes thought possible.

When I speak of freedom, I speak not of chains. Freedom is never given nor won. It only inhabits those who listen. I’ve seen far too many zombies deaf to its call. You’ve seen them too. They bear the mark of resignation across their foreheads—passed on to their children and their childrens' children.

I have to admit that I do not know where I am going, and I am still unsure as to my purpose. Some days I feel like I’ve been turned around. But I’ve tied faith and freedom together and packed them in my satchel for the journey.

And If I end, still believing in these two things (faith and freedom), then maybe my tangle with the human condition, my jihad, would have all been worth it.