Sunday, July 31, 2011



goodbye july.
this year at least,
I am glad
to see you go.


Friday, July 29, 2011

close by

I have spent more time with my kid in the last week than I have in the last year and a half. It is awesome. And very very strange. I catch myself a lot - thinking matt is around here too. Clearly, my kid is back, then I must have woken up and things are back to normal. More times than usual, I catch myself thinking "oh, I should get this for matt." Or I see his truck and think it's him before I realize, no. We sold his truck. He will not be there behind that wheel. As great as it is to talk about matt, remember our life, do a lot of our normal old things, it is also oddly jarring. I think I am back in denial. Or something. Some strange new place. In some ways, I feel like I have been almost remembering him "wrong." Not wrong. Just - mine. No. I don't know. I don't know this new place at all. Maybe having J. back just brings color into some black and white parts. Yeah. That's wrong too. I think maybe I have been alone in this for so long that having someone in it with me, someone so intimately inside our life - it's just a little strange. I'm a little disoriented.

I've also been out of the online loop for awhile too, and I find I feel a little more calm and at ease when I'm on, reading and checking in. I'd let go of going to san diego. Being online again, I have alerted the universe that I would now like to go. Now, it is a down to the wire thing - if the gods and universe find airfare for me, I can go. I can go because someone else is awesome and kind and has offered money for the rest. Right now, it is a maybe. It is a wait and see, and hope that the waiting does not increase airfare to the point where the "see" part of that equation isn't enough. So - maybe. If not, I will lift up my tea mug and give a variation of the passover assertion: next year, in san diego.

And this, from Rumi, in my inbox this morning. I cannot think too hard on "when eroded rock becomes sand," with all the images that brings back in me, but it is beautiful all the same.

That Last Moment

No-one ever sees that last moment
The eroded rock becomes sand
But if they did they would hear
The Sea singing.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

burned out.

Not having internet at home is wearing me out. Mostly because I have no way to check out. No way to connect with our on-line community here, unless I head out into some public internet place. That has its own stressors and overwhelm: people people people everywhere, and no one is the one I want.

So much has been happening the last month. And I needed to remind myself last night: it is still JULY. I am not even out of the anniversary orbit. I have had my current housing situation changed and it remains an unknown. I have been tossed around with the idea of moving to the new house. My son arrived. That is an awesome stressor, but it is still a stressor. We've spent the last several days - hours at a time - crafting his job search and taking care of other things. He is doing fantastic, and I am massively proud of him. Of us. Having him back is a huge adjustment, in both comforting and disorienting ways.

During our out-for-public-internet job stuff, I met with the owner of the new house, and decided to tell her I would take it. I said yes. But then, in the midst of all the noise and people, she started going on about all sorts of things that were not the original arrangement, not what we'd discussed, and certainly not what I'd just said yes to. I was still reeling from having actually said yes out loud, and the surprise of having things suddenly not be what I'd thought pushed me over into complete check-out land. She wants me there, but her idea of what that looks like is not what we'd discussed. We'll work it out or we won't. Whatever. But seriously - all that torment for myself, and now it may not be an option.

On top of these things, I have started working at the farm with the new owners. It is immensely painful. Horribly. Bad. They are lovely. They are in love. They are painful for me to watch. It is painful to go through my day, learning new things, getting frustrated and excited, knowing matt is no longer home. Knowing he is not here to talk like this young couple does - thinking things out loud together, discussing their options, making plans. There is no one home anymore who cares about this life with me. I think that has been going around - some of us writing about losing that echo of life, losing the one person who is invested equally in life.

The worst thing though: I was learning how to use the milking machines a couple days ago. It was my first actual day working for them. The new owner, S for anonymity, called me over to crouch down beside him and check out the inflator attachment. As I leaned under the cow, I put my head on his shoulder. Shit. It makes me cry even now, two days later. I put my head on his shoulder and the thought smashed into me - I will actually never put my head on matt's shoulder again.

I felt the change come over me. There was no way I could start openly crying right then. I shut myself down. I worked for 6 more hours that day with that thought pounding in my mind: I will actually never -

As soon as I got in the car I started crying. A - I had to draw on our deal, and my own desire to not impact anyone else's life. I got home and just sat outside with the dog for the rest of the day. Just sat. Not even thinking. Cried. Went to bed before dark. The next day (yesterday) I got in some internet catch-up time, saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time who were peripherally part of our life (a whole other drain in some ways), met with my son to work on his plans, met with the owner of the new house to say my "yes," listened to her own scattered, disorganized we're-trying-to-move-out-of-the-country stressors, and felt every last bit of energy drain out of me. Today, I was back at the farm, doing more milking, making mistakes that come with a steep learning curve, knowing matt is not around to hear me talk about how much I hate not being instantly gifted with certain things, watching the two owners in their normal old life, together.

Sitting here now, half way between there and home, in a little cafe with some good chocolate, realizing how much I relied on the normalcy of the internet at home. I may be on it too much, that's true. But in the last couple of weeks, so much has started blowing around, changing and starting and becoming unclear, that having lost even that one little anchor adds an amazingly noticeable stress. I can't easily decompress or distract. I can't easily share the hardness and pain of things like putting my head on some man's shoulder and having that collapse all of everything. I feel like my little world has been blown apart, like I've been in an insulated bubble for the last two years, and suddenly the outside world is rushing in. There are too many changes, too many things going on. I feel extremely disoriented, not sure how all of this happened. I doubt that getting internet access at home will help that at all. At this point, the thought of trying to figure out who provides what and for how much is too much. But it is one area I could relatively easily control, one source of vexation and annoyance I could change.

I think perhaps there are no other thoughts allowed while it is still July.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Origin

At the time of separation, Love creates imaginary forms
When Union arrives, the Formless One appears,
Saying "I am the Origin of the origin of sobriety and wine;
Beauty in all its forms is a reflection of Me.
Now, this moment, I withdraw all veils to reveal
Beauty's final splendor, without any intermediary.
For so long now you have been busy with My reflection –
You have won the power now to gaze at My Essence alone."

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

And, twice today I caught myself thinking "I should get this for matt," and actually reached for my phone to take a video of the dog so I could show him the cute thing Boris was doing. Two years and two weeks today, and part of my mind has not received the news.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

all that can be...


I don't usually say anything about my step-son. He lived with us. We were very excited for his 18th birthday. On so many levels and for so many reasons. My step-son's birthday is July 13th. His dad drowned on July 12th.  We had stopped off for a quick swim before picking him up at the airport later that day. My kid just turned 20. That is insane. He moved out of state soon after matt died.

He called me last month to tell me he wanted to move back home. Today, he arrived. Wearing his dad's shoes. He has started to fill out a bit like his dad. He arrived with his car full of all of his belongings. He is looking for a job. We just spent 3 hours hanging out, normal, sweet, silly. He knows all my jokes; I know all of his.

My kid has been gone for just shy of two years. I have only seen him once in that time.

The other living member of my family is home. All that can be right in this world - well. All that can be righted is righted when my kid is near by.

Here is how I think of this - almost all the time, I am calling out into the world and nothing stops it. There is no echo back to me. When I am with someone who knows matt, they catch. They cast out their own memories. Between the two of us, matt exists. He is three dimensional and real. When my kid is here, our life exists. He was real. We were real. We lived. It is all as normal as it can be.

And a small detail thing - the whole time my kid was here at the coffee shop sitting across from me, there was a man across the cafe, facing me, who had matt's hair and matt's beard, the same small bald spot starting on top of his head, matt's coloring. Never seen the guy before, and he left right after my kid. I choose to believe it was a physical reminder, a suggestion, that my love is orchestrating what he can, being here with us. That he has been doing what he can to keep our connection strong. Our family. Maybe he isn't. But I will take it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So much has been swirling around in the last several months on the housing front. None of it "started" by me, and none of it requiring that I do anything. Just lots of different options coming up, people around me changing, offering, suggesting. My landlords moved out. They appear to be in conflict with each other over whether to put the house on the market or not, so for now, it's just empty (other than me). Just change. Could be a change that works for me, could not be. At the moment, the biggest effect on me is that they took the internet with them when they moved. I have a pretty short fuse for - well, most things - these days, so the search for new internet options tends to fizzle at the first annoyance. House-wide cable will be shut off soon, and though I tend to be more on-line than tv watching, the complete lack of distraction is a bit concerning. Not enough physical work to be done here to balance out the vast hours of time I will not be entertained (or annoyed) by streaming netflix.

I have a house I might move to. I think my heart has already moved in. My mind is slow to say it out loud. To leave this last place we lived, to leave the physical evidence of our life, to leave the home and streets and buildings that say "he was here" back to me. But I think he may be more clear, out there, that I might be more clear. Away from the ugliness I can't stop seeing, Such a short fuse I have, scales so heavily weighted with ugly. The new house has fields-in-the-making, projects, gardens to reclaim, an art studio and kiln, a little barn, a tiny pond. It has hard wood floors and fireplaces. Matt was out there to check out some renovations but was snuffed out before he got to them. That is a graphic statement I hadn't meant to type, but there it is. The owners are friends of his, moving out of the country, wanting to care for him by caring for me. Seriously - I type this stuff and wonder why I haven't already moved. Slow things done slowly, or as a friend said to me - the first time your soul moves after being wounded so severely, I bet it is like a part of your body coming to life after long injury: exciting and scary and painful and slow.

Do you want to see the house? It's on flickr, so if you want to see, leave me a comment and I'll send you the link. (if you're wondering, being out there makes catering delivery/travel longer, but doable.)

In other news and changes, the farm where I've been working has changed hands. I had taken myself out of it, feeling like it had turned jagged and weird in the transition. But now I am back, having met with the new people and been offered something I have looked for for years: full time farm work with good people doing good work. It was not all good, or even instantly good. It is a very long drive from the new house to the farm. It twisted me intensely, this "decision" between a place that suits my heart and this place that suits - well, practical things, I guess: income, experience building, those things. A huge storm blew up in me. It was quite uncomfortable. However, it did show me how much my heart wants to live in the other house. So, for now, my answer is Both. How or if that will work, my answer is both. There are a lot of unknowns everywhere, even in the practical realms. Changes.

I saw some movies. Most of them surprise 4 tombstone movies. Maybe next time I venture out for internet access, I will put up my reviews. I will tell you that a book got me through the anniversary week: At Hell's Gate, by Claude Anshin Thomas. I'd seen a description of his workshops on meditation for veterans many months ago. A month or so ago, I ordered his book via inter-library loan, and checked out his website while I was waiting. On his website, I read some of his personal journal writing - it's graphic. It's violent. It is the sort of thing I cannot allow into me, as even Before, violent images stay in my mind and my dreams for a very long time. So I ignored the book when it arrived. Avoided it. It was in the car to be returned to the library for at least a week. And then, the day, the actual date day, I opened it. And read. Yes, there is a passage that describes violence, in fact, it was the same event I'd read about online. But this time, it was - tamer. The intensely violent details were not there. And I kept reading.

This book, and acupuncture, saved me last week. Yeah, probably god and love and all that "saved" me too, but it was this book that got to me. For one, he reminds me of Matt in so many ways. But what makes me recommend it to you out there is that he does not make anything pretty. He does not FIX anything. So many people spout off this pseudo-buddhist crap about "breathe and know that everything is exactly perfect as it is," and "the only thing present is now, and it is beautiful." Mr. Thomas says (and I paraphrase, rather than quote): ~ I wanted to punch the nun who told me that, the others who told me that a million times over. Instead I screamed that the past is here right now and it is not beautiful here and breathing will not make it alright! The world is not right, and nothing can make it be that. ~

Awesome. He talks throughout this book about mindfulness and meditation not making things suddenly okay, or even ever okay. You cannot chant your way into blissfulness. He even says that this itself, this desire or this directive to "be okay with all that is" is in fact a denial, a shaming and suppressing of pain. As though pain were bad, as though only a cinderella transformation will do, as though if you are suffering, you are clearly not in your true self, not in your center, and certainly not a good buddhist-christian-jew-hindu-anyone. So much I heard in those first months was similar to what he heard: breathe and know everything is fine. All that matters is this moment. Your true self knows you aren't really in pain. Between that and the incessant you can do it! cheerleading from people whose beloved was safe and alive, I felt like punching a few nuns myself.

I needed this guy, not just last week, but now. I needed to hear that what the practice of mindfulness can do, and does do, is allow you a different relationship with pain. A changing relationship with pain. For him, mindfulness is a way to live here, in this world that is so full of pain, with wounds that won't ever fully heal. It gives him an anchor.

I returned it to the library (c - you can ILL it) and bought one of my own. I need to read it and re-read it, remember what he says, what he practices, what he lives and what he lives with.

Okay my people, that is all I've got. Getting burned out on the out and aboutedness of internet access, and I've gone past the point where I can sum up my experience and recommendation of that book in any good or coherent way. Best to stop typing, then.


Sunday, July 17, 2011


I've got stuff to share, things, decisions, even some movie reviews. I just don't feel like it. I have things I think to write, but I think them while trying to sleep, or trying to get my shoes on to run, or trying to do any manner of other things. But when I tell myself it's alright to sit down and write - I am tired and want tea. Well. So there it is. A bit witholding, a bit fickle, a bit distracted. Today is #2 by date for my fellow widow who shares this week and year. Week 105 for me. Wonder when that manner of counting will stop, and how I will feel when it does.

The Traceless

Like cream concealed in the heart of milk,
No-place keeps seeping into place.
Like intellect hidden in this sack of blood,
The Traceless keeps infiltrating traces.
From beyond the intellect, astounding Love arrives
Dragging its robes, a cup of wine in its hand.
And from beyond Love, that Indescribable One
Who can only be called "That" keeps coming and coming.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


That Sun

Whatever you love here in existence
Has been gold-plated by God's qualities;
When that gold goes back to Origin
Only a dull copper will remain,
And you will be disgusted and reject it.
Don’t go on calling counterfeit coin "beautiful"
That beauty you love is only borrowed.
Gold will abandon all surfaces in the end
And return to the Mine of Magnificence.
Why not set out for that Mine?
The light will return from the wall to the sun;
Go now to that Sun that dances always in harmony.
From now on, take your water from heaven directly
Why go on trusting a rusting drainpipe?

~ Rumi

Sunday, July 10, 2011



The actual calendar date may be in two days, but two years ago today, this day, there were approximately 2 hours left of your life. Of our life.


Friday, July 8, 2011


I didn't sleep well. I am tired. I spent 5 hours last night teaching people how to make jam, and learned this morning that none of it set. I've been making jam since I was a kid, and this is the first time it didn't work. I told everyone I would redo all of it. I went out to check on the chickens (after waiting for the yard sale people to leave the yard). My "non-broody" breed of chicken is broody for the millionth time. I leaned in to poke at her, and another chicken freaked out, jumped on my head, and flew out the door. I live in the city. Chickens are not free-range. Right at this time, my landlord's friend showed up, so he couldn't help herd the chicken back to the coop. Small child started thrashing around, driving the chicken further away. Nice. I came in and tried to sleep. No. Heard chicken in the woods next to the house. Fell several times looking for the blasted thing. Finally saw it in my neighbor's yard - neighbor who is grouchy and curmudgeonly and is pissed we even have chickens. Nice. Meanwhile, my landlord is now in the woods trying to help, while I am falling down in the hidden woodchuck holes and tripping through downed tree limbs. He thinks this is hysterical. The whole time, his 5 year old son is screaming and crying I LOST MY DAD! I LOST MY DAD! SOMEBODY HELP! I LOST MY DAD. The neighbors are crabby, the chicken cannot be found, I am falling down in pricker-bushes, the landlord is laughing, and the child is screaming.

And this is the last night Matt and I were home together, making dinner, right about now. Two years ago right now. This is year two weekend, and I have not enough sleep, an unclear housing future, runaway chickens, failed jam, irritated neighbors, and a small child screaming. And I just burned the crap out of dinner.



love's rocks

Dive Today

Tomorrow you'll be brave, you say? Fool! Dive today
From the cliff of what you know into what you can't know.
You fear the rocks? Better men than you have died on them;
Dying on Love's rocks is nobler than a life of death.

- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

These words - I don't know what they mean, practically speaking. How does one die on love's rocks. What does that even mean. And still, I like them.

And, in mundane unrelated news, my landlords informed me a couple days ago they are selling this house. This morning, they are having a yard sale. It is supposed to start at 9, but people have been slogging up the driveway since 7:45. That's all. Not good, not bad, just a little slice of what is going on today, over here, where I have no idea which love rocks I'm supposed to die on, and I'm pretty sure none of these people in my driveway would either, should I ask.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

broken cup

As far as I know, only one person from my actual area knows about this blog. So I'm not posting this to drum up business or any of that. Just that I finished this, this long epic slog that was nearly abandoned many many times, that was rescued and remedied and cheered on by many people who read this blog - most notably bev, dan, and carolyn. Actually, without Bev's technical assistance, I most certainly would have trashed it. Practical assistance and cheerleading with good purpose.

So, getting in just before the two year mark -


Monday, July 4, 2011


I was looking for something else in my email archives, and found a long interchange between a friend and I, from the two months After. Man. Here, my July people, and my Saturday people in this Good Friday world: it is sweet, and maybe it will help.

love, i find i have been looking up the etymological derivations of words like "faith" in hopes of finding any answers, any possible wisdom. but, as you can imagine, as you Know - the way in front is foggy. the dictionary does not yield gems for me today, nothing to pass on to you and make this more bearable.

it is unbearable.

and yet, you are Here. not 15 years ago, not 5 years from now - but, you, in your beauty and aliveness, are here. and so maybe faith isn't anything but a moving hand or a beating heart. it isn't out there. in the same way that dogs don't love because they ARE love, we can't have faith because we ARE faith. which is to say, one plodding foot put down after the other.

there is nowhere to go, just as you say. and even if i can't really make out what the fuck God was thinking to make all this happen, I thank God all the same for you.


Sunday, July 3, 2011


One week from today
by day of week, not date.

I didn't think it was affecting me.

I was wrong.

and this

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I am having a shitty
and it is barely 9 o'clock.