Monday, February 28, 2011


Snow. Sleet. Hail. Now rain. Still pretty. Sure. I am so emotional. So completely wracked around. No! If it rains, then there is no more snow, and then Boris won't have snow to play in, and what if this is his last winter? What if it's mine? Have I given him enough play time? Am I giving him a good enough life? Oh, but all this snow and rain is good for the garden, and I really need the garden. It is okay that there won't be snow; don't panic. His leg has been hurting, and I wonder if it would have happened if you were still here. What is normal, what is because of this, or because of me? That I am ready for winter to be done and to have warmth in my bones again - does that mean I am "better" than last year, when I didn't want winter to end? I am not accustomed to being anxious. Not accustomed to fretting such tiny little nothing things, or questioning absolutely everything. I am not accustomed to finding no peace at all, and let me tell you, it stinks. I am protective of myself - I have nothing in me to withstand more trauma, yet I imagine it, and imagine not having anything left in me to stop it.

An unfamiliar truck just drove in the driveway, and I can see a uniformed officer in the driver's seat. This likely has a benign explanation, given that my landlord is a sheriff. But what is my first thought? Who Is Dead Now? The lingering aftermath of trauma - it just lives in me. I'm a tabloid news show waiting to happen. Panic takes me in odd moments, and I have no place to calm down. I can't say "everything will be fine," because it isn't, always. Not everything works out. The "everything will be alright" sometimes includes sudden f-cking death, and suffering, and still living with it when you would rather not. I used to tell me "no sense imagining terrible things. If something happens, you will deal with it then, not now." Good advice, and still true. But I just can't and don't believe things will be alright. Things happen. Bad things. Horrible terrible nightmare things. Nightmares you have to get used to, as they are not going away. I am tired of knowing I am alone in this, forever, until I die. That the one whose words and thoughts I would trust is not here to give them, and no one else can do. I am tired of surviving trauma. I am tired of all the ways it infects me and changes me and makes me not who I was. I am tired of being wary of every little thing because every little thing can bring me back there, to that day, and that water, and that life. I am tired of thinking how long I will be like this, and then horrified that I could not be like this, because then I have lived long enough to not feel. I am tired of feeling scared that I won't be who I was, because you are not here with me, and because trauma has kicked the shiitake out of me.

That is what I've got this morning. Rain. Trauma. Tired. Very tired that these words are about me.


Friday, February 25, 2011


It's snowing again. It's pretty. I am glad I can still see pretty.
It was heart rock heaven at the beach yesterday. Which is good,
because it was hell in me, at the time. Heart rocks are not a fair trade.
They do not make up for this at all. But still. Many, many heart rocks,
big ones, perfect ones, are still pretty neat. I left a pile of some of the best
ones for someone else to find, someone who needs them.

Today is a day of making marmalade, and setting creamed honey. Though my love,
and the ever-hungry kid, are no longer here to eat, I can't seem to stop cooking.
I made sourdough blackberry pancakes to feed the birds. The backlog of goat cheese
will likely feed the chickens. As will the lettuce. And the chard. And all the things
I find myself buying, as though I still believe you're home, and will be hungry, and
I get to feed you. Feed us. Together.

Heart rocks don't eat much.


Sunday, February 20, 2011


I love Taize. I hadn't been "before." An acquaintance of mine encouraged me to go, just a few months after. For awhile, it was so powerful for me. Back then, I had no self-consciousness, didn't have the energy to notice or care about the effect my presence had on others. Not like I was wailing loudly, certainly, but I cried as I needed to. However. My acquaintance was also one of the organizers of the weekly meditation, and she kept making it a point to bring these intense poems to the meditation. Intense as in often having drowning imagery. I found it a bit obnoxious. Enough! Yes I know you "get" me (or think you do)! Stop it please! But I was too irritated, and self-conscious, and did I mention - irritated, to tell her directly. So - I stopped going.

I also started to be more conscious of my presence, and therefore, I bite my lip a lot more, dissociate a lot more. I don't like this change. It means I am no longer comfortable at churches or meditations, because I cry, and I know I cry, and I know people see me cry. And then they ask me things, or they give me "meaningful looks," which makes me want to slap them, or just makes me never want to go to public things that will likely make me cry. I only want to go to things where there is a lovely cocoon of silence and space. That would be great.

Anyway. There is a second Taize in town now, which is pretty incredible in its own right, as this is a small town. I went tonight. It is so pretty. Even feeling self-conscious, it is so pretty. I would make such a great nun, if there were a tradition I believed. I can feel it when I am there. Leaving the meditation, I noticed the pastor of the church. I recognized the pastor. I had just been thinking of him a few days ago. He was my supervisor way back in my very first social services job. Many, many years ago. I left to go to grad school, and he left because his partner had just died. So I was stunned to see him there. I said his name. He said, "yes?" I said his full name. He said, "um, yes?" I told him who I am and how I know him. He remembered. That was awesome. He asked what I am doing now.

I wouldn't answer that question directly for most people. For most people who don't already know, I sidestep and move away as quickly as I can. For people who do already know, I tend to say "doing the best I can," sidestep, and move away quickly. To my old supervisor, I said, "I am recovering, or trying to; my partner died recently." He nodded. "You remember that my partner died while I was at (the place where we worked)."  We talked a bit. It was comfortable and nice.

Anyway, again. I don't know why I'm sharing this. In fact, I was saying to him how so many people who don't know me, who were not close to me "before," suddenly became so very interested in me. How for a private person, the attention is, was and still is, too much. And yet, here I am, out in relative public. It is really weird. Mostly, I meant to say - Taize is really beautiful, everybody. If you have a Taize gathering near you, check it out. I also just meant to say - how neat is it that I ran into someone I very much respected when I was a young whippersnapper.

And, as soon as I got in the car, I went to call Matt and tell him.



To me, this little kid is evidence of reincarnation. Or, at least evidence of some larger mystery, which is always good for me to see.

(thanks cicero for sharing this link. And - trying to remember where I have just seen similar tracks, though I don't think we have cougar here.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I woke up this morning arguing with the imaginary person I often argue with who suggests I am dormant, like a winter bulb. Imaginary botanical analogies must be corrected.


There is a difference
between dormancy and death.
A tulip is prepared.
A field of daffodils in snow
knows winter is just that.

I am an orchard of fruit trees
clear-cut in mid July,
the ground heavily salted beneath me.

Not all green things grow back.


Friday, February 18, 2011

anniversary eve

We "courted" for so long; three months of crossword puzzles, books read together and discussed over tea, messages left for the other in newspaper articles and margins.  

In those first few months of courting, he would leave his paper for me to find, saving half the crossword for me, wishing me a good day in the margins. I left him messages by underlining random words in an article to make a poem or a song. We had just talked about that - the messages we left for each other - a few weeks before he drowned. He told me "I still leave you some every once in awhile, but I don't know that you find them." We probably both missed so many hidden notes.

For our anniversary, my love, I have left you a message (though not terribly romantic), underlined in the NYT. Hope you find it.

It is obvious
very much apparent
painful on all sides
is so exhaustive
like climbing Mt. Everest
No less confounding,
still surprising.

this was an accident.
was not supposed to have been.
In her grievance,
she cannot align herself

I'm sorry these two
could not speak
the story
from start to finish


Our privacy is successful

How I wish this
whole ride
was done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

sour grapes

all these people
around me
taking off on adventures
with the ones they love.
Costa Rica.
Upstate New York and Niagara
(which was the road trip we'd just finished planning the night "before".)
Crete, for goodness sake.

And I am here,
ground covered in ice and snow,
pooped out from a trip to the
store to buy myself flowers
and cough drops,
still stunned that the one I take adventures with
has gone on ahead.
And it sucks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

anniversary week.

6 years ago today - even the same day of the week - Matt came in to our coffee shop, and very nervously invited me to dinner. Not because it was Valentine's Day - he had no idea. He was so nervous, when I said "yes," he ran out without his keys, saying, "Okay, I have to go start cooking right now then." We had been "courting" for over three months, first just sitting together when we were both there for tea, then short walks around the block, then gradually, a few trips to the art museum, some longer walks, long talks in the parked truck after he had driven me home. He cooked. We ate. Played Scrabble (a game which was still in contention when we were well past our 4th anniversary). He went out to start my car in the snow, and we stood, in the doorway, close but not touching, only to turn away and head home. We repeated the same scene on Friday, with me cooking at his house, another game of Scrabble, and another close but no touching goodnight.

The next day, Saturday the 19th, he invited me to a movie. An early afternoon matinee. Around 10 minutes in to the movie, he quietly reached over the arm-rest and picked up my hand. He laid our held hands in his lap, but his eyes never left the screen, and he said nothing. I missed the first half hour of that movie. I had so completely let go of the outcome of us by that point, after all of the "signals," and all of the "not yets." I let him lead then, as I let him lead all through our life together, and I let him lead now, still.

Your lead my love. 6 years, and I would do every frustrating, surprising, no touching, touching, beautiful moment all over again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

daily bread.

I love these two. Today, they are going through the Lord's Prayer, and here is what they say:

when we say "give us this day our daily bread," what else we are saying is: "and as you give me my daily bread, I am called, in your name, to be that bread for others, to bring the bread that you give me out into the world, that others may eat as I eat, that others may know they are loved, that they may know what I know."  When you know you are loved by god, it is upon you to share that love, to be love at your point in god's universe, to be that love for others.

words for sunday 83

"You know, the jackass doesn't have much sensibility. But even he gains spirit from the company of his own kind. But when the jackass crosses the desert alone, how many more blows it takes to get him there. Now, this is what this poem says to you: If you're not a jackass, don't cross the desert alone!"- Rumi

Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more — more unseen forms become manifest to him. (also Rumi)

Sometimes a post of quotations seems like a silly thing. Just talking to hear myself speak. But then, who cares. Words have always brought beauty for me, and goodness. Rumi was my companion traveling through Spain 15 years ago, and his words are always running a background script in my mind. Poetry has always been where I am least alone. Matt and I were talking about Rumi and Shams just a few days before, how there is no model of that kind of love here in this world anymore. Anyway. That's it, again. Just nothing really. Some words, because I like them.

D.H. Lawrence: "I am in the hands of the unknown God, He is breaking me down to His own oblivion." Here, you have only yourself, your faith, your lack of faith, and all that has been stalking you.

Monday, February 7, 2011


A koan I would like to give
to the person who asks,
and is surprised by the answer;
a person whose love
is healthy and alive:

your husband
will be dead
by lunchtime.

will you
be alright?


sweet again

Make Me Sweet Again

Make me sweet again,
fragrant and fresh and wild,
and thankful for any small gesture.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Poetry filler. But still, it's good poetry.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

exactly so.

People - this post sums up so much everything.

without shield

Without Shield

Blood must flow,
He said,
for the rose garden
to flower,
and the heart that
loves me
is a wound
without shield.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

(psst - I think the rose garden was doing just fine without the blood-letting. But I am most definitely a heart without shield.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

the plague: part three.

Everybody's good mojo helped when I fell down the stairs, at least I think it did. If everybody can now join around some communal something and utter some magic words for Part Three of the Plague. I had one morning of feeling awesomely better. Marvelling at how better. However, those sneaky viruses were merely retreating to gather strength, and pick up a few plague-y friends. The day that goat-sitting was to start, I woke up at three a.m. freezing. Feverish. Earache and headache. Was in and out that way for awhile, then took the dog out in a total fever stupor. It got better throughout the day. Low grade fever - bah.

Blessedly, my first night of goat feedings and milkings went so smoothly. I was up way before milking time with a fever again, and this morning's chores - well, let's say it was not awful, but it was super chaotic. The farm owners' systems are chaotic to my mind, stupid little things don't work, utterly ridiculous things don't work, and coupled with a spiking fever, OH MY. I was so sick, and focused only on the task at hand, I actually FORGOT what my reality is. Really. That was crazy. I think there are only so many systems firing, and grief acknowledgment has no room right now. At least the bio-organism is protecting itself. Though tonight, it is getting through to me - Matt is the one who takes care of medicines. I don't usually take any, or need any, and I'm pretty sensitive to all that stuff (ranging from no effect at all, to crazy dizziness), so I don't know what to take and how often, and can I mix this with that - and clearly, I can't call him and ask, and he's not here to just take over and hand me stuff, as he would.

I had to run home and tend the animals there, meaning I needed to sleep for a couple hours before I could get back here. And, my landlord just called to tell me my rent check blew out of her hands and down the street, never to be seen again, and could I please stop-payment and write her another. The fever is currently the highest it's been, and hopefully won't get any higher.

And now for the good news - at least my landlords agreed to take care of my chickens at home, because clearly, I can not go back and forth at this point. And, it is pretty amazing how the physical organism protects itself. I can't even begin to let myself go down the road of my "future," if there is one (feverish snort), and how insane it is to suddenly no longer have anyone who is invested in, well, me. That's not a "good thing," I just added it on.

Hey Bev, goats cannot get a human flu, can they? I would hate to make them wonky. That would stink for all concerned. The farm owners did leave me with the number of a neighbor who can milk, so if it gets bad-enough-for-me, I can call. Not sure what level of badness that would be. I am quite stubborn. I am currently telling myself that if my energy degrades to the point where my animal care suffers, then I will call for back-up. Me suffer - meh. Animals suffer - not alright with me. Okay, so long feverish rambling post to say - send me some mojo, if you've got it. Can't hurt, certainly.


This Rose

In the driest
whitest stretch
of pain's
infinite desert
I lost my sanity
and found
this rose.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Personally, I'm still at the "losing my sanity" stage. No roses yet.